Noodle bowl

Noodle bowls are very easy to make at home. And, they are often one pot meals, making them very easy for a weeknight dinner when schedules are hectic. I modified a recipe that I found last year in Real Simple magazine, and came up with a great dish. Here are the ingredients needed for this dish:

1 Tablespoon sesame oil, 10 white mushrooms-cleaned and sliced, 1/3 bag of small carrots, 1 teaspoon minced ginger, 6 green onions, 4 cups chicken broth and 3 cups hot water, lo mein noodles, 2 small bok choy-chopped, 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

I used my Staub cast iron pot and with the sesame oil, added the mushrooms, carrots, ginger and scallion whites only, cooking for about 3 minutes until just starting to soften.

Next, add the chicken broth and water, bringing the soup up to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Next add the desired amount of noodles and the bok choy and cook for up to 4 minutes maximum.  Stir in the vinegar and scallion greens at the end just prior to serving.


This cooking pot is wonderful, as it operates like a rain forest. By keeping the moisture and flavors within the pot, it makes any soup or stew just delicious. This noodle bowl can also include shrimp or cooked chicken breast.


Pumpkin Popovers

So, I found this recipe back in October for pumpkin popovers, and boy are they delicious. Just the perfect blend of the pumpkin taste with the ever popular popover experience. I have to admit that popovers are my all-time favorite item from the bread basket. Somehow, I always hope since they are hollow in the middle, that they really don’t count for a full bread exchange.  And, these just use the ever popular pumpkin pie spice–not what you might have first thought–ugh, not that canned pumpkin again.

So, here is a great recipe that started me thinking about just adding different spices to this popover recipe–so stay tuned for other ideas.  From the pages of Good Housekeeping, October 2016, comes this recipe, with my modifications.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees along with a popover pan.  When heated, melt a bit of margarine in each cup and swirl around to coat the pan. Meanwhile, mix 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, 3 Tbsp melted butter together in a bowl.  Stir in 1 cup flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Blend well, and divide into 6 large popover cups until each is 2/3 full.


Bake 50-60 minutes until browned.  Remove from the oven and tap to hear the hollow sound that the classic popover will make, signifying that the center is fully cooked.

If possible, serve warm, but they are tasty when cooled as well.  These can be dusted with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve popovers with soup, salad, or any breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner entree.  A great alternative to a roll, biscuit, or other types of bread choices.  This recipe makes six large popovers.



Easy tortellini soup

We have had a few chilly days here in Michigan, and it doesn’t take much for me to bring out a soup recipe.  I have so many favorites and always welcome leftovers.  This recipe makes around 8 medium-sized soup bowl servings.


I love the zesty flavor based on the type of diced tomatoes used for cooking. I use chili ready tomatoes, which includes a nice profile of spice.  Actually, that profile is perfect for this soup.  I have tried it with other variations of tomatoes as well, and if you are a tomato fan, you will like this recipe no matter which canned product is selected.

To begin the soup recipe:  Use about 2 tablespoons margarine to saute 4 cloves of fresh chopped garlic.  When softened, add 4 cups of chicken broth and boil.  Add 1/2 bag of slightly thawed frozen cheese tortellini to the mixture on the stovetop.  CooSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESk 3 minutes and then add one can of diced tomatoes.   Bring back up to a boil and cook another 2-3 minutes.

To finish the soup, I used fresh basil from my garden, chopped in thin strips, and added some chopped dark green romaine lettuce to the pot.  I continued to lightly boil the soup for another minute or so.  Serve with shredded or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with parsley flakes.

A great way to warm up on a chilly day.



Pizza soup with Pepperoni

With weather reports this past week coming in for our area, I was questioning if Spring was ever really going to take hold in Michigan.  I am still wearing a sweater, and yes, still eating soup.  My husband has learned over the years that I only offer certain foods, menus or dishes during appropriate months of the year.  He knows not to ask for mashed potatoes in July.  But, it took a few years for him to fully understand how I classify foods by season. Mostly, I focus on fresh vegetables of the season and look for the protein that best matches with those offerings.

However, that being said, and heading into May, I am still serving soup. In other years, with warmer temperatures, hot soup would be off the menu in March, and only replaced with a chilled soup offering until September.

I found this recipe for pizza soup prepared in a slow cooker from Taste of Home.  It is another recipe that calls for assembling the ingredients, and walking away for 7 1/2 hours. I modified the recipe to include frozen tortellini, instead of cheese ravioli, and feel that my version is super tasty. Try this recipe year round and  let it become one of your favorites. It freezes well, and makes about 6-8 servings from this recipe.

Assemble these ingredients:  2 cans of stewed tomatoes/14.5 ounces, 3 1/2 cups beef broth, 1 white medium onion, 1 small green pepper, 1 small package sliced mushrooms, 1/2 package sliced pepperoni, dried oregano, 3/4 package of frozen cheese tortellini, shredded Parmesan cheese and sliced black olives


Add the first seven ingredients to a slow cooker and place on low for 7 1/2 hours. Add the tortellini and increase to high, cooking for another 1/2 hour. Serve with shredded cheese and sliced olives as desired. A great offering with a side salad and crusty bread.


Won-Ton soup

One of our favorite Winter meals is soup.  Soup and salad or soup and crusty bread or even soup and sandwich come together in a matter of minutes and can be super delicious on a cold night.  This is one of my all-time favorite soups.  No need to get take-out as this soup recipe is better than take-out.

Assemble these ingredients and combine in a large stock pot on the stove:  8 cups of chicken broth, sliced fresh mushrooms, sliced water chestnuts, about 6 green onions including the green stems, cooked shrimp, pork or chicken slices (could be leftover from another meal), fresh romaine lettuce pieces, and won-ton noodles.  I slice my won-ton noodles into thin strips and use them in the soup.  I do not take the time to make filled won-tons.  Only slice as many noodles from the package as you will need for the soup, probably not even 1/3 of the package. The last time I used 10 noodles cut into thirds.


Boil the stock and add the above ingredients except the greens. Stir in the noodles and cook to heat. Add the greens just before serving the soup.  If this soup will be served for a planned Asian themed party, serve with egg rolls or any classic Asian dish. I have many posts on this blog for Asian entrees, egg rolls and spring rolls. Use the search tool and input Asian or shrimp to find quite a few recipes very quickly. Or scan the recipe categories to search more efficiently for exact names of dishes.

This soup can also be served on a buffet.  Use an attractive soup tureen and it will be the star of the meal.


cherry tomato tortellini soup

Homemade soup is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods.  Soup is easy to make and can be easily frozen for other meals in the future.  I made this soup in early November when the colder weather was just beginning to come to Michigan.  Today, the snow is on the ground and it is so easy to be able to just bring out a meal from the freezer to warm up and enjoy by the fireplace.

Serve this soup with either a side salad or some crusty bread for a delicious meal.  Enjoy!

Gather and prepare these ingredients for assembling the soup:  2 tablespoons olive oil, one large container of cherry tomatoes, minced garlic to taste, salt and pepper to taste, 4-6 cups chicken stock, frozen cheese tortellini, dried basil and parsley, 3 green onions, shredded white cheese.

In a large deep pot, heat the olive oil and add the tomatoes.  Add the garlic and salt and pepper.  Cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and continue to cook to heat until it boils. Add the tortellini and cook to directions on the bag.  I did not use the whole bag, but adjusted to the amount of stock.

Serve in large cups or bowls, topped with shredded white cheese.  So tasty and delicious!

Pasta Minestrone soup

Cooler weather encourages me to find my best slow cooker recipes and get ready for several months of comfort food.  I love a fresh pot of homemade soup.  There is no comparison to soups that simmer in a crock pot to any can or mix in the market.  This soup recipe is very low-cost and will make six generous servings.  It freezes well and can be warmed up quickly for another meal another day.


A minestrone soup is a classic Italian favorite and this recipe includes any type of shell pasta currently in the pantry.  I love to try different shapes of noodles in this one, but the classic would always be the shell shapes.

Gather these ingredients along with your favorite slow cooker and begin:   1 large carrot chopped, 1 large celery stalk chopped, 1/2 cup frozen peas, 2 small potatoes cubed, 4 sliced green onions, 28 ounces of chicken broth (made from stock base), 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning, 2 medium cans of diced tomatoes, red pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup shell pasta, 1/2 cup fresh parsley or parsley flakes, and Parmesan cheese for the topping.

Combine all of the ingredients EXCEPT the lettuce, pasta, parsley and cheese in a crock pot.  Cook on low for at least 6 hours or on high for 5 hours.

During the last 20 minutes of cooking time, add the lettuce to the top as well as the dried pasta noodles.  Allow to cook for the last 20 minutes.  Serve in large bowls topping with parsley and cheese.  A side salad and crusty bread completes this comfort meal.

I love the taste and the hearty feel to this vegetarian soup.  If chicken broth is not desirable, this recipe will also work with vegetable broth.