Even though it’s spring, we’re still having some chilly days. We’re having summer-like days too. Last weekend we actually got a light amount of snow and the temperature was Continue reading
Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. Unfortunately, my big outdoor rosemary plant did not make it through the winter, so I have a new small one growing inside right now. I’ll put it outside soon, hoping it will grow into another big plant! I used some of the rosemary from this little plant in this Creamy Navy Bean Soup recipe.
I made this soup several weeks ago on a chilly day. Even though the weather has warmed up, this is still a great recipe for any time of year if you are a soup-lover! Creamy soups usually call for heavy cream as an ingredient, but I used plain Greek yogurt in this soup–I thought the tangy yogurt would give the soup a nice flavor, and it really did! The rosemary gives it a great flavor, too. You’ll want to use fresh rosemary if you have it, but dried rosemary also works.
CREAMY NAVY BEAN SOUP by NancyC
Makes about four servings
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- dash of salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 (15.5-ounce) cans Navy Beans, rinsed and drained
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Additional fresh or dried rosemary for garnish
In a 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, add olive oil and heat for 1-2 minutes, then add garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and onions; cook until onions start to get tender and a little translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add in the broth and beans, heat to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let soup cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Place half of the soup mixture in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture into a large bowl, then blend the remaining soup mixture and add to the large bowl.
Stir the plain Greek yogurt into the pureed soup mixture, blending well (if the yogurt is lumpy, use a hand better or immersion blender to smooth the mixture). Pour the soup mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat for 5 additional minutes.
Pour into 4 serving bowls and top with a garnish of fresh or dried rosemary, if desired, and serve.
In addition to rosemary, I also like to grow basil in a pot every summer–that’s another favorite herb of mine. Do you grow your own herbs, too, and what are your favorites?
It’s hard to believe summer is almost here! Some days have already been hot and humid–too warm to cook or bake. So that’s when I start thinking of recipes to make like Three Bean Salad. It doesn’t require any cooking at all and is super-easy to make. It’s a great summer side dish for lunch or dinner and perfect for picnics. I decided to try sweetening my version with honey instead of white sugar and that worked out well. You need to make this salad at least 4 hours before you serve it, to give the salad time to marinate…and this is one of those recipes that tastes better the longer it marinates. So making it the night before you serve it works out great, too.
THREE BEAN SALAD by NancyC Makes about 8 servings
- 1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can green beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 4 green onions, finely chopped (chop both the green stems and the white onion tip)–or you can substitute 1 medium chopped red onion
- 1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
- Optional: 1 to 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 to 4 Tablespoons honey, depending on how sweet you want it (or substitute 1/2 cup white sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In large bowl, add drained and rinsed beans, then add the chopped green onions and bell pepper; toss all ingredients together with a large spoon. In another bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid, add the vinegar, oil, honey, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; whisk together or, if using a jar with lid, shake ingredients together well. Pour this dressing mixture over the bean salad mixture, tossing gently to coat everything well. Chill in your refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight before serving (the taste gets better the longer it marinates). Stir and toss mixture several times as it is marinating. Toss mixture once more right before serving.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought it would be the perfect time to make some Irish Stew. I don’t make stew very often, but I love a bowl of good, thick, chunky stew, and that’s exactly what this is! You might be wondering where those chunks of stew meat are–well, I improvised a little and used ground beef instead, since that’s what I had on hand. But you can use either–ground beef or chunks of beef. There are plenty of other chunky ingredients in this recipe too–onions, potatoes, and carrots. And it’s seasoned with a little dried thyme and basil. Comfort food in a bowl–that’s what this is!
IRISH STEW by NancyC, adapted from Midwest Living Makes 6 servings
- 1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 3/4″ pieces, or 1 pound ground beef
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 medium potatoes (1 1/2 lbs.), peeled and cut into bite-size chunks (about 4 1/2 cups)
- 3 cups sliced carrots (about 6 medium, sliced 1/2″ thick)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, plus a little more for garnish if desired
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine beef, beef broth, onions, and pepper. bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Skim off the fat. Add the potatoes, carrots, thyme, and basil. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Stir the cold water and flour together, blending well. Stir this mixture into the stew and cook and stir until stew is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with additional dried thyme, if desired, and serve.
If St. Patrick’s Day will be chilly where you live, this would be the perfect thing to make to warm everyone up! Are you planning on making any special Irish dishes that day?
If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast idea, maybe even for Father’s Day, here’s a recipe I made with the Perfect Bacon Bowl. I received two complimentary bowls to try out and I read about them beforehand in this Good Housekeeping review.
It sounded like these bowls had worked well with bacon, so I thought I’d try doing something different with them: making biscuit bowls and filling them with a scrambled egg filling. It’s really easy because you use those large refrigerated buttermilk biscuits that come in a can. There are 8 biscuits to a can–and since I just had two bacon bowls I used a large muffin tin (with 6 muffin cups) to make the rest of the bowls. You just have to separate the biscuit dough and roll each one out until they’re about 1/4″ thick, then form them around the bacon bowls or muffin tins. The photos below show how the biscuits look before and after baking…
While the muffin tins works fine for this, the bacon bowls did make a nicer-looking biscuit bowl. Plus you can also use them to make those yummy bacon bowls. They have a rim where the grease from the bacon can drain, which is nice too.
While the bowls are baking, you can mix your scrambled egg filling–then just scoop the filling into the slightly-cooled bowls and serve. It’s a fun way to have biscuits and eggs! You can also use bread dough to make mini bread bowls in a similar way–and fill them with soup or salad. Have fun experimenting!
SCRAMBLED EGG BISCUIT BOWLS by NancyC
Serves 8 (you’ll need 8 bacon bowls or two 6-cup jumbo muffin pans–or some of both!)
- 1 (16.3 oz.) can refrigerated biscuits (the big biscuits that come 8 to a can)
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray Perfect Bacon Bowls (or bottoms of jumbo muffin cups) with cooking spray. Separate the refrigerated biscuit dough into 8 biscuits.
Using a rolling pin, roll the biscuit dough out until it is about 1/4″ thick (the biscuits are easier to roll out if you lightly sprinkle them with a little flour). Place dough by hand over the Perfect Bacon Bowl and spread dough down so that the edges cover the rim (or place dough by hand over and around the bottoms and sides of the jumbo muffin cups).
Bake for 11 to 14 minutes; halfway through baking time (around 6 or 7 minutes), remove Bacon Bowl or jumbo muffin tins from oven and lightly pat dough down to eliminate any bubbles that may have formed; return to oven and finish baking for another 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove biscuits from cups. Fill with scrambled egg filling.
Scrambled Egg Filling: (or use your favorite scrambled egg recipe, using 12 eggs)
- 12 large eggs
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons milk (or if you want them a little creamier, use sour cream)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (2.5 oz.) package real bacon pieces
- 1 Tablespoon butter for frying
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- additional shredded cheddar cheese or bacon pieces for garnish, if desired
In large mixing bowl, whisk eggs with milk and salt. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Stir in bacon pieces, stirring until evenly distributed in mixture.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Melt butter in pan. After butter is melted, add chopped onion and green pepper, cooking several minutes until slightly tender. Add egg mixture. Let egg mixture set for a few minutes, then start scrambling, tilting skillet so runny parts will cook. When eggs are cooked and scrambled, stir in cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese is melted; add salt and pepper to taste if desired.
Spoon scrambled eggs into baked biscuit cups and garnish with additional shredded cheese or bacon pieces on top, if desired (you can pop into microwave for 10-20 seconds to reheat biscuit cups if they have cooled off too much). Serve immediately.
These Scrambled Egg Biscuit Bowls make a great dish for breakfast or brunch! Are you making a special breakfast for Father’s Day?
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