Sunday, February 24, 2013

Freezing Chopped Onions

I HATE chopping onions every time I need them for a recipe.  Also, onions are usually cheaper in bulk so if you buy a bag and don't use them right away, you usually have a few go rotten. Fortunately I've realized that onions freeze very well.

I recently started chopping my entire bag of onions and freezing them in small quantities. I like my onions practically pureed for most recipes so I put them in my food processor and put varying amounts in those cheap fold over bags. Then I stuff all those fold over bags into a bigger ziplock bag. You can chop them into whatever size(s) you think you will need and then whenever you need onions for a recipe you just pull the baggie out and thaw it under running water in a strainer. Believe me, this will save you tons of TIME and TEARS. Try it out the next time you buy a bag of onions.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Creamy Cheesy Potato and Vegetable Soup

I really like vegetable cream soups but most of the recipes I have tried turn out ok but not amazing like what you get at some restaurants. So last week I decided to make some cheesy potato soup and just happened to have some left over heavy cream in the fridge and decided to use it up instead of using regular milk like I usually do. The difference was amazing! This soup tasted ten times better than any other cream soup I have made before.

Since I basically made it up I figured I should jot down the recipe before I forgot so here it is. I used potatoes, carrots, and zuchinni, but you could use any other vegetables in place of the zuchinni like broccoli or cauliflower.

1 box chicken broth (they sell them at my Dollar Tree for $1, best deal ever, so check out yours)
about 10 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed (or about 2-3 cups of any cubed potato)
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into circles
1 zuchinni chopped into small bite size pieces

In a large pot bring chicken broth to boil and add carrots. Boil about 3-5 minutes. I added the carrots first because they tend to take longer to cook than the other vegetables. Add potatoes and cook until you can easily poke them with a fork or toothpick (but not falling apart, about 8-10 minutes). Add zuchinii or other vegetables and cook until tender then turn down to simmer. 

While cooking the vegetables make the Cheesy Cream Part in a small sauce pan:

1/2 stick butter
1 cup heavy cream
3 T corn starch dissolved in some cold water
1 tsp seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1-2 cups shredded orange cheese

Melt butter and slowly whisk in the cream over medium heat. Slowly add the dissolved corn starch and let simmer until it starts to thicken, stirring frequently. Add the seasonings and stir in 1 cup cheese until melted. Slowly pour cream mixture into the pot of broth and vegetables and stir well until everything is well mixed and heated. Then add up to 1 cup more cheese and stir until well melted and mixed in.

Serve with bacon bits if you have them (even the fake kind are good in this soup).