Mystery Dish: Sweet Corn Soup with Peaches

Sweet Corn Soup with Peaches is a twist on a classic corn chowder and is a perfect soup for summer since it can be enjoyed hot or cold!

Sweet Corn Soup with Peaches | thepajamachef.com

When I saw corn on this month’s Mystery Dish ingredient list I was SO excited because this Indiana girl loves her corn! If you’ve ever been to central or northern Indiana, you may have heard the jingle: “there’s more than corn in Indiana, it’s the best part of Americana, and it’s right within your reach… it’s Indiana Beach!!” [on beautiful Lake Shafer, Monticello, Indiana... proving once again there's more than corn in Indiana.] C’mon, I’m sure you guys all have commercials/jingles memorized. Hearing that song was always a sign that summer was coming because Indiana Beach, a local amusement park, was opening. I haven’t been to Indiana Beach in years, but every time I think about corn, Indiana Beach pops into my head too. Successful marketing? I think so! But that’s not where we’re going today.

Sweet Corn Soup with Peaches | thepajamachef.com

Meriam of Culinary Couture is this month’s hostess for Mystery Dish, and her list of ingredients for us to work with included: peaches, cheddar cheese, green beans, corn, chicken, nectarines, butter, pecans, heavy cream, pesto, and coconut milk/cream. We were supposed to use three ingredients. At first, I wanted to make something with peaches and cheddar cheese! You know me… I like to try interesting flavor combinations. But then I decided that might be a little too odd, even for me. :) So I did what I usually do: consulted my good friend Mr. Google. An obvious thought I had was making some kind of salad with peaches, nectarines, corn, and green beans. An even more obvious thought was baking! But somehow I landed on this soup: a twist on corn chowder using peaches, corn, and coconut milk off the list. And it was fabulous!

Sweet Corn Soup with Peaches | thepajamachef.com

I’ve made a Mexican Corn Soup before, but this version is different. It’s a sweet soup. There’s no sugar  or sweetener of any kind added, but there is plenty of sweetness from the corn [and the cobs that cook in the soup for a bit], peaches, and coconut milk. I know that sounds a bit odd, but it just works! It’s a taste of summer in a bowl, and you can serve it hot or cold depending on your preference. This is a great soup to enjoy for a light meal with a side salad and some cornbread, or it could be an awesome first course to serve with some bbq + fixings. I hope you enjoy this unique soup!

one year ago: Coconut Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Crumb Cake
two years ago: BBQ Ranch Pasta Salad
three years ago: Lemony Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Sweet Corn Soup with Peaches

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 45mins
  • Print

adapted from Whole Foods
Sweet Corn Soup with Peaches | thepajamachef.com

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears sweet corn
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 large ripe peaches, pitted and chopped [peel them if you want--I didn't]
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • large handful Thai basil, chopped + more for garnish

Directions:

Cut kernels from corn cobs and place both kernels and cobs in a large soup pot. Add broth, onion, garlic, cayenne, and 2 cups water and stir together. Add two thirds of the peaches to the pot too, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Then, use tongs to remove corn cobs from soup pot and discard. Add coconut milk and Thai basil. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. [A blender or food processor  can also be used but you may want to let it cool first.] Simmer for another 5 minutes or until hot. Garnish with remaining chopped peaches and chopped Thai basil.

Check out what the other Mystery Dish girls made this month!

June Mystery Dish Collage

1. Ice Cream Sundae Cookie Bars by I Want Crazy
2. Old Fashioned Corn Pudding by The Weary Chef
3. Raspberry Peach Cobbler with Oatmeal Pecan Crumble by Joyful Healthy Eats
4. Peach Raspberry Galette by Blahnik Baker
5. Pecan Crusted Chicken with Apple Cream Sauce by Yummy Healthy Easy
6. Sweet Corn Soup with Peaches by The Pajama Chef
7. Dutch Peach Pie Bars by I Dig Pinterest
8. Toasted Pecan Pancakes with Brown Butter Bourbon Peach Syrup by Baking A Moment
9. Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Butter Rum Pecan Glaze by The Well Floured Kitchen
10. Peach Pecan Cinnamon Roll Cake by Chez Catey Lou
11. Peach Frozen Yogurt with Pecan Graham Cracker Crumble by Culinary Couture

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Best Ever Homemade Pizza

This homemade pizza dough bakes up golden brown, soft, and chewy, and is the perfect base for your favorite pizza toppings!

Best Ever Homemade Pizza | thepajamachef.com

I used to think homemade pizza was lame. When I made it, it just never seemed as good as delivery or pizza shop pizza. Even though I shared recipes for pizza here on my blog I kinda thought homemade pizza was a frugal substitute for the real deal. But then I had GOOD homemade pizza, made by several different friends, and realized I was just doing it wrong. C’est la vie, right?

Best Ever Homemade Pizza | thepajamachef.com

That’s what prompted me to do something about it and put “homemade pizza dough” on my 30 before 30 list. I was determined to find the BEST homemade pizza dough. I tried several recipes… and you guys… I think this it it! [And not because of those delicious brown cheese bubbles there. :)]

Best Ever Homemade Pizza | thepajamachef.com

This dough is chewy, flavorful, and the perfect palate for any pizza topping. I haven’t added any seasoning to the dough because I don’t think it needs it, but feel free to doctor it up if it’s your thing… especially if that helps your pizza toppings succeed. Prefer something traditional? Great. Perfect a taco pizza? Awesome. Anything goes–really! This is dough bakes into a beautiful golden brown crust reminiscent of Pizza Hut pan pizza–not too thick or too thin, just right.

Best Ever Homemade Pizza | thepajamachef.com

Though this recipe is yeast based, it’s really easy. Seriously–it’s hard to mess up since it just has one rise. The dough is so soft and smooth after it rises that you can easily press or roll  it into the pizza pan. Some doughs are sticky–this isn’t one of them! Definitely try it and see what you think. I’m going to use it for calzones next! YUM!

Best Ever Homemade Pizza4

P.S. I did some work on my blog this week–what do you think? Let me know if anything looks funky and I’ll check it out. Thanks!

one year ago: Mango Quick Cake Squares
two years ago: Cookie Dough Dip
three years ago: Rhubarb Muffins

Best Ever Homemade Pizza

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Print

from Creative Savings
Ingredients:

for pizza dough

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 package [2 1/4 teaspoons] active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

for rest of pizza

  • cornmeal for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce – I like this recipe from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures and usually add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • toppings as desired – pepperoni, diced peppers, sliced mushrooms, spinach, chopped tomatoes, etc.

Directions:

In a large bowl [I usually use my stand mixer but you don't have to], whisk together warm water and yeast to dissolve. I heat the water about 15-20 seconds in the microwave so it feels like bathwater–too hot will kill the yeast. Then add warm milk, olive oil, salt, and sugar. Whisk or blend on low to combine. Add in 2 cups flour and stir or blend to incorporate. Gradually add in another cup to 1 1/4 cups of flour in 1/4 cup increments to form a soft dough.

Knead [either in mixer or on a clean, flour-dusted surface] for 6-8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Grease a large bowl and place pizza dough in it, turning once to coat. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Partway through the dough rising process, preheat oven to 400 degrees so it’s nice and hot when it’s time to bake.

When dough is ready, punch down and press or roll onto a pizza pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Top with sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. Bake for 18-20 minutes, broiling the last minute or so to brown the cheese. Let cool for 5-8 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

We even made a his and hers version of this pizza this weekend… SO GOOD! Make it now! Please. :)

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium]

I like tacos alot. Actually, I love tacos. And all other forms of Mexican food, both traditional and Tex-Mex/Southwest. For a long time I thought you had to buy a packet to make tacos… that the seasoning was some foreign, mysterious substance that you couldn’t possibly replicate at home. Well, turns out that’s not exactly true. There are mystery things in some store-bought versions of taco seasoning but it turns out that I CAN make a version at home that we love, and we are better off for it.

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium] | thepajamachef.com

Why? It’s cheaper, healthier, and more convenient. No more do I have to remember to buy taco seasoning at the store when I want to make tacos. I already have it in bulk in my spice cupboard, ready and waiting for when the mood strikes. And let me tell you… the mood strikes often. This taco seasoning has become my multipurpose Mexican seasoning. I use it in quesadillas, in black beans, in chicken salad, in quinoa, in rice. I use it all the time!

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium] | thepajamachef.com

I hate having to pay people to do something I can do better myself and I cringe when I think of all the money we’ve spent on fancy low-sodium taco seasoning packets and jars. Neither Ben nor I have been put on a low-sodium diet or anything, but as I’ve mentioned on the blog before I’m not really into salt. I like salty foods of course but am really sensitive to it in restaurant food, processed foods, and the like. I know it ‘enhances’ flavors but for me, it almost ruins them. So I rarely add salt to things. I figure many ingredients naturally have salt in them anyways so what’s the point?

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium] | thepajamachef.com

This taco seasoning isn’t a true sodium free spice blend because most commercial chili powders do include salt. That’s something new I learned while writing this blog post… interesting, huh? But I call this low-sodium because it doesn’t have any extra salt. It gets all its flavor from a variety of herbs and spices. Like all homemade spice blends, its totally customizable based on what you like. We like a little kick so I add crushed red pepper or red chili flakes for some heat, but feel free to adjust as you like. I’m so glad I found this recipe. It’s been a staple in my kitchen for about two years and I practically have it memorized. I decided now was the time to share it with y’all! Enjoy!

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium] | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Double Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes
two years ago: Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars
three years ago: No-Bake Reese’s Bars

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium] [adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons chili powder*
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • four pinches of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper or red chili flakes

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar or other airtight container. Shake to combine and store in a dark place to use as needed.

To make tacos, add 3-4 tablespoons to a pound of cooked ground beef or turkey along with a 1/2 cup of water. Simmer 4-5 minutes or until liquid is reduced.

Seasoning is also great with chicken or black beans!

Time: 5 minutes.
Yield: roughly 3/4 cup.

Linked up with: Real Food Fridays.

SRC: Black Bean and Rice Soup

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was given the wonderful Sarah’s blog, Things I Make (for Dinner). Note that the URL of her blog reads “oreos and cool whip.” How fun! Be sure to read her about page for an explanation of that! :) Sarah’s blog is full of tasty recipes, which isn’t a surprise since she has such a great name! She lives in Ontario with her husband and loves challenging herself to try new recipes, especially from magazines. As always I found many many recipes to try, but had to choose one–this awesome Black Bean and Rice Soup! If I had had more time, I would have made this Strawberry Cream Cake Roll. If I had needed to make an appetizer, these Buffalo Chicken Wontons look incredible. And when peaches are in season, this Peach Cobbler will definitely be on my table!  But back to this soup.

Black Bean and Rice Soup | thepajamachef.com

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that we often eat black beans and rice for dinner. It’s easy, fast, inexpensive, and we almost always have the ingredients on hand. Plus, if you add some salsa and taco seasoning, it’s basically Mexican food, right? And I love love LOVE Mexican. So naturally I had to make this soup, even though it’s been in the 80s here in Nashville. Naturally.

Black Bean and Rice Soup | thepajamachef.com

This soup is just as good as it sounds. I changed up Sarah’s recipe a little to exclude chicken [because I didn't have any cooked] and to include some extra rice [wild and white]. All in all, this is a hearty, flavorful soup that gets better with each bowl you enjoy for leftovers. In her post about it, Sarah mentions that her husband wanted to put cheese on it but she thought it was flavorful enough without. For the record, I totally agree with you, Sarah! You definitely don’t need cheese with this soup. We enjoyed it with some english muffin bread and were more than satisfied. Thanks for the great recipe, Sarah!

one year ago: Blueberry Burgers
two years ago: Parmesan Garlic Rolls
three years ago: Lemony Kale Pasta

Black Bean and Rice Soup [from Things I Make (for Dinner)]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil [I used the Mediterranean Chili Pepper Oil from Star Fine Foods]
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups black beans, drained and rinsed [about 2 - 15 ounce cans]
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked rice [I used 1 cup white rice + 1 1/2 cups wild rice]
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • cilantro, for topping
  • green onions, for topping

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion and saute until soft. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Then add chicken broth, black beans, salsa, rice, cumin, and lime juice. Stir together, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and then simmer until heated through, at least 20 minutes or longer if possible. Serve with cilantro and green onions.

Time: 30 minutes.
Yield: 8-10 servings.

Check out other SRC recipes in group A by clicking below!

Mystery Dish: BBQ Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Basil Ranch Dressing

Today I have the BEST SALAD EVER to share with you!! I am so psyched, I can hardly wait to tell you about it [even though it is not original at all. But that's okay.] But first, this recipe qualifies for not just one, but two challenges. Woohoo! First of all, I created this recipe for Mystery Dish. But since it includes a fantastic homemade ranch dressing, it also helps fulfill one of my 30 before 30 goals. Score!

BBQ Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Basil Ranch Dressing | thepajamachef.com #mysterydish #salad #summer

This month for Mystery Dish, Chez Catey Lou is our host. Cate is so sweet and gave us such a creative list to work with! We had to use at least two ingredients from this list: raspberries, peanut butter chips, edamame, lemon, yeast, whole wheat pastry flour, bacon, buttermilk, basil, and zucchini. There were a thousand ways I thought about going [I probably say that every month...sorry] but my craving for a salad won out in the end. I used a few of Cate’s ingredients [lemon, buttermilk, and basil] to make an awesome Jalapeno Ranch Dressing to dress up a BBQ Chicken Salad.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Basil Ranch Dressing | thepajamachef.com #mysterydish #salad #summer

I have long searched for a good homemade ranch dressing. I’ve made this recipe once before and let me tell you..it’s a keeper! It’s creamy, spicy, and best of all… clean! No weird mystery ingredients in the powder, thankyouverymuch. The key to this recipe is the jalapeno. It just elevates this creamy, herby dressing with a bit of spice. Oh so good!

BBQ Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Basil Ranch Dressing | thepajamachef.com #mysterydish #salad #summer

You know what else is good? This salad! I know a zillion restaurants have variations of BBQ Chicken Salad and this was mine. I just used seven ingredients so it’s pretty basic: lettuce, chicken, BBQ sauce, corn, tomatoes, black beans, and ranch dressing. You could also add avocados, onions, bacon, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Basil Ranch Dressing | thepajamachef.com #mysterydish #salad #summer

I kept it simple though so the flavors could really shine. You will really want to make it again and again. One bite of this and Ben was swooning. Seriously! This is a man’s salad, and definitely fancy enough for a restaurant. Hope you enjoy it as much we do!

BBQ Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Basil Ranch Dressing | thepajamachef.com #mysterydish #salad #summer

one year ago: Strawberry Muffins
two years ago: Sweet-Tart Quinoa Salad
three years ago: BAST sandwich

BBQ Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken [leftovers from a roasted chicken work great]
  • 1 cup bbq sauce [I used Sweet Baby Ray's]
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups fresh corn, cut from 3 ears of corn
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • Jalapeno Ranch Dressing, recipe below

Directions:

Stir together chicken and bbq sauce in a skillet set over medium-low heat. Heat for 5-7 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, toss together romaine lettuce and Jalapeno Ranch Dressing in desired amounts. Divide lettuce between four plates, then top each with a quarter of all ingredients: chicken, tomato, black beans, and corn. Toss together and enjoy!

Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 4 meal-size salads or 8 side salads.

Jalapeno Ranch Dressing [slightly adapted from The Lively Kitchen]

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk [for this I use real buttermilk, a substitute could be kinda weird]
  • 4 green onions, chopped, with white bottoms removed
  • 1/2 of a chopped, deseeded jalapeno [~2 tablespoons]
  • 3 tablespoons  fresh parsley, chopped [or 1 teaspoon dried parsley]
  • 1/3 cup fresh Thai basil, chopped [or cilantro, basil, etc.]
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

DIrections:

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. An immersion blender works great!

Dressing thickens in the fridge so add some extra buttermilk before serving leftovers as desired.

Time: 5 minutes.
Yield: 2 cups.

Please check out the other awesome recipes from this month’s Mystery Dish!

May Mystery Dish Collage

1. Raspberry Lemon Sweet Roll Cake with Buttermilk Glaze – Baking a Moment
2. Twice Baked Zucchini Boat – Chelsea’s Messy Apron
3. Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Raspberry Mint Compote – Blahnik Baker
4. Lemon-Raspberry Bundt Cake – I Dig Pinterest
5. Peanut Butter Chip Cookies – The Dessert Chronicles
6. Mini Coconut Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting – I Want Crazy
7. Zucchini Noodles with Meat Mushroom Tomato Sauce – Joyfully Healthy Eats
8. Baked Wonton Cups Filled with Edamame Corn Salad – The Well Floured Kitchen
9. Easy 30 Minute Orange Rolls – Yummy Healthy Easy
10. BBQ Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Basil Ranch Dressing – The Pajama Chef
11. Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cupcakes – Culinary Couture
12. Zucchini Muffins with Lemon Glaze – The Weary Chef
13. Lemon Bundt Cake – Chez CateyLou