Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups

Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheese

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. Last fall, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!

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from January 12, 2012… though it isn’t snowing here in Tennessee–far from it, I have been thinking about soup A LOT lately. I wanted to make this soup, looked for it on my blog, and realized I hadn’t yet posted it back after Today’s Housewife disbanded. So, here it is–for you and for me. Enjoy! 🙂

I love hot soup on cold nights. Though I am not the biggest fan of snowy, icy weather–that is literally just accumulating outside my door at this very moment, I am quite fond of the comfort foods that make up winter eats. Most people think that comfort food equals lots of fat, sugar, and calories. I don’t think it has to. Comfort food is all about flavors that are familiar and welcoming, and oftentimes that can be accomplished with less of the “bad” stuff when combined with the herbs and other seasonings or offset by loads of vegetables. Soups are one of my favorite ways to enjoy my favorite “comfort foods” and flavors without sacrificing nutrition. They are also a great way to warm up on cold nights. Here are links to two of my favorite soups that I have previously shared on my blog… as well as a new one for today.


Lasagna Soup… spinach, tomatoes, beef, noodles, and plenty of cheese to make things happy! This is a must make.


Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Chili… a new take on an old classic.

Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheese | thepajamachef.com

And last but not least, Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheese. This soup does not disappoint. It is plenty creamy and cheesy to feel indulgent, but is also filling without feeling heavy, thanks to the use of fresh broccoli, skim milk, and flavorful Swiss cheese.

Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheese [from Rosemary Perry, Lafayette Journal and Courier]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 medium heads fresh broccoli, chopped [can also substitute 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli]
  • 1 tablespoon onion, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • generous amount coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup cubed Swiss cheese

Directions:

Place chicken broth, broccoli, onion, and bay leaf in 3 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until broccoli reaches desired tenderness. [I like to leave it with a little bit of bite so that the rest of the cooking doesn’t make it mushy.]

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter then stir in flour and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, always stirring. Gradually add milk, always stirring to make a smooth sauce. Remove from heat.

Remove bay leaf from broth and slowly stir sauce into broth. Add cubed cheese. Heat gently on low until cheese melts.

Time: 30 minutes.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

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Breakfast, Muffins, Recipes

Autumnal Muffins

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. Last fall, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!

~

from November 26, 2010 … I wanted to post these sooner rather than later so that you can enjoy these muffins early on in pumpkin season! 🙂 So just ignore the Christmas talk. Haha. 

Autumnal Muffins | thepajamachef.com

Even though Christmas is just around the corner, fall is still in full swing for another month or so. [Side note: where has 2010 gone?!?] And I am really glad about that, because while I love Christmas baking, I really enjoy fall flavors–pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves immensely. Recently I was in the mood for baking, and whipped up a batch of Autumnal Muffins, a creation of mine that combines the wonderful flavors of the season–savory pumpkin, tart cranberries, and sweet, crunchy apples with some amazing spices. These smell absolutely amazing while baking, and they make a healthy, tasty, seasonal treat, perfect for breakfast or a snack.

Autumnal Muffins | thepajamachef.com

Autumnal Muffins
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup skim milk + more for mixing
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • about 2 cups pumpkin, canned [I used a 15 ounce can]
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup apple, finely chopped [I used a Granny Smith and didn’t peel it]
  • zest and juice of 1 orange

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line muffin tins with paper cups or grease well with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients: flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Grate orange zest over mixture and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: milk, eggs, and pumpkin. Squeeze orange’s juice into bowl and stir to combine. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then gently mix in apple and cranberries. If mixture needs additional liquid to combine, add extra milk in 1 tablespoon increments. [I used about 2 tablespoons additional milk.] Do not overmix. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen.

Note:

These muffins are not very sweet, so feel free to alter the recipe by increasing the sugar or using sweetened dried cranberries in place of the fresh cranberries for a different taste.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday.

Breakfast, Pancakes, Recipes

Go-To Pancakes {Repost}

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. Last fall, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!

~

from November 10, 2011…

In my house, we love pancakes. Well, let me rephrase that. I love pancakes. My husband tolerates them [and sometimes is in the mood for them]. The cat just tries to steal them. That’s how it goes.I realized today that while I have six different pancake recipes on my blog [update! now it’s 10 wow!], I haven’t yet posted my go-to pancake recipe. This go-to pancake recipe was a conglomeration of several different recipes from the internet and cookbooks that I started making back in the summer of 2009 when Ben and I were first married. I wrote it down in my recipe journal next to the likes of other household classics like my crockpot chunky applesauce.

My perfect, tried & true pancake recipe. Go-To Pancakes are great alone or with your favorite mixins! We make these alllll the time. :)

It’s the perfect tried and true pancake for any variety of mix-ins, and is great solo to allow toppings to shine. Sometimes to fancy it up, I’ll add a little vanilla extract or cinnamon to the mix, but it’s not necessary at all. These pancakes are a hit any way they’re served because they bake up thin with nice crispy edges–everything a pancake should do, in my opinion. I hope you like them as much as we do!

… and I totally should have posted these yesterday, since it was Fat Tuesday. Alas. Hope you enjoy them anyways! 🙂

Go-To Pancakes

  • Servings: 12-14 pancakes
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup skim milk, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled [can sub oil too]
  • oil for cooking
  • mix-ins if desired [chocolate chips, blueberries, sliced bananas, chopped apples, etc.]
  • butter and syrup for serving

Directions:

Preheat skillet over medium heat.

In a medium size bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center. Measure out milk in a measuring cup and then add egg. Beat gently with a fork. Add [cooled] butter and stir again. Pour liquid ingredients into well of dry ingredients, then stir gently to combine. Don’t worry if batter is lumpy.

Pour batter onto hot skillet in 1/4 cup increments, topping with mix-ins as desired. Cook for a couple minutes on the first side until bubbles form, then flip and cook on other side until golden brown. Keep warm on a dinner plate covered with an aluminum foil tent until all are prepared, then serve with butter and syrup.

Notes: My “syrup” in the photo is actually leftover raspberry sauce from my Lime Yogurt Cake. It is not 100% necessary to let milk and egg come to room temperature, but it yields better results. Recipe can be easily doubled with good results!

 

Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches {Repost}

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. Last fall, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!

~

from July 14, 2011…but BBQ is good in January too, for a taste of summer, of course 🙂

About a month ago, my parents, sister, sister’s boyfriend, [edited to add…they got married on December 28, 2012… YAY!] and grandfather came for a visit. Yup, that’s right–seven people in a two bedroom, 1000 square foot apartment. Pure craziness, at least in terms of space. As I do with any visitors, I wanted to be sure to prepare a fantastic dinner that everyone would love, but with several caveats: we couldn’t grill out (apparently outdoor grills in “multi-family dwellings” are now illegal in the state of Indiana) and I didn’t want to spend all night in the kitchen.

So what’s a girl to do?

Use the crock pot, of course!

When Ben and I got married two years ago, I was a total crock pot skeptic. I thought crock pots were for lazy cooks and that nothing good ever came out of them. I vowed I would never use the crock pot we received as a wedding gift (in fact, we only registered for it at Ben’s insistence). I totally ate my words on that one! Aside from my KitchenAid mixer (fortunately inherited from my grandmother), my crock pot is probably my most-used kitchen appliance. I love it for making soups, applesauce, and large hunks ‘o meat.

As I was brainstorming what to make, I kept coming back to this recipe I had seen on Tasty Kitchen for Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches. The combination of sweet pineapple with vinegary, tomato-y BBQ sauce intrigued me to say the least. So I threw the ingredients together in my crock pot, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best

Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches | The Pajama Chef
And “the best” delivered. Many a sandwich were devoured by all that night, and the sweet yet savory BBQ just couldn’t be beat. This is definitely a recipe to make again and again. It’s so easy, so delicious, so tasty, so why wouldn’t you? Enjoy!

Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches [from MyRetroKitchen via Tasty Kitchen]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds boneless chicken, thawed
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 – 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 – 18-20 ounce bottle BBQ sauce [I used KC Masterpiece]
  • hamburger buns

Directions:

Place chicken in bottom of crock pot. Cover with onions. Drain pineapple, reserving juice (see note) and add over top. Pour in BBQ sauce. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. About an hour or two before it is finished, shred chicken with two forks, stir to incorporate the sauce, and let cook for the rest of the allotted time.

Serve on hamburger buns. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, try these: they are quite easy and really tasty! Enjoy!

Note:

For an extra sweet sauce, the recipe recommends a BBQ sauce like Sweet Baby Ray’s (which is so great) and the addition of up to 1/2 cup of the reserved pineapple juice. I didn’t add any juice to mine and it was plenty sweet for us, but others might feel differently. I just chose to drink the juice! 🙂

Shared with the Made with Love Linky Party and Weekend Potluck.

Sew Chatty