Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Homemade Fresh Vegetable Soup...

Today we're experiencing our first real cold snap of the season and hubby requested homemade
veggie soup. It's supposed to be in the upper 20's tonight, so after a trip to the market I got it started. To me, there is nothing better than the smell of a savory homemade soup simmering on the stove all day. This is enough for about 6 to 8 people.

You can easily add or subtract any veggies you choose as well as the broth amount. It's all up to the person making it, right? Chop size of veggies to your own preference. I like to make them small enough to get a little of everything in a single bite, but that's just me. So, what do you say? Let's get this party started, shall we?


2    tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2    medium size yellow onions, chopped
2    large white potatoes, chopped
3    stalks of celery (use 4 if they're skinny), chopped
4    carrots, peeled and chopped to size preference (use more if baby carrots are used)
4    garlic cloves, minced
1    (4 cup) carton of beef (or chicken) broth, low sodium
1    large can of diced petite tomatoes
1    12 oz. can of tomato sauce
1    bunch of fresh green beans, chopped to bite size
1    container of fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 bunch of parsley, minced
2    bay leaves, whole
      salt & pepper, to taste


1.   Coat bottom of stock pot with the olive oil and saute onions and celery for a few minutes over medium heat or until they start to get transparent.

2.   Add minced garlic then stir for a minute. Add the potatoes and carrots, stirring for another couple of minutes.

3.   Next, add the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 2 hours. Stir gently occasionally. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

4.   When the soup is nearly finished cooking add the chopped mushrooms, diced green beans, and minced parsley. Simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes

5.   Remove bay leaves and serve with piping hot corn bread and butter.

6.   Enjoy with a nice glass of red or white wine! Personally, I like a good Malbec red wine. I haven't met one I didn't like, yet.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bruschetta Topped With Creamy Quail Eggs... You Will Love It!

We don't have quail eggs available to us where we live in West Texas. We just like to shoot the adult quail and eat them. So when I was in San Antonio the last time visiting friends, I made my favorite trek to Groomer's Seafood. There, I found an abundance of fresh quail eggs. I might have even squealed with delight just a little.

In the days since I first started going to Groomer's, they weren't quite so sophisticated as they are these days, but they're still fun. And, they have fresh quail eggs that are simply divine. The creaminess of the quail eggs is like nothing else I've ever tasted. I might feel a teensy bit guilty for eating sweet little quail eggs, but maybe not.

Soooo... In trying to decide how I was going to spotlight these lovely little eggs at home, I decided they would be the perfect accompaniment served over delicious homemade Italian Bruschetta. I don't know where my flashes of brilliance come from, but I allow them as much room as they need. (wink!)

This was one of my very best. Please enjoy!

Italian Bruschetta Served With Sunny-Side-Up Quail Eggs On Top:


4 - 1 inch thick pieces of sourdough bread
1  - tablespoon of butter
1  - tablespoon of extra light olive oil

1  - small can of sliced black olives
1  - green bell pepper, chopped
1  - yellow bell pepper, chopped
1  - red onion, chopped
fresh basil leaves, lightly chopped, to taste
1  - tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
2  - tablespoons of extra light virgin olive oil
1  - fresh, large tomato, chopped
fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped in small pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1  - dozen quail eggs (six for each of the two servings)
2  - tablespoons of butter


1.  Place olive oil & butter in saute pan and brown both sides of bread lightly. Set aside.

2.  Combine next 10 ingredients in a medium to large bowl. Set aside while the flavors have a chance to meld.

3.  Cook quail eggs (6 at a time) in a saute pan coated with butter, as you would sunny-side-up eggs. However, don't cook them too long or you'll miss the delicious, oozing egg.

4.  Quickly place the cooked eggs atop the beautiful bruschettas that you've already prepared.

5.  Try to not make pleasure noises while gobbling it...

6.  We like to just have this for dinner but it might work for an appetizer as well.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Thin & Crispy Pizza w/ Store Bought Crust

In my opinion, pizza can be a very delicious AND healthy meal, when you make your own at home. I never have time to make a crust from scratch, so I'm always on the lookout for a good, quick crust to use.

The crust is actually made by HEB grocery store and comes in packages of two pizzas. It is so amazing.

Living in Texas, we have a wonderful chain of grocery stores called HEB (Henry Butts ring a bell?), which offers us many new and lovely things we'd otherwise never see. For that, we thank them profusely.

For about the last 6 months, they've been carrying this great, easy, ready-made pizza crust that is as thin as it gets. It's really quite good and allows us to make our pizzas to our personal preferences.

We used to be huge fans of Pizza Hut's thin & crispy, but the last 3 times we've ordered the pizza delivered, it has arrived not fully cooked AND it was stuck on the new parchment paper they are now including in their pizza boxes. We had to scrape the crust off the paper with a metal spatula.

We also like to use fresh tomatoes and freshly made mozzarella as well as chopped artichoke hearts and sliced black olives.

For really authentic flavor and even cooking we also like to use a preheated pizza stone, which allows the pizza to cook to perfection inside 15 minutes.