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Friday, December 9, 2011

Play With Your Food!

Here's a fun idea for your holiday appetizer table. I basically made a cheese ball and shaped it to look like a Christmas tree.

Then I rolled in chopped parsley, and decorated it with toasted pine nuts and chopped dried cranberries. The "star" is grated lemon zest.

Here's my "recipe":

1 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
1 4 oz roll goat cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt/pepper to season
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, toasted pine nuts, chopped dried cranberries, lemon zest

Mix till blended well. Place in refrigerator about 3 hours, till cold enough to shape like Christmas tree.

Chop parsley. Roll tree in parsley till covered. Decorate!

You could also roll into various size balls and shape like snowmen. Have fun!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup On A Cold Morning

Yesterday, after my routine 6:30AM walk, I needed to finish the Christmas decorations by getting the outside lights done. It was really cold and by the time I finished most of the lights, I was in the mood to create something warm.

I had this really beautiful head of broccoli from my CSA box, and all the ingredients to make broccoli cheese soup so I got busy.

I poked around the Internet for a recipe and decided to combine ideas I had seen and then just made up my own soup.

Here's how I did it:

The ingredients: 1 head broccoli, 1 1/4 cups shredded cheese, one small onion chopped, about 1/3 stick butter:

You'll also need 3 tbsp flour, about 1 1/2 cups milk, one can chicken broth (plus more in case you need to thin out the soup later), a pinch of fresh nutmeg, and salt and pepper to season.

Start by melting the butter, and cooking the chopped onion in the butter for about 4 minutes, till soft. Then, add the flour and stir till well blended, then cook for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and stir constantly. You'll now have the base of your soup, nice and thick. Add the milk and the chopped broccoli and cook till the broccoli is soft, about 15 minutes.

Add freshly grated nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Now, using your immersion blender that you love so much (yep), blend soup till creamy. Add shredded cheese and let melt while stirring. Done!

So good....and warm.

And most of the lights are done!