Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tomato Bisque

One of my very favorite combos is soup and sandwiches. There's something about a cold day and the comfort of dipping a cheesy crusty sandwich into piping hot soup. It just warms the soul, you know? Tomato soup has never been my fav because I think of canned tomato soup which I never loved. {I love broccoli cheddar, French onion, loaded potato, basically anything with cheese!} But then I had tomato soup somewhere that topped it with a crispy Parmesan chip and it hooked me. Tomato soup almost has the "go big or go home" stigma in my opinion. Add the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese, it makes a world of difference!

I love a nice warm panini and look for any excuse to pack as much cheese as humanly possible between two slices of bread and pressing it together so it actually thins out and hides the evidence of exactly how much is in there! Trickery at its finest!

Tomato Bisque
What you'll need:
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 tbl garlic, minced
1- 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1- 28oz can tomato sauce
2 tbl tomato paste
1/4 basil, minced (or 2 tsp dried)
1 tbl salt
1 tbl pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated 
Dump everything in the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours and purée lightly with an immersion blender or regular blender, whatever you have!

Depending on how you like the texture, you can keep it chunky for a little texture or pulverize it if you like yours silky smooth! I'm somewhere in between.
Finish with cream and Parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed! 


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Fun fact about me: I eat hard boiled eggs almost every day for breakfast. I used to hate them unless they were "deviled" but a couple years ago I had a taste for them and it hasn't gone away since! They are my breakfast of choice for several reasons. For one, eggs are one of the cheapest protein options out there. Two, bringing 2-3 eggs to work is a lot easier than yogurt, berries, granola, honey, etc. Three, I make a bunch on Sunday and it lasts throughout the week making prep/cleanup a breeze. I've gotten into making protein shakes and smoothies but it's such a pain to clean a blender while I'm running late for work in the morning. Lastly, they are tasty and fill me up until lunch. Now, I know this makes me that girl...bringing odorous food to work...but really, I'm fine with it.

Now, for someone who makes these things weekly, I should have some knowledge on how to cook them. I've heard many tips and old wives tales but here's the best way I have found.

Start by placing your eggs in a small pot.
Cover with cold water and bring up to a boil on the stove. Now this is key-it needs to be a full boil. I've stopped at the simmer stage and it does make a difference! 
Once the water is boiling shut the heat off, put the lid on the pot, and set your timer for 8 minutes.
At the end of 8 minutes take your eggs to the sink, pour out the hot water and cover with tons of ice. 
Once the eggs are cooled I store them in the fridge and they're ready!
 I like to store them unpeeled. It feels fresher and less stanky, if you know that egg smell I'm referring to. A tip on peeling? Lightly tap the egg on your counter and peel under cold running water. The shell comes off pretty simply and leaves a nice smooth egg! Of course, sometimes you get a tough egg and the shell fights you a bit...but don't panic. They will still taste great and perfection is for the birds. ;)

I season simply with kosher salt and pepper. Sometimes a pinch of red pepper flakes or a drizzle of Sriracha if I'm feeling particularly wild.