Saturday, January 7, 2017

Grab and Go Homemade Soup Storage




      For years, I have been freezing my soups in individual servings. I really do not like canned soup, so making my own soups with fresh ingredients has always been one of my go-to lunches. It's nice to be able to reach into the freezer, grab an individual serving and toss it in a freezer bag to put in my lunch. At work, I have a glass soup bowl that I'll use to microwave them in. Delicious, fresh-ingredients, and full of flavor! 

      However, for years my method was to use plastic cups for the mold. I'd then cut them away and RECYCLE them. However, in recent years, people have been more environmentally conscious and have complained about the waste this creates. Although I have ALWAYS recycled the cups and NEVER put them in the trash, I did discover that not all municipalities actually have the capability to actually recycle these cups (even though the cups have the recycle symbol on the bottoms). SOOO, I was on the hunt for a new method. I liked the idea of using silicone molds, but in order to have enough soup for a single serving, I needed something larger than the typical cupcake mold. On Amazon, I was so happy to discover these jumbo cupcake liners and was even more excited when they worked out perfectly! 
Webake 12-Pack 4.3-inch Non-stick Jumbo Silicone Cupcake Liners, Baking Cups, Muffin Liners

      First, I just made my soup as normal. Then, after letting it cool, I lined up the cups on a baking sheet, ladled soup into each liner, and then placed the sheet in the freezer. The next morning, I easily peeled away the silicone molds and tossed them in the sink to be washed. Finally, all of the molds fit perfectly in a gallon freezer bag.SCORE! Now, I have an environmentally friendly, simple way to store my homemade soups individually. This can be used for gravies, chili, stocks, etc. Simple, environmentally friendly, and convenient! Can't get much better than that!




Monday, January 2, 2017

Buffalo Chicken Salad Sandwich



Sometimes, I get so tired of the same old foods I eat for lunch. As much as I love my homemade soups, sometime I just need a little more substance, which is why I was so glad when I came up with this recipe. Typically, traditional chicken salad isn't my thing. Really, the flavor isn't that exciting. However, I usually have some Gorgonzola crumbles (for salads) on hand, as well as Texas Pete hot sauce. With my very busy schedule, our family will often pick up a rotisserie chicken from the local grocery store and will usually have leftover chicken. I will usually save this chicken for use in some of my meals, such as Chicken and Broccoli Braid or Chicken Quesadillas. However, this recipe is a great alternative. 

Ingredients
2 cups cooked chicken
1 stalk celery, diced small
2 Tablespoons Texas Pete (or your favorite hot sauce)
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise 
salt and pepper (to taste)


First, break up the chicken either by hand, shredding it with two forks, or chopping it. Add chicken to a bowl. Add the remainder of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Taste. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve on toasted bread and enjoy! Pretty easy, right?? The Gorgonzola really makes this recipe! Feel free to substitute crumbled blue cheese instead. If you REALLY just hate stinky cheese, you could, of course, add some other types of crumbles. I, however, prefer the stinky cheese. Absolutely delicious!







Monday, March 2, 2015

Hot Mexican Spinach Dip

Updated 3/2/15 from an earlier post 11/18/11

Okay, so this is one of the most delicious dips ever! I came across this recipe years ago on allrecipes.com. I can't take the credit but it's always been a hit at parties.  One thing I do differently is use pepper jack cheese instead of just monterey jack and also I sometimes add a little bit of jalapeno peppers. Just serve it up with some tortilla chips. I prefer my homemade tortilla chips but store bought ones are fine too.
Hot Mexican Spinach Dip
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, diced and softened
1 cup evaporated milk
1 (2.25 ounce) can chopped black olives, drained
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
chopped pickled jalapeno slices, to taste (Optional)




First what you're gonna do is place diced cream cheese in a microwave/oven safe bowl. Then using a strainer place defrosted spinach and press the water out. You can also use cheesecloth, just get as much moisture out as possible.


Basically all you do now is combine all the ingredients. Depending on how much of a "kick" you like will determine the hotness of the salsa you use. I have even added some chopped pickled jalapeno slices to give some extra added heat.





To go a little quicker, I like to microwave it for about 5 minutes or so and stir to get all the cheeses melted together. You can finish in the microwave if you like, it'll taste just as delicious, but I usually finish mine off in a 400 degree F. oven for about 15 minutes. Then just serve it with your favorite tortilla chips. It'll be a hit, I promise!


If you've tried this or made this before or have any questions or suggestions show me some comment love! :)

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