Green Pea Soup from Bergdorf Goodman – Happy St. Patricks Day

IMG_7457IMG_7459IMG_7455 IMG_7466 IMG_7469Let’s celebrate St. Patricks Day with this delicious green soup! The first time I had this soup was downstairs in BG and I thought to myself I must re-create this delicious light soup. Low and behold along came *The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook which included this delicious recipe.   My two favorite items to order on the BG menu are the Gotham Salad and  the Green Pea Soup and they are both right there in this wonderful little cookbook. There are many other delightful recipes in the book as well which make it a worthwhile purchase. The shocking part of this delicious soup was the addition of a sweet potato and soy sauce. I didn’t see that coming, I would have made it without either of those two items. The soy sauce adds an intense layer of flavor and the potato gives it some real texture. Blend well. I used my high-speed blender for this .

*The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook by Laura Silverman–available through Amazon or Bergdorf Goodman


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 whole sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 Tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, if you have white pepper use it but I didn’t so I used black

3 3/4 cups chicken stock

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 lb. fresh or frozen , thawed green peas. I used one whole bag of frozen green peas.

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat parsley


Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat and sauté the onion, celery, carrots, sweet potato, garlic, salt and pepper until the vegetables are tender but not brown. I let it cook down for about 1/2 hour.

Add the stock and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Stir in the peas and just blanch them for a minute.

Turn off the heat. Cool slightly, then add the parsley ( don’t omit the fresh parsley, please) Taste for Salt but I found it was just right with the 1 teaspoon.

In a blender or food processor, do it in batches ( I did it in 3) , puree all the ingredients until smooth. Serve warm!

Love the taste and enjoy all the healthy benefits!!!

*can be made vegan with vegetable stock

Kale and Romaine Salad with Tahini Dressing

It’s still only March but out here in the Rockies and the temperatures are in the 50’s , it’s spring skiing and feeling a lot like Spring has sprung. I wanted to make a new fresh “spring” salad and I had seen a few dressings made with Tahini and I wanted to make my own. This is what I did last night and I have to say it was very tasty. I absolutely love Everything but the Bagel Seasoning and put it on eggs, avo toast, cheese and anything I think it will work on. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s go on Amazon and buy it! Buy 2 because they are that good. I put it in this salad and it added that extra layer of pizazz!

Here’s what I did: Obviously this is my salad but you can make it your salad by adding or subtracting any ingredients you’d like. The avocado adds creaminess and we love avocados — who doesn’t?????



a bunch of Kale chopped up

1 Package Romaine Hearts chopped up

2 Teaspoons Everything but the Bagel Seasoning — the real secret ingredient

1-2 Avocados , cut into chunks– I used 1 because it was just the two of us but for 4 people use 2

*if you like add croutons

Tahini Dressing:

I mixed my dressing in the blender: (see directions)

1/4 cup Tahini

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

3 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp. Water –I added a little more through the top (see directions)

Kosher Salt –just a little bit to taste


Using your blender put all ingredients –Tahini, lemon, oil and garlic. I added the 2 Tbsp. of Water through the top and blended it all together. After you blend I whisked until smooth and added a little water to get the consistency of dressing that I wanted . You’ll have to play it by ear but add a little water at a time.

Transfer the lettuce and kale to a large bowl and add the dressing and toss well to coat. Add croutons if you’re using them ( I didn’t)  Add the avocados and sprinkle the salad with the Everything but the Bage seasoning. Serve immediately.

Enjoy! We did!

This would be delicious with an added protein of your choosing.



Lamb with Orzo–Greek Style in One Pot

photo 1 (48)photo 1 (47)  Now that we put the clocks ahead 1 hour and it is starting to feel a lot like Springtime out here in the Rockies I figure it’s time for some new Spring flavors. The orzo is just delicious and has a real mediterranean feel.  I made this delicious dish which has real “Greek” flavor and if you’re looking for something new to make this could be the one.  This dish was a wonderful and fragrant meal with delicious spices , lemons and feta cheese.  I realize that there are people out there who are opposed to eating lamb and I get that and am not trying to convince you to eat it but I think that this dish was intended for lamb because of the distinct flavoring of the lamb. You can definitely tweak this recipe to your liking, I added the black olives to my dish at the end because Joel really doesn’t like olives of any kind. ( his loss). Tzaziki sauce would be perfect served alongside, and I have a recipe for that on my blog as well (look under A Taste of India and Greece posted on September 13 ’11) .  You can also make and freeze the lamb portion which is always a plus to me. I love the flavors that went into making this and while I realize that this recipe is a bit time-consuming it is well worth the effort. When you smell the mix of spices in your kitchen simmering alongside the lamb you will understand what I mean. This should serve 4 beautifully as a main dish, maybe you can stretch to 6. Enjoy!

I have to give credit to FOOD52 for this recipe, I made a few tweaks myself but the original version comes from there.


1 lb. ground lamb

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 average size yellow onion, finely chopped

6 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, drained and smooshed with your hands

14 ounce can of chopped/diced tomatoes

5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

*optional 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped — serve alongside in a separate bowl if you’re not certain everyone will like them

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


1 lb. orzo pasta

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed please ( app. 1 average lemon)

2 tablespoons olive oil


In a good sized Dutch Oven type of pot  heat one tablespoon olive oil ( by the way I always spray with Pam first for easier cleaning) . Heat the one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. Add the lamb and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill. Cook, stirring to break up the lamb until it is nicely browned. Remove the lamb when cooked through with a slotted spoon to a separate bowl .

Add the onion and garlic to the pot , cook on medium heat , stirring occasionally, until onions and garlic are softened and onions are transparently golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices (cinnamon, oregano, cumin, coriander, and red pepper) and cook until they are fragrant , about 2 minutes. Then stir in the smooshed tomatoes. ( I placed a strainer in sink, drained the can of San Marzano whole tomatoes and with my clean hands smooshed up tomatoes, it’s actually fun).

Cook the smooshed tomatoes in the spices, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes. Then add the can of diced tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add the cooked lamb back to the pot, give it a good stir,  cover the pot and leave it to cook, stirring and tasting for salt every once in a while, cook for about 1/2 hour.

After  1/2 hour , you can stir in the fresh spinach and cook for a few minutes till spinach is wilted. I only used 1/2 the spinach because Joel really doesn’t love spinach, if I wasn’t making it for him I would have added whole amount.  Taste for salt but keep in mind you will be adding cheese and olives which will add saltiness.

While the lamb and tomatoes are simmering away, cook the orzo in a separate pot of well-salted water. Cook orzo until al dente and reserve a cup of the pasta water .  I added pasta water to the orzo and a little to the sauce as well.

Drain the orzo and toss the orzo with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice  and the parsley, you may want to add some pasta water to this as well if you feel it needs additional liquid.

I served in individual shallow bowls placing the orzo first and spooning the lamb mixture on top.  I then sprinkled with feta and olives on my bowl and just feta on Joel’s bowl. Serve hot.

Pour a nice glass of red wine and relax and enjoy.

2 tablespoons olive oil

Baked Balsamic Chicken Parmigiana

As all of you know from reading my blog and following my recipes I have truly embraced the one pan meals. They are so super easy to prepare and cook not to mention cleaning up is pretty snappy.  I threw this recipe together the other night and I have to say it was pretty tasty.  Juicy roasted tomatoes and balsamic vinegar act as a delicious sauce for this wonderful week-day meal but why not for the weekend as well? You’ll love the tomato balsamic sauce not to mention melted mozzarella cheese! This is a keeper and the little bit of red onion added another delicious layer of flavor to this tasty dish. This is what I did, I actually gave you all a few options in the ingredients dept. so mix and match what works best for you .IMG_0265IMG_0266IMG_0269IMG_0272


3-4 skinless chicken breasts ( I used 3 breasts for the two of us) 1 nice size chicken breast per person is probably a good guess.

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Italian Seasonings — if you don’t have this use 1/2 tsp. dried basil and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

2 Teaspoons of Garlic Powder — divided or use 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Garlic which would probably be 5-6 garlic cloves

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes which I left whole if you’d like for a mushier sauce you can 1/2 the tomatoes

1/4 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar–if you want to omit the sugar you can — I used it

3/4 cup to 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese — I used shredded

*you can garnish with fresh chopped parsley or fresh basil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place chicken breasts in a sprayed ( Pam or any other baking spray you like) and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with dried seasonings and if you’re using fresh garlic 1 Tablespoon of it here.

Rub seasonings all over the chicken.  Put tomatoes and red onion around the chicken in the baking dish.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic powder or remaining 1/2 Tablespoon of fresh minced garlic. Pour over the chicken breasts and flip each breast to evenly coat.

Bake in pre-heated oven for app. 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. You can cut into a piece to check for doneness.

When chicken is cooked through sprinkle with cheese and set oven to broil for 4-5 minutes or until cheese is melted .

This would be delicious served over rice or pasta but we just ate it as is and it was pretty delicious on its own.

Sheet Pan Chicken –Meditteranean Style-String Beans and Potatoes

I love one pan and one pot dinners! Just amazing! This is an easy no-fuss meal cooked in the oven on one sheet with a marinade that has a distinct Meditteranean flavor from the lemon juice, olive oil and oregano.  Use chicken thighs or legs , I prefer dark meat for this but if you insist on using white meat –go ahead. Some green beans and potatoes make this a one pan staple. Delicious and Nutritious. Did I mention super easy to clean up? It was the Golden Globes so I wanted to eat and watch without a big mess to clean up. You’ll need a rimmed baking sheet for this recipe.

Enjoy! this is for 2 +people but you can double for 4. It will probably feed 2+ but depends on your people. This is what I did for the 2 of us. We ate the whole thing! no leftovers! If you are making for a larger crowd (4 or more) either use a very large baking sheet or 2 baking sheets .


1/2 lb. baby red potatoes- I quartered them but if they are very small you can cut in 1/2

1/2 lb. green beans , trimmed

2 Tbsp. olive oil plus for marinade

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, I salt chicken liberally and potatoes because they tend to be bland –see notes below on salt and pepperimg_3437

*2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley – totally optional along with some slices of fresh lemon for beautiful presentation


Marinade for the Chicken- Marinate for about an hour

app. 1 package of chicken thighs– bone in , skin on . When I say 1 package it is usually a little under 2 lbs ( 6 smallish thighs)  which is more than enough for 2 people. Usually about 6 chicken thighs in a package depending on the size of thighs.

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lemon- I used juicer because I wanted to make sure I got every drop

1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper , to taste–I used 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and about 10 grinds on the pepper mill for the marinade

In a large Ziploc Bag, combine chicken, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oregano; season with app. 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds (10-12) of freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Marinate for at least an hour, turning the bag occasionally. Remove the chicken from the marinade by draining it, discard the excess marinade.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a large size baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place potatoes and green beans in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with chicken in a single layer. Salt is an important component here–I sprinkled a light amount over chicken and potatoes and string beans –probably another 1/2 teaspoon and a few grinds of the pepper mill

Place into the oven and roast until the chicken is completely cooked through, should register 165 degrees with a meat thermometer after about 1/2 hour . After I check for readiness I place under the broiler for a few minutes, till skin is golden brown and a little charred ( but not too charred) watch chicken for signs of burning.

Serve immediately, you can garnish with lemon slices and parsley for a beautiful presentation!







Baked Chicken, Mushrooms and Rice

This was such a delicious dinner and pretty easy to put together. I used skinless -boneless chicken thighs . Chicken Thighs are pretty forgiving in the baking dept. because they don’t dry out. I find white meat to dry out easily.  The chicken baked on top of the the rice in one baking pan! My kind of meal. Serve a salad or a green veggie alongside and it’s just perfect.

This recipe should serve 4 depending on the size of the thighs you use. 2 cups of rice is a lot of rice so that won’t be a problem.




2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 1/2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6 nice size skinless boneless chicken thighs


1 large onion chopped small

4 cloves garlic–minced

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock

1 1/2 cups hot water

2 cups long grain rice– Basmati Rice or Jasmine rice can also be used


2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

2 cloves garlic

1 pint of button mushrooms ( or cremini) cut into quarters

Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl , combine the olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and coat each piece evenly with the seasonings. Set aside, allow the chicken to sit while you prepare the rest of the meal.

Spray a large oven-proof baking dish (10 x 15 at least) with a non stick cooking spray . Add the onion, garlic, oil, salt , pepper, broth or stock, and water into the dish. Stir well to combine. Then add the rice.

Arrange chicken in the water over the rice, cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Make sure you add the chicken over the rice towards the middle of the baking dish, this will insure the rice gets cooked properly.


After 40 minutes uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes , until the chicken is cooked. Change oven setting to broil and broil for app. 3 minutes to brown the chicken and crisp the rice.

Towards the end of cooking the chicken I prepared mushrooms. Heat butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Saute the garlic in the butter and add the mushrooms; cook until softened , season with some salt and pepper. Then once they were cooked I let them sit on the stove with the heat turned off till the chicken was done. Once chicken is done you can add a low heat and while chicken is sitting heat up the mushrooms again.

When chicken and rice is finished cooking, allow it to sit for app. 5 minutes to set all the flavors.

I removed the chicken and fluffed up the rice and added the mushrooms into the rice. Arrange chicken on top of the rice when you plate it up. If you’d like you can sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley for color and added flavor!



Mushroom Barley Soup (can be vegetarian)

I have the funniest story about me and this soup. The first time I made it, I received the recipe from a friend. I didn’t see that it said .5 lbs. of mushrooms and I thought it was 5 lbs! So you can only imagine how much chopping I was doing. I had never seen a recipe say .5 instead of 1/2 lb! Joel happened to be in the kitchen and he kept saying that is an awful lot of mushrooms, and until I looked at it carefully I hadn’t seen that it said .5 . Who writes .5 ? Well, we had enough mushroom barley soup for the whole winter and then some–it expanded to a huge amount, and I had to keep adding liquid, it was hysterical. Once I realized what I had done, I had a good laugh, but the soup was still pretty tasty. I will write it it the way it should be and I doubt you’ll be making that same mistake any time soon. This is a very tasty , deeply robust soup, very healthy rendition of Mushroom Barley Soup. (and I always wear my reading glasses when I read a recipe now because you never know when you really need to see the difference between .5 and 5! )


1/3 cup dried mushrooms, like porcini

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

12 medium carrots, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 lb. of white mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. of shitake, cremini, portabello or other mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. of whole barley( I had to use pearl barley because that’s what I had in house, it’s fine) I just used 1/2 a bag. Don’t worry over exact measurements here, just eyeball it. If you have a scale, you can measre it exactly, I just halved the bag.

6 cups of beef broth (vegetarians can use vegetable broth)  and you will need the other 2 cups in the box if you are using boxed broth. You will need 8 cups total, just start out with 6.

3 tablespoons sherry

* 1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar – I like this and add it before I serve it. It’s no biggie if you don’t want to use or don’t have it.


Cover dried mushrooms with 1 cup of  hot water and set aside for 20 minutes. Reserve the liquid and finely chop mushrooms.

Heat oil in heavy bottom pot (Le Creuset).

Saute onions and carrots over medium heat until onions begin to turn golden and transparent. Add garlic and saute for a minute. I always throw a bit of kosher salt and pepper in while veggies saute. Just a bit, you’ll taste for Salt and Pepper later.

Add fresh mushrooms(dried ones as well)  and saute for about 5 minutes until mushrooms release their water. Raise the heat and add the barley. Saute until barley begins to color. Add broth and sherry. Add mushroom soaking liquid to pot. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Soup will start to naturally thicken as barley plumps up, if you need to add more liquid either water or broth will be just fine.  Simmer for about an hour, you will probably need more liquid, I always add the other 2 cups of broth, and I add water then if it is still too thick, play it by ear. I also add additional Salt and Pepper at this point, you will have to adjust to your own personal taste.  Add vinegar right before serving, if you are using it.  Serve with nice crusty bread! Enjoy!

This makes for a delightful lunch meal with a salad and bread. I also make this in the morning , put whole pot in fridge ( once it cools down) and right before dinner heat it up. This gives flavors time to meld together, and then if you need to add more liquid  you will add water since you’ve already added the additional 2 cups of broth. Freezes up beautifully, and exactly what I will do, because whole family will be coming to visit at the end of week, Yeah!!!! 🙂 🙂

Lasagna in the Slow Cooker

I have to say when I first heard about lasagna in the slow cooker I was sort of skeptical.  My friend Cathy told me about it; she said she had made it for her family and I should give it a go.   The original recipe is from Jessica Seinfeld, who sneaks vegetables and healthy stuff into her food. I did make a few changes from original recipe , I used more sauce and a little more salt , I used fresh spinach which can easily be substituted for ground turkey, sausage, or any type of meat you like.  Next time I make this recipe I will be using meat because it really was quite easy and pretty quick even by slow cooker standards. It cooked in 3 1/2 hours, looked amazing and tasted delicious. I am still a little surprised by how good it was. The spinach wilts down and almost looks like basil in there. Even if you don’t like spinach, don’t worry because even though you start out with 5 ounces (which looks like a lot),  you hardly taste it at all but for those of you who do like it, it’s an added bonus. This lasagna was moist, cheesy and hearty.   So get out your slow cookers and give it a go. This is especially great for a big crowd. It easily serves 6 people.  We of course had a chicken dish alongside, because no amount of prodding could get Joel to try the lasagna, once he saw the spinach. Oh well, what are you going to do? He doesn’t know what he’s missing.  Thanks Cathy for the great idea, and of course, Jessica Seinfeld.


I used 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes (the recipe original calls for 3 14 oz. cans but I thought it needed a little more sauce and I used 2 large cans which are app. 28 oz. each . You can always use homemade sauce if you have it already made and want to use it. Just make sure you have enough.)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp. dried oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

*1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (use as much or as little of this, whatever you like)

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 containers (15 ounce each) ricotta (Fresh is awesome, but not always available. Use whatever you’d like. I used part- skim ricotta.)

2 cups grated mozzarella (again use whatever you’d like, package is fine. Just don’t use fat free, it doesn’t work well.)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

12 lasagna noodles (about 3/4 of a 1 lb. box) don’t cook them*see note at bottom

5 ounces (or 6 cups) of baby spinach (1 package in the produce section is 5 ounces)


In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, salt, red pepper and black pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella and Parmesan.

In the bottom of a 5 – 6 quart slow cooker (which I sprayed with Pam first), spread a thin layer of sauce. Top with 3 of the noodles (breaking to fit as necessary). Spread about 1 cup of the sauce over the noodles and layer with 2 cups of the spinach and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture. Repeat twice more with the noodles, sauce, spinach and cheese mixture. Top with the remaining 3 noodles, sauce and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.

Cook on low, covered, for 3 – 3 1/2 hours. Noodles should be tender in center by then, mine was. I then switched it to warm until we ate it. I served it from slow cooker with a big spoon, you don’t get those neat little squares but it really held together quite well,  I left some in fridge for leftovers and froze the rest for another time.

*I broke the side noodles in 1/2 and just angled them a little, keeping the center one intact. Once it’s all cooked it doesn’t matter that they were broken, it really came out perfectly.

White Bean and Tomatoes with Veggies Soup- can be vegetarian

photo (2)photo (2)photo (2)photo (2)photo (5)I decided to take a little bit different spin on my usual vegetable soup.  I did use chicken stock but you can certainly keep this completely vegetarian with vegetable stock. Play around with it and use whatever ingredients you like and whatever vegetables and stock suit your tastes best. This was delicious and heartwarming,  we ate some and froze the rest for another time. This should stay frozen for about 3 months in freezer. When you defrost you’ll thin out with a little stock while heating it up. Enjoy!


2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic , chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 can yellow corn, drained ( 15 oz. can)

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth

2 15 oz. cans of white beans, drained and rinsed I used Cannellini but butter beans would be nice too, any white bean would work here

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

5 – 6 small red potatoes , cut into small pieces (had them in the house and they added a really nice flavor)

*fresh kale , rib removed and torn into small pieces.  This is totally optional, I had some kale on hand and decided to use it. Spinach would also be delicious.


In a large stock pot ( Le Creuset) over medium heat , saute onion and garlic until tender and onion is translucent , approximately 5 minutes or so. Stir in carrots and corn, season with salt and pepper. I just throw in some kosher salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill. You will taste for salt and pepper towards the end , so don’t worry about seasonings. Cook carrots and corn for a few more minutes, give it a few stirs. Pour in chicken broth, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, and thyme. Bring soup to a low boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for app. one hour.

Separate soup into 2 equal portions, I just took out 1/2 of the soup into another bowl. Allow soup to cool to room temperature, once cooled down sufficiently puree  the half that you took out in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return that pureed batch to the remaining soup in stockpot and heat until warmed through. Adjust your seasonings with salt and pepper as needed. If soup appears to be very thick you can thin it out with a little water or broth, add a little at a time. I also added some fresh kale at this time, I removed the rib and tore the leaves into small pieces.  This is totally optional, but since I had the kale I figured I would. Serve hot with a nice crusty bread . I love the pretzel rolls from Whole Foods, check them out.

Happy Valentines Day Brownies – Chocolatey and Fudgey



This is a delicious easy to make Chocolate Fudgy Brownie. Perfect for Valentines Day , as it is such a Chocolatey Holiday. I have always had a  rather large sweet tooth and  Valentines Day always meant candy, chocolate, dessert of one kind or another and it was always up there with my other favorite , Halloween for pretty much the same reasons. How can you not like a holiday that has so much sweetness?  Make this brownie  anytime and  top with ice cream and chocolate sauce for an incredibly killer dessert. I personally cut them up into small pieces and don’t feel as guilty when I eat them. I came in today from being out all day and saw them on the cake stand and because I had cut them up so small, I indulged in two pieces and it just hit the spot!!! Make no mistake these are the real deal, and I never really understand why anyone would use a mix when this is so easy and all the ingredients are so readily available.  And you have bragging rights for Homemade. Just make sure you use an 8 x 8 baking dish, this really does make a difference. Enjoy and Happy V-Day!!!!


1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped ( when you buy the box, the chocolate comes in squares, each square is an ounce)

1/8 tsp. salt (regular table salt)

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup Cake flour (make sure you use Cake Flour not regular Flour)

1 cup semi- sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts ( I used chopped pecans , but chopped walnuts are good as well)

*extra unsalted butter for greasing the pan, I admit to using butter but you can spray with baking spray. (Pam)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square baking dish with unsalted butter ( or spray with Baking Pam)  In a saucepan melt the stick of butter and then when it is melted add the chopped unsweetened chocolate on low heat. Stir often until all the chocolate has been melted. Add the sugar in and let cool for at least 10 minutes.  Once it has sufficiently cooled off , take out another bowl and add beaten eggs and vanilla, and mix well and stir in chocolate mixture. Blend in cake flour ,salt and mix, do not  over mix, just mix till blended. Then add in chocolate chips, and nuts if you’re using them.

Pour batter into greased baking dish and spread evenly. Tap the pan on countertop to get rid of any air bubbles, about 3 or 4 times ought to do it.

Bake the Brownies for 30 minutes ( it’s exactly how long I did)  insert a cake tester or toothpick and it should come out almost clean. Be careful not to over bake.

Remove from the oven and cool completely before slicing into squares.

I actually took out of oven and let it sit out covered almost all day, so by the time I cut into them they were completely cool. I used a knife and wet it, so it would cut cleanly.

So yummy!:) Served with an ice cold glass of milk, perfection.

Also can sprinkle a little sifted confectioners sugar on top of cooled brownies before serving if you’d like.