Tag Archives: recipe

A Tale of Two Soup Pots

Has a nice literary ring to it, doesn’t it?! ūüėȬ† One Chicken, One Chickesque.¬† I think I’ve just created a new word…I like it!

Poor Ralph has been sick with a cold.¬† Fortunately, he had an already scheduled visit with the family doctor on Monday which helped him to know what to take.¬† However, I thought I’d go back to an old basic.¬† Something I’m not sure I’ve ever made…chicken soup.¬† I’ve made turkey soup lots of time, but can’t remember making chicken before.¬† First time for everything.¬† But of course, I need to eat to, so….Double the Pots,¬†Double the fun.

My soup on the left, Ralph’s on the right.¬† Both started with a generous spray of olive oil spray.¬† Onions and garlic¬†for me, onions and a mostly still frozen chicken breast for Ralph.

Things continued with carrots and celery for both pots.¬† Several times over the last few months, I’ve cooked a chicken breast for Ralph in my small crock pot. Both times, I saved and froze the stock that came from cooking the chicken.¬† I scraped off the chicken fat and added the juices to his pot.¬† I also used 4 low sodium chicken bullion cubes put in water and then the microwave.¬† Added that to Ralph’s pot.

Mine got this addition…

This is a wonderful soup/seasoning mix that I actually found at the Christmas Tree Shoppe!¬† They have the most unique food items there.¬† It’s been in the cupboard for quite a while but I hadn’t opened it.¬† I used it the other night in one of my veggie combos.¬† It worked great for this soup!¬† By the way, the measuring cup is dirty because I used it to mix the broth.¬† Trying to be creative with my photos…

My chickenesque portion of the soup came from Morningstar Farms chick’n strips.¬† Wish they still made the beef version… ūüė¶

I added brown rice to my soup to cook for a bit before adding in the chickenesque.¬† I shredded up the chicken in Ralph’s soup. I cooked noodles separately to add to his soup.¬† Oh yes, I also added corn to his…well because he likes corn!

The finished products…

You can’t really see the rice in mine but you can certainly see Ralph’s noodles!¬† I tasted mine and I think it’s going to make a great dinner!¬† Ralph has been sleeping to try to get rid of his cold (he didn’t have a good night’s sleep) so he doesn’t even know what he has¬†to look forward to!!¬† I hope he likes it.¬† Even with doing both soups, it really wasn’t all that time-consuming. I was proud of myself for getting them to finish at just about the same time AND getting all of the photos without dropping the camera in one of the pots!! ūüėČ

Oh, yes…while I was making the soups…

I had red beans cooking in the crock pot!¬† I’ve got a few ideas of some ways to use these.¬† Can’t wait to try them!

Hopefully, Ralph’s chicken soup does the trick and he’s feeling better soon.¬† It would make Mom and Grandmom proud!!!

Happy Thursday!!


My Old Friend…The Crock Pot

Today is Barbeque¬†Beans Day!¬† Well, lately there seems to be a “Day” for just about everything, so why not?!¬† In preparation for this post, I needed to find the post where I originally posted the recipe for my barbeque beans. Took a while and from now on, I’m going to keep a list of every recipe I give.¬† I don’t use them that often, but, it’s nice to just be able to link to one I’ve already used rather than having to type it all over again. Oh, and don’t believe WordPress when they say that if You look at your posts that it doesn’t add into your page views for the day…they’re wrong!

Fall is the time of year that I like to make soups and other things that both Ralph and I like and that we can get several meals from.¬† Of course, in this endeavour, my crock pot is my best friend.¬†¬† This baby has gotten a lot of use over the years and continues to be well used.¬† I really need to break the seal on the new bigger one I got really cheap (I think it was around $10-¬†last year)¬†¬† That’s the one I need for making chili, but I’ve found some other soup recipes that make a large quantity and that will come in handy.

So my day with beans!¬† You can find the recipe here¬†along with the story of the recipe.¬† I was very excited that before my friends Gail and Alice left to spend the summer in Maine, I printed out the recipe for them.¬† I’m always a little shy about giving recipes…just because I like something, doesn’t mean others will.¬† They Loved it, including Gail’s fussy brother, Ray who doesn’t like anything!¬† Score!

I soaked the beans overnight, then cooked them on the stove.  Could have cooked them in the crock pot (which I will do when I think to plan ahead!) but it would have been another day before I could make them.

Cooked beans in the crock pot!

All of the goodness mixed in and Ready To Crock!

The finished product!¬† The house smells so good while they’re cooking!¬† That’s one of my favorite things about cooking with the crock!

My preferred way of eating the beans.¬† Underneath are two microwaved veggie dogs. Ralph of course gets real dogs.¬† Ladle in the beans and I don’t know why I do it, but I put a nice big squeeze of mustard.¬† I love the extra punch of flavor it adds.

This is an excellent recipe and although I use fake bacon in mine (Gail did as well when she made it) meat eaters don’t seem to notice the difference if you don’t tell them.¬† Ralph know it’s fake bacon but loves them anyway!¬† It’s great to take to a party or for family gatherings.¬† Not hard at all!

Today being the first day of October makes me very excited!¬† Today is Ralph’s and my 12th Anniversary.¬† I’m so lucky to have found him and lucky that he let me keep him! ūüėČ It’s also the first day of my Birthday month!¬† AND the leaves are starting to change colors!¬† Perhaps the best reason to be in New Jersey!

So I’m off to a busy Day!

Happy Monday! Happy October!  Happy Anniversary!

Which Way Is Up?

This is one of those posts where I have no clear direction and I don’t know where I’ll end up.¬† However, here I am willing to make no sense and do it publicly!

There is no reason, but I have no clue what I’ve been up to.¬† I did get up and do my walk this morning.¬† Initially I thought I might have to head home after only a block because it started to drizzle.¬† I kept going and it was my good fortune that it stopped!¬† I am Meant to exercise! ūüėČ

There’s not much in the house in the way of groceries.¬† I used the very last of the Romaine last night for a salad.

It was good in spite of not having any add ins other that shredded cheese.

When I got up Wednesday morning, knowing the lack of groceries, I thought about making one of the Weight Watchers soups I always like to make in the Fall and Winter.¬† I was pretty sure I had all of the ingredients.¬† However, what I didn’t have and couldn’t find was the recipe! ūüė¶¬† I decided, Oh Well…I’ve made it enough times, I could figure it out.

Started with garlic and onions with olive oil.

I added in a lot of dried Italian seasoning and some ground black pepper.

I opened a can of diced tomatoes and a can of white cannellini beans.

I drained and rinsed the beans.¬† Added them to the pot with 3 tomato cans full of water.¬† I think it called for 3 cups, but I’m not sure!

Frozen mixed veggies (I used all that was left in the package-they were old and needed to be used) and whole wheat elbow pasta.¬† I’m not sure if the recipe called for 3/4 cup or 1 cup.¬† I did 1 cup.

The finished product.¬† Now I haven’t tasted it yet, but I’m sure it will be fine.¬† I figure considering the fact that I make things up all the time, why not just make this up as I go along!¬† I’m pretty sure that I’m close to the original.¬† The test will be when we eat it for dinner!¬† I’ll top it with grated cheese and that will help ANY thing!

Obviously, this all means that I Must go grocery shopping tomorrow.¬† I feel I’ve done really well this week so far on my food choices, so it really would be nice if I have something in the house to work with .

I’ll get through all of this.¬† A big pot of soup always makes it better!

Happy Thursday!!


Humble Hummus From The Bean Queen

Those of you who have been reading BCDC for a while know that I am totally addicted to Goodwill, thrift stores and rummage sales.¬† I’m actually quite excited because I’ll be helping at my sister Ele’s church rummage sale tomorrow!.¬† Well several months ago at that same rummage sale I found a wonderful deal…you know I love¬† a deal!

It’s a Cuisinart mini-prep processor.¬† It looks bigger in this photo than it actually is but it was in perfect shape…and it cost $1.oo!!!¬† I couldn’t believe it!¬† I scooped it up immediately!

You might remember all of the garbanzo beans I cooked the other day…

Well, I have long wanted garbanzo beans to meet mini-prep processor.  Yesterday was the day!

I used the recipe I found in Isa Chandra Moskowitz’ book Appetite For Reduction.¬† It’s a cook book filled with what look like tasty recipes but this is the first time I’ve tried one.¬† I picked this mainly because it was low-fat and I had all of the ingredients!

The starting lineup.¬† Not a lot of ingredients…My kind of recipe!

Since it was my first try, I figured there would be lessons to learn.¬† First, this would probably have been easier with a full size food processor.¬† I have a brand new one in the basement, never out of the box.¬† I am kitchen space challenged as you have all heard before.¬† This worked just fine.¬† Next time however and I’m excited to say, there will probably be a next time, I will process 1 cup of beans first, then the second.¬†¬† Putting all of them in at once made it too full and required a lot of taking the lid off and pushing down with a spoon.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Hummus!¬† Once it processed down a bit and I added the liquid it started to look really good.¬† It smelled good too!

Ta Da!!¬† It looks like Hummus, it smells like Hummus, it TASTES like Hummus!¬† I was so excited.¬† Ralph was out while I was doing this and he was hysterical when he walked in the door and I pushed the container in his face, saying…”Look at my Hummus!!”¬† He’s not a fan of hummus but agreed it definitely Looked like hummus.¬† He said he was really proud of me.

Here’s the recipe!


    Open the chickpeas and pour off about 4 tbsp of the liquid. Drain the rest of the liquid and rinse the chickpeas. Pulse them in a food processor along with the garlic.
    Add the olive oil, lemon juice and pulse. Add 2 tbsp of the reserved liquid, salt, and paprika if using. Blend until very smooth and add in extra liquid a tbsp at a time if need be. Taste for salt & lemon juice. (I ended up adding more lemon juice). Let chill if not using immediately.

Since I was using homemade beans, I just used 2 cups (16 ounces).¬† Also there was no bean liquid from the can, so I substituted veggie broth.¬† Honestly, this was so easy, I don’t know why I took so long.¬† It’s delicious and it is lower in fat that the store-bought versions.¬† Less expensive too! ¬†There are variations and I will try them next time.¬† Actually, I have a few of my own ideas now that I know I can do it.

I’ll leave you with a pretty beach photo from Honeymoon Island.

I hear it’s in the 80’s there.¬† It’s been in the 60’s in New Jersey, and that’s not bad for February.¬† It may be in the 80’s but they don’t have Homemade Hummus! ūüėČ

Happy Friday from The Bean Queen!!

I Have a Receipt for That!

On Sunday when I went grocery shopping, I realized that the Can-Can sale had started.¬† For those of you not from this area, Shoprite has¬†a sale every year where all canned goods are reduced.¬† I usually stock up on my beans and canned tomatoes, but I decided when it comes to beans…I’m going to give the old-fashioned way a try.

Beans in the Bag!

I’ve used them before, but usually just for specific recipes…this time I’m going hard-core, I’m going to cook all of my beans! ūüôā¬† I have more time now and it’s cheaper, even when the canned beans are on sale!¬† I recently¬†made the realization¬†that I can cook them in the crock pot…why did I never think of that on my own?!? Anyway, that’s my way to go now.¬† I’ve got lots of ideas I’ll be sharing.¬† My first one is Lima Bean Soup.¬† This is a recipe that my sister Ele gave me years ago.¬† It’s was a page ripped out of Family Circle Magazine literally…

It’s dog-eared and spotted and this is another one I’ve copied over and over to share with friends.¬† It’s dated 1991 (yipes! 20 years ago!) and apparently part of this article was to show you how to cook economically.¬† Well, this soup is stated to cost 38 cents per serving.¬† ( does it annoy anyone else that keyboards no longer have the symbol for “cent”??)

Here’s the recipe!


1 carrot sliced

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 can (14 1/2 oz) stewed tomatoes (you can use regular diced tomatoes-I did)

2 cups bean cooking liquid (I think this is very important for taste)

2 cups chopped cabbage

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups cooked lima beans (2/3 cup dried lima beans)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1. Saute carrot and onion in oil in medium size saucepan to tender crisp.  Add tomatoes, reserved bean cooking liquid, cabbage, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Cover Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add lima beans and parsley. Heat.


As with any recipe, after working with it, you adjust it to your own preference. I got my beans ready to soak the night before…

Added the water…

…and let them do what they do…

In the morning, they were all puffed up and ready for the magic to begin…

They cooked…I usually hear that you cook them for 45 minutes, but I like to cook them longer, because I like them nice and soft in my soup.¬† I probably cooked them for an hour and 15 minutes.¬† Test them and you can decide¬†when they’re right for you.

After the beans are cooked, drained and the cooking liquid saved, I started the soup. (that was a BIG onion!)

After the cooking elves do their thing, it looks like this…

I realize that it looks a lot like the pasta e fagioli I made last week, but trust me, it’s a different soup!¬† I want to make one comment on the recipe.¬† I believe that the intention of the recipe was for you to use fresh chopped parsley (hence the direction “chopped”)¬† In my haste to make it the first time, I missed that little detail and instead added a 1/4 cup of “dried” parsley…

Could have been a catastrophe, right?¬† Well, I like to think of it as a Happy Accident as artist Bob Ross used to say.¬†¬† I think those happen in cooking and many times we just have to go with them.¬† I didn’t realize the mistake until after we’d eaten the entire pot of soup and loved it!¬† Actually, I think it adds a really unique flavor to the soup.¬† It’s up to you which way you’d like to go.¬†

The title of my post comes from the fact that when we were growing up, my Grandmother would refer to recipes as “receipts.” Apparently that’s what they were called many years ago and I’ve heard them called that in watching shows on the History Channel.¬† It’s a fun thing to carry on in Gram’s memory and Ele and I usually refer to them as “receipts” when sharing and discussing them.¬† The sad thing that I think happens with so many families, the recipes we remember from childhood where never written down and we spend our lives searching for ones that live up to what we remember.¬† Fortunately, Ele knows the recipe for Grandmom’s devil’s food cake with lemon icing.¬† A few years ago, she asked me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday and I told her that one.¬† She was able to make it without a blink of her eye.¬† I’ll share that secret at another time, but I’m thinking about it right now and I may have to make one soon.¬† If I could only figure out¬†the “receipt” for Aunt Kate’s coffee…then I’d be all set!

Let’s Get This Show on the Road

I started the morning¬† (or I guess I should say the day since I didn’t eat until about noon!) with one of my finds from yesterday at Trader Joe’s…

Organic Multigrain¬†Hot Cereal.¬† It has rye, barley, oats and wheat and it’s yummy!!¬† In order to see what I thought of the flavor of the cereal itself, I didn’t add much.¬† I also cheated (I suppose…) and made it in the microwave.¬† I just added a touch of cinnamon (my new best friend), Splenda and some Almond Breeze almond milk.¬† It was really good.¬† I’m going to try it again tomorrow and jazz it up a bit, maybe with honey, but the flavor of the cereal itself is so good, I don’t think it needs much extra.¬† I’m also enjoying the almond milk which I just started using last week.¬† I used the unsweetened plain and I really like it.¬† Thanks to Kristen for suggesting I give it a try.¬† I’m thinking of trying it in my coffee tomorrow to see how I like it.¬† I’m really picky about coffee, so we’ll see how that goes.¬† But as for the cereal…if I need a snack tonight, that may be it!¬† Now I have one more thing that I need to stock up on from TJ’s before we move…oh the pressure!!

Since there was snow again, about 3 or 4 inches I decided that I needed to make soup!¬† I really haven’t made any this winter yet and I need to get back to it.¬† Soup is one of the things that has always helped me to stay on track with my weight during winters past.¬† It’s filling, I know how to figure it out because I made it and I just love doing it so there are many levels of enjoyment involved.¬† Since I didn’t feel like going out in the snow to get anything I went with an old tried and true.

The recipe card is old and battered and originally came from Weight Watchers.¬† You can’t see in the photo, but the fine print says 1999.¬† That year the program¬†gave you a recipe each week as part of your materials.¬† This was Week¬†Two and is one of my favorites.¬† I’ve used it over and over again, which is why the card is so sad-looking!¬† I’ve also photocopied it¬†to share with¬†many people.¬† I like it because it’s delicious and it’s so darned easy!¬†¬† I do make some adjustments for flavor so I’ll give you WW’s recipe and then explain my version.


1 (16 oz) can Italian-style cruised or whole Italian-style tomatoes (finely chopped)

1 (19 oz) can kidney or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

3 cups cooked pasta or 3/4 cup dry pasta

3 cups of water.

1. Place all ingredients in medium saucepan

2. Simmer for 10 minutes, if using cooked pasta, or until dry pasta is fully cooked.  Add enough water to just cover the pasta.


I truly cannot understand how anyone could consider making soup of any kind, especially Italian soup without garlic, onions or some seasonings, so here is my version.

Spray the pot with olive oil cooking spray.¬† Saute a chopped onion and a couple of cloves of garlic.¬† This can be at your discretion, make it how you like it.¬† I also add a pinch of salt and a few good grinds of black pepper.¬† I’m not much for salt so add to taste and I love pepper so I add a lot.¬† I also use dried Italian seasonings and I’m pretty liberal with it.¬† I DO NOT like kidney beans but I do love cannellini¬†beans so that’s what I used.¬† I’ve also used garbanzo beans and great northern.¬† I’d say that any bean would work well here, based on your preference. I’ve always added the dry pasta at this point and let it cook. I also add probably at least 1/2 cup more of water, maybe a little more.

I’ve found that it’s better to not add the frozen mixed veggies until the pasta has cooked.¬† If you do, the veggies get all soggy and lose their color.¬† If you’ve pre-cooked the pasta, you could add them all at once.¬† Usually I will add about twice the veggies they suggest because I like a heartier soup.¬† Your result will look something like this…

As I’ve said, this is one of my favorites.¬† I’m really excited thinking about several of my other favorites that I’ll be able to share here.¬† Some of them I’ve never written down so I’m going to have to figure them out in order to share them. I’ll figure them out.¬† One thing I don’t have to figure out…the soup smells wonderful and I don’t have to share it with anyone else…except Ralph.¬† Hey, Honey…Soup’s On!!