All posts filed under: Soups & Salads

Chunky Wild Rice Soup with Bacon//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Chunky Wild Rice Soup with Bacon

So soup is kind of a big deal in my family.  All thanks to this lovely lady, my grandmother. She’s basically the queen over all things soup.  It’s well-known and understood in our extended family that her soups will be the best you’ll ever have so don’t even try to seek out something better.  She’s got a big, blue Le Creuset pot that sits on her stove and most of this amazing-ness comes out of it.  I’m all about symbolism and “hope through osmosis” so I asked for a blue enameled cast iron Dutch oven for Christmas several years back and am still trying to get something as good as hers to come out in a ladle. One year for Christmas, she gave my great-uncle (her brother-in-law) a gift of soup for a year.  She showed up once a month to his house with a full pot and you could cut the envy with a knife as the rest of us sat on with gritted teeth or dropped jaws.  I cannot think of a better …






Salads

Grapefruit Spinach Salad with Toasted Walnuts

It’s no secret I’m a lover of food.  However, I feel like I’m in the minority when it comes to laborious endeavors and hunger pangs afterwards. Mike and I are getting the house in order to list it in the spring and have decided to freshen things up by painting throughout the house.  We completed the guest room on Sunday and managed to do so without a paint fight.  Props to us. After days like that I feel like most people want a hearty, calorie replacing meal. Not me. Give me something light and refreshing. I don’t want to be bogged down in a heavy, rich dish. Maybe it harks to mornings after the gym when all I want is a small smoothie or half a protein bar rather than a full breakfast.  Subconsciously, I feel like I’d rather maintain the column of calories burned rather than lose them back to large meal. It has its pluses and minuses. This salad is what I crave after an afternoon of painting around the house; nothing too complicated, simple …






Roasted Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup with Smoky Cherries & Walnuts//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Roasted Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup with Smoky Cherries & Walnuts

Remember when I said no squash was safe in my Pumpkin Butter post? Yeah, butternut was next on the chopping block.  No pun intended. The butternut squash for this recipe came from my very first market bag from Growing Power.  You can read more about my discovery of them here.  I’d never cooked with butternut squash before and had only eaten them as filling in ravioli.  Getting one in a market basket gave me an opportunity to come up with something new to try, hence this soup. Roasting the squash and sweet potatoes caramelizes them and brings out some of the natural sugars which go great with the smoky paprika. The soup was just the ticket on a cold, rainy day. But would be just as good on a crisp, sunny autumn day too! Enjoy! PrintRoasted Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup with Smoky Cherries & Walnuts Serves 6 Ingredients1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped 1/3 olive oil 1 tsp. + 1/4 tsp. salt 1 tsp. + 1/4 tsp. pepper 1/2 …






Rustic Turkey Italian Sausage Soup with Potatoes & Kale

I love silent compliments.  Sometimes those are better than traditional, spoken compliments. For instance, last Thanksgiving I prepared one of the turkeys at my in-laws house in Texas.  My way of doing turkey is a bit of a departure from the traditional way.  I brine it, smoke it, and baste it with turkey gold (as I call it).  If you want to read about it, click here. During the preparation I could tell my father in law wasn’t sold on the whole process of sticking a turkey in a giant ziploc bag with lots of liquid, then smoking it, and rubbing this paste all over the it.  Inside I got a chuckle because he must have thought his Yankee daughter in law had lost her mind.  When he was done carving the bird, he licked his fingers, paused for a moment, and just smiled at me. A big, wide Texan smile. It was the best compliment I’d ever gotten on my food–no need for words because his smile said it all. Last night I made this soup …






Prosciutto & Cantaloupe…plus a makeover!

Welcome to the re-designed Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles!  One of my goals for 2012 is to really focus on this blog.  I’ve designed a new header and kept the blog simple to allow the photos of the food to stand out.  Speaking of photos I’ve begun dabbling in food photography.  I’ve been getting some advice from some photographic geniuses in my family and playing around with a camera we already have.  Long range goal is to get my own DSLR but the point and shoot is fun for now while I save up!  I am by no means a food stylist or an experienced photographer yet but its fun playing around and the photos are already light years above 2011 posts! So now that you are here let’s get down to business.  January isn’t exactly cantaloupe season but I saw a beautiful one at the market yesterday and had a craving for a seriously good combination.  Most of you who know me know that I much prefer berries and stone fruits over melon but …






Split Pea & Ham Soup

Just like with Thanksgiving and turkey I think it’s always good to have an arsenal of “leftover” recipes for the big meal you make on holidays.  For those of you making a ham on Christmas (or anytime for that matter) I’ve got two versions of this recipe for you based on how much time you have.  One version uses the ham bone to add in some extra flavor and is great if you’re spending the day at home and want the house to smell like home cooking all day! {Slow Going Split Pea & Ham Soup} from Molly Stephens   For the Broth: 1 ham bone 8 c. water 2 bay leaves 1 tsp. dried oregano 1 tsp. dried sage 1 tsp. dried thyme 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed 1 onion, peeled and quartered 2 carrots cut into large pieces Salt & pepper Bring everything to a boil in a large stock pot.  Stir and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer away for about 3 hours uncovered.  Strain and reserve …






Creamy Chunky Tomato Soup

I really love this time of year for several reasons one of which being the craving for cozy, warm comfort food.  Today was double coupon day at our grocery store and on my way there I decided tonight would be a great night for a big pot of soup.  Mike has been craving grilled cheese lately so I decided to pair that with some tomato soup.  Below is the recipe I threw together.  I hope you enjoy! {Creamy Chunky Tomato Soup}serves 4 1 tbsp. butter 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced Salt & Pepper Basil (two  cubes Dorot or 1 tsp. dried) 28oz can crushed tomatoes (recommend Muir Glen crushed tomatoes w/ basil) 14oz can crushed tomatoes (recommend Muir Glen crushed fire roasted tomatoes) 1 1/2 c. half & half 2 tsp. sugar 2 tbsp. port wine Melt the butter and olive oil together in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper.  Saute for 5-7 minutes until the onions are translucent and …