chicken soup for the soul

My Dad remarried when I was a junior in high school.  When Joanie and my Dadgot married our family doubled in size and we went from three to seven overnight.  This made it difficult for any of us to spend one on one time with each other especially Joanie and I.  We had gotten to spend time together when the wedding plans were being made, however we had not made a personal connection yet.  One day, during my senior year, I came home sick from school and Joanie and I were the only ones at the house.  Since there were seven of us, all with different schedules, this never happened.  Joanie came up to my room to check on me, and I was not doing so well to say the least.  She told me she was going to make me chicken noodle soup to soothe my stomach.  This soup has become one of my favorite meals because it is delicious, but also because it was the first time Joanie and I really got to share a personal connection between the two of us.

The Recipe:

2 T olive oil

1 onion chopped

3 carrots peeled and chopped

3 stalks celery chopped (leaves included

1 whole roasted chicken deboned and chopped

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

4 quarts chicken broth/stalk

1 cup heavy cream

1 bag thick egg noodles

First step: Heat oil, add veggies, and cook until soft (medium to low heat)

Second step: add chicken broth/stock and chicken and bring to a boil

Third step: add noodles and cook until “al dente” (slightly undercooked)

Fourth step: take soup off heat and add heavy cream and spices

*Don’t add heavy cream until after soup has stopped boiling!



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Good Ol’ Texan

Tim Love is a chef who was born in Denton, TX, and now lives in Fort Worth.  Love is best known for his “Urban Texan” cuisine and his successful restaurants.  He is the owner/executive chef of Lonesome Dove in Fort Worth, TX (with a second location in New York City), and The Love Shack, a popular burger joint.

One of the most inspiring things I found out about Love is that to pay for college he worked in a kitchen, and continued to volunteer at any kitchen he could just to gain the experience.  After gaining all of his experience, he became the head chef at an upscale restaurant in Knoxville, TN called Kiva Grill.  After this he moved to Colorado and became the chef at Uptown Bistro.

In 2000 he opened Lonesome Dove, and it is one of the most successful, best restaurants in Fort Worth.  Tim Love has helped Fort Worth gain a reputation in the culinary world.

Love is also known for his appearances on Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters.  Though he came in third of the first round of Top Chef Masters, he beat Chef Morimoto on Iron Chef in their Chile Battle.

The most interesting thing I found that Love has done was when he was awarded with a James Beard “Rising Star”, he started a trail drive from Fort Worth to New York with his horses and crew.  He would stop at different places along the way and pick up food from the farmer’s markets and make dinners through different cities he passed through.

Probably the biggest accomplishment Love has made in my book is the creation of the Dirty Love Burger.  It is a cheeseburger with his signature Dirty Love sauce, pickles, onion, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and a fried quail egg on top.  Needless to say it is magical, and definitely a necessity when I go home.






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fall in love with cake

ok so i have been dying to make a chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting and this one was perfect.  I was terrified to make the frosting but i got up the courage and just did it.  Let me just say it paid off.  Here is where I got the recipe!

Salted caramel frosting ingredients:

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

1 cup half and half (or cream)

2 teaspoon sea salt 1 cup shortening (or softened butter)

6 cups powdered sugar


1. melt the sugar and water on medium high heat until boiling, stir with a whisk until sugar melts (wait for amber color then take off the heat)

2. after getting to amber color, take off heat and add butter and half and half. whisk vigorously until combined

3. move to a bowl add butter and then slowly add in powdered sugar while mixing

4. when all the powdered sugar is added the frosting should be fluffy and light amber colored.

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 cups sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons instant espresso

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Mix all ingredients in one bowl and mix (mix

ture should be really runny, but that is ok)

3. Pour mixture into two greased 9 inch pans and stick in the oven 4. Bake for 30 minutes or until knife comes out clean

5. Let the cakes cool and apply frosting to one cake, add the other cake on top and frost the remainder



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easy easy meal

So zucchini pie was introduced to me by one of my roommates. It is a super easy recipe for a delicious quiche like meal. This is a perfect recipe for a brunch or lunch and only requires a few simple steps! This is also a great meal if you are cooking for a group of people or going to a potluck.



4 cups zucchini


1 cup chopped onion

1 stick butter

2 tbsp parsley flakes

salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp)

pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp)

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp oregano

1/4 basil leaves

1 package crescent rolls

2 eggs

2 cups mozzarella cheese

First step: Preheat oven

Second step: chop up zucchini and onion and sauté in butter until tender

Third step: while veggies are getting tender add parsley, oregano, garlic salt, basil, salt and pepper to the veggie mixture

Fourth step: mix two eggs with the 2 cups mozzarella

Fifth step: add zucchini mixture to eggs and cheese and mix Sixth step: spread crescent rolls into pie pan to form pie crust

Seventh step: spread Dijon mustard on the base of the crust with a spoon

Eighth step: pour zucchini mixture into pie crust and stick into oven

Ninth step: cook for about 40 minutes

Tenth step: enjoy!

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healthy lunch


Ok, so one of my roommate Robin’s favorite things to eat is a veggie wrap.  I am never usually craving a veggie wrap, but this is a really healthy and delicious meal which was exactly what I was looking for on Thursday afternoon.




Veggie Wrap:

1 small zucchini

3-4 large pieces of broccoli broken up

2-3 stalks of asparagus

a generous handful of spinach

1 large wheat tortilla

2 tablespoons garlic hummus

olive oil to for sauteing

salt and pepper for taste

sriracha if you want a kick

1. sauté  vegetables in olive oil for a few minutes (start with asparagus and broccoli, then add zucchini, and finally spinach)

2. spread hummus on tortilla

3. add vegetables to tortilla and hummus and add sriracha, salt, and pepper if wanted.

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taste of home

so my first endeavor for this blog was a coconut cake with lemon curd filling and cream cheese frosting… a bit ambitious but this has been one of my favorite desserts since i was little.  there is a restaurant that i used to go to with my grandma when i was little and they had

the most amazing coconut cake, but my favorite part was the lemon filling, so here was my attempt to recreate it.

ok so this recipe is from martha stewart’s radio blog here is the website:


Coconut Lemon Curd Cake
Recipe by Neil Kleinberg
Makes one two-layer, 8″ cake

Lemon curd ingredients:
1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
2 large eggs

To make the lemon curd:
1. Boil the lemon juice, sugar, and butter in a medium sauce pan

2. Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl

3. Pour 1/2 a cup of the lemon mixture into the eggs and whisk together. Add the egg mixture back into the pan with the lemon juice

4. Cover and cool in the refrigerator until ready to assemble cake.

Cake ingredients:
2 1/2  cups

cake flour, (measure, then sift)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon  plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
1 tablespoo

n canola oil
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
5 large egg whites
16 ounces sweetened coconut flakes

Make the Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.

2. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and oil and mix until small pea sized balls form. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until smooth

3.  In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until medium peaks form (this will take 4-5 minutes by hand; 1 to 2 minutes if you are using an electric mixer with a whip attachment).

4. Fold the whipped whites into the batter (you should not be able to see any whites and the batter should look light and fluffy).

5. Pour the batter into a prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

6. Let the cak

e cool, then unmold.

Frosting ingredients:
8 ounces crea

m cheese (not whipped)
Half a stick unsalted butter
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup milk

Make the Frosting
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until soft.  Add the confectioners sugar, blending in 1 cup at a time. Add the milk slowly, as needed, and mix until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Assemble the cake
1. Slice the cake into three layers with a long serrated knife.

2. Reserve the bottom layer. Place another layer on a serving plate. Using a pastry bag, pipe circles of lemon curd on the top using half the curd. Pla


ce second cake layer on top of first and repeat with remaining lemon curd. Top with the reserved bottom layer.

3. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow the cake to setup

4. Ice the outside of the cake with the frosting.

5.  Gently apply coconut to the top and sides of the cake. The frosting will act as a glue to hold the coconut. Cut and serve.


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