Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rainbow Float

This is definitely more of an idea than a recipe, but it's such a smashing idea that I had to share!  My brother's soon to be wife is the one who told me about rainbow floats when we were down visiting my family a couple of weeks ago.  We may or may not have stopped at the grocery store that night to get the ingredients, and after we got home to Alaska, I may or may not have taken myself right over to the store again!  That really says something coming from a person who is not especially fond of sherbet (until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn't had sherbet for maybe 10 years) or root beer floats, and who has a dessert/sweet treat once a week.  There's just something about the sherbet-soda combination that is just perfect, though.  Three flavors of ice cream if you go with rainbow sherbet, the bubbly tartness of the 7 Up, the creaminess and foam of the two together.  Yum!

I even took a picture of my rainbow float to share, but it looked so bad that I figured we'd be better off without.  A decent photographer would make it look beautiful, though, and it certainly tastes beautiful!

Rainbow Float

rainbow sherbet (or whichever flavor you want)
cold 7 Up

Scoop sherbet into tall glasses, then top with 7 Up.  It will foam up a lot, so don't add too much soda at once!  Serve with a straw and a long spoon.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Broccoli Cheese Soup

Secret Recipe Club
It's time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal!  This month, my blog assignment was Jessie Weaver's blog.  Her blog has recipes on it of course, but also posts about all kinds of other things.  I spent a solid two hours reading her posts the other day and really enjoyed it!  Jessie is a great writer and seems very thoughtful and kind.  Her kiddos are super cute, too.

Anyway, on to the recipe.  Hope Jessie doesn't mind that the recipe I went with is one she posted 7 years ago!  I can't help it, I love broccoli cheese soup, and the recipe she shared sounded really good.  I did alter it some.  Butter and full fat cheddar instead of cooking spray and light cheese, added an extra cup of chicken broth in place of one of the cups of milk because I didn't want to waste part of the carton of broth, and after tasting it I added both salt and a bit of mustard to punch up the cheese flavor.  I also decided to sprinkle the cheddar on the individual bowls of soup as a garnish so it could just barely melt into the soup- yum!

In any case, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the soup.  It's thick, creamy, has great flavor, and is basically the perfect comfort food.  I can pretty much guarantee I will make it again!  Next time I would try doing 8 oz Velveeta because it was surprisingly difficult to detect, and I say that as someone who cannot stand even the tiniest bit of Velveeta in any other recipe.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 Tbsp butter
1 C diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 C chicken broth
1 lb frozen broccoli florets (or can use fresh, chopped broccoli)
1 tsp bottled yellow mustard (not dried)
1/4 tsp black pepper
salt to taste (start with 1/2 tsp)
1 1/2 C milk
1/3 C whole wheat flour
6 oz Velveeta by weight, diced
shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat and add onion.  Saute until the onion begins to soften, then add garlic, and saute until golden.  Add chicken broth and broccoli.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and whole wheat flour until smooth.  Bring pot of soup to a boil and pour in milk mixture in a thin stream while stirring the soup continuously.  Let simmer about 5 minutes so the flour has time to cook and thicken the soup.  Add Velveeta and stir until melted.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your preferences, I made sure to leave some bigger pieces of broccoli.  Divide soup among bowls and sprinkle each bowl with a tablespoon or two of grated cheddar.

Yield: 6 servings 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Ina Fridays: Bibb Salad with Basil Green Goddess Dressing

It's Ina Friday time again!  This is my third month participating, and the recipe I chose this month was a big hit at our house.  The recipe category this time was Appetizers/Drinks.  There are lots of tasty looking Ina Garten appetizer recipes, but this one for Bibb Salad with Basil Green Goddess Dressing immediately caught my eye.

For some reason the idea of green goddess dressing has always intrigued me.  I've only had it once before, on a large lunch salad at a restaurant.  Unfortunately, the combination of herbs they used was extremely off putting and strange tasting, to the point that I couldn't force myself to eat it!  Lucky for us, though, this recipe was pretty amazing and unlike any other dressing I've had.  The basil is incredible and the flavors all just work together perfectly, especially after spending a couple of hours in the refrigerator.  It reminds me a bit of a good caesar dressing, but the basil really sets it apart.  It was great on salad of course (I used bagged butter lettuce), but I think it would also be good in pasta salad, potato salad, or with fish, shrimp, or chicken.  I also had some as a snack with baby carrots and cucumber and it's great that way, too.

Quick Note:  This recipe makes a lot, about 3 cups!  I halved it (though wrote the full amount of ingredients below) and it turned out great.

Edit: I've found the green onion intensifies quite a bit after the dressing is in the refrigerator for a couple of days, so I usually cut back the green onion to 1/2 cup and bump up the basil to 1 1/2 cup.  This has become one of our favorite salad dressings.

Basil Green Goddess Dressing

1 C chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1 C chopped green onions, green and white parts
1 C mayo
4 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tsp anchovy paste
1 C sour cream

Place everything but sour cream in a blender, the bowl of a food processor, or in a bowl compatible with an immersion blender.  Blend until smooth.  Scrape down sides, then add sour cream, and blend until completely incorporated.  Taste the dressing and add more salt if necessary.  The dressing will look a bit thin, but should thicken nicely in the refrigerator.

Refrigerate dressing for a couple of hours before serving so the flavors can develop.  A few other blogs that have shared this recipe say the dressing stays good in the refrigerator for 3 weeks, but I'm skeptical and think 1 week sounds more likely!

To make the salad, just arrange washed, dried, and torn bibb or butter lettuce on plates, then top with tomato wedges and dressing.

Yield: About 3 cups