Potato Fennel Soup Recipe

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This is one of my all time favorite soups! Believe it or not, it was a mistake recipe when I attempted making the recipe a friend had given my from her Ecuadorian mother-in-law.

It was an awesome mistake and I’ve made it over and over again since then. I’ve tweaked it a bit since, and probably because I keep forgetting exactly what I used in the ingredients but that’s why I’m writing this post and documenting the recipe this time! There’s one major issue I have with this soups and that’s that there is never enough! It’s too good I want an endless supply lol.

The biggest mistake I used with the initial recipe was star anise. I thought her recipe called for Anise seeds, and looking all over I only found star anise so I grabbed it. I was told the oil would turn red, and it wasn’t and then realized it was supposed to be annatto seeds which are VERY hard to find in stores and had to be purchased online in a big bottle.

That was an amazing mistake though because although I didn’t get the red tinted and flavor I was wanting, the anise added amazing flavor to it.  Anise is fennel family, and super healthy too.

I tried making it again and bought actual anise which I boiled and emulsified and well… it’s just amazing and I’m going to show you the ingredients and steps below…

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Add some vegetable oil to a large stock pot, and add some seeds. Simmer on low or they’ll burn and POP right out of the pot (watch your eyes!) Those sucker’s hurt when they hit you soaked in hot oil.

Simmer just until they heat up and the oil turns bright reddish orange then fish out all of the seeds from the oil and discard because they aren’t supposed to be consumed they’re just for flavor.

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Chop up a quarter of the anise or fennel body (the white part), some scallions, and some green onion whites.

Add to the boiling oil and simmer until they start to get alittle tender. Then add in some vegetable stock about halfway up the pot and bring to a boil.

Then peel and chop up about 5 small red potatoes into small pieces that we will be adding to the pot to boil along with the anise and other root veggies we added.

Bring to a boil for 30 minutes.  You need the potatoes and veggies to be tender enough to use an emulsion hand blender and blend into a soup consistency.

The emulsion hand blender I have I got at my local grocery store and it was maybe $30 at most but so worth it!

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Blend all of the ingredients in the pot until smooth broth.  The more potatoes you add initially the thicker it’ll be but I like it too be thin for this soup.  This mends all of you the boiled ingredients together into a nice flavorful broth.  At this point I usually add a bit of salt and pepper and also 2 scoops of sour cream before blending.

Then add additional cut up cubed peeled potatoes that will stay whole pieces in the soup.

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Simmer the potatoes in the broth for another 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender.  I also add some of the leaves from the anise as well for flavor and looks.

When done, put a large hunk of 5 blend Italian shredded cheese or mozzerella in a bowl and pour soup over it.

This is the #1 must have ingredient to make this soup one of the most addicting soups I’ve ever had.

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*tip, you can omit the Annatto seeds all together, or add less for less of an orange color.  Also you can add some milk to the soup to adjust flavor or texture as needed.

Enjoy!

If you made it, let me know what you think!

 

 

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Steak Gorgonzola -Copycat Olive Garden Recipe

I have a thing for cooking.  It’s like a challenge to me, and I’m in it to win it. I love making recipes that I’ve found online and giving them my own twist to perfect it,  like this Steak Gorgonzola that is a copycat Olive Garden recipe.

Funny thing is,  I’ve never even had it at Olive Garden although it’s one of my favorite places! My mom however,  gets this every time she’s there so I knew it had to be good.

Now that I’ve tried my own version,  I have it say,  IT IS GREAT!

Here is the recipe i used, let me know if you try this and if it tastes like Olive Garden’s version!

 

What you need:

1 pack Gorgonzola Cheese

2 Strip Steaks cut into cubes (or buy already cubed)

1/2 box Fettuccini Noodles

1 jar Alfredo sauce (I used Bertolli)

Balsamic Glaze (I use Cento brand) for serving

1cup Fresh Spinach leaves

1/2 cup Fresh Green Onions

Lemon Juice (half fresh Lemon or bottle lemon squeeze – a few squirts)

Italian Dressing (for marinade)

1 tablespoon Butter

Fresh Rosemary (chopped)

 Directions:

Take the Italian Dressing, lemon and chopped rosemary and marinate the steak cubes for one hour. After an hour…

Add Alfredo into a small pot with 3 tablespoons of the gorgonzola cheese (a little goes a long way!)  Simmer  on medium heat until the cheese is melted in and it starts to bubble up.  Then add spinach and chopped green onions. Keep on slow simmer, careful not to burn.

Add water to a pot, follow box Fettuccini directions.

In a pan,  start butter frying,  and add steak with some Italian Dressing on it getting into pan, but not all and leave cubes long enough to brown nicely on each side.  As the butter,  steak juice, and Italian Dressing that was on the steak starts to blend together as the steak cooks,  it’ll turn clear.  Once steak is cooked to your liking, toss it in all of the juices and set aside.

Once noodles are done,  strain and toss with gorgonzola Alfredo sauce.

Plate steak on top, drizzle with balsamic glsze, garnish with some crumbled gorgonzola, and fresh chopped parsley (also sun dried tomatoes which I didn’t have on hand).

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Enjoy! 😊

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

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Ok guys. This is such an easy recipe, even if you don’t have a baking bone in your body, you can definitely make this. In fact, this is a potluck type of dessert. You can bring it to any get together and it’ll be the biggest hit and no one will know you had to do the least work.

Make this for your kids, your friends, or people you want to be your friends, because after they try this, they’ll keep coming back for more!

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Here is the super simple recipe;

1 package of cool whip (thawed) or canned whip cream.

1 package JELLO Instant Vanilla Pudding.

1 box of Nilla Wafers

6 fresh strawberries, cleaned and thinly sliced.

In a dish, preferably tall and clear for esthetics, layer whole Nilla Wafers, Cool Whip, fresh strawberries, vanilla pudding, crushed nilla wafers, then repeat until it fills the entire dish leaving the last top layer for cool whip, fresh strawberries, and a dusting of crushed Nilla Wafers.

Chill 2 hours – overnight until the wafers turn soft. It’ll taste like a fall apart strawberry shortcake.

Serve in spoonfuls in smaller cups.

Did you make this? Let me know your thoughts!

 

Halloween Dirt Pudding

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Looking for an easy, go to dessert that the kids and adults will both love? Look no further! Dirt Pudding is super easy and quick to make and can be made in small cups or a large bowl.

Simple ingredients make this a perfect Halloween dessert.

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Chocolate instant pudding, Cool whip, oreos, and gummy worms.

That’s it!

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Mix and cool the pudding per directions. Add in 2 heaping spoonfuls of cool whip and fold it in with a spatula or a spoon.

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Add in gummy worms and put into small clear cups or a bowl. Top with crushed Oreo cookie crumbs (remove the icing) and let chill in the refrigerator for an hour.

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It tastes like chocolate ice cream and it’s so fun to eat even if you’re an adult.

Enjoy!

Fudgy Oreo Brownies

I have a meeting at work and wanted to bring something to munch on and well, make sure it runs smoothly since I’m a facilitator. Nobody has a bad time when their face is full of fudgy brownies… But I wanted to make sure. I decided to add Oreos to this batch because I love oreos and they bake well inside of other baked goods.

I simply used a box mix, the Pillsbury Fudge Brownie mix in family size 13×9. Make per directions and then add a layer to the pan, then oreos, then finish with anther later of batter on top. You can crush them or add them whole, but I prefer them whole so you get the full effect.

Make sure to leave them in until just before done. They continue to cook when first removed and you don’t want hard brownies. I did my 13×9 Pyrex at 350° for 28 minutes.

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Superbowl Sunday- Easy Cheddar Cheese Fondue

Super Bowl Sunday is TOMORROW so how about a crowd pleaser that is easy to make, yet seems super elegant?

Over my birthday weekend my husband and I visited the Melting Pot for the first time and tried fondue. I knew I’ve always had a love for cheese, but REALLY?! I am IN LOVE with fondue. The act of dipping anything you want into freshly warmed melty cheese is just too good to be able to describe with words. What is even better is that I remade it at home several times since then and I am going to tell you how to do the same.

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Now, Here is what I use- feel free to change it to your liking;

  • 8oz Beer – I used O’douls (2 reasons… I was serving it to my children and didn’t know if my fondue pot was hot enough to get the alcohol completely out of it like it does at the Melting pot) & I live in NJ and didn’t want to make a separate run to the liquor store and they sell O’douls at the grocery store here. I’m sure something like a Bud or Coors would make the flavor that much better though, but this worked.
  • 1 1/2 packs of Shredded Cheese – I used packaged sergento shredded cheddar and swiss (2 different packs) but you can shred your own higher quality cheese if you’d like. This is Cheddar fondue we are making, so the cheddar is a must, but you can omit the swiss however as a normally “swiss cheese hater”, I do still suggest you add the swiss into this, it’s just that much more flavorful. The ratio is 1 package Cheddar to 1/2 package swiss.
  • 1 tspoon Flour – It must be All purpose flour however you may use whole wheat. Just add into either the package of cheese and shake until mixed in.
  • Mustard Powder – Not sure everyone has dry mustard powder laying around, but you can omit this if you do not. It does make the flavoring better, but it’s not a total deal breaker if you don’t have it.
  • Garlic– 1 Cloved finely chopped. Fresh is best, but dried will do too.
  • Worcheshire Sauce – Just a few drops.. I like to add a tad more, but that’s just me.
  • Black Pepper – just a few shakes.

MAKE IT;

  1. Add the beer & garlic to the steel pot (or fondue pot, or whatever you’re using). Wait for it to heat up nice.
  2. Add the already floured Shredded cheese in handfuls, one handful at a time mixing after each with a fork in an up and down motion. You’ll see the cheese start melting and at first it’ll look really watery.. that’s OK. after about the 4th handful, you should see it start to thicken and turn into a fondue consistency.
  3. Add the Dry Mustard Powder, about 5 good shakes into it.
  4. Add the Black Pepper & Worcheshire Sauce & Mix it all up.

You’re done! Keep away from direct heat an consume immediately after. It is not good heated up and will start to burn quickly if left over heat too long.

Suggested Dippers;

  • Cubed Apples – YES. Apples. Green are best.
  • Carrots
  • French Bread or any kind of hard bread
  • Cauliflower

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Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Let me know your thoughts!

 

Two Ingredient Oreo Truffles

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Two Ingredient Oreo Truffles

All you need to make these mouthwatering Oreo Truffles is 1, 8 oz package of softened cream cheese 20150603_112045

And 1 package of original Oreos.

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I used my stand mixer this time, but have done it in the past by hand. The easiest way to do it by hand is to crush the Oreos in a ziplock back (I use a hammer hehe) before adding to the cream cheese.

Add both ingredients and mix on low speed until smooth

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Yummy!

(If you wanted to make Oreo Icing, you can add less cookies to cream cheese ratio and you’ll get a yummy oreo cream cheese icing).

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The fun part is next! Take out even spoonfuls of the mixture, and roll into balls using your CLEAN hands. Try using a spoon or something that can allow you to have even sized balls. Place on parchment paper lined tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes uncovered.

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Removed from refrigerator and decorate with chocolate! I used the yellow colored white melting chocolate and non parel sprinkles for these, but my absolute favorite is milk chocolate covered Oreo Truffles. 20150603_120808

If you wanted, you can even add a stick (dip the stick into the chocolate then into the ball and cool before dipping fully into the rest of the chocolate). Refrigerate until chocolate hardens. The Oreo Truffles should be kept cool until consumed.

TIP: Make the balls much smaller so that they’re not too heavy on the stick.20150603_153114

The last step; ENJOY!

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* This recipe makes about 25 Cake Pop sized Oreo Truffles. You can half the recipe and make a smaller batch or make the truffles smaller.

Some Bunny loves you Cake

This adorable cake is so easy to make to bring to a friend’s home, have a fun bake night with the kids, or just for yourself (No one is judging! Hehe). No matter what, it’s sure to say “Some bunny loves you”!

Just follow these simple steps below. You can use any cake or icing. The fur on this bunny is made by using coconut but you can omit it if you’re not a fan and it’ll still be just as adorable!

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You can display it just as above by simply adding some paper bunny ears or you can dress it up a bit more fancy with some scenery.

The photos above are courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill organic products. If you’d like to make your own cake batter and icing, you can check out their recipe below!

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