Thursday, January 22, 2009

Keeping Creative Kitchens #13

Wow, Thursdays come around quickly don't they?! Today I want to share a couple of base recipes and ideas for changing them up. I enjoy making recipes my own - it can be as simple as changing one seasoning or as elaborate as adding 5 ingredients. Either way, it keeps cooking creative and keeps me creating.

We really enjoy soup and it's one of the best ways to get my kiddos to eat veggies. The one pictured below had carrot, cauliflower, and broccoli but I often make it with just broccoli.

So here is my basic cream soup recipe:
2 Tb. Butter
1 med. onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped (opt.)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Saute together until starts to tenderize and become transluscent.

Then ADD:
4 c. chicken stock
8-9 c. vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, potato - whatever you like), chopped

Boil until vegetables are tender - 10-15 minutes.

In a separate saucepan (while vegetables are boiling):
3 Tb. butter
3 Tb. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. shredded cheese (whatever cheese you like)

Cook butter and flour for 1-2 minutes then slowly add milk. Whisk together and add cheese. Cook until thickened and cheese is melted. ADD to the vegetable pot.

Season with:
1 - 1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. or less of fresh ground nutmeg (can use powdered)

Puree in blender or using an immersion blender and serve.

To change:
-Vary the vegetables.
-Use dried or fresh herbs.
-Experiment with types of cheese.

And here is my basic scone recipe that is quick to put together and that we love:
3 c. flour
1 Tb. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. butter
1 c. yogurt
1 egg

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Add yogurt and egg. Knead 6-8 times. Spread on stone or baking pan about a 9 inch circle (yes, mine was a little big in the picture :)). Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm cut in wedges.

I always add to it and here are some ideas:
-add 1 tsp. vanilla extract, vanilla yogurt, and brush the top with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
-add 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 3/4 c. yogurt, 1/4 c. maple syrup, and brush as above.
-add 1-2 tsp. dried herbs, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 c. cheese, brush and sprinkle with cheese.
-use any flavored yogurt.
-add 1 tsp. cinnamon, vanilla yogurt, 1/2-1 c. dried or fresh fruit.

Just changing one ingredient, not only makes a recipe your own but increases confidence in your cooking ability. And sometimes, it might not be the best (I had kind of a flop yesterday!) BUT that's okay. Live and learn and try again. :)
Here are just a few guidelines for participating in Keeping Creative Kitchens:
1) Leave a link to your post with Mr. Linky (I am fully aware that there will probably not be many - or any :) - participants but I think this will make participation easier!).
2) Your entry can include a new recipe (either your own creation or a new-to-you-recipe), favorite recipe, success, tablescape/centerpiece, short-cut, ingredient, tradition, book, magazine, tool or gadget, food photos, recipe website or any thing else that keeps you inspired in your kitchen.
3) Please link back here in your participating post.

Hope you have fun, meet new people, learn a few things, feel encouraged, and find inspiration as you prepare meals, care for your family, and entertain!


Heather L. said...

Great recipe ideas! i'll have to try that cream soup sometime. Sounds very good.

gayle said...

Not exactly a comment to your blog entry, but THANK YOU for your prayers

Mama10EE said...

Thanks for your pizza dough base recipe the other day, I can't wait to try it out! We are having homemade pizza tonight, but I have a Boboli pizza crust so we'll be using that up today.

Margaret said...

That soup sounds delicious, I'll have to try making it sometime!