Monday, September 17, 2007


The past few days have been a disaster in the kitchen. First I tried to make a lower-fat version of a King Arthur recipe that was included in the Nordicware 3-cup bundt pans that I bought. The recipe was for a lemon poundcake. They looked beautiful, but when I cut into them, they were like glue inside (uncooked). Next, I tried to make a lower-fat version of an Italian Creme Cake (recipe from Food Network that got 5-star rave reviews) with similar results. While in the kitchen this afternoon, I heard a noise that sounded like someone rapping on the front door. When I went to answer, no one was there. It was actually the sound of uncovered butter exploding in the microwave. (I was preparing garlic bread for dinner.) That makes three, so hopefully the disasters are over with. Dinner was great. I made my old standby, Tomato-chicken vegetable soup. Yesterday I bought a rotisserie chicken from Harris Teeter, and I used the remaining chicken to make the soup. It's an easy recipe and one that Guy and I both enjoy, especially when the fall weather comes. Because we have an herb garden, I used fresh herbs, but have made it succesffully with dried herbs in the past. The recipe makes about 3 quarts. I am giving one quart to a friend who is taking care of his incapacitated wife (she has a bad back that is acting up). We ate 1 quart for dinner, and there is 1 quart left for a lunch. Here's the recipe:

Tomato-Chicken Vegetable Soup
INGREDIENTS: 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
16-18 oz. crushed canned tomatoes (I used Furmano's this time)
1 quart canned or homemade chicken broth
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley & tarragon)
OR 2-1/2 tsp. basil, oregano, thyme mixed accordiing to your taste
2 cups mixed frozen or fresh vegetables of your choice (I used frozen peas,
green beans, corn, but I do it differently each time, according to what I have)
1-1/2 to 2 cups chopped cooked chicken

DIRECTIONS: In a 3-quart pot, saute the onion in oil over medium-low heat for about 3-5 minutes, or till onion is transparent and wilted. Add garlic, stir and saute for another minute or so. Add the tomatoes, broth, ketchup, bay leaf, herbs, salt and pepper and turn the heat up to high until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Add the mixed vegetables and chicken and simmer for another 15-20 minutes, or till vegetables are tender but not overcooked. Serve with garlic bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, or pizza.

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