(Click on PHOTO to enlarge and then hit the back arrow to return to original size).
I hope all of my friends on the East Coast survived “Snowstorm Jonas” with no problems last week.
We had 26 inches of snow where I live; but luckily no power outages. I guess we had to pay the price for having a 60 degree Christmas.
It seems as though once the snowflakes start to fall, everyone starts to cook. The craving for comfort food and baked goods is overwhelming. And let’s not forget the hot chocolate after shoveling ourselves out.
I made Tuscan Bean Soup and Vegetable Lasagna during the storm and if I didn’t have my Blogiversary cake left to eat, there would have been Brownies coming out of my oven.
I just LOVE soup with a sandwich or even soup and a buttered roll and any chance I get to make soup, I grab it. I think I could live on soup and be quite happy.
I am always collecting soup recipes and tweaking them here and there and I found a great recipe on Pinterest by Wanderlust Kitchen. I have many recipes for Tuscan Bean Soup, but I wanted to give this a try. (Of course with a little tweaking). It promised to be a 30 minute meal with preparation included.
I was also in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich and
my husband is the “King of the grilled cheese sandwich”.
He makes the best sandwiches I have ever had. We attribute this to his college days working part time at the grill of a local bowling alley to make a little extra spending money. (If we’re lucky, he’ll tell us his secret.)
You just can’t beat bowling alley grilled cheese and french fries. I don’t know what it is.
If you have soup and a sandwich as a meal, what better way to eat it, then on a soup and sandwich tray duo? These trays are by Miles Kimball.
Aren’t they the cutest? What more can I say?
White ceramic trays perfectly sized for soup and a sandwich or soup and a salad.
I recently saw these trays featured in a cooking catalog; but they were not used for soup. They were used for cake and ice cream or a muffin and fruit.
With my love of soup, I just couldn’t pass these up and it makes your meal portable.
I bought these years ago from a catalog that I loved that went out of business recently, “Chefs Catalog”. I’ll miss their catalog. I bought so many products from them. (Just ask Bob).
Another one of their products that I love, is their soup spoons. Can’t forget those.
Since I was a little girl, my mother always served soup with a soup spoon and I still do it today. I have gotten so used to it, that it drives me crazy when I go to a restaurant and they serve soup with a large dinner spoon and not a soup spoon.
You think they would know better.
I think I might have to start carrying around my own soup spoon.
Anyway, here is the final product for my Snowstorm Jonas menu.
Bob and I decided since the meal was portable, we would have dinner in front of the fireplace, instead of setting the table in the kitchen.
We wanted to be toasty, comfy and cozy while the snow was falling.
So during the storm, I had my honey, my soup, a sandwich and a fire.
What more could I ask for?
So Let it Snow!
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Now for the Recipes…
Tuscan Bean Soup
Note: Recipe adapted from Wanderlust Kitchen.
I made a few changes to the original recipe:
- I used 3 cups of chopped spinach – original recipe used kale, ribs removed
- I used 1 (14 oz) can of canellini beans, drained and rinsed and 1 (14 oz) can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed- original recipe used 2 (14 oz) cans of canellini beans, drained and rinsed.
- I used locatelli grated cheese & Dubliner cheese to top the soup- original recipe used Parmesan & Dubliner cheese.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 yellow summer squash, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 quart vegetable (or chicken) broth
- 1 (14 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juices
- 3 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 6 quart or larger Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, and squash. Saute for 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme and rosemary. Cook 30 seconds.
- Stir in the broth, beans, and tomatoes. Bring the contents to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and add the chopped spinach. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender* to partially puree the soup, leaving some chunks of beans vegetables for texture.
- Add the salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
*Alternatively, transfer small amounts to a counter top blender and puree as desired.
Serve topped with Parmesan or Dubliner cheese and a side of crusty bread.
Bob’s Grilled Cheese
Ingredients: serves 2
- 4 slices of bread (your choice)
- 8 slices of American cheese
Directions for ONE sandwich:
- Preheat skillet on LOW
- Melt 2 tbsp. of butter in a microwave safe dish for 25 seconds
- SECRET # 1 – Brush one side of each slice of bread with the melted butter
- In the preheated skillet add 1 tbsp butter
- Once melted, place the first slice of bread, BUTTERED SIDE DOWN in the skillet
- Add four slices of cheese
- Top with the second slice of bread, BUTTERED SIDE UP
- Increase heat to MEDIUM
- Cook for approximately one minute pressing down occasionally with a spatula until bottom half is golden brown
- FLIP the bread and REPEAT THE PROCESS with the second side of the sandwich
- FLIP the bread once again and repeat the process completely flipping each sandwich twice
- Now shut the burner and remove the skillet from the heat
- SECRET # 2– Cover the skillet with either a cheese melting dome, plate or pot cover for 1 minute and allow to sit and the cheese to completely melt
- Slice, serve & enjoy!
Enjoy the preparation slideshow
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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