Sausage Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard

IMG_5968Today I made this delicious lentil soup with sausage, vegetables and swiss chard. I was so inspired by the flavors, I decided to post it right away.

  • 3 Italian Sausages
  • 1-2/3 cups of lentils
  • 3 Carrots, diced small
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil or spray olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of diced garlic
  • 3 stalks of celery with tops, diced
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 cups chopped swiss chard
  1. Heat a large pot with a little olive oil, add garlic and onion.
  2. Remove sausage from casing and break up to brown a few minutes.
  3. Add carrots, celery and let cook a couple minutes.
  4. Add lentils, vegetable broth and bring to boil on medium heat.
  5. Boil for about 40 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Add swiss chard and let cook together for another 15 minutes.

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Bex Beef Bourguinon Crockpot Recipe

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After having a delicious Beef Bourguinon in Louisville, I wanted to try adapting this savory beef stew and use my crockpot to make it. I set up all the ingredients within 20 minutes and left it to cook for over 8 hours on low.

I used the formal recipe for Beef Bourginion, but made some adjustments and omitted the bacon to be a little leaner, add celery  and I made my own vegetable stock to use instead of beef broth.

  • 2 pounds of steak meat (such as round, chuck or cubed stew cut)
  • Steak dry rub or salt/pepper/italian herbs
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tsp olive oil (if you don’t use bacon)
  • 4-6 pieces of bacon, diced and cooked
  • 1 medium yellow onion – large diced chunks
  • 2 cups of cut carrots (or baby carrots)
  • 3 large potatoes, skinned and cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 cups of diced celery
  • 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced in half
  • 2 cups of Pinot Noir or Burgundy Wine
  • 2 cups of beef broth (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 small can of tomato puree -10 oz. (or tomato sauce)
  • 2 tbsp of cornstarch or flour (if desired to thicken up the sauce)
  • 2 tsp of butter (if desired to add creaminess to broth)
  1. If you are using bacon, fry diced bacon in a frying pan until done. Remove from pan and drain.
  2. Wash and pat dry beef cubes, add dry rub and toss in a bowl until coated. Add to pan with the olive oil (unless you use bacon grease) on medium heat, cook on  all sides until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Sprinkle seared beef cubes with flour on all sides and prepare for crockpot.
  4. Turn on your crockpot to low and add the cut potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, wine, beef broth or vegetable stock and can of tomato puree. Mix all ingredients with a large spoon and add beef and bacon to the crockpot
  5. Cook for approximately 8-9 hours on Low Heat.
  6. If you desire a thicker broth, you can add cornstarch or flour and raise the cook heat towards the end to High heat.

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HOT SAUCES

I am very pleased to present the new labels for my Chile Chipotle and Sweethawt Sauces!

The Chipotle Chile is a mild smokey sauce, very flavorful.  I often use it as marinade for meat or seafood or sauce for cooking vegetables in. The Sweethawt is a medium spicy arbol chile sauce with a sweet kick at the end.

Please follow this link to my online store to find out more information about purchasing my hot sauces.

STORE LINK: http://thisgirlreallycooks.storenvy.com

Chile Chipotle Label

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Chicken Noodle Soup

IMG_0066This is a quick recipe for a homemade chicken soup that will make anyone feel better. This is what I crave when I’m feeling under the weather and gets me back on my feet.

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, diced
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/4 Medium Onion, diced small
  • 1-1/2 cup of celery, diced small
  • 1-1/2 cup of carrots, diced small
  • 1/2 stick of butter, diced
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1/2 package or 4 cups of egg noodles
  • italian herbs, parsley, savory mix – try mixing your own herb flavors
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Dice chicken breasts into 1″ or smaller size pieces to cook and grill easily. Add salt and pepper if desired.
  2. In a large sauce pot, melt a tablespoon of butter or more and cook the chicken pieces throughly. Make sure to stir often.
  3. When the chicken is cooked, remove from pan and set aside. Do not clean the pot. Raise temperature to medium high and add the 1/2 stick of diced butter.
  4. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook for about 5 minutes stirring often. Add the herbs to the vegetables. Once those are somewhat covered in the buttery flavor, add the 8 cups of water.
  5. Cover and let boil for about 25 minutes until the vegetables are cooked completely.
  6. Add the noodles and cook until the package suggests, usually like 12 minutes or so.
  7. When the soup is ready, add back in the grilled chicken and turn off heat. This is where I try it and add salt and pepper or cayenne depending. Once the soup is done you can figure out what it needs. I never add salt before it’s almost done.
  8. I usually let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.  Letting the flavors combine.

Chicken Pot Pies

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So I had this idea to make pie-less chicken Chicken Pot Pies by using pre-made croissant dough bought at the grocery store.  I hoped it would work out and it made for some great very yummy hand-held snacks.

  • 1 pkg of croissant dough in a tube (6-8)
  • 1 grilled chicken breast, diced small
  • 1/4 cup or less of chopped onion
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 1 stick celery diced
  • 1 cup boiled and diced potatoes
  • 1 cup of cooked butternut squash
  • 3 tbsp of milk or water
  • salt/pepper to taste
  1. Add butter to a medium skillet, sauté the onions and celery for a couple minutes.
  2. Add milk and let boil.
  3. Add potatoes, cooked chicken and squash and cook until mixture becomes thick and is done. About 15-20 minutes. Make sure it is not too wet. If it is, add a little flour to thicken it up.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste

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  1. Folding the Chicken Pot Pies, When you unwrap the croissant, they make long triangles.
  2. Lay them out on a lightly greased cookie sheet and place the mixture close to the longer straight side of the triangle.
  3. Fold smaller side over to cover like a stuffed croissant or turnover.
  4. Heat over to 400 degrees and cook for 15-20 minutes or so. Because they are stuffed, you need to add 5-7 minutes to the package directions and watch them get golden brown.

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Panko Fried Zucchini Rounds

IMG_9066Panko Fried Zucchini Rounds were a hit around here and super easy to make. They are a balance between healthy and tasty fried snack. Consider each portion to be 1/2 to 3/4 of a medium zucchini (5-7 pieces), makes about 4.

  • 2-3 medium to large zucchini, cut into rounds or sticks for fries
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • 2 cups of panko bread crumbs
  • Olive oil or pam spray for frying
  • Optional: Cracked Salt
  1. Cut zucchini into rounds or sticks for fries. Set up your bowls like shown.
  2. First step, put the flour In a small round container, dip both sides of zucchini in flour lightly.
  3. Second – Add beaten egg and little bit of water to next bowl. Dip each piece of zucchini covered in flour in the egg liquid.
  4. Then put the zucchini in the panko crumbs soaking up all of the moisture. Make sure it’s well covered in crumbs patting them into the zucchini. You can dip them twice, but they tend to be very bready.
  5. Then add to an oiled pan or these can be baked. I use a medium frying pan with a little oil and add them on medium low heat. I don’t like them too oily and sometimes use pam cooking spray, it’s up to you. I use the top to cook them inside and hot with a fry/steam type thing. They take about 7 minutes per side t get golden brown.

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Fried Egg over Sautéed Zucchini

IMG_8767Zucchini Everything! With an abundance of zucchini growing over here in my garden, I’ve been trying to make light of the situation and try making different zucchini recipes. The easiest and my favorite breakfast companion is grated and sautéed zucchini with a fried egg on top.

  • 1-1/2 cup of grated zucchini per person
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • Cracked Salt and pepper
  1. In a medium skillet, I heat the olive oil and add the zucchini. Flipping the pieces to be coated in a very small amount of olive oil. To cut down or completely out the olive oil, add water instead.
  2. Sautee the zucchini until cooked throughout and plate. Add you hot sauces and top with a fried egg.