I really do eat more than soup in the winter, I swear! The funny thing is, if you asked me if I liked soup I would probably say, "It's ok, but I don't love it." I guess I didn't realize just how much I like it, in it's many varities, until I started blogging. I suppose my hidden love of soup has something to do with how warming it can be on a cold winter's day, and we have had plenty of those this year. In fact, we just got 8-9 inches of snow over the past weekend - something this area hasn't seen in over a decade! So, with being snowed in over the weekend and school cancelled the last two days, what's a girl to do but make some more soup! I started the weekend with a pot of my Black Bean with Andouille Sausage Soup and today I made the French Onion Soup recipe posted below. Both of which proved perfect when I needed to warm up after playing in the snow.
French Onion Soup 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)* 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour 3 1/2 cups beef broth 1/4 C dry white wine or vermouth 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves 1/4 tsp ground black pepper 1 bay leaf 4 slices French bread, toasted & rubbed with garlic clove 1/2 C shredded cheese (1/4 C Parmesan & 1/4 C Asiago)
Directions: Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepot over medium heat. Add the onions. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover the saucepot, return heat to medium, and cook for another 30 minutes or until the onions turn light golden brown.
Stir the flour in the saucepot and cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the broth, wine (or Vermouth), thyme, pepper, and bay leaf. Heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes.
Ladle soup into individual crocks. Top with a slice of the french bread toast and parmesan cheese. Place in oven under broiler until cheese melts.
After being stuck in the house for a few days due to an unprecedented snow storm, I was craving some sweets. So, I surveyed my pantry and took a spin around some baking websites and decided this chocolate cake might satisfy my sweet tooth - it didn't disappoint!
Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake
2 C sugar 1-3/4 C all-purpose flour 3/4 C Hershey's Cocoa 1-1/2 tsp baking powder 1-1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 2 eggs 1 C milk 1/2 C vegetable oil 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 C boiling water
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.
VARIATIONS: ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
TWO-9 INCH ROUND BAKING PANS: Grease and flour baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.
CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.
"PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING
1/2 C (1 stick) butter or margarine 2/3 C HERSHEY'S Cocoa 3 C powdered sugar 1/3 C milk 1 tsp vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.*
* I did not have enough powdered sugar to make a full recipe, and I don't like to overdo it on chocolate (yes, in my case that is possible), so I made a drizzle instead of icing the full cake.
I am a working woman with a passion for all things food related; I love to grow it, cook it, and most importantly eat it! While I have been known to fix my share of extravagant meals, these days I am budget minded. With a well stocked pantry, a home garden, and some ingenuity scrumptious fare is right around the corner!