WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Soup and pie December 19, 2011

Filed under: Soup,Sweets — WannaBe Chef @ 11:00 am

Hey, all.  This will probably be my last quick post before the holidays!  We are leaving at 6 am on Thursday for MI, and obviously there’s a lot to do to prepare for the trip!  Yesterday, Wayne, Macy and I had our little family Christmas so we wouldn’t have to pack and re-pack gifts.  Of course, Macy liked the wrapping paper more than the gifts, but that’s to be expected when your kid loves that crinkly sound.  I made a simple and tasty soup for dinner and Dutch apple pie for dessert.  I’m not usually a big pie-person, but I had a frozen crust leftover from Thanksgiving, so I figured why not make a pie?

Delicious soup, terrible photo

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Click here for recipe from Skinny Taste

The only changes I made:  added about 1 Tbsp of Worchestershire to the meat/peppers while they cooked, omitted the marjoram, and let the soup simmer for about 1.5 – 2 hours instead of 30 minutes.  I also served it with parmesan cheese on top.

Dutch Apple Pie

Click here for recipe

I followed it exactly!  It turned out really well.


Carrot soup November 16, 2011

Filed under: Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 10:34 am

When Wayne asked what we were having for dinner the other night, I told him he probably didn’t want to know.  When I finally mumbled “……carrot soup,” I think he agreed that he probably shouldn’t have asked.  Then when I was making it, and he saw a big pot of baby carrots floating in broth, he said “Maybe you should put some potatoes in there…”  LOL.  I told him not to worry, we won’t be eating whole carrots in broth… that I would be pureeing it.  Hahaha, I don’t think that helped.  Anyway, the main reason I wanted to make this was because it looked like a quick, simple recipe  Also, it had fresh thyme in it, and I still had fresh thyme in the fridge to use.  Man, a package of that stuff lasts forever.  I also figured this soup would be good because it was a Pioneer Woman recipe, and I wanted to use my immersion blender 🙂

I followed the recipe exactly, except I used chicken broth and added more than two sprigs of thyme.  This recipe makes a TON, I mean A LOT, of soup.  If you’re just cooking for two or four, definitely halve it.  We are still swimming in carrot soup over here…..

I thought this soup just OK.  It was light and mild with a hint of sweetness from the honey.  It went well with a warm, chewy hunk of baquette.  Despite using extra thyme, I couldn’t taste it.  Maybe my thyme was just past it’s prime (ha).  Despite his reservations, Wayne actually really liked this soup.

Carrot-Thyme Soup with Cream


  • 3 pounds Baby Carrots
  • 2 quarts Vegetable Stock Or Chicken Stock
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • Dash Of Salt


Combine carrots, stock, and thyme in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove from heat and transfer soup in two batches to a blender (or you may use an immersion blender.) Puree soup completely, then stir in honey and cream. Taste, then add salt as needed.

Use a little warm broth if the soup needs thinning.

Serve while warm with a sprig of thyme on top.


Tortilla Soup with Black Beans November 11, 2011

Filed under: Meatless,One dish meal,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 9:55 am

Happy 11-11-11!  I bet lots of weddings are happening today.  Anywho, I just have a quick soup to share.  I was kind of surprised to see that this was a Martha Stewart recipe, seeing as it’s made of like 99% canned / pre-made items.  It was ok for a quick week night meal.  It definitely needs some heat and cheese on top, though!

Tortilla Soup with Black Beans
Slightly modified from Martha Stewart


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus more for topping
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and hot sauce for topping


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add garlic and chili powder, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, broth, and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
  3. Stir in tortilla chips and cook until softened.  Stir in lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with cheese, hot sauce, more chips and lime wedges if desired.

Chow-duh October 17, 2011

Filed under: One dish meal,Soup,Turkey — WannaBe Chef @ 11:38 am

Happy Monday, folks.  So my last couple dinners have been kind of disappointing.  The teriyaki chicken thing-a-ma-bob was meh, and I made a meatloaf the other day that I’m not going to bother sharing because it was so boring.  Well, last night’s chowder made up for it! 

You’ll just have to take my word on its deliciousness, despite the not-so-great photo.  If I had an extra minute, I would have put some green onions or something on top to spruce it up. 

Corn Chowder with Sausage
Modified from allrecipes.com


  • 6 cups potatoes, peeled and diced (I probably didn’t use this much.)
  • 1 pound turkey sausage
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk (I used 2%)
  • 3 cups water
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch + 1 Tbsp water (You may need more if you want a thicker chowder.)


  1. In a soup pot, brown the sausage and onions.  Drain off excess fat. 
  2. Add the water, potatoes, evaporated milk and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Let simmer until potatoes are just tender.
  3. Stir in the corn and creamed corn and return to a gentle boil.  Stir in the cornstarch/water mixture and let the chowder bubble until thickened.  Adjust seasoning if desired. 
  4. You can let this simmer for up to an hour or two if you want.   

Behind May 11, 2011

Filed under: Beef,Crockpot,Mexican-inspired,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 1:33 pm

Yeah, so I haven’t blogged in a minute or so.  I do have a few meals saved up on the camera, so I will share 😉

Another Mexican-Inspired Soup
Very loosely based on THIS RECIPE from Picky Palate

In a soup pot, saute:

  • 1 large chicken breast, diced small
  • about 6 slices lean turkey bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • spoonful of fresh minced garlic

Stir in: 

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 15 oz. can plain diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can Tex-Mex Fire-Roasted tomatoes (or something similar)
  • 1 15 oz. can Mexi-corn
  • about 1/2 cup water or enough to make it more “soupy”

Let simmer for a little bit, covered.  Top with cheese, sour cream, cilantro, crushed tortilla chips or other desired toppings.

Now we move onto boring old spaghetti.  However, I decided to jazz it up with some cheese-stuffed meatballs.  Basically, I took 1 pound lean ground beef, seasoned it up with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and some bread crumbs.  Then I took 2 string cheese sticks and cut them each into 8 pieces, so I had a total of 16 cheese “nuggets.”  Then I made 16 meatballs and wrapped the meat around the cheese nuggets.  I baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes, and voila!  Cheese-stuffed meatballs. 

Crockpot Chicken with Black Beans in Cream Cheese Sauce
Recipe HERE, from CopyKat Recipes

I followed the recipe exactly.  It really does not look pretty at all once you add the cream cheese, but I promise it tastes great.  We had ours over brown rice, but I also discovered that if you shred the chicken, it makes a really good dip for tortilla chips!


Do I even need to say it? March 16, 2011

Filed under: Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 11:51 am

More delicious soup.

Chicken, Corn and Potato Chowder
As usual, I played with the quantities a little

3 slices bacon
1 lb. 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
scant 1 cup chopped onion
scant 1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
5 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups peeled and diced russet potatoes
1 cup frozen can whole-kernel corn
1 can (14 oz.) creamed corn
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
scant 2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper totally forgot to add this, oops!
salt and pepper to taste
thinly sliced scallions or chopped cilantro, for serving

Cook bacon in a large sauce pan over medium heat until crispy.  Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
-Add chicken, onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pan with bacon drippings.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Add diced green chiles and continue to cook 1 minute longer.
-Add chicken broth and potatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
-Add both frozen canned and creamed corn and stir to combine.
-Place flour in a medium bowl and gradually whisk in milk.  Add the mixture to the soup and bring up to medium heat.  Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the soup has thickened.
-Add the cheese and cayenne.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
-Ladle into bowls and serve with desired toppings.

This was really good!  But, really, what’s not to like when potatoes, corn and cheese are involved??  🙂


Yeah, so I’m predictable… March 10, 2011

Filed under: Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 7:20 pm

I made more soup.  I just really like soup.  This one was light, fresh, and very quick to make. 

Tortellini Soup
Recipe from Annie’s Eats


1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
9 oz. tortellini, any variety (fresh or frozen)
3 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan, for serving


In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions to the pan and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Mix in the oregano and diced tomatoes.  Add the broth to the pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Add the tortellini to the pot and cook according to the package directions.  One minute before the tortellini is fully cooked, stir in the spinach.  Remove from the heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm with grated Parmesan as desired.