Saturday, February 6, 2016

Super Bowl Pizza Party

Here it is that time of year again...Super Bowl time. Now, I am not a huge football fan (unless it is the Cowboys, I am from Texas y'all) but I do love any excuse to throw a party! Tomorrow it is all about gathering with the wives, sipping dirty martinis or wine, while the men drink beer and yell at the television. It is also a time to have some great comfort food, while we're sipping. I made some homemade pizza for the party tomorrow and my son Nick loves homemade pizza. It is really pretty simple. Sometimes I make my own crust, sometimes I make it on loaves of French bread, but this time I used the store-bought brick oven pizza crust that is delicious. Here's what you do:

I preheated the oven to 425 degrees. Then I chopped up a medium size onion, sliced a handful of mushrooms, chopped 3 slices of bacon, chopped up some fresh basil, and threw that all into a skillet with a little olive oil. Then I added a small package of hamburger meat that was in the fridge, probably less than a pound. I put in about a teaspoon of Italian Seasoning, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (optional), 1/2 teaspoon of Onion Powder, and 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic. As it cooked, I melted a half stick of butter in another small skillet and added a tablespoon of garlic powder, and melted butter. Then put that aside and go back to your mixture that is now cooked. Drain fat if necessary. Then add a half jar of prepared spaghetti sauce and mix. If you like spinach, which I do, then throw in a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach and let it wilt. I also added some sliced olives, but just customize it to your taste. This made two pizzas. Take the melted garlic butter and spread on to pizza crust. Then spread mixture over crusts all the way to the edges. Then add whatever cheese you like. I did Mozzarella and Colby-Jack. You can do goat cheese or whatever kind of cheese that you love. My husband does not like Feta, so much for that unless its for me and the girls. Then I added sliced tomatoes to the top sprinkled with a bit of olive oil, Kosher salt and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Then put it in the oven until golden and cheese is bubbly.

Your friends are gonna thank you for this, that is if you can keep everybody away from it until party time. Nick has already been sneaking around stealing a slice here and there, as I try to take a picture of it. I'm not gonna lie, I might have had to taste test it myself. You know, I had to make sure it was good, and guess what, I'm still not quite sure, I may need another piece...LOL.

xo Carolyn

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Carolyn Westbrook: Soup's On Sundays

Brrr! It's cold here and rainy, which makes it the perfect day for a hearty stew. We made it through Thanksgiving feast, and now we are hungry for some beef...that's for sure. This is my husband Joe's favorite thing in the world, is beef stew. He even wants this in the heat of summer, but so much better on a cold, rainy day. I have memories of my mama cooking this stew. One day when I got home from school late and it was cold, and there was a fire blazing in the fireplace, and the table was set with these charming red enamel bowls, filled with this recipe. I still remember it to this day and this is one of those comfort recipes that fills you up and warms your insides. Hope y'all enjoy! xo Carolyn

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Carolyn Westbrook: Soup's On Sunday

Here it is, already November. Hard to believe that we will soon be celebrating the holidays. Today I'm posting my recipe for Broccoli Cheddar Soup, which is my daughter Alexandria's favorite soup. Well, it might be a toss up between potato soup and this one. She does love thick and hearty soups. Ok, ok...I know that I said that I did not like thick soups, but I guess I must rethink that because I love this one. This soup is absolutely delicious and one that I think that you will love. It is filled with lots of good vegetables, with sweet carrots, onions, and celery and of course the star of the show, broccoli, which is smothered in an amazing cheesiness. Some people call for cheddar, but being from the South, you know we all love a hunk of Velveeta.

It is looking like fall here in Texas, finally. It is still warm though, which I am savoring. I like the cooler weather in the evening, but still enjoying the temps. in the 70's during the day. We are still getting plenty of squash and peppers from the garden which is so good for fall dinners. I have said before, how much I love Thanksgiving and all of the decorating with fall branches, leaves and pumpkins from our garden. Pumpkins line the steps up to the back porch and sit in urns on the front, adding a happy bright orange color to our fall d├ęcor. Time to pull out the cozy blankets, plaid throws and warm blankets for the chill that comes at night fall. I love to throw a plaid throw across a tabletop and have a centerpiece of pumpkins and fall leaves that would look beautiful as you serve a bowl of delicious soup for supper. Y'all enjoy!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Carolyn Westbrook: Soup's on Sundays


Carolyn Westbrook: Soup's On Sunday

Since their is a bit of chill in the air, it is time for our new endeavor, Soup's On Sundays. I love soup. I can eat it year round. My family not so much...except for Joe. He likes soup as much as me. When the day's get cooler, everyone in the family is wanting soup, so we decided to do our  Soup's On Sunday and post one of my favorite soup recipes to share with y'all. The one today is, Creamy Texas Clam Chowder. This recipe is tried and true and Joe says that he could eat this every day. It is my take on Clam Chowder and is really more of a soup, as it is thinner and has more broth than a chowder. I am not one for thick soups, I like mine thinner. Hope that y'all like it too.


                           Creamy Texas Clam Chowder

6 Pieces of thick sliced bacon chopped                           ¼ cup of flour

2 Tbsp. oil                                                                              2- cans of clams

1 Clove of garlic minced                                                   ½ teaspoon Thyme

1 Medium Onion Chopped                                              ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper

3 Potatoes Diced                                                              3 cups of Cream

1 Box of Chicken Stock

Put oil in stock pot and heat to medium. Add chopped bacon and brown for a couple of minutes. Add onion and garlic and diced potatoes. Brown until bacon is still soft but cooked through. Onions should be translucent and potatoes softened a bit. Add salt, pepper, and Thyme. Then sprinkle with flour while stirring and cook for 1 minute while continuing to stir. Add chicken stock and heat to bubbling. Keep stirring. Add cream. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add clams and cook for 3 minutes more. Serve in a beautiful bowl with oyster crackers. Delicious.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Carolyn Westbrook: Turkey and Dressing Soup

With all of the cold and wet weather upon us, it makes me crave some warm and delicious comfort food like soup. I began looking through the fridge wondering what I was going to do with the leftover turkey and dressing.  I thought that I might use the leftover turkey in a hearty soup, so here it is:

1- clove of garlic minced
1- small onion diced
Chopped leftover Turkey
1-2 Chicken breasts diced (Depending on how much leftover turkey...I only had about a cup, so I added the chicken to the soup.)
2- large carrots finely chopped
2 TBSP.- Olive Oil
2- stalks of celery finely chopped
1/2 cup-1 cup of leftover dressing
1 cup of leftover green beans- (optional)
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of cream
1/2 teaspoon each- Rosemary, Thyme, Sage
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Add olive oil to saucepan on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots, onion and celery to the pot and stir. Add diced chicken breasts and spices, and a 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Saute in chicken broth, stirring as needed, until tender. Add in leftover turkey and the remainder of the chicken broth with the milk and cream. Simmer on medium low heat for 15-20 minutes. Add in the leftover green beans. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Ladle into a bowl. I put a dollop of jellied cranberries on top of mine, but that is completely optional. The whole family loved this and a great way to get rid of the leftovers in a delicious way. Bon Appetite!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Carolyn Westbrook: Christmas in the Country

I probably should have titled this post...a passion for plaid. I do love traditional holiday decorating. Who am I kidding, I love every kind of decorating, so Christmas is the best time of year, where you can sprinkle gobs of glitter and snow, string twinkling lights everywhere, and hang icicles from your tree. I am still in love with a beautiful traditional plaid. We decked the halls, the walls, the banister, the mantles, the exterior, the interior, in fact every room in the house. A mantel bedecked in pine, twinkle lights, gorgeous plaid ribbons and a lovely Ironstone pot with a live planting of paper white flowers...and that smell permeates the room. We have done photography in our book, Carolyn Westbrook: Through the French Door, that shows the photos of our Christmas tree and these beautiful little classic books, that have wonderful red leather bindings. They are exquisite.We always wait until the days before Christmas to hang the stockings. Everyone has a stocking including Teddy, Bella, Rascal, Foxy, Coco, and of course our fat cat Milo. Milo follows me everywhere, like one of the dogs and twists around my feet if I stop for even a second wanting to be scratched on the belly. I think he thinks he is a dog.

There is nothing quite like the season of Christmas and who doesn't love the thought of Christmas in the country. Fresh cut cedar strung and red berries strung about the porches outside. Tonight the air was crisp and the stars were shining like diamonds in the sky. I was stopped in my tracks at the beauty of them as I looked up and thought about the real reason for the season...a baby that was born in manger, while the stars shown in the sky. Here's hoping that everyone spreads the love and joy of the Holiday Season.
                                     Merry Christmas!