Sunday, January 15, 2017

Carolyn Westbrook: Soup's On Sunday

This time of year it can be so cold and dreary. My Soup's on Sunday are an easy and delicious way to warm up a cold Sunday afternoon. This is one of my family's favorites and it is easy to make. Soup's on.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cubed boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large container of chicken broth
1 can of diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of Cumin
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 fresh jalapeno deveined and seeded, then minced.
1 yellow squash diced
1 zucchini diced
1 large can of diced tomatoes
2 carrots diced
1 large onion diced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of minced cilantro
1 avocado sliced
¼ cup of mozzarella cheese
Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large stock pot. Salt and pepper chicken and place in pot on medium heat. Add fresh garlic. Cook chicken until almost done. Add onion, carrots, jalapeno, add spices and cook until vegetables are soft. Add chicken broth, tomatoes and green chilies, and tomatoes. Add squash. Simmer soup for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add half of the chopped cilantro and stir. Serve in a bowl topped with a tablespoon of cheese, a slice of avocado and the remainder of the chopped cilantro.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Carolyn Westbrook: Soup's On Sunday

Here we are another year, a new year. After working on my new cooking/entertaining book last year, it made me think about my Soup's On Sunday, and maybe it was a good time to bring it back. Since it is freezing cold, I am always ready for a bowl of soup. I was out until late yesterday evening. I wasn't up for cooking an elaborate dinner, but I wanted something warm and home-cooked. Here's the deal, it doesn't take long to get something delicious cooked up in no time. Sometimes I even forget that. When the kids were little, I used to always make what we call Cowboy Stew, which is really a hamburger vegetable soup that is absolutely delicious. I threw this together in 25 minutes and you can too. Seriously. You need to try this one and you will probably have most of these ingredients in the house.

1.5 lbs. of lean hamburger meat
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons of oil
1 large onion diced
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 package of mixed vegis ( I use different ones, but usually the corn, carrots and peas or green beans
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato bouillon
1 large container of beef broth

Keep in mind, whenever you make this you don't have to have the tomato bouillon, you could substitute tomato paste or you can use different vegis, if it means saving a trip to the store.

Put oil in large stock pot on medium heat. Place meat in pot and cook. Drain if necessary. You can leave a little oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook until tender. Add spices and combine. Add tomatoes and tomato bouillon and stir. Add beef broth and mixed vegetables. Stir and combine until soup is simmering and vegis are hot. Let simmer for at least 10- 15 minutes before serving. After is simmers and allowed to  sit it ensures that all the flavors are enriched in the soup.

I made hot garlic bread to serve with it and if you like, you can top with some cheese of your choice...YUM!

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.