A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Recipes

I don’t know why certain foods seem so complicated and difficult to make. Maybe it’s the fancy smancy name. Or the fact that I’m convinced I can’t make food better than a restaurant. Whatever the case may be, I’ve always wanted to make tomato bisque soup but have been too scared to try it.

Jonathan and I went for a date to La Madeleine a few weeks back. I ordered a side of tomato basil soup. It was divine. Over dinner I mentioned how I’ve always wanted to make tomato bisque but was too scared to try. So Jonathan challenged me – make it by the end of the week.

I did some research and found this delicious and easy number::

Tomato Bisque

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste, chicken broth, tomatoes, sugar, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes until the vegetables are very tender.
  3. Pour half to three-quarters of the soup into a blender-depending on how chunky you want it-filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup in the saucepan.
  4. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan and stir in the cream. Cook over medium heat until the soup is hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Aside from the very unusual, but thankfully short, protest of dislike from Julia, the meal was a hit. The recipe made enough that Jonathan and I both had seconds and there were still some leftovers. Double score!

Bon Appetit!

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

I’m a big cookie fan. Actually, if you add sugar to any food product and I’m a big fan. Cookies just happen to be at the top of the list. And while I will eat and enjoy just about every cookie I come across, chocolate chip cookies hold a special place in my heart.

While chocolate chip cookies flood me with numerous memories, one of my favorites is when I made them one parentless afternoon with my brother Jesse. I must have been about 9, he was about 14, and we made a batch of chocolate chip cookies while our parents were gone for the day. The best part? We never even cooked them, just ate the batter. Every kids dream.

I’ve tried chocolate chip cookie recipe after recipe, and hands down this is my favorite ::

Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/8 cup flour, sifted

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix butter, sugar, egg and vanilla together until creamy. Add flour, salt and soda. Mix until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Preferably eat while warm with a large glass of milk.


Visit Jill at Diaper Diaries for more Things I Love Thursday.

{Be sure to enter my giveaway for a copy of The Help}

I love green smoothies. There’s just something about drinking vegetables and fruit that makes me feel like I’m my own personal health guru.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been on a mission to eat plenty of vegetables throughout the day. I’ve been finding it challenging to do that at breakfast, because, really, who wants to eat a salad? Not me. In steps a green smoothie. I can get in some romaine lettuce and kale without ever tasting it.

I took an adapted version of this recipe, adding kale and lettuce instead of spinach, and came up with my own green smoothie ::

I used plain yogurt, half an apple, half a banana, a handful of grapes and then several bunches of kale and romaine lettuce. Blend until smooth and eat.

I don’t tend to measure out my ingredients for smoothies, just eye ball what I think will be tasty. I did try adding juice, instead of yogurt. The consistency was fine, but I figure yogurt has a lot more protein, and a lot less sugar, than juice so I went back to just yogurt. All in all, it’s turned out to be a pretty tasty {and very filling!} recipe.

Have you tried your own green smoothies? 

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

Visit Jill at Diaper Diaries for Things I Love Thursday.

In my effort to mark off more from my 30 Before 30, I have been perfecting my yeast handling abilities. Last week I decided to make French bread rolls from my Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, because, well, I have a love of French bread that might board on obsession. Not to mention, it looked like a crazy-easy recipe.

French Bread Rolls

1 to 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water {when it is neither hot nor cold on your wrist}

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast

1 tbsp butter

3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cup sifted flour

Mix water, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl until yeast is well dissolved. Add in butter. Slowly add flour, until well blended. Knead bread, folding dough over toward you. Then press down away from you with the heel of your hand. Give dough quarter turns, repeating kneading, until it is smooth, elastic and non-sticky.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning once to bring greased side up. Cover. Let rise until double {about 1.5-2 hours}. Once risen, punch down, pulling edges into center and turn completely over in bowl. Let rise again until almost double {about 30-45 minutes}.

After second rising, divide dough into 16 equal parts. Form into little buns {or balls}. Place on grease baking sheet. With scissors, snip rolls in half, then in half again, cutting almost through to the bottom. Brush with water. Let rise one hour.

Brush with water again. Then brush with egg white and sprinkle with poppyseeds.

Bake at 425 for 10 minutes.

It might sound like a lot {especially if you don’t bake with yeast often}, but it’s really quite easy – I promise!

Once the rolls are done, they are hard on the outside {like french bread} but super soft and yummy on the inside. They make a plainer meal – like Monday night meatloaf – something a little more spectacular.

And for that, I’m marking mastering yeast off my 30 Before 30 list!

Bon Appetit!

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

Visit Jill at Diaper Diaries for more Things I Love Thursday.

I am super excited to introduce today’s guest poster, Kelsey. Kelsey is a friend from Iowa, who I personally think makes some crazy awesome recipes {several of them being “healthy sweets”}. Plus, she’s a dog lover and understands my blight of battling with doggy bed hogs.  

My husband’s mouth has a radar that instantly detects a healthified snack. If I replace oil with applesauce, he knows. If I trade all purpose flour for whole wheat, he knows. If I reduce the sugar, the man definitely knows.

Until last week, when I made magically healthy oatmeal raisin cookies. Why are they magical? Because he didn’t know.

My husband had to make a late run into work, and my assignment was to concoct a filling, yummy, but fairly healthy bedtime snack. I started with a trusted recipe from Smitten Kitchen. She confesses that she actually reduced the sugar when she made the recipe. I reduced it a little more. (And to tell you the truth, when I make them again, I’ll probably reduce it just a little bit more.) Add in whole wheat flour and flaxseed meal, and I had a fairly healthy but sweet-tooth satisfying bedtime snack.

After we had eaten a few I asked, “Are they sweet enough?” My husband gave me a “What did you do to these?” look, but responded, “Yeah, they taste great!”

The next day, after work, I even got a completely unsolicited, “Man, those cookies are good!” It was music to my ears.

I recommend eating these with a glass of milk while snuggling and watching Cheers on Netflix. They just might taste better that way.

Magically Healthy(er) Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

adapted from Smitten Kitchen


1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
1/3-1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg or 1/4 cup egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (reduce to 1/4 if you like less salt)
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350*F.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.
Scoop the cookies onto the cookie sheet or plate and put in the freezer for 15 minutes. You can skip this step, but it might affect the texture or spreading of your cookies.

Bake the cookies about 2 inches on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet for 10-12 minutes. (Mine took 12. They are done when you see golden brown along the bottom, even if they don’t look all the way done on the top.) Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool. Makes about 30 cookies with a 2 teaspoon scoop.

Visit Lisa at Blessed with Grace for more Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.


Kelsey is a wife, teacher, Christ follower, and lover of all things baked. When she’s not at school or in the kitchen, she loves reading, snuggling with her puppies, and photography, which she posts at rocketsteady photoblog. She blogs at Mrs. Dexter about her pursuit of debt freedom and ethical eating.

It’s that time of year, where the candy aisles across America are painted with pastels and bunnies. That time of year that signifies the end of winter and the coming of spring. That time of year when the Cadbury Egg makes it’s stunning debut.

photo credit

Whether a lover or a hater of these creme filled eggs, you’ve got to hand it to Cadbury for their great American marketing skills. I go a little egg-crazy once these chocolate goodies hit the shelf. Last year, after Easter, I bought several dozen {because, that’s what normal people do, right?}. Every year, as the boxes inch up in price, I still buy them. Typically only the individuals, because I have to practice some sort of self control, and if I bought four at once, well, I’d be tempted to eat four at once {and trust me when I say, it has been done}.

My biggest goal this week has been to find amazing recipes that call for Cadbury eggs. Like these Cadbury Creme Filled Cookies from Marie at Make and Take. Mmmmmm….

What’s your favorite springtime candy?

I made these cookies Monday for Jonathan’s coworkers. They never got delivered, so I’ve taken on the arduous task of disposing of them before they go bad {in others words, I’m eating them all}. And it would be a shame to not pass along this amazing recipe to all of you.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

Absolutely delicious. Every time I open the container a wave of pumpkin fills the air and it’s a-maz-ing. I do highly recommend eating them with a glass of milk, because they are super rich!