Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Beer Cheese Soup Featuring Leinenkugel Beer

I never turn down a challenge, so when my step-daughter came to me and said that a local restaurant had the "best" beer cheese soup, you know that I was ready for a soup-smackdown.  No one cooks better than momma.  No one.

First, I had to do my research.  I must start out by saying I'm not a beer drinker.  I know, I know... I live in Wisconsin!! What the heck is wrong with me?  I've been told I'm genetically flawed.  I swear I'm not the only one from Wisconsin that doesn't like beer, but I digress.... back to the research.  I asked my lovely step-daughter a million questions about this soup.
  • what do you like about it?
  • are there "chunks" of veggies or meat in it?
  • what kind of cheese do you think is in it?
  • what kind of beer do they use?
The only thing she knew was that it had Jack Daniels beer in it.  Okay, folks-- I know I'm not a beer drinker, but I'm pretty sure that Jack Daniels is not a beer.  It quickly became clear that she was not going to be a reliable source of recipe data.  So, I just thought that I'd do a bunch of my own reading and just give it a try.  The one thing that I knew I wanted to do was feature a Wisconsin made beer.  We've also enjoyed visiting the Leine Lodge and taking their tour, so I gave their dark lager a whirl.  It was the perfect choice for my soup.

Despite hating the taste of beer, I must admit that I was pleasantly pleased with the outcome!  The bitterness of the beer really complimented the creamy cheese flavors.  What was even better is that my step-daughter now admits that I make the "best" beer cheese soup.  Victory is mine!

  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 stalk of celery, shredded
  • 2 medium onions, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 12 oz Leinenkugel Creamy Dark beer (or another Lager)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups half and half


In a large saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat and fry the carrots, celery and onions until they are soft and the onion is clear.  Add the flour directly to the saucepan and continue to heat for an additional 3-4 minutes stirring constantly with a whisk to avoid burning the vegetables and flour.  Add the beer and stir.  Immediately add the chicken broth, paprika, mustard powder, and worcestershire sauce.  Stir until combined.  Slowly add the cheese, stirring it in the mixture with the whisk until it is melted.  Reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the bottom doesn't burn.  Add the half and half and stir until combined.  Remove from heat and serve.  As you are serving, top individual portions with popcorn and a dash or two of tabasco sauce.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pink Lady Pie #BakeForACure #SundaySupper

This Sunday is very important to me.  As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Unfortunately, I am all too aware of Breast Cancer and how it affects those that have received a diagnosis, the family members of the diagnosed, as well as the previvors of breast cancer. 

In 2007, my mother lost her battle with cancer.  I like to think of her as a breast cancer survivor.  She was diagnosed with Stage II cancer, and her doctors felt that she had a great chance at survival.  What we didn’t know is that pancreatic cancer was also growing inside of her… she went through treatment for a year, but about the time she should have been getting better, she rapidly got much worse.  She was gone within 10 days of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis.  She died in the same hospice where my grandmother passed—also from cancer.

From left to right, my mother, my grandfather, and my grandmother. 

My family knows breast cancer.  My relatives are the faces of previvors.  We are armed with knowledge of our familial predisposition to cancer, and we have the power of modern medicine and the strength of our matriarchs to thank.  Their sacrifice is not in vain.  So, as you can see, a theme focused on Baking for A Cure is near and dear to my heart. 

The Sunday Supper crew was also fortunate enough to have an opportunity to work with Chantal Cookware for this week’s event.  Chantal is a high end cookware company that has been innovators in the kitchen for over 40 years!  They’ve been following our Sunday Supper movement, and they were excited to join our Bake for a Cure event. 

For today’s post, I’m using Chantal’s new 9” Easy as Pie dish.  It’s a sturdy dish that’s exceptionally versatile!  It can go from the oven to the dishwasher to the freezer and then even to the microwave!  What I especially loved was its vibrant color! I adore cookware with pizazz and this apple red dish certainly looked great on the family table.  I also enjoyed its unique outside raised rim.  That’s not a feature I’ve seen in any other pie dish.

Chantal wants to give everyone an opportunity to try one of their pie dishes at a reduced cost!  During our #BakeForACure event, when you checkout, simply use the discount coupon code -> BAKE4CURE. The discount will be 20% OFF of ALL Chantal Pie dishes.  You can view those dishes at  --Remember, the code must be entered at checkout to receive the 20% OFF Chantal pie dish discount. The coupon discount code is active through October 30, 2012 so make sure you do it soon.

Many members of the Sunday Supper crew are bringing their baked goods to local cancer centers as a “thank you” for the work they do every day.  Part of small town life is that I don’t always have opportunities like that… additionally, some cancer centers prefer that you don’t bring in homemade food, flowers, or other personal items since some of the patients could be sickened by them.  My step-daughter is a Registered Nurse at a hospital about 30 miles away, and she has graciously volunteered to bring some of my treats in to the nurse’s station as a “thank you” for the work they do- not only with cancer patients but with all folks that cross their path.  Also, this event gave me a great idea that baking could be used for good!   I have arranged to make some baked treats for a medical benefit held next month.  The treats will be part of an auction, and the funds raised will help the family of an ill child obtain food and medical supplies.

So, by now you’re all probably wondering what I’ve made in my Chantal Easy as Pie dish!  As a tribute to all the faces of breast cancer, and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I have made a Pink Lady Pie.
  • 9" pie crust from a recipe or pre-packaged refrigerated pie crusts
  • 5 Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 4 ounces of fresh raspberries, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice concentrate, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp cognac (may omit or substitute brandy instead)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 9" pie dish with one of the pie crusts, ensuring that the crust is firmly pressed against the bottom and sides of the pan.  In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, raspberries, sugar, and flour.  Mix until the fruit is coated in the sugar and flour.  In a small bowl, lightly mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, orange juice concentrate, and cognac.  Pour over the fruit and mix until combined.  Pour the fruit into the prepared pie dish. Top with the second crust.  Fold any excess top crust dough under the bottom crust edge.  Flute.  Cut several slits in the top of the pie to vent.  Cook for approximately 1 hour.  About 30-40 minutes into the baking time, check the crust.  If browning too quickly around the edges, cover the edges with foil.  Cool for at least 2 - 3 hours before serving.  To compliment the delicious tartness of the fresh cranberries, this pie is best served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Just like me, these #SundaySupper Contributors were also provided with a beautiful Easy As Pie Dish by Chantal Cookware. They will be sharing their recipes with you this Sunday and also their thoughts on this beautiful pie dish. Many are giving away their dish, along with their pie, to brighten someone’s day.

    As you may have noticed, when the #SundaySupper Team does something, we come together and do it with a bang. Check out these additional recipes-- perfect to take to someone that you want to feel special this month.

The Sunday Supper Team and Chantal Cookware, would be honored to have you join us for this special #BakeForACure event Around the Family Table.  We’ll be meeting up at 6:00 pm (Central) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat. 
Don’t forget to also check out Chantal’s site at (use coupon code BAKE4CURE to receive 20% OFF on all their wonderful pie dishes through October 30th, 2012) 

And make sure to keep up with the latest from Chantal on their website, twitter, facebook, and Pinterest


**Disclaimer- I received a Chantal Easy as Pie dish to review and feature in this post. I received no further compensation.  All opinions in this blog post belong to me.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bill's Hot Beef Sandwiches #CrockPot Challenge Day 5

..... may I have a drum roll please..........

I'd like to present.... my most favorite Crock Pot recipe of all's a knock off of a beloved local restaurant in Stevens Point...... Bill's Pizza..... it's their Hot Beef Sandwich!  Boy is it tasty!  And WOW is it simple!!!

For years, we were ordering Hot Beef Sandwiches from Bill's. They aren't horribly expensive, but at about $6.00 each, they do add up over time.  Plus, remember the theme of my blog-- from Fast Food to Fresh Food.  We're really trying to eat less take out food.  One of the goals in our house was to take some of our restaurant favorites and make them at home.  Bill's Hot Beef was on that list.

I can't believe how simple it is-- you don't even need to write it down.  Here it is-- Meat. Pickle Juice. Cayenne.  Yep. That's it! How crazy is that?

  • 4 - 5 pounds of chuck roast
  • 2 jars of Clausen kosher dill pickles
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground cayenne


Place meat in a crock pot that's been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Dump the juice from the pickles over the meat.  (refrigerate remaining pickles to eat later) Add the cayenne to taste- more if you like it spicier.  Cook on Low for 9-10 hours or until the meat is fork tender.  Remove the meat from the crock pot and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Using a fork, shred the meat and return it to the crock pot so that it re-heats and soaks in the liquid.  When serving, use a slotted spoon to remove individual portions of meat directly from the crock pot and onto french bread or hoagie rolls.  Spoon out a little of the juice onto the sandwiches as well.  If you like, you can also melt some cheese on top of your meat, but we like ours plain.

Hot Beef that's been shredded and added back into the juices to re-heat-- so yummy!

Well, now is your last chance to stop by my fellow blogger's pages to see what they have cooked up for this year's Crock Pot challenge.  It's been really fun, and I'm so glad that I have more recipes to try out in my crock pot.  Thanks, ladies!  It's been really fun!

Tammi at Momma's Meals has Ranch House Pork Chops In the Crock
Sarah at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends is making Tammi's Sweet and Tangy Ribs
Laura at Small Wallet Big Appetite is cooking Crockpot Rotisserie Style Chicken

Wait, wait-- there's more!!!!

You may remember from the last two posts that there is a CROCK POT GIVE-AWAY!!!!  How cool is that?  To enter the give-away that Tammi at Momma's Meals is sponsoring, please visit her site by clicking HERE and look for the rules.  Good Luck to everyone!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sweet and Tangy Ribs #CrockPot Challenge Day 4

And we're coming down the home stretch of the five day challenge!!!.......

I'm super excited about todays' post!  One of the components of this challenge was to take one of Tammi's existing Crock Pot dishes and "make it our own" by putting a different spin on it.  Sarah, Laura, and I ended up doing the same dish-- Tammi's Sweet and Tangy Ribs.  It's been really interesting to see each person's spin on it. 

I tried to stay pretty true to Tammi's recipe, however I wanted to remove the ketchup and kick up the tang a bit.  You can find the original recipe here if you'd like to compare:  Tammi's Sweet and Tangy Ribs.

And now-- for my spin on them:

  • 2 - 3 pounds of boneless beef short ribs
  • 1- 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • scant 1/4 cup yellow mustard (or dijon, if preferred)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice concentrate
  • 3 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying


In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat.  When the oil is hot, carefully add the boneless beef ribs to the frying pan.  Sear the meat on each side until they're brown, but do not overcook.  (depending on your pan size, you may need to do this in a batch or two)  When the meat is brown, place is a crock pot that's been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Lightly mix until combined and pour the mixture over the seared meat.  Lightly stir so that all the meat is coated.  Turn the crock pot on Low and cook for approximately 8 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

NEW!!! Part of this challenge was that one of us could win a crock pot. All of us participating have graciously declined the chance to win and are making it all about you!!! One of you lucky readers can win a free CrockPot! Yes, you can win a free crockpot!! What do you have to do you ask? Come find out on Friday-- our last day of the #CrockPot Challenge. (open to US residents only)

Just like earlier this week, make sure you stop by the others that are contributing to the Crock Pot Challenge. A special shout out to our lovely host, Tammi, at Momma's Meals-- thanks again for putting this all together!

On Day Four of the Crock Pot Challenge, stop by and see what's cooking!
Tammi at Momma's Meals has Creamy Chicken and Spinach
Sarah at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends is fixin' up a finger lickin' good Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
Laura at Small Wallet Big Appetite features Crockpot Chinese Drumsticks

Also, if you haven't stopped by and "Liked" my Facebook page yet, I'd like to take this time to invite you to do that.  It's a great way to stay up to date on what's happening in the Fast Food to Fresh Food kitchen.  Click HERE to go directly to my Facebook Page.  Thanks!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No Hurry Curry #CrockPot Challenge Day 3

After today, we are more than halfway done with the five day Crock Pot challenge!  For someone that's not used to using her slow cooker all the time, this has been quite a week!

First, I want to announce some great news!  I had my first photo accepted into FoodGawker yesterday.  How cool is that?  For those of you that aren't familiar with FoodGawker, it's one of "the" sites that aspiring Food Bloggers would die to get their photo featured in.... and now I can consider myself amongst the ranks of those that have had a recipe grace the front pages.  And... if I can toot my own horn for a bit.... I'm kicking butt in views and favorites!  Woot!!

Before my head gets too big, I should probably show you a glimpse of the No Hurry Curry.  I've made this before, and it always turns out great!  I don't want to be a food blogger that tells lies... this batch?  Not so awesome.  I think one of my crock pots is broken because the veggies were hard.  That's not normal.  So, it looks great and normally tastes good, this batch wasn't full of awesome.  I'm sure your batch will be delicious and soft. (don't get me wrong-- it was good-- just should have cooked for 10 more hours in my breaking crock pot.  Good thing I have 4 other slow cookers!)


  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into large pieces
  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • Salt


Add all of the ingredients into the Crock Pot except for the frozen peas, coconut milk, and salt.  Heat on Low for approximately 8 hours or until veggies are tender.  About 15 minutes before serving, add the thawed peas, coconut milk and salt.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve over rice.

NEW!!!  Part of this challenge was that one of us could win a crock pot.  All of us participating have graciously declined the chance to win and are making it all about you!!! One of you lucky readers can win a free CrockPot!  Yes, you can win a free crockpot!! What do you have to do you ask? Come find out on Friday-- our last day of the #CrockPot Challenge. 

Just like earlier this week, make sure you stop by the others that are contributing to the Crock Pot Challenge.  A special shout out to our lovely host, Tammi, at Momma's Meals-- thanks again for putting this all together!

Tammi at Momma's Meals has AJ's Homemade Pasta Sauce In the Crock
Sarah at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends is making Asian Pot Roast
Laura at Small Wallet Big Appetite features Crockpot Barley and Leek Risotto
Becca from Amuse Your Bouche made Sweet corn Casserole


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Dip #CrockPot Challenge Day 2

Welcome Back to the Crock Pot Challenge!  Yesterday, I featured Asian Style Pork Ribs.  For day two of this five day challenge, I'm bringing you one of my favorite party dips!  I first tasted this at a work potluck.  One of our colleagues, Steph P, brought in her crock pot filled with a dubious orange looking substance.  I must admit, it's not the prettiest looking thing-- but holy moley, it is so unbelievably addictive that I knew I had to get the recipe from her!  It's so simple-- it only takes a little over an hour to heat up, and a little really goes a long way!  Whether I'm going to a potluck or a tailgating event, this Buffalo Chicken Dip is a must-make for me. 

  • 2 packages of cream cheese
  • 2-3 cans of chicken breast in water (the larger, 12-13 oz sized can--or for a less processed version, shred about 2 - 3 chicken breasts and add the meat from that)
  • 10 oz ranch dressing
  • approx. 1/2 bottle Franks "Red Hot" Buffalo Sauce (12 oz bottle)
  • 1 scant cup shredded cheddar cheese


Combine all the ingredients, except for the shredded cheddar cheese, in a lightly sprayed crock pot.  Put crock pot on High setting for approximately 45 minutes.  Stir the mixture occasionally to help the cream cheese melt and to help break up the larger chunks of chicken breast.  After the 45 minutes is up, reduce the heat setting to Low and continue to heat until the mixture is fully melted and warm enough to eat.  Immediately before serving, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese.  Serve with tortilla chips.  (Note: I prefer to serve this by having folks take portions right out of the crock pot.  Once the heat is turned off, it solidifies pretty quickly, so if it's going to be out for a bit it's best to keep it on the Low setting.)

Just throw it all in the slow cooker and turn on High.  Stir occasionally, and reduce to Low when it's nice and melted

Just like yesterday, make sure you stop by the others that are contributing to the Crock Pot Challenge this week.  A special shout out to our lovely host, Tammi, at Momma's Meals-- thanks again for putting this all together!

Tammi at Momma's Meals is fixin' A Breakfast Casserole In the Crock
Sarah at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends is serving Meatball Two Ways
Laura at Small Wallet Big Appetite is making Sweet and Tangy Ribs
Becca from Amuse Your Bouche made Sweet corn Casserole


Monday, October 15, 2012

Asian Style Pork Ribs #CrockPot Challenge Day 1

....And we're off!!!  For the next five straight days, I'm participating in a Crock Pot Challenge hosted by Tammi over at Momma's Meals.  Thanks, Tammi for hosting this fabulous event!  This was exactly the motivation that I needed to dust off my Crock Pot!

In addition to Tammi, two of my Sunday Supper teammates are contributing as well.  Make sure to stop by and visit Sarah from Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends and Laura from Small Wallet Big Appetite.  Although we are the only ones formally participating each day, there are lots of other bloggers and non-bloggers that will be doing Crock Pot recipes throughout the week and sending them over to Tammi.  Tammi will do a round-up at the end of the week, feature pictures of some of the best dishes, and there's even a Crock Pot giveaway happening.  For more information on that, make sure to stop by the Momma's Meals site.

So first, let's talk about the equipment used in this challenge.  I own five crock pots in varying sizes and temperature settings.  The one that I always fall back to is my 1970s Rival Crock Pot.  For some reason, it seems to heat like no other slow cooker I've used... it's fast and even.  I'm not sure if it's because of the quality from the 1970s, or if it's because it's a true "Rival" Crock Pot rather than a basic slow-cooker, non-Rival brand. 

For the first day of the challenge, I decided to try something totally out of my comfort zone-- Asian and pork.  I'm not used to cooking pork all that much, and we typically stay extremely basic when we're working with Asian food.  This recipe required me to search for ingredients-- and it was well worth it!  I found the recipe by searching on Pinterest.... it brought me to One Perfect Bite.  Here is the original recipe titled Asian Style Country Ribs with Black Bean Garlic Sauce.

Asian Style Pork Ribs as done by From Fast Food to Fresh Food

  • 3 pounds of boneless country-style pork ribs cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 3-4 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce from a jar (found in the Asian section of your local grocery store or in an Asian food store)
  • scant 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
  • 2 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sliced green onions


Spray the inside of your crock pot with a non-stick cooking spray.  In a small bowl, mix the black bean garlic sauce, soy sauce, chicken broth, honey, ginger, garlic, pepper, and corn starch until combined and the corn starch is fully dissolved.  Put the pork pieces on the bottom of the sprayed crock pot.  Pour the sauce mixture over the pork.  Cover and cook on the Low setting for approximately 5 hours. Do not cook much more beyond 5 hours!  Transfer the pork into a medium sized bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.  Carefully transfer the hot sauce/liquid into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook until the mixture is reduced by half and starts to thicken.  Stir in the sesame oil.  Add sauce and 1/4 cup green onions to the warm pork pieces.  Mix until all the pork is coated in the sauce.  Garnish with the remaining sliced green onions.   Serve over rice.

The whole family was very surprised that this meal came from a crock pot!  Both the texture and the taste were unlike anything we'd every had from a slow cooker.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Make sure you stop by the other contributors to see what they have planned for Day 1 of the #CrockPot Challenge.  When you stop by, don't forget to show them some love and leave a comment! We love to know that we've had visitors!

Tammi at Momma's Meals is cooking up Beef Stroganoff In the Crock
Sarah at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends is featuring Brisket kind of Pastrami
Laura at Small Wallet Big Appetitie is serving Crockpot Pork Roast in Salsa Verde

See you tomorrow where I'll be featuring one of my favorite party dips........


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sour Cream Coffee Ring

If you've read my About Melanie page, you'll notice that I live in the north woods of Wisconsin.  Up here, there is a unique charm to some of the recipes that are "local".  Every now and then, I'm lucky enough to stumble on a cookbook that's been self-published by a resident of this part of the state or a neighboring state.  That's exactly what happened for this Sour Cream Coffee Ring recipe.  A local consignment shop had a copy of "North Country Cabin Cooking" for $1.75.  At that price, how could I go wrong? 

As soon as I got it home, I thumbed through all the pages.  Many of the recipes had kitchy titles like, "Park Rapids Goo", "Lumberjack Chocolate Sheet Cake", or "Aunt Linnea's Five Decker Dinner".  You could feel the hard work that it took to put this book together.  It was just seeping out of each page.  When you get to the nitty gritty of each recipe, it really is a practical little book.  The recipes are very basic, but that's how they're designed.  Easy, make-ahead, and transportable is the name of the game when you're cooking for the cabin.  I can't wait to try many more of the dishes featured in it.

For the first recipe, I let Lorie pick what she wanted me to make for her.  Of course, she found the first dessert-like recipe and pointed to it.  Thankfully, I had all the ingredients.  It was easy to make, and the book indicates that it also freezes well. 

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugars.  Add eggs.  Mix. Add remaining ingredients.  Put half the batter into a greased 10 inch tube pan. (I used a regular bundt pan)  Sprinkle with half the topping. Repeat.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. (I baked for 45 and would likely have reduced the cooking time by a few minutes)


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Monty's Pumpkin Soup #SundaySupper

Autumn is a magical time of year!  Here in Wisconsin, it feels like such a short season.  Typically, we swing from temperatures in the 90s to temperatures in the 30s in a matter of two weeks!  Fall is what happens in that two week window. 

During this season, the air is crisp, colors are vibrant, kids are enchanted by hayrides and cider, and the harvest yields its heartiest of goods--- pumpkins, gourds, and squash.  It's "All Things Orange" no matter where you look!  This week, the #SundaySupper crew is featuring this delightful color!  Orange!

The very first thing I thought of was the warm Pumpkin Soup that I used to savor at Monty's Blue Plate Diner in Madison, Wisconsin.  Monty's was the restaurant I missed the most when I moved away from Madison.  For years, I searched online for their recipes-- and then Lo!  I discovered an entire cookbook of Monty's favorite dishes!  Pumpkin Soup is the very first recipe in that cookbook.  It's so simple to make, yet the flavors of the pumpkin, celery, and cinnamon play together so well that it seems like one could have spent all day simmering these flavors together.

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1- 28 oz can pumpkin (not spiced)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk


In a large (6 quart) stock pot, saute the onion and celery for 10 minutes on medium heat until tender.  Add all the other ingredients except for the milk.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour.  Stir in the milk and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.  Serve.

After you've made some soup, make sure to stop by the rest of the #SundaySupper pages to see what Orange items are being cooked up. 

Sunrise (Breakfast and Brunch)
Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes is bringing her Orange Ricotta Pancakes
Erin from Dinners Dishes and Desserts is baking up some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Heather from Girlichef is bringing Pumpkin Doughnuts with Spiced Buttermilk Glaze
Nicole from Daily Dish Recipes is making Pumpkin Donut Puffs
Patti from Comfy Cuisine is bringing Classic Orange Marmalade
Sunithi from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz is making Spiced Pumpkin Ricotta Muffins with Craisins and Walnuts
Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet is cooking up some Pumpkin Maple Oatmeal
Jamie from Mama Mommy Mom is bringing Butternut Squash Butter
Chelsea from Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence is bringing Pumpkin Spiced Donuts with Chai Icing
Kris from In The Kitchen With Audrey and Maureen made Sweet Potato Pancakes

High Noon (Soups, Salads and Sandwiches)
Renee from Magnolia Days is serving up some Butternut Squash Soup
Beate from Galactopdx is bringing her Carrot Ginger Soup
Jen from Juanita’s Cocina is making some Curried Sweet Potato Salad With Cranberries and Pecans
Megan from I Run For Wine is making Skinny Roasted Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage Soup
Sarah from What Smells So Good is filling our bowls with some Spicy Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup
Alice from Hip Foodie Mom is coming with her Roasted Carrot and Red Quinoa Salad
Susan from The Wimpy Vegetarian is making Cider – Spiced Sweet Potato Soup
Tora from Tora’s Real Food is bringing Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food is making Monty’s Pumpkin Soup
Lyn from The Lovely Pantry is bringing Roasted Pumpkin & Coconut Soup
Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic is whipping up some Mandarin Chicken Salad

Sunset (Dinner and Main Dishes)
Sarah from Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends is offering up some Pumpkin Ravioli
Shelia from Pippis In The Kitchen Again is serving her Roasted Squash and Ricotta with Honey
Pam from The Meltaways is making Spooky Stuffed Peppers
Patsy from Famfriendsfood is bringing her Carrot Souffle
Laura from Small Wallet Big Appetite is bringing Chicken and Sweet Potato Fritters
Mehereen from Chattering Kitchen is making Sichuan Orange Glazed Chicken with Toasted Sesame Seeds
Tammi from Momma’s Meals is making Hearty Pork Stew
Kristin from Kwistin’s Favorites is making Orange Chicken
Soni from Soni’s Food For Thought is cooking up some Rigatoni with Pumpkin Ricotta Sauce
Shelby from Diabetic Foodie is cooking up some Moroccan Vegetable Stew
Dara from Generation Y Foodie is bringing Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Brandie from Home Cooking Memories is sharing a DIY Baked Sweet Potato Bar
Amber from Mama’s Blissful Bites is bringing Rice and Fig Stuffed Mini Pumpkins
Valerie from Val’s Food and Or Art made Double Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash

By The Bonfire (Sweets, Snacks and Sips)
Brie from Brie’s Bites is making Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bites
Carla from Chocolate Moosey is making Pumpkin Tiramisu with Pumpkin Butter Caramel Sauce
Heather from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks is offering up some Pumpkin Cake Truffles
Shelia from Cooking Underwriter is bringing Sweet Potato Bacon Beet Salsa
Anne from Webicurean is making some Drunken Pumpkin Bread
Karen from In The Kitchen With KP is making Oven Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Leslie La Cocina De Leslie is making Sweet Potato Atole
Seet Fei from My Trials in The Kitchen is bringing Sweet Potatoes Mini Balls
Tara from Noshing With The Nolands is bringing Oranges En Suprise
Susan from The Girl in The Red Kitchen is making Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scone with Pumpkin Glaze
Conni from Mrs. Mama Hen is making Orange Glazed Poundcake
Isabel from Family Foodie is baking up Moist Pumpkin Bread
Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings is baking up a Vegan Pumpkin Orange Cake
Brenda from Meal Planning Magic is whipping up some Creamy Pumpkin Dip
Laura from Family Spice is making some Unprocessed and Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
Kathya from Basic and Delicious is baking up Butternut Squash and Carrot Bread
Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake is serving up Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling
Stephanie from The Cookie A Day Challenge is whipping up some Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches
Katie from She Like Ruffles, He Likes Truffles is bringing Pumpkin Harvest Cookies
Nancy from Gotta Get Baked is baking up some Orange Macadamia Dark Chocolate Cookies
Angie from Big Bear’s Wife is bringing Orange Soda Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes
Katy from Happy Baking Days is bringing Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze
Sandra from Midlife Road Trip is bringing Orange ya glad it’s fall! Hungarian Apricot/Walnut pastries

In case you lost count, that is over fifty delectable dishes!

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.
We’ll be meeting up at 6:00 pm (Central) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite recipes featuring our favorite fall color.
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat.
We’d also love to feature your easy go to recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.

Orange you glad you came?  (I had to... sorry.....)


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vegetarian Chopped Liver

It's been a pretty busy two weeks in our house!  Between work obligations, trying to winterize the yard and house, as well as the holidays, we've been completely tied up!  The one thing that we've always made time for is some good food.  I just haven't been attentive to doing updates here.  That is definitely going to change.

In an effort to catch up with the food that I made over the Jewish High Holidays, I'm featuring a dish that I got a lot of questions on when they saw it.  Yeah, I know... it's not the most delicious "looking" thing, but it actually tastes really good!  My Vegetarian Chopped Liver is a welcome alternative to the infamous Chicken/Calf Chopped Liver that is normally served at Yom Kippur break-the-fast gatherings.  The hard part is looking past the green color.  It's very... uh.... green.

Now, some purists will say that this doesn't mimic the exact texture and color of regular chopped liver.. Well, whatever-- you won't catch me within 10 feet of the regular stuff.  *shudder*  AND THIS VERSION JUST TASTES YUMMY!  Try it. It's easy. Serve it with cut up pita bread or on tortilla chips.  (pita is the best though)

  • 1 pound of fresh green beans, washed and trimmed (frozen won't work- must be fresh!)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 toasted & chopped walnuts
  • 2 large hard boiled eggs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


In a medium frying pan, heat the oil on medium heat.  Add the chopped onion and slowly cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and very golden brown.  This takes a long time!  I usually spend 30 minutes on this step.  Meanwhile, in an large saucepan, heat water to boiling.  Once it boils, add the green beans and simmer until they're cooked yet still crispy.  (about 4-6 minutes)  Drain the beans, and set aside to cool and dry while the onions continue to cook.  Once the onions are done, allow them to cool a bit before continuing.

Once the onions are cooked and slightly cooled, as well as the beans are dry, combine the onion/oil mixture, beans, toasted walnuts, hard boiled eggs, salt, and pepper in a food processor.  Pulse until blended but do not liquefy.  You may need to stop, remove the top, and scrape down the sides a few times.

Remove from food processor and place into a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.  The mixture keeps for about 3 days.  Serve with pita wedges, with tortilla chips, or any other way that you can imagine.