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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Feeling Foodie

I've been in the kitchen - which can be both exciting and scary! Okay...I'm being dramatic...there really isn't anything too scary about it; I wasn't in the kitchen to create anything too out there, nothing like the time I tried to make pickle chicken. Ha-ha! Yes - that was a thing - I read rave reviews about people putting chicken in pickle juice and it being delicious. It wasn't terrible...but yea...I haven't made it again.

I love both pickles and chicken. Just not together. Gag. 

These two thing though; they are not gross. They will not make you gag...they will actually probably make you smile with delight at how delicious they are. There are no pickles involved in either recipe but there is lovely broccoli and cheese and chocolate and whipped cream...and no, not together. Ha!


I peruse the Pioneer Woman website on the regular and she has not one but two recipes for Broccoli Cheese Soup. A few months back I took a chance on getting Broccoli Cheese soup from Panera and fell in love; I've been looking for a recipe ever since and the Pioneer Woman seemed like a definite excellent choice. I decided to do the stove version - mostly because I didn't think ahead enough to do the crock pot option - and it was delicious. I didn't expect it to be anything less than splendid though!

Broccoli Cheese Soup (courtesy of the Pioneer Woman)
Ingredients - minus the glass of wine. That's for the chef to drink while cooking.
What You Need
- 1 onion; diced
- 1 stick butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 4 cups milk (I used 2% because...less fat than whole milk...)
- 2 cups half & half (this is another reason I used NOT whole milk, ha-ha)
- Broccoli; 4 heads chopped
- Nutmeg; just a dash
- 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
- salt
- pepper
- chicken broth (for thinning...if needed)

Buttery onions smell absolutely amazing. Trust me.
Broccoli swimming in broth...
What To Do 
- Melt butter, add onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes and sprinkle in flour. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute. 

- Add in milk, half & half, nutmeg, salt, pepper and broccoli. Cover and reduce heat to low (seriously, reduce the heat or else you'll risk overflow - eek!) Simmer for 25 minutes.

- Stir in cheese and allow to melt/combine. Puree as much of the soup as you'd like - if you want a cream style soup, puree it all. If you prefer larger pieces of broccoli then don't puree it at all. I did about half of mine and loved it!

- Add in chicken broth if you feel the soup needs to be thinned. I didn't actually use any chicken broth; I liked the creamy consistency that my soup was at!

- Top with a light sprinkling of cheese and devour. I mean...eat...

Cheese makes everything better....
So. Delicious. 

The second kitchen creation I made this week was a dessert for dinner with some friends. I wanted something that would look and taste delicious/fancy/make it seem like I slaved in the kitchen...but I didn't actually want to slave in the kitchen, ha-ha! 

My Mom mentioned that a trifle is always a good choice and I investigated some recipes online before happening upon a peanut butter cup trifle that seemed like the perfect choice - when are chocolate and peanut butter not the perfect choice?? I tweaked the recipe just a bit to my liking and it was a big hit with my friends. Also - it was crazy easy! So, go ahead and make yourself one too!

Peanut Butter Cup Trifle
All such good things.
What You Need
- 2 packages chocolate pudding mix (I used chocolate fudge)
- 1 12 ounce container of Cool Whip
- 2 bags Reese's minis
- angel food cake (you don't need a lot; look for a small loaf at your local grocery store's bakery)
- Reese's peanut butter ice cream sauce

What You Do
- Make the pudding according to the directions on the box; put in fridge to set while gathering your other ingredients.

- Cut the angel food cake in cubes and begin layering: cake cubes, chocolate pudding, Cool Whip, Reese's minis and a drizzle of peanut butter ice cream sauce. Repeat as preferred.

- Dig in!

I'm not kidding when I tell you that is probably the easiest dessert I've ever made and it looks SO much harder than it actually is! It also tastes absolutely delicious. I promise - make this dessert and you will not be disappointed!

That's all I've got for now - go to the grocery store, buy some delicious things and get cooking!

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