Tomato Soup + Grilled Cheese Sandwich

It was 75 degrees in Orlando this weekend, and that means that fall is officially here. Sure, it was still hot because of all the sunshine (and to be honest, I was tempted to go to the pool), but we can’t ask for much cooler weather in early October.

As mentioned in a previous post, fall is my favorite time of the year, so I spent the weekend decorating for it (I went a little crazy. I’ll repent this weekend?) I put away my airy blue accessories in favor of pumpkins, citrus potpourri, and a touch of black (Halloween’s coming, after all). With the house fully decorated, all that was left was the meal.

Nothing screams “it’s getting colder!” like tomato soup. It’s rich, it’s filling, and it’s a lovely shade of fall. For this particular recipe, I suggest making the soup one day in advance so that the sugar has time to do its thing.

Tomato Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 28 oz plum tomatoes
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes
  • 3 tbsps Swanson Mexican Tortilla Broth
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 2 tbsps coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp Tabasco

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, sautee garlic and onions in butter and olive oil over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Reduce to medium heat.
  2. Add both kinds to tomatoes to garlic/onion mixture and let simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add chicken and tortilla broth. Add pepper, salt, basil leaves, and Tabasco. Cook on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes and then reduce to low heat. Cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove soup from stovetop. Add soup to a blender, filling blender about 1/2 way. Pulse soup for at least 30 seconds, or until smooth.
  5. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve later :).

 

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of Italian bread
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • 1 slice of white cheddar cheese (or provolone)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tbsp butter, divided

Directions:

  1. Assemble sandwich.
  2. Add 1/2 of the olive oil and half of the butter to a small skillet. Place skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the sandwich to butter/oil when butter/oil is hot. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Add remaining butter and olive oil and flip the sandwich.
  5. Repeat step 3.

 

 

On a side note, this paired perfectly with the premiere of The Flash :)!

Chicken Teriyaki

I’m not exactly sure where this craving for teriyaki chicken came from. I’d never made teriyaki before (truly, this was a let’s-guess-at-the-ingredients-and-go-dish) and I actually think I may have created this just so I would have an excuse to combine candied bacon with candied red onions. And you know what? I’m not ashamed of that.

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Ingredients:

Marinade

  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 4 large chicken breasts, sliced in half
  • 2-3 tbsps brown sugar
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp mirin
  • 1/4 tsp red bell pepper flakes
  • 1/2 ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 slice provolone cheese (per sandwich) *
  • Sesame seed sandwich buns

* For a kick, add pepperjack

Additional Ingredients:

  • 2 slices uncooked bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tbsps chopped red onion

Directions:

  1. Wash chicken and place in a glass casserole dish.  Combine with all other ingredients listed in the “marinade” section. Cover with glass top and bake at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until juices run clear when cut.
  2. Turn stove top to medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon and brown sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add red onions and cook until bacon and onions are done.
  3. Top bottom half of sesame seed bun with chicken, cheese, onions, and bacon. Bake on 350 degrees until cheese is thoroughly melted.
  4. Serve with a crisp caesar salad.

Cajun Chicken Po Boy

It’s 100 degrees outside, but I’m still in the mood for something a little spicy. Last week’s cajun fries really hit a sweet spot with me, so I decided to try the same seasoning on a personal favorite, the Po Boy, and I wasn’t disappointed. Paired with lemon pepper fries and topped with provolone or pepperjack, this meal has just enough heat for a warm summer night.

 

Cajun Chicken Po Boy

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 Chicken Breasts, cut in half

Directions:

  1. Rinse and cut chicken breasts and place in a glass casserole dish (the type that comes with a lid).
  2. Drizzle chicken with olive oil.
  3. Combine all other ingredients and add to chicken, coating evenly on both sides. Cover dish with glass lid.
  4. Cook for 35-45 minutes on 425 degrees or until juices run clear.

Assembly:

  • 1 sub roll, lightly toasted
  • 1-2 slices of provolone or pepperjack cheese
  • 4-5 slices of green peppers, sauteed
  • 1/8 cup of onions
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • Cajun chicken

Directions:

  1. Sautee onions in sugar and olive oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. Sautee bell peppers for 3-5 minutes or until soft
  3. Shred 1-2 pieces of chicken and combine with onions and bell peppers. Place on top of sub roll.
  4. Add cheese to chicken/onion/bell pepper mixture and cook at 350 degrees for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

 

Lemon Pepper Fries

Ingredients:

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • Lemon pepper seasoning to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • about 24 ozs of canola oil
  1. Rinse potatoes and wipe with paper towel. Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch sticks.
  2. Pour canola oil into a 8-10 inch cast iron skillet and heat to medium-high heat.
  3. Once oil is heated, place a handful of fries into the oil and cook for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside. Repeat until all fries are cooked.
  4. Sprinkle with lemon pepper, sea salt, and parsley.

Tuesdays

I know it’s Wednesday, but let’s talk about Tuesday. Every afternoon I have a turkey sandwich, and every Tuesday I stop by my local Target deli to ask my favorite deli person for the same order (she knows me by order!)

love sandwiches, but I’m very particular about turkey: I’ll only eat it shaved. I mean tearing, paper-thin turkey. I mean, I should be able to see between the slices. There’s just something refreshing about layering delicately thin turkey on top of wheat bread and topping it with cheddar cheese, a tomato, and a roasted red bell pepper. It just makes the perfect lunch.

So, here’s to Tuesdays. Even though it’s Wednesday.

 

 

Have any routines of your own? Let me know!

Chicken Fajita in a Pita (Salad)

Like most origin stories, this one involved a chance event. I wanted a salad but I wasn’t in the mood for my usual turkey salad. I wanted something with a bit of a kick to it, so I decided to go for a chicken fajita salad. Simple enough.

But then, what was I going to eat with a chicken fajita salad? I needed some type of bread. My immediate thought was a biscuit–I’ll eat biscuits with just about any meat–but biscuits seemed an odd choice for a Mexican dish. So I said, hey, why don’t I just make tortilla strips? That’ll be easy and fast, and I can even use a premade tortilla.

And then it dawned on me. Biscuit got me to tortilla and tortilla got me to . . . pita bread (I’m not really sure how tortilla got me to pita. Clearly, my brain made an odd association there. Just roll with it.) I would take my delicious salad and stuff it inside of a pita pocket. A fajita in a pita. It rhymed. It would be glorious. It would eliminate the need for a fork.

It would have a kick :O.

So I did just that, and the Chicken Fajita in a Pita (Salad) was born.

Pica de Gallo Salsa

Pico de gallo

Ingredients:

  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup purple onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup jalapenos, diced
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30-45 minutes.

Fajita Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsps corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Chicken Fajita

Ingredients:

  • Fajita seasoning
  • 3 large chicken breasts, halved
  • 1/4 cup of onions, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1/4 each of one red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and orange bell pepper, sliced (note: this is not 1/4 cup, but 1/4 of the bell peppers)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wash and clean chicken.
  3. Place chicken in a glass casserole dish. Coat chicken in olive oil.
  4. Rub fajita seasoning into chicken, being sure to coat both sides.
  5. Add all other ingredients and combine/mix using a spatula.
  6. Cover dish with glass top and cook for 15 minutes. Turn chicken and cook for 15 additional minutes or until chicken is tender and juice run clear.

Optional Toppings:

  • 2 tbsps low sodium corn
  • 2 tbsps Black beans
  • a handful of tortilla strips

Putting it all together

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 chicken fajita strips
  • 2-3 tbsps Pico de Gallo
  • low sodium corn, black beans, tortilla strips, or other toppings
  • Pita bread, warmed on low for 5 minutes
  • 1-2 cups of salad mix
  • 1/4 cup of Mexican cheese
  • Taco sauce, optional

Directions:

  1. Combine chicken, pico de gallo, corn, salad mix, cheese, and taco sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Stuff above mixture into pita bread and enjoy!

Pepperoni Panini

Pizza and sandwiches are two of my favorite things (along with bright copper kettles), so anytime I can combine the two into one and form some kind of extra-cheesy lovechild I’m there.

Hence, the Pepperoni Panini*. It’s cheesy. It’s pesto-y. It’s just what you need when you don’t want to make the poor pizza guy come out in Florida’s unpredictable weather.

* Who cares that it’s not technically a panini? We love alteration and we’re rolling with it.

Pepperoni Panini

 

Ingredients:

  • 3-6 sandwich-sized pepperonis
  • 2 slices of Italian bread
  • 2-4 tsps of pesto
  • 1 slice of Havarti Cheese
  • 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella, Asiago, Muenster, and Parmesan cheese
  • 3-4 sun dried tomato slices
  • 1/8 tsp each of parsley, oregano, and basil
  • 2-2 1/2 tbsps olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat pepperonis on stovetop over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on either side. Drain.
  2. Spread half of the pesto on either side of the Italian bread.
  3. Top one slice of the bread with pepperonis, parsley, oregano, basil, cheeses, and sun dried tomatoes. Place other slice of bread on top.
  4. Pour half of the olive oil into a small, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook sandwich until golden brown on one side. Remove sandwich, add olive oil, and replace sandwich on uncooked side. Cook until golden brown.
  5. Serve with sea salt and vinegar chips, baked french fries, or pasta salad.

Moon Madness III – Ami’s Bento

This week’s Moon Madness meal is dedicated to Ami Mizuno aka Sailor Mercury. Ami’s always been the practical scout, so it’s no wonder that her favorite food is equally as practical–the sandwich. It’s portable and delectable with a thousand different interchangeable breads, meats, cheeses, and sauces, the perfect meal for someone who likes both order and variety. In the Sailor Moon episode titled “Food Fetish,” Ami can be seen eating not one, but two sandwiches while typing away at Quicksilver-like speed on her keyboard (always hard at work, that Ami, even on her lunch break). So here’s to Amy, the sandwich queen of the universe (and fellow Virgo 🙂 )!

Sandwiches: Some Assembly Required

I chose to make three different sandwich combinations, but feel free to mix and match ingredients or to add ingredients of your own!

Southwest Turkey: 

  • Italian bread, cut into a circle*
  • Southwest-style turkey breast, shaved
  • 1 slice of pepperjack cheese
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 tbsp ranch or Caesar dressing

Breadcrumb Fried Chicken:

  • Italian bread, cut into a circle*
  • 1 fried chicken tender, chopped
  • 1 slice muenster cheese
  • 2-4 wonton crisps
  • 1 tbsp savory cabbage, green cabbage, sliced carrots, green onion, and cilantro, shredded
  • 1/2-1 tbsp of Zesty Italian dressing (or Sesame ginger dressing for the adventurous)

Oven Roasted Turkey Breast:

  • Italian bread, cut into a circle*
  • Oven roasted turkey breast, shaved
  • 1 tomato, tossed in pepper and sea salt
  • 1/2-1 tbsp(s) honey mustard
  • 2 slices of cucumber, thin

* I used a large biscuit cutter to make the bread circular. DON’T throw away excess bread. Use it to make croutons or bread crumbs.

Directions:

  1. Assemble sandwiches (leave off the last ingredient in the breadcrumb fried chicken sandwich) and bake at 350 degrees for 2-3 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted and cheese is melted (yes, we baked the sauces, too!)

Sandwiches beg for crunchy sides. Zucchini chips and Truffle Fries add just the right texture.

Zucchini Chips

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Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, for eggs
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, for eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place cooking rack on top of baking sheet.
  2. Cut zucchini into thin slices, about the width of two knife blades.
  3. Combine eggs, 1/2 tsp sea salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Combine bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp of parsley in a medium-sized bowl.
  5. Dip and coat zucchini slices into egg mixture.
  6. Dip coated zucchini slices into bread crumb mixture. Place slices onto cooking rack.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for 15 additional minutes or until zucchini chips are golden brown and crunchy.

Truffle Fries

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Ingredients:

  • 1 russet potato
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp(s) sea salt
  • 2 tbsps truffle oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Clean potatoes and cut into 1/4 inch strips.
  3. Place potatoes into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Coat with all other ingredients and mix well.
  4. Bake for 15-17 minutes on either side or until crispy and cooked throughout.

 

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