Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The "cook" part of quilt.cook.keep

When I started blogging, I didn't give much thought to the name of my blog. I think I named it Heather Kojan's Blog, or something equally as creative. I blogged for about a month with a whopping 7 posts. Seven months later, I resumed and logged another 30 posts or so. About 7 months after that, I fell in love with quilting again, found flickr, found quilting blogs (how could there be so many talented people out there loving just what I love? And blogging about it? Amazing!) and decided it was time to really try to blog consistently. And, since I was sort of starting anew, I wanted a new name. But it seemed like all the good/cool names were already taken (you know the ones, with clever spins on sewing, or references to zombies, chickens, betty crocker.) I was on my own. I didn't want to make this only a blog about quilts. I'm multi-faceted! I have other interests! (Although you can't always tell that by my posts.) So, I decided on quilt.cook.keep. Quilt. Obvious. Cook. Love to. Keep. A little cryptic. I also like to scrapbook, and more recently digital scrapbook, and am the memory keeper for our family. And so, keep. Plus, I love me some alliteration! And there you have it: quilt.cook.keep.

And so, in keeping with the cook portion of our show, a little cooking from this afternoon. Since I am childless this week, I thought I'd do a little freezer cooking. Plus it was a good way to keep an eye on the earthquake coverage on TV. Oh yeah. We had an earthquake! In Maryland! How crazy is that?

First up: Apple Cheddar Scones. Do you know about Smitten Kitchen? Even if you don't like to cook, you have to go there for the eye candy. My SIL got me hooked on this site about a year ago, which is a little ironic, in that she pretty much hates to cook and I used to be a caterer. Since finding this recipe, I've made this 4 or 5 times. Make them now, and they will become a fall favorite. I'm making a bunch for the freezer. Lady Bug, aka Katie, does not like to eat at 6:30 AM. I thought I can tuck one or two of these in her lunch bag, and she can have a quick bite before classes begin.

The recipe says to roll them in a disk, cut into sixths. I just used my largest scoop and made little mounds. Oh, and I doubled the recipe, too.

It also says to freeze the unbaked dough. I don't see myself actually baking these on school mornings, so I just baked them all. From a doubled recipe, I got 21 scone scoops.

Next, broccoli cheese soup. My kids love this. My husband loves it. I love it. And, we had a big bag of broc that needed to be used.

Don't judge me because I use velveeta. When I was in management training for TGI Friday's, that's what they used for their broccoli cheese soup. It's perfect for this. I don't have a real recipe for this, and I change it up most times I make it, but it goes something like this:

Bring 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add a big bag of broccoli to the broth/water and bring to a boil. (I'm guessing about 2 1/2 lbs of broc went into this.) Simmer until broccoli is tender. In another large pot, melt 4 tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil. Add one chopped jumbo onion, and saute until translucent, about 10 mins or so. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour over onions and stir and cook for a minute or two, until the raw flour taste is cooked out (when it starts to smell like cookies is the best way I can describe it. You're making a roux!) Add 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 and one cup skim milk (that's what I had in the fridge - you can use whatever combo of dairy you like!) and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thick. Take a pound of chopped up velveeta, stir it into the sauce until it melts. (If you're still cringing over the velveeta, real cheese works fine too!) At this point, I take a stick blender and blend the onion mixture until it's smooth. Then, add in your broccoli/broth stuff, stir around and you're done! (I find that the broccoli breaks up just enough for me. I like it a little chunky. If you like it smoother, blend again.)

And finally, a little beverage. (Sorry, I'm not Sandra Lee. No cocktail.) Instead, Green Tea Lemonade! After plunking down $3.95 for a cup of this refresher at Starbucks more than a few times, I came up with my own.

In a two quart pitcher, steep 8-10 bags of green tea in a quart of boiled water (my new house has that instant hot water thing which at first I thought was ridiculous and now think is genius!) Leave it there for about 10 minutes, or until you remember it, which for me is anywhere from an hour to two days. Add one packet of Crystal Light lemonade mix, fill pitcher with ice cubes and fill remainder with cold water. That's it! The fresh lemon in the picture is just for show.

So, there you go! Cook times three!


evelyn said...

Those scones look great! I have a very similar cheese soup recipe.It uses Velveta. Best soup I ever made. Better the second day, and freezes well. Happy cooking!

pinsandneedles said...

I think I will need to try me these recipes. They look delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Karen said...

I like your blog for the variety, thank you.
We are happily people that do many things in addition to quilting. And then theirs the family and cooking. I prefer baking to cooking. Though hubby wants dinner once in awhile. Fine.
Thank you for staying with the blog. Look forward to future posts...K

Carol C said...

I'm not big on cooking. I have lots of cookbooks and think that someday I'll make wonderful things but mostly I just look at the pictures. LOL Not saying I don't know how just not my favorite thing in the world. That said, I do plan on trying your broccoli soup when the weather cools down. Love the variety in your blog too.

Debra said...

hi heather!

i want you to know that i have been thinking about your broccoli cheese soup since i read about it last week. so - tonight i made it and it is AMAZING! i have never really cooked with velveeta...my husband likes to make mac and cheese with it and it is the only reason we had it in the house. thank you so much for sharing this.

by the way....did you know that velveeta comes in a 2 lb box? just learned that lesson tonight. soup is REALLY cheesy...but still delicious!

thanks again!