From Mess Hall to Bistro

Trying to keep my sanity in tact, while keeping bellies full

Monday, February 23, 2015

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I've been craving some broccoli cheddar soup for a couple of weeks. Serious cravings here. I picked up some Campbell's Broccoli Cheese soup, but that didn't hit the spot. As it turns out, I don't like Campbell's soup very much at all. So anyway, we woke up Saturday morning to a fresh coating of snow, and I knew that was the perfect day for this soup! 


2 heads of broccoli, steamed 
1 quart chicken stock
1 pint half and half
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, shredded
2 stalks celery, diced
16 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter on low heat. Whisk in flour and continue cooking on low until it's browned slightly. Whisk in stock. While all that's going on, in another pan saute the onion, then add in carrots and celery until tender, then add to roux. Add in half and half and continue cooking on low until it starts to thicken slightly. Add in about half the steamed broccoli. Use and immersion blender to break down the veggies. The soup should be fairly smooth at this point. Add in the cheese and the rest of the broccoli. Keep stirring to melt all the cheese. I used 8 oz of some fancy pants sharp cheddar cheese and 8 oz of Kraft sharp cheddar. It was a good combination. I don't think there's any need to use all expensive cheeses, but I did like having something with a little more bite than just Kraft shreds. 

This kind of soup really begs for a bread bowl, but I didn't plan that far in advance. I did have a loaf of sourdough though, and that worked quite well too! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

#fabFortville Tour

Last night, I got to check explore the great town of Fortville. Fortville is a small town just outside of Indianapolis. Even though I'm only about 20 minutes away, I can honestly say before last night I had never stopped in any of the shops in Fortville. I had driven through main street many times so the area was familiar, but I had never really explored.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


We have really been enjoying these make ahead breakfast sandwiches lately. We decided to have them again this week for breakfast, but I wanted to do something a little different. Two thoughts came to mind:

1) I really should eat more vegetables, especially at breakfast. I have no problem getting enough fruit in each day, and I love vegetables but still sometimes struggle getting in enough servings. Why not add more at breakfast?

2) I love potatoes. I love hash browns with breakfast. I should incorporate hash browns into my breakfasts more often.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

If I knew just how good these were going to turn out, I would have taken pictures. Lots of pictures. Although, with just a couple of ingredients, I don't know what these pictures would have been of. But since I didn't, you'll have to be satisfied with this one picture. (which should be enough to make you drool)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

Since our October Unprocessed experiment, we haven't been eating as much cereal. Actually, we eat very little cereal now, if any. I've settled into a nice pattern of making breakfasts for us on Sunday evenings that we will have for the following week, and it's working out very well for us. This week, I made breakfasts sandwiches and they were a big hit all around!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Slow Cooker Rabbit

Continuing my underappreciated meats theme here, let me tell you about the most delicious, tender rabbit dish we had last night. My stepson helped my uncle to process some rabbits over the weekend, and his payment was a whole rabbit. These rabbits are raised on a farm, so they don't have a gamey taste, which I'm told wild rabbit does. I will admit I've never had wild rabbit, so I don't exactly have a frame of reference here, but the rabbits we get from him are very tasty!


1 whole rabbit 
A few slices of bacon (I use bacon ends)
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T rosemary
2 t tarragon

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dutch Oven Lamb Neck

I've always rooted for the underdog. Maybe that's why I look for under appreciated cuts of meat. So when I saw lamb neck slices available, I had to try them out. We're big fans of lamb around here, and I had a new cast iron dutch oven that I was itching to try out, so this would be perfect.


Lamb Neck Slices, generously salted
Olive Oil
1 pint chicken stock
4 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T rosemary
2 t cumin
1/2 c red wine
1 pint diced tomatoes
1 c royal blend rice
salt and pepper to taste

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