Frog eye soup was invented in my kitchen because of an ingredient shortage. We had plenty of groceries in the house. I am certain I was cooking for some holiday meal in the coming days.
My brother was making an unexpected visit that evening and I offered to make some homemade chicken noodle soup and sandwiches for dinner. I usually have chicken noodle soup ingredients on hand and I knew this would not require another trip to the store, because everyone knows I love chicken soup!!
I happily went about my business in the kitchen and started simmering some chicken breasts in chicken broth. I don’t always make a super-rich broth, especially when I am short on time.
I tossed in some onions, celery, and carrots. About 20 minutes before my brother was schedule to arrive I discovered I had no soup noodles!! What? At my house?
Curried Tomato Soup is based on two of my favorite dishes: tomato bisque and Indian butter chicken. Growing up I always ate the Campbell’s Tomato Soup. Up until recently, this was our go-to tomato soup. That was until I learned to make a solid tomato soup on my own.
If you’ve never been to an Indian restaurant, shame on you. My local Indian restaurant isn’t well visited by the locals, which is unfortunate because I believe they have some of the best food in town. My absolute favorite dish at this restaurant is their butter chicken. Butter chicken is a spiced (but not a hot spice, think cinnamon, cardamon, etc.) tomoato and coconut milk sauce that is used to simmer dark meat chicken. It’s absolutely fantastic with an order of garlic naan.
Anyways, one day while eating butter chicken with my wife during lunch, I had the thought of smashing together our tomato soup recipe with a butter chicken recipe. Curried tomato soup is our final result after tinkering with this recipe. We have also discovered that this recipe goes extremely well with our Indian Spiced Meatballs. Just toss the meatballs directly into your soup and you’ll be amazed.
For this recipe, you’ll probably need to head to your local Asian/Indian market. The karai methi will most likely be one of the more difficult items to fine. Since the flavor is so unique, I don’t know where to begin in terms of substitutions. For the Indian chili power, cayenne will work just fine. For some reason, the chili powder we picked up at our asian market is an order of magnitude hotter than your standard chili powder (which I’m ok with), but you may need to add more cayenne.
Before your soup is finished cooking, I recommend you taste your soup and season to your liking. Salt is important in this dish to make it pop. Sometimes I also like to go with more garam marsala and chili powder. If you add more spices to your soup at the end, be sure to let it simmer another 10-15 minutes to ensure the flavors are well incorporated.
A long time ago I had a friend that loved to cook Italian foods. Spaghetti Aglio Olio, a.k.a garlic pasta, and a red meatless “gravy” were the only two thing I ever cooked with that friend.
If you have read any of my other posts, you know that I can never leave well enough alone in a recipe and have taken liberties over the years to adjust this recipe to my own preferences. I think this is the way most folks cook Aglio Olio, as no two recipes ever seem the same.
The way I learned to cook Aglio Olio was to start with olive oil, garlic, and anchovies. I know that the anchovies are supposed to melt into the sauce and provide a rich flavor. I find it leaves too fishy of a taste for me and have chosen to not use them. If you like that flavor, all you have to do is add 4 to 6 anchovy filets to the cold skillet with the garlic and oil when you first start the dish.
Lazy Cream Horns were just an experiment in the kitchen to recreate cream horn flavor without having baking tubes handy. I could have ordered them online, and maybe one day I will, but for now I do not own any.
It is kind of like a Napoleon pastry, but instead of being filled with whipped cream or pastry cream, it is filed with a cream horn filling.
I had never heard of a cream horn before I met my husband. I never ate one until our first trip to Florida together. If I remember right, he found them at a gas station, wrapped individually. They seemed to be pretty elusive back then.
This recipe is a close relative of spiced crackers. The only real difference here is the choice of spice add in used. I prefer to keep the cayenne pepper out of my spiced crackers, but it pairs well with pretzels, at least in my mind.
Spicy Pretzels with a Kick pairs well with beer because of the kick. I like to serve these when we are having a few folks over to watch football games.
These pretzels also serve well as hostess gifts just like Peppermint Crunch and Spiced Crackers do.
Everyone needs an easy go to Holiday treat recipe. One that requires minimal ingredients and minimal time to make. Peppermint Crunch fits that bill.
It only has 3 ingredients. 4 ingredients if you decide to add peppermint flavoring to either chocolate layers.
Just like spiced crackers, this recipe makes great hostess gifts. It cost a bit more than crackers, but who doesn’t love chocolate and peppermint during the holidays. This is probably why we gain up to 5% of our weight over the holidays. I don’t deny that nuts, caramel, and cinnamon flavored treats are part of the problem.
Spiced crackers have many versions and many names across the cooking blogosphere and home kitchens. These are probably called “those crackers you make for Christmas gifts” more than any other name in my house. But, these are good anytime and I didn’t want to ban them other people’s houses just during the holiday season.
These crackers are very easy to make and definitely more frugal than anything loaded with chocolate or nuts. Packed into small baggies, the crackers make a great filler for a cookie tray that has a small space left and you are out of cookie cooking or candy making steam.
Larger containers of spiced crackers can work as a stand-alone hostess gift. I have used these crackers for both purposes.
New Orleans Style Bread Pudding is my kind of bread pudding. This bread pudding does not have large pieces of bread hanging out. This is creamier than other bread puddings, but not too egg-y.
It can be made with any kind of leftover bread that you have laying around. One day I would like to try this with stale cinnamon rolls. But, that would mean there were leftovers………..
I prefer making this with some dried out quick yeast rolls. I’m able to crumble them pretty quickly and these rolls absorb the liquid pretty easily. As you are mixing up this bread pudding, the consistency will look like really wet oatmeal. No worries, this will bake up and set just fine. If it needs a little extra baking time, that’s OK too. It just means crispier edges, which in my opinion is the best part.
Beef Salad is perfect for elegant cocktail parties and casual get-togethers. It’s all in the presentation with this one.
It is easy enough that even beginners should be able to pull off beef salad so long as they own a food processor or blender. I might be possible to mince the meat with a knife, but I have never done it. I am too lazy for all of that, and patience is NOT by strong suit.
This recipe can be scaled down to use leftover roast beef. I used to make it this way until I discovered that so many people liked it that I actually needed to make a full roast just for beef salad. This is another one of those dishes that I carry to others’ parties as an appetizer.
Witch’s Stew is just a Halloween party variation of Frog Eye Soup.
Frog Eye Soup is just a variation of chicken and pasta that had been started as a soup recipe and turned into more of a pasta dish. But the name has stuck in our family for about 20 years.
Frog Eye Soup got its name from the pasta shape that I had on hand for a Frog Eye Salad. For those of you who have never heard of Frog Eye Salad, it is kind of a sweet dish in which ambrosia and pasta salad got mixed up in the same bowl. It was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s.
I’ll try to make some in time for the spring holidays. Right now, my house is in full fall and winter holiday prep. For the blog anyway, you won’t find any carved pumpkins, graveyard scenes, or Christmas trees in the house just yet. But give it another month and you might.