What’s Cooking Wednesday: Birthday Edition

Today is my aunt’s birthday! It worked out perfectly because I was able to cook dinner for her and post a new recipe. This week I did my version of soup, salad and breadsticks- all things that I love. But I must warn, I don’t currently have a real digital camera. The lighting looks awful from my cell phone. I’ll just use one photo so you can see what I created.

Before I left, Rebecca and I had lunch at a pizza place and we had the best the tomato soup ever. It had gorgonzola cheese and was so delicious. I looked up some recipes and this is the one that I ended up trying. It was good, Aunt and Uncle liked it, but not quite as good as the original.

My bread balls were a little under baked, but I think if I had left them in just a few minutes longer, than they would have been perfect. I’m definitely going to try them out again. My aunt doesn’t like cake, so we put a candle in her biscuit and sang her Happy Birthday before the meal. 🙂

And the salad was basic- I really only had it because Derek hassles me to eat one green a day. And it’s good for me.

SHOPPING LIST:

56 oz of diced tomatoes (no salt added), drained
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
6 cloves garlic, pressed
1 pint half and half
2 tbsp basil
3/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola

6 tbsp  butter
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of paprika and black pepper (to taste)
1 cup flour
3 whole large eggs (use vegetarian-fed, cage free ones please)
4 oz cheese of your choice (coarsely grated)

salad greens and dressing of your choice

RECIPES:

Tomato Gorgonzola soup-

Pulse 56 oz of drained, diced tomatoes til like look soup-like (go figure). Let them sit for a minute while you cook 5 or 6 cloves of garlic (pressed) with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste on medium heat in a pot big enough to hold about 76 ounces of soup. You want this to cook until the paste starts to brown a little bit- took me about 3 or 4 minutes.

Alright, now you can dump the smooshed tomatoes into the pot. Stir it up nice and let cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to bubble. When you’re ready, add about 3/4 cups of crumbled gorgonzola. Stir some more until that until all the lumps go away and the soup looks smooth.

Next you’ll want to add 1 pint of half and half (I used the fat free kind, but you do what you want). Guess what, now you stir even more.

Remove from heat and add in some basil (fresh is better if you can) and other seasoning to taste (I added black pepper).

That’s it! Yum.

Cheesy Bread Balls-

Start by doing yourself a favor and pre-heating your oven to 375 degrees.

Then melt 6 tablespoons of butter (Paula Dean would be proud) with 1 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a pinch each of paprika and black pepper.

After you bring this to a boil, remove it from heat and add 3 cups flour all at once. Stir like crazy. It should pull away from the sides of the pot and form a ball. Done? Now put it back on the heat for a minute to remove moisture.

Take it off the heat again (this time for good- you can turn the burner off now).

Beat in one egg until it mixes well. Then add another egg- stirring quickly. Now add the third and final egg, repeat crazy stirring. You’re aiming for a smooth, glossy paste that easily falls from the spoon.

The next step is to stir in 4 ounces of coarsely grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar).

Plop onto a buttered cookie sheet (aim for about 1 inch balls– that’s what she said?) and bake for 25-35 minutes. The end result should be puffy, slightly browned, lightweight little biscuits. You can brush the dough with milk before baking to make it glossy and fancy, if you like.

Salad-

I just bought a spinach/spring mix blend and added a little leftover gorgonzola. The exciting part was the champagne vinaigrette I bought to top it- probably my new favorite salad dressing.

I give the meal a 7. It could use some improvement, but I’ll give myself a break since it was my first attempt at the soup and the bread. Give it a try- let me know if you have better success than I did.

And Happy Birthday Aunty Sharon!! I love you!

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