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  1. Tuesday, February 10

    Chicken Kai Pa Lo: A Restaurant-Worthy Recipe If I’ve Ever Made One!

    I love Penzeys Spices. In fact, one of the things I miss most about living in Menlo Park is having a Penzeys store just down the street. Since the nearest store is now about 45 minutes away, I really appreciate getting the catalog that much more. And, unlike the store, the catalog is filled with all kinds of great recipes.

    recipe for chicken kai pa lo, a thai soup with rice and soft-boiled eggs that is SCRUMPTIOUS from @janemaynard

    Nate got his hands on the latest catalog and requested that I make three of the recipes in it, so we’ve been doing one Penzeys recipe a week. I started with a recipe for Chicken Kai Pa Lo, a Thai soup served with rice and soft-boiled eggs. Kai pa lo is traditionally made with pork, but this particular recipe called for dark meat chicken.

    recipe for chicken kai pa lo, a thai soup with rice and soft-boiled eggs that is SCRUMPTIOUS from @janemaynard

    This dinner was GOOD. Nate and I loved it and the kids all liked it, too. In fact, 7-year-old Anna was especially enamored with this dish and practically licked the bowl clean. Nate and I both agreed that this kai pa lo tasted as good as anything we’ve eaten at a Thai restaurant. I am so glad Nate got me to try this recipe. Penzeys once again for the win!

    recipe for chicken kai pa lo, a thai soup with rice and soft-boiled eggs that is SCRUMPTIOUS from @janemaynard

    For the eggs, I highly recommend you follow my friend Irvin’s technique for making soft-boiled eggs. Our soft-boiled eggs came out perfectly. The soup itself has a wonderful Asian flavor that is very comforting, and the recipe is surprisingly simple to make. You won’t have to slave in the kitchen to make an impressive meal!

    Chicken Kai Pa Lo
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    This recipe originally came from a Penzeys Catalog and was submitted by one of their customers Jennifer Sombutmai. I have modified the recipe by adjusting measurements and making them more specific, and I changed the meat used to speed the cooking process.
    Author:
    Serves: 6-8
    Ingredients
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • Half of a medium yellow onion, diced
    • 4 fresh garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a garlic press
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    • 1 tablespoon chicken soup base (Penzeys sells this, I also use "Better Than Bouillon" from the store)
    • 6 cups water
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 soft boiled egg per serving
    • 1½ tablespoons Chinese Five Spice
    • Chopped green onions (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
    2. While the onions are cooking, mix together the soy sauce, garlic powder and white pepper. Rub this mixture on both sides of the chicken pieces.
    3. Once the onions are translucent, add fresh garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Push the onions to the side of the pot a bit and add the chicken pieces to the center of the pot. Brown chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes a side.
    4. Add the soup base to the pot then pour in the water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook uncovered until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. I use a thermometer to check for doneness - chicken is ready at 160º F.
    5. Remove chicken from the pot and shred/cut into bite-sized pieces. Add the five spice and brown sugar to the pot, stir well, then return chicken to the pot. Simmer 5-10 more minutes.
    6. Serve soup in a bowl with jasmine rice and a soft-boiled egg. Top with green onions if using.

     


  2. Friday, April 26

    White Chicken Chili

    Last week I decided to make white chicken chili for the first time, which involved using two ingredients I’ve never worked with before: hominy and poblano chili peppers.

    America's Test Kitchen White Chicken Chili Recipe

    Honestly, I was skeptical of the hominy. Like I said, I had never used it before and when I opened the can, the smell was reminiscent of corn nuts. I can’t stand the smell of corn nuts, by the way, so I was really hoping the soup would turn out! I am happy to report that the soup not only turned out but was very delicious and a big hit with every member of the family. In case you are wondering, it tasted nothing like corn nuts. PHEW! Nate came home from work, looked in the pot and declared that he was certain he was going to love this soup, even before he knew what it was. And he did!

    America's Test Kitchen White Chicken Chili

    I used the white chicken chili recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook. So far every recipe I’ve used from that book has been a winner. The recipes have all been delicious and quick! This chicken chili was no exception. This recipe was simple to prepare and was no problem to throw together on a busy weeknight. I will include my various notes on the recipe below!

    White Chicken Chili
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Poultry
    Ingredients
    • 1 15-ounce can white or yellow hominy (ATK recommends white because it has a deeper flavor)
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (Jane note: I used two chicken breasts)
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 3 poblano chili peppers (Jane note: I only used 1) – de-seed and core the pepper, then chop
    • 1 onion, chopped fine (Jane note: I only used ⅓ of a large yellow onion)
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced (Jane note: I used my garlic press)
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (Jane note: I didn’t use coriander b/c I didn’t have it in the cupboard and didn’t feel like buying it)
    • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (Jane note: I used ¼ teaspoon of black pepper because I am out of cayenne, which makes me very sad – I need to rectify that!)
    • ½ cup tomatillo salsa or salsa verde
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (Jane note: I bought flat leaf parsley instead of cilantro, which I didn’t discover until I took it out to start chopping. I was SO bummed because cilantro would taste wonderfully in this soup, but I just went with the parsley because that’s what I had. I am happy to report that the parsley was also very delicious! So, feel free to choose the herb you like better and go with it!)
    Instructions
    1. Process the hominy with 1 cup broth in blender of food processor until smooth.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, season with salt & pepper then brown chicken lightly on both sides, about 5 minutes. (If you don’t have a dutch oven, a large pot should work.) Transfer chicken to a plate. Add remaining oil, poblanos and onion to the pot and cook until onions and peppers are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, garlic, cumin, corinader (if using) and cayenne (or pepper) and cook about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in remaining 3 cups broth, deglazing the bottom of the pan. I used a flat whisk here and it worked very well, but a standard whisk will suffice.
    3. Stir in pureed hominy. Add chicken, along with any accumulated juices, and simmer gently over medium-low to medium heat until chicken registers 160 degrees, about 10 minutes. I highly recommend using an instant-read thermometer so that you don’t overcook the chicken – it will be super tender if you cook until 160 degrees. Remove chicken, shred then return to soup. Add salsa, cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 1 minute then serve!

     


  3. Tuesday, October 11

    Sipping Once, Sipping Twice, Sipping Chicken Soup with Rice

    I absolutely loved Maurice Sendak books when I was a kid. All of his books stand out clearly in my memory, from the wild things to the naked boy in the night kitchen to chicken soup with rice. Chicken soup with rice holds a very nostalgic place in my mind because of his book, even though I never actually ate it as a kid.

    One of the many delicious meals that we’ve received from friends this past week was chicken soup with rice. It was SOOOO yummy. (Maurice would definitely approve.) Nate and I were literally fighting over the leftovers the next day. (He won, but in exchange he had to get me lunch at Cafe Borrone.)

    My friend Mary Jo made the soup for us. I of course asked her for the recipe. She told me there was no recipe. I told her too bad and that she still had to write out exactly what she did for me. Thankfully, she obliged! I’m just hoping I’ll be able to recreate it!

    Mary Jo’s Chicken Soup with Rice
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 3 chicken breasts, bone-in skin on rib attached
    • onion
    • carrots
    • rice
    • chicken broth
    • cornstarch
    • salt
    • pepper
    Instructions
    1. Boil 3 chicken breasts that have the skin still on and the rib attached, along with a chopped onion for maybe 25-30 minutes in a big pot. Save the broth.
    2. Cook some carrots (I did them separately in another pan just so they don’t get over-cooked in the soup pot.
    3. Cook some rice in a couple of cans of chicken broth—again not in the soup pot with the broth you’re saving. (I hate to use up all the good broth in the big pot)
    4. Tear the chicken off the bones and discard the bones and skin.
    5. Thicken the broth in the pot with some cornstarch.
    6. Add the chicken, carrots, rice. Season (salt, pepper, garlic salt—whatever) (Jane note: I could taste the black pepper in Mary Jo’s soup and that was one of my favorite aspects of the flavor.)
    7. Pour in some frozen peas that you’ve run some hot water over for a minute—the soup will cook them the rest the way, so they’ll hopefully remain a little green, rather than turn yellow.

     


  4. Thursday, March 17

    Butternut Squash Cauliflower Leek Soup…my first CSA creation!

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Every year I try to plan a fantastic green feast. And this year I still don’t know what I’m doing! However, I just took a gander at what we ate last year, and it was great inspiration. I think we’ll have green chicken piccata, green mashed potatoes (potatoes from our CSA bag) and baby broccoli (also from our CSA bag). I’m sad I didn’t get a corned beef to cook, but maybe we can get one on sale tomorrow and enjoy it a few days late!

    I do have a good non-green recipe to share with you today, however. Last week I was planning to make butternut squash soup, since I had ordered butternut squash with my CSA bag. When it arrived, I got two baby butternut squashes. While super cute, they weren’t going to provide quite enough squash for the recipe. However, I had three leeks in the bag and a beautiful head of cauliflower, so I made some modifications. The result – a deliciously buttery soup with great flavor!

    Butternut Squash Cauliflower Leek Soup...my first CSA creation!
     
    A deliciously buttery soup with great flavor!
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    Ingredients
    • 2 small butternut squashes (or the equivalent amount…probably about 2 pounds or so)
    • 3 leeks, green tops cut off, and leeks cleaned and chopped into 1-inch pieces
    • ½ head cauliflower
    • 2 T butter
    • about a teaspoon ground ginger
    • 5 cups chicken stock
    • salt and pepper to taste
    Instructions
    1. Half butternut squash and roast in the oven until easily pierced with a knife, 45-60 minutes. Steam cauliflower until cooked but not mushy.
    2. Melt butter in large soup pan. Saute leeks in butter 5-10 minutes, until soft. Add ginger and let cook a minute or two more. Add broth and bring to a boil. Carefully add cauliflower and scoop out the butternut squash from the skins and add to the pot as well. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes.
    3. Carefully blend soup in batches until it is all smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Eat!

     


  5. Tuesday, May 4

    Tuscan Bread Soup

    Wanted to share a quick recipe with you today. It’s another one from Everyday Food: Fresh Flavors Fast. While the pasta dish I shared with you last week was definitely yummier than this one, I still really like this soup.

    tuscan bread soup web

    One quick note. You’re supposed to add 1-inch chunks of bread into the soup and simmer for 20 minutes or so. The theory is that the bread absorbs the broth and thickens the soup. We all agreed that the bread was too slimy. And I liked the broth soup before the bread supposedly thickened it. I think the best approach would be to make homemade croutons and top them on the soup when serving. If you really want to stay true to the soup, just make sure your bread pieces aren’t too big.

    Tuscan Bread Soup
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    Ingredients
    • 6 ounces country bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 large onion, cut into ¼-inch pieces (I used only ½ of an onion)
    • 3 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick pieces
    • 2 celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch thick pieces
    • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (I used 2-3 tablespoon)
    • ½ head napa cabbage, halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (6 cups)
    • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth (I used vegetable broth to make it completely meatless. I also used about 1 additional cup than called for.)
    • 2 cups water (I think I did an extra cup or so)
    • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry, tossing half-way through, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven. (Jane note: Next time I make this I will toss the bread with some olive oil, salt & pepper, then toast as directed.)
    2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add onion, carrots, celry and garlic; season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
    3. Add cabbage, chicken broth, the water and toasted bread. (Jane note: Next time I will add about ⅓ of the bread pieces at this point in the recipe and reserve the rest as a topping for the soup when served.) Simmer over medium heat until soup is thickened, 15-20 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, and stir in parsley.

     


  6. Wednesday, February 24

    Corn Chowder

    It’s rainy and cold here in the Bay Area. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s a lot colder elsewhere, too. So how about some smoky, warm, cozy corn chowder?

    corn chowder 2 web

    This recipe is from my friend Adrianne’s mom. (Adrianne just had a baby! Welcome to the world, Baby Claire!) Adrianne is an excellent cook – every recipe or cooking advice she’s given me has always been spot on. This recipe is no exception. It’s a fairly straightforward crock pot recipe. The bacon gives it a nice salty and smoky flavor. And, despite the fact it contains half & half AND cheese, the soup is not too thick, but instead has a great consistency.

    I have a few other corn chowder recipes posted at this link from a Call for Recipes I did ages ago, in case you feel like shopping around for more corny recipes.

    Corn Chowder
     
    From Adrianne Campbell’s Mom
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    Ingredients
    • 2 small onions, chopped
    • 4 slices of bacon
    • 2 celery stalks,chopped
    • 2 potatoes, chopped (Jane note: I leave the skins on, but you can peel them if you like)
    • 4 cups corn (frozen or canned)
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • *****************************
    • 1 Bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon. salt
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • 2 tablespoon butter
    • 2 tablespoon flour
    • 1½ cups cream or half n’ half
    • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
    Instructions
    1. Cook onions, bacon & celery, put in slow cooker. Add potatoes, corn, broth, bay leaf, salt & pepper. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Take bay leaf out and throw away. On the stove top, melt butter, add the flour so it makes a paste. Cook until light brown. Slowly add the cream to the paste, heat until it thickens. DO NOT BOIL! Move it from the heat, add the cheese and mix until melted. Add this mixture to the slow cooker mixture. Stir well and serve.

     


  7. Tuesday, February 16

    Creamy Potato Leek Soup (without the cream!)

    I haven’t mentioned my Eat Less Meat Challenge lately, so thought it was time for a quick update…along with a recipe! The challenge is going very well! We’ve definitely been eating less meat overall and we are not feeling deprived one bit. I think knowing we can still eat meat occasionally really makes the whole challenge realistic for us, and we still feel like we’re making a difference. I’m so happy that I set this resolution and, for those of you who have joined along in the challenge, I hope you’re having an equally positive experience!

    creamy potato leek soup web

    Last week I made Creamy Potato Leek soup, adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe. Our whole family enjoyed the soup, especially our 2 year old! The soup has a nice creamy texture without having to use cream. It’s a nice mild soup yet still full of flavor. I love leeks and pretty much love any soup that has them in the recipe. Without further ado…

    Creamy Potato Leek Soup (without the cream!)
     
    Adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    Ingredients
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped, white and green parts
    • 2 minced garlic cloves (I used my garlic press)
    • 6 cups vegetable broth
    • Appx 1½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
    Instructions
    1. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large pot. Add leeks, cook while stirring until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and potatoes. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are tender, ~30 minutes.
    2. Blend soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Return to pot and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Makes 4-6 servings.

     


  8. Monday, January 18

    Pesto Tortellini Soup

    I received this recipe from Sarah Arnett, one of my lovely readers! She said that it’s a hit every time she serves it and I can see why. I made this soup last week and it was fantastic!

    easy, fast and delicious pesto tortellini soup from @janemaynard

    I must admit, this was the first time I have cooked with vegetable broth. I’ve always been a bit suspect that the flavor would not be as robust, but it was.  I was very pleased with the results.

    easy, fast and delicious pesto tortellini soup from @janemaynard

    Bonus – this is an EASY and FAST recipe. You’re going to love it.

    Pesto Tortellini Soup
     
    From Sarah who got it from a friend who got it from a vegetarian cookbook…we apologize to the cookbook for not knowing who you are!
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    Ingredients
    • ½ small onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 T butter
    • 6 C vegetable or chicken broth
    • 1 9-oz package tortellini
    • 2 C frozen mixed vegetables
    • ¼ C prepared pesto
    • Fresh grated parmesan cheese
    Instructions
    1. In a large pot, saute onion, garlic and butter until onions are translucent.
    2. Add broth and bring to boil.
    3. Add tortellini and cook 1-2 minutes less than the package directions.
    4. Add the frozen vegetables and simmer soup until vegetables are heated through.
    5. Stir in pesto and serve. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

     


  9. Tuesday, January 5

    Tuscan Tomato Soup

    My aunt recently sent an email to my extended family inviting everyone over for “amazing tomato soup you don’t want to miss,” or something to that effect. Well, I didn’t want to miss the soup, but I had no choice since I live nowhere near any family! I knew I had to eat this soup one way or another. Thankfully she shared the recipe, saving me a few hundred dollars in airfare.

    tuscan tomato soup web

    This Tuscan Tomato Soup is very yummy.  And easy to make! Quick disclaimer before you start thanking me for sharing a healthy recipe to complement your New Years diet resolutions. Um, yeah, there’s cream in it. But cream has protein and calcium, right? Are you with me, health gurus?

    Tuscan Tomato Soup
     
    Prepared by Chef Kent Andersen from Chef’s Table in Orem, UT- modified by Jane Maynard (that’s me!)
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    Ingredients
    • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    • 1 Onion, Small dice
    • 3 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes (original recipe: 5 Cups Diced and Seeded Tomatoes)
    • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
    • 1.5 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
    • 1 Cup Basil Pesto (Auntie Barb likes Target’s pesto better than Costco’s; I used Trader Joe’s, which was 1 oz short of a cup but still tasted great; you could always make it, I suppose)
    • Salt and Pepper, to taste
    Instructions
    1. Heat oil in a medium large soup pot. Add onions and cook over moderately low heat until completely translucent. Add tomatoes and allow to warm to a simmer. Add chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 15 minutes to allow for interchange of flavors.
    2. Add whipping cream. Add pesto.
    3. Blend to desired consistency in a food processor or blender. (Barbara reserves a little bit of the soup un-blended so there are some chunks.) Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

     


  10. Friday, October 16

    Cream of Mushroom Soup

    I know, I know…another soup recipe! Apparently there is a theme to my cooking lately…an unplanned theme, but a good one nonetheless. Tonight I made cream of mushroom soup. This is one of my favorite kinds of soup, and this recipe was perfect.

    cream of mushroom soup 1 web

    Quick note, all of the soups I shared this week can easily be made vegetarian by substituting in vegetable broth.

    Anyway, I’m sure you want the recipe, so here goes! I found it on Simply Recipes…Elise is one of my blogging buddies whom I have had the pleasure of actually spending some time with. She’s a gem. And so is her soup.

    Cream of Mushroom Soup
     
    Modified from a recipe by Elise Bauer on Simply Recipes – I modified based on what I had in the kitchen tonight, but it was really yummy so wanted to document exactly what I did
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    Ingredients
    • 1 pound regular white mushrooms, cleaned, quartered or sliced (2/3 of my mushrooms were white, ⅓ were mini portobello)
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1tablespoon butter
    • 2 finely chopped shallots (the recipe only called for 2 TBSP…I misread it, but the flavor was actually really lovely with two whole shallots, so there you go!)
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme (I only had about ¼ tsp of thyme left in my shaker, but the soup still tasted great!)
    • ½ bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1½ cups chicken broth
    • 4 tsp Wondra (or flour could work) dissolved in 2 Tbsp water
    Instructions
    1. Coarsely chop mushrooms and lemon juice in a food processor.
    2. Melt butter in (4-5 quart) sauce pan and lightly sauté shallots on medium heat. Add mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf, sauté over moderate heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid that is released from the mushrooms disappears.
    3. Add salt, pepper, cream and chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
    4. Add flour slurry and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.