Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday Soup for the Soul

Have you ever wanted to make a loaf of fresh bread but didn’t have any yeast on hand? Perhaps you are in the mood for a warm slice of home made bread but don’t have the time or patience for starting a loaf from scratch? That’s what happens to me and I used to be in love with the ease of the bread machine. But, there again if you are out of yeast it leaves you scratching your head instead of scratching up a loaf of bread. I felt like a day in the kitchen, now that I’m getting past the flu and back to normal. I started a wonderful pot of cream of broccoli soup. As it simmered on the stove I thought we need something else to go with it. My husband has been back in the kitchen brewing his own beer again, and there are several bottles in the garage refrigerator that he’s displeased with, so I grabbed a bottle and made a batch of beer bread. I love the ease of making beer bread. The beer and the baking powder combine and create the gasses the loaf needs to rise and the taste and smell is fabulous. So, I threw a batch together and in the oven it went. So, now I’m thinking I have a nice pot of home made broccoli soup and fresh hot from the oven beer bread with a garlic butter I threw together. Now we need a nice dessert. There is something special about chocolate on a cold sunny Sunday. What better to tantalize our taste buds than a lava chocolate cake? And, the kids love that they are served individually in their own little dishes.

I know you are thinking that’s a lot of in the kitchen time, but it truly wasn’t and well worth the little bit of effort when my daughter just came out and said “this is a wonderful day mom, you are the best cook and you make the greatest things!” Who can trade words like that for a bit of time in the kitchen? Not to mention my middle son helped me with some of it and we both enjoy that time together. We had to run to the store and grab some cheese and eggs and he and I really appreciate those moments when he and I are alone together like that.

My eighteen year old came in from work and smelled the fragrant scents wafting from the kitchen and said he was “stoked” that I made soup. Moments like those where your kids look at you with that love in their eyes is well worth anything.

So, if you need a great kid friendly dinner that doesn’t take a lot of trouble I thought I would share my recipes.

Cream of Broccoli soup

One onion minced in the food processor

4 cloves of fresh garlic minced in the food processor

One large bag frozen broccoli minced in the food processor

½ stick butter

2 cups chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbl cornstarch

2 quarts 1% milk/or Hood’s calorie countdown

Melt butter in the pan mixing in the cornstarch. Add the onion and garlic and broccoli and mix around sautéing. Add chicken stock and let come to a simmer. Add milk, salt and pepper and simmer until ready to eat. Add shredded cheddar cheese to your liking.

Beer Bread



341 milliliter

Bottle Beer (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon

Sesame Seeds

2¾ cup

All-Purpose Flour

4 teaspoon

Baking Powder

1 tablespoon

Granulated Sugar

½ teaspoon


¼ teaspoon

Dry Mustard

1¼ cup

Old Cheddar Cheese; shredded

This recipe for a delicious, no muss, no fuss, no yeast beer bread comes from Labatt's, to whom we are very grateful. Great with soup and/or salad.

Pour beer into bowl; let stand. Toast sesame seeds in dry skillet over medium heat about 5 minutes, shaking pan gently, until fragrant and brown.

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, mustard and 1 cup cheese. Pour into beer; stir just to combine. Spread into greased 8 X 4-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and sesame seeds.

Chocolate Lava Cake

Makes 4 Chocolate Lava Cakes


  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 3.5 oz dark chocolate (this is one standard chocolate bar)
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 extra large egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Powdered sugar as needed

Melt the butter and chocolate together over a double-boiler, or microwave for a short time. Stir to combine. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is light yellow in color, and the sugar is dissolved.

About 3 minutes.

Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until combined. Sift in the flour, cocoa, and salt. Fold in with a spatula until combined. Spoon into 4 buttered 5-oz ramekins, and tap on the table to settle any air bubbles. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place ramekins in a baking dish and add water until it is halfway up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm. The cakes can be turn out, or served in the ramekins.

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