An American Classic – Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

IMG_4485

5862DD83-E352-4FCD-B04A-FB4C157B8F57

An American classic cannot be easier!

PANTRY TOMATO SOUP

  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Flour
  • 1 24 ounce can Tomatoes (can be crushed, whole, sauce, etc.)
  • 24 ounces water (use can to measure out while cooking)
  • 2 Bouillon Cubes (veggie, beef, and chicken all work)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Over medium heat, melt butter and add chopped onion. Sautee until onions are translucent and start to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Add flour and stir to coat onions, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and water, stir in boullion and season to taste. Simmer about half an hour. Transfer mixture to blender and blend until totally smooth. You can add cream or cheese to thicken, if desired.

09D315C0-2536-4DC8-93C8-E360E206CA9C

 

Ask Anna – I’m Here to Help

IMG_4485

I cannot believe my last post on this blog was back in 2016. And yet, I can believe it. 2016 was the year I was licensed in real estate and also the year I decided to leave retail management for good. As I was building my real estate business, the time for blogging about food subsided. I traded lengthy articles with recipes for quick instagram posts, focusing mainly on the visual, occasionally sharing how things were done.

One of my New Years resolutions in 2019 was to get back in the habit of blogging.  I showed some new friends my old stuff and they were anxious for more. On a happy note for my career, 2019 was my best year in real estate to date, and I just wasn’t home cooking as much, let alone writing about it. I literally traded writing contracts and client emails for recipes.

Life is short, and it’s important to attribute time to your hobbies and passions. With all the fear and uncertainty in the world, especially here in the United States and we are navigating this COVID-19 Pandemic and all the self-quarantine going on around us, I realized I am in a position to help people. This isn’t any sort of grand nobel-peace prize actions. I just have a quirky and unique skill set when it comes to food.

Yesterday at least 3 friends reached out looking for cooking help or advice. As supermarket supplies dwindle and more restaurants shut their doors, cooking well and at home for your family with what you have on hand can be challenging or difficult. I lived through the great recession and I also suddenly lost a very lucrative position in 2015 – both incidents that taught me to be very thrifty and frugal with my food budget, but also creative. You may look at a jar of tahini and think, I don’t even have chickpeas, I only use this stuff for hummus. I will look at that same jar and make sesame noodles, tahini chocolate chip cookies, salad dressing, and more.

Reach out if you’re stuck, I’ll help you find inspiration on a shoestring budget.

Thai Chicken and Pineapple Fried Rice

AC_PANTRYPROJECTIMG_3795

As I get the Accidental Pantry Project underway, I made my first dish tonight with stuff in my pantry and fridge. Recently I went  a Thai restaurant with some girlfriends and fell in love with the Pineapple Fried Rice. I tried to recreate the same at home. Overall I am pleased with the dish, but the rice turned out stickier than I would have liked. Next time I am going to cook the rice itself (meaning single ingredient, not whole dish) with a bit more oil and let it cool before mixing it into the stir fry.

My project is still in its early phases, and I have not taken full inventory of the food I have here at home, but I will add the food cost/savings at a later date.

THAI CHICKEN AND PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE

1 cup Thai-style Jasmine rice
1 pound chicken, cut into strips or cubes
2 cups frozen pineapple chunks, thawed and chopped into smaller chunks
1/2 onion, diced
3 scallions, chopped – white divided from green
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1 tablespoon red curry paste
2 tablespoons ginger paste
1/4 cup sesame oil, divided
1/4 cup liquid aminos or soy sauce
2 eggs, raw

  1. Prepare rice according to package directions, set aside to cool
  2. In a wok or large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, add chicken and stir fry until browned and about 75% cooked (do not overcook because it will get cooked again later). Remove from skillet and set aside
  3. In same wok, heat about another tablespoon of sesame oil. Add onions, white scallions, and garlic. Cook until lightly browned
  4. Add cashews, ginger paste, and curry paste. Cook about another minute
  5. Add rice, rest of oil, liquid aminos, and chicken. Stir fry mixture about 3-4 minutes until rice starts to take on a golden brown color. Adjust seasonings to your preference
  6. Crack eggs above mixture and stir into the rice, cooking about one more minute
  7. Garnish with green scallions. Dish serves 4