It's already cold in the mitten state.
It has been cold for the last several weeks and it is shifting into the time where making soup and stew is a weekly ritual. I happen to like a lot of different soups, but had been craving something I hadn't had in at least seven or eight years. Broccoli cheese soup is my absolute favorite soup for a few reasons...
One, I love broccoli, and I love cheese.
Two, It fills me up for a while.
And three, it makes me warm when it's cold.
I never really used somebody else's recipe because I thought it would be easy... I was right, but still, I should have looked at a recipe or two for some idea of ingredients besides the broccoli and cheese. To add cream or not to add cream? What cheese works best? Do I have to blend it? So many questions that I had in my head.
I wish I had some kind of awesome story to tack on with this recipe, but I don't. This wasn't something from my childhood, just something I sampled from a certain bread restaurant that we all know, and I found it way too salty so I made my own. Simple as that. What else is there?
So instead of a story about soup, I am going off on another tangent for a minute because I feel like the ending can be compared.
Right now, life is rough. You already know that I miss my dad and that I cannot say enough about that, but other things are happening too. Being an adult can suck sometimes, and right now, that is how I feel. I mean, we all get hit with it from time to time, and sometimes even all at once. For me, it's that every time that Bruce and I have something fixed, another thing is broken. Every. Single. Time. For instance, I swallowed my pride to talk to my mom about my car. I didn't exactly ask for money because I don't feel right to, but I did gripe about it. She gave us the money, and we got all the big things fixed that needed fixing; the muffler, the suspension, and some other important things that make the car safe to drive. We get that fixed and it's running great! I mean, there is still a little work left on the muffler, but it's so much better and we can actually hear ourselves think when we're on the highway, and relax instead of having our hearts in our throats in the hopes of not being pulled over for noise violation and get slapped with a ticket. All of that is great, right? Hallelujah! (FOREVER GRATEFUL!!!)
But then, bad news comes. "Hey, my uncle is in a coma, we need to come to the hospital." -- That was the day before my birthday that we went. "Hey, let's take you out to eat." Can't enjoy my food, dad isn't around to call and wish me a happy birthday, Bruce's uncle is on HIS way out and reminding me of Daddy, and then all kinds of little things: the water pressure being out of whack, not getting a hot shower and only getting cold bird baths from the sink... Stuff clogging, stuff breaking... People asking for money you don't have and you feel like a terrible person for letting them down. You start to wonder why on earth it's all happening at once and just want to yell at the air for being polluted.
And then you get a reminder of little things that don't suck. Being hugged by your spouse and cuddling up while asleep because the weather is cold, wrapping up in an afghan your late grandmother knitted because it's like being hugged, and eating a bowl of soup because it is also like a hug.
That is why I wanted to make soup. So I did...
Life is not all peaches and cream, but you can still dream of the cobbler they can make.
This is not diet food... But it is healthier than it could be.
I want to preface this recipe with a few things... First, I wanted to make it gluten free and not use a roux as a thickening agent. Two, I wanted it to be a little easier... Three, I wanted it to still be creamy, but I didn't want to add heavy cream. Little changes!
Putting it together...
Okay, potatoes? Yogurt?
Yes... You read the text right!
First, the taters... The taters replaces the starch that the flour in the roux would have given you, which helps the cheese to bind into the soup. I tested this out because I would like to pass it on to those who are on a gluten free diet can enjoy it too. (See, I DO love you. :P)
The greek yogurt is because I put sour cream instead of heavy cream, and I wanted that tangy flavor. The creaminess of the yogurt makes it more decadent.
I loved it with the changes!
I can honestly tell you that it still filled me up, that it tasted great, and that I couldn't even tell there were potatoes in there. The only reason I cannot call it diet food is for the fact that cheese is pretty fatty. But you CAN cut down on some of the fat so you can feel LESS guilty, and still feel like you did nothing out of the ordinary to your soup.
I normally don't use turmeric in my broccoli cheese soup, and that also helps because it enhances the flavor of the broccoli in all the right ways.
Some updates and other Stuff!
And that's all she wrote.
It is coincidental that I made Schnitzel and Spaetzel in October, but it stands to reason to label this as an Oktoberfest meal that you can pair with a good, German beer. I'd been craving it for quite some time but never really thought about actually making it. The idea actually only popped up as I worked on my collaboration project, seeing as I had a bunch of lemons leftover and Bruce had picked up a bunch of pork loin in a nice sale.
The last time I even ate Schnitzel was LCB100 in Culinary School (Very first cooking class in culinary school, or rather, the introductory course.) I don't quite remember which of the three meats we were told to use, though I am sure it was not veal, but I remembered that it really wasn't that hard to make that part of the dish. Instead of the dumplings, we made sauerkraut, which I do remember was better than the jarred junk by far.
I had never made the spaetzel before... not from scratch anyhow, so I was more into making that than the Schnitzel for this post, but it would be remiss of me not to give you the recipe for both, right? If I had remembered how to do the kraut and had the cabbage to do so, that would definitely have been added and this post would have been a threefer!
What I absolutely love about schnitzel is that it is part of my heritage; I do have a good chunk of German running through my bloodline. I do like to touch into the things that are associated with different parts of my blood so that I can share the diversity with you all. The other things that I love about it is that it is comforting to eat, and that it is interactive. Make the meal, serve it, let folks squeeze their own lemon onto the finished product and enjoy it with them.
It's a delightful treat to make every now and then and so easy to make. The spaetzel is fun to make, though it is sticky and messy, yet totally worth it in the end when you taste it. The hardest part is getting the dough made, and that isn't even hard either.
Both of the foods in question are fast to cook and truly simple to make that it will be done before you know it (depending on how many batches of each that you make.) Fair warning, also, this is not a diet food, it is meant to be treated as an occasional thing just like any other fried delight.
The Schnitzel Recipe
Eat, Drink, and be Merry!
I served mine with green beans too, but that was the vegetable on hand. It's like I stated, it can be served with kraut, and it is paired well with a German stout. This month is a great month for such a meal, but don't wait for Oktoberfest to come for you to make this dish because you can make it whenever you want. That is the greatest beauty of running your own kitchen! And please, please, please don't forget the squeeze of lemon. It is what makes it pop, it brightens the flavor!
I absolutely adore the simplicity of each part of the meal. The buttery flavor of the dumplings after they are sautéed? Yes, yes, all the yes. I promise you that it might look daunting, but it really is super easy once you have everything ready to cook! It is also quite worth the effort.
I hope that this brings you as much joy as it did me, and I hope that you enjoy the recipes.
The Eccentric Foodie
Cooking bacon in the oven is the easiest way.
These are various recipes that either I created, or I found and adjusted to what I thought would be awesome or even healthier.