Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pepperoni Pizza Soup

I made Oh Bite It's "Grilled Cheese Pull Apart Rolls" tonight for dinner and wanted a soup to go with it, since it is rainy and cold out. This was the perfect match for it.

One of the things I find I miss most is pizza, and I don't always want to go all out and make a fancy pizza on a puff pastry crust, so I created pizza soup to mimic the flavor of pizza without the crust. I use shortcuts, like canned tomato soup, so that I can whip up a pot of soup in no time at all.

This particular recipe is for a Pepperoni Pizza Soup, but you are welcome to omit that and make it a vegetarian soup, adding mushrooms and roasted red peppers, or onions, or whatever topping you like. Be creative!

2 11 oz. cans of condensed tomato soup + 3 cans of water
2 tablespoons of butter
2 green onions, sliced
About 2 oz of pepperoni, sliced
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning (oregano and thyme)
1 cup or more of Italian blend cheese
½ cup shredded parmesan blend
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional - ½ can of heavy cream

In a soup pot, melt butter over medium heat.
Sweat the onions in the melted butter and add sliced pepperoni.
Allow the pepperoni to crisp up, which will allow the fats to render.
Add the garlic and Italian seasoning. Stir until fragrant, a few moments, then add the condensed soup.
Stir well, add water and stir.
Allow to come to a boil, stirring periodically.
Once hot, add cheeses, allowing them to melt.
Add salt and pepper to taste, adjust seasoning as needed.
Finish with heavy cream, if desired, and serve hot with a little extra cheese on top.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chocolate Toffee Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

So, for the past year about, I have been taking Amitriptyline for my fibromyalgia (yay, comorbidities!) which doesn't do much for the fibro, but does work as an antihistamine, so I am no longer reactive to baking soda or baking powder (amongst other things, like corn), which means, OMG CUPCAKES!

I missed cupcakes so much. I mean, sponge cakes are fine and dandy, and pound cake is all right, but it isn't a soft delicious cupcake.

So I made some cupcakes today. It took me four days to build up the motivation to do it, but they are way delicious, and beautiful!

I used a regular boxed cake, but if you know that baking powder doesn't work for you, there are plenty of cake recipes out there (and in this blog), to choose from.

And I also totally didn't use measuring cups when I made this, so my measurements are approximate. You can do that with frosting. Not so much with cake recipes.

Boxed chocolate cake mix (I used german chocolate) + the stuff it says you need to make it (likely oil, water, eggs)
1 cup chocolate toffee chips (you can find it on the baking aisle near the chocolate chips, or just break up toffee bars)

8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 12 oz. jar of caramel (I used Smucker's Hot Caramel sauce at room temperature- you can make your own but I have no energy to do that)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 cups or more of organic corn-free powdered sugar (to taste... I really didn't measure, so just keep tasting it and add slowly to get sweet but not too sweet) 

Make the cake according to its instructions, mix in toffee chips at the very end and portion into lined cupcake tins (makes 24), about 3/4 full. Bake according to package instructions. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Whip in the caramel and salt. Add the powdered sugar to the frosting at low speed, taste and add more as needed. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and continue to whip until it is all incorporated and a pleasing consistency (you know, like frosting and neither like soup, nor like a lumpy mess of sadness). Place in a piping bag, or a ziplock if you are super fancy like me, and pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

Garnish with extra toffee chips, or perhaps some fancy salt.