Chocolate Pudding with Whip Cream

pudding 026

This is one of my go to desserts. One, everyone loves chocolate pudding, there’s just something about pudding that takes you back to childhood, two, I usually always have all the ingredients for it,  three one pan,  5 ingredients for the pudding, and 3 ingredients for the whip cream plus it’s easy.  It’s a little time-consuming, because you have to stir it while it comes to a boil, but it’s so much better than the box, not that I’m opposed to the box pudding, I use it all the time when I make cakes, but for chocolate pudding, from scratch is the way to go.

pudding 001

In a medium pan add cocoa, sugar and corn starch, mix well with a whisk, then drizzle in milk, (I used almond milk in this batch cause it’s what I had and no one noticed anything different with the taste or the texture, so if that’s what you got, use it!) whisking until it’s well combined.

pudding 007

Cook over medium heat, whisking the whole time until it comes up to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, stir in butter and allow it to cool on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes, then ladle into jars or into a bowl

pudding 011

When it’s cool, make the whip cream by whipping heavy cream, sugar and vanilla.

pudding 015

This is a little thing I did this year, I always make my own vanilla, and this year with some of the vanilla pods, I put them into sugar, so I have vanilla sugar, and it’s very good! Instead of sugar and vanilla, I just use this to sweeten the whip cream.

pudding 024

Chocolate Pudding with Whip Cream

Chocolate Pudding

4 cups of milk, whole or almond

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cup of sugar

1/4 cup corn starch

2 TBSP butter

In a pot combine cocoa, sugar and corn starch, whisking until completely combined, slowly drizzle in milk, whisking as you drizzle.  Mix until it’s completely mixed together.  Turn heat on medium and whisk as it cooks, when  it starts to boil, boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and stir in butter.

Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then pour in a bowl or into jars.

Whip Cream

1/2 cup of heavy whipping  cream

2 TBSP sugar

1 tsp. of vanilla

In a bowl, whip cream until very thick, then add sugar and vanilla and mix until combined.  Top cooled puddings.

 

SOUP 024

Tortellini and Spinach Soup with Italian Sausage

SOUP 025

It is still cold here, so we’re still doing soup over here! And this is one of my favorites, 30 minutes, one pot and your done!SOUP 010

Start with taking the sausage out of the casing and put in the pot with some chopped up onions, break up the sausage and brown and cook through. I used a package that has 4 mild sausages and 2 spicy sausages, and we don’t consider it too spicy, but if you’re concerned, just use all mild sausage.SOUP 015Throw your tortellini in frozen with chicken broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes and lastly toss in fresh spinach

SOUP 019When the spinach wilts down, its done!

Tortellini & Spinach Soup with Italian Sausage

1 lb of sausage, taken out of the casing

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 of a 32 oz package tortellini

4 cups chicken broth

1 6 oz. package of fresh spinach

salt & pepper

In a large pot or dutch oven, add sausage and onion seasoning it with salt & pepper, over medium heat, breaking up the sausage as it browns.  Cook sausage until it is done, then add chicken broth and tortellini.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add spinach and stir until it wilts down, taste and see if it needs more salt or pepper, and serve.

vegetable-beef-soup-24

Vegetable Beef Soup and a Money Saving Tip!

vegetable-beef-soup-24

This was a part of my weekend adventure in cooking. Soup! It was so good, we got 11 inches of snow where I live Saturday, so I cooked all day. It was fun to stay home and just cook and hang out, because we couldn’t go anywhere.  The snow kinda happen perfect, we went out Friday night and stayed home the rest of the weekend.  We had plenty of food and a warm house and 2 fun girls to take outside and play with!

soup-casserole-cake-042 soup-casserole-cake-033

They had a little soup too and thought it was quite tasty! Here’s the money-saving tip I’m going to give you about stew or soup meat.  If you go to the store and see a cheap steak or a steak that’s been marked down because the need to sell it, buy it, and freeze it and when you want to make soup, pull it out and cut it into small chunks and you’ll save yourself a ton of money.  Whenever I price stew meat, I nearly have a heart attack at the price.  And  that’s what the butcher does, is he takes a cheap piece of meat, cuts it into pieces and marks it up!.  Please do not worry too much about how you cut it up, it’s going to cook for a long time, either in a slow cooker or on the stove, so it will be tender and you’ll save big time for about 5 minutes worth of work.

Steak actually cuts easier if it’s slightly frozen, so if you’re just taking it out of the freezer, slice it into chunks before it completely thaws.

vegetable-beef-soup-1

I got a pound of little round steaks marked down a couple of months ago for around $3.00 and Saturday morning, I took them out of the freezer, let them thaw a little on the counter, and while they were still slightly frozen I cut them up into chunks.

vegetable-beef-soup-6

I put a little olive oil, the steak, some celery and onion and browned everything in the bottom of a dutch oven.

vegetable-beef-soup-9

Add some beef broth, vegetable-beef-soup-12

a bag of frozen veggies

vegetable-beef-soup-14

a can of tomatoes, a can of water and a couple of potatoes cut into chunks.  It’s important that when you start with the beef, you salt and pepper, and when you add the veggies, broth, tomatoes and potatoes you add salt  and pepper again.  Everything you’re adding, except the broth is bland, with no seasoning, so seasoning as you go along helps flavor everything.

I brought it up to a boil(wished I had used a bigger pot….hindsight!) turned it down to simmer, and let it hang out on the stove for a couple of hours.  If you were using a slow cooker, you could brown you meat and then dump everything in the crock pot, or you could just dump everything without brown the meat, if you do this, omit the olive oil.

This is a great meal for a cold and snowy day.  Just add biscuits, sandwiches or a salad for a great dinner.

Another great thing to do on a cold and snowy day

vegetable-beef-soup-17

Potpourri, just combine cinnamon sticks, an orange and some cloves in a pot of small slow cooker with water and your house will smell amazing!

Vegetable Beef Soup

2 TBSP. olive oil

1 lb. of steak, cut into chunks

2 stalks of celery, diced

1 small onion, diced

2 cups beef broth

1 14.5 can of dice tomatoes

1 16 oz. bag of mixed vegetables

3 medium potatoes, diced

1 can of water(use the tomato can)

salt & pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil, add steak, celery and onions, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until brown, then add broth, tomatoes, vegetables, potatoes, water, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Bring it to a boil, and turn to low and let it just simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, as taste before serving to see if you need to add more salt or pepper.  In a slow cooker, you can still brown your meat in a skillet and then dump everything in the slow cooker or just dump everything in the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high. And always taste to see if it needs seasoning.