My high school friend Terry emailed me pictures of the giant snow drifts in the Midwest.
This one is a picture of her adorable little pink lake cottage in Wisconsin.
Looks like it might take a while to get in the front door. For you Southern readers, snow is very heavy and this drift climbed right up her porch and covered quite a bit of her front door. Add the brutal below zero temperatures and you’ve got a big project on your hands.
Maybe Terry will just wait until June when the weather warms up and the snow has melted so they can enjoy the lake.
Cold Weather Comfort Food
I’ve saved a recipe for cream of mushroom soup from a magazine for 15 years. I guess I was hoping that as time passed someone in my house would come to love mushrooms like I do.
Still hasn’t happened.
But in my weeks of illness and cold weather, I wanted soup. I wanted homemade soup.
So I finally decided to bust out the 15 year-old recipe and make it for myself.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered the recipe made enough for 16-18 servings. I love soup but that seemed a bit excessive and I don’t think you can freeze cream soups…so I cut it in half which was still way too much since I was the only one who would be eating it!
After I finished a bowl, I decided it was the best soup I’ve ever made.
Have you seen these mini saltines? Why does everything taste even better when they make them mini? They were so perfect with this silky, creamy, hearty soup.
It was divine.
Then I looked over and saw how much I had left in the pot, I sent a text to my friend Steffani and asked her if she liked mushrooms. I know mushrooms are a touchy food. You either love ’em or hate ’em.
Lucky for me, she said yes though she’d never had cream of mushroom soup. I brought her dinner in a bag the next day – a container of mushroom soup, some adorable mini saltines and a little dessert.
I’m not going to bribe you to try it like I did Scary Baby. That was a $5 dollar mistake.
I’m just going to say if you like mushrooms, make this soup.
I also knew I needed a little dessert and loved those Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies I had made the week before for the college girls, I wanted them again.
But I didn’t want to take cookies in and out of the oven. And Scary Baby said she really liked them except for the cookie part. What a stinker.
I decided they would probably make pretty tasty bar cookies. One pan is a timesaver so I used a combination of the Tollhouse recipe and the Toffee & Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to make these.
Turned out pretty dang good. Steffani agreed and I thanked her for helping me eat the soup that would have gone to waste because of my family of picky eaters. (I had it three times!)
Side note: They didn’t have any problem wolfing down the cookie bars. The Grunter ate three when they came out of the oven.
Perfect duo for a snowy weekend if you can get to the store to buy fresh mushrooms.
Both recipes are below.
Now I’m off to shop for our annual family Superbowl party menu and make those team colored knox blox even though I’m not a fan of either team. Have a great weekend!
Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 garlic clove, minced (I used Trader Joe’s frozen cubes – love those!)
- 1/2 tsp dried, minced onion
- 1/2 C butter, divided
- 8 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped (or sliced)
- 3 C chicken broth
- 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 C heavy cream
- 3 C milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
In large pot, saute garlic and onion in 2 Tbsp butter till lightly browned and it smells good. Add mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and simmer for 20 minutes. In another saucepan, melt remaining butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in cream/milk mixture. Cook and stir constantly over low heat until mixture comes to a boil; boil for two minutes. Add to mushroom mixture; stir in seasonings.
The original recipe also included diced onions, celery and green pepper. Ewww…I left those out but feel free to add them back in.
My little secret: I had a few lumps in my flour/milk sauce so I put a strainer over the pot and poured it into the mushroom mixture.
Recipe inspired by Jim Cosgrove in Taste of Home August/September 1996
Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars
- 1 C butter
- 1-1/4 C brown sugar
- 1/4 C sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2-1/4 C flour
- 1 C caramel bits
- 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream butter in mixing bowl for 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add in sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well and then add flour gradually. Fold in caramel bits and chocolate chips. Spread in ungreased 9×13 pan (I put parchment paper in bottom of pan for easy cleanup!) and bake for 18-20 minutes or until very light brown. I took them out when the middle was still not quite set because I like them a little gooey.
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