Sunday, February 23, 2014

The World According to Bella

Super Dog
It's a bird, no its a plane, wait no it's me, Super Dog Bella. Walkers on the beach (though there are few out there ) have been dazzled with my agility. I am able to leap over sand ledges (5 ft.) tall in a single bound to get down to the lower beach.
to chase birds and bound back up in a single leap (5 ft.) 
to run along the upper beach. And I still enough energy to run down the beach at a breathtaking speed. Even Mr. C and Mrs. S can't do this and can't keep up.  
Love, Bella
PS. Wish you were here. I am having the time of  my life!
Cook's notes: It has been a challenge cooking in someone else's kitchen. It is lacking in what I consider essential supplies. Much to my dismay today, I discovered there was no blender. But it gave me an excuse to purchase a new kitchen tool that chops, blends, purees, whips and grinds. What more could a cook ask for and I even had a coupon :) I am in love with this tool. Easy to use and easy for clean-up.
  Smart Stick Two Speed Hand Blender (Immersion)
perfect for making
Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup
Calories are reduced in the soup by replacing whip cream/ half and half with low fat yogurt. One taste of the soup you won't even miss the cream . 
Fresh basil 1/4 cup can be substituted for dried basil
Pimento cheese spread and crackers would go well with the soup. See recipe below. 
  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cans each ( 14.5 oz.) diced chunky tomatoes basil, garlic, oregano
  • 1 container (32 oz.) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. each dried basil and parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1 package fresh cheese tortellini (9 oz.) dairy section 
  • grated Parmesan cheese  
  • In a large soup pot, heat olive oil and saute onions and garlic about 3 minutes, stir in bay leaves. spices and crushed red pepper flakes
  • Add in diced tomatoes and chicken broth, simmer on low 15 minutes  
  • In another pan cook tortellini until al dente about 6 minutes, drain  
  • Add in Greek yogurt, stir and puree ingredients in several batches using a blender or a hand immersion blender
  • Add tortellini to soup and cook on low about 20 minutes
  • Remove bay leaves
  • Serve with croutons and grated Parmesan cheese

Pimiento Cheese spread is a classic Southern dip. The cheese spread is often served as an appetizer with crackers, corn chips, celery,mixed in with mashed yolks for deviled eggs, added to grits or slathered over hamburgers or hot dogs. Pimiento cheese can also be used to replace the sliced cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich. It is affectionately known as The Caviar of The South. 
The basic recipe has few ingredients: sharp cheddar cheese or processed cheese (such as Velveeta), mayonnaise,  pimentos, salt and pepper, blended to either a smooth or chunky paste.
Regional ingredients include cream cheese, Louisiana-style hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, jalapenos, onions, garlic and dill pickles.
Pimiento Cheese Spread
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 jar diced pimientos, drained and chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
In a bowl, combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour

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