Tomato-Basil Crab Bisque

It's been soup week at our house.  Here's another super easy recipe worth trying out. 

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Tomato-Basil Crab Bisque

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBLspoon butter
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 3 cloves freshly pressed garlic
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 organic chicken broth
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cooked crab meat
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves as garnish
  • optional parmesan cheese as garnish

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in medium saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic around the last minute. 
  2. Add tomato soup, half and half, crab meat, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring just to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover tightly and simmer 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Basil and cheese before serving. 

{serves  about 4}

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Delicious! 

Xo, e

There will be jellies.

Starting to decorate for Christmas.  We picked out our tree.  I finally put halloween in the attic and Christmas cards are starting to arrive.  But, this is my first time decking the halls with a toddler. It might take me the whole month to get it all done.  We had a melt down over these tiny bottle bush trees.  Life is hard when you are told you can't whack the dog with the holiday decor. 

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Potted Christmas trees replace the ferns. 

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I ate my weight in casseroles, soufflés, and turkey over Thanksgiving.  Made three dishes this year in efforts to learn my mom's traditional dishes. They were pretty good, if I do say so myself! I'm working on perfecting my mushroom soufflé to share the recipe with y'all.  The flavor was mouth.watering.delicous. but it came out a little soupy.  I secretly didn't want my efforts to be too unforgettable because I don't want any body (Im talking to you mom) getting crazy ideas about me taking over  as head Thanksgiving chef.   Stay tuned.  

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After a full day of fun, food, and cousins, we headed to the beach.  Happy and Pepper tagged along. 

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Couldn't get enough of Huddy in his peeking bambi sweater and sweater leggings.  

*update: 30% off all orders over $200 + free shipping at Oeuf right now* 

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This is my favorite bottled marinade/dipping sauce for pork tenderloin.  You should try it.   The steam bag quinoa and spinach isn't half bad either. 

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Our beach house interiors have been slow to come together, but soon enough we will be surrounded by beauties like these.  Can't wait.  

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This would look so great paired with brown boots and denim. 

Prairie Check Coat = $89

I'm starting to gravitate towards any clothing that looks like a giant blanket.   Saw this in a store and it's divine. Can take you from daytime chic to couch. 

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My memory is terrible.  I take a zillion pictures so that I always remember where I've been and what I've done.  Many times, my pictures remind me of exactly how I was feeling in the moment.  I love revisiting my travel adventures the most.  I'm happiest when I'm out seeing the world.  I started to keep a travel journal, but that got tedious.  

So, what was I doing in November of 2011?? Glad you asked! Let's take a peek inside my travel diary, picture book style.  

I was driving the PCH 1 with Mr. Fox and feeling like this...

Edge of the country excitement right there!

We stayed here (Post Ranch Inn)

So we could watch the sunset from here

But one could also sleep here

and still be able to eat breakfast here

then go for a mid day swim here

or an afternoon hike here

make sure to look out for this guy

Then you could drive a little further and enjoy a delicious meal at Nepenthe. 

until you are comatose like this

No time to sleep though because exciting adventures are just up the road!

There will be seals

There will be jellies

You'll see copper bars

Beauty every where you look

When your husband could care less about golf, you only have to eat lunch here 

then you get to move on to more exciting things like RODENTS and BIRDS.  oh joy.

say hello to my little friends

If you love me, you'll feed it in your lap.

He loves me. 

Awesomely terrified. Gimme dat peanut. 

I can't for the life of me remember why in the hells bells I picked that giant sperm thing up and started whipping it around. what is that?!!!

Hope your Thanksgiving was divine.

Go whip some thing strange, around yo head. (said in Ghost Busters Theme song style)

Xo, e

Diva's Bomb Onion and Spinach Dip

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I love dip. This one is super addictive. Would be a great app to bring to holiday gatherings. Your friends and family will thank you. 

Diva's Bomb Onion and Spinach Dip

Ingredients:

  • 8oz light cream cheese
  • 1 cup light mayo
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated cheese (I like Gouda)
  • 1 large Vidalia Onion finely chopped (about 1 cup. more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon  ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper  - plus one more dash :)
  • 1 package frozen spinach thawed and water squeezed out

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. Spray a 10" square baking dish (or one similar) with Pam
  3. In large bowl, mix all ingredients except about 1/2 cup of grated cheese
  4. Smooth mixture out in dish. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. 

Best served immediately.  Serve with pita chips, pretzel thins, carrots sticks. etc.  Y'all know I like recipes that can't be messed up, and this one is no exception! Hope you try it! 

 

We've been continuing to enjoy the fall weather at the beach.  

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Since Huddy doesn't wake until around 10am, Oscar and I enjoy some beach time by ourselves. Good for the soul. Yes, those are fox soxs.

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Look at this Funyons/potato stick looking beach debris

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Mr. Hudson is 2 going on 22

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He's a perfect lunch date.

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How cute is this Herschel Supply Co backpack?! 

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Mr. Hudson's vest, gingham shirt, and this lion t-shirt are all from Fitz & Emme in Rosemary Beach.

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Sting rays moving along the coast. 

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Last week, a contractor was renting the house next door. He built this bomb sand pyramid.  The beach looks so empty since the rain washed it away. 

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Have a dashing weekend.

Xo, e

Taco Soup

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This hearty soup is delicious and easy.  It is one of our favorites. 

Taco Soup

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Water

1 package El Paso low sodium taco seasoning

1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix 

1 can white shoe peg corn, drained

1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies

1  can diced tomatoes 

1 can black beans, drained

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 can pinto beans, drained

1 medium onion, chopped

1lb lean ground beef, ground turkey, or chicken (meat from one rotisserie chicken works too)

Avocado (optional) garnish

Sour cream/greek yogurt (optional) garnish

Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional) garnish

Shredded mexican blend cheese (optional) garnish

Pickled jalapeños (optional) garnish

Directions:

1. Brown meat. Once meat is mostly cooked through, add chopped onion and cook until tender. 

2. While meat is browning, add all other ingredients to pot. 

3. Drain grease from meat then add to soup. Stir.

5. Bring soup to boil then reduce heat to simmer for about 1 hour. 

6. Add garnish 

 

This recipe is really fool proof.  I've served as quickly as 30 minutes and it is still great.  The ingredients can be easily doubled to serve larger crowds.  Beans can be swapped out to what you have on hand or flavor you prefer. I usually add black eyed peas.  I like to serve with tortilla chips. 

Enjoy!

Xo, e

 

Pinterest Recipe Testing

Have you ever seen recipes on Pinterest and wondered if they were any good? Or, if any of the last 50 pinners has ever actually cooked the dish?? I have. all.the.time. I am always starving when I am looking up recipes so I end up pinning entirely too much. Plus, it seems every dish is described as the BEST, most delectable, mouth-watering, SLAP YO MOMMA AMAZING, most incredible dish ever. How is a gal to choose? I thought it might be fun to become a "Pinterest test kitchen," if you will, to review the hits and misses pinned on our boards. 

We tested out several new recipes this week. We've been at the beach and I think I am more inspired in a kitchen with a view! :) 

First up:

"Melt-in-your-mouth chicken breasts"

This recipe was described as the "best chicken you've ever put in your mouth" and I saw several versions of it on Pinterest. There were very few ingredients and it was a cinch to make. Verdict: It was good. Not going to win any culinary awards, but it was so easy that it gets a passing grade in our kitchen.  

Fox Den Tip: You can substitute mayo with greek yogurt usually at a 1:1 ratio. The mayo does brown better and provide a crispier coating. 

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Just mix the mayo, cheese, and seasoning then bake for about 45 minutes!

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I served the chicken breasts with the most amazing BAG SALAD, and asparagus.

I just toss the asparagus in a little EVOO, sprinkle some sea salt, and parmesan cheese then put in oven with chicken for about 15 min. EASY dinner. 

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 Thai Coconut Soup

Next up was "10 minute Thai Coconut Soup."  This was delicious! I took me a little longer than 10 minutes, but I was also cooking other things. I doubled the mushrooms.  This recipe was also extremely easy and I would definitely cook this again. Surprise bonus was that Hudson LOVED it!  

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We throughly enjoyed this bottle of wine that my brother and his girlfriend gave my hubs for his birthday. 

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I think both of these recipes are worth testing in your own kitchen. Next, I'll review a fab dip and a pork tenderloin recipe. 

The Gulf has been especially pretty this week. The sunsets are starting to move back over the water to where we can get a really beautiful view.  Mr. Hudson loves getting to spend more time with dada, as do I.  It's hard to have a bad day at the beach! 

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Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend! 

Xo, e

Easy Weeknight Dinner

Cheese Tortellini 

With many of you sending little ones off to school this week, I am sure fixin' dinner *cue the southern drawl* is just another thing on the mile long to-do list. I thought I'd share this recipe that we love, and it is an EASY, one pot, filling, and nutritious dish.  Serve with a baguette and you're good to go! At least one thing on your list can be a no-brainer! 

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{I originally found this via @paigeknudson on Instagram. She sourced the recipe from www.lifeingraceblog.com.}

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 1/2 boxes of chicken stock (10 cups)
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 large bag or two small bags of cheese tortellini (our grocery store has it in the dairy section)
  • 1 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes (you can use another brand but these make the BEST soup)
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2  T. honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • {always add salt along the way and don’t wait until the end}

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Saute the onions, celery and carrots in olive oil for 5-7 min or until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the diced garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock, tortellini, tomatoes,  spinach, vinegar and honey.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is tender.
  • Serve with grated parmesan cheese and crusty bread!


Read more at http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2011/08/cheese-tortellini-soup-for-caiti/#fiuOBwipsEWrdxHo.99

I always add more spinach.  I also added rotisserie chicken.

The recipe IS even better the next day!

Enjoy!

Xo, e

Green Goddess

Happy Friday!

I love dips. I could eat a whole meal of just dips. Every time I think about dips, Freak Nasty's words play over and over in my head.  "This goes out to all the women in the world. . . When you dip, I dip, we dip." 

Get to dippin' this weekend with one of my favorite recipes. 

I love the flavor of dill and this Green Goddess dipping sauce is perfection. I've used it with fresh shrimp, salmon, white fish, and pork tenderloin. It is also great as a veggie dip. Super easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time. Delicious!  

Green Goddess Dipping Sauce - www.myrecipes.com

Green Goddess Dipping Sauce - www.myrecipes.com

Green Goddess Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sour cream $
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $
  • green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed fresh dill leaves
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt $
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Garnish: fresh dill sprig

 

Preparation

  1. Process first 11 ingredients in a food processor or blender 30 seconds or until smooth, stopping to scrape sides as needed. Cover and chill 1 hour before serving. Garnish, if desired. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

 

This weekend, give your wardrobe a Green Goddess vibe!   My favorite white tee, patterned shorts, arm party, and jelly sandals make up the look I'll be dippin' in.

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Im totally in love with these Margaret Elizabeth bangles (on far left).  Giles and Brother skinny railroad spike cuff in rose gold // Gold and Grey bracelet // Shashi Sam bracelet

 

I love Jelly sandals for summer. The white Bernardo sandals also come in turquoise, but my favorite green goddess inspired jellies have to be these from Ipanema.  Pyramid sandals in the perfect green and now on sale for $19.60! They're super comfortable. 

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Dress like a goddess this weekend. . . A GREEN GODDESS!

Xo, e

How Mr. Hudson rolls in his green machine. . . 

Roasted new potatoes and mushrooms

Fox Den Food

 I am that gal that is furiously scrolling pinterest in the grocery store because I haven't pre-planned my meals.  I usually just go to the produce section and hover over what looks good until I find my divine inspiration. It goes something like this. . .

Innocent shopper - "umm, excuse me ma'am.  May I please squeeze by you and grab (enter needed item) real quick?"

Me - (can't look up. must keep searching. I think i've found one!) "oh, yeah, yeah." (move over tiny inch. still hovering over said item)  "BOOM! That's it!" (grab item, sheepishly look away at the folks I've startled and scram)

I am so sorry to all those innocent, prepared shoppers! I really should come more prepared. It's out of hand. 

On my last trip to the grocery store, while terrorizing the produce section, I discovered a pretty decent side dish recipe. I am always searching for quick and easy side dishes and this one was a hit!

It should also be noted that I am the kind of cook who has a hard time following the recipe and really views it as more of a suggestion. This special combo makes for a lot hits and even more misses. Luckily, most of my taste testers are willing to go along with my experiments in the kitchen! 

Roasted New Potato and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

1lb small new potatoes (about 10), halved

8 ozs button mushrooms (I used another mushroom variety) 

3 tbls olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

1 tbls red wine vinegar

1 tbls whole-grain mustard

1 tsp honey

2 tbls fresh flat-leafed parsley

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 400F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes, mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper.

2.  Roast, tossing once, until the potatoes begin to soften, about 20 minutes. Then cook for about another 12-15 minutes until mushrooms are tender and potatoes are a golden brown. 

3.  In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, and parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Drizzle over vegetables before serving. 

That's it! Easy! 

I would/did change some things. 

I didn't have parsley so I used rosemary. I would not use 2 tbls. I used more like 1tsp of cut rosemary. Parsley would probably be a much milder flavor. 

The sauce was fantastic, but I really think the potatoes should have been cut into smaller slices, cubes, or left out all together. The mushrooms were the star of the show. I could've had twice as much sauce, too.  

The original recipe included salmon filets and those were put into bake after the 20m mark of softening the potatoes.  This sauce would be great on salmon and could even work on pork tenderloin, which is a Fox Den favorite. 

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I hope you all try out this easy recipe. Let me know how it goes and what changes you made! 

Happy Friday!

xo,e