Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ale, Cheddar, and Jalapeño Soup

(Adapted from Closet Cooking)

Yield: 4 servings!


  • 1/2 pound bacon (double smoked is good), cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, diced with most of the seeds removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 bottle dark ale, like Guinness
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (sometimes I add more!)
  • cayenne to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1.  Chop bacon and cook it in a pan over medium/low heat. Set aside on paper towels to drain, reserving 1-2 tablespoons of the grease in the pan.
  2. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the butter and let it melt and get all bubbly then sprinkle on the flour and let it cook until it starts to turn golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the ale followed by the broth and bacon and let cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cream, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and cheese and cook until the cheese has melted but do not bring it back to a boil.
  7. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper to taste

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cheese Cracker, Honey, and Goat Cheese Chicken

(Adapted from Paula Deen!)


  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless
  • 1 cup cheese crackers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 oz. goat cheese, cut into 4 equal portions
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoon butter, melted
  • Non-stick cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Make a slit in the side of each chicken breast, being very careful not to go through the other side. 
  3. In a medium bowl, add crushed crackers, red pepper, salt and pepper. 
  4. Spray the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  5. Stuff each chicken breast with equal amounts of goat cheese and place in baking dish. 
  6. Press cracker mixture on top of each breast, coating evenly. 
  7. Spray the top of each breast with non-stick cooking spray. 
  8. In a small bowl, stir together butter and honey. 
  9. Bake chicken breast for 10 minutes. 
  10. Finally, spoon honey butter over chicken and return to oven for 25 minutes.

Brown Sugar Soy Marinated Salmon

(Adapted from Allrecipes)


  • 4 (6 oz) salmon fillets
  • lemon zest from about 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


  1. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. 
  3. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat grill for medium heat.
  5. Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. (We actually saved ours and used it as a sauce!)
  6. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.