Category Archives: Savory

Recipes and Cooking How-to for savory dishes

Hot Pink Potato Beet Soup for Valentine’s Day

hot-pink-potato-beet-soup-for-valentines-dayWhen I was in college in Los Angeles we had a very progressive and very gourmet cafeteria. They served things like sushi, quinoa (before it was popular), tofu, and wonderful homemade soups daily. One of those soups was this glorious beet soup that was a velvety hot magenta pink color. I absolutely loved it. Recently I picked up a bag of frozen beets at whole foods with the intention of feeding it to my boy (he LOVES frozen vegetables, he must like the icey cold feeling on his gums.) So when I offered him a sample and he spit them out I figured why not turn the rest of the beets into a soup?

You know how much I love a good vegetable soup. This was is ridiculously easy and only has 8 ingredients. Enjoy!



  • 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced.
  • 1 10 oz bag of frozen sliced beets
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 6-8 cups of chicken stock (depending on how thick or thin you want your soup to be)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 4 tablespoons of real butter
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium-large sized pot sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook them until they are aromatic and translucent. Just before they begin to develop color add the stock, beets, and potatoes. Boil until the potatoes are tender. Reduce heat and add the cream, butter, and cheese, then blitz it all up with an immersion blender. You can also add a little salt to taste. That’s it! Super easy. You can add more cream or some milk if you want a lighter pink color.IMG_1582


Post-partum gift basket and meal delivery

This year not only did God bless us with our own baby boy, but my sister also had a baby giving me my precious niece who was born on New Year’s Eve! Brooke is just two months younger than Luke and I know they will be best buddies. He is so much bigger than her! She was born at just under 6lbs and my tubby boy is already 15lbs!

big-baby-little-baby-homemakerchicMy sister has notoriously easy births and this one was no different. She had a very short labor and Brooke was born after one push. I got to be right there with her to support her through her first natural delivery.

Since I just had a baby there were lots of things that I knew my sister would need for her post-partum recovery, so I put together a practical gift basket for her. This is a great gift for a baby shower, or to bring to the hospital. My dear friend Kelly made a similar basket for me and it was so helpful!post-partum-basket

Here’s what I included:

  • Heavy Flow Maxi Pads
  • Stool Softener (that first post birth poop can be daunting, and the stool softener really helps!)
  • Advil
  • Iron Supplement (for blood loss)
  • Lip Balm
  • Mother’s Milk Tea (to support breastmilk supply)
  • Summer’s Eve Intimate Wash
  • Tucks Pads
  • Coffee & Chocolate (In limited amounts if breastfeeding)
  • Nipple Cream
  • Washable Cotton Breast Pads
  • Flushable wipes (to help stay fresh)

After Luke was born, I was blessed by some very sweet friends from church who brought over meals for us. So i decided to pay it forward and bring some meals to my sister (and her family of 7!) I took the idea of a very sweet friend from my bible study who made up some Chicken pot pie filling and brought some pie crusts. All I had to do was pour the filling into a pie dish, unroll the crust onto the top, and pop it in the oven. We also put together two crock pot ready beef stew bags that can be stored in the freezer. (The beer is for the stew)post-partum-meals postpartum-meals

Here are the recipes:

Chicken Pot Pie-

Makes 2 pies

  • 3 Chicken Breasts- cubed into 1cm pieces
  • 2 cups of Carrots- thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of Celery- thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of Onion- finely chopped
  • 2 cups of potatoes – cubed into 1 cm pieces
  • 2 cups frozen peas or green beans (my sister hates peas)
  • 1/4 cup Madeira wine or Brandy (optional)
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 T flour
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 box of ready-made pie crust

In a medium soup pot cook the onions in 1 T butter and a little chicken stock. When they are translucent, add the spices and the chicken and cook until chicken is done. Add carrots, celery, and potatoes and 2 cups of stock. Simmer until potatoes are soft but not fully cooked (about 80% done). There will be a little juice left. In a small saucepan make a roux by melting 2 T butter and whisking in the flour. Cook on med-low heat until it thickens and the “floury” smell subsides, about 5 minutes. Slowly add the Madeira and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the alcohol is cooked out. Pour the remaining juice from the pot into the roux. Add the cream and remaining butter and whisk for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Pour over the chicken and vegetables and mix well. Allow to cool then divide into two large freezer bags. When it is time to prepare, instruct the New Mom to pour one bag into a deep dish pie plate, unroll one crust on top, and bake for 20-25 minutes on 350. If she wants, she can do a top crust and a bottom crust, and also do an egg wash on top. If you plan for her to do a bottom crust, be sure to provide her with two packages of pie crust.

“Scarborough Fair” Crock Pot Beef Stew

Makes 2 Stews

  • 2 lbs Stew Beef Cubed
  • 4 cups small carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 2 small red onions
  • 4-5 medium potatoes
  • 2 cups mushrooms quartered
  • 2 Bottles of Dark Beer
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 tsp crushed rosemary
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 4 T Olive Oil

This one is easy. Chop the veggies into uniform 1 inch pieces. Divide everything evenly between two large freezer bags. Shake. When it is time to cook instruct the new mom to dump one bag into a crock pot, pour one entire beer over top, fill the bottle with water and add that to the pot as well. Stew for 6-7 hours. For a thicker stew- mix 2 T flour into half cup cold water. Pour into stew during last 30 minutes of cook time.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I’ve had enough of this cold weather! Now to all my readers from colder climates, bear with me. I know I live in Florida, but it does get really chilly here! And because it will go from 80 degrees one day to 40 degrees the next, everyone around here is constantly sick this time of year. Plus, there’s something about 40 degrees in Tampa that is so different from 40 degrees in Illinois. The humidity here pierces right through your bones and its just awful. I am SO ready for spring.

But since we still have a few more weeks of winter here, and since hubby and I have had the sniffles, I decided to make a hearty homemade Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner. Since we’ve gone BPA free its really hard to eat canned soup, but homemade is always 10,000 times better! I can’t wait till I can figure out how to can my own soup. Stay tuned in the coming months. My mother in law is bringing me a pressure canner and it will be SO on!

Now, because I like you so much, and I’m such a nice person, and I’m on a chicken noodle high… I’m giving you my TOP SECRET ingredient. This is the je n’sais quoi, the piece de resistance, the ingredient of all ingredients, that transforms your soup into something wonderful! It is…. Celery Salt! I’m not sure exactly why, but it gives the soup a wholeness that is particularly satisfying.

So here’s my soul warming, body warming, chase away the sniffles, make you feel happy, comfort food of all comfort foods, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2-3 Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts (about 2 cups cut into 1/2 cubes)
  • 3-4 Carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 2 cartons of organic chicken stock (do not use canned, use the cartons that have the Tetra-pak label on the bottom. If you have homemade stock even better!)
  • 2 Cups of noodles (Use any noodle you like. I used whole wheat rotini. You could use macaroni, fusilli, egg noodles, or even broken up spaghetti noodles)
  • 1 T Tarragon
  • 1 T Parsley
  • 2 t Celery Salt
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of flour (optional)
  • 1 cup of cream (optional)

Here’s what you do:

In a large pot saute’ the vegetables in the olive oil, butter, and some salt & pepper, until they are slightly tender. Add the chicken (and a little more salt & pepper) after about 7 minutes. Cook until the chicken is completely cooked through. Allow everything to very slightly brown. Add the herbs and celery salt and pour the stock over everything. Stir well. Add 2 cartons full of plain water as well. Simmer the soup on medium/low heat for about 20 minutes to allow all the flavors to marry. For a slightly thicker soup add a slurry of 1/4 cup flour mixed thoroughly with equal parts cold water. Quickly stir in the slurry. If you pour it in too slowly it might form a dumpling (which could be nice! lol, I figured this out by accident.) When you are almost ready to eat, add the noodles and cook for about 12 minutes or until desired tenderness. If you like, lower the heat to a slow simmer and add 1 cup of cream, then simmer for another 5-6 minutes. Do not boil it once you add the cream. This just adds a little bit of extra creaminess to the soup that is very nice. You can skip this if you don’t want the extra calories. Serve with lots of pepper, and maybe some homemade biscuits! Yum.


How to Make Gluten Free Bread Crumbs Recently I was looking for some bread crumbs in my cabinet for a recipe. I forgot that I had gotten rid of most of the gluten in my house, and this included bread crumbs. I remembered I had some  “Brown Rice” Gluten Free Rice Krispies. So I decided I would my own gluten free bread crumbs using this gluten free rice cereal and it worked perfectly. This snack was delicious!

Here’s how to do it.

For the breadcrumbs:

The measurements aren’t exact because its up to you and your tastes. This makes a decent sized batch but you could make this in as large or as small of batches as you want.

4 cups of brown rice gluten free Rice Krispies

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

A bit of Salt

A good bit of garlic powder

Some italian seasoning


Crush the Rice Krispies as evenly as you can, leaving as few big pieces as possible (I used my hands but, using a food processor would be much more efficient). Add the parmesan cheese, some salt, garlic powder, and italian seasoning mix (you could always make your own, throw in whatever herbs and spices you like, oregano, basil, tarragon, even some cayenne if you want to add a little kick.)

That’s it! Store in a mason jar, or a nice tin container. Now you can have all those wonderful breaded foods (I’m thinking Chicken Parmesan!!) or casseroles with that amazing crunchy topping. OR you can make these delicious Baked Zucchini Fries. Enjoy!




Gluten Free Baked Zucchini Fries

This weekend I picked up a lovely zucchini at the local organic market. I saw this recipe for baked zucchini fries that I thought would be a nice snack this afternoon. The recipe called for bread crumbs but I didn’t have any, since I’ve purged most gluten from my house. So I decided to make my own Gluten Free Breadcrumbs. You can find the recipe here.

Cut one large zucchini into 3-4 inch long x 1/2 inch thick pieces. Set aside.

You’ll also need 2 eggs. (Or 1 extra large egg.)

Beat the eggs in a small/medium bowl. Dip each zucchini piece into the eggs, then into the breadcrumb mix.

baked-gluten-free-zucchini-fries-homemakerchic.comPlace on a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle the tops of each piece lightly with a little olive oil.

Bake on 425 for about 10-12 minute then carefully flip each piece over once. Bake for an additional 7-10 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.

Serve warm from the oven with marinara sauce. You’re going to love this snack, and so will your kids!

Bacon Cheddar Quinoa

So lately I’ve been trying to do a gluten-reduced diet. I also recently learned that I have a mild food intolerance to rice. This means that I have to limit my rice intake to about once a week. The gluten-reduced part means no more cous-cous either :(. So I’ve been playing around with quinoa as a lunch-time alternative. Quinoa is what is known as a supergrain because it is an amazing food. It is a complete protein, heart-healthy, contains fiber, folate, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, and it’s low allergy risk making it a great choice for children/toddlers and the gluten intolerant.

So here is the first of many Quinoa recipes to be appearing here on Homemaker Chic.


Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces (I like to use scissors for this)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • Salt and Pepper

Makes 2 servings.

Here’s what you do:

how-to-cook-quinoa-homemakerchic.comIn a small saucepan, bring the quinoa and stock to a boil. Boil for one minute then reduce the heat and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes.

In a non-stick skillet saute the bacon and the onions until the bacon is crisp and the onions are caramelized. Drain off most, but not all of the bacon grease, and set aside.

When the quinoa is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, pour the cooked quinoa into the skilled with the bacon and onions. Add the cheese, salt and pepper. Stir and cook until the cheese is melted and the quinoa is lightly sauteed- about 5 more minutes.

Serve alone as a hearty lunch, or as a side dish to a meal.

Champagne Cream Sauce over Rotini Pasta

rotelle pasta with champagne sauce homemakerchic.comNow that New Year’s is over, the thought of drinking Champagne might be put on the back burner for awhile. But what do you do with all that leftover champagne? Or what about half a bottle that wasn’t finished? Don’t pour it down the drain you fool. Make a tasty sauce with it! Here’s how.

All you need to do is make a basic béchamel. We talked about how to do this for the Confetti Spaghetti recipe. This basic roux is ridiculously simple and is the start of so many amazing sauces.  Plus you can vary so many different aspects, to make lots of unique and wonderful things!

For this sauce all you need is:

  • 1 T Flour
  • 2 T Butter
  • 2 t crushed garlic
  • 1 c milk
  • 2/3 c Champagne
  • 1/4 c Parmesan Cheese
  • A dash of nutmeg

Here’s what to do:

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Whisk in the flour and cook on med-low heat stirring frequently. Cook until the mixture is about the consistency of a thick toothpaste. About 5 minutes. Do not let it brown too much. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic. Slowly whisk in the champagne and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and parmesan cheese. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until thickened to your liking. Serve over your favorite pasta and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. I added some chopped grilled chicken and tossed the sauce with Rotini pasta. You can use this sauce with any pasta. Enjoy!

pasta with champagne sauce