Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chicken Broth

Contributed by Kathleen.

Next time you cook a whole chicken - or take the easy way out for dinner and pick up one of those rotisserie chickens at the grocery store (not that I EVER do that) - use the leftover carcass to make your own chicken broth. It's done in the crockpot. It's easy peasy.

1. Pick the bones clean and save chicken pieces for chicken noodle soup.

2. Place the bones (that sounds better than carcass, no?) in the crockpot.

3. Now look in your fridge and grab any veggies you see. These are to add flavor and nutritious nutrition to your stock. This time for my stock, I used celery, carrots, onions, and garlic. You don't need to spend much time at all preparing these veggies for their bath. A rinse and very rough cut for the celery, carrots, and onions (I didn't even peel the carrots since they are organic) and a smash for the garlic. Throw them in along with a few bay leaves.

4. Now cover all the stuff with water and add a generous amount of salt.

5. Now turn your crockpot on low and wait. At least let it simmer overnight. Me? I let it go a little longer. Typically, I let it go overnight. Then in the late morning, I steal enough broth to make some chicken noodle soup for lunch. Then I refill the crockpot and add a little more salt and let it go until after dinner.

6. Strain out all the stuff and pour your stock into whatever containers you are using. I use mason jars. I usually put the jars in the fridge overnight and then into the freezer the next morning. This way they aren't in total shock!

And that is all there is to it! I got about 14 cups out of this (plus the generous amount I stole at lunch for our soup!).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

GF Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Submitted by: Kathleen
Original source: Gluten-Free Goddess

So I decided to tackle the Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate Chips out of curiosity. You know, to see if I can even do gluten-free. OK, so I made this recipe my first gluten-free attempt because I need want chocolate. I justify it because all of this stress over what I'm going to feed myself must be alleviated, and I ask you, what better way to do that than with chocolate? Anyway, I got this recipe from the Gluten-Free Goddess who really seems to know her stuff. The recipe she offers is vegan. I like my animal products thankyouverymuch, so I used what I have.

Here is her recipe with my notes of course, because I simply cannot keep my opinions to myself:

Whisk together:
1/2 c. GF buckwheat flour or GF oat flour*
1/2 c. sorghum (jowar) flour**
1/2 c. brown rice flour**
1/2 c. tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour)***
1/3 c. cocoa powder
2 t. xanthan gum
1 t. sea salt
2 t. baking powder
1 c. cane sugar
1/3 c. light brown sugar

*I used oat flour. Howver, I haven't ventured out to Whole Foods since I decided to try to deprive my body of wheat, so my oats are not certified GF. But in my research, I learned that oats only contain gluten because of contamination. I figure that isn't as bad as actual gluten in the product, so I gambled and milled my oats into oat flour.

**I cannot find sorghum flour as is the case with many of these very weird ingredients in these GF recipes. The GF Goddess said a good substitute is white or brown rice flour. Since the recipe already calls for brown rice flour, I milled some white rice as a sub for sorghum. As a side note, one of the reasons I abhor the idea of being GF is because of the exhorbitant cost of some of these ingredients. BUT...the fact that I can take a fairly inexpensive staple item like rice and mill it into flour, I guess, somewhat makes up for the fact that I had to dip into my children's college fund to buy a measly 8 oz. bag of xanthan gum.

***Again, I could not find tapioca starch, so I bought tapioca pearls and milled them myself.

Add in:
1/2 c. light olive oil or organic shortening+
1 T. bourbon vanilla extract
1/2 c. vanilla rice milk, coconut milk, or almond milk - more as needed++

+I don't have light olive oil, and I thought regular ol' EVOO might taste too strong. I thought about using coconut oil, but then I figured my kids wouldn't eat that (which may be a good thing - more for me), so I used expeller pressed peanut oil.

++Like I said, I like my cow products. I used raw milk.

As you beat the dough, pay close attention to the consistency. Add more rice milk a tablespoon at a time and beat to combine until you achieve a smooth but sturdy cookie dough. [GF Goddess] added two more tablespoons of rice milk to [her] dough.

Add in:
1/2 c. vegan chocolate chips****

****I may or may not have used at least a cup of chocolate chips. I used Lindt chocolate because it is one brand I know is GMO-free. Plus it's yummy!

Stir in chocolate chips as best you can (the dough is stiff). Divide into 18 equal pieces. Roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with palm of your hand. Bake in the center of a 375 preheated oven for about 15 minutes until the cookies are set. They will still be slightly soft in the center. If you bake two pans at once, rotate the pans halfway through baking. Remove the pans from the oven and allow the cookies to cool and "set" for a few minutes, then use a thin spatula to move the cookies to a wire rack. The cookies will get crisper as they cool.

And the verdict? Well, they are different. But they are still chocolate. They aren't half-bad. Really.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Healthified Cinnabon Clones

Many moons ago on my family blog, I threatened to take on the challenge of healthifying my Christmas morning cinnamon rolls. Well, I didn't get to that project in time for Christmas, but I did make them for our first day of homeschool this morning.

I used my regular recipe from Allrecipes:

Clone of a Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll

1 c. warm milk (110 degrees)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 c. butter, melted
4 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 t. yeast

1 c. packed brown sugar
2 1/2 T. ground cinnamon
1/3 c. butter, softened

3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt

Notes on ingredients: I used fresh milled white wheat flour. For the other ingredients, I used organic. I know I don't use the best sugar. There's not a trace of nutrients in organic evaporated cane juice, but at least I am not getting the GMOs that are in most white sugar.

If you forget to take the eggs out to get them to room temperature, just stick them in a bowl with hot water. Let them sit while you prepare the other ingredients, and by the time you need them, they'll be warmed up adequately.

For the frosting, I used homemade cream cheese. It's so easy! We have already discussed making yogurt, so just get out a jar of homemade yogurt. Then strain it through a cloth (I noticed you can just strain store-bought yogurt, but the homemade needs to strain through a cloth). If you strain it for 24 hours, you will have sour cream. If you strain it for 48 hours, ta-da! Cream cheese.

Instructions: (I use a bread machine for this recipe, but you can also make the dough the old-fashioned way.) The original recipe was suited for a bread machine, so the instructions are to place the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed and then follow the bread machine instructions.

After the dough is made, roll out. Spread with the softened butter and then sprinkle with the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up and cut into 12 rolls. Place in greased 9x13 baking pan. Let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

More notes: Don't want to have to wake up at the crack of dawn to prepare breakfast? The night before, make the dough, roll it out and cut the rolls. Then place them in your pan and stick in the fridge, covered. The next morning, take the rolls out of the fridge and proof. You can do this in the oven if your oven has a proofing setting. OR just boil a pan of water and place the hot, boiling pot in the bottom of the stove. Without turning it on, put the pan of rolls in the oven. After 30 minutes, bake at 350 as instructed.

And that's it...now enjoy your delicious rolls that taste just like they came from that store in the mall!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Whole Wheat Brownies

Contributed by Kathleen Pierce
Original Source: 100 Days of Real Food

So...my kids LOVED these. I did not. They were so dry and crumbly I really can't call them brownies. But I thought I would go ahead and post the recipe. I'm going to play with it a bit, and maybe some of you like to tinker with recipes as well!

I suppose it would be prudent of me to wait and tweak the recipe and then report it once it's successful, but, folks, I took a picture! So I must use it. And who knows if there will be any ice cream left by the time I remake the brownies. I think there probably won't be. The kids go to bed in T-minus 5 hours, and then I shall be alone with the remaining dairy delight. There will not be any left.

Here's the recipe with my notes along the way (because I can't keep my mouth shut!):

3/4 c. whole wheat flour (I used fresh milled white whole wheat)
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa (She recommends Hershey's dark chocolate cocoa. I recommend melting real chocolate. I will use Lindt 70% dark. Lindt is non-GMO; Hershey's is GMO, though I don't think their cocoa powder would have GMO products in it since it is unsweetened and does not have soy.)
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. maple syrup or honey (I used honey as I prefer a honey flavor over a maple syrup flavor.)
1 T. vanilla
1 egg (I would use two as I think an additional egg would make it less crumby, less dry - maybe even just an extra egg yolk as the white tends to dry things out.)
1/4 c. chopped nuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x9 baking dish. (Did you know you can order a misting thingy that you can fill with your own oil instead of using Pam? If you go to Amazon and search "misto", it will bring up a pretty nifty little gadget. Mine is filled with olive oil.)

2. Whisk together dry ingredients.

3. On stove, melt coconut oil with maple syrup or honey and vanilla. (Here's what I intend to do next time: Melt chocolate with coconut oil. Add honey. Remove from heat and add vanilla - you should always remove from heat before adding vanilla; I don't know why she doesn't!)

4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Then fold in nuts if you're using them.

5. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Basic Ice Cream Base/Vanilla Ice Cream

Contributed by Kathleen Pierce
Original Source: Doughmesstic

3 1/2 cups dairy (milk, cream, mixture of both)
3/4 c. sugar
4 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla

Over medium to low heat, heat dairy to hot but not boiling. In the meantime, beat sugar and egg yolks together. Remove dairy from heat and add vanilla. Temper eggs by adding a spoon full of the hot milk into the eggs, beating constantly. Once incorporated, mix the egg mixture into the heated dairy.

Transfer to a clean mixing bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Ice cream maker: After 2 hours, follow directions for your ice cream maker.

By hand: Place in freezer. Every hour as it freezes and until it freezes, take the mixture out of the freezer and, using a handheld mixer, mix the ice cream. This breaks up ice crystals, resulting in a creamier ice cream.

1. You can add mix-ins and other flavors after the ice cream is off the stove and mixed together.

2. To make chocolate ice cream, add chocolate chips to dairy mixture while it's on the stove. Allow chocolate to melt and mix it in.

3. For my dairy, I used 2 cups heavy cream and 1 1/2 cups raw milk. Since the milk is heated, I may forego the raw milk next time as the heat takes away some of the nutritional value anyway. If your store carries it, there is an Organic Valley product - Half and Half from pasture-raised cows - that I would like to try.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easy Blender Salsa

Contributed by Kathleen Pierce
Original Source: (Pinterest! :-)) Mountain Mama Cooks

This salsa, seriously, is so easy! No cooking necessary, though if you have time, some simmering on the stove would serve to meld those wonderful flavors together even more.

Easy Blender Salsa


  • 1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1- 10 oz can orginal Rotel
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed
  • juice of 1 lime


Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor or good blender and pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with chips or over tacos. (I added in some chunky pieces of onion and some cilantro after blending.)

Taco Seasoning

Contributed by Kathleen Pierce
Original source: Real Food and Health, March 2012 issue

Taco Seasoning Mix

4 T. chili powder
3 T. cumin
3 T. paprika
2 T. onion powder
2 T. garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and shake container to blend. Use two tablespoons to replace a taco seasoning packet. Because this recipe does not include salt, you will then need to salt your dish to taste.

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Contributed by Kathleen Pierce
Original Source: Rhonda Rathbun from high school :-)

Flour Tortillas (makes 12)

Sift together:
4 c. fresh milled white whole wheat flour
2 t. salt

Work in:
3 T. butter
3 T. olive oil

Stir in:
1 c. water

(I combine all of this in my food processor, which makes it a very quick task.)

Use more water if necessary until dough forms a ball. Knead well and divide into 12 equal parts. Roll each into a ball. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out. (If you use oil on the countertop instead of flour, your tortillas remain softer.) I found when rolling that you must get it very thin. To do this, alternate directions and with each direction change, flip the tortilla over.

Fry on ungreased skillet.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Contributed by Kathleen Pierce
Original Source: Allrecipes.com

Cilantro Lime Chicken (Slow Cooker)

1 (16 oz.) jar salsa (or 2 c. homemade salsa)
1 pkg. dry taco seasoning mix (or 2 T. homemade taco seasoning)
1 lime, juiced
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro
3 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast

Place the salsa, taco seasoning, lime juice, and cilantro into a slow cooker and stir to combine. Add the chicken breasts and stir to coat with the salsa mixture. Cover the cooker, set to high and cook until the chicken is very tender, about 4 hours. Shred chicken with forks to serve. (I shredded chicken and returned to crockpot with about an hour of cooking time left.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Berry Sauce

Contributed by Kathleen PierceOriginal Source: 100 Days of Real Food

Ever since I found the recipe for Berry Sauce on the 100 Days of Real Food blog, I have been scheming about things to put it on because, seriously, it would be good on just about anything.

Berry Sauce

3/4 c. berries
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 - 2 T. maple syrup (I used honey)

Bring all ingredients to a simmer or medium-low heat. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until berries are soft. Then you can strain or use an immersion blender (my preference so that none of it goes to waste).

I really don't follow this recipe, just the concept - basically berries and water and, if you want, sweetener. Add less water if you want a thicker sauce (perfect to mix in homemade yogurt) or thinner if you want a berry syrup (for pancakes).

Swedish Pancakes

Contributed by Kathleen Pierce
Original Source: Childhood...most likely from the version of the day of the BH&G red and white checkered cookbook.

Swedish Pancakes
1 1/4 c. milk
3/4 c. fresh milled white whole wheat flour
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt

Beat eggs; stir in milk. Sift together dry ingredients. Add to egg mixture and mix until smooth. Cook on griddle or small saute pan.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ranch Dressing/Dip

Contributed by Denise Koss

Ok, take in mind that I found this before I went organic and it is for ranch dressing, but I am sure you can tweek it and make it for a dip as well: In a small bowl add together...2 T water, 1/2 t pepper, 1/2 t dill weed, 1/2 t dried parsley, 1/2 t dried basil, 1/2 t thyme, 1/4 t minced garlic or 1/8 t garlic powder, and 1/4 t paprika. (Let this sit for 5 minutes) Add and mix in: 2/3 cup buttermilk, 1/3 cup mayonaise, 1 T cider vinegar, 1 t dijon mustard, 1 t sugar, and 1/4 t salt.

Homemade Yogurt - Cooler Method

Contributed by Susanna Holcomb
Original Source: www.thefrugalgirl.com
Okay here is the link to the homemade yogurt recipe. I am linking to the original in fairness to the author. :) Here is what I do that is a little different. I don't boil my containers...I just make sure that they are clean. I also pour boiling water in the cooler. I found that it cools off too much otherwise. I will say that I keep my cooler in our unheated garage so the temperature outside does effect it. I also make the yogurt in the evening and let it sit overnight - much longer than 3 hours. This does result in a much more tart yogurt. It is a thinner consistency than store bought but that is because we are not using pectin. Often I make 2 gallons at a time and mix whole milk and 2%. Why so much? Because it does not take that much longer to do 2 gallons at once and it will... keep in the fridge for up to one month. The other change that I do is this - I make 1/2 of the batch vanilla and put it in half-pint mason jars. (they were much cheaper than other small glass with lid options.) This allows my 8 year old and others to have a serving of yogurt with ease. The plain yogurt I make in quart mason jars. I put both in the cooler as the size of the container does not effect the culturing time. Still not convinced to make yogurt? A gallon of milk = a gallon of yogurt. In my neck of the woods a gallon of milk is $2.98 and the last time I bought a quart of plain yogurt it was $1.97 (x4= $7.88) If your family eats a lot of yogurt is worth it to at least try it. Oh, do you like fruit in your yogurt? You can add jam, jelly or fresh fruit to it after it is made. Happy yogurt making!
The recipe (from The Frugal Girl):
Homemade Yogurt (makes 4 quarts, which will keep for at least a month in the fridge)
For vanilla yogurt directions, see the bottom of the recipe.
1 gallon of milk
1 cup yogurt starter(you can use a small cup of plain Dannon or Yoplait yogurt, or you can use a cup from your previous batch.)
1. Place four quart glass canning jars, four lids, and four screw-tops in a large pot. Fill with an inch of water; cover with lid and heat to boiling. Boil for ten minutes. Leave the lid on the pot and move it off the heat until you are ready to use the jars.
2. Pour one gallon of milk into a large, heavy bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven. Heat the milk to 185-190 degrees Farenheit(90-90 Celcius).
3. Place the pot in a sink filled with cold water and let the milk cool to 120 degrees fahrenheit(50-55 degrees celsius)
4. Stir one cup of yogurt starter into the cooled milk, using a whisk. Stir well to ensure that the starter is thoroughly incorporated into the milk.
5. Pour the milk into jars, and put the lids and bands on. Place them into a cooler.
6. Heat one gallon of water to 120 degrees F(50-55 degrees C) and pour into cooler.
7. Shut cooler lid and leave in a warm place for three hours. When the three hours are up, place the yogurt in the refrigerator.
To make a delicious vanilla version of this yogurt, add 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar to the four quarts of milk when it’s cooling in the sink. Then stir in 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla, depending on your preference, and proceed as usual with the recipe.

Homemade Yogurt - Crockpot Method

Contributed by Kathleen PierceOriginal Source: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2011/03/17/making-homemade-yogurt/

I remembered someone on here posting about making yogurt in a crockpot, but then I couldn't find the post so I ordered a yogurt maker on Amazon. But then I got to thinking...why spend $40 when I already own a crockpot and know it's possible? So I canceled my order and did a quick internet search. And...this morning I have yogurt sitting in my crockpot! Real easy too - here's how:
1. Turn crockpot on low and add 1/2 gallon milk (any - whole, 2%, etc. I used whole organic).
2. Leave for 2 1/2 hours on low.
3. After 2 1/2 hours, turn crockpot off and leave for 3 hours.
4. At the 3 hour mark, take 1/2 c. yogurt starter (this could be an actual starter you buy online or just plain yogurt you buy at the store, but make sure it has "live" cultures listed in its ingredients. I used some raw milk yogurt donated for this experiment by a friend (thanks, Heidi!)). Anyway, take the 1/2 c. starter and, in a separate bowl, mix in 2 cups of the warmed milk with the starter. I also at this point added 1 c. nonfat milk powder as this is supposed to add a creamier texture. Pour the milk/yogurt (and milk powder) mixture back into the crockpot and replace the lid.
5. Now, still keeping the crockpot unplugged, wrap a big towel around it to keep it insulated. Then just leave for 8 hours and come back to your yogurt!

I was a little skeptical, but it works! The yogurt is quite a bit thinner than what you buy in the store, but that is actually better for cooking. And what we plan to eat, I'll run through some cheesecloth and a strainer to thicken. I also have some yogurt cheese going, which is delicious as sour cream (I'll never buy sour cream again!).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cheese Crackers

(Contributed by Kathleen. Source: http://kathdedon.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/melt-in-your-mouth-homemade-cheese-crackers/)

1 1/2 c. extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 stick butter, softened and cut into pieces
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. crushed red pepper (this was way too hot for my kids - reduce)
1 T. milk

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Put everything except the milk in a food processor. Pulse the processor, 5 seconds at a time, for about 5 or 6 times, until the dough is in coarse crumbs.

3. Add the milk and process until the dough gathers together in a ball.

4. Roll the dough out on a floured board with a rolling pin that has been floured until it is about 1/8 inch thick.

5. Cut the dough into 1-inch squares with a sharpe knife or pizza cutter. Use the flat end of a wooden skewer to poke a hole in the center of each cracker.

6. Place the crackers at least 1/4" apart on parchment paper on a baking sheet.

7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are just starting to brown.

8. Cook completely.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Everyday Granola

(Submitted by Kathleen. Source: www.perrysplate.com)

3 c. old-fashioned oats (I used rolled oats)
1 c. coarsely chopped nuts (like sliced almonds)
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
3 T. (packed) brown sugar (optional)
2 T. milled flaxseed
(I also added a small "handful" of millet)
3/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. salt
1/3 c. honey, real maple syrup, or agave nectar
3 T. coconut oil (or veggie if you don't have coconut)
1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. dried fruit

1. Preheat oven to 300.

2. Mix first 8 ingredients in large bowl. Stir preferred sweetener and oil in saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. (Do not boil). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

3. Pour sweet mixture over oat mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Spread on lightly sprayed sheet pan.

4. Bake until golden, stirring evern 10 minutes for a total of 30-40 minutes. Place sheet on rack. Stir and cool. Mix in fruit.

Store in airtight container.

Suggestions for add-ins or replacements:
citrus zests
other extracts and spices
crystallized giner (add halfway through baking)
mini chocolate chips (add after mixture has baked and cooled)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sour Cream Brownies

(Submitted by Kathleen. Source: www.cooks.com)

Sour Cream Brownies
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
2 sq. unsweetened chocolate
1 c. organic sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
Pinch of salt
1/4 c. yogurt cheese*
2/3 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
2 T. ground flaxseed (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter with chocolate in top of double boiler over hot water. Slowly heat chocolate mixture. Add sugar and eggs and beat well. Stir in vanilla. Add flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in salt, yogurt cheese, and walnuts. Pour in greased 8" square pan. Bake 30 minutes.

*Yogurt cheese - Place a strainer over a deep enough bowl to drain liquid without it touching the strainer. Place 4 layers of cheesecloth in strainer. Place yogurt over cheesecloth. Cover loosely with Saran wrap. Place in refrigerator overnight. Drain liquid and store yogurt cheese.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Whole Wheat Waffles

(Contributed by Elin)

3 Eggs
1 1/2 cup Natural Yogurt
1/2 cup of Oil
2 Tbls. of Orange Juice or Tangerine Juice (I squeezed tangerines)
1 tsp. Baking soda
2 tsp. Bkg. powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
Whisk all of the above and then stir in:
1 and 3/4 cup of Whole Wheat Flour

The orange juice cuts the strong whole wheat taste (so I'm told). The waffles were crispy and delicious! Of course I made my own syrup of 2 cups of RAW sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring that to boil for one minute and then add 1/2 tsp. maple flavor and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Homemade Tomato Soup

(Contributed by Kathleen, source: Tomato Soup) (My alterations at the end)

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced or minced
1 t. sea salt
2 c. chicken stock
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (fire roasted recommended)
2 T. honey (or to taste)
1/3 c. plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh basil (optional)
freshly ground pepper (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add salt, stock, tomatoes, and honey. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat.

Immersion blender: Add yogurt, then blend in pan until smooth.

Regular blender: Cool soup slightly, then carefully transfer to blender. Add yogurt and blend until smooth.

Reheat blended soup, 5-7 minutes. Just before serving, add basil and freshly ground pepper.

Makes 4 servings. Recipe by Allison Ruth of Some the Wiser

*I used fresh tomatoes - 3 rather large ones, which I chopped and threw in. However, my end result was a very orange soup, which immediately aroused the children's suspicion, causing great doubt about my assurances that this was indeed tomato soup. I would have preferred it to be more tomato-y as well. I think next time I will use a can of tomatoes as well as the 3 fresh tomatoes, or perhaps reduce the number of fresh tomatoes to 2.

**I used Stonyfield low-fat plain yogurt as opposed to whole milk, and it turned out just fine.

***If you're like me and do not like little pieces of tomato skin floating in your soup, you might want to strain it before serving. Or perhaps I should have used the blender instead of the immersion blender. OR perhaps I just don't know how to properly use the immersion blender. (This last option is far more likely.)