MY FAVORITE BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP

I tried to make broccoli cheese soup a while back, and it did not go well. I used only pre-grated cheddar cheese, and it tasted good when we had it the first time, but it kind of “curdled” when I tried to reheat the leftovers.

I know if I wasn’t so lazy and would grate my own cheese, it probably would have worked…oh, well. With the cooler weather that we’ve been having, I’ve been craving broccoli cheese soup. It’s not really practical to go out and buy a cup every time I want one, so I decided to give making it myself another go. This version was a definite win. It will be my go-to recipe from now on.

We all really liked it. The flavor and texture were perfect. It’s rich and creamy without being overbearing. We had  ”bagoonies” with it…I will share the recipe and the story behind these tomorrow. :) Quick, easy, and delish. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture to go with this post. We were hungry and the soup got gobbled up before I could snap a picture. I will definitely be making this again, so I will try to get a picture then and update this post. Try this soup and let me know what you think!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1/3 c. butter
1 c. diced yellow onion (about 1/2 large onion)
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
3 c. whole milk
2 c. chicken broth (1 can)
1/2 c. heavy cream
3 c. finely chopped, fresh broccoli pieces
1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I used the pre-grated, bagged kind and it worked fine)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp of each, but this will vary depending on the brand of cheeses and your salt/pepper preference

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add in onions and cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 3 minutes. Whisk in garlic and flour, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. While whisking, slowly pour in milk, chicken broth then cream.

Cook, stirring frequently, just until mixture begins to gently bubble, then reduce heat to medium low, add in broccoli pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes. Turn heat off, add in cheese and stir until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste and more milk to thin, if needed. Serve warm.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Classy

HONEY GARLIC PORK CHOPS

The original recipe for these pork chops came from Pinterest but they were breaded and fried. I wanted to make these a little bit healthier, so I decided to just make the sauce and use it as a glaze instead. These pork chops turned out really good. They were moist and tender, but they didn’t soak up the glaze as much as I would have liked. It didn’t matter, though, because I spooned some of the sauce over the pork after I’d cut it up and it soaked it up beautifully. I served these with roasted asparagus and broccoli cheese rice. My youngest son, Matthew is always the last one at the table asking how many more bites he has to take before he can be done. It’s always a struggle to get him to eat anything. He had two helpings of pork chops and three helpings of asparagus. Any time he asks for seconds, I consider the recipe to be a success.

Honey Garlic Pork Chops

5 – 6 boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Glaze:
1 c. honey
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ginger
dash of cayenne pepper (to your taste)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp.  chopped garlic
2 Tbs butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Brown in olive oil 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove pork chops to a greased 9×13 baking dish. Whisk together the sauce ingredients and pour over the pork. Bake for 25 minutes. Let meat sit in the dish for about 5 minutes before serving in order to allow the meat to soak up the juices. Pour extra sauce over the pork chops when serving.

Source: Inspired by Sweet Tea and Cornbread

DELIGHTFUL CHICKEN

This is a really easy and really delicious dish. My family enjoyed it and asked that it be put into the regular dinner rotation. It took only a few minutes to put together, and I love an easy meal. Serve it with steamed vegetables and some au gratin potatoes or rice.

4 boneless chicken breasts
2  ( .7 ounce) packets of dried Italian dressing mix (such as Good Seasonings)
1 cup brown sugar, packed

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 inch x 9 inch casserole dish. Rinse chicken, pat dry with paper towels and beat with a meat mallet until they are a uniform thickness. (I butterflied my chicken also.) Combine and the dried Italian seasoning mix and the brown sugar, mixing together well. Dip and press the chicken pieces into the mixture, coating front and back and place into your prepared pan, topside of the chicken facing up. Any extra coating that remains can just be sprinkled over the chicken. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until chicken is done. Turn the chicken and spoon the sauce over the top a couple of times during the baking time. Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken when serving as well.

Source: Adapted from Food for a Hungry Soul