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Autumn Squash Soup

IMG_6418I love the Autumn Squash Soup they serve at Panera.  I love it so much in fact, that I had to see if there was a good copy of it on the internet that I could adapt and use at home.  I did! The copy comes from here.  I think they did a really nice job of it.  I omitted the sugar as I thought the apple cider and honey added plenty of good sweetness to the soup.  I also increased the chicken broth to make it less thick.

Autumn Squash Soup

a Panera Bread copy cat recipe adapted from blog.chron.com

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 (11 oz- 14 oz) package of frozen butternut squash, thawed
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions:

Heat a heavy sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and cook the minced onion until it is translucent, about 5 minutes.

If the butternut squash is not completely thawed, place it in a microwavable bowl with a little water and microwave on high for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the squash, pumpkin puree, cider, chicken broth, curry, honey, and salt to the sauce pan and heat through to boiling.  Blend the soup mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender.  Add the heavy cream to the blended soup and stir to combine.  Serve.

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Whiskey Chicken

The thought of Whiskey Chicken gets my mouth watering.  I don’t know if you have ever had the Whiskey Chicken that the chain restaurant Claim Jumper serves, but it is divine.  It is Whiskey Apple Sauce glazed chicken served with Stuffing and more whiskey apple sauce.  It is worth trying.  Of course the downside is, that you may not live near a Claim Jumper and will never get to experience their version.  This recipe comes close though.

I noticed that Claim Jumper also has a Whiskey Glazed Pork recipe.. so feel free to experiment with that on your own.  I hope you like this dish as well.

Whiskey Apple Glaze

adapted from Claim Jumper

Serves 6

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, cored and grated with skin on
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 8 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • dash of allspice
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch – to thicken in the end in a slurry of water

Glaze Preparation:

In a large sauce pan combine the grated apple, chicken broth, apple juice, brandy, whiskey, sugar, tarragon, allspice, nutmeg, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half.  After cooking it down, dissolve cornstarch in a few Tablespoons of cold water and add to the apple sauce mixture.  Stir over medium heat until thickened.

For the Chicken and Stuffing:

Season 6 chicken breasts with salt and pepper and pan fry them in a little olive oil for about 3 minutes each side.  It won’t be cooked through, but it will be browned.  For the stuffing: use a boxed Stuffing mix for easy prep work.  (Even stove top will do.)  Follow the directions on the box to prepare the stuffing.  Layer the stuffing in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.  Place the chicken breasts on top and ladle a little sauce over the chicken (don’t pour all the sauce over the chicken, reserve some for serving).  Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken runs clear.  Serve the chicken along side the stuffing and ladle reserved apple sauce over the chicken breasts.  It is also quite good on the stuffing.  Now you can experience it at home.

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Asian Onion Soup

I love the onion soup they serve at Benihana and after a search online to find a good copy cat of the recipe, I promptly made some for tonight’s dinner.  It turned out great and was really easy to prepare too!  My kids complained that there was not enough for seconds.  It tells me something when my kids want more.  I have a feeling I will be making this again in the near future.

Meemo’s Kitchen was the website where I found the recipe.  I did not make too many changes to it.

Asian Onion Soup – adapted from Meemo’s Kitchen

Serves 6

Soup Ingredients:

  • 4 cups canned chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 4 inch stalks
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Fried Onions:

  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced into rings and separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, for frying

Additional ingredients for soup bowls:

  • 6 medium mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (green part only)

To make the soup: Pour the chicken broth and water in a large saucepan.  Add onion, celery, carrots, and salt.  Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to medium and allow to simmer for 15-30 minutes.  Remove the onions, celery, and carrots from the broth.

While the soup is cooking: prepare the french fried onion rings.  Dip the onion rings first in milk and then toss in flour to coat.  Bring a cup of oil to temperature over high heat and fry the onions until golden brown (in batches so you don’t crowd the pan).  Remove the fried onion rings with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain on paper towels.

To serve: Place slices of fried onion rings in bottom of bowl along with a few green onion slices and sliced mushrooms.  Pour broth over them with a ladle.  Enjoy!

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Chicken Gnocchi Soup

I love Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi Soup.  Every time I go to Olive Garden I end up ordering it now.  Their Gnocchi are so tender and the soup is so creamy and flavorful.  I went on a quest to find a good copy cat version and I did at Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen Forum.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup-adapted from Tasty Kitchen

  • 3 Chicken Breasts, Cooked And Diced
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Diced
  • 1 Carrot, Shredded
  • 1/2 Onion, Diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Spinach, Chopped (I used 1/2 cup defrosted frozen chopped spinach)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 16 Ounces Potato Gnocchi
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon, to enhance the taste at the end (optional and my addition)

Directions:

  1. Cook the onion, garlic, and carrot in oil over medium heat until onion is tender and translucent.
  2. Add the chopped chicken, chicken stock, heavy cream, salt and pepper, and thyme. Heat to boiling, then add gnocchi (homemade would be even better, but all I had was packaged on hand). Gently boil for 4 minutes, then reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.  I did use defrosted frozen chopped spinach and only added about 1/2 cup to the soup as I did not have fresh spinach on hand.

Recipe Notes
Source:
http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/soups/chicken-and-gnocchi-soup/
Added by Calamity Anne on July 31, 2009 in Creamy Soups, Soups
5.00 Mitt(s) | 3 Rating(s)

Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings 6

Becky’s notes:

I made this version and was very happy with the results. I did add a little bouillon at the end and used defrosted, chopped spinach instead of fresh and it turned out fine.  Will make again and again.  My children are not fans of gnocchi, but they don’t get much say in my house. They can eat it or not eat.

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Boston Market Meatloaf

Boston Market Meatloaf!  Mmmm

I don’t know about you, but I love the meatloaf at Boston Market!  I think the name of the chain used to be Boston Chicken, but they changed the name in the 90’s.  I always wanted to be able to make it at home.  I don’t think it is spot on but it does come close! — I’ve had issues with the meatloaf falling apart on me in the past, though that has been less of a problem when I added an egg to the mixture for binding.  Our family has nicknamed it “lumpy meatloaf” for the very reason that it does not keep its shape very well.  But that is forgiven, because it does have a really good flavor!

The recipe originates in one of the books by Todd Wilbur (Even More Top Secret Recipes: More Amazing Kitchen Clones of America’s Favorite Brand-name Foods).  If you do not have the series of books, I think they are worth picking up.  He has copycat recipes by common and popular food chains.

http://www.toddwilbur.com/

Boston Market Meatloaf – Todd Wilbur

Ingredients

  • 2    cups    Sauce, Tomato
  • 3    Tbsp    Barbecue Sauce — Kraft Original is good
  • 2    Tbsp    Sugar
  • 1 1/2    lbs    Sirloin, Ground — 10% fat
  • 6    Tbsp    Flour
  • 3/4    tsp    Salt
  • 1/2    tsp    Onion Powder
  • 1/4    tsp    Black Pepper — ground
  • dash    Garlic Powder

Instructions
For Sauce: Combine Tomato sauce, Barbecue sauce and sugar. in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Heat the mixture until it begins to bubble, stirring often, then remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 400F
In a large bowl, add 1 cup of Tomato sauce to the meat.  Use a large wooden spoon or your hands to work the sauce into the meat until it is well combined.
Combine the remaining ingredients with the ground sirloin – flour, salt onion powder, ground pepper, and garlic powder.  Use the wooden spoon or your hands to work the spices and flour into the meat.
Load the meat into a loaf pan (preferably a meatloaf pan with the 2 sections that allows the fat to drain. but if you don’t have one of those a regular pan will work.  Wrap foil over
the pan and place into the oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, take the meatloaf from the oven, remove the foil and if you aren’t using a meatloaf pan, drain the fat.
Using a knife, slice the meatloaf all the way through into 8 slices while it is still in the pan.  This will help to cook the center of the meatloaf.  Pour about 2 Tbsp of reserved tomato sauce over the meatloaf and let it stream down the center. (do not spread the sauce)
Place the meatloaf back into the oven, uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until it is done.  Remove and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.  Serve with remaining sauce.

Changes I have made: add an egg.  I doubled the sauce because I like to have extra on the side.  You can vary the flavor by using various BBQ-sauces.

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