Taste{full}: What's for Dinner? - Pretty Real

Taste{full}: What's for Dinner?

12:23 PM

I'm learning that I am not a good homemaker in so many ways...Take dinner for instance. I love to cook and try new recipes, but only in ideal circumstances that usually don't play out in real life. For instance, when I have enough money for the crazy expensive ingredients Giada uses...or when I don't have a 16 month old crying to be picked up or hanging on my ankles (true story--we have both ended up on the floor after my tripping over her on at least several occasions)...or when I don't have a job that necessitates I be out of the house for 10 1/2 hours a day. SO, I'm left with vain ambitions of finding something quick, somewhat cheap, easy, and not terribly bad for me. You can probably guess which of those factors goes out the window the fastest--yes ladies, you guessed it. Hence why I had such a hard time finding a hides-all-my-imperfections swimsuit last year! In any case, I was happy with my dinner last night and since I love you :), I decided to share it...

An American classic--grilled cheese and tomato soup... but hold on, this ain't your mamas grilled cheese (with the "cheap cheese" as Joe's mom once labeled the cheese in the fridge for a family party--we will never let her live that down!), white wonder bread, and the soup right outta the can.  Read on sisters.

mmmmmm. I have made these on numerous occasions and they always turn out good (well except that one time Popeye took over and I overdid the spinach but at least that made them healthier!). I have to say I'm not always good at exactly following the recipe but you can play with the amounts in this one and it still works. I've used pancetta before which is really yummy but substituted plain ol' American bacon last night. I also used already shredded cheese and olive oil in addition to the canola. And since I had Joe do the prep for me (Mr. Mom gets out of work earlier so he picks Genevieve up, gets her settled, and starts dinner all before I arrive home), we ended up with much LESS spinach than the recipe called for and much MORE bacon. which I'm totally ok with. :)

wow. This soup was gooooood. Even Joe liked it and he doesn't really care for soup, much less tomato soup. After having Panera's tomato basil (or is it tomato bisque?) soup the other night I was dying for a re-do, sans the trip or the cash. I went to allrecipes.com--one of my main go-to sources for easy and yummy recipes and this is the first one that came up. Seriously it was REALLY good!! Now I hate it when people recommend a recipe but they changed like everything in it (who else gets overwhelmed reading reviews that go on and on about their substitutions?!) but I will tell you I did make a couple of my own. I used mostly milk but also heavy cream because I wanted it to be really creamy (totally making sense why swimsuit shopping is so difficult, huh?!). In hindsight that wasn't really necessary because of the cream cheese it calls for. I also used Rotel (i.e. diced tomatoes with green chiles) instead of plain diced tomatoes. This wasn't me being inventive; it was just what I had on hand.  I am so glad I did- it gave it a spicy kick that was oh-so delicious and I think was a major factor in winning husband over. If you have kiddos eating it, I wouldn't recommend that move because it definitely made it spicy. Lastly I took advice from numerous reviewers and used a little less cream cheese than the recipe called for.  To finish, I topped it with grated Parmesan cheese.  Some reviewers also pureed the mixture to make a smooth soup. I didn't so it was kinda chunky but I might next time.  I also wished I had fresh basil on hand because that would have been soooo good. Croutons woulda been a nice addition also. Ok, now preggers is just dreaming.

All in all I was really happy with both recipes. Easy, delicious, and definitely fits in the comfort food category (if, like me, you are exhausted from 'making' a baby- don't be dirty, that part's already done;) and need all the comfort you can get!

Try this recipe and tell me what you think! OR if you have other easy, delish recipes or creamy tomato soup alternatives, let me hear about 'em!

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