Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Gifts

I have posted before about my great 'soup freeze' and knew that I needed to make a lot more soup for my own stash, but also for some Christmas gifts this week. There are some people that I just don't know what to buy for, but I do know everyone has those nights when you come home from work and there is nothing to eat...never fear soup is here!

My sister in law, Ambre, has celiac. It's a terrible thing in my opinion because she has to be so conscientious about everything she eats. Dinner at her home can be difficult because of her diet, the two kids, and my brother who is not the worlds best eater. He just sticks to a very strict diet of lean meat (chicken), a carb (rice), and something green (green beans or broccoli) most every night of his life except the occasional treat on the weekend. That is why he is a healthy guy...but I digress....dinner time for them is sometimes three different things. So I made a whole lot o' gluten free soups just for her freezer this winter. The rest of the family can enjoy them too, but I was mainly thinking of her with this gift. So here is what I did...

I searched the blog and some of my favorite holiday magazines to find the recipes. In total, I made 4 pots of soup plus one batch of spaghetti sauce.

This is the beginning to the Tortilla Soup. I love this recipe, even though it's gluten free. It's so delicious! I found it here. These are corn tortillas...
Next up is Spaghetti is my recipe:

Spaghetti Sauce
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
Brown the beef in a large, heavy bottomed pot, then drain off the fat. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic and sauté until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, seasonings, and water. Simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool. The sauce will keep for several days covered and refrigerated. Serve with spaghetti or your favorite pasta.

I had A Christmas Story playing in the background to give a bit of Christmas Cheer!

Note: Use a bigger pan next time!

This is the Turkey-Black Bean Chili that is in the January edition of Southern Living. In case you don't have the mag, here is the recipe...
Turkey-Black Bean Chili
3 (15 oz.) cans black beans
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 14 oz. can chicken broth
1 14.5 oz. cans Rotel

Drain and rinse 2 cans black beans. Saute chopped onion and turkey in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in chili powder and next 3 ingredients, sauté 1 minute. Stir in drained and undrained beans, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Serve chili with desired toppings.

These are ingredients for the Philly Cheesesteak delicious!

Philly Cheese Steak Soup
¼ cup olive oil
2 large yellow onions, sliced into ½ inch strips
4 large green bell peppers, sliced into ½ inch strips
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
3 pounds top round steak, sliced into 1 x ½ inch pieces
2 Quarts beef broth
1 (10.5 ounces) cans beef consommé
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Toasted French rounds
Shredded Provolone cheese

In large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add steak; cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until browned. Add beef broth, consommé, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium low, and simmer uncovered, for 2 hours, or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Add thyme; simmer for 5 minutes. Ladle soup into ovenproof bowls; top with toasted French rounds and shredded cheese. Broil 6 inches from heat for 3 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly. Serve immediately. Makes 3 ½ quarts

Lots of chopping...
I had to put in another movie...this is my all time favorite!
Next up...Beef Stew
Beef Stew
2 lbs. boneless top sirloin steak, cut into cubes
Sea salt
Light olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup fresh pearl onions, trimmed, peeled
3 good sized hefty gold potatoes, peeled, cut up
3 good sized carrots, peeled, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 cup dry red table wine (Frey organic wine is egg-free)
4 cups organic beef broth (I used Organic Better Than Bouillon)
A dash of balsamic vinegar
1-2 teaspoons dried Italian or French herbs, to taste (thyme, sage, rosemary, basil, etc)
1 bay leaf
Ground pepper, to taste

First- salt the cubes of beef on all sides. Turn crock pot on high. Heat a dash of light olive oil in a deep heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef cubes on all sides to sear in the flavor, using long tongs to turn the pieces. This doesn't take but maybe five minutes, or so. Remove the beef and add it to the Crock Pot.

Add in the garlic, pearl onions, potatoes, carrots and celery. Pour in the wine and broth. Stir. Add the balsamic, herbs and ground pepper. Cover and let the magic happen. The stew is ready when the beef and vegetables are tender- about 4 to 5 hours if cooked on High.

This was really good...oh yeah...I sampled them all! It was my supper!

In case you missed the "how to freeze soup efficiently post" this is how I do it. Ladle the desired amount into a freezer safe baggie, seal tight pressing all the air out. Lay on a cookie sheet and freeze flat.
Here is my 'soup loaded' freezer! Ha!
The final product
Merry Christmas!
All of this cooking made two gift baskets of soup and spaghetti sauces for mom and Ambre, plus several extras for me!

Next Christmas candy cook-off and what I'm making for Christmas dinner!


Shauna and MacLean said...

Amy, I am exhausted after reading about all your cooking. I have been cleaning and have guests tonight and will post some of my favourite recipes for breakfast. I had to laugh at your post about the movie a Christmas story it was filmed most in St. Catharines Ontario and one of our former schools is the school with the tongue to the post. I drive past it all the time and kill myself laughing. It is now a woman's shelter. Anyway enjoy your Christmas and thanks for the new recipes. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Angie said...

WOW! You need to rest after the week you've had!!! What fantastic recipes and ideas for storing if only I could be as organized and motivated...

Anonymous said...

One of your soups has an
ingredient called "Rotel"?
What is that?..sorry, i'm not
a good cook, but the soups look
wonderful...thank you from
mary m in vancouver,wa.

Amy Maze said...


sorry for the delay! but rotel is a can of mixed tomatoes and green chilies. i use it a lot in soups and mexican dishes.

3 Peanuts said...


These are great recipes and such a fabulous idea. I have had a few friends with cancer and I could totally see doing this and giving it to them to have for when they have nothing to feed their family for dinner OR for when someone has a baby. GREAT idea and thank you for sharing it.

PS Lots of broths and stock have gluten so always check them too.

Hannah said...

Wow! What a wonderful thoughtful thing to do. Those soups look delicious and I love your way of freezing them!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...