Cream of Mushroom Soup

Recreating convenience foods from scratch is a fun hobby of mine. Silly, I know. Do you eat cream of mushroom soup as a soup or do you use it as an ingredient for casseroles and the like? It seems like cream of (whatever) soups are required ingredients in Midwestern hot-dishes and casseroles. But they are also good for eating on their own, especially, if you make it from scratch.

Before I developed a mushroom sensitivity (sad face) I LOVED eating cream of mushroom soup straight from the can. Weird I know. If I had the time to add the milk and actually turn it into soup I would crumble so many crackers into it that it became a weird cream of mushroom soup porridge. Yum. I ate this entirely too often in college. (Hello sodium overload!)

School Lunch

Penelope loved this soup and even requested to pack some for her school lunch the next day. She has a friend that is a vegetarian and she wanted to show him her vegetarian lunch. Not a bad looking lunch, huh?

Cream of Mushroom Soup: gluten free, vegetarian, and low sodium

This soup is FULL of delicious mushroominess. I used one pound of earthy baby portobellos and kept it lighter by using some vegetable stock in place of some of the cream. It is thickened with cornstarch to give it that thick and creamy texture you are used to with this soup. Using cornstarch makes this a gluten free soup. Gluten free, vegetarian, and low in sodium. All things you can’t get with the canned stuff. Homemade is better made! Enjoy!

Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
pinch of dried thyme
1 cup skim milk
1 cup fat free half & half
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. In a large sauce pan over medium heat melt butter and saute mushrooms and garlic for 8-10 minutes, until browned and soft
2. Pour in vegetable stock and thyme, bring to simmer
3. Take 1/2 cup milk and stir in the cornstarch, set aside
4. Add remaining milk and half & half.
5. Use immersion blender or working in batches add soup to blender and pulse to semi puree the soup (I like to see some small mushroom pieces) return to pot and bring back to simmer
6. Stir in the 1/2 milk and cornstarch slurry. Turn heat to medium high and stir frequently while the soup thickens about 3-5 minutes
7. Stir in salt and pepper to taste

Posted in Gluten Free, Soups, Vegetarian | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Quinoa Chili

I hope your year is off to a great start. Tell me what are you planning to do in 2015? You can check out my goals for the year in my Happy 2015 post.

After all the holiday parties, Christmas dinners (I had five!), platters of Christmas cookies, and a NYD brunch I need a little diet refresher. Something simple yet flavorful. Something I could get on the table in about 20 minutes.

Quinoa Chili

I have a feeling you will see lots of quick dinners this year. One of my goals this year is to reduce the number of times we order out/carry out/pick up food. Quick dinners are going to become my go-to. Everyone is busy and we could all use quick dinners, right?!

This time of year I want to eat all the soups, stews, and chilis. A heaping bowl warms me from the inside out. This simple chili is gluten free (check labels on your beans) and vegetarian/vegan friendly. While the chili leftovers do thicken I think it makes it even better.

Quinoa Chili gluten free and vegetarian

Serves 8
Prep: 5 mins Cook time: 20 minutes
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable stock
1 -15 ounce can diced tomatoes/green chilis/cilantro
1 -15 ounce can red chili beans
1 -15 ounce can great northern beans
1 -15 ounce can black beans
1- 15 ounce can corn, drained
1/4 cup minced onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
garnish with cheese, sour cream, cilantro

1. Bring quinoa and stock to boil over high heat in a small sauce pan. Cover. Turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. While quinoa is simmering pour tomatoes, beans, corn, onions, garlic, chili powder, and cumin into a large pot. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
3. Once quinoa has popped and is tender add to beans. Not all of the stock may have evaporated add the leftover stock to the beans too. 4. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Posted in Gluten Free, Main Dishes, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year! We are now FOUR days into 2015 and what do you think? Is this going to be your year? I sure hope so! I know I am going to do everything I can to make this the best year yet.


I hosted the 4th annual New Year’s Day brunch. Since I was pretty beat from all the Christmas traveling we did I decided to keep brunch incredibly simple with waffles and quiche. Nobody seemed to mind since brunch lasted five hours! It was such a fantastic way to start the new year surrounded by good food, great friends, and lovely conversation. My heart was full of joy.

Each new year comes with a clean slate and a chance to reflect on our resolutions, goals, or intentions for the fresh year ahead of us. Are you a resolutions maker? Do you set new year’s goals or intentions. Do you chose a spirit animal or have a one word focus? I do a combination of the previously mentioned.

For the last four years I have shared some of these with you (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011) and this year is no different. I am going to lay out my goals for the year and will check in quarterly. Putting it out here for you to read will help hold me accountable.

If I had to choose one word focus for the year it would be reduce. I don’t think I will ever manage to be one of those minimalists but I would like to reduce the clutter and number of items in my home.

Waist size (because, you know, four babies)
Time in front of a screen
Number of times we eat out this year
Overall stress level (I need to learn to say no and to let things go)

Log 600 active miles this year
Read 20 books
Develop a daily schedule
Date my husband (more than the 1 time we went out last year!)
Happy mail (everyone loves getting mail that isn’t a bill)
Become more active in my faith
edit to add:
Drink more water
Be an intuitive eater (my friend Jessie recorded and analyzed everything she ate/drank in 2014)

Bread baking (every year this is a goal)
Beer brewing
Menu planing
Working with my daughters to develop their signature dish they will be able to cook from memory

Now it is your turn. Leave me a comment letting me know your resolutions, goals, and intentions for 2015. May this be your best year yet!

Happy New Year!

Posted in Fun | Tagged as: | Leave a comment

Top 14 of 2014

Another year has come and is almost gone. I can’t believe it! Each year seems to go by faster and faster. I hope 2014 has brought you many wonderful memories.

This year I am posting my end of the year wrap up a little early. I want to take these last seven days of 2014 to tie up loose ends, finish a freelance assignment, work on my new website (hopefully launching soon!), and spend lots and lots of time with my kiddos since all six of us will be home together all day every day.

If you want to know what I am up to these next few days follow me on Facebook or on Instagram.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year friends!

Each year it is so fun to see which recipes were visited the most. Lots of new recipes made an appearance this year with a few oldies but goodies tossed in for good measure. Enjoy!


Starting at the top from left to right:

1. Jumbo Bakery Style Banana Muffins
2. Egg Bake (my first post ever!)
3. Crispy Smashed Potatoes
4. Strawberry Nutella Rolls
5. Death by Chocolate Cupcakes
6. Steakhouse Baked Potatoes
7. Chicken Chimichangas
8. Paella + Tapas Party Menu (six recipes included)
9. Penguin Appetizers
10. Dried Cherry Muffins
11. Chocolate Covered Toffee
12. Broccoli Cheese Soup in Bread Bowls
13. English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich
14. Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Sandwiches

Here are some fun nerdy stats from 2014

The top 10 countries:


Top 10 browsers used:


The top continents (I really hope those not set are from Antartica then I will have all 7 continents):


Thank you for reading, commenting, and cooking along with me this year. There are some fun and exciting things in store for 2015! It brings me such joy to share my recipes with you. I love all your comments and emails. Truly it makes my day to hear from you! 

Have a happy and safe Christmas and New Years! XO

Posted in Appetizers, Breakfasts, Desserts, Freezer Meal, Fun, Gluten Free, Main Dishes, Slow Cooker, Soups, Technology | 7 Comments
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