I’m not sure why I waited so long to get this soup up on the blog. I love one pot meals and this dish definitely fits into that category. It’s a staple at our house all through the cold weather season. Not that you need convincing, of course, but here’s why I can’t stop eating the stuff:…
Ever been to Panera and tried out one of their broth bowls? Well I have and I love them with a serious foodie passion. I’ve eaten all the varieties and my favorite by far is the quinoa bowl. It just feels healthy. Being the flexible vegetarian that I am, I tend to order it with the egg. My husband and boys, on the other hand, are meat lovers to the extreme so for them, chicken it is….
Whether the temperature outside registers it or not, it’s officially springtime across the country. Down here in the South the beginnings of foliage are starting to show and the first flowers of the season are in full bloom.
Spring is my favorite time of year. I love watching life blossom back into view and bring the promise of warmer days. Leaves make themselves visible, flowers open their petals to drink in the springtime sunshine and birds start to look for the perfect nesting area to expand their family. I feel as though we wake up a bit too. We shed our extra layers, spend more time outside enjoying the warming days, and begin to put away our hearty soups and stews in exchange for lighter fare.
This dish was inspired by my adoration of the changing season. With fresh basil, spinach, and tomatoes all present and swirled around the pleasurable taste of ricotta cheese, a bite of this meal makes me instantly blithe to say goodbye to winter and hello to the warmer months ahead.
There are only a few steps involved in making this pasta; another reason I find a smile creeping onto my face when I make it. Start off by dropping in a smattering of ingredients and spices. Think garlic, white wine, lemon juice, and chicken broth to name a few.
Have you ever bought one of those packs of beans from the grocery store? You know the ones, they have 17 different flavors of legume in the assortment and a recipe for the same old soup on the back every time you pick it up.
Well, I just so happened to have one such bag gracing the inside of my pantry a few weeks back that was bellowing at me to eat it. Being the adventuresome food blogger that I am, I decided to veer away from the bean sack’s dinner plans and instead attempt to create a dish of my own. It would be a chili dish. And while I was at it, I resolved to make it a chicken based chili. And if I was going to use chicken, why not take it one step further and make the base be something other than tomatoes. I was on fire; the inspirational juices were flowing like a glass of cool water on a hot summer day.
I threw in a little of this, and a bit of that. The steam was rising and the water was bubbling. All I needed was my witches hat, a wart and a good cackle, and I would have been concocting one seriously wicked witches brew. When the smoke cleared and the spoon was laid to rest, what remained was one seriously delicious white chicken chili.
As my kids get older, the amount of time I have to cook dinner seems to be less and less. Ok, who am I kidding. It doesn’t seem to be less. It actually is less. A whole lot less. Between Spanish classes, Y-Guides and Faith formation, our afternoons are filled with the kids and me shuttling around in the car, racing to make the next destination on time. Dinner is a far thought in the back of my mind.
I remember the days when I had all afternoon to think about and prepare a tasty meal. I would plan and orchestrate without interruption and the result was usually a masterpiece fit for a king (or at least a family of five). Today I’m lucky if I walk in the door at 5pm and have even had the foresight to pull out a package of meat for that night’s meal. Enter in my trusty slow cooker.
Having grown up in Wisconsin, there were certain foods that I came to enjoy as a part of everyday life. Bratwurst cooked on the grill. Friday night fish fries. Beer (Need I say more). And then there is the food that Wisconsin has always been known for, cheese. California may try to claim it from us, but make no mistake, we are considered the cheeseheads for one big reason. Wisconsin knows cheese. Sorry California. I love your beautiful weather and your beaches (lord knows Wisconsin is lacking in the sand and salt water department and our winter weather leaves something to be desired), but I just can’t give you the crown for cheese over my beloved hometown state; and yes I’m most definitely biased.
So in the spirit of true cheesehead pride, I have created this recipe as a salute to the state where I grew up. You can find a steaming bowl of beer cheese soup in just about any mom and pop restaurant in Wisconsin. And I’m willing to throw money down that pretty much every bowl you find will be good enough to scrape the dish clean. There’s just something magical about combining cheese and beer together that makes the world right again. Serve up a brat or some fish fry on the side and you’ll be ready to move your roots to the north. Guaranteed.
In other news, the big day is finally here! My blogoversary is officially on Thursday, but we’ll be celebrating on Friday with a giveaway or two and a look back at the past year of Mommie Cooks (and what a year it’s been!) Hopefully the new site design will be launched by then as well. It’s as good as ready. I’m just waiting for the green light from my designer. So keep an eye out cuz Mommy’s updating to a whole new look and this one plans to stick around for awhile.