It’s been so chilly that I wanted to make soup tonight. Thought I’d re-post this lovely soup and bread recipe I made back in the fall. Mmmm, I can smell the bread baking right now! Can’t wait to savor this meal tonight.
My husband had this big surprise for me tonight. All I knew was that there would be a babysitter coming at 5:00pm and I needed to be dressed warmly and bring a flashlight. Sounds interesting right? I thought so myself. 🙂
BUT- as it goes now and again- those plans have changed. I came down with a cold and so did my littlest man. My husband broke his tooth (molar). My oldest woke up with an asthma attack this morning. AND both of the couples in our triple date surprise cancelled. So- we opted to not go out. Instead we will be doing our old faithful date night IN. This is where we give the kids dinner first. Put them to bath and bed and then rejoice in ALONE time!
We often get Olive Garden To Go and order one meal to split between the two of us ($11.95). Then, online reserve a redbox movie from redbox.com for the super cheap price of $1.02. Our total date cost is $12.97 – cheap but wonderful. We glam up the night on occasion with wine and candles. Perfume and a dress make an appearance often but the flexibility also offers us to snuggle in our jammies as we curl up on the sofa for our movie. Tonight- we reserved The Avengers.
But you’re dying to know the surprise date right? I was too.
It was a Ghost Tour at DE Fort. You have to take a boat ride to a wee little island and they give you the spooky tour of the old grounds and building. Supposedly it’s nifty. We gave our tickets to the youth interns at the ministry house and are letting them enjoy the fun.
But I thought, after all that planning my champion of a man did, I’d do a little something special for him as well. Here’s what we’ll be dining on tonight: Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup and California French Bread Rolls. –it’s all very geographical;)
I found a great cauliflower recipe via pinterest and decided to integrate a little home-ec and science (and math of course) into our homeschool day. (making soup is a great way to demonstrate the water cycle-which we are studying right now)
I made some changes to the recipe to fit my needs and ingredients. It turned out tasty! Even my helpers requested a bowl for lunch because the taste test spoonful was not enough!
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 medium & 1 small onion chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups skim milk
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2.5 lbs cauliflower
- 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard (I used Honey Garlic Mustard but Dijon is more commonly found)
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- Melt butter and chopped onion together in a large sauce pan and sauté for approximately 10 minutes over medium heat until onion gets golden in color.
- Add flour and stir to make a roux. Toss onion and flour.
- Slowly add the milk. Stir the entire time. And chicken broth and stir constantly.
- Add chopped cauliflower and heat until boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until cauliflower is tender. About 10-15 minutes. Place contents of sauce pan into blender and blend until smooth
- Return cauliflower mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in mustard and cheese until melted and smooth.
- Garnish with a little cheese or croutons.
California French Bread Rolls
These are amazing as a companion to this dish or for any kind recipe calling for home made bread (i.e. pepperoni bread, stuffed breads, etc.)
7 c unbleached flour
2 pkgs dry yeast
3 c warm water (make it warm! It activates the yeast)
1 T salt
Reserve 1 c. flour. Mix all remaining ingredients in a bowl until manageable. I use my kitchen aid mixer and put on the dough hook. Slowly incorporate reserve flour. Let rise 1 hr. in greased bowl (covered with plastic wrap). Punch down. Let rise 1 more hour. Punch down. Dust 2 cookie sheets with corn meal (optional but makes for a sweet bite to the bread). Cut dough into 24 chunks, shape into balls, place on sheets, rise 45 minutes. Bake in preheated oven 440F x 15 min. rotate trays top to bottom and front to back. Bake 15 minutes more or until well colored. Use with in 12 hours.
Dough is freezable. I often split the dough in half and freeze one portion while serving the other at a meal.