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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Completed Polymer Clay Necklace - Finally!

Back in May, I shared some pictures of polymer clay jewelry designs that were in various stages of being completed.  I (finally!) finished the Our Lady of Sorrows necklace this past weekend.  I ended up combining the polymer clay accent beads with (mainly) black crystals and glass beads to make an eye-catching necklace.  Overall, I am happy with the way this necklace turned out. I just finished posting it - along with other new creations - to my Etsy and EBay shops.  Stay tuned - I will be sharing pictures of some of my other newly created necklace designs on this blog later on in the week.




Tuesday, August 18, 2015

French Onion Soup Recipe - Just Like Panera Bread's Recipe!


About ten years ago, I stumbled onto a French Onion Soup recipe on the internet that was touted as being just like the one served by Panera Bread.  I made it - and was hooked.  It is one of my "go to" recipes when I want something satisfying and tasty.  It also fits the bill as being fairly healthy.  In June, I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic and have drastically changed my eating habits since then.  I've cut out most starches, sugars and flours, and have opted for meals that utilize mainly complex carbohydrates, like fruits and veggies, as well as protein.  As a result, I have lost 35 pounds in a two month period.  (And no, I am not starving.  I eat up to 1500 calories per day.)  That being said, I wanted to share this recipe. 

Without further ado, here is the recipe.  Enjoy!




Panera Copycat Recipe - French Onion Soup

Soup Ingredients:


1/4 cup butter, unsalted
8 cups  sliced onions (about 4 or 5 medium), raw
4 cups (2 cans) beef broth
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp white flour, all purpose
1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz) water
1 tbsp tomato ketchup 
1 1/2 tsp pepper, black
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp thyme, ground
1/4 tsp garlic powder
A couple of dashes of Tabasco sauce

Garnish:

1- 10 oz Italian bread loaf  (I used Walmart's Marketplace Bake at Home Bread)
8 slices Asiago Cheese (Note: Fresh Asiago cheese is hard to find in my area, so I used the sliced cheese. If using fresh cheese, shave the cheese with a potato peeler.)


Directions:

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add sliced onions and saute until the onions turn brown (about 20-25 minutes), stirring often.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot (except for garnish ingredients) and stir until ingredients are mixed in. Heat soup to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, prepare the croutons.  Slice the loaf of bread into slices approximately 1 inch wide; cut each slice into quarters and spread the pieces out in a large baking pan. (Note: Most crouton recipes (including this original recipe) require the bread to be buttered before being baked, however, I have omitted the butter in line with keeping this a more healthy recipe. Once the bread is in the soup, you won't notice the difference.  I promise! :)  )  Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for approximately 8 minutes.

To serve:

Ladle hot soup into a large bowl. Float a few pieces of croutons on top of the soup, followed by a slice of Asiago cheese. (Note: If using the fresh Asiago, sprinkle two tablespoons of cheese on top of the soup.

Makes 8 1-Cup Servings.

Nutritional breakdown:

Calories: 283.4
Total Fat: 12.4 g
Cholesterol: 16 g
Total Carbohydrates: 34.5 g
Total Fiber: 3.7 g
Protein: 10 g

And there you have it!  Hope you like it as much as I do!