WoW!! I feel like I have been away from my blog forever, the last time I wrote was last Thursday and for one reason or another something else came up or needed attention and by the time I knew it and 255 e-mails later, I discovered that I am way behind in reading my favorite blogs (and missed out on some good stuff!), finding new blogs to follow and of course writing my for my own blog.
I am having one of those days today, not feeling 100%, headache in my nose (almost sure that it’s yet another sinus infection starting), but it was so bright and sunny earlier today that I just had to go out, I just couldn’t waste the sunshine!! Wouldn’t you know it though, today would be the day that the “Wrongerologists” get it right. On the noon news broadcast the local weatherman said that the sun would not last and would give way to overcast skies and increasing winds. Sure enough, about 2 hours into enjoying my bright sunny afternoon….the clouds moved in and the winds picked up. Doesn’t really matter though, when I noticed the change the most I was already in the drive through at the bank which was my last stop for the day.
I spent the rest of my afternoon catching up the 255 e-mail notifications, discovering some really great new recipes I want to try like chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate frosting and then very sad to hear that I somehow missed Margarita day! That is tragic!! Love strawberry Margarita’s!! At this age I don’t recover so well from a night of Margarita’s but I love them just the same. How is it that with age the ability to handle a night out on the town with strawberry Margarita’s doesn’t get easier?? Somehow this does not seem fair to me. I am not joking when I say that now, just one large Margarita can make me woozy, so sad.
Walt and I have a little restaurant close to home that we like to go to. My mom was the first one to discover it, many, many, many years ago. I started going there when I moved here in 2001. It’s Michelle’s Restaurant and Sweetheart Bakery, it’s a restaurant and bakery, candy shop combined. You walk in the front door and the smell of fresh bread, chocolate and sweets envelope you and pull you deeper inside. You are warmed by all the detailed cherry wood that frames the walls, doors and windows.
Walking in the restaurant you would think that it costs a small fortune to eat there but it doesn’t. They have a very limited menu, from prime rib to salad, the Michigan Cherry salad is the best. Tuesday is Polish Day, the specials are all Polish foods and every dinner gets a paczki for dessert. Our only complaint is the service. The wait staff is very, very slow, which is why we don’t go as often as I like, it’s the one thing that drives Walt crazy and the reason he doesn’t like going there.
They have great breads and rolls baked fresh in the bakery. What’s great about the bakery and restaurant being one is that after dinner you can go over to the bakery counter and take home some fresh dinner rolls or my favorite, the Cherry nut Coffee bread………love it.
One of my favorite things to order when I go to Michelle’s is the Chicken Pepperpot Soup. Yes I know, traditional Pepperpot soup is made with tripe, but Michelle’s makes this thick, creamy, spicy soup filled with chicken and veggies. It has just a little kick to it and it’s fantastic. It is not always on the menu, it doesn’t have a specific day assigned to its appearance. If’ I’m lucky when I go in they have it and I can enjoy a big bowl along with a slice of my favorite Cherry Nut Coffee Bread.
I have searched the internet and cookbooks looking for a recipe that sounds even remotely close to what Michelle’s makes and I have failed. Last week I decided it was time to conjure up something that I was hoping would come close and although it’s not exactly Michelle’s, it’s close. I combined a few of my favorite veggies, chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken and made my soup base from the spicy corn chowder. I crossed my fingers, closed my eyes and I have to say, I came up with a decent knockoff!
I served this with corn bread muffins (recipe previously posted here) and it was delicious!!
NANCY’S CHICKEN PEPPERPOT SOUP
1 Rotisserie Chicken – shredded (I used the breast meat only)
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Cup Frozen Corn (thawed)
1 Cup Frozen Green Beans (thawed)
3 Cup Potatoes Diced
1 Cup Chopped Onion
1 Cup Carrots – peeled and sliced
1 Can 14.5 oz Cream Corn
2 Cans 14. 5 oz Chicken Broth
1 Can 4 oz. Chiles – Do not drain
1 Pkt. 2.5 oz McCormick Country Style Gravy Mix
2 Cups Heavy Cream
8 oz Kraft Pepper Jack Cheese Cubed
- Saute onion in butter
- Add 2 cans chicken broth, potatoes and carrots, bring to a boil, let cook for 25 minutes until vegetables are softened
- Add thawed corn and green beans, bring to boil and let cook an additional 5 minutes
- Add cream corn and green chiles – mix well – bring to boil
- Add shredded chicken breast
- Mix the Country Gravy to heavy cream, then add to boiling soup, mix well.
- Add Pepper Jack Cheese and stir contantly until melted.
- Continue cooking until cheese is melted and soup thickens.
- Serve with corn bread or crusty bread.