Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup
This “BIG SOUP” recipe is insanely flexible! It starts with a base of chicken broth and our familiar friends onion, celery, carrot and herbs. But then the party gets a little crazy – you add whatever fresh, canned or frozen veggies, pasta and or meats that you have loitering around the kitchen, making this soup “soup-er” flexible.
Some of the best cooks never follow a recipe to the “t” and this is surely one of their favorites!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Note the variations on the original scan –
For more soup: Add additional vegetables and broth.
For two meals: Freeze the leftovers.
For creamed soup: Add ½ to 1 cup cream 5 minutes before serving. Do not boil the cream!
For pureed soup: Put all ingredients (no bones) into a blender and work your magic, until smooth.
♥ If you discover a version you really like, make record of the ratios so you can make it again on the next go.
♥ I was 10 when this recipe appeared in the 1976 edition of Apartment Life Magazine. How alarming it is to see the office phone hanging on the wall in the photo below! PS ~ I also love the bananas T-shirt!
i. base ingredients
2 cans | chicken broth
4 | chicken breasts
1 | large onion, chopped
1 | celery stalk, chopped
1 | carrot, chopped
2 sprigs | parsley
1 teaspoon | thyme (or dill weed)
1 | bay leaf
to “cover” | water
ii. “scavenge” for these accessory ingredients
1 small can | pinto beans, chickpeas and or plum tomatoes
1 medium can | corn
½ package | frozen okra, asparagus, artichokes and or pea pods
2 | potatoes, chopped
1 small | zucchini, chopped
1 | green pepper, chopped
¼ pound | mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup or more | pasta or rice
1 length | seasoned sausage
cubes | leftover meat
1 | kitchen sink (just checking if you’re paying attention!) :)
iii. what to do
1. In a medium/large pot over medium heat, add the first eight ingredients in step “i” above. Add water to cover.
2. While waiting for the soup to simmer, scavenge for your step “ii” ingredients above, whatever form they take.
3. Add fresh veggies and rice after the soup’s been simmering 15 minutes or canned, frozen ingredients and pasta after 20 minutes. Simmer soup for 30 minutes or until everything’s done.
Click To View –> An Original Scan Of The Big Soup Recipe
When I was growing up, Mom wasn’t the only Kiker foodie in the kitchen.
My Dad had his own assortment of culinary “secret weapons” and you’d find him outside, grillside, or inside making S.O.S, banana sammys or one of his signature dishes, San Diego Steak, which is still a family favorite.
Dad was loved by all. He’s remembered as a great story-teller and someone who had the priceless gift of an infectious laugh. He could hypnotize a saltwater crab (no kidding), he loved wade fishing in the Texas gulf, the simple “pop” of a Lone Star beer and deer hunting (not in any particular order).
Above all, he loved and cared for his family.
Dad also loved anything made with pistachio; ice cream, pudding… and with certainty, this pistachio marble cake.
This one’s for you, Dad!
1 package | 2-layer size yellow cake mix
1 package | 4-serving size Jell-O pistachio instant pudding + pie filling
4 | cage free eggs
1 cup | water
½ cup | oil
½ teaspoon | almond extract
¼ cup | chocolate syrup
to garnish | confectioners sugar
ii. what to do
0. Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and extract in a large mixer bowl. Blend well by hand.
2. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.
3. Measure 1½ cups batter off to side and stir in chocolate syrup.
4. Spoon batters alternately (50% / 50%, with the chocolate batter last) into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan.
5. Zigzag spatula through batter to marble.
6. Bake for 50 minutes.
7. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan and allow to finish on a cooling rack.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Before adding the eggs to the dry mix, rough ’em up a bit with a fork. Don’t be cruel; just scramble them a bit.
♥ Love chocolate? We won’t tell if you add a little extra sauce!
♥ Greased and floured Bundt? Or sprayed with Pam baking spray.
♥ Without a picture of the finished result, it was a little hard to understand the marbling technique as described. So we vertically dipped the two batters together. Now that I re-read things, I think it’s dump things together by spoonfuls multiple times until everything is together then zig-zag your way. Hum, OK! I better make this again just to be sure!
When you think of bananas, you think of monkeys. Right?
Growing up in the 70s meant enjoying the ritual of watching Saturday morning cartoons for hours. And one of my favorites was the Tom & Jerry Grape Ape Show. Let’s have a watch (play the video below, folks)!
So bananas. I was shocked this recipe listed the marshmallows as “optional” (really?) and that it didn’t call for the joy of the nilla wafer. Just make sure you include ’em both for an over-to-top old world tasty treat.
Oooh! Ahhh! Oooh! Ahhh!
ii. what to do
1. Whip cream in a mixing bowl.
2. Add the vanilla and whip some more.
3. Make the pudding per the box instructions.
4. Fold in the cream.
Serve from the casserole dish or spoon into individual custard cups. Eat it up! If you’re lucky, it’ll all be gone before any bananas on top brown.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Get creative and find a way to decorate the top of your pudding masterpiece. I made a banana sunflower out of sliced bananas and chocolate chips. Or, at least I tried to!
♥ Nilla wafers. On the top. “Chunky crush” ’em first.
♥ No nilla wafers? Mom would approve of some chopped Texas pecans, y’all.
♥ Do you go bananas for bananas? Click here! Then scroll down to your heart’s content.
My cousin Julie revved-up her scanner and shot me some recipes from her San Antonio kitchen last week. This tasty banana nut loaf cake recipe was one of them… and hailed from Delores’ kitchen (her handwriting is shown on the recipe below).
Julie’s mom “Delores” was Mom’s sister… and “magically,” the Kiker family always referred to her as “Sister”… and her husband, “Uncle Bill.”
Julie said: “This is another recipe I thought my Mom got from your Mom. She made it several times and then taught Jeannette how to make it. Jeannette made it probably a zillion times for her! My father just loved that banana bread ~ or at least my Mother thought he did!”
Let’s Go Bananas!
½ cup | butter, softened (use Falfurrias butter per my Grandmother Nanny)
1½ cup | sugar
2 | cage free eggs, beaten well
3 | bananas, mashed well
½ cup | nuts, finely ground (I like pecans)
½ teaspoon | baking soda
4 tablespoons | buttermilk
1½ cups | flour
1 teaspoon | baking powder
1 teaspoon | vanilla
ii. what to do
0. Soften your butter. See tip below!
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, mix the first five ingredients.
3. Dissolve the soda in the buttermilk; add to the first five ingredients.
4. Mix the flour with the baking powder; add to the ingredients along with the vanilla and mix well.
5. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan (roughly 8.5″ x 4.5″ x 2.75″) then line the bottom of the pan with wax paper.
6. Pour batter into baking pan and bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Ahhh, softening butter. I’m usually in the heat of the moment before I realize I need room temperature butter but it’s still in the fridge! If you’re short on time and can’t wait the 30-60 minutes for your butter to soften on the countertop, here are some helpful tips for how to accelerate things. I usually cut the butter into 1/2″ slices and set them near my preheating oven and usually in about 15 minutes things are ready to roll.
♥ This recipe was surely a family favorite ~ the measurements for how to make *three loaves* is noted in the original recipe below (see the circles)!
♥ Julie says this recipe is a good use for almost-bad bananas.
♥ You can also split this into two smaller loaves. I used foil pans that were 8″ x 3-7/8″ x 2.5″ and kept one and gave one as a gift.
♥ Who’s Jeanette? Click here and learn more about Jeanette and her famous oatmeal cookies!
One of my favorite childhood memories was spent with Mom as we’d “will” snow to come for a delightful visit.
During special winter nights, when the temperature dropped and the dark sky was fluffy white, we’d patiently sit together by the dining room window with the back porch floodlights aglow. We were watching the sky for flurries.
South Texas snow flurries!
While snow flurries didn’t arrive until I was 18 years old, this seemingly fruitless ritual instilled in me the basic belief of hope. Hope for a snowier tomorrow. And more importantly… the belief that something great was just around the corner… no matter how long it took to arrive.
While the South Texas snowflake is a treasured rarity, the greatest of all snowfalls arrived in January of 1985. Still living at home with Mom, (she was a widow just 3 years young), we woke to discover a 13 inch snowfall in our Alamo City! It was like a Texans’ Colorado-loving dream come true.
Oh, and it was.
It was then I found my most favorite frozen delight. And now I share with you Mom’s culinary frozen *and fruity* treat, compliments of this recipe. Now you don’t have to wait for winter to muster-up your own frozen delight.
1-8 oz. can | crushed pineapple (Dole doesn’t make 8.25 oz. cans any more)
2 large | bananas
¾ cup | sugar
2 tablespoons | lemon juice
2 tablespoons | chopped cherries
2 cups | sour cream
1/2 cup | chopped texas pecans
ii. what to do
0. First find yourself a 1.5 quart mold. Since “quarts” aren’t referenced much these days, a 1.5 quart mold holds 6 cups.
1. Chop the cherries and pecans if need be and set ’em aside.
2. Drain the pineapple and dump the mixture into a medium-sized prep bowl.
3. Mash the banana and add it to the pineapples.
4. Mix in all of the remaining ingredients.
5. Pour the mixture into the mold and freeze until firm (about 4-6 hours).
To serve, dip the mold into warm water a few seconds to loosen the frozen delight. Place an upside down serving plate on top of the mold… flip… and lift the mold up. If you’re lucky the delight will release from the mold and you’re ready to dig-in!
This is an easy dessert to make with kids ~ a fine alternative to the hand crank ice cream machines used back in the 70s, when I was a tot.
Foodie Tip ~
♥ I’m sure Mom used jarred red maraschino cherries for this tasty dish. You can also use Amarena Fabbri wild cherries from Italy to spice this up a bit. And you can add a few more than just 2 tablespoons. For posterity.
This recipe is super easy to make and something you can share with your kids to teach them the simple art of food making.
The best part? It’s a foodie favorite for any time of the day (or night)!
1 | banana
2 heaping fork fulls | peanut butter (I prefer crunchy)
a drizzling | local honey
2 slices | whole wheat bread, toasted
ii. what to do
1. Peel the banana, cut off the ends and place it on a plate or in a shallow bowl.
2. Add 2 heaping fork fulls of peanut butter and top with a 4-6 second drizzle of your favorite local honey.
3. Smash all ingredients together with a fork and set aside.
4. Toast the wheat bread; when done top one piece of the bread with the pb-banana mixture, add the last piece of toast on top and cut on the diagonal.
Yields 1 heaping sandwich – or 2 more reasonably-sized sammies, if you add 2 more pieces of bread.
Foodie Tip ~
♥ Try toasting the bread last; eating the sammy warm makes it extra special.