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The Joy of Cooking

As mentioned (whatever day it was), that was a really good soup (pic above). So here is the recipe:

Creamy Corn and Vegetable Soup (with Bonus Sausage) and Fried Italian Bread


  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 spicy italian sausages, cooked, drained and chopped roughly
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 1 med red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 med zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper

Use a stick blender (or regular blender, or food processor) to puree 2 cups of the corn and all the milk until smooth, then set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium-sized soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, zucchini and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the corn, sausage and chicken stock and bring to a boil. (Since most store-bought stocks are so weak, I always add 2 chicken bullion cubes at this point.) Add the pureed corn and tomatoes and cook until it is hot…do not bring back to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the bread, you want a good solid Italian loaf, nothing too soft. Slice it then cut into halves on the bias. Heat several tbsp of olive oil in a shallow pan, and add either grated fresh garlic, or garlic powder. Place the bread in the hot oil and let brown on each side, maybe 1 to 2 minutes per side. Add more oil/garlic as needed to fry the rest of the bread. Serve immediately with the soup…IN the soup is best.

Last week we tried a technique witnessed at a greasy spoon featured on the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-In and Dives:

Homemade Baconators


  • 1 lb hamburger meat
  • worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 1 pkg bacon
  • the usual myriad hamburger accoutrements

Cook the hamburgers as you usually do…for us, that’s lots of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and worcestershire sauce, cooked hard and hot. For the bacon part, first you’re going to boil it until it’s technically done. Then chop it into bitty pieces, crank the electric skillet up to its highest setting, form the bacon into patty-shapes and let it rip.

Flip them a few times to fully crisp them on both sides (this takes a bit of time), then slide them on top of the burger with your favorite condiments.

Tonight, we all stood in the grocery store, pondering what to have for dinner. The Husband went thataway, the Boychild went thataway and the Girlchild and I went thataway. And here’s what we had:

The Boychild’s Fresh Vegetable Soup


(makes one growing-boy sized bowl, plus a little leftover, so double/treble at will)

  • 1/4 small onion, diced
  • 1 lg carrot, diced
  • 2 pinches celery seed
  • grated garlic clove
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1/2 diced russet potato
  • 1/2 diced tomato
  • 1/4 diced zucchini

Saute the onions, carrots, grated garlic and celery seed in a bit of olive oil with kosher salt and black pepper. Add stock, water, bullion, zucchini and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to med-low heat and add tomato. Simmer together until potato is fork-tender.

This was a fantastic soup, really. It was cobbled together from no written down recipe, came straight from my basic knowledge of cooking (“…it’s the BASE of a soup!!”), and the boy’s desire to dice things. 🙂 Highly recommended.

The Husband’s Chicken Tostadas


  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • corn tortillas (about 3 per person)
  • cojack cheese
  • sour cream
  • shredded lettuce

Brown chicken in a bit of oil, then add taco seasoning, enchilada sauce and beans. Heat a few tbsp of corn oil in a shallow skillet until very hot, and fry the tortillas on each side until crispy and browned.

Lay one tortilla on a plate, top with cheese then some of the meat mixture. Place another tortilla on top, add cheese, sour cream, meat mixture, lettuce, etc. Top with third tortilla, with a dollop of sour cream on top.

Serve with ice-cold cerveza, lime wedges and slices of avocado.

This was fantastic, really. I love when he gets these ideas and starts whipping things around in the kitchen.

My Soy-Honey-Garlic Tilapia Packets


  • 4 tilapia filets
  • portobello mushrooms
  • med zucchini
  • white onion
  • snow pea pods
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/8 c soy sauce
  • 1/4 c honey
  • garlic clove, grated

Preheat oven to 425. Julienne all the vegetables (except the snow pea pods). Tear off largish pieces of foil for the two packets, about 18×24. Better to waste foil than have to scour your oven, no? Make a vaguely bowl shape with the foil so everything you’re about to add doesn’t go squibbing out into the floor. Drizzle a little olive oil in the center of the foil, and put two pieces of fish in each foil piece, turning to coat with the oil. Season the fish with kosher salt and black pepper. Lay the julienned veggies on top of each set of fish, as much as you want, just be sure you can seal the foil over the pile. Now, the sauce…

Mix together the melted butter, soy sauce, honey and garlic. These proportions here make a fairly sweet sauce, so vary them as you like, more soy if you want saltier (I’d leave off the kosher salt step up top if so), etc.

Spoon the sauce over the fish and veggies. Fold closed the top of the foil packet first…bring the two sides together and fold them over several times, leaving some space above the pile and the top of the foil…it does not need to be tight against the food. Then fold the ends up, going towards the middle of the package, again leaving room.

Place packets on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes to start. Check the packet after this time (watch out for steam!), when the fish flakes on the fork it is done.

Boy, don’t you wish you lived next door to us? You know this house is FRAGRANT tonight.