Saturday, October 31, 2009

Go to Cornbread

This is another great recipe from My Kitchen Cafe . This recipe is a great addition to the fabulous chili recipe I posted earlier. Tastes great with the whipped honey butter .

Go-To Cornbread
(Printable Version)
½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk

Add dry ingredients, make a well and add oil, butter, eggs, and milk into the center. Stir until just mixed (batter will be runny - don't be alarmed!). Bake in an 8” square pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. This doubles perfectly for a 9X13-inch pan.

Honey Butter:
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff

Whip all together with an electric mixer and serve at room temperature (can be refrigerated and softened).

Classic Red Chili

This great chili recipe came from Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe. This is a great recipe when feeding young and old. It was a great addition to our Halloween Festivities... Enjoy!!!
Classic Red Chili
(Printable Version )
*Makes 12-14 servings
2 medium onions, diced
2 teaspoons salt
2 to 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
3 large cans (29 ounces each) pinto beans, drained
46 oz. (one large can) tomato juice
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
(I also added 1 29 oz can diced tomatoes and 2 4 oz cans of diced green chilis)
1 cup ketchup
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

Brown the hamburger and onion in a large skillet. Drain grease. In a small bowl combine the 1/2 cup water with the garlic salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and brown sugar.

In a large pot, combine tomato juice, beans, tomato sauce, and ketchup. Stir in hamburger and onions and seasoning/water mixture. Mix well. Stir in bay leaves.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally (this can simmer for as long as 4-5 hours).

Recipe Source: adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dinner in a Pumpkin

This recipe was inspired by my good friend DANA in Washington. She will often use smaller sugar pumpkins and microwave them for approx. 6 minutes and spoon the warm filling into each pumpkin for individual servings:)

This is a great meal for this time of year!! It is easy and tastes great. If you find it difficult to clean the inside of your pumpkin , try using an icecream scoop to help clean out the stringy strands and seeds. Hope you have a fun and safe Halloween!!

Dinner in a Pumpkin
(Printable Version)
1 medium pumpkin
1 chopped onion
2 pounds ground beef
4 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp brown sugar
2can cream of chicken soup
4cups cooked BROWN rice (or you can use white…I prefer brown since it’s healthier)
2 can sliced water chestnuts drained(optional)
2 can slice mushrooms(optional)

Cut off top of pumpkin and thoroughly clean out seeds and pulp. If desired draw a face on outside of pumpkin with permanent marker or acrylic paint. (This is a great thing to let kids help you with)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet cook onions and hamburger until hamburger is cooked and onions are tender.
Drain drippings. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, and soup.
Simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add cooked rice and water chestnut, and mushrooms.
Spoon mixture into cleaned out pumpkin shell.
Replace pumpkin top and place entire pumpkin with filling on a baking sheet.

Bake 1-2 hours (depending upon the size of the pumpkin) It will be done when the inside of pumpkin is tender. Put pumpkin on a plate. Remove pumpkin lid and serve meat and some of the cooked pumpkin.

(If you want more of a stroganoff falvor try adding sour cream to the mixture)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pumpkin Bars for A Crowd

If you are looking for a pumpkin bar recipe to feed a large crown, then this is your recipe.....
Pumpkin Bars (from real mom kitchen )

Printable Version
6 eggs
1 1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large can (29 oz) pumpkin
3 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. salt
chocolate chips or cream cheese frosting work well with these bars

Mix together eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin. Fold in dry ingredients and pour into jelly roll pan (13 x 18 pan) . (At this point you sprinkle half the pan with 1 cup of chocolate chips) Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

( use this recipe to frost half the cake. You could use it to frost the whole thing, but I like a good layer. So if you frost the whole pan, I would recommend doubling this recipe)

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese (I use light)
8 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mini Pumpkin Cakes

My friend "HOT PANTS" inspired me to try these fall treats. You can find the original recipe in the October Issue of Southern Living .
Mini Pumpkin Cakes
(Printable Version)

Makes 8 pumpkins

* 3/4 cup butter, softened
* 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* Caramel-Rum Glaze*
* Or Vanilla Glaze
* Caramel Stems, Leaves, and Vines (optional, instructions below)


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in pumpkin and vanilla.

2. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Spoon batter into 2 lightly greased pumpkin-shaped muffin pans, filling three-fourths full.

3. Bake at 350° for 24 to 26 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).

4. Cut rounded tops off muffins to make them flat. Invert top muffins onto bottom muffins, forming pumpkins. Drizzle Caramel-Rum Glaze over pumpkins. Decorate with Caramel Stems, Leaves, and Vines, if desired.

*Vanilla Glaze may be substituted.( I used a thin creamcheese frosting)

CARAMEL STEM: Press 1 caramel between fingers, lengthening to 1 1/2 to 2 inches to form a stem. Curl stem gently.

CARAMEL LEAVES: Roll caramels into 2-inch squares on a flat surface, using a rolling pin. Cut into leaves, using a paring knife. Gently press tips of leaves to flatten, if desired. Score leaves, using a paring knife. Pinch bottoms of leaves together.

CARAMEL VINES: Cut 1 caramel into 3 equal pieces. Squeeze each piece gently to flatten, and roll between hands or on a flat surface into a long thin rope. Twist ends to curl.

Note: We tested with Wilton Dimensions Multi-Cavity Mini Pumpkin Pans. Only have one pan? Bake batter in two batches, washing and drying pan between batches.

Carmel Rum Glaze

This recipe goes with Mini Pumpkin Cakes, Mini Pumpkin-Molasses Cakes
(Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
* 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/4 cup evaporated milk
* 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
* 1 tablespoon rum


1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat; gradually whisk in powdered sugar and rum until smooth. Whisk gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Use immediately.

Taco Soup

I have been making Taco Soup for years ...tonight I tried a new version and we absolutely loved it. It is a little spicy but we like spicy around here. You can substitute an additional can of diced tomatoes instead of the Rotel to make a milder version.The combinations of flavors were wonderful.

Taco Soup

(Printable Version)
• 2 pounds ground beef
• 1 to 2 diced onions
• 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
• 1 (10-ounce) can RO*TEL® diced tomatoes and green chilies
• 1 (15-ounce) cans black beans
• 1 (29-ounce) can pinto beans
• 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
• 2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
• 1 (1-ounce) envelope taco seasoning
• 1 (1-ounce) envelope ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
• Garnishes: Corn chips, cheese, sour cream, green onions
1. In a large skillet, cook beef and onions over medium heat until beef is no longer pink. Drain, using a slotted spoon, as you transfer browned beef and onions to a Dutch oven, stockpot or slow cooker.
2. Add tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, corn and green chiles. Stir in the taco seasoning and ranch salad dressing mix.
3. If you’re cooking on the stovetop, cover the pot and simmer soup over low heat for 30 minutes up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If you’re using a slow cooker, cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
4. Garnish individual servings with corn chips, cheese, sour cream and green onions, if desired.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Candy Corn Cookies

This is a fun treat for the Halloween season ...feel free to substitute your favorite sugar cookie for this recipe.
(Printable Version)

Candy Corn Cookies

1-1/2 cups butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour (not packed)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Yellow and orange paste food coloring

In a large bowl, cream butter ,sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
· Divide dough into thirds. Press one-third of the white dough evenly onto the bottom of a loaf pan that you have lined with foil, waxed, or parchment paper. Place another one-third of the dough into a bowl and add yellow and red food dye to make it orange (refer to the chart on the back of your box). Once it is mixed evenly, press the orange dough evenly over the white dough.

· In another bowl, add the final amount of dough and dye it yellow. Press that evenly over the orange dough. Cover and refrigerate until firm (2 hours or overnight is best).

· Once chilled, invert your loaf pan and unwrap the dough. Flip it back over and place it on a cutting board. Cut the loaf crosswise into 1/4-inch slices using a sharp knife, trimming edges to make them even, if necessary. Cut each slice into 6 wedges.

· Place wedges 1-inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in a preheated 375-degree oven. Place cookies straight into a bowl with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and coat. Place coated cookies on a baking rack to cool.

Ranch Style Biscuits and Gravy

Serve this wonderful Ranch-style gravy over hot split and buttered buttermilk biscuits. Biscuits with gravy make a great breakfast with fresh fruit, or serve along with a complete breakfast.

Sausage Gravy
· 8 ounces breakfast sausage
· 2 tablespoons shortening or lard
· 3 tablespoons flour
· 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups milk
· salt and pepper, to taste
· dash cayenne pepper, optional
Cook sausage in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring and breaking up with a spatula. With a slotted spoon, removed the browned crumbled sausage to a paper towel-lined plate. Add 2 tablespoons shortening, vegetable oil, or lard to the drippings in the skillet. Add flour, stirring until blended and bubbling. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups milk; continue stirring and cooking until thickened and bubbly. Add the crumbled sausage. If too thick, add a little more milk. Taste and add salt and pepper. Stir in a dash of cayenne pepper, if desired.
Serve over hot split and buttered biscuits. Serve sliced tomatoes or fresh fruit with these, or serve as part of a bigger breakfast.Serves 4 to 6.

Buttermilk Biscuits
Yield 15
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces(can substitute cold butter)
1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk, plus additional for brushing
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add 1 cup buttermilk. Using your hands, quickly fold the dry ingredients into the buttermilk until a sticky dough forms. You may need to add more buttermilk.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Gently fold the dough over itself 3 or 4 times to create layers. Press the dough out to 1 1/2-inches thick and cut with a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter.(I just cut my biscuits in squares then there is no wasted dough). Lay the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with buttermilk. Bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden brown.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

Stuffed Pizza Rolls as seen on Our Best Bites
(Printable Version)
1 roll refrigerated pizza dough* (or make your own)
marinara/pizza sauce
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T olive oil or melted butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t dried Italian seasoning
mozzerella cheese
Pizza toppings of your choice: ie, ham and pineapple, pepperoni slices, sausage, etc.

*You can use regular pizza dough, or thin crust.

Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package. Usually it's 400 degrees. If you make your own dough, 400 is usually a good heat as well.(I baked mine at 375* for approx. 15 minutes)

Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" by 8". You're going to want to cut it into 24 squares, so just eyeball it if you need to. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares
Place cheese and desired toppings on each square. (Note that you're not putting the marinara sauce on the dough- it's for dipping after) You just need to be able to enclose the toppings in the dough so keep that in mind.
When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish).

Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter (I tried both and there's not much difference in result) and then sprinkle with the garlic and Italian seasoning and top with Parmesan cheese. (In lieu of the Parmesan, garlic, and Italian seasoning you could substitute garlic bread seasoning.)

Banana Cookies

I found myself with a bunch of really ripe bananas..... the kids preferred these cookies over banana bread. They are similar to the zucchini cookies I posted a couple of weeks ago. They would make a great sandwich cookie using cream cheese icing. They remind me of a " muffin top ". I did not use cloves I think I may be phobic of the strong taste. These could be classified as a breakfast cookie.

Banana Cookies from Simply Recipes

(Printable Version)
• 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 cup of sugar
• 1 egg, room temperature
• 1 cup of mashed bananas (about 2 ½ large bananas)
• 1 teaspoon of baking soda
• 2 cups of flour
• pinch of salt
• 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon ( Used 1 tsp)
• 1/2 teaspoon of ground mace or nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves ( I didn’t use this)
• 1 cup of pecans (walnuts and chocolate chips are fine alternatives)
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
2 In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. The baking soda will react with the acid in the bananas which in turn will give the cookies their lift and rise.
3 Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture. Mix together the flour, salt, and spices and sift into the butter and banana mixture and mix until just combined.
4 Fold into the batter the pecans or chocolate chips if using. Drop in dollops onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.
Makes about 30 cookies.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oatmeal Carmelitas

I was at costco the other day and noticed that they had a mix for these bar cookies. It reminded me that I was wanting to try them. They were really easy and tasted great. Enjoy!!
Oatmeal Carmelitas
(Printable Version)
2 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups margarine or butter, softened
1 (12.5-oz.) jar (1 cup) caramel ice cream topping
3 tablespoons Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
1 (6-oz.) pkg. (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9-inch pan. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients; mix at low speed until crumbly. Reserve half of crumb mixture (about 3 cups) for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of greased pan. Bake at 350°F. for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine caramel topping and 3 tablespoons flour; blend well.
3. Remove partially baked crust from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
4. Return to oven; bake an additional 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until filling is set. Cut into bars.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Honey Yeast Rolls

This wonderful rainy day has put me in the baking mood. Nothing like comfort food on a fall day. I made these rolls to go with my Roast Beef Dinner this afternoon and they were a big hit. Easy enough that my 18 yr old son can make them using a bread machine on the dough setting. I found this recipe
at...A cookie a day.
(Printable Version)
4 cups bread flour (Start with 3 if you are hand kneading)
1 1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 package dry yeast (1/4-ounce)Or 2 1/4 tsp yeast
Vegetable cooking spray

Hand kneading instructions:

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the honey, egg and oil. Add roughly 3 cups of the flour and the salt until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, working in the remaining flour as necessary to keep the dough from being too sticky, until the dough is smooth and elastic, 8 minutes. Do not be tempted to add too much flour. The dough should stay soft and will become less sticky with kneading.

Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk, about 2 hours.

Bread Machine Instructions:

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for placing first 7 ingredients into bread pan; select dough cycle, and start bread machine. Remove dough from machine (do not bake).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 30 seconds. Cover dough, and let rest 10 minutes

Punch dough down, and divide into 12-18 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, and place on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 minutes. Uncover and bake at 400° for 13 minutes or until browned. Remove rolls from pans, and serve warm or at room temperature.

I brushed the tops with butter when I pulled them outr of the oven. They turned out really good.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I received an email from King Arthur Flour that shared this great recipe, I made a few changes and was very pleased with the results. If you are looking for a twist to the traditional cinnamon rolls out there then I would recommend this recipe. We really enjoyed them for breakfast today.
(Printable Version)
Pumpkin Dough
• 1 cup canned pumpkin or squash
• 2 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup lukewarm water*(I used ¼ Cup)
• 1/4 cup soft butter
• 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
• 1 3/4 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
• 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon( I used 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices listed)
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
• 3 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoon instant yeast
• *Adjust the amount of water by the time of year or your climate. For summer, or in a humid environment, use the lesser amount of water. In winter, or in a dry climate, use the greater amount. It's always best to start with the lesser amount; you can
• 3/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
• 1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger, raisins, or dried cranberries, optional
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 1/2 tablespoons milk, or enough to make a "drizzlable" glaze
1) Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients together — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until you've made a soft, fairly smooth dough.
2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours, until it's almost doubled in bulk.
3) Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface. Roll it into a 14" x 22" rectangle; the dough will be thin.
4) Mix the cinnamon filling. Spread a thin layer over the dough, leaving one short edge free of filling. (I chose to spread melted butter on the dough and then sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of that, more like I do for regular cinnamon rolls.)
5) Sprinkle with crystallized ginger or dried fruit (or both), if desired. (I didn’t use these ingredients due to my families preference.)
6) Starting with the short end that's covered with filling, roll the dough into a log.
7) Cut the log into 12 rolls.
8) Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan that's at least 2" deep. Set aside, covered, to rise for 1 hour, or until the rolls look puffy. ( I let mine raise 30 minutes)
9) Bake the rolls in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're lightly browned and feel set. Remove them from the oven, and set them on a rack. Turn them out of the pan, and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes. Towards the end of the cooling time, make the glaze.
10) To make the glaze: Heat the butter and milk together till the butter melts. Whisk into the sugar. ( I served mine with traditional cream cheese frosting)
11) Drizzle the warm rolls with the warm glaze. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.
Yield: 12 rolls(original recipe said it made 9 rolls, I made 12)

Tips from the bakers at King Arthur Flours
• For a glaze that stays white and remains on top of the rolls, rather than partially melting in, allow the rolls to cool completely before glazing.

Savory Corn Bread

This is a great recipe to use if you are looking for a compliment to soups, stews or chili it is not at all sweet. I found it in my Lions House Bakery Cookbook. I chose this recipe because it had no additional sugar in it. Enjoy!!
( Printable Version )
1 Cup of all purpose flour
1 Cup of Yellow Corn Meal
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs
1/2 C. Sour Cream
1 (16 oz. ) can of cream-style corn
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
3/4 C. of grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400* . Grease an 8 x 8 square pan and set aside. Sift together flour,cornmeal,salt, and baking powder and set aside. Beat eggs until light. Add sour cream,corn and vegetable oil. Stir in dry ingredients and beat well. Fold in cheddar cheese and pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes. Test for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the middle of the bread, if the toothpick comes out clean then the bread is done.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Creamy Tomato Bisque

If you are looking for more ways to use those great garden tomatoes then this recipe is for you.
Tomato bisque is a thick soup of vine-ripened summer tomatoes and a dose of cream for sweetness. Puree this soup in a blender, rather than a food processor, to give it a velvety texture.
(Printable Version)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
8 large ripe red tomatoes peeled, seeded, and chopped
4 cups Chicken broth
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ Cup of loosely packed fresh basil that has been chiffonaded (thinly sliced)

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid is reduced by one quarter, about 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Add the fresh basil
In a blender, puree the soup in several batches until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Put into a clean pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat gently over low heat. (This can be made up to 2 days in advance; cover and refrigerate.)
TO SERVE: Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the fresh basil and parmesan cheese.