Cooking For Happiness! Plus Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Bisque

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Cooking For Happiness

I am truly blessed.  Jim is the cook at Chez Casey on the weekends.  For him, cooking is like meditation.  It helps him focus on the present moment.  Which is a pretty healthy thing to do when you think about it.  If you are here in the right now, you can’t beat yourself up about the past or worry about the future.

Cooking has always been something we love to do together.  I think in a sense, it helps us grow closer.  We are happier.  We don’t fight.  You don’t want to get the person with the knife upset.  LOL!  It’s just a great time for us.  We are thinking about going for a cooking class.  There is a store that is called the Kitchen Chick.  They do a lot on vegetarian cuisine. 

Thinking about why we cook for happiness, I came up with five good reasons:

1.  Cooking is Meditative

Cooking has  a calming, meditative quality.

2. It Stimulates the Senses

One of the most wonderful sensations is kneading bread dough.  The softness and elasticity is incredible.  The smells of mint and basil.  Wonderful

3.  It Just Feels Good To Feed People!

One of the most basic needs for survival is to have food.  When you cook, you are nourishing yourself and others.   You are meeting a basic need.

4.  It’s Creative
I don’t know about you, but just trying new things empowers and frees me.
5.  It makes other people happy. 
One of my favorite things is to bake something and give it away to my neighbors or friends.  It’s great to be able to help others.  It matters.  And let me tell, you my neighbors open their door for me!

Needless to say, Jim and I really enjoy cooking.    I hope that you all can experience the same feeling.  Now here is the recipe that got this thought started!  Jim made this on Saturday.

Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Bisque

Tomato Basil Bisque


  •     1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

        1 tablespoon olive oil

        1 large onion, chopped

        3 cloves garlic, minced

        2 cups vegetable broth

        2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes

        2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided

        1 teaspoon white sugar

        1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

        1/2 cup 2% milk(we have to watch the fat)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and garlic in hot oil until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Pour vegetable broth over the onion mixture; add tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of basil, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, place a cover on the saucepan, and simmer until the tomatoes are really soft, about 15 minutes.
  3. Pour tomato mixture into a blender no more than half full. Cover and hold lid in place; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend. Puree in batches until smooth and return to the saucepan.
  4. Put pureed soup over medium heat and cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir remaining tablespoon of basil and the milk into the soup.

Note:  Instead of a regular blender, I use an immersion blender.  It’s much quicker and clean up is easier. 




One thought on “Cooking For Happiness! Plus Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Bisque

    cookiesnchem said:
    August 5, 2015 at 4:10 am

    Hi! I love reading your blog so much that I nominated you for the Liebster Award! You are such a talented photographer and everything you make makes me drool – especially the avocado egg salad and this yummy-looking tomato soup! See my newest post for the details – you have to answer 11 questions about yourself so readers can get to know you better, then nominate 11 other bloggers. 🙂 Thanks for putting together such awesome posts and I hope you have a wonderful week!


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