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Paula: Black Angus Potato Soup

December 18, 2010

•4 large baking potatoes, cooked in microwave and then cooled
•1/2 pound bacon, cooked crisp and drained
•6 green onions, chopped into 1/4″ pieces
•6 cups milk
•2/3 cup butter
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp white pepper
•2/3 cup flour
•1 1/4 cup colby jack cheese, shredded
•8 oz sour cream

Melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat, add flour stirring until smooth. Stir one minute more.

Gradually add milk and cook over medium heat, stirring until thick and bubbly. Add the inside of the cooked potatoes, scooping out in chunks with a teaspoon.

Add salt and pepper and one half of the green onions and one half of the bacon and one cup of the cheese. Cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream. Add extra milk for desired consistency.

Serve, topped with remaining bacon, cheese and green onions

I don’t like the bacon cooked in it, it gets too soft.
You don’t need white pepper, I use black. ~Paula


Marna: Corn Tortilla and Chicken Soup

December 16, 2010

2011, The Year of Soup. Recipe submitted by Marna.

My friend and I made this together in 1993 — and it’s been a hit ever since! ~Marna

Corn Oil (for frying)
¼ cup tequila ( I prefer Cuervo Gold, as it’s smoother, and doesn’t have a huge back bite).
12 or more corn tortilla’s, cut into ¼ ” strips.
2 large onions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves thinly sliced (you can use Elephant Head Garlic, if you wish a milder flavor)
2- 7 oz. cans of green chili (Medium Hot, if you choose to got hotter you will lose flavor).
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
8 cups low-salt chicken broth
8-10 chicken thighs
2 Tablespoons of lime juice
1 cup Posle’ or hominy (optional)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese.

Fry tortilla strips in small batches until golden brown, transfer these strips to a paper towel to drain, set aside. Heat 3 Tablespoons of corn oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and cook until soft/translucent stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, green chili, and cumin and cook about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add Tequila and cook until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth and 1/3 of tortilla strips, broken into small pieces. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste and add to your pot.

Simmer soup until chicken is extremely tender about 45 minutes to an hour. Add Posole”, (this may need to be cooked prior to soften, to do so, add 1 cup of Posole” to 4 cups of water and simmer over low-med heat for about 2 hours, cool to room temperature).

*Note – Instead of boiling the chicken, I usually bake mine first for two hours at about 300 – 350 degrees before preparing the recipe, just out of my own preference for not caring for the taste of boiled meat. You can also grill your chicken breasts as well, and then shred the meat.

Transfer chicken to plate and allow to cool slightly. Remove skin and bones, then shred the meat coarsely. Return chicken to soup. Season with Salt and Pepper and lime juice. Continue cooking for 15-30 minutes. Ladle into bowls. Garnish soup with remaining tortilla strips and cheese. You can also add fresh chopped tomatoes, cilantro and Jalapeno’s to garnish if desired.

Personal Note: I enjoy this particular dish with ice cold Margarita’s and fresh Mango’s. This gives the main dish a nice sense of balance, hot and spicy mixed with cold and sweet.

Serves 4.

Pioneer Woman’s Fancy Macaroni

December 30, 2009

I made PW’s fancy macaroni over Christmas break and let me tell you, I will use this as my Macaroni & Cheese dish from here on out.

Note: I cut the amount of butter she used, when frying up the onions, in half and didn’t notice any less flavor.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Peppermint Filling

December 30, 2009
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 1/4 tsp. salt
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 tsp. vanilla
  8. 2 c. all-purpose flour
  9. 1/2 c. buttermilk
  10. 1 1-ounce bottle red food coloring (2 tbsp).
  11. Peppermint and cream cheese filling (below)

Preheat oven to 375. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined. Alternately add flour and buttermilk, beating on  low speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in red food coloring.

Spoon dough from a rounded measuring teaspoon 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are set. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

Spread peppermint and cream cheese filling on flat sides of half of the cookies. Top with remainig cookies, flat sides down, pressing lightly together.

If desired, before serving, sprinkle each cookie with finely chopped peppermint candies. Makes about 40 cookies.

Peppermint and Cream Cheese Filling:

  1. 2 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  2. 3 tbsp. butter, softened
  3. 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  4. 3 cups powdered sugar
  5. Milk, as needed for spreading consistency

In a large bowl combine two 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened; and 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-low to medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 3 cups powdered sugar. Add milk, 1 tsp. at a time, to make a filling of spreading consistency.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Cookie, December 2009

Cooking Light, fresh food fast: Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup p. 34

November 1, 2009
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded (I cook mine in water for 20-25 minutes)
  • 1 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • Cooking spray (I used olive oil for sauteeing)
  • 2-14 oz. cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (I used regular chicken broth)
  • 1-16 oz. can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup green salsa
  • Light sour cream (optional)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

cooking light fresh food fastCombine cooked & shredded chicken with taxo seasoning; toss well to coat. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with spray. Add chicken: saute 2 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned. Add broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Place beans in a small bowl; mash until only a few whole beans remain. Add beans and salsa to pan, stirring well. Bring to a boil. Reduct heat; simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thick. Serve with sour cream and cilantro, if desired.

Makes 6 servings, 1 cup each.

134 calories

The Big Book of Easy Suppers: Sausage & Cannellini Bean Soup p. 22

October 29, 2009
  • 1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 large leeks, white parts only, well rinsed & coarsely chopped (I used half a medium onion when I made this last time, worked perfectly!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (didn’t have any the last time I made it, didn’t miss it!)
  • 1 – 15 oz. can cannellini beans or other white beans (I used a can of navy beans), drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken broth (I used 3 – 14 1/2 oz. cans)
  • 1 – 14 1/2 oz. can crushed tomatoes in rich puree (I used a can of diced ones – drained)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parley (didn’t have any, didn’t miss it)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

In a large soup pot over medium heat, combine sausage, leeks and garlic. Saute, breaking up meat with a spoon, until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, 6 to 7 minutes, adding a little oil if needed.

Add beans, broth, tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve in bowls, sprinkled with Parmesan.

easy suppers

Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies

October 28, 2009
From the Oprah website,

Recipe created by Carolyn Gurtz, winner of the 2008 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest
It’s a twist on the classic peanut butter cookie! Crunchy outside, creamy inside, with just a hint of cinnamon. A real winner.

Makes 24 cookies

  • 1/4 cup Fisher dry-roasted peanuts , finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup JIF creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 roll (16.5 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated peanut butter cookies , well chilled
  • Crisco original no-stick cooking spray
Heat oven to 375°. In small bowl, mix chopped peanuts, granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

In another small bowl, stir peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended. Shape mixture into 24 balls, about 1 inch each.

Cut roll of cookie dough into 12 slices. Cut each slice in half crosswise to make 24 pieces; flatten slightly. Shape 1 cookie dough piece around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely. Repeat with remaining dough and balls.

Roll each covered ball in peanut mixture; gently pat mixture completely onto balls. On ungreased large cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart. Spray bottom of drinking glass with Crisco original no-stick cooking spray; press into remaining peanut mixture. Flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness with bottom of glass. Sprinkle any remaining peanut mixture evenly on tops of cookies; gently press into dough.

Bake 7 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Store tightly covered.