Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Potato Soup

We love this recipe and I can never find it when I want to make it, so I'm posting it for my own sanity next time I want it.

3 cups chicken broth
3-4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 bacon strips, diced (or ham)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup half-and-half cream (or milk)
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Minced fresh parsley
Boil chicken broth and potatoes, until tender. In a different pan, cook bacon, sautee onion and garlic. Add flour, salt, basil, and pepper. Add to potatoes and broth. Heat until thickened. Add cream and hot pepper sauce and heat through, but do not boil. Add cheese to taste and cook until cheese is melted. Can garnish with parsley and more cheese, if desired.
NOTES: We used more flour, because Mike likes his soups thick. Also, the original recipe called for 1/2 tsp hot sauce, but I didn't want it too hot, for the kids' sake. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dijon-Braised Brussels Sprouts

My girs and I don't like brussel sprouts at all but I keep getting them in my bountiful baskets and hate to waste them. I found this recipe tonight and tried it. We all loved it! Everyone had seconds!saucing the sprouts

Serves 4 as a side dish

1 pound brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine(I just used chicken broth)
1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 to 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon smooth dijon mustard (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Trim sprouts and halve lengthwise. In a large, heavy 12-inch skillet heat butter and oil over moderate heat. Arrange halved sprouts in skillet, cut sides down, in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook sprouts, without turning until undersides are golden brown, about 5 minutes. [Updated to note: If your sprouts don't fit in one layer, don't fret! Brown them in batches, then add them all back to the pan, spreading them as flat as possible, before continuing with the shallots, wine, etc.]
Add the shallots, wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low (for a gentle simmer), cover the pot with a lid (foil works too, if your skillet lacks a lid) and cook the sprouts until they are tender can be pierced easily with the tip of a paring knife, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the lid, and scoop out brussels (leaving the sauce behind). Add cream and simmer for two to three minutes, until slightly thickened. Whisk in mustard. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary with more salt, pepper or Dijon. Pour sauce over brussels, sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve immediately.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Harvest Sweet Potato Casserole

A lovely alternative to the sickeningly sweet marshmallow stuff (that I love still).

3 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into 3/4" cubes
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 fresh (or frozen and thawed) cranberries
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 450.  In a greased 9x13 pan, roast sweet potatoes for about 25 minutes until they become tender.

Meanwhile, in a nonstick pan, fry onions in butter until they are translucent.  Mix remaining ingredients together.

After removing the sweet potatoes from the oven, turn oven down to 350 and add onions with butter drippings to the pan.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Cook uncovered for about 40 minutes, stirring at least once during cooking.

For 1/12 of this recipe, you get about 130 calories.  And it's pretty fantastic as a side dish.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sinful Cookies

A fan of chocolate chip cookies?  Oatmeal cookies?  Peanut butter cookies?  Why not combine the three?  That's what Leah and I have done.  These are lovely cookies, adapted (and, of course, improved) from a recipe we found online.  Enjoy!

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F.

Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars together.  Add egg and beat until...well until you get tired of beating it, be that ten seconds or ten minutes.  (I don't think it actually matters.)  Add in vanilla.  Sift flour, soda and salt together.  (Once again, I think this is a useless step and usually just add them all at once.)  Add flour mixture and oats to batter and mix well.  Add chocolate chips and hand stir, just until mixed.

Roll dough into balls and put on cookie sheet (I know, duh).  Bake for 8 minutes until edges turn golden brown.  Remove and eat.  (Oh fine, you can cool on a wire rack if you really want to.)

Yield about 3 dozen cookies.  Each is about 125 calories.  Enjoy!