Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Barley Soup

I found this on allrecipes when I was looking for something to use up my Thanksgiving leftovers. I was pleasantly surprised and will make this again when I have leftover chicken or pork to use. Bonus -- it's super easy!!

2 quarts chicken broth
1 1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup barley {I'll probably do 1/2 cup next time}
1 onion, diced
3/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp allspice
dash cayenne
2 cups cubed turkey {or chicken or pork}
1/4 cup parsley

Combine first 12 ingredients in large pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Add turkey and parsley. Heat through and serve.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Murph's Cheesecake

We (the Strattons) got this from our neighbor, Murph, in Texas. This is the best New York style cheesecake I think we've ever had. The crust is the best part!

1 pkg graham crackers, crushed
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cups of chopped nuts, optional
4 T melted butter
Mix together and press on bottom and slightly up the sides of a spring form pan.

2 8oz packages cream cheese
2 8oz cartons whipped cream cheese
2 cups sugar
1 t salt
2 pints sour cream
2 T cornstarch
6 Extra large eggs

Beat cheeses and sugar well then add other ingredients, except eggs. Add eggs one at a time. Pour into crust and bake 1 hour at 375. Turn oven off and leave cake in oven for 1 hour. No peeking except to cover with foil towards end of baking time to keep top from over browning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Southern Cornbread Dressing for the Holidays

I made this dressing last year for the firs time and it was by far the best dressing I have ever tasted. Its a good old southern version of the cornbread variety but it does have some bread in it as well. I hope you love it as much as we do! (We don't actually stuff it in the bird since there are health issues with it not getting cooked enough and poultry juices running through it.)

Pan of cornbread (I doubled the recipe and made one that would fill a large rectangle casserole dish), crumble after its done and cooled

1 package of family sized stuffing mix (like stove top, the bread and the seasonings)
1 sleeve saltine crackers
8 tablespoons butter
2 cups celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
7 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sage (optional)
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (optional)
5 eggs, beaten


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread, dreid stuffing mix, and saltines; set aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the vegetable mixture over cornbread mixture. Add the stock, mix well, taste, and add salt, pepper to taste, sage, and poultry seasoning. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Reserve 2 heaping tablespoons of this mixture for the giblet gravy. Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake until dressing is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Serve with turkey as a side dish.

Here is a cornbread recipe if you need one, but I think I used 2 package mixes last year

1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
To serve, cut into desired squares and serve with butter. For stuffing above, crumble cornbread.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Friday, November 21, 2008

Florentine Frying Pan Pizzas

Another Rachael Ray from me, imagine that. This pizza's really good and smells amazing!! She made them in a frying pan for the deep dish approach. I just put the pizza dough on a flat baking sheet and called it good. I got a little confused because it was an "individual" but in on the show she put it in a small frying pan - but yet it's 4 to 6 servings. Not my idea of a slice of pizza. But then again, who ever just has one slice/one serving of pizza?! I spread out the whole Pillsbury pizza dough and it was enough for my whole family: 2 hefty eating adults and 2 hefty eating kids.

She also said that you can also feel good about eating it because of all the vitamins in it... well, I think all the fat in her cheese trumps the vitamins - so I cut way down on the cheese... and it still tasted real good.

4 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (I used 1/4 c.)
A pinch of nutmeg
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 store-bought pizza dough from your favorite pizzeria
1 1/2 cups fontina cheese, shredded (I used 1/2 c.)

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Preheat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO. Add the mushrooms and sauté until golden brown. Season them with salt and pepper then remove them to a plate.

In the same skillet the mushrooms where cooked in, melt the butter. Add the flour and garlic, and cook 1-2 minutes then whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened.

Add the mushrooms back to the skillet along with the cheese, nutmeg and spinach. Remove the Florentine mixture and let cool.

Cut the dough into quarters, reserving one for this recipe. Wrap up the rest in plastic wrap and freeze it for another time. Roll out the dough so it fits into a 6-inch skillet (use one that's oven-safe).

Before placing the dough into the skillet, drizzle about 1 to 2 tablespoons EVOO on the bottom of the skillet. Lay the dough into the skillet, pressing gently as you work the dough up the sides so it reaches the edge of the skillet. Fill the with the filling and sprinkle with fontina cheese. Pop in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the edges and bottom of the crust are golden brown.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Homestyle Potato Soup with Roasted Corn

I wanted a crockpot soup for after church so I snagged the idea of roasted corn from Mel's Roasted Corn Chowder and added it to a crockpot Homestyle Potato Soup recipe I had. The results were SUPER yummy. Between Shayne, I and the 2 kids we almost finished off the whole pot {i don't know if that should be overly embarrassing admitting how much we eat, but it's not!} It's a perfect Sunday meal, ready to eat in only 25 minutes after church.

1 (14 1/2 oz.) can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
2 c. cubed red potatoes (about 4 lbs.)
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. thinly sliced celery
3/4 c. thinly sliced carrot
3 T. butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. 2% reduced-fat milk
4 c. frozen corn
1 3.4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Place first 9 ingredients in crockpot; stir will. Cover with lid and cook on HIGH setting for 1 hour. Reduce to LOW setting and cook 4 to 5 hours or until vegetables are tender. Increase to HIGH setting.

Place flour in a bowl; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Stir into soup. Cook, uncovered 25 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.

To roast the corn, heat the oven to 400. Place kernels on an oiled sheet pan (you only need about 1T to keep it from sticking). Roast corn for 17-20 minutes, until it just begins to brown and the sugars are released. When done, gently stir into soup.

Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with cheese and ground pepper.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chorizo Black Bean Soup

This is my new favorite black bean soup, it beat out my old favorite. It's really good and really cheap to make but totally filling - BONUS!

1 tablespoon EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound cured chorizo, casing removed and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 serrano peppers, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Salt and ground black pepper
3 14-ounce cans black beans, drained
3/4 to 1 quart chicken stock, depending on desired thickness
2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup sour cream
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup (about a handful) flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, chopped

{{I did 4 cans of black beans and the full quart of chicken broth, and it was barely enough for 1 serving for 4 adults}}

Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add the chorizo to the pan and cook until crispy, 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve.

Add the onion, garlic, serrano peppers, smoked paprika, salt and ground black pepper to the pan, and cook until the onions are tender, 5-6 minutes.

Add the black beans and chicken stock to the pan, and bring the liquids up to a bubble. Ladle a couple of scoops of the soup into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot and keep warm.

After pureeing the beans, rinse the food processor bowl out and return it to the base. Add avocados , sour cream, lime zest and juice and process until smooth.

Serve the soup topped with some avocado cream, reserved crispy chorizo and cilantro.

{{I served with Pancheri Cornbread}}

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Raw Apple Cake

This recipe is from my Grandfather Smith. I don't have the original recipe in his writing, but I'm sure it says to enjoy this with whipped cream and ice cream! Personally, I like it just plain.

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 egg
3 large apples, peeled and grated
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup flour
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Beat egg. Add sugar and oil. Add dry ingredients. Stir in apples and nuts. Pour into a greased 8" square pan. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.