1/27/07

Cream of Jalapeno Soup.... Again

Perhaps my favorite 'creme' soup of all time. I've posted the recipe before, but just in case you missed it, I'm telling you about it again.

I made it last week and took a photo this time, since most people like to see a picture with the recipe. Well, here is the photo and here is the recipe.
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A Photo of Brownies - In - Progress

I've posted the recipe for our families favorite Brownies before. (Link on the word Brownies).

We make these often and the recipe is quite adaptable to what you have on hand. To show you the latest version, I made these last week when I found some Hershey's Caramel Chocolate Bars in the cupboard left over from bon-fire nights where we used them for S'mores. After this step you drop the remaining batter on top and bake. The result was chocolately caramel goodness. See how easy and versatile these are? Now go make some!
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1/25/07

Homemade Vegetable Soup

This is the soup I made yesterday when I was feeling so sick with a cold and didn't want to cook. It was so hot and good. Perfect on a very cold winter's day.




Vegetable Soup

6 cups beef broth or 6 cups water with 6 cubes beef bouillion
1 small can tomato sauce
1 - 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 c tomato juice
4 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c diced/chopped roast or steak, easily cut if partially frozen
salt and pepper to taste

Place in a dutch oven or soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2-3 hours. Serve with freshly made bread.
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1/21/07

Artichoke Dip

I usually make spinach artichoke dip, but if you don't have spinach on hand you can always make this one, it's just as good. Serve with tortilla chips or crusty baguettes.

Artichoke Dip/Spread

1 c mayonnaise
1 c fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained
2 c shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 t garlic powder


In bowl mix everything and transfer to a greased casserole dish approximately 8X8 inches. Bke 30 minutes until the surface is golden. Sprinkle with paprika if you want to garnish before serving. If it gets too cool, microwave to reheat and melt the cheese.
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Buttermilk Bran Muffins

3 c bran
1 c boiling water
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter
2 1/2 c flour
2 t soda
1 t salt
2 eggs
2 c buttermilk

Mix the bran with the boiling water. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to mix. Pour into greased muffin tins or tins lined with papers. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
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Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca Pudding

3 T large old fashioned tapioca granules
1 c cold water
1 qt. milk
3 beaten eggs
3/4 c sugar
1/2 t vanilla

Soak tapioca in cold water overnight. In the morning drain any water left. Put the tapioca in a double boiler, add milk and cook until clear. Add eggs and sugar. Cook 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Mmmmm. Comforting.
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Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

Did I post this one already? :o)

Cream Cheese Chicken

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 oz. dry packet of Italian Salad Dressing Mix
salt and pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Layer chicken breasts with the dry italian dressing mix in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low until the chicken is done and it's about an hour before you want to eat. Brown the onion in a pan on the stove in oil, butter or chicken broth . Add the cream cheese, soup, salt and pepper, chicken broth and garlic. Whisk smooth. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the crockpot and cook 35-40 minutes. Remove chicken to a platter and put the sauce into a gravy boat and serve along side.
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1/14/07

Angel Bars

I've been making these since the Fall of 2000. They are, indeed, heavenly! Since I've made them so many times and for so many years, I've found you can deviate from the recipe a bit and they will still turn out delicious every time.


Angel Bars

72 crackers (Keebler Butter, Club Crackers, Ritz Crackers - I've used them all!)
1 c butter
1/2 c milk
2 c graham cracker crumbs (store bought or crush your own but make sure they are finely crushed)
1 c brown sugar
1/3 c white sugar
2/3 c peanut butter
1/2 c milk chocolate chips
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips


Line a 9X13 inch pan with foil. Spray the foil with Pam. Lay crackers down to cover the bottom of the pan, side by side, but don't overlap. In a saucepan melt the butter. Add the sugars and the milk. Bring to a boil, reduce and keep on a low boil for 5 minutes. Add the graham crackers, bring to a boil again and let boil for full minute.

Spread half of this mixture over the crackers. Layer another layer of crackers and pour the rest of the graham mixture over. Top with the third layer of crackers.


Melt together the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Spread over the top and chill 4 hours.

Cuts beautifully into sharp, nice squares showing the layers. Enjoy!



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1/10/07

Tortellini Salad

This is one of those recipes that you don't really *need* a recipe for. You basically just need a reminder of seeing it to say "Oh! I haven't made one of those in a while...." and make it. Use what you have on hand. Leave out what you don't like. But here is a basic recipe to jog your memory.


1 frozen 20 oz. package tortelli or 2 packages dry - I like the tri-colored or 4 cheese filled
1 package pepperoni, chop
1 red pepper, dice
1 green pepper, dice
1 cup cheese, cubed (cheddar, mozzarella, provolone... use what you have)
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 bottle zesty italian dressing if you must - but I really prefer to buy the dry mix and make it from scratch. It has a much better flavor!

Boil the tortelli and drain and run cold water over to cool. Mix all ingredients. Let set 1 hour if you have the time or just serve immediately. Serves 6 plus extra for tomorrows lunch!
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1/9/07

Fruit and Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (Easy!)

These remind me of the Nutri-Grain bars you buy at the store. Only for the price of ingredients, you'll get a whole pan of them for the price of one box of 6!


1 box yellow cake mix (dry)
2 1/2 c oatmeal - quick cooking
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 c (or a 12 oz. jar) of strawberry or cherry preserves, heated to melt
1 T water


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9X13 " pan. Combine the dry cake mix with the oat meal in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until crumbly. Pour half the mixture into the pan and press firmly to cover the bottom. Combine the preserves and water. Sprinkle reminaing crumb mixture over perserves. Pat firmly enough to make the top even. Bake 18-23 minutes until the top is golden brown. Cool in pan before cutting into bars. Makes about 4 dozen depending on the size you cut.


*You can make these into a delicious dessert by serving them topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
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Coffee Rubbed Steak

I've been craving steak lately and while I love my typical steak marinade, I decided I needed to branch out and try something new. While doing so, it seems a lot of people are rediscovering coffee rubs for steaks. The recipes are numerous, but really they are almost all exactly the same really. Additions and options for personal taste. See what you think!


¼ cup of chili powder
¼ cup of finely ground espresso or 1/3 c finely ground coffee beans
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher (large crystal) salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground ginger


Combine all ingredients and rub the coffee rub into the steak and cook to the desired doneness.
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1/8/07

Cream of Jalapeno Soup

Looking over the recipes I've posted I can't believe I didn't put this one here! It's one of my all-time-favorite soups in the whole world. I made this up a few years ago when we lived in Northern Minnesota, just a hop, skip and jump from the Canadian border and the winters were long and cold. Perfect on a Fall day too!

4 T butter
3 jalapenos, shopped fine (or just use a bottle or can and chop them)
1 lg. onion, chopped
3 T flour
1 lg. carrot, chopped or grated
3 c chicken broth
1 lg. green pepper, chopped fine
2 c whipping cream or half and half (or use milk in a pinch, it just won't be as thick or rich)
2 c cheese (swiss, mozzarella, cheddar... use what you have on hand for different flavors each time)

In a saucepan melt 2 T butter. Cook onion, carrot and green pepper over medium heat until tender. Stir in jalapeno's. Remove all from saucepan. Melt 2 T butter, stir in flour and cook 2 minutes while stiring or whisking. Gradually add the broth and cream. Whisk smooth, increase heat and bring to a brief boil. Reduce heat immediately and simmer 10 minutes until thick and creamy. Add the mixture of cheeses and the cooked veggies. Serve!

(I like to use 1 c cheddar cheese mixed with 1 cup of 'other' - which could be anything from mozzarella to Velveeta).
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1/1/07

Deluxe Mashed Potatoes

2 1/2 lb. potatoes (about 5)
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c sour cream
1 t dried chives
3/4 t onion salt
fresh ground pepper
1 T butter

Peel and cube the potatoes, place in cold water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until tender. Drain. Mash until smooth but do not add milk! Stir in the cream cheese, sour cream, chives, salt and pepper. Place into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish and dot with butter. Sprinkle a little chives on top (optional). Cover. Bake 350 degree's for 35-40 minutes. Serves about 5.
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Lighter Rye Bread

Sponge:

1 1/2 c water
1 package (2 1/4 t) yeast
1 1/2 T molasses
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c dried milk powder or buttermilk powder

Mix together, cover and let rise for 2 hours until foamy.

Bread:

2 T oil
2 t salt
1 1/2 c rye flour
1 c flour
1 T caraway or fennel seeds

Stir down the sponge and add the oil, salt, seeds and rye flour. Beat in the bread flour until the dough pulls away from the side, then either knead in the rest on a lightly floured surface or using your dough hook on a large stand mixer, knead in the remainder. Will be just a little sticky.

Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and set in a warm place to raise until double height. This will be about 1-2 hours based on the temperature of your room. Push the dough down and shape into an oval loaf. Place in your baking pan or on a bread stone, scattered with corn meal. Let rise about an hour, preheating the oven the last 15 minutes to 375. Make 3 slashes across the top and brush with an eggwhite glaze (eggwhite mixed with water). Bake 45-50 minutes until browned.
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