Friday, September 30, 2011

CAULIFLOWER SOUP


I made this soup this evening and took to the outdoors to take a photo.
It would appear that the day was cloudy and overcast ... but not so.


I went around to the opposite side and into the warm bright sunshine.
Not good for a shadows but great for the spirit and appetite.
September 29 and 83° in Alberta  .. how does that sound to
my family and friends in cool IN and NY?


Back to making soup that is great for the upcoming cooler weather
of autumn.  In my opinion great soups always start with onions.


Naturally the main ingredient for this recipe is cauliflower but
the carrots and celery enhance the flavor and give it some color.


Add a rich white sauce and you have 'comfort food'.


Blending into the shadows of a round straw bale.

CAULIFLOWER SOUP

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
4 cups coarsely chopped cauliflower
2 tsp. parsley flakes

In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over low heat.
Add onion and cook for a few minutes until onion turns brown.
Add carrots and celery; stir and cook for another 2 minutes.
Stir in cauliflower and parsley; cover and cook for 15 minutes,
stirring occasionally. 

2 ½ cups chicken broth
bay leaf

Add chicken broth and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat
and allow to simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half

In a saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Blend in flour, salt and pepper.
Whisk in milk;  heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
(Or blend the flour and milk in a shaker before stirring into
the butter  ..  my preferred method)
Add mixture to the simmering soup.
Yield: 4 to 5 servings



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

GOLDEN PARMESAN POTATOES


Crisp wedges of potato roasted with Parmesan cheese
are a healthy substitute for the fried kind.


Cut potatoes into wedges.


Melt butter in a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet.


Arrange seasoned potatoes on baking sheet.
On this day I did a big batch so the sheet is full.


They shrink a bit as they bake.


This is a view into the oven where the potatoes have reached
a golden brown ... crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Very delicious!

GOLDEN PARMESAN POTATOES

6 large potatoes, raw
1/3 cup butter or margarine

Wash, peel and cut each potato into 8 wedges.
Melt butter in a 10 x 15 - inch rimmed foil or parchment-lined
baking sheet.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
seasoned salt and/or parsley flakes

Combine flour, cheese and seasonings in a heavy plastic bag.
Moisten potatoes with water.  Add a few at a time to bag and shake,
coating potatoes well with cheese mixture.  Place on baking sheet.
Sprinkle with seasoned salt and parsley flakes if desired.
Bake in preheated 375° oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes,
turning every 15 minutes until they are crisp and golden brown.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CORNMEAL ROLLS


My daughter made these slightly sweet golden corn rolls on a recent
visit.  We filled them with sloppy joe meat sauce and the
grandchildren were gratified.


CORNMEAL ROLLS

2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 tsp, salt

Cook milk, cornmeal, butter, sugar and salt in medium saucepan
until slightly thickened.  Set aside to cool until lukewarm.

2 tsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup warm water

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water until bubbly.

2 eggs, beaten
4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

Combine cornmeal mixture, yeast and eggs.  Add 2 cups flour and beat
until smooth.  Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and
elastic.  Place dough into lightly oiled bowl; turning once to oil
surface.  Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Cut and shape dough into dinner rolls.
Let rise in warm place, until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
Bake in preheated 375° oven for 12 to 15 minutes.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

A FOREVER FEAST, HARVEST


For the beauty of the earth,  For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth, Over and around us lies, .....


For the beauty of each hour,  Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flow'r,  Sun and moon and stars of light:


Lord of all, to Thee we raise,  This our hymn of  grateful praise.
Folliot Pierpoint 1864


Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love.
Psalm 107: 21 - 22

Saturday, September 24, 2011

SAVORY STROMBOLLI


I'm back ... after a wonderful time with family and friends.  Not that I
went anywhere ... I was at home in my kitchen ... but too busy to blog.
Seven grandchildren need lots of good food and many snacks.
Even so there were so many other treats I wanted to make for them.
This strombolli was the final meal I made for the harvest crew, my daughter
and 3 grandsons.  The baby will have to wait for another time.


Roll the dough and make an abstract pass with the mustard bottle.
My daughter makes perfect lines at perfect intervals.


Spread the mustard and start the layering.


Wow, looks good enough to eat ... but not quite.


Fold the strips of dough alternately to produce a braided effect.


Don't worry if some of the filling is peeking through ..


Sprinkle a generous amount of oregano powder and parsley
flakes over the dough.


Baked and waiting to be sliced ... and savored.


A close view of the end .. cheese bubbling out.


SAVORY STROMBOLLI

1 pkg. dry yeast (1 tbsp.)
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.

1 cup warm milk
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, stir together yeast, milk, oil, salt, sugar and
2 ½ cups of the flour.  Beat until smooth.  Mix in enough remaining flour
to make dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until elastic, about 5 minutes.
Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up.  Cover; let rise in
warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

FILLING

3 tbsp. mustard
12 slices processed cheese
12 slices salami
1 lb. ham, thinly slices or shaved
1 lb. ground beef, browned with 1 med. onion and drained
4 to 5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Divide dough in half.  On lightly floured surface, roll each half into
rectangle, about 12 x 15 inches; spread with mustard.
Layer half the ingredients in order given down the center 1/3 of rectangle.
Cut the exposed dough on each side into 1-inch strips.
Fold each side alternately over the top to produce a braided effect.
Seal ends well to prevent leaking.
Carefully lift onto a greased baking sheet.

1 egg
Parsley flakes and / or oregano powder

Brush top with beaten egg and sprinkle with parsley flakes.  Repeat
with other half of dough and remaining filling ingredients.
Let rise until light about 10 minutes but this is optional.
Bake in preheated 350° oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool slightly before cutting into slices.
Yield: 14 to 16  servings

Freezing: excellent

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

PEACH SHORTCAKE MUFFINS


Top this 'peachy' muffin with whipped cream as a dessert.
Or serve it as a morning muffin at breakfast.


This muffin can be put together very quickly.
The dry ingredients are mixed with hands or in a food
processor as above.


Add the chopped peaches and milk and gently combine.


Spoon into prepared muffin papers.


Sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon; pop into the oven.


This muffin has a very good crumb ... soft and delicious.

PEACH SHORTCAKE MUFFINS

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ginger
6 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 cup milk
1 2/3 cups coarsely chopped peaches,
fresh or canned

Combine first five ingredients in large bowl.  Cut in butter with pastry blender
or food processor until crumbly.  Add milk and peaches, stirring just until
blended.  Spoon batter into 12-cup muffin pan, greased or lined
with muffin papers.

Topping

2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over muffins.  Bake in preheated 400° oven
 for 20 to 25 minutes or until top springs back lightly when touched.
Freezing: excellent




Monday, September 12, 2011

HARVEST CORN CHOWDER


Harvest is in full swing in southern Alberta.  My granddaughter is holding
a mason jar of chowder that we delivered to the combine crew.
It is a hearty soup that we served with garlic toast, watermelon
chunks and a chocolate chip cookie.


The soup is chock full of fresh vegetables from the garden.


Because I made a double recipe, I cooked the vegetables
before adding them to the ham broth.
Chopped vegetables only need a short cooking time to have
them ready for soup.


The recipe calls for water but I made some ham stock by simmering
a smoked ham with bone-in for the broth.  It does take more time
but the flavor is superb.  You can make the broth ahead of time and
freeze it for later use.


I use these mason jars to take soups to the field.  With lids on
the soup stays hot and there are no spills.



HARVEST CORN CHOWDER

2 cups water *
2 cups cubed potatoes
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt

In saucepan combine water, vegetables and seasonings.  Cook
together until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Do not drain.
Discard bay leaf.

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
1½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed cooked ham

Melt butter over low heat; whisk in flour and seasonings.  Cook over low
heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly.  Remove from heat
and stir in milk. Heat to boiling stirring  constantly.  Add cheese and
continue cooking until cheese is melted.  Add ham and stir into
cooked vegetables; heat through.
Yield: 6 servings.
* in place of the water you can use 2 cups of ham broth.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

ORANGE TAPIOCA SALAD


This salad has a creamy texture and a delicate citrus flavor.
It is a light treat with a heavy meal or can serve as the dessert
at a summer luncheon.

ORANGE TAPIOCA SALAD

1 pkg. orange gelatin
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 pkg. tapioca pudding mix
(4 serving size each)
2 cups water

Combine gelatin and pudding mixes.  Add water and stir until blended.
Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly; boil
for 1 minute. Remove from heat and chill completely.

2 cans (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
1 carton (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Whisk cooled pudding vigorously until smooth.  Fold oranges and
whipped topping into pudding mixture.  Spoon into a serving bowl.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer. 
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A FOREVER FEAST, HORSE


Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm.  He said: ....
"Do you give the horse his strength
or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? ....


The Lord said to Job:
"Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
Let him who accuses God answer him!"
Psalm 38:1, 39:19, 40:1-2

Thursday, September 1, 2011

ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES


It's back to school .... chocolate chip cookies and a glass of
cold milk after classes .... sounds yummy.
This cookie is deliciously soft and chewy.

ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy.  Add eggs
and vanilla; beat until creamy.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. hot water

Blend four and salt; dissolve soda in hot water.
Add to creamed mixture; mix well.

2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches
apart onto lightly greased baking sheets.
Flatten slightly with a glass tumbler.
Bake in preheated 350° oven for 10 to 11 minutes for chewy cookies.
They will look light and moist - do not overbake.
Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes.
Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Yield: about 5 dozen cookies