Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mexican Soup

The Mexican Soup from Barefoot Bloggers was a keeper. Our family enjoyed the flavours of this soup. Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats chose Mexican Chicken Soup for this weeks recipe. I am so glad it was a soup after all the heavy foods that I have eaten over the last week. The only major change that I made to the soup was to leave out the jalapenos and the cilantro. We had it on the side. My brother-in-law doesn't like spicy foods. Thanks Judy for the great recipe. We loved it!
Mexican Chicken Soup (serves 6 to 8)
4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas
To serveSliced avocado
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions starts to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in half, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving is over?

We have been very busy in our house. I am behind on everything including blogging my recipes this month. I can't believe that December is in a couple of days. We have had company since last Monday. It is great having my sister and her family staying with us. I did make the Tuesday with Dori Twofer pie this month for our Thanksgiving dinner. I did not like the texture at all. I cheated and used a store bought crust. There is a big difference in homemade crust versus storebought! It didn't turn out like I had pictured. I thought it would have the texture of pumpkin pie on the bottom and pecan pie on the top. It mixed together and was too sweet for us. I guess I prefer warm Apple Pie with ice-cream instead. Vibi from La casserole caree chose this week's recipe. You can find the recipe on her blog. And please check out what the other TWD bakers thought as well. We had a lovely Thanksgiving with family and friends! Our neighbor made the most amazing Pumpkin Cheesecake. I think he needs to share the recipe. I also bought a 21 pound turkey and we are still eating the leftovers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers Roasted Onions

cornbread, soup and roasted onions for dinner

We added some parmesan cheese to the onions at the end.

My friend Jeni sent me this for Thanksgiving.
I love it so much I wanted to share a picture of
Kelly from Baking with the Boys has chosen Herb Roasted Onions which can be found in Barefoot Contessa at Home on page 156. This recipe looked so amazing to me. I love roasted/caramelized onions and one of my favorite soups is French Onion Soup. I kind of lost track of time while cooking the onions. They got a little overdone but we added them to the soup that I had made. It all turned out in the end. These would be great with a pork loin or pot roast. This is definitely on my to make again list. Thanks Kelly!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chicken Corn Chowder

All cozy by the fire!

We are a soup family! As soon as the weather turns the slightest chilly I am ready with the soup pot and grabbing all my soup books to see what I want to make. We had some flurries last night and that got us in the mood. I love Cuisine at Home magazine. I have had a subscription since 2001. They come out with cookbooks every few months and one of the books that I bought was called "Splendid Soups and Spectacular Sides." There are so many soups in this book that I want to try. I couldn't decide between Corn Chowder, Roasted Tomato or Tortilla Soup. I ended up combing a couple recipes to make Chicken Corn Chowder. It was so good!
Saute in 2 T butter
1 cup onions.
2 cloves garlic,
2 skinless boneless breast cut into chunks
add 2 cups corn
4 cups chicken broth
cook about 10 minutes then add
4 corn tortillas cut into cubes.
cook these another 5 minutes until absorbed into soup. It gives the soup a great texture.
add 1/2 cup cream
1 ts cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste.
We sprinkled this with cheese and chopped tomatoes. It simmered on the stove for about 30 minutes on low until my husband got home. He ate a couple bowls last night and took the rest to work today. My daughter ate a bowl and loved it as well. We will be saving this recipe to make again. Happy Fall!

Rice Pudding or Rice Soup?

Is it ever going to thicken?
This week I had the chance to make Arborio Rice Pudding with my Tuesdays with Dorie group. This recipe didn't look all that great to me. I don't really like the texture of rice pudding to start with but this is about trying new things so I went ahead with it. It always sounds better then it tastes. Maybe that is because I enjoy pudding and custards so much? I decided to make the vanilla version and added cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins. After parboiling the rice I added the other ingrediants and stirred and stirred some more. 45 minutes later it was still runny. I gave up and stuck it in the fridge to cool. The next morning I checked on the rice pudding and it was still very wet. It never absorbed all of the milk/sugar mixture. My daughter enjoyed hers but I don't think I will make this again. I am sure that others had better experiences then I did.
Thanks Isabelle of Les gourmandises d'lsa for the interesting Arborio rice pudding.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mini Orange Cakes

This weekend we had guests over for dinner. I couldn't decide what to make for dessert and then remembered the chocolate orange mini cakes from Barefoot Contessa Parties. I watched an episode of Ina make these and they looked amazing. I have mini bundt pans and this was the perfect opportunity to use them. Lisa from Lime in the Coconut won the challenge for choosing our new BRC Avatar. I still can't figure out how to add it to my blog.... These turned out so moist and delicious. My favorite part was the orange syrup that you pour over the warm cakes and gets absorbed into the cake. It added just the right amount of moist texture without getting soggy. I will be making these again. I like the idea of making them into muffins for breakfast. I can see eating these warm out of the oven with my coffee.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cookies with Tuesdays with Dorie

Grace of Piggy’s Cooking Journal chose the Rugelach this week! I have been wanting to try this type of recipe forever. I had a friend give me plate of them last year for Christmas. They always seemed too complicated or hard to make. The dough was lovely to work with. I made the filling ahead of time and let it all sit until I had time today to roll them out. I love this cookie. I am hoping to make some for a cookie exchange this year. It will be my first time hosting. My friend Ellyn started it in Mt many years ago! I am looking forward to trying lots of great Thanksgiving and Holiday Recipes in the next couple of months. I am going to continue to run and hope that helps balance the holidays out. I have been working on Thanksgiving cards all morning. We are having warm weather for November it really doesn't feel like winter is anywhere close.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Leftover Halloween Candy

My kids had such a great time trick or treating. They ended up with 3 gallon bags of candy. I let them sort through it then we donated over 2 gallons. I did end up making Butterfingers Chunkies with the Butterfingers. We have a Veterans Day Celebration Dinner at the school tonight. I volunteered to make cookies and thought this would be a good way to use up my favorite candy bar. Here is the recipe below! I am so excited about Thanksgiving. We are having our first family members come and stay at our new house : )
Butter finger Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/4 cups chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 Butterfinger candy bars (2.1 ounces each), chopped
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add egg whites; beat well. Blend in peanut butter and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in candy bars. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls and place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Barefoot Contessa Vegetable Pot Pie

My cute skeleton!

The kids and there dog!

I am glad I cooked this on a baking sheet or I would be cleaning
my oven right now!

My potpies were so good! If only the photography had turned out better....
I am very late in posting this recipe. I have had the best of intentions to make it over a week ago but my husband went on a couple work trips. I thought it would be too much for just the kids and I. Deb of Kahakai Kitchen chose the recipe for Vegetable Pot Pie. I made this last night for dinner. I loved the pastry crust in this recipe. It was very easy to work with and rolled our so nicely. I did allot of substituting in the mixture of vegetables. I also had to make chicken stock so I ended up adding some chicken breast as well. It was very tasty but will not be a weekly stable since it has so much butter and crisco in the crust. 3 out of 4 of us ate it. I still have 2 of my pies left for my husbands lunches this week.
Vegetable Pot Pie -
Barefoot Contessa Parties
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 cups sliced yellow onions
1 fennel bulb, top and core removed, thinly sliced crosswise (substituted celery)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups good chicken stock
1 tablespoon Pernod (I left out completely)
Pinch saffron threads forgot to put in
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 cups large-diced potatoes (1/2 pound)
1 1/2 cups asparagus tips substitued brocoli
1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced carrots (4 carrots)
1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced butternut squash
1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (1/2 pound)
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced1
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and saute until translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the flour, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add the stock, Pernod, saffron, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the heavy cream and season to taste. The sauce should be highly seasoned.
Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Lift out with a sieve. Add the asparagus, carrots, and squash to the pot and cook in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain well. Add the potatoes, mixed vegetables, onions, and parsley to the sauce and mix well.
For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together.
Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the sides, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot. Enjoy! Thanks Deb for a great Fall Dinner recipe.

Trying New Things

This past year has been a year of change. We moved from a huge running community to an area that does not have the biking and running trails...