Monday, October 22, 2012

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup
2/3  Cup  Butter
2/3  Cup  Flour
7  Cups  Milk
4  Large  Potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled, and cubed, about 4 Cups
1  Cup  Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1  Cup  Sour Cream
3/4  teaspoon  Salt
1/2  teaspoon  Pepper
For Topping:  Shredded Cheddar, Crisp Diced Bacon, Green Onions
In a large pan, melt Butter.  Stir in Flour.  Heat and stir until smooth.  Gradually add Milk, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Add Potatoes.  Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients, stir until Cheese is melted.  Serve immediately, topping each bowl as desired.  Yields 8-10 servings, about 2-1/2 quarts.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ;
for it is the power of God
unto salvation to everyone that believeth;
to the Jew first , and also to the Greek.
For in it is the righteousness of God revealed
from faith to faith;
as it is written,
The just shall live by faith."
--Romans 1:16 & 17
This recipe calls for cooled baked potatoes.
Now, if you're like me,  you won't just have baked potatoes in the fridge just waiting on this recipe.  Around here, if there WERE potatoes in the fridge, the 10-year-olds would have eaten them for their after school snack AND I wouldn't have known that I would be needing them for this soup, because I wouldn't have started planning supper until I started thinking about it at 5 o'clock, wanting to serve it at 6.
How's that for a run-on sentence?
Anyway, back to my point.
I micro-bake my potatoes, but dice them while they are hot.  I don't peel the potatoes, but do try to remove as much of the peel as possible.  And it still turns out just fine and is ready in 1 hour. 

This recipe is slightly adapted from Bountiful Blessings, page 48.

And these are the lovely flowers my eldest son picked for me!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Garden Herb Soup

Garden Herb Soup
5  Cups  Water
1  (2-lb) bag  Hash Brown Cubes
2-1/2  Cups  Celery, chopped fine
5  Cups  Shredded Carrots
2  teaspoons  Salt
1  teaspoon  Seasoned Salt
1/2  teaspoon  Black Pepper
10  Tablespoons  Butter
1-1/4  Cups  Flour
5  Cups  Milk
1-1/4  teaspoons  Dried Basil
1  heaping Tablespoon  Dried Dill Weed
1  lb  Velveeta Cheese
Dash or two of  Cayenne Pepper, to taste
For Garnish:  Grated Cheddar and fresh Dill Sprigs
In a large saucepan, combine Water, Potatoes, Carrots, Salts, and Pepper.  Bring to a boil and cook until vegetables are just tender.  Do not drain.
Make a white sauce with Butter, Flour, and Milk.  Stir into Vegetable mixture.  Slice Velveeta cheese and stir into soup until melted.  Adjust seasonings to taste, add Cayenne Pepper if desired.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with grated Cheddar and a Dill Sprig.
Makes about 4-1/2 quarts, serves 10-12.
"I am come a light into the world,
that whosoever believeth on me
should not abide in darkness."
--John 12:46
Finally!  It is cool enough to have soups again.  It has been warm for so long---the children were running through the sprinkle on October 1st--can you believe it?!---that it almost seemed like fall would never come!  I've slightly adapted this recipe from Far Above Rubies, page 547.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Viennese Apple Cake

Viennese Apple Cake
or, Apfelkuchen
Prep Time:  50 minutes
Bake Time:  1 hour, 15 minutes
1-2/3  Cups  Flour
1  Tablespoon  Sugar
1/2  teaspoon  Baking Powder
9  Tablespoons  Cold Butter
1  large  Egg, beaten with 1 Tablespoon Water
4-6  Tablespoons  Cold Water
Apple Filling:
2.2  pounds  Apples (1 kg, or about 5)
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
Cake Filling:
2/3  Cup  Sugar
13  Tablespoons  softened Butter (3/4-cup + 1 Tablespoon)
1  Egg
Zest from 1/2 Lemon
3/4  Cup  Flour
1/2  teaspoon  Baking Powder
15  Tablespoons  Whipping Cream (1 cup, minus 1 Tablespoon; or a scant 1-Cup)
3  Tablespoons  Sliced Almonds
3  Tablespoons  Sugar
Whipped Cream for serving
For the Crust:
Make like a pie crust:  mix Flour, Sugar and Baking Powder in a bowl.  Cut cold Butter into dry ingredients until small crumbs form.  Beat Egg with Water; stir into dry ingredients.  Stir in 4-6 tablespoons Water, adding Water just until the mixture forms a ball.  Gather into a ball; refrigerate until needed.
Chop Apples:
Peel and quarter Apples.  Cut each quarter into 3 slices, then, to quote the original recipe, "cut crosswise into small trapezoids."  Toss Apples in Lemon Juice; set aside.
Make Cake Batter:
In mixer, beat Butter and Sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in Egg and Lemon Zest.
In a small bowl, mix the Flour and Baking Powder, adding a dash of salt if using unsalted Butter.  Stir into creamed mixture; beat until smooth.
Add in Whipping Cream a little at  time, beating between additions.
Assemble and Bake Cake:
Preheat oven to 350*.
Grease and Flour a 9- or 10-inch springform pan (or 11-inch tart pan).
Roll out crust to fit pan and line pan, piecing crust if necessary to form crust up the sides of the pan to the lip.
Place drained Apples in pan.
Spoon Cake Batter over the Apples in dollops, then smooth out over Apple to the edges.
Sprinkle with Sliced Almonds and then Sugar.
Bake for 1 hour, then turn off oven and leave Cake in the oven for 15 minutes.  Crust should be golden brown and filling will be moist but set--testing with a toothpick will not work for this cake.
Cool completely to room temperature--do not serve hot.  Filling will become firm as when completely cool. 
Serve with Whipped Cream, at room temperature or chilled.
Serves 12.
Store any remainders in the refrigerator.
"A new commandment I give unto you,
that ye love one another;
as I have loved you,
that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another."
--John 13:34 & 35
Cut the Butter into the Flour, Sugar, and Baking Powder

Stir in the Egg and Water until it forms a rough ball
Not that you need a photo of Egg and Water--
I just like this little bowl
And here are my "Apple Trapezoids"
I think an engineer must have written the original recipe!

 Adding in the Cream
The Crust, fitted into the pan

Filled with Apples

Dollops of Batter

Smoothed out

Topped with Almonds

Sprinkled with Sugar

I was looking for a new fall dessert to serve to our Church Bible Study group.  It had to be a recipe which I could make a day ahead.  I found this at, via Pinterest.  If you're looking for a not-so-sweet fall dessert, this is it!  It is very refreshing with a hint of Lemon in the custard-like Batter.  The original recipe was written with metric measurements and then converted to US measurements, which is the why-and-wherefore of the 15-tablespoons instead of a full 1-cup.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Honey & Maple Baked Peaches

Honey & Maple Baked Peaches
For this simple little dessert you will need:
  • Peach Halves  --  Fresh or canned
  • Honey
  • Laughing Cow Cheese wedges  --  one wedge per Peach Half
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Maple Syrup
Place Peach Halves in a lightly greased baking dish and drizzle with Honey:
Unwrap the Laughing Cow cheese and smoosh it onto each Peach Half:
(spell check is telling me that 'smoosh' is not a word, but you get the point)

Dust the Peaches with ground Cinnamon:
Drizzle with Maple Syrup and bake at 350* for 30-40 minutes, until softened:
Spoon any pan juices over the Baked Peach Halves and enjoy!
Another one of those "perfected in the Author's test kitchen" recipes!
[and they brought]
"Honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese...
for David and for the people who were with him, to eat;
for they said, 'The people are hungry,
and weary, and thirsty in the wilderness'."
--II Samuel 17:29

And here is an excellent example of the only reason why I grow Cactus:
Simply stunning blossoms which last for only a day or two.

Last year for my birthday the boys combined their money to buy me three tiny cactus.
This is the first blossom so far!
{So there you have it:  Honey and Cheese,
and my tiny wilderness.
And yes, I have been very weary recently.}

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Fondue 40th

Today my brother-in-law turns 40.

Last night his wife hosted a very, very fun Fondue party in his honor.

I didn't get a lot of pictures, and those I did take had pretty poor quality--sorry about that.

Complete with stick-on mustaches!

Here are the links to the recipes we used, with a few notes under each link.  We planned for 25 adults.

We doubled this recipe.

We doubled this recipe.
Of all the cheese-based fondues, this was the overall hit of the evening.

We doubled this recipe.
This did scorch; keep your fondue burner on low heat.
The burner under this one was hard to get low enough.

We doubled this recipe, too.
A fun fondue if you're serving children.

Nest your meat in bowls of ice to keep it cold.

This links to; we adjusted the recipe to serve 16.
We used filet mignon for the Beef and
used Chicken instead of the Pork the recipe called for.
The recipe includes two dipping sauces: Horseradish and BBQ;
no need to double the dipping sauce recipes.
These were a big hit with the men.

Tempura Shrimp

2 Eggs
1-3/4  Cups  Very Cold Water
1-3/4  Cups  Flour
1/4  teaspoon  Salt

Beat Eggs and Water until frothy.  Beat in Flour until batter is smooth.
Refrigerate until used.  Place batter in bowl in crushed ice to keep cold while using.
Yield:  about 2-1/2 cups batter.

*Make certain that whatever you are dipping into the Batter is very dry--
otherwise the batter will slide off in the hot oil!

We doubled this recipe.

We doubled this.
This was the dessert hit of the evening!
We added between 1/4- to 1/2-teaspoon Sea Salt to this (Butterscotch) recipe
and renamed it Salted Caramel Fondue.
So good with Pears.

If you have any questions just send me a comment; I'd love to help you as best I can.
Fondue is a lot of fun, but also a lot of chopping.
If you're doing a party of this size, have about 3 helpers to get it all chopped.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Simple SOPP for Supper

Sausage, Onions, Potatoes, & Peppers
Or, SOPP for Supper
This is a very simple, very easy, very quick dish for supper.  {And the clean up is very minimal, too!}
You will want the following ingredients.  I'm listing the amounts I used, which fed our family of 6 for two meals.  Adjust to your preferences!
2  pounds  Sausage, cut into pieces--use your favorite kind, and does not need to be cooked.  I use raw Chicken Sausage.
1-1/2   Very Large Red Onion, sliced into wedges
12-15  Red Potatoes, cut into quarters, sixths, or eighths, depending on size--cut them into the same size pieces as the Sausage
2-3  Bell Peppers, chunked--red or green, it doesn't matter.  {Red look prettier}
1/3  Cup  Olive Oil
1  Tablespoon  Dried Rosemary
1  Tablespoon  Cajun Seasoning, if you have it
Black Pepper
Preheat your oven to 350*.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.  You may need two baking sheets if yours are on the smaller side.
In a very large bowl, combine the Sausage, Onion, Potatoes, and Bell Pepper. 
In a small bowl, stir together the Olive Oil, Rosemary, Cajun Seasoning, Salt and Pepper.  Pour over the SOPP and stir thoroughly to coat completely.
Turn out onto baking sheets, spread into a single layer.
Roast at 350* for 30 minutes, or until Sausage and Potatoes are cooked through.
And it's just that simple!
"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink,
but righteousness, and peace,
and joy in the Holy Spirit."
Romans 14:17
This is one recipe in a large baking sheet.
The Potatoes with get a little crispier if you use two sheets and don't crowd them so.
Adapted from Oven-Roasted Sausages Potatoes and Peppers by Lila's Apron.