Monday, November 19, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

Well, we all love butternut squash. At least, I do. I especially love having soup this time of year when winter is approaching. The Fall leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder.
It is the perfect time to make soup. This recipe is easy and delicious.

You can roast the squash instead of boiling it to give the soup a more robust flavor.Add a tablespoon of butter and two tablespoons of light brown sugar to squash before roasting 


2 Tablespoons butter
5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 ½ pounds)Or cur squash in half/peel on and roast in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes until soft when pierced with a knife. Scoop out flesh.
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 sliced leeks (about 2 medium)or 1 diced medium onion
1 apple, peeled and diced
2 sage leaves minced or 1 teas ground sage
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half

Freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic
 1 teaspoon nutmeg
 1 apple, diced
 White pepper
 Arrow root

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash,
potato, salt and pepper to pan; saute 3 minutes. Add leek or onion; saute 10 minutes.
Stir in broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until
potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Place half of potato mixture in
blender or Cuisinart. Remove center-piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape);
secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender
lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Repeat procedure with
remaining potato mixture. Stir in half-and-half. Cover and keep warm.

Garnish w/  sour cream and chives

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Let's Make Mud Pies: Carmelized Cauliflower Soup and Easy Hot Rolls

Let's Make Mud Pies: Carmelized Cauliflower Soup and Easy Hot Rolls: November is a beautiful of year. The Holidays are almost here, our heaters have come on from the cold weather, and it is time for soup. Th...

Carmelized Cauliflower Soup and Easy Hot Rolls

November is a beautiful of year. The Holidays are almost here, our heaters have come on from the cold weather, and it is time for soup. There is nothing like a hot bowl of soup to make my tummy happy. This recipe is perfect for an easy weeknight meal or great to serve for company on a special occasion.
In my opinion, cauliflower is an under utilized vegetable. Most people walk right by it because they don't know what to do with it. This recipe will make you a cauliflower believer too.

Who needs bread to go along with soup? I do!
Why make the dough from scratch (I have recipes if you want to go through the trouble), when you can make them look and taste like you made them from scratch and your friends and famly will never know the difference. It's hard to believe, but it is true. Read on to find your next favorite best kept secret to making any meal extra special.


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ bunch thyme, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon fine chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 cups Chardonnay
  • 1 cup Madeira
  • 1 cup veal or beef stock (vegetable stock optional)
  • 2 cups half and half

  • 2 T dried potato flakes if needed to thicken
  • 4 crostini (lightly toasted thin slices of French bread)
  • 1 cup grated Fontina or smoked gouda cheese


Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until almost caramelized, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle the sugar and salt over the onions and continue to cook, stirring until they darken.  Put the cauliflower on a sheet pan, sprinkle w/ 1T olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until caramelized.  Add the thyme and garlic to pot and cook for 5 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients to pot and cook soup on medium heat for 30 minutes.

Ladle soup into ovenproof bowls, top with the crostini and the cheese.  Place the bowls under a hot broiler until the cheese is bubbly.  Serves 4. 
Easy Hot Rolls
Buy Bridgeford Loaves (comes in a pkg of three loaves and found in freezer section of most grocery stores). Defrost in refrigerator overnight in covered bag so it does not dry out.
Divide roll into 10 pieces with a sharp knife and roll each piece into 4 inch long strips. Take each strip and tie in a knot. Place each knot into a greased (shortening or Pam) muffin tin pan. Brush w/ slightly beaten egg and let rise on counter until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve immediately w/ homemade apricot jam and butter.




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oh yeah. Sweet Potatoes

Well, it is almost Thanksgiving. I have so much to be grateful for. It is wonderful to spend time with friends and family on this joyous occasion. I first ate this recipe when I attended Thanksgiving at my sister Julie's house @ 10 years ago. Her wonderful sister in law Mary Ann brought this dish to share and my family won't ever be having another Thanksgiving holiday without it.
Your family will LOVE it too!

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 C. Mashed sweet potatoes( roast in oven for 1 hour@350 degrees or boil)

1/3 C. Brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/3 C. Skim milk

2 T. Margarine/ butter

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp Kosher salt

2 egg whites (Whipped until frothy)


½ C. Packed brown sugar

¼ C flour

2 Tbsp chilled butter

1/3 C. Pecans chopped
1/2  teaspoon cinnamon

 Prepare by  whipping egg whites until stiff. Then take the first six ingredients and mix thoroughly in stand mixer. Fold egg whites into sweet potato mixture and spread evenly in a 13X9 glass dish.
Make the topping by putting all of the ingredients into a cuisinart and blend, or cut ingredients w a pastry blender by hand. Sprinkly topping over sweet potatoes evenly.

350 degrees for 30 min
Serves @ 6 people.

A family favorite for sure! Spanish Rice

Here is the Spanish Tomato Rice recipe I talked about in the last blog.
My mother made this recipe for us and it warms the tummy. Perfect side dish with chicken, tacos, or any main dish. My friend Marie adds red kidney beans to make it a more nutritious dish.

Spanish Tomato Rice

8 Slices bacon

1 C. finely chopped white or yellow onion

¼ C. chopped green pepper

1 1Lb can whole tomatoes

1 ½ C. water

½ can tomato paste

¾ C. uncooked long grain white rice

½ C. chili sauce

1 teas Kosher salt

Dash pepper

1 T. brown sugar

½ teas Worcestershire sauce


Fry bacon till crisp and remove from pan. Pour off half the fat. In remaining fat, cook onion and pepper till tender.

Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer 45 minutes. Crumble bacon over top and serve.

Serves 6-8

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.


Let's Grill!

Skirt Steak with Red Onion and

Citrus Lime Mojo
Upcoming recipe on my blog:
Skirt steak w red onion and citrus lime mojo
This recipe has to be one of my all time favorites. It is perfect served with Spanish rice or even on a bed of lettuce.
I like to marinade the meat the night before if possible for more flavor. It is so good that you will want to make a double batch and share it with your family and friends.

1 Skirt Steak

1clove garlic

3 green onions

1/2 jalapeno/ remove seeds

1bunch cilantro, including stems/divided

3/4 cup canola oil or peanut   oil

1teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1teaspoon kosher salt

1       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Juice and zest of 3 limes

2 large red onions, peeled and thickly sliced


 Chop the cilantro and reserve 3 tablespoons for garnish. Set aside.

On a clean, wide work surface, place skirt steak down between two pieces of plastic wrap (spray the plastic wrap with non-stick spray before placing steak). Using a flat-sided meat pounder, flatten each steak until tender, paying attention to the thicker side of the steak. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the canola oil, the remaining cilantro, ground cumin, garlic, mustard, oregano, lime and salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is a smooth paste. Rub ½ the mixture over the steak and let marinate at room temperature for ½ hr.

TO COOK AND SERVE: Light a charcoal or gas grill, or have grill pan hot on stove top. When the grill is very hot, remove the steak from the marinade (discard the marinade), pat dry, and season with salt and pepper; cook 5 to 7 minutes on one side and 3 to 4 minutes on the other for medium rare. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.  Grill the red onions at the same time as the strip steak
6 to 7 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, warm the reserved mojo over low heat. Slice the flank steak very thinly on the bias and serve with the reserved mojo, cilantro and grilled onions.


Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield: Yield:  Serves 4-6
Fat. Total:
Carbohydrates, Total:
% Cal. from Fat: