Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hash Brown Soup

My daughter is a potato snob. She loves potatoes, but typically insists they be prepared from scratch and turns up her nose at instant or frozen products (though she makes an exception for KFC mashed potatoes and gravy, for some reason.)

For that reason, she was skeptical about this soup, but wound up really liking it, especially when I explained that, given the reduced prep and cooking time, it was likely to appear far more often potato soup from scratch.

  • 1 chopped onion

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 3 cans chicken broth

  • 1 large bag Southern style hash browns, frozen

  • 1 can cream of celery soup

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup

  • 1.5 cups skim milk

  • 1 pound shredded cheddar
Saute onion in oil. Add to broth in saucepan, bring to boil. Add hash browns and boil again. Add soups and milk, boil again. Stir in cheese until melted.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

My kids are crazy about chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, so when I heard of these cupcakes I had to try them. There are several versions around; I like this one because it uses a mix.

A few tips: It is essential that the dough centers be frozen thoroughly. I typically do mine overnight. Do not over bake these: 16 minutes is about right for me. If you over bake or do not freeze dough, you wind up with a dry crumply cookie in the middle instead of the soft dough. Toothpick test is not reliable for doneness if you stick it in the middle, because you'll be testing the dough; use the side.

I got the icing recipe from a different site. You can use any frosting you want, but this version has that "cookie dough" taste that makes it especially good. The original recipe made way more icing than I needed, (I don't put big swirls of icing on cupcakes) so the second time I halved it; which was barely enough. The version below is 2/3's of the original, which is about right.

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugar, then beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients and stir in until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Using about 1 tablespoon each, roll 24 balls of dough. Place on cookie sheet and freeze at least 2 hours or overnight.

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
Beat eggs slightly, then add rest of ingredients. Mix with mixer on medium speed 2 minutes. Fill 24 paper-lined muffin tins 1/2 to 2/3's full with batter, then place one cookie dough ball on top. Cupcake will rise and cover ball as it bakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-20 minute. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely.

Cookie dough buttercream frosting:
  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 1/3 teaspoons vanilla

Cream brown sugar and butter. Mix in powdered sugar until smooth. Mix in rest of ingredients to make a smooth frosting. Spread over cooled cupcakes. Top with mini-chocolate chips or a Famous Amos mini chocolate chip cookie, if desired.

These are best stored in refrigerator.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Turkey Curry Soup

I dug the turkey carcass stock out of the freezer and prepared this tonight. Everyone enjoyed.
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, minced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Indian spices to taste (I used 4 teaspoons garam masala and 2 teaspoons curry powder)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups turkey broth
  • 3 cups chopped turkey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4-6 cups rice, cooked
Melt butter in soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery, saute 10 minutes until tender. Add garlic and spices, cook 2 minutes. Add flour, cook 2 more minutes. Add salt, pepper, broth and turkey, heat until simmering; simmer 10-15 minutes. Add lemon juice and milk and cook 5 minutes longer. Serve over rice or mix rice into soup.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I fell in love with this soup when I went to Spain a few years ago. There are a million versions of it, but here is my favorite. I love to hit a farmers market on a Saturday morning, then make a batch to have for lunch for the rest of the week.
  • 3 lbs fresh summer tomatoes (9-10 medium)
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 bell or red pepper
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 5-6 garlic cloves (or less, to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons red vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (about 2, fresh squeezed)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I use 2-3 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh spice (dill, basil, coriander... use your favorite)
  • dry bread crumbs
Peel and seed cucumber. Seed pepper. Peel garlic cloves. Chop them and onion in food processor. Coarsely chop herb. Blanch tomatoes for 30 seconds in boiling water, remove skins. Some people seed tomatoes at this point, but I don't). Puree tomatoes in blender, add rest of vegetables, vinegar, lime juice, salt, pepper and herb. I like my gazpacho smooth, so I blend it all up throughly, but if you like it chunkier, process it less or don't blend all the chopped vegetables. Chill several hours or overnight. Serve in bowls with 2 tablespoons bread crumbs sprinkled on top.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Butterscotch pie

  • Pie crust, partially baked

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons butter, sliced
  • 3 egg yolks

  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Prick pie crust with fork and pre-bake according to directions. In top of double boiler, mix brown sugar, flour, salt and milk. Add butter and heat over boiling water, stirring occasionally until butter melts. Beat eggs yolks and whisk in. Cook, stirring frequently, until thick. Pour into pie shell.

Mix corn starch and water, boil and stir until transparent. Beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually beat in sugar, than corn starch mixture. Spread over pie filling, sealing to edges. Bake at 325 for 20-30 minutes, until meringue is browned. Chill before serving.