Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pumpkin Soup (soupe au potiron)

I had a left over pumpkin from Halloween that I wanted to cook up. I remembered eating a delicious pumpkin soup while in France over 12 years ago. A quick internet search lead me to this recipe which sounded a lot like what I remembered. I was able to translate the recipe (it's in French) and modify it to what I had on hand.

This soup recipe is absolutely wonderful. I was totally surprised how well it turned out. The nutmeg adds a nice touch. Since I was just experimenting, I'm not sure about the quantities I used. I'll probably make some modifications the next few times I make this.

I didn't get a picture because it was eaten too quickly. Most of us ended up having seconds.

Servings: 6
Cook Time: 30 min

Ingredients:
1 small pumpkin
5 potatoes, peeled
1/2 qt half and half
salt
pepper
nutmeg, ground
2 tsp chicken bouillon
2 cups water

Directions:
1) Remove the skin and pumpkin 'guts' leaving the pulp. Cut the pumpkin pulp in 1 inch cubes. Peel the potato and cut in 1 inch cubes.
2) Boil the potato and pumpkin until soft. Approximately 10 minutes. Meanwhile heat 2 cups of water and the chicken bouillon.
3) In a mixer or food processor, blend the drained pumpkin and potato pieces until smooth. Add the puree to the hot chicken broth.
4) Mix in the half and half and spices. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce temperature to keep warm.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Costa Vida Chicken (copy cat)

I needed a chicken taco recipe for an office potluck the other day. After some searching on the Internet, I came across this copy cat recipe for Costa Vida Chicken. The chicken was a hit at the office and will be on our family menu in the near future.

Ingredients:
1 bottle (16 oz) Zesty Italian Dressing
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 skinless, boneless chicken breast

Directions:
1) Mix dressing, spices, and garlic together.
2) Place chicken breasts in crock pot, cover with dressing mixture
3) Cook on low for 4 hours
4) Shred chicken and cook for an additional hour

* This makes a lot of food. You can freeze or refrigerate any leftovers.
** I found the flavor to be a little strong. Next time I'm going to try a light dressing to see if that helps.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gingerbread Ornaments

This is a great holiday activity. The kids love cutting out the cookies and decorating them. I got the recipie from our friend Mindy. She used it to make gingerbread houses with her girls. Check them out here.



Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups molasses
4 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
8 cups flour

Directions:
1) Blend butter and brown sugar together in a mixer.
2) Add molasses, eggs, baking soda, and spices.
3) Mix until well blended.
4) Stir in flour.
5) Refrigerate at least 3 hours or over night.
6) Preheat over to 350 F
7) Roll out cookie dough on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes and place on cookie sheet.
8) Back for 10 - 12 minutes

Tips:
Use a straw to cut out a small hole in the cookie shape before cooking. This will make it easier to thread the ribbon to hang the ornament.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Candied Yams

Candied Yams have been a Thanksgiving tradition for my family for as long as I can remember. The combination of yams, peaches, and nutmeg is just incredible. I add a little cinnamon in my version.




Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
2 tbsp butter
2 cans yams (17oz)
1 can peaches (16oz)
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmellow

Directions:



  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Drain yams and peaches and place in baking dish.

  3. In a separate bowl, mixtogether the sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

  4. Add the spice mixture to the yams and peaches and carefully stir.

  5. Add the butter, cut in small pieces, on top .

  6. Place in preheated oven and cook for 35 minutes.

  7. Remove from oven and top with marshmellows. Return to oven and set the temperature to broil. Watch carefully to prevent the marshmellows from burning.