Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mulligatawny Soup

My husband came home from work one day telling me about this great soup he had a lunch. The name was familiar, I remembered seeing it one one of my favorite recipe blogs. So, with a few clicks of a mouse, I found it! Thank you Melanie from Mel's Kitchen Cafe! This soup was incredibly good! Of course we love a good curry. This was a bit spicy, it may have been the brand of curry that I used which seems to be spicier than what I usually buy. So, you might want to start with less, and you can always add more. I added a little sugar, a full apple and half and half instead of cream. My family loved this! We ate it with some store bought Naan bread warmed in the oven. Melanie has a recipe for homemade Naan that I can't wait to make!

Mulligatawny Soup adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

*Note: this recipe makes use of already cooked rice and chicken so plan accordingly!

*Serves 6-8

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots, about 3 large carrots, peeled
1 cup thinly chopped celery, about 3 stalks
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons curry powder or 1 tablespoon hot curry powder
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Granny Smith or other tart apple, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups cooked rice, white or brown
2 cups cooked, diced or shredded chicken, (about 2 chicken breasts)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tbs brown sugar
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups half and half (or 1 cup cream)

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, carrots and celery, and cook, stirring often, until they are slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the flour and curry and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the broth until well combined and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped apple, rice, chicken, salt, thyme, and pepper. Simmer 8-10 minutes longer, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking, until the vegetables are tender. Add the half & half and warm the soup through.

Amish Whoopie Pies

These soft morsles of goodness are so incredibly good! Almost like a giant soft oreo. I first had them years ago when visiting my cousins. My mom made sure to get the recipe and make them for us. My aunt made them for a Christmas family dinner so I had to quick take some pictures so I could share the recipe with you!

Amish Whoopie Pies
1 1/2 c Crisco
3 c sugar
1 Tbs soda
1 1/2 c buttermilk
1 1/2 c hot water
3 eggs
1 c cocoa
1 Tbs vanilla
1 Tbs salt
6 c flour

Mix well. Bake on generously greased cookie sheets. Dough will be soft so spread dough in a circle to bake. Bake for 8 min. Carefully place on counter to cool.

Beat with electric mixer till fluffy
3 c Crisco (Crisco works best)
6 egg whites
2 Tbs vanilla
4 Tbs milk
6 c powdered sugar

Carefully spread filling on bottom side of each cookie. then top with a second cookie to make a sandwich. keep individual cookie sandwiches in small sandwich bags
these are like homemade hostess ding dongs!

Other option for filling using marshmallow fluffWhoopie Pie Filling:
Some people prefer just using the Marshmallow Fluff right out of the jar and not making the below filling. Your choice.

1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
1 1/2 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
2 cups Marshmallow Fluff**
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

* Butter may be substituted for all or part of the vegetable shortening, although traditional Whoopie Pies are made with vegetable shortening only

** Marshmallow Creme may be substituted.

In a medium bow, beat together shortening, sugar, and Marshmallow fluff; stir in vanilla extract until well blended.

Perfectly Wonderful Cinnamon Rolls (& Orange Rolls)

We made four batches of these on Christmas Eve and delivered them to friends and let me tell you, they were delicous! I got the recipe from The Sister's Cafe and it's a keeper! The key is to not over bake them. They are just barely golden when they are done. So, don't let them get too browned. The recipe comes with a buttercream glaze but I made mine with a homemade cream cheese frosting. I also made an orange roll variation which I will post at the bottom. These were a great treat to have Christmas morning!

Cinnamon Rolls - from The Sister's Cafe
2 c. milk
2 cubes butter (1 cup)
2 pkg yeast (4 ½ tsp)
1/3 c. warm water
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp salt
4 beaten large eggs
8 c. flour
Filling: 1 square softened butter & cinnamon(lots) & sugar

Heat milk and 2 cubes of butter together until butter is melted. Cool and set aside. Mix yeast and warm water; let stand 5 minutes. Add cooled milk, 1 1/3 c. sugar, 1 tsp salt, 4 beaten eggs. Add 4 c. flour and mix and gradually add 4 additional cups flour. Dough should be firm but sticky. Cover with cloth and put in a warm place, and raise 1 ½ to 2 hours. Dough should nearly be doubled in size. Divide dough in half and empty onto floured surface and knead a little. Roll dough into rectangle, about ½ inch thick. To this half of dough, spread on ½ cube of softened butter, completely covering dough. Then sprinkle a coating of sugar over entire piece of dough. Then a layer of cinnamon. Be generous with the cinnamon; this is what makes it tasty. Roll into long roll, pinch edges together and slice with dental floss. Place on a cookie sheet covered with a silpt or parchment paper. Do same thing to second half of dough. Cover with a clean dishtowel (or saran wrap sprayed with cooking spray) and put in warm place, free of drafts, for 2 to 5 hours to raise--just depends-but the should be double in size. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until barely browned. Remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes. Drizzle with glaze while still warm. Makes 3-4 dozen.

Butter Cream Glaze:
1 cube softened butter (1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
dash of cream of tarter
1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
scalded milk or cream

Add all together...adding milk a little at a time, alternately with the powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. For cinnamon rolls, it needs to be a little thinner than regular icing.
We also made the orange rolls with the same dough recipe. Be generous with the orange glaze when rolls are done.
Orange Rolls
Also from the Sister's Cafe

Make dough recipe above as for cinnamon rolls but instead of the cinnamon/brown sugar filling use this orange filling.

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 T. freshly squeezed orange juice
Grated orange rind from two large oranges

Mix together and spread on dough as you would the brown sugar and cinnamon for cinnamon rolls. Roll up and make like the cinnamon rolls.

Orange Glaze:
Mix together;
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
3 T. freshly squeezed orange juice
½ tsp. grated orange rind.

Spread over cooled orange rolls

Mango Salsa

My sister shared this recipe with me years ago while having chicken tacos at her house. It was so yummy and refreshing on the tacos! I usually put it on my pork tacos but it is great straight with tortilla chips too. If you like mangos, you'll love this fresh salsa!
Mango Salsa
2-3 mangos, peeled and cubed
2 avocados cubed
1 cucumber, cubed
2-3 Tbs lime juice
1 green onion diced
chopped cilantro
½ jalapeno diced (*roasted or raw- if raw, remove seeds)

Stir together and serve fresh with chips or on pork,chicken,or shrimp tacos. would also be good on baked fish!
*Roasting a jalapeno... My sister also taught me how to roast a jalepeno to help release the flavor when making salsas. First you put the jalapeno(s) in a dry hot fry pan or grill. Turn it occasionally to get the grill marks all the way around. You will hear it pop and sizzle and it will soften up a bit. Then comes the magic... Pop the hot jalepeno(s) in a ziplock bag and seal it right up so that the jalepeno(s) can sweat. This releases the oils and adds flavor and cuts down on the heat. If you want to keep it mild, you can still remove the seeds. Once it has cooled, cut it up for your favorite salsa or dish.

Baked French Toast

This has become a favorite breakfast treat at our house. My mom first made it for us when we were visiting and my son asks for it when ever Grandma is in town. the recipe says to make it with a loaf of french bread but we have also made it with a loaf of homemade white bread with great results. I like to eat it with a little milk poured over the top!

Baked French Toast

In a saucepan, heat together the following ingredients until it bubbles, and then set aside;

1 c up brown sugar

1 stick ( 1/2 c) butter or margarine

2 Tbs white corn syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

In a bowl mix together;

5 beaten eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

1 tsp sugar

Generously grease or spray a 9x13 pan

Layer bottom with 1 diced loaf of french bread. (or homemade bread)

Drizzle brown sugar mixture over the top

Sprinkle with nuts if desired.

Pour egg mixture over the top

Press bread pieces into the egg mixture. You can refrigerate over night or bake right away.

Bake at 350* for 35 min. or til golden brown.

No need for syrup as it is already baked right in!

Dilly Pretzles

I first had these a few years ago while doing a candle party and fell in love with them. The hostess was happy to share the recipe with me and I'm so glad she did. These are so yummy and easy to make!

Dilly Pretzles
12 oz Orville Redenbacher popcorn oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 TBSP dill weed
1 envelope Hidden Valley Original Salad Dressing Mix
2 - 15/16 oz bags mini pretzels

Whisk all ingredients except pretzels and pour over pretzels. Place them in a 2 gallon zip loc bag or another very large plastic bag and shake to coat the pretzles.
Toss/shake the pretzles every 15-20 minutes for a couple of hours or until oil is absorbed. Similar recipes say to bake in a 300*oven and stir every 10 min. But this recipe does not require that so I don't.