Archive | October, 2013

Thaw out Thursday

24 Oct

It’s cold and my heat was not working. Thank God, it is fixed now.

Another reason to thaw out and make more soup.

This is a soup my Mom used to make and it is a favorite.

Beef, Barley and Mushroom Soup

Two to three tablespoons of oil

Five or six beef  short ribs

One pound of lean beef cut into very  small  cubes ,almost diced. I used a sirloin. Salt and pepper before cooking.

Two large diced onions

Three cloves of minced garlic

Two cups of diced carrots

Two  32  containers of beef broth

Six bouillon cubes

four cups of water

one bay leaf

Two  cups of barley

One  eight ounce container of  diced fresh mushrooms

One tablespoon of butter

Two cups of  fresh chopped spinach or kale

salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Salt and pepper the  short ribs .

Brown the ribs slowly and then add the sirloin.

After everything is browned, take it out of the pot and add the onions, garlic and carrots

Cook till soft

Add the broth, water,  bouillon cubes and bay leaf

In a small skillet, melt the butter and saute the chopped mushrooms

Add to  the broth

Add the meat

Bring the soup to a boil and add the barley

The barley takes about twenty to thirty minutes to cook. It puffs out.

Reduce the heat and simmer the soup with the cover half on.

Adjust the seasoning and take the bay leaf out.

Add about two cups of chopped fresh spinach

That’s it.

A field green salad with scallions, hard-boiled eggs and steamed string beans with a balsamic dressing is great.

Hot crusty rolls on the side.

Tonight is a nice hot meal in a warm house.

Not so bad

Don’t be afraid to change the amounts of anything. Soup is very forgiving and we all need to be forgiven about something.


Wegetable Wednesday

23 Oct

It has gotten so cold so fast. Thank goodness this is soup week.

Wegetables, vegetables, lets cook soup the easy way.

Vegetable Soup

Two tablespoons of butter or oil

one chopped onion

three stalks of chopped celery

One large can of beef broth

One large can of vegetable broth

One can of diced tomatoes. You can use diced tomatoes with green chilis for an added kick.

Three bags of frozen fiesta chopped vegetables. This has broccoli, beans, carrots and peppers

one teaspoon dried oregano

one teaspoon of dried basil or six to eight leaves of fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

two tablespoon of fresh parsley

!/2 pound of pasta bow ties-cooked separately

Heat the butter in a large soup pot.

Add the onions and celery and saute till soft

Add the broth and all the seasoning

Add the tomatoes

Bring to a boil

Add all the frozen vegetables and turn down the heat and cover the pot for five minutes

Cook the pasta according to the package direction but decrease the cooking time by four minutes.

Drain and rinse with cold water

Pour into the soup

It’s finished

Serve with fresh grated romano cheese

I toast a bialy and spread it with  alouette garlic and herbs cheese

The bialy is my favorite part of the meal.

Greek Tuesday

22 Oct

Sometimes you have to go back to basics so I’m going back to Greece.

This is a soup that I have been making for my family since they were babies.

My Mom didn’t make this but she loved it.

Greek Lemon Egg Soup

One big can (46 ounces) of chicken stock

One  cup of orzo pasta

1/4 tsp. salt

5 tablespoon of lemon juice

one or two beaten eggs

Boil the soup with the salt

Add the orzo and cook till tender.

Turn the heat to a simmer

Mix the beaten eggs with the lemon juice

Add a little broth to the eggs so they don’t scramble when you put them into the soup

Slowly add the egg mixture while whisking the soup at the same time.

This is it and it is delicious.

My youngest daughter would take it for lunch in her cute little thermos.

I also made a vat of it for a football tailgate  and it disappeared.

Sometimes I would put sliced carrots , chopped broccoli ,diced peapods or shredded chicken

This soup does thicken, so just add more broth.

If you want, you can cook the orzo in a separate pot  to avoid the thickening but I love it thick.

My good Greek friend, Maria, almost always cooks in one pot and her food is fabulous.

Serve with warm Syrian bread filled with feta cheese,diced tomato,diced onion,oregano, garlic powder,salt and pepper. Drizzle with a tiny amount of olive oil.

Put this in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt the feta

Assorted olives on the side

Great meal

Mommy Monday

21 Oct

It’s  a clear, cold and a gorgeous fall day.

Get ready, I have turned into the old soup lady.

I would always laugh at my Mom because she had soup with every meal. Well here I am… I have turned into  my Mother.  By the way that’s a good  thing.

So in honor of my Mom , the soup recipes will start flowing.

Every soup  should be served with hot bread and a salad. It completes the meal and you will not be hungry in two hours.

All these soups can be made the day or two before and heated in the crock pot or  on the stove. So nice to have a meal made when you walk in the door.

Corn Chowder

1/4 cup butter–My Mom used salt pork. It is fabulous. Feel free to try it but I think butter is bad enough.

one large chopped onion

two stalks of celery-diced

6 white potatoes, peeled and diced

3 cups of  salted water or chicken broth. Do not salt the chicken broth.

3 cups of fresh or frozen corn

four cups of milk. I use 1% milk

salt and black pepper to taste

Melt the butter and add the celery and onions

Saute till the onions are soft. It only takes about five minutes

Add the water or broth and the potatoes

Cook till the potatoes are soft

Add the corn and the milk

If you are using broth be careful with the salt.

Bring everything to a low boil then simmer

Take off the heat and ladle about 3/4 of the soup into a blender and puree till chunky smooth.

Return to the pot and keep warm .

I am serving this with crescent rolls filled with bacon and cheese and a green salad with a  vinaigrette dressing.

This also goes well with sausage or roast pork sandwiches.

If you like it creamier add  about 1/2 cup of cream . Very decadent.


Sunday Apple Pie

20 Oct

It’s Sunday in the fall. The apples are great and I can’t resist making a pie.

My family is in and out  of the house and most of them don’t eat anything with sugar. Where did they come from????

I found the best machine that makes individual pies. I actually didn’t find it, my good friend, Annie, gave it to me.

It is the Breville personal pie maker,  William Sonoma sells it. I have made every kind of pie in it and it is so easy.

Today is apple pie.

6 washed, peeled, cored and thin sliced apples.  I love honey crisp but I also mix any apple that has a little ding so nothing goes to waste.

Two tablespoons of brown sugar

One tablespoon of white sugar

One teaspoon of cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Two pats of butter-cut into thirds

One tablespoon of lemon juice

Two tablespoons of flour

Mix everything together and heat up your grill.

One package of Goya puff pastry dough for turnovers. This makes six pies. It is the perfect size.

When the grill is heated , place one piece of dough in each well and press it down so it fits the well.

Add the apples and top with a pat of butter. Really fill the pies.

Place another piece of dough on top  and close the top of the grill.

Bake for maybe  six  to eight minutes or until they are nice and brown.

That’s it.

Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or a wedge of cheddar cheese.

You can add raisens, cranberries, carmel chips or anything else you like.

These can be done in advance and then heated up in the oven.

They also freeze beautifully.


Stuffing Saturday

19 Oct

This is a take off on my Moms stuffing recipe. She used the giblets and I don’t. Everything else is more or less the same.

Angies’ Stuffing

Two pounds of lean hamburger

One pound of country sausage meat without the casing

Two large chopped onions

Five stalks of celery with the leafy tops

One stick of butter plus more for the top of the stuffing

One small bunch of chopped fresh parsley, about four or five tablespoons

one  large bag of  seasoned stuffing mix

one large loaf of bread cut into cubes

one box of chicken stock

three beaten eggs

one half  teaspoon of salt

one teaspoon of black pepper

Brown the hamburger and sausage and drain off all the fat. Set it aside.

In the same skillet, melt the butter and saute the onions and celery till it is soft. Not brown, just soft. Set aside

Put the stuffing mix and the bread in a large mixing bowl.

Add one cup of the chicken broth to moisten the bread

Add all the onions mixture , the meat , the beaten eggs, parsley and the salt and pepper

Mix well and add more broth if it is too dry. It should be pretty moist.

Pour into a buttered baking pan. It should be about two inches deep.

Pour about two tablespoons of melted butter on top and about six tablespoons of broth.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until very hot. Remember you have to cook the eggs.

This is a very forgiving stuffing. You can modify any of the amounts.


Use ground turkey instead of hamburg

Use cornbread instead of wheat or white bread

Add chestnuts

Add raisins or cranberries

Add shredded carrots or turnips

I tried most of these and always go back to the basic stuffing.

Sometimes I triple this recipe and still run out.


Friday Turkey Feast

18 Oct

Once again I try to buy what is on sale. It is turkey this week.

I love the turkey cooked on the grill.

Heat your grill on high for about ten minutes.

Wash and dry the turkey.

Season with salt and pepper, inside and out.

Turn off the center elements on the grill and place the turkey in the middle.

I always cook the turkey, breast side down All the juices go to the breast and it is never dry.

The outer elements are on and can be reduced to medium high. This is called indirect heat. There should not be any heat under the turkey.

Close the grill lid and check every  twenty minutes. You do not need to do anything else.

The turkey takes at least a couple of hours and it is moist and delicious. The time depends on how big the turkey is.

Do not stuff the turkey. It affects the cooking time too much.

I always cook the stuffing in a separate dish because I have to cook so much. I think my kids like the stuffing more than the turkey. My husband would eat it cold.

Tomorrow will be Stuffing Saturday.