Monday, November 10, 2008

My Sister Jacey (to be read-- Seester ) Says. . .

. . . .make these.YUM! I think she is secretly researching in the middle of the night to find the best options for our cookie exchange. Can you blame her? I am up for a bake-off if they include these. After all, it's all sisterly (read- Seesterly) love!

Hazelnut Cocoa Coins
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped toasted
hazelnuts (filberts)*
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon shortening

1. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and cocoa powder until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the hazelnuts.
2. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion of dough into an 11-inch-long roll. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill for 1 to 2 hours or until firm enough to slice.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes or just until tops are firm to the touch. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
4. In a small saucepan, combine chocolate and shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Generously drizzle melted chocolate over cookies. Let stand until chocolate sets. Makes about 60 cookies.
5. *Test Kitchen Tip: To toast hazelnuts (filberts), preheat oven to 350°F. Spread nuts in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in preheated oven about 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring once. Place the warm nuts on a clean kitchen towel. Rub the nuts with the towel to remove the loose skins.
6. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

. . . I know, Enough with the Soups!

I must admit, in the Fall I turn into a Soup Addict. Tonight I made up my version
of White Bean Chicken Chili... a little healthier. So good, I could not wait to share.
(Since it is less bean-y and more broth-y, Scott asked me to call it Southwestern Chicken Soup.

Southwestern Chicken Soup

1/2 lb of chicken cooked and cubed ( I cheated and got rotisserie)
2 cans of cannoloni beans
1 cup of tomatoes
1 can of green chilis
1 celery stalk chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 small red onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, bruised and chopped
2 cups chicken stock (I made out of the rotisserie)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup of greek yogurt or sourcream

Saute onion, celery, carrot and tomato. Add to pot with stock and other ingredients (except sour cream/yogurt. Cook on low for 1 hour. Add yogurt/sourcream to soup and stir. Serve!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Soup for You!

One of my favorite meals in the fall is soup... soup and salad, soup and bread, soup and grilled cheese sammy! Here is a new one that I checked out. So yummy!

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Artichoke Soup

1 head cauliflower
extra virgin olive oil
1 C. artichoke hearts (I cooked my own but you’re welcome to try canned)2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
4 C. vegetable stock (or substitute chicken broth or plain water)
1 C. light cream (or half and half, whole milk, or even heavy cream)
zest of one lemon
leaves from a few sprigs of fresh thyme, crushed
fresh ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Wash cauliflower then cut into flowerets.
3. In a large bowl toss cauliflower with enough olive oil to lightly coat all the pieces then spread them out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
4. Place cauliflower in a preheated 425 degree oven and roast, turning pieces occasionally until almost tender (between 20-30 minutes)
5. Remove cauliflower pieces to a bowl with tongs; set aside. There should be some olive oil left on the baking sheet. Very carefully pour the leftover oil into a soup pot or dutch oven.
6. Add minced garlic to the oil in the pot and saute over medium heat until just golden.
7. Add cauliflower, artichoke hearts and vegetable stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat way down and simmer for a few minutes until cauliflower is fully tender (check with fork).
8. Remove pot from heat and let cool slightly. Puree the soup until smooth using a food processor, blender, or immersion blender. Return to pot.
9. Gently reheat soup then add one cup of light cream, zest of one lemon (not juice), crushed thyme, and lots of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Soup can be thinned with extra broth or water if desired. Remove from heat when soup is heated through again.
10. Enjoy!