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Showing posts from December, 2010

Cheesy Beer Butter Bacon Soup

OK..... Let's get this party started. What could be better than the beer/butter/bacon combo? How about a little sharp cheddar cheese?. Throw in some buttery, Parmesan croutons to the mix, and you are in for a real treat.  Let's end this year with a bang!

Cheesy Beer Butter Bacon Soup - makes 4 servings

4 strips of bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
3 small onions, julienned
3 small apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/3 cup butter
3 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 bottle amber ale
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups chicken stock
hot sauce to taste
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, cook bacon over med-low heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add butter to pan, with onions and apples. Cook over med-low heat until onions are golden brown and very soft-about 45 minutes. Stir in flour and let cook for one minute. Add thyme, paprika, dry mustard and bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce a…

Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese with Broccoli and Cauliflower

The other day we went to a good friend's house for dinner. We had a whole fondue experience- cheese fondue, meat fondue and chocolate fondue for dessert. It was all sooo delicious, especially the cheese fondue. That is what inspired me to create this dish. The next time you have a cheese fondue, try it with roasted garlic- it is an amazing combination. I also added broccoli and cauliflower because they  are also perfectly paired with cheese sauce.



Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese with Broccoli and Cauliflower

3 cups broccoli and cauliflower florets
16 oz uncooked small pasta such as macaroni
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 heads roasted garlic, peeled
1 tsp dry mustard
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups milk
4 cups grated cheese, I think a mixture is best-Swiss, Gruyere, Parmesan, provolone etc
pinch of grated nutmeg
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425*F. In a large pot of boiling, salted  water, blanch broccoli and cauliflower for 30 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon and put in ice bat…

Balsamic- Red Wine Caramelized Onions and other Edible Gift Ideas

        Balsamic-Red Wine Caramelized Onions, Bell Pepper Relish, Roasted Garlic Wine Mustard



Well, I have been a busy little bee this year, preserving everything I can get my hands on. I have made salsa,  relishes, mustard, caramelized onions and pickled beets. When I made the pickled beets the kitchen looked as though a chainsaw massacre had taken place, but they were so delicious it was worth the mess.

Preserving  conjures up images of grandmothers and church bake sales. It really is a dying art, especially among my generation. I think people are under the impression that it will be really scary and complicated, and it really isn't. That isn't to say that it isn't hard work, because it sure can be. The best part of the whole process is that you actually have something to show for all of your hard work.

Bell Pepper Relish- I made a batch of this and my husband loved it so much that we ended up making another double batch, sharing the chopping duties. It is awesome in san…

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas ~ Chewy Ginger Snap Cookies ~

I am totally having a Martha Stewart moment. As I write this, I am baking a batch of chewy gingersnap cookies. I can't even tell you how good they smell baking in the oven. I am packaging these babies up and giving them to a couple of friends as  a homemade Christmas present.


I first had these cookies at my mom's house, and I just loved them. They have a really nice, chewy texture. You will notice they contain (gasp) margarine, not butter. Now, you all know how I feel about butter. I normally would  never,ever, specify margarine in a recipe, but I think that it is the secret to the chewy texture.

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas....

Chewy Gingersnap Cookies

1 1/2 cups margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
2 tsp each:
baking soda
cinnamon
cloves
ginger

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together margarine and sugar. Add egg and molasses. Sift in dry ingredients. Mix. Roll balls ( about one rounded tablespoon) in white sugar. Arrange on a lightly grea…

A Meatball Party

 I think the secret to a good meatball is moistening the binding agent (breadcrumbs) with a flavourful  liquid, which results in a light, tender meatball.

I made a big batch of meatballs the other night. It made enough for a couple of nights worth of dinners as well as a few days worth of  lunches. I would  highly recommend doubling this recipe, and freezing the remainder. Throw the meatballs into your favorite pasta sauce, soup, sub or pita for a quick and delicious  lunch or dinner.

Basic Meatball Recipe
(makes 45-50 small meatballs)

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. lean ground pork
1 onion, grated  or pureed in food processor
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs ( I used  rice crackers)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
about 1 1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, mix together beef, pork, onion, garlic..In a small bowl beat egg. Add bread crumbs, Worcest…

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner ~~~Roast Chicken with Candied Sweet Potatoes~~~

Yep, this one's a winner.

 Very simple, but very good.

 I roasted a chicken the other night.  I sprinkled the whole thing with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. I stuffed  whole garlic cloves, bay leaves and thyme in the cavity of  the bird.   Then, I draped a couple of slices of bacon over the breasts, to keep them nice and juicy.  * Insert dirty joke here*  I then  put the bird on a bed of sweet potatoes.

The sweet potatoes ended up  soft and sweet as candy, soaking up all of the  delicious drippings  from the chicken and bacon. I was really impressed with this one, although, I think I would make a couple of changes.   1.) I would cut the sweet potatoes in to larger chunks. I had to take these out before the chicken was cooked because I was afraid they were going to start to turn to mush.  2.)   I would only add two slices of bacon instead of three, because I found there was a little too much grease in the pan.

Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

cooking spray
1 3 1/2 to 4 lb..…