The dust is starting to settle at our home after the Holidays! I love to plan, cook and decorate for the Christmas season, but its also good to get back to the normal routine and even regular cooking. My outdoor thermometer says 9 degrees this morning so that calls for soup, always a good warmer upper. Today I am sharing one of my favorites and best of all its fast and easy to put together!
Italian Sausage Soup:
1 pound Italian sausage, crumbled
1 medium onion, chopped
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups diced sweet potatoes or white potatoes ( I use sweet potatoes, you could use a combination of the two)
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
dash of pepper
4 cups beef broth
In large soup pot cook sausage with onion, drain well, stir in tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, lemon juice, spices and beef broth, simmer until carrots and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Have a great week and Happy New Year!
In my younger years I got a little crazy preparing for the holidays. Working, having four children and two families we tried to please meant that by the time Christmas arrived, I was worn to a frazzle, didn’t have much Christmas spirit left and generally had forgotten the real meaning of Christmas!
A good friend of mine gave me a little book several years ago entitled Christmas Therapy by Karen Katafiasz. The author gives some gentle, constructive, self help therapy that helps you rediscover in your own heart the magic and the meaning of this special time. I put this little treasure of a book on my coffee table and several times during the season I stretch myself out on the davenport with my Christmas tree lit and read this book. It helps put my priorities in order. There is one quote I find especially helpful it is, “Simplify your celebration. Big is not always best. Expensive is not always valuable. Time consuming is not always lasting.”
The recipe I am sharing today is the quiche we served at the bridal shower brunch. It’s pretty simple to make yet looks and tastes impressive! I promised my guests I would print the recipe.
Basic Quiche Lorraine:
9- inch unbaked pie shell
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) grated Swiss cheese
8 slices of crisp bacon, crumbled
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dry ground mustard
Brown the pie shell @ 350 degrees. I only left it in the oven for 10 minutes, just until it barely begins to brown. Sprinkle cheese and bacon on the bottom of the crust. Whisk the remaining ingredients together and pour into the pie shell.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until firm and brown, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest for 8-10 minutes before cutting. Serves 6.
When I am having company in the morning, I brown the crust the night before and then make the filling in the morning. I have made my own homemade pie crust but have also used the frozen pre-made ones which works just fine.
To make this basic recipe not so basic, you can substitute mushrooms and onions, or crab meat and fresh asparagus, for the bacon. I have made it all three ways and like them all.
Take a nap and have a very Merry Christmas!
I co-hosted a bridal shower brunch last week. Joanne Soma brought cranberry/apple muffins. They looked so festive and were perfect to serve this time of year! Many wanted the recipe, so I told them I would put it in the paper. Here it is, in time for your holiday entertaining!
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg slightly beaten
1 cup peeled shredded apple
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup corn oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cranberry sauce, mixed with 1/2 tsp shredded orange rind
Mix all dry ingredients, add wet ingredients, stir until moistened. Fill greased muffin tins (or line with muffin papers) 1/2 full. Make a well in center of each and spoon 2 tsp cranberry filling into each. Bake 20-25 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Remove from pan and drizzle with glaze of 1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with 2-3 tsp orange juice while warm. Good warm or cold. Makes 12 muffins. Enjoy! Take time out of your holiday preparations, relax with a cup of tea or coffee and a muffin while listening to Christmas carols and admiring your lit tree!! Have a great week!
This week I attended two Christmas potlucks, had a birthday coffee for my Mom, Monday. I am hosting a bridal shower and Tuesday. I’m helping with the Lakeview annual cookie/goodie bake sale. I am on the verge of being cooked out. Hopefully I will get my second wind before the actual holiday! For three of these events I took a new recipe for chocolate truffles, which if I do say so myself are melt in your mouth good! Everyone wanted the recipe so I told them I would put it in the paper this week. Hope you have good luck with them and enjoy them too!
12 oz Bittersweet chocolate chips
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 Tablespoons Grand Mariner liquor
1 tsp vanilla
Place chips in a bowl. Heat cream in a small sauce pan until it boils, pour over chips, cover bowl for 5 minutes then whisk until smooth and melted, whisk in flavorings.
Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then spoon chocolate by teaspoonfuls in small mounds on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes then roll into balls, roll in finely chopped nuts or a mixture of sifted powder sugar and cocoa. I placed them in mini tinfoil cups.
Store in Refrigerator.
I buy Ghirardelli brand chips, they are by far the best for this recipe! Enjoy and have a great week!
Winter is knocking at the door!
There is a definite chill in the air! Now isn’t that an understatement! These Minnesota frigid temperatures call for hot soup to warm us up. I love wild rice soup. I am sharing my favorite that I found in a Midwest Living magazine. I’ve made it on top of the stove and then transferred it to a crock pot to keep it hot. However, if you cook it in the crock pot too long, the wild rice almost gets too tender so it doesn’t seem like wild rice any longer. I like it a little chewy but that’s my preference. One of my sons was disappointed ‘cause he thought it seemed just like rice, so that year I must have over done it!
Antler’s wild rice soup:
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
3-14 oz cans chicken broth
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups diced cooked chicken
parsley or chopped chives for garnish
In 4 quart kettle, combine uncooked wild rice, 2 cans broth, carrot, celery and onion. Bring to boiling, reduce heat, simmer for 35-45 min until rice is tender but still chewy, adding the mushrooms last 5 minutes of cooking. In medium saucepan melt butter, stir in flour, salt and pepper, add remaining 1 can of broth, cook and stir until bubbly; cook and stir 1 minute more, stir in whipping cream. Add to rice mixture, stirring constantly. Then stir in chicken, heat through and garnish with chopped chives or parsley.
A lady called me a week ago and was having a problem with the apple cake recipe. She said when it was cooling it would fall in the middle and didn’t seem done in the center. She didn’t give me her name so I haven’t been able to call her. I seem to remember that she told me when she takes it out of the oven she covers it with a towel. My advice is not to cover it with anything until it’s completely cool. That’s the only thing I can come with to solve her problem. I hope it works for you!
Stay warm and safe and have a great week!
I'm Kathy Lloyd. I grew up on a farm near Elmore, MN and have lived in Fairmont for over 44 years. I have always loved to cook, even when I was very young. I loved to stay with my Aunt Dorothy during my childhood. She was a great cook and used to give me freedom in the kitchen, teaching me along the way. She made recipes from our Norwegian heritage, along with pies, homemade doughnuts, yeast bread and cinnamon rolls.