Friday, October 29, 2010

Recipe: Hearty Potatoe Soup (Slow Cooker)

This soup tasted so amazing.  It's smooth and creamy, yet hearty enough that it doesn't need any meat at all.  I like that it's not a pureed soup, and the vegetables are left nice and chunky.  It's more like a chowder than a soup really.

The recipe is so simple and there's only 4 steps after you've chopped your vegetables.  How easy is that?  My family loved it a gobbled it right up.  This would be perfect to have waiting in the slow cooker for before or after you finish your trick-or-treating.

Southern Living Magazine, November 1998

6 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 1/2 pounds)
2 medium onions, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fat-free half-and-half

Garnish: fresh celery leaves

Combine first 8 ingredients in a 4 1/2-quart slow cooker.  Cook, covered, at HIGH 3 hours or until vegetables are tender.
Stir together flour and half-and-half; stir into soup. Cover and cook 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve in Italian Bread Bowls, and garnish, if desired.

Printable Recipe

Happily submitted to Julie's Family Friendly Friday's over at Mommie Cooks! where she's featuring her Pretzel Baked Chicken today - yum!

Happy Halloween!

"Let me advise you, my dear young friend—nay, let me warn you with all seriousness, that should you leave these rooms you will not by any chance go to sleep in any other part of the castle. It is old, and has many memories, ana there are bad dreams for those who sleep unwisely. Be warned! Should sleep now or ever overcome you, or be like to do, then haste to your own chamber or to these rooms, for your rest will then be safe. But if you be not careful in this respect, then"—He finished his speech in a gruesome way, for he motioned with his hands as if he were washing them. I quite understood; my only doubt was as to whether any dream could be more terrible than the unnatural, horrible net of gloom and mystery which seemed closing round me.

from the book "Dracula"
Copyright 1897, The Country Life Press

Friday, October 22, 2010

Recipe: The Whole Wheat Tollhouse Cookie

This lovely recipe comes from the Bob's Red Mill Baking Book where they've put together a healthier version of the famouse Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie.  The result is a thin, crispy, buttery, chocolately, nutty, delicous cookie.  Does it get any better than that?  My kids went crazy for these cookies as they're perfect for dipping in milk. 

from Bob's Red Mill Baking Book

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (yes, that does say 10 Tbsp's)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or cover with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Cream the butter with the brown sugar until light in color, about 4 minutes. Beat in the egg until well incorporated. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend well. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and nuts.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Printable Recipe

I love to try new chocolate chip cookies recipes.  Here's other's I've made:
Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nuts from Martha Stewart's Baking Book
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Whole Wheat and Soy Flours from The More With Less Cookbook
Oatmeal-Flax Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pine Nuts from me!


Today, instead of a vintage children's book, I have to share with you this adorable lady we met last weekend during our county's local farm tour.  My girlfriend and I stopped by an old school house to have a peak in the windows.  Within moments of us arriving there, a lady on a tractor came up to see us (and what we were up to I'm sure).  She was so sweet.  This elderly lady drove that tractor like she was born on it.  She even made a cell phone call to a farmer to tell him about some troubles she was seeing with his cows running across the field nearby.  She said she went to school in the old school house and that it closed in 1955.  It's owned by the community now, and the ladies use it every 2nd Saturday night for a game night.  She invited us to join them because if they don't use the building they'll lose it.  My friend and our kids were facinated by this lady.  What a treasure she was to meet.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Recipe: Turkey Chili (Slow Cooker)

I love chili made in the slow cooker.  It's so easy to dump the ingredients in and leave it all day to fill the house with wonderful smells.  This hearty chili has an undertone of sweet flavouring which is exactly what I love about it.  The recipe made such a huge batch that I froze half of it for later meals.

from Taste of Home Casseroles, Slow Cooker & Soups Cookbook

1 pound lean ground turkey
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped green pepper (I used frozen peppers)
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (16 oz) meatless spaghetti sauce
1 can (15-1/2 oz) hot chili beans (I used regular)
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup frozen corn (I skipped this)
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

In a large nonstick skillet cook the turkey, onion, celery and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.  Drain; transfer to a 5-quart slow cooker.  Add the tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, chili beans, water, corn and seasonings.  Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.

Reduce heat to low; cook for 5-6 hours.  Add kidney and pinto beans; cook 30 minutes longer.

Printable Recipe

Happily submitted to Family Friendly Fridays over at Mommie Cooks! (Julie's so hilarious.. she's already started her Gingerbread House!)


"The Boy Who Liked Puppets"
by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
Illustrated by Ruth van Tellingen
1954 Spencer Press, Inc.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Recipe: Amish Cook's Monster Cookies

Do you love a crisp cookie?  How about one made with no flour at all?  The dough for this delicious cookie is made with mostly peanut butter, sugar, eggs and rolled oats.  This recipe makes a huge batch of cookies (6 dozen) so you can freeze half the dough to make as-needed.

You can make these with chocolate chips, plain M&M's or both.  I made mine using Smarties candy that I brought back with me from our last visit to Canada (these are similar to M&M's, not the American "Smarties" candy).

So far, I have made many sucessful recipes from "The Amish Cook's Baking Book". So much so, that it usually gets eaten long before I get a chance to get a picture of it.  This is the kind of cookbook that I can open to almost any page, find a quick, easy recipe, and usually have all the ingredients for.  That's a rare baking book indeed!

from "The Amish Cook's Baking Book"

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
4-1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats (I used old fashioned rolled oats)
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups plain M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars.  Add the eggs, one at a time and mixing between each addition, the vanilla, corn syrup, baking soda, and peanut butter.  Mix well until smooth.  Add the oats and mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl.  Add the chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.  Then add the M&M's and mix well.

Drop the batter by the Tablespoon 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake until the edges are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheets for about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Cool the cookies on a wire rack or a plate and then put into sealed containers.  These cookies will stay fresh for up to five days.

Printable Recipe

Happily submitted to Cookbook Sundays over at Brenda's Canadian Kitchen!

So the House was built; a cozy room for the cooking and eating.

story "How the Home Was Built"
Illustrated by Sarah Noble-Ives
Milton Bradley Company, 1928
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