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turkey rice soup with rosemary

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I had a turkey breast in the freezer left from Christmas. I had made an extra one and never cooked it. I figured I better use it before it got freezer burned.

I decided soup would be a good idea.

 

 

 

  • cooked turkey breast – cubed
  • 1 c. rice
  • sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery spears, chopped, including leafy tops
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves

I sautéed the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil until translucent and a bit browned. I added the veggies and cooked for another few minutes. Adding the rice and herbs and stirring well to incorporate. Stirring in the stock came next, then I covered the pot and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove bay leaves. Enjoy!

chicken wing dip

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I am from Buffalo, and so I’m partial to anything with this flavor. I never call them Buffalo wings. In Western New York, they’re simply chicken wings. It’s chicken wings that inspired this dip and it’s perfect for parties. My sister started making it a few years ago and it’s become a staple at our family get-togethers.

 

 

 

 

  • 3/4 c. Frank’s hot sauce (and you have to use Frank’s for authentic Buffalo taste)
  • 2 packages cream cheese
  • 2 cans chunk chicken or a cup of cut up chicken breast
  • 1 cup blue cheese dressing (use the chunky kind)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Combine. Bake at 350 for 3o minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or celery sticks.

Super cut out cookies

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I decided to make cookies for yesterday’s game. I hunted all over for a football cookie cutter, but I guess I waited too long, because last weekend I couldn’t find a single one. I finally found a set with football themed cutters; a ball, a pennant, a jersey and a helmet. Rather than just make plain colors or just using the football, I decided to go a little overboard.

This is Kate style. Take an idea and go to extremes. So I did Super Bowl cookies…

Referee shirts, yellow and black pennants, footballs and helmets with not just the team colors, but the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers logos too. I vote that next time, the Browns go to the game, to make it easier for me…

I used Martha Stewart’s cookie recipe and her recipe for royal icing, which I lifted from Vintage Mixer’s blog.

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp of brandy or apple juice (I used milk, since I didn’t have brandy or juice)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Sift together the dry ingredients. Cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add the rest of your wet ingredients – egg, brandy, and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix well until blended. Wrap and chill the dough for at an hour before rolling.

Over the years with different cut out recipes, I’ve found that 2 hours in fridge and 20 minutes back on the counter makes the perfect temp to roll your dough.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Flour your surface (or use powdered sugar if you don’t want your cookies to get too dry) and roll out one third of the dough at a time. Roll to about 1/8 inch thick and cut out with cookie cutters. Put shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie. Cool on racks. Decorate with Royal Icing.

Royal Icing

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 egg white*
  • 3 or 4 drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Food Coloring – I prefer the Wilton gels, liquids change the consistency of your icing.

Mix the sugar, egg white, and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. It should have the consistency of heavy cream (you may need to add a bit more sugar or lemon juice). Add desired amount of food coloring.
*You can substitute dried egg whites / meringue powder.

chicken chili

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We are fans of pots of anything warm on a snowy day. Trying to avoid tomatoes though as they seem to be bothering the man of the house. So I made my chicken chili, only I took down the heat, since he’s just not a fan of anything hot.

Chicken Chili

  • medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 3 chicken thighs, chopped
  • half of a red pepper and a full green pepper, seeded and diced
  • small can green chiles
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. white and cayenne peppers
  • several dashes of green tabasco
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil and saute chicken thighs until browned. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add in onion and garlic until soft, fragrant and translucent. Add peppers and cook another minute. Add beans and spices. Toss flour in and stir to coat vegetables. Cook another minute. Add the broth, and then the green chilis. At this point, I add the chicken back in and let it simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. I then add the Tabasco and the half and half.

I check the seasonings and adjust as necessary, though I never make ours too hot, since D can’t take all that heat.

I usually let it simmer a bit longer to reduce, but it isn’t necessary. This will be a thinner chili, more like a chowder consistency, but the flavor is good. Feel free to top with sour cream, shredded cheese or pico de gallo, as all compliment the flavors well.

santa chip cookies

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Finding the recipe for these is a challenge I’m still working on… I can’t find the one I used.

It’s a very simple cookie. I’m not usually a fan of things that use too many shortcuts, like pre-made dough or mixes, because sometimes there’s too many weird ingredients.

However, at Christmas time, I like to have variety and making all these kinds of cookies from scratch is both expensive and time consuming.

When I heard something about taking red velvet cake mix and turning it into cookies, I figured I’d try it. Love the taste of red velvet cake and I love white chocolate, sounds perfect.

They are crumbly and not as sturdy as a traditional cookie, but worth the bite.

 

Christmas morning

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Breakfast Christmas morning is pretty simple as far as I’m concerned. My mom has always made scrambled eggs, and we have good bacon, warmed croissants and orange pineapple juice.

I wanted to have my traditional breakfast since it was one of the few parts of Christmas I could have the way I wanted. After buying some really good bacon from Harmons, I picked up some croissants from Les Madelines. They were made and ready to bake at home. Best idea ever!

Breakfast was simple and relaxed, just like the holiday itself this year.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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There are so many ways to do these kinds of dips. Hot or cold, I have seen it made with cream cheese, mayonnaise and more.

The one I prefer is best served warm. After experimentation, I’ve found that the canned artichoke quarters work best (after rinsing off the brine) and that frozen spinach is not just easier, it makes more sense financially than using fresh or baby spinach.

I first saw a warm recipe I liked on Rachael Ray back in the day and I’ve tweaked it a bit.

Stovetop Spinach and Artichoke Dip:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (fresh needs to be used here)
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped (sometimes I use orange also)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 cans quartered artichoke hearts in water, drained and coarsely chopped (or alternatively, if you can only find hearts in brine, rinse well)
  • 2 boxes, chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed as dry as you can get.
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian 4 cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat a medium pan over moderate heat, add about 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Add butter to oil. When butter melts, add garlic and onions to the pot. Sprinkle in thyme leaves. Saute 2 minutes, add chopped red pepper. Saute mixture a minute more. Sprinkle in flour, stir to coat vegetables. Cook flour for 1 minute. Whisk in wine and reduce by half.

Whisk in stock and thicken sauce 1 minute. Stir in half and half. When sauce returns to a bubble, add artichokes, spinach. Cook one minute, then add your cheeses. Keep stirring until cheeses melt and sauce is well combined. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings, to your taste.

I love to serve this dip with crostini, fresh baguette slices, or even tortilla chips.