crockpot chicken enchilada soup
easiest ever carbonara with fresh pasta, salad
baked crispy chicken sandwiches, sweet potato fries
chipotle pork, skillet corn, green beans
salmon salad with avocado and cucumber, lemon vinaigrette
out for Halloween
out for a wedding

Friday, October 31, 2014

Butternut Bisque

Butternut Bisque
I am obsessed with butternut squash soups. I love them completely. I have come along way from my original recipe. I also love it with apples, in a chowder or even in stew.  This soup is perfection and quite easy to make, except for peeling the butternut squash. For some reason, I get some sort of reaction on my skin whenever I touch butternut squash raw. Thankfully eating it doesn't cause any issues at all!  C and Miss F weren't as big of fans.  Miss F was okay with it, as long as she could dip her crouton in it.  C whined about the thyme flavor, oh well, more soup for me.
Butternut Bisque

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt
1 large butternut squash (about 4 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and cayenne; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the squash, broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, until squash is tender. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the half-and-half and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Serve.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Apple Cider Doughnuts
Miss F could have doughnuts for breakfast every single day. Or Cheerios. She loves both equally. My mom had given me a jug of apple cider and Miss F was content to drink every last drop of it, but I was able to snag enough from her to make these amazing doughnuts. The powdered sugar makes quite a mess, but it is worth it. These have a great fall flavor and are a perfect was to use apple cider.  Thanks to Hezzi-D Books and Cooks for the fantastic recipe.
Apple Cider Doughnuts

1 cup apple cider
1 ¾ cup flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup milk

¼ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the apple cider to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the cider has reduced to 1/3 cup. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a doughnut pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in the butter, sugar, egg and milk. Mix until just combined. Fill the doughnut pan 2/3 of the way full and bake for 8 to 11 minutes, until the doughnuts are golden brown. Cool doughnuts on a wire rack.

In a shallow bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Toss the cooled doughnuts in the cinnamon sugar until coated.
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Gnocchi

Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Gnocchi
This recipe was a compilation from Martha Stewart and The Hopeless Housewife.  I love gnocchi, so does C.  Miss F took some convincing and I still don't think she was sold on it.  She just isn't a fan of potatoes, she doesn't even love French fries!  No worries, she didn't go hungry at all.  She calls short ribs, "more meat!" because that is what she always proclaims whenever we have it.  I don't think I will ever eat leftover mashed potatoes again, they will always be reserved for making gnocchi.  I have this nifty gnocchi roller that works perfectly for adding the grooves to the pasta.
Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Gnocchi

1 to 1 ½ pounds boneless short ribs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 ½ cups red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf

2 cups mashed potatoes
1 large egg
1 cup flour
¼ cup grated Parmesan
¼ teaspoon salt

fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat and sear all sides of the short ribs, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the short ribs and set aside. Pulse the carrots, onion and garlic in a food processor four or five times, until roughly minced. Add the carrots, onion and garlic to the dutch oven and saute until tender, about two minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and saute for a minute more. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Stir in the beef broth, thyme and bay leaf. Return the short ribs to the pot and cover. Place in the oven and cook for 3 hours, until tender. Remove the short ribs from the pot and shred the meat with two forks. Return the meat to the pot and stir to combine, salt and pepper to taste.

Boil 6 quarts of water in a large pot. Stir together the mashed potatoes and egg yolk, then stir in the flour, Parmesan and salt. If the dough it still quite sticky, add more flour a tablespoon at a time. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead a couple times. Divide the dough into four equal pieces, then roll each into ½" diameter logs. Cut into 1" long gnocchis, the use a fork to add grooves to each. Place the gnocchi into the large pot and cook until they rise to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and top with the short ribs and basil.
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