Sunday, December 22, 2013

Spinach Mushroom Creamy Soup

This soup is mm mm good and a long over due request from Becky to post on here. It's been a large group/showers/book group staple for my mom for as long as I can remember but I like to make it just for me (since my husband wont eat mushrooms) too.

(Serves 4-6)
5 tbsp butter
1/4 lb fresh mushrooms sliced
1 scallion
5 tbsp flour
2 c chicken broth
2 c milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 lb cream cheese softened
1 c fresh grated swiss cheese
3/4 lb fresh baby spinach trimmed, cooked in microwave and drained of water

(for large groups triple milk and spinach. quadruple everything else)

Melt butter in large sauce pan. Slowly saute mushroom and scallion till tender. Add flour stir till just cooked- a few minutes. Whisk in first chicken broth and then milk, stirring until thickened. Add spices, cream cheese, swiss cheese. When mixed in then add precooked and drained spinach. Heat through while gently stirring. Serve hot.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Parmesan Basil Orzo

 This is the most delicious, simple side dish. I had to add it because I've made it several times. This was given to me by a friend, Jessica Klemetson.
3 Tablespoons Butter 1-½ cup Orzo 3 cups Chicken Or Vegetable Stock 6 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil 1 cup Parmesan Cheese ½ teaspoons Salt ¼ teaspoons Pepper
Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and saute for a few minutes, until the orzo starts to get golden brown. Add the broth and cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the broth has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, add the basil and Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Skillet Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

This is an easy last minute meal if you are feeling like comfort food or an easy "gourmet" side

From Mel's Kitchen Cafe

  • 3 1/2 cups water, plus extra if needed
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 12 ounces (about 3 cups) elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  1. Bring 3 1/2 cups water, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, the macaroni, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the macaroni is tender and the liquid has thickened, 9 to 12 minutes.
  2. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk, the cornstarch, mustard and hot sauce together in a small bowl, then stir into the skillet. Continue to simmer slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
  3. Off the heat, stir in the cheddar and Monterey Jack, one handful at a time, adding water as needed to adjust the consistency of the sauce (I didn’t need any additional water when I made it). Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Ham and Pea Variation: Follow the recipe, adding 4 ounces deli-style baked ham, diced medium, and 1/2 cup frozen peas to the skillet with the cornstarch mixture in step 2.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pecan Pie

Jason's favorite dessert is pecan pie. I've been on a mission to find the perfect pecan pie recipe to rival that of the famous Elizabeth who brought him pies in Hampton weekly. Don't worry, I'm not too intimidated by her-- She's 80 years old! After two different recipes from, I think I found our favorite. I guess I'm getting old because I've never even liked pecan pie and always considered it "old people food". I like it now! And I was pleased with how easy it is!

Pecan Pie

1 3/4 c white sugar
1/4 dark karo (I used regular) corn syrup
1/4 c butter
1 T cold water
2 t corn starch
3 eggs
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/4 c whole pecans
1 pie shell (I like Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts)

Preheat oven to 350. In medium sauce pan heat first five ingredients. Bring to boil and remove from heat. In large bowl beat eggs until frothy. Gradually pour in hot mixture and combine with eggs using beaters. Stir in salt and vanilla. Pour into pie shell and bake for 45-50 minutes. Let sit for about an hour.

Fairbanks Rolls

My friend Robyn is famous around Augusta for these rolls. They are amazing. To me, the flavor is unparalleled. She also uses this same recipe for cinnamon rolls. Its worth ordering the dough enhancer! This will be your new favorite recipe. I also love that it only makes two dozen. Its the perfect amount for a Sunday dinner! She uses a bread maker but I used my bosch.

1 heaping T of yeast
3 cups of bread flour
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c powdered milk
1 t salt
1/4 c melted butter
1 1/2 egg
1 c warm water
1 heaping T dough enhancer

Put in mixer and mix for ten minutes. Let it raise in mixer until it doubles (about 1-2 hrs).  Turn dough out onto floured surface. Cut into 24 squares and pinch four corners together underneath. Dip top in butter and place on buttered cookie sheet. Raise 2-3 hours. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Makes two dozen.
*I didnt have dough enhancer the first time so I used vital wheat gluten and they were still delicious!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

I learned how to make these by a retired wedding cupcake maker a few years ago and have made them every Christmas since. They are easy, amazing and a must try.

1 Duncan Hines Devils Food cake mix
1 Large package of instant chocolate pudding
1 Package of Trader Joe's Peppermint Jo jo's (or peppermint oreos)
  • Make the cake mix according to directions (oil, water, egg etc) and add the pudding powder at the end before baking.
  • Line muffin tin with cupcake papers
  • Place a spoonful of batter in the bottom of paper placing a cookie on top and covering with another spoonful of batter (make sure the cup isn't too full of batter adjust accordingly)
  • Bake according to package directions
2 Cubes of unsalted butter at room temp (those details are a must for yummy frosting- don't skip)
1/2 tsp of salt
3 and 3/4 Cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
  • Combine all ingredients except for the milk thoroughly and add milk at the end.
  • Wait till cupcakes are completely cooled to frost
Frosting tip:
you can either spread on think with a knife or place a large frosting tip in the corner of sandwich bag. Cut off small tip of sandwich bag and push frosting tip out so exposed. fill bag with frosting, twist the top shut and frost cupcakes.