First Tuesday Recipes for November

To paraphrase Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that fall is a great time for comfort food. And to celebrate this time of year, I’ve got three cozy, warm recipes for you this month.

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Cream of Mushroom Soup (with thanks to my father)

1 pound button mushrooms, caps and stems separated (you can probably use more exotic mushrooms if you’d like, but I’ve only tried it with button mushrooms)

1/2 c. butter

1 t. lemon juice

1 sm. onion, chopped

1/3 c. flour

3 c. chicken stock (use vegetable stock to make the soup vegetarian)

1 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1 c. heavy cream

1 handful fresh thyme

Trim tough ends from mushroom stems and discard; coarsely chop stems and set aside. Slice mushroom caps thinly.

In a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Sauté sliced mushroom caps with lemon juice until mushrooms are tender, stirring frequently. Using a slotted spoon, remove caps from butter and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-low. In remaining butter, sauté onion and mushroom stems until onion is tender. Add flour and and stir until blended. Cook mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Gradually stir in stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened.

Using immersion blender, blend mixture until smooth. You can also use a regular blender and blend the mixture in batches, being careful because the mixture is hot.

Stir in salt, pepper, cream, reserved mushroom caps, and thyme. Cook until soup is completely heated through.

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Apple Cider Chicken

1/4 c. flour

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

3 T. butter, divided

3 cooking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thickly (Granny Smiths work well)

1/4 shallots, finely chopped

1 T. fresh thyme (or 1 t. dried)

1/2 c. apple cider

1/2 c. chicken broth

3 T. heavy cream

Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a large shallow bowl. Dredge chicken in flour mixture.

In a large skillet, melt 2 T. butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm by tenting it with foil.

Melt remaining 1 T. butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add apples, shallots, and thyme. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until lightly golden.

Add apple cider and broth; bring to a simmer. Return chicken (and any juices on the plate) to pan; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is heated through, about 10 minutes. Place chicken on platter; keep warm. Add cream to skillet; stir until heated through. Spoon sauce over chicken.

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Apple-Cinnamon Cheesecake

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheets)

5 T. butter, melted

1 1/4 c. sugar, divided

1 lb. cream cheese, softened

1 t. vanilla

2 t. cinnamon

4 eggs

2 oz. apple juice (or 1 oz. apple juice and 1 oz. brandy)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 1/4 c. sugar in a medium bowl. Press mixture on bottom and about 1/2″ up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes. When you take the crust out of the oven, place the pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and wrap the foil tightly around the pan, making sure the foil goes partway up the side of the pan. Allow crust to cool slightly.

Decrease oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Using a handheld mixer, mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add juice (or juice and brandy). Mix for 3-4 minutes on medium speed and pour into prepared crust.

Prepare a water bath for the cheesecake. If you need instructions on how to do that, click here for a quick tutorial.

Bake cheesecake for 65-70 minutes or until center is almost set. Allow to cool completely in fridge before serving.

Enjoy!

Got any recipes you’d like to share? Email me at amymreadeauthor[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll put them in a future post.

Until next time,

Amy

First Tuesday Recipes for March

Photo courtesy of pixabay/alexas_fotos

It’s the first Tuesday in March, so you know what that means…it’s time for a few new recipes to try. I’ve got some good ones for you.

The first one is good for nights when the weather is still cool during the early weeks in spring.

Chicken Vegetable Chili

If you’re a chili purist, call this a stew and enjoy! I adapted this recipe from one by Chef Ed Daggers.

3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

olive oil

1 med. zucchini, diced

1 med. yellow squash, diced

1 onion, chopped

4-5 green onions, sliced

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

8 oz. fresh spinach, chopped

1 can black beans

2 15-oz. cans crushed tomatoes

1 8-oz. can tomato sauce

4 T. chili powder (you can use a mixture of different types of chili powders)

1 1/2 T. cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Toppings (optional): sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeno slices, corn chips

In a Dutch oven, cook chicken in olive oil over medium heat until browned. Add zucchini, yellow squash, onion, green onion, mushrooms, and spinach. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes and tomato sauce; mix well. Add beans and seasonings (NOTE: if you don’t like your chili/stew spicy, adjust the seasonings to suit your tastes); simmer soup over low heat for 45 minutes.

Serve with cornbread or over rice. Garnish with optional toppings.

 

Porcupine Balls

I grew up eating these. The first time I made them for my own family, they were a huge hit!

1 lb. ground chuck

1/3 c. uncooked rice

1 t. each salt and pepper

1 t. dried basil

1/4 t. celery salt

1 T. canola oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

2 small cans tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8 x 8″ baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together except for one can of tomato sauce. Form into loose meatballs. Place meatballs in baking dish and cover with remaining tomato sauce.

Cover and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Please note, these may fall apart when you serve them. They’re still delicious!

 

Pistachio Cake

Courtesy of my sister. This disappears in a jiffy anytime I take it somewhere.

Cake:

1 pkg. white cake mix

1/2 c. canola oil

4 eggs

1 c. sour cream

1 pkg. pistachio pudding

Mix above ingredients and set aside.

Filling:

1/2 c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 c. chopped nuts (I use pecans)

Mix filling ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a Bundt pan very well.

Layer the batter and filling as follows:

Bottom: 1/3 batter

2nd layer: 1/2 filling

3rd layer: 1/3 batter

4th layer: 1/2 filling

5th layer: 1/3 batter.

Bake for one hour.

Enjoy!

As always, please send me your recipes to share! And if you try any of these, please let me know what you think!

Until next time

Amy

First Tuesday Recipes for October

October is my favorite month.

There. I’ve said it. Where I live, most people love summer, but I can’t wait for it to end.

I love fall and everything about it: the cooler weather (but not too cold), the dip in humidity (hear the angels singing?), and the food! It doesn’t get much better than in-season fall ingredients. I’ve got a great fall recipe in today’s selections, plus a couple other creations that are just plain delicious.

First up, the fall recipe. My father gave me this recipe and I keep it in the “Casseroles” section of one of my cookbooks. I use it as a dessert, but it would make a great side dish to turkey or pork.

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Apple-Cranberry Casserole

3 c. peeled, chopped apples, any variety

2 c. fresh whole cranberries

1 1/4 c. sugar

Topping:

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. butter, melted

1 1/2 c. rolled oats

1/3 c. flour

1/4 t. salt

1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish, mix apples, cranberries, and sugar. Mix all topping ingredients, except nuts, until crumbly. Spread over apple mixture.

Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Add chopped nuts to the top and bake 15 minutes longer.

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The next recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law before my wedding. My husband’s family is Swedish, and this is delicious.

Swedish Meatballs

1 c. breadcrumbs

3/4 c. milk

3 T. diced onion

2 T. butter

1/4 t. nutmeg

1 1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

1 lb. ground beef

1 egg, slightly beaten

10 1/2 oz. (1 can) beef consumme

1 1/2 T. cornstarch

1 1/2 T. cold water

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Soften the breadcrumbs in the milk. Saute onions in the butter until light brown. Add this to the breadcrumbs. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, ground beef, and egg. Mix lightly with your hands. Form mixture into balls about 1 inch in size.

Place meatballs on greased cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes, until browned. Do not turn them over.

Blend consumme, cornstarch, and water until smooth and thickened. Pour over the meatballs.

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And the last recipe comes from a good friend, Sue Murphy. She tells me the original recipe is from Willow Bird Baking–you can find the recipe here. This is my eldest daughter’s favorite!!

Ice Box Cookie Trifle

3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. almond liqueur (optional–I used 1/2 t. almond extract instead)

3 T. sugar

2 t. vanilla extract

2-3 packages chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos work well, as do Famous Chocolate Wafers. If you use Famous, use three packages)

Using a mixer, beat heavy cream, almond liqueur, sugar, and vanilla in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. In a trifle dish, arrange a single layer of cookies in a circle and put one or two cookies in the middle. Carefully spread about 1/2 c. whipped cream mixture over the cookies. Repeat layers of cookies and whipped cream, ending with a layer of whipped cream on the top. Crumble a few leftover cookies on the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

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Enjoy!

Until next time,

Amy