Turkey Soup

Who doesn’t love to create different soups for those cold rainy and cold winter days. There are so many ways to fix these soups from using a large soup pot to using a large crock pot for slow all day cooking. Either way, creates delicious soups and stews.

And the endless ways of making soups from using chicken, beef, pork, lamb and even vegetarian tofu and the endless different vegetables that can be used depending on what a cook has on hand, it is like a beautiful array of complexity and simplicity combined.

One soup I like to make with Turkey leftovers (especially right after Thanksgiving meals) , is Turkey Soup.
Here is a recipe I have :

1 turkey and leftover bones and meat
2 quarts beef stock
1/2 cup onions chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1/2 cup carrots chopped
1/2 cup barley or rice
Salt and pepper to taste

Place turkey and bones in a soup kettle with beef stock and vegetables. Simmer for an hour. Remove bones and meat pieces and strain the broth. Return the broth and meat pieces (finely cut) to the kettle. Add barley or rice and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with crackers or corn bread or some other hearty bread that you have baked with your own hands. Or, if you have a trusty bread machine, make a nice loaf of either plain white or hearty whole wheat or a nice sour dough bread. I have read how if you make a sour dough, you make a “starter” that you use and that needs to be there stored in a cool place for future loaves to be made. My husband and I did that many year ago and it was fun to see how the sour dough bread turned out.

I hope you enjoy the turkey soup and I hope you enjoy creating many more interesting and variety filled soups and tasty stews.

A Simple Hamburger Casserole

I like to fix casseroles because a combination of foods are baked together and makes a nice serving on a plate for a family. The four food groups are usually represented, so they are balanced vitamin and mineral wise. I also like easy casseroles to assemble.

This dish is a good on to serve for a family of four. I made it many times for my children and husband in the past and they were always impressed with it. I always made the basic recipe when the kids were young but now that they are men and will eat a lot , I would double the recipe. If I had guests of course I would double or triple the recipe depending on how many people attended the dinner.

Here are the ingredients that you will need for the dish:

This is an easy tasty recipe I found some years ago.

1 pound hamburger
1 medium onion
1 package frozen mixed vegetables
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 box tater tots

Brown the meat in a skillet and drain, add onion and cook until onions are sauteed. Add vegetables and soup. Put into a casserole dish. Place tater tots on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1/2 hour until bubbly and tater tots are brown.

Serving a salad with this would compliment the dish very well with a Ranch type salad dressing or an oil based salad dressing (preferably extra virgin olive oil being used).

Do you like these types of casseroles? What kind of casseroles do you like to make, easy ones, or ones that have a little more complexity to them? What are some problems you encounter with the recipes? Sometimes it frustrates me when I follow the recipe but the recipe says to use a certain amount of something that ends up over flowing into the oven. I learned not to use the exact amount of broth in one recipe.

Buttermilk

This is not exactly a past recipe but it is a liquid that is used in quite many recipes and there are some people who like to drink it straight. It does add richness to recipes even though it is quite sour.

Buttermilk is the liquid that is left over after taking out or churning out the butter from theĀ cream. It has an acid in the milk and that makes it taste very tart. Today, many recipes for breads and sweets call for buttermilk. Usually these recipes call for 1/2 cup to 1 whole cup per recipe. One type of bread that taste much better if buttermilk is used is cornbread. Cornbread is big in the South East of America and buttermilk is popular here as a recipe additive.

But, there are also people who like to drink buttermilk. They like the tart taste. There are two people I know who love to drink buttermilk straight. Those two people are my Mother and my Husband. I can not stand to drink buttermilk and I always say to them, “how can you drink that stuff”? And they always say to me, “it is so delicious”! They like to drink it cold. I have vivid memories of my Mom pouring herself a big tall glass of buttermilk and drinking it with a smile on her face. Ugh, is what I thought!

Do you like to drink buttermilk?

Tasty Custard Dessert

I really do enjoy custard type desserts. I like to eat egg custard and one time many years ago, while on a trip with my Mother in Western Canada, we ate at a restaurant and I will never forget the delicious Egg Custard dessert we had.

Here is a custard type dessert you can try if you like these kind of sweets, it includes Sherry Wine and Lady Fingers (cookies):

Custard Base:
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat 2 cups milk in top of double boiler. Add flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup cold milk and salt, stir until thickens, cook 3 minutes more. Beat yolks and 1/4 cup sugar. Pour into warm mixture, stir well. Return to double boiler, cook 3 minutes until thickens. Cool , then add vanilla.
Line bowl with plain lady fingers, fill with custard. Pour over sherry (or grape juice). Top with whipped cream. May also be served in individual dessert bowls. It serves around 6 people.

Tangy Fruity Chicken

I like to eat chicken in it’s many different forms of preparation. One of my favorite ways to eat it is fried. My Mother made the best fried chicken when I was a kid. I also like to eat it at restaurants like Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Here is a recipe for chicken that you may like to try. It may not be a fried dish, but it is a tasty dish.

Tangy Fruity Chicken

8 chicken breast halves, boned and skin removed
1 teaspoon salt divided
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons safflower oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh mushrooms sliced
4 tablespoons shallots finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
3 cups Cooking wine
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper. In large frypan, put oil and heat to medium temp. Add chicken and cook turning about 10 minutes on each side until chicken is brown. Remove chicken to platter and cover with foil. In same frypan, put butter and heat over medium temp til butter melts. Add mushrooms and shallots, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and saute about 3 minute or til tender; place on platter with chicken. To same frypan, add 2 1/2 cups of the wine and tarragon. Cook, reducing the liquid to about 1/2 cup; add broth and reduce by 1/2. In small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 1/2 cup wine until smooth; add slowly, stirring, to wine broth mixture. Simmer about 1 minute or til slightly thickened. Add grapes and cook 2 minutes more. Arrange mushroom mixture on each piece of chicken and pour sauce over all. It serves around 8 people.

Great Home Made Chili

I like making chili the way my Mother use to make it. She was one of those great cooks who many times didn’t use a recipe, she would estimate and every time her dishes would turn out perfect.

So here is the way she made chili when I was a kid and how I make it today:

I usually use 2 pounds of ground beef or ground chuck. I then brown the meat in a big fry pan and then drain the fat off. Then I take the browned meat and put it into a big soup pot and add two 16 ounce cans of tomato sauce and two 16 ounce cans cooked light red kidney beans or dark red kidney beans. Then I add around a teaspoon ofdried oregano and then add some chili powder. You can add as much chili powder if you want. You can add more if you like chili spicy or you can add less if you don’t like chili as spicy. I then bring the pot to a boil and then turn the heat of the stove down to around mid range and let the chili simmer about an hour or so.

Usually I serve the chili with saltine crackers. Some times I serve it with corn bread and I will a lot of times by those prepared cornbread boxes where all you do is mix it with egg and milk and pour into muffin cups and bake. When I make the corn bread the long way, I use a cake pan that is round. One type of pan I don’t have is a cast iron pan. I need to buy one so I can make good old fashioned corn bread.