Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lentil Soup and Chicken Parm Bread

Well the tree is up. I have caught Lucy clawing at it once. Archie was comfortable under the tree.

Again a day filled with holiday activity so I made a quick soup, Lentil Soup from the Mark Bittman App, Mark Bittman's How to Cook . Perfect for a chilly evening. The bread, well that was from Meriano's Bakery. Seriously did you  think I was going to make bread today too!

Lentil Soup, from Mark Bittman's How to Cook

Ingredients
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 cup lentils, washed and picked over
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken stock
Fresh ground pepper
Salt

Method

Put the oil in a large deep pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until soft, just a minute or two. Add the carrot and celery and keep cooking and stirring until brightly colored and hot about 2 minutes.
Add lentils, bay leaf and stock; sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cook stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

For breakfast I want to use up the cranberries I had in the freezer from our Thanksgiving Dinner, which I just realized I never posted, sorry....  I found this recipe on twopeasandtheirpod.com. These are the best scones I have made in long time.

Fresh Cranberry Scones, from twopeasandtheirpod.com

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup half and half
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Topping:
2 tablespoons half and half
Turbinado sugar

Method-
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, set aside. (I used my Scone Pan, yes I have a Scone Pan!)
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingers. Whisk into the flour mixture.
Add cold butter pieces to the flour mixture. Cut in butter using a pastry blender, fork, or your hands. I prefer to use my hands. Mix until you have pea size chunks of butter.
In a small glass measuring cup, whisk the half and half, eggs, and vanilla extract together. Pour over dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until moist. Gently stir in the fresh cranberries. Transfer dough to a floured counter top and knead until dough comes together.
Shape dough into a large circle. Use a floured rolling pin to roll out the scone dough. Cut dough into wedges and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush each scone with half and half and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until scones are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

2 Years

It's been 2 years since we said goodbye.
Not a day goes by that I do not think of you.
You were a quiet man, but you were my Superman.
I am so glad you were my Dad.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chicken and Zucchini with Pappadelle Noodles Alfredo

We are still sticking to that menu! I did add Zucchini to tonight's dinner. This was so darn good. The noodles were homemade, had them in the freezer. The sauce is our favorite for an Alfredo sauce. It is from Bon Appetit back in 2003. No cream. Just unsalted butter, salt, cheese and pasta water. Yeah, this was really good. I cut the chicken breast into julienne slices and dredged them in flour. Sauteed the chicken in 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil. Once cooked transferred the chicken from the pan to a dish, a pie dish to be exact, and I sauteed the zucchini. I put the cooked zucchini with the chicken, wiped out the pan and melted the butter for the sauce. I put the cooked noodles into the saute pan, using tongs, was not about to put a colander in the sink, and added the cheese and some of the pasta water. The cooked chicken and the zucchini were added to the pan and it was all tossed together. I did add a little more pasta water at this point.
Here is the link to the original recipe with the ingredient amounts. Enjoy!

They know the Christmas tree will arrive tomorrow!

The Week In Review

Last week I posted a menu for 2 weeks that we were going to try to stick to. Week one went as planned.
Monday - Shepherds Pie

Tuesday - Autumn Vegetable Soup

Sorry I forgot to take photo of Wednesday's Polenta, Sausage and Pepper Casserole.
 
Thursday - Chicken Soup 

The upcoming week, well lets just say there are a couple of edits to the menu. Stay tuned!

We are busy getting ready for the Christmas. Between too many cookies being baked and knitting like a there's no tomorrow, we found time to get our Christmas cards in the mail. I would like to send out a special "Thank You" to Lucy for her help in the process.






Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Cookie Ingredient List!

I love baking Christmas cookies. I really do love it. This is the time of year when crazed bakers can bake way too many cookies and say that they are just Christmas cookies. And I will admit I am a crazed baker so I love to give away Christmas cookies! That's what happens when you love to bake but do not want to eat too many cookies. There are a lot of allergies that seem to have popped up in recent years so this year I decided to let people know what is in each cookie. If you received some of my cookies I truly hope you enjoy eating them as much as I enjoyed baking them. Merry Christmas!


Slice-and-Bake Lemon Shortbread 
Ingredients
Flour

Unsalted Butter
 Granulated Sugar
Lemon Zest
Lemon Juice
Lemon Sugar



 
Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Ingredients
Unsalted Butter
Confectioner's Sugar
Dark Cocoa Powder (I use Hershey's Special Dark)

Vanilla Extract 
Flour
 Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips



 
Chocolate-Mint Snow-Top Cookies
Ingredients 
Flour
Baking Powder
Salt
Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
Butter
Sugar
Eggs

Vanilla Extract
 Peppermint Extract
Confectioner's Sugar


 

Butter Sprinkle Cookies
Ingredients
 Granulated Sugar 
 Shortening
Vanilla Extract
Eggs
Milk
Vinegar
Baking Soda
Flour
Salt

Rainbow Sprinkles




Cappuccino Biscotti
Ingredients
Flour
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Instant Espresso
Pecans
Eggs
Kahlua Liqueur
Cinnamon
Salt 





Buttery Nutella Rolled Cookies
Ingredients
Flour
Baking Powder
Confectioner's Sugar
Butter
Milk
Nutella  




Snowballs
Ingredients
Flour
Confectioner's Sugar
Butter
Vanilla Extract
Walnuts
Salt





Jelly Bellies
Ingredients
Flour
Granulated Sugar

Eggs
Salt

Cherry Preserves


 
Striped Cookies
Ingredients
Flour
Confectioner's Sugar
Butter
Vanilla Extract
Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder




Cinnamon Sticks
Ingredients
Flour
Baking Soda
Cinnamon
Butter

Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar

Eggs
Pecans





 
 Sugared Pinwheels
Ingredients
Flour
Granulated Sugar

Salt
Baking Powder
Egg
Vanilla Extract
Peppermint Extract
Sprinkles
Red Gel Food Coloring
Milk



Sunday, December 7, 2014

The House Special Pizza

 
I did some cooking for this week. I made the Terrine of Sausage, Peppers, Polenta and Mozzarella. Of course I had too much sausage and peppers. And this is why we had the House Special Pizza. Sausage, bacon, peppers, onions and fresh mozzarella. I heard no complaints about the combo.

Now I am sure I am the last person on earth to do this but I cooked the bacon in the oven. I lined a rimmed baking sheet with foil so it added some height to the side of the pan. Then a piece of parchment paper. I think it about 15 minutes and then I turned the bacon and swapped the trays (top rack, bottom rack swap) and than another 10 minutes. Another milestone!

And speaking of pizza, there was another pizza, besides my mom's that I grew up with. Zuppardi's Pizza was around the corner from our house. If it wasn't my mom's it was Zuppardi's. Well today is Zuppardi's 80th Anniversary! Wow! Read all here. Congratulations Zuppardi's!