Monday, December 1, 2014

DECEMBER 2014 NEWLETTER

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

 "I Thank Thee, Lord"
I sometimes get so busy, Lord, I know not where I'm going;
But find that my determination is leading what I'm doing.
At times like these, I thank Thee, Lord, for bringing me to a halt
And putting me down on my knees, where I can see my fault.
For what can I accomplish, when following my will?
So make me take the time to Listen and Be Still
For unless my life is guided completely By Your Hand,
I know my foolish works will never be able to stand.
So take my life and mold me to what You'd have me be;
That through a yielded life, a Loving Jesus some might see.
American Poetry Anthology
Vol. III, No. I 10/15/83
Paula (Stone) Smith


Food for Nourishment! ;-)
Some great ideas for appetizers during the holidays!






Spinach and Feta Phyllo Triangles

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 1 1/2 hr
Ingredients

    1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 lb baby spinach
    1/2 lb feta, crumbled (scant 2 cups)
    1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    10 (17- by 12-inch) phyllo sheets, thawed if frozen

Preparation

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, then cook spinach, stirring, until wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool, about 10 minutes. Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl and stir in feta, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Melt remaining 1 stick butter in a small saucepan, then cool.

Cover phyllo stack with 2 overlapping sheets of plastic wrap and then a dampened kitchen towel.

Take 1 phyllo sheet from stack and arrange on a work surface with a long side nearest you (keeping remaining sheets covered) and brush with some butter. Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with more butter. Cut buttered phyllo stack crosswise into 6 (roughly 12- by 2 3/4-inch) strips.

Put a heaping teaspoon of filling near 1 corner of a strip on end nearest you, then fold corner of phyllo over to enclose filling and form a triangle. Continue folding strip (like a flag), maintaining triangle shape. Put triangle, seam side down, on a large baking sheet and brush top with butter. Make more triangles in same manner, using all of phyllo.

Bake triangles in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool slightly.
****************************************************************************

SWEDISH MEATBALLS

Nothing beats homemade meatballs smothered in a creamy gravy sauce.

Ingredients

    2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    1 onion, diced
    1 pound ground beef
    1 pound ground pork
    1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
    2 large egg yolks
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    For the gravy
    1/4 cup unsalted butter
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    4 cups beef broth
    3/4 cup sour cream
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves



Instructions

    Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
    In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, Panko, egg yolks, allspice, nutmeg and cooked onion; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.
    Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
    To make the gravy, melt butter in the skillet. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in beef broth and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in sour cream; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    Stir in meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
    Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.


********************************************************************

STUFFED MUSHROOMS

Ingredients

2 medium leeks
1 (16-oz.) package fresh mushrooms (about 24 medium-size mushrooms)
1 teaspoon salt, divided $
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Garnish: fresh basil sprigs

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove and discard root ends and dark green tops of leeks. Thinly slice leeks, and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove grit and sand.

2. Rinse mushrooms, and pat dry. Remove and discard stems. Place mushrooms, upside down, on a wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt; invert mushrooms.

3. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.

4. Sauté leeks, shallots, and garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt until well combined. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoonful leek mixture into each mushroom cap. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden. Garnish, if desired.

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Green Goddess Dipping Sauce

Ingredients


3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon firmly packed fresh dill leaves
1 tablespoon firmly packed fresh tarragon leaves
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Garnish: fresh dill sprig
Preparation

Process first 11 ingredients in a food processor or blender 30 seconds or until smooth, stopping to scrape sides as needed.
Cover and chill 1 hour before serving.
Garnish, if desired.
Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Serve with tray of boiled shrimp, chilled or crudite tray.

*********************************************************************

sweet-n-salty Honey Cheese Spread


1 (10.5-oz.) goat cheese log
1/2 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup honey
1 pt. fresh raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
Garnish: fresh mint leaves
Assorted crackers
Preparation

1. Press or roll goat cheese log in sunflower seeds, thoroughly covering cheese,
including ends. Arrange cheese on a serving platter with any remaining sunflower
seeds. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with berries.
Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately with assorted crackers.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Snickerdoodles for Bradley!



SNICKERDOODLES

Edited to add: This is all-purpose flour in the recipe.

Ingredients:

Servings:
24
Units: US | Metric

Directions:

  1. 1
    Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. 2
    Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.
  3. 3
    Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
  4. 4
    Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.
  5. 5
    Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.
  6. 6
    Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
  7. 7
    Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar/ cinnamon mixture.
  8. 8
    Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar mixture.
  9. 9
    Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.
  10. 10
    Remove from pan immediately.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NOVEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER

Good Morning!
A chilly morning in Alabama, there was even frost last night! =-O
Pray this finds all doing well and getting ready for the upcoming holidays!
We are enjoying football season as always!

Hugs,

Paula Smith
mecookin1951paula@aol.com

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Your Life Canvas
by Paula 2009

Brushes in hand...we contemplate our palette of life...choices we will make
Each day brings added touches...some of warmth and beauty
Yet others, not so creative...day ends with a blank canvas
Contemplate carefully, making strokes of color to enhance your canvas
Build on your canvas, adding texture and warmth...embrace beauty
Be creative...sensitive, inspired, preparing a masterpiece...
Unfolding the Master Artist's plan, allowing His guidance of each stroke.


********************************************************************************************************************************************
Recipes are a variety of seafood favorites. The Chocolate Cake is a recipe that is as old as I am, so you know it has been tried and proven!

Pan-Fried Scallops & Herbed Rice

This is a delightfully simple yet indulgent dish. The key to well-seared scallops is to dry them thoroughly before cooking. You must also make sure your pan is up to the proper temperature before adding them, and don’t overcrowd the pan, which will cause the scallops to steam in their own liquid instead of producing a nice brown sear.
Ingredients:
• 1 cup Long grain & Wild rice
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, cilantro or basil
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 6 large sea scallops
• 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Instructions:

1. Cook rice according to package directions.

2. To cooked rice, add butter and herbs, and toss gently.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm.

3. Place scallops on paper towels and pat dry thoroughly.
Season each side with a little sea salt and pepper.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat
for 1 to 2 minutes, or until oil shimmers.
Place scallops in pan and sear for 3 minutes, or until nicely golden brown;
turn and cook until second side is golden brown and opaque, about 3 minutes.

5. In small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar and remaining oil.
Whisk together until thoroughly blended.

6. Divide rice evenly between two individual bowls or plates.
Top each serving with 3 scallops, then drizzle a little sauce over all.
Serve immediately.

***********************************************************************

Bouillabaisse

Better Homes & Gardens

Ingredients
1 medium fennel bulb
2 cups baby carrots
4 cups vegetable broth
1-14 1/2 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 pound tiny red-skinned potatoes, cut into quarters
1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
1 cup finely chopped onion (1 large)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound fresh or frozen skinless cod, orange roughy, or haddock fillets
12 ounces fresh or frozen shrimp in shells or fresh or frozen scallops
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 recipe Cracked Black Pepper Croutons
Directions

    Core and finely chop fennel, reserving leaves If desired. Snip leaves; wrap and chill until needed. Cut baby carrots in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise.
    In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker combine fennel, carrots, broth, tomatoes, potatoes, celery, onion, garlic, salt, lemon peel, and cayenne pepper. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until carrots and potatoes are tender.
    Meanwhile, thaw fish and shrimp or scallops, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact. Rinse fish and shrimp or scallops; pat dry with paper towels. Cut fish into 1-inch pieces. Cover and chill until needed.
    If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in fish, shrimp or scallops, and saffron. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes more or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and shrimp or scallops are opaque.
    Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with Cracked Black Pepper Croutons and, if desired, the reserved fennel leaves.

Cracked Black Pepper Croutons
Ingredients
3 cups firm-textured bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons herb-flavored olive oil, or olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black or tri-color peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt (optional)

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with parchment
paper. Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle with pepper and, if desired, salt. Toss to combine.
Spread cubes into prepared pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden,
stirring once or twice. Cool in pan on wire rack.


**************************************************************************
My recipe was inspired by Paschal Manale's and Paul Prudhomme.

Creole BBQ Shrimp
Adapted from Pascale’s Manale, New Orleans
Yields: 4 servings

Here’s a dish with a big misnomer, since the shrimp don’t go
anywhere near a barbecue grill. This very rich dish was created at
Pascale’s Manale restaurant in New Orleans,
made there with heads-on shrimp and baked,
not barbecued, with plenty of butter.
A casserole of these will go fast.

8 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. fresh snipped rosemary
2 teaspoons Louisiana-style hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, de-veined,heads off,shell on
1/2 bottle Amber beer
3 lemons (2 to squeeze and one sliced into thin rings)
Salt, to taste

Crusty French Bread for all of that wonderful sauce

1. Heat a large sauté pan (large enough to hold the shrimp in one layer)
 or a 9x13 baking dish. Add the butter, oil, garlic, black pepper,
Worcestershire sauce, rosemary and hot pepper sauce;
stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the beer.
Add the shrimp and toss in the sauce, and even them out in one layer.
Squeeze lemons over the entire area.
Sprinkle with salt, cover with sliced lemons and place in a preheated 375° oven
for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are just done, tossing them once.

2. Serve in soup bowls with the sauce and crusty French bread on the side.

***************************************************************************

'Wow!" is how Robert Raiford began an e-mail detailing his recent dinner at Dodiyos.
 
  Dodiyos' Connie Kanakis Snapper

4 7-ounce snapper fillets
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup fine breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ pound clarified butter
1 lemon
Preheat heavy metal pan with clarified butter until bubbling.

Place snapper fillets skin side up into hot pan and cook until golden-brown. Preheat oven on broil.
Turn over snapper fillets and sprinkle with Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture.

Place in oven for 3 to 5 minutes (depending on thickness of fillet) or until breadcrumb mixture is brown.
If fish is not done, heat oven to 350 degrees and return to oven until snapper is flaky and finished. Finish with a squeeze of lemon


Dodiyos' She Crab Soup
(Serves 6 to 8 )
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
1/2 pound crab roe
1 pound medium scallops
4 cups seafood stock
4 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cap full crab boil
1/2 cup sherry
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 pound butter
Rue to desired thickness
salt and pepper to taste

Slice onion and chop garlic and set aside.
Warm large saute pan to medium-high heat and add onion, garlic and butter.
Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until onion softens.

Add scallops and crab roe and continue to stir and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes.

Add sherry, lemon juice and crab boil, then milk, heavy cream and seafood stock.

Continue cooking until mixture becomes hot throughout.

Set mixture aside to cool then puree in robot coupe.
Bring back to the stove over medium heat and add crabmeat and rue to
desired consistency.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

************************************************************************
Starlight Double Delight Chocolate Cake
1951 Pillsbury Cook-off

Chocolate Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese
½ cup shortening
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon mint extract
6 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup hot water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
Cream the cream cheese, shortening, and extracts.
Blend in sifted sugar, alternating with hot water.
Fold in melted chocolate, cool.

Chocolate Cake
2 ¼ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup shortening
2 cups Chocolate Frosting
3 eggs
¾ cup milk

Sift together flour, soda, salt, set aside.
Cream shortening with frosting, add eggs, beating well after each addition.
Fold in the dry ingredients, alternating with milk.
Turn into greased, floured cake pans. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
Cool, frost with remaining Chocolate Frosting
(thin with a few drops milk if necessary).

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pizza Pasta


Dinner was easy tonight...had been wanting to try a Pizza Pasta Casserole recipe that I had seen...so with a few changes that's what happened!
Everything that I had seen made TOO much or had different ingredients than those that I had on hand.

Paula's Pizza Pasta

1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz. Rotini Pasta, cooked al dente
2 cans Hunt's Dinner Starters (Pizza)
2 cups Italian blend cheese (Mozzarella, Romano, Provolone, Asiago & Parmesan)
4 oz. sliced pepperoni

In large skillet, swaute Italian sausage until cooked through. Add chopped onion & continue to cook for 8-10 minutes. Add cooked & drained pasta, Hunt's sauce. Preheat oven to 350. Pour Pasta mixture into 13x9 casserole dish. Top with shredded cheese & place pepperoni over cheese. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.




Added a side salad and an easy & tasty dinner was on the table in such a short time!
Salad dressing was Homemade 1000 Island tonight.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

French Onion Soup from start to finish!

I began with a recipe from my dear friend, Becky Turner, sadly Becky left this walk of life a couple of years ago...however, she left us with a wealth of information when it came to decorating tablescapes with her Art Deco collections of Fiesta, etc. She also held a vast knowledge of culinary creations, gardening and was always willing to share!

Caramelised (Becky's spelling) Onions

1 stick butter
3 lbs. sweet onions such as Vidalias

Place stick of butter in Crock Pot or Slow Cooker. Peel and slice onions in 1/4" strips. Cover & cook on low until a dark mahogany color. Normally 12-14 hours.

Optional:
I also added 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper and 3 sprigs of thyme to my onions while cooking. Removed stems prior to finishing for French Onion Soup.



The next morning...I added 2 bay leaves, 1/2 cup Red Moscato wine, 3 cups beef broth and simmered on low for 6 hours. Remove bay leaves.

Finishing touches...made 1" thick pieces of garlic toast from French bread to top the bowl of soup. Top with  2 slices of  Swiss cheese and place under broiler until melted and bubbly.



Just waiting for the garlic toast & cheese before going under the broiler!

Enjoy!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

OCTOBER 2014 NEWSLETTER




FOOD FOR THOUGHT:Your Mother's Love...

From the moment I learned of the life I carried within me...
I already knew I'd love you,
Even before I knew if a little boy or little girl is coming into my life.
Before I even met you, my heart was stirred; you had your Mother's love...
Knowing I had been blessed to carry and give birth to a little one.
From the moment you were born, you stole my heart,
you'd always know your Mother's love.
There may have been some long nights, as you were unsure about this place!
Yet, there were many moments...a smile, a coo...even that sparkle in your eyes...
And I knew, even in those earlier days, you'd always know your Mother's love.
Childhood, adolescence, young adult, even becoming a wife...I knew there would be
Trying times, times of training and discipline;
yet all were given with your Mother's love.
I'm sure as the years have passed, and, now that
you're a young adult, these things are seen more clearly.
Wherever life made lead you...although sometimes, not easy, nothing will change!
And should the path we're given take one of us from this earthly walk...
You'll Always Have My Love, from the moment you were conceived,
You've had Your Mother's Love!

Paula
August 2011



SOUP'S ON...

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Croutons
from Splendid Soups and Spectacular Sides

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup quartered button mushrooms ( I used Baby Bellas)
1/2 cup diced carrot
2 tsp minced garlic (I used 4 large cloves, minced)
1 1/2 cups diced red potatoes (I used, unpeeled red potatoes)
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp dry sherry (I used 1/2 cup Dry Vermouth)
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
( I cut and sautéed 3 chicken breasts in 2 Tbsp. Olive oil,
seasoned with salt and pepper)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dry)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp. dry)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt & pepper, to taste (I didn't find it necessary to add any more salt or pepper)
Puff Pastry Croutons

Melt butter over medium high heat in the pot you will use to make the soup.
Sauté onion, celery, mushrooms, carrot and garlic for about 4 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook about 3 minutes more. Whisk in the flour and
cook a couple of minutes to
get rid of the raw taste. Deglaze pan with sherry. Stir in broth, chicken,
thyme, bay leaf, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil,
then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through
and the mixture has slightly thickened. Stir in the corn, peas, parsley
and lemon juice.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons.

*********************************************************************************************************

Grandma's Lab-Tested Chicken Soup
Allergies, sinus infections galore! Pulmonary infections!
This really does help! Not only does it help, it is delicious!

Found this recipe several years ago in Reader's Digest.
It had been lab tested by pulmonoligists and said to be effective in
pulmonary infections. I have made it several times and it honestly does help!
Not sure of the combo of nutritional values but it does work!

Grandma's Lab-Tested Chicken Soup
1 2-1/2-3 lb. chicken
2 lbs.chicken wings, extra
3 large onions, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
2 turnips, peeled and diced
11 to 12 carrots, peeled and diced
5 to 6 sticks celery, sliced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1.Put cleaned chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to boil.
2.Add chicken wings, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips and carrots.
3.Boil for 1 1/2 hours, removing fat from surface as it accumulates.
4.Add celery, parsley, salt and pepper, cook for 45 minutes,
then remove chicken and skin, bone and dice.
5.Remove vegetables, process 1/2 of veggies in food processor until smooth.
Return with chicken.

********************************************************************************************************

White Chicken Chili
Makes 12 servings


4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped poblano pepper
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 bay leaves
1 quart chicken broth
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
2 (16-ounce) cans navy beans, drained
4 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream


In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. A
dd chicken, ground chipotle chile pepper, cumin, salt, coriander, and red pepper.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is browned.
Remove chicken to a bowl. In same Dutch oven, heat remaining 2 tablespoons
olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, poblano pepper, jalapeño peppers,
garlic, and bay leaves. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until tender.
Add chicken, chicken broth, and green chiles. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer,
and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans;
cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves.
Add cheese and sour cream, stirring just until cheese is melted.

**********************************************************************************************************

Saw a version of this recipe in Sunday's paper...so, naturally,
I had to try it (change it up, as usual)...rolls eyes! haha

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 b/s chicken breasts, cut in bite size strips
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes in juice
2 cans seasoned black beans, undrained
2 cans Chipotle corn, drained
2 qts chicken broth (or 3Tbsp. chicken base & 2 qts. water)

For serving:
Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar
Avocado
Chopped Green Onions
Lime Wedges

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven. Toss chicken strips with chili powder and salt.
Add to hot oil and cook until chicken is cooked through.
Add onions and cook 5 minutes longer, add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Place tortilla chips in bowl and ladle soup over.
Can add additional toppings of sour cream, shredded cheddar,
diced avocado, chopped green onions; if desired.
Add a lime wedge to be squeezed over individual servings.


CHOCOLATE MOCHA CAKE
INA GARTEN

Ingredients

2 cups cold heavy cream
12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 (8-ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies
Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish

Directions

n the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment,
combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur,
cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla.
Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed,
until it forms firm peaks.

To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies
flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible.
(I break some cookies to fill in the spaces.)
Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies.
Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching,
followed by another fifth of the cream.
Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each,
ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap,
and refrigerate overnight.

Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake
and remove the sides of the pan.
Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.