A New Year’s Gift for you: Last Year’s Recipes

I thought you all might enjoy a compilation of some of the recipes I’ve made this last year. Enjoy! And feel free to share these with your friends and family.

With joy,
Chef Mary

Spaghetti a la Homer

3/4 stick butter
2 garlic cloves smashed
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated myzithra cheese (found in the specialty cheese case; it’s Greek)

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and place on four plates. Melt butter in saucepan. Add pressed garlic and salt and pepper. Stir butter constantly until brown. (It can burn, so make sure it only browns). Sprinkle cheese and parsley over noodles. Drizzle browned butter over the top. Makes four servings.

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

In bottom of crockpot, add:
1/2 chopped onion
4 stalks celery, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 Tbs. ketchup
1/4 4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. sesame oil
Stir together
Add 4-8 pork chops and toss to coat. Cook all day. Serve with stir fried veggies and rice.

Crockpot Moroccan Chicken

2 Tbs olive oil
1 whole chicken, cut up (or more if you have a bigger family), skin off
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbs. ras el hanout spice mix (or you can use really good curry powder)
a few saffron threads
1 cup chicken stock
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 cups dried halved apricots
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup orange juice
salt and pepper
Saute onions and chicken in skillet in olive oil until browned. Add to crockpot. Add everything else, stir and cook on low for the day. Serve with rice or cous cous.

Chicken Artichoke Heart Casserole

4 whole chicken breasts
1 ten-ounce frozen package of artichoke hearts
1/3 cup butter (I will use less)
1/3 cup flour (I will use less, more like 1/4 cup)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbs green onions
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs

Saute chicken breasts in a little olive oil until done. Cut into large chunks. Cook artichoke hearts according to package directions then drain and pat dry. Layer chicken and artichoke in a 9×13 pan. Melt butter in medium sauce pan, add flour to create a roux. Add chicken broth and stir until thickened and combined. Add wine and cheddar and onions over low heat. Stir until melted. Pour sauce over casserole. Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve with rice or pasta.

Yogurt Smoothie:

1 1/2 cups nonfat plain yogurt (buy the big tubs of this for cheaper)
1 Tbs. or less, honey
1 handfull of frozen mixed berries (I buy mine at Costco to save $)
1/2 banana

Throw in a blender and blend. It’s filling and yummy!

Ten Grain Hot Cereal

(You can find this in the hot cereal section or the organic sectionof your local grocery store. It looks like ground up grains andoffers ten different grains)

1 1/2 cups boiling water
pinch salt
1/2 cup 10 grain cereal
handful of craisins (I buy mine at Costco)
1-2 tsp. brown sugar
handful of chopped almonds

Boil water in lidded saucepan. Add cereal and stir. Turn to low,cover, and simmer for ten minutes. Once done, add craisins, sugar and almonds.

Mary’s Orange-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

1 1/4 cup very warm water
1 packet yeast
1 Tbs. sugar

3 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup powdered milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg

In clear container, combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir. Let sit five minutes until the top foams and is bubbly.

In large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add yeast mixture. If you don’t have a Kitchenaide, combine with a spoon and then knead five minutes. If you do, hooray!, just attach the dough hook and let it combine and knead the dough for five minutes. Spray bowl with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand one hour until double. Roll out dough into a long rectangle (probably 12 inches by 20 inches).

Pour 1/4 cup melted butter over the surface and spread evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar (you determine the amount) over that. Beginning from the long end, roll up the dough. To cut, use sewing thread. Move the thread under the dough, about an inch in, and then pull each end of the thread together. Place on greased cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and keep cool (in the fridge) over night.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Glaze:

1 package cream cheese
1/4 cup orange juice
zest from one orange
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Combine ingredients until smooth. Pour glaze over cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!

Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

This soup is especially lovely with homemade garlic-olive oil croutons (See page . . .) and a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream.

½ red onion, chopped finely
6 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbs. Olive oil
4 cups fresh Roma tomatoes, chopped (Or you can use two cans of canned, chopped plum
tomatoes . . . just be sure they are uncooked, not stewed.)
1 ½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion and garlic over medium heat in soup pot until onions are starting to brown, about five minutes. Add tomatoes, broth and basil. Cook over medium heat until tomatoes are cooked through, fifteen minutes. Add cream. Cool soup to room temperature. In batches, puree soup in blender. (To eliminate the cooling step, puree the hot soup with a hand held blender.) Return soup to pan and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low until ready to serve. Serves four.

Chicken Corn Chowder

This is one of those cold-weather soups that children love as well as adults. Serve with cornbread sticks and a three-bean salad.

1 cup diced ham
2 Tbs. Butter
1 red onion, chopped finely
2 Tbs. All-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into one-inch dice
1 medium tomato, chopped finely
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups frozen corn kernels (Or cut kernels off three fresh cobs)
1 cup cooked chicken breast, torn
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

Place ham and butter in large soup pot and lightly sauté over medium heat, three minutes. Add onion and cook until onions are just starting to brown. Add flour and stir one minute over low heat, being careful not to burn the mixture. Pour in the stock and potatoes. Cook over medium heat for fifteen minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in tomato, cream, corn and chicken breast. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium low heat for fifteen minutes. Add parsley, stir through, and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Tortilla Soup

My daughter Julia asks for this soup nearly every day. Patrick and I first tasted tortilla soup in Puerto Vallarta on our honeymoon. For several years, I looked for a recipe, gave up, and finally developed one of my own. If you don’t have time to make the tortilla strips, you can substitute store-bought chips.

1 Tbs. Butter
1 yellow onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 small can green chilies
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained (You may also use red kidney beans)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup shredded chicken
1 Tbs. Taco seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
12 yellow corn tortillas
¼ cup peanut oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups shredded jack cheese
Sour cream, for serving

Sauté onions and garlic in butter in a large soup pot over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add chilies, tomatoes, beans, corn, chicken stock, chicken and taco seasoning. Stir through on high heat until soup boils. Reduce to low. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer one hour.

With a sharp knife, cut tortillas into ¼ inch strips, stacking them four at a time to save time. Place all tortilla strips on a cookie sheet. Top with oil and salt. Toss the tortillas gently with your hands until they are all coated and the salt is evenly distributed. Spread in an even layer. Place in a 350 degree oven for thirty minutes until slightly brown and crisped. Remove and let cool.

To serve: Ladle soup into bowls. Top with a dollop of sour cream, a handful of jack cheese. Place a haystack of tortillas on top. Makes eight servings.

Apple Pumpkin Soup

1 medium-sized pumpkin, seeds removed and cut into 8ths
2 apples, cored and peeled and sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream

Cook pumpkin in 400 degree oven one hour until tender. Saute apples, shallots and garlic in olive oil until shallots and apples begin to brown. Add baked pumpkin (scrape into soup, careful to not let any skin in), chicken stock and wine. Add salt and pepper. Cook 1 hour. Let cool. In batches, puree soup in blender. Return to pan. Add cream and stir until smooth. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche, caramelized onions and roasted hazelnuts on top.

Pears a la Mary

5 pears, halved, cored and peeled
3 Tbs. butter
5 Tbs. raspberry jam
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3 Tbs. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

slivered almonds for garnish

Saute pears in butter in non-stick pan until they are browned. In the meantime, spread a dollop of raspberry jam in a 5 inch circle on a dessert plate. Place chocolate, powdered sugar, vanilla, butter and cream in microwavable container. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave 30 more seconds. Stir. Repeat until melted through. Place two pear halves on top of jammed plates. Drizzle chocolate over. Top with nuts.

Whole wheat corn bread

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup corn meal
3/4 cup wheat flour
1 Tbs. baking powder

Mix eggs, milk, sugar, oil, and salt in medium bowl. Combine flour, corn meal and baking powder in large mixing cup. Pour into wet mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour in 9×11 greased pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean.

Serve with honey butter:

1/4 cup butter, softened
7 Tbs. honey

Whisk together.

Java Mint Brownies

¾ cup cocoa powder
½ cup espresso in liquid form (or use strong coffee from the morning’s brew)
¾ cup butter

2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

3 extra large packages Junior Mints

Preheat oven to 350. Microwave the first three ingredients in a large microwave safe bowl for thirty seconds, or until butter is melted. Stir until combined. Add next five ingredients, and stir with wooden spoon until just combined. Spread into a greased 9×13 glass pan and bake for 35 minutes.

Let cool.

Microwave Junior Mints in glass bowl for thirty seconds. Stir. Microwave again for thirty seconds. Stir. Repeat until mint mixture is fully melted and is easily pourable. Pour onto cooled brownies. Spread evenly. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream. Makes 12.

SIDE NOTE: I “discovered” this icing by accident. My friends John and Donna brought us several boxes of Junior mints, but they melted in the car into a Junior Mint blob. So, I thought I’d see what kind of icing they would make melted. The result? AMAZING!!! It just goes to show you can take something ruined and make it remarkable with a little creativity!

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