Monthly Archives: December 2012

Roasted Squash Soup with Apple and Brie

This is one of my favorite soups.  Make sure you give yourself enough time to make this as you have to roast the butternut squash for 45 minutes and the soup needs to simmer for 40 minutes. (Obviously making this a great make-ahead soup for guests). I took this recipe from “The Best of Bridge Presents – A Year of the Best”.  The added brie in this soup is wonderful!  Enjoy on a cold night.

1 large butternut squash
1 carrot
1 medium onion
1 leek, white portion only
2 Tbsp butter
8 cups (2 L) chicken stock
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ox. (250 g) Brie cheese
snipped chives

1.  Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds.  Place cut-side down on pan and bake at 350F (180C) until tender, about 45 minutes (or microwave cut-side down in a small amount of water, covered, about 10 minutes). 
2.  Chop carrot, onion and leek into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces and place in large pot.  Gently saute in butter.  Do not brown.  Scrape flesh from cooked squash and add to vegetables.  Add stock and bring to boil.
3.  Add apple, bay leaf and sugar to stock mixture.  Simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and puree soup in batches.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4.  Slice off outer skin of Brie and cut into 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) pieces.  Place cheese in bottom of soup bowls and fill with hot soup.  Garnish with chives.
Serves 6-8

Chicken Tortilla Pie

This recipe is basically a chicken enchilada made easy, but it does take some time, especially to cook and rest. This amazing recipe was taken from “Whitewater Cooks at Home” by Shelley Adams.  A spring form pan is a must in this recipe.  I made this with the salsa found in the “Lime-grilled Chicken Breasts with Avocado Salsa” recipe found on this blog.  I found the La Victoria enchilada sauce at Sobeys.

1 10-inch spring form pan
6 10-inch flour tortillas
2 tbsp canola oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 red peppers, thinly sliced
6 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless and thinly sliced or 2 lbs ground chicken meat
1 tbsp seasoning salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups monterey jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped canned jalapeno peppers
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 (398 ml) cans refried beans
1 can (283 g) enchilada sauce (La Victoria is best)

1.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat
2. Saute the onions and peppers for about 10 minutes until softened.
3. Add the sliced chicken and cook until chicken is just cooked, about 15 minutes.
4. Add seasoning salt, cumin, oregano, chili powder and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the cream cheese, sour cream and 1 cup monterey jack cheese.
5. Stir until combined
6. Mix in the cilantro and jalapeno peppers.
7. Brush a flour tortilla on both sides with some of the enchilada sauce.  Lay tortilla in the bottom of an oiled spring form pan.
8. Spread a layer of chicken mixture on top.  You will need to make 3 layers so only use 1/3 of the mix.  Brush another tortilla with enchilada sauce and place on top.  Press down with your fingers to glue the layers together a bit.
9. Spread this layer with one can of the refried beans, the other can is for another layer.  Sprinkle with a 1/3 cup of the remaining cheese and top with another tortilla that has been brushed with enchilada sauce.
10. Continue to alternate layers of the chicken mixture with beans and cheese using the remaining 3 tortillas and enchilada sauce.  Top the pie with remaining monterey jack and cheddar and cover with tin foil.
11. Bake in 350F oven for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.  Take the pie out of the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes.
12. Slice the pie into wedges and serve on top of a bed of shredded lettuce.  Top with sour cream, fresh cilantro, diced avocado and salsa.  

Yorkshire Pudding

I LOVE Yorkshire pudding and I have tried lots of recipes but this one seems to work the best for me.  This recipe is taken from The Best of Bridge series, The Best of the Best.  I am not a red meat eater, so I of course tried making this recipe with butter and I tried with oil, neither worked as good as the beef drippings.  So, I make an exception in this case.  I also use 2% milk and never skim. My husband made a roast, so in my picture below is my dinner of salmon, yams, and a popover. 

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup water
Melted butter or oil

1.  In a blender mix flour, salt, milk, eggs and water.  Blend well and leave at room temperature for 1 hour.  Every time you walk by – Give it a whirl! 
2.  When roast is done, remove from oven and cover with foil to keep warm.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Pour 1 Tbsp (15 ml) beef drippings, melted butter or oil into 8 medium muffin tins.  Place in oven until bubbling hot. (Watch closely because you don’t want the butter to burn.)
3.  Remove from oven and pour batter into hot butter.  Bake at 400F for 20 minutes and then at 350F for 10 minutes longer.  Yorkshire will puff up and be hollow inside.  Serve immediately with gravy. 

Rudolph’s Christmas Sugar Cookies

This cute cookie recipe was taken from  I used this recipe as a guideline, since I changed it up a bit.  I would never buy pre-packaged cookie dough, since I find it super salty, so I used one of my own cookie batters for this recipe.  I choose a peanut butter cookie since I love pretzels, chocolate and peanut butter together.  I used the Peanut Butter Capers recipe found on this blog.  I did use a 3-inch round cutter but I flattened my dough to less than 1/4-inch thickness, since the dough would spread.  I just used random pretzel pieces that I cut with a knife for the antlers.  I also used regular sized chocolate chips for the eyes and red and brown M&M’s for the nose.  

1 (16.5-oz.) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
36 pretzel twists
36 semisweet chocolate mini morsels
18 red cinnamon candies
1. Freeze dough 15 minutes.

2. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut dough with a 3-inch round cutter, and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Using thumb and forefinger, pinch opposite sides of each slice about two-thirds of the way down to shape face.

3. Break curved sides away from center of each pretzel twist to form antlers. Press bottom of 1 set of antlers on each side at top of each reindeer face.

4. Bake at 350° according to package directions or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; press in 2 chocolate mini morsels for eyes and 1 red cinnamon candy for nose. Let cool 1 minute on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool 20 minutes or until completely cool.
Makes 1 1/2 dozen

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    Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Rounds

    This recipe is taken from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.  I used 1 cup chocolate chips instead of the peanuts. Super yummy!  

    3/4 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups rolled oats
    1 cup chopped cocktail peanuts or semisweet chocolate pieces

    1.  In a large mixing bowl beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or until combined.  Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.  Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.  Stir in any remaining flour.  Stir in rolled oats and peanuts.

    2.  Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake in a 375F oven about 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool.  
    Makes about 48 cookies