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January 1, 2002

That's My Home Newsletter
Edition 4, Jan. 1, 2002

**Overview of this Issue**

From the Editor
Cooking Tip
Newsletter Theme....Soups
Shared Recipes from Home Cooking
Actual Restaurant Recipes
Quick and Easy Recipe
Recipe Request
Cook's Corner
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FROM THE EDITOR.......

Happy New Year!

The seasons first snow flurries might be flying and pretty outside, makes it time to snuggle up to your stove. So if your thermometer is dipping, it's time to get out your favorite soup pot and make a pot of homemade soup.
I ran across this poem a while back and I'd like to share it with you.

I ran across a book one day
At a flea market seller's stall
I said, "What do you want for this?"
He sighed, "Fifty cents is all."

It looked quite old and dirty
But some recipes looked good
I put it on my nightstand
I would read it when I could.
 
That night I wiped the cover
And took a peek inside
I found more than some recipes
This was a sweet surprise

The well-worn pages told me
About this woman's life
Each family member's favorites
Were marked and noted twice
 
Her first pot roast was stringy
She noted with shaky hand
Her new husband had eaten it
But said it was so bland!

Favorite cakes were circled there,
Sometimes there was a smudge
"This is Jimmy's favorite"
Had a trace of chocolate fudge!

Through the angel cakes and fritters
I saw a pattern form
Notes were made throughout this book
So tattered, and so worn

Old coupons were still in the back
I found a pocket there
And in the very bottom
A dry rose, a lock of hair

Bits of poems and sage advice
Were scribbled through the book
She took me through her life and past
I learned more than what to cook

I think what bothered me the most
Was the inscription in the front
"I give this book to my daughter Jen,
I hope it helps you some."

I wonder why the book was there
Obviously cast aside
It represented a mother's heart
All the love she held inside

From baby food and funeral pie
My eyes were close to sleep
I smiled and thought, "Don't worry Mom"
Your treasure I will keep

Next morning I wrapped the book
In tissue, clean and white
I look forward to my visits there
Each and every night

I knew I'd found some memories
Worth more than purest gold
I think I'll try the chicken soup
That cured Aunt Mabel's cold
.......Author Unknown

For those of us who love to cook, I think it says everything. I love rummaging thru old bookstores for cookbooks. Every once in awhile I run across one of these books with exactly these kinds of notes written on pages or tucked between the pages. I have to admit it always amazes me that anyone could get rid of that bit of family history. My goal for this year is finish a family cookbook I started writing this past summer. I'm asking all my of my family to write out their favorite recipes for me that we have always had at holiday times or parties. All of the recipes will then be added to a book and given to each family so that all will have copies of those recipes. If any of you have done a family cookbook, I'd love to hear from you.

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COOKING TIP.........
TEMPERING ... Mixing cool or room-temperature eggs into a hot cream base is a recipe for curdled eggs. Instead, whisk a small amount ..... from a tablespoon to a quarter cup ..... of the hot liquid to the egg yolks first. This "tempering" will raise the temperature of the eggs so that they don't have such a shock when you whisk them into the rest of the hot liquid. Passing the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer before adding it to molds or serving dishes will ensure the smoothest mixture by catching any bits of curdled egg, but if you are not averse to a few lumps, that step can be skipped.

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SOUPS..............
If you are looking for a specific soup recipe. Please check in the Soup Kitchen at:  http://www.thatsmyhome.com/soupkitchen.htm  or in Ethel's Kitchen at:   http://www.thatsmyhome.com/ethsou.htm

QUICK AND HEARTY WHITE BEAN SOUP
Makes about 10 servings
3 t. vegetable oil
1 C. chopped yellow onions
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/2 lb. salt meat or ham pieces, chopped
1/2 lb. smoked sausage, cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
4 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
3 (15.5-ounce) cans white beans
3 1/2 C. water or chicken broth
1 (1-pound) can whole tomatoes, crushed with their can liquid
Salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, salt meat or ham, sausage and bacon, if using, and cook, stirring, for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft and golden. Add the beans, water or chicken broth, and the tomatoes. Stir to blend. Bring to a boil; then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Skim off any oil that has risen to the surface and serve hot.

BARLEY, CELERY AND MUSHROOM SOUP

2 or 3 ribs celery, sliced
1/4 C. onion, chopped
1 T.  butter
12 oz. white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 (48-ounce) can beef broth
1 C. quick-cooking barley
1 t. dried thyme leaves, crushed
2 T. dry sherry
1/4 t. pepper

Saute the celery and onion in the butter for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until the onion is tender and the mushrooms give up their juices.

Add the beef broth, barley and thyme. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the barley is tender. Flavor with sherry and pepper.

Makes 8 servings (1 cup each).
 
SANDY'S CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

Ingredients
3 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped (stems and buttons), divided
1 stick butter or margarine
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1 tablespoon minced bottled garlic
2 (14-1/2 ounce) cans chicken broth
2-1/4 cups half and half cream
1 tablespoon sherry or cooking wine
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
Pepper to taste
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour

Directions
Clean mushrooms and chop both buttons and stems.

In a large sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and saute until soft. Add 1/2 the mushrooms and sauté until soft.

Add the chicken broth, half-and-half, sherry, bouillon cube, seasoned salt, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Cool to lukewarm. Pour half the soup into a blender, add the flour, and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the sauce pan and add the remaining mushrooms, Bring to a slow boil and simmer uncovered on low heat until mushrooms are soft (about 15 minutes). Soup consistency should be slightly thick and creamy.

Sandy's Note: My hubby thinks this is the best mushroom soup he's ever tasted! But, then all hubbys say that, don't they?

This recipe came from my friend Sandy. She has a wonderful cooking site, Sandy's Recipe Room and The Pickle Creek Bridge Newsletter.

GERMAN TOMATO SOUP

1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
1 49 oz can tomato soup
3/4 head cabbage shredded
4 T. A1 Steak Sauce
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. water

Brown ground chuck and onion, add cabbage and water. Cook until cabbage is tender. Add A1, tomato soup and Worcestershire sauce. Heat through and then add 2. C. milk. Bring to just before a boil and serve.

Note: This is a great soup. I got it from my friend Debbie who is the cook at the Village Restaurant in Holly, MI.  It is on their menu almost daily.

CHEDDAR SOUP

1/4 C. butter
6 scallions, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots diced
1/4 C. flour
5 C. chicken stock
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 C. milk or half-and-half
1/2 pound Cheddar cheese, preferably white, coarsely grated
1 t. Tabasco sauce
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the scallions, celery, and carrots and cook until limp, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, stir, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock, slowly, stirring constantly. Add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft, 20 to 30 minutes.

At this point, you can puree the soup in a blender or you can leave it chunky. A puree will result in a thicker soup, while the non-pureed version provides a variety of textures. Both taste good. Whisk in the milk, cheese, Tabasco and Worcestershire. Taste, and add salt if needed. Do not let come to a boil after adding cheese or it could curdle the soup. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

AND TO GO WITH YOUR SOUP

CORN STICKS

1 C. flour
1 C. yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
2 t. sugar
1 large egg
1 C. milk
2 T. bacon drippings or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425°F. Generously coat 2 cast-iron corn stick pans (6 to 7 wells each pan) with vegetable oil spray. Set on baking sheet, and place in oven to heat while preparing batter.
In medium bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar until well blended. In small bowl, whisk together egg, milk, and bacon drippings until well blended. Make well in center of dry ingredients. Pour in egg mixture and stir just until well blended, but do not overmix. Mixture will be slightly lumpy.
Remove hot corn stick pans from oven, and spoon some batter into each corn stick well, filling each until level with the rim.
Bake in center of preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes or until corn sticks spring back when pressed light in centers. Let cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes, then remove by prying loose with fork and inverting pans. Serve immediately.
Makes 12 corn sticks.


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SHARED RECIPES FROM HOME COOKING

for That's My Home.... Stop in with a recipe, ask a question or just Chit-Chat.


CRUSTY HARD ROLLS
Starter:
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon yeast

Mix together, cover, let rise over night.

Dough:
All of starter
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon yeast

Combine all ingredients. Let rise for 3 hours, punching down and turning over after one hour and again after 2 hours. Divide into 12 pieces, shape into balls and firm them up by rolling them on an unfloured surface. Place the rolls on parchment lined baking sheet, cover, let rise 1 1/2 hours. Refrigerate several hours or over night.
Remove from refrigerator, brush with 1/2 cup water mixed with egg white. Slash a 1/4 inch cut across each top and bake in 425°F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

MISSISSIPPI MUD RESTAURANT MOLTEN MUD PUDDLE
Source: Mississippi Mud Restaurant, St. Paul, Minnesota
1 lb. unsalted butter
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate
8 eggs (whole)
8 egg whites
3 C. powdered sugar
1 C. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Cocoa powder, as needed
Unsalted, softened butter, as needed
Melt chocolate and butter into a double boiler. Set aside and keep warm.
Using a table top mixer, mix eggs, sugar and salt on medium speed until light in color and very thick (soft peaks).
Slowly mix in chocolate and butter mixture into egg mixture and blend. Sprinkle flour evenly over batter and fold in.
Before pouring into baking cups or muffin tins, rub inside with softened butter and sprinkle cocoa powder inside.
Place approximately 5 ounces of batter into baking cups or muffin tins. Bake for 10 minutes at 425ºF. Cakes should have a soft and liquid center. Makes 13 cakes

WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE
This is a great variation of hot chocolate... one taste and you'll be hooked!
3 cups half-and-half, divided
2/3 cup vanilla baking chips
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1. In a saucepan, combine 1/4 cup half-and-half, vanilla chips, cinnamon
stick and nutmeg. Stir over low heat until chips are melted; discard
cinnamon stick. Add remaining half-and-half; stir until heated through.
2. Remove from heat; add extracts. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings.

CAFE TERRA COTTA POTATO AND POBLANO SOUP
Source: Cafe Terra Cotta, Tucson, Arizona

1 1/2 qt. chicken stock
2 Anaheim chiles
4 Poblano chiles
1 red bell pepper
4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs
1/2 large carrot
1/2 yellow onion
1 1/2 T. salt
1/4 T. ground oregano
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1 T. corn oil

Roast, peel, seed and dice Anaheim and Poblano peppers and the red bell peppers; set aside.

In a medium stockpot, heat the corn oil and sweat the onions, celery and carrots for three minutes. Add the chicken stock and the remaining ingredients, except cream. Simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are soft. Add cream and blend.

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ACTUAL RESTAURANT RECIPES......... I've decided to add this to our newsletter. The recipes here will not be clones, they are the actual recipes from the restaurants.

THE BLACKBERRY BAKERY'S LEMON CRUMB MUFFINS
Danvers, Mass.

For the muffins:
2 1/2 C. pastry flour
3/4 C. sugar
2 T. plus 1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 T. lemon zest
1 t. lemon oil
2 eggs
3/4 C. melted butter
2 C. milk

For the crumb mix:
1 C. butter, cut into small pieces
1 C. sugar
2 C. all-purpose flour

To make the muffins: Grease or line 24 cups in a muffin tin with paper wrappers.

Place the pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and lemon oil in a large bowl. Stir together. Add the eggs and melted butter. Blend; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using an electric mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the milk. Mix for about 5 minutes. Use a large scoop to measure out the batter into the muffin cups.

To make the crumb mix: Using your hands, blend together the ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle some of this mixture on top of each muffin.
 
Bake at 400°F. for about 20 minutes, until the top springs back and a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Makes 2 dozen large muffins.

THE ELLIS RIVER HOUSE'S OATMEAL, CHOCOLATE, DRIED CRANBERRIES AND TOFFEE COOKIES
From the Ellis River House Inn in Jackson, N.H.

1 1/2 C. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 C. butter (at room temperature)
3/4 C. white sugar
3/4 C. light brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla extract
1 C. dried cranberries
1 C. chocolate chips
1 C. toffee bits (Skorr brand preferred)
1 1/2 C. oatmeal

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sift flour and baking soda. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Combine with flour mixture. Stir in cranberries, chocolate chips, toffee and oatmeal.

Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place rounded teaspoonfuls of batter about 2 inches apart on sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove and cool. Makes about 2 dozen.

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QUICK AND EASY RECIPES......

VEAL SCALOPPINI WITH MUSHROOMS

3 T. olive oil (divided use)
5 T. butter (divided use)
12 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 lb. thin-sliced veal
1/2 C. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 C. dry white wine
2 T. chopped parsley
1 T. lemon juice

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms until limp and cooked through. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Using a dull, flat object, pound the veal until it is uniformly 1/4-inch thick. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Dust meat with flour mixture.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter in the same skillet. Sauté veal on both sides over medium-high heat until barely cooked through, about 3 minutes total. Remove from pan.

Add wine to pan and stir, scraping up browned bits from bottom. Simmer for 1 minute. Cut remaining 2 tablespoons butter into small pieces and add bit by bit to sauce, stirring until glossy.

Stir in parsley, lemon juice and reserved mushrooms. Return veal to pan, turning to bathe in sauce. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
 
Note: You can also use chicken breasts for this recipe. If you buy the Thin and Fancy cut it will be ready to use.

CINNA-TWISTS

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
4 T. melted butter (divided use)
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional)

Lightly grease baking sheet and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to an 8x12-inch rectangle. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, sugar and nuts. Evenly sprinkle mixture over dough. Fold dough in half, so that it measures 4 x 12 inches. Pinch to seal edges and pat down dough.

From 12-inch side, take a knife and divide dough into 12 equal slices. Gently pull and twist each piece. Place twists 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush dough with remaining butter. Let twists rise in warm area until puffy, 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake twists 12 to 15 minutes, remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Makes 12 twists.

APPLE ENCHILADAS

1 (21 oz.) can apple pie filling
6 (8 in.) flour tortillas
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/3 c. butter or margarine
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. water

Spoon fruit filling evenly down center of each tortilla, sprinkling evenly with cinnamon. Roll up and place, seam side down, in a lightly greased 2 qt. Baking dish. Bring butter and next 3 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 min. Pour over enchiladas. Let stand 30 minutes. Bake at 350 deg. for 20 min. Yield 4-6 servings.
Recipe submitted by Mary Ellen C. (not me.... this one is from my e-mail)

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RECIPE REQUEST..........

POTATO CANDY

1 C. leftover mashed potatoes that had butter and cream added
3 C. powdered sugar (at least)
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
Peanut butter

Mix the potatoes, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla and knead. If mixture is too thin, add more powdered sugar.

Roll mixture to 1/4 -inch thickness (see note) Spread a layer of peanut butter, about 1/8 -inch thick over the potato. Roll into a loaf and cover with wax paper or plastic wrap.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour before cutting. Slice into 1/4 -inch slices.
Note: Best when rolled out onto a pastry cloth with a covered rolling pin covered in powdered sugar.

Note: the amount of powdered sugar will depend on how the mashed potatoes were made.

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COOK'S CORNER...................

My favorite new toy in the kitchen is a Pizza Stone. I don't know why I waited so long to buy one. The stone, made of porous clay enables the dough to warm up quickly and it absorbs the moisture from the dough. The crust turns out crispy and crunchy...just like the pizzeria. You can also use unglazed quarry tiles as an alternative.

Follow the manufacturers directions for seasoning and prepare the stone or tile for baking.  Quarry tiles should be heated twice in a 350°F. oven for 30 minutes before using the first time. When cleaning, do not use soap, it will be absorbed by the tile and then in turn by the pizza.

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Any questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you. E-mail me at:
http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/email.htm

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