Homemade Tomato Soup (with Grilled Cheese, of Course!)

11 Feb
Homemade Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Homemade Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

I have been wanting to try my hand at homemade tomato soup for years, especially since we grow and can our own tomatoes. When my friend Suzanne over at Pug in the Kitchen posted this recipe, I knew it was time. Besides, I had a can of San Marzano tomatoes that had been in my pantry over a year, and what about those 20 pints of canned jars of tomatoes I forgot about in the garage? How did I forget about canning those from the fall? I grabbed a few for my pantry lest I forget again.

This soup comes together quite easily after some initial prep. And if you are wondering how long it takes for tomatoes to caramelize in a hot oven, it takes 18 minutes according to the smoke alarm that went off during my 20-minute timer. I suggest using a vent fan during this process. 😉

My husband was amazed at the taste of this soup. According to him, it did not taste like tomato soup from a can. Errrmmm… We’ll leave it at that. Oh, and don’t forget to cook up some ooey-gooey grilled cheese sammies for dunking! We used sourdough bread and a combination of Monterrey jack, sharp yellow cheddar, and pepper jack that was leftover from Super Bowl. This makes about 3 to 4 dinner-size servings.

Homemade Tomato Soup
Adapted from Tomato Soup at A Pug in the Kitchen

1 28-ounce can San Marzano or good quality tomatoes, liquid reserved
1 pint homemade canned tomatoes (about 1 large cup fresh), liquid reserved
Ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
Olive oil, for tomatoes and vegetables
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 bay leaf
Small piece of Parmesan rind
3 large leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
Additional basil, chiffoned for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place all the drained tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season to taste with ground black pepper and sea salt. Roast until caramelized or until your smoke alarm goes off (18 to 20 minutes).

Roasted and Caramelized Tomatoes

Roasted and Caramelized Tomatoes

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion and cook until they start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook about a minute more until fragrant. Add the roasted tomatoes and the reserved tomato juice (About 2 cups, add water if you don’t have that much. My canned tomatoes had a lot of of liquid.) Also add the bay leaf and cheese rind. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes until vegetables are very tender. Remove the bay leaf, then add the chopped basil. Taste for seasoning.

Simmering Soup

Simmering Soup

Pour into a large blender and puree until smooth (or use an immersion blender if you have one. I need one!) Return soup to the pot, then add the butter and cream and stir until incorporated. Keep warm while you griddle up some grilled cheese. Ladle into bowls, top with additional basil, and serve immediately with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Game Day Recipe ~ Amish Onion Patties

4 Feb
Amish Onion Patties

Amish Onion Patties

Do you need a last-minute game day appetizer but don’t want to run to the store? Here’s a quick and easy recipe that is short on ingredients but HUGE on flavor! You more than likely have everything you need for this in your fridge and pantry. The taste is incredibly hard to describe, but they certainly were not what I expected. Like amped-up onion rings, only better.

I searched high and low on the interwebz for the origin of this recipe, but can only guess it’s from a printed Amish cookbook. I found it initially in my FB feed from a third party advertisement. I followed the recipe except for the amount of salt (I halved the salt, as written below) and the oil called for. When it came to cook the patties, I coated my hot cast iron skillet with a thin layer of oil, then replenished between batches. No need to deep-fry these puppies, they turn out great without all that extra fat!

My husband kept calling them potato patties. No, there are no potatoes in this. Well then they must have eggs in them! No sweetie, no eggs either. Pretty much just flour, milk, and LOTS of sweet onions. Even if you don’t watch the Big Game, you can still enjoy some Amish Onion Patties for any occasion!

Amish Onion Patties
Origins Unknown

3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups chopped sweet onion (I used Walla Walla)
High heat oil, for cooking (I used grapeseed)

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients ~ I give you a boring flour shot just to prove that I DO cook with flour, on occasion.

Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add milk and stir to combine; the batter will be thick. Add the onions and mix thoroughly.

Onion Patty Batter

Onion Patty Batter

Heat a cast iron or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom. Drop spoonfuls of onion batter into the skillet, then flatten with the back of a spatula.

Patties Ready to Flip

Patties Ready to Flip

When the bottom is brown and crispy and releases easily from the skillet, flip over and brown the other side. Remove and drain on paper towels. This will take a few batches. Enjoy with your favorite sauce! I thought they were good enough on their own plain. I served these for dinner with my Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders, which were baked while cooking the patties.

Amish Onion Patties

Amish Onion Patties

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Meals from Raiding the Freezer

28 Jan
"And what meal shall I select from the freezer today?"

“And what meal shall I select from the freezer today?”

I’ve been on a self-imposed cooking haitus this week. I decided to scour the freezer for all the leftovers we had stockpiled in there from our snowbound two months, and discovered I had NO LESS than 8 meals in the freezer I decided we should heat up and eat before they were freezer burnt and long forgotten.

I made a list on our fridge white board we usually use for our shopping list, and have been gradually eating them and wiping them off. I can’t help but make meals for 4 to 6 or 8 people (some kind of hangup from growing up in a family of 8), and with my daughter gone most of the time, we simply can’t eat the same meal more than two nights in a row (or sometimes every other night). Many of these just needed a side salad, bread, or veggies/potatoes.

I have compiled for you my freezer list meals, along with links to the recipes for them. (Or similar recipes or part of one, and some are adaptations of prior recipes I’ve posted.) I’ll get back to more recipes and cooking soon! Enjoy!

Lasagna Soup

This freezes really well! Just as good, if not better later with loads more fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

Beef Stroganoff

A classic with a healthy twist. No canned soups! The version in our freezer was a wonderful meal made with shredded cooked beef that my husband made instead of ground beef, but similar concept.

Homemade Ground Beef Stroganoff

Homemade Ground Beef Stroganoff

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Another Italian-based soup recipe that freezes well and gets the same raves as the day you made it!

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Cabbage and Chicken Soup

I made this same type of soup, but used shredded chicken instead of ground beef. Try it, you’ll like it!

Mexican-Style Beef and Cabbage Soup

Mexican-Style Beef and Cabbage Soup

Turkey and Turkey Gravy

Traditional roasted turkey leftover from New Year’s dinner, with gravy made from the turkey carcass stock. Here I give you the recipe for the stock.

Turkey Carcass Stock

Turkey Carcass Stock

White Chicken Chili

One of our favorite winter comfort foods. I know it’s many of my friend’s favorite too! I used white beans instead of black beans for the leftovers in the freezer but I’ve posted both versions before, but this one has the printable PDF.

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Sous Vide Meatloaf with Bacon

I made this with a several pieces of ground up uncooked bacon in it and cooked via the sous vide method. Wow, talk about a flavor bomb! I am linking up to Conor Bofin’s recipe, as his inspired me to make my mom’s meatloaf with bacon and sous vide method. I did not write my own post about it.

Mom's Meatloaf

Mom’s Meatloaf

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Well I know I just posted this, but it IS in the freezer and we need to finish it. Just two small lunch-sized servings left. 🙂

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Spicy Chicken Florentine

21 Jan
Spicy Chicken Florentine

Spicy Chicken Florentine

We survived the Snowmaggedon/Snowcapolypse where I live, where over 60 inches of snow has dumped on us in the past month and a half, an event that hasn’t happened here since 1901 according to records.

Snowmaggedon

Snowmaggedon ~ A friend joked this looked like a bunch of pregnant woman got snowed on while sitting around our firepit. Those were empty chairs before the snow.

We had a near tragedy, where a school’s gym roof collapsed entirely, but overnight when thank goodness nobody occupied it. In the morning it is usually teeming with kids waiting for the school bell to ring. It wasn’t discovered until all the kids had boarded buses for school, so all parents were notified to pick up their children immediately at all schools in town. Schools were closed for 8 days after that until all snow was removed from 38 school roofs (9 million square feet) and structures inspected and deemed safe. Whew! Dodged the bullet on that one!

Snow or no snow, we certainly had to eat during this event, and here is one of the recipes I came up with during our snowbound days with what I had on hand. This is a thumbs-up recipe from the hubby, yay! My only regret is not making more sauce, so I’ve adjusted the recipe below for that. I served this over cooked rice. Nummy and warming!

Spicy Chicken Florentine

For the casserole:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Ground black pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
16-ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 cup dry good-quality sherry (or chicken broth)
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup grated block cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated block Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the chicken breast thin, and season with the pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash.

Fileted and Seasoned Chicken

Fileted and Seasoned Chicken

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the oil and half the garlic and sear the chicken filets on each side until browned. Remove and set aside.

Browned Chicken

Browned Chicken

Add the drained tomatoes to the skillet along with rest of the garlic and simmer for a few minutes. Pour the tomatoes and garlic in the bottom of an oil-sprayed two-quart casserole.

Tomatoes and Garlic

Tomatoes and Garlic

To the skillet, add the spinach and the rest of the butter plus a large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Stir until butter is melted and spinach is heated through and incorporated. Layer on top of the tomatoes.

Spinach and Tomatoes

Spinach and Tomatoes

Next layer the chicken on top of the spinach.

Chicken Layer

Chicken Layer

For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, mustard powder, and white pepper, whisking until a paste forms. Pour in the milk and sherry or chicken broth, whisking constantly. Simmer over gentle heat while stirring until the sauce is to desired consistency. Pour the sauce evenly over the casserole.

Casserole Ready to Bake

Casserole Ready to Bake

Sprinkle the grated cheeses over the dish, then top with the Panko breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 minutes, until casserole is heated through and top is browned and crispy. Serve over cooked rice or noodles.

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

24 vs. 48 Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

14 Jan
24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

I’ve been slowly learning the best methods and temperatures to cook meat via the sous vide method. For those of you not familiar with this, I’ll give you a cheat link over to Wikipidia: Sous Vide Cooking.

So about three weeks ago I decided to cook a piece of chuck roast for 48 hours at 149 F, but about halfway through the cooking time my foodie friend and sous vide guru Stefan gave me the sage advice that I would achieve the results my hubby desired in said chunk of meat by cooking it only 24 hours at a higher temperature. Horrors, what was I to do? So I threw caution to the wind and bumped it up to 165 F for the last 24 hours. It came out out fall apart tender and my husband said it was the best chuck roast he had ever tasted.

I had only used half of the chuck roast, so two weeks later I decided to try only 24 hours at 165 F for the second half. It was very tender, but both of us thought the first one had the perfect texture. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely delicious, the first one was just amazingly absolutely delicious. Was this a controlled experiment? Heck no. I had too many differences with what I did. Was the first chuck roast the better half of the roast? (It was a 6-pound roast initially.) The first one I only seasoned it then seared in a hot cast iron skillet. For the second one I seasoned it then dusted it heavily with flour before searing, as I wanted a thicker gravy than the first one. Did the flour have anything to do with the texture of the meat? I have no idea. But I did get a thicker gravy!

Anyhoot, since I bothered to take the pictures, I’ll go ahead and step you through the process I did for the second roast. Who knows? Maybe it will prompt you to pick up a sous vide circulator and try it out!

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast with Gravy

1 3-pound chuck roast
Seasoning spice mix of choice
Ground black pepper and salt
Flour
1 tablespoon high heat oil, such as grapeseed oil
1/2 cup homemade beef stock

First, fill a large pot with water, insert the sous vide circulator, and set the heat at 165 degrees F.

Seasoned Beef

Seasoned Beef

Season the beef liberally with a spice seasoning mix of choice. I used Santorini Sunset seasoning (available from Kouzouna’s Kitchen). Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, and lightly salt if your seasoning mix does not contain salt. Pat the roast all around with flour until it is thoroughly coated.

Coated with Flour

Coated with Flour

Heat a cast iron skillet to high heat and add the tablespoon of oil. Sear the roast on all sides until it is browned and crusty.

Seared Chuck Roast

Seared Chuck Roast

Place the roast in a gallon zip-top freezer bag, then remove all the air by zipping it almost shut and slowly immersing it into the pot of water until all the air is sucked out of the bag, then finish sealing the bag.

Ready to Cook for 24 Hours

Ready to Cook for 24 Hours

Cover the pot with cling-wrap to prevent evaporation. Now go find something to do for the next 24 hours, like eat your dinner, watch a movie, sleep, get up and do laundry, or whatever you find yourself doing for the next day.

Cooked Roast and Juices

Cooked Roast and Juices

About 20 minutes before you want to eat the roast, turn off the sous vide, remove the bag from the pot, and remove the roast from the bag, saving the juices in the bag. Set the roast aside on a plate and cover with foil while you make the gravy.

Showing off my Poppa's Hook

Showing off my Poppa’s Hook ~ I love my meat hook!

Pour the juices from the bag into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the 1/2 cup beef stock to it. Bring the sauce up to a simmer, and whisk constantly while keeping a simmer until the gravy has reduced and thickened.

Making the Gravy

Making the Gravy

To finish the gravy, add a half tablespoon of very cold butter and stir it in until just melted. Strain the gravy through a sieve (I also line it with mesh or cheesecloth) into a serving bowl.

Smooth Beef Gravy

Smooth Beef Gravy

Serve the fall-apart tender meat with the gravy and sides of vegetables. We had rosemary buttered baby potatoes with green beans.

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup (Albondigas de Camerones)

8 Jan
Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

The snow will just not stop where I live! We are buried, I tell ya’! So of course I made more soup (spicy too!) to ward off the snow demons and hopefully melt them.

I made this earlier in the year from a recipe at Cooking on the Ranch, but the hubs said there was too much seasoning in the shrimp meatballs and he couldn’t taste the shrimp. So I made a notation on the recipe to make it again but with noted adjustments. I did, and the meatballs came out so much better this time! We really enjoyed it so I hope you do too!

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup
Adapted from Cooking on the Ranch

For the meatballs:

1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeling)
1 thick slice onion, quartered
1 tablespoon tomato paste
A pinch of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1 egg yolk
A pinch of salt

For the soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 roasted Hatch chiles, peeled, seeded and chopped (can sub 1 4-ounce can mild green chopped chiles)
3 to 4 cups shrimp, fish, or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

Shrimp Meatball Mixture

Shrimp Meatball Mixture

Add the shrimp, onion, tomato paste, spices and herbs, flour, egg yolk and salt to a food processor. Pulse until well combined. Cover and chill in refrigerator for a half hour.

Meanwhile, start making the soup. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven and saute the onion until translucent and soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the tomatoes and chiles and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Simmering the Soup Base

Simmering the Soup Base

Add the stock, bay leaves, and pepper and salt, to taste. Bring up to a simmer again, then simmer on low heat while you make the meatballs.

Get a bowl of water ready and add parchment paper to a large cookie sheet. Dip your hands in the bowl of water, and using a spoon, scoop out a large teaspoon of the shrimp mixture, and roll into a ball and place on the cookie sheet.

Shrimp Meatballs

Shrimp Meatballs

Dip hands in water as needed, it prevents the shrimp mixture from sticking to your hands. Repeat until shrimp is gone. Drop the meatballs carefully into the soup, then bring to a simmer again heat the meatballs until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Simmering the Shrimp Meatballs

Simmering the Shrimp Meatballs

Remove bay leaves, and serve soup in bowls garnished with chopped cilantro.

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Quick and Easy Posole

1 Jan
Quick and Easy Posole

Quick and Easy Posole

Happy New Year my friends! I thought about freshening up my good ol’ black-eye pea recipe for today, but instead decided to give you a quick and easy posole recipe that can make good use of any leftover meat you may have hanging around from the holidays. This includes pork, chicken, turkey, or beef!

I delivered this meal to a friend as a pre-packaged “make it yourself meal” when she said she wished she had some easy dinners to cook for her family. All the ingredients were packaged up in a box along with pre-printed step-by-step instructions. She said it was a huge hit with her family so I thought I’d better try it out myself. (Yes, I sent her a blind, untested recipe.)

This posole is huge on flavor and does not even skimp in the filling factor. Plus it’s very versatile, too! Thumbs up all the way around!

Posole Ingredients

Posole Ingredients

Quick and Easy Posole

2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon flour
Posole Seasoning Mix (divided, recipe below)
3 ounces tomato paste
1 cup water
4 cups chicken stock (can also use turkey, pork, or beef)
4-ounce can chopped green chiles
15.5-ounce can hominy (gold or white, drained)
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (can also use turkey, pork, or beef)
1 fresh lime
Fresh cilantro
Crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, Mexican sour cream, for garnish (any or all optional)

Posole Seasoning Mix
Hint: Make a double or triple batch to store for future use!

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon New Mexico Red Chile powder (or sub with regular chili powder)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Finely dice the onion, then add it to a soup pot or Dutch oven along with the oil. Sauté the onion in the oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until tender and transparent. Add the flour and a tablespoon of the seasoning mix and continue to sauté for two minutes more.

Posole Soup Base

Posole Soup Base

Add 1 cup water, tomato paste, and the rest of the seasoning mix to the pot. Whisk the ingredients together until the tomato paste is dissolved. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, at which point it will thicken.

Big Ladle of Posole

Big Ladle of Posole

Finally, add the stock, shredded meat, diced chiles, and hominy. Stir to combine and then heat through for about 10 minutes.

Cut the lime into wedges and roughly chop the cilantro. Top each bowl with chopped cilantro, crumbled tortilla chips and cheese and a wedge of lime to squeeze over top.

Quick and Easy Posole

Quick and Easy Posole

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Thank You!

31 Dec
Happy 5th Anniversary

Happy 5th Anniversary

My blogiversary nearly slipped by me, but the WordPress monkeys were kind enough to remind me that yesterday I published my first post in 2011. So I am now starting out on my sixth year of blogging and sharing recipes. I can’t say 2016 was the best of years for me physically, but in the cooking department I expanded my horizons and bought a sous vide circulator and have had good success with this new method of cooking. I hope to begin sharing some of those recipes this new year after I’m satisfied they are up to standard for public consumption.

With that, a huge Thank You to all my friends and followers for your support, and Happy Cooking/Blogging in the New Year!

Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry

24 Dec
Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry

Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry

‘Tis the season to be jolly! I scored big on some extra-large chicken wings in the half-price bin, and set out on a mission to find a method to cook them that did not involve Frank’s or BBQ sauce. Much to my delight, I stumbled upon a recipe made by a fellow foodie blogger I follow! Lea Ann over at Cooking on the Ranch shared her recipe for this earlier in the year, which was adapted from Saveur magazine. The back story behind this chicken is a delight to read, so click on over if you are so inclined —> Delores’s Broken-Hearted Chicken.

This chicken and sauce is no-lie finger-licking good! The hubs and I devoured this along with some rice pilaf and baby brussels sprouts, and sopped up the juices with some crusty garlic bread. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you may celebrate this time of year, and a delightful Festivus for the rest of us!

Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry
Adapted from Saveur

2 pounds extra-large chicken wings, or small chicken cut into pieces
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup flour put in bowl or on plate
2 slices thick-cut bacon, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
1⁄2 cup dry sherry
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄4″ cubes
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley, optional, for garnish
Crusty bread, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour; set aside. Cook the chopped bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until the fat renders, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

Browning the Chicken Wings

Browning the Chicken Wings

Add oil to skillet with the bacon grease, and working in 2 batches, add chicken, and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Cooking the Garlic

Cooking the Garlic

Add garlic to the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn! Add stock and sherry, deglazing the pan with a wooden spoon to scrape up the crispy bits. Place chicken skin-side down in a roasting pan and pour the skillet juices over the chicken.

Roasted Chicken Ready to Finish Off

Roasted Chicken Ready to Finish Off

Place chicken in oven, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip chicken with tongs to skin-side up, then sprinkle with reserved bacon and dot with butter. Baste the chicken a couple of times until cooked through and skin is crispy, about 20 more minutes. Serve with crusty bread for sopping up the delicious juices.

Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry

Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Holiday Cheese Bites

17 Dec
Holiday Cheese Bites

Holiday Cheese Bites

I saw these fun little crackers posted on Food52, and they seemed easy enough for me to attempt to make. Of course the big warning sign not to make them should have been the words “flour” and “roll the dough.” I can just look at a canister of flour and get it all over my clothes. And with my hand injury? Who was I kidding that I could roll out a hard, frigid piece of clay?

Chilled Cracker Dough

Chilled Cracker Dough

Nonetheless, I attempted to make these little cheese bites, endearingly called “coins” in the recipe. I opted to use some fancy-schmancy mini-cutters, in the hopes that the cute shapes would distract from the final results.

Cheese Bites Ready to Bake

Cheese Bites Ready to Bake

I don’t have a proper food processor, so instead of “slowly adding the milk in a stream with the food processor running,” I kept having to turn off my Ninja, take the top off, add a little milk, whir it again, then repeat. Sketchy at best, huh? Then when it came to rolling the dough out, I found my injured hand and wrist didn’t have enough strength to wrestle the dough into submission, so enlisted the help of my daughter. I ended up with some really uneven thicknesses, which resulted in a: burnt crackers and b: really puffy under-cooked crackers. I had enough of option c: perfectly done crackers to fill a small bowl for your enjoyment.

Holiday Cheese Bites

Holiday Cheese Bites

For those of you who would like the recipe, please head over to Food52 to read it here: Spicy Cheese + Smoked Paprika Coins

p.s. The flavor of these are really good! The dough has smoked paprika, sage, and cayenne pepper along with the cheese. If you are a skilled baker, please try this recipe out and let me know how they turned out!

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