October 24, 2009

Chicken Corn Chowder to Warm You Up

Fall is the perfect time to try out new soup recipes for the upcoming winter. I've been perfecting our family's chili recipe and I think I finally have it ready to share...we will see later on this week.

But, I've also been experimenting with a lot of soup varieties. Soups are easy and affordable- and we could all use some savings in these times.

My friend Joann passed along her recipe for Chicken Corn Chowder to me to try on Facebook the other day and I made a pot last week. She said the recipe was easy, but I couldn't believe how easy it really was! This will be a recipe we keep on hand in my family for those quick and easy meal nights...which are just around the corner with the birth of our first son here in about 4 weeks.

I made a couple of substitutions to the recipe: I had leftover smoked chicken meat from the night before so I actually added about 2 cups of chicken, about 1 tsp. garlic powder, I used frozen chicken stock (I always save my stock and use it for soups later on), real bacon I had fried up earlier for breakfast and I added about 1 c. milk (I like a creamy soup).

Chicken Corn Chowder
by Joann
1 c. chicken, cooked and diced
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
2-3 T. Hormel real bacon pieces
1/4 c. butter
1/2 onion, diced
2 medium red potatoes, diced w/skin on
2 T. fresh basil, chopped

Saute onion and potatoes in butter until soft. Meanwhile, combine soups and broth. Add chicken, corn and bacon. Stir in potatoes and onion. Add basil. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until hot and flavors are blended. Salt and pepper to taste.

October 19, 2009

Praline-Apple Bread Using Local Apples this Season

My gal pal Tyne Morgan has been a busy cook it seems lately- she’s been baking up a storm and trying lots of new recipes. On a recent visit she was telling me about this Praline-Apple Bread recipe she had made and how simply delicious it was. She has Facebooked me the recipe about 3 weeks ago and I finally got around the making it the other day. She was right- a great recipe for this fall.

Be sure and visit a local orchard and pick up some local Granny Smith apples to make the bread and don’t forget to use Missouri Northern Pecans (they are wonderful to use in recipes like this). I just bought some at the recent Chestnut Festival this weekend for my holiday baking this season!

Praline-Apple Bread
From Southern Living Magazine

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped, peeled Granny Smith apples (about 3/4 lb.)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 1/2 cup pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 4 minutes.

Beat sour cream and next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until blended.

Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Add to sour cream mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in apples and 1/2 cup toasted pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chopped pecans; lightly press pecans into batter.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil after 50 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.

Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a 1-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, and spoon over top of bread; let cool completely (about 1 hour).

Note: To freeze, cool bread completely; wrap in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
(PHOTO: From Southern Living Magazine and recipe from Debbie Grusska, Hobart, Indiana)

October 12, 2009

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Fall has officially arrived in Missouri. It’s during this season that I love to try new recipes for comfort foods like soups, stews, chilis and even things like beef stroganoff- which is what was on the menu tonight.

I found a slow cooker recipe for beef stroganoff while thumbing through a recent issue of Cooking with Paula Deen. I remember thinking to myself…"I’m going to be a mother soon and I need all the quick recipes I can find to save myself some time around the house.”

This recipe comes from Carol Poppe, of Mandan, North Dakota and takes the hassle out of making your traditional beef stroganoff- which often takes a lot of time. I have a recipe for tradition stroganoff as well, but when you are on the run and don’t have time this recipe is truly number 1 in my book.

Tonight was the first time I made it and I don’t think I would change one thing about the recipe, except the recipe will call for canned mushrooms and I just bought some pre-sliced store bought ones.

This recipe is perfect for a cold night, paired with your favorite Missouri wine! Go even more local and use beef from a local farm as well as buy some local mushrooms and buy homemade noodles from the farmers' market.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
By Carol Poppe

2 lbs. beef tips
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can cream of onion soup
1 (8oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained ** I use pre-sliced fresh mushrooms instead
1 tsp. pepper
1 (8oz) cream cheese
1 (8oz) carton sour cream
1 (16oz) package of egg noodles, cooked and hot

In a slow cooker combine beef tips, onion, onion soup, mushroom soup, mushrooms, and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 8 hours (it only took me 6 hours when I prepared this). When done cooking, stir in cream cheese and sour cream and mix until combined. Serve over hot cooked noodles.

October 8, 2009

Double Cranberry Muffins

Cranberries have been one of my favorite dried fruits to snack on during my pregnancy. I’ve put them on everything- salads, pork stuffing and I really like these healthy cranberry muffins from the recipe archives of What to Expect!

Yes, the muffins are a sweet treat, but they are very healthy. Notice the ingredients! I like to have a muffin for breakfast with a tall glass of milk! Enjoy...

Double Cranberry Muffins
From What to Expect.com

¾ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup ground flaxseed or oat bran
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1½ cups old-fashioned oats
2 large eggs
1 cup white grape juice concentrate
½ cup all-fruit cherry or raspberry preserves
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup dried cranberries (preferably unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a standard-sized 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In large bowl, combine flour, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir in oats. In another bowl, combine eggs, juice concentrate, preserves, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly stir into flour mixture; be careful not to overmix. Gently fold in all the cranberries.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack; let cool completely. Store muffins at room temperature in tightly sealed container for 3 days or frozen for 3 months.

October 2, 2009

You Make Lemonade

Sometimes life throws us lemons…and we make a choice. A.) We either dodge to miss the lemons being thrown at us or B.) We make lemonade. I choose B.

Life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns and everything in between, but it’s how we get through the tough times that truly matter. That’s what shows our character and our passion.

You all know me from the author of Home Cooking is What I Like, but I’ve also started a new blog that really represents Missouri Local Foods (Unmonitored, Unfiltered and Uncensored). Check out my other blog: "A Taste of Missouri...One Farm at a Time."

It is here that I hope to shed some light on the real issues facing Missouri local foods, its producers and food security. But, I also hope to introduce you to some of the most unique, tasty and sustainable farming operations around our state.

I’ve been so blessed to have met farmers, ag professionals, academia and others dedicated to excelling Missouri’s local food industry. Plus, being a former marketing specialist in the area of direct marketing, agritourism, farmers’ markets and organics I’ve learned marketing techniques that help to set our local foods system apart from other states.

Join me as we “Taste Missouri, One Farm at a Time.” Also, be sure and look me up on Facebook and Twitter as TasteofMissouri.