Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Soup

244. Once the turkey has been carved and consumed, what's left are the remains of bones and skin and seemingly, unusable parts that are scooped up and tossed away. But, these remains are the makings of a delicious meal for your family. My dear mother-in-law taught me about Turkey Soup many years ago, as a young bride. She would reserve the remains and scraps from the Thanksgiving meal then make a large pot of, what she called, "Tortellini Soup". Here is her recipe, that I lovingly remember her by each time I make it.

Turkey Soup

Bones and scraps from a baked turkey and a little reserved turkey meat
Left over gravy or stuffing (optional, but they really enhance flavor of soup)
Water to fill stock pot
1 large onion chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery and leafy ends, chopped
1 pound bag of dried mini tortellini, cheese filling
1/4 cup Parsley or chives, chopped
Salt/pepper to taste

Place bones and scrap, stuffing and gravy in large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and continue to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, till meat falls off bone. Transfer all bone and scrap into a colander so meat can cool to the touch.
Strain the liquid through 2 or 3 strainers to catch all residue and small bits.
Skim all the fat liquid from the top of the liquid and discard.
You will notice the strainers will catch the fat as well. If you want to remove all the fat, take several sheets of paper towel lay them across the top of the liquid quickly. When you remove it, you will notice that it picks up the fat from the top. Clever trick! Wash your stock pot clean and return the strained liquid to the clean stock pot, running it once more through a strainer.
Now, at this point, my mother-in-law would add only the tortellini, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. It was a clear broth with tortellini only. I like to make my recipe with veggies and turkey meat as well. She would take the turkey meat and make turkey salad with the meat, which is also an option for you.
Pick through the bones and scraps and scavenge turkey meat being carful of small bones. If you want more turkey meat, just reserve several chunks of meat from your carved turkey.
Add the turkey meat, onion, carrot, celery, salt and pepper and bag of dried tortellini.
Season to will be surprised how flavorful your broth will be.
Bring to a boil and allow to simmer till the veggies are tender and the tortellini has doubled in size.
Serve hot and sprinkle parsley or chives on top for garnish and added color. You could also sprinkle a bit of Parmesan Cheese on top. It is a hearty, healthy, delicious way to enjoy every part of your turkey.

"Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own
characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor."
~Marge Kennedy

"You can do almost anything with soup stock, it's like a strong foundation. When you have the right foundation, everything tastes good."
~Martin Yan

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baked Pumpkin

243. Pumpkins as a side dish? Why yes!
Little Sugar Pumpkins are perfect in flavor and texture.
Start by preparing the 1 to 2 lb pumpkins washing the pumpkins with mild dish soap, rinse and dry. Cut the top cap off by cutting a large circle.
Scrape out all the membrane and seeds clean from the inside and trim the top cap.
Peel, and cube an apple, one per pumpkin.
Cover with 1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup raisins (optional), fresh squeezed lemon juice and dot the top with butter.
Place the top caps back onto the pumpkin.
Place in a 350 degree oven and bake 50-60 minutes or till tender. Or, microwave by covering with plastic wrap tightly. Microwave on high for 30 minutes.
Scrape the pumpkin down from the sides to mix with the filling. Serve hot.

"Only the knife knows what goes on in the heart of a pumpkin."
~Simone Schwarz-Bart

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Acorn Dough Nuts

242. Each week I teach a class for 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade girls. And, each week I provide a craft for these lovely girls. They always love edible crafts...and so do I. So we made these adorable Acorn Dough Nuts from Family Fun Recipes.

Family Fun has some of the cutest ideas, always useful and very helpful.

Acorn Dough Nuts
from Family Fun Magazine

Donut Holes
Chocolate Frosting or Peanut Butter
Crumbled Toffee

Frost a third of a plain or glazed doughnut hole with frosting or peanut butter.
Roll the frosted top in crumbled toffee. Then add a small piece of a pretzel for the stem.
I purchased a 25 count box of Glazed and White Cake Munchkins.
I provided caramel and peanut butter for the topping and mini chocolate chips and orange sprinkles. I thought the frosting would be too sweet.
The girls loved it and were so proud to pose with their sweet, yummy Acorn Dough Nuts!
This was a very fun and easy craft!

"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Caramel Cream Sandwich Cookies

241. What a beautiful buttery cookie! I found this recipe in the Pillsbury Best Cookies Cookbook.
They are small but the flavor is rich and so good.

Caramel Cream Sandwich Cookies

3/4 firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk
2 cups flour

Combine sugar and butter and beat till light and fluffy. Add egg yolk; blend well. Add flour: mix well. If dough is too soft to handle, place in refrigerator for 15 minutes.Heat oven to 325. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on cookies sheets.
Dip fork into flour, flatten each cookie to 1 1/2 inch rounds.
Bake 325 F for 10-14 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute and remove from cookie sheets.

2 Tablespoons butter (do not use margarine!)
1 1/4 cup powder sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 -5 teaspoons milk

In medium saucepan, heat butter over medium heat till light golden brown, stirring constantly. remove from heat. Stir in remaining frosting ingredients. Add enough milk for desired spreading consistency; blend until smooth. Spread scant 1 teaspoon frosting between 2 cooled cookies.
Your cookies will be smoother and perfectly round if you hand roll them into balls. I used the quick method with my cookie scoop.
This is a keeper recipe!!! A perfect Christmas cookie!

"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread."
~Mother Teresa

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Killer Brownies

240. If you like brownies, you will love this recipe! We found it on The Food Pusher Blog. The name of the brownies are called "Better Than Crack Brownies" (recipe here) and we made a point to try this recipe. Because of the intense ingredients, we made them for a bake sale so everyone could enjoy the wonderfulness! This recipe is chocolate heaven!
So I made my own brownie recipe and doubled it.
Next time I would melt the Reeses chocolate cups on the brownies then place the peanuts on top.
Remember to use Milk Chocolate and not Semi-Sweet. The brownies are not too sweet...surprising!
I think this step, where the Rice Krispies go in, melted marshmallows would be a good addition too.
After I spread the Rice Krispie topping on, I set it aside. The chocolate takes time to stiffen.
You could place it in the fridge but that changes the chocolate.
And here is the finished product! We cut them in huge chunks and the response was..."These are Killer" therein the name...

"He that would live in peace and at ease, must not speak all he knows nor judge all he sees."
~Benjamin Franklin


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