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alison83

alison83 has written 21 posts for …and she can cook!

Famous 7-Up Biscuits – Ali’s Updated Version

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The biscuits were made “famous” on Pinterest.  [Before you click on the next link, please know that my version is way better, and even a little more healthy.]  Now… if you’d like, you can see the original recipe here.   In my recipe, I substitute the sour cream for fat free plain greek yogurt.  You can also reduce the butter.  I did some with the melted butter and some completely without butter.  I actually preferred the ones without butter.  I made these with Martha’s Curried Carrot Soup – it was a delecious combination.

Ingredients: 
2 Cups Bisquick
1/2 cup Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt (I promise you will never know the difference)
1/2 cup 7-UP (I used Sierra Mist)
3T melted butter (or none at all)

Directions:
Cut Greek Yogurt into biscuit mix then add 7-Up/Sierra Mist/Sprite. It makes a very soft and sticky dough. Sprinkle additional biscuit mix on board or table and pat dough out.  You will probably need to add additional biscuit mix on the top of the dough as well as on your hands.  Do not knead the dough – just pat it out.  Melt butter in a 9 inch square pan.  If you don’t use the butter, be sure to grease your pan.  Cut 9 biscuits into circles. Place cut biscuits in pan and bake at 450 degrees for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Keep on eye on them the last minutes of cooking.

Enjoy!

Curried Carrot Soup

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This soup is from one of Martha Stewart’s cookbooks called Great Food Fast.  It is a fantastic book that divides the recipes up by season.  I love having recipes on hand that I can coordinate with my trips to the farmer’s market or the grocery.

Normally I would not choose to make carrot soup; it honestly doesn’t sound very appetizing to me.  I chose to make it upon seeing the beautiful photo in Martha’s cookbook, AND because I bought a giant bag of carrots at the store without knowing that Stoney had just purchased a gigantic bag of carrots the day prior.  I couldn’t let all that carotene to go to waste.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat butter in a Dutch oven or large (4- to 5-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, curry powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, carrots, and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. In a blender, puree soup in batches until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan. Add more water to thin to desired consistency. (*I used my submersion blender and it worked wonderfully!)  Reheat, if necessary. Stir in lemon juice. Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.  (*We tried the cilantro…as much as I LOVE cilantro, I did not love it in my carrot soup.)

Blueberry Scones

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This recipe is from The Military Wives’ Cookbook.  I received this cookbook a couple years ago, and (I hate to admit) this is the first time I have used it.  The book is filled with history, tradition, great recipes, and old photographs of military wives.   The book is thoughtfully divided into six sections:

  • Teas and Coffees
  • Buffets, Brunches, and Lunches
  • A Taste of Home: Dinner Family Style
  • Alfresco Dining
  • Over There: An International Affair
  • Home for the Holidays and Other Celebrations

I highly recommend checking it out.

We have had a bumper crop of blueberries in the Upper Valley this year.  I have picked berries the past two weekends.  This weekend, I picked a whopping 4 lbs!  So, in addition to searching for corn and zucchini recipes, I have also been on the lookout for blueberry recipes.

Here is the [very] simple Blueberry Scone recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 egg

3/4 cup half and half

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar.  Mix and cut in butter. Add blueberries and toss to mix.

In a separate bowl mix together the egg, half and half, and vanilla extract.  Slowly pour liquid mixture into the flour mixture.  Gently stir with a rubber spatula, taking care not to over-mix.  Turn the dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead 3 or four times until dough comes together.  (Note: be sure to use plenty of flour on your hands and kneading surface – this dough is sticky.)  Divide dough in half.  Make two 6-inch rounds.  Cut each round into 6 wedges and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake approx. 20 minutes.  Serve warm.

Enjoy! -Ali

Skillet Corn Griddle Cakes

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Corn is in season!  Every time I go to the store I can’t resist taking advantage of the fresh produce and the cheap prices.  Who could resist five ears of corn for $1.00?!  Since I have no self control when it comes to these exceptionally good deals, I have an abundance of corn (and now zucchini) in our fridge.

I found this recipe for corn cakes in the July’s Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.  The corn cakes turned out great and it was very easy.  They suggest serving them with sour cream, green onions, and tomatoes – I think they could easily be served with maple syrup.

Enjoy! -Ali

1 Tbsp. vegtable oil or olive oil

1 1/4 cups corn kernels, freshly cut from the cob

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup coarse ground yellow cornmeal

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup milk, plus additional for thinning batter

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion

1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato (optional)

1/4 cup sliced green onion (optional)

1/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata or feta cheese (optional)

Directions:
1. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil over medium heat. Add the corn kernels in an even layer, sprinkle generously with salt. Cook, without stirring, for 3 or 4 minutes until the corn kernels are sizzling. Give the pan a shake and continue cooking about 16 minutes total, until kernels are browned. Reserve 2 Tbsp. of the browned corn for garnish.
2. Meanwhile in medium bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, 1/4 tsp. salt, and baking powder. Whisk in milk, egg, and the 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, mixing just until batter is smooth. Stir in chopped onion and remaining browned corn.
3. Wipe out skillet with a lightly oiled paper towel and heat over medium heat. Drop batter by 1 or 2 Tbsp. measures; cook until browned on one side and batter appears set, about 1 minute. Turn and cook 1 additional minute or less. Repeat with remaining batter. Set aside and keep warm.
4. Top each griddle cake with sour cream/yogurt if desired, chopped tomato, reserved browned corn kernels, sliced green onion, and the ricotta salata or feta cheese. Salsa Verde or maple syrup would also make a great addition

The Best Chocolate Cake You’ll Ever Eat!

I found the recipe on this site.  It will, from now on, be my “go to” chocolate cake.  We polished this cake off with some friends in a matter of minutes…  This was the last little bit that was remaining.  YUM!

Disclaimer:  If you’re currently on a diet, skip this recipe!  Move on to the healthy pot roast!  However, if you need a treat, this is the recipe for you.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 c all purpose flour
2 c sugar
3/4 c cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 c strong black coffee, cooled
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp real vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 c butter, softened
2 oz melted unsweetened chocolate, cooled
3 c powdered sugar
3 Tbsp milk
2 tsp real vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1) Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.
2)  Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
3)  Beat at medium speed for two minutes.  Batter will be thin.
4)  Pour batter into a greased and floured 9×13 pan or two 9 inch cake pans.
5)  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes for a 9×13, or 30-35 minutes for layer pans.
6) Combine frosting ingredients and mix with a hand or stand mixer.  Spread frosting on cooled cakes.

Roasted Tomato Soup

I found this recipe on a blog called Dishing the Divine, and the specific post can be found here.  She does a great job with explaining the recipe through her great photos.  I used roma tomatoes – Initially, I was a little sceptical of how it would turn out with the romas, but besides needing to cook them a little longer, they worked very well!  The day I went to the store for the ingredients, the basil was looking pretty sad.  So, instead of leaving it out of the recipe, I used Gourmet Garden’s Basil.  It comes pressed in a tube and looks like this.  It worked well.

Enjoy!

-Ali

roasted tomato soup

  • 2.5 pounds fresh tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 small yellow onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, or to taste (see note)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, optional
  • cooked, sliced bacon to top (optional)

Preheat oven to 450F.

Wash, core, and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves, and onions into a baking try. Drizzle with half a cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.  Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from oven and transfer to a large stock pot. Add 3 cups of chicken broth and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid has reduced by a third.  ***Remove bay leaves.  Add basil leaves to the pot. Using a blender, puree the soup until smooth.  (I don’t have a submersion blender, so I just blended it in batches in my blender.)

This is where the recipe calls for adding cream, if desired.  I did not – the consistency was already perfect and I didn’t want to mess with it.  You can also add extra chicken stock if it’s too thick for your liking.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add brown sugar to taste (another step that I ignored). Garnish with a splash of cream and diced cooked bacon, if desired.  The crispy bacon was a wonderful touch!

Kale Chips

I love Kale!  When your craving something salty, this is the recipe for you.  I’ve also been known to add a little cayenne pepper; it’s a great addition.

Ingredients

One bunch of Kale

~1 Tbs olive oil

Kosher salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

Homemade Apple Sauce

Why buy apple sauce when it’s SO simple to make your own (and it makes your house smell wonderful)!  Depending on how many apples you’d like to use, you’ll have to adjust the recipe.  I like adding a little fresh squeezed orange juice, using a little less sugar, and a little more cinnamon.  Just remember, you can always add more of anything, but you can’t take it back out once you’ve added it.  Here’s a good starting point:

INGREDIENTS
4 apples , peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
DIRECTIONS
In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon.
Cover, and cook over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until apples are soft.
Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.
It will be very difficult to mess up this recipe.  If you add too much water, just cook it longer.  If it’s not sweet enough, add more sugar.  If you’ve added too much sugar, just add more apples and it cook it longer (I’ve also heard that you can add lemon juice to balance out the flavors).

Potato, Kale, and Sausage Soup

There is this soup that we love from Olive Garden called  Zuppa Toscana.  The recipe below (found on A Feathered Nest ) is not just as good as OG’s, it’s so much better!  It’s great with some crusty bread and an amber ale (or drink of your choice).

2 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 -1/2 t. crushed red-pepper flakes (depends on how spicy you like it…I add extra)
5-7 large potatoes cut into small, 1/2 inch chunks (I used red potatoes)
1/4 c. fresh chopped Italian parsley
6 c. chicken broth (6 c. water + 3 Tbs. chicken base)
1 bunch kale, stemmed and shredded (about 3-4 c. shredded)
1.5 – 2 lbs. Italian sausage, casings removed (I usually use only 1lb and it’s still PLENTY)
1/3 c. heavy cream (optional, but wonderful!)
Directions:
In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and cook until soft.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant.   Add the potatoes, parsley and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat.  Simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown sausage until it’s no longer pink.  Set aside.
In a blender, or with an imersion blender, puree half the soup.  Be careful not to burn yourself (speaking from experience).  Return to the pot and add kale and sausage.  Simmer until the kale is wilted about 10-15 minutes.  Add heavy cream if you’d like.   Salt & pepper as needed.
Makes about 8-10 generous servings.

Monkey Bread

This is a simple recipe that is always a must on Stoney’s birthday.  He LOVES it!   It’s a good thing that I only make it a couple of times a year.  Observe:

YUM!!!  Enjoy.

4 cans refrigerated biscuits (or 2 cans depending on the size of the biscuit you use)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 T cinnamon
* I’ve seen some versions of this recipe where raisins and/or nuts are added (I think that you shouldn’t mess with the buttery doughy goodness that is monkey bread)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9-10 inch tube pan.

2. Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a medium-sized plastic bag. Cut the biscuits into halves or quarters and place six to eight biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Shake well.

3. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the greased pan. Continue layering until all the biscuit pieces are coated and in the pan. If you are using raisins, place them among the biscuit pieces as you are layering.

4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the layered biscuits.

5. Bake for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Pull apart and enjoy!

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