Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baked Potato Soup

I don't usually think to make a hearty soup in the middle of June, but the weather here has been wet and frigid. Today just screamed for this yummy soup!

4 large potatoes, cooled, peeled and cubed
2/3 c butter
2/3 c flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
6 cups whole milk
8 oz sour cream
1/4 cup green onions
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbed
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan heat butter, flour, salt and pepper over medium heat. Whisk until smooth and bubbly. Cook one minute. Gradually whisk in milk and add potato cubes. Bring to a low boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream. Garnish individual servings with onions, bacon and cheese.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies

Mmm...there is something magical about peanut butter and chocolate, don't you think? It's like the perfect marriage. The only thing that would make it more poetic is if peanuts were the roots of the cacao tree. I had to adapt this recipe for high altitude and I think I have it perfected.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c creamy peanut butter, room temperature
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbs milk
1 cup chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl beat butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add in sugars and mix well. Beat in egg and milk. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into wet ingredients. Stir well. Fold in chocolate chips. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and press lightly with the back of a fork. Bake for 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly undercooked.) Leave on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Apricot-and-Cheddar Chicken Melts

I found this recipe on an insert in my Everyday Food magazine, by far one of my favorite publications...thanks, Martha! These were easy, quick and delicious! (Although my children had a hard time eating them. Their chicken kept sliding off the bread. If I make them again I might cut the chicken into slices before placing them on the baguette.)

Here's what you'll need:
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, chopped
coarse salt and ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6-8 ounces each), split horizontally
1 baguette (about 20 inches), split horizontally, then cut in half
1/4 cup apricot preserves
4 oz thinly sliced deli ham
4 oz white cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)

So first, heat up your broiler and set the rack 4 inches from heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag, combine vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1 tsp coarse salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper; add chicken and turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes (or cover and refrigerate in marinade up to 24 hours).

Lift chicken from marinade and place on prepared sheet; broil (without turning) until opaque throughout, 4-6 minutes. Transfer chicken to a work surface; discard pan juices from baking sheet.

Looks good so far! Now, spread each piece of your baguette with some of those apricot preserves and then top 'em off with some chicken.
Layer on the ham and cheese! (I forgot to tell the guy at the deli counter to slice it ultra-thin, I think that would have made a more appealing presentation.)
Pop those babies in the oven under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly. (I would move the rack down one position more to keep the cheese from melting too fast. This will also help your baguette crisp up a little more since it will have more time under the broiler.)

Looks like a winner, huh?