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  • 4 strips bacon (crisply fried and chopped)
  • 3 large garlic cloves (minced)  (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 3 large celery ribs (thinly slices on the bias)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 28-ounce cans chicken stock or broth
  • 4-cups (about 1 1/2 lbs) red potatoes (diced with skin on)
  • 4-large carrots (peeled and julienned)
  • 3-cups whole milk
  • One 10-ounce bag frozen corn (thawed)
  • 9 ounces smoked salmon (cut into large strips with all the bone and skin removed)
  • 2-teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2-tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2-teaspoons salt and pepper to taste.

Use a thick-bottomed stock pot over medium-low heat to saute bacon until done. Add onion, garlic and celery continue to cook until vegetables are tender. Stir often. Do not brown.

Add chicken broth, potatoes and carrots. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until potatoes are tender. Reduce heat to medium. Add milk, corn, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer for 5-minutes.  Remove from heat and place salmon into soup delicately.

Serve with hot corn bread and lots of butter! A small, crisp green salad and your favorite Chardonnay are welcome additions to this “cold weather comfort food”.

6-8 servings

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans. Scrape potato mixture into an even layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden.

Yield: 16 servings

From Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2007

Guacamole Salad

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 large scallions or 4 small, thinly sliced
  • ¼ lime (juiced)
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed (or 3 small)
  • 1 jalapeño (seeded and thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup (approximately) grape tomatoes, halved

Slice avocado in half, remove pit.  With skin intact, slice avocado into ½ inch chunks.  Scoop out avocado from skin and into medium bowl.

Gently fold in remaining ingredients.  Serve with corn chips.

Cucumber Lemon Water

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 25 slice of cucumber
  • 25 thinly sliced

Add lemon and cucumbers to water no longer than 2 hours before serving. Chill well before serving. Do not remove lemons or cucumbers.

Lavender Iced Tea

  • 2 ½ c Water
  • 1 ½ c White Sugar
  • ½ c Fresh Lavender flowers chopped (or ¼ c dried Lavender – to taste)
  • 128 oz of tea (= six PG Tips tea bags)

In medium saucepan, combine 2 ½ cups water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lavender. Cover and cool let steep overnight. Strain liquid into large jar.

Brew Tea (steep for an hour). Pour into large pitcher, add lavender syrup. Stir well. Chill before serving.

Just before serving add ice cubes to individual glass. Serves about 14 – 8 oz glasses.

Rosewater Lemonade

  • 2 2/3 cups fresh lemon juice (about 10 lemons)
  • 2 2/3 cup sugar
  • 16 cups water (1 gallon)
  • Rosewater essence – 7 teaspoons rose water
  • 5 1/2 tsp grenadine (for color)

Mix the lemon juice and sugar in a large container or pitcher until the sugar has nearly dissolved. Add the water and stir thoroughly.

Add the rosewater essence. Chill well before serving. Makes 16 cups

  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed
  • 4 eggs, hard-cooked and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium (about 1/2 cup) diced red onion
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 8 oz (1 cup) creme fraiche
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Bring potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and boil for about 10 to 12 minutes, until just tender. Pour off water and toss potatoes in vinegar.  When potatoes are cool cut into 1/2 pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with eggs.  In another bowl, combine the sour cream, creme fraiche, Dijon mustard, dill, salt and pepper.  Add red onion, green onion, capers, and celery.  Stir to coat with cream mixture.  Add to the potatoes and stir gently to combine.

  • 2 to 3 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh chopped dill

Arrange cucumber slices in a serving bowl, sprinkling layers with salt. Place a saucer or other weight on cucumbers to weigh down. Cover and let stand for several hours.

Pour off cucumber juices. Combine sour cream, vinegar, pepper to taste, and chopped dill; add to cucumbers.

Corn Chowder

  • 9 ears of fresh sweet corn (3 boiled, 6 sauteed)
  • 32oz Swanson chicken broth 3 cups of water used to boil corn)
  • 5 strips Nueske’s bacon, sliced in ¼” strips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced

In a large stock pot, bring approximately 6 cups of water to boil. This should be enough to cover 3 ears of corn. Once water has reached boiling point, simmer 3 ears of corn for 10 minutes.

Remove corn and reserve 3 cups of corn water in a separate bowl. Cut cooked corn cobs in half and cut the kernels off the cob (reserve cobs). Place cooked corn kernels in a blender with chicken broth and puree for about 3 minutes.

Cut 6 remaining ears of raw corn in half and cut the kernels from the cob (reserve cobs). Rinse stock pot and cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon transfer bacon to paper towel to drain. In bacon grease, sauté onion, raw corn, and salt and pepper until corn is slightly browned.

Add blended corn, 3 cups of the reserved corn water, and reserved corn cobs. Bring to a boil and reduce consistency of liquid until a thick broth but not a stew consistency.

Add red potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender and liquid is reduced to stew consistency.

Discard corn cobs and add heavy cream and scallions.

Ideally serve with corn bread!

Homemade Corned Beef

  • 3-5 pounds beef brisket
  • 5 tablespoons Penzey’s Corned Beef Spices (brown and yellow mustard seed, coriander, allspice, cracked cassia, dill seed, bay leaves, clove, ginger, juniper berries, mace, cardamom, red peppers)
  • Salt brine (dissolve 1/2 c salt in 2 quarts water)
  1. Combine ingredients in a large freezer (or brining) bag.  Brine in refrigerator for 5-7 days turning bag daily.
  2. To prepare, place corned beef in a large stock pot and completely submerge in water.  Make sure the pot is large enough to hold not only the beef but also the carrots and potatoes you will add later. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer for 1-3 hours (depending on the size of the cut).

Colcannon Recipe

adapted from House of Annie blog. Makes six to eight servings

  • 6-8 large Yukon Gold potatoes, not peeled, halved and then quartered
  • 3-5 large carrots, scrubbed but not peeled, cut into thirds, with the top third halved
  • 1 small head cabbage, cored (taking off thicker parts of the leaves near the core) and cut to 1/2 strips
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • about 8 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. About 30 minutes before corned beef is done, add potatoes in the corned beef broth.
  2. About 15 minutes before corned beef is done, add carrots.
  3. While potatoes are boiling, heat a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add 4 tbs butter.
  4. Once butter has melted, add cabbage. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Saute the cabbage until soft and browned in the pan.
  6. When carrots are tender but not soft, remove from water, place in a bowl with melted butter and set aside.
  7. When potatoes are tender, remove from water and place into a large bowl with 2 tbs butter. Mash the potatoes lightly with a masher or a mix n’ chop.
  8. Add 2 tbs butter and 1/2 cup scalded milk to saute pan and deglaze over low heat.
  9. Add cabbage to potatoes along with milk and butter from the saute pan. Salt and pepper to taste.  Combine lightly.
  10. Serve with corned beef (sliced cross grain), carrots and colcannon.

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