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My Grandma passed away at the age of 94. She was a wonderful cook and I was lucky enough to inherit her recipes. Many date back to the 1940s and 50s. Grandma prepared them in a charming country kitchen with no running water and most of her produce came from her garden, not from the grocery store. These are made-from-scratch recipes. I wish I had spent more time with her in the kitchen and . . . I wish I had spent more time with her for so many other reasons.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Grandma's Green Goddess Dressing

I remember Green Goddess Dressing when I was a youngster.  It was one of those things I wasn't even about to try because it was green.  Well, not with this recipe.  It's white with just a tint of green from the fresh herbs.  It's fabulous on salad or used as a dipping sauce for veggies.  It's particularly good on potatoes.

1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1/3 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp anchovy paste - or mash one whole anchovy
1 tsp minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.   Makes about 3/4 cup.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's Soup Time - Home Made Chicken Noodle Soup

I made a big pot of Chicken Noodle Soup last night, and wow, it was good!  I've never been one to stick to a recipe- I like to change it up and try to improve it.  This is one I think I have to document because it was just perfect.  The rich flavor comes from the roasted chicken.

1 whole chicken (about 3.5 lbs) - cut up
2 Tbsp olive oil
Seasoning salt and pepper to taste
12 cups water
4 large carrots (peeled and sliced)
4 large celery ribs (sliced)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 32 (oz) package of frozen egg noodle or dumplings
1 lb fresh green beans (snipped and sliced)
1 tsp sage
3/4 tsp minced garlic (dried or fresh)
3/4 tsp rosemary leaves
3/4 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp parsley flakes

Place a 12-quart stock pot over medium high heat.  Add the olive oil, and when heated, add the chicken.  Sprinkle heavily with seasoning salt and pepper.  Allow pieces to brown - turn after about 10 minutes and brown the other side.  Once the pieces are browned, add the water and spices.  Cover and cook for about 20 minutes - make sure the water boils steadily.

Strain the broth through a strainer to remove the chicken and any bones or skin that have separated.

Add the broth back to the pan.  Set the chicken aside to cool so the skin and bones may be removed.

Add the carrots, celery, onion, and green beans to the stock. Taste the stock and add additional seasoning, if required.  Return to a boil.  Cover and cook until the veggies are tender.

Remove the skin and bones from the cooled chicken and break it into bit sized pieces and add to the soup.

Add one 32 oz package of frozen egg noodles or dumplings and let cook at a rolling boil for another 15 minutes.

By browning the chicken first, the broth was a really nice golden brown and had a wonderful roasted flavor.  Sooooo good!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Grandma's Corn Chowder with Chicken

Fall is approaching and it's this time of year when I start to make sure I have ingredients on hand to make soup for those unexpected chilly days.  My favorite days of the year are shorts with sweatshirt days.  You know the ones I'm talking about.  And there is nothing more satisfying for dinner after a chilly fall day than Corn Chowder.  Add a little chicken and you have the perfect one-pot dinner.

12 slices of bacon (fried, drained and crumbled)
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
4 cups potatoes (cubed) - I like red potatoes
2 cups white onion diced
1 cup carrots thinly sliced
6 Tbsp flour
5 cups chicken broth
2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
2 cups of corn kernels - there is nothing better than ears of sweet corn cooked and then removed from the cob with the Pampered Chef Kernel Cutter - it's so much sweeter and fresh  (It takes about 6 ears)
3 cups half-and-half
3 cups diced cooked chicken (1/2" chunks)
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon in 8 quart stock pot
Drain bacon on paper towel and then crumble
Add butter to the bacon drippings
Saute the celery, onion, and carrots for five minutes
Add potatoes and cook for five more minutes, stirring frequently
Stir in the flour and coat the vegetables
Add chicken broth slowly, stirring constantly to prevent lumps
Add the Old Bay Seasoning and cook until mixture thickens
Cover and simmer for 12 minutes
Dice and cook your chicken while you wait
Add the diced chicken and corn
Simmer for 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender
Add the half-and-half and salt and pepper to taste
Heat through

What a hearty comforting dinner this makes when served with crusty bread.  Yum!