Mulligatawny Soup

I had never had Mulligatawny Soup until I moved to New England.  It is really good.  I love curry and the Indian flavors that are present in this soup.  When I googled the soup, I found out out that the translation of this word is "pepper water".  Cool.
If you wanted to make this soup vegetarian, substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth, omit the chicken and add a cup or two of dried red lentils.  Should work.
Mulligatawny Soup
4 Tablespoons ghee or butter
1 1/2 pounds chicken, boneless, skinless, diced (I used tenders)
1/4 cup flour (omit if doing vegetarian)
2 teaspoons garam masala OR curry powder
2 cups small diced onions (about 1 large)
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and minced
1-2 cups potatoes, diced
1-2 cups butternut squash OR sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon curry paste
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 cups (2 quarts) chicken stock
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained OR 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1 (14 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 cups steamed (cooked) white rice (I used basmati)
In a Ziploc bag, add the flour, chicken and 2 teaspoons of garam masala (or curry if you can't find garam masala.)  Shake it up.
In a large saucepan (this soup makes a lot), melt the ghee or butter.  When it is hot, add the chicken and start to brown it.
Add the rest of the ingredients down to the chicken stock.  I just add them as I chop them.  Saute for about 5 -10 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the spices are aromatic.
Add the stock and tomatoes.  Simmer until all of the vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, vinegar and rice.  Simmer 10 minutes more.
Lovely.  Even better the next day.


Apple Pie Jam

My oldest kiddo is serving a 2 year mission for our church. (For more about that, see my earlier post http://ahawker.blogspot.com/2012/06/california-san-fernando-mission.htmlI miss him terribly.  He is my kiddo.  It sometimes feels like I severed a limb and sent it to California.  He, however, does not miss me in the same way (I don't think - he is not very verbose in his letter writing).  He is not supposed to.  He is having an adventure, doing things like serving others and growing up. *sigh*
How I still see my boy.
What he really looks like.
Apple Pie Jam is Joseph's favorite.  That is what I'm making today.  I almost didn't, but did anyhow.  It makes me happy and sad.  That's what kiddos do.
This jam is great on toast.  If you are creative, you could even make little pie crusts in a mini muffin tin and fill them with a spoonful of this jam. You could even warm it again and top vanilla ice cream with it, kinda like a reverse pie a la mode. Yummy.
Apple Pie Jam
makes about 8 8ounce jars
3/4 cup raisins
6 cups apples, peeled cored and chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup apple juice, unsweetened
1 package regular powdered fruit pectin
9 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Prepare canner, jars and lids.
In a food processor, pulse raisins until finely chopped.  Set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine apples and lemon zest and juice and apple juice.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in pectin until dissolved.  Stir in raisins.  Return to high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil hard, stirring all the while, for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and nutmeg.
Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar and screw band down until finger tight.
Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove jars and listen for the "ping".  Cool and store.


Kiwi Jam

This whole blog started with me blogging about canning and preserving.  I do it all the time.  It's fun and it gives me a sense of accomplishment to see all the fruits (pun intended) of my labor.
Sometimes, when I buy fruit, my kiddos eat it up sooooo fast.  Other times, not so much.  That is what happened with a bunch of kiwis that I bought.  My kiddos like kiwis.  They eat them - usually.  Not this time, however.  So here I was, in my kitchen, staring at a pile of uneaten, quickly ripening, kiwis.  I didn't want to toss them in the bin.  That's a waste of money.  If they were bananas, I would be making banana bread.  If they were berries, I would be making jam.  If they - wait a minute.  Jam?  Kiwi?  Never seen it.  Never done it.  Cool!
Kiwi Jam was born.
It's kinda sweet-tart and very refreshing.
It looks a little creepy on bread - perfect for right before Halloween.
Kiwi Jam
this made 10 - 8ounce jars of jam
4 cups crushed peeled kiwifruit
1 1/3 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
2/3 cups lime juice
2 packages regular powdered fruit pectin
6 cups sugar
Prepare canner, jars and lids.
In a large saucepan, combine kiwi, both juices and pectin.
Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.
Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and skim off foam.
Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar and screw the band down finger-tight.
Place jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove from water onto a towel on the counter and wait for the lovely "ping" from the jars sealing.


Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

Many people think that you need to add a lot of liquid to anything you cook in the slow cooker.  Not so!  I have made cake, bread, baked potatoes and so many other non-soupy things in the slow cooker.  Like roast chicken.
This is one of the easiest things to make in your slow cooker.  I'm not even going to list ingredients.  It's all up to you.
First, get a chicken.  I cook a large chicken because I can get a couple of meals out of it. (I also had a coupon.)
Open and rinse off the chicken.  Take out the Bag-o-Guts and toss it or make something else with it (I don't know what.)  I actually gave the innards to my chickens.  Yes, I am aware of how wrong that sounds.  Yes, I am aware that this action makes my chickens cannibals.  They still love it.
Place chicken in slow cooker.
Put what ever seasonings you want on top and/or inside.  For this one, I quartered and orange and stuffed that inside.  I then slathered the skin (only the top because I was done touching the chicken) with Emeril's Essence.  I have used salt and pepper, thyme, garlic and paprika before.  It all works.  And, no, you don't need to add any liquid.  You will end up with liquid, though.
Put a lid on that old bird and slow cook it on low for about 7 hours.
After 7 hours, it looks like this and will have 1-2 cups of liquid in the bottom.
Take out the chicken and save the liquid for gravy.
To make the gravy, melt 1/4 stick of butter.  Add 1/4 cup of flour and whisk around using your handy, dandy gravy whisk. Did you know that was a gravy whisk?
To the butter/flour combo, add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the liquid that was in the slow cooker.
That's it.  It takes about 3 minutes to make the gravy.
Don't throw our the rest of the stuff in the slow cooker, though, because now you are going to make broth.
After your delicious chicken dinner, throw all of the bones and skin (you really don't eat the skin, do you?) back in the slow cooker.  Add enough water to come to the fill line.  Put the lid back on the slow cooker and cook on low overnight.
In the morning you will have chicken broth.  Cool, amiright?

 I got 3 quarts from mine.  Just strain it into your containers and refrigerate.  After it cools in the fridge, the fat will be on top and you can just spoon it off.  It will be the low-sodium variety, but you can always add salt later.


Chicken and Sausage Gnocchi Soup

I love fall.  It is soup weather.  The leaves are changing and it is soup weather. There is a nip in the air and it is soup weather.
This is one of my family's favorite soups.  It started out by me trying to copy Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi soup.  I got it really close...and went a little farther.  What can I say?  It's what I do.
This makes a big pot of soup - probably enough for 10 as a main course.  Feel free to cut it in half.  When I make it, we usually have company (it's that good) and I like a little for lunch the next day.
Chicken and Sausage Gnocchi Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken breast or tenders, diced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, loose
2 cups onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 quart chicken broth
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 - 1 teaspoon herbes de provence (I like it, so I use 1 full teaspoon)
2 quarts half and half (you can probably use "fat free", but I don't know how it would taste)
2 cups chopped spinach, packed fresh OR frozen
salt and pepper
2 pounds potato gnocchi (Target has it for a good price)
In a large soup pot, saute the sausage and chicken in the olive oil.
Add the onion (Did you know that the flatter the onion, the sweeter it is.  The rounder the onion the more pungent it is?  Use whichever flavor you want.  I like the sweeter.), celery, carrots and garlic, and butter.  Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. 
Add the flour and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the chicken broth and stir until the liquid starts to thicken.
Throw in the herbs and the half and half.
At this point, taste the soup.  Add salt and pepper until you are satisfied - it probably won't need much.
Once the soup starts to simmer again, add the spinach and the gnocchi. 
Simmer until the gnocchi is cooked and the soup is hot. Don't let it boil.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Do you like the smell of bread?  How about pumpkin pie?  Ever thought of combining them?  It is really good.
I saw this recipe on the Facebook page of "Canning Granny".  You should check out her site.  It's really good. 
When this recipe was posted, I thought, I have to try it.  Here it is.  I used I loaf of white French bread and 1/3 loaf of left over Challah (thanks, Chelsea, it was soooo good. BTW, I would love to have your honey cake recipe.)
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup cream
6 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I grind my own, it tastes a lot better and I live in Connecticut - the nutmeg state)
1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin puree OR 1 3/4 cups of pumpkin puree
1 (or so) loaves of French or Italian bread, sliced thick and torn into large chunks
whipped cream to top the pudding (optional - or not)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the bread and whipped cream.

Add the bread and stir until all the chunks are moistened.
Cover and soak the bread mixture.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 13x9 inch baking dist with nonstick spray.  Spoon in bread mixture.
Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until set.  Let cool slightly.
Serve warm with whipped cream.

If you want to serve it in ramekins,  spoon into greased ramekins.  Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes.


Spinach and Artichoke Baked Pasta

Have you ever been somewhere that served hot spinach and artichoke dip?  Mmmm.  So good.  That's what this dish is like.  Only for dinner.  Oh yeah.  It is a flavor you will end up craving over and over.
Spinach and Artichoke Baked Pasta
1 box (1 pound) of pasta - I have used small shells or bow ties, cooked
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 (10 ounce) package frozen leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess moisture
1 can/jar (13.5 ounce) artichoke hearts (If you like vinegar-y stuff use marinated, if not use canned, not marinated.  It's up to you.) rinsed and chopped
About 1/2 cup of mozzarella, grated
cooked chicken (optional), I use about 1/2 rotisserie chicken
milk as needed
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly golden.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan lemon zest and lemon juice.  Stir in the onion mixture. 
Add the pasta to the bowl and toss to coat.  Stir in the spinach, artichokes and 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk if it seems dry.
Transfer the pasta mixture to a baking or casserole dish.  Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup mozzarella and bake until hot through, about 20 minutes.



Cinnamon Rolls

It is the first weekend in October.  For us, this means that it is General Conference (to find out what this is, check out http://www.lds.org/?lang=engTraditionally, I make cinnamon rolls for either the Saturday or Sunday sessions.  These don't claim to taste like Cinnabon, but they are my favorite.  The bread is easy.  I have never measured the filling, but I will give it a shot.
Cinnamon Rolls
2 packages active dry yeast OR 2 scant Tablespoons
1/2 cup warm water
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk plus enough warm water to make 2 cups
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 Tablespoon salt
7-8 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2-4 Tablespoons cinnamon
*if you want whole wheat, substitute whole wheat flour and use honey instead of sugar*
Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Stir in milk/water combo and the sugar.  Let it sit until it is bubbly (about 5 minutes).  This is called proofing the yeast.
To the yeast mixture, add the remaining ingredients, using the lesser amount of flour.  Knead for about 5-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.  I like a sticky dough - it makes a lighter bread.
Scrape dough into an oiled large bowl.  Turn the dough over so the oily side is up.  This keeps the dough from drying out.  Cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm place. 
Let it rise until double, anywhere from 1/2 hour to 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and divide in half.  Roll one half into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
Spread half of the softened butter on the rectangle.
Sprinkle half of the brown sugar and cinnamon on the butter.
From the long end, roll the dough into a log.
With a serrated knife, cut the dough log into 1-2 in pieces.
Place cut side down about a 1/2 inch apart on a buttered baking dish.

Repeat with the other half of dough.

*If you don't want that many cinnamon rolls (it makes about 25), take the second half of the dough and roll it to a rectangle.  Roll it up without the filling - oh yeah, you will only need 1/2 of the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon - and place in a loaf pan.  Let rise about 20 minutes.  Bake in a loaf pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.*
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Let the cinnamon rolls rise in the pan for about 20 minutes. 
 Bake in the 375 degree oven until golden brown, 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  Spread the rolls with cream cheese frosting while warm.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a mixer.  Blend until smooth and fluffy-ish.  Add the sugar and the vanilla.  Blend until fluffy.