Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Ideas 2014

We've been going Amish this Christmas. Not out of any life philosophy, but rather due to the fact that everything technological in the house (and a thing or two biological) is breaking down. The microwave is out of commission. The toaster oven is only toasting the back end of whatever you insert. Even Manifold Destiny is out because the Subaru is leaking an awful gas smell (after having been "repaired" of the issue last week).

Remember this? A brilliant idea only a guy could come up with
Nevertheless, it's my annual Christmas gift post, and, thank heaven, the regular oven still works. Check out these puppies:

Those would be "Megan's Sugar Cookies," which I posted about here. I tend to get stuck in gift ruts, so the neighbors will find a few sugar cookies on their annual plates.

And a friend came by yesterday bearing a gift. I was empty-handed, but fortunately I was also in the process of making granola, and she went away with a baggie-ful. This was the granola I traditionally give out to some of my husband's co-workers, and which I posted here.

NOT how yesterday's was presented, but you get the idea
If you're into no-bake this Christmas, give my "Payraise Bars" a try. In fact--SPOILER ALERT--this is what my husband's co-workers are getting this year instead of the usual granola, and you can find the recipe here.

And finally, if you'd rather they did some of the cooking, you can always give them a new cookbook and get a concrete date on the calendar for a potluck dinner. I'm still plugging this cookbook because I use it at least once a week:

Imagine how often I'd use it if I actually were vegetarian!
The kale salad new to this edition is pretty tasty! And you still can't beat her pico de gallo, butternut squash souffle, tomato tart, and stir-fried vegetables with fermented black beans. I know everyone gets their recipes online nowadays, including me many times, but I still go back to a handful of cookbooks, and it's a lot less alarming if I spill/splatter/drip on them, rather than my laptop.

Merry Christmas (or Christmas-Alternative) to all. I'll be taking Christmas Eve off, but then I'll come roaring back with the usual get-your-food-life-in-gear New Year's post!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Best Leftover-Turkey Soup Ever

I had one last bag of cooked turkey in the freezer (2-3 cups) and more than a gallon of turkey broth, and this was the result. (If you already used up your turkey, you can also make this with leftover pork roast, or bookmark this recipe for the next time you have leftover meat. I've made it with leftover pork and storebought broth, and it was still luscious.)

Curried Turkey Soup
Honestly, I'd been craving this soup since the last time I'd made it, and it was worth the wait. Plus, it's super easy. Along with the turkey and broth, you'll find...

There *is* a little chopping involved

Some dimly-lit seasoning
And some of my precious remaining BFM apples and potatoes...
A little sauteing...

A little addition of thickener...

And a dumping in of the rest...

You stir in a little milk or cream at the end, and you're done! Delicious. I do have one child who doesn't like potatoes (I know, right?) and had to eat his way around them, but everyone else had seconds and thirds.

Curried Turkey Soup (adapted from a Penzey's catalogue recipe)
1-2 lbs cooked turkey, cubed or shredded
2 quarts stock
1 Tbsp vegetable oil or bacon fat
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1-1/2 tsp curry powder
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp honey
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
1 lb potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup whole milk

Heat the stock in a soup pot over med-low. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. When hot, saute onion, celery, carrot, and thyme for about five minutes, until onions are translucent and tender. Stir in curry powder, flour and honey, and cook another 3-5, reducing heat if necessary. Add the chopped apple and stir to coat. Gradually stir in the warmed stock, a ladleful at a time until smooth and thickened. (You won't need all the stock--maybe two cups.) Then pour the thickened stock back into the soup pot. Add the potatoes, turkey, parsley, salt, and pepper, and simmer 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat and add corn. Slowly stir in milk. Serve! (Can be reheated over Low.)

I promise I'll share some food gift ideas next week, but I really, really had to share this with you. Thank heavens my husband's family also does turkey for Christmas, because I want more of this soup!