OT: Share winter recipes to make during the holiday break

lalitharDecember 3, 2012

As we are in the tail end of our marathon rebuild, we are going to do a staycation this year for 2 weeks. Request from DH and DD is to make a new recipe everyday :) Thought I would post here to see what winter recipes you all love to make. Please post special treats as well as your favorite winter soups, pastas, casseroles etc..

I will kick off with a recipe I have cut out of our CSA newsletter and hope to make. Here in NoCal, we are awash in persimmons - squat fuyu ones and plump and pointy Hachiya ones. We love eating them plain but I have never cooked with persimmon and look forward to making this cake

Enjoy this recipe using our Fuyu persimmons, which are squat and firm with a sweet and delicate cinnamon taste.


2 tsp. baking soda
2 C. flour
3 C. chopped Fuyus
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cloves
� C. (8Tbs) soft butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 2/3 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Eggs
(1 C chopped walnuts) Optional
2 tsp. lemon juice
(3/4 C raisins) Optional (I might try unsweetened cranberries instead)
2 tsp. vanilla

Grease and flour a bundt cake pan. Preheat oven to 350. Blend baking soda into chopped firm Fuyus. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat sugar into the softened butter. Add eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Stir in Fuyu mix. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir dry ingredients into Fuyu mixture just until blended. Optional, add walnuts and raisins.

Pour mixture into prepared bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 55 - 60 minutes or until toothpick tests clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Turn onto rack. Dust top with powdered sugar or eat plain and buttered with your morning coffee or tea.

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Here is a new twist on Enchiladas. We love it.

2 1/2 lb butternut squash, roasted and mashed
2 T oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c frozen corn
1 T chile powder (or a mix of ancho, chipotle chile)
1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t cumin

12 6-inch-diameter corn tortillas

8 oz. Pepper Jack cheese
8 oz. cheddar cheese

Prepared salsa or enchilada sauce

Heat 2T oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Mix in squash, chile powder, cumin, cinnamon and corn. Season with salt and pepper.

Wrap tortillas in damp paper towel and microwave briefly to soften.

Place 1 heaping spoonful of squash mixture down center of each tortilla. Top with 1 tablespoon of each cheese. Roll up tortillas. Arrange seam side down in a lightly oiled 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350F. Spoon enchilada sauce and remaining cheese over enchiladas. Bake until enchiladas are heated through and cheese is hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

This is great with salsa, enchilada sauce, or even tomatillo sauce. It also works with canned squash.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 2:04PM
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2 more Mexican-inspired favorites

Chile Cheddar Pumpkin Souffles

2 cups pumpkin puree
3 eggs, separated
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 oz. Cabot Habenero Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/8 t baking soda
2 t flour
finely pulverized tortilla chips

Butter 6 individual souffle dishes or custard cups. Coat the bottom and sides with tortilla crumbs.

Mix the pumpkin, egg yolks, flour, salt and soda together. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir about 1/3 of the egg whites into the pumpkin mix to lighten, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Divide batter among the souffle dishes. Bake at 350ÃÂF for 15 minutes or until firm and lightly browned on the top.

Smoky Tortilla Soup with Shrimp

2 T olive oil
1 c finely diced onion
1 c finely diced carrot
1/2 c finely chopped celery
3 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t oregano
1/2 t cumin
7 c chicken broth
2 15 oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 c canned crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 t minced canned chipotle chiles

1 lb uncooked small shrimp
1/4 c minced fresh cilantro

Lime wedges
Avocado wedges

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, cumin, and oregano. Saut� until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, pinto beans, crushed tomatoes and chipotle chilies; bring to simmer. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add shrimp and cook until opaque in center, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in chopped fresh cilantro. Serve soup, garnishing with avocado. Pass lime wedges and tortilla chips separately.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 2:07PM
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It sounds funny, it looks funny, it takes every dish in the kitchen, but it tastes great!

(P.S. If anyone can suggest a good substitute for the 2 slices of bacon, please let me know. The bacon lends a salty, zesty flavor to the dish, but we're having a non-bacon eating guest who otherwise would love this.)

Bacon & Butternut Pasta
from Cooking Light

Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

Total: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes
Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 388
Fat: 15.4g
Protein: 12.1g
Carbohydrate: 51.4g

5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cooking spray
12 ounces uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta), campanile, or other short pasta
4 cups chopped kale
2 bacon slices
2 cups vertically sliced onion
1 teaspoon salt, divided
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup creme fraiche
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine squash and oil in a large bowl; toss well. Arrange squash mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until squash is tender.
3. Cook pasta 7 minutes or until almost al dente, omitting salt and fat. Add kale to pan during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta mixture.
4. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion to drippings in pan; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
5. Bring 1 3/4 cups broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Combine remaining 1/4 cup broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to broth. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in creme fraiche.
6. Combine squash, pasta mixture, bacon, onion mixture, and sauce in a large bowl; toss gently. Place pasta mixture in a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned.

Julianna Grimes, Cooking Light

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 2:16PM
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Mabelgeldine -> The enchilada casserole sounds yummy1 Is there a specific brand of enchilada sauce or salsa that yo like to use? The souffle sounds delicious.. DH has some texture issues (yes he can't stand flan, creme brulee, or cottage cheese). Hmm.. I have to try to alter the recipe to be 2-3 serving..

suzannesl: I love butternut squash in pasta.. I have to see if I can sub the bacon (family of vegetarians :)

Keep it coming people!
(Breezy --> If you are checking.. please post your lemon arugula pasta recipe please.. also the stilton cheese tart :)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:08PM
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i am bookmarking this thread...

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 6:47PM
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Lalitha, unfortunately in Maine all I can get is Old El Paso or the other national brand whose name I cannot recall just now. I've in the past made homemade enchilada sauce and frozen it in serving size portions. For salsa I use Green Mountain or Pace. I have also made a quick enchilada sauce which I'll paste below. It really is good with all.

Cheater Enchilada Sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup New Mexico or California chili powder
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic and onion powder into the flour mixture, and continue cooking over medium heat about 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 8:12PM
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Bumping up so we get more recipes :)

Enchilada sauce from scratch sounds delish! I have all the ingredients.. I might just give this a try this weekend.

I love fresh cranberries - Any dishes with fresh cranberries anyone?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:06PM
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Cajun Red Beans and Rice
cook in rice cooker
1.5 c brown rice
chop fine and saute
1 large Onion
3 ribs celery
2 poblanos/ anaheims
add and cook 30 sec
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t (heaping) thyme
1-2 t chili powder
1 bay leaf
add and cook about 10 min.
splash cider vinegar
1 cup chicken broth
cooked rice from above
1 pkg frozen corn
1 can red beans
1/c c chopped Smokehouse almonds

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:07PM
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We love cranberries too! My DS eats them out of the freezer like candy. Here are two(1 via link)

Cranberry Bars
For the filling:
1 12 ounce bag of cranberries
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c water
2 tsp lemon juice
For the crust and crumb:
1/3 cup pecans
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar, not packed
3/4 teaspoon salt(this is way too much)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon, generous
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a glass (Pyrex) 13x9" pan.
Make filling:
Place filing ingredients in a sauce pan on medium heat. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. All the cranberries should have popped and the mixture should have thickened. Take off heat and set aside.
Make crust and topping:
Put pecans in bowl of Cuisinart and pulse until well ground. Add oats and pulse to chop them up a bit, this is to your preference. Add flour, and remaining dry ingredients and pulse to combine. Scatter the butter on the top and pulse until the mixture resembles corn meal.
Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture. Pour the remaining crumbs into the prepared pan and press firmly into the bottom of the pan, and slightly up the sides. Try to create an even layer. Pour the cranberry goo over the crust. Try not to let cranberry goo touch the sides of pan because it makes it very difficult to get out of the pan. Spread/sprinkle the remaining crumbs evenly over the cranberries.
Bake 45 minutes, turning the pan every 15 minutes. Place on a wire rack and let cool thoroughly before trying to slice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cranberry-Cornmeal Pancakes

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 3:52PM
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lalitha I wish I'd seen this thread yesterday as I baked a persimmon bread/cake but didn't use up nearly enough persimmons. I'm drowning! I picked 4 dozen over the weekend and barely made a dent, and that's from a single tree. It's hard to find recipes for fuyus as most seem to be for hachiyas. I'll try yours next time for sure - thanks for posting.

The other recipes here look yummy too.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:20PM
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Hi--longtime lurker and even longer-time vegetarian here.

To sub for bacon in recipes I use a few different strategies depending on what the final product will be.

Morningstar Farms makes a veggie bacon product that is the closest I've found to the real deal (as I remember it, long ago). I use that with a drop or two of liquid smoke to up the flavor. If you need drippings (the faux bacon is very low fat), fry the "bacon" with a bit of olive oil to provide the fat needed for the dish. You can increase the saltiness and umami by adding in a little soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, or Braggs Liquid Aminos--be cautious as these are all very salty. Adding in a bit (1 T or less) of tomato paste can also add depth of flavor.

Hope some, or all, of this helps.

Happy cooking, Sara

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:53AM
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In my house it wouldn't be Christmas without gingerbread pancakes.
So here is a simple inexpensive recipe:
Easy Gingerbread Pancakes
3 cups of 'complete' buttermilk pancake mix (see note1)
1 cup brewed coffee cooled to room temperature (see note 2)
1 cup water
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Maple syrup (optional), for serving

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients except maple syrup. Batter will be thin. You may add more of the buttermilk pancake mix 1 tablespoon at a time for thicker pancakes. Coat non-stick griddle or large skillet with vegetable oil cooking spray and place over medium heat. ( if using electric griddle heat to 375 degrees. When griddle is hot, using a 1/4 cup measure, pour batter on to griddle. Cook until bubbles appear and edges start to dry on first side, about 2 minutes. Turn pancakes and cook until second side is golden brown, another 1 to 2 minutes
Remove pancakes to a warm plate and cover loosely with foil or place in a warm draft free location. Repeat with remaining batter until all pancakes are cooked. Serve immediately with syrup if desired. Makes 8 servings (about 24 medium size pancakes.
Notes: 1) I used Aunt Jemima Butter-milk Complete Pancake and Waffle Mix. You may choose any mix that is labeled "complete" (i.e., requires only water). 2) you may use an equal amount of instant coffee mixed according to package instructions instead of brewed coffee. However brewed coffee offers a bolder presence.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Well I hesitate because these all seem somewhat 'healthy' but wintertime favorites in my neck of the woods are rather...hearty to warm the belly. I'll go ahead and post and maybe someone might enjoy them. They aren't for the calorie counters (at least not on the day you are eating them)!

This is a new one I just tried at Thanksgiving and really liked it. The apples and pecans add a really nice flavor and it's not too rich.

Apple Pecan Cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 T sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 c melted butter

2 - 8 oz pkgs neufchatel cream cheese
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 t vanilla

4 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples
1/3 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 c chopped pecans

Combine crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and butter, press onto bottom of 9 inch spring form pan or 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Combine cream cheese and sugar, mixing at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla. Pour over crust.

Toss apples with combined sugar and cinnamon. Spoon over filling, sprinkle with pecans.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Loosen cake from rim of pan. Chill for 4 hours before serving. Store refrigerated.

This post was edited by Autumn.4 on Thu, Dec 6, 12 at 16:28

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 3:58PM
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This recipe feeds my family of 4 for at least 2 meals. It's easy to halve if you need to.

Potato Soup:

12 potatoes diced (bite sized - I use red skins)
1 bag of baby carrots sliced
1 bunch celery sliced
1 small onion minced

2T parsley flakes

1 family sized cream of chicken soup
1 reg size can of cream of chicken soup

1 - 8 oz cream cheese, softened

15 velveeta slices (approx.)

1 pound bacon fried and crumbled (optional)

Salt & Pepper to taste.

Put carrots, celery and onion in stock pot or dutch oven. Fill with water until veggies are covered and add parsley. Simmer veggies until somewhat done.

While the veggies are simmering dice the potatoes. Add them to the pot and add more water until the potatoes are covered. Boil until the potatoes are just tender - do not over boil. Add the remaining ingredients (soups, cream cheese, velveeta), reduce heat and stir to dissolve. Add bacon and salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic Redskin Mashers:

8-10 medium redskin potatoes, diced
1 - 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
1/2 C butter melted
1/4 C chives
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t salt
1 t pepper
1-2 t paprika

In salted water, boil potatoes for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain and mash with potato masher.

Whip cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add potatoes and remaining ingredients except paprika. Whip until combined.

Transfer to a lightly buttered 2 quart casserole dish.

Sprinkle with paprika, cover and refrigerate overnight*.

Cover dish with foil and place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking 25-30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

*I have made these and baked them the same day before and they turned out fine. They also keep nicely in a crock pot if need be for large gatherings.

We do eat more than just potatoes at my house, but these are a couple of our winter favorites. :)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Hi Lalitha! Here's the pasta recipe, although it doesn't exactly scream winter. Still, we love and eat it often. Stilton tart recipe later, as well as some yummy soups I've been making with all the squash that came in our last CSA box of the season weeks ago.

Penne with Brown Butter, Arugula, Tomatoes, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Whisk together
1/4 evoo
1 lemon zested and juiced
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound penne rigate pasta or whatever fun shape you like
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temp
4 or more cups baby arugula
1 or more cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 or more cup toasted pine nuts
3 or more tablespoons capers, drained

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a high-sided skillet, whisk the butter over medium heat until nutty and brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pasta, dressing, arugula, tomatoes, pine nuts, and capers. Toss until coated. Then add parmesan. If necessary to lossen the sauce, stir in the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Eat up!

(Original recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis with my tweaks.)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 2:43AM
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badgergal - I've made your gingerbread pancakes twice (fudging it both times, since I don't usually stock the complete pancake mix). Delish :)

breezy - tonight, I made your Penne with Brown Butter, Arugula and Lemon... DH gave it a 12 out of 10 and I loved it too. Thanks!!!!!

This was right before I added the parmesan:

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Oldbat--so glad so enjoyed it! I assume the kids did also. Yours seem Ike good eaters.

I'm hoping to try those gingerbread pancakes this weekend. I'll report back!

I have a couple great soups recipes I tried this fall, but haven't had time to post them here yet. On my to-do list.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 9:50PM
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anyone need a recipe for a grilled cheese?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 3:24AM
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Looks like a fun recipes to try. I will try to post over the weekend. Still have 6 days to work.... and then depends on contract jobs.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 7:06AM
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Breezy, I am going to try that this weekend. I love arugula, yummmmm!!!

In return for sharing, here's another arugula recipe I adore:

1/2 cup (packed) fresh arugula leaves
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

This is delicious on pizza. Toss on some arugula dressed with a lemony vinaigrette as soon as it comes out of the oven.

I am sure you could use Pine Nuts, but my DH is sensitive to them, so walnuts work for this.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Reporting back from the persimmon orchard, I can attest that the Fuyu persimmon cake in the first post is absolutely awesome. I'm guessing it will work well with apples too if there are no persimmons available.

In return I'll post a link to my favorite squash soup. Read the comments and cut back on the amount of broth you add if you like a thicker soup.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roasted Squash Soup

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 1:56PM
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I used Fuyus for a thanksgiving salad again this year and forgot how much I enjoy them. That cake looks yummy! When I go to the store tomorrow, I'll see if they still have a good selection and will make the cake.

I'll link one of the soups I mentioned earlier. It's fabulous as is or with some sauteed shrimp added. I made it in bulk last time and froze a few batches for later enjoyment. So tasty. One caution: Thai red curry paste varies so add a little bit and taste first. I only use half of the amount in the recipe, and the kids still find it too spicy sometimes. !

Here is a link that might be useful: Curried butternut squash soup

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 2:26PM
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Since this is the only time of year I can find Pomeganates in the stores in my area, I always make this some time during the holidays.

Green Leaf Lettuce, pomegranate and Almond Salad

Every bite of this simple, crisp salad literally bursts with flavor. With each bite, you get a splash of juice and the crunch of nuts


2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 lb green leaf lettuce (2 heads), trimmed and leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (20 cups)
1/2 lb watercress (2 bunches), coarse stems discarded and sprigs cut into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
Seeds from 1 large pomegranate (1 1/4 cups), bitter white membranes discarded
3/4 cup sliced almonds (2 1/4 oz), toasted


Whisk together lime juice, sugar, salt, and pepper until sugar and salt are dissolved, then add oil in a steady stream, whisking until combined.

Combine lettuce, watercress, and half of pomegranate seeds in a large serving bowl. Toss with just enough dressing to coat, then sprinkle with almonds and remaining pomegranate seeds.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 3:58PM
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breezy..when you make that soup here are a couple of things to try..you will be amazed at the richness it adds. Roast the carrots,onion and the apples when you do the butternut. The sugars are consolidated and they add so much . Don't use stock..use plain water...that way the flavor of the real vegs isn't masked by chicken. Look at Alton's curry powder recipe. I have been using it for several years. I make a bottle full and keep it in the freezer with all my spices. It is SO yum !!

And finally instead of cream ...at the end take yogurt and mince fresh cilantro and add it . Makes a lovely fresh tart drizzle . I make this about 1x month. You can also add coconut milk as your liquid and apple juice...so many ideas and so little time !! c

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 9:36PM
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breezy..when you make that soup here are a couple of things to try..you will be amazed at the richness it adds. Roast the carrots,onion and the apples when you do the butternut. The sugars are consolidated and they add so much . Don't use stock..use plain water...that way the flavor of the real vegs isn't masked by chicken. Look at Alton's curry powder recipe. I have been using it for several years. I make a bottle full and keep it in the freezer with all my spices. It is SO yum !!

And finally instead of cream ...at the end take yogurt and mince fresh cilantro and add it . Makes a lovely fresh tart drizzle . I make this about 1x month. You can also add coconut milk as your liquid and apple juice...so many ideas and so little time !! c

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 9:37PM
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Oh my...so much goodness in here! I haven't been around much lately (cabinet maker/contractor fell through and we've been regrouping) and there are several recipes that sound wonderful! Thank you, thank you...even if I DO have to cook them in my old hateful kitchen still.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 9:44AM
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I made breezy's lemon pasta last night and would note for the benefit of others that you might find it too salty. My family ate it without complaint but I felt it was way too salty. If I cooked more, I might have known to hold back. I will be that cook when I have a new kitchen! Maybe the recipe is meant to say 1/2 teaspoon of salt? Giada's lemon spaghetti recipe, which I just googled, calls for 3/4 teaspoon.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 10:20AM
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I agree with onedogedie re the salt in breezy's lemon pasta. I think the salt in the dressing could be left out entirely. The capers give it enough. Nevertheless, this pasta is SUPER yummy and I will make it often. Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:08PM
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Onedogedie and Libraleo--Interresting. I use the full 2 teaspoons and do not find it too salty. I use kosher salt when cooking. Maybe since kosher is is often described as having a less salty taste than table salt mine tastes differently. Indeed, many cooking experts will tell you to add more salt to certain recipes if you're using kosher. I just like the taste of it better than regular salt. I also use various sea salts for parts of other recipes and as a finishing salt.

Well, adjust salt for your variety and tastes. For me, the recipe is perfect as is!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Here's our friend Maria's everyday chicken mole or, as she explained to me long ago, amused by the new culinary fuss over "moles," chicken in gravy. Maria was the oldest of 10 and spent her childhood here in the U.S. babysitting and on a stool preparing meals while the adults were out in the fields. She's a fantastic cook, but this is simple home cooking, no chocolate, no "special" ingredients. I'm offering it because I never see it on recipe forums and it is delicious, definitely winter comfort food. Amounts are approximate, of course, and can be massaged as desired.

Chicken broth
Water and 2-3 pounds chicken parts, chicken, plus whatever you usually add, such as:
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 leafy stalk celery.
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons chicken fat (skimmed from chicken broth)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons flour
Cumin seed, broken up, to taste, about 1 tablespoon or more
Good quality chili powder to taste, start with a tablespoon if unsure
3 cups chicken broth

Simmer first group of ingredients about 20 minutes, skimming foam as they approach a low boil, then turning heat down to simmer about 20 minutes for the typical supermarket chicken. Remove and cool chicken enough to pull apart into bite-size pieces.

For gravy, lightly saute onion, garlic and spices in chicken fat skimmed from the broth. Sift flour into the pan, whisking quickly, and stir over low-medium heat until flour is cooked; will be bubbly but not browned. Then stir in defatted chicken broth and simmer until thickened. Salt as desired. At this point you can add more chili powder to taste if needed and simmer a bit more. We like it a nice medium chile-red, not pale and not dark. Then add the chicken and serve over whatever you like.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Breezy's right. Salts definitely vary in their saltiness. Even kosher salts vary. I ruined a batch of dill pickles this summer and did some research to find out why. Apparently Morton Kosher Salt is almost 2x as salty as Diamond Kosher Salt.
This is a NY Times article on the subject

Here is a link that might be useful: NYTimes article

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 4:36PM
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localeater - thanks so much for the article link. I would not have learned this had I used kosher salt! And while I am still irritated by recipes that specify "freshly ground pepper," I will now nod knowingly when I see the word "kosher."

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 10:09AM
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