Saturday, January 8, 2011

Soup's On!

We started the day at -10º. By 8 a.m. there were a few, small snowflakes falling along with the temperature. By 10 a.m. the storm arrived in full fury, and it's been basically whiteout conditions since. Currently it's at -16º on our thermometer, but the official website says -12º that with the wind chill feels like -26º. Fortunately, we visited the library yesterday, and Jim got the Globe and Mail early this morning, so we're able to stay indoors, warm and toasty by the fireplace. But a day like this calls for SOUP!!!

One of our favorites is what I call "my kind of minestrone." So I've cooked up a 5 quart
pot of goodness that will warm us through and through. Here's my recipe. It's written on the back of a Christmas card, at least 15 years ago. I like to start with a package of soup mix, and my favorite label is Bear Creek soup mixes. Our local supermarket doesn't stock them anymore, so when I saw some on our holiday I scooped up what was there.

The rest of the recipe is "this and that" whatever you have on hand. Amounts vary, according to what's in the fridge. For instance, this pot has no spinach or fresh green beans. I could add some frozen beans, but chose not to. I take the casing off the sausage and cut it into rounds, which are then halved. The anise seed is in there just to emphasize the flavour of the sausage.
Throw everything in the pot and let it simmer for a few hours. Serve with fresh, homemade bread and a nice cheese (cheddar, maybe).

Here's another recipe that came into play today:
Quickie Cookies:
1 cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
Mix all ingredients and drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a 350º oven.
If you use a chocolate cake mix, roll the cookies in icing sugar before you bake them.

I used a carrot cake mix and added raisins and chopped pecans. Because the eggs were large (farm-sized large) the dough was too moist, so I added two handfuls of whole wheat flour. I like big cookies, so there were only 15 of them. I dipped the bottom of a glass that had a pretty starburst pattern on it into sugar and flattened each cookie with it. Because of the additions and the size of the cookies, they stayed in the oven for 20 minutes until they looked done.

Jim and I each had two and they were delicious and filling!

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