Friday, November 07, 2008

Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style

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It's the most wonderful time... of they year!!!

I love Thanksgiving and Christmas... hands down, my favorite holidays of the entire year! I love the happiness, the food, the reasons for the seasons... love it all. And I also love Overwhelmed with Joy's holiday tradition... Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style! So if you have a recipe to share, hop on over and link up, then read up on all the great recipes!

This year, I have two new recipes to share!

The first one is a Cooking Light recipe, a deep soul-warming soup called Golden Winter Soup. It has the delicious combination of leeks and potatoes, with the extra sweet surprise of butternut squash. A great soup for Thanksgiving! (picture taken from My Recipes)

Prep Notes: This recipe instructs that you use a blender to puree the soup. I do not have a blender, so I used my food processor in smaller batches, and it worked just fine. A potato masher, however, will NOT work, because the broth and starchy vegetables really need to be emulsified nicely in order to obtain its creamy texture.


2 tablespoons butter
5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium)
4 chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)


1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add leek; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally.

2. Place half of potato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Return mixture to Dutch oven, and stir in half-and-half. Cover and keep warm.

3. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with about 1 teaspoon chives. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

And now, one of my new favorites... Apple Pie Bars from Taste of Home -- ohmygoodness they are yummy! They have a rich apple taste, and they are the perfect dessert for pot-lucks, church dinners, and dinners to share with neighbors or for shut-ins. The recipe yields a lot, but none will be left!

Prep Notes: The dough is a bit tricky, as it is very crumbly, so if you are a novice baker, might I recommend the pre-made pie dough they sell in rolls? Otherwise, you will want to use the dough recipe provided as it has a nice texture-flavor thing going on! Also, I used a small pizza dough rolling pin to roll it into the pan because I found it to be so crumbly. You might want to try rolling the top crust out in several pieces to make it easier to handle. Finally: this is a forgiving recipe, so if you "forget" (ehem!) certain ingredients (like the crisp rice cereal) it will still work. The rice cereal is a thickening agent, and I don't recommend you skip it on purpose. Only if you're slightly distracted by a three year old that has been screaming in the background for over a half hour.


3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shortening
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk

1 cup crisp rice cereal
8 cups sliced peeled tart apples (about 9 medium)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon apple pie (or pumpkin pie) spice or all spice
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt; cut in the shortening until crumbly. Combine egg yolks and milk; gradually add to crumb mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide in half. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 15-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Spritz some Pam in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in baking pan and place one rectangle in the pan; sprinkle with crisp rice cereal (see prep notes above).

Arrange apples over cereal. In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and apple pie spice; sprinkle over apples. Top with remaining pastry; cut slits in top. Brush with egg whites.

Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. In a bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and enough milk to achieve a thick drizzling consistency. Drizzle over bars. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 3-4 dozen.


Sandy said...

Yummy GiBee - those apple bars sound delish!
Hope you're doing well!

Overwhelmed! said...

GiBee, both of these recipes sound delicious! I may have to try the soup recipe for my fall soup exchange that I host at my house each year! And the apple pie bars are tempting too!

Thanks for participating in my 3rd annual Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange! I do appreciate it.

Feel free to join me Fridays for my “Favorite Ingredients Friday” recipe exchange!

erinz said...

I made the Golden Winter Soup last night for dinner. It was so very simple to make and tasted like it took hours. My kids even ate it & they were sure they wouldn't. Thanks!

Lynn said...

These sound tasty. I love Taste of Home. Their recipes always seem to turn out great. I guess because they're ones that readers send in, so they're tried and true, family-tested. Thanks for sharing :)