Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Soft Sugar Cookies

1 cup soft butter or margarine
2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
5 1/2 cups flour

Cream together butter, sugar; add eggs and beat well; add sour cream and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. Cover dough and refrigerate for about an hour. Roll out dough on floured surface, or between plastic wrap, to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 to 17 minutes or until lightly brown, Do Not over bake or roll to thin.
Use Butter Cream Frosting to decorate.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Butter Bean and Rosemary Soup with Farmhouse Cheese

This is a classic Scottish soup and no one does soup better that the Scots, well maybe the Germans.

12 oz dried butter beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 pints hot chicken stock
2 thick sprigs of rosemary
1 3/4 oz grated farmhouse cheddar

Soak the beans over night, drain and rinse. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 10 minutes then add the beans, hot stock, rosemary and some black pepper, no salt yet. Bring to boil then cover and simmer gently for about 1 hour or until beans are tender. Remove the rosemary and try to get out all of the leaves which will have dropped off the stem; then puree about half the soup in a blender or with a kitchen wand, leaveing some beans whole. Now add the salt and pepper if needed. To serve ladle into warm bowls and top with some cheese.

Butternut Squash Soup

1/4 cup butter
2 Tb vegetable oil
1 small to medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium apple, pealed, cored and chopped
1 medium butternut squash, pealed, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
4 cubs chicken broth
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
sour cream (optional)
garlic croutons (optional)

Melt butter in large soup pot, add chopped onion, celery, carrots, garlic and apple; cook until tender but not brown. Add squash to pot and enough chicken broth to cover all the vegetables; bring to a boil. Add spices and cover pot, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for one hour or until vegetables are all very tender.

Using a cooking wand or blender, puree until smooth return to pot and add any remain broth to reach desired thickness (I prefer it nice and thick). Bring the soup back to a good temperature and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garlic croutons.

Garlicky Parmesan Croutons

2 cups firm white bread cut into about 1/2 inch cubes; sourdough or rustic work great. Crust on or off, whichever is your preference.
1/4 cup butter
3 Tb olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tb grated Parmesan

Heat butter, oil and garlic in a pan over medium heat; add bread cubes and brown cubes on all sides Remove pan from heat and sprinkle hot croutons with Parmesan.

These croutons are perfect on a salad or as a garnish for soup.