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Posts from ‘November, 2014’

A delicious soup to help recycle your Thanksgiving turkey

We celebrated Thanksgiving with our local children and grandchildren this past weekend. I cooked the turkey carcass overnight with a few vegetables in the crockpot and ended up with about a quart of very rich broth. I also had about a cup and a half of leftover turkey gravy to use. I had thought about using the broth and gravy to make an old favorite, Cabbage Soup, but decided to try out a new recipe that I had seen recently. I did change it up some, so I will list the recipe as I made it.


Tortellini Spinach Soup

2 Tbsps. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 onion, chopped
1 box frozen chopped spinach (I used 1/2 bag baby spinach, washed and stemmed)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (I used one can and the leftover gravy)
4 cups chicken broth
9 oz. refrigerated tortellini (cook 7-10 mins. and then drain)

Heat olive oil in a soup kettle. Saute onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until they are tender. If using the frozen spinach, add now. Add broth and chicken soup. Bring to a boil and then simmer 5-10 mins. Stir in cooked tortillini and fresh spinach. Heat briefly and then serve.

We really liked this and I plan to add it to my regular soup rotation. You could probably use frozen or dried tortellini or even ravioli in place of the refrigerated kind.

I probably won't post again until after Thanksgiving so I want to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.


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A new coffee cake


Recently I saw an interesting recipe on one of my very favorite food blogs, The Iowa Housewife. This blog is written by two sisters who enjoy cooking. Their archives are chock full of lovely pictures, great recipes, and helpful cooking tips. Anyway, the recipe that interested me was for an overnight coffee cake. This appealed to me on a number of levels:

It would be very convenient when we have overnight guests.
It would be very convenient when we need to take something for an early morning breakfast or brunch.
It would be very convenient because I am not at my best early in the morning. My mind tends to function more clearly after about 10 A.M.

I've mentioned before that Rob bakes something for our breakfast nearly every Sunday morning. He tried this coffee cake a few weeks ago and we both agreed that it was very tasty and had a nice texture. It has been added to the file and will be pulled out on future occasions when we need an early morning treat.

Here is a link to the recipe. They have very conveniently given you ingredients for both an 8" pan and a 9" x 13" pan so you can tailor it to the size of your group.

Here is the cake ready to go in the refrigerator overnight:


This recipe made me wonder if other coffee cakes leavened with baking powder and baking soda could be prepared the night before baking. Have any of you heard of this or tried it before?

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Some special treats


While perusing the aisles at Aldi last week I noticed they had cans of cherries--both sweet dark ones and sour ones. It had been several years since I have purchased cherries because they are normally out of my price range. The ones at Aldi were much more reasonably priced so I bought a couple of cans and made a cherry pie on Saturday. It was such a treat! Both Rob and I commented that it had been far too long since we had had cherry pie.


One of my readers asked for the recipe I used, so I am adding it here. It's from an old Betty Crocker Cookbook.

9 Inch Cherry Pie

Pastry for a two crust pie
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour (I actually used Clear Jel)
2 cans (1 pound each) pitted red tart cherries, drained
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 Tbsps. butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry. Stir together sugar and flour; mix with cherries and add almond extract. Turn into pastry lined pan. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust. Cut slits into top. Seal and flute. Cover edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake pie on lowest oven rack for 35-45 mins. or until crust is brown and filling starts to bubble.

The second special treat of the week was an email from the library telling me that the newest book by Alexander McCall Smith was in. If you have never read any of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels you should head to the library and check them out. The author has a delightful sense of humor and the books are great fun to read. The main character, Precious Ramotswe, is the first female detective in Botswana, Africa. The books do not contain bad language or a lot of violence. The cases that Precious tries to solve are more interpersonal in nature. You can also learn a great deal about the customs and life in Botswana. The book is in high demand at the library since it is new on the market so I can only have it for two weeks but I am trying to read it slowly. Sometimes it's the little things. 🙂


Have you had any small treats or blessings recently?

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