Wednesday, February 20, 2019


What is the month of February known for?  It is Exotic Fruit and Vegetable Month, National Condom Month, and American Heart Month.  It is also Sweet Potato Month, Barley Month, Fabulous Florida Strawberry Month and Library Lover’s Month.  There are so many items to choose from this month to share a recipe with you.  I am choosing Avocado and Banana Month and making an Avocado-Key Lime Salsa.  It is great with many things.  You can serve with fish, chicken, shrimp and other items to your liking.   Here is something different to try and enjoy!



Avocado-Key Lime Salsa



2 ripe avocados, peeled and cubed

(I usually put lemon juice on the avocados so they don’t

    darken)

3 key limes, peeled, seeded, and chopped 

1 key lime for squeezing

1 red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced or finely chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

1 red bell pepper, diced

2-3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste



Combine all ingredients.

Squeeze key lime over salsa.

Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

It does not stay fresh for any length of time. Serves 4-6  





      Lime

When traveling to Palm Island in the Windward Islands by boat, we stopped at a local restaurant.   The restaurant used this recipe with many of their dishes. I asked the waiter if he could give me a copy of the recipe.  The waiter verbally gave me the recipe and I wrote it on a napkin. Of course, there weren’t any quantity of ingredients. So I had to experiment some to get the amounts.  And I’ve also changed a few items.  I prefer red onions to white onions and I have added more cilantro. Give this recipe a try.  I think you will like the taste. 








Sunday, December 23, 2018


January is the beginning of a New Year, 2019.  So what is January known for?  It is Get Organized Month and National Clean Up Your Computer Month. One of my favorites for January is National Hot Tea Month.  There are so many good tasting teas.  But the one I will use is National Soup Month.  This way I can have my choice of what soup I will chose from my cookbook, Soups and Stews…Comfort by the Spoonful. 



One of my favorite soups is Butternut Squash Soup.  It is creamy and has a great taste.  Give it a try.



Butternut Squash Soup



8 cups chicken broth (or use vegetable broth)

3 carrots, peeled and sliced thin

5-6 slices bacon, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2-3 stalks celery, chopped

2-3 teaspoons chopped parsley

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

1 Tablespoon sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

3-5 Tablespoons dark rum*

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

Parsley chopped for garnishing



Put broth in a large soup pot over medium heat.

Add carrots, bacon, garlic, celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaf.

Bring to boil, cover and simmer 1 hour over medium heat.

Add potato, squash, sugar and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook 40-50 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Let cook, remove bay leaf and bacon.

Put into a food processor or immerse blender and puree.

Stir in rum, lime juice, salt, pepper, simmer 7 minutes.

Garnish with parsley.  Serves 7-8


* Substitute dry wine for the rum.





You can also use some of the seeds from the squash as a garnish.  Makes it look great.





Variations:

  • Add 2 cinnamon sticks. Add with potatoes.

Or

  • Add 2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Or

  • Add 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced. 







Monday, December 3, 2018

December Turkey Meatball Soup

December is a great month with all the holiday in it.  At some point you might be cooking a turkey and get into the spirit.  Here is a great soup to try during that time. I love turkey anytime of the year and usually cook it several times.  I  use turkey chopped meat a great deal.  You can also buy frozen turkey meatballs and use them.  Give this one a try.

Turkey Meatball Soup

10-15 turkey meatballs (you can use frozen ones or make fresh turkey chopped meat- meatballs)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or if you can find it turkey broth, but it is hard to find)
1 can (14 oz) strewed tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, cleaned, chopped in pieces
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2/3 cup corn (either frozen or canned0
1/2 cup green beans (either frozen or canned)
1 teaspoon dried basil (or use fresh if you have it, 2 T)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, combine the chicken broth, stewed tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, corn, green beans, basil, and salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered for 30-40 minutes or until the veggie are tender.
Add the meatballs, simmer until tender another 30-40 minutes.
Serves 5-6

I like to serve a nice piece of French bread or some other great bread with this soup.
Enjoy!



Wednesday, October 31, 2018


November 2018 

Sweet Potato Soup

1 Tablespoon bacon fat
1 cup onions, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced in small pieces
5 cups chicken broth (you can also use vegetable broth)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg ( I add a little more as I really like it)
Sour cream for topping

Saute onion, celery and sweet potatoes in the bacon fat for around 5 minutes.
Add broth, cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until veggies are tender.
Puree in a blender or use an immerse blender and then reheat.
When you serve put a dollop of sour cream on top.
Serves 5-6 people




Thursday, September 6, 2018


September 2018

What is the month of September known for?  There are lots of funny and appetizing foods.

It is ‘Be Kind to Writer’s Month’—that one really hits home as I am a writer of two cookbooks and one novel.  It is also Eat Chicken Month and National Chicken Month.  It is National Bake and Decorate Month and National Fruit and Veggies Month.  The one I am going to use is National Mushroom Month.  There are lots of recipes in my Soups and Stews…Comfort by the Spoonful book and choosing one was difficult.  I finally decided to share my Mushroom Barley Soup recipe that I think you might like. It should keep you warm even through in Florida September is still hot.


Mushroom Barley Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
½- ¾  pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
10 cups mushroom broth*  (or beef stock or chicken stock)
1  ¼  cups pearl barley, rinsed in cold water
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
2 to 4 Tablespoons parsley, chopped for garnish

In a soup pot, warm oil and butter and slowly saute the onion,
      celery, carrots until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add sliced mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes until soft.
Add broth, barley, all herbs and reserved liquid.
Bring to boil, reduce, and cook 60 minutes slowly so barley is
      tender.

Remove bay leaf, add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in bowl with parsley as garnish.   Serves 8-10

Wednesday, October 25, 2017




November

What is November known for?  Well we all know it is Thanksgiving and the turkey.

It is known for National Author’s Day on November 1st.  Also  National Novel Writing Month and National Peanut Butter Lovers Month.  Gluten Free Diet Awareness Month and National Georgia Pecan Month.  The one I really like is Sweet Potato Awareness Month.  Using sweet potatoes is a lot of fun.  When the weather in Florida starts to get a little cooler. I really like to make soups.  I am using the Sweet Potato Soup recipe and passing it on for you to try.  Hope you enjoy.



 Sweet Potato Soup

 

1 Tablespoon bacon fat
1 cup onions, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
5 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon nutmeg (can add more)
Sour cream for top

 Sauté onion, celery, and sweet potatoes in bacon fat for 5
     minutes.
Add broth, cover and bring to a boil, simmer until tender.
Puree in blender and reheat.
Add salt and pepper, and nutmeg.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.  Serves 5-6

 


 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August




August is almost the end of summer.  Kids will start back to school, but it is still hot in Florida as well as in the North.  It will start cooling in September. 


What is the month of August known for?  It is Boomers making a difference month and we do make a difference.  It is National Catfish Month and National Goat Cheese Month.  It is National Read a Romance Month and National Psychic Week August 7-11.  So it would be time to read by book—The Bonnie Neuk Tea Room:  Friends and Uninvited Guests (Ghosts) ($10.00) for it psychic thread.  It is also National Oyster Day on August 5th.  I love oysters and love cooking with them.  These two recipes with oysters are from my new cook book—Soups and Stews...Comfort by the Spoonful ($20.00).  You can get a copy of any of my books from me.  Contact me at conniehope@comcast.net for your copy.


 


Oyster Stew  Quick and Easy


 


1 or 2 cans oysters
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup onion, diced fine
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
6 cups milk
1 Tablespoon butter


 
In a medium soup pot, add the milk, oysters, salt, pepper,
onions, and Worcestershire sauce.
Bring to a slow boil, then simmer until onions are tender.
I simmer for about an hour very low.
Add butter and allow to melt.
Serve with oyster crackers.  Serves 4-5





Oyster Stew with Vegetables 


12-18 fresh oysters
3 potatoes, cubed
2-3 stalks of celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cups half and half
2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon thyme
Pinch of garlic powder
¼ cup of cornstarch for thickener (optional)


Saute diced vegetables and spices in chicken broth. 
Add milk and half and half.
Heat until warm.  Do not boil.
Stir in drained oysters and simmer for 25-30 minutes
Add cornstarch slowly continually stirring to desired
   thickness.  If it is thick enough, do not add more.


Serves 4-5