Thursday, December 11, 2008

Easy Corn Chowder

This is what we had for dinner tonight. It's very filling and so easy to put together. A welcome meal after wrestling practice!

Easy Corn Chowder

1 lb. bacon ends & pieces (I use Farmer John Brand), sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 large round onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cups southern style hash browns or diced cooked potato
1 can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can creamed corn
1-12 oz can evaporated milk
2 cans Campbell's Cream of Potato Soup
1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
3 soup cans full of whole milk
1/2 cup diced cooked carrot
pepper to taste

Saute bacon ends until most of the fat is rendered. Add onions and celery and saute until onion is translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until potato is tender. Serve with fresh rolls or bread and a salad or sandwiches for a complete meal.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Cookie Exchange

Last night I baked some milk chocolate chip cookies with walnuts (recipe on Hershey's chips package) for Bernie to take to work. I'm auditioning recipes for a cookie exchange I'm participating in on Sunday. When my cousin, John, came to visit last month, he brought me some chocolate/caramel dipped shortbread cookies from a company called Big Island Candies. They were AWESOME! and I can't get them out of my head. (See picture above) I knew anything I baked myself wouldn't even come close, but I had to try. I took a basic shortbread recipe and dipped them in some melted milk chocolate. Yes, they were yummy but not the same. Unfortunately, my camera batteries are dead or I'd post a pic. Here is the recipe though:

Basic Shortbread Cookies

½ lb butter, softened
½ c sugar
2 ½ c sifted all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar with fork until soft and well blended.
Add flour slowly.
Knead dough with hands until it comes together. Place on sheet lined with Reynolds parchment paper.
Pat dough down with hands into a rectangle shape until desired thickness, about ½ inch.
Cut into smaller rectangles but do not separate. Prick two times with a fork. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies are starting to brown. Cool completely. Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

Dipping Chocolate

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 tsp. vegetable shortening

Melt chips and shortening in a double boiler over medium low heat. When completely melted, turn heat down to its lowest setting to keep chocolate from setting. Either dip cookies into chocolate or spoon chocolate over ends of cookies. Place them back on the parchment paper and let chocolate set. I placed the whole sheet in the fridge to set before bagging into gift bags.