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      Easy Beef Soup

      Spanky’s Beef Soup with Tomatoes and Potatoes

      Yield: 6 to 8 servings

      Preparation time: 15 minutes

      Cooking time: 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours

      Freezes well

      One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice, broken into pieces with

      the back of a spoon

      4 cups beef broth or water

      1 pound beef chuck, shank, or bottom round, cut into 1-inch cubes

      1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced

      2 medium potatoes, about 12 ounces, peeled and diced

      2 celery stalks, sliced

      1 carrot, sliced

      2 plump cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

      1/2 bay leaf

      1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, about 1 sprig, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

      thyme

      Salt to taste

      Freshly ground black pepper to taste

      2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

      In a large pot over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, broth, beef,

      onion, potatoes, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme.

      Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, until the

      meat and vegetables are tender, about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. Skim off

      any foam that forms during the cooking process.

      Remove the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the

      parsley.

      .

      Overnight French Toast with Maple-Orange Syrup

      Preparation time: 8 minutes

      Cooking time: 50 minutes

      Yield: 10 servings

      1-pound loaf challah or egg bread, sliced into 1-inch thick slices

      One 10-ounce jar (about 1 cup) apricot all-fruit jam

      3 cups half-and-half

      1/3 cup sugar

      4 large eggs

      4 large egg yolks

      1 teaspoon cardamom

      1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

      1. Spray a 15 x 10 x 2-inch pan with pan coating. Spread the jam

      evenly over the bread slices and arrange them in the pan, jam side

      up, with each piece overlapping half of the one below.

      2. Whisk together the half-and-half and sugar to begin to dissolve

      the sugar. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks, cardamom, and cinnamon into

      the half-and-half and sugar combination. You’ve just created a

      custard. Pour the custard evenly over the bread. Cover with plastic

      wrap and refrigerate overnight.

      3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap and bake the French toast

      for about 50 minutes or until it’s puffed and golden. Serve with

      Maple-Orange syrup.

      Tip: If you cannot find challah or egg bread, you can substitute a

      dense white bread, such as Pepperidge Farm brand bread, if necessary.

      It will change the dish somewhat, but it will still work.

      Maple-Orange Syrup

      Preparation time: 5 minutes

      Cooking time: 5 minutes

      Yield: 10 servings

      1-1/4 cup maple syrup

      2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate

      1. Heat the maple syrup and orange juice concentrate together in a

      small saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave. Just whisk

      together and heat.

      2. Serve the Overnight French Toast right out of the oven with the

      warmed syrup.

      .

      Baked Apples with Butterscotch Topping

      Baked Apples with Butterscotch Topping

      Preparation time: 20 minutes

      Baking time: 45 to 60 minutes

      Yield: 4 servings

      4 baking apples (McIntosh, Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Granny

      Smith)

      Half of a lemon

      1/2 cup raisins

      2 tablespoons honey

      3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

      1/2 cup butterscotch topping

      Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

      Core the apples (don’t cut them in half) using an apple corer. Remove

      the peel from the upper 1/3 of the apple. To prevent browning, rub

      the peeled part of the apple with the lemon and squeeze a few drops

      of lemon juice inside each cut apple. Place the apples in a 9-inch

      square baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the raisins, honey, and

      2 tablespoons of the chopped nuts. Stuff each apple with the raisin

      mixture. Pour a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan, about

      1/4-inch deep.

      Bake, uncovered, until the apples are tender (not mushy), from 45 to

      60 minutes, depending on the size of the apples. Let the apples cool

      for about 10 minutes before serving. Place each apple on a serving

      plate. Drizzle each apple with some of the sauce in the pan, the

      butterscotch topping, and the remaining nuts.

      Kelly in IL

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