Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Holiday Wassail Recipe

free wassail recipe


  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 1 quart cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 27 whole cloves
  • 15 allspice berries
  • 4 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 5 McIntosh apples cored
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 medium orange


  1. Combine apple juice, cranbery juice, and brown sugar in a slow cooker.
  2. Place 12 cloves, the allspice berries, and cinnamon sticks in a piece of cheesecloth, and tie closed with kitchen twine to make a pouch. Add to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375%. Stud each apple with3 of the remaining cloves and place in an 8"x8" baking pan. Add the water to the bottom to the baking pan.
  4. Bake until the apples are a little tender when pierced with a knife (about 45 minutes). Remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. Once the slow cooker has been cooking the mixture for 4 to 5 hours, add the apples.
  6. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the orange in wide strips, avoiding the white  of the inside of the peel, and add the zest to the slow cooker.
  7. Serve hot, and enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

As temperatures drop, cravings for piping-hot soup seem to rise. Warm up with a bowl of creamy chicken tortilla soup, paired with tortilla chips for topping (or dipping!).

For this recipe, you can use store-bought chicken broth or try to make your own. The recipe’s original author, The Daring Gourmet, suggests making your own broth since you have to cook the chicken anyway – just make sure to buy chicken breasts with the bone in and skin on!
Simply let your 1 to 1.5 pounds of chicken simmer in the slow cooker for about six hours with three cups of water and celery, carrots, onions, garlic, peppercorns, and a bay leaf. If you don’t have the time, however, chicken broth from the grocery store also works!
This recipe also calls for masa harina, traditionally used to make corn masa. If you can’t find masa harina, cornmeal can be used as a substitute but might not provide the same flavor. Finely grinding up corn tortillas in a food processor would be a better bet to match the taste of masa harina.
Now, get your sour cream, cheddar cheese, and chips ready for this comforting meal.
chicken tortilla soup recipe

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

  • Shredded chicken from one large cooked chicken breast (between 1 and 1.5 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina (or cornmeal/finely ground corn tortillas as substitute)  
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 15-ounce can whole kernel corn
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips for topping
  1. Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or large cooking pot over medium-high heat and sauté the onions until tender and soft, about seven minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. 
  1. Add the masa harina (or substitute) and flour and stir to combine. Cook for one minute. Gradually add the broth, whisking constantly to prevent clumping. Add the evaporated milk and simmer until slightly thickened.
  2. Add the shredded chicken, salsa, corn, beans, and all the spices. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the shredded cheese, sour cream, and cilantro. Stir to combine and warm through for another minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve soup hot topped with more sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, and crumbled tortilla chips (if you like). 
Because the leftovers will thicken, it’s a good idea to add chicken broth or milk to the soup before reheating.
Recipe adapted from The Daring Gourmet

7 Layer Cookie Recipe Aunt Edna

  • 1 stick butter melted
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (roll the graham crackers under a rolling pin to get them nice and small)
  • 6 oz chocolate chips
  • 6 oz butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F
  2. Pour the melted butter into a 9"x13" baking pan.
  3. Add graham cracker crumbs, and press evenly into the butter so it forms an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over graham cracker
  5. Sprinkle butterscotch chips evenly over chocolate chips
  6. Sprinkle coconut evenly over everything, keeping it thinner around the edges so coconut won't burn.
  7. Drizzle condensed milk evenly over the whole dish, being careful to not put too much at the edges 
  8. Sprinkle walnuts evenly over the cookies.
  9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven then allow to cool and cut into small bars.
  11. Enjoy!

 Mom's Recipe Box from Aunt Edna

Butternut Squash Soup with Ham

Butternut squash soup recipe

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large piece of ginger, quartered
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 small butternut squashes, seeded, skinned, and cut into 1" pieces.
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 7oz cooked ham
  • fresh rosemary or chopped chives for garnish
  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and ginger.
  2. Season with a large pinch of salt and pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme.
  3. Stir occasionally and cook until the onions are soft, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the squash, potatoes, and carrot to the onions.
  5. Add chicken stock, and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook until the squash is very tender (about 45 minutes).
  6. Use a slotted spoon to fish out the ginger and discard.
  7. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until the soup is smooth. Use chicken stock to thin out the soup if it's too thick.
  8. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper, then ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with ham, chives, rosemary, and/or apple.
  9. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Applegate

Slow Cooker Bean and Barley Soup

Bean and barley soup


  • 1 cup dried kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • black pepper to taste
  • 14oz can of whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese


  1. Put 4 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups water, the beans, barley, garlic, carrots, celery, onions, zucchini, bay leaves, salt, and spices in the slow cooker.
  2. Squeeze the tomatoes through your hands over the pot to break them down, then add to the slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on high until the beans are tender and the soup is thick (about 8 hours).
  4. Before serving, add the spinach and cheese, and stir until the spinach wilts (about 5 minutes).
  5. Remove the bay leaves, and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Optionally drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil before serving.
  7. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Eating Well



Mint Chocolate Minicakes Recipe

chocolate minicakes free recipe


  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pecan (or almond) flour
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/8 teaspoon mint extract


  • Preheat the oven to 425F
  • Separate the egg, placing the white and yolk in separate bowls.
  • Add the sugar and cocoa to the egg yolk, stirring with a whisk.
  • Add nut flour, water, mint extract, and chocolate, stirring with a whisk.
  • Beat the egg white quickly until stiff peaks form.
  • Gently fold half the egg white into the egg yolk mixture. Once incorporated, repeat with the second egg white.
  • Grease 4 4oz ramekins, then spoon the batter evenly into each ramekin.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until almost set.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Garnish with powdered sugar, strawberries, and mint leaves.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Epicurious