Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chicken and Corn Soup with Rivels

Sometimes the most delicious foods are the simple, comforting foods that have been around awhile and stood the test of time. They cannot be replaced; they would be missed too much! I found the recipe for "Chicken and Corn Soup", in a magazine (I don't remember which one),way back in the early 1980's, but it has been around much longer than that. "Chicken and Corn Soup with Rivels" has Pennsylvania Dutch roots. Pennsylvania Dutch cooking originated with German immigrants who settled in parts of Pennsylvania prior to the 1800's. From them also came the Amish and other groups who have greatly influenced American cooking with many of the tasty recipes we have enjoyed for so many years! While reading this information in Wikipedia, I discovered that many of the dishes I grew up eating were listed here!Well duh! my great grandparents came from Germany!

Well, back to the soup. Rivels are tiny dumplings that are dropped into the broth toward the end of cooking. This is a very hearty,tasty, and budget friendly soup that is easy to prepare.

Chicken and Corn Soup with Rivels

1 chicken, about 3 1/2 lb.

8 cups of water

1 med. onion, diced

2 large ribs of celery, diced

about 2 cups of frozen corn (or you can use canned)

2 teaspoons of salt, or more, depending on taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 or 3 drops hot pepper sauce ( Tabasco style) optional
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin (optional)


1 cup of flour

1 egg

1 tablespoon of milk

Rinse chicken well with cold water and add to a soup pot with the 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, add the salt, reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer the chicken for about 1 1/2 hours till tender. Remove the chicken to a platter to cool. To the broth add the onion, celery, corn, pepper and hot sauce if using. Make the Rivels while the veggies simmer about 10 min. Into a small bowl add the flour,a pinch of salt,the egg and the milk. Stir with a fork to make a crumbly dough.
After the veggies have cooked, take some of the dough into your hand and drop the pieces into the soup, breaking up any large clumps. Don't add the rivels all at once, or you may have 1 large clump of dough in the soup! Simmer the soup 5 more min. Debone the chicken and either cut or tear the meat into pieces and add to the pot when when the rivels are done. Adjust the seasonings to taste. I tend to use less salt, so you may need to add more after tasting! Also, this soup really can thicken up, so you may need to add a little water or broth at the finish. Chicken and Corn Soup is great served with cornbread or biscuts, or even a salad. It's great to have a nice pot of soup that will last a couple of meals, so we can finish wrapping those Christmas gifts or baking some more cookies! Have a great day!
And please be patient with my photography; I am practicing, so it's got to get better!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

I'm a chocoholic, so when I was given this recipe for"Chocolate Crinkle Cookies" a few years ago, I was thrilled. They are perfect to add to your list of sweets to bake for Christmas, or for any other time when you may need a sugar and chocolate fix! When my kids were little, I started the tradition of baking cookies with them and then taking the sweet treasures to friends and family to enjoy. Oh my, did I ever have some mega messes to clean up, but what fun we had! My kids fondly remember rolling dough, making icing, plus of course, eating the sweet treets too. I treasure these memories now.
"Chocolate Crinkle Cookies" need to be chilled for several hours or even overnight for the best success in rolling the dough into balls. Also, the cookies can be chewy like brownies, or more cake like, depending on how long they are in the oven. As the cookies bake they will puff up and settle slightly giving them a mottled look. But they are so good, fulfilling any chocolate lovers craving. So let's start, shall we?
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
1/2 cup butter (real butter)
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar
Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate together. You can do this in the microwave or in a double boiler. Add sugar and eggs to the butter mixture. In another bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the butter mixture, along with the vanilla. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge at least 2 hours, or overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease the cookie sheet. Roll about a tablespoon of dough into balls and then roll into powdered sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. Cool on wire racks.
I plan on taking cookies to some of my friends and neighbors and my pastors family this year. What about you? Do you bake cookies for gifts? If so, what kind do you like to bake? Please leave a comment and let me know, OK?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cheese and Jalapeno Cornbread

I have an old church cookbook that was given to me many years ago and I have used it so much that it is literally falling apart. The pages are loose and stained, but there are numerous treasured recipes in this book. One is Cheese and Jalapeno Corn Bread. It is so moist on the inside with a burst of spicy flavor with your first bite! You can make it as mild or as hot as you like, just protect your hands when chopping the jalapenos as your skin can have a bad reaction to the pepper juice. It's a good idea to wear gloves when handling any hot pepper. My husband loves this cornbread with soups, stews, and also with a pot of ham and beans. And it is even better the next day!

Cheeese and Jalapeno Corn Bread

1&1/2 cups cornmeal

2 eggs, beaten

1 heaping Tablespoon flour

1 cup cream style canned corn

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3-6 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

1 cup buttermilk

4-5 green onions, chopped

1/2 chopped bell pepper

2/3 cup oil

1&1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9x 13in. glass pan with shortening and heat well in oven. Mix corn meal, flour, salt and soda; add buttermilk, oil, eggs, and corn in a large bowl. Mix well. Stir in jalapenos, green onions and bell pepper.Remove pan from oven and pour half of mixture into the pan; top with half of the cheddar cheese. Pour remaining batter over cheese and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake for about 35 min. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spanish Chicken and Rice

Some recipes stand the test of time and are as good now as when you first made them. Spanish Chicken and Rice is one such recipe. It was given to me by a friend many years ago, who has since moved far away. We have tried to stay in touch, if only with a card at Christmas. The last few years the cards have come less often, but I think fondly of her when I fix this dish. This is comfort food. Even my children ate this when they were small!
You can use a whole chicken, cut up, or just the pieces that you like, such as all thighs. It is best to use bone-in pieces, as I tried boneless chicken breastpieces and they turned out too dry.

Spanish Chicken and Rice

Salt and pepper the chicken pieces. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a medium hot 12 in. skillet and add the chicken, browning quickly and turning over to brown the other side. This should take about 5 or 6 min. To the pan add ;
1. 1 can of stewed tomatoes or 1 can of diced tomatoes

2. 1 can of low sodium chicken broth

3. 1 cup of uncooked rice

4. 1/2 cup of chopped onion

5. 1 clove of minced garlic

6. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

7. 1/8- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

8. 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas, added in the last 5 min.
9. 1/2 - 1 cup of water if needed during cooking

Cover pan with lid and simmer for 30 min. Check to see if most of liquid isabsorbed; you may have to add 1/2 cup water at this time. Simmer for 10min; add peas and finish cooking. (I used 4 thighs and 4 legs.)