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?