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You'll find over 470 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Phoebe’s Pumpkin and Sausage Soup

November 9, 2021

Laura told me that she and Byron had really enjoyed Phoebe’s Pumpkin and Sausage Soup. I tried to learn a bit about the origin of the recipe, but I wasn’t able to find much. There is a similar recipe on the Food and Wine website. It’s called Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Thyme and was written by Phoebe Lapine. Perhaps Phoebe’s Pumpkin and Sausage Soup was adapted from Phoebe Lapine’s recipe.

In any case, this soup was really tasty! I’m not one who goes nuts over all of the pumpkin-flavored products that come out this time of year. I’ve never had a Pumpkin Latte. But the pumpkin in this soup really works! It doesn’t taste like pumpkin, but I think the pumpkin adds some richness that makes the broth luscious.

I’m already planning on making Phoebe’s Pumpkin and Sausage Soup again soon! It’s very easy, totally satisfying, and the leftovers taste great. It’s a perfect fall soup!

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It may not win any beauty contests, but this soup was delicious!

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Phoebe’s Pumpkin and Sausage Soup

(I’m unsure of the soup’s origin, but it may have been adapted from Phoebe Lapine’s Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Thyme on the Food and Wine website.)

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5 – 6 servings

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1 pound spicy Italian pork sausage

½ cup chopped onion, about 2¾ ounces

¼ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

15-ounce can of pumpkin

4 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

½ cup heavy cream (can substitute non-dairy milk, like coconut milk)

½ cup water

Salt and pepper, to taste

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  1. Crumble the sausage into a large pot. Add the onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the sausage is browned and cooked through. Drain excess fat.
  2. Add the pumpkin and the broth and stir until the pumpkin is evenly distributed throughout the broth. Stir in the Italian seasoning.
  3. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Add the cream and the water. Cover and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garlicky Steamed Clams

May 29, 2021

By Kath Dedon

We thoroughly enjoyed these Garlicky Steamed Clams this week! The recipe is from Cooking Light’s November 2016 issue. It was published as a recipe to serve 4; I found it easy to adapt it to serve 2.

(A tip for West Seattle readers: West Seattle Thriftway has the best clams! They’re super-fresh and super-clean. I did scrub them, but I’m not sure it was necessary.)

If you love clams, give this recipe a try. I’m already thinking of picking up some more clams to make it again.

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Garlicky Steamed Clams

(Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe)

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.(print the recipe)

Serves 2

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Cooking Light suggests freezing leftover clam juice in ice cube trays.

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1 tablespoon olive oil

3 garlic cloves, sliced

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dry white wine

2 tablespoons clam juice

½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1¼ pounds small clams (such as Manila or littleneck), scrubbed

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 slices of sourdough bread

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  1. Heat the oven to 400° to heat the bread.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. (I used a 4-quart pan.)
  3. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the garlic and shallots; cook for about 5 minutes, or until the shallots are soft.
  4. Wrap the bread slices in foil and put them in the oven to get warm.
  5. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the wine, clam juice, thyme, and red pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and boil for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the clams. Cover and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, or until the shells open. Discard any unopened shells. (All of my clams opened.)
  7. Stir in the butter and the parsley.
  8. Serve in shallow bowls with the warmed bread.

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Fiasco-style Beans (Fagioli al Fiasco)

March 23, 2021

By Kath Dedon

Don’t let the simplicity of these Fiasco-style Beans fool you. They are seriously delicious!

I found the recipe on Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks blog. It’s a great resource for all things vegetarian.

Top-quality dried beans can make a big difference in the recipe. I used dried cranberry beans from Rancho Gordo and they were perfect. Heidi suggests you could also use cannellini beans, cassoulet beans, or even pinto beans.

I will definitely make Fiasco-style Beans again. They take a little over 2 hours to make, but the hands-on time is very minimal. They would make a terrific side dish for grilled meat, but they can be the main course served with bread and a salad.

Fiasco-style Beans (Fagioli al Fiasco)

(Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s recipe on 101cookbooks.com)

(print the recipe)

Serves 8

1 pound dried cranberry or cannellini beans, soaked overnight

6 cups water

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

7 medium sage leaves

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Scant 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

  1. Set the oven temperature to 225° and put the rack in the bottom third.
  2. Drain the beans and put them in a large ovenproof pot. Add all of the other ingredients except the salt. Bring the pot to a boil.
  3. Put the lid on the pot, leaving it slightly off to leave a small crack. Put the pot in the oven to bake for 2 hours.
  4. Check the beans after a few minutes to make sure they are gently simmering. Adjust the temperature to 250° if necessary.
  5. After 90 minutes in the oven, add the salt and stir. You can add a bit more water if they are getting too dry. Bake them for 30 more minutes.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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Roast Chicken Thighs with Lemon

March 9, 2021

By Kath Dedon

This recipe for Roast Chicken Thighs with Lemon caught my eye on Leite’s Culinaria. Some good friends in California had sent us some Meyer lemons from their tree, and this seemed like the perfect way to use one of them.

The unusual thing about this recipe is that you start the thighs skin-side down in a cold pan. As the pan heats up, the fat slowly renders. The result is chicken thighs with crisp skin.

We loved this chicken! I will definitely make it again, even if I have to settle for a common supermarket lemon. It’s a quick and easy recipe that delivers a lot of flavor.

Roast Chicken Thighs with Lemon

(Adapted from a recipe by Sheela Prakash on Leite’s Culinaria)

(print the recipe)

Serves 2 – 4

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted

1 lemon, halved crosswise

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° with the rack in the middle position.
  2. Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken thighs and rub it all over. Generously season them with salt, and give them a few grinds of pepper.
  3. Place the thighs skin side down in a cold cast iron (or other heavy oven-safe) skillet. Scatter the olives around the chicken.

4. Place the skillet on a burner and turn the heat to medium high. Cook, undisturbed, until the skin is browned and crisp, 12 – 20 minutes. (My thighs took about 16 minutes.)

5. While the chicken is browning, slice one of the lemon halves into thin slices and set aside.

6. When the chicken is browned, put the lemon slices in the pan and put the pan in the preheated oven to roast.

7. Roast until they are done, 8 – 15 minutes. They will measure 165° with an instant-read thermometer. (My thighs took 15 minutes in the oven.)

8. Squeeze the other lemon half over the chicken and serve.

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Mini Funfetti Cake

December 14, 2020

By Kath Dedon

We had a special birthday celebration last month. Our grandson, Emerson, turned 2! I wanted to make a special birthday cake for him. I wanted it to use all the flour, sugar, and butter, but I wanted a “mini” version so there wouldn’t be too much.

I turned to an experienced baker of mini desserts, Christina Lane, for ideas. I have two of her cookbooks, Dessert for Two and Sweet & Simple, and I find her recipes to be reliable and delicious. She has a recipe for a Mini Sprinkles Cake in Sweet & Simple. She also has a recipe for a Mini Funfetti Cake on her blog. I printed the recipe to make for Emerson. What could be better than a sprinkles cake for a 2-year-old?

This recipe is so easy to make and it produced a very good cake. I’m sure I’ll be making it again. It’s a fun celebration cake for any age!

If you want a small celebratory cake, I can’t recommend this Mini Funfetti Cake enough. Emerson LOVED it!

And if you like small batch baking and cooking check out Christina Lane’s blog and her books. I like her style.

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Mini Funfetti Cake

(Adapted from Christina Lane’s recipe on her Dessert for Two blog)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4 – 8 (It serves 8 with very small slices. Perfect for those people who want “just a taste” of cake.)

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You’ll need a mini 6” cake pan with 2” high sides for this cake. I bought a set of them and find I use them more often than standard size pans.

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For the cake:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg white

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon milk

2½ tablespoons sprinkles

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For the frosting:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1½ cups powdered sugar

1 – 2 tablespoons milk (or cream) (I used about 1 ½ tablespoons of milk.)

1 tablespoon sprinkles

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 6-inch cake pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit on the bottom of the pan. Press it in.
  3. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar together. Beat on medium speed until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Beat in the vanilla and egg white.
  5. Beat the flour, baking powder, and salt in for just a few seconds, until it’s just combined.
  6. Beat in the milk until it is smooth. Don’t over mix.
  7. Stir in the sprinkles.
  8. Spread the batter in the prepared cake pan. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes and then turn it out on a plate. Peel the parchment paper off and let the cake cool completely before frosting.
  10. Beat all of the frosting ingredients together, and then stir in the sprinkles. Frost the sides and top of the cooled cake.

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“Want that”
Blew out the candle!

Had to stick his fork in to taste the frosting! “Mmmm….good!”

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Cheesy, Spicy Black Bean Bake

November 5, 2020

By Kath Dedon

Somehow this Ali Slagle recipe for Cheesy, Spicy Black Bean Bake in the New York Times caught my eye. The photo made it look like perfect comfort food. The recipe sounded great and it looked like it would be a cinch to make. It only uses one pan which is an added bonus.

Bob and I both loved this Cheesy, Spicy Black Bean Bake! I will definitely be making it again, and probably sooner rather than later.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Cheesy, Spicy Black Bean Bake

(Adapted from Ali Slagle’s recipe in the New York Times)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4

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3 tablespoons olive oil

5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

¼ cup tomato paste

1½ teaspoons smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup boiling water

Kosher salt and black pepper

1½ cups grated Cheddar or Manchego cheese (from about a 6-ounce block) (I used 6 ounces of Tillamook Medium Cheddar.)

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  1. Preheat the oven to 475°.
  2. Heat a 10-inch oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. When it’s hot, add the oil and let it heat up.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until it’s lightly golden.

4. Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, pepper flakes, and cumin. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.

5. Stir in the beans, water, and a bit of kosher salt and pepper.

6. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake until it is melted, about 5 -10 minutes.

Off-Oven Roast Beef

October 27, 2020

By Kath Dedon

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I came across this Sam Sifton recipe for Off-Oven Roast Beef in the New York Times and I was intrigued. The reviews were mixed, but there were many people who said it was the best way to cook a less expensive beef roast.

The recipe calls for a 3-pound beef roast, “like top, eye or bottom round”. I recommend choosing a roast that is more “rounded” than flat. I think a flat roast may overcook. I chose a 3.3-pound top round roast.

I was definitely nervous about overcooking the roast so I used an oven cord meat thermometer so I could keep an eye on it without opening the oven door. When I checked the temperature with 10 minutes to go, it was 134°. After 10 more minutes it was still 134°. I don’t think it would have risen any higher.

There is no need to let the roast rest; it has been “resting” in the cooling oven for 2 hours. You can slice it right away and serve it. My 134° roast was perfectly medium-rare, just the way we like it! We enjoyed the roast on the first night, and the leftovers made excellent roast beef sandwiches.

I know I’ll be using Sam’s Off-Oven Roast Beef method again soon.

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Off-Oven Roast Beef

(Adapted from Sam Sifton’s recipe in the New York Times)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4 – 6, with leftovers for sandwiches

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Take 2½ hours, start to finish

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For this recipe, do not take the roast out of the refrigerator early. If it warms up too much, it will likely overcook. My roast was 38° when it went in the oven.

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1 beef roast, like top, eye or bottom round, approximately 3 pounds (My roast was a 3.3-pound top round roast.)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

A few grinds of freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

Red-pepper flakes to taste

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  1. Preheat the oven to 500°.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and pepper flakes together.
  3. Remove the roast from the refrigerator and put it in a roasting pan or cast iron skillet.
  4. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the roast.

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5. If using an oven cord meat thermometer, put the probe in the roast so it reaches into the center of the meat. (Optional; I probably wouldn’t use it next time.)

6. When the oven reaches 500° put the roast in the oven. Roast for 5 minutes per pound. (My roast was 3.3 pounds; 5 x 3.3 = 16.5. I roasted it at 500° for 16½ minutes.)

7. Turn the oven off. Do not open the oven door at any time. Set a timer for 2 hours.When the 2 hours is up, take the roast out of the oven. Slice it and enjoy!

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Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad With Feta Dressing

July 23, 2020

By Kath Dedon

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Carrie alerted me to this Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad With Feta Dressing on Tuesday. Since I was planning an actual mask-on trip to the grocery store (as opposed to Covid-19 InstaCart shopping), I added the ingredients that I needed to my shopping list and we had it that night.

I have to say this salad, developed by Sue Li for the New York Times, is fantastic! It felt like a bit of prep work, but the resulting salad was very rewarding. As Carrie said, it’s summer on a plate! I served it with grilled salmon. Perfect!

I followed Carrie’s lead and used just 4 ears of corn instead of the 6 called for in the recipe. It was more than enough corn. I might use just 3 ears next time.

Do give this Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad with Feta Dressing a try while we have great corn available. I think you won’t be disappointed.

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Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad with Feta Dressing

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Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad with Feta Dressing

(Adapted from Sue Li’s recipe in the New York Times)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4 – 6

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If you’re cooking for two it’s easy to save half of the salad for the next day. Set aside half of the dressing, corn, green onions, lettuce, and avocado before tossing the salad. The lettuce and avocado will keep better if they have not been tossed with the dressing. I really enjoyed having the salad again the next night without having to repeat all of the prep work.

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4 ears of corn, shucked and silk removed

1 bunch green onions (about 6 – 7), trimmed

1 jalapeno, stemmed, halved lengthwise, and seeds removed

3 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and black pepper

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about ¾ cup)

1/3 cup buttermilk (or substitute milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice, as I did)

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 small garlic clove, grated

¼ cup sliced fresh chives

¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1 medium head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)

1 or 2 avocados, sliced (I used just 1, but it was very large.)

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1/ Heat the grill (or grill pan) to medium high.

2. Toss the corn, green onions, and jalapeno halves with the olive oil in a large bowl. Set the bowl aside for tossing the salad.

3. Grill the corn, green onions, and jalapeno halves until they are charred and tender. This will take about 10 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill. Remove the vegetables to a cutting board or sheet pan and allow them to cool a bit.

Grilling corn, green onions, and jalapeno

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4. Mash the feta into a coarse paste in a medium bowl. (I used my immersion blender to quickly complete this task.)

5. Stir in the buttermilk, lemon juice, and garlic. Then add the chives and parsley.

6. Mince the jalapeno and add it to the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Cut the corn from the cobs, and cut the green onions into bite-sized pieces. Cut the avocado slices into bite-sized pieces.

8. Toss the lettuce and avocado with half of the dressing and serve it on a platter or individual plates.

9. Arrange the corn, and green onions on the salad. Drizzle with additional dressing.

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Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad

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Roast Chicken with Cabbage

May 20, 2020

By Kath Dedon

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When I saw Deb Perelman’s recipe for Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Cabbage on her Smitten Kitchen blog, I knew I had to try it. I didn’t need a new recipe for roast chicken. Mark Bittman’s Easiest Roast Chicken remains my favorite recipe for foolproof chicken. I had to make it to try the cabbage.

Deb raved about the cabbage. I checked the comments, and people who had made the recipe talked about how great the cabbage was. “Transcendent” and “amazing” were words that they used to describe the cabbage!

And what’s not to like about a recipe that requires only 4 ingredients (not including salt and pepper)? That’s especially welcome in this time of quarantine cooking.

So I made it. And WOW! It was so good. The cabbage really was amazing. It was like cabbage candy! It was so flavorful after roasting in the butter and chicken fat. Wow! Oh, and the chicken was very good, too. 😉 Do try this Roast Chicken with Cabbage. You won’t be disappointed.

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Cabbage

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Roast Chicken with Cabbage

(Adapted from Deb Perelman’s Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Cabbage on Smitten Kitchen)

 

(print the recipe)

 

Serves 4

 

The timing will depend on the size of your chicken. Deb had a 3-pound chicken and suggested a 45 – 60 minute roast time. My 4-pound chicken took 1 hour and 15 minutes. It’s best to use an instant read thermometer to confirm when the chicken is done. The thickest part of the thigh should measure 165° when it is done.

 

1 large head (2½ – 3 pounds) green cabbage

Splash of oil, any kind

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 whole chicken (mine was 4 pounds)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

  1. Heat the oven to 450°.
  2. Stand the cabbage up on a cutting board with the core end on the bottom. Cut the cabbage in half from top to bottom. Put the cabbage halves cut side down. Slice the halves crosswise into 1 – 1½-inch slices.

slicing the cabbage

 

3. Put the splash of oil in a 12-inch oven-safe skillet and spread it around with a paper towel.

4. Arrange the cabbage slices in the skillet, cutting them, if necessary, to make them fit tightly. Sprinkle the cabbage with salt and pepper.

cabbage in the pan

 

5. If your chicken has giblets in the cavity, remove them and discard or save for another use.

6. Pat the chicken dry and place it on top of the cabbage. Brush 1 tablespoon of the melted butter over the chicken. Use about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and rub it all over the chicken. Grind some pepper all over the chicken.

ready to roast

7. Roast the chicken breast side up. Set the timer for 1 hour for a 4-pound chicken.

8. After 20 minutes, spoon another tablespoon of the melted butter over the chicken and cabbage. Repeat this basting another couple of times during the roasting.

9. Check the temperature of the chicken after an hour. If the temperature is not 165°, roast for another 15 minutes. Mine was done at this point. Continue to roast and check if yours is not done.

10. When the chicken is done, put it on a cutting board to rest.

11. Put the cabbage back in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes, until the edges are browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

12. Cut the chicken into pieces and serve with the cabbage.

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Roast Chicken with Cabbage

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Homemade Bean with Bacon Soup

May 13, 2020

By Kath Dedon

 

When I was a kid, we often had Campbell’s soup for lunch. Mom believed in having something hot for lunch during the long, cold, Minnesota winters.

I can’t think of any Campbell’s soup that I didn’t like back then, but I think my favorite was their Bean with Bacon.

When I saw Elise Bauer’s recipe for Bean and Bacon Soup on Simply Recipes, I had to try it. I was not disappointed. We really enjoyed it. Beans and bacon really do partner well together! I’ll definitely keep this one in the soup rotation during the cooler seasons.

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Homemade Bean with Bacon Soup

(Adapted from Elise Bauer’s recipe on Simply Recipes)

 

(print the recipe)

 

Serves 4 – 6

 

1 pound navy beans (also called “pea” beans)

5 ounces of bacon, cut into ½-inch wide pieces (about 4 or 5 pieces of thick-sliced bacon)

2 cups chopped onion (1 large)

¾ cup chopped celery (about 2 large stalks)

¾ cup chopped carrots (1 large carrot)

3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

6 cups chicken stock (plus an extra cup or two to thin the soup if it’s too thick)

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh)

2½ teaspoons kosher salt (or 1¼ teaspoons table salt)

¼ teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons tomato paste

½ teaspoon paprika

 

1 ounce bacon, cooked and crumbled for garnish (optional)

 

  1. First thing in the morning rinse and sort the beans. Put them in a large pot and cover with plenty of water. Cover and let them soak for 8 -10 hours.

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2. Put the bacon in a large, thick-bottomed Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes, until it has started to render its fat.

3. Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 12 – 15 minutes.

4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for an additional minute.

5. Add the stock, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover the pot. Simmer for 1 hour, until the beans are done.

6. Stir in the tomato paste and paprika. Simmer for 5 more minutes.

7. Remove the bay leaves and use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup. You want some of the beans to remain intact.

8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. If the soup seems too thick, thin it with a bit more chicken stock.

10. Serve, garnished with crumbled bacon, if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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