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Easy Lemon Baked Donuts

Easy Lemon Baked Donuts

While a 20-person ugly sweater party may not be in the cards this year, holiday traditions can still take shape — just on a smaller scale. For couples who are usually debating whose family to spend the holidays with, use this year’s holiday at home Continue Reading

Mexican Meatball Soup

Mexican Meatball Soup

This recipe is dedicated to my Mommy O., who instilled in me a love of all things cozy.A robust, tomatoey broth studded with flavorful meatballs and tender vegetables, this is our family’s favorite winter warmer soup.I’ve been serving this up all week for our lunches. Continue Reading

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

Despite its somewhat lengthy ingredient list, this recipe is very easy to prepare. If you desire a soup with mild spiciness, trim the ribs and seeds from the jalapeño and use the minimum amount of chipotle in adobo sauce. This is a favorite in our house. 

Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

  • Tortilla Strips
  • 8 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • Soup
  • 2 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds) or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds), skin removed and well trimmed of excess fat

  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 very large white onion (about 1 pound), trimmed of root end, quartered, and peeled

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 ⅛ teaspoon Table salt, divided

  • 2 sprigs epazote, fresh, or 8 to 10 sprigs fresh cilantro plus 1 sprig fresh oregano

  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered

  • ½ medium jalapeño chile

  • 1 chipotle chile en adobo, plus up to 1 tablespoon adobo sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • Garnishes
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

  • 1 Hass avocado, diced fine

  • 8 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled, or Monterey Jack cheese, diced fine

  • Fresh cilantro leaves

  • Minced jalapeño pepepr

  • Mexican crema or sour cream

Directions

  • FOR THE TORTILLA STRIPS:**
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Spread tortilla strips on rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and toss until evenly coated.
  • Bake until strips are deep golden brown and crisped, about 14 minutes, rotating pan and shaking strips (to redistribute) halfway through baking time.
  • Season strips lightly with salt; transfer to plate lined with several layers paper towels.
  • FOR THE SOUP:
  • While tortilla strips bake, bring chicken, broth, 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, epazote, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil over medium-high heat in large saucepan; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  • Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate.
  • Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer; discard solids in strainer.
  • When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; discard bones.
  • Puree tomatoes, 2 remaining onion quarters, 2 remaining garlic cloves, jalapeño, chipotle chile, and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce in food processor until smooth.
  • Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering; add tomato/onion puree and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has darkened in color, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir strained broth into tomato mixture, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes.
  • Taste soup; if desired, add up to 2 teaspoons additional adobo sauce.
  • Add shredded chicken and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • To serve, place portions of tortilla strips in bottom of individual bowls and ladle soup into bowls; pass garnishes separately.

Chocolate Stuffed French Toast

Chocolate Stuffed French Toast

The first time I remember smelling chocolate cooking or baking when I was a young girl was growing up in Austin and occasionally Mom would make toast with chocolate gravy. Most of the time it was for a weekend breakfast or a late night treat Continue Reading

Jean Anderson’s avocado, black bean and tomato salad

Jean Anderson’s avocado, black bean and tomato salad

Sarah Moulton is one of my favorite chefs. I learned to cook by watching chefs on television and Sarah is one of my favorite. Watching Sarah Moulton on television is like being in the kitchen with your best friend. Sarah mentions her colleague Jean Anderson Continue Reading

Mediterranean Tabbouleh Salad

Mediterranean Tabbouleh Salad

I still remember the first time I tasted Tabbouleh. A local restaurant in Austin, the town where I grew up offered a Middle Eastern platter with crispy herbed falafels, lemony hummus and portion of tabbouleh salad with its bulgur wheat, tomatoes and parsley. For a girl who grew up on casseroles, garden vegetables and rabbit meat my family raised ourselves, this was the height of exoticism.
Tabbouleh lovers can have passionate opinions about the proper proportions of ingredients. I prefer a more filling salad that showcases bulgur as the main ingredient.

Mediterranean Tabbouleh Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

  • 1/4 cup good olive oil

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)

  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (1 bunch)

  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)

  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup feta

Directions

  • Place the bulgur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  • Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well.
  • Cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.
  • When serving, sprinkle with feta.
Chicken Dorito Casserole

Chicken Dorito Casserole

Growing up, this recipe was a favorite in our house as Mom and Dad could both make this and there was always and abundance of chicken… or rabbit. Now that I am older and recreating this recipe for quick dinner, potluck or sick friend – I Continue Reading

Brown Butter Pecan Pie

Brown Butter Pecan Pie

To me, nothing says Thanksgiving and the holidays like a warm pecan pie.Growing up, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday and going to Grandma and Pawpaw’s to celebrate was a special way to spend it. Memories of the smells of Thanksgiving in Grandma’s kitchen make me Continue Reading

Chicken Artichoke Stew

Chicken Artichoke Stew

This delicious and simple French stew is creamy, comforting and satisfying all year long. It can also be frozen up to 3 months, letting the flavors deepen and concentrate.

Chicken Artichoke Stew

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 large onions, chopped

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced sodium chicken broth or 3.5 cups of homemade stock

  • 6 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed, halved lengthwise

  • 2 tablespoons capers

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • coarse salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • Generously season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a Dutch over (or 5-quart stockpot) over medium-high heat. Brown half the chicken on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining butter and chicken. Set aside to cool.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add 1/4 cup water (sometimes I use white wine here if I have a bottle open); scrape bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add onions; cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute more.
  • Add broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Add carrots, thyme, and salt and pepper. Simmer until carrots are almost tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Cut chicken into small chunks and return to pot; cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Add artichokes and capers; cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Stir in parsley and serve over rice.
Chicken Chili with Cheesy Hushpuppy Crust

Chicken Chili with Cheesy Hushpuppy Crust

Mom was a wiz in the kitchen, too. She was never afraid to try something new. When circumstances found us with 105 rabbits one summer, she was even able to find a close friend to fry some of them at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken Continue Reading