January 6, 2008

Feed the Freezer

Recently, I went through our freezer and started using some items and others were beyond being able to use them. So, things have gotten a bit "low". Today became a re-stock the freezer day.

I made a pot of chili (and added a picture to my original post and recipe), Vegetable Soup, and Strawberry Bread. I still need to make another round of marinara sauce, chicken stock and banana bread but this is a good start. It's nice to have some ready to go meals, as well as, some breads I can pull out to serve if we are expecting friends over or just to give as a small gift when we go to someone's house.

I also made a batch of Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookies, for My Husband. He's a true lover of chocolate chip cookies, and really could do without all the other types I like to make. Fortunately, my oldest enjoys anything I bake, so I can always find a taster for new recipes. This recipe comes from a small spiral bound cookbook I got years ago from either my Mom or my Grandma. It's a Crisco cookbook called Cookies for a year of Celebrations. It contains recipes for 5 basic doughs and then has probably about 80 or so variations overall. Not many pictures, which doesn't make it a true favorite cookbook. It does contain the best chocolate cookie recipe, according to My Husband! They are not the crispy hard cookies, they are the soft in the middle cookies, which is what we tend to like.



Vegetable Soup (My Husband's Favorite)
Source: Mom-in-law


Ingredients

2-3 round soup bones
1 pkg of short ribs - trimmed of as much fat as possible
1 or 2 packages of Manischewitz Vegetable Mushroom Soup mix
1/3 cup barley
1 bunch of fresh dill (tied with kitchen twine or unflavored dental floss)
1 large can of crushed tomatoes with puree


Add the soup bones and the short ribs to a large stock pot. Fill with water to about 3 inches or so above the bones. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam. Once it is no longer creating foam, add in the remaining ingredients. Let simmer for 4-6 hours.


Remove pot and allow to cool. Place entire pot in the refrigerator (if there is room, if not place outside with the lid secured if the temperature will drop to freezing or lower). The next day, skim off any fat that has risen and solidified.


If serving the 2nd day, reheat on med-low heat until warmed. You can also add frozen mixed vegetables at this point.

This freezes well. If the soup is not "soupy enough" just add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chicken broth until it's the right consistency.








Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Crisco - Cookies for a Year of Celebrations


Ingredients
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar (I always use Dark brown sugar)
3/4 cup Butter Flavor Crisco all-vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I always use 2 cups - milk chocolate chips)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional - I don't generally add them in)


Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place sheets of foil on countertop for cooling cookies.


Place brown sugar, shortening, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add egg; beat well.


Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to shortening mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans (if using).


Drop dough by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper to keep them from sticking to the cookie sheets and to aid in easy clean-up).


Bake one baking sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes for chew cookies, or 11-13 minutes for crisp cookies. Do not overbake. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to foil or cooling racks to cool completely.


Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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