Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ready for Spring

I am not one of those people who lives in Ohio and complains incessantly about winter. I love the change of seasons, but at the end of every season, I start to get antsy for the next one. I've reached that point with winter. The seed/plant catalogs are arriving in droves and I'm deciding what I want to order and plant. Cant' wait for the flowers to start blooming, and we are going to try our hand at beekeeping this year. For today, I need a little color!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Soup

I wanted to do a different twist on a baked potato soup. Sweet potatoes pack a great nutritional punch, so I'm always looking for new ways to fit them into the family menu. Use REAL maple syrup for this, not "pancake syrup". Meat lovers will want to use pork bacon, but I use turkey bacon and it works just fine.

Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Soup

12 strips bacon (plus extra for optional garnish if desired)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup chopped sweet onion
5 cups peeled sweet potatoes, chopped in 1” cubes
2 14 oz cans Chicken Broth
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 cup maple syrup (plus extra for garnish if desired)
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Fry bacon until crisp, drain, crumble in small pieces and set aside.
Melt butter in a large stick pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sautee for 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and Swanson broth. Bring to a boil, then Simmer on low for approx 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
Carefully transfer portions of the mixture to a blender and puree. When all batches are pureed, return them to the pot. Add the bacon, liquid smoke, maple syrup, evaporated milk, salt and pepper. Stir over medium until heated through.
Ladle into individual bowls. If desired, garnish with a spiral of drizzled maple syrup and sprinkle of crumbled bacon.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tangy Lemon Pepper Crab Salad Dip with Tortilla Crisps

A foot of snow this weekend has me thinking towards summer. We met the little guy above on Assateague Island several years ago.
This summery recipe was a Dannon yogurt contest winner for me awhile back.

2 cups canned or fresh crab, drained and cartilage removed
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped sweet pickles
1 cup Dannon plain yogurt
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp lemon juice, divided
1 1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning, divided
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, divided
6 Burrito size flour tortillas
4 tbsp butter

In a large bowl, combine crab, onion, pickles, yogurt, sour cream, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning, old bay & 1 tsp garlic powder. Combine thoroughly and refrigerate.
In microwave safe bowl, melt butter in microwave (30-45 seconds). Add remaining tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp lemon pepper & 1/2 tsp garlic. Mix. Brush tortillas with butter mix. Cut tortillas into wedges with a pizza cutter, and Bake in 400 degree preheated until they reach desired crispness (approx 10 minutes).