Chicken Vegetable Soup

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Time-crunched cooks always welcome quick and easy recipes. And when it comes to making soup, they’re especially appreciated. By using pantry staples along with store-bought chicken stock or broth, canned chicken, and packaged frozen vegetables, it’s easy to get out of the kitchen quick.

Make it even more delicious by topping each serving with wedges of provolone cheese and a dollop of pesto, if desired. Pouring on the comfort couldn’t be easier.

CHICKEN VEGETABLE SOUP

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
7 cups regular or reduced sodium chicken stock or broth
1 (16-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
1 (10-ounce) can chunk-style chicken, undrained, or 2 cups cooked cubed chicken
1 cup dried ditalini or other small pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices provolone cheese, each cut into 8 wedges (optional)
1/3 cup pesto (optional)

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot; add garlic, parsley, and basil. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in chicken stock or broth, vegetables, chicken, and ditalini. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer until ditalini is tender, 8 to 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Top each serving with 4 wedges of cheese, then a dollop of pesto, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Herbed Parmesan Biscuits

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 – Harried Housewife Herbed Parmesan Biscuits

Herbed Parmesan Biscuits

Herbed Parmesan Biscuits

Baking powder biscuits are good on their own, but the addition of Parmesan cheese, parsley, and basil adds a tasty touch to a time-honored classic.

Whether it’s for a special dinner, a casual supper, or to pair with a bowl of soup, these tender biscuits are always welcome. And they can be on the table in a short amount of time.

So if you’d like a tasty twist on tradition, try this recipe. After all, it doesn’t take much to elevate a familiar favorite.

HERBED PARMESAN BISCUITS

2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder, salt, parsley, and basil. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center; add milk. Add to the flour mixture; stir with a fork until just moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead by folding and pressing until nearly smooth, 10 to 12 strokes. Pat or roll dough into a circle about 1/2-inch thick. Cut dough with a 3-inch round biscuit cutter. Gather the remaining scraps, press together, and cut out more rounds in the same manner. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 1 dozen biscuits.

Chocolate Truffles

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife – Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles

Sweeten your valentine’s day with gourmet-style confections made fresh in your kitchen. Quick and easy to prepare, these time-honored treats are the ultimate Valentine’s Day indulgence.

Made with minimal ingredients, they can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. When ready to serve, roll again in confectioners’ sugar, if desired. For the best flavor, allow truffles to come to room temperature before serving.

With rich chocolate goodies like these, Cupid is sure to strike. Happy Valentine’s Day!

(Here are more Easy Valentine’s Day Recipes.)

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

2/3 cup heavy (or whipping) cream
12 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
In a medium saucepan, bring heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Drop 24 portions by tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Shape into balls. Roll 12 of the balls in cocoa powder; place in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Roll the remaining 12 in confectioners’ sugar; place truffles in a container with a tight-fitting lid; refrigerate at least 1 hour. Makes 24 truffles.

Mini Orange Loaves

Mini Orange Loaves

Mini Orange Loaves

Refreshing with a hint of citrus, this tender bread is as welcome as a ray of sunshine. Similar in texture to pound cake, it’s the perfect wintertime treat.

And you can easily double the recipe, too. Enjoy some now and store the rest in the freezer to savor at a later date.

One thing is certain: A slice of this zesty bread will brighten a winter day.

MINI ORANGE LOAVES

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease the bottoms of two 5×3-inch loaf pans. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in orange zest. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely. Makes 2 miniature loaves.

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

A cup of hot chocolate is a delightful indulgence on its own, but the addition of cinnamon makes it extra tasty.

Similar to Mexican-style hot chocolate, this recipe makes it easy to whip up a flavorful beverage with a spicy twist. And it makes good use of pantry staples so there’s no need for specialty shopping or exotic ingredients.

Top with light, freshly whipped cream and serve with cinnamon sticks, if desired. Whether it’s to enjoy on a snow day or anytime, this soothing sipper will warm you up from the inside out.

CINNAMON HOT CHOCOLATE

3 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream (optional)
Cinnamon sticks (optional)
In a small saucepan, combine chocolate, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup milk. Cook over low heat until chocolate melts, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add the remaining 3 1/2 cups milk and sugar. Cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. (Do not boil). Whisk in melted chocolate mixture until well blended. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Ladle into mugs; top with whipped cream and serve with cinnamon sticks, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

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Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Similar in taste to brownies, these mouthwatering cookies are filled with rich chocolate goodness. Simple to prepare with on-hand ingredients, the microwave makes it easy to melt the chocolate chips, butter, and sweetened condensed milk.

By adding the remaining ingredients to the melted chocolate mixture, a decadent batter is ready for baking. Pair with a glass of milk and savor the ultimate in homespun comfort.

CHEWY CHOCOLATE COOKIES

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 cup chocolate chips, butter, and condensed milk. Microwave on HIGH until chocolate chips have melted, about 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through; stir until smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips. Add flour mixture. Stir until smooth. Drop by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until centers are almost set, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Banana Cinnamon Chip Bread

Banana Cinnamon Chip Bread

Banana Cinnamon Chip Bread

Transform a couple of ripe bananas into yummy banana bread by combining them with pantry staples along with spicy cinnamon chips.

Filled with homespun flavor, this tasty bread is great for an afternoon snack. The cinnamon chips are a scrumptious addition and a touch of cinnamon further enhances the spicy taste. You can also substitute chocolate or white chips in place of cinnamon chips, if desired.

Whether paired with a glass of milk, a cup of coffee, or simply as a grab-and-go treat, a slice of banana bread with a smattering of cinnamon chips is always welcome.

BANANA CINNAMON CHIP BREAD

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cinnamon chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of an 8×4-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, bananas, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in cinnamon chips. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Makes 1 medium loaf.