Prime Rib Vegetable Noodle Soup

Turkey or ham is a well-established meat choice for family get-togethers during the holiday season. But another that has gained popularity is prime rib or standing rib roast.

beefsoupA prime rib  or standing rib roast is cut from the back of the upper rib section of a steer. It is the choicest meat that you can find on the animal.

We’ve always been a turkey or ham family, but this year decided on going with a roast. So, I ventured out to L&M Meat in Grand Forks in search of a nice cut.

Owner Jeff Novak steered me in the right direction and recommended about a 6-pound roast and gave me directions on how to fix it. I opted to have L&M season the meat with a prime rib rub, and the result was fantastic.

We had a nice bit of leftovers, which I froze to fix at a later date, but the rib bones, which were loaded with nice meat, were put in a soup pot with a bunch of leftover and fresh veggies, some pasta a bit of vegetable broth. And once again, it provided us with another wonderful meal.

The soup, the recipe for which follows, is a wonderful way to used your leftovers and perhaps enjoy a little lower-caloric entree.

Prime Rib Vegetable Noodle Soup
Prime rib bones with attached meat from roast
8 cups broth
2 cups carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 cup whole-kernel corn
2 small leftover baked potatoes, cubed
2 tablespoons concentrated  tomato paste
1 cup tomato juice
2 cups cooked pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in stock pot and cook for 1 to 2 hours. Remove meat from bones and discard bones. Return meat to pot and serve.

Mom’s Sugar Cookies

Everybody welcomes homemade goodies, especially when they are from their moms. And it doesn’t get any better than cookies.

sugarcookiesWe used to be the recipients of cookies often when my mom was still alive. She loved to bake and share her treats. We always relished her homemade chocolate chip cookies. But my favorites were her sugar cookies.

Since her passing last year, I’ve started to try some of her recipes. But one I hadn’t tried until recently was the one for sugar cookies.

My first batch turned out pretty good, and I’m sure there will be more in the not-too-distant future. They weren’t quite as good as Mom’s, but they will have to do.

Mom’s Sugar Cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
½ tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
Mix ingredients and then roll into balls, which you then dip in sugar. Place on baking sheet and put in 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Hershey Dream Bars

Baking is a holiday tradition for a lot of families. And that’s where many precious memories have their roots.

hershdreamCookies, bars and the like were always abundant at our house when I was growing up. My mom used to spend hours baking in the weeks that led up to Christmas. And she was very good at it.

Mo  had a good teacher, my Grandma Menard. I can think of at least a half-dozen types of sweets that Mom used to make during the holidays that she learned how to make from my grandma. Among them were divinity, penoche, rolled butter cookies and date bars.

Perhaps my favorite, though, were the Hershey Dream Bars, which were nothing more than sugar and chocolate. (How couldn’t something like that be good?)

I’ve been busy this past week or so, trying my hand at holiday baking. I’ve made Peanut Butter Blossoms, the recipe for which you can find on my blog, as well as date bars and, of course, the Dream Bars.

If you’re a chocolate connoisseur like me, give the following recipe a try. I’m sure you’ll love it!

Hershey Dream Bars
1 cup brown sugar
1 cups shortening (butter or margarine)
1 egg yolk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 or 7 Hershey milk chocolate bars
Mix sugar and shortening. Add egg yolk, flour and vanilla. Mix well. Press into a 9-by-13-inch pan.
Bake at 375 degrees until brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place Hershey bars on top. Spread the melting chocolate, entirely covering pans contents.
Sprinkle with nuts, if desired.
Cool and cut into bars.
Yield: About 16 bars.

Easy Meatball Stroganoff

It’s hard to think of any other food that’s more versatile than meatballs. They go with all kinds of dishes.

meatballstroganoffOf course, there’s spaghetti and meatballs in tomato or marinara sauce. How about Swedish meatballs. Or meatballs in a white sauce with pasta.

One of my favorites is Meatball Stroganoff. That’s what we had the other night with buttercup squash and whole-kernel corn.

One of the nice things about this dish is that the meatball recipe, which can be made ahead of time, is large enough so you can freeze some for later use.

Easy Meatball Stroganoff
2 10¾-ounce cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
¼ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
½ cup milk
12 cooked (recipe follows)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
|2 tablespoons ketchup
2 ounces tomato paste
1 16-ounce package egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
In a soup pot, combine soup, mushrooms, and milk; cook over medium heat until hot.
Add spices, ketchup and tomato paste. Reduce heat to low, stir in meatballs, and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in sour cream and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until mixture is heated through. Serve over warm cooked egg noodles.

2 pounds ground chuck
½ pound ground pork
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup
Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, minced
½ cup pine nuts (optional)
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Let stand 1/2 hour. Shape into medium-sized meatballs. Fry gently in olive oil until lightly browned, or place on foil cookie sheet and bake for ½ hour at 350 degrees. Gently place in your own sauce and cook on medium for 1 hour.
Yield: 25 to 30 meatballs.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Nothing goes together like peanut butter and chocolate. And a holiday favorite of many is a perfect example.

pbbnewPeanut Butter Blossoms are an exquisite cookie. I’ve always been fond of them, since they were one of the many cookies and bars that  my mom made for the Christmas season.

Here’s her recipe, which I found recently when going through a couple of recipe boxes. It’s one of several I plan on sharing the next couple of weeks.

Peanut Butter Blossoms 
1¾ cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup white sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 unbeaten egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift flour and add soda and salt. Set aside.
Gradually mix shortening and peanut butter together and then cream. Add sugars and cream again. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
Round dough by the teaspoon into balls, roll in sugar and place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and top each one with a Hershey’s candy kiss.
Press down firmly so cookie cracks around the edges. Return cookies to oven and bake for 2 to 5 minutes longer.

Chicken Barley Soup

It’s not very often a family of four can polish off a whole roast chicken in one sitting. What that means is there will be lot of leftovers.

chickensoupA cold chicken sandwich with a little mayo or Miracle Whip is pretty tasty, but if you’re up for something a little more substantial, soup is a great option.

Combining some of the leftover chicken with pearled barley and a pile of veggies is a hearty meal in itself as well as being quite nutritious.

Chicken Barley Soup
2 cups cooked chicken
1 cup pearled barley
4 carrots, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups green beans
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup whole-kernel corn
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water or stock
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and cook on low to medium heat for about 2 hours or until vegetables are thoroughly cooked.

Holiday Party Mix

Snacking is a big part of the holidays. But if you think that sweets and the like are the only good munchies around, you have another guess coming.

chexmixOne of my favorite snacks during the holidays is what most people refer to as Chex mix. In my mom’s version, which I loved as a kid and still do as an adult, you use all three kinds of Chex cereals plus some nuts, pretzels and garlic chips. And the result is a great snack without the sugar.

Holiday Party Mix
2 cups Wheat Chex cereal
2 cups Corn Chex cereal
2 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup nuts
2 cups garlic chips
2 cup mini pretzels
6 tablespoons butter
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Meanwhile, melt butter in shallow pan. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and seasoned salt. Mix with other ingredients in a large bowl. Place mixture on large rimmed cookie sheet. Place in oven, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool and serve.