The Halloween festivities are over and the next holiday known for baking, comfort foods and family traditions is quickly approaching: Thanksgiving. And with the long awaited and much deserved break inching closer and closer, it’s the perfect time to start exploring new recipes. We are back for part 2 of Taylor’s Baking Championship, patent pending. Featured are recipes for taco soup, leftover Halloween candy brownies and Matzoball soup.
My family and I travelled to North Carolina for a quick Veteran’s Day trip. We stayed in our mountain cabin to close it up for winter. Trips to the cabin always include some kind of baking or cooking experience. There’s the requisite coffee on the deck, watching the hummingbirds feast on sugar water. Campfire favorites like s’mores and hot chocolate are a must when without cell service at a 3,000 ft. elevation.
My dessert recipes for this segment are both sure to give you a sugar rush.
For the s’mores, all you need is your typical graham crackers, big puffy marshmallows and some sticks, but the kicker is peppermint bark chocolate bars. Sandwich in these minty chocolates between your toasty, gooey marshmallow and classic graham cracker.
Next onto the brownies. This recipe is ideal for after Halloween when you are trying to clear out any extra candy that trick or treaters didn’t snag. My candy mix for this occasion is brownie M&Ms, Milky Ways, Twix, Snickers and KitKats. I purchased a fudge brownie box mix and followed the instructions, adding in an egg, vegetable oil and water to make the batter. I periodically dumped in cut and smashed up pieces of the candies, making sure to get an even distribution. After that I simply threw the brownies in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes and viola.
These sweet treats are perfect for fall and winter nights, bonfires and to add a little extra sweetness to your life. More recipes that won’t put you in a junk food coma would be a few soups, perfect for when the temperature drops.
First up is a fiery soup that will clear anyone’s sinuses, taco soup. This soup can be made and paired with grilled cheese, corn bread or some tortilla chips.
To begin making the soup, fry your hamburger up with all vegetables until the combination is cooked through. Next add in your seasonings, with your desired amounts of each. You’re gonna need taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, garlic pepper and paprika. Once this mixture is blended together in your pot, add in the cans of rotel, chopped green chiles, beef and chicken broths and a bag of frozen corn. Simmer in the pot for 30-45 minutes, until all that flavor is cooked up. Garnish your bowl how you like, a few suggestions are cheese, sour cream or green onions. Serve up and enjoy with some tortilla chips or corn bread muffins.
1lb hot sausage
1lb ground sausage
3 chopped onions
10-15 chopped mini sweet peppers
1 bunch chopped cilantro
6-8 jalapenos chopped
6 cans of hot rotel
4 cans of chopped green chiles
4 cups of beef broth
4 cups of chicken broth
1 large bag of frozen corn
The next soup recipe is a classic Jewish comfort food. Matzo ball soup is a hearty bowl of chicken soup goodness that mends the soul. Growing up my grandma always included my siblings and cousins in her practices as a Jewish woman. We got to learn so much about the holidays and fastings, but most importantly the food. I’m sharing my family’s matzo ball soup recipe, as this year Chanukah will take place the week following Thanksgiving. The eight nights of lights have to be celebrated with this healing favorite.
1 whole chicken
8-10 chopped onions
1 stalk celery chopped
6-12 large carrots chopped
1 bunch of cilantro
1 cup minced garlic
1 box matzo mix
To begin, in a large pot, add in a whole seasoned chicken. Flavor with poultry seasoning, rosemary, sage and thyme. Rub the herbs all over the bird and cover it fully with water in the pot. Cover with a lid and boil, cooking until the chicken is done. While waiting for the water to boil and chicken to cook, chop celery, carrots, onions and cilantro. After the chicken is cooked, debone it in pot and add veggies to the broth and chicken mixture. Next, add garlic and season to taste with garlic pepper, rosemary, thyme, sage and parsley. Cool until vegetables are soft, approximately 1-2 hours. Near the end of the cook time, grab your box of matzo mix to prepare the matzo balls. Create according to the instructions on the packaging, forming no bigger than golf ball sized balls. Drop into the soup when it reaches a boil, the matzo balls cook approximately 20-20 minutes in the pot. Serve to friends and family, for colds or in cold weather or to celebrate the lighting of the menorah during Chanukah.
The fun part about all of these recipes is the family aspect within all of them. I have gotten to spend the time making each of these items with my mom, chopping, dicing and mixing ingredients to create family classics, with a twist of our own added. These recipes are perfect for the colder weather and bring that strong sense of thankfulness for home, family and good food.
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