Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Christmas Tea

My grandma used to make this for me when we were little.  Let me know if there is a family recipe on your side - fun to compare them!!  Sometimes we called it Russian Tea (which makes me think of Soviet hockey players <3) but I most frequently see it called Christmas Tea these days, or, my favorite: Instant Holiday in a Mug.

1C instant tea (unsweetened)
1C instant tea (lemon flavored)
3C tang
3C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Mix all ingredients.
Add 2-3 tsp to one C of boiling water.

Keep in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

Tomato, Spinach, and Basil Soup

I'm not going to lie - my favorite part of this was the Parmesan cheese...until I added the kielbasa.

2T butter
1 large onion, minced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2C milk
1 28 oz can tomato puree
1T white sugar
2C fresh spinach, torn
1/4C chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1T grated parmesan
(optional) 1 kielbasa sausage, sliced and pan-cooked with onions and garlic, then added in to the soup towards the end of cooking.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes.  Stir in milk and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in tomato puree and sugar.  Mix well, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.  Add spinach, basil, salt, pepper, (and kielbasa - if desired) and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes, stirring occaisionally.  Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

Cream Cheese Dip

This dip is delicious - slightly spicy, but such a delightful blend of complex flavors.  It goes great with a buttery cracker, like Ritz or Club crackers.

8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1 C shredded cheese (cheddar, smoked, sharp, etc)
1/4-1/3 C milk (as needed)
1T Worcestershire
3 stalks green onion (minced)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste if preferred)

Blend with mixer (I prefer to use the broad paddle on my Kitchen Aid mixer) at a low speed - blended, but not whipped.  Use milk to thin and make spreadable.

Refrigerate any leftover portion for about 3-5 days.  Remember that the dip will need to sit out a bit to become soft enough to spread on crackers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Welcome Aboard Recipe Travelers

Has there been any one recipe that has stood out in your whole entire life? What or who made it so special that every time you think about it, your taste buds melt in satisfaction? We all want to know, so come on and SHARE the love and ultimately the RECIPE!!!