The Halloween festivities are over, and the next known holiday known for baking, comfort food and family traditions is just around the corner: Thanksgiving. And with the long-awaited and well-deserved break getting closer and closer, now is the perfect time to start exploring new recipes. We’re back for Part 2 of the patent pending Taylor’s Baking Championship. Featured are taco soup recipes, leftover Halloween candy brownies and Matzoball soup.
My family and I traveled to North Carolina for a brief veterans day trip. We stayed in our mountain hut to close it for the winter. Cabin trips always include some sort of baking or cooking experience. There is the necessary coffee on the deck, watching the hummingbirds feast on the sugary water. Campfire favorites like s’mores and hot chocolate are a must-have without cell service at an elevation of 3,000 feet.
My dessert recipes for this segment are sure to give you a sugar rush.
For s’mores all you need are your typical graham crackers, big puffy marshmallows, and a few sticks, but the kicker is peppermint bark chocolate bars. Sandwich in these mint chocolates between your toasted and melting marshmallow and your classic graham cracker.
Then on the brownies. This recipe is great after Halloween when you’re trying to eliminate any extra candy that the trick or the caterers haven’t caught. My candy mix for this occasion is M & Ms brownie, Milky Ways, Twix, Snickers and KitKats. I bought a box fudge brownie mix and followed the directions, adding an egg, vegetable oil, and water to make the batter. I periodically threw out chopped and crushed pieces of candy, making sure to get an even distribution. After that I just tossed the brownies in the 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes and viola.
These sweet treats are perfect for fall and winter nights, bonfires, and for adding a little extra sweetness to your life. Other recipes that won’t put you in a junk food coma would be a few soups, perfect when the temperature drops.
First, a fiery soup that will clear anyone’s sinuses, a taco soup. This soup can be made and served with grilled cheese, cornbread or tortilla chips.
To start making the soup, fry your burger with all the vegetables until the combination is cooked through. Then add your seasonings, with the desired amounts of each. You will need taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, garlic chili, and paprika. Once this mixture is mixed in your pot, add the cans of rotel, chopped green peppers, beef and chicken broths and a bag of frozen corn. Simmer in the pot for 30 to 45 minutes, until all of the flavor is cooked. Garnish your bowl as you like, some suggestions are cheese, sour cream or green onions. Serve and enjoy with tortilla chips or cornbread muffins.
1 lb hot sausage
1 lb chopped sausage
3 chopped onions
10-15 mini sweet peppers, chopped
1 bunch of chopped cilantro
6-8 jalapenos, chopped
6 cans of hot rotel
4 cans of chopped green peppers
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 dumpling soup is a hearty bowl of soul mending chicken soup. Growing up, my grandmother always included my siblings and cousins in her practices as a Jewish woman. We learned a lot about vacations and fasting, but especially about food. I share my family’s matzo ball soup recipe because this Chanukah year will be the week after Thanksgiving. The Eight Nights of Light are to be celebrated with this healing favorite.
1 whole chicken
8-10 chopped onions
1 stalk of chopped celery
6-12 large carrots, chopped
1 bunch of coriander
1 cup minced garlic
1 box of matzo mix
To start, in a large pot, add a whole seasoned chicken. Flavor with the poultry seasoning, rosemary, sage and thyme. Rub the herbs all over the bird and cover it completely with water in the pot. Cover with a lid and boil, cook until the chicken is cooked. While waiting for the water to boil and the chicken to cook, chop the celery, carrots, onions and cilantro. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the bones in a saucepan and add the vegetables to the broth and chicken mixture. Then add the garlic and season to taste with garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage and parsley. Let cool until vegetables are tender, about 1 to 2 hours. Towards the end of the baking time, take your box of matzo mix to prepare the matzo balls. Create according to package directions, not forming golf ball sized balls. Drop them into the soup when it comes to a boil, the matzo balls cook for about 20 to 20 minutes in the saucepan. 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 look in each one. I spent time preparing each of these items with my mom, chopping, dicing and mixing the ingredients to create family classics, with a twist from us. These recipes are perfect for the colder weather and bring that strong sense of gratitude to home, family, and great food.