Vanilla Wafers yum!

Hard to believe I have lived 67 years and never baked a vanilla wafer?  To tell you the truth I just never thought about it.....Then as I was watching Damaris Phillips make her Banana Pudding on the Cooking Channel she gave her recipe for them.  I of course adapted a little but what little delights they are.  The man who mows for us came to the door to collect and just went on and on about how good the house smelled when he walked up to the screen door.

Ingredients for Vanilla Wafers:

2 sticks room temperature butter  (1 C.)
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/4 C. vanilla extract
2 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 t. salt

Line baking sheets with parchment or silpat mats and set them aside.

Cream the butter and sugar with a stand mixer for about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  In another bowl combine the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix at lowest speed until just combined.  Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Drop by teaspoon fulls onto the prepared pans and bake for 12-14 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!  Yield 7-8 dozen depending on size.



Triple Cream of Mushroom Soup

Beautiful fresh mushrooms.
Portabello, crimini, and shitike mushrooms graced my cutting board as I removed the stems to simmer for a luxurious mushroom broth for my Triple Cream of Mushroom Soup for supper last night.

Ingredients for Triple Cream of Mushroom Soup:

6-8 ounces each of 3 of your favorite fresh mushrooms ( I  chose portabello, crimini, and shitike)
1 large onion
1 large carrot
1-2 leeks
3-4 cloves garlic
2 C. white wine
2 C. cream
2 T. fresh parsley
3 T butter
3 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean the mushrooms with a soft brush and remove the stems.  Set the mushroom caps aside.  Rough chop the onion, garlic, and carrot and combine with the mushroom stems and 2 quarts of water in a large kettle.  Bring to a boil and add salt and pepper.  Reduce to low heat and boil gently until the liquid is reduced by half.

Simmering   the mushroom stock.
Strain the mushroom broth and set aside.  Discard the spent veggies. 

Quarter or dice the mushroom caps and wash well and slice the white and very light green portion of the leek.  Using a soup kettle add the butter and olive oil and turn the burner to medium heat.  Add the leeks and mushrooms and salt and pepper.  Saute until tender and liquid has formed.  Add the mushroom stock, wine, and parsley.  Simmer 30 minutes.  Add the cream, stir well, taste, and correct the seasonings.  Serve with crisp saltines or crusty bread.  Yield 4-6 servings.


Indian Summer Bean Soup and Blueberry Buttermilk Corn Muffins

Gosh I am just crazy about the ending days of summer!  Even rainy days like today.  Not stormy just 70's and a nice rain you really don't even mind going out in.  Actually I did run to the store this morning for a head of cabbage and a handful of kale to add to the beans I soaked overnight.  Plus, I was out of gas for the car and I hate that.  So first thing in a gentle rain I was off.

Ingredients for Indian Summer Bean Soup:

1 pound white beans soaked overnight and drained (I used great northern)
3 qt. stock or water
1 quart tomatoes
2 C. diced onion
2 T. chopped garlic
6 oz. kale stems removed and sliced
1/2 head savoy cabbage shredded
1 C. small carrots
2 russet potatoes peeled and diced
1/4 C. shredded basil leaves
salt and black pepper to taste
1-2 rinds hard cheese, optional

Combine all of the ingredients by late morning and simmer all day until you can no longer stand it!  Taste and correct the seasonings.  Serve with Blueberry Corn Muffins spread with butter and sleep well tonight!

Yield about 4-5 quarts and it just gets better every time you warm it up.  Keep refrigerated between serving times.

Ingredients for Giada De Laurentiis' Blueberry Buttermilk Corn Muffins, my version:

1 1/3 C. buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/3 C. flour + 1 T.
1 1/3 C. yellow cornmeal
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. honey
1 T. baking powder
1 t. kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks cold butter cut into dice
2 C. fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven.  Line muffin tin with cupcake papers and set aside.

Using a large bowl whisk together the buttermilk. eggs, and vanilla.  Combine the dry ingredients in the food processor.  Add the cold butter chunks and buzz in bursts of about 30-40 seconds until the butter is the size of grains of rice.  Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold together until just combined.

Mix the remaining 1 T. of flour with the blueberries tossing to gently combine.  Add them to the batter folding them in.

Use a 1/3 C. measuring cup to dip out the batter into the paper liners and position a berry or two on top!  Bake 20-25 min. until a toothpick tests clean.  Yield 12-16 muffins.