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Welcome to my Kitchen

Sweet treats, soothing soup for fall

Series: Recipe Column | Story 53

October officially begins the baking season on my calendar. Frosty mornings and cool days invite the warming of the kitchen with the heat and aromas of freshly baked breads, muffins, pies and cookies. Kathie Donahue shared her recipe for the Oatmeal Bar Cookies she brought to a recent gathering of quilters. She describes them as “tender, chewy; great as an energy bar or trail bar.”

These bars would be ideal for breakfast on the go or a mid-morning coffee break. You could substitute any small or coarsely chopped dried fruit for the raisins. Kathie’s baking hint is not to skip the parchment paper, or they will stick to the pan.

Oatmeal Bar Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

2 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper (this is important) and set aside.

Whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add vanilla, egg and melted butter and stir until smooth. Stir in rolled oats and raisins until they are evenly distributed. Turn dough into prepared pan and spread into an even layer with a spatula or your fingers. Bake 22-26 minutes, or until the mixture is set and the center no longer looks wet. Edges will be golden brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars. Cut into rectangular bars to serve. Yield: About 20 small bars.

Note: this recipe may be tripled if you use two 9x13 baking pans. Don’t forget the parchment paper.

Fall is the beginning of soup season. I brought Chicken and Rice Soup to a recent soup potluck lunch and received numerous requests for the recipe. I like to make my own chicken stock for soups, but good quality purchased stock will work just fine. For those of you who want the “exact” recipe, we will start off with my recipe for Seasoned Chicken Stock. You may use the chicken breast meat in the soup recipe or other chicken recipe.

Seasoned Chicken Stock

9 cups water

4 large chicken breasts, bone in or boneless

1 tsp rosemary leaves

4 whole peppercorns

1 large bay leaf

1/4 tsp ground sage or 3 fresh sage leaves

1/4-1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 whole garlic clove, crushed

1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a large kettle and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 or more hours until chicken is tender and falls from the bone (if there are bones). Remove chicken and cool slightly.Pour broth through strainer into a shallow container, chop or dice chicken, then refrigerate until ready to use or proceed with Chicken and Rice Soup.

Chicken and Rice Soup

4 chicken breasts, cooked, boned and diced

2 quarts seasoned chicken broth

2-3 cups diced celery

2 cups diced onion

1 cup diced green sweet pepper

2 cups corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned

1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic salt

3/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 extra large bay leaf

2 cups cooked rice or 1 cup instant rice

In a slow-cooker crock, combine all ingredients except rice and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. One hour before serving, add rice and adjust seasonings to taste. Yield: About 1 1/2 gallons soup.

Note: Make a colorful soup by adding 2 cups small diced carrots to mixture. I also like diced rutabaga in this soup.

Apple Pizza Pie, a recipe I have had in my collection from the early 1970s is a fun but unusual sweet treat. It comes from the 1971 edition of Farm Journal’s Famous Country Cookbook, Family Favorites. I have made one change in the recipe. The original recipe calls for non-dairy powdered creamer, but I use powdered milk.

Apple Pizza Pie

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup ice water

1/2 cup powdered milk

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup, additional all-purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup butter

6 cups peeled apple slices, 1/2-inch thick at widest part

2 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in cheese. Sprinkle ice water over mixture gradually, mixing lightly to form into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into 15 inch circle and place on pizza pan. Turn up edges to form a rim.

Combine powdered milk, sugars, 1/3 cup flour and spices. Sprinkle half of this mixture over pasty. Cut butter into remaining mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly. Set aside.

Arrange apple slices, overlapping them in circles on crust. Sprinkle with lemon juice and remaining crumbs.

Bake in preheated 450-degree oven for 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm or cold by cutting into small pizza style slices. Yield: 12 servings.

Share your favorite fall baking and soup recipes by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, Box 458, Odessa WA 99159, email or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in the Odessa Record office. Check garden plots for late sprouting dill. It is perfect for Borscht Soup when about 6 inches tall. Or till it in just before winter sets in to add nitrogen back to the soil.


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