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Season to Taste

A snowy day and a steaming bowl of homemade soup are simply soul mates. We commonly refer to a hearty soup as comfort food but I prefer to call it Cozy-licious. Who doesn’t enjoy lounging under a plush throw while dipping a spoon into a piping hot bowl of sensational soup? I may not be watching skiers on the slopes from a Colorado condo, but I’m contented to watch the birds dine from my little feeder. They prefer seed and suet but as for me, I’ll take seconds on the soup. “There’s no place like home.”

Mama Made Rhonda Lee’s Soup

Brown 1 pound of ground round or ground sirloin and set aside. Fry ½ pound of bacon, drain, crumble and set aside. In the bacon drippings sauté the following:

½ head of chopped cabbage, 1 cup chopped celery, and 2 large chopped onions.

Put everything into a large stock pot and add 2 Tbsp. chili sauce, (like Heinz) 1 can of cream style corn, I can of shoe peg corn, I large can of crushed tomatoes, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley, 1 tsp. poultry seasoning, seasoned salt and black pepper to taste. Once you have all of this in your pot, stir to combine and then add 3 or 4 cans of good quality chicken broth. Stir again. Simmer this soup over LOW HEAT for 20 to 30 minutes. You don’t have to stir it constantly but you do need to stir it occasionally because you don’t want it to stick to the bottom of the pan. Serve with crackers of your choice.

San Francisco is famous for sourdough bread, but a trip to California won’t be necessary to whip up my Nob Hill sandwich, nor will a dash to the nearest specialty store to buy a Panini machine be required! If you own a skillet you are well equipped to dazzle your family with this sizzling weeknight meal. Think of it as just another, “San Francisco Treat.”

Nob Hill Sandwich

8 slices sourdough bread, slice about 3/4 inch thick

2 Tbsp. softened butter

1 pound shaved or thinly sliced deli turkey

8 slices of bacon, crisply cooked and broken in half ( or use turkey bacon if you so desire)

1 large tomato, sliced

4 slices of Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

1 med. avocado, pitted, peeled and mashed

¼ cup Ranch dressing

Combine the Ranch dressing with the mashed avocado and set to the side. Spread butter on the bread and then turn it upside down on a piece of waxed paper. Top with the turkey, bacon, tomato, cheese and dressing. Butter the remaining four slices. Transfer the prepared sandwiches, buttered side down, to your heavy skillet or Panini pan (use a large spatula) and then place the second slice of bread on top/butter side up. Cover and cook them over med-low heat, turning once, until the bread is golden brown and crisp and the cheese is all melted and gooey.

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