Monday, January 31, 2011

Tomatoey Spiced Chickpeas

Sense of Home

Tomatoey Spiced Chickpeas
~adapted from Gourmet~
Serves 4

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 teaspoon ginger
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice (or 1 quart home-canned)
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook cumin, coriander, ginger, and red-pepper flakes, stirring constantly, until fragrant and a shade darker, about 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes with juices, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon, then add chickpeas.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

Stir in parsley.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Side Dishes

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Stills

Frozen Ride

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pineapple Coconut Bread

Sense of Home

Pineapple Coconut Bread
~makes 1 loaf~

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup honey
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup crushed, or finely chopped pineapple, well-drained

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.  Cream together honey and butter in mixing bowl, add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and mix well.  Sift flours, baking soda, and salt together and stir into moist ingredients.  Add coconut and pineapple, mix until just combined and pour into prepared pan.  Bake for  70 to 75 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Bread

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Braided Rag Tradition

Sense of Home

Making baskets or rugs out of braided rags and strips of cloth is an old tradition.  This art was brought to America by the early immigrants.  As the pioneers settled on the frontier, out of necessity they made rugs out of braided rags.  The woolen mills being out east, shipping wool rugs by train, when available, would have been expensive.  For the pioneers old clothes, sheets, or a piece of cloth left over from a dress they were sewing became part of a rug and cottons, linens and linsey-woolsey would have been the most common material used by the early pioneers.  Braiding the strips of cloth added strength, color and texture, making a beautiful and durable rug to make a shanty or new pine board house feel like home.  No doubt, once wood and money were available to build a house and move out of the sod home, rugs to place on a clean board floor felt like a luxury.  Few details of daily domestic life are given in the accounts written by the early pioneers, perhaps such things just seemed too common place.

Today inexpensive material for a rag rug or basket can be purchased at a fabric store by searching through the remainder bin, these are ends of cloth that are too small to sell for a larger project.  Second hand stores also sell material, just be on the lookout for the colors and type of fabric you want.  I used 100-percent cotton in my project and it helps to use material that doesn't fray easily, one of the pieces of material I used began to fray and I have had to do some trimming.

Finding bargains on material scraps at the store is great, but using material from worn-out clothing, old sheeting, or scraps left-over from clothes we have sewn ourselves has more meaning.  Memories are braided into that basket or rug we make, from the material we use to the color pattern or design we choose.

To Make a Rag Basket or Coaster

1.  Cut the fabric into strips about 3 inches wide.  If the fabric is stiff, like blue jean material, cut he strips a little thinner.

2.  Tightly tie three strips together at one end, leaving a short tail.  Braid the strips until you are nearly at the end.  Then wrap a twist tie around the bottom of the braid to hold it.

3.  Sew the ends of the strips to another strip of cloth.

4.  Keep braiding, removing the twist ties as you go, until you have a long braid.  You will need a 25-inch-long braid to make a coaster, a 75-inch-long braid for a 3-inch-tall by 3-inch-wide basket.

5.  When you have reached the length of braid you need, wrap a twist tie around the loose end of the braid to hold it.

6.  Now trim off the tails above the knotted end and begin to make a coil with the knot in the center.  Stitch the rows together as you go by poking the needle up from the bottom through the edge of the inner coil and catching the edge of the next coil.

7.  For a coaster, continue coiling and stitching until you reach the twist tie, then go to step 9.  For a basket, continue the coil until you have a 3-inch-wide circle then go to step 8.

8.  Now form the sides of the basket by stacking coils on top of the outer coil of the flat circle, stitching them in place as you go.

9.  When you reach the end of the braid, remove the twist tie and trim the ends of the three strips so that they are different lengths.  Continue braiding the strips as far as you can, and then twist the trailing ends so that the coil becomes skinnier and skinnier.  Tuck the end between the coils and securely stitch it in place.

Sense of Home / Homemade Living

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baked Penne with Mushrooms, Peppers, and Parmesan

Sense of Home

Baked Penne with Mushrooms, Peppers, and Parmesan
~adapted slightly from Gourmet, January 1998~

3 large yellow bell peppers (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms
2 medium red bell peppers
2 medium orange bell peppers
1 pound penne pasta
8 scallions (green part only)
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan (about 6 ounces)

Chop yellow bell peppers and onion and mince garlic.  In a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan cook yellow peppers, onion, and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are soft, about 30 minutes.  Stir in cream and milk.  In a blender puree mixture in batches (use caution when blending hot liquids), transfer to a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper.  (Sauce may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.  Bring sauce to room temperature before proceeding.)

Thinly slice mushrooms lengthwise and cut red and orange bell peppers into 1/4-inch-wide strips.  In a deep large heavy skillet cook mushrooms and peppers in remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are softened and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 8 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Fill a 6- to 7-quart kettle three fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil.  Stir in penne and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes.  Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and drain penne well in a colander.  Rinse penne and drain well.  Thinly slice scallion greens.  Into sauce stir penne, mushroom mixture, scallion greens, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, reserved cooking water, and salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon mixture into a 3-quart shallow baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan.

Bake penne in middle of oven until hot and pasta begins to brown, about 20 minutes.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Pasta

Monday, January 24, 2011

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Spicy Black Bean Soup
~adapted heavily from Bon Appetit,  July 2002~
Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
1 medium-sized jalapeño with seeds, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
2 tablespoons cumin
1 cup chunky tomato salsa
3 15-ounce cans black beans, undrained
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh cilantro or 2 tablespoons freeze-dried cilantro

sour cream
tortilla chips

Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion, carrot and jalapeño and saute until the onion is translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, chicken and cumin and saute one minute more.  Add salsa, beans, chicken stock, and cilantro, if using dried, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until flavors blend and carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.  Add cilantro, if using fresh. Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Soup

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ginger Honey Cookies

Ginger Honey Cookies
~adapted from Gourmet, 2007~
Makes 14-18 cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup mild honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, and salt in a bowl.

Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and honey until combined.  Reduce speed to low, then mix in flour mixture.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake until golden, 10 - 12 minutes (cookies will spread flat).  Cool for a few minutes on sheet until they are firm enough to move, then transfer to a cooling rack with a baking sheet underneath.

Ginger Glaze: (optional)
2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

In a small bowl mix sugar, milk, vanilla, and ginger (separating the ginger as you put it into the bowl so that it is not in one clump), mix thoroughly.  Once the cookies are cool, and while they are still on the cooling rack, drizzle glaze over the top, letting the excess drip onto the baking sheet beneath.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Cookies

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beef and Vegetable Soup

Beef and Vegetable Soup
~adapted from "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman~

2 cups cooked shredded or cubed beef
1 onion, chopped
6 cups beef stock
2 carrots
1 celery stalk, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen green beans
2 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a soup pot, saute' onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the stock and bring to a near boil; reduce the heat to a steady bubble, add the beef, carrots, celery, herb sprigs, and bay leaf and stir; cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.  Remove the herb sprigs and bay leaf, stir in the corn and green beans, sprinkle with salt and pepper; taste and adjust the seasoning.  Serves 4 - 6.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Soups, Stews, Stocks and Chili

Monday, January 17, 2011

Beef Stock

A good stock is an essential ingredient in many recipes, homemade soup and sauces being just two of the uses.  I also like to add either a beef or a chicken stock to stews and replace the water with stock when making rice, adding flavor as the rice absorbs the liquid  Store-bought broth, and worse yet, those salty bouillon cubes just don't compare to a homemade stock.  According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, "Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily not just calcium but also magnesium, phosporus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals."  It also says it contains material from broken down cartilage and tendons such as "chondrotin sulphates and glucosamine", which many pay big bucks for at the health food store.  (Please note: The above jars of stock were headed to the freezer, I do not reuse canning lids when pressure or water bath canning)


With homemade stock you control the ingredients.  When my husband's family hauled cows in to be butchered last fall I asked the butcher to leave a little meat on the soup bones with the intent of making stock and then using the bits of meat in a soup.  I also add apple cider vinegar when making stock as it will leach calcium from the soup bones, adding it to the stock.  Just 1 tablespoon per quart of water does the trick, however, if you are brave and add more you will enrich your stock with more calcium.  Judge according to your taste buds and remember it won't benefit you or your family if you don't want to eat the final product, so start gentle and add more as your taste buds adjust.  Vinegar also helps to clarify the stock.

Throw in lots of veggies and some herbs, they don't need to be chopped up as much as I have in the photo above, I got excited about chopping and got carried away.  Just give them a rough chop in half or quarters.  I like to save the ends of onions, garlic and carrots, the tops and core of celery, and even the stems of mushrooms in a plastic bag in the freezer for adding to the pot when I make stocks.  This time I followed the recipe from the cookbook "The Real Food Companion" by Matthew Evans (except I used apple cider vinegar) because I recently bought his cookbook and have been wanting to make a few of his recipes.  In the past, I just gathered up the approximate ingredients and threw them the the pot with water and vinegar and did not follow a recipe.  Both are good ways, and pretty much the same thing, but I include the recipe today in case you want one to follow.

Once it starts boiling you will want to skim off the scum, I bought this shallow strainer spoon on our recent trip to Minneapolis and am so glad I did, it has a long handle, is very shallow, and perfect for skimming.  Oh, and be sure to used filtered or well water, no chlorine in the stock please. 

After straining your stock, place it in the refrigerator overnight and the fat will harden on top making it easy to run a knife around the edge and pull out the fat.  This fat can then be used for making french fries if you have enough, used for making suet for wild birds, or simply discarded.  If you want to can the stock just reheat it to boiling and follow the instructions that came with your pressure canner for the amount of pressure to use.

Homemade Beef Stock
~adapted from The Real Food Companion, by Matthew Evans~
Makes 12 cups

4 pounds and 8oz beef bones
2 onions, halved
2 carrots
2 celery stalks, halved
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Place everything in a large stockpot with  16 cups water, making sure the water covers all of the ingredients.  Place over high heat and bring to the boil.  Just as it comes to a boil is the best time to skim it, running a ladle around the edges to scoop off any skum.  The vinegar helps to clarify the stock, but skimming is great, too.

Reduce the heat as soon as it boils, and simmer for 4 - 6 hours, depending on your patience.  You may need to top up the water during this time to keep all the bones and vegetables covered, as the stock is constantly evaporating.  Strain and discard all the bones and vegetables.

This stock keeps well for up to 1 week in the refrigerator (reboiling extends its life) or for 3 months in the freezer.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Soup, Stews, Stocks, Chili        

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
~Recipe from
Makes 40 to 50 cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12-ounce package) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts

Place oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the butter, peanut butter and the sugars in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and beat on low speed until well blended.  Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and peanuts and mix thoroughly.

Using a teaspoon as a guide, scoop a portion of the dough and, with your hands, roll each portion into a ball.  Place the balls on each cookie sheet, 3 cookies per row in 5 rows.  Flatten the balls with the heel of your hand or the tines of a fork or that they spread to about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Bake each batch, one cookie sheet at a time, for about 10 minutes.  The cookies will be firm to the touch and just beginning to brown.

Remove from the oven and cool on the sheet for about 3 minutes.  Then transfer them with a spatula to a cooling rack.  Let the cookie sheet cool for 1 or 2 minutes more before reusing so the dough doesn't melt.  Store in an airtight container.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Cookies

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Linguine with Spicy Shrimp

Linguine with Spicy Shrimp
~Cooking Light, June 2010~
Serving size 1 1/4 cups / Calories 436

8 ounces uncooked linguine
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain.  Place pasta in a large bowl; keep warm.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion; saute' 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and tomatoes; saute' 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Sprinkle shrimp with Cajun seasoning, red pepper, and salt.  Add shrimp mixture to pan; saute' 3 minutes or until shrimp are almost done; remove from heat.  Stir in half-and-half.  Pour shrimp mixture over pasta; toss. Sprinkle with parsley.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Main Dishes

Monday, January 10, 2011

Steak Fajitas with Fresh Lime

Steak Fajitas with Fresh Lime
~Bon Appetit June 2008~
Makes 4 servings
2 12-ounce skirt steaks, each halved
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 large onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)*
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime peel
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

  • *Available in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets and at Asian markets.

Warm flour or corn tortillas.  Arrange steaks in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine 2 tablespoons lime juice and next 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Pour onion mixture over steaks; turn to coat evenly. Let marinate 10 minutes.  Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add steaks with onion mixture. Cook steaks 1 minute per side. Add tomatoes and basil. Continue cooking steaks to desired doneness, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare. Sprinkle mixture with 1 tablespoon lime juice. Cook 1 minute longer to blend flavors. Transfer steaks to work surface. Cut across grain on slight diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick strips. Transfer fajitas to bowl and serve with tortillas.

Serve with guacamole.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Main Dishes

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Stills

Eerie Silence

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Homemade Cleaners

Over a year ago I wrote about using baking soda and vinegar, these are still my go to cleaners.  I buy baking soda in the larger size, using it for scrubbing and white vinegar by the gallon mixing 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water in a spray bottle and use it to clean mirrors, windows, and surfaces.  I have since found several other recipes for cleaners that are useful and I will share them today.  In the photo above the red tub holds rags I use for cleaning, old t-shirts, dish cloths, dish towels and even an odd sock are in that tub.  We always have plenty of rags, I have never had to buy cleaning rags.  However, I did buy a cloth that is made just for cleaning windows and mirrors so that I wouldn't have to use paper towels.  There is also a scrub brush in that rag tub for scrubbing the bathtub and old toothbrushes that work good for getting into small areas.  The bottles in the white tub are filled with homemade cleaners and there is baking soda and Dr. Bronner's soap (which I also use to make foam hand soap).  I often dust using a dusting mitt or wand (the ones hanging below) that are designed for picking up and holding dust that can be shook out later.  Occasionally I use a homemade furniture polish to condition and clean the wood.  If you have a reusable furnace filter, be sure to vacuum it off once in a while, monthly is my goal.  They get full of hair, fur, and fuzz, especially when there is a pet in the house.  To keep the air clean and the furnace running properly they need to be cleaned.  Below are a few homemade cleaner recipes, most of which are taken from the book "Better Basics For The Home", a very useful book.  We love never having strong smelling commercial cleaners burning our sinus' or giving us a headache.  If you find these recipes helpful you may want to buy the book, there are many, many more formulas to try.

Basic Soft Scrubber Formula
~taken from "Better Basics For The Home"~

1/2 cup baking soda
Enough liquid soap or detergent to make a frosting-like consistency (I use Dr. Bronner's)
5 to 10 drops fragrant essential oil, such as 5 drops each rose and lavender (I use orange) (optional)

Place the baking soda in a bowl; slowly pour in the liquid soap, stirring all the while, until the consistency reaches that of frosting.  Add a frew drops essential oil (if using).  Scoop the creamy misture onto a sponge or rag, wash the surface and rinse.

Makes 1/2 cup

Shelf Life: Make only as much as you need at a time; natural soft scrubbers dry out.

ANTIBACTERIAL SOFT SCRUBBER: Substitute borax for half of the baking soda, and add about 15 drops antibacterial essential oil, such as thyme, sweet orange, lavender, clove, rosemary, tea tree, or cinnamon.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup white vinegar

Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl and pour vinegar over the top.  Let sizzle, then scrub. Flush.  That's all, vinegar is a disinfectant and baking soda has scrubbing power.

Tub Stain Remover
~from "Better Basics For The Home"~

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleach; cream of tartar, an acid, has been used for years to remove rust stains from porcelain.

1 tablespoon cream of tartar
Enough 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution to make a paste

Combine the ingredients in a bowl.  Scoop the mixture onto a sponge or rag, cover the stained area, and let rest for a few hours.  Scrub clean, then rinse.

Storage: Discard leftovers

Basic Wood Cleaning Formula
~from "Better Basics For The Home"~

This formula is for well-used furniture such as the outside of the kitchen cupboards and the dining room table that is likely used for more than just eating.

1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent (such as Dr. Bronner's)
A few Drops jojoba or olive oil
3 to 5 drops fragrant essential oil (optional)

Combine ingredients in a bowl, saturate a sponge, or rag, with the mixture, squeeze out the excess, and wash surfaces.  The smell of vinegar will dissipate in a few hours.

Makes 1/2 cup

Shelf Life: Indefinite
Storage: Glass jar with a screw top

Basic Polishing Cream Waxing Formula
~ from "Better Basics For The Home~

You can bring furniture to a high polish with this natural wax, and it smells wonderful whether or not you add the lemon oil.

4 ounces oil (2 1/2 ounces olive oil or jojoba, 1 1/2 ounces coconut oil)
1 ounce beeswax (can be found in craft stores, I bought mine from Amazon)
1 ounce carnauba wax
4 ounces distilled water
1/3 teaspoon grapefruit seed extract (found in health food stores), for a natural preservative
5 to 10 drops essential oil of lemon (optional)

Melt the oils and waxes in a double boiler over medium heat.  Remove from the heat, pour in the water, and mix with a hand mixer until thick and creamy.  (If you are using a blender, first add the water, then drizzle in the melted oils and waxes while the blender is on so they emulsify.)  Add the preservative and essential oil as desired, then blend.  Dab some cream onto a soft cotton rag, and rub into the furniture.  Buff and polish until the oils have been well worked into the wood.

Makes 1 1/4 cups

Shelf Life: 6 months or more
Storage: Glass jar with a screw top

Sense of Home / Homemade Living / A Homemade Life

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Date Nut Bars

Date Nut Bars
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup honey
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped dates
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9x13 pan.

Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a medium-sized bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into pan, spreading evenly.  Bake until golden about 20 - 25 minutes.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Desserts

Monday, January 3, 2011

Twice-Baked Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

Twice-Baked Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots
~adapted from Bon Appetit ~

4 12-ounce russet potatoes, scrubbed
olive oil
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika

3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced shallots (about 8 ounces)

4 slices of bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pierce potatoes in several places with fork, then brush lightly with oil.  Place potatoes directly on oven rack and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 55 minutes.  Cool potatoes slightly.

Cut off thin slice from both short ends of each potato and discard.  Cut each potato crosswise in half; stand each half on its small flat end.  Using teaspoon, scoop out cooked potato pulp from each half, leaving 1/3-inch-thick shell and forming a potato cup.  Place potato cups in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Place potato pulp in medium bowl; add cheese, sour cream, milk, and paprika. Using potato masher or fork, mash until well blended and almost smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Mound mashed potato mixture in potato cups.

Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and saute' until tender and deep brown, about 12 minutes.  Top potato cups with shallots.  (Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake potato cups until heated through, about 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and serve.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Side Dishes

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Stills

Frozen In Time