Food by the Howells for the Howells...

Food by the Howells for the Howells...and anybody remotely related to a Howell, or who may have met a Howell at one point in their life, or...yeah, pretty-much anybody.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mother's Corn Chowder

It is that time of year where a good bowl of soup hits the spot. This is a family favorite.

Mother’s Corn Chowder

8 – 12 medium potatoes peeled and diced
2 medium onions chopped
6 stalks of celery, diced
1 lb. Bacon diced
2 cans cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
2 cans evaporated milk
1 cup milk (I used ½ & ½)
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp. thyme plus(I added ½ tsp powdered thyme)

Boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain.
In skillet, brown bacon pieces until fat runs clear. (Not Crispy)
Push to the side and add onions and celery. Cook until crisp tender.
Drain off liquid and add to the potatoes. Add cream style corn, whole kernel corn, evaporated milk, and enough milk/ ½ and ½ to cover, then season with salt and pepper, and thyme to taste.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Savory Cauliflower Soup

I threw this together tonight and it was so good! These measurements are just estimations, use your own taste.

half an onion
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp curry
4 carrots, sliced
1 head of cauliflower
1 can coconut milk
1 can kidney or garbanzo beans
1 big can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1-2 cups vegetable broth

Saute onions in coconut oil over low to medium heat until soft and smelling good, add spices and let toast for a few minutes. Add carrots and let soften for a couple of minutes. Add vegetable broth when it seems like the onions will start to burn, then add all other ingredients. Let simmer for at least one half hour.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Neverending Scones

I had a special request from Aunt Gayle to post this recipe. I shared it on my family blog a few years ago, and she says it's been a family favorite ever since! These are truly addictive and such a wonderful treat!

Neverending Scones

3 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups cold milk
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 eggs (beaten)
6 1/2 cups unsifted flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Combine milk, oil, sugar, salt, eggs, and half of the flour. Add the yeast and continue to add the remaining flour. Dough will be sticky. Do not knead. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. (If you don't have time to do this, just add a little more flour to the dough and proceed). Roll out dough on a floured board to 3/8 inch thick. Cut in pieces.  Fry in 350 degree oil for about 2 minutes. Makes 50-60 scones if cut in 2 or 2 1/2 inch pieces. Dough can be refrigerated for up to a week, but it will continue to rise each day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Award-winning Peach Torte

My mom grew up with this recipe. She made it often while I was growing up, and now I make it! When I was a teenager, I submitted this recipe (without my mother's knowledge) to the local newspaper in Bellevue, Washington for their recipe contest. I think my mom was surprised when she was notified that she had won! Subsequently, we had a reporter and photographer come to our house to take pictures of this lovely dessert and to write up a story about my mom and this dessert. It is the perfect summer dessert--so fresh and delectable!

First, you have to get the right kind of peaches, though. I recently read some tips for getting the best peaches. The first one goes along with what my mom always says--if you can't smell them, don't buy them. You should be able to smell them as you walk by in the supermarket. Secondly, look for a buttery yellow color around the stem. If it's green, they were picked too early. If it's wrinkly, they were picked too long ago. That's basically it! For this recipe, the juicier the peaches, the better! (I have made this with woefully underripe peaches, and it is still good--just not AS good).

Peach Torte

1/2 cup (1 cube) melted butter
2 to 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 Tbsp milk
a few chopped walnuts (optional)
1 package graham crackers (1 package usually has about 12 crackers in it)
10 to 12 peaches
1 container whipped cream (or Cool Whip)

Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When boiling, blanch peaches by putting them into the water and then removing to a cold water bath after one minute. As peaches cool, crush all the graham crackers (a food processor works well for this). Spread in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Mix together the melted butter, powdered sugar, milk, and nuts. Pour over the graham crackers.

Skin the peaches (skin should easily slip off unless you get really underripe peaches, in which case, you must suppress all temtation to curse and just peel them with a knife or potato peeler). Hold each peach in your hand over the graham crackers and sugar mixture and cut the peach into slices letting the juices drop into the pan. Continue until all the peaches have been cut. Spread Cool Whip over the top, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate. (You can also save some of the graham cracker crumbs from earlier and sprinkle them over the top for a decorative effect). This sounds like a lot of work, but it's not that bad, and it's SO worth it!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Creamy Lemon Chicken

This is not an ordinary lemon chicken recipe. It is my go-to dish for when company comes. And it's so easy! You can start with frozen chicken--no thawing necessary!

Creamy Lemon Chicken

4 chicken breasts
2 tsp lemon pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp parsley flakes (optional)

Sprinkle 1 tsp lemon pepper on breasts and bake 20 minutes in 350 degree oven. (If starting with frozen breasts, cook for 10 minutes, then sprinkle on lemon pepper, then cook remaining 20 minutes). Mix remaining ingredients together (including the other tsp of lemon pepper) and pour over partially baked chicken. Bake another 20-30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving to let the sauce thicken.

I usually serve this with mashed potatoes and put some of the sauce on my potatoes (so yummy!) The best part is, if you have any leftover chicken and/or sauce, you can cook up some angel hair pasta the next day and mix it together! This also goes great with rice. It's a truly versatile dish that I come back to again and again.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Twelve-hour rolls

I admit that the name of this recipe scared me off for a while. Who wants to spend twelve hours making rolls? But what "twelve hours" really means is that you can make the dough at night, let it rise in the fridge until morning, and then have fresh rolls for breakfast. Or you can make the dough before church, let it rise in the fridge, and then have fresh rolls for dinner. This is the best roll recipe I have ever found. They are to-die-for!

1 level Tbsp yeast
1 level Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs (well beaten)
3/4 tsp salt
4 1/2 - 5 cups flour

Dissolve yeast and 1 Tbsp sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water. Melt together butter and milk and let cool. Add the two mixtures together, then add sugar, eggs, salt, and flour. Dough will be very gooey (I always use 5 cups of flour because 4 1/2 just seems too sticky to me). Dump into greased bowl. Cover. Leave overnight in fridge or for 5 or 6 hours. After it has risen to double the size, turn out onto floured board or counter. Knead for 7 to 10 minutes. Divide in half. Roll out into a circle. Brush with melted butter. Cut into wedges and roll up into a crescent roll. Place on greased cookie sheet. Cover lightly with towel and let raise for 2 hours or even up to 5 or 6 hours. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Note: After chilled and raised, the dough is very easy to handle and not so sticky. You can make any kind of rolls with this dough, including cinnamon rolls. You can do the first rise in the day, make the rolls and place in pans, let them rise overnight in the fridge, and then have fresh rolls in the morning. This is great for Christmas!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies Ever!

I am generally not a fan of peanut butter cookies. They are often too dry and hard. But these cookies are completely the opposite! They taste just like the Girl Scout peanut butter cookies, but they're better because they're soft and chewy. You can make them with the cream filling of without--they're fantastic both ways. But you will want to double this recipe, because these will disappear quickly!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup quick cooking oats

Cream filling
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (I almost always use milk and it works fine)

Cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, sugars, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.

Mix dry ingredients together in separate bowl and add to creamed sugar mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.

Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet and press each mound down with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cookies are light brown.

Make the cream filling while the cookies are cooling. Spread the filling on one cookie and top with another to make a sandwich. Super yum!


We created this to use up left-over tortillas. It's a fun thing to make with kids since they can help make their own 'pizzas'.


Tomato Paste

Optional: Pizza toppings (pepperoni, ham, olives, mushrooms...)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Set tortilla on a cookie sheet
  3. Spread about 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste on a tortilla (not too much, or it'll get soggy)
  4. Spread cheese and pizza ingredients on top (once again, go easy on the toppings and cheese!)
  5. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the edges of the 'pizzadia' are golden brown or crisp

Granted, it's not going to win any Michelin awards, but it's quick, it's easy, and it's versatile.