Time saving hint … shop for a lobster at a grocery store that will steam one as you shop. Saves lots of preparation time and there will be one less pot to clean.

3 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup rich white wine
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of saffron threads
1/2 pound lobster tail meat, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and finely chopped tomato
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pour the broth into a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat, and adjust the heat to keep the broth at a bare simmer. In a large deep skillet over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and sauté until the onion is soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and cook, stirring to coat with the onion mixture, until the grains are opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, lemon zest and juice, and saffron threads. Cook for 2 minutes.

Begin adding the hot broth to the rice 1/2 cup at a time, stirring often and waiting until each addition is almost fully absorbed before adding more. After about 20 minutes, when you have added all but 1/2 cup of the broth, the mixture should look creamy. Taste a grain of rice. It should be cooked through but still slightly firm (not hard) at the center. If it is still too firm, add the remaining broth and continue cooking.

When the rice is ready, stir in the lobster, distributing it evenly, and then stir in the tomato and butter. Let stand covered for 5 minutes before serving to heat through the lobster and tomato.

Spoon the risotto into shallow bowls and serve right away. Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from “Wine & Food a new look at flavor”

Feeds lots of hungry people!

5 pounds of Russet potatoes, peeled and boiled till just tender when stabbed with a fork
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 large handfuls of dill pickles, chop these guys up too!
large handful of black olives, chopped (optional but adds something special)
small jar of pimento, chopped
yellow mustard
Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
salt and black pepper to taste and don’t be stingy!

Basically, I really believe in NOT dicing up all the veggies so you can’t tell what you are eating! Leave everything a little chunky and you will love the results! So start by cubing up the cooked and cooled potatoes in a huge bowl. Add the chopped eggs and everything else on the list. I tend to go lighter on the mustard and heavier on the Miracle Whip, but that is a personal choice. Refrigerate until dinner time!

Recipe adapted from my husband’s mother, Wilna Frantz, a great lady!

chocolate pie

makes 1 pie

baked pie crust
2 eagle brand milk
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp Vanilla

Place 2 cans of eagle brand milk in double boiler. Melt chocolate on low and stir constantly till very thick. Add vanilla and stir. Pour into baked pie crust and cool. Top with whipped cream.

Recipe from my Grandmother Van Dolzer

Cheddar & Black Pepper Biscuits

(makes 16 to 20 bite-sized biscuits)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter
¾ cup buttermilk
4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I place the biscuits close together for a fluffy biscuit in a cake pan. For a crispy exterior, set the biscuits ½ inch apart on a baking sheet.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the cut-up pieces of butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until reduced to pea-size pieces. Add the buttermilk and mix briefly, just to incorporate it. Don’t overwork the dough. Mix in the cheddar cheese and black pepper. The dough will be fairly sticky.

Place the dough on a smooth, floured surface and pat with your hands to about ¾ inch thick. Cut out the biscuits using a 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits into the prepared pan. The remaining dough can be gathered together and rolled out again for more biscuits. Brush the tops with the melted butter. Place in the biscuits in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Recipe adapted from “The Texas Cowboy Kitchen” by Grady Spears with June Naylor.

Nice chicken!
Serves 4+

1 rotisserie chicken (2 cups of boneless chicken shredded)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chicken stock
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups thawed frozen whole-kernel corn
1-14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 small can green chilies, drained
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Liberal dashes of salt and pepper
Crumbled tortilla chips and some shredded cheese for sprinkling on top

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, or soup pot, over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots and sauté for 10 minutes. Add cilantro, chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, green chilies, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, cover for 20 minutes. Add corn and chicken and heat through. Sprinkle with tortilla chips and shredded cheese on top in bowls.

Adapted from Reader’s Digest The Ultimate Soup Cookbook

Potato Rolls

½ cup cooled mashed potato
4 to 4-1/2 cups flour
1 package dry yeast
1-1/4 cups milk
¼ cup honey
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 egg

In a bowl combine 2 cups flour with yeast. Heat milk, honey and butter until just warm (115-120 degrees). Add to dry ingredients. Next, add potato and egg. Beat at low speed with mixer for ½ minute. Beat at high speed for 3 minutes. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface 6 to 8 minutes. Shape into ball and place in a greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour). Punch down and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape or cut into rolls and place on cookie sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size; about one hour. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen rolls
Recipe by Gretchen Van Dolzer

Yield:  about 4 dozen

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1-1/2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cacao chocolate chips (the bittersweet ones are the best!)
1-1/2 cup of dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about one minute.  Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat on medium speed for one minute longer.In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and oats.  Add the flour mixture all at once to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated.  The dough will be stiff.  Stir in the chips and cranberries.Using a tablespoon-size dollop, drop the cookie dough 2 inches apart on prepared pans.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown.  When cool, the cookies should be chewy in the middle.

If you really want to be decadent add a cup of toasted pecan pieces while you are adding the chips and cranberries!

Adapted from “The Pastry Queen Christmas” by Rebecca Rather

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