This yummy soup brings back fond memories of spending Christmas with my sister, Tomi and her family in Washington DC. We had an unseasonably warm Christmas one year. All the kids and parents went to the park and played flag football and then came home to a warm bowl of Tomi’s minstra. Recently, my daughter, Dani texted me while studying abroad in New Zealand, to request “Auntie Tomi’s delicious bean soup”. This recipe is a favorite that’s easy enough for a college student to prepare and nutritious too.
Bean and Kale Minestra
Serves 6 to 8
½ pound kale (about 4 cups, chopped—we used lacinato)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
olive oil to coat the bottom of your soup pot
6 cups cooked (2 cups dry) cannellini (white kidney beans—we used navy beans)
4 to 5 cups bean water, vegetable or chicken stock or water
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
6 fresh sage leaves (½ tsp if dry)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
freshly ground pepper
½ cup finely ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
My friend Andrea shared this recipe with me years ago. I made it this holiday as part of Christmas brunch. It looks so festive and is tasty and refreshing too.
Holiday Brunch Grapefruit Salad
2 white grapefruit
2 pink grapefruit
6 navel oranges
½ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup sugar
dried cranberries or pomagranate seeds
1. Peel and cut between membranes of citrus to remove sections. You can do this the night before.
2. Cut the mint leaves with kitchen scissors into thin strips.
3. Mix the mint in with the sugar and add pomegranate seeds or cranberries.
4. Sprinkle over the fruit and stir lightly.
Psst! I sometimes cheat and buy the fresh citrus already peeled, cut and sweetened. Del Monte markets it in a glass jar that can be found in the refrigerator section of most grocery stores.
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This is an easy quick bread that is a staple at our house during the holidays. The hard part is letting it fully cool before slicing as the delicious aroma has everyone in the family sneaking into the kitchen to grab a taste. Let them indulge. After all, it is the holidays.
Mom’s Holiday Cranberry Bread
1 ¼ cups cranberries (halved)
½ cup walnuts (chopped)
2 cups flour (sifted)
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup shortening or butter (softened)
1 egg (well beaten)
1 tsp. grated orange peel
¾ cup orange juice
We make this classy appetizer every holiday. My Great Aunt Lillian Vogt gave me the recipe when I was a child. She has since passed away but I always think of her when I make this and it makes me smile. I hope it makes you smile too.
Aunt Lillian’s Crab Dip
1 can cream of celery soup
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese (look for reduced fat cream cheese that is labeled Neufchatel. It is healthier)
1 cup celery, finely minced
2 small cans of crabmeat
2 small bunches of green onions (finely chopped)
1 envelope of gelatin
Directions: Continue reading
These buttery delicious crescent rolls are requested every year around the holidays by everyone in the family. My daughters look forward to baking them with my mom every Thanksgiving. They are irresistible right out of the oven. Yummy!
Grandma’s Butter Horns
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 block of cake yeast
1 cup milk
1 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
Directions Continue reading