New cookbooks, new scrumptious recipes!

Published 2:27 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In the past few weeks I’ve received several new cookbooks for review and thought the holiday season might be a great time to pass some of those recipes on — new, delicious and easy to prepare recipes that will hopefully help get everyone through this busy, busy season and also earn a spot in the mealtime rotation.

For starters, how about soup? As fall moves on toward winter, soup becomes a staple in most households. “300 Sensational Soups” (ISBN 978-0-7788-0196-2), by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, has just been published (Oct. 2012) by Robert Rose Inc., Toronto, Canada.

The soups are divided into categories: soup stocks, chilled soups, fresh from the garden vegetable soups, bean soups, cheese soups, hearty soups for meat lovers, chicken and turkey soups, fish and shellfish soups, chowders, soups from around the world, dessert soups and soup toppings and garnishes. And since the recipes come from Canada, measurements of ingredients are shown in both U.S. units of measurement and Canadian metric units.

What could be better to keep the chill away than the following quick and easy chicken soup, with chipotle added for a bit of zest? And after that, a soup that the whole family will love, especially the men in the house, Texas Cowboy Soup.

Easy Chipotle Chicken Soup

“Perfect for a busy weeknight, this fast and easy soup will be warming you up in less than 20 minutes. We use store-bought rotisserie chicken and tortilla chips when time is short and tummies are growling.”


Chipotle chiles are smoked jalapenos, often found canned in a vinegary tomato sauce called adobo. Look for them in the Mexican aisle of your grocery store. They tend to be fiery, so we often use only one or two at a time. You can freeze any leftovers by dropping them by spoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets and freezing until solid. Then transfer to freezer bags.

Serves 6

6 cups chicken stock

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 or 2 chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, minced (see tip)

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 cans (each 14 to 19 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 cups shredded cooked chicken


1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 avocado, diced

Crispy tortilla strips (recipe page 372)

1 lime, cut into six wedges

1. In a large pot, bring stock, garlic, chipotles to taste and pepper to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Add chickpeas, chicken and salt to taste.

2. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with cilantro, avocado, tortilla strips and lime wedges. Diners may squeeze the lime over their soup, if they desire.

Texas Cowboy Soup

“When you’re cooking out of a chuck wagon, necessity is the mother of invention, especially when you’re feeding armed, hungry cowhands. Many a meal has been made of beef, beans and whatever else was available, and a soup similar to this was surely on the menu for many nights around the campfire.”


If you can’t find canned tomatoes with green chiles, just use canned diced tomatoes and add a small can of chopped green chiles. Instead of canned corn, you can use 3 cups frozen corn kernels. Thaw and drain before adding to soup.

Serves 6

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 baking potatoes, peeled and sliced

2 cans (each 14 to 19 oz.) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained

1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, with juice

4 cups beef stock

1 can (14 oz.) corn kernels, drained

Cornbread croutons (recipe page 369)

1. In a large pot, sauté bacon over medium heat until starting to brown. Add ground beef and sauté, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, onion, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper; sauté until onion starts to soften, about 3 minutes.

2. Add potatoes, beans, both cans of tomatoes and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes. Add corn and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with croutons.

Other tantalizingly named soups in the cookbook include Sweet Potato, Coconut and Gingerroot Soup; Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Bacon; Rosemary Roasted Potato and Parsnip Soup with Blue Cheese Croutons; and Crab and Corn Chowder, a total of 300 delicious soup recipes.

For all those who are somewhat challenged when it comes to cake baking, whether it’s birthday cakes or just sheet cakes, take heart. This next cookbook is perfect for everyone who’s not particularly talented when it comes to baking, which includes many of us. The book’s title, “Duncan Hines Complete Cake Mix Magic” (ISBN 978-0-7788-0422-2) says it all, as does the sub-headline at the bottom of the cover: “300 easy desserts good as homemade.” What could be better than recipes that are not only easy to make, but look and taste like you slaved over them for hours?

The author, Jill Snider, says, “These 300 recipes provide results that taste homemade in less than half the time it would take to bake from scratch. Practical tips and techniques throughout the book ensure perfect results every time.”

Following is a selection of some of the great cake recipes included in the cookbook:

° Single-Layer Cakes: Apple Crisp Cake, Triple Lemon Cake, Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cake

° Multi-Layer Cakes: Black Forest Cake, Apricot Hazelnut Cake, Mocha Toffee Cake

° Tube and Bundt Cakes: Chocolate Macaroon Ring Cake, Butterscotch Swirl, Hummingbird Cake

° Special Occasion Cakes: Choo Choo Train Birthday Cake, Chocolate Yule Log, Pumpkin Pie Squares

° Cookies: Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Crispy Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Hazelnut Biscotti

° Bars and Squares: Raspberry Dream Bars, Toffee Chocolate Bars, Cherry Cheesecake Bars

° Frosting, Fillings and Glazes: Very Peanut Buttery Frosting, Chocolate Ganache, Lemon Butter Cream