Christmas Goodies 2009

December 25, 2009 18:32 by Suzy

Here's what Suzy and JD and JD's mom had for Christmas dinner this year...


Sauteed mushrooms
Sauteed mushrooms with garlic and thyme...


Roasted asparagus
Roasted asparagus...


Caprese salad
Caprese salad (I love the Christmas colors in this!)


Pommes Anna
Potatoes Anna (a bit was the first time I made it)


Standing rib roast
the Christmas Roast (before) and...


Standing rib roast, sliced
...and after!

I'll post dessert pics later...still recovering from the food...

Merry Christmas to everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday and plenty of yummy food!

The Perfect Christmas Gifts

December 25, 2009 18:27 by Suzy

JD's mom gave me the perfect set of plates for Christmas this year!



and this one...


Aged in oak, ready to party

and this one...


Bottled holiday cheer

(I love how he has wine bottles on his "rack")  and finally this one...


Naughty or nice

Hope you all got just what you wanted this year!

Chicken Stew

December 20, 2009 13:10 by Suzy

Chicken Stew

Well, I had planned to post another cookie this week, but what I chose to make did not turn out web-worthy, visually.  Tasted great, but looked pretty bad.  Bad enough to be called fugly.  I will try it again sometime, but for now, here's a great recipe for a simple and yummy chicken stew.

I found this recipe when JD was trying the whole Atkins/South Beach thing, so I was looking for meals that were filling but without the usual carb-heavies (potatoes, pasta, etc.).  This is so good it is a regular meal for us now, years after the low-carb idea (thankfully) left our house. 

Chicken Stew

adapted from a recipe by Giada DeLaurentiis

2 TB olive oil
2 stalks celery, cut into bite sized pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper
1 14-1/2 can diced tomatoes (I used a quart jar of home-canned tomatoes)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces (I didn't have fresh, so I substituted 1 tsp Italian seasoning and omitted the thyme)
1 TB tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bone-in chicken breast halves
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained 

Saute onion, celery carrots

In a large saucepan or pot over medium heat, saute the onion, celery and carrot with the olive oil until the onion is translucent.  


Sauteed onion, celery carrots

Season with salt and pepper.  Add the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme.  Add the chicken breasts; press down to submerge in the liquid.

Add chicken to stew

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally and turning the chicken over once, until the chicken breasts are nearly cooked through, about 25 minutes.  Remove the chicken breasts and set aside to cool.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.  Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the skin and bones from the chicken.  Using two forks, shred the chicken and return to the pot.  Simmer gently until the chicken is done.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Do you have any favorite soup or stew recipes?

Four Pounds of Butter Later...

December 13, 2009 18:52 by Suzy

Holiday Cookies

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

December 12, 2009 18:19 by Suzy

Chocolate Chip Cookies1

These are my famous, award-winning chocolate chip cookies.  It's one of the few things that I think I can make better than anyone else.  At least, I have never eaten a chocolate chip cookie that I liked as much as mine. 
The original recipe was from the back of the bag of store-brand chocolate chips that my mom bought when we were kids.  I modified it a bit...changing from all butter to half butter and half shortening.  I think that combo brings the best of both buttery taste while still having the perfect chewy texture.  This is my go-to recipe whenever I need a crowd-pleasing treat.
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips


 (I made a double batch, so don't be confused by the quantities pictured.)
Preheat oven to 375.
Beat butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Mixture should look almost white.

Cream butter and sugar

On wax paper or in a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir into the butter/sugar mixture, just until combined.  Do not over mix.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake on the middle rack of preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.  Be sure not to overbake.  Cookies should look a bit underdone when you take them out of the oven.
Let cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two, then remove to parchment paper (or rack, if you prefer) to cool.  For these, I generally don't use cooling racks, because sometimes the warm cookies fall through the racks!  Obviously, these are best fresh from the oven, but if you can restrain yourself from eating them all, store in tightly covered container or zip-top bags.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Flavor of the Month

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

December 9, 2009 12:28 by Suzy

OK, I'm taking this as a sign that this blog is going to ROCK!  Yesterday, the very day I launched Suzy's Goodies, I found out that I won a copy of the Julie & Julia DVD!  This was a giveaway at one of my favorite food blogs, dinner with Julie.  How's that for good karma?

Let's help spread around the good vibes and visit Julie's blog too...


Julie & Julia DVD

Holiday Baking Season is Here!

December 8, 2009 12:17 by Suzy

I picked the perfect time of year to start this blog, because I make so many of my favorite things in December…cookies, cookies, and more cookies!  I am narrowing down the candidates for this year’s Cookie Overload Bash (always a tough process), ramping up my grocery lists, and preparing hubby JD for several weeks of a kitchen looking like a disaster area.  Is there any chance that the prospect of photography will motivate me to keep the kitchen clean?  Or at least that part of the kitchen within the camera’s view? Tis the season for hope!


I’m also excited because I am participating in December’s Flavor-of-the-Month at bake at 350…this month’s theme is cookies!  Not sure which cookie to feature in my post.  Should it be my claim to fame, the original “Suzy’s Goodies”, my chocolate chip cookies?  Or should it be something more holiday-related?  A recipe I’ve never tried before?  Or just something that will photograph well so my lack of photography skills won’t be so apparent?


Seriously, I need help.  Here are some of my choices: Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Ginger Crackles, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Spritz, Almond Brickle…I can’t decide!  Which do you think I should use?  Or do you have a different cookie idea for me?


What cookies do you make every year?

Suggestion Box


December 8, 2009 11:40 by Suzy

Welcome to the Suzy’s Goodies blog…where you can follow my (hopefully) exciting culinary adventures as well as random thoughts and social commentary, with a healthy dose of sarcasm.  Basically, whatever the hell I feel like talking about.  Click away if you must, but you just might miss a tantalizing dish with such power that it could mend any broken relationship, or a literary masterpiece worthy of international accolades.  It cannot be said that I lack dreams or an overactive imagination.