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Recipe favorites: Looking back at 2019

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I’ve enjoyed sharing recipes with our readers for another year.

In 2019, we tried new main dishes, new sweets and some new beverages.

Some recipes were from my family, some were ones I’ve tried in cookbooks and online and tweaked a little.

Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes from 2019. These are the recipes I’ve made the most this year.

I’m already working on recipes for 2020, so please keep reading in print or at wilsontimes.com.

Vegetable Soup

I made country ham biscuits to go with our soup. It’s one of our favorite meals.

2 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth (I use Swanson’s Natural goodness if I don’t have homemade broth in the freezer)

2 14.5 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes

3/4 cup frozen corn*

3/4 cup frozen butter beans

3/4 cup field peas with green beans

1/2 cup to 3/4 cup carrots, diced

3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

Chopped onions to taste (around 1/4 cup)

Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil. Let cook on medium heat until potatoes and carrots are cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Leftovers freeze well. The recipe can be doubled easily.

*Close the bag of frozen vegetables and put the remainder back in the freezer for the next time you make soup.

Lisa Boykin Batts

Hot Spiced Tea for the Holidays

My family still loves this delicious hot tea. Try it on a cold day this winter. Leftovers are delicious warmed up the next day. I keep little cans of pineapple juice on hand so I can make this tea when I want to.

6 cups water

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick

6 tea bags (such as Lipton)

3/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pour water into a pot; add cloves and cinnamon stick. Bring water to a boil; remove from heat. Add tea bags to water and set aside to steep until the tea is to your preferred strength, at least 5 minutes. (I do a few minutes longer for more spice flavor.) Remove and discard cloves, cinnamon stick and tea bags.

Stir orange juice, sugar, pineapple juice, and lemon juice together in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook and stir the juice mixture until the sugar dissolves completely. Pour juice mixture into the spiced tea; serve hot.

Allrecipes | Darcey Family

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

This recipe has been a family favorite for many years.

2- to 3-pound chuck roast, beef bottom round or other cut of beef

1 can cream of mushroom soup (low-fat, low-sodium)

1/2 cup beef broth (low-fat, low-sodium)

1/2 envelope Lipton onion soup mix*

One medium onion, cut into slices

2 to 3 carrots, sliced into chunks or a cup or so of baby carrots

4 to 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges or chunks or whole small potatoes, washed (I used several cups — about a pound — of Yukon Gold creamers; sorry, I didn’t measure)

1/2 to 1 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)

Place chuck roast into slow cooker. Place carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes around beef. Top with onions. Mix soup, soup mix and beef broth and pour over roast.

Cook 8 to 9 hours on low. Once the beef is cooked, remove it from slow cooker and wrap loosely in foil. Leave lid off cooker and let gravy simmer on high to thicken; it won’t take long. (I omitted this step when I made it last.) You can also slide the lid to the side in the last 30-45 minutes of cooking, allowing steam to escape; that also thickens the gravy.

* I roll up the envelope with the leftover soup mix, tape it closed, put it in a sandwich bag and keep it in the freezer for the next roast.

Lisa Boykin Batts

Creamy Tortellini Soup

I have made this soup many times for my husband and me as well as for dinner guests. Everyone loves it.

1 tablespoon olive oil (I omitted)

1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed (I used ground turkey Italian sausage in a chub package)

3 cloves garlic, minced (or to taste)

1 medium sweet onion, diced

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (I used a combination of dried oregano and dried basil)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken stock

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated three cheese tortellini

1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped (I used fresh spinach)

1/3 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat.

Stir in garlic, onion and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.

Gradually whisk in chicken stock and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in tortellini; cover and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Stir in kale until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and basil until heated through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve immediately.

Chungah Rhee | Damndelicious.net

Golden Punch

We have this punch every year at Christmas and for showers and weddings. It’s so good.

2 (12-ounce) cans frozen orange juice

2 (12-ounce) cans frozen lemonade

1 (46-ounce) can pineapple juice

14 (12-ounce) cans of water

Sugar to taste (this can vary from none to 2 cups; I used 1 1/2 cups)

2 2-liter bottles of ginger ale (I had backup bottle and used a little bit from that bottle, but 2 is probably plenty.)

In a large bowl, mix together orange juice, lemonade, pineapple juice, water and sugar until lemonade and orange juice dissolve and everything is well blended. Pour into gallon freezer bags or plastic containers and freeze.

Before serving, take out and thaw slightly. Chop to desired consistency, adding ginger ale a little at a time as you chop.

You can also skip the freezing step and serve the liquid punch over crushed ice.

NOTE: I made a double recipe, mixing one at a time, but I only used one recipe at the shower. We had around 30 people at the shower, many drinking more than one cup, and had quite a bit of punch left over. We probably could have served 50.

Batts Family Barbecue Sauce

I keep this recipe on my refrigerator so I can find it easily when I need it. It’s so good.

1/4 cup chopped onions

Canola oil (omit the oil if you don’t add onions to the sauce)

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce

1/3 cup maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Add a little canola oil to a medium saucepan and add onions, cooking until they start to become translucent. Add all other ingredients and simmer over low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

I’ve made the sauce without onions several times; if you don’t use the onions, omit the canola oil.

Double the recipe if needed.

Cheesy Potato Soup with Ham

I’ve made this soup so many times over the years. It’s one of my son’s favorite recipes.

3 cups water

3 cups red potatoes, peeled and diced (not too small)

1/4 to 1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

Black pepper to taste

1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups ham (can use less)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk (I use skim milk)

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Combine water, potatoes, celery, carrots, onions, salt and pepper in a large saucepan. Let come to a boil. Simmer until vegetables are tender. After about 10 minutes, add the ham and continue simmering until veggies are tender.

In a non-stick saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. With a whisk, stir in flour until smooth. Pour in milk, whisking as you add. Continue whisking until smooth. Let come to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes until thickened. Watch carefully so the sauce doesn’t stick to the pan.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Stir until smooth.

Pour vegetable and ham mixture into cheese sauce (do not drain vegetables) and stir until combined. Serve with crusty bread.

Adapted from a Taste of Home recipe

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