Recipe Card Thursday – 20 Minute Soup

I am sick of winter.  I am sick of shoveling snow.  I am sick of cold feet and hands. *Sigh* Let’s make some soup in a jiff to warm ourselves up.

20 minute soup


Cranberry Bars

Sometimes I don’t think of clever things to say when I find these recipes.  Sometimes they speak for themselves.  Some of them need a little help.  I haven’t figured out which this one is yet.

Cranberry Barscran

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

½ cup sugar

1 egg

½ tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. salt

1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce

1 tsp. grated orange peel

Cream butter; gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour and salt. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Gather dough into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375º F. Pat two-thirds of dough into bottom of unbuttered 13 x 9-inch pan, forming a ½-inch ridge around edge. Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine cranberry sauce and orange peel. Remove pan from oven. Spread with cranberry mixture; cool on wire rack. Roll remaining one-third of dough onto lightly floured surface to form a 9 x 4-inch rectangle. Cut crosswise with fluted wheel into ½ inch wide strips. Arrange strips in lattice pattern over filling, pressing two short strips together for those to be placed lengthwise. Return to oven and bake until light brown in color, about 30 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store, covered in cool place or refrigerator.

Lemon Surprise Muffins

The traditional recipe for lemon surprise muffins usually involves blueberries.  And lemon and blueberries go together fabulously.  But this recipe does not use blueberries… and therein lies the surprise!

Lemon Surprise Muffins


2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

½ cup margarine, softened

½ cup milk

1 egg

¼ cup lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon rind

1/3 cup Kraft grape jelly or apricot preserves

Combine dry ingredients. Add combined margarine, milk, egg, lemon juice and lemon rind, mixing just until moistened. Pour into greased medium-size muffin pan, filling each cup ½ full. Dot generously with preserves, top with remaining batter. Bake at 425º, 20 to 25 minutes.

1 dozen.



Marbelized Fudge Oat Bars

Fudge is something that I can actually live without.  It seems a bit over the top for me, which is strange for me.  I love chocolate, love sugary things – but for some reason fudge and I don’t get along.  This is not so in your face fudge than a traditional recipe.  And hey, we can say that it’s better for us because it has oats?

Marbleized Fudge Oat Bars

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. butter or regular margarine

2 cups lght brown sugar, firmly packed

2 eggs

4 tsp. vanilla

2 ½ cups sifted flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. salt

2 cups quick cooking oats

1 12 oz. pkg. real chocolate chips

1 cup sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)

1 cup chopped nuts

Cream together 1 cup butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla. Sift together flour, baking soda and 1 tsp. salt, stir in rolled oats. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Set aside while you make filling. In saucepan over boiling water, mix together chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, 2 tbsp. butter and ½ tsp. salt. Stir until melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tsp. vanilla. Spread about 2/3 of cookie dough in bottom of a greased 15 ½ x 10 ½ inch jelly roll pan. Cover with fudge filling. Dot with remaining cookie dough and swirl it over fudge. Bake in moderate oven (350º) 25 to 30 min., or until lightly browned. Cut into 2 by 1 inch bars. Cool in pan on rack. Makes about 1 doz.

Cranapple-Walnut Cake

This rich cake would be a very comforting dessert in these cold winter months.  Apples keep the cake moist, and the burst of the cranberries keeps it tart and interesting.  The addition of walnuts makes it a perfect combination.  No frosting is needed for this cake, simply dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Cranapple-Walnut  Cake

1 ¾ cups light brown sugar or 1 cup honey plus 2 tbsp. orange juice concentrate

½ cup vegetable oilexps21165_LT10350D9

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups sliced apples

½ cup walnut pieces

½ lb. fresh, whole raw cranberries

If you use honey, whip it first at high speed about 10 min, until it turns white and opaque. Cream together oil and sugar (or honey plus orange juice concentrate). Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Sift together flour and dry ingredients. Add to first mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in apples, cranberries and nuts. Bake in well greased 9 x 13 pan, 45-40 minutes at 350º.

Dried Beef Casserole

One of the most popular uses of dried beef has to be “Shit on a Shingle,” which is a milk gravy, loaded with chopped up pieces of dried beef, served over buttered toast. Truly, it’s wonderful. Not for those who are not interested in something salty!

This casserole would be a nice treat for something different. Certainly not something that you should be eating every day, or even once a week. But as an occasional switch from the ordinary, this would be yummy. You can of course substitute some of the ingredients to make it a bit healthier. I leave that to your discretion.



1 can 10 1/2 oz. cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup finely shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 scant cup uncooked elbow macaroni
3 tbsp. finely chopped onion
4 oz. dried beef, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced

Place soup in pan. Over low heat, stir and add the remaining ingredients except for the eggs. Gently stir in the eggs, and then turn into a buttered 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Store covered in the refrigerator at least 3 or 4 hours, or overnight is best. Bake uncoverede at 350F for 1 hour. Add buttered bread crumbs to the top and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are brown.