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Now that we have welcomed in the New Year 2018 and the holidays are finally over, it’s time to sit back and relax. Nothing could be better than feasting on good old-fashioned comfort food, especially during the cold winter months. Blessings for a wonderful New Year. Enjoy.


1 tablespoon butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 large onion, chopped

6 cups reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth

3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 medium carrots, sliced

2 medium celery stalks, minced

1 zucchini, sliced

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; saute for 8 to 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, celery and zucchini; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add dill, parsley, salt, pepper and cornstarch-water mixture. Stir well

And continue to cook for about 15 minutes more, or until the soup is slightly thickened. Ladle into bowls to serve. Yield: 8 servings.


(You can use beef instead of veal, if preferred.)

2-1/2-pounds lean veal, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

Black pepper, to taste

1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted

2 medium onions, sliced

2 large tomatoes, peeled and quartered

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2/3 cup Chablis or other dry white wine

1/2 cup canned, undiluted beef broth

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons paprika

Hot cooked noodles

Season veal with salt and pepper and brown in butter or margarine over low heat; do not overcook. Add sliced onions and quartered tomatoes; cook uncovered 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Add flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in wine, caraway seeds, lemon juice and paprika. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 50 to 60 minutes until veal is tender. Serve with cooked noodles. Yield: 6 generous servings.


1/3 cup ricotta cheese

1/3 cup pesto, plus an additional 1/4 cup pesto

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

2 chicken breast halves with bones and skin

3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine ricotta, pesto and Parmesan in a small bowl; season with pepper to taste. Carefully slide your fingers under skin of the breast separating it from the flesh to form a pocket. Leave the skin attached along one side and at one end so the stuffing will be enclosed. Push the cheese and pesto mixture into pockets you have created. Brush the surface of the chicken with olive oil. Place breasts in a small baking dish and bake at 350º for 40 minutes. Remove pan from oven and brush surface of chicken with remaining 1/4 cup of pesto. Return to oven for additional 15 minutes. Let chicken rest 5 minutes at room temperature before serving. Yield: 2 servings


3 to 4 pounds beef short ribs

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 medium carrots, cleaned and chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons salt

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 bay leaf

Brown short ribs on all sides in hot oil in large pot. Cover and bake at 350˚ for 1 hour; drain. Return meat to Dutch oven. Add carrots and celery. Combine tomato paste and remaining ingredients; stir well. Pour over meat and vegetables in Dutch oven. Cover and bake 1-1/2-hours until meat and vegetables are tender. Remove from oven; discard bay leaf. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.


9 medium baking potatoes

1 stick butter or margarine

Salt and black pepper, to taste

2/3 cup lukewarm milk

1-1/2 cups Cheddar cheese shredded

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Peel and boil potatoes until tender; drain. Whip potatoes in large bowl with electric mixer until fluffy, adding butter or margarine, salt and pepper and lukewarm milk. Place into buttered shallow casserole. Fold Cheddar cheese into whipped cream; spread over potatoes. Bake at 350º for about 25 minutes, only until golden brown. (Casserole can be prepared ahead of time, but topping must be added just before baking). Yield: 10 servings.


1 stick butter or margarine, room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

3/4 cup cocoa

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Dash salt

2/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter or margarine; gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine cocoa, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla. Spoon batter into paper-lined cup-cake pans filling two-thirds full and bake at 350˚ for 15 to 18 minutes. Gently remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Yield: 16 cocoa cakes.


(Refrigerate overnight and bake these cinnamon rolls first thing in the morning.)

1 cup chopped pecans

2 (1-pound) loaves frozen bread dough, thawed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 (6-ounce) package vanilla-flavored pudding and pie-filling mix

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 stick butter or margarine

2 tablespoons milk

Sprinkle pecans in greased 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Divide dough into 24 pieces; shape into balls. Place in baking pan; sprinkle with cinnamon. In a 1-quart saucepan heat pudding mix, sugar, butter or margarine and milk, stirring occasionally, until butter or margarine is melted. Pour over dough, covering each piece. Bake at 350º for about 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Immediately invert onto serving platter. Remove pan. Yield: 24 rolls.

Any comments, questions or favorite recipes? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to send your email to, and please write “Helen’s Kitchen Request, ATTN: Lori” in the subject line to make sure that I receive your email. Thank you.