Thursday, December 21, 2006

Food For Tree-Trimming

I reluctantly agreed to an artificial tree this year, primarily because of the postage stamp size of our apartment. I put it up & decorated the apartment during the day, then we had special foods for our tree-trimming dinner. I made a pot of potato leek soup & we did a few appetizers, as well. Boot requested his special invention, El Booto, which is basically just taco meat with shredded cheese thrown in, eaten with Fritos. J heated some mini smokies in Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce. I made my artichoke dip. Boot also requested Westminster Punch, which is the punch our church used to serve at coffee hour but now only serves for concert receptions. It has also become our special family punch.

Westminster Punch
12 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
12 oz. frozen limeade concentrate
1 regular-size can pineapple juice
1 small carton sweetened frozen strawberries
2 liters ginger ale
Mix together the first 4 in a large punch bowl. Add the ginger ale right before serving. I think Boot would drink the entire punch bowl-ful if we allowed him to. I love it, too.

Potato Leek Soup
2 tbsp. butter
3 leeks, well-washed & thinly-sliced (white & pale green parts only)
2 1/4 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & cubed
4 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 sprigs of thyme (although I just tossed in some dried thyme because the store didn't have any fresh)
2/3 c. whipping cream

Melt butter in soup pot. Add leeks & cook until tender. Add everything else but the cream. Bring to a boil. Simmer 20 minutes. If using thyme sprigs, discard. Partially mash potatoes manually. Add cream and heat through, taking care not to boil.

I also took some Italian bread, sliced & toasted it, added shredded cheddar & a smidge of cayenne, broiled the whole shebang & served it with the soup.

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