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Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year. God bless.

WINTER VEGETABLE SOUP

6 cups water

4 (14-1/2-ounce each) chicken broth

2 medium carrots, pared and diced

1 large potato, pared and diced

1 cup cabbage, shredded

2 medium ribs celery, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small white turnip, chopped

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup dry white wine

Bring water and broth to a boil in a 3 quart soup pot. Add next 8 ingredients; bring to a boil. Lower soup to simmer and add the wine. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes until flavors blend. Yield: 6 servings; 2 cups per serving.

PORK CHOPS WITH BROWNED GARLIC BUTTER

1-1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon sage

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon thyme, crushed

6 center-cut pork chops, cut 1/2-inch thick

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 stick butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine first eight ingredients in a small bowl; mix well. Sprinkle each side of the pork chops with 1/4 teaspoon of the seasoning mix. Rub seasonings into the chops with your fingertips. Combine flour and any remaining seasoning mix in a pie plate. Dip both sides of pork chops into flour mixture to coat; shake off excess.

In a large skillet, heat oil. Cook chops over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. In a 1-quart saucepan, heat butter until almost melted. Add garlic and cook over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until the foam on the surface is light brown. Stir in the last four ingredients. Cook until sauce is lightly browned. Immediately drizzle over pork chops. Yield: 6 servings.

BREADED SOLE

6 fillets of sole or flounder

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

3-4 tomatoes, thinly sliced

1/2 cup fine bread crumbs

3/4 cup white wine

3/4 stick butter

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375º. Rinse fillets; pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Cover bottom of a 13-inch-by-9-inch-by-2-inch baking dish with tomato slices. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Arrange fillets on top.

Combine wine, butter and lime juice in a saucepan. Simmer until butter is melted. Pour over fillets and sprinkle with cheese. Bake about 25 minutes or until the fillets flake easily when tested with a fork. Do not overcook. Yield: 4 servings.

BAKED PIEROGIES

(Reader favorite.)

4-5 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs, slightly beaten with fork

1 cup scalded milk

1/4 cup sugar

pinch salt

2 packages dry yeast, dissolved in 1 cup very warm water

Potato filling (recipe below)

Scald the milk; remove from heat and add shortening, sugar and salt. Bring to lukewarm and add yeast mixture and eggs. Blend well with wooden spoon. Stir in flour, cup at a time, then knead by hand at least 10 minutes until dough is soft and comes clean from your hands. (You can use your electric mixer with dough hook attachment to prepare this dough.)

Cover dough in lightly greased bowl and let rise about 1-1/2 hours. Punch down dough, cover, and let rise again 45 minutes. Punch down; let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in portion and cut as you would regular pierogies. Seal well and let rise; not too close, on lightly greased cookie sheets for 30 minutes. Pierce tops of pierogies with fork 2-3 times and brush with egg wash. Bake at 350º for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

POTATO FILLING:

5-6 large potatoes

1 medium package sharp cheese, shredded

1 medium onion

Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion in margarine. Boil and mash potatoes well. Add cheese, seasonings only. Remove as much margarine from onions as possible, reserving the margarine. You can even drain the onions through a sieve. Add drained onions to the potatoes. Let potatoes cool. Shape them into large walnut-size balls and have ready to fill.

Brush the reserved margarine on pierogi as soon as they’re baked from the oven. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers. They are delicious reheated in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes. Do not reheat in microwave.

SWEET POTATO PIE

2 sweet potatoes

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg, slightly beaten

Enough light cream to make pouring consistency (about 1/2 cup)

1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell

Boil sweet potatoes in skins until tender (about 45 minutes). Drain. Remove potato skins. In a bowl, beat potatoes, removing any strings which may stick to the beater. Add sugars, butter and spices; beat well. Add vanilla and egg. Add enough cream to make pouring consistency. Pour mixture into an unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350º for about 1 hour. Yield: 8-10 slices.

CHOCOLATE CHIP ANGEL COOKIES

1 stick butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels

1 cup chopped pecans

additional sugar

Cream butter and shortening in large mixing bowl. Gradually add sugars, beating well at medium speed of electric mixer. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, soda, cream of tartar and salt; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir in morsels and pecans. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350º for about 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Yield: 60 cookies.

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