Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Taking treats over to say thanks for a warm welcome...

A few of the neighbors have stopped by now to welcome us to the area - we thought it would be nice to bring them a plate of treats today... the first of many I'm hoping! Maybe we'll have some new taste testers to try out our dishes on!

We've been running ideas back and forth trying to figure out which recipes to bake - we decided on doing a couple of our favorite goodies, instead of experimenting with untried ones. Rather than making a normal chocolate chip cookie, we revisited the M&M Cookie Bars that we first made a long time ago as a treat day item. I see we also used the black and orange Halloween M&Ms that we apparently used the first time! These bars are always a hit.

M&M Cookie BarsSince we are almost halfway though September already and fall has begun to grab a hold of the weather, we thought it would be fitting to also bake a batch of those Swedish Gingersnaps we made just a few weeks ago. With their sparkling crackled tops, I imagine that these fragrant, chewy and spicy cookies will be making quite a few more appearances over the next few months (including the annual Christmas Baking Spree that is fast approaching!)

Swedish GingersnapsWith the wind howling from the north today and the temperature barely climbing to 55 degrees, tonight was the perfect weather for a soup. With just a few simple ingredients, this Chipotle Chicken and Tomato Soup was on the table in around 20 minutes with very minimal prep time. Bringing a smoky depth and a little kick in the back of your throat is a minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce - you can reduce the heat level a bit if you like by scraping out the seeds before you chop the chile. This soup is bulked up by the addition of red kidney beans, stewed tomatoes, chicken broth and shredded cooked chicken - Jeff prefers beans that have a firmer texture, but you could also use a navy bean if you would like a softer texture. To cool you down a bit, a dollop of tangy sour cream is added at serving along with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil for a touch of richness.

Chipotle Chicken and Tomato Soup


  1. The soup recipe lokos wonderful and like a perfect fall dish.

    WIll you rename your blog? Maybe to Culinary in the City? Or Culinary in the North?

    Congrats on the new house!

  2. Jean - we will probably be leaving it the same for now, but who knows what may happen in the future!

  3. Oh, thanks for posting the cookie bars. I'm hoping to feel well enough to bake for our trip to the mountains on Saturday and these look easy and sturdy enough to go with us. Hmmm, maybe I can do half dark chocolate and half regular m&ms.

  4. Eeek! 55 degrees! I can't believe it's that much colder there. Do you prefer colder Maryland/Minnesota or warmer Arizona?

    The cookies look great...your neighbors are in for a treat.

  5. Wow, already using Halloween m&ms! I can't believe we're anywhere near that time of year yet. I guess once it stays at fall temperatures, I will, but that summer just flew by.

  6. What lucky neighbors you have, Joe and Jeff,the harsh winter in your new house won't be half as bad with all the neighborliness that you provide. The recipes look great and I will make the soup today, because it is cold here too
    already, here in New England it won't last, it changes every day. Sunday it was 94 degrees, today it is 55. Happy cooking and baking, Rita

  7. It was 39 here when I woke up this morning, so that soup looks fabulous!! I'm off to rummage through the pantry to see if I can pull this one off soon.

  8. Wow, you had a better welcome than me in my new neighbourhood. I kind of wished that they would welcome me and that I could bake them some treats.

    Those bars looks really good. And those cookies are always a winner at my house.

    I hope you enjoy your new life.

  9. I love gingersnaps, it's one of my favorite cookies! The bars look delicious. M&M's in baked goods adds something a little different than regular chocolate chips.

    It's strange to think the Halloween candies are out in full force already.

    Glad to hear you both are settling in well!

  10. Everything's better with M&M's.

  11. I want to be your neighbour :)

  12. Robyn - Yes they are sturdy enough for travel! I thought about throwing some PB M&Ms inside next time!

    Emilie - It's a toss up I guess. While I loved the year around heat in Phoenix, it almost got to be a little too much for us.

    Jen - I know! But, I have seen them in the store for over a month already!

    Rita - Seriously! It was 32 degrees the other morning and it is suppose to be almost 80 again next week. Weird weather!

    Erika - I hope you get a chance to try it!

    Helene - Thanks!

    Christina - So far so good, although I've had to mow the lawn twice already. I miss my rider back in MD!

    Anna - Of couse!

    Cynthia - Come on over!