This post is courtesy of our blog contributor Carolyn…I come from a long line of people who are great in the kitchen but in the past I never took the time to learn how they do it! Now I love to cook and bake so I am pretty much teaching myself to cook with the help of the internet, the occasional call to my mom or dad for advice, and cookbooks. The Complete Best of Bridge Cookbook: Volume Three is a compilation of two prior cookbooks from my mother’s generation and claims “simple recipes with gourmet results”! Not only are the recipes simple and easy to follow, there are witty comments with each recipe that kept me smiling! I acquired this cookbook just in time because tis’ the season for home cooking easy yet hearty meals and baking yummy treats! Volume Three has a recipe for every taste, from sweet to spicy. My favorite was the Fettuccine with Asparagus and Shrimp, you’ll hear more about it later as I share some Best of Bridge recipes with you.
Best of Bridge Recipes – E-Z Popcorn Balls:
I chose three specific recipes to try for three very different reasons! The first I chose, E-Z Popcorn Balls (P.42), could be a holiday treat and was definitely one of my favorites as a child! For me, making them wasn’t so easy! As a novice baker I had no clue where to start, luckily the recipe was clear but I felt I needed more detail. There is a small window between when the sticky liquid was too hot to handle (I burned my finger) and too hard to form the balls. As a first time popcorn ball maker I was unsuccessful in making the whole batch. On a different note, I did manage to make about eight and when my daycare children tried them they said they loved the sweetness and asked me to make more. So if you have any suggestions on successfully making a whole batch of popcorn balls, please share your tips in the comments below.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄3 cup margarine
- 1⁄2 cup corn syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 18 cups popped popcorn
- Boil sugar, margarine, corn syrup and vanilla for 3 minutes.
- Pour over popcorn and form balls while still warm.
- Cool and wrap.
Best of Bridge Recipes – Southwestern Chicken Chili:
The second recipe I chose was Southwestern Chicken Chili (P.216). I chose it because nothing warms me up on a very cold winter day like a hearty meal and to me a big pot of various ingredients fills that void! I have never made chili with chicken before and was excited to try something new! Just below their forward at the beginning of the book, they say “The four food groups: Tasty, Fattening, Yummy, Celery”. This chili recipe has all four and it was delicious. Also, there was enough chili to feed two adults and a child for supper and again the next day for myself and the children in my care!
- 2 1⁄2 lbs chicken breasts 1.25 kg
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp ground coriander
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 28-oz (796 mL) can tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 12-oz (341 mL) can corn kernels, drained
- 1 14-oz (398 mL) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14-oz (398 mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- Skin and bone chicken.
- Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- In a Dutch oven, brown chicken in oil.
- Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are soft.
- Add chili, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt and pepper.
- Cook and stir for 3 minutes.
- Add carrots, celery, tomatoes, tomato paste, lime juice and sugar to chicken mixture.
- Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour.
- Add corn, kidney and garbanzo beans and green pepper.
- Simmer 30 minutes more.
Best of Bridge Recipes – Fettuccine with Asparagus and Shrimp:
Below the forward in the beginning of the book , the Best of Bridge Ladies inform us that they hired dieticians to help them develop fat-reduced recipes and so I chose a recipe with a halo below the recipe. The halos tell you when the recipe has less than 15 grams of fat! Fettuccine with Asparagus and Shrimp was my favorite recipe of the three I made from The Complete Best of Bridge Volume Three and it was only 11.2 grams of fat per serving! The recipe was mostly fresh ingredients. The sweetness from the bell peppers, the mellow crunch from the asparagus, and the subtle heat from the chili flakes was enough flavor for the recipe, but the splash of soy sauce perfected the taste!
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1⁄4 - ½ tsp hot pepper flakes
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 1 16-oz (500 g) package fettuccine or linguine
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 red bell peppers, sliced in strips
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 lb asparagus, cut in 3-inch pieces
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- In a bowl, mix shrimp with lemon juice, hot pepper and salt.
- Cook fettuccine according to package directions.
- Keep warm in pot.
- Heat oil and stir-fry onion, pepper strips and salt until peppers are tender-crisp; remove to bowl.
- In same skillet, heat oil and add asparagus and shrimp mixture.
- Stir-fry until asparagus are tender-crisp and shrimp turn opaque (about 3 minutes).
- Stir in pepper mixture and water; heat through.
- To serve, toss fettuccine with shrimp mixture and soy sauce.
- Sprinkle with lemon zest.
I am hoping to create a few of the other recipes from the cookbook in the next couple weekends. The One Cup of Everything Cookies would make a great gift for a neighbor and I think Cranberry Scones might be a Christmas morning hit!
Want to purchase a copy for yourself, visit the RobertRose.ca site for current pricing and availability.
Images & Recipes Courtesy: The Complete Best of Bridge Cookbooks, Volume 3 by The Best of Bridge Ladies © 2013 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.
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*Disclosure: I received a copy of this cookbook in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.