January 21, 2012

Warm Me Up!

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. ~Ruth Stout

A Maine House Mosaic

This has long been one of my own favorite comfort foods, and they're delicious with mashed potatoes!

1 large head of cabbage
1 to 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup instant rice or cooked rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) tomato soup, undiluted
1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes

Tear the leaves off the cabbage and cook in boiling water or steam until wilted enough to be flexible. Cool. Mix ground beef, rice, egg, onion, and salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon together. Form a few tablespoons of the mixture into a cylinder, then roll up in a cabbage leaf. Secure rolls with toothpicks. Combine the soup and tomatoes in a Dutch oven. Place cabbage rolls in the Dutch oven. Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
3 teaspoons salt, divided
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup half-and-half, warmed
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

 Peel potatoes, and cut into pieces. Bring potatoes, 2 tsp. salt, and cold water to cover to a boil in a medium-size dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 16 to 20 minutes or until fork-tender, then drain. Return potatoes to dutch oven. Always add butter as your first ingredient and blend with the hot potatoes, add  next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Blend with hand mixer until smooth and creamy!

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