Recipes from The Cosmic Cafe

My heroine in Ring of Lies and her best friend Tina, were chefs. I'm not, but I used to be a caterer ;).
Here's a few of 'Ivy and Tina's' recipes. Let me know if you try them!

Gran’s Potato Soup
Probably going to hear it from my family for sharing, but here’s my Grandmother’s Potato Soup recipe; it’s the BEST EVER!
Serves 10
3lbs of potatoes, (peeled and cubed) Russets are best for this
1 small onion (diced)
2 Tablespoons of crushed parsley
1. Put cubed potatoes and onions in a large pot and add just enough water to cover. Sprinkle the parsley over them and bring to a boil, cooking just until the potatoes are tender.
2. Remove from heat. Do NOT drain! Add …

1 small can of evaporated milk
2 Tablespoons of butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
2-3 slices American cheese
1. Put all ingredients, but cheese, into the potatoes. Mash the potatoes but leave some, you want some chunks, not potato puree!
2. Stir to melt the butter, adjust seasonings of salt and pepper, then simmer on low. Thin with regular milk if needed.
3. After flavors have melded, about 7 minutes, turn off the burner and add a few slices of American cheese; stir to combine and ENJOY!
Cooked, crumbled bacon (or you can add it to all the soup)
Snipped chives
Serve with Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread
Traditional soda bread does not have fruit or nuts. Nor does it have whiskey; that would never be wasted on soup ;)
The best way to make Irish Soda bread is with a bastible pot. That is sort of like a Dutch oven. The lid allows the bread to steam while baking. To simulate this, use two round cake pans. Place the dough in one and place the other on top: open side facing the dough 

4 cups of all purpose flour (or pastry flour but NOT self-rising—that already has baking powder and salt in it)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
14 oz Buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly grease and flour a 8” round cake pan.
2. Sift and combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
3. Add enough buttermilk to make a dough. It will be slightly sticky but that’s Okay!
4. Place on a floured surface and gently knead a few times (not too much or you’ll release the gass needed to make the bread rise)
5. Pat into a round, flat shape and place in the cake pan.
6. Cut a cross into the top, cover with the other pan and put into the oven.
7. Bake for 30 minutes then remove the lid. Bake 15 minutes more.
8. Remove bread from pan, tap the bottom. If it’s hollow sounding, it’s done.
9. Cover the bread in a tea towel sprinkled with water. It’ll keep the bread moist until you’re ready to serve.

Tina’s Gingersnap Cookies

1 ½ cups of shortening
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup dark molasses (tip, coat your measuring cup with cooking spray to get every drop)
4 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Turbinado Sugar (enough for rolling)
1.        In a stand mixer, cream shortening and granulated sugar. Add molasses and sugar and mix until well blended. Add the spices, salt, and baking soda.
2.        Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the flour until thoroughly incorporated. (Dough will be thick and sticky)
3.       Turn dough out onto wax paper, flatten and cover. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
4.       Once chilled: Preheat oven to 350F. Shape a tablespoon full of dough into a ball; roll in Turbinado sugar, covering completely.
5.       Place balls on a greased cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Bake 12-15 minutes. Cool on sheets 2 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.
Cookies will puff and crack; when done the cracks will appear wet but the outside should be dry.
Makes about 6 dozen.  Cookies freeze well.