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Check out my recipes below:

50 Shades of Black Bean Soup
by Chantilly White

*Can be served as a side or a main dish; excellent with fresh cornbread! *Allow 6 hours or more total prep/cooking time

Ingredients
2 cups dried black beans
2 quarts + 2 quarts cold water
2 small onions, sliced
2 small stalks celery, chopped
Salt, white pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
Dry (not cooking!) sherry—I use Gallo or Swiss Colony—to taste
Optional: grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, croutons

Directions
1. Rinse black beans in a strainer
2. Bring black beans and 2 quarts cold water to a boil
3. Reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes
4. Cover, remove from heat and set aside 1 hour
5. Pour the water off and cover with fresh 2 quarts of cold water
6. Add onion and celery
7. Simmer 4 hours, adding water if needed, to make about 1 ½ quarts—the soup is better a bit thick, so unless it really needs it, I never add extra water
8. Add salt (at least 2 teaspoons), white pepper (at least ½ teaspoon), and cayenne (to taste—I add quite a bit to make it extra spicy!) Stir lightly
9. Add sherry (at least 2 tablespoons—I use quite a bit more, personally)
10. Whirl in batches in a blender until smooth, pouring each batch into one large plastic storage container
11. Once all batches are blended, stir well in the container
12. Serve hot, garnished with grated cheddar cheese &/or sour cream and croutons
*Optional: serve with fresh cornbread

Author’s Note
This is a thick, heavy soup, and if made correctly, it will look like a rather disgusting black mud, but it is soooo good. It makes a hearty meal and heats up great for lunches, though it does take a while to reheat, it's that thick. Don't worry if a layer of water appears on top during storage, it's just separating a bit. A quick stir, and it's good as new. This soup also freezes very well. This is a family favorite—give it a try and let me know what you think!

~Chantilly

middivider

Passionate Perogies
by Chantilly White

*Can be served as a side or a main dish

Ingredients
2 boxes frozen perogies
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil, plus a little extra
2 large sweet onions, diced
1-2 whole garlic heads, or to taste, minced
1 cup each: grated sharp cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey jack cheeses, mixed
1 cup grated fresh parmesan
salt, pepper and paprika to taste
Optional: sour cream, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, salsa and/or diced green onion

Directions
1. Bring 8 quarts water to a boil in extra-large pot
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet; add onions, stirring occasionally
3. When onions have started to brown, add garlic
4. Boil perogies according to package directions, about five minutes
5. Drain thoroughly
6. Remove the onions and garlic from the skillet; reserve
7. Add perogies, four to five at a time, to the skillet to fry. Add extra olive oil as needed. Be prepared, the perogies take a long time to get crispy, even once they start to brown
8. When the perogies have crisped to your liking, add the salt, pepper and paprika to taste, then remove to a serving dish
9. Cover with reserved onions and garlic mixture and all cheeses
10. Optional: add sour cream, tomatoes, avocado, salsa and/or green onion
11. Enjoy!

Author’s Note
Hug and kiss your sweeties, be they human or animal, prior to consuming the perogies, as the onion and garlic will be coming out of your pores for days afterward (and it needs to be said: breath mints are our friends), but they’re so worth it!

~Chantilly

middivider

Sassy Cinnamon Pudding
by Chantilly White

Ingredients

Batter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons shortening
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, in ¼ cup increments

Syrup
1 box light brown sugar
1 ½ cups cold water
2 tablespoons butter
chopped or whole pecans, as desired

Topping
whipped cream

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream 1 cup of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons shortening; set aside
3. Sift 2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 3 teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt together, then add to the first mixture, alternating with 1 cup of milk
4. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish
5. Make a syrup of 1 box of light brown sugar, 1 ½ cups cold water and 2 tablespoons butter—mix all together in sauce pan and bring to a strong boil
6. Pour syrup over batter and sprinkle with chopped or whole pecans
7. Bake for 45 minutes (check for doneness with a toothpick)
8. Serve warm with whipped cream. Enjoy!

Author's Note
This is an old family recipe, dating back at least to my mother's paternal grandmother. It's a great one for chilly fall or winter days when you want a little treat to nibble while tucked in a blanket in front of the fire with your favorite book. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

~Chantilly