George & Laura Bush's Recipes

BUSH FAMILY ZUNI STEW

1-1/2 cups pinto beans (soaked overnight; drained)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red chile powder (or more if you'd like)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
2 dried ancho chile peppers, deveined, seeded and
cut into narrow strips
1 pound yellow or zucchini squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 ears corn (cut the kernels off)
8 ounces fresh green beans. cut into about 1-inch pieces
4 ounces Monterey jack or Muenster cheese, grated
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped rough
(reserve a few whole leaves for garnish)

Place beans, bay leaf and oregano in a saucepan; cover with plenty of water and cook over medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Remove from heat when beans are soft, but not mushy. Add salt. Drain beans, but save the broth.

Heat oil in a large skillet; sauté onions over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Lower the heat, then add garlic, spices, and stir.

Add a little bean broth so the chile powder doesn't scorch. Cook until onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes.

Add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in chiles and remaining vegetables, along with the cooked beans and enough of the broth to make a moist, thick stew.

Cook at a high simmer until vegetables are done, about 20 minutes.

Stir in cheese and chopped cilantro, and garnish with whole leaves of cilantro. Serve with cornbread or tortillas.

LAURA BUSH'S HOT CHOCOLATE

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
6 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups light Cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix cocoa, salt, and sugar. Add milk. Heat to dissolve. Add light cream, cinnamon, vanilla. Heat to just under boiling.

Mix very well and pour into mug. Garnish with whipped cream, cocoa powder and fine orange zest, if desired. Serves 6.

LAURA BUSH'S BAKED POTATO SOUP

6 cups left over mashed potatoes
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 pound bacon, diced, cooked and drained well
(freeze bacon for easier cutting)
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup chives, minced
About 4 tablespoons sour cream
2 to 3 cups whipping cream, half-and-half or milk
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, sauté onions and red pepper over medium heat in 2 tablespoons butter until onions are clear. Add bacon, potatoes and whipping cream to desired consistency. Skim milk or chicken stock may be used to reduce calories. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a garnish of a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese and chives.

LAURA BUSH'S OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
(if using salted butter, reduce the salt to 1/2 teaspoon)
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups quick oats (not old fashioned)
2 cups chopped walnuts
3 cups chocolate chunks
2 cups coarsely chopped dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and both sugars. Creaming means simply to beat until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and oats. Add to mixture and slowly beat until blended. Stir in nuts, chocolate and cherries. Drop by tablespoonfuls an inch or so apart onto parchment covered or sprayed cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. Don’t overbake. Makes about 8 dozen.

LAURA BUSH'S GUACAMOLE

(This is great to take to a holiday party ... just add baked tortilla chips. Garnish with red pepper or tomato slices for a festive red-and-green presentation!)

8 Avocados
4 Lemons, juiced
7 Shallots, chopped fine
1 tsp. Black pepper
1 T. Salt
1 Jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 Bunch cilantro, chopped

Blend all ingredients with hand mixer.