Saturday, May 4, 2013
I took a blogger break. You know how writers have writer's block? I had bloggers block. Not only that, but nothing I have cooked lately seemed to taste good. It could be that I'm trying not to eat gluten, wheat, eggs or dairy. I found out that I have some allergies to all of them. Not outwardly but who knows what kind of inflammation it creates on the inside.
Now I know there are a lot of good recipes out there that don't call for these ingredients but it seems like when you can't have something, it's hard to think of or find recipes that don't have them. It's a new challenge for me. It's definitely easier to make food taste good when you add cheese and butter to it but much more of a challenge when you don't.
This is a recipe that I got from a good friend about 20 years ago. She made it for me a few times and it was always delicious. We've lost touch but I always think of her when I make this sauce. It only takes a few ingredients that you probably have on hand. Not only that, but you control the ingredients and most importantly the sugar content. What's interesting is that the fennel seed gives the sauce a sausage like flavor. It's great because you don't have to have sausage in it for it to taste like sausage. I served it here with my favorite gluten free pasta called Jovial.
Enjoy and I'll be back soon.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb ground beef, turkey, sausage or a combination of these
1 can diced tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 can small black olives, sliced or diced with juice (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and Pepper
Fresh basil and parsley, chopped (1 tablespoon each) garnish, (optional)
Combine first five ingredients in a sauté pan, salt and pepper, and cooked until meat is brown. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed before serving. Serve with parmesan cheese.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Happy Easter! I hope you're having a good holiday weekend.
It's thundering outside right now and I am so excited. I have everything turned off so I can hear it. Probably sounds crazy but it must be because I grew up with thunderstorms and really miss them. My brother and I both feel the same way. It reminds me of really hot summers in the south and a thunderstorm would roll in and cool everything off...for about five minutes.
I'm trying to cut gluten from my diet. For a while anyway. We'll see how it goes. I know it can't hurt and maybe it will make me feel even better. Now if I could only cut out sugar, I'd really be getting somewhere. But one step at a time.
Here's a really nice, light and bright tasting dessert. I added a lemon sauce to it just to send it over the top but you certainly can just do the cake and it will be delicious. You can always grind your own almonds in the food processor if you can't find blanched ground almond flour.
Almonds, eggs, sugar and zest
After you fold the egg whites into the egg almond mixture
Just out of the oven...
Ready to eat!
Lemon Almond Cake
1/2 pound or 1 3/4 cup blanched ground almonds or almond flour
1 1/4 cup superfine sugar
6 eggs, separated
zest of two lemons
1 teaspoon almond extract
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend the sugar and egg yolks together until a pale yellow. Add lemon zest, almonds, and extract and mix well. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold in egg whites gradually to the egg almond mixture. Pour into a greased 9 inch springform pan. Bake 35-40 minutes until firm to touch and lightly golden brown. Remove outside ring and let it cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with lemon syrup below if desired.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water
Bring all ingredients to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for 20 minutes to thicken.
Adapted from Epicurious
Posted by Amy at 8:19 PM
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Did you know the original color associated with St. Patrick's Day was blue and it slowly transitioned to green as early as the 17th century? Just a bit of St. Patrick's Day trivia for you. Are you wearing your green today?
I was craving chili the other day and saw this recipe. I changed a few minor ingredients and within 20 minutes, had a delicious lunch...and dinner on Sunday. That's what happens when you're busy and only cooking for one. You end up eating the same thing for lunch and dinner sometimes. Not so bad when it tastes good. Depending on how many times you eat it though, you may not want to see something resembling the dish for another 10 years.
I think chili can be really fun to make for a family or party. You can have a bunch of toppings set out for people to choose from like avocados, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, cheese, Fritos or tortilla chips. Let everyone add their favorite toppings. Really yummy.
Easy Turkey Chili
2 tablespoons oil (your choice)
1 lb. ground turkey (can use ground beef or ground chicken)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1 15oz can white kidney beans and juice
1 15oz can black beans and juice
1 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes with garlic
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated (can use cheddar or monterey jack)
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper
In a large saute pan, add your oil and heat pan to medium high. Add onion, jalapeno, and ground turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink. Add your spices and stir well to coat all the meat. Add in the beans with their liquid and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Heat to a simmer. Add a little more salt to season the beans and tomatoes. When hot, stir in cilantro and turn off heat.
When ready to serve add to serving bowls, sprinkle with cheese. Add optional avocado, onion, tomatoes, Fritos, hot sauce, tortilla chips, etc...
Adapted from Sunset Magazine
Friday, March 8, 2013
TGIF! It's funny how Friday is almost always a good day. Now Monday's on the other hand are usually the opposite only because you know you have a long work week ahead. But we always have the weekends to look forward to. I just wish they wouldn't go by so fast. Wouldn't it be nice to have a four day work week and three day weekends. I could definitely go for that. How about if we take a vote?
I know this is my second chocolate posting but can you really have too much chocolate? Chocolate makes even Monday's better.
The difference with these muffins is that they're good any time of the day. Soft, chocolaty, moist and made with some extra good ingredients that no one will even notice like oat flour and flax seed meal. Even your kids will eat these. All you taste is... CHOCOLATE. They work great as a mid-afternoon snack.
I've been busy with work the last few weeks so my postings have been a little behind. It's a good thing but doesn't leave a lot of time to be creative in the kitchen. I have a few recipes lined up though so stay tuned.
1 cup no sugar added applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon flavorless oil (canola, grape seed)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup oat flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons flax seed meal (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Powdered sugar for decoration (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a muffin pan with 9 liners. Doesn't hurt to coat them with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together. In a smaller bowl, mix the the dry ingredients together, everything except the chocolate chips. Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix well. Add in the chocolate chips. Spoon batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 20-22 minutes, rotating muffins half way through. Muffins are done when they are firm to the touch. Let cool on a rack. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes 9 muffins.
Adapted from Bethanybakes
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Valentine's Day brings many sweet things to mind - love of course, roses, hearts, romance and the sweetest of all, chocolate. I couldn't think of a better recipe to share with you than a melt in your mouth, rich chocolate molten cake. I played around with this recipe a couple of years ago but couldn't get it right. I think this one turned out tasty and it's surprisingly easy to make. Top it off with some caramel ice cream and a few raspberries. Don't buy the pre-made kind or the box mixes. Make your own. It's so much more satisfying.
This will be a short posting. I'm all out of words at the moment but wanted to share a recipe with you that I think is perfect for any evening you are craving something sweet and in particular, chocolate. I hope whether you share Valentine's Day with someone special or alone, you do something nice for yourself. You deserve it. XOXOXO
Molten Chocolate Cake
1/2 cup butter, plus more for the molds
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for the molds
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare 4 (4-6 oz) ramekins or molds by rubbing them with butter and then dusting with sugar. Tap out the excess sugar.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over medium low heat. Stirring frequently to keep from burning. Remove from heat.
In a medium size bowl, beat eggs and sugar until egg mixture is pale and thick...takes about 5 minutes.
Add chocolate mixture to the egg mixture stirring constantly. Add in flour, vanilla, espresso powder and mix well.
Pour into the ramekins. You can refrigerate at this point and bake later. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The center will be soft but the outer edges should be set. Let them sit 5 minutes before serving. Add your favorite ice cream and enjoy!
Sunday, January 20, 2013
This is my favorite salad and has been for the last few years. Let's just say I make it A LOT and I could probably eat it everyday. It's the perfect combination of sweet, salty, crunchy and tangy all mixed together in a fresh salad. It's simple to make and it's a perfect first course.
Because there are so few ingredients, it's important to use the best you can find. I buy a raw gorgonzola that I get at Whole Foods (their brand) and it's so good. It's creamy and not too strong. I also use a really good balsamic vinegar that's been aged a bit which makes it slightly thicker and sweeter. I use organic, fresh baby greens. The walnuts are slightly sweet and really crunchy. The onions...let's not forget the onions. As you know, when you cook them for 20-30 minutes, the creamy sweetness comes through. Have I made you hungry yet?
All I'm saying is that you need to try this salad.
Caramelized Onion and Gorgonzola Salad
1 large red onion, cut in half and then cut in 1/4 inch slices
2 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or canola)
2 tablespoon butter
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, add your oil and butter. When hot, add the onion. Cook over medium heat for 5 munites, stirring frequently. Turn down the heat to medium low and let the onions cook, stirring occasionally. If they start to burn, turn the heat down lower. Let them cook for 20-30 minutes until soft and golden.
1 bag of Baby Greens
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (if you can find glazed walnuts use these)
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
In a large mixing bowl, add your lettuce, vinegar, olive oil (start with a little and add more if needed) and salt and pepper. Mix it well using your hands. Plate your salad. Sprinkle the cheese and nuts on top. Add your caramelized onions to each salad. Serve immediately.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
I know, kale you say...seriously? And it's raw? Yes and you'll like it. I promise. Believe me, I didn't think I would like it either but it's really good. It's become one of my new favorite salads. I even tested it out on a few friends and they liked it. Give it a shot, I think you'll be surprised.
The key here is the salad dressing and the apple. The dressing adds a touch of tartness and the apple (I like Pink Lady) adds sweetness. Your mouth will tingle with delight at all the different flavors.
How was your holiday? Mine was really relaxing and fun. We had some really good laughs, food and wine...and I learned how to make a really good dirty martini. I sound like a serious drinker but I'm not. I do like an occasional good drink or glass of wine. I got to spend some quality time with my family and seriously spoil my niece and nephew, who I'm crazy about. They are growing up to be such good little people...smart and caring.
I'm sure everyone feels the same way when they come back from the holidays...kind of sad that they're over and that it's back to business/work/life as it was. Not that it's that bad. We all have crap to deal with but it's easy to think we're the only one that dealing with something difficult. When you spend time with others though, you realize we all have challenges and difficulties that we're dealing with. It reassuring to know that I'm not the only one.
Anyway, I'm babbling. Happy New Year to you all and thanks for visiting our blog. I hope you have a wonderful, happy 2013. Now eat your kale!
Kale and Apple Salad
1/4 of a large white or yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bag of fresh chopped kale
2 Pink Lady apples, chopped in 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup raw walnuts
In a blender, add all the dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. Add kale to a large salad bowl and add dressing. Mix well to cover all the leaves. Add apple and walnuts, mix well. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes or more before serving to let the flavors mellow.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
We finally made it to Oregon. It took us 12 hours, 6 more than usual to get to my brother's house in Oregon. We survived a blizzard and three traffic accidents where we were completely stopped for over an hour each. Finally after 12.5 hours in the car, we get to my brother's two mile long ice covered driveway, only to make it part way up. Quite a memorable road trip and it doesn't end there. Since we got here, we've had two power outages which wouldn't be a big deal if the toilet and the coffee maker would work. :-) At least we're all together and it's almost Christmas. Here's a picture from my brother's front deck.
It's a few days before Christmas and I'm sure there is some last minute scrambling but if you have time for a nice breakfast, here's a good homemade pancake recipe that's pretty easy and you probably have all this on hand.
Pumpkin Banana Pancakes
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pumpkin
2/3 cup coconut milk, or milk, soy milk, almond milk
2 large eggs
1 mashed banana
Mix dry ingredients together - flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients together - pumpkin, coconut milk, eggs and banana. Gradually add dry to wet ingredients until just combined. Heat up a large non-stick pan or griddle over medium heat and add a pat or two of butter. When butter is melted, add a 1/3 cup of pancake batter and form as many as your pan can hold. When bubbles start to form on the tops of the pancakes, flip them over. After a minute or two, they should be cooked and slightly brown on each side. If you have a bunch to make, turn your oven on 250 degrees and keep your pancakes in the oven as you make them. This way you can all eat at the same time. When ready to serve, add cut up banana, sprinkle with powdered sugar and/or serve with warm maple syrup.
Makes 9-10 small pancakes
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
It's that time of year again for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Everyone is given three blogs to ship cookies to and each blogger receives cookies from three different blogs. I received cookies from Saucy Mouth (bottom right), Full on Food Lust, and Saving Room for Dessert (bottom left). I sent Chewy Coconut Cranberry Cookies to Semi Sweet Designs who makes the most beautiful cookies, Toffee Bits and Chocolate Chips, and Simply Fresh Cooking. Check them out. They are all wonderful food blogs.
Hope your holiday season is going well and isn't too stressful. It seems this time of year everything gets a little crazier, especially the to-do list. I'm a little behind but I'm not stressing about it to much. I figure it will all get done. Hopefully on time.
This was a new recipe for me. Not my favorite cookie but a good cookie and seems to go well with the season. I got this cookie out of an old Sunset magazine and it won first place in their cookie contest. My favorite cookie would have to be Snicker Doodles. I can't make them though or I would eat them all. I base my likeness level on how hard they are to resist.
Chewy Coconut, Cranberry Cookies
1 1/2 cups room temp butter
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked dried coconut
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix until smooth. In a smaller bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix with a whisk. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture until it comes together. May take a couple of minutes. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place about 12 on a greased cookie sheet. I flattened my a bit with a spoon. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookie are slightly brown. Let cool on cookie racks. Make 6 dozen.
Recipe from Sunset Magazine
Sunday, December 2, 2012
I am lucky enough to have a freezer full of lamb. Seriously, I have a lot of lamb and I value it like gold.
My great-great-grandfather started a sheep farm many years ago and it has been passed down four generations. My grandfather raised lambs for sixty years and now my uncle is carrying on the tradition. The lamb they produce is amazing. I know I sound partial and I am, but there isn't anyone that I serve it to that doesn't think it tastes wonderful. Most lamb is good but this lamb is tender, not gamey at all and really flavorful. All you need is a little salt and pepper, maybe some garlic powder...and it melts in your mouth. I wish it were available to everyone.
I know it's probably not the first thing that pops into your mind for an evening meal, but lamb is now readily available and if you get some lamb chops or shoulder chops, they cook up quickly. You can pan fry it, grill it, or even put it under the broiler. Just cook to your desired doneness.
I never grew up eating lamb with mint sauce. It wasn't until my husband, who grew up in the U.K. and always ate mint sauce with lamb, introduced me to it. I grew to really like mint jelly with my lamb but it's not always the easiest to find. If you get some fresh mint, you can whip it up in no time and create a really impressive meal for your family. They'll love lamb with this mint sauce.
Lamb with Mint Sauce
6 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped mint
1 cup white vinegar
4 lamb chops or shoulder chops
In a small saucepan, add sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes. The sugar will dissolve in the vinegar as it boils. Let it cook down to about half and it will become a little more syrupy. Pull it off the heat and add the mint. Let the sauce cool for one hour. Any remaining sauce can be refrigerated.
For the lamb, season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill for 3-5 minutes per side (to your desired doneness). Let it rest 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle mint sauce over lamb and enjoy.
Mint Sauce from Cooks Illustrated Best Recipe Cookbook
Monday, November 19, 2012
I thought my life would be so different than it is at this point. I always thought I'd be happily married, two kids, maybe even a dog and a cat. I always wanted lots of chaos and laughter. I'm actually on the opposite side of the pendulum, living alone for the first time in over six years. I'm obviously still learning to accept this as it's a big and unexpected change. I know eventually it will become the norm and in the process I'll create a happy new life for myself. For all of you that can relate in someway, here's to you and your strength.
This Thanksgiving I'm very thankful though for what I do have. The most supportive and loving parents ever. A wonderful brother and sister-in-law and the cutest, smartest niece and nephew that I love like crazy. The best friends - that have helped me through a very difficult time. Thank you! I love you all.
I don't know if you're cooking this Thanksgiving or just eating, but either way, I hope you're with people you love. I'm finally in a new home of my own. I am busy figuring out where to find the mixing bowls and the silverware. I'm the type of person that feels like I have to get everything done right away, unpacked, organized perfectly, cleaned and comfortable before I can really relax. I wake up at 6am thinking about where I'm going to keep the cookware and how I need to empty the box in the dining room. Crazy, I know.
I love it though. I love decorating and make a place a home. I know it goes back to growing up in the military. We moved every three years or so and the first thing my mom would do when we moved into base housing was to make the place look and feel like a home. Whether it was sewing new curtains or wallpapering a room, she did it. Because of it, my brother and I both enjoy fixing up our homes with plants and other inexpensive things.
I thought I had another week until Thanksgiving and then realized it's just a few days away. Time is just going by too fast...slow down, please! I wanted to give you guys a good recipe for Thanksgiving. My mom asked my dad and I the other day, if you could have just one dish at Thanksgiving, what would it be? We both said Broccoli Casserole. I know my brother would say the same thing. I told her that she could probably just serve up a big dish of this and we'd be happy. Part of the reason we love it so much is that we only have it once a year. Either way though, there would be a mutiny if we didn't have it on our Thanksgiving table.
You're probably asking why I would post a Pecan Pie recipe when there are so many Pecan Pie recipes out there. This one is the best. I've tried a lot of Pecan Pie recipes and my mom and I always come back to this one. We love it. It's super easy - so don't buy one, make your own! Happy Thanksgiving. I'll be back again soon with another yummy recipe.
Here a few other great recipes for your Thanksgiving table: Sweet Potato Casserole, Simple Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus Bundles with Prosciutto, and Broccoli Casserole.
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened or room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
3 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
2 cups pecans (unsalted)
1 - 9 inch unbaked pie shell
Blend butter and brown sugar. Beat in corn syrup, eggs, vanilla, and salt until thoroughly blended. Stir in nuts. Pour into pie shell and bake at 375 degrees for about 50 to 60 minutes or until firm...not jiggle in the middle. You may need to cover it with foil if it gets to brown. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. So good!
Recipe is from Daryl Sorrells
Thursday, October 18, 2012
I'm on a soup kick, can you tell? It's supposedly Fall and even though it's 95 degrees outside and the air conditioner is on, I feel the need to pretend it feels like Fall. I know eventually it will show up...I hope.
This recipe comes from my other grandmother - Grandma Baker. I remember having this when I was growing up. It was always so hearty and belly warming. We especially like it with a some ketchup squeezed on the top. Sounds weird but it works, trust me.
I called my grandmother the other day to make sure I had the recipe right. We went through it over the phone and then I proceeded to make it that day. The next evening she called and said she had forgotten to tell me to add celery to the soup. I told her I had already made it and it was still delicious without the celery. So no worries if you don't have any celery on hand.
I made this in the slow cooker or crock pot as we used to call them. Throw all the ingredients in and walk away for 8 hours. Talk about an easy meal. There is none of that, what am I going to fix for dinner tonight stuff. The hardest part of this meal is having to smell the deliciousness cooking all day long. If you don't have a slow cooker, you could cook this in the oven on low - 250 degrees for 4-6 hours. Just watch it and stir it occasionally. When the ham falls off the bone, it's pretty much ready to eat.
I use dried beans for this. The night before you're going to make this soup and before you go to bed, rinse the beans in a colander, removing anything that doesn't look like a bean. Add them to a large bowl and add enough water to cover them by about two inches. They'll soak it all up. I just drape a kitchen towel over the bowl and leave it on the counter. In the morning, drain the water off the beans and rinse again. They're ready to be cooked at this point.
A friend of mine said this was the best soup I have made so far. I haven't made that many but I still took it as a huge compliment. :-) I have to say, it's pretty tasty.
Ham and Bean Soup
1 ham shank or 2 small ham hocks
2 cups chopped carrot
1 cup celery
1 16oz package of dried Great Northern beans soaked overnight
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 large onion, chopped
32 oz chicken stock
1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker. I start it on high for about 30 minutes to get it going and then turn it down to low. Cook it on high for 4-6 or low for 6-8. When the ham falls off the bone, it's done. Break up the ham in the soup, remove any bones, and remove the sprig of rosemary (the leaves should have fallen off into the soup). Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. I added fresh parsley before serving. Serves 8-10 easily.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
I decided to use the vintage look on this photo since the recipe is vintage.
This comes from my dearly departed and sorely missed grandmother. For the longest time she called it Spanish Goulash but as it became a family favorite and because she made it so often, she renamed it Thomas Goulash which is much more fitting (Thomas was her last name).
It's heartier than a soup but lighter than a stew. Perfect for a weeknight meal because it's easy, delicious and will warm your belly. My cousin loves this so much that whenever he would go visit my grandma, he would request that she make it. We all feel the same way. Obviously mine is missing my grandmother's touch but it still brings back memories of her and of growing up when my mom would make it. I think that is what makes some recipes so special, the special memories that they conjure up when you bite into something you have shared with others you love.
Again as with many of my recipes, you'll wonder when you see the ingredients how this could be good, but hopefully you have come to trust me on this when I say, just try it, I know you'll love it. It's good on its own but you can always slice up some nice warm bread or get out the saltine cracker's to serve with it.
2 red, green or yellow pepper chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound hamburger or ground turkey
1 cup small shell macaroni
1 28oz can tomatoes (can use diced or whole) or 2 - 14oz cans of diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic
1 16 oz package of frozen peas, carrots and corn
2 cans (10 1/2 oz) Campbell's Condensed Vegetable Soup (w/alphabet), not beef
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper
In a large saute pan, add the onion, peppers and hamburger/turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until meat is done. Drain off any fat.
In a large soup pot over medium heat, add the tomatoes, frozen vegetables, vegetable soup, garlic salt and sugar. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add meat mixture to soup. Stir to combine. Cover and let simmer.
In a small saucepan, heat water and cook macaroni until al dente - follow box instructions. When done, drain and add to soup. Mix well and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Pears, pears, are everywhere! I can't believe it's the end of September. It's frightening how fast time goes by. Sometimes I think I could snap my fingers and I'll be 70...yikes! I'm sure when I'm 70 that's how it will feel. Guess we had better try and enjoy every minute.
I love the Fall. It's probably my favorite season. I just love it when the leaves change to a bright orange color and the weather starts to cool off. It just makes me want to be home, snuggled up on the couch with a good book or movie and a warm fire. I also love to decorate for Fall. I break out all my orange and brown stuff, whether it's pillows for the couch or just a cute orange shirt. I know most people don't get into that kinda of stuff but I love it. I find it so fun and rewarding as well as refreshing to change the look of a house and spice it up for a new season.
Pear Custard Pie
2 large or 3 small Bartlett or Comice Pears (not hard but not too soft), peeled, cored and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a nine inch cake pan. Layer the pears going around in a circle, slightly overlapping in the bottom of the pan. Add the melted butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, eggs, milk and salt to a blender and blend until combined. Pour batter over the pears. Bake 40-45 minutes or until batter is firm to touch. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4-6.
Adapted from Everyday Food
Monday, September 10, 2012
I saw a version of this recipe in a magazine when I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Being that it's the end of the summer, we had a bunch of banana peppers and tomatoes from the garden. I had some feta in the fridge and a partially used bag of arugula.
That's pretty much how it works with me. I see a recipe that looks good. I think about what I have on hand that might work in the recipe, whether it's the same ingredient or not. Then I just go for it. I mean how bad can it be with all these fresh veggies mixed in. And cheese always makes things taste good.
This recipe will surprise you. You don't think it's going to have a lot of flavor because it's just vegetables but it explodes in your mouth. The richness of the olive oil and the saltiness of the feta really come through. I hope you'll give it a try. I think even your picky eaters will like it.
Tomato, Pepper and Feta Pasta
4 Tablespoon Olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups arugula (can use spinach, swiss chard)
2 cups sliced peppers (can use any kind you like)
1 small onion, sliced
10 oz vermicelli
3 cups chopped tomatoes
5 oz Crumbled feta with Mediterranean herbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large saute pan, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn't burn. Pour into a small bowl. Add lemon juice to the bowl and add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper to the dressing.
Add the last tablespoon of olive oil and butter to the saute pan and when hot, add your peppers and onions. Season with salt and pepper. At the same time, heat a large pot of water for your pasta. Stir the peppers frequently and cooked until soft but not mushy.
When water starts to boil, add pasta and follow instructions to cook until al dente. When done, add pasta to a large mixing bowl, saving some of the pasta water. Add the lemon juice dressing to the pasta and mix well. Let it stand for about 2 minutes.
Add the arugula, tomatoes, feta, Parmesan, peppers to the pasta and mix well. Taste for seasoning. Serve and enjoy. Serves 6-8.
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Friday, August 31, 2012
Pears are in season right now, chocolate as you know is always in season. Combine the two and wah lah...a chocolate pear tart. If you haven't had something like this before, it may seem strange, but my mom and I tried this while she was visiting and it was mouth-watering delicious. Not too sweet and the pears are soft and slightly tart which sets off the sweetness of the chocolate. There isn't any flour in it so it's a great alternative gluten free dessert.
Peel and slice the pear in half. Take the core out of each half.
Slice each pear in uniform 1/4 inch slices.
Make your batter and put it in a tart pan.
I forgot to take a picture before I stuck it in the oven. If you want it to look prettier than mine, layer your pears all around the outside, overlapping each pear a little bit. Don't put your pears in the middle like I did.
Chocolate Pear Tart
8 tablespoon or 1 stick room temperature unsalted butter, an extra tablespoon for tart pan
3 large eggs
3/4 cup blanched ground almonds
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 firm, ripe Bartlett pears
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Rub or brush a 9 inch removable bottom tart pan with 1 tablespoon of butter. In a food processor combine the ground almonds, eggs, cocoa, 8 tablespoons butter, vanilla, salt and almond extract. Spread into your tart pan.
Get your pears ready by peeling, coring and slicing them. Rub the pears with the lemon juice to prevent them from discoloration. Arrange the pears, slightly overlapping, in a circle on the top of the chocolate mixture.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely in pan.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
Adapted from Everyday Food
Monday, August 13, 2012
It's been a crazy few months. I moved out of my house, moved in with friends, put all my things in storage, started a new job, and started divorce proceedings with my husband. Crazy time in my life but I know many of you have gone through this and survived for the better so I will too. When life throws you lemons, start cooking! My new motto.
Hopefully now you understand why I'm so slow at posting these days. I'm just now starting to get inspired to cook and write again. Just minor details when doing a cooking blog. :-)
This is a recipe that I've been making for a few years and it's my favorite go to recipe for pork tenderloin. It is so, so, SO good. I hope you'll give a try. The honey garlic sauce is tangy, sweet and garlicky which goes perfectly with some coconut rice (a future post) and veggie. An easy but impressive meal for a busy weeknight.
Now that pork only needs to be cooked to a 145 degree internal temperature, it is a fast meal and the meat stays juicy and tender. You can grill or bake the pork which makes it an ideal year round recipe. Make sure you let any meat rest about 10-15 minutes covered loosely with foil before you slice it. It will continue to cook and the juices will stay in the meat rather than run out when sliced.
Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin
1 - 1 pound pork tenderloin
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
4 tablespoon soy sauce
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons hot water
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
4 green onions, sliced
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Combine hoisin, soy sauce, honey, water, garlic and 3 green onions into a small bowl. Pour 1/2 mixture into a large plastic bag. Add pork tenderloin and seal the bag. Make sure pork is coated with mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove pork from bag and discard marinade. Spray a large oven proof skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium/high heat. Add pork tenderloin and brown on each side. Turn off heat. Brush with 1 tablespoon of sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place in oven and cook for approximately 20-30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil for 15 minutes. Slice and drizzle the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle the last chopped green onion on top for garnish. Serves 4. (I suggest making two so you have dinner the following night - or even better, freeze it and pull it out on a night when you don't want to cook)
Adapted from Cooking Light
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
It's hot outside. I'm not whining...well maybe. There are three fans blowing and the air conditioner is on full blast barely keeping up. But it feels good. What is summer without some hot weather and we haven't had a whole lot of it this year. Besides, I have a great recipe that will cool you off.
With all of the ripe, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and colorful, tasty peppers, it's the perfect time for a simple and delicious cold summer soup.
You're probably thinking, soup in the summer, and it's cold? If you haven't had gazpacho it may sound strange, but it's delicious and refreshing. Not to mention very easy to make.
A little history lesson...Gazpacho is a tomato-based, vegetable soup traditionally served cold, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalucía. You'll see all sorts of variations on Gazpacho and most are really good. This recipe came from my mom. She got it when we were living in Spain. Let's just say we have very fond memories of it.
Just blend up a mixture of summer tomatoes, green or red peppers, cucumbers and day old bread. It's great for a picnic, appetizer (in little shot glasses is fun), or just a nice cool lunch or dinner. Serve with some grilled shrimp or fish. Lovely!
1-2 cloves garlic - depending on size and how much garlic you like
2 small green pepper - can use red too
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1/2 seedless cucumber, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cups day old bread (like french bread), roughly chopped in large cubes
salt to taste (I used about 2 teaspoons)
3 cups water
In a small frying pan, add 2 tablespoon olive oil and heat until warm. Add 1 cup of day old bread. Season with salt and pepper. Let the bread brown until crispy. Add to a small bowl. In small bowls add diced up cucumber, tomato, pepper, and onion. Some basil is good too. Serve up the soup and have people add the garnishes they like. Serve cold.
Posted by Amy at 8:58 PM