Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lemon Cookies

1 cup butter
2.5 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp lemon zest
.5 tsp salt
2 c flour
2 Tbsp sugar
4 oz cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp lemon zest and salt until combined. Add flour. Turn dough onto piece of plastic wrap; pat into 1/2 in thick disk; wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hr. Un wrap dough; place on lightly floured parchment paper and roll about 1/8 in thick. Cut out cookies and place 1 in apart on baking sheets; sprinkly with granulated sugar. Bake until barely beginning to brown, 15-20 min. Cool. Make lemon filling by mixing cream cheese and 1 Tbsp lemon zest until smooth; gradually add 1 cup powdered sugar, mixing until smooth; mix in another 1/2 cup powdered sugar or enough to create a firm but spreadable filling. Form sandwiches by placing 1 tsp filling between two cookies, sugar side out, and squeezing gently.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dilly Bread

Start yeast with 3/4 cup warm water, 2 Tblsp yeast, 1 Tblsp honey
Heat in separate pan:  6 Tblsp butter, then add the following and heat to lukewarm
      3 cups cottage cheese
      6 Tblsp. honey
      2 Tblsp minced onions
      2 Tblsp. dill weed
      3 eggs
      2 tsp. salt
      3/4 tsp. soda
Pour this into yeast mixture.
Add 6 3/4 cups flour (dough will be very sticky).
Knead in bowl 1-2 minutes.
Let rise 1 hour or until double in bulk.
Punch down and put into greased pans.  Rise 1/2 hour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
3 regular loaves or 7 small

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Scottage Cream

Scottage cream is a yummy sour cream substitute. It was originally made as a sauce for asparagus but has since become a favorite for smothering over potatoes.

Tub of cottage cheese
1/3 c. Milk
1 Tbsp Lemon juice

Blend all ingredients until creamy. Consistency should be similar or slightly thinner than sour cream.

Porketta Roast

4 lbs Boneless pork roast
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Dill seeds
1 Tbsp Fennel seeds
1 Tbsp Anise seeds
1 Tbsp Parsley
2 tsp Sea salt
1 tsp Lemon pepper
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tsp Garlic powder

Rub entire roast with olive oil.

In small bowl combine all seasonings. Roll roast in seasonings until all seasonings coat the roast. Toss roast in the crockpot with other yummy things like carrots and red potatoes. By the time you get home from church your house will smell yummy and the roast will be baked to perfection.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1 stick room-temp butter, brown sugar, flour,and salt until coarse crumbs form.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared pan; press firmly into bottom.
  5. Bake until lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.
  6. Let cool, 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in same large bowl, mix eggs, corn syrup, granulated sugar, and 2 TBS melted butter until well combined.
  8. Add chocolate chips and pecans; spread over crust.
  9. Bake until set, 25-30 minutes.
  10. Cool completely in pan before lifting out (use foil to lift).
  11. Cut into 32 bars.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Panera's Cream Cheese Potato Soup

4 c. chicken broth
4 c. peeled and cubed potatoes
1/4 c. minced onion
1/2 t. seasoning salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. ground red pepper
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, cut into chunks

1. Combine broth, potatoes, onion, and spices.
2. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.
3. Smash a few potatoes to release starch for thickening.
4. Reduce to low heat.
5. Add cream cheese.
6. Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.

Trust me, the cream cheese will melt in about five minutes.  Top with things like green onion, bacon bits or chives.  Good soup for a cold night.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pumpkin Recipes

I have been trying out new recipes involving pumpkin to celebrate Fall. Here are a few favorites:

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies:

(Recipe found at

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies:

These were so good eaten warm right out of the oven. And equally good the next day. Perfect mix of pumpkin and chocolate.
(Recipe found at

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting:

(These were soooo yummy. Especially good warm with a cup of cocoa.)

Pumpkin Cinnammon Rolls

(recipe found on GoodLife Eats)


Roll Dough:
1/4 cup warm water (not hot, about 110 degrees)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm milk
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup pumpkin puree, either fresh or canned
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 cups (approximately) All-Purpose Flour
1 1 /4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 stick butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each of allspice and ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2-3 cups powdered sugar


In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Let rest for 5 minutes before stirring. Add milk, eggs, pumpkin, butter, 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

Gradually add remaining flour (all purpose), a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Start with about 1 1/2 cups and increase if necessary. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Combine the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl, set aside. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a 16" x 12" rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with the sugar mixture.

Roll the dough into a log the long way; it'll stretch to about 20" long as you roll. Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into 15 slices. In order to cut down on drag, it helps to rinse the blade in hot water, and wipe it off, between slices. Place slices in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan (or in two 8 or 9 inch round cake or pie pans). Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven. Bake the rolls till they're brown around the edges and beginning to turn golden brown across the center, about 20-30 minutes.

While rolls bake, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice to a small food processor. Blend until smooth and combined. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending in between, until well mixed and desired consistency is reached. (I used 2 cups powdered sugar)

Frost warm rolls with the cream cheese frosting and serve immediately.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal:

These were quick to make and an unbelievably delicious way to start the day. Pumpkin pie has a little whipped cream on top, so why not this oatmeal?

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
(Recipe found at GoodLife Eats)
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, not quick cook
  • 1 Tbs whole flax seeds, optional
  • 2 1/2 Tbs brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup milk


  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 tsp butter, softened
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 4 individual sized ramekins. Set aside.

Combine the oats through salt in a medium sized bowl. Stir well. In a separate bowl, combine the vanilla, butter, pumpkin, and milk. Whisk thoroughly. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the oats. Stir until combined.

Divide mixture evenly between 4 individual sized ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet (this makes it easier to move in and out of the oven.). Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the topping: chopped pecans, butter, and brown sugar. After the oatmeal has baked for 10 minutes, remove and divide topping mixture evenly between the ramekins. Bake and additional 7 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Top with a splash of milk and raisins, if desired.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Smokin' Skovilles Turkey Chili

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 small green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 pound lean ground turkey
2 T. chili powder
1 T. paprika
1 T. ground cumin
2 t. dried oregano
1 t. black pepper
1 (1 oz) envelope instant hot chocolate mix
2 t. seasoned salt
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans, drained
1/2 c. chicken or turkey stock (original recipe calls for beer, so whatever substitute you prefer)
1/2 c. corn

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, green pappers; cook and stir until the onion is transparent. Push these to one side of the pot, and crumble in the ground turkey. Cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the meat is no longer pink. Stir everything together so the garlic doesn't burn.
2. Season with chili powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin, oregano, pepper, hot cocoa mix and seasoned salt. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, tomato sauce and kidney beans. Stir in stock, partially cover the pan, and simmer over medium heat for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Mix in the corn and simmer 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Note: The original recipe also calls for a habanero pepper and some hot pepper sauce but I thought it was plenty hot without those. It also called for 2 lbs of turkey but I only had one, so I used two cans of beans. Didn't miss the extra turkey. Also when I made this, I was out of tomato sauce so I took some tomatoes and blended them and just cooked the chili a little longer than the recipe said.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Dan was going to scan this recipe and send it to everyone, but I told him he was welcome to add it to the blog under my name. ~ Rachel)

These may be the best chocolate chip cookies ever, however, they do take a little TLC. A Diva Choco Chip Cookie if you will.

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Whisk flour, soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
3. In standing mixer, beat the butter and sugars at medium speed until smooth.  Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix until incorporated.  Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined, then mix in the chocolate chips.
4. To shape, form into balls, then, grabbing each side of the ball, pull apart, leaving a rough, ragged, tortuous surface. Lay on cookie sheet jagged side up, as best you can, without disturbing the non-smoothened surface. Trust me.
5. Bake until cookies are light golden brown and the edges start to harden but the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spicy Citrus Black Beans

1 (28 oz.) can black beans
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
pepper, chopped or minced (bell, Anaheim or jalapeno depending on your taste)
½-1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1½ tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. pureed chipotles in adobo
1½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Juice of 2 limes (added lime zest - optional)
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
Chopped fresh cilantro, to taste, plus more for garnish

Place the beans in a colander and rinse throughly. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and pepper until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the beans. Mix in broth (more or less depending on how much liquid you would like) and bring to a simmer. Mix in the oregano, bay leaves, salt, chipotle puree, cumin, orange juice, lime juice and vinegar. Once simmering, reduce to medium-low or low and let simmer, covered, 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, stir in chopped fresh cilantro to taste and serve.

Source: Annie's Eats
Note: I did not use the chipotle's when I made this, still a little gun shy when it comes to those. Also I used fresh oregano which was tasty.

Paula Deen's Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 c. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 c. confectioner's sugar
1 t. vanilla

1- In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, and confectioners' sugar and 1 t. vanilla.
2- Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Red Velvet Cupcakes


2 sticks butter at room temp.
2 c. sugar
5 large eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
1 t. red food coloring

1- Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2- Add eggs one at a time.
3- Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in mixing bowl. Add 1/4 of dry ingredients to creamed mixture then 1/4 of buttermilk alternating until mixed well.
4- Mix in vanilla and food coloring.
5- Fill lined cupcake pans 1/2 full of red velvet batter.
6- Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7- Cool cupcakes in pans for 5 to 10 min. the remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

French Bread

This is a super easy french bread recipe. It comes out very moist with a crispy crust.


3 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 egg white
1 Tbsp cold water


In mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour and yeast. Stir in 1 cup warm water. Let stand 5 minutes until yeast is activated. Add salt and 1 additional cup flour. Mix until dough is formd. Add additional flour if necessary.

Turn dough onto floured surface. Knead 10 minutes. Brush dough with oil and place in bowl. Cover and let dough rise until doubled in size.

Punch dough down and turn onto floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 moinutes. Roll dough into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from long side. Taper ends and seal edges with water.

Grease baking sheet. Place loaf, seam side down, onto baking sheet. Lightly beat egg white with 1 Tbsp cold water and brush over dough loaf. Cover. Let rise until doubled in size.

Make several diagonal cuts about 1/2 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white. Loosely cover with foil (to prevent over browning). Bake 15-20 minutes longer Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Curry Vegetables in Crock Pot

Erin made this and it was very yummy. She served it over rice. You can vary the vegetables to whatever you have on hand.
3 lbs (1½kg) chopped fresh vegetables (see note below)
½ cup frozen peas
1 clove garlic
13oz (400g) diced canned tomatoes
1½ cup vegetable stock
15oz (470g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp curry powder (this makes it medium - use more or less to your liking)
1 tsp ground coriander (cilantro) seeds
1 cup coconut milk
1. Put all the vegetables, tomato, garlic, and chickpeas into the crock pot.
2. Combine the stock, coconut milk, curry powder and coriander. Then add to the crock pot.
3. Give it a quick stir to combine.
4. Cover and cook for 10-11 hours on Low.
Serves 4-6

For vegetables we used -
  • 3 carrots
  • ½ bell pepper (capsicum)
  • 2 zucchini (courgette)
  • 3 potatoes
  • green beans

Monday, July 19, 2010

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

2 c. sugar
5 c. water, divided
zest of one lemon
1 3/4 c. lemon juice (about six juiced lemons)

1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, 1 c. water and lemon zest. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 4 min.

2. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and remaining water. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate until chilled. I usually add more water, enough to fill a 2 quart pitcher. Serve over ice.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes, but I keep misplacing the recipe, so I'm posting it here:

In large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour; 1 1/2 cups sugar (or sugar substitute to cut the calories); 1 1/2 tsp baking soda; 1 Tbsp. cocoa; 1 1/2 tsp. each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves; 1 tsp salt. Mix.

Add to above 1/2 cup shortening, 2 cups applesauce (unsweetened), 2 eggs, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup raisins. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan.

Sprinkle top with more nuts and chocolate chips.

Bake 30-35 min. in 350 degree oven. If you cut this into 20 pieces and use sugar substitute, it's 157 calories per piece.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Portobello, Asparagus, Chickpea & Avocado Spring Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

I don't know why it has taken me so long to post a recipe on here, but here is a really good salad we made a few days ago. No meat, but makes a pretty substantial and healthy salad. Seems great for spring.

8 cups mixed greens
1 avocado sliced or diced (I used 2)
1 small red onion, sliced into thin half moons
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 roasted Portobello mushrooms, sliced (marinated in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce)
1 red pepper, sliced
1/2 to 1 pound asparagus, blanched and cut into pieces

1/4 c. prepared spicy, smooth Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Put mixed greens in large salad bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Toss and serve. (I didn't mix in the dressing since I knew there would be leftovers, although I think we ended up using more dressing that way.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Orange Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This is an incredible dressing recipe that Brenda gave me. It's good with a spinach salad mix, craisins, nuts, red onion, cheese and mandarin oranges. Also, I usually double the recipe.

1 tsp. orange peel-grated
1/2 c. oil
2 T. sugar
1/3 c. fresh orange juice
2 T. red wine vinegar
1T. Italian salad dressing mix (dry)

Blend it all up and you're done!

Emerald Chicken (Chino Bandido)

Emerald Sauce, Courtesy of Eve Collins, Chino Bandido
¼ cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger
¾ cup finely minced green onion
2 tsp. kosher salt (can be adjusted to taste, I would suggest 1tsp)
1 cup vegetable oil

Combine ginger, green onion and salt in small bowl. Add vegetable oil, stirring to combine and dissolve salt. Strain mixture thru cheesecloth to drain most of the oil. Oil can be reserved for other recipes. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.

Chino Bandido serves this with chopped chicken. I steamed some tenders and chopped them up. I also sauted some chicken tenders in olive oil and they worked just as well as the steamed tenders. A side of rice and you've got a meal.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

I found this recipe on recipezaar and have made it a few times now. It sounds more time consuming than it really is and don't be scared away by the eggs.

8 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 t. sea salt
pepper to taste
1/2 c. butter (I've used less and still have good results)
3/4 c. milk (use less milk if potatoes are small, maybe start with 1/2 c. and go from there)
1/2 c. sour cream
2 eggs

1 - In a large pan, boil potatoes until tender, 15-20 min.
2- Drain water, and add remaining ingredients.
3- Mash until smooth, with a potato masher. I've never before made mashed potatoes with a potato masher and was surprised at how fast it was. Don't use a mixer, they'll be gooey if you do.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Peanut Noodle Dinner

This is a favorite meal at our house. It’s easy to switch up the meat and vegetables with whatever you have available. Dan calls this version “Porky Peanut Surprise”. Serves 4.

8 ounces flat noodles (udon, lo mein, or linguine)
2 pork chops, cut into thin strips
1 cup carrots, chopped julienne style
1 cup zucchini, chopped julienne style
1 cup bean sprouts
½ cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup chopped peanuts

1. Cook noodles until tender according to package directions. Drain.

2. Add a tablespoon of oil to a deep skillet and stir-fry the pork chops, carrots, zucchini and bean sprouts until meat is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from skillet.

3. Using the same skillet, combine chicken broth, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper. Cook over medium heat until peanut butter melts and is heated through. Add stir-fry and noodles and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions and peanuts. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Monday, February 1, 2010


This is a great flatbread recipe that goes well with curry or cut into wedges and dipped in hummus.

2 ½ cups bread flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 pkg (2 ¼ teaspoons) yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 cup water, room temperature
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Combine the flours, yeast, sugar, and salt in standing mixer and mix with paddle attachment until blended. Add the water, yogurt, and olive oil and mix until a shaggy dough forms.

2. Switch to dough hook and knead on medium speed until smooth, about 8 minutes. Add additional bread flour as needed for the dough to clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the very bottom.

3. Shape dough into a large ball, transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (At this point, the dough can be punched down, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

4. Take dough out and divide into 8 equal portions, roll into balls and let rest for 10 minutes.

5. Roll each ball out into a 6-inch circle using a rolling pin.

6. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot. One at a time, lift the dough and gently stretch about 1 inch larger, then lay it in the skillet. Cook until small bubbles appear on the surface, flip and continue to cook until the bottom is speckled and deep golden brown in spots.

7. Optional: brush cooked bread with butter and sprinkle with kosher or sea salt.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Clam Chowder

6-7 pieces of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 med. onion, chopped
2 (5oz) cans clams with juice reserved
6-7 potatoes, cubed
2 (10.5oz) cans cream of celery soup
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. milk
1 T. butter

1. Add bacon to sauce pan and cook until crispy
2. Add onion and cook until translucent (if there's lots of bacon grease, I get rid of it)
3. Add clam juice from both cans
4. Add potatoes
5. Cover and cook until potatoes are fork tender, stir occasionally
6. Stir in clams, soup, cream and milk
7. Add butter and let melt into chowder
8. Cook 30-45 min or until thickened, stir occasionally

If we don't plan on eating right away, I put in a crock pot to keep warm.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chicken Veggie Soup

2 White Chicken Breasts (cooked and shredded)
1 small Yellow Onion, finely diced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 c. Carrots, mini carrots or chopped
1 c. Celery, chopped
1 Yellow Zucchini, sliced
1 Green Zucchini, sliced
3 c. Cabbage, shredded
4 Red Potatoes, diced (or 3 c. cooked brown rice)
6 c. Chicken Broth
2 Tbsp. Oregano
4 Basil Leaves
1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1/8 c. Chives

Combine all ingredients in large stockpot and slow cook for several hours or until all vegetables are soft. Feel free to add whatever other garden veggies you have in surplus.

Serve warm.

For freezer: Remove from heat when vegetables are not quite cooked. Divide into smaller portions and store in freezer containers. I use toss-away tupperware or ziploc freezer bags. When you reheat the soup, the vegetables will finish cooking without becoming over saturated. I double the recipe when I make it to freeze. It's a great use of your fall garden vegetables and nothing hits the spot like warm soup during the cold winter.

Mediterranean Sweet Potatoes

1 1/2 lbs. Sweet Potatoes
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 c. Soymilk, unflavored
1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp. Ginger, ground
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg, ground

Preheat oven to 400. Clean sweet potatoes and pierce them in several places with a fork. Roast them in the oven for 50-60 minutes until very tender. Remove and allow to cool.

Reduce temperature to 375. Coat 1-quart baking dish with olive oil.

Scoop "meat" of potatoes out of skin. Mash in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spoon entire mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve warm. Great side dish for chicken recipes.

For a treat or an appetizer, you can scoop the mixture into individual pastry shells and bake.

Lemon Red Potatoes

10-20 small Red Potatoes
2 Tbsp. Chives
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 c. Butter, melted
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Sea salt
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

Steam potatoes until soft. Mix remaining ingredients. Pour sauce over steamed potatoes.

Serve warm.

Scottage Cream

1 carton Fat-free Cottage Cheese
1/4 c. Milk
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Sea salt

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Serve over steamed asparagus or use as a substitute for sour cream.

Coconut Curry

4-6 c. cooked Jasmine Rice (Add a pinch of saffron to the water for extra flavor and color)
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1 English Cucumber, chopped
2 Lemons, sliced
2 c. Plain Yogurt
1 med. Yellow Onion, finely chopped
2-3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 c. Milk
2 cans Garbanzo Beans/Chick Peas
4 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp. Curry (Sambar is my preference)
1 c. Coconut (I prefer sweetened, but non-sweetened will work)

In a large skillet, saute onion, garlic, and olive oil. When the onions start to brown, add milk, garbanzo beans, taco seasoning, curry, and coconut. Simmer in skillet 15-20 minutes or until most of the milk is cooked out and the garbanzo beans are soft.

To serve, spoon the saute over a bed of jasmine rice. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over saute, then sprinkle with tomatoes and cucumbers. Top with several spoonfulls of yogurt.

Yield: 4-6 Servings

This is one of my most requested recipes and seems to please even those eaters who usually won't try ethnic or interesting foods. It's a great potluck meal as the saute can be prepared early and stashed in a crock pot.

Corn Salsa

1 15 oz. can Black-eyed Peas, drained
1 15 oz. can Black Beans, drained
4 large Tomatoes, diced
2-3 Avocadoes, diced
1 bunch Cilantro, chopped
1 c. Yellow Corn
1 c. White Corn
1 c. Italian Dressing

Mix it all up and serve with tortilla chips. I like using blue corn chips. Mom likes to eat it as a salad or over chili.

Super Spinach Smoothie (Blended Salad)

4 oz. Water
1 c. Red Grapes
4 c. Fresh Spinach Leaves
3/4 c. Frozen Berries

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Serve cold and drink immediately. Drink will separate if left standing.

Daily Nutrients
Total fiber 50%
Vitamin A 75%
Vitamin C 100%
Vitamin E 25%
Thiamin 20%
Riboflavin 30%
Folate 60%
Vitamin B6 30%
Calcium 17%
Phosphorus 15%
Iron 25%
Potassium 30%


1 15oz. can Chick Peas/Garbonzo Beans (drained, but reserve juice)
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp. Tehini
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 dashes Tabasco Sauce
2 cloves Garlic
2 tsp. Sea Salt

Blend all ingredients until thick and smooth. Add additional liquid if necessary (use the reserved bean juice).

Chill 2 hours. Serve cold as a dip or garnish. Traditionally served with olive oil. It's also great with za'atar, hyssop, sage, or similar herb sprinkled on top.

Yummy things to serve with it:
Pita bread
Pita chips
Veggie chips
Snap peas
Bell pepper spears
Red beats

Pita Bread

After being spoiled with fresh pita bread every day in Israel, I thought I'd try my hand at making it myself. Turns out it is super easy and works pretty well. You start by following mom's basic bread recipe but I cut it in half to make it a little easier to work with (and I usually cook with olive oil).

1 1/4 c. Lukewarm water
1 Tbsp. Active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
3 c. Flour (I've tried it with partial wheat and partial ryle. Both were delish.)
2 Tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Sea salt
2 Tbsp. Olive oil

Mix it all up and beat for a few minutes until dough is thoroughly kneaded but still soft. Rub dough ball with oil and leave in bowl to rise until double in size (about 30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 450. Move rack to lowest position and remove other racks. You also need to preheat your cooking surface. Use a cooking stone or a large pizza pan.

Turn dough onto floured surface. Knead 15 or 20 turns. Roll into roap and divide into 8 to 10 pieces. Roll pieces into balls and let them sit for 15 minutes.

Roll balls into flat rounds about 1/4 inch thick (you know, pita-looking). Place on cooking surface and bake for 2-3 minutes. (I can usually only fit 3 or 4 on the pan at a time.) Pieces will puff up after you put them in the oven. I remove them at the first sign of a brown spot. If left in too long they turn crispy.

Set them on a baking rack and let cool slightly, then store in plastic bag to retain moisture.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

Okay girls. Anyone want to try this out? I heard these people on Wisconsin Public Radio this morning. You spend time making the master dough... flour, yeast, salt, water. It is a very wet dough; you let it rise for 2 hrs, then you can refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks. You just pull off enough for a loaf whenever you want it; shape it and let it rise for 20 min. or so and bake. They have a lot of variations for artisan breads. I see they have Naan. I'm still thinking it's easier to just bake 4 loaves of bread and freeze the bread, but perhaps the "artisan" breads with different herbs is appealing. Here's a website with the basic information:
If you try it out, post your comments. Dad really likes artisan breads, so he may give this a try. Here's the basic recipe. It's pretty much my bread recipe sans the honey and oil. I'd use 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 bread flour:

The Master Recipe: Boule

(Artisan Free-Form Loaf)

Makes 4 1-pound loaves

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1⁄2 packets)
1 1⁄2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt
6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Grilled Lemon Salmon

* 2 teaspoons fresh dill
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 1/2 lbs salmon fillets
* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 chicken bouillon cube, mixed with
* 3 tablespoons water
* 3 tablespoons oil
* 3 tablespoons soy sauce
* 4 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
* 1 lemon, thinly sliced

1. Sprinkle dill, pepper, salt and garlic powder over salmon.
2. Place in shallow glass pan.
3. Mix sugar, chicken bouillon, oil, soy sauce, and green onions.
4. Pour over salmon.
5. Cover and chill for 1 hour, turn once.
6. Drain and discard marinade.
7. Put on grill on med heat, place lemon.
8. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until fish is done.

Cream Cheese Penguins

Someone made these for a party recently and they were a big hit. If you need a fun, winter appetizer for a party, here you go.

recipe image

18 jumbo black olives, pitted
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
18 small black olives
1 carrot
1. Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive. Carefully insert about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive. Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds; cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet. Save the cut out piece and press into center of small olive to form the beak. If necessary cut a small slit into each olive before inserting the beak.
2. Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice. Then, set a small olive onto the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and notch in the carrot slice line up. Secure with a toothpick.

White Chicken Chili (a-Ward winning)

I searched on line until I found what looked to be the best white chicken chili recipe. I probably used Pepper Jack cheese because we seem to have a lot of that in the freezer, then you could probably cut down on the green chilies.
White Chicken Chili
(As cooked by Karen)

This is a recipe that's so good that I never bother to try any other white chicken chili recipes. This is the one. The end all, be all recipe. I got it off the web, and it's attributed to "The Kitchen for Exploring Foods." I have altered it slightly, I cook the chicken in spices, I add an extra onion, and they called for dried beans and I use canned. Also, I rarely actually do any measuring.

16 oz or so of canned white beans
2 large onions, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1 tsp Tabasco
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin (I usually put in more)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I usually put in more)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (I put in more)
two 4-oz cans whole mild green chilies, drained and chopped
5 boneless, skinless chiken breasts (about 2 pounds)
some extra butter and oil to cook them in
1 1/2 c grated Monterey Jack
1/2 c sour cream
1. Heat a large skillet (I like cast-iron) over moderately high heat and put in some butter and oil. Meanwhile coat your chicken with salt and pepper and maybe some chili powder. Throw them in the skillet and resist the urge to turn them over. Leave them for five minutes, or until nicely browned, then flip them. Leave it there until browned and then flip them every few minutes until they are done (which you can tell by poking a knife into the thickest part and seeing if it's white instead of pink).
2. Remove the chicken from the pan. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers and set aside.
3. While waiting for chicken to cool, cook the onion in the same pan with 2 Tbs of butter until softened.
4. In a heavy pot, large enough to hold all the ingredients, melt remaining 6 Tbs of butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, for three minutes. Stir in the oinoin and gradually add the broth and half and half, whisking the whole time. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until thickened. (It will be nicely and obviously thick.) Stir in Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add beans, chilies, chicken and cheese, and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Add sour cream. May be served immediately -- though like all chilis this tastes awesome the next day.
5. Serve with the usual chili garnishes--cilantro, cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes, etc. 

For a crockpot version, check this link:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Three-Cheese Calzones

1 pound refrigerated pizza dough (I just use homemade)
1 c. fresh ricotta
1 c. grated mozzarella
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed and roughly chopped (I use closer to a small handfull chopped)
Black pepper
1/4 pound thinly sliced salami
2 T. olive oil
1 c. jarred marinara sauce, warmed (I use jarred pizza sauce)

Heat oven to 400° F. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll and stretch them into 8-inch rounds.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Layer the salami on one side of each round of dough and top with the cheese mixture. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges to seal.

Brush the tops of the calzones with the oil. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with the sauce.

-- everyone loved these and the kids each made their own variation depending on what they like to eat.