Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

I made this for dinner tonight. It was yummy.

Yields: 2 2 cup servings


2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion finely diced
1 small sweet potato peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile (see Note)
1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 1/3 cups water
1 15-ounce can black beans rinsed
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and potato and cook, stirring often, until the onion is slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add water, bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cilantro.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 374 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 67 g carbohydrate; 14 g protein; 15 g fiber; 697 mg sodium; 603 mg potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (410% daily value), Vitamin C (45% dv), Iron (30% dv), Potassium (17% dv).

Minestrone Soup

Today was a cold day, and I was craving soup. However, I was low on groceries. I made minestrone with what was in the back of the refrigerator produce bin---and it turned out to be delicious.

pasta pot full of veggie broth
pinch Italian seasoning
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced fine
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
8 oz dry egg noodles
2 onions, diced fine
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
few grinds of fresh pepper
pinch of salt

Before I get to the recipe, I have to talk about one of my most favorite things. Trader Joe's makes these little packets of concentrated vegetable broth. They come in a small green box. Inside are a dozen tubes of...vegetable syrup? Basically, that's what it is. Really concentrated, thick broth. You add 1 tube to 1 cup of water. They save sooooo much cabinet space, are very light to carry, and are perfect for backpacking meals. Also, they have amazing flavor and are low-sodium. Can you tell how much I love them?
So anyway, that intro is just to say--when I made this recipe, I used a pasta pot full of water with 4 or 5 packets of broth mixed in.

1. Bring the broth to a simmer. Add a small pinch of Italian seasoning ground between your fingers. As the broth is heating, dice the celery, then add it to the pot.

2. Dice the carrots, and sautee them in a tablespoon of olive oil. (Don't skimp on the olive oil, it's the only fat in the dish.) While the carrots cook, dice the onions and garlic.

3. When the carrots are "al dente", add them to the pot, and saute the onions and garlic in the pan. When the garlic and onions are translucent, add them to the pot along with the frozen spinach, and bring the pot to a boil.

4. Add the egg noodles and cook according to package directions. (Mine only took 4 minutes.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with grated Parmesan.

P.S. This was so good that after we ate the whole pot for lunch, I turned around and made another batch before the stove cooled down. Now that is a good recipe.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Molasses Cookies

This is my favorite recipe for these cookies. It might have something to do with the fact that the butter-to-sugar ratio is so deliciously close. =)

12T butter, melted
1 c. sugar
1//4 c. molasses
1 egg
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda

Heat oven to 350

Mix sugar, melted butter and molasses well. Add in beaten egg and mix well.

Mix dry ingredients separately and add to wet ingredients.

Drop by tablespoonful (I use a cookie scoop) onto a lined cookie sheet (with parchment or a silpat or whatever you like). Bake for 9-10 minutes.

**NOTE: these cookies will spread quite a bit and very flat once cooked. I only do 3-across on the pan and 4-down. **

Let sit on the pan for a few minutes while they cool, then transfer to wire rack when they're able to hold their shape.

Now if someone would tell me what to do with the 4 dozen of these that are sitting on my kitchen table, that would be great. Because so far, I've eaten four cookies and I can't afford ANY MORE. =)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Festive Candy Cane Kiss Centered Brownie Bites

Festive Candy Cane Kiss Centered Brownie Bites from this website
1 brownie mix 9×13 inch size
18 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses
1/2 Cup chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
3 original candy canes, crushed
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and scoop into a mini cheesecake pan or mini muffin tin pan that has been generously sprayed with cooking spray, about 3/4 way full. Press kisses into center of brownie batter, do not push all the way to bottom, some of the tip should stick out the top. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until brownies are cooked through. Let cool completely.
2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave, 30 second intervals until smooth and melted. Stir in cream until silky smooth. You can place back in microwave for 10 seconds to smooth more if needed. Dip tops of brownies into melted chocolate, then sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Serve with a tall glass of milk. Enjoy!!

**Note** I ended up making way more than 18 using this recipe, thus way more (36) kisses; I would recommend having more Hershey kisses on hand than the 18 the recipe calls for.
**Note**Comments from from the original post said a lot of people had problems with the brownies sticking to the pan. I used Crisco cooking spray with flour and had zero problems. Even when I substituted caramel filled kisses for the candy cane ones.
**Note**I didn't have heavy cream, so I used 1% milk. Worked fine.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mango Lassi

Have this with the Naan and Chicken Tikka Masala (recipes follow) and you have my favorite meal at Bombay House in Provo!

Mango Lassi

2 ripe mangoes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
6-8 frozen (or fresh) strawberries
handful of ice

Blend all the ingredients until smooth.


Very yummy with the Chicken Tikka Masala that follows.

from My Kitchen Cafe blog, I think.

14 ounces (about 2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt (I only had vanilla yogurt and while it sounds like a bad substitution, I used it and the bread tasted fabulous!)
1/2 cup milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl by hand), stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and yeast. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, yogurt, and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir for about 1 minute, until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the wet ingredients.

Increase machine speed to 2 (or by hand) and knead the dough until it is smooth and shiny. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.

Put a baking stone or heavy baking sheet on the lowest rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.

Divide the dough into eight pieces and form into teardrop (mine were more like oval) shapes with your hands, about 6 to 8 inches across.

Cook two or three pieces at a time. Drop the dough onto the hot stone and shut the oven door, watching until they are just starting to turn brown in places, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the naan and lay on a board. Serve warm with a nice curry. (The original recipe says to butter the naan with garlic butter after it comes out of the oven but I did this with the first batch and found it made the bread too greasy for my taste - we much preferred the bread soft and tender without the butter. Follow your tastes and do what you prefer!)

Chicken Tikka Masala

I'm not sure if I already posted this recipe but I couldn't find it on here. Anyhow, one of my most favorite recipes ever. This is as close as I have found to the Bombay House in Provo. Watch the spiciness! I'd leave out the cayenne and paprika and jalapeño until you've tried it once... then add it if you want it spicier.

Chicken Tikka Masala

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (you can substitute paprika for the cayenne so it isn't too hot)
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (I have used powdered too)
1 teaspoon salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients except chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and refrigerate for one hour. Grill or cook chicken in frying pan. Discard marinade

I double the sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped (I de-seed it)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup cream (1 ¾ cup when doubled)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
sometimes I add some garam masala spice

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for one minute. Season with cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve over hot rice.

Pie Pastry

I just wanted to share my favorite pie crust recipe. It actually comes from the mother of my husband's high school girlfriend. =) She (the mom) has since gone professional with her baking... She's a Southern cook, through and through, and everything she makes is AMAZING.


3 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/4 - 1/3 c. sugar
1 c. fat (no really, that's what she wrote)
her preferred mixture is 2/3 c. shortening + 5 T. butter
About 10 T. ice water, more or less

The process is pretty standard from here--with a pastry blender, combine flour, salt, sugar and fat. Then gradually add water until it reaches the right consistency. I'd tell you what that's like, but I don't always get it right.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

My friend makes these cookies, which we affectionately call "cookie crack" because they're so addictive and delicious. I finally got my hands on the recipe, so I thought I'd share.

3/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 t. peppermint extract
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Once they're nice and creamy, add the egg and mix in well. Then add the vanilla and peppermint. In a separate bowl combine together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet ones and mix until combined. Add the chocolate chips. Drop onto a baking sheet in sizes suitable to your liking.

Bake for 10-11 minutes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Carrot and Squash Curry Soup

(Image from Pioneer Woman)

I made PW's Carrot and Squash Curry Soup a few nights ago and my whole family, even my 3- and 1-year-olds, enjoyed it. I had a massive yellow squash from my in-law's garden to use up, and this was a great way to get everyone to eat it.

I think I used 4 cans chicken broth, minus a cup (and no wine). Also, I like curry, but I though 1 Tablespoon of the stuff was a bit heavy in this. I'll add less next time. But really, this is good soup! We ate half of it, and put the other half in the freezer for later.


* 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
* 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
* 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
* 3 whole Carrots, Washed And Sliced Thin
* 4 whole Yellow Squash (sliced)
* Salt To Taste
* 1 Tablespoon Curry Powder (more To Taste!)
* ½ cups Dry White Wine (optional)
* 48 ounces, fluid Chicken Broth
* Heavy Cream (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and stir to coat. Add carrots and cook for 3 minutes, or until they start to get soft. Sprinkle in a little salt.

Add squash. Stir and cook for a few minutes, until squash is soft and tender. After a few minutes, add salt to taste and the curry powder.

Pour in wine if using. Let evaporate for about 30 seconds, then pour in chicken broth. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot, and cook for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, taste and adjust seasonings. Turn off heat.

Puree soup using an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender. Return to soup pot and bring to a simmer. Serve hot. If you’re feeling naughty, drizzle heavy cream over the top.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Easy-peasy Stew

This stew is so easy and tasty. Even my husband liked it, and he's not much of a stew person.


serves 5

2 pkgs. (16 oz each) frozen vegetables for stew

1-1/2 lbs. beef stew meat

1 can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)

1 can tomato soup (undiluted)

1 envelope reduced-sodium onion soup mix

(Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.) Place vegetables in 5-quart slow cooker. Cook stew meat until browned on all sides, lightly season. Transfer to slow cooker. Combine the remaining ingredients; pour over top of meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until beef is tender.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup

This is another recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking. I'm now 2-for-2 with their recipes, and I'm excited to try more.

In a crock pot, add:
1 pound chicken (I used frozen chicken breasts)
1 large can black beans (is that the 28 oz can? I can't remember)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups frozen corn
1 (16oz) jar salsa
1 1/2 tsp cumin

Cook on high for 4-5 hours.

At the very end of cooking, I shredded the chicken and stirred in the 3/4 can of fat free refried black beans that I had taking up space in my fridge. The recipe doesn't call for them, but I couldn't think of another way to use them.....they ended up thickening the soup nicely, so I think I'll add them next time as well.

Serve with:
shredded cheese
sour cream
chopped cilantro

Sooooooooooooo delicious. (And also with minimal effort. Which, for me, is a necessary bonus).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sweet and Spicy Asian Chicken

This sauce for the chicken is so yummy. I served it with a veggie stir fry and it was a big hit.

Recipe from Mrs. Harding Cooks.

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons oil (for pan-frying)

1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon ginger (I used ground ginger)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup apple juice
⅓ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ cup water
⅓ cup soy sauce

- Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat oil in your wok and fry chicken bits in batches until lightly browned.
- Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- In a bowl combine all sauce ingredients.
- Pour into wok and bring to a boil.
- Add chicken bits back to the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve over rice, or by itself.

Crockpot Applesauce Chicken

I made this last night, and it was a hit with my family! We served it with mashed sweet potatoes.


4 chicken breasts
1 1/2 c. applesauce
1 T. dried onion flakes, or 1/4 yellow onion, chopped finely
1 T. Apple cider vinegar
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Put chicken breasts in the bottom off a 3-4 quart crock pot and add chopped onions on top. (If you're using dried onion, add that to the applesauce first).

2. In a bowl, mix applesauce, vinegar, garlic, and spices together. Pour on top of the chicken.

3. Cover and cook for 5-7 hours on low, or on high for 3-4.

(This recipe came from A Year of Slow Cooking....LOTS of good recipes on there).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Banana Bread

I've been trying to alter my recipes to be a bit healthier (emphasis on "bit"). Today, I worked on making over my banana bread recipe, and I found it to be pretty satisfying....

Mix together thoroughly:
2 eggs, well-beaten
3/4 cup honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

In another bowl, combine:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix wet and dry ingredients together well and add:
3 bananas, mashed.

Divide evenly between 2 greased/floured bread pans and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

(Confession: I added chocolate chips...but don't tell).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Another relatively healthy dessert (made with whole wheat flour, fresh blueberries, and very little butter/oil). This one's from Ellie Krieger. Yum.


* Cooking spray
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
* 1 cup fresh blueberries, or frozen and thawed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray.

Whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, the baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter and oil until fluffy. If necessary, use the back of a spoon to press out any lumps in the brown sugar. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until fully combined. Beat in the vanilla and yogurt.

Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, stirring until just combined.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture over the batter and top with the blueberries, gently pressing them into the batter. Spoon the rest of the batter into the pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture over the cake, pressing gently. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly and then unmold and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Cut the cake into 2-inch squares.

Note: I used lemon yogurt instead of plain, and tossed some lemon zest into the batter. It tasted great. I labeled it with breakfast because I know a lot of people eat coffee cake for breakfast (and I probably will tomorrow!)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Healthy Bob's Red Mill Cookies

I don't know if you've ever bought Bob's Red Mill full-grain food products, but they're the best. I get them at my grocery store, but if they're not available in your area you can order them online too. I got this cookie recipe off the back of their 5-Grain Rolled Cereal, and they are delicious and pretty healthy. I actually feel like I could eat them for breakfast, they're so wholesome-tasting.

1-1/2 cups 5-Grain Rolled Cereal (if you can't find the Bob's Red Mill stuff, you can probably just substitute regular old oats)
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 cup Butter**
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Water
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Pecan Halves (I used slivered almonds instead)
1/2 cup Coconut Flakes
1/2 cup Cranberries
1/2 cup Raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Chop pecans into coarse pieces and set aside.

In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth, then blend in water and vanilla. Beat eggs and add to butter mixture. Stir flour mixture into the egg and butter mixture. Add cereal and all remaining ingredients. Mix well.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes. When done, edges should be lightly brown.

Yield 24 cookies.

**Lately I've been using Sunsweet's Lighter Bake product, and I love it. In some recipes it seems to change the taste/color a bit, but it's worth it to me to cut out the butter or oil completely. I substituted it for the butter in this recipe, and it tasted delicious.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Recipe Review

Thank you, thank you to Missy for her Lentils and Potatoes with Curry. I've been retaining a lot of water lately (TMI, I know...sorry) and I know lentils are a good diuretic. So, in my search for good lentil recipes, I found Missy's. It was so, so, so delicious.

And do you know what's also delicious??? Missy's Apple-Raisin Muffins. Wow.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tasty Salsa

This salsa is so tasty, you can eat it with a spoon!

1 can black beans
1 can white shoepeg corn
3 roma tomatoes, diced
3 avacados, diced
green onions, to taste
1 packet dry Italian dressing mix
4T vinegar
3T water
2T oil

Mix and enjoy!!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lemon Curd

We love lemon curd in our family. If you haven't tried it, you're missing out. =) It's basically a condiment you can use on toast....or as a sauce on cake or ice cream. Basically, you can use it anywhere you can use jams or syrups. It's yum, yum, yummy--especially if you're a lemon fan. MMMMM. This is the best recipe I've found.


1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
6T. butter


Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.

Strain lemon curd through a fine sieve into a container and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 1 hour.

Original recipe from Epicurious.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cake

This is the Williams-Sonoma recipe--right out of their cookbook called "Baking."

We made it tonight and it was DELICIOUS. We topped it with strawberries.

10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips...)
3/4 c. butter, cut into pieces
2 t. vanilla
5 large eggs
1 c. white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9" springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the paper and dust with flour.

2. In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, combine chocolate and butter. Heat, stirring until mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool. Whisk in vanilla.

3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. Using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat until the mixture lightens in color and triples in volume, about six minutes. Pour the chocolate mixture over the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold them together. Pour and scrap the batter into prepared pan.

4. Bake until the top forms a crust and cracks and a toothpick inserted in the center come out with some wet batter attached, about 45 minutes. transfer to a wire wrack. Immediately run a knife around the pan sides to loosen the cake; it will fall in the center. Press down on the edges to even the top. Let cool.

5. Release the pan sides and remove them. Trim off any crumbly edges. Invert a flat plate over the cake and then invert them together. Lift off the pan bottom and peel off the parchment paper. Frost if desire.

6. Refrigerate about 1 hour. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Request: Cooked Ham Recipes

Ok ladies. I've got left-over Easter ham. Buckets of it. My in-laws bought a HUGE ham and then left before they even made a dent in it. So, I've already done my two standard cooked ham recipes. What've you got? :)

Oh. And I should say-for those of you who don't know me, which I recognize is most of you, I need something simple right now. Your most gourmet cooked ham recipes won't do for me at the moment. I just had a baby and I've got 2 other kiddos, so something simple and family pleasing would be superb.

Thanks in advance! :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bread Maker Wheat Bread

Basically, I took this recipe and halved it (with some minor changes), but it came out GREAT in my bread machine.  YUM.

1 1/4 cups warm-to-hot water
3/4 T. yeast
3 T oil
1/4 cup honey
1 t. salt
1 T. gluten
1.5 cups white flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

- Put in bread machine.
- Set timer.
- Wake up to the best smell ever.
- Eat more than you should.
- Repeat as needed.

Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles

Adapted from AllRecipes.

1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

- Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat well.
- Add dry ingredients, except sugar and cinnamon.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
- Shape dough into small balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes.

Two Reviews

I'd like to give two enthusiastic thumb-ups to both Canneloni and Chicken Gyros.  Both were excellent and will be added to our rotations!  The canneloni was quite possibly the easiest thing I have ever made, and the yogurt sauce that goes with the gyros is my new favorite dip.  YUM.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chicken Sesame Pasta Salad

I had this at a baby shower last weekend and everyone there agreed that it was fantastic.

1 1/2 c. chicken, cooked and cut up
1 12-oz. bag pasta, cooked and drained (bowtie pasta is great)
1 bag baby spinach
1 green pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 c. sliced almonds
3 T. sugar

Melt sugar over medium heat and add almonds. Stir until almonds are fully coated and sugar begins to crystallize. Combine all other ingredients in large bowl. Add almonds and dressing just prior to serving. Serves about 8.

1/2 c. oil
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. toasted sesame seeds
1/4 c. fresh parsley
2 T. sugar
salt and pepper

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Traditional Pizza Dough

Pizza (and breadsticks) Dough
1 1/2 C very warm water
1 packet yeast
1 t sugar
4 C flour
3 T olive oil
1 t salt

Combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Let stand for 5 min or until yeast foams. Gradually add flour. Add oil and salt. Knead for 5 min. Let rise for 30 min. Roll out dough. For breadsticks: After rolling out dough, prick with fork several times. Cook in 450 degree oven for 8 min. For pizza: After rolling out dough, top with sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. Cook in 450 degree oven for 10 - 12 min.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Two Reviews

Three enthusiastic thumbs up for Chicken Gyros and Honey Curry Chicken.

My three year-old ate both of them voraciously, as did my husband. They'll definitely be added to our dinner rotations!!!!

Thanks for posting!

"Classic Brownies"

I got this recipe from a Cook's Illustrated magazine that came in the mail one day. Have you ever seen America's Test Kitchen on PBS? The magazine is by those people. Anyway, this recipe is supposedly the ideal brownie, a "brownie to please everyone" -- "neither cakey nor fudgey." There's a whole article that preceedes the recipe about how the author achieved brownie perfection, but I'll just give you the recipe. For quite a while we were working our way through a stash of Betty Crocker box brownies, but once we ran out I decided to see if this recipe was all it claimed to be. This was the first time I'd ever made brownies with real baking chocolate, and I liked how they turned out. Sometime I'll try the cocoa powder+shortening substitution and see if it makes a difference. Anyway, this recipe is definitely more work than brownies from a box, but not tons more, and I decided after making them twice that they really are quite good. Now I wonder what others think (since my husband likes most anything).

Be sure to test for doneness before removing the brownies form the oven. If underbaked (the toothpick has batter clinging to it), the texture of the brownies will be dense and gummy; if overbaked (the toothpick comes out completely clean), the brownies will be dry and cakey. (This is their disclaimer, by the way.)

1 cup (4 oz.) pecans or walnuts, chopped medium (optional)
1 1/4 cups (5 oz.) cake flour (but I did an all-purpose conversion: 1 c. + 1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour. You're welcome.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine (next time I make these I'm going to try them with less chocolate, just to see)
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into six 1-inch pieces
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges. Cut 14-inch length of foil and, if using extra-wide foil, fold lengthwise to 12-inch width; fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. (Okay, this didn't make any sense to me (I needed a picture to understand what they were talking about) so I just line the pan with foil. I think that's all they're going for.) Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
4. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.) When cocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.
5. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle toasted nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut brownies tin 2-inch squares and serve. (Store leftovers in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

Pizza Crust

In response to Liz's request, here's the pizza crust recipe that I use. I've had really bad luck with pizza crust. The recipes I tried always came out break-your-teeth hard, and I'm not sure if it was me or the recipe that made it bad. Anyway, this is the recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook, and it hasn't failed me yet, although I'm sure there are better ones out there. I've had no trouble doubling or dividing this recipe, and it still comes out pretty well even when I don't have time to "let it rest" for 30 minutes. I haven't tried it with whole wheat flour, but I'm sure it would be great. Oh, and you really don't even need an electric mixer. If I don't feel like cleaning my mixer, I just do it by hand and it works out just fine!

2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package regular or quick active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 Tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 cup very warm water (120 to 130 degrees F)

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast. Add oil and warm water. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough is soft and leaves sides of bowl. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5-8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes. Continue as directed below for thin crusts or thick crusts.

For thin crusts: Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease 2 cookie sheets or 12-inch pizza pans with oil. Divide dough in half. Pat each half into 12-inch circle on cookie sheets. Partially bake 7 to 8 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Add toppings and bake as directed (8-10 minutes at 425). (I usually do the thin crust, but I just press it out with my hands to cover an entire cookie sheet or two instead of doing circles. I also don't partially bake it before topping it. I just put everything on and bake it for 15-20 minutes.)

For thick crusts: Grease two 8-inch square pans or 9-inch round pans with oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Divide dough in half. Pat each half in bottom of pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 30-45 minutes or until almost doubled in size. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Partially bake 20-22 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Add toppings and bake as directed (20 minutes at 375). (I've only done this version once, and it was too thick for my taste. Way more crust than pizza!)

I'd like to try some new crust recipes too, so I hope some of you have recipes to add!

REQUEST: Pizza Crust

Do any of you have a killer pizza crust recipe?  Bonus if you can make it in a bread machine.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thanks Alicia!

Just wanted to give two, big, fat thumbs up to this yummy soup. It truly was yummy.

my Fettuccine Paolo

• 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
• 1 broccoli crown
• 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
• 8 oz whole wheat fettuccine, cooked according to package directions
• 1 1/3 cups chicken stock or broth
• 4 tsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken (I used left over crockpot chicken)
• parmesan cheese
• salt and pepper

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add red bell pepper and broccoli, cook until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add stock/broth and vinegar, chicken, and basil bring to a boil, and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Add fettuccine. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm and serve with parmesan.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wheat Bread

Well, I guess when it rains recipes, it pours recipes. =)

I'll preface this by saying that I'm not good at making bread. AT. ALL. But I can make THIS bread turn out really nicely. That's sayin' something, folks.


2 1/2 cups warm-to-hot water
1 1/2 T. yeast
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
2 t. salt
2 T gluten
3 cups white flour
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Mix yeast with water. Add the oil and honey. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Add 1 cup white flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, gluten, and salt. Stir to combine--work out the lumps.

Add the rest of the flour until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. Turn onto floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.

Divide into 2 balls. Form loaves and put into greased pans. Place into warm oven (the lowest temperature on my oven is 170, and this works just fine) for 40-45 minutes until dough doubles in size.

Turn the oven to 350 and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Bread is done when it sounds hollow when you tap on the top.

(credit for this recipe goes to the wife of my husband's freshman roommate....who's blog I stalk....There. It's all out in the open). =)

Canneloni, My Old Faithful

This is a best friend of a recipe. This is my go-to guy. This is what you will receive from me if you're sick or just had a baby. Toss a little garlic french bread, salad and corn with it and you're golden. It's great for kids-nothing they're offended by. Also meatless, so again, it makes it unoffensive to people. It doubles nicely and reheats like a dream. It's just an all around good guy to have around.

With that introduction, I present to you:


16 oz cottage cheese
2 T butter
1 egg (even when doubling)
8 oz cream cheese
2 T chopped green onions-I always leave these out. But just so you know that the recipe calls for them
8-10 flour tortillas
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 small can sliced mushrooms

I also add a little Parmesan cheese and basil to the filling mix. Recipe doesn't call for it, but I'm a wild kind of gal. :)

Kay, and I'll also be honest again-I use varying amounts and ratios of cottage cheese and cream cheese. Just as long as the filling isn't too runny, you're in good shape.

Grease a 13x9. Blend cheeses, butter and egg (and parmesan and basil and onion, if you want). Spread down the center of a tortilla, then roll. Place seam side down in pan. Spread spaghetti sauce over the whole thing. Sprinkle with canned mushrooms-again, if your family isn't offended by such a thing. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Note on the next few recipes / Request

So my almost-2-year-old daughter has a serious sweet tooth. (I wonder where she gets it from!) I have been searching lately for recipes for sweets (cookies, muffins, etc.) that contain little or no sugar, and little to no butter or oil. One source that has been helpful is the book Better Baby Food: Your Essential Guide to Nutrition, Feeding and Cooking for All Babies and Toddlers by Daina Kalnins and Joanne Saab. I'm posting here a few of the recipes I've found (some from that book and some from other sources): sweet treats that I also enjoy, and that I don't feel guilty about eating or feeding to my toddler.

I've been making tons of muffins. I've found that they freeze very well; I typically have a bag of muffins in the freezer so that I can pop one in the microwave for 30 seconds and have a quick snack or breakfast. If anyone is interested in more muffin recipes than these (I've posted two), let me know and I'll be happy to pass on some of the other keepers I've found.

If you have any other recipes for healthy snacks and treats (preferably toddler-friendly), please post them! I'd love to see them...

Apple-Raisin Muffins

(adapted from Daina Kalnins & Joanne Saab)

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. applesauce
1/4 c. oil
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. raisins
3/4 apples, peeled and diced

Mix together the brown sugar, applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Fold in the apples and raisins. Use an ice-cream scoop to place scoops of the mixture into muffin tins that have been lightly sprayed with cooking spray (or lined with paper liners). Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Makes 12.

(Note: I loved these muffins. They're super-moist and I love the apples in them.)

Cranberry-Banana Cookies

(adapted from Daina Kalnins & Joanne Saab)

1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 mashed banana
1/3 c. butter
1/4 c. apple juice
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. oats
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. baking soda.

Mix together the banana, butter, apple juice, egg and vanilla. Add the oats, flour, brown sugar, and baking soda. Fold in the cranberries. Place mounds on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

(VARIATION: Today I made these using peanut butter instead of butter, and dark chocolate chips instead of cranberries. They came out pretty good [certainly not Toll House, but not bad for a healthy cookie], and were totally butter/oil-free!)

Applesauce-Bran Muffins

1 1/4 c. flour
1 c. bran
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. applesauce
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
1 egg
1/2 c. raisins (or more, or optional)

Mix together the applesauce, milk, oil, and egg. Add the flour, bran, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Fold in raisins. Use an ice cream scoop to place scoops of the mixture into a muffin tin that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray (or lined with paper liners). Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes.

(Note: I like to add little "extras" to these muffins to give them some extra nutritional punch. I usually add 3 T. flaxseed to the mixture (or 3 T. wheat germ). Sometimes I use half regular flour and half whole-wheat flour. I have learned, though, that if I increase the amount of "roughage" I need to also add some extra applesauce to keep the mixture from getting too dense and dry.)

Crispy Rice Treats

(from Ellie Krieger)


* 1/2 cup honey
* 1/2 cup natural chunky-style peanut butter
* 6 cups crispy brown rice cereal
* 2/3 cup chopped dried cherries (3 ounces)
* Cooking spray


Combine honey and peanut butter in a large pot and heat over medium-low heat until melted, about 2-3 minutes. Add brown rice cereal and cherries and stir to combine until mixture is sticky. Press into a 9 by 13-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Let cool, then chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cut into 15 (2 1/2 by 3-inch) squares.

(Note: This is a relatively healthy way to satisfy a craving for sweets. Although, I have been known to throw in a couple of handfuls of dark chocolate chips into the mixture as well :) )

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sweet Potato Casserole

I've been meaning to post this on here for months, but just came across it again. I'm not the biggest fan of sweet potatoes cooked...well...sweetly. (I'm more of an oven-fries kind of girl).... So when I was assigned sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, I panicked a little. Bless, though, where I found this recipe. It got lots of compliments, and even I enjoyed it! (That's saying a lot, for the record). =)

5 sweet potatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used 2)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Boil or bake sweet potatoes until soft. In a large bowl, mash.
2. Preheat oven to 350
3. To the mashed sweet potatoes, add salt, butter, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, and heavy cream {I MIGHT have added an extra splash or two of cream...and it MIGHT have been mighty tasty to do so}. Mix together thoroughly.
4. Spread mixture in a lightly greased 9x13" pan
5. In medium bowl, combine butter, flour, brown sugar and pecans. Mix with a pastry blender to the consistency of coarse meal. Sprinkle over potato mixture.
6. Bake for 30 minutes, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Vegetarian Recipes

Also in response to Tori's request, my cooking blog has lots of vegetarian recipes---prob'ly 95% of them have no meat. Too many to re-post here, but you're welcome to have a look!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tori's Request

In response to Tori's request, I'm posting six of my favorite tried-and-true vegetarian meals. (Let me know if you want more recipes like these.)

If you want to browse for more vegetarian meal ideas online, I often use these websites: Peggy's Kitchen at the Mothering website, VegCooking, and the Food Network's Vegetarian section.

And to further motivate you in your quest to eat less meat, I really recommend this article by Mark Bittman and this one by Michael Pollan (neither of whom are vegetarians, by the way)... I'm not trying to go all veg-evangelical on you, but I think they're important issues to think about :)

Red Bean and Quinoa Chili

(from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair)

2 cans kidney beans, rinsed & drained
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoon salt
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed in warm water & drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 can organic tomato sauce, low salt (about 2 cups)
1 cup water

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and sauté until tender. Add salt, garlic, pepper and spices; sauté for 5-10 minutes. Add rinsed quinoa and stir in. Add corn, tomato sauce, and water to onion/quinoa mixture. Simmer together 20 minutes. Add beans to the pot and simmer another 15 minutes. Serve with grated cheese and tortillas.

(Note: If you've never tried quinoa, you should! It's a super-grain that provides a complete protein. You should be able to find it at your grocery store; if not, try a health-foods store.)

Brown Rice and Black Bean Pilaf

(by Ellie Krieger)


* 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
* 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
* 1 stalk celery, finely diced
* 1 large carrot, finely diced
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
* 1 (15.5 ounce) can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
* 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley leaves


Place rice and chicken broth in a saucepot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook rice, covered, until tender and all the liquid is absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, and fluff with a fork.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, celery, carrot, cumin and chili flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender but not mushy, about 6 minutes. Stir in black beans and cook until just warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.

Combine onion-black bean mixture and hot rice in a serving bowl and toss to combine. Garnish with parsley.

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

(by Giada de Laurentiis)


* 2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
* 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
* 2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
* 4 cremini mushrooms, halved
* 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 teaspoon salt, divided
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
* 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb mix or herbs de Provence
* 1 pound penne pasta
* 3 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
* 1 cup grated fontina cheese
* 1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella
* 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
* 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander.

In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.

Pour the pasta into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Top with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and butter pieces. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.

(Note: I never have fontina cheese on hand, so I've always just made this with all mozzarella. It is sooo delicious and satisfying. You can mix and match the veggies depending on what you like.)

Chickpea and Fire Roasted Tomato Stew

(by Rachael Ray)


* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 2 cans chickpeas, drained
* 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2/3 palmful
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
* Salt and pepper
* 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
* 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes
* 1 cup plain yogurt (optional)
* Warm pita, any flavor or variety, toasted (optional)


Heat a medium pot with extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Grind the chickpeas and onion in food processor. Add to pot and cook 5 minutes to sweeten onion. Season the chickpeas with cumin, cardamom, turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir in stock, then tomatoes. Simmer soup 5 to 10 minutes to combine flavors. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and warm pita for dipping.

(Note: When I make this, I usually just grind one can of chickpeas; I leave the other can whole for some textural variety. I like to serve this stew over couscous, I don't usually do the yogurt and pita thing.)

Guacamole Salad

(by Ina Mae Garten)


* 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
* 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1/2-inch diced
* 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/2 cup small diced red onion
* 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers, seeded (2 peppers)
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
* 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
* 1/4 cup good olive oil
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* 2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and 1/2-inch diced


Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well.

Just before you're ready to serve the salad, fold the avocados into the salad. Check the seasoning and serve at room temperature.

(Note: This is an amazing side dish, but it would also be really yummy served over romaine as a main dish salad. I usually leave out the onions, jalapenos and cayenne because I don't like things too spicy.)

Lentils and Potatoes with Curry

(from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

1 c. dried brown lentils, washed and picked clean
3 1/2 c. water, vegetable broth, or coconut milk
1 T. curry powder
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
Salt and pepper

1) Combine the lentils, liquid and curry powder in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to medium-low so that the mixture bubbles gently, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils start to absorb the water a bit, about 15 minutes.

2) Add the potatoes and cover the pan copletely. Cook, undisturbed, for 10 minutes or so, then stir gently and check to make sure the lentils aren't too dry. If they are, add a little more liquid. Add salt as the lentils become tender.

3) Cover and continue cooking until the lentils are soft and beginning to turn to mush and the potatoes are tender at the center, another 5 to 10 minutes; add liquid if necessary. The mixture should be moist but not soupy. Add lots of black better, stir, then taste and adjust the seasoning and serve. You can garnish with plain yogurt and cilantro, if you like.

(My note: I like to serve this with brown rice or naan bread.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Request: Meatless/Vegetarian Meals

I have decided that my family needs to eat a lot less meat, but I don't have a lot of meatless recipes. I've found several here that I want to try, but I would like more. Can anyone help me with this? Thanks.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

fruit salsa


Fruit salsa

- 16 oz frozen strawberries
- 8 oz frozen raspberries
- 2 golden delicious apples, diced
- 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
- any other fruit you want to put in
- 2 Tbsp sugar or to taste

Cinnamon chips

- 15 fajita size tortilla
- butter flavored cooking spray
- cinnamon and sugar


1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
2. Defrost frozen strawberries and raspberries and puree them in a food processor or blender. Put pureed strawberries and raspberries in a bowl; mix in apples, kiwis and 2 Tbsp sugar or sugar to taste.
3. Cut tortillas into wedges. Coat cookie sheet with cooking spray. Lay tortillas on cookie sheet, coat tortillas with cooking spray. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over tortillas and spray one more time with cooking spray (yes, 3 spraying of the cooking spray).
4. Bake 6 ½ minutes. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Cool and serve.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grilled Chicken with Poblano Cream Sauce

YUM.  Adapted from Mexico The Beautiful Cookbook.

3 whole chicken breasts, cut in half
1 large chile poblano
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

- Remove the stem, seeds, and membranes from the chile, then puree in a blender with 1/4 cup milk.
- In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, yogurt, and 1/4 cup milk together.  
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan.  
- Add the flour and stir until smooth.
- Add the chile puree and stir.
- Add the sour cream mixture and stir constantly over low heat until the mixture boils and thickens.
- Remove from heat and salt to taste.

** This sauce can be made up to 6 hours in advance and reheated over low heat before using. **

- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Melt the remaining two tablespoons butter in a skillet, add the chicken breasts, and saute for 2-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.
- Transfer to a lightly greased 13x9 dish, cover with the poblano sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes.

Serves 4-6.

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies

1 c. butter or margarine, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
grated peel from one orange
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 1/3 + 1/2 c. flour
3 c. uncooked oats
1 1/2 c. dried cranberries

Cream together butter and sugars. Stir in vanilla, eggs, orange peel, baking soda, and salt. Add flour and oats; stir in cranberries. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until slightly brown. Remove to cooling racks.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Super Easy Alfredo Sauce

This stuff is super easy and WAY better than the stuff in the jar, in my opinion.  Adapted from  

1/4 cup butter
1 (4 ounce) package cream cheese
1 teaspoons garlic powder
1 cups milk
3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
dash ground black pepper
dash nutmeg (optional)
3 T chopped fresh parsley (optional)

- Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. 
- Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. 
- Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. 
- Stir in Parmesan, pepper, and nutmeg. 
- Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. 
- Top with parsley and serve over hot pasta. 

Modifications that I made:
- I didn't have parmesan, so I used shredded mozzarella.  The flavor was definitely milder, but it was still really good.  I also added 1/2 tsp. of salt to pick up the flavor a little bit (which I probably would not do with the parmesan).  
- The original recipe serves 8 at LEAST.  The amounts above are cutting the recipe in half.
- I used low-fat cream cheese and 1% milk, and it was creamy as EVER.  Still probably not healthy, but way better than the original.  I bet you could use no-fat cream cheese and skim milk, and still get a super creamy and delicious sauce.
- I threw in some steamed broccoli at the end when I tossed it with the pasta (yum).  I bet it would be good with chicken and/or mushrooms, too.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Deceptively Delicious

I know some of you have this cookbook, and I got it for Christmas. Do any of you have favorite recipes? Tips? What vegetables are easiest and most convenient to puree? Is there a good place to start? Am I correct in thinking that I can use pureed vegetables both in the recipes and as baby food?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.