Wednesday, November 17, 2010

wild butternut sausage soup

This soup was amazing! So so yummy. It's basically THIS recipe, but I made it like this:
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • + 1 cup water + 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 7 oz sausage, kielbasa, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • salt and pep to taste
  • 1/2 cup half n half

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Cut the butternut squash in half. Lie cut side down and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Put wild rice + 1 cup water + 1 cup broth in rice cooker and cook it.
Get out your big soup pot and turn up the heat (med-hi), brown sausage. Add olive oil, celery and frozen corn + 1 cup broth. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
When the squash is done, peel and cube (or scoop it out if it's soft enough) and put it in the blender, puree with 2 cups broth.
Add squash puree, wild rice, and the remaining 1 cup broth to the soup pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn off heat and let cool for 1 minute. Add the half n half and stir.
PS it does thicken up quite a bit, so don't hesitate to add 1 more cup of water/broth. It just depends on how you like it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spatchcocked Chicken With Potatoes

I'm starting to really love this method of cooking a whole chicken.  Maybe some of you already do it, but it's pretty new to me.  It's awesome because it takes a lot less time to cook than a whole roasted chicken.

The original recipe was found here, but I made a couple of minor changes which are what I'm posting here.

Basic Spatchcocking Method:
Any pan will do. For these recipes, you can use a roasting pan or a large cast-iron or heavy skillet.
1. Place 1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds), breast side down, on a work surface.
2. Starting at the thigh end, cut along one side of backbone with kitchen shears.
3. Turn chicken around; cut along other side. Discard or save backbone for stock.
4. Flip chicken over and open it like a book. Press firmly on breastbone to flatten.

Spatchcocked Chicken With Potatoes
Serves 4

whole chicken (3-4 lbs)
coarse salt
ground pepper
4 thin lemon slices
4 sprigs fresh rosemary (the original calls for thyme)
1/2 lb quartered new potatoes (I estimated the amount needed for my family and used a mix of red and Yukon gold potatoes from the garden)
1 yellow onion
2 tsp. olive oil (I used Canola)

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Season spatchcocked chicken with coarse salt and ground pepper.
2. Using your fingers, loosen skin from breast meat; tuck 4 thin lemon slices and 2 sprigs rosemary between skin and meat.
3. Place chicken, breast side up, in a pan. In a bowl, toss potatoes, 1 yellow onion, cut into 8
wedges, and 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed from stem, with two teaspoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper.  Add to pan.
4. Roast chicken until juices run clear when pierced between breast and leg (an instant-read thermometer
should read 165-degrees when inserted in thickest part of a thigh, avoiding bone), about 30-minutes. Let rest 5-minutes before carving.

(My chicken was over 6 lbs. so it wasn't done after 30 minutes.  I put a piece of foil over the breast portion, which was browning nicely, and left the legs exposed so they would brown more.  I didn't time how much longer I cooked it.  15-20 minutes maybe?  It could have been longer.  In any case, it was in and out of the oven in at least half the time it would have taken to roast it whole.  And who couldn't love a 30-minute roast chicken dinner?)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Butternut Bisque

So So So So SOOOOOOOO yummy.
(Source: Everyday Food)

3 T. butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 - 1/4 t. cayenne pepper (to taste)
coarse salt
1-2 large butternut squashes (totaling 4 lbs.) peeled, seeded and cubed
1 can (14.5 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 c. half-and-half

1. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, and cayenne. Season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is softened, 5-7 minutes.

2. Add squash, broth and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Working in batches (or with a stick blender), puree until smooth. Stir in half-and-half, season with salt.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

butternut squash bisque

- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 4 cups cooked butternut squash (about 2 whole squash, or is it squashES?)
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Ground nutmeg to taste
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1/4 cup water + more if you want a thinner bisque.

1. Preheat over to 375. Cut butternut squash in half, remove seeds. Lay cut side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
2. After squash is cool, cut up into small cubes, yield about 4 cups.
3. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots and squash into the pot, saute for a minute or two. Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes).
4. Put water and squash mixture in a blender or food processor and puree until nice and smooth. Add the cream at the end. Push that puree button a few more times to mix in cream and return to pot to keep warm.
Serve with a dash of nutmeg, and turkey and cranberry sandwiches, or a grilled cheese sandwich. And don't be offended if your husband says, "this reminds me of when you would make baby food." It's really delicious, promise.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

fruity trifle

What you need:
  • Betty Crocker Angel Food cake mix + water, baked according to directions and cooled
  • 1 package of vanilla pudding + 3 cups of milk, prepared according to directions
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 12oz of cool whip / or heavy whipping cream, whipped
What you do:
Layer all the goodness: cake, pudding, strawberries, bananas, blueberries. Repeat. Top with whipped cream.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

abbie's easier mediterranean-ish salad

I wanted to make THIS salad (saw it via Bloom), but I didn't have all the stuff so I made this one up and it was sooo good and so easy! and it was filling so that's all I made for dinner.

Things you need:
  • 8 oz Orzo pasta
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • handful grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (I used my purple basil), finely chopped
  • handful of almonds, chopped
  • Olde Cape Cod Balsamic Vinaigrette

Cook orzo according to box directions and cool. Layer everything up and top with vinaigrette. Eat and then eat some more and then eat some more.

tilapia with peach salsa

My husband said, "when I saw this I didn't think it would be very good, but it is." I agree.

Make the salsa first:
  • 1/2 cup chopped peaches
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (ish) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice from 1 lime
  • a bit of salt and black pepper
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (I used half of a purpley-redish and half of a neon green-yellow. Obviously I am an expert and know the real names of bell peppers)

Mix everything up and put in the fridge until you're ready to serve.

On to the tilapia:
  • 2-4 tilapia fillets (I use frozen - still yummy and cheaper)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp (ish) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (ish) black pepper
  • cooking spray

Preheat over to 375. Spray cooking spray in baking dish. Put the fillets in the dish. Pour olive oil over the fillets; then spread garlic over the fillets; then shake the basil, salt, and pepper over the fillets. Bake for 8-12 minutes (mine are perfectly flaky at 10 min)

When the tilapia is done, top with salsa. Serve with wild rice and zucchini (not asparagus and potatoes as seen above).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Creamy Tomato & Pesto Sauce

This was a big hit with my 4 year-old tonight. And my husband. And me. Not too shabby on the fly, I must admit. =)


1/2 lb. bulk sausage
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/3 c. pesto
1/2 c. heavy cream

1. In a saucepan, cook and break up sausage, drain if desired.
2. After sausage is fully cooked and broken up, pour in tomatoes and pesto.
3. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Just prior to serving, add cream and stir, heating through.

We served it over cheese ravioli, and I can't wait to use it on lasagna!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Donut Muffins

I would be a horrible person if I didn't share this recipe with you.

These are delicious. So much so that...well...

I. Have. No. Words.

Run, don't walk, to your kitchen and whip up a batch of these babies.

My husband and I *might* have just plowed through a dozen of them in the space of about 7 minutes.

(I've taken the recipe from this website. Bless this website for so many reasons. She has some typos in her recipe--I've fixed that).

Ingredients (muffins):
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. milk
1 t. baking powder
1 c. all-purpose flour

Ingredients (coating):
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a mini-muffin tin, set aside.
2. Mix up the 1/2 c. sugar, 1/4 c. melted butter and nutmeg in a large bowl.
3. Add flour, milk, and baking soda and mix together until just combined.
4. Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake for 15-17 minutes.
5. While muffins are baking, combine sugar and cinnamon into a bowl, set aside.
6. Melt 1/4 c. butter and place it in a bowl. (I just melted my butter in a skillet and left it there).
7. When muffins are done and cool enough to handle, remove them from the pan. Dip the tops of the muffins in butter and then roll the WHOLE muffin in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Let cool and then try not to pig out too badly!!

Side note: This recipe is my nephew can eat them. So for all of you who have adorable nephews with egg allergies, this one's a winner!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Radish Dip

So, this is the second week of our CSA (crop share association), and this is the second week that we've had an inordinate amount of radishes in our share.

I'm not really a fan of radishes.

But my friend clued me into this dip, and I'm thrilled about it.

1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese
8-12 radishes, washed and chopped in half
3/4 - 1 t. salt

Optional ingredients:

1. Put radishes in a food processor and pulse until radishes are in teeny-tiny pieces....think crushed candy'll look similar. =)

2. In a bowl, mix the radishes with the cream cheese and salt (and optional ingredients, if you like) with a spoon or stand mixer.

Serve with tortilla chips, celery, cucumber....really, it's all delicious.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

chicken kabobs

Thanks to George Foreman, we backyardless people can enjoy delicious summer food.

Grilled Chicken Kabobs
  • 4 chicken breast halves, cut into 2 in. cubes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (reduce for less kick)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • grape tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini, cut up
  • 1 bell pepper (any color works), cut up
  • fresh pineapple, cut up
Mix oil, lemon juice, honey, thyme, pepper flakes, pepper and salt and put in flat baking dish. Place chicken in dish to marinate for 4 hours (or how ever long you want). Turn on your grill. Skewer everything up as seen above and slap it on the grill. Cook until chicken isn't pink (duh). So good!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sesame Noodles

I found this recipe on and it was a BIG hit with my family--even my 4 year-old.


1 (1lb.) package linguine
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 T. oil
6 T. vinegar
6 T. sugar
6 T. soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil

Optional ingredients:

2 t. chili sauce
6 green onions, sliced
1 T. sesame seeds, toasted

1. Cook linguine, drain and set aside.
2. Place a separate saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, sugar, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili sauce (optional). Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Pour over linguine and toss to coat. Garnish with optional ingredients.

**NOTE** I also tossed in a shredded head of napa cabbage and some leftover grilled chicken was delicious.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Green Chile Sauce

This recipe makes a great green enchilada sauce. I've started using it in place of the stuff in cans since the price of buying the chiles is comparable, plus I sort of prefer the taste to the canned sauce. So far I've only used it in these honey lime enchiladas, once with chicken and once with pork (both were good).

The recipe is really easy, but does take a little time. Next time I make it I'm going to double or triple it and freeze some for later.

Recipe from Cooking Light magazine, December 2007

6 fresh Anaheim chiles (long, slender green chiles found in most grocery stores)
1 T. canola oil
2 c. chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. salt
1 14-oz. can chicken broth

Preheat broiler.

Place chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil chiles for 14 minutes, or until blackened and charred, turning after 7 minutes. Put charred chiles in a heavy-duty ziploc and seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove from ziploc and peel and discard skin. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chili and remove tops and seeds (I find that they're usually attached, so when I pull off the top the seeds come along). Chop chiles and measure 3/4 c. (I always end up with more than 3/4 c. chopped chiles, but I throw it all in anyway. I suppose you could save the rest of the chopped chile for later and use in place of a can of green chiles or something.)

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan and saute for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. (Mine always starts to burn when I add the garlic, so you might try reducing the heat a bit, or stir more often.) Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Add chiles, coriander, salt, and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Scoop half of chile mixture into a blender. Remove center piece from the blender lid so team can escape and put a dish towel over the opening while you blend. Blend until smooth. Return blended mixture to pan and stir well. Remove from heat and cool.

Makes about 3 cups sauce.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

chocolate mousse

From Betty.

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

1. Beat egg yolks in small bowl with electric mixer on high speed (about 3 minutes) until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar.
2. Heat 1 cup heavy whipping cream in 2 quart saucepan over medium heat just until hot (do not boil).
3. Gradually stir at least half of the hot cream into egg yolks mixture, then stir back into hot cream in saucepan. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (do not boil).
4. Stir in chocolate chips until melted. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, just until chilled.
5. Beat 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream in chilled medium bowl on high speed until stiff. Fold chocolate mixture into whipping cream. Pipe or spoon mixture into serving dish. Refrigerate until serving. Store covered in refrigerator.

I serve it with berries and whipped cream. I know, that’s a lot of whipped cream.

key lime pie

From my SIL.

  • 8 oz of cream cheese
  • one can sweetened condensed milk
  • half cup fresh lime juice (about 5 limes).
  • 5 oz whipped topping
  • one 9 inch graham cracker crust (make the crust. it's worth the time)*

Blend cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add lime juice and mix. Stir in thawed whipped topping. Pour into graham cracker crust. Freeze for firm pie or refrigerate for 6 hours.

*Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 20 squares)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3 Tbs sugar

Mix all ingredients and press firmly into a 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zesty BBQ Chicken in the Crock Pot**

This one is from my SIL. It's so good and EASY!

• 6 boneless chicken breast halves
• 1 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce (I always use Sweet Baby Ray's)
• 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Put chicken in a crockpot. In a bowl, mix the barbeque sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken. My crockpot cooks this in 4 hours on low.

**Question: is it crock pot or crockpot or crock-pot. :)

Fake rotisserie chicken in the crock pot

- 2 lbs chicken breast
- 1 can chicken broth
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic

Put the chicken in the crockpot. Mix everything else in a bowl and pour it on top. My crock pot cooks this for 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high. She makes things fast. Do not over cook!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rosalee's Peanut Butter Bars

Rosalee's Peanut Butter Bars

  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 c. oats
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Mix butter, sugars, eggs until fluffy. Add peanut butter mix until creamy. Add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Mix it all up.
Lightly grease a 12x18 jelly roll pan (jelly roll pan? you mean a cookie sheet with 1 inch edges. i'm so unleanred). Spread with a rolling pin until even in the pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Cool for 20-30 minutes.
Spread 1 cup peanut butter over the top.
Melt chocolate chips and spread over the peanut butter. The peanut butter and chocolate will mix up a bit - so so yummy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Betty gets all the credit for these fajitas.

(but I did change a few things...of course.)

This was the second real meal I made for my husband after we were married. 2 1/2 years after we were married. I've come a long way.

I doubled the marinade. I used 2.5 lbs of chicken instead of beef. I cut the chicken into strips before marinating for 3 hours. I replaced the onion with an orange pepper. I sauteed the peppers for 3 minutes in my huge skillet, then added the chicken and marinade and cooked it in the skillet it with the peppers for 7 minutes. I just warm my tortillas in the microwave. And I forgot the sour cream, which is sad because these taste so good with sour cream. Oh, wow. Maybe I should've rewritten the recipe... If I get a comment saying this is too tricky to follow, I will.

I will never write a cookbook

Ya know when you've made a meal a few times and you just know what to do and then you try and write it down for someone else and they call you and they're like "hello, this recipe doesn't make sense" and you feel kinda sheepish?

I do.

I rewrote the Mommie's Corn Chowder.

Sorry (Liz).:)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sausage Ratatouille

Recipe inspired by one I found in Family Fun - took out the onion and replaced the eggplant with yellow squash. And made some other changes. Ya know, like we all do.

  • 14 oz sausage
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 2 small yellow squash, sliced
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1t dried parsley
  • 2t dried basil

Slice the sausage and cook in a large skillet - about 2 minutes on each side over medium heat. Transfer sausage to plate (leave all the delicious sausage juice in the skillet). In the same skillet saute yellow squash and zucchini in 3T olive oil for about 7 minutes, then transfer to plate. Put 1 T olive oil in skillet, saute bell pepper for 3 minutes, add garlic, parsley, basil and sausage saute for 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, zucchini and squash. Partially cover skillet and gentle simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt n pep. Serve with french bread, pasta or rice.

Chipotle Shredded Beef

I made this recipe up to put in tamales and it was surprisingly delicious. It would work well for tacos or tostadas too!

4 lb. beef (like a roast... I don't remember what exact cut I used, but it was cheap)
3 c. chopped onion
13 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1.5 T oregano
1 can chipotle adobo sauce with 2 whole chipotle peppers (I ended up just getting as much sauce out as possible and then spooning in two of the peppers as well, and it was spicy enough for me, but not too spicy for my husband or kids)
1 1/4 t. salt
1 c. chicken or vegetable stock

Throw everything into the crock pot and cook on low heat for 8-12 hours. Shred and enjoy!

** Makes enough to make about 95 tamales... could easily be halved (or quartered), and I would even wager that any excess could probably be frozen.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Turkey Brandy Melts

There isn't any brandy in these. I don't even know why they are called that. I found this recipe on a blog. They are so yummy. The flavors of the mayo, pesto, and peppers combined is melt in your mouth goodness. Try them. You won't be dissapointed.

1 package of soft deli rolls
1 package good quality sliced turkey
2 cans whole green chilies or diced work too.
1 T. pesto
salt & pepper
1 granny smith apple sliced VERY thin
Sliced Swiss cheese or provolone

Mix a few tablespoons of mayo with the pesto. Add salt & pepper. You then spread a generous amount of this mayo mixture onto both sides of the deli roll. Put in the broiler for 30 seconds or until slightly golden brown (not too brown!). You then layer LOTS of turkey, apples, and green chilies on the roll. Top with a couple slices of cheese. Put the one side of the sandwich with the turkey on it into the broiler until cheese is melted and golden brown. Put the top of the deli roll back onto your sandwich (I actually made mine open faced to save on carbs-and it worked well). Eat this sandwich warm out of the oven.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mommie's Corn Chowder

  • 12 oz turkey bacon
  • 5 Idaho potatoes, cubed
  • 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4Tbsp flour
  • 8C milk (I used whole to make the husband happy)
  • 2 cans creamed corn
  • 1 tsp salt (I seasoned with a bit more)
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Cook the bacon (I cook mine on a skillet and I leave all the extra juice on the bacon for flavor) and cut up into bitty pieces. Boil the potatoes in a separate pot until tender. Saute the celery in the oil in a big soup pot until tender. Add 1T flour, reduce heat and cook until bubbly. Add 2 cups of milk to the celery and blend it together. Add 2 more cups off milk, 3T of flour and bacon, let simmer for a minute for good flavor. Add 2 cups of milk, bring to simmer. Add the remaining 2 cups of milk and bring to a simmer for at least 1 minute. Add corn, potatoes, bacon, salt and pepper. Let it all simmer for 1 more minute. It makes a ton. Cut it in half, freeze half or invite your friends over.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not a recipe post

Since several of us seem to enjoy Pioneer Woman's recipes, I thought I would mention I just picked up her cookbook on Amazon yesterday (it was delivered TODAY!) for $10.50! I haven't tried any recipes from this cookbook specifically, but I have enjoyed the recipes off her site, so I feel like the cookbook is a pretty safe bet.