Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cafe Rio-Lite

Okay I totally stole this recipe from my friend matt's blog, but he stole it from someone else so it's okay. The pork alone makes this so worth while. I know some of you don't care for Cafe Rio, but living out here in NY where Taco Bell is passable Mexican food, makes recipes like this a godsend.

5 lbs chicken breast, boneless, skinless
1 sm bottle zesty italian dressing
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced

Mix all ingred together in a large crock pot. Cook on high for 5-7 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Reserve a small amount of juice and pour over shredded chicken. Keep warm.

3.5 lbs pork roast
1 bottle taco sauce (8 oz)
1 T cumin
1 C brown sugar
1 can Coke (not diet)

Cook pork in pot on low for 6 hours (cover roast 1/2 with water. I cooked for a couple of hours on high and switched to low, that made it shred easier; also, when you add the other ingredients, please take out some of the water, leaving only about ½ in. in the bottom of the pot). Add ingred. to pork 3 hours before it is done.

in a saucepan, saute:
2 T butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced

In a large pot, bring to a boil the following:
6 2/3 cups water
8 t chicken buillion
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
2 tsp cumin
2 sm cans diced green chilies
1 T lime juice
1/2 t pepper
3 cups of rice (maybe a half cup more, you'll have to play with it)

Pico de Gallo
4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t lime juice
1 t salt1/2 t pepper

1 pkg Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch Dressing mix
1 C buttermilk
1 C Mayo
1 to 2 tomatillos
1/2 to 1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 to 1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 t lime juice
1/2 to 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed!

Serve in the following order:
shredded chicken or pork
black or pinto beans
lime rice
red and green leaf lettuce, shredded
sprinkle crunch corn strips on top
fresh Parmesan cheese

sides of:
pico de gallo
fresh cilantro
fresh lime slice
tomatillo dressing

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Pumpkin Roll

Okay this is a holiday favorite in our home (and I apologize for so rarely posting).

3 Eggs
1 C. Sugar
2/3 C. Canned Pumpkin
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
3/4 C. Flour
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp ea. Nutmeg & Ginger
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Powder
Powder Sugar

Preheat oven at 375. Beat eggs together for 3 minutes or so. Add in the granulated sugar slowly. Once thoroughly mixed add the pumpkin and lemon juice. Mix all ingredients well. Add all the dry ingredients, mix well. Pour spread onto a well greased and floured jelly roll pan (cookie sheet will work). Spread it thin no more than an 1/8-1/4 of an inch. Bake for 15 minutes. Place on a towel and sprinkle with powdered sugar and roll immediately.


8 Oz. Cream Cheese
1/4 C. Butter
1 C. Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Chopped Nuts
Powdered Sugar

Cream all together while cake cools. Once cake cool unroll, and spread Filling as thickly as desired. Re-roll the cake. Sprinkle Top with powdered sugar. Chill thoroughly.

This really is enough to make two rolls. We'd typically get them wrapped in aluminum foil for Christmas from our family friends who'd make it every year.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cocoa Perfection

This recipe comes from the fabulous ~J, by way of her esposo. The real trick to making this easy and quick is to invest in a COCOMOTION machine. Last year they were about $20 at Walmart.
So here is what you do, for the best cocoa around:
1 part water
1 part flavored creamer (I like the refrigerated ones from International Whatever)
2 spoonfuls of Pero
Scoop of your favorite cocoa mix (In spite of Amanda's best intentions, I am hooked on Stephen's)


I also find that cocoa tastes best when watching Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas. But that is me.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sticky Rice Stuffing

I also brought this side dish to Bunco last night. I love all the flavors in this. I made this for my visit teachee lunch too... but I don't think they are as into Asian flavor as my bunco group is. I love the flavors of ginger, shitake... and well I'm Asian... so I naturally lean towards the unique flavors on my tongue. (but I will not eat cow's tongue...there's something weird for me about tasting something as it's tasting me)

Sticky Rice Stuffing

3 cups Chicken Stock
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 cups short grain rice (I used my jasmine rice since I didn't have the short grain)
1/2 lb ground pork
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 baby bok choy, coursely chopped (separate bottoms from green leafy tops)
1 (8-oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and coursely chopped
1 (3.2-oz) package shitake mushrooms, chopped
1/3 cup each: soy sauces and dry sherry
3 Tbsp. each minched fresh ginger and chili garlic sauce (I only put 1 Tbsp because I never know if people can't stand the heat)
2 green onions, sliced

Bring stock and sesame oil to a boil in a med saucepan; add rice and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 min.

While rice is cooking, cook pork in a large skillet until just a little pink remains.

Add celery, carrots and white bok choy bottoms; cook for 10 min, stirring occassionally.

Add vegetable mixture, cooked rice and remaining ingredients to a large bowl and stir well.

Transfer to a 13x9 inch baking dish; cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.

Reheat, covered, in teh microwave on HIGH for 5-10 min or until very hot. Makes 10-12 servings.

From Raley's Something Extra

Spicy Crab Cups

I'm so lucky to get to hang out with ladies that are fun, intelligent and fantastic chefs/bakers. Whenever we get together for Bunco it is always a feast of sweet and savories. It's like a chance to taste some of the best flavors in one night.

This is the appetizer I brought last night.

Spicy Crab Cups

1 6oz container Dungeness crab meat
3 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeno slices
2Tbsp minced red bell pepper
30 Athens Mini Filo Shells (two 2.1-oz. boxes, in the freezer section)

Stir crab, softened cream cheese, jalapenoes, and red bell pepper in a medium bowl.

Spoon equal amounts into the mini filo shells. Bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes or until filling is hot. Makes 30 appetizers.

Note: Cut back on the jalapenos a bit if you are sensitive to the heat.

Recipe from Raley's Something Extra

Friday, November 09, 2007

Spinach and Yogurt Soup - soupfest part 1

Holy CRAP! This was good soup, and extremely easy. Even Edamame liked the soup...until he started tasting the spicy in it.

1 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne pepper(we used red pepper flakes...the spicy kind!)
6-10 bunches fresh spinach, washed and chopped including stems or 1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup plain yogurt

1. Fry up the onions in the butter until clear then add the flour, salt, nutmeg and spicy spice of your choice.
2. Once you can smell the nutmeg add the spinach and broth. Let it all simmer for about 15 min.
3. In batches take to the blender and blend( I used the hand held blender, and it was awesome, but be careful).
4. Once everything is blended add the yogurt and heat until desired eating temperature...DO NOT BOIL.
5. Garnish with lemon if you choose(we didn't take this road).

Tonjiru - soupfest part 2

I fell in love with this soup two winters ago when I ate it at one of the schools I was working at. I was smack dab in the middle of having morning sickness, but for some reason this warm winter soup was something I could down without fear of any retribution from my stomach. It is GREAT, but depending on your location within the US you may or may not be able to get some of the ingredients.

Serves about 4 people

4 cups water
2 tsp. dashi(Japanese kelp/fish bullion) or follow the directions on the need it to make 4 cups(see above water) of broth
1/2-3/4 lb sliced uncooked pork.
1-2 carrots sliced and then quarter the larger slices
10 cm(5 inches....remember your high school science people) of Japanese diakon radish, sliced and then quartered
15 cm burdock root cleaned, sliced and soaked for a few minutes( it turns the water black so you soak it separate first)...this is COMPLETELY option, and totally tasty without this. If you go for super authentic though, you need it.
1 bunching onion(REALLY big green onion...use regular green onions in a pinch) sliced in 1/4 slices
1 pack of firm tofu, cut up into cubes
3-4 small taro root potatos, peeled and cut into cubes
1 regular potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 bunch of Bunashimeji mushrooms(small and brown....sliced shiitake also taste good if you want).
3 Tbs. miso paste

1. Turn the stove on and heat up the water with the dashi stock. As you cut up the veggies throw them in and begin to cook them.
2. Add the pork and finally the tofu. Once everything is almost cooked, add the miso by dissolving the paste in a ladelful of soup. If you find you want a strong miso taste, feel free to add more.
3. Let simmer/very low boil until the veggies and meat are completely cooked
4. Serve!

Some hints: If you can find miso with dashi already in it, WOW does that make your life easier, but I have no idea what gets imported over there. I've added links to pictures, so you know what you are looking for. It is a lot easier than it may seem at first glance.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cake

This is to die for....or at least exceptionally good. I was surprised that you can't taste the peanut butter all that much, just a hint. I wonder what it would taste like with almond butter or something instead....just an idea.

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
pinch o' salt
1/2 cup whole milk or chocolate milk
2 Tbs canola, peanut or walnut oil
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1/2 cup Peanut Butter(smooth/chunky, natural/hydrogenated...however you roll...chunky gives you...well chunks)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 cup boiling water

1. Coat the slow cooker with butter or cooking spray
2.In a bowl mix the dry ingredients together, then stir in milk, oil and vanilla. Once that is smooth and well mixed, add in the peanut butter, and stir in the chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the cooker.
3. Make the topping by mixing the cocoa powder and sugar then poor boiling water over it and whisk until smooth. Gently poor over the cake batter. Cover and turn the crock pot on HIGH for 2-2.25 hrs
4. Turn off slow cooker and let stand for at least 30 min.
5. eat...I hear this ice cream thing tastes good with it too.

A Quick hint, use a round cooker, oval I hear messes it up, but I could be totally wrong. I have been known to be wrong very often. Though, it isn't like your kids need more sugar on Halloween.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Japanese Curry Rice

Yep more crockpot goodness. I've wanted to add this for a while, but have been far too lazy. Let me first add this caveat, I HATE Japanese curry almost 95%+ of the time, but I LOVE this recipe. We got it from "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook". That has been a great book. I'll try to post a desert to die for from there in a few days...but here we go.

3 medium potatos peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3-4 medium carrots cut into bite sized chunks
1 lb. beef stew meat cut into 1 inch cubes(though I REALLY dig chicken, it may even be better than beef!)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 cups beef broth(chicken for chicken)
2 cups water
6 Tbsp flour(the original recipe called for 3, but it was too little)
2 Tbsp curry powder(the original recipe called for 1, but it was too little)
1 cup frozen peas thawed(optional)

cooked white rice for serving

1. Pop the potatoes in the slow cooker and than layer the carrots on top.

2. In a skillet brown the meat with some oil and transfer to the cooker. Then put the onions and garlic in the skillet with some more oil and cook until softened, add salt and pepper and cook for an additional 2 to 3 min. Put the onions and garlic in the slow cooker. Transfer broth the the skillet and bring to a boil, scrap the brown bit stuck to the pan and pour into the cooker. Covere the cooker and turn on low for 6-7 hrs.(less for the chicken)

3. Mix the flour and curry powder together then slowly add about 1/2 cup of the broth(a bit at a time, stir until smooth and then add more liquid...avoid those clumps!) Pour the flour/curry/broth mixture back into the curry and turn on high for another 30 min. Add the peas at this time if you want as well.

ladel over the rice and enjoy.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Beef Chili for a Crowd

I love fall - and I love slow cooking in the fall/winter months. I especially love chili on rice (Hawaiian style). I made this yesterday. Hearty and mmmm...good. I didn't think this was spicy - my 3 year old did but my 1 year old couldn't get enough of it. If I was making it just for my hubby and I ...I'd kick-it-up with jalapeños.

Beef Chili for a Crowd
from Cuisinart Slow Cooker Cookbook
Makes 16 one cup servings

cooking spray
2 tsp good quality olive oil
1 1/2 lb onions, peeled and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 cup chili powder
1 1/2 Tbsp oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
1 red pepper, cored, seeded, chopped
1 green pepper, cored, seeded, chopped
1 yellow pepper, cored, seeded, chopped
2 cans (14 oz) diced tomatoes, juices drained, separated
2 cans (3 oz) tomato paste, salt free
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cans (15-16 oz) beans, drained rinsed and drained again (ie. black beans, pinto beans and/or red kidney beans)

Lightly coat the interior of the ceramic pot of the Cuisinart slow cooker with cooking spray.

Heat a 12-in non-stick skillet over med-high heat and add 1 tsp olive oil; sauté onions and garlic until soft. Season with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Place in ceramic slow cooker bowl.

In the same skillet, heat another tsp of oil; cook ground beef until brown, breaking up clumps with the back of a spoon. Stir in remaining salt and pepper; chili powder; oregano, cumin and paprika; cook over low heat until spices are fragrant. Transfer meat mixture to Slow Cooker. Add sliced red, green, and yellow peppers. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine vinegar.

Cover and cook on Low setting for 6 hours using timer function; Slow Cooker will automatically switch to warm.

One hour before serving, turn heat to High. Stir in beans and slow cook until heated through.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am back on the Weight Watchers and am in love with this cookie recipe--only one point each, and they totally take care of the chocolate fix!

2 egg whites
1/4 c margerine
1/8 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1/3 c cocoa
1/2 c sugar
1 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/3 c mini choc chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy; gradually add granulated sugar, beating well. Add cocoa and egg whites, beating well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until blended. Stir in chocolate minichips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 11⁄2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Cool on pans 2 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks. Yield: 40 cookies (serving size: 1 cookie).

Friday, September 14, 2007

Roasted Vegetable Meat Loaf with Balsamic Glaze

I love balsamic vinegar...and this sauce is so delish!

Before the glaze - how pretty

Made this a couple weeks ago - it is YUMMY! I have never been a meat loaf fan - just seems blech (too much meat)... BUT this...with the roasted veggies and balsamic glaze...this is more my style. I also added sauteed mushrooms and I didn't use lamb... lamb freaks me out.

Roasted Vegetable Meat Loaf with Balsamic Glaze
Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large zucchini, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 yellow pepper, finely diced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground veal
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano
1 1/2 cups ketchup, divided
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the zucchini, peppers, onion and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until almost soft, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl. Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the ketchup and 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and the vegetables and mix until just combined. Mold the meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Whisk together the remaining ketchup and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl then brush the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake the meatloaf for approximately 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Episode#: BT0203
Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fruited Ham Slice (Crockpot)

Food snobs will turn up their nose at this dish because of one certain ingredient--fruit cocktail. But for Gen Xers who grew up believing fruit cocktail helped us meet our daily recommended fruit requirements, this dish is an amusing and yummy nod to earlier times. Definitely a dish for a sweet tooth.

1-1½-pound fully cooked ham slice, 1”-thick
8-10 whole cloves
Prepared mustard
1-pound can fruit cocktail, drained, with 1 cup syrup reserved
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

Stud (gotta loves recipes that start with that word) edges of ham slice with cloves. Spread top with mustard. Place ham slice in slow cooker. In a bowl, mix together fruit cocktail, 1 cup syrup, and brown sugar. Spoon over ham. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours, or until ham is heated through but not drying out. (Note: instead of fruit cocktail use 2 cups of any of the following: canned pineapple chunks, sliced peaches, apricot halves)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chocolate Frosting

This is the best chocolate frosting I have ever had. I got it from one of my favorite cook books, Chocolate From the Cake Mix Doctor. It makes enough to frost a 2 or 3 layer cake, or a bunch of cupcakes and some to eat with a spoon

8 T (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces, and melted in the micro
2/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
3 C powdered sugar
1/3 C sour cream
1 t vanilla extract

Place melted butter in large mixing bowl. Add cocoa and whisk until smooth. Add powdered sugar and sour cream, continuously whisking or blending. Add vanilla. Beat until fluffy.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree

Made this last night for Kalea's first day of preschool. Our friends, the Jones' had invited us over for dinner a month ago and made this dish. It was a hit - the girls loved the fish and the pea puree. Pea puree may sound unappetizing but it's DELISH!

We also had beautiful red potatoes - Candice's recipe.

Candice's YUMMY red potatoes
Wash them
Boil them - until tender but not soft
Halve them
Toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
Then pan fry them, white flesh side down, in olive oil - until the white side is golden brown.
Flip them and fry them on the skin side too.
(these are seriously addictive)

Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 15 min
Yield: 4 servings

Lemon Brodetto:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, diced
2 lemons, juiced
1 lemon, zested
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

Pea Puree:
2 cups frozen peas, thawed (about 10 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup olive oil
4 (4 to 6-ounce) pieces salmon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To make the Lemon Brodetto, warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the lemon juice, zest, and broth. Bring to a simmer, and keep warm, covered, over low heat.
To make the Pea Puree, combine the peas, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and puree. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady drizzle. Transfer the pea puree to a small bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Set aside.

To make the Salmon, warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Season the salmon pieces with salt and pepper. Sear the salmon until a golden crust forms, about 4 to 5 minutes on the first side. Flip the fish and continue cooking until medium-rare, about 2 minutes more depending on the thickness of the fish.

To assemble the dish, add the tablespoon chopped mint to the Lemon Brodetto and divide between 4 shallow dishes. Place a large spoonful of Pea Puree into the center of each bowl. Place a salmon piece atop each mound of Pea Puree. Serve immediately.

Monday, August 20, 2007

White Chocolate Popcorn

This is a easy, yummy treat my sister made for me while I was visiting her in Colorado recently.

Chocolate popcorn

Mix the following in a bowl: popcorn (either 1 bag of popped microwave popcorn OR about 1/2 cup of kernels air popped) and then add any of the following optional ingredients - 2 cups pretzels, 2 cups chex cereal, 1/2 bag mini marshmallows, nuts, M&Ms, peppermints, etc.

Melt in the microwave: 1 bag of white chocolate chips and 1/2 brick of vanilla almond bark. Pour wet mixture over dry, stir until well coated, let cool on cookie sheet. Drizzle dark chocolate over the mixture. Serve when cooled. Store covered if you have any left over. Keeps very well.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Amazing Ribs

I got this tip from Cooking Pleasures Magazine, and it made some awesome ribs yesterday in about 1 1/2 hours

1. Rub your baby backs with a sugar-less spice rub (I like BBQ of America from Penzey's)

2. Toothpick them in a circle (so they look like a Crown Roast)

3. BBQ them standing up, covered for 30 minutes. Then flip them onto the other side and cover and grill for another 30. They should be almost done at this point.

4. Un-pin and lay flat, saucing with sauce, for another 15 minutes or until done.

The easiest, quickest ones we have ever made!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ramen Salad

Ok, last post for a bit, I promise. It has been oppresively hot here recently, and my MIL introduced me to this last year, and it is great to not have to heat up the kitchen so much. This recipe is for two people.

1 package of ramen noodles per person
1 cucumber
4 medium slices of ham
1 tomato
2 eggs
1 T. sugar

Any soysauce or oil based salad dressing.

Boil the ramen noodles until cooked but not soggy(the package should say). Do not add the flavor packets. Drain and let cool.

Mix the eggs together and add the sugar. You want them a little sweet, but not overly so, add more or less according to your taste. Cook over medium-low heat like an omlette. Let it cool and then julienne the omlette.

Julienne the cucumber and ham, slice the tomato into 8ths or so.

In a low bowl dish out the noodles and then lay the cucumber, egg, ham and tomato on the side in separate groups. Cover with your salad dressing.


tips: I think carrots would probably be pretty tasty here too. Strong flavored veggies may or may not work here, it is up to you.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Coconut Lime Chicken

Sorry, the first of two slow cooker recipes. I like experimenting way too much.

1 can coconut milk
3 chicken breasts
2 limes, juiced(more for a more limey taste)
1 t. salt
1-2 T. fresh grated ginger
3 cloves garlic

2T flour(add 30 min before the end, mix with water so it is easily pourable, stir in, and let it sit)

2 T. fresh cilantro, for garnish ontop of the chicken mix

cook around 4 hours, serve over brown rice.

Cranberry Pork Chops

We just got a crock pot, it is WAY too much fun! My husband uses it as much as I do.

1 Cup frozen/fresh cranberries
1/2 cup-ish brown sugar
1 small onion, diced
4 pork chops
1-2 scoops garlic butter(pressed garlic mixed with butter and olive oil, make lots, refridgerate and it is easily spreadable)
3/4cup-ish orange juice

Pop it all in the slow cooker, eat after about 6 hours over rice.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cow Pie

Now this is one that a family we stayed with in England fed to us. It's absolutely too fattening and wonderful.


12 oz. or 340g. frozen puff pastry 1 pack is enough for 1 large pie
12oz. or 340g. tin of corned beef.
3 lb. or 1 & a1/2 Kg. potatoes
1 lb. or 1/2 Kg. onions
salt & pepper
2 stock cubes- oxo or any beef cubes.

Peel potatoes & onions cut into chunks put into a large pan and season with S & P and enough water to cook them.
Cook until tender.
Add the corned beef in chunks and crushed stock cubes, mix together so it is still lumpy.
Allow pastry to soften at room temperature for a while.
Cut in half (one half a little larger than the other) Larger piece use for top of pie.
Roll out thinly.
Put the smaller pastry on the greased pie dish (or I use the glass microwave turntable) then put the filling on top (using a large spoon with holes in so you dont get too much liquid in the pie)
Roll out the larger piece of pastry, wet the edges of the bottom pastry and place on top. Seal the edges well so the juices won't run out and mess up the oven.
Snip holes in the top with scissors to let out the hot air.
Bake in a moderate oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Until the pastry is risen and golden brown (it will look cooked)
Use the juices left in the pan for the gravy. Add a gravy thickener and bring the gravy up to the boil stirring so it doesn't go lumpy. Allow to thicken. Add another stock cube, if you like, just do to your taste.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Salmon Chowder

Today was Edamame's 1st b-day, so we decided to feed the little fish lover, fish chowder. He picked all the fish and corn out and made mommy struggle with feeding him the rest. The Grandma's ate the whole thing and gave it the vote of approval.

1 onion, minced
2 potatos, petitly diced
2-3 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
2-3 strips of bacon, chopped(more as you desire)
7-8 sprigs of fresh dill chopped
1 ish lbs. of fresh salmon deboned and without the skin, cut into smaller than bite sized pieces
1 (12 oz?) can evaporated milk
3 cups water
3 bullion cubes(optional)
1 cup corn(optional)

Saute the onions and potatos in the butter olive oil mixture(start with the butter and add the oil as needed to prevent sticking), then add in the bacon for a bit until the onions are completely cooked and the potatos are starting to soften. Add in the water, dill, bullion cubes and salmon(I left the cubes out for baby-allergy reasons, still tasted good, if slightly bland). Let that boil for about 20 minutes until the potatos are very soft and the salmon is cooked. Finally, add in the evaporated milk and corn and let simmer for a few minutes. Serve as is or with grated cheese.

Hints: sweet fresh cooked corn tastes RAD with this. Add some cooked rice to make a easily feedable meal for a baby or toddler with less spilling. Garlic would also probably taste pretty dang good in this. Bacon is entirely optional.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Somen Salad

Yesterday at our 4th of July BBQ/Pool Party at Cheryl's home - our fabulous cook Tracy whipped up this delicious salad. It's an Asian thing to have cool noodles other similar things during the summer to keep us cool. Tracy passed this recipe along...she's one woman who truly knows her way around the kitchen. (I'm so lucky)

Somen Salad:
Feeds about 10 people
1/2 Head Lettuce - shredded
1/2 C - Cabbage - shredded
2 Carrots - julienned
2 C - Cilantro - chopped
1/2 English Cucumber - julienned
1 Kamaboko - (Japanese fish cake - pink and white) - julienned - optional
1/2 lb Honey ham or BBQ'd Chinese pork
2 bundles of somen noodles (Japanese section) - cooked rinsed and drained
In a large platter:
Layer Lettuce, noodles, top with the rest of the ingredients.
Somen Sauce:
4 T - Sesame seeds
4T - Sugar
1 1/2 t - Pepper
1/2 C- Olive oil
4 T - Rice Vinegar
4 T - Soy Sauce
1 T - Sesame Oil


ps. I wish I had taken a picture of the salad... not only was it beautiful - the dish she had it in was exquisite.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Made this a month or so ago - loved it...and so did my friend P.
This is from Ina Garten's barefoot contessa at home. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups creamy peanut butter, such as Skippy (18 ounces)
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam or other jam (18 ounces)
2/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9X13X2-inch baking pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until well combined.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread two thirds of the dough in the prepared pan, using a knife to spread it evenly. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam.

Don't worry if all the jam isn't covered; the dough will spread when it bakes. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into small squares.

I used the Trader Joe's organic peanut butter with nuts...and the organic raspberry jam... delicious. This totally tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Gazpacho Soup

Ok, sorry for all the posts, I've been a little busy in the kitchen and want to share(I'll hold off on giving the recipe for the barley pancakes and veggie muffins until later), but I HAVE to post this. This is a super summer time soup, and we used to scarf this down when I was a teenager. Definitely a must on those hot days. Fortunately the hubby doesn't like this so I get it all to myself. This serves four and will last about 3 days in the fridge.

1 clove peeled garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 green pepper, seeded, and quartered
1 small onion quartered
2 large tomatoes
1/2 - 1 cucumber(you decide how much cucumber you like)
1 Tbsp ground almonds
1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
1-2 dashes of Worcesteshire sauce
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley

Put everything in the blender. Hit on. Chill for about 2 hours. Garnish with the parsley.

tips: I sometimes have to blend in batches, just stir everything together in a big bowl afterwards. Leave out the Worcestershire if you don't like the taste. The chilling lets the garlic settle in better.

I sometimes add plain yogurt, which tastes very good too.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I'm posting this on request from a friend who loves chocolate and pumpkin. This is one of my favorite desserts.

1 cup flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spices(nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon)
1 cup pureed pumpkin(home made or canned...fresh baked pumpkin tastes dang good, and can double as baby food)
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 - 1 cup milk chocolate chips(the dark or semisweet, just feel too bitter, sorry Ghiradelli's)

Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl mix together the wet ingredients together and then mix into the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chips. Dish into muffin cups and bake between 20-25 minutes at 350(I think...that is what 180 C translates to, right?)

Let cool in muffin tins for 10 minutes before popping out to cool.

Once cooled, frost with.....

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1-2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Let the cream cheese and butter soften and blend together. Mix in the vanilla and sugar(most recipes call for powdered sugar, but granulated works just fine).

Stores well in the fridge.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Asian food for the Mexican Cuisine lover

This is a dish from Okinawa and has become very popular throughout all of Japan(if only they knew it was really a Mexican dish in disguise). It works really well if you don't have tortillas handy and/or you have a ton of rice.

1 lbs. ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
2-4 tomatoes
2 cups-ish grated cheese
1 head of lettuce
1 avocado
some salsa
taco toppings

3-4 cups short grain rice

1. Start you rice cooking. Follow directions for your rice cooker or in a pot on the stove follow a 2-1 ratio(2 cups water for every 1 cup rice) and boil. You migh want to make more than you think you'll need, it disappears fast, and if you have left overs you can wrap a serving in saran wrap and freeze for later use (just pop in the microwave for 2-3 minutes).

2. cook ground beef, drain, add taco seasoning and water as directed by the package.
3. dice the tomatoes
4. shred the lettuce
5. dice the avocado

dish out the rice, put the beef on top along with tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, salsa, cheese, oh and sour cream tastes good too. Anything you like on your tacos works. Great for kids with wheat allergies!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Suck it, Rachel Ray!

La Yen's 30 minute Dinner: Herbed Salmon with Bulghur and Vegetable Salad

You need:
salmon fillets
1/2 C bulghur
2 C fresh green beans
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
Stinky Cheese (feta or whatever), grated or crumbled
1/2 c pine nuts
1/2 onion
herbs of your choice
1/2 head romaine lettuce, torn into bites

MMMKKK--start your timer!

1. Put on about 2 C water to boil. When it is boiling, pour 1 C of it over the bulghur and cover it tightly, for about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425. This should take about 15 minutes.

3. Steam your beans and let them cool down while everything else is cooking.

4. While the oven is preheating, put 2 T of butter and a generous helping of herbs in a baking dish (I use dill, garlic salt, parsley, and dried chives). Put the dish in the oven while it is preheating.

5. Mince the onion and saute it in butter, over medium.

6. When the onion is translucent add the pine nuts and toast for a few minutes.

7. When the oven is close to being preheated the butter should be sizzling and the herbs should be toasty. Add the salmon fillets. Bake for about 5 minutes, turn over, and bake for another 3 minutes or so. Then take out.

8. Fluff up the bulghur, add the onions and pine nuts, chopped tomato, cheese, green beans, and lettuce. Drizzle with oil/juice and toss.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Necessity is the mother of lunch

I made this concoction today while cleaning out the fridge, and was very pleased.

Spinach Artichoke Parmesan Dip (mix in a big glob when the gnoochi are still hot)
Tomato wedges

Jooj ate it up and so did I

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Watermelon Lemonade--refreshing!

I always have to double this recipe because it is quite popular--especially at outdoor BBQs! I'd recommend you use a really good citrus juicer (like the "citrus squeezer" at Crate and Barrel). The last time I made this recipe was for a Memorial Day BBQ at my home. I had two papercuts on my fingers and boy, did they sting when I squeezed all those lemons! But the end result was worth it. Make the drink several hours ahead of your party to give the drink time to chill. My husband does not like regular lemonade but he loves this drink. Have a great summer!

8 cups 1-inch pieces seedless watermelon (from about 4 1/2 pounds)
1 cup fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Ice cubes
Lemon wedges

Working in 2 batches, blend watermelon and lemon juice in processor or blender until smooth. Transfer to pitcher. Bring 3 1/2 cups water and sugar to boil in medium saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add hot syrup to pitcher with watermelon-lemon juice. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. Fill tall glasses with ice. Pour Watermelon Lemonade over and garnish glasses with lemon wedges.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Tropical Pancakes

This is something I threw together this morning with some left over ingredients, it worked pretty well.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4-1 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup milk
1 egg(optional)
1/4-1/2 cup crushed pineapple (I cuisinarted cubed pineapple)
about 1/4 cup shredded coconut(It's up to you, I eye ball how much I want)

Directions: Mix the dry ingredients together then slowly blend in the milk and the egg. Add the pineapple and shredded coconut. Cook up those bad boys on a skillet over medium low heat. Flip when the bubbles start to pop and stay.

Top with banana, kiwi, strawberries, or any fruit your heart desires. I also added plain yogurt and syrup on top in addition to my bananas, it was a pretty wicked breakfast, and great for the summer season.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Chicken Piccata

All my good cook friends keep talking about Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa... so I finally bought one of her cookbooks Barefoot Contessa at Home. (Costco price - 18.99) We loved the Chicken Piccata.

4 split (2 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 cups seasoned dried bread crumbs
Good olive oil
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine
sliced lemon for serving
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound it out to 1/4inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper on a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the eggs and 1 Tbsp water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread-crumb mixtures.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add 2 chicken breasts adn cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan while you cook the rest of the chicken. heat more olive oil in the saute pan and cook the second 2 chicken breasts. Place them on the same sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 min while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. On medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp of the butter and then add the lemon juice, white wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced by halve, about 2 min. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and swirl to combine.

Discard the lemon halves. Serve on chicken breast on each plate, spoon on the sauce, and serve with sliced lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

ps. I didn't do the lemon slices or parsley for serving... I would if I were entertaining... and I didn't have parchment paper... I need to get some - it seems I've been doing a lot of stuff that asks for it... so I use Pam spray... and a plastic baggy to pound the chicken.

Chicken Caterpillar Kebabs

Another recipe from Annabel Karmel's First Meals .


Prep time: 40 min, including 30 min marinating; cook time 15 min 350 degree F Makes 8 portions Provides beta-carotene, iron, protein, B vitamins, vitamin C, and zinc

4 chicken breast fillets (about 1 1/4 lb) cubed
1 cup canned lychees
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into triangles

3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed is yummy)

To decorate:
8 cherry tomatoes or radishes
16 whole cloves
8 green onion fans (TIP: to make green onion fans, cut green onions into 3-inch lengths. Make four slashes at one end of each. Place in ice water until the ends curl.)

Mix together the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish. Add the chicken and leave to marinate for at least 30 min. While the chicken marinate, soak eight bamboo skewers in water to keep them from burning.

Thread the chicken onto the skewers, putting half a lychee and a red pepper triangle between each piece of chicken. Arrange on a baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for about 15 min, basting with the marinade and turning occasionally, until cooked through.

To decorate, make a face for each caterpillar using a cherry tomato or radish, studded with clove eyes. Attach it to the tip of the skewer and thread on a green onion tail.

Hungarian Goulash

This is from Annabel Karmel's First Meals that Cabesh suggested I purchase ...and did more than a year ago. It is one of the BEST family-friendly cookbooks I have.

Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 2hours 20 min
300 degree F
Makes 8 portions
Provides beta-cartotene, iron, potassium, protein, B vitamins including folate, vitamin C, and zinc
Suitable for Freezing

For young children, chop the meat and vegetables into small pieces or process in a blender for just a few seconds. Serve with noodles.

flour for coating
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1lb lean chuck steak, cut into cubes
2tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
3 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or beef stock (I like chicken stock - that organic one from Costco)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I buy that fresh parsley that come in the tubes you find in the produce section so as not to have the leafy kind go bad on me)
6 tbsp sour cream
1/2 lb egg noodles (I like the skinny egg noodles)

Spread the flour on a plate, season lightly, and use to coat the beef. Warm the vegetable oil in an ovenproof Dutch oven, add the beef, and saute until browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onions to the casserole and saute for 5 minutes. Add the red pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika and cook for about 2 minutes.

Return the sauteed meat to the pan, pour in the stock, and stir in the tomato puree, ketchup, Worchestershire sauce, and chopped parsley. Cover, transfer to the preheated oven, and cook for about 2 hours. Check that the meat is tender. Season to taste and stir in the sour cream. Set aside and keep warm.

Cook the noodles in boiling, lightly salted water according to the instructions on the package. Drain, arrange a bed of noodles on each plate, and top with a serving of goulash.

ps. I added a bit more freshly ground pepper and ketchup at the end... right before spooned the goulash over the noodles. Leftovers taste great.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Summer Salad

I went to a baby shower yesterday and had some of this amazing salad my friend Stacey Ball made.

Here's what it had in it:

Cucumbers chopped
Avocados chopped
Grape Tomatoes
Feta Cheese
Finely chopped red onion
Newman's LIGHT Balsamic Vinagrette
Fresh ground pepper

It was the perfect, summer salad... savory and light.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

AVO Baby

For a YUMMY lunch, snack... pick me up for the summer.

Take one perfectly ripe Avocado (buy California) and slice.

Drizzle Marie's Poppy Seed Dressing and... *sigh* ... life really is this fresh.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gine's Bread

Well this is my first post over here and I should thank la Yen for suggesting I contribute here. To start off this is one of my favorite recipes. It's a braided bread that I first made in France. It's best eaten fresh out of the oven with generous gobs of Nutella schmeared on top. Please note that I'm converting the measurements from metric to standard so if they seem a bit off just tweak them.

11 Tbsp Melted Butter
3 Cups Milk
3 Tsp Yeast
Pinch of sugar

Melt the butter with the milk in a small saucepan. Let it cool to be lukewarm and add the yeast. Add a pinch of Sugar. Let yeast activate 5 minutes.

6-8 Cups White Flour
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar
(Optional) Cinnamon (gives it a nice touch)

Start off with six cups of flour and mix with other dry ingredients. Form well. Once yeast mixture activated pour it into the well. Pull off part of the flour and mix it into the liquids so that it has a spongy quality. Let it rise for 20 minutes. Mix in the rest of the flour. Kneed together adding extra flour as needed. Let rise 1 1/2 hours.

Push down and let rest for ten minutes.

Divide dough into two portions of equal weight. Roll each portion out into a snake about 12 to 16 inches long (like you would with play dough). Starting at the middle of the two "snakes" braid the dough together. Braid the four ends together by dipping your fingers in water and pinching them together, then tuck them under the main portion of the dough. Let this rise on a floured pan for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350.

1 Egg Yolk

Separating and discarding the whites, whip one egg yolk till it is nicely blended. Add a bit of water if you like for ease of glazing. Glaze right before you put the dough in the oven.

Preferably bake the bread on a preheated stone, otherwise use a lightly floured baking sheet. Let bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown (please note because this comes out so thick you need to watch it carefully so you don't end up with more dough than bread (as I have on a couple of occasions). Let cool slightly and serve with Nutella, honey butter, or other succulent treat.

I wish I could have been more accurate with my measurements, but I learned this when I was 19 and haven't given thought to measurements since. Once you make it you'll know exactly what you need to modify.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Amazing Beans--healthy, easy, yummy

I thought I'd post a quick, easy and inexpensive recipe for a side dish of beans. There are so many health benefits from beans. I've only made this recipe with black beans but I imagine any type of bean would work. Eat up...lots of antioxidants, fiber and low in fat.

Amazing Beans

1 can black beans, drained, rinsed (or whatever beans you prefer)

Juice of 1 lemon
Drizzle of olive oil
Chopped fresh parsley and cilantro (optional)
Fresh ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Combine all ingredients and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Heat before serving. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tomatillo Chicken Tacos

So, one would think that there would be AMAZING Mexican food in the EP. And there is, but it is hard to find between the thousands of truly tasteless fast food rip-offs. So, in my quest to never leave the house, I opened my Rick Bayless book and tried the following, and it was FREAKING AWESOME.

Essential Simmered Tomatillo-Serrano Sauce (makes 1 1/4 C, but you might want to septuple it because it is delicious on EVERYTHING.)
8 oz (5-6 med) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
Fresh serrano chiles (2 is slightly more than Jooj can handle, but if you have no toddlers, hit 3), stemmed
1 1/2 T oil
1/2 med white onion, roughly chopped (I don't like white, so I used yellow. White is the preferred in Mexico, so do what you want with that information.)
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 C chicken broth
3 T cilantro, roughly chopped
salt to taste

1. Turn on your broiler. It is under your stove.
2. Roast the tomatillos and chiles on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blackened and soft on one side (about 5 min) and then turn them over and roast on the other side. They will get messy and ugly.
3. Transfer (including ALL THE JUICE) to your blender.
4. Heat 1 T oil in large skillet over med. Sautee onion and garlic until golden. (Add garlic at very end, it only takes a minute). Add to blender. Puree medium coarse.
5. Heat the remaning 1/2 T oil in skillet over med-high. Add puree all at once and stir for about 5 min, until noticeable darker and thick. Stir in broth and cover, simmering for about 10 min. Stir in cilantro and salt.

For the rest of the dish you need:
12 corn tortillas
2 C greens (Any kind you want. Don't feel the need to get all fruity on us.)
1 1/3 C cooked, shredded chicken (about 2 breasts)
1/2-3/4 C Asadero or queso fresco cheese. (In the dairy. It is there. It is Mexican. Just look. If it is not there, you could use something like a romano combined with a smelly goat cheese, but it won't translate as well.)

1. Put your veggie steamer in a pot with about 1/2 of water and set it to boil. Wrap the tortillas ina heavy towel and let them steam in the steamer for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, and leave them in there with the lid closed for 15 minutes.
2. Bring the sauce to a boil and add the greens. Return to boil. Stir in chicken and simmer until greens are done. (less than 5 minutes.)

3. Make tacos out of it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sneaky "health" food

I felt so sneaky and "mom-like" after making this Crunchy mac and cheese recipe the other night!! The puree's were awesome!!!! I couldn't even detect them with my supersensitive, picky-pregnant-lady tastebuds. We did 1/4 cup orange and 1/4 cup white mixed in. Also, didn't feel like buying cereal just for this recipe so I just used a little over a cup of flaked wheat (love my Grain Mill!!!!) and added about twice the amount of parmesan. We'll definitely be adding this to our dinner rotation and I can't wait to try out the other recipes (got two tupperware's full of puree ready to go!) and puree's!

Speaking of crockpot chicken....


This is one of my fave's-especially since I always have fresh ginger on hand after following La Yen's advice to stick a root in the freezer! (I FINALLY got around to remembering to buy it!!)

2 T. jam* (heaping!!!)
3 T low-sodium soy sauce (or whateve's)
2 T. water
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast

Combine the jam, soy sauce, water and ginger in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Add the chicken and toss so that is is covered with sauce. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 350.

(For added flavor let the chicken marinate in the sauce-covered in the fridge- for 2-3 hours before cooking.)

Slow-cooker options: Place everything in the pot and cook on low for 4 hours (or longer if you want delicious-fall-apart-juicy chicken) If you don't have time to defrost before throwing in the crockpot, omit the water and be extra, extra generous with the jam.

*Most any jam can be used and will taste good. Our fave so far was a Von's brand apricot/pineapple jam. Marmalade and seedless berry jams also work well. Jelly does not work as well as jam due to its thinner consistency.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Crockpot Chicken

I make this when I don't have a lot of time or when I just can't think of anything else. The kids like it just as much as we do, which doesn't happen very often. It's super easy.

4 frozen chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
1 pkg. Lipton onion soup mix

Place frozen chicken breasts in crockpot. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. Cook for 4-6 hours on low.

Serve chicken and sauce over rice. We like it with a side of steamed broccoli. Yum!

Also, if you haven't tried crockpot liners, please do! You'll use your crockpot a lot more--I promise.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mango Salsa - Salad... whatever

Did this the other night... over Tilapia... but then ate some of it as a salad the next day.

1 large mango cubed
1/2 red bell pepper diced
1/2 or 1 avocado diced
1/2 a lime (just the fresh squeezed juice)
1/2 or 1 lemon (just the fresh squeezed juice)
canned cut corn (1/2 can or whatever you prefer)

mix - chill and serve.

I love it because it's fresh, zesty and matches are summer weather in March.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Carbonara--your favorite easy supper

Take a package of bacon (if you can get pancetta and you want to spend the big dough, go for it) and cut it into bite-size pieces. Fry it up in some olive oil.
Put a pot of pasta on to boil--I like to use Rotini, but anything you have will work.
Add a bunch of minced garlic, basil, and red pepper-flakes to the bacon.
In a separate little bowl beat two egg yolks. When the pasta is done, add a ladle-full of the pasta water into the egg yolks. Pour the whole eggy bowl into the cooked bacon pan, and add the drained pasta. Toss it vigorously so that the eggs don't turn scrambled. Pour on a ton of good Parmesan and toss. Salt and Pepper it to taste.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Chocolate Cherry Bars

I made these for my book club the other night and everyone asked for the recipe. So I thought I'd share them here too.

Chocolate Cherry Bars

1 cup butter
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup flour, divided
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped maraschino cherries, drained

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Generously grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
2. Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat; stir in cocoa until smooth. Remove from heat. Add sugar, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups flour and almonds; mix well. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 1 egg, remaining 1/3 cup flour; sweetened condensed milk and almond extract. Pour over baked layer; sprinkle chocolate chips and cherries over top. Return to oven.
4. Bake additional 20 to 25 minutes or until set and edges are golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate until cold, 6 hours or overnight. Cut into bars. Cover; refrigerate leftover bars.

Makes about 48 bars.