Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Curried Lentil Soup

Curried Lentil Soup

(I completely forgot the butter and greens onions. Also, I was short on curry powder and had doubled the recipe so I subbed in some yellow curry paste but forgot to factor in the paste's added salt which meant my soup was too salty which meant I was adding more water, pureeing more garbanzo beans, and finally adding more lentils. So, what you tasted was not quite the original, but that could be all the more reason to try the real thing... )


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) curry powder
    Curry powders vary in flavor and heat; begin with two tablespoons and add more according to your taste.
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 4 1/4 cups (or more) water, divided
  • 1 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
  • Ingredient Info

    French green lentils are small, dark green, and speckled with black; they can be found at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add half of chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add 2 tablespoons curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lentils and 4 cups water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, puree chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in processor.
  • Add chickpea puree and butter to lentil soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. DO AHEAD Soup can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Rewarm before continuing.
  • Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions and serve with lemon wedges.
December 2010

6 servings
  • PREP: 35 minutes
  • TOTAL: 1 hour

  • Nutritional Information

    One serving contains:
    Calories (kcal) 289.2
    %Calories from Fat 37.9
    Fat (g) 12.2
    Saturated Fat (g) 3.4
    Cholesterol (mg) 10.0
    Carbohydrates (g) 35.6
    Dietary Fiber (g) 9.0
    Total Sugars (g) 3.5
    Net Carbs (g) 26.5
    Protein (g) 11.1
    Sodium (mg) 30.4

Monday, May 25, 2009

Buttermilk Pie

This is my friend's recipe for buttermilk pie and I think it is the best I have had. It makes two pies or one deep-dish pie.

Prepare 2 pie crusts.

Beat together:

4 eggs
2 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. melted butter
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. vanilla

3 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. soda

Pour into unbaked pie crusts. Bake at 400 for 10 min. then 325 for 50 min.

Top with berries of choice (fresh, or frozen are really good when slightly
mashed and warmed and sweetened with a little sugar), and add whipped cream.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The BEST Guacamole...

Matt and I tried this guacamole at Dos Caminos, a restaurant in Las Vegas.  It was sooooooo good that I asked my waiter for the recipe, and he gave it to me.  It is so fresh and so yummy, you will probably want to make it all summer long...it's that good.  Enjoy!!

2 Tbsp Cilantro Leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tsp jalapeno peppers, minced
2 large ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
2 Tbsp Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice (bottled is just fine)
Kosher or Course Salt to taste

Place the cilantro, onion, and jalapeno in a medium sized bowl and mash it with the back of a spoon.  Add avocado, tomato and lime juice and mash all ingredients together, don't mash the avocado too much, I think it tastes yummy with some avocado chunks in it.  Adjust seasoning as necessary.  (When I make it, to be honest, I just throw all the ingredients together and mix it all up, I don't think the two steps are necessary).

You can add more jalapeno if you want it a bit spicier, and I add about twice as much tomatoes because I love tomatoes.  I usually add just a little bit more cilantro too, it makes it taste so fresh.  YUM!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Is anybody checking this? I have a friend who wanted a recipe and wasn't sure if I should post it here or just give her a copy.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pomodori Al Forno

image and recipe via bon appetit

I found myself dipping bread into the oil while the tomatoes cooked, and no tomatoes made it through the full standing time, but I did make the mistake of halving the recipe! This is amazing. Anni I devoured it.

*err on the side of extra spice and seasoning!


  • 1 cups (or more) olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded. (Canned or fresh, depending on the season and convenience. Canned works beautifully.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (I used fresh and doubled this)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley
  • Aged goat cheese (such as BĂ»cheron)
  • 1 baguette, thinly sliced crosswise, toasted


  • Preheat oven to 250°F. Pour 1/2 cup oil into 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange tomatoes in dish, cut side up. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup oil. Sprinkle with oregano, sugar, and salt. Bake 1 hour. Using tongs, turn tomatoes over. Bake 1 hour longer. Turn tomatoes over again. Bake until deep red and very tender, transferring tomatoes to plate when soft (time will vary, depending on ripeness of tomatoes), about 15 to 45 minutes longer.
  • Layer tomatoes in medium bowl, sprinkling garlic and parsley over each layer; reserve oil in baking dish. Drizzle tomatoes with reserved oil, adding more if necessary to cover. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours. DO AHEAD Cover; chill up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Serve with aged goat cheese and toasted baguette slices.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Peach and Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake

I tried this recipe from Martha Stewart and it turned out great. I used frozen peaches because it is what I had, and skipped the lavender. It tasted a lot like peach cobbler.


  • 5 1/2 ounces (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 medium ripe peaches (about 1 1/4 pounds), skins on, pitted, and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal or polenta
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh lavender, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried lavender
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, using a pastry brush to coat sides with butter as it melts. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar evenly over bottom of skillet, and cook until sugar starts to bubble and turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Arrange peaches in a circle at edge of skillet, on top of sugar. Arrange the remaining wedges in the center to fill. Reduce heat to low, and cook until juices are bubbling and peaches begin to soften, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, lavender, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat remaining stick of butter and 3/4 cup sugar with a mixer on high speed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl. Mix in vanilla and cream. Reduce speed to low, and beat in cornmeal mixture in 2 additions.
  3. Drop large spoonfuls of batter over peaches, and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer skillet to a wire rack, and let stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife or spatula around edge of cake. Quickly invert cake onto a cutting board. Tap bottom of skillet to release peaches, and carefully remove skillet. Reposition peach slices on top of cake. Let cool slightly before serving.
recipe and image via Martha Stewart

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Pita Sandwich

This is an old favorite that is going to turn into a summer regular at our place. The picture looks kind of unappetizing (the beets turn things pink) but it is excellent! The kids needed a bit of encouragement to start, then Max ate his entire pita.

Veggie + More Pitas


Cheese and meat of choice, chopped or shredded. (I used some deli turkey and leftover shredded chicken + Havarti in the pita pictured.)

The fun part: Veggies! This is a great way to use up fresh raw produce without feeling like you are eating loads of raw vegetables. For the pictured pita I grated 2 beets, 1 carrot, and 1 zucchini and then chopped up some lettuce and avocado into small pieces to make it more palatable for the kids. I might have added something else and forgotten, but you could throw in any other veggie, sprout, or seed and it would be delicious. Grating the fresh veggies really makes it easy to enjoy a lot; you actually don't realize what you are eating which is super helpful with kids.

Toss with dressing of choice. You don't need that much so taste as you add and mix (Ranch or Italian work perfectly, even combined.)

Stuff filling in pita bread (I like the smaller wheat ones) with extra lettuce for adults or cheese for kids. I put dressing on the side as dip for the kids to make it funner.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cherry Bars

No picture - yep, that's right - because we all know my photography skills are lacking, but you'll have to take my word for it that these are good even though they sound somewhat questionable. Essentially, these are blondies with maraschino cherries - and really quite luscious.

2 c. Brown Sugar
1 square Butter or Margarine
2 Eggs
2 c. Flour
2 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. Salt
1 t. Vanilla
3/4 c. Chopped Nuts (opt.)
1 c. Maraschino Cherries (well-drained and cut in half)
1 c. Coconut (opt.)

Mix sugar, butter & eggs. Add all other ingredients except cherries. Mix, then add cherries and mix very little.

Spread in greased 9 x 13 pan and bake for 30 min. at 350.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Mom's Sugar Cookies

I think some of you have this, but a friend requested it so I thought I would post it here. These are our absolute favorite sugar cookies!

Cream together:
1 1/2 c. butter (I usually beat this first)
1 1/2 c. sugar

Beat till light and fluffy

2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla

Beat till very light and fluffy then add 2 tbsp. milk or cream

Sift together and add:
4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Chill dough at least 1 hour

Roll out and cut out. Do not roll them too thin or they will be crispy

Bake at 375 degrees, roughly 8-10 minutes

UNDER COOK SLIGHTLY!! If the edges start to brown take them out and get them on a cooling rack!


Cream together:
Roughly 1/2-3/4 cup salted butter
1/2 cube (4 oz) cream cheese

Beat in powdered sugar till it is sweet enough
Then add 1 tsp or so of vanilla and milk or cream till the consistency is spreadable

Frost and Enjoy!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Rolo Turtle Pretzels

Image and recipe via Hostess with the Mostess

I've seen this done with varying kinds of Hershey kisses with m&m's smooshed on top (the white striped mint ones are delicious with this!), but this is a new combo for me. You could probably come up with all sorts of combinations for this.


Rolo chocolate candies
Mini pretzels
Nuts - toasted pecans/almonds/hazelnuts/walnuts


Preheat your oven to 350

1. Upwrap your Rolos. Place pretzels on baking sheet. Top with a Rolo.

2. Bake in oven for 3-5 minutes, until the chocolate just begins to melt. The Rolo should be soft but not completely melted.

3. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and immediately squish the chocolate with a nut.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Whole Wheat Waffles

These are the best and lightest whole wheat waffles you will ever have. I think they are better than most white flour waffles. This is kind of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" recipe, and any way will be delicious! I usually halve the recipe for the four of us. Also, if you like the convenience of a mix you can combine all the dry ingredients in a bag and just add the wet stuff later.

We had blueberries in ours this morning. That is what the dark spots in the picture are.


2 C. Whole Wheat flour
1/4 C. Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder


1/4 C melted butter or oil (I use butter)

3 Egg whites or 2 eggs (I use one whole egg with the half recipe and 2 whole eggs with the whole recipe. I figure my kids still need all the good stuff. You can separate the eggs and beat and fold in the whites at the end for extra good texture. It is good either way.)

Add Buttermilk till the consistency is right. With our waffle iron, these cook better if the batter is thicker. You'll figure it to after you make them a few times, or taste each waffle as you cook and adjust.

Stir completely without over stirring. Consistency should be not thick and not runny. The half recipe usually makes just under four cups of batter for me.

--Small frozen blueberries are a great addition, but we usually eat them plain. I have also started adding flax seed meal and wheat germ with the flour, probably about 1/3 cup or so for a half batch. The waffles are still light and delicious, but I would suggest making them plain first to get a feel for the batter.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Here is the Salsa recipe that I have been meaning to email a couple of you. Sorry it took so long. It is so easy. Just be prepared to receive this every Christmas even if you start to make it yourself! If you have any questions let me know!

1 #10 (about 102 oz.)can stewed tomatoes

1 7 3/4 oz. can El Pato sauce (yellow can)- found in the hispanic section of grocer

1 4 oz can diced green chilies

5 bunches of fresh chopped green onions

1 bunch of cilantro- chopped

Sprinkle garlic salt and cracked pepper over the top, to taste.

I put all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Then pour the garlic salt and pepper over the top, just enough to create a layer on top. Then I blend about 3 cups at a time to get a good consistency.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Butternut Squash Risotto

I got this recipe straight from Cook's Illustrated's website and it is wonderful! You can leave the spinach out if you want, and dried herbs work fine, just halve the amount.

Yes, the food "styling" is a little cheesy, but Trev and I had been discussing all the things you could do with the risotto (we are weird like that), especially when it was leftover for the next day, and I decided to have fun.

Infusing the chicken broth with the squash's seeds and fibers helps to reinforce the earthy squash flavor. We found that a 2-pound squash consistently yields a cup or so more than the 3 1/2 cups in step 1; this can be added to the skillet along with the squash scrapings in step 2. To make this dish vegetarian, vegetable broth can be used instead of chicken broth, but the resulting risotto will have more pronounced sweetness.


2 tablespoons olive oil , plus 1 teaspoon
1 butternut squash (medium, about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded (fibers and seeds reserved), and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
3/4 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 ounces baby spinach
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small onions , chopped very fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
2 cups Arborio rice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 cup pine nuts , toasted in small, dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add about 3 1/2 cups squash in even layer and cook without stirring until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer squash to bowl and set aside.2. Return skillet to medium heat; add reserved squash fibers and seeds and any leftover diced squash. Cook, stirring frequently to break up fibers, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to large saucepan and add chicken broth and water; cover saucepan and bring mixture to simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain bare simmer.3. While broth mixture is simmering, add 1 teaspoon olive oil to now-empty skillet and swirl to coat. Add 4 ounces baby spinach and cook, covered, over medium heat, until leaves begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring constantly, until fully wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer spinach to mesh strainer; set aside. 4. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat; when foaming subsides, add onions, garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around edges, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until fully absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. 5. Meanwhile, strain hot broth through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Return strained broth to saucepan and discard solids in strainer; cover saucepan and set over low heat to keep broth hot. 6. When wine is fully absorbed, add 3 cups hot broth and half of reserved squash to rice. Simmer, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and bottom of pan is almost dry, about 12 minutes.7. Stir in about 1/2 cup hot broth and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 3 minutes; repeat with additional broth 2 or 3 more times, until rice is al dente. Off heat, stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, Parmesan, sage, and nutmeg; drain excess liquid from spinach and gently fold in spinach and remaining cooked squash. If desired, add up to 1/4 cup additional hot broth to loosen texture of risotto. Top individual servings of risotto with toasted pine nuts; serve immediately.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Caramel Walnut Cookies

My Grandma has made these round cookies every Thanksgiving as long as I remember. They are absolutely wonderful, but kind of a pain simply because of the time involved. You can break it into two stages to make it easier: Roll and bake cookies and nougat one night, dip in caramel and nuts the next day.


1/3 c evaporated milk
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c chopped walnuts

Boil till thickened and let cool. (Don't let it get too thick)


1/2 c butter
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c powdered sugar (I use half granulated sugar for a softer cookie, but it flattens them a bit.)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c flour

Cream butter and sugar till light, then add egg and vanilla till mixed. Combine with dry ingredients.

Roll dough into a ball roughly the size of a large walnut. Make an indent with your thumb, and fill with roughly 1/2tsp (Whatever fits!) of the nougat filling. Seal the ball, and start another one . . . Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 min.

Walnuts: Chop up 2 or so cups of walnuts while the caramel is boiling.

Caramel: (This makes enough caramel for a double batch, so you can halve it, but you'll need to be careful not to run out. Another solution is just to double the cookies and nougat!)

2 c sugar
3/4 c light corn syrup
1 c evaporated milk
1/2 c butter

Bring to a boil without stirring, then add 3/4 c more evaporated milk or cream. Boil till the caramel starts to darken and reaches soft ball stage.

Working quickly, poke a toothpick in the top of a cookie, dip and roll in the caramel, then roll the bottom of the cookie in the chopped walnuts. Take the toothpick out, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. We usually cut the cookie into quarters or more, but you can grab one and eat it whole. Cutting the cookies makes them last longer.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Andes Cookies

These cookies are so awesome!!! I got them from my sister-in-law. The crushed candy canes add a festive flare.
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. butter, softened
2 lg. eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. water
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. Andes mints
Preheat oven to 375. Mix dry ingredients. Beat sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and water together. Add dry ingredients. Chill dough overnight (or until cold) (I rolled the dough and put them in freezer for a bit after chilling in fridge for 5 hours). Wrap dough around a mint until covered. Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookies sheet. Bake 7-9 mins or until golden brown. Right after taking out of oven sprinkle with crushed peppermint. Cool

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Oreo Truffles

Oreo Truffles

1pkg. Oreo cookies

1 8oz. cream cheese

2 large milk chocolate Symphony bars


crushed candy canes

white chocolate

mint Oreos or mint flavoring


Use food processor or blender to finely crush Oreos. Mix in softened block of cream cheese. Roll Oreo mixture into balls and place in freezer for at least 1hr. Melt chocolate and use toothpicks to dip Oreo balls into chocolate.


Sprinkle with crushed candy cane while chocolate is still warm.

Drizzle with white chocolate.

Use mint Oreos or mint flavoring.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cranberry Raspberry Relish

I got this recipe from Ben's Aunt, it is so yummy. I usually don't like cranberry sauce but I love this. I make it every year for Thanksgiving.

1 lb. fresh cranberries, finely chopped

2 tart green apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped

1 cup sugar

½ cup orange marmalade

10 oz. package frozen strawberries, thawed and drained

1 tsp. lemon juice or to taste

I chop the cranberries and green apples with a food processor it makes things much easier. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. May be refrigerated, covered, for 1 month. Spoon relish into serving bowl. Makes 6 cups; serves 12.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Shepherd's Bowl

This is not actually a picture of the Shepherd's Bowl, because I forgot to take one, and besides everyone made fun of my last visual contribution so I refuse to conform. :)

But this is such a good appetizer dish in the fall/winter time and Ashley and Lisa can vouch for its tastiness despite my complete inability to "cook."

1 loaf Shepherd's bowl (preorder from grocery bakery - or can use 2 soup bread bowls)
2 c or 1/2 lb. grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 c. Sour Cream
5 oz. (2 c.) diced Ham
1/2 c. Green Onions
1 (4 oz.) can Diced Green Chiles
1 t. Worchestershire Sauce

Slice off top of bread and hollow out bowl. Put mixture inside and wrap bowl with 3 layers of tinfoil. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 1 hr. 10 min. Serve with bread cubes (from hollow part of bowl - cut up, top with butter and put under broiler), wheat thins, Ritz crackers or veggies.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Broccoli Chicken Cheese Soup

My friend Jaclyn gave me this recipe. Just in time for winter soup season!!

Serves ten to twelve

3 cups water with 1 chicken bullion
5 skinless chicken breasts
3 large carrots (diced)
3 stalks celery (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 quart whole milk
1 1/2 lb. fresh broccoli (pre-cooked and drained and chopped)
15 oz. Cheese Whiz

Boil chicken in water with bullion, carrots, celery, and onion for one hour. Remove chicken and vegetables. Save 2 cups of broth. Set chicken aside to cool and cut into pieces to be added later. In a large pot,melt butter and stir in flour. Slowly add milk and 2 cups saved broth. Add vegetables, chicken, and precooked broccoli. Heat all together and then add cheese whiz. Salt and pepper to taste.

{image via gettyimages}

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie

This is the first time I haven't used my own picture! The dish was so good I just wanted to share it quickly. This is a delicious guilt-free version of chicken pot pie, and it is pretty easy to make. It is out of the Oct. issue of Everyday Food. I made it as a last minute thing and only had boneless, skinless chicken breasts, so I compensated for flavor by adding 2 or 3 chicken bullion cubes with the milk. I happened to have phyllo dough, but we didn't think it was needed for flavor, just for aesthetics.

  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (12 to 14 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 phyllo sheets (each 12 by 17 inches), thawed
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly; discard skin and bones. Shred meat, and set aside.
  2. While chicken is roasting, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add carrots, onion, and thyme; season with salt and pepper, and cook until carrots are crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens.
  3. Remove from heat; stir in peas, lemon juice, and chicken, and season with salt and pepper. Pour filling into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
  4. Stack phyllo on a work surface. Using a paring knife, cut out an 11-inch circle from the stack; discard trimmings. Stack 2 circles on work surface, and brush gently with 1 teaspoon oil; repeat with remaining circles and oil. Place phyllo stack over filling, and press down about 1/2 inch from the edge so phyllo fits inside rim of pie plate. Bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Let potpie cool 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pumpkin Oatmeal Waffles

I love holiday/fall spices, and sometimes find myself craving pumpkin pie in June. These waffles are the perfect fix. We like them with whipped cream and caramelized pecans. You could easily make these with just wheat flour, maybe just add a little more liquid to the batter.

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups (14 1/4 oz) canned pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 tbsp/3/4 stick butter, melted
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk

In large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir in pumpkin, brown sugar, butter, and egg yolks. Add buttermilk and mix until blended. In separate bowl, beat egg whites till stiff. Fold the whites into the batter. Bake in preheated waffle iron. They take a little longer to cook than most waffles.

I like to make a quick and easy version of caramelized pecans for these waffles. Place however many pecan pieces you want into a small saute pan, sprinkle with enough sugar to lightly coat pecans when melted (1/2 tbsp or so), turn the heat on low, and toss or stir till the sugar is melted and the pecans are toasted, This happens quickly, keep the nuts and sugar moving!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Butternut Squash Bisque

This is one of my favorite dishes for fall and goes great with rolls and salad on the side. Fortunately it's very healthy if you don't add the heavy cream (which, of course, I always do add). It's become a tradition in our house and I hope you love it in yours!

Butternut Squash Bisque

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 cup diced carrots
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (I use chicken broth)
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • ground nutmeg to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
  1. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion in the butter and oil until tender.
  2. Mix the carrots and squash into the pot. Pour in vegetable stock, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender.
  3. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup mixture until smooth. Return to the pot, and stir in the heavy cream. Heat through, but do not boil. Serve warm with a dash of nutmeg.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Best Salad Dressing

The best salad dressing I have ever had is from The French Poodle Restaurant in Carmel, CA. There phone number is 831.624.8643, and they will ship it to you! The vinaigrette comes in a wine bottle, and costs $11 a bottle before shipping. Shipping brings the price closer to $13-$18, but it is worth every single penny. The dressing keeps well and makes a lot of salads. This also makes a fantastic gift when you need to give something unique and special, but don't want to spend too much.

My favorite salad with this dressing is julienned/matchstick carrots, pine nuts, and red leaf or baby romaine lettuce and spinach. We are so addicted to this dressing that I order 6 bottles at a time, because I also use it as a dip for carrots! 6 bottles lasts us a year and a half, but most people would probably be fine with 2 or 3.

The dressing separates, so I like to pour some into a smaller container and refill it as needed. This makes shaking much easier.

This is just too good not to share, I hope someone tries and enjoys it!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Easy Pita Pizzas

I posted this on My 90 Day Plan, but thought I would post it here too.

I made these for lunch the other day and they were delicious!! I made mine veggie, but you could easily do it with the toppings of your choice, pepporoni, cheese, BBQ chicken (just substitute BBQ sauce for tomato sauce), the sky is the limit with these.

1 whole wheat Pita
2 TBS tomato sauce
1/3 cup grated cheese (divided)
Toppings of choice

Spread the tomato sauce over the pita and sprinkle half of the cheese over the sauce. Place toppings of choice, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and pop in the oven until heated (5-10 minutes). I actualy put mine in the microwave and it tasted great, but I'm sure the oven would make it a little more crispy. For the veggie pizza pictured above, I layered spinach, tomato slices, green peppers and onions. YUM!! (and for any of you counting calories, it was only about 320 calories!)

I'd love to hear about some of the creations you might have.

Easy Homemade French Fries

Please excuse any cheesy wording - I wrote this for tutus and turtles, but figured I might as well post it here too!

It's not much a recipe, but we love these, and they are really easy.

Most kids love French fries, and you can easily make a healthier version at home. One twist we love is using sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. You can use both for a colorful combination or to help introduce the new look. Place a large baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Slice a few potatoes and/or sweet potatoes into long fry-shapes and place in a bowl. Toss with approx. 1/2 -1 tsp. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt or seasoned salt for a little kick. When the oven is heated, pull the baking sheet out, spray with a non-stick cooking spray and spread potatoes onto baking tray (Careful, it's hot!). Bake for approx. 45 minutes (This is based on whether you like your fries soft or crispy), flipping fries with a spatula a few times to prevent over-browning in spots. Taste and toss with a little more salt if needed. Serve with your favorite dip!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Abelskivers (Danish Pancakes)

I just posted about these on my blog, but I figured I'd share the recipe. I am in love with them!!

You will need an abelskiver pan to cook them--I recommend going with a cast iron pan. Target sells one for $14.99.

What you'll need:

4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
4 cups buttermilk
6 eggs, separated (you'll just need the whites)
2 tsp. vanilla
6 tbsp. melted butter

Sift together dry ingredients. Beat egg whites until stiff, then add vanilla, milk & butter. Add dry ingredients.

Oil each well of an abelskiver pan. Pour in batter, filling wells almost level. Cook on stove over medium heat. You'll have to turn them, just like you would flip a pancake. It's a little tricky to get them into the proper shape the first time, but you'll get the hang of it I promise!

Serve hot with your choice of syrup, fruit & whipped cream, or butter & powdered sugar.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Upside-Down Apple Pie

We love this. It gives your apple pie a subtle, caramel-nut topping and it is delicious.

9 inch double pie crust, well-chilled

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup pecan halves or pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch salt

approx.5 large tart apples, peeled ,cored and sliced to equal about 6 cups
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tlbs. flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt

Prepare pie crust, and let chill while preparing the following:
Prepare apples, toss with lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. You can make this spicier if you want.

Spread butter evenly on bottom and sides of 9 inch pie tin. I think metal works better than glass with this pie. Press nuts, rounded side down, into butter on bottom of plate, or scatter pieces on butter. You can do this as fancy or as simply as you want. Pat the brown sugar evenly over nuts. Sprinkle with salt. Roll out pie crust. Place bottom crust in pie tin on top of brown sugar, add apples, place top crust, and make slits pie plate over sugar.

Bake on middle rack at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then move to the bottom rack for approx. 25-30 more minutes, tenting pie with foil to prevent over-browning, if necessary. Do not over bake or your apples will be mushy. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Place serving plate on top of pie and invert. Carefully remove pie tin. If you discover that your caramel is still a little grainy, invert it back into pie tin and bake on bottom rack a little longer. I've had to do this, the pie still turns out delicious. You might have to experiment with time and placement with your oven.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Speedy Chicken Stir-Fry

8 oz. angel hair pasta (capellini, uncooked)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. each ground ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 minutes of the pasta cooking time.

Meanwhile, spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 8 min. or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook 1 min., stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta mixture; place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture; mix lightly. Spoon evenly into 4 serving bowls; sprinkle with peanuts.

Makes 4 servings, 2 cups each

* This dish is super easy and delicious! It is also very spicy, so you can omit the crushed red pepper if you don't like spicy foods. ( I copied this picture from the kraft foods website, I don't have Holly's mad photography skills:)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Chicken Tikka Masala

I just copied and pasted this recipe directly from the wonderful Cook's Illustrated. The chicken turned out delicious, even though my picture isn't too appetizing. I wound up making the chicken and sauce the night before and kept them separate in the fridge, combining and reheating just before we ate. We felt like we were eating at Bombay House, it was so good - Thank you CI!

This dish is best when prepared with whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt can be substituted. For a spicier dish, do not remove the ribs and seeds from the chile. If you prefer, substitute 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper for the garam masala. The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and gently reheated before adding the hot chicken. Serve with basmati rice.

Chicken Tikka
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon table salt
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (see note above)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Masala Sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh serrano chile , ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note above)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala (see note above)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.2. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Spinach Smoothie

I got this picture and recipe from my friend Becky. I was skeptical at first, but she made me one and they're actually good and very healthy, as spinach is a superfood! I thought this was a great way to get Olivia to eat her vegies too.

1 C. orange juice

2 C. fresh spinach (not the frozen kind)

1 C. fresh kale (cut out the thick center stem)

Blend until smooth, and runny, and nasty green.

Then add:1/2 a banana

1/4 C. frozen raspberries

1/4 C. frozen blueberries

Blend again and then add ICE while blending!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Freezing Bananas

We made Andrea's Banana cookies on a whim today and it made me grateful for the following thing we do. We love banana bread, but hate to wait for a bunch of bananas to turn brown. To solve this I peel and freeze any extra-ripe bananas that aren't being eaten. Sometimes I intentionally buy too many to add to our freezer supply. Then, whenever we want to make any banana baked goods we just defrost what we need. Everything we make actually turns out extra good and extra moist.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Zuchini and Corn

This is one of my favorite dishes this summer. It is quick and easy, I usually prep as I saute. It is a very good way to use up excessive amounts of zucchini without groaning, I actually look forward to making this. It is one of those "throw in a little of this and a little of that" recipes, no strict guidelines. I've only made this with fresh ingredients because I have easy access to all of it. I'm sure it would still be good with dried herbs, just add them earlier.

2 zucchini (smaller taste better), sliced thin. If it is a larger zucchini, cut in half before slicing
3 ears corn, kernels cut off
1 tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
oregano and thyme (fresh), minced. Roughly a tablespoon of each
olive oil

Pour 2 tsp of olive oil into large saute pan and heat. When warm, add zucchini and some salt. A minute or so later add 2/3 of the corn. After a couple of minutes add 1/2 of the garlic, half of the herbs, and the tomato and toss together. When all the veggies look cooked add remaining corn, garlic, and herbs. Salt to taste.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

chicken teriyaki skewers

Ben's mom gave me this recipe and I love it! I believe that she got it from someone in their ward so I am sure that Mary already has this but I hope the rest of you enjoy it!

Mix: 1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Canola oil
1/4 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 minced garlic gloves

Marinade chicken tenders over night.

Soak skewers for 20 minutes in water before grilling. Thread chicken onto skewers. Grill chicken about 3-5 minutes on each side (medium to high heat).
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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Orange Rolls

Orange Rolls
If you want some seriously sweet orange rolls, you need to try this recipe.
It's very easy and, I must say, better than any other orange roll I've tried.
12 Rhodes Dinner Rolls,
thawed but still cold (for abt an hr.)
1 orange rind, grated
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
citrus glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. butter, melted
3 tbsps. orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix grated orange rind with sugar. Roll each roll into a 9-inch rope. Tie in a loose knot. Roll each knot in melted butter and then in rind/sugar mixture. Place on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray and let rise until double in size (usually abt 1 1/2 to 2 hrs). Remove wrap. Bake @ 350 for 15-20 minutes (varies with oven, I only cook them for 10 mins). Remove from baking sheet and place on cooling rack. Brush with citrus glaze while still warm.

And enjoy!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pasta Fresca "House" Tomato Sauce

2 T olive oil
1 small yellow onion, julienne
1/4 t salt
1/2 t sugar
2 T fresh oregano, chopped
2 T fresh garlic, minced
1 can 29 oz. whole tomatoes drained and pureed (if you are using fresh tomatoes...blanch, peel, de-seed, and puree them)
1/4 t black pepper
2 T fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup white wine

Satue onions with olive oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes until soft. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, wine, basil, and oregano. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


We made these cookies for Anna's birthday party and a couple of people have asked for the recipe so here it is . . .

I love this sugar cookie recipe. It is so yummy.
Cream: 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, and 4 eggs
Add: 1 tsp. almond extract, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 cup sour cream
Sift : 1 tsp. backing powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, and 5-6 cups flour

Refrigerate overnight
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes

(My dough is still kind of sticky when I put it in the fridge. Then when I take it out of the fridge and roll out the dough with flour it seems like the dough ends up just perfect!)

We made 2 circles: one for the body and then we cut the other one in half for the wings. We frosted one brown and once red. Then we put black m&m's on the red cookie and then put it on top of the brown cookie. We then put a bite size Oreo for the head with licorice string for the antennas.

The kids loved making these. Happy Cookie making!!
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Friday, July 13, 2007

Green Beans, potatoes, and bacon

This isn't much of a recipe, but it is one of my favorite things to eat this time of year. This is a very flexible and forgiving dish as long as you don't overcook it. I use more green beans than potatoes, and much more veggies than bacon. I use turkey bacon so there isn't much bacon grease left. If you use real bacon you might want to pour out some of the grease before adding anything to it. We'll eat this by itself for lunch. The bacon encourages Max to eat lots of green beans!

fresh green beans
new red potatoes
red wine vinegar

Cut potatoes into large bite size pieces and steam.
While potatoes are steaming, cook bacon in large pan. Crisper is better. When the bacon is done, tear into small pieces. Leave leftover bacon grease in pan.
When the potatoes are almost tender throw in the green beans. Steam till potatoes are tender and green beans are cooked, but still crisp.
Heat bacon pan over medium-low heat. Add some vinegar to deglaze pan. Add potatoes and green beans, toss, and salt to taste. Be sure to salt before adding bacon. Add bacon pieces and another splash of vinegar and enjoy.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Black Bean Salsa... Arrrriba

This tasty treat will tantalize your taste buds. It is a light and refreshing treat of summer.
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
1 small bunch cilantro chopped
1 small bunch green onions, finely chopped
3-4 medium tomatoes
2-3 medium avocados
1 pkg. Good Seasonings Italian dressing (mix as directed)
Mix together and serve with tortilla chips.

Lemonade Pie

This is a sweet, succulent, summer treat. Keeping in tradition with my super easy recipes, this one holds true.

You will need:

1 carton vanilla ice cream

1 can frozen pink lemonade

2 graham cracker pie crusts

Directions: Let ice cream and lemonade soften. Combine in large bowl. Pour mixture into pie crusts and refreeze.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Banana Bread Cookies

This recipe is from Ashley's sister-in-law's cookbook that some of us have, but for those of you who don't have it, here you go. The picture is horrible for which I apologize, but these are really tasty, though I recommend doubling the recipe as a single version only makes about 2 dozen, and you'll definitely want more than that.

3/4 c. shortening
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. banana flavoring
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Mix shortening, brown sugar, egg, banana flavoring, and vanilla. Mix in a different bowl flour, salt and soda. Add flour mixture. Rotate bananas into batter, then mix well. Drop onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 8-11 min. (You can also add milk chocolate chips to batter ...which I recommend!)

Frosting (This is what really makes the cookie good!)

6 T. Brown Sugar
4 T. Milk
4 T. Butter
Powdered Sugar

Bring all brown sugar, milk and butter to a boil. Take off heat, and add powdered sugar until frosting consistency (about 1 1/2 - 2 cups).

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tony's Kung Pao Chicken

This is somewhat of a signature dish for my family. My Dad perfected the recipe over the years and it is by far one of our favorite meals. It is more than a meal, it is an experience - If you have had it, you know what I'm talking about! It is very delicious and worth the sweat and tears involved in the chili pepper process. It is not worth leaving them out - the kick is what makes it good, and memorable. Keep in mind that my kids eat the chicken, so it is not that bad. If you are a sauce person I would recommend increasing the sauce by half. You can find the dried peppers in the Mexican aisle of the grocery store and the Szechwan peppercorns at Asian markets. You can buy them whole, then toast and grind enough for a few batches.

The prep work takes a little time, but the stir-frying goes pretty quickly.

Cut 4-5 chicken breasts into 1/2 inch cubes/bite size pieces

marinate one hour with 4-5 Tbsp soy sauce

(For even more tender chicken add an egg-white and 1 tbsp corn starch to the marinate)

grate 1Tbsp fresh garlic

grate 1Tbsp fresh ginger root

Cut 6-12 green onions into 1/2" pieces

Cut 1-2 Yellow onions into fairly large pieces and separate them (~1 inch)

Cut 10-20 dried hot red peppers (chilis japones or chile de arbol) into 2-3 pieces each, while shaking out seeds

1/2 tsp of ground Szechwan peppercorns

1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts (Planters' brand recommended)


5 Tbsp soy sauce

2.5 Tbsp white or rice vinegar

2.5 Tbsp sherry

1 tsp sesame oil

3 Tbsp sugar

dash salt

1 Tbsp corn starch

Mix well

Heat 1-2 Tbsp peanut oil in wok at high flame. (It's tough to use a wok on an electric stove). Add chicken and half of garlic and ginger and stir fry until just cooked through. Take out and set aside.

This next part is where you want to turn on any vents or fans in the kitchen, and possibly open some windows. You might want to remove small children from the room!

Heat 1-2 Tbsp peanut oil in wok at high flame. Add chilies and peppercorns and cook while stirring until peppers are black (~1 minute). Add remaining garlic and ginger, then add chicken. Add peanuts and stir fry 1 minute. Add yellow onions and stir fry 1 minute. Add green onions and stir fry one more minute. Add sauce, let boil, and stir occasionally as the corn starch thickens (~1 -2 minutes).

Serve with steamed rice. To quote my Dad, "Don't eat the chilis with the first bite, but they're great after that!" The jury is still out on that one. . .