Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving Feast

There's frost on the ground, Christmas decorations in the stores (already!) and it's just about time for my favorite holiday! Well, one of them, anyway. Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes! It's very important to me that I can make things in advance so that the day of I can relax. Enjoy!
Black and Green Olive Tapenade - This is unbelievable. It tastes like something you'd find in a restaurant. Very fancy feeling and looking. It can be made up to a week in advance. I think it's best served with plain Pita Chips. Even if you're not an olive person, you might find yourself lost in the perfect blend of spices, savory, and salty for a delicious appetizer!


Williams-Sonoma Wheat Sheaf Bread - I'll post the instructions for this below. It truly is a SHOW STOPPER and is shockingly easy (shhhh...let's keep that a secret). I use my Auntie Pam's roll recipe and use the technique found in my Williams Sonoma Breads recipe book. Recipe and instructions below.

Roasted Winter Squash with Asparagus, Gorgonzola, and Apples - Recipe Below. This is a beautiful dish, lots of color and lots of flavor. I love to bring it to Thanksgiving dinner because it's a different medley of flavors than the typical stuffing/mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes but still tastes harvesty and delicious!

The BEST Sweet Potatoes - This dish is really more of a dessert than a side dish, but hey, it's Thanksgiving! That's also why if you are someone who has never liked Sweet Potatoes in the'll find yourself liking them with this recipe! Recipe Below.

The BEST Mashed Potatoes - These are creamy, delicious, and have just the right balance of flavors to make the most delicious potatoes. I like mine a little thick, but you can add to taste. Did you know that you can make these one day in advance and then heat them on low in the crock pot the day of so you don't humidify your kitchen? Just add a little water or cream once they're warm to get the right consistency.

Of course, we all love turkey! My favorite way to cook they turkey is simply to buy Reynolds oven bags at the grocery store and use their directions. No seasoning, no extra work and it's really fool-proof! I absolutely love the results every time - super moist turkey and very little work! It doesn't get better!

My very own apple pie recipe - this comes from a fusion of a number of my favorite recipes to create what I consider to be one absolutely delicious apple pie! I also love that you can make the crust the day before and freeze it and just have the apples and sour cream to dump in the next day! Recipe below.

Magnolia's Banana Pudding - Such a fun twist on the classic banana cream pie. I love this, and every time I make it people rave. It's so easy and absolutely delicious!

Orange Chocolate Mousse - I don't even like mousse (no really, I don't like it at all), but whenever I make this I can't stop eating it! It's delicious, it's can make it fancy by putting it into little tea cups or wine glasses. It's just a perfect dessert. It's not too sweet, either, which is nice following a Thanksgiving feast.
Happy Eating!

Thanksgiving Recipes Not Found on Internet: My Very Own Apple Pie

2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
Pinch sugar
1 C Crisco/vegetable shortening (if you don't like shortening in your crust, use this recipe instead).
1/2 C cold water (with ice in it - you want it VERY cold)

Cut the shortening into cubes and put it in the refrigerator to chill. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in bowl. using a pastry blender, mix in crisco cubes until shortening is mostly combined and texture is crumbly. Be careful not to over-mix. Add water and use a fork to completely mix together into doughy texture, but still letting shortening marbling be visible. Divide dough in half and shape each into a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out into a circle on a lightly floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. Place one crust on bottom of pie pan.

Apple Portion:
3 tablespoons butter
2 pound apples (Honey Crisp are my favorite) sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 lemon, juiced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sour Cream Portion:
1 C sour cream
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Add the apples and saute for 2 minutes. Add the sugars, lemon juice and flour. Continue to saute for 2 minutes. Season the apples with nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Mix thoroughly and remove from the heat. Cool the mixture. Spoon mixture into pie crust already assembled in pan.

Beat together sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Pour over apple mixture. Top with the remaining crust and crimp edges of crust together. Using a sharp knife, make 3 slits, about 4 inches long and 2 inches apart, across the pie dough. Glaze with egg, if desired. Place the pie in the oven, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit until cooled or just warm.

Option: Warm Caramel Syrup (I think this really takes it to the next level!)

1/4 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C butter
1/4 C heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, butter and cream in a saucepan. Let mixture simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool, and add vanilla. Sauce may be refrigerated and used over again. May be served warm.

Thanksgiving Recipes Not Found on Internet: Orange Chocolate Mousse

4 oz semisweet baking chocolate, chopped in small pieces
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 C orange juice
3 Tbsp of cocoa powder
2 eggs, separated (2 egg whites, 2 yolks)
2 Tbsp cointreau (non-alcoholic substitution is 1/2 tsp of orange extract)
1/3 C whipping cream
1 more egg white
2 Tbsp of sugar
Orange segments and whipped cream to serve

In a microwavable bowl, melt orange juice and butter until boiling. Add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Microwave at 10 second intervals if necessary to melt more. When smooth, stir in cocoa powder. Whisk in egg yolks and cointreau/orange extract. Allow to cool. In a chilled bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Beat all the egg whites in a clean, dry, chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Add the sugar; beat until smooth and glossy. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the eggs whites into the cooled chocolate mixture. Before they are completely incorporated, fold in the whipped cream. Spoon the mixture into individual serving dishes or a large serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve with orange segments and whipped cream.

Thanksgiving Recipes Not Found on Internet: Perfect Mashed Potatoes


10-12 Yukon Gold or 18-20 Baby Red potatoes
Kosher salt
1/4-1/2 cup butter
1/4 to 3/4 cup heavy cream
Fresh chives


Peel, cut and boil potatoes in salted water. As soon as the potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes), drain and return to pot. Add butter, cream, and salt to taste and whip the potatoes until smooth. Chop fresh chives thin and add to the potatoes.

Thanksgiving Recipes Not Found on Internet: Perfect Sweet Potatoes

6 to 8 Cs cooked mashed sweet potatoes
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 C milk
½ C butter
1 C finely chopped pecans
1 C brown sugar
1/3 C flour
1/3 C butter

Beat together all the first stuff, then put in casserole and put topping and bake 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees

Thanksgiving Recipes Not Found on Internet: Roasted Winter Squash with Asparagus, Gorgonzola, and Apples

Serves: 4-6

1 medium butternut squash, or other winter squash (about 1-1/2 pounds), rinsed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch wedges
2-3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
½ lbs asparagus, cut into 1-inch wedges
½ C almonds
½ Gala, Macintosh, or other red crunchy apple, cut into small pieces (almost diced)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 oz gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

While peeling and preparing squash, lightly toast slivered almonds on broiler for 2 minutes – remember to set a timer! Then, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush a roasting pan lightly with some of the butter. In a medium bowl, toss the squash with the remaining butter and season with the salt. Spread out on the pan and roast for about 25 -30 minutes. Meanwhile, steam asparagus until just cooked (should be slightly crunchy still). Transfer the squash to a serving dish, season with pepper to taste and sprinkle with the cheese, apples, asparagus, and almonds while still hot. Serve, enjoy!

Thanksgiving Recipes Not Found on Internet: Wheat Sheaf Bread

Williams Sonoma Wheat Sheaf Bread

The recipe below is my Auntie Pam's, but the techniques are from Williams Sonoma Bread Cookbook.

Makes: 30 Rolls
½ C sugar
½ C oil
2 eggs
2 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 ½ C water
6-7 C flour

Beat sugar and oil together. Add eggs and beat again. Add yeast, salt, and water. Add 3 C flour and beat until smooth. Add flour until it pulls away easily from bowl. Knead for 10 minutes by hand/6-7 minutes with a mixer using a kneading hook. Let rise 35-45 minutes.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and press flat. Divide into thirds and form each portion into a ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Grease and flour a heavy baking sheet (can be used upside down if not large enough).
To Make the Wheat Sheaf Base: Roll out 1 ball of dough into an oval, 12 inches long and 9 inches wide. Cut away a small rectangle 2 by 3 inches at the base of the oval, forming a tall mushroom shape. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
Placing the “stalks”: Cut the second ball of dough in half. Set aside one-half to use for the “tie/braid” and roll out the other half into a rectangle ¼ inch thick. Cut into thin strands and roll them into thin ropes (like you're making worms with playdough). Arrange the dough strands on top like stalks of wheat, pressing gently into the base to secure the stalks.
Cutting the “ears”: Roll out the third ball of dough about ¼ inch thick and cut out 1-inch diamonds. I just cut the whole thing in a grid-like fashion, so you have a lot of squares and then turn them diamond-like. They don't need to be perfect - the bread will rise and hide small mistakes. Arrange the ears in rows starting at the top, overlapping the edges of the base slightly. Press each diamond in gently to ensure they will be secure after rising and baking.
“Tying” the sheaf: Cut the reserved ball of dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 10 inches long and braid tightly. Place the braid across the stalks at the narrowest part of the base. Tuck the ends underneath the base to secure.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until puffy, about 10 minutes.
Brush loaf with egg glaze or spray with cooking spray. Watch closely so as not to over-bake. Bake until well risen and golden brown, 35-45 minutes. Brush with butter. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu 5

Ok, it's been a long, long time. But it's not for lack of cooking, so let the menus begin again!

I've decided to post only the recipes that I think are amazing, not just all the recipes that I've made in the last 2 weeks, so enjoy these highlights of the delicious fall recipes that we've been eating at our house!

The flavors in this recipe shocked me - absolutely packed with flavor and so satisfying. It was absolutely delicious and healthy! It's a pity that farro isn't more popular - I found it easily at Whole Foods and was on my way to a delicious, hearty vegetarian meal.

Vegetable Gratin-Souffle: This recipe (found below) is a Deborah Madison recipe from her famous book, "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone". It's SUCH a wonderful cookbook aimed for the vegetarian or anyone who just wants to add some vegetarian-based cooking to their menus (which I do). The recipes are rounded, delicious, and use a variety of ingredients (rather than leaning on simply bread or pasta) to make wholesome, delicious, vegetarian meals. This recipe was no disappointment - it came out fluffy and delicious! I used celery root, butternut squash, and zucchini. Perfection.
By the way, celery root is the scary-lookin' root vegetable at your local supermarket. Don't let it scare you away, it might be ugly, but it has such a delicious flavor and smell. Just a little sweet and a little zesty at the same time. I love it. Just cut all the outer parts and roots off and you'll have what looks like a potato to dice to your heart's content.
Just can't stop eating or making this, it's so unbelievably good! Last time I threw in a little edamame, just to up the nutrition ante for my son. =)

I make this almost compulsively during the winter months. The sweet, the savory, the textures, it's just DELICIOUS! I think with this particular recipe you could potentially swap in rice if you don't have couscous, and you could also use coconut milk if you don't have cream. Mango chutney is usually found either by the relish and ketchup or in the Asian cooking/Indian cooking aisle at grocery stores. You can also make it yourself, but that is a lot of work! For those with allergies to mangoes (i.e., my mom), you can swap in apricot preserves if necessary, it's still quite delicious.
I go back again and again to this recipe. I do vary it a little from the main recipe - I half the chicken breasts and then take all the other ingredients (except the lemon wedges) and combine them together and roll the chicken breasts around them - as if I were stuffing them. I then take anything left-over and top it all over the chicken and bake it in a covered casserole dish as directed. I also always add in mushrooms and sometimes asparagus, for an easy and nutritious one-pot meal. Then, the juices on the bottom of the casserole from the vegetables can also be used as a sauce over rice with the meal and you already have all your vegetables cooked!
This is my all-time favorite chicken salad. Just thinking about it makes my mouth salivate. With all the grapes around this time of year, I decided to make it and serve it on homemade navajo fry-bread, although crescent rolls are delicious with it as well.

Slow Cooker:
Kailua Pulled Pork
This is a staple comfort food in our house. Recipe found below - so so delicious with some rice and a green veggie!
Classic Beef and Noodles This is from the Rival Crock Pot Recipe Collection. I adore this book, it allows you to be so creative with your crock pot and it frequently calls for fresh (rather than all processed) ingredients, which is a plus in my book! This recipe did not disappoint. We absolutely loved it. Rather than the dry sherry, I just added a little balsamic vinegar and maybe a little water. This was absolutely delicious and so easy!!

My favorite Taco SoupMost taco soups have a lot of ingredients in them. This one is very simple - and I think it's the best one I've ever had! So, so, easy. Recipe below as well. You can substitute any ground meat you like to make it healthier.

Happy Fall!

Menu 5 - Recipes not found on internet

(Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)
Butter for the dish
3 C Vegetables, cut into 1-inch pieces (many different vegetables can be used - including celery root, cauliflower, winter squash, butternut squash, zucchini, turnips, broccoli...)
1/2 C fresh bread crumbs (although I used store-bought ones)
3 Tbls butter
1 C milk
1/2 small onion or 2 large shallots, finely diced
1/2 C grated gruyere (I used Swiss because I'm on a budget)
2 eggs, separated
Salt and pepper
Pinch grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F) and lightly butter an 8x10-inch gratin dish. Steam or par-boil the vegetables until barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain, rinse under cold water, then finely chop them.
Lightly brown the bread crumbs in 2 Tbls butter in a small saucepan, then stir in the milk. When it's hot to the touch, turn off the heat. Meanwhile, cook the onion in the remaining butter in a small skillet over medium heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Combine the onion, vegetables, and bread crumb mixture in a bowl, then stir in the cheese and egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper to taste and the nutmeg. Beat the whites until stiff, then fold them into the mixture. Pour into the prepared dish and bake until puffed and browned, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
3-5 lbs pork shoulder/butt roast/pork loin roast
1 quart Water
Kosher salt (at least ¼ C, then to taste)
Liquid smoke (starting with ¼ bottle, then to taste)

Take roast, put in crock pot, add water. Cook 5-6 hours in crock pot on low or in an oven: 6-8 hours at 300°F or 8-10 hours at 275°F.
Remove foil, put roast in 9x13 pan and pull it/fork it. Remove fat and bones. Add kosher salt and liquid smoke to taste. Mix well.
Delicious made ahead of time and frozen for a convenient fix any time!
1 lbs ground beef
1/2 chopped onion or 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 28 oz can tomatoes
2 16 oz cans kidney beans or black beans (drained), I prefer black beans
1 can corn (un-drained)
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 package Taco seasoning
Between 1 C and 3 C water, depending on how thick you like it.

Brown beef and onion in pan. Drain excess fat. Add beef, onion, and all other ingredients to slow cooker. Cook on low or high until warmed through. Top each bowl with cheese, sour cream, chips, avocados etc. Make sure to add appropriate liquid and ingredients to fit your slow cooker's size.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Well we can blame the fact that I haven't posted on one of two things. Either I have been busy and forgotten, or, I am just SUCH an awesome cook that I have not been able to decide what to post because I have sooo many wonderful options. I choose to believe the latter of the two.
Anyway, here is my peace offering. Hope you enjoy!!!

Zuppa Toscana
Okay I made this soup for dinner at a friend's house and seriously it is so good!!! It tastes almost identical to the zuppa toscana at Olive Garden which is divine! A lot of oil winds up settling on top and so I let it settle and then just drug a paper towel over the top to soak it up, that worked pretty well actually! Although I'm sure its not the most "food handlers permit" friendly.

Devild's Food with Strawberry Cream. (i.e. heaven)
This was what I made for a couple of birthdays this month and let me tell you... it. is. AMAZING. especially if you are as much of a chocolate lover as I am. I would suggest putting the cake in the refrigerator or even freezing it for a little bit (if you will have time for it to thaw before serving) before you frost it. Otherwise when you try to spread the frosting around the sides the cream goes with it =) enjoy!!

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 pint strawberries, hulled, halved lengthwise

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sour cream, room temp
2 cups confectioners sugar

Heat oven to 350degrees F.
Coat 2 round 9" cake pans with nonstick spray or 3 round 8" cake pans.
Line bottoms with wax paper. (a springform works great to just line the bottom and then close the springform edge around tyhe wax paper.
In bowl, whisk sugar, flour, cocoa, soda and powder to blend.
Melt chocolate and butter 1 min. in microwave, stir to blend.
With mixer, beat buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and chocolate mixture into dry ingredients until blended. Beat 2 min. or until smooth.
Scrape into pans.
Bake 42 min. or until done.
Cool in pans 20 min. turn cakes out of pans, cool.
Beat cream and sugar in bowl with mixer until stiff peaks form.
Place 1 layer on serving plate.
Spread on half the whipped cream to 1/2 inch of edge.
Top with concentric circles of strawberries.
Spread remaining cream over strawberries.
Top with second cake layer.
Refrigerate cake.
Melt chocolate and butter in glass bowl in microwave 2 min. or until chocolate is soft and shiny, stir until completely melted and smooth.
Fold in sour cream, gradually beat in confectioners sugar until smooth and shiny.
Spread cake with frosting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Hello faithful readers!

I know, it's Wednesday, and I'm late with this week's menu. I apologize - I have great recipes with great pictures and some great posts written in my head about some really fun seasonal things, but I have 2 problems:
1) I am swamped!
2) I am working on a new, more organized way of posting recipes, so that it's not so much a pile or recipes thrown at you each week. Hopefully I'll get it up soon!

I'll get it up soon - don't give up on me! =) In the meantime, enjoy some of the recent recipes - I especially love the butternut squash corn chowder, I'll be making it again this week!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Menu 4 - "Best of" Menu

I've been on vacation at my mom's house - hence, there has been very little cooking and mostly just lots of eating going on around here. My husband is always getting after me for not recycling recipes (so I like to try new things, so sue me!), so enjoy this menu with some of my favorite recent repeats from past menus!

Butternut Squash and Corn Chowder - I've made this twice now - and that's rare around my house. I just think it is perfection in a bowl. Even my 2-year old loves it! Add a dash of nutmeg to it to spice it up.
Stewed Vegetable Gratin - So yummy and really guilt-free!

Thai Chicken Curry - Again, so so delicious and easy to make.
Chicken Quesadilla Pie - My family (and I) loved this. I also threw in some extra mushrooms and zucchini to lower the amount of meat and increase veggies without the knowledge of my picky little eaters. =)

Slow Cooker:
Smoky Beef Tacos - These had a fun flavor and were just the perfect spiciness. I loved that they were a little different than your normal slow cooker taco recipe.
Thai Chicken and Noodles - So fun and different for a slow cooker!

Grilled Salmon with Sweet Corn and Avocado Relish - This will please even non-fish lovers, honestly. It was so easy, so delicious. I will be making this for years to come! Click here for a picture and information on how I did it.
Ultimate Steak Sandwiches - I know it would be expensive to make these sandwiches and Salmon in one menu cycle - but these were my two favorite fun recipes recently. I just couldn't get over the tenderness of the steak and the delicious flavors together. I did cut costs and just used normal cheeses that I had on hand.

Tomato and Mozzarella Quesadillas with Basil - I serve all the ingredients on the quesadilla itself. Fresh basil is key to this recipe. The ingredients themselves are very simple, but SO delicious together.
Mexican Lasagna - Easy, filling, fast, and best of all: YUMMY!

Sweet Treat:
Let's give one last shout-out to summer with Stacie's delicious Black-bottom Banana Cream Pie!

See you in 2 weeks with more autumn harvest recipes - and I promise, pictures this time. =)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nutella Frosting

If there's one thing Alicia and I share (besides genetics), it's a love for Nutella. For a while now I've been wondering if there's more to eating Nutella than standing in my kitchen with a big spoon and a guilty- but heavenly- feeling. Which, don't get me wrong, is more than enough for me. But I got to thinking about making cupcakes one day, and well, one thing led to another. I found a recipe for Nutella frosting online, and the rest is history.

Nutella Frosting

3/4 c. butter, softened
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. Nutella

Here's the thing. It was a bit runny for my liking. It tasted divine. But next time, I would either add the milk one tablespoon at a time until I reach the consistency I want, or add a bit more powdered sugar. Just something to keep in mind!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Menu 3

Whew, another 2 weeks, another menu. Enjoy!

Almond-Apricot Chicken with Mint Pesto - also a guest-impressing dish...and yummy!
Spicy Grilled Tilapia with Creamy Grits and Mushroom Scallion Sauce

Meatloaf** - This is a simple recipe, but it's my favorite meatloaf - you just can't beat your mom's cooking. I served it with these amazing little bite-sized pieces of Heaven. In addition - whenever I make meatloaf, I double or triple the recipe and then freeze it in a loaf pan and then transfer it to a ziploc bag. Then I have a delicious and easy meal any night of the week - and a lot more healthy than a frozen dinner from the grocery store! I've included instructions for freezing in the recipe below if you are interested. Thai Chicken Curry - An all-time-favorite. Please try this. Rumored to come from an Thai/French Fusion restaurant, this dish is just delicious, easy to make, and comforting. Not very exotic in technique, however, so if you haven't cooked Thai food before, do NOT be intimidated. I like to add extra veggies - zucchini, a bell pepper (any color), potatoes, etc. Sauteed or fried tofu is also a great substitute for the chicken, if you're in the mood. You can find Red Curry Paste in the Asian aisle of almost any grocery store.

Tomato and Mozzarella Quesadillas with Basil - Another favorite! If you have nut allergies, just skip the pine nuts, they're still delicious. I believe fresh basil is the key ingredient in this dish.
Corn and Butternut Squash Chowder** - Unbelievably good. This is in the September 2009 Everyday Food Magazine. I could go on and on about how easy it was to prepare, about how I was licking my bowl when it was done because it was SO delicious, but really, you should just make it. Like, tonight. SO SO good. I served it with a rustic loaf of sourdough bread and fresh strawberries. The recipe is below. Please try it - and if you don't subscribe to this magazine, I think you ought to take a jaunt over here right now because it's so helpful in the kitchen!

Middle Eastern Grilled Chicken
Salmon with Sweet Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Relish - This dish blew me away. Definitely fast and DEFINITELY worth it. Even if you don't love fish! Just absolutely an A+ dish. Here's how to make it super fast and easy:
1) Make the relish in the afternoon and then let it just sit in the fridge until serving, then most of your chopping is done
2) Use frozen corn over fresh (unless you have the time)
3) Use a broiler to cook the fish (about 4-5 minutes per side) and for the last 5 minutes, just throw the asparagus and maybe some mushrooms next to it - no sauce needed for the veggies
4) For the spice rub, don't worry about ingredients you don't have - as long as you have paprika and salt, the spice will work with bits and pieces of the rest (for instance, I used minced garlic instead of garlic powder and Italian seasoning instead of Thyme).
Slow Cooker:
Creamy Farmhouse Chicken and Garden Soup
Thai Chicken and Noodles - This dish comes from our guest blogger, Karen, last week. I loved it - not the usual salty, processed meal that you think of when you think of a slow cooker. I followed her advice and used 1/4 C lemon/lime juice instead of chicken broth and thought that was a nice touch. I also used rice instead of Vermicelli Noodles because, frankly, I just forgot to buy them. Still delicious!

Sweet Treat: We're taking a bit of a sugar-break at our house, so this week we'll be eating Homemade Microwave Popcorn! I originally got this idea from a cousin of mine and I have been hooked ever since. Delicious, easy, cheap, and fun! Listen carefully to your microwave, I've found that the cooking time varies depending on the microwave. Also, you can use olive oil, cooking spray, anything really. Lastly, yellow kernels work better than white because of the higher burning temperature.

**Recipes not found on internet:
Mom's Meatloaf:
1 ½ pounds hamburger (or 1 pound hamburger and ½ pound sausage)
8 oz. Tomato juice
¾ cup dry oatmeal
1 egg –beaten
1/3 cup onion
1 ¼ salt
Combine and mix well.
(If you are freezing it, at this point: place in bag and press flat. Freeze.) Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 for 55 minutes. (If using from frozen, thaw, and then follow directions accordingly.)
Corn and Butternut Squash Chowder from Everyday Food Magazine, September 2009 issue
2 T Vegetable Oil
1.5 Pounds Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks (most grocery stores and some farmer's markets will sell it cut this way, or at least peeled and seeded if you are short on time!)\
1 Medium Onion, chopped
10 ounces frozen corn kernels, thawed
1.5 t Curry powder
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 Cans (14.5 ounces each) vegetable broth
1/2 Cup Heavy cream
In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium high; add squash and onion. Cook until onion is soft, about 6 minutes. Add corn and curry powder; cook until curry is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add broth and simmer until squash is tender, about 25 minutes. In a blender, blend half the soup until smooth. Return to pot and stir in cream; heat through over medium-low (do not boil).
Serves 4. Prep Time: 15 Minutes. Total Time: 40 minutes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Who you calling a dip!?

Looking for something to make for a crowd? share at a party? enjoy just for yourself!? Well, you've come to the right place. So without further ado... here's to dips!

Nut free Pesto
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup olive oil (extra virgin please!!)
1 tsp salt, more to taste
1 lemon zest (grated)
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp freshly ground (or not, whatev) black pepper
(if you want to add some pine nuts you can, but don't call it nut free if you do!)

Mmmmm.... Is it just me or are olives just plain good!?
I love all kinds and colors and stuffed with anything! I love them sliced or diced or hey, even puree!

Olive Tapenade
20 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp rinsed, drained, and chopped capers
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
Fresh cracked black pepper (to taste)
**Serve with water crackers or unsalted saltines to spread on.Combine everything in a food processor (I use my magic bullet!) Put it in a bowl and chill until ready to serve. Will keep for up to 2 weeks refrigerated.

Guilt Free Salsa from my mom - DELICIOUS and addictive =)

Corn and Black Bean Salsa
2 16-oz. cans black beans
1 16 oz. can of corn
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium avocado, chopped (I usually put either one large one or two small ones because I love them!)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips

Drain the black beans and corn. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for the lime and chips. Toss to mix well.Before serving, squeeze the juice from one lime over the topServe with lime chips

Monday, September 7, 2009

Guest Blogger: Homemade Pancake Mix

I know I promised another dessert, but I've come across something wonderful recently, and it's my very own pancake mix! I purchased a wheat grinder a few weeks ago and have been incorporating whole wheat into every recipe I think can handle it.

Remember the blueberry flax pancakes Alicia posted from a few weeks ago? One of the reviewers on that site said to try it using a pancake mix that was also on It's part wheat flour and part white flour, which is exactly what I was looking for. My kids love pancakes, and I love that you make the mix up, store it, and just add milk and eggs when you're ready.

Pancake Mix

4 c. white flour
2 c. wheat flour
2/3 c. sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. baking soda

Store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
To make, mix 1 c. pancake mix with 1 egg and 3/4 c. milk.
Pour onto hot griddle, bake, and enjoy!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

365 Days of Slow Cooking

I'm very excited about this week's guest blogger. Who doesn't love a good meal from the slow cooker? Mmmm, that comfort food taste that you just can't quite find anywhere else that takes you right back to Sunday dinners as a child.
Well, slow cookers aren't just for Sundays anymore! Karen Petersen has been doing an experiment for the last 219 days (and will continue until she hits 365): eat a meal from her sl0w cooker - every. single. day. I've asked her to share with us a couple of tips she's learned along the way - and a few of her favorite recipes (hurray!), which she also has available on her blog,

Here's what she had to say:

I have been using my slow cooker everyday for 219 days! Before I started this little “project” I had one recipe that I made in my slow cooker. ONE! Now I have over 219. Some good and some I will never make again. I didn’t really know anything about slow cookers before I started. I just kind of experimented with things and have learned a lot along the way. I just want to say that I love my slow cooker now and it has so many benefits! It’s great for busy families and serving in shifts, it doesn’t heat up the kitchen, it’s economical, and inexpensive, tough meats become tender…I could go on and on!

I’d love to share 3 things that have helped me and hope that you will find that they help you too. Check out my blog for more tips, recipes, and reviews.

Tip #1: Use the right size of slow cooker! It is important to fill the slow cooker about 2/3 to ¾ full. If it is not filled enough it will overcook and burn. I started out at the beginning of my experiment with solely a 6-quart slow cooker. Keep in mind that I am cooking for my husband, my 2 kids, and myself. This size was way too big and things would not turn out that great. Then I purchased a 3-quart slow cooker and it seems to be the perfect size for us on a daily basis. Every now and then I use my 6-quart for big cuts of meat or if I’m cooking for company.

Tip #2: As a general rule, lifting the lid off the slow cooker lengthens the cooking time by 30 minutes to an hour. The steam builds up inside the slow cooker and creates a vacuum seal. Each time the lid is lifted the steam and heat escape, extending the cooking time. Again, I’ve learned this little tip along the way. I used to always lift the lid…several times over the course of its cooking time. Now that I know this little tidbit, meals turn out a lot better and don’t take near as long.

Tip #3: Tenderness of the meat is directly correlated to the cooking time. Tough cuts of meat can become tender in one extra hour of cooking time. When you check your meat for doneness, if it isn't tender, let it cook for another hour and check again.

Interestingly, some of my favorite recipes have been desserts. One of my favorite desserts is the caramel chocolate cake. I also did an applesauce that my kids and I loved. My husband loved the garlic lime chicken and my mouth watered over the Garlic Caesar Chicken with Spinach Fettuccine. Because I want you to succeed in your slow cooking adventures (by succeed, I mean your family will eat your meal without complaining), I’ve ranked all of my recipes with a star rating. The ratings are as follows:
5 stars: I love this dish, I would make it once a week if I could!
4 stars: This is a tasty dish; it will go in our rotation of meals.
3 stars: I liked it okay, I probably won't make it more than once every several months.
2 stars: I ate it, but I won't make it again.
1 star: It was gross and I didn't even finish it.

Good luck in your slow cooking and email me if you have any questions or comments…I’d love to hear from you!

And here are some questions answered about Karen:
EAAM: Where are you from?
KP: I grew up in Montana and moved to Utah when I was 18 for college. I now live in Utah, just north of Salt Lake.

EAAM: What got you into cooking?
KP: The reason I cook is because I have to! I have a husband and two kids...I was always more of a baker until this year. Now I cook everyday. It saves money too...which is always nice.

EAAM: What is your go-to; that meal/food/dessert/snack that you find yourself eating over and over and over again?
KP: Peanut butter sandwich, peanut butter plain, peanut butter and chocolate! Love them all!!

EAAM: What is your favorite food?
KP: I love most all food! The only thing I don't like is watermelon and cantaloupe. Everything else is wonderful!

EAAM: What is the one kitchen appliance/accessory/utensil you just can't live without?
KP: The slow cooker, of course!!

EAAM: You're going to live on the moon for 1 year and can only bring 1 kind of dessert, what do you bring?
KP: Only one? I'm such a dessert fan. I would have to say brownies, or cookies that were kind of brownie-like.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Menu 2

Stacie's Swedish Pancakes* - These were gone far too quickly. I doubled the recipe and we still had hardly any leftovers. Took me a little bit to really get them down, but even when they were a little misshapen, they were absolutely delicious! I also threw in some flaxseed meal.
Mexican Lasagna - SO easy and so yummy. I used the corn tortillas from last week's tostadas instead of spinach tortillas. I also added some zucchini and mushrooms in quartered small chunks and lowered the amount of meat in turn to about 1.3 pounds. Ground turkey works fine as well.

Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Penne - Very yummy. If you have nut allergies in your home, try using shelled pumkin or sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts in the pesto. I thought watermelon made a nice palate cleanser, as well as a rustic loaf of bread. I added quartered mushrooms and zucchini to the pasta and some basil to the pesto for a little added flavor. Your family won't even notice it's healthy!
Indian Dahl With Spinach - This is a hearty, delicious dish, and I especially loved the spinach in it. However, if you aren't used to Indian food or vegetarian food, you might want to try adding some sour cream and nutmeg to it - and maybe serve it over potatoes or rice to add some interest to new-to-the-taste palates. Also, I used just a little oil instead of ghee or butter to reduce cholesterol.

Veggie burgers (or burgers, whichever you prefer)
Sloppy Joes - just any old house-brand can and buns

Halibut with Grilled Eggplant Salad
Steak with Spinach Couscous - To cut costs, I used Sirloin tip side steak, thin sliced. This was a fabulous meal. I also beefed up the side dish by adding red onions, mint, and basil - and I used quinoa instead of couscous to add a little more health to the dish. I then froze the left-over spinach to use in the Dahl a couple of days later.

MAKE AHEAD (I am missing my slow cooker this week, but it will be back next week!)
Macaroni and Cheese - Very forgiving recipe. I use whatever cheese I have on hand. I also use Shallots rather than garlic. You MUST sprinkly some nutmeg on it before putting it on the table, it just makes the thyme sing and the whole dish comes together.
Chicken Salad


Sweet Treat: Rice Pudding, I'll just use left over rice and leave out the this recipe.

Stacie's Swedish Pancakes:
3 Eggs
3/4 C Flour
1/4 C Sugar
1 C Milk
Mix in a blender - pour onto a hot griddle. Top with fresh fruit, powdered sugar, butter, etc.

Chicken Salad
However you like it.
I like it like this: spinach, pre-cooked chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, avocados, nuts or seeds, feta cheese, Poppyseed Dressing, etc......

Thursday, August 27, 2009

After School Snacks

Its that time of year again when kids are going back to school, the weather is beginning to cool down, and people are wanting one thing.... snacks! So I decided for my first post I would give some fun ideas for snacks. Whether you have kids to entertain after school, all day long, or you're like me and you just like to have a good snack, these will be sure crowd pleasers. Enjoy!

Crunchy Monkey Peanut Butter Banana Sticks
soooo yummy, soooo easy, and even fun to eat...
Applesauce Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
truth be told I've had these for breakfast. They're delicious and healthy!
Fruit Kebobs
For an elegant twist to an older crowd, cut out the peanut butter and try dipping the fruit in different chocolates

And some "originals" (although I'm sure they've been done a hundred times...)
Sushi for kids!
just use any tortilla or wrap, roll it out and spread cream cheese over the whole thing, cover it with one layer of your choice of cold cut meat. Roll tight and cut it up into slices. Serve it with chopsticks for some added fun =)

Personal Pizzas
Always a hit! Whether you use bagels, english muffins, or tortillas, you can pile it high with sauce, cheese, and any toppings you like. Just put it under the broiler on high for a few minutes and you'll have pizza before you know it!

of course the regulars will always be good... ranch, peanut butter, yogurt, etc. but try using a fun, easy fruit dip like the one below. Give your kids toothpicks or stemmed cherries to make it more appealing.
fruit dip:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs brown sugar

Monday, August 24, 2009

Guest Blogger: Summer of Pie

Hello, my name is Stacie and I'm addicted to dessert.
This summer, I've unintentionally found myself hooked on pies. I've done fruit, and I've done chocolate. But for my husband's birthday a few weeks ago, I knew I had to make his favorite- banana cream- and I wasn't looking forward to it. No matter how I try, I just don't like bananas. Mash 'em and bake 'em up in bread, and I can't stop eating them. But just a slice of banana? No thanks.

Enter the perfect solution to banana cream pie: chocolate. Also goes by Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie. Have you seen her? The perfect marriage of fruit and chocolate. So good, I didn't even pick the bananas out. That's saying something.

Black Bottom
Banana Cream

3 1/2 tbsp. butter, divided
1 1/2 c. whipping cream, divided
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 1/2 c. half & half
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. flour
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
Chocolate curls

Crust: Spray a 9-inch pie plate with Pam. Mix 2 1/2 c. crushed oreos with 2 1/2 tbsp. melted butter. (I just used one bag of the mini oreos and it was perfect- and cheaper than a full package.) Press into bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Chill for 30 minutes.

Ganache: In a saucepan, heat 1/2 c. whipping cream with 1 tbsp. butter. Heat until it's hot but not boiling. Add 1/2 c. semi-sweet chips and 1 tsp. good vanilla. Stir till smooth. Pour into crust and chill for 30 minutes.

Arrange thin slices of banana on the ganache, top with 1/2 the vanilla pastry cream, arrange more thin slices of banana on top, and spread remaining vanilla pastry cream over top.

Vanilla Pastry Cream: In a saucepan, heat 1 1/2 c. half & half until it's simmering. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/2 c. sugar, 2 tbsp. flour, 2 eggs, and 1 egg yolk. Gradually whisk into hot half & half. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add 2 tsp. vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool in fridge at least 2 hours.

Vanilla Whipped Cream: Beat 1 c. whipped cream, 2 tbsp. powdered sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla until stiff. Once vanilla pastry cream and bananas are on pie, spread vanilla whipped cream on top and save some to spoon mounds around the edge. Top with chocolate curls and enjoy!

Not sure how to make chocolate curls? I followed this tutorial and loved how they turned out. I used about 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips because I didn't have any Baker's on hand.

Tip: since this pie is step-intensive, I suggest making the vanilla pastry cream first, since it has to chill for a few hours. You can also make the oreo crust at that point and let it start chilling as well. From there it shouldn't be too bad.

See you in a few weeks with another dessert!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Menu 1

Blueberry Flax Pancakes - I make a scratch pancake mix, but you can just use a mix as well. (Link to recipe discovered on
Chicken Quesadilla Pie - Huge hit with the family. I used whole wheat wraps instead of tortillas, but that made it a little mushy. I would just use flour tortillas if I made it again.

Mexican Quinoa Salad - Make sure you salt this enough to bring all the great flavors out. Also, it's delicious, but definitely needs some pita and hummus or a smoothie to round the meal out. (Link to recipe discovered on
Stewed Vegetable Gratin - Absolutely delicious. My baguette dried out (I waited to long to use it), so I just cut it into crouton size pieces and used it that way. Still totally delicious!
Mushroom and Poblano Tostada

Smoky Beef Tacos -
~Leftover meal~ throw your favorite Barbecue sauce on the meat, add some coleslaw and throw it all on some hamburger buns and you've got a 5 minute meal the next day!

Chicken with Poblano Cream - you could just use a green bell pepper if you're not into spicy.
Pasta Salad*

The Ultimate Steak Sandwich - AMAZING. Note to self: make this for guests to impress them. Make sure to use Tyler's shingle-pound method, it really tenderizes the meat and it eats deliciously. I also loved the arugala mayo, but you could simplify life and just use arugala and mayo separately on the sandwich. Lastly, I used the cheese for the base for the Chicken with Poblano Cream from this menu for the next night, it was super fast and easy!
Oh, and Gruyere is so expensive, I thought a mixture of swiss and feta, or even just swiss or cheddar still made a great sauce.

These cinnamon rolls - You will never have a better one!! I find I need to cook them about 17 minutes for perfection. Also, if you make it without a breadmaker (like me), just mix the ingredients in order after letting the yeast proof (I use 1/2 C water and then when the yeast proofs I add 1/2 C milk instead of the 1 C milk).

***Recipes not found on internet***
Pasta Salad:
Any curly/fun/spare pasta will do
Add some combination of: cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, baby corn, artichoke hearts, chicken (if desired)
Throw it all in a bowl and add your favorite Italian dressing to the desired amount.
Mix it around, pop it in the fridge. Delicioso.
You can grill 'em or broil 'em, either way, they're delicious! I use:
Mushrooms, potatoes (blanched), tomatoes, broccoli (blanched), and onions - or some combination of those
Chicken, shrimp, steak... any of these alone or in combination with each other
I throw whatever I have in the fridge in a blender for a marinade, including any combination of:
Oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, basil, milk, mayo
Drizzle it over the chicken and let it sit until that night. Makes for a fast/easy meal!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Word About Vegetarian Meals

Many of the recipes that I will post under the 'vegetarian' category are not exactly vegetarian as they often contain beef or chicken broth. If you want to truly make them vegetarian, just substitute vegetable broth, coconut milk, etc...etc...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Company Coming?

Ideas for serving:

Tyler Florence's Chicken Cordon Bleu
*use his technique to make these hours in advance, leave them in the fridge and they will be beautiful once you bake them
Tyler Florence's Ultimate Steak Sandwich
*use his technique to make the steak very tender. These are really like gourmet Philly Cheesesteaks.
Butternut Squash Curry with Couscous and Mango Chutney
*so easy and delicious! You can even make it vegetarian or vegan by switching to vegetable broth and coconut milk. Absolutely DELICIOUS!

Monday, July 20, 2009


We all know that what takes 15 minutes while you're kid-free and have the energy takes 45 minutes when your kids are hanging on you and your energy level is low! Making dinner, or at least doing all the chopping and prep work, during lunch time/kid's nap times makes dinner a breeze. Just when evening is hitting, your energy is at its lowest, and kid-chaos is setting in, your prep time is slashed in half and you can just pop dinner in the oven, or saute it up! Kids are happy. You're happy. Ahhhh.


When you make homemade pizza, double the dough recipe. When you roll it out, freeze half of it rolled up like any pre-made pie crust you could buy at the store. Then you can have homemade pizza in a pinch anyday! Cheaper and yummier than store-bought!


We eat smoothies at our house almost every night. It's a great way to get fruits (and veggies!) into your kids, as well as round out a vegtarian meal.

This recipe is extremely forgiving and fluid (as you will notice) - so just use what you have, sometimes I even throw in canned peaches if I have to.

Simply throw some combination of the following into a blender:
1 Banana (a must-have)
A bunch of fresh and or frozen strawberries
Whatever fruit we have on hand (kiwis, peaches, apples, etc.)
I have even been known to throw in mint!

Then come the disguised veggies:
A small tomato
An avocado
Some babycarrots

Sometimes I throw in sprouts and bell peppers, too! You can even try a little flax seed meal! Smoothies are great disguises for all kinds of healthy foods.

Blend it up with some milk, yogurt, and maybe some juice (My Favorite is Bom Dia! juice - a mixture of Acai berry and Blueberry juice, which you can find at Costco) to the desired consistancy and serve! We put it in a cup with a straw for the little ones and they slurp their veggies right on down!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sweet Treats

Cinnamon Rolls
Rice Pudding - Just use leftover already-cooked rice to make this yummy treat in minutes!
Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie
Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Fun Meals (to make and to eat!)

The Ultimate Steak Sandwich
Kebabs - any meat or vegetables skewered with a creamy marinade on them - pop them on the grill or under the broiler until cooked through
Halibut with Grilled Eggplant Salad
Steak with Spinach Couscous
Almond-Apricot Chicken with Mint Pesto
Spicy Grilled Tilapia with Creamy Grits and Mushroom Scallion Sauce
Feta Chicken with Zucchini

Fast Meals

Chicken with Poblano Cream (if you don't like spicy, try a green pepper instead)
Pasta Salad: Pasta (cooked according to package directions), Olives, Cucumbers, Grape tomatoes, Artichoke hearts. Toss it all with your favorite Italian dressing and some chicken (canned works if you're in a hurry) or tuna and you are good to go!
Veggie Burgers or regular burgers on buns
Middle-Eastern Grilled Chicken
Salmon with Sweet Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Relish
Fruited Curry Chicken Salad (serve on crescent rolls or Navajo Fry Bread)

Slow Cooker Meals

Smoky Beef Tacos
Creamy Farmhouse Chicken and Garden Soup
Thai Chicken and Noodles
Classic Beef Noodles
Mom's Kailua Pulled Pork
3-5 lbs pork shoulder/butt roast/pork loin roast
1 quart Water
Kosher salt (at least ¼ C, then to taste)
Liquid smoke (starting with ¼ bottle, then to taste)
Take roast, put in crock pot, add water. Cook 5-6 hours in crock pot on low or in an oven: 6-8 hours at 300°F or 8-10 hours at 275°F. Remove foil, put roast in 9x13 pan and pull it/fork it. Remove fat and bones. Add kosher salt and liquid smoke to taste. Mix well.
Taco Beef Soup
Delicious made ahead of time and frozen for a convenient fix any time!
1 lbs ground beef
1/2 chopped onion or 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 28 oz can tomatoes
2 16 oz cans kidney beans or black beans (drained), I prefer black beans
1 can corn (un-drained)
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 package Taco seasoning
Between 1 C and 3 C water, depending on how thick you like it.

Comfort Meals

Blueberry Flax Pancakes
Chicken Quesadilla Pie
Stacie's Swedish Pancakes
3 Eggs 3/4 C Flour 1/4 C Sugar 1 C Milk Mix in a blender - pour onto a hot griddle. Top with fresh fruit, powdered sugar, butter, etc. Serves: 2
Mexican Lasagna
Tyler Florence's Macaroni and Cheese (I leave out the bacon, but I'm sure that's good, too)
Mom's Meatloaf:
1 ½ pounds hamburger (or 1 pound hamburger and ½ pound sausage)
8 oz. Tomato juice
¾ cup dry oatmeal
1 egg –beaten
1/3 cup onion
1 ¼ salt
Combine and mix well. (If you are freezing it, at this point: place in bag and press flat. Freeze.) Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 for 55 minutes. (If using from frozen, thaw, and then follow directions accordingly.)
Thai Chicken Curry

Vegetarian Meals

Mexican Quinoa Salad
Stewed Vegetable Gratin
Mushroom and Poblano Tostada
Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Penne
Indian Dahl with Spinach
Tomato and Mozzarella Quesadillas with Basil
Corn and Butternut Squash Chowder
Farro Salad with Red Peppers, Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes and Lemon
Butternut Squash Couscous with Mango Chutney
Vegetable Gratin Souffle
(Deborah Madison, "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone")
Butter for the dish
3 C Vegetables, cut into 1-inch pieces (many different vegetables can be used - including celery root, cauliflower, winter squash, butternut squash, zucchini, turnips, broccoli...)
1/2 C fresh bread crumbs (although I used store-bought ones)
3 Tbls butter
1 C milk
1/2 small onion or 2 large shallots, finely diced
1/2 C grated gruyere (I used Swiss because I'm on a budget)
2 eggs, separated
Salt and pepper
Pinch grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F) and lightly butter an 8x10-inch gratin dish. Steam or par-boil the vegetables until barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain, rinse under cold water, then finely chop them.
Lightly brown the bread crumbs in 2 Tbls butter in a small saucepan, then stir in the milk. When it's hot to the touch, turn off the heat. Meanwhile, cook the onion in the remaining butter in a small skillet over medium heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Combine the onion, vegetables, and bread crumb mixture in a bowl, then stir in the cheese and egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper to taste and the nutmeg. Beat the whites until stiff, then fold them into the mixture. Pour into the prepared dish and bake until puffed and browned, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Side Dishes

Ugh, Side Dishes.

By the time I'm done making a meal for my family, I typically am not in the mood to make a side dish. SO, I typically make enough of 1 side dish to last for 2 nights, so I only have to make them every now and again.
Also, unless I have a specific side dish that I am serving with that meal, you can just assume that I am serving one of the following with our meal:

Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables with minimal preparation such as:
Corn, Strawberries, Green Beans, Blueberries, Zucchini, Squash
Grains, such as:
Quinoa, Couscous, Rice
Or simple sides, such as:
Coleslaw Salad (I buy the pre-shredded lettuce and mix lite mayo, dijon mustard, lemon, and a little horseradish in for a yummy side!)

There is nothing easier than throwing a bowl of freshly-washed fruit, or some quinoa with a spritz of lemon and salt on the table!