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Showing posts from October, 2010

10-27 Pesto

You may not make this often but its so easy if you have a bunch of basil to use up
There are many different recipes for pesto, this is just representative and quick.

In food processor or blender, process:
2 c packed fresh basil
1 T olive oil
1/8 t salt
1 clove garlic, minced ok
Then add in & process briefly:
1/2 c parmesan, grated
1 T pine nuts Then salt and pepper to taste This is a basic pesto. If you want to change up the flavors consider adding: 6-12 sun dried tomatoes packin in oil, drained 1 T fresh parsley 1/4 c basalmic vinegar Play with it and see what you like best Use as a sandwich spread, a pasta sauce, on pizza, etc. etc.

10-26 Soft baked Pretzels

This is a super easy recipe. You can make these any shape you would like just keep the sizes consistent for even baking

Dissolve and let stand until foamy:
1 1/4 T dry yeast
1 1/2 c warm water

In mixng bowl, combine:
1 t salt
1 T sugar
4 c flour
Add in foamy yeast water.
Mix and knead dough
Form pretzels and place on silpat or greased cookie sheets
Brush each pretzel shape with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt
Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 miinutes, depending on size - until golden and puffy.

10-25 Lemonades

This is the exception I make to sugar in drinks. I LOVE my lemonades! I can drink it by the gallon and never get enough. My favorite recipes would not be complete without this entry.
There are many different variations you can make.
Here is the basic lemonade recipe:

1 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c sugar
Stir well into a syrup, then add
5-6 c cold water OR seltzer water (depending on how strong you like it & if you want bubbles)
Stir well and serve.

Fruity lemonade-
about 1 pint strawberries, hulled & mashed OR blueberries OR Peaches
1/4-1/2 c sugar
Consider adding 2 T chopped fresh mint leaves
Let sit a few minutes to get the strawberry juices flowing
Then add to a recipe of basic lemonade.

Other flavors:
2 vanilla beans or 2 T vanilla extract

2 T minced fresh ginger

I have seen a recipe that added watermelon puree but haven't tried that yet. You would have to adjust the water amount.

10-24 Cranberry Bread

You can start finding fresh cranberries around now. Or look in the freezer section.
This came from my friend Megan's mom's BYU cooking the 1950's! This recipe was also in the Arizona Republic when we lived there in 1995 but they used lemon instead of orange and butter instead of oil.

Sift together dry ingredients:
2 c flour
1 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
Then combine wet ingredients separately:
1 egg, beaten
1 c sugar
2 T hot water
2 T canola oil or 1/4 c butter, softened
1/2 c orange juice or 3/4 c lemonade concentrate
Add to dry ingredients, barely mixing - only to moisten
Fold in
1/2 c chopped nuts
1 c cranberries, chopped
zest of 1 orange or 1 lemon
Bake in a well greased or parchment lined bread pan at 325 degrees for 1:10.
Let cool before resting or refrigerating for 24 hours to let the flavors blend.

10-23 Potage de Poireau (Leek Soup)

There are many variations on this classic French soup.
From just water and leeks to more complicated varieties.
Feel free to put as much or as little in as you would like.

2 slices of cooked bacon, chopped or a handful of real bacon bits or skip it...
2 large or 4 small leeks, washed well and white parts sliced thin. (stop at more green than white)
You can also sauté 1-2 cloves of garlic with the leeks, (opt)
When the bacon is crispy and the leeks are softened, add:
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cubed or use baby reds/goldens and don't peel
about 4 c chicken broth, sufficient to cover vegetables
here is where you would add some chicken or ham if you want instead of the bacon
Bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes.
If you want a creamy soup, stir in before serving:
1 c milk or cream
Of course, salt and pepper to taste

10-22 Easy BBQ sauce

Do you remember Sarah Kleckner, Anni's friend in Chapel Hill?
This sauce recipe came from her mother.
You both loved this sauce, especially on chicken.

Combine in saucepan:
1 c canola oil
1 1/2 c cider vinegar
2 T salt
6 T sugar
1 t oregano
1 t garlic salt
1 t Worchester sauce
1 t paprika
Bring to a boil, and thicken with
1 T cornstarch if needed or wanted.
Stir and simmer a few minutes, add more cornstarch if desired thickness isn't reached.
Baste on chicken or use as a dipping sauce.

I like it because there isn't any liquid

10-21 Swedish grape salad

I think I like this because its something I wouldn't have thought to put together, and its a nice change from the typical green salad.

On a bed of
lettuce, romaine is a good choice to hold up with the grapes
red and green grapes, cut in half
finely sliced red onion
a few capers (yes, really)
salt and pepper
Drizzle with
olive oil and vinegar
Serve with a cheese like Havarti

Recipe from Tina Nordstrom

10-20 "Grilled" mixed veggies

You could grill this combination but since you are in an apartment, you can bake it.

1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T fresh or 1 t dry (total) Italian herbs like rosemary, basil, oregano, etc.
Add and toss to coat:
4 c mixed fresh veggies, chopped like crookneck squash, zucchini, green beans, red onions, colored bell peppers, asparagus, etc.
Make a pocket out of heavy or double layered foil around the vegetables.
Leave some space at the top for steam to stay and cook them.
Be sure to seal edges well and place in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes
Turn over halfway through cooking time for best results.

10-19 Lemon spaghetti

As you know, I love lemons so of course I love this side dish. But the lemon keeps the pasta from being too heavy and it lightens up entrées like roasted chicken.

1 lb spaghetti, al dente
Drain but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water

Whisk together:
2/3 c olive oil
2/3 c Parmesan, grated
1/2 c fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Toss this sauce with cooked pasta and the reserved pasta water, adding only until pasta is well moistened.
Sprinkle pasta with
salt and pepper
1 T lemon zest
1/3 c fresh basil, chopped

This is from Giada

10-18 Apple Cider

If you buy unfiltered apple juice, which is more available in the fall, your cider will be better.
This recipe is for one serving, if you are sharing, just double, triple, etc.
See below for large batch recipe.

In a pan or in a mug, heat just before boiling:
unfiltered apple juice
Sprinkle in
ground cinnamon
ground allspice
teeny bit of ground cloves (or whole, just remove before serving)
1 t - T real maple syrup or agave or honey to taste
1 t lemon or orange zest (remember you can store that in your freezer for this exact need)
Stir and taste. If you want more spice, add it in.
Heat it thoroughly and let it rest before drinking.

Party size recipe:
2 quarts unfiltered apple juice
2 c orange juice
1/4 c honey, real maple syrup or agave
1 cinnamon stick
1 T allspice
12 whole cloves inserted into an orange or lemon
Bring to a boil, then simmer for a little while before serving.
There are many recipe variations for apple cider.

10- 17 Creamy Quinoa

This is one of those recipes that I just kinda threw together so its very flexible. Almost everything is an estimate amount... but that makes it perfect to fit whatever you have in the refrigerator.

Prepare by bringing to a boil, then simmer for 15 min:
1 c quinoa
2 c vegetable or chicken broth

Meanwhile, sauté:
1/2 colored bell pepper, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
When softened, add:
1 zucchini, cubed
1 handful of asparagus, end trimmed and then cubed
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Allow to soften over medium hi heat.
When nearly cooked, add
1/2 - 1 c cooked chicken, cubed
1/2 - 1 t each herbs-parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary (or similar herbs)
salt to taste
Mix in
a splash of cream and/or
a spoon or two of Marscapone cheese
Then combine with cooked quinoa and serve.

Add and substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand.
Just cook the harder ones at the first and the softer, later. Can't really go wrong.

10 - 16 Melted/Toasted Cheese sandwiches

Can't believe this isn't on here yet but B & E were thrilled when I suggested them for dinner.
As you remember we love to dip them in tomato soup (but not out of a can! - see 10-28)
When I was growing up, we always slathered both sides of the bread with butter and then placed the cheese inside two and grilled it on a griddle. Later I learned that they were less greasy if you just lightly spread mayonnaise on the outside of the sandwich and those were good for a while.
Now, we just don't bother to put anything on the outside of the bread as it still gets good and toasty without a grease. The trick is to make sure you put a light layer of cheese on the bottom and a light layer of cheese on the top of whatever you put inside so the melted cheese makes it all stick together and hold up during the dipping.

On the inside, our family is split down the middle... some of us just want:
2 pieces of hearty wheat bread
sliced or shredded fontina, Mexican blend, jack or classic cheddar

10-15 Strawberry Lemonade salad

Haha! But it really tastes like strawberry lemonade. This is a variation of the Frico salad getting its own entry because I loved how the taste changed with the addition of strawberries.
I didn't serve it with any cheese but feel free to experiment about what tastes good with this citrus dressing, my new favorite as it tastes so light, not too sweet and so easy to make.

Toss together a salad of whatever size you need:
baby spinach
thinly sliced cucumbers
thinly sliced red onions
sliced fresh strawberries
and maybe something else you have...

Dressing- same as for Frico salad but without any orange zest (but only because I didn't have an orange in the refrigerator today, so I used frozen OJ concentrate).
Shake together
zest of 1/2 a lemon
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 T orange juice or concentrate
1 t honey or agave
2-3 T olive oil
salt to taste
Shake well and drizzle lightly over salad.

10-14 Laura's casserole

I almost called this an old-fashioned recipe but then what would that make me?? When we were poor, newly married college students, our friends the Robinsons would make this dish frequently. It was hearty, easy and filled us up on a cold winter day. It used a can of cream of whatever soup but as I avoid those now, I have updated it a little. Its one of those recipes for when you have more time than money....and the time is in the prep and the waiting.

Lightly brown
1 lb of hamburger (or combo of gr. turkey and beef)
Set aside
Meanwhile, in small saucepan, make a roux with
1 T butter and 1 T flour
Stir until all incorporated and them stir in
2 c veg or beef broth
Set aside
Then in a 9x13 casserole dish, layer
1 layer of sliced raw potatoes (about 2-3 depends on size)
1 layer of sliced raw carrots (ditto)
1 layer of the cooked meat from above
1 layer of 1 sliced raw onion
1/4 c uncooked rice (wild mix but just white would work)
Add one more layer of raw potatoes, (again, 2-3)
pour chicken sauce over…

10-13 Easy carrot soup

Use fresh carrots that you can buy with the greens still on for the best results.

1/8 c olive oil - use more if needed
1 onion, sliced
When onions are softened after about 5 - 7 min., add:
1 lb carrots, sliced
Stir and cook until tender about 20 minutes.
Be sure there is enough oil in the pot.
Next, add:
2 1/2 - 3 c chicken or veg broth
Purée with stick blender
Add for flavor:
1/2 t fresh minced ginger
OR oregano & orange zest
salt and pepper to taste
Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

10-12 Citrus syrup

This syrup is great for when you are tired of maple
or just want something with a bit more zing
It is delicious on french toast

Melt over med heat:
2 T butter
1 t cinnamon
3 t sugar
2 t lemon or orange juice, add more if you want the syrup thinner
1 banana, sliced very thin
When melted together, pour over french toast.

10-11 Lamb Curry

I know, I know. But we ate this at the Mutucumarana's house in NC and it was delicious.
Someday you may want to try it after all. It was your first Sri Lankan food. And it is easy to prepare.

Marinade together a few minutes:
1 lb lamb, cut into small cubes
2 T vinegar
salt and pepper

1/2 onion, chopped
splash of canola oil (she didn't mention which kind of oil so I am guessing here)
1 t curry powder
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 t fresh garlic, minced
1/4 - 1/8 t chili powder (or less to taste)
When the onions are soft and golden, add the lamb mixture.
Stir well and cook until lamb is soft.

10-10 Secret Southern Sauce

When we went to a wedding in Chapel Hill, we had a delicious ham. I sought out the hostess and asked for the recipe. Well, I had to meet the qualifications to receive it as it had been passed down through the family for over an hundred years. I had to be married and I had to promise to not give to anyone (in their family) that wasn't married. So I promised and hopefully no one from that family will ever see this blog. Later we had a discussion with Janene about when ketchup had been created. We looked it up and it is attributed to Heinz in 1876 from a similar Chinese sauce called cat sup. So it is likely an old recipe...

The original recipe is for a large piece of meat to feed many. Here is that recommendation.
Before baking your whole chicken, pork roast or ham, salt and pepper generously and cover. Bake at 325 degrees for an hour or more, depending on size. You can check it with a thermometer if you are unsure.
Then pour this sauce over the meat and allow to meat to res…

10-09 Enchiladas Gringas

I am surprised I didn't get this recipe on here sooner since we make it so often.

In hot skillet, heat up
1 c cooked chicken, chopped
1 can of black or red kidney or pinto beans, drained (or a combo of beans)
1 T or more taco seasoning
Stir until heated through and remove from heat.
Extra mix can be frozen and used later in burritos and tacos, etc.

To assemble:
Spread half of a flour tortilla with sour cream and
Spread a large spoonful of chicken mixture on the other half
Sprinkle with frozen corn and add
pico de gallo or another salsaor chiles or taco sauce on top of meat and corn.
Sprinkle all with shredded Mexi , Jack or sharp cheddar cheese, etc.
Roll tortilla up. Be sure some cheese is in that last part (it melts and keeps the roll together)
Place desired quantity of rolls (about 8 for this recipe) in a baking dish with sides.
At this point, they can be frozen until later. If you do this, thaw before the next step.
Pour enchilada (homemade or 1 can) sauce over the entire dish.
Sprinkle with…

10-08 Frico - Parmesan cup salads

This is an easy and fun way to make salad look "fancy"
Grate about
1/4 c fresh Parmesan or Asiago should work too.
onto a Silpat or nonstick cookie sheet. Tap out flat and evenly.
Put it into 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes until golden and melted.
Remove promptly and as soon as you can handle them quickly place onto inverted cupcake pan.
Press cheese down around cup so that when it cools, each takes the cup shape.
Serve salad in each formed cup.

baby spinach
thinly sliced red onion
toasted, slivered almonds
orange segments
Place inside and spilling out of a frico.

Shake together
zest of 1/2 a lemon
juice of 1/2 a lemon
zest of 1/2 orange
1 T orange juice
1 t honey or agave
2-3 T olive oil
salt to taste
Shake well and drizzle lightly over salad in fricos.
This is from Giada

10-07 Lemony risotto

This is just a fresh twist to a basic risotto.
I added chopped cooked chicken and peas.
The Marscapone made it very creamy. Yum!

Bring to simmer in saucepan:
4 c chicken broth
While waiting, in another pan melt:
2T unsalted butter
Add to sauté in butter:
3/4 c finely chopped onion
Then add
1 1/2 c Arborio rice
Stir to coat with the butter. Add:
1/2 c white cooking wine
Simmer until wine has evaporated, about 3 min.
Now add 1/2 c of broth to the rice at a time, stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 min each scoop.
Repeat, stirring frequently, until all broth has been absorbed - about 20 min.
Remove from heat to stir in
1-2 T Marscapone cheese
a sprinkle of Parmesan
the juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

I think this was from Giada

10-06 Fresh chicken salad with lemon dressing

This is a colorful quick and fresh chicken salad or side.

Season 1 chicken breast with
Sear each side 3-4 minutes in hot skillet.
Remove and cut into bite size pieces.
Toss with
shredded or thinly sliced carrots
shredded or thinly sliced zucchini
thinly sliced colored bell pepper
thinly sliced red onion
a handful of crumbled bleu or feta cheese, or whatever...
Serve with lemon dressing

Lemon dressing
Mix well:
3 T olive oil
2 t lemon zest
1/3 t lemon juice
2 t finely chopped shallots
salt and pepper

10-05 Hoisin Lettuce Wraps

This is somewhat similar to our Hoison Turkey rice but a lighter, cooler version.
Probably should trade this with a summer recipe... but here it is.

In skillet, saute
1/2 lb gr turkey breast
sesame oil
1/2 T ginger, minced
When turkey is cooked, add:
1/4 chicken broth
1/4 c cooked brown rice
1/2 colored bell pepper, finely chopped
1 T Hoisin sauce
When heated through, scoop into
butter or romaine lettuce leaves
and top with shredded carrot and
chopped herbs such as chives, cilantro, basil or mint.
Roll and try to eat without spilling.

10-04 Pumpkin apple muffins

So I have fall fever now. Love these foods I don't make until it gets cold and the leaves are falling as well as the rain....
If you are missing one of the minor spices, don't worry or add in that much of whatever suits you.

Mix together in small bowl:
1 c flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t dry ground ginger
1/2 t ground allspice
1/4 t cardamom
1/4 t ground clove
1/2 t salt
In separate larger bowl, mix together:
3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks)unsalted butter, melted
1 c brown sugar
Whisk into the sugar bowl:
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
Then stir in:
1 c (about 1/2 a 15 oz can) pureéd pumpkin (the leftover from your pumpkin apple stew)
Now mix in the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture.
Then stir in:
3/4 c applesauce or freshly grated apple
Optional additions are
1/2 c dried cranberries, raisins, etc.
1/2 c toasted nuts like pecans, etc.
Pour batter into prepared muffin tins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees until they pass the clean toothpick test.

To make th…

10-03 Pomodoro Gnocchi

All in one dinner, quick and only one pan to clean =)

Brown for about 5 min in your skillet:
1 T olive oil
16 oz vacuum packed gnocchi
Remove from pan & set aside.
Sauté in same pan about 2 minutes:
1 med onion, thinly sliced or chopped
Then add and cook 5 minutes:
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c water
Next add in
6 c baby spinach
Stir and wilt about 1 minute
Add in
1 15 oz can tomatoes, chopped - if not Italian seasoned, season yourself.
1 15 oz can cannellini beans
1/4 t pepper
and return the cooked gnocchi
Bring all to a simmer then turn off heat
Sprinkle with a combination of shredded:
Asiago, Parmesan or Mozzarella, etc. and fresh basil, more herbs, salt and pepper to taste...

10-02 Mexican Hot Chocolate

You can see there isn't the sugar that the store mixes have. Of course if you like it sweeter, add as much sugar or agave as you'd like.

Heat slowly until ALMOST boiling:
1 pint milk
1/4 t cinnamon, ground
1 whole clove
Stir in until melted:
2 oz 70% dark chocolate, chopped or shaved
then add:
1/2 t vanilla
a drop or two of almond extract (optional)
Remove clove (strain if needed) and use immersion blender to blend about 30 seconds.
Serves two.
If you serve it in warm mugs, it will stay warmer longer and you can sprinkle extra flavors in like peppermint sticks or andes mints, chopped or extra cinnamon.

10-01 Pumpkin Apple Stew

This is SO delicious and definitely gives you the "fall" experience.
The sweetness of the apple cider and apples play off the pumpkin and all that's missing is a hayride or carving pumpkins afterward. Its perfect for a cold, miserable day or even if you are just chilled.
It takes a bit of time but is so worth it! Its very flexible -try substituting different veggies or cooking it in the crock pot.
This recipe serves about 5 but is easily doubled for more company.

Put your dutch oven or heaviest pot on the stove top to heat up.
In a baggie or in a mixing bowl, mix together:
1 1/2 T flour
1 t fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
Then add in
1 lb boneless pork, cubed about 1" or smaller
Stir or shake to coat pork well.
Drizzle your hot pan with a bit of
olive oil
Add the coated pork and
1 onion, sliced thinly
Sauté the onions and pork until the onions soften and the pork is brown on all sides, stirring gently occasionally to get all sides.
When thoroughly browned, …

09-30 Stuffed butternut

1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
in oven for 40 minutes flesh side down with a bit of water in the dish
or in microwave for about 20 minutes, covered.

Meanwhile mix filling by combining in processor or blender:
1 egg
1/2 c cottage cheese
2 T milk or creme fraiche or sour cream, etc.
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle with nutmeg
Then mix with
8-10 oz baby spinach, chopped and cooked for about one minute. Drain REALLY well!
(or you can use a frozen block if you thaw and drain it well (squeeze it)
Brush the squash with olive oil and then
Stuff the spinach mixture into the cooked butternut cavity
and return to the oven to bake 15-20 minutes more.
Serve with Parmesan on top.

09-29 Taco soup

E. Palmer shared this one with us off the top of her head, shows how much she uses it!

Sauté in saucepan:
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Then add
2 c chicken broth
1 can black beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 can diced tomatoes
1 little can of chiles
Stir well and add in a combo of
cumin, chili powder & chipotle seasoning
OR just use taco seasoning
Heat through on simmer, then serve with your favorite toppings like
shredded cheese, sour cream and chips.
You could easily throw in some corn too.

09-26 Marilyn's Raspberry muffins

She served these for breakfast when I was in yummy!
You can make them with the nuts for a breakfast muffin or without for more of a dessert.

Mix together:
1 1/2 c flour (or combination with whole grain)
1 c sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
Make a well and add in
12 oz raspberries, thawed and not drained (if frozen)
2 eggs
Stir well
Then mix in
2/3 c canola oil
1/2 c halved or chopped nuts such as almonds, pecans...etc. OPT.
Pour into silpat or cupcake paper lined muffin pan, each well 3/4 or so full.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, test like a cake with a toothpick.
Cool 5 minutes or so before serving.