Thursday, November 7, 2013

let's talk onions

In my attempt to stop throwing away so much produce, I have started freezing chopped onions. Now it's a time saver and huge convenience.

One time I had three huge onions that I wasn't going to use any time soon and that were going to get thrown away. I chopped them all up at once, put in freezer bags, and froze them for later. I LOVE HAVING THEM! I get sick of chopping onions and if it's the only thing I have to chop for a recipe, it's an even bigger drag. Now, I can just grab some out of the freezer and plop right into my pan. Of course, some recipes you have to use fresh, but man -- I really like having them in there. Like, the other day, I made taco soup. Already the easiest recipe, right? With frozen onions, it's even easier.

If I'm chopping a fresh one for a recipe, I go ahead and chop another one at the same time to freeze. Or if I only need half of an onion for a recipe and know I won't be using the other half soon, I just chop up the whole thing and throw the other half in the freezer.

Oven Ham Sammies

Recipe from HERE.

This is a ham version of this roast beef sandwich. My notes are pink.

1 12 count package Kings Hawaiian Rolls
1/2 cup butter melted
1/2 tsp ground mustard (i'd use closer to 1 tsp next time)
1 tsp poppy seeds
2 tsp onion flakes
1 tsp worcheshire sauce (i'll add 2 tsp next time)
1 package swiss cheese
12-16oz thin sliced ham

Put ham and cheese on sliced rolls.

Mix all other ingredients and spoon over sammies. Let set overnight or several hours (i didn't do this because i didn't think ahead of time).

Bake on 350 for 15 min before serving (i think i will cover the pan with tin foil next time like i do with the roast beef sandwiches).

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Roll

Another pumpkin dessert. This is my favorite time of year for desserts, I'll eat anything with pumpkin in it. This is Kim's recipe from the Sorensen family cookbook, but it deserves a place on Eat or Die.

3 eggs                                                    
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C. + 2 TBS flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 C. chopped wall nuts

Beat eggs for 5 minutes.  Gradually add sugar, pumpkin, and lemon juice while beating.  Combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt.  Fold into pumpkin mixture.  Pour into 15x10 cookie sheet lined on the bottom with parchment paper and spray with pam (if you dont have parchment you can generously grease and flour the pan.  I've had bad experiences doing this so I don't recommend it.)  Drop pan on counter several times to smooth and pop bubbles. Sprinkle nuts on top.  Bake 375* for 15 minutes.  Immediately after baking turn pan over and remove cake onto a tea towl sprinkled with powdered sugar, roll up and cool completely.


8 oz. cream cheese
4 TBS butter
1 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together.  When cake is cooled, carefully unroll.  Gently spread filling evenly across cake.  Roll up the cake cover in siran wrap and put in freezer. an hour before serving remove from freezer and let sit 15 min, cut into slices while still somewhat frozen. Let thaw before serving.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pumpkin Donuts

3 1/2 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or
     1tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger and 1/8 tsp cloves
1 c sugar
2 Tbs butter, melted
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
canola oil (for frying)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices and sugar.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients except the oil.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in.  Mix all together until the dough is well combined.  My dough was pretty sticky so I added a little more flour.  Turn onto a well floured surface and roll the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick (they puff up alot when frying so keep them thin or the middle wont get done). Cut with a donut cutter or find whatever you have to make a donut shape.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a large skillet over high heat.  When the oil is hot (drop a piece of dough in to test) gently slide the donut in the hot oil until edges are slightly brown.  Flip it over and allow to cook on the other side.  Romove and place on a baking rack to allow grease to drip off. Glaze while donut is still warm.  .

Buttermilk Glaze

3 C powdered sugar
1/2 C buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Whisk together until smooth.  Dip warm donuts in glaze and then allow to air dry on cooling rack.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sour cream pancakes

This is my most recent favorite pancake recipe. I use nf Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

I'm into serving breakfast for dinner lately.
  • 1 cup Sour Cream or NF Greek Yogurt
  • 7 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  •  Butter, For Frying And Serving
  •  Warm Syrup, For Serving

Preparation Instructions

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
In a separate small bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
In a medium bowl, stir together the sour cream with the dry ingredients until just barely combined (don't overmix.) Whisk in the egg mixture until just combined.
Heat a griddle over medium-low heat and melt some butter in the pan. Drop batter by 1/4 cup servings onto the griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles start to form on the surface and edges are starting to brown. Flip to the other side and cook for another minute. (Pancakes will be a little on the soft side.)
Serve with softened butter and syrup.

Here's a calorie count using NF Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream. I always double the recipe and guess that I use about 2 T of butter total to cook them all in. Doubled recipe made 29 pancakes, using 1 oz/2 T scoop.

1 pancake (including butter it was cooked in) = ~45 kcal


Honey lime chicken enchiladas

I made these delicious things a couple weeks ago.  My favorite enchiladas. I substituted the cream for nf Greek yogurt....the sauce ended up a little curdled I think bc of it, but still tasted great. The chicken after sitting in the sauce is super good. Would be great on a cafe rio style salad or something.
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice (1-2 large limes)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pounds chicken, cooked and shredded (3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  • 8-10 fajita-size flour tortillas
  • 1 pound Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 16 ounces green enchilada sauce (like the Herdez brand)
  • 1 cup heavy cream, sour cream or half-and-half
  1. Whisk together the first four ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the marinade into a Ziploc bag (or other covered container) and toss with the shredded chicken. Refrigerate and let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour and up to 8 hours. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour about 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken (reserving the leftover marinade) and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream (or sour cream/half-and-half) and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Chicken, Butthernut Squash and Quinoa Stew

I ate this whole pot of soup by myself.

Here is the link to the original recipe, but I simplified it a bit and omitted the olives. It's a pretty soup!

  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (I am going to try some sweet potatoes today)
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. Roast the butternut squash in the oven. 400* for about 20 minutes.  
  2. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil.
  3. Add the salt, oregano, pepper, tomatoes and chicken broth. Cook, for 1 minute.
  4. Rinse quinoa and add it to the pot.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add cooked chicken and roasted squash.
  6. Stir in parsley and serve.
Calories 329 / Total Fat 14.1g / Saturated Fat 1.0 / Cholesterol 15.2mg / Sodium 1209mg / Total Carbohydrates 32.8g / Fiber 5.4g / Sugars 3.0g / Protein 19.4g / WW (Old Points) 7 / WW (Points+) 9
This seems like it wouldn't have much flavor, but it totally does. I like it a lot. It gets really thick after a few days, but I like it like that. You could add more liquid to the leftovers if you want to.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

chipotle chicken skewers with creamy dipping sauce

another from mel's kitchen cafe.

WE had these for father's day and they were GOOD!  I kinda wanted the kids to not eat them so we could have more.  But even my kids, who don't love meat, liked them.

Again, I thought I wouldn't like these because I'm not a huge fan of chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, but I loved them.  So super duper good, and the chicken stands on it's own, you almost don't need the dipping sauce, it certainly wasn't the best part of the meal, for me.

I even think you could just marinade the chicken and not skewer it, but I don't like fat chicken, so I would take the extra effort to skewer it.  We did have a problem with slightly overcooked chicken, it was a little dry, because it cooks really fast, so beware.  Also, the dipping sauce makes a ton, and we didn't even eat half of it.  So next time I will half the recipe.

Chipotle Chicken Skewers with Creamy Dipping Sauce
Yield: Makes about 15-16 skewers, serving 6-8
You could definitely use full-fat sour cream or mayo/yogurt, but I'll attest that the sauce was divinely yummy made with reduced fat ingredients. Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce can be quite spicy so if you want to knock the spice down a bit, scrape the seeds out of the chile and discard before mincing the chile for the marinade/dry rub.
    Chicken Skewers:
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-5 medium chicken breasts)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced (scrape out the seeds before mincing to reduce spiciness)
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 bamboo or metal skewers
  • Creamy Dipping Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup lowfat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup lowfat mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, from 2-3 limes
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, minced
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Slice the chicken breasts into long, thin strips, about 1/2-inch thick. You should have right around 30 strips. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cilantro, chipotle chile, adobo sauce, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Toss the chicken with the brown sugar mixture coating all the pieces evenly. Cover the chicken (or place in a ziploc bag) and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  2. For the dipping sauce, in a bowl, stir all the ingredients together. Cover the mixture and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes until the flavors combine. Alternately, you can make the dipping sauce in advance and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Be sure to season the dipping sauce with additional lime juice, salt and pepper to taste before serving.
  3. 30 minutes before grilling, cover the bamboo skewers with water and soak. Skip this step if using metal skewers.
  4. Preheat an oven broiler or gas/charcoal grill. Weave two strips of chicken onto each skewer. Broil or grill the chicken for 5-8 minutes until cooked through, using nonstick cooking spray on a foil-lined pan if you are broiling. Serve immediately (if you broil, you may need to cook in batches) with the dipping sauce.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Cookbook sent to me by Rebecca L (thanks, Rebecca!)

Sweet and spicy pork tenderloin

I was a little skeptical of this one, because I'm not a huge fan of meat (other than taco meat) and chili seasoning, but we really liked it.  I think it's my favorite pork tenderloin I've made, and I've tried lots of marinades and such...

I wanted to grill it, I like to grill in the summer to avoid using the oven, so I adjusted it slightly.  I added the dry rub to the pork, then grilled for however many minutes on each side, (we had it two days in a row, and we perfected the cooking time, but now I cannot remember how long per side).  We just try to get it to the right temperature.  With a minute or so remaining of cooking time, I added the sauce and let it cook into the pork.  Super yummy.  My kids complained that it was a little spicy, but I thought it was great.

from mel's kitchen cafe

Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin
Yield: Serves 6
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 (12- to 16-ounce each) pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  1. Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Pat the pork tenderloin dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture and use the rest to rub over the pork tenderloin on all sides.
  2. In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until it is rippling and hot. Add the pork tenderloins in a single layer and cook the pork until browned on all sides, 5-7 minutes total (flipping as needed). Transfer the pork to an aluminum-foil lined baking pan and bake until the meat registers 140 degrees at the thickest part, about 15-18 minutes. Transfer the pork to a platter or plate and tent with foil, letting it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  3. In a bowl, combine the reserved spice mixture, ketchup, vinegar and sugar and brush over the cooked pork. Slice the pork and serve.
Recipe Source: from Cook’s Country April/May 2012

5 minutes per side (x4)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Sandwich

For our RS activity last night, they had a light dinner with little tea sandwiches. The avocado one was my fave. Very simple.

Cream cheese smeared on bread.
Then layer:
Sliced avocado
Sliced cucumber
Baby spinach
Sprouts (if you dare risk e coli poisoning)

Mmm. A good summer sandwich.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Black Beans

Black Beans and Rice

Cook Time: 1 hr | Makes: *Serves 4-6


  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 (16-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4-5 cups hot, cooked white or brown rice


In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic and saute, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft and tender. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf, oregano and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. If the mixture becomes too thick, add a tablespoon or two of hot water to thin to desired consistency.

Stir in the fresh cilantro and season with salt and pepper; discard the bay leaf. Serve over the hot rice.


Kim made these while I was in Fallon. A good way to spice up your black beans. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Flank steak

Andy's grandpa always used to make flank steak supposedly, it's kind of tradition in his family. I've never had it, but I have his recipe and have made it a few times in the last year. Super easy. I'm sure there's a better, more complex recipe somewhere out there, but this is so quick and really good.

Poke holes every few inches in steak with a fork. Sprinkle thyme on a flank steak and cover with soy sauce (I marinade mine in a ziplock bag, you can do it in a cake pan too). Let marinade for 4 hours or whatever. Grill. Cut very thinly against the grain-this cut of meat is very very lean and can be tough, so this step is absolutely necessary.

Guacamole Salad

I can never think of a vegetable to go with Mexican dishes, like when we have tacos or something. but I discovered this and really like it. I leave the beans out.


  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup small diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and diced (about 1/2-inch pieces)
  1. Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well. This mixture can be refrigerated for 3-4 hours before serving.
  2. Just before you’re ready to serve the salad, fold the avocados into the salad. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste if needed, and serve at room temperature.

Monday, June 3, 2013

let's talk chicken.

my friend brought some grilled chicken for us after i had damon. i love grilled chicken, but i hate dealing with chicken breasts and sometimes they are too big/thick. but my friend brought grilled chicken tenderloins - soooo much better than breasts. i remember mom told me to buy these in college, but i haven't since. they are perfect for grilling. or when the chicken isn't mixed in to other things (ie soup, crock pot chickens, etc ... for these things i still use chicken breasts).

we have eaten grilled chicken every week since. with grilled veg. yum.

i buy the big bag at costco.

our favorite is this recipe. super quick and easy. i let it marinade for like 24 hrs.

just thought i'd share my new discovery and renewed love of grilled chicken.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Zucchini Pizza

Slice zucchinis in half
Brush with olive oil
Sprinkle with garlic powder
Place sliced tomatoes, cheese, whatever else you want on top. 
Roast in oven 375 for 20-30 mins. 

I would cut the zucchinis into thinner strips next time so that they get more roasty and less watery. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sweet and Sour Citrus Chicken Stir Fry

This stuff is so stinking good. I'm not usually big on Chinese type food because it's so heavy, but this is light and I daresay, healthy. The leftovers are fantastic. I found it on Our Best Bites.

Sweet & Sour Citrus Chicken Stir-FryRecipe adapted by Our Best Bites from this recipe by Alice Currah
2/3 cup orange juice
Juice and grated rind of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons juice)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced or grated
Stir-Fry1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets (fresh or frozen; if frozen, pull them out when you begin cooking)
1 1/2 cups green beans (fresh or frozen; pull these out of the freezer with the broccoli)
1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 small or medium red onion, halved and cut into 1/4″ slices
I added 8 ounces of mushrooms too. 
You can kind of do whatever veggies you like. 
In a large skillet, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a heat-safe bowl. Rinse out the skillet and wipe it dry.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with corn starch and rub the corn starch into the chicken.
Add about 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan to coat it. Add the seasoned chicken and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add the onions and other veggies and stir-fry until the beans and broccoli are tender-crisp. Add the sauce, a few tablespoons at a time, allowing the sauce to bubble up after each addition. Serve immediately over hot rice. Makes 4 servings.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Costco dinner

No, this isn't a recipe for a hot dog and soda.

As I was throwing stuff together I realized all my ingredients were from Costco.  So if you  make this and you get your Broccoli from Smiths or Safeway (for the Fallonites) you can't call it Costco Dinner. You have to call it something like Chicken Pesto Tortelini with Broccoli. This is easy and so tasty, that costco pesto is heavenly.


7 Cheese Tortelini
Broccoli flourettes
Chicken breast(s)
Pesto sauce
Grated Dubliner Cheese or Parmesan

Bake a chicken breast or two depending on how much tortellini you're making and how much you like chicken.  Start boiling some water when chicken is about 2/3 done. When water starts to boil add desired amount of tortellini and desired amount of broccoli at the same time. I like my broccoli a little on  the crunchy side so if you like it mushier add it a little before the tortellini. Dice up the chicken, add it to the drained tortellini and broccoli then add desired amount of pesto. I actually let everyone add their own pesto to their own dishes because some of us like more pesto than others.  Top with grated cheese.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pot Roast

I've found it. The best pot roast ever.
I've never really liked the other recipes. They're always too salty (onion soup mix) or weird looking (cream of mushroom). But this one is herbaceous and beautiful. I just really loved it.

It's from pioneer woman. Here is a link to her step by step instructions. I used a crock pot.

Here is the recipe:
  • 1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds) Chuck Roast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Onions
  • 6 whole Carrots (Up To 8 Carrots)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Red Wine (optional, You Can Use Beef Broth Instead)
  • 2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or more to taste
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, or more to taste

Preparation Instructions

First and foremost, choose a nicely marbled piece of meat. This will enhance the flavor of your pot roast like nothing else. Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).
Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.
Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.
If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.
When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.

Then I turned the left over juice into a gravy and it was so so good. I could drink it. I just started about 2 T butter and 2 T flour in a saucepan for thickening, then added the juice.

Plus the carrots...were so good. I ate them like candy. You know you've got a good pot roast when the carrots are divine.

I think I would serve this with mashed potatoes in the future so that I can use more of the gravy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

banana muffins--no flour, no sugar

I found the recipe here, via pinterest, and I really like these.  They are not very sweet and that is what I like about them.  If you are looking for a cakey muffin, don't make these.  You will be disappointed.  If you are looking for a healthy way to use up over ripe bananas, this is your recipe.  The first time I made these I used cupcake liners and they totally stuck to the liner, and it was a pain to eat them.  The second time I made them I just sprayed the pans and it worked out better.  We also like to add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and a 1/2 cup walnuts (but my kids have now nixed the nuts...oh, well).
140 cal/muffin (with cchips and nuts)
102 cal/muffin (with cchips)

2.5 cups old fashioned oats 

1 cup plain low fat greek yogurt (I have only used fat free greek yogurt)

2 eggs

1/2 cup honey

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 TBSP ground flax seed

1 tsp vanilla

2 ripe bananas 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray tin with non-stick cooking spray or line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners.
2. Place the oats in the food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds.  Add remaining ingredients to the food processor.
3. Process until everything is mixed together and oats are smooth.
4. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

And this is what you get people:

Let them cool on a wire rack for just a few minutes and then dig in.  They are actually really good when they are warm!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

rick bayless tortilla soup

I thought everyone knew who Rick Bayless was, but Jeff had no clue, and Emily didn't know either...but he makes mexican food look healthy and good...

I found the recipe here

Makes 10 cups, serving 6

1 large dried pasilla (negro) chile, stemmed and seeded (the black ones in the grocery store.  I suggest using 1.5 or 2)
One 15-oz can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
2 tblsp vegetable or olive oil
1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 quarts chicken broth
1 large sprig fresh epazote, if you have one (I've never found this ingredient)
4 (about 1-1/4 lbs total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2 inch thick cubes (I have always used a rotisserie chicken)
1 large ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1-1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Mexican melting cheese, or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar
A generous 4 cups (about 6 oz) roughly broken tortilla chips
1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving
I also add corn and black beans to give it some more heft.

Quickly toast the chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds, until its aroma fills the kitchen. (Lacking an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.) Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender, along with the tomatoes with their juice. (A food processor will work, but it won't completely puree the chile.)

Everytime I make this, I wish I'd done this step first...the onions can cook while you are toasting and pureeing the chile and tomatoes.  Heat the oil in a large (4 quart) saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender; set the pan aside. Process until smooth.

Return the pan to medium-high heat. When it is quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and epazote if using. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually about a generous teaspoon (depending on the saltiness of the broth). 

Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering broth. Divide the avocado, cheese and tortilla chips among the serving bowls. When the chicken is done, ususally about 5 minutes, ladle the soup into the bowls. Pass the lime separately. Rotisserie or grilled chicken can stand in for the raw chicken breasts (add it at the last second). I add the corn, beans and chicken right before serving and just heat til warm. 

We like it with sour cream, cheese, and avocado and of course tortilla chips.  Also, the first time I made this I pretty much assumed my kids wouldn't eat it.  I thought it would be too spicy or they'd think it was weird, but everyone ate it and loved it (even Calvin).  It's really just a chicken taco soup. 

Here's a time saving tip...whenever I make this soup, I double the ingredients up until I blend everything (the tomatoes, chili, onions, garlic).  Then I divide the mixture in two, put one part in the pot and the other part in the freezer.  I don't recommend reducing both mixtures at once, it takes a long time and splatters all over the kitchen making a mess, and almost making this a non time saver.   But when you have a busy day, and need an easy meal, all you have to do is pull the mixture out of the freezer pop it in your pan, reduce it and add the broth, chicken (and beans and corn if you are me)...I always make this on a day that I go to the store, so I always buy a rotisserie chicken.  Easy peasy. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Peanut Sauce

If you like Thai anything or spring rolls, make this sauce. Now. It makes a ton, so I kept it in the fridge and thew it on Pad Thai after we were done with our spring rolls. I actually had everything on hand, which was a miracle. I was licking my fingers. Could drink this stuff actually.

Found the recipe here.

Easy Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe: How to Make My Mom’s Thai Satay Sauce
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 3.5 cups
  • One 13.5-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 ounces (approximately ¼ cup) of Thai red (mom’s preference and mine too) or Massaman curry paste (milder but flavorful) I used 3-4 T. Red curry paste. Comes in a tiny bottle. Found it at Raleys I think, but I'm sure WINCO would have it too
  • ¾ cup unsweetened (natural) creamy peanut butter (Do not use regular peanut butter. I use Smucker’s natural peanut butter — the kind that comes with natural peanut oil on top.) I used Adams brand. That's what we had in the cupboard
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar I think you could do less for sure. It was a bit sweet for me.
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (Do not use white wine, red wine, balsamic, or anything else — not even rice vinegar)
  • ½ cup water
  1. Put everything into a medium heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
  2. Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat; be careful not to let the mixture scorch at the bottom of the pot.
  3. Take the pot off the heat, let the sauce cool down to room temperature (or slightly warmer), and serve the sauce with satay or fried tofu.
This peanut sauce keeps in a glass container in the refrigerator for weeks. Refrigerated sauce will thicken up considerably. All you have to do is thin it out with a little bit of water to desired consistency, reheat, and serve. The sauce also freezes beautifully. I prefer Maesri red curry paste. But you can also use Mae Ploy red curry paste (it’s hotter). A lot of people like to use massaman curry paste, and you can do that too. Originally, Mom used roasted peanuts, ground up in a mortar and pestle. For those who feel the use of natural peanut butter in this recipe is blasphemous, please feel free to go that route. But then, what is unsweetened, natural peanut butter if not roasted peanuts ground up into a paste? For those living in areas of the world where commercial natural peanut butter is not available, please grind up 12 ounces of roasted peanuts using whatever means most convenient for you. Then use the peanut paste in the same manner as peanut butter as directed.