Sunday, December 28, 2008

Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs with Edamame and Rice

I found the inspiration for the recipe in Real Simple magazine. The original recipe called for ground chicken and a few ingredients I didn't have sitting around the house (fresh ginger and green onions) and since I was too lazy to run to the store, I cooked up turkey meatballs with garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar. The results of this recipe were SUPER DELICIOUS.
Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs with Edamame and Rice:
1 lb. ground turkey
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
A few generous splashes of soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil for cooking up the meatballs
1 cup rice
1 cup edamame, shelled
Combine turkey, garlic, brown sugar, sesame oil, and soy suace in mixing bowl. Shape mixture in to meatballs. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs and cook throughly.
Serve over rice and steamd edamame. YUM!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Beef Barley Soup for a REALLY Chilly Night

Sub zero temperatures. Wind reaching 45 miles per hour. A flat tire on the Subaru. Three reasons to have a hearty bowl of beef barley soup. I substituted ground deer meat for the beef and threw in random veggies we had in the freezer. I love soup because it's a great way to "clean" out the freezer and fridge.

Beef Barley Soup (my own creation):

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 cup water

2 - 3 cups beef broth

1 small onion, chopped

2-3 large cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup pearled barley, uncooked

1 1lb ground deer or beef, cooked

1 cup frozen lima beans (or whatever you have in the freezer or fridge)

2 cups frozen carrots

1 bay leaf


Salt and Pepper

Splash Hot Sauce

Bring tomatoes, water, and beef broth to boil. Add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 1 hour in dutch oven. This would be easy to do in a crock pot too.

I had an awesome weekend with my in-laws! I miss them already. :-(

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tis The Season for Reubens

My fabulous husband made some really good reubens for supper. They were really good! After dinner we had a mini Christmas with one another. We couldn't wait to give our gifts to one another...
Even the wrapping paper was cute. :-) Gotta love our cutesy nicknames on the package.

I got "Across the Universe" (my new movie obsession) and Bill Bryson's "Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" (a book I've been wanting to read FOREVER!)

Jake LOVED his absolutely beautiful ties from seller Toybreaker.
The quality of the ties is second to none and the fact that they are handmade makes them that more special. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing from Toybreaker.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

White Bean Chicken Chili w/ Pepper Jack Cheese

This is a yummy one from Jake's mom, Shelly. Super easy, super flavorful, and super good!

2 cans northern white beans
16 oz. salsa
1 can diced green chilies
2 cups chicken broth
8 oz. hot pepper cheese
4 boneless chicken breast, cubed and sauteed (really good if you slow cook the chicken and shred)

Place all ingredients in dutch oven or slow cooker and heat until cheese is melted. Serve with fresh cilantro and tortilla chips.

Happy holidays from us!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Beef Tips Cabernet

The inspiration for this recipe came from Katie over at Good Things Catered. And, as she mentioned in her post this recipe is "FULL of flavor". I opted to cook mine in a crock pot rather than a dutch oven.

I prepared this recipe for two servings only. It can easily be adjusted to serve more.

1 lb. beef sirloin, trimmed and cut into cubes
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 package mushrooms, dusted and quartered
Fresh Rosemary Sprigs ( I used two)
Fresh Thyme ( I used two)
2 Bay leaves
1 cup cabernet sauvigon
1 cup beef broth
flour (for thickening)
salt and pepper (to taste)
Olive oil

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in frying pan. Add beef and brown for 2-3 minutes. Remove beef from the pan and place in crock pot. Add wine to the pan to deglaze. After deglazing add wine to crockpot along with beef broth. Add mushrooms and herbs to the crockpot. Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours. Before serving thicken w/ flour and water mixture.

Serve over mashed potatoes.

My mashed potatoes

4 large potatoes, peeled and halved
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
Butter ( I usually add 1/2 a stick)
Milk (A few splashes until I reach the desired consistencey)
Sour Cream (2-3 tablespoons)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring potatoes to boil in stockpot, boil until potatoes are easily pierced by a fork. Remove potatoes from heat and drain. Add garlic, butter, milk, sour cream, and salt and pepper to potatoes. Mash with potato masher or hand blender.

This Pasta is Da Bomb

Bow Tie Pasta w/ Boursin Sauce

I found this recipe in the Bride and Groom First and Forever cookbook that was given to us as a wedding shower gift.

This pasta is super flavorful (thank to the Boursin cheese) and really easy to make. We've made it twice since finding the recipe and I've changed it up each time. Below is the original recipe and in red are the changes I've made. This is a recipe that is sure to impress. Enjoy.

8 ounces bow tie pasta
14 medium asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces any vegetable works well, we used broccoli once and asparagus the other time
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, mince
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, preferably parmigiano reggiano
2 ounces boursin cheese , garlic and fine herbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
3/4 teaspoon lemon pepper, plus more as needed
fresh flat leaf parsley, for garnishing (optional)
3/4 cup reserved pasta water I used 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/4 cup white wine for more flavor
Chicken is a great add-in to this pasta

Put the pine nuts in a dry small skillet over medium heat. Shake constantly until evenly toasted on all sides, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

Fill a large saucepan three fourths full of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and add kosher salt. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the asparagus to the pan and cook until tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and asparagus, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water.

Set the pan over medium heat and heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the pasta and asparagus to the pan, then add the reserved cooking water. Add the tomatoes (if using), Parmesan cheese, Boursin, dill, and the 3/4 teaspoons lemon pepper and toss to combine. Stir in the pine nuts. Season with kosher salt to taste and more lemon pepper if necessary.

Divide the pasta between 2 bowls and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Homey Kitchen

Look what I just ordered from singlestonestudio's etsy shop!! It's going to go great in our kitchen!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One of the Country's Best Sandwich Places

According to the August 2008 issue of Bon Appetit magazine the market 2 blocks from my apartment is the #10 best sandwich shop in the United States.

Jake and I go to Gateway Market all of the time, mainly because of it's location and the variety of items that we can't find in chain stores. I admit to stopping there for breakfast and paying an extreme $5 for a bagel and coffee (shame on me--that's not in the budget) but I had never had a sandwich there; after reading the article I HAD to try one. I opted for the beef brisket and chuck burger and Jake had the slider sampler.

Ther verdict: The burger was good but not great. I asked for it cooked medium and it came well done ( I really do not enjoy well-done beef). The flavor was so-so and didn't have any outstanding qualities. I will admit the price wasn't bad and will go back for a second try; it may have been an off day. For the best burger in Des Moines I suggest Francie's in South Des Moines.

Jake's slider sampler was quite good. We particularly enjoyed the lobster shrimp roll.

Have any of you readers enjoyed an extraordinary burger somewhere? Please share. I love burgers!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fried Fish and Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potatoes

Jake's dad is the ultimate outdoorsman. He's a fish and wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (he's really good at his job). We are constanly blessed with the fruits of his hunting and fishing labors. Our freezer always has venison and fish in it - YUM! Now, I will admit it took me awhile to like venison but now I use it instead of beef. Plus, meat products from hunting and fishing are much more environmentally friendly than farm raised meat.

This evening we fried up some blue gill and catfish that Jake's dad caught. His dad makes a really good and simple breading. We had some really good sweet potato fries and jalapeno creamed corn on the side.

Fried Fish:
2/3 fryin' magic
1/3 cup finely crushed corn flakes
1/4 cup oil
fillets of fish
Place fish fillets in milk. Remove from milk and cover with breading. Heat oil to medium heat. Fry fish 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve with lemon.
Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Fries (thanks to Mom for the idea):
3 large sweet potatoes, cut like steak fries
Generous amount of olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to fit yout taste)
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt and pepper
Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet. Combine oil, sugar, pepper, chili pepper, salt and pepper. Pour over sweet potatoes and make sure they are all coated. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Healthy Black Bean Soup

Another recipe from our belated wedding shower. This recipe is from my Mom who found it in one of her Rachel Ray coookbooks. It must be a Rachel Ray week for me.

The soup was really easy to make, full of veggies, and perfect for a chilly fall night. Cornbread was a perfect accompiniant. Only bummer thing about this soup was that I accidently bought black soy beans instead of real black beans! Black soy beans are not that good.
Black Bean Soup:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), 2 turns of the pan
1 sprig fresh bay leaves or 1 large dried bay leaf
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 ribs celery with greens, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cans black beans (15 ounces)
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander -- I omitted this and used fresh lime juice in its place
Salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons hot sauce, divided
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 can diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes with peppers and onions or stewed tomatoes (15 ounces)
Heat a medium size soup pot over medium-high heat. Add EVOO to hot pot then bay leaves, jalapeño, garlic, celery and onions. Cook 3-4 minutes, then add red peppers and continue to cook. Drain 2 cans of beans and add them. With remaining can, pour the juice and half the beans into the pot. Use a fork to mash up the beans remaining in the can. Stir the mashed beans into the pot and season with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and 2-3 tablespoons hot sauce. Add stock and tomatoes to the stoup and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes over low heat.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Pasta and Pilgrim Pie

I finally made a fall themed -meal!

I found a pumpkin pasta recipe on Rachel Ray's page on The recipe was easy to prepare and took about 15 minutes (just like the recipe stated) Super flavorful and savory. It was accompanied by a spinach salad with apples, walnuts, and my cousin's awesome salad dressing.

One of my fondest childhood memories is making pies with my grandma the night before Thanksgiving. All of the ladies and girls would gather in my grandparent's small but functional country kitchen to make at least a dozen pies for the big feast the next day. One of my favorite pies is grandma's pilgrim pie; it's a pecan pie with coconut and rolled oats--SOOOOO GOOD! When I was preparing it this evening the memories of my childhood easily resurfaced. I could smell her kitchen, I pictured the mess of baking supplies splattered on countertops, walls, and the floor, I remembered sticking my tiny fingers in the pie filliing to sneak a taste, and I could recall the laughter that filled that tiny kitchen. What a wonderful thing! I hope you enjoy making the pie as much as I do.

Pilgrim Pie:

2 eggs, beaten,

1 cup sugar

1 cup karo syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 oz. butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup coconut

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup chopped pecans

Pie shell -- I just used an already made one

Beat together eggs, sugar, syrup, vanilla, butter, and salt. Stir in coconut, rolled oats, and pecans to mixture. Put into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and 30 minutes at 350 degrees ( I have no idea why she does the heat change, but she always has done it that way).

Grandma's words of wisdom to me at the bottom of the pilgrim pie recipe card:

"To Jenny: Spoil your husband, but don't spoil your children." Grandma raised 6 wonderful children while working full time as a teacher and farmer.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Green Eggs and Ham

Wanna know what's been keeping me busy?

My wonderful Club kids! Above is a pic of some of my Torch Club members serving Green Eggs and Ham to the younger kids at the Club. These kids are AMAZING.

Torch Club members are responsible for planning and implementing Club and Community service projects and events. The first project for 2008 was a Green Eggs and Ham day for the little kids at the Club. Torch Club members read Dr. Seusse's famous book, colored pictures of Sam I Am with the little ones, prepared and served Green Eggs and Ham, and played pin the green egg on the plate.

Green Eggs and Ham are easy to make! Just follow this recipe on!

"Say!I like green eggs and ham!I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!And I would eat them in a boat.And I would eat them with a goat...And I will eat them in the rain.And in the dark. And on a train.And in a car. And in a tree.They are so good, so good, you see!"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Marsala Chicken

In late August my family held a late wedding shower for Jake and I. At the shower each guest was asked to bring a recipe card with their favorite recipe written on it. We got some great recipes and we're determined to try them all before the New Year. Tonight, we made the Marsala Chicken from my Cousin Jake and his beautiful wife, Carissa.

Jake pretty much cooked the Marsala chicken while I worked on the salad and dressing. He did a great job! The recipe was easy to follow and didn't take long at all. The next time we make it we'll add some prosciutto and make more sauce.

Marsala Chicken:
2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed marjoram
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 tablespoons sliced onions
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup marsala
salt and pepper to taste
Mix flour, marjoram, salt and pepper; lightly press chicken into flour mixture, both sides.
Cook mushrooms and onions in butter until tender. Remove and replace with chicken in same skillet on med-high 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and onions, then add broth and marsala; cook uncovered 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens.
Transfer chicken to serving plate, spoon mushroom mixture over chicken.

Long Lost Recipe: Amazing Salad Dressing

In May 2007 my cousin made this really great salad for a family gathering and gave me the recipe via e-mail. I made it once and never printed off the recipe. Well, today I was rummaging through old e-mails and I happened upon it. It was like finding $10 in my winter coat when I bring it out of storage. SOOO EXCITING!

I'm going to make this tonite with Chicken Marsala. I'll post pics later. But, until then, here's the recipe.

My Cousin's Super Delicious Salad:

1/3 C White balsamic Vinegar

1 C Maple Syrup

1/4 C lemon juice

1/4 C chopped garlic

1 C olive oil

2 T Black Pepper

2T fresh Basil chopped

Combine all ingrediants except Oil, Once combined add oil. Salad consists on field greens, golden raisins, grape tomatoes, gorganzola cheese and toasted walnuts

As an extra shout-out ot my fabulous cousin. I just caught sight of this beautiful wedding cake she did for a wedding. So talented. :-)

French Onion Soup

Jake loves french onion soup. His love affair began when he had Panera's--which, is really good.

My dad always made french onion soup when we had it at home;I got his recipe and that's what I made last night for dinner. This recipe takes A LOT less time than other french onion soups, but keep in mind it isn't as flavorful because you don't cook the onions as long. It's still really good and easy to make on a night you don't have a lot of energy or time.
French Onion Soup(recipe is cut down for 2):
2 onions, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (using fresh would be even better)
1 bay leaf
2 cans or 20 oz. condensed beef broth
Splash of cooking sherry or red wine
2 slices French bread, toasted
Swiss Cheese (or any yummy cheese of your choice)
Melt butter in stockpot and add onions. Cover and cook over low heat for 25-20 minutes (onions will become carmelized and really yummy smelling). Stir occaionally. Add broth, wine or sherry, and spices. Heat to boiling then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Set oven to broil. Place toasted bread in ovenproof bowl. Pour in onions and broth, top with cheese. Place bowls on cookie sheet and broil until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Stewed Green Beans

As mentioned in my Green Beans and Red Potatoes entry, I had planned on using the leftovers to make stewed green beans similar to this recipe on Good Things Catered. Instead of lamb I used beef and I added potatoes. I make a stewed okra that is very similar to this recipe. I highly suggest using okra in place of the green beans. SUPER GOOD!

Since I used leftovers I cut the original recipe down by quite a bit. You will notice the changes in the recipe below.

This made for a really good and filling meal when served over rice.

Stewed Green Beans:
Fresh Green Beans

Red Potatoes

1/2 lb. beef

1/2 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

20 oz. can tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

1 bay leaf

Salt and Pepper

In stockpot brown meat in butter. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add tomato sauce and water to the pot. Season with bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 1 hour. Serve over rice.
And, for dessert. Ben and Jerry's One Cheesecake Brownie. Oh, how I miss the days of factory seconds in Vermont.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Green Beans and Red Potatoes

This is quite possibly one of my favorite comfort meals, and most fitting to my "Cooking in the Heartland" theme. My grandma always seemed to have a big pot of green beans and red potatoes with bacon during the summer. Such a simple combination. When my mom and dad visited last weekend they brought me a big bag of garden fresh green beans. Of course, I had to make green beans and red potatoes. I omitted the bacon because Jake and I were too lazy to go the store. I plan on using the leftovers to make a green bean stew similar to this recipe from Good Things Catered, I'll use beef in place of the lamb.

The recipe is simple...

Fresh out of the garden green beans (use as little or as much as you want), snapped and washed

Red potatoes (use as much or as little as you want), washed and cut

1 small onion, chopped

Fresh Cut Bacon, sliced into smaller pieces

Salt to taste

Place green beans,potatoes,onions,and bacon into large pot of water ( I used chicken broth and water). Sprinkle salt into water and bring to boil. Gently boil for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain water and serve.
* Arlo, our bird really enjoyed the green beans, too. :-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Basil Pesto

I cannot take all the credit for tonight's dinner, considering that my mom was the person who actually made the pesto sauce. She makes a rockin' pesto every year with the tons of basil she manages to produce. She freezes a majority of the pesto in ice cube trays then gives me cute little frozen pesto cubes in plastic bags--super easy and convenient for quick meals.

Jake and I boiled up some spaghetti, chopped up some tomatoes and mushrooms, and sautteed shrimp. We added the veggies and shrimp to the pasta and smothered it with declicious pesto!

Not so happy with my food pic tonight--the lighting is weird. The pic of my awesome parents is pretty great though. Can you believe my mom is nearly 50 and has gone through open heart surgery? God, she's amazing!

Mom's Basil Pasta:

2 cups fresh basil

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup olive oil (this is an estimate, you may need more)

1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts (I love these, I would add more)

Salt and Pepper

Place all ingredients except olive oil in food processor. Gradually add the olive oil while processing the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Serve with pasta or freeze to use later. You can always add more to the pesto (arugula is the bomb in pesto!) This is just a basic recipe--get creative, all!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Asian Noodle Salad and Pot Stickers

WOW! I just got done with supper and it was sooooo good I couldn't wait to sit down and blog about it.

I made the Asian Noodle Salad off of the famous Pioneers Woman's blog. I've drooled over her recipes for awhile but had never made one of them up until tonight. It was amazing. The flavor, the texture, the color, the presentation, all of it! The only bummer thing about the salad was the fact that I had no bean sprouts ( I wasn't about to use nasty canned ones) and I was too lazy to run to the Asian market on the other side of the city.

The pot stickers were flavorful but something went wrong in the cooking part of it. They were a bit gooey. I had made pot stickers once before these and I really enjoyed them--I don't know what I did differently this time. I don't think I browned them enough before adding the water.

Asian Noodle Salad:
1 packages linguine noodles, cooked, rinsed, and cooled -- I used 1/2 package

1/2 to 1 head sliced Napa cabbage -- I used half

1/2 to 1 head sliced purple cabbage -- I used half

1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach -- I used half

1 red bell pepper, sliced thin

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin

1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin -- I omitted this

1 small bag bean sprouts (also called “mung bean sprouts”) --- I omitted this

3 sliced scallions

LOTS of chopped cilantro—up to one bunch

1 can whole cashews, lightly toasted in skillet -- didn't have any so I used almonds instead

Juice of 1 lime

8 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil

6 tablespoons soy sauce

1/3 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped

2 cloves chopped

2 hot peppers or jalapenos, chopped

More chopped cilantro—LOTS

Mix together salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on platter.

Pot Stickers:

1/2 lb. ground pork

1 cup napa cabbage, chopped

3 scallion, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Freshly grated ginger

1 tablespoon seasame oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Soy sauce


15-20 wonton wrappers

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 cup water

Mix pork, cabbage, scallions, cilantro, ginger, seasame oil, sugar, salt, and soy sauce together. Lay out wonton wrapper and place 1 tablespoon (or a bit less) in the middle of the wrapper. Fold wrap in half over mixture and seal together with water; repeat until meat mixture is done.

Heat vegetable oil in deep fry pan. Place pot stickers into heated oil and brown both sides (approximately 30-45 seconds per side) Add water and bring to gentle boil for 8 minutes. Remove from water and serve.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Before making this I had only had puttanesca from a jar. I always loved it out of a jar but figured making my own would taste even better--which is true! And, OH MY GOD, it makes your house smell amazing.

I used a puttanesca recipe from Rachel Ray. You can find the recipe here. For some reason I was thinking puttanesca would be really hard to make. Boy, I was wrong. SUPER EASY AND SUPER QUICK! That's just the way I like it.

2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tin flat anchovy fillets, drained
1 /2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
20 oil-cured black olives, cracked away from pit and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers
1 (32-ounce) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
A few grinds black pepper
1/4 cup (a couple of handfuls) flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 pound spaghetti, cooked to al dente

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil, garlic, anchovies, and crushed pepper. Saute mixture until anchovies melt into oil and completely dissolve and garlic is tender, about 3 minutes: your kitchen never smelled so good! Add olives, capers, tomatoes, black pepper, and parsley. Bring sauce to a bubble, reduce heat, and simmer 8 to 10 minutes.

Fried Rice

I make fried rice on nights that we want a tasty and filling meal without a lot of work. The first time I ever made it I used a recipe, but haven't since then. I throw in whatever veggies I have in the refrigerator and it always taste good. I used carrots, celery, green onions, garlic, and mushrooms( a bag of mixed organic mushrooms from Woodstock Farms)when I made this. The great thing about fried rice is that you can add almost anything to it. I love it with fresh ginger and chicken. YUM!

I've come to realize that I suck at writing recipes. If you have any advice on how to make them better, please let me know!

Fried Rice:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dark seasame oil
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup mixed mushrooms
2 eggs, beaten
Soy Sauce to taste
-Heat vegetable oil and seasame oil in a wok or frying pan. When the oil is hot add the vegetables and rice and cook for about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir constantly.
Make a well in the center of the rice and pour eggs into it;let cook for about 1-2 minutes then stir into rice. Stir soy sauce into the rice and cook for about 1-2 minutes. EAT UP!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Green Turkey Chili

Last year, on a cold winter night, my friend Alison had me over for soup and Project Runway--a nearly perfect night in my opinion. We were in the middle of a diet frenzy so all of our cooking was healthy and we both fit into jeans 2 sizes smaller than what we wear now. We made a delicious and low fat turkey chili that rocked my world ten times over--so much so that it's become a staple recipe in my life. We got the recipe from one of those health magazines, and unfortunately the clipping is long lost, but luckily, it's an easy recipe and one that sticks with you even after it's gone.

Being that I'm trying to fit back into my small jeans again, the hubby and I are trying to eat healthier. And, there's a chill in the air that had me dreaming of warm soup all day. Seems a perfect day to make Green Turkey Chili.

The recipe called for any type of pre-processed green salsa. We selected the Pace Salsa Verde (pictured at right) and it's the only kind I've ever used with this recipe. I had never been impressed with a Pace product until I tried this. Don't feel obligated to use this in your soup, it's merely a suggestion--you could be super natural and make your own, but I'm lazy on weeknights.


1 small white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 pound ground turkey

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 jar salsa verde

1 can northern white beans (or any type of white bean you like)

2 cups chicken broth

Drizzle bottom of saucepan with oil, heat. Add chopped onions and garlic, sautee until transluscent. Add ground turkey to sauce pan and throughly cook. Add cilantro, salsa verde, beans, and chicken broth to saucepan;stir. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

A yummy recipe from realiable Betty Crocker. Breakfast is going to be yummy this week!

Cinnamon streusel topping:
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons firm butter
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Heat oven to 400 degress. Grease 12 regular size muffin cups. In medium bowl, mix 1/4 cupe flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly.
In large bowl, beat milk, oil, egg, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in 2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder and salt all at once just until flour is moistened (will be lumpy). Gently stir in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle each with about 2 teaspoons streusel topping.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until gold brown.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Spinach Stuffed Shells

On Sunday my mom's family held a belated wedding shower for Jake and I. Each guest was asked to write down their favorite recipe on a recipe card and provide a gift that could be used in or with the recipe. We received some really great recipes (lots of classics) and some really great gifts. I finally got the microplane zester/grater I've wanted!

I will post pics of the gathering as soon as my mom send them.

Our goal is to prepare all of the recipes that were given to us within the next month. We started last night with My Aunt Connie and Uncle Mike's recipe for Spinach Stuffed Shells. The preparation time on these suckers is pretty much nothing. And, the nutmeg (yay for my new microplane zester/grater) adds the perfect amount of kick and surprise to them

Spinach Stuffed Shells:

1 box shells

2 cups spinach

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 1/2 cups cottage cheese

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 jar spaghetti sauce

Cook shells according to package. Combine spinach, mozarella, cottage cheese, eggs, and nutmeg. Stuff shells with the above mixture. Place in 9 x 13 pan; pour spaghetti sauce over shells. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Remove foil, sprinklw with freshly grated parmesan cheese, bake for a few minutes more. Remove from oven, let stand for 5-10 minutes. Serve.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Super Simple Chicken Noodle Soup

Yesterday I felt like crap. I mean absolute CRAP. My head was stuffy, my throat was sore, my body was achey, and all I wanted was chicken noodle soup, lavender tea, and sleep.

So when I got home from work the hubby and I went to the grocery store to pick up a rotisserie chicken and came home to make some chicken noodle soup.

I don't use a recipe, so I'm estimating on the amounts.

Super Simple Chicken Noodle Soup:

2 cups shredded chicken

1 big carton chicken broth
1 cup water

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1-2 cups egg noodles

1 tablespoon hot sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken broth and 1 cup water to boil in stockpot. After liquid has come to a boil add chicken, carrots, celery, green onions, egg noodles, and hot sauce. Boil for 10-12 minutes then reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and serve steamy hot.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Family Can Cook (and EAT!)

This weekend Jake and I headed back to my hometown for the annual Founder's Day celebration. Every year my uncle (who has an amazing kitchen that I am intensely jealous of) invites lots of people over and we cook lots of really good food and gorge ourselves silly. The picture above shows my cousins Jake and Brandon thoroughly enjoying their meals.

Our family has a few staple recipes that tend to show up at most of our gatherings. One is Spanakopites and the other is Dolmades. My grandmother is from Greece and those are two of her favorite family recipes. Along with the Dolamades and Spanakopites we had shishkabobs, stewed okra over rice pilaf, orzo salad, and a Greek salad. A serious delight for the taste buds. The recipes for dolmades and spanakpites follow. Please forgive the non-descript recipes as they are family recipes and we pretty much know how to make both without looking at the recipe. The next time I prepare either of these, I will take pictures of the folding process to better illustrate how it is done.

Dolmades: ( This is the basic recipe, I always add more tomato paste and olive oil)

2 lbs ground beef

1 cup long grain rice

1/2 cup onion, chopped

6 oz. can tomato paste

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice from one lemon

Jar of grape leaves (can be found at most markets)

Mix all of the above ingredients together, except the grape leaves. Lay out a grape leaf and add about one spoonful of filling in the middle. Fold the leaf around the mixture and place in large pot. Continue this process until all grape leaves are stuffed. Once they are all placed in the pot, cover with water and boil for 20-25 minutes.

The following link has a great guide on folding the leaves:


2 packages chopped frozen spinach, thawed and well drained

1 package crumbled feta cheese

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup parsley

1/4 cup dill (I use fresh if I have it and put more in)

2 eggs, beaten

1 package phyllo dough

1 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup bread crumbs

melted butter

Saute onions in butter until clear. Add spinach and cook until dry. Add parsley and dill;stir and cool. Add feta cheese and eggs to spinach mixture; stir well.

Combine parmesan and bread crumbs; set aside.

Lay out one piece phyllo dough (The other phyllo dough should be placed between slightly moist towels to keep it from drying out) Brush melted butter on the phyllo dough, sprinkle with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Fold dough into thirds, add 2 tablespoons of spinach mixture; fold into triangles. Brush with butter and place on baking sheet. Continue process until all spinach muxture is used. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown.

Uncle Mike enjoys the meal. Go OBAMA!!!