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.