Monday, July 18, 2011

Sneak in Smoothie

A friend at church gets her kids to drink this every morning.  I've been meaning to try it with Annabeth.  I like the idea of sneaking in vegetables for her....and me!

"Sneak-it-in Smoothie"

Pour 1 c. juice into blender (orange and pineapple are good choices--apple's not bad either)
Add spinach up to the top of the blender and blend until the spinach is no longer detectable.
Add everything else at this point:
about 1 c. frozen fruit (strawberries, pineapple, peaches are good choices--whatever you have)
1 frozen banana (it doesn't have to be frozen, but I think it makes the smoothie better when it's frozen)
handful of baby carrots
flax seed or ground flax (I buy this in bulk at Sprouts), optional
zucchini--about 2-4 inches, optional
anything else you might want to throw in there (leftover fruits or vegetables you want to throw in or canned or fresh fruit such as oranges, peaches, pineapple, collard greens, kale, baby food!--experiment, it's fun!)
Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wraps

These were REALLY spicy but I actually liked them a lot.  You could probably cut out some of the cayenne pepper as it was pretty hot, but I liked how the flavors came together on this one. Definitely not for little kiddos but you could make them up for an adult lunch.  Very easy to make with leftover chicken, and you most likely have the other ingredients in your cabinet. I did them with wheat wraps and they were great.

Healthy Enchiladas

Yes! I do read this blog so please keep posting! The last two recipes look amazing.  Can't wait to try them.  As far as healthy recipes go, I am looking for some, too.  But here is one I tried and liked.  All fresh ingredients - nothing from a can.

Two new AMAZING recipes

Of course they are both from Smitten Kitchen. The first is her eggplant bruschetta. The other night I made her lebanese-style stuffed eggplant. It was ok- not something I'm in a hurry to make again. It took a lot of time and effort and didn't come off the way I expected it to. So I had all of the inner scrapings of several eggplant that I needed to use up. I decided to make the bruschetta and I am so glad I did. It was so delicious. This *might* just be the best thing I've ever made with eggplant (and you know how much I love my eggplant parmesan). Let me tell you how I decided to make it. First of all, there weren't any skins on the eggplant. I'm not sure if this really changed the flavor at all but I think it helped the eggplant pieces to break down a little easier but it's up to you. The skin is very nutritious so next time I think I'll try it skin on. I chopped up kinda small and cooked them in a pot on the stove with a little olive oil. When they cooked down I added a couple of small (think smalled than plum size) tomatoes that were really ripe. Deseed them. Then I added LOTS of feta, the green onion, and only a small amount of the red wine vinegar (I made a melanza salata last week that also called for red wine vinegar but the flavor was overpowering). Add a little salt and pepper and take off the stove when the feta starts to melt. I happened to buy the most delicious onion baguette at the store that day. I just toasted slices and rubbed them with garlic (although this step is not necessary). We took it to the park with some fresh fruit and OMG!!! It tasted so delicious and fresh.

Ok so recipe #2: crispy black bean tacos with feta and slaw.
I was looking for something vegetarian since I've been eating so much meat here. This sounded good (and incredibly fast and easy) so I thought I would give it a try. Of course when I got to the store, I didn't consider the fact that there is a place in the world that does not sell black beans. Since I had all the stuff to make this already in my buggy- and since I couldn't really think of anything else to make- I headed to the meat section and picked up a chunk of beef. I rarely ever buy beef ( I made lasagna for Andrew this year for the first time and we've been married 7 years) so this was going on a limb- especially for a whopping 10 euro for only a pound and a half- think 15 bucks! Anyway it turned out amazing. I even heard moaning sounds from my family as they at it. Eden and Fox kept pointing to it and asking what it was- "It's not chicken?" they say. I marinated the beef a few hours in a little olive oil, the juice of one lime, 2 tsp of soy sauce, a little water, and a T or so of Montreal Steak seasoning (no they don't have this here- a friend shared some with me. I use this at home in DC for making thai chicken). I don't have a grill here so I put it under the broiler until it was medium/medium rare- oh, and I sprinkled a generous helping of more steak seasoning on both sides before broiling. Flip it once. So, I made the slaw (only I added a T of mayo) and was generous with the feta. Put it all together in a tortilla and toast your taco in a pan on the stove for a couple of minutes on each side. Really, I think you'll love it. I look forward to trying it with the black beans for a vegetarian version of it that would also be a lot cheaper and quicker to make. I served it with corn on the cob and some fresh fruit.
Next up, I'm trying her whole wheat raspberry ricotta scones. I'll let you know how they turn out, but I bet they're gonna be good.

Friday, July 15, 2011

HEALTHY Recipes Please

Ok, I need healthy recipes. What do you have?- and DO NOT say stir fry or I will never call you again. I can't deal with all the stuff I've been shoveling in my mouth the past few months. I need to DETOX!!!

ps. do you guys still read this blog???


Monday, June 20, 2011

Portabella Mushroom Burger

I can't believe that I haven't posted this recipe yet. I discovered it in a William Sonoma Vegetarian cookbook a couple of years ago and have made them several times since. I wanted to make them for Andrew for Father's Day but was missing a few of the key ingredients so I mixed things up a bit and it still tasted awesome.

Portabella Mushrooms (remove stems and scrape off the ribs)
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Roasted Red Peppers
Swiss cheese (Or the cheese of your choice)
Italian Rolls

Directions: Sorry that I don't have any amounts listed. I'm away from my cookbooks this summer but I promise that you can't go wrong with this. Mix about a 1/4 c of mayo with 1 T pesto (or more to your liking) and put in fridge. Grill the mushrooms in a skillet on the stovetop or in the George if you don't have a grill- I've never actually grilled them but I bet they would be tasty that way. Mix a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a couple of tsp of balsamic vinegar. Add a couple cloves of crushed garlic. Brush this mixture onto the mushrooms as you are grilling them. Set aside mushrooms and grill your roasted red peppers quickly on the grill- just to heat them up. Meanwhile toast your rolls in the oven. Spread a generous amount of the pesto/mayo mix on the bun, add your mushroom, cheese, and red pepper and voila! I usually serve this meal with baked sweet potato fries. Tonight, I made these just a little differently. They didn't have portabella so I just got another kind of mushroom and cut it into slices. Since I don't have a brush I just poured the garlic oil vinegar mixture onto the mushrooms in the pan and cooked them until tender. No roasted red peppers here either and I was not in the mood to roast them myself so I picked up some roasted red paprika- it tasted better I think. No sliced cheese in my fridge so I used grated mozerella. And I didn't have any fancy rolls so I just used sandwhich bread. I put it all together in the sandwhich in the skillet and grilled it like you would a grilled cheese. It was seriously good. A great summer meal if you ask me.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Has it really been four months since any of us have posted any recipes? Surely I've made something interesting in that time but my memory fails me just now. No matter, I made the most delicious Kefta tonight and you just have to try it. Kefta is just a greek meatball and of course I found the recipe for these on my favorite blog ever (uh...besides yours that is)- smitten kitchen. The allspice and cinnamon give it a really unique flavor.
Tips:  don't overdue the salt. It calls for 1 tsp and I wouldn't add any more than that. My only complaint was that it was a teensy bit salty. Also, I used ground turkey- not dark. Use half of the cayenne it calls for unless you like it really spicy. I don't have a grill here so I had to fry them on the stove top. Just roll each ball in a little flour and drop in the oil. Turn once after it's browned and then set them on some paper towels. Oh, and the tatziki sauce was gross. Maybe the yogurt here is a little different but... I don't think you really need a sauce with it. I served it with rice and a tomato/cucumber/feta cheese salad.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Whole Wheat Biscuits

Made biscuits and tomato gravy last night and found this recipe. I always feel a little guilty making biscuits since I make them with white flour and lard, but this recipe looked a little healthier. It was actually really delicious. The wheat gave it more of a country flavor.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chick on a Stick

One of my many new year's resolutions this year was to cook dinner.  Sad, I know....the last few months were so hectic that dinners consisted of quesadillas, packaged pasta, cereal and the kids favorite - whatever your heart desires.  This is one resolution that so far I'm sticking with and having fun doing!  I know it's only been 3 weeks but hey it's a start.  I love trying new recipes, having the kids help me in the kitchen, just smelling something yummy, and the excitement they have for dinner which makes for much better conversations at the table.  We have even eaten at the dining room table which is usually reserved for Sunday dinners and whatever they deem a fancy dinner.  Last night was deemed fancy....even though the real reason was the kitchen table was covered in crafty crap.  Whatever the reason they loved dinner and it makes me happy to know I made something they enjoyed!  What fancy dinner did we eat you may ask?  Chick on a Stick!  So not fancy!  A friend of mine shared this simple recipe in a ward cookbook and I've been meaning to try it for months. Here it is-

4-5 chicken breast, thawed and cut into strips OR I just used tenderloins
marinade of your choice (30 minute ones work great)
skewers (soaked in water for about 20 minutes)

Marinate chicken at least 30 mins.  Soak skewers in water.  Make chicken skewers by putting chicken strips on skewers.  Line a cookie sheet with foil and broil the chicken on each side for 8-9 minutes.  Eat right off the stick!

Last night we had teriyaki chick on a stick paired with fried rice but the possibilities are endless....lemon pepper, bbq, etc...Yum!

Easy Broccoli Quiche

I had some leftover pie crusts from Christmas that I never used so I was looking for ways to use them without making pies and discovered this recipe for an easy broccoli quiche. It was really really good. Even the kids ate it. I think I used a little less milk than it called for to avoid it getting soggy. And I followed one of the reviewers suggestions to layer some of the cheese on the crust before spooning in the veggies to create a barrier. It was great, not soggy at all. Oh, and I used 3 cups of broccoli instead of 2. It really cooks down.


Spicy corn cakes with Black Beans

I just made this last night and forgot just how simple it is to make and how delicious it is.
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano (or 1 T fresh)

Mix together in a pot and heat through.

Corn cakes:
The corn cakes that go with this recipe aren't as good as these (which I just discovered and like a lot better):
Add 1 tsp of chili poweder to the corn cakes to make them a little spicy if you wish.

When I make this I always double the recipe for the beans and the corn cakes. For the kids I make a batch of corn cakes without the green onions. On your plate, lay down your corncakes, a heaping spoonful of the beans, sour cream and some homemade salsa (just tomato, onion and cilantro). Delicious! If you have any extra corn cakes they are great with a little honey on top.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dreamy Apple Pie

Seems like I only make pies around the holidays but after having this dreamy baby I think I'm hooked.  Love the title as it totally lives up to its name.  This is a recipe from The Pioneer Lady.  If you haven't already, go check her out -

■1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust - I used a refrigerated one but she has a yummy crust recipe on her site as well if you are feeling ambitious.

■3 whole Large (4 Or 5 Small) Granny Smith Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Sliced Thin
■½ cups Brown Sugar
■½ cups Sugar
■1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
■1 cup Heavy Cream
■2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
■⅛ teaspoons Cinnamon

■7 Tablespoons Butter
■¾ cups All-purpose Flour
■½ cups Brown Sugar
■¼ cups Pecans (you know me...I left these out and it was still great)
■Dash Of Salt

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pie dough and place it in a pie pan. Decorate the edges as desired.
Add apple slices to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together cream, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour over apples. Pour apples into pie shell.
In the bowl of a food processor (or you can mix by hand) combine butter, flour, sugar, pecans (chop if you’re not using a food processor), and salt. Mix until everything comes together in clumps. Pour topping over apples.  Attach foil to the edges and lay a piece of flat foil loosely over the top of the pie. Place pie pan on top of a  cookie sheet and bake for one hour. At the end, remove foil and allow to finish baking and browning. Can bake for up to 15 or 20 minutes more if necessary.  Remove from oven when golden brown and bubbly.

Don't forget the cookie sheet under the pie!!!  I still have yet to clean my oven out from the last time I made this...

Corn Dip

I really liked this dip....reminded me of one of Laura's (which you should add).  Feels a little healthier...ya know, since there is corn in it...nevermind the cream cheese. It is a tweaked Emeril Lagasse recipe.  I'm even thinking next time I make it to simplify it by using canned mexican corn which would cut out most of the veggies.

2 tablespoons butter

3 1/2 cups corn kernels (from 4 ears fresh white or yellow corn, or frozen fresh corn)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 8oz cream cheese
4 ounces monterey jack or cheddar, shredded- I used monterey jack
4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Tortilla chips, for dipping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kernels turn deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Note that if you're using frozen corn it probably won't get golden brown. Just cook for about 5 minutes as the recipe states. Transfer to a bowl.
Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until the onions are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the green onions, jalapeno, and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Transfer to the bowl with the corn.
Add cream cheese, cayenne pepper, half of the monterey jack and half of the cheddar and mix well.
Pour into an 8-inch baking dish or pie dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot with tortilla chips or Fritos.

Baked Potato Soup

My favorite potato soup!  It's another amazing Our Best Bites recipe.  I have found that if I bake the potatoes the day before or even in the morning it seems to work better.  They are easier to peel and can be cubed letting it keep some chunks.  Ryan likes it chunky and the kids like it mashed so we compromise.

3 Tbs butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C flour
4 1/2 C milk (low fat works great)
1 14oz can chicken broth
4 medium baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds) baked
2 C grated cheddar (or sharp cheddar) cheese, divided
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C sour cream (low fat is fine), divided
1/2 C chopped green onions, divided
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided

Melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Add flour to pan. Slowly add milk a little at a time while whisking constantly to eliminate lumps. Whisk until smooth and then add chicken broth. (Now, if you get to this point and don't have a smooth liquid. Stop! Save your soup by popping the mixture in the blender, then continue.) Bring soup just to a simmer and heat until thickened, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
Once soup is thickened, turn heat down to medium-low. Cut potatoes in half length-wise and use a spoon to scoop out potato flesh into the pot or you can cube them.  Use a wooden spoon to smash potatoes, breaking up large clumps. Add 1 1/2 C grated cheese and salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted. Remove pan from heat and stir in 3/4 C sour cream, 1/4 C green onions, and 4 strips of the crumbled bacon. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with each serving with the remaining sour cream, onions, cheese, and bacon.

Amish White Bread

So I just discovered this recipe and absolutely love it!!  If you follow the exact measurements it has a bit of a sweet taste (like Hawaian rolls) but I have also decreased the sugar to 1/3 cup and it is still divine.   It does make quite a bit.  The recipe says 2 small loaf pans but I'm guessing you could get 2 loaves and still have enough to do a small batch of cinnamon rolls.  Now if I only had some groovy bread baking stuff like Mandy.... I want bread pans!  Instead, I just shaped it on a cookie sheet and let the kids pull it apart to go with their soup and it worked just fine.

  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

  • 2/3 cup white sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 6 cups bread flour

  • In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.

    Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover  and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

    Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.

    Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

    Chicken Lime Chili

    This is a super duper easy "dump" soup that I just love when its cold out.

    Boil 4 chicken breast in 3-4 cans of chicken broth.  Cool and cube or shred chicken.

    Add to broth and chicken:
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 onion, chopped
    2 small cans mild green chilies
    4 tsp. cumin
    2 (12 oz) cans shoepeg corn
    4 cans Northern Beans (white)
    juice from 2 limes

    Mix together well until heated throughout.  Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese and tortilla chips.