September 09, 2013

roasted beets and oranges salad

what a unique blend of delicious flavors!  i don't even think it needs a dressing, but if you want one, i think a balsamic vinaigrette would work nicely.  i served it with some thin-cut pork chops with a little thyme and oregano sprinkled on top at the suggestion of real simple online.


1/2 lb beets, peeled and cut into wedges
1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper


toss the beets with the olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for 13-15 min @ 450.  add oranges and roast 2-3 min more.  add beets and oranges to arugula and enjoy!

lentil and kielbasa stew

recently both my husband and i have been wanting more lentils in our lives.  they're so good for us, yet can feel sort of foreign if they're not something you grew up eating or preparing.  we both really liked this.  our kids?  not so much....

found the recipe here.


1 pound low fat, low sodium turkey kielbasa, cut into ½ inch thick rounds
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced carrot
1 cup sliced celery
½ cup water
1 (14 ½ ounce) can low sodium stewed tomatoes
1 ¼ cups cooked lentils


Combine the kielbasa and enough water to cover by 2 inches in a large saucepan and heat to boiling over high heat. Drain the kielbasa in a colander and rinse until cool with cold water. Drain well. Set aside.  Grease a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the water, heat to boiling, cover, and steam until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Uncover the skillet and add the tomatoes and their juices, the kielbasa, and lentils.  Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally, and simmer to blend the flavors, about 10 minutes.


every so often when i'm pregnant, nothing else will do but a sizable portion of some luscious meat.  i was really pleased with this recipe.  i mostly followed the recipe found here, but did tweak it slightly...


2 lbs roast
1/4 C water
1 1/2 C beef broth
3 T red wine vinegar
1 t cumin
chili powder to taste (if you're in to that sort of thing)
jack cheese
uncooked tortillas
vegetable oil
desired toppings--i used shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream and guac


Place beef in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Pour in water. Cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove cover, and cook until liquid has evaporated, and beef is well browned, about 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine beef broth, red wine vinegar, chili powder and cumin. Pour over beef. Cover, and cook until meat is very tender, and pulls apart easily, about 2 hours. Allow to cool, then shred and mix with pan juices.

preheat oven to 500.  brush a cookie sheet with oil.  put desired amount of meat and cheese in tortillas and fold.  brush with oil.  bake 6 min on each side.  voila!  i used 3 1/2 lbs meat and we had enough dinner for two nights for our family of six (one only really counts as half, though).

July 31, 2013

baked fish with pine nuts and basil

so very tasty!  the original recipe (on yummily) called for pesto and since i didn't have any, this is what i came up with.

  • 2 fillets (white fish, about 6 oz. each, i used pollock but you could use halibut, cod, tilapia, grouper, or any mild white fish)
  • 3 T finely chopped pine nuts
  • 2 T parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 t minced garlic
  • 2 T coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 t olive oil
  • 1 1/2 T light mayo

mix up sauce and spread atop fish.  bake @ 450 6-10 min, depending on thickness of fish.  (my general rule is it takes about 10 min for a 1 inch thick fillet.)

June 26, 2013

strawberry rhubarb crumble with lavendar ice cream

we recently ate at the sky city restaurant and had this amazing dessert.  it wasn't too hard to replicate.  plus it was a fun way to use some of the strawberries from our garden!

i followed food network's barefoot contessa's recipe for the crumble, but made a few changes based on user comments and my own preference for the texture of crumble part of the crumble.  (i wanted it a slight bit more crunchy with a hint more salt.)


4 cups fresh rhubarb, 1-inch diced (4 to 5 stalks)
4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved, if large 
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 heaping (and i mean heaping) tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon (or more) salt
1 cup quick oats, or you could even use old-fashioned if you wanted even big crumble chunks
12 tablespoons butter, melted
lavender ice cream, for serving (available at molly moon's)


toss rhubarb, strawberries and orange zest with the sugar.  mix cornstarch into orange juice and pour mixture over the fruit.  scoop into individual ramekins or pour into an 8 x 11 baking dish.  combine dry ingredients and drizzle with melted butter.  mix with your hands until crumbly lumps form.  sprinkle over the fruit.  bake at 350 for 45 min.  serve with a scoop of lavender ice cream on top.

June 21, 2013

island pork tenderloin salad

before i got pregnant i started p90x.  they have some delicious recipes!  this is one of my favorite salads.  (i omit the chile powder, the tabasco sauce and the pepper and it still tastes great!)

pork ingredients

16oz lean pork tenderloin
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 t chile powder
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t cinnamon
2 t olive oil
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 T garlic, minced
1/2 T tabasco sauce

pork directions

preheat oven to 350.  stir together all ingredients listed before the olive oil and rub onto the pork.  heat oil over med-high and brown pork, about 4 min, turning once.  stir together remaining ingredients and pat onto pork.  bake 20 min.  let cool and slice.


1/2 orange, peeled and cut
1 C fresh spinach
1/2 red pepper, sliced
handful golden raisins
1 C napa cabbage, shredded

 toss together and top with pork.  drizzle with dressing described below.

cumin vinegrette

2 T lime juice
1/2 T orange juice
1/2 T dijon mustard
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 T olive oil

June 20, 2013

beet tartare

my husband and i recently attended a french cooking class and came back with a few gems.  merci, monsieur le chef!  this recipe is for 6 adults.  this was our favorite dish of the night.  we can't wait to make it again.  so unexpected and refreshing!  here is a video on how to make a quenelle.


1 lb beets, trimmed, washed and quarterd
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 t cornichons, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 t capers
2 t mayonnaise (we made our own that night, but i doubt i could do that again on my own)
1 T red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
2 t fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
some mustard green leaves


preheat oven to 425.  spread beets in a shallow baking dish.  add enough water to come up 1/2 the side of the pan.  cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 30 min.  let beets cool in their cooking juice.  peel beets and process in a food processor until chopped.  in a bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar and a few T beet juice.  stir in all remaining ingredients and refrigerate 15 min.  form quenelles and place atop large pieces of mustard greens.  sprinkle with parsley garnish.

zucchini flan

my husband and i recently attended a french cooking class and came back with a few gems.  merci, monsieur le chef!  this recipe is for 10 adults.  this almost has the consistency of quiche.  and of course you can't go wrong with heavy cream and a bunch of cheese, but this was the favorite dish for the group for the night.


3 large zucchini
4 eggs
1 C heavy cream
1 C milk
1 C swiss cheese, shredded
1/4 C parmesan
8 T flour
salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste


grate zucchini.  heat 1 T olive oil over med-high and saute zucchini until it releases all its water and becomes crispy.  in a bowl, beat eggs until foamy.  add all remaining ingredients to bowl.  incorporate zucchini and blend well.  butter oven dish.  bake @ 375 for 45 min.


my husband and i recently attended a french cooking class and came back with a few gems.  merci, monsieur le chef!  this was served with dill mixed in over the top of our salmon.


1 stick butter
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
pinch cayenne


whisk eggs and lemon juice vigorously until mixture almost doubles in size.  place bowl in double boiler with simmering water.  IF THE EGGS GET TOO HOT, THEY WILL SCRAMBLE!!  while whisking, drizzle in butter a few pieces at a time.  continue to whisk until mixture doubles in size.  remove from heat, add cayenne pepper or other herbs, depending on what you're glazing.

alsacienne apple tart

my husband and i recently attended a french cooking class and came back with a few gems.  merci, monsieur le chef!  this recipe is for 8 adults.


4 large tart apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 1/2 C flour
1 stick butter, cut in pieces
3 T sugar, plus 1/2 C sugar
3 T lemon juice
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 C heavy cream
2 t vanilla
1/4 C water
pinch salt


put flour, salt and 3 T of sugar in food processor on slow.  add butter and cut in.  add egg yolk and water and process until dough forms a ball.  wrap in plastic and refrigerate 20 min.  transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll into a circle  press into a pie pan about 1/2 in deep.  trim sides.  pierce bottom of the pastry shell all over.  preheat over to 425.  arrange apple slices in overlapping circular patterns.  sprinkle with lemon juice.  whisk together eggs, cream and sugar.  pour over apples.  bake until shell is browned and apples are tender.


my husband and i recently attended a french cooking class and came back with a few gems.  merci, monsieur le chef!  this recipe feeds 8 adults.


3 T olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion
1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
3 green peppers, finely chopped
4 large tomatoes, diced in small cubes
3 small zucchini, cubed
1 T fresh basil, oregano, thyme
3 bay leaves


heat oil over medium.  add eggplant, stir til coated with oil.  add zucchini and cook until both are translucent, but firm.  in a separate pan, make the sauce with the tomatoes first, then all the other veggies on medium for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  transfer eggplant and zucchini into the sauce.  add garlic and herbs.

chicken pot pie

this is my favorite twist on the classic chicken pot pie.  i found it in "the new best recipe" cookbook.  if your family likes mushrooms (which most of mine unfortunately don't) add them in with the carrots and celery.


1 recipe fluffy buttermilk biscuits
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, diced in small cubes and sauteed til brown
2 C chicken broth
1 1/2 T oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
4 T butter
1/2 C (or more) flour
1 1/2 C milk
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried marjoram
3/4 C frozen peas, thawed


make the biscuits and refrigerate until ready to bake.  heat oven to 400.  heat oil over med-high and add veggies (minus the peas) and saute until tender.  season with salt and pepper and combine with the chicken.  heat butter over medium heat.  when foaming subsides, add flour and mix about 1 min.  whisk in chicken broth, milk and herbs and heat until thickened and bubbly.  pour filling over veggies and chicken and add peas.  ladle soup into ramekin dishes.  top each ramekin with a biscuit.  bake 20-25 min or until biscuits are golden and filling is bubbly.  now you have individualized little pot pies!

fluffy buttermilk biscuits

i suppose there isn't a whole lot that can differentiate a biscuit, but these just turn out so incredibly delicious and fluffy every time that they've become my favorite recipe.  plus the use of the food processor cuts in the prep time in half.


1 C all-purpose flour
1 C cake flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/4 in pieces
3/4 buttermilk, plus 1-2 T if needed


pulse dry ingredients in food processor til mixed.  add butter and pulse til butter is in pea-sized lumps.  add buttermilk and stir with a fork until it looks moistened.  add no more than 2 T more buttermilk if it still looks dry.  roll and cut and bake about 15 @ 400.

turkey sloppy joes

i have never attempted to make sloppy joes in our almost ten years of marriage because my husband told me the first week of our marriage that he didn't care one bit if i never made them.  and since i don't particularly care for them either, i haven't been sad about that.  when i came across this recipe, however, i thought that this one just might change our opinion about sloppy joes....and it did!  now we can add sloppy joes to the menu now and then!  from everyday food magazine.


1/2 medium onion, diced small
1 medium yam, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey
14oz diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 C ketchup
2 T worcestershire
hamburger or slider buns


heat 1 T olive oil over med-high.  add onion and yam and cook til soft, about 8 min.  add garlic and saute about 30 sec; season with salt and pepper.  add turkey and cook til browned.  add tomatoes, ketchup and woscestershire and simmer 5 min.  voila!