Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Chinese Chicken salad

For the chicken salad:
4 split chicken breasts, bone-in,
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black
1 pound of asparagus, ends
   removed and cut in thirds
1 red pepper, cored and seeded
Chives, scissored and added to
1 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted

For the Chinese dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp peeled, grated  fresh ginger
1/2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with some of the olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. 
  • Whisk  together all of the ingredients for the dressing and set aside until ready to use.
  • Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces.
  • Blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain. 
  • Cut the peppers in strips about the size of the asparagus pieces. 
  • Combine the cut chicken, asparagus and peppers in a large bowl.
  • Pour the dressing over the chicken and vegetables. Add the chives and sesame seeds and season to taste. 
  • Serve cold or at room temperature.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Onion Dip

    1 tablespoon butter
    1 medium red onion, sliced
    2 tablespoons cider or apple vinegar
    2 tablespoons honey
    1 tablespoon spicy mustard
    1 cup mayonnaise
    salt and pepper to taste

Zucchini sticks
    3 medium zucchini, unpeeled, cut into 3"-long stick
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 cup bread crumbs
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    1 tablespoon mixed Italian herbs
    olive oil spray
    2 large eggs

  1. To make the dip: Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over moderate heat, and add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, then caramelize. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions.
  2. Once the onions are a medium brown, remove from the heat and add the vinegar.
  3. Place the onions and vinegar into a food processor. Add the honey, mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper and process until smooth.
  4. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.  Can be made the day before.  Take out of fridge about an hour before serving.
  5. To make the zucchini sticks: Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt. Let the zucchini drain for 1- 3 hours; rinse and pat dry.
  6. Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and Italian spices; set aside.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spray the parchment with olive oil.
  9. Dredge sticks a few at a time in the egg, then roll in the crumb mixture. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.
  10. Bake sticks for 12 minutes, turn over, and bake for an additional 8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Lemon Chicken Zucchini Noodles

1/2 Cup Plain Greek yogurt
3+ Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
   + additional for drizzling
2+ tsp Honey
3/4 tsp Chia Seeds
1 tsp Olive Oil + additional
   for drizzling
1 tsp Garlic, minced
1 lb Chicken breasts cut into
   bite size chunks
2 large Zucchinis
1/2 cup roughly grated Feta
Minced Parsley, for garnish
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, 3 Tbsp of lemon juice, honey, Chia seeds, 1 tsp Olive Oil, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  • Place the chicken into the bowl and spoon the mixture over-top so it is well covered. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Once the chicken has marinated, heat your oven to 350 degree and pour the chicken, along with the yogurt mixture into a small baking dish. 
  • Bake until the chicken is no longer pink throughout, about 25-30 minutes. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes to let the meat rest.
  • While the chicken cooks (or long is OK), spiralize the zucchini noodles using the 3mm blade of your spiralizer (you can also use a mandolin if you don’t have a spiralizer.) 
  • Place the noodles into a strainer and set over top of a medium bowl. 
  • Lightly sprinkle the zucchini noodles with salt and let strain for 30+ minutes to release the water, stirring around every so often.
  • Squeeze out as much remaining liquid from the zucchini noodles as you can and place into a bowl. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and squeeze of fresh lime juice. 
  • Toss to evenly coat and divide between two plates.
  • Place the chicken on top of the zucchini noodles and whisk the sauce until it begins to come together (it will be a little lumpy) divide the sauce over top of each plate.
  • Sprinkle with feta cheese and parsley.

Watermelon Pudding & Spicy Chocolate-Covered Tortilla Chips

Watermelon Pudding

4 cups watermelon juice (about 3 pounds of watermelon, depending on how juicy it is)

2/3 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar (or a bit more depending on the natural sweetness of the fruit)

Optional flavours: jasmine extract, ground cinnamon, coconut

  • To obtain the watermelon juice, chop up your watermelon and place pieces in a colander sitting inside another bowl.
  • Press watermelon pieces and pass through colander.
  • Discard left over pulp.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with about 1/2 cup of the juice and mix until smooth, being sure there are no lumps of starch. 
  • In a wide pot, add this to the rest of the juice and bring to a gentle simmer. 
  • Add sugar and taste for sweetness (you can adjust by adding just a little more).
  • If using, add the cinnamon, coconut flavouring or jasmine. 
  • As the mixture begins to cook, you will notice it getting thicker. 
  • Cook for about 10 minutes, or until it coats the back of a spoon and a finger drawn through it leaves a line (you are looking for a consistency similar to lemon curd). 
  • Pour into individual containers for serving and set in the refrigerator, 4 to 6 hours or until chilled and set. It will still be a little wobbly and you can eat it directly out of the glass or ramekin with a spoon.
  • Decorate the tops with whipped cream and  Spicy Chocolate-Covered Tortilla Chips (see below).  

Spicy Chocolate-Covered Tortilla Chips

1+ teaspoon chile powder
1 cup roughly chopped chocolate 
20 tortilla chips, the thicker the better 
  • Line a cookie sheet or large plate with a piece of parchment paper. 
  • Melt chocolate adding a bit of cream or butter to thin down just a bit if necessary
  • Working with a few chips at a time, submerge the chips into the chocolate sauce. Use a fork or small slotted spoon to transfer each chip to the parchment-lined sheet, letting the excess melted chocolate drip through the tines or slats.
  • Sprinkle with chile powder
  • Place the sheet or plate of chocolate-covered chips into the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set and harden. 
  • If you're not planning on eating these chips immediately store them in the refrigerator until you're ready. They will last for up to 1 week, but are best within a few days of making them.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Vegetable Orange Stir Fry

2 med. carrots
2 cups green beans
2 cups cauliflower, sliced
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

  • Cut carrots into julienne strips. 
  • Cut green beans into bite size pieces. 
  • Slice cauliflower.
  • In saucepan of already boiling water, cook carrots and beans, uncovered, for 3 minutes. 
  • Add cauliflower; cook covered 2 minutes more. 
  • Drain well. 
  • In a large cup or bowl, stir 1/2 cup cold water into the cornstarch; add in soy sauce, orange juice, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
  • Heat wok over high heat; add oil. Stir-fry carrots, beans, cauliflower and mushrooms 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. 
  • Stir soy mixture into wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Serve as a side dish or  over rice.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Turtle Brownies

Carmel Sauce & Filling
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon light-coloured corn
1/2 cup whipping or heavy
1 tablespoon vanilla extract,
   optional (or substitute with
   bourbon, rum,Grand Marnier,
   or a favourite liqueur)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping cup pecans

1/2 cup butter
6 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brewed coffee (leftover or cold coffee is okay), optional but recommended
1 teaspoon instant espresso granules, optional but recommended or alternatively a
    pouch of cappuccino mix
salt to taste
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans

  • Carmel Sauce - In a medium to large saucepan (use a pan much larger than you think you'll need because the sauce will bubble very vigorously at the end), add the sugar, water, corn syrup and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking until sugar has dissolved.
  • Allow the mixture to boil for 5 to 12 minutes, or as necessary, for it to turn carmel-coloured, at which point it will likely be smoking slightly. The final stage where the mixture turns from pale amber to that perfect shade of caramel can go quickly, in less than 30 seconds, so keep a watchful eye and don't let it burn. 
  • As soon as the sauce has turned caramel-coloured, reduce the heat to low.
  • Very carefully and slowly, add the cream. Stand back because mixture will bubble up considerably.
  • Add the vanilla and salt, to taste. Mixture will bubble up again.
  • Whisk until sauce is smooth and combined, and let it boil another 1 minute, which helps thicken it up.
  • Transfer sauce to glass jar or heat-safe container (easiest to pour into a 2-cup measuring cup and then easily pour into glass jar). Allow sauce to cool uncovered to room temperature; sauce thickens considerably as it cools. 
  • Sauce will keep airtight at room temp for at least 1 month, although will likely last much longer.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with high-quality aluminum foil leaving overhang and spray with cooking spray (recommended!), or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  • Brownies - In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter, chocolate, and heat on high power to melt, about 2 minutes. Stop to check and stir after 1 minute. Heat in 15-second increments until chocolate has melted and mixture can be stirred smooth. 
  • Allow mixture to cool momentarily before adding the eggs so they don't scramble.
  • Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla, coffee, espresso granules, salt, and whisk vigorously to combine.
  • Add the flour and stir until smooth and combined.
  • Turn half the batter out into prepared pan; reserve remainder.
  • Bake for 15 to 16 minutes, or until top has just set in the centre; don't over-bake because pan is going back into oven. While brownies bake, prepare the filling.
  • Filling - In a medium bowl, add caramel sauce (microwave it for 10 seconds if your is very thick or hard to get out of the jar), pecans, and stir to combine; set aside.
  • Combine - After brownies have baked for about 15 minutes, remove pan from oven and using a spatula carefully and evenly spread the filling mixture over the brownies, taking care to not let the filling plop down in one spot because it will be difficult to spread without disturbing the brownie layer.
  • Evenly top with reserved brownie batter, smoothing it lightly with a spatula. It's normal for it to have thickened up some.
  • Topping - Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips.
  • Evenly sprinkle the pecans.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until centre has just set and is no longer glossy.
  • Allow brownies to cool in pan on top of a wire rack.
  • Cover with a sheet of foil to prevent fridge smells, and place pan in fridge for about 2 hours.
  • Lift brownies out using foil overhang, slice, and serve. 
  • Brownies will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

Monday, 21 July 2008

Balsamic Chickpea Salad

2 - 15 ounce cans of chickpeas 
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 medium cucumber, deseeded and diced
Chives to taste - scissored
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoon high-quality balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled ricotta or feta or
Optional: shredded chicken, poached eggs, 
   or cooked rice 

  • Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas. 
  • In a medium bowl, combine chickpeas, pepper, cucumber, and chives.
  • Mix garlic paste, oregano, vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper and pour over above ingredients.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and add additional ingredients as per whim.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Cajun Chicken Salad Sandwiches

1 pound skinless, boneless
   chicken breasts
Salt to taste
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp mustard
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon Cajun or Creole
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onion
Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste
  • Every once in a while we buy a "Broaster chicken" at the grocery store.  We then eat a leg and a thigh and a slice or two of white meat and save the rest, for the next day, and this (and similar) recipes.  
  • Alternatively, you can set a 2-quart pot of well salted water over high heat. As the water heats to a boil, cut the raw chicken breasts into large (2 1/2-inch) chunks. When the water boils, add the chicken. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let sit for 15 minutes or more while you prepare everything else.
  • In a large bowl, mix the mayo, mustard, vinegar, paprika, and Cajun seasoning.
  • Mix in the eggs, celery, green pepper, green onion.
  • Add diced left over Broaster Chicken or...
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the poaching water and dice it. 
  • Mix the chicken in with the remaining ingredients. 
  • Add salt and hot sauce to taste. 
  • Chill before serving.
  • Serve under lettuce between two pieces of absolutely decadent white bread.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Zucchini, Rice & Cheese Gratin

2 1/2 pounds zucchini
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt 
1/2 cup plain, uncooked white
1 medium onion, minced
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 large cloves garlic, mashed
   or finely minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Milk, as needed, although broth
    of your choice would work
    just fine
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
    cheese, divided
Salt and pepper
Butter or Pam for dish 
  • Wash zucchini and trim ends. Halve lengthwise, and if seeds are particularly large, core them out. Coarsely grate and place in a colander set over a bowl. Toss with kosher salt. Let drain for 30 minutes. Save drained liquid.  Squeeze a handful of the zucchini and taste. If it’s very salty, rinse and drain it again (not saving liquid this time). Squeeze all of the zucchini in handfuls, gently, collecting any juices in the bowl of drained liquid. Blot dry on paper towels.
  • Boil for exactly 5 minutes in salted water. Drain and set aside. 
  • In a large frying pan, cook the onions slowly in 3 tablespoons oil for 8 to 10 minutes until tender and translucent. Raise heat slightly and stir several minutes until very lightly browned. Stir in the grated and dried zucchini and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Toss and turn for 5 to 6 minutes until the zucchini is almost tender. Sprinkle in the flour, stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes, and remove from heat.
  • Measure the drained liquid from the zucchini. If you have less than 2 1/2 cups, add milk to bring the level up to it. Stir into zucchini-onion mixture, return pan to stove over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring. Remove from heat again, stir in par-cooked rice and all but 2 tablespoons cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Turn into a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with reserved cheese and remaining olive oil.
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake until bubbling and browned on top, about 25 to 30 minutes. (If yours begins to brown too quickly, you can cover it with foil until the last 5 minutes.) The rice should absorb all the liquid. 

Cheese Crusted Fish

4 white fish filets 
seasoning salt 
1/2 c fine bread crumbs 
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
2 tsp spicy mustard 
2 tsp minced green onions
6 oz cheese, grated
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a casserole dish and set aside.
  • Sprinkle fish with season salt.
  • Combine bread crumbs, butter, mustard, onions and parsley in a bowl. Add cheese and mix well. 
  • Pat mixture on top of filets to form crust.
  • Gently pour cream over and around the fish. 
  • Bake until fish is cooked through and crust is golden brown, approx. 20 minutes.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Asian Noodle Salad

Salad Ingredients:
1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked,
   Rinsed, And Cooled
1 small head of cabbage
1/2 bag Baby Spinach
1 whole Red Bell Pepper
1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper
1 whole Orange Bell Pepper
1 bag Bean Sprouts
bunch of chives
1 whole Cucumber peeled
Handful of whole Cashews, lightly
   toasted in skillet

For the Dressing:
2 whole Limes, peeled
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped or 2 teaspoons of ginger paste
2 cloves Garlic
2 whole small Hot Peppers Or Jalapeños

  • Run cabbage, spinach and peppers through food processor on chop.  Hand squeeze excess liquid out.
  • Hand mix food processor ingredients together with bean sprouts, chopped chives and a chopped cucumber.
  • Place all dressing ingredients in a rinsed food processor and let it whirr.  Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving.
  • Serve cold with freshly toasted cashews and then top with dressing. 

Friday, 11 July 2008

Chocolate Crunch Bars

    1/4 cup rice crispies
    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1/4 cup coconut oil
    1/4 - 1/2 cup maple syrup and/or honey
         (depending on how sweet you want it
         ~ taste as you're going along)
  • Combine coconut oil and sweetener
  • Stir, then add cocoa powder and rice crispies 
  • Stir until it gets thick. 
  • Smush between layers of wax paper
  • Freeze until solid, and store in the freezer.

Apple Tortillas

    5 apples thinly sliced
    1 large can peaches thinly sliced (reserve juice)
    1 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 cups white sugar
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    dash teaspoon ground nutmeg
    approximately 1 cup water

  • In a large bowl, toss apples & peaches with lemon juice and set aside.
  • Measure out 2 cups of peach juice and/or water. 
  • Pour mixture into large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
  • Add to water/peach juice mixture, stir well, and bring to a boil.
  • Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add apples & peaches and return to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Cool for 30 minutes.

    10-12  medium sized flour tortillas
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/3 cup butter
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup water

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Spoon fruit mixture evenly onto all tortillas, sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Roll up tortillas and place seam side down on lightly greased 8x8 baking pan.
  • Note:  Only about 4 fruited tortillas will fit in 8x8 pan.  The rest I usually freeze for another day (making the below sauce up for them at the time of serving).  If serving more than 4 - 6 people, use a larger pan and double the below sauce recipe.
  • Bring butter, sugars and water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
  • Pour sauce evenly over tortillas; sprinkle with extra cinnamon on top if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

    English Muffin Appetizers

        4 whole Hard-boiled Eggs, Peeled And Chopped
        1 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
        1/2 cup Mayonnaise
        6 slices Bacon, Fried And Crumbled
        1/2 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
        1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
        2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
        3 whole English Muffins Split

    • Combine eggs with all other ingredients. Fold together gently. 
    • Cover and store in the fridge overnight.
    • Spread on English muffin halves, then broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly. (Don't set them too close to the heating element.)

    Baked Veggies with Wasabi Dip

    1 1/2 cups of combination of zucchini,
       asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli,
       and/or mushrooms, cooked
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    pinch salt, to taste
    pinch of chili powder and any optional spices you might want to try
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1 cup larger (Panko like) breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/3 cup sour cream
    wasabi sauce, paste and/or dried to taste

    • Preheat oven to 400F, spray with cooking spray.
    • Cook the mixed veggies.
    • Drain the mixed veggies and transfer to a large bowl.
    • Sprinkle the mixed veggies with flour, salt, spices and any optional seasonings, and toss to coat evenly; set aside.
    • In a medium bowl, beat the eggs; set aside.
    • In a separate large bowl, add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and stir to combine; set aside.
    • Using a slotted spoon, add about half the floured mixed veggies to the eggs for a quick dunk.
    • Remove the mixed veggies from eggs and transfer to breadcrumb mixture. Toss with spoon and/or hands to coat evenly.
    • Place mixed veggies on prepared baking tray, spaced evenly and without touching if possible. If there are large clumps of more than 2 to 3 mixed veggies stuck together, break them apart with your fingers. You want the oven air to circulate freely on all pieces so they get as crispy as possible.
    • Repeat battering process with remaining mixed veggies and place on baking tray. 
    • The process is messy and not every piece will be evenly coated and breaded. Overall, if most pieces are coated and there aren't major clusters stuck together, you're fine.
    • Bake for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Start watching closely after 9 minutes and watch so the undersides don't become overly browned and/or burn.
    • While the mixed veggies are baking, make the dip. 
    • In a small bowl, add the sour cream, wasabi, and whisk to combine until smooth. 
    • Bites are best warm, fresh, and served with dip.
    • The bites can be frozen and reheated in a microwave.

    Shrimp, Clam & Corn Soup

    3/4 pound of clams
    1 vegetable bouillon
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 small onion, diced
    1/2 cup white wine
    1/2 - 3/4 bag frozen corn
    1 pound shrimp
    1 giant potato, peeled cut into ½ inch pieces
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1 sprig thyme (optional)
    One 15-ounce can coconut milk
    1 teaspoon sriracha
    green onions

    • Places clams in 2 quarts water and bring to a boil. Add vegetable bullion. Remove clams when cooked and then briskly simmer stock over medium heat until reduced by half, about 30 to 40 minutes. 
    • Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat the butter. Saute the onion over medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, 2 minutes. 
    • Add the clam water, potato, salt, and thyme. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, until the potatoes are al dente, about 10 minutes. 
    • Whisk in the coconut milk and sriracha. 
    • Fold in the corn kernels, clams & shrimp. 
    • Return to a simmer and cook until shrimp are done then immediately remove from the heat. 
    • Taste for seasoning and add chopped green onion.

    Thursday, 10 July 2008

    Appetizer Tarts

    I came across this picture on Pinterest and from there, just decided to go with it... see below:

    Using one of those small tart pans, there are essentially 3 layers:  (1)  base (2) middle, and (3) toppings

    For the base I have used:

    • soft tortillas cut to size or
    • wonton wrappers or
    • puffed pastry or... 

    For the middle:

    • pizza sauce or
    • pesto sauce or
    • salsa or
    • hot sriracha type sauce and/or...

    • thinly diced green onion, scallions or chives
    • minuscule diced pieces of tomato 
    • red bell pepper, diced 
    • diced ham, salami and/or ham and/or...

    And for the top:

    • pepper jack cheese or what-ever-you-have-at-home!

    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    • Place base in each small tart pocket and then fill up tart pocket with your choice of middle ingredients (be experimental!) -- then top with cheese!
    • Bake at 375 for 11-13-20 minutes until cups are heated through and edges are golden. 
    • Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 

    Tuesday, 8 July 2008

    Asparagus et al Salad

    1 or 2 bunches of asparagus (you know,
       depending on how much salad you want
       to make), washed and well-dried
    1 or 2 big handfuls of baby salad greens
    1/4 - 1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
    1/4+ cup nuts (what-have-you (?) pecans,
       pine nuts, pistachios, peanuts...)
    2 small grated carrots
    2+ ounces feta, crumbled
    Juice from 1 lime
    Handful of grated parmesan cheese

    • Break off hard ends from the asparagus and discard or freeze & save for soup another day.  Then shave the top part into ribbons (you can use a cheese plane or a potato peeler).  
    • Toss asparagus ribbons with salad greens, peas, nuts, carrots, and feta.
    • Squeeze juice from 1 lime onto salad & toss again. 
    • Cover salad with parmesan cheese.
    • Refrigerate.
    • Serve with salad dressing of your choice.

    Monday, 7 July 2008

    Pan Burritos

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    ⅛ teaspoon salt
    1 pound lean ground beef
    ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
    ⅛ teaspoon paprika
    ¼ teaspoon chili powder
    ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    ½ teaspoon pepper flakes
    salt and fresh ground pepper,
       to taste
    2 cups diced tomatoes (or 14-
       ounce can diced tomatoes,
       plus juice)
    1 can (15-ounces) red kidney
       beans, rinsed and drained
    ½ cup water
    4 (6-inch) whole wheat flour
       tortillas, each cut into wedges
    1 cup Shredded Taco Blend Cheese

    Garnish with:
    plain non-fat yogurt or sour cream
    green onion, chopped

    • Heat olive oil in a large skillet; add onions, season with salt and cook for 2 minutes, or until translucent.
    • Add beef and cook until browned, stirring occasionally; drain.
    • Return to heat and season meat with cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
    • Stir in tomatoes and kidney beans.
    • Add water and bring to a boil.
    • Lower heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 7 minutes.
    • Stir in tortilla wedges.
    • Add cheese on top and remove from heat.
    • Cover skillet and let stand for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
    • Garnish with yogurt or sour cream, avocado, and green onions.

    Saturday, 5 July 2008


    Last Updated:  July 5, 2012
    Below Are Recipes For:
    • Chocolate Pot
    • Chocolate & Peanut Butter Pudding Parfaits
    • Hot Fudge Pudding
    • Peach Cobbler

    Peach Cobbler

    largest can of peaches or 4 cups fresh or frozen
    1 cup sugar, divided
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    1/3 cup margarine, melted
    3/4 cup flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    pinch of salt
    3/4 cup milk
    vanilla ice cream, optional
    • In a bowl, gently toss peaches, 1/2 cup sugar and extract, set aside. 
    • Pour margarine into a 2 quart baking dish.
    • In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and remaining sugar; stir in milk until smooth. Pour evenly over margarine, do not stir. 
    • Top with peach mixture.
    • Bake at 350° F. for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown, Serve with a scoop of ice cream if desired.

    Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pudding Parfaits

    Peanut Butter Pudding
    1/2 cup sugar
    5 teaspoons cornstarch
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1-3/4 whole milk
    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Chocolate Pudding
    6 tablespoons sugar
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    pinch of salt
    1-1/2 cups whole milk
    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (or chips)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
    1 tablespoon powdered sugar

    Peanut Butter Pudding:
    • Whisk first 3 ingredients in large saucepan to blend. 
    • Gradually whisk in milk, then cream. Whisk over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Then boil until thick, whisking constantly, about 30 seconds. 
    • Whisk in peanut butter; boil until thick again, whisking often, about 1 minute longer. 
    • Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla. 
    • Divide pudding among six 1-cup glasses or twelve 4 ounce glasses. Chill uncovered while preparing chocolate pudding.
    Chocolate Pudding:
    • Whisk first 4 ingredients in heavy large saucepan. 
    • Gradually whisk in milk, then cream. Whisk over medium heat until mixture comes to boil. Boil until thick, whisking constantly, about 30 seconds. 
    • Add chopped chocolate. Boil until chocolate melts and pudding is thick again, whisking often, 1 to 2 minutes longer. 
    • Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla. 
    • Cool pudding 5 minutes. 
    • Spoon atop peanut butter pudding, dividing equally. 
    • Chill puddings uncovered until cold, at least 2 hours. 
    • Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
    • Whisk cream and powdered sugar in medium bowl to soft peaks. Spoon topping onto puddings and serve.

    Chocolate Pot

    3 eggs
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/3 cup white flour
    1 large container (475 g) ricotta cheese
    1 can evaporated milk
    1 cup melted dark chocolate
    1 Tablespoon cream or milk

    • In a food processor, beat eggs, sugar, flour, ricotta and evaporated milk. Process until smooth.
    • Pour mixture into a large saucepan over medium heat. When mixture is hot to the touch, whisk in 1/2 cup of melted dark chocolate until smooth
    • Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (about 5 to 10 minutes). Pour into small espresso cups or dessert bowls.
    • Mix remaining chocolate with 1 tablespoon of cream or milk and then pour over each serving to form a thin layer. Use the back of a spoon to spread evenly.
    • Refrigerate to harden the chocolate layer. To serve, dust with powdered sugar and add berries on the side if desired.

    Hot Fudge Pudding

    Mix together:
    1 cup flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3/4 cup white sugar
    1-1/2 tablespoons cocoa

    Stir in:
    1/2 cup milk
    2 tablespoons melted butter

    Mix until smooth
    Pour into baking pan.

    1 cup brown sugar
    4 tablespoons cocoa
    Sprinkle over batter.

    1-3/4 cup hot water
    over all.

    Bake 350 F oven for 35 - 40 minutes
    Serve hot from oven with vanilla ice cream

    Thursday, 3 July 2008

    Various Soups

    Last Updated:  May 4, 2014
    Below:  Asparagus Soup
                  Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup
                  Carrot Soup x 2
                  Coconut Shrimp Soup 
                  Corn Chowder
                  Five+ Bean Soup
                  Minestrone Chowder
                  Pizza Soup
                  Pumpkin (or squash) Soup
                  Squash Soup
                  Tomato Soup
                  Tortilla Soup
                  Vegetable Chowder
                  Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

    Ctrl+F (PC) or Command+F (Mac)
                  to get where you want to go


    Carrot Soup

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 pounds carrots, peeled, sliced
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    6 garlic cloves, peeled
    4 cups canned vegetable broth or water
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    pinch of sugar
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    chopped fresh parsley
    chili sauce

    • Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. 
    • Add carrots, onion, garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. 
    • Add 3 1/2 cups broth. 
    • Cover and simmer until carrots are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. 
    • Remove cloves from broth and discard. 
    • Puree soup in batches in blender. 
    • Return soup to same saucepan. 
    • Mix in lemon juice and sugar. 
    • Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
    • Thin to desired consistency with more broth and heavy cream.  
    • Stir soup over medium heat until heated through. 
    • Ladle into bowls. 
    • Drizzle chili sauce over.  

    Coconut Carrot Soup with Leeks

    3 tablespoons coconut oil
    1 pound carrots, chopped
    2 medium apples, peeled, cored, chopped
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 leek, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
    1 13-oz. can coconut milk
    4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

    Heat 1 Tbsp. coconut oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. 
    Add carrots, apple, onion, chopped leek, garlic, and ginger, and season with salt and pepper. 
    Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, 5-7 minutes. 
    Stir in coconut milk, broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, 20-25 minutes; let cool slightly. 
    Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth. 

    Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

    2 tablespoons butter
    3 tablespoons all purpose flour
    4 cups low fat milk
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    4 cups chopped broccoli
    1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
    6 ounces sharp or extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (or whatever cheese you have on hand)
    2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onion tops

    • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. 
    • Add flour; cook and stir 30 seconds or until bubbly. 
    • Add milk, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper; bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring frequently. 
    • Add broccoli and red pepper; return to a boil. 
    • Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered until broccoli cooked, stirring occasionally.   
    • Take half the ingredients and blend them in an electric blender. 
    • Return blended ingredients to pot.  
    • Add cheese; stir over low heat just until cheese melts, do not boil. 
    • Ladle into four soup bowls; top with chives.

    Squash Soup

    4 cups of squash, peeled and cubed
    1/2 cup dried white or black beans, soaked overnight
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    1 onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    3 vegetable bouillon/broth cubes (can use chicken or beef if desired)
    fresh ground pepper to taste
    3 cups water

    • Rinse beans and put in large pot with 3 cups water. 
    • Add celery, onion, garlic and bouillon, bring to boil and then turn down to low: cover pot. 
    • Fill another large pot with water and bring to a boil. 
    • Put the squash in the boiling water and boil for about 10 to 15 minutes or until a fork can be poked easily into it. 
    • Remove the squash and sit aside to cool. 
    • Once the squash is cool enough to handle, puree in a blender or food processor. 
    • After the squash is pureed, add it to the bean mixture. 
    • Finish cooking soup so that an hour has passed from when the beans started cooking. 
    • If the soup is too watery for your taste, cook without the lid on for a while, or puree about a third of the batch; beans, onions, celery, garlic and all and then add the pureed ingredients back to the original batch. 
    • Season to taste with pepper.

    Tomato Soup

    10-12 tomatoes
    10 cloves of peeled garlic
    1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    black pepper
    1/2 cup minced green onions
    dash of chili or hot sauce
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
    3 cups tomato or V8 juice
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    juice of 2 lemons
    3/4 cup heavy cream
    drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

    • Preheat the oven to 400F. 
    • On a baking sheet, toss the tomatoes garlic, carrots and olive oil together. 
    • Season with salt and pepper. 
    • Roast for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender. 
    • Remove from the oven.  
    • In a food processor with a metal blade (you will probably have to do this in 2 sessions), combine the roasted tomatoes, green onion, dash of chili sauce, parsley, tomato or V8 juice, Worcestershire sauce, juice from 2 lemons & 3/4 cup heavy cream. 
    • Puree until the mixture is smooth. 
    • Remove the mixture from the food processor & combine if done in 2 sessions.  
    • Can be served warm or cold with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.  
    • Makes 6 to 8 servings.

    Vegetable Chowder

    1/2 cup chopped red or green pepper
    1/2 cup chopped onions
    1/4 cup butter or margarine
    1 cup diced cauliflower
    1 cup diced carrot
    1 cup diced broccoli
    1 cup fresh corn
    1 cup fresh peas (shelled)
    (or approximate equivalent of whatever fresh vegetable you have, chopped where necessary)
    5 cups water
    3 chicken or beef bouillon cubes
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/2 cup all purpose flour
    1 cup thick cream
    1 tablespoon chopped parsley
    1 1/2  cups shredded cheese (what have you)

    • In a largest pot, saute the peppers and onions in butter or margarine until tender. 
    • Add remaining vegetables, water, bouillon, salt and black pepper; bring to a boil. 
    • Reduce heat: simmer covered until the vegetables are tender. 
    • Combine flour and cream until smooth; stir into pan. 
    • Bring soup to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. 
    • Mix in the parsley & cheese. 

    Corn Chowder

    6 slices bacon
    1 medium onion, diced
    2 tablespoons butter
    4 medium potatoes, sliced & diced bite size, skins on
    2 cups fresh or frozen corn
    2 chicken bouillon cube
    3 cup water
    1 cup milk
    1 can coconut milk
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 cup parsley
    1/2 cup white flour

    1. Fry or microwave the bacon until crisp.  
    2. Cut into bite size pieces. 
    3. Saute the onions in butter until tender, then transfer to a 3 quart saucepan along with the cooked bacon, potatoes, corn, bouillon cubes, water, coconut milk & milk. 
    4. Cover and cook until corn & potatoes are tender.  
    5. Add salt, pepper & parsley.  
    6. Take liquid from soup mixture and mix with flour until a paste.  
    7. Pour paste mixture into soup and cook until slightly thickened. 

    Five+ Bean Soup

    4 cups dried beans, as many types as you can find
    1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
    1 onion, chopped
    1 teaspoon lemon pepper
    3 tablespoons BBQ sauce
    3 teaspoons chopped green chili pepper
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 large can and 1 regular can chopped tomatoes
    1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    6 tablespoons ketchup

    • Wash, pick over, and soak beans in water to cover by 2 inches, overnight. 
    • In the morning, drain and rinse the beans. 
    • Return to pot, add half pot of water and cook until tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 
    • Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 3 hours more. 
    • Stir and add water as needed.

    Asparagus Soup

        4 bundles of fresh asparagus
        2 chicken bouillon cubes
        4 tablespoons butter
        1 cup chopped green onion
        1 tablespoon minced garlic
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
        1/2 cup heavy cream
        1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan = garnish

    • Crack the woody end off the asparagus, put into pot.
    • Crack the tips off the asparagus, put into holding bowl.
    • Crack the rest into 1 inch lengths and set aside.
    • Put woody ends into a medium pot with bouillon cubes.  
    • Add water to cover plus 1 inch.  Bring to boil. 
    • Lower the heat and simmer to infuse with asparagus flavor (30 to 40 minutes).   
    • Remove woody asparagus with a slotted spoon and discard.  
    • Keep stock in pot.
    • Add the tips to the stock and blanch until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. 
    • Remove with a strainer and refresh in an ice water bath. 
    • Drain on paper towels and reserve for the garnish.
    • Add butter, chopped green onion, salt & pepper, garlic & the middle sections of the asparagus to stock and cook until boiling.  
    • Turn heat down and simmer until the asparagus are very tender.  
    • Remove from heat.
    • In a food processor, puree the stock until smooth. 
    • Return to pot & add cream and reserved asparagus tips. 
    • Cook, stirring, until the soup is warmed through, about 3 minutes.  
    • Serve with Parmesan cheese garnish. 
    • Alternatively, if serving the soup later:  add cream, stir, place into bowl(s) & add asparagus tops and then refrigerate until serving time.  
    • Reheat in microwave.   
    • Serve with Parmesan cheese garnish.

    Tortilla Soup

    1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    4 chicken bullion cubes & 4 cups of water
    1/4 cup red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
    1 tablespoon dried red chiles (This makes it pretty darned hot!  You may wish to put in a little less.)
    3/4 teaspoon basil leaves, dried
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    15 ounce can tomato puree
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    10 6 inch diameter corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips
    2 cups chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

    avocado Slices
    shredded cheese

    • Heat 1/2 cup oil in 10 inch skillet until hot. 
    • Cook tortilla strips in oil until light golden brown, 30 to 60 seconds; set aside & drain.
    • Cook and stir onions and garlic in 2 tablespoons oil in 4 quart pot until onion is tender. Stir in water, chicken bouillon, bell pepper, ground red chiles, basil, salt and pepper and tomato puree. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
    • Divide tortilla strips and chicken among 6 bowls; pour broth over chicken. 
    • Top with cheese and avocado slices.

    Minestrone Chowder

    1.5 cups dry white beans (preferably cannellini beans but navy will do)
    8 slices bacon, cut into four pieces
    2 tablespoons of butter
    1 onion chopped
    4 stalks chopped celery
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 cup chopped carrots
    1 cup water
    5 chicken bouillon cubes
    32 ounce can tomato juice
    3 tomatoes chopped
    2 cups finely shredded cabbage
    2 cups chopped zucchini
    3 tablespoons basil
    1/2 teaspoon sage
    1/2 cup tubular pasta
    salt and pepper to taste
    Parmesan cheese, grated

    • Prepare the beans: soak in water overnight and then cook until tender.  Set aside.
    • Cook bacon in microwave, on high, for 3 minutes.  Set aside.
    • In very large pot sauté butter, onion, celery and garlic until soft.  
    • Add water, bouillon cubes, tomato juice, tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, basil and sage and boil until vegetables soft.  
    • Add pasta, salt & pepper and simmer until pasta cooked.  
    • Stir in bacon and add salt and pepper to taste. 
    • Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

    Pumpkin Soup (You can also use squash)

        4-6 cups of cubed pumpkin or squash
        1 quart Vegetable Or Chicken Stock
        1/2 cup Heavy Cream
        1/3 cup Maple Syrup
        Dash Of Nutmeg
        Salt To Taste
        Extra Cream, For Serving

    • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
    • Place pumpkins/squash cubes on a cookie sheet and roast them until slightly shriveled and soft.
    • In a pot, heat up the pumpkin/squash with the stock and maple syrup until simmering. 
    • Mash out the big chunks, then transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and puree until velvety smooth. 
    • Add cream and nutmeg, then blend again.
    • Reheat if you need to, or just go ahead and serve.

    Coconut Shrimp Soup

    1 pound medium shrimp - peeled and deveined
    1 can canned coconut milk
    1 large can ( approx 4 cups chicken broth) (or water & chicken bouillon)
    1/4 cup lime juice
    Large piece of fresh ginger peeled and sliced
    1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
    4 garlic cloves
    large handful of bean sprouts
    2 carrots (sliced into thin rounds)
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 teaspoon curry powder+/-
    1 tablespoon green onion, thinly sliced
    dried pepper flakes start small and then add heat to preference

    • In large pot bring chicken base to a boil. Boil the shrimp until cooked, about one minute. Remove shrimp and set aside.
    • Pour the coconut milk into pot.  Add lime juice, garlic cloves, ginger and hot pepper flakes (careful!) and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the flavors are infused. Strain the coconut milk into a new pan and discard the spices.
    • Add the mushrooms, carrots, green onion, basil and bean sprouts into the coconut milk mixture and cook until tender.  Season to taste with curry powder.
    • To serve, reheat shrimp in the soup, and ladle into serving bowls.

    Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

    2 vegetarian bullion cubes
    1 small can (350 ml) tomato juice
    4 cups diced tomatoes
    1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
    1/2 tsp oregano
    2 carrots, chopped
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    1/2 onion, chopped
    3 zucchini, chopped
    1 cup green beans, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 cup macaroni pasta
    • In a large pot, combine all the ingredients except the pasta and just cover with water.
    • Simmer over low heat for at least one hour, or until vegetables are tender.
    • Add the pasta and bring to a slow simmer.
    • Cook for another 20 minutes, or until pasta is done cooking.

    Pizza Soup

    30 oz. can Diced Stewed Tomatoes
    32 oz. of Chicken or Beef Stock (for our
       recipes we use water & chicken bouillon
       without MSG)
    1/2 cup Pepperoni Slices quartered
    1 medium Onion Diced
    1 medium Green Pepper Diced
    2 tablespoons Olive Oil
    1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (careful!)
    1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
    1 package frozen or fresh Ravioli or
    Salt & Pepper to taste
    Shredded Mozzarella & sliced black olives for garnish

    • In your biggest soup pot heat the olive oil and throw in the onions and green peppers. Saute them until the onions are clear and the green peppers are slightly soft.
    • Now dump in the canned tomatoes juice and all, the stock, pepperoni slices, red pepper flakes and oregano.
    • Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes. 
    • Taste it & add any salt or pepper as you prefer.  
    • Bring it back up to a boil and add your pasta. 
    • Boil for about 4 - 5 minutes until the pasta is cooked. 
    • Serve topped with mozzarella and sliced olives.