Friday, March 28, 2014

A Couple Good Ones...

Happy Friday!

I have been very infrequent in my postings of new recipes.  Life has gotten very full and truthfully, I don't have a lot of time for trying new recipes.  My family wishes I did! They are probably quite sick of all my old standbys.  : )  And now I will be taking a year+ off from this blog.  As many of you know, my family and I are going to India to volunteer with Rising Star Outreach for this next year.  

You can read all about how we came to this amazing opportunity HERE.

We leave June 1st, so before things get totally crazy, I have been de-junking my computer hard-drive and I came across some recipes that I had never posted.  Mostly, I did not post them because my pictures turned out poorly. : )

But they were both really good recipes, so I wanted to at least give you the links to them.  They are both quite easy to make and my family liked them....and I loved them!

Roasted Cauliflower Risotto on A Couple Cooks.  I love their site!  They come up with some amazingly delicious stuff!  And they always have gorgeous photos.  You can tell she is not a mom of five who is racing to get dinner on the table before 2 soccer games and youth night at church.  : )

Curry Artichoke Rice Salad on Pinch My Salt.  This is a really quick and easy recipe with a good fresh flavor.  I really should make it again to help my kids get used to curry...since we will probably have something with curry in it nearly every day over in India.

Another thing I have been de-junking is my collection of Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazines.  I came across about 10 recipes that I just had to try before I gave them all away, so if any of them turn out to be fabulous, I promise I will post them before I leave.

Have a Wonderful Weekend!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tomato, Spinach, and Barley Soup

{Meatless Monday}

We have had an abundance of tomatoes lately because my aunt lives nearby and has a huge garden and has let me come pick HUGE quantities of tomatoes (plus squash, peppers, and basil!!).  I used up most of them canning salsa and stewed tomatoes, but then one of my stewed tomatoes did not seal.  So I went searching the internet for some recipes that used stewed tomatoes and I found a winner!  

This soup recipe comes from this post at Tasty Treats.  You'll notice quite a few changes, the first being that I don't use any sausage.  ; )   But she has beautiful pictures.

Here's what you’ll need...
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • One 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I used one full quart)
  • 1-2 tbsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 2 cups uncooked pearl barley
  • 1 lb. fresh spinach

In a large pot, brown your onions and garlic until softened, 3-5 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth, can of diced tomatoes (including juices), and all seasonings. Bring to a boil.
Add the pearl barley and return to a boil.  Turn down heat and let simmer until soft (30-35 minutes or so).
Add the fresh spinach and cook just a minute or two before serving.

Top with a sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese for extra flavor.

 This soup is very simple...and so filling with the barley.  We loved it.  And I happily ate the leftovers for a day or two because this makes a lot of soup!!  Enjoy!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Creamy Carrot and Millet Soup

{Meatless Monday}

I already have a number of Carrot Soup recipes.  And I LOVE them.  They are some of my favorites.

There is the Moroccan Carrot Soup that my sister introduced me

And my newer favorite, Roasted Carrot Soup (you all know my obsession with roasted vegetables... ; ),  that I found from Martha

And now I have a new one to add into the rotation.  Each of these soups has a very distinct flavor even though they all mostly have just carrots in them.

I had never tried Millet before.  Have you?  It looks like this:

And I buy it in the bulk section of my WinCo.

It cooks up completely soft and is blended up with the soup, so there are no chunks...but it gives a wonderful creamy flavor to the soup...almost a cheesy undertone. have to try it!  It is delicious, plus just really good for you.  We all know we should be getting a good variety of grains.

Here's what you need:

2 T butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup millet
3 cups broth
1/2 tsp salt

1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sour cream

Bread (french bread or just regular sandwich bread)
Cheddar Cheese
Optional toppings: green onions and dill weed  (I have never used either of these yet.)

Here's what you do...

Saute the onion in the butter until tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the carrots, millet, broth, and salt. Bring to a boil.  Reduce to low and cook, COVERED, for 35 minutes.  Blend in a blender (I have to do mine in batches) adding the milk to make your desired consistency.  Return blended soup to the pot and stir in the sour cream.  Warm up soup, if needed.

Now, the night that I made this and took my pictures, I had not a lick of bread in my house.  I was all out.  But it is SO YUMMY to make regular grilled cheese sandwiches--or just melt some cheese on top of French Bread slices--and cut them into croutons.

this is, sadly, the best picture I got of the soup...  ; )

Ladle soup into bowls and top with your grilled cheese croutons.  Add additional toppings, if desired, and ENJOY!!  I love creamy soups that are mostly vegetables with just a hint of cream.  I plan on making this one regularly throughout this fall and winter.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Delicious and EASY Breadsticks

Hello, again!  Now that it is Fall, and all of my kids are in school all day long, I am hoping to have more time to keep posting and sharing on this blog.  ; )

I was scrolling through all my posts looking at a few that got stalled in the "draft" stage, and I came across this one.  I guess I uploaded the pictures and never got around to typing up the recipe.  

You will want to try these.  They are SO easy.  And SO good.

The best thing about these is that they can be done so quickly.  You can go from start to finish in about 45 minutes...with most of that time involving no work from you since the dough will be rising or baking.

Here's how to do it....
Warm up 1 1/2 cups water in a small bowl in the microwave.  Add 1 T yeast and stir.  Sprinkle 2 T sugar over the top and stir again.  

In a large bowl or mixer, combine 3 cups flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt.  Add the yeast mix and stir well.

While that starts to rise, cut up 1/3 -1/2 cup butter on a cookie sheet and place in the oven with the oven  either on warm.  Set a timer for 3-5 minutes so you don't end up burning the butter.  ; )  Take the butter out of the oven and sprinkle on garlic and parmesan cheese to your taste.  You can also sprinkle on herbs like Italian Seasoning, Oregano, Basil, etc. (I use the herb mix that I always have on hand for dipping our Italian bread in.  You can find it here.)

After the 10 minutes, roll out the dough into a rectangle and cut into strips (I cut them on the shorter side of the rectangle.)  

Take one strip and coat both sides in the butter.  If the dough is pretty stretchy, I like to stretch each one a bit and fold in half and shown below.  Or you can keep them straight and just lay them on the cookie sheet.  Repeat with all remaining breadsticks.  My recipe normally makes about 15-16.

Let rise for 10-15 more minutes while you preheat your oven to 350*.

Bake for 15-17 minutes until  just barely browned.  You don't want to overcook these.  And the longer you can let them rise, the thicker they will be and the softer they will end up being.

These are SO simple to make.  They are my favorite thing to make when we have company coming because it is the easiest homemade bread, EVER!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

{Meatless Monday}

...even though it is not really Monday at all!

I got this recipe off one of my favorite vegetarian cooking blogs.... A Couple Cooks.

This was REALLY yummy.  Surprisingly yummy!   I bookmarked the recipe more out of curiosity than anything.  It was one of those times when I thought, "well, I like sweet potatoes....and I like black beans...but will I really want to eat them together??"  ; )

But, yes, oh yes, you want to eat them together!  This was a keeper and I can't wait to make it again.

Here's what you'll need:

2 medium to large sweet potatoes (3 cups diced)
15 oz. can black beans
8 ounces canned diced green chilies (about 1 cup)
1 medium red onion
½ tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
about 2 cups salsa verde (or homemade tomatillo salsa)
1 cup Colby jack cheese, shredded
8 whole wheat flour tortillas (or 10 6-inch)
Sour cream
Fresh cilantro, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

 Peel and dice the sweet potato. Place in a pot and cover with water; add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, around 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and place in bowl.

Now to prepare the filling:  Finely chop the red onion. (I decided to saute my onion for about 5-7 minutes.  It helps my kids to eat them better!)

To Mix the Filling:  In a large bowl, combine the cooked sweet potato, drained black beans, red onion, green chilies, ½ tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Mix to combine.

To make the enchiladas... In a large baking dish, spread ¾ to 1 cup of the salsa verde. Fill each tortilla with a heaping ½ cup scoop of the filling, add a handful of cheese, and roll it up. 

Place the enchilada seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas. When all enchiladas are in the dish, top with the remaining salsa verde (about ½ cup or so) and the remaining cheese.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Serve, garnished with sour cream (mixed with a tiny bit of water to loosen it) and chopped cilantro, if desired. (I only had romaine lettuce, but sour cream & cilantro would be fabulous!) 

Monday, April 29, 2013

White Bean Burgers with Spinach

{Meatless Monday}

I have SO many recipes for non-meat burgers that I want to try.  Every time I see one, I rip it out and put it in my folder.  They all require quite a bit of mashing and they seem a little more labor intensive.  But when I actually get around to making them, they always turn out great!  These were easier than some I have made.  They have a great flavor and as long as you cook them well, they have a nice crispy outer layer.

Here's what you need...

1 19 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (I used Great Northern)
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg
1 T olive oil
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh baby spinach
4 slices country bread or buns

In bowl, mash beans with fork or potato masher. (I used my pastry cutter at first and then finished with my potato masher.)  Stir in half the bread crumbs, the carrot, onion, egg, 1 T. oil, half the parsley, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.

 Shape into 6 to 8 patties (depending on what size you prefer).

Place remaining bread crumbs and parsley in shallow dish.  Coat both sides of patties in bread crumb mixture.

 In large skillet, heat 2 T oil over medium heat.  Cook patties in hot oil 6-8 minutes per side.  (I actually cooked mine at least 8 minutes per side. I like to make vegetarian burgers have a nice crispy gives the a nicer "bite".)

Serve patties on toasted bread with spinach, open faced.  I also used my Cajun Mayonniase to spice up the flavor a bit, and it REALLY worked with the flavor of the patty!

***Cajun Seasoning Recipe***
I am not about to go to the store and spend $5 on some special mix of spices, so I simply googled Cajun seasoning and then mixed up some of my own.  Here is a link if you want to make a larger portion of it to keep in your cupboard:  Cajun Seasoning 

I just basically made a small batch of's what I used:
3/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground thyme (I just chopped up my regular thyme)
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. dried oregano

Mix all up in a bowl.  This made enough for at least 2 or 3 recipes of the burgers.

Use 1 tsp of this seasoning per 1/2 cup mayonnaise.  Or however it fits your taste!  ; )

Monday, April 22, 2013

Butternut Squash Risotto

{Meatless Monday}

This is kind of a "cheat" post.... ; )

But I got this recipe off of Pioneer Woman and the night I made it was CRAZY!  I barely had time to make the dinner, let alone take pics of it!  (I thought I had taken at least ONE picture right before I ate, but I searched and searched and nope...not a one!)

Plus, Pioneer Woman has GORGEOUS photography and takes SO many pictures, it would be a shame for you not to see them!

This was SO AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS that I completely over-ate!  I think I had three servings. I just could not help myself.  ; )  And I cannot wait to make it again, only this time, I will save that third serving for lunch the next day. simply MUST try this!  It was easy and oh. so. delicious.  And pretty healthy too!  I, of course, used Half and Half instead of the Cream and it was still creamy and delicious.  My husband and I plan on hosting a (belated) Earth Day Celebration Dinner and I am absolutely making this delicious dish!

Butternut Squash Risotto