Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Apple Carrot Salad

Another gem from Simply in Season

Apple Carrot Salad
serves 4-6 sides

1/4 cup lemon or lime juice (i used both)
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp honey
Mix together in large bowl until honey is dissolved

2 cups of apple (about 1 and 3/4 medium size apples)
Grate directly into the juice mixture to keep apples from browing

2 cups carrots, shredded (about 2 big, full length carrots - not minis)
1 tbsp fresh mint (omitted)
1/8 tsp salt or to taste (omitted)
1/4 cup raisins (didn't have, so thus omitted)
Toss with apples and serve immediately

I used two different kinds of apples. Also be aware that the apples and carrots release water so you'll end up with a lot of residual liquid in the bowl, which I'm sure would be delicious say, mixed into a smoothie the next day.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Curried Potato & Pea Soup

I found this recipe in a magazine at my MIL's house. We made it last night and it was delicious! I had it for breakfast and it was even better! I only made a few minor adjustments that I note:

Curried Potato & Pea Soup
makes 4 cups - 40 mins

Sweat in 2 Tbps unsalted butter
-8 oz yellow potatoes, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced

Stir in
- 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- pinch of red pepper flakes

- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tsp sugar
-1 cup frozen peas
- Juice of 1/2 a lime (or two small)
- salt to taste

My changes were that we added extra potatoes and BEFORE adding the peas, we took the immersion blender and made the soup a bit chunkier. We didn't blend all of it, but enough to give it more body. Add the peas after that if you don't want them blended. Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Turkey Pita

I had lunch with a friend the other day and she made the most delicious sandwiches. I rarely make myself a sandwich for lunch - lack of creativity, ingredients, time, etc...but this was so good it made me want to start trying.

It would be perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers, too.

Shaved turkey (or leftover roasted turkey)
Bean/alfalfa sprouts
Red grapes, halved
Feta cheese
Greek salad dressing

So, so yummy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Fall Soup

I got this recipe from my mother in law.  I haven't actually made it myself yet, but I've tasted it as she graciously made us a big pot of it this week.  The thing about this soup is that, in addition to being tasty, it is super filling especially for a soup.  My MIL got this from The Wall Street Journal but I don't see a title for the recipe on my copy.

2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 t fennel seeds, coarsely ground with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
7 whole canned San Marzano tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 - 2 lbs butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed yields about 5 1/4 cups
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 3/4 c chicken stock
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
2/3 c mascarpone cheese

In a medium pot set over low heat, heat 2 T olive oil with garlic and fennel seeds.  Squeeze tomatoes over the pot to break up the flesh and catch all the juices in the pot.  Cook over low heat stirring often for 8 minutes or until tomatoes begin to turn dark red.  Turn heat to medium-high and stir in squash and potatoes.  Add enough stock to just cover the veggies and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer covered for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to make just the veggies are just submerged.  Once veggies are tender, remove from the pot and mash with a potato masher.  Soup should be thick and creamy like risotto.  Ladle into bowls.  Garnish with Parmesan and a few dollops of mascarpone cheese and if desired some additional olive oil.

Monday, October 17, 2011

And One for my Husband


So,while yes I eat differently, I still cook "normal" meals for my family. Although now I make them as healthy as possible. Like with this recipe, I made homemade breadcrumbs with whole wheat bread and things like that. 

When making the menu this week I thought Dan would appreciate little changes to our normal stuff. He loves spaghetti with meat sauce so I serve it a lot but he also loves meatballs so meatballs it is this week! I started with a recipe Mrs. Zak gave me but decided it wasn't what I was looking for this time. When that happens I take to Google and pretty much just took a little something from a few recipes and got this.

Fast & Easy Meatballs
1 lb lean ground beef
1 eggs, beaten
2 slices of whole wheat bread
some Italian seasonings
sea salt - 1/8 tsp-1/4 tsp 

Put the bread in your Cuisinart and pulse until well ground. Put everything else on the list into a bowl and mix well. Form into balls; makes about 12-14. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, turn once and bake another 5. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Collard Greens

I wrote about my diet changes over on my blog so that's why I'm posting all these new recipes. I'd never had collard greens till about two months ago. Lucky for me, I've always loved vegtables so getting to try new stuff like this and others has been fun. The only draw back would be, I have no idea how to cook this stuff. I eat about 40% of it raw (like when I first ate collard greens it was literally me holding a huge leaf in my hand chewing at it while watching my girls). Here's a little something I've try and was good. Oh, I almost forgot, this amazing-for-you-vegetable is dirt cheap. I'm taking $1.29 for a HUGE bunch of HUGE leaves. Can't beat that.

Collard Greens with Nuts and Other Good Stuff

Put about a tbls olive oil in a pan - bring it to medium-high heat
Put whatever kind of nuts you have on hand (walnuts in my case) and saute about a minute. Be careful not to burn - I did this the first time I made these.
Add about 2-3 leaves of chopped collard greens and cook another minute or three. Remove from heat and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and some dried fruit (raisins and cranberries in my case)

And voila! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cornbread Revisited

Here's a new cornbread I made tonight...and the whole family loved it! It's the closes I've ever gotten to making that famous cornbread from my beloved, but not forgotten, Cajun Connection. Does anyone else miss that place?  Here we go...so simple and SO good.

1 cup sorghum or maple syrup (since I have no clue what sorghum syrup is, I used maple)
1 1/4 cup soy milk (or rice milk)
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat over to 400 degrees and grease a 9x9 pan (I used a 8x8). Combine syrup, soy milk, and oil in bowl and mix. Add in remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe from: The Kind Diet

Monday, October 10, 2011

Burritos: Black Bean and Sweet Potato

How have I not shared this recipe before?  I first made it over three years ago.  And it is yummy!  The original comes from the much-loved book Simply in Season. Does anyone have that book and not love it?  It is fabulous!  Here's my only slightly altered version.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burrito
1/2 onion, diced small and sauteed in 1 T oil
then add
2-3 cups diced sweet potatoes, cooked covered until soft
use water or apple juice as needed to prevent sticking to the pan
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 t cumin
a generous 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt (or more as needed)
Heat until warm.  Serve inside warm tortillas.  Also good on top of rice.  Shredded cheddar cheese is a good topping option.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So Incredibly Delicious!

I found this recipe here and it's going to knock your socks off. I'm not gluten-free but if you are, it fits! I've recently discovered the awesomeness (word?) of quinoa. It cooks up like instant rice but is jammed packed with things your body will love and run on for hours so it's a great recipe for moms who need go-juice quickly.

Black Bean, Edamame, Corn and Quinoa Salad

1 cup shelled edamame
2 cups fresh corn kernels (only had canned on hand)
1 cup cooked black beans
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro (only used 1/4 cup)
1 cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 T minced red onion
1 tsp ground cumin
2 T fresh lime juice
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional – and I didn't do this) 

1. In a medium saucepan bring water to a boil. Cook edamame for 10 minutes. (I got a steamable bag to save time)
2. Bring a fresh pot of water to boil and steam corn for 3 minutes.
3. Combine edamame, corn, black beans and quinoa.
4. Make salsa dressing by combining tomatoes, red onion, cumin, lime juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne.
5. Only dress the amount you are going to eat right away. Combine dressing, cilantro and salad. Toss and serve.

Make it! You won't regret it!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Harvest Soup

Another fun and delicious fall soup!

1 tbls olive oil
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about3 1/2 cups)
2 medium apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups chicken broth (I used my left-over veggie broth)

in a big pot, heat oil on medium. Add carrots, celery, and onions. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender and brown.  Add squash, apples, and broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Cool slightly

Puree soup in blender or food processor, and in a couple batches if needed. Add pepper and croutons (we skipped the croutons)

Recipe from: some parenting magazine....I forget which one

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

A good fall meal. I've never tasted anything quite like it. Give it a try!

-1/4 cup safflower oil
-1 medium onion, diced
-2 small tomatoes, diced
-1 tsp fresh minced ginger
-1 1/2 tsp turmeric
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp ground coriander
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/8 tsp cayenne
fine sea salt
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 cubes
7 cups vegetable broth*
1 cup brown lentils

Heat oil over medium heat in large deep pot. Add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and ginger and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, and a small pinch of salt. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Add sweet potatoes, broth, and lentils. Stir well, and bring to a boil over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 40 minutes or until lentils and potatoes are soft.

*Veggie Broth - Amateur Style
Take carrots, celery, and onions and chop them. Throw in a big pot full of water then add 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper and simmer for a couple hours. Strain and use. Freeze remaining broth.

Recipe from: The Kind Diet

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Garden Tomato Salad

Just like with zucchini a surplus of tomatoes happen as well. Our neighbor has brought over about 40 fresh tomatoes in all, so I'm searching my cook books and finding things to make. His tomatoes are so good, a little sweet, juicy, tender, just lovely little things. They even smell wonderful. Anyway here's a recipe we keep going back to because it's so good. We grew our own basil this year so we like it because of that too.

3 to 5 tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced (I chop mine)
2 to 3 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
2 to 3 tbls red onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt (I used 1/2 tsp minced garlic and added plain salt)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbls olive oil

Mix all ingredients together. Let stand for awhile before serving.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Zucchini Fritters

It's starting again. The time of year where there's so much zucchini people don't know what to do with them.  I think I may add a zucchini tab in my cookbook so I know just where to go once they start rolling in each year. Daniel made these tonight. I'm terrible at frying anything so I gladly hand the apron over to him when the frying starts.

1 cup zucchini, grated
1 cup carrots, peeled and grated
2 T. onion, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. seasoning salt
1/4 to 1/2 c. oil

Mix together all ingredients except oil; set aside. Heat oil in skillet; drop vegetable mixture into skillet by tablespoonfuls. Saute until golden and vegetables are tender. Serve Warm. Makes about 2 dozen.

Recipe from: Gooseberry Patchwork Potluck Edition.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Easy Crockpot Fiesta Chicken

I'm going to start babysitting in August so my crockpot will become my best friend. When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. Sooo easy and it is really good, although it doesn't look it, believe me, it is.

4 chicken breasts, frozen or thawed
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) jar of your favorite salsa
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (used fat free)

Take 4 frozen (or thawed), boneless chicken breasts put into crock pot. Add 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn drained.  Keep in crock pot on low for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked. Once it is cooked, take it out and shred it. Return shredded chicken to the crockpot.

Add 1 package of cream cheese and let sit for about 1/2 hour then stir it in and you've got yourself a tasty dinner.

Serve over rice or in warm flour tortillas.

Recipe From: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Chicken Pillows

I saw this recipe over at The Girl Who Ate Everything and if you're looking for a healthy recipe, keep on lookin cause this ain't it. I made them because they sounded fun but who knows if I'll be making them again. They were good and MG did eat it like she said her boys did so I thought I'd share it. Her recipe calls for a gravy on top but that's just way way too much for us so here it is. Have fun if you make 'em!

Chicken Pillows

Mix together:8 ounces cream cheese, softened½ cup sour cream

Stir in:
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ Tablespoons dried chives
1 ½ Tablespoons fresh onion minced
3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (All we had was skinless boneless thighs and those worked just fine too)

Assemble Pillows:
2 (8 ounce) cans of crescent rolls
1/4 cup melted butter
Italian bread crumbs (about 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and sour cream until well combined. Stir in salt, pepper, onion, chives, and diced chicken.

Moving on to the rolls, take 2 triangular rolls and push together at seam to make into a square. Put about 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture in the center of each square. Fold the dough corners to the center over the chicken mixture forming a pillow.Dip each pillow in melted butter on both sides. Roll in bread crumbs on both sides. Shake excess crumbs off. Place chicken pillow on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fudge Popsicles from Smitten Kitchen

It was 92 degrees in Glenview today. What a perfect day for homemade popsicles!! We used popsicle holders that my mom has had since my brother and I were young. They're the Tupperware brand ones with the stick that, by now, looks like we tried to eat it, it's so beat up, but still works like a charm! Todays recipe on SmittenKitchen.com happened to be fudge popsicles and they are OH SO GOOD!!! Very chocolately flavored without being overwhelming in the sugar arena.

(copy below taken directly from smitten, except for my mention of Ghiradelli chips)

Fudge Popsicles (taken from smittenkitchen.com)
from On A Stick!

Makes 4 standard-sized popsicles (3 ounces each)

2 tablespoons (21 grams or 3/4 ounce) semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate * - we used Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup (67 grams or 2 1/3 ounce) sugar
1 tablespoon (7 grams or 1/4 ounce) cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons (8 grams or 1/4 ounce) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) whole milk
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon (7 grams or 1/4 ounce) unsalted butter

In the bottom of a medium saucepan over very low heat, gently melt the chocolate chips, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, milk and salt and raise heat to medium. Cook mixture, stirring frequently until it thickens, anywhere between 5 minutes (for me) and 10 (suggested in the book). Remove from heat, add vanilla and butter and stir until combined.

Set aside to cool slightly then pour into popsicle molds. Freeze 30 minutes, then insert popsicle sticks. Freeze the rest of the way before serving.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Strawberry Tart

I made this tart for Mother's Day using berries we got at the Farmers' Market. The recipe is from Simply in Season. Easy, fast, and very yummy!

For the crust:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
2 tbsp powdered suger
In a mixing bowl, mix together until crumbly, with no pieces bigger than a pea. press into a 9-inch pie pan or tart pan. Bake at425 for 10-12 minutes until golden. Cool.

For the filling:
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup mashed strawberries
1/2 orange juice
Blend in saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Add 2 tbsp. lemon juice and cool completely.
Stir in 4-6 cups whole strawberries, then pour into crust. Chill 3 hours.

Then top chilled tart with whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Beat with electric mixer until semi-stiff peaks form.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I got this recipe from a friend and made it for Easter. It makes tons and they were almost completely gone so I think it was a big hit. I just copied and pasted from the Pillsbury website so obviously you don't have to use the name brand stuff. The only thing I did differently was add 1/4 tsp salt when I added the vanilla to the chocolate mixture. You could easily substitute your favorite cookie dough recipe for the the bought stuff too, but I was making a lot this Easter and appreciated a semi-home recipe.  

cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted
cups graham cracker crumbs (32 squares)
bag (8 oz) Heath® Bits 'O Brickle® toffee bits (1 1/2 cups)
roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
bag (12 oz) Hershey’s® semi-sweet chocolate baking chips (2 cups)
can (14 oz) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
tablespoon LAND O LAKES® Butter
teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
  • 2In medium bowl, stir 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 1/2 cups of the cracker crumbs and 3/4 cup of the toffee bits. Press mixture evenly in bottom of pan. Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until firm.
  • 3Meanwhile, let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. In 2-quart saucepan, heat chocolate chips, milk and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Spread mixture over cracker crust.
  • 4In medium bowl, break up cookie dough. Mix in remaining 1/2 cup cracker crumbs with wooden spoon until well blended. Crumble mixture evenly over chocolate layer. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup toffee bits.
  • 5Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 2 hours. For a firmer bar, refrigerate 30 minutes longer. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Breakfast Cassrole

On Christmas and Easter morning growing up we had a special breakfast casserole, usually paired with something sweet and fruit of some sort. It's a good tradition because the casserole is put together the night before so all you have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning. I'm making a little bit of a different version than my moms, I got it from my aunt, and is more bready than eggy. We'll see if we like it better, we're an egg family so I could see switching back. I'm pairing this with Baked Oatmeal from over at Bless Us O Lord, and probably oranges.

Sausage Egg Casserole
1 lbs browned sausage
6 eggs
6 slices bread - cubed
3 cups milk
2 tsp dry mustard
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Beat eggs well - stir in milk (beat)
Add dry mustard (bead). Stir in bread
Add sausage & cheese - stir
Let sit covered in fridge overnight
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Healthy Snack

Here's a healthy little snack I read about in Rachael Ray's magazine. I actually lost the recipe after seeing it but it's not one where you need exact measurement luckily.

The Goods:
1 can of chick peas
some EVOO
garlic salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (again, I lost the recipe so I just chose the trusty 350 degrees and it worked well). Drain and rinse beans then put on a baking sheet. Drizzle EVOO over beans (I used very sparingly so it would be healthy) then sprinkle however much garlic salt and basil you want on them and roast away. Super easy and so good.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dairy-free, Egg-free Cake

My mother-in-law brought this cake up to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday last month.  Since we're always looking for cake recipes that don't call for butter, she sent the recipe my way, but I don't know where she got it. If you're so inclined you can mix all the ingredients for the cake right in the pan, but I ended up dumping all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mixing them that way first.  It was easy enough to mix in the wet ingredients in the pan.  The cake itself is really tasty, too, nice and moist.  My kids loved it anyway, and so did I.  We made it to celebrate my husband's birthday this week.
Bonus: this cake also happens to be egg-free, if that's important to you!

Three Hole Cake
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 c sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa
1/2 t salt
1 T white or cider vinegar
1 t vanilla
1/3 c oil
1 c water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 8 inch cake pan (you can serve it right from the pan in which case you don't have to bother greasing it).  Combine the flour, soda, sugar, cocoa and salt.  Sift together into the pan (I did not sift them, just mixed them together in a separate bowl first). Shake the pan to level the ingredients and make 3 holes in it it.  Vinegar in one hole, vanilla in the second, and oil in the third. Pour the water over the top.  Using a table forkk, mix vigorously making sure to get in all the corners and incorporate all the flour mixture.  
Bake at 350 for 30 mins (mine took 35) or until toothpick in center comes out clean.  Let cool for five minutes before turning out of pan or completely completely in pan. Then frost.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Menu Planning

I think this could be a neat way to plan a monthly menu.  Maybe I'll give it a try.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pan Fried Chicken

Tonight we had my famous pan-fried chicken for dinner! Every time I make it I change it up and add something different or take something away. Here is the general recipe:
  • 1-2 lbs chicken breast tenderloins
  • 1 cup italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesean cheese
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Start by seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper. Prepare the eggwash by combining the egg and water together. Prepare the breading by combining the bread crumbs, parm cheese and red pepper flakes. Dip the chicken in the egg wash, then into the bread crumb mixture, then repeat. Cook in olive oil until chicken reaches an internal temp of 160 degrees and serve.

You can mix it up when it comes to the breading. Sometimes I leave out the red pepper flakes, other times I add rosemary and oregano. Either way it's delicious. Tonight I made a pan sauce with the drippings from last weeks pork chop recipe I made. You can find that recipe HERE on my family blog.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Easy and delicious roasted vegetable & chickpea casserole

I just made this recipe this week, and am currently heating up some leftovers. It is so delicious, and very simple, so I thought I'd share.
It's made up of roasted 'summer' veggies, according to the recipe name, but here in Turkey, these are 'all year' vegetables, so hopefully you can find them too.
Since it's from the BBC Good Food website, I'm going to briefly translate it into 'American English' just to avoid any confusion that will keep you from trying this yummy dish. (I've also added the modifications that I made to the recipe but you can find the original here).

1 eggplant, cut into thick fingers
3 zucchini, thickly sliced
2 red peppers, de-seeded and chopped into chuncks
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 Tbsp whole coriander seeds (although ground coriander will also do, I imagine)
1 14oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 14oz cans of chopped tomatoes
4-5 Tbsp olive oil
a small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped

So, it's really easy. Preheat the oven to 4oo degrees F. Chop up all the vegetables, put them in a big oven proof dish or baking tin (if you've got one that can go on the stove and in the oven, use that), toss in olive oil, add the coriander seeds, some salt and pepper. Put it in the oven for about 45 minutes. When I cooked mine, I think it took a bit longer because my potato chunks were a bit too big, but roasted vegetables aren't an exact science, so you don't have to be too precise. When everything is soft enough to eat, it's ready.

Then put the dish on the stove, over low heat, add the tomatoes and chickpeas/garbanzos. Bring it to a gentle simmer and stir gently. When it's done, sprinkle on the chopped cilantro (I left the cilantro out because it's pretty tough to find in Istanbul) and serve with olive oil and crusty bread.

I actually made the meal one night and we ate it the next. I read from some comments that it was better the second night after letting the flavours mingle together. I reheated it in the oven and when it was just about done, added a sprinkling of feta cheese, which added a lovely flavour to it.

The recipe also suggested a meaty version. If you have a carnivore in the family, you can start to roast a chicken for 30 minutes, take it out of the roasting dish, put in all the vegetables above, nestle the chicken in the middle and continue roasting as per the recipe. Sounds pretty good. But trust me, the vegetarian version is delicious as it is. And it will make your kitchen smell amazing!

Mustard in Macaroni?

 My husband actually found this recipe online and asked me to make it! I never thought about a condiment having a website with recipes. At first I was very hesitant to put mustard in my macaroni and cheese (especially since i'm not a mustard fan) but it actually turned out really well. I'm making it again tomorrow night when we have friends over for dinner. GO TRY IT!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

HIII! First off I want to thank you for inviting me to contribute to your blog. I absolutely LOVE food and everything about it. My name is Brandi Marchbank and I met Laura in college. We lived on the same floor our freshman year and I think she's an absolutely delightful person!
Ever since I had my daughter 8 months ago I have been trying to lose the baby weight so I could fit back into my clothes! It's been super hard because I used to be able to eat what I wanted when I wanted. That came to a screaching HALT post-baby. In January my husband and I started eating healthy and working out. A few weeks in we got tired of the fish, chicken and rice that became routine on the dinner menu. This made me reach out and start searching for delicious, fast, and easy weight watching recipes. 
I stumbled upon this wonderful blog full of easy weight watcher recipes. Most recipes you find online these days say they are "easy" recipes, but are chock full of crazy ingredients you've never heard of let alone find in a grocery store! I decided to make this next week a weight watchers week in our house starting with tonight. We had the spinach and ricotta lasagna rolls. My husband's first reaction: "there isn't any meat in this?" Typical male response.

For those of you who know me, you know I don't eat very many vegetables. I have been trying to change that because Adalyn learns by example so I think it's high time I start leading.

Here's the recipe:

  • 9 Lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 15 oz. Ricotta cheese, fat free
  • 30 oz. Tomato sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzerella
  • 9 oz spinach, thawed and drained
  • Salt and pepper
I tweaked her recipe just a tad! First thaw a 9 oz box of frozen spinach and strain it in a kitchen towel. You can use cheese cloth if you have it. Then mix together the spinach, ricotta, parm, salt, pepper and egg in a bowl. After cooking the noodles, use parchment paper as a working surface and spoon the ricotta mixture onto each noodle. In a 9x13 baking dish spread half the tomato sauce. Roll each noodle and place into sauce. The recipe calls for 9 noodles, however, I only used 8 in the dish. This worked out great because one of the noodles broke in pieces during the cooking process so it was wonderful to have a back up!

Once you have rolled all noodles, pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top and add a tsp. of shredded mozzerella to each roll. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 40 minutes, covered.

YUM! I was able to do this while Adalyn was napping and it took no time at all. I popped it into the fridge and when Scott got home from work all I had to do was stick it in the oven.
I promise not to post anymore novels and hope you all have a blessed day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


We went over to a friends house for dinner last Saturday and she served the most amazing chicken. She said she got the recipe from her Land O'Lakes butter box so I went looking and found they have a lot of great stuff. Go look for yourself.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Super Bowl

What's everyone making for the Super Bowl? I kept going back forth between dishes until Anne reminded me that I made this stromboli last year. I think I'll be making it again. The party starts way before the game does at my parents house so I remember it was a good lunch for everyone to have before all the party finger foods came out later that night. I'll be making two this year though, one with pepperoni (and maybe sausage) and one veggie. The sautéed onions, green and red peppers, mushrooms and garlic sounds too good to pass up.

Any who, back to my original question. What are you making?!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Apples Going Bad

When apples start to go bad I hate throwing them out so I usually hurry and bake something with them. Dan loves anything apple so that makes it easy. I made apple bars last night with MaryGrace while he was at class. I thought it'd be a good wintery treat for him when he got home. Plus, he could take them to work to share with the guys so they aren't around here all day for me and MG to eat.

Apple Bars

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled apples (I got this from one apple, the recipe says two)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Spice Glaze (below)

1.     Heat oven to 350 degree. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9x2

2.     Mix brown sugar, oil, milk and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir in apples and walnuts. Spread in pan. (It's sticky so I used a spatula to spread. It's also a very thin dish - I thought I grabbed the wrong size pan at first but it cooked up nicely.)

3.     Bake about 20 minutes (mine took about 15 but me oven runs a little hot). Cool 30 minutes. Drizzle with Spice Glaze. Cut into 2 inch squares.

Spiced Glaze
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-2 TBLS apple juice or milk

mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable. The glaze really does finish this dish off. I don't normally make the little stuff recipes call for but did here and loved it.   

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Smith Menu

Potato Soup
(Dan likes bread on the side with this. That's a little too carb-city for me but I found some bakery-made bread at Meijer on the major discounted shelf for $1.49. We love fresh baguettes but hardly ever get them so I think he'll love this treat)

Ham/cheese/veggie Omelets and Potatoes

Stuffed green peppers

Left-over Night

Jambalaya (minus the sausage)
Corn bread

Dad's Specialty
mashed potatoes
green beans

The crockpot is coming mighty handy these days. If we go to 4:30 on Saturdays it's definitely a crockpot meal night because by the time we get back everyone is hungry for dinner. Dan is also going to a class two nights a week until the beginning of March so my hands will be busy as he leaves right during supper time. Meals like stuffed greens peppers, meatloaf, etc. I like to make when both girls are down for their naps so I can just throw it in the oven when 5:00 o'clock rolls around. Getting meals to the table is going pretty smoothly. Dan is always a huge help too - whether it's throwing the last couple of ingredients in if Anna needs to nurse or browning the meat at the beginning on the process he's always there lending a helping hand. MaryGrace now helps too -she sets the table every night and it's too cute.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise (Part I)

Okay. I hear you! "Finally!" you say! I know.. This three-part post is a little nuts.. But don't worry. We're near the end. And here we have the roasted root vegetables! Now, again you can use the veggies as a side dish at dinner or a meal in itself! Either way, let's get right to it.

Non-stick oil spray
Olive Oil
2.5 cups diced potatoes (Yukon Gold works best)
1 cup diced onion
6 cups of any combination of the following, diced:
- carrots (so great in this)
- brussel sprouts
- sweet potato
- asparagus
- parsnips
- rutabagas
- red bell pepper
- squash
Salt and Pepper
Couple minced garlic cloves
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Toss the ingredients (except the garlic) in a bowl, ensuring that you have enough olive oil (4 tablespoons maybe?), rosemary, salt and pepper to cover everything. Spread on a prepared sheet in single layer. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender, stirring and turning occasionally, about 45 minutes. Stir in garlic; roast 5 minutes longer -- you don't want it to burn.
  2. Divide hash among 4 plates. Using slotted spoon, top each serving with 1 poached egg. Drizzle with hollandaise.
** Remember to dice the vegetables to be about the same size so that they cook at the same rate. **

You could also make this really hashy by adding in some corned beef, which I think would actually go pretty well!

I would add a video, but apparently everyone who likes roasted root vegetables are LOOOOSERS! They were super boring. But take my word for it.. This is a great dish. I hope you'll like it! :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise (Part II)

So here's part two in this big ol' recipe! I break this one up because technically it's three different recipes that could be used separately! Pair the roasted root vegetables with a pork chop at dinner or drizzle the hollandaise over your eggs benedict at brunch.. Or, put a poached egg on your lunchtime cheeseburger. I know, I know.. I haven't tried it either. But apparently, it's to die for.
Let's get the image out of our minds though and just poach an egg.

Now, there are many variations on how to do this, each one that at least someone swears by. I think the sandwich baggie one looks interesting.. I might try it but I hate to cook in plastic.. Anyway, here's the way I do it:

You'll need -

An Egg or two
1 tablespoon of White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt

  1. Fill a large saucepan with about 3 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in the vinegar and salt, and keep the water at a gentle simmer.
  2. Now here's my big tip.. I did this accidently once and now I see that everyone's been doing it for years! I'm so behind the times.. Stir the water so that it's turning slowly. This will help the egg white fold around the yolk. Just don't make it an aquatic tornado.
  3. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Holding the bowl just above the surface of the water, gently slip the egg into the simmering water. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Poach the eggs until the whites are firm and the yolks have thickened but are not hard, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, and dab on a kitchen towel to remove excess water.
Here's a video with some extra tips for ya!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise (Part III)

Howdy, gals!

This is my second Cookin' Sisters and Friends post and I thought I'd share one of my favies!

Yes, I said favies!
It's a dish I recreated after having the best brunch of my life at a little bistro in Chicago with my cousin awhile back. It took some time to get it just right, but I think I've got it, my dear Watson and I'm here to share it with you! It's a perfect winter breakfast, though don't expect to be hungry for lunch soon after!

The root vegetables are seasoned perfectly, soft inside, crispy outside with a real earthy flavor! The poached eggs give a creamy, simple texture and the Hollandaise brings a rich, sweet finish to the whole thang! I can't wait for you to try it!

However, this is a three-part recipe (pronounced "ress-eep") and so I'll break it up a little and leave you wanting more (or perhaps, for all of those non-Caitie-fans out there, wanting less! *wink!*). And since posts are listed as newest first, I'll start at the end and begin with Part III - Hollandaise Sauce!

Now, I couldn't really find a good picture of Hollandaise sauce without it being on some other dish, so I just gave you a picture of Heaven, cuz that's what Hollandaise Sauce is! Heaven.

Well, technically butter and eggs, but like I said: Heaven.

I like this recipe cuz it doesn't use a double boiler and won't separate. Easy peasey, lemon squeezy!

So here's what you need:

1/2 cup of Butter
3 Egg Yolks
1/4 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1-2 tablespoons o' lemon juice
Dash of Tobasco Sauce or, my preference: Cayenne pepper
A Blender!!
  1. In the blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce or cayenne pepper. Cover (seriously, do it), and blend for a couple seconds.
  2. Heat butter in the microwave or on the stove until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high speed and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in verrrrrrry slowwwwlllyyyy in a thin stream. It will thicken up pretty quickly, but if the sauce gets too thick, you can add the second tbsn of lemon juice, but it should be all good.
  3. You can keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water or something equally as genius.
This is great for Eggs Benedict, asparagus, etc. It's not something to have everyday as there are a million calories in the scent alone, but definitely something every cook should know how to make!

Here's a good video for all you illiterates! I like this one cuz the guy is shirtless (just the way I like to cook) and he has a couple good tips. He doesn't use cayenne pepper (and truthfully, you don't have to), but I've forgiven him.

Next up: Part II - Poached Eggs!

www.caitierosie.blogspot.com or www.caitierose.webs.com!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Butterbeans with Rosemary and Garlic (from stonesoup.com)

I bought my dad a small rosemary bush for Christmas and then the next week found this recipe for beans with rosemary and garlic. it's DELICIOUS. I can't wait to try it as a sandwich spread. It's from Jules Clancy's cooking blog stonesoup.com

Warm Butterbeans with Rosemary

1 14oz can butter beans, drained
3T olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely sliced
2 small sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
pinch chilli flakes, optional
extra virgin olive oil, to serve

I added more rosemary than the recipe calls for. and I overdid it on the chili flakes, but it was so tasty!!