Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Harvest

I love Fall cooking. I love the flavors and possibilities that come with the harvest. Last night, I tried a new recipe from the cookbook "Vegetarian Meals" published by Good Housekeeping that did just that: mixed together some delicious Fall veggies with some great flavors. Kids even loved it!

Stovetop Chili

1 T olive oil
3 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut
1 medium onion, chopped
1 t sugar
2 T chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, crushed with garlic press
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1 can whole tomatoes (28 oz)
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and each cut crosswise in half
1 t salt
2 C water
2 15-oz cans black syobeans (or black beans), rinsed and drained
sour cream (optional)

1. In non-stick 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium eat until hot. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
2. Add tomatoes with their juice, green beans, sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, and water; heat to boiling over medium-high heat, breaking up tomatoes with side of spoon. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
3. Add soybeans and heat through, about 2 minutes longer. Serve with sour cream, if you like.

Add a slice of cornbread and you have one heck of a delicious (and healthy!) meal.


As a side note, I feel I should explain that while I am not strictly vegetarian, I often cook vegetarian meals. I love using spices instead of fat for flavor, and I am always striving to get more fruits and veggies into my family's diet.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

Tonight I tried a new recipe that Brit had posted on Facebook. (See the original recipe here.) However, when I discussed my plans with my dad over the weekend, he suggested that I add carrots and apples along with the squash. I also halved the amount of cream cheese that the recipe calls for. You heard me. Cream cheese! I can't wait to eat my leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Here is the recipe as I made it tonight. I highly suggest you make this immediately. It is officially my new favorite soup!

Butternut Squash Soup

6 Tbs. chopped onion
4 Tbs. butter
6 C peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 peeled and diced carrot
1 peeled and diced apple
3 C water
4 cubes chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 8 oz. package cream cheese

In a large saucepan, saute onions in butter until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil; cook 20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese and use an immersion blender to puree everything (or puree squash and cream cheese in a blender in batches) until smooth. Do not allow to boil.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Apple Crisp

Nothing says, "Autumn" to me like warm, sweet, cinnamon-y apples. Apple crisp is one of my favorite desserts: it's easy, there are only a handful of ingredients, and you can whip it up in a matter of minutes. Because there's so little preparation, I can even let my helpers lend a hand.

Grandma Pink's Apple Crisp
4 C peeled and sliced apples
1 t cinnamon
1/2 C water
Put apples in 8x8 pan. Pour on water and sprinkle with cinnamon
Bonus: toss in a handful of raspberries, or fresh cranberries.

Crumble together: 1/2 C butter, 1 C sugar, 3/4 C flour and put over the apples
Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
Serve topped with some vanilla ice cream if desired.

It's almost as sweet as my helpers :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I don't normally associate baking with the summer, but last week it was just the ticket. Meili and I got together and let our munchkins go to town with some good old-fashioned sugar cookies and homemade frosting.
(Della "testing" the dough; notice the splotch of flour above her right eye?)

This cookie recipe came to my family from a friend of my sister's. Though we've lost touch with this particular friend, it seems like she's near whenever we make her cookies. That's one of the things I love best about sharing recipes: it's a way to stay connected to people and remember great times you may have had together.

(Hard at work, making that dino-shaped cookie look "just right")

So break out the cookie cutters and frosting, and enjoy an unexpected summer treat this afternoon!

Lindsay Hunt's Sugar Cookies
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C shortening (I use butter; no offense, Lindsay)
1 egg
1/4 C milk
2 t baking powder
1 t almond (vanilla works too, but almond is the best!)
2 C flour

Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg, milk and almond flavoring. Add dry ingredients. Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Grandma Gayzie's Frosting
Beat 2 cubes of butter with 5 tablespoons of milk. Add enough powdered sugar till you reach desired frosting consistency. (it'll be a lot!) And remember, the more obnoxious the color of your frosting, the more fun it is to decorate with it!

(Not surprisingly, this little gal chose pink for her frosting color...)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Honey Dijon Chicken

I love easy recipes.

Tonight, we're eating Honey Dijon Chicken, a recipe I collected from my awesome sister, Camie.

Melt together equal parts honey, butter and dijon mustard.
Pour over chicken breasts in a baking pan. Bake at 350 until chicken is done.
Serve chicken and sauce over rice and steamed veggies.

EASY and delicious!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thai Curry Vegetable and Tofu Soup

This tasty recipe can be found here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Turkey Parmesan Meatloaf with Pancetta

My friend Mariani has awesome parents. They grilled brats for us during our junior high summers, making me feel like they really, truly wanted us to invade their swimming pool with our awkward adolescent selves. They cooked chili for our Halloween celebrations, complete with Hitchcock's Psycho, which made me afraid to shower in hotels for years. Now that I think about it, I'm still afraid. Now I present to you Michelle Mariani's turkey parmesan meatloaf with pancetta. A lean, tasty alternative to the traditional beef loaf.

1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup parmesan or romano cheese
pinch of salt and pepper

2 eggs
2 Tbs. whole milk or half & half
1 lb. ground turkey

Coat the entire loaf with pieces of pancetta.

Wrap it in parchment paper as if it were a present (because it is). Bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes.