Zucchini Chips

Our garden is wildly successful at growing 3 things: tomatoes, kale, and zucchini. While I can eat my weight in tomatoes daily and still coming crawling back for more, and somehow manage to fit kale into our dinner every night, the zucchini are killing me. I’ve eaten 14 zucchini in the last week and it turns out that’s enough zucchini for me.

Although I could never eat another zucchini as long as I live, one of the best things about the garden is its ability to force us to eat what we normally would avoid at all costs. So far I have tried recipes for zucchini bread, zucchini gazpacho, and zucchini chips. Of these three, the zucchini chips were by far my favorite.

The original recipe can be found here. While these zucchini chips are super delicious, I will tell you that 2 enormous zucchini sliced and baked in the oven result in just enough chips for one mouthful. Delicious, yes. Worth making your house feel like a sauna for 1 bite of bliss? Not sure.

All this…

Turns into this:

 

Baked Zucchini Chips

  • 2 zucchini
  • olive oil
  • seasoned salt, or other seasoning(s) of your choice

Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil, cover with oil.  Set aside.

Slice zucchini into thin medallions, about the thickness of a quarter.

Lay out slices on prepared baking sheet, and paint tops of zucchini with oil (I use a silicone brush).  Sprinkle with seasonings of your choice. (A note on seasoning, however – use LESS than what seems appropriate.  These shrink considerably in the oven, and if you use too much it gets very concentrated.  It’s better to end up underseasoning and add more later.)

Place in preheated oven and bake 45 minutes.  Rotate baking sheet, and bake an additional 15-30 minutes until crispy.

A Bite of Summer

Nothing reminds me of summer like rhubarb.  Some of my favorite memories include the days spent picking rhubarb in Michigan and simply chowing down on the delicious sour stalks.  So, a few months ago when rhubarb started making its first appearance at the farmer’s market, I knew a pie was in order.  (For those of you paying attention, yes, I gave up sugar, yes, this pie occurred prior to aforementioned sacrifice, yes, I miss pie, and candy, and cake, and cookies…)

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Blueberry Pie

For the filling:

Freshly chopped rhubarb
Blueberries
Freshly chopped strawberries
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup butter
6 tablespoons ice-cold water

1. Mix all the fruit, sugar and flour together.  Sorry I can’t give you a better estimate on amounts… I usually cram as much fruit into the pie dish as humanly possible.  Use enough flour to help soak up some of the juices…

2. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45-60 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

3. Eat.


 

 

 

Flapjacks

Savory vs. Sweet.

This is the decision I agonize over every time I sit down to breakfast.  Normally the decision is rather easy: sweet!  Every time, all the time.  However, I recently ended my 28 year relationship with processed sugar (5 weeks in and going strong… with the exception of one incident involving a box of chocolates) and am now struggling in the appropriate and delicious breakfast category.  This is where my all time favorite pancake recipe comes into play.  These bad boys are über delicious both sweet and savory.  I’ll start with the savory:

Recipe: Savory Buckwheat Pancakes

Time: 30 to 40 minutes

Butter as needed

1 cup whole-wheat flour

2/3 cup buckwheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander or cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed.

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, separated

2 cups milk.

1 cup chopped green onion.

Optional Toppings: Plain yogurt, apple sauce

 

1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter. In a large bowl combine flours, flaxeseed, baking powder, spices and salt.

2. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer or a whisk until stiff peaks form, but do not overbeat. In separate bowl beat milk, yolks and melted butter until foamy, a couple of minutes. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and give a couple of good stirs, add onions, but do not overmix. Fold in egg whites and stir until batter is just evenly colored and relatively smooth; it’s O.K. if there are some lumps.

3. Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) or griddle over medium heat until a few drops of water dance on its surface. Add butter as needed (or use a thin film of neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn). When skillet is hot, spoon batter into pan. Cook until bubbles form and pop, about 2 minutes; you may have to rotate cakes to cook them evenly, depending on your heat source and pan. Then carefully flip pancakes. Cook until well colored on other side, another minute or two more. Serve or keep in warm oven for a few minutes. Top with plain yogurt (my fav) or apple sauce.  Eat!

Yield: At least 6 servings.

For those of you who prefer things on the sweeter side:

Recipe: Whole-Grain Pancakes with Blueberries and Oatmeal

Time: 30 to 40 minutes

Butter as needed

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

2/3 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup oatmeal

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander or cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed.

2 large eggs, separated

2 cups milk.

1 cup blueberries.

1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Optional Toppings: bananas, honey, strawberries

 

1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter. In a large bowl combine flours, oatmeal, flaxseed, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.

2. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer or a whisk until stiff peaks form, but do not overbeat. In separate bowl beat milk, yolks and melted butter until foamy, a couple of minutes. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and give a couple of good stirs, gently stir in blueberries and walnuts, but do not overmix. Fold in egg whites and stir until batter is just evenly colored and relatively smooth; it’s O.K. if there are some lumps.

3. Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) or griddle over medium heat until a few drops of water dance on its surface. Add butter as needed (or use a thin film of neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn). When skillet is hot, spoon batter into pan. Cook until bubbles form and pop, about 2 minutes; you may have to rotate cakes to cook them evenly, depending on your heat source and pan. Then carefully flip pancakes. Cook until well colored on other side, another minute or two more. Serve or keep in warm oven for a few minutes.  Top with honey, bananas, strawberries… eat!

Yield: At least 6 servings.

Note: We pretty much make these up as we go along… adding in whatever fruit and nuts we want.  By far our favorite pancakes include blueberries which heat up and then burst in your mouth when you eat them!  Yummy.  However, we have also added bananas, strawberries, blackberries… I’m sure you cannot go wrong.  Keep in mind that the more stuff you add, the less these pancakes spread out and you have to really cook them low and slow to ensure the middle gets done!

Original Recipe found here, with additional recommendations.

It’s Easy Being Green


After many, many years of pestering reminding me of the benefits of eating leafy greens, my brother-in-law finally succeeded in convincing me that yes, leafy greens are good for me (something about fighting cancer…blah, blah) and I should eat them.  I immediately started making chard and kale every night… for about 2 weeks, and then I resumed my life sans leafy greens.

Then,  something amazing happened.  I was introduced to this delicious, amazing, easy, and wonderful recipe (by my brother-in-law) and my life changed forever.  I am now a person who eats leafy greens 5 days a week.  Woot woot.  Take that cancer.

Hummus and Greens Quesadilla

Ingredients:

1 bunch mustard greens (kale, chard, collards, spinach, etc. will do as well)

Hummus

Extra sharp white cheddar (or any other variety of cheese you prefer)

Tortillas

Preheat oven to 350.

Spread hummus on one tortilla.  Cover with chopped mustard greens.

 

Top with shredded cheese.

 

Place another tortilla on top and squish.  Bake for 10-15 mins or until cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy.  Eat and fight cancer.

 

Caramel Rolls


For the dough:

2 1/4 c. milk
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
3 eggs, beaten
2 env. dry yeast
1/4 c. lukewarm water
7 to 9 c. flour

For the Filling:

1/8 c butter
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

For the Caramel Topping:

1/4 c butter
1 1/2 c heavy cream
3 c brown sugar

Warm in pan on stove, milk, sugar, salt and butter until butter melts. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water. In large bowl add eggs and yeast to milk mixture. Add flour slowly, beat well and knead until dough is smooth and shiny. Put in greased bowl in warm place and cover. Let rise until double in size (about 2 hours).

Flour surface and roll out dough to about 1/2 inch thickness.  Melt 1/8 c butter and spread evenly across dough.  Next, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly across dough.

Prepare caramel topping: Melt 1/4 c butter in medium bowl, then add cream and brown sugar.  Pour mixture into 2 9×13 in glass pans.

Cut dough into 1 inch wide strips and roll up.  Space each roll evenly in the glass plans, about 2 inches apart.

Bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 12-18 rolls.

Warning: May cause excitement of the most extreme kind.

This Is How We Do It

5 pounds of cherries.  No pie pan.  What do I do?

Made a pouffle.  Soufflie?  Pieflle?  I’ll put it this way.  I used a gigantic souffle pan to make a gigantic cherry pie.  That is how I do it.

 Why the dollar?  So you can see just how gigantic this pie was.  Thank you very much Nancy Drew.

Here’s the recipe for normal people who would use a normal pie pan.  Double it if you want to Pieffle it up.

4 cups pitted fresh cherries (about 2 1/2 pounds unpitted)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 to 1/2  cup sugar (adjust this according to the sweetness of your cherries)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits

1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
Coarse sugar, for decoration

Roll out half of chilled dough (use larger piece, if you’ve divided them unevenly) on a floured work surface to 13-inch round. Gently place it in 9-inch pie pan, either by rolling it around the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pan or by folding it into quarters and unfolding it in the pan. Trim edges to a half-inch overhang.

Roll out the remaining dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface, drape it over the filling, and trim it, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it, and crimp the edge decoratively. Brush the egg wash over over pie crust, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Eat this Paula Deen.

Sweet Potato Pie

We got some sweet potatoes at the farmer’s market and there seemed like no better way to eat sweet potatoes than in a delicious pie.  So… I made one.

 

INGREDIENTS:

For the filling:

2 cups sweet potatoes, mashed (* approx. 1.5 big sweet potatoes cubed & boiled for 15 minutes)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons butter), softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons heavy cream

For the meringue:

3 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup butter
6 tablespoons ice-cold water

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Mix sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a bowl until well combined. Add eggs, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. Mix everything until completely smooth and all the ingredients have come together-approx. 5 minutes using a Kitchenaid.

Pour mixture into an unbaked pie shell all the way to the top leaving about 1/4″ space from the top edge of the crust. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until done.  Let pie cool to room temperature before topping with the meringue.

For the meringue, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form; beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is glossy and stiff, but not dry. With a rubber spatula, spoon the meringue onto the pie, forming peaks. Make sure the meringue touches the crust all around. Sprinkle with a pinch of granulated sugar. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until delicately browned. Cool and serve.

 

 

I think this is what they refer to as “nesting”

Day 1 of Maternity Leave: No baby.

However, I have discovered that until baby girl arrives I have unlimited amounts of time to do all the things I’ve been meaning to do but have been too tired to actually do.  What did I do today?

Make chocolate lollipops:

And, lemon sugar cookie sandwich (with white chocolate filling) lollipops:

Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies (Recipe found here).
Makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients
2 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 egg
1/3 cup coarse sugar (plain, granulated sugar works if it’s all you have)

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together.

3. Cream the butter, 1 cup of sugar and lemon zest until very smooth. Add the egg and continue to beat until fluffy. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined — you don’t want to overmix.

4. Spread the remaining 1/3 cup sugar onto a shallow plate. Form balls out of the cookie dough 2 inches in diameter and roll them through the sugar. Arrange on a cookie sheet 4 inches apart — these spread!

5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until just the edges are golden. The tops of the cookies should remain pale. Cool completely on the cookie sheets before removing to a plate.

When zesting my lemon I accidentally used the next size up on my grater and ended up with some rather large lemon zest chunks in my dough.  Turns out, best mistake I ever made.  These cookies are delish.

Key Lime Pie

Because it’s winter, all I want to do is bake. Okay, maybe winter has nothing to do with it. But, because it’s winter all I want to bake is delicious summer treats. This is why I tried my hand at Key Lime Pie.

It turns out Key Lime Pie is ridiculously easy to make and disastrously delicious (disastrous for my waist line). Seriously, it’s so good I can’t stop eating it.



Ingredients

* 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted
* 2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
* 1 cup lime juice
* 2 whole eggs
* 1 cup plain yogurt
* 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
* 1 tablespoon lime zest

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, combine the yogurt and powdered sugar and spread over the top of the pie using a spatula. Sprinkle the lime zest as a garnish on top of the yogurt and serve chilled.

(Note: the yogurt topping is very runny, and not that pretty looking. The original recipe called for sour cream, which is much thicker… I just don’t like the sour cream options we have here… I know other people top with whipped cream. Your call)

Original recipe found here.

Yum.

Last weekend, as I was walking down the aisles of produce at the farmer’s market trying to get inspired, I saw a gigantic pile of Swiss chard. $2.75 for a bunch, and these bunches were HUGE, so I bought some. Now all I had to do was figure out what to do with it.

Sauteed Swiss Chard Ribs with Cream and Pasta Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Swiss chard, yielding 2 cups of chopped ribs
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
  • 3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
  • Enough dry pasta to make about one quart of cooked pasta (use rice pasta if gluten-free is required)
  • Salt and pepper

Method

1 Separate the ribs from the greens. Cut the ribs into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces. Blanch the ribs in lightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes.

swiss-chard-stalks-1.jpg

2 Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the drained, blanched ribs and simmer for 4 minutes. Add heavy cream and cook until cream reduces by two-thirds.

3 While the cream is reducing, cook up your pasta according to the pasta’s package directions.

4 Mix creamed chard with pasta. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Swiss Chard Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
  • 1 small clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Salt

Method

1 Rinse out the Swiss chard leaves thoroughly. Remove the toughest third of the stalk, discard or save for another recipe. Roughly chop the leaves into inch-wide strips.

2 Heat a saucepan on a medium heat setting, add olive oil, a few small slices of garlic and the crushed red pepper. Saute for about a minute. Add the chopped Swiss chard leaves. Cover. Check after about 3 minutes. If it looks dry, add a couple tablespoons of water. Flip the leaves over in the pan, so that what was on the bottom, is now on the top. Cover again. Check for again after another 3 minutes (remove a piece and taste it). Add salt to taste, and a small amount of butter.

Swiss Chard

Recipes and photos found here and here.

Move over Red Lobster.

As the last few days of Winter held on tight with thunderstorms and freezing temperatures, I became a little daring and decided to make Fish Chowder for dinner. Warm Fish Chowder and steaming homemade bread inside while outside it is icy and unwelcoming. Perfect. I found the recipe at Omnomicon (my new favorite recipe blog…not only are her recipes delicious and easy, but her pictures are beautiful as well).

The fish chowder recipe was a complete success. It was easy to make, it tasted great, and while making this dinner, I had one of my most exciting cooking experiences ever.

Remember when I first attempted bread and the sight of my bread actually rising made me jump for joy? No? Well, it was pretty darn awesome. And yet, that experience pales in comparison to what happened when I made the chowder.

As you’ll read below, after cooking the potatoes and onions in the pan, you add the fish broth, and top with the fish. According to the recipe, the fish will steam right there in the pan. You don’t have to do anything, just watch. I have to admit I was skeptical. Usually, when I try something new in the kitchen, things don’t work out according to plan. Here’s what happened:

It worked! The fish was steamed beautifully! I stood there, amazed, grinning from ear to ear as that fish turned a beautiful creamy white. I also took about 20 pics of the miracle.

So, please try the Fish Chowder recipe. I hope it brings you as much joy as it brought me.

Fish Chowder

1.5 oz turkey bacon, diced
1 lb red potatoes (about 2 medium), chopped into 1/2″ cubes
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1.5 lb white fish, about 2 fish or 4 fillets, cut into 1″ chunks
2 c water
1.5 c skim milk
12 oz fat free evaporated milk
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp finely diced parsley, optional but quite effective

Place 1/2 lb fish (about 1 fillet) in a pot with 2 c cold water. Bring to boil and boil 10 minutes.

Once that gets going, fry up the turkey bacon over medium heat to extract all the fatness. Once the bits are crispy and brown, remove them and replace with diced potato and onion. Cook 5 minutes over medium-high, stirring frequently. By now the fish broth is done, so add it (and the fish if you like) to the potato and onion, then spread the cubed fish atop the veggies. Allow to steam (i.e. don’t stir) for 10 minutes, continuing on medium-high. (You’re gonna love this part!)

At this point, if you think your pan can’t comfortably handle an additional 3 cups of liquid, transfer the fish & veggies to a bigger pot. Add milk, condensed milk, salt & pepper. Bring to *almost* a boil (don’t let it bubble up big!) then reduce to medium-low, cover, and simmer about an hour.

My second favorite part: cutting up the fish, it was so springy!
My picture of the potatoes.

Aleta’s picture of the potatoes. (Much more appetizing).

I won’t even bother showing you my picture of the chowder!

Recipe and photos found at www.omnomicon.com

Simple Recipes

Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg shrimp
  • 1 can water chestnuts
  • 1 can baby corn
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots lengthwise
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped bok choy
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • teriyaki sauce
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Begin cooking the quinoa in a rice cooker, or according the package directions.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet and quickly cook each of the above vegetables separately, setting aside when slightly browned, but still crunchy.
  3. Cook the shrimp according to package directions (or cheat like I did and buy cooked shrimp!)
  4. When all veggies have been cooked, throw them all into the pan, add the shrimp, terayaki sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve stir-fry on top of steamed quinoa.

Zucchini and Prosciutto Pesto Pizza

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 large garlic clove chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted (can substitute with pine nuts, almonds, pistachios…)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 large tomato
  • fresh mozzarella shredded
  • prosciutto
  • 1 large grapefruit sized ball of whole wheat dough (see my previous bread post)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine basil, olive oil, water, Parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper, and walnuts in blender or food processor until paste is formed.
  3. Roll out dough and place on pizza stone.
  4. Chop zucchini and tomato into small chunks.
  5. Spread pesto evenly on top of pizza dough, sprinkle with mozzarella, prosciutto, zucchini and tomatoes.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until crust is crunchy and golden brown.


Homemade Froyo

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 kiwis chopped

Directions

  1. Get your handy dandy Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Attachment out of the freezer.
  2. Pour yogurt into the bowl. Turn on.
  3. Top with kiwi.
  4. Eat.

Is it me, or is it chili in here?

My sincerest apologies for the lack of photo. The ability to take appetizing pictures of chili is not in my bag of tricks.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 packages ground turkey
  • 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can beef/vegetable broth
  • 1 (7 ounce) can salsa
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or coarsely chopped tomatoes packed in puree
  • 1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2-3 green bell peppers, diced
  • 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a skillet, brown the turkey. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili flakes, and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Toss into a stock pot.
  2. Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, tomatoes, and green chilies, beans and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time you feel necessary by adding water.
  3. While chili is still cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper to the chili, and continue cooking at a very low simmer.
  4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the zucchini to the chili, reduce heat, and continue cooking 15 minutes more. Again, adjust the consistency with water as needed.
  5. Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve.
  6. Goes really well with a loaf of homemade bread! Yum!

P.S. Joel and I don’t have a stock pot….so I just threw everything into a crock pot, let it cook for an hour or so, and voila!

P.P.S. For all you vegetarians out there….cancel the turkey and just throw in any veggie or bean that sounds good to you. This chili is delicious because there are so many veggies!

P.P.P.S. This recipe makes a TON of chili…I’ve been eating it for 3 days…but, I’m not sick of it yet! 🙂

*Original recipe found at allrecipes.com

I’m conquering my fears, one loaf at a time.

Today I made my first loaf of homemade bread. I come from a family of bread bakers, but for some reason, I have always been slightly afraid of taking that leap. Today I put my fears aside, finally cracked the book my parents gave me about baking Artisan Bread, and started the process. As with the sopapilla recipe, I nervously awaited the rising of the dough. Was it moist enough? Had I over kneaded it? Is it working? Finally, it was time to check on the dough. I slowly pulled back the towel and immediately squealed with delight at the sight of my dough, now more than double in size. This is when I decided to get creative. Whole wheat bread wasn’t good enough for me now. No, I needed to make something more exotic. As I perused the pantry and refrigerator, I suddenly became inspired. Sun-dried tomatoes! And, that is how I made my very first loaf of bread: Whole wheat sun-dried tomato.

Letting the dough rise again after rolling in the sun-dried tomatoes.

We ate the entire loaf for dinner.

*To learn more about how I made the delicious bread above, check out Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

Livin’ La Vida Loca

In an effort to combat the stomach ache that resulted from the sopapillas I gorged on yesterday, I added the following recipe to my bag of tricks. Enjoy!

Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve each time.

Steam quinoa in rice cooker or follow cooking directions on side of package.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.

*Recipe found at epicurious.com

This morning Joel and I made breakfast burritos with the left over Quinoa salad, eggs, cheese, and salsa on whole wheat tortillas.

My next cooking challenge: homemade tortillas…wish me luck!