Friday, October 10, 2008

Three Bean Soup

In my quest for meatless meals I came up with this. I was rummaging through the food storage, fridge and my neighbors garden to come up with the ingredients. I found some kidney beans and northern beans in the food storage, that reminded me of the green beans in the garden and that's where I got my idea. A three bean soup! I started with some celery and onion I had in the fridge. Half an onion and two celery stocks. I sauteed them in some olive oil and thought I might as well add some garlic so I did. While I was in the garden picking the green beans I found some carrots too, so I added a carrot to the saute as well. After they started getting tender I added two cans of vegetable broth, a can of kidney beans, a can of northern beans, and a can of stewed tomatoes. At this point I thought Oh no. All I could taste was the stewed tomatoes. Then I started adding some herbs. My mother in law bought me some Bouquets Garnis from The Spice Hunter. It's a combination of herbs in a little ball you can add to soups it was the trick plus a little extra basil and the green beans and some yellow summer squash just because I had it and it looked pretty in the soup. I let the soup simmer until the vegetables were tender but not mushy and served it with the Cheddar Garlic biscuits from Bisquick.

1 half onion
2 celery stocks
1 carrot
1 yellow summer squash
2 handfuls of fresh green beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can northern beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 cans vegetable broth
1/2 can of water
1 tsp dried or fresh Basil
1 Bouquets Garnis

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sweet Potato French Fries!

Two or three large Sweet Potatoes

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Seasoning Salt

Rather simple really. Spread oil over a cookie sheet, just enough to cover the pan, cut your potatoes like fries and then toss them on the pan and mix them around a bit. Then bake at 400 until they start to turn golden brow. Yes that's another problem with me I don't measure or time:) Sorry. When you pull them out sprinkle on some seasoning salt. I heard on a cooking show it's best to do it right out of the oven. They were making potato chips but I think it still applies here.
Our meal for the night.

Fruit Salad Yummy Yummy

I threw together this yummy salad they other night. I think we all liked it, even with that weird green stuff.
1 bag baby spinach leaves
1 large peach
a handful of strawberries
and a few blueberries
topped off with Brianna's Poppy Seed Dressing
They say it's delicious on peaches and it is!

Veretarian Spinach Pasta

I threw together a yummy dinner tonight. Can't say the kids liked it, it had some strange green substance that they didn't agree with. However, it was completely healthy! Ingredients included:
Olive oil
Minced garlic
Pine nuts
Canned artichoke hearts
Frozen Spinach
Salt and pepper
and your favorite Pasta
I tried to combine the healthy stuff with something they really liked but it didn't go over so well. Oh well. I liked it.
I started my water to boil my noddles and then I got to work on the rest of my creation. I started by digging through my cupboards to see what we had and found these yummy ingredients!I started with a little extra virgin olive oil and then added my minced garlic, after a few I added the pine nuts! After they we nice and toasty I added the artichoke hearts and the spinach. After it was warmed through I decided it needed a little basil and some salt and pepper, and a little more olive oil for good measure. Then I let it sit on warm until my pasta was just right. Then I mixed it together and I got this!
It took more time to boil the pasta then it did to dig through my cupboards and come up with what I was going to put with it! Perfect a meal in under 15 min!

Monday, April 7, 2008

French Toast

I made a special treat for my kids the other morning. Yummy french toast with strawberries and whipped cream.
Here's what you need.
a package of fresh strawberries
about 5 eggs
1/4 cup milk or so
some vanilla
some cinnamon
and some cool whip
First things first.
Slice all your strawberries and and add a little sugar if you'd like. Then put them back in the fridge and let the juices get to work.
Now for the french toast.
I start by turning up the griddle and spraying it with pan. Then I mix my eggs, milk, cinnamon,and vanilla.
Dip your bread in the egg mixture and then slap it on the griddle.
Flip once and then serve.
Top with strawberries and cool whip your kids will wonder what they did to deserve this.

Fried Chicken

I'm a little behind, I made this for dinner a week ago Sunday. We had some friends over one of which doesn't like any red meat, or pork. So that leaves me with chicken. I have been so bored with chicken lately so I decided to fall back on the ole stand by. Fried Chicken um mm.
Alright this is what you need.
package of chicken legs, or you can just use some chicken tenders
Italian bread crumbs
seasoning salt
two or three eggs
Preheat your oven to 350
Pour some oil in your frying pan, enough to coat the bottom of the pan and let it heat up. I usually cook on medium heat.
Next scramble your eggs in a bowl big enough to dip your chicken into
Then make your flour mixture
In a separate bowl, still big enough to dip your chicken in, mix your flour, bread crumbs, salt pepper, and seasoning salt. It really depends on how much chicken you are frying up but I use equal parts flour and bread crumbs, then I just shake some salt, pepper, and the all important seasoning salt in there. Sorry I told you I never measure anything.
Okay let's get to frying
Dip your chicken in the egg mixture and then the flour mixture and into the frying pan. Usually by the time I get the pan full it's time to flip the first piece. You want them nice and golden brown. Don't worry if they are not all the way cooked we are going to bake them in the oven the rest of the way.
After the first pan of chicken is done I like to clean all the dripping out so I don't end up with black fried chicken, but don't throw those yummy drippings out we can make some gravy out of them. Then you might need to add a little more oil. Repeat this until all your chicken is fried up and put it in the oven to bake the rest of the way.
Once your chicken is in the oven that is when I start the mashed potatoes, a salad and whatever else I am making for dinner.
Let's get to that yummy gravy. I play around with the gravy every time I make it but I have to say this was the best gravy I have made in a long time.
I started with that greasy pan I fried the chicken up in. Then I added a little more oil and the rest of my flour mixture. I browned it up nice and good until the flour was cooked. This is the crucial part. If you don't cook it long enough your gravy tastes like flour and if you cook it too long it tastes burnt. Keep stirring it so your flour doesn't burn. When it's the perfect golden color start pouring in your milk. Whisk, pour, whisk some more, pour a little more. Okay now for the secret ingredient.......
A package of McCormick Chicken Gravy mix
I mix it up with the 1 cup cold water and then pour it into my gravy. I stir it until it starts to bubble. If it's too thick I add a little more milk, if it's to thin, well I let it cook a little longer and it usually thickens up.
Don't forget to taste it. Need a little more salt, maybe some pepper? Go a head and add some.
Okay secret ingredient #2 remember those drippings I told you to save well throw them in there. There like a yummy little crunch to your already delicious gravy.
Don't forget about your chicken in the oven. We don't want to over cook it. I usually just pull it a part with a fork to check and see if it's done.
Enjoy, and don't worry about all the calories we just created we only eat like this once in a while.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mandarin Orange Salad With Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

This recipe came from a friend in college. Her name is Kristen and she now has two cute boys, one a Carter only a few months younger than mine.

I made this yummy dish for my friends Tana and Kim on Monday and we had the left overs for dinner that night. Yummy!

Poppy Seed Dressing

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 cup oil

touch of honey

1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon poppy seeds

chopped onion to taste ( you don't need very much)

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix.


1 head red leaf lettuce

1 head iceberg lettuce

1 or 2 cans Mandarin oranges

2 or 3 avocados

1 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled

So as far as a salad goes I just put in what we have, or what ever I am in the mood for that day. My family loves mandarin oranges and avocados so I put in a lot. I say cook the whole package of bacon because once they smell it I have grabby little fingers snitching at it until I put it on the salad. Use as much as you want.

The poppy seed dressing also goes fabulous on this little salad, a creation on my own.

2 bags fresh spinach

1 green apple diced

a few handfuls of Craisens

1/4 red onion thinly sliced

and some more bacon bits

Salmon With Cucumber Relish

This is what we had for dinner a few nights ago. One of my family's favorites. It's healthy and Delicious.

Salmon with Cucumber Relish

This came from Chuck Williams Simple Italian Cooking pg 72

Cucumber Relish

1 medium cucumber

1/2 red bell pepper (diced)

2 or 3 green onions, including the green tops

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

1/4 cup white cider vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt


2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8 green Swiss chard leaves


4 salmon fillets, 6-7 oz each, skin removed

Freshly ground pepper

Okay don't expect exact measurements from me ever again cause I don't measure anything but this one came from a cookbook so there they are. BTW I never use fresh dill, dry works wonderfully and it's easier to keep on hand. Also I have tried a variety of vinegars and they all taste about the same, except balsamic, don't use that in this recipe. Although I do keep some on hand for another yummy recipe I have, we'll do that one later.

Dice your cucumber and pepper nice and cute and tiny and then mix it in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients, the longer it has to set the better it is.

Preheat your oven to 425

Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish

Next wash and trim stems from the Swiss chard, roll each Swiss chard leaf, they kind of break but that is okay, and then place a piece of salmon on each one and place them in the baking dish.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle some more olive oil on top.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, just until the salmon is opaque clear through.

I like to sever this with a side of rice pilaf (Near East is my favorite brand) and some fresh green beans with slivered almonds. I wasn't that fancy this time we got frozen green beans with carrots. And they didn't have any fresh chard at the grocery store so no chard this time, but if you have it where you live use it, it's so yummy.
Hope you enjoy.