Thursday, December 30, 2010

Swedish Thursday Pea Soup

Pea soup is a staple throughout Scandinavia.  It's not unusual for people all over Sweden to eat pea soup on Thursday's.  I remember hearing a story of why pea soup is a staple on Thursday's while we were living in Toronto.  The story is about a Swedish King named Erik who was given a serving of pea soup after he was imprisoned for being violent.  Unfortunately the soup was laced with arsenic and this ended his life.  Apparently this happened on a Thursday, which is why pea soup is now a staple.  Humm... not the kind of warm and fuzzy story I was hoping for and I'm not so sure this is true, but it makes for a interesting story!  Maybe this is why pea soup isn't well received in America???
2 cups dried split peas, washed
6 cups water
1 lb. diced ham (I used leftovers)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced very fine
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

1)  Rinse peas
2)  Heat olive oil in pan and saute onions until translucent.
3)  Place onions, peas, water, thyme, and marjoram, and diced ham (bones to if you have them)in crock pot.  Cook on high for 4-6 hours, depending on your crock pot.  Remove the bones, season with salt and pepper and serve.  This is wonderful on a cold winter's night.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cranberry Walnut Cheese Ball

This is so easy and yummy I just needed to share!  If you are going somewhere for New Years Eve bring this!  It's really good with any type of cracker...


1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt
3/4 cup craisins

Method:

1) Mix together the cream cheese with red and green pepper, Lawry's seasoning, and 1/4 cup of the walnut's and the craisins.  Make into a ball shape.  Roll in the remaining walnuts to coat and serve!  Every easy and tasty! 

Christmas Eve Table

In my opinion a beautiful table setting can even make the food taste better!  Well, not really but subconsciously it just might have an effect.  I should do research on this and I'll get back with you all:)  But, in all seriousness it is important!  Below is the menu I served and some pictures of this years table setting on a budget!  Hope your holiday was wonderful.

Christmas Eve Dinner Menu

Appetizers:
Shrimp Cocktail
Cranberry Walnut Cheese Ball

Main Meal:
French Ginger Liqueur Toast with Pear
Butter Lettuce served with Holly Brie
Barb's Aged Beef Rib Roast
Cauliflower with Melted Sweet Onions
Herbed Fingerling Potatoes
Layered Jello (kids speciality)
Kosher Pareve Challah Bread

Dessert:
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream
Assorted Christmas Cookies

The Centerpiece

A quick view before adding all the food and lighting the candles!
Instead of adding name tags at each plate I typed up a menu, rolled the paper and tied with a red ribbon! Clean, useful and beautiful!
The Chandelier above the table was dressed with cedar and a simple ribbon tied in a bow at each light!

Herbed Fingerling Potatoes

Are you wondering if I fell off the planet?  Well, something like that!  Our family has been praying for over a year for a job for my husband and one 'finally' came through!  Yea haw!!!  It seemed everything this Christmas turned out wonderful!  So here is one of the potato recipes I made Christmas Eve night...this one is yummy!

2 lbs small fingerling potatoes
6 rosemary sprigs
1 tablespoon dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher Salt to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method

1) Preheat oven to 425.  Put potatoes in pot and cover with water.  Add 3 sprigs rosemary, 2 teaspoons thyme, 1 clove garlic, and season with salt.  Boil until the potatoes are tender but not soft.  Drain, discard the herbs you boiled the potatoes in.  Place the potatoes in a oven safe dish you can serve in.
2) Mix together in a separate boil the remaining rosemary, thyme, garlic and salt.  Also, the olive oil, and red pepper flakes.  Pour this mixture over the boiled potatoes and place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Take potatoes out of the oven, sprinkle with parsley and serve at once! Enjoy these smell wonderful!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snicker Doodles

While I was growing up my Grandmother Evelyn was my savior when I would cook dinners for our small family of three.  My Dad worked three jobs and would run home to eat quickly and then would head off to another job.  My Mother was doing the same thing.  I remember her working two jobs at one point as well.  They were really hard workers so it was my job to get my homework done and cook the dinners.  Now, with this being said you can only image all the mistakes I made!  One time in particular, I decided to boil the water for the pasta as the directions on the back of the box suggested.  But, instead of draining the pasta when it was al dente, (I'm SURE this word was NOT in my vocabulary at the time) I let the pasta sit in the water until my dear old Dad got home from work.  To my surprise, it was like a brick!  I called my Grandmother of course who, first laughed and then told me I needed to start over.  Oh well, I guess we sometimes learn things the hard way!  With all of this being said my Grandmother gave me this easy cookie recipe.  I'm sure she was secretly thinking, "I sure hope she can't mess this one up?"
These are wonderful with a cup of hot tea on a cold winter's day!
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

1)  Mix the first 3 ingredients until creamy.
2)  Mix the rest of the ingredients
3)  Roll the dough into 1/2 inch balls and roll the balls into a mixture of Cinnamon and sugar (I use 1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, but adjust this to your liking)!
4) Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.
 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Hostess Gift Idea's

Chances are sometime this month you will need a hostess gift!  It seems we all get invited to someones house unexpectedly or it's planned, but we forget about it until the last minute!  Does this sound familiar? A thoughtful little gift is always a nice surprise.  It can be a more personal gift, something for the house or the classic bottle of wine.  These gifts can be funny, simple, or extravagant... you choose!  Here are a few I have given over the years!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

SNOWED IN...Creamy Tomato Soup!

Living in Minnesota the weather can always be exciting.  Today is proof !  The snow is not stopping with over 12 inches on the ground now and more still coming, I guess I'm not going anywhere!   Did I mention the family is hungry after being outside snowplowing and shoveling?  Hummm, what should I make?  The boys wanted tomato soup, but I have none in the house!  That's it!  I'll make a creamy tomato soup.

First some pictures of the SNOW:)

Looking out into the backyard we are unable to see the fire pit!
Anyone want to grill???  I guess NOT!
Our dog laying in the house next to the window which is completely covering our back entrance to the house!
Now to the soup...
Creamy Tomato Soup

1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and Pepper to taste

The can of Tomatoes I used!

Method:

1) Saute onion in olive oil.
2) Next, add both the tomato ingredients on medium heat until blended.
3) Add the milk and basil and continue to cook.
4) Pour the mixture into a blender or cuitinart food processor and blend until well combined.  Pour back into cooking pan and continue to warm until ready to eat.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stuffed Butternut Squash with Chicken and Apple Risotto

I was at work a couple of weeks ago when the nurse surprised me with a bag full of squash from her farm.  It contained butternut and acorn squash galore.  I was so happy because I love squash!  We have been eating this squash for weeks now in a bunch of different concoctions I have made, but none of which were worthy of the blog except for this one.  The Chicken and Apple Risotto is worthy of eating on its own accord, so if you don't have the squash you can still make the risotto and eat it as the main course. Enjoy!

Squash

2 butternut squash, cut in two and seeded

1)  Place squash upside down on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper (so the squash doesn't stick). 
2)  Place in a preheated 350 oven for 1 hour.

 Chicken

2  boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lightly salt and pepper

1)  Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts and saute in olive oil on medium high heat until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees.
2)  Set breasts on a plate to allow to cool.  Once cooled you can dice into 1/2 inch cubes.

Risotto

1 small yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth

1) Saute onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil until golden brown. 
2) Next, add the Arborio rice and saute with the onions until opaque (add the extra tablespoon of olive oil if the pan seems dry.
3) Next, add the white wine and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute until reduced.
4) Next, add the chicken broth 1/4 cup at a time until the Arborio rice is at a creamy texture- this should take 20-25 minutes.
5) Meanwhile, make the mixture below and add to the risotto before it is finished and also add the cut up sauted chicken.
Mixture to add to Risotto

1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1/4 cup oats
4 Tablespoons Earth Balance butter, (you can use regular butter if you wish)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon

1) Place diced apples in small oven proof container.
2) Place the following ingredients in a food processor and blend,  Place this mixture on top of the apples.

3) Bake this until mixture melts and begins to blend with the apples (10 minutes).

4) When completed take out of oven and mix into the risotto.

Lastly:

Optional:
Add walnut pieces to the risotto at this point if you have no nut alergies.

Fill each baked butternut squash with the completed risotto mixture and place in oven (the temprature should be on broil).  Allow to brown slightly (about 3-5 minutes) and serve at once. 


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Homemade Baked French Fries

This recipe is really not a recipe at all, but rather something we all tend to overlook when we want to add a starch to a meal.  Or maybe I should rephrase this and say, "I" forget about making them.  I usually think about rice, Quinoa (pronouced, keen-wa), egg noodles, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes or quite frankly, anything along these lines.  However, baked homemade french fries are a healthy alternative to the others with little "bad" fat added if you don't deep fry them!  Here is a simple way to enjoy a french fry without the guilty feeling after you eat them!


3-4 large baking potatoes, washed and sliced perpendicular to the length of the potato (the fries should be
       long and slender in shape).
1-2 tablespoons olive oil or a mixture of flax seed oil and olive oil (remember I'm thinking healthy)
Salt & Pepper to taste (sometimes I add garlic salt if we are 'in' the mood)
1 sheet of parchment paper

Method:

1) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to keep the potatoes from sticking, preheat the oven to 425.
2) Next, place the potatoes on the baking sheet not allowing them to over lap.  Brush (using a pastry brush) the potatoes with your choice of oil and salt and pepper to your liking.  Place in the preheated oven for up to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of your potatoes and serve at once.  This should serve 4-5 people depending on the size of the potatoes!  Enjoy, these are easy and good!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Best Butter Cookies

My friend Anne is known as the 'Cookie Lady" in our neighborhood.  Every Friday (without fail) she brings homemade cookies down to the bus stop for all the children (Parents too)!  All the kids in the neighborhood and those that just are lucky enough to ride this bus get a fresh, hot and gooey, chocolate chip cookie.  As the bus rounds the bend you can see the children's faces waiting in anticipation.  This really is down home Minnesota living at it's best!  I tell you this story because I'm not the 'Cookie Lady' but, once a year (Christmas time) I break out the rolling pin and make what we think are the BEST BUTTER COOKIES EVER!
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 350.  With as electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add egg yolks and vanilla and continue to mix.  Mix flour and salt together and add to the wet ingredients.  When ready to bake roll out the cookie dough, cut into desired shape and place on a cookie sheet which is covered with parchment paper.  Bake for about 10 minutes (depending on your oven).  Do not allow to brown in the oven.  Once cool decorate with the below Cream Cheese Frosting!

Evelyn's Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup butter
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 pound powder sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Method:

Mix all ingredients together and apply to cookies.  Use any food coloring you wish!
These cookies also freeze nicely!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Spinach Salad with Warm Dressing

This is a great warm salad to have with dinner.   Here is the quick recipe!


1 bag fresh spinach
1 cup pomegranate craisins
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
4 slices bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Method:

1) Place spinach leaves in 4 bowls equally.  Divide the pomegranate craisins equally between the bowls as well.
2) Next, toast walnuts in dry skillet on the stove top around 2 minutes.  Sprinkle over the bowls equally. 
3) In the same pan brown the bacon and move to a paper towel when finished frying.  Keep 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan.  Add the sugar, vinegar, oil and salt and pepper and stir to dissove the sugar.  Meanwhile, crumble the bacon over the salad and pour hot dressing over and serve.  Serves 4.

Stocking Stuffers

This morning when I woke up I was thinking of 'stocking stuffers'!  I know... I could have been thinking about important world events, or a better job, but it's just NOT as FUN!  So...during this same thought it occurred to me you might want some suggestions as well.  Here is the list I made!

*** It's your turn to add to the list, go ahead and leave a comment!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Minty Minnesota Morning Tea

I don't know about you but, I love a cup of hot tea or coffee in the morning!  It's an extra bonus if it wakes me up!  Here is a quick tea that is sure to warm cold Minnesota mornings without having to leave the house. Enjoy!
1 Tazo "Awake" black tea bag (Makes 1 cup extra hot tea)
1 cup skim milk (Warmed and frothed)
1 tablespoon mint syrup

Method:

Place mint syrup in cup, next add the hot tea and top off with milk and froth.  Enjoy, this will surely get you going!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Soup

What did you do with the carcass after you ate the turkey?  Well, why not make soup?  Here is a recipe which originated from my good friend Barbie!  I'm sure she wouldn't mind me sharing?

Step 1:
1 Turkey carcass
Water to cover
1 onion, diced in chucks

Boil carcass and onions for an hour or so until all the meat falls off the bone.  Remove from heat and strain making sure to get all the bones out while at the same time keeping as much turkey and broth as you can salvage.

Step 2:

1 large onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Leftover white wine (Optional)
All leftover Gravy from Thanksgiving dinner
All leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving dinner
Add any leftover turkey, diced into bite size pieces
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Method:

1)  Saute onion, carrots and celery in olive oil until lightly golden.
2)  De glaze the pan with leftover wine if you have it.  If not, add the broth from above boiled carcass, leftover turkey, gravy, and stuffing.
3)  Bring to a boil then lower the temperature to an occasional bubble.
4)  Serve with egg noodles or without!  This will be it for the turkey...Yippee!!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

London Fog Tea with Candy Cane

Tonight reminds me of London, it's cold and RAINY!  I can't think of anything I would rather have than a warm cup of tea!  So... I made a cute little tea using the English Breakfast tea bags my dear friend brought back from London.  This has a twist because I added a candy cane stir stick then decorated the froth with a smiley face...just for a little fun!

London Fog Tea with Candy Cane

1 cup of hot water, place tea bag in to brew (the strength should be 'strong')
1 cup of warmed skim milk (froth the milk if you are able to)
2 Teaspoons vanilla syrup flavoring (optional)
2 Small Candy Cane's
2 cute tea cup's (you and a friend of course)

Method:

1)  Divide the tea between 2 cups and froth the milk if you are able.
2) Next, add a teaspoon of Vanilla syrup to each cup and pour the frothed milk in like you would a Latte.
3) Decorate as you wish or just add a candy cane for a little fun!

Warm Amsterdam Cheese and Turkey Sandwich with Baked Cranberries

Remember the Baked Cranberries I made for Thanksgiving?  Well, here is a warm sandwich I made for my husband today using the cranberries in the sandwich.  This was really yummy and I also used up some more of the leftover turkey we have as well...Yippee!

2 Slices Whole Grain Bread
3 Thinly sliced pieces of Old Amsterdam Cheese
2 slices of Turkey Breast (I used leftovers from Thanksgiving)
1 Tablespoon of  Baked Cranberries (Previously made, or use canned cranberries)
1 Piece of Romaine lettuce
3 pieces of Italian parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons Smart Balance Mayonnaise with Omega Plus

Method

1)  Place the Turkey and slices of Cheese on the bread.  Heat either on a panini machine or just use a plan old frying pan and warm on both sides until the cheese has melted.
2)  Next, open sandwich up carefully, and place mayo, lettuce, parsley, and cranberries.  Put back together and serve ASAP.
3)  Enjoy!  The cheese has a rich and robust flavor which really melds well with the turkey...LOVE IT!

Gingerbread House... Kids Decor

Every year my boys love to decorate a Gingerbread house.  I think they are fun for them to do and it keeps them out of trouble.  Here is a simple recipe for the 'dough' and the 'glue' we use.  Hope you all have time to make one with the kids in your life!

Dough

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup black strap molasses
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
splash of water if dry

Method

1)  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add the molasses and mix well.
2)  Mix the dry ingredients together.  With a mixer slowly add the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture.  If the dough becomes to dry add a little water to get it to stick.  Work the dough to a ball and refrigerate until chilled, 1 hour or so.
3)  Next, roll dough out with a light sprinkle of flour on a board and cut into desired shapes.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.

'Glue'

2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
2 large egg whites
Food coloring (your choice)

Method

Mix the egg whites and confectioners' sugar together with an electric mixture until fluffy and light.  Divide the 'glue' into seperate containers and mix desired colors. Use this both to hold the house together and to decorate the house and gingerbread men/women!
The Gingerbread man is too funny (he must be a HOT head) and the logs outside the 'front door' were made from leftover Halloween Candy...LOVE IT!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Waldorf Salad with Cranberries and Toasted Walnuts

If your house is anything like mine you have Turkey leftovers galore!  So I have been making Turkey, Cheedar, and Cranberry Sandwiches, along with Waldorf Salad with Cranberries and Toasted Walnuts for lunch.  The Waldorf Salad is a big hit!  Here is the recipe....


1 Granny Smith Apple, diced (unpeeled)
1 Honey Crisp Apple, diced (unpeeled)
1/2 cup walnuts (toasted in oven 3 minutes on 400), then chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
1 whole green onion, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup walnut oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Method:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve.  Serves 4-6

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Decor

It's that time again!  Time to get the decorating and the shopping completed!  Here we go....
Christmas Mantel
Fill Canisters

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving!

What are you Thankful for this year?  We're thankful for our health this year!  We hope to continue with the health and maybe add a few jobs, lol!  Well, here are few Thanksgiving photo's!


Centerpiece
The Table "Not Ready Yet"

The Turkey


Here is the "Table" complete with a menu at each plate!

Heavenly Salad

A couple of dishes this Thanksgiving were still the stand out favorites for the kids!  Here is the recipe.  This one was handed down from my Mother-in-law!
   
2 Small pkg. lime Jell-O
2 cups water
1 large can of crushed pineapple
3 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup celery, cut fine
1/2 pint of whipping cream, whipped

Method

Dissolve Jell-O in 2 cups boiling water and cool.  When it begins to set, whip it.  In separate bowl mix together pineapple, cream cheese, walnuts, and celery.  Once mixed together stir in with the lime Jell-O.  Fold in the whipping cream and serve.

Top View!

Baked Cranberries

 I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  We had to add a Herbed Persimmon Spoonbread to our Thanksgiving menu...per my husband!  Really, with all the other food we needed this too?  One of the big hits this Thanksgiving was the baked cranberries.  Here is the recipe which would be a wonderful addition to a Christmas dinner as well!

1 lb. bag fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
1/2 (12oz) bag frozen whole raspberries, thawed
3 Tablespoons Orange-flavor liqueur
1/2 cup sugar

Method

Spread rinsed and drained cranberries in glass 9 X13 dish.  Sprinkle evenly with 2 cups sugar, toss to coat.  Bake in a preheated 350 oven until hot and bubbly and sugar is dissolved (about 45 minutes), stirring twice.  Gently stir in raspberries, liqueur and 1/2 cup sugar.  Refrigerate, covered for 3 hours or longer.
Baked Cranberries!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Carob Hot Chocolate?

My son had a friend over today and wanted Hot Chocolate while playing Monopoly.  So... I told them I would get it for them.  I thought I would test using Carob chips instead of regular chocolate to see if they could tell the difference...Sneaky!  Well, I think the added Peppermint flavor helped in hinding the different chocolate flavor, but it worked!  Here is what I did....


2 tablespoons carob chips
1 package peppermint hot chocolate powder
Milk or water to fill the glass, warmed
Whipped cream for the topping
Chocolate peppermint chips for the topping

Method:

Warm the milk (water) in the microwave.  Add a tablespoon of carob chips per glass and stir until melted.  Mix a little peppermint hot chocolate powder and stir.  Warm again if needed to make sure all blend together.  Add whipped topping and decorate with chocolate peppermint chips.  P.S. The kids will never know the base is mostly carob chips and NOT all just Chocolate!

Thanksgiving Update!

It's that time again!  When all of the women cook all day in the kitchen while the men sit and watch football! Well, it's better to be a little prepared so you can do something you want to do on your day off of work!  So here is a sneak peek of my Thanksgiving menu! 

Thought this was a cute little cartoon! 

Thanksgiving Menu

Spiced Apple Cider with Clove Oranges
*********
Roast Stuffed Turkey with Pan Gravy
Oyster and Mushroom Stuffing
Baked Cranberries
Mashed Garlic and Chives Potatoes
Mashed Hubbard Squash
Heavenly Salad (Husband's family MUST HAVE)
Classic Green Beans
**********
Classic Pumpkin Pie
Walnut-Praline Pumpkin Pie



Carol's Famous Salad

My friend Carol always makes this salad for me when I visit her!  It's really simple and very good!  I have to admit.... I added my sprouted chick peas to it for a little extra nutrition.  I sure hope she doesn't mind????

1 head romaine hearts, cut into desired size & divided between two plates
1 avocado, cut into slices
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted in 350 oven until light brown
2 tablespoons, sprouted chick peas
1 tomato, diced, optional
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Freshly Shredded Parmesan on top, optional
Salt & Pepper to taste
Method:

Place romaine lettuce on plate, add toasted walnuts, avocado, chick peas, tomato and salt and pepper to taste.  Add Parmesan if desired.  Before serving drizzle olive oil on top and squeeze lime juice to taste, Serve!  Yummy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tiffany's Tuscan Bean Soup

Needed to make something quick tonight!  I had those leftover beans from a couple of days ago when I made the bean wraps.  So I added another couple of cans and made the most wonderful soup.  You just need a little bread or side salad and you are good to go with this one.

2 cans canned garbanzo beans
1/2 can Aduki beans
3 cups chicken stock
3 oz dried conchigliette (small pasta shells)
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

1) Place 1 can of the garbanzo beans and 1/4 cup of the Aduki beans and 1/2 cup of the stock in a food processor and process until smooth.  Pour into a large stove top pan and add the remaining beans and stock bring to a boil.
2) Next, add the pasta to the bean mixture and return to a boil until and cook until just done.
3) Meanwhile, in a little saute pan add the olive oil and garlic and saute until golden, about 2 minutes.
4) When the pasta is done add the garlic and olive oil to the pasta bean mixture and stir.  Add the parsley and adjust salt and pepper seasonings and serve immediately. Serve with bread of your choice or salad!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Giacobbe Meatball Sandwich

With all the snow we had today I was not in the mood for a long dinner...I needed to shovel!!!I tend to make meatball sandwiches for my boys on crazy days and this was one of them!  These are so easy and I take them right out of the freezer!  I got this recipe from my mother-in-law years ago and still make them today.  She was Italian and she was an amazing cook.  I would always call her when I wanted to make an Italian meal she was the expert.  Here is a recipe she gave me for homemade meatballs.  I normally make a couple batches and freeze them for when I need a quick dinner.  Enjoy!


1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground veal
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add water if it seems dry
NOTE: I usually make the meatball and use a little water in may hands to smooth out the meatball and make it stick together better.
1  Italian loaf of bread sliced for serving

Method:

Roll meatballs, and place in a 350 degree oven for 1/2 hour or so.  Rotate meatballs while cooking!  Once meatballs are cooked you can add to a Tomato sauce or you can freeze them for later use.  To reheat, just put the meatballs you wish to consume in a small sauce pan either with the sauce you want to use or a little water and a lid.  Warm them on medium heat for about 20 minutes until warmed all the way through. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mexican Chicken and Aduki Bean Wraps

Today I was at home for lunch so I decided to use up a leftover piece of boneless chicken breast which I had cooked up earlier in the week.   I had only applied salt and pepper during the intital cooking of the chicken breast so I needed to add some mexican flavor to it.  I also needed more than 1 small chicken breast to make 2 meals so this is what I came up with!

Completed:  Mexican Chicken and Aduki Bean Wraps...so GOOD!
1 previously cooked boneless chicken breast, sliced thin
1 can Aduki Beans (I only used 1/2 cup so you'll be seeing another recipe using this ingredient)
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup white shoe peg corn (I used freezer variety)
1 teaspoon ground cumin plus a dusting for the sliced chicken
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided between the 2 wraps
2 whole grain burritos
1/2 large tomato, diced
1 1/2 cups lettuce of your choice (I used a mixture of romaine, baby lettuces, and parsley)
1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice
2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Toppings: Light sour cream and slices of lime rind for food decor


Method:

1) Preheat oven at 425.  Take a piece of foil lined with parchment paper and lay out burrito in the center (obviously do this twice)!
2) Take the sliced chicken and add a dusting of ground cumin to the chicken.

As you can see, just a light dusting was used on the sliced chicken breasts.
  
3) Next, in a small bowl mix together corn, green onions, Aduki beans, 1 tablespoon olive oil, cumin, and a grind of salt and pepper.
4) Then place the chicken on the burritos and layer Aduki bean mixture then 1/2 of the cheddar cheese.

I used these Organic beans to try a different flavor, they have a mild sweet flavor and are traditionally eaten at New Years for well being.  I figured Bob and I could use the "well being NOW" lol!
5) Wrap burritos tightly and place in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Yep, I labeled these before putting in the oven!  Aren't they CUTE????

6)  While you are waiting for the burritos to bake make a small little lettuce mixture to go on top!  Take lettuce of your choice and place in a bowl you can mix in.  Add tomatoes, remaining olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste and toss together. You could also add some of the green stems from the green onions sliced (Only if you HATE throwing things away...just like me:)
7)  Take burritos out of the oven, place on plate and top with lettuce mixture, a dab of sour cream and little slices of lime rind for decor (I LOVE that part)!  Enjoy!

Clean up the kitchen with...Bar Keeper's Friend...click below!