Monday, October 31, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup- Slow Cooker

What a great way to use green chiles, the last of the tomatoes from the garden,  and some leftover corn tortillas from last week. I used this recipe as a starter but I've amended the recipe below.

1 pound chicken breasts
4-5 fresh chopped tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
Good amount of chopped green chile
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn-make sure it is organic!
Corn tortillas- white is best to stay GMO safe

1. Place chicken, tomatoes, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir in corn. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
3. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
4. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.

 **I have yet to do the tortilla crisping. My husband just put chips on his. I ate it plain. This was a great soup. Very easy and tasty.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pear Bread GF,DF

We are really concentrating on being gluten-free for the next few weeks. I found this recipe on a gluten-fee blog. I was trying to find something nice for breakfast and a way to use up a couple of pears from the box this week.


1½ cups superfine brown rice flour, plus more for dusting the pan
½ cup tapioca (or corn or potato) starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cup sugar
½ cup grapeseed (or other neutral flavored) oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 ripe pears, peeled cored and grated
1 cup walnuts, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray, add some brown rice flour and shift it back and forth in order to spread the flour evenly around the pan, tap out the excess flour.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the 1½ cups brown rice flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Add the pears and walnuts and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 60 – 70 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

**of course, the house smelled amazing as it cooked. I cut the sugar back a bit (couldn't help myself- it seemed like sooo much), but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. It slipped out of the pan well. I cooked it for 60 minutes- but the middle seems a little wet- it could have gone for another 5-8 minutes. Delicious! I'll be making this again.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chile Verde- Slow Cooker

After grinding some pork for the meatloaf, I had extra pork shoulder. This looked like a great recipe to try, especially with the green chiles we received in the harvest box this week and the tomatoes I still have in my garden. This recipe comes from the cookbook, Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining. I couldn't find the recipe online, but you can get the cookbook at Page One.

3 lbs boneless pork shoulder trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1/2" cubes
2 T oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic crushed
2 large ripe or 5-6 canned tomatoes, chopped (I used my romas from the garden)
12-15 roasted green chiles, cut into 1/2 to 1" wide strips
pinch ground cumin
1/2 t salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pat the meat dry with paper towels. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 T oil until hot. Add the meat in batches and cook until browned on all sides, 4-5 minutes, adding the remaining oil as necessary. Transfer to the slow cooker along with all but 1 T of the pan juices.
Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring, until limp; add to the slow cooker along with the tomatoes, chiles, and cumin. Add water just to cover (or a bit less) Cover and cook on low until the pork shreds easily when pressed with a spoon, 6-8 hours. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
**Very tender, but needed to be spicier for me. The green chiles just weren't hot enough. The next day I tore up a corn tortilla and mixed it up with the chile verde. That was tasty. If I make this again, I will use stock instead of water.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meatloaf with chili sauce

This recipe was requested by my daughter. I used my home made ketchup mixed with a heaping teaspoon of sriracha chile sauce. You can find this recipe on the Martha Stewart site.

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces (I used gluten-free)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce, plus 1/4 cup for glaze
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. In a large bowl, pour milk over bread; let soak, about 30 seconds. Add sirloin, pork, onion, garlic, 1/2 cup chili sauce, parsley, Parmesan, eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using your hands, mix until combined; do not overmix or meatloaf will be dense.
  2. Divide mixture in half. Gently pat each half into a log, and place each log in an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Do not press down or into corners.
  3. Bake 50 minutes. Brush tops of loaves with remaining 1/4 cup chili sauce; continue cooking until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 160 degrees, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven; let rest 5 minutes. Turn loaves out of pans; slice each into eight 3/4-inch-thick slices.
 **Very nice. Make sure to use a thermometer so it doesn't overcook and get dry.

Sauteed Kale

After reading the reviews of this recipe, I thought I'd give it a go. You can find it on the food network.
I've kept the recipe as is, but I didn't add the red wine vinegar.


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar. 

 **No kidding, this was fantastic.

Potato Leek Soup with Dill

I have a very simple potato leek soup that I normally make. However, with the dill in the garden still growing and a package of smoked bacon that I picked up in Nashville, I decided to try this recipe from the Nourished Kitchen. I have amended the recipe below.

  • 4 ounces pasture-raised bacon, fried and crumbled with fat reserved
  • 4 leeks, rinsed well with white and light green parts sliced very thinly
  • 1 pound waxy potatoes, scrubbed well and cubed
  • 1 quart fresh chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh though dried will do
  • 2 cups fresh whole milk 
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped fine
  • unrefined sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • crème fraîche or sour cream, to serve
  1. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat reserved bacon fat over a medium flame until melted and sizzling. Add the thinly sliced leeks to the melted bacon fat (depending on how fatty your bacon is- you might need to pour some off) and fry until they begin to soften and release their aroma – about five to six minutes or so. Add one quart fresh chicken broth to the leeks and dump in the cubed potatoes and cover the pot. Cook the potatoes, leeks and broth together over a medium-low flame until the potatoes are softened and tenderly fall apart when pressed with the tines of a fork – about thirty minutes. If you like your soup lumpy, then leave as is. Otherwise you can blend/mash it up now)
  2. Remove the soup from the flame and allow it to cool slightly, then pour two cups fresh whole milk into the soup pot, stirring in the fresh dill as you go. Season with unrefined sea salt and white pepper as it suits you, then serve the soup with plenty of good quality pasture-raised bacon and a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream.

** This was a nice soup. I didn't put the sour cream on top. I also used 2% rather than whole milk. The addition of the dill was not great for me. I think I'll stick to my other recipe next time.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pasta Puttanesca

We love this dish at our house. It is so easy to make. And it is great if you have a bumper crop of romas!
I did a quick search and found this recipe on another blog, Cooking with Amy.

Pasta alla Puttanesca
makes enough for a pound of pasta (I used brown rice pasta)

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
3 anchovies (from a tin)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1 Tablespoon capers
1 - 2 pinches chili flakes (depending on how spicy you like)
1 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes- I used fresh- chopped
optional: a few fresh bail leaves or oregano leaves

Mince the garlic finely. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, and add the anchovies and garlic, stirring to break up the anchovies and keep the garlic from burning. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and the anchovies melt. Roughly chop the olives and add them, the chili flakes and the drained capers to the pan. Stir and then add the tomatoes, crushing each one in your hand before adding it to the pan along with the juice. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Sauce should be thick and rich. Toss sauce with penne, spaghetti or bucatini over medium heat for a couple of minutes before serving to allow the pasta to absorb some sauce. Add torn basil leaves or oregano if desired. Note: This sauce does require need salt or cheese, because of the salty flavors of anchovies, capers and olives.

**Delicious and super easy

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Raspberry Streusel Muffins

I'd been threatening to make a raspberry yogurt cake this week- but when Saturday rolled around and I still hadn't made it...muffins it was. This is a recipe that I got from The Silver Palate cookbook. I've revised it considerably. My version below uses less sugar, butter, and white flour. It makes 6 jumbo muffins.

1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. sugar (scant less)
1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar (scant less)
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 c. apple sauce
1/2 c. milk
1 1/4 c. raspberries (slightly frozen or frozen)

Streusel Topping:
3/4 c. chopped pecans
1/8 c. packed dark brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium size bowl. Make a well in the center.

Place the egg, melted butter, applesauce and milk in the well. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Gently stir in the berries. Fill each tin about 3/4 full. (12 regular or 6 jumbo)

Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the muffins. Bake them until nicely browned and firm for 20-25 minutes.

**Very nice and easy to make.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chickpea and Spinach stew

I was surprised to see that this dish was entered into a contest for meals costing less than $10. For my menu this week, it was a perfect way to finish up the no-knead bread that I baked earlier. Plus it used the spinach from LPO and looked quick- if I used canned chickpeas.

Makes 4 servings
2 cans chickpeas
6 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
1/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces sliced bread, with the crusts removed
2 tablespoons pimenton (Spanish sweet paprika) OR 1 1/2 T paprika and 1/2 T smoked paprika
1 pinch Spanish saffron (Optional)
2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar OR red wine vinegar
1/2 pound spinach, washed and cleaned
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and white pepper to taste

Combine the chickpeas and cumin in a saucepan (this will be your final stew pan) and set aside.

In a small saute pan over medium to low heat, brown the garlic in 1/4 cup of the olive oil. When the garlic is browned, after about 3 minutes, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the bread and brown on both sides, about one minute each side. Remove the bread and set aside.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Add the paprika and saffron (if you are using it) to the saute pan, and the sherry (or red wine) vinegar immediately afterward to prevent the paprika from burning.

In a mortar or bowl, smash the reserved garlic and the browned bread to make a very thick paste.

Bring the chickpeas to a low boil and add the spinach. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the paprika mixture along with the garlic and bread paste, to create a thick, stewy sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
 **Very easy to put together. The smoked paprika added a nice touch. If it gets too thick, add more water. Very nice dish!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sausage and Kale Tart

I put this recipe on the menu this week thinking we would get kale from LPO. Since we got chard, I made this dish with chard. I had some sausage that I bought from LPO a while back. Be aware that the filling in this dish is loose- so you'll need a strong tart shell to handle it. I cut back on the butter in the shell. Next time I would consider putting some parmesan in the crust. The recipe was a winner in the 'best dirt cheap dinner' contest on

the Tart Shell
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1 pinch salt
3-4 tablespoons ice water
Cut the butter into small cubes. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a food processor.   Pulse until butter is pea-sized. Slowly drizzle water through the top of the food processor while pulsing. You have added enough water when dough sticks together when pressed.  Remove dough from processor and press gently into a disc. Wrap disc in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap.   Place disc on a lightly floured board.  Roll dough into a circle 12 inches in diameter.  Place dough in 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom.  Dock dough with a fork.  Lay parchment paper or foil over dough and fill with beans or pie weights.
Blind bake the tart shell (with pie weights) for 20 minutes. Then remove parchment and weights and bake an additional 5 minutes until the crust begins to brown.
Remove from oven and set aside on cooling rack.

the Sausage and Kale Filling
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups onion, minced
2 garlic cloves
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 bunch kale (a large bunch)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips
1 egg
1/4 cup ricotta
salt and pepper

Heat oil and butter in pan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until onions are soft and light brown. Season with salt and pepper. Remove onions from pan and set aside.
Increase heat to medium and add sausage to pan. Brown sausage and break into small pieces. Remove sausage from pan and set aside. Drain all but 1 Tablespoon of oil from pan.
Add kale to pan. Pour white wine over kale. Scrap any bits from the pan and cover. Cook 3-5 minutes, until kale is wilted. Season with salt and pepper. If kale is still very wet, cook uncovered for a minute or two. The overall mixture should be fairly dry. Remove kale to a large bowl.
Toss cooked kale with cooked sausage and onions. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Toss mixture with basil, egg, and ricotta. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon sausage and kale mixture into cooked tart shell. Be sure to evenly cover the bottom of the tart shell. Bake the tart on a baking tray for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove tart from oven when the filling is set and the tart shell is nicely brown. Cool tart slightly on a wire rack. Slice and serve with a big green salad.

 **I think this was a nice dish. It was definitely hearty. The basil mixed nicely with the Italian sausage spices.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

A perfect end of summer soup. I was able to use the fresh tomatoes from my garden and a jar of romas that I had canned earlier. You can find the original recipe on the Food Network. I've amended the one below.

  • 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 quart chicken stock 


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes. 

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and chipotle chile powder for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Coarsely blend with an immersion blender.  Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

 Tomatoes ready to be roasted.
Soup starting to cook.

**Finished product with some no-knead bread. Delicious soup. My husband said it tasted a bit like pizza sauce. Must be that fresh basil and garlic!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mini Skillet Meatloaves

Since I didn't end up making the eggplant stir fry, I had some LPO ground pork thawed and needing to be used. I found some ground beef in the freezer from Whole Foods, so I decided to do a quick meatloaf. These are very quick since they are made individually. You can find the recipe on the Food Network site.
Below is my version (I used less sugar than in the original recipe).

  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (GF)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (chipotle is nice)
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds meat (ground beef and pork)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


Mix the breadcrumbs, milk, parsley, egg, Worcestershire sauce, onion, chili powder and garlic in a large bowl. Add the meat, season with salt and pepper and mix with your hands until combined. Shape into six 3-to-4-inch oval loaves.
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the loaves and brown about 3 minutes per side.
Whisk the ketchup, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and brush a few tablespoonfuls over the meat. Add 1/2 cup water to the skillet, cover and simmer over low heat until cooked through, about 15 minutes. (This time depends on how thick your loaf is- so watch it)
Transfer the loaves to a plate.

Per serving: Calories 380; Fat 24 g (Saturated 8 g); Cholesterol 111 mg; Sodium 800 mg; Carbohydrate 16 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 23 g
 **This were great. Very similar to the hamburgers that I make. Very quick and easy.

Pizza with Swiss chard, olives, and tomatoes

This was an easy pizza to make. The dough recipe is already on the blog.

Good handful or two of chard, cut up
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
olives- a nice salty variety, pitted is best
2-3 roma tomatoes, sliced thick
cheese, your choice

Saute the chard with the garlic.
Then, layer it all on the pizza.
Bake at 400 for 20 or so minutes (until it is brown and bubbly)
**Here it is before going into the oven. It was delicious!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fig and Raspberry Crostata

After my huge canning effort of raspberry jam from the raspberries I picked at Salmon Ranch in Mora, I discovered that I had a few raspberries leftover. Then we got fresh figs from Los Poblanos! Bonus! Here is the recipe I decided to try- it is from another blog site called Tiramisu. It starts with the almond tart...

Almond Tart Dough
9" lattice tart

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup unbleached almonds
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Zest of one lemon
6 oz cold butter, cut in 1/2" cubes

Whisk the eggs together with the vanilla extract. Process the almonds with a tablespoon of sugar until they are finely chopped. Add the remaining sugar, flour, salt, and zest and mix just to combine. Add the butter and mix until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the egg mixture and mix only until the dough is uniformly moistened, 15 seconds. Fully blend the ingredients by hand mixing gently a couple of times. Divide the dough in two unequal pieces (the smaller will be used for the lattice top). Press the bigger piece into the tart mold and freeze. After the rest of the dough has chilled for an hour, roll it in between two pieces of parchment paper until 1/8" thick. Freeze until ready to use.

Fig Raspberry Filling

12 oz. Figs, quartered
12 oz. Raspberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon butter

Put half of the fruit in a heavy bottom sauce pan and cook with the rest of the ingredients until bubbly. Turn the heat off and add the rest of the fruit. Chill completely before adding it to the tart.

To assemble the tart:
Add the filling to the frozen tart. Cut the frozen rolled dough in 1/2" strips, and use them to make the lattice top. Sprinkle with crystal sugar and bake at 350F until bubbly, rotating once.
** Quite delicious! Not super sweet. Great with vanilla ice cream... This was all pretty easy to do.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Whole Roasted Snapper

Whole foods had a special on wild whole yellow tail snapper. They were kind to fillet it for me! I used part of a recipe from epicurious. My adapted version is below.

2 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
3/4 t celtic sea salt
1/4 t pepper
1 T zaatar

1 2lb whole snapper, cleaned and filleted.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Whisk together the seasoning mixture. Rub/pour it on and inside the fish.

Roast the fish in a baking dish for about 30 minutes. I cut up a tomato and put the fish on top of it- but it isn't necessary.

So sorry that we ate it all up without taking a photo first! The zaatar spice mixture makes this dish. Be sure to stop by Cafe Istanbul on Wyoming and Constitution and pick up a bag of it.

Kale chips

We made kale chips last night. I really thought I'd posted this recipe already, so I didn't take any photos. I'll repost the recipe based on, but you can find this recipe all over the web.
If you wonder how to get your kids to eat kale, do it this way. My daughter ate a bowl full of these chips last night.

1 bunch (about 6 ounces) kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.

 **Delicious. Picture is from Nummy Num Num.

Potato Wedges

These potato wedges are our favorite! The recipe is from a kiwi cook- Alison Holst. It is from her Best Potato Recipes cook booklet. She has a website with some recipes online- but I couldn't find this one. This is a very easy recipe and sure to become one of your favorites, too!

4 large potatoes (2 lbs)
3 T olive oil
1 T tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 T grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a bowl, mix everything together.
Cut potatoes into wedges lengthwise (including the skin). Pat them dry.
Put your potato wedges into your bowl and coat them thoroughly. Stand the wedges skin side down in a large baking dish or jelly roll pan.

Bake at 400F for 35-40 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.

**So delicious! Your house will smell wonderful and you'll be sad there aren't any leftovers.