Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edna's Chocolate Sauce

This is another of my Grandma Owens's recipes. I've had other people tell me that I seem to be missing some ingredients, although they couldn't remember what the ingredients were exactly. If anyone knows, let me know. The recipe works fine as written here. This chocolate sauce is something you can just whip up when you want a fun family snack. It gets almost a chewy consistency when poured over ice cream. The ice cream will melt quickly, so be ready to eat. It has a similar taste to Grandma Eva Anderson's chocolate icing. (to be blogged later) So, those of you who know that recipe might like to try this quicker option over ice cream. I don't think this sauce would keep very well. However, I don't really know because my Mom won't permit any chocolate sauce leftovers.



1 cup sugar

1 T flour

1 T cocoa powder

Dash salt

1/4 c milk (or enough to just make a liquid)

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Heat in sauce pan over a medium heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Cool the sauce somewhat. Pour over ice cream.

Caramel Sauce

I recommend making butterscotch sauce instead. It's easier to make and you are less likely to have a bad result. If you are going to make this, it takes a long time. If you've been cooking this for a s while and it doesn't look like carmel, don't stick your finger in it to taste it to see if it tastes like carmel. If you do stick your finger in it, don't stick your finger in your mouth to cool the burning. Stir in the sugar very slowly. Be patient. You don't want sugar clumps or a grainy sauce. If you end up with clumps anyway, you can strain them out before you serve it. For the science of candy making click here. Let carmel get as dark as you can without letting it burn. Dark carmel has more developed flavors. With all the cautions, homemade carmel is much better then store bought. It has the flavors of homemade carmel candies that people make at Christmas time. This recipe comes via Epicurious.



7 T light corn syrup

2 1/2 cups superfine granulated sugar

1 cup plus 1 T heavy cream

1 T unsalted butter, if making the sauce in advance

In a large heavy sauce pan heat the corn syrup over moderately high heat until it is hot, but do not let it boil. Stir in the sugar, a little at a time, stirring until the mixture is combined well with each addition. Cook the mixture until it is golden, and remove the sauce pan from the heat. Stir in the cream carefully, a little at a time, stirring until the sauce is combined well. Stir in butter.

hot fudge sauce

This recipe is from Epicurious.



2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine

2 T unsalted butter

2 T light corn syrup

3/4 heavy cream

1 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

In a heavy saucepan melt the chocolate with the butter and the corn syrup over moderately low heat, stirring, add the cream and the sugar, and cook the mixture, stirring, until the sugar, is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil over moderate heat and boil it, without stirring for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Serve the sauce hot over ice cream. The sauce keeps, covered and chilled for 1 month. (Let the sauce cool completely before covering it; any condensation will make it grainy. Reheat the sauce, uncovered, in a double boiler.) Makes about 1 1/3 cups.

Peanut butter sauce

This along with hot fudge with make the best ice cream peanut buster parfait ever. This recipe comes from Epicurious.



1/4 cup brown sugar

2 T corn syrup

2 T unsalted butter

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small heavy saucepan combine the brown sugar, the corn syrup, and the butter and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolves. Add the peanut butter, whisking and whisk the mixture until it is smooth. Whisk in the cream and the vanilla, simmer the sauce for 2 minutes, and thin it to the desired consistency with hot water. Serve the sauce warm. The sauce keeps chilled for 2 months. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Butterscotch sauce

I recommend making butterscotch instead of caramel. Carmel can easily become grainy and clumpy and it takes much longer to make. In my opinion, butterscotch is better then caramel anyway. I've loved butterscotch since I was a kid. When I made this last it reached 280 degrees in 7 minutes with the burner set on 5. Next time I should turn the stove down to 3. This recipe comes from Epicurious.



1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup butter

pinch salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecan, toasted (optional)

In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, the corn syrup, the butter, and a pinch of salt, cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring and washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the side with a brush dipped in cold water, until the sugar is dissolved, and boil it, undisturbed for 12 minutes, or until a candy thermometer registers 280. Remove the pan from the heat and very slowly and carefully stir in the cream. It bubbles up a lot. So, add the first drops of cream carefully. Then, stir in the vanilla, the lemon juice, and the optional pecans. Serve the sauce warm or at room temperature. The sauce keeps, chilled, for 2 months. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.

Edna's Rhubarb Custard Pie

I got this recipe from Stacia who told me it had been my Grandma Edna's recipe. When Kristy made this pie (and took the picture) recently, there was indeed too much pie filling as I had suspected. Kristy and I think you should make the recipe for the 8-inch pie filling for a 9-inch pie. Kristy thinks that they may have changed the size of the pie plates to make them shallower in recent years.

Edna's Rhubarb Custard Pie

INGREDIENTS (8-inch pie)

1 8-inch pie shell + pie dough for lattice crust (optional)

1 1/2 c sugar

3 eggs

2 T flour

1/2 c cream

3 c rhubarb

INGREDIENTS (9-inch pie)

1 9-inch pie shell + pie dough for lattice crust (optional)

2 c sugar

4 eggs

2 T flour

2/3 c cream

4 c rhubarb

Mix all the ingredients and pour into pie shell. Make a lattice top. Bake 1 hour at 350.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mexican Spinach "Lasagna"

This is one of my fallback recipes when I need something quick and I don't want to have to think about it, especially when my vegetarian sisters are home. It's a favorite because it's good and healthy. (except for a fair amount of cheese) This recipe come from Everyday Foods.

Mexican Spinach Lasagna

serves 4 everyday foods


1 c fresh cilantro (can use stems)

4 scallions, coarsely chopped

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

nonstick cooking spray

8 corn tortillas (6-inch)

1 can (15.5 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 c salsa

8 oz grated pepper jack cheese (2 c)

1. Preheat oven to 425. Combine chopped cilantro, scallions, rough chopped spinach, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a bowl.

2. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Lay 4 tortillas in bottom of dish (they will overlap slightly.) Layer with half of beans, salsa, spinach mixture, and cheese; repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with cheese and pressing gently.

3. Cover dish with foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until bubbling 25 to 30 minutes; remove foil, and continue baking until golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Can be assembled the day before and kept covered in fridge. Increase initial baking time by 5 to 10 minutes.

4 servings-446 calories/serving, 21 g fat, 21.6 g protein, 48.2 g carbs, 10.4 g fiber

Friday, January 25, 2008

Onion Dill Bread

This is exceptionally good bread. It was one of my Dad's favorites back when he ate carbs. I recommend buying a thermometer before you start bread baking. That way you won't kill any yeast or wait forever for your bread to slowly rise. Also knead as much as you can stand. (Unless you tend to take recommendations of this kind wayyyyy to far.) It's unlikely you'll knead dough too much. Click here for the science of gluten. This recipe comes from "The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors."

See my post on bread baking basics.

Russian Dill and Onion Bread


2 envelopes Yeast

1/2 c warm water (105-115 degrees)

2 T oil

4 T sugar

2 c warmed cottage cheese (put in the microwave for a moment just to take the chill off. It must not be hot.) (Almost all of a big container)

2 T dried minced onion flakes

2 T dried dill, or 4 T fresh

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp salt

2 eggs

4 1/2-5 cups flour

Cornmeal for the baking sheets

1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 T water

Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Combine the yeast and water with all the ingredients except the flour and mix well in a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with batter blade. Add 2 c of the flour and blend well. Change to the dough hook on your machine and mix in the remaining flour. Add the last 1/2 c of flour only if you feel that the dough is too wet and it will not pull away from the sides of the bowl after kneading it for about 10 minutes. If you do not have a heavy-duty mixer, knead in the last 2 1/2 to 3 cups by hand.

Place the dough aside and cover with a towel in a warm place until it is double in size. Punch down and let rise again. Finally knead the dough again until it is smooth and elastic. Shape into 2 loaves, place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal and let rise until double. Brush the loaf with the egg wash (egg yolk mixture). Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden. The bottoms should sound hollow when tapped with your finger. A thermometer placed in the bottom center of the loaf will read 205 to 215 degrees. Let cool at least 5 minutes before cutting. (If you can)


I make cornmeal muffins instead of cornbread like the original recipe. I think the browned sides are the best part so I just oil the sides of a muffin tin and bake the muffins. I also now make these with whole wheat pastry flour and whole grain cornmeal. For those of you who don't know, because I didn't, most cornmeal is not whole grain, but "enriched". Enriched means they take all the healthy stuff out and then "enrich" it with a fraction of the vitamins. Hodgkin's mills makes whole grain corn meal and they sell it at Walmart, so I'm sure most places carry it. Honestly, the corn muffins are better with white flour. But, they can be pretend healthy with whole wheat flour and they are still really good. Plus, you get some veggies and a nice corny taste with the addition of actual corn. The muffins in the picture are whole wheat corn muffins. This recipe is adapted from America's Test Kitchen.



1 ½ c (7 ½ oz) flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)

1 c cornmeal

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 c (1 3/4 oz) dark brown sugar

3/4 c (3 ½ oz) frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 c buttermilk

2 large eggs

8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly ( I use 1/4 c butter and 1/4 c oil to cut down on saturated fat.)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 8-inch square baking dish (I use sprayed muffin tins) with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl until combined; set aside.

2. In a food processor or blender, process brown sugar, corn kernels, buttermilk, butter, and oil (if using) until combined, about 5 seconds. Add eggs and process until well combined ( corn lumps will remain), about 5 seconds longer.

3. Using a rubber spatula, make a well in center of dry ingredients; pour wet ingredients into well. Begin folding dry ingredients into wet, giving mixture only a few turns to combine. Pour batter into prepared 9x9 (or whatever the square dishes measure) baking dish; smooth surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-35 minutes. (25 minutes for corn muffins) Cool on wire rack 10 minutes; invert cornbread onto a wire rack, then turn right side up and continue to cool until warm, about 10 minutes longer. Cut into pieces and serve.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Indian Chicken with tomato chutney

This is an Indian version of sweet and sour chicken. It's sweet, sour and spicy. I use thighs, because I like dark meat, but breasts will work fine too. I made this for Kyle one time. I told him what was in the recipe and he was a bit dubious. But after he took a trepidatious bite, he said it was really good. So don't be such a fraidycat. Some of you who think you won't like this recipe will. As a bonus it's easy and healthy. Serve this with Oven Baked Brown Rice.



For Chicken:

2 lbs skinned Chicken thighs

1T cooking oil

For Chutney:

2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

2 tart cooking (granny smith) apples, chopped

1-2 jalapeno peppers chopped fine and with or without seeds (seeds and ribs add extra heat), to taste

¼ cup currents or raisins

½ cup chopped red sweet pepper

¼ cup chopped onion

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 T sugar

2 tsp grated ginger root

¼ tsp salt

Brown the chicken over medium-high heat in 1 tablespoon oil. Remove chicken and wipe out skillet. (to make the recipe more low fat. optional)

Return Chicken to skillet and add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm. Boil chutney, uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Serve with the chicken.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

I like this recipe because it's really good and you can cut it in half to make six cupcakes. Making only six cupcakes instead of twelve is good when you live alone and don't want to be "forced" to eat a dozen cupcakes in 24 hours. Substituting regular cocoa powder works just fine. The buttercream in the picture is vanilla, chocolate, and peppermint. Make sure the sour cream and eggs area at room temperature or the cupcakes won't rise properly. At least, I think that's what happened to me. This recipe come from America's Test Kitchen.


Makes 12 (6) Does not double well. Store leftovers in the fridge, frosted or unfrosted. Serve at room temperature.


12 cupcakes (6 cupcakes)

8 T (4 T) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

2 oz (1 oz) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

½ c, 1 ½ oz (1/4 c, 3/4 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa

3/4 c, 3 3/4 oz(3/8 c, 1 7/8 oz) unbleached all purpose flour

½ tsp (1/4 tsp) baking soda

3/4 tsp (3/8 tsp) baking powder

2 (1) large egg

3/4 c, 5 1/4 oz, (3/8 c, 2 5/8oz) sugar

1 tsp (½ tsp) vanilla

½ tsp (1/4 tsp) table salt

½ c , 4 oz (1/4 c, 2 oz) sour cream

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (cups have ½ -cup capacity) with baking cup liners.

2. Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.

3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.

4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogeneous and thick.

5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes. (To frost: Mound about 2 tablespoons icing on center of each cupcake. Using small icing spatula or butter knife, spread icing to edge of cupcake, leaving slight mound in center.)


Makes about 1 ½ cups(3/4 cups), enough to frost 12 (6) cupcakes

Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Let stand at room temp to soften before using. If using a handheld mixer, increase mixing times significantly (by at least 50%).

10 T (5 T) unsalted butter, softened

½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise

1 1/4 c, 5 oz (5/8 c, 2 ½ oz) confectioners’ sugar

pinch table salt

½ tsp (1/4 tsp) vanilla extract

1 T (½ T) heavy whipping cream

*If you skip the vanilla bean, increase the extract to 1 ½ tsp (3/4 tsp) vanilla extract

In a standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Using paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into butter and beat mixture at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla extract and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.


12 cupcakes (6 cupcakes)

Follow recipe for Vanilla bean Buttercream, omitting vanilla bean and heavy cream and reducing sugar to 1 cup (½ cup). After beating in vanilla extract, reduce speed to low and gradually beat in 4 ounces (2 ounces) melted and cooled semisweet or bittersweet chocolate.


Follow recipe for Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream, omitting vanilla bean and dissolving 1 ½ tsp (3/4 tsp) instant espresso in vanilla extract and heavy cream.


Follow recipe for Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream, omitting vanilla bean, reducing extract to 1/4 tsp (1/8 tsp), and adding 3/4 teaspoon (3/8 teaspoon) peppermint extract along with vanilla extract.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ginger berry sauce

You can serve this sauce over waffles with whipped cream or yogurt, over ice cream, in plain yogurt, on pancakes, with oatmeal, or over angel food cake. It would also be good over grilled peaches. One recipe doesn’t make very much, so you may want to double this. This recipe comes from Everyday Foods.



1 bag (1 lb) frozen mixed berries

2-3 T sugar

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

1. In a medium saucepan, combine ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, until berries have softened and released their juices, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly. Can serve warm or cold.

1/8 of syrup with a slice of cake 1/8 of the angel food cake. 159 calories, 0.4 g fat.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal

If you have a crock pot from the 70's in avocado or harvest orange you can make this recipe. If you own a newfangled model, no creamy oatmeal for you. The newer models were built to run at higher temperatures. Unless you like the smell of burnt oats and scraping, don’t try it (ask Kristy). Steel cut (Irish or Scottish) oats are even better for you then regular oatmeal. Sometimes supermarkets keep them with the oatmeal, sometimes they are in the health food section. They are usually in a bag like Bob’s Red Mill products come in. They are also sometimes in the bulk section. People like me who hate, hate, hate the mushy texture of regular oatmeal like steel cut oats for their chewy, but still creamy texture. My two year old niece Eva says I make good oatmeal. You may be interested in my whole grain nutrition entry.

Use any mixture of dried fruit you like. I suggest at least ½ cup dried cranberries. The dried cranberries make it sweet enough that you don’t need extra sugar. Dates help make the oatmeal sweet too. This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown on the Food Network.

Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal

serves 8 (or less)


1 C steel cut oats

1 C dried fruit

½ C buttermilk or milk, or half-n-half

4 C water

Before you go to bed, put all ingredient into your mid-century crock pot. Cover and cook on low overnight, eight to nine hours. Stir. Add brown sugar, honey, or cinnamon to taste in the morning. The sugar will burn if you add it at night. Leftovers reheat nicely in the microwave.

Julie's Cranberry or Blueberry Muffins

My sister Julie makes these muffins. You can stop looking for a muffin recipe, because Julie's recipe is the best. To make Blueberry muffins, substitute whole (not chopped) blueberries for cranberries and lemon zest for orange zest. I always use walnuts, because that's what I usually have on hand. I've made these with whole wheat pastry flour and they are still really good and you can pretend they are healthy. Regular whole wheat flour works too, but they don't rise as well. The muffins in the picture are whole wheat blueberry muffins.
*Julie makes an important point in the comments. Keep blueberries frozen or you will have purple batter. Be sure to check out all of Julie's great hints in the comments.

*If you make blueberry muffins, don't mix the blueberries with the sugar. Just add the entire 1 1/4 c sugar to the muffin batter.

Julie's Cranberry Pecan Muffins


1 1/2 c rough chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

1 1/4 c sugar divided plus extra to sprinkle on top

3 c flour (or substitute whole wheat pastry flour)

4 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c butter

2 eggs lightly beaten

1 c milk or buttermilk (I use 1 1/4 c buttermilk)

1 c chopped pecans

1 T grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 400. Mix chopped cranberries with 1/4 c sugar. Combine the flour, baking powder,remaining sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two butter knives. Combine eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Stir in cranberries, orange peel and pecans. Put in a greased muffin tin .(don’t use cupcake liners, you won’t get the nice crust.) Sprinkle tops with extra sugar. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.

Makes about 1 ½ dozen.

Cheese Sauce

The original recipe called for serving this on English muffins. It’s also good with English muffins, Canadian bacon and eggs. (Like a cheese sauce eggs Benedict) It’s good with leftover brown rice and chicken and spinach, baked in an oven. I’d guess 350 for 30-45 minutes. Or with pasta, broccoli, and chicken, baked in the oven with bread crumbs. Or just over veggies. I’ve mixed this with lots of leftovers to make a meal seem new. This recipe is from the "Frugal Gourmet cooks American."



1 cup milk

½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (or Swiss)

1 ½ Tbsp each butter and flour roux

Worcestershire sauce to taste

Salt and Pepper

2 tsp white wine

Tabasco to taste

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour and cook, stirring to make a roux. This takes a few minutes. Whisk in milk slowly (a silicon coated whisk is great), allowing to thicken between additions. Whisk in cheese, and additional ingredients, being careful not to burn on the bottom.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Taco salad

You probably already kind of made this before. But it’s good to be reminded of ideas and it has proportions listed. This recipe is from Everyday Foods.


Makes 4 salads


1 can (15.5 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 package (10 oz) frozen corn kernels (2 C)

1/4 c salsa, plus more for serving

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (1 c)

1 ripe avocado, pealed, pitted, and cubed

3 plumb tomatoes, thinly sliced

coarse salt and ground pepper

1 bag (12 oz) romaine hearts, cut into bite-sized pieces

3 C (3 oz) broken baked tortilla chips

3/4 c coarsely grated pepper jack cheese

1. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine beans, corn, and salsa. Microwave just until warmed through, 1 minute. Stir in scallions, avocado, and tomato; season with salt and pepper. Set bean mixture aside.

2. In a large bowl, toss lettuce and chips together. Divide evenly among plates; top with bean mixture and cheese. Serve immediately, topped with additional salsa if desired.

Pumpkin soup

I don’t like pumpkin pie, but I like this savory pumpkin soup. This recipe is from the Food Network.

Pumpkin soup


2 T oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 apple, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon sage leaves
2 cups pumpkin puree
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a stockpot over medium heat, melt butter and saute onion, carrot, apple, and sage until all are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add pumpkin puree and puree the entire mixture with a immersion blender (or food processor or blender). Add the chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Then add the milk and simmer for 5 more minutes, lowering the heat if necessary so it does not boil. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Lentil Soup

This is easy, healthy and good soup. If you don't believe me, check out the video. This recipe originally used 2 T olive oil, but I cut it down to 1 T. I like to freeze this in single serve Ziploc containers, that way you can grab one for lunch. I let people add the vinegar themselves. I think the soup is good with or without vinegar. The recipe calls for green lentils, but any color lentil is fine. Lentils are sometimes labeled as Dal, which is the Indian name for lentils. They are with the other dried beans in the supermarket. This recipe is from "Laurel's Kitchen".



2 cups uncooked lentils

8 cups vegetable stock or water

½ onion, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 small medium potato, chopped

1 T olive oil

2 bay leaves

1 ½ to 2 tsp salt

2 tsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Pick over and wash lentils.

Mix all ingredients except vinegar in a soup pot and cook until lentils are very soft, about one hour. Stir in vinegar at end if using.

Black bean soup

This one is popular in my house too. I’ve never actually made it with the ham (vegetarian sisters), but I’m sure it’s good. I always make the chipotle recipe. Chipotles in adobo sauce are sold in a can in the Mexican food section of the supermarket. Chipotles are smoked jalapeƱos. You can freeze leftover chipotles. On a waxed paper lined cookie sheet, place the chipotles, separate from each other with a bit of sauce added to each pepper and freeze. When frozen, wrap excess waxed paper around each one and put in a Ziploc bag to freeze. I freeze this soup single serving Ziploc containers. If you make this with mixed beans, collard greens (or other greens) are good with it. But, collards turn to mush in the freezer. The black bean soup recipes are from America's Test Kitchen.




1 lb (2 c) dried black beans, rinsed and picked over

4 oz ham steak, trimmed of rind

2 dried bay leaves

5 c water

1/8 tsp baking soda

1 tsp table salt


3 T olive oil

2 large onions, chopped fine (about 3 cups)

1 large carrot, chopped fine (about ½ c)

3 medium celery ribs, chopped fine ( about 1 c)

½ tsp salt

5-6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed

½ tsp red pepper flakes

1 ½ T cumin

6 c low sodium chicken broth

2 T cornstarch

2 T water

2 T juice from 1 to 2 limes


lime wedges

minces fresh cilantro leaves

finely diced red onion

diced avocado

sour cream

1. For the beans: Place beans, ham, bay leaves, water, and baking soda in a large saucepan with tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; using large spoon, skim scum as it rises to surface. Stir in salt, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer briskly until beans are tender, 1 1/4 to 1 ½ hours (if necessary, add another 1 cup water and continue to simmer until beans are tender); do not drain beans. Discard bay. Remove ham steak (ham steak darkens to color of beans), cut into 1/4-inch cubes, and set aside.

2. For the soup: Heat oil in 8-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking; add onions, carrot, celery, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly browned, 12-15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, pepper flakes, and cumin; cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in beans, bean cooking liquid, and chicken broth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 30 minutes.

3. Finish the soup: Ladle 1 ½ cups beans and 2 cups liquid into food processor or blender, process until smooth, and return to pot. Stir together cornstarch and water in small bowl until combined, then gradually stir in about ½ of the cornstarch mixture into soup; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, to fully thicken. If soup is still thinner than desired once boiling, stir in remaining mixture into soup; return to a boil to fully thicken. Off heat, stir in lime juice and reserved ham; ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately, passing garnishes separately.


The addition of chipoltle chiles in adobo-smoked jalapeƱos packed in a seasoned tomato-vinegar sauce-makes this a spicier, smokier variation on black bean soup.

Follow the recipe for black bean soup, omitting red pepper flakes and adding 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chilies in adobe plus 2 tsp adobo sauce along with chicken broth in step 2.

12(or however many) BEAN SOUP

Use a bag of mixed beans in place of black beans. If not freezing can add collard greens or other greens.

Oven baked brown rice

This is an easy fool proof way to make brown rice, and none is stuck to the bottom. See my whole grain nutrition entry. This reicpe is from America's Test Kitchen.

Oven Baked Brown Rice

Serves 4 to 6


1 ½ c brown rice

2 1/3 c Water, broth or mixture (I add enough water to a can of broth to make 2 1/3 c)

2 tsp butter or oil

½ tsp salt

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread rice in 8-inch-square glass baking dish.

2. Bring water and butter or oil to boil, covered, in medium saucepan over high heat; once boiling, immediately stir in salt and pour water over rice. Cover baking dish tightly with doubled layer of foil. Bake rice 1 hour, until tender.

3. Remove baking dish from oven and uncover. Fluff rice with dinner fork, then cover dish with clean kitchen towel; let rice stand 5 minutes. Uncover and let rice stand 5 minutes longer; serve immediately.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Cauliflower

This is relatively healthy (if you toss the cooked chicken skin) and easy and has very little prep time. What more could you ask? If you don’t have coriander and cumin you can use any spice mix you like and have around. Cajun works well. You can also do only carrots and use more carrots. I haven’t made this in a while and I can’t remember if you have to oil the sheet pan or not. I’ll update this recipe when I make it again. This recipe is from Everyday Foods.


serves 4, prep time 10 min, total time 1 hour


1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch-2 inch chunks (I’m guessing baby carrots would work)

1 lb cauliflower, cut into medium sized florets (4 c)

1 ½ tsp ground coriander, divided

3/4 tsp ground cumin, divided

3/4 tsp coarse salt

½ tsp ground pepper

4 whole chicken legs, skin-on (about 12 oz each) ( I used thighs)

1 T fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 475. In a 11-15-2 3/4-inch roasting pan ( I use half sheet cookie sheet pan),combine carrots, cauliflower,1 tsp coriander, ½ tsp cumin, 3/4 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper; arrange around sides of pan.

2. Place chicken legs along center of pan, and sprinkle with remaining ½ tsp coriander and 1/4 tsp cumin; season generously with salt and pepper.

3. Roast, stirring vegetables once, until chicken is well browned and crispy and instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh (without touching bone) registers 180, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter, and let rest for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, add lemon juice to pan; with a wooden spoon, stir and scrape up drippings and brown stuff on the pan, mixing with vegetables. Serve.

Oven Roasted Chili Sweet Potato Fries

Even people who don’t like sweet potatoes (like my sister) like this recipe. The spicy and sweet combination is nice. They are very toddler friendly with just salt, pepper and oil. Last time I made these I baked them 25 minutes and had the oven temperature at 450 for the last 15 minutes. This recipe is from Everyday Foods.


Serves 4


1 ½ lbs (2 to 3 medium) sweet potatoes

2 T olive oil

1 T sugar

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp coarse salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425. Cut each potato lengthwise (with skin on) into 8 wedges; halve long wedges crosswise or cut into fries.

2. On a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or without), toss potatoes with oil, sugar, chili powder, salt, and pepper, until coated or toss in a bowl first. Arrange wedges cut side down or spread out fries on a half sheet pan or cookie sheets.

3. Roast potatoes until browned and tender, 15-20 minutes. Season with additional salt if desired before serving.