Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sun dried tomato and basil pesto

1 - 3oz package sun dried tomatoes
1 bunch fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
1/4C finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4-1/3C olive oil

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.  Use on pasta, slather on bread, or use it for my wild rice sausage egg bake.

Wild Rice and Sausage Egg Bake

What do you do when you all of the sudden have to make breakfast for 7 people? You improvise.  I had everything I used in this egg bake in the house already.

4 cups wild rice, cooked
1lb mild Italian sausage
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4C sun dried tomato pesto
Salt & pepper
Olive oil

12 eggs, whisked
1/2C sour cream
1/3 bunch parsley,  chopped
1tsp Dijon mustard
1tsp siracha
Salt and pepper

2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Sauté the onions in 1-2T olive oil until they become translucent.  Add the minced garlic and sausage and sauté until the sausage is done.  Add the wild rice, salt, pepper and pesto into the pan and combine.  Remove from heat.
Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Pour the wild rice and sausage into the dish.

I another bowl, add the eggs and whisk.  Add sour cream, Dijon mustard, siracha and the salt and
pepper.  Whisk to combine.  Add in parsley.

Pour the egg mixture on top of the wild rice and sausage.  Top with shredded Swiss cheese.

Bake uncovered at 400 degrees F for 30 min.  Top with tin foil and continue baking for another 10-15 min or until center is set.

Everyone said this was the best egg bake they'd ever had.  This is a definite make again.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wild rice, chicken and mango salad with poppyseed dressing

For the salad:

The meat from 1 rotisserie chicken
1 Celery heart
1/3 bunch of parsley
3 Mangoes (I used Champagne mangoes, they're smaller than traditional mangoes)
4 Cups cooked wild rice
3-4 cloves garlic

Cashews or almonds for topping if desired.

For the dressing:

1/3C sour cream
1/4C mayo
3T honey -or- 3T frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed (do not add water).  Add more if needed.
1/2C milk
1tsp Dijon mustard
1T poppy seeds
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper

Chop all of the salad ingredients and place in a large bowl.  When cutting your celery, make sure you also chop the leaves, they're the most flavorful part of the celery.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients - I just put everything in my Tupperware salad dressing shaker. You can also whisk or use an immersion blender.

Pour half of the dressing over the salad and stir to coat.  Continue adding dressing as desired.
Top with cashews or almonds just before serving.

Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies were born out of my love for all things salty + sweet.
I double dog dare you to eat just one.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 package caramel bites (they're little unwrapped caramels in the baking section by the choc chips)

Fine sea salt for dusting.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and caramel by hand. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment lined and greased baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with fine sea salt.  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. I had to spray cooking spray on my spatula to get them to lift nicely.  The caramel tends to stick to the spatula.

Then try not to eat them all. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ham and Swiss Stromboli

1 package pre-made pizza dough (I use Trader Joe's).  If you have time, this is the recipe I use for pizza dough
3/4 lb deli ham, diced
1 1/2C shredded Swiss cheese (please shred your own!)
10-15 green olives, chopped fine
1T finely chopped garlic (I use the pre-chopped garlic in the jar from TJ's)
1T fine ground Dijon mustard
1tsp Italian herb seasoning
olive oil -or- 1 egg white

Chop and saute the ham for a few minutes.  Place on a paper towel and press with another paper towel.  You need to get all of the moisture out of it otherwise you're Stromboli will be wet and mushy and that would be gross.

Flour your work surface and roll out the pizza dough until thin.

Combine the garlic, mustard and Italian seasoning in a bowl, stir and spread evenly over the dough (it will look sparse).

Spread the ham, olives and Swiss over the dough, keeping the toppings about an inch from the edges.

Starting farthest away from you, roll the dough in on itself forming a log.  When you get to the end, pull the edges up and around nice and thin and pinch to seal.  Roll the Stromboli over so it is seam side down.  Tuck the ends under, making sure there is no ham or cheese sticking out (it will burn).

Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Brush the entire Stromboli with olive oil or an egg white.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 min (mine was 30) or until crust is golden brown.  Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

And enjoy.  Its pretty freaking amazing.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Homemade Tartar Sauce

3/4 C mayonaise
1/4 C sour cream
6-8 mini pickles, chopped fine
2T capers
1T dijon mustard
2tsp minced or crushed garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
pepper to taste

Combine all but 1/2 of the pickles in a food processor, or use an immersion blender.  Mix until combined well.  Stir in remaining pickles.

This is also great with chicken, or as a spread on a sandwich.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Soup

1 pkg of chicken breast (3-4 breasts)
1 container chicken stock (from Trader Joes) (about 3-4 cans)
½ bottle of Frank’s Red Hot BUFFALO sauce
1 whole celery heart, chopped fine (including leaves)
4 large carrots, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ white onion, chopped
1 container sour cream
2 small cans cream of chicken soup
3-5 cups milk, depending on the consistency you want
Juice of 1 lemon
Celery seeds 1 tsp
Celery salt to taste, 1-2 tsp
Smoked paprika to taste (start with 1/8 tsp, I used about ¼ tsp)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 packages of frozen Jasmine rice (from Trader Joes) microwaved for about 2 minutes or about 4 cups       cooked jasmine or basmati rice.
1 wedge blue cheese, split in half
Green onions, chopped

1. Place chicken, stock, celery seeds and hot sauce in stock pot and simmer on low for 1-1.5 hours until chicken is cooked through and you’re able to shred it with a fork. Leave all of the broth in the pot.

2. While the chicken is simmering, chop celery, onion and garlic and set aside.

3. After chicken is shredded return it to the pot with the cooking broth and add celery, onion, garlic, paprika and celery salt. Set heat to medium. When the soup starts to boil, add milk (start with 3 cups, add more to desired consistency), cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Crumble ½ wedge of blue cheese. Return to low boil and add lemon juice and crumbled blue cheese. At the end of cooking time, add cooked rice and stir.

4. Top with crumbled blue cheese and chopped green onions.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Milk and Honey White Bread

This bread is up there on my list of favorites!

Taken from:

4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
2-1/2 cups warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/2 cup honey
6 tablespoons butter, melted + 2 tablespoons reserved for greasing bowl and butter top
1 tablespoon kosher salt
7 cups all-purpose flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add yeast, warm milk and honey.  Swirl with your fingers or a spoon to dissolve the yeast.  Allow to sit until the yeast starts to bubble and becomes aromatic, about 5 minutes. 

Add butter, salt and 4 cups of flour, mix on low using dough hook, until smooth.  Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and shape into two loaves. Place in greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350° for glass and dark pans (375° for light metal pans).  Brush tops with melted butter.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. 

Makes 2 loaves.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Refrigerator Pickles

Fresh, crunchy pickles are my absolute favorite treat.  Make sure to use Persian, French or Kerby cukes -- their skin is soft and they are seedless -- as regular garden cukes have a tough skin and do not make a nice pickle.

15 Persian cucumbers, sliced in rounds (I get mine at Trader Joes)
2 quarts water
1 cup white vinegar
1/3-1/2 C sea salt

1 onion, sliced
1 bunch of fresh dill or 1 Tbsp dried dill
4-5 cloves garlic - peeled and crushed, but not chopped
sliced jalapenos - optional

In a saucepan over high heat, combine water, vinegar and salt.  Bring to boil and turn off heat.
While waiting for liquids to boil, take out quart sized canning jars OR heat safe containers.

Place garlic, dill and sliced onions in the bottom of each jar.  Place cucumber rounds on top of the onions.  Fill each container to the top with the pickling liquid.  Top the containers and place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating.  Pickles will last for 2 weeks.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chipper Bars

Taken from

These bars come with a WARNING:  You can't just eat one.  You'll eat an entire row....or 2....not like I know anything about that.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 c. oatmeal
1 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 c. butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. peanut butter
1 c. chocolate chips

In large bowl, mix oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, butter, soda and salt. Mix until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mix; set aside. Press remaining crumbs on bottom of greased 13 x 9 inch pan. 

In small bowl, stir milk, and peanut butter. Pour evenly over crumb mix in pan. 

Sprinkle with chocolate chips. 

Put reserved crumb mix on top. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Cool and cut into bars.