Sunday, March 29, 2009


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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kinda diet jello parfaits

Kind of Diet Parfaits

8 servings at $.54 each

2 packages sugar free lime gelatin

2 packages sugar free lemon gelatin

1 cup heavy cream

2 single serving packages sugar free sweetener

1 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberries for garnish (optional)

Make gelatin according to package directions in separate containers. Chill 4 hours or overnight until firm.

When ready to serve, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add two packages of sugar substitute and vanilla and keep beating until whipped cream holds firm peaks when beaters are raised.

Spoon a layer of lime gelatin, whipped cream and lemon gelatin into 8 footed glasses. Repeat the layers. Garnish the top with a few slices of strawberry (if using).

Serve immediately.

chick pea and black bean burritos

Chickpea and Black Bean Burritos

With thanks to Sue Rubin whose burritos were our inspiration.

8 servings @ $1.68 each

For the burritos:

1 ½ cups brown rice, cooked with 3 cups water and a pinch of salt. Cool before using.

2 cans chick peas, 14 ounce size, drained and rinsed

12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

2 green onions, minced

1 red pepper: seed and slice three rings for garnish, dice the remainder

For the Black Bean Sauce:

½ cup minced onion, about ½ a medium sized onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoons olive oil

2 14 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 14.5 ounce can vegetable broth

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeded and minced, with 1 teaspoon sauce from the can, or to taste

8 whole wheat “fajita style” tortillas

2 cups Jack or Cheddar, shredded for serving

To make Burritos:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a large rectangular casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl gently combine brown rice, chick peas, feta, green onions and the diced red pepper. Place a tortilla into the casserole dish and spread 4 tablespoons of rice filling in a line along the middle . Fold both sides of the tortilla over the filling and turn to place seam on the bottom. Slide the filled burrito to the end of the casserole dish. Continue adding and filling and turning tortillas until you have made 8 burritos.

Set aside and make the sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the garlic and cook until soft and fragrant. Add the black beans, broth and the chipotle chilies and bring to a simmer. Let cook for 5 minutes to combine flavors. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly. Pour contents of the skillet into a blender and pulse until mostly smooth.

Pour the black bean sauce over the center of the row of burritos. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Remove the foil and sprinkle the sauce with the shredded cheese. Lay the reserved pepper rings onto the cheese in a decorative fashion. Return the casserole dish to the oven for 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

chick pea salad with mexican flavors

Photo by Ken Williams for the Concord Monitor

Chick Pea Salad with Mexican Flavors

Inspired by Gourmet Magazine

Serves 6 @ $.82 per serving

2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, rinsed, seeded and minced, more or less to taste

3 fresh jalapeno peppers (optional), seeded and minced, more or less to taste

1 medium onion, minced

2 cloves garlic minced

2 14 ounce cans chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

1 can petite diced tomatoes, well drained

¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes) plus more to taste

¼ cup olive oil

3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste.


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir gently to mix. Chill for at least two hours and up to two days to allow flavors to blend. Taste and correct seasoning before serving, adding more lime juice and salt as needed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Robin's Crock Pot Pot Roast with Too Big Potato :)

Crock Pot Pot Roast

This is the recipe that Robin uses to make pot roast, and then Shepard's Pie with the left overs.

One large pot roast, 6-7 pounds
6 large potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 pound bag of frozen carrots,
10-12 mushrooms sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 cup cooking sherry
1/4 cup steak sauce sauce
2 cans beef broth

Brown roast in heavy pan on all sides (about 5 minutes each side)
Remove roast to crock pot
Pour cooking sherry in roasting pan and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom.
Add to the crock pot along with the beef broth, steak sauce and all the vegetables.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours

Serves 8

Monday, March 9, 2009

irish whiskey cake

Here's a sneak peak at part of Wednesday's column:
Suzanne's Pound Cake for Alcoholics.
Oops, I mean
Irish Whiskey Cake with Chocolate Chips.
Delicious but a just a tad too boozy for the kids.
Easy because it starts with a cake mix but it tastes homemade. Either that or I am always too tipsey to notice. Or care.

If you are looking for a family dessert, I've got the non-alcoholic version at the end.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a regular old Bundt pan. I use Crisco but feel free to use butter. Make sure you get it into all the nooks and crannies.

Assemble the ingredients:

For the cake:
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 cup Irish Whiskey
1 box yellow cake mix without pudding
1 box vanilla INSTANT pudding (not sugar free)
2/3 cup chocolate chips

For the glaze:

1 cup Irish Whiskey
1 cup sugar

Put the four eggs and the rest of the liquid ingredients into a stand mixer or large mixing bowl.
Add the cake mix and the pudding and beat for two minutes until thick and smooth.

I like to put the liquid ingredients in first so that you don't get clumps of the dry stuff on the bottom. Do what you will.

Pour into the prepared Bundt pan and sprinkle with 2/3 cup chocolate chips.
Try to remember to take a photo of this step if you are posting it to your blog.

Bake for 50 minutes until browned and cooked through.
Take a photo of this step too, if you're not distracted by your children and their nonsense.
Set the timer for 10 minutes and let cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, make the glaze:
Stir together the whiskey and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a boil and cook just until sugar melts.

After 10 minutes invert the cake onto a rack over a cookie sheet.

Pour about a third of the glaze over.
Repeat two more times over the course of several hours.

Top with powdered sugar before serving.

et voila!

Non-alcoholic Recipe:

Substitute another 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup oil for the 1 cup of Irish Whiskey.

For the glaze substitute 1 cup orange juice or water for the whiskey.
If you use oj, you can add a teaspoon of finely grated orange peel to the cake batter.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ham and Bean Soup

It all starts with a beautiful Ham
This meal starts with the left over Ham Bone, some dry beans, onions, beef broth and water, wallah......................... Delicious Soup!!!!!!!!!

Photos of soup making are never very Glam, but we trudge forward just the same.....

Wash those beans and clean them out there are always a few little prizes among them

anything made with beef broth onions and beans is bound to be good, throw in the Ham bone and it is a go!!!!!!!!!!!

How easy is this, cover and wait good things are coming!!!!

Remove the bone, take the remaining meat and chop it up add the meat back to the pot and Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!! Easy, Cheap, and Delis who could ask for anything more :)

White Bean Soup with Ham
from How to Cook Everything Mark Bittman

1ham bone
3 cups navy,pea, or other dried beans ( washed and picked over)
12 cups chicken,beef, veggie stock or water
2 medium onions, quartered
salt and pepper to taste
minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1. place ham bone, beans and stock/water in a large saucepan turn the heat to medium high:add the onions.
When this boils turn down to heat to medium -low and cover partially.
Cook stirring occasionally,until the beans are very soft and meat is falling off the bone at least one hour.

2. Turn off the heat:remove the bone from the pot and let cool slightly.
take all the meat off the bone chop it and return to pot.
Season to taste garnish Enjoy.

Monday, February 23, 2009

ham cassarole

In this week's column we are cooking a ham and eking three meals out of it before the bone is picked clean.

Ham, Ham Casserole, Ham and Bean Soup and Scalloped Potatoes, just because they are delish.

Here's our recipe for Ham Casserole.

First, heat a quart of light cream in the nuker for about 4 minutes, just until hot, not boiling.

Mince one medium sized onion:

Melt a stick of butter in a large heavy saucepan or skillet over medium heat:

Add the minced onion and simmer until onion is limp but not brown. Give it a stir or two.

Add 1/3rd cup flour and whisk to combine with the butter.

Cook for two minutes, whisking almost constantly.
Add the heated cream all at once:

Stir until there are no lumps.
Let mixture come to a boil and continue whisking until mixture is thick, about 2 minutes.
Add a tablespoon or so of dijon mustard:

Take 5 small red potatoes and slice thinly.
Put in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until nearly done, approximately 5 minutes.

Try not to overcook the potatoes because they will cook some more in the casserole.

Drain the potatoes and scatter them in the bottom of a 10x13 baking pan or casserole dish.

Rinse a 15 ounce bag of frozen pearl onions and a 15 ounce bag of frozen peas and carrots under hot water to partially defrost. Add the veggies and two cups of chopped ham to the casserole dish:

Smooth all of the cream sauce over the vegetables and ham.
Cover with a sheet of foil and place on a cookie sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the whole thing is bubbly:

Remove the foil....

Add enough refrigerator biscuits to cover the top, approximately 1 and 1/2 packages.
Don't worry if there are openings between the biscuits.

Brush the biscuits with beaten egg, if desired. Totally not necessary, but it makes the biscuits shiny and brown and gorge.

Put the casserole back in the oven (uncovered) for about 20 minutes until the biscuits are brown and cooked through.

Easily serves 8 pigs. I was planning on serving this tonight for dinner, but it was decimated at 10:30 by the two starving teens.

Friday, February 20, 2009

On Making Turnip Soup

The Concord Monitor did a lovely job showcasing the recipes form 1809 in Wednesday's food column
along with the photos by Ken Williams all food looks good. My task was turnip soup I have posted the recipe and photos, the end result was quite tasty, but arriving there was another story Enjoy!!!!!!!!!! *To make Turnip Soup.*Pear a bunch of Turnips (save out three or four) put them into a gallon of water, with half an ounce of white pepper, an onion stuck with cloves, three blades of mace, half a nutmeg bruised, a good bunch of sweet herbs, and a large crust of bread. Boil them an hour and a half, then pass them thro’ a sieve; clean a bunch of cellery, cut it small, and put it into your turnips and liquor, with two of the turnips you saved, and two young carrots cut in dice; cover it close, and let it stew; then cut two turnips and carrots in dice, flour them, and fry them brown in butter, with two large onions cut thin, and fried likewise, put them all into your soup, with some vermacelli; let it boil softly, till your cellery is tender, and your soup is good. Season it with salt to your palate.

First job determine what a turnip is ,check out the great shopping bag I carried my rutabaga/turnips home in at TG sacks, think global shop beautiful

great bags for a new genaration.

Stuffed onion with cloves

Add large crust of bread um yummy

This where I wanted to call it a day ,soggy swollen bread ugh!

Add little veggies things are looking up

Even better cover veggies with flour and fry them up

Smells wonderful

Not bad at all

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

to boil salmon

Photo by Ken Williams of the Concord Monitor

Today's monitor featured a bunch of recipes from 1809. Robin and I had so much fun doing this -- and not only because of Felice's SHRUB.

Screw the 1809 recipe -- here's how I made the salmon and it was delish. And so not boiled.

2 pound salmon fillet
1/2 bottle dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc
1 small fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1small leek, white and light green parts, roughly chopped
3 scallions, sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 black peppercorns

fennel fronds and sliced lemons for garnish

Nestle the salmon fillet into the bottom of a large heavy skillet. Surround with the chopped vegetables and peppercorns. Sprinkle with the salt. Pour the wine into the skillet and cover with two layers of foil, pressing around the edges to seal.

Bring skillet to a simmer, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a slow simmer. DO NOT BOIL.

Fish is done when barely cooked through. Poke at it with a thin knife, and if nearly opaque, remove from heat.

Plate onto a large platter and garnish with the fennel fronds and the lemon slices. This would also be great cold, on top of some crisp lettuce dressed with lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper.

Here is the recipe for the shrimp sauce, which was great on tortilla chips!

½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons chili sauce
1 green onion, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 cup cooked shrimp, roughly chopped

Mix everything but the shrimp together until well blended. Add shrimp and stir. Chill for 1 hour.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

jambalaya to serve 8-10

Photo by Ken Williams of the Concord Monitor

To make the jambalaya, you first need to gather all the ingredients....

Start by heating 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy pot over med/high heat.
Sprinkle 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown in batches, being careful not to crowd pan.

Turn, using tongs when nicely browned, which takes about 4 minutes a side.

When all the chicken is browned, set it aside in a large bowl.
Add 1 pound kielbasa which has been cut into 1/4 inch slices to the empty pan.
Cook the kielbasa for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.

Remove kielbasa with a slotted spoon and add to the reserved chicken.
Cut 2 red peppers, 4 ribs of celery and one medium onion into small dice.
Mince 4 cloves of garlic.
Turn the heat to medium low and dump all the veggies and garlic into the pot.

Cook over medium heat until vegetables and soft and shiny, stirring frequently.

Keep stirring so that the veggies don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
Add a teaspoon or two more oil if the veggies are sticking and the pot seems dry.

Add one and a half cups rice and give it a good stir to get the rice nicely coated with the oil.

Add 2 cans of "original recipe" stewed tomatoes,
3 cans of chicken broth,
2 bay leaves and several grindings of fresh pepper.
Add back the reserved chicken and the kielbasa and push down to submerge into the liquid.

Simmer over medium heat about 20 minutes until rice is fully cooked. Serve immediately if you like your Jambalaya soupy, or let simmer longer. The rice will continue to expand. You may need to add more chicken broth to the leftovers.