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.