Saturday, October 8, 2011

Brunswick Stew

Atlanta? Georgia? Peaches? Peach Cobbler Soup?? Nah...not so much! Here's where I went with this one...Brunswick, Georgia for some Brunswick Stew. There is some debate on the true origination, but most agree that there are various versions of the stew. So, I went with the "Georgian" version.

Here's the recipe:

2 cups cooked, diced chicken

2 cups pulled pork

1 can whole tomatoes

1 cup onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped

3 yellow potatoes, diced

1 can creamed corn

2-3 garlic cloves

1/2 cup bbq sauce

2 tbls butter

Worcesterchire Sauce to taste

Sweet Chili Sauce to taste

Cayenne Pepper to taste

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

vegetable broth

2 bay leaves
Saute onions, celery, and potatoes in butter until tender; puree tomatoes and garlic in a food processor, add to onion mixture along with the creamed corn. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add pork and chicken. Simmer for about an hour. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker, add seasonings and sauces to taste. Add enough vegetable broth to reach your desired consistency. Throw in the bay leaves, set on low, and enjoy throughout the day! Serve with Fried Green Tomatoes and you'll take a trip down south!

Roasted Chicken Tortilla Soup

In honor of our Southwest opponents, the Arizona Cardinals, I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light Magazine. It was good and definitely a repeater! There was a bit too much heat for my kids, so next time I will go a little easier on the cayenne!

Here's the recipe:

4 chicken breasts, seasoned with garlic powder, paprika, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper; broil, rest then dice
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, roasted and peeled
1 onion, sliced and roasted
2 ears of corn, roasted and kernals removed
1 large can of green enchilada sauce
32oz chicken broth
1 can southwest style diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
Throw it all together in a pot or slowcooker
Season with paprika, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper

I like to serve it with sour cream, cilantro, and avocado. I also prefer homemade tortilla strips, but tortilla chips work just as well!

Chicken Tetrazzini Soup

So, apparently the woman who created the dish known as Chicken Tetrazzini lived in San Francisco. http://http//

Well, of course I was going to turn this delicious meal into a soup! Turns out, it is a favorite in our house and I can't wait to make it again!
Here's the recipe:
2-3 chicken breasts, seasoned with garlic powder, salt, and pepper-broil and let rest, then dice

2 tbls butter

1-2 tbls olive oil

1 onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry sherry or white wine


3-4 tbls fresh herbs-lemon thyme, oregano, flat leaf parsley

1 cup heavy cream

1 can cream of chicken soup

32 oz chicken broth

zest and juice of 1 lemon

Saute onions in butter and olive oil. When soft and transparent, add garlic and cook about 1 minute Add about 1/2 cup of dry sherry or white wine, reduce for about 10 minutes.
Add heavy cream and cream of chicken soup to onion mixture. Bring to a low boil and add a few dashes of nutmeg. Add fresh herbs and diced chicken. Bring to a boil. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker and add 32 oz of chicken broth and the zest and juice of a lemon. Turn to low and enjoy whenever!

Souptastic Sundays

I've decided to start a new tradition in my home during football season. Since my husband loves football and I love food, I figure there's no better way to join forces than to combine the two. How does that work, you ask? Well, I take an original dish from the team we (the Seattle Seahawks) are playing and turn it into soup. Why soup? Because it's the perfect meal to have ready to go on those chilly, football Sundays. I don't plan a big get together, no formal invitations, just the warmth of goodness soup brings for anyone who shows up at our door! I want my children to grow up and know that if there is a football game on, Mom's got soup to serve! My hope is that they will continue to come home and enjoy the beauty of family, the fun of football, and goodness of soup!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Island Yumminess!

I'm Back, I'm Back! I really am back! Okay, so I took a bit of a sabbatical, but I'm back with a vengence! For today at least. What I have for you here is just some plain yumminess on a stick! I found this recipe when I was planning a get-together with kabobs. I will definitely be repeating this recipe over and over! Oh, and if you are wondering where all my pictures went from my other posts??? Long story, I'll get them back up soon enough! For now, enjoy this next recipe!

Shrimp, Pepper, and Mango Kabobs

2 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup lime juice

2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar

1/3 cup oil

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

2-3 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined

sweet onion, bell pepper, and mango-kabob ready

Whisk together ingredients for marinade, add shrimp, and refrigerate for about an hour. Remove shrimp from marinade and if desired, boil the remaining marinade for basting or dipping. Thread shrimp, onion, bell pepper, and mango onto wooden skewers. Grill 4-6 minutes, until shrimp turn pink.

Pineapple Mango Salsa

1 mango, diced

1 can crushed pineapple, including juice

1 red bell pepper, diced

zest and juice of 1 lime

1-2 tbsp chopped pineapple mint (can use regular mint or cilantro if preferred)

Combine all ingredients and use over citrus rice, chicken, or seafood

Citrus Rice

(I've posted this recipe before, but here it is again with a few modifications)

Jasmine Rice

chicken broth

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

3-4 tbsp minced onion

olive oil

chopped pineapple sage (again, use cilantro or regular mint if preferred)

zest and juice of 1 lime

Saute onion in oil until soft and transparent; continue cooking rice according to package directions, adding chicken broth to the sauteed onion mixture in place of water. When rice is done cooking, add pineapple sage and lime zest and juice, stir, and re-cover.

Enjoy each of these dishes separately, or do what I did and mix them all together! No matter how you eat them, I promise, they will make you feel as though you are on a tropical island vacation!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Lemon Love Fest

Lemon Coconut Scones

Yes, that's right...lemon in the middle of a cold front! Well, when your neighbor brings you homemade lemon curd, how could you not go into a lemon frenzy! I suppose when you absolutely love the flavor of lemon, it's a bit harder to resist! So, as my children lay on the couch all weekend with the yuckies, I went to town imagining all the yummy things I could do with lemon. I discovered I could top a sour cream/cream cheese pie with lemon curd and toasted coconut. I could spread it on toast. I could mix fresh squeezed lemon juice, orange juice, honey, soy sauce, salt and pepper to marinate chicken...oh wait, there's not lemon curd in that, but it was tasty! Needless to say, the winner of the weekend were these delicious lemon coconut scones drizzled with a lemon icing and paired with a splash of lemon curd. YUM!


2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup coconut

1/2 cup butter

1 tblas lemon zest (I used one lemon)

1/2 lemon yogurt

1/2 cup water

Combine dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add coconut and process a few seconds. Add cold butter cut into chunks and process just long enough to resemble coarse meal. Combine yogurt, water, and zest in a separate bowl, then gradually add to butter mixture. I found the dough to be a little too wet, so I added more flour. You may want to add less of the yogurt mixture. As dough comes together, scoop out onto a baking mat or wax paper that is lightly covered with flour. Pat into a disk about 1/2 to 3/4 in. thick and cut into desired shape and size.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool.

Lemon Icing

Juice of one lemon (as in the one you zested)

Enough powdered sugar to reach desired consistency

Drizzle onto cooled scones and let dry.

Feel free to enjoy these delicious scones as is, or cut in half and spread on some lemon curd that your lovely neighbor shared with you! Either way, they will hit the spot on any given morning, afternoon, or evening :-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Zesty Popcorn

Looking for a tasty way to enjoy that popcorn? Something snacky for the big party? Well, here's something to try! Zesty Popcorn. It's really quite simple, and not all that fancy, but it's the perfect way to spice things up!
Cooking oil
Jalepeno slices, from a jar
Popcorn Kernals
Garlic and Seasoning Salt
In a large pot, add just enough oil to cover the bottom. I like to use Canola, but I've seen it done with olive or vegetable oil. Place a couple jalepeno slices in the pot, more if you want it spicier, and turn the heat to about 7 (medium high).

When you start to hear a sizzle, add just enough popcorn kernals to cover the bottom, and place the lid on.

While you wait to hear a pop, get out your garlic salt, seasoning salt, and butter. Make sure to give the pot a few good sliding shakes every now and then, to keep the kernals loose.
Just as with microwave popcorn, when you hear the popping slow to one every 2-3 seconds, remove the pot from the heat.
Remove the lid, add the butter and let it slide to the bottom of the pot. This will help it melt. Stir the popcorn until the butter is melted and the popcorn is coated. If you want this step to be easier, simply melt the popcorn in the microwave, however, I think it tastes slightly different.
Add your seasonings to taste, pop in your favorite movie, and snack away!!
Before I finish, I have to credit my husband for the popcorn in our house. He does a much better job of making it, and apparently learned it from his good friend and roommate in college! Thanks Kevin for the delicous idea!!

Pepperoni Bread Pudding

It's wait, it's bread pudding....well, what the heck is it??? It's exactly that....
Pizza Bread Pudding
How, you ask? Easy, take the flavors of pizza you love, incorporate them into a basic bread pudding recipe, and Voila!
Wondering how I came up with this? Well, it was a joint venture, really! After making soup and a double batch of focaccia bread last weekend, I was left with an overstock of focaccia. It was a bit on the dry side and didn't go over as well as it usually does, so I called one of my go-to people, Aunt Liisa, and asked her if she had any ideas for what to do with leftover focaccia bread. Of course she had ideas (I was stuck on crutons). "Oooh, a savory bread pudding" she said. Right...that stuff is gross. It's gushy and slimy and way too milky. "No, bakes up and dries out a bit." wheels were turnin'!
SO, I googled savory bread pudding, put together the basics, and added in what I thought would be a hit with the kids. I think I pleased all but one. Not a bad outcome, if you ask me!
Here's what you need:
4 cups of bread, cubed (mine was focaccia flavored with thyme, oregano, and garlic)
1 to 1 1/3 cups milk
2 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided in half
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. pepperoni, chopped into small pieces
salt, pepper, garlic salt
grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
sliced black olives
1 tbls each-dried basil and oregano
Place the bread cubes in a bowl, leaving room for the liquid
Saute the onions
Chop the pepperoni
Combine milk, eggs, 1/2-3/4 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste. You end up with about 2 cups of the liquid mixture...I added a little more milk.
Pour liquid mixture into the bowl containing the bread and stir gently to coat. Add in the pepperoni and onions. Let this soak for about 10 minutes.
Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray, pour bread mixture in, and add sliced olives, tomatoes, and the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes!

This truly tasted like pepperoni pizza, and I will definitely be making it again! Now, I did not give the flavor of the bread enough credit and I think overall, it was a bit on the salty side. So, next time I use less salt and garlic salt, but it still tasted great. The only suggestion I got was to serve it with some marinara sauce on top. Worth a try!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Here's something funny...I sat down to start putting together a schedule/routine for my kids and this picture happened to pop up on the computer. Hmmm...I think I took this picture in July, with the intention of posting it to my blog! Right...well, better late than never :-)

This is the story of taquitos...
Taquito (from the Spanish diminutive of taco) is a Mexican dish, also very popular in Puerto Rico, consisting of a small rolled-up tortilla and some type of filling, usually beef or chicken. The filled tortilla is crisp-fried. Corn (maize) tortillas are generally used to make taquitos. ...
A long time ago my dad taught himself how to make taquitos, and he became the "King of Taquitos" in our family from then on. Every Christmas Eve, it wasn't about the gifts or the party, it was about the taquitos. Quite frankly, it wasn't a party if there were no taquitos! Of course, with a daughter who loves to cook, the tradition (and secrets) had to be passed down. Thus began my quest to learn the ins and outs of this tasty little snack.
Dad told me the key is in how you roll them...did you know that tortillas have a grain? And I don't mean corn! There is a slight impression, if you look closely, of lines that run in one direction. The trick is to roll WITH the grain, rather than against it. This helps keep the tortilla from splitting. Also, through trial and error, dad learned that briefly dipping the tortilla in hot oil before filling and rolling makes for a tastier, crispier finish. Aside from these two tricks, it's really all in how you season the meat.
I don't have any measurements for you...just instructions. I put a chuck roast in the crock pot with enough liquid to cover it and enough flavor to season it. I used cumin, chili powder, ceyenne pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, green chilies, jalepenos, and I may have even thrown in some cans of diced tomatoes. You can use water or beef broth, I don't think it really matters. I let the roast cook over night, then I shredded it the next morning. I added the shredded meat back to the seasoned liquid, minus the fatty pieces that always exist, and let it simmer all day, checking it now and then for flavor. It is also helpful to chop the meat up into smaller pieces, makes the taquitos easier to eat!
When I was ready (AKA: had the kitchen to myself), I began the rolling process. First I warmed corn oil on the stove and then began adding tortillas, a couple at a time. I let them sit in the hot oil just until they started to form bubbles or air pockets. I pulled them out and let them rest on a cutting board covered with paper towels. I made stacks of 10 until I ran out of room, then I began to add the meat and roll. I flipped the stacks over so I could work with the cooler taquitos first. Put a small amount of the meat mixture just shy of the edge of the tortilla (see above), fold the short side over and roll. Place it flap side down on a cookie sheet and go on to the next one. After a few, you get the hang of it and can whip out 50-60 in no time. I recently made about 180 of these babies for a birthday party, with the help Megan, and we were done in about 2 hours.
After the taquitos are rolled, you have some choices to make...freeze them?? fry them? bake them? It's really up to you. Several years back Dad discovered that you can get a nice crunch even with baking, plus you can do about 25 at a time. That was nice for him, as he didn't have 15 people standing over his shoulder waiting for the next taquito to come out of the fry pan! Whatever you decide to do, enjoy these tasty morsels with a nice bowl of quacamole, a cold cerveza, and table full of friends! But don't forget to season the finished product with Lawry's or Johnny's! A MUST! Note: The same directions for the meat can be used for chicken or pork, if you prefer either one of those! Also, flank steak or brisket make for nice shredding meats.