Monday, August 15, 2016

Starbucks Copycat Vanilla Creme Frappucino

3/4 cup milk
6 tablespoons heavy cream, frozen in an ice cube tray (3 cubes)
6 ice cubes
2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds (optional, looks like vanilla bean)

Blend all ingredients in a high-power blender.* Serve immediately.

*I use the Smoothie setting on my Blendtec blender.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chicken Cheese Chowder

1 cup shredded carrot1/4 cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cooked, chopped chicken
4 ounces of sliced mushrooms (I pulverize mine into unrecognizable bits)
3 Tablespoons dry white wine
1 teaspoon celery salt*
1/2 teaspon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
salt and pepper, to taste

*If you don't have celery salt, grind 2 parts coarse salt and 2 parts celery seed in a coffee grinder.
  1. Saute the carrots and onion in butter until tender.
  2. Blend in the flour and then add the broth. Cook and stir until thickened.
  3. Stir in the chicken, mushrooms, wine, celery salt, and Worcestershire sauce, and milk. Heat through.
  4. Add the cheese and cook until melted. Do not boil. 
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe is from the Once-A-Month Cooking-Family Favorites cookbook, by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg. There are lots of great recipes in this book, all of which can be cooked ahead and frozen. (If you choose to freeze this soup, do not add the milk or cheese until ready to heat and serve.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Black Bean Burgers

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
4 medium cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1-1/2 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained
1 cup cooked brown rice*
2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs**
hot pepper sauce to taste (such as Tabasco)
1 Tablespoon ketchup
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt

*Original recipe called for basmati rice, but use whatever you have on hand. I made mine with short-grain brown rice, and they were very tasty.
**Use gluten-free bread crumbs if desired.
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Stir in cumin and turmeric and cook for one more minute.
  3. In a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, combine beans, rice, and vegetable mixture until smooth.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in bread crumbs. Season with salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce and mix well.
  5. Flatten 1/4-cup portions into patties and then grill or pan fry for 3-5 minutes per side.
Makes 8 burgers.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup With Beans and Bacon

3 slices bacon1 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup dry white wine

4 cups cubed and peeled butternut squash*
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup half and half
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 15-ounce cans Northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 Tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

*To make it easy to peel and cut the squash, boil a pan of water and remove from heat. Put whole squash in water and cover for 10 minutes. Carefully remove and dry off, and then use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.

  1. Cook the bacon until very crisp and then set the bacon aside, reserving 2 Tablespoons of drippings.
  2. Saute onion and celery in bacon drippings on medium heat until tender, and then add minced garlic. Sautee one minute more.
  3. Add squash and cook another 3 minutes. Add wine and cook until liquid almost evaporates.
  4. Stir in chicken broth, cumin, red pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until squash is tender (about 10 minutes or more).
  5. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.
  6. Stir in half and half, oregano, salt, pepper, and beans. Bring to a boil again.
  7. Allow soup to stand for as long as possible. Serve each bowl with pumpkin seeds and crumbled bacon on top.

Whole Wheat Pie Crust

If you have a food processor, you might find that making your own pie crust is a lot easier than you expected....
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into thin slices and then chilled in freezer for at least an hour
5-8 Tablespoons icewater

  1. Put the flour and salt in the bowl of the food processor, fitted with the chopping blade, and process briefly to mix.
  2. Put in the butter pieces and pulse 6 or 8 times until the butter pieces are pea sized.
  3. Add icewater in a steady stream with machine running, just until the dough holds together--no more than 30 seconds. (Check dough by pinching it between your fingers. If it sticks together, it's ready. If it crumbles apart, add a bit more water and pulse again.)
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut in half. Put each dough half onto a piece of plastic wrap and press into a flat circle. Wrap with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. (If you are only using one crust now, put the extra crust into a Ziplock bag and freeze until ready to use. To use, thaw in refrigerator and then follow rest of steps.)
  5. Turn chilled dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 12-inch diameter circle, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Dough should be about 1/8 inch thick when finished rolling.
  6. Carefully wrap dough around rolling pin and gently transfer into deep dish pie pan. Press into contours of pan. Trim around the edges so about 1/4 inch of dough overhangs the edge of the pan. Then fold dough under and crimp with a fork.

If recipe calls for a prebaked crust (such as pumpkin pie or other custard style pies)...

  1. Freeze prepared crust 15 minutes in pie pan.
  2. Line crust with foil and add pie weights, dried beans, or rice to hold foil down.*
  3. Bake about 10 minutes at 350, until sides are set. Then remove foil and bake uncovered about 10 more minutes, until lightly browned.
  4. Fill crust and bake as directed in pie recipe. For best results, cover crust edges with foil to prevent over browning.
*I would not recommend substituting parchment paper for the foil.... Sarah

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Corn Casserole

1 can creamed corn
1 can kernel corn*
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 stick butter

  1. Mix first four ingredients and spread in pan.
  2. Sprinkle cornbread mix on top.
  3. Drizzle with melted butter, and then marble slightly by dragging a spoon through.**
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
*Can substitute frozen corn or fresh corn off cob.
**For a different texture, mix the butter with the cornbread mix and drop by spoonfuls over top of casserole.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower

Alternate title: The Best Cauliflower I Ever Ate

I got this recipe from a new cookbook (yea for Christmas gifts that keep on giving!), Ina Garten's "How Easy Is That?" -- this is actually the first thing I've made from the book. When I read it, I immediately knew it would be good. I was wrong -- it was amazing.

1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets (or two small heads)
4 1/2 T good olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 minced fresh parsley
3 T pine nuts, toasted
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the garlic cloves. Boil for 15 seconds, then drain, peel and cut off any brown parts. Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise.

On a sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with the garlic, 3 T olive oil, 2 t salt and 1 t pepper. Spread the mixture out in a single layer (I line a jelly roll pan or large rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up). Roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing twice, until the cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned.

Scrape the caulfilower into a large bowl with the garlic and any juices. Add the remaining 1 1/2 T olive oil, parsley, pine nuts and lemon juice. Sprinkle with another 1/2 t salt, toss well, and serve hot or warm.

Note -- I used less salt, preferring to add more at the table if necessary. I hate oversalted food! I can't show you the picture from the book, but my dish came out looking exactly like the me, that means the recipe was well-written and I was able to follow directions. Will definitely make this one again! While the kids would not touch it, Art and I almost ate a whole head of cauliflower ourselves...