Introducing Creativity To The Alternative Diet: Many of us have segued from traditional dietary lifestyle to alternative dietary lifestyles, i.e. Gluten free, Vegan, Grain free, Real food, etc. What are we discovering?? These recipes are NOT mediocre!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Broccoli Cheese Soup Review

I have one and a half recipes to report on... you know how the lamb meatball soup turned out at our house. I made the herb drop biscuits to go with spaghetti and turkey meatballs and they were so good! I made the recipe just like it says but I also added a couple cloves of fresh garlic as well. The biscuits were a real hit! Four thumbs up!

Now for the broccoli soup and sourdough. We LOVED the soup! I added more veggies than the recipe calls for, this is because I don't use measuring cups and because I always add more veggies anyway. For the soup, I had made the starter ahead of time. The first batch of bread wasn't that good. It didn't SEEM like sourdough. The second batch I left the sponge out even longer and it was a bit more sour but still nothing special. I don't feel as committed to it as Staci, wow that was impressive (five batches in a row). I did make the soup and put it in bowls on the second batch. I divided the dough this time and made four small bowls. Andy & I had our soup in two of the bowls and then served crab dip in one of the other small loaves for a Christmas party. When we had the soup leftovers I blended a little more than half of it to make it more smooth. I liked that best. All-in-all, I liked the bread but next time I want sourdough I will go buy it at a bakery from someone who has the recipe down. We loved the soup and will certainly be making that again! Four thumbs up!

Now I am caught up, YEAH!!! Bring it on Tisha!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Broccoli Cheese Soup

My review of the soup! I actually made this a long time ago but haven't gotten this out until now. I am so glad that we decided to hold off on recipes for the month of December. Anyone else feeling the same way??
The soup: Wonderful!
It was a great soup, I will be happy to make it again. As Alyssa said, I would most definitely half the cayenne because it was overpowering to me. I used sharp cheddar but I love the idea of using gruyere, so next time I will try it. I did not make the bowls because of the particular night I made it, I kind of decided to do it last minute. I do want to try the bread bowls though so next time its Gruyere and bread bowls!!

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas! Stay safe and have fun!

PS: I made some Songe Candy from www.epicurious.com (otherwise known as seafoam) and it was SOOO easy to make and a really great recipe. It is a nice change from normal holiday candy and it does not take too long. If you have never had seafoam you really should try it, it is very unique and absolutely delightful. Just put in "sponge candy" and it comes right up. I dipped mine in melted chocolate and we had friends over who LOVED it. Let me know if anyone trys it I am curious to know what you think.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm so so sorry...

Hi girls....... I am truely sorry i've been gone from the website for a while. I'll do my best to try as many as the receipes as i can and comment on them. I've had some personal things going on that have kept me away. I've recently moved so I now have my own kitchen again which will make cooking even more enjoyable again in my own space. I have only two pans at this point, a "dutch oven" pot and a sauce pan so you can imagen how i'm greatful for the soup round ...hehe. I have been really sick the past few weeks and have missed quite a bit of work so i made some home made chicken noodle soup and decided this time i wanted it to be as healthy as i possibly could so I made a little visit to whole foods and every item I put in there was organic. I have to say...what a difference. it tasted so fresh and flavorful and healthy. If only I could shop there all the time. :) Well girls again I apologize for my absence for a while but glad to be back. Looking fwd to trying the soups. Have a wonderful day!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lamb Puke

I know, not the title you would expect or hope to see on a COOKING BLOG! Well, unfortunately it is the bottom line. Here goes my story.
It was time to make the lamb meatball soup and I was having a dilemma as to whether I should use lamb or maybe ground sirloin because I don't really like lamb. I was encouraged by a couple people to just try it and against my better judgement I did. I really liked the soup base but couldn't get past the strong lamb flavor that influence the entire bowl of soup. Andy agreed with my opinion, Abigail wouldn't touch it after the first bite and AJ ate the entire bowl (no surprise). So that is how it went over. I decided that I would make the soup again when I had some ground sirloin on hand and try that because I really did like the idea of the soup.
(Two days later)
I was pulling out left-overs for lunch. Abigail wasn't really eating because she had been up the whole last night throwing up. So I ate something (?) and AJ ate lamb soup. Right after I put him down for his nap, a couple hours later, he started crying. Andy & I ran in there to find he had thrown up the soup all over himself, the crib and the floor. So that brings me to the bottom line. I do not like the lamb soup and unfortunately will not be making it anytime soon, even with ground sirloin. Sad.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Turkey Corn Soup turned Enchiladas

So I'm not completely sure why but my soup did not really turn out very soupy. I did not do turkey legs but just threw in all the leftover turkey, and even added some extra stock but it still turned out pretty thick and looked so similar to our Tortilla soup we make (which we had just had) that I just wasn't interested in eating it in soup form. :) So I drained out the little liquid there was and made it into enchiladas, it was really really good. I made a white sauce instead of red sauce to go with them and presto dinner was done. I liked the idea of this soup and it did not end up tasting like our Tortilla soup though it looked the same, so I think I may take some of the ideas from this soup if I'm looking to mix up or Tortilla soup standby.

I haven't made the peanut butter bread but it is on the To Do list for the week!

(Slowly trying to catch up!) :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I was fortunate enough to make this yummy soup with Eva at her house. It was very good! We followed the recipe exactly. Well . . . we didn't do the bread bowls. It was just too much for us to do it all. AND she hadn't made the Herb Drop Biscuits yet, so she made those to go with it instead. My only comment (other than YUM) would be that next time I will use about half the cayenne pepper that we used. The soup was so good, but in my opinion the cayenne overpowered the tastes of the vegetables and the cheese. I'll make this again. Thank you!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

sourdough review

Well ladies, since I posted this I have made a loaf of sourdough everyday. The first loaf i did exactly as the recipe said, only by hand not mixer. It was okay but not quite what I expected (very little if any "sour" taste but very crusty outside and soft and chewy inside). The second loaf I followed the same directions but, this time instead of using the reccomended amount of flour I went by feel. I think I used a little less flour and kept the dough a tiny bit stickier than the first loaf. For those not familiar with bread making a dough should be smooth and elastic when the right amount of flour is added. If it gets rough or dry feeling dampen your hands and then knead the moisture off your hands into the dough to replenish the moisture. I thought this loaf too was good and more moist but still lacking a bit in the sour flavor.
So, for loaf 3 I made a "sponge" from my starter. Which basically means I took the starter out of the fridge the night before I intended to bake the bread and let it sit on the counter overnight to ferment a bit more. This loaf was much better. It had a slightly more sour taste and the bread was a little lighter and delicious. For the 4th loaf I again made a sponge, I also added about 3 teaspoons of sugar and a little more salt to the dough. This was my favorite yet. It had a better flavor and was so good it disappeared before I made dinner (000ppps!).
So, I gues my reccomendation would be to make the sponge overnight, add a bit of sugar and go by feel of the dough rather than specific amount of flour to use. I love how easy this bread is to make and the fact that ow that I have my starter I can make fresh bread any day as long as I have salt and flour in the house! I will continue to try new things and hope the starter gets a more complex flavor as it ages! I have done lots of reading on sourdough bread this week and would be happy to offer any suggestions or answer any questions you may have! I can't wait to see what everyone else thinks! Oh, well, I am off to start loaf 5! I am forseeing bread, starter?, and a soup in the jar mix as a great Christmas gift for my neighbors or friends!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Broccoli (veggie) Cheese Soup in Sourdough Bread bowls

So ladies, here is a classic yet very tasty soup I love! I used to just use broccoli but started adding the other veggies and love how great it tasted! As for the sourdough, well, I have always wanted to make it so here is our chance. I realize it may take a bit longer than other recipes but, Heck, I am the only recipe you have to do for an enitre month so I think we can manage! Here it goes......

Soup....
2 Tb oil
1/2 c. each onion, bell pepper ( i like red in this) finely chopped
1/3 c. each carrot and celery, finely chopped
1 medium russet potato peeled, and diced into small cubes
2 Tb flour
1 1/2 cup good stock (veggie , chicken, turkey, NOT AS IN GOOD MEN!?!)
1/2 c dry white wine (more to sip as you cook always helps this recipe out)
a few good shakes of Wocestershire sauce- not quite a teaspoon but close I would guess
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or 1/4 tsp cayenne and 1/4 tsp white pepper)
1 1/2 cups. small broccoli florets ( I usually peel the stalk and dice it small to throw in as well)
1/2 lb extra sharp Cheddar cheese ( I have also used Gruyere or a combo of both and it is fabulous!!!)

Heat oil in stock pot until hot but not smoking (I find that heating slowly on Med. is better and less likely to make the oil burn or the veggies burn when added) and add first 5 veggies. Saute until soft and tender stirring often so as not to brown them. Sprinkle flour on top and DO NOT STIR for 1 minute to allow the gluten in the flour to relax. Then, after a minute stir flour into veggies and cook additional 2 minutes. Add in the stock and wine 1/2 cup at a time and stir in between to prevent the flour from becoming lumpy. Once all the liquids are in at the broc, worcestershire, and pepper, simmer 10-15 minutes or until broccoli is tender or cooked to your liking. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the cheese a little at a time. Salt and Pepper to taste and serve in bread bowls or with good quality croutons on top.

Sourdough Bread recipe from Emeril
Starter -
3 cups water (110 degrees)
1 1/2 Tb active dry yeast ( a packet is 2 1/4 tsp. )
1 tsp sugar
3 C. all purpose flour

In a large bowl combine water, yeast and sugar gently stir and let sit until very foamy (about 5 minutes) if not foamy then the yeast is bad and you must start over with new yeast.Add the flour and stir vigorously to work air into the mixture. Cover with a towel let rest in a warm, draft-free place (an oven with its pilot light or light bulb turned on works well) for 8 to12 hours. (The mixture should become very bubbly.) Use immediately or cover loosely with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Preserving the Starter: Each time you remove a portion of the starter for a recipe, reserve at least 1/4 cup and replace the amount you have taken out with equal amounts of flour and water.
For example, if you remove 1 cup of starter, you must replace it with 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water. Whisk these ingredients into the starter until blended but not completely smooth, cover loosely, and return to the refrigerator.
Also, the starter must be maintained by feeding it every few days. Refresh by removing 1 cup of the starter (give to a friend or discard it) and adding 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water. Whisk until blended but not smooth. Cover loosely and return to the refrigerator.
If you plan to be away longer than a week, freeze the starter in a sterilized, airtight freezer container. Thaw the starter 2 daysIngredientsbefore you plan to bake with it. Refresh as indicated above with 1 cup each of flour and warm water. Cover and leave at room temperature 12 hours or overnight before using.
CAUTION: Never keep your starter tightly closed! The gasses expelled by the yeast will build up pressure and may cause the container (such as a glass jar) to burst!
Yield: 5 to 6 cups Prep time: 10 minutes Inactive prep time: 12 hours

BREAD-
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter, recipe follows
3/4 teaspoon salt
Directions
In an electric mixer with the dough hook, combine the flour, starter and salt, and knead until it no longer sticks to the sides or bottom of the mixing bowl.
Place a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle lightly with flour and knead gently, removing any large air bubbles. Knead into a small circle, then shape into a tight ball, pinching the seams together underneath. Place on a well-floured board or baking peel, seam-side down. Cover with a kitchen towels and let rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat a baking stone, if available, on the bottom rack of an oven at 400 degrees F. With a sharp, serrated knife, cut a large "X" or cross-hatch pattern into the top of the dough.
Spray lightly with a mister and transfer to the baking stone (or place on a heavy baking sheet lightly dusted with cornmeal) and bake until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom, about 60 minutes. (Sourdough should have a darker crust than other breads, so leave in the oven 5 minutes after you think it is done.)
Remove the loaf from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Soooooo far behind! Here's my wrap up!

I am so sorry for not keeping up! It has been a crazy month in the Cahill household but all is calming down we hope. Kat was in the hospital most of last week, I got a job, and all is looking up! I will post my recipes tomorrow! I know what I want to do and even where the recipes are but am too tired to do it now. Instead I will do my catch up!

Turkey Soup and PB Bread...
I must admit that I made this soup and thought it made my house smell like heaven! I was so eager to taste it and followed the recipe exactly (even adding beans that weren't listed) and couldn't wait to try it. Then, as it cooked Kat got sickand we went tot he Doc's. By the time we left and got done at the pharmacy i was starving to the point of feeling sick. When we got home the smell was amazing but my stomach was turning ( later that night I was sick as well) so i opted to save the soup for the next day. Well, after being sick and then smelling the soup again I ust couldn't bring myself to taste it and did the next best thing.... pass it on to my sister and her family. THEY LOVED THE SOUP!!!!!!! Apparently even the 4 1/2 yr old and 21 month old thought it was fabulous because it all disappeared! I can't wait to make it again when I am feeling great and taste it! I wasn't a fan of the PB bread. I thought it was ok but just had a hard time with my bread tasting of PB. Katrina loved it and I thought it was moist and a very good bread just not my style I guess. I think I will make this again when the whole family is in town cuz I know the kiddos will love it!

Meatball Soup and Herb Drop Biscuits
I love this soup! I have to admit I cheated on it and instead of using lamb I did a mixture of sausage and ground beef. I have a hang up with lamb and think I may have let the recipe down. I will have to try it again with the lamb soon! I am not much of a lamb fan and had never had the soup so didn't want to spend the money on it just for Kat and I to eat it when I wasn't sure. BOY WAS I WRONG!!! This is definitley a company soup and I will make it again with the lamb next time I have company!

I think that brings me up to date! Sorry for the delay and I will post new recipes tomorrow!!!!

YP and Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread finally! I found time to make this right before Thanksgiving and I liked it. I didn't love it as much as you all did though. I think that the reason for this is because I over cooked it. I didn't mean to and I think that if it had been more moist then it would be way better. So I think there is a possibility that I would make this again. I put some of it in the freezer so we'll have some later this winter. I did enjoy it with coffee in the morning.

The Yourvarlakia Avgolemono was so delicious! I have had it before but this is the first time I made it myself and oh! it is so good. I would say one of my favorite soups EVER. It is so easy too, and really the only thing to complain about is making those pesky meatballs. For meatballs it's not like they are hard to make it's just time consuming. but oh so worth it. Mark loved it, too. It is a very satisfying meal.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Take-Over (Severns)

Of course we had a lot of turkey left over and this year I had hoped for this because I have been waiting to make Nikki's soup! So this afternoon while kiddos were sleeping Andy & I cleaned out the fridge to evaluate how much we were dealing with. I started to put the soup together in a stock pot instead of the crock-pot, while Andy diced up the turkey. I pretty much did everything according to the recipe except I didn't add the chiles. I am glad I didn't because it was just the right spicy-ness. In the recipe the list of ingredients doesn't say anything about beans but in the written instructions it mentions beans. I am assuming the recipe calls for black beans or something similar. However I did not have beans so I didn't add them, next time I will. This soup was so good! All of us liked it a lot. I will definitely make this soup again. I think next time when it isn't Thanksgiving, I'll make it with chicken. Yumm Yumm! Four thumbs up!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

So chefs what's on the menu for this Thanksgiving and who is doing the cooking??

We head to my parents house for Thanksgiving where we first have all the yummy appetizers. Nothing fancy we like the good old basics, spinich dip, layered bean dip, veggies and chips with dip. (hmm lots of dip) cheese and crackers. You get the idea. Then when a sufficient amount of time has gone by and there is a little room again in our stomachs we do dinner.

Turkey
Stuffing inside the Turkey
Stuffing outside of the Turkey
Cornbread stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Cornbread casserole
Green bean casserole
Green beans with almonds
some other veggie
Broccoli salad
Pea salad
Cranberry salad type thing
Relish tray
Rolls
and of course Babas famous sauerkraut

I think that is our usual full meal deal...yum can't wait!!!

oh yeah and officially I don't cook anything for this meal, but sometimes get wrangled to help with something, my Mom and my husband Jonathan do most of the work with the exception of a few things which are brought by other families coming. I'm officially the clean up crew. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Turkey -er Chicken Corn Soup

I love love LOVED the soup! Or let me say, we love love loved the soup. Lets see what did I do differently? I could not find turkey thighs so I used chicken thighs-no problem that was still good although I am anxious to make this again with the turkey. I used frozen corn, black beans, and I added some avocado on top with the sour cream and cheese. It was so good, I froze the leftovers and I can't wait to get it them out again but I am making myself wait!

The peanut butter bread looked so beautiful when it came out of the oven, nice and golden. It was also very moist. If I make it again I would probably not use Adam's peanut butter I might use something like skippy. Thank You Nikki!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yourvarlakia Avgolemono and Herb Drop Biscuits

Hey ladies, here is a soup and a bread. I have made them both several times.
I do not recommend them together, but they are both so yummy (and the biscuits are so easy) that I really wanted to share each of them. Good luck! Let me know what you think.
N.B. These are not MY recipes. I didn't invent them, can't take the credit. One is from a cookbook by Tess Mallos and the other from Martha Stewart.

Meatball Soup (Yourvarlakia Avgolemono), from Cyprus
1 lb finely ground lamb
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup medium-grain rice
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp finely chopped fresh mint, optional
salt
freshly ground black pepper
all-purpose flour for coating
5 cups lamb or chicken stock
1 Tbsp butter
2 eggs
juice of 1 lemon
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
crusty bread for serving
In a bowl, mix lamb with onion, egg, rice, parsley, mint (if using), and salt and pepper to taste. Shape into meatballs the size of a small walnut and coat lightly with flour.
Bring stock to a boil in a soup pot, season with salt and pepper if necessary and drop in meatballs. Add butter. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
In a bowl, beat eggs until light and foamy. Gradually beat in lemon juice. Slowly add about 2 cups simmering stock, beating constantly.
Pour egg mixture into soup and stir constantly over low heat for 2 minutes to cook egg, then remove from heat and stir for 1 minute longer so the heat of the pot will not cause the egg to curdle.
Ladle soup into deep soup bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with bread.

Herb Drop Biscuits

Makes 8; Prep time 5 minutes; Total time 25 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter

-->1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, fresh chives, baking powder, and salt. Using a fork or your fingers, work in butter (cut into small pieces) until small pea-size clumps form. Mix in milk until the mixture comes together as a sticky dough. -->2. Using a 1/3-cup measure, drop 8 mounds of dough onto a nonstick baking sheet; pat down slightly.
-->3. Bake until biscuits are golden brown, rotating baking sheet halfway through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Peanut Butter Bread (Severns)

Well, I'll start with my first confession... I have not made the soup. With Thanksgiving coming up I know we will have lots and lots of leftover turkey so I am saving this recipe for then. And we all know that by the weekend after Thanksgiving everyone will be hoping for some lighter meals - this is when I'll make the yummy soup!
Andy & I made the peanut butter bread last night; I was finishing up dinner prep he came in and we sort of tag-teamed getting the batter into the oven so it would be ready when we were done with dinner. My final confession is that I didn't care too much for the bread... now that said I'll add that while I am a peanut butter fan, I don't care for peanut butter cookies or anything like that. The kids really liked the bread and Andy did also, he wished it had more peanut butter. I thought the bread might be better this morning after sitting over night but I didn't notice much difference. I confirmed my suspicion that the bread was a lot better with a couple chocolate chips thrown in with each bit and chased with coffee! I think next time we make it I'll add more peanut butter for my man!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday Night Dinner

Last night I made the Turkey Corn Soup and Carrie's Parent Tot Bread. It was so nice to have dinner ready by 11am! I really like the whole crock pot idea - especially as a weeknight option. I used turkey breasts instead of thighs and browned them and the onions before putting them in the pot. I also added black beans and diced tomatoes. The soup turned out to be colorful and delicious. The tomatillo salsa definitely added a kick. It was a little on the spicy side for me, but with the sour cream to tone it down, it was perfect. And I loved the Parent Tot Bread! Pulling those golden brown rolls out of the oven was so exciting, and they tasted great. They definitely made my bread-making skills look a lot better than they are. I look forward to trying the Peanut Butter Bread soon. Thanks for the great recipes Nikki and Carrie!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Daley Soup and Cotton Bread (Severns)

Well, I just realized that I made this soup and the bread when I was suppose to but I never told you about it! I made the soup and we really liked it. I froze a small bit of the leftovers for us to have for dinner some night I didn't feel like cooking. We actually had those last night and it was even better leftover!
As you can see Abigail and I made the bread together. This was her first bread making adventure. I was a bit surprised when she wasn't too excited about kneading the dough. I shouldn't have been, I realized immediately "Oh ya, this girl has never liked to get her hands dirty"! But we had fun anyway. The bread was delicious! I won't tell you fast it ALL disappeared. :) Four thumbs up on both recipes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

First Foods Experience

The girls really wanted to try out chopsticks since their Daddy always uses them whenever we do stirfry. So here are some pics of their first attempts. :)



Monday, November 3, 2008

Turkey-Corn Soup & Peanut Butter Bread

Ok so here is my pick! I'm sure you are like what took so long to post but over the weekend Carson and Nathan spilt coffee on the keyboard at it died! So when I went to post last night I could not do it. So now we have a new keyboard and I'm ready to go! I picked the peanut butter bread to go with another soup I was going to do but then I bought a new slower cooker magazine and found this soup so that is why its such a crazy combo! So i figure PB bread will be dessert!

Turkey-Corn Soup

2 turkey thighs (1 lb each),
skin removed

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can corn, drained

1 1/2 cups medium-hot tomatillo salsa

1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles

2 tsp minced garlic

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Serve with sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese


1. Put turkey thighs and onion in a 3 1/2-qt or larger slow cooker. Add beans and corn. Mix salsa, chiles, garlic cumin and salt in a medium bowl; poor all over

2. Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender. Remove turkey to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.

3. Return meat to cooker; stir in cilantro and serve!


Peanut Butter Bread

2 cups flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

2/3 peanut butter

1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 grease loaf pan.

Combine dry ingredients. Add milk to peanut butter; combine well. Add peanut butter to flour; mix well. Pour into pan and bake 45-50 minutes.

I'm really looking forward to making these since they are new for me too! Got to love new cookbooks! Hope you all enjoy! I also thought that the soup will be perfect for all those leftovers we will all soon have.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Daley Mix Review . . . It's A Keeper!

Eva and I made the soup . . . I liked it a lot. No suggestions for change. The bread was great, and fun and easy to make! I made half of it into a braid and we made giant rolls out of the other half, as you can see in the photo. Thank you, Carrie!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Feeding the masses!

I loved both of these recipes!!! I made them yesterday and both Katrina and I loved it. Next time I will most definitely cut the recipe in half because as Carrie mentions it makes a ton! I enjoyed it with Katrina, gave my sister a few servings and a freind a bowl full ro feed her family of 4 and still have a small bowl left for lunch!
I think for the most part I stuck to the recipe. I did ass fresh carrots in with onions and celery rather than in the frozen veggies, and I did use regular tomatoe juice and kicked it up with tabasco and some other spices I like. Other than that I followed the rules and was quite pleased!
I also enjoyed the bread, I made 3 rounds with it that I allowed to rise for an hour and they were huge but still light and fluffy. I was surprised at how different this bread recipe was to most that I make but I loved it and will be doing this all again! YUMMY! Thanks, Carrie!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Daley Bread

Thank you Carrie for this recipe. I now have my staple vegetable beef soup. I really loved the soup and can't wait to make it on long cold winter nights. The spicy V8 was the perfect addition, and I love barley. What really got me about this soup was that there was so much good stuff in it and the broth was not boring. I really like soup but vegetable beef has never been a favorite for me because of this. Problem solved! I am going to keep the V8 in mind for other soups in the future. I got to make this with Alyssa and that was really fun. We kept to the recipe very closely, I can't really think of anything different that we did. My son Anders really loved it and by the way, Rachel, he loved the birth soup, too.

It was fun to make bread again. I haven't made bread in a long time. It was easy and nice to have with the soup.

Just want to say, I am having so much fun with Chic Chefs. I think this is really special and I hope to go many more rounds!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Soup & Bread

Well, I didn't make the soup along with you girls. I didn't plan very well and I had made it a few days before I posted the recipe. Oh well... I did make the pumpkin bread though. I made it while my dad and his wife were here. I bought the 'Easy Pumpkin Pie' mix instead of just pumpkin because they were out and I am impatient. It was not the same! I was sorely disappointed. Dad and Teresa loved it, but they don't know the difference. I have just gotten a couple cans of the right pumpkin and now will make the 'dangerous' bread soon! :) Now we all know for sure why it's so hard to lose weight when the weather is cold!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

give it away give it away give it away now......

I made the Pumpkin Bread and Birth Soup yesterday and took your advice! I made my Pumpkin bread in my stone mini muffin pan which makes 4 loaves. So, before I had even cut into the first loaf I gave 2 others away and promised the 3rd to my sister. The house smelt (is that a word, besides a fish?) like heaven! Once I had safely removed the extra loaves from the house I sliced my first piece in anticipation of an out of this world experience. I was not disappointed!!! Oh my goodness! I am so glad I gave those other two away before tasting it or I am certain I would have kept them all to myself and eaten every crumb! What a winner of a recipe!

As for the soup, I also took advice and read posts saying that the soup was good but needed a bit of a kick. So, for that I made a half recipe, but used the full amount of garlic and used chicken stock to cover and cook potatoes rather than water. I think the only other change I made was adding a turnip in with the potatoes and using a frozen veggie mix that also had green beans in it. I LOVED THIS SOUP!!! I thought the flavor was awesome and such a comfort food instantly. I can see why some may have wanted to spice it up a bit but I had no need for that. The only thing I can think of is that using the stock added more salt which brougtht out more flavor or I used fresh basil and can see that if you used dry you may not have the same outcome. This is not a spicy soup but I did think mine had lots of flavor and enjoyed having a soup that had a depth of flavors. I could actually taste the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, etc. and enjoyed it! I will certainly make this again! Thanks Rachel!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Daley Mix and Parent-Tot Bread (Our new recipe)

Ok so this is a recipe my Mom (Mary Daley) makes and I love this soup, funnily this was the soup I imagined eating after having a home birth :) Well though that did not happen this soup is always yummy and comforting to me. That said it is one of those recipes my Mom threw together and its often different each time so I tried to nail a recipe down as best as I could. Also I'm giving approximate measurements for the lentil/split pea/barley mixture as we buy it in bulk pre-mixed at Fred Meyer (for the few of you who live here go buy it at Fred Meyer its like $2 bucks in their bulk section for the amount you need). For everyone else you may try your grocery store and check the bulk section for the mixture or just buy each individually and mix. Alissa I'm hoping you can either get some of the things are similar things are maybe you will decide to wait until your visiting Rachel. Happy Soup Making!!

Daley Mix

Approx 1 lb of beef stew, round steak, or really your choice of any type of beef I usually do what's on sale
Cut the meat into small pieces (bite sized is what I prefer)

1 onion diced
3-4 celery stalks diced
Brown cubed meat, onion, celery in hot olive oil with garlic.
Once browned Add

1 large zesty V-8 juice (46oz or more container),
16oz diced tomatoes w/ chilies,
4 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt
any other spices that sound good to you :)
1 1/2 cups approx of the lentil/split pea/barley mix if you can find it or

1/3 cup green split peas
1/3 cup yellow split peas
1/3 cup brown lentils
1/3 cup orange lentils
1/3 cup barley

I realize this is not quite 1 1/2 cups but that's fine
Cook till lentil/veggie mix is done about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.

At this point if your broth is disappearing you can add either more beef broth or combo of beef broth and more V-8.
Add large pkg mixed frozen veggies or mix own combo of peas, carrots, green beans,
Cook till veggies are done.

This makes a huge pot of soup (everything puffs up) so hope you have a hungry family, friends and like it enough for leftovers. Also you could omit the meat change from beef to veggie broth and make it vegetarian if desires

Serve and Enjoy!


Parent-Tot Bread
This is the bread the girls and I "make" every week at our Parent-Tot class

3 Cups of Warm Water
2 Packets of Yeast
¼ Cup Honey
3 Cups Flour (1/2 white ½ wheat)

Mix together and let it rise for 45 minutes

Add 1 Tablespoon of Salt
¼ Cup of oil
3 Cups Flour (1/2 white ½ wheat)
Mix together and knead while singing. Must do this part or it will not turn out right :)
We then form it into small rounds approx. 12 -14 of them
Those of you with kiddos could give them each a clump and let them make shapes, it seems anything the kids do to this bread still turns out great.
Bake at 350 degrees for ½ hour.

The bakers are baking the bread In the morning they’re baking the bread They're kneading They’re rolling…
Ok, I promise this is actually I really easy recipe and a great one for any first time bread makers. Good luck! Happy kneading and singing :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My first pumpkin bread (and my mommys too)


So I will tell you that when I read the pick of the week I was kinda put out by the pumpkin bread. I have never really tried pumpkin bread because I don't like pumpkin pie. I was VERY wrong. I love the pumpkin bread so much that my husband, sister, Carson and I ate one loaf that night. The bread was done before the soup was and I think we all were so full from grab bread each time we walked by it! Even being much too full of bread we all still had the soup which was very good. I did take some for lunch the next day and it was better just like Eva said. I will be making both of these again. Oh by the way Rachel I had to take some bread to work because if I didn't I was going to make myself sick and everyone loved it too!

My Review--just in the nick of time!

I always take pictures of my meals but they NEVER turn out nice. Who taught you all how to be professional food photographers? Well seriously I can just hear each of you saying-- "Oh who cares just post it anyway!" But no, this is too humiliating. I am making your yummy recipes look absolutely sickening. So, that said, my post on the Birth Soup:

The Soup was good the first time and great the next day. As with most soups the longer it sat the better it was. We had a discussion over the soup while eating it because not only was I sharing the meal with my husband and baby, but also fellow chic chef-er Alyssa!! Yay! Anyway... we decided it would taste really yummy with herring or smoked salmon. Almost like a chowder or something. It was a great base soup and you could throw many different spins on it if you wanted to. I used half and half instead of heavy cream and I used more garlic and more onion and I used dried basil. I think fresh basil would have been better of course but the dried was fine. I think it will be great for winter, when your sick, after birth, etc. Haven't made the pumpkin bread yet but don't worry I will because apparently it is
A-MAZ-ING!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

B Soup and P bread



I made this soup Sunday afternoon and I suppose unfairly it had to go up against Jonathan's 3 hour intense work so flavorful beef stew we had just had on Saturday night. So my families review is that it was initially not very flavorful. I agree with Tisha's post though that I see where this is a perfect post birth soup. We did think after a good kick of Tony Chachere's seasoning it tasted a lot "fuller". I loved all the veggies in it and for the carrots I got to use fresh ones from my Moms garden. I think next time I will add some other seasoning as I'm cooking and maybe even use some vegetable broth in place of some of the water. But overall I did like the simplicity of the soup work wise.

I made the pumpkin bread at my Mom's and she didn't have a large loaf pan so I did mini loafs and large muffins they turned out very cute but a little cake like. I'm going to try again today with normal loaf size pans and see if there is a difference. It's been all ate up though in every form :) I think though I would like trying it with some applesauce to substitute some of the sugar.

I love the fall and this is good easy "cozy" fall food overall. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cozy Meal

I thought this was a nice cozy meal. I am so glad we are doing soups and stews for the fall! The weather has turned here, and it is cold and rainy - good soup weather.
I tried the birth soup last night. Jeremy ate it without the cream as he wanted a clear broth, but I added the cream to mine and enjoyed it. It was full of good veggies, and I liked how simple it was; however, I would have liked it to have a little more flavor or kick. I understand as a nursing mother that spicy is not good, but of course I am not having to worry about that at the moment!
The pumpkin bread is absolutely delicious. I love how moist it is. It was so nice to use pumpkin for the first time this fall as I love the flavor of it. I agree - that second loaf has got to get out of my house - fast!
Thanks for starting us off right, Rachel!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pump, pump, pump it up! (Pumpkin bread and soup review)


I went to the store to get the ingredients for the soup and the bread. Not possible to get canned pumpkin in Malta. So, I decided to use fresh and bake it and put it in the blender. The only kind of "pumpkin" I could get was a green skinned type. Not sure what you call it. I had no idea how to estimate how much fresh squash/pumpkin thing I needed in order to make 16 ounces of puree. Furthermore, is that 16 ounces in weight or fluid ounces? How much is that in milliliters? Yikes. I nearly aborted the whole thing, especially since anything I read on the internet said you CANNOT substitute other kinds of squash for pumpkin. But I was determined . . .
So I just went for it. I already had bought all the other ingredients, and I knew it would be SO good on the off-chance that it did work. It was SO good. In fact so, so, so good that when I saw how much it made I immediately took half of it to my neighbor so that my husband and I wouldn't eat all of it! I made it last night at around 8:30 and the half we kept is almost finished by 3:30 today. We just can't resist it!
As far as the soup . . . easy to make and easy to get all ingredients. I like it. I think it is a nice and good. Nothing too exciting, but its raining today and I don't want an exciting taste sensation, I want something comforting and yummy. Success. I used only 25oml of cream. A pint is about 475ml. So I used significantly less, but I think I had less water in the soup than one would normally have. Trust me, it would've been too much if I put in a whole pint.
Adam hated the soup. But lets be fair . . . he hates ALL soup, AND I forced it down his throat since I made it for the blog. So, he hates it on principle and it has NOTHING to do with the recipe. Twit.
Thanks, Rachel, I am going to go have another bowl of it now. A nice recipe with a nice story.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Birth Soup & Pumpkin Bread (this weeks recipes)

Okay! Yeah for round two! I am very excited for this round of soups/stews and bread! Now, both of these recipes are favorites at our house. The soup has a funny name I know, I'll explain. The midwife who cared for me and each of my babies name is Sherry. During labor she makes this soup for the mother to eat after the birth. It's a wonderful potato and vegetable soup and besides it's yumminess and nutritional value every time I smell it and taste it I experience an absolutely wonderful nostalgia! *I often add more carrots and celery than this recipe calls for because we like them a lot.
The pumpkin bread is a recipe I squeezed out of the owner of a little cafe in Junction City, Oregon when Andy and I lived there. A word to the wise - only make one batch because you'll eat every crumb so it's better that you only have a small amount! :)

Birth Soup
4-5 potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 tablespoon basil
1 pint cream (heavy or lite), near room temp
salt & pepper

Put cubed potatoes in large pan and fill with water just enough to cover. Heat to boiling and then turn off heat. DO NOT drain.
In large frying pan, on medium heat, melt butter with garlic and onion. Toss garlic and onion a few times in heated butter and then add carrot, celery, peas and corn. Add basil. Salt and pepper to your liking. Saute vegetables, stirring often, until soft but still crisp. Remove from heat.
Add vegetables to potatoes and water. Simmer for at least an hour. Stir occasionally. Approximately 10 minutes before serving, turn off heat and add cream. Stir well.

Pumpkin Bread
Mix together:
3/4 cup soft butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
Add:
4 eggs, one at a time mixing well in between
Mix in:
16 ounces pumpkin
2/3 cup water
In separate bowl, mix:
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and fold in.
Grease and flour 2 large loaf pans or 3 small ones. Pour in batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes or until done.
With leftovers, wrap in plastic wrap and leave on counter. Will taste even better the next day!

ENJOY!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kebabs, Rice, Tomatoes

Staci and I (Carrie) did this recipe together with the kids and my parents. It's so fun to have someone to cook with sometimes and of course to share in the cleanup!

So we have to admit we were a little disappointed with the rice. Some of you who reviewed this talked up the rice so much that I at least was expecting angels to sing when I took a bite. Our rice turned out like this, Brown and crunchy on bottom, I'm assuming that was supposed to stay in the pan but my Dad scraped it up and mixed it with the rest, the rest was not really done tasting and there was really only a hint of flavor. It seemed to us we could have got a more flavorful rice by just cooking it the normal way and throwing in some butter. We do however know it could be a problem with our cooking and thought we should give it a try in the future in an even smaller pan. Cause our overdone underdone finished product does not sound at all like the rest of the reviews.

The chicken though was great, lots of flavor and I'm not a huge onion fan but I liked them! Staci didn't give in to my whining of too many onions and she was right. :) We thought it absorbed a lot of flavor even though we forgot to marinade it in the morning so it only had about 2 hours in the marinade, and I didn't read the recipe through so it marinaded with the butter and paprika :) It was good though and I'd definitely make it again. My Mom thought it all would be good with a sauce and Staci suggested maybe a lemon pan sauce.

The tomatoes were delicious and freshly picked from the garden which makes them all the better. Katrina (Staci's little girl) wanted to eat them all herself.

We will both definitely do this recipe again and even give the rice a second try. :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tomate Bisque Soup

Hey Gals! Does anyone have a good recipe for Tomato Bisque? I would really like it if someone could direct me to a yummy one! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cake Decorating


I have only decorated a couple cakes in my life time. It is not really something that interests me other than for the kids birthdays. Andrew J turned 1 this weekend and we had a little shin-dig for him. I made sort of a safari type cake and thought I'd share it with you. I was pleased with how it turned out!

December

Okay, it seems the majority wants to skip December. I am kind of with Staci, we are all going to be cooking in December anyway but I am not traveling and I know that adds stress. Alyssa brought up not wanting the blog to go inactive, I really agree with that. How can we make sure that we don't lose steam with an entire month off? Carrie mentioned posting treat recipes (Chic Chefs to Beautiful Bakers! HA!), what does everyone think of that? I like that idea.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Meatloaf! Thumbs up from the kiddos!


So we as a family really like meatloaf. It's always on the menu through the fall and winter, like Eva said it's the ultimate comfort food. We typically do cheesy mashed potatoes with meatloaf and green beans but the girls have been partial to peas lately so that's what we did. This was the first Chic Chef meal that they ate every single thing! So their rating would be a full on 4 stars. I had never done oatmeal before as we usually do bread or bread crumbs. I liked the oatmeal but even though I did 2 fisfuls to the 1 suggested it still could have used a little more as I like it a little firmer. Also I really really really missed the glaze that we usually do and I must say Nikki next time you make your Moms you should do a ketchup based glaze and you'll know what I'm talking about :) That said I think what I've taken away from this recipe that we will add is the oatmeal aspect. Good job Nik!

I'm really close to being all caught up!

So I got off work on Thursday night and went to QFC so i could make up before we start up again. So Thursday night we had meatloaf. It was also my first time making it myself. I think it turned out very well. Nathan said that it was better then my mom's! I did add a little too much oatmeal but it still was good. Friday during Carson's nap i got the chicken ready for the Jooieh Kabab. It was all really easy to get together except for the fact the i forgot the lemon juice and had to squeeze out 2 lemons to get enough juice. Now a swear to you i read the recipe for the rice a few times and for some reason i never processed the 35 minutes it needed to cook again. So we eat in shifts but it was still VERY good. I will for sure make it again as well. Carson just loved eating the "balls" (tomatoes). On Saturday Carson and I had leftovers for lunch and the plan was to make the Greek burgers for dinner but Nathans computer died and what was promised to be a 20 minute trip to the computer store ended up being an hour and 20 minute trip our Greek burgers changed to Red Robin burgers. So i will try again with the Greek burgers someday soon!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Meatloaf . . . who knew?

I have NEVER made meatloaf before . . . can you believe it? Thank you, Nikki, you'll go down in history as the person who got me to try it for the first time. I made it early in the evening and my husband had finished the whole thing by the time the night was over. Don't worry, I got a slice of it, too.
I was impressed with how fast I was able to put it together. I think I had it all together and in the oven in five minutes. That makes it a winner right there!
I can't get garlic salt here, so I used garlic and salt. Mine turned out crumbley but I liked it that way. I think I've always steered away from meatloaf because it seemed like a thick, dense loaf of mystery meat. But having put it together myself so that I knew what was in it, and given the texture of it, I enjoyed it.
Who knew I could make meatloaf (and enjoy it, AND get my husband to not only eat it but enjoy it as well)?!
It disappeared before I even remembered to take a picture of it. Oh well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Now we're cooking!

Now that I am back in my own place and using my own kitchen stuff again I am cooking up a storm! I have made fresh bread daily for the past 5 days and am certain it will be the undoing of my weight loss! I was so excited to make my first dinner in our place that I took pictures to sahre with you ladies! I made homemade pasta with a zucchini, tomato and mint sauce! It was delicious!


Trying to find a place to dry pasta in a tiny kitchen was a bit challenging, but a little improv and we were in business! and yes, you are suppossed to ignore the dirty dish in the sink!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Dates

I have followed Staci's suggestion of switching up the order of our roster (except my position, I have already picked a recipe and would be broken-hearted if I had to wait! :) ). I also took the liberty of skirting the holidays, I assume that is what everyone would prefer...? Let me know if anything needs to change!

Catch up--not to be confused with ketchup

I have realized that I never made a review for Tish's shrimp, I already knew I was late for Nikki's meatloaf, and I have one for Alyssa's kabab. Soooo...

When I made the shrimp the first time I didn't bbq it. I also was at home alone with Anders and he was not having a good night. I really didn't like it at all and I was so disappointed because it sounded so good. A week or so later I went to Rachel's and we made it one night for dinner. It was SO good. I don't know if I did something wrong the first time or if the bbq made that big of a difference. (I think that also my stress level played a part in it. I actually relaxed the second time) I really do think that bbq makes a huge difference, though. I loved the mix of flavors and next time I might make it spicier.

The meatloaf was a good base recipe, I thought. To be honest I needed a little more pizazz! I added some Colby jack cheese and that was ok but next time I make it I think I am going to dress it up a bit with Gruyere, breadcrumbs and scallions or something like that. I really love meatloaf though so this was a great idea Nikki. Especially starting out the cooler season. It gets me in the mood for comfort food.

Jooieh Kabab- Very satisfying meal. Mark and I both really enjoyed it. What I liked most about it was that it had simple flavors. We tend to try to make things bigger and better all the time trying to create something fresh and new. This was classic food and there is a reason that classics are classic. Even though it was simple I did feel like it had an Iranian feel to it. (not that I really know that much about Iran and their food, but it did.) I really can't wait to make this again. Oh, by the way, I LOVE butter and this meal had A LOT of butter in it so that must be why I loved it so much. The rice was delicious! I wish that I could make rice like this every time but I better not!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh My Yummmminess!

We had Alyssa's Jooieh Kabobs last night and they were ggooooddd! I love the oniony, buttery, lemony mixture. I chopped the onions up real fine with my chopper so some of them stuck to the chicken even after I put them on the skewers. Once they were grilled they added a nice little crunch every once in a while.
I was expecting the rice to be flavored more buttery but in the end, I am glad it wasn't. What a great new twist on chicken and rice! Seriously, it is already on my menu for next week! Andy and the kids really liked it also. Abigail had seconds of chicken and thirds of rice, AJ had seconds of both! Also, it was really good all mixed up today for lunch! This is a certain repeat! Thanks for sharing, Alyssa!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Here We Go Again!

Okay, I think the consensus is for round two to have the theme 'Soup/Stew & Bread'! Yeah! I love that idea! So sorry to see Stacy go... I think we all understand. Let's get started the beginning of October... watch for the new schedule!

Meatloaf!!!

Okay, Nikki, I did the meatloaf just like you said. I had a hard time doing this because my mom's meatloaf is the recipe I use and we love it. But I decided to give it my undivided attention. The only thing I did was I added a 'Rachel' size handful of oatmeal - not a 'Carol' size handful! I still think it was a little soft. We missed the glaze that my mom's recipe has. All-in-all, it was gooo-ooodd! I served it with the traditional mashed potatoes and green beans! Everyone really enjoyed it!

...YEAH, I AM CAUGHT UP!!!

Greek Food

Well, I am a Greek food fan. I like gyros with the lamb and sauce and everything. Unfortunately I did not like these lamb burgers. I am sorry... I don't think anyone has ever said they didn't like one of our recipes. I loved the Greek salad though!!!
Eva and I made this recipe, back when it was Greek week. I haven't posted because we took a picture and I have not gotten a chance to post the pic. So here I am weeks later and I still haven't posted my review. I figured I'd go ahead and post my review without the pic because I don't know if it'll happen with the pic! Sorry Eva! I will definitely make the Greek salad again - what a hit!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

AH!

Carrie, I can't believe you posted the eggplant massage picture! Everyone else looks like Martha Stewart and I look like a creep!

Oh man.

Well, girls, I'm afraid I just can't keep up. I'm back in school, my jewelry business is steady, and I still have these three little kids that always seem to be needing something. :) I will definitely continue to make these recipes, but probably at a much slower pace than all of you and I probably won't be able to post recipes anymore. All this to say, you better kick me out of the club. Sorry. This has been a lot of fun, and like I said, I'll probably make stuff when I have time and will comment on it. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Meatloaf and Burgers!

I am soo sorry for being so behind! I have been cooking but with moving and everything else in my life I haven't posted in awhile! So, here is my combined review!

I love love loved! the greek meal! I am not a lamb fan and never seem to cook greek so this was a nice stretch for me! I actually followed this one to the "t" a very new thing for me! I think this would be good without the bun and use the pattys with some kind of yummy pan sauce to transition into a winter food..... hmmmm things to work on!

And who doesn't love meatloaf? This is very similar to the way I have made meatloaf so I was excited to see a comfort food at this point! I made this as one of my first meals in my own place and so enjoyed it that it was also my breakfast the next morning!

Fabulous job!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fabulous Food and Drinks in Vegas!


Serena's incredible Dessert! We all ohhahh and ate it up!


We ate so much incredible food, everyone did an amazing job cooking!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jooieh Kabab (Skewered Grilled Chicken)

This recipe is from Iran. I adapted it from Middle Eastern Home Cooking by Tess Mallos. My goal in deciding on a recipe was to post something that would be quick, delicious and realistic for those of you who have children and/or busy lives. I make this all the time and although you have to think ahead because it is marinated, it is very simple and very quick. The chicken is the main recipe. I added a couple side recipes that are just suggestions in case you want an idea. I am only holding you to the chicken, though. This chicken is great with a green salad as well.

Jooieh Kabab (Skewered Grilled Chicken)
1.5 to 2 lbs chicken (I use breasts)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 large yellow onion, grated or finely chopped
2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp paprika
skewers

1. Cut the chicken into equal size pieces (I do them in about 1.5 inch cubes).
2. Combine lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper in a glass or ceramic bowl.
3. Add chicken pieces, turning to coat. Allow to marinate for several hours (I do this the night before or in the morning).
4. Prepare grill or preheat broiler (I have only made this on the grill, but suspect it will be good under the oven grill as well).
5. Thread chicken onto skewers.
6. Combine butter and paprika and brush over chicken.
7. Place chicken on grill rack or under broiler, basting frequently until done

Serves 6

Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

Whatever amount you like

Cut an X on the bottom of each tomato and thread onto skewers if necessary. Brush with melted butter and cook on grill or under broiler until skin blisters and browns lightly.

Chelou (Steamed Rice)

8 cups water
2 cups basmati rice
2 Tbsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water

Bring water to boil in large saucepan. Add rice and salt and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes, then pour immediately into a large sieve and drain.

In a small saucepan, heat butter with 1/4 cup water until bubbling. Pour half of the mixture into the saucepan which was used to boil rice and swirl the pan to coat the bottom and sides.

Spread half the rice in base of pan. Add remainder of rice on top in a mound and make a deep hole in the center with the handle of a wooden spoon. Pour remaining butter mixture over the top.

Cover rim of pan with a doubled kitchen towel or two paper towels and place lid on firmly. Cook rice over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low and cook for 35 minutes longer.

Serves 6




Monday, September 8, 2008

Round Two!

Okay Chic Chefs! Let's talk about round two. I think we should start the beginning of October and maybe have a loose theme. For example soup and bread or comfort food or something like that. What do you think?

Monday, September 1, 2008

New Recipe Pick: My Moms Meatloaf

I'm picking meatloaf because I love my moms and I have never made it on my own before, so what better time then with you ladies. I know it is not much of a summer pick but it is 60 some degrees out and I don't feel very summery right now! The other thing is I got the recipe from my mom and she does not measure anything so here it goes!


What you will need ! (in my moms own word!)

Hamburger meat- a pound or so
2 Eggs
1 onion (add to your liking)
Garlic salt (to your liking)
Pepper (thanks Mom)
Ketchup (about 1/2cup but maybe a little more)
Hand full of oatmeal

Add all together in a bowl and mix well. You might need to add more ketchup and oatmeal to make it stay together better. Make into a loaf and place it on a broiling pan and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or so. We serve this with either a green or Cesar salad and a bake potato.

I hope you ladies enjoy this as much as i do! Happy meatloaf making!

Staci's Recipe Pick


I'm behind! I know a lot of you relate. Summer is unpredictable for us in a good way in that sometimes it's to nice to cook!

Anyway I loved the bread salad, it was a great change and I will absolutely make it again. The chicken was good as well though mine wasn't overly flavorful, I can't remember though if that was my fault......I didn't do the mushrooms because J and I are not big mushroom fans. We also added pasta with homemade pesto, but that was mainly for the girls since I wasn't sure they would like the salad. Unfortunately because we don't own a grill we decided not to attempt the grilled banana splits :( I'm very sad about that but thinking we may have to make them in VEGAS!!! Yum!

Great summer menu Staci!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tisha's Tasty Treats!

I was so impressed with this menu! I know I am late at posting it but I did actually make the recipe weeks ago and didn't realize I never said anything! I am not much of a rice salad fan so wasn't sure what I would think of this! I LOVED IT! My mom was in town so I made this for my mom and mary and it turned out to be a perfectly easy, perfectly satisfying summer meal.

I loved the shrimp although I did not soak my wood skewers so they kinda burnt a bit wherever exposed but other than that no worries. I really enjoyed the bold flavors of the shrimp with the balance of sweet and savory rice. I used more cocomut milk then the recipe suggested and less water just because I didn't measure but, it was super yummy. I also really liked that this menu could be used as a great entertaining menu and still didn't take long in the kitchen! Thanks to all! Now I am off to dream of greek goodness for next week!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Seconds, Anyone?

Hello Ladies! Can you believe we are almost done with our first round of recipes? Three months! Time is a phenomenal thing... it will never cease to amaze me. There are a number of different ideas floating around for our next round but first I want to see if everyone is up for another round. If you are not, for what ever reason, that is really okay. I have enjoyed every ones participation but I know when life gets too crazy you have to start eliminating. So for now lets hear who's in or out. More thoughts and ideas to come! I am excited for the next round. :)

Serena's Salmon

I know I'm behind, but life has been CRAZY! I finally got to make the salmon. I only did the salmon and potatoes as I didn't have time to whip up everything. The salmon was delicious and I thought it went with the potatoes really well. The only problem was that I got to salmon too dry and it was my fault. I forgot that our little apartment stove always needs to be turned lower than the recipe calls for and food needs to be cooked a little less time. (I haven't baked a lot this summer.) My kids gobbled it down though (Juan kept saying - Mmmm chicken.) and even though it was a little dry, we still really enjoyed it too. I thought I would share Noah's prayer before the meal: Jesus, thank you for this salmon that gave its life . . . well, it didn't really give its life, it was taken . . . but thanks for it anyway . . .
Thanks, Serena. I will try again - it was so easy and quick!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Taste Explosion!

Hee hee hee. Well it was! I loved the greek food recipes! I went to to visit Rachel in California this last weekend and we decided it would be super fun to cook this together. So we did and I wish I could cook with each one of you because it was fun to visit and talk about each step, take the picture together (you will see our picture on Rachel's review) and then get to enjoy it together. It was great to watch another cook in action!
The Greek Salad was my very favorite- I will most definitely make that one again, in fact, I am planning it already because I have been craving it ever since. I loved the feta in the lamb and the potatoes were good. Although my one critique would be that I felt like the potatoes didn't really fit in with the rest of the meal. They tasted great but I wasn't feeling the greek vibe with them I was feeling the summer bbq vibe. Let me make one thing clear, though ... it didn't ruin the meal for me, that is for sure. I think I might have made myself sick from eating so much! We actually used store bought tzatziki sauce so no review on that from us.
Rachel chose a white wine to go with this and I can't remember what it was exactly so I will have to let her tell you about that. It was nice with the greek salad. I chose a Pinot Noir because I felt that with lamb we needed a lighter red and I really enjoyed that although the white was nice, too, I did like the Pinot Noir better.
I can't wait to make this again-it would be fun to have friends over for a Greek Night!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Aly Goes Greek


We made everything for dinner last night. This menu is perfect for us. Quick, easy, delicious! I did everything according to the recipes. However, I knew it would be too much to do the burgers with buns, so we just ate them as plain patties. We didn't miss the buns at all. It gave us the opportunity to really just taste the yumminess of the patty. And with the potatoes we still got enough starch to feel full.
Next time I'll use a little less olives in the salad. It was just a bit too salty for us. But that is what it's like to make a salad . . . the proportions of the ingredients have to be tweaked according to the size of the other vegetables. Now that I know what it'll turn out like, I'll know how much to put.
I can't actually think of anything else to write because I have no suggestions or criticisms or anything. Thanks, Carrie. I'll be making this again soon . . . and often.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Recipe: Greek-Style Lamb Burgers, Greek Potatoes & Salad

New Recipe!!!

I love summer burgers especially with a Greek Twist!

Greek Style Lamb Burgers
(serves 6 so just adjust accordingly, we usually half it for 2 adults and 2 kids)

2lbs ground lamb
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped and pitted Kalamata olives

Combine lamb, feta, and olives and make into six 1 inch patties. Season burgers lightly with salt and pepper to your own taste preference and then grill 7 min. each side for medium-rare or adjust time for your taste.

You can decide how you want to serve your burgers we've done it two ways. One is in pita pockets or the other is on Kaiser rolls both ways are yummy. Serve burgers with tzikki sauce (recipe follows) and they are good with red onion and tomatoe slices.

Tzatziki Sauce

16 ounces plain yogurt (Greek yougurt is especially good)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced

Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, lemon, and mint. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

We have made thit many times without taking the time to drain the yogurt, turns out fine just not as thick also if you don't have mint (which we never seem to) that's something we've at times omitted as well.


Greek Potatoes with Lemon Vinaigrette (serves 4)

1 1/2 cups olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds large russet potatoes, cleaned, each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, oregano, and parsley in a medium bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper.

Toss potatoes with 1/2 cup vinaigrette on a heavy, large, rimmed baking sheet. Reserve the remaining vinaigrette. Pour chicken stock around potatoes and season potatoes with salt and pepper. Roast potatoes until tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and more chopped parsley.


Greek Salad

3 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 European seedless cucumber, cut into bite-size chunks
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chunked
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chunked
1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chunked
1 cup Kalamata black olives
Several sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, about 1/2 cup
2 (1/4 pound) slices imported Greek feta
1/4 cup (a couple of glugs) extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (3 splashes) red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in palm of your hand
Coarse salt and black pepper
Pita breads

Combine vegetables, olives, and parsley in a large bowl. Rest sliced feta on the top of salad. Combine oil, vinegar, and oregano in a small plastic container with a lid. Shake vigorously to combine oil and vinegar and pour over salad and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and let the salad marinate until ready to serve. Serve salad with pita bread blistered and warmed on a hot griddle or grill pan.

So for this recipe I prefer crumbled feta and don't do the pita bread when serving it as a side.

What's better after summer burgers then Watermelon for dessert!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sea Bass with Almond Crust


This is NOT one of our regularly scheduled recipes . . . just something I'd like to share. I don't know if any of you are into making whole fish, but last night I made some for my husband and I that was very nice. Would be nice to make (and so easy--no mess, hardly any chopping) for dinner guests. I adapted the recipe from Mediterranean Food of the Sun, by Clark and Farrow.

FOR 4 people use about 3 1/2 pounds sea bass, total weight (either one large or two smaller fish), cleaned and scaled with head and tail still on
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 powdered sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter + 1/4 more
1 onion finely sliced
generous pinch of saffron threads
Salt and black pepper
Lime wedges and sprigs of flat leaf parsley to garnish

Oven at 375. Grease shallow ovenproof dish with butter. Dish should be big enough to fit the whole fish.
Dissolve saffron threads in 1 Tbsp boiling water, set aside.
Make a paste of almonds, cinnamon, powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp melted butter, 4 Tbsp water.
You can use whole blanched almonds and throw all this in a food processor together. But alas, I have no food processor and opted to buy the almonds already ground and just mix it up.
Rinse the fish with cold water and pat dry.
Scatter onions on the bottom of the dish, add the saffron threads and water, season with salt and pepper.
Stuff fish with half the almond paste and spread the rest evenly on top of the fish. Melt remaining butter and pour over fish. Then bake, uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes, until the fish is done and the almond top is crusty.
Move fish to a serving platter. Arrange onion mixture around the edges and garnish with parsley sprigs and lime wedges.

I also made fried calamari rings at home for the first time (I am in a momentary seafood frenzy). Delicious! But the worst thing you can do is overcook them. Then they become rubbery, so beware! After we gobbled them up I realized I didn't even get a picture. Bummer.
Finally, I'd like to say . . . you all have children. I can see how I am out of touch, and this would not be "ideal" for a family dinner. Fish bones, protests about the head and tail, etc. . . . hahahaha. But, like I said . . . it could be good for a dinner party *sans* children. If nothing else, I hope you'll find the post interesting. Happy cooking, ladies!

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Recipe will post on Monday

So my life is going to be crazy for the next two days and though I know what I want to post I need to assemble my recipes and I'm thinking it's not going to happen until Monday the 18th. Thanks for understanding gals!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mussels


Yesterday we went to the fish market. I got mussels. I never get mussels. I was so proud of how they turned out. I had a great time cooking them and they were very fun to eat, too! I'll have to make them again soon. I boiled them for about 2 mins, meanwhile sauteing garlic green onions and parsley in butter and olive oil. Then I added the mussels with some white wine and a tiny bit of the "stock" from the boiled mussels. After just a few moments, I removed the mussels with a slotted spoon onto a plate. I reduced the sauce and poured it over the mussels. If anyone has any good tips for me on mussel preparation, please comment below! Thanks!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Recipe Box

Okay ladies, so by request we have a new recipe box. It's not what I would ideally do but its what is possible within the confines of what blogger can do and overall I think it will work fine. I only posted our "official recipes" not all of the other ones that have come up though we could do that so let me know your thoughts on that. I will just continue to add the recipes to the "box" as they are posted. Thanks!! (just to clarify I did this only after Jman showed me how :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mango & Shrimp...Gooood!

I feel bad making my post just after Alyssa did because her picture is so nice and mine is bad (hence no picture). Okay, we LOVED this recipe... don't I say that about every one? :) First off I was caught off guard by the paste for the shrimp. In my mind I was making a marinade and it most certainly was not a marinade but a paste. I followed the recipe exactly with one minor alteration, I doubled the paste part and in so doing only used 1 1/2 the amount of curry. We like curry but didn't want it to be too spicy for Abigail.
I have no experience with mango. I was a bit intimidated at first but dug right in anyway. What the heck is up with that weird pit thing in the middle?? Weird. The few times I have tasted fresh mango I am surprised by its spiciness; I like it. On with the review...
Everyone loved the yummy dinner, except Abigail. I can never tell if she doesn't like something for real or if she's just being 2. I think she was being 2 because she likes everything in there and she ate all the shrimp and loved them. I loved the spicy shrimp with the mango! What a great combo! I was a little surprised that the leftovers weren't as good for lunch today as I thought. You know how some things are better the next day? I thought this would be that way. I also made the dessert, it was very good! Refreshing... I love lime.
We made mojitos to drink with dinner, that added a nice touch. Something about the drink and the food made me feel like I should be in the Caribbean! Tisha, thank you! This meal is a redo, it will be great to make next week when my mom comes (she is allergic to gluten). Over all we give it four thumbs up!