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!

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
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

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
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!


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!