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!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gingered Carrot Soup

Hi Girls....I know we did soups before and I hope I haven't shared this one with you yet but I've made it a couple of times and I really like it.

Gingered Carrot Soup

2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 C. minced onion
1/4 C. minced peeled fresh ginger
3 C. (or more) chicken stock/broth (low sodium)
4 C. sliced peeled carrots (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 C. orange juice (best if fresh squeezed)
1/2 C. half and half
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 C matchstick-size strips peeled carrot (for garnish, optional)
1 Tbs. matchstick-size strips peeled fresh giner (for garnish: optional)
**NOTE I added a little brown sugar to taste & a little salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-heat
Add onion and 1/4 cup minced ginger and saute until onion is translucen, about 5 min. Add 3 C. chicken stock and 4 C. sliced carrots. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.
Working in batches, puree mixture in blender or processor. **NOTE: I used an emersion blender right in the pan...worked out beautifully.
Return soup to saucepan. Mix in orange juice, than half and half. Cook over low heat 5 minutes. Mix in ground cinnamon. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladel soup into bowls, Top soup with carrot and giner strips if desired and serve.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Time has gotten away from me with so much going on...I realized I have not posted my recipe for this week! OOPS! I will be posting that tomorrow evening....sorry for the delay Ladies!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Staci's Salisbury Steaks

I made the steaks the Saturday after Thanksgiving while my dad and his wife, Teresa were visiting us. It was a great dinner and we all enjoyed it! I didn't have garlic powder so I used fresh (I think about 3 or 4 cloves) and we all agreed that I should not have used so much. I love garlic and usually subscribe to the "more is always better" method, but this time Teresa made a great point that the garlic over-powered the other more subtle flavors like the green pepper. I'm sure that if I used the garlic powder this would not have happened. Other than that I did every thing the way the recipe directed and served it with mashed potatoes. I will make this again. It was definitely comfort food.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



Monday, November 23, 2009

Staci's Salisbury Steaks and green beans

This is a recipe I really enjoy that I got from my in-laws. I must admit I am not a mushroom fan so now that I can cook it my way I cut them up very small and don't notice them. I hope you enjoy a break from the turkey leftovers and try this one out!

1 can golden mushroom soup
1/2 pkt onion soup mix
1 lb ground beef (also have used turkey but then cut oatmeal if it feels dry)
1/2 c. dry oatmeal
2 eggs
1/2 c. finely chopped onions
1 1/4 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 c green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 pinch cayenne pepper
3 pinches garlic powder
2 dollops Worcestershire sauce
1 dollop tabasco sauce
2Tb butter

potatoes, noodles, or rice to serve with.

Mix 1/4 c of the mushrooms and all ingredients except mushroom soup, butter, and remaining mushrooms. Cover and let rest in fridge 2 hrs (or up to 24hr). Form into patties and cook in large skillet over med. high heat until cooked through and nicely browned, time varies depending on thickness of your patties. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add butter and mushrooms to skillet and saute until mushrooms for a few minutes, add the mushroom soup and a bit of water to thin out. Bring to boil, reduce heat add patties back, and simmer 10 minutes.

Serve over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.

I have also made this into meatballs and it is good but I prefer the patties.

I love doing the green beans this way to serve with this.
1 lb fresh green beans cut french style
1 tsp salt
1 tb butter

Boil enough water to cover your beans and add salt and beans. Cook until beans are almost tender but not too soft. drain the water and beans, add butter to pan and melt. return beans to pan and cook about 3-5 minutes or until beans start to brown slightly, add salt or peper to taste and serve.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pad Thai Review (Severns)

Okay, I finally got around to making the Pad Thai and it was good. This is Andy's favorite Thai dish and not so much a fav of mine. Ironically when I made this recipe I liked it more than he did. I like the chewy-ness of the rice noodles. The problem is that Andy has found a restaurant here that serves Pad Thai that sends him to Thai heaven... so he's a little picky now.
Anyway, I followed the recipe exactly because this is a dish I have never made before. It was good and even though I liked it I probably won't waste my time to make it again. :(

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FYI: Pad Thai

Hey Ladies, I went to the site to see if I could find how many servings this recipe makes and it said one. I am guessing it is a large serving...Staci, any feed back?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

By Request: Seven Layer Bars

These are very yummy, melt in your mouth bars that are so easy to make and take with you! They are a (extended) family favorite.

Seven Layer Bars

In a 9 x 13 pan, layer in order:
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
6 oz. butterscotch chips
6 oz. chocolate chips
7 oz. coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts (if desired)
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. When cool, cut in desired sized squares.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So Good So Easy, Just had to share

hey ladies,
I came across this recipe online and tried it. It is a fablous quick recipe I will be making often and thought I would share. I know it is my turn to post this week and have another recipe in mind so don't let this freebie confuse you.

Crock pot Pork chops and Rice

mix 1 c. flour, 1/2 tsp dry mustard and 1/2 tsp salt in plastic bag. Throw in 4 boneless pork chops (or a small pork roast) to coat. Brown meat in skillet with oil (3-4min). Place pork in crock pot and dump a can of condensed chicken and rice soup over it. (Or as I did, 2 cups rice, 1 can cream soup, and 1 c. broth). Cook on low for 6 hrs or high 4hr (roast may take longer). The pork was soooo tender and not dry at all. I loved that I could have it ready with only about 7 min of prep time.

Rice Salad Review (Severns)

Well, this was a hit! I loved it and the kids liked it. I was proud of them because this really isn't 'kid' food but they ate it up! I did not use tofu or chicken, I wanted a vegetarian meal. I did not miss it. I pureed the dressing in the blender because I prefer it that way. Other than that I didn't really change anything. This recipe is straight forward and easy. Yeah! I think it's delicious, can't wait for the left-overs tomorrow! Four thumbs up!

PS: I haven't forgotten the Pad Thai, it's on my menu for next week!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Holiday Treats!

Hey Ladies, so I know this is a bit early but we are planning on having a Christmas party and I'm looking for some dessert ideas. Anything goes, cookies, bars, whatever. If you have a favorite treat I'd love the recipe. Thanks!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Brown Rice Salad

Hi Ladies,
Sorry this is late. This recipe is from a beloved Juneau cookbook, which nearly every Juneau cook has in their kitchen. This is one of my favorite recipes, of those I've tried, and I particularly like the fact that it is a hearty one-dish, vegetarian meal. Of course you can cook up some chicken with it if you have an aversion to tofu. Also, the garnishes are a must! Enjoy!

Brown Rice Salad:
(serves 2 BIG servings)

2 TBL safflower oil
1/4 cup medium diced onion ( 1 small onion)
1/2 cup medium-diced green peppers (1/2 small pepper)
1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
2.25 cups cooked brown rice (I think that's about 1 cup uncooked rice - I often cook up extra rice and add a few veggies so as to have leftovers)
2/3 cups diced, firm tofu
1/2 cup Fiddlehead vinaigrette (recipe below) or other good vinaigrette dressing
2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
4 cups cleaned and torn fresh romaine lettuce

(this makes 1 cup, only 1/2 cup is needed for recipe)

3/4 cup good quality olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp minced garlic (1 small clove)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme

1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
2. Store covered at room temperature for up to 1 week, whisking thoroughly before each use.

3/4 cups grated Cheddar cheese (I like white cheddar with it)
tomato wedges
avocado slices

1. Heat safflower oil in a large deep pan over high heat. When oil is hot, add onion, peppers, and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently until tender but not browned.
2. Add cooked rice, stirring thoroughly until combined and hot.
3. Gently stir in tofu, 1/4 cup vinaigrette and tamari sauce until well combined and warmed.
4. Plate lettuce in a very large salad bowl and toss with remaining 1/4 cup vinaigrette dressing. Divide lettuce mixture between plates and top with hot rice. Sprinkle rice with grated cheese and garnish with tomato and avocado slices. Serve immediately, with additional salad dressing and soy sauce if you wish.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pad Thai = delicious!!!

I was so excited to see this recipe! Katrina and I are huge Thai fans and tend to eat 1-2 meals of that cuisine weekly. I love that this recipe has a more authentic approach then many I have tried. However, I did change a few things up. I agree that the only way to make the sauce is using tamarind and not a store bought bottle, the flavor is soooo different!! So, I did most of the recipe as stated except the noodles. I have been learning many tricks from a neighbor of mine that was raised in thailand and although she has taught me how to make pad thai I tried this recipe. I made the meat (or tofu in my case) and sauce and set in a bowl, then reheated my wok. For my noodles I placed them in a microwavable dish, covered them with water and cooked them 5 minutes. When they came out they were cooked and i drained the remaining liquid off and then tossed them in the hot wok with a bit of oil and vinegar before adding the sauce back. I really like the extra flavor the vinegar trick adds.!

I don't know that I will do this specific recipe again not because it isn't good but, because I will be more likely to use the one in my head then pull this up.

FYI--totally worth finding palm sugar but if that is not possible, a little white or brown sugar does work in a pinch!

Happy Birthday Nikki and Rachel!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jasmin's Pad Thai Recipe at

Jasmin's Pad Thai Recipe at


"2 tablespoons red onions, finely chopped
A dash of peanut or olive oil
Shrimp (deveined), or calamari (cleaned and sliced) or chicken or pork (thinly sliced)
An egg
A small handful of thai rice noodles
1/2 a cup (max) of chicken stock or water
4 to 5 glugs of fish sauce
A heaping tablespoon tamarind sauce*
1/2 tablespoon palm sugar or unrefined caster sugar
A pinch or 2 of crushed red chile flakes
A handful of bean sprouts
3 or 4 scallions, cut into 3-inch sticks
2 to 3 tablespoons raw cashews, coarsely chopped

For garnish:
Fresh lime wedges and cucumber slices

*Tamarind sauce—of course you can buy this already prepared, but it’s an entirely different sauce when it's fresh: place a small handful (about 2 to 3 tablespoons) of dried, vacu-packed tamarind nuggets in a bowl and cover with very hot water for about 5 to 10 minutes to soften. Use your hands to squish the nuggets until the water becomes really thick and gloopy. You'll notice your hands getting really soft, so spread a good amount of it all over your arms and face. Great for the skin. Anyway, using a rubber spatula, rub the sauce through a strainer, leaving the pits behind. Store the sauce in an airtight mason jar (keeps about a week). Rinse off your arms and face."


Get everything ready to go because this dish takes only about five minutes to cook.

In a wok (you can use a large frying pan but it is just not the same-even if you use a cheap wok) Fry the onion in a little peanut or olive oil. Add the protein, cook for a minute. They'll continue so don't worry too much if they are still slightly opaque, and move then over to the side. Make a well in the center. Crack the egg in there and scramble with a fork till cooked. Push over to the side along with the protein.

Break the noodles in half and add to the center with about 1/4 cup of stock, the fish sauce, tamarind sauce, palm sugar (dissolve in a little hot water if too thick), and red chile flakes. Mix well into the noodles, leaving protein and scramble off to the side.

Cook the noodles in the sauce for a few minutes, stirring lightly to ensure that they don't clump together. The noodles should be just softened-you want them nice and chewy. Taste and adjust the seasoning-add more stock if necessary.

Now add the bean sprout sand the scallions, stir everything together, and heat it through. Immediately turn onto large plate and top with the chopped cashews. Garnish with lime and cucumber slices.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chicken Tortilla

Yummy! This is a great week-night meal. I changed a few things: No cheese on top, low fat sour cream, and I used canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh. To add a little moisture I added most of the juice from the tomatoes. What would I change? Probably less sour cream. The truth is, I think that I like a dryer enchilada, I liked the extra juice from the tomatoes, though. My family liked this as well!

Thank You Nikki!!

Chicken Tortallas

So I actually liked that these were different then how we do our Chicken Enchiladas. We do our Enchiladas smoky and spicy and completely "red" no white sauce anywhere. I appreciated how incredibly easy this was. I had the chicken made from the previous day and just threw it all together. I did halve the sour cream, soup, and cheese, and thought it was a good creamy consistency that way. We topped it with taco sauce. I have all the ingredients to do this again and will whip it out one night when I'm needing an easy meal fast!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tortilla Con Pollo

I made this recipe tonight and my family liked it. I thought the filling was kinda bland. It is similar to the filling for my personal Chicken Enchilada recipe and I really missed the enchilada sauce. I only used 1 cup cheese and 1 cup sour cream and one can soup. I knew it would be too gooey if I followed the recipe and as it was, I wish I'd have left the soup out. Anyway, I put the green onions in the filling and liked that. Topped it all with olives, chiles, tomato and cheese. Andy and AJ chowed while Abigail and I each had one portion. I think I'll stick to enchiladas mainly because I missed the sauce so much.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Crock pot chicken

I am not sure about this. I love the ease of the crock pot and the flavors were so interesting! On one hand I totally loved the sweetness with a bit of "twang" but, was also unsure what to do with the leftovers. I did a whole chicken because I had one in the freezer. I think I will totally do it again when we have company over but, not just for the 2 of us. I did really like it and will keep it in my back pocket for week night entertaining when I don't have time to cook!!! Fun stuff!!!

Chicken Mahkini (spelling??)

So I tried this indian dish a little bit ago and forgot to post. I have to say I was quite impressed. I didn't have as much spice in mine but, next tie will kick it up. I think it may be very tasty with the coconut milk basmati rice we did last year. I thought the 2 may be a good compliment to each other. I love trying new foods and this will be had again in our home!!!! Katrina loved the sauce but, as a self proclaimed vegetarian boycotted the actual chicken!!! Thanks ladies for another lovely meal!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chicken Tortillas

Alright ladies here it finally is. I'm so sorry it is up so late.

2-3 cooked chicken breast- cut into bite size
3 cups chedder cheese
2 cups sour cream
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
Mix all together in a bowl and roll into tortillas
Place tortillas into a baking pan

Sprinkle top with:
Green oninons
Green chiles

Bake on 350 for 30 minutes or until done.

We like to eat it with more sour cream and salsa on top. You can pretty much add whatever else sounds good to you and your family. We like to make this on Sundays for football! My husband would eat this everyday if he could!

Serves family of 4-6 with leftovers for sure!

Hope you all enjoy this as much as we do! Can't wait to see what you all think!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tangy & Tasty

I cooked up Carrie's chicken recipe last week, and Jeremy and I both really liked it. It was sweet, but also a little tangy with the vinegar and soy sauce - I thought it was a tasty combination. I also loved how the chicken was so tender that it just fell apart! I also enjoyed the ease of getting dinner together by using the crock pot. I have got to do that more! Thank you Carrie!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Brown Sugar Chicken

I made this last night for some friends and boy it was a hit! Everyone loved it and i even gave the recipe to one of the ladies! I did use 4 chicken breast and used a little less then 1/2 a cup of the brown sugar. What i loved about this was i got it all ready and went to a baby shower and came home to a house that smelt great and dinner was just about done! Got to love the crock pot!I served the chicken with brown rice and a side salad and we are eating the leftovers tonight.

I just want to tell you Rachel that Carrie and I planned to get together twice to make your chicken but once i got sick and i don't rememeber what happen the other time. When Carrie made it she was going to bring me the leftovers but she forgot and i'm sure they are bad by now! I will make it soon i really want to try it!

I'm going to post my pick tonight after Monday night football. See why we are having leftovers ;) It is going to be chicken Enchiladas. This is once of my husbands favorite meals and it is easy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Crock Pot Sweet Chick

I made the crock pot chicken last night. I followed the recipe (using chicken breasts) exactly except for the brown sugar. I used a 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. I still thought it was too sweet! I really think that with the amount of sugar in the 7Up that next time I will try it with no brown sugar.
As it was, I turned off the crock when I was preparing the rest of the meal and coarsely shredded the chicken. I tasted it and thought it was too sweet so I dumped more soy sauce in, probably about as much as the recipe calls for again. This helped. I also thought it needed more garlic.
All this to say, we liked the recipe. It smelled yummy as it cooked all afternoon. I have a teriyaki recipe that is similar. In summary, I will try this recipe again and tweak it with more garlic and no sugar. The family liked it!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Hello Again! I am so glad the blog is active again! I am looking forward to all the new recipes. I think we are all feeling a little slow starting up and I have to say that I haven't made the Indian Chicken yet but I think that instead of trying to catch up I am just going to join in now and then make it sometime in the future. So that one can be my one freebie.

I made the Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken while Mark's parents were visiting. I appreciated the ease of the crockpot! Mark's parents really liked it. If I make this again I will propbably cut the sugar in half and see what it is like. I just thought it was too sweet. I didn't change the recipe at all, I served it with brown rice and a green salad (obviously). Maybe I would also try adding more garlic as well.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Indian Chicken

I couldn't remember the name so sorry for the lame title. I finally made this last night and I really enjoyed it. I omitted the cayenne pepper as I did not want it too hot for the girls but I think next time I would add it for myself as I would have liked even more kick. Elyse liked it Kaelyn thought it was too spicy and Jonathan wasn't home for dinner so I feel like we don't have a full family review. It was kind of funny at first because we make peanut chicken alot and the colors were close enough that I kept expecting it to be sweet.

I would make this again, I think I'd like to make sure to have the flat bread and have another Indian dish to make it all seem more authentic.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Crock Pot Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Alright ladies sorry this is late, life ya know. So I have not done this recipe before but saw it on a blog I frequent and I'm always up for a good crock pot recipe. I'm going to put the info to the site that has the recipe as well. The original recipe calls for using a whole chicken and cooking for 8 hours but many of the reviewers changed it to boneless skinless breasts and about 4 hours. Lots of reviewers did all sorts of different variations so really any chicken in any form could work for this.
Here we go.

Crock Pot Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

  • 1 large chicken, cut into serving pieces (or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Sprite or 7-Up soda
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (regular black or cayenne)

  1. Place chicken in crock pot.
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. (4-5 hours for boneless skinless)
  4. Serve over rice or noodles.
  5. You can thicken the juices after cooking with a little cornstarch.
I plan on serving over brown rice with veggies on side....likely carrots and broccoli as those are the girls' favorites.

Hope this is good! (site info if you want to look at some of the reviewers variations)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Indian Fare

So I cooked up the chicken makhani last night for some friends, and we all loved it! I followed the recipe exactly except for the cornstarch (and adding a few splashes of beer), and it was very flavorful and the perfect consistency. The chicken, which I served over rice, was nice and tender. My friend recommended adding a few cinnamon sticks to the rice in the future, advice given to her by an Indian friend. We had raitha on the side to counteract the spice of the chicken dish (which thankfully was not too spicy for my sensitive pallet) as well as squash skewers. The squash recipe can be found at (I added zucchini & broiled them instead of grilling). I thought they went really well with the chicken dish. And of course, we had some naan too! Can you tell I love Indian food? Thank you for sharing such a fabulous recipe, Rachel!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chicken Makhani

I found this recipe on this last spring after having it at an East Indian restaurant in our city. We love it! I make it at least once a month. I strongly suggest you do not make this recipe until you obtain the garam masala, it is essential to Indian cuisine. You can find it at any specialty market (Whole Foods, etc).
A few notes. 1) I use olive oil. 2) I use fresh ginger and garlic as I've never found the paste. 3) I skip the cornstarch step because I am lazy. It's thick enough for our preference. Enjoy!!!

Chicken Makhani

1 T peanut oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
¼ onion, finely chopped
2 T butter
2 t lemon juice
1 T ginger garlic paste
1 t garam masala
1 t chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1 bay leaf
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 cup half and half
1 cup tomato puree
¼ t cayenne pepper, or to taste
pinch salt
pinch black pepper
1 T peanut oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bit sized pieces
1 t garam masala
Pinch cayenne pepper, optional
1 T corn starch
¼ cup water

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in half-and-half and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink. Stir cooked chicken into sauce.
3. Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened. Serve over rice. Serves 4.

Friday, September 4, 2009

What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?

All right Chic Chefs - here we go for another round!

Please notice I have added new dates on the right side of the main page. I felt a sadness taking Alyssa off the site. I have been sad to see Stacy and Alyssa go, both being original Chic Chefs. As I added the dates I realized that one of two things is going to happen, either we will have our last recipe the second week of December (13th) or there will be a recipe post the week of Thanksgiving. Which do you prefer to have happen?

Okay, I think we decided it was best when there was no real theme; each Chic Chef posting a recipe that fit their mood. I like it like that, seems to be more variety! A couple of reminders: recipe posts are due on Sundays and please remember to note how many servings the recipe will provide.

Bon Appetit!

Dropping Out :(

Hi girls. I am going to drop out of Chic Chefs. I will still be following you, but can't be counted on to participate fully. Keep it going, though, because I'd like to join up again sometime in the future. Happy cooking! It's been a pleasure.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Crock Pot Ideas

One of the blogs I read did a post asking for all the readers to send in good wholesome crock pot recipes with the soon approaching autumn in mind. You have to dig through the comments but I'm hoping to try some of these and find some keepers! Just go to the web site and there is a link on the side for crock pot recipes. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Up For the Next Round?

Hey Gals!
I am wanting to get an idea of who is up for another round of fabulously Chic Chefs??! Let me know within the next couple of weeks. I am thinking of starting around the middle of September. How does that sound to you all? I hope you are having a great summer!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Squash/Zucchini Salad

I made this at a B-BQ the other day and I thought it was great! I had doubled the dressing thinking I should since I had doubled the squash amount but there really was no need and I wouldn't do that again. Such a great different way to use up all the yellow squash coming my way other then grilling it!

As a side note this is now one of my favorite search sites for recipes. ( I've done lots of different bean and veggie salads from here this summer and have liked everyone!

Summer Squash Salad

Summer Squash Salad

Summer Squash Salad Recipe


4 small zucchini or mixed yellow and green summer squash (1 lb total)
1/3 cup loosely packed mint leaves
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (1 oz.)
Grana Padano, Parmesan or Asagio cheese for shavings
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish


1 If you are starting with raw pine nuts, toast them first. Heat a small skillet on medium high heat. Add the pine nuts. Stir gently as the pine nuts start to brown. When slightly browned, remove from heat and let cool.

2 Slice the squash into paper-thin slices using a mandoline or other slicer. Set aside in a bowl.

3 Stack the mint leaves, roll them together lengthwise and slice crosswise to make very thin slivers. Add to squash in bowl.

4 Combine the oil and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk together. Whisk in the salt and pepper and pour the dressing over the contents of the bowl. Add the pine nuts and toss all together, gently, but thoroughly. Let mixture stand for at least 10 minutes to soften the squash and develop the flavors.

5 Transfer salad to serving dish or to four individual salad plates. Garnish with shavings of cheese made with a vegetable peeler and a few sprigs of fresh mint.

Serves 4.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Easy Steak Marinade

This marinade is so good and so easy. We've been using it almost weekly. It should marinade for at least 4 hours but no more then 8 after that the alcohol and lemon juice will start to break the meat down. Yum! Yum!

1/2 onion
1.5 cups Soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whiskey
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped garlic

Mix together, completely submerge meat.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh my goodness.....Reviews!!

Rachel and I did the flank steak recipe by Eva and the Beans by Serena back when I visited her in the spring and I just realized I never threw up the pics are put my two cents in about the review. So here are the pics and yes Rachel and I were juveniley laughing so hard we were almost on the floor over the bean pic. But everything was great! Loved the olives and tomatoes with the flank steak. The beans were on their own a stand alone meal which I dont typically like but they have a great taste and have made them sense then to go to a B-BQ but just cut down on all the meats. Happy Summer!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blue Cheese & Pear Salad

I got this recipe off the Weight Watchers web site and love it! A few notes: If you don't prefer blue cheese try Gorgonzola, I used non fat plain yogurt instead of butter milk and added some regular milk to thin it a bit, I also added a few red grapes as I didn't have enough pear to go around, and lastly I used toasted sunflower seeds because I am allergic to walnuts. Delicious, light summer salad! I highly recommend!

Blue Cheese and Pear Salad

1 bunch arugula, torn
1 head romaine lettuce, torn
3 medium pears, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cups blue cheese
1 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
3/4 oz chopped walnuts, about 3 Tbsp, toasted

Divide arugula and romaine among plates. Arrange pears on greens.
Combine buttermilk, cheese, garlic and pepper. Toss salad in dressing.
Sprinkle with walnuts and serve.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rhubarb Soda!

So I am happily finding many uses for Rhubarb these muffins, jams, and my current favorite find homemade soda! Crowd pleaser for all ages and the kiddos think its oh so fun to make your own drink.

Super easy, light, and refreshing. I've enjoyed it as plain old "Rhubarb Soda" or as the alcholic "Ruby June". Rhubarb Soda recipe compliments of the site Culinate and the Ruby June from Soulemama.

Rhubarb Soda


cups rhubarb, roughly chopped

1 cup sugar

cups water

~ Sparkling water

~ Ice


  1. Place rhubarb, sugar, and 1½ cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the syrup is bright pink.
  2. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Strain syrup into a large jar.
  3. To make each soda, measure ¼ cup rhubarb syrup into a glass. Add enough sparkling water to fill the glass ⅔ full. Stir to mix, then add ice.

The Ruby June
6 oz Rhubarb Soda (you'll need rhubarb, sugar, and sparkling water)
1 oz white tequila
appx. 1tsp fresh lime juice
. Serve over ice.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fabulous Flank Steak

I really liked this flank steak recipe. The grocery store only had one of the fresh herbs needed, so I relied heavily on dried herbs, but the tomato/olive mixture definitely stole the show. The flavors were great as was the presentation. I broiled the flank steak, and I think I overcooked it as it was a little tough. Apparently it is a really easy cut to overcook since it is so thin. I roasted some potatoes and asparagus as side dishes. Overall it was a lovely meal. I also took Eva's suggestion and used the leftover tomato mixture in an egg/sausage scramble the next morning and it was delicious! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Two Quick Reviews!

I am going to give my last two reviews quickly as I am moving in a couple days and feel the need to wrap up loose ends! It's kinda like nesting before you go into labor!
First, Carrie came down over Memorial weekend and we took advantage of that and made the last two recipes together!

Herb Crusted Steak and Tomatoes-
This was really good! I actually liked it more than I thought I would. The tomato, olive mixture was really tasty! I don't think I would make any changes if I were to make it again.

Chuckwagon Beans-
I really liked these beans, however, I will not make them with the meats again. I am not crazy about meat in the first place so that swayed me a bit on this recipe also I think it's a lot of unnecessary fat and calories. The flavor of the beans, Worcestershire, brown sugar, etc was really good! My family loved them as well!

Thanks Ladies!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chuckwagon Beans

Hi gals...I thought this would be a great addition to summer cookouts. My mom made this when I was growing up. I love it! hope you like it :) I've altered it slightly from the origional. Some of the amounts of measurments are based on personal taste and preference.

1lb. bacon
1lb. ground beef
about 2 or 3 cups chopped onion (sauted)(depending on how much onion you like)
2 cup chopped celery
2 beef bouillon cubes
2/3 cup boiling water-to melt bouillon (note: you can use any kind of beef stock or beef bouillon)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar(you can redue or add a lil more if you like)(i like about 3/4C)
1/2 cup maple syrup (it gives a great flavor)
1/4 to 1/2 cup worcheshire sauce (to taste)
3 cloves finely chopped or minced garlic
1 1/2 cups ketchup
3 Tbsp. prepared mustard (ground)
pepper to taste and a lil salt if you want
1 can restaurant size BAKED BEANS (your favorite style) (bushes is a great brand)(walmart has these huge cans)...can't remember how many oz/lbs it is, it's the biggest one you can buy it's like $6 at walmart)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

All ing. will go in big dutch oven or roasting pan, you'll bake beans right in that pan.
Fry bacon and ground beef (together or apart- the bacon takes a lil longer than the beef to fy up) drain and add to dutch oven.
sautee onion and garlic & add to pan.

Dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water; stir bouillon and remaining ingredients into meat mixture. Bake aprox 2 hours uncovered until hot and bubbly. I stir it a couple of times during cooking process. (it will be thick and rich (should not be watery))

serve hot and enjoy!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Let's Take a Break...

Hey Ladies!
I can't believe how fast this last round has gone by, in fact I wouldn't have realized it if the date hadn't caught my eye when I pulled up the page the other day.
I have been thinking about how involvement in the blog has sort of waned for a while and also about how busy summer-time is for all of us. I was thinking we should take a break until September... what do you think? My summer is FULL and I am guessing any amount of gourmet aspirations are on their way out and will return sometime in September. This also gives opportunity to catch up and try recipes that you may not have gotten to yet. So please let me know your thoughts and ideas about this!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Herb-Crusted Flank Steak with Cherry Tomatoes and Olives

Hello Every one! This delicious recipe is from Have a great week!

yield: Makes 6 servings
Marinate the steaks one to eight hours before grilling.

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 1 1/2-pound flank steaks
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted brine-cured green olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar

For steak:Mix first 6 ingredients in small bowl. Place steaks in large glass baking dish. Brush steaks with olive oil. Rub with herb mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

For tomatoes:Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Season tomatoes to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill steaks until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium. Transfer steaks to cutting board. Cover with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.
Cut steaks across grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange steak slices on large platter. Spoon tomatoes with juices over steaks and serve.

I made this last year for The 4th of July and it was really good. You can make this using only one flank steak and then cut down on the other ingredients accordingly. It just depends on how much your family eats. The left overs are good though, I made steak salads with the left over meat and I used the tomato mixture over eggs in the morning. Mmmmmmm.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Review: Grilled Chicken Salad

I really liked this salad! I was a bit nervous about actually setting the match to the warm rum so Andy did it for me but it wasn't the dramatic flame that I expected! As far as the making of the salad goes...
I did the dressing like it called for except I ended up using canola oil because I thought they were the same. I have never made dressing like this and it was good. I used light rum for the marinade because we have it on hand. That was it for the changes I made.
We had company over for dinner and they loved the dressing, I ended up sending half of it home with them because I knew we wouldn't eat it all. Also, I opted to serve dinner rolls instead of tortillas because our friends are BIG bread eaters. I am very anxious to try it with tortillas because I think that would be a really good combo! Thanks Tisha, we loved it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jambalaya and Grilled Chicken Salad

I really liked the jambalaya. The flavor was great and I can't wait to make it again (and for my husband because I think he would really like it)I can't really think of anything else to say. I made it with Rachel so you can refer to her review!

I made the grilled chicken salad last night and we all really liked it, as well. I don't have a bbq so I broiled it which was great but I am SURE the bbq would have been better. I made a few mistakes but it still turned out great! I used vegetable oil and olive oil for the corn oil and I used part white wine vinegar instead of all red wine vinegar. Neither of these things were done purposely but everything still turned out. I also did not serve the flour tortillas and I wish I had because that sounded interesting, in a good way, to me (the pairing of the salad and the tortillas) I'd like to know what everybody thought about eating them together.

I still don't know what I am going to post next week but I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Grilled Chicken Salad

So it is finally feeling like spring in Juneau, so I thought I would submit a nice, summery dinner idea. This recipe comes from the Fiddlehead Cookbook, which is a mainstay in Juneau kitchens. The Fiddlehead was a cozy restaraunt with a creative menu in Juneau which closed a few years ago. The dressing is what sets this salad apart - and the fact that you get to light rum on fire, which is so much fun! I have also used the chicken and dressing in a pita with some of the salad veggies. Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Salad
Serves 6


1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3 whole chicken breasts

Chili-Cumin Dressing
1 egg
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup corn oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp minced garlic (1 clove)
1/4 tsp cayenne

9-10 cups torn mixed greens
1 carrot peeled and grated
12 tomato wedges (1.5 tomatoes)
1.5 avocados sliced
1.5 cup very thinly sliced red onion
6 warmed flour tortillas folded into quarters

1. To prepare marinade: In a small pan, warm rum slightly over low heat. Remove pan from heat and ignite rum with a match. Let alcohol burn off, gently shaking pan occasionally until flame dies.
2. In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine rum, soy sauce, and lime juice. Using a large spoon, stir in chicken breasts coating each with marinade. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or up to 6 hours.
3. To prepare dressing: Put egg in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add vinegar and blend briefly on high. While blender is running, add oil slowly, 1 tsp at a time at first, then 1 tbl at a time. (Do not add oil too fast or the dressing will break down. If it does, start over with an egg yolk and slowly add broken dressing.)
4. When all oil has been added and dressing is smooth, add cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic, and cayenne. Pour into a 2 cup container, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
5. To assemble salad: Preheat broiler or bbq.
6. BBQ or broil chicken until no longer pink inside. Remove from heat and slice thinly on the bias.
7. Divide mixed greens evenly among plates and sprinkle with grated carrot. Arrange tomato wedges, avocado, and red onion slices on half the greens; fan out chicken slices on other half. Spoon 2 tbl dressing over salad and serve immediately, accompanied by warm tortillas and remaining dressing.

Two for the Price of One!

I came on to post my review of the Jambalaya and realized that although I made the Garlic Pepper Chicken and Carrot Salad on time, I never posted a review! So...
The Garlic Pepper Chicken was a hit! The carrot salad was so-so. I have already made the chicken a second time. The salad was gone at the end of the meal but I don't see it being a regular.
The Jambalaya was soo good too! Eva is hear and we made it together. That was fun! I will make it again, everyone liked it! Next time I will make the rice separately because we used 4 more cups of broth and spent more than double the cook time waiting for it the rice to finally be done. That is my only complaint. Otherwise it was yummy!
Thanks Gals!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

In looking for my recipe this time I wanted something different then we have seen before. I don't recall doing any cajun cooking so thought I would go with this one. It is a bit more work then other recipes but I find it to be worth it!

1/8 c. oil
1/2 lb. raw chicken ( I use skinless breasts and thighs)
3/4 lb. andouille sausage (or if in a pinch kielbasa), cut into rounds
1/2 c butter
1/2 c. flour
2 c. chopped onions
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped green pepper
2 tsp. chopped garlic
2 c. long grain white rice
2 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning or to taste ( I love to make the one from Emeril but guess any the store bottles would be fine, or you can use 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp white pepper)
1 c. chopped green onions

Brown chicken in oil over med-high heat in large stock pot

Add sausage and saute with chicken until chicken is cooked through. Remove both from pot.

Saute onions, celery, peppers, and garlic to tenderness you prefer and then remove from pot ( ok to add to meats)

Roux- melt butter in pot with heat at med low. once just melted add flour and stir CONSTANTLY until the flour is completely absorbed by the butter and begins to lightly brown 3-5 minutes is common for me.

Add liquid to roux slowly ( about 1/2 cup at a time) still stirring constantly to keep lumps out of your mixture don't add more until completely absorbed. Once all liquid has been added add your seasoning and the meat and veggies.

Bring everything to a boil. Add rice and return to a boil. Cover and let cook 30 minutes stopping every 10 minutes to give it all a good quick stir moving rice from bottom to top.

Once rice is tender add green onions and serve.

I hope you enjoy!

Friday, April 10, 2009


I was going to take my picture as usual but realized only too late that I had been so excited to eat when my meal was finished that I forgot to take the picture! So here is an "aftermath" picture I thought I'd share. And this is an "aftermath" picture of what Anders was doing while I was cooking dinner.
On to my review... I made the carrot salad as written but forgot to add red chili to my list so I ate it w/o the chili. The spiciness of the chili really makes this salad extra yummy so I don't recommend leaving it out BUT it tasted good without it too so if you really hate anything spicy I still think you should try it. I left the cashews out (so it didn't get soggy) when I put it in the fridge overnight and added the chili the next day--so much better!
The chicken was great, too. I love garlic so this tasted heavenly!! I used too much oil which was a shame because it was so greasy and I used white pepper. I have suspected that I don't like white pepper and this confirmed that. It tastes so yucky to me, the only way I can explain how I think it tastes is horse hooves. Does anyone else get what I mean?? Next time I will most definitely use black pepper!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

Yum! Yum!

I don't think I've ever been the first to review! One thing I loved about these recipes was I had all the ingredients but the cashews on hand already. I thought the chicken was so easy and I loved the flavor, I've become a big fan of pepper since having babies, weird huh?, I admit I was a little skeptical at the vast amount of garlic I used for doing 4 chicken breasts, (it seemed enough to ward off the whole Cullen Family! :) that's for you Twilight fans) but it was great. I served it with Jasmine rice. I LOVED the carrot salad I have now finished off the whole thing, the girls pulled out the cashews and J wasn't home for dinner so I had it all to myself. The girls ate some of the chicken but labeled it "too spicy" :) I will be making this for myself again for sure I think it will be a great and easy lunch! Thanks Alissa!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fruity Pork

I liked the pork, it was very similar to one that we make but that we add a gravy to. I think if I was going to do this again though I would just
slit it
stuff it
twine it.
Much easier! I found making the hole to be easy but not getting it wider. I must admit all the comments had me smiling while doing this. It also put me in the mood for blueberry season and our first pork tenderloin recipe!

Moroccan chicken stew with sweet potatoes FINALLY!

So I have to admit I was a little disappointed with this recipe as I know its been used several times in some of the chic chef houses so I was hoping to add a new recipe to our revolving usuals. But that said it may be totally my fault I used chicken breasts since I had a ton on hand instead of thighs and I didn't use saffron and I know that can make a big difference as well. I thought it was kind of interesting that you bread and fry up the chicken and then boil it which made the nice crisp skin turn mushy......

I'm curious for some feed back, right now I don't really feel like trying it again as the flavor really was pretty flat but I know my changes could ave been the cause as well. The idea of the recipe seems really yummy to me, so I have thought of putting my own twist on it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Torta and Flank Steak

Ok you caught me another lie.... i hope this doesn't become a habit.... I did skip the sloppy joes to make this recipe. B ut in my defense this is a recipe that has been a staple in my repitoire for years.
Here is my take on the torta... I love it obviously, and usually cut the salt in the spinach and the butter down. I have substitiuted panko crumbs as well as cracker crumbs for the bread with decent results although my favorite is to use a great crusty loaf for dinner one night and the leftovers for this the next. I have also changed up the spinach to use, kale, swiss chard, and various other greens. I love the swiss chard in it!!!
As for the steak, well... here is this story,
I had everything for the steak marinade but the sherry. I asked my bachelor neighbor if he happened to have some and he laughed and asked what the heck I was talking about. When I told him the recipe I was going to make he promptly got up, ran to the store and came back with sherry.... and a steak! He asked me to throw his steak in with ours because it sounded so good! We only mairnated it for about 3 hours and then grilled it! FABULOUS!!! He did a new york strip steak, i did flank and we tried each others and agree it was great with either! In fact we re doing it again tonight! YUMM-O

My apologies!!!

Sorry ladies, I know I have been a bit MIA as of late! But, after much deliberation I will post the truth now.....
I CAN'T DO SLOPPY JOES!!!! I have been seriously battling guilt and beating myself up about this recipe! I have bought all ingredients 4 times now and used everything for other dishes and tossed numerous buns! The truth is my mo used to make these growing up and it is one of the dishes I remember vivdily making myself sick so as to not have to eat them. I have tried to get over this because I do have faith that it is a good recipe but I just can't let my inner chef go enough to try.

I hate to admit this but my guilt over avoiding this recipe has forced me to fall behind on the others. I kept telling myself I would move on to them as soon as I do this. Well, it just ain't gonna happen! I have asked each of my sisters and a couple friends to make the recipe and let me know what they think so I can post their reviews, everyone who has tried it has loved them!!!!

There now you know the truth! I am sorry for being a pooper on this and I will gladly move on to the others and post my results!

Garlic Pepper Chicken and Carrot Salad

I got this recipe from a Thai cooking website that I like. It it so flavorful, but only takes a few ingredients and not very much time. I serve it on plain, steamed jasmine rice.

PLEASE NOTE: Depending on the amount of people you're making it for, you may have to double or triple or even quadruple. I would normally double this for me and my husband, but we eat a lot. You can see that it is just super-seasoned chicken, no veggies or anything. I am posting a salad that I LOVE below it as a suggestion for a side dish, but the chicken is the only "official" recipe this time.

Garlic and Pepper Chicken

(Serves however many people one chicken breast on rice would normally serve in your household!)

1 chicken breast, sliced into thin bite-size pieces (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup garlic cloves, smashed
3/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon white pepper or black pepper (or mix 'em!)
1 3/4 teaspoons fish sauce (I probably use a little more than this)
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)
2-3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cilantro leaves (for garnish)

1. Rinse and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. (I do it in thin slices that are bite size)
2. Smash the garlic lightly with the side of a knife. Remove the skin if not using thin-skinned Thai garlic. (I just finely chop it)
3. Heat the oil in a pan until very hot. Add the garlic and keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.
4. When (very) lightly browned, add the chicken. Cook until done (not raw). If it gets dry and sticky, add some water to the pan about 1-2 tablespoons at a time.
5. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce and pepper. You may need to add a bit more water here so that it mixes well.
6. Mix well and serve on rice (for a one-dish meal), or in a plate (to share with friends). Garnish with cilantro.

Thai Carrot Salad

½ tsp finely chopped garlic
2-3 Tbsp lime juice
1Tbsp sugar (I think I often skip the sugar or just cut down the amount)
3 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
4 cups shredded carrot
½ cup cherry tomato, cut in half
1 to 2 red chilies, thinly sliced
2/3 cup chopped coriander
½ cup mint
1/3 cup roasted cashew nut

Whisk the first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl
Add the next 3 ingredients, toss well
Let stand for 5-10 minutes, sprinkle with cashew nuts, coriander and mint before serving

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fruity Pork

Last night I made the pork tenderloin. We liked it, especially Andy! I didn't actually stuff the pork because I have a meat issue and couldn't bring myself to do the poking part. It worked out well though because I had an especially large tenderloin so I slit it long ways and sort of stuffed it that way and then wrapped it. I don't think it really made a big difference. Anyway, we all ate it up and like it, thanks Nikki! FOUR THUMBS UP!!

Special Request: Ground Beef Not Pot Pie

I got this recipe out of a Rachael Ray mag that a friend passed on to me when she was finished. I found this recipe and we LOVE it! It is simple (I take a few short cuts) and delicious. Chic Chef Carrie asked that I share it so here is the link to it! Enjoy!
PS: I always leave out the bacon because there is no need for the added fat and additional flavor.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

First I have to say that I am so sad because Alyssa is going back to Malta and that means no more cooking with Chic Chef Alyssa. I am so sad about this that I feel myself sinking into a deep cooking slump. Boxed macaroni may be my family's fate for at least three weeks because of my sad, sad, condition. I am unsure that my inner chef can go on with out her. :(

On the lighter side of things, this was a great last recipe to do with her! We had so much fun stuffing the pork tenderloin, as Alyssa already said. Hee hee hee. It was worth it though. It tasted great. Our dad was visiting and he loved it as did Mark and Anders. Alyssa shared the details already so that is all I have to say!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sumptuous Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Eva and I made the stuffed pork tenderloin last night. She'll post the pictures.
It was delicious and beautiful. We found it difficult to make the hole through the tenderloin very big, so there wasn't much fruit in the pieces from the very middle. However, there was plenty of sauce and the meat had a lot of flavor, so the middle pieces were just as excellent as the end pieces. We did use more than the half cup of fruit, so the sauce ended up less like a saucy sauce and more like a saucy chutney. No complaints there--it was fabulous! We had a large tenderloin, and though we didn't fry it longer than the 6 minutes, we did keep it in the oven for about 20 minutes versus the ten that the recipe suggests. So, we agree with you about the extra fruit and the extra cooking time.
Any suggestions on the hole-making would be appreciated (we used a sharpening steel). Maybe it was just our particular piece of meat.
We laughed a lot about how weird it felt to stick your fingers way into the hole and trying to cram the fruit in . . . We're so immature, but it was fun to laugh!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Apples and Dried Fruit


1/2cup coarsely shopped mixed fruit dried fruit, such as golden raisins, cranberries, apricots and prunes
1/4 cup full-bodied dry red wine
1 teaspoon butter
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
One 1-pound pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chicken stock


1) In a small bowl, mix the dried fruit with the wine. Melt the butter in a large ovenproof skillet. Add the apple and cook over moderate heat for 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, boat 7 minutes. Add the water as the pan dries out.

2) Drain the dried fruit, reserving the wine. Stir the dried fruit into the apple and onion in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate to cook. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup of the fruit mixture and reserve it for making the sauce. Wipe out the skillet.

3) Preheat the over to 425. Insert a sharpening steel or the handle of a wooden spoon into the thick end of the tenderloin. Carefully push the steel through the tenderloin and roll the meat to widen the hole slightly. Stuff the tenderloin with the fruit mixture and seal the ends with toothpicks.

4) Heat the oil in the skillet. Season the meat with salt and pepper and brown it in the skillet over high heat, turning, for about 6 minutes.( I tend to cook it longer then the 6 minutes) Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the meat for 10 minutes. (Again I cook it longer the the 10 minutes.) Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest.

5) Add the reserved wine to the skillet and cook over high heat, scraping up any brown bits, until syrupy, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved 1/2 cup of fruit mixture and season with salt and pepper. Slice the tenderloin crosswise 1/2 thick and serve with the sauce.

So here are a few things that i have noticed in making this. I tend to add more fruit and the cook times seem much longer to me and i tend to make it in shifts. I like to get as much as i can done the night before and then finish after work the next day or do it on a weekend. I hope you ladies like this one can't wait to hear what you think.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nothing Sloppy About This Joe!

I finally tried them. I put them off in order to make the other recipes. I didn't want to fall too far behind, and I figured that the original poster of this one would likely forgive faster being that she is my sister.
I liked them. I didn't LOVE them, but I liked them. I loved how fast and easy they were and that everything just goes into one pan. And I really like worcestershire sauce and used the full 4 Tbsp, which was great.
I don't really like bell peppers and I don't like my food to be sweet, except dessert-type stuff. I would be interested to try the same recipe with out the pepper in the future, why not?
I usually have all the ingredients that it calls for on hand, so I'll surely keep this in mind for anytime when I have to come up with something on the fly.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tasty Torta

The torta was very nice. We had it just shortly after it came out of the oven. It was so good. Then, I had another piece when it was lukewarm, as the recipe suggests, and it was still so, so good. Then, today I had a piece straight out of the fridge without warming it up and it was still good! I'll make this again. A great way to have spinach besides in a salad which is usually how I eat it. And I love it when the leftovers are still good and easy. Thanks, Carrie!

Sloppy Joes!

So I never liked sloppy joes when my Mom made them when I was a kid, they were not made completely from scratch though as she would use a seasoning packet. I was very curious as to whether I would like these or not. I was pretty sure everyone else would like them even if I didn't. I forgot the Worcestershire sauce which I know was a main ingredient so I'll have to try again with it. But even without it both Jonathan and I liked it, the girls wouldn't even try it which was kinda funny and frustrating because I'm pretty sure if I could have got them to taste it they would have liked it. I will make this again with the Worcestershire sauce but I must admit part of me still feels like I did as a kid which was, I'd rather be eating a hamburger! :)

(I still haven't done the last two soups but I will!!)

Loved It!

Alyssa and I made the Torta together last night...delicious! We did not use as much butter as it calls for, we didn't dot the top, and the next time I will still cut down even more. I didn't see a problem because of it so, why not? We used almost 2 lbs of spinach and next time I might even try adding more, just to pack in the goodness! Even though it is clear that there are only three eggs in this I was expecting it to be more like a quiche for some reason but I am so glad it wasn't! I really liked that the bulk of the torta was the rice and spinach. Great flavor! Yes, yes, yes!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

FABULOUS Flank Steak! (Severns Review)

Tonight I made the flank steak and spinach torta. I followed the recipes exactly like they read. We really liked the torta however it was more work and dirty dishes than I normally prefer for a routine meal. Andy liked it but thought it lacked flavor however I liked the nutmeg. Also Andy & I thought the crunchy edges were nice. I think that we enjoy a spinach quiche as much or more and it's a lot less work so probably won't make this one again.
The steak on the other hand will be made repeatedly. We thought it was like eating candy. The flavor was amazing and it melted in my mouth. I have never prepared flank steak before and although it was a bit more spendy than I usually get, I do think I'll buy it again. The kids meat I cooked medium-well but Andy & I ate ours medium-rare. Overall the meal was a big hit but next time I'll make a quiche instead of the torta to cut down on time and dirty dishes. FOUR THUMBS UP!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Two In One

Hey everybody, I feel like I have gone on vacation from the blog because I haven't been regular about my reviews. I have, though, been making everything and I am prepared to catch up on those reviews.

First: Sloppy Joes

I did like this recipe. As I said in a comment, I really like the idea of "modernising" old recipes so I was excited for this one. I, as Tisha, liked the vegetables in it and it tasted fresh and wholesome to us. I used a little extra Worchershire sauce, which was sooo yummy! and I actually think even more would have been good or something to make the flavor not so "bright" Do you know what I mean when I say that?? Anyway, Thanks Rachel because this has got me thinking about other sort of classic recipes that I can re-vamp.

Second: Apple Brie Soup

Okay, the confession is that I did not make this myself. Rachel and Alyssa made it in JC, as they said, and they were so nice and brought me home a bit of it! Thank you guys again for thinking of me. I didn't really like it either. I think I have an explanation of why though. Have you guys every tried fruit soup? People absolutely RAVE about fruit soup. I don't like it at all!! The flavors in this remind me of fruit soup so that's probably why. Another thing that you all may have noticed is that all three sisters did not like this soup. I think this could be attributed to one of two reasons (possibly) Number one, we all tried the same soup so what if we made a mistake without knowing it in the preparation of the soup? OR number two, we come from the same family and often times that means that we have the same weird family preferences. You know what I mean we all have those! So there is my explanation. Now I am even more super curious to hear everyone else's thoughts on the soup! One more thing, weather I liked it or not, I was really excited about it when Serena posted because it was DIFFERENT. That's what I like so much about this blog. It gives me an opportunity to try things that I would not have. Thanks Serena!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spinach Torta and Flank Steak

Hello Ladies! Sorry this is a few days late. The main recipe I want everyone to "try" is the Spinach Torta which could be a main dish with a salad for lunch or I suppose even dinner for some of you birdies but we prefer to use it as a side dish for dinner. We have made it with steak, chicken, and pork so if more then one dish overwhelms you go for the Torta and just add it to whatever meat you would like! Happy Cooking!

Spinach Torta

2lbs fresh spinach (I usually only use 1lb, as thats how the Organic stuff comes from Costco and it always seems fine)
1 heaping C long grain rice
4 T butter + extra for pan
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs
Black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Cut off and discard root end of spinach. (I usually do this rather loosly not necessarily getting all ends!) Soak spinach 5 minutes, in cold water. Lift spinach out and drain away water in colander. Repeat until no soil visible in water.

Put spinach in pot without water except whats on leaves. Liberally salt. Cook until tender then drain reserving cooking water. When cool to touch, squeeze dry with hands and cut into coarse bits.

In another pot cook rice as normal but using reserved water as part of the cooking water. The rice should be tender but firm so usually a little under what the normal cooking time is.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Put butter oil and onion in pan. Saute over medium heat. When onions are pale golden, add spinach and rice. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently until all mixed well. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Grease a 10inch springform baking pan with butter. (used round pans and pie dishes before I got a springform!) Coat bottom and sides with bread crumbs tapping extra out and reserving. (Directions call for rice mixture to be cool for the next part I've done it when its still warm) When rice mixture is cool, add 1/4 cup cheese, nutmeg, and pepper. Mix in eggs one at a time. Put rice mixture into pan and level evenly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Dot with butter and bake for 15 minutes or until light crust has formed. (directions call for it to be served luke warm but we prefer it hot!)

This is a great dish for something a little different for a side and such a great way to get in Spinach! Our girls love it! And to give credit where do this recipe was snagged from Staci who I believe snagged it from a former employer :) and so the cycle continues!

Marinated Flank Steak

I'm very new to cooking with any sort of beef other then hamburger but I got this recipe off of another cooking blog and wanted to give it a try.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cooking sherry
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 heaping tablespoons minced ginger
3-5 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 Flank Steak

Combine all ingredients in glass or ceramic dish then coat steak on both sides in marinade then marinade for at least 4-6 hours, I'm going for overnight.

There are a variety of ways to then cook it. In a grill pan stove top style, broiling in the oven or on an outside grill. The length of cooking also depends on your preference. Mooing, red, pink and so on :)

Happy Cooking!

Review: Apple Brie Soup

Well, as you already know I made this with Alyssa. I agree with her, this is not my bowl of soup. I really didn't like it. It was too sweet and it seemed like it was missing something. I tried a little curry in my bowl and that wasn't it. I am curious as Alyssa asked, what would be good to serve with this? We had baked chicken breast, It was a nice balance for the sweetness. I would have liked to taste more brie in it also. I don't think I'll be trying this again unfortunately.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Moroccan chicken stew delayed but delicious!!

So, I have been meaning to post this forever!! But, better late than never I suppose!

My first confession on this recipe is that I didn't make it! I totally cheated and honestly may do so again if the occasion arises. You see, I had all the ingredients on hand for a couple weeks. I was looking forward to it but found myself in a very chaotic schedule that left me with no time to cook. God smiled on me, and sent my sister to the rescue! She happen to have an abundance of time on her hands and enjoys cooking. SHe offered to take the ingredients, make me dinner, and deliver it!! HELLO!! So, sorry ladies but I jumped at the chance.

She claims to have followed the directions exaclty and the results were delicious!!! I will admit the first few bites I was unsure of the taste but, it quickly grew on me. She did use the saffron and I am fairly certain without it the recipe would be lacking. I loved the warm taste of hominess with the cinnamon yet, it was different and I realy enjoyed it! She and her boyfriend, both thought it was quite tasty.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Apple Brie Soup Review

I travelled down to Oregon to meet up with Rachel and make this soup! The most effort I've put into a Chic Chef recipe. Ha ha! It was fun to make try it together.
Sooooo, down to the nitty gritty: . . . I wasn't a fan. :( I'm not sure what I'd do differently, I'm not of the opinion that it is a bad recipe, I just honestly think it is something that isn't up my alley. Too sweet for me. What I liked about it: it was fun to try something so different to what I'm used to. Isn't that what this is all about? Thank you, Serena!
I'd like to ask . . . what did you guys make for the rest of the meal? I thought maybe therein lies the key. What do you usually serve it with, Serena? And do you serve it as a first course?

We loved the Joes!

Ok so this was a great dinner and made great leftovers! Not often do we eat ALL of the leftovers but this time we were fighting over them. We don't often eat Sloppy Joe's because in the past they have made Nathan sick (he has Crohns). But that will change now! Next time i will drain the tomatoes and maybe use a tomato paste instead of the sauce or maybe i should have been more patient and waited a little more but i was starving at that point! So thanks again Rach i will be making these again and again! I'm sure at some point i will get a good picture of Carson covered in them to show you girls!

Bring it on Carrie! I don't know if i have ever been the first one to post about a meal! Go me! ;)

Sloppy Joes Revived

So I actually cooked these the day after Rachel's initial post, and I just forgot to comment! Anyways, I made them exactly according to the recipe except I omitted the oats as I didn't have them on hand. Jeremy was quite excited to have sloppy joes, and I was excited to have produced healthy, veggie-laden, non-greasy sloppy joes (which is not how I remember them from my younger years). Served over toasted hamburger buns and with a side salad, this was a quick, tasty, healthy weeknight meal. Thanks Rachel, for helping me reintroduce this dish into my food life in fine fashion.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My First Homemade Meatballs!

Yum! Yum! Yum!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sloppy Joes Go Chic

A couple weeks ago I asked Andy what he wanted for dinner and he said Sloppy Joes. My response was “EEWWW Yuck.” Then I thought ‘Ya know, you asked, maybe you should just make him what he wants.’ So I pulled out my faithful ol’ cookbook and thought I’d do it up right (no Joe’s out of a can for us). I followed the recipe and doctored a little here and there. They turned out SO good! I know all you chic chefs bring these fabulous ethnic recipes and here I am bringing comfort food from 1963 but don’t judge a recipe by its name – I did and had to give up my seconds as a result! I hope you enjoy this yummy meal, brought to you courtesy of Andy. :)
NOTE: You may find that the measurements need a little adjusting for your taste. This recipe is flexible enough for variation.

Sloppy Joes
1 pound ground beef
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped red pepper
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
¼ cup water
3 Tablespoons quick oats
2 Teaspoons chili powder
3-4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
Salt to taste
White dinner rolls

In a large skillet brown meat and drain fat off. Add onion and pepper and sauté until veggies are just softening. Stir in remaining ingredients (except rolls); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered until desired consistency. Serve over rolls. Serves 4-6.

This recipe I got out of Rachael Rays magazine this summer and thought it looked good. I haven’t tried it yet but wanted to pass it along to the Chic Chefs!

Sweet Milk Cake
6 large eggs, separated
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 cups evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 quart heavy cream
Papaya slices for serving (or most any fruit you prefer).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking dish. Using the electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with 1 cup sugar on low speed until combined, then increase to high and beat until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add ½ cup evaporated milk and the vanilla; beat until combined. Fold in the flour and baking powder.

Clean the beaters. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining ¼ cup sugar until stiff peaks form.

Working in batches, fold the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 45 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 ½ cups evaporated milk, the sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup cream. Ladle over the cooled cake. Cover and chill until the liquid is absorbed, about 4 hours.
Beat the remaining 3 cups cream until soft peaks form. Serve with the cake and fruit slices.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Morocco Here I Come

This was a fun, different recipe that I really enjoyed. I liked the sweetness of the sweet potatoes and cinnamon combined with the spice of the onions. And I love couscous because it is so versatile - you can add just about anything to it! I added chopped pistachios, raisins and lemon juice as that was what I had on hand, and it turned out tasty! The only suggestion I got on the meal (from my husband) was that the texture of the soup might be bettered if you blended part of it to make it thicker, which I agree might be a nice spin on the recipe though I liked it with a clear broth too. I also think a few added veggies could be fun too - like carrots and/or celery. All in all a great exotic meal that totally convinced me that I need to take a trip to Morocco to try out more of their food! Thanks Eva!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Hey Gals!
Since I have had limited response to my proposals for round three I will assume that all is well. I am going to put up the new schedule today and we will proceed with a non-theme. Happy cooking!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The last Soup! Apple Brie Soup

Hey there Girls... It looks like my soup is the last soup in this round so I thought I would end on a sweet note.

please remember the measurements can be adjusted according to your individual taste..especially when it comes to the spices.
Apple Brie Soup
ING: 1/2 c your favorite white wine
1/2 c sugar
2 tbs butter
5 med to large apples (i prefer gala/fugi and maybe a couple of granny smith)
1 1/2 c half & half
1 c milk
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
7 oz brie cheese
another note: i tend to make this soup "from the hip" so to speak. I usually make it from memory and by taste. It really is a simple soup to make.
basically what i do is start by peeling the apples, core and slice them and if you wanna chop them up a lil you can. In soup pot over med-low to med heat add wine,vanilla, sugar, butter and apples to pan,(stir it around a bit to coat apples w/liquid mixtre) once the wine has warmed up and begun to infuse some of the apples and the sugar begins to disolve (this will really be just a few minutes) add half and half along with the milk, salt and chunked brie cheese (rhine removed)(tip: i use a potatoe peeler to remove the rhine from the brie) add your pinch of salt and Heat thourghly but do not allow to boil,cause you don't want to burn the milk...your apples will beging to soften. Now it is time to blend.... you can transfer with ladel to blender or use a hand blender right in the pan. You want to blend soup well so there is no chunks but keeps a consistancy kinda like applesauce maybe just a little thinner. This is when your soup will thicken and take on a delious new texture. If you've transfered to your blender pour soup back in soup pot and stir in spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. Note: if your soup is a little to thin you can let simmer and reduce a bit. Serve pleasently hot! mmm I hope you guys love it.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Round Three!

Hey Ladies!
Can you believe it is already time for another round? WOW, time flies! An opinion or two has been expressed about the next round. It seems that we would like to go back to a non-theme blog where each one of us picks whatever type of cuisine they prefer. I also would like to suggest we stick with the same schedule (of course I'll update the dates) that we currently have. If there is anyone who would like to bow out of this round please let me know. It is understandable when a plate needs to be cleared and of course anyone who needs to take a break is always welcome to rejoin our chic club! Please leave your feedback and I'll post the new schedule asap!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mmmm Moroccan Stew

Well, I feel repetitive... This was ssooo good. I love the mixture of the flavors. I have never really cooked with sweet potatoes but this was inspiring. My family really enjoyed this stew. My dad came for a visit and ate the leftovers and raved! I will be repeating this recipe. FIVE THUMBS UP!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Moroccan Madness

I forgot to take a picture, but here goes . . . . I made the recipe and I liked it a lot. I did have to make some changes, though. I am currently "gluten-free". So, I did not dredge the chicken in flour, nor did I eat it with cous cous. I put saffron on my list. I knew it was expensive, but I like to follow the recipes as closely as I can the first time and then make changes if I want to. However, when I saw that it was $15, I skipped it.
Even with all these changes it still turned out very nice. The sweet potatoes are so good and the lemon juice, cinnamon, and ginger give it a great flavor. And the cilantro is the perfect finishing touch.
I am enjoying the recipes from around the globe . . . keep them coming!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thai soup Trials!

I was so excited about this soup! I am a huge Thai fan and love trying anything with the Thai flavors. My first attempt to try this soup was found to be unsuccessful, I realized I had NONE of the ingredients and went to the store (since when don't i have broth, coconut milk, or chicken on hand????) 1. I couldn't find the soup mix and the other ingredients were going to cost more then I wanted to spend on a single meal for just me so I called Carrie to see if we could make this one together.
Take two on Thai turned in to quite the ordeal! Combining what we had on hand the cost was totally doable! We planned to make it on a night we had dinner at her mom's because Mary really wanted to try this as well. I left Carrie with ALL the kids ( I know it is only 2 BUT, 3 toddlers is a handful) to make a "quick" run to Fred Meyers. I bought most of the stuff but still needed the soup mix, lemon grass, and the lime leaves. Well, after 3 more stores and $8 worth of lemongrass I still needed the soup mix so ran into a asian food mart. I didn't find the soup mix but I found twice the amount of lemongrass that was much fresher looking for $1. What is the deal with that? So, I made one final stop at another store and happened to be there just when the Taste of Thai rep was in the store. I found out that the soup mix is DISCONTINUED! Alas, I gave up my quest and headed back to the house.
Carrie and I made the soup and was impressed by how great of an aroma was lofting from the kitchen! The soup was ready and we both realized in our effort to make the soup and wrangler the kiddos we forgot to make rice. Lucky for us there was a bit left in the fridge from the night before so we carefully split the rice among the 6 bowls and served our soup.
It was mutually agreed upon that 1. we wanted a bit of a kick to the soup 2. between the girls all the parts of the soup were enjoyed, veggies for one, rice for another, and broth for the last 3. It is a soup that grows on you. We each added our own additions to kick it up a notch. I enjoyed adding thai curry sauce, Carrie like a bit of oyster sauce and soy sauce, and Mary added a spicy dried blend and sauce. I brought leftovers to my sis who added fish sauce and a "squeeze" of chili pepper blend.
I think the overall review was this would have been better with the soup mix and was a great base. We considered leaving out the chicken and serving it as a light appetizer to a Thai meal. We all felt that being a Thai recipe some added spice or flavor was a must but as we ate found it growing on us.
I'm not sure if we will rush out to make it again but will certainly keep the recipe in our file to pull out on the right occasion! How fun it is to try new things and find recipes to build on!