Friday, December 28, 2012

Crab, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

With this year's Christmas Eve tradition, we made the crab cake raviolis. We had purchased a few cans of lump crab meat. I wasn't sure how much crab we would need so I probably went a bit overboard...better to be safe then sorry is my motto! Anyhow, we had one can left and I have been trying to figure out what to do with it. Yes...Yes...I know... Crab, Artichoke and Spinach dip, but I gotta tell ya, I am so tired of heavy foods, cream, etc, that I was looking for something really light, and dare I say it healthy. I had originally started this blog with the intention of providing healthy recipes, but at this point, a few of the recipes kind of went off track :).

Well, it just so happens this week, I received my Jan/Feb issue of Cuisine in the mail. I love this magazine. It is all recipes, no ads! This Issue they had this fantastic salad, and I had to give it a try! I had pretty much all of the ingredients but did alter a few to make due with what I had. Hope you enjoy!

Salad:
1 grapefruit (such as a ruby red) segmented
1/2 head of Bibb or Butter lettuce
1 can premium jumbo lump crabmeat
1/2 avocado sliced

Dressing:

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp minced shallots
1 tsp minced fresh tarragon
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
juice from the center of the segmented grapefruit


For the salad, segment the grapefruit. If you are unsure how to do this, there are instructional videos on YouTube. Otherwise you cut off both ends of the grapefruit, and then with your knife, slice off the peel, making sure you get the pith (which can be very bitter). Then with a pairing knife, go slice the segments out so they come out in perfect little jeweled sections. Arrange the lettuce on two plates, top with the crab meat, grapefruit segments, and the avocado. For the dressing, whisk together the grapefruit juice, oil, vinegar, tarragon, shallots, dijon and honey.Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over your two salads. This was such a light meal and extremely flavorful.




Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Crab Cake Ravioli

It is that time of year again when we break out the ravioli press and begin our Christmas Eve tradition. Our good friend comes over to join us and we drink wine and make homemade raviolis. This year, I decided to make crab cake filling for the ravioli filling and to go with it a vodka sauce. For my birthday this year we went to a fantastic restaurant called The Oceanaire Seafood Room and I found their recipe for crab cakes online. I used their recipe for the filling and they turned out excellent! Here is where I found the recipe, I made a few adjustments since it was for a ravioli filling and ultimately the rest of the rav's were going to be frozen. We played around with the shapes too this year, some hearts, some circles, some squares. 

Crab Cake Filling
2 eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsps Old Bay Seasoning, divided
1 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon
5 shallots, minced
4 stalks celery, minced
1/4 pound (scant 2 cups) crustless cubed white bread (about 1/4 loaf), cut into small cubes
10 Ritz crackers crumbled
2 pounds jumbo lump crab meat, drained of any liquid

In a food processor, mince the shallots and celery. I sautéed these until they were tender and then put into colander to drain the excess liquid. Since I was going to be freezing the raw raviolis and onions and celery have such high water content, I didn't want them to break down because I froze them. In the food processor, break down the Ritz crackers and bread and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the cooled down celery and onion mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly. 














For the vodka sauce, I used this recipe.






Sunday, November 4, 2012

Goats Cheese filled Peppadews


My BFF and I went to Macaroni grill for lunch a weekend ago. We had this tapas plate they are currently serving and I just thought it was fantastic. I decided to try to recreate it. The thing I did differently is I added chives and the bacon (since it was in my fridge and I needed to use them up). Oh man these little beauties are fantastic. The peppadew peppers are usually in some sort of brine material and need to be drained but the tartness with the goats cheese gives these little guys a flavor all to themselves!!


1 jar of Peppadew Peppers, or container (I got mine at an olive bar)
8 oz. soft herbed goat cheese
1/4 cup of whipping cream or half and half
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 strips bacon, cooked, chopped finely
Salt and Pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar to drizzle

Place the peppers on a greased baking sheet, top side up. Place the goat cheese and cream or half and half into a bowl. Mix until smooth. It will still be really thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the chives and bacon. With a small spoon or piping bag, fill each pepper with the goat cheese mixture (I used a large ziploc bag and cut a small hole in one of the corners). Place under the broiler for about 5 - 7 minutes. Watch closely, they will cook very quickly. Since they are precooked, they only need to warm and melt the cheese. When the peppers are ready, pull them out of the oven. Place on plate or platter and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over them.




Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chicken with a Chipotle Cream Sauce


It has become a weekly tradition to go to my best friends house and have dinner. We cook have a blast coming up with new meals from what is in his fridge...and this week was no different. He had Mexican on the brain and wanted to use chicken thighs. With an avocado and tomatoes...and a few other ingredients...we came up with a fantastic meal. Grant it the avocado and tomatoes did not find its way into this dish, but as a nice tasty accompaniment (a little salad). We made a fantastic meal and served it on a bed of Spanish rice. I hope you enjoy!

4 Chicken Thighs, bone in and skin on
5 small red peppers, seeded and sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 tbsp garlic
4 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, minced
2 tbsp cumin
3 tsp adobe sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste

In a deep pan, coat with olive oil and flash fry your chicken thighs. Skin side first for about 7 minutes each side until the skin is brown and crispy. Flip and fry the other side for about 7 more minutes. Remove from heat. In the same pan, saute the onions and garlic till translucent. Add the peppers. Cook till both are soft. Add the chipotle peppers and the sauce and the cumin. Deglaze with the chicken stock. Add the chicken thighs back into the pan and simmer until the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of about 170 degrees. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and bring back up to heat. Serve on top of a bed of rice.




Monday, October 22, 2012

6-Cheese Mac and Cheese


I saw this recipe and wanted to give it a try. Do you know how long it has been since I have had macaroni and cheese....EONS!!! Well, I spiced it up a bit and changed a few things, and what was created was out of this world. I will never go back to boxed macaroni and cheese ever again. I hope you enjoy. It may cost a bit extra, but the cost was well worth it!!!


  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Asiago 
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar 
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Provolone
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan 
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Fontina 
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook ziti until al dente. Strain and rinse in cool water. In a saute pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until it is crispy and the fat has rendered. In the same pan, add the cream and begin to whisk to prevent it from scalding on the bottom. Slowly add in all of the cheeses and continue to whisk until well blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Slowly add the cooked ziti to the cheese mixture, stirring gently. Transfer the ziti and cheese mixture to individual baking dishes. Top off with more cheese and bake for 24 to 30 minutes. I found this recipe on Food Network, but again, changed a few things to make it my own.


** As a note, I would definitely eat these the day you make them. When you try to reheat, the oils from the cheese separate and you end up with a puddle of oil....





Monday, October 15, 2012

Mediterranean Chicken with Olives


I was perusing the Internet looking for a dish to make with chicken thighs and I stumbled upon this one and thought it sounded interesting. I made slight alterations by adding in crushed red peppers and onions (Dave likes things a bit on the spicy side) but the results were just absolutely amazing. 


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8-10 skinless chicken thighs, bone in
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
2 garlic cloves, sliced into thin rounds
½ onion, thinly sliced
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup pitted olives mix, such as Kalamata
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; add to pan, meaty side down. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 minutes more. 















Pour out any excess fat. Return pan to burner; sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Stir in broth and wine, scraping up any brown bits. Return chicken back to the sauce. Scatter, thyme, and olives on chicken. Lay one lemon round on each piece of chicken. Place skillet in oven. Roast chicken for 17 to 20 minutes, or until juices run clear. now the image below is of what the chicken looked like prior to going into the oven...so it is a bit raw...I just didn't get a chance to take a picture of the final product....but boy was it yummy!!!




Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce


Wow....I just realized, the last time I posted here was back in April. Can you say, I have been remiss in my duties...I have also been so so busy with work and with life, time has completely passed me by! Well I am hoping to get back into the swing of things by posting my favorite recipes and just keeping y'all up to date with what is going on and I am starting with this recipe. I found this on Martha Stewart's website and altered it slightly. My garden had a beautiful zucchini in it and instead of pork, I used ground turkey. I also used my homemade chiles in adobo sauce that I have the recipe on my website for...and it turned out yummy!! I have a link to Martha Stewart's original recipe if you choose to use her version Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce or feel free to use my altered one. This is the one thing I love about cooking, you can always alter to adapt to your diet or your tastes!

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 medium onion, coarsely grated and squeezed firmly to remove excess liquid
1/2 large zucchini, coarsely grated and squeezed firmly to remove excess liquid
1 large egg
1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cooked rice and chopped fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine turkey, onion, zucchini, egg, breadcrumbs, oregano, cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; combine well. Form into 16 (2-inch) balls. On a large baking pan with a lip, bake in an oven at 350 degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes or until browned. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes and chiles in a blender; process until smooth, and set aside. In a large dutch oven, add pureed sauce and return all meatballs to skillet. Cover; and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Uncover, and simmer until sauce is thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over rice, sprinkled with cilantro, as desired.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Peanut Butter Bread


Recipe adapted from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs

I subscribe to a cooking/craft/just about anything blog that is fantastic. She has ideas that are simply amazing. I am in the process of actually creating my own Christmas stockings for this year based off a post she wrote and they are just turning out beautiful. Well, the hubs loves loves peanut butter, and she posted a recipe that she adapted from a cookbook. I told the hubs about it and he asked me to add crushed peanuts. I appeased him and the result was yummy! It didn’t turn out so much like bread you can stick in the toaster, but more along the lines of banana bread. On that note, you could definitely add some smashed overripe bananas to this and I am sure it would be just heavenly! This is definitely a repeat and I highly suggest you try it!

2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup crushed roasted peanuts
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside. In a mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugars. Then mix the peanut butter, egg and vanilla into the butter/sugar.  Mix well. Slowly add the flour mix, and combine.  The mixture will be dry, but don't worry... Pour in the milk slowly, and combine. Stir in the crushed peanuts and mix well to combine. Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan. I used her tips and lined the loaf pan with wax paper and the bread came out perfectly when it was done baking. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. I ended up baking mine for about an hour and 15 minutes.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pork Hash Stuffed Peppers

Have you ever seen the nutritional content in Hash? Cornbeef Hash for example has over 990 mg of salt...wowza! Well a couple of days ago through a challenge that Crock-Pot Ladies put up (Whip-it up Wednesdays) I decided to take a look at what was in my fridge and whip something up! I would have actually posted it on their website Wednesday, but it took me this long to type up the recipe!! It is called utter laziness. Well, at the time, I did not have corn-beef, but I did have pork. I decided to make a play on corn-beef hash and make a pork hash and stuff it in some peppers we had. It turned out fantastic. To cut back on the sodium levels, Penzeys has the awesome salt free flavor blends and I used a couple of those for flavor as well as a few spices for kick. If I do say so myself, the hash turned out fantastic and we have now set out on a mission to make true corn-beef hash! This hash would have been great the next day with eggs!

Hope you enjoy!


1 pork tenderloin, diced into about ½ inch to 1 inch pieces
5 – 6 small red and yellow peppers, diced
1 shallot, diced
1 bunch of kale, chopped well
2 potatoes, diced into corn size pieces
1 tbsp Penzeys Arizona spice
1 tbsp Penzeys Mural of Flavor spice
1 tbsp Penzeys Chipotle pepper
1 tbsp Penzeys Chili powder
½ cup barbeque sauce, any flavor
½ cup white wine
4 large red peppers
Shredded cheddar cheese
  
In a large skillet, sauté the onions and red pepper until tender. Add the potatoes and cook until potatoes are just tender.  Add the cubed pork (the best way to make sure the cubes are small enough, is to dice while the pork is still slightly frozen) and all of the spices. Sauté the mixture for about 7 – 10 minutes. Deglaze with the wine, scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the barbeque sauce. Add the kale and mix in until wilted. Remove from heat. You can either pre grill the red peppers or par-boil the red peppers, just to get them a bit soft. The hubs chose to pre grill them.



Remove the tops and de-seed them. In a casserole dish, put in a layer of the hash (this is used as support for the peppers). Arrange the peppers in the center of the hash. Fill the peppers with the hash just to the top. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese, I didn’t have cheddar cheese, so I used the next best thing…parmesan! Preheat your oven to 375 and let cook for 30 minutes.  







Sunday, March 18, 2012

Roasted Garlic

Being of the Italian descent, one of my most favorite alliums to cook with is garlic. It is a close relative to the onion, shallot, leek, chives just to name a few. I don't think I can cook a dish without including garlic, some form, whether it is a whole clove, minced, sliced, chopped...I am guessing you get the picture. Every so often, when the grocery stores cooperate, the hubs and I will stock up on a few bulbs and actually roast the garlic. There are a few ways to roast these little babies, the three most common being the grill, oven and crock-pot, but ultimately what you get is a savory little morsel that melts over a piece of crusty bread like butter....*sigh*....just thinking about it now makes my mouth water. Where we are located, I don't have the pleasure of getting too many different kinds, just your normal bulb of white garlic, and recently (within the last couple of years) elephant garlic and black garlic. For those of you who are not familiar with black garlic, they actually spend time fermenting the garlic and what you end up with is just pure heaven. But I digress.

Yesterday we went to The Wedge, which is a local Co-op in Uptown Mpls.  I found these absolutely beautiful bulbs of garlic. When you are roasting garlic, you want to make sure you get fairly large bulbs, otherwise you will have small cloves, and trying to get them out of their encasing could be more trouble than it is worth. You also end up with garlic infused extra virgin olive oil that you can use for your cooking which gives your cooking just that little hint of something wonderful!

3 bulbs of garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I use my small crock-pot for this, only because I just decided to purchase 5 bulbs for my endeavor. I could have done more, but ultimately you don't want to keep the garlic in the refrigerator for too long once you have made these. Slice the tops off of the bulbs, not too deep, but just enough to expose the garlic cloves.

In your crock-pot, you have two choices, you can either place the garlic bulbs face down, so the cloves are submerged in the extra virgin olive oil, or you can place them face up, but every so often you will need to baste them with the olive oil. I chose to place my face down in the olive oil. Pour in enough olive oil to cover the bulbs about half way up. Do not submerge them. Set the crock-pot to medium-low until the oil just starts to simmer, then turn it down to low. Let cook for about 5 hours. 



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Roasted Shrimp with Grape Tomatoes and Garlic

Tonight was a quick meal but was unbelievably yummy. We had some shrimp in the freezer and some grape tomatoes that needed to be used up so I thought I would do something a bit different. I wasn't quite in the mood for pasta so we decided to use quinoa (we were out of rice) as our side and cooked up some asparagus. This was such an easy meal and there wasn't much to the preparation. The flavors in this are simple and bright and with a dash of lemon are mm mm good! I hope you try it out and enjoy it as much as we did!



1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 container of NatureSweet grape tomatoes (Cherubs)
7 - 10 cloves of garlic
2 red cippolini onions, coarsely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh oregano
sea salt
pepper

In a bowl mix together mix together the tomatoes, onions and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet (with a lip) in an even layer. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the tomatoes start to burst. While they are cooking, In the same bowl, toss the shrimp with olive oil, salt and pepper. In the center of the pan, with a spatula, push the tomato mixture out to the sides (as shown in the picture). Being careful not to burn yourself, lay the shrimp out, being careful not to lay one on top of the other, and cook for about 5 - 8 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and curl up. When you push on them, there should be no give.




Sunday, March 4, 2012

Creamed Carrot Soup

This may sound weird to you all, but it ends up being like squash soup. We were poking around our refrigerator and found some carrots that we had bought (3 bags) that were a looking a bit sad. I had to figure out what to do with them, and decided to make some soup. The soup was so easy to do, it just took a bit to cook and make the carrots quite soft and then you take a hand wand (mixer) to puree. Voila, carrot soup. The flavors were mild and excellent, and reminded you of fall.

3 bags of carrots, diced
2 large shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 - 6 cups homemade chicken stock
1 pint heavy whipping cream
6 oz mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp nutmeg
2 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp sage
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper

In a large pot, add the shallots and garlic to heated canola oil. Saute till tender. Add the carrots and cook until the carrots are soft.


Add the chicken stock and all spices. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. With a hand wand, puree until well blended. Fold in the mascarpone cheese and the heavy whipping cream. 


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Indian Inspired Chicken Stew

The hubs and I are in love with different ethnicities when it comes to food. Indian being one of our favorites. We have quite a large number of Indian restaurants around our area and the food is just heaven. A couple nights ago, I had a craving for Indian food. I had pulled out some chicken breasts from the freezer and had quite a large number of veggies to use up so I decided to make a stew. Hope you all enjoy. Sorry about the pics too...I am definitely not a photographer and I have been playing around with a few online photo editors to see which ones I like.


3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 zucchini, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
1/4 red cabbage, chopped
1 pkg crimini mushrooms, sliced
4 scallions, chopped
2 cups green beans, chopped
3 cloves black garlic (you can use regular if you can find black garlic), mashed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp vindaloo
1 tbsp sweet curry
1 tbsp balti
1 tbsp tandoori
3 dried chili peppers
2 tsp salt
1 small container greek yogurt (plain)

In a Dutch oven, brown your chicken in 3 tbsp oil, I actually used coconut oil, which is actually solid, kind of like crisco, but melted quite quickly. Remove from heat. You will be adding it back in to finish cooking once you have everything put together and bring to a simmer. Prepare your vegetables and begin layering them in the pot to saute. The onions, garlic, carrots, cabbage, beans, mushrooms and anything else you decide to use up in the way of veggies. After you have let them simmer for about 7 - 10 minutes, deglaze the bottom of the pan with your chicken stock.


Add the garbanzo beans and the tomatoes and all of the spices and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Let cook for about 15 - 20 minutes. At about the half way mark, add the chicken back in to cook all the way through. When you get ready to serve, pull the stew off the flame and let cool briefly, then stir in the greek yogurt. Serve over rice.




Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thousand Island Dressing (for Reubens)

The hubs had a craving for Reuben's and my go to sammie is Rachel's (you substitute turkey for the corn-beef or pastrami). So when I was getting the stuff together for the sammie's I had a thought...yea yea...for you smart tushies out there, that may not happen to often, but I do get them once in a while. I wanted to try my hand at making my own Thousand Island Dressing. I took a look at "famous" Thousand Island dressings that you can buy in the stores to see what the ingredients were and they seemed simple enough. So I gathered my ingredients. I spiced it up a bit and the end result I thought was fantastic. BUT, I would throw this out there. Make it the day before!!!! It was great when we used it, but it only had about an hour for the flavors to meld together. The day after, we had a bit leftover, I took a piece of raw cauliflower and dunked...MMM MMM it was fantastic!!! So, we pulled out the Cuisinart Griddler and got to work!! Here is my dressing!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp dill relish
2 tbsp sweet relish
1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients together and let sit for at least an hour, preferably over night. The dill relish and fresh dill is where I spiced it up a bit. The result was just a hint of dill and it was fantastic.

For the sandwiches, gather the usual ingredients. Corn-beef or pastrami (your choice, mine is turkey), Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, your homemade dressing, and rye bread. Begin layering. Cook on your griddle till brown and toasty! Serve and enjoy.






Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spanish Rice

To go along with our Mexican themed dinner, I made a Phaedra's version of Spanish rice tonight. We had already cooked rice that was sitting in the fridge from our Thai Peanut Chicken dinner so I thought I would use that to cook up a side dish for our burgers. I look at Spanish Rice as you can put it in what you want as long as you keep within the theme :). Hope you enjoy.

1 ½ cups cooked rice
1 green pepper, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup dry sherry
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp chili con carne
½ cup corn

In a large skillet, heat up 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Saute the shallots, green pepper and garlic until tender. Add the chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, chicken stock and sherry. Stir in the spices and corn and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice and let simmer for about 5 more minutes.


Mexican Turkey Burgers

We wanted to have a Mexican theme for dinner tonight and we pulled out some ground turkey. Dave absolutely loves Mexican food, so I thought I would appease him tonight and make something for him. We pulled out a jar of my Salsa Verde and a few other items and made Turkey burgers with a Mexican kick. Hope you all enjoy.


2 lbs ground turkey, 90% lean
½ red onion
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
½ green pepper, chopped
1 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp homemade salsa verde
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili con carne
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 egg
2 cups bread crumbs
Cheese of your choice for the top

Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl 












Form into patties, size them to your liking. Dave likes them fairly large...as you can tell from the picture.










These burgers end up being more like individual meatloaves so Dave ends up usually cooking on low to medium heat on the grill and almost bakes them.  Cook them to your liking. Cover the top with cheese and melt.




Salsa Verde

In the height of canning season this summer, I bought a huge bushel of tomatillos. We love anything Mexican and anything salsa. I wanted to make salsa verde and found a recipe that I altered a bit.We use it for a lot of things. Just regular salsa or even to mix into things, such as hamburgers. It gives it an excellent flavor. I hope you enjoy it.


2 ½ lbs. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 large onions
10 cloves garlic
4 jalapenos, deseeded and chopped
2 Tb. vegetable oil
4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. salt
1 cup packed cilantro
½ cup lemon juice
½ lime, juiced

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Peel and chop the onions into quarters. Place the tomatillos, onions, garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes—until the exteriors are blistered but the insides are still slightly raw. Transfer everything to a pot to simmer, including the precious juice. Add the lime juice and the lemon juice, sliced jalapenos and all of the spices. With a hand wand, puree the ingredients until smooth. Bring to a boil.  In sterilized pint jars, transfer the salsa verde and seal. Process in a water canner for 15 minutes. Remove and make sure all seals have popped.



Monday, February 13, 2012

Thai Peanut Chicken

I was able to get chicken thighs for next to nothing at the grocery store and the hubs had this idea for a Thai peanut recipe. I wanted to use the crock-pot because we had some other chores we needed to get to Sunday and thought it would be easy to "set it and forget it"!! Well when we make any type of sauce, it is usually by taste so I made him measure...and then taste...and measure as he went along. The sauce turned out fantastic and for me, I threw in some chicken breasts. We served it over brown rice and stir fried up some various veggies and the result was a fantastic Thai peanut chicken dinner. I hope you enjoy!!


16 oz natural peanut butter
¾ cup honey
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
3 tbsp ponzu
3 tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup and 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp Chili garlic sauce (adjust heat to taste – we added 3 tbsp)
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 cup chicken stock, low to no sodium
1 tbsp garlic, crushed
12 chicken thighs, skinless
3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

Mix the ingredients for the sauce together before adding to the crock-pot. Place the chicken in the crock-pot and pour the sauce over it. Set to the high setting and cook for 6 hours.We garnished with chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts.