Monday, August 5, 2013

Rigatoni with Peas, Walnuts, and Yogurt Sauce

peas & pasta, yogurt sauce, smoky walnuts

From: Taste With the Eyes
This picture I think says enough. I <3 pretty food.

  • Cook pasta and peas in boiling salted water. Drain and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Heat oil in a small pan and add chile flakes, smoked paprika and walnuts. Stir until the walnuts are brown and coated in chile oil. 
  • Microplane or mince a small clove of garlic into half a cup of yogurt and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt to taste.
  • Chiffonade basil leaves and blanched pea sprouts. 
  • Assemble with peas and pasta on bottom, yogurt sauce in the middle, and walnuts on top. Sprinkle with some feta and basil and pea sprouts. I'm pretty sure this is the girliest thing I've ever cooked. John wanted nothing to do with it but it tasted awesome.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I just HAD too

Ok, I promise I have been trying to bake less but last night I had such a good dinner planned and it was just begging for something sweet to complete it. I guess I can share the dinner too, since mom is the one who told me how to do it....

You need a Pork Loin- plain- un flavored (although the flavored ones a good too) and some Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper. 

Throw the pork loin in a crock pot 4-ish hours before you want to eat. Give a bottle of liquid smoke a few shakes on top and then grind some salt and pepper over that. Flip the pork over and flavor the other side the same way. Cover and let cook on low for 3-4 hours. Once it has reached 165 degrees its finished. 5 minutes before eating pull it out and let rest. Then cut at serve. I also had roasted Asparagus and a salad. I rolled the asparagus in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Then roasted at 400 for 8 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded parmesean and return to oven for another 2 minutes. DELISH!

So you see, not having a dessert after a nice Sunday dinner would have been irresponsible. AND the kids deserved it because they ate better than they have their whole lives- Olivia did not even complain or ask how much gross stuff she had to eat. She actually tried it willingly and had MORE! So this is a dessert I had pinned but never tried. And it's a little unfortunate that it turned out because it's mostly what I have eaten today. Sugar cookies only soooo much easier! Its from whatever website is on the picture, what is it... high heels and grills? Anyway, here you go. Oh and she talks about greasing your hands to help with the stickiness when pressing it into the pan. Yeah- mine wasn't sticky at all but it turned out great. 


  • 2-1/2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour is fine)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. sour cream (I used plain greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup half and half (I used milk)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Several drops of food coloring (optional)

  1. COOKIES: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (The longer you beat it, the fluffier your cookies will be.)
  4. Add egg and combine well.
  5. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until completely blended.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
  7. Gently press the batter into the greased baking dish and spread out with hands. (If you butter your hands, this will help with the stickiness.)
  8. Bake 17-20 minutes, or until edges become lightly golden.
  9. Set aside to cool completely.
  10. FROSTING: In a medium bowl, cream together butter, powdered sugar, and half and half until light and fluffy.
  11. Stir in vanilla and salt, combine well.
  12. Add food coloring until desired color.
  13. Frost your cooled cookie bars evenly.
  14. Cut into squares and serve.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Macaroni Grill Rosemary Bread

Had this with Minestrone tonight. I'm not a bread person. It always seems like too much effort but this was definitely worth it. 

Recipe by: The Sisters Cafe

1 Tbsp. Dry Yeast
1 Tbsp. Sugar 1 cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees)
2 ½ cups white flour, divided
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. rosemary, chopped, (I used about a tablespoon of dried rosemary and it worked great.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
Coarsely ground salt
Put the yeast, water and sugar into a blender. Mix it until it is frothy.Turn the oven onto 200°. (You just need to warm it up; you’re not baking yet.)
To the mixing bowl of yeast mixture, add two cups of the flour, salt, and half of your chopped rosemary. Keep the other half cup of flour close at hand. Knead the dough for a few minutes. Add the rest of the flour as needed to get the dough to the right consistency (soft and stretchy without being overly sticky).Turn the oven off
Lift the dough out of the mixing bowl. Add the olive oil to a bowl and swirl it around. Roll the dough in the olive oil so it is well coated and let it sit in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and place it in the oven (the oven should be off by now, if you missed that step). Leave the door cracked so it isn’t too hot in there.Let the dough rise for about an hour. It should be approximately doubled in size. 
Punch the dough down and knead it again. Divide it into two equal sized lumps and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Prepare your baking pan. Shape the dough into two oval-shaped loaves and arrange on the pan. Melt the butter or margarine. Use a brush to paint the surface of the loaves with butter. Use all of the butter. The loaves will be quite saturated when you’re done. Take the rest of the chopped rosemary and sprinkle it over the loaves. Pat it down gently to set it into the dough. Return the loaves to the oven. Don’t turn it on yet. Let the dough rise again, for about 45 minutes. Remove the loaves and preheat the oven to 450°. Sprinkle a little bit of coarse (kosher salt is perfect) salt over the loaves. Return the dough to the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes until light brown.Makes two loaves. Best enjoyed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


This is again, one of my go to leftover recipes. I use whatever old produce is in the fridge and it's done in fifteen minutes flat (including preparing the rice). John and I watch a lot of chopped and sometimes he pretends to be a judge and presses his eyebrows together and says things like: "I found your presentation to be delightful. Very whimsical." Sometimes he also plates my dinners in abstract ways. Anyway, this was one of our favorites to plate.

 Adapted from Maangchi

  • Cooked rice
  • a package of bean sprouts
  • a bunch of spinach
  • 2 small size of zucchinis
  • 5-7 Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 small carrot
  • eggs
  • soy sauce, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and vegetable oil
  • red pepper paste
  1. Cook rice. You can use a rice cooker or a stainless pot. Add less water so the rice is drier. I do mine in a pot and once it is cooked I turn the burner on high for a couple of minutes to get the edges toastier like you would get if you were eating it from a stone pot.
  2. Next, you need to prepare a large platter to put all your ingredients on. Rinse your bean sprouts Add 1 ts of salt and cook for 10 minutes. Mix it with 1 clove of minced garlic, sesame oil and a pinch of salt.
    Put it on the platter.
  3. Put your spinach in a pot of boiling water and stir it for a minute. Then rinse it in cold water a few times and squeeze it lightly. Mix it with a pinch of salt, 1 ts of soy sauce, 1 clove of minced garlic and sesame oil. Put it on the platter
  4. Cut 2 small size zucchinis into thin strips, sprinkle them with a pinch of salt, and then mix them together. A few minutes later, sauté them in a pan over high heat. When it’s cooked, it will look a little translucent. Put it on the platter.
  5. Slice shitake mushrooms thinly and sauté with 1 ts of vegetable oil. Add 2 ts of soy sauce and 1 or 2 ts of sugar and stir it for 2 minutes. Add some sesame oil, and put it on the platter.
  6. Cut a carrot into strips, sauté it for 30 seconds and put it on the platter.
  7. prepare eggs sunny side up.
  8. Put your rice In a big bowl, and attractively display all your vegetables. Place the sunny side up egg on the center.
  9. Serve it with sesame oil and hot pepper paste.
  10. Lastly, mix it up and eat!
 Red pepper paste (gochujang) sauce:
4 tablespoons of Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
3 tablespoons of water.

Friday, February 22, 2013

John's Favorite German Apple Pancake

Recipe by: Lisa Turner

(Yes, those are John's hairy legs in the background.)


  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large apple, cored and cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix in the eggs until combined. Stir in the milk, followed by the melted butter, vanilla and nutmeg. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat an oven to 425°. On the stove, melt the butter in a large 10-inch cast-iron or oven-safe skillet over low heat, and use a brush to coat the sides of the pan.
  • Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup of brown sugar with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle the mixture over the bottom of the skillet and then line the pan with slices of apple. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar over the apples. Turn up the heat to medium-high and let the pan sit for a few minutes until the brown sugar starts to bubble.
  • Remove the pan from heat, and gently pour the batter over the apples. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375° and bake for 10 more minutes or until the pancake is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the pancake comes out clean.
  • Remove from heat and slide a rubber spatula around the edges to loosen the pancake from the sides. Serve hot or warm. Leftover pancake can be wrapped in aluminum foil and refrigerated for up to 2 days, then reheated at 300° for 15 - 20 minutes.
Makes one 10-inch pancake

*I made this first with a pink lady because that's what I had lying around but this really needs a tart apple. But if you don't have tart apples I would just add a squeeze of lemon juice while you're cooking the apple/sugar mixture.

I also noticed that you really only want to let the brown sugar bubble for a minute in the pan before adding the batter and no longer because it will create a hard crust instead of a gooey syrup like you would want. 

I used 4 medium eggs I think 4 large might be too eggy? So maybe 3 instead? 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cauliflower Muffins

Bear with me. Don't turn away. These are great! We have enjoyed these in the morning with eggs, with chili and with a dinner salad that was dying for a starchy carb to go with it. Think tasty cheesy cornbread- but without the starchy corn and flour!

These Cauliflower Muffins are from I Breath I am Hungry. Thanks to this blogger, I now know how to "Rice" Cauliflower. I like making Cauliflower Mashed potatoes and simply threw my extra cauliflower rice from making these muffins into the stew I made for dinner tonight. Having a fast, easy way to go from huge gead of cauliflower to "invisible" cauliflower is invaluable!!

Here is the Recipe. My only caveat is that John thought the taste was a little funky. Cauliflower is pretty tasteless (that is what makes it a great potato substitute) and I doubt the coconut flour could have offended either. I decided it has got to be the fancy deli parmesan I just bought. So, next time I am going straight Cheddar/Mozzarella.

Jalepano Cheddar Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
Recipe Ingredients:
2 cups finely riced, raw cauliflower
2 Tbl minced jalapeno (I used one Tsp for the kids' sake)
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbl melted butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 Tbl dried onion flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup coconut flour
Combine the cauliflower, jalapeno, eggs, add melted butter in a medium bowl.  Add the grated cheeses and mix well.  Stir in the onion flakes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, baking powder and coconut flour until thoroughly combined.  Divide the batter evenly between 12 greased muffin cups (I used cupcake foils and didn't worry about greasing).  Bake in  preheated 375 degree (F) oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Turn off the oven and leave the muffins inside for one hour to firm up.  Remove and serve warm or cold.

Seed Stew

This recipe is adapted from the Cookin Canuck Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa Recipe. The flavors in this soup are so unique. The parsley and olives bring it alive I tell you!

My variation is this. I basically, use cooked chicken and change up the steps to make it a cinchy 30 min dinner.  Chopped frozen squash will cut down on prep time too. I also puree the veggies and cut up my chicken very small. The more uniform texture is more kid friendly that way.

Since mine is a little different, I asked the boys what we should call it. Jack said "Seed Stew, since it looks like it has lots of little seeds in it." I told him he is exactly right- that is what Quinoa is- seeds! So Seed Stew it is at our house.

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (When I cut a squash, I chop the whole thing, use half and put the other half in a qt freezer bag. Next time you need it, just pull the bag out of the freezer in the morning and by dinner prep its soft and ready to cook!)
  • 1 can (14 oz) petite diced  or crushed tomatoes
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa (remember to put the quinoa in a bowl, cover it in water, let it sit a few minutes and drain- it gets rid of any bitter taste)
  • 2 cups cooked, diced chicken breast (great for the leftover breast in the fridge)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup pitted and quartered kalamata or black olives
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. In a large pot, sauté onion in coconut oil until onion is starting to turn brown. 
  2. Add minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
  3. Add butternut squash pieces, place the lid over the pot and steam the squash until soft about 10 min. Lift the lid and stir every few minutes adding broth if necessary (frozen squash is wetter and won't stick to the bottom like fresh squash may).
  4. Pour in can of tomatos. Mash with potato masher or get out your immersion blender to bring veggies to a more uniform state. I blend about half the pot leaving some chunks of squash and tomatoes. 
  5. Add broth and Quinoa. Simmer (covered if you like it more soupy- uncovered if you like thick stew) about 15 min until the quinoa has opened and is translucent. 
  6. Stir the chicken, olives, salt and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Stir in parsley and serve.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Eggs! For Breakfast! Again??

I get so sick of eggs for bfast. But I also literally get sick when I eat lots of carbs and sugar for bfast. I tried these two recipes this weekend and both were delicious! And neither really felt like I was eating eggs. Both recipes and many other tempting unique recipes can be found here at I Breathe, I Am Hungry

The general idea is omelet meets Meringue. You can put any ingredients into the whipped egg white. I did Jack cheese, parsley, chives and chopped deli ham al of which were leftover from something else. The trick to making it pretty (where I failed) is to keep the yolk whole. I broke them to stir salt and pepper into the yolk and they spilled all over while baking.

Makes 4
4 eggs, separated
2 ounces Chorizo
2 Tbl chopped cilantro
2 Tbl chopped scallions
1/3 cup finely grated cheese
(your favorite)
Remove the chorizo from the casing and cook thoroughly.  It was such a small amount and I was cooking other stuff for the blog on the stove at the time (cauliflower tater tots! What?!?  Yeah, that’s right.) and I didn’t want to dirty a pan for that little so I cooked the chorizo in the microwave for 2 minutes and it worked perfectly.  I drained out the fat and set the sausage aside.  Meanwhile, beat the 4 egg whites until stiff.  I do it by hand cause I’m so hard core, but if you want to be a wuss about it you could use a mixer. ;) Then fold in the chorizo, cheese, scallions and cilantro (GENTLY people!) until mixed.  Add a pinch ofsalt and pepper.  On a greased cookie sheet, place four spoonfuls of the egg white mixture at least 2 inches apart.  Make a slight well in the center and gently place an egg yolk in each one.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree (F) oven for about 6 minutes.  Keep an eye on it though, you definitely don’t want to overcook these and miss out on that fabulous runny yolk!  Garnish with avocado slices and fresh cilantro.  These are excellent for those of us doing the low carb thing, but also not super high in fat or calories for everybody else!  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed – and get a little crazy and experiment with your own flavors!  Let me know how they come out and if you find a great new combo! 

Cream Cheese Pancakes- NO FLOUR!!? Easier than pancakes and very similar to crepes. I served ours with Berry Preserves. Next time I am doing fresh peaches or our old standby softened cinnamon/maple apples and chopped walnuts.

** I quadrupled the original recipe and it was perfect for our family of four (two boys who eat lots of pancakes)

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp Xylitol or Stevia (recipe calls for "1 packet of Stevia" I was out of Stevia and don't know how much a packet is equivalent to. I am not sure that the sweetener is that important? You are going to add some jam or syrup to the top anyway.)
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Put all ingredients in a blender or magic bullet. Blend until smooth. Let rest for 2 minutes so the bubbles can settle. Pour batter in pancake form into a hot pan greased with butter or pam spray. Cook for 2 minutes until golden, flip and cook 1 minute on the other side. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Serve with sugar free syrup (or any syrup of your choice) and fresh berries.
Approx nutrition info per batch: 344 calories, 29g fat, 2.5g net carbs, 17g protein

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Easy Pad Thai

(from Brownies for Dinner)
Serves 4
8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles or Linguine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 squirt (about 1/8 teaspoon) Sriracha (optional)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 scallions (green onions), white and green parts, separated and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 large eggs, light beaten (optional)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
  1. Soak noodles according to package instructions. Drain.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and Sriracha.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add eggs and cook, scraping skillet with spatula until eggs are almost set (about 30 seconds). Transfer eggs to a plate.
  5. Add noodles, scallion greens, and sauce to skillet. Cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft (about 1 minute). Add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently.
  6. Serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts.
So glad I found this. It's so easy and uses leftover ingredients I already have in my pantry.