Friday, October 13, 2017

Italian Sausage Soup

splash of olive oil
1 lb of Italian sausage (mild or hot)
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 c peeled and diced carrots
3 white or gold potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp flour
1 qt chicken stock, hot
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
pinch of cracked red pepper
8 oz of tomato sauce
optional: fresh baby spinach
toppings: grated parmigiano reggiano, fresh basil topping, fresh cracked pepper
In a dutch oven heat oil until shimmery. Add sausage, onion, and celery and cook over medium high heat until meat is crusty and cooked through. Add carrots and potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, and then add garlic. Cook 30 seconds or so until fragrant. Pour off all but one Tbsp of fat, and add flour. Whisk 2 minutes until the veggies and meat are well coated. Add hot chicken stock in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Add spices and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and cover to simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 25 minutes. Add spinach about 2 minutes before serving if using. Top with Parmesan, basil, and pepper.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

White Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 c Crisco
1/2 c butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour, split
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
6 oz white chocolate, chopped into chunks
3/4 cup chopped dried red tart cherries (a little more than half a 6 oz bag)
sliced almonds for garnish
fleur de sel for garnish

Cream fats and sugar, then add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla.  Reserve 2 Tbsp of flour and sift the rest with powder, soda, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to batter and mix just until combined.  Add oatmeal and mix just until combined.  Toss white chocolate chunks and chopped cherries in a small bowl with 2 Tbsp of flour until coated, then stir in flour, white chocolate, and cherries.  Scoop in 1 1/2 Tbsp balls, flatten a bit with damp fingertips and top with 5-6 sliced almonds and a few flakes of fleur de sel.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Mexican Chicken Pressure Cooker Casserole

2 1/2 cups prepared white, brown or green chile rice.
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 lbs of pressure cooker chili lime chicken, cooked with 1 4-oz can diced mild green chiles then shredded or chopped
1 cup of shredded cheese
toppings like:  diced avocado, lime squeeze, cilantro, sour cream, black olives or thick tortilla chips

In a casserole dish combine rice, beans, chicken and juices.  Top with shredded cheese and bake at 425 until cheese is melted, 5 minutes (You may need to bake longer if casserole is made-ahead and ingredients need to get hot  If so, cover with foil to prevent cheese from browning).

Green chile rice

1 Tbsp canola oil or rendered bacon fat
2 Tbsp finely diced white onion
1 cup long grain white rice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, heated to steaming
1/2 cup green salsa (I like Herdez salsa verde)
1/2 tsp salt, optional depending on saltiness of chicken stock
cilantro, washed and minced, for garnish
squeeze of lime, for garnish

Heat oil on med-high heat until shimmering.  Add onion and saute until translucent and soft.  Add rice and saute until rice turn white, stirring constantly to avoid sticking.  Add garlic and spices and saute briefly (until fragrant).  Pour in hot stock, salsa, and salt (if needed) and deglaze pan a bit.  Bring to a rolling boil, cover and reduce heat to low for 20-25 minutes. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Creamy Tuscan Pasta

1 lb mild or hot Italian sausage
1 small onion, small-dice
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried basil
2 Tbsp flour
12 oz chicken stock
14 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
10 oz bag baby spinach
1 cup heavy whipping cream, half-and-half, whole milk, or any combination thereof
1 lb dried penne or ziti
2 Tbsp grated parmigiano-reggiano

Bring 4 qts salted water to boil and cook pasta according to pasta directions.  Meanwhile, remove casings from sausage and brown meat in a dutch oven or saucepan over med-hi heat.  After a couple of minutes when there is some rendered fat, add onion, and then when it's browned add spices.  Add flour and saute for 2 minutes.  Add chicken stock and scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan.  Simmer until thick and bubbly.  Add tomatoes (I did not use whole can) and baby spinach, and cook until spinach is wilted.  Just before serving, add whipping cream, hot cooked pasta, and Parmesan.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Banana Pudding

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups of whole milk, cold
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 5.1 oz box vanilla instant pudding
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
10 oz vanilla wafers
5 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth.  Add whole milk and vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined, scraping frequently.   Add in instant pudding mix and beat until dissolved and uniformly combined.  Cover pudding mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until thick.

In a chilled mixing bowl with chilled beaters, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form.   Fold 2/3 of the whipped cream mixture into the chilled pudding, lightening it.  In 9x13 pan, place a single layer of cookies, followed by half of the banana slices, then half of the pudding mixture.  Repeat.  Top with remaining whipped cream and garnish with extra crushed vanilla wafers.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Chicken for Taco Salad

4 lbs bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
1 6-oz can diced green chilies
8 oz low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c Italian salad dressing 
3 cloves minced garlic 
1 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder 

Cook in crock pot on low 4-6 hours, until fork-tender.  Shred chicken with two forks, and discard bones.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

1 stick butter
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
1/2 c sugar
3 oz espresso chocolate chunks
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter, sugar, and cream in saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Pour over chocolate pieces and stir briskly until chocolate is melted.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla and whisk until smooth.  Refrigerate until cool and then whip to desired consistency.

Monday, November 11, 2013


1 c stone ground corn meal
1 c flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white or you can use corn flour for gluten free)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl, set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients together. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in wet ingredients and whisk together just until blended. Pour batter into a greased 8 inch square pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until it tests done. This recipe lends itself well to substitutions, I've subbed oil for butter, milk for buttermilk, honey for sugar, etc. I usually add a big handful of frozen corn at the end and sometimes a can of diced green chilies.