Monday, September 26, 2016

Recipe Share: Ham and Potato Soup.

My twin sis told me about this recipe. A friend of hers had made it for her while she was sick and pregnant, and she said it made her whole week! I am not sick or pregnant, but this soup tastes good no matter what you are! It's satisfying and versatile and so great this time of year. You can add a number of things if you want to like cheddar cheese, turkey, bacon, or eat it without meat. It was really easy and fast to throw together as well. Winner, winner, ham and potato dinner!


3 1/2 Cups peeled and diced potatoes (I like Yukon Gold potatoes best. I don't peel mine, because the skin is so thin it isn't bothersome to eat at all.)
1/3 Cup diced celery
1/3 Cup finely chopped onion
3/4 Cup cooked ham, diced (I used turkey kielbasa in my soup and added it at the end to warm. But I will try it with ham next time. I think I like turkey kielbasa cold better than warm.)
3 1/4 Cups water
2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 tsp. ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Cups milk (I used whole)
chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
shredded cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt, and pepper. In a separate pan, melt butter over medium low heat. Whisk in flour, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk so lumps don't form. Continue stirring over medium low heat until thick, about 4-5 minutes. (I warm my milk first in the microwave for a minute or two before pouring it into my butter/flour. This makes it thicken much quicker.) Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot with the water, ham, potatoes, and veggies, and cook soup until heated through. Garnish with chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, etc. Serve immediately.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Recipe Share: Steak Kabobs

I've been craving steak folks. It's truly one of my favorite things to eat. This recipe from Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons, was one that definitely hit the spot. It cooked up fast, and the steak was tender and flavorful. The veggies and pineapple tasted great with it, too. (Next time I'll use fresh pineapple and grill that as well. This time I used canned pineapple and was afraid it would fall apart on the grill. It was still delicious though.)

1/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
Fresh cracked black pepper

2 pounds beef tenderloin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (I used top sirloin)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 pineapple, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 red onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces


For the sauce: In a bowl, combine the BBQ sauce, lime juice, Worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder and some pepper. Mix well, and reserve.
For the kebabs: Prepare a grill for high-heat direct grilling. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes.Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Thread the beef, pineapple, red onion and bell peppers onto the skewers, alternating between ingredients. Set the kabobs on a baking sheet, drizzle with the canola oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I've learned over the years that I prefer to thread all the same ingredients on my skewers. For example, I thread all my steak together on the same skewers, I thread all my peppers together, and all my onions together, etc. That way, if each ingredient takes different amounts of time to cook, I'm not trying to pull off my veggies from my skewers while leaving the steak on them. And I also don't like my raw meat touching my veggies, but that's a personal issue of mine. It's all up to you. Some must have better luck getting same grill times on their various foods than I do. And it really does look pretty to serve up skewers of colorful foods together. I just pull mine off the skewers to serve.)
Place the kabobs on the grill and brush with sauce. Cook for about 10 minutes, rotating the skewers halfway through, and brushing them with sauce. Remove from the grill and serve. (I served mine over steamed rice.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Recipe Share: Roasted Pork with Peach BBQ Sauce and Smashed Potatoes

Ladies and Gents, this recipe is seriously amazing. With each bite, I kept singing its praises... saying, "Oh my goodness.. wow, this is... wow, mmm..." I guarantee you, too will love it. It's from my girl Kelsey Nixon. (She's not technically my girl, or my girl friend even, but I like to think she and I would be great friends if we ever met. I love her cooking style, and her personality is adorable. And, she is always stylin'.) What made this recipe taste even better was that I made it with my twin sis, Jaime. She and I love to cook together, and we had a great time making this meal. 
So, here's the printable recipe.

Pork and Peach BBQ Sauce:
4 cups peaches, peeled and sliced (we used frozen peaches)
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. ginger, minced
2 1/2 pound boneless pork loin roast
kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock

Smashed Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs. small Yukon gold potatoes (I'm a total Yukon gold potato freak/fan. I have a really hard time using any other kind of potato these days. The Yukon gold is just so creamy and delicious. I feel like it has such a delightful flavor compared to any other potato. Try them if you haven't yet! You will see what I mean.)
kosher salt
1/2 cup half-and-half
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
freshly cracked black pepper

For the pork and peach bbq sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the peaches, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender.

Pat the pork dry with paper towels and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Reserve half (about 2 cups) of the peach BBQ sauce and set aside. Transfer the pork, fat-side up, to a rack over a heavy-bottomed roasting pan and brush the rest of the sauce all over the pork. Add the stock to the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the pork until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 140 degrees F, about 1 hour.

For the smashed potatoes: Meanwhile, place the potatoes in large pot and cover with salted cold water. The potatoes will soak up that salt like pasta and it will make a big difference in flavor. Cover and bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes, and return them to the same pot, allowing them to dry. Heat the half-and-half and butter in a small sauce pot over low heat. Add the mixture to the potatoes along with the cream cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Smash the potatoes with a potato masher and set aside, keeping warm until ready to serve.

For serving the pork: Transfer the pork to a baking sheet to rest for 10 minutes, and then thinly slice half of the loin. Store and reserve the other half for leftovers.

Remove the rack from the roasting pan and place on the stove over medium-high heat. Whisk in the reserved BBQ sauce and scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate the browned sauce. Cook until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.

Serve the sliced pork with the reduced peach BBQ sauce over the smashed potatoes. 

Delicious, I tell you!! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Recipe Share: Egg and Veggie Scramble with Toast

This is one of my favorite breakfasts. It's easy, healthy, and delicious. It is also very satisfying to know that you're eating veggies in your breakfast!!  And you'll find that you feel full for quite awhile after eating this!
1/3 - 1/2 C. Chopped veggies (any kind you like - I used mushrooms, red, yellow, and orange peppers, and onions)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. shredded cheese (any kind you like - I used Monterey Jack)
1 tsp. olive oil
fresh flat leaf parsley or cilantro, chopped for garnish
whole grain bread (I like to use Sara Lee's 45 Calories and Delightful bread)

Heat your oil in your saute pan over medium heat. Saute all your vegetables until tender, 3-4 minutes. Mix your eggs together in a bowl with a fork or whisk. Add in your eggs and cheese to the pan with your veggies. Stir until firm, but not brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro. Toast your bread, and enjoy together!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Recipe Share: Spicy Chicken, Eggplant, and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas

These Bobby Flay quesadillas are so delicious. The chicken is full of flavor from being marinated, and the veggies add so much flavor, too. Add some yummy guacamole and salsa, and you'll be one happy lady or man.
(I made mine with grilled mushrooms instead of eggplant, since I love mushrooms and had them on hand.)
 What the filling looks like if you make them open faced... so delicious!


1/4 cup olive oil
2 jalapenos, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Caramelized Onions:

2 large red onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Grilled Eggplant:
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Package of sliced portabella mushrooms or white mushrooms (If you decide to use mushrooms in addition to or instead of eggplant)


9 (8-inch) flour tortillas
3/4 cup grated monterey jack
3/4 cup grated white cheddar 
Ancho chile powder
Mixed Tomato Salsa, recipe follows


In a blender, combine the marinade ingredients and blend until smooth. Place the chicken in a medium bowl, pour the marinade over it, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cilantro and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Preheat grill pan. Brush eggplant with oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and coarsely chop.

Or if you choose to do mushrooms like I did, simply saute them on medium heat in a pan with a little olive oil and butter. Don't crowd them, space them apart in the pan. Turn them over when browned on one side, and finish off other side. Lay them out on a paper towel when done, sprinkle with salt.

Preheat grill pan over high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes and slice thinly on the bias. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place 6 tortillas on a large un-greased baking sheet. Divide the cheese, chicken, onions, and eggplant among the 6 tortillas and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Top each quesadilla with another tortilla. Brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with ancho chile powder.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the quesadillas are slightly crisp and the cheese has melted. Cut into quarters and garnish with the Mixed Tomato Salsa.

You can also make these on the stove top in a sautee pan. Just compile your quesadilla in the pan and cook on medium high heat for a few minutes and then carefully flip over and cook on the other side until cheese is melted and tortillas are crisp.

Mixed Tomato Salsa:

8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
8 yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
8 yellow pear tomatoes, halved
8 red pear tomatoes, halved
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: 8 servings

My Guacamole:
3-4 ripe avocadoes, mashed
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1-2 tsp fresh lime juice
garlic salt to taste
2-3 Tbsp of salsa or pico de gallo
(Taste as you mix, and alter amounts as needed)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Recipe Share: Basil Burger with Grilled Corn on the Cob

For those of you that have seen Next Food Network Star, this recipe comes from a winner on that show, Melissa D'Arabian. I really like her, and I really loved this recipe. The basil sauce and using an English Muffin for the bun made this burger so unique and yummy. It's a perfect summer time meal. 
Here's the printable recipe.

1 1/4 lbs. ground beef (80% lean)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
4 English muffins, halved horizontally and toasted
1 tomato, sliced and lightly salted
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan

Basil Sauce:
1 green onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. roughly chopped basil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. sour cream
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Quarter the beef into even portions. Form into burgers, indenting the middle slightly with your thumb. Season with salt and pepper, and brush lightly with vegetable oil. Cook on a hot grill until charred on the outside and pink on the inside, about 4 minutes per side. Two minutes before removing the burgers, top the burgers with the mozzarella cheese.

Place the toasted muffins on a serving platter. Place the tomato slices on the bottom, and top each with cooked patties. Spread a tablespoon or two of the basil sauce on each bun top and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese. Serve extra basil sauce on the side for dipping.

Perfect Basil Sauce:
Blend the green onion, basil, garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, and Worcestershire sauce in a blender until creamy and pale green. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

How I make my grilled corn:
Husk the corn, and place directly onto grill grates that are heated on medium. Turn them every 2 minutes for a total of 10-12 minutes. When the corn gets some color from the grill and the kernels look plump, they are done. Butter, salt and pepper to taste. 


Friday, August 26, 2016

Recipe Share: Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Blue Cheese Aioli

This sandwich recipe from Kelsey Nixon has the perfect balance of flavors and textures. I love it so much, the first time I made it for dinner I ended up eating it for lunch and dinner the next day, too. I couldn't get enough!!  It's not too spicy, but has enough kick to satisfy. I also love that you make this meat in your crockpot. It's so easy to just throw everything in, and then assemble your sandwiches at dinnertime.
1/4 C. hot sauce
1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. molasses
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
14 oz. can tomato sauce
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 hamburger buns, split and toasted (I like to eat it on an Orowheat sandwich thin bun)
Celery leaves, for serving
Blue Cheese Aioli, for serving, recipe follows

Blue Cheese Aioli:
1/2 C. crumbled blue cheese
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. fresh tyme leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
(I usually add a few teaspoons of milk just to loosen up the aioli a bit, but either way it's great.)
Combine all ingredients and mix well. (I also add pepper to mine.)

Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, garlic, onions, and tomato sauce to a slow cooker and stir to mix ingredients together.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper liberally and add chicken to the slow cooker, coating evenly with the sauce. Cover and cook on low until chicken is tender, 4-6 hours.

Transfer chicken to a large bowl and shred, using 2 forks. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and toss to coat with the sauce.

Toast your buns, and compile your sandwiches by smearing each side of the buns with blue cheese aioli and then topping one half with celery leaves. Then add the chicken and enjoy!

Try these soon. You will love them and may eat them over and over like I did.