Asparagus soup… low carb!

20140222-220039.jpg20140222-220024.jpgI got this great soup idea from my fun and inspiring co worker Aviva Feldman!  I am  trying to do the low carb thing, but I love pea soup…not allowed!  She told me about this recipe she makes that turns out very pea soupish!  It is really delicious and my whole family loved it.  So here is what you do…cut up a red onion and saute it in butter in a large pot.  Add a few pounds of cut up asparagus, I used three pounds.  Cover it with broth… I used chicken broth, my friend Aviva used vegetable broth. Cook it till it is really mooshy…Then use your immersible blender and blend away to your desired consistency.  I made mine into a green mush with the occasional asparagus chunk.  At this point you can add other things if you like, like other veggies or chunks of meat.  Really a delicious soup, it will be  on my “frequently made” list.

Crustless Quiche with Chard

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Wonder what to do with Swiss Chard besides chopping it up and cooking it like spinach? (By the way, you can eat the stems of chard.) You can find it year round …and we also get a lot of it during Farmer’s Market season.  Try it in a crustless quiche. I’ve made this recipe many times and it’s absolutely fantastic. Many of our volunteers have made it as well and raved about it. Plus, it’s super easy.  CRUSTLESS QUICHE WITH SWISS CHARD (recipe from food.com) Ingredients: 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/2 sweet onion, chopped 1/2 bunch Swiss chard (washed, dried and roughly chopped) 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (any combination – cheddar, swiss, pepperjack, colby jack, etc. – be creative!) 4 eggs 1 cup skim milk (or whatever milk you have in the fridge) salt pepper Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add onion and chard to the oil in a pan and saute until stems are tender (do not overcook). Add salt & pepper to taste. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add milk and cheese. Fold in the onion/chard mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into a pie dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and no liquid seeps when you poke it with a knife. Deeeelicious! Enjoy!
This recipe is from my friend Faith who is an amazing cook.  Thanks Faith!

Zucchini pasta low-carb

I have seen the idea of using shredded zucchini as a replacement for pasta. So I dug through my cabinets and found a mandoline, and proceeded to shred my zucchini. I use three large zucchini,  shredded them, and added them to 2 tablespoons of butter in my frypan. I seasoned them with garlic salt, pepper,  and basil. When they were semi firm I turned off the heat and then served them with marinara sauce and meatballs. I found them to be a completely acceptable substitute for pasta, and much healthier!

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Easy low carb ice cream recipe

I’m once again I’m on the low carb warpath and I’ve been craving ice cream. I have seen several recipes for homemade low-carb ice cream without using an ice cream maker. I took what I liked from each recipe and here’s how I did it:

Pour one cup of half-and-half into a quart size freezer bag.

Add 1 tablespoon of Splenda or your favorite non-sugar sweetener.

Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or whatever other kind of flavoring you would like. I added a little dash of almond extract.

Place the quart size bag into a gallon size freezer bag which you have filled with 3 cups of ice and 6 tablespoons of salt. Shake vigorously for four minutes or until desired texture is achieved. Wear gloves because it gets really really cold!

I think it’s best if you eat it right away. You can freeze it but I have heard that it becomes kind of hard and in order to eat it later you might want to microwave it for 10 or 20 seconds.

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Stuffed Strawberries

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1lb. Large Strawberries
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
4 TBS Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Graham Cracker Crumbs

1 – Rinse strawberries. Remove top of strawberries and clean out center with a paring knife. Prep and set aside.

2 – In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add mixture to piping bag or Ziploc with corner snipped off. Fill strawberries with mixture then dip the top in graham cracker crumbs. Refrigerate until you serve.

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Holiday Family and Food

Nothing says holidays like good food and family. We certainly experienced both of those this Christmas. We started off our week with an early Christmas at Wayne and Noel’s house. It was a genuine fiesta featuring savory (and a little spicy) chicken enchiladas. These enchiladas were packed full of chicken, cheese and spicy sauce; a mouth-watering (and eye watering) delight! Here’s Noel’s tip for us gringos: Put your sauce on after you bake them. This keeps them from getting soggy. I can’t believe I haven’t already been doing this!

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Feliz Navidad. Some mexican cuisine from Noel.

According to my family, the holidays aren’t the same without sugar cookies.  I get requests for them every year. I found a great recipe a long time ago for sugar cookies that, when you roll them thick, they not only keep their shape, but are more like a cake than a cookie. This cookie recipe coupled with the C&H Powdered Sugar buttercream frosting recipe on the box makes a taste combo. that is hard to resist no matter how full you are. Top these cookies with cute sprinkles and you are set. They will be gone in a flash!

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unfrosted cookies

Since I am on the subject of sweetness. I decided to try a recipe I found on Pinterest called “French Toast Bake.” I wanted to make something special yet familiar for the family on Christmas morning. What I like about this recipe is that you can prepare it the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning. It’s also very easy and can be made mostly with ingredients you already have. I could not find Texas Toast in stock anywhere so decided to use Challah bread which, I was told, makes good french toast. As it turns out it was good. I might also add bacon or sausage if you are one that likes to mix your salty and sweet (Those who know me know I am not one of them). Make sure to top with real maple syrup; none of that corn syrup stuff.

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French Toast Bake…mmm

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Real Maple Syrup only!

So, from enchiladas  to Mongolian BBQ to French Toast Bake to Rib Eye Roast, it was a tantalizing trip for the taste buds. I swear I will never eat again (yeah right)! Happy 2014 and Bon Appetit!

Cookie Day 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce again our family members have gathered from multiple locations to participate in our annual Cookie Day festivities.  Everyone brings their favorite recipes, ingredients, and kitchen gadgets, and the baking mayhem begins.  This year chocolate seemed to be a favorite theme, as we had chocolate cookies, chocolate chip, chocolate covered pretzels and fudge, among other goodies.  Everyone has fun catching up and socializing while baking  occurs.

IMG_0763 The kids are eager to help and were up to their elbows  (and eyebrows) in melted chocolate.

chocolate covered peretzels

chocolate covered pretzels

peppermint meringue cookies

peppermint meringue cookies

A unique recipe baked by Susie was a peppermint meringue cookie that took 90 minutes!!! to bake @ 225 degrees. They are yummy!

yummy poop!

yummy poop

A favorite of all was reindeer poop, a.k.a. oatmeal chocolate peanut butter drop cookies.

Cranberry pistachio shortbread

Cranberry pistachio shortbread

Another non chocolate option was created by sister Zoe, cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies.  They require wrapping and refrigeration prior to cutting and baking but are delicious and well worth the effort!

A deliciously sweet time was had by all, and we look forward to seeing what interesting recipes everyone will come up with next year!

Frozen herb cubes

I found this really cool idea. I have pots of of Rosemary and Marjoram outside on my deck but the weather is getting cold and they’re going to die. So I took some scissors and cut up the leaves into ice cube trays and then poured a little olive oil into each cube. They froze beautifully and I will be able to take them and throw them in a pan to sauté whenever I want a little flavor throughout the winter!

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