Saturday, December 7, 2013

Wonton Soup

I really wanted wonton soup and havent found a chinese takeout spot that cuts it around here. So, I decided to try my own. Problem is- I didnt have most of the ingredients. This is more or less just a soup with meatballs.

1 T vegetable oil
1 T plus 1 t minced garlic
1 T finely chopped fresh ginger (or 1 t powdered)
1/4 c thinly sliced scallions, plus 3 T finely chopped
10 c canned low sodium chicken broth
6 ounces ground pork
1 egg yolk
2 t soy sauce
1 1/2 t rice wine vinegar
1/2 t sesame oil
1/4 t crushed red pepper
About 1 c of noodles


In a large saucepan or soup pot heat the oil over medium high heat until hot. 

Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Add the 1/4 cup of sliced scallions and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low so that the broth just simmers. Allow broth to simmer for at least 20 to 30 minutes.

In a small mixing bowl combine the remaining teaspoon of minced garlic, ginger, 3 tablespoons of finely chopped scallions, the pork, egg yolk, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and crushed red pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Using your hands, form meatballs (1/2") and gently add to the simmering broth. Increase the heat slightly so that the broth returns to a gentle simmer. 

Add the noodles.

Cook, stirring occasionally (very gently), until the pork filling is cooked through, about 5 minutes. 

Serve immediately.

To actually make wonton soup, or to read more:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cornbread Muffins

We had leftover beer braised chicken stew, so I made cornbread muffins to go along with a bowl.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 2/3 cup white sugar

    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup cornmeal
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease or line 12 muffin cups.
    2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt. 
    3. Mix in flour, cornmeal and baking powder; blend thoroughly. 
    4. Stir in milk and corn. 
    5. Pour or spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
    6. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

    Molasses Cookies

    Not sure if you noticed, but I've been on a molasses kick. I've refused to buy brown sugar, so I learned if you add molasses to white sugar...  pouf! Brown sugar.

    Well, now I'm obsessed. And I wanted molasses cookies. Of course, Pioneer Woman was making them, so I had to too.

    1/2 cup Sugar
    1/3 cup butter
    1/8 cup Molasses
    1 egg
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1 1/4 t baking soda
    1/2 t cinnamon
    1/2 t ginger
    1/2 t cloves
    1/4 t nutmeg
    1/8 t salt

    Spicy Molasses Cookies
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Mix sugar, butter, molasses, and egg together until well combined. 
    Dump in dry ingredients, stirring dry ingredients together lightly. Mix together until dough is combined.
    In your hands roll dough into walnut-sized balls, then generously coat each ball with sugar. 
    Place balls on a baking sheet and bake for 9 to 11 minutes, allowing to bake for about a minute after cookies begin to crack.
    Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow to cool.

    Beer braised Chicken Thighs

    • 2 carrots
    • 2 small potatoes
    • 1 white sweet potato
    • 1 large yellow onion
    • 8 chicken thighs, about 3 1/4 lb. total
    • 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
    • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
    • 2 Tbs. canola oil
    • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 bottles porter or other beer (I used Oktoberfest), 12 fl. oz.
    • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
    • 2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar (I used white sugar and molasses)
    • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp. tomato paste
    • 1 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    Season the chicken thighs with the 2 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. In a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil until very hot but not smoking. Working in batches, add the chicken thighs, turning once or twice, until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter or push to the sides of the pot. Pour off the fat in the pot.
    Reduce the heat to medium, add 2 Tbs. of the butter to the pot and let it melt. Add the onion and sauté until golden, about 6 minutes.
    Add the carrots and potatoes.
    Stir in the porter, broth, brown sugar, mustard, tomato paste and thyme. 
    Return the chicken thighs to the pot, submerging them in the liquid, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

    Cut the carrots and potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Peel and chop the onion.

    Mash together the remaining butter and the flour to form a thick paste. Gradually whisk this mixture into the pot. 
    Cover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife near the bone, about 10 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

    Monday, November 25, 2013

    Beef Stew

    • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    • 1 Tablespoon Butter
    • 2 pounds Stew Meat (I bought tenderloin, seared it, THEN cut it into chunks)
    • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
    • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
    • 1 can Beer, 12 Ounce Can
    • 4 cups Beef Stock (or 4 Cups Water + 4 Beef Bouillon Cubes)
    • 2 cups Water (additional, If Needed)
    • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
    • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
    • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
    •  Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    • 1-1/2 teaspoon Sugar
    • 4 whole Carrots, Washed, Unpeeled, And Roughly Sliced
    • 4 whole New Potatoes, Quartered
    •  Minced Parsley or dry (optional)

    Preparation Instructions

    Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown meat, setting aside on a plate when brown. 
    Add diced onions to the pot. Stir and cook for two or three minutes until softened, then add garlic for another minute. 
    Pour in beer and beef stock, then add Worcestershire, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper, and sugar. 
    Cut beef into 1/2" pieces. Add beef back into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
    The liquid should cook down. If it gets too thick/reduces too much, add additional water as needed.(Just add a cup of hot water at a time to replenish the liquid.) 
    Add carrots and potatoes, then cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. 
    Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

    Adapted from Pioneer Woman.

    Sunday, November 24, 2013

    Homemade Oatmeal

    I ran out of instant oatmeal packets- and JW wanted some oatmeal. I figured homemade oatmeal couldnt be THAT hard.

    And, it's not. It's awesome.

    1 cup rolled oats
    2 cups liquid (I mixed half milk, splash of half and half, and rest water)

    Combine in a pot over med-low heat. Simmer and stir until soft and thick. (less than 10 minutes- I left the room and lost track of time)

    I served with a little butter, dash of white sugar and molasses.

    Sweet potato Casserole

    Sweet potato casserole

    40 ounces of sweet potatoes (or 2.5 lbs)

    1 c white sugar
    2 eggs
    1/3 c butter
    1/3 c milk
    1 t vanilla

    1 c brown sugar
    1 c chopped pecans
    1/3 c flour
    1/3 c melted butter
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 2 quart baking dish.
    2. Place the sweet potatoes and water to cover in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat, drain, and mash.
    3. In a medium bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, 1/3 cup butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Spread evenly into the prepared baking dish.
    4. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, chopped pecans, flour, and 1/3 cup melted butter. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.
    5. Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

    Thanksgiving ate my camera.

    Cranberry relish

    Thanksgiving ate my camera.

    Cranberry Relish is what I miss most when I go to other people's Thanksgivings.
    • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
    • 1 apple, unpeeled, cored, cut into cubes
    • 1 orange, unpeeled, cut into cubes
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    1. Puree everything in a food processor to desired consistency.

    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    Rosemary Rolls

    I made these a while back and the photos are MIA. So for now, I'll post the recipe and revisit with my photos.

    Rosemary Rolls


    •  Frozen, Unbaked Dinner Rolls
    •  Melted Butter, Regular, Salted
    •  Fresh Rosemary, Coarsely Chopped
    •  Coarse Sea Salt


    Spray a small iron skillet with cooking spray (or coat with olive oil). 
    Place frozen rolls in the skillet, leaving plenty of room for rising. Cover and allow to rise for several hours.
    After rising, brush rolls with melted butter.
    Sprinkle on chopped rosemary. Brush with additional butter. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
    Bake according to roll package directions (usually 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes), until rolls are a deep golden brown on top.
    Serve skillet on the table.

    Adapted from Pioneer Woman.

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Roasted Chicken

    I have a new favorite food blog other than my own, and Ree's.

    She posted this roasted chicken that was super easy and very tasty.

    Unfortunately for us, it serve 2 for dinner, me for lunch, and a leftover carcass for soup.

    Herb Roasted Chicken
    2.5* lb Whole Fresh Chicken, skin on and giblets removed
    1/4 c Unsalted Butter, softened
    1/8 c Fresh Rosemary, chopped
    1/8 c Fresh Thyme, chopped
    1/8 c Fresh Parsley, chopped
    Salt and Pepper
    Olive Oil
    3 Large Carrots, sliced 2″ thick and halved
    1 Small Yellow Onion, cut into 2″ pieces
    3 Garlic Cloves, sliced
    Preheat oven to 425F°. 
    Drizzle a large, deep-sided glass or ceramic baking dish (or cast iron skillet like me!) with olive oil. Add pieces of carrots, onions, and garlic in an even layer on the bottom of the dish. 
    Place the chicken on a cutting board. Lift up the skin and using your fingers, smear a bit of butter and the herbs under the skin and spread over the bird. Coat as much of the chicken as possible with a thin layer of butter and herbs while maintaining the skin in tact. (Don't have wet hands- butter and water don't mix.)
    Drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the baking dish and on top of the vegetables.  Tent with aluminum foil. 
    Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 30 minutes. 
    Remove foil, toss carrots and onions with tongs, and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the juices run clear when a knife is inserted between a leg and thigh or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the breast reaches 160°F. 
    *20 mins at 350 per pound, so 10lb bird= 200 min
    Remove from the oven and allow to rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the vegetables.

    Homemade applesauce

    I love the Pioneer Woman (; Food Network) and she never fails to make simple and delicious food. (Although not the healthiest, her kids are all bean poles. All that manual labor- love that too.)

    She strikes again with this applesauce recipe. So EASY. Especially with an applecorer and my new immersion blender ($2 at estate sale).

    Honestly, 10 min prep, 25 min on the stir. Serving with pork tonight!
    • 3 pounds Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices
    • 1/2 cup Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
    •  Juice Of 1/2 Lemon
    • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar, Packed (or my brown sugar substitute white sugar and molasses)
    • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon, More Or Less To Taste
    •  Optional Ingredients: Nutmeg and Allspice

    Preparation Instructions

    Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

    Carefully puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.

    Sunday, September 8, 2013

    Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

    Really craving pumpkin- its fall like, for a few more August days before 90s return-


    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves)
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 3 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup water or orange juice
    • I also added vanilla extract and chocolate chips


    PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Paper-line or grease 30 muffin cups.

    COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.

    BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store muffins in covered container or resealable plastic bags.

    Pumpkin is considered a Super Food as it is low in calories and fat and is a naturally rich source of fiber and Vitamin A (an antioxidant).

    I also added a cream cheese icing to just a few- 1 tablespoon of soft butter, 3 x 1 inch cubes of soft cream cheese, 1 t vanilla, whipped with confectioners sugar until thick (about 1 cup).

    Enjoy. I ate two already today and about to have a third. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    Friday, August 23, 2013

    Black bean and Corn Salad

    I couldn't find it on my blog- but I know I've made this recipe before and loved it! So- I'm finally writing it down!

    1/3 cup fresh lime juice
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels [I'm going to do fresh- because I have tons-- boil and cut off the cob... I might throw some uncooked kernels in too- just to see]
    1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    2 tomatoes, chopped
    6 green onions, thinly sliced [I'm actually using diced red onion, it's what I have]
    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


    1. Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small jar or tupperware. Cover with lid, and shake until ingredients are well mixed.
    2. In a salad bowl, combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. 
    3. Shake lime dressing, and pour it over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetables and beans with dressing, and serve.
    I think I'll serve this with a steak and watermelon :) I'm not picking out the seeds.

    It's funny how some things never change...

    I recently got a watermelon from the CSA, and had a very entertaining exchange with JW about it... nothing out of the realm of possibilities with him.

    But then today, I checking out the blog looking for a black bean and corn salad I swear I've made before- and found this:

    Check the last paragraph. It's the SAME conversation we just had. Again. And sadly, I didn't even know it was the second time.

    Although JW is pretty predictable to me after so many (ah, 7) years, at least some things do change. Our kitchen looks way different now!! (Unfortunately, I think I like my hair in that picture way more than what I have now!)

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    Chicken tetrazzini

    I had a craving for a casserole, and no "cream of" soups in the house. So I found a recipe online and then changed it to fit my fridge!

    Chicken (I had 5 tenderloins, 2 thighs)

    Here's what I did with my random ingredients and 1 pan/pot goal!

    Boil chicken for 20 minutes. Take out the chicken, but leave the water in the pot. Add half lb of spaghetti broken in thirds. Boil the pasta, and 1 cup of peas, while you chop the chicken.

    Pour the water off, and save 1 cup of broth/pasta water to the side. Add the pasta and peas to the chicken (ok I ended up using 2 containers).

    In the warm pot, add 5 T of butter to melt. Add 1/4 cup of flour and mix. Pour in the broth while mixing. Slowly add 1 cup milk (I used skim) and mix.

    Chop about 2/3 cheese- I had a small hunk of Dublinear, 2x4 hunk of Brie, and one wheel of baby belle cheese. Water you have- throw it in! Mix until mostly melted. Add in the pasta/chic/peas mixture and toss. And serve! (I Broiled it for 5 min but unnecessary.)

    If you want to see the original recipe, click here:

    Biscuits from pancake mix

    When you only have whole wheat flour and a craving for sausage gravy, you'll go to great lengths to make tasty biscuits.

    I recently bought buttermilk pancake mix, the kind you only need to add water (sometimes I find myself with nothing in the house to eat and this will usually do the trick as I ALWAYS have butter and syrup...). As a kid my mom would make chicken pot pie with bisquick biscuits on top. Figured pancake mix had to be similar!

    2.5 cups pancake mix (just add water variety)
    1/3 cup water
    1/4 cup melted butter
    1 egg

    Mix, and flour a counter. Roll out dough until 1/2 inch.

    Using a wine glass, I punched out biscuits and placed on greased cookie sheet.
    I baked at 425 for 8-10 minutes.

    Then I made a quick sausage gravy!