Monday, June 10, 2013

Chicken and walnut stir fry with hoisin sauce

We recently moved, and our new kitchen is so much bigger and better than our last one. It's been really fun to feel like I actually have room to cook for the week.

This recipe is an adaptation of Mark Bittman's 10 Minute Stir Fry from his cook book The Minimalist Cooks at Home. It can also be found here.

1 1/2 lbs organic chicken breast, cut in small pieces
1 green pepper, sliced small
1 red pepper, sliced small
1 jalapeño, sliced small
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 cup walnuts
a few cups of brown rice

1. Boil your rice
2. Throw peanut oil in large pan on high
3. After 1 minute, throw veggies in pan. Wait 1 minute, then stir and wait another.
4. Add chicken, wait 1 minute, stir, wait 1 minute, stir again. Cook fully.
5. Add hoisin sauce, walnuts, and water. Stir until hot.
6. Serve with rice

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Santa Fe Cheese Soup

I inherited this recipe by searching through my Mom's large collection of recipes. It was clipped out of a newspaper, and I apologize for not recalling the source. I made this last night and it was delightful!

Makes 5 cups of soup
2 large carrots, cut in 1“ pieces
1 medium onion, cut in 1“ pieces
1 small apple, cored and cut in 1“ pieces
3 small jalapeño or serrano chiles, seeded
3 Tbsp butter
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cups dry white wine
6 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
6 oz cheddar, grated
6 oz monterey jack, grated
Salt and pepper
1/2 cups cilantro, minced
2 sm plum tomatoes, seeded, diced

Mince first 4 ingredients with steel blade in food processor. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add minced carrots, onions, apple and chilies and cook until softened. Add stock and wine, bring to boil. Reduce and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.

For a Rustic Soup: Puree vegetable until smooth, about 2 minutes. Place flour in bowl. Gradually whisk in half of milk, making a smooth paste. Mix into vegetables and add remaining milk. Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened. Stir cheeses into soup. Cook over medium heat until smooth. Season to taste. Mix cilantro and tomatoes. Ladle soup into bowls and spoon a dollop to tomato mixture into center of each.
For more Refined Soup: Puree vegetable until smooth, about 2 minutes. Press through fine strainer into bowl. Place flour in large bowl. Gradually whisk in half of milk, making a smooth paste. Mix in vegetables and remaining milk. Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened. Stir cheeses into soup. Cook over medium heat until smooth. Season to taste. Mix cilantro and tomatoes. Ladle soup into bowls and spoon a dollop to tomato mixture into center of each.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Book List 2012

1. How to Suppress Women's Writing- Joanna Russ
2. The War Against Women- Marilyn French
3. A Passion for Friends- Janice Raymond
4. Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century -edited by Justine Larbalestier
5. For Crying Out Loud: Women's Poverty in the United States- edited by Diane Dujon and Ann Withorn
6. Runaway and other stories- Alice Munro
7 Ishmael - Daniel Quinn
8. Woman Hating- Andrea Dworkin
9. Enlightened Sexism- Susan Douglas
10. Girls Like Us- Rachel Lloyd
11. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill inWar and Society-Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
12. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
13. Bellwether-Connie Willis
14. I Capture the Castle- Dodie Smith
15. The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
16. Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins
17. Mockingjay- Suzanne Collins
18. Man's Dominion- Sheila Jeffreys
19. Refusing to be a Man- John Stoltenberg
20. The Mismeasure of Woman - Carol Tavris
21. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
22. Bait and Switch- Barbara Ehrenreich
23. Bossypants- Tina Fey
24. Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's- John Elder Robison
25. The Prostitution of Sexuality- Kathleen Barry
26. The Flipside of Feminism Phyllis Schlafly and  Suzanne Venker
27. Bright Sided- Barbara Ehrenreich
28. The Left Hand of Darkness- Ursula K. Le Guin
29. Divergent - Veronica Roth
30. Why Does He DO That? Lundy Bancroft
31. Just Like Us Helen Thorpe
32. Sex, Culture, and Justice: The Limits of Choice- Clare Chambers
31. Just Like Us Helen Thorpe
32. Sex, Culture, and Justice: The Limits of Choice- Clare Chambers
33. The Dispossessed- Ursula K. Le Guin
34. Heartburn Nora Ephron

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pesto Chicken Meatballs

Christmas is coming! This year I am making the holiday meal, and I am very excited to do it. We've got our Xmas lights hung, and our wreath all set up (which the cats continuously attempt to knock down).

Due to the holidays, I have four days off of work in a row, which I am exceptionally grateful for. This will give me the time to get the house in order, and plan the big meal. In the meantime though, there's still hungry people to feed, and that is why I've made these amazing pesto chicken meatballs.

These meatballs have an awesome flavor. The cheese, pesto, and chicken all come together in a moist, delicious fashion. Some meatballs are crumbly, but that is not what I found with these. Pure goodness.

The original recipe comes from Big, Bold, Beautiful Food but I've made some modifications as noted below.

1 lb ground chicken
1/3 c pesto (I use store bought, but there is a recipe to make your own in the link above)
1 small onion, diced fine
1/2-3/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c grated Parmesan
salt/black pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
splash of milk (this is not essential; leave it out if you want)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Mix all ingredients together with hands until fully integrated
3. Roll meatballs (aprox. tablespoon-size) onto aluminum foil-covered baking sheet
4. Bake 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven-- I needed 20). To test for doneness, cut open a larger meatball.

I hope you try these yummy meatballs. They would be great with pasta, as an appetizer, or with a dipping sauce.

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bacon Corn Potato Chowder

It has been snowy and cold, so this soup was perfect.

I really wish the photo was better, but it is hard to get good lighting in one's kitchen after dark.

The recipe comes from here. It is not copy/paste-able, so I assume the author doesn't want me putting it on my own blog. So, I'll just link to it and say I hope you enjoy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mulligatawny on a Snowy Thursday

Finding my most recent mulligatawny recipe put me in the mood to make it again. I thought the last recipe was a bit spring-like for my tastes-- as we were in the midst of a cold, snow-covered day, I opted for a more wintery version. I made this up myself based on my previous recipes and what I had in the house. I think lentils work really well in this soup, though the grocery didn't have any red ones. Also, I really like chicken in this soup, as well as celery and apples. In fact, I used a whole bunch of vegetables in this delicious, warm soup.

1 cup lentils
1 package chicken breasts
1 tablespoon oil
5 celery sticks
2 apples
4 sprigs cilantro
4 carrots
1 red onion
1 jalapeño
1 inch ginger
2 garlic cloves
4 teaspoons Better than Bullion chicken
4 cups water
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2 
1 tablespoon curry
3 shakes turmeric
1 tablespoon lime juice
6 oz tomato paste

1. Boil 1 cup lentils in 2 cups water, and chop all veggies/fruit.
2. Cook chicken in oil until done, then set aside.
3. Using the chicken grease, fry up all the veggies/fruits until done.
4.  Add water the lentils were cooked in, plus 2 more cups. Add 1/2 and 1/2, Better than Bullion chicken, tomato paste, cilantro, and spices.
5. Using your burr mixer, mix up veggies and liquid to desired consistency.
6. Return chicken to pot and warm.
7. Serve with croutons.

This was so delicious! It is my favorite version of this soup so far.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Red Lentil Mulligatawny with Apple-Celery Salsa

I made this over a year ago, and totally forgot to blog about it. I'm now placing it here so that in the future, when I want to make it again, I will have this handy reference!

I made mulligatawny soup once before here.

This recipe comes from myrecipes, which really means it came from Cooking Light magazine.

Here it is:


  • Salsa:
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped Granny Smith apple 
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 
  • Soup:
  • 3 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dried small red lentils
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. To prepare salsa, combine the first 4 ingredients; cover and chill.
  2. To prepare soup, combine broth, lentils, and onion in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until lentils are tender. Pour half of lentil mixture in a blender; let stand 5 minutes. Process until smooth. Pour pureed lentil mixture into a bowl. Pour remaining lentil mixture into blender; process until smooth. Add coconut milk, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, and turmeric; process until smooth. Return coconut milk mixture and remaining pureed lentil mixture to pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1 teaspoon juice, salt, and pepper. Ladle about 1 cup soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 1/4 cup salsa.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Steak and Potatoes

Fall makes me want to cook! I have been largely absent from the kitchen all summer, and am now enjoying a resurgence in my culinary activities.

Last night I made steak and potatoes. But, not just any steak. I got the marinade recipe from All Recipes.

Here it is:
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (1 1/2-pound) beef flank steak
I added all the ingredients together and I used my burr mixer to combine them. Then I took my steak out and soaked it in the marinade for about two hours. I didn't have the full six hours the recipe asks for, but it was delicious nonetheless. Then I plopped them on the grill until they were about medium done, took them off, and let them sit. 
While the steak was marinating, I created some mashed potato magic. I had already made these potatoes for a Thanksgiving party I threw last year, only last year I had thought the recipe called for feta instead of blue cheese, so it wasn't exactly the same this time around.  Honestly, it is delicious both ways.
Here is is, from The Joy of Cooking blog:
Blue Cheese and Roasted Apple Mashed Potatoes – slightly adapted from Baked Bree
  • 3 Lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 Golden Delicious Apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • Generous drizzle of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Milk
  • 1 8 oz. Package Cream Cheese
  • 5 oz. Blue Cheese
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Chives, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
I baked the potatoes first for an hour and fifteen minutes at 350 degrees, and I used my burr mixer to mix them up with all the other ingredients. Then I baked them in the oven again to get a tiny bit of crust for about thirty minutes more once they were all ready. These are so delicious-- I love them!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Queso

I made this weekend before last, but I haven't had a chance to post it yet. I got it from the Washington Post.

Velveeta-Free Queso

1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
salt to taste
1-3 canned chiles, diced (add according to taste)- (not from a can to avoid bpa)
1 plum tomato, diced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

In a medium saucepan, add butter and allow to melt over low heat. Add flour and stir until it is well integrated with butter and mixture is free of lumps. Color will be golden after 1 minute or so.

Add cream and stir to combine, allowing to heat up until thickened, about five minutes. Stir frequently with spoon and do not allow cream to boil. Add cheese, and whisk vigorously until completely integrated and fluid.
Taste for salt and add accordingly. Add chiles, tomato, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne, and stir to combine. Add more seasoning as you see fit.
Serve warm with your favorite chips. Can be reheated, if done gently. Makes nearly 1 quart dip.

I served this in the crock pot on low heat with chips. It was a super hit!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower Soup (Take 3)

I've made this soup twice before. It's inspired by this recipe on Allrecipes. However, this time I made several changes.

First of all, I used purple cauliflower. They are simply beautiful, and they contain the antioxidant anthocyanin which provides a unique health benefit. Apparently, they are not genetically engineered- they are simply the result of decades of selective breeding.

Next, I substituted chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for the spices in the All Recipes version, and added chicken and bell peppers.

The recipe looks like this:

2 purple cauliflowers
5 shallots
2 red peppers
3 garlic heads
1 package chicken breasts
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup fat free half and half (that's the kind I had in the fridge)
several glugs of olive oil
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
few pinches salt

1. Set oven to 425 degrees F. Wash and slice cauliflower. Place in a casserole dish and toss with olive oil. Roast for 35 minutes.
2. In the meantime, slice peppers, garlic, shallots, and chicken. Stir fry chicken until done, then add other veggies and saute until done.
3. When cauliflower can be sliced with a fork, remove from casserole dish and place in a large pot. Add 3 cups chicken broth, 1 cup half and half, and sliced chipotle peppers.
4. Using a burr mixer, mix ingredients until chunks are very small.
5. Pour the mixture through a filter; discard solids and retain liquid.
6. Add veggies and chicken to the soup. Season with salt as necessary and serve.

I was expecting this soup to be a bit more purple, but it was quite delicious.

It's fun to play with this recipe over the years and see how it can be altered. Happy experimenting!