Tuesday, July 4, 2017

4th of July Recipes, Fire up the Grill!

Happy Fourth of July! Let Freedom Ring and thanks to all who came before and who still serve our country so we can celebrate holidays like today. 

 Every 4th of July as I slice up the watermelon, make potato salad and fire up the grill I am transported back to all the great 4th of July gathering so far in my life. So many memories; as a child swimming all day with our friends, grilling hamburgers and waiting for dusk so we could join all our neighbors light up the neighborhood with sparklers and fireworks. 

Beach holidays, celebrating with family and later taking our kids to the pool at Raintree Country Club and other years spending the 4th of July holiday in Myrtle Beach. And then there was the year Doug climbed Mount Rainer while I watched and waited for him to safely make it down the mountain. 4th of July spent in Seattle, Washington and this year just hanging close to home away from the maddening crowds!

Enjoy the day and every day, oh and Just Cook Something! Cheers! Kary~

Mac and Cheese

Poplano Peppers with Cream Cheese and Bacon 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Pesto with Fresh Basil, Walnuts, Garlic, Cheese and Olive Oil

My basil plant is thriving and it is the first of June, time to make pesto!

Yesterday I  made a bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich with pesto as spread, I usually use mayonnaise, it was scrumptious. Check out some of my recipes with pesto: Pesto Lasagna, Pizza, Crunchy Bread, Pesto Chicken Sandwich, scramble with eggs and as a marinade for chicken and fish.

This makes a about 8 ounces
Pesto Ingredients:

• 1 cup of olive oil
• 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese grated
• 1/2 cup of walnuts or pine nuts
• 6 cloves of garlic, remove the skin add depending on how much you like garlic
• 2 cups of fresh basil; about 2 handfuls
• Dash of sugar or honey 
• I like to keep walnuts in my refrigerator to keep them fresh; eat as a snack, add to a salad, sprinkle on broccoli, use your imagination
• Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 2 to 4 minutes until the mixture is smooth

• You can store the pesto in the refrigerator for about a week or freeze 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Kitchari Soup Mung Beans and Basmati Rice

Back in February I posted a recipe for Kitchari, my first attemp cooked up like risotto not soup….and later I realized I only used 4 cups of broth not the 8 that was recommended. I just grabbed a 32 ounce box of organic vegetable broth not thinking about the fact that this was 4 cups not 8. 

Today I decided to try again and whip up a pot of Kitchari Soup. 

Here’s what I used:
4 cups low-sodium Organic Vegetable Broth- I used one 32 ounce box of broth
1/4 cup split mung beans, found these at Earth Fare and really like the flavor
1/4 cup brown basmati rice
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds. If you’re not familiar with fennel it has a licorice taste and can be very strong
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika, this is a current personal favorite

I also added 1/2 tsp. garlic powder and 1/2 tsp. onion powderke

In a large cooking pot add the vegetable broth, beans, rice and stir in turmeric, cumin, fennel, paprika, garlic and onion powder
Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 to 35 minutes. This time is was more like a soup and made 3 servings, about a cup each. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe, what are you cooking? 

Just Cook Something! Cheers! Kary!

Here are a couple of interesting and educational sites:
Kitchari Healing Stew, Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse 
Ayurveda a Science of Internal Healing

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Chicken Thighs Mediterranean Style

If you like Chicken thighs you will love this Mediterranean inspired recipe.

I usually marinade Chicken Thighs in Lite Sesame Dressing for a day or two then cook on the Grill. I was trying to think of a different way to cook them and here is what I had on-hand:

8 boneless skinless Chicken Thighs
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup chicken broth
2 green onions, you can use ½ of a yellow onion or 2 shallots
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
4 Tbs. capers
4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Using a mixing bowl add the chicken broth, green onions, red wine vinegar and caper, whisk together set aside. If you have olives or dates you can add these as well.

Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet, add the chicken thighs and brown on each side, on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Turn off the stove top and pour the liquid over the chicken thighs, add the sprigs of rosemary and bake in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes until the chicken thighs are tender.

I served this with a spinach salad and this recipe is a keeper!

Just cook something! Cheer! Kary~

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cocoa Powder Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips

 Cocoa Powder Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips

I have a favorite chocolate cookie recipe that I have been using for years from Betty Crocker’s cookbook “Baking Classics” copywrite 1979. It was a gift from my friend
Margie when Doug and I got married. This recipe “Chocolate Drop Cookies” has been a family favorite for years, of course with a few changes, this recipe includes 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, melted.

Last year I was out of chocolate bars but had cocoa powder, so I went in search of a cookie recipe with cocoa powder as an ingredient. The recipe that I found is on FOOD.com and is by wannabe runway model, posted on July 22, 2007.

The new family favorite and here’s Kary’s take:
Kary’s way                                    Original Recipe
½ cup butter                                 ½ cup butter
¼ cup brown sugar                         ½ cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoon sugar                       ¼ cup sugar
1 egg                                            1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract              1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour                 1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder                       ¼ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda                 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt                            1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup peanut butter chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure the butter is at room temperature, I usually put it in the microwave for 15 seconds to soften.

In a large mixing bowl beat together butter and sugar until creamy, crack the egg in a small bowl, add along with the vanilla and stir until well mixed. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, mix in until well blended. Fold in the peanut butter chips.

I usually chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes, it just makes the dough easier to work with. Using a teaspoon place the cookies on the cooking sheet, I line mine with parchment paper or use a Silpat to cover the cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, I have a convection oven so this is the perfect time for these cookies in my oven. Also, I like a chewy cookie, hey it’s your cookie so bake it your way just don’t burn them!

What’s your favorite cookie recipe? Just cook something! Cheers! Kary~

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Goat Cheese, Sundried Tomato & Spinach Chips

Goat Cheese, Spinach and Sundried Potatoes

Have you heard of the Lays Potato Chip Challenge? If not check it out dousaflavor contest which I entered.

I was thinking about how I would make these chips without a fryer or the help of the lays kitchen.

Hmmm I haven’t made these yet but plan on giving them a go this weekend. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them.

Here’s what I am thinking:

1 large russet potato, herbed goat cheese, sudried tomatoes and fresh spinach
Olive oil

Clean, scrub, peel then thinly slice the potato. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet
Fry the potatoes, then keep one layer of cooked potatoes in the skillet, top with spinach, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese. Add another layer and repeat.
Turn on the broiler, place the cast iron skillet in the oven and broil for 2 minutes Watch closely so they don’t burn! Remove and I think they will be yummy.

Check back next week for the results or make them and share with all of us!

Just cook something! Cheers! Kary~

Monday, March 13, 2017

Asparagus Soup with Coconut Milk

 Last month I posted my take on a recipe for Kitchari Soup from” First for Women’s” magazine January 23, 2017 edition, yep the actual magazine that I picked up at my local grocery store. This edition also included some other recipes, and one page that caught my eye was “FIRST’s top 10 slimming soups”. The “BLOAT BUSTER” Asparagus Dream soup was the first one that I wanted to try. 

Per the magazine “Enjoying Asparagus soup can shrink the belly fast. Credit goes to a compound (asparagine) in the veggie, which prods the kidneys to release trapped fluids from cells for an instant slimming effect.” I did a little research on the web and asparagus acts as a directic which flushes fluids from your boday, here is a great link.

The recipe called for 1 lb. each of green and white asparagus, I had what I thought looked like about 2 lbs. of green asparagus so that’s what I used. When the soup was done, we could really taste the coconut milk, so maybe I had about 1 ½ lbs. of asparagus, because I think if it was a full 2 lbs. the coconut milk would not overwhelm the flavor of the soup. The soup was bland at first but grew on us as we ate it. We shall see how it turns out next time…

Here’s my recipe compared to the Asparagus Dream Soup I found in the Magazine:

What I had on-hand:                                       “First for women Ingredients”
6 Green onions, diced                                      6 shallots
Olive Oil                                                          Olive oil
2 lbs. chopped asparagus                                1 lb. each white and green asparagus
4 cups low sodium veggie broth                       5 cups veggie broth
2 Tbs. lemon juice                                           2 Tbs. lemon juice
¼ cup coconut milk                                          ¼ cup coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste                                 Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. garlic powder

In a large cooking pot sauté the diced onions about a Tbs. of olive oil until they soften, add the chopped asparagus and veggie broth. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the asparagus is cooked. Remove about ¼ cup of the cooked asparagus and set aside. Blend the soup, if you are using a regular blender be sure to let the soup cool, hot soup expands and will blow the lid off your blender.
Add the lemon juice, coconut and cooked asparagus to the soup, heat and serve.

If you’re not familiar with shallots, they look like a small onion and have a slight garlic flavor, if the green stems are attached they look a little like a green onion.
You can use sweet yellow onions if that is what you have in your pantry, a little stronger than shallots so maybe use ½ of a yellow onion.

Let me know if you make it and what you think.

Just cook something. Cheers! Kary~