Category Archives: food

Winter Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse sea salt and ground pepper
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard or Kale stalks removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, in juice
  • 5-6 cans beef broth (or chicken or vegetable broth)
  • 2 cups ditalini pasta
  • Optional:  grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium.
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent.
  3. Add Swiss Chard or kale, basil, and crushed red-pepper. Cook, stirring, until greens start to wilt, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add all the beans to the pan, as well as tomatoes with juice and 5-6 cups broth. Cover and simmer, until veggies are tender, 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add ditalini pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes more.
  6. Serve with grated Romano/Parmesan, if desired.

Pair it with some nice crusty bread or rolls.

Notes:  You can also add other root vegetables, such as potato or butternut squash for a more hearty soup.  And another option is to add some bacon (because who doesn’t love bacon).

 

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Easter bunny cake

My little guy is allergic to dairy, eggs, nuts and citrus.  It’s been a challenge finding foods for him to eat in general and even more so for holidays.   I want him to feel special and included so I scoured the Internet to find a cake recipe that works with his allergy list so he could have a special treat this Easter.  

First I found a carrot cake boxed cake mix. I double checked all ingredients to ensure it was allergen free.  I put the mix, a 15 oz can of pumpkin, 1/2 cup of shredded carrot and 1/2 cup water into a bowl and mixed until well blended.   Then I poured it into 2 round greased cake pans and baked for 28 minutes at 350•.  The rest of the mix I made into cupcakes.

  

After they cooled I cut one of circles into ear shapes, using the middle as a bow tie.

  

(Photo taken from Pinterest because I forgot to take a picture)   

Next, I “glued” the pieces together with dairy free frosting and frosted the whole cake.  To keep it on the healthier side, I decorated the tie and bunny nose with sliced strawberries.

  

What do you think?  Do you have any Easter recipes to share?


Strawberry Lemonade Scones

All of my life, I have loved cooking. I am pretty good at it. But never was a good baker. Well not too long ago, a friend of mine posted some homemade scones on Facebook. And that did it. I started becoming a little obsessed with scones. So far I have made cinnamon/sugar scones, blueberry scones with lemon glaze, and today’s batch is Strawberry Lemonade, with a lemon glaze. They turned out great. Who knew I could be a good baker?

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
2 c. Bisquick
1/2 c. lemonade mix
1/3 c. low-fat milk
3 tbsp. sugar (2 pkg. Sweet and Low)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/3-1/2 c diced strawberries
1-2 tsp of lemon zest

Directions
Mix and form into 8 inch circle. Use more Bisquick if this is sticky. Put on greased cookie sheet; cut into eighths before baking. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.

Lemon glaze: 1/2 c powdered sugar and 2 tsp lemon juice

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Heath Bar Pie

Today I made this super easy, no bake pie to bring to a dinner party. You can make it with any candy you want, I used Heath Bar for this one.

Ingredients:
12.5 oz heath bar, broken up in bits
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
12 oz cool whip
Graham cracker crust

Directions:
Break candy into little bits ( unless you cheat like I did and bought the bag of bits). Reserve 1/2 cup for the topping. Next mix together the cream cheese and cool whip in a bowl. Then mix in the rest of the candy. Pour into the graham cracker crust and then top with remaining candy. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

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Looks sooooo good. Enjoy!


Lemony Shrimp Scampi

I was at my mother-in-laws this week and we were watching Food Network.  The show we were watching featured this dish that sounded and looked amazing.  Both my MIL and myself LOVE shrimp, so the next day, she got the ingredients for it and made it.  It was soooooo good.

 

Lemony shrimp scampi

Ingredients
6 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
2 lemons, zested and juiced
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound medium shrimp (21 to 25), peeled, deveined and butterflied (reserve shells)
1/4 onion
3/4 pound thin linguini
2 tablespoons butter
1 small bunch parsley, leaves chopped

 

Directions
In a bowl, combine the garlic, zest and juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste, and the shrimp. Set aside to marinate. Meanwhile make a quick shrimp stock: In a small pot, over medium heat, add the shrimp shells and onion. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain into a bowl and discard the shells and the onion. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add a generous amount of salt. Add the linguini and cook until just tender, 2 minutes less than instructed on the package. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water. Heat a skillet over high heat. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and add the shrimp to the skillet. Cook until they turn pink and start to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan to a plate and add the reserved marinade. Let cook a few minutes then add about 1 cup of shrimp stock and about 1/2 cup pasta water. Continue to cook until sauce reduces by half. Add the zest and juice of the remaining lemon, the butter and the parsley and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Add in the shrimp and pasta and toss to combine with the sauce. Turn out into a serving bowl and serve immediately.

 

sorry there is no picture, because we ate it all!  enjoy!


Balsamic Brushetta Chicken

Tried this new recipe tonight and it was really, really good.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 container Brushetta Sauce from Trader Joes

 

or you can make your own Brushetta sauce own using:

  • 4 medium roma tomatoes
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

Add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, and salt and pepper to a ziplock bag. Add the chicken and shake to mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375

Brown the chicken breasts in a pan using 1 tbs olive oil

Place in a baking dish and bake 30 minutes.

Remove and top with Brushetta sauce and put back into oven and cook another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

 

I served mine with roasted broccoli.  Enjoy!

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