Monday, November 30, 2009

Pasta e Fagioli

Yeah, I can type it, but I might not be able to pronounce it correctly! I think it's 'fazul'. No matter how you say it, we like it a lot. First time making it. Definitely not the last. This is the perfect cold weather dish. I kept wanting to think I was eating chili, but it's definitely not a chili.

This makes quite a big batch of soup, so get out a 6 quart or larger pot to make it in. That or divide the recipe.

(Must be time to oil the cutting board, it's looking a little dry there)

Makes: 12-14 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 7-8 hours
Printable Recipe


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (16 oz) can white kidney beans, drained
  • 3 (10 oz) cans beef stock
  • 3 t oregano
  • 2 t pepper
  • 5 t parsley
  • 1 t hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 (20 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz pasta

1. Brown beef in skillet. Drain and add to large pot.

2. Add all remaining ingredients except pasta and cook for 7-8 hours on low.

3. During last hour add pasta.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jalapeño Refried Beans

I was pretty happy with how these came out. Good side for burgers.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 packet Sazon seasoning
  • 2 (15 1/2 oz) cans pinto beans
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • S & P

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add garlic, jalapeño, onion and Sazon. Saute until they start to soften, about 3 minutes.

2. Add 1 can of pinto beans, including the liquid in the can. Simmer until beans heat through and soften, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the beans.

4. Drain the second can of pinto beans and add those to the pan. Stir and cook until bean warm through.

5. Stir in lime juice and season with S & P.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pumpkin Whoopies

Anita made a batch of these for Thanksgiving. They came out great! Very moist and sweet!

Makes: 12
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 1/2 sticks butter. 1 stick melted and 1/2 stick softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 3/4 t plus 2 pinches salt
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 4 oz cream cheese, chilled
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, the baking powder, baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

3. Fold in the flour using a rubber spatula.

4. Using a tablespoon, drop 12 same-size mounds of batter, spaced evenly, onto each baking sheet. Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

5. Using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the cream cheese. Add the confectioner's sugar and the remaining salt and vanilla. Mix on low speed until well blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

6. Spread the flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting. Top each with another cake.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fennel Salad

I needed a nice, crisp salad to go with the lasagna I made yesterday. As luck would have it, I was listening to a podcast that had this recipe, which came out quite nicely.

I have to admit, I've never used fennel before. I was a little weary as Anita doesn't like licorice-flavored foods, but this salad did not have a strong licorice flavor at all.

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 medium-sized fennel bulbs, trimmed with some fronds reserved
  • 3 celery ribs, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 t fresh black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly shaved

1. Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise. Use a mandolin to slice thinly. Also slice celery thinly.

2. Combine fennel and celery with oil and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper and toss.

3. Top with Parmesan cheese shavings and reserved fronds if desired.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chicken Fajitas

We really enjoyed these. The chicken tasted great, and the fresh avocado and guac really stepped it up. We'll be making this again soon.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 2+ hours
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe



  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 t soy sauce
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t liquid smoke
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1 lb top sirloin steak or boneless skinless chicken breast

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl with meat and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

2. Discard leftover marinade.

3. Grill over medium heat for 4-5 minutes per side.

4. Let me sit for 5 minutes then slice into thin strips. Keep warm.

Vegetable Sauce


  • 2 T water
  • 1 t soy sauce
  • 1/2 t lime juice
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 1 T olive oil

1. Combine all ingredients and set aside.



  • 1 large Spanish onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced thin

1. Cool all ingredients in oil until brown.



  • Flour tortillas
  • Meat and vegetables from above

1. Warm tortillas on stove (I just throw them in a hot pan for a few seconds per side).

2. Combine vegetables with vegetable sauce.

3. Place meat filling in tortilla. Add vegetable/sauce mix.

For added flavor, top with guacamole and/or fresh avocados and salsa.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I caught this woodpecker in the neighbor's tree the other day. The pic didn't come out too bad considering I took it thru the upstairs window, which is double-paned and has a cat-proof screen in it. Those cats are prone to escaping, you know.

I think this is the same fellow that has been hanging off the neighbor's wood siding, drilling for bugs.

Good thing I have vinyl siding.

Incan wall in Cuzco

I took this pic a long, long time ago when we were in Cuzco, Peru. The Incas were masters of engineering. One thing I will never forget from my two years in Peru was the many examples of their skills, like this wall. The accuracy and craftsmanship is unparalleled.

Some walls contained stones that would be difficult to lift with today's technologies, yet alone carve so amazingly.

Chex Party Mix

Well, it's not quite the stuff your momma used to make. The addition of some Dirty Dick's Oral Abuse hot sauce kicks it up a bit!

Makes: 12 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 3 cups Corn Chex
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex
  • 3 cups Rice Chex
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 2 cups mixed nuts
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 3 T Worcestershire Sauce
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 t seasoned salt
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 3/4 t garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 250.

2. Put cereal into large bowl. Add in pretzels and nuts.

3. Melt butter. Add seasonings. Mix well and stir into cereal mixture.

4. Transfer mix onto baking sheets and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Every 15 minutes, stir the mixture and return to the oven.

5. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Turkey dinner

We decided to make a turkey dinner Sunday. It gave us a chance to try out a few new recipes before Thanksgiving.

I brined a bone-in fresh turkey breast in a honey solution overnight. The result was a nice, moist and tender turkey. The drippings made an awesome gravy that went well with the sage dressing.

Although I made the sweet potatoes on the grill, they can also be made indoors. The more you can cook on the grill the better. If nothing else, it frees up room in the oven!

The cranberry salad was awesome, as were the roasted Brussel sprouts.

Turkey Breast

Prep time: 24 hours
Makes: 6 serving from a 6 pound breast
Cook time: 2 hours
Printable Recipe


  • 1 6-pound bone-in, fresh natural turkey breast
  • 4-5 quarts of water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3-4 t black pepper
  • 5-6 garlic gloves, peeled
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme, or about 1 T dried
  • 1 small bunch fresh sage, or about 1 T dried
  • 3 cups chicken stock

1. Rinse turkey breast with cold water and drain well. Blot dry.

2. In a large food-safe baggie (they sell really big ones that work great for turkeys), combine the water, honey and salt. Stir until the honey dissolves.

3. Add remaining ingredients except the turkey.

4. Place the baggie in a large pot. Make sure that the turkey is completely immersed. If needed, add more water.

5. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

For roasting:

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 325. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry. Place turkey breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

2. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the chicken stock and stir. Remove from heat and pour over turkey.

3. Rub mayonnaise over turkey breast and salt lightly if desired.

4. Roast until internal temp in thick part of breast reaches 170. Usually a breast takes 15-20 minutes per pound.

5. Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Note: For crisper skin, raise the temperature to 350 for the last 30-45 minutes of cooking

To make the gravy, take the drippings and add to a pan on the stove. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Mix 1/4 cup warm water with 1 t corn starch and mix into gravy mixture, stirring. Repeat until gravy is the desired consistency.


This is based on a Betty Crocker recipe I found. It came out fantastic. You can use it as a stuffing if you are cooking a full bird. Since we just roasted a breast, we made this on the side.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes (see note)
Cook time: 1 hour


  • 12 cups bread, cubed (see note)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 T ground sage
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock

Note: The bread needs to be day old, and slightly crusty. If yours is not, you can sit it out overnight, or place the cubes on baking trays and place in a warm oven until crusty. Do not overcook.

1. Preheat oven to 350.

1. In a large skillet over medium heat melt the butter, then saute the onion, celery and mushroom until the onion is soft.

2. Add the salt, pepper and sage and cook 3 minutes.

3. Place the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of the butter/celery mixture over the cubes and toss well. Repeat until all of the mixture is used.

4. If the mixture is dry, add the chicken stock in 1/4 cup increments, mixing well. Do not over moisten.

5. Bake for 1 hour.

Cranberry Salad

Makes: 8 servings
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 0 minutes

  • 4 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 3 oz package black cherry Jello
  • 6 oz dried cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup pecans, lightly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar or Splenda
  • Sour cream or whipped cream for garnish

1. Drain pineapple and reserve juice.

2. Add juice to 1/2 cup hot water and heat to boiling.

3. Soften gellatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Add to hot water/juice mixture. Let cool until it starts to set, but don't let the gellatin harden.

4. Put cranberries in a grinder (or blender) and grind well.

5. Add berries, pineapple, nuts and sugar to cooled gellatin mixture. Mix well. Pour into bowl or mold and refrigerate until set.

6. Place mold into warm water bath and run a knife around edges to loosen. Invert onto a serving plate. Garnish with parsley and a dollop of sour cream or whipped cream.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Butter

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4" thick slices
  • 1 large sweet or Spanish onion, sliced thin and separated into rings
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1. Preheat grill to medium, about 350 degrees.

2. Alternatively place potato slices and onion rings on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Brush with oil.

3. Place another sheet of foil over potatoes and seal along edges.

4. Place on grill for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

5. In a small bowl, mix the butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir in pecans.

6. Open packets and top with pecan butter. Serve.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

You can find the recipe here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oven Denver Omelet

I needed something easy for dinner the other night, so I threw together this Denver omelet that was baked in the oven. The cantaloupe canoe was an added bonus to the meal!

Makes: 3-4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked ham, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Beat eggs and cream until light and fluffy.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.

4. Pour into greased 9" square baking dish and bake for 25 minutes or until set.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

First Aerogarden Tomatoes

I've been planting flowers and herbs in my Aerogardens for a year now. About 4 or so weeks ago I planted some cherry tomatoes.

Just yesterday I noticed the first two tomatoes! And today there are more! Woo hoo! Won't be long and we'll be enjoying home-grown 'maters even when there's snow on the ground!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Maple-Glazed Grilled Sweet Potatoes

We really liked these sweet potato wedges. They came out very sweet and tasty.

The dogs were nothing fancy. Just all-beef Hebrew National dogs, grilled and halved and topped with chopped hot cherry peppers. Nice kick!

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 4 large sweet potatoes, washed but not peeled
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup (I used a Grade B)
  • 1 T chile powder
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

1. Place potatoes in large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until potatoes are fork soft.

2. Remove potatoes from pot, drain, and put into a large bowl of cold ice water. Let cool until you can handle them.

3. Peel potatoes and quarter lengthwise.

4. Heat grill to high.

5. Whisk together syrup, chile powder, and salt.

6. Brush potatoes with oil and grill until gold in color, about 3 minutes.

7. Brush potatoes with glaze and grill another 3 minutes, or until potatoes have a light char and are heated completely.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pizza Margherita

For my first pizza completely from scratch, I was very happy with how this came out. It started out as a pizza margherita, but then I started adding other toppings. I think that makes it not a pizza margherita, but I'm not sure.

Regardless, it was deelish and super easy to make!


Makes: 1 large pizza
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: See Pizza instructions
Printable Recipe


  • 1 1/2 t active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 t sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 T olive oil

1. Place yeast in a bowl. Add warm water and stir. Add sugar and stir. Let sit 10 minutes.

2. Add salt and flour and stir. Mix into a ball shape. Dump onto lightly floured surface and knead into a ball shape for 1-2 minutes. Knead olive oil into dough while shaping.

3. Lightly oil a bowl. Place dough in bowl and roll around, coating it in oil. Cover in plastic wrap and leave to rise (doubling in size) for 1-2 hours.

4. Remove dough onto a floured surface and knead air from dough. Fold into a ball shape again and let sit under plastic wrap for another 20 minutes.


Makes: 1 large pizza (double and freeze the remaining sauce)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 garlic glove, minced
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 t fennel seed

1. In a large skillet, melt butter with oil. Add the onion, celery and garlic and saute until soft and transparent.

2. Add tomato sauce and paste and stir until smooth.

3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.

4. Remove bay leaf before use.


Makes: 1 large pizza
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


1 large pizza dough from above
1 serving of pizza sauce from above
fresh basil
fresh Mozzarella
Other toppings as desired

1. Preheat oven to highest temperature. On mine, that is 550.

2. Roll out pizza dough. Spread with sauce.

3. Tear mozzarella into strips and add to pizza along with fresh basil leaves and other toppings. Note: I added the basil leaves before baking. Some people prefer to add theirs after baking.

4. Bake pizza for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly blistered.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Egg Hole In One (aka Bird's Nest Breakfast)

I figured I'd do a practice run at making a Valentine's Day breakfast. I think the results came out pretty good.

Makes: 1 serving
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 T margarine
  • 2 eggs

1. Heat skillet to medium high.

2. Spread margarine on both sides of bread. Cut hole in center of bread. (I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter)

3. Place bread in skillet. Break an egg into the hole in each slice of bread.

4. Cook egg for 1-2 minutes, then flip to finish.

I also fried the cutout pieces to use as decoration.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranates are in season, so I picked up a few the other day. I seeded them, which I have to admit was not the easiest thing I've done. It's a task best done outside where the red juices won't splatter all over your kitchen.

I put the seeds in melted chocolate and let them set overnight. Yummy! You bite into the chocolate and get a surprise pomegranate explosion.

Makes: 12 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours (in the fridge)
Printable Recipe

  • 2 large pomegranates, seeds removed and rinsed and dried
  • 1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • wax paper

1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring. Do not over-heat.

2. Stir in the seeds and fold in gently.

3. Spoon out mixture onto wax paper on a sheet pan and place in fridge overnight.

4. These keep 3-4 days in the fridge.

Chicken Stock

With winter around the corner I decided to make a big batch of chicken stock to have on hand. I try and make it completely from scratch using scraps I've accumulated in the freezer.

I used a 12 quart stockpot. I came up with 11 3-cup containers and two ice cube trays of stock. That should be enough for a while!

Makes: A lot
Cook time: 1 day
Printable Recipe

  • 3-4 pounds chicken pieces, washed
  • 2 large onions, skin on, cut into large pieces
  • 2 large carrots, unpeeled, washed
  • 2 large celery ribs, cut in half, washed
  • 12 whole peppercorns
  • 1 head garlic, skin on, broken into cloves
  • cold water

1. Place all ingredients in a large stockpot. I use a 12-quart.

2. Cover with water to near the top of the pot.

3. Bring to full boil then reduce heat to simmer and let simmer for 5-6 hours.

4. Scrape any fat off the top of the liquid if you desire.

5. Let pot cool for 2-3 hours then place in fridge overnight.

6. The following day, return pot to stove and heat until just warm. Scrape any fat that is present if desired.

7. Strain liquid and freeze.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Shrimp-Stuffed Portabellas

I had two large portabellas left from early in the week, so I decided to stuff them with a shrimp mixture. This is really easy to make and very tasty. I think I'll try it with mini-bellas next time and serve as a side or hors d'oeuvres.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 45 min - 1 hour
Printable Recipe


  • 4 large portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound raw shrimp, cleaned and chopped roughly
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 T cream cheese, softened
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar, divided
  • 1 t Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • Nonstick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 325.

2. Remove stems from mushrooms and dice.

3. Scrape away gills from mushrooms.

4. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.

5. Add shrimp, onion, diced stems and bell pepper and saute until shrimp is pink.

6. Remove skillet from heat and place contents (including liquid) in large bowl.

7. Add cream cheese to mixture and stir well.

8. Add all other ingredients except mushroom caps along with 1/2 cup cheddar and mix.

9. Spray 8x11 glass baking dish with non-stick spray.

10. Stuff mushroom caps with mixture and place in baking dish.

11. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.

12. Bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jalapeño Sliders with Homemade Chips

Whooo! Man, these sliders are good! I could've eaten a dozen of these. The creme fraiche sauce really makes them pop!

For the sliders:

Makes: 12
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Printable Recipe

  • 1 pound fresh ground beef
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded, diced and chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced for serving
  • 2 shallots, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 T salt, plus a pinch
  • 1/2 t pepper, plus a pinch
  • 1 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde
  • 12 mini dinner rolls

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, combine the beef, chopped jalapeños, shallots, panko, heavy cream cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well and form into 12 patties. Place in oven and bake 12-15 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, mix creme fraiche, salsa verde, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

4. Spread sauce mixture on buns, top with burgers and pick with a jalapeño.

For the homemade chips:

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 2 large potatoes, washed
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt

1. Slice the potatoes very thinly using a mandolin. Optionally, skin the potatoes first.

2. As you slice, put the slices into a bowl of ice cold water.

3. Heat oil to 375.

4. Dry the potatoes completely.

5. Fry potatoes in batches for approximately 3 minutes until golden. Remove from oil and drain. Season generously with salt.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chicken Scarpariello with Lemon Orzo

Boy, this sure was good. I could've eaten thirds. The hot cherry peppers went very well with the lemony orzo.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe

Chicken Scarpariello Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (Note that I used thighs instead)
  • S & P
  • 1 t poultry seasoning
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopping into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 hot cherry peppers, drained and chopped
  • 4 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 T juice from the hot pepper jar

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cut chicken into large chunks and season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Set chicken into pan and brown on each side for about 3 minutes. Remove chicken.

2. Add bell peppers, hot peppers, and garlic to pan and saute for 5 minutes, tossing frequently.

3. Add wine and reduce for 1 minute.

4. Scrape pan drippings and add chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add chicken back to pan.

5. Add parsley and toss well. Cook chicken completely, another 2-3 minutes.

6. Drip hot pepper juice over pan and serve over orzo.

Lemon Orzo

  • 1/2 pound orzo
  • S & P
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 large lemons, zested
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1. Cook orzo in salted water for 12 minutes until al dente.

2. Drain well. Do no run under cold water. Transfer to a serving bowl.

3. Drizzle orzo with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Add lemon zest and parsley and toss.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This year's pumpkins

As we do each year, we both carved a pumpkin for Halloween.

I did the Smirk-O-Lantern:

Anita's pumpkin turned out scary!

We had at least one kid that wouldn't come up the driveway because the pumpkins scared him.

Pumpkin Soup

We make this soup every year for Halloween. It is very rich and creamy and tasty.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Printable Recipe


  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2-3 cups pared pumpkin cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 cup onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 medium sugar pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 1 t fresh parsley, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Heat the stock, pumpkin, onion, garlic, salt, thyme and peppercorns in a covered saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, remove top of sugar pumpkin and clean out the insides. Save the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds.

4. Remove 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture with a slotted spoon and reserve.

5. Simmer remaining pumpkin mixture for anther 20 minutes.

6. Place sugar pumpkin on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside in a warm place.

7. Puree the pumpkin mixture in a blender 1-2 cups at a time. Alternatively, use a stick or immersion blender.

8. Return the pureed mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

9. Stir warm cream and reserved pumpkin into soup.

10. Pour soup into sugar pumpkin sitting on a platter. Garnish with parsley. Serve.