Friday, August 1, 2014

Apricot Jalapeño Jam

This is a recipe from my neighbor Kelli Herlevi.  It is awesome over cream cheese as a dip with crackers or cooked with chicken.

4 cups fresh, peeled chopped apricots
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 cups sugar
3-4 finely diced orange or red bell pepper
3-4 finely chopped jalapeño peppers
1 package of pectin


  • Combine peppers, apricots, and vinegar in a saucepan.  Add pectin OR sugar, according to pectin directions.  (This differs depending on whether you are using liquid or powdered pectin.)  
  • Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  Add pectin OR sugar, according to pectin directions.  Return to a boil and boil rapidly for 1 minute and remove from heat. 
  • Ladle into sterilized jars and process in a water bath canner.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps

This recipe, from The Culinary Life, tastes just like the restaurant's version.  So good!

  • Recipe for stir fry sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sugar or agave nectar
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or  tamari
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup or canned tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • Recipe for dipping sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (not packed tightly)
  • ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • Recipe for stir-fried chicken
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 1 tablespoon nice dijon mustard (use the good stuff, it will make a difference)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into half-inch cubes”
  • 1 – 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained and minced
  • ½ cup minced mushrooms (minced to the same size as the water chestnuts)
  • ½ yellow onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • leaves of iceberg lettuce
  1. Method for stir fry recipe: In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in ½ cup hot water. Blend in soy sauce or tamari, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and dark sesame oil. Mix well and set aside in the refrigerator until the rest of the dish is ready.
  2. Method for dipping sauce recipe: In a small bowl, combine soy sauce or tamari, brown sugar, and rice vinegar. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Method for Stir-Fried Chicken Recipe: In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon hot water, dijon mustard and minced garlic and set this aside.
  4. In a wok or large frying pan over high heat, combine olive oil and sesame oil. Heat until it shimmers, about one minute. Add chicken chunks and stir fry until entirely cooked through, about five minutes. Remove from the chicken pan and allow to cool, but reserve the oil in the wok or pan, keeping it hot over a low flame.
  5. Take the pan or wok that you cooked the chicken in (with the still warming oil) and turn it up to medium-high heat. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, wait one minute, and then add the garlic, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, cooked chicken, and the stir-fry sauce. Cook everything, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms have cooked through and are tender, about four minutes. Remove from pan and place in a serving dish.
  6. Add mustard/garlic mixture that you set aside to the stir fry, ½ a teaspoon at time to taste.
  7. Serve the entire lettuce wrap recipe in a nice, big serving tray, complete and iceberg lettuce leaves, and dipping sauce in small bowls.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

This tastes like chicken broccoli casserole but is a lot more healthy.  The recipe comes from "Eating Well Living Thinner."

3/4 cup quinoa
1 (10 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom or chicken Soup
1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
2 Tb milk
1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups cooked broccoli
Feshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Rinse 3/4 cup of uncooked quinoa until water runs clear.  Put in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover.  Cook for 18-20 minutes or until fluffy.
  • In a large bowl combine soup, mayonnaise, milk, cheese, sugar, pepper, and nutmeg and mix.  Stir in the quinoa and broccoli.
  • Spoon mixture in a sprayed 9X13 baking dish and sprinkle a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top.  
  • Cook at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Best Shrimp Soup

So, so good.  All the kids gave it a thumbs up.

2 Tb cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup rice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 can diced tomatoes
5 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 lb deveined shrimp
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • In a large pot, heat the oil and stir in the onion, green pepper and garlic.  Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the rice, cayenne pepper and salt.  Stir for a couple minutes.
  • In a blender, puree the diced tomatoes.  Pour into the pot along with the water.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and bring the soup back to a simmer.  Add the shrimp and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the black pepper, lemon juice and cilantro.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pulled Pork Enchiladas

This has a chipotle taste without too much heat.  We all really liked the flavor of these.

3 1/2 lbs pork roast (I used bone in and I still had plenty of meat)
1 14 oz can chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tb ground cumin
2 tsp chipotle chile pepper
1 tsp salt
1 10 ounce cans enchilada sauce
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
1 4 ounce can diced green chile peppers
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
whole wheat flour tortillas
Snipped fresh cilantro
1 diced tomato

  • Trim fat from pork. In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine pork shoulder, broth, onion, garlic, cumin, chipotle chile pepper and salt. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 11 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove pork from slow cooker, reserving cooking liquid. Using two forks, pull meat into coarse strands.*
  • In a large bowl combine pork, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, 2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid, and the 1 tablespoon snipped cilantro. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine the remaining enchilada sauce, 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid (discard any remaining cooking liquid), and the diced green chile peppers. Spread about 1/2 cup of enchilada-green chile pepper mixture in the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside.
  • Divide pork mixture and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese among tortillas.  Place filled tortillas, seam sides down, in the prepared bakingdish (place tortillas close together); top with the remaining enchilada-green chile pepper mixture. Cover with foil; bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more or until heated through and cheese is softened and starts to brown slightly.
  • Sprinkle with additional snipped cilantro and tomato. If desired, serve with sour cream. Makes 6 servings

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fresh Peach Pie

You don't have to cook the peaches for this pie, so you keep the yummy, fresh taste.  This is definitely a recipe I will make every summer.

¼ cup lemon juice
3 cups fresh sliced peaches
1 cup sugar - divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla or almond flavoring (I prefer vanilla)

  • Toss the lemon juice and peaches with 1/2 cup sugar.   Allow the mix to sit for one hour in the refrigerator. 
  • Drain fruit and save one cup of the juice.  If there isn't 1 cup of juice, add enough water or juice to make 1 cup. (If I need to, I use peach nectar or apple juice.) 
  • In a sauce pan melt butter and cornstarch to make a rough. 
  • Add the juice, ½ cup sugar, salt, and flavoring. 
  • With a wire whisk, blend until well mixed.  Bring to a boil stirring until thick. 
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly; about 5-10 minutes. 
  • Add the fruit and pour into a 10" cooked pie shell. Chill for 3 hours or overnight.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pumpkin and Black Bean Curry

If you like curry you will like this recipe.  It's really healthy and my kids actually all ate it.  I thought it would be good to add meat to it next time.

1 onion, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained
2 (15oz) cans pumpkin puree
1 cup cream
1 Tb curry powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
 -1/4 is all my kids could stand
20 blades of fresh chives, chopped

  • Saute onion in some oil for about 5 minutes.  Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and pumpkin.  Stir and bring soup to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne, and salt to taste.
  • Simmer 5 minutes, garnish with chives and serve over rice.