Friday, December 25, 2009

Herbed Monkey Bread

I just made this for Christmas dinner and the pickiest kid on the planet told me it was the best bread ever.


  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1-1/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dried parsley flakes, thyme, and rosemary, crushed


  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, oil and 2 tablespoons butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cheese, sesame seeds, garlic salt, paprika and herbs. Punch dough down. Divide into 32 pieces; roll each into a ball.
  • Drizzle 2 teaspoons butter into a 10-in. tube pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with a third of the cheese mixture. Top with 16 balls. Repeat layers. Drizzle with remaining butter and sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf (32 pieces).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Breaded Shrimp with Honey-Mustard Sauce

Not too long ago, my parents brought me back some enormous shrimp from their trip to New Orleans. I made some of them in my favorite shrimp recipe, but because they were so huge the cooking method did not go over well, they ended up being too meaty. Yesterday I made this for dinner and it is a much better way to cook super-huge shrimp. They came out fully cooked, but still tender. Marc thought the dipping sauce should have had less mustard, but I liked it. You can also dip these in cocktail sauce.


  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 12 peeled and deveined large shrimp (about 3/4 pound)

  • SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • Dash of ground red pepper


Preheat oven to 400°.
To prepare shrimp, coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place prepared pan in 400° oven for 10 minutes.
Combine panko, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Place egg white in another shallow dish. Dip shrimp in egg white, and dredge in panko mixture. Place on preheated baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until done.
To prepare sauce, combine mustard and the remaining ingredients. Serve sauce with shrimp.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rye Cookies (Ruiskakut)

I attended a cookie exchange today where we had a quick demo of making rye cookies. These are traditional Christmas cookies in Finland. People will decorate their Christmas trees with them and when guests come over they can break a cookie off the tree. These aren't super sweet, but Claire couldn't get enough of them.


1 cup rye flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour, unsifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut in pieces
4-5 tablespoons milk

Stir the flours together with salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add butter and rub with your fingers until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork until a stiff dough is formed. Gather together and press into a ball. Chill.

Roll a portion at a time on a floured board or pastry cloth to about 1/8" thickness. Cut out rounds with a 2" cookie cutter. Using a tiny round cutter (1/2" diameter-you can use the cap from a food coloring or flavoring bottle), cut a hole slightly off center. Prick each cookie several times with a fork and place on lightly greased baking sheet, slightly apart. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are firm when touched. Cool on wire racks. Store airtight at room temperature for 2 or 3 days; freeze for longer storage. Makes about 2 dozen.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My new favorite thing

For anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that I am totally obsessed with yogurt. I cook with it constantly and we eat a lot of it in my house. It is my kids favorite food. In my quest to find delicious yogurts for my kids, Marc picked up a tub of Greek God's Honey Flavored Yogurt. It is just about the most delicious thing ever! It is rich, creamy and sweet (but not too sweet). It is similar to Russian cream and oh, so delicious. Both Marc and I love it so much there is no way my kids are getting any of it. If you see it in your dairy section, GET IT!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mount Vernon Colonial Peanut & Chestnut Soup

We had this at the restaurant at Mount Vernon, and they gave us the recipe. I made it here at home, and it has now become known as "Peanut Butter Soup" at our house. Ryan even likes it! I made a couple of changes to make it a little bit healthier.

Mount Vernon Colonial Peanut and Chestnut Soup

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 T. all-purpose flour (I actually used whole wheat flour)
1 qt. chicken broth (I used the low sodium version)
1 qt. water
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts (chopped, if desired)
1/2 cup water chestnuts, chopped1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Melt butter/margarine in large saucepan. Stir in flour to make a roux. Cook on medium heat while frequently stirring until the roux is light tan in color. Once the roux is ready, add chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Then add peanut butter and Worcestershire sauce and stir. The longer it heats, the thicker it gets. Add peanuts and water chestnuts.

Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Hummus
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained with liquid reserved
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice

Drain cans of garbanzo beans and reserve liquid. Place into blender or food processor. Add enough of the liquid until beans are covered, then blend until a paste forms.

Add other ingredients, blend again. Add extra reserved liquid for desired consistency.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Red Pepper and Parmesan Tilapia

I love a good fish recipe. This is a tiny bit spicy, but very delicious. It's also super quick and easy, so a great last minute meal. Serve with a side of rice and broccoli.


  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tilapia fillets (6 ounces each)


  • Place egg substitute in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes and pepper. Dip fillets in egg substitute, then cheese mixture.
  • Place in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Yield: 4 servings.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quick Black Bean Soup


  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) finely chopped ham


1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cans beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Place bean mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return soup to pan. Add remaining 1/2 can of beans to pan; cook 2 minutes. Stir in juice; set aside.

2. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add ham to pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Mix ham into soup. Garnish soup with sour cream and shredded cheese if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Minestrone Soup

In this recipe, the mix of fresh and canned veggies makes for a quick, but fresh tasting soup.

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1 1/4 cup water
2 tsp vegetable bouillon granules
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz) great northern beans, undrained
1 can (8 oz) kidney beans, undrained
1 can (8 oz) whole kernel corn, undrained
Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat all ingredients except cheese to boiling in a large
pot, breaking up tomatoes; reduce heat. Cover and
simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until
macaroni is tender. Serve with cheese. 6 servings

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Falafel Pitas with Cucumber-Yogurt Dressing

Pack the cucumber-yogurt dressing in a separate container to serve with the sandwiches. The dressing is my favorite part of this recipe and I pile it on. You can substitute fresh baby spinach for the arugula, if you want to. Marc doesn't like me to make vegetarian meals because they aren't filling enough, but this is an exception.


  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 (1-ounce) slice whole wheat bread, torn into pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, split
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/2 cup Cucumber-Yogurt Dressing


Combine first 10 ingredients in a food processor; pulse 6 times or until well blended (mixture will be wet).

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon about 1/3 cup chickpea mixture per patty into pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Line each pita half with 1/4 cup arugula, add 1 patty to each pita half, and spoon 2 tablespoons Cucumber-Yogurt Dressing into each pita half.


This makes more than you need for the pita recipe, but it keeps for a couple of days in the refrigerator. It's tasty drizzled over sliced tomatoes, or pack it in your lunch later in the week as a dip for carrot sticks.


  • 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Shrimp and Feta Linguine

This is a quick and yummy recipe, but still elegant.

6 oz uncooked linguine
1 lb uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups sliced plum tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz each) diced tomatoes drained and rinsed
1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Cook linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the shrimp, onion and garlic in oil for 3-5 minutes or until shrimp turns pink.
Add tomatoes, wine or broth, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper flakes.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain linguine; top with shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Homemade Yogurt

Someday I might get a yogurt machine, but I've been doing it in the oven with great success, so maybe not. Here's my recipe:

1 C dry milk
4 C water
1 yogurt start

Your yogurt start is either a store bought start, or 2-4 T active yogurt. I buy a quart container of plain yogurt and freeze it in 2 T dollops. Makes about 25 starts.

Combine dry milk and water in a saucepan. Stir and slowly heat to 180F. Pull off heat and cool to 110-120F. Preheat oven to the lowest setting. Stir in yogurt start until dissolved and place mixture in a clean dish. Turn off the oven, and turn on the inside light. Place the dish in the oven and let it incubate for 6-8 hrs or until doesn't slosh around when jiggled (I do about 6 ½ for a mild flavor). Oven should hold at around 120-110F if the light is on. Keep the oven closed to retain heat.

Chill for several hours.

Eat plain, with fruit chunks and/or granola. To flavor, add blueberry or strawberry syrup. For a simple flavor add ¼ to 1 t sugar and ¼ t jello mix to every cup of yogurt. I've also used crystal light drink mix plus sugar to the rave of all.

Strawberry Syrup:
1 T cornstarch
¼ C sugar
½ C water
¾ C mashed strawberries

Blueberry Syrup:
1 t cornstarch
2 T sugar
1 C blueberries
¼ C water

Mix sugar and cornstarch and add to fruit and water in a saucepan. Bring to boil until desired consistency.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Cake

  • I adore this cake in the fall! it is a Fantastic twist on pumpkin pie. The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice, but I like it with more, so i double it. A quick tip about buttermilk, if you only have sweet milk, put a splash of vinegar in to curdle the milk. I never buy buttermilk.


    • CAKE:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • GLAZE:
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare the cake, lightly coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with flour. Spread pumpkin over 2 layers of paper towels; cover with 2 additional layers of paper towels. Let stand about 10 minutes. Scrape drained pumpkin into a bowl.

Place 3/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and 3/4 cup buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare glaze, combine 1/3 cup buttermilk and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Drizzle cake with glaze.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Simple Sausage Pasta Toss

This recipe is easily halved for a nice 2 person meal.


  • 8 ounces uncooked multigrain spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 pound Italian turkey sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained


  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast bread crumbs in oil over medium heat; remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in tomatoes and olives. Cook and stir until heated through. Drain pasta; add to skillet. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Yield: 5 servings.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Scalloped Potatoes

I got this recipe from my Danish friend. It is pretty healthy on it's own, but I modified it a bit by taking out the sour cream and replacing it with yogurt. It is still creamy and delicious with much less fat. I also put on garlic salt in place of regular salt for flavor. The paprika is just for color, so if you want to omit it, you can. I also omit the butter topping, but it does add more flavor.


3-4 lbs potatoes
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup chicken broth
garlic salt
2 tbsp butter


Slice the potatoes in thin slices.

Mix the yogurt and broth in a bowl.

Spray 13x9" pan with cooking spray. Layer half the potatoes on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle potatoes with garlic salt and paprika to taste. Top with half of the yogurt mixture. Layer on the rest of the potatoes. Sprinkle again with garlic salt and paprika. Pour on remaining yogurt mixture. Place dabs of butter on top.

Cover with tinfoil. Bake for 30 minutes at 400. Remove foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until done.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Really yummy, not so healthy, Corn Bread

This recipe is from my aunt Leah. It's really more of a corn cake, but is soooo good.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup corn meal
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350℉. Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bake in a greased 9x9 pan for 30-40 minutes, or 8x8 pan for 55-50 minutes. Bake until a toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean.

Corn Chili

Marc and I make this all the time. We made it the other day to warm us up in the changing season. Marc likes to make this in the morning then throw it in the slow cooker. Omit the beef for a vegetarian option. Serve with corn bread. Enjoy!

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
1 lb frozen corn kernels
2 (14.5 oz) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste

In a large pot, cook beef and onion in oil over medium heat until beef is no longer pink. Stir in cayenne and oregano and cook 1 minute more. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook, uncovered, until heated through and slightly thickened, 10-15 minutes.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash, peeled
2 T. unsalted butter
Salt & pepper
1 onion, chopped
6 c. chicken stock/broth

Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In large pot, melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender. Remove squash and onion chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended mixture to pot. Stir and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serve.

Cinnamon Butternut Squash Muffins

One of my favorite things this time of year is butternut squash. I made two of my favorite recipes today. I am going to post both of them. Marc & Frances, Mom is bringing you some of these tomorrow. :)

1 banana, mashed
1 cup cooked butternut squash
4 eggs
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup white sugar
6 Tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour

Optional Topping:
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

1. In stand mixer or mixing bowl, mix banana, butternut squash, eggs, applesauce, sugar, and oil, until well blended.
2. In separate mixing bowl, combine salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, wheat flour and white flour.
3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until batter forms.
4. Pour into greased baking cups or muffin tins, and sprinkle with brown sugar-cinnamon topping. Makes 24 regular size muffins, 48 mini muffins, or 12 regular muffins and 24 mini muffins.
5. Bake at 350. Regular size muffins for 16-18 minutes. Mini muffins for 13-15 minutes.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Super Summer Salad

This salad was my pot luck contribution at Alice & Claire's birthday party last Saturday. It seemed to be a hit, and I had a couple of people ask for the recipe. It's perfect this time of year with ingredients from the garden (or from the farmer's market)! I saw it in the American Profile magazine. I LOVE Caprese salad, and it sounded very similar, so I had to try it!


6 medium tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds), seeded and diced
1 English cucumber, seeded and diced (do not peel)
1 cup diced red onions
2 (7-ounce) fresh mozzarella balls, cut into ½ -inch cubes (I actually used the medallions, and cut them into fourths)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup chopped basil
½ cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon dried Fines Herbes, or 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves and ½ teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1 cup Italian salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon salt
Coarsely ground black pepper

1. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onions, mozzarella, garlic, basil, parsley, Fines Herbes, and salad dressing in a large bowl; toss well.

2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours, or until well chilled. Add salt and pepper before serving.

Serves 12.

Tips From The Test Kitchen: It’s important to seed the tomatoes and cucumber so they won’t water down the flavors of the other ingredients. To seed tomatoes easily, cut in half crosswise and remove the seeds. Squeeze the tomatoes over a bowl to release seeds and juices. To seed a cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and run the tip of a teaspoon down the center.

(I didn't completely seed the tomatoes and cucumber due to time constraints. I had to drain the salad due to all of the liquid settling at the bottom.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Glazed Pear Shortcake

OK, so this isn't the healthiest recipe on this blog, but I just had to share. This was a recipe from my Danish friend in the ward when she taught a Danish Cooking Enrichment class. Between Marc and I this didn't last 2 days. She also told me this works well with peaches and I would imagine apples. If using fresh fruit, cook it ahead of time and skip the glazing. Also I prepared this in an 8" pie tin and served it from the pan. 'Tis the season for fruit, so enjoy!


1 can (16 oz) sliced Bartlett pears in syrup
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tsp butter
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon


1. Grease and flour an 8" round cake pan.
2. Drain pears. Pat dry with paper towel. Reserve syrup.
3. Stir flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl until blended.
Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.
4. Pour the milk over flour mixture. Toss with a fork until just blended. Do not over mix.
5. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Smooth top. Arrange pears over batter in circular pattern. Brush with some of the reserved syrup. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
6. Bake at 400 until wooden pick inserted comes out clear and top is golden brown, about 45 min.
7. Transfer to wire rack to cool 15 min. Brush with reserved syrup.
8. Invert cake onto plate. Remove pan. Return to upright position on wire rack. Cool until serving time.
9. Cue into wedges. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Refried Beans without the Refry

Here's the original recipe I found on

1 onion, peeled and halved
3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
5 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
9 cups water

Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 6-8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

Changes I made: 1/2 t red pepper flakes instead of jalepano, 1/2 t cumin. Seth prefered them unmashed when I served them at dinner with rice, so I just processed them for lunch today to put them on a quesidilla. Yum!

This was very quick prep work, and the beans turned out so flavorful, much better than the can. (It makes about 6 or more cups of beans.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chicken and Black Bean Taquitos with Adobo Sour Cream

The adobo sauce is hot, so if you want something with less kick, greater convience, or a familiar flavor, use salsa instead. To make it a meal, you can serve with a side of beans and rice.


1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 pound diced skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, undrained
10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
Cooking spray

Adobo Sour Cream:
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 to 3 teaspoons minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce


To prepare taquitos, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, and sauté 5 minutes or until done. Place chicken in a food processor. Add cheese, beans, and green chiles; pulse 15 times or until beans are coarsely chopped.

Spoon about 3 tablespoons chicken mixture across the lower third of each tortilla; roll up. Cut each tortilla in half; secure with wooden picks. Place taquitos in a large zip-top plastic bag; freeze up to 3 months.

Preheat oven to 400º.

Place frozen taquitos on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes; turn taquitos, and coat with cooking spray. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden.

To bake the taquitos immediatly, bake at 400º for 10 minutes, turn, bake an additional 5 minutes.

To prepare adobo sour cream, combine sour cream, cilantro, and chipotle chile. Stir well.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Slow Cooked Pork Tacos

  • Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless pork sirloin roast (2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups salsa verde
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Dash hot pepper sauce
  • 10 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
  • Reduced-fat sour cream, thinly sliced green onions, cubed avocado, shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese and chopped tomato, optional


In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 11 ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until meat is very tender. Shred pork with two forks. Place about 1/2 cup pork mixture down the center of each tortilla. Serve with toppings if desired. Yield: 10 tacos.