Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sweet Potato and Pear Tzimmes

This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Veganomicon. Tzimmes are a fall staple at our house!

Sweet Potato and Pear Tzimmes

2 lb sweet potatoes, washed and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
3 firm red pears, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 TBS vegetable oil
2 TBS mirin or any sweet cooking wine
1 TBS pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 pecan halves
3/4 raisins (I always use regular, but golden could be good here)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Place sweet potatoes and pears on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with oil and mirin and toss until everything is coated. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and pecans and toss to coat again.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove foil and carefully turn in the raisins. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes more, tossing occasionally if needed.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cranberry Salad

from Kelsey Nixon, Cooking Channel

One 10-ounce bag fresh whole cranberries (about 3 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups miniature marshmallows
One 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pomegranate seeds

Pulse the cranberries in a food processor until fine and no large pieces remain. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Drain any accumulated juices from the cranberries and reserve for another use, and then stir in the marshmallows and drained pineapple and set aside.

Whip the heavy cream in a large mixing bowl until it begins to thicken, about 1 minute, and then beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Fold the whipped cream into the cranberry mixture, one third at a time, until fully incorporated. Transfer to an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.

Refrigerate or freeze for about 2 hours. Right before serving, garnish with the pomegranate seeds.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Spicy Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and cubed
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in sweet potato, bell pepper, chicken, tomatoes, and 2 cups of water. Season with salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Dissolve flour in 2 tablespoons water, and stir in to boiling stew. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, 10 to 20 minutes. Stir the stew occasionally to keep it from sticking.
  2. Once the potatoes are done, stir in corn and kidney beans. Cook a few minutes until hot, then stir in cilantro before serving.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Greek-Style Penne with Lamb, Parsnips, Tomatoes, and Cinnamon
(Obviously I left out the garlic)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 very large onion, halved through root end, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices (about 4 cups)
  • 12 ounces medium parsnips (about 4), peeled, cut on slight diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  pound of ground beef
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Two 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
  • 12 ounces penne
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Crumbled feta cheese

  • Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and parsnips and sauté until slightly softened and deep golden brown around edges, about 9 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add  beef and sautéuntil no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon, about 2 minutes. Stir in cinnamon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes with juice; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until parsnips are tender, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
    Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add lamb mixture and enough cooking liquid to moisten; toss. Add parsley. Transfer to plates and sprinkle with feta.

    Healthy Coconut Almond Craisin Granola

    • 2 and 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
    • 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 cup of coconut
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 3 Tbs. flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola
    • 1 Tb. water
    • 1/4 tsp almond extract
    • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of craisins

    Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray, then set aside. Mix oats and coconut in a bowl. Bring honey, oil, water, brown sugar, and almond extract to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir and flip granola. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Add craisins. Let cool. 

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Winter Squash Rolls

    1 1/2 cups cubed winter squash
    1 cup scalded milk
    2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
    1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    6 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup white sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 cup shortening

    1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small saucepan, cover squash cubes with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and mash.

    2.In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine 5 cups flour, sugar and salt. Stir in the yeast mixture, shortening, squash and milk. Mix well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

    3.Divide the dough into twelve equal pieces and form into rounds. Place the rounds in a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking pan. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.

    4.Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

    Note: I recommend making this amount of dough into 24 rolls using two 9x13 pans. Otherwise you will have gigantic rolls!

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

    from Kelsey Nixon, Cooking Channel

    6 ears fresh corn on the cob, shucked
    1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
    Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
    1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
    1 clove garlic, grated
    1/4 cup cider vinegar
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 (10-ounce) container small heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
    1/2 small red onion, cut into small dice

    Preheat a grill pan (or grill) over high heat.

    Brush or rub each cob with some canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the corn on the hot grill and char each side, 2 to 3 minutes per side. You want the corn to get great char marks! Once the corn has charred, set aside until cool enough to handle. Once the corn has cooled, stand each ear up, stalk end down, in a wide, shallow bowl and, using your knife, slice the corn kernels off the cob.

    Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a food processor, add the basil and garlic and pulse until the basil starts to break down. Add the vinegar. Continue pulsing while adding the oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes and red onion. Drizzle the basil vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    Lemon Granita

    from The Martha Stewart Cookbook

    3 cups water
    1 cup sugar
    10 sprigs lemon balm
    1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
    1/4 cup lemon-flavored vodka
    10 whole lemons for shells
    Almond extract

    In a heavy saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and 5 sprigs lemon balm to a boil over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Discard the lemon balm and cool the syrup over a bowl of ice water until cold.

    Whisk together the syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vodka in a metal bowl and place in the freezer. Whisk about every 30 minutes until frozen, about 2 to 3 hours.

    Remove any ink on the lemons by rubbing with almond extract. Cut one quarter from the stem end of each lemon. Using a grapefruit knife, cut between the pulp and the pith, and remove the pulp with a grapefruit spoon or melon baller, scraping the shell clean.

    Using a teaspoon, mound each lemon with granita. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.

    Remove from the freezer, garnish each with a half sprig of lemon balm, and serve immediately.

    Note:  I omit the vodka and lemon balm (it's an herb and I've never found it). I simply increase the amount of lemon juice a bit. This is an easy yet impressive dish to serve at a party. You can also just serve this in cups. Fresh mint makes a great garnish if you don't have the lemon balm.

    Saturday, June 23, 2012

    The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World



    2 cups milk
    4 tsp. cornstarch
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tbsp. light corn syrup
    1/4 tsp. kosher salt
    3 tbsp. cream cheese, softened


    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
    1/2 cup brewed coffee (I sub 1/4 C Chocolate Syrup & 1/4 C Milk)
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (55% to 70% Cacao), finely chopped


    In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth, also set aside. 

    For Chocolate Syrup:Bring cocoa, brewed coffee (or 1/4 C Chocolate Syrup & 1/4 C Milk), and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat; stirring to dissolve sugar, boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Let stand for five minutes.

    In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, and corn  syrup; bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat for 4 minutes; remove from heat and whisk in  cornstarch slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.  

    Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture until smooth.
     Pour mixture into a 1 gallon ziploc freezer bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until cold, about 30 minutes.

     Pour mixture into an ice cream maker; spin until thick and creamy.  Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set, at least 4 hours. 

    Salty Caramel Ice Cream

    Makes about 1 quart
    2 cups whole milk
    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
    1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 1/4 cups heavy cream
    2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    2/3 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    *Danger! This is the dry-burn technique. I don't add water to the sugar before putting it on the heat, as some chefs do. Caramelizing sugar dry means it goes faster, but you have to watch it more closely and be ready with your cream. Here is an overview of what you are going to do:
    Stand over the pan of sugar with a heatproof spatula ready, but do not touch the sugar until there is a full layer of melted and browning liquid sugar on the bottom with a smaller layer of unmelted white sugar on the top. When the edges of the melted sugar begin to darken, use the spatula to bring them into the center to help melt the unmelted sugar. Continue stirring and pushing the sugar around until it is all melted and evenly amber in color — like an old penny. When little bubbles begin to explode with dark smoke, give the sugar another moment and then remove from the heat. Immediately but slowly pour about 1/4 cup of the cream and corn syrup mixture into the burning-hot sugar. Be careful! It will pop and spit! Stir until it is incorporated, then add a bit more cream and stir, then continue until it is all in.
    Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
    Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
    Mix the cream with the corn syrup in a measuring cup with a spout.
    Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
    Heat the sugar in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat until it is melted and golden amber in color (*see note above). Remove from the heat and, stirring constantly, slowly add a bit of the cream and corn syrup mixture to the caramel: It will fizzle, pop, and spurt. Stir until well combined, then add a little more and stir. Keep adding the cream a little at a time until all of it is incorporated.
    Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the milk. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
    Bring back to a boil over medium-high and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. If any caramel flecks remain, pour the mixture through a sieve.
    Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and whisk. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
    Pour into frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.
    Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid.
    Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

    For more great ice cream recipes purchase the Jeni's Ice Cream Book: "Jenis Splendid Ice Creams At Home" 

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Source: Better Homes & GardensMakes: 8 servings
    Prep: 25 minsFreeze: 3 hrs
    Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches
    • 16
      chocolate wafers (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
    • 1/3
      cup chocolate hazelnut spread, (such as Nutella)
    • 1
      pint premium chocolate ice cream
    • 1/3
      cup cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
    1.Spread flat side of each wafer with hazelnut spread; set
    aside. Scoop 8 ice cream balls, about 3 tablespoons each;
    keep in freezer until ready to assemble.
    2.To assemble sandwiches, remove ice cream balls from
    freezer; let stand 1 minute to soften. Place 1 ice cream
    ball on 8 hazelnut-spread wafers. Top with remaining
    wafers; press gently together.
    3.Sprinkle edges with nuts. Place sandwiches on baking
    sheet lined with waxed paper; freeze 3 hours or until
    firm. To store, freeze up to two weeks in self-sealing
    plastic bags. Makes 8 sandwiches.

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Salmon burgers

    1/2 C chopped onion
    1 T butter
    1/2 C bread crumbs (I toasted 2 bread ends and crumbled them)
    2 eggs
    2 T lemon juice
    2 T parsley
    2 - 6oz cans salmon (or leftover fresh salmon)
    dash garlic powder (optional)
    salt and pepper to taste

    Saute the onion in the butter until clear.  Mix onion in a bowl with the salmon (drained and flaked), eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Form mixture into burgers and cook on a skillet over medium heat (spray first) for 4 minutes, flip, and cook a few minutes longer.  Serve on a bun with lettuce, tomato, and condiments or just serve plain.

    I also saw recipes that included bell pepper in the salmon mix, which sounds good.  So try it out!

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Five-Fruit Crush

    from Cooking Light Magazine, June 1999

    3/4 cup sliced ripe banana
    1/2 cup chopped peeled ripe mango
    2 cups whole strawberries
    3/4 cup pineapple juice, chilled
    1/2 cup orange juice, chilled
    1/2 cup ice cubes

    Place banana and mango into freezer; freeze until firm (about 1 hour). Remove from freezer; let stand 10 minutes. Combine strawberries and juices in a blender; process until smooth. With blender on, add banana, mango, and ice cubes, one at a time; process until smooth. Serve immediately.

    Baked Salmon Fillets

    1/2 cup plain yogurt
    1/2 cup finely crushed Ritz crackers
    2 (1/2 lb) salmon fillets
    1 lemon

    Place yogurt on one plate and crushed crackers on another. Coat both sides of fillets with yogurt, then crushed crackers.  Place fillets in well-greased baking dish.  Bake at 450 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through.  Serve with lemon wedges.  Makes 2 generous servings.

    Source: "Essential  Mormon Celebrations" by Julie Badger Jensen

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Penne with Five Cheeses

    2 cups heavy cream
    1 cup crushed tomatoes in thick tomato puree
    1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
    1/2 cup shredded Italian fontina/Italian cheese mix
    2 T. ricotta cheese
    1/4 cup fresh mozzarella
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
    1 pound cooked penne
    4 T. butter

    Combine all ingredients except the penne and butter in aluminum pan. Mix well. Add penne to tomato and cheese mixture and combine well. Dot with butter. Cover with foil and put into extra large ziploc bag. Freeze.

    Thaw in refrigerator for 24 to 36 hours. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake pasta until bubbly and brown on top, about 20 minutes.

    Note:  If you don't want to freeze this, just put it into the oven instead of the freezer and bake as directed above.

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    1 2/3 C (8 1/2 oz.) Cake Flour

    1 2/3 C (8 1/2 oz.) Bread Flour

    1 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

    1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

    1 1/2 tsp. Coarse Salt (or less if you like)

    1 1/4 C (2 1/2 Sticks) Butter

    1 1/4 C (10 oz.) Light Brown Sugar

    1 C plus 2 tablespoons (8 oz.) Granulated Sugar

    2 Large Eggs

    2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

    1 1/4 lbs. Bittersweet Choc. Chips

    Cream sugars and butter for 5 min. until very light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time until mixed. Turn mixer to low speed and add the rest of the wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Pre-heat oven to 375 and bake for 10-12 minutes. Tops of cookies should be slightly golden. Eat your heart out cookie lover!

    (I usually store some in the freezer, wrapped into the shape of a log in wax never know when you need cookies!)

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

    I think these peppers tasted great, but for me the texture was a bit off (we like more crisp/juicy stuffed peppers than soft). I used brown rice instead of the white rice called for in the recipe, so that was probably the cause of my increased cooking time/temperature. In the future I would most likely use left-over rice to cut down on cooking time (for more crisp texture), but overall they were good!

    I got my recipe from:


    4 green bell peppers
    15 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained
    4 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese (I just used cheddar and mozzarella)
    3/4 cup medium salsa
    1/2 cup frozen corn
    1/2 cup chopped green onions
    1/3 cup uncooked long grain white rice
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    sour cream (optional)


    1. Cut thin slice off top of each bell pepper. Carefully remove seeds and
    membrane, leaving pepper whole.
    2. Combine beans, cheese, salsa, corn, onions, rice, chili powder and cumin
    in medium bowl.
    3. Spoon filling evenly into each pepper. Place peppers in crockpot.
    4. Cover; cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    Black Bean Soup