Thursday, January 21, 2010

Can't wait to try this:

I'm so excited--Smitten Kitchen just discovered her crockpot. I think I squealed when I read this. This recipe looks great for freezing and bring to my dorm.

I'll share results after this weekend, hopefully.

Black Bean Soup + Toasted Cumin Seed Crema

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Jesse and I picked peppers from my dad's garden yesterday. There were so many, and they were so beautiful, here's a snapshot. Recipes to come shortly. Jesse took some of the spicier ones and is drying them in the oven (200 degrees for about six hours) to make into red pepper flakes (the kind you put on pizza).

Jesse's dried peppers:

Homemade pizza pepper flakes:

Shepherd's Pie

I found two very different recipes for shepherd's pie that sounded great. One was vegetarian and the other was a hearty Rachael Ray recipe. I combined them, taking out a lot of the meat Rachel Ray called for and replaced it with kidney beans, the "meat" of the vegetarian recipe. Jesse, my dad and I finished up the whole pie--no leftovers! Yay!
Next time, I want to make individual shepherd pies for everybody, I think they'd be cute.
Links to the recipe's I combined into my own: Eat Better America + Rachael Ray = yummy shepherd's pie.


1/2 lb. ground beef
1 can kidney beans
1 c. beef broth
3 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. frozen peas (I used half a can, but I prefer frozen ones)
1 tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 box of instant garlic mashed potatoes (plus milk and butter needed to make them)

Get Cookin'

Add EVOO to hot pan. Brown the ground beef and onions, then add veggies and kidney beans (except the peas) to the pan. Cook, stirring often. In another (smaller) pan, cook the butter and flour over medium heat. Whisk in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Allow the sauce to thicken.

After the sauce is thick, pour it over the beef mixture. Put in oven to keep warm.

Make the mashed potatoes and cover the meat with the potatoes. Garnish with sharp Cheddar cheese, parsley and paprika on top.

Broil in the oven for a few minutes, until the potatoes are browned.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


When Jesse's family lived in Germany they would go to an Italian restaurant for this pork dish. They couldn't pronounce the real name but they'd call it 107. According to the owner, it was the spiciest item on the menu. After befriending the owner, Jesse's dad got the recipe from him. This isn't so much an exact recipe as it is a list of ingredients to play around with. Frank said every time he makes 107 it comes out differently. But, Jesse and he agree that it always comes out delicious.

5 whole garlics, sliced, not mashed
1 onion, chopped
pork (this can vary greatly--use whatever pork is on hand. Frank usually uses left-over pork chops, pork roast or pork tenderloin.)
1 package spaghetti noodles
balsamic vinegar
Parmasian cheese

Get Cookin'

In a large frying pan, heat butter and EVOO. Add pork, salt and pepper. After the pork is browned a bit, add onions and cook. In another pot, begin cooking pasta. Add extra salt and some butter into the boiling water.

Cook the pasta al dante, not too much. Be sure to keep some of the water from the pasta.

Add the chopped garlic to the pork and onions. Drain the pasta and mix with the pork mixture.

Toss with more EVOO, balsamic vinegar and top with cheese.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Lentil Tacos

This recipe provides a complete protein. I can't remember where I got the recipe, please let me know if you know!

1 c. rice, uncooked
1 c. lentils, uncooked
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 can tomato paste
1 packet Taco Seasoning
package of taco shells
Taco garnishes: salsa, cheese, sour cream, etc

Get Cookin'

Start cooking rice on the stove for about 45 minutes.

In another pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook for about 20-30 minutes.

When both are cooked, combine them in a large saucepan. Add tomato paste plus 2 tomato paste cans worth of water. Stir. Add seasoning packet and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Serve in taco shells.

No Noodle Lasagna

This is one of my favorite recipes, ever. Yum. This is gluten-free, fyi. Thanks to A Year of Slow Cooking for this recipe!

1 jar (26 oz)pasta sauce
1 small container of ricotta cheese
8 slices mozzarella cheese
2 c. shredded Italian cheese mix
1 large eggplant
3 summer squash
1 pound of sliced mushrooms
bag of baby spinich
2 Tbsp. warm water

Get Cookin'

Use a large crockpot (like a 6 quart).

Wash veggies. Slice squash and eggplant in long slices, about 1/2 inch thick. These are the noodles! Don't peel the skin off the squash or eggplant.

In the bottom of the crockpot, pour 1/4 cup of pasta sauce. Layer a few pieces of squash and eggplant, smear ricotta cheese and add a handful of baby spinach and mushrooms. Put a few slices of mozzarella cheese on top. Pour in more pasta sauce and continue the pattern until the crockpot is full.

Top with pasta sauce and the shredded cheese. Add 2 tablespoons of warm water, pour into the pasta jar, shake, and pour the contents on top of the lasagna.

Cook on low for 5-8 hours.

Southwestern Chowder

This is an empty-the-pantry kind of dinner. The original recipe from wasn't for the crockpot, I modified it. I didn't add the optional macaroni.

2 cans (14.5oz each) chicken broth
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 can kidney beans
1 can of corn
1 zucchini, sliced into half circles
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 c. mexican style shreaded cheese.
3/4 c. elbow macaroni

Get Cookin'

Add everything except cheese and macaroni to crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Before serving, cook macaroni on the stove, drain and add to soup.
Dish into bowls, top with cheese.


Jesse's dad gave me his "Ultimate Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pancake" recipe. Here it is. I must say, the pancakes are better than using basic Bisquick mix.

2 c. Bisquick
1 c. milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs

Get Cookin'

Mix ingredients, allow to rest for about five minutes. This allows the baking powder to react with the lemon juice to make the pancakes rise.