cooking, goodness, grace, grateful, recipe, recipe comfort food, vegetables

Brilliant Sunday Supper

Last night, the rains started, it cooled way down and seemed like the perfect Sunday evening for comfort food.  You know?  The warm feel of soup in your belly.  The blend of flavors in a well planned out sandwich……oh baby, so good.

Wait.  I will explain what I made, then I will share a picture or two.

The soup.

Hang on to your cute beanie. This savory soup is Sunday dinner, Easy Peasy.

20170917_143546_resizedCut up some beautiful (homegrown if you have them) potatoes and a couple of leeks (remember to wash the dickens out of those leeks).  Drizzle with olive oil and S & P.  Roast at 425*for 50 minutes.  Next put them into the Blend-tec with some vegetable broth.  We’re blending, we’re blending………………  and we are done.  That was easy.20170917_172055-1_resized

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sammy.

20170917_170912-1_resizedCaramelize an onion.  Roast a red pepper (then put into a zippy bag and take off the brunt outer skin).  Also, have in the lineup and ready to go:

Tapenade, fresh pesto & shred some beautiful Fontina cheese.  Assemble and grill.

Say Grace and just like that, A brilliant Sunday supper is toasty and ready to enjoy. 20170917_172332-1_resized

I ask you, who would not be grateful and find comfort in this beautiful meal?

We need to cook like this for our families/ourselves more often.  We are all worthy of simple, satisfying food layered with love.

I gotta say, the flavor of that combination was brilliant.

Hope you enjoyed a savory Sunday meal, certainly a lovely way to begin the week.  Or might I suggest this meal as a solution to what to have tonight?

In this together, friends.

Just sharing the goodness.

Chat soon.

 

 

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cooking, garden, health, recipe, recipe comfort food, respect, Uncategorized

garbage broth

I keep a plastic bag in the freezer.  Whenever I have 2 mushrooms left over or the stems of some cleaned bok choy, half a carrot, 1/4 onion, extra green beans and on the list goes, I toss into the bag.   Until the bag is packed full, I just keep adding to it.  You know?  One tomato left in the basket, 2 stalks of broccoli…. and so it goes.

To be honest, I am learning that not everyone cooks.  So if you don’t have a “garbage bag” full of bits and pieces, odds and ends, you can always use fresh.

I like the idea of truth telling.  I am getting brave.

I prepare dinner at least 26 or so times a month.       Mr. Right and I are worth excellent home made food.  It is my privilege to prepare and cook delicious meals that are without chemicals, additives and dyes.  Our health is vital and of value to us.

I do have other hobbies and an actual job, so I do appreciate a smart cooking short cut.   I actually mean, I don’t cook 28 days a month.  More like 12 to 15 days.  I always make two or three sides/meals worth at a time.  For example today, I made 3 cups of broth for our Risotto tonight. Then I froze two packages, 3 cups each for another time.

20160915_103520-1_resizedTo make the broth, I use a large stock pot.   I added one chopped onion (save the skin and ends for the broth) 4 cloves garlic, one stalk of celery, a splash of peanut oil and I cook until soft and it all browns a bit.  Next, I added the entire bag of “garbage” from my freezer and the ends of the onion, celery and carrot from what I am simmering.  Added 9 cups of filtered water.  I toss in 2 Bay leaves, 6 peppercorns, oodles of fresh herbs from our garden and some real salt.

Cook/simmer for 1 hour.

Strain through a sieve.  Cool.

I package into freezer bags, 3 cup portions.  Take up less space, freeze flat, then store like books in your freezer.  20160915_122720-1_resized

Hey, 3 cups is the exact amount I need to make an amazing mushroom Risotto tonight for supper!

While that is cooking, I already had the cutting board  & knives out.  So I chopped some mushrooms and tossed it with some vegetables and put it all into the slow cooker.  Creamy dreamy mushroom soup headed our way.  20160915_113414-1_resized

The dehydrator is filled with sage today.  I wish I could make this post have a scratch n sniff option.  Our home smells so earthy, savory…. just lovely. 20160912_112906-1_resized

In this together,

Here’s to our good health and wellness.

Love to hear what’s cooking in your neck of the woods.

 

 

 

food review, haPPY, happy marriage, healing, health, recipe, recipe comfort food, Uncategorized

pulled pork sammies

It was a three, paper napkin kind of lunch.

Messy, sloppy and drippy good.  You know what I am talking about.  You take that first bite, a little sauce drips into your hand and then drips down near your wrist, as you are reaching for a napkin, you try and catch it all of a sudden it drips a bit down your forearm.  Then you lick your finger and try and clean up all while trying to take that next bite.  haha20160730_132131_resized

Boy Howdy, the flavor was dancing (with jazz hands) and the texture was spot on.

You all know how I love to make something on Friday to have ready for weekend lunches?  Well, this hit the spot and then some.  Easy to put together and actually tastes a touch better the next day.

One of the pickles about eating the way we do, we can’t just drive through a place and grab something to eat.  However, being honest here, we enjoy a quick made lunch full of flavor and goodness like the next family.

So once home from morning grocery shopping, we unloaded and then sat for a minute or two with a really great lunch. It went together lickity split and it was sumptuous and filling at the same time.

I won’t go into all the reasons why we don’t eat meat in our home.  If you want to have an intelligent chat, I would love to do that sometime.  One reason; I have to keep my system ph balanced and meat products rise the acid levels and we all know that elevated acid levels cause sickness, inflammation and arthritis to name a few.  Actually, it’s been about 25 years since we have eaten pork in our home.

Oh, I get it that not everyone thinks this is the way to eat.  Actually, I wanted to write this down to save it for me.  A gentle reminder what goodness I create now and then.

Needless to say we no longer put air quotes around the word pulled “pork” sammies.  No one in our family asks, “is this really pork”?

Okay, Dana over at Minimalist Baker, rocked our lunch on Saturday.

http://minimalistbaker.com/?s=pulled+pork+sandwiches

She is a gem to share her creations and boy howdy did she deliver!  Who would have guess that cooked lentils, some smashed and shredded carrots and onions and spices and BBQ sauce would deliver an amazing, mouth-watering, messy creation?

I make our own BBQ sauce, but you certainly can use store-bought.  Also, I just looked at her pictures and realized, she used purple cabbage and I used green.  So, apparently, you can make substitutions and it still ends up as a glorious lunch.

I used toasted buns (I must say the texture of the crunch was the perfect addition, don’t skip this delightful layer of crunch.)  I sliced the cabbage nice and thin and made a quick slaw.  Then I sliced Walla Walla sweet onions for an added punch of flavor. 20160730_131822-1_resized

The flavor was deep and rich.  The texture was great.  It was “stringy” like you would expect in a pulled pork sammy.  We were both clean plate club members.

Update:  We had the same lunch two days in a row.  Such flavor, we both cleaned our plates once again.  The really good news?  We have enough in the freezer to have one more fast food, spur of the moment lunch.  Yum-tastic.

Next time you invite a non meat-eater over for a casual lunch or BBQ, might I suggest you offer up something this spectacular?  Or just maybe, remember you and your family are worthy of a beautifully made meal that is both beautiful and nutritious.20160730_131937_resized

Quick, say Grace and pass the napkins!

 

health, honey, hope, recipe, recipe comfort food, Uncategorized

my golden ticket

Everyday for oh, say, 30 some years, I would have an afternoon coffee and a little cookie, a piece of biscotti, an almond thin,  just a little something, something to go with my coffee.

I had to give that all up.  Yes, including how I made my coffee.  Good bye daily lattes.  I gave away 17 bottles of coffee syrups.   The daily cookie had to be deleted as well.   Somehow during all those years, the tiny piece of cookie was mixed up in my brain as comfort food.

3.3 years ago, in every part of my life I had to give up something.

I think I had oatmeal almost every morning of my life for about 45 years.   I have even ordered oatmeal at  3 different Four Season Restaurants.  I have ordered it in more states than I can remember.  I have eaten it with every topping imaginable.  My favorite.  Goodbye.

To say that I had an anger issue about all this would be an understatement.

Thankfully, I got my brain working again and figured out how to have my coffee once again.  (thank heavens for coconut cream).  Yesterday, I had a Butterscotch latte  (think butter and maple syrup and espresso).   I even have learned how to have an iced caramel latte.

20160426_171527Treats have been a bit tricky.  I used to bake batch after batch of Biscotti.  I wrapped it beautifully and gave it as gifts.  I gave it away to co-workers.  I gave it to neighbors.  I even sold some to a coffee stand for a while.  I loved Biscotti so much, I wanted to marry it.  Really!

Once I figured out, it wasn’t the chocolate bits that I liked or the drizzled frosting on top or the poppy seeds…..I adored the cookie part.  Just a crisp piece of cookie that I could dip now and then.   I knew I could figure this out.

So here I am 7 or 8 batches later…….remember my rules,  I can’t use sugar or dairy & it has to be gluten free. 20160426_164248-1

I tried “Swerve”.  No thank you.  I tried maple syrup, nope that wasn’t it.  I tried coconut sugar, again, not what I was looking for.  I tried Wax Orchard’s fruit sweet (I love this product, it just didn’t work in the biscotti).  I tried agave nectar, nope not the golden ticket.   I don’t use any artificial sweeteners of any kind.

Wait did I just type golden????

Honey.  I have fallen in love with Raw Honey and it has been my saving grace. Raw Honey has helped me heal and quite honestly saved my sanity.  My Golden Ticket!!

Daily medicine more manageable with a 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey.   Making my own Almond Milk, yes, you guessed it with raw honey.  Salad Dressing and treats, coffee drinks and the list goes on and on.

So here you go.  I am sharing my recipe.  By all means make it your own.

Here’s to comfort food that brings no guilt.

Here’s to our good health!

In this together, friend. 20160427_093752-1

Honey Almond Biscotti

1/2 cup butter (I used Earth Balance) 

3/4 cup raw honey

2 fresh eggs

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon real almond extract

3.5 cups flour ( I used Better Batter Flour) 

1/2 teaspoon baking powder (no aluminum) 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda 

3/4 cup raw sliced almonds

(You can add up to 1 cup of dried fruit or other goodies if you want)

Beat the butter until light.  Gradually add raw honey, eggs, vanilla and almond extract.  Beat until smooth.  Combine flour, baking power, baking soda and salt.  Add to honey mixture.  Stir in almonds. 

Shape dough into two 10X13X1 inch logs and place on a silpat covered cookie sheet.  Bake at 350* for 25 minutes. Remove, cool 5 minutes.  Reduce heat in oven to 275* 

Cut each log into 1/2 inch slices and arrange on baking sheet.  Bake 20 minutes or until crisp.  Cool on a wire rack.  Store in a air tight container. 

Make coffee (or tea).  Sit down, feet up and enjoy a piece.  Pure comfort.  (and no guilt for me)

recipe, recipe comfort food, Uncategorized

more soup please

Yesterday, it hit 60 in our neck of the woods.  While warming up, I still want it to be winter.  I am not done basking in soup and sweater weather. 

If you are looking for a home air fragrance that makes your mouth water, may I suggest simmering sweet potato, onion and garlic…lots of garlic (use double the amount suggested) because those ingredients combined makes your house smell like a home.  So warm and cozy and fragrant.  20160209_102105-1

 

This soup sounded good right away and then turned out a hundred times better than I had anticipated.  I love how the broccoli is roasted and then put on the soup at the very last possible moment. 

(Instead of the cheesy broccoli soup we all recall with broccoli being blended beyond recognition.)

Let’s be honest, sometimes when recipes is billed as “dairy free” sometimes the results are less than stellar.  I am happy to report this is not the case.  You won’t even have to mention that it is dairy free.  Yes, Virginia, that good.  

 

The sweet potato is what gives this soup it’s glorious color and velvet texture.  The nutritional yeast is what brings the cheese flavor.  I have NO IDEA what the dill pickle juice offers, and yet, it is a “quite can’t put your finger on ” flavor, that I for one am glad is there.  The fresh cracked pepper does indeed bring something to this party.  

 

As a dairy free soup, I must say it is one of the best ones I have made.  Silky velvet texture with just the right amount of tang.  The color is saturated and just what I was needing from a “cheese” soup. 

Once again, The Vegan8 has outdone herself.  Gosh, that gal can cook and create.  Mr. Right said last night, “every recipe we try from her is outstanding.” 

http://thevegan8.com/2016/02/09/sweet-potato-broccoli-cheese-soup/

 

Mr. Right enjoyed as his first course.  I chose to have as the main dish.  We both were very happy clean bowl club members.  A little bit of lefties for one more serving.

In need of some comfort in the form of food, glorious food?  Here’s a lovely bowl of soup!20160209_174655-1  

In this together.  Here’s to our health and wellness!

friends, friendship, recipe, recipe comfort food, Uncategorized

home alone, cooking

One of the trickiest things about owning your own business and working from home…. being alone.  No one to chat with, share a recipe with, waste 4 minutes by the coffee center at work. It just gets weird sometimes.  Oh, I like my alone time, just gets a little quiet now and then.

Now, don’t get me wrong, a certain sweet hairy Golden Retriever is excellent company.  No really.  She listens when I complain and she watches with interest while I do paperwork.  She is always up for “let’s go out and get some fresh air”.  She waits patiently while I cook up a new recipe.  She is the world’s greatest taste tester.  Makes me feel wonderful.  99.9% of the time she is impressed and finishes the sample.

I never thought I would ever embrace technology.  I find that I use it more and more. It keeps me connected and I don’t feel so alone.

I read about, buy and print patterns.  I belong to a couple of on line craft groups.   I receive pictures of our grands on a daily basis. I Christmas shop. I study and learn on a daily basis. Yes, technology pushes my swing.

Here is an idea that I jumped all over.  Two friends from different states wanted to cook together.   What? Fire up the internet and count me in!  I may have scared them with how anxious and excited I was to be included. oopsie.

One chose a recipe, new to each of us.  Then we dug in.  We procured the ingredients, fired up the stove and tied on the aprons.20151202_104345

Then we share thoughts and pictures (of course) on how it all came out in the wash.20151202_114045-1

I like having homework.  I like working towards a goal & having a delicious outcome is a charming bonus.  Sharing with a couple of girlfriends?  Complete and wonderful WIN!

This challenge was Black Bean Burgers and Salsa Verde.

Here’s is a bit of what I wrote about mine:20151202_104516-1

The aroma of roasting jalapenos and tomatillos makes your house smell like you know how to cook. .Making your own Salsa Verde takes your ordinary dinner up a notch.  The colors are bright and smart,  just as I would describe the taste……..flavorful, a touch of tang and heat and messy enough to use paper napkins.  5 star….

20151202_175435

Next recipe to share and talk about?  As I type this, I can smell the Tuscan Baked Beans cooking away.

Maybe home alone, cooking isn’t so lonely. Maybe one needs alone time to create amazing food?

 

recipe, recipe comfort food, Uncategorized

glorious fare

Are you trying to come up with that perfect dish to take to a Thanksgiving gathering?

I have a friend who is attending a vegan celebration.  Her brain has been swirling as to what to share and take.  Something spectacular, some dish that will wow her fellow diners.  Something so very good, that the bowl will come back clean as a whistle after the meal.

Good news, I have an answer.

Dinner last night was comfort food arranged on each plate. The answer my friend, was hidden between glorious refried (crock pot) beans, amazing Spanish rice, creamy avocado slices.

I served pickled carrots!  The burst of color was exactly what that plate of goodness needed.  The burst of flavor was tangy, slightly sweet and the perfect touch to the tooth.  Each bite made you want to spear another of those beauties.

Easy, so easy.

1 pound of carrots, cleaned, peeled & sliced (I like 1/8″ diagonal coins)  NOTE:  Please be extremely careful when using a Mandolin.  I am typing today with a huge bandage and a thumb that is the focus of my attention today.  sigh.

pickled carrots1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons real salt, 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns & 1 Tablespoon mustard seeds,(in place, you can use a couple Tablespoons of pickling spice) 1/2 cup water…………bring just to a boil, pour over carrots. pickled-carrots1

Chill. Say Grace & Share.

No really, it is that simple.  Oh sure you can slice a big, fat, gorgeous chunk of garlic to add more flavor, or you can add a thinly sliced jalapeño pepper for a kick.

I like to keep them pure and simple.

They were so good in fact, instead of tossing the vinegar mixture, Mr. Right sliced another couple carrots and refilled the container.  Yes, that good.

Thankful for gorgeous carrots saturated with color and flavor.

Please pass the carrots.carrots 3