Monday, September 14, 2015

Caprese Salad

1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
1 lb sliced mozzarella cheese (or slice it yourself
3-4 tomatoes, sliced
Fresh basil leaves
salt & pepper
olive oil

In a small pan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until balsamic vinegar is reduced to a thick glaze. Remove from heat and cool. 

Arrange alternating slices of tomato, cheese, and basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic reduction, olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden make this a wonderful summer salad.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Monday Menu

After being on a clear liquid diet for 4 days, and easing back into eating slowly, I was ready to have real food again.  Here is the menu for this week:

Monday: Potato Soup, BLAT Salad, Chicken Pasta Salad, Brazilian Cheese Bread
Tuesday: Spicy Grilled Chicken Thighs, Baked Potatoes, Roasted Zucchini & Mushrooms
Wednesday: Grilled Skirt Steak, Twice Baked Potatoes (the beauty of leftover baked potatoes), Panzanella Salad
Thursday: Boneless BBQ Ribs, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Coleslaw
Friday: I'm out of town
Saturday: Ordering Out
Sunday: Hopefully something with Shrimp

Monday, July 27, 2015

Carrot Salad

2-3 cups carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/3 cup mayonnaise, or to taste
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 apple, diced or grated (optional)

Put grated carrots in a large bowl; toss with remaining ingredients. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Carrot Salad serves 4 to 6.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Chicken Fried Rice

    1/2-1 lb. chicken, cut up in small pieces
    3 cups cooked rice
    2-3 eggs
    1 onion, chopped
    1 carrot, grated
    1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
    2-3 green onions, sliced diagonally
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    2 TBS soy sauce
    2 TBS olive oil
    3 TBS butter
    1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
    salt and pepper, to taste

    I like to have everything chopped and measured out to make it quick and easy to stir fry.  Mix 2 TBS oil and garlic with the chopped chicken. Beat eggs into a bowl. Chop/slice onions, grate carrot, and measure out peas.

    In a large skillet, stir-fry chicken mixture. Add 2 TBS butter, onions, carrot and saute 3-4 minutes. Add peas, cooking another minute. At this point you can place all of this in a separate dish, or push the chicken and vegetables to the outside of pan. Cook eggs in the middle of pan, scrambling and adding salt and pepper as desired. Mix with chicken.

    Again, push all to one side of pan, add an additional TBS butter, then the rice. Stir fry all together. Add soy sauce and vinegar. Top with green onion and add salt/pepper/soy sauce to taste. I like to serve this with sweet/spicy dipping sauce.

    Sweet/Spicy Dipping Sauce
    3 TBS rice wine vinegar (garlic flavored is my favorite)
    2 TBS GF Tamari (or soy sauce)
    1 TBS Sriracha Sauce
    4 tsp. sugar
    1 tsp. sesame oil

    Mix together and use for dipping or serve over fried rice.

    Monday, May 18, 2015

    Asparagus with Vinaigrette

    1 bunch asparagus
    1/2 onion, sliced
    1 egg, hard boiled and chopped 
    1 TBS olive oil
    1/4 tsp. course ground salt
    1-2 TBS basil, chiffonade

    1 TBS red wine or rice wine
    1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
    1 garlic clove, minced
    Dash of salt

    Toss onions and asparagus with oil. Sprinkle with course salt. Can grill in a grill pan over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Or place on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

    Mix vinaigrette. Place asparagus and onions on a serving platter and pour vinaigrette over. Top with egg and basil.

    Wednesday, April 22, 2015

    Stuffed Mushrooms

    4-6 oz. Cream Cheese with chives (buy premade or follow this recipe)
    1-2 TBS Real Bacon Bits
    Butter or Coconut Oil
    GF Panko Style Bread Crumbs

    Remove stems from mushrooms, leaving the caps ready for filling. Mix the cream cheese and bacon bits and fill caps. Top with bread crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

    Monday, April 20, 2015

    Easy Cream Cheese w/Chives

    8 oz. Cream Cheese
    4-6 sliced green onions (about 2 TBS)
     2 TBS Milk
    1/8 tsp. Garlic Salt
    Dash of Fresh Ground Pepper

    Beat all ingredients with a mixer until well blended and fluffy. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

    This recipe adapted from The Artistic Farmer

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    Jambalaya for Fat Tuesday

    The first time I had Jambalaya was at my son and daughter-in-laws home in New Orleans. I fell in love. Trying to duplicate the recipe in Colorado is somewhat of a disappointment. Nobody but nobody can duplicate New Orleans, but this comes close. It is Emerill's recipe for Jambalaya. I have made a few minor adjustments.

    1/4 cup olive oil
    24 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
    1/2 lb. chicken, diced
    1 TBS Creole seasoning-Bayou Blast

    10 oz. Andouille sausage, sliced
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
    1/2 cup chopped celery
    2 tablespoons chopped garlic
    1 cup chopped tomatoes
    3 bay leaves
    1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    1 tsp hot sauce, I used Louisana Hot sauce, but Tabasco will work
    1 1/2 cups rice
    3 1/2 cups chicken stock
    1/4 cup chopped parsley or chopped green onion for garnish
    2 chopped green onions
    Salt and pepper 

    In a bowl combine shrimp, chicken. Mix in the Bayou Blast seasoning till all of the meat is coated. Let set while you get everything ready or put in refrigerator until ready to cook. In a large saucepan or pot, heat oil over high heat. Stir-fry onion, pepper and celery about 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Stir in rice and slowly add chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. 

    This is delicious the next day for lunch with a little cheese melted on top.

    Thursday, November 13, 2014

    Creamy Tomato Soup

    I was skeptical when I tried this recipe.  It comes from Pioneer Woman.  I love making soups, but in my mind, soup cooks all day.  This tomato soup does not.  It's quick. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

    1 46 oz. Bottle Tomato Juice 
    2 cans Petite Diced Tomatoes
    1 Onion, diced 
    6 TBS Butter
    3 TBS Sugar
    1 TBS Chicken Base
    1 cup Cooking Sherry (this is where the flavor comes from)
    1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream (in a pinch, I've used sour cream with great results, but to blend, add hot tomato slowly to the sour cream before blending into the soup)
    Fresh Chopped Parsley

    Sauté diced onions in butter until translucent. Add canned tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken base, sugar, pinch of salt, black pepper and stir. Bring to a near boil, then turn off heat. Add in sherry and cream and stir. Add chopped, fresh parsley, about 1 TBS. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  This is great with PW's Olive Cheese Bread, made gluten free of course.
     Also good with cubed cheese.

    Monday, November 3, 2014

    Cuban Sandwich

    Saturday night, Michael and I watched the movie "Chef." One of the stars of the film, IMO, is the Cuban Sandwich.  I had no idea what this was, but after witnessing the creative process of constructing this sandwich, I wanted to try one.

    Naturally, it had to be gluten free. Since I don't live in Miami, Florida, I figured it would be futile to find a restaurant that makes gluten free Cubanos.  I found a recipe posted in the Denver Post from the movie. I wanted to make these for lunch, but this recipe required 24 hour marinating of the pork and 2 1/2 hours to cook. I found a very similar one that used a pressure cooker to speed the process. I thought I could recreate it using gluten free french bread.

    If you've seen the movie, you'll notice right away, that my sandwich does not live up to the standard of NEVER letting the outside of this grilled sandwich become over toasted, not even a little bit. Mine burned before the inside cheese was good and melted. Today is National Sandwich Day, so I am sharing the recipe anyway.

    Loaf of GF french bread
    6-8 slices Swiss Cheese
    6-8 Ham, thinly sliced
    sliced, marinated pork
    Dill Pickles sliced length-wise

    Slice bread in half. Butter each half, and warm in skillet over medium high heat. Remove from pan when lightly browned. Spread mustard generously over one side. Place 3 slices onto mustard, pork, pickles, ham, and top with cheese and other half of bread.

    To cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Brush outside of sandwich generously with butter and place in the skillet. Place another heavy skillet on top and press down. I placed some large sweet potatoes inside to weigh it down. Cook until lightly browned (not burned, if cooking too quickly and the cheese is not melting, turn heat down.) Before flipping over, brush the other side of the bread with melted butter. Heat until this side is also lightly browned and cheese is nice and gooey. (Don't forget to press down with heavy skillet.) Remove from pan, slice and serve.

    To make marinated pork:
    2-3 lbs Boneless Pork Shoulder 
    1 Onion, sliced
    1 cup fresh Orange Juice
    1 cup Chicken Broth
    1 Lime, juiced
    4 Garlic Cloves, minced
    2 Bay Leaves
    1 TBS ground Cumin
    1 TBS dried Oregano
    1 TBS olive oil
    Salt and fresh ground Pepper
     Brown pork in olive oil in pressure cooker pan. Add garlic and onions and saute for a minute or two. Add broth, orange juice, lime juice, bay leaves, cumin, oregano. Salt and pepper meat and place top on pressure cooker. Cook until rocker pressure is reached and turn down heat to medium. Cook 25 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

    If you have time to marinate meat overnight and roast it, you might want to try the Chef recipe for Cubanos.

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

    Bruschetta Fail

    (Before putting them in the oven.)

    I have never made bruschetta before, most likely because I had never heard of it until we went gluten free. Having an abundance of homegrown tomatoes caused me to remember the Bruschetta Lauren made this summer for Eisabeth's bachelorette party. She found some amazing bread at a local GF Bakery. I bought 3 GF baguettes and immediately texted Lauren to find out the recipe. Tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella were the main ingredients.  Perfect!

    1 GF Baguette
    Tomatoes, chopped (I used a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes but equaled about 2 cups)
    1 Garlic Clove, minced
    Fresh Mozzarella Ball
    1 TBS Olive Oil
    1 1/2 tsp. Apple Cider Balsamic Vinegar (I didn't have plain balsamic vinegar)

    Chop tomatoes.  Add remaining ingredients, except mozzarella, and let sit about an hour. Slice baguette. Top with a slice of mozzarella (this will keep the bread from becoming soggy.) Add tomato mixture.  Broil for a few minutes until edges of bread crisp and cheese is soft/melts.

    Everything went beautifully, until I had this idea. To toast the bread nicely, I decided to place the bread atop a rack. Just when it looked perfectly done, I pulled the rack out and all of the bread tipped and dropped off the back of my oven, toppling off and dropping to the bottom of my oven.  Wish I could say the bottom of my oven was sparkling clean.  It wasn't. I couldn't bear to get a picture of the mess I made.

    Michael suggested I just scoop the mess up and the bread and plop it back on the bread and serve it.  Thankfully, I wasn't having company and it was just the two of us.  We were able to ignore the black flecks that stuck to the mozzarella from the bottom of the oven and ate it anyway.  He declared it one of his top 5 (well, that and I served it with steak.)

    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    Pasta Salad

    I made PW's Spicy Pasta salad w/smoked Gouda several times with great success. Recently, my pregnant daughter is very sensitive to spicy foods and last time she ate this salad declared it too spicy.  Since we had her and her hubby over for dinner tonight,  I attempted to make a similar salad that wasn't spicy.

    12 oz. Gluten Free Pasta
    1 cup Smoked Gouda Cheese, cubed
    1 cup Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
    1/2 cup black olives, cut in half
    1/2 cup Basil Leaves, (approximately) sliced thinly
    2 slices Turkey Pastrami, chopped (optional)

    1/2 cup Mayonnaise
    1/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup Wine Vinegar, garlic flavored
    1 seeded and chopped Pepperocini
    1/2 tsp. Salt
    Fresh Ground Black Pepper

    Cook pasta according to package directions.  Rinse in cold water and drain well. Mix dressing ingredients. Place pasta in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and dressing. Mix gently. Add additional salt, pepper, or basil according to taste.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.