Thursday, July 31, 2014

Authentic Sopa De Albondigas (Meatball Soup)

Authentic Sopa De Albondigas (Meatball Soup). Photo by Tiny_Toodles
The Meatballs
1 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon fresh mint (minced, AKA yerba buena)
1 tablespoon cilantro (minced)
1 tablespoon white onion (minced)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs
The Soup
2 ancho chilies
6 guajillo chilies
1 roma tomato
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 white onion (thinly sliced)
6 cups water
1/4 teaspoon cumin (ground)
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 beef bouillon cube
2 carrots (sliced in half lengthwise and then in bite size pieces)
1 chayote (chopped into bite size pieces)
1 red potatoes (diced in bite size pieces)
1/2 cup green beans (ends snapped, then broken into bite size pieces)
cilantro (to garnish)
lime wedge (to garnish)

Mix the meatball ingredients together in a bowl until combined. Shape the meatballs into walnut sized balls. Place the meatballs on a clean plate, cover with plastic and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them.
Place the dry chilies, garlic cloves and tomato into a small sauce pan. Fill with water until the chilies are completely covered. Boil the chilies and tomato on medium high heat for 15 minutes. Cover and set aside.
In a large stock pot, heat the oil. Saute the onions for 2 minutes. Add in the carrots and stir. Pour in the water, cumin, bouillon cubes, chayote, potatoes and green beans.
While the soup is heating up, place the tomato, chilies and garlic in the blender with 2 cups of fresh water. Blend on high or 5 minutes.
Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the blended chile into the stock pot scraping the bottom with a spoon. This may require two or three times (seeds and skins will get stuck so you may have to do this in two or so batches rinsing the sieve clean after each time.) Once you have strained all of the chile into the stock pot, stir and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling taste the soup and add salt if needed. Cook the soup for 15 minutes.
Next, turn the heat down to medium low. Add in the meatballs one at a time until they are all in the pot. Gently stir the soup to make sure the meatballs are incorporated in with the broth and vegetables. Cover the soup and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Serve the soup in bowls garnished with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mexican Style Shredded Pork

1 (3 pound) boneless pork loin roast, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chile peppers
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup chipotle sauce
3 1/4 cups water, divided
1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Place the roast in a slow cooker, and season with salt. Place chile peppers and garlic on top of roast. Pour in the chipotle sauce and 1/2 cup water.
Cover, and cook 7 hours on Low.
In a pot, bring remaining 2 3/4 cups water and rice to a boil. Mix in the lime juice and cilantro. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.
Remove roast from the slow cooker, and use two forks to shred. Return pork to the slow cooker, and allow to sit 15 minutes to absorb some of the liquid. Serve over the cooked rice.

Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole

Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole
adapted from
(Printable Recipe)

2 (8 ounce) cans Reduced Fat Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese or swiss cheese (or any cheese of choice)
1/2 cup milk

4 ounces cream cheese (very soft) * I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese*
2 tablespoons butter (very soft but not melted)
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tsp minced onion flakes
2 large cooked chicken breasts, finely chopped (or use about 2 cups, can use cooked turkey)
1/2-3/4 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
2 Tbsp. milk
1-2 cup grated cheddar cheese (for topping)

Set oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray. Mix together milk, 3/4 cup cheese and undiluted chicken soup (can season with black pepper if desired).

For the filling --- (make certain that the cream cheese and butter are very soft) in a bowl, mix the soft cream cheese with butter until very smooth, then add in garlic powder. Add in the chopped chicken, onion and cheddar cheese; mix well until combined. Add in 2 tablespoons milk; mix to combine (add in a little more if the mixture seems too dry). Season with seasoned salt or white and black pepper to taste. Unroll the crescent rolls. Place 1 heaping tablespoon chicken mixture (or a little more) on top of each crescent triangle, then roll up starting at the thicker end. Drizzle a small amount of soup mixture on the bottom of the dish. Then place the crescent rolls seam-side down on top of the creamed mixture in the casserole.
Drizzle the remaining sauce on top (you don't have to use the full amount of cream sauce, just use as much as desired) and sprinkle with 1 cup (or more) grated cheese, or amount desired. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Old-fashioned pull-apart buns

Old-fashioned Pull-apart Buns
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. active dry yeast
3 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
melted butter, for brushing on top
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the melted butter) and stir until you have a soft dough. Knead — using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle — until you have a soft, smooth dough.
Set the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let it rise for an hour or so, until it’s doubled in bulk. Gently deflate the dough by knocking it down with your hands, and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface.
Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, by dividing in half, then in halves again, etc. Round each piece into a smooth ball.
Lightly grease two 8″ or 9″ round cake pans and arrange 8 buns in each pan. Cover the pans and allow the buns to rise another hour, until they’re crowded against one another and quite puffy. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Uncover the buns and bake for 22 to 24 minutes, until golden brown on top and the edges of the center bun spring back lightly when you touch it. Remove the buns from the oven and brush with the melted butter. Serve warm.
Makes about 16 buns.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gluten Free Easy Mexican Rice Recipe

from simply gluten free


1 cup Risotto (Arborio) rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onions
1 15 ounce can of chopped tomatoes (I like to use fire roasted)
Approximately 1 cup gluten free chicken stock
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped – optional


Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and chopped onions. Cook until onion is soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook stirring for 2 more minutes. Rice will start to look translucent. Put onion rice mixture into a microwave safe casserole dish with a lid.
Put chopped tomatoes with their juice, ground cumin, garlic and jalapeno if using into a blender and blend until smooth. Add enough gluten free chicken stock to make 3 cups of liquid and blend.
Add the tomato chicken stock mixture to the rice, stir and microwave on high about 18 – 20 minutes. Stir 3 times while cooking. Remove from microwave, stir, replace cover and let stand 5 minutes.
If not using the microwave then add the tomato chicken stock mixture to the rice in the skillet in 1 cup increments, stirring after each addition of liquid until totally absorbed.


Serves 6 gluten free people.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wine Choices For A Summer Barbecue


Wines For Summer Barbecues
Summer is in full swing, school's out, and the temperatures are sizzling. It must be barbecue time! As you do your shopping for the weekend's big cookout, you should be adding wine to that supermarket cart.
Why wine, instead of the more familiar beer? Well of course, you should be offering your guests a choice, but don't shy away from serving wine, just because it maybe seems a bit upscale for a meal you're going to eat with your fingers.
One of the best barbecues I ever attended was in the south of France, right near the border with Italy. We sat in our host's garden, which was bursting with flowers, fruit and vegetables. In the distance, the blue Mediterranean shimmered. We feasted on spicy sausages and chicken, hot from the grill and flavored with rosemary picked from the mountains. Along with this came chunks of home made bread, a huge salad bursting with savory sweet tomatoes and basil, dressed with olive oil and lemon,all washed down with young red wine made by our host from his own grapes, young purple red and loaded with fruit flavors. For desert, peaches, picked warm from the garden wall, bursting with sweetness. Everything had been grown, raised and made on the farm, and that memory as constituted my ideal for a barbecue ever since.
The keynote is, whatever you cook, if it's going to be for special guests, rather than just a slung together treat for the kids, you should make sure that the ingredients are of the very best. Go to your farmers' market and buy squeaky fresh salad greens, flavorsome tomatoes, and a variety of home made bread – plus some interesting cheeses for nibbling. Find a Greek deli to offer you the best of olives, dripping and delicious, note to mention extra virgin cold pressed olive oil and fresh lemons for your salad dressing. Think of a country feast for your summer entertaining, and you won't go far wrong.
Barbecues offer robust flavors – burgers, steaks, ribs, oily fish like tuna, often accompanied by rich and spicy sauces. So, contrary to the advice often given for summertime wine drinking, you should turn your back on light florals and fizzes, and instead, wines for barbecues should be big strong reds and hugely oaky whites with a touch of sweetness. The king of summer outdoor drinking is Shiraz, and the queen is Chardonnay. In both cases, look for New World offerings – wines from Chile, Australia and of course, California are amongst the best.
For a particular treat with your barbecue this year, seek out Edna Valley Chardonnay; although not heavily oaked this is a delightfully complex wine with cinnamon notes which I love to pair with grilled chicken. For a very special, expensive treat, look no further than 1999 Noon Reserve Shiraz, with its berry and coffee notes, a massive wine, coming into its best around now, but with room to grow if you care to lay a few bottles down. This wine can stand up to anything, and works brilliantly well with a first class home made hamburger.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Crock-Pot Ham And Cheese Strada

Would you believe this is a Crock-Pot recipe? 

This was so easy and came out amazing. the hardest part is getting it out of the crock-pot  ( I cant believe me, miss clumsy  was able to do it) very impressive dish to serve  for a brunch or lunch with friends. My friend were amazed by this recipe  especially the way it was prepare in a crock-pot.  

prep time: 30 minute
    cook time:  3 1/2 hours

8 ounces french bread, torn into small piece
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar, divided    
1 1/2 cups diced ham                                 
                                      1/2 cup finely chopped green onions ( white & green parts) divided 

4 large eggs                                             
1 cup half and half or whole milk              
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce          
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper              
1. coat crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray. Cut parchment paper to fit bottom of  the crock-pot and press into place, spray paper lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

2. layer in  following order , bread, 1 1/2 cups cheese, ham and all but 2 tablespoons green onions.          
3. Whisk eggs, half & half, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper in small bowl. Pour evenly over layered ingredients in crock-pot  cover;  cook on low low 3 1/2 hours or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Turn off heat. Sprinkle evenly with reserved 1/2 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons  green onions. let stand, covered, 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

4. To sever: run a knife or rubber spatula around outer edges, lifting bottom slightly invert onto plate and peel of paper . invert again onto serving plate.  

To fit the parchment paper I first traced the bottom of the stoneware, then cut the paper slightly smaller to ft. you can also use waxed paper.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Banana Split Bites

what you need

  • 1 medium banana, peeled and trimmed
  • 12 tablespoons Market Pantry® Ice Cream
  • 1 bottle chocolate shell topping
  • 1 tablespoon sprinkles
  • 12 toothpicks

here's how

  1. Cut the banana crosswise into 12 (1/2-inch-thick) rounds. Use a mini ice cream scoop the same diameter as the banana slices or a tablespoon to press a scoop of ice cream on top of each slice.
  2. Squirt the chocolate shell topping over each ice cream scoop, then immediately top with the sprinkles. Spear each bon bon with a toothpick and serve immediately.

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