Peasant Pasta Stew

It’s been chilly here in Cali lately. Soup kind of weather if you will. When I first learned to cook while I was in college, my aunt got me a subscription to Taste of Home magazine. It was there that I got my first inspirations to cook. One of the first things I made was this Peasant Pasta Stew.

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One of my favorite things about soup, and why it appealed to me as a beginner is that you pretty much throw some veggies & broth into a pot…

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Brown some meat, add it to the mixture and let it simmer…

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Then about a half hour later you have some piping hot in this case, tomatoey goodness that is sure to warm you up. There’s a whole lot of flavors in this stew. Every thing from sweet tomatoes to hearty beans and starchy pasta. It’s very filling so a little goes a long way.

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What’s even better about soup is it gets tastier as it gets older. So grab a cup for now & save some for tomorrow!

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Peasant Pasta Stew
A hearty stew that goes a long way without burning a hole in your wallet.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 46 oz V8 juice
  • 14.5 oz can Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 6oz cans canned tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 lb ground pork
  • 3/4 cup kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3/4 cup great northern beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup medium shell pasta, cooked & drained
  • garnish shredded Parmesan cheese
Instructions
In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, combine the broth, celery, carrots and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.Stir in the V8 juice, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, pepper and garlic powder. Cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes.Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook pork over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add meat and beans to soup; cover and simmer 30-45 minutes longer or until heated through. tir in pasta just before serving. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings

Recipe: Death By Chocolate

Halloween is just around the corner. Are you looking for something to bring to a party? Well, this dessert right here has been a real crowd pleaser. My husband’s family have always been the bakers where my family are the cooks. Every time I go to my husband’s family’s house for the holidays, I’d always find some kind of homemade baked good just sitting there on the counter, ready to be devoured.

It comes as no surprise that it was someone on his side of the family that had started making this Death By Chocolate that my husband would rave about almost all the time in college. It was only a matter of time when he would have to make it for me.

I finally got to try this bowl of deliciousness when we were invited to a Halloween party two years ago. Let me tell you, it was a real hit. So much so we brought it to another party last year & again, it was well received.

So I give you the fun to prepare Death By Chocolate (what a way to go)

 

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Death by Chocolate
A kahlua infused decadent treat.
Ingredients
  • 1 box Devils Food Cake mix
  • 1 cup Kahlua liqueur
  • 3 boxes chocolate jello pudding mix
  • 2 large containers cool whip
  • 4 Skor or Heath candy bars, crushed
Instructions
Make a quick mix dark chocolate or devils food cake using round cake pans that fit easily in a large bowl. Cool, punch holes with toothpick and add 1 cup Kahlua. Refrigerate overnight.Prepare the Jello pudding per package instructions.In a large bowl, put one round cake and layer with pudding and cool whip. Add the second round cake & do the same and then finish with crushed Skor bars.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 large dessert

Muffin Monday: Pumpkin Spice Muffin

This week’s Muffin Monday assignment was a carrot spice muffin. However, I’m not a huge fan of carrot and I immediately changed it to pumpkin. There’s really nothing that reminds me more of fall than pumpkins. I had recently used a mere two tablespoons of canned pumpkin for my homemade pumpkin latte so I figure why not use the leftovers for muffins? And what better way to welcome fall!

This recipe has been modified from the original sent to me.

 

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Ingredients

 

◦                                  1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

◦                                  1 teaspoon baking soda

◦                                  1 teaspoon baking powder

◦                                  1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

◦                                  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

◦                                  1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

◦                                  1/8 teaspoon cloves

◦                                  1/3 cup brown sugar

◦                                  1 egg

◦                                  1/2 cup yogurt

◦                                  1/3 cup applesauce

◦                                  1/2 teaspoon vanilla

◦                                  1 cup canned pumpkin

Directions

- Preheat the oven to 400F

- In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients- flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.

- In another bowl, mix together wet ingredients- brown sugar, egg, yogurt, applesauce, vanilla and the pumpkin.

- Gently mix wet and dry ingredients together until just moistened.

- Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean

 

 Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week

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Pumpkin Spice Muffin
My variation of Muffin Monday’s weekly bake along. This recipe came from whole foods
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients- flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.
n another bowl, mix together wet ingredients- honey/brown sugar, egg, buttermilk/yogurt, oil, vanilla and the pumpkin
- Gently mix wet and dry ingredients together until just moistened.- Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 muffins

Muffin Monday: Grape Jelly Muffins

Starting to get the hang of baking. This recipe was referred to as being super easy but honestly I beg to differ. This was actually one of the harder ones I’ve done simply because I had issues with putting the filling into the muffins. I ran out of batter too for the last row and overall the muffins didn’t look as pretty as previous recipes but in the end they still tasted good.

 

Jam Filled Muffins:(adapted from allrecipes.com)

1 3/4 cups Flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup jam ( of your choice)

Preheat the oven to 400F
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, lightly beat eggs, milk, butter and lemon rind.
Pour into the dry ingredients and the stir until moistened.
Spoon half batter, make a well, add jam, spoon the remaining batter and bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden.

 

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Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.

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Jam Filled Muffins
Here’s another Muffin Monday bake along recipe. Adapted from allrecipes.com
Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 Flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup jam of your choice
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 400FIn a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.In another bowl, lightly beat eggs, milk, butter and lemon rind.Pour into the dry ingredients and the stir until moistened.Spoon half batter, make a well, add jam, spoon the remaining batter and bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 muffins

Muffin Monday & Blogiversary

This was my second time making muffins which I’ve nicknamed the heavenly muffins. Why? because they’re the “healthy” kind. It did use whole wheat flour and honey & only 2 eggs so that’s gotta count for something right? The taste was subtle but just the right amount of sweetness too. I liked that it was healthier but didn’t taste like cardboard. I do like raisins but only in small amounts. Next time I’ll try cranberries.

Also, I used plain non fat yogurt & I used white unbleached flour since I didn’t have wheat.

It’s also my 2nd blogiversary! Who would’ve thought I’d make it this far? Thanks to all my readers for your support! :)

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Granola Muffins

Ingredients: 
1 cup granola
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large or extra large eggs
1/4 cup mild honey, such as clover
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- Preheat the oven to 375ºF with a rack in the middle. Grease 12 muffin cups.

- In a bowl combine the granola and milk in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cover the raisins with hot water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and dry on paper towels.

- Sift together whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

- In medium bowl, beat together the eggs, honey, buttermilk or yogurt, canola oil and vanilla. Quickly whisk in the flour, then fold in the granola and raisins. Combine well

- Spoon into muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.

- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then unmold and cool on a rack.

Yield: 12 muffins

 Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.

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Granola Muffins
Muffin Monday Bake Along
Ingredients
  • 1 cup granola
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup mild honey
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF with a rack in the middle.- In a bowl combine the granola and milk in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cover the raisins with hot water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and dry on paper towels.- Sift together whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.- In medium bowl, beat together the eggs, honey, buttermilk or yogurt, canola oil and vanilla. Quickly whisk in the flour, then fold in the granola and raisins. Combine well
- Spoon into muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then unmold and cool on a rack.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 muffins

Muffin Monday: Peanut Butter Snickers Muffins

I’ve avoided baking for most of my life. Sure there was that mandatory home ec class that was fun but that was about it. There’s something about the exactness of baking and the fact that when I’ve tried it, it doesn’t look pretty that has made me avoid it with a 10 foot pole with the exception of puddings and crepes.

Well, with a little coaxing, I finally participated in Muffin Monday. Let me tell ya, as a non baker, it wasn’t bad. It was actually pretty fun. It helped that the recipe called for Snickers, my favorite candy. The whole process was actually quick and painless. Personally, I think it could be sweeter. I’ll add more Snickers… and then take an extra couple of laps at the rink. Other than that I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished! I’ll just say it now, I can’t wait for the holidays so I can try this again!

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Snickers and Peanut Butter Muffins

Recipe: Nigella Lawson

Yield: 12 muffins

1 2/3 cups flour

6 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ tablespoons baking powder

1 pinch salt

6 tablespoons chunky peanut butter

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg, beaten

¾ cup milk

3 regular size Snickers bars, chopped

12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the peanut butter and mix. Add the melted butter and egg to the milk, and then stir this into the bowl. Mix in the Snickers pieces and spoon into the muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are fluffy and golden. Let them cool on a wire rack.

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.

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Peanut Butter Snickers Muffins
My first bake along with Baker Street. These are some sweet muffins.
Ingredients
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 chopped snickers bars
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.Add the peanut butter and mix. Add the melted butter and egg to the milk, and then stir this into the bowl. Mix in the Snickers pieces and spoon into the muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are fluffy and golden.Let them cool on a wire rack.

Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 muffins

It’s ice cream & cake time!

Mat first made this for me in college and it recently made a comeback at my *gasp* 30th (eek) birthday party. I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did!

30 Oreos crushed

1/2 stick of butter or margarine

carton of ice cream softened

small carton of Cool Whip

1 can of condensed milk

1 13 oz can of Hershey’s chocolate syrup

1 stick of butter or margarine

In a small sauce pan, combine the last 3 ingredients and bring to a low boil over medium heat.  Cook while stirring as the sauce thickens (I usually cook for about 10 min. after coming to a boil).  Set aside to cool completely.

Mix crushed Oreos and butter in a 9×13 pan.  Spread over bottom of pan forming a crust.  Put in freezer.

While the crust is setting up in freezer, take the ice cream out to soften.  Take the crust out when frozen and spread the ice cream over the top.  Put back in the freezer.

Take out the crust and ice cream layer after completely frozen.  Pour cooled chocolate sauce over the ice cream layer.  Put back in freezer.

Finally, take out and spread Cool Whip over the top of the chocolate layer.  Sprinkle with a few crushed Oreos.  Put back in the freezer to set up one final time.  Then it will be ready to eat.  The easiest way to cut the cake when finished is with an edge of a metal spatula

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Ice Cream Cake
I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like ice cream cake.
Ingredients
  • 30 Oreos crushed
  • 1/2 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 carton of ice cream softened
  • 1 small carton of Cool Whip
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 13 oz can of Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine
Instructions
In a small sauce pan, combine the last 3 ingredients and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Cook while stirring as the sauce thickens (I usually cook for about 10 min. after coming to a boil). Set aside to cool completely.Mix crushed Oreos and butter in a 9×13 pan. Spread over bottom of pan forming a crust. Put in freezer.While the crust is setting up in freezer, take the ice cream out to soften. Take the crust out when frozen and spread the ice cream over the top. Put back in the freezer.

Take out the crust and ice cream layer after completely frozen. Pour cooled chocolate sauce over the ice cream layer. Put back in freezer.

Finally, take out and spread Cool Whip over the top of the chocolate layer. Sprinkle with a few crushed Oreos. Put back in the freezer to set up one final time. Then it will be ready to eat. The easiest way to cut the cake when finished is with an edge of a metal spatula

Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 medium cake

Strawberry Nutella Cooler

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know my recipes are few & far between. I myself am still learning how to make an entree w/o the aid of a cook book. Yes I’ve made a few dishes I’m proud of but it’s a work in progress. However, I was inspired & it lead me to this quick drink recipe.

I’ve been making strawberry nutella lattes for a while now. I’ve been using Dunkin Donuts’ Strawberry flavor coffee, which I was very glad I heard about from How Sweet It Is. However, I wanted a little more. The other day, a coworker told me he likes Vietnamese coffee which is French coffee with condensed milk. I had a light bulb moment right away. I made the common mistake of buying condensed instead of evaporated milk & I’m glad I found a use for it!

Strawberry Nutella Cooler

1 Cup Brewed Strawberry Flavored coffee (substitute any flavored/ non flavored coffee you like)

1 cup milk

1/4 cup condensed milk

4 TBSP Nutella

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Mix for 30-45 seconds. Enjoy!

Serves 2

Thanks How Sweet It Is for the inspiration!

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Strawberry Nutella Cooler
Love strawberries & nutella? This is the coffee cooler for you!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup brewed strawberry flavored coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup condensed milk
  • 4 tbsp nutella or hazelnut spread
Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Mix for 30-45 seconds. Enjoy!
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings

Feels Like Home

Aside from my own, the biggest culture I was exposed to as a child was the Jewish culture. Many a time, I would go to my best friend’s house (We’re still friends too) and have some matzo ball soup at this time of year. It was just so comforting to me back then. I was fortunate enough to have some out here in LA but it’s been ages since I had some homemade soup. So I decided to make it myself.

After my husband & I devoured the matzo crack we made earlier in the week, there was still a lot of matzo left over. What better way to use it up than to make my own matzo meal? Just throw a few crushed crackers into a food processor & blend to a medium texture & done! Saves a trip to the store!

DISCLAIMER: I’ve never been kosher, hence I don’t know if this recipe is. So please make substitutions if necessary.

Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup (From All Recipes)

For Matzo balls:

2 eggs, beaten

2 T melted butter

1/4-1/2 C matzo meal (I made my own)

1/2 t salt

dash pepper

In a small bowl, combine the eggs and margarine. Add the matzo meal, salt, pepper & water & mix to form a dough. Set aside.

For soup:

6oz Chicken Broth

1/4 C shredded carrots

Bring chicken broth to a boil & add carrots. Lower to a simmer & make matzo balls & drop them into the broth. Cover and simmer for 30-40 mins.

And there you have it. The minute I tried it, I felt like I was back at my best friend’s house in Long Island, just eating this & chatting away.

Top 9 Tea Party Takeover

Foodbuzz and Electrolux are teaming up to host a Top 9 Tea Party Takeover on March 25th. Electrolux and Kelly Ripa are having a virtual tea party. Simply go to Kelly Confidential and pick your outfit and tea set to join the party. Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research fund. Proceeds will fund research to find a method of early detection and cure for Ovarian Cancer.

Inspired by the cause and theme, I decided to take a new spin on the tea sandwich. That’s when the prosciutto & brie tea sandwich was born. I combined two of my favorite foods to create a simple sandwich where the saltiness of the meat is balanced off with the creamy cheese. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

2 slices of bread

1 slice prosciutto

1 Tbsp brie spread

1/2 Tbsp butter

Method

Take brie & prosciutto out of fridge & bring to room temperature for 5 minutes.

Cut crusts off bread.

Spread butter on both slices of bread.

Spread brie on one slice of bread.

Top with prosciutto.

Serve whole or cut in half or in triangles.

Serves 1.

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