Smoked paprika, Orzo, Chicken stew

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There is nothing better on a gloomy day than a hot bowl of stew and on days when I can’t breathe out of my nose and my sinuses feel like they might explode, I need a stew with a bit of a kick. I have been obsessing over smoked paprika lately so I  put together this yummy southwestern stew  featuring the bright red spice.

For this recipe I used a pound of leftover shredded  ( unseasoned) chicken from taco night so if you don’t have cooked chicken on hand use chicken breast cut into tiny pieces and cook it up in a skillet with a bit of oil until just done.

What you need

  • 1 pound of chicken, cooked
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 of a white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 32 oz can of tomato sauce (plain, no spices)
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp each of smoked paprika, new mexico chili powder, cumin, black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • salt to taste

How to make it

  • Saute garlic & onion with a few tablespoons of olive oil until translucent
  • add chicken & spices and cook for a few minutes until chicken is well coated in spices
  • add tomato sauce, broth and orzo
  • cook on medium heat for 20 minutes or until orzo is done
  • add salt to taste
  • serve with a dollop of sour cream  and a warm tortilla
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Chocolate zucchini cupcakes & chocolate bacon frosting

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday we got a taste of spring sunshine and I was really in the mood for a picnic. Sadly it was still too cold to actually sit outside so my daughters and I had an indoor tea party with all of their little Russian dolls and these yummy chocolate zucchini cupcakes.

The best part of zucchini cupcakes  ( besides being delicious) is of course getting a little extra veggies in the kiddos diet without a fuss. Luckily my kids love veggies but even they can be stubborn about eating sometimes.  These are lightly sweet and oh so yummy and the frosting has a hint of salty bacon in it making them a little extra special.

What you need

Cupcakes

  • 1 medium-large zucchini
  • 1/2 c coconut oil
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt

Frosting

 

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of bacon grease ( you can use chopped cooked bacon for ‘sprinkles’!)
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • A few drops of water as needed

 

How to make it

Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • in one bowl mix flour, cocoa powder,  baking powder & soda and salt together and set aside
  • Grate zucchini finely
  • in a bowl mix zucchini, eggs and honey
  • Melt coconut oil
  • Add coconut oil to dry ingredients and mix well
  • add zucchini mixture to flour mixture and mix well
  • add batter to a greased muffin tin
  • reduce oven to 300 and bake for 15 minutes or until done

Frosting

 

  • In a kitchen aid or in a bowl with a mixer whisk together cocoa powder and corn starch until fully blended
  • add coconut oil and honey slowly and whisk in
  • whisk in bacon grease
  • add a few drops of water if needed until consistency is like frosting
  • Place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes
  • (coconut oil may clump together once cooled, just whisk again to blend or not if you don’t care )

 

 

 

Mulberries 4 Ways

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The other day my friend invited me over to pick some mulberries and cherries. It was so much fun climbing trees and ladders and picking a ton of fruit and staining our hands but when I got home I realized I had no idea what to  with all these mulberries. I Googled and asked around but the only suggestion I got was jam or cobbler. Don’t get me wrong, I love jam and cobbler but I wanted something a bit different.

Mulberries have a very light flavor, kind of like honey water, so they can be used in many different sweet and savory  recipes without overpowering it. They do  stain everything ( they would make a great dye!)  so wear gloves and an apron if you don’t want to be dyed purple, I stained 2 shirts during this kitchen adventure.

I am definitely a new fan of  mulberries and wish I would have found out sooner since I picked the last of this seasons berries. Next year I will be stocking up and freezing then to test out more recipes.

Mulberry BBQ Sauce

What you need

  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 8 ounce can of organic tomato paste
  • 1/4 c pureed mulberries
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • pinch of ceyanne pepper

How to make it

  • Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for half hour or until it is reduced by half
  • Be sure to stir occasionally to keep sauce from burning or clumping
  • Can be stored in the fridge for up to a month!

Mulberry & Dijon Aioli

What you need

  • 2 egg yolks ( room temp)
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp horseradish Dijon mustard, or regular Dijon mustard
  • 1 C oil of choice, I used HALF pure olive oil and HALF safflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons of mulberry puree
  • pinch of salt

How to make it

  • Add egg yolks, 1 tbsp of the  mustard, lemon juice and salt to a food processor and puree
  • Turn on medium and very slowly add oil
  • Aioli should thicken up and become a creamy spread
  • Mix in mulberries and other tbsp of mustard
  • Keep in fridge until you use it

Mulberry Sorbet (serves 2) 

What you need

  • 2 cups of FROZEN mulberries
  • 1/2 cup of lavender syrup  or simple syrup

How to make it

  • To make simple syrup put 2 cups of water per 1 cup of sugar in a sauce pan and cook until dissolved
  • To make lavender syrup add lavender to the simple syrup in the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes and strain
  • cool syrup before making sorbet
  • puree mulberries with syrup and serve

Mulberry Oatmeal ( serves 3)

What you need

  • 3 cups of quick oats
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 C milk
  • 1/2 c mulberry puree
  • 4 tbsp sugar

How to make it

  • Cook oats  with milk , sugar and butter
  • swirl in mulberries
  • yum!

Pulled pork sammie & granny smith slaw

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Summer time is all about  messy foods and not caring about whether or not you are slathered in it because you are just going to jump through the sprinkler or cannonball  in the pool anyway.  One of my favorite messy summer foods is BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, the kind you kind of wish you wore an apron while eating,  finger licking good!

While shopping at Winco the other day I saw they had pork roast on sale  and when I picked it up my husband and I both gave each other a knowing look, BBQ pork time! While the pork slow cooked in the crock pot ( saving us from the horrible heat of the oven)  the kiddos and I walked over to our favorite bakery for some buns.  Topper bakery is about to celebrate 75 years here in our town and their buns are the best I have ever had, light and fluffy but it never falls apart. I don’t even try to make my own buns, I know they wont even compare.

Once the pork cooked I whipped up some home-made BBQ sauce ( next time I am adding blackberries!)  and slaw and we dove into our sammies face first. It was a delicious sticky mess and I ate so much I thought I might burst and by some miracle there was actually enough leftovers for my husband to pack for lunch the next day.

Although there are a lot of ingredients for these sammies I assure you it is all easy peasy and comes together quite quickly  so you wont have to wait forever to stuff your faces full of yum!

 

What you need

Pork

  • Pork roast, I used a 3 pounder
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp salt

BBQ sauce

  • 1 8oz can of  organic tomato paste
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar  ( I used braggs)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 onion finely copped
  • 2 tsp salt

Slaw

  • 1/2 of a cabbage
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 tbsp aioli or all natural mayo
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard ( I used horseradish mustard for a kick!)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

How to make it

Pork

  • Place pork in a crock pot with chicken broth, oil and salt and cook overnight, at least 8 hours
  • during the last hour of cooking  drain liquids, saving 1/4 cup
  • add BBQ sauce and 1/4 c of liquids  and let the sauce cook into the meat

BBQ sauce

  • Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for half hour
  • strain or puree to make smooth

Slaw

  • Chop cabbage and apples and shred carrots
  • mix in aioli or mayo,  mustard and sugar
  • refrigerate 1 hour before adding to sammies

Healthy magic milk!

BeFunky_GEDC1540.jpgLike most kids my daughter is a chocolate milk  addict.  Whenever she sees it in the store she will beg and plead and bargain for a taste so when we get home I will usually give in and make her a tall glass of  creamy goodness. What she doesn’t know is that all these years if me “giving in” and making her favorite treat have been a lie, I have been making her molasses milk all along.

Molasses milk is one of my favorite treats and it has some great benefits too.  Just 1 tablespoon contains 20% of the daily recommended daily intake for calcium, 22.5% of the daily recommended daily intake for magnesium and almost 40% of the recommended daily intake for iron. Molasses is also an energy booster and some claim it can even help clear up your skin.

For this simple treat I pour milk into mason jars with 2 tablespoons of molasses and let the kiddo go to town shaking the jar up in a ritual we like to call ‘the shake it don’t break it’ shuffle. You  can use any kind of milk, vanilla almond milk is one of my favorites but lately we have been using raw milk from a local farm.

What you need

  • Mason jars (if you want to do the ‘shake it don’t break it’ shuffle) or just cups
  • Straws (its best to use straws when drinking sweet treats so the sugars bypass your kiddos teeth!)
  • 2 tbso molasses per jar
  • milk- I used raw milk from a local farm, raw milk is best so if you can I insist you use it

How to make it

  • Put your raw milk in the jars
  • add molasses
  • Shake it don’t break it!

Easy all natural oven beef jerky

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I love beef jerky, it’s an expensive and delicious addiction. I hate to eat store-bought that is loaded with preservatives and fillers and what the heck are all these chemicals I can’t pronounce?!

I thought I would have to keep paying top dollar for organic all natural jerky ( still has sugar! Why???)  at the natural food stores since I don’t have a dehydrator until one day someone told me about how they made fruit leather in the oven. Of course! Why did I not think of that before?

Making jerky in the oven is not only easy but it doesn’t take a long time so you can get down to business, the business of eating jerky all day. Coming up with new and exciting flavors is my favorite part- curry, sweet and spicy, achiote and orange, lemon pepper…so many flavors to try!

This recipe is my basic  jerky you have probably tasted before, its your regular old-fashioned steak rub (from scratch, duh!)  beef jerky and mouth-watering good! In just 3-4 hours ( or less even!) you will have the best jerky you have ever tasted, I promise!

What you need

  • Skewers (optional, I ran out halfway through and it was still amazing)
  • foil
  • 3 pounds Flap or skirt  cut steak, I like mine a bit thicker, as your butcher what they prefer and you’ll get the best
  • 2 tbsp  each coriander, black peppercorn, sea salt, red pepper flakes  in a spice grinder or if you are impatient like me in a zip lock back that you pound away on with a hammer.
  • 1/4 c braggs or natural soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped as fine as your can get it
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

How to make it

  • put your beef in a big bowl
  • grind (or hammer) your spices and add to bowl with soy sauce, oil and garlic
  • massage spices into meat, grab each piece individually and rub it in
  • cover with plastic and let it marinate for at least 3 hours if not overnight
  • take the bottom rack out of your oven and cover in foil, place in the very bottom rack
  • move other rack to the very top of the oven
  • Take your skewers and pierce the top of the meat and balance it on the rack so the meat is hanging. If you don’t have skewers just hang it over the rack
  • turn your oven to the lowest temperature you have. for me its 175-200 ( my oven runs high)
  • crack open your oven with something so its open about an inch, this will let all the moisture escape
  • let cook until the meat is tough and fat and oil no longer drips off, it takes my oven around 2.5-3 hours. Sample it to see if it’s the right texture for you. I like mine to be still a bit moist and not too tough.
  • store in ziplock bags or mason jars in the fridge ( if you don’t eat it all at once!)

Purple potatoes & beets with garlic yogurt sauce

purple potato and beet chips

I went to the grocery store for  eggs and when we arrived we found out it was customer appreciation day and prizes were being passed out around the store. Once my husband and daughter heard the word ‘prize’ they ditched me in the produce aisle and went off  to try to win something.

Leaving me unattended in a grocery store is a dangerous thing, some women love shoes and some love purses but I love groceries. What should have been a $10 MAX trip to the grocery store ended up making me $50 poorer but I did have really pretty beets and purple potatoes and toum from a local company and yummy yogurt and of course a bunch of random things.

Yesterday we went on a long hike and spent sometime at the climbing gym so I wasn’t in the mood to cook anything fancy but I knew I had to try the toum I bought. This is a super quick but oh so yummy recipe and can be made several ways. Try it with thin slices or thick slices, with cheese or without but you simply MUST try the sauce.

Enjoy!

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Makes 2 servings

What you need 

  • 1 large beet
  • 2 purple potatoes
  • 2 tbsp corn or tapioca starch
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • parsley

For sauce

  • 1/4 c yogurt ( I used Nancy’s whole milk yogurt)
  • 4 tbsp toum ( I used Laziz toum but you can make it using this recipe)
  • 1tbsp water

How to make it

  • slice beets and potatoes super thin, I used a vintage kitchen magician but any mandolin should work
  • soak potatoes in a bowl of cool water for at least half hour
  • drain and lay potatoes and beets on paper towels or kitchen towels to dry
  • put into a bowl and toss with corn starch and  drizzle with olive oil
  • lay onto a baking sheet (it’s ok if some overlap) and sprinkle with sea salt
  • bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until edges are crisp
  • in a bowl mix yogurt, toum and water
  • drizzle over potatoes and beets and sprinkle  with parsley

Salmon & amaranth cakes

BeFunky_GEDC0641.jpgToday was an absolute beautiful day!  The sun was shining and we  rolled in the grass and went on long walks, we ate cold things and got tans and for the first time it felt like summer. Yes, I know summer isn’t here yet and knowing Utah weather any day it could randomly snow at any time but for now I want to pretend we will have endless days of heat and sun and best of all picnics outside.

I have been saving up my cans of salmon for a nice day like this to make salmon patties over salad and picnic on the front porch. Of course today happened to be a limbo day when we are almost out of groceries but it isn’t grocery day yet so I had to get creative with my recipe. Usually I use bread crumbs, eggs and seasonings like any other sea food patty but I was out of eggs…and bread crumbs.

Luckily I was feeling pretty crafty and the recipe came out better than my original one and adding amaranth made it extra crisp and perfect. Try it out and see for yourself!

What you need

  • 1 cup amaranth
  • 3 c water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cans salmon
  • 12 butter style crackers crushed into crumbs, I used THESE
  • 2 tbsp flax soaked in 2 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • Organic salad mix of your choice, I used baby greens
  • for dressing: 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp honey 4 tbsp water

How to make it

  • Cook amaranth with 3 c water and butter on med heat until amaranth is done and all the water is cooked out.
  • in a bowl mix salmon Dijon mustard, flax, crackers, salt and amaranth. mixture should be thick and able to be pressed into patties , if not add more crackers.
  • Grab a little bigger than  golf ball size and  press it into a round patty
  • In a pan heat up oil of choice ( I used grape seed oil)
  • cook until brown and crispy (amaranth will pop, don’t worry this is what makes it awesome), I cooked it for almost 15 minutes on each side because I like mine crisp.
  • Serve over salad greens and drizzle with the honey Dijon mixture.

Whole wheat parmesan & rosemary dinner rolls

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These rolls are pretty easy  to make and are super light and fluffy. These would make great bread for breakfast sandwiches or mini tea sandwiches or just slathered in butter mmmm butter

This past week or so has been a mess. I have been wanting to cook so badly but I got food poisoning and then my daughter got the stomach flu…twice. We were living off chicken broth and oats and now that everyone is better I never want to see another bowl of oatmeal ever again!

Today I woke up excited to get back in the kitchen so I chugged my coffee and made big breakfast,  some baked goods and  then a salmon dinner with these yummy rolls. I almost started making dessert but I was missing  a key ingredient and by the time I came up with an alternative it was midnight and everyone was heading to bed, party poopers.

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What you need

  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 c melted butter + 1 tbsp to brush on top
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh or dried rosemary
  • 1/2 c shredded parmesan

How to make it

  • in a bowl whist together yeast and milk
  • whisk in  1/2 c flour  and butter and let sit for 10 minutes
  • when cool  add 3 eggs and whisk
  • slowly add the rest of flour until dough stops sticking to the bowl
  • gently mix in add parmesan,rosemary , and salt
  • dough will be soft but wont stick to your hands when you pick it up
  • put in a greased bowl and cover for 1 hour to rise and double in size
  • for rolls, roll  balls of dough a bit bigger than a golf ball for more biscuit type bread roll out and use a cookie cutter to cut circles
  • put on baking pan and let ride again until doubled
  • brush with butter
  • cook at 350 for 15 minutes or until golden on top

Curry, ginger & coconut carrot soup

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My sister recently went to Bahrain to visit her husband who is stationed there and as soon as I heard where she was heading I begged her to bring me back some spices. When my package arrived I knew right away that there was curry inside,it was so strong I could spell it before I opened the box!

It snowed today (really spring??!) and my daughter was sick and wanted soup. This coconut, ginger & curry carrot soup is the perfect gloomy day meal and it warms you up with a little bit of spice.  The best part is that it is super easy and quick to make, just throw it all together, cook, purree! I topped mine with some Greek yogurt, try it!

Want to know a little trick when buying your coconut milk? Shake the can! Good coconut milk with a lot of the cream and  goodness will be heavy and not make any noise when you shake the can and coconut milk that is mostly coconut water will slosh around.

I also made some roasted honey & curry chick peas to snack on, another quick and easy treat- yum!

*makes 6 servings, yay for leftovers!

What you need

  • 8 carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 yellow onion
  • fresh ginger,  a chunk the size of your thumb
  • 3/4 c red lentils
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2 c water
  • 4 tbsp curry
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil

How to make it

  • in a pot put coconut oil, onions and garlic- cook for a couple of minutes
  • add lentils, carrots, and spices and cook until onions are translucent
  • add coconut milk and water and boil until lentils are done and carrots are tender
  • put in a blender and puree with honey adding a bit of water or salt as needed
  • enjoy!

** to make the chickpeas just dry canned chick peas with a paper towel, toss with curry and honey and  cook at 240 for about 45 minutes or until they are crisp!