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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Chicken Meaballs and Gnocchi with sage, apple and parmesan

This is yet another Hello Fresh recipe...yes, I know I am obsessed!  Their recipes are all so spectacular!

1# ground chicken
8 oz. gnocchi
1 apple
1/2 onion
2 c. spinach
5 sage leaves fresh, chopped
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
butter and oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a food processor, chop finely 1/4 of the onion and half of the apple.  Put in a bowl and mix together with the ground chicken.  Slice the other half of the apple into thin slices.  Place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Bake for 5-7 minutes.  Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add gnocchi and cook about 7 minutes-until gnocchi floats.  Save a little of the pasta water ( about 1/4 c.)  In a large saucepan heat 1 T. oil and then form the chicken mixture into meatballs.  Cook meatballs in the sauce pan until well done.  Add 2 T. butter, spinach, and chopped sage.  Allow the spinach to wilt.  Mix in the gnocchi, parmesan cheese, and a little of the pasta water.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Banh Mi Street Tacos

For the Vietnamese Banh Mi Chicken
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
For the Spicy Mayo
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the Street Tacos
  • 2 packages Old El Paso Flour Tortillas (taco size)
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced thin
  • 2 bunches radishes, sliced thin
  • 4 jalapenos, sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh mint or cilantro
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Directions:


  1. For the Vietnamese Banh Mi Chicken: Pour the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Cut the chicken thighs into very small (1/4 inch) pieces. Place in a bowl along with jalapeno slices and minced garlic. Stir and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (3 hours is best!)
  2. For the Spicy Mayo: Place the rice vinegar and sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute to dissolve the sugar. Then mix in the mayo and sriracha. Add more sriracha for extra kick. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Prep all the veggies. Once the chicken has marinated, drain off the marinade. Then heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil to the skillet. Then add half the chicken to the skillet. Sear for 4-5 minutes, stirring to caramelize on all sides. Remove and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  4. To Serve: Place a scoop of chicken in Old El Paso flour tortillas. Top with shredded carrots, cucumber slices, radishes, fresh mint leaves and jalapeno slices. Drizzle with spicy mayo and serve with fresh lime wedges.
Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

Friday, January 29, 2016

chicken Orecchiette with Parmesan cream sauce

Ooh those yummy little ears of pasta..orecchiette is the perfect pasta for capturing little pools of sauce.  The sauce in this recipe is a combination of chicken both concentrate,  sour cream and cream cheese, and parmesan cheese.  Mixed with some broccoli. sauteed chicken , garlic, mushrooms and onion you have a pasta dinner so good  it tastes like one served in a restaurant.

1 chicken breast, diced
6 oz. orecchiette, cooked and drained
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
2-3 oz. sour cream
1 T. butter
1 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. broccoli, cooked until al dente
1/4 c. diced onion
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch red chili flakes
1 T. olive oil
3 mushrooms, sliced
1 T. chicken broth concentrate


Heat olive oil in large skillet.  Add chicken, garlic, red pepper,  onion, and mushrooms.  Stir in butter and allow to melt.  Stir in sour cream, chili flakes and cream cheese.  Stir in broccoli and orecchiette.



Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pan Seared Steak with Roasted Butternut Squash and Green Beans Almondine

Several of the teachers I work with have made this recipe in the past few weeks.  Tonight I decided that I would give it a try myself.   This is a delicious dinner with very little prep.  If you are looking for a little something special to make for yourself or others this is the recipe to try.


12 oz. sirloin steak
3 mushrooms, slice
1 clove garlic, diced
2 slice red onion 
4 oz. green beans
12 oz. butternut squash
2 T. parsley
1 T. vegetable stock concentrate
1 oz. sliced almonds
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
Trim the ends off the green beans.
Put the squash on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of thyme, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Add the green beans to the pan with the squash.
Bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Sprinkle the almonds over the green beans.

In a saucepan heat 1 T. olive oil.  Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper.  Add the steak to the pan and saute for 4-7 minutes on each side.  Let rest for 5 minutes on a plate.
Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then add in the garlic, mushrooms,  red onion, thyme, stock concentrate, and 1/4 c. water.  Simmer until thickened.  Mix in 1 T. butter and a pinch of parsley. 

Finish the plate:  Thinly slice the steak and place on individual plates.  Serve the squash and green beans alongside.  Drizzle with pan sauce, and garnish with any leftover parsley.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Potluck Chicken Tetrazzini

This appeared as a post on my Facebook page, and just looked to good to pass up.  If you want to see the video recipe for this go to recipe.com and watch.  It has a few steps but can be ready in an hour if you are good at multitasking.

2 c. chopped cooked chicken
8 oz. spaghetti noodles
2 T. butter
6 oz. asparagus, cut into pieces
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 c. mushrooms, sliced
3 T. flour
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
2 T. lemon zest
2 slices french bread

Cook spaghetti noodles to al dente--they will finish up in the oven.  Drain.  Melt 2 T. butter in a large saucepan.  Add in the red pepper and mushrooms.  Saute 2 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix in well.  Stir in the broth and milk.  Bring to a good simmer and continue to cook until thickened.  Stir in the parmesan cheese and allow to melt over low heat.  Mix in the chicken, noodles and lemon zest.  Pour into a sprayed 8 x 8 casserole dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper,

In a bowl mix 2 T. olive oil and 1 T. lemon zest.  Cut two pieces of french bread into cubes and toss with the olive oil mixture.  Sprinkle the cubes over the top of the casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15- 20 minutes.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lemony Chicken Paillard with Sweet Potato Wedges and Arugula Salad

Yummy yummy for your dinner tummy.  This is an excellent recipe worth the bit of work needed.   The chicken breasts are marinated in lemon, and finished with a sprinkle of chimichurri.   The sweet potato wedges are made smokey with a sprinkle of cumin.  The salad compliments the chicken with a dressing of lemon and olive oil. 


2 chicken breasts, cut into slices
2 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges.
1 c. grape tomatoes
2 c. arugula
4 T. parsley
2 cloves of garlic
1 lemon
1 t. cumin
3 T. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the potato wedges with a drizzle of olive oil, half of the cumin and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Bake for 25- 30 minutes on a baking sheet.
Zest and juice the lemon.  Mince the garlic.  Chop the parsley.

In a shallow dish combine half of the lemon juic, half of the garlic, and a large drizzle of olive oil.  Toss in the chicken.

for the chimichurri:  combine parsley, lemon zest, remaining cumin, a large drizzle of olie oil and the other half of the garlic.

Cook the chicken by sauteing in a large sauce pan with 1T. olive oil.  Cook until no longer pink.

Salad:  combine arugula, cheery tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon.

To serve:  Serve chicken with sweet potatoes and salad to side.  Drizzle chicken with the chimichurri.






Martha Stewart Peanut Butter Cookies



  • Today my sweetheart was craving peanut butter cookies.  It just so happened that this recipe had appeared this morning on my Facebook posts.  Perfect timing to try out a new variation of an old standard.  These cookies have only a few ingredients, and they are all most likely in your pantry right now.  
  • 1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 

Cream the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar.  Mix in the egg .  Add the flour and baking powder.  Roll into balls, using a tablespoon as a measure.  Dip a fork in flour and crisscross on top of each cooky.  Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Chicken Ciabatta burgers with tangy arugula salad

This is a recipe that I totally changed to fit what we had in the cupboards.  The result was healthy and delicious.


1#ground chicken (I ground 2 chicken breasts in a food processor)
2 T. sun dried tomatoes
1/4 c. red onion, sliced
1 T. olive oil
1 t. sugar
4 ciabatta rolls, toasted
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
1 T. tomato paste
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. oil
4 oz. arugula

Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Add onion and sugar and saute for 6 minutes.  Remove onion from pan.
Mix ground chicken, cooked onion and sundried tomatoes.  Form into 4 small or 3 medium sized patties.  Combine tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and oil for dressing.
 Put chicken patties into skillet and cook until no longer pink.  Sprinkle each patty with some parmesan and some mozzarella cheese.  Allow to melt.  Mix arugula with dressing.  Place patties on rolls, top with 1/4 c. arugula salad.  Serve remaining salad on the side.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cranberry Coffeecake

 This morning is another football playoff game ....which means breakfast at 10 for the game.  I saw this coffeecake on Pinterest via Alexandra's Kitchen.  I still have bags of cranberries in my freezer and since I love cranberries, and needed to use some of those frozen ones, this was my choice.
   The batter for this coffeecake was extremely thick.  I think it wouldn't hurt to add just a little bit more milk just to make the batter more manageable.  If you do not have the buttermilk called for in the recipe, a good substitution is to put a little lemon juice into regular milk.



½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
the zest from 1 orange
 1 cup
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh cranberries
½ cup buttermilk

Beat butter and sugar until well mixed and creamy.  Add in the egg, vanilla, and orange zest.  
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Mix the cranberries with 2 T. flour.  
Alternate flour mixture and milk as you add them to the batter.  Stir in the cranberries.  Spread in a buttered or sprayed 8 x 8 pan.
Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hippie Cookies

My children call me a hippie all the time...probably because I grew up in the 70's.  I also like wholesome natural foods, growing food in the garden, keeping chickens for organic eggs, etc.
When they were growing up I was the only mom who regularly made homemade cookies.  I got the nickname "Cookie MOM."  So the title of these cookies appealed to me right away.  You can find many variations of this recipe on the internet, but after careful research I picked-and updated this one.

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup ground flax seed(I used a flax/hemp/chia seed combo from Costco)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup (1 stick) organic butter – room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup 
  • 2 organic eggs
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup gr raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 ½ cups coconut (unsweetened)
  • 3 cups old fashioned organic oats
  • 1⁄4 cup applesauce
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  •  
  • Beat together the butter, sugar, honey, maple syrup and applesauce.  Beat in vanilla and then the eggs.  Beat in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.  Now beat in the coconut.
  •  Next add the oatmeal and beat til mixed well.  Stir in the raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips and nuts.
  •  
  • Place by Tablespoons on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Italian Meatloaf with Roasted Vegetables

This began as a Hello Fresh recipe, then I discovered I was missing some ingredients so I had to do a few substitutions.  The result was very good.  This could easily be served with garlic mashed potatoes and a nice salad. 

1 1/2# ground beef
1 slice white bread (I had a slice of leftover garlic french bread so I used that)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, diced
1/2 oz chopped fresh basil OR 1 T. dry basil
1 1/2 oz. sundried tomatoes OR 1/4 c. tomato paste
1/2 c. beef stock
1/2 # green beans
2 potatoes

Place the slice of bread in a bowl, then pour the beef stock over.  Allow to sit until the bread absorbs the broth.  Put the bread into a food processor and process until well blended.  In a large bowl mix the beef, bread mixture, garlic, shallot, basil and tomatoes.  Shape into 2 loaves.on 1/2 of a cooky sheet.  You will place the green beans and potatoes on the other half later in the baking time.   Place in a 375 oven for 45 minutes.  Chop potatoes into small cubes, and trim the green beans.  Toss the green bean and potatoes with olive oil and seasoned salt.  During the last 20 minutes of baking, put the vegetable mixture on the other half of the cookie sheet and allow to bake with the meatloaf.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Chicken Milanese with Roasted Vegetables and lemon chive dressing

This is another new Hello Fresh recipe..no I don't get any endorsement from them--I just enjoy their simple and healthy recipes.  I changed up the original recipe just a bit.  It will take about 45 minutes to make this entire meal.  Lemon and garlic provide the flavors that bring this dish together.


2 chicken breasts
4 small red potatoes
3 carrots
4 T. plain Greek yogurt
1 t. garlic powder
1 lemon
1/2 c. panko or regular breadcrumbs
2 c. baby spinach leaves
2 slices shallot, thinly sliced and diced
1/2 cucumber, sliced

Cut the potatoes into 1/2" wedges.  Pare and quarter lengthwise the carrots.  Place carrots and potatoes on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.
Between waxed paper sheets, place the chicken breasts to 1/2' thick.
Mix 2 T. yogurt, garlic powder, and zest from lemon in a small bowl.  Spread 1/2 of this mixture on one side of each chicken breast.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Press down.  Heat 1 T. olive oil in a large skillet.  Place chicken, bread crumb side down in pan.  Sprinkle the other side of the chicken with salt and pepper and more breadcrumbs.  Cook for 5 minutes on each side.

On plates put 1 c. spinach.  Put sliced cucumbers on top.  Mix juice from lemon, shallots, 2 T. yogurt and a drizzle of olive oil together as a dressing.  Top spinach with dressing.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Mariinated Steak Bimibap

This is another Hello Fresh recipe...and another fabulous dinner.  It comes together in less than an hour.  It is a traditional Korean dish often served with a fried egg on top.  I left off the egg when I tried it...but you do what you like!  The dish requires several steps but is well worth the effort.


1 sirloin steak
2 carrots
1 zucchini
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 of a shallot
4 mushrooms
1 T. white wine vinegar
3 T. soy sauce
fresh ginger minced
1 t. sugar
 rice
Prepare rice.
Cut shallot in very thin slices.  Put vinegar in a bowl with shallots and allow to sit.
Next mix soy sauce, ginger, sugar  and garlic.  Cut steak into very thin strips, put into the soy sauce marinade. Let sit in the marinade for 10 minutes.
Shred carrots and zucchini in strips with a spiralizer or peeler.  Cut mushrooms into slices.  In a large saucepan put 1 T. oil and heat.  Add carrots, mushrooms and zucchini.  Saute for 4 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Put another T. oil pan and hear steak until no longer pink.  Add marinade and saute several more minutes.  Put rice into a bowl, top with carrot mixture, then steak, then pickled onions.  Pour heated marinade over top.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

One Giant Cinnamon Roll

This recipe came straight off the blog, Sprinklebakes.com.  I made it this weekend for my sweetheart.  He loves cinnamon rolls.the bigger the better!

Giant Skillet Cinnamon Roll 

 


Dough
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (90-110°F)
2 eggs, room temperature
6 cups all purpose flour, sifted
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling
1/2 cup butter melted
1 cup sugar, 
1/2 cup  dark brown sugar with
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon mixed together

Glaze
4 oz. cream cheese, slightly melted4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2-4 tablespoons hot milk
2 teaspoons orange extract
Zest of one-half organic orange
  1. For the dough, heat milk, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar melts and a few small bubbles appear at the edges of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the other elements.
  2. Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in very warm water (90°F to 110°F) in the bowl of a standing mixer (or a large bowl if you don't have a stand mixer). Stir with the paddle attachment (or wooden spoon) until well blended. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Beat eggs into yeast mixture. Beat in melted butter.  Beat in cooled milk slowly. Add in flour a cup at a time until dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer. Knead for 5 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a buttered bowl and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled-about 60-90 minutes.
  5. Punch down dough and turnout onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times and cut into two pieces. Roll out each piece to 12x9-inch rectangles. 
  6. For the filling, brush the rolled dough pieces with the melted butter. Sprinkle each with half the cinnamon sugar mixture. 
  7. Cut the each dough piece into 5 even strips lengthwise. Roll one strip up as if you were making a regular cinnamon roll. 
  8. When you get to the end, use another strip and continue rolling. When the dough spiral reaches about 6-inches in diameter, 
  9.  put it in the center of a  lightly greased 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Continue spiraling dough strips around the middle.
  10. When all the dough has been used, cover and let rise about 30 minutes or until doubled.
  11.  
  12. Preheat oven to 400°. Bake for 18-25 minutes, or until golden.
  13. Whisk together glaze ingredients, adding additional milk as needed. Glaze pastry in the pan while it is still hot. Add additional orange zest if desired. Slice into pieces and serve while still warm.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

This was originally a Hello Fresh recipe...I tweaked it a bit, and here is my variation.  This recipe calls for a skillet that goes into the oven.  If you don't have one you can put the pot pie mixture into an 8 x 8 baking dish, top it with the biscuits and it will work just fine.  The pot pie has a delicious thyme gravy and homemade biscuits baked on top.

For the pot pie:
2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. sliced celery
1/2 c. diced onion
1 c. diced carrot
1 c. chopped mushrooms
1 c. thinly sliced asparagus stalks
2 c. chicken stock
1 1/2  t. thyme
4 T. flour
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet, add chicken and cook until no longer pink.  Set aside.  In an ovenproof skillet melt the butter.  Add the celery, onion, carrot, mushrooms, and asparagus.  Saute over medium heat for 8 minutes.  Add the peas and saute several minutes more.  Add the flour and stir well.  Mix in the chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 8 minutes or until the gravy is well thickened.  Stir in the chicken.   While the gravy is simmering make the biscuit dough.

Biscuit dough
1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. cream
Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda.  Stir in milk just until it begin to form together.
Put a little more flour on a piece of waxed or plastic paper.  Put the dough on the paper and knead quickly into a ball.  Flatten into a 3/4" thick disk.  Wrap and put in the freezer.

When the gravy is ready take the dough out of the freezer.  Cut into 4 pieces.  Place the pieces on top of the gravy mixture.  Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.

If you don't have an oven proof skillet pour the gravy mixture into an 8 x 8 baking dish, top with the biscuits and cook as above.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Chicken Bacon Asparagus Skillet

Okay that is not all the ingredients in this little skillet dinner.  Throw in some mushrooms, onion, parsley, thyme, and a little lemon juice and parmesan cheese and you have a quick dinner everyone will love.  This recipe makes 2 generous servings. 



1 chicken breast-cut into thin strips about 2-3" long
1/4 onion, sliced
1/2# asparagus, cut into 2-3" pieces
1/2# mushrooms, sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1 slice bacon, cut into strips
zest from one lemon
1 T.  parsley
1/2 t. thyme

Cook bacon in a large skillet.  Add chicken, and cook about 5 minutes.  Add onion, mushrooms, and asparagus.  Continue to saute until chicken is no longer pink and asparagus in fork tender.  Add thyme and parley.  Add lemon juice and zest. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

Here is a little yummy without the bread...whether you are trying to cut calories, carbs, or gluten this seems to be the time of year to do it.  Or maybe you just want to try a new tasty recipe.  Whatever your motivation, this is a simple little treat that can be a lunch, dinner, or football game time treat.  This recipe makes 4 servings.

8 slices of cooked roast beef, sliced into strips
4 slices of provolone cheese
2 green peppers
1/2 small onion, sliced
2 T. olive oil
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 garlic clove minced

Slice each green pepper in 1/2 lengthwise, remove seeds and white ribs.  Place a slice of provolone inside each pepper half.   I found it was easier to break the cheese into large pieces to fit it in.

 In a saucepan heat the olive oil and add in the onion and mushrooms.  Cook over medium low heat for 20 minutes.  Add garlic and roast beef.  Cook and additional 10 minutes.

 Pile this mixture into the green pepper halves.  Top each half with an additional slice of cheese.  Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Friday, January 1, 2016

King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Soft Pretzels

This recipe is straight out of the King Arthur Flour website.  King Arthur makes a great gluten free flour that you can order off their website..or some grocery stores do carry it.  Having the flour mixture saves buying a lot of different flours and mixing your own.  We are still dabbling in the gluten free recipe world and trying to find recipes that work for us.

Water bath

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Mix the flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt, xanthan gum and baking powder together in a large bowl.  Mix together the water, egg and soft butter in another bowl.  Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture and beat for 4 minutes.  Knead 4 minutes.  Put into  a buttered bowl and allow to raise for 45-90 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Punch down dough, form into 12 pieces.  Roll each piece into a long rope about 12" long.  Shape into a pretzel by crossing over the two ends and then tucking the ends under the pretzel shape.


Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the baking soda and sugar.  When the foam subsides, add one pretzel at a time into the water bath for 5 seconds.  Remove and place on a parchment lined or greased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with coarse salt.  Bake at 425 for 20 minutes for soft pretzels, 25 minutes for chewier pretzels, and 30 minutes for hard pretzels.


New Years Minestrone Soup with Black eyed peas and spinach

It is said to be good luck on New Years Day so here is a good hearty soup to not only nourish your body but bring you perhaps some luck for the New Year.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots,  sliced
  • 1 celery stick,  sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 5 cups no/low-sodium vegetable broth
  •  1- 28 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1- 15 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 15 oz can black eyed peas
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free macaroni noodles
  • fresh parsley and parmesan cheese
Heat a large pot over medium with the oil. Once hot, add in the onion, celery and carrots and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Add in the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds then stir in the basil and oregano.
Slowly pour in the broth and tomatoes. Stir in about 1/2  teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes. .

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Puff Pastry Cheesecake Squares

Puff pastry can be bought in the freezer department of most grocery stores,  All you need to do is place them on a baking sheet at 400 for 15 minutes.  Once they come out, press down the centers and you are ready to fill them.  For this recipe I filled them with a light cheesecake type filling and topped with a little fruit.  Easy and delicious!


2 packages puff pastry squares, baked
1 c. whipping cream
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Beat the whipping cream on high until soft peaks form.  Slowly add powdered sugar then vanilla.  Beat on high again.  Add cream cheese by Tablespoons, continuing beating until well mixed.  Refrigerate for one hour.  Spoon cheesecake filling into shells and top with fresh fruit.