Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cranberry Chutney

Still have some cranberries? This is the other holiday recipe I look forward to all year long.

I crave the surprising blend of sweet and tart! It's a delicious addition to meat and fish, but my favorite way to eat is on a cracker with a bit of cream cheese. Get creative!

Cranberry Chutney

In a saucepan, simmer for 5 minutes:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
Then add:
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries
Simmer for another 15 minutes, or till thickened. I mash the cranberries a bit with a fork as they soften. Allow to cool.

This chutney will keep for up to six months in the fridge.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cranberry Cake with Caramel Sauce

This is one recipe in particular that has been a long-time family favorite, and something that I greatly anticipate making every Holiday season. It just wouldn't seem like Christmas without it.

It is made with fresh cranberries, their natural tartness a perfect contrast to the sweet caramel sauce. Even those who do not care for cranberries reach for a second piece of this dessert!

Cranberry Cake
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sugar (I only use 1/2 cup and prefer dehydrated cane juice crystals)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped
Cream the butter and sugar. Stir in water, milk, flour, salt and soda. Mix well. Fold in the cranberries.

Pour into greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 until golden brown. Serve with warm sauce.

Caramel Sauce
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Place all ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan on low heat. Bring to boil and stir constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve hot over cake.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Herb Bread

My family loves bread and baked goods. I often find myself throwing together muffins or baking soda biscuits at the last minute to complement our dinner meal.

Last evening, I tried something new. It's a yeast bread, but by condensing to only one rise time it can be brought to the table in almost the amount of time as any 'quick bread' recipe.

It was a hit with everyone! It was soft and filling, the subtle herbs giving enough flavor that only butter was needed to top each slice. I love that you can tweak the herbs to include whatever you would like to fit your own tastes. This time, I happened to have fresh parsley and dried thyme on hand, so that's what I used.

I think that those little dried tomato pieces I've seen would be absolutely lovely as well. Or a bit of garlic and sage. The possibilities are endless!

I didn't have any soft butter and was too impatient to wait, so I used 2 Tablespoons natural shortening. It's non-hydrogenated, which is important to me. I still limit my usage of it, though.

The kind of flour you use in baking affects the nutrition the most. I prefer to use freshly milled soft white wheat. When I don't want to take the time to grind wheat berries (or the children are sleeping and I don't want to wake them with the loud mill) I use unbleached whole grain white flour.

Herb Bread
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons or more fresh or dried herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc)
Mix together 2 cups of the flour, yeast and sugar. Stir in the salt, water, butter and herbs. Knead for several minutes. (I used an electric mixer) Add in the remaining cup of flour and knead by hand until smooth.

Place in a greased and warmed large bread pan. (I like to warm my bread pans for a minute in the oven, which helps the dough rise quickly even on chilly days.) Cover with a towel and let rise until double.

Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. It should be well browned on top.

Now here's the hardest part... Let loaf cool on wire rack several minutes before slicing and eating!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Potato Leek Soup

Up until a few months ago, I had never used leeks in my cooking recipes. Once I took the plunge, I have fallen in love with their subtle flavor.

Leeks look like over sized scallions, and in fact are in the same family to onions. They have a similar taste to onions, but are more delicate and don't overpower the other flavors in your recipe. Their nutritive value and support to healthy ovaries as well as cholesterol and blood sugar levels are just added bonuses.

Only the white and light green parts are used.

I love how they perfectly compliment the potatoes in this recipe to create a hearty but very simple meal.

Potato Leek Soup
  • 3 leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 6-12 potatoes, diced (peel optional)
  • spices and seasonings to taste

Saute chopped leeks in butter, in a large pot. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes , or until leeks are tender. Do not brown!

Add broth and potatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or more, until potatoes are tender.

Using a potato masher, mash soup until creamy. Add salt, pepper, herbs and other seasonings to taste.

This leftover soup, if you are fortunate enough to have any, will taste even better the following day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Garlic and Chili Green Beans-Not Green Bean Casserole Part 2

Yesterday I ranted about the awfulness of green bean casserole and gave you a simple alternative. As promised, today I'll tell you what I'm doing with my green beans this Thanksgiving. This recipe was inspired by some really amazing green beans I had once in Vancouver at a Chinese restaurant that looked like this photo here. It's tasty, and simple.


1.5 lbs green beans, frozen or raw.

10 or more cloves garlic, minced.

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (you can use regular oil if you don't have toasted sesame oil. It just provides another layer of flavor.)

1-2 tsp Sambal Oleak (chili paste)  or 1 tsp dried chilies

1/4 cup broth chicken/turkey/vegetable or 1/4 cup water and a bouillon cube.

2 tbsp soy sauce


You will need a large frying pan or wok, the bigger the better if you are making a lot of beans so they cook evenly. Heat the oil and garlic together in the bottom of the pan over medium heat. Both are very easy to burn so watch the temp. Stir frequently.

Once the garlic begins to caramelize and cook through add the chili paste. Saute a few minutes longer and add in the green beans.

You want to get the beans all coated in the oil and garlic so stir it around really well for a minute. Next add the broth. If your pan is hot enough this should steam up a bit and cook the beans while it loosens all the good stuff stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the soy sauce as well, to taste. Remember, it's salty so don't over do it. Cover and cook, stirring frequently so all the beans cook at the same time. As soon as they are cooked through remove from heat and serve. They should be bright green, not gray.

This is really simple to make, and tastes amazing. Add strips of dried tofu, carrots, or bean sprouts and serve with brown rice for a really interesting main dish. My whole family loves this.


The photo was taken by P.M.M. and is used under the terms of a Creative Content License.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not Green Bean Casserole-Part 1

Does anyone actually enjoy that sickly greenish grey concoction that takes up space on many tables in America on Thanksgiving day? I grew up in Canada, so I'm not used to it I'll admit. But why is it there if if doesn't taste good?

Don't get me wrong, I love green beans. They're one of my favorite foods.

The monstrosity known as green bean casserole however bears no resemblance to the vegetable I love. And I intend to rescue it from such shameful treatment and bring it back into the realm of tasty. Ready?

To begin with, nix the canned beans. Look, I understand that long ago, before refrigeration, people need to preserve their summer vegetables to keep them from going to waste, and to have something green to eat in the winter. And though they have less nutrients after the canning process, canned green beans are still better than no vegetables at all and scurvy. But it's the 21st century now. We have a choice. You can purchase them fresh and raw in November, or frozen at peak freshness. Either of these taste much better than the store bought canned version. (I say store bought because I've known some amazing canners in my lifetime and their canned green beans were tasty, crisp, flavorful, and usually also pickled and spicy. MMMM.)

So to rescue this traditional vegetable from mushy, nasty flavor hell we first need to start with fresh or frozen. Already the flavor will be improved 100%. Frozen is actually cheaper than canned these days. I can buy 1.5 lbs of frozen french green beans at Trader Joe's this month for $2. In fact, I just did. It would take at least 8-10 cans at $0.60 each to give me the same number of green beans.

Next, stop with the cans of onion soup! Please! Just back away from the green beans, put your can opener down. I will show you how to serve these.


Steam them, in a steamer, or pot, but only for a few minutes. Do this less than 10 minutes before you serve dinner. AS SOON as they turn a lovely shade of very bright green remove them from the heat. "I will never ever again eat gray green beans." Say it with me.

As soon as you take them from the heat add a generous amount of real butter to them, as well as sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Cover and keep warm. Serve as soon as you can. (Don't yell at me about the butter. You were going to put canned cream of onion soup on it. Besides, it's Thanksgiving. Also, secret, you can cut a bit of butter and add more salt, which brings out the flavor of the butter and no one will ever know. Since it's sea salt it's not quite as bad for you.)

If you really love those crunchy fried onion things that usually top the casserole, go ahead and sprinkle them on top of the beans just before serving. Personally, I would go with slivered almonds or peanuts to add crunch.

I PROMISE. If all you do is this you will have people saying over and over, "These green beans are really good. Wow, what did you do with them?"

They just taste good if you treat them right.

Now, since this is my go to method of serving green beans, I like to jazz it up a bit for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow I will tell you what I'm going to do with my green beans next week. Here it is.
Garlic and Chili Green Beans

photo by ccharmon Used under the terms of a Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just One

I've been thinking for a long time about what it is that makes it hard for a person to lose weight.

Most of us know what we have to do. Eat less, exercise more, cut out foods that have more calories than nutrients, and we'll be able to lose and maintain a healthy weight. So why is it so hard for so many?

I think one of the main reasons is forgetfulness. We continue to think that an extra unnecessary little indulgence that we allow ourselves is the only one. (An extra cookie a day can lead to a 3-6 pound weight gain over the course of a year if we don't change something else.)

We have a cookie after lunch. Just one, as part of a balanced diet that's not bad. But mid afternoon we've forgotten all about the cookie as we eat, just one, handful of chips or popcorn. After dinner we have just one glass of wine or beer, with just one or two snacks, maybe a second helping of potatoes that we didn't really need.

All of these just one indulgences that we allow ourselves in the course of a day can add up to several hundred/thousand extra calories that our bodies don't really need. Just one store bought muffin with coffee is 400 calories. It would take an hour of flat out running to burn that much off.

The reason we don't take steps to change as well is because of this just one problem. Just one more day. I'll start eating right tomorrow.

Why do we think that the road to eating well is a long hard one that we must put off, all the while eating just one more candy after dinner?

We are bad at math, and bad at remembering.

I think I've figured out how to turn this just one mentality to an advantage. I got the idea from Alcoholics Anonymous. I've never been to an AA meeting so really I got the idea from the idea I have of AA from the way it's portrayed on TV.

Addicts have to take it one day at a time. If they look at the years and years stretching in front of them and try to face it without another drink it's overwhelming.

Well, we are essentially food addicts, creatures of habit, eating without thought usually. Let's use the same concept for ourselves shall we?

For just one day I will eat only what I need.
For just one day I will stop eating as soon as I'm not hungry.
For just one day I will taste my food and be thankful for every bite, noticing the flavor, smell and texture.
For just one day I will not snack after dinner, or lunch.
For just one day I will be thankful for the body I have, that works as well as it does, and will honor the gift by taking care of it.
For just one day I will move and stretch and enjoy being in my body.
For just one day I will feed my hungry senses with things that aren't food; fresh air, flowers, aromatic lotions, scented candles, etc.

I can do all this for just one day.

You can too.

The pretty cookies above were photographed by Sifu Renka. The photo is used under the terms of a Creative Commons License.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Mexican Bean Soup-(Not-Tortilla Soup)

You know how sometimes those days happen? It's dinner time and you have no idea what to even start cooking. Maybe you had a plan, but forgot to defrost something. Or maybe you just looked at the clock and realized that people are hungry and it was your job to make something, but you completely forgot about it until now.

I had one of those nights recently. Desperation is the mother of invention, especially in the kitchen.

What I had; a family size can of re-fried beans, (I buy it on sale and break it out for bean and cheese burritos on occasion.) tomato sauce, condensed chicken broth packets, cheese, green onions, frozen corn. What I didn't have were tortillas, otherwise I would have made some burritos for dinner.

So it all became soup instead. Though I wasn't sure about it at first. I mixed the can of beans together in the pot, added the tomato sauce, water, a packet of chicken broth, and spices; ground cumin, a dash of chili sauce, cayenne, oregano, etc.

The beans were already seasoned so I didn't have to add much.

Once it was boiling and smooth I added the frozen corn, turned off the heat and served it with shredded cheese and sliced green onions.

Technically it's tortilla soup, and you can fry up strips of tortilla to put on top like croutons, but I didn't have tortillas, remember? So it was not-tortilla soup. My kids didn't know the difference and were actually delighted to get leftovers for lunch the next day.

The best part about this soup is that it adapts very well to whatever you have. You don't need a can of beans. Some leftover frijoles, black beans (leftovers from Volcanoes perhaps), chicken broth, etc can all be thrown together to make this soup. Or you could plan ahead and cook some pinto beans from dry. If you do, I recommend adding onions, garlic and salt to them as they cook.

The key ingredients are beans, tomato, broth, cumin, and cayenne.

You can add vegetables, such as celery or carrots, substitute cilantro for green onions. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the top. It's really all up to you isn't it? Because, after all, you're the cook.

PS. I'm making this for a potluck this weekend. Instead of putting in corn I plan to use hominy, which is like big corn kernels that are starchy instead of sweet. That should make it more hearty. But I'll need to add in the sweet another way, probably with a can of tomato paste.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Fall Flower-Apples and Cream Cheese

For a very tasty and fun seasonal snack try this.

Cut one of those yummy red fall apples into slices.

Arrange them around a plate so they look like a flower.

In the center put a spoonful of whipped cream cheese, pumpkin flavored.

Add a dash of cinnamon and eat by dipping the apple slices in the cream cheese.

If your kids don't love it, great! That means more for you.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

A delightful way to use up zucchini

We only planted two zucchini plants this summer, but we still had far more than we needed. This cookie recipe has been a big hit in our home. When made with whole grain flour and dehydrated cane juice crystals, its a fairly healthy snack. I wanted to try making it with honey or at least half the amount of sugar, but that experiment will have to wait.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • chocolate chips
Mix butter and sugar till fluffy. Beat in eggs. Mix in dry ingredients, then zucchini, and finally the chocolate chips. (I used about a cup of chips)

Place on greased cookie sheet, and bake about 10 to 12 minutes at 350.

They are a cake-like cookie, perfect for a filling afternoon snack!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Bites of summer

For those of us in the Midwest, summer has faded into autumn. My basil is still green and beautiful despite the cooler temperatures, and the piles of tomatoes gathered from the gardens still beckon to be savored.

This calls for just 3 simple ingredients:
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Tomato
  • Basil leaves
For added flavor, you may want olive or balsamic oil and a touch of sea salt and pepper.

The smaller, gourmet mozzarella balls are preferred. I also like to use grape or cherry tomatoes.

Layer the ingredients however you prefer. I like to make them into bite size portions, place them on a large platter, then drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.

A simple and absolutely scrumptious burst of pure summer in your mouth!

When cooler temperatures hit, you can adapt a cozier version of this recipe by placing tomato and mozzarella on a slice of french bread, toasting briefly in the oven, then adding a fresh basil leaf before serving.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Favorite Recipe Links

I have a lot of favorite recipes that I didn't write that are staples in my kitchen. I thought I'd start a link page here so you can find them too.

Hot Dog or Burger Buns I have not purchased store made hot dog buns since I found this recipe. It is so fast and easy, and tasty, not to mention inexpensive that I can't go back. To make it even less expensive put 1/3 powdered milk in the dry ingredients and change the water amount to 1 1/2 cups in place of the milk. Also, one tbsp of yeast is the same as one package, and the kind of yeast doesn't matter, my regular yeast works just fine.

Spent Grain Bread Since my husband has taken up home brewing as a hobby I've been wondering what to do with the spent grains. Could they be used? Then I came upon Leila's post and tried it. The bread is nice and moist, a little bit dense, and the spent grains give it a pleasant sour flavor, not unlike beer. I love it best in tuna sandwiches or with soup.

No Knead Bread This may be the best bread ever. Though it could be a little more sour in my opinion to make it perfect. The only thing it requires is time. It is simplicity itself. Always use cornmeal to coat it. It gives the bread a delightful crisp crust. The inside is moist and bubbly, and wonderful. Don't expect the bread to rise too much, it doesn't need to. Also, don't worry if it seems too sticky. It's not.

I will continue to add to this list as I find or remember more recipes. Be sure to check the link in the sidebar from time to time to see if it's updated.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I didn't invent this dish, my husband did. He did most of the cooking in his family as a teenager. Did I mention that he has 7 younger siblings? How to get kids to eat their beans and rice night after night.

Here it is. I've changed it up a lot, and I don't apologize for it because in his version the only flavor came from the cumin butter, which meant that everyone needed a lot of it to enjoy their meal. I wanted less fat, etc, so I insist that the beans have flavor cooked into them. Also, olive oil. MMM.

Start with rice, white brown, sticky, leftover, it doesn't matter really. Heap it in a pile in the center of the plate. Smooch a hole in the center. This is your volcano.

Now, take some dark green stuff; parsley, cilantro, kale, broccoli, raw green beans, avocado, etc. Stick them in your rice mountain on the slopes. These are your trees.

You will also need some cooked black beans. These can come from a can, or you can cook them from dry in a crockpot or stockpot. Add cumin, lots of it, salt, pepper, oregano/thyme, I like a bit of creole seasoning as well. and some onion or garlic powder if you wish, but not too much, The main player here is the cumin. These are your lava rocks. Pile them on top of your volcano.

Now a little tomato or spaghetti sauce. Or hot sauce for the grown ups. Pour it over the beans. This is your lava.

Now the finisher. Take melted butter mixed with cumin, or olive oil, or a bit of both, and pour it over the whole pile. You don't need much. This is your volcano erupting. This part is what makes all the other flavors mix together into melt in your mouth goodness.

Let your kids build it, and demolish it. You'll be surprised how much they will eat. To this day I have a boy who insists that he doesn't like black beans, but he always eats his volcanoes. Go figure.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Summer Pizza

The first time I had a "pizza" like this, I was attending one of those in-home parties for gourmet kitchen gadgets. It's a tasty appetizer or light meal, that can either be slightly sweet by topping with fruit, or a fun alternative to salad by topping with raw vegetables. I fell in love with the concept, and sought to adjust the ingredient list into something wholesome and nourishing.

Start with a plain baked crust, using my basic dough recipe. When the crust has cooled, spread "pizza sauce" over top. There are two different variations, depending on whether you are using fruit or vegetables.

For a vegetable pizza, use about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of sour cream with plain yogurt to taste. You can stir in salt and pepper, dill or other herbs if desired.

For a fruit pizza, mix a softened 8 oz block of cream cheese with vanilla yogurt. If using plain yogurt, also stir in a little sweetener, like honey, maple syrup, raw cane crystals, or xylitol.

Now comes the fun of garnishing with your fresh fixin's! Children especially enjoy decorating the pizza with sliced or minced fruit or vegetables.

Fruit ideas: kiwi, strawberry, banana, raspberry, blueberry, pineapple, mandarin oranges, etc.

Vegetable ideas: cucumber, sweet green or red peppers, broccoli, peas, carrot, spinach, etc.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rainbow Bean Soup

What do you do when your MIL asks you to bring dinner that evening, specifically soup, and you have very few grocery items in the house? Well, I invented Rainbow Bean Soup. That's what I did.

A quick look through my cupboards yielded beans, beans, and some more beans. I had no soup broth ready, very few vegetables, no meat, etc.

Here were my ingredients.

1/2 pound black beans

1/2 pound red beans

1 pound pinto beans

5 tbsp butter

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 onion-diced small

4 cloves garlic-crushed

Chicken bouillon

large handful of fresh sage leaves




With so little advance warning I resorted to the quick soak method to prepare the beans.

I placed the beans into a stock pot. Then I brought it all to a boil and removed the pot from the heat. A few hours later they had swelled to full size. I drained the water, replaced it with fresh water, added some salt and simmered them for about half an hour until they were soft. Then I drained the water again and set the beans aside.

I had a big bag of fresh sage that the kids and I picked on one of our walks. [Aside: Sage grows wild around here, and rosemary is used in landscaping in many places, also we have wild pepper trees. For fun, and extra value, check foraging sites for the kinds of herbs that grow in your area and then keep your eyes out for opportunities to take advantage of this by harvesting them. It makes your food more interesting, as well as your walks.]

I wanted to keep the other flavors light to maximize the effect of the fresh sage, but we did need other flavors, beans are kind of boring on their own.

In the bottom of the stock pot I melted a bit of butter for flavor, added some olive oil as well, and sauteed a bunch of crushed garlic and the onion. Once the onion had begun to caramelize I added in the beans, enough water to cover, a few spoonfuls of bouillon, and brought it to a boil. I chopped the fresh sage leaves into small pieces and added them to the broth.

I turned the heat off and added, pepper salt and cumin to taste. Let it sit for a while before serving so that flavor of the sage can permeate the soup. If I had left it to boil there would have been too much heat and it would have killed some of the flavor.

That's it. It was a colorful, tasty soup that went really well with the salad and crusty bread that my MIL made.

image by vavau

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My New Favorite Summer Beverage

Have you ever tried sun tea? I hadn't. I didn't understand what difference it would make to brew tea in the hot sun for a few hours versus brewing it in the normal way.

Not coincidentally, I didn't much like iced tea either, unless it was sweetened. Last month on the way to a party my husband picked up a gallon of unsweetened iced tea from Trader Joe's. (Yes, we all know I love that store.) As I drank glass after glass I couldn't help commenting on how good it tasted, and how surprised I was that it didn't need a sweetener to be enjoyable.

This, apparently, is the difference between sun brewed iced tea and regular brewed iced tea, as my husband was quick to point out. Well, it's true. Brewing tea at a lower temperature in the sun releases the flavor of the tea leaves, but doesn't get hot enough to release the bitterness of the tannins as well.

Every few afternoons I put 4 of the large Lipton Iced Tea bags in a gallon glass jar and let it sit in the sun for a few hours on our patio. Once it's chilled it is a truly refreshing drink. And for a lot less than the Trader Joe's version. One $2 box makes approximately 5 gallons of iced tea.

May I also point out that it has no calories and many antioxidants as well?

The perfect everyday summer beverage for me. Aside from water of course.

Image by all things michigan

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Farmer's Garden

Do you garden and grow more food than you can eat? Do you wish you could eat garden fresh produce without needing to garden?

Here's a cool solution for every one.

The Farmers Garden, where you can buy sell and trade locally grown backyard produce. It's free to register and post adds on the site and easy to browse adds to find others in your area with produce to sell. I'm hoping someone with a garden in my area will register soon. Maureen Farmer, the creator of this site, is a master gardener who built this site as practice while learning php. Thanks for the great idea and service Maureen.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Coconut & Lime Rice Pudding

Usually when I think of rice pudding, I think of a comforting, wintertime food. Not so with this scrumptious take on an old favorite! The lime gives it just the right touch for a summertime treat.

Coconut milk is full of the healthy kind of fats, namely lauric acid, which is needed for brain development and strong bones, making this a particularly good recipe for children and pregnant or nursing mothers.

I used coconut milk for the entire milk amount. I love the subtle flavor, but if you want less of a coconut taste, just use regular milk for half. I have found that I prefer the refrigerated coconut milk that comes in a carton over the canned coconut milk, but either will work beautifully. I used the So Delicious brand.

Coconut & Lime Rice Pudding

  • 1/3 cup white rice
  • 3 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest

Soak rice in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain.
In a saucepan, bring milk, rice, sugar and salt to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes, or till thick and creamy, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in lime zest.

Serve warm or chilled.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Empty the Fridge Frittata

It is so thrilling to be a part of the Real Food Revolution! My mind has been whirling with all the possible recipes and ideas to share here. Truly, the most difficult part is knowing where to begin, especially since I don't want to disappoint anyone's high hopes after Carrien's glowing introduction. *gulp*

So let's just start with a recipe that I have been making every week, shall we? It has the ease of a no-crust frittata, the moistness of quiche, all with the simplicity of an oven omelet.

I love this recipe for many reasons. It's easy, gluten free, very flexible, and can be made ahead. I often have moms and children over for brunch and its a cinch to whip up the night before, bake partway and then refrigerate till morning. Soon before our friends arrive, I bake it the rest of the way. There's no need to limit it to breakfast though, as it also makes a tasty dinner when paired with a soup or salad.

This is one of those recipes that is great for using up the little odds and ends that seem to gather in my fridge, like bits of meat, veggies, herbs and cheese.

Feel free to use less or more of any ingredient. Believe me, I really just throw this all together and it has always turned out delicious.

Empty the Fridge Frittata

Main ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 to 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup sour cream, yogurt, or milk
  • salt and pepper
Possible Additions
  • Cooked meat (optional) - bacon, ham, chicken, hamburger, sausage.. I've even used leftover roast beef
  • Fresh veggies - red or green pepper, spinach, zucchini, tomato, onion (raw or sauteed)..
  • Fresh herbs - basil, parsley
  • Cheese - sharp or mild cheddar, mont jack, feta...

Grease a pie dish generously with butter.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs and dairy. Season and stir in desired additions.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how many eggs you used, or till set.
Serve warm. This recipe is even delicious cold.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I a super excited to announce that the real food revolution has a new writer. I'll still be here, writing as infrequently as ever. [cough] In addition Tamra will be adding her thoughts and considerable expertise on healthy eating, and preparing real food on a budget. I've already tried some of her recipes and can tell you they are worth checking out.

If we're lucky perhaps she'll also tell us how she taught her kids to cook so that they are now a big help to her in the kitchen.

So look forward to her contributions in the coming weeks. I'm expecting great things.

Tamra also blogs at,, is landscaping and planting french style vegetable gardens in her story book looking house, tends to her goat farm, and is mother to 6 children.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cookware Giveaway

Food Service Warehouse Cookware

I was contacted by the PR people about this cookware giveaway. I thought I would let you all know in case you wanted to try and win some fancy new cookware. Just click the image to link over to the contest. Good Luck.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Baked Beans

I make these baked beans that I think are pretty good. I brought them to a wedding reception a while ago, BBQ themed, and a lot of other people seem too as well. They aren't as sweet as most of the store bought varieties. I'm always trying to duplicate the beans they make at this little BBQ and smokehouse place in Vancouver called Memphis Blues Barbecue House. The best. beans. ever! Oh, and the BBQ is good too.

Whenever someone asks me for the recipe I respond, "Oh, I just use the basic baked beans recipe from the More-With-Less Cookbook. And then I put in less molasses, use tomato sauce instead of ketchup, way more mustard and I add BBQ sauce and extra onions. And I use the crock pot." Then they look at me blankly and repeat their question, "Could I have the recipe?"

Apparently I didn't really give it to them after all. Well here it is. I shall try to record all of the changes that make it my recipe. You're welcome Barb.

Baked Beans

2 lb Navy Beans

4 qts water

Put in the crock pot and turn on low over night. *

In the morning drain, saving liquid.

Add 1/2 cup molasses

1 15/16 oz can of tomato sauce

1/2 cup prepared mustard

1 cup BBQ Sauce (without High fructose corn syrup of course)

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

5-6 dashes hot chili sauce

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp fresh ground pepper

1 large onion, chopped fine

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 bay leaves

Enough bean liquid to cover.

Stir together. Put lid back on crock pot and let cook on low for at least 4 hours.

Serve when ready.

Beans are very forgiving. If you taste it and think it ought to be sweeter, add more molasses. If you want it more tart, add more vinegar. Etc. You can adjust at the end if you need to. So tweak it until it's the way you like it. And then everyone will be asking you for your recipe.

* You can actually skip this step and cook it all together from the start in the crock pot, it just takes longer to finish then when starting with cooked beans. And you may want to soak them first.

My friend Atara uses the basic recipe, she bakes it in the oven as intended. She puts a small ham in the middle and puts sauerkraut all over the top as it bakes. It tastes amazing. The ham is so tender when it's done. And the sauerkraut really compliments the flavor. I keep meaning to try this with my recipe to see how it turns out. At least the part with the ham.

photo by rick

Monday, January 19, 2009

Best Rice Side Dish Ever!!!

I invented this to go with a London Broil. I didn't have potatoes but I wanted something rich and flavorful to accompany the beef flavors. Here it is.


1 1/2 cups jasmine rice

2 scant cups water

1/4 cup butter

1 medium onion

3 cloves garlic, crushed



Soak rice for half an hour or so in cold water. (You don't have to do this but it really improves the texture if you do.) Rinse several times in cold water until the rinse water runs clear.

Combine rice and water in a saucepan, (or rice cooker). Over high heat bring to a boil. Immediately turn down to low and cover. Let steam until all water is absorbed and rice is translucent.

Dice onion fine. In a heavy bottom frying pan or sauce pan, melt butter and add the onions. Cook over medium high heat, stirring often, until the onions start to caramelize. You can tell that they are doing this when they start to turn a golden brown color and smell amazing. Throw in the garlic. Saute a minute longer. Add the cooked rice, stir until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. And serve.

This also tastes good the next day with leftover meat cut in pieces and added in when it's reheated.
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