Archive | January, 2017

Meatball Soup

31 Jan


This is a great soup because you can add or delete anything.

I keep it pretty basic because I always try to use what I have and this is full of basic staples.

1/4 cup olive oil

2 large chopped onions

4 cloves chopped garlic

3 diced celery ribs including the green tops

3 large diced carrots

2 bags of frozen Italian blend cut vegetables.  This includes broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and flat green beans.

Do not use the one with red peppers because the flavor of the red peppers are too strong

6 skinless chicken thighs

Ten cups of water

One tablespoon salt

2 large  chicken bouillon cubes or four small

50 mini meatballs either homemade or store bought.

One  drained can of small white beans

5 ounces of fresh spinach

Parmesan cheese for the topping

Dice the onions, celery and carrots and set aside

Put the ten cups of water in a soup pot

Add the salt and chicken and boil for at least twenty minutes

The chicken should fall off the bone

Take the chicken  out of the water and let it cool just a little.

Shred the chicken and set it aside

Strain the water into a bowl to so all the sediment on the bottom of the pan is discarded


Place the olive oil in the bottom of the pot and add the celery, onions, garlic and carrots

Cook until the vegetables are soft about five to ten minutes

Add the water from the boiled chicken and the bouillon cubes

Bring to a boil and add the frozen vegetables

After five minutes add the chicken, fresh spinach, white beans and the meatballs

Let everything simmer and serve with hot bread.

Add salt and pepper to taste

I have found out, threw trial and error, that when I add the pasta or rice to a soup it absorbs all the broth so now I make it and serve it on the side.

I like orzo or noodles with this soup

Since everyone if watching their weight I didn’t add any pasta.




Roast Pork Cauliflower Fried Rice

30 Jan


I look at recipes all day and this one kept on surfacing and I had to try it.

There are several variations but this is my interpretation combined with all the other ones I have read.

This has a great Asian flavor without the guilt of all the carbs, fat and sodium.

My kids loved it and that it my ultimate test.

1 large head of cauliflower

3 teaspoon  peanut oil

3 large eggs

4 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 inch pieces of fresh grated ginger

1 1/2 cups of frozen peas

1/2 cup chopped scallions  cut about 1/4 inch or smaller

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

4 tablespoons sesame oil

4 cups  cooked lean pork roast cut a little bigger than the peas

Take out your food processor and in batches pulse the cauliflower till you see it turn into crumbles. Do not make it mush.It should look like rice.

Take out your wok and add one tablespoon of oil and scramble the beaten eggs

Take it out of the pan and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil .

Stir fry the garlic, ginger and cauliflower for a couple of minutes

Add the peas and scallions and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.

Mix the soy sauce and sesame oil together and stir into the mixture

Make sure everything is mixed well

Add the scrambled eggs and  pork.

I love scallions so I put some extra scallions on top.

My kids put there favorite Sriracha sauce on it.

I liked duck sauce and hot mustard.

This is one of my new favorite recipes.

Always use a big cauliflower because the leftovers are delicious

This is also delicious served as a rice paper or  mooshi rollup.

This will also be delicious without the pork.




Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread

25 Jan


This is the closest to the cheesecake factory bread that I have tried

First you have to watch a video on folding dough like when you are making a baguette.

This is important when you have to roll out the loaves.

Then make sure you exercise for at least one hour so you can eat the bread without guilt.

One package of instant yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons

One tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons expresso coffee powder

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons soft butter

1/4 cup honey

1  tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

One teaspoon instant oatmeal for every loaf top

Mix the yeast, warm water and sugar together.

Set aside for five minutes to make sure the yeast starts to bubble.

Mix the flours, expresso, cocoa,salt and brown sugar.

Add the yeast mixture, honey, molasses and butter

Mix everything together with a dough hook in the mixer for about 8 minutes

Very lightly flour your board.

Turn the dough on to the board and knead for another 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough inside the bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap and set inside your oven. That is the warmest place in my kitchen.

Make sure the oven is off.

Let the dough rise till it has doubled.

This takes about 2 1/2 hours.

Take the dough out of the bowl and separate into six pieces.

Roll the dough into six  8 inch baguettes

Place three loaves onto each baking sheet that is covered with a silpac or parchment paper.

Make sure the seam of the loaf is facing down

Wet the top of each loaf with water and sprinkle the teaspoon of oatmeal on each loaf.

Spray all the loaves with Pam and cover with plastic wrap

Put in a warm spot and let the loaves double in size.

This should take about 45 minutes

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake 25 to 30 minutes

Mine were finished at 25 minutes

Go buy sweet whipped butter, slather it on and enjoy every bite.

This is very similar to a squaw bread recipe my Mom had about 5o years ago.

Weird Spaghetti Squash

24 Jan


I kept on reading a version of this recipe over and over again and couldn’t decide if I wanted to try it so I did it my way.

1 spagetti squash

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 slices of thick Italian salami cut into very small pieces or pulse it in the food processor

One large diced onion.

I put that in the processor too.

3 tablespoon sweet red pepper

1/2  seeded jalapeno pepper

3 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

3 big handfuls of baby spinach

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Cut the squash into one inch rings

Drizzle with salt and pepper

Place on parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes

Let cool

Take out the seeds and discard

Shred the squash off the hard skin

Discard the skin

Cook the salami, onion and peppers till the onion is soft and slightly brown

Take everything out of the pan

Keep the heat on high and add the vinegar

Scrape the bottom of the pan

Add the maple syrup

Turn down the heat and add the spinach

Cook one minute

Combine the squash, spinach and the meat mixture

Heat to rewarm everything together

Serve alone or with brie or goat cheese

This is a weird combination but I like it.




Steak Au Poivre

20 Jan


I have been cleaning all day and need a reward.


I want something delicious and not hard to make.

Since I worked so hard I need something substantial.


All I had was a small T bone so that is what I used.

Salt and pepper

I make a mixture of one teaspoon kosher salt and one tablespoon fresh ground peppercorns

One tablespoon olive oil

One tablespoon butter

One small chopped shallot

One more tablespoon butter

1/3 cup cognac

3/4 cup heavy cream

Heat the pan

Add the oil and butter

Season the meat

Place in the hot pan for about 4 to 5 minutes per side

Take out of the pan and cover with foil

Melt the other tablespoon of butter

Add the shallots and cook till soft and light brown

Take off the heat and add the cognac

Cook for another 3 minutes till the alcohol cooks off and you have this rich  glaze

Add the cream and boil till the sauce thickens just a little

This takes about 5 more minutes

Make sure you stir frequently to get all the bits off the bottom of the pan

Season the sauce now but remember the steak is very salty so I usually don’t add any more salt.

Thats it.

Place the sauce on the plate with the steak and serve with some french bread slices and a small salad.

What a meal after a hard day at work.




Cod Soup

19 Jan


I am trying to eat clean.

This soup is very clean so I can justify the Hersey Kisses I just ate.

Two tablespoons butter

2o small  sliced carrots

2 stalks sliced celery

3 cubed  cooked potatoes

One diced onion

2 cloves diced garlic

6 cups chicken broth

One inch of grated ginger

One diced zucchini

2 pounds cubed cod

3 diced scallions

One baby diced bok choy

Salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons cream or 1/2 and 1/2  for every cup of soup (optional)

Melt the butter

Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery

Cook till the vegetables are soft

Add the chicken broth, potatoes and ginger and bring to a boil

Add the cod and bring down to a simmer

Cook for five minutes

Add the bok choy , zucchini and scallions

Let everything simmer for ten minutes

Adjust the salt and pepper now

If you want a cream soup this is when you can add the cream or 1/2 and 1/2.

Serve with a small sandwich or salad.

Very good

Chicken a la king

16 Jan


This is a great soup plus it can be put into a pie crust for a delicious pot pie.

One diced onion

2 diced carrots

2 stalks celery

One cup  frozen peas

2 cups cooked diced potatoes

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

3 cups cooked chicken or more

Cook the onion, carrots, celery and potatoes in the microwave till soft

Set aside.

Mix the butter and flour together on medium heat

Add the chicken broth till it is well incorporated  and starts to get thick.

Adjust your salt and pepper.

Add the chicken and vegetables  including the peas and heat till very warm

Serve in bowls with biscuits or place in a pie crust to make a pot pie

If you want a quick white sauce instead of making the mixing the butter and flour just add one package of any white sauce, mix according to the package directions and add the the chicken broth.