Monday, October 20, 2014

Soup and Sandwich

Bill and I went on a 9 mile hike up the mountain Saturday morning. While we were out there we starting talking about tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. (we always seem to start talking food when we are on a long hike) It sounded so good that I had to make it for dinner.

I didn't feel like the same old grilled cheese sandwich.  I had just bought some chipolte gouda and thought the orange marmalade would be a nice combo with the smokiness of the chipolte.  It was perfect and went so well with tomato soup.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

1 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can tomato puree
1 35 oz can Italian whole tomatoes
chicken broth (fill the 28 oz can with the chicken broth)
1 cup cream
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
2 tablespoons sugar (more if you like sweet soup)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
garlic croutons to garnish

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, add onions and garlic, sauté for a minute or two. Add tomato puree, tomatoes (crushing them with your hands) and chicken both, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover for about 30 to 40 minutes to cool.

Fill the blender about half way with the tomato mixture. Hold down lid with a towel to avoid any accidents if the mixture is still very warm. Blend on puree for about a minutes and repeat until all the soup has been blended.  Pour back into the dutch oven and add cream, basil, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring soup to a low boil and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Garnish with croutons.

Chipolte Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

loaf of Bread - Roasted Garlic (I used La Brea), sliced
Chipolte Gouda Cheese (I used Boar's Head)
fresh basil leaves
orange marmalade

Heat skillet or griddle on medium heat. Butter outside of bread, spread orange marmalade on the inside of the bread slices, add thick slices of the chipolte gouda cheese, add basil leaves and assembly sandwiches. Lower heat to medium low and place sandwiches in skillet or griddle. Cook until golden brown on each side. I cover my pan to help the cheese melt.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Shop Small - Gift Ideas

I am a supporter of Small Business shopping. For the last 3 years I have shopped locally or Etsy Shops. For me I feel I am helping "Mom and Pop" type businesses and keeping money in the community, plus I am giving one of a kind unique gifts made in the USA.

Today I want to share some of my favorite Etsy Shops with you.

Midwest Alchemy takes raw, organic, rough gemstones and makes beautiful one of a kind pendants and rings at affordable prices. Here are two of my favorite pendants

Kismet Collection Morse Code necklace, my daughter bought me this necklace and I love it so much

Leighton Point Linen Beautiful Ecofriendly Linen's. Aprons, Dish Towels, Napkins, Drawstring Bags plus more items for your household that any cook/baker would love.

The Art of Steve Javiel Mixed Media Art, Urban Decay - I love Steve's artwork

Succulent Wonderland beautiful succulents for that plant lover. When I first discovered Succulent Wonderland I was in awe of the plants in painted canning jars. Well they just to the succulents to the next level as you will see in the photos below.

Sweet Marve Lace edible sugar lace. What a clever and unique idea.

Lastly I'm sharing one of my favorite shops. I have purchased from Sunchowders Emporia many times. My favorite is the Raspberry Pepper Jam and I make a mean Whisky Sauce using this jam.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Johnsonville Jalapeño and Cheddar Sausage Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread is a main staple in our home we have it with chili, fried chicken, BBQ, soup and even pasta.  I can make it work with any dish. I had a leftover package of Johnsonville Jalapeño and Cheddar Smoked Sausages and knew that I could use them in my cornbread recipe.  Oh my yum! The cornbread came out fantastic, moist, the right amount of heat, this is a keeper recipe.

Thank goodness cornbread is something I can make with my eyes closed because I suck at making biscuits, which is hard for me to admit. I need a Darlin' Southern Gal teach me to make biscuits.

Johnsonville Jalapeño and Cheddar Sausage Skillet Cornbread

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup Mexican Blend shredded cheese plus additional cheese to top cornbread
1 cup frozen corn
1/2  onion, minced
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
3 links Johnsonville Jalapeño and Cheddar Smoked Sausages, diced small
Tabasco sauce (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl whisk together flour, corn meal, baking powder and sugar. In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk, canola oil and eggs; combine with the dry ingredients until everything is mixed together. Fold in the cheese, corn, onion, red pepper flakes and Johnsonville sausage. Butter 4 5-inch cast iron skillets; divide batter between the 4 skillets. Sprinkle with more cheese and optional splash the top with Tabasco Sauce. Bake for 25 minutes; or until done.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Colors of Fall

Bill, Olive and I drove up to the meadow above us which is about 3 miles.  Olive played with her egg while I walked around snapping photos.  I took these photos a week ago the Aspen trees are now bright yellow.

I lived in Los Angeles where it was green all year long. This is such a treat to see the Fall colors and I'm in awe every year when the leaves start changing.

The two years our daughter lived here in Utah with us she always seem to go back to California during this time of year to visit friends and she never got to see the beauty this time of the year in person.  I hope she will be able to visit us during this window of opportunity before we move (not sure when we will be moving but it's in our future).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

I will be participating in the 4th Annual Great American Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen.

Not only will you make cookies and share them with other Food Bloggers you also get to help out with a fantastic charity Cookies For Kids Cancer with a small $4.00 donation you can make a huge difference.  If you are unable to participate in the Cookie Swap, please consider making a donation.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Carnitas Tamale Pie

I came across a recipe for Carnitas Tamale Pie from Pinch of Yum on Pinterest. I had almost everything for Lindsey's recipe. Instead of making a trip to the market I decided to use what I had on hand and I wanted to add to her recipe.

I did some adjusting, I didn't have creamed corn so I used frozen corn and for the cream part I omitted the milk and used whipping cream instead. I also wanted to use refried beans to make it a bit heartier. Lastly I added black olives just because I love olives in Mexican dishes.

Stop by Pinch of Yum to check out the original recipe the link is provided below.

Carnitas Tamale Pie
Adapted from: Pinch of Yum

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 egg
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 small can diced green chilies
2/3 cup frozen corn
1 3.8 oz can black olives, divided
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup enchilada sauce
1 16 oz can refried beans
3 cups shredded carnitas
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
cilantro, rough chop

Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Stir in whipping cream and egg just until just combined. Add cayenne pepper, green chilies, corn, 1/2 the olives and the 1/2 cup shredded cheese; stir until just combined. Spread out into a 9 inch square baking dish allow to rest while the oven preheats to 400 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes or until set.

Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Poke holes in the crust and pour enchilada sauce over crust, top with refried beans, carnitas, remaining olives and cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes; remove foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Sprinkle with cilantro; cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

2014 Cookie Recipe and Cookie Cutter Exchange

Presenting the 1st Annual Living Rancho Delux Cookie Recipe and Cookie Cutter Exchange

I am hosting a Cookie Recipe and Cookie Cutter Exchange on Elfster - Sign up Deadline is November 1st.  Feel free to share this with your family and friends.

Sign Up Here: For the Cookie Recipe and Cookie Cutter Exchange

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Recipe: Sloppy Jose Sandwich

I was thinking back to food I ate as a kid and one that our school fixed often was Sloppy Joe's. I think the last time I had one was in middle school, that would be back in 1973.  From what I remember they were kinda on the sweet side and I prefer spicy and smokey over sweet.  Here is my version of a Sloppy Joe.....The Sloppy Jose.

Sloppy Jose Sandwich

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced small
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound chorizo
1/2 chipolte pepper in adobo sauce, minced (if you like heat add more I used 2 peppers)
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
pepper jack cheese
arugula greens
onion buns or your favorite rolls 6 to 8 depending on the size of the buns

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium low heat add onions, sauté for 3 minutes add red bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper, sauté for 4 minutes.  Turn heat up to medium add ground beef, breaking up the ground beef, once it starts to brown add chorizo and mix everything together until incorporated. Cook for 10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Once the meat is cooked through add the chipolte pepper, adobo sauce and tomato paste, mix together. Turn hit on low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Fill bun with meat mixture top with cheese and place under the broiler until cheese melts, top with arugula.

For leftovers heat meat mixture add eggs and stir the eggs turning them making scrambled eggs.  Add the meat egg mixture to flour tortillas, along with cheese, hash browns and salsa for burritos.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding

Since moving to Utah it has snowed on my birthday, Monday was my birthday and we had blue skies, no clouds and it was in the 70's, it was a beautiful fall day.  The day started with my husband and I walking down to the paved road and back which was around 5 miles and coming back was all up hill. Thank goodness I have been walking diligently since June it wasn't bad at all.

My husband had his post-op appointment  for his knee. We got there almost an hour early (his doctor is 43 miles away) and found out he was running an hour behind. We decided to go have lunch came back to the doctors office and he is now running 1 1/2 hours behind schedule. I left Bill in the doctors office and ran errands which I had planned to do after his appointment.  By the time he got out of the doctors office it was almost 4pm.  His appointment went well and he doesn't have to go back until the one year check up, good news.  I had just enough time to change and head off to bowling.  Not the birthday I had expected but that is okay when we go to California to visit our daughter we are going to go out for a Family dinner for all of our birthdays.

I had made this Ham & Cheese Bread Pudding for breakfast and Bill enjoyed it and decided to warm it up for dinner.

Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding

4 Eggland's Best large eggs
2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked ham, diced small
2/3 cup gruyere cheese, grated
2/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
4 croissants, torn into bite size pieces

Whisk together eggs, half and half, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.  Fold in ham and cheese.  Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish, place half the pieces of the croissants into the baking dish and pour half of the egg mixture over the bread, press down making sure all of the bread is covered.  Repeat with the remaining croissants and egg mixture.  Cover with foil and allow to sit for 45 minutes while the bread absorbs the egg mixture.   Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, place in oven for 45 to 60 minutes; or until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cookbook Review: Tacolicious

I better get my review completed before my husband eats all the Pickled Red Onions that I made.  Mexican food by far is my favorite food, I could eat it every night of the week.

Tacolicious by: Sara Deseran co-owner of Tacolicious the San Francisco Bay's most popular Mexican Restaurant.

For me this cookbook reads "street food" and would be perfect for hosting a party with Mexican finger foods and delicious drinks. To start with I enjoyed the Introduction and seeing where Tacolicious got its roots.  I love that this isn't your typical Mexican food that you are going to find at any chain restaurant. The flavors, ingredients and recipes is what I'm looking for in a cookbook.  I made the Pickled Red Onions, that took only a few simple ingredients to put together, and I will tell you the onions only get better as they sit.  I know this isn't the greatest photo, but this jar was packed with the Pickled Red Onions and my husband has been snacking on them since the day I made them.

I have already started to make A Summer's Night Shrimp Cocktail for tonights dinner. Some of the other recipes I look forward to making are:

Roasted Tomato Mint Salsa
The Legendary Orange Sauce
Lime-Cured Cucumber, Habanero and Onion
Melon, Mango and Cucumber with Chile, Salt and Lime
Shrimp Cakes with Corn-Basil Salsa
Quesadillas with Squash Blossoms, Sweet Peppers and Goat Cheese
Ms. Reyes's Most Awesome Tamales (with step by step photos)
Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Taco
Three-Chile Bistec Adobado Toco with Cebollitas
Off-The-Spit Pork Al Pastor Taco
Tangy Achiote-Rubbed Grilled Chicken Taco
Butternut Squash, Kale and Crunchy Pepitas Taco

The drink section is fantastic on making your own Agave Syrup, Pink Peppercorn Salt, Toasted-Coconut Salt, Infused Tequila.  Cocktails you will find Lolita Squeeze, Mexican Traitor along with non-alchol drinks Mango Agua Fresca, Pineapple-Coconut Agua Fresca and Homemade Horchata.

Tacolicious has everything you need in this cookbook, fantastic photos, ingredients glossary, mail-order sources and Restaurants They Love.

I would like to thank Blogging for Books providing me with this cookbook and allowing me to review Tacolicious.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Welcome Fall and Comfort Food

My favorite time of the year is here, I love fall.  One thing I do love about Utah is getting to see the changing colors of the leaves and up on the mountain I get to see some stunning colors.  I will be sharing photos very soon.

My other fall favorites are football, cool crisp air, snuggling up in flannels and comfort food. Even though we have a few hot days left I'm looking ahead and have noticed we have temperature that will be hitting freezing.  This coming weekend it will be time for me to bring in my 3 dwarf fruit trees and my herbs so I do not loose them to the cold. I keep them in the dining room so they will still get some sun in the afternoon throughout the winter.

In honor of fall I made a comfort food favorite Vegetable Beef Soup. I decided to change things up and roast the vegetables instead of cooking them in the soup.  I still need carrots, celery and onions to flavor my soup base so some of the vegetables went into the soup at the beginning and the roasted vegetables went into the soup at the end. I love a lot of vegetables in my soup and I piled them in. I was very pleased with the end result.

Roasted Vegetable Beef Soup

Soup Base

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, diced small
1 small onion, diced small
4 stalks celery with leaves, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 all purpose flour
1 teaspoons seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
10 cups water (or beef broth)
11 teaspoons Beef - Better Than Bouillon (omit if using beef broth)
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Roasted Vegetables

5 medium red potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
4 carrots, cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 yellow onion, cut into bite size pieces
12 small to medium cremini mushrooms, cut in half or quarter depending on size
extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced divided
2 large cloves garlic, minced divided
pinch salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large dutch oven heat olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add diced carrots, onions, celery, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaves. Sauté for 5 to 8 minutes. In a small bowl combine flour, salt, pepper, seasoning salt and paprika. Sprinkle flour mixture over beef pieces making sure all of beef is covered. Push vegetables over to one side and add the beef in a single layer as best as it will fit, cook on one side for 3 minutes, flip over and cook for another 3 minutes.  Stir beef and vegetables together for 5 minutes, add water and Better Than Bouillon, stir and bring to a boil. Once the soup has come to a boil, stir in tomato paste, put the lid on and place flame on low, let it go for 45 minutes.

Line two baking sheets with foil (for easy clean up). On one tray add the carrots and potatoes and on the other tray add the onions and mushrooms.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkles with the minced rosemary, thyme, garlic, and a small amount of salt and pepper.  Toss on baking sheets and roast for 20 to 25 minutes until vegetables are tender and starting to brown/crisp. (every 10 minutes give the vegetables a turn).  When the soup has 20 minutes left add the roasted vegetables to the soup.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cookbook Review - Simple Thai Food

This week I will be sharing three cookbook reviews with you. The first cookbook is Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu.

Ms. Punyaratabandhu is the award winning author of She Simmers, Thai Home Cooking Blog. She has written for several publications and makes her home traveling between Chicago and Bangkok.

Simple Thai Food is a beautifully written Cookbook and for me the photographs sell the recipes.

After spending a few days going through the cookbook page by page I decided to make the Chicken-Cashew Stir-Fry (kai phat met mamuang himma-phan).  It was a very easy recipe to make and I was able to find all the ingredients locally to make this dish. (It is not always easy to find ingredients in my town)

Other dishes I have tagged to make are Sweet Potato Fritters with Peanut-Sweet Chili Sauce, Northeastern Minced Chicken Salad,  Curry Noodles with Chicken, Spicy Vegetable Soup with Shrimp and Lemon Basil, Grilled Steaks with Roasted Tomato Dipping Sauce (Crying Tiger) and I can't forget the sweets Toasted-Coconut Meringue Cookies and Crunchy Chewy Water Chestnut Dumplings in Iced Coconut Syrup.

If you love Thai food as much as I do you will enjoy this cookbook and use it often.

I received a copy of Simple Thai Food from Blogging for Books.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Last night and this morning I have had a lot on my mind about my Blog.  The David Bowie song "Changes" comes to mind.  That's what I need to do.....Make some changes.

This morning while I was reading some blogs I came across one where a blogger posted eleven photos of the cookies she was blogging about, eleven photos that basically all looked the same. No Joke! I had a WTF am I doing moment, I have lost my identity and what I wanted my blog to be.

So starting today I am living my blog for me, I've never been a self promoter, had a ego over my blog, so why does it feel like I have changed?  I don't have an answer for that.  I can tell you I have not been happy for a long time with my blog and felt my quality of work has basically sucked.

If you choose to follow me this is what you will find in my blog related to cooking.

1.  A recipe now and then

2.  Cookbook reviews

3.  If I find some cooking tool, gadget, appliance that I'm in love with I will share it

You will also find blog posts about my other passions.

1.  Jewelry making

2.  Art

3.  Journaling

4.  Writing (work in progress)

5.  My life on the mountain

6.  Photography

I invite you to join me on my journey, maybe you share some of the same passions I have listed above, I would love to hear from you.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Biscuit Bear Claw

My husband and I love bear claws and they have not been the easiest danish to find here in Southern Utah. Since I have been have issues with baking in high altitude I decided to try and find a simpler way to make a bear claw without having to adjust for the high altitude.

Here is what I came up with using Pillsbury Grand Buttermilk Biscuits.  This is a cross between a bear claw and a coffee cake.  I am always wanting more of the almond filling in a bear claw and with my version I piled it on, I then topped it with a simple brown sugar glaze.

Biscuit Bear Claw

1 8 oz can almond paste
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla
1 tablespoon amaretto
1 8 count can of Pillsbury Grand Buttermilk Biscuits


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup toasted almond slices

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Spray the inside and sides of a 8" springform pan with cooking spray and set aside.  Using an stand mixer or electric mixer start mixing the almond paste. Add almond meal, sugar and salt; mix until incorporated.  Add butter, egg whites, extract and amaretto; mix on medium high until fluffy.

Take 4 of the biscuits and stretch out (or roll out) until you can fit all 4 in the bottom of the springform pan, pinching seams together. Spread almond mixture on top of biscuits.  Take the other 4 biscuits and do the same thing placing them on top of the almond mixture. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

10 minutes before you take the bear claw out of the oven start working on the glaze.  In a small saucepan on low heat melt the butter, brown sugar and salt until the grainy sugar is melted and smooth, just a few minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk the vanilla into the sugar mixture.  While the bear claw is still hot drizzle the glaze over the top making sure all of the top is covered.  Sprinkle with toasted almond slices.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before removing springform.

Note: Make sure you pinch all the dough together on the top layer of biscuits.  I didn't make sure on one of them and it did lift off.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Perfect Fall Cookie

I seem to always make the same cookies, the reason? I can count on one hand the sweets my husband loves and I know he will eat, peanut butter cookies, toffee cookies, pecan pie and apple fritters.  He is not a fan of sweets, I know....crazy!

I can add one more item to that list Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles.  I have never had a Snickerdoodle cookie in my life, when I was visiting Cookies and Cups blog I came across Shelly's recipe for Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles and I knew I had to make these cookies, I am one of those people who can not say no to pumpkin spice anything.

The Snickerdoodles are a simple cookie to make and I guarantee you are going to have all the ingredients in your pantry. By the time you take these cookies out of the oven your coffee will be ready, if you are a dipper like me you are going to be in heaven, there is something about all those spices and coffee, that makes them a perfect match.

The Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles filled the house with the wonderful scent of Fall.  I can see myself curled up in my favorite chair, with a big sweater, a book, a cup of coffee and a plate of these delightful cookies and feeling content.

To get the recipe for Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles just click on this link to Cookies and Cups.  While you are visiting Shelly's blog check out her other recipes for Cheesy Spicy Ranch Stuffed Baked Potatoes, Chipotle Pulled Pork with Apple Slaw and Strawberry Bread with Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze just to name a few.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Oh For The Love of Cookbooks

Do you read cookbooks like a novel? Do you fall asleep in your bed and wake up with a cookbook or two next to you? Do you just like to look at the photographs in a cookbook? Well, I have a place for you, did you know there is a group of cookbook fanatics on Facebook?  You heard right,  The Cookbook Junkies  over 11,000 members strong and growing.  Jenny of Mad Rantings of Andrew's Mom started this group to share her passion for cooking, baking and most of all cookbooks. Your partner might not understand your obsession for cookbooks but the Junkies do and it's a safe haven for cookbook lovers.

The Cookbook Junkies

If you have one cookbook or three thousands cookbooks this group is for you. I'm not just talking about new cookbooks I am talking about cookbooks in general. Cookbook Junkies is a place to talk about and ask questions about cookbooks with people who have the same passion for cooking and baking as you do.

Not sure if you should buy the latest Italian or Bakery cookbook ask the Cookbook Junkies what they think, our members will be happy to give you advice. Did you find that cookbook that you have been searching for, for years, that cookbook your grandmother used faithfully but it disappeared, here is a place to share your find and the Cookbook Junkies will share that excitement with you.

The Cookbook Junkies also has some cookbook authors among it's members,  Rick Rodgers, Raghaven Iyer, Amy Thielen, Zoe Francois, Abby Dodge, Michele Scicolone, Jennifer Perillo and Tracy Zabar just to name a few.

There are some exciting things in the works at The Cookbook Junkies - here is a tease - Cookbook Con - have I peaked your interest?  Head over to The Cookbook Junkies so you don't miss any of the details and join the fun. Oh, and if you need another reason to head over....cookbook giveaways.

Monday, September 1, 2014

It's not too early to start thinking about Holiday leftovers

Last week while I was grocery shopping I walked by the frozen turkey's. They were on sale, I got a 14 pound turkey for $9.00.  I usually only make roasted turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I figured this is a good time to work on a recipe for the leftover turkey.

With leftover turkey I usually make sandwiches and turkey tacos. I wanted to try something new so I came up with this Turkey and Cranberry Bread Stuffing.

Turkey and Cranberry Bread Stuffing

1 stick plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon packed fresh sage, minced
3 stalks celery, cut thin
1/2 large onion, diced
1 cup dried cranberries
16 medium cremini mushrooms, cleaned, remove stems and cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups of a rustic bread, cubed into small bite size pieces (I used La Brea Rosemary Olive Oil bread)
2/3 cup half n' half
1 cup chicken stock
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 to 4 cups roasted turkey, diced

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons butter, saute celery, onions and cranberries for 5 minutes, remove to a bowl. In another skillet over medium low heat melt 1 stick of butter with minced sage for 30 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Remove butter from heat and allow to cool down. In the same skillet you sautéed the vegetables add 2 tablespoons of butter and mushrooms, sauté for 7 minutes or until tender, turn off heat add garlic and stir for 45 seconds, add mushrooms to vegetables.

Add the 7 cups of bread cubes to a large bowl, add vegetables and stir. In the bowl that the vegetables were in add half n' half, chicken stock, eggs, salt and pepper and whisk good.  Add turkey to bread and pour liquids over turkey and bread mix together well.  Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes; add butter; stir.  Add to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish; bake for 40 minutes.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pulled Pork Green Chili Salsa Sandwich

I am a sucker for sandwiches. On Pinterest of all my food pins my sandwich board has the most pins. I love the simplicity of a sandwich - breakfast, lunch or dinner you can make a sandwich a meal.

The sandwich is the perfect vessel for a meal on the go.  I would make sandwiches to take to the high school football games, perfect for picnics and at home while you are watching TV.

I'm always ready to try something new and here is my take on a Southwestern Pulled Pork Sandwich. Made with prepared Green Chili Salsa and topped with mexican pickled vegetables.  I hope you enjoy my Pulled Pork Green Chili Salsa Sandwich.

Pulled Pork Green Chili Salsa Sandwich

For Slow Cooker

6 or 7 pound pork butt
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoons black pepper
4 tablespoons Fiesta Chili Seasonings
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 32 oz box vegetable stock unsalted
1 small onion, cut into 4 pieces
1 carrot, cut into 4 pieces
3 bay leaves

For Sandwiches

1 celery stalk, diced small
1/2 onion, diced small
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups shredded slow cooked pork
1 cup green chili salsa
4 onion buns (or your favorite buns or cuban rolls)
* 1/2 cup cilantro
* 6 radishes, sliced thin

Heat a heavy skillet until smoking hot and add canola oil.  Rub salt, pepper and chili seasonings all over pork butt.  Sear pork on all sides about 3 to 4 minutes each side. Place pork in a slow cooker add vegetable stock, onion, carrot, bay leaves, cover; set on high for 24 hours.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat; sauté celery and onion for 5 minutes or until tender.  Turn up heat to a medium high and add pork cook until some of the pork is a little crispy, add green chili salsa and heat through. Divide green chili pork between the 4 buns top with the pickled cabbage and carrots, recipe follows.

* Before topping with the pickled cabbage & carrots add cilantro and radishes to the cabbage and stir.

With a 7 pound pork butt you will have leftovers, you can make more sandwiches just double the ingredients under For Sandwiches or make pork tacos, breakfast burritos, BBQ Pork Sandwiches, endless possibilities.

Pickled Cabbage and Carrots

8 carrots, peeled and cut thin about 1/4 inch
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil divided
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 tablespoon pickling spices
2 teaspoons mexican oregano
5 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup pickled jalapeños, including juice
2 serrano chilis, sliced lengthwise
1 head cabbage, sliced thin

Heat a heavy dutch oven over medium heat add half the olive oil, add half the sliced carrots; sauté for 2 minutes; stirring occasionally, remove and place in a bowl; add the rest of the olive oil and carrots, sauté for 2 minutes; stirring occasionally.  Add the other sauté carrots back to the dutch oven.  Add garlic, stir for 30 seconds. Add vinegar, oregano, bay leaves and salt and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add water, jalapeños with juice, and chilies, simmer another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to completely cool.  Add sliced cabbage and stir everything together; place in canning jars and refrigerate overnight.  (serrano chilies and bay leaves are there for flavor, do not eat, well if you like heat go ahead and eat the chilies)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review - Sartori Cheese

Sadly I do not remember if it was the Travel Channel or Food Network that I was watching about Sartori Cheese and all of the awards they have won in the United States and Italy, they have over 180 awards under their belt. I knew that I needed to check them out.

Sartori Cheese is a 4th generation family owned and operated company in the cheese state of Wisconsin.

The selection of cheese available here in Southern Utah is nothing to write home about. It was time to check Sartori out. I placed an order for the following cheeses: Balsamic BellaVitano, Salsa Asiago, Black Pepper BellaVitano, Merlot BellaVitano, Raspberry BellaVitano, Chai BellaVitano, Espresso BellaVitano and Basil & Olive Oil Asiago.

I'm just going to say it Sartori has some of the best cheese I have ever eaten. I love cheese with a bite and Sartori didn't let me down. I don't think I could pick a favorite from the 8 cheeses I purchased they were all incredible. My husband hasn't stopped raving about the Chai BellaVitano.

Another thing I like about Satori is there website. With each of their cheeses they give you pairing ideas with wine, beer and food.  I found this very helpful when we did our cheese tasting.

Another plus Sartori has recipes featuring their cheese. Recipes on my list to try are the  Balsamic BellaVitano Tart, Smoky, silky, parsnip, mushroom and EspressoVitano Mac & Cheese, Black Pepper BellaVitano Beer Cheese Soup and Sartori Smoky Paprika Cheese Biscuits.

You can check out a list of markets by state that carry Sartori Cheese or you can order directly from them like I did.  I'm already making a list for my next order.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What's in your pantry?

One thing I am really bad at is buying groceries putting them in the pantry and not getting around to using what I purchased in a timely manner.  Then my pantry gets so packed I can't fit another thing in it.  It was time to go through the pantry and refrigerator and see what I could put together, that was fast and a one "pot" meal.

I came up with a Chicken and Broccoli Calzone and I'm using the word Calzone loosely. I must say it did come out pretty darn good and it is filling. It's kinda like a giant Hot Pocket.

What's in your pantry?

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Calzone

1/2 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons Fiesta Chili Seasonings, found in the Hispanic section of market
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup Marsala Wine
15 oz jar Classico Light Alfredo Sauce
1 1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets
1 Pillsbury Thin Pizza Crust
4 slices or provolone or swiss cheese (I used swiss)
1 egg
salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Cover chicken with chili seasonings and salt.  Add marsala wine, chicken, onions to skillet and sauté for 3 minutes turn chicken; cook another 3 minutes. Add Alfredo sauce and broccoli and simmer for 5 minutes.  Roll out pizza dough and place on a parchment paper covered baking dish. Add the chicken and broccoli mixture down the center of the pizza dough; place cheese slices on top of the mixture. Cut dough to allow you to wrap the dough on top of the mixture. Beat egg and brush on top of the dough, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes; until crust is golden, let sit for 10 minutes before cutting.

Monday, August 25, 2014

It's Pumpkin Season!

This picture has been all over Pinterest and Facebook and I love it. I am one of those Pumpkin People I can not get enough pumpkin.

Today Starbucks is releasing their Pumpkin Spice Latte (pay it forward and buy the person behind you a Pumpkin Spice Latte today).  Dairy Queen will be coming out with their Pumpkin Pie Blizzard very soon, I am in Pumpkin Heaven. I had to get on the pumpkin bandwagon with these Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies.  They are soft and chewy and oh so good.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg and cloves; whisk together making sure all dry ingredients are incorporated.

Using a stand mixer add butter, peanut butter and sugars mix together using the paddle attachment beat on medium speed until fluffy around 3 to 5 minutes.  Add egg and vanilla; beat until incorporated.  Add dry ingredients a 1/3 at a time until completely incorporated.

I used a #40 scoop (about 2 tablespoons) placing 12 cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake 12 to 14 minutes; allow to set a couple minutes before moving them to wire racks to cool.  Keep in a air-tight container. If you want you can drizzle them with a glaze or add a cream cheese frosting.
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