Sunday, October 4, 2009

50 Easy Soups

As I'm sitting here at 5:21am, I can hear raindrops falling off the roof of my house. We've been blessed with another two days of rain and I'm quite sure it will continue through tomorrow. My friend Lisa read that it was going to be a very wet Fall. (note to self: get Riley Jane some rain boots!) In lieu of these developments, I thought I'd post this link from Foodtv. 50 Easy Soups It's a great article and the directions are in like 2-4 sentences! Those are my kind of directions! Keep it simple, right? I feel like fresh ingredients are important for our bodies this time of year! Let me know which are your favorites!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Tribute to Oatmeal

I'd like to recognize this link today. It's a tribute to oatmeal. I'll have to admit, by itself, oatmeal is pretty good. But add some delicious toppings like chocolate chips and peanut butter, and it's better than pretty good. So check out A Tribute to Oatmeal on one of my favorite blogs Kath Eats Real Food. Most importantly, besides it's deliciousness, it's healthy! Six Benefits of Eating Oatmeal

Italian-Style Winter Sausage and White Bean Soup

My friend Sheila is pumped about the wild game recipes. She sent me this one to share and it sounds amazing- especially in this yucky weather. She created this recipe about 6 months ago with reindeer sausage she bought at- get this- Costco! Ha! They sell reindeer sausage at Costco in Alaska. Well, if you can't find reindeer sausage, don't fret. Use whatever you've got. She also said that it turned out good with Spanish linguica and Hillshire Farms kielbasa. I'm going to use- you guessed it- deer sausage. This is a good recipe because it's affordable and requires pantry items we usually keep on hand. That means little prep or shopping. I hate getting out in rainy weather so this is perfect.

Here's Sheila and Layla last winter.

Italian-Style Winter Sausage and White Bean Soup


1 lb. smoked sausage sliced in 1/2 inch cubes

1 medium onion chopped

2 garlic cloves pressed

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cans white kidney beans

1 box of chicken broth

1/4 c fresh chopped parsley

1/2 box spinach thawed

salt and pepper to taste, red pepper flakes are great!


Drizzle some olive oil in soup pot. Add sausage and onion. Sautee until sausage renders down and begins to caramelize. Careful not to burn the onions. Add garlic with a quick stir. Add tomatoes, broth, and beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat letting the soup simmer for about an hour. Add in the fresh parsley and spinach for the last 10 minutes. Serve this hearty soup topped with grated Parmesan cheese and warm crusty baguettes. A meal in itself!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wild Game

Alright, we are a wild game eatin' family. Here's why:
  • Billy loves to hunt.

  • The meat is leaner than chicken or pork.

  • Talk about FREE RANGE!

  • No pecticides.

  • No antibiotics.

  • I've been to where they live and roam.

  • It's fresh and processed by Billy :)

  • It's tasty.

The key here is knowing how to prepare it. My friend Sheila just moved to the beautiful state of Alaska! Yes, she is quite adventurous. As is her husband and two kiddos. They're always catching these monster salmon in the river and so on. Well, today her husband Josh shot a 700 lb. Moose! WOW! She's gonna need a deep freeze. Here are some recipes, Sheila! If you want more just let me know. Here's a pic of Sheila and her family at the Iron Dog 2009 race!

The first one is basically a marinade that can be used for almost any piece of meat. And we grill most of the game we cook unless I chicken fry it (YUM). I used a whitetail deer ham for this recipe and it turned out great! I marinated it for 24 hours just because we got busy and didn't have time to cook the night I marinated it.



1 cup oil

2 tbsp cider vinegar

3 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 cup ketchup (I used honey bbq sauce since I was out of ketchup- yes, it happens)

1 onion

1 bay leaf

2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1lb wild game cubed

8 cherry tomatoes

12 mushroom caps

1 green, red, or yellow bell pepper cut into pieces

1 red or yellow onion cut into 8 pieces


1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Put the meat and the marinade in a big ziploc and marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours, mixing occasionally.

2. Drain the cubes and thread them onto skewers. Do the same for the veggies. (I did them separate. You can also alternate them if you like.)

3. Grill the brochettes for 5-6 minutes on each side on the BBQ pit, basting with the marinade several times during cooking. Don't overcook it!

4. Serve immediately, accompanied by rice or steak fries.

This next one is DELISH and also for the grill! Not the healthiest entree I've ever served, but one of the tastiest. I don't have any measurements- I had to eyeball it. You really can't go wrong.


2-3 lbs. thick cut Bacon

1 backstrap


1 large onion diced

1 container mushrooms diced

1/3 cup pickled jalepenos diced

1 small head of garlic minced

1 pkg shredded Colby Jack/Cheddar cheese

splash of red wine (and some to drink:)

a lot of Butter

salt and pepper


Butterfly the backstrap with a very sharp fillet knife cutting it down the middle vertically. Do not cut all the way through. You want to end up with a big flat piece of meat you can roll up. So, continue to make slits until it lays flat. Season with salt and pepper. I also pounded it a little with a tenderizing hammer to get it the same thickness throughout. If you do that make sure to put a piece of plastic wrap on top of the meat before you hammer or it will be all over your kitchen!

Alright, moving on to the next step...

Melt butter in a large sauce pan. Add chopped onions, garlic, jalepeno, and mushrooms and cook on medium heat until softened. Add a splash of red wine and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Next, lay bacon in horizontal strips next to one another on a cutting board. Then, lay the flattened backstrap on top of it. Spread the veggie mixture on top of the backstrap. Sprinkle a copious amount of shredded cheese on top of the veggies. Roll it up, wrapping the bacon around it and securing it with as many toothpicks as you need. More the better to keep all the yumminess from leaking out on the grill. Just like you would do a tenderloin.

Place on the grill, turning until cooked throughout- it shouldn't take long since the backstrap really isn't very thick. On the side, I rolled large white potatoes (one per person) in oil and then sprinkled with sea salt. Bake for 45 mins. I served them totally loaded out with sour cream, butter, and cheese. Why not go all out?!?!

Garlic-Lime Chicken

I made some very yummy and healthy chicken tonight! It's an easy one. I found the recipe on foodtv but I changed it a little bit since I didn't have all the ingredients. I think almost anyone (even your picky eaters) will like this one.

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
3 tsp Onion Salt (or you can use chopped onion)
2-3 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp Molasses (don't be scared- it caramelizes)
2 Tbsp Worstershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Cooked pasta of your choice

*If you used chopped onion instead of onion salt, add some salt to the marinade. The marinade tastes different than the chicken will after cooking. Weird I know.

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a roasting pan with non-stick spray. Mix all ingredients except chicken in a bowl. Then, add chicken breasts and marinate as long as you want. I think I let it sit for... oh.. about... 10 seconds! I was in a rush but it was still good! Put chicken breasts in pan and pour remaining marinade on top. Bake for 30-35 min.

Place chicken breasts on top of cooked pasta and pour remaining sauce from pan over chicken and pasta! Wa-la! I served it with garlic french bread and steamed broccoli. Let me know if you try it and how it turned out! Yumo! Sorry for no pictures- we were too hungry!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Believe it or not...

I cooked fish of my own initiative!

I have had this tilapia recipe that I have been looking at for ages. I don't care for fish too much, but Josh and Bec love it, and this recipe has olives, so I went for it.

Tilapia-->Haddock with tomatoes and green olives

(I couldn't get tilapia here in Aberdeen)

-a couple pieces of your favorite kind of mild fish

-halved cherry tomatoes

-sliced green olives

-minced garlic

-olive oil

-parsley (next time, I think I'd prefer basil)

Combine all ingredients (minus the fish). Arrange fish on a greased pan. Put toppings on. (Omit olives if your husband does not like them ;)) Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. (I baked it at the same time as the potatoes you'll see below)

Sauteed veggies- I had zucchini and broccoli in the fridge- olive oil and herbs...

Also twice-baked potatoes...cook your pot's in the microwave, scoop out the insides of each half, add butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, and salt and pepper- mix it all up together and scoop back in the potatoes (we call these jacket potatoes here in Scotland :)). Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until browned.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Salad alternative

If you get tired of a green salad, here is a tasty and super-easy, but impressive, alternative.

1 ball of Mozzarella

1 tomato (or 2 smaller ones)

8 basil leaves

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Slice the cheese and tomato. Alternate them. Chop the basil (take the leaves, line them up in a pile, roll them into a pipe-shape, and cut them that way for efficiency) and sprinkle on top. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar right before you serve (Andrea, I am thinking like 1-2 tablespoons of each one :)). The rest can be done in advance.