Friday, April 29, 2011

Quinoa Salad (with peppers, black beans, and mango)

If you're one of those folks who doesn't like strange food combinations and is terrified of different foods, skim right over this post to the one below. It's of chocolate. You'll probably like it more then the recipe I'm about to do.

And to those who like to try new stuff....let me tell you what. You are in for a treat, baby! I mean this salad is SO unique but yet so great tasting. Very fresh tasting. Like a summer evening. 

Craig told me tonight I should make a career of mixing and inventing recipes because he thinks I've got a knack for it. That was probably the highest compliment he has paid me this whole week! And it's Friday so there's been alot of days already gone by. =D

I have NO idea what on earth to name this recipe, though. Care to help me out?!? 

Quinoa Salad

3-4 cups prepared quinoa
1 can black beans, fully drained
1 mango, cubed small
1 red pepper, sliced thin and sauteed tender
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
1-2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste

This is how basic this recipe is. Combine all ingredients. Serve warmed or cold. 
Difficult, huh? =D

 So colorful! I like my food colorful. It makes me smile.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Every now and then I make something that makes my heart (and tastebuds) fairly sing. 
I realllly wanted chocolate today but in all reality, commercial chocolate isn't all that great for you. So I set out to revamp an old recipe I had been making to see if I could improve it's consistency. It. WORKED. And I LOVE the results! So do the kids. Cocoa, cinnamon, and a dash of salt makes some prettttty amazing stuff! It's not a stiff chocolate. It's kinda got the consistency of fudge. But when it's cut up into little squares and frozen....................YUM. Tiny, little bites of divine! With all the health benefits of raw honey, cocoa, and coconut oil! And it goes with Craig's "no refined sugar" requirements..! In my books, that's called a score!!


1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon palm shortening
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Dump all ingredients in 1 quart canning jar. place canning jar in pot half full of boiling water. Heat until all is melted and well combined. Pour onto foil lined cookie sheet. Freeze until firm. Peel off foil and cut into little itty  bitty squares of indulgence! I recommend freezer storage. But that's just because I like my chocolate cold. =) I was known to take a candy bar and cut it into tiny squares and put them in a bag in the freezer. I'm kinda odd like that. =D

Friday, April 15, 2011

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

In celebration of what I hope is the last rainy day in a long time (or so the weather says), I made soup. That and because I made bread today, what better to eat it with then soup?!
A few days ago, I asked my husband to get me a crown of broccoli. He came home with four. Four large crowns. I mean huge. What on earth was I gonna do with that much broccoli?? 
Well. I had skads of pre shredded cheese leftover, too, from making breakfast burritos yesterday so I put the two together and came up with this divine soup.
I think sharp cheddar is best for soups. Especially when the soup IS a cheese cheddar just gives such a nice bite. So, without further ado, here is the recipe!!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 cups small broccoli pieces
Enough chicken broth to cover broccoli
3 1/2 cups milk whole milk
1/2 cup flour
3 cups shredded cheese
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped onion, sauteed tender or 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 cup finely diced potatoes, cooked (my canned garden potatoes came in handy here!!)
1/2 tsp lawrys seasoning salt
salt and pepper to taste

Put broccoli in small pot and cover with just enough chicken broth that the broccoli is submerged. Boil on medium until broccoli is tender. Meanwhile, in large pot, warm milk on med-high. Whisk in flour and simmer gently, whisking constantly, until thick; about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in cheese until melted. Add rest of ingredients, minus broccoli, and stir well. Remove 1/3 cup broth from broccoli and discard. Pour rest of broccoli/broth into pot and heat through. Serve immediately. 

My Favorite Bread

I've been making bread now for about 6 months. Before that time, I was scared of yeast. And making bread. I've no clue why, really..just heard that yeast was tricky to work with etc etc..yeah, well, I don't believe that anymore. Yeast is no more terrifying than flour or daisies in my books. =) I can make bread. And I can make it good. That is a fact that I'm proud of because I never ever, ever thought I would be able to make decent bread never mind good bread!
This is my go-to recipe when I need never fail bread. And by never fail, I mean it has never failed me. I make 3 loaves a week and have yet to have it flop once. That's pretty cool in my books!!  I've only made it with freshly ground flour so no guarantees it'll turn out of you don't use whole wheat flour!! 

5-6 cups hot water (hot to the touch;not hot enough to burn finger)
2/3 c. oil
2/3 c. honey
2 tbsp yeast
2 tbsp salt
12-16 cups freshly milled whole wheat flour

Pour warm water into mixing bowl. Add approximately 6 cups flour on top of liquid. Then add oil, honey, and yeast.  Mix well. Add approx. 5 additional cups flour, and salt. Mix while adding flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.  Continue kneading for another 5 minutes. Put in oiled bowl and cover. Let raise until doubled in size. Punch down and divide dough into 4 equal portions and shape into loaves. Put into well greased pans. Let rise till double in size. Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack. Rub tops with butter.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Little tidbit. Do you know the difference between a taquito and a flauta? Taquitos are made with corn tortillas, and flautas with flour. Didn't know that!! 

One part that I actually kinda hate about writing out recipes is a recipe can be SO limiting! When it comes to taquitos, I don't like a recipe! I like to mix up a large bowl of whatever I think will taste good and try it out. Usually it works! Sometimes, not so much..haha. These are my two favorite combinations. Don't let them limit you, though! You can go wiiiild with taquitos. Hand held excellence, baby!

Chicken Filling

4 cups shredded chicken
1 to 2 cups salsa
1/2 cup corn
1 1/2 cup cooked rice ( I usually use brown )
2 cups shredded cheese (I like pepperjack or mozarella)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon diced green chiles

Beef Filling

1lb ground beef, cooked and seasoned with taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed until water is clear
1 to 2 cups rice
2 cups shredded cheese ( I usually do cheddar with the beef)

Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Have a large stack (at least 40) of small corn tortillas handy by a griddle. Lightly spritz tortillas with olive oil and heat both sides until warm. If you can't roll them without them cracking, they aren't warmed enough. Proceed to place 2 or so tablespoons filling on each corn tortilla and roll tight, placing seam side down on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 until crisp and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
These freeze amazingly so when I do make them, it's a process of about 70 or so taquitos. After they are cooled, I put them in quart size freezer bags and write beef or chicken on them so I know which to grab for whom. (beef for Aerro, chicken for Avoni) Best reheated on 350 in the oven! 

Next time I make these, I'm so going shredded beef ones...and maybe a shredded pork version, too! Some day I will get brave and do a fish taquito, too. =)