Wednesday, January 25, 2023

garlic chickpea soup


I made this soup and served it with homemade cheesy breadsticks and cucumber & tomato salad.  Everyone ate it which doesn't happen every it's a win!

garlic chickpea soup (the clever meal)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (I omitted)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 cans (15 ounce each) chickpeas
1 large potato, diced (I omitted)
2 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

Pour one of the cans of chickpeas with it's liquid into a blender and puree until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat, add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute, or just until it's fragrant and smells good.
Add the pureed chickpeas, the second can of drained chickpeas, the cubed potato, paprika, rosemary, thyme, chili flakes and some freshly cracked pepper.  Add broth and stir.
Place a lid on the pot turn the heat up to a medium-high, and bring the soup to a boil.  Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium low and allow it to simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning according to your taste.  Serve hot with freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Monday, January 23, 2023

one-pot white bean pasta


This was a good one!  I love one-pot wonders.

one-pot white bean pasta (the clever meal)
1 tablespoon olive oil plus more to drizzle
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 or 1/8 tsp chili flakes
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups water or low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon fine salt or according to taste
8 ounces bow tie pasta
4 ounces baby spinach, washed and stems removed
4 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve

Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant and smells good, about 45 seconds.
Add paprika, chili flakes, beans, black pepper, and give a good stir.
Add hot water or low sodium vegetable broth, salt and turn to high heat and bring to a boil.
Stir in  pasta, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and cook stirring frequently.  The amount of liquid is enough to cover the pasta but keep an eye on it to make sure the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
In the last two minutes of the pasta's cooking time, add fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes.  Stir until the spinach is wilted.
Turn off the heat, finish the dish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese melts and the pasta is well combined.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and more freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Monday, December 12, 2022

ground turkey kebabs (or meatballs)


Hall of Fame!  I haven't declared a Hall of Fame in a while and this one deserves it.  The flavors are fantastic.  I didn't have the right skewers for kebabs so I formed mine into meatballs.  Get ready for some soft, uber-flavorful meatballs.

ground turkey kebabs (or meatballs) (Costco Connection Magazine, December 2022)
2 pounds ground turkey
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3/4 cup parsley, chopped
10 ounces frozen cut spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled (I couldn't believe I didn't have any on hand!)
1 egg, whisked
1 shallot, chopped (I used 2 green onions)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill weed, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 thick 8-inch wooden skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (unless you prefer to pan fry).
Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until well combined.  With damp hands, mold meat firmly around skewer into a sausage shape, about 5 inches long and 2 inches wide.  You should have enough meat for about 10 skewers.
Brush kebabs with oil and bake on a foil lined baking sheet for 25-33 minutes or until meat registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Serve with tzatziki sauce and hummus.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

creamy cheesecake pumpkin brownies


My oldest daughter brought these over for us and they are amazing!  My kids were saying that they tasted a lot like a really good cheesecake.  They are so soft and a great consistency.  Will definitely satisfy a sweet tooth.

creamy cheesecake pumpkin brownies (mom timeout)
1 box brownie mix
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
cheesecake layer
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Preheat your oven to indicated temperature on box mix.
Lightly spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.  Line with parchment paper leaving an overhang for easy removal.  Alternatively, line a 9-inch square pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Set aside.
Prepare the brownie mix as directed using ingredients indicated on the box.  Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.
Cheesecake Layer
Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Add the sugar and beat until combined.  Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
Add in pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and mix until smooth and combined.
Spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Spoon the cheesecake filling over the top of the brownie batter and carefully spread into a thin layer with an offset spatula.
Spoon the remaining brownie batter over the top and drag the tip of a knife through the batter to create a swirl pattern.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Let cool completely in pan.  Use the parchment paper or foil overhang to pull the brownies out of the pan and cut into squares.
Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

garlic parmesan potatoes in cream sauce


My kids loved these.

garlic parmesan potatoes in cream sauce (little broken)
1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup half and haalf
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
fresh chopped parsley
kosher salt and fresh black pepper

Add potatoes to a cooking pot and cover with 2 quarts cold water.  Stir in salt.
Bring to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to a light simmer and cook the potatoes, uncovered for 13-15 minutes or until knife tender.  
While the potatoes are cooking start on the cream sauce.  In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add garlic, until fragrant about 30 seconds.  Whisk in flour and cook until lightly golden, about a minute or so.
Gradually whisk in the broth and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened. 
Stir in half and half, cayenne pepper and Parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Let the mixture thicken.  If it's too thick, add more milk as needed.
Stir in the cooked potatoes until fully coated in the cream sauce.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley before serving.

Monday, December 5, 2022

creamy tuscan mushrooms over pasta


These mushrooms were delicious!!  I think everyone in my family enjoyed them.  I served them over egg noodle nests (they're at Costco and so great!) and with zucchini on the side.  Great meal.

creamy tuscan mushrooms over pasta (this is a mash-up of two recipes I found)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
16 ounces mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
hot pasta for serving

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
When the skillet is hot, add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for a couple minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the black pepper.
In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and milk and stir until smooth.
Add the cornstarch and milk mixture and stir heat until the sauce thickens and the mushrooms are soft.  Add the red pepper flakes, spinach and Parmesan.  Cook until the spinach wilts and the cheese melts.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve over hot pasta.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

veggie loaded breakfast casserole


We had house guests after the wedding so I wanted something that I could make the morning of the wedding then throw into the oven the next morning before our guests left.  I chose this recipe and I added ham on one half and left the other half vegetarian.  It would out really great!

veggie loaded breakfast casserole (little spice jar)
2 tablespoons oil
8-10 mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 red onion, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
20 ounces shredded potatoes (I bought the seasoned potatoes in the refrigerated section, not frozen)
10 eggs
1/3 cup half and half or milk or almond milk
1/4 cup hot sauce (or more or less to taste)
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheese 
diced meat, optional

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil.  Add the mushrooms and saute them for 4 minutes or until they start to brown.  Add a small pinch of salt along with the onions and garlic and let cook for 2 minutes.  Remove to a plate.  Add the second tablespoon of oil, if needed, and saute the peppers for a minute.  Add in the baby spinach and allow it to wilt, remove from heat and set aside.
Generously spray a 9x13 with nonstick cooking spray.  Lay the shredded potatoes in the bottom of the dish and press to make sure they are spread out evenly.  Add the veggies (both the mushrooms and the pepper mixtures) over the potatoes, set aside.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 if you are baking the casserole immediately.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, half and half, hot sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper  Pour the egg mixture over the prepared veggies.  Sprinkle the cheese over the top and another small pinch of salt and pepper.
Bake the casserole uncovered, until the cheese melts and the top gets golden brown 45-50 minutes.  Allow the casserole to cool 10 minute before serving.
To Make Ahead:  Prepare the casserole as directed, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or as required, not to exceed 24 hours.  Allow it to come to room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.