Sunday, July 10, 2016

Wholesome lentil soup

This is a very simple soup that is way better than any store bought or canned soup you can ever eat.  Its very healthy and probably takes around a couple hours to make. If you have a dutch oven (like in the picture), I would highly recommend it. Otherwise, I would use a heavy bottom pan.  This recipe uses the French green lentils.

French green lentils: 1 bag
Chicken stock 1 Quart or 32 Ounces + 2 cups (from boullion or can)
3 small yellow onions chopped
Garlic 4 cloves, diced
Carrot fresh, 1 bunch or 5 to 6 medium diced
Celery: 3 cups medium diced
Olive oil (1/4 cup)
Salt: 1 tblsp
Fresh ground pepper: 1 tsp
Tomato paste: 1/4th cup
Fresh thyme: 1 tblsp
Cumin: 1 tsp
Leeks 2, white park only chopped (o
ptional, I did not use)
1) Soak lentils in hot water (boil in microwave or from a tea kettle). Then drain in sieve. 
2) While lentils are soaking, chop carrots and celery, thyme and minced garlic
3) In a dutch oven, heat oil and sautee onions, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, cumin and garlic
4) When translucent, add carrots, celery and tomato paste
5) Then add chicken stock and lentils
6) Close, bring to boil and then simmer for 35 minutes 
7) Enjoy with a drizzle of olive oil, cheese (parmesan)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Strawberry Muffins

Strawberry Muffins
This makes 2 trays of 12 or 24 small sized muffins.  Tashi went strawberry picking to
Strawberry Belle Farms and came back with a gallon of yummy strawberries (Thanks Shaun!).  So we decided to make muffins this weekend.
Thanks to Barefoot Contessa for her inspiring recipe!!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups diced fresh strawberries (on the ripe side) or more if you have more
1 cup sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tins with paper liners
2) Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Stir gently with hands to combine
3) In a glass bowl, combine the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.
4) Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and pour the wet mixture into the well.  Stir until just combined. There will be some lumps but don't overmix the batter!! Add the strawberries and sugar and stir gently to combine.
5) Using a 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop, spoon the batter into the muffin cups to fill the liners. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and the tops are nicely browned.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Creamy Penne with Asparagus, Peas, Mushroom and Pancetta (Kid Friendly Collection)

I have been looking for some toddler friendly recipes and I finally came across this one from Cooking Light.  The easy part about this is that it is a "one pot" dish (just a bit more involved). Anyway, the outcome was pretty delicious. and blog worthy.  I like the fact that the white sauce is not from a jar or bottle in the grocery aisle but made with 2% milk, flour and butter the old fashioned way.  Interestingly, no cheese.  Also love that there are so many vegetables in here for kids. If you have a spice garden in the spring/summer, it would be really convenient for fresh herbs but maybe dried herbs would work too.

Pancetta (1/2 inch thick slice from deli chopped into small squares)
Mushrooms sliced (any type)
Frozen peas (1 cup)
Asparagus bunch (Cut into 2 inch pieces and discard ends)
Fresh Thyme (1 tablespoon chopped) and fresh Parsley (3 tablespoon chopped)
1 Bay leaf
Lemon rind (1 teaspoon) and juice used instead of wine to deglaze
1/4 cup white wine (I use 2 tablespoons each lemon juice and water instead and it works great!)
3 cups unsalted chicken stock
2% Milk -- 2.5 cups
Beurre Manie (2 tablespoons all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons butter, softened) - this will be used for thickening later
1.5 cups uncooked penne (whole wheat brown or regular)
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

1) Make Beurre manié by combining flour and butter in a bowl until a paste forms.
2) Chop Asparagus, mushrooms and keep them ready.  Zest the lemon.
3) Use a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil, heat and add pancetta.  Toss for 2 minutes and add mushrooms and asparagus.  Sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Add wine to deglaze and add salt (1/4 tsp). Remove and set aside
4) To the same pan, add 3 cups stock and 2 cup milk + penne + bay leaf  Bring to a boil.
5) Cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas and cook. Salt to taste (1/2 tsp)
6) Add 1/2 cup milk, salt (1/4 tsp), thyme. Mix and add butter-flour paste, in pieces, stirring.
9) Remove from heat; stir in mushroom and asparagus mixture, parsley, rind, and black pepper (pinch is ok and gives strong flavor due to lightness of sauce).
So delicious!