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Red Heart

December 2014



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Dec. 8th, 2014


Greek Chickpea Salad

I usually either grab some leftovers or eat out for my weekday lunches.  It wasn't always this way.  I used to be really good about packing a lunch.  Well, at least I tell myself that.  But now I'm sincerely trying.  No more than once a week may I eat out during a weekday lunch.  Leftovers are still ok, but a planned lunch schedule is SO MUCH BETTER.  Enter a chickpea salad.  (P.S. - salads don't require lettuce FYI).

Greek Chickpea Salad


*  3.5 cups canned chickpeas, about  15 oz cans or one really large one, drained and rinsed (Goya Chickpeas preferred)
*  1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
*  1 can of yellow corn (low sodium), drained and rinsed
*  1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
*  1 cucumber, seeds removed, quartered and diced
*  1 container of extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and diced finely
*  1/8 cup feta cheese
*  1 cup Newmans' Own Greek Vinaigrette (or your own preferred brand)
*  20-30 green or black olives, quartered
*  1/8 cup bannana peppers, roughly chopped


1.  In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, onions, corn, tofu, cucumber, corn, feta, olives, and bannana peppers.

2.  Toss well and add Greek dressing.   Let sit at least 1 hour, preferrably overnight.

3.  Reserve tomatoes for when serving (if storing for several days).  Add tomatoes prior to service.

Serves 5 | Calories 463 | Fat 24.5 g | Cholesterol 3 mg | Sodium 1514 mg | Potassium 322 mg | Carbs 47.7 g | Fiber 12.6 g | Sugar 8 g | Protein 21.5 g

Nov. 21st, 2014


Lazy Chicken Noodle Soup

I have a cold right now that is simply taking me out.  I have no energy to do anything but sleep.  It's kind of ridiculous.  I'm not even hungry.   Weird, I know.  But last night I needed to eat something (one cannot survive on protein powder alone) and looked around my moderately bare kitchen (no grocery shopping for about 12 days).  Luckily I always have the "bare necessities" in my house.  [I feel like I should make a post on that topic alone...oh well].  So I bring you...extremely lazy chicken noodle soup.  Be creative with this...throw whatever suits your fancy into the pot.

Extremely Lazy Chicken Noodle Soup

* chicken base (about 2 tbsp)
* 8 cups of water
* 1.5 cups of shredded carrots (had some leftover from fried rice earlier this week)
* 1 cup of corn (also leftovers from this week)
* 1 cup dry noodles (used farfelle)
* 1 chicken breast (I used a frozen breast)


1.  Bring the water and the chicken base up to almost simmering temp in a large sauce pan.  Taste and adjust chicken base to your preference.

2.  Add frozen chicken breast and simmer about 20 minutes.

3.  Remove chicken breast from pot and add carrots, corn, and noodles to pot.  Simmer about 12 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile shred the chicken.  Add to the pot once the noodles are done cooking.

5.  Tada!  Chicken soup!

Nov. 17th, 2014

Red Heart

Ham & Cheese Stromboli

Continuing on from the previous post (yay!  pizza dough!) I made a stromboli this week that was OUT OF THIS WORLD.  No was that good.  Please note, I do not put marinara sauce in my stromboli.  I serve it on the side because I found baking it kind of makes a mess and makes reheating a chore.  Also...sometimes I like my stromboli plain...I know, weird.

Ham & Cheese Stromboli (or whatever kind you'd like to make)
*  1/2 pound deli ham (or off the bone ham - don't use honey ham)
*  6 oz part skim mozzarella cheese (shredded)
*  2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
*  1 tsp kosher salt
*  1 egg


1.  Make the quick pizza dough recipe or use your own pizza dough.
2.  Preheat oven to 500 F
3.  Roll out the dough so it fits within a jelly roll pan.  (I usually just mush the dough around with my fingers into the form I need)
4.  Keep 1/3 of the long end uncovered by ingredients.  That will be the bottom of the boli.
5.  Add your selected meats and cheeses.  I used deli ham and mozzarella cheese (nutrition is calculated on this and my pizza dough recipe).
6.  I placed the ham down first on the remaining 2/3 of the dough and then sprinkled the mozzarella on top.
7.  Whip the single egg and brush lightly on the exposed 1/3 of the dough.
8.  Tuck the short ends in about 1 inch and then jelly roll style (or burrito style), roll the stromboli up starting on the long end with the ingredients.  Tuck and roll until you reached the egg washed end of the stromboli.  Continue rolling but press a little harder to seal the egg wash to the dough roll.
9.  Settle the stromboli on the pan with the egg washed end on the bottom of the pan.
10.  Slice a few vents on the top of the stromboli.
11.  Lightly brush the stromboli with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle the parmesan and salt on top of the stromboli.
12.  Let the stromboli sit for about 15 minutes to let the dough rest and rise a little more.
13.  Bake in the oven for 5 minutes and then rotate it and bake it another 5 minutes.
14.  Drop the oven temp to 350 F and bake for another 10 minutes or so to assure that the dough has completed baking.
15.  Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes.
16.  Slice into 8 or so slices and serve with a small salad and a side of marinara.  Yum!

Serves 4 (about two slices a serving) | Calories 609 | Fat 21.8 g | Sat Fat 9.2 g | Cholesterol 110 mg | Sodium 2895 g | Potassium 298 g | Carbs 68.1 g | Fiber 2.8 g | Sugars 5.3 g | Protein 33.7 g

Red Heart

Quick Pizza Dough

This recipe is a variation of a recipe found on Serious Eats website.  The major difference is that receipe requires an overnight rising, while my variation only requires about 90 minutes.  There is a minor sacrafice in flavor (as long developed breads often have a richer yeasty taste) but for my purposes it worked well and was extremely tastey.

Quick Pizza Dough

Adapted from Serious Eats

*  2.5 cups of all purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
*  1.5 tablespoons white sugar
*  2 tsp kosher salt
*  1 tbsp active instant yeast
*  1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
*  1 cup lukewarm water
*  Pam Olive Oil


1. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in bowl of food processor. Pulse a few times until incorporated.

2.  Add olive oil and pulse a few more times

3.  Run food processor and start adding the water until the mixture forms a ball that travels around around the blade.  If you have water leftover at this stage, thats ok.  Don't use it.  If you need to add more water to reach this stage, thats ok add a little more.  This receipe is based off my kitchen temp, humidity, and altitude,  yours is different.

4.  Continue processing after the ball has formed for about 30 seconds or so.  Stop the processer and transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.

5.  Knead by hand a few times until a smooth ball has formed.

6.  Lightly spray a bowl with Pam (I used Olive Oil Pam).  Transfer the dough and then flip it in the bowl so both sides had contact with the sprayed Pam.

7.  Preheat the oven to 500 F.

8.  Cover the bread in the bowl with a clean cotton towel folded twice and tucked around the bowl (you can also use saran wrap...I just don't keep it in our house).  Place or near the oven.  Let rise for 60 minutes.

9.  Check the dough at 50 minutes by poking it.  If it springs back or you feel resistance it is probably ready.  The dough should almost double in size if not doubled.
10.  Pizza/Stromboli/Calzone time!  Stretch the dough to the size you want.  This dough should make one pizza (size of jelly roll ban), one large stromboli (about 15 inches long), or about four calzones (about 4 inches long).  If it doesn't stretch well, thats ok.  Let the dough sit by the oven for about 20 minutes or so (in a rough ball covered) and then try again.

*  Note:  I calculated the nutrition based on one serving.  This is obviously incorrect, but as I'm not certain what type of further treatment and servings you will be using it, I figured it would be the easiest for people to calculate to their own needs.

Servings 1 | Calories 1390 | Fat 24.1 g | Sat Fat 3.5 g | Cholesterol 0 mg | Sodium 4664 mg | Potassium 338 mg | Carbs 256.5 g | Fiber 8.4 g | Sugars 18.8 g | Protein 32.3 g
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Nov. 13th, 2014


Chicken and Broccoli Braid

For a while after my parents divorced my mom looked at a lot of different options to bring more income into the house besides working one full time job.  For a time she worked retails at night (especially during the holiday season) but at some point she settled for working part time for Pampered Chef.  I remember as a young teenager seeing all of the pampered chef receipes being made for demonstration purposes.  Several are still made in my household today:  apple crisp, vegetable pizza, strawberry cheesecake torte, and chicken and broccoli braid.  Yum!
Chicken and Broccoli Braid
Adapted from Pampered Chef

* 1 cup cooked chicken breast, cubed
*  1 cup broccoli, finely chopped (frozen works here, just rinse under warm water till unfrozen and press the water out well)
*  1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or any good cheese - feta and moz also work really well here)
*  1/4 cup onion, chopped
*  1 tsp kosher salt
*  1/2 tsp black pepper
*  1 garlic cloves, minced
*  1/2 Tablespoon dijon mustard
*  1/4 cup mayo (nutrition calculation is based light olive oil mayo)
*  1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
*  1 egg white, lightly beaten

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Combine broccoli, chicken, onion, cheese, mayonnaise,  garlic, mustard, black pepper, and salt.
3.  Unroll tube of crescent dough onto an ungreased baking sheet or jelly roll pan.
4.  Seal seams to form a solid rectangle.
5.  Using a sharp knife, cut horizontal strips approximately 2 inches long, but 1/2 inch apart down each side of the long side of the crescent roll rectangle.
6.  Spoon filling lengthwise down the center third of dough.
7.  To braid, bring one strip from each side over the filling, meet in center and twist each strip once, then seal ends. Repeat. When you get to the end of the braid, tuck ends of loaf to seal.
8.  Brush with egg whites.
9.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crescent roll is completely cooked and golden brown on top.

Serves 3 | Calories 195 | Fat 8.6 g | Cholesterol 52 mg | Sodium 1098 mg | Potassium 289 mg | Carbs 6 g | Fiber 1.2 g | Sugars 1.5 g | Protein 23.1 g

Nov. 5th, 2014

Red Heart

Asparagus, Egg, and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

The second most requested dinner item in my house is this wonderful Asparagus salad.  It also, along with the first requested item (fried rice), was something my sister was not excited for, but we've come to a reluctant agreement where at least one day a week I get to make whatever I'd like and she has the option to try it or not.  She tried this and RAVED.  See new things aren't so bad after all...

Asparagus, Egg, and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Adapted from Skinnytaste


•           4 large hard boiled egg, peeled and sliced
•           5 cups chopped asparagus
•           4 slices cooked and crumbled center cut bacon (I usually make a huge batch of this in the oven and store bacon in plastic bags in fridge - lasts about 2 weeks...unless we are super hungry)
•           1 tbsp Dijon mustard
•           2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
•           2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
•           1/2 teaspoon sugar
•           pinch salt and pepper, to taste


1.  Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the asparagus and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until tender yet firm.

2.  Drain and run under cold water to stop it from cooking further. Set aside.

3.  In a small bowl mix the Dijon, oil, sugar, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust to taste

4.  Arrange the asparagus on a plate, top with egg and bacon and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Serves 2 | Calories 310 | Fat 19.3 g | Cholesterol 387 mg | Sodium 476 mg | Potassium 826 mg | Carbs 15.3 g | Fiber 7.3 g | Sugars 8.2 g | Protein 25.3 g

Oct. 31st, 2014


Sirloin Snap Pea Stir Fry

Noodles.  It's the chant you hear in my office almost every day.  About 4 or 5 months ago a Noodle shop opened near my work.  Several of us tried it...and now it's almost a weekly occurance.  Ramen Soups, Pho, Stir Fried noodles.  It's never ending.  Before the noodle shop, I like Pho and I liked Wontons, but I wasn't a fan of stir fried noodles.  Oh baby has my tune changed.
Sirloin Snap Pea Stir Fry

Adapted from


*  2 3 oz. packages ramen noodles, packet discarded
*  12 oz sugar snap peas (frozen or fresh)
*  1 tablespoons canola oil
*  1/2 pound boneless sirloin steak, thinly sliced crosswise
*  1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
*  3 garlic cloves, smashed and diced
*  6 scallions, sliced
*  1 cup low-sodium beef broth
*  1/8 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
*  2 tablespoons cornstarch
*  1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
*  1/2 cup shredded carrots


1.  Cook ramen noodles as package label directs. Drain noodles.

2.  Boil snap peas for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water (to stop the cooking process).

3.  Warm 1 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak, stir-fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

4.  Stir fry carrots and ginger for about 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic and scallions and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.

5.  Whisk together broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch.  Add to skillet and cook for 1-3 minutes.  It will thicken.

6.  Add peas and steak; stir until hot.

7.  Stir in sesame oil. Toss in ramen noodles. Serve hot.

Serves 4 | Calories 436 | Fat 15.2 g | Cholesterol 0 mg | Sodium 1166 mg | Potassium 410 mg | Carbs 50.2 g | Fiber 7.1 g | Sugars 6.4 g | Protein 24.2 g

Oct. 27th, 2014

Red Heart

White Dinner Rolls

There are various types of dinner rolls on my "I like to make" menu rotation.  These are by far the easiest and some of the fuffliest.  Throw almost everything in the food processor (or stand mixer) and presto!  Rolls.

One Hour White Dinner Roll
Adapted from Cooking Classy


*  4 - 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*  1/4 cup granulated sugar
*  1 Tbsp rapid rise yeast
*  1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
*  3/4 cup water
*  2/3 cup skim milk
*  4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided into 1 Tbsp pieces
*  1 1/2 tsp white vinegar


1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2.  In the bowl of a food processor with blade attachment on, combine 4 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
3.  Combine in a microwavable medium bowl water, milk, and butter and heat in microwave for about 1 minute 15 seconds.
4.  Combine milk mixture into dry mixture in the food processor bowl.  Add vinegar.
5.  In small spurts, combine mixture with food processor blade and gradually increase until continiously running for about 3-4 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Add additional flour if needed.  Dough should be barely sticky, but able to be worked if needed.
6.  Cover bowl with damp cloth.
7.  Grease a 13x9 pan with Pam spray (or with butter)
8.  Flour a clean counter and tip dough onto surface.  Divide in two and roll out with your hands about a 10 inch long rope.
9.  Using a dough scraper cut the ropes into about 15 pieces.  You might have to combine two smaller pieces to get equal sizes.  Try to get them about equal, but don't worry about it if you get a couple smaller or bigger ones.  Roll each slice into itself making dough balls.
10.  Place dough balls in prepared pan and brush lightly with water.
11.  Place pan in oven and allow dough to rise for about 20 minutes.  If you are curious, turn on oven light and watch through glass door.  Do not open oven (why release all that steamy goodness?)
12.  Remove pan from oven and increase oven temp to 350 F.
13.  Add pan back to oven when oven reaches temp and cook for about 20-22 minutes or until the top of the rolls are golden brown.
14.  Remove rolls from oven and brush with melted butter if so desired.

Serves 15 | Calories 153 | Fat 3.1 g | Sodium 261 mg | Cholesterol 8 mg | Carbs 27 g | Fiber 1.2 g | Sugars 4.9 g | Protein 3.9 g 
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Easy Apple Crisp

I love fall, until all the leaves fall off and the sun sets at 5:00 PM and well the electric bill goes up....Ok.  So I like the idea of fall.  Fall desserts, baking, using my oven without keeling over, and on and on.  Usually I end with a bunch of apple deserts or meals, but this year I haven't been feeling it.  Bread yes, apples no.  But when your kid sister asks you to please make that one apple pampered chef thingy, you gotta do it (even if you complain and make a big show of it).  So here is my version of the Easy Apple Crisp Pampered Chef put out many, many years ago.

Easy Apple Crisp

Adapted from Pampered Chef


*  5 med Granny Smith apples (but any firm baking style apple would work)
*  9 oz yellow cake mix
*  1/2 cup oats (not quick cook, but steel cut)
*  1/4 cup unsalted butter
*  2 tsp white sugar sugar
*  1 tsp cinnamon
*  1/2 tsp cloves
*  1/2 tsp garam masala


1.  Preheat oven to 350 F
2.  Peel, core, slice apples into little half moons.
3.  Layer apples in a greased round cake pan.
4.  Combine oats, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and garam masala.
5.  Melt butter and toss into oat mixture.
6.  Bake apple crisp for about 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
7.  Enjoy!

Serves 8 | Calories 272 | Fat 9.8 g | Cholesterol 16 mg | Sodium 252 mg | Potassium 171 mg | Carbs 45 g | Fiber 3.8 g | Sugars 25.7 g | Protein 2.1 g

Oct. 23rd, 2014

Red Heart

Kielbasa Soup

This is one of those recipes that you open your fridge and say....yep that’s going in, so that, and oooh, forgot I had that in there.  I've been making this soup for over a decade and my family always just calls it Kielbasa soup, but really it's a variation of chicken corn soup.  If I make it myself I usually throw in some more hardy greens (such as collards, kale, or swiss chard), but if I'm making it for my sister (yay...roommate who is VERY picky), well that just doesn't happen.  This is the version I would feed my sister.  Feel free to wing it and dump whatever sort of veggies you like in here.  It probably would be good with a change of meat...I'm thinking ground pork or Italian sausage would be fantastic subs for Kielbasa.

Kielbasa Soup


*  1 kielbasa (such as Hillshire - around 16 oz), sliced into rounds and cut into half-moons
*  4-5 fist sized red potatoes, roughly peeled (leave some of that skin on for a more rustic look) and chopped into about 1 inch sized cubes - feel free to use Yukon gold or similar type of potato here.
*  8-10 cups chicken stock or broth, homemade or container, preferable low sodium and low fat (or use better than bullion to get your desired "broth taste")
* 1-2 cups water
*  3-4 stalks of celery, sliced
*  1/4 cup chopped white onion
*  1 tsp olive oil
*  2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
*  2 cups corn (frozen, fresh, or canned - rinse canned well)
*  1/2 cup skim milk
*  1/4 cup white cheddar (or other cheese of your choice), shredded
*  3-4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
*  [OPTIONAL] 2-4 cups leafy greens (stick with the hardier types if adding to soup or if you prefer the less harder - place greens uncooked in each bowl before ladling soup)


1.  Place a stockpot or large dutch oven on the stove at medium heat, add olive oil.
2.  Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil for about 1-2 minutes.
3.  Place the kielbasa slices into pot and let brown, stirring frequently, for about 2-3 minutes.
4.  Add broth and water.  Bring to a boil.
5.  Add corn and potatoes to pot and let simmer for about 10-12 minutes.  The potatoes should still be firm, but should be able to finish within 5-7 minutes additional cooking time.
6.  Add carrots, celery, and hardy leafy greens if using to pot and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
7.  Add milk and lower temperature a bit.  Bring to temperature, right under a simmer to a simmer - don't boil.
8.  Stir in cheese and let melt (around 1 minute).
9.  Serve with crusty rolls.  If using a less hardy leafy green (such as spinach), place in bowl before ladling soup.

Serves 8 | Calories 241 | Fat 12.1 g | Cholesterol 44 mg | Sodium 1435 mg | Potassium 386 mg | Carbs 21.6 g | Fiber 2.6 g | Sugar 5 g | Protein 14.6 g
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Oct. 20th, 2014

Red Heart

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I love tuna noodle casserole...sometimes.  Its one of those dishes where you don't think about it at all for several months or years and then suddenly...OH MY GOODNESS I WANT IT NOW.  Not joking.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

*  2 tbsp unsalted butter
*  1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped and divided into 2
*  3 tbsp flour
*  2 1/2 cups skim milk
*  1 tsp dry mustard
*  1 tsp kosher salt
*  1/4 tsp black pepper
*  2 cups frozen peas
*  2 cans light tuna packed in water, drained
*  8 oz whole wheat noodles


1.  Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly spray with PAM a 9x11 pan
2.  Cook the noodles according to direction in salted water.  Remove from heat and drain.
3.  Melt butter on medium high heat, reduce heat to medium and add 1/2 of the divided onion.  Saute for about 5-7 minutes.
4.  Whisk in flour and let cook for about 30 seconds.
5.  Whisk in milk until combined and add mustard, salt, and pepper.
6.  Dump noodles, reserved onion, peas, tuna, and milk into prepared 9x11 pan.
7.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden on top.  Feel free to top about 5 minutes before pulling from oven with Panko or Parmesan cheese [not calculated].
8.  Serve with a side salad or broccoli.  :D

Serves 6 | Calories 268 | Fat 5.7 g | Cholesterol 65 mg | Sodium 757 mg | Potassium 523 mg | Carbs 26.2 g | Fiber 3.4 g | Sugars 8.7 g | Protein 26.6 g

Oct. 16th, 2014

Red Heart

Cast Iron Macaroni & Cheese

So I've been on a really, an honest to goodness search for a "default" Macaroni and Cheese.  I think I found it with this receipe (thanks Epicurious) because this was such a HUGE hit at my house last night.  I'm STILL craving it.  I brought it for lunch.  I might eat it for dinner tonight.  Yum, yum, yum.

Cast Iron Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from Epicurious Cast-Iron Macaroni and Cheese


*  One 12 -14.5-ounce box whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta (I like to use Elbows)
*  2 tablespoon unsalted butter
*  1 1/2 cups skim milk
*  3 teaspoon dry mustard
*  1-2 teaspoon kosher salt
*  1 cup (4 oz) Kraft Velveeta 2% Cheese
*  1 1/2 cup (4-6 oz) Monterey Jack (or other melting cheese of your choice)  shredded
*  3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, covered.

3.  Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

4.  Add pasta to pot of salted water when it comes to a boil and cook according to the low end of instuctions.  My pasta only needed 8-12 minutes for al dente; I cooked it for 8.

5.  Melt butter in skillet and whisk in the flour until incorporated.  You can let it toast a bit, but I skipped this step.

6.  Add milk, mustard, and salt whisking until combined.

7.  Whisk in the Velveeta (make it easier and quicker by chopping the Velveeta in blocks before putting in the skillet).  Once melted add 1 cup of the Monterey Jack, reserving 1/2 cup for later.  Whisk until completely combined.  Taste and add salt if needed.

8.  Drain the pasta and add to the skillet, stirring to incorporate well.

9.  Remove skillet from heat, sprinkle with the reserved cheese, and place in oven.  Switch oven from Bake to Broil.  Broil for amount 4-6 minutes, checking frequently, until you reach your desired "toasty" top.  Cool briefly before serving.

10.  Serve with a green salad or broccoli.  Feel free to have some sort of meat on your plate or choose to have none.


Throw a folded towel over the handle of the skillet to prevent inadvertent burns.  It happens even if you cook with cast iron for years!

Serves 6 | Calories 383 | Fat 14.4 g | Cholesterol 38 mg | Sodium 677 mg | Potassium 135 mg | Carbs 47.2 g | Fiber 6.3 g | Sugars 3.6 g | Protein 19.6 g

Oct. 14th, 2014


Fried Rice

I've been debating writing this post for awhile.  It's one of those "recipes" that aren't really recipes and more technique/judgment call.  So I resolved to write my "technique" and see how that works out.

Fried Rice


* 4 cups cooked white rice - chilled (at minimum one hour in fridge and 1/2 hour after that in freezer.  Preferably chilled in fridge overnight)
* 1/2 yellow onion, chopped finely
* fish sauce, to taste
* reduced sodium soy sauce, to taste
* sesame oil (around 1 tbsp)
* canola oil (around 2 tbsp)
* 1-2 cups matchstick carrots
* 2-3 large eggs
* 2 cups shredded cabbage
* 1 cup peas
* OPTIONAL - Chicken Breast (1/2 pound to 1 pound), Shrimp (1 pound small/medium), or Pork (1/2 pound ground or shredded)


1.  In a large wok (or if no wok in a large Dutch oven) bring 1/3 tbsp sesame oil and 1/2 tbsp canola oil to medium high heat
2.  Add diced onion and sauté until transparent.
3.  Carefully remove onion, draining as much oil as possible, to a dinner plate.
4.  Add cabbage and sauté until softened.
5.  Carefully remove cabbage, draining as much oil as possible, to same dinner plate.
6.  You will likely need to add more oil (cabbage soaks it up pretty good), bring 1/3 tbsp sesame oil and 1/2 tbsp canola oil back up to temperature.
7.  Add carrots and sauté about 3 minutes (keeping a crunch)
8.  Carefully remove carrots, draining as much oil as possible, to same dinner plate.
9.  Add peas and sauté about 1-2 minutes (keeping a crunch)
10.  Carefully remove peas, draining as much oil as possible, to same dinner plate.
11.  Add eggs and quickly scramble.  Remove to dinner plate
12.  OPTIONAL - add more oil in the same quantities and cook meat.  Shredded when cooked if chicken, dice slightly if shrimp, and crumble/shredded when cooked if pork.
13.  Add more oil in the same quantities and add rice to the pan.  Add everything that was reserved on dinner plate and mix briefly.
14.  Smoosh the rice mixture down in the pan and DON'T touch for at least a minute.  You'll start to smell a "fried" smell.  That's ok.
15.  Add about 1 tbsp soy and about 1/2 tbsp fish sauce over the rice.  Quickly stir and flatten rice back down again.  Taste the rice.  If not enough soy and fish sauce, add a little more at this point.
16.  Let the rice fry a couple of times, flipping the bottom rice to the top every 1-2 minutes.  Your nose is what works here.  You should not smell BURNT rice, only toasting/frying rice.
17.  Taste the rice after flipping a couple of times and adjust soy sauce /fish sauce if needed.
18.  Fried rice is done when you reach your desired "fry" look.


1.  The key to this receipe is NOT touching the rice for minutes at a time before flipping.  You want to fry, not sauté the rice.  Flipping it too much makes soggy rice.

2.  Cooked rice has to be dry and cold prior to frying it.  Fresh rice DOES not work.

3.  Add and adjust to your tastes.  The ingredients are just suggestions.  I usually like the cabbage/pea/carrot/onion/egg/chicken combo, but frequently make without meat or with "leftover meat" such as the raw filling of pot stickers if I'm assembling them (see recipe for pot stickers).  Add and remove until you find your "perfect" fried rice.

Oct. 7th, 2014


Beef Rouladen

Since it's been so long since my last post (not including the other post I submitted today) I thought I'd add another recipe made almost two weeks ago.  This is a traditional German dish that I had for the first time around 5-6 years ago.  My dad has been dating a woman from Germany (I believe Munich) for almost 10 years and one night she made this for a special treat.  She was kind enough to send along her recipe for me to make.  This recipe is partially adapted from her recipe.  Enjoy!

Beef Rouladen

* 1.5 pounds top sirloin pounded flat and sliced into strips about 4 inches wide and 7 inches long (flank steak and breakfast steak work equally well)
* salt, to taste
* pepper, to taste
* Dijion mustard (around 1 tsbp per strip)
* Center cut bacon (1/2 slice per sirloin strip)
* Dill pickle spears (1/2 spear per sirloin strip)
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced white onions
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 2 cups beef broth
* kitchen twine cut into 6 inch strips


1.  Preheat oven to 350 F
2.  Take each sirloin strip that has been pounded out and sliced into strips and sprinkle with salt and pepper
3.  Add about 1 tbsp of dijion mustard to each slice and spread evenly to the corners of the slice
4.  Add about 2-5 slices of white onion to slice longwise in the middle of each slice (i.e. - the same direction as the longest side of the slice)
5.  Place one 1/2 strip of bacon lengthwise (same as onion) on slice each slice
6.  Place one 1/2 dill spear perpendicular to the onion and bacon on each slice
7.  Roll the slice short end to short end, starting with the dill spear wrap around the spear and continue to the far end
8.  Tie shut with kitchen twine.  Repeat on each slice until you have all of the beef rolled up.
9.  Bring olive oil to medium high heat in a deep pot
10.  Sear off, in groups, each roll on all sides.
11.  Add seared off rolls to a 9x11 pan
12.  Once all the rolls are in the pan enough broth to cover about half way up the rolls (around 2 cups, usually less)
13.  Bake in the oven for about 1 hour covered.
14.  Remove from oven and serve with noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice.

* Note:  Sorry I can't be more specific on how much mustard, bacon, and pickle spears to use.  When I made this recipe I had about 12 rolls.  You might have more, you might have less.  Once you have the slices pounded out and assembled calculate how much you need of each ingredient to proceed.  The calorie calculations are based on 12 rolls with a serving size of 3.

Servings 4 | Calories 402 | Fat 21.3 g | Saturated Fat 7.5 g | Cholerestol 104.8 mg | Carbs 2.6 g | Fiber .5 g | Sugar 1 g | Protein 47.3 g
Tags: ,
Red Heart

Taco Pie

Hello everyone.  It's been awhile, I know.  But I finally moved on to a job that doesn't stress me out quite so much.  My previous employer, its safe to say, was nuts.  I've been at my new firm for 6 months and love it.  While life never gets less stressful (i.e. - sister who lives with me had a about stressful) it certainly is a lot better than it was.

For the past year I have gotten into running and last week ran 13.1 miles in one day!  Yay!  I had planned on entering a half marathon that weekend, but time snuck up on me and the entrance price jumped from $50.00 to $140.00...nope  So I just ran it instead.

Now on to the next great challenge....yep have no idea yet.  Maybe improve running speed?  I am finding out however that running in fall is much harder than running in summer, at least in regards to gear.  Time wise...much better.  I haven't yet committed to running outdoors in winter, but spending another winter entirely indoors saddens me.  I guess I better make the decision either way so I can prepare for it!  Please don't send us another 5 feet in snow this winter!

On to food.  I cooked this last week and got raves on it.  Next time I think I twist it up a was missing something.

Taco Pie
Adapted from Damn Delicious (who adapted it from Betty Crocker)


* 1 cup unbleached flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon (pinch) salt
* 1 tablespoon canola oil (or other such neutral oil/fat)
* 2 cups skim milk
* 3 large eggs
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 pound ground turkey (chicken or beef also work)
* 1 small yellow onion, diced
* 1 cup corn (canned is fine)
* 1 tbsp cumin
* 1/2 tsp kosher salt
* 1-2 tsp chili powder
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 1 tsp onion powder
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles
* 1 and 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack (cheddar or mexican mix works well too)
* 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
* 1-2 medium sized tomatoes chopped (heirlooms preferable, if not grocery store red globes work fine)


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, canola oil, milk, and eggs.  Set aside.
3.  Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet on medium heat and add chopped onion.  Cook until softened around, about 3-5 minutes.  Add ground turkey and cook.  Make sure to crumble the ground turkey.  Drain any excess fat carefully.
4.  Stir in corn, cumin, kosher salt, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and green chiles until heated through.
5.  Stir in the reserved flour mixture until combined.
6.  Place into oven and bake until golden brown around 30-35 minutes. (You can check if cooked by either wiggling the skillet or slicing a knife down the middle.  If it doesn't jiggle when you, or the knife comes out clean, your good to go).
7.  Pull from the oven and sprinkle with cheese.  Return to oven and cook another 4-5 minutes until the cheese is fully melted.
8.  Serve with lettuce and tomato on top.  Add other taco-like toppings if desired.  (It's particularly good with plain greek yogurt and resturant style salsa).  Yum!

Serves 8 | Calories 452 | Fat 25.8g | Saturated Fat 11.2 g | Cholesterol 174 mg | Sodium 814 mg | Potassium 535 mg | Carbs 23.4 g | Fiber 1.7 g | Sugars 5.5 G | Protein 31.6 g

Aug. 4th, 2014


Chinese Pork Potstickers

So, I'm addicted to Potstickers.  It's a sad fate, but oh so true.  What I love about making them at home, is you can make large batch and freeze personal portions in freezer bags to cook later.  I currently live with my sister and her baby.  My sister is one of the least adventurous eaters I have ever met, so in self-defense I like to prepare things like this that I can quickly eat when it's one of those days where all she wants to eat is Kraft Mac and Cheese (and hey don't we all have those kind of days?)

Adapted in part from the little kitchen, Damn Delicious
, and Gourmet Traveler


* 1 cup shredded cabbage (or coleslaw mix)
* 1/2 cup pre-shredded carrots (matchstick carrots)
* 1/4 cup chopped chives (or 1/8 cup minced white onion)
* 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (you can also get this pre-grated in tubes in the produce section)
* 1 pound ground pork
* 1 teaspoon sesame oil
* 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
* 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
* 1 or 2 pinches of black pepper
* 1 package wonton wrappers, around 48
* water for pinching the wrappers shut


1.  In a large bowl combine ground meat, cabbage, carrots, chives, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, and black pepper.  Combine well.  If you'd like you can also cook some of the ground meat to taste the seasoning and adjust with the raw meat.  I don't usually do this step and judge by the smell.

2.  Use a small bowl (like a soup bowl) and fill with water.  Unwrap the wonton wrappers from their package and set near the bowl.  One at a time, place the wrapper in your non-dominant hand and put in the center of the wrapper about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of the ground mixture with your dominant.  You are going to seal the wrapper in a triangle shape (or if you have round wrappers in a half moon shape)

3.  Dip dominant fingers in bowl with water and brush two sides of the wonton wrapper.  Bring the dry side of the wrapper and the wet side up to meet above the filling and crimp the edges to seal.  It should look like a fat triangle or a fat half-moon (depending on the shape of your wrapper)

4.  Repeat until there is either no more wonton wrapper or no more filling (one usually occurs without the other).

5.  At this point I usually freeze the majority of the potstickers in portion sizes in freezer bags.

6.  If you desire to cook immediately (or when frozen), bring a large skillet to medium heat with about 1/2 tablespoon of neutral oil.  Once hot add potstickers to pot and cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes if fresh or 3-5 minutes if frozen.  Add only so many potstickers that you can so that the pan is not crowded and no potstickers touches the other.  Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup water to pan and cover, steaming for about 3-5 minutes (go longer if frozen).  Serve.

7.  You can also steam your potstickers without frying them.  I usually do this in either a bamboo or stainless steel steamer.  If frozen cook about 15 minutes.  If fresh cook about 12 minutes.

8.  If you want a good instructional video on how to assemble the potstickers (i.e. you are a visual learner) check out the little kitchen link at the beginning of the post.  It has a fabulous video near the end of the recipe that I highly recommend.

Servings 12 (about 4 potstickers) | Calories 187 | Fat 7.3 g | Cholesterol 29.1 mg | Sodium 428 mg | Carbs 19.8 g | Fiber 1 g | Sugars .4 g | Protein 10 g



P.S. - If you can't tell by the pics...I'm really bad at crimping.  At some point I just mush everything together and hope that it stays put!  And this time...they all stayed put even after cooking.  

Sep. 10th, 2013

Red Heart

Stuffed Tomatoes

This week has been a stressful one...and its only Tuesday. Thursday I close a $9 million deal earning my office quite a percentage. Do I get a bonus? Nope. But I do get the experience, and I guess for an attorney a year into her career that's pretty good. Today I was out sick and spent my morning gagging in my bed and answering e-mails for work. Pretty much the same thing I'd be doing at work at this point...minus the gagging and the PJs. By late afternoon I was feeling better and decided try my new recipe. It was awesome. You've got to try it...minus the gagging.

Stuffed Tomatoes
Adapted from Pinch of Yum


* 4 large tomatoes beefsteak tomatoes
* 1 cup cooked texmati rice
* 3/4 cup canned, unsalted sweet corn
* 2-4 clove garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
* 1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/8-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
* 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
* 1 tsp garlic powder


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Rinse and dry the corn. Place corn in a skillet over medium high heat with no oil or butter. Let sit for 3-4 minutes and toss. Repeat until corn gets nice and brown on the outside. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Cut the tops of the tomatoes off and carefully scoop out the flesh, reserving the flesh in a separate bowl. Set whole tomatoes aside. Crush the tomato flesh with the back of a spoon until there are no large chunks.

3. Combine the tomato mixture, rice, basil, corn, garlic powder and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add a small handful of the shredded cheese, saving half for topping. Stir it all together until well-mixed.

5. Stuff the whole tomatoes with the tomato, rice, and corn mixture until rounded on the top. Top with shredded cheese.

6. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F.

7. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.


Serves 4:

Per Serving: 196 Calories 19g Carbs 10g Fat 11g Protein 186g Sodium 6g sugar

Aug. 9th, 2013

Red Heart

Amish Sweet White Bread

The last year has been a whirlwind of change. I moved 1000 miles away with no job, permanent place to live, or passing the bar. Since then I moved again to a "permanent" place to live, passed the bar exam, got a job, and have practiced law for almost an entire year. Mixed into all of that is taxation. I practice a specialized area of law called like-kind exchanges which is part of the IRC (IRS Tax Code). I also prepare farm tax returns at Amish homes during the tax season. This year I probably will not be doing that again, but the 4 month experience of being welcomed into Amish farmhomes to prepare taxes was enlightening...and fattening. In celebration of getting back on the posting receipe horse I'm sharing my favorite Amish White Bread Recipe.

Amish Sweet White Bread
Adapted from various sources including tips from Amish cooks, allrecipes, and the all important Google


* 2 cups warm water
* 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
* 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1/4 cup melted butter or canola oil (or other mild oil)
* 6 cups bread flour


1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof in a warm place until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
2. Mix salt and butter (oil) into the yeast.
3. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
4. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1.5 hours.
5. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half.
6. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
7. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
8. Turn out in about 10 minutes from removing from oven. Let cool completely. EAT!

Aug. 30th, 2012

Red Heart

Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese
Adapted from Cooking Light, November 2003


- 1 (1-pound) package uncooked rigitoni
- 1 roll of regular Jimmy Dean sausage
- 2 tsp sriacha
- 1 small to medium yellow onion, chopped finely
- ½ cup red wine (can omit)
- 4-6 small garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup basil, snipped with kitchen shears
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cook pasta 3-4 minutes less than directions, drain and set aside
3. Meanwhile place olive oil in a cooking skillet, bring up to medium heat
4. Add diced onion and cook 5-10 minutes
5. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds
6. Add sausage and break it apart. Cook until sausage is cooked through
7. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sriacha, half of the basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and lower, simmering for 10 minutes.
8. Add a quarter of the parmesan to the sauce, melt.
9. Toss the noodles and sausage mixture in a bowl with remaining basil.
10. Place half of the noodles in a prepared baking dish (sprayed with cooking spray). Top with half on the remaining parmesan and half of the mozzarella
11. Add the rest of the noodles and top with remaining cheeses
12. Baked uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

Aug. 6th, 2012


Strawberry Spinach Salad

So I'm back. Sorry about the unintended absence but the bar really kicked my ass + I moved 1000 miles and started a new job. But I'm here, if you were looking, which you aren't since this basically is where I put receipes I remember to write up. :D

Strawberry Spinach Salad
Adapted from Pampered Chef


* 2 lemons
* 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 4 tbsp olive oil
* 3 tbsp water
* 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and quarted
* 1 small red onion, peeled and diced
* 12 oz fresh baby spinach leaves (about 2 bags)
* 16 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
* 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


1. For dressing, zest both lemons being careful to avoid the pith.

2. Juice lemons to measure 6 tbsp.

3. Combine zest, juice, vinegar, sugar, and water in small mixing bowl; whisk until well blended. While whisking quickly slowly add the oil. Set aside.

4. Combine spinach, cucumber, onion and strawberries in a bowl.

3. Place spinach in large serving bowl. Add cucumber, onion, strawberries and almond. Toss to combine. Serve with dressing on the side or with dressing mixed in if serving immediately (this will create soggy salad leftovers so I recommend serving the dressing on the side).

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