I tried a new soup recipe last week, but being me, I had to tinker with it the first time I made it. The end result was delicious, and it was a pretty popular dinner, so I know I’ll be making it again!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or a combination of the two)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish
4 jalapeños, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tsp. salt
8 cups chicken broth
4 avocados, cut in cubes
Queso fresco, crumbled
Place chicken in stock pot and cover with water. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, about 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Cool enough to chop.
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add cumin and stir well, heating for about a minute. Add onion, 1 cup cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, and lime juice; sprinkle with salt. Sauté until tender, about five minutes.
Stir in chicken broth and chicken; heat through.
Serve with remaining cilantro, avocado, and queso fresco.
This is one of our family’s favorite recipes, and Turkey’s go-to when he picks his birthday dinner.
3 loaves Rhodes bread dough, thawed
20 slices deli ham
24 slices deli Genoa salami
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375.
Split bread dough in two equal portions. Roll each out in a rectangle, about 15×10 inches. Sprinkle each with basil, then top each with half of the ham, salami, and mozzarella. Roll each from the long side; pinch closed. Place each seam side down on a baking sheet; rub with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bread is golden-brown. Let stand five minutes before slicing.
One of my favorite things about the cool weather that arrives with fall is the addition of soups to our dinner menus. Sure, you can make soup during the summer, but it’s just not the same when it’s hot outside, right? There’s something really comforting about a warm bowl of soup on a chilly day! Here’s a look at some of our favorite soup recipes:
Would you believe I’ve never tried to make fajitas before last weekend? I wanted to try something new, though, so I made chicken and steak varieties, and messed around with the recipe a bit until I got the spices right. Everyone loved them, so I think it was a success!
6-8 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
4 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
3 tsp. kosher salt, plus additional to taste
3 tsp. dried oregano
4 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or flank steak, cut into thin strips
3 bell peppers, thinly sliced (I like to use a variety of colors)
1 white onion, thinly sliced
Make marinade: In large bowl, combine 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil, lemon or lime juice, 3 tsp. kosher salt, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Toss with chicken or steak and refrigerate for 3-5 hours.
In large skillet, saute peppers and onions with remaining oil and salt to taste on medium heat until tender. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
In same skillet, saute chicken or steak for five to six minutes until cooked through (do this in batches so you don’t crowd the pan). Discard remaining marinade. Add peppers and onions to pan with meat and heat through.
Serve on tortillas with favorite toppings such as rice, lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, and avocado.
Oktoberfest is one of my favorite times of year! My children have come to expect me to tell the story of why Oktoberfest starts in September and to make all their favorite Oktoberfest treats. Here are the recipes I’ve shared over the years…pretty much just sides and desserts for some reason, but those are the most delicious kinds of recipes, right?
Homemade Pretzels–This is one of favorite recipes, not just for Oktoberfest, but in general, because everyone gets involved in helping shape the pretzels…we’ve had a lot of fun coming up with unique shapes over the years!
Cheddar and Beer Fondue–If you’re looking for a dip for pretzels (or brats, crusty bread, and baby gherkins), this is the recipe you want.
Spaetzle–I can make over a dozen batches of this recipe in a single week, because it’s one that everybody loves, and it goes with pretty much anything.
Apple Strudel–Technically, this is an Austrian recipe, but it’s still an Oktoberfest favorite around here!
Black Forest Cherry Torte–This is one of our all-time favorite cakes…I’ve made it not just for Oktoberfest, but for birthday, too!
It’s that time of year again…Oktoberfest! I’m looking forward to cooking some of our favorite German foods in the coming weeks, but none is more appreciated than homemade spaetzle…well, other than Black Forest Cherry Torte! Here’s the recipe I use…it makes a lot, so you might want to halve it if you don’t like spaetzle as much as we do (or if you don’t have seven members in your family!). I use a little less nutmeg than many recipes call for, because I find it a bit overpowering, but feel free to adjust to your tastes.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 pinch fresh ground pepper (white is traditional, but I use black)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Shredded Gruyère cheese (optional)
Mix together flour, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Beat eggs well, and add alternately with the milk to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Working over pot of water, press dough through spaetzle maker or colander with large holes, dropping into water. Cook four to six minutes. Drain well.
Sauté cooked spaetzle in butter. Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on top. For an extra-special treat, add some shredded Gruyère cheese and sauerkraut while sautéing the spaetzle.
I wanted to make pasta on Mother’s Day, and I wanted that pasta to include artichokes somehow. This is what I came up with, and to my great surprise, it was a huge hit! You could also add some cooked, shredded chicken to the sauce if you want a heartier meal.
8 oz. sour cream
2 14 oz. cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2 oz. capers, drained
3 garlic cloves, minced
Juice and zest of one lemon
16ozpenne pasta with 1 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water to desired doneness. Reserve 1 cup of the water and drain pasta.
In a large pot, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Once hot, add spinach and stir until slightly wilted. Transfer wilted spinach to a colander and drain.
Add 4 Tbsp. butter to the same pot along with 4 oz cream cheese, 8 oz. sour cream, and 1 cup parmesan and stir until everything melts and starts to bubble. Add minced garlic.
Stir in drained artichokes and capers and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, then add drained spinach, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cook until hot then toss in the cooked, drained pasta. Stir in reserved pasta water to thin sauce if desired. Serve with additional shredded parmesan.
28 oz. can whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente; drain.
While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage and pepper flakes until sausage is evenly brown. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook until onion is tender. Deglaze pan with white wine. Stir in tomatoes, cream, Italian seasoning, and salt. Simmer until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.Stir cooked pasta into sauce, and heat through.
I tried a new lamb stew recipe for Easter dinner, and even though I hadn’t made it before, I made some changes to it as I went along. We were all very happy with the results, so it’s going in the permanent file!
6 oz.bacon, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
3 lbs.boneless leg of lamb,trimmed of fat and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/2Tbsp. kosher salt for the lamb, plus 1 tsp. for stew
1tsp.black pepper for lamb, plus 1/2 tsp. for stew
1large white onion,diced
6 garlic cloves,minced
1 2/3cups red wine
1lb. mushrooms,thickly sliced
4cups beef broth or stock
1 1/2lbs.small yellow potatoescut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb. baby carrots, cut in half on the diagonal
In a 5 qt. oven-safe dutch oven, saute chopped bacon over medium heat until browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a large plate.
While bacon cooks, season lamb pieces with 1/2 Tbsp. salt and 1 tsp pepper. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup flour and toss to coat. Cook lamb in two batches in hot bacon grease over medium heat until browned then transfer to the plate with bacon.
Add diced onion to the bacon grease and sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 2/3 cups wine, scraping the bottom to deglaze. Add sliced mushrooms, bring to a simmer then cook uncovered 10 minutes. While mushrooms are simmering, preheat oven to 325.
Return bacon and lamb to pot and add 4 cups broth, 1 Tbsp. tomato paste, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. dried tarragon, and 2 bay leaves. Stir in potatoes and carrots, making sure potatoes are submerged in liquid. Bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to preheated oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes. When done, potatoes and lamb will be very tender.
Just when you think I’ve run out of new pies to try!
Last year, I found a recipe for a Nutella pie, and Turkey immediately decided he wanted it to be “his” Thanksgiving pie. He liked it so much, he decided he wants it again this year, and I don’t blame him…it’s delicious. Of course, I’ve made my own little tweaks in the meantime, so here is my updated recipe!
For the filling:
Pre-made Oreo pie crust
8 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup Nutella
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Beat cream cheese, Nutella, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. In another bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form; fold into Nutella mixture. Add to crust and chill for 30 minutes.
For the topping:
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 tsp. butter
1/8 tsp. salt
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
In small saucepan, bring the cream, corn syrup, butter, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; let stand five minutes. Stir until smooth; cool to spreading consistency. Spread over pie; sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Chill for at least one hour.