Thursday, June 25, 2015
I do not like chickpeas, they are big and beany. At the salad bar I eat my way around them. So why do I like Hummus? I think something amazing happens when they take a ride in my trusty food processor. Just add a few simple ingredients and in just seconds a wonderful dip is born! Serve Hummus with pita chips, veggies or crusty bread, it is delicious!
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini
1 (15.5 ounce can) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Add garlic, lemon juice and tahini to food processor. Pulse for about a minute until smooth. Add beans, salt and pepper, cumin, red pepper and 3 tablespoons water. Process until smooth. With processor running slowly add the olive oil, process until just combined. Add additional water to reach desired consistency. Store covered in refrigerator. Refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. Just before serving drizzle with olive oil and chopped parsley.
Monday, June 8, 2015
It was my turn to bring goodies for the 20 ladies in my applique class. I always appreciate an assignment to bring treats. I get to make a delicious treat and get rid of them quickly, best of both worlds! Time was short so I made a batch of rice krispie treats--on steroids. These are not the treat that you buy in a package of 20 at Costco. You probably don't want to take them to your child's kindergarten class.
These will certainly be appreciated by your book club, quilt class or girls night. It really is just a simple rice krispie treat with a bit more butter, a little peanut butter and of course plenty of chocolate. I put each treat in a cute bag which makes them easy to hand out. They can be eaten on site or dropped in your bag for later (most were eaten quickly).
This is a simple treat that looks like you went to a lot of work--but you didn't. Make them often and share. Bonus--they are gluten free!
Rice Krispie Treats--for Quilt Group
16 ounces marshmallows
8 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup white chocolate chips (or melting wafers)
9 cups rice krispies (almost all of a 12 ounce box)
1/2 cup milk, dark or white chocolate chips
Melt butter, add peanut butter and stir. add marshmallows. Microwave stirring every 30 seconds until marshmallow are melted. Add rice krispies and 3/4 cup white chocolate chips, stir gently. Press into a buttered 9x13 inch pan. For a thin treat use a sheet pan. Melt chocolate chips--drizzle over top of treats. Refrigerate until chocolate is hardened. Cut into squares. Makes 20 treats.
Sunday, May 31, 2015
My sweet niece graduated from high school this week. She invited all her aunt, uncles and cousins to a party to help her celebrate. We had a delicious dinner in my brothers beautiful yard. It was the perfect evening for a party. Christina request Mint Brownies for dessert.
I have a number of delicious brownie recipes--but it is always fun to try something new. I found a recipe in Our Best Bites Cookbook that looked promising and it was a winner. This recipe uses unsweetened chocolate in the base. It came together quickly. Brownies are usually better made the day before you want to serve them. I made them one evening and just had to sample them the next morning for breakfast (quality control). They were not yet frosted but they were amazing. When I added mint frosting and a very simple chocolate glaze they were perfect. This could be my favorite new brownie recipe!
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate--chopped
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Melt chocolate and butter, stir and cool slightly. With a mixer beat eggs, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes. Slowly add the melted chocolate. Combine flour, baking powder and salt--stir. Gently stir in the flour mixture until just blended. Line a 9x13 pan with foil or parchment paper and then spray with Pam. Pour mixture into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely. Turn out onto a cutting board. Set aside.
2-3 tablespoons cream or milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/4 cup softened butter
Combing ingredients and mix until smooth. Using an offset spatula spread frosting on brownies.
Refrigerate until cool.
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter
Gently melt chocolate chips and butter, stir. Let the glaze cool for 15-30 minutes.
Spread glaze on chilled frosting layer. Return brownies to refrigerator. When cool cut into squares and serve. If you rinse your knife in hot water and dry between cuts your brownies will look amazing.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Just a quick quilting post today. I decided my sweet Mother-In-Law needed a quilt for Mother's Day. I picked some happy colors and went to work. I love how a quilt evolves. I started with a pattern in mind but quickly realized that to get the most out of my fabric choices I needed to adjust. A two inch squared just didn't do justice to the fun prints I wanted to showcase. So, I added some larger pieces and was very happy with the results.
Happy Mother's Day Geneel--this quilt was stitched with love!
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Nothing better than a quick main dish that turns simple flavors into something amazing. This is certainly a 30-Minute Meal. To keep the meal really under 30 minutes add you favorite salad kit and some pre-cooked rice. Dinner doesn't get much easier.
Quick Cilantro Lime Chicken
2 chicken breasts--cubed
2-3 limes--zest one and juice all
4 cloves garlic--pressed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Season chicken cubes liberally with seasonings--I would go lighter on the cayenne! Heat some olive oil in a pan until very hot. Add seasoned chicken, cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, when brown turn. Cook another few minutes until chicken reaches about 165 degrees. Add garlic and lime zest, cook for 30 seconds. Add lime juice and stir to release all the yummy goodness from the bottom of the pan. Top with cilantro.
Inspired by a recipe on this blog.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
What is a Singapore Chicken Salad anyway??
I started with one of my favorite Asian Chicken Salads, made popular by my daughter Amber. This same sweet daughter introduced me to the wonderful world of Penzys Spices. They are fresh and have some of the most amazing seasoning blends. Actually in the near future I will do a post about some of my most used Penzys Spices.
Back to the 'Singapore Chicken Salad'. I purchased a small jar of Singapore seasoning. I knew it would be awesome because it contains some of my favorite spices--pepper, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, ginger, fenugreek, nutmeg, cardamom etc. It worked miracles with the ever popular chicken tenders. These seasoned tenders added a wonderful flavor to a weeknight salad.
The homemade dressing makes up in just a minute from ingredients that are pantry essentials.
This salad is a little different each time I make it--depending upon what is in the fridge.
Have fun with this tasty salad!
Singapore Chicken Salad
I use Costco Chicken Tenders, 8 tenders fit well in my skillet and is enough for 2-3 servings. Thaw tenders, rinse and pat dry. Generously sprinkle chicken with Penzys Singapore Seasoning. Cook in a small amount of hot of hot oil for about 4 minutes per side or 165 degrees. Dice cooked chicken
Any mix of crisp veggies works. I like Dole's Chopped! Asian Blend which contains green cabbage, red cabbage, broccoli slaw, carrots, kale and snap peas. There are so many fun salad blends available--it makes eating salad much easier. This hearty blend will also last a bit longer in the fridge than spring greens. Am I the only one that forgets what is in the fridge??
I might also add--
diced red pepper
cilantro (a must)
chopped peanuts or almonds
Won Ton Strips
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix together--this dressing keeps for several days
Sunday, May 3, 2015
This fun quilt was perfect for 7 year old Henry. He is full of spunk and a joy to be around. We love Henry! I stated a quilt for him before he was born--7 years later I finished the quilt. It was sweet but not the right quilt for a seven year old!
Hopefully this suits him a little better.
Hopefully this suits him a little better.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
I have never been to the Bahamas but I can see myself sitting under a coconut tree enjoying this flavorful soup. I found the recipe in a 30 Minute Meal cookbook by a local Utah author Shauna Evans. I marked several recipes that look interesting.
The trick to making this meal in 30 minutes is to have a Rotisserie chicken on hand. I didn't have one but quickly cooked some frozen chicken tenders (that I always have). I added more veggies and cut the recipe down so we only ate it for 3 meals.
I had my doubts about the Tortilla Strips--I usually purchase packaged Wonton or Tortilla Strips but I didn't have any on hand and I did have some close to date tortillas in the fridge. The garlic butter gave them a great flavor and they really did get crispy.
I was happy with the final dish and quickly wrote the recipe down so I could share it with you.
Here is my version of:
Bahama Chicken Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red or yellow pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 can petite diced tomatoes--or 2 diced Roma tomatoes
1/2 can diced green chilies
2 cups diced cooked chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
juice from 1 lime
In a stockpot heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, red peppers, garlic and jalapeño. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
Add chicken broth, coconut milk, tomatoes, green chilies, carrots, salt and pepper. Cook on medium low heat until carrots are crisp tender.
Add cilantro and lime juice.
Garnish with Tortilla Strips.
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix melted butter, garlic and salt. Brush on both sided of tortillas. With a pizza cutter, cut in 1/2 inch strips. Spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, turning once.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
I enjoyed sharing the books I read in 2014. Many good reads but the post was certainly too long. I decided a quarterly book post would be better. Here is just a little about each book and why I liked it.
More detailed information on each book can be found on Amazon.
Books read the first quarter of 2015 include:
For some reason I assumed this book was true. I finished it before I realized it is a work of fiction. I hate it when that happens! Still Alice by Lisa Genova was a book club read. Alice is a brilliant professor at Harvard (a fact that is repeated over and over). As a Linguistics professor she travels and speaks all over the world. In her later 40's Alice begins forgetting things--she blames it on the stress of a very busy life. While on her daily jog she forgets where she is at and how to get home. She seeks medical helps and is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's.
As an almost 60 year-old I found myself making armchair diagnosis to almost all I know! A bit scary I admit. This book was believable--the author does have credentials, I assume she knows what she is talking about.
Alice deteriorates rather rapidly and soon she has to resign from teaching. I thought it was very interesting how others treated her. Some thought if she just tried harder she could remember, a few family members were compassionate and still others just ignored her.
I came away from this book with a heightened awareness. How would I treat someone with EOA? How would I help them maintain their dignity. Would I be content to be their friend knowing their limitations? I certainly hope so. This book made a great discussion. I think it scratched the surface of a condition we may all be exposed too. Knowledge is good when it helps us be more aware.
Still Alice was worth reading, it does include a few words that I do not care to read. I would give it a solid B+.
An Invisible Thread--A
This was my choice for Book Club this year. It is the true story of a remarkable relationship between a busy New York Sales Rep and a homeless 11 year old panhandler. He was asking for spare change, she kept walking. Something stopped her in her tracks and she went back. She continued to go back again and again. They met up weekly for years and built a life-changing friendship that has today spanned almost 3 decades.
This was an excellent book to discuss. Are we compassionate? How do we reach out to others, could we be a little kinder? You never know when a simple kindness will change a life. Excellent book, it just might be my favorite book this year--but the year is still young!
Boys on the Boat--A
A very interesting, true story about the US Rowing Team of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. I don't think I really knew that rowing was a sport until I read this book. Coming from land locked Utah I don't know much about water sports. This 8-man team of underdogs originated from the University of Washington. Eight amazing young men each with a unique background.
I do love a good true story. I like to learn about real people and their real lives. If you liked Unbroken you will most likely enjoy Boys on the Boat. I enjoyed listening to this book on Audible.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks--A
Another true story (do you see a pattern) that I read with disbelief. A poor black tobacco farmer has cancer. Henrietta Lacks is known in the scientific world as HeLa. Her cells were taken without her knowledge in 1951 These cells were to become a very important tool in the medical world. They were vital in developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping and more. Her cells have been bought and sold by the billions.
I read this book with so many questions about ethics, race and medicine. This was a common practice in 1951. Was it right--I don't think so, but was it beneficial--yes. I hope we have learned from the mistakes of the past.
I listened to this on Audible--it is narrated by Cassandra Campbell, she is the best. This would be a great book club read. There is so much to discuss.
Divergent is labeled as Young Adult Fiction. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games you will probably like Divergent. The is the first book in a series of three, it has also been made into a movie (which I have not yet viewed). This is the story of a futuristic society that is divided into five factions. I listened to the Audible version and quite enjoyed it--but not enough to finish the series. I will listen to the rest of the series--just not now.
A Year on Ladybug Farm--B-
This is the light hearted story of three friends that leave their comfortable lives in the suburbs and buy a run down mansion in the middle of nowhere. I want to think most women are smarter than these three friends. But this is a work of fiction after all! It is somewhat amusing. It is the kind of book I have on my phone to read at the Drs. office or while I am waiting in line at Sonic for my half price Fresh Lime Diet Coke.
This book is not life changing nor is it a book club read. It is an airplane or beach read. Enjoy it for what it is. This is the first book in a series, I bought the second one for 1 cent as a used book. It is in my bag waiting for my next trip to the beach!!
The Deer Hunter's Oath--A+
This delightful memoir is written by my brother Jeff Lindstrom. If you love a good deer hunting story this will make you smile. Jeff started writing his history in a way his grandchildren would love to read. That is just a good story. 98% true, and 2% writers license.
I am a non hunter by choice but I know the location--I lived at the farm, the end of civilization for two years. I also know the players so this book really came to life for me. Jeff has the ability to describe people in such a way that if I saw them at the Fruitland Store I would certainly know them.
Jeff describes this as a collection of light-hearted and entertaining stories. Tales of family, friends and deer hunting from the perspective of a young boy growing up in the 60's - his first deer camp at age eight, the competitive teen years, antics with his brothers, and concluding with the ramblings of an old man. A humorous look at the education of a young and impressionable outdoorsman by the older, more experienced deer hunters, who administer the deer hunters oath.
You will laugh as you read this, if you are a hunter you can see yourself over and over. It is fun my 23 year old was laughing out laud and our 10 year old granddaughter said she loved it.
Any outdoors man would love this.
I read a good review on this book but I didn't study it near enough. It began as a fun romance, I do like a good romance. But it wasn't long before the fun left. Bad language was common and the story line just went down from there. I classify this book as something I could not share with my mother or daughters.....if there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy we seek after these things...
Well friends there are my read for the first 3 months of 2015. Please let me know what you are reading. I'm always looking for a new read.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
I have had this delicious looking chicken dish pinned for ages. I found it on Let's Dish--one of my favorite blogs, Dani has some awesome recipes. This chicken dish was no exception. Candise was visiting and we made this for Easter dinner. It might not be your typical Easter Dinner, but it was colorful and fresh. Perfect for a spring meal.
The chicken was tender, the onions and peppers were yummy. We spooned the tomato cream sauce over angel hair pasta. And we tried not to lick our plates because it was Easter. Please don't wait till next Easter to make this dish. I will add it to the 'make often' recipe list.
Creamy Chicken Picasso
4 tablespoons butter, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, sliced
2 peppers (red, orange or yellow), cut into rings
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet and brown the chicken lightly on each side. Transfer to a greased 9x13 pan. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet, add the onions, season lightly, and cook until soft and browned. Arrange the onions over the chicken. If needed add the last tablespoon of butter to the skillet, add the peppers, season lightly, and cook until softened. Add to the 9x13 with the chicken and onions. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. To the garlic add the tomatoes, broth, cream, salt and pepper, and nutmeg. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove foil. Top with grated cheese and return to the oven, uncovered, until cheese is golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Serve with pasta if desired.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Can I just tell you right now that this is the best meat I have ever eaten! I made it three times in March and it will probably go on the menu again this week. It is tender and delicious. The pan sauce is what dreams are made of! Please make it soon.
Pork tenderloin is usually sold in a package of two, each tenderloin weighs close to a pound. You can figure 4 ounces per serving so each tenderloin serves 4. This is a perfect weeknight meal for hubby and I. Leftovers make a gourmet lunch--the only way to 'brown bag'.
Don't be tempted to over cook the tenderloin. It will cook in 20 minutes or less. I love my quick read thermometer. Your meat will be tender and delicious cooked to 145 degrees. Tent with foil and let is rest for five minutes.
So I just might make this again tomorrow!
Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
juice of one lemon
1-2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1-2 Tbps chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp dried mustard
freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 lb pork tenderloin, silver skin removed
Combine all marinade ingredients and reserve 3 tablespoons. Place pork tenderloin and marinade in a Ziploc baggie and let marinate for at least 3-4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a hot skillet over medium-high heat sear each side of the tenderloin for 2-3 minutes. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes until meat has reached 145 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Pan scrapings from pork tenderloin
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp. reserved marinade
1-2 Tbsp. butter
Meanwhile, place the skillet back on the stove on medium heat. Add the chicken broth and whisk to de-glaze the pan of all the yummy bits left after you browned the tenderloin. Add the marinade, bring it to a boil and reduce 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the butter. Stir until the butter has melted. Pour over the tenderloin and serve.
Thank you Chef Mommy for this delicious dish!
Friday, March 27, 2015
Chicken with Pesto Mushroom Cream Sauce, for Two-- adapted from ATK The Best Simple Recipes (a book worth owning)! So much great info.
I do struggle taking photos of main dish meals-either they are just not photogenic or maybe I am just very hungry, it smells so good--we are so hungry, etc. "We must eat now", the children chant. Luckily this meal is on the table quickly.
Rinse one large chicken breast--pat dry and season well with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat till just smoking. Cook chicken till golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate, tent with foil.
Add another tablespoon of oil and heat, add 4 ounces of mushrooms sliced, cook till brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cloves minced or pressed garlic, cook till fragrant about 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 cup chicken broth, and chicken. Scrape to remove brown bits, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer until the chicken is cook through 165 degrees. Transfer chicken to a serving plate and tent with foil. Return skillet to high heat and simmer until desired thickness, about 5 minutes. Off heat add the 2 tablespoons pesto, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Slice or shred the chicken. I served the chicken and sauce over very thin pasta and grilled asparagus. You could also use broccoli. I topped with Parmesan cheese.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
I just finished the cutest quilt for granddaughter Maren. Last summer I took Maren to visit a friend of mine. She lives in a beautiful home and is an excellent decorator. Maren walked in the living room and whispered 'Nana, I love these colors'! The front room was decorated boldly in yellow and gray.
And just like that a quilt was born! I started with just yellow and gray--striking yes but I wanted the quilt to have a pre-teen feel so I added a few floral prints and a bit of red and pink.
This is a happy quilt. Maren is bright and energetic; she loves to chat, read and bake cookies. I also like to chat, read and bake cookies. I love to spend time with Maren--she is a delight!
This quilt was so fun to make. I learned the importance of a perfect 1/4 inch seam. Being just a few threads off adds up quickly. I have a few blocks that didn't quite make it into the quilt. They are reminders of what happens when one gets just a little off track. Small mistakes add up in quilting as they do in life.
The pattern for this quilt is in Growing Up Modern by Allison Harris. It is not a difficult quilt but it did take time, probably because I am just learning. Actually this is a great pattern to learn basic quilting skills--rotary cutting, straight stitch sewing and pressing. Happy Birthday Maren!
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
This simple bread upgrades any meal to gourmet! It is easy to make. One wonders how a few simple ingredients can combine to make something so delicious. I suggest using fresh Rosemary--a little goes a long way. Rosemary is easy to grow. If you must purchase a sprig of fresh rosemary it keeps for weeks/months in the fridge.
This recipe comes from Our Best Bites, I have made it countless times and it always is a winner. It reminds me of the bread served at Macaroni Grill. Serve it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar--or use it as the bread for your favorite Panini.
1 cup warm water, 105-115 degrees
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoons oregano
2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary
Mix water, sugar and yeast together--let sit for about 10 minutes or until bubbly. In the bowl of a stand mixer add 2 1/4 cups flour, salt, garlic powder, oregano and rosemary. Using a dough hook mix together. Slowly add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Mix together until well mixed adding the additional 1/4 cup flour only if needed. Dough should be moist and sticky.
Put a little olive oil in a bowl and add dough, Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes or until double in bulk. Punch dough down and divide into two balls of dough. Place on an oiled stone. sprinkle loaves with kosher salt. cover and let rise again until double. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. Eat warm!
Friday, March 6, 2015
Seven years ago we were excited to welcome a new grandson to our family. I happily went to the fabric store, purchased some darling fabric, a simple pattern and set out to make a quilt for our new little bundle.
I guess life got in the way. Our grandson Henry was born--the quilt was not finished. If I could quickly finish it/start it I could still give it to him. Some how years passed.
Now Henry is a handsome seven year old. I am happy to say I have finally finished the quilt. It is darling but not quite right for a seven year old boy.
Luckily it matches my front room--so it will still be used to comfort little ones. I imagine it will be perfect to throw on the floor for a little one to play on. It will be used to make a fort for watching a movie or to cover a sleeping grandchild. I'm sure it will still get plenty of use.
Don't worry about Henry--I have a quilt at the quilters right now. It is perfect for a seven year old.
Here is Henry--last summer on a hike to Stewart Falls.
Henry at age 4--what a handsome young man!
With a pieced back and a Scrappy Binding this is one cute quilt!