Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Yesterday on Twitter I started raving about the pumpkin turkey chili I was making in my crock pot for Sunday dinner. Immediately I started getting requests for the recipe, which I got in the mail from a supermarket I frequently shop at. I used the recipe as a springboard and made my own modifications (as usual).

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen bell pepper strips
2 tsp minced garlic
1.25 pounds ground turkey
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with chilis
2 14.5 oz cans kidney beans
1 large can (about 3.5 cups) pumpkin
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
shredded cheese
sour cream (optional)


1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and saute onion and peppers and garlic until tender. Add the ground turkey and cook until evenly browned.
2. Pour mixture into crock pot/ slow cooker. Add can tomatoes, pumpkin, and spices.
3. Cover and cook at low heat for 4 to 5 hours.
4. Serve topped with cheese and and sour cream, a side salad, and warm cornbread.

Cook's Notes

1. This is ridiculously good. The cornbread I made was not, therefore I won't impose my recipe on you.
2. I know what you're thinking- pumpkin? Gross! But wait. The pumpkin gives it a nice creamy texture and the taste is very subtle.
3. The original recipe didn't call for beans. WTF? Who eats chili without beans?
4. The menfolk I fed this two have already asked that I make it again.

Pictures to follow soon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Easy Crock pot Beef Stew

Fall has set in here in Seattle and we're craving stews and soups like it's nobody's business. I've made this beef stew three times in the last eight days, that's how much we love it.


3 Russet potatoes, cubed
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
2 tspn minced garlic
1 pound beef stew meat
3 cups beef broth or 3 tspn boullion granuales disolved in 3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
italian seasonings to taste

1. Throw everything in crockpot.
2. Set it to low and cook 6-8 hours or 1 hour on high and 4 hours on low
3. Watch a football game or do yardwork
4. Eat the stew

Cook's Notes
I didn't use a recipe for this and I tend to add things willy-nilly. Like today's batch had 4 potatoes and a lot of celery. Occasionally I dice up my own tomatoes.

You can manipulate this a doezen ways. Add barely or rice or kale or whatever you like in stews. I've seen variations that add red wine.

I serve it with day old sourdough or french bread and a salad.

Make it your own!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Garlic-Basil Shrimp

This might have been a Weight Watchers recipe that I adapted. I found it in my recipe file during a routine sweep of things I thought I'd cook buut likely never will.


2 tbspn olive oil
1 pound frozen shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 tbspn minced garlic
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
fresh basil (or 1 tbspn from the basil in a tube)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup parmesian cheese
1 cup orzo
1 large zucchini, cubed

1. Cook orzo according to package
2. In a large skillet cook shrimp, tomoatoes, garlic, oil, and zucchini until tender. Add the wine and red pepper flakes and basil. Stir and turn down heat.
3. Mix it all together and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with a salad.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Easy Peach Pie

Somebody (likely my mom) emailed me this recipe a bazillion years ago. I amde it two weeks ago to bring to a dinner.

1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 can peaches (I used a big can)
1 stick of butter


1. Mix first three ingredients together
2. Melt butter in the pan you are using
3. Mix in flour/milk/ sugar
4. Dump in can of peaches
5. bake 30-45 min

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream

**note: really good cold for breakfast

Cook's Notes:

There are no photos because people ate it so quickly. But I don't think it was that good. I won't make it again. Mr. Snowgoose and his dad snarfed it up, but that's not saying much.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tomato basil buttermilk soup

Since it is September in Seattle we finally have reached summer and have a crapload of tomatoes. I'm giving away containers of cherry tomatoes to everyone I see and we're going to have tomato themed dinners for the next few weeks. But I'm not complaining!

I was all set to make gazpacho this morning but the weather had different ideas. It was cold and gray. Not cold soup weather. So I opted to make a tomato soup instead. The problem was NONE of my cookbooks (soup ones included) had a recipe I liked. My solution? Make my own.


A mess of tomatoes (try 3 or 4 pounds any variety or size)
bunch of basil
1/2 c vegetable broth
1/2 c reduced fat buttermilk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste


1. Put tomatoes into a saucepan on medium heat with garlic and oil and vegetable broth and let it cook down for about 30 minutes. Go take a shower, fold laundry, and wash dishes while you wait.

2. Add basil and buttermilk and salt and pepper. Puree the hell out of the tomatoes with your immersion blender.

Cook's Notes

1. The recipes I read called for me to peel the tomatoes and remove seeds. Are you kidding me? How on earth do you do that to a cherry tomato? I left everything intact. It will give your soup a little texture but who cares!

2. Why buttermilk? Why not? Next time I'll try cream.

3. I'd add some red pepper flakes to this to give it a kick.

4. Also, you should know I guessed on the measurements because I really just eyeballed it all. I never measure anything. True story.

5. This is a recipe you could really make your own: add pesto or more herbs, white beans, ect.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chilled peach soup

My mom sent me the recipe for this peach soup. She at the cabin, where there are apparently mountains of fresh peaches. Her email to me said: Sounded good when I saw it this am on an Atlanta station so I tried it (1/2 recipe) and was pretty good did not use the cardamom as it was not in the cupboard…and it’s to far to run to the store for only 1 thing here.

Chilled Peach Soup

This soup can be a starter, side dish, or even dessert and the taste is absolute heaven

Prep Time: 10 min.

Level: Intermediate

COOK TIME 10 minutes

YIELDS 4 cups


4 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (about 5 medium peaches)

1 cup white wine (such as pinot grigio)

1 cinnamon stick (3-inch)

1/8 teaspoon cardamom

2 tablespoons honey

juice ½ lemon

6 ounces plain yogurt

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

fresh mint for garnish


FIRST In a medium saucepan combine peaches, wine, cinnamon, and cardamom over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until peaches are soft.

NEXT Remove peaches from heat and let cool slightly. Puree in food processor or blender until smooth. Add honey, lemon juice, yogurt, and vanilla and pulse until smooth. Thicken with addition yogurt if desired.

LAST Refrigerate until chilled. Ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh mint, and serve.

Cook's Notes:

I made this for Father's Day. Papa Snowgoose (upon hearing that my parents may have added vodka to their soup) said, "Is there more? Mr. Snowgoose liked the complex taste.

I used chardonnay since that's all we had in the house. The mint came from our backyard.

We'll likely eat this again. I ate the leftovers for breakfast!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ice cream (frozen yogurt) for dogs

Given that summer has been creeping in this last week (70 degrees! sun!) we've been feeding our girls puppy ice cream in the form of Frosty Paws. However, they are expensive and probably not the healthiest for the dogs. I put my reference librarian skills to the test and found a recipe written by a vet.


32 oz lowfat vanilla yogurt

2 ripe bananas

1 cup peanut butter


Blend everything in a blender. Pour into 3 oz dixie cups and freeze. Make about 16-18 servings.

Cook's notes:

This is totally safe for humans and I will not lie, I licked the spatula and ate one cup. It's freaking good! The dogs loved it too. It's safe to say that I will never buy Frosty Paws again and we will eat these all summer. I've also turned into the type of person who makes frozen yogurt for dogs.

epic fail: kale smoothie

Last weekend was gorgeous and sunny and after a hike in Dsicovery park with the dogs we came home and decided we wanted to make smoothies for lunch. We had an abundance of kale in the bakyard that was about to go and I found the following recipe for a kale-apple smoothie on the Real Simple website.

3/4 cup chopped kale, ribs and thick stems removed
1 small stalk celery, chopped
1/2 banana
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup ice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Place the kale, celery, banana, apple juice, ice, and lemon juice in a blender.
2. Blend until smooth and frothy.

Cook's notes:

It was too pulpy and gross to try and drink. I felt bad about wasting all of that kale. I will not be making this again.

I should note that I subsituted in orange-mango juice for apple. I would say that was my problem but it still tasted like kale.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Microwave lasagna, or how to set cheese on fire

This is another Real Simple "classic." As if lasagna wasn't already easy enough, let's try microwaving it to save 5 minutes of cooking time.

Bomb! Epic Fail! (But still edible).

1 15-ounce container ricotta
4 cups baby spinach, chopped (about 4 ounces)
2 cups grated mozzarella (8 ounces)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce (2 3/4 cups)
6 no-boil lasagna noodles

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, 1 ½ cups of the mozzarella, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

In the bottom of a microwave-safe 8-inch square baking dish, spread ½ cup of the sauce.

Top the sauce with 2 lasagna noodles, ½ cup of sauce, and half the ricotta mixture. Repeat.

Top with the remaining lasagna noodles, sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan.

Cover with wax or parchment paper, then a plate. Microwave on high (power level 10) until the noodles are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Cook's notes:

I would not make this again. Traditional lasagna in the oven is just as good and the cheese doesn't blacken. I didn't even cook it for the full time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Polenta stacks

I have a confession to make. On meatless Mondays I get a bit too excited and overambitious with the meals.

For Monday night's meal I had a vision. I saw stacks of polenta with eggplant, mozzarella, and roasted tomatoes. I did not have a recipe.

Bachelor Dave was coming over for supper. He was early so I put him to work slicing the polenta and eggplant into rounds while we waited for Mr. Snowgoose to get home from work.


1 small-medium eggplant, sliced (you probably want to peel it first!)

1 tube of polenta, cut into 1/4 inch rounds

2 tbsps oilve oil.

1/2 cup roasted tomatoes

1/3 of a mozzarella log, sliced


1. Panic (kidding!)

2. Slice eggplant, polenta, and cheese into 1/4 slices

3. Spread eggplant and polenta onto baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil.

4. Make "stacks" of polenta, eggplant, mozzarella, and tomatoes and place on baking sheet. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and brown.

Cooks Notes

1. Mr. Snowgoose said we should make the polenta crispier.

2. Bachelor Dave said the presentation was lovely.

3. Apparently, I'm the only one who liked eggplant.

4. Serve with a side salad or roasted potatoes.

5. We also tested out a dessert recipe that I can't talk about until Saturday.

Easy Roast Beef Sandwiches

The other night as I was flipping through a magazine looking for recipes, Mr. Snowgoose saw an advertisement (with a recipe included) and pointed to it. "Make that," he said.

The recipe was for a roast beef sandwich that takes only minutes to make. Of course I said yes.


1 can condensed french onion soup (or homemade french onion soup if you're lucky enough to have some on hand).

1 tbsp Worestershire sauce

3/4 pounds sliced roast beef

4 hoagie rolls

4 slices provolone cheese cut in half

1/4 cup drained mild bananna peppers


1. Heat over too 400

2. Heat soup and Worcestershire sauce in saucepan over medium high heat to a boil. Add meat and heat through, stirring occasionally.

3. Divide beef among rolls. Top beef mixture with cheese and place sandwiches onto a baking sheet.

4. Bake 3 min of until sandwiches are toasted. Spoon soup mixture onto sandwiches and top each sandwich with 1 tbsp pepper rings.

Cooks Notes

1. I broiled the sandwiches open-faced for a few minutes.

2. Also, we did not spoon the soup into the sandwiches. No, we ate the soup separately and dipped the sandwiches into the soup like a french dip.

3. I served it with a side of broccoli, but a side salad would be nice too.

4. This would be perfect for rainy days.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mexican Polenta Pie

Mr. Snowgoose will tell you that we've been a) eating a lot of polenta and b) eating a lot of Mexican, yet he still was willing to make the polenta pie last weekend for Sunday supper. Given that he had dinner duty on the account I was at a writing conference most of the weekend,he needed something that was foolproof and we already owned all of the ingredients. This was it.

From Better Homes and Gardens

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound uncooked ground turkey
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup bottled salsa
2 16-ounce tubes refrigerated cooked polenta
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2/3 cup chopped fresh tomato
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. In a 12-inch skillet cook onion, sweet pepper, and garlic in 1 tablespoon hot oil until tender. Add turkey, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Cook until turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break up the meat. Add beans, undrained canned tomatoes, and salsa. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer gently, uncovered, 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, grease a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Cut 1 tube of polenta into 1/2-inch cubes and press evenly into prepared baking dish. Halve remaining polenta lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; set aside. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese over polenta in dish. Top with meat mixture. Arrange sliced polenta over meat; sprinkle with remaining cheese and fresh tomato. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with cilantro. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

black bean cakes

In an effort to help the planet, we've been going meatless on Mondays. Last week we tried polenta cakes. This week we kept the cake theme with a recipe from Health magazine.


3 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained
2 eggs
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco (pasteurized)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1 cup salsa fresca
Minced fresh cilantro (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place beans in a large bowl; mash lightly with a fork. Add eggs and cheese; whisk with fork until combined.
2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, stir in onion and garlic; cook until onion is soft and golden (2-3 minutes), stirring frequently. Stir in cilantro; remove from heat.
3. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper (taking into account how well-seasoned your beans were initially) into bowl with beans. Add onion mixture; stir with fork just until combined. (The consistency should be like thick cookie dough. If not, add a bit of flour).
4. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, and set aside. Using a large spoon or your hands, form bean mixture into 8 cakes; place onto prepared pan. Bake until golden and crisp (about 30 minutes); serve hot or at room temperature with salsa and cilantro, if desired.

Cook's Notes

1. These were quite time consuming but good. They'd make a good replacement for veggie burgers at our next cookout.

2. We used regular cheddar cheese instead of queso fresco.

3. I served them with arugula and cheese quesadillas.

Lamb meatballs with cous cous and feta

We've been on a Greek food kick recently. For someone who used to shy away from lamb, I'm sure cooking a lot of it these days.

From Real Simple magazine October 2010 issue

1 pound ground lamb or beef
1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 small red onion, half finely chopped and half thinly sliced
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup couscous
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
1/2 English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
4 ounces Feta, crumbled


1.Heat broiler. In a medium bowl, combine the meat, apricots, coriander, chopped onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
2.Form the meat into 1 ½-inch balls (about 20) and place them on a broilerproof baking sheet. Broil until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, place the couscous in a bowl. Add 1 cup hot tap water, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
4.In a small bowl, mix together the oil, lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
5.Serve the couscous with the meatballs, tomatoes, cucumber, Feta, and sliced onion. Drizzle with the dressing.

Cook's Notes

1. I made lamb meatballs/ burgers a few weeks back and used garlic and egg and yellow onions and they tasted much better. The apricots and red onion are a little much.

2. I also roasted potatoes with the meal.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

white bean and olive tapanade

When the end of the month rolls around, we get more creative in the kitchen. It's like Iron Chef where we see what we can make with whatever we have left. I had some cherry tomatoes that were getting wrinkles and a bunch of leftover olives, feta cheese, and white beans from a greek themed dinner we ate earlier in the week.

I combined:
1/2 cup white beans
1/4 cup feta
1 cup cherry tomatoes (I roasted them first)
minced garlic
1/4 cup olives
olive oil

and threw it into a baking dish for 10 minutes at 350.

Serve with crackers

Crispy polenta cakes with garlicky mushrooms

In an effort to go meatless a couple of times a week, Mr. Snowgoose and I have been trying new recipes. Last night I felt ambitious and made these polenta cakes. Now, I've experimented with them before, though never Mark Bittaman's way. A few years ago I had polenta jenga sticks at a Boston-area vegetarian restaraunt and loved them.

Most of the time when I make polenta (from scratch), we just eat it in it's soupy form. The other week I tried to make cakes and it was a disaster. Last night, not so much.

This recipe came from Bittman's Food Matters Cookbook


1 cup course cornmeal
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups water
1 pound mushrooms
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic


1. Cook cornmeal according to directions (ie whisk the cornmeal into the water and milk until it is lump free and thick)

2. Grease a baking sheet with oil. Pour hot polenta onto the sheet and spread with spatula so it is about 1/2 inch thick. brush the top with oil, cover, and refridgerate it for a minimum of two hours.

3. Heat oven to 375. Grease a new baking sheet and cut polenta into 12 squares or shapes. Put cakes on baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes (outside will be toasted while the inside is soft).

4. Meanwhile cook mushrooms and garlic in oil. Add thyme if you'd like. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and then add wine and let it bubble for a few minutes until the wine has cooked off.

5. Serve a spoonful of mushrooms on each cake.

Cook's Notes

1. I added some parm cheese to the polenta in the pot since we like it cheesy. I also served it with roasted brussels sprouts with a basalmic glaze.

2. Mr. Snowgoose enjoyed it.

3. Since it is so time consuming, I'd advise to make a larger batch because it will get eaten immediately. We'll make this again.