Sunday, October 30, 2011

Greek Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono is a Greek word for egg - lemon.

This soup is a great to have when you have a cold, it makes you feel better (the same way chicken soup does).  Of course you can eat it anytime.

I found this recipe a couple of years ago in Vegetarian Times.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium leeks, white parts finely chopped (4 cups) - save the larger green parts of the leek, freeze them to make broth with later
1 small onion, finally chopped (1 cup)
2 small carrots, peeled and diced (3/4 cup)
6 cups no-chicken broth (even though this is a vegetarian recipe I use my own homemade chicken broth, but you could use a vegetable broth)
1/2 cup orzo pasta
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Lemon Wedges, for garnish

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add leaks, onion, carrots, and pinch of salt; cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables are softened, stirring often.  Stir in broth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes.  Add orzo and cook 11 minutes more, or until orzo is tender.   Remove from heat.  Whisk together eggs and lemon juice in bowl.  Add 3 ladles soup broth to egg mixture, whisking constantly.  Whisk egg mixture back into soup, and cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until soup is thickened but without letting it come to a boil.  Serve sprinkled with parsley, mint, and oregano, and garnished with lemon wedges.

**Note:  When reheating this soup, warm it over low heat without bringing it to a boil, to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Feel free to decide how finely chopped you want the vegetables.  I have done it many different ways.

This post is linked on:

Sunday Night Soup Night - Easy Natural Food

Monday Mania - The Healthy Home Economist

A Texas Mom Blog - A Southern Fairytale

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oysters Rockefeller

Sorry that I have not posted in a while.  I was actually chosen to participate in a Nasa Tweetup at Nasa Wallops Island Flight Facility in Chincoteague Virginia.  There is no better seafood than what you can get on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. 

Stopped by a fresh seafood market on the way back home and picked up a 50 count bag of Seaside Oysters for $20.00.  You can't beat the deal and the freshness of the oysters. 

Shuck oysters, remove oyster from shell, save biggest half of the shell, rinse shells and oysters.  Place a small mixture of spinach (frozen that has been thawed and thoroughly drained) and cooked bacon pieces into the shell half add oyster add a little more spinach mixture, sprinkle bread crumb and Parmesan cheese over top.  Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I made a Sausage Lentil Soup.  I froze the leftover soup to have later.  I froze the soup in quart mason jars.

I wanted something quick to have for dinner so I thawed out a jar of the soup.  I decided that I wanted to do something different with it and thought that I would blend the soup to make a creamy soup.

I added the soup to my vitamix blender.  An immersion blender or another blender would work as well.  Blend soup until smooth.  I added a cup of chicken broth  to help with the consistency of the soup.   The vitamix actually heats the soup with the friction of the blades so if you are using another type of blender make sure you heat the soup.

One thing I found very interesting about the soup once blended was that it became spicier.  The spices in the soup became chopped up finer and blended into the soup.  I added a little bit of chopped dried parsley to the soup.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuna Salad with Asian Dressing

Made a salad tonight with fresh sushi grade tuna.  I took the tuna and marinated it in a teriyaki style sauce with sesame seeds in it.

Cooked the tuna in the oven at 525 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.  It cooked it to medium rare.

The salad consisted of mixed greens, carrots and tomato.  Topped the cut tuna on the top followed by a grating of Parmesan cheese.

Added some Asian Style Dressing.

Here is my recipe:

1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup soy sauce (I used tamari)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Monday, October 17, 2011

Egg Salad

Egg salad sandwiches are wonderful from time to time.  I like keeping my egg salad simple.  Here is what I do.

Add eggs to a pan of water then heat water until water just begins to boil, remove from stove, cover and set timer for 15 minutes.  There is a lot of different discussions about how to hard cook eggs.  This is what works for me.  Once timer goes off, remove lid, drain water from pan and add cold water.  You want the eggs to cool off to stop the cooking process.  Peel eggs and place in a bowl.

Mash eggs with a potato masher.  Mash until you get the consistency that you want.  Add your favorite mayonnaise and mix.

Add salad to bread or a salad of greens.  Add salt and pepper to your taste.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have this recipe that I have used for a while, it actually is an Amish recipe.  This is my husband's favorite cake.  I make it for him every year for his birthday.

Carrot Cake

3 eggs
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups raw carrot shredded

Beat eggs well; then add the next 7 ingredients and beat well until smooth.  Stir in the coconut, nuts, pineapple and carrots with a mixing spoon.  Pour into a greased 9x13 cake pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes.  When cake is slightly warm, spread with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together until smooth.  Spread on slightly warm cake.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Comfort Food

I had a taste for macaroni and cheese and baked chicken.  I have been craving mac and cheese all week and finally got to make some homemade.  I decided to try a recipe for the mac and cheese that was in my vitamix cookbook.

Here is the recipe for the macaroni and cheese sauce.  You can do this same recipe on the stove in a double boiler (just heat the first ingredients and then add the cheese until it melts).

2 cups of cooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups milk
1 cup cubed american cheese or other mild yellow cheese (I used a mild cheddar)

Mix sauce with cooked macaroni in a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with a non stick cooking spray.   Add a bread crumb topping and bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven.

The chicken is super simple.

I used boneless chicken breasts.

1/2 cup flour
freshly ground pepper
boneless chicken or cut up chicken
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add flour and pepper to a plastic bag.  Add chicken to bag and shake until chicken is coated with flour.  Place chicken in a lightly greased baking dish.

In a small bowl mix together mayonnaise and ketchup.  Pour half of the ketchup mixture over the chicken and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove chicken from over.  Turn chicken over and coat with remainder of ketchup mixture.  Return to oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

If you are using chicken with the bone in it will take a little longer so adjust baking time as needed.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Something Simple

I apologize for not posting in a while.  I was on vacation and really haven't been in my kitchen as much as I would have wanted.

Tonight I wanted something quick and simple.  I bought at the market a chicken, spinach and garlic sausage.  I cooked those in a pan on the stove.  Cooked some pasta and cut up a tomato.

I put the cut tomato into a bowl, added a little butter and the cooked pasta, and then the sausage cut up.  Tossed it all together and served it with a little grated Parmesan cheese on top.  The warmth of the pasta somewhat cooked the tomato making it soft.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Homemade Chicken Broth

For many years I have used commercial chicken broth until sometime last year when I started to make my own.  If I had known how easy it was I would have started to make it a long time ago.  The taste of homemade broth is so much better than the commercial brands.

I had some chicken parts in the freezer from where I had cut apart a whole chicken for the breasts, legs, and thighs which left me with the backbone and neck.

I thawed those parts out and put them into a crock pot with:
2 small purple onions, cut into chunks
4 carrots, washed but not peeled and cut into chunks
fresh thyme
a few cloves of garlic, peeled (I only let them stay in the pot for a little while, just wanted to add flavor but not over power it)
Add enough water to cover the parts and vegetables and then add about 1/4 cup of vinegar.

Let the crock pot cook on high for about 2 days.  You want the meat to fall off of the bones and for the vegetables to be soft.

Once the broth is done, strain the parts and broth through a fine mesh colander squeezing out any and all broth.  Pour the broth into canning jars and let sit in refrigerator for a day for the fat to settle to the top.  Once the fat settles to the top, scoop fat off the top and then place jars in freezer.

I got about 5 quart jars and 1 pint jar of broth.

This post is linked at Monday Mania on The Healthy Home Economist, Sunday Night Soup on Easy Natural Food.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Salmon with Creamy Basil Sauce

Studies have shown that people eat with their eyes before they even taste the food, their senses determining if the food will taste good.  I like to have colorful foods on my plate usually not the same color.  Tonight was not one of those nights, things seemed to be in the same color family and somewhat dull.  Each item tasted great but wasn't colorfully pleasing.

Tonight's dinner consisted of salmon, risotto (some I had leftover from the freezer - I will have to post this recipe at a later date), corn from the freezer (corn that was cut off the cob and frozen last year) and a side salad.

I recently ordered a Vitamix, which I received today.  I am thrilled with the recipes that came with it and know that I will be making some great things.

Drizzle some olive oil over the fish and ground some fresh salt and pepper over it.  I cooked the salmon in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.  

The creamy basil sauce was really easy.  You need 2 tablespoons heavy cream, 3 ounces cream cheese, 1 roma tomato, 1 garlic clove, 9 fresh basil leaves, salt and black pepper.  Mix all ingredients in blender and spoon over cooked fish.  I think the next time I make this recipe I will try adding goat cheese in place of the cream cheese.  

The basil sauce has a nice bite to it from the freshness of the basil.  It was also nice to add a few drops to the salad which consisted of lettuce and tomato.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sausage Lentil Soup

The cooler weather always makes me think of it as soup weather.  It is perfect for soup.  I was at the restaurant Carrabba's not to long ago and had a bowl of their Sausage Lentil Soup, it was delicious and wondered if I could recreate the recipe.  After some searching on the internet I found a couple of recipes, each a little different from one another.  I decided to take the ones I found and do something of my own.

Here is what I did.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced onion
1 cup minced carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound uncooked Italian Sausage, if sausage is in links remove the sausage from the casing and break sausage up prior to cooking-  (use spicy if you would like for the soup to be spicier, I used mild because this is what I had in the freezer)
2 ounces diced ham (about 1/2 cup cut from a ham steak)
7 cups of water
5 cups chicken broth (I used homemade broth)
1 pound dry lentils, rinsed (I used red lentils since this is what I had on hand)
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion, carrot and garlic, cook until onions are slightly soft.  Add sausage and cook for about 8 minutes, breaking up sausage as you stir.  Add ham and cook for an additional minute.

Add the remaining ingredients to pot, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour.  Stir from time to time during the 1 hour period.

Everything in the pot and cooking 

The finished soup

A few notes:  Careful on the salt.  Most commercial made broths are loaded with salt as well as a cured ham steak.  If you are using these products you may want to taste the broth as it cooks to see if you need to add salt.  In my case, the broth is homemade (no salt added) and the ham steak is a non cured ham from a local farm.  I actually had to add a little bit of salt to add a little more flavor.

Also, I think the next time I make this soup I may add navy beans instead of lentils for a different flavor.   Will have to see what they is like and let you know then.

This post is linked at Sunday Night Soup on Easy Natural Food.