Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans

Another online success, from La Loosh

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Basic Indian Curry Sauce

I can't believe I never linked to this on my blog.

Great basic Indian Curry sauce that can serve as a base for so many things.  Make a bunch and freeze portions for later use.  Great recipe from the Curry Guy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kisir - Turkish Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Vegetables

From AZ Cookbook

Pretty cool website that has food from "Azerbaijan and Beyond".  When daughter #3 came back from Turkey with tales of food, off I went to internet and I found AZ.  Since I had also purchased wheat berries, this recipe of Turkish Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Veg sounded great.

And it was.

Basic concept is pretty simple - Cook Wheat Berries, Roast Veg of your choice.  Roast chicken if you like.  Add dressing, serve.

Go to the above link for the recipe, but I made a few changes.

For veg I used zucchini, mushrooms, red peppers, sweet potato and butternut squash

I had some cooked chicken

My dressing was equal parts olive oil, fresh lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.

I did not have the mint nor the parsley, but I did have dried basil.  So I used that.  Tasted great, but I will try it with the fresh mint and parsley this summer when I can grow or buy fresh.  Pomegranate syrup I replaced with the balsamic, but I am sure the Pom syrup would be great.   This would be an absolutely great summer off the grill meal

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sonic in Wisconsin - Who in the World Thought this Would Work?

I mean really - it is Wisconsin people.  Land of the two seasons - road construction and winter.  We have like 8 months of weather where you wear a coat.

Sonic in GB - closed.  That is a shock.  Eau Claire's is closed also

Thursday, January 17, 2013


from Whole Foods

Just a holding spot till I actually make these

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Can't Believe I Lived Without These For So Long - Wusthof Kitchen Shears - Best Ever

Just crazy great.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pork in Salsa Verde (Yes, Another Chip Magnet Salsa Recipe)

This is made using Chip Magnets Salsa Verde - and it is a little spicy (ok, kind of a lot), so you might not want to make this if your not into delicious. 

 Their write up goes....

Tomatillos are the not-so-secret ingredient to a delicious salsa verde. We keep it going green with a helping of freshly-chopped cilantro. Then we heat things up just enough with the help of some serrano chilis. 


3 lbs pork butt or shoulder, diced into 1 inch chunks (or slightly larger)
1 jar Chip Magnet Salsa Verde
7 oz can of diced green chili’s
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon of pepper
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 cup chicken stock
Salt to taste

Brown Pork in Pan.  Use cooking spray if your looking to save some calories, oil or lard if not
Remove pork, saute garlic and onions in the same pan
Deglaze the pan with the stock

Pour Pork, garlic, onions, Salsa Verde, diced green chiles, cumin, chicken stock into...
Ok, here you can run two ways with this recipe - pressure cooker or crock pot
If pressure cooker, toss it all in, bring to pressure, cook 20 minutes.  That's it, serve with rice, pinto beans, potatoes, tortillas, whatever.  
Toss it all into the crock pot, stir up the ingredients, cook on low for 8 hours.  And that's it - serve with rice, pinto beans, potatoes, tortillas, whatever.  

If you like, avocado, diced onion and tomatoes, etc. for the side or on top

Monday, January 14, 2013

Indian-Spiced Roasted Squash Soup

From Cooking Light

Pretty interesting recipe.  Very low calorie, and very low fat.

It is a fairly mildly spiced dish - not one of those very spicy Indian dishes.  It also has an interesting surprise in the middle.

This is a savory dish, although you might think of acorn and butternut squash as sweet. However the surprise (the yogurt/honey) is a great juxtaposition of flavors.


1 cup chopped onion
4 carrots, diced
1 (1-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut into (1/2-inch) cubes
1 (8-ounce) acorn squash, halved
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper if you like, or not
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
Salt to taste
1 container (sm) Greek Plain Yogurt
6 teaspoons honey


Cook Vegetables.  You can roast them (which will add flavor) or boil them.  Basically, get them soft

When cooked, toss in pan, mix with spices, cook a little longer - I think this helps "bloom" or open up the spices some

Toss in food processor with 2 cups water or vegie or chicken stock, pulse till smooth or whatever consistency you like

Scrape back into pan, add up to two more cups stock, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes

Add whatever salt you need to taste

Combine yogurt and honey

Serve soup with a dollop or two of the mixture.  I served it hot, but I think room temp would be fine.  Probably the yogurt mix would stay on top better.

You could probably also use garlic, ginger or coconut milk in this dish.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Meals for January 12-19 2013

We must own 200 cookbooks.  Our own, plus Meme's.  We have bookshelves of them around the house, in the basement.  I have probably used five of them once each in the past year.  The internet has replaced them.  It is easier to search based on what you have in the house, or feel like eating, or is on sale at the market.  Plus, many online recipes have the calories etc. next to the recipe.  As that is important to us, it makes it much easier to use an online recipe.

Lately we have had a desire for butternut squash.  So this week we have a variety of recipes, mostly involving that.

So, this is a list to help me find the recipes online as the week goes on.  It makes the cooking and shopping simpler - I can refer to this list from my tablet or computer at home or work if I need to.

Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

Winter Squash SoufflĂ© and Greens with Pork Chops

Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash

Indian-Spiced Roasted Squash Soup

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why yes, eggs are good for you

Research shows that for most people egg consumption is good for you, not bad for you

So, yet again, everything you have been told is wrong

Whole Foods FAIL - This is Healthy?

Comes along this tweet from Whole Foods

Sounds great - but read the recipe

It has more than 3/4 a cup of oil (3/4 cup plus 2 tbls, to be exact)

That is more fat than three big macs

More fat than 15 small fries at McDonalds.

Let me put this plainly Whole Foods


Eggs and Peas - Portuguese Style

Eggs Eggs Eggs

We got 'em coming out of our ears.  Four eggs a day, but only two people.  Even if you love eggs, that's to many eggs.  And the usual tends to get old after a while.  So, what to do?

Encouraged by my daughters various challenges, I decided to cook what we had.  Well, we have eggs.  And lately I have been enjoying, time to google peas and eggs.

Up popped this recipe for Portuguese Eggs and Peas.  Why not.

I of course made a few changes....


4 eggs
1/2 medium union, fine diced
1 carrot, diced fat
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounce of mushrooms, diced
1 14 oz can diced tomato
1 cup chicken stock
12 oz frozen peas

Saute onion, carrot, mushrooms and garlic till onions are translucent
Add stock and can of tomatoes (with juice)
When boiling, add peas
When boiling, lower heat to low-medium
Add eggs, cover
When cooked, eat!

Now this is often made with a little spicyness - sounds like a great place for some Chip Magnet Salsa!  If you used Ghoulicious, you would not need to add garlic to the recipe.

I served with hashbrowns.  I am sure it would be great with fresh peas and tomatoes, but it is January in Wisconsin after all...

Next time we make it I will likely fry the eggs in a separate pan.  They really don't pick up anything from the dish flavor wise, and it is hard to cook them to the consistency you want.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cooking with Chip Magnet Salsa – Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole is a spicy dish, traditionally.  Spicy both with heat (cayenne and black pepper) and with flavor (garlic).    That makes Ghoulicious is a great salsa for this dish, although you could also use the Garlicious if you just wanted to avoid the heat (but what fun is that?)  From the website

Ghoulicious was originally planned to just be around for the Halloween season, but it was so popular, we just had to keep it all year. Our Garlicious salsa has been haunted by the world famous ghost chili! Beware, this one's spookily hot!

1 lb Shrimp
spray oil
1 medium Onion, diced
2 stalks Celery, diced
1 small Green or Red Pepper, diced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1-1/2 Cups fresh tomatoes, Diced or 1 28 oz diced tomatoes, with juice.
1/2 Cup dry White Wine
1Cup chicken or veggie stock
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup goulicious or garlicious salsa
2 green onions, chopped
1/8 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, minced


Heat your pan to medium and spray with oil. 
Cook onions, celery and peppers until onion are soft.

Add the tomato paste, cook, stirring constantly, until the paste begins to brown, then add the tomatoes. 

When hot again, add the wine, and turn the heat to high until the alcohol burns off. Add the stock, bay leaf and Thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. 

When you start that 30 minutes of cooking, this is the time to start your rice

After you have simmered 30 minutes, add the salsa and Worcestershire.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add the shrimp. Don’t overcook!  This will take about 3 minutes.

Garnish with green onions and parsley.

Serve with the rice

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Atlanta Brisket

Happy Birthday to Daughter #1.  Her dinner request - Brisket.  Of course, it is her husbands favorite, so I am not sure if this is her treat, or his.

Brisket is a great dish.  Beefy, hearty, tender (when cooked right).

But, how to prepare it.  Now smoking brisket is always a great thing to do.  However, its 25 and snowing, and to tell you the truth, I am just a little lazy today.  Plus I have to fix the dryer, so I already have enough on my plate other than babysitting the smoker.

Fortunately this week, Cooks Country pushed out an email with a recipe for Atlanta Brisket.  I love America's Test Kitchen, and almost always find their recipes just great.  So....what is Atlanta Brisket?

Basically, Brisket braised in onions, ketchup and....coke.  Yes, coke.  I have made ham with a coke glaze, and that is pretty good.  So why not.

1(3 1/2-pound) beef brisket, flat cut, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch
  Salt and pepper
4teaspoons vegetable oil
1pound onions, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2cups cola
1 1/2cups ketchup
4teaspoons onion powder
2teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
1teaspoon garlic powder
1teaspoon dried thyme
1. Using fork, poke holes all over brisket. Rub entire surface of brisket with 1 tablespoon salt. Wrap brisket in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 or up to 24 hours.
2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Pat brisket dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place brisket fat side down in skillet; weigh down brisket with heavy Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes. Remove Dutch oven, flip brisket, and replace Dutch oven on top of brisket; cook on second side until well browned, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer brisket to plate.
3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer onions to 13 by 9-inch baking dish and spread into even layer.
4. Combine cola, ketchup, onion powder, sugar, garlic powder, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Place brisket fat side up on top of onions and pour cola ­mixture over brisket. Place parchment paper over ­brisket and cover dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until tender and fork easily slips in and out of meat, 3½ to 4 hours. Let brisket rest in liquid, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
5. Transfer brisket to carving board. Skim any fat from top of sauce with large spoon. Slice brisket against grain into ¼-inch-thick slices and return to baking dish. Serve brisket with sauce.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Green Owl Restaurant Review - Madison, WI

My Yelp Review

Good Food, not just good Vegan Food can be found at the Green Owl.

Lunch for four as my daughter was leaving for a month to go overseas. We picked the Green Owl as being both convenient and vegetarian, meeting our two most important criteria of the day.

What we got was also delicious. As a meat eater, I am often disappointed by the food at vegetarian/vegan restaurants. Basically they seem to assume that they get points for being vegan. Blech.

Not at the Green Owl. I have to say, I would be happy to bring anyone there, and expect to be served food that pleases all palates. 

All four meals were fine, but by consensus the eggplant meatball sandwich was the winner. Really good, I mean better than most meatballs you get anywhere else good. My lunch was the Mediterranean Platter - hummus, tabouli, muhammara (roasted red pepper and walnut spread) and baba ganoush served with toasted pita, olives and pickled vegetables.  Excellent.  

I will say service was slow, and it was not particularly packed (3/4 full?). Prices were not high, but not cheap for lunch either - 10 to 13 is pricier than most places. Portions are ok, but not huge.  It was for those reasons that I gave the Green Owl four stars rather than five.

The cinnamon roll cheesecake loved by the three ladies - myself I found the cinnamon too much, but I will concede I am not a huge fan of it (cinnamon, that is) 

I look forward to returning.