spicy grilled vegetable gazpacho

whelp, here we are smack dab in the middle of summer.

 

I I hope y’all had a fun  and safe holiday weekend.  Mine was a welcomed quiet time.  After a little bit of long overdue retail therapy, I found myself craving gazpacho .

I dug out my Original gazpacho recipe

as well as my Roasted veggie gazpacho

and kinda played around and came up with

spicy grilled vegetable gazpacho 

it’s similar to my roasted veggie one, but I played around with the flavors just a bit

image

Spicy gazpacho ingredients

3 tablespoons coconut oil

4 Roma tomatoes

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1 sweet white onion, peeled and quartered

1 habanero pepper

1 red bell pepper, halved

1 garlic cloves, not peeled

1 lime, halved

small bunch each of flat leaf parsley and dill

1 can of whole tomatoes ( I used some I canned last summer.  Buy the best tomatoes that you can find. Where this isn’t cooked  you want the best tomato flavor that you can get.  San Marzano is a great choice)

1/4 cup good Olive oil ( same reason as the tomatoes)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

sea salt, white pepper, freshly cracked black pepper

 

place  cukes, salt, pepper and white pepper in a high speed blender and let sit.  The salt will start to draw the moisture out of the cucumber, making for a smooth base since the cukes will have started to break down.  Alternatively, you can use a food processor if you don’t have a high speed blender, you’ll just have to make the soup in batches.

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Preheat grill to medium  heat.  Place an oven safe stoneware dish on the grill with the coconut oil . Season with salt and pepper and coconut oil will melt. Remove from heat and place veggies on the grill using  a basting brush, brush the coconut oil mixture atop veggies

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Flip the veggies after a few min and brush other side with oil mixture

Note~ each vegetable will cook at its own pace. Here, my tomatoes and habanero cooked first.  Once you see the carmalization ( those black lines are the sugars condensing and imparting a deeper flavor than raw vegatables). Transfer veggies to a plate .

 

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Now, let’s build this!

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Place the grilled veggies on top of the cucumbers. Add dill and parsley.

 

Purty, eh?

 

Next add the canned tomatoes with their juice

 

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Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a handful of ice cubes.

Blend. ( or process in batches if using a food processor )

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I had to use my food pusher to get it started.  If you don’t have one, take a break every few seconds and use a spatula to free up the veggies until they move freely

 

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Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Squirt lime juice in as well.

Taste for salt and pepper.

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Let sit covered in fridge for at least an hour ( if you can 😜)

 

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You guys.  This soup is incredible! I started by only added 1/2 of the habanero, but found that I still wanted it spicier, so I ended up using the whole thing.  Start will small amount of pepper and add what tastes right for your level of heat.

 

I served it with a bit of Mexican crema, ( you can sub sour cream ) a bot of balsamic vinegar and lime juice

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Enjoy !

 

 

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roasted vegetable gazpacho 

friends, I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA.   While in the grand scheme of things it all may seem minor, I feel like the last few weeks I’ve had one thing after another go wrong. 

The latest is that my iPad screen cracked.  About a week after the warranty expired.

  

And since this is what I use to post on my blog, I’ve been slacking. 

Anyway..  I have a few recipes lined up to share with y’all… This first one will knock your socks off ( get it.. So you’ll be barefoot with me? ) Ok, ok, I’ll stop.   If you promise to make this! 

Here is my standard Gazpacho recipe.. and I really do like it.  

However, this past weekend I scored this at the farmers’ market 

  

And by golly, I had an idea! 

 

Roasted vegetable gazpacho 

3 ripe tomatoes

2 cucumbers, peeled and diced 

1-2 jalapeños ( depending on how spicy you like it, if you don’t like heat, substitute a red bell pepper )

1/2 red onion

1 handful of roughly chopped parsley 

1-2 tbsp of roasted garlic *

1 tsp dried dill 

Sea salt

Pepper

1 tbsp  red wine vinegar 

1 tbsp lemon juice 

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

—I roasted my vegetable on my grill, you could also roast them in a 375 degree oven 

Once your grill is heated to about 350, place tomatoes, peppers and onions over heat. Let cook for about 5 minutes, then flip using tongs 

  

Grill ( or roast ) for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and place in a dish with a small lip ( to catch any juices that will release … I did not do that and ran to save the juices!

  

In a large bowl, add parsley, chopped cucumbers, olive oil red wine vinegar and lemon juice.  Season woth salt and pepper.  When roasted veggies are cool enough to touch, finely chop and add to bowl .  add roasted garlic

  

Toss

  

Take a moment to marvel at the simple beauty of fresh vegetables 😎

Blend everything together using an immersion blender or a conventional blender ( you’ll have to process in batches) 

Be careful not to over blend. A little texture is a good thing! 

  

 

Test for salt and pepper, garnish with Greek yogurt mixed with roasted garlic and parsley.  

I cannot begin to tell you how much flavor roasting the veggies adds.  There’s a layer of sweetness that adds soooo much to this soup! 

This packs up perfectly for a summer picnic ( I’ll be finding an excuse to do that this weekend 😊) not to mention how figure- friendly it is! 

Roasted garlic 

1 head garlic

Olive oil

Aluminum foil

Cut the top off of the garlic 

  

Place in a square of foil and Drizzle with olive oil

Wrap tightly like a Hershey’s kiss 😘

  

Grill or roast for about 20-30 minutes or until garlic starts to feel soft. 

  

Remove from heat and when cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic onto a cutting board and use the side of a knife to mash into a paste 

  

This stuff is liquid gold! I use it in many recipes or simply spread on toasted bread for a fantastic heart- healthy treat.

Side note….  The green center in the garlic is not good to eat. I still roasted it, but removed the tough centers before I mashed it.  If you have fresh garlic, this shouldn’t be an issue, mine was just on the verge and I knew that I could still salvage! 

Enjoy this recipe.   I know personally I’ll be making this many times this summer 😎

On a side note, 1/2 of my tomato and pepper plants have started to come back 

 

That’s 2 weeks growth from this 

 

  

Isn’t Mother Nature amazing?! 

Ciao bellas! 

my mom’s pasta salad 

so apparently it’s spring,  although here in Denver you wouldn’t have known it this past mothers’ day. 

  

Seriously.   It was pretty awesome! 

  

Because I got to make a snow lady! 

Today I’m sharing what is pretty much a basic pasta salad.  My mom made this growing up all the time.  Now I do! We pretty much always have a bowl of this in the fridge from spring to summer. 

  

mom’s pasta salad 

1 box of small macaroni ( shells, elbows, etc) 

2 celery stalks, chopped 

2 carrots, peeled and chopped 

1/2 red onion, chopped 

Hellman’s mayonnaise ( anywhere from 1/2 cup-1cup) 

***Powdered garlic ( 1/2tsp minimum, more if you really like garlic) 

Sea salt and pepper. 

Cook pasta in salted water, just until tender.   Drain ( don’t rinse). While hot sprinkle  with salt, pepper and garlic . Let cool . 

Mix all ingredients together. 

  

And that’s it! Season woth salt and pepper!

When my daughter’s friends come over they eat this like candy. 

My niece  once stole the bowl off the counter and I had to chase her! 

she and my daughter actually sat in my oversized tub ( empty tub ) with the bowl and two spoons. 

I couldn’t make this up if I tried! 

*** I once made an incredibly over garlic dip…  It was insane.   Ever since then Scott claims I tried to kill him with garlic…  So I tend to use less garlic than most.  Season to your own family’s tastes!

I have a few other pasta salad recipes, but this one here…. It’s the family favorite! 

mock~tails, home made fruit vinegars annnd..

Spaghetti squash casserole.

yes.

again.

After help from my friends and family on facebook, I think that I’ve fixed the issue. Now I’m sure some of you are downright sick of hearing about it ( I’m kinda getting sick of typing it) but I still feel the need to share that post in its’ entirety, so we will start with that.

 

( feel free to skip if you just can’t bear to have your eyes view it again~ it’s ok, I’ll still love you. Like lots. )

 

friends. If you are connected with me on my  facebook page , then you’ve had a sneak peak at what’s cooking in my kitchen

Get yerself a sketti squash, because trust me, you will want to make this!

I mentioned in my massaged kale salad post how I am obsessed with True food kitchen

I’ve eaten here many times and have tried many things on the menu. ALL fabulous.

Twice now, I’ve had friends order the spaghetti squash casserole, and both have raved about how good it was.

( truth be told, both friends offered me a bite, of which I accepted  and wow! I just knew I had to make it at home)

I did a little research * puffy heart google* and voila! found the recipe!

click the link for complete recipe

Dr Andrew Weil, Spaghetti Squash casserole

 

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of ground allspice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 pound part-skim mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheesenow since I’m home with a healing pup, I had to improvise the recipe just a littleI did not have the peppers, but I did find a sad little jalapeno in my crisper drawer, and we like it hot 😉 so I used that in place of the red and yellow peppers.

spaghetti squash casserole ingredients

Start by cooking the squash. The recipe says to add entire squash into a big pot of water, bring to a boil for 50 minutes.

 

check on pup 

Now, I usually cook squash in the oven but I was intrigued to try this method. So I did.

My only comment would be that cooking it in the oven it was easier to separate the seeds from the flesh, but over, I would cook the squash either way.

while the squash is cooking ( whichever way your little heart desired) Chop up your veggies

Add a small amount of olive oil to a pan ( I’m a die hard believer in cast iron.. I’ll explain why if ya wants to know 😉  )

 

add the onions and carrots to hot oil, season with a bit of salt and cook for 5 min

 

check on pup 

next, I  added the the pepper and celery with a dash of red pepper flakes

squash filling

allow to saute for about 10 minutes, until veggies were soft. Taste for salt, if it needs a little more, go ahead and knock your self out 😉

* I kept adding little bits of water throughout so that the veggies didn’t dry out and stick while softening.. maybe 2 tablespoons at a time each time I stirred it ? )

 

check on pup 

The recipe called to squeeze the garlic in, but I rid myself of my garlic press years ago, as it only had that one purpose, and its easy enough to smash garlic with the side of a chef’s knife. garlic smash

f you have a press, by all means use it

add the crushed tomatoes m sprinkle of allspice (the secret ingredient, we discovered) , the garlic.

now you may have noticed the dish of roasted tomatoes.  I had some maters that were to ripe to eat raw, so I roasted them like I did when I made my

roasted garlic and tomato soup

 

 

squash filling

I  added these sweet babies  in addition to the crushed tomatoes

I also added a sprig of rosemary.

I hate to follow directions 😉

spaghetti squash

 

and btw~ this smelled heavenly 

Next I used a pair of tongs to remove squash from boiling water ( CAREFULLY) and place on a cutting board until cool enough to cut

 

scoop out seeds ( if you cooked it in the oven, you’ve already done this. great job, you overachiever, you  😉 )

 

spaghetti squash filling

 

 

add to tomato mixture and stir

 

check on pup 

Now full disclosure… since I was cooking this for just Scott and myself, I spooned out half of the tomato mixture and reserved for another recipe ( veggie chili, perhaps? ) and only used half of the spaghetti squash itself.   Had I known I could have halved the recipe, but being my first time making it, I wasn’t thinking.

 

spaghetti squash filling

 

 

I mean just look at this! Incredible.

 

next, layer 1/2  the squash mixture in baking dishes , add 1/2 the cheese, the rest of the squash mixture, and top with remaining cheese

 

 

baked spaghetti squash

 

guess which one was mine 😉

 

As far as the cheese goes, I used shredded because I had it and on Sunday when I played around with

smoked tofu crumbles, I smoked a few mozzarella balls as well ( just curious how it would come out) so I cut those up and topped  our dishes with a bit of that crazy cheese flavor.

I baked it in a 350 over for about 20 minutes, topped with shredded basil and a tiny drizzle of olive oil

 

Baked Spaghetti Squash

 

do I have your attention yet?

 

baked Spaghetti squash

 

yeeeeeaaah…  this was pretty awesome.  and healthy? CRAZY healthy!

If you would like to make this vegan, substitute Daiya cheese. simple!

My friend, Cindy stopped by yesterday to visit with me and brought me lunch. From where? True food of course!

I had the edamame dumplings and they were incredible. Together we disected the taste and came up with what we think would be a good recipe.

 

I have my next challenge!

 

true food edamame dumplings

 

Thank you, Cindy, for lunch and the company 😉

My next immediate project is making puppy ice cream or peanut butter biscuits  With all of the treats I’ve been given Fen, I’m starting to run low and need to last until the weekend when Scott is home

 

healing Fenway

 

 

my sweet girl ❤

 

 

al’ight….  since I’ve spent 46,000 hours writing,losing,finding,re~losing, re~ finding,fixing and re~ posting this…. you just might wanna make this… and let me know 🙂

 

ok. next. While I was hanging out with my sweet pup this week, I watched a lot of Food Network I came across a show that was focusing on Mocktails… you know, cocktails sans alcohol.

 

Kelsey Nixon made blackberry sipping vinegar to use as a base for a mocktail recipe.

I was curious, so I used the base/ idea of her recipe to make Strawberry~basil vinegar.

( because that is what I had in~ house ..

 

strawberry~basil vinegar

start by using equal parts fruit-sugar. I used a cup of each and added shredded basil

 

mash fruit and sugar up well and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate ( I love re- using rubber bands from veggies all over the kitchen 😉 ) for 2 days , stirring occasionally

On day 3, add equal amount ( 1 cup )  of apple cider vinegar ( I swear by Bragg’s.. highly worth the extra buck or two ) and stir.

The next day, using a fine~ mesh strainer, strain all solids out, using a flexible spatula  to press out every last bit of liquid ( you do NOT want to waste any )

 

strawberry- basil vinegar

to make your life easier ( because let’s face it, it’s all about you 😉 ) strain it into a dish or measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring.

Pour into a jar and store in fridge!

 

( I have a batch with Meyer lemons in the fridge now. I’ll let you know how it comes out )

 

strawberry-basil vinegar

I made a mocktail by pouring about an ounce of the vinegar over some ice, topping with sparkling water and a wedge of lime.

 

strawberry-basil mocktail

 

There is something about the vinegar that really elevates this drink., It feels like a special drink

In the show, Kelsey used an infused tea as well ( click the link up there for complete recipe) but I’m a simple girl and this drink suited me just fine.

So for my friends out there who don’t drink alcohol, for one reason or another, here’s a new option for you!

 

It is also a Crazy- delicious base for a salad dressing..  more on that tomorrow.

 

On another note, my PT is going well. Really well. my PT recommended that I get a theraputtic massage to break up some of the scar tissue in my hamstring from the tears. ( not my torn ACL leg that i just had surgically fixed, the OTHER leg that went into crazy hyper horrificness thanks to being on crutches post- surgery

The massage therapist ( This was NOT a relaxing massage AT ALL, btw) worked on my hips, glutes, ( where one of the tears are) and then she moved to my back.

She discovered that I have a muscle along my spine ( not the spine itself) that is all twisted up and is sending pain signals down my leg.

After 60 minutes with her, I noticed a difference ( the next day)

I was shocked to realize halfway through the day that I wasn’t struggling while doing simple things like just walking 

So my PT is also working on this and is having me start some strength training , lots of squats, single-leg squats and lunges of all angles.

and I’m feeling good for the first time in a LONG time.

I asked Matt ( PT) about possibly training for a 5k. He said he’ll let me start jogging ( under his supervision) on the treadmill in 2 weeks.

He humbling shared with me that he came in in the top 20 of the Boston Marathon last year. Not percentage, but overall.

I’m uber- impressed.

Friday I made a last minute descison to sign up for an Earth- Month 5k around the corner from my house. ( with his approval)

I went into this knowing that walking was the only option and that my time would not matter.

I had 2 friends who signed up with me.

we finished dead last, but that didn’t matter. We did it.

I had my first benchmark for races here in Colorado and the only thing that I can expect from here is to get better and move forward..

I’m ready

Aveda earth day race

I hope that your weekend was fabulous!

xo

baked spaghetti squash… via true food kitchen

friends. If you are connected with me on my  Facebook page , then you’ve had a sneak peak at what’s cooking in my kitchen

Get yerself a sketti squash, because trust me, you will want to make this!

I mentioned in my massaged kale salad post how I am obsessed with True Food Kitchen

I’ve eaten here many times and have tried many things on the menu. ALL fabulous.

Twice now, I’ve had friends order the spaghetti squash casserole, and both have raved about how good it was.

( truth be told, both friends offered me a bite, of which I accepted  and wow! I just knew I had to make it at home)

I did a little research * puffy heart google* and voila! found the recipe!

click the link for complete recipe

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of ground allspice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 pound part-skim mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheesenow since I’m home with a healing pup, I had to improvise the recipe just a littleI did not have the peppers, but I did find a sad little jalepeno in my crisper drawer, and we like it hot 😉 so I used that in place of the red and yellow peppers. 

IMG_3833

 

Start by cooking the squash. The recipe says to add entire squash into a big pot of water, bring to a boil for 50 minutes.

 

check on pup 

Now, I usually cook squash in the oven but I was intrigued to try this method. So I did.

My only comment would be that cooking it in the oven it was easier to separate the seeds from the flesh, but over, I would cook the squash either way.

while the squash is cooking ( whichever way your little heart desired) Chop up your veggies

Add a small amount of olive oil to a pan ( I’m a die hard believer in cast iron.. I’ll explain why if ya wants to know 😉  )

 

add the onions and carrots to hot oil, season with a bit of salt and cook for 5 min

 

check on pup 

next, I  added the the pepper and celery with a dash of red pepper flakes

 

IMG_3835

 

allow to saute for about 10 minutes, until veggies were soft. Taste for salt, if it needs a little more, go ahead and knock your self out 😉

* I kept adding little bits of water throughout so that the veggies didn’t dry out and stick while softening.. maybe 2 tablespoons at a time each time I stirred it ? )

 

check on pup 

The recipe called to squeeze the garlic in, but I rid myself of my garlic press years ago, as it only had that one purpose, and its easy enough to smash garlic with the side of a chef’s knife. garlic smash

If you have a press, by all means use it

add the crushed tomatoes m sprinkle of allspice (the secret ingredient, we discovered) , the garlic.

now you may have noticed the dish of roasted tomatoes.  I had some maters that were to ripe to eat raw, so I roasted them like I did when I made my

Creamy Roasted Tomato and Garlic soup

I  added these sweet babies  in addition to the crushed tomatoes

I also added a sprig of rosemary.

I hate to follow directions 😉

 

IMG_3838

and btw~ this smelled heavenly 

Next I used a pair of tongs to remove squash from boiling water ( CAREFULLY) and place on a cutting board until cool enough to cut

IMG_3842

 

scoop out seeds ( if you cooked it in the oven, you’ve already done this. great job, you overachiever, you  😉 ) spaghetti squash filling

 

add to tomato mixture and stir

 

check on pup 

Now full disclosure… since I was cooking this for just Scott and myself, I spooned out half of the tomato mixture and reserved for another recipe ( veggie chili, perhaps? ) and only used half of the spaghetti squash itself.   Had I known I could have halved the recipe, but being my first time making it, I wasn’t thinking.

IMG_3846I mean just look at this! Incredible.

 

next, layer 1/2  the squash mixture in baking dishes , add 1/2 the cheese, the rest of the squash mixture, and top with remaining cheese

baked spaghetti squash

guess which one was mine 😉

 

As far as the cheese goes, I used shredded because I had it and on Sunday when I played around with

SMOKED TOFU, I smoked a few mozzarella balls as well ( just curious how it would come out) so I cut those up and topped  our dishes with a bit of that crazy cheese flavor.

I baked it in a 350 over for about 20 minutes, topped with shredded basil and a tiny drizzle of olive oil

Baked Spaghetti Squash

do I have your attention yet?

 

baked Spaghetti squash

yeeeeeaaah…  this was pretty awesome.  and healthy? CRAZY healthy!

If you would like to make this vegan, substitute Daiya cheese. simple!

My friend, Cindy stopped by yesterday to visit with me and brought me lunch. From where? True food of course!

I had the edamame dumplings and they were incredible. Together we disected the taste and came up with what we think would be a good recipe.

 

I have my next challenge!true food edamame dumplings

 

 

Thank you, Cindy, for lunch and the company 😉

My next immediate project is making Frozen Pup treats or Home made Peanut butter biscuits  With all of the treats I’ve been given Fen, I’m starting to run low and need to last until the weekend when Scott is home

 

IMG_0820

 

My sweet girl ❤

Congrats, friends.. you’ve almost made it through humpday!

 

oxox

 

simple refrigerator pickles

simple. that is the key here.

have a cutting board?

have a knife?

have a pretty jar?

cool. Then let’s GO!

IMG_0561start by washing your jar with hot soapy water and air dry.

On a stove top, add 1 1/2 cups of sugar to 1/4 cup water and 1 tsp Kosher salt. Bring to a boil and whisk until sugar is dissolved.

let cool.

Start slicing your veggies.

place a layer of cucumbers in your jar,  layer a big slice of red onion, a hot pepper sliced ( poke seeds out of center to make ‘rings’)

sprinkle some kosher salt, a few black peppercorns, a few mustard seeds, peeled garlic cloves, and dill sprigs.
IMG_0563

Repeat.

IMG_0564

make as many layers as you’d like.. I went with 3.

Add 2 cups of white vinegar to water/ sugar mixture and pour over veggies.

using the bottom of a wooden spoon push veggie layers into liquid.

I had about 1/2 inch of veggies that would not submerge, but with in a few hours the veggies softened and I was able to submerge all of them. If you have more room than that, add a little more vinegar.

Cover and refrigerate.

that’t it!

these are simple and tasty and are PERFECT to make ahead . I made these for Ali’s graduation party and they were a hit. ( more recipes from the party coming soon! )

and since we moved less that 5 days later, I sent the leftovers home with 2 of my good friends and rumor has it that they are STILL snacking on them!

so you should make these. and impress yourself.

I did 🙂

IMG_0570

IMG_0572

want more cucumber recipes?

check out chilled cucumber soup

and cucumber salad

and panzanella salad

and cucumber martinis

hmm… that last one just gave me an excellent  idea 😉

‘night friends 🙂

stuffed peppers with raisins and pine nuts

good afternoon, friends!  I apologize for those whose email I blew up this morning by re-posting links from my weebly site.

 

I tried very hard to import all of the posts over to here with no success 😦  Someday I will hire someone to do it for me ( I really want everything in one place, for many reasons) and the issues that I was previously having with wordpress seem to have been resolved.

 

on the bright side, I  set up and instagram account 🙂

 

I know… blah, blah, blah. we want FOOD!

 

Kewl..  here’s what i have for you today…. you all know about my infatuation with Hatch peppers that I wrote about earlier this week.  It turns out that it’s kind of a regional thing.  My friends from facebook knew all about them. Apparently they are a big deal, and I just happened to stumble across them!

more on regional foods soon…. today I give you my stuffed pepper recipe

Growing up my mom made stuffed peppers alot. yum!  My recipe is a bit different than hers, because I basically cook everything first, then just heat before serving.

 

3-6 peppers

1 pound lean ground pork

1 can of tomatoes

1/4 cup of tomato sauce

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup raisins ( I used golden)

1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground cumin

About a cup of chicken broth

1-2 cups of cooked rice, or other grain

1/2 cup cheese of your choice

 

 

I also use it as a way to clean out the fridge!

IMG_0503

Start by sauteeing about a pound of ground pork ( I used extra- lean) . Season with salt and pepper. Remove pork form pan and set aside.

 

 

Add a drizzle of oil oil and add 1 onion, chopped  over medium heat.  When onions are translucent, add 2 garlic cloves, smashed. Stir and add a can of tomatoes ( I used Fire- roasted, use what you like.  )

IMG_0504The add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a teaspoon of  ground cumin, a dash ( or more if you like) of chipotle seasoning.

IMG_0505

Mix the pork back in and add about a cup of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer while flavors develop.

 

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat. shake continuously. ( Nuts can burn in a nano-second.. trust me on this)

 

toss with Raisins

 

Here is where cleaning out the fridge comes in handy.  I had some leftover lentils ( which I LOVE) and some leftover rice. So I made 2 different peppers.

IMG_0508

 

half the batch   with lentils

 

 

IMG_0507

and half the batch  with rice

Toss in some cheese ( I used ricotta salata, use what you have 🙂

 

IMG_0509

 

 

set aside

 

Next, rinse and halve your peppers ( use rubber glove if they are hot) and scoop out membranes & seeds

IMG_0506

 

place in a baking dish with a little bit  of reserved tomato sauce

 

and start filling dem peppers!

 

IMG_0510

 

top with a little bit of cheese ( and sauce if you have any left) and bake at 350 until peppers are warm and cheese is melted.

 

IMG_0512serve with sauce on the side.

 

now I know these look kinda messy.. but that’s because I was trying to fill tiny peppers.  If you use a bigger pepper, say a red bell, or green bell, it will  be much neater.

 

Regardless of how it looks, it’s tasted great.

 

Don’t let the idea of the raisins & cinnamon deter you from making this recipe. The flavor combo is amazing.

 

have fun in the kitchen!

 

Have I made you hungry yet ??

 

oxox

massaged kale salad

massaged kale salad

 

click link for recipe

stuffed- caprese-tomatoes

remember when I made  THESE….

well, I had myself one big tomato yesterday the other day that was just this side of being eaten fresh. But it was still edible and had the fixins for caprese salad.

 

and let’s face it, friends, caprese is only as good as the tomatoes.

 

Since I don’e like to throw anything out, I came up with another idea, based on the original recipe from way back when.

 

Stfuffed-Caprese- Tomato

 

start by hollowing out said tomato ( this one tomato was enough to split as a side between 3 of us)  and placing on aluminum foil

 

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Then rough chop the flesh of the tomato and place in small saucepan with about 1/4 cup heavy cream, 2 garlic cloves, chopped, salt, pepper and a rosemary sprigIMG_0491

bring to a boil, then to a simmer until sauce turns pink & reduces

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add about 1/4 cup of bread crumbs ( I used Panko.. it’s what I had) and stir.  Taste filling and adjust salt & pepper. Remove rosemary.

 

 

Cut up some fresh mozzarella into bite size piecesIMG_0494

start by adding 2-3 pieces of the cheese tot he inside of the tomato , then a layer of filling

IMG_0496repeat alternating until tomato is full.  Wrap tomato up tightly like a Hershey’s kiss.

 

Place on grill ( or in oven ) for about 15 minutes.  Remove & let cool. Top with shreds of basil ( I forgot to add it before I took the pic)

Cut into quarters and enjoy!

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you can thank me later 🙂

creamy roasted tomato and garlic soup.. and a story

hiya!

Many of you know by now, and if not, then I am here to tell ya, that later this year, when our youngest graduates from high school  Scott , Fenway and I will be re- locating to Colorado. In fact, he is already there and has been since last June.

When I went full- force  (more forceful, rather) with this blog it was because I knew that this was in our future, and I wanted to set this up to be able to share my experiences with my family and friends.  I couldn’t tell you all that back then, but I can now 😉

This will be a huge adventure for us on many different levels.

1~ we’ve never lived out of New England

2~ Our entire families are back here in Massachusetts

3~ Our children Ryan, Alison, Jason and Amanda will be in 3 separate corners of the country, with Scott Fen and I in the center.  We have always been a pretty tight family as far as families go, so this will take some adjusting.

4~ Scott and I have never lived alone! We had Jason so early in life that we were a ready -made family right from the start..

Jay and Shel wedding day Scott and jay wedding day

 

 

 

So we will be empty nesters at the ripe ages of 42&43 in a completely new part of the country for us!

so after knowing all of this, I have now shared it with you….  the next few months will most likely be the craziest of my life ( and TRUST me, I’ve had crazy times) but it will also be fun. I intend to MAKE it fun 🙂 And share much of our adventure ( including a cross-country drive with Fen in my jeep)

 

In the meantime, I have a recipe for you. I developed this by using my favorite way of cooking. Look at what I have in house and try to be creative.

Last week cherry tomatos were buy one get one free at my grocery store. When you can get free maters in the dead of winter, you take  get them.  And if you are like me you hide them, especially if you have someone ( no names) who might possibly eat that whole container at once…… And then if you are really like me, then you forget that  you hid them… and when you find them, well, they look less than desirable.

THAT is how I came up with this recipe.  ( the tomatoes weren’t rotten or anything, just starting to shrivel… feel free to use perfectly plump tomatoes in the recipe if you want to skip the dumb blonde** step of forgetting that you hid them)

 

creamy roasted tomato and garlic soup

 

2 pints of cherry tomatoes
1 head of garlic
1 large onion
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup cooked cannelloni beans
2 cups low sodium chicken broth ( use veg broth to make vegetarian/ vegan)
salt, pepper. dried thyme

 

Preheat oven to 375.

rinse tomatoes and pat dry. pu them on a non-stick cookie sheet. Cut up onion and toss with the tomatoes.
Cut the head off of the garlic and place in a small piece of aluminum foil.

Spilt the olive oil between the garlic head and the tomato -onion mixture. Close up the top of the aluminum foil and squeeze tightly. Place garlic in in center of tomato onion- mixture and sprinkle with salt, peper and dried thyme.

Roast veggies for about 20-25 minutes. Remoce garlic from foil ( carefully, it will be hot) and squeeze all of the cloves ( now delisciously sweet) into a blender.

Add all veggies and any bits that may have accumulated on the pan.
Add the beans, and broth and blend on low for 2 minute, then increase speed to high for 2 minutes

( if you use hot broth, then make sure you take the little glass insert out of the top of the blender and cover with a kitchen towel to prevent hot splattering liquid… I used the broth cold as well as the beans and just reheated the soup once it was done)
Once soup is blended, test for seasonings and adjust salt & pepper as needed.

enjoy! I promise you you will never know that there is not any cream in it!

I served mine with a dollop of Non fat Greek Yogurt

 

serves 3

190 calories per serving

5 grams of fat per serving

 

 

 

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roasted tomato and garlic soup

 

 

enjoy!  and thanks for coming along for the ride !

 

**dumb blonde comment…. someone is no longer blonde 😉

 

oxoxox

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