Yum Peaceful Cooking: 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Butternut and Leek Soup with Red Lentils

Sometimes, when you can't decided between two options, combining them is the best idea ever.

I really love Julia Child's Leek and Potato soup. I really love Butternut Squash Soup. I was in the mood for both and just couldn't decide what to do. Although I was leaning a bit more towards the leek soup, the butternut squash really needed to be used soon.

Using Julia's recipe as a guide, and her often simple, basic seasoning technique that allows the main ingredient's flavor to shine like a star rather than the supporting spices and herbs, It's surprising how a bit salt and pepper is the only seasoning this recipe needs. Trust me, hold back on the urge to add the garlic or cumin, or whatever your go-to favorites are. Try it in it's true form first and remember that you can add other seasonings later if you choose.

Butternut and Leek Soup with Red Lentils

Printable Version

1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" cubes
2 leeks, including tender greens, sliced and rinsed
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 cup diced butternut squash
2 quarts of water plus more as needed
1/4 cup red lentils, uncooked
1 tablespoon salt
White pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of butter
Chives or parsley

In a large put simmer the vegetables, water and salt, partially covered with a lid for about 30 minutes. Add the lentils and continue simmering, partially covered for another 20 - 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add warm water as needed to keep the vegetables under water.

Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender) puree until smooth and creamy. Adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper if needed.

Off heat and just before serving, stir in the butter, a spoonful at a time until melted and garnish with croutons and chives or parsley

The lentils were added to thicken the soup (instead of rice) and also for their nutritional value. The butter is added at the end to add a bit of depth and richness. It is of course optional. You can add cream instead if you'd like. Croutons are just so much fun in creamy soups.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Chamomile and Pink Peppercorn Shortbread Cookies #Drop

Chamomile and pink peppercorn is quite the herbie combo for a dessert. And it totally works. These slightly sweet shortbread cookies have a sophisticated flair to them. They almost demand that you sit back with a cup of hot tea and enjoy a few moments of leisure.

Why does pink peppercorn work so well here? It' because it's not a true peppercorn (it's a berry). Although it does contain a bit of pepper flavor, it also has a citrus note to it. Pink peppercorn is actually related to cashews (if you have a nut allergy, you may want to proceed with caution).

I found out about these delightful cookies on a new app called Drop which is extremely fun and quite honestly, rather ingenious. In a nutshell, it's an interactive kitchen scale that uses an app which is downloaded onto your iPad .

I recently had the opportunity to give this little gem a try and see what it's all about. After a quick company background and overview by the CEO, a group of us gathered around the kitchen and started playing. Cookies, muffins, both savory and sweet were made that evening. All were easy. All were tasty and all were deliciously fun!

The scale connects to your iPad via wifi. You select one of the many recipes from the app and do as it tells you. For example, "place a large bowl on the scale", which it then promptly adjusts back to zero. "Add a cup of flour". Rather than having to measure the flour, you pour it in and the app tells you when you've reached 1 cup (based on weight rather than volume). Brilliant!

Drop will basically hold your hand as it walks you through the recipe, step by step. It includes videos and photos of what your progress should look like. It goes as far as including a timer, which you can program to alert your cellphone when your dish is done baking!

I love it! There's something a bit liberating about baking without doing the measuring. The only thing that really needs to be measured are small quantities such as teaspoons. I mean, the weight of a teaspoon of baking soda is almost non-existent, right? Totally understandable.

Oh, I almost forgot another fun little "plus". Baking can be messy. (no, it doesn't clean up after you) and who wants to touch their iPad screen with gooey fingers? No need with Drop! As you're going through the recipe steps, if you need to hit next....just press the front of the scale itself. Bingo! Much easier to clean the scale than the screen.

If you want to use the scale on it's own (without one of the recipes on the app), you can do so, but it will need to be communicating with your iPad.

So, I brought my cute little smart kitchen scale home, borrowed my friends iPad (ya....now I need an iPad. Seriously!) and started playing. And that's where these Chamomile and Pink Peppercorn Shortbread Cookies came in....

Chamomile and Pink Peppercorn Shortbread Cookies

Recipe from Drop

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon chamomile tea (dry, from the tea bag)
1 teaspoon ground pink peppercorn
Sugar to sprinkle on cookies

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Set aside

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, chamomile and pink peppercorn.

Add to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until dough forms. In this case, it's a dry dough....not like...say, your typical sugar cookie dough by any means. I tested the readiness by placing it in my hand and squeezing it to see if it would hold together.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 340' F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to about 1/8th inch. If the edges split, just press them back together.

Cut into desired shape (I used a knife and made simple rectangles).

Using a spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet.

Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the edges are a light golden color.

So light and delicate in both flavor and form. Fun to make and a delight to eat.

With the holidays coming up, Drop would make the perfect gift for the new baker or even the experienced baker who has everything!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Turkey and Stuffing Crepes #SundaySupper

We all look forward to Thanksgiving. It is the biggest foodie holiday of the year after all. I think most of us look forward to the leftovers almost as much as the big day itself. Turkey Sandwiches, Turkey Soup, Turkey Broth, and of course just reheating the goods and gobbling it down again.

But what about taking it a step or two further and making a whole new, different meal? The possibility list just expanded quite a bit didn't it?

Today's Sunday Supper is all about doing just that. Re-inventing your Thanksgiving leftovers.

One of my favorite things to do, and I've been doing this in various forms for years, is to use the turkey to fill crepes. It's such a simple, no fuss dinner that your family is sure to enjoy.

A quick note about the crepes: If you want to make them from scratch, go for it. Did I? Nooooo. Not that I haven't but to be honest, after spending the whole day in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, I don't usually have the drive to actually make crepes. I buy them from the market. Pre-made. They're found in the produce section of all places. I guess cuz they're known mostly for being filled with fruit. I happen to love them filled with yummy savory turkey and stuffing.

Turkey and Stuffing Crepes

Printable Version

2 cups cooked turkey, shredded
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup craisins
2 cups gravy, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups stuffing
10 crepes
1 cup cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon cranberry juice
chopped chives to garnish

Preheat the oven to 350'F. Spray a 13 x 9 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Heat the oil in a medium size skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey, craisins, and 3/4 cup of the gravy. Heat through, stirring occasionally for about 3 - 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Scoop 1/4 cup of the turkey mixture along the center of the crepe and top with 1/4 cup of the stuffing.

Very gently roll up the crepe, folding in the sides as you go and place into your prepared casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining crepes until you have prepared all 10.

Pour the remaining gravy over the top.

Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat up the cranberry sauce, adding the cranberry juice (or water) to thin out just a bit.

When the crepes are done baking, remove from oven. Gently remove the crepes from the pan with a long spatula to serve (if you're not careful, they will fall apart a bit). Pour the heated cranberry sauce over the top and garnish with chopped chives.

Doesn't get much easier than that, does it? It just a fancified turkey sandwich but it's elegant enough to serve for dinner.

I know there are more leftovers than just turkey and stuffing, so I think you need to check out what the rest of the Sunday Supper team has in store for you:


Main Dish:

Side Dishes:


Condiments & Sauces:


Cocktails & Drinks:

SSbadge-150x150 Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday!We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtagand remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wild Boar Pacific Rim Sliders #SundaySupper

There are different kinds of 'food' hunters. Wild game, forager, and shopper. What you're into, where you live and possibly how you live might help define which kind of  hunter you are. Or maybe you fall under more than one category.

Sir Sportsalot doesn't hunt wild game. He just get's wild watching a game (hence the name "Sir Sportsalot"). I've never gone foraging, although I'd love to. It does intimidate me a little though.... being able to identify what you're picking...knowing the difference between what you can and can not eat...that sort of thing. So that puts me in the category of a shopping hunter. Hunting for that one, hard to find, ingredient. Driving to specialty stores, exploring markets in ethnic neighborhoods, just to try something new, exciting and authentic.

Well, I didn't really have to go far for this wild boar. I just happened to stumble upon it locally and it sorta ended up in my cart with very little struggle. Easy prey if you ask me. Much easier (and safer) than actually hunting a wild boar. And it comes so nicely packaged, too.

Wild Boar Pacific Rim Sliders

Printable Version

4 oz mushrooms, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger
1 lb ground wild boar
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
12 slider buns

2 teaspoons oil
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
4 green onions, sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

Wasabi Aoli
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon wasabi sauce
1/2 teaspoon teriyaki sauce

Preheat the oven to 400'F

In a food processor, combine the mushrooms, onions and ginger and process until finely chopped

In a medium sized bowl, combine the wild boar, chopped mushroom mixture, teriyaki sauce and bread crumbs. Mix until just combined.

Press the mixture evenly into an ungreased 11 x 7 rectangle baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

While the meat is baking, let's get everything else ready:

Heat the 2 teaspoons of oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the bean spouts and green onions. Allow to cook until just beginning to wilt and the bean sprouts are barely opaque. Stir frequently. Add a tablespoon or 2 of water if needed to prevent sticking. Add 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce and continue heating until the sauce is slightly reduced, about a minute or two, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, wasabi sauce and teriyaki sauce. Mix until thoroughly combined and chill until everything else is ready to serve.

Once the meat is cooked and slightly cooled, carefully drain off the excess grease and gently remove onto a cutting board. Slice into 12 even squares

Spread the Wasabi Aoli onto your slider buns, place a patty on there and then top with your sauteed bean sprouts.

The wild boar flavor is wonderful. Slightly sweeter than your typical pork. I love each component from this slider separately, but when they're combined....wow!! So fun, so delicious and simple to make. And now I can say I've eaten wild boar!

Now tell me....what's your favorite food to 'hunt' for?

Here are some recipes for ingredients that are hunter or foraged for...enjoy :)

Spread it on Thick

Nibbles and Sides

The Main Event

Sweet Treats

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Almond Mocha Pudding Cookies

Let's make this short and sweet. Just like the recipe for these delicious cookies. I will however give you a quick background.

During my recent visit in Alabama, my sister and I were craving something sweet. Or maybe it was just me and she politely went along with it (how southern of her). Either way, we quickly discovered the limitations of our resources. But I was determined. I mean...I was in a gorgeously huge kitchen after all....and I needed to bake!

A quick inventory found us with flour, sugar, butter, and eggs....thats good. We have the basics. What else....a box of chocolate pudding? Hmmm....this could be interesting. Oh, and a handful of sliced almonds..

Well...this is a job for Google! A quick search for 'pudding in cookies' came up a surprisingly long list of results. I had never heard of using pudding in cookies (apparently I'm in the minority where that's concerned. Oh well, so much for thinking we were on the cutting edge of a new method). What we ended up with were amazing, delicious, soft, melt in your mouth cookies!

Almond Mocha Pudding Cookies

Inspired by Kraft Easy Pudding Cookies
makes about 4 dozen 2" cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened (read the tip below regarding the end result based on which one is used)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 3.9 oz packet of instant pudding
1 tsp instant coffee
2 eggs
2 cups self rising flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat your oven to 350'

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy,

Add the pudding and instant coffee and beat until combined.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Mix in the flour until well combined.

Scoop out 1 tablespoon of cookie dough, form into a ball and place onto a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Place a few almond slices on top of the dough ball and gently press to secure.

Bake 11 - 13 minutes. Allow to cool 1 minute before placing onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely. (HA!! Ya right! Who are we trying to kid here? Grab one...for each hand.)

Margarine will result in a fluffy almost cake like cookie
Butter will result in a flatter, not as fluffy cookie

Both are soft, chewy and amazingly delicious! Don't be surprised if they don't last more than 24 hrs.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Horiatki Salata #SundaySupper

Horiatki Salata aka Greek Village Salad is simple, light and amazingly delicious. If this is how the villagers eat....I need to rethink things a bit. You know that saying "less is more"? Well it certainly applies here...in a big way!

I found this recipe in It's All Greek To Me by Debbie Matenopoulos. Its one of many recipes in this book that I've attached a post-it to. If you want to lighten things up a bit during the holidays, Greek food is the way to go.

Let me go on to say that typically, I'm not a huge fan of feta cheese. Nor am I a fan of kalamata olives. For some reason, when combined with the ingredients in this salad, and once coated and marinated with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.....these two ingredients seem to take advantage of being in their element and shine like nobodies business.

It says that this salad is an everyday traditional side dish but you know what? It holds it's own as a main dish. The only dish. Great for lunch...a light dinner. You don't feel like you've missed out on anything!

Horiatki Salata

From the It's All Greek To Me cookbook
Serves 4-6

1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced (it says seedless but that wasn't available)
4-5 large tomatoes, sliced
1 large red onion, sliced
1 large bell pepper, sliced (it says green but I prefer orange, red or yellow)
1 cup kalamata olives (I recommend pitted) plus more if desired
1/4 lb Greek feta cheese, packed in brine, drained and sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
Juice from 1 lemon (about 2 or 3 tablespoons)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon cut into wedges to garnish

In a large bowl, toss together the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper and olives. Top with the slices of feta cheese. Crush the dried oregano in the palm of your hand to release the fragrance and natural oils and sprinkle over the top along with the capers. Drizzle the lemon juice and then the evoo over the salad. Set aside and let marinade for about 20 minutes before serving.

Looking for more ideas on light meals during the holidays? Check out what Sunday Supper has in store for you!

Appetizer or starter
Main Dishes
Side Dishes
Sunday Supper Movement Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Taco Salad and Del Real Foods #Giveaway

Some dinners just hit the spot. In more ways than one. Whether it's just what your taste buds were craving, or it's exactly what your crazy, unpredictable life needed.

Taco salads have always been a quick and tasty solution for crazy day dinners. Toss together some taco-like veggies and cook up some ground beef....

Oh wait..ground beef....that takes a bit more time to prepare. And what if you're like me and rarely have ground beef on hand, let alone defrosted? Although just about any kind of leftover meat works wonderfully in a taco salad. If you have any leftover.

I received a wonderful cooler full of Del Real Foods that saved the day more than once this week. Actually more than twice. The past 2 weeks have been challenging on many levels. Least of all, I had taken the October Unprocessed challenge, which I'm totally loving. But sometimes, something has to give and so often it's our food. We tend to cave into the fast, convenient foods.

Well, let me tell you a little something about Del Real Foods. A lot of the products are just pure, typical kitchen found ingredients (just read the labels). They contain no preservatives. There are gluten free choices, dairy free choice, and zero trans fat. They use family traditional recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Each product is cooked in small batches over an open kettle. (Man...I want to be in that kitchen!)

Knowing this made me feel much better about not making dinner from scratch. But you know what? It certainly tasted like I had! My favorite? The cartinas. Tender, fall apart, juicy. Just the way it's suppose to be. And with fantastic flavor!!

Makes great taco salads! And simple nachos....

And let me tell you about their tamales!

Well, the photo should speak for itself. These aren't your typically grocery store bought tamales. They aren't skimpy in flavor OR size. I mean, these bad boys are loaded with tender, juicy meat! Great for on-the-go dinner or lunch.

One last thing. You will not find any of their products in the freezer.

Want a chance to give it a try for yourself? How cool would it be to win a 
Del Real Foods Party in a Box! 
This will give you a chance to either try several meals at home....or you can invite your family and friends over for a party, with fantastic food at a minimal effort. 

Hang on just a minute more....lets get back to the Taco Salad I started off talking about. For some reason it had been quite a while since I made a taco salad. I remember my mom making them when I was a kid but I think taco salads have grown up since then and I'm totally loving the more authentic foods that are available to us now.

This recipe is very loose and subject to change based on tastes and preference, not to mention quantities.

I used the Del Real Carnitas, however, any of their meats would be fantastic.

Chop up the following:
Roma tomatoes
Green onions
(jicama would be great as well)

Toss it all together then drain and rinse some black beans, grab a handful of pepitas, shred some cheese and throw that in, along with the carnitas.

Cover a plate with tortilla chips, top with the salad then pour on your favorite dressing (I happen to love cilantro and pepita dressing) and garnish with some queso fresco and a few lime wedges.

Poof...dinner is served! And now I want some for breakfast.

And now...the moment you've been waiting for... Del Real Foods is offering a "Party in a Box" to one of you. One lucky winner will receive delicious Mexican refrigerated food, such as carnitas, tamales and the newest addition of pork al pastor pupusas, a Del Real Foods cooler roller bag and a water bottle!

To enter, you must first leave a comment. There are more options for entries to increase your chances of winning. Good luck!!

This giveaway is open to US residents only. This giveaway will run from Wednesday, October 22, 2014 through Tuesday, October 28, 2014 (11:59 pm PT). Winner will be notified within 48 hours of the close of the contest and given 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. 

I was not compensated for this post, however Del Real Foods supplied me with samples of their product and will be providing the product for the giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili #SundaySupper

The holidays are approaching fast and if you're budget is anything like mine, things get tight. Or should I say....tighter. Sales, coupons, making meals stretch, all become more focused for the next couple of months. If a meal can be made by only spending a few bucks....and makes enough for lots of leftovers...I'm one happy camper. When said meal tastes wonderfully delicious and is comforting and filling....I'm doing the happy dance. (probably something you don't really want to witness)

A while back I won Erin Chase's cookbook, The $5 Dinner Mom. It's a great cookbook in many ways. The recipes are good, quick and easy to prepare. I don't know if this meal is actually a $5 dinner as prices have gone up since it was published back in 2009. But the key is to purchase on sale, use your coupons and make things from scratch whenever possible. Foods that have been prepared and processed for convenience are pricey, but they lure us in because we all know how busy our lives are. And saving time appeals to us all. Funny thing is....a lot of those processed foods don't really take that much time to make. Especially if you plan accordingly and make it ahead of time.

Making this chili is easy, inexpensive, and doesn't use any processed foods. You're going to have some minor prep work, but trust me...it's simple and worth the few minutes it takes. Not only will you be saving money, but you'll be avoiding a lot of unnecessary ingredients that come with packaged foods.

I did most of the prep work the night before (my time is very limited in the morning and I didn't want to get up any earlier that I had to...5:30am just isn't an option). All I had to do before going to work was toss it all in the slow cooker, turn it on...and bam! Dinner was in the making.

I'm going to be giving you 2 recipes here. One for the chili and one for the homemade basic white sauce. The basic white sauce is one of the major things I made the night before in order to save time in the morning (and it's a big money saver).

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Inspired by The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook by Erin Chase

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cup into bite sized pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
1 recipe for Homemade Basic White Sauce (recipe below)
6 oz green chilies (either canned or fresh) chopped
4 oz jalapenos (either canned or fresh) chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dried Great Northern beans
2 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
1 zucchini, chopped
4 cups chicken broth (or water)
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Avocado and cilantro to garnish (optional)

Note: I used about a pound of veggies. Keep this in mind when swapping with other preferred or less expensive veggies.

Combine all of the ingredients into your slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 8 hrs. Garnish if desired and serve.

Homemade Basic White Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the butter until a paste is formed and it bubbles.

Whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the butter and flour have dissolved. Cook and stir for about 5 or 6 minutes, being sure that nothing sticks to the bottom or sides. The sauce will thicken a bit as it cools.

Tips: If chicken thighs are less expensive than breast...use them. If you find other veggies that you prefer, or are on sale....use them.

For more wonderful budget friendly meals, check out what the rest of the Sunday Supper team has in store for you!

Scrumptious Mains (Breakfast and Dinner)
Satisfying Sides
Sweet Treats
Sips, Spreads, and Snacks
Sunday Supper Movement Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Slow Cooker Lime Garlic Chicken #SundaySupper

Welcome to Sunday Supper's Slow Cooker edition.

The days are getting shorter but our schedules sure aren't, which is the perfect reason to use your slow cooker and why I'm going to keep this short and sweet!

We have a fantastic line up ranging from breakfast to dessert and everything in between, all made in that fantastic little counter top cooker that we all love and know as a slow cooker (or crock pot if you're old school like me).

If your days are as busy as mine (and maybe even more so) there's no reason you still can't enjoy a good home cooked meal with your family. So let's get started.

Slow Cooker Lime Garlic Chicken

Printable Version

1 1/2 lbs bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon summer savory or thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup uncooked brown rice

Place the chicken in a 3-4 quart slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients except for the rice. Cover and cook on low for about 8-10 hrs. During the last hour of cooking, stir in the rice. Turn the heat to high and continue cooking for another hour or until rice is done.

Remove the chicken. Place the rice on a serving platter and top with the chicken, pouring any remaining juices over the chicken. Serve with a side of your favorite vegetables.

Simple, and delish! Of course the chicken falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. The broth and juices make for an amazing rice. The prep is minimal but the results are major!

Satiating Soups
Scrumptious Mains (Breakfast and Dinner)
Satisfying Sides
Scintillating Sweets
Savory Baking
Sips and Spreads

Sunday Supper Movement Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

There are a lot of recipes out there that call for cream of chicken soup. I mean....a lot! But I'd cringe whenever I used it. I mean....from the can. It's loaded with all sorts of ingredients that I don't recognize. Plus several that I do recognize as totally not.....food. They certainly aren't ingredients I have in my pantry.

Guess what.....cream of chicken soup in a can is sooooo not necessary. It's incredibly easy ....as in SIMPLE.....to make. What do you think our great-great-grandmothers use to do? They made it! If you want to get real here...it starts out as a simple rue and then you add a bit of cream and stock.

Basically, that's it.

Hardly any time at all to make and it's totally cheap! And.....no junk added. No preservatives. No chemicals. Just wholesome ingredients found in just about any kitchen.

I have some seasonings listed and of course they can be adjusted based on personal taste. Whether you change the quantity or the seasoning all together. Make it the way it tastes best to you. For example, the summer savory can be swapped with thyme. The poultry seasoning can be omitted or swapped with herbs de province, etc. etc. You get the picture.

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

Inspired by: Gimme Some Oven
Makes about 2 cups

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp summer savory
1/4 cup chopped chicken

In a sauce pan, over medium low heat, melt butter and add flour, stirring to combine. Stir and simmer for about a minute or so, being careful that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Slowly stir in the chicken broth, mixing until smooth. Add in the milk and the seasoning; salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning and savory.  Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Add in the chopped chicken. Reduce heat and continue simmering, stirring often, until thickened. It will thicken even more as it cools. Especially once refrigerated.

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Remove from heat, allow to cool.

Either use right away or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Use like you would any other condensed creamy soup.

What did I do with it? I made a really nice......

Roasted Hatch Chili Creamy Chicken Soup. 

You see, I had tossed some chicken in my slow cooker, along with some roasted hatch chilies (or any chili your little heart desires).

I then sauteed carrots, onion, and celery in a bit of olive oil. (this is what's so great about making soup. You just eyeball it, season it to taste and eat. It's all good).

I took out my condensed cream of chicken soup from the fridge, admired it for a second...loving how nice and thick it was

Added about a cup to my mirepoix (fancy name for the carrots, onion and celery combo)

I stirred in about 1 cup of chicken broth and added in my hatch chilies and chicken. Heated through....buttered up some bread, poured myself a glass of wine and prepared for a relaxing evening watching T.V.

The soup tasted as if it had been cooking all day long...complex flavors in such a short amount of time.

All due to a wonderfully easy, and way better tasting, condensed cream of chicken soup.

Makes me wonder why we allowed the food industry to talk us out of making it ourselves to begin with. Honestly...if you're putting together a casserole, take the extra 10 minutes or so to make your own soup base. I bet your family will be highly impressed with the flavor improvement.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Whole Grain, No-Knead Sourdough Bread #SundaySupper

When it comes to the term "unprocessed", people have various ideas of what that means. I'm not here to tell you what's right or what's wrong. All that matters is what's right for you.

Do you take the term literally? 'unaltered from an original or natural state'. Or do you look at it from a food standard point of view by judging the food as being unprocessed or not, based on the ingredients?

To process means to perform a series of mechanical or chemical operations in order to change or preserve something. Technically, we do this in our kitchens at some level, every time we cook or bake.

My view of "unprocessed" when it comes to food, is all about the ingredients. Bottom line. For example....flour. It goes through a process from it's original state as a grain in order to become the fine powder we bake with. Because I can, and do, buy flour from the store that is unbleached and NOT enriched, even though the grain has gone through a 'process' in order to become flour (and will again when it becomes bread), from a food standard point of view, it is "unprocessed'.

Now let's talk bread! Sourdough bread comes from a sourdough starter, also known as wild yeast. It doesn't like to be kneaded so basically all sourdough breads are no-knead. They're also slow rising.

If you want to make your own sourdough starter (it really is fun and if you have kids, the process could be fun for them too), here's a link to my post about how to make your own Sourdough Starter.

This loaf of bread almost became just a sourdough whole wheat bread. I couldn't find anything that said "whole grain" on the shelves with all the flours. So I went to the bulk bin section (I love stores that sell things in bulk out of bins!) and found some wheat berries. Now I was excited!!! Not that I have a grain mill or anything...but I do have a food processor. And it worked just fine for my purposes. It didn't grind it down as smoothly as a grain mill would, but I love the texture that I ended up with.

Of course, if you don't want to go through this or you can't find wheat berries, just use all whole wheat flour instead.

Another optional addition for this bread is adding Vital Wheat Gluten. Although it is processed it could be an exception that you allow in order to have a lighter loaf of bread. I made one loaf without and one with it. There was a difference in the crumb of course....the vital wheat gluten created a crumb that wasn't as dense, which might be preferable for sandwiches. The flavor was the same in both. I will include it in the ingredients. You choose whether or not you want to add it. Pictured is the loaf with vital wheat gluten added.

Note: If you grind any grains for your bread, I highly recommend weighing the flours rather than using a measuring cup. Flour from a bag has settled and will be more "packed" when measuring as opposed to freshly ground flours which have a lot more air fluff to them. This will result in an inaccurate measuring when using measuring cups. As a guide, 1 cup of whole wheat flour weighs 130 grams or 5 oz. This loaf of bread contains a total or 455 grams of flour. (various kinds of flours have a different weight)

Whole Grain, No-Knead Sourdough Bread

Inspired by: Nourished Kitchen

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup whole grain wheat flour (ground wheat berries) You can substitute whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
1/4 vigorous sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups luke warm water (room temperature)
2 teaspoons kosher salt

In a stand mixer, with a dough hook, combine all of the ingredients and mix on medium-low speed until a ball forms and sides of the bowl are clean, about 3 or 4 minutes (this can be done by hand but will take longer).

Oil a large glass bowl, to prevent sticking, and put the dough ball inside.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter until it has doubled in size. This could take 6 to 8 hours.

Place a dutch oven or bean pot that is oven safe into the oven and preheat to 450' F.

While your oven is preheating, remove the dough from the bowl, onto a well floured surface. Form into a ball.

Cover it with the bowl and let set for 30 minutes.

Remove the bowl (reshape into a ball if the dough has spread) and carefully place into your preheated dutch oven. Cover with a lid (or foil if you don't have an oven safe lid) and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes or until it's a nice deep brown.

Remove from the oven and let the bread cool on a cooling rack before slicing.

Now let me tell you about a little handy trick I've learned over the years. If you have an electric carving knife....they are perfect for slicing bread!

This will not be anything like your typical store-bought wheat bread. Not only will the flavor be so much better and pure, but the texture will be very different. Because this is a sourdough bread, it will have that slight tang and chewy, 'toothy' texture.

Today's Sunday Supper is all about unprocessed. Enjoy the wholesome recipes below and feel good about what you're eating.

Alluring Appetizers and Stunning Sides
Enticing Entreés
Decadent Desserts
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