Friday, January 29, 2010

Fast and Easy Black Bean Soup

I didn't take any pictures of soup last night, but got a couple requests for me to post what I made. Here goes nothing!

Fast & Easy Black Bean Soup

2 slices bacon
1/2 onion
1 bell pepper (I used a few small snacking peppers from Costco)
3 - 4 cloves garlic
2 cans black beans
1/2 - 1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp. cumin
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
tortillas (optional)


  1. Chop bacon and fry up in a soup stockpot. While bacon is cooking, chop the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. When bacon is fairly crisp, add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes.
  2. While ingredients are sautéing, take one can of black beans, drain, and blitz with some chicken stock. I used a pyrex container and a hand blender, but you can use a food processor or blender for this. Pour into pot with the vegetables.
  3. Open other can of beans and dump into pot. I didn't bother draining them, but you can if you like. If you like your soup thinner, add more chicken broth now.
  4. Add cumin, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. I actually went a little crazy here and added a splash of soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and a teeny bit of dijon mustard.
  5. While the soup heated up and simmered for a couple minutes, I heated up a couple tortillas in a little olive oil to make them slightly crispy for soup dipping.
  6. Enjoy! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Garden Pizza

My internet friend, Liz, sent me a recipe for Three-Cheese Garden Pizza that she got at a Pampered Chef Party. Frankly, I was a little skeptical because my family likes very few vegetables, and the thought of giving them a pizza with zucchini on it is pretty darn ridiculous. I made a barbecue cheddar pizza with ground turkey as a backup...just in case. This pizza was fantastic, though! Zoe loved it, and Ben said it was all right. Yay! This pizza is good enough that even if my family didn't like it, I would make it again just for myself.

I used my own pizza dough recipe that I always use, instead of refrigerated pizza dough that the recipe calls for. I also did not prebake the crust, and I do not own anything Pampered Chef, so I made the recipe work for me. I used regular Italian seasoning and I sliced the onion and zucchini really thin with my mandoline. I love my mandoline! If you do not own one, I highly recommend it!

Recipe can be found here: Three-Cheese Garden Pizza

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu

When asking for requests, my friend Tina suggested Chicken Cordon Bleu, then changed her mind and asked for Thai Sticky Sweet Rice. I thought they both sounded good, so be expecting sticky sweet rice as soon as my mangoes are ripe!
This meal was amazingly good, but I didn't enjoy fumbling with rolling and toothpicking the chicken breasts. To make good chicken cordon bleu, you have to really encase the cheese and ham inside the chicken, otherwise the cheese just melts right out into the pan. This is easier to do if the chicken is hammered out pretty thin and even. Worst case though, if the cheese oozes out (several of mine did) then it just becomes part of the yummy sauce.
Next time I will try Chicken Cordon Bleu Balls (thanks Kimberly) made with ground turkey or chicken with cheese encased inside.
I served this meal with roasted garlic brussel sprouts, honeyed carrots, and some free bread that I received from the MHTeen meeting (!!).

Recipe can be found here:
Chicken Cordon Bleu II

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Honey Pecan Butter

My friend Kelly told me about these sweet potato pancakes months ago, so I asked her for the recipe and promptly forgot about it. Several days ago I asked for meal suggestions on Facebook, and she reminded me of these. This recipe is from Boatwright's restaurant at Port Orleans-Riverside resort in Disney World. First off, these pancakes take FOREVER to cook! I had a hard time trying to find the right heat to cook these at so they didn't burn and fall apart when I tried to flip them (Kelly, you will have to tell me your secret, or make these with me someday). That said, these pancakes are SO INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS!!! I thought we would have a ton of leftovers since the recipe made so, there weren't. Hehe.
I served these with sausages I had on hand, and some apples I cooked in a little apple juice and cinnamon.
Recipe can be found here:
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Honey Pecan Butter
*I did make one alteration by cooking my own sweet potato instead of using canned sweet potato that the recipe calls for, since the canned sweet potato I found had corn syrup in it. Ick.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I had a pineapple in my house that needed to be consumed, so I thought I would grill some kabobs with turkey meatballs, pineapple, onions, and bell peppers. Turns out that turkey meatballs don't like to stay on skewers, so I ended up putting the meatballs on a baking sheet alongside the fruit and veggies, and broiled them. I made some rice and sauce to accompany the broiled food. Nothing turned out as great as I hoped, but it was edible, so I'll call that a win. :)

I didn't use a recipe for the meatballs, I just threw a bunch of stuff into a bowl and hoped for the best. I wish I had added a bit more seasoning because they were a little bland. They consisted of ground turkey, egg, soy sauce, oats, and grill seasoning.

I got the recipe for the sauce off of Apartment Therapy. Check out the link for other stir-fry sauces. I probably won't make this sauce again, but I plan on trying out the others on the site.

Orange Pepper Sauce - spicy!

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of sichuan peppercorns
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water

Stir fry the ginger, peppercorns, and garlic in 1 tablespoon of hot oil for a minute to release the flavors. Add the soy sauce and orange juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water and add to the sauce, stirring until the sauce is thick and bubbly.

Friday, October 23, 2009

French Bread Pizza

This is what I came up tonight when I really, really didn't feel like cooking, but also didn't want to spend money on eating out. I had a half a loaf of french bread in my freezer, so I cut it in half, hallowed out much of the bread, and toasted it. I sauteed up a bunch of onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, a few jarred sliced jalapenos, and some sausage. I seasoned it with fennel, italian seasoning and salt and pepper. I added in some leftover crushed tomatoes, spread it into the french bread "boats", topped with mozzarella, then broiled in my toaster oven until cheese was browned. I thought there would be plenty of leftovers, but it's all gone now. Very good for such a last minute idea.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Eggs En Cocotte

I'm unhappy with the quality of my most of my pictures this week. Many nights I have had to take pictures with my flash on because it's been too dark or rainy out. But...the purpose of me posting so much this week is to just have the guts to put it out there, regardless of it it's perfect. I managed to take this picture outside yesterday morning, when it was drizzly out. Not bad. Drizzly reminds me of Seattle. Seattle makes me smile. :)
Anyways, this was a lovely, lovely breakfast. I had never cooked eggs this way nor created a bain marie in the oven! It was surprisingly simple, and the eggs came out soft and lovely for spreading on toast.
Recipe can be found here: Eggs En Cocotte