Monthly Archives: January 2017

Asian Dumpling Soup

adsRemember that time you had that soup at that place? The broth was the perfect combination of flavorful, smooth, and sort of exotic tasting without having too much heat or ginger? Remember how you thought “I can make this at home!” Yeah. No you can’t. But thanks to the magic of Imagine Food broths, you will get darn close!

I’ll try to keep this tale as short as I can. At Whole Foods, my son decided he wanted some salmon candy (smoked salmon that is sweetened with sugar or maple syrup. Very tasty). Next to the salmon candy, there were some Sea Bast Dumplings Intriguing. I remembered a friend at church had told me about some great soup she had at Trader Joes that was simply some wontons in Miso broth with a few veggies. Hmmm. The gears were spinning fast! I picked up some mushrooms, and snap peas and threw together what turned out to be an incredibly tasty soup.

Asian Dumpling Soup
1 quart Imagine Ramen Broth
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
Small bunch of chopped green onions – keep an inch of the green
2 cups snap peas
12 medium dumplings

  1. Saute the mushrooms and both types of onions for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Onions should be translucent.
  2. Add the peas and broth and heat thoroughly.
  3. Add the dumplings and continue cooking for about 10 minutes until dumplings are hot. Be careful not to leave them in too long. They will get kind of soggy and pasty.

I am not ashamed to use prepared broth. I consider prepared broths to be a precious gift. I always keep a few boxes in my pantry. They allow me to make delicious soups which are very important to my existence as a human being in no time at all. I am always very happy to find new varieties and the Imagine Ramen Broth didn’t disappoint. I look forward to trying it again and sampling a more of their offerings.

Enjoy!

Marscapone Waffles

mwIt’s been a challenging day in our house. Even without considering the events at the national level, at the micro-level (aka in our house) things were rough. Child one (College Boy) had a haircut, dentist appointment before which he actually chipped a tooth, reviewed first tax forms with mom, packed, and went back to school. Child two (My Faithful Assistant) began his very first high school mid-terms. Child three (Vicious Silver Backed Schnoodle) was not troubled by anything today. He ate and slept and took an occasional tour of the first floor. AND… the weather was crap.

Perfect night for waffles for dinner.

Mascarpone Waffles (8 waffles)
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
Dash of salt
1 cup mascarpone
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp or more of vanilla

  1. Combine the dry ingredients.
  2. Add the wet ingredients.
  3. Mix thoroughly. I used my Kitchen Aid and really turned that baby UP!
  4. Cook according to the instructions on your waffle iron.

I am not allowed to include the video of my son having his first bite of his waffle. Suffice it to say, he was delighted. My reaction was also strong. I didn’t bang the table in stunned glee, nor did I do a little dance in my chair. I will say, these were perhaps the lightest, fluffiest, creamiest waffles I have ever had. I am not a huge pancake or waffle fan. I find them to be heavy and I usually end up feeling like I have lead weight in my stomach after I eat them. Not so with these. No heavy feeling at all. Just utter deliciousness.

We had our waffles with Elberberry syrup, whipped cream, and powdered sugar. Amazing!

Enjoy!

 

Sun Butter Bars

sbbIn mid January, nothing seems more important than the sun. And since days are short and cold, today, I got my dose of sun from these delightful Sun Nut Butter Bars.

I came across a recipe for sun butter bars on Big Man’s World. The original recipe is here.

I mostly follow the original recipe and make the bars with coconut flour, almond flour, and coconut sugar so they are gluten free. I love the slight aroma of coconut that comes from the flour and sugar. It gives these bars a little tropical flair. Even more sun! I added the sea salt and vanilla. I feel like dessert is missing something if it doesn’t have a little vanilla in it.

Sun Butter Bars
1 cup+ 1 tbsp sun butter
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla – I used powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Combine the flours, sugar and spices and mix well.
  2. Add 1 cup of the sun butter and mix until a thick batter forms.
  3. Gradually add the almond milk 1/4 cup at a time to moisten the batter. It should be thick but not crumbly.
  4. Press into a 9 inch square pan lined with parchment.
  5. Melt the chocolate chips with 1 tbsp of sun butter and spread over the top of the bars.
  6. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until chilled and set.

I have very fond memories of Peanut Butter Bars from elementary school lunch. But your average Peanut Butter Bar is loaded with butter, sugar and more sugar. I figure if I can’t even read the recipe without feeling a little queasy, best not to make them.

Nothing about this recipe makes me queasy. They are a nice satisfying treat without leaving me full or guilty.

Enjoy!

 

Chicken with Spinach and Pesto

cspI cannot express to you how much I love this  chicken dish. It has so many wonderful qualities, I don’t know where to begin! Surprisingly enough, this chicken is a pretty big hit in my house, even though it has tomatoes and fresh spinach, two things that my darling children abhor. It’s a hit with me because it is very easy, almost mindless recipe. I don’t measure anything at all. There is no chopping, just a little tomato slicing that I can sometimes outsource to My Faithful Assistant if he isn’t busy being a surly teen on a growth spurt. Mostly, I assemble it and bake it and we all live happily ever after.

Chicken with Spinach and Pesto
Four chicken breasts
6 oz pesto
Four roma tomatoes, sliced
Four big handfuls of fresh spinach
Shredded mozzarella
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with pan spray
  2. Put the chicken in the pan, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon pesto over the chicken.
  4. Arrange the spinach over that.
  5. Add the tomato slices.
  6. Cover with cheese.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes at 375. Cooking time will vary, depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Mine were quite large and I actually had to cook them for an hour.

You could serve this with some angel hair on the side for all the pesto that you will have in the pan. But I prefer to serve it with a nice crusty bread. And may I point out that if you have a little assistant of your own, they can easily make this alone. Roma tomatoes are easy to slice with a serrated knife. Or you could leave them out and avoid that risk altogether! Just think of how much fun it would be to prepare this by remote control from the comfort of your office! And for once, you can come home to dinner waiting for you!

Enjoy!

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Spritzer

acvsWhen I stop at the store on my way home from work, I often text my family and ask them if they need anything. Imagine my surprise when My Faithful Assistant asked for organic apple cider vinegar. ??? What? Why? Because apparently, in addition to teaching Spanish, my son’s Spanish teacher was also extolling the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Alrighty then.

Fast forward a few months and my husband, thanks to a health conscious co-worker,  was also on the apple cider vinegar bandwagon. We have a big bottle of the stuff and it goes in tea with honey and lemon, juice, water, and recently, we concocted this delightful refreshing spritzer.

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Spritzer
1/2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar – use more if you want!
4 ounces 100% fruit juice – We used pomegranate juice
8 ounces seltzer
Ice

  1. Combine the apple cider vinegar and juice in a tall glass.
  2. Add ice then seltzer.
  3. Stir gently and enjoy!

Now apple cider vinegar is an acquired taste so I would recommend you ease yourself into this. Get used to the bite of the vinegar and the tingle in your throat and sinuses.

I have no idea if any of the health benefits claimed are actually real benefits backed by science. You can read the claims and decide for yourself what you want to believe. We drink it more often when I’m feeling a cold coming on because I find it soothes my sore throat.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!