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This is one of my favorite recipes when I have a bit of money for good pork chops and the fennel bulbs look healthy and delicious. Fennel is an excellent vegetable that doesn't get enough publicity. While in raw state it has a pungent anise flavor, sauteed or grilled that anise flavor mellows into a complimenting flavor great with fish, chicken or pork. Mixing it with a bit of orange is like putting parts of a symphony together -- it just sounds perfect! Try this dish when you can get the proper sized pork chops and you'll fall in love!

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Roasted Potato & Corn Salad

Ever wonder what you can do with that leftover pickle juice? That pleasant dill sour flavor is capable of flavoring so many dishes in place of salt, and here is one of my favorite uses. This salad with created out of a need to make my boyfriend a tasty but healthy salad for his lunches. It's truly a quick and easy recipe to put together and tastes perfect as a lunch or a picnic buffet. I hope you enjoy!

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Salmon Pasta Caprese

I didn’t start this recipe determining to break every code of ethics from Chopped, but it just came to be that way. This recipe has the dreaded fish, pasta, cheese trifecta as well as raw red onions. Rules be damned, this is an excellent cold salad with many health benefits. Salmon is a great source of omega-3, which helps lower cholesterol, improve your memory, and prevent muscular degeneration. The celery and red onions give it a nice crunch, and the hint of red wine vinegar makes this a tart and delicious side or full meal.

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Bean & Bacon Stew

When I was younger, I used to love Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup. That is until I found out how much MSG is in that little can. Although I've taken steps to remove chemically synthesized glutemate from my diet, I still can't help but want a bowl of bacon-y flavored beans to give me energy for a long day. The recipe seems complicated but it really is very easy. I've broken it down into parts for the purpose of time constraints, so that when you want to do the recipe the parts of the soup are already prepared and all you have to do is make the roux. You can also make a big batch of stew and portion it out, freezing it for later use. Either way you have it, I hope you enjoy this traditional favorite minus MSG preservatives.

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Granny Apple & Jicama Salad

Our summer has finally taken a turn for the humid 80's and 90's, and that makes it really difficult to cook and eat hot, heavy meals. Because of this weather, I decided we needed a light salad that played with the sweet and sour flavors of the summer. If you aren't able to get your hands on jicama then try some turnips, radishes, or kohlrabi. This is a great recipe to replace the usual coleslaw at a picnic.

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Twice Baked Potato Hash

perfect layers of potato and peppers topped with bacon and cheddar

This is my ode to all things devilishly good that we do to potatoes! It marries the cheesy bacon goodness of potato skins with the ingredient loaded baked potato. This recipe is perfect for get togethers such as the football game or a family picnic. It can be eaten piping hot or at room temperature on a buffet. Leftovers are great with a fried egg and some fruit for breakfast.

Like all my recipes, this one leaves much room for your own personal touches. If you would prefer onions or mushrooms instead of peppers then go ahead and substitute. You can leave off the cheese or switch the bacon with diced Canadian ham. This recipe is also grill friendly and can be done solely on a charcoal or gas grill using indirect heat and the same time periods. The serving size of this recipe is 6 - 8 main courses.

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Asparagus Pasta Salad

Asparagus is a great source of vitamins like B6, A, C, E, and K while also being low in calories and sodium (Walker). In fact, the health benefits of asparagus range from the detoxification of free radicals and carcinogens to trace minerals that supports the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream to cells (Wikipedia). Unfortunately, there are people out there who just don’t like the bitter taste located within the shoot, and so they reach for the canned asparagus. The problem is that through the canning process you lose many of those health benefits to sanitization and preservatives.

In this recipe, other flavors will hide the bitterness while enhancing its inherent sweetness. If you are not eating pasta then just omit that ingredient or substitute some green beans that have been freshly steamed.

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Crispy Turkey Wings with Salsa

What do you do when you don't want to go to the grocery store but you want a fast home-cooked meal? You improvise! This recipe is easily made within 30 minutes and can be a perfect accompaniment to that leftover box of Chinese rice or a bed of lettuce. Make sure you don't drape the salsa over the wings - it looks pretty in pictures but it's a sure fire way to ruin a well crisped crust.
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Sopa de Tortilla

Sopa de TortillaThere isn't any agreed upon origin of this meal as it pops up all over the inner lands of Mexico, but I have found that the most prevalent method of creating the concentrated flavors is to roast your vegetables, grind them, and saute them with a macerated tortilla for flavor. The other note I've found is that tortilla soup is more traditionally made with just the stock, no meat; however, due to my own preference and that of most of my family, I've added some chicken to this dish. This soup can be a quick meal using Mission tortilla strips, a make ahead by making the tortilla strips a day in advance, or a family project for one weekend day by making your own chicken stock, tortillas, and subsequent tortilla strips. This recipe makes between 3 to 4 servings each.

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Autumn Root Stew

My mother taught me this recipe when I was young and it's always been one of our comfort foods, the soup we would opt for on a cold winter day. Over the years the recipe changed but the essential recipe is here, and this means you can fiddle with the ingredients as well so don't be afraid to try different root vegetables.

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onion, jalapeno, pepper, bell
The Culinary Cobbler

Month of Meals

August 2012