Tag Archives: recipe

broccoli cornbread – little bits o’ heaven (via one tough lady lives on)

This is the only way I eat cornbread. I made it a couple of weeks ago for my cooking club, and one of the women asked for the recipe, her boyfriend loved it so much. I had to search my friend’s blog to find it (Categories, love, Categories), so I’m posting it here so the I can find it better. ūüôā

Aunt Lois’ broccoli cornbread is¬†in almost¬†all of our family cookbooks that¬†I’ve ever seen, but the below was pasted directly from an email to me from Tough Lady herself below, typos and all.¬†¬†¬† I was at the office, heading to the store on the way home, and had left the recipe at home but I knew she’d have it. What I didn’t realize was that she’d done this one so often that she was able to write the recipe from memory. I can’t imagine a holiday o ‚Ķ Read More

via one tough lady lives on

Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad

The theme for this month’s Cooking Club was salad.¬† Hmm….what to make, what to make.

I like to at least attempt¬†originality for Cooking Club.¬† I enjoy a salad my friend makes, but it’s not necessarily original.¬† I also like that “oriental” salad with ramen noodles, but again, not all that original.¬† I called my mom, as she always has a load of interesting recipes she’s never tried.¬† She came up with a recipe for a roasted vegetable salad, but it had beets and stuff in it, and I’m more of a squash/zucchini kind of girl.¬† I wanted to do something with quinoa, since I had bought a huge bag from Costco recently.

Then I found¬†this recipe online:¬† Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad.¬† It fit the bill perfectly.¬† But I found the recipe slightly confusing, and I noticed that the guy had gotten the recipe idea from another blog – Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta.¬† Hmmm….

If you know me, or have ever seen my “recipes,” I don’t really follow directions very well.¬† My brand of cooking involves a little of this, some of that, throw a few of these in, depending on taste….¬† So, it’s no big surprise that I ended up taking both of the recipes, blending, omitting, adding, and coming up with my own special twist.

  • 2 zucchini, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 yellow squash, cut into bite size pieces
  • a little more than half a large eggplant, cut into bite size pieces
  • jar of marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
  • a pint of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz mushrooms, cut into bite size pieces
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • herbs (Italian, basil, thyme…dill might be good…whatever you want)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • feta, however much you want (I used tomato basil feta)
  1. Place quinoa in fine mesh strainer and rinse until water runs clear.  Put in pan, add broth, and turn on high until it boils. Reduce heat to low, cover, cook for 10 minutes, until water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.  Allow quinoa to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Put zucchini, squash, eggplant, and artichokes on baking sheet (actually, two large baking sheets).  Drizzle liberally with olive oil.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  After the first 15 minutes, add the tomatoes and mushrooms, drizzle with more olive oil, add salt and pepper.  Toss around on the baking sheet, bake for another 15 minutes.
  3. Mix vegetables with quinoa. 
  4. Place spinach in large bowl.  Add vegetables and quinoa.  Toss.  Add feta. 
  5. Make a dressing using the olive oil from the baking sheet (about 2-3 Tbsp), Balsamic Vinegar (about 2 Tbsp), and whatever herbs you want.  Drizzle over salad. 

Quinoa is one of those “superfoods.”¬† High protein, amino acid, fiber, magnesium, iron. Plus, it’s gluten-free.¬† You MUST rinse it, or it’s not very good.¬† You can buy it rinsed, but if in doubt, go ahead and rinse.¬† It’s a great substitute for rice, pasta, bulger¬†wheat…it makes a fabulous tabouleh!

Everything at cooking club was fabulous.¬† I had seconds of everything, and at least one of us had thirds.¬† I won’t name names to protect the innocent.¬† But, hey, it was salad!¬† Seriously, I think the unhealthiest thing there was avocado, so think of it that way!

Spaghetti Squash Dip

After bringing this dip to two parties and getting rave reviews, it is now in my top recipe folder.¬† And it’s made with spaghetti squash, so it’s good for you, being a vegetable and all.

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus 3 Tbsp
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • salt, pepper, garlic
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease a baking dish.  Cut spaghetti squash in half length-wise and scoop the seeds out.  Place spaghetti squash cut side down on lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake 40-45 minutes, until soft when fork is inserted.
  2. Use fork to shred spaghetti squash and scoop out, placing in a mixing bowl. 
  3. Add butter to squash and stir until butter melts.  Add mayo, 1 cup parmesan, Monterey Jack cheese, and seasoning to taste, and stir until well blended.  Pur into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with 3 Tbsp parm.
  4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until cheese melts.

Okay, so I guess not incredibly healthy…

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

I got this from Kraft, and it was so super easy, and so super good, I had to share.¬† I made it for The Pilot and he couldn’t stop raving about it.¬†

1 package (6 oz) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1 can (21 oz) apple pie filling
6 boneless pork loin chops (1 ¬Ĺ pounds) –¬†¬ĺ inch thick

Heat oven to 375¬ļ.¬† Prepare stuffing as directed on package.

Spread pie filling onto bottom of 13×9 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with chops and stuffing. Cover with foil.

Bake 30 minutes, uncover.¬† Bake an additional 10 minutes or until chops are cooked through (160¬ļ for safety!).

I made some roasted carrots with it to add in a veggie.

Pasta Puttanesca

Known affectionately in my circle as “Hooker Pasta.”¬† Why, you ask?¬† Well, first you have to understand that this sauce cooks kind of like sun tea – it marinates all day, preferably outside in the sun, bringing out the different flavors in the ingredients.¬† Back in the “old days” (and I do actually mean old days – like, a couple or more centuries ago) the prostitutes would put this sauce in their window, and the smell of it would draw their customers in.¬† In addition, it “cooked” while they took care of “bidness.”

I’m hosting this month’s dinner club tonight, and I chose “Food with a Story” for the theme.¬† I’m cooking “Hooker Pasta.”¬† It’s always been a hit – so I share it with you here today.¬†

1-2 bunches fresh basil, unwashed leaves, sliced once
3 cups olive oil
2 cups tomatoes – cherry are best, roma or grape is fine
1 tube anchovy paste
1 bulb garlic, freshly chopped
1¬Ĺ cup black greek olives, pitted
1 box shell pasta
Freshly grated parmesan
Mix garlic, olive oil, black olives (smoosh with your fingers), tomatoes (smooshed), anchovy paste, and basil.
Cover and let sit in the sun on a warm summer day for five hours.  You can also use a warm oven, but outside is better.
Pour over cooked pasta, add cheese.

Baked Olives

Love this one – so easy, and everyone loves them.

1 can (8 oz) crescent roll dough
1 (2 oz) jar small pimiento stuffed green olives
Olive Oil
Chopped Rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch or cut¬†off pieces of dough large enough to wrap around an olive; wrap each olive in dough.¬† Seal well¬†and place, seam side down,¬†on baking sheet.¬† Mist or brush with olive oil.¬† Sprinkle with rosemary and pepper.¬† Bake at 400¬į for 10-15 minutes or until golden.¬† Makes about 25.

You can also¬†use black olives, or green olives stuffed with onions or blue cheese.¬† And, duh, you can use other herbs, too.¬† Get creative.¬† It’s mo’ better that¬†way!¬†

Amaretto Chicken

Well, it was my turn to host the cooking club this past month, so I got to choose the theme.¬† The theme?¬† Alcohol.¬† Everything had to have alcohol as an ingredient.¬† Actually, that’s easier to do than you think it is – there are a lot of great recipes out there for main dishes, side dishes, and especially deserts with alcohol.¬† I found this recipe for Amaretto Chicken, and it was EXCELLENT.¬† I highly recommend trying it at home.

1/2 cup butter, divided
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3 green onions, diced
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 gloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 c heavy cream
1 c shredded Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
1/4 c capers

Preheat oven to 350¬į¬†

Melt 1/4 cup of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.¬† Brown chicken in butter quickly, and remove to a 9×13 baking dish.¬†

Add remaining 1/4 cup butter to skillet and brown the green onions and mushrooms with the garlic and tarragon.  Pour this saute mixture over chicken breasts.

Heat the cream, cheese, and amaretto in the skillet, whisking rapidly.  Stir in capers, then pour sauce over chicken, green onions, and mushrooms. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.

**It says 9×13 dish, and believe me, you will need it.¬† I thought it was too big, so I used a smaller dish, and the results were somewhat comical.¬† I’m just glad no one was there to see it!

Learn Something About…Avocados

90% of avocados in the US come from California, with most of them coming from San Diego County.¬† I grew up with about ten avocado tress in my backyard (along with trees of lemons, limes, plums, tangerines, nectarines, and oranges – yeah, trust me, it’s really difficult to pay exorbitant prices for these things).¬† I won some money¬†many years ago when someone tried to argue with me that avocados grew on vines.¬† No, I said, they grow on trees.¬† The person continued to argue with me, even after I pointed out the fact that I lost MANY a kite to the avocado trees on my street when I was a kid.¬† Trust me, avocados grow on trees.

There are nearly 500 varieties of avocados, but the most well known and most abundant is the Hass avocado, the Mother Tree (much like the mother vine in wine growing, I would imagine) of which was in the backyard of Rudolf Hass’s La Habra Heights home.¬† The growing conditions for the Hass avocados are ideal, making them super creamy.¬† These are the avocados that turn black when they are ripe.¬† To hasten the ripening process, place avocados in a paper sack in a cool, dark place.¬†

Now, my mother makes arguably the best guacamole known to man.¬† I think I rank a close second.¬† The best guac, in my opinion, isn’t that creamy stuff you get in Mexican restaurants.¬† To make mine, I take the avocado and rough chop it, so the pieces are, say about a quarter inch square.¬† Throw that into a bowl, and add some lime juice (about half a lime to each avo), kosher salt, black and red pepper, all to taste.¬† (And I do mean, to taste.¬† I usually end up eating a full half an avocado just from tasting it.)¬† Mix with table spoon – it will cream up a little bit, but there will still be chunks, which is what makes it good.¬† And, the highly secret trick:¬† sink the pit in the middle of the bowl.¬† It will keep it from turning brown.¬† I don’t know how it works, I just know it does.¬† Occasionally, if I’m feeling inclined, I’ll add some garlic (fresh, not powder), or just a little (a tablespoon per avocado) of my favorite salsa.

Grandma’s Backyard

More avocado history

More avocado recipes

Brandied Apples

I’m hosting my cooking club this month, and I’ve decided the theme will be Alcohol.¬† Everything we make has to include some sort of alcohol as an ingredient.¬† Fun, huh?¬†ūüôā ¬†I’m responsible for the main dish, but I may have to make this dish as well, because I love it and it’s been a while since I made it.

6 Golden Delicious Apples
1 cup orange juice
2-¬† 3″pieces of cinnamon stick
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brandy

Pare, halve, core, and cut apples into eighths (or use one of those apple corers that slices while it cores – genius!).¬† Place in a large saucepan; add orange juice and cinnamon sticks.¬† Bring to boiling; lower heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until apples are tender but still firm (just how I like my kisses…).¬† Remove from heat; stir in sugar and brandy.¬† Cool; spoon into a container.¬† Can be stored in the refrigerator up to one month.¬† Makes 5 cups (about 10-12 servings).¬† Great as an accompaniment to pork, ham, or poultry, or as a dessert.

**Cook’s notes:¬† Of course, I add more brandy.¬† My rule of thumb is to pretty much double the alcohol in any recipe.¬† Of course, keep in mind who you’re making it for.¬† I took it to work once, and one girl got a little tipsy…oops.¬† And before you go and say “the alcohol is cooked out,” I recently found out that if alcohol is added to boiling mix and removed from heat, it retains 85% of the alcohol content.¬† This recipe calls for you to remove from heat THEN add alcohol, so it’s pretty much full strength.

Tortilla Soup

I LOVE this soup – it’s so good.¬† I made it for my supper club the other night – and everyone else liked it, too!

 1 pound chicken or beef**
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 envelope taco seasoning
4 cups chicken broth or beef broth**
2 cups milk
1 cup red kidney beans, drained
1 cup rotel or chopped tomato
cheese, sour cream, black olives, lime, tortilla strips to top

Cook chicken (or beef) and onion, drain.  Melt butter, stir in flour.  Add taco seasoning, broth, milk.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Stir in beans, rotel, and meat mix.  Stir over low heat.

**I prefer to use diced chicken and beef broth – I like the texture of the chicken over the beef, but the beef broth gives it a better taste, I think.¬† And I don’t use beans, because I don’t like them. ūüôā¬†

This makes about 8 servings, and it takes about an hour for the soup to be “thickened and bubbly,” maybe more.¬†