Saturday, January 29, 2011

Southwestern Black Bean Soup

This is quick, easy, and gooood! I was impressed how quick this was to fix and how flavorful and hearty it was. Defiantly a keeper! I found this recipe on a website called EatingWell.

It was icy and cold out the night we had this soup. It was also late in the evening by the time we got home from work and school -so I wanted something warm, hearty, and quick! I saw this recipe a few nights before and thought it sounded good, easy to make and I had everything in my kitchen - which was defiantly awesome! I don't recall how long it took to make this, but it was not long at all. I made it all in one pot and got everything ready to toss together while I was sauteing the onion. I totally didn't think to take a photo as we were so eager to eat, so below is the photo from the website. Perhaps the next time I make this I'll get a photo of it, as ours was garnished with shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream and some chopped fresh cilantro. Very good - enjoy!

Black Bean Soup Recipe

From EatingWell: January/February 2010This is a zippy Southwestern-flavored black bean soup. It is made with canned beans so it comes together in minutes. If you have leftovers, pack them up in individual serving containers for lunch the next day.

4 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 3 cups water (I used 1 can beef broth and enough water to make 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste -I added a little at the end)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (I used just a little splash at the end)
optional (but totally recommended) garnish:
  • dollop of sour cream
  • a pinch or two fresh cilantro, chopped
  • a pinch or two shredded cheese
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat (I did this right in the big stock pot I was going to use). Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add water, salsa and beans. The recipe says to add the salt at this point too, but I suggest to wait until the end - you may find you don't need it. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice.
  2. Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree (use caution when pureeing hot liquids). Stir the puree back into the saucepan. I used a hand immersion blender right in the pot, and as always - it worked like a charm. I blended to the consistency I wanted . Serve and Enjoy!
Note: I garnished with sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro and some shredded cheese and it was wonderful!
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro, if desired, just before serving.

Cream of Chicken/Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

This is a very good soup. The flavor and texture makes this one I'll defiantly make again!!!! Below is where I got the recipe from as well as a few things I did differently. Enjoy!!!!!

From EatingWell: November/December 2008Subscribe to EatingWell Magazine Today!

4.4 out of 5 stars based on 70 reviews

This is a healthier twist on a classic creamy turkey and wild rice soup that hails from Minnesota. Serve with a crisp romaine salad and whole-grain bread.

Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup Recipe

4 servings, about 1 3/4 cups each

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms, (about 4 ounces, but I used a little more) )
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (I used a little more)
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots (I used a little more)
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots (I used a little more)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used some broth as well as seasoned chicken bullion and omitted the above salt)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking or instant wild rice, (see Ingredient Note) (I used 2 boxes of a store brand rice-a-roni, omitting the season pkt)
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken, or turkey (12 ounces; see Tip) (I used rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, carrots and shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.
  2. Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add rice and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in turkey (or chicken), sour cream and parsley and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more
** I did a few things differently - I got a rotisserie chicken from the store and pulled the meat I wanted to use. I used a store brand wild rice mix, similar to rice-a-roni (2 boxes gave me just a little more than 1cup of rice and I discarded the enclosed seasoning pkt). I boiled the rice in a sauce pan w/ broth until cooked and tender and then incorporated it all together. I also diced and added more of the veggies and thus added more broth to compensate. This was very good and I will defiantly make this again! Perhaps I'll use left over Thanksgiving turkey next time.

Tips & Notes

  • Ingredient note: Quick-cooking or instant wild rice has been parboiled to reduce the cooking time. Conventional wild rice takes 40 to 50 minutes to cook. Be sure to check the cooking directions when selecting your rice—some brands labeled “quick” take about 30 minutes to cook. If you can't find the quick-cooking variety, just add cooked conventional wild rice along with the turkey at the end of Step 2.
  • Tip: To poach chicken breasts, place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add lightly salted water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.


Per serving: 354 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat, 4 g mono); 87 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrates; 36 g protein; 3 g fiber; 378 mg sodium; 577 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (90% daily value), Zinc (20% dv), Iron (15% dv).

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chocolate Cream Pie

I found this recipe on the web at about a year ago and am soooo thankful I did!!! This chocolate cream pie is easy to make, really thick, rich and creamy!!!! I've made this pie many times and every time it gets great reviews that start with the first bite - "Mmmmm this is good!" Each slice holds together instead of oozing out all over the plate - this recipe is a total keeper!!! Enjoy!


1 pie crust for a 9″ pie pan
1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 C cornstarch
2 1-oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 C milk
2 C heavy cream
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tsp real vanilla extract
Sweeten whipped cream

Line a 9″ pie pan with crust. Finish the edges as desired. Bake pie shell as directed by recipe or package. Cool on rack until needed.

In a saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Blend the milk and egg yolks. I used a whisk to incorporate the two ingredients. Stir egg mixture slowly into the dry ingredients, making sure to combine everything together. Whisk in melted chocolate.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the saucepan to avoid any browning or burning of the cream. It took about 12 minutes before I saw signs of thickening. Don’t walk away at this point and stir, stir, stir. Don’t be alarmed if you start to see clumps of thickening cream on the spoon/spatula. The rest of the cream will thicken completely a few minutes later. Once the cream thickens and starts to bubble/boil, continue to cook for one more minute, always stirring! Remove from heat and mix in vanilla extract. Immediately fill pie crust. Press plastic wrap onto the filling to prevent crust from developing on top of the filling.

Chill pie for at least 2 hours. I took out the pie about an hour before serving and scooped large dollops of sweetened whipped cream on top. Here’s a picture of it after chilling in the fridge for 2 hours.

This tasted like a very rich and creamy chocolate pudding. The filling looks very dense but had a surprising lightness to it. I don’t know if it’s because I used a whisk the last minute of cooking and to incorporate the vanilla. But if you like chocolate pudding, you'll love this!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Mixed Mushrooms

Here is another wonderful dish from the blog: Lisa's Kitchen. She adapted it from a book called Lucy's Kitchen (link below). I've cut and pasted her post on my page, as I followed the recipe exactly and figured it would be just as easy to do it this way. After all, why mess with perfection :D .....OK - ok, and my camera's battery totally died on me so I couldn't get any Pict's.
I will tell you that has a wonderful flavor. Its very rich, creamy and hearty - much like the dishes we ate when in Italy. I served ours with a nice chewy piece of Italian bread and a salad of mixed deep greens w/ a light oil and wine vinegar dressing. ENJOY!

1 ounce (30 grams) of dried porcini mushrooms (or a mixture of shiitake, portabello, porcini and oyster)
1 pound (500 grams) of tube shaped pasta (I used rigatoni)

1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of unbleached white flour
2 cups of milk
2 cups of soft goat cheese
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of chopped onion
1 pound 9500 grams) of fresh mixed mushrooms, sliced
2 - 3 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh thyme (or a pinch of dried)
1 tablespoon of finely minced garlic
1/4 - 1/2 cup of olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley
juice from one lemon
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water for 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the soaking liquid. Squeeze excess liquid from soaked mushrooms and roughly chop.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is
al dente. Drain well and return to the pot.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Pour in the milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for to thicken - approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the goat cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onions to the pan and stir and fry for 3 - 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the fresh mushrooms, jalapeno peppers and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes or until mushrooms begin to release their liquid.

Next, add the garlic, dried mushrooms and the soaking liquid used for the dried mushrooms to the wok. Bring to a boil and cook for about one minute. Stir in the olives, parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir the cheese sauce, and mushroom mixture into the cooked noodles along with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a large oiled baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until heated throughout and lightly browned.

Serves 6 - 8.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Homemade Eggnog

I went looking for a homemade eggnog after I found a yummy looking recipe for eggnog and rum french toast, that I wanted to try. Being that its July I find no pre-made eggnog at the store so I started looking on line for one. I found many variations but the one I settled on was posted by a Denise on It had over 60 positive ratings and it sounded really good. I've never made eggnog before so I was a bit skeptical but wow was I impressed with this one. (I added rum for the french toast recipe, and it was really tasty this way too. It was also the way my husband preferred it - lol).
For Homemade Eggnog
(posted by Denise on
NOTE: I cut this recipe in half as I only needed about a cup of it for the french toast and wanted a lil to enjoy without having a lot left over....come the
holidays this year I think
we'll end up double for get-to-gethers)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1/3 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Beat eggs; mix in condensed milk, vanilla, quart of milk and salt.
  2. Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold in to egg and milk mixture and sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve chilled. ***Note: depending on your preference, you can also add rum to taste...or whatever alcohol you like in your nog. Its all a matter of taste preference. Enjoy!!

Eggnog French Toast

So I've been away for awhile and I wish I had my camera handy on many new dishes that we've had and enjoyed, but I'm sad to say this has not been the case. However, I got it out today and I'd like to share a definate noteworthy
recipe..infact there are two (homemade
eggnog and eggnog and rum french toast). And all I gotta say is Oh YUMMMMM were they good!!!!!
Eggnog & Rum French Toast
The other day I came across a
blog called Lisa's Kitchen ( She has some really yummy looking recipes on this, site so do go visit. I've only tried a couple of her dishes so far and they were really good...and this one for Eggnog and Rum French Toast is wonderful!
Being that its July I find no pre-made eggnog at the store so this took me to look for recipes for homemade eggnog on line.I found many variations but the one I settled on was posted by a Denise on It had over 60 positive ratings and it
sounded really good. I've never made eggnog before so I was a bit skeptical but wow was I impressed. I'm posting a combination of Lisa's recipe
with my additions and will provide a link to Denise's recipe for her homemade eggnog as it worked really well with this dish.Click here for the

Both recipes were really quick and easy to make and well worth any effort to make
them! Hope you enjoy them as much my family did. We will defiantly make these again!!!

Eggnog & Rum French Toast

1 cup eggnog (store bought or homemade eggnog)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons dark rum (or extract if you rather)
ground cinnamon to taste
ground nutmeg to taste
6 thick slices of bread (French, Italian bread, Texas toast etc...) butter
for grasing the pan (or vegetable oil)

Heat a large cast iron frying pan (I used a non-stick skillet) on medium-low heat. Meanwhile, beat the eggnog together with the eggs, rum and spices to taste (I also added 1 to 2 Tab of sweet condensed milk and mix well).

When the pan or skillet is hot, lightly grease the surface with butter or vegetable oil.

Dip each slice of bread through the eggnog mixture and let it soak in slightly. Sprinkly both sides with cinnamon and place in the hot pan. Fry for a few minutes on each side until golden.

Dust the french toast with a light sprinkle of powder sugar and drizzle with maple syrup.


Saturday, June 30, 2007

Claudia's Sweet -n- Zesty Italian Totrellini Salad (P3)

I have a very dear friend named Claudia. She was my first German friend when we moved to Europe years back. I have so much respect for her awesome artistic talents, eye for detail, cooking abilities and over all sweet nature. She is also extremely hard working and is an inspiration to me in many ways. She and her family currently reside in the USA and I do miss her, but we still visit now and again via emails, messengers and myspace.

Years back when Claudia and her husband played table top DND with my husband and I, we'd enjoy going to each others homes for game nights. We'd all bring food, get the wine flowing, set back, visit and enjoy playing the game. During one visit to their home Claudia made this WONDERFUL side dish that I just LOVED! Its so every simple but its flavor packed and so hearty that one might think its more complicated.

Claudia was sweet enough to share this recipe with me years ago and I've made and enjoyed it many times since. When I make it I ALWAYS think of her and thus why I have lovingly named the dish after her.

I recently asked Claudia where she got this recipe from. She said the recipe comes from her brother's mother-in-law. She is not sure if she created this dish or got the recipe elsewhere but agrees that its very simple and it has many variations to its possibilities.

Claudia's Sweet N Zesty Italian Tortellini Salad (p3)
This is really a very simple dish and you can add or delete what ever you like. Below is the way I like to make it.
  • 1 large pkg Meat stuffed tortellini pasta. ( other kinds of stuffing may be used instead but I find this to be the best).
  • fresh, soft mozzarella (the kind packed in water), drained and torn into bite size pieces.
  • 1 can of black olives, drained
  • 1 bunch of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half.
  • 1 small purple or other sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped
  • about 1/2 c. of good tasting quality Olive oil
  • about 1/4c. of good tasting quality balsamic vinegar
  • Splenda or sugar to taste (its to have a sweet/tangy flavor)
  • a dash of salt
Bring water to rolling boil, add tortellini and cook pasta. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.

Meanwhile toss sliced tomatoes in a large mixing bowl, along with black olives, sliced onion, torn mozzarella, and fresh chopped basil.

When pasta is cooked and cooled add it to this bowl as well.

In a small bowl mix olive oil, vinegar, splenda/sugar and a dash of salt and pepper. When mixed pour over salad and mix well.
Serve or chill up to 30 mins and serve.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Macadamia Nut PiƱa Colada Bars (Not SB friendly)

I came across this recipe at the Betty Crocker Recipe Site ( I was going to make and take this desert to a BBQ but was too pressed for time that day. I had family visiting from the states this past week and decided to make them this weekend to give them a try. Everyone loved them and they went really fast. ENJOY!!

(** Note: let the bars cool completely before adding the glaze. We couldn't wait to give them a try so we rushed the cooling time and they didn't come out as pretty as I'm sure they would have. We ate them while warm and gooey and they were still wonderful).

Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:1 hr 55 min
Makes:2 dozen bars

1can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple
1cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2cup butter or margarine, softened
3tablespoons powdered sugar
1cup granulated sugar
3/4cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2cup flaked coconut
1/4cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2teaspoon baking powder
1/4teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon rum extract

Pineapple Glaze
1/2cup powdered sugar
2to 3 teaspoons reserved pineapple juice
1.Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of square pan, 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 inches, with shortening. Drain pineapple well, reserving 3 teaspoons juice for Pineapple Glaze. In medium bowl, mix 1 cup flour, the butter and 3 tablespoons powdered sugar with spoon until flour is moistened. Press in pan. Bake 10 minutes.
2.In medium bowl, beat eggs with wire whisk until blended. Stir in pineapple and all remaining Bar ingredients. Spread over partially baked crust.
3.Bake bars 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
4.In small bowl, mix all Pineapple Glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle glaze over bars. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

Nutrition Information:
1 Serving: Calories 160 (Calories from Fat 70); Total Fat 8g (Saturated Fat 3g, Trans Fat ncg); Cholesterol 30mg; Sodium 70mg; Total Carbohydrate 20g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars ncg); Protein 2g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 2%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 2% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat Carbo

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Chinese Cole Slaw (p2 )

I got this recipe years and years ago in Kansas, from a woman named Debbie. She and I had Glass forming classes together and she brought it to an open house that the ESU glass guild has annually. Everyone loved this dish and I must say every time I take it to a party, BBQ or get-to-gather I always recipe requests. This dish is makes a lot, is easy to make and is VERY good. Hope you enjoy it too!!

(I will be making this again soon and will try to get a better pict of this dish once its been mixed.)

Salad Ingredients:
(mix an hour before serving)
1 large pkg pre-cut raw coleslaw
1c slivered almonds
1 c sunflower seeds
2 small bunches of green onions, chopped
2 pkg Beef flavored Ramen noodles (uncooked and broken into small bits)

Dressing Ingredients:
(Mix a day ahead so it can age)
1 c mayo
1/2 c granular sugar (or splenda)
1/3 c white vinegar
the 2 beef seasonings (from noodles)

  • The day before: Mix dressing ingredients and chill in the refrigerator.

  • The next day:In a large mixing bowl toss salad ingredients.

  • An hour before serving:Shake or stir the dressing and pour over salad; mix well. Serve and ENJOY!!!!
**Note: I've never tried to make this dish Sb friendly, as it calls for Ramon Noodles and Sugar. You could exchange the sugar with splenda and possibly the Ramon Noodles with something else, but the noodle season packets are also required and give it so much of its flavor that I don't know how it would be substitute. If you are extremely strict with the rules of SB than perhaps this dish isn't for you...or you could change it up a bit and get it to work. If you do, I'd love to hear the suggestions...but for special occasions this would still be good and not be too much of a cheat, in my opinion.