Tortellini Soup on a chilly fall Saturday? Yes, please …

tortellini soup

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We need a recipe …

How about the easiest cookies ever?

Cookies 2013-04-10 at 03.23.54 PM

COOL WHIP COOKIES — EASIEST COOKIE EVER

1 box cake mix (any flavor- chocolate, red velvet, lemon, etc.), 1 tub Cool Whip (8 oz), 1 egg. Mix ingredients. Drop spoonfuls into powdered sugar to coat. Bake at 350 for 12 mins. Cool before removing.

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Lentil Stew

This sounds good today.  Anybody want to try it and report back?

Lentil Stew

Lentil Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 potatoes, diced
1 sprig fresh oregano or 1 tbsp dried
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 red pepper, diced
3 or 4 cauliflower florets, cut small
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pot heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Add the lentils, potatoes, oregano and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils and potatoes have started to soften.

2. Add the red pepper and cauliflower and cook until the lentils and all of the vegetables are tender. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Note:  The actual quantity of lentils was missing.  It said “3/4,” but 3/4 what?  Cup, package, pound?  What’s your guess??

A Vegan Entry …

This is for Miss Snarky Pants, who needs a vegan recipe in order to participate in our Playing for Time Test Kitchen.  Here ya’ go, hon (and any other vegans/vegetarians among us) …

Mediterranean Vegan Vegetable Stew

Mediterranean Vegan Vegetable Stew
Author: Leanne Vogel
Allergens: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Nut-free, Egg-free
Serves: 4
A one-pot meal that’s lighter than your average stew but just as satisfying. Like having a Greek salad in stew form!
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups gluten-free, yeast-free vegetable broth
  • 28 ounces whole tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups raw buckwheat groats, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2 cups chopped eggplant
  • 1 cup (300 ml jar) roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • ½ cup black olives, pitted and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onion, shallots and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, buckwheat, vinegar, rosemary and marjoram. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer until the buckwheat is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the chopped eggplant 10 minutes in.
  3. When complete, stir in the roasted red peppers, spinach, and olives. Allow to cook until heated through, season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. Remove rosemary sprigs before serving.

Some people!

A cheeky friend asked me yesterday if I’ve become Martha Freaking Stewart, just because she’s seeing recipes on my site.  The sheer impudence made me laugh out loud.  She knows I voluntarily surrendered my kitchen privileges when I married Kim, so of course the cooking thing does seem a bit suspect.  The trouble is, what the heck else am I gonna do with 1,787 food & drink pins on my Pinterest boards, besides present them to my husband one by one with a hopeful look on my face?  It’s unlikely that I’m going to work through the list on my own — I cooked for a solid thirty-five years, often for field hands and harvest help, and to quote the inimitable Madeline Kahn, “I’m tiiiiiired.”

Kim and I have actually put together quite a few of the ideas I’ve pinned, and rarely met with disappointment.  HOWEVER.  There’s no way we would ever get through them all in this lifetime … so I was thinking … we bloggers and friends could institute a sort of test kitchen amongst ourselves!  Whaddaya think, huh? huh??  Fun, right?!

The only rule would be that if you make one of the recipes you find here or on one of my Pinterest boards, you MUST come back and file a report.  Delicious, so-so, definitely not worth the time, that sort of thing.  I’m hearing no objections!  So … let’s start, appropriately enough, with an appetizer.  GO!!

Chicken Tostada Bites

Chipotle Chicken Tostada Bites
inspired by Z’Tejas

Ingredients:
1/4 c. plus 2 TBSP chipotle salsa, pureed (I like Herdez brand)
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 avocados
zest and juice of one lime
2 TBSP red onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 Roma tomato, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 TBSP fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely minced (optional)
1/4 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
24 round tortilla chips
24 cilantro leaves, for garnish

Directions:
1.  The night before serving, pour 1/4 c. pureed chipotle salsa over the chicken breast and allow to marinate, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.  Turn once during marinating time.

2.  Cook the chicken, covered, in a saute pan.  Allow to cool, then shred.  Mix shredded meat with remaining two TBSP salsa.

3.  While chicken is cooling, make guacamole by combining all remaining ingredients (except chips) in a nonreactive bowl.  Mix together with a fork, leaving only small chunks.  Adjust salt and pepper as desired.

4.  Just before serving, top each chip with a generous TBSP each of guacamole and chicken.  Top with a cilantro leaf and arrange on a platter.

A word of advice on these–wait to assemble them until the last second.  The chips get soggy if the guacamole sits on them too long.  Luckily, all the components will be fine if made the night before or morning of serving.

And for those whose tummies do not play well with cilantro, substitute creatively!

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