Monday, December 31, 2012

Pink Parsley: Barbecued Chicken Kebabs

Pink Parsley: Barbecued Chicken Kebabs: This might be the weirdest method I've ever used when cooking.  I always joke with my cooking friends that Cook's Illustrated just likes to...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Breakfast Share

We are breakfast people. Generally all of us love eggs, hashbrowns, pancakes, waffles, french toast, toast, sausage, bacon and basically anything that can be eaten for breakfast. 
But since we're a working family with two busy teens going hither and thither, it usually only happens about once, maybe twice in a week. 
This weekend, we had the pleasure of having our oldest daughter home with her fiance to celebrate Christmas. 
So of course on Saturday, I made a big breakfast, one that we are all fans of. Not really wanting to make a breakfast bake, (I wanted sourdough toast-natch!), I decided to make another crowd pleasing feeder. 

Photo Courtesey of

 This is really a very simple dish to make and it is so easily customized to anyones taste. 
Add in mushrooms, squash, broccoli, diced ham, turkey, chicken or salami. Use your favorite cheese, add in salsa or green chiles. 
There are hundred's of ways to change this recipe up. I typically use it to clean out my frig and I put in whatever I have available at that time. 

Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: | Makes: 6 to 8 servings
Try this filling, flavorful frittata for breakfast, between slices of toasted baguette for lunch, or paired with a green salad for dinner.
  • 6 -8large eggs
  • 2 tbsn half and half
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 2 tbsn olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, large dice
  • 2-3 medium red potato, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3-4 roma tomatos, diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

  1. Whisk the eggs, half and half and 1/2 cup of the cheese, and the measured salt and pepper in a large bowl until the eggs are smooth; set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the potato, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the edges become tender, about 12-14 minutes. Uncover and add the zucchini, tomatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 6 minutes. 
  3. Preheat the broiler on high and move a rack to the middle of the oven.
  4. Pour the reserved egg mixture over the vegetables and cook until the eggs are almost set around the outer inch of the pan, about 7-9 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and parsley evenly over the frittata and place it under the broiler until puffed, golden, and completely set in the center, about 6-8 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. 
*We love to cover ours with salsa and sour cream and dashes of hot sauce!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Navajo Tostados

Who doesn't love a really good taco?
One with an airy, light, FRIED, crispy shell. And it's flat, more like a tostada than a taco, really. 
Today, because I'm feeling it....I'm sharing Navajo Fry bread and making Tostadas!
Crow Chief

Like I said, a thing of beauty. 
First let's start with the fry bread. 
Navajo Fry Bread (Tostadas)
1 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 C powdered milk ( i have made these without this-turn out fine)
1/4 t salt
warm water

Combine the ingredients and slowly add enough warm water to form dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until it is smooth soft and not sticky. Cover and let rest 1 hour. Shape into small balls and pat into flat circles about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Set aside.
In iron skillet, heat 1/2 inch vegetable oil. Brown dough circles on each side and drain on paper towels. Serve with chile beans and your favorite taco toppings for "Navajo Tostados."
  These babies can be used as dessert as well. Forgo the taco toppings and dust with cinnamon and sugar or powdered sugar and drizzle with honey.

***Shared at: Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms-Melt In Your Mouth Monday

Thursday, December 13, 2012


KG Makes You Stronger
KG Makes You StrongerThis comes from a recipe that my mom used to make for us when I was younger. I had forgotten about it until just recently. It really enhanced the flavor of the pasta, just like when you toast rice for a pilaf. 
This has a light, slightly creamy sauce from the broth and touch of cream, top it with fresh shaved Parmesan. 


1 Tbsn Olive Oil
16 oz. of Rigatoni or other large tubular pasta
12-16 oz of your favorite brand of sausage (I used Johnsonville Three Cheese Chicken)-sliced
1 onion-sliced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
8 oz. of mushrooms-halved or quartered
1 tsp each dried basil and oregano
1/4 cup Marsala or Red wine
1 32oz. container of beef broth
1/3 cup heavy cream ( I used half and half)
1 Tbsn flour
Salt & pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet on med. high. Pour in pasta and saute, stirring often until lightly toasted and browned. 
  2. Add in onions, garlic, mushrooms and sausage and saute until vegetables are slightly softened.Add in dried herbs.
  3. Add in Marsala or Red wine to deglaze and then add in broth. Stirring to combine. 
  4. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 20-25 minutes. Until pasta is al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed (you want some left to make the sauce). 
  5. Wisk the flour into the cream or milk and pour over the pasta mixture, stirring to coat evenly, and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Taste and season with kosher salt (if needed) and lots of fresh black pepper. 
  6. Serve in pasta bowls and grate fresh parmesan over the top to melt.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Vegetable Beef Soup

Well, it finally came. 


It was inevitable, and I have to admit the first snow of the season is always pretty. But, it's so dang cold now...  

And thank goodness that Artic blast mostly went even further north of us. The folks in Minneapolis got hammered, over 8-9". Heh heh, we only got about 1-2". But, they like alot of snow in Minne-soooo-ta. 

Just because it is so cold, I am fully immersed in SOUP SEASON ! The 'ol slow cooker is getting a work out now. 

This soup is a beaut! It can be slow-cooked or made in less than 40 minutes(prep included). Plus,'s really good for you. Chock full of vitamins and veggies, lean protein. 

It's actually making my mouth water...



1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced  
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3 links Chicken Italian Sausage, casings removed
1 tbsn Olive Oil
1 14 oz. can tomato puree ( I used my own from the garden that I freeze)
1 14 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water  
2 cups baby kale (mine is frozen), or 2 cups chopped regular kale
3/4 cup small pasta (elbows, ditalini, pepperini...etc.,)
Salt and pepper to taste.   


  1. Dice the onion, the carrots and mince the garlic. Take the casings off of the sausage. 
  2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot. Saute the onions and carrots first, seasoning with a pinch of salt, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and stir 1 minute until fragrant. 
  3. Add the sausage, brown and crumble it, until cooked through, 8-10 minutes more. 
  4. Add tomatoes, broth and water. Stir, then add in chickpeas and Kale.  Taste and season with salt ( you may not need anymore) and about a 1/2 tsp pepper.
  5. Cook and simmer another 10 minutes then add in pasta. Cook until tender, about another 10 minutes,serve with grated Parmesan if you choose.    
**To make this in the slow cooker, brown off the sausage, with the onions and garlic and throw everything into the slow cooker (except pasta). Cook on low for 6-8, on high for 3-4. the last 30 minutes add in the pasta and cook until tender.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chocolate-Coconut Mashed Potato Candies Recipe | Just A Pinch Recipes

Chocolate-Coconut Mashed Potato Candies Recipe | Just A Pinch Recipes

Chocolate-Coconut Mashed Potato Candies

Chocolate-Coconut Mashed Potato Candies Recipe

Serves: 5 dozen candies


- 3/4 c mashed potatoes, real or instant
- 1 lb flaked coconut, about 4 cups
- 1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp almond extract


Combine all ingredients except coating; drop by teaspoonfuls on waxed paper.
Roll into balls; refrigerate 1/2-1 hour. If mixture is too soft to form balls, refrigerate first then roll into balls.
Combine all coating ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Melt over hot water, stirring occasionally, until ingredients are blended
While still in the double boiler dip rolled balls using tongs, candy dipper or 2 forks into chocolate, coating all sides. Place on waxed paper. Place in refrigerator to firm up. Store in tightly sealed container.

Cyber Monday 2 $250 Giveaway! | Fabulessly Frugal: A Coupon Blog Sharing Gift Ideas, Black Friday Ads, Printable Coupons, DIY, How to Extreme Coupon, and Make Ahead Meals

Cyber Monday 2 $250 Giveaway! | Fabulessly Frugal: A Coupon Blog Sharing Gift Ideas, Black Friday Ads, Printable Coupons, DIY, How to Extreme Coupon, and Make Ahead Meals

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cheesy Hashbrown and Hotdog Casserole-Redux

If you thought Cheesy hashbrowns were good, just wait until you try this version. It will be loved by kids, adults and even others (?). 
No seriously, this is THAT good. 
Serve it with your favorite coleslaw or salad and voila, lunch or dinner DONE!!  

 Yum! It's so good!

Cheesy Hashbrown and HotDog Casserole

Friday, December 7, 2012

Nikkis' Nook: Birchbox, Oscar Blandi, Mini Ipad Giveaway!

Nikkis' Nook: Birchbox, Oscar Blandi, Mini Ipad Giveaway!:   Birch Box + Oscar Blandi has teamed up to bring you this awesome giveaway which includes a Oscar Blandi and Cargo Picture Perfect ...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Classic Roast Chicken

Every cook, new or seasoned needs to have a good recipe for a whole roast chicken. Not only can you use it as a dinner staple, but any leftovers can be used in thousands of recipes. 
This recipe is easy, simple, delicious and practically fool-proof (great for the novice cook). Just follow the directions for perfect, juicy roast chicken.  
This is an adaptation/collaboration of my Mother's recipe and Saveur. 

4 oz. good butter at room temperature
1  4-lb. chicken
Salt and pepper
1 lemon
Several sprigs of thyme, sage or tarragon, or a mixture
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Smear the butter with your hands all over the bird. Put the chicken in a roasting pan that will accommodate it with room to spare. I also elevate it on a rack, but you could use carrots, celery and onions-quartered. Season liberally with salt and pepper and squeeze over with the juice of the lemon.

2. Put the herbs and garlic inside the cavity, together with the squeezed-out lemon halves—this will add a fragrant lemony flavor to the finished dish.

3. Roast the chicken in the oven for 10–15 minutes. Baste, then turn the oven temperature down to 375° and roast for a further 45 -60 minutes. The bird should be golden brown all over with a crisp skin and have buttery, lemony juices of a nut-brown color in the bottom of the pan.

**A helpful tip: After roasting is completed, turn off the oven, leaving the door ajar, and leave the chicken to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. This enables the flesh to relax gently, retaining the juices in the meat and ensuring easy, trouble-free carving and a moist bird.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chicken Curry Soup

Ever since I was a young girl growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, I have loved curry.

Down the street was another family that had lived in India for years before coming back to re-settle in our neighborhood. Their daughter Lynn, and I would play together for hours.

Every once in a while her mother would invite me over for lunch and she would always serve Pepperidge Farms canned Chicken Curry Soup, because she knew not only did Lynn like it, I LOVED it!
Unfortunately that particular brand of soup is no longer marketed in the US.


Chicken Curry Soup, otherwise known as

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced (This is totally optional-I don't add this)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Curry Powder (this is mild, I usually double this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 12 ounces chicken breast-cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add apples-if using, flour, curry powder, cumin, coriander and ginger and cook, stirring often, until the apples begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add broth and rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 12 minutes.
  3. Add chicken, return to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat; stir in salt and pepper.

 Recipe Adapted from Eating Well

Monday, December 3, 2012

Slow Cooker Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

It's been pretty mild for Winter in North Iowa, but there is still a chill in the air and frost on the windows in the mornig. 
I still have 4 big, beautiful Butternut squash I bought from a farmer's market this Fall. Our winter squash didn't produce at all this year with no rain. 
My whole family loves winter squash, baked, steamed or made into soup. It's all good. 
I recently attempted to make a soup in the slow cooker and it was GREAT!!
Same prep, but so welcoming to come home after a long day and have a delcious dinner already made and waiting. 

Slow Cooker Creamy, Butternut
 Squash Soup     

1 2-4# Butternut or other winter squash, peeled, cored and cut into 1 " inch cubes. (I used  a 4 lb. squash here)
1 med. Onion-diced 
1 tbsn butter or Oil
4 cups of water or low sodioum chicken broth 
2 cups of water
1 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Sage
1 Bay leave (opt.)
4 oz. Cream cheese
Salt & Pepper, to taste

  1. In a small saute pan, heat butter or oil and lightly saute diced onion 6-8 minutes, until translucent. 
  2. Meanwhile place squash, broth, water, and herbs in Slow cooker. Add onions that have been sauteed. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or on High for 3-4 hrs. 
  3. Remove Bay leaf if using and using a stick blender puree soup to desired smoothness ( I like mine SMOOTH!). If you use a blender, be sure to blend in batches and vent the lid-this is HOT!!
  4. Add in Cream cheese and blend that as well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
**Leftovers are delicious, and can be stored chilled or frozen. This is delicious served over pasta as well.