Food

Eats: Lentil Soup - Meatless Monday 001

Lentil Soup

I've been craving my grandma's lentil soup for about a week now. Usually I can hit up my Tia Nancy on Facebook for the recipe, but I feel like I'm always asking her for the same three recipes. Off to Internet-land I went and landed on the Food Network site. I think it's the first result that shows up in the search. 

I'm not a patient cook. I like things to be done between 45 minutes to an hour and a half, max. I saw that this would only take an hour and 15 minutes minutes, including prep. That's good enough for me. 

Alton Brown's Lentil Soup

You'll Need: 

  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 C finely chopped onion
  • 1.5 C finely chopped carrot
  • 1.5 C finely chopped celery
  • 2 tsps kosher salt
  • 1 lb lentils, rinsed and picked
  • 1 C peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Qts chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1.5 tsps coriander
  • 1.5 tsps cumin

Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I read the reviews and one mentioned it being thick and not having enough fluid. I have to agree. I'd prefer it to have a little more soup consistency rather than a stew consistency. As you can tell I don't have an emersion blender or I would have used it, but that wasn't of much import to me.  I also added habañero sauce to give it a little kick. 

Amanda ❤

Eats: Apple, Ham and Cheese Salad

Hey bears! 

So this is a salad that I tried for the first time maybe a month and a half ago.  It's a really delicious and light salad that I'm sure will work well in the fall and winter months as well. 

Apple Ham and Cheese Salad
You'll need: 

  • 3 Granny Smith Apples
  • 6 slices of prosciutto 
  • 5 oz cheese ( I used Colby Jack)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

1. Core the apples and cut into cubes 2. Cut the ham into fine strips 3. Cube the cheese 4. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add olive oil, season to taste and serve. 

That's all there is to it. It serves about 4 people, or two REALLY hungry people, and takes about 10 minutes to make, so it's perfect to make for lunch. 

Amanda ❤

Eats: Sausage, Bell Pepper, and Potato Stew

Hey bears! I'm back with a delicious recipe I tried a few weeks ago when it was starting to get a little chilly. Sometimes I go through phases where I don't want to eat meat and this recipe came from a vegetarian cookbook. The weather's back up to low/mid 70's and it isn't quite stew season anymore, but it might be in your neck of the woods. Hope you like it as much as I did. 

Sausage, bell pepper, and potato stew

You'll need: 

  • 5 Italian sausages, mild or hot
  • 1/4 C. EVOO
  • 2 medium potatos, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into small chunks
  • 1 eggplant, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into small cubes
  • 4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 1/4 C water, optional

1. Slice sausages and heat until thoroughly cooked, set aside 2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add potatoes and saute until golden 3. Add sausages 4. Add the onion and bell peppers, saute until the onion is lightly browned 5. Add eggplant and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes 6. Stir in tomatoes, season to taste 7. Simmer until vegetables are tender, adding water if the mixture begins to stick to the pan. 

The best thing is, this recipe is totally adaptable to a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle by omitting the sausage! If you give it a try, let me know how it goes for you! 

Enjoy! 

Amanda ❤

Meatless Monday Brought to You by Bzzagent- Spicy Hawaiian Sliders

Spicy-Hawaiian-Sliders-bzzagent

I got invited to the Bzzagent MorningStar Farms campaign recently and I got to choose a complimentary MorningStar Farms product to test. Beings that I like spicy food, I chose to try to Spicy Black Bean patties. I originally didn't want to do "hamburgers" but then decided to spin it slightly. I thought I'd do sliders instead. 
 
Using King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, a slice of Pineapple, Romaine lettuce, Chipotle ranch dressing and Jalapeños, I created Spicy Hawaiian Sliders. Grill the slice of pineapple. Then quarter the patty and pineapple. Use the Chipotle Ranch dressing as the condiment. Add a piece of lettuce and a few jalapeños and you're set.  1 patty makes 4 sliders.
 
I had tasted MorningStar patties before and didn't have quite a positive experience the first time, but I was willing to try it again and I'm glad I did. I was intrigued with the thought of Spicy Black Bean patties. I really loved the taste of the patties. As soon as I opened the package, I could tell they were going to be spicy. The texture of them didn't even remind me that it was actually meatless. I could definitely see myself eating more of these if I decided to continue doing Meatless Monday. 
Spicy-Black-Bean-Hawaiian-Sliders-bzzagent

For this, I have four coupons to give away with a savings of $1.00 off any ONE MorningStar Farms product. You know, if you want one. :)
 
Disclaimer: I'm a Bzzagent and I received this product complimentary from Bzzagent for review purposes and the above is my 100% honest opinion. 
 
Amanda ❤

The Vintage Cookbook | Chocolate Flakes

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Chocolate Flakes 

Melt 1/2 lb semi-sweet dipping chocolate  in top of double boiler over warm water. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans and 2 cups corn flakes. Mix together until the flakes and nuts are well coated. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Put in a cool dry place until set. They will be crisp and crackly and remind you somewhat of the old-fashioned chocolate chips in texture. 

*I used chopped walnuts and followed the recipe until like most of the time. I've had good reception to this. Took about 20 minutes, including melting the chocolate in the double boiler. I also found that these will melt easily in your hand so don't take too long to eat it. 

Amanda ❤

The Vintage Cookbook | Beef Stroganoff

About two weeks ago I tried another recipe from the vintage cookbook. I'd always had this mental image of what beef stroganoff would look like. Ultimately, it turned out to be the EXACT image of what I had pictured. But I never envisioned how it would taste. To my surprise, it came out delicious. A word to the health concious, this recipe calls for A LOT of butter. Title

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1. Cut 1 1/2 lbs. very tender beefsteak-sirloin preferably-into thin, thin strips removing all fat.

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 2. Dredge the meat lightly with flour. Season with salt and pepper. 

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3. Chop 2 onions and 1/2 lb. mushrooms together until fine. 

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4. Sauté in 4 tablespoons butter or margarine to take care of sautéing the beef. Season well with salt and pepper. At this point, stay with your masterpiece and keep tossing the mixture as it cooks. This is a quick process and should take no more than 3 minutes, as you want the steak to be underdone.

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5. Lift out the meat and mushrooms into the top of a double boiler.

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6. There should be 2 tablespoons drippings in the pan. If not, add enough more butter or margarine to make it up. Blend in two tablespoons flour. Add 1 pint thick commercial sour cream, more salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup canned consommé or 1/2 cup hot water and 1 bouillon cube. Cook until smooth and thickened. 

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7. Just before serving, add the beef and mushrooms and heat together just a few minutes. The trick is to get the meat done to just the right state and keep it so. Serves 6

 

 I also cooked a package of egg noodles and served the stroganoff on top. 

If you try this recipe let me know how it goes, also if you want to try any of the other recipes I've tried, check out  the vintage cookbook.

 

Amanda ❤

Chicken and Squash Casserole Parmesean

6-chicken and squash casserole
Okay so i'm gonna give this one to you in two parts the first being the original recipe. The second, what I did cos I kinda failed this one. *My Bad* 

Chicken and Squash Casserole Parmesean

Cut a split broiler, prepared for cooking into 4 pieces. Remove tail. Wash. Season well with salt and pepper. Dip pieces of chicken in a half-and-half mixture of flour and freshly grated parmesean cheese. Brown the chicken in just enough hot shortening to keep the chicken from sticking. Cut 1 small yellow crookneck squash or 2 small zucchini squashes into rather thick chunks. Lay the chicken and squash in casserole, tucking squash in and around chicken. Grate or press a little garlic over all, or sprinkle with garlic salt. Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper. The chicken has already been seasoned. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream to pan in which you browned the chicken, after the fat, if any, has been drained off. Heat cream in pan to get all the good brown bits. Pour it over the squash and chicken. Sprinkle with a little more grated parmesean cheese. Cover and bake in moderate oven, 350ºF until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. 

Now, on to what I did. I used 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, because honestly, I don't know what the hell a split broiler is. I cubed them into medium pieces. I followed the recipe until I got to the heavy cream part. I accidently bought heavy whipping cream *FAIL* 

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In order to salvage the almost wreck that I started. I used a package of chicken flavored Knorr pasta sides. I brought 2 cups of water and 1 tbspn of margarine to a boil. Emptied the noodles onto the chicken and squash and poured the water/margarine mixture on top. Then I covered it and put it in the oven 350ºF for about 40 minutes. It still came out tasty but if you follow the original recipe let me know how it goes. 

Want to see what else I've made from The Vintage Cookbook? Check out the delicious recipes.

Happy Tuesday!

Amanda ❤

25 Days of Christmas: Creme De Menthe Cupcakes

So I found a recipe for Creme De Menthe frosting and I wanted to use it on some cupcakes. You may or may not know this, I've mentioned it a few times on here, but I'm a terrible baker. This particular time proved me so right. I didn't get the cupcakes right until the 3rd and final batch. Grrr, so disappointing. But the Frosting came out delish. 

Creme De Menthe Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup nonhydrogenated shortening (aka crisco)
  • 1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine (aka i can't believe its not butter)
  • 1 3/4 confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons creme de menthe liquor
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons soymilk
  • peppermint type candy (if you want)

Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. and the creme de menthe, vanilla, and soymilk. Frost cupcakes once cooled, add broken bits of peppermint candy.

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Anywho, I made some cupcake toppers if you'd like them you can download them.

Download Christmas tree cupcake topper sheet

XOXO Mandakinnnns 

 

Amanda ❤