Monday, March 6, 2017

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup





Chockfull of hearty veggies and tender chicken in a refreshing lemony broth – it’s pure comfort in a bowl!
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
5 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 sprig rosemary
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaves and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Stir in orzo, rosemary and chicken; reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, spinach and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Koren Beef Lettuce Wraps




(another method-I cooked the beef with the garlic in the crockpot all day and then added the other ingredients right before serving-it worked great!!)

·       1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
·       1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
·       1/4 cup chopped green onions
·       4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons sesame oil
·       2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
·       1 1/2 pounds hanger steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
·       1 cup white rice
·       1 head butter lettuce
·       1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1.     In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, green onions, garlic, sesame oil, and ginger. Reserve 1/4 cup and set aside.
2.     In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine soy sauce mixture and steak; marinate for at least 1 hour to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the steak from the marinade.
3.     In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
4.     Preheat grill to medium high heat. Add steak to grill and cook, flipping once and basting with reserved 1/4 cup marinade until cooked through, about 1-2 minutes on each side.

5.     To serve, spoon rice into the center of a lettuce leaf, taco-style; top with steak, garnished with sesame seeds, if desired.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 2 Meyer lemons (2/3 cups juice)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 medium diced carrots
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 oz. orzo
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a 4 quart saucepan saute onion, carrot with garlic and a tablespoon of oil.
  2. Add in chicken broth and orzo bring to a boil.
  3. Time 9 minutes.
  4. Remove a cup of broth and whisk egg yolks into it and slowly add mixture to soup while stirring.
  5. Add in lemon juice and chicken.
  6. Cook 2 more minutes.

One Pot Stuffed Pepper Casserole


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup shredded Wisconsin cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Wisconsin Monterey Jack cheese-or your favorite combination


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef, onion and garlic. Cook until beef has browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  2. Stir in bell peppers until tender, about 3-4 minutes
  3. Stir in tomatoes, green chiles, rice, beef broth, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked through, about 16-18 minutes. Stir in cilantro.
  4. Remove from heat and top with cheeses. Cover until cheese has melted, about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Peanut Sauce

I love to serve this with chicken over rice or noodles and my kids gobble it up!

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. minced ginger (or 1/2 tsp. dry)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup crunchy (or smooth) peanut butter
4 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. hot chili paste (I've omitted this when I've been in a pinch)
4 cloves garlic, minced

*garnish with green onions and crushed peanuts

Combine the ingredients and bring to a boil. Add chicken. When serving with noodles, I pour the whole mixture over the noodles and stir to combine. When serving with rice, I put a scoop of rice on each plate with a spoonful of the peanut chicken mixture on top.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

    We made this for New Year's dessert and it was heavenly! I 1 1/2 the recipe and baked it in a 9x13 and it turned out great. Recipe via Mel's Kitchen Cafe
    About 8-10 medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
    3/4 cup boiling water
    3/4 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    3/4 cup sugar
    6 Tbsp. butter, softened
    2 large eggs
    1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. salt
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    8 Tbsp. butter
    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    pinch of course, kosher salt
    1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
    Additional whipping cream for drizzling (optional)
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 6-8 ramekins or a 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan with butter or cooking spray
    In a medium bowl, stir together the chopped dates, boiling water, baking soda and vanilla extract. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. 
    In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with a mixer until well-combined and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and mix. 
    In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined. Fold in the date mixture (no need to drain) until combined - don't overmix!
    Fill the ramekins or pan with the batter. Bake for 18-22 minutes (22-25 if you're using a square baking pan) until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the top springs back to the touch. Don't overbake or the cake may be dry. 
    Let the cakes cool completely in the pans (or served warm if you prefer) 
    For the sauce, combine the sugar, butter, cream and salt in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves and the sauce is smooth and combined (about 5-7 minutes)
    Turn the cakes out of the ramekins, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with pecans (optional); drizzle with a teaspoon of heavy whipping cream if desired (I skipped this step, but I bet it would be delicious!)

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