Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mexican Quinoa (FodMap Friendly)

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 bunch of green onions chopped white & green parts seperated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 chipotle chili, chopped
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup diced tomato
1 handful cilantro, chopped

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
Add the white and light green parts of the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the garlic, chili powder and chipotle and saute until fragrant about a minute.
Add the quinoa, broth, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the the quinoa is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in tomato and green part of onions.
Serve garnished with cilantro.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

White Chicken Enchiladas (FodMap Friendly Version)

This is a great money saving meal. Last time I made these my husband calculated the cost to be about $.50 - $.75 per serving. I've made a few minor adjustments to make them FodMap friendly. These can be made in a large pan to feed the whole family or if your family is smaller, like ours, in individual pans. I like to use mini loaf pans and put two enchilladas in each pan. Then I freeze them and can pull out just one pan at a time. I serve them with rice and beans so one enchillada a piece is suficiant for my husband and I. Disposable mini loaf pans are available in the baking section at the supermarket or you can invest in a permanent set like I did. My favorite are the William Sonoma Goldtouch.


  • 2-1/2 cups Cooked, Shredded Chicken 
  • 2 cups Reserved Broth From Chicken 
  • 3 Tablespoons Canola Oil 
  • 12 whole Corn Tortillas 
  • One bunch green onions (about 5) Diced 
  • 3 whole 4 Oz Cans Whole Green Chilies, Diced 
  • 3 Tablespoons Jalapeno Finely Diced or one whole fresh Jalapeno
  • 2 Chiplote peppers in adobe sauce diced 
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika 
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream 
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter 
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch 
  • 1 cup Sour Cream 
  • 2-1/2 cups Grated Mexican Cheese 
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste 

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas for no longer than 20 seconds, just to soften (do not allow to become crisp.) Place tortillas on a large towel or stack of paper towels to drain.

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in separate skillet over medium heat. Add onions and jalapenos and saute for 1 minute, just to start the cooking process. Add chicken, half of the green chilies, chipolte peppers and sauce and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Stir together. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Add cream and stir, allowing mixture to bubble and get hot. Turn off heat and set aside.

In a separate large skillet, melt butter and sprinkle in cornstarch. Whisk together and cook over medium heat for one minute. Slowly whisk in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the other half of the chilies. Reduce heat, then stir in sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese and stir to melt. Add 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

To assemble, spoon chicken mixture on top of tortillas, one by one. Top with plenty of cheese and roll up.

Place seam side down in a 9 x 13 casserole dish or two each in mini loaf pans.

Pour cheese mixture all over the top of the tortillas. Top with extra cheese if you'd like, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. If you choose to freeze the individual servings they will reheat at 350 for 30-45 minutes as well.

Serve with rice & beans for a complete Mexican meal.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

FodMap Friendly Strawberry Jam OR Strawberry Jam without Pectin or Corn Syrup

Due to  a medical condition my husband was recently told that he need to start following the FodMap diet. Which, actually, is less a diet and more a complete lifestyle change. On the FodMap there is an abundance of items that you cannot eat. Some of which are surprising as you traditionally think they are good for you, i.e. apples. However, people who need to follow the FodMap diet do not have the ability to digest these items. Needless to say this has been a learning curve in both our cooking and shopping.  For example, even though strawberries are allowed strawberry jam from the supermarket is not okay due to having fruit pectin (from apples) and corn syrup. So I'm back to making jam from scratch but without the usual thickener. Strawberries aren't in season and even when they are they can be very expensive so I bought frozen strawberries in bulk which saved about 50%. 

What you need
  • 2lbs of strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp of reserved strawberry juice or water
  • 2 tbsp of tapioca flour
What to do
I used frozen strawberries and reserved some of the juice as they thawed. Place the strawberries into a heavy bottomed pan with the sugar.  Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer until it has reduced by about a third to around 3 cups. In a small bowl, stir the tapioca and strawberry juice or water together before adding that to the berry mixture until it thickens. This won’t take long so be careful not to overcook. Spoon your freshly made jam into a couple of sterilised jam jars and allow to cool before storing them in the fridge. Or freeze if you do not plan to use immediately. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dressed Up Baked Beans

Baked beans are a staple side at when barbecuing but the ones from the can are predictably dull. Next time you are barbecuing try making these sweet and spice dressed up baked beans. They easily cook on the cooler side of the grill while you have the meat going on the hot side. They develop a nice smoky flavor by cooking on the grill rather than the oven.

1 can baked beans
2 T diced jalapeno
1 T jalapeno juice
1 T brown mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup ham cubed  (used leftovers from a pineapple orange glazed ham we made for Easter, yummy)
1 T butter cut into tiny pieces
2 T brown sugar.

Mix all but the last two ingredients together put into ceramic or cast-iron pan (grill safe) place butter pieces over top of beans and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Place on the cool side of your grill for 45 minutes to an hour. Stir and enjoy

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pot Roast Stew with Stilton Crust

One of the best pot roast recipes ever!

For the filling:

7 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb button mushrooms, quartered
2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
Salt & pepper to taste
3 lb beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup all-purpose flour
24 oz Yankee Pot Roast Braising Base
1 lb carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice

For the Stilton Pastry:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
16 Tbsp cold butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
4 ox Stilton cheese, crumbled

1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water

To make the filling:

In a 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat warm 1 Tbsp of the Olive Oil.
Add the mushrooms, onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
Season the beef with salt & pepper.
Dredge the beef in the flour, shaking off the excess.
In the Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbsp of the olive oil.
Add one-third of the beef and brown on all sides (about 7 minutes total) - Transfer to separate bowl
Add 1/2 cup water to the pot, stirring to scrap up the browned bits. Pour the liquid into a separate bowl.
Repeat the process 2 more times

Return the pot to medium-high heat, Add the beef, liquid, mushrooms, onions and braising base. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, cove & simmer, stirring occasionally for 3 hours adding the potatoes and carrots after 1 1/2 hours of cooking.

To make the Stilton pastry:

In a food processor combine flour, salt & sugar and pulse until blended (about 5 pulses).
Add the butter & process until mixture resembles coarse meal (about 10 pulses)
Add 1/3 cup ice water & pulse 2 or 3 times. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but not be sticky. If it is crumbly add water 1 Tbsp at a time.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface & shape into a disk
Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate for 1 hour
Let dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the top with flour
Place on lightly floured parchment & roll out into 12-by-16-inch rectangle.
Sprinkle the cheese over half the dough, then fold the other half over the cheese. Roll out into a 16-inch square
Refrigerate about 10 minutes

Preheat an oven to 400

Brush the rim of the pot with water
Lay the pastry over the top, allowing it to droop into the filling. Trim the dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang and crimp to seal.
Brush pastry with egg mixture  and cut 4 slits in the top
Bake for 30 minutes
Let rest 15 minutes before serving

serves 8-10

Friday, April 26, 2013

Copy-Cat WS Yankee Pot Roast Braising Base

When I was first married I found an amazing recipe for Pot Roast Stew with Stilton Crust. It sounded delicious  and we wanted to serve it to some friends of our from England. However it called for a jar of "Yankee Pot Roast Braising Base" from William Sonoma. Even though I was working there at the time, there was no way I was paying $16 for a jar of sauce! So, I checked the ingredient  list and improvised the following recipe myself. It probably took me twice as long to make the pot roast since I had to first make the sauce then the roast but it was delicious and our friends were impressed. Not bad for a new bride. If you want to save some time on the day you plan to serve the pot roast, make up a large batch of this sauce in advance and freeze it.

1 Onion
1 cup red wine
8 oz white mushrooms,
8 oz cremini mushrooms,
4 oz wild mushrooms
2 sticks celery,
2 carrots,
1 small can tomato paste,
2 cups beef stock
2 Tbps red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic,
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil,
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp thyme,
2 tsp rosemary,
2 bay leaves.

Chop all dry ingredients except bay leaves very fine in food processor. Combine in large stock pot on stove with bay leaves and wet ingredients The mix should be very thick but not dry, add more beef stock if necessary. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and continue to simmer up to two hours (the longer it simmers the more flavor develops.) Use as a base for "Pot Roast Stew"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Homemade Lemonade for Two

This is an amazing "special treat" lemonade. Great for a special dinner for two or a reward for the kids. Or, when lemons are on sale, increase the amounts for a dinner treat.

Simple Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2-3 sprigs fresh mint

Combine in saucepan on stove, making sure to crush the mint a bit for full flavor. Cook until sugar is fully dissolved  set aside to cool while you make the lemonade.

Lemonade for Two

Fill a 4 cup measure with ice
Juice 4 lemons directly into the 4 cup measure
Add simple syrup
Fill to 4 cup line with water.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This is is the best caramel ever and absolutely fail proof.  Far superior to store bought caramel it is excellent over ice cream, spread between cake layers, drizzled over apple cider, or for dipping your pretzels or apples into.


2/3 cup Heavy Cream
1 Vanilla bean, split
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Water
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoons Lemon Juice
4 Tablespoons Butter

In a saucepan combine Cream, Vanilla bean & extract.  Place over medium high heat and bring to just under a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

In large heavy bottomed pan, combine sugar, water, salt, and corn syrup. 

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Than cook without stirring until mixture is amber colored. Mine is a little darker because my husband likes the stronger flavor, any more than this and it tastes burnt. Remove from heat.

Add the cream to the sugar syrup. It will boil up at first but them simmer down. Whisk smooth. Add the lemon juice. 

Let cool for about 10 minutes  then add the butter in chunks and stir until all combined.

Store in glass jars. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spicy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

This dressing is amazing over taco salad or drizzled over top of tacos. If you just want plain buttermilk ranch dressing leave off the last 4 ingredients for an amazingly better than store-bought ranch dressing.

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Dry Mustard Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp chopped chives
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp Diced Chiles
1/4 tsp Chile Powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne

  1. Whisk together buttermilk and sour cream until smooth
  2. Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, dry mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika
  3. Stir in chopped chives - At this point you have a tasty, homemade buttermilk ranch dressing
  4. Add the final four ingredients and stir to combine
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

This can be made a few days ahead of time.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mom's Curry Yogurt Marinade

This marinade give chicken or turkey for curry that extra depth of flavor
that you usually only find in an authentic Indian restaurant. This make enough for about 1-2 pounds of meat. It also freezes well so you can make extra & store it in a gallon zippered freezer bag. When you are ready to use just take it out of the freezer, let it thaw then add the meat right into the bag to marinade. 

1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 yellow onion  or 2-3 green "Florida onions"; chopped
2 cloves roasted garlic crushed
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
juice of 2 lemons
5 Tbsp olive oil
5 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp white or red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger (or fresh grated if you have it)
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in large bowl then pour over poultry in a large zippered gallon bag & let marinate for  2 hours up-to over night.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Aunt Ann's Chicken Curry

For best results marinade the chicken or turkey in "Mom's Curry Yogurt Marinade" for 2 hours up-to over night then grill.

1 Tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped peeled apple
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon curry powder
3/4 cup cold cooked chicken or turkey broth
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey
1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder

  1. In saucepan melt butter
  2. Add apple, celery, onion & garlic - Cook until onion is tender
  3. Combine cornstarch, curry, salt & broth - Stir into onion mixture
  4. Add Coconut milk - Cook & stir until mixture thickens and boils
  5. Stir in chicken & mushrooms. Heat through.
  6. Serve hot over rice 

Suggested toppings:

raisins, shredded coconut,  chopped peanuts and chutney, rita