Family Favorites · New Favorite

Cheeseburger Soup

Cheeseburger Soup on a cold, Colorado day, hit the spot.  I love soups and I love cheeseburgers…so what’s not to like?

I modified the recipe a bit and added green beans so there was something green in the soup.  After eating it, I decided I will add broccoli next time for a Cheeseburger Broccoli Soup, combining another favorite.  

CHEESEBURGER SOUP

4 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1-3/4 pounds (about 4 cups) cubed peeled potatoes
4 cups chicken broth (and I added 2 additional cups of water)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 to 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
Optional:  Add frozen green beans or fresh broccoli when you add the potatoes

  • In a large soup pot,  over medium heat, cook and crumble beef until no longer pink; drain and set aside.
  • In same saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes, ground beef, and optional green beans or broccoli; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir until bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Add milk, slowly, to make a white sauce.
  • Add sauce to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper; cook until cheese melts. Remove from heat; blend in sour cream.

Recipe adapted from tasteofhome.com

Family · Garden · New Favorite

Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Turkish Moussaka

Eggplant = favorite food.  My friend, Jan, shared this delicious recipe with me.  I love how simple it is and it’s not as rich as many Moussaka recipes.  I only had cheddar cheese on hand when I made it, but it would be great with Feta or other mild cheeses.

I made this dish without rice or yogurt, but enjoyed it with a nice class of red wine from my favorite winery, InVINtions.  

TURKISH MOUSSAKA

2 globe eggplants, peeled and cubed
1/2 pound ground beef (or omit if Vegan/Vegetarian)
1 large onion, diced
5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced/diced
2-3 green or sweet peppers, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3-4 petite tomatoes, diced (I used Compari tomatoes)
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil for eggplant and another 1/4 cup for sauce
salt and black pepper
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 1-2 tablespoons dried parsley)
1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 430-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease a 8×8″ or 9×9″ baking dish.
  • Place cubed eggplant in a bowl. Add salt and 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil. Toss and mix well to assure the cubes are covered in olive oil.
  • Spread the eggplant over a baking sheet, layered with parchment paper. Bake until brown, approximately 20-25 minutes.
  • Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat in a heavy pan.  Add ground beef and cook thoroughly until it is dry.  While cooking, crush the ground beef with the back of a spoon.
  • Add onion and peppers and cook on medium heat until soft, but not browned.
  • Add tomato paste and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • When the tomatoes are cooked (turning darker red), add one cup boiling water.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Place eggplant cubes in baking dish.  Top with sauce and mix.  (Optional:  add sliced tomatoes on top). If using dried parley, sprinkle on top.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • If you want to serve without cheese, sprinkle fresh parsley on top and serve.
    • If using cheese, sprinkle on top, and put back in oven until cheese in melted.
  • Serve as is or serve hot with rice and Greek yogurt.
Gluten Free · New Favorite · Vegan

Apple Crumble — Gluten Free and Vegan

Autumn and apples are like hand in glove.  I love making apple desserts and salads and I needed a Vegan and Gluten-Free dessert for a gathering of friends.  This recipe fit the bill and was scrumptious for all.

APPLE CRUMBLE — GLUTEN FREE AND VEGAN

  • 6 large Granny Smith apples (around 1 kilo), peeled, cored and chopped into cubes
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract2 tbsp. water
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  2. In a large bowl combine all the filling ingredients making sure that all the apples are coated well.
  3. Spread the apples evenly in an approximately 31x21cm (12.2×8.27inch) baking dish and set aside.
  4. For the crumble topping, reusing the bowl from the apples, combine all the topping ingredients well with a spatula. If you feel like it isn’t mixed in well enough evenly, I like to get in with my hands.
  5. Crumb the topping over the apples evenly and put in the oven to bake for around 45-50 minutes.
  6. Serve warm with some vegan ice cream, cream or even yoghurt.

Recipe from theminimalistvegan.com 

Garden · New Favorite

Eggplant Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Bake

Eggplant is my favorite vegetables!  Each year I grow eggplant in my garden, finding success with Japanese Eggplant varieties.  Instead of just roasting eggplant (which I love), I wanted to try this Eggplant pasta dish and loved it!

EGGPLANT TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA PASTA BAKE

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for the baking dish
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season aggressively with salt. Add the rigatoni and cook 3 minutes less than the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Toss the eggplant and tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet and roast until the eggplant is golden brown and tomatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)
  4. Toss the rigatoni with the eggplant, tomatoes, about 1/4 cup pasta water and the marinara sauce in a large bowl. If it looks dry, add the remaining pasta water. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella.
  5. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish and top with the remaining cup mozzarella and the Parmesan and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil.
  6. Bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. (Turn the
    broiler on at the end if you want the cheese to brown more.) Garnish with additional Parmesan and the chopped basil and serve.

Recipe from FoodNetwork.com

Garden · New Favorite · Vegetarian

Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie

Fresh local sweet corn, zucchini from the garden and delicious mushrooms are a wonderful combination for this savory pie. My daughters do not like mushrooms, but another vegetable (roasted peppers, additional corn, etc.) would be just as good. I have served the pie warm and cold and enjoyed them both. This pie is so versatile it could be served for brunch or a light summer supper with a salad or with juicy garden tomatoes.

Sweet Corn & Zucchini Pie

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • half of a yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 2 large zucchini, sliced very thinly (about 4 cups)
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces shredded cheese (I used both Mozzarella)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, zucchini, and mushrooms. While the veggies saute, cut the corn kernels off the cob. Add them to the pan and continue to saute until the veggies are soft, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Once the mixture has cooled for a few minutes, stir in the basil, oregano, salt, cheese, and the beaten eggs. Line a pie pan (9-inch or larger) with parchment paper or just grease a pan with nonstick spray. Transfer the mixture to the pan. Arrange the top so the zucchini slices lay flat and look nice. Top with a little extra cheese for looks, cover with greased foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown the top. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting into slices.

Recipe from Pinch of Yum

Garden · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Napa Sweet Corn Salad

Late summer harvest is my favorite garden time. The Sungold tomatoes are at their peak, basil is plentiful, and local sweet corn is available. When I saw this recipe, I was hesitant about the apple but it adds a wonderful pop of crunchy flavor. Avocado adds a little bit of heaven in every bite. The dressing makes a large quantity. Add to the salad to taste. You may have enough dressing to make a double batch. I will be making this recipe over and over and over again.

Napa Sweet Corn Salad

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups sweet corn kernels, raw (~3 ears) (Note: I cooked the corn then cut off the cob)
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 3 small or 2 large green onions, chopped
  • 1 small avocado, chopped
  • 1 red apple, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sliced or chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil, chopped
  • For the Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette:
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 Tablespoon honey (or agave for Vegan recipe)
    • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • salt and pepper
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Combine ingredients for the Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette in a jar or bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Taste then add up to an additional 1/2 Tablespoon honey if desired – remember that the sweet corn and apple will add natural sweetness to the salad. Set dressing aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl then drizzle over desired amount of Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from IowaGirlEats

Family Favorites · Holidays · New Traditions

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter S’mores

S’mores conjure up childhood memories of campfires with friends and family, biting into that creamy marshmallow with melted chocolate. Yum! Sometimes you don’t have a campfire and you still want s’mores. This recipe does that and takes it up a notch with peanut butter and chocolate hazelnut spread.

Make these delicious s’mores in advance and store in the fridge. Decorate for the occasion or holiday, in this case, Labor Day. It is a real crowd pleaser!

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter S’mores

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 16 graham cracker square (8 whole rectangular pieces, halved)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • 8 large marshmallows
  • 1 package white almond bark
  • 1 package chocolate chips or other melting chocolate
  • Decorating suggestions: chopped nuts, chopped pretzels, sprinkles
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Spread a generous dollop of peanut butter onto one side of 8 of the cracker squares, and then spread the chocolate hazelnut spread onto one side of the other 8 squares.
  2. Thread the marshmallows onto 2 metal skewers and carefully toast over a flame on the stove top or grill. Place 1 toasted marshmallow onto each of the peanut butter-covered graham crackers. Top with the chocolate-covered crackers and sandwich together gently.
  3. Melt the white almond bark and milk chocolate in separate glass bowls set over simmering water. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally to keep the chocolate melted.
  4. When the toppings are at room temperature, one by one dip half of the sandwiches in the white chocolate, allowing any excess to drip off. Work quickly, and then add on whatever sprinkles or toppings you’d like to use. (NOTE: We chose to drizzle melted chocolate over the s’mores and then apply sprinkles.)
  5. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Then you can store the s’mores at room temperature or in the fridge until you’re ready to serve! (NOTE: I would recommend storing in the refrigerator so the chocolate doesn’t melt. They keep very well without getting soft).

Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network/Ree Drummond

Book Club · New Favorite

Summer Corn and Vegetable Salad

Fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, onion, and cucumber tossed with avocado and Feta…OMG it is so good.  This salad is a wonderful side dish to grilled fish, chicken or beef but it also can serve as the main event on a hot summer evening.

SUMMER CORN AND VEGETABLE SALAD

4 ears corn, cooked
2 avocados, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I use orange & red for a little color)
1/2 an English cucumber, finely diced, skin on
1/3  cup crumbled feta
1/2 red onion, finely diced

Cilantro Vinaigrette
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
6 tbsp. EVOO

  • Cook the  corn.  I steamed the corn and cut from the cob but the original recipe had a great idea to ‘put in the oven on 350 degrees, and throw the corn in, husks and all. Bake them for 25 minutes, let it cool, and then cut off the very bottom of the corn. You should be able to easily pull off the husks and the silk’.
  • Cut off the kernels with a large knife, add to a big bowl.
  • Chop the avocados, cherry tomatoes, English cucumber, and red onion, then add to the bowl. Add the feta.
  • For the vinaigrette, combine the first 5 ingredients (so the seasonings react with the vinegar), then add the cilantro and the EVOO. Shake it up.
  • Gently mix all the salad ingredients together. When ready to serve, add the dressing and stir to combine.
  • Optional:  Serve on bed of mixed greens.

Adapted from: AuthenticSuburbanGourmet and AndwhatIate

 

New Favorite

Flatbread with Peach, Prosciutto and Mozzarella

Fresh Colorado peaches and so many recipes to try.  I made this for a quick, delicious dinner and it didn’t disappoint.  I enjoyed it with a glass of crisp, white wine.  This flatbread with make repeat appearances in my home!

FLATBREAD WITH PEACH, PROSCIUTTO, AND MOZZARELLA

4 naan flatbreads 
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
peaches, thinly sliced
4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh basil
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Place flatbreads on two baking sheets and drizzle each with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Top with mozzarella, peaches, prosciutto, and ¼ cup basil, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake until crust is crisp and golden and cheese is melted, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup basil. Cut each pizza into quarters and serve immediately.

Recipe from delish.com