Vegetables

Best Cauliflower

Best Cauliflower

INGREDIENTS:
  • Cauliflower – 1 head
  • 2 Eggs
  • Milk – 125 ml (.52 cups)
  • Vegetable oil – 125 ml (.41-.52 cups)
  • Yoghurt without additives – 200 ml (.833 cups)
  • Flour – 2 tablespoons
  • Paprika – 1 tsp
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt -1 tsp
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Cheese – 70-10 grams (1/4-1/2 cup)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to  200 degrees Celsius (375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Wash and cut the cauliflower in flowerets.
  3. Parboil the cauliflower in salted water for about 3 minutes, or until it starts to get tender.  Remove the cauliflower to a bowl.
  4. Beat the eggs and add milk.  Stir to combine.
  5. Add oil.  Stir to combine.
  6. Add yoghurt. Stir to combine.
  7. Add paprika, salt, pepper, flour and baking powder. Mix to combine.
  8. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower until it is coated.
  9. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and stir to assure the cauliflower is coated.
  10. Grease a round baking dish.  Pour cauliflower and sauce into the pan.
  11. Bake for 20-24 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese of your choice.
  13. Place back in oven until cheese is brown.
  14. Remove from the oven and serve.

Recipe from Elena Dragan on YouTube

Mexican Dishes · Soups and Stews

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili is a stick to your ribs, flavorful soup for cold weather. The original recipe does not have corn and thickens the chili with flour and milk. I chose to add cream cheese, inspired by other recipes. I serve with cilantro, cheese and chips but add whatever inspires you.

A great recipe to make for a crowd, perhaps New Years Day!

Crockpot White Chicken Chili

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts (~2 large chicken breasts)
  • 15 oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 4 oz. can chopped green chiles
  • 1-2 fresh jalapenos, seeded then minced (use 1 for mild chili)
  • 1 shallot of 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • big pinch dried oregano
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • juice of 1/2 small lime
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • Toppings: green Tabasco sauce, verde sauce, lime wedges, tortilla chips, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Add first 13 ingredients: chicken breasts through lime juice into 6 quart crock pot. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken shreds easily.
  2. Remove chicken then shred and place back in crockpot.
  3. Add cream cheese cubed and cook until melted (just a few minutes).

Recipe adapted from IowaGirlEats

Soups and Stews

Sopa de la Casa

Sopa de la Casa is a recipe I discovered in the early 1980s. It reminded me of the scrumptious tortilla soup that I first enjoyed at Tijuana Tilly’s, in Tijuana, Mexico. Sopa de la Casa was a regular on my table before my daughters were born and it was time to revisit this easy, delicous recipe. It was just as I remembered!

Sopa de la Casa

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/4 c. finely chopped celery
  • 2 green peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken broth
  • 1 can (31 oz.) refried beans
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 2 T. chili powder
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a soup pot, cook bacon until crisp. Move cooked bacon to a separate bowl. Drain half of the bacon drippings. Add onion, celery, green pepper and garlic. Cook until tender.
  2. Blend in chicken broth, cooked bacon, refried beans, pepper and chili powder. Bring to boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Garnish with tortilla chips and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Family Favorites · New Favorite · Salads

Wild Rice Harvest Bowls with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

Harvest Bowl is one of my favorite recipes of all times. There are a multiple of flavors and textures to enjoy. I added bits cooked pork roast, a delicious addition. However, the bowl with a meat addition is equally delicious. The best temperature for serving is slightly warm. Leftovers are great for 3-4 days, slightly warmed in the microwave. This the first time I’ve cooked with fig jam and I loved it. For a different twist, it could be interesting to try apple butter. Anyway you make it, you’ll love it!

Wild Rice Harvest Bowls with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup wild-brown rice blend (I recommend Lundberg)
  • 1-3/4 cup gluten-free chicken broth
  • 3 cups 1” butternut squash cubes (about 1 small squash)
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon each garlic powder, chili powder, cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • 9 oz thinly shredded brussels sprouts
  • 1 large or 2 small apples, chopped
  • 3 oz white cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds or pepitas
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

For the Fig Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, microplaned or minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fig jam
  • salt and pepper
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Add rice and chicken broth to a small saucepan then bring to a boil, place a lid on top, then turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes or until rice is al dente (verify liquid amount and cooking method with rice package directions.) Set aside to cool slightly – can be done a day ahead of time.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with a silpat or foil then spray with nonstick spray if using foil. Add butternut squash cubes, 1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, cinnamon, salt, and pepper then toss with your fingers to evenly coat. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is tender, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly – can be done a day ahead of time.
  3. Meanwhile, line another half sheet pan with a silpat or foil then spray with nonstick spray if using foil. Add shredded brussels sprouts, remaining 1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper then toss with your fingers to evenly coat. Add to oven after stirring the squash then roast together for 8-10 minutes or until brussels sprouts are tender and golden brown.
  4. For the Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette: Combine ingredients in a bowl or jar with a tight fitting lid then whisk or shake to combine (might need to microwave for 15-20 seconds to help melt the fig jam.) Taste then add more salt, pepper, and/or fig jam if desired.
  5. In a large bowl combine cooked rice, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, apples, cheese, almonds, and dried cranberries. Drizzle Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette on top then toss to coat and serve. Leftovers are good for 3-4 days.

Recipe from IowaGirlEats

Breakfast

Sheet Pan Eggs in a Hole

Breakast for dinner is a thing. I fondly remember my Mother making pancakes and sausage for dinner on occasion and we loved it. My oldest grandson loves breakfast for any meal and typically requested breakfast for all three meals on his birthday. One day he was at my house and asked for breakfast for dinner and what to make? I found this easy, yet delicious recipe, and we both enjoyed our unusual dinner. Eggs in Hole it is!

Sheet Pan Egg in a Hole

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 dozen eggs (I made 1/4 of a recipe)
  • 12 slices bread
  • softened butter
  • seasoning like fresh-ground salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
  • 1 bag shredded cheese
DIRECTIONS:
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lay the non-stick silicone baking mat in your large baking sheet and spray the edges of your baking sheet with cooking spray (as the bread and cheese will touch the ends).
  • Lay your slices of bread on the silicone baking mat and puzzle piece so they fit tight and nicely.
  • Use the edge of your teaspoon to make a rectangle in the bread, pressing down hard to create a “well” where the egg will lay once cracked. Press down in the well to ensure the bread is as flat as possible, providing the egg as much room as it needs.
  • Using a small basting brush, spread softened butter on the bread edges that weren’t pressed. The butter adds a wonderful flavor and helps the cheese stay on the bread.
  • Season your bread all over.
  • Crack an egg into each well for every piece of bread.
  • Season lightly over top.
  • Generously add the shredded cheese to all the buttered parts of the bread.
  • Bake in the preheated oven on the top rack for 15-20 minutes.
  • Place the pan on the bottom rack for 5-10 more minutes depending upon how you’d like your egg cooked.
  • Slice and serve with your favorite spatula.

Recipe from CrazyAdventuresinParenting

Appetizers · Greek

Mint and Cheese Greek Pies

Cooking with Chef Lucas during the COVID lockdown and cautionary period was a bright light in during dark days. Our family came together to cook together and enjoy a wonderful meal of unique dishes. Mint and Cheese Greek Pies did not disappoint. Thanks to Chef Lucas and InVINtions for offering such a great program and helping our family create wonderful memories.

Mint and Cheese Greek Pie

INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 to 8 z. crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten (reserve egg white, slightly beaten)
  • 1 handful chopped fresh mint
  • 1 package puff pastry sheets or phyllo dough (puff pastry is easier to handle)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine egg and cheese in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Depending on what size appetizer you desire, cut puff pastry into equal size pieces (use phyllo as directed on package). Place a spoonful of filling onto pastry, wet edges of pastry.
  4. Fold pastry and seal with tines of a fork. Cut into 12 squares.
  5. Place pastry onto lined baking sheet, brush with slightly beaten egg white.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Attribution Recipe from Lucas Migliorelli

Casseroles · Family · Family Favorites · Gluten Free · Vegetables · Vegetarian

Irish Potato Casserole

Irish Potato Casserole is a favorite recipe shared with me by my sister-in-law, Betty, many years ago. I have served it often as a side with Prime Rib or with Baked Ham with many compliments. This is a wonderful potato dish that you can prepare the day before and have ready for the oven before your guests arrive. Over the years, I’ve substituted low-fat cream cheese and sour cream with equally good results. It’s a winner, winner chicken dinner kind of recipe!

I’ve shared a photo of the casserole before baking.  Every time I make this, I am in such a hurry to serve the meal, that I forget to take a picture after.  The after picture would be very similar but with a browned top….never said I was a professional blogger!

This Christmas we will again, have the Irish Potato Casserole with Prime Rib and other family favorites!

IRISH POTATO CASSEROLE

8 to 10 medium potatoes, peeled
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt paprika

  • Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain and mash.
  • Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add potatoes and all other ingredients (except paprika) and beat until well combined.
  • Spoon into lightly buttered casserole and sprinkle with paprika.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before baking. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Breakfast · Casseroles · 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

Czech Heritage and Dishes · Family · Sandwiches

Chlebíčky — Czech Open Faced Sandwiches

Chlebíčky are open-faced sandwiches served in the Czech Republic.  The sandwiches include meat, cheese and vegetables and are meant to be eaten in a few small bites.  Think of them as an appetizer, often served with wine or beer.

Czech hospitality is like a warm hug from your Babicka, or Grandma.  While visiting the Czech Republic and visiting my ancestors villages, we were almost always asked to enter their home and enjoy a treat, be it Chlebíčky, pastry, dandelion tea, or even a little sip (or two) of Slivovice.

Our Colorado Czech/Slovak/Rusyn Genealogy Group used to gather once a quarter (before COVID), often sharing Czech treats.  I made Chlebíčky for one of our potlucks, using recipes from Czechcookbook.com.  They are easy to make and you can customize the ingredients to your liking. I’ve included links at the bottom to the recipes as well as a link to more information on the history of these delightful bites!

Chlebíčky

Czech Spread (vlašský salát) (Recipe follows)
thinly sliced ham
thinly sliced cheese (baby swiss)
hardboiled eggs, sliced
dill pickles, sliced
bell peppers, cut into strips
french bread
cheese for grating

Czech Spread – Vlašský salát

3 small potatoes (13 oz.)
10 mini carrots or 2 medium (4-5oz)
2 pickles (preferably dill pickles)
1 tsp pickle juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
little bit pepper
1 Tbsp.  yellow mustard
1/3 cup canned peas
4 oz. bologna or ham
1 cup mayo

http://www.czechcookbook.com/czech-spread-vlassky-salat/

Open-Faced Sandwiches – Chlebíčky

https://www.196flavors.com/czech-republic-oblozene-chlebicky/

New Favorite · Pastas

Pasta with Chard and Bacon

A few years ago I watched the Rachel Ray episode where she made this dish, sharing it was one of her husband’s favorites.  It’s easy peasy and so delicious!  It reminds me of a pasta with bacon that I made when the kids were small.  Delicious!

PASTA WITH CHARD AND BACON

1 large bunch or 1.5 pounds large, leafy Swiss chard
1/2 pound meaty bacon
2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 onion, white or yellow
1 leek
4 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup stock, optional
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup pecans
about 3/4 cup heavy cream
about 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese, plus more for serving

  • Gather your ingredients.
  • Place a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.
  • Stem the chard. Chop the stems. Coarsely chop the greens and keep separate.
  • Stack the bacon and cut the bacon into batons 1/8 to 1/4-inch wide.
  • Peel and chop the onion. Halve the leek lengthwise and trim the tough green tops. Run the leek under the water and wash thoroughly. Chop the leek, whites and light greens. Peel the garlic and grate or chop.
  • Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and render, then remove from pan, if desired. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in pan, drain off excess if there is any.
  • Add EVOO or butter to pan and add the stems, onions, leeks and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and thyme and soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add wine and stock if using and let it absorb.
  • Salt boiling water and cook pasta to 1 minute less than package directions for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup starchy water.
  • Toast nuts while pasta cooks in small skillet over moderate heat.
  • Add cream to sauce, wilt the greens into stems and add a little nutmeg. Return bacon to pan. Drain pasta and add to sauce and greens with reserved water and cheese. Toss pasta 1 minute. Adjust seasoning and serve topped with chopped toasted nuts and pass more cheese at table.

Recipe adapted from RachelRay