Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Soup...are you kidding me? (Sausage and Spinach soup)


Soup...are you kidding me?  It's hot outside!  What were you thinking?  Well, you're right...it's the hottest it has ever been in a long time. The mini heat wave has us panting and staying indoors in this A.C....where it's c-c-cold.  So, my body doesn't know how to react. It wants soup, so I just have to give it to her, right?   I can eat soup actually anytime of year and it makes sense at a time when we are so busy running around and having fun in the sun, to dump something in the pot and call it a day.  After all, we can have something cool for desert or pair it with a cool crisp salad.

My grocery store had a sale on Hillshire brand smoked sausages so I had four left over, a half a bag of frozen spinach, one ear of sweet corn, and a can of white beans.

Here's the recipe for Spicy Sausage and Spinach Soup!


2 TBSP EVOO
One large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
4 spicy smoked sausage links cut in rounds about 1/4-1/2" thick
2 cans reduced sodium chicken broth
1 can 15 oz white beans (I used Goya small white)
1/2 bag of frozen spinach or 2 cups chopped kale, or any greens you like.
Handful of chopped italian parsley
Two russet potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
(any summer veggie you want to put in) I used fresh sweet corn and some matchstick carrots for a little color and a burst of sweetness.  (it's delicious!)
1/4 tsp of celery seed (I didn't have celery) if you do chop two stalks with leaves.
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the sausage rounds until they get a little color, add onions until transparent, add garlic, sauted softly for a few minutes. Add spinach frozen and let get soft. Then add parsley, beans, potatoes, broth, and water and any extra veggies you chose. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are soft.

Enjoy!

Stay Cool!

Louise

Monday, May 28, 2012

GREAT SALAD TO GO!


Make yourself a Mason Jar salad!

from Women Get it Free Blog www.getitfree.us
Posted on 05/25/2012
Make yourself a Mason Jar salad!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tortilla Pizza, Ole'!

You are scrounging for something to eat, you didn't go to the grocery store, you are looking for a snack, you don't really want to cook, but you want something hot.  I say Pizza!  Sure, you COULD order a pizza, but you don't have to if you have these three ingredients.  Cheese, Sauce, and Flour Tortillas!

Something most people have in the fridge nowadays are flour tortillas! Tortillas are great for wraps, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, but they are super awesome as PIZZAS!  I just saw that Goya makes tortillas, so I was curious to try them!  I loved how pliable and soft they are, and they are just the right thickness.  Some store bought tortillas tend to be too thin and dry.  I say go for the Goya!

Next is cheese, now you can use any cheese, but Kraft now has this new Mozzarella with a touch of Philadelphia cream cheese for extra creaminess. I really loved it! You can also find it in cheddar too.

The sauce I used is organic, and because I have never used this brand's Pizza Sauce, I thought I would give it a try! It's very good with a nice tomatoey flavor without being too sweet.

 
Here's what I had:
Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce
Kraft Mozzarella Cheese (with a touch of Philadelpia)
Goya Tortillas (Burrito size!)
Salt
Oregano
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Garlic (optional)



(ADD ANY TOPPINGS!)

I had it plain.

Pour some olive oil  (about 1/2 tsp) on a cookie sheet or pizza pan.  Grease pan.

Add your Tortilla, spread about a Tablespoon of Sauce and add your cheese about 1/2 cup.
Sprinkle with Salt, Oregano, Pepper
(Add your favorite toppings if you like) 

Bake in a  Preheated 450 Degree Oven for 5-8 Minutes. Check, so it doesn't burn... you want it to cook quickly so you can get a crispy bottom, like thin crust pizza! 

It should look like this!


Delicioso!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Scallion Corned Beef Hash

Ever look at a can of corned beef? My Mom always said cornbeef, I didn't realize it was cornED beef until recently. Corned beef was scary to me, I don't know why.  I was afraid to make this at home... I figured I would just order at the diner! No doubt, Diner Hash is heavenly, but this IS super duper easy to make at home and you don't need loads of ingredients to accompany the corned beef.  Its a stand alone type of guy!  I mustered up the courage and I finally cracked the Can-O-Hash!  No worries man.

What you will need

One can of Corned Beef
Two Medium Russet Potatoes 
2 or 3 Scallions (white and green parts)
2 TBSP butter or margarine
Salt and Pepper

 
Dice both potatoes and scallions like so.

Boil Potatoes until slightly fork tender
Salt the water if you want, but the corned beef is salty enough.


Add 2 TBSP butter or margarine to a 10 to 12 inch skillet
Add the potatoes and start pan frying them in the butter for about 5-7 minutes.


Add the Corned beef and scallions.  Mix well and let it sit in the pan cooking 3 -5 minutes then flip sections and cook the other side. The key is to get some crunchy bits... ooh that's the yummy part.  Season with Salt and Pepper. 

Corned Beeeeeeffffff ( In a Schmidtty voice) LOL

Serve with eggs... you can have 'em any way you like.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Yummiest Grilled Cheese Ever!


Comfort food at its finest...
You have a loaf of that crusty Italian bread, that usually goes in a hurry, but today you have enough to carve yourself two nice inch thick slices!  Wait, you have some cheese, in my case cheddar (the sharper the better I might add) What makes this grilled cheese so yummy? After all it sounds like every other normal grilled cheese that you can make.  It's Flavored Butter.  Yes, a parsley garlic butter! Oh my! I ate it so let me tell you 1) yes, it's delicious and 2) it's super easy.

What you will need

3 pats of salted butter
1 small clove garlic minced fine
1 TBSP fresh Italian Parsley chopped fine
Good crusty Italian or French Bread 2 Slices
 2 Slices Sharp Cheddar or whatever you have in the fridge.
Serves 1

Soften the butter and mix ingredients.  Spread on one side of the bread. Heat 10" skillet on medium ( not too hot or it will scorch)  Place bread butter side down, add cheese, and top with other slice butter up.  I know you know how to make a grilled cheese, but I want to cover my bases here. This is not a diet food.  So, enjoy every buttery bite! ( I do have a vegan version below)


Variations
Sharp Cheddar/ Applewood Smoked Bacon/Granny Smith Apple 
Swiss Cheese/Ham
Muenster/ Bologna
VEGAN: Soy Cheese/Grilled Portabello Sliced Thin/ RedOnion(Thin) Cooked in OVOO
Horseradish Cheese/Sliced Kielbasa
Mozzarella/Pepperoni/Sundried Tomato 1/2 tsp minced into butter

Butter Variations to Parsley Butter
 Rosemary Butter- add 1/4 tsp minced rosemary instead of Parsley
Chili  Butter-  Add 1/4 tsp of chili powder with a dash of cayenne.
Sundried Tomato Butter- 1/2 tsp minced 
Crabby Butter-  Add 1/2 teaspoon Old bay Seasoning 

Mix and match your ingredients to suit your tastes!

**From my Friend Lisa**
Pizza Grilled Cheese

Coming Soon!




video



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Speedy Chicken Tinga!



Looking for Super Fast?  This is it!  This is a simple easy dish that you can tailor to your heat index!


Speedy Chicken Tinga
(Serves 2)


Two large chicken breasts sliced
2 TB olive oil
One large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1  small 6 oz. can tomatillo sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce diced (a whole one if you want SPICY)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Additions,  squeeze lime and add chopped cilantro
Serve with corn tortillas and avocado or rice and beans


Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent and fragrant, add chicken and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Add tomatillo sauce, tomato sauce,  chopped chipotle and water.  Simmer until fork tender.
video

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

B.O.B.B.Y Muffins!

What are B.O.B.B.Y Muffins?  One of the healthiest muffins I have ever made that's for sure! It's a breakfast of champions or in my case Mompions... hey that's not good when you break it down.. Mom + pion... no way!  Not happening.  Let's Say SuperMOMs!   It's been a while since I blogged, I've been cooking for sure, but just not taking pics and posting.  It takes time, and its fun, but it takes time.  So here is what I had in Mother Hubbard's cupboard.


B.O.B.B.Y Muffins are Banana Oat Bran Blueberry Yogurt Muffins! Pretty nifty right?  I wanted to eat healthier, so I searched for something that would be substantial with coffee or tea, and would give me some energy to boot!  These muffins are not too sweet, which I like.  You may add a little more sugar if you would want, but to keep the calories down, I really wouldn't.  These are healthy remember? The banana is subtle in this recipe, keeps it moist, as does the yogurt... ever have those dry oat bran muffins that if you didn't have a drink with it, would literally paste your mouth shut? It won't happen here, I guarantee. Enjoy a Waste Not Why Not exclusive Bobby Muffin!

B.O.B.B.Y Muffins

2 Cups Oat bran
2 TBSP butter 
1/2 Banana mashed
1/2 cup blueberries
1 6 oz. container of Chobani Honey Greek Yogurt 
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Brown sugar
2 eggs
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees


Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly

Then all the wet with mashed banana  and mix with whisk until all ingredients are well blended.
(I'm on a Greek Yogurt kick so I love to use it however I can...it's just soo yummy!

Fold in bluberries... ( get nutrition facts on these little blue dyanamos!) 

Put in a greased muffin pan or use paper liners and bake on center rack for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
photos taken by Louise-Pena Candelaria

Yummy, Healthy B.O.B.B.Y Muffins!


Nutrition Facts:
130 Calories
5 grams Protein
2 grams fat

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Waste Not's Wine Down!

 Sometimes you just have to Wine Down!   Forget about what's for dinner and order out! Since I'm doing that this evening, here is what I'm drinking... I guarantee you none of it will go to waste.

 I'm drinking a Malbec from Argentina. A Susana Balbo Signature 2009.  It is absolutely delicious! Smooth, smoky, mocha like, with black cherry and a super smooth finish.  It is so delightful, I know for a fact all that will be left is the bottle and cork.  You know Wastenotwhynot's motto right?  Use what you have...

So what to do with the empty bottle and cork?
  Here's a few ideas;

 Here's a clever way one blogger upcycled her wine bottle, 
the tutorial can be found here.

How about a cork board kit?  Make a nifty trivet!

See you in the kitchen soon! Remember to use what you have and try not to waste.

~LuLu

P.S. Has anyone tried this Malbec?  Your thoughts?  From one  oenophile to another.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Burrito with Chili Lime Yogurt




Well, my honey impressed me again this morning with a delicious breakfast burrito.  I believe when it comes to throwing things together and creating concoctions, he is definitely the winner.  I do have some skills, but let's give credit where credit is due.  He spends hours and hours watching food network in his office while he's working.  He does work very hard, so when I get something homemade and delicious from him I really appreciate it.  He doesn't have to buy me diamonds, just cook me something yummy.
I woke up to the aroma of this in the morning... The Jose Burrito, as we call it.  I told him I would blog it and he was beyond excited. (See Sun-FlowerTini).  He told me how he made it, so let me get this right.
Ham and Cheese Breakfast Burrito with Chili Lime Sauce 
(makes two really fat burritos)
  • Six eggs
  • 1 TBSP Butter or olive oil
  • 2 Mission Garden Spinach Herb Wraps
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion chopped
  • 1 roma tomato chopped
  • splash half and half
  • 1/2 tsp Adobo
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 slices smoked deli ham chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Chili Lime Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp Siracha
In mixing bowl crack six eggs, and add a splash of half and half.  Add seasonings. Mix well until nice and frothy.  In a non stick frying pan, saute' onion in butter or olive oil until soft add smoked deli ham cook for a minute or two on medium heat, add roma tomato, cook another minute then add egg mixture, scramble and cook until eggs look solid, add cheese and let melt over top.
Lay out wraps and fill with cooked egg filling and wrap like a burrito.  
Need help wrapping? (click here)
Mix the ingredients for the chili lime sauce together.
Serve with wrap to dip.
Additions and Substitutions:
Have Cilantro?... put 1 TBSP chopped to egg mixture.
Want it meatier?...Use sausage, green pepper, and cheddar.
No half n half?...use milk, (soy, rice, or coconut)
No Greek yogurt?...Use sour cream.
Vegan:  Onions, Peppers,tofu,soy bacon, soy or rice cheese.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sun-FlowerTini (a new creation!)

It was a totally gray day today. We had 5 inches of snow, our first Winter snowfall for 2012.  It was extremely enjoyable to slow down today, hang out in the morning in our PJ's and have a leisurely breakfast.  I made a frittata with a half bag of hashbrowns, onion, green pepper, tomato, and Adobo seasoning paired with my Husband Jose's delicious coffee, which he makes for me every morning.  This post isn't about breakfast or my frittata.  Frittata's are awesome to be sure, they can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and you can add just about anything to it.  My post today is a tribute to my Hubby, who shoveled, took me food shopping, and helped me in the kitchen.  He also created a new drink that I want to share with you!  It's absolutely perfect for a dreary day, especially when the body seems to crave vitamin C and citrus during the Winter months.  We named it the Sun-FlowerTini!




 Sun-FlowerTini

You will need

 2 parts - Grey Goose L'Orange Vodka
2 parts - St. Germain Elderflower Liquor
Juice of one Lemon
Shaker with ice


Pour Vodka and Elderflower over ice into shaker and add the juice of one whole lemon!
Shake and pour into two martini glasses!  Enjoy!


This drink is crisp and citrusy and wonderful!
Enjoy!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pancake mix honey raisin coffee cake

I've been lounging lately.  The weather is cold, damp and bitter, so like a squirrel I nibble, snack, and hibernate.  After eating MOST of my party leftovers, I was digging deep to see what I could make today.  I looked in my pantry and noticed the pancake mix that has been there a while.  Not too long, but enough. Today's the day Mr. Pancake mix.  So, I racked my brain to come up with something, racking my brain is not that hard I must say, it's very spacious and roomy... So, I had another AHA moment.

 This was in my pantry and fridge.  (Oh yes I bought eggs...)

Today's Recipe Pancake Mix Honey Raisin Coffee Cake

This recipe doesn't have nuts in it.  You may add nuts to the topping glaze if you want.

  • 2 cups pancake mix  ( I have the store brand)
  • 1 cup of greek yogurt
  • 6 TBSP Butter (4 TBSP melted for batter, 2 for topping)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (divided) 1/4 for batter, 1/4 for topping
  • raisins ( I had about 1/4 cup leftover but you could cut up an apple or put in nuts)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  •  1/2 tsp Baking soda...(I realized it's pictured but you don't need it...it's in the mix)
  • 1 TBSP Cinnamon sugar  or 1 tsp cinnamon plus 1 tsp sugar. (for topping)


In large bowl mix pancake mix, 1/4 cup brown sugar, raisins, stir, then add 2 eggs, 1 cup yogurt, melted butter, vanilla, honey.  Mix well.  Grease your pan (8 x 8 would be perfect) and pour in mixture.

To make topping:

Melt 2 TBSP butter in sauce pan and add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 TBSP cinnamon sugar.
Mix well until melted and starting to bubble...do not scorch.

Pour over cake batter and put in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.


  I love the smell of cinnamon!  Beep Beep... it's done!  Here it is... all golden and delicious.


Time for me to try it!  Well, it's just scrumptious.  Light and fluffy.  ( I omitted lots of fat, most of the time coffee cake uses a lot of butter... I used half the amount.  Also, I saved about 1/2 cup of sugar in this recipe... I really don't know how many calories I saved but it's a lot.  

Remember, you can use what you have to create tasty and delicious dishes.   I did it with this coffee cake.  Take it to the next get together and let me know how it goes over!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mini Creamer Italian Soda!

I'm thirsty!  I'm also lactose intolerant.  So, those yummy milky, creamy drinks are out of the question! Trust me, it's a bummer for me.... But I won't lose hope.  I will try to use what I have. Soooo.....
What do I have in my fridge today?  Seltzer Water, Three International Delight French Vanilla Creamers and Marachino Cherries.

Fill a 12 oz glass with crushed ice, put in your creamers, (any flavor would work, the possibilities are endless!) stir, and add a cherry!  Voila.  Italian Cream soda... from what I have in my cupboards!


Enjoy!

Use what you have and enjoy the possibilities!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rice and Pigeon Peas

It was a Karaoke Girl Night In last night and everyone brought a dish.  I really love this because I get to try so many different dishes and dips of my many talented friends. So, needless to say, I have leftovers galore. It's Football Sunday, so I have to make something quick and easy.  My leftovers are mediterranean chicken, rice with pigeon peas, and stewed red beans with pumpkin.  This in itself is a meal. So, I won't be improvising today but I will give you the recipe to my Rice and Pigeon Peas, or Arroz with Gandules as I call it.  My friends always ask how to make it.  I make it a variety of ways, and everyone makes it a little different this way uses jasmine rice, which cooks evenly and doesn't have to be rinsed.  This is my easy version with lots of flavor!  Enjoy!




Rice and Pigeon Peas

  • 2 cups Jasmine Rice
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 thick ham slice chopped, or 2 cans vienna sausages, or sausage, or kielbasa. 1 cup total
  • 1 can 15.5 oz Goya Pigeon Peas
  • 1/2 can Goya tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • One medium spanish onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 packet Sazon with Culantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Green pimento filled olives, about 7

In a large round bottom pot, with a tight fitting lid, saute the chopped ham in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, then add onions and garlic, until translucent, add pigeon peas, tomato sauce, packet of sazon, salt, oregano, cumin, olives, and bay leaf, simmer for 3 minutes until very fragrant, add rice and chopped cilantro and stir until well mixed. Add chicken broth, stir and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to the lowest setting and cover.  Cook for 30 minutes.

Tell me what you think!













Friday, January 13, 2012

Lobster Crockpot Mac and Cheese

That's right!  Woot Woot!  First of all let me just say it's 11:19 p.m. and I was preparing for a 'Girl's Night In' I will be having tommorrow.  So my usual lunch time post has been pushed back.  I was absolutely dying to post this, but the dust bunnies were attacking me so I had to swiffer them to oblivion.  Now to the recipe... here is what I had in my pantry.  So I thought what if?  What if I used this in the Crockpot Mac and Cheese recipe?  So, I this is what I have...
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese ( I used that famous extra sharp block) 
  • random cheese slices... ( had some left over mozzarella slices)
  • Half cup Greek Yogurt (I used it all!!!) (you can use sour cream)
  • One can of Lobster bisque
  • 1 TBSP chives ( I love chives!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk  ( I used skim) 

Boil macaroni noodles for 6 minutes very al dente.
Drain and toss with butter, mustard, salt and pepper, cheese, yogurt, and can of bisque.
Make sure you get a good can of lobster bisque... like Baxters, Bar Harbor, or Capt' Mariner's Seafood
Cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.  Enjoy...

My Daughter says you could really "rich" this up by adding cooked lobster meat the last 15 minutes and use gruyere instead...  ( When I get my hands on a lobster I will give it a try)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Carrot Ginger and Cumin Soup

Looking in my fridge today and I'm certainly low on provisions.  I didn't shop when I started this project, but sticking to my guns, I'm going to use what I have until I can't possibly create a recipe... It will get tricky in the next few days.  I have one onion, no fresh vegetables or fresh meat, but we will cross that bridge when I get to it.   This is what I have on hand today... so I'm looking forward to a yummy meal with this one, chock full of favor and vitamins to boot!

This is an adapted recipe with things I happen to have on hand. The lemon and honey is a new addition to a timeless recipe.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 1 Hour 15 min.
Serves: 2 (bowls) or 4 (cups)


  • One bag baby carrots (1 lb)
  • 2 TBSP half and half
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 squeeze of lemon for brightness
  • 1 Tsp honey
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 2 Tsp Ginger
  • Dash of Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 4 Cups Water or Chicken Broth/Vegetable Broth (I used water and Tsp chicken boullion powder)  
  • Greek plain yogurt (optional) I almost have it used up!
Saute carrots, onions and garlic in butter until somewhat tender about 10-15 minutes


Add liquid and dried spices and bring to boil then simmer on low heat for an hour... this is a low and slow type recipe.

This lemon was so pretty and fragrant.(I still have a half left)

At the end of cooking add a squeeze of lemon and the honey.

Let cool down a bit and puree until smooth, put back into pot and add the half and half. (you can use cream, whole milk, or coconut milk)
Add salt and pepper to taste.


Add a dollop of Greek yogurt on the top with a sprinkle chives! Fresh would be great but I have dried.

This was really delicious... the lemon gave it a nice brightness at the end... I hope you get to make it!
When it comes to ingredients,
If you don't have it, think outside of the box and come up with a flavor that best compliments the dish...maybe you will find that flavor in a condiment, juice or spice.  The whole idea is to cook with what you have, expand your palate, save money, and not waste food in the process.  

  Are there things that you do in the kitchen? What tips would you like to share? Please share them!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sauce Packet Nachos!

Maybe you are like me and have a drawer dedicated to sauce packets!  Unless you eat at those establishments often, you can't possibly use all those packets can you?  Well I say you can!
Today's recipe will use a very famous taco chains packet. Rhymes with Paco Fell.
 Now I said I'm only using things I have in my fridge, so I haven't bought anything. This is what I have for my snack recipe today.  These are so yummy and so simple, anyone can do it...


  • A tomato (my last one) chopped
  • Chives (1 tsp)
  • Chili Powder ( I used Ancho)
  • Three Packets of that Famous Taco Place sauce in Mild, Hot, or Fire (I combined)
  • Canned corn (about half a cup) <------ will use the rest for dinner or soup.
  • Corn tortillas (5) <--- still have some left
  • About an inch of a block of sharp cheddar cheese block.. rhymes with Hacker Carol
  • Oil for frying (oil can be reused again after this)  Find out what's safe
  • Salt to taste


Geometry was not my specialty LOL

Stack corn tortillas and cut evenly to make six sections, that's 30 chips! 
I know my timestables though!


Fry the tortilla triangles in hot oil until light golden brown... about 2 minutes or so...go by color though so they will be perfect.


Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and chili powder.


Shred cheese 



Mix together chopped tomato, corn, chives, and the three packets of Taco Sauce Packets
Put the nachos on a plate and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and put in microwave until cheese melts about 30 seconds, times will vary depending on microwave.
Serves four.


Enjoy!

I must say these were yummy... I would should you how yummy they are.  Would you like to see me eating them or would you rather not?