Soup Freezing = Healing Energy

Sup Dog!?? My cool collegiate city has an infamous beer and hot dog spot by that very name. But my pups aren’t fans of hot dogs. They love it best when I’m prepping soups for the sweater weather ahead. They hang out quite closely in the kitchen, waiting for the accidental chicken drop! We all know food feeds the body, but I happen to fully believe that it feeds our essence as well. Perhaps that’s why my favorite meal is always warm soup. To me, it helps calm, fight stress, and heal emotional wounds, and makes the common cold feel more tolerable as well! Somewhere a fork salesman weeps, and a spoon salesman cartwheels! Any time is a great time for my homemade Brunswick Stew.

Breast meat of 1 roasted chicken, chopped
1 lb cooked, chopped pork tenderloin*
2 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth         
1 1/2 cups frozen lima beans
1 1/2 cup frozen white corn
14 oz can diced tomatoes        
10 oz can Rotel     
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs basil (in tube)
*May use purchased fresh BBQ for ease if desired

Bring chicken broth to a boil.
Add lima beans and corn.
Cover and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Add tomatoes and Rotel (both undrained), Worcestershire and basil.
Stir and cook 5 minutes.
Add chopped chicken and pork
Stir well to combine all.
Cook covered on medium low for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Serves 8.
Appx 350 for cup and a half serving.

Potatas Bravas

Back, oh, a decade or so ago, Brenton fell in love with the lifestyle and cuisine of Southern Spain. Upon her return to the grand USofA, we experimented with numerous recipes, based on her taste bud memories. One of our favorites, and a routine “go to” even in this decade is the Potato Frittata. It’s all about gaming your brain with a delicious amount of starch…and while we have you dancing around in that head of yours, here’s another starchy option, appetizer style, served all fancy! Here are the particulars!

Olive oil
2 diced plum tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t thyme
1/2 t paprika
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed

Cook tomatoes in olive oil until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add garlic, thyme, paprika, and pepper flakes.
Cook 3 to 4 more minutes.
In separate skillet, cook potatoes in olive oil until tender and golden, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Drain on paper towels.
Sprinkle with salt.
Serve in spoons over tomato sauce.
Drizzle with “aioli” sauce.

Sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
In medium bowl, whisk together all three ingredients until well combined.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Makes 20 spoons.

Lemony Shrimp Scampi

Good Afternoon Fine People! As the warm days are waning (thank goodness in my simple opinion!), I offer those of you who only enjoy shrimp during the summer months one more recipe to ease through your palate with brightness. As I watched the “winners” being announced during the Emmy Presentation Sunday night, I couldn’t help but to think that there are no “Category Winners” on this site. I love everything that I post; and if I attempt something that is less than suitable, it doesn’t make it “on air”, sorta like some early versions of TV shows! This is a sure red carpet winner; so go ahead, be fabulous, then sit back and wait for the oohs and aahs!

Entree Seafood Lemony Shrimp Scampi
Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of 2 large lemons
Juice of 2 large lemons
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth.
Set aside.

2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 t kosher salt
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes.
Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
Add shallots and cook until soft, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add shrimp, salt and pepper.
Cook until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove shrimp from skillet.
Increase the heat to high.
Add wine.
Cook for 1 minute until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Add cooked pasta, cooked shrimp and vinaigrette to the skillet.
Toss until all ingredients are coated, adding the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta.

Transfer to a large bowl, garnish with dill, and serve.

Baha Peninsula Artichoke Appetizer

I Know I Know I Know…Cabo Stories are becoming a bit nonplussed; however, to know me is to know that I love our Diamante villa in Cabo. You may find it odd that I am a very pale, natural blond, 66 year old Grand. That is to say that I don’t sit in the sun; but I am all about being out there in the pool with the fam and friends, 50+ sunscreen, most of the time in long sleeve SPF shirts, soaking up the fun. In the interim, I’m all about dreaming up new manners in which to cook our favorite bites when we gather around the dinner table! The Baha Peninsula is known for many, many things, one of which is growing artichokes. The baby ones are the best, most tender, and just yummy. So, we enjoyed them, a lot!

Above, from left: the don is mixing the cheeses. ~ the Cabo Grocery Girls couldn’t find wonton wrappers while stocking our kitchen, so…improvise. I used the Diamante Market pizza dough instead; and with no rolling pin, enter the empty Ciroc bottle to roll the dough (yes my arms did get some sun that day!). ~ Improvising again, with no cookie cutter, hello glass to cut the rounds of dough to fit into the muffin tin. Check out the results below!

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 t garlic powder
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup water packed baby artichokes, drained and chopped
24 wonton wrappers
Chopped fresh chives for garnish
Mini muffin tin

In mixing bowl, combine Parmesan, mayonnaise, and garlic powder.
Mix well.
Stir in Monterey Jack and artichokes.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Spray 2 mini muffin tin pans with nonstick spray.
Press one wonton wrapper into each small muffin cup.
Bake 5 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
Fill each cup with artichoke mixture.
Bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes…but keep your eye on it!
Garnish with chives and serve warm.

Cinnamon Bread Pinwheels

Hellodie Hellodie and Happy Hump da Hump Day! Each post that involves my grands is especially fun for me, so come on and get happy! They may seem to be bouncing off the walls sometimes, but they’re just being children; so hold on to the magic…they grow up fast! And now, here’s a little show and tell. May your cookie jar never be empty!

4 slices cinnamon raison bread
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
4 long hors d’oeuvres picks

Cut the crust off each piece of bread, keeping it totally intact.
Start at one end of each piece of bread crust and roll it up, creating 4 pinwheels.
Secure each pinwheel with a pick.
Melt butter, sugar, and cinnamon in skillet, stirring to combine.
Add pinwheels to skillet and allow to toast about a minute per side.
Remove from skillet onto plate and allow pinwheels to cool and crispen.

Avocado Toast with Eggs and Tomatoes

Home from Cabo and happily back to life as Grand and GrandDad for the weekend. Tomorrow begins with a 5:50am wakeup call for Liam’s travel league baseball games, and then soccer matches for “the littles”. We will divide and conquer for the different locations; but we will all reunite in the Rock Dam Kitchen for a healthy brunch to refuel us all for the afternoon. Transfer the familiar into the fantastic. We’re taking all familiar ingredients and combining them in a wonderfully twisted way. So drop the mask for a few minutes to enjoy a meal…the stars are going to align on our taste buds and all the way down to our tummies! Here’s wishing all of you a happy, healthy, fun loving, athletic Saturday!

2 eggs
2 slices bread
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 avocado, gently mashed
1/2 lime, zested and juiced
Dash garlic powder
Dash onion powder
Fresh spinach
Gourmet Medley cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup Alfalfa sprouts
Drizzle of honey
Drizzle of olive oil

Place eggs in boiling water for 6 minutes to soft boil.
Lightly sauté tomato halves in olive oil.
Toast bread.
Spread with Dijon.
Mix avocado with lime, garlic, and onion.
Spread avocado mixture on top of Dijon.
Top with a few spinach leaves.
Top with sprouts.
Top with eggs.
Top with tomatoes.
Drizzle with honey and olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Mexican Street Corn

Diamante Resort, Cabo San Lucas
Left: Poolside View of the Villa ~ Right: View from The Dunes Course

When in Cabo…Try your darndest to consume all of the locally farmed goods available. We hung out in the beautiful villa kitchen almost every evening, prepping fresh deliciousness to share around the dining table. So let’s all stretch our culinary senses and live more scrumptiously. Yum…and more to come (think Baha Artichokes!)

8 ears fresh sweet corn
2 Tbs canola oil
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Zest of a lime
2 jalapeno peppers, ribs and seeds removed, and sliced
1/2 cup cotija
Sprinkle of chili powder

Brush corn with canola oil.
Grill corn and peppers over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes.
(Or boil until tender if a grill is not available. Then char it in a skillet over medium high heat.)
Stir together sour cream, cilantro, and lime zest in bowl.
Brush corn with mixture.
Sprinkle with cotija and then chili powder to taste.

Caesar Salad Turkey Burger

Happy Almost Labor Day Weekend! Most people grill out at some point during this official “last” weekend of the summer. Of course, the don and I don’t own a grill…yes all of our friends joke about it! But we really enjoy cooking inside in a wonderful cast iron skillet. No matter how you cook, just cook; and try these burgers with a Caesar twist. After all, with everything going on in the world, let’s remember that food brings us together. Cook Better. Eat Better. Live Better. Booyah!

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey*
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 small sweet onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup Panko
Salt and pepper
1 romaine lettuce heart, chopped
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
Caesar dressing to taste**
6 burger buns, toasted

Sauté onion and green pepper in 1 Tbs olive oil until almost tender, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Mix together turkey, Worcestershire, mustard, egg, Panko, and onion, pepper, garlic mixture.
Form into 6 patties.
Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes until firmer.
Grill or sauté in skillet about 4 minutes per side.
Toss together the romaine, shaved Parmesan and dressing.
Place burger on bun.
Top with Caesar salad.
Makes 6 burgers.

*The Don and I prefer GreenWise All Natural Ground Turkey Breast.
**As far as a store bought Caesar dressing, I prefer Marzetti Simply Dressed Caesar.


Quick and Easy Biscuits

Start to Finish in Less that 20 Minutes. And That’s a Promise! This is life in abundance, as we neither bake nor eat biscuits in this household often. But when we do, we do it right baby! I paired this wonderful bread with homemade pimento cheese, cilantro butter, and homemade blueberry jam. That was for Sunday brunch. Sunday Supper saw us making tiny turkey sliders and topping them again with yummyness. The Don enjoyed his with pimento cheese and jam; and I enjoyed mine with cilantro butter and jam (and plenty of it)! I made it just to share with you excellent people who follow along on this joint journey. Southern know how people! Shine Bright Like a Diamond.

2 cups all purpose flour 
1/4 cup sugar
2 t baking powder 
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 cup whole milk 
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs melted butter

Preheat oven to 450°.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl.
In separate bowl, whisk together milk and mayonnaise.
Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined.
Spoon level scoops of dough onto parchment paper, spacing them an inch apart.
Spread with melted butter.
Bake until golden, about 12 to 14 minutes.
Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Sausage, Egg, Cheese Strata

Happy Sunday to one and all. All of the hustle and bustle is fun…until it’s not. The Don was fortunate and received his Covid booster Friday (remember that lymphoma situation) and was feeling a tad run down yesterday, so we stayed quietly at home and I made this comfort strata. Perfect for our Saturday early supper, and brunch or supper any day for that matter. It’s early in the day; go grab what you need and whip this up for Sunday Supper. Think, a little denser than a quiche, and a little more comforting as well. Now here’s your breakfast/brunch giggle of the day thanks to comedian Steven Wright: “I went to a restaurant that serves breakfast during any time. So I ordered French Toast from the Renaissance; and they just looked at me!”

1/2 lb ground sausage, browned and drained
1 sweet onion, diced
12 eggs, slightly beaten
4 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, tossed with 1 Tbs melted butter
Sour cream for garnish
Chopped chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a pie pan.
In large mixing bowl, using rubber spatula, combine sausage, onions, eggs, Gruyere, blue cheese, half cheddar, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Pour mixture into baking pan.
Add remaining cheddar, and then breadcrumbs on top.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until just set.
Let cool 5 minutes.