Friday, November 21, 2014

Val's White Chicken Chili

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We first tasted this recipe at Laurie and Val's house in Oceanside and could not stop eating it.  It is perfect for a cold, chilly night and is quick to make.  The recipe originally comes from Sam the Cooking Guy, a San Diego celebrity chef.  You can use cooked rotisserie chicken from Safeway in this recipe.

1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cans Great Northern white beans, drained
4 oz. can diced green chilies
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp cumin
1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp oregano
Salt, to taste

Rinse the beans and drain them.  Saute the onion and garlic in 2 T olive oil for a few minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes.  Top with chopped parsley (optional).

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Artichoke Rice Salad

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Here's a recipe for a salad that I recently made for my grand-daughter's birthday party.  It has Rice-a-Roni in it, which you can make in the microwave to speed up the preparation.  This was one of my favorite salads from years ago.

2 pkgs. chicken flavored Rice-A-Roni
2 green onions, chopped finely
12-15 green olives with pimentoes, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 small roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. curry
2 jars of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
2-3 T balsamic vinegar
Salt, pepper (to taste)

Microwave the Rice-A-Roni according to the directions on the package. Prepare the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together. Adjust seasoning accordingly. Refrigerate until serving time. This recipe can be made a day in advance.

Here's my sweet grand-daughter, Madeline, and her birthday cake.

Tuna Poke (Albacore or Ahi)

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This is by far the best poke recipe I have tasted.  The albacore was caught off of the Oregon coast by Denny, so it is the freshest we have ever eaten.  You can use any type of tuna like albacore, bluefin or ahi. Simply delicious!

1 lb. tuna steaks (albacore, ahi, bluefin)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sweet Maui onions or red onions (rinsed in water)
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
Red chili pepper flakes (to taste)
Kosher salt (to taste)

Cut the tuna into bite-sized cubes.  Mix the rest of the ingredients together with the tuna.  Refrigerate for 30 min.  Serve cold.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Tsukemono (Japanese pickled cabbage)

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Tsukemono is Japanese vegetables that have been preserved in salt, brine or rice bran (nuka). It tastes best as an accompaniment or garnish to Japanese meals and is especially good with Japanese rice. There are many varieties and flavors. This one is a pickled cabbage.

1 head of cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
4 cups water
1/3 cup white vinegar
4 T sugar
3 T kosher salt
1 small dried red chili pepper, seeded

Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. Boil the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and chili pepper together for a few minutes. In a large glass or ceramic container, pour the hot mixture over the cabbage. Cover with plastic wrap and the container's top. Let sit on the counter for a half a day. Then refrigerate for 3-4 days. When ready to serve, squeeze the excess liquid out of the cabbage wedge. Cut into strips. Delicious!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jennifer's Peach Prosciutto Crostini

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Here's an appetizer that will surely please your guests.  Jennifer and I took these to a dinner party, and the entire platter of crostini was devoured by all.

1 baguette, cut in 1/2" slices
Extra virgin olive oil
3 peaches or nectarines, thinly sliced
1-2 pkgs of prosciutto, each piece cut crosswise in 4 strips
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
Grated lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
1 T shallot, minced
Fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Mix the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, shallots and a little basil together. Drizzle olive oil onto the baguette slices, and broil for 2 min. a side until golden brown. Spread a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture onto the baguette. Wrap a strip of prosciutto around a peach slice, and place it on top of the cream cheese layer. Sprinkle basil on top.  Serve immediately.

On the way to Denny and Jennifer's house in beautiful Alaska:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Smashed Peas with Mint

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Here's an alternative way to serve green peas or shelled edamame. The mint was steamed along with the peas, then mashed.  It becomes a colorful side dish for any meat.

Frozen peas or frozen shelled edamame
2 T butter
Fresh mint, one torn handful
2 T fresh lemon juice
Salt, pepper to taste

Steam the peas and mint for 8 minutes. Mash the peas with a potato masher or hand held blender until you get the desired consistency. The one pictured above has a chunky consistency. Then add the butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Savory Palmiers

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These were so easy to make! They are a delicate flaky puff pastry with a savory filling of pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and pine nuts. You can make these appetizers the day before, and bake them right before your guests arrive.

1 package Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1/4 cup pesto
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts

Unroll the defrosted puff pastry. Using a rolling pin, roll it to a 9-1/2" x 11" rectangle. Spread half the pesto, then sprinkle half the sun-dried tomatoes, half the feta and half the pine nuts.  Roll up the long side to the middle, fold at half way, and press together lightly.  Cover the roll with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 45 minutes or overnight.  Repeat using the second puff pastry and remaining ingredients.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the roll into 1/2" slices.  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 2" apart.  Bake for 14-15 min. until golden brown. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Jennifer's Muesli

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This has to be one of my favorite breakfast recipes from my San Diego/Alaskan friend, Jennifer Powell.  You can add whatever flavor yogurt and fruit you like.  I like the consistency, which turns out to be firm, if you use the old-fashioned rolled oats.  Pictured above are Jennifer, Denny and daughter, Katie.

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup milk
1 T honey

Mix these ingredients the night before.  In the morning, add the following:

1 cup any flavor yogurt (I used vanilla, Greek yogurt)
Apples, chopped - or any fruit
Walnuts, halved or chopped

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hot Buttered Rum

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On a recent trip to Lake Tahoe with the Olschefski's, we made Hot Buttered Rum Drinks, perfect for a chilly night in the mountains.  You mix the ingredients together, then add rum and hot water.  You can add a cinnamon stick as garnish, if you wish.

1 stick butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Hot water

Mix the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together to form a paste.  Combine 2 T spiced butter with 3 T rum in each mug.  Add 3/4 cup boiling water and mix.

Beautiful Lake Tahoe

and Liz's latest creations!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pesto Pizza

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My daughter makes the best pizza!  It is so good with all kinds of fresh veggies on top of a crispy pizza crust.  You can add whatever ingredients you prefer.

1 bag of Trader Joe's fresh pizza dough (comes in a baggie in the refrigerated section)
Trader Joe's basil pesto
Fresh tomato slices or sun-dried tomatoes
Goat cheese, in small chunks
Sliced olives
Sliced mushrooms, sauteed in a little olive oil

Bring the pizza dough to room temperature for about 1/2 hour.  Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place dough on a pizza stone or lightly oiled baking sheet.  (Bed Bath & Beyond pizza pan with holes works great.)  Bake the crust for about 10-12 minutes.  Then spread the pesto on top;  add tomatoes, goat cheese, olives and mushrooms. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and add the fresh arugula.   Serve immediately.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hide and Reiko's New Year's Day Feast

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Hide and Reiko Obatake's New Year's Day feast is the highlight of our holiday trip to Seattle.  Each year, their meal is a work of art featuring traditional Japanese osechi-ryori.  Everything is delicious, so colorful and pleasing to the eye and palate.  We are truly luck to be invited to their house each year.

I forgot to take a picture of the ozone soup!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Siu Mai - Steamed Pork Dumplings

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This is Denny's favorite dim sum called siu mai or pork dumplings. I steamed them in two, 12" bamboo steamers which I bought at Ranch 99 Market. The steamers fit my large wok perfectly. You can serve them with a dipping sauce of equal portions of garlic chili paste mixed with soy sauce. They can be frozen individually on a cookie sheet, then transferred to a freezer container.  

1/2 lb. won ton skin (round)

1 lb. ground pork, finely chopped
1/2 lb. fresh shrimp, shelled, deveined and finely chopped
1/4 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 T soy sauce
2 stalks green onions finely chopped
4 Chinese mushrooms, soaked and finely chopped
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Mix all filling ingredients together. Spoon heaping tablespoon in center of skin. Gather the sides of the wrapper around the filling and squeeze center to form a pouch. Place in a steamer and steam for 30 minutes. Makes 36 dumplings.

Michelle's Breakfast Casserole

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A Christmas morning treat -- breakfast at Tim and Michelle's.  Here's a delicious sausage, egg, sun-dried tomato and mozzarella breakfast casserole.  It is very rich, creamy and melts in your mouth.  Your guests will surely ask for seconds as we did.

1 lb. Italian sweet sausage, casings removed
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
4 T chopped fresh parsley
5 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup half and half
1 cup whipping cream (can substitute with half and half)
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 13x9x2" glass baking dish. Saute the sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes until browned, breaking it up into small pieces. Add shallots and garlic and cook for 3 minutes more. Add sun-dried tomatoes and 2 T parsley and cook for one minute.

Whisk together the eggs, yolks, half and half, cream, cheese and salt. Gently mix in the sausage mixture. Pour into the prepared pan. Top with 1/2 cup cheese and 2 T parsley. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown, and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.