Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Corn, Mixed Vegetables & Potato Soup

Recently I have enjoyed trying new soups that I tweek to "Our Table of 4" tastes. Last night I made this new soup, "Corn, Mixed Vegetables and Potato Soup".  My husband and daughters just devoured the soup and wanted more. It went excellent with a garden salad for a good "warm" meal.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup onions, medium diced
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
4 cups corn (roughly 2 bags, 1 pound each of frozen corn)
A few mixed vegetables
2 1/2 cups potatoes, medium diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 quart chicken, vegetable or beef stock (we used beef stock since that is what we had on hand)
6 ounces milk or half-and-half (I used a little bit of both to give it a creamier flavor

Heat oil in a stockpot. Saute onions, garlic, and cumin over medium heat until the onions are transluent. Add corn, potatoes, mixed vegetables, salt, pepper, and stock. Bring to a boil and reduce and simmer for 20 minutes. Potatoes will roughly be cooked around this time. Slowly add milk/half-in-half, stir and heat through.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

We have had great prices in cabbage this year at our local grocery market. It doesn't matter if it is red or green cabbage, it has been great. I have taken on the deal of making stuffed cabbage rolls. Hope you enjoy one of our family favorites.

Stuffed Cabbages Rolls
12 cabbage leaves
  • ½ pound ground beef + ½ pound ground pork/sausage
  • 3/4 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk  
  • 1 cans (8 ounces ) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water
Drop cabbage leaves into boiling salted water; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain well.

For filling, combine ground beef and ground pork, rice, chopped onion, egg, and salt, pepper, and milk. Mix well and divide into 12 portions. Place a portion into the center of each cabbage leaf. Roll leaf around filling; fasten with toothpick. Place in a baking dish.

For sauce, combine tomato sauce, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water and pour over cabbage rolls.

Bake covered in a preheated 350° oven 40 to 45 minutes. Remove rolls and discard toothpicks. Place pan with juices over medium heat or transfer the juices to a saucepan and place over heat; stir cornstarch and water mixture into the sauce; bring to a boil and cook until thickened.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Two of Our All Time Favorite Recipes...Falafel and Tzatzki

One of our most favorite meals that we have been making on a regular bases recently has been falafel. I guess you could say we have been craving the medeterian cuisine recently. My daughters have been loving it as well. Here is a recipe that we have been perfecting each time and now I think we have perfected it to our taste buds.

In addition, my daughters have an all time favorite of tzatziki, that they have been dipping the falafel into (as well as my husband and I drizzling the tzatzki onto our falafel inside of a pita). My younger daughter will not touch anything yogurt related, except for this recipe. Enjoy. I apologize for not taking a photograph of these two recipes.


1 can of garbanzo beans (drained).
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (I did use black pepper, in that I had this and not cayenne pepper)
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 T all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying

Drain the garbanzo beans and rinse. Combine in a food processor with the onion, garlic, and parsley and grind to the consistency of a coarse meal. Add the cumin, coriander, and pepper and pulse to mix.

Dissolve the salt and baking soda in ¼ cup water in a large bowl. Add the garbanzo mixture and stir to mix.
Add the flour (I add a little each time) until the mixture will hold together when molded. Mold into 8 flat, round like disks, roughly 2 inches wide.

Pour oil into a tall pot, roughly 3-5 inches (I have played with this and really do not have a good depth). Heat over medium heat until the oil registers 350F. Working in batches, deep fry the disks until golden brown (roughly 8-10 minutes). Transfer to paper towel to drain and serve at once.

Tzatziki16 ounces (2 cups) of thick Greek yogurt (we like the Meijer brand of whole fat yogurt – it a thicker yogurt similar to a Greek yogurt
4 to 10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup of diced or grated cucumber (make sure that you let the water in the cucumber drain out of the colander, otherwise the tzatziki will be very runny).
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Prepare all ingredients in advance. Combine oil and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl. Fold the yogurt in slowly, making sure it mixes completely with the oil. Add the garlic, according to taste, and the cucumber. Stir until evenly distributed.

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups

Friday, September 25, 2009

Taco Seasoning Mix

One of the things that we love to experiment with is making our own homemade seasonings, whether it is for tacos, chili powder, blackened seasonings for tuna, mahi mahi steaks, etc. This is one of our family favorites! It is very easy to make and keeps well.

Taco Seasoning Mix
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Makes 3 Tablespoons of seasoning and mix, which is equal in strength to a ¼ ounce package of commercial seasoning mix.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rockin' Hummus

One of the things that my girls really enjoy doing it going to the library. Our library has something that is really pretty cool (we think). It has a coffee store built within the library but on the outside of the library in the hallway. The great thing about this coffee store is that you can get a latte, a mocha…ice tea…juice…milk, really anything that fits all budgets and desires. In addition, one thing that you can do is bring your own lunch!

This past summer, my daughters and I have been packing our lunch and going to the library. The girls get the biggest kick out of it.

4 cups chick peas (roughly 2 ½ cans drained) or if you cook your own via dried beans (roughly 1 lb)

1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
½ cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemons
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin

Combine the chick peas, tahini, warm water, olive oil and juice of one lemon in food processor. Process until smooth, scrape down side of bowl when necessary. Add garlic, salt, cumin and pepper (to taste if you like) and process to blend. It will keep well in jar in the refrigerator and makes roughly one quart.