Monday, June 21, 2010

Finnish Pasty

Here is a tutorial I made for my brother who wanted to learn how to cook our old family favorite recipe. It is called pasty and my great grandmother used to make it and we continue to make it as a family.
We always make it for special occasions.

I read "What's Cooking" but rarely contribute.  I thought I would share this recipe for you all.

I normally dice my onions for the recipe, but my brother wanted them big so he could pick them off if he wanted. 

Click HERE to see the recipe.

My husband likes this with ketchup or BBQ sauce, although I only eat it with butter and salt.  It is a simple recipe, but has good ol' meat and potato flavor.

Best Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Ever

Aaron made this for me while we were dating and it sealed the deal. For real. We had it for Father's Day dinner last night with homemade pasta and I remembered WHY it made me decide to marry him. Not exactly waistline friendly but sooo goooood. It's good special occasion food.

For the chicken:
2-3 8oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine oil, garlic, salt and pepper and marinate the chicken for at least half an hour (but longer is better). Drain marinade and grill (or saute) until cooked through. Be careful not to overcook as the chicken will spend a bit of time cooking in the sauce.

For the sauce:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup white cooking wine
3 cups heavy cream
4-6 oz parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Place cooked chicken in a saucepan. Add olive oil, garlic, wine, cream and parmesan. Reduce in pan over medium heat (this takes a while, like 20-30 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste, toss with pasta.

Generously serves 4.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Avacado Feta Salsa - Repost

I am coming to accept that no respectable recipe blog posts recipes without pictures. And also I have an iphone which makes posting pictures a zillion times easier. So, I commit to no longer post recipes without pictures, and as I make recipes that were on the site before I will repost them with the picture. They will not be cute pictures. Sorry. Go look at Ralphie's blog after you are here to get your cute picture fix.

This salsa sure is a crowd pleaser! And if you are buying feta anywhere besides Costco you are paying way too much - - they have a big old block of it for cheap!

Avacado Feta Salsa
  • 1-2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado - peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro (I used more about 1/3 C)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano ( I used dry!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar (used red)
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Mix all ingredients together and chill for up to 6 hours. Yum!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wild Rice Soup

Okay, so I am pretty sure Ralphie meant to put this on here (*cough*) but since she didn't the least I could do is steal the picture off of her blog and post it on here for her. Please don't sue me Ralph.

The thing is, this soup should be called something besides wild rice soup--- like Almond Surprise Soup or something, because SURPRISE there are almonds in there and that alone made this one of my favorite soups ever.

This soup had a delicious flavor and yummy texture and, once I blended it up so my kids didn't know there were carrots and mushrooms in it- they gobbled it up with minimal prodding!

So make it!

Wild Rice Soup from:

5Tbs butter

1 finely chopped onion

1 C frozen or canned corn

1/2 lb fresh musrooms, sliced

2 large carrot sticks, sliced (or 20 baby carrots, sliced)

3/4 C flour

6 1/2 C chicken broth

2 C Cooked wild rice

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (optional- I didn't put it in and I am glad, this is an awesome vegetarian meal - alright, mostly just cuz I'm lazy and out of chicken)

1/2 t salt

1/2 t curry powder (or more per Ralphie's suggestion)

1/2 t mustard powder (go me for actually having this on hand!)

1/2 t dried parsley

1/2 t black pepper

1 C slivered almonds

2 C half and half (or 1 C half and half and 1 C milk)

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, corn, and carrots and saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute 3-4 minutes more. Then add flour and stir well. Transfer mixture into a large pot (um, I just started it with a large whatever). Over medium heat, gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly until all has been added. Bring just to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer.

Next add the rice, chicken (if using), salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, black pepper and almonds. Allow to heat through then pour in half and half. Let simmer for 1 hr (or more....or less). Do not boil or the roux will break (that super stressed me out, because break really? yikes!).

Serve with warm crusty bread.

Then give Ralphie grief for not posting on the recipe blog, because everything she makes is super yum.

Thanks Ralph : )

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Crockpot Week

My mom recently got a Crockpot cookbook in a book exchange at work. As I flipped through it I found dozens of recipes I wanted to try so I borrowed it and we had an entire week of only crockpot meals (with a few more planned for next week). Here's how our week went:

Day 1: "Best-Ever Roast"

This was not the best roast I'd ever had but it was a perfectly serviceable Sunday meal that yielded plenty of leftovers to take to my elderly neighbors.

1 beef chuck shoulder roast (3 to 5 pounds)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
4 to 5 medium potatoes, quartered
4 cups baby carrots

Place roast in crockpot. Combine mushroom soup and onion soup mix in a bowl then pour over roast. Cover; cook on low 4 hours.

Add potatoes and carrots. Cover and cook on low 2 hours.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Day 2: Veggie Soup with Beef

This was probably the most flavorless thing I have ever made in my life. I followed the recipe exactly but clearly that is not the way to go. The addition of more garlic and tomato sauce, salt, pepper, etc. and less water would make a world of difference. But it's super easy so I'm including it in case anyone wants to try their hand at making this worth eating.

2 cans (15 oz each) mixed vegetables
1 pound beef stew meat
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced

Place all ingredients in crockpot. Add enough water to fill crockpot to within 1/2 inch of top*. Cover, cook on low 8 to 10 hours.

*I didn't add nearly this much water and it was still too much.

Day 3: Parmesan Potato Wedges

One of our favorites from this week. I just served these wedges with a simple salad and it was excellent. Next time I'd probably add some garlic salt.

2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/8 inch pieces
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Layer potatoes, onion, oregano, salt, pepper and butter in crockpot. Cover; cook on high 4 hours. Transfer potatoes to a serving platter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Day 4: Slow Cooker Chicken and Dressing

This was really good though not exactly healthy. We enjoyed it.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and black pepper
4 slices swiss cheese
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken, celery or mushroom soup
3 cups packaged stuffing mix
1/2 cup butter, melted

Place chicken in crockpot. Season with salt and pepper.

Top each breast with cheese slice. Add broth and soup. Spring stuffing mix over top and pour butter over all*. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours.

*Knowing the fat content on this was already going to be astronomical I just left the butter out. It turned out just fine.

Day 5: Spicy Shredded Chicken

Ridiculously easy and something you all probably make already anyway. We used it in tacos.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 jar (16 oz) salsa

Place chicken in crockpot. Pour salsa over chicken. Cook on low 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender and no longer pink in the center. Shred chicken with 2 forks before serving.

Day 6: Asian Beef with Broccoli

I meant to make this as the recipe directed but I pretty much screwed up right and left. It was still really good though and we'll definitely have it again. We served it over rice.

1 1/2 pounds boneless chick steak, about 1 1/2 inches thick, sliced thin
1 can (10 1/2 oz) beef consomme*
1/2 cup oyster sauce**
2 tablespoons cornstarch***
1 bag (16 oz) fresh broccoli florets
Hot cooked rice
Sesame seeds

Place steak in crockpot. Pour consomme and oyster sauce over meat. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cooking liquid in a cup. Add to crockpot and stir well to combine. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until thickened.

Steam broccoli florets until tender crisp. Gently toss beef and broccoli together. Served over cooked rice and garnished with sesame seeds, if desired.

*I accidentally bought beef broth instead.
**I accidentally forgot to buy this and used soy sauce instead.
***I totally forgot the step with the cornstarch. It was a little watery but it was fine.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The BBC Salad - Baby Bok Choy

Okay, any of you who got bountiful baskets last Saturday....holy Moses, I got about five thousand pounds of baby bok choy. I have never had it and had no idea what to do with it. This was all complicated by the fact that I have had no internet for almost a whole week, gasp! And that rendered me totally non functional in the kitchen.

Using the tiny screen of my iphone I was able to find just one recipe for baby bok choy, it was this yummy salad. I didn't have some of the ingredients by my modifications were awesome. I'll post them at the bottom

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 bunches baby bok choy, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/8 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 (6 ounce) package chow mein noodles


  1. In a glass jar with a lid, mix together olive oil, white vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. Close the lid, and shake until well mixed.
  2. Combine the bok choy, green onions, almonds, and chow mein noodles in a salad bowl. Toss with dressing, and serve.
Okay, so here's the deal. I used rice vinegar instead of white (you should do that too!), and I had no green onions or chow mein noodles, so I substituted snap peas and diced red pepper to add the crunch, and it gave it a pretty color too.

Definitely a yummy salad. Which we will be eating every day until our ten thousand pounds of bok choy are gone.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kellogg's Double-Coated Chicken

I made this for dinner last nite, and thought it was fantastic. My kids all thought it was great too! Super good with some homemade gravy, if you're up for making some!

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8

7 cups Kellogg's Corn Flakes® (crushed to 1 3/4 cups)
1 egg
1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 pounds chicken pieces, (without or with skin) rinsed and dried
3 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted

1. Place KELLOGG'S CORN FLAKES cereal in shallow dish or pan. Set aside.

2. In medium mixing bowl, beat egg and milk slightly. Add flour, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth. Dip chicken in batter. Coat with cereal. Place in single layer, in shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray or foil lined. Drizzle with margarine.

3. Bake at 350° F about 1 hour or until chicken is tender, no longer pink and juices run clear. Do not cover pan or turn chicken while baking. Serve hot.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vegetable Barley Soup

Since we only have one month until our trip to Disney Blaine and I have made a resolve to eat super healthy this month and try to shed a couple of pounds so we can fit in the space mountain car thing together. We have a dream baby!

I also randomly bought some barley about a week ago.

So, I made this vegetable barley soup tonight and it was super easy and had incredible flavor. I wish it would have been brothier because dipping a warm roll into the soup was just a great combination of flavors. Mmmmm!

Beaker's Vegetable Barley Soup (from
2 Quarts Vegetable Broth
1 C uncooked barley (per reviews I only used 3/4 C)
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 (14.5 oz ) can diced tomatoes with juice (I only had stewed tomatoes so I used those)
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 onion, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 t garlic powder (I used refrigerated chopped garlic)
1 t white sugar (in the interest of being skinny in disneyland I left this out)
1t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper (important to use plain old pepper and not freshly ground peppercorns)
1 t parsley
1 t curry powder
1 t paprika
1 t Worcestershire sauce (I ran out so I used red whine vinegar with great results)

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium low heat for 90 minutes.

I forgot to cover it, whoops. Maybe I would have had more broth if I would have actually read the directions : ) Regardless add a few extra cups of broth, you'll be happier!

Remove bay leaves before serving