Thursday, March 26, 2009

more spring time flowers

i think these are crocuses?

i don't know what these are but they smell great!

i also planted poppies (from seed) and two clematises last week. now it's snowing!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rice Noodles in soup with roast chicken and crispy garlic

1/2 lb dried ric enoodles
1/4 c veg oil
3 heaping tbspns coarsely chopped garlicf
5 c chicken broth
about 2 cups very coarsley chopped roast chicken (i used rotisserie)
1/4 c fish sauce
1 tsp ground pepper
3 green onions
handful fresh cilantro, chopped

1. bring large pot of water to lively boil and remove from heat. drop in dried rice noodles and let stand 8-10 minutes stirring now and then to separate the noodles as they cook. when noodles are tender enough to eat but stir firm, drain, rinse with cold water, drain well and set aside.

2. meanwhile place a small heatproof bowl by the stove and heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat for one minute. add the garlic and cook, stirring now and then until it becomes fragrant and godlen but not brown, about 2 minutes. pour garlic and oil into the bowl and set aside.

3. bring the chicken broth to a gentle boil in large saucepan over medium heat, then add the chicken, fish sauce, and pepper. simmer 1 -2 minutes until meat is heated through. remove from heat.

4. to serve: set out four big soup bowls and dive the noodles among them. top each severing of noodles with an equal portion of the garlic, oil and all. ladle hot broth and chicken over the noodles in each bowl, sprinkle each serving with green onions and cilantro. serve hot.

simple, but oh so good!

Pork and Beans Stuffed peppers

4 bell peppers
3 tbspn olive ok
1/4 lb canadian bacon (except i couldn't find this so i used regular bacon)
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
one 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 oz mozz cheese, shredded
1/2 c bread crumbs

1. preheat oven to 350. rub the peppers with 2 tbspn olive oil, season with s/p. stand in baking dish cover with the tops and roast for 30 minutes

2. meanwhile, in medium skillet, heat 1/2 tbspn olive oil over med heat. add bacon and cook until browned. (since i used regular bacon i just chopped it while raw and cooked it up until browned). transfer bacon to bowl. heat remaining 1/2 tbspn olive oil (i didin't do this since i had bacon grease already in the pan, i just poured all but about a tbspn off) cook garlic and oregano in oil until fragrant. stir in the bacon along with the beans, tomatoes, breadcrumbs, and mozz cheese. season with s/p if needed.

3. fill peppers with bean mixture. return to oven and heat through about 15 minutes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Basil Beer Bread

Basil Beer Bread

Hands-On Time


Total Time


 olive oil for the baking sheet
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably ale
  • flour for the work surface
  • 1 cup chopped or torn fresh basil
 Heat oven to 400° F. Oil a baking sheet. In the bowl of a standing mixer on low, or in a large bowl using a spoon, combine the flour, yeast, salt, pepper, and Parmesan.
  • 2Add the beer and mix just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with the basil and knead gently just until incorporated. Shape the dough into a round loaf and transfer to the prepared sheet.
  • 3Bake until the loaf is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Turn the loaf onto a wire rack. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.This is way yummy!!  It tastes like those breads you get at Macaroni Grill or some other italian place that gives you free bread to dip in olive oil and toasted garlic.  YUM!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Banana Apricot Bread

This was awesome!  You HAVE to make it!

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray. 
  • 2Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like coarse crumbs. Mix in the pecans and apricots. Stir in the bananas, buttermilk, and eggs until well blended.
  • 3Pour into pan. Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack.
    Variations: Substitute 1/2 cup flaked coconut or any dried fruit (such as golden or brown raisins or dates) for the dried apricots.
    This recipe makes 1 loaf.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Beer-Braised Pork and Black Bean Soup

another crock pot recipe.  I am making this on Thurs, so don't have the "taste" results yet, but it looked good.

2 12 oz bottles of beer (preferably lager)
1 Tbsp. chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, plus 1 Tbsp adobo sauce
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork butt (pork shoulder)
Kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup cilantro

in the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the beer, 3 cups water, the chilies, the adobo sauce, cumin, onion, beans, pork, and 1 1/2 tsp salt.  set the slow cooker to high and cook, covered, until the beans are tender and pork pulls apart easily, 4 hours.  Using a fork, separate the pork into large pieces.  divide among bowls and top with sour cream, salsa, and cilantro.

serve with scallion corn bread and chocolate chunk and almond cookies (recipes at

these were suggestions at the bottom of the page, not ones I have made or suggested.  I might look them up though to see if they look good.