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Monday, December 21, 2015

Chew on This | Speedy Quick Hot Artichoke Dip

My bedside table looks a bit like a pharmacy. Pills, sprays, potions, and puffers. You would think that there was a major viral or bacterial infestation going on in the house, but really it's just the ever annoying cold and cough. Both kids have it and they are sniffling, snuffing, and hacking away. Christmas break has just begun, thankfully, yet neither one of them felt awful enough to stay home from school during this last week. Which is good because it was the end of their grading period and tests, quizzes, projects, and in-class assignments were happening daily. Not something they wanted to miss and have to make up! 

What's also good, if there can be anything good about having a cold, is that everyone seems to feel much better in the morning and during most of the day. However, in the evening they're tired, cranky, and can't stop snorting and sniffing ever.two.seconds. Not gonna lie, I kind of feel like running out of the house like a screaming lunatic when the snuffling symphony starts. And now, to add insult to injury, The Husband seems to be walking on the fringes of this sickness. No bueno.

I am choosing to not have the sickness. I am maniacally washing my hands, cleaning surfaces and door handles, spraying Lysol, and drinking my Super Juice. I'm also increasing the personal space distance I have with my people. I don't think they've noticed so much just yet, but when I decide to only chat with them from down the hall, I think they might be a bit put out.

Here's to your health!


Here's our recipe:

Speedy Quick Hot Artichoke Dip

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 C plain Greek yogurt
1 C parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 (12 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
Sriracha sauce, a few shakes to your taste
salt/pepper, to your taste

Preheat oven to 400℉.  I placed my dip into an 8" cast iron skillet to bake.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Spoon dip into a baking dish and place into the oven. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until browned and bubbly. Serve immediately with bread chunks, chips, or veggies. Enjoy!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Chew on This | Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake (gluten free)

Happy Friday! Here we are, a third of the way through December already. How does time fly  by so very quickly? Though maybe you don't feel the same. You've handled this holiday season with fortitude and grace. I suppose you're all decorated, shopped, and baked for the holiday, sitting peacefully with a cup of cocoa in front of the fire. Am I right? Yes? No? Well, if you are enjoying that nice warm mug of hot chocolate - more power to you! That is exactly the picture I'm striving for. 

At the end of October I began to carefully plan out our holiday season. With lots of commitments, projects, and a vacation over Thanksgiving on the calendar, I had to be strategic. Lists were made and many lines were cheerfully slashed through a nice portion of items on that list. Yet, I admit, after our glorious trip to the mountains over Thanksgiving, I came home stuck in vacation mode, not really wanting to rally myself to list completion. And truly, this is not a Bah-Humbug moment, this is a "Man, I wish someone else would finish my last bit of present shopping and make me some Christmas cut-out cookies with thick frosting" kind of moment. 

Nevertheless, things will be completed. I have slapped my gumption into a semi-functioning state and have challenged it to finish all present buying and wrapping by Sunday evening. As well, I have informed said gumption that cookie making is a time honored tradition here, so get on it.

We'll see how well gumption responds.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Chew on This | Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage

Well, hello. Long time, no food.

It's been just over a month since I was last here offering up something to eat. Sorry about that. You know life, it gets life-y. Today, however, I have something so delicious, so fantastic,  so glorious...maybe you'll forgive me for my absence.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage. Yes, that's a mouthful, but you'll be dreaming of these fluffy, pillowy gnocchi. You'll callously and unabashedly lick the brown butter from your fingers. And crispy sage...it's like the best potato chip you've ever eaten. But better. 

I made these gnocchi with a gluten free flour mix. Mimi made them with regular all purpose flour. Both recipes worked brilliantly. So do as you will when you make them. I have made several batches. Lots have been eaten. Lots have been frozen, then eaten. All have been stupendous  And of course, they would be a fantastic addition to your Thanksgiving or holiday table.



Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chew on This | Carrot Coconut Soup

This fall season is just so fantastic! As I write this, the sky is a brilliant blue, leaves are fluttering on a cool wind, and the day is unfolding in such a lovely, slow way. Shortly, I'll be making another batch of this Carrot Coconut Soup, which will take me approximately 30-ish minutes. A perfectly short interval of time spent in the kitchen today so that the family and I will have plenty of time to do all the things, or none of the things, we plan to do today. 

Later, when the sun lowers and the light turns a pinky-orange, we will dig into a warm bowl of fall color. Cozying us from the inside-out. 


Here's our recipe:

The amount of time you spend making this soup will not prepare you for the amazing flavor that will simmer forth. Simple preparation with spectacular results. Serve for a quick lunch, or dinner, with a side salad, or as an elegant starter for dinner guests. I often double or triple this recipe and freeze the extra servings for an even snappier meal prep.

Carrot Coconut Soup
2 T butter
1 T oil
1 1/2 lbs. carrots, cleaned and cut into one inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
2-3 C chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 t salt
3/4 t pepper

basil pesto, for garnish

In a large stock pot, melt your butter and oil together over medium heat. Add in your carrots, salt and pepper. Cook carrots for 5 minutes before adding in your onions. Continue to cook your vegetables over medium heat, stirring often, until carrots become fork tender. Pour in your coconut milk and broth, turn the heat up to high and bring soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat and allow soup to cool enough so that you can use your immersion blender (or regular blender) to smooth the soup. Blend soup until perfectly soup. Re-warm soup to serve. Garnish with a large drizzle of pesto. Enjoy!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Chew on This | Peanut Butter, Coconut, Oat and Chip Cookies (GF)

I removed gluten from my diet six weeks ago, so of course all I want to do is slather butter onto a warm, crusty baguette and devour it without restraint. I want all the cakes, cookies, waffles, crackers, ciabatta - all the gluten filled everything. Don't I? Well, yes to the baguette (today, anyway), but pretty much no to everything else. 

I have been experimenting and have made some really awesome gluten free replacements for many of the things that I crave. These cookies are no exception. They're crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. They really don't need to be designated gluten free cookie - they're just fabulous cookies. 



Here's our recipe:

Peanut Butter, Coconut, Oat and Chip Cookies (GF)

3/4 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 C peanut butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free)
3/4 - 1 C shredded coconut
1 C chocolate chips
1 1/2 t vanilla
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray several cookie sheets with baking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all of your ingredients until completely combined. Using a small cookie scoop, place heaping mounds of cookie dough onto your baking sheets. Put your baking sheets into the oven and bake cookies for 10-13 minutes. Allow cookies to cool slightly before eating. Enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Chew on This | Honey Roasted Peaches and Brie Crostini

Happy Friday! It's Fri-Yay!!

I'm so happy the weekend is just hours away. It's been an up and down week, so I'm planning, hoping, and counting on the weekend to give us all some quiet goodness. As well, my sweet little Sprite comes home from 6th grade camp today. She's been gone since Wednesday morning and we've had no contact with her since. Students were not permitted to bring any electronic devices. So no texting or calling mom and dad to let us know how she was doing. The assistant principal, however, tweeted pictures and videos of the kids during their activities practically every hour. That was comforting, though we only saw the first really good video glimpse of our girl last night. She looked to be having a most excellent time.

My kids attend the same school I went to and graduated from years ago. I also went to 6th grade camp, the same camp The Sprite is enjoying at the moment. Lots of things have changed at the camp since I was there 100 years ago. There are better living quarters, newer, cleaner bathrooms, more activities - horseback riding, nature photography, ropes courses, and rock walls!! Much has not changed. The bonfires and sing-a-longs, getting to know your friends better, and being able to go away from home and not miss your family so much because you're having such a blast.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Chew on This | Roasted Strawberry and Ricotta Crostini

If you know me, even just a bit, you know that I have a cordial relationship with vegetables. Over the years I've come to appreciate many of them, but we're certainly not going to be besties anytime soon (I'm talking to you, eggplant). 

I have found that my interest in vegetables increases exponentially when I roast them, because certainly I'm not going to chow down on a fresh, ripe tomato from my garden. No. Way. But I will make, and eat, pounds of salsa made from my gorgeous roasted tomatoes. And not only that, I'll roast more tomatoes and make them into the best, velvety Roasted Tomato Basil Soup. Seriously, tomato soup! I wouldn't have been caught dead eating tomato soup ten years ago. Ahh, acting like a grown up and eating my vegetables is sooooo mature.

Anyway, after these few years of roasting vegetables into the 'hey, I kind of like you' phase, I decided to roast some fruit into the 'hey, I might be obsessed with you' phase. No biggie, roasted strawberries and I are in love.