Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Everyday Bread

In our continued efforts to eat clean, I decided I was going to start making my own bread, no preservatives and I know high quality ingredients are in it because that is all I buy.  This bread is excellent, period.  I make it once every week or two, it freezes wonderfully and is good for both toast and sandwiches.  

Best of all you can tweak it any way you want to, add flax seeds, substitute whole wheat flour or whatever you think will taste good, this bread can take it.  I made it in my Kitchenaid Mixer.


1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

2-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons canola oil

6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour


1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and add sugar, stir well and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, it should be frothy.  Add the salt, oil and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.

**If you are using a Kitchenaide Mixer start out with the paddle mixer than before adding additional flour switch to the dough hook and let run for 10 minutes or so while adding the remaining flour until it comes together and pulls from the side of the bowl. 

2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in two greased 9x5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.

4. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Beef Pho - Pho Bo

My husband and I are Pho lovers, we eat Pho at least once or twice a month.  I have always wanted to try making it at home, but it seemed pretty daunting.  I know they sell the Pho Packets, but I wanted to make it the traditional Vietnamese way.

I recently purchased an Insta Pot and have been making some amazing broth and fruit water in it.  I figured I could use it to make quick and delicious Pho broth.  I have to say the end result was in the top 3 bowls of Pho I have ever eaten.  It is a great deal of work, but so worth the time and care.


2 large onions, split in 4ths
1 large hand ginger (about 6 inches long), split in half lengthwise
1 pounds beef shin bones
2 pounds oxtail, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch thick slices
1 Ribeye Steak, have your butcher cut it into very thin slices
3 whole star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick (we just used a dash of Saigon Cinnamon)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (we skipped this)
4 cloves
5 star anise pods
1 teaspoon coriander seeds (we skipped this)
1/4 cup fish sauce, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons sugar (preferably yellow rock sugar, which I found easily in an Asian Store
Kosher salt


Cilantro (optional)
Lime (quartered)
Jalapeno Slices
Thinly sliced yellow onion
Thai Bird Chilli's (very spicy)
Bean Sprouts


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C)

Place beef bones on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven until browned, turning on occasion, about 1 hour or broil which is faster.  Remove and set aside when done roasting.

Place onion, ginger and Shallot on the same baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven until blackened and soft, about 45 minutes, turning them on on occasion.

Place bones, onion, ginger, salt, star anise,cloves and fish sauce in a large stockpot and cover with water.   If using an Insta Pot, let it cook for 2 hours on the soup function.  If not see below.

****Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for 6 to 10 hours. Strain the broth into a saucepan and set aside****

Place rice noodles in large bowl filled with room temperature water and allow to soak for 1 hour.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and after the noodles have soaked, place them in the boiling water for 1 minute.

Bring stock to a simmer.

Divide noodles among 4 serving bowls; top with Ribeye slices.  .

Pour hot broth over the top. Stir and let sit until the beef is partially cooked and no longer pink, 1 to 2 minutes.

Offer the following toppings:

Cilantro (optional)
Lime (quartered)
Jalepeno Slices
Thinly sliced yellow onion
Thai Bird Chilis (very spicy)
Bean Sprouts
Siracha Sauce
Hoisin Sauce

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream - Updated

Our eating habits have changed quite a bit since last time I made Ice Cream.  We are clean eaters and rarely buy processed or pre-packaged food any longer.  We also only eat Grass Fed dairy, including Milk, Butter, etc.

We picked up a flat of fresh Oregon Hood Berries (the best in the World in my opinion) and decided to make Ice Cream with some of the Berries.  It was so delicious and we were even happier knowing it was not a bunch of cheap ingredients.

3 cups strawberries, rinsed
1 cup sugar (we used half regular sugar and half Coconut Sugar which has a lower glycemic hit)
1 cup sour cream (I used low fat)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed
2 cups of whole grass fed Milk
2 TBL Coconut Oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

Hull strawberries and place in a 3- to 4-quart pan. Coarsely mash with a potato masher. Add 1/2 cup sugar and the Coconut Oil, and stir occasionally over medium-high heat until mixture begins to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes.

Nest pan in a bowl of ice water and stir often until cold, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from ice water.

Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar mixture, sour cream, lemon, milk, vanilla, and berries; stir until blended (mixture will be streaked).

Pour into an ice cream maker (1 1/2-qt. or larger capacity). Freeze according to manufacturer's directions until mixture is softly frozen, dasher is hard to turn, or machine stops.

Spoon out and serve softly frozen or, to scoop, freeze airtight about 3 hours; store airtight in the freezer up to 1 week.

**Note: If you are using a Kitchenaid Ice Cream attachment, it is imperative you put the bowl in the freezer for at least 24**

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Chicken and Jalapeno Flautas with Avocado Crema

My husband's continued affair with Mexican Food challenges me to make up new recipes to keep him fed and happy.  I had some leftover rotisserie chicken and decided to make Flautas.  I don't deep fry anymore, but if you spray them with Pam or brush them with oil, then bake at high heat they are nice and crispy.

I have always wondered exactly what is the difference between Flautas and Taquitos.

I decided to Google it and I found the following:

 Flautas = Flour Tortilla
Taquitos = Corn Tortilla, often fried


8 Flour Shells (I like the soft taco size)
1.5 cups of shredded chicken
1 package of cream cheese
1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
3 green onions, stems removed, and diced, mostly white parts and some green
1 cup of  Colby Jack Cheese or Pepper Jack
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Avocado Crema:

I ripe Avocado seeded and peeled
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 Lime juiced


First thing, take your cream cheese and flour shells out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature.

While this is happening, make your Crema, by mixing the avocado, sour cream and lime juice

Mix the chicken, cream cheese, jalapeno, onions, cheese, lime juice, onion and garlic powder, mix well.

Put a shell down and place the mixture off to one side, roll tightly and place on a sheet pan

Spray each shell with Pam or brush with oil lightly

Cook at 400 for 15 minutes or nicely browned

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Chili Rellenos Casserole

I really love Chili Rellenos as does my husband, his are amazing but very time consuming.  I found this recipe and I thought that this shortcut sounded pretty good.  I added lots of extra ingredients and it was fantastic.  I personally think the original recipe would be too bland for my taste.

I served with a little salsa on the bottom of the plate, close to authentic, it is normally served with a very light tomato sauce.


5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 tsp garlic salt

Pickled jalapenos (optional)
1 russet potato, peeled, cubed and microwaved for 3 minutes
1 small can of olives sliced (optional)
1/4 of a jalapeno diced very small
4 7-ounce cans whole green chilies, split open
4 cups shredded cheddar (about 1 pound)
4 cups shredded Monterrey Jack (about 1 pound)


Lightly grease 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Beat first 7 ingredients in medium bowl to blend.

Arrange chilies from 2 cans in prepared dish, covering bottom completely. Sprinkle with 1/2 of each cheese.

Sprinkle the potato, olives, fresh jalapeno and pickled if you wish onto the cheese

Layer the remaining 2 cans of rinsed, split chili's

Add the remaining cheese

Pour egg mixture over the top. (whip he living shit out of it right before you pour) Let stand 30 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake until casserole is slightly puffed in center and golden brown on edges, about 45 minutes. Cool 20 minutes and serve. (Mine took a full hour)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Individual Scalloped Potato's

I bought these super cute Lodge Individual Fry Pans and use them to make Scalloped Potato's.  It is super easy, very tasty and adorable!  I love cute individual side dishes.


1 large russet potato, peeled and sliced thinly
2 tbl butter, plus some for greasing the pans
1 cup of shredded cheese (I used Cheddar)
1/4 cup of half and half
cayenne pepper
onion powder


Grease the pans liberally with butter

Place a layer of potatoes overlapping them, salt and pepper

Place half of the shredded cheese a dab of butter and about 4 tbl of half and half and repeat until you are out of potato slices

Top with cayenne and onion powder and bake

350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a fork easily goes in

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Apricot Walnut Bread

My Husband bought a huge package of dried non sulfured apricots and I was sick of seeing them in the fridge mocking me.  I don't eat dried fruit myself, so I thought I would try to make some bread out of some of the apricots.  I looked around and found a nice recipe on The Taste Of Home website.

I followed the recipe exactly, except I lowered the temperature and cooked it for about an hour and a half.


1 cup snipped dried apricots
2 cups warm water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used Walnuts)


Soak apricots in warm water for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, cream the sugar, butter and egg. Stir in orange juice.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until combined.

Drain apricots well; add to batter with nuts. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan.

Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until bread tests done.

Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Strawberry Muffins

I had some beautiful local Strawberries that were looking a little sad, I decided to make Strawberry Muffins out of them.  I do have to say they were pretty darn good, my Husband adored them and they are sort of low sugar.  I changed the recipe to better fit my dietary changes.


1 2/3 cups fresh strawberries
2/3 cup sugar (I used 1/3 regular sugar and 1/3 coconut sugar as it has a lower glycemic index)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla


Heat oven to 385 F.

Put a paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups, or grease just the bottoms of 12 muffin cups.

Slightly smash strawberries in large bowl, using fork. Mix the berries with a few tablespoons of sugar and let sit for 15 minutes

Stir in sugar, oil and eggs until mixed.

Stir in other ingredients just until moistened.

Spoon batter into muffin cups.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown or toothpick poked in center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes.

Loosen sides of muffins from pan if needed, and take them out of the pan.

Makes 12 muffins.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cheesy, Bacony Corn Muffins with Jalapeno Jelly Glaze

I was watching an episode of The Kitchen and Sunny Anderson was making some yummy Corn Muffins, She glazed them with Jalepeno Jelly and I realized I had a jar of it which my Sister In Law Leigh brought last time they were in Oregon.

I made a few changes to her recipe and they were fantastic, a great addition to the barbecued chicken legs my husband was cooking for dinner.  Spicy ones too!


2 packages Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
2 eggs
2/3 milk
1/2 jalapeno pepper diced small
3 green onions sliced
3 slices cooked bacon diced
pepper jack cheese
mozarella cheese
jalepeno jelly


Mix the above ingredients (except the jelly and cheese) together and fill half of your muffin tin with the mixture

Place some of each cheese on top and then a bit more corn bread mix, you are essentially putting the cheese in the middle. (I used my Jumbo silicone ones).

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, checking often for doneness.

In the meantime melt some jalapeno jelly which you will drizzle on when they come out of the oven. I added some bacon drippings because I had them, you can use a bit of water to loosen the jelly.

You want to glaze the muffins the minute they come out of the oven so it will sink in.

Let cool and serve

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pepper Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin

We were at or local Butchers, Ponderosa Provisions and noticed they had pepper bacon, so we grabbed a pound and a nice looking smallish pork loin.  We decided to wrap the pork loin in the bacon and then onto the barbecue.

It was amazing and it is on our dinner rotation now, even leftovers are yummy!

It is more of a process than a recipe:

1 boneless pork loin, the smaller ones work best
1 pound of pepper bacon (we also like Daily's Pepper Bacon)
1/4 cup Maple Syrup (use the good stuff)
salt and pepper to taste


Brush your loin with some Maple Syrup

Add pepper and a bit of salt

Carefully wrap the bacon around the loin 

Place on a heated BBQ and cook till the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees, there will be carryover cooking.

Occasionally brush the loin with additional Maple Syrup while cooking.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Chicken Pot Pie

It was a chilly fall day and I had a bunch of leftover chicken from my Sunday Roast Chicken dinner. I have not made Chicken Pot Pie in years, so I decided to just throw together some ingredients and see what happened.  It turned out beautifully, I think the puff pastry crust is the way to go.


2 cups of cubed chicken
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1.5 can of water
small sack of frozen peas and carrots
7 mushrooms cleaned and sliced
1 potato, peeled, cubed and cooked
1/2 cup corn (optional, I just happened to have some fresh corn)
2 tablespoons of chicken better than bouillon
1 tablespoon of thyme
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of parsley

Puff Pastry
1 egg, whipped (for egg wash)

Cube and cook your potatoes and place them into a large pot, add the chicken, the cream of chicken soup, water, frozen veggies, corn if you wish, mushrooms and the spices, cook for a few minutes, just to get the mixture hot and let he flavors mingle.

Let your puff pastry thaw.

Turn off heat and let the mixture cool.  Ladle into bowls or ramekins, don't fill all the way to the top, leave some head space

Cut the pastry into a circle 1 inch wider than the width of the bowl or ramekin and poke a few holes in it with a fork. Brush the top 1 inch of the outside of the saucepan or ramekin with half of the egg wash.

Place the pastry over top and crimp the edges with your fingers so it sticks. Brush the top of the pastry with the remaining egg wash.

Bake the pot pie until the top is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes at 400 degrees.

Let cool for 5 minutes or so, then serve.

Everyday Bread

In our continued efforts to eat clean, I decided I was going to start making my own bread, no preservatives and I know high quality i...