Thursday, October 11, 2012

Roasted Tomato Soup

From what I hear, the 100 degree AZ days are over for the year. That means it's time for soup! OK, maybe not, but we're well into soup weather here, and I have a yummy recipe to share. My friend adapted this recipe from Gourmet magazine, and she was kind enough to share it with me. 

This is really simple and healthy, but the end result is rich, complex and de-licious. Levy, a self proclaimed soup hater loved it, and if that's not reason enough to try it, my kids loved it too! Enjoy!

Roasted Tomato Soup

4 pounds roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream (or soy milk for non-dairy eaters)

Preheat oven to 350˚F with rack in the middle.

Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, in 1 layer in a large 4-sided sheet pan and add garlic to pan. Drizzle tomatoes with oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Roast the tomatoes and garlic for an hour and then cool on the pan. Peel the garlic cloves.

***Or you can grill the tomatoes. I haven't tried it, but here's a recipe***

Cook the onion, basil and sugar in butter in a heavy pot over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the onion is softened, about 5 min.

Add the tomatoes, garlic and stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Puree the soup in batches in the blender. Stir in the cream. Salt and pepper to taste and simmer 2 minutes. Bon Appetit!

FYI: The soup can be made a day in advance and may even taste better that way, though I haven't tried it. We topped the soup with bread and cheese and broiled it like a french onion soup. It was delicious, though not necessary. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Who Needs a Taco Truck?

I've been dying for good tacos for a while now, but Pittsburgh is sorely lacking in good Mexican food. Luckily, I stumbled upon some recipes that helped satisfy my craving.

For the meat I used this street taco recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. It was tasty, though I've also used this easy and equally delicious pressure cooker carnitas recipe.

Corn tortillas would be best, but I could only find flour. I topped them with monterey jack cheese, cilantro and these amazing Mexican pickled red onions. Mmmm!

These babies could give my favorite taco truck a run for its money.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Not food

Okay so I have a recipe that is not food it is cleaning supply. I found it on pinterest and decided to try it. We have hard and very silty water so my bathrooms didn't look clean after I cleaned them. I have tried everything I can think of on my faucets and shower door but nothing was working. I even tried the baking soda and vinegar paste and it didn't even touch it. I finally tried this stuff and it worked amazingly. I went on a cleaning spree when I realized it worked. Sorry, I am just a little excited to have found this. You have to try it!

12 oz white vinegar
12 oz dawn dishsoap (the recipe says blue dawn, probably to make sure you don't us it as water, but I used clear)

Heat the vinegar in the microwave until it is very hot then add the dishsoap put it in a spray bottle and start cleaning. It doesn't have to be hot when you use it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Delicious Taco Meat

This recipe makes the yummiest taco meat I've ever had and, as a bonus, it's the easiest recipe ever!

Beef roast
Pace Picante Sauce

Cook the roast in the crock pot, pressure cooker or stove top until it's falling apart. Drain off the juices and shred the meat. Mix in picante sauce until you think it has the right consistency (moist, but not dripping.) Add salt to taste and enjoy.

And that's it. This is so yummy that I can't help but sneak forkfuls of the leftovers :) I like to eat it with cheese and a tomato/ green onion/ cilantro mixture on top. Mmmm.

*****cooking times will vary depending on size and cut of roast, but I've found that it takes about 40-60 minutes in the pressure cooker and 8 hours in the crock pot on low or 3 hours on high.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sour Cream

This is just a tip a recently tried. We tend to eat a lot of Mexican food which in turn, we eat a lot of sour cream. Sour cream has a lot of fat in it. If I'm gonna eat fatty foods, it might as well be a desert, right? So someone told me they use plain yogurt in place of sour cream. I'm not quite ready for that, but I've been mixing the 2 and James hasn't seemed to notice. Just another way to try to keep my family healthy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Here's a favorite main dish salad that we've been loving.  Easy to prepare - you can make and serve it immediately!
Springtime Chicken Apple Salad
Below are MY CHANGES.  I've modified it quite a bit from the original, but this recipe is so easy to adapt to whatever you like or want to try. 
This is a great all season salad.  It is surprisingly filling and yummy.  Great way to get more fruits and veggies in the diet.

-= Ingredients =-
2 cups cooked boneless ; skinless Chicken Breasts, or Rotissarie Chicken
3 large Tart Apples (Pink Ladies, Grannysmiths, Jazz,... ; cored and chopped
1/2 cup Craisins
1/2 cup Dried Cherries (Costco Kirkland brand) ; optional
3 celery stalks ; chopped
1/2 cup Pecans or walnuts ; chopped
~~ -- Dressing -- ~~
1/2 cup Plain Yogurt ; greek style is great!
3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Agave Nectar or Honey ; (I use honey)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper
Boston lettuce leaves ; optional (I never use them)

-= Instructions =-
In a large bowl, mix chicken, apples,craisins, cherries, celery, and nuts. Set aside.

In a smaller glass or ceramic bowl, stir together yogurt ,mayonnaise, agave nectar or honey, cinnamon, salt & pepper (I use about 1/2 t. salt & 1/4 t. pepper, but that's just me). Whisk well and TASTE.  You're looking for a sweetish taste.  If anything seems off then change it to what tastes good to you!

Pour over chicken mixture and mix well to coat chicken evenly.   Serve with rolls, homemade bread or french bread.  REALLY GOOD and HEALTHY.

Optional serving idea:  . Line a platter or individual plates with lettuce leaves and mound chicken salad on leaves. Garnish with a pinwheel of thin apple slices. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Recipe By: Bashas' Health Styles  Eat Smart newsletter
Serving Size: 4-6

** This recipe can be pasted into BigOven without retyping.     **
** Easy recipe software.  Try it free at:    **

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chicken + Salad= Heaven

This Spicy Honey Chicken Salad is so yummy and pretty darn easy. I had never made anything from Our Best Bites before, but this recipe has made me want to try more of their recipes. I'm feeling lazy so I'm just going to link to the recipes on their site.

The Chicken (it's really not spicy)
The Dressing
Put it all together- I usually leave the avocados off because they're really expensive here. The mango is a must have though!