Friday, February 26, 2010

YANKEE POT ROAST - Cooking Light

Don't you think a pot roast on Sunday is lovely? It is so old-fashioned and comforting. This recipe comes from Cooking Light magazine and my family loved it.

This is one of those recipes I decided to make when I woke up on a Sunday morning so I used what I had on hand. Instead of fresh plum tomatoes, I used canned diced. And I added flat leaf parsley and garlic.


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 (4-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

2 cups coarsely chopped onion

2 cups less-sodium beef broth

¼ cup ketchup

2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cup chopped plum tomato

1 ¼ pounds small red potatoes

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Cooking instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 300°.

2. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan, browning on all sides (about 8 minutes). Remove from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until browned. Return roast to pan. Combine broth, ketchup, and Worcestershire; pour over roast. Add tomato; bring to a simmer.

3. Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until tender. Add potatoes and carrots; cover and bake 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in lemon juice.

Serving: 10

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Here is one of our two pretty, Anna apple trees. Lovely, shaping up quite nicely. Heroically survived our hideous summer, facing west no less.

Here is our not so lovely Anna apple tree after removing all of the leaves. Dr. Jill, from Sweet Life Garden, instructed (actually ordered) me to remove the leaves so that energy can pour into the new growth. Yikes that hurt! But hopefully next year we will be munching away on tart green apples.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Super easy, one pan, yum.

Adapted by Smitten Kitchen from How to Cook Everything

8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

1.Butter an 8×8 pan

2.Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.

3.Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions (below). I added 1/2 cup butterscotch chips and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

4.Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. Cool on rack before cutting them.
Further additions, use one or a combination of:

•1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, toasting them first for even better flavor
•1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips
•1/2 teaspoon mint extract in addition to or in place of the vanilla
•1/2 cup mashed bananas
•1/4 cup bourbon, scotch or other whiskey; increase the flour by one tablespoon
•2 tablespoons of espresso powder with the vanilla
•Stir 1/2 cup dried fruit, especially dried cherries, into the prepared batter
•Top with a vanilla butter cream or chocolate peanut butter cream frosting

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Most leek and potato soup recipes have cream added. This does not. It is a Jamie Oliver recipe adapted by Cooking Light magazine and is delicious.

I made this soup on one of those unusually cold days in the Phoenix area and we gobbled it up for lunches and dinners. As is usually the case, the soup was even better the second and third day.

This recipe is dedicated to my friend Leslie. When we were in London several years we ate at Jamie Oliver's restaurant, Fifteen. And miracle of miracles he hopped out of a black Range Rover and popped in to the restaurant dressed in black tie, minus the tie, looking quite darling. We were told that he does not come to the restaurant on Saturday nights so we lucked out.

Leslie is a big fan of Oliver's so our server took her to meet him and to have her photo taken with him. He was very gracious (otherwise I wouldn't have posted his recipe!).

SERVES 8 , 8 1 1/4 c servings

2 leeks (about 1 lb)

6 cups fat-free chicken broth (or veggie broth)

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups onions, chopped (about 1 lb)

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup carrot, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed (Yukon Gold recommended)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  1. Remove roots, outer leaves, and tops from leeks. Cut each in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2" slices. Immerse in cold water; swirl. Drain.

  2. Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.

  3. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add leek, onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Partially cover, and cook 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

  4. Add hot broth and potato; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until potato is tender. Stir in pepper and salt.

  5. Serve chunky, or puree with an immersion blender.
Note: I, Kim, added 5 garlic cloves and did not puree the soup.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


When I saw this posted on Joy the Baker I knew it would be delicious. Really, anything citrus is divine. This is creamy (frozen bananas) and tart (all that lovely citrus). And it is healthy so drink up!

A juicer

A blender

2 Tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (I used our local lemons)

the juice of 1/2 a grapefruit

1/2 cup fresh orange or tangerine juice

2 tablespoons honey

heaping 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 frozen banana (they blend better when frozen)

1/2 cup ice cubes

In a blender, combine juices, yogurt, and honey. Blend for a few seconds. Add the ice cubes and blend until smooth. This makes two regular sized smoothies. Heaven.

Monday, February 8, 2010


This is a great dessert for kids and adults. It mimics the deep-fried ice cream found on most Mexican restaurants dessert menus. But there is no frying! Yea!

I love the combination of the cold, vanilla ice cream with the crunch of the rice krispies and nuts, with the strawberries and whipped cream--really, what's not to love?

Whether you are having a party or a family dinner it helps to make at least one item the day before. This can be made and then stashed in the freezer until needed.

You could also drizzle a little honey on top for one more layer of flavor.


1/2 cup melted butter

2 1/2 cup Rice Krispies

1 cup chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups coconut

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (rectangular carton works best)

Toppings include: strawberries, whipped cream, honey

Combine all ingredients except ice cream. Press 1/2 of mixture into 9 x 13 inch pan. Put vanilla ice cream on top. Cut into 1/2 inch slices if from square carton, scoop if from round carton. Press rest of crumb mixture on top. Cover and freeze for 12 hours. Top with strawberries or other berries.

Recipe from My Favorite Things by Elizabeth Banks

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I can't decide if this is a horror story, fantasy fiction, or a comedy with a dark undercurrent. But it is a well-written, original idea of a story.

Written by Frank Baker in 1940, Miss Hargreaves, tells the story of Norman Huntley and his ability to create on the spur of the moment (something his father had warned him about). I don't mean a piece of art, but a fully-formed, adult human being in the form of 80-something year old Connie Hargreaves.

Norman and his friend, Henry, make up a wild story on a rainy night while visiting a small town in Ireland. Wandering through an old Church they begin to make-up the history of an elderly woman who is the friend of a former Vicar. It's all bunk and they continue the joke elaborately describing her personality, the fact that she has a cockatoo, dog, harp, and a hip-bath that she carries with her as she travels. Leaving the church they decide to write a letter to their new, made-up friend, envisioning her to stay at the local hotel, inviting her to visit. A few days later, Norman receives a telegram from Miss Connie Hargreaves accepting his invitation.

Stunned, Norman doesn't know quite what to do or how this happening. So he and Henry go to the train station and soon see an elderly woman with a dog, cockatoo, harp, and scads of luggage descend on to the platform. I won't go any further but I was entertained as I read along wondering where this was all going to end up.

Thanks to Simon at Stuck In a Book for including it in his top 50 favorite reads.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Last November, I attended the Arizona Kidney Foundation's Authors Luncheon and met Ellie Krieger from the Food Network. She is darling and her skin is gorgeous--probably from all of that healthy eating!

It's not some earth-shattering idea to combine apples and cheese but I hadn't thought about it for a quesadilla. This recipe comes from Krieger's latest cookbook, So Easy, it was great but it would also be a good choice for a quick lunch. I think kids would like this, as well. Of course you can use whatever apples and cheese you have on hand, but there is something about a tart apple with sharp cheddar cheese.

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced

4 whole-wheat flour tortillas (9 inches in diameter)

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Fan out apple slices over the bottom half of each tortilla and top with the cheddar cheese. Fold the tortillas in half. Working in batches, place the quesadillas in the skillet and weigh them down with a smaller, heavy skillet or a ovenproof plate topped with a heavy can.

Cook until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Cut each quesadilla in half and eat warm.

Serves 4.