Easy Peasy Cranberry Sauce

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you know that I’ve been busy preparing for Thanksgiving and Page’s Birthday right after. We are hosting Thanksgiving , which means that I will be doing most of the cooking. I spent most of the day writing out my menu, dividing up tasks I can accomplish throughout the next few days. Today I tackled prepping my desserts which just means I weighed the dry ingredients put them in bags, labeled, and sealed them. Now all I have to do is add the wet ingredients and bake. As you can see I’ve learned over the years that cooking a large meal like this requires a lot of forethought and staggering of duties. So today one of the other things on my to do list was to make this cranberry sauce! It takes 10 minutes, you throw everything in one pot, a little bit of stirring and you’re done! So easy and super delicious and definitely an upgrade to the canned stuff. Trust me once you make this you will never go back to the canned stuff!

Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

12oz organic cranberries fresh or frozen

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

Zest of 1 organic orange

Juice of 1 organic orange

1/2 teaspoon of allspice (optional)

Directions:

Place cranberries, cinnamon stick, orange zest, sugar, water, and juice in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, stirring as the cranberries begin to pop. The sauce is done once it thickens about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, serve immediately or place in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Sauteed Chard with Lemon, Garlic and Shallots

Sauteed Chard with Lemon, Garlic and Shallots

Sauteed Chard with Lemon, Garlic and Shallots

Chard is an under rated vegetable.  It’s one of those vegetables that doesn’t get it’s due.  Probably because it has to contend with other vegetables that hog the spotlight, like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower.  I think that if more people knew how easy it is to cook chard, and how delicious it is, it would be a star in their dinner line up.  This recipe for chard is one of my favorite chard recipes.  It’s super easy, quick, and oh so delicious!

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Ingredients

1 bushel of chard about 4 cups chopped roughly

1 medium shallot sliced thinly

4 small cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, more if you’re so inclined

2 tablespoons of cooking oil

sea salt to taste

Directions:  Heat the oil along with the garlic and shallots over medium heat.

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Cook the shallots and garlic until shallots turn translucent, about 1-2 minutes.

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Add in the chopped chard, season with sea salt and saute until wilted.

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Turn the fire off and add lemon juice, toss then serve.  Yup that easy! AND So, so , so delicious!!

 

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DIY Onion Soup Mix–Copy Cat Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix

 

DIY Onion soup mix

DIY Onion soup mix

There are three seasonings that I can rely on my mom to have in her cupboards at all times: Lawry’s seasoning salt, Lemon pepper, and Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix.  In fact while writing this, I was tempted to call her, and have her take a picture of what is inside her cupboards, just so that you guys could see, but she’s not that technologically savvy.  She barely knows how to get the pictures that I send her of Page through text.  When I was growing up my mom would rent  4-5  movies and make a bunch of snacks for us watch over the course of the weekend.  One of those snacks was a sour cream and onion dip.  She’d take a container of sour cream and mix in a package of the Lipton Onion Soup mix–simple but delicious.  We’d happily nosh on potato chips, celery, and carrot sticks dipped in the onion dip while we watched the latest movie release from Blockbuster video–yes I just dated myself!  Oh the memories!  I haven’t had that dip in years!  I’d say a good 10-12 years, maybe longer.  It’s not something my mom makes any more.  I wanted to make it for me and my hubby, but I didn’t want to buy the Lipton’s seasoning. I had an idea of what was in the seasoning–or at least I thought I did– dried minced onion, onion powder, dried green onion–but to be sure I called my mom and asked her what was on the ingredient list.  Sure enough she had a box in her cupboard and  the ingredient list she read to me was anything but simple. Besides the MSG, onion powder, and cornstarch, there were a list of ingredients that had  nothing to do with onions. So I set out to do what I do best and made my own–without all the added preservatives and coloring.  I used the organic onion powder that I made myself, and added minced onion and a few herbs.  A perfect match! Tastes just like I remember it! Delicious!!

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Makes the equivalent of 1 package of Lipton Onion soup mix

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons of organic dried minced onion flakes

3 teaspoons of organic onion powder

1 teaspoon of organic dried chives

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1/4 teaspoon of celery salt

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, if you don’t plan on using this right away, transfer it to an air tight container for later use.

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Fried Cauliflower Florets with Creamy Garlic Tahini Sauce

 

Fried Cauliflower Florets with Creamy Garlic Tahini  Sauce

Fried Cauliflower Florets with Creamy Garlic Tahini Sauce

Whenever I eat out at a Mediterranean restaurant, I find it hard to not just compose a meal from the appetizer menu.  With things like lentil soup, lemon and garlic potatoes, hummus and pita bread, fattoush salad, grape leaves, and fried cauliflower on the appetizer menu, who needs a full entree!  I often find myself struggling not to order one of every thing on the appetizer menu.  I usually settle upon the potatoes or the fried cauliflower.  The fried cauliflower is amazingly simple.  Unlike most fried things that come dusted in flour or some other type of breaded base, this doesn’t.  This recipe calls for only one ingredient, cauliflower!  The tahini sauce is great with this, but the cauliflower is pretty amazing on its own.  Your kids will love these cauliflower florets, mine did!

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5-7 minutes

Ingredients:

1 small head of cauliflower

2 cups of grape seed oil or another high temp oil

Sea salt to taste

Ingredients Creamy Garlic Tahini Sauce

4 tablespoons of tahini paste

8 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of lemon juice, more if you like

2 cloves of garlic grated

Directions: Pre-heat the oil to 320F in a deep fryer.  Add ingredients for the tahini sauce to a small bowl and mix until well combined and creamy, then set aside. If you want this to be extra creamy, place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until creamy, then transfer to a bowl.

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Cut the cauliflower into florets.

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Add the cauliflower florets to the deep fryer.

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Fry until golden brown.

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Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, season with sea salt, serve and enjoy!

 

 

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D.I.Y. Chicken Breakfast Sausage-How to Make Breakfast Sausage

Chicken Breakfast Sausage

Chicken Breakfast Sausage

 

One of the most difficult parts of the day for me is deciding what to feed Page for breakfast.  Like any child, she’s opinionated about what she’ll eat, but she seems to be more obstinate in her choices during breakfast.  She doesn’t eat what I imagine most kids do in the morning, no breakfast cereals, or breakfast bars.  She is more into things that take more time, like eggs, bacon, quesadillas! She loves a hot meal to start her day off, so this week when I went shopping, I thought I’d switch things up a bit and make some homemade breakfast sausage for her.  I’m using ground chicken for this recipe, but feel free to use pork, if you’re so inclined.  The fresh herbs in this recipe are what make these sausages amazing! What’s more amazing is that you don’t need to grind the meat yourself.  Order a pound or two of ground chicken from your  meat guy/gal add some fresh herbs and BAM–Jimmy Dean style sausages for you and your loved ones.  These would be perfect for Sunday Brunch, or for your Mother’s day breakfast–point your husbands right to this site.  One pound of ground chicken made about 12 sausage patties.  I put 5 in the refrigerator, and froze the rest for later use.  If you don’t plan on cooking these within 5 days of making them, then I suggest you freeze them right away.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 lb of Organic air chilled ground chicken (dark meat)

2 tablespoon of fresh sage (finely chopped)

2 tablespoons of fresh thyme (finely chopped)

1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary (finely chopped)

1 tablespoon of maple sugar (can substitute with maple syrup or brown sugar) Omit if you’re on Whole 30

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (more if you want)

 

Directions:  Add the ground chicken and spices to a medium sized bowl,

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Form patties, and either refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze in an air tight container for up to 3 months.

 

When ready to cook, spray a cast iron skillet with coconut oil, bring pan to temperature, then add patties, cook for 3-4 minutes on each side,

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or until golden brown, and meat is cooked through in the center.

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Remove from pan, serve and enjoy!!!

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Persian Spiced Salmon Kabobs

Persian Spiced Salmon Kabob's

Persian Spiced Salmon Kabob’s

 

I love a good kabob and lately I’ve been craving them.  Salmon is such a hearty fish, and there are many great ways to prepare salmon, but when you want to switch things up a bit–grilled salmon is the way to go.  I made a paste to adorn this salmon, and it’s rich in Mediterranean flavors.  I used sumac, which can be found in any middle eastern store, or in your local Trader Joe’s–it’s where I got mine.  Sumac is tart,  sour and is often used in place of lemon in middle eastern recipes.   If you can’t find sumac, then by all means feel free to substitute with the zest of a lemon.  The flavor is this dish is fantastic.  The fresh thyme was amazing! I felt like I was eating at one of my favorite Persian restaurants.  Page really loved it, and my husband could not stop with the compliments.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

cook time: 7 minutes

Total time: 12 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1lb of salmon– dried with paper towels, de-skinned, and cubed into 1 inch pieces

1 teaspoon of sumac powder– can substitute with lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of fresh thyme-stems removed

1 teaspoon of olive oil–or oil of your choice

sea salt to taste

Directions: To a small bowl add the garlic powder, cumin powder, fresh thyme and oil, mix well and set aside.

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Rub the spice mixture on the salmon,

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then add the salmon to skewers,

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Grill the salmon for 3-4 minutes on each side, remove from grill, serve and enjoy!

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Green Bean Chicken

Green beans with Chicken

Green beans with Chicken

We are having a rough week here. Page is finding adjusting to school harder than any of us had hoped. She was fine initially, but has had a delayed reaction to being separated from me.  Yesterday was an especially hard day for us all.  She cried all day at school, and when I picked her up from school my heart just broke.  She looked like she had been crying all day, and the way she fell into my arms…let’s just say that I was reduced to one giant puddle! Needless to say, I never got around to posting my blog yesterday.

A few weeks ago we were out running the last of our Christmas errands, and stopped to eat a Chinese restaurant.  As we browsed the menu, I asked Page what she wanted to eat.  She quickly removed the menu from my hands, took a few seconds and said “I want the green beans mom!”  With her tiny finger she pointed to a picture of a plate of glimmering green beans and said ” I want this one!” Under normal circumstances I would ignore her, and get her what I think she might eat, but she was so confident in her choice that I ordered the green bean chicken for us to share. I’m so glad I did!  I don’t know who enjoyed the dish more, me or Page.  The beans were crisp and fresh, and Page devoured almost all of them!  The moment I tasted this dish, I knew that I had to try to recreate it at home.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound of fresh  organic green beans, ends trimmed

1 tablespoon of garlic paste

1 teaspoon of ginger paste

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

3 tablespoons of rice vinegar

1 chicken breast. cubed

sea salt to taste

Directions: Heat the oil, garlic and ginger paste in a saute pan just until the garlic and ginger become fragrant (about 30 seconds).

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Season the chicken with sea salt and add it to the hot pan.  Toss well, and allow the chicken to cook through about (5-7 minutes).

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Once chicken has cooked through, add in the soy sauce, rice vinegar and green beans.

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Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes–the green beans should still be crisp, remove from heat, serve and enjoy!

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