Saturday, December 31, 2011

Butternut Squash and Sage Soup - Erin

For this, I started with a basic butternut squash soup recipe, but added a whole bunch of sage and nutmeg, and it turned out to be delicious!  My dad even managed to eat a little bit, fulfilling his vegetable quota for a few days!  Anyway, really easy and full of veggies, and because it's blended you can hide this fact!  My boyfriend has no idea that there are TWO sticks of celery in this, and he loves it.  And he considers celery to be several steps worse than poisonous.  I don't think he really reads our blog, but it looks like I'll find out if he starts refusing to eat it!

what you'll need
3 Tbsp butter
2 lbs butternut squash, cubed
1 onion, chopped finely
2 potatoes, cubed
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
4 cups chicken stock
1 handful sage leaves, chopped roughly
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Chai Concentrate - Caity

My mom found this recipe online in the Oregonian and sent it to me. I intended to make it for my friend Becca but I ended up making myself 4 cups of chai yesterday with her present. Needless to say, I had to make another batch. It's so easy to make and use AND it stores for up to 6 months! I'm on my second cup already this morning and looking forward to a couple more. 

Also, if you're not a tea drinker, it's good in coffee too.

Merry Christmas everyone! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Morning Brunch Bake - Erin and Caity

We do this for brunch every year on Christmas, because it's delicious and easy.  I make it on New Year's sometimes too, because you put it all together ahead of time, and then in the morning all you have to do is throw it in the oven.  It's from a Canadian cookbook given to us by the Kestles called The Best of The Best And More, which is full of other great recipes too, like Brendan's Parmesan and Basil Orzo.  

what you will need:

3 4-oz. cans mild green chilies, chopped
6 corn tortillas, cut into 1" strips
2 lbs hot Italian sausage, casing removed, cooked, drained
2 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup milk
8 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
paprika to sprinkle
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
salsa and sour cream for condiments

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies - Caity

Chocolate crinkle cookies are my favorite Christmastime cookie. Well, they're my favorite anytime cookie. They are so pretty looking and taste so good with a big glass of milk. And they remind me of snow which I am missing a lot lately. 

 I haven't made Chocolate Crinkle Cookies for a long, long time and since I made them, I've been enjoying them for an afternoon snack, for a pre-bedtime snack, for a post-lunch treat and sometimes for breakfast. The list goes on... This is why I don't make cookies often! This recipe is from the Crepes of Wrath blog. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tomato, Sausage and Eggplant Soup - Cathy

This is a wonderful, hearty winter soup from my favorite cookbook of all time, "The Frog/Commissary Cookbook".  That's quite a statement from me as I own kind of a lot of cookbooks...(hush, you kids--no telling on me!). At any rate, I bought this book many, many years ago and I find that it is still my go-to reliable source for everything good.

I get cravings for the flavors of this soup.  It is thick, substantial and so delicious--and also works well as a pasta sauce.  If you would like to make it without the sausage, that works great too--just increase the eggplant and maybe the fennel too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Orange and Herbs Turkey Brine - Caity

I have only made 3 turkeys in my life so I do not claim to be an expert. But if there is one thing I know, I know this brine makes a delicious turkey! When I first read the recipe I thought the idea of orange peels was very weird. But when the turkey was done, I had a bite of the skin that an orange peel had been sitting on for several hours and it was an amazing! The rest of the turkey was nice and moist and flavorful and delicious.  

This recipe is slightly altered from the Pioneer Woman's recipe for turkey brine. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Crab and Brie Soup - Caity

The weather this week has been.... dreary. It's cold and rainy. And cold. And rainy. Not unusual weather for Portland though! While I was walking across the Costco parking lot yesterday getting thoroughly soaked and wind blown, I knew there was only one thing that could warm me up. Crab and Brie soup. 

This recipe is based on my favorite soup from a restaurant in Salt Lake called Big City Soup. I was relatively heart broken when I came home for Fall Break in college and found out it had closed and there was no Crab and Brie soup waiting to welcome me home. Luckily, my mom is a PRETTY good cook and figured out the basic recipe and it is an excellent replacement. 

This recipe serves 4-5 people and you absolutely have to serve it with crusty bread to dip in the soup. Yummmmmm!

One year ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chex Mix - Cathy

I don't know how it started that I always make this around Halloween time, but it has become a family tradition.  I make massive quantities of it and send it off to our kids in London, San Jose, Oregon or wherever they might happen to be.  Most of us Old Folks grew up calling this Nuts and Bolts, but it seems to be more commonly known as Chex Mix these days.  

This is a version that is rather heavily adapted from a Canadian cookbook that Lynn Kestle gave me; it's easy and it is definitely our family favorite.  Feel free to add in or adjust whatever you like to make it to your taste.  We like it with extra Worcestershire sauce and lots of hot sauce. 

We tend to not eat the cute smiling goldfish due to an unfortunate incident involving a long, hot car trip to California when Erin was a toddler that forever scarred Kevin and I from eating any kind of cheese cracker.  I shall not elaborate here, but I still put the goldfish in because they are cute and colorful and lots of people like them.  Besides us.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tomato Focaccia - Erin

This is my adaptation of the basic Focaccia recipe that’s in the family cookbook. I’ve made it this way for a long time, and it’s always a hit, especially with boys. Our dad didn’t believe that I’d made it the first time he had it, and my ex boyfriend requested that I make sure this bread was available to him at all times. It also makes really good sandwiches, but more on that later…

what you will need

2 cups lukewarm water 
1 pkg. dry yeast (2 ½ teaspoons, if bulk) 
1 Tbsp. sugar 
2 tsp. salt 
4 cups bread flour (but all-purpose will do) 
2 Handfuls of cherry (or other small) tomatoes, halved 
1 clove garlic, sliced very thinly 
Herbs – whatever you like, Italian Mix, Rosemary, etc. 
Kosher or Sea Salt for sprinkling

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil - Brendan

I had never tried orzo until about 2 years ago. Actually, I had never even heard of it. But then one day I was begging Caity to feed me something and she mentioned orzo. I've never been one to turn down food and although I had never eaten orzo, I'll always try something at least once. 

So she made it for me, and the great thing about it is it only takes about twenty minutes from start to finish. Also, after watching her cook it only once I was able to make it on my own. It's quick, easy to make, and serves as a great side dish with any kind of meat. Our favorite way to eat it is with pork chops. This recipe comes from the "Best of the Best" Canadian cookbook. 

After that first taste I was literally obsessed with this orzo. Actually, obsessed doesn't really explain it. The word "addicted" paints a more realistic picture. I ate it almost every day for 2 or 3 months. I took a break after that but I still enjoy it once or twice monthly. 

In case you don't know what orzo is, it's a rice-shaped pasta. You can find it in the pasta section of just about any grocery store. Caity and I like the Barilla brand. So go to the store, buy some, and see how great it is!   

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Caprese Salad - Cathy

If there is one thing that Utah does really, really well, it is TOMATOES! This summer, for the first time in quite a few years Farmer Kevin has managed to defend our large organic garden from our beautiful but not always welcome visitors, the deer.  

It has been such a pleasure to once again have bowls and counter-tops brimming over with riotously colored and shaped, perfectly ripe tomatoes (not to mention zucchini, cucumbers, cantaloupe, peppers, lettuce and spinach!). 

One of the very best parts of summer is to go out to the garden in the not-too-hot part of the day, pick a few of those red, gold, and green-striped tomatoes, sprinkle them with perhaps a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, then eat them while leaning over the kitchen sink to catch all of those juicy drips.

But you can only eat so many that way (I guess).  Here is one of the most beautiful, luscious and decadent ways I know of to enjoy gorgeous summer heirloom tomatoes, yet still simple enough to highlight this wonderful but fleeting harvest. When you make this salad, you feel like you are creating a work of art, and then you have the fun of devouring it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coffee Cake Muffins - Erin

I have had this recipe written on a piece of paper since I babysat Leska Mackie over a weekend when her parents were out of town, which was probably about 8 years ago.  I can't even remember where we found the recipe, but I did remember that they were really good.  The paper has been floating around my disastrous room, and I finally remembered to save it last time I found it.  There's vanilla pudding mix in the muffins, so they're really moist and delicious!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Snickerdoodles - Erin

I'm not even sure if these really are a specifically American cookie, but all of my friends in London have decided that it is, and they make them to celebrate the 4th of July!  Wherever they're from, they're delicious.  I don't even know where I got the recipe, but I like it because they're nice and chewy, and very good too!

what you will need
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening or margarine
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flower
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp white sugar (for rolling)
2 tsp ground cinnamon (for rolling)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hearty Lasagna - Caity

When I call it hearty lasagna, I mean it. You eat 1-2 slices and you are stuffed. The recipe calls for 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb of spicy italian sausage. That's 2 lbs of meat and it is sooooooo goooooooooood! If the idea of 2 lbs of meat freaked you out, don't worry. There is also a ton of tomato, basil, italian parsley and cheese. If you are the mood for a seriously delicious meal that will really stick to your ribs, make this lasagna. 

This recipe is adapted from the Pioneer Woman's cookbook "Pioneer Woman Cooks". It makes 1 pan which you can freeze before cooking and cook later or, as I like to do, cook it, refrigerate it (so it firms up to make cutting slices easier), wrap them individually and freeze them. I can't tell you how excited I get when a couple of weeks (or days) later, I open the freezer and find lasagna. You'd think I found money in the freezer but no, just an individually wrapped portion of happiness! Enjoy! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread - Caity

The second the weather starts turns to fall, it's time for pumpkin bread! I usually try to wait until at least October before I start making this so I don't burn myself out by November but man oh man is it good. Half the reason I love making it is because it makes the kitchen smell so nice while it's baking. It's a serious struggle not to pull it out of the oven before its done and gobble it down. 

This recipe is adapted from a recipe on the "Two Peas & Their Pod" blog which I found through foodgawker. I like this recipe because it makes 3 loafs of bread. You can either give them away or throw them in the freezer until you finish your loaf (I'm guessing a day, MAYBE 2)! 


Monday, September 26, 2011

Elephant's Tomato Orange Soup - Erin

This soup...  I had it the first time I went to Elephant's Deli in Portland (here) while I was there visiting Caity and my friend Sarah.  We went back two more times in the next 36 hours!  A guy who worked there finally noticed on the 3rd visit and asked us why we were there so often.  It was all worth it though, because this soup is incredible!  The orange is just enough that you notice it, but not so much that it's overpowering.  We had it last week when it was a little cooler with delicious grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, and it was the perfect end of summer tomato meal!  For that matter, it's perfect all the time...

what you will need

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pork Carnitas and Carnitas Tacos - Cathy

This truly fabulous recipe is from a Sunset magazine article in 2000 about tacos in the Southwest.  The Pork Carnitas recipe from La Taqueria in San Francisco is the one that we really went crazy for and have been making it often ever since.  

These carnitas are the real deal: slow-cooked, then finished up in the oven until they are crispy, flavorful bits, and the flavor is to die for--really, really amazing. It is always a huge hit every time we serve it and vanishes like crazy as people keep walking back to pick at it some more even after they are done eating. 

The recipe is not at all difficult; just a bit time-consuming but so worth it.  So plan on being home for a few hours and make lots--it freezes wonderfully.  You could also start this in a slow-cooker, but with less water.  Let it simmer pretty much all day, then finish up in the oven.  Or, if you have a pressure cooker you could start it off in there, cooking until very tender, then again finishing up in oven.  In that case also you should  use a lot less water.  

Any way you do it, TRY THIS!!  So ridiculously good!

Try serving with The Orange Sauce (aka "Crack Sauce") and Two Minute Pomegranate Margaritas

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spam Fried Rice - Erin

Stop making that face just because you saw Spam.  Everybody I've made try it has always liked it, so be brave and try it because Spam Fried Rice is delicious!  I make it differently from my mom, and I think she makes it differently from Tutu (our Grandma), so maybe one day we'll all get our own versions of Spam Fried Rice up here! 

what you will need

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Corn Risotto Dip - Caity

I love this corn dip for about a million reasons but the main reason is that it reminds me of my friend, Maddie Sweet, who shares my obsession with corn and is now far, far away studying at Hofstra Law School in New York. I miss her! 

After I showed Maddie how to make this recipe she made it several times a week for a couple months. It IS that good!

The original recipe is from Contemporary Southwest: The Cafe Terra Cotta Cookbook. In the book it is served as a side dish with salsa fresca, but we make it a little differently and serve it as dip with tortilla chips (but I bet it would be great with salsa fresca too!). 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Cake - Caity

Zucchini cake sounds weird. I know. But you can't taste the zucchini. It makes the cake moist and delicious! I also like to tell myself that since zucchini is in it it's healthy. 

My mom got the recipe from Kismet Rasmusson. She used to make it for Brandon when he came home from Santa Clara and for his birthday. Brandon used to be a very picky eater who only ate Campbell's Vegetable Soup when he was little.

This is a great use for zucchinis that are way too big, like the baseball bats we accidentally grow in our garden in Utah.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Spicy Edamame - Jaymie

After months and months of requests from Aunty Cathy and the rest of the Walsh clan, the Spicy Edamame post is FINALLY going up.  I'm sorry I did not post sooner, but nevertheless, here it is.

Edamame is not only a great appetizer to bring to family gatherings, but also a wonderful snack to enjoy at home.  Hot or cold these little beans will keep you coming back for more.

This recipe is a combination of an Edamame recipe that my best friend Gwyn made for me during college, and a recipe I dissected from the pupu-style edamame that I purchased from the Safeway back home on Oahu.  I could never make it quite the way Gwyn did or like the one from Safeway, but I think my version suits my tastes!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grilled Lemon Chicken and Mushroom Flatbread Pizza - Erin

This was invented when I had some leftover chicken from the Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad, and wanted to find some way to use it.  I had also been to a middle eastern market that day, which has the most incredible Iraqui Flatbread that is baked fresh daily.  It's called Pars Market in Salt Lake, and their website is here, and they've got all sorts of awesome and different stuff if you're willing to try it!  I also got a mix of different mushrooms from the Asian markets, and I almost decided not to add the chicken at the last second because I was worried how it was all going to taste together, but I am very glad that I added it, because this pizza was delicious!

 what you will need

Monday, August 15, 2011

Giant Oreos - Caity

The only thing better than a regular oreo is a giant oreo! If you have hands, you can make these cookies. There are only 6 ingredients and if you can stir and hold a mixer you are set. 

My mom got the recipe from and old dinner group friend, Joye Shiozawa. They are my favorite with a big glass of milk!   

Friday, August 12, 2011

Grilled Salmon with Sundried Tomatoes - Caity

This is a delicious and flavorful way to cook salmon. The salmon is stuffed with garlic, italian parsley, and sundried tomatoes and it is soooooo good! We've made it a couple of times already this summer and I can't get enough of it.  

Lynn Kestle gave my mom the recipe and it's from a Canadian pamphlet called "BC's Best Salmon Recipes". The recipe is by Canadian BBQ champion, David Veliacic, and it is called "The Only BBQ Salmon". 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Panzanella - Caity

Panzanella was initially invented as a way to use up left over bread, but since I have a boyfriend who is insanely obsessed with bread we end up buying fresh bread to make it.

This recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa's recipe for Panzanella. It's a great light summer salad that is substantial enough to hold you over for a couple hours. Or it's great as a side for grilled fish, or chicken, whatever you like really!

If you want to keep it for a couple hours, keep the bread and the vegetables separate and don't put the vinaigrette on until you're half an hour away from eating. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad - Erin

I've just been out of town, which means my boyfriend has only stayed alive thanks to Del Taco and Burger King.  When I came home he requested "something light" for dinner, so this popped into my head.  It's a delicious, fresh-tasting, crunchy, lemony salad from Barefoot Contessa.  Our mom was introduced to it by her friend Liz Owens, and our mom gives her great credit for finding such a fabulous and aesthetically pleasing salad!  Erik gives it credit for being "really, really good."

what you will need

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pan Con Tomate/Tomato Bread - Caity

Pan con tomate, for all you non-Spanish speakers means literally Bread with Tomato. Similar to Italian bruschetta, but at the same time very different. The bread is toasted then rubbed down with garlic and olive oil and topped with tomatoes and salt. So good!

I learned to make this when I studied abroad in Barcelona and took a cooking class. Traditionally you're not supposed to put the meat of the tomatoes on top of the bread, but I hate wasting all that delicious tomato so I tear it up and throw it on top. 

This is one of my favorite light summer meals. The tomatoes are at the best and the garlicky, salty bread compliments it perfectly. It can either be a nice snack on its own or goes very well with a chilled soup or really anything you're feeling like. 

 what you'll need:

thick crusty bread, sliced in half the long way
garlic cloves, sliced in half the short way
ripe tomatoes, halved the short way (it's juicier that way!)
olive oil

 Drizzle olive oil over the bread slice. Toast, olive oil side down, in a pan over medium heat until golden brown. 

Take the garlic half and rub liberally directly onto the bread. My hands look very tan right? It must be the lighting...

Take the tomato half and smash it on the bread rubbing it around to get as much smushed into the bread as possible. Then if you like rip up the rest of the tomato and arrange it on top of the bread. Sprinkle with salt. Enjoy!