Sunday, January 30, 2011

Comfort food classic: Leek, Fennel and Potato Soup.

This is one of those dishes that sounds harder to make then what it really is.

I love making this, it's so good and very filling at the same time! It has the right amount of peppery kick all the while allowing the flavors of the leek, fennel, celery and onion to come through.

Not only does it taste great it's easy to put together. With a few ingredients what could go wrong?



1 Medium Leek
1 Medium Fennel Bulb
3 stalks of Celery
1/4 of a large Spanish Onion
2 tbl spoons butter
2 tbl spoons extra virgin olive oil
2 four cup boxes of vegetable stock
2 cups of frozen Southern Style Hash Browns
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

How to cut and clean Leeks:

Find where the loose green top ends and cut.Cut the roots off just above them but no higher.
Gently cut leek in half down the middle.
Finely slice the leeks.
Soak in cold water to rinse the dirt off and sink to the bottom, then either scoop with clean hands or a slotted spoon. Your leeks are now ready to use!

How to clean and cut fennel:

Cut off the prawns.
Cut fennel bulb in half and remove the tough core with a notch cut.

Thinly slice the fennel bulb.

1. Thinly slice the celery, leeks, fennel and onion.

2. In your pot melt butter with olive oil. Add in the vegetables and cook until tender.

3. Add in 1 1/2 boxes of stock. Add in potatoes, salt and pepper and cook until potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened. I had to add in about a cup of stock after it cooked because it was too thick.

4. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tex Mex Pasta! FAM Week one.

As you have read before, I am single mom of four beautiful girls and I am full time student! Now with my schedule, I usually wont get home until it's too late to get dinner started. Usually the girls have been fed at Grandpa's but it leaves me with nadda.

I wont lie, at that time, I am beat. I've been at school all day and had an intense workout. I have found that I have been turning to easy bad for you foods. Foods that aren't on my diet and foods I justify eating because I am too tired to cook. I knew if I didn't change how I eat, every thing I will be doing will be for nothing.

So I figured why not make freeze ahead meals? So that my freezer is stocked with portion sized meals. All I gotta do is grab and reheat and I don't have to worry about cooking or eating food that isn't good for me.

FAM (Freeze Ahead Meal) week one is Tex Mex Pasta. This is perfect for lunches or even a family meal if you choose not to freeze it. It's too good not to share. I also found it rather easy to make as well.


Whole wheat pasta
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1/2 bag of frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 small of green chilies
1 small red onion or 1/4 of a large onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 can of petite diced tomatoes
1 tsp of coconut oil or EEVO
2 tbl of chili powder
1 tsp of cumin


1- In a pot add 75% of the pasta to slightly salted water and cook until dente. Drain and set aside.

2- In a skillet heat oil add in onions cook until slightly translucent. Once translucent add in garlic, tomatoes, corn, green chilies and black beans. Mix in chili powder and cumin, cook until thickened.

3- Toss pasta with the sauce you just made. Top with your favorite garnishes.

I am going to freeze a few cup to two cup portions. So that I have easy to grab and go meals. Enjoy! Let me know if you like this!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Simple and filling = comfort.

No kidding, this will be the easiest recipe I will ever post, I think. It is so simple and so filling, how could it not be called "Comfort food?"

It's super easy to put together and easy to cook. What more could you ask for?

I have found that this has become a turn too in my family and I hope it brings good memories to my girls when they get older.

It has stayed on my "splurge" list and I shall not part ways with it. I enjoy the clash of textures and tastes very much and it's warm and filling. You think you could eat a ton of it but it's one of those dishes that proves that your eyes are indeed bigger then your stomach.


(This will feed all five of us with no left overs)

1 Box of Velveeta shells and cheese. Do not use powdered mac n cheese, wont turn out the same. Cooked and prepared as directed on box.

1 can of chili (I used turkey, you can use whatever you like)

1/4 to 1/2 block of Velveeta cheese 16 oz size cut into cubes. The amount is up to you. I kinda like mine cheesy but not.

1 box of Jiffy corn bread mix- made per directions.


1- Make the shells and cheese as directed on the box. When drained and cheese is added, stir in the chili and Velvetta cheese. Mixed until additional cheese is almost melted.

2- Make the corn bread mix as directed.

3- Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Add in the shell and cheese mixture. Top with corn bread batter and gently spread until shell and cheese is covered.

4- Bake at 350 until the corn bread is golden, set in the center and brown around the edges. Serve hot.


I never said it was healthy, I did say it was comfort food and comforting it is.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Triple play chocolate chip cookies.

I figured if I was going to do a sugar detox, I might as well go out with a bang. A chocolate one at that. I love chocolate chip cookies and I find I am insanely picky about them. I find people do not know how to make them. They are either too cake like, to dry or too crisp around the edges. I like mine big, fat and chewy. None of those teaspoon sized cookies. I want that sucker to be at least big as my palm.

If it's going to go to my hips, I think I have a right to make some demands.

I found a recipe I thought sounded good but I could tell there was some issues. I will never claim something is mine unless I had some flash of genius and if your waiting for that, well I suggest you pull up a chair.

But I tweaked it a bit to suit my family's tastes and I think they came out great. I like to add this one ingredient that some over look adding to chocolate. It adds a nice punch and works great with chocolate and the undertones of brown sugar. This ever so fudgy marvel of carb creation is now one of my favorites and too good not to pass on!


1 cup of room temp unsalted butter
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of of brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper*
1/4 salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup of coco powder
2 cups of flour
1/2 bag of white chocolate chips
1/2 bag of milk chocolate chips


1- In a large bowl combine sugars and butter mix until creamed (light and fluffy). Add in one egg at a time. Add in vanilla.

2- In another bowl combine all dry ingredients into bowl except chips. Slowly incorporate into the wet mixture. Mix until well combined, taking time to scrape the sides of the bowl. Fold in the chips.

3- Chill for at least an hour in the fridge.

4- Take dough and roll into about a golf ball size and place on cookie sheet. Cook for five to eight minutes at 350 degrees.* This is your test cookie. This will allow you to see how long you need to cook the cookie for and see how far they spread out.

5- I put six cookies per sheet, you may get more depending on the cookie dough and how much it spread based on the test results. If you test cookie is thin, you either don't have enough flour, enough baking soda or you didn't chill the dough.

6- I take my cookies out when they start to get the crinkles on top. I let them remain on the cookie sheet for two to three minutes. Please do not put them on cookie racks right away or they may become too crisp. If you find yours are crisp, it means you cooked them too long. It's ok if they look undercooked, they will finish cooking on the cookie sheets.

Additional tips:

*Cayenne is totally optional, I love this cookie with and without.

*If you are using dark coated cookie sheets, you will want to cook the cookies either on a lower temp or shorter time. I prefer aluminum cookie sheets.

My cookie monster adores these cookies.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Smokey Homemade Sloppy Joes.

I am a procrastinator. Trying to figure out what to make for dinner and being clueless an hour before dinner is not uncommon for me. As it turns out, I haven't bought anything food wise the last week or so in prep for my sugar detox, so my usual planning had become even more non-existent. But I had everything to make homemade sloppy joes and some frozen veg. Dinner in a flash and super easy!


1lb turkey
Veggie stock, you can use chicken or turkey stock
1/4 of a large red onion
1 large piece of jarred roasted red bell pepper
1 garlic clove grated
1 tsp of coconut oil (you can sub butter, evoo, or veg oil)
1 cup ketchup
1 /2 tsp of brown sugar
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/8 tsp of cumin
1/8 tsp of paprika
1/8 tsp of chili powder
1/8 tsp of ground black pepper
1 tsp of mustard
Apple cider vinegar


1- Chop onions into about 1/2 half inch pieces. Cook in coconut oil until translucent. Add in enough veg stock until there is just enough to cover the bottom. Add in the uncooked turkey and crumble. Add in the grated garlic and roasted bell peppers when the turkey is half way cooked.

2- In a medium bowl, add in the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, cumin, paprika, chili powder, black pepper and small dash of the apple cider vinegar. You want a little runnier consistency then just plain ketchup.

3- When the turkey is done cooking, add in the sauce and more veggie sauce to thin it out some a little more. Then allow to heat and cook on low for about five minutes. Serve on bread or buns! We add cheese but we eat cheese with practically every thing! Enjoy!

*If you like yours really sloppy, you will have to double the sauce. *

What a great way for us to use what we had on hand as we try to eat all the no-no foods the sugar detox doesn't allow.