Saturday, January 31, 2009

White Bean Chili

I love this Chili. So far I've made it for the last two years for our church's New Years Ever Communion/chili cook off. Unfortunately only the first batch was successful in my eyes. Everyone loved it both times. Sadly the last two times that I made it I didn't check to make sure I had all of the ingredients, and once I chopped up parsley instead of cilantro. Don't ask it was a terrible night! But I give you a warning, it really needs to be made with a special kind of fake chicken to be perfect. I can't guarantee results if you use morning star or smart strips. But that's up to you.

You will need:

  • 1lb dried navy beans (prepared according to directions to rehydrate them)
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken stock meat eaters)
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green chilies (fresh or canned)
  • 1 lb fake chicken (I prefer Quorn chicken pieces)(or real chicken for the meat version)
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 1 tbs ground oregano
  • 1 to 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

  1. Rinse and drain the beans well after soaking. Place in a large pot with stock and boil.
  2. Add garlic, onion and chilies to hot butter and saute in a pan. Add to the beans.
  3. Add chicken, cumin, oregano, pepper, and all other ingredients to the pot and lower heat to medium.
  4. Cook covered 1 1/2 hours stirring occasionally.

Jerrod's Banana Rhubarb Pie

What a combination! I was searching long and hard for a rhubarb pie recipe... and I was surprised at the combinations! Especially this one. But I tried making it for my husband (he likes bananas, I don't) and he liked it pretty well. It's been awhile since I've made it. The bananas make it a pretty mushy pie, because rhubarb is pretty mushy when it's cooked.

You will need
  • 1/2 lb fresh rhubarb (3 cups sliced) You can also use frozen, I've been able to find frozen bags of rhubarb at my local grocery store. Amazing! I know! It's hard to find fresh.
  • 3 medium bananas (3 cups sliced)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 9" unbaked double pie crust (you're on your own for a recipe there, I use frozen Pre-made crusts cause I stink at making them from scratch)

  1. Combine all ingredients except butter and crust. Spread into pie crust and dot with butter.
  2. Place the crust on top and back at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 20 minutes or more until crust is brown
  4. Cool and serve

Springtime Green Grape Cucumber Salad

This is probably the simplest recipe I've ever made, aside from opening a bag or a box. It's surprisingly yummy and if you can get people to taste it, you seldom get a complaint. It's an old family recipe that I learned a few years ago from my Great Grandmother. I was afraid at first, but have since become addicted. It's great for a cool snack on a hot day.

You will need:
  • equal amounts of green grapes and cucumbers.
  • Miracle whip (or Mayo if you prefer, or even vegan mayo)
  • salt to taste

  1. Wash and halve green grapes
  2. Peal and slice cucumbers then cut slices into quarters
  3. slowly add small amounts (very small compared to the amount of grapes and cucumbers) of the Miracle whip. A little bit goes a long way. don't over do it or it will be nasty.
  4. sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt, mix and refrigerate for an hour or so. Then serve cold.

Tomato Dumpling Soup

I was watching an Amish cooking show years ago and this was a dish they prepared. I've always loved Chicken and Dumplings so since becoming a vegetarian I missed the dumplings a lot. So I tried to find the recipe she used. I wasn't successful, but I did find many people were looking for the same thing. Then I stumbled on an old Cherokee recipe, and decided to try it. It's pretty tasty. I hope you think the same thing.

You will need:
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 6 cups fresh chopped tomatoes or equivalent canned
  • 2-3 tsp chili powder
  • 2tbs flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken if you eat meat)
  • biscuit mix (I prefer bisquick)
  1. In a large pot combine all the ingredients except the biscuit mix. Bring to a boil and let simmer 20-30 minutes.
  2. Let cool enough that you can pour it into a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Place back in the pot and heat up until simmering again.
  4. Prepare biscuit mix (milk can be substituted by using unsweetened soymilk or nutmilk)and drop by spoonfuls into simmering soup.
  5. Cover and cook about 10 min

Happy Cooking!

Italian Love Cake

Here's a great recipe for Valentine's day. In fact that's how I found it. I was looking for great desert recipes for a valentines day dinner. It's especially wonderful if you have a heart cake pan!

You will need

  • 1 cake mix
  • 2 pints ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1 pkg 3.9 oz chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 container 12 oz whipped topping

  1. Prepare cake pan and mix as directed on the box (you will need additional ingredients shown on the box). Then pour prepared mix in the pan.
  2. In a bowl combine ricotta cheese, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly and pour over cake batter. Then take a knife and swirl both mixes together.
  3. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
  4. Meanwhile, combine instant chocolate pudding mix with whipped topping and beat until smooth.
  5. Chill until the cake has cooled. Then frost the cake.

My favorite way to prepare this cake is with two heart cake pans, then I stacked them and frosted the outside, and placed fresh raspberries on top. It's pretty yummy.

Turtle Cheesecake

This Cheesecake is pretty good. I'm not a big fan of nuts, but I did like this recipe. It is very sticky though. So be prepared.

You will need
  • A 9" spring form pan


  • 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 2tbs unsalted butter melted


  • 14 oz carmels
  • 1 (5oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 (8oz) pkg cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl mix wafer crumbs and butter and press into the spring form pan.
  3. In a heavy sauce pan melt the carmels over low heat with the evaporated milk. Stir frequently until smooth. Then pour into crust and top with pecans.
  4. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat well until smooth. Then melt chocolate and blend into cream cheese mixture. Pour into the pan.
  5. Bake 40-50 minutes or until filling is set.
  6. Loosen up edges but don't remove from the pan until completely cooled. Chill for 4 or more hours before serving.

Key Lime Cheesecake

I love Key Lime Cheesecake! It has become a new favorite since I went to a local Greek Restaurant and tried it. This recipe is pretty good (although I burnt my first attempt). I learned from that experience to always check the oven temperature when I bake! Also make sure that you label this as Key Lime when taking it to a potluck or serving it at a party or such. Many people took slices of mine and threw it out cause it was too sour and they thought it was just plain cheesecake. So I've decided to also add a little green food coloring next time and maybe some lime zest curls on top next time as well. I'm still searching for a good topping to put on this one. So far this is the only recipe I've tried, so therefore the best.

You will need:

  • A 9" spring form pan (preferably a deep one)

Crumb Crust (the crust alone is amazing)

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • 3 8oz pkg cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup key lime juice (start out with only 2/3 cup and increase the more sour you prefer)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix crust ingredients and press into the pan on the bottom and 1/2 way up the sides of the pan. Bake 7-8 minutes. No longer.
  2. Beat the cream cheese well, then add sugar and cream well. Add sour cream, eggs, flour and vanilla. Then add lime juice to taste.
  3. Pour the filling into the crust and bake at 375 for 15 minutes.
  4. Lower the temperature to 250 degrees and bake for 50 more minutes in a 10" pan or 55 minutes for a 9" pan.
  5. Cool completely. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake, but do not remove. Refrigerate for 6-12 hours before removing from the pan. Enjoy!

New York Cheesecake

This cheesecake is amazing! To die for! And extremely fattening. But so delicious you won't care. If it isn't the best cheesecake you've ever tasted you can hold me personally responsible.

You will need:

  • A 9" springform pan. It needs to be very deep. If yours isn't deep enough you can do like I did and line the edge with tin foil folded in half to build up the sides. This works pretty well and keeps the cheesecake from sticking to the sides of the pan also

Crumb Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • Filling

    • 5- 8oz pkg cream cheese (softened)
    • 1 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3 tbs all purpose flour
    • zest from one lemon and one orange
    • 5 large eggs
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the crust 10 minutes. Cool completely and turn oven up to 550 degrees.
    2. beat together cream cheese, sugar, flour and zests with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, then add vanilla
    3. Put the spring form pan with crust in a shallow baking pan in case of leaks.
    4. Pour the filling into the pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 12 minutes until it puffs up.
    5. Reduce the temperature to 200 degrees and bake until cake is mostly firm, about 1 hour. the center will wobble a little.
    6. Remove the cake from the oven and cool. Then cover loosely and refrigerate at least 6 hours. (if you can control yourself that long!)

    Pumpkin Cheesecake

    If you love cheesecake, and you love pumpkin pie, why not combine them! I stumbled upon this recipe around Thanksgiving two years ago and it became an instant Boling tradition. It is much better than the Olive Garden recipe (according to my husband) and doesn't make it in the fridge over 1 night. It's that good. Although I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie so I don't eat it.

    You will need:
    • A 9" spring form pan. If you don't have a spring form pan, you can use a regular deep round cake pan, but you won't be able to pop the cheesecake out to make it look pretty.

    Crumb Crust

    • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
    • 3 tbs melted butter
    • 2tbs sugar

    Pie Filling

    • 2 pkg 8oz sour cream (softened)
    • 1 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1- 15oz can pure pumpkin
    • 3/4 cup sour cream
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 4 large eggs

    Sour Cream Topping

    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 3 tbs sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil and bake 10 min. Cool completely
    2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Slowly beat in sugar until blended (1 min.).
    3. On low speed beat in pumpkin, sour cream, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Pour into the pan.
    4. Place the pan in a large roasting pan. Fill the pan with enough boiling water to come 1" up on the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes until center is barely jiggly.
    5. Beat topping and remove cake from the oven. Spread on topping and place back in the oven and bake 5 more minutes.
    6. Cool completely and refrigerate at least 6 hours. Then you can remove the cheesecake from the pan.

    Now I make this once with the topping and once without. People seemed to like it much better without the topping.

    Borscht (beet soup)- My version

    For all you out there who think you don't like beets... think again. This version of Borscht, and the others I've tried, do not taste like beets at all. Basically it tastes like a yummy vegetable soup with big chunks of potatoes and carrots. The beets really just give it a sweetness you almost miss and a beautiful purple color. Try it and see.

    You will need:

    • 6 cups of vegetable broth (chicken if you eat meat)
    • 3 whole fresh beets peeled and cut into tiny pieces (as tiny as you can cut them by hand)- You'll want to do this first because your hands will turn purple, but after you cut them wash your hands and the cutting board and then cutting the rest of the ingredients will basically clean your hands of the stain.
    • 1 green bell pepper chopped
    • 2 stalks of celery chopped
    • 3 medium red potatoes cut into large chunks
    • 2 carrots peeled and chopped (any size you like)
    • 1/2 cup butter/margarine/or vegan substitute
    • 1 sweet onion chopped
    • 1 small head of cabbage shredded (basically 2-4 cups worth)
    • 1 30 ounce can of whole tomatoes squished with your hands (this is very fun and messy and can be substituted with the equal amount of canned diced tomatoes, but the taste will be different)
    • 1/4 bunch of fresh dill (dried works OK, but lacks flavor)
    • salt and pepper to taste

    1. Start out by boiling the broth and adding the beets. You can do this before chopping the rest of your ingredients so the beets will get good and soft. While that is heating go ahead and cut and add all ingredients except the butter, onion, tomatoes and cabbage. Add dill to your preference. My mom and I love dill so the more the better. But my husband and sister only like a little. So start out with a small amount, you can always add more later.
    2. Once you have done all of this melt the butter in your large frying pan. Then add the chopped onions and cook them until they are soft.
    3. Next add the squished tomatoes. Cover and cook on med/low heat for 10 minutes. Make sure you stir once in awhile to keep it from sticking,
    4. Then add the chopped cabbage to the tomato and onion mixture. Keep covered stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
    5. Finally pour the onions, tomato, and cabbage into the pot with everything else. Boil for another 15+ minutes.

    The beauty of this recipe is that you can cook it for a very long time if you start it too early. And you can always refrigerate or freeze it for later and it's just like fresh when you heat it up. Sometimes better. I recommend serving it with sourdough bread on the side. The recipes I see also say to put a dollop of sour cream or yogurt on top... but I'm not too sure.

    Happy Cooking!

    Friday, January 30, 2009

    Intro to the Blog

    So I've been waiting to post another blog until I could think of a theme for my blogs. I already have a letters from home blog on myspace. I use that one to express daily thoughts and such. Letters from my home to my friends and anyone else. Kinda a way to keep in touch.
    I browsed through other peoples blogs. My best friend Cassie has an awesome one about becoming and adventist homemaker, so I couldn't steal that idea. I thought and thought. What do I love, that people would want to read about? Something I can share and make someone think (as I have on occasion reading other blogs) "Wow, that's awesome! (or atleast great)"
    So as I was showering this morning pondering this point. (I often think in the shower, it's the only place i have a break from being a mom most mornings) Food popped into my mind. I love food! I love cooking! I love finding amazing new recipes for stuff I've never heard of and trying them out! So why not do a blog about my adventures in food? Well not all adventures. I think that I would love to share my favorite vegetarian recipes. Since I'm not a born vegetarian, I can give an honest meat eater opinion on what it tastes like. None of this "tastes just like steak" junk. Cause it doesn't. I will also add notes on how to adapt the recipe to feed both vegans and meat eaters alike.
    So for starters I'm going to take the time to build up my recipes on here. I will try very hard to enter as many of my already favorite recipes in here, before I go out and gather more new favorites. I don't claim to have created many of these recipes either. I'm all for scowering the web for a million versions of what I want and trying them till I find "the right one." In many cases I will change a few things to make it fit my tastes. I will also try to include pictures of as many recipes as possible. If you're like me. You like to look at the finished product before you decide to make it. If it looks delicious and sounds delicious it probably is.... I will also not include any recipes that i haven't tried and loved... or atleast tried and many other people loved (in the case of things like pumpkin pie cheesecake and pecan pie (things I hate) or banana rhubarb pie). So rest assured I'm not going to have stuff on here that normal people won't eat. I will also try (once I've updated the list of recipes) to include a nutritional value chart on as many as possible and give each recipe a rating on healthiness. I'm not promising every recipe will be good for you either. the above mentioned pumpkin cheesecake is pretty much just good for getting your daily value of vitamin A and your yearly amount of fat... But that doesn't stop people from having seconds. So... Lets get crackin'

    Monday, January 26, 2009

    Burned the Carrots AGAIN!

    So as I was setting up this new blog I was cooking Hannah's carrots. I figured I'd boil them in my favorite little pot. I love my Hard Annodized Steel pots. Unfortunately I keep getting destracted and boiling them down to nothing. I know it's not good for them. Hopefully it doesn't ruin this one. The other I do it in all the time has a steamer rack. And fortunately I haven't ruined it yet. Just thought I'd share. Pay attention when you're on the computer. I should set timers more often.