Sunday, October 30, 2011


Pin It

You must be warned. These start off looking ugly. Then you get the hang of molding these little guys and they start to look like real potstickers. And if you never get the hang of it, well...they still taste delicious.

The other night I had a "Ladies Sushi Night." I hand-rolled a bunch of sushi and made these potstickers as the appertizer. Oh man, are they delicious! There wasn't one left at the end of the night. They freeze really well too. Just place them in a steamer for a few minutes to bring them back to life and you have a wonderful appertizer on hand.

Adapted from

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 medium head cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 slices fresh ginger root, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 (14 ounce) package wonton wrappers
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

  1. Crumble pork into a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the pork, cabbage, green onion, ginger, salt, sugar and sesame oil. Chill in the refrigerator 6 to 8 hours, or overnight. (I did not do this)
  3. Place a tablespoon of the pork mixture into each of the wonton wrappers. Add water (with a pastry brush or your fingers) to the edge of the wonton wrapper. Bring up both ends and pinch seal the top middle. At one end, pinch seal the wrapper and fold little sections of the wonton onto itself until it looks like a half moon with pleats. 
  4. In a large, deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium high heat. Place the pot stickers into the oil seam sides up. Heat 30 seconds to a minute. Pour water into the skillet. Gently boil 7 to 8 minutes, until oil and water begins to sizzle, then add remaining oil. When the bottoms begin to brown, remove pot stickers from heat.
  5. In a small serving bowl, mix together the chili oil, soy sauce, and vinegar, adjusting proportions to taste.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Carrot and Collard Greens Soup

It is snowing. Not those dinky, little snow flakes but the big monster ones. I didn't believe the weathermen. I laughed at those at work who spoke of upcoming flurries. And here I am pulling off my boots and removing clumps of snow off my dog Yoshi. He likes to bulldoze through the snow taking in mouthful after mouthful. I blame it on the ice cubes I give him in the summer.

We still have two months until winter officially arrives and here I am with a few inches of snow on my deck. Knowing New England and it's crazy weather, we will be back to wearing flip flops next week. In the meantime, it is time for some warm, tasty soup.

This is really easy. I had some left over collards that I needed to use before they went bad. I pulled out the bag of carrots, an onion, half a chicken breast on bone, hot chopped peppers, and of course salt. Easy. I also make my own stock because it allows me to have leftover chicken for chicken salad or chicken pot pie or any other recipe that requires chucks or shreds of chicken. Plus, it is how my mother taught me.

Carrot and Collard Greens Soup
2.5 quarts water
One large onion, chopped
1 tbsp of hot chopped pepper (see photo)
1/2 chicken breast on the bone, skinless
1 tsp salt
8-10 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
5 collard greens leaves, removed off stem, rolled up and cut into strips
one chicken flavored bouillon cube (optional)

Place first five ingredients in pot and cover. Bring to boil and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken and set aside for pot pie. Add celery and carrots to pot, and cook until tender. With a handheld immersion blender, puree soup until chunks are no longer present. Or, you can put in food processor if you do not have an immersion blender. Place collards and bouillon cube in soup and simmer until collards are tender, approximately 10-15 minutes. Season with salt.

Search & Win

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cranberry-Apple Crisp

This is one of those recipes that came about while raiding the fridge. I bought one of those cutesy brown bags full of apples at the grocery store and came home only to realize that is a whole lot of apples for two people. I opened the freezer and staring at me was a bag of cranberries. Aha! Cranberry-Apple Crisp it is! I grabbed it and out with it came a box of meatless Chik'n patties. A patty flew through the air and the Yoshter snatched it. He ran to the bedroom and went under the bed with it. My husband and I spent the next 5 minutes with a flashlight and treats trying to coerce him to return the faux chicken patty. Eventually, I was able to get it from him by offering him real chicken. Go figure.

When I removed this crisp out of the oven I immediately began to sing "You're beautiful" by James Blunt because indeed, this crisp was a beaut. And delicious! I must warn you that it is quite tart but with a side of vanilla ice cream, it is yummy perfection. Enjoy!

Pin It

Cranberry-Apple Crisp
Adapted from
  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 tbsps) of chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces


  • 1 12-ounce package cranberries
  • 4 medium apples (I used McIntosh), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice or cider (I used water)

For topping:
Combine brown sugar, oats, flour, and salt in large bowl; toss to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture comes together in moist clumps. Cover; chill while preparing filling. (Topping can be prepared 1 day ahead; keep chilled.)
For filling:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter a baking dish. I used an oval, ceramic dish, approximately 11.5" x 8". Combine cranberries, apples, sugar, and apple juice in large pot. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring often. Boil until cranberries are tender and juices thicken slightly, about 8 minutes. Transfer filling to prepared dish. Sprinkle topping over.
Bake crisp until filling bubbles thickly and topping is crisp and deep golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Search & Win

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore

Autumn is settling in. It is the time for snuggling on the couch in your sweat pants and hoodie sweatshirt, showing off your poofy slippers and sipping on gourmet (or Swiss Miss) hot chocolate.

I love this recipe. It is so easy and super yummy. Perfect for when you just want to sit on the couch watching the Food Network.

This is a Giada recipe. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with a Giada recipe. Plus, I want to be her neighbor. I know she would invite me over for lunch. We would sip Shiraz, eat canapés and tell stories of studying in Paris. I don't believe I have ever eaten a canapé. I don't believe I have studied in Paris. I do like to sip Shiraz though. 

FYI, canapé comes from the French word for couch. That's right folks. I am bringing it full circle. That is just how I roll.

Pin It

Chicken Cacciatore
From Giada De Laurentiis

4 chicken thighs
chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

  • Directions
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.
In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.
Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.

Search & Win

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quinoa with Mushrooms, Spinach and Feta

If you have never tried quinoa, this is a great recipe to get on the quinoa bandwagon. Yes, it does take some tedious measuring and the use of a can opener (if you use canned chicken broth), but it is totally worth it. It makes a lot so you can bring some to work the next day. The original recipe called for goat cheese...bleh...I am not a goat cheese fan. Feta for the win!

Quinoa is a great source of protein and fiber and cooks in the same amount of time as rice. There is white, red and black quinoa, all with a different taste and texture. Red quinoa is used in this recipe. Depending on the brand you buy, you may have to rinse it first or it may come pre-rinsed. I recommend buying pre-rinsed. Rinsing these tiny bad boys are a hassle and a half.

Cascade o' Quinoa
Quinoa with Mushrooms, Spinach and Feta
Adapted from


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp of dry thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
  • 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp of dry thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag washed spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta


  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in quinoa until well blended.
  2. Pour in 1/2 cup white wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed by the quinoa, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1 3/4 cups chicken broth, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme (or 1/2 tsp dry thyme). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Pour in 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup white wine, 1/4 cup chicken stock, and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme (1/2 tsp dry thyme). Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Once the quinoa has cooked, stir in the mushroom mixture, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove quinoa from the heat and place in large bowl. Stir in spinach leaves and cover. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow spinach to wilt.Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.        Pin It                          

Search & Win

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pear and Collard Greens Smoothie

This smoothie is deeeeeeeelicious! It has so many nutrients with all the collard greens. It can come out a little on the thick side so I would add a bit more milk if you prefer it thinner. My husband slurps these down like no tomorrow. Then with green smoothie on his chin he says, "babe, should I make some more?"

I make this in our handy dandy vitamix but a regular blender would be fine. In the past, I would freeze the bananas with the peel on and have a heck of a time removing the peel right before putting it in the blender. Then someone suggested I peel the bananas before placing them in the freezer. Genius! Also, remove the collards leaves away from center stalk before chopping. Leaving the stalk in will make the smoothie bitter.

This recipe comes from one of my stalkees within the blogosphere, Miss Joy the Baker. She totally cracks me up. I love hearing about her crazy cat. Maybe it is because I have a crazy dog. His name is Yoshi. He likes bananas. He likes to jump on the kitchen table and steal bananas.

Pear and Collard Greens Smoothie
Inspired by Joy the Baker

1 frozen banana
1 1/2 cup of cold milk
2 cups of chopped collard greens
1 tbsp honey
1/2 pear

Place milk and collard greens in blender and blend until there are no big pieces of collards left. Add honey and pear and blend. Add frozen banana and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Search & Win