Thursday, January 31

Broccolil Soup


Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets, stalks peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion. Season with salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add broccoli, potato, broth, and enough water (4 to 5 cups) to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and simmer until broccoli and potato are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Using a blender or an immersion blender, puree broth and vegetables until smooth. If using a blender, work in batches and fill only halfway, allowing heat to escape: Remove cap from hole in lid, cover lid firmly with a dish towel, and blend. Transfer to a clean pot as you work. Adjust soups consistency with a little water if necessary. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Cayenne-rubbed chicken with avocado salsa

This recipe is what Katie tried a few weeks ago. We are thankful to Katie for trying it out. I can hardly wait to try it myself.


Serves 4.

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Hass avocado, pitted and cut into chunks


  1. In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne; rub all over chicken.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add chicken, and cook until browned on the outside and opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes per side.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine onion and lime juice; set aside. Just before serving, fold avocado chunks into onion mixture; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken topped with salsa.

Wednesday, January 30

Mexican Pizza

I found this on the National Body Challenge web site - it uses grilled Whole Wheat Tortilla for the crust - it is fantastic!!!!



12 ounces cooked skirt steak (Carne Asada - recipe below)
4 large whole wheat tortilla
Cooking spray
1 cup finely grated reduced fat monterey jack cheese
1 cup finely grated reduced fat cheddar cheese
½ cup cotija cheese – crumbled - I couldn't find this
6 ounces tomato, small dice
2 tablespoons cilantro, fine chop
3 ounces red onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

(I added red peppers!!!)

For Garnish:
2 tablespoons low fat sour cream

Preparation Method:

Marinate skirt steak (see Carne Asada recipe). Grill meat – medium done (slightly pink). Set meat aside to rest. Cut into small dice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all the cheeses. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350º.
Spray the tortillas with cooking spray. On a grill, toast tortilla on both sides. Evenly spread grated cheeses, tomato, cilantro, red onions, steak, and a finish with a sprinkle more of cheese.
Bake in oven on a wire rack for 3-5 minutes at 350º until cheese melts.

Serve: Garnish with cilantro and sour cream. Slice and serve.
Serves 4 (Individual pizzas)

For a better-for-you recipe, select whole wheat tortillas or tortillas with no lard.


3 pounds skirt steak, fat trimmed, butterfly
1 cup water
3 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
4 ounces brown onion, peeled, sliced
4 tablespoons cilantro, tear into pieces
1 teaspoon garlic cloves, peeled, sliced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon unsalted meat tenderizer
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ each orange

Preparation Method:

In a large bowl, combine water, soy sauce, brown onion, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, meat tenderizer, pepper and orange.
Add meat and marinade to fully cover both sides.
Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.
Heat the grill to a medium heat (you should be able to hold your hand about 4 inches above the grate for six to eight seconds). If using charcoal it should be glowing orange with a light layer of ash.
Place meat on grill. Turn steak once during cooking. Cook to desired doneness (5 minutes on each side for medium-rare).

Serve with beans and salad.
Servings: 12

Tuesday, January 29

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

We usually have soup on Monday and on Tuesday, since the girls and I go to piano lessons in Fontana, I try to have something ready as soon as we walk in at 6:30. I have a few ideas including this Crock Pot Recipe that I got off Phoebe Terrill Fillmore's blog when she was having Crock Pot Wednesdays.

1 Pound stew meat
1 can golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1/4 Cup water
4 ounces cream cheese

1. In a slow cooker, combine meat, soup, onion, water and worcestershire sauce.
2. Cook on low setting 6-8 hours or high 4-5 hours
3. Stir in Cream cheese just before serving.
Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Monday, January 28

Oven Beef Stew


  • 2 1/2 pounds lean beef stew beef, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 to 5 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 medium turnips or 1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 4 small onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups V-8 juice (12 ounces)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon spicy or Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons quick-cooking tapioca


Preheat oven to 275°. In a large mixing bowl combine the beef with all the vegetables. Season with the garlic, celery seeds, thyme, salt and pepper. In a small bowl combine the V-8 juice, beef broth, wine, mustard, brown sugar, and tapioca, stirring until blended and tapioca and brown sugar are dissolved.

Add this mixture to the meat and vegetables; stir well to blend. Transfer the stew to an oven-safe Dutch oven or large casserole. Cover and cook 5 hours without disturbing. Serve hot or refrigerate overnight and reheat the next day. Makes 6 servings. I put some whole canned tomatoes in the blender for the V-8 and a little extra beef broth instead of the red wine. I have made this three or four times and haven't used turnips or rutabaga - but I have used those great red potatoes so I don't have to peel!!!

Thursday, January 17

Had something new last night.

One of my favorite food blogs is found here
She has great recipes and the photography is beautiful. For this triple-decker tostado she fried up some corn tortillas, layered them with refried beans and cheese, stacked them, heated them up in the oven and topped it with meat, lettuce, salsa, avocado, sour cream and cilantro. I made it because I had some extra tri-tip from Sunday. They got mixed reviews at 336 but I liked them!!!

Tuesday, January 15

Try a Tri-Tip Steak

Since Book 2 I have also discovered tri-tip steak. I usually buy mine at Costco but Ralphs had a deal this week that we just couldn't pass up. I have two recipes for tri-tip. The first one is from Brenda Carlson and it is demonstrated below - but I also had tri-tip marinated in Yoshida's at our Christmas Enrichment from Marcie Hoopes and it was very very good. Marinade the meat in Yoshida's marinade for a few days then grill the same as below and it is fantastic.
Here is Brenda's recipe. Cover the meat with Montreal Steak Seasoning. As you can tell from the picture above - it is heavily seasoned.
Sear each side on high for 5 minutes. We then put it on the higher rack, turn off one side of the grill, leave the other side on medium heat and then put the lid down and cook the meat for another 20 minutes. This has sometimes not been enough, depending on the thickness of the meat, so I always check it with the meat thermometer - rare - 140 degrees, medium rare 145 and medium 160. After you take the meat off the grill, tent it on a platter with foil and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to reabsorb the juices, then cut against the grain on an angle.

My Love Affair with Red Potatoes!!

I have had a mid-life attachment to red potatoes. I don't know if it is totally the taste - but I do know that I love the recipes where I don't have to peel them. Here are two that are fantastic:
Red-skinned garlic mashed potatoes
What makes these so good is that you boil the potatoes after you quarter them (leave skins on!!!) in chicken broth. I just use a powder to flavor the water but it makes a big difference. Bring mixture to a boil. reduce heat, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain; reserving a little of the cooking liquid. Mash the potatoes with a masher or an electric mixer and you can add some or all of the following ingredients. 2 cloves roasted chopped garlic, 1/4 cup cream cheese, butter, sour cream and parsley, you can add milk or some of the cooking liquid - then salt and pepper to taste. They are wonderful.

Roasted Red Potatoes
This is my other new recipe that I use all the time. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Scrub potatoes and quarter. Drizzle olive oil on baking sheet with sides. Place potatoes on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I just mix these ingredients with my hands in the pan so every potato has some oil on it. Bake with skin side up, flipping potatoes half way through baking so that they brown evenly and bake for about 30 minutes until they are fork tender.

Monday, January 14

Monday is Soup Day

For many years I have had soup on Monday night. Maybe because it is a day that I am usually home, doing laundry, getting ready for Family Home Evening. I am trying this soup tonight but I thought I would post it this morning. I even bought parsnips - something that isn't usually on my shopping list. We at 336 are trying to eat healthier and try lots of new fruits and vegetables. So enjoy Chicken and Rice Soup from Martha Stewart!!

Serves 8

  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), skin removed
  • 1 1/2 pounds (9 to 10 medium) carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
  • 1 pound (5 to 6 medium) parsnips, peeled and halved crosswise
  • 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 large onions (about 1 pound), , halved and sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced


  1. In a large soup pot, combine chicken, carrots, parsnips, celery, onions, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Simmer partly covered, occasionally skimming and discarding fat from surface, about 1 hour.
  2. With a slotted spoon or tongs, remove chicken, carrots, and parsnips from pot; set aside. Pour remaining contents of pot through a fine-mesh sieve into another large pot; discard solids, and bring broth to a boil. Add rice and white part of scallions. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, remove chicken from bones, and shred into bite-size pieces (discard any fatty or discolored parts). Cut carrots and parsnips into bite-size pieces. When rice is cooked, return chicken, carrots, and parsnips to broth in pot; add green part of scallions. Season generously with 5 to 6 teaspoons coarse salt. (To freeze, see note.)
  4. Note: To freeze, cool soup to room temperature; transfer to airtight plastic containers, leaving 1 inch of space. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to use, place plastic containers upside down under hot tap water to help release frozen blocks of soup. Place blocks in a large saucepan; cover and reheat over medium-low, adding water to thin if necessary. Serve.

Saturday, January 12

Wafer Parfait

I had this desert at Kathleen Magnussons and it is easy and yummy. Whip and sweeten cream. I put mine in a pastry bag - but a spoon would work great. Pipe some whip cream in the bottom of serving dish. Take a cookie, dunk it in milk and place on top of the cream. Layer cream and cookie, cream and cookie as high as you would like - (I layered this a little high for Rachel's birthday so I leaned a little bit). Top with a cherry. These need to be made in the morning and refrigerated all day so the cookie will be soft when you dip your spoon into this simple delicious dessert.

Friday, January 11

Big Crescent Rolls

I have been searching for years to have the perfect roll recipe and this seems to be it. It is from Wendy Hodgkinson and it really does seem fool-proof.

3 1/4 Cup very warm water
2 TBS yeast
1/2 Cup oil
3/4 Cup sugar
3 Eggs
1 TBS salt
8-10 Cups flour
melted Butter
In mixer sprinkle yeast over water and dissolve. Add four cups flour and mix. Combine oil, sugar, eggs and salt in another bowl. Add to flour mixture and mix 2 minutes. Add remaining flour until dough pulls away from sides. Knead 8 minutes. Pour 1 TBS oil in bottom of large bowl and add dough, turning in oil. Cover with plastic and rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Divide into 4 pieces. Roll in circle and cut into 12 wedges. Roll each triangle into crescent shape. Let these rise 1 1/2 hours covered with towel. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes and brush with butter when they are golden brown. Can half or quarter this recipe.

Tuesday, January 8

Thumbprint Cookies

One of my favorite cooks - Karla Marshall - brought these over for Christmas. She told me she had taken them to a cookie party just a few days before and they won first prize. They are so not your ordinary thumbprint cookies. They are like a shortbread cookie with a little coconut!!! I just found the recipe and thought I would share.
Jam Thumbprints
Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry and/or apricot jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until just combined, and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale, they should each weigh 1-ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.

More Aprons

With company and a swing of the stomach flu I haven't been blogging nor checking anyone else's blog the last week or so - something that I am pretty dedicated to - so I had missed Angela Larsen's posting of the Hodgkinson Christmas Eve party apron picture. That is one fantastic looking group. I love all of you!!!

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

The credit for this recipe comes all from Terri Larsen. She served this to me while I was in Arizona for a visit. It was fantastic and we have been making it ever since. I guess I feel so good eating all of those vegetables.
I love her Alfredo Sauce recipe because it is so easy to make and easy to remember so I can always remember to pick up the ingredients.
1 cube butter
1 Cup cream
1 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
In saucepan melt butter, add whipping cream, then cheese. Stir until smooth and thick. It is great. (Can be used on more than pizza!!!!)
The Pizza Dough for this pizza is out of this world - here is the recipe:
3 Cups warm water
2 TBS yeast
6 tsp sugar
3 tsp salt
6 TBS oil
6 Cups flour
Mix the above ingredients and knead for 8 minutes. Let rise 35-40 minutes. Fit into pizza pans and let it rise slightly. Makes enough dough for 3 pizzas (it makes really thick crust so adjust according to your liking).
Now to assemble this pizza:
On top of pizza dough put the following:
Alfredo sauce
Spinach leaves
Chunks of Chicken
Sliced yellow squash
Sliced zucchini
Chopped artichokes
Chopped sun dried tomatoes
Diced red or yellow onions
Top with grated Monterey Jack Cheese
Bake at 450 degrees until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.