Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lentil Soup for #WeekdaySupper

Sunday Supper Movement
Welcome to the last #WeekdaySupper of 2013.  This has been the first year where the #SundaySupper team has brought a different dish for every single weekday of the year.  I for one have been truly enjoying it; a variety of dishes and meals that are quick to fix during the week. For inspiration be sure to check out the #WeekdaySupper Pinterest Board.

 This week we bring you dishes for not only the last couple of weekdays, but also for the first few days of 2014.  This happens only once a year and I am happy to participate.

This week we bring you

Cranberry Walnut Salad by No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Lentil Soup by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Good Luck Black-Eyed Pea Quesadillas for New Year's Day by Shockingly Delicious
Chicken Barley Soup by Cindy's Recipes and Writings -
Balsamic Brown Sugar-Glazed Pork Tenderloin {slow cooker} by girlichef

Today I bring you easy, delicious lentil soup.  We love lentils as they are so versatile, delicious, and packed full of protein.  Just the perfect little legume...and this is an easy dish to make ahead in the slow cooker, add veggies, sausage or some bacon.  The options are endless and it is a filling delicious meal. Serve it with either a side salad, and/or some crusty bread!

Lentil Soup

  • Splash of Olive Oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 carrots peeled and cut into pieces
  • 4 individual celery stalks cut into pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 Tbs Herbs de Provence
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1-3/4 C of dried lentils
  • 6 C of water {or more}
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes, or a medium size fresh/frozen tomato {I froze mine in the summer}
  • 3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced {I used yellow}
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes 
  • 2 TB White Balsamic Vinegar, or Red Wine Vinegar to taste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Optional - sausages such as Lil' Bites, Frankfurter etc.
  • Kale topping 
  • Splash of Olive Oil
  • Bunch or pre-washed and cut Lacinato Kale

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot, when hot add onions and sauté until soft;
  2. Add carrots, celery and Herbs de Provence and sauté until vegetables are bright in color, then
  3. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or so 
  4. Add dried lentils, and tomato. Mix everything up well together and after a minute,
  5. Add potatoes, bouillon cubes and 6 cups of water.  Bring to a slow simmer, and cover.  Simmer for at least 1 hour and check the soup every 20 minutes or so.  Stir it up, you may also need to add more water.  Simmer until lentils are cooked to your liking {it takes about 1-1/2 hr}.
  6. Add Salt, Pepper, and White Balsamic Vinegar to taste.  You may also want to add some other salt free seasoning such as Chef's Shake from The Spice Hunter.
  7. If adding sausage, add it at this point and serve when they are heated through.
  8. In large skillet heat olive oil, and sauté Kale with a pinch of salt until it is bright green in color
  9. Ladle Soup into bowls, and top each bowl with the sautéd Kale
Slow Cooker Method
  1. Follow through step 3 and then transfer the sautéd vegetables to the slow cooker
  2. Add tomato, potatoes, lentils, together with bouillon cubes and water. Set on either high for 4 hours, or low temperature for 8 hours.
  3. Follow steps 6 - 9 for finishing the dish.

Monday, December 30, 2013

The year 2013 - Review, Thanks, Thoughts

Here it is the recap of 2013; a post that I have written many times over in my head but for some reason my thoughts did not transfer into a post.  Now why not?!  Okay - not funny I get it and really is anyone really interested in my 2013 recap?! Well, for one I just need it get it out of my head because otherwise it will languish there forever...just like many other posts that were never written this year;  posts that were perfectly scripted in my head and I just never typed out.  The good news is, well they are still in there and a New Year is coming.  Right?!  Who says that I cannot write those posts in 2014?  That is right, because this is my little blog...remember just like "It's my party and I cry if I want to" just rephrase it to "It's my blog and I write if I want to".  Oh, to those of you that do not know me in person I have this...well, let me call it for lack of other term gift, okay in a way it is a gift.  Now what?!  A gift - what on earth - alright I will not keep you in suspense any longer and will share with you what it is.  Well - this sounds odd - songs will pop into my head out of no where.  Really, there are certain phrases and then it happens like just now.  Aren't you glad you know this little tidbit about me now?!  I know, it is just what you always wanted to know...

Now I have gotten completely off track - 2013 the year in review;  let me focus on what I promised.  This year has been a really, really good year.  Our children as well as the rest of the family is healthy.  I am now the mother of a 10 year old and a 7 year old; Alena graduated from 3rd to 4th grade and Mia Rose graduated from 1st to 2nd grade.  That is hard to believe - were they not just in preschool?   I continue to be an avid advocate for Newborn Screening, and Alena and Mia Rosie's newborn screening story was featured in the Oregonian, and by APHL to celebrate the 50 year Anniversary of Newborn Screening.  Alena's story was featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and included in an outstanding investigative report shedding light on the terrible practice of batching Newborn Screening tests at the hospital before sending them on to the State Lab. See, some hospitals wait for a couple of days before sending the tests to the labs, some labs are closed on the weekends, and sadly the result comes back too late for some of the babies.  Galactosemia is just one of those conditions that need an immediate response and this article made me realize again just how lucky we are.   Newborn Screening saves lives, and it is so important that all expecting parents learn as much as they can about the test before their baby is delivered. My last tidbit on newborn screening advocacy is that I have been appointed to serve a two year term on the Oregon State Newborn Screening Advisory Committee.

My little blog has continued to grow and 2013 was the year I changed the name from "Galactosemia in Portland" to "The Not So Cheesy Kitchen".  Truth be said, a) how many people know what Galactosemia is, and b) I have been concentrating a lot on the treatment i.e. the foods we eat :) a.k.a. Food Blog.  Now some thanks are in order to Ron, as well as our dear friends Larissa and Martin who helped come up with "The Not So Cheesy Kitchen" name of the blog.  Talking about my blog thank you Heather {a.k.a. Girlichef} for all the help and friendship. Oh, and yes I should mention that the girls are so used of me taking pictures of their dishes, them eating, them helping in the kitchen... I overheard Alena explain to her friend "my Mom takes pictures of all the foods we eat"...So thank you, girlies!

2013 also marked that year that I finally got back into running.  Yes, that is right after a almost 15 year break and with many failed attempts to get back into running I have finally made it.  I started back in May of this year and have not fallen off the "track".  Thank you to my dear friend Denise for coming up with a plan, is encouraging me and of course to Ron who makes sure that I make it out the door :).  Yes, I am slow but it clears my mind, lifts my mood...

This year was also the year we took a family vacation in Alto Adige {Northern Italy} after spending time in my hometown of Tuttlingen, Germany.  Danke, Mama :)  Talking about visits and vacations, we tried out snow shoeing {the girls were not fans}, discovered cross country skiing and took a couple of trips out to Sunriver, Oregon.  Then of course there was the surprise visit by my sister Kati...and yes,  it is hard living this far away from family.

Are any of you still here? Or did I loose you all by this long post?  Well, let me say this there are so many more people I should thank.  So I say Thank you to all of you...to every single one of you reading this.  I appreciate all of you.

Wishing all of you a Happy, Healthy, and Successful 2014.  May all your wishes for the New Year come true.  Cheers!!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Brezel {#Dairyfree} for #SundaySupper

How can it be that 2013 is already coming to an end? Just a few days ago I was fretting that we were not prepared for Christmas. But you know what? It all turned out great. Santa brought presents,  dinner turned out well, we are all healthy so I must tell myself that there is no reason to fret :) This shall be my New Year's resolution...no fretting :)

With 2013 coming to an end I am sure you can guess the theme for this week's #SundaySupper.  It is Reflections and Resolution hosted by Constance a.k.a. The Foodie Army Wife.

Is New Year's Eve a big event for you?  Do you celebrate with a big party, or do you usually turn in before the New Year arrives?  I remember New Year's Eve being a big deal both as a child and as a young adult in Germany.  When I was a child we always drove to Karlsruhe to Omi's house.  My uncles, aunts and cousins were all there to ring in the New Year and to celebrate  Omi's birthday on January 1st.  It was a  tradition just like the food; the main dish always was baked carp, the appetizer - for the adults only - was fish soup, bubbly at midnight, and a New Year's Brezel for breakfast. The adults feasted while the kids played and got to stay up super late. At breakfast we all joined and shared the big New Year's Brezel.  Now this is not an ordinary brezel as they range in size from just slightly under a foot larger; it is made from a sweet yeast dough often covered with large sugar crystals {Hagelzucker}.  The New Year's Brezel symbolizes good luck and health for the New Year to all who share in eating it around the table.  I love this tradition together with the fond memories of  New Year's Eve parties and Omi's birthday's so many years ago.  The New Year's Brezel  is something we continue; it be no surprise that a New Year's Brezel is my #SundaySupper dish today.  I bring it to you along with wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2014 to you, and your entire family.

New Year's Brezel

  • 4 C flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • zest of an untreated lemon
  • 1-1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 C dried unsweetened cranberries
  • 1-1/4 C Almond milk
  • 9 Tbs Earth Balance or other Vegan "butter"
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-3 Tbs water
  1. Mix flour, sugar, lemon zest, spices, cranberries and yeast in a large mixing bowl
  2. Warm "milk" on the stove - do not bring to a boil - and gently melt "butter" in the "milk"
  3. Pour the heated liquid {combined "milk" & "butter"} over the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix the ingredients using a dough hook until a soft dough forms.
  5. Set dough covered into a warm spot and let it rise for at least 30 minutes
  6. Preheat oven to 425F
  7. When dough has risen, roll it into a large roll; it should be thicker in the middle and thinning at both ends.  Lay the roll flat onto a surface and shape it into a brezel, by bringing the ends towards the middle {thick} section of the dough. Twist the two ends, and place them each onto the middle section.
  8. Combine the egg yolk with water; brush the egg water mixture onto the brezel.
  9. Transfer the brezel to a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until it is golden!
Happy New Year from our family to yours 

Now check out what the other contributors are bringing to our #SundaySupper table today.

Join us this weekend for Reflections and Resolutions! Breakfast Appetizers & Snacks Main Dishes & Sides Desserts & Drinks Sunday Supper Movement Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Muffins for Santa {#dairyfree}

The 2013 Christmas season will go down as the year of hardly any cookies.  Yes, it is true and I must confess.  There were four different batches of cookies this year and they are all gone.  Yup - and this year marks the year without Zimtsterne, Vanillekipferln or other of my usual standards.  For no particular reason but it just did not happen...however we do have a Christmas tree, we visited Santa, saw the beautiful tree downtown Portland

but still there is was a lack of Christmas spices filling the air. Now do not be sad for us, because we had the most delicious Christmas Muffins and Santa may just find those waiting for him by the chimney :)

Christmas Muffins
***Preheat oven to 325 and line 12 muffin cups
  • 2 C flour
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 2 Tb light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 C whole Almond -> chopped in kitchen processor/chopper
  • 1/2 C pecan pieces
  • 1/3 C dried unsweetened cranberries
  • 1 C Almond Milk {or your favorite "milk" beverage}
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C Canola Oil
  • 1/4 semi-sweet chocolate chips {optional}

Note:  You will need to use two bowls.
  1. In a large bowl combine the first seven ingredients (through cardamom} and mix it up thoroughly. Then add the chopped nuts as well as cranberries.
  2. In another bowl mix the "milk" with the egg and oil.  Carefully mix it up.
  3. Pour the liquid into the flour mix.  Stir it up quickly; be careful to not mix too much.
  4. Next fold in the grated butternut squash until it is just incorporated into the dough.  
  5. Using a spoon, fill the dough into the muffin tins until they are about 3/4 filled. If using, top the muffins with chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Butternut Squash & Onion Orecchiette {#12WksWinterSquash #Vegan}

Happy Monday and welcome to week 8 of 12 Weeks of Winter Squash the great even hosted by Heather and Joanne.  Can you believe that this is already the eighth week of this fun event?! Yes, there are only four weeks left...so let me ask you this,  are you ready?  That is if you celebrate...are you ready for the big event?  As for me us, the Santa presents are on their way {fingers crossed - I do not want to jinx it}, meat is ordered but we still need to run out to the store today as well as on Christmas Eve.  It will be all good...

With all the stress and business around my Winter Squash recipe is super easy, and will basically cook by itself in the oven while you work on wrapping presents, prepare other foods, or just sit by the fire with a nice glass of something.  Plus it is delicious.

Butternut Squash & Onion Orecchiette
  • 4 C Butternut Squash {small to medium sized squash}
  • 1 Splash Olive Oil {about a tablespoon}
  • 1 Tbs rubbed Sage
  • 4 Sage leaves
  • 1 onion sliced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 package of orecchiette or other pasta cooked according to directions
  • 4 TB white balsamic vinegar
  • Some fresh parsley for garnish
**** Preheat oven to 375F****
  1. Heat Olive Oil in large ovenproof skillet {I use a cast iron pan}.  When hot,
  2. Add Sage, Butternut Squash, onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté for a couple of minutes, be sure to give it a good stir. Then, 
  3. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes.
  4. Prepare pasta according to directions while squash is baking.
  5. When onions are fragrant and squash has softened add about 4 Tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar. Return to the oven for about five minutes are so while the acid cooks off, then
  6. Remove skillet from the oven,  add salt and pepper to taste.  Add drained pasta in batches to the skillet and mix it throughly with the vegetables. 
  7. Garnish with parsley before serving

Do you have a Winter Squash recipe to share?  Yes? Then please feel free to add it to the linky below.

This linky list is now closed.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Individual Meatloaves & Horseradish Mashed Potatoes for Mommies Little Piggies #SundaySupper

Happy Sunday and welcome to the Holiday Music and Movie Inspired #SundaySupper event.   This is fun event is hosted by Tammi of Momma's Meals.  Thank you for having us around your table this week.

Do you have a must watch movie for the holidays?  One that you just have to watch every single year? I just recently - okay by recently it is something like three years ago - have gotten into the habit of having to watch some movies and it is just not Christmas without them.  Yes, it is true I have succumbed and I love it...The movies on my must watch list include Christmas Vacation {ahhhhmmm this year I may be guilty of having watched it already twice...}, Love Actually, Elf, The Grinch who stole Christmas, and Christmas Story.  Yes, this is the absolute must list and I certainly do not mind any additions because this is the time to be merry...Oh, and you may not be surprised to hear that the girls are absolutely delighted that there are movies that must be watched ;)

Now on to #SundaySupper and my dish; it was quite hard to find something to fit the bill. I could not think of anything...but after dinner one Friday night we all brainstormed; my dear friend Larissa thought that it had to be meatloaf with mashed potatoes and Ron agreed.  So see - this is how it happened.  Now this is not the ordinary meatloaf you usually find here but this is not one but six individual loaves; packed with a mix of beef, pork, and lot's of vegetables.  The mashed potatoes are also a little more special as they are Horseradish Mashed Potatoes with just a little extra zing....Take a look at one of my little piggies eating her plate...

Individual Meatloaves
  • Splash of Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced small
  • 1 medium carrot, diced small
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 Tb fresh rosemary coarsely minced
  • 1-3/4 lb. ground beef
  •    3/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 - 1-1/2 C Matzo Meal {or other breadcrumbs that are dairy free}
  • 1 C or more ketchup
*** Preheat oven to 375 F ***
  1. Heat Olive Oil in a skillet and when hot 
  2. Add onions, celery, green pepper, and carrot; sauté until vegetables are soft 
  3. Add paprika as well as salt and sauté for another couple of minutes.  When vegetables are soft, take the skillet off the heat.
  4. In a large bowl combine meats with egg and rosemary. Mix well.
  5. Add cooled off vegetables; mix dough well then
  6. Add Matzo Meal - you may need a little more, or less.
  7. Form dough into six individual loaves and place them into one or two baking dishes.
  8. Top each loaf with a generous amount of ketchup and place in the oven
  9. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes 
While the meat loaves are baking in the oven prepare the

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
  •   2-3/4 lb yellow potatoes, scrubbed, and spots cut out
  •   Generous pinch of salt
  •   1 Tb. fresh rosemary coarsely minced
  •   2 tsp. fresh horseradish grated
  •   1-1/2 - 2 Tb {or more} prepared white horseradish {read label carefully some contain milk}
  •   1 Tbs Earth Balance or other Vegan "Butter"
  •   2 C "Milk" {I use Almond Milk} 
  •   1/4 C fresh Italian Parsley chopped 
  1. Place potatoes in a pot, add water until they are coved plus the salt and bring {covered} to a boil.  
  2. Remove lid an cook for about 20 - 30 minutes until potatoes are soft
  3. Drain the water from the potatoes.
  4. Place potatoes into a kitchen machine and using the flat beater mix until potatoes are broken up for about a minute or so.
  5. Add rosemary, horseradish, Earth Balance, and "milk".  Mix in the kitchen machine until the potatoes are smooth.
  6. When potatoes have the desired consistency add parsley and - if needed - additional salt.
Serve individual meatloaves with the horseradish mashed potatoes, and a side salad.

And now it is time to see what everyone else is bringing for this fun event.

Party Appetizers & Snacks:

  Oven-Roasted Applesauce Scented with Rosemary & Vanilla-Inspired by the song "Christmas in the Trenches"- Shockingly Delicious
Roasted Chestnuts Inspired by the movie "The Christmas Song" - Food Lust People Love
A Popcorn Trio Inspired by the song "Let it Snow" - Hot Momma's Kitchen Chaos 
Chai Tea Abominable Snow Buddies Inspired by the movie "Rudolph" - Cupcakes & Kale Chips 
Raisin Bran Muffins for a Crowd Inspired by the movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" - In The Kitchen With Audrey and Maurene 
Icicle Candy and Reindeer Snacks Inspired by the movie "Snow" - Treats & Trinkets 
A Christmas Carol Plum Pudding Inspired by the movie "A Christmas Carol" - No One Likes Crumbley Cookies 
Yukon Mashed Potato Cakes Inspired by the movie "Rudolph" - Cookin' Mimi 
Christmas Pudding Inspired by the song "Over the River and Through the Woods" - A Kitchen Hoor    Pumpkin Pudding Inspired by the movie "Nightmare Before Christmas" - Basic N Delicious 
Elf-Inspired Christmas "Grams" Inspired by the movie "Elf" - MarocMama 
Sugarplums Inspired by the movie "The Nutcracker" - Happy Baking Days
Chai Spiced Roasted Nuts Inspired by the song "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" - Take A Bite Out of Boca

Festive Main Dishes

Maple Syrup Spaghetti- Inspired by the movie "Elf"- Momma's Meals 
Who Hash Inspired by the movie "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" -girlichef 
Ginger Orange Glazed Cornish Hens Inspired by the song "The 12 Days of Christmas" -Sue's Nutrition Buzz 
NY Hot Dog with Sabrett-style Onion Sauce Inspired by the movie "Die Hard" - Small Wallet, Big Appetite 
Classic Caesar Salad Inspired by the movie "The Santa Clause" - The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Individuals Meatloaves & Horseradish Mashed Potatoes for Mommy's Little Piggies - Inspired by the movie "A Christmas Story" - The Not So Cheesy Kitchen 
Christmas Waffles Inspired by the TV special "A Claymation Christmas Celebration" - Curious Cuisiniere
Filthy Animal Pizza Inspired by the movie "Home Alone" - Foxes Love Lemons 
Chicken Orzo Soup Inspired by the song "12 Days of Christmas" - Family Foodie 
Brandied Candied Sweet Potatoes Inspired by the song "Christmas Is The Time To Say ‘I Love You’ " - Cindy's Recipes and Writings

Sweet Holiday Treats:

Gin and Tonic Cupcakes Inspired by Adam Sandler's " The Chanukah Song" - The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars Inspired by the movie "Love Actually" - Magnolia Days   Gingerbread Marshmallows Inspired by the song "Marshmallow World" - Jane's Adventures in Dinner 
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies Inspired by the movie "The Gremlins" - Killer Bunnies, Inc    White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge Inspired by the song "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" - Alida's Kitchen 
Snowball Cookies - Inspired by the movie "White Christmas" -The Foodie Army Wife 
Penuche Fudge Inspired by the movie "Elf" - Pies and Plots 
Hot Chocolate Cookies Inspired by the movie "Santa Clause" - Mess Makes Food 
South Pacific Coconut Tres Leche Cake Inspired by the movie "South Pacific" -The Ninja Baker    Cookies & Cream Fudge Inspired by the movie "Elf" - The Messy Baker
Cozy Drinks:
Toasted Coconut Hot Cocoa- Inspired by the song "Let It Snow"- Chocolate Moosey 
The Christmas Gram Inspired by the movie "Elf" - An Appealing Plan 
Eggnog Hot Chocolate Inspired by the movie "National Lampoons Christmas Vacation" - Peanut Butter and Peppers 
Vermont Hot Cocoa Inspired by the movie "White Christmas" - Kudos Kitchen By Renee 
Spiked Hot Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Floats Inspired by the song "Holly Jolly Christmas " -NeighborFood

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Kabocha Squash Chicken Curry {#12WksWinterSquash}

Happy Monday and welcome to week 7 of 12 Weeks of Winter Squash the great even hosted by Heather and Joanne.  Have you blogged about winter squash?  Feel free to add your linky below :) Can you believe that we are now in week 7?! Yes,  Christmas is less than ten days away and let me just say that I am nowhere closer to being ready than I was last week.  For once however we did venture out yesterday, got a tree, put it up and decorated.  This is the earliest we have ever had a tree up and I actually {along with the rest of the family} love it.  And yes, just in case you are wondering, temperatures have returned to normal here in Portland as we welcome the drizzle back....How about you?  Are you getting into the spirit of the holidays?

So yes, I have promised you delicious Kabocha Squash Chicken Curry.  Sweet squash, with chicken, in a mild curry...

This is a super quick and easy meal; perfect for a weekday...

Kabocha Squash Chicken Curry
  • 1 small can coconut milk {5.46 oz}
  • 2 tsp red curry past
  • 3/4" fresh minced ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 lb. skinless chicken thighs {you can also use white meat}
  • 1 lb.Kabocha Squash, seeded and cut into bite size pieces with the skin on {be sure to scrub the skin - I use organic squash}
  • 1 stalk lemongrass cut into pieces
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice 
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 Scallions cut into rings for garnish. 
  1. Melt the coconut cream {top of the can} in a skillet and when it has melted add the curry paste to it.  Stir it up then,
  2. Add ginger together with garlic and sauté until fragrant {a minute or so}
  3. Add the chicken and sauté it for another couple of minutes, then
  4. Add Kabocha Squash and sauté it for another minutes or so.
  5. Add the coconut water, chicken broth, and the lemongrass pieces.  Bring to a low simmer and cover.
  6. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the squash is soft.  
  7. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Garnish with scallions.
  8. Serve over rice 
I hope you enjoy! - Alena sure did :)

This linky list is now closed.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Moscato Orange Chicken with Olives for #SundaySupper

This week's #SundaySupper event is sponsored by Gallo Family Vineyards and I am super excited to participate in this awesome event not just because I love wine. :)   You will agree with me that the theme being Memorable Holiday Meals: Holiday Traditions and Recipes using wine in the recipe is fitting for the season. :) Oh yes this is perfect.  Let me tell you a little bit about the Gallo Family, whose passion it is to make great wine.  Did you know that Gallo Family Vineyards offers 16 different wines year-round, including Moscato, Hearty Burgundy, Pinot Grigio and more? To learn about all of the wines, please visit www.gallofamily.com and find out where to buy Gallo Family Wines through the Store Locator Tool:  http://ht.ly/rfeYJ.

Gallo Family Vineyards was founded 80 years ago by Ernest & Julio Gallo.  To this day Gallo Family Vineyards is proud to still be family owned, and today four generations of Gallos, as well as employees work at the vinery.

Now let me tell you a little about the Holiday Traditions in our house.  I love traditions you know, as in the traditions we as a family create for ourselves.  So in our family, we start the season off with a lantern walk for St. Martin's day in early November where the kids enjoy hot cider while the adults enjoy a mug of Glühwein.  After the Thanksgiving Holidays -  and two birthdays - St. Nikolaus visits our house and leaves some treats or sometimes coal in the shoes we leave outside for him {yes, he himself visits us every single year}.  As we get closer to Christmas the girls have been visiting friends living in an assisted care facility for children. To us it is important that our children learn that Christmas is not all about the presents but it is about thinking and helping those that are less fortunate than us.

This is another reason why I am so excited about working with Gallo Families.  Did you know that every day 8 million seniors in the U.S. face the threat of hunger? That's one in every six seniors. It is something the Gallo Family has recognized and they have partnered with Meals on Wheels Association of America to fight hunger with the Every Cork Counts™ campaign.  The campaign will run through December 31st, 2013. You may know that in my day job I am a frequent volunteer at a Senior Law Clinic here in Portland and I can tell you that many seniors rely on Meals on Wheels.  How do you help? Well let me tell you it is not only super easy, but also a ton of fun.  Visit http://EveryCorkCounts.com and you can either play a game {yes, I may have already played it a couple of times}; or uncork a bottle of Gallo Family Wine and mail the cork to the Gallo Family.  TThis is really, really awesome as the Gallo Family will donate $5 for every cork that is sent their way - up to $90,000.  Are you ready to participate? - Wait, wait, wait before you run out I have a coupon for you - get $2 off your  your fabulous bottle of Gallo Family Wine.  Open up your bottle share it with your friends and/or family then spread some more cheer by sending the cork to

Every Cork Counts
P.O. Box 3017
Grand Rapids, MN 55745-3017

All corks must be postmarked between now and Dec. 31, 2013, and received by January 15, 2014.

There is even more fun to because you can create your own family crest on the Gallo Family Crest Creator site.  It's super fun and yes, I have created our very own family crest already :)

Last, but not least be sure to like Gallo Family Vineyards on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Are you ready for some delicious, fabulous food now? Oh yes - you chicken cooked in wine oh so good. Take a look....

Moscato Orange Chicken with Olives
  • 5 chicken legs
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 orange
  • 2 Tbs Canola Oil
  • 1 Anchovy filet, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 C Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 C Manzanilla Olives
***Preheat oven to 375F ***
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper
  2. Peel, and filet the orange.  You should have about 3/4 C filet {skin off} orange slices.  Reserve the peel, skin as well as excess juice
  3. Heat oil in a large and high oven proof skillet {I use a cast iron skillet be sure that it will be large enough to fit the chicken}
  4. Brown the chicken in batches {2 at a time}.  When each side is browned - about a couple of minutes each side - remove from the pan set aside and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  5. Once all the chicken is browned, drain the oil out of the pan to discard when cold.
  6. Return pan to the burner, add garlic together with the anchovy. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then squeeze the reserved orange skins, juice form the peels, as well as any excess juice from the orange into the pan.  Stir it up carefully and cook for a minute or so {it will sizzle}
  7. Pour the wine into the pan, stirring the bottom of the pan to incorporate all browned bits and pieces. 
  8. Add lemon juice, bring liquid to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes.
  9. Return chicken to the pan; the liquid should cover about 3/4 or little more of the chicken.
  10. Place chicken in the oven and bak for 45 minutes
  11. After 45 minutes stir in the olives, together with the oranges and bake for another 15 minutes.

Serve on a bed of rice, or egg noodles and enjoy!!!

Check out the other delicacies made with Gallo Family Vine the other #SundaySupper contributors are bringing today
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Easy Pecan Cookies {#Vegan} & winter weather..

Yes,  this has been one crazy week here in Portland.  We had snow on Monday, well let me clarify that it was just a bit of a dusting of snow but enough to bring excitement to the kids.  If you do not live in Portland, you may not know that the slightest dusting of snow often will cause school to be cancelled but not this week.  On Tuesday morning it is icy and we get a 6 am call to let us know that school starts on time but on Wednesday it was foggy, icy and you know what?!  Yup school was cancelled.  Let me just say that my girls were not disappointed :)

Finally time to make some cookies aka Weihnachtsplätzchen in our house; yes, I am finally getting in the spirit...

These cookies are easy, delicious, and the dough is easily prepared ahead of time.

Easy Pecan Cookies
  • 1-1/2 sticks Earth Balance at room temperature {or other vegan "butter"}
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbl Almond Milk {or other milk of your choice}
  • 3/4 C Pecan, ground to a meal 
  • 2 C flour
  • 1/4 C Pecan pieces
  1. Cream margarine until it is soft then add,
  2. Sugar, Vanilla, Salt, and Almond Milk.  Process {I use a kitchen stand mixer} until it all comes together then add,
  3. Pecan meal and work it into the dough,
  4. Add flour and knead until the dough comes together.
  5. Cut the dough into two pieces and roll each piece into a long roll.  Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and set into fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  6. When ready for baking preheat oven to 375 F
  7. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Slice about 1/4" cookies with a knife from the dough roll and place on cookie sheet.  Top each cookie with 1-2 Pecan pieces and push them down gently into the dough.
  8. Bake for about 10 - 12 minutes but be sure to check on them after 8 minutes.
Enjoy - the girls sure did  :)


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