Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Corn Chowder {#dairyfree #vegan} & the Tooth Fairy sent a letter

Alena has been loosing teeth two weeks in a row.  Each week another molar came out and this meant that the Tooth Fairy was kept very busy in our little house.  One night Alena left a glass of water out for her because she had heard that the Tooth Fairy likes to dip her wingtips, and/or her magic wand into some water when she visits.  At the visit - apparently - the color of the water changes to the color of the visiting Tooth Fairy.  Guess, what?!  Yup, the Tooth Fairy did visit and the water in the glass turned a beautiful green. Oh yes, the amazement was magnificent :)

Alena also left a letter each time with her tooth, and she was hoping to hear back from the Tooth Fairy. Guess what happened earlier this week?  Yes, you probably guessed correctly - both girls got a letter each from the Tooth Fairy.  Magical little letters, that even had fairy dust in them.  Can you say magic?!
Both girls were so excited; it was the very first time that Mia Rose has received a letter from the Tooth Fairy...so there was a LOT of excitement.  Take a look at the girlies...
Little Letters - Letter from the Tooth Fairy
Letter from Tooth Fairy Little Letter Little Mailbox

Now on to the Corn Chowder we are having for dinner tonight.  It is easy, quick, satisfying and delicious.  All in one.  -  I also made a loaf of quick no knead bread {today with Whole Wheat Flour, 1/4 C Sunflower Seeds, as well as 3 TB of Sesame Seeds} to accompany the dinner.

Corn Chowder
  • Splash of Canola Oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 medium carrot cleaned - cut into pieces
  • 2 celery stalks - cut into pieces
  • 1/2 red pepper - cleaned and diced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 16oz bag of frozen super sweet corn kernels 
  • 4 medium to large yellow skin potatoes - thoroughly washed and diced
  • 5 C of water
  • 1/2 C of Wildwood Soy Creamer
  • 3-4 green onions cleaned and cut into rings for garnish
  • Salt, Pepper, Chef's Shake by The Spice Hunter to taste
  1. In a stock pot heat oil, when hot add onions with a pinch of salt.  Sautee until onions are soft, then
  2. Add carrots, celery and red pepper. Sautee until fragrant and vegetables turn bright in color
  3. Add corn, mix it under the veggies and sautee for another couple of minutes
  4. Add potatoes mix them under the veggies before adding water.
  5. Bring to a slow simmer and simmer until potatoes are soft
  6. Adjust spices before adding the Soy Creamer
  7. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish each serving with green onion rings
Dairyfree Vegan Vegetarian Chowder
I hope you like this quick and easy chowder as much as we did :) Oh, and guess what the girlies are having for lunch tomorrow...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

#Recall Orville Redenbacher Classic Kettle Korn Ready-to-eat Popcorn undeclared #milk

Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts Orville Redenbacher’s® Classic Kettle Korn Ready-to-eat Popcorn Recalled Due to Undeclared Milk Allergen

#Vegan Chocolate Mousse for #SundaySupper

The theme for this week's #SundaySupper is New Cooking Adventures hosted by Conni aka as The Foodie Army Wife.  So it was the perfect time to challenge myself to make a Chocolate Mousse that not only the girlies can eat, but one that is also completely vegan plus - as the name implies - "moussey" in texture...so today my adventures in chocolate mousse..

Full disclosure, I have made Vegan Chocolate Mousse as a dessert for Christmas and used Silken Tofu for it.  It was very, very delicious - rich, and flavorful but more like a pot de creme than a mousse. Take a look
Coconut milk, would be an option to get the texture but I most be one of the few people that does not like the coconut flavor if its not part of the dish; after all it is supposed to be Chocolate Mousse and not Chocolate Coconut Mousse.  What to do?  So I talked with my friend Leather - an amazing chef  whose children go to school with both of my girls - and asked him for some advice.  "It's all how much air you put into it" he told me and also told me that water, sugar, and chocolate could do the trick.  "You just have to put a lot of air into it"...I tried - it tasted great, but it in the freezer (that was my bad) to let it set and....blooobbbb...it all turned more into a chocolate sauce.  But I was not going to give up! My girls MUST taste Chocolate Mousse, right?! Leather shared another trick with me, "you could add Xanthan gum to tighten it up..." -  For my third try I purchased some Xanthan gum in the bulk section at New Seasons Market and here is the result....

Yes, it worked out!!!  I was so excited - but yes, the KitchenAid was going for at least 30 minutes straight.  The result was amazing - we served to our friends Larissa & Martin at a dinner party that night.  The reviews were "moussey" - Take a look at Larissa

....Oh, yes -this was so exciting!!! So next time I will try lemon mousse, or maybe hazelnut mouse, oh the options are now endless....

Vegan Chocolate Mousse
  • 1-1/4 C Wildwood Soy Creamer plus 2 Tbs reserved
  •    1/2 C Sugar
  •        4 ox. Ghiradelli 100% cacao unsweetened
  •     1/8 tsp Xanthan Gum
  •         1  Tb Corn starch
    Vegan Chocolate Mousse - from start to finish
  1. Pour Soy Creamer into a stand kitchen mixer and beat with a wire whip at medium to high speed,
  2. After about 5 minutes add the sugar,
  3. Melt chocolate 
  4. Slowly pour melted chocolate into the soy creamer / sugar mixture - continue to beat it
  5. Beat for at least another 10 minutes
  6. In a separate little bowl combine Xanthan Gum with Corn Starch, and the reserved 2 Tbs of soy creamer. Mix until all lumps are worked out
  7. Slowly pour the mixture into the the bowl - continue beating until the mousse starts to come together and forms tiny little peaks
  8. Pour into serving dishes and let rest in fridge for at least two hours before serving

For serving, I added some defrosted strawberries and Vegan Whip Cream (Soya Too!) - but you can also just serve with with Vegan Whip, or none, or just fruit, or just plain...
Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Now take a look about the adventures the rest of the #SundaySupper team went on today....

New Expeditions (Sides, Starters & Staples)

Homemade Corn Tortillas from Pescetarian Journal
Easy Oven Polenta from Shockingly Delicious
Homemade Spiced Flour Tortillas from Chocolate Moosey
Homemade Tofu from Kimchi MOM
Indian Moong Beans from Magnolia Days
Baked Lemon Coconut Risotto from Soni’s Food
Homemade Peanut Butter from Home Cooking Memories
Homemade Ricotta Cheese from Webicurean
Portuguese Chorizo Bread from Family Foodie  
Savory mushroom and herb steel cut oat Risotto Foxes Love Lemons

Grand Quests (Main Dishes)

Traditional Pork Tamales from Gourmet Drizzles
Braised Lamb Brisket with Lemon Oregano Yogurt Sauce from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Rice Burger from The Urban Mrs.
Pan-fried Scallops with Garlic Chili Linguine from Food Lust People Love
Miso-Glazed Salmon from The Foodie Patootie
Penne with Mustard and Chives from My Other City By The Bay
Arepas Rellenas (Stuffed Arepas) from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Spanish Baked Scallops from Momma’s Meals
Black Beans and Cheese Empanadas from Basic N Delicious
Pork Dim Sum from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Venison Steak Gyros from Curious Cuisiniere
Baked Tilapia with Parmesan Basil Sauce from Growing Up Gabel
Vegetarian Hortobagyi Pancakes from Happy Baking Days
Caribou & Andouille Chili from The Foodie Army Wife  

Escapades (Sweet Treats & Spirited Companions)

Vegan Chocolate Mousse from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Zebra Cake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Multilayer Bars from What Smells So Good?
Rut-Busting Wines For New Cooking Adventures from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows from Vintage Kitchen
Strawberry Raspberry Fruit Leather from Juanita’s Cocina
Making Macarons – FAIL! from girlichef
Macaroons from Noshing With The Nolands
Fresh Strawberry Frozen Yogurt from The Messy Baker
Bircher Muesli from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Hello Kitty Rice Krispies from The Ninja Baker
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls from In The Kitchen With KP
Dorie Greenspan’s Orange Almond Tart from Hip Foodie Mom
Ombre Mini Cakes from Daily Dish Recipes
Chocolate Dipped Madeleines from Big Bear’s Wife

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter Sunday! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat, or join us by TweatChat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos. Coming to Orlando July 19-21, the first annual Food and Wine Conference sponsored by #SundaySupper.
Sunday Supper MovementWould you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Recall - Allergy Alert #Undeclared #Milk Components in Eba Multivitamin Supplement

Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts Saratoga Therapeutics, LLC Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk Components in Eba Multivitamin Supplement

Spring time is here...

I promised to show you how beautiful spring time can be in Portland....Yes, we have been enjoying something like an early summer, and even cooked out for the first time this year....

Tulips are my favorites....


but really love all of them....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kale Pesto with Sunflower Seeds on Pasta for dinner

It feels like early summer has arrived in Portland.  Well, in a way - Rhododendron, Azaleas, and other spring flowers are in full bloom.  The colors are just plain gorgeous plus we have had amazing weather so today I actually took some time for myself and went for a walk at Laurelhurst Park.  Oh, and why did I leave my camera at home?  Rhodies in every color imaginable, plus sunbathers in bathing suits {yes, this it is April} everywhere in the park...Okay so here is my note to self to always have my camera on me...

The girlies got some playground time before we headed home and started on homework.  But you know the question that comes up every night, right? I am sure it happens at your house as well :) what is for dinner?  Today is a perfect day for pasta and olive oil with garlic, or Kale with sausage is always a great dinner but I felt like something more.  So here it is
Kale Pesto with Sunflower Seeds

Kale Pesto with Sunflower Seeds 

  • 2/3 C Sunflower Seeds
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch Lacinato Kale - cleaned, stemmed, and cut into smaller pieces
  • 1/3 C Olive Oil
  • 1/2 untreated lemon zested and juiced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C grated Parmesiano Reggiano 
  1. In a small pan toast sunflower seeds until golden and let them cool down,
  2. Add toasted sunflower seeds (cooled down), and garlic to a Kitchen Chopper and give it a couple of "chops",
  3. Add Kale pieces and continue to chopping, adding a handful at a time. When all the Kale has been chopped, add
  4. Olive Oil along with the lemon zest, and juice. Blend it all into the Kale mixture
  5. Add salt, pepper, and Parmesiano Reggiano. Blend together
Kale Pesto with Sunflower Seeds on Pasta and Potatoes
Serve on Farfalle pasta cooked al dente with mixed oven baked potato bits {bite size pieces of yellow skin potatoes baked at 350F in olive oil for about 20 minutes) and a side salad.  Enjoy! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Meatloaf with Veggies

How as your weekend? Ours was a lot more quiet than usual as Alena has been coughing and complaining of a sore throat on Sunday.  So instead of our usual family activity outside we spent time inside, reading, watching a family movie, and just hanging out.  The grey weather was perfect for that plus it did feel good to do nothing for a change :)

Today - Monday - I kept Alena home so that she can get a little more rest...Fingers crossed that she will be all better tomorrow as I need to be at my office.  So what about this meatloaf business?  Okay - so you may know that meatloaf is one of the reappearing meals on this family's dinner table.  Yup - everyone loves it.  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, with a big bowl of salad. It is usually just meat, some onion and garlic but today is the day I decided to mix it up a tiny bit.  I know, it is not earth shattering but I added some veggies into the dough. Just for a change of pace...

Meatloaf with Veggies
  • 2 lb. 5% ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1/2 red pepper finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk finely diced
  • 1 small carrot cleaned and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Tb salt
  •    plenty of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp of Herbs de Provence {I use Spice Hunter}
  • 1 C Panko Crumbs {or other bread crumbs always double check the label to make sure it is dairy free}
  • 1 egg
  • Ketchup
  1.  In a large bowl mix the vegetables, spices with the Panko Crumbs,
  2.  next mix in the meat, and the egg. Carefully mix it all together until well combined {I use my   hands},
  3. Place meat into a shallow baking dish and form a loaf {you can cover and place meat in the fridge until you are ready to bake it},
  4. Top with ketchup
  5. Preheat oven to 350F and bake for about 1-1/2 hrs
This is an - as my kids would call it - easy peasy dinner.
Meatloaf with Veggies

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pinenut stuffed Dates for #SundaySupper

It is Sunday and you know what that means, right? It is time for another great #SundaySupper event.  This week's theme is April Showers, you know the great American tradition  from Bridal Showers to Baby Showers. I have become familiar with these lovely traditions after leaving Germany and had not known about them before...At a baby shower there are usually fun games, the mom-to-be is "showered" with presents and there is always delicious food.  At bridal showers the soon to be married couple gets "showered" with presents, there are games, and also delicious food.  It is a really lovely tradition.  So, for today's #SundaySupper we are holding a virtual shower with lots and lots of delicious dishes. Our host this week is the lovely Brandie the writer behind Home Cooking Memories.

My dish for the virtual table are Pinenut Stuffed Dates wrapped in Bacon; Dates wrapped in Bacon is great finger food - sweet yet salty at the same time.

Pinenut stuffed dates wrapped in bacon

Pinenut stuffed Dates

Pinenut stuffed dates wrapped in bacon
  • 16 large pitted dates 
  •   8 slices of cured bacon
  •   5 Tb pinenuts
  •  2-1/2 Tb Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese {dairy free "cream cheese"}
  •  zest of 1/2 untreated lemon
  •  pinch of salt
  •  16 toothpicks
*** Preheat oven to 400 F***
  1. In a pan toast the pinenuts until fragrant. Remove immediately from the heat and them them cool down.  When cool enough to handle,
  2. chop pinenuts in a kitchen chopper, and when coarsely chopped add the "cream cheese" together with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Blend together and set aside
  3. Carefully cut a pocket into each date,
  4. using a teaspoon carefully stuff each date with the pinenut "cream cheese" mixture.
  5. Cut each bacon slice in half, and wrap a half around each date, securing with a toothpick
  6. Place the bacon wrapped stuffed dates on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes
pinenut stuffed dates wrapped in bacon


Now, take a look at all the other amazing dishes...

Starters, Appetizers & Snacks Soups, Salads & Sandwiches Main Dishes Cakes Cookies, Brownies & Dessert Bars Sweet Treats Drink Recipes
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter Sunday! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat, or join us by TweatChat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos. Coming to Orlando July 19-21, the first annual Food and Wine Conference sponsored by #SundaySupper.

Sunday Supper MovementWould you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement

Friday, April 19, 2013

White Bean Soup with Zest

What happened to the week...I have written this post - albeit in my head - already a couple of days ago and here it is Friday...

The weather in Portland has been mixed this week - I will call it typical for April.  Sunshine, rain, all mixed in but the blooms are amazing :)  Perfect soup weather and you all know how much this family loves soup...and yes, this soup can easily be made vegan.  Just use a vegetable broth, and leave out the meatballs....
White Bean Soup with Zest

White Bean Soup with Zest

  • 2 C dried white beans {we like Navy beans} soaked over night
  • Splash of Olive Oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 celery stalks diced
  • 1 large carrot, or 3 smaller carrots - cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 1 leak, cleaned and cut into rings {I use all parts}
  • 1 quart of Pacific Chicken Broth {or your favorite broth}
  • 3 C of water
  • grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tb Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base {or one bouillon cube - make sure it does not contain any whey or lactose}
  • 2-3 green onions cut into rings for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Optional 1 lb. sage sausage for meatballs - or other small meatballs prepared and cooked {I baked the meatballs for 25 minutes at 350 F}
  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot and when hot add the onions with a pinch of salt.  Saute until they are soft, then
  2. Add celery, carrots, leaks and saute for a little while long until the vegetables turn bright in color and fragrant,
  3. Drain beans and add them to the pot and mix under the vegetables for minute or so,
  4. Stir in lemon zest together with the lemon juice before adding the broth and water.  
  5. Cover pot and bring soup to a low simmer until beans are soft
  6. When beans are soft - using an immersion blender - blend the soup {I blended until the vegetables were smooth and some of the beans still intact)
  7. Adjust salt and pepper; if using add in meatballs and serve when they are heated through
  8. Ladle into soup bowls, and garnish each bowl with green onion slices.
Serve with fresh crusty bread! 

white bean soup with zest

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#Recall Wegeman Food You Feel Good About Roasted Red Pepper Dip, 8 oz., #Undeclared #Milk and #Eggs

Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts Wegmans Food Markets Announces Voluntary Recall of Select Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Roasted Red Pepper Dip, 8 oz., Due to Undeclared Milk and Eggs

#Recall Cedarlane Natural Foods, Inc. #Allergy #Allert and Voluntary Recall on O Organics Black Bean Enchiladas 9 Oz Undeclared #Milk #Allergen

Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts Cedarlane Natural Foods, Inc. Issues Allergy Allert and Voluntary Recall on O Organics Black Bean Enchiladas 9 Oz Due to Mislabeling and Undeclared Allergens

Salad w/ Lemon Dressing Fava Bean Greens, Strawberries, Red Leaf Lettuce & Fennel

Have you had Fava Bean Greens yet?  I discovered them on my weekly shopping trip this week. They are amazing; dark green in color, with a beautiful almost nutty taste, and the flowers are also edible. Delicious and fun all in one :)  -  Not a great picture, but this is what they look like

Fava Bean Greens

I decided to use the Fava Bean Greens in a salad but needed to come up with a different kind of dressing.  The greens are very delicate in flavor, and it felt that my "usual" dressings would overpower the flavor.  Tadahh!!!  Are you ready?  Please meet the new Lemon Dressing of this house....

Salad with Lemon Dressing, Fava Bean Greens, Strawberries, Red Leaf Lettuce & Fennel

Lemon Dressing Fava Bean Greens Strawberries Fennel Lettuce Salad
  • 4 Tb Olive Oil
  • 2 Tb Rice Vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 an untreated lemon
  • 1 green onion cut into fine rings
  • 1 tsp. Maple Syrup
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch of Fava Bean Greens {leaves & flowers off the stem} washed
  • 1/2 Fennel bulb finely diced
  • 1/2 head of Red Leaf Lettuce {cleaned & broken into bite size pieces}
  • 1/2 C Strawberries sliced 
  1. Put dressing together by mixing Olive Oil, Rice Vinegar, Lemon Juice & Zest, and Maple Syrup. Mix {I use a fork} until it all comes together nicely.
  2. Add salt & pepper to taste and blend it into the dressing
  3. Add green onion rings and mix up.  Pour the dressing into a salad bowl
  4. Add fennel to the dressing and mix it into the dressing
  5. Top with Red Leaf Lettuce, Fava Bean Greens {and flowers} and gently toss it together, coating it with dressing {I used my hands}
  6. Add Strawberries at the end and mix them carefully into the salad
Fava Bean Greens Fennel Lemon Dressing Strawberries Salad Lettuce

Monday, April 15, 2013

It's Trillium season at Tryon Creek State Park

Spring has sprung when the Trillium is in bloom. At least that is what I think since moving to Oregon ten years ago.  One of the best places in Portland to observe these amazing flowers in full bloom is Tryon Creek State Park.  Now, you may - or may not - know that this this is one of our favorite hiking spots in the city.  You can be in the middle of nature, yet it is in the city - true there are many parks in Portland offering this, but to me Tryon Creek is one of the most accessible with children.

Yesterday, we went on our Tryon Creek hike to admire the Trillium's - just in the nick of time.  They start out in a beautiful crisp white,


then the color turns slightly pink, and finally turn into a dark shade of pink.  They are amazing!

We like to hike at Tryon Creek quite a bit, and so far thought that we knew every trail...was I wrong!  The girls wanted to take the trail to the Red Fox Bridge yesterday and it was a completely new trail to us.  A little longer than the other trails we usually take but less busy and just perfect.  We saw fairy ponds, and this watershed where you can just imagine that the water fairies live there.  Right?!
Tryon Creek - Where water fairies live
Can you find the water fairies? 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Farro Salad w/veggies, dinners & Facebook Page {finally}

How is your week going?  Busy, right?!  Same here...it was my plan to post the Farro Salad yesterday but a last minute called Wednesday evening plan nixed that plan.  However, we have been eating and I have been cooking :)  Yesterday was roasted lemon garlic chicken,  tonight it is dairy free enchiladas, and tomorrow it will be Isabel's amazing chicken noodle soup.  One chicken = three dinners; now, if our girlies would like chicken more it would be a monthly occurrence....

Oh, in other news there finally is now a Facebook Page for my little blog.  I am quite excited about that - really excited actually....

Now on to the Farro Salad.  I may remember that the girlies go to the Sophie School Schule, a German Saturday school.  The school is all the way out in Beaverton - about 30 minutes from where we live in Portland - and I usually spend the time working in the teacher lounge.  So what does this have to do with Farro?  Bear with me...sometimes, like last Saturday,  I go grocery shopping at New Seasons Market on Cedar Hills and they are always sampling foods.  Last Saturday they sampled  Farro salad. Wow - it was fantastic, first time I ate Farro.  It is was delicious, somewhat nutty, and fantastic texture.  So this week, I experimented and made a Farro salad.  The verdict was all thumbs up; the girls took it for lunch while it was my breakfast :)

Farro salad Vegan vegetables

Farro Salad

  • 4 C water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 C Farro
  • 1/2 C broccoli cut into tiny slivers
  • 1/2 red pepper cut into fine slivers
  • 3 green onions cut into fine rings
  • 1/4 C currants


  • 3 Tb toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tb rice vinegar
  • 1 Tb soy sauce
  • 1/2 inch freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp hoison sauce
  • 1/2 grated zest of untreated lemon
  1. Bring water to a boil, and add Farro.  Cook for about 60 minutes.  Let it cool down
  2. In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the dressing.  You may want to increase the vinegar to your taste.
  3. In a large salad bowl combine the cooled off Farro, with the veggies then pour the dressing over the salad.  Mix it up well - cover and let rest for at least a couple of hours before serving.
  4. Adjust flavors before serving {I added additional rice vinegar, and little bit more soy sauce}
Farro Salad Vegan Vegetables

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Udon Noodles w/ vegetables in Peanut Sauce inspired by #SundaySupper

This was our dinner tonight...

broccoli vegan vegetarian peanut sauce

is it not beautiful?  And yes, it was delicious.  Our thanks go out to Lane from Supper for a Steal who posted this great dish for the last #SundaySupper event.  This was such an easy, quick dinner  recipe, perfect for a Tuesday night :) Here is Lane's recipe - I did change it a little bit by

  • using Udon Noodles
  • added fresh grated ginger to the sauce
  • used lemon instead of lime juice
  • added a handful of peanuts and sautéd them with the veggies
For the vegetable, I added an onion, broccoli, green beans, and half of a red pepper. Sautéd them right in the pan {did not blanch them first}. Oh, and yes there was a little chicken on the side for Ron :) plus Siracha for me....

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Your help for a research study is requested...

as you know both of our children have Classic Galactosemia, which is a rare metabolic disorder.  One of the leading Galactosemia researchers in the United States is Professor Judith Fridovich-Keil, Ph.D. at Emory Unversity in Georgia.  She and her team are currently studying gastrointestinal health in Galactosemia and are collecting data through an online survey {see below}. Additional respondents - both with and without Galactosemia - are need for this online survey.  It a quick survey, and it would be greatly appreciated if you could help, as well as pass it along.  Thank you so much!

Here is the link to click to find the online consent form and survey:

Thank you so much for helping!

Potato Leek Soup with Little Bites {Sausages} for #WeekdaySupper

The work weeks have been getting very busy around here; I am sure it is no different for all of you. We do strive to eat dinner together around the table most nights and I am always happy to find new ideas.  The weekly taco night, does get old..right?!  So when Isabel aka Family Foodie extended the #SundaySupper theme to #WeekdaySupper I was thrilled. Perfect, and now there is no excuse to run out of quick, and easy #WeekdaySupper ideas.  Today is my second turn this year :) - You may be surprised that I am bringing soup!  Yes, soup - I know soup again...what can I say we love soup plus it is such an easy meal on a weekday. Filling, comforting, plus there are always enough left overs for the girl's lunches.  
The soup by itself is vegan - I added Little Bites {mini sausages}, certainly Wiener's, or any other type of sausage - meat or vegan - that is not too strong in flavor will work.  Serve it with some crusty bread, and maybe a salad on the side for a complete 100% satisfying #WeekdaySupper.
Potato Leek Soup with Little Bites
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 large carrot cleaned and cut into slices
  • 1 celery stalk cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 3-4 C of leeks, cleaned well and cut into rings {I use all parts but the tough dark green parts of the leeks}
  • grated zest of one untreated lemon
  • 4 C of potatoes peeled and cut into little pieces {about 4 medium Russets}
  • 5 C of water
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt, pepper to taste and - if you like - non-salt based seasoning such as Chef's Shake from The Spice Hunter
  • Little Bites, or other sausage of choice
  1. Heat olive oil in soup pot - when hot add the onions with a pinch of salt; sauté until onions are soft,
  2. add carrots, and celery; sauté until bright in color and fragrant,
  3. add grated lemon zest and leeks; sauté until leeks turn bright in color and begin to soft.  Remove about 1-1/2 C of the leeks and reserve.
  4. add potatoes, and 5 C of water.  Bring to a slow simmer and cover pot; simmer soup until potatoes are soft,
  5. using an immersion blender {careful the hot soup may splatter} blend soup until smooth
  6. add reserved leeks, as well as  - if using - sausage until heated through
  7. Add lemon juice, and adjust salt, pepper, add - if using - additional seasonings 

Easy Weekday Supper Recipes
Be sure to follow the #WeekdaySupper hashtag on Twitter for quick and easy weekday recipes. This week you can look forward to:-

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lentil Soup {Linsensuppe} for #SundaySupper & upcoming Food & Wine Conference

This week's theme for #SundaySupper is something most everyone can appreciate I am pretty sure about that.  It is #SundaySupper dishes on a budget.  Certainly something that is appreciated in our house, I am ready to find great recipes that are delicious yet will not break the bank.  So I am very much looking forward to all of the 30+ amazing recipes this week.

This week there are two hosts to thank for;  Lane from Supper for a Steal and Pam from Blueberries and Blessings.  Thank you so much for both you awesome ladies for hosting!

Now did you see the second part of the title?  Yes? This is such exciting news to share because this July 19th - 21st, 2013 will mark the first Food and Wine Conference sponsored by #SundaySupper and will be held in Orlando, Florida.  This will be a great opportunity to meet many of the #SundaySupper contributors. It is so exciting!!!

Now on to my contribution to today's #SundaySupper; it is Lentil Soup.  We love lentils and to me they are the perfect food.  If you have visited here before you probably have already seen that we love lentils as  Lentils & Spaetzle {Linsen & Spaetzle} as well as many other lentil dishes make a frequent appearance on our dinner table :)  They are perfect I buy them in bulk and generally always have a few cups in my pantry.  Lentil Soup is another of those traditional German recipe and I would argue that it is probably served on many German tables around the world.  It is either known as Linsensuppe, or Linseneintopf.  You can make it vegan, vegetarian, or - for the carnivore - add sausage, or meatballls to it. The options are pretty much endless...
Linsen Suppe Lentil Soup Vegan Vegetarian

Today's Lentil Soup by itself is vegan, but you can add - if you like - add sausage at the end.

Lentil Soup {Linsensuppe}
  • Splash of Olive Oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 carrots peeled and cut into rustic pieces
  • 4 individual celery stalks cut into pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 C of dried lentils
  • 8 C of water {or more}
  • 2 TB White Balsamic Vinegar, or Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • ***Optional - sausages such as Lil' Bites, Frankfurter etc.
  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot, when hot add onions with a pinch of salt 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 tomatoes {juice and all} together with the dried lentils. Mix everything up well together and after a minute,
  5. Add 8 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.
I like to serve soup with a loaf of crusty bread; no knead bread is a fantastic budget friendly option!
Thumbs up from Alena...

Now check out the rest of the amazing recipes this week.

Starters, Soups, and Salads
Drinks and Desserts
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter Sunday! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat, or join us by TweatChat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos. Coming to Orlando July 19-21, the first annual Food and Wine Conference sponsored by #SundaySupper.

Sunday Supper MovementWould you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fun Field Trip to the Rice Museum....

Happy Friday!!! Today Alena's class went on a field trip.  You know what that means, right? Yup, it means that I chaperone. Parent involvement at our  school is amazing; many parents help in the classroom, some organize and manage the weekly running club, others organize the science fair, while others work on fundraising programs...but I copy - which I am quite good at :) - and chaperone on field trips....

All the 3rd grader went on the field trip to the Rice Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon.  It is about a 45 minutes bus ride - yes, I did get to ride on the school us today - at least from our part of town. So what is the Rice museum? Well, it is not about rice - as far as I know Oregon is not one of the major rice producers ;)  - but a museum founded by the Rice family and it is all about rocks and minerals. Wow - let me just tell you that this place is major fun as in FUN. Really, exhibits with amazing rocks, fossils and minerals are stacked wall to wall. in the exhibits There is an exhibit with rocks that glow in the dark, a room of petrified wood and shelves lines with polished "slices" of it showing off their amazing colors as well as textures, a meteorite gallery {yes you get to touch them}. . Plus let me not forget to tell you about the room with packed with huge emerald formations, amethyst, rubies, sapphires, diamonds and so many other crystals formations...just amazing. Take a look at some of the exhibits...the pictures are courtesy by no other but Alena :)
Rice Museum of Rocks & MInerals Hillsboro Oregon

Yes, the 3rd graders - as well as the chaperons -  had so much fun.  We ate lunch, Oregon style outside 

and at the end of the tour all kids got to search for their own treasure in the large rock pile outside. Can you see how much fun Alena and her friends are having?

The next time we go out to the beach we will definitively have to stop there. Ron and Mia Rosie will love this place...ahhhhm yes it will not just be for me :). Alena loved it just as much.  Here she is :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pasta with Ham & Green Beans for dinner

I do not know about you, but we certainly did have some ham left from Easter Sunday.  It was not really that much, since we got a smaller ham but still enough for another dinner.  We do not have any potatoes left and we certainly needed a little different meal so this is when this dish came into being....

It was a huge success and super easy
Pasta with Ham & Green Beans

Pasta with Ham & Green Beans

  • 1 box Barilla Farfalle cooked according to directions
  • splash of Olive Oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 Cups of ham diced {less or more}
  • 2 Cups of green beans cleaned and cut in half
  • 2 tsp fresh tarragon
  • juice of one lemon
  • 3 - 4 Tbl Tofutti Better than Sour Cream 
  • 2 tsp. Chef's Shake by The Spice Hunter
  • {optional} 1/2 C grated Parmesiano Reggiano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Heat Olive Oil in pan and when hot add onions. Saute them until soft then 
  2. add ham, green beans, tarragon and cover.  Saute until green beans are just about done then
  3. mix lemon juice with Tofutti Sour Cream and spices - then pour mixture over the ham vegetables. Cover and cook for another minute or so. When the beans are according to your liking,
  4. add pasta into the pan and mix well with the vegetable/ham mixture;
  5. add optional Parmesiano Reggiano as well as salt and pepper to taste


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