Category Archives: Recipes

Making Bread and Breaking Bread

A few of us were throwing around an idea to make portable breakfast items that we could send along with our family members as they hurried out the door on busy mornings that were a little more substantive than buttered toast.  We considered some sort of savory muffins or hearty breakfast cookies but then this recipe for Chorizo & Wisconsin Cheddar Biscuits landed in my inbox from Wisconsin Cheese.  (Click here to link to their blog).  The biscuits sounded far too delicious to pass up even if they weren’t quite worthy of meal-replacement status. And they were delicious! They go well alongside an omelet and hold their own when eaten with a spicy bowl of chili but they were good all by themselves, too.

The four of us meet at one member’s house each Thursday we get together – it’s been happening about once per month – and the person who hosts for the day does the recipe planning and shopping.   Before everyone leaves at the end of each day, we split up the costs amongst the four of us.  We meet in the late morning and then eat lunch at some point before parting ways – as a part of our time together.   There is a great deal of sharing that goes on in the several hours we’re together in the kitchen, and not any one part of our experience is better than another, but this habit of breaking bread together; sharing a meal ourselves before we carry home the meal we’ve prepared for our families; is a sort of a secular communion.

And that’s precisely the experience I want to recreate for my family each night.  It isn’t the promise of higher grades; or lesser experimentation with alcohol, drugs or sex; or lower rates of childhood obesity that have me focusing on offering a family meal each evening – although those are attractive benefits.   It’s simply the deep appeal of having a time to reconnect with each member of my family within the boundaries of our whole family unit: creating memories together, sharing stories or problems, discussing our days.

And in a time when after-school activities or work or other obligations have us running in all different directions, it’s easy for time to pass before our evening meal is planned.  This is how cooking for our families has become a dreaded chore.  If this is ringing true for you, consider gathering three or four of your friends together while the kids are in school or on the weekends to cook one family meal together.  It’s one less meal you have to make during the week – and it’s a wonderful tradition of sharing.

Asian Dumpling Soup

 

Hello Fall.  There is nothing I like better when the temps start dipping down, then to sit down to a piping hot bowl of delicious soup.  I really love to make Asian soups in the fall months  because there is something about the fresh flavors of Asian herbs and spices married with a flavorful, steamy broth that satisfies me to the core, especially with the extra chill in the air.  Don’t let the dumplings deter you from making this soup.  They are a breeze and you can whip those suckers out in less than a half hour.  I did it with two children running through the kitchen in circles at mach speed.  And, the coolest thing is that they wanted to help make these little satchels of deliciousness.  Assembly line production will turn them out faster, which of course, means you will be slurping on the soup quicker too. 

Dumplings:

1 lb. of fresh ground turkey

1 bunch scallion chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped (if I could marry cilantro, I would)

1/2 head of Napa cabbage

1 TBL salt

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 TBL minced ginger (there are days that I cheat on cilantro with ginger, because she smells so good)

2 TBL sesame oil

2 tsp. ground pepper

2 eggs, beaten

2 packets wonton wrappers (most brands have 30-45 wrappers per package)

Cut cabbage crosswise into thin strips.  Toss in a large bowl with salt and set aside for a few minutes.  Take handfuls and wring out moisture.  Combine the cabbage, with the turkey, scallion, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, pepper and eggs.  Throw your CLEAN hands in that bowl and massage some love into the mixture.  Give yourself proper space to work with a large cookie sheet or cutting board, a small bowl of water, and the wonton wrappers.  Layout about a dozen wontons, and place a TBL. of the filling into the center of each wrapper.  Dip your fingertip in the water and trace the outside edge of the wrapper.  Fold the wrapper in half (to form a triangle), and then form a pleat on both sides of the remaining edges, and meet at the point of the triangle.  Give it a good pinch/twist.  This may sound difficult, but it’s not.  Feel free to invent your own method of filling the wonton wrapper…..I promise you will not offend me.   After you have all the wontons finished, and on the sheet, lay a damp paper towel over the top so that they don’t dry up, and place in the fridge. 

Soup

48 oz. of chicken broth

1/2 cup diced or shredded carrot

1/4 cup diced scallion

1 1/2 TBL. rice vinegar

2 tsp. minced fresh ginger (two dates with ginger in one night….happiness)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

crushed red pepper to taste

Boil chicken broth and add carrots and ginger.  Simmer until carrots are soft.  Add rice vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Simmer for another five minutes.  Bring back to a boil, and slowly add dumplings one by one to the broth.  They will eventually bob to the top…..after about two minutes of sitting in the yummy broth, they should be done.  Finish up the soup by adding the scallions and the crushed red pepper. 

Serve up a delicious bowl to yourself and your family.  Sublimely fresh flavors mixed with the nourishing taste of a kicked up chicken broth.  The next day, the soup tastes even better.  Why, oh why, wasn’t I born somewhere in Asia?  My tastebuds definitely reside there…..

Enjoy!

Daniela

A Savory, Crunchy Chip made from a Superfood? You betcha…..Kale Chips!

Kale Crisps

Kale Crisps

Ever crave something potato-chippy but don’t feel like ingesting all the saturated oils and salt?  Then you MUST make yourself some kale chips.  Kale is one of those superfoods which are extremely high in anti-oxidants, and luckily, is easier to find in grocery stores nowadays.  The end product has the crispness and texture of potato chips, but it’s healthy and satisfies a junkfood craving.  Can I get an “AMEN”?

Kale Chips
1 bunch of kale, with stems trimmed
1 1/2 TBL. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 325.  After your kale is destemmed, cut into pieces similar to the size of a regular potato chip.  Take a gallon size ziploc bag, place kale, oil, and salt within and give it a good shake so that all oil and salt is evenly dispersed.  Place kale on a parchment or aluminum foil lined pan and throw in the oven for approximately 15-18 minutes, or until edges of kale start to turn a brownish hue.  Take out of oven, sit down in front of TV (if you are me, watch some bad reality TV, but I’m not recommending that) and crunch away at a pile of superfood kale chips, and throw your guilt out the back door.    Special thanks to my SIL, Sarah, who introduced me to this non-naughty, awesome snack! 

Enjoy!

Daniela

Summer Recipe

Marinated Vegetables

Choose from some combination of the following vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, carrots, or green beans. Cut them small and marinade in a mixture of 1 cup lemon juice, 2/3 cup olive oil, and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for twenty- four hours before serving.