BEEF BARLEY SOUP ~ BLOG 366.103

This homemade beef barley soup is a complete meal in a bowl! Add a toasted cheese sandwich for a decadent treat.

BEEF BARLEY SOUP

1 + 1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 + 1 tablespoon butter
1 LARGE onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, sliced
1 rib celery, sliced
2 cups stew beef pieces
1/2 cup flour
6 cups beef broth
1 can petite diced tomatoes 14-15 oz, undrained
½ green pepper diced
⅔ cup pearl barley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 package beef gravy mix (optional)
2 tablespoons red wine (optional)
2 tablespoons FRESH parsley or 2 teaspoons dried
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Dredge meat pieces in flour.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in skillet.
  • Cook onions and garlic in oil over medium heat until softened. Set aside.
  • Add additional butter and oil.
  • Brown beef pieces until seared.
  • Add back in onions and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer covered about 40-50 minutes or until barley is cooked.

NOTE: Soup will thicken upon cooling, add extra broth (or water) to reach desired consistency when re-heating.

PAN FRIED HALIBUT with TOMATO BURST CHILE SAUCE ~ BLOG 366.102

PAN FRIED HALIBUT with TOMATO BURST CHILE SAUCE

Meaty and mild-flavored, firm-fleshed halibut with a flavorful sauce, made from burst cherry tomatoes, sizzled shallots and toasted garlic gives you a hearty, rib sticking satisfying meal. I had some leftover Mozzarella balls from the salad I made so I added those as I served and YUMMY!

2 + 2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil
4 garlic cloves, FINELY minced
1 small shallot, small diced
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces tomato sauce
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1¼ pounds halibut cut into 4 equal pieces
½ cup basil leaves, chiffonade

  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter and avocado oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high.
  • Add garlic and shallots, cooking 2 minutes or so until they start to toast and turn light golden brown.
  • Add red-pepper flakes and swirl to toast for a few seconds.
  • Add tomatoes and sauce, simmering until tomato burst and and can easily be swirled into sauce.
  • Add basil chiffonades and blend.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.

  • In another skillet melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
  • Generously season fish fillets with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper on both sides.
  • Add fish to skillet and sear 5-6 minutes per side until fish is cooked through
  • Ladle a small amount of sauce to plate, add fish filet and ladle with more sauce.


NOTE: COD or FLUKE make a great substitution.

MOZZARELLA WATERMELON TOMATO SALAD ~ BLOG 366.100

This recipe SCREAMS summer, but with the availability of watermelon year round these days we eat it ALL the time.

MOZZARELLA WATERMELON TOMATO SALAD

4 cups watermelon balls
2 cups grape or cherry tomato halves
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella balls
1 small shallot, diced
1/2 cup basil chiffonades
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Combine watermelon balls, tomato pieces, shallots and mozzarella balls in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, sea salt and black pepper.
  • Pour marinade over watermelon mixture.
  • Fold in basil chiffonades.
  • Chill 1 hour before serving.

LEMON BLUEBERRY COFFEE CAKE ~ BLOG 366.95

Whether you need a brunch or potluck dish, this streusel topped Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake is the perfect choice!

LEMON BLUEBERRY COFFEE CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray a 10″ Springform pan with non-stick spray.

STREUSEL TOPPING
½ cup butter, melted
1 ½ cups AP flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla

  • In a medium bowl, combine melted butter, flour, sugar and vanilla until crumbly. Set aside.

CAKE
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 cup vanilla bean yogurt or sour cream
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen small wild blueberries (see note)

  • In a large bowl, whisk together butter, oil and sugar for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, yogurt, lemon juice and zest and whisk until combined.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir just until combined.
  • Stir in blueberries and set aside.

FILLING optional
8 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 LARGE egg
zest from one lemon

  • With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and lemon zest until smooth.

GLAZE optional
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice

ASSEMBLY

  • Spread ½ of the cake batter into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Spread cream cheese filling in the center, staying away from the edge of the pan as much as possible.

  • Top with remaining cake batter and spread to cover as much of the cream cheese filling as possible.

  • Sprinkle the crumb topping over top.

  • Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes, or until center is set and DOES NOT jiggle when moved. You don’t want an unbaked center! and it could take up to 80 minutes.
  • Let cake cool to room temperature before drizzling the glaze over top.
  • Serve.

NOTES 

  • Frozen blueberries will release more moisture as they bake, so you may want to reduce the oil to 2 tablespoons if using frozen berries.
  • Both the cheesecake filling and the glaze are optional – just depends on how much sweetness and decadence you want for the occasion.

CHICKEN DIVAN aka CHICKEN DIVINE ~ BLOG 366.93

I have a genetic disorder. Really, I do. It is just genetically impossible for me to follow a simple recipe This started out as me making Chicken Divan from a recent issue of Cook’s Country on skillet suppers, but it turned into something completely different.

Hubby loved it so much, he ate it for 3 nights in a row with no complaints!CHICKEN DIVINE
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 pounds broccoli crowns, chopped large
1 large bunch green onions, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup cream sherry
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
3 + 3 tablespoons butter
flour for dredging

  • Dredge chicken pieces.
  • In a large skillet melt 3 tablespoons of butter.
  • When butter is sizzling add green onions and garlic, cooking a few minutes until garlic is fragrant.
  • Add chicken pieces, generously salt and peppering. Saute’ until cooked through.
  • Clean and rinse broccoli pieces.  In a large sauce pan heat chicken broth and add a vegetable strainer with the broccoli.  Steam until al dente. Reserve chicken broth.
  • Arrange broccoli and chicken on platter and keep warm.
  • Add remaining butter to skillet, scraping bits of chicken from the bottom of the skillet.  Add the chicken broth, sherry and Worcestershire sauce, cooking until slightly reduced.
  • Add heavy cream gradually, whisking all the while.  Cook until starts to thicken.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add egg yolks, lemon juice and half of the cheese, blending well.
  • Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli.
  • Top with remaining cheese.

SOUTHWEST BLACK EYED PEAS ~ BLOG 366.89

SOUTHWEST BLACK EYED PEAS
1 pound black eyed peas, sorted and rinsed
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, chopped
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 ounces pork belly, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can chopped green chiles, drained
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 tablespoon FRESH minced thyme
4 cups homemade chicken stock
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 ham hocks

  • Place peas in a large dutch oven. Add water and cover by 2 inches.
  • Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, cover and let stand 1-2 hours.
  • Drain and rinse peas. Set aside.
  • In the dutch oven heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion, sauteing until tender.
  • Add pork, garlic, green chiles, thyme, pepper flakes, FRESH ground salt and pepper, cooking 1 minute more.
  • Add the broth, peas and ham hocks.
  • Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered 35-40 minutes or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth as necessary.
  • Remove ham hocks, cool and remove meat from bone.
  • Finely chop meat and return to the pan.
  • Discard bones.

HAM & POTATO SOUP ~ BLOG 366.88

HAM & POTATO SOUP
1 3/4 pounds golden potatoes, peeled and large diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
3 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 cups WHOLE milk
2 cups diced cooked ham steak
FRESH chopped Italian parsley
Shredded cheese (optional)

  • In a stock pot stir together the broth, potatoes, celery and onions.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and cook 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  • Stir in seasoning, to taste.
  • In another pan melt butter.
  • Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until flour is smooth and golden.
  • Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
  • Add in stock mixture, stirring until blended.
  • Add ham pieces and simmer 4-5 minutes.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish. enjoy

MAGIC KINGDOM COOKIES ~ BLOG 366.86

I collect old recipe boxes full of old recipes. One of my more recent boxes had a recipe in it for “Disneyland 40th Anniversary Cookies”. Disneyland’s 40th anniversary would have been July 17, 1995. The recipe card had so many notations on it that it was really difficult to decipher. I did a bit of research, but didn’t find a specific recipe for a 40th anniversary cookie. I did the best I could, but ultimately made my own recipe out of the notes, hence the new name. These cookies have become our new family favorites!

MAGIC KINGDOM COOKIES makes 5 dozen
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup quick oats
1 cup ground walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup raisins *see note*

  • Sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  • Cream together the butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy.
  • Add walnuts, coconut and flour mixture alternately until all incorporated.
  • Fold in chocolate chips and Craisins until well blended.
  • Chill mixture 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Scoop cookies with 1 inch scoop onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Cool on cookie sheets 10 minutes before moving to wax paper to cool completely.

NOTE: I was out out regular raisin so I used Craisins the first time and then golden raisin the next time. The golden raisins are my favorite.

COWBOY BREAD aka CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE ~ BLOG 366.82

COWBOY BREAD
CAKE
2 1/2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 cups PACKED brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons COLD butter, diced
1 cup buttermilk
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Grease and flour 13×9 inch baking dish.
  • Sift together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
  • Cut in butter pieces until mixture is similar to wet sand.
  • Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl.

TOPPING
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, diced

  • Add sugar and butter to the 1/2 cup reserved cake mixture, combining well.
  • Set aside.

ASSEMBLY

  • Whisk buttermilk and eggs into the cake mixture until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle topping evenly over top.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack 30 minutes before cutting.

IRISH CABBAGE SOUP ~ BLOG 366.81

IRISH CABBAGE SOUP
1 pound QUALITY ground beef
3 green onions, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
16 ounce can small white beans, rinsed and drained
28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 head medium cabbage head, chopped
3-3 1/2 cups homemade bone broth (see note)
4 teaspoons beef base (bouillon or better than bouillon paste)

  • Brown ground beef until no longer pink. Drain off grease.
  • In a dutch oven combine all ingredients except the beef and beans.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, reduce heat, stir in meat and beans.
  • Simmer 1 hour.

NOTE: For a truly Irish soup, substitute 12 ounces of Irish beer (Guinness) for 12 ounces of the chicken broth and omit the champagne vinegar.

TOMATILLO CHICKEN ~ BLOG 366.79

This is an EXTREMELY flavorful and yet SUPER simple recipe that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or company!

CHICKEN TOMATILLO
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons WONDRA flour
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon Pampered Chef Chile Lime seasoning
1 teaspoon Pampered Chef TEX MEX seasoning
12 ounce can Salsa Verde
1/2 cup FINELY shredded Mexican shredded cheese
1 green onion, minced

  • Blend together the chile lime and TEX MEX seasoning.
  • Generously season each chicken breast with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper and then the seasoning mix.
  • Spread flour in a shallow bowl.
  • Dredge each chicken breast in the flour.
  • Heat butter in a large skillet until melted over medium heat.
  • Add chicken breasts, searing 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Pour salsa Verde over chicken breasts and simmer on low 5 minutes.
  • Plate chicken and ladle additional sauce over top.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and green onions.

LEMON PUDDING BUNDT CAKE ~ BLOG 366.74

It’s not often I use a package mix of anything, but my friend gave me this recipe to make for her dinner night at the Eagles and I followed it to the letter. I actually recommend you do the same thing. 😀 It has a airy tender crumb that is FULL of intense flavor. I’ve since changed it up a bit and also made it strawberry by using a strawberry cake mix and vanilla pudding. The possible combinations are based on your imagination with cake and instant pudding flavors 😀

I’ve also adapted it to a scratch version that uses freeze dried fruit to make it mango or raspberry using a white cake mix.

LEMON PUDDING BUNDT CAKE
CAKE
1 package lemon cake mix
1 small (3.4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
2/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup neutral oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 LARGE eggs

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Generously butter (NOT non stick spray) a bundt pan.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the cake mix and pudding mix.
  • Add oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and eggs, whisking to combine well.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool 15 minutes in pan.
  • Invert onto cooling rack to cool completely.

GLAZE
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract

  • Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla.
  • Drizzle over cooled cake and let glaze harden 10 minutes or so before serving.
  • Transfer to serving platter and serve with FRESH blueberries or berry of choice 😀

NOTE: Flavors can be altered by using 1/4 cup freeze dried fruit with a white cake mix and vanilla flavored pudding mix.