Parmesan-Florentine Eggs

This doesn't need a recipe.  A BIG handful of fresh baby spinach, and two jumbo brown eggs are the main players.  I steamed the spinach in a little water over med.-high heat for a few minutes in a covered pan.  Uncovered it, added two lightly beaten eggs, salt, pepper, then plate it.  Grate on some parmesan cheese, add a few grape tomatoes, salt, pepper, and some cut up cilantro leaves. . .  Mmmmm. . . ๐Ÿ˜‹

And, this is another quick one.  Only 10 minutes, start to finish, so there's just no excuse for not having a good, quick, fresh, healthy Protein-Packed Breakfast. . .Lin

Kitchen Tips and Tools. . .

I was cleaning up after breakfast just now and realize I have some really special, favorite things in my kitchen that I couldn't be without.  Sometimes the simple, inexpensive things are the best, or at least I've found that to be the case.  I thought I'd share a couple of them with you here.

Years ago, a good friend bought me some very expensive, knives as a Christmas present.  You'd know the name if you're A Foodie.  Starts with a W and their little symbol is sort of a pitchfork trademark.  He bought me a chef's knife, what I call my Tomato Knife, and a small paring knife.  The total for these 3, back then, was right around $300.00.  Today they go for closer to $400.  I cherished them for a couple years before realizing - They just weren't all that great!  They didn't sharpen well, nor did they hold their edge.  Around that time I was in a fabulous Asian Market about an hour away from my home in Northern Wisconsin.  I found myself in the knife aisle.  It was there I discovered KIWI knives!!  Hooray!!  To duplicate the 3 different, expensive knives, from my friend, I probably spent $25.00!!  Today, the ones I currently have are, a set of 8 of the steak knives, which I also use as paring knives.  They're on the far left - #501.  I also have 6 of the Chef's Knives - 4th from the left, #171.
~ ~ ~ ~ Pair these with an inexpensive 2 or 3 slot sharpener and you're good to go for YEARS!! ~ ~ ~ ~

Another wonderful, recent find, is this amazing German invention!!  You can read about these here SKOY - They're everything they're claimed to be - and more.  While available online, if you're lucky enough to have a local kitchen store, I'd encourage you to shop there.  I bought a pack of 4 of these at Duluth Kitchen Co. for under $9.00.  I'm so fortunate and thankful to have TWO Amazing Kitchen Stores here!  I buy all my cooking and baking tools, appliances and utensils locally now, and feel the need to support them in any way I can.  In fact, tonight, I'm heading over to The Blue Heron for another great cooking class led by one of our Talented Local Chefs, teaching us about Soups Of The World!  With taste-testing of each to follow, of course!

Last, for today, is another plug for an Excellent Duluth, MN business.  The Epicurean Cutting Board folks originally lived in a house on Belmont, where my daughter and her fiance', Scott, previously lived, and Scott currently owns as a rental!  So, there's been a lot of creativity happening under that roof over the years! 

These cutting boards are amazing!  At The Blue Heron they have a couple huge restaurant size they use in our classes.  I keep lusting after them, but actually, my favorites of theirs are their simple, thin Camp Series boards, shown in this photo.  Here is a link to the website, telling all about their ecologically sound, environmentally friendly kitchen tools!  EPICUREAN

Buy yourself, or a foodie you love, several! ๐Ÿ˜Š  As always. . .Be Creative & Happy Cooking To You!! . . . Lin

Mushroom-Zucchini Lasagna (gluten-free)

8 sm. or 6 med. zucchini
8 oz. chopped mushrooms
1 med. chopped onion
4-6 oz. capers
40oz.± tomato or pasta sauce
~ 15oz. ricotta cheese
~ 1c cottage cheese
~ 2 eggs
~ 1T Rosemary Seasoning *

Slice the zucchini thin, lengthwise.  Put a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9"x13" glass pan and cover with half the sliced zucchini.  Sprinkle with half the chopped mushrooms, onion and capers.  Cover with half of the red sauce.  Using a mixer or an immersion blender, combine the remaining 4 ingredients.  Ladle half of this over the ingredients in the pan.  Repeat all the layers one more time.  Bake at 350°-375° for an hour.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes then cut and serve - or - chill and reheat several hours later or the next day.  This sort of thing always tastes better the next day, or at least after baking, chilling and reheating.  .  .Lin

Efficient Foods - A High Protein Breakfast Bowl

black beans
sprouted French lentils
1 hard boiled egg
butternut squash w/ pesto
a few pickled garlic cloves


This morning I woke up really hungry and shaky.  As I pondered my options, standing in front of the open refrigerator, it was either this or a Greek yogurt, chia and flax seed, frozen fruit smoothy.  It seems lately, anytime something sweet is up against a vegetable-based choice, the vegetables always win out.

Be creative in your thinking regarding meal planning.  Get outside the comfortable pull of 'the box' ๐Ÿ˜Š . . . Lin

Creamy Six-Onion Soubise Soup

3 med.-large sweet onions
1 med. white onion
½ lg. purple onion
3 lg. purple shallots
3-4T butter
⅛t cayenne pepper
¼t finely ground black pepper
1t Alderwood-smoked sea salt
½c dry white wine
8 green onions
6 lg. cloves of garlic
6oz. coconut milk
8oz. sour cream 

Well, this is for sure my first attempt at 'Soubise' and I also think possibly my first at any sort of Onion Soup!  I have to say, I'm happy with the results and would make this recipe again.  

Halve, then quarter the larger onions, halve the shallots, slice and combine everything in a cast iron Dutch oven, along with the butter.  Cook and caramelize, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a golden brown.  (This will create a heartier soup, but today I omitted this step, opting for a more simple, onion flavor.)  I instead I added the seasonings and wine*, and simmered to bring out all the flavors for about a half hour.  If you're caramelizing, *hold off on the wine until the next step.  Add the sliced green onions and minced garlic now (wine). 



Cover again and simmer another 20 minutes.   Pour in 16-24oz. water and the beef soup base, stir and again bring to a simmer, cooking another 20 minutes covered.  Just before serving, stir in the coconut milk and sour cream, check the flavors, making any corrections necessary.


This would be perfect on a chilly day, with hot, crusty bread and a nice big tossed salad!  A big bowl of this and a salad is "what's for dinner" for me tonight ๐Ÿ˜‹ . . . Lin

Sprouting - French Lentils

½-¾c French lentils
pure filtered water
time = 3-4 days

Orange & Yellow = Soup--Not Sprouts
I LOVE SPROUTING!!

Why Sprout you ask??  Check this out —> sprout

If I had to pick only one thing to sprout for the rest of my life. . .it would be LENTILS!  Hands down!  No contest!

The subtle, peppery flavor and crunch of these great little legumes is so nice!  The fancy, blue-grey-green, smaller, French lentils I found at the Co-Op are wonderful, but the green or brown ones available in any grocery store in the dried pea and bean section, are also just perfect.

Pick through the lentils to be sure there are no small stones mixed in, rinse them, then soak them 24 hours in warm filtered water.  Drain and rinse, then repeat this for the next couple days until they're sprouted as shown.  Don't be put off by the paper-y coverings of each one, these just add some nice fiber to your diet.  

Today I woke up in a bit of a sugar haze.  You see, I ordered some Tuscan Herb olive oil and Traditional 18 year old Balsamic Vinegar from a favorite gourmet shop I know. . .and at the last minute decided on a pound of their fudge which I have heard is the best.  Well, all this arrived Saturday, and the fudge. . .it is really good!  I had a few pieces of that and, since my body doesn't handle sugar as well now, as it did years ago, I decided to counteract the bad effects this morning, with some good quality protein, vitamins, and cleansing-freshness for breakfast.  This little bowl (hard-boiled eggs, sprouts and black beans topped with some spicy, Thai chili mayonnaise, was just the thing! :-)  Lentil sprouts are ready 3-4 days from start to finish.  Try them, you'll love 'em on everything!! . . . Lin

Chicken, Beef and Vegetable Curry


2 carrots
3 ribs of celery
½ lg. purple onion
1 lg. sweet potato
1 bunch of kale
1 med. zucchini
8 small potatoes
1 med. red pepper
⅓ head cauliflower - florets 
28oz. diced tomatoes
1t sugar or honey
2t red curry paste
1-2t fresh ground garlic salt
2T good quality curry powder
* 1c raisins, chopped dried
* apricots, dates or prunes
1# stir-fry cut angus beef
1# chicken breast meat
2T coconut oil (or butter)

Toppings:  Almonds, Mung Bean Sprouts, Sour Cream, Cilantro


Put all the diced, chopped or sliced vegetables into a big 6-8qt. pot.  Removing the rib from the center of each leaf of kale before chopping.  Add tomatoes, curry and seasonings plus 14 oz. water.  Cover and bring to a nice simmer.  Stir gently, to get everything moved around a bit, and into the seasoned tomato water.



Continue to simmer for 45-60 minutes.  Meanwhile, sizzle the meat in the coconut oil in a hot cast iron pan, to cook it part way.  Add the meat to the curry-vegetable pot.  *I like to add about 1c of dried fruit during the cooking process, but it can just be omitted, or put on later, as a topping.  Simmer another 20 minutes.  This will be really good now, but even better tomorrow.  Chilling then a gentle reheating brings out so much more flavor.  This will serve a lot of hungry people. . .Lin

Sprouting Mung (Moong) Beans

Red and Green Organic Mung Beans
Day One - Thursday Morning

½ c organic green mung beans
½ c organic red moong beans
a large glass sprouting jar
fresh, cold, filtered water
time 


When Sprouting - Size Matters!

Think Uniformity. . .  You wouldn't want to sprout garbanzos with alfalfa seeds!  Smaller seeds such as alfalfa, broccoli and radish go well together.  Whole brown or green lentils are wonderfully rich and peppery all by themselves, but also combine well with very tiny mung beans.  The larger ones such as black beans and red aduki beans are good together.  That's usually as big as I go, but any dried bean, potentially, can be sprouted.  The small seeds sprout VERY quickly, usually in a couple days.  The larger the seed or bean, the longer it will take.  So match you seeds according to flavor and size.


Friday Morning
Baby Sprouts!!  Sunday Morning

Put the beans in a strainer and sort through them, making sure there are no small stones or bad beans.  Rinse them and put them in the sprouting jar.  Fill the jar ½ full with water.  Let stand on the countertop 24 hours.

Drain (Mix this water with your dog's food, use it to water your plants, or add it to your 'soup stock' bucket in the freezer - It's FILLED with wonderful nutrients!)


Now the waiting begins. . .After the 24 hour soak, rinse the seeds and turn the jar strainer-side-down, for an hour or so, to drain any excess water.  Roll the seeds around the jar a bit, so they're not all on top of each other, then lay the jar on its side, on the counter.  Rinse and repeat this process every day until the seeds are fully sprouted.  At that time, rinse, dry and bag the sprouts.  They'll keep a few days in the fridge.  Once you start using them, it's hard to stop!  Their unique, peppery-freshness and crunch wins you over!! ๐Ÿ˜‰


Day 6 - Ready To Use - Tuesday Morning
Put them on salads, add them to tuna or egg salad, put them in chili, add them at the end of cooking time to a recipe of Rice Pilaf, chop them up and mix them with spices, egg, onion, garlic, rice or quinoa and form them into some yummy Sprout Burgers.  Fry fast in olive oil or butter and serve.  See how many other ways you can think to use them.  On a commercial level, there are companies that grind sprouted grains to make wonderful gluten-free 'flours.'  Think outside your comfort zone!

Be Bold - Be Creative, but most of all Have Fun In Your Kitchen ๐Ÿ˜€. . . Lin

Tomato Pesto Hummus


1 15oz. can pinto beans
1 15oz. can red kidney beans
1-2 lg. cloves of garlic
½c roasted red pepper pieces
¼-½c or more good olive oil
2T white balsamic vinegar


3-4T sun dried tomato pesto
a little water if needed
1½t ground cumin
½t garlic sea salt
½t granulated roasted garlic
½t fresh ground black pepper



Drain and rinse the beans.  Combine all the ingredients in your food processor.  All at once, or in smaller batches, depending on the size and power of your processor.  When everything is as smooth as you want it, let it stand for an hour. During this time the beans will absorb a lot of the flavors.  Taste it after an hour, you may need to add more seasoning.  Serve with pita or falafel chips, or vegetable strips.  This also makes a great replacement for mayonnaise on a sandwich. . .Lin

And I'll Have, Two Eggs Over. . . .Kimchi!?!

½c Kimchi
2 hard boiled eggs
a little ranch dressing

I've always leaned in —> to odd food combinations.

Sometimes it's bad, but mostly, it's a good, expansive experience.  Kimchi has such a unique crunch, and when you find one that contains the exact, right amount of heat. . .well, it's just amazing.  This came together, all chopped up and stirred. . .as breakfast today.  It would be oh, so good, with some crispy, buttered rye toast!  Or just as is, all by itself, which is how I had it.  Listen to your cravings, let your taste buds dictate and, most of all, Be Creative! . . . Lin

Chili Cornbread Salad

I saw this recipe posted by a friend of a friend on Facebook.

It's not exactly healthy, but it reminds me of a spicy, Mexican version of an old classic, The Seven Layer Salad.  It would be a good make-ahead salad
for a busy day, or to take to a potluck.

Normally when I see a recipe that gives me an idea, or takes me down a different path, I make so many changes, it's not even recognizable when the
recipes are compared.


This one pretty much has it all. . .And Bacon!!
I'll make this and probably not change a thing!

Lobster in a White Wine Butter Sauce. . .

For One - Increase as Needed

Why do we 'save' our Good China and Linens, to be used only for special occasions?  Same question regarding food?  I have some wonderful food in my freezer, and tonight, as my own personal Pre-Easter Celebration Dinner, I decided to. . .Break-Out-The-Lobster!!


a few colorful mini-potatoes - quartered
1 lg. carrot - cut in oblique chunks
2-4 garlic cloves - smashed and chopped
your favorite vinegar based salad dressing
Tuscan herbs or any herb mix you like

1 8oz. frozen lobster tail
1-2T butter
finely ground Himalayan salt 
finely ground fresh black pepper
½c± dry white wine

In a medium bowl, combine all the first group of ingredients, stirring and tossing for an hour or longer while the lobster is thawing.  I used Italian dressing with a little splash of Raspberry Vinaigrette.  Steam-simmer the marinated vegetables in the marinade, and a splash of water, covered, on low-medium heat 20-30 minutes, shaking and turning everything occasionally.  Meanwhile, cook the lobster the way you like or give this a try.



Cut the top shell of the lobster, from the top to the tail.  Turn over and clip all the connecting tendon-shell strips, the length of the tail, exposing the meat.  Carefully, pull it all out of the shell.  Simmer this in the melted butter, seasonings and wine, on medium heat.  Lobster should sizzle when placed in the pan.  Turn frequently so it doesn't burn, pressing it down with a fork if it curls.  Add more butter, or a bit more wine if necessary.  Plate everything when the lobster is cooked the way you like it.
Pull out the good china and napkins!  Celebrate Life! . . . Lin

Combining Leftovers = A Throw-Together Lunch

¼-½c pea and cheese salad
½c fresh, crunchy sauerkraut
¼-½c celery / diced water chestnuts
2 hard boiled eggs - chopped
1-2T capers or chopped pickles
chili-lime seasoning

Mmmmm!  This was good!  When I was doing a little organizing in the kitchen, I found just a tiny bit of macaroni salad and sauerkraut in the fridge.  I combined them with the remaining ingredients and ~viola~ it's Lunch!!  Years ago I was making potato salad for a church potluck and didn't have paprika, which is a classic 'sprinkle on the top' garnish.  Instead I used a little chili powder.  What a surprise, to discover how well the chili flavor blended with the potatoes, eggs and mayonnaise!!  I've done this ever since, only now I add more to the actual salad, as well as the sprinkle on the top when it's ready to serve.  When cleaning the refrigerator, it's fun to see what an interesting, never-to-be-repeated, lunch you can create for yourself.  A little reward for your labors.
Be Creative!  Happy Cooking ๐Ÿ˜‰. . . Lin

Fruity Almond Chicken With Rice

¾c Lundberg Wild Rice Blend

¾-1c craisins, raisins and dried fruit
1-2T local, organic honey
½c± Chardonnay or Rhine Wine
4-6oz Golden Berries - halved or quartered

8-12 oz. chunks of fresh chicken meat
1-2T organic, solid coconut oil
1½c sliced celery
1med. white onion - sliced
1-2lg. cloves minced garlic - optional
½c hickory smoked almonds
½-1t fresh ground black pepper*

Cook rice according to the package directions.  Put the next 3 ingredients into a glass container and microwave for 45-60 seconds.  Stir occasionally, then just let this sit, to absorb flavor until it's ready to join the party-in-the-pot ๐Ÿ˜Š While the rice cooks, and the fruit marinates and hydrates, sautรฉ the next group of ingredients together, over medium-high heat, stirring often.


Turn down to medium, keep an eye on it, moving everything around so it doesn't scorch.  If the pan gets dry, you can add a bit of water or wine.  After about 10 minutes of cooking time, add fruit that's been soaking.  Stir and simmer on low another 10 minutes.  After 5 minutes, stir in the Golden Berries.  Thicken the juices with a cornstarch-cold water mix, starting with just a little at first so it doesn't get 'gloppy.'  Serve over the rice.  Makes 3-4 servings.  *After trying this, a little twist I wish I had thought of would be, cut back, just a bit on the black pepper and add a couple chunks of finely chopped candied ginger!  Ginger would blend so well with these flavors. . .Lin  

Information. . .


I love Synchronicity!!
๐Ÿ˜€
A link to this video showed up in my personal email today!



I'm posting this is in regard to comments I made in my earlier post today, regarding Kimchi, naturally fermented foods, probiotics, etc.  Please give it a listen, this information is excellent! . . . Lin

Kimchi-Brussels Sprouts, Eggs and Jerky

7 Brussels Sprouts
1 small sweet onion
1T butter
Kimchi - medium hot
2 Jumbo Eggs
beef or turkey jerky 
~ Cut the sprouts in half, wedge the onion, then simmer together, in a little water.  As the water evaporates, add butter and Kimchi.  Cover and let steam-simmer 5 minutes.  Plate this, cover and start your eggs - cooking however you like them.  Serve this with a side of jerky.

I had a serious sugar craving late last night and way overdid it!  I was immediately tired and crashed for a full 8 hours.  Sugar coma??  This morning I was incredibly shaky.  PROTEIN!  I know eggs and a little meat, along with lots of water, can really help, so this breakfast was perfect. Regarding Kimchi - There are incredible probiotics, vitamins and other nutrients in naturally fermented foods!  Sauerkraut, Kimchi as well as naturally fermented pickles.  Read the labels.  Naturally Fermented Pickles are those with no vinegar added.  They're often more expensive since the curing process takes longer and is a bit more labor intensive, but so worth it!


This plate came together in about 12 minutes.  Take the Little-Bit-of-Time it takes, to create healthier food options for yourself and those you love. . .Lin

A Quick Hit of Protein, Vegetables and Good Fat

4 thin slices of Black Forest turkey
4 thin slices of Keeeygold Dubliner Irish cheese
¾-1c medium spicy Kimchi
½ avocado and 4 cherry or grape tomatoes

Okay, okay, yes. . .this has lunchmeat. . .  I buy some, very rarely, to go with slices of cheese when I know I'll need a quick, serious hit of animal protein.  Lunchmeat is full of chemicals and sodium, is NOT a healthy choice ๐Ÿ˜ I needed something for a 6-7 meet-up I have with a new walking-running I'm joining tonight.  (YEA!!! - I'm SO excited!!!)

I remember from YEARS ago when I was running regularly, that in the mornings, I need to eat an hour before a run.  My body burns through food very fast at that time of day, and if I didn't eat at just the right time, I'd run out of energy, and be starting, half way in.  For a running group we were in in the '80's and '90's, at 6pm, I had to eat around 3pm.  Anything later and it felt like I was running with a bean bag stuck in my gut!  So my metabolic rates seriously slows down in the late afternoon.

This plate went together in 7 minutes ๐Ÿ˜€ Fix it quick - and try to keep it healthy! . . . Lin

Do The (SALAD) Prep - You'll Be Glad You Did!

Do the prep!  Simple as that.

If you spend an hour a week, on vegetable preparation, you'll have quick and easy salads for your family, anytime the craving strikes.  Wash, chop, slice, etc.  These ingredients are going to a potluck Salad Lunch after my women's Community Bible Study group today.  Thinking fresh, colorful, clean and cut well is good.

The Romaine in the lettuce mix was a week old!  With good cold storage and the removal of a few 'rusty' looking leaves, it chopped up well, ready for a good, warm - then icy - shower, and a spin dry in my wonderful (under $10) salad spinner I bought at Walmart. 

The only thing I don't prepare in advance are avocados.  Those need to be not-too-ripe, and sliced or chopped right before serving.  Although I eat these kind of salads year-round, Spring and Summer's Salad Days are almost upon us!  Try topping with an all natural, very healthy dressing.  

My Lemon Oil Dressing is clean, citrusy and easy to make.  It's for sure one of my favorites - click for recipe —> *

Be Bold - Be Creative!  Happy Salad Prepping! . . . Lin

Holy Moly!!

I'm not sure how all things technical work, regarding blogs and posts "going viral". . .  

However, I've noticed lately, when my weekly view numbers come up, there are often times when there will be 30-50 people viewing posts here at the same time.  This makes me wonder if my recipes are possibly being used in a group setting.  A cooking class of some sort?

Just now, I realized there have been over 200 views here - just today alone!!


If there is some interest in using these recipes in that manner, WONDERFUL!   What I'd really love, is for you to let me know who you are and how the recipes are being used.  Also, it would be so fun if you had any suggestions, a list of ingredients or ideas regarding a recipe or recipes I might be able to create for you!


So, who are you!  ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Please leave me a comment right here, below - or if you'd rather - send me a private email at lin.m207@gmail.com (the first 3 characters are LIN in lower case.)

So happy you're all here!
As always, Be Bold - Be Creative - Happy Cooking!
Lin

Stirred Eggs and Vegetables

2 jumbo grass-fed-pastured chicken eggs
a big, big handful of kale - chopped
assorted heirloom or sliced beefsteak tomatoes
Himalayan pink salt, fresh ground pepper and chili lime seasoning

Steam the kale, covered in a little water for 10-15 minutes.  Drain, butter and season on the plate.  Slice and arrange the tomatoes.  Meanwhile, as the kale is cooking, heat up a pan with a little butter, when it sizzles, crack in your eggs.  Season, then stir gently until they're done the way you like.  Plate and serve.  This is a serving for one, but of course, can be doubled, tripled, etc., depending on how many you're cooking for.

Remember, this category of recipes - Quick Healthy - Less Than 30 Minute Meals - isn't time-of-day-specific.  Think out of the box!  This would be great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. . .Lin

Dill-Mustard-Ranch Tuna Steak and Vegetables

1 6oz. tuna steak
1 med. sweet potato
1 sm. bunch of asparagus

Sauce: 1 part ranch dressing, 1 part seedy-grainy mustard, a good amount of dried dill weed - combine in a small bowl

Scrub and cut potato into ½" crosscuts.  If there's too many for you, give a couple to your dog! ๐Ÿถ They love sweet potato - roasted as a dried dog treat, as well as raw.  They're probably not picky about preparation, and these are an excellent source of nutrition for our fur-buddies.

Sear-cook the cross-sections on medium high heat, seasoning, after flipping, with a little fresh ground sea salt with garlic, coarse ground pepper and a couple pinches of organic cane sugar.  Sear tuna steak in some hot butter, cooking about 3 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness and thickness of the steak.  Mine was almost 1½" thick, and after a total of 6 minutes, searing on pretty high heat, it was medium rare.

This was an excellent piece of tuna, so it was like eating it two ways.  Seared and flavorful outside and basically, sushi in the center!

Steam the asparagus in a little water, drain and season.  After cooking the sweet potatoes, I wiped out the pan then put the tuna in the same hot pan with a little fresh butter.  Plate, sauce the tuna and feed your hungry body!  This is for one serving but ingredients can easily be extrapolated, according to the number of people currently hanging out with you.  This entire plate happened within 20 minutes, from start to finish.  Eating really healthy doesn't have to be time or labor intensive.  Also. . .This doesn't have to be a Dinner or a Lunch. . .I would, and often have, eaten this sort of thing for breakfast!  Be creative and Have Fun! . . .Lin

Golden Berries !?!


Well, I guess you're never too old to learn something new!
Golden Berries!  Who knew!  Well. . .not me!
I saw these at my little neighborhood Super One Grocery Store, a few blocks from my house.  Since I'm always looking for new and different foods, of all kinds, especially unique fruits and vegetables...I snapped up a pack!  I tried some just now in a leftover fruit salad.  Interesting.  They're textured like a tough grape with teeny little seeds.  The flavor is harder to describe.  A little bitter, yet with a certain sweetness too.  I'm thinking I may combine these with another odd favorite of mine, kumquats. . .and some raisins, in some sort of sweet & sour chicken and rice dish.
Check this out, and scroll to the bottom for more information about the author.  She has a Facebook page and a blog.  Happy Reading ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Chicken Cacciatore

2# boneless skinless chicken
1 lg. purple onion
1 yellow sweet pepper
1 orange sweet pepper
1lg. clove elephant garlic
4 lg. ribs of celery
8oz. fresh mushrooms
1c± dry white wine
28oz. crushed tomatoes
12oz. seasoned pasta sauce
14.5oz. can petite diced tomatoes
2t sugar
2t Rosemary Seasoning*
1-2T Italian seasoning


Pasta:  Spaghetti, Linguini or Fettuccine

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, or a little larger.  Pat the chicken dry and combine with a little finely chopped onion, and a couple tablespoons of butter or olive oil, in a heavy 5qt. pot.  Sautรฉ 15 minutes or so then add the rest of the rough chopped or sliced vegetables.  Stir and continue to sautรฉ another 15 minutes.  Add the wine about half way though, continue to stir and simmer.  Stir in the tomatoes and sauce and simmer and additional 30-60 minutes, on low heat, covered, stirring occasionally.  Toward the end of the cooking time, try the sauce and see what additions or seasonings might be needed.

While this is simmering, cook the pasta to the al dente stage.  Drain and put into baking dishes.  Pour on a cup or two of the sauce to coat the pasta, and keep it from sticking together.  Cover with the rest of the chicken, vegetables and sauce.  Ideally, to fully develop the flavors, you would chill this overnight and reheat it before serving the next day, but it can be served now.

I cooked for friends yesterday.  It was supposed to just be enough for 4, but. . .even though I've lived alone on and off for the past 21 years, I've never mastered the Art Of Cooking Small! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Fortunately, most people I know are hungry, and I'm also a Big Fan of leftovers!  This recipe made a 9"x13" and a 9"x9" pan.  Probably enough for 8-10 people.  Have fun with this!  Maybe you too know some hungry people?  Invite them for dinner! ๐Ÿ˜Š It's a nice dinner just as is, but if you're a bread person, some toasty ciabatta with garlic butter would be nice.  Or if, like me, you can never get enough vegetables, try it with my very favorite - My 5-Ingredient Salad . . . Lin