Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pico de Gallo

Pronounced "peek-oh day guy-oh", pico de gallo, or pico sauce is a wonderful addition to tacos, tostadas, burritos, and the like. It's SO easy to make and to customize. And by 'customize', I mean I, again, don't have a strict recipe but more of an ingredient list. Here's what you need:

Fresh (not canned) diced tomato
Fresh diced onion
Chopped cilantro

Mix these three ingredients in ratios that are pleasing to your taste and add a sprinkle of salt and a squirt or two of lime juice.

That's it. Easy right?

You can add other ingredients as desired. Green onion is pretty. Some people like black pepper. Or jalapeños for some heat. We like our mild. What's fun about the pico that is pictured is that all the veggies are from our own garden! Pretty, yummy, and easy. What's not to love!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

This isn't a recipe per se because I don't exactly follow one... It's more of an ingredient list so you'll have to fiddle with amounts, but here goes:

I follow my cookbook recipe for the noodles (LOVE my pasta roller/cutter) and then wing the rest of it.

Sauté onion, carrot, and celery in olive oil and season with salt, pepper, basil, garlic.

Add chicken broth (either homemade or using Better Than Bouillon [or both]). Today I ran out of BTB so I used a packet of dry chicken gravy mix to boost the seasoning. I don't usually do that.

Dice up chicken breast and fry it in a little oil (I used coconut) in a separate pan. Season with salt, garlic, pepper, whatever is to your liking.

Add noodles and boil until desired tenderness. It totally depends on if you are using dry store-bought noodles, fresh homemade, frozen homemade... I never know how long to cook it. 10-12 minutes probably.

Add cooked chicken at the last minute and heat through.

See my post on "Homemade Pasta" for the noodle recipe. I use the whole batch of noodles when I make this soup.

Homemade Pasta

I'm totally cheating here but instead of posting the recipe I'm just going to post a link to the page in my recipe book that I follow.

I use the main recipe with no variations. If you don't have the nifty pasta maker pictured you can roll it out with a rolling pin and cut the noodles with a pizza cutter. That's what I did before I got the pasta maker. It's more work but it's totally doable.

This recipe is from the
Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Energy (Granola) Bars

3 cups granola
1 cup (heaping) nuts
1 cup (heaping) dried fruit
3/4 cup bonus ingredient
3/4 cup bonus ingredient (yes, another one)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
4 egg whites
Click on images to enlarge
Bonus ingredients are things like:
a second dried fruit, seeds, another nut, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, coconut, whatever floats your boat!

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Prepare a 10x15 cookie sheet by lining it with foil and then spraying with a light layer of oil. This really helps when releasing the bars.

Press mixture into prepared pan.

Bake at 300* for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool for 10 minutes and then cut into bars. (I use a Bash-n-Chop and press it into the mixture so I don't drag a knife over the foil under the bars. You could probably use a pancake turner or anything like that.) Don't wait until completely cool or the bars will just crumble.

Remove from pan and separate into bars when completely cool.

Makes about 24 bars depending on how they're cut.


The bars pictured here were made with almonds, dried cranberries, coconut, chocolate chips and a wee bit of flax seed.