Monday, August 30, 2010

Rebecka's Tortilla Soup Challenge Recipe

Rebecka's Tortilla Soup Challenge Recipe


I'm ready to add my Tortilla Soup recipe to the contest girlichef is hosting on her blog site...http://girlichef.blogspot.com/2010/05/tortilla-soup-challenge-please-join-me.html 

I would like to challenge my followers to join in the competition as well.  What a wonderful way for us to meet food bloggers and share all our versions of Tortilla Soup with the illustrious girlichef.  Take a moment to click on the Contest widget to read girlichef's thoughts and ideas about the many versions of tortilla soup and her inspiration for hosting this contest! 

Happy Cooking♥

Rebecka's Tortilla Soup

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup red and orange bell peppers chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 Serrano chili pepper chopped
2 cups chicken breast diced
2 heaping tablespoons fresh roasted green chilies
2 cloves garlic minced
1 can cream corn
1 can enchilada sauce
1 tomato diced
3 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon Spice Hunter Fajita Seasoning
1 can black or pinto beans
1 shot Don Viejo Tequila
1 teaspoon Lawry's Garlic Salt
2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Queso Fresco
lime wedges
Method:

In a large stock pot use 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to saute onion and bell pepper, cook on medium  high heat until skin on peppers is seared, about 5-8 minutes;  reduce to medium heat and remove onions and peppers, set aside, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the same stock pot, salt and pepper chicken breast and cook for 5 minutes making sure to sear all sides of meat, add garlic, Serrano pepper and greens chilies to chicken and cook for additional 5 minutes.  Add next 10 ingredients and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring frequently.  Just before serving add 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips and cook for 5 minutes to thicken soup.  Serve with cheddar cheese and a large bowl of tortilla chips.  Sprinkle the  top with Queso Fresco, add a few cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime juice.  For a heartier meal, serve soup with soft tortillas and a big pitcher of margaritas.  

Serves 6





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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reunion Lunch with my BFF Kathie

Kathie and Rebecka's Reunion Lunch...Cheers!

I've had a good chuckle over the years listening to my two daughter's talk about having a Best Friend for Life, you know the kind they call a "BFF",  but after my recent reunion lunch with my long time friend Kathie, I had to take a step back and examine the possibility that I too, might just have a BFF.  

I believe that there are very few "true friends" in our lifetime but the few we have, we cherish with all of our hearts.   If I had to define a BFF, that person would be the kind of friend you can see after being apart for years and pick up your friendship right where you left off.  Six days, six weeks, six months or even six years; no matter how long it's been since the last time you were together, it seems as if no time has past at all. Kathie is this kind of friend!!

I met Kathie when our children were in preschool together.  It seems like ions ago that our children were that young.  Kathie's oldest is going into college this year and my oldest is married and expecting his first child...my, how time flies. 

I haven't seen Kathie since we moved to Florida five years ago and now that I've been back in Colorado for several months, I knew we were long over due for a visit.

I invited Kathie to my home for a reunion lunch excited to catch up on the past five years and share some much needed girl time.  Sharing great food and great conversation with a great friend is the perfect trifecta!

I made lunch and Kathie brought dessert.  Lucky for me, Kathie is a Manager for Dove Chocolate Discoveries! Her business is going great and I was so pleased to try one of her personal creations, Cabernet Mousse Delights with Cabernet Raspberry fudge sauce. Yum!  Don't worry, I've included her recipe here too!

This recipe is linked to: Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackersin your blog post. (you MUST include this to be eligible for prizes)
Reunion Lunch Menu:




  • Mixed Greens Salad with Fresh Peach Vinaigrette; At Home With Rebecka

Fresh Peach Vinaigrette
Sorry, no pic for the salad...we ate it all before I remembered to take a photo..


Check out Livlifetoo for this recipe...
her scones looked amazing, mine tasted great but were really ugly as sin!

  • Strawberry Italian Sodas; At Home With Rebecka









RECIPES

Green Pea and Cilantro Soup







4 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 whole green chili pepper seeded and chopped
3 cups frozen green peas
4 cups chicken stock
2 table fresh cilantro chopped
salt and pepper to taste




Method:

Melt butter over low heat and sweat onion, garlic and chili for 3-4 minutes, add peas and cover with stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7-8 minutes, add freshly chopped cilantro and puree in blender or food processor till creamy, reheat if needed. Season with salt and pepper adding just a pinch of sugar to enhance the flavor. Serve with a swirl of softly whipped cream and a few fresh cilantro leaves.
serves 6


 Lemon Blueberry Scones: livlifetoo.blogspot.com


Sadly...this is my ugly duckling version...however, all was not lost! I whipped up a big bowl of sweet whipping cream and we forced ourselves to eat them anyways!


I've said it before and I know I'll say it again, that I'm not much of a baker...to add insult to injury, I live at eight thousand five hundred feet and I still haven't figured out how to adjust for high altitude baking...pfft!! It's a work in progress!






Peach Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon green onion chopped white part only
1/2 juice from 1/2 lime
1 small ripe peach peeled and stone removed




Method:


Mix together first seven ingredients in a mason jar, cover with lid add shake until honey is dissolved,  peel and pit  fresh peach, cut peach into small pieces and place into a small food processor, pour vinaigrette over peaches and blend until smooth.  Toss greens lightly with dressing.  Add fresh sliced tomato wedges for added color and flavor. 







Strawberry Italian Soda


4 tablespoons strawberry syrup, I substitute a batch of strawberry jam I canned earlier this month.  The jam didn't jell correctly but it was a great addition to the sodas.  It tasted amazing with the addition the chunky fruit floating about the glass.

1 8 ounce glass 3/4 filled with crushed ice
1 bottle Soda Water
1 bottle Tonic Water
mint leaves
1 1/2 pint Half and Half optional to make Italian Cream Soda

Method:
Fill glass with crushed ice leaving about 1/4 inch head space, add strawberry syrup, fill 1/2 of the glass with soda water, next 1/2 with tonic water, garnish with mint and serve.  For Cream Soda add in 1/4's and fill the last 1/4 with half and half.  Enjoy


Cabernet Mousse Delights



Ingredients:

1-packet Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chocolate Mousse Mix

2-bars (4oz) Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chef Series Dark Chocolate

3/4-cup Heavy whipping cream

1-package Sugar Free Shortbread Cookies

Dove Chocolate Discoveries Cabernet Raspberry Fudge Sauce

Cocoa powder or Dark Sipping Chocolate powder

Mousse:

~Break the dark chocolate into pieces and melt in the microwave at high power in 20-30 second intervals. Stir between each interval and continue until the chocolate JUST melts. Let it cool slightly at room temperature.

~Pour whipping cream into a medium mixing bowl along with the Mousse Mix and whip the cream on medium to high speed to light peaks. With a spatula or spoon mix in the melted dark chocolate until fully blended. Be sure chocolate is not too hot when mixing with the whipped cream as the chocolate might form small "flecks" in your mousse.

Cookies:

Spoon mousse into a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe the mousse onto each cookie. Refridgerate until mousse has set up. Just before serving, drizzle each cookie with the Cabernet Raspberry fudge sauce, add a small dab of whipped cream to the top and sprinkle with cocoa powder to taste.

Add some SWEETNESS to your day...host a chocolate tasting party!
Chocolatiers wanted...business is SWEET! No Experience necessary!
Kathie Scrimgeour
Manager
Dove Chocolate Discoveries™
www.Dove-Chocolate-Discoveries.com/sites/Kathie




"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with friendship." -Ralph Waldo Emerson



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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Greek Yogurt Giveaway and Review from Oikos

Greek Yogurt Giveaway and Review from Oikos


Stoneyfield Farms is hosting a give away through a fellow blogger....Lisa's Foods on the Move .  Lisa has a wonderful blog and well worth a visit.

I love Greek yogurt and Oikos is one of my absolute favorite yogurt brands. 
The recipe I would most like to try is their Pasta Carbonara. 

The recipe looks creamy and delightful and contains three of my most favorite cooking ingredients...Yogurt, Bacon and Artichokes, YUM! 
Stop by Lisa's Foods on the Move and check out the event!!

From my kitchen, with my hands, from my heart! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

My morning visitor and seed thief...

Good Morning Fellow Bloggers,

I woke up this morning just in time to see this young buck helping himself to my bird seed.  He really enjoys the stuff!!  I've gone through about 50 pounds of seed in the last month and the birds are getting really annoyed by the deers presence!  However, I really don't mind him hanging around because he's just so lovely to look at.

After getting my husband and kids off to school I started cooking a wonderful light lunch for my dear friend Kathie.  I haven't seen her in over 5 years, so I'm really excited to see her and catch up. After preparing our lunch I decided to check my emails before she arrives, unfortunately you'll have to wait for the pictures and recipes of today's lunch because I have very exciting news.....

I found this lovely message waiting for me from a newly found blogger friend, Kitchen flavours.....http://mycookinggallery.blogspot.com/2010/08/crunchy-oat-flapjacks-and-award.html?_pl-9wiDs2l6YP7--Qqh6aLUOfJDBwwy9TBch3aIrpE-wQJTstoB1BTaGUi#c8665372093663498731


Kitchen flavours writes,

Exciting news! Good news! I have been given the following "Versatile Blogger Award" by one of the fabulous site whom I really admire, "The Ardent Epicure". As a new blogger with less than a year of blogging, it has been a wonderful adventure and fun way to meet other bloggers who have something very much in common, the love for food! For me, besides sharing our love of food, it is also a way to enable me to connect with friends from all over. It is a reward, when at the end of the day, or some stolen moments during my busy hour, when I sit down in front of my computer, I found someone out there, a blogger friend from far away, took sometime to read my posts and left a comment, however short, really makes my day. Thank you, friends!

I am really honored to receive this Versatile Blogger Award. I am really excited to bits! The Ardent Epicure is a fabulous site comprises of three very talented persons and they are "Truffle Shuffle - Adam, Sugar and Spice - Grely and Magic of Spice - Alisha". They have an outrageously fantastic site and fabulous, really fabulous recipes! Those of you who are familiar with them will know what I mean, if you have not look into their site before, please do, and you will see how much they enjoy food and their creativity and passion for good food really flows in their wonderful site

I would like to pass on this award to 10 blogger friends whom I really admire. Please do visit them as each one of them is fabulous and unique in their own way. Here they are, in random order :



1. http://simplyhealthyfam.blogspot.com/

2. Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner

3. My Kitchen in the Rockies

4. Mommy's Kitchen

5. scrambled hen fruit

6. My Fabulous Recipes

7. Sankeerthanam

8. Angie's Recipes

9. Super Yummy Recipes

10. At Home With Rebecka

Please take a moment to click on all of the above and and make some new blogger friends. Have fun getting to know one another! Thank you to all my blogger friends out there for the support and making blogging such fun!


You'll have to visit Kitchen flavours to view the rest of the story and see her yummy recipe for Crunchy Oat Flapjacks and Award!!

In accepting this award, there are a few rules that I'm willing to gladly accept, just as Kitchen flavours did before me......


The rules for excepting this award are :

1) Thank the person who gave it to you
Thank you Malacca for extending this lovely award to me!  I appreciate it so very much! 

2) List 7 things about yourself, and team members if you have them
see below

3) Pass on to 10 blogger that are new to you and you admire
I'll do this after lunch with Kathie

7 things about myself :

1) I love singing!!  It soothes my soul...
2) I'm classically trained opera singer and I have sung in over 18 professional operas in my lifetime

3) I love cooking for my family, my blog and taking photos of my new creations
4) Really love spicy food
5) My favorite places to be : at the beach on Sanibel Island, with my kids and cooking in my beautiful house in the Rocky Mountains
6) I would love to have a garden but nothing grows here at 8500 feet!
7) Read: The Shack...awesome and moving book..it will stir you up a bit! Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Whole Grain and Cream Cheese Pesto Grilled Pizza

Last night we got a glimpse of the coming Fall weather, here in the Rocky Mountains.  Rain showers, fog and a brisk chilly breeze were present most of the day and into the night. It was sweater weather for sure and way to early in the season for my liking.  I'm still wearing my flip flops and shorts and cringe when I think that I'll be shoveling snow in just a few short weeks.   I'd forgotten how quickly summer passes in the mountains after living in Florida for five years.  

As a lover of all things bright and sunny, I'm holding on the last vestiges of summer and enjoying as much outdoor cooking as I can manage, even if it's raining and cold outside! 

 
While living in the mountains, my family has had the wonderful opportunity to see wild life, up close and personal.  Elk, deer, chipmunks, skunks, and a myriad of birds live in our yard.   My neighbors tell me that they've had close encounters with bears and mountain lions too, but I haven't had the pleasure of seeing any...yet! 

One of our very favorite daily visitors is a fox my children have fondly named, "Ponderosa".  She visits us every morning and evening, each day of the week.  Her inner animal clock is on a perfectly synchronized schedule, 6 am and 3 pm.  Some times she stays all day, sleeping and lounging about and other days she's seen dashing through the yard after a tasty chipmunk or mouse.  We've grown so accustom to seeing her, she's almost part of the family.  Our dogs are still trying to decide if they like her and so far, she's not been interested in eating them. 

Of course, it's illegal to feed wild animals, so we refrain from the overwhelming temptation of giving her food.  Fortunately, she still visits us without fail. 

Standing in the drizzle, I started up the grill and began to make one of my favorite summer dishes, Grilled Pizza's!  Just as sure as the sunrises,  Ponderosa came to visit, at her usual time and joined me on the porch.  Together, in the mist I grilled pizza's and she watched!





I just recently entered two more cooking contests; the Real Women of Philadelphia, Cream Cheese "Appetizers, Make To Impress" and The Foodie Blogroll Royal Joust, "create a dish using, Whole Grains, Fresh Berries and Balsamic vinegar". 

Eager to save time and money I decided to make just one dish that I could adjust to work well for both contests.

I made my pizza dough with Spelt Flour, whole Flax Seeds and whole Red Wheat Berries, with a dreamy, creamy cheese Pesto, fresh berries and herbed salad greens...the greens were dressed in a drizzle of fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and dusted with sea salt and pepper to taste.

I'm not fond of whole grain anything, so having to adhere to the Joust guidelines was a struggle for me.  Luckily, I've had the chance to eat pasta made with Spelt flour  and to my surprise I liked it very much.  I decided to use the Spelt flour for my pizza dough and crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.  The pizza crust was crisp but tender and had a lovely nutty flavor.

I've also linked to a wonderful "Blog Hop" called Two for Tuesdays newly renamed....Hearth and Soul Blog Hop... amazing recipes and great fun...http://amoderatelife.com/hearth-and-soul-blog-hop/ go check it out, you wont be disappointed.

 
The Pizza Dough:

3/4 plus 2 tablespoons warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups Spelt flour plus more for dusting
1/4 cup whole red wheat berries
1/2 cup whole flax seed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
extra virgin olive oil



Method:

In a large bowl, mix together the water with the yeast and the sugar and let stand until the mix is foamy, about 5 minutes.  Add the 2 cups Spelt flour and stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms, add the flax seed and wheat berries and knead into dough just until all seeds are incorporated, pour onto a
floured surface and knead dough until elastic about 5 minutes. 


pour a small amount of olive oil into mixing bowl and return dough to bowl, turn the dough to coat with oil, cover and place in a draft free area until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours












With your fist, punch dough down and form into a ball, cut the ball into 4 equal pieces or 12-2 inch balls, for smaller appetizer pizzas


Dough can be made ahead, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for one week or frozen for up to one month. Allow cold dough to return to room temperature and rise according to directions

 
rub a small amount of olive oil on both sides of shaped dough, heat grill on high for 10 minutes then lower to medium, place pizzas on the clean, well oiled grill, cook the first side for approximately 5 minutes or until brown and crisp on the bottom, flip over 

Coat cooked side of pizza with 2 tablespoons prepared cream cheese pesto and cook for additional 5 minutes, remove from grill, add toppings and serve immediately




Toppings:


red raspberries, blackberries, herbed lettuce mix, shaved Parmesan cheese, salt and fresh ground pepper

Dressing:

1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, toss herbed lettuce to coat lightly


Cream Cheese Pesto:

4 ounces Philadelphia Brand Chive and Onion Cream Cheese (1/2 tub)
1 cup Italian parsley
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
sea salt and pepper to taste

Method:
using small electric chopper, add cream cheese, parsley, lemon juice and garlic and blend for 30 seconds, add olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper and blend till smooth









remember to check out the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Foodie Blogroll : Contests and Rewards

Foodie Blogroll : Contests and Rewards


Fat Toad Farm....YUMMY Print Friendly and PDF

Peach Salsa


Canning Peach Salsa


  • 4 cups red, yellow and orange bell peppers medium dice

  • 2 large jalapeno peppers seeded and ribs removed

  • 3 scotch bonnet (habanero) peppers seeded and ribs removed

  • 5 piquello peppers seeded and ribs removed

  • 6 Roma tomatoes rough chopped

  • 1 large sweet onion chopped

  • 2 large clove garlic minced

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

  • 1 cup fresh or dried apricots chopped

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

  • juice from one lemon

  • 6 cups peaches rough chopped
Method:    

in a large sauce pot cook first 12 ingredients for 20 minutes,




add peaches and cook additional 20 minutes







Ladle hot salsa into hot prepared jars leaving 1/4 in head space and process in a water bath for 15 minutes, cool on clean dish towel and store or refrigerate for immediate use.














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Arapas Con Philadelphia Queso

I ate my first Arapas while visiting my "South American Sister", Anastasia in Caracas Venezuela.  My mother and I were there to celebrate her wedding to her one true love, Marcelo.


Arapas Con Philadelphia Queso


We were busy each day with pre-wedding details but spent each night out on the town looking for a band for the wedding.  Anastasia had booked a band but they had cancelled at the last minute.  We only had three days left before the wedding and Ana was a bit frazzled about finding a good band. I on the other hand, was having the time of my life!   Together with her brother and fiance we made our way through downtown Caracas searching for the allusive "perfect wedding band".  Up every night until 4 am, I learned how to salsa dance, drank some of the finest champagne in the world then drank some really strong coffee to counteract the champagne.  We also gorged ourselves on Arapas.

Arapas are small corn cakes sold in Venezuelan restaurants called areperías.   Areperías can be found all over the city making it a convenient way to satisfy our hunger while running wedding errands.

Arepas are a staple food in both Venezuela and Colombia. They are corn cakes, made from a special precooked corn flour. You can find this flour in local supermarkets and Latin food stores, labeled masarepa, or masa al instante or PAN. Traditionally, these simple, satisfying corn cakes are delicious with butter or cream cheese for breakfast, stuffed with all manner of fillings like a sandwich or as an accompaniment to any meal.  Colombian arepas tend to be thinner than Venezuelan ones. Arepas can also be grilled or deep-fried.
Source: About.com

My version of Arapas incorporates Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese for my third entry in the Real Women Of Philadelphia Cooking Contest.  The weeks challenge is to make an international side dish, anything goes.


The cornmeal used to make arepas is a special, precooked type that usually goes by the name masarepa, masa precocida or PAN. It can often be found in Latino markets. The more commonly found masa harina is not the correct type to use for this recipe

I had a lot of peaches left over from when I canned my Peach Butter so I made Peach Salsa to accompany this dish.  It's sweet and spicy flavors mixed with the crisp browned arapas and creamy cheeses... a perfect match!


Arapas Con Philadelphia Queso

2-3/4 cups boiling water
2 cups PAN cornflour
3 ounces regular Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
4-5 tablespoons Philadelphia brand Cream Cheese, Chive and Onion flavor
1/2 12 ounce cube of Queso Fresco crumbled
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup Peach Salsa


1. Preheat oven to Broil. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, salt and 3 ounces plain Cream Cheese. Pour in 2 1/2  cups of the boiling water and mix with a wooden spoon to form a mass. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.


2. Using wet hands, form one large ball of dough out of about 1/2 cup of dough and press to form a cake about 4 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. If the dough cracks at the edges, mix in a little more of the boiling water and then form the cakes.

3.  Heat the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté one pattie for 3-4 minutes or until crisp but not totally browned and flip over, place another pattie of the same size on the skillet and cook using the same method. 



4.  While second patties is cooking dot the top of the first pattie with 4 tablespoons Philadelphia Brand Chive and Onion Cream Cheese and crumble 3 tablespoon Queso Fresco on top, using a spatula slide the second pattie onto the first, crisp side down facing toward the cheeses, cook for another 3 minutes.  Flip "both" patties over to cook remaining raw side to form a light brown crust, 5 to 6 minutes.

5.  Place 2 tablespoons crumbled Queso Fresco on top of Arapas and place under the broier until the cheese melts. 



6.  Cut arapas in half or fourths and serve immediately with Peach Salsa.

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