Guacamole

Guacamole_2
The best, easiest Guac recipe there is!

Ingredients

4 ripe avocados, sliced in half, pitted and peeled
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1 tomato, seeds removed and diced
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Tortilla chips, to serve

Preparation Instructions

1. Mash avocados in a large bowl with a fork. Mix with red onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla chips.

Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Here’s a perfect meal for a summery dinner, festive lunch, and it even works for those New-Years-resolution low-fat, low carb diets! Plus, if your kids are like mine (kinda fussy), they’ll eat it! Mine loved wrapping up their chicken in the crunchy lettuce leaves.
Spicy Chicken wraps

Ingredients

1 lb ground chicken
juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1″ piece of lemon grass, chopped (or if you find it frozen, 2 tsp)
1″ piece of ginger, chopped or grated
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 c chopped cilantro
4-6 mint leaves, chopped
1-2 chopped thai chilis (optional)
For the garnish:
lime wedges
large leaf lettuce, like boston, or leaf lettuce
diced or sliced cucumber (1/2)
diced or sliced red peppers
sliced chili peppers
hoisin sauce
sriracha
mint leaves
coriander leaves
chopped peanuts (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok. Don’t let it smoke. Add ginger, garlic and lemon grass, and cook 2 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t brown. Add chicken and brown (about 7-10 minutes). Add fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and soy sauce. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes to make sure chicken is cooked throughout. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and mint.
To serve, arrange leaves and vegetables on a platter. Use one large leaf, add sauces (hoisin and sriracha), 1 large scoop of chicken, top with cucumber, peppers, herbs and chopped peanuts. Roll as best you can, and enjoy!

Slow cooker Mexican pulled pork, or carnitas

This is a crowd-pleaser, and not just for cinco de mayo! I made it for my sisters birthday this past week-end and it was a big hit. The margarita’s helped….
pulledpork

Ingredients

1 pork shoulder – 5-6 lbs
1 onion, peeled
1 orange, washed, and quartered
1 lime, washed, halved
1 tblsp cumin
1 bay leaf
1 tsp peppercorns
3 cups water

Preparation Instructions

Place all ingredients in a slow cooked on high, or in a dutch oven, covered, at 325. Cook 4-5 hours, or until meat is tender and falls apart.
Pull meat apart with a fork, and add 1/2 cup cooking liquid and salt to taste.
Serve with corn or flour tortillas, and your fave toppings- guacamole, grated cheese, fresh salsa, coriander, sour cream and cholula hot sauce.
Black bean, corn and coriander salad makes a great side dish.

Coq-au-vin

This is one of those recipes that I often make, but never with an actual recipe! It’s a no-fail favorite with friends and family!

Ingredients

8 oz (1 package) sliced mushrooms- cremini works best!
50g pancetta- diced
10 pearl onions
1 tsp butter
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp butter
9 chicken thighs
1/4 cup flour
1 bottle red wine

Preparation Instructions

Melt 1 tsp butter in a heavy bottom pan. Brown mushrooms, pancetta and pearl onions. Remove from heat. Dredge chicken in flour. Brown in additional butter. Add fresh thyme. Return mushrooms, pancetta and onion to the pan. Add wine. Turn heat down and simmer 1 hour, or until chicken is cooked through and soft.

Although it’s not the traditional way to serve it, I love serving Coq-au-vin on cheesy egg noodles. I find Gruyere or Emmenthal cheese has the best flavor to accompany the sauce, but swiss cheese works just as well!

Slow cooker Moroccan chicken stew

My french grandmother made the very best “couscous” in the world. She would work for days preparing everything, slowly steaming the semolina before rubbing it with butter between her fingers. I’m not sure she would approve of my slow cooker adaptation of her recipe! But why spent 10 hours doing something when you can get it done in 30 minutes with equally delicious results?!
Moroccan chicken stew

Ingredients

1 chicken, cut up into pieces, or two breasts, two legs, bone in
2 lamb shoulder chops
2 tblsp olive oil
1 leek, whites only, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 carrot, peeled cut into large chunks
2 turnips, peeled and cut into quarters
2 zucchini, cut into large chunks
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 small can of chick peas
1 tblsp and 2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cloves
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Brown chicken and lamb and then place in slow cooker.
In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the leeks, garlic, carrots and turnips. Fry for about five minutes. Add spices, continue to cook while stirring 5 minutes.
Add broth, stir, and pour contents into slow cooker.
Set slow cooker on high for 4 hours. After 2 hours, open slow cooker and add zucchini and chick peas.

Serve on a bed of cousous (I prepare it by placing it in a shallow bowl and pouring hot water over top, letting it sit then fluffing it with a fork. A dash of with “Harrissa” spice (if you can find it, otherwise chili powder would work) on top is delicious!

Slow cooker beef shank pasta sauce

I added red wine and black olives to this stew-like pasta sauce to crank up the fullness of the flavor, but my kids loved it too!
Slow cooker tomato sauce

Ingredients

2 large beef or veal shanks
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup red wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried
32 oz or 1 quart of canned crushed tomates (I used the home-made sauce I made this summer in this video!)
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions

Roughly chop the onion and garlic. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Brown the onion and garlic, about 3-5 minutes, until translucent. Add the shanks and brown on both sides (about 3 minutes a side). Add red wine and cook 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and seasoning. Transfer to slow cooker. Cook on high heat for 6 hours. Remove the shanks and shred the meat. Return to sauce.
(I ended up refrigerating the sauce for a couple of days, and it only got more delicious!).

Fire roasted pepper and tomato salad

Here’s a lovely dish to make in the early fall or late summer, when those long thin red peppers are in season. They’re easier to barbecue than traditional rounded bell peppers!

roasted pepper_edited-1

Ingredients

6 marconi (the long thin mild bell peppers) peppers
8 roma tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic
10 greek olives (optional)
For dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tblsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Roast pepper on the bbq, or in the oven, under the broiler, until skins are blackened. Remove from heat and immediately wrap in newspaper or place in a paper or plastic bag. Seal bag and put aside.
Cut tomatoes in half. Remove seeds (run your finger or a spoon inside the tomato to loosen the fleshy pulp and seeds- they will fall right out).
Put 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt in a plastic bag or bowl, add tomatoes, and toss/mix until coated.
Arrange the tomatoes on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and place in a low temperature oven (300 degree Farenheit) for about an hour and a half, turning half way through cooking time.
Peel peppers and remove seeds.
Pull peppers apart with your hands to make long sections of pepper (you can use a knife, but this is so much easier to do while you are seeing the peppers!) Place in bowl. Add the tomatoes, crushed garlic and olives if using. Sprinkle with salt. Add oil and vinegar (balsamic is great if you tend to like a slightly sweeter sauce.) Toss. Serve cold or room temperature.
This salad is best if you can leave it for an hour or two for the flavors to develop.

Quick coconut curry noodles

Here’s another near-instant soup that’s perfect if you’re craving something spicy and warm.
currycoconutramen1

Ingredients

1 pack ramen noodles
1/2 can coconut milk
1 tsp thai curry paste
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 cup coleslaw mix
coriander
squeeze of lime

Preparation Instructions

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add curry paste and seasoning packet from soup. Add coconut milk, fish sauce and noodles. Simmer until noodles are cooked. Pour into bowl over coleslaw mix. Top with coriander and a squeeze of lime.

Swedish/norwegian pancakes

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

1 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
2/3 tbsp melted shortening or cooking oil
pinch of salt
1/2 c. flour

Preparation instructions

Combie all ingredients to make batter. Use flat greased frying pan. Put approx. 3 tbsp batter in pan, swirl around so batter runs toward edge. In a few minutes, turn over. Serve with syrup, strawberry jam, or fresh berries.
Eat with fork or rolled and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Swedish limpa

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

2 1/2 c. All-purpose flour
2 pkg active dry yeast
1 tbsp caraway seed
2 c. warm water
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 tbsp finely shredded orange peel
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c. rye flour

Preparation instructions

In a large mixer bowl combine 2 1/2 all-purpse flour, 2 pkgs active dry yeast, and caraway seed.
Stir together 2 c. warm water (115°-120°), brown sugar, shredded orange peel, cooking oil, and salt. Stir into flour mixture. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1/2 min, scraping bowl. Beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in 2 1/2 c. rye flour and as much of 3/4 to 1 1/4 c. all purpose flour as you mix in with a spoon.
On a floured surface knead in enough remaining all purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes total). Shape into a ball in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place till double (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hrs).
Punch down; divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Shape into two 4 1/2-ich round loaves on greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise till nearly double (about 40 minutes). Bake in a 350° oven 40-45 minutes.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

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