Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tomato Basil Soup

* 6-8 roma tomatoes, diced
* 1 onion, diced
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 15 basil leaves
*1/4-1/3 cup half and half or cream
*1/2 tsp salt ( I use garlic salt)

Saute tomatoes, onion, and garlic in olive oil for about 5-10 mins. Use immersion blender or pour all cooking ingredients plus basil into a blender. Blend until smooth. Return to pot, add half and half/cream, salt, and allow to heat through.

I personally think this soup is just as good without the cream. Plus, then you have a lovely vegan soup. I enjoyed it more the 2nd day once the flavors had more time to blend.

Broccoli Salad

*1 head of broccoli, chopped
*1/2 cup sunflower seeds (I also used pumpkin seeds)
* 3/4 cup raisins
*1/2 cup mayo
* 1/4 cup agave nectar
* 1 T vinegar

Mix the 1st 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the last 3 ingredients to make the dressing and pour over salad (all of the dressing may not be needed). Mix so that all of salad is coated. Add as little or as much dressing as you like.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pamela's Chocolate Cake and Brownie Mix Review

1. Pamela's has the upper hand on the gluten free market. I use her ultimate baking mix in a wide variety of things and have yet to make something that is not delicious. I decided to try her cake mix as well and would give this product a double thumbs up. The cupcakes were, to date, some of the best cupcakes (GF or otherwise) I've ever had. They have more of a dark chocolate taste and produce 12 regular sized cupcakes. No flat tops here.
I added in a cup of chocolate chips (dark and white) but you could use the mix plain or add in your own choice of fixings. In honor of the Gators winning the National Championship, I decorated mine with cream cheese icing colored blue, but had some frostingless cupcakes the following day that were just as delicious.

2. I tried Pamela's brownie mix. They were no where near as good as I expected. In the past year my grading of GF foods has definitely become more strict. I used to eat anything that tasted remotely like the wheat containing food it pretended to be. However, after successful baking days and delicious GF products, I feel a bit like a snob. The brownies were ok, but had a gritty texture and that funky taste that leaves you hating being GF. I have a homemade recipe that tastes excellent like normal brownies. It may be more time involving, but if I'm going to splurge on brownies, I want something I won't regret.

You can order the products through her site, although I recommend using Amazon. They have much better deals on the products.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Spicy Collard and Black-eyed Pea Soup

Ringing in the New Year with hopes of good luck and prosperity
makes 3-4 servings

*3 cup broth
*1 cup black eyed peas
*2 gloves garlic, diced
Put in crock pot on high for one hour

*1 onion, diced
*1 celery stalk, diced
*1 bell pepper, diced (I used a roasted red pepper, but any would do)
*1 can tomatoes
*2 tsp hot sauce
*1 tsp Southwestern salt blend (a mix of salt, chipolte, oregano-use whatever you have)
*collards, chopped (no idea how much since I picked it myself (1/2 pound? 2-3 cups?)
Add remaining items in crockpot on high for 3 hours.

If you need to get it all done at once, you can put everything in at one time. I wanted the peas to be soft, without overcooking the collards. 3-4 hours on high, 6-8 hours on low.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Habanero Jelly

* 1 bell pepper
* 4 habanero peppers
* 3/4 cup white distilled vinegar
* 2 cup sugar
* 1 packet liquid pectic (3 oz)

Remove stem, seeds, and membranes with gloves. Blend peppers and vinegar in blender and pour into pan with sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add liquid pectin, bring to a boil for one minute, and stir for one minute. Pour into jars and allow to cool. Store in tupperware in fridge or freezer or can in jars if storing for an extended period.

Serve with crackers and cream cheese, corn chips, or as a glaze over veggies and rice.