Tuesday, October 26, 2010

'Spooktacular Fall'

Here are a few pictures from October's 'Cayenne Cooking Club's' gathering.

This is the best way I have ever heard of to prepare Spaghetti Squash! I thought it was asian noodles (seriously!).

Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan Spices


1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
print a shopping list for this recipe


Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with a small sharp knife
to prevent bursting. Cook in an 800-watt microwave oven on high power
(100 percent) for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn squash over and microwave until
squash feels slightly soft when pressed, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool
squash for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over moderately high
heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute.
Stir in spices and salt and remove from heat.
Carefully halve squash lengthwise (it will give off steam) and remove
and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a
fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin.
Toss with spiced butter and cilantro.

Apples inside!

Orange Jack-o'-Lanterns with Sorbet

Invite a crew of frozen friends for dessert. Cut off the top quarter of an orange. Scoop out flesh with a spoon, then carve eyes, noses, and grins with a utility knife.

Ingredients: 4 navel oranges

2 pints mango, passion-fruit, or orange sorbet, softened


Slice top quarter of each orange, and reserve for lid. Using a grapefruit spoon or paring knife, scoop or cut out interior of oranges. Reserve flesh for another use, such as fresh orange juice.

Create your mini jack-o-lantern by cutting out eyes, nose and mouth with a small carving knife.

Pack each orange with sorbet, and top it with a "lid." Bend floral wire, and poke it in -- not through -- top of orange for tendrils. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Oranges with sorbet can be frozen for up to 3 days.

I will post the recipe's from the above pictures as soon as I get them.

Cayenne Creek Cooking Club presents 'Vegetarian Snacks'

My dear neighbor, Rupali suggested that we start a neighborhood cooking club! I jumped on the idea, because of course I love to cook and try new foods. As it ends up, we all live on one of the 'Cayenne' streets, so we named ourselves the 'Cayenne Cooking Club'. Yes, like the tree, and actually I have several large Cayenne Pepper trees in my backyard, both of the male and female varieties.

Tapioca Pudding

1/3 cup sugar
3 T Minute brand Tapioca
2 3/4 cups milk
1 egg (well beaten)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Mix sugar, tapioca, milk and egg in saucepan. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally at first, then constantly towards the end, until it comes to a full boil (should take about 20 minutes). Remove from heat (pudding thickens as it cools). Stir in vanilla. Serve warm or chilled.

Vegetable Pizza Appetizer

4 tubes (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls
16 oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dill weed
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
Optional: olives, shredded cheese, and whatever else you can think of!

Unroll two tubes of crescent dough and press into each of two ungreased 15*10 baking pans; seal and seam perforations. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise and dill until smooth. Spread over crusts. Sprinkle with vegetables, olives and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into squares, makes 4 dozen bars.


1 cup chickpea flour

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garm masala

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 to 3/4 cup water

1 quart oil for deep frying

Prepared vegetables (see variations) -- 2-3 cups


  1. In a large bowl, add the chickpea flour, coriander, chili powder, cumin, salt, tumeric, garlic, garam masala, water and 2 tablespoons of oil. Whisk the ingredients vigorously to incorporate air and make a fluffy, smooth batter. Alternatively, put all the batter ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside and let the batter rest for about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Heat about 1-2 inches of oil in a heavy skillet or deep pot over medium-high flame to 365-375°F. Using a fork, dip the prepared vegetables into the batter to coat. Then drop into the hot oil and deep fry until lightly browned on all sides. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and hold warm while you repeat with the remaining vegetables.
  3. Serve hot with mint chutney, cilantro chutney or tomato ketchup


· Vegetables for Pakora: eggplant sliced into thin rounds; par-cooked potatoes, sliced into thin rounds; cauliflower or broccoli broken into florets and blanched; peppers sliced into rings; okra sliced into rounds; chopped tomatoes. Use your imagination.

A cooking club is a fun way to get to know your neighbors! We live in a diverse city, with people from all around the world, and it is fascinating to see what is brought to the table. I will work on getting more of the recipe's from these amazing women, and will post more soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Taco Soup

A great easy recipe for a gloomy day!

1 LB ground beef
1/2 chopped onion
1 15oz can stewed tomatoes
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 15oz can pinto beans
1 15oz can kidney beans
1 15oz can corn
1 envelope taco seasoning

1. Brown beef along with onion in a large pot, drain fat.
2. Add canned items, including the liquids. Add seasoning.
3. Simmer 20 minutes.
4. Serve topped with tortilla chips, sour cream, grated cheese, and avocado.

This also works great in the crock pot!

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

These simple cookies are great around the holidays. The gingerbread flavor is subtle and they are chewy and moist! Great for cookie exchanges, neighbor gifts, and a yummy snack for the family.

1/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Beat butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add baking soda, ginger and cinnamon - beat until combined. Add egg and molasses and stir to combine. Beat in flour.
2. Refrigerate dough 1 hour.
3. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kaye's Pumpkin Cookies

This is my grandma's recipe and it is the best pumpkin cookie you will ever eat.

3 cups Sugar
3 cups Pumpkin
6 cups Flour
3 tsp Cinnamon
3 cups Shortening
3 Eggs
3 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Salt

6 TBSP Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
8 tsp Milk
2 cups Powdered Sugar

For Cookies:
1. Combine sugar, pumpkin, and shortening. Add eggs, Cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir in flour until combined.
2. Drop by the tsp onto a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
3. Spread frosting over warm cookies and let cool.

For Frosting:
1. Beat all ingredients together with an electric mixer until smooth.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chicken & Pasta with Peanut Sauce

This is sooooo good! As a bonus it is terribly easy! The only thing you have to cook is the pasta! This has been a long time favorite at our house!


6 ounces dried fettuccine or linguine

1 cups snow peas

1 cup cooked chicken strips (I like to use part of a roitisserrie chicken)

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh pineapple or one 8-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained

1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice or lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 clove garlic, minced


1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Place the snow peas and chicken in a large colander. Pour hot cooking liquid from pasta over pea pods and chicken in colander; drain well. Return pasta, pea pods, and chicken to the hot pan. Add pineapple.

2. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan stir chicken broth into peanut butter. Heat and stir with a whisk until peanut butter melts. Stir in soy sauce, lime juice, red pepper, and garlic; heat through.

3. Add sauce to the pasta mixture. Gently stir to coat pasta with sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Crockpot Chicken & Gravy Over Rice

I always ask my mom to make this when I visit...it reminds me of home - simple, yummy, and comforting.

4 chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 envelopes of chicken gravy mix
hot steamed rice

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Before serving break the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Serve over hot steamed rice.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chicken and Noodles

This is one of those homey, creamy, feel-good dishes.


4 chicken breast tenderloins

2-1/4 cups water

14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed (optional)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup sliced carrot

1/2 cup diced onions

1 cup diced celery

10 oz dried wide noodles

1 cup milk

1 cup loose-pack frozen peas

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


1. In a large pot, combine chicken, the water, broth, bay leaf, dried thyme (if using), salt, and pepper. Add carrot and celery. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Discard bay leaf.

2. Remove chicken from pot; cool slightly. Chop or shred chicken; set aside.

3. Return vegetable mixture to boiling. Add noodles; cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in 1-1/2 cups of the milk and the peas.

4. In a screw-top jar, combine remaining 1/2 cup milk and flour. Cover and shake until smooth. Stir into the noodle mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken and fresh thyme (if using). Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through.

Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Slow Cooker *Spicy* Curried Chicken

My oldest and dearest friend, Jess, shared this slow cooker recipe. She raved about it and said it was her fav - so I had to give it a try. This is not for those that can't take the heat...because let me tell you - this is super spicy! We enjoyed it, and I can't wait to play around with the ingredients. I want to substitute the onions and peppers for potatoes and carrots.


1 ½ cups chopped onions (I do ½-one onion)

1 medium green bell pepper chopped

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces

1 cup medium salsa

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp red pepper flakes

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp curry powder

¾ tsp salt

Hot cooked rice


Place onions & peppers in bottom of crockpot. Top with chicken.

Combine salsa, ginger, garlic powder & pepper flakes in small bowl & spoon over chicken

Cook on Low for 5-6 hours or High 2-3 hours

Combine cilantro, sugar, curry powder and salt in small bowl. Stir mixture into crockpot for an additional 15 min on High until hot.

Serve over rice.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mediterranean Chicken Pizza

I was inspired to make this after having something similar at a restaurant. This turned out delicious and is definitely going on the dinner rotation!

1 pre-made pizza crust
pre-made pesto
1 cup cooked chicken breast (I used part of a rotisserie chicken)
1/4 cup calamata olives, sliced
1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, sliced in half
1/2 roma tomato, diced
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Spread pesto over the pizza crust. Sprinkle olives, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and chicken evenly over pizza. Top with cheeses. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until bubbly.

Orange Julius

These taste just like the drinks you can buy at the mall.

6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
8 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chicken Pot Stickers

1 LB ground chicken
2 cups cole slaw mix
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 egg white
1 package round wonton wrappers
2 cups chicken broth
4 tsp soy sauce

Mix all ingredients except wonton skins, broth and soy sauce.

Brush each wonton skin with water. Place slightly less than 1 tablespoon chicken mixture on center of skin. Pinch 5 pleats along edge of half of circle. Fold circle in half over chicken mixture, pressing pleated edge to unpleated edge. Repeat with remaining skins and chicken mixture.

Spray 12-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Cook 12 pot stickers at a time in skillet about 3 minutes or until light brown; turn. Add 1/2 cup of the broth and 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Uncover and cook about 1 minute longer or until liquid had evaporated. Repeat with remaining pot stickers, broth and soy sauce.

Makes about 60 pot stickers, so I like to freeze half of the batch.

Pumpkin Pasta

My dear friend Marianna made this dish last year and now that fall is in the air I remembered how delicious it was and had to make it!

1 pound fettuccini

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups slice yellow onion

1/4 cup minced shallot

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin

1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth

3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese,divided

2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

Garnish: fresh thyme

1. In a large stock pot, bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil over high heat.

Add fettucini, and cook according to package. Drain well.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add

yellow onion and shallot. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 -7 minutes,

or until onion is translucent.

3. Add pumpkin to pan, stirring to combine. Add chicken broth, thyme,

bay leaves, salt, and pepper, stir again. Simmer for 7-10

minutes, stirring frequently , or until sauce is thickened. Add 1 1/2

cups Gouda, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, and pasta, stirring gently.

Remove bay leaves. Top with remaining 1/2 cup Gouda, 1/2 cup

Parmesan. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Snowbird Salsa ~ Black Bean, Feta and Corn Salsa

Black Bean, Feta and Corn Salsa

My neighbor, Tricia Blum, who has an incredible blog shared this recipe with me:
Black Bean, Feta & Corn Salsa

You may use fresh ingredients if they are in season otherwise you may use:

1 12-15 oz can Shoepeg Corn, drained
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and well rinsed
1 bunch of green onions
1 package block feta cheese
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3-4 tsp. White Sugar (to taste)

Tortilla Chips

Mix oil, vinegar and sugar in a bowl. Dissolve sugar well by stirring. Add black beans, corn. Crumbled feta into bowl. Mix all ingredients together. Chop green onions. Add green onions to bowl and stir. Serve with tortilla chips.

We love visiting the Utah Mountains every year! We spent a week in July at Snowbird with family, and had a blast! This was one of the favorite foods of the week... everyone loved it!

There is nothing quite like zip lining down the mountain!

Haha. Trying to get a family picture is so much harder than it should be. Why is that?

Swimming in the granite mountains... Little Cottonwood Canyon, a few miles out of Salt Lake City, Ut.

Jenna smelling the flowers on one of our many evening walks!