Chili

Chili

The fourth Thursday in February is National Chili Day.  Kind of perfect because chili is perfect for February. Actually, in my house, I think The Carnivore would like to designate EVERY Thursday a chili day. But maybe that’s just him. Chili is one of those soups that anyone can make and everyone should try. There are so many variations, probably because of the many cultural influences. Though typically attributed to Mexican cuisine, chili also incorporates Spanish and Native American culinary traditions, as well as regional influences from across the US. No two chilis are alike, which makes it a perfect

Jambalaya

Simplified Jambalaya

When you say “Jambalaya” most people will smile and say they love it. But a lot of people don’t make it. Why? Perhaps because it sounds exotic and the ingredients are sometimes hard to find. Andouille sausage, for instance. Not widely available. So, many years ago, I set out to make my own easy version of Jambalaya using readily-available ingredients. I call it: (What else?) “Simplified Jambalaya” just to keep the purists from reacting to non-traditional ingredients. LOL. Jambalaya traditionally has 3 different meats: sausage, seafood, and chicken or pork. I use chicken, so we can check that box. For

Dutch Baby with Fruit and Raspberry Sauce

Dutch Baby

with Raspberry Sauce and Fruit This week is Mardi Gras, the beginning of Lent. And I thought a Dutch Baby recipe would be perfect for this week. Let me explain: Many of us have heard that “Mardi Gras” is also called Fat Tuesday. Do you know why? (No, it’s not body shaming). Fat Tuesday is the last chance to “feast” before the Lenten season, traditionally a time of fasting. However, few know that Fat Tuesday is also called “Pancake Day”(true!) so apparently we’re supposed to start our day with pancakes and keep gorging right through dinner! Tough job….somebody’s gotta do

Impeachment Margarita

Impeachment Margarita

(Im-Peach-Mint) February 22 is an interesting date. Not only is it George Washington’s actual birthday (as opposed to the “observed” day), but it also happens to be National Margarita Day. And for this year, what better way to recognize both those commemorations and a singular event of our times than with an Impeachment Margarita. No matter where you stand on impeachment (and “trials” that don’t call witnesses), we can take pride in the founding fathers who built safeguards – although imperfect – into our political process to bring the holder of the nation’s highest office to account. No matter the

Spicy Chickpea and Tomato Soup

Spicy Chickpea and Tomato Soup

I’m always on the lookout for new flavors, especially in soup. We all seem to crave a warm bowl of comfort soup this time of year, but don’t always have the hours for cooking. So any soup that  comes together in 30 minutes or less will pique my interest. Enter: Spicy Chickpea and Tomato Soup! This soup has a lot going for it: Vegetarian? Yes! Vegan? Yes! Gluten-free and dairy-free also! For those looking to embrace more “clean” eating, this soup from healthyfamilyandhome,is clean-tastic. The taste comes primarily from coconut milk mixed with spices: garam masala, cilantro, ginger and turmeric.

Sweet Cherry Pie

Washington Sweet Cherry Pie

Happy President’s Day! For some, a holiday. But for everyone, a chance to remember the visionary men who founded this country on principles of democracy, which we try to uphold today. And what better way to commemorate this day than with a pie? But not just any flavor, because – I cannot tell a lie – I love Washington Sweet Cherry Pie. Most every school age child has heard the story of six-year old George Washington, who received a hatchet for his birthday and proceeded to cut down his Father’s favorite cherry tree. When confronted, he reportedly fessed up: “I

meringue heart

Meringue Hearts with Raspberry Sauce

Meringue shells, also known as Schaum Tortes, were a staple of my childhood. On our farm we had a steady supply of eggs and cream so when the strawberries were in season these tortes were our go-to dessert. So simple: make a meringue shell and layer that with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream. Easy. And so delicious. I loved them so much I would sometimes just eat the shell, like a big oversized cookie. The shell is extremely light and airy. Beaten egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar. Straight from my Betty Crocker cookbook. It’s the same way you

cheesy potato soup

Cheesy Potato Soup

Weather denial comes to a screeching halt in February: winter is definitely here! And some days all I want to do is curl up in a chair with a nice warm bowl of soup. This cheesy potato soup is perfect for that! I developed this recipe years ago, and started with something a little different: Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup. I love that soup, but I wanted a “just potato” version. So I used the BC&PS as my starting point and fine-tuned it over the years. One thing you might notice is that I use red potatoes. I do this

crust

Pie Crust Baking Tips

Making pies is an art. And learning how to make pies is a trial-and-error process. Take it from someone who’s experienced both the trials and the errors. Crust is a trick in itself. It tends to either burn or undercook. And, it sags, sogs, rips and plain wimps out. Part of the challenge is that there are so many different pies and so many crusts that accompany the pies. For instance, when I posted my pie crust recipe, I was focused on pumpkin pie. Those pies require an unbaked crust which is filled and all baked together. Others require a

superfood breakfast egg

Superfood Egg

One of the healthiest activities I’ve ever tried is joining a team wellness challenge at work. The program awarded points for various good health habits, like trying a new type of exercise. Or having a healthy breakfast within 2 hours of waking up. I was determined to get that one “breakfast” point each day, so I needed to create a meal I could enjoy and make quickly. From this, I created my superfood egg. I had a few personal requirements for this breakfast. First, I needed protein to keep me satisfied through the morning in order to resist the constant

Nutella fat bomb

“Nutella” Fat Bombs

February 5 is World Nutella Day and I couldn’t let that pass without recognition! Nutella is so good! Chocolate and hazelnut in spreadable form, what could be better? Well, before I give up my seat on the Keto Bandwagon I thought perhaps a keto version of Nutella fat bombs is in order. Now, if you read the nutrition label for Nutella the first ingredient is…sugar. Hmm… To state the obvious, if you’re on ANY kind of diet, this will be a problem. Lucky for us, there are now sugar-free alternatives. I found the original recipe for “Keto Nutella Bars” at

mushroom risotto

Mushroom Risotto

Happy February! It was just Groundhog Day. Did the little guy see his shadow in your area? This has always confused me because if he sees his shadow and gets scared, he goes back into his burrow and we have 6 more weeks of winter (therefore, no early spring). That puts spring at about mid-March, which, if you live in Wisconsin IS an early spring! And people wonder why Wisconsin is the largest consumer of brandy in the nation. But really, ever since Bill Murray did the movie “Groundhog day” it’s a term associated with living the same day over