December 31, 2009

Individual Salmon-Fennel Potpie

I have been dying to make this recipe ever since I saw it on the Fine Living Network. I love Salmon and I love can this not be good? It's easy, pretty quick, and with the use of frozen puff pastry sheets as the topping, you can have a warm, comforting and elegant dish to share with your family and friends in no time. This would also be good with a firm white fish like haddock or cod.

Wine Pairing: I paired with a Pinot Noir which was a fabulous marriage.

Individual Salmon-Fennel Potpie

Adapted from Pairings with Andrea
Yield: 4 servings

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (can use veggie broth for vegetarian version)
1 1/2 cups fresh fennel chopped
1 tbsp fennel fronds, chopped, with a few fennel stalks reserved
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp finely chopped tarragon
1 1/2 lb. skinless salmon fillet, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick then cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring broth to a boil over heat with reserved fennel stalks and fronds and simmer until reduced by half. On a lightly floured work surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out puff pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Using an inverted two-cup ramekin or individual casserole, trace four circles from puff pastry dough with a sharp knife, creating a one inch overhang. Place circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap and chill.
In a heavy skillet, melt butter on medium high and add chopped fennel fronds, reserved chopped fennel stalks and shallot and white wine. Cook, stirring, for two minutes, then reduce heat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, about seven minutes. Add herbs if using and salmon pieces, stir to combine. Mix cornstarch and milk together until cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk milk mixture into simmering broth and continue whisking until liquids are incorporated and mixture thickens into a gravy. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, an additional two minutes to cook starch. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir one and a half cups of gravy into salmon-fennel mixture.

1. Butter four individual two-cup ramekins.
2. Distribute salmon mixture evenly in the ramekins, but do not over-fill. Spoon in some additional gravy and put a pat of remaining butter in each ramekin.
3. Top each with a pastry circle, curling the edges of the overhang upward and pressing gently just inside the lip of the ramekin to adhere pastry.
4. Place ramekins on a baking sheet in preheated oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.


December 17, 2009

Easy Peasy Coconut Risotto Rice Pudding

Here is a super tasty rice pudding for all you coconut lovers out there. The great thing about this dish is that it only uses 5 ingredients. It is a labor of love which requires about 40 minutes of stirring occasionally, but so well worth the decadent creaminess you end up with. You are so going to enjoy this one. By simply adding 2 tbsp of good quality cocoa powder in the first step, you can make this a chocolate rice pudding. I know you will!

Coconut Risotto Rice Pudding
Food & Wine
Serves 6-8

1 quart whole or 2% milk
1 cup arborio or risotto rice
1/2 cup sugar
on 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
Garnish with coconut flakes or shaved chocolate of your choice

In a large saucepan, combine the milk, rice and sugar with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 30 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is very tender and the liquid is thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Spoon the rice pudding into bowls, garnish and serve.

November 12, 2009

The Infamous Neiman Marcus Cookie

The tale of this urban myth has been circulating for over 20 years, and has never been found to have a single bit of factual information. Legend has it that one day, a customer in the Neiman Marcus Cafe in the Dallas store so enjoyed a chocolate chip cookie for dessert that she asked for the recipe. A snippy waitress told her it was available for sale, and when asked the price, replied, "two-fifty." She was told to add the charge to the customer's bill. The tale continues that when the Visa statement came in the mail, the customer was surprised to see a charge of $250 for the recipe, and when she went to Neiman's customer service, was told, basically, "tough luck." So the customer sent the famous recipe to everyone she knew and asked them to do the same.

Neiman's says that they have never served these cookies in any of their restaurants. Neiman Marcus also does not accept Visa cards as payment in its stores and has a strict policy stipulating that a customer must sign his or her sales receipt prior to leaving a cafe or restaurant.

Because of all the hype this little cookie has generated, Neiman Marcus has come up with what they think is a better cookie recipe which you can find on their website.

After stumbling across the recipe time and time again, I had to give it a try to see if this infamous cookie was worth all the hype.

Guess what? They are! These cookies are so yummy, that even my hubby, who really isn't a cookie fan...loved them and an empty plate was all that was left.

The fleur de sel is not in the orignal recipe, but I love a salty sweet combo and couldn't resist.

Thank you Neiman Marcus for this seriously good cookie.

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie
Makes about 2 dozen

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp good vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1-1/2 tsps instant espresso coffee powder
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
enough fleur de sel to sprinkle over cookies

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream butter with the sugars, using an electric mixer on medium speed, until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds).
Beat in the egg and vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.

Using a 1-ounce scoop or a 2-tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough into a greased cookie sheet or silpat about inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2-inch circle. Sprinkle a litte fleur de sel over the cookies and bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.


November 4, 2009

Green Rice (Arroz Verde)

If you love cilantro like I do, you will love this very fragrant side dish. I first had this pilaf at a great little Mexican restaurant in Tucson, and ever since, have preferred this over Spanish rice. It has such a nice distinct fresh herbal flavor from the cilantro, parsley, green onions and jalapeno. I have also served this to some folks who did not like cilantro, and they loved it.
For best results, use long-grain rice and do not rinse it. This should be cooked just before you plan on serving it, but the cilantro puree can be prepared in advance.
Just the color alone makes for a fun side dish! Give this easy recipe a try with your next Mexican meal.

Wine Pairing: An American Riesling would be a nice match to the herbs, and for something different, try a Rose' Cotes-du-Rhone.

Green Rice
Serves 4-6

1 cup chicken or beef broth (for a vegetarian version, vegetable broth can be used)
1 cup water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 or 2 jalapeno chiles, chopped (depending on your taste)
2 green onions, including tender green tops, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
pinch of kosher salt

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the stock and the water and bring to a simmer. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, warm 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grains are separated and opaque, 2-3 minutes. Gradually stir in the simmering stock (it will boil up vigorously), then reduce the heat and cover. Cook undisturbed until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is tender, about 20 minutes.

While the rice cooks, in a food processor, combine the cilantro, jalapeno, green onions, garlic, remaining 1 tbsp oil and salt. Process until you have a smooth consistency.

Remove the rice from heat. Dollop the cilantro puree evenly over the surface of the rice and cover. Let stand undisturbed for 5 minutes. Uncover and thoroughly stir the puree into the rice. Transfer to a serving dish and serve right away.


November 3, 2009

Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

Fall brings an abundance of vegetables...especially squash, which you can find in all shapes and sizes. Now is the perfect time to try out all those squash recipes that will add warmth to your tummy and take the chill out of those autumn nights.
There are so many variations to make this soup to your liking. Thai with a bit of coconut milk and ginger and Southwestern with some chipotle chiles, cumin and lime juice are just two delicious ways for something different.
Roasting the vegetables brings out more depth in the flavor as well as richness to the soup.
A seriously easy soup to add to your fall repetoire.

Wine Pairing: A very dry Riesling or a Pinot Gris would be a nice match. For something different, try serving a Spanish Sherry with this.

Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 6

1 medium butternut squash peeled and cubed
1 large sweet onion cubed
3 apples peeled and cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and ground pepper to season squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot peeled and chopped
1 medium shallot chopped
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp grated ginger
5 cups of low sodium chicken broth (veggie broth can be used for a vegetarian version)
1/2 cup of sherry
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Fresh thyme leaves to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degress. In a large bowl, toss squash, apples and onion together with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper making sure that everything is coated. Spread the veggie mixture out on a cookie sheet in one single layer. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are golden brown and softened, about 45-50 minutes. (I did this step the night before. Once veggies were cool, I tossed them into the fridge overnight).
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the carrots and shallots. Saute until soft and shallots are translucent. Increase the heat to high and add the roasted squash, apples and onions, with the broth, thyme, coriander and ginger. After this mixture comes up to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes until the squash breaks apart.
Working in batches, puree squash mixture in blender or food processor. Transfer pureed soup to a large saucepan and stir in the nutmeg and sherry. Bring soup to a simmer over medium-low heat, adding 1/4 cup of water at a time to adjust consistency. Now it's time to enjoy!

Garnish with fresh thyme leaves.
Here are some other garnish ideas...
Dollop with sour cream or creme fraiche
Homemade coutons
Roasted pumpkins seeds or butternut squach seeds
Even plain popcorn would be a fun garnish for the kiddies.


October 31, 2009

Coconut Macadamia Meltaways

Just a quick note to say that after a month and a half of visits with family and a bit of traveling, I am back to the blogging world and ready to share some yummy recipes.

Now onto this very decadent cookie recipe that is a must try! As the holidays fast approach like a speeding train, it seems that we are always searching for great recipes to bake up. I thought this was a perfect cookie recipe to add to your holiday baking list and share with one and all. If you love butter cookies, as well as macadamia nuts and coconut...this one is for you. You are sure to find this cookie to be a very delicate melt in your mouth goodness.

Coconut Macadamia Meltaways
Makes about 50 cookies

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus extra for dusting
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 cups cake flour (all- purpose flour can be used, but I always find cake flour yields a more tender result)

Pulse macadamias and 1/4 cup of sugar in food processor until nuts are chopped fine (do not overprocess). Add coconut and continue to pulse until everything is finely ground.

Beat butter, vanilla and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until creamy. Add the nut mixture and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar. Beat until creamy. Add flour and beat until a soft dough forms. Chill dough for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. With lightly floured hands (using powdered sugar), shape scant tablespoonfuls dough into balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. ( I always use a Silpat sheets for baking cookies). Bake for 16 minutes, or until tops are dry and set and bottoms are light brown.

Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
Happy Baking!

August 10, 2009

Cocoa Chip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I had some milk chocolate chips sitting in fridge for quite some time. I thought these would be a great way to use them up. White, peanut butter and even butterscotch chips would be yummy in these as well.

Buttermilk Cocoa Chip Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softenend
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp good vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan by adding paper liners.

In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the mixing bowl, starting and ending with flour. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Pour the mixed batter into the prepared cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then romove from the muffin pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp good vanilla extract

In medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in confectioners sugar. Store in refrigerator after use.


Veggie-Mango Summer Rolls

Here's a perfect light and refreshing summer treat. Great to bring along on picnics, and perfect as a light appetizer for summer entertaining. The secret to this dish is to cut up your veggies ahead of time or as the French would say (mise en place or put in place) or as defined by the Culinary Institute of America, (everything in place). You'll find that the filling and rolling is the easy part. The dipping sauce is a spicy sweet compliment to the mango, veggies and herbs, but you could serve the rolls with your favorite asian peanut sauce, which I also enjoy very much.

Wine Pairing suggestion: Try Robert Mondavi (2005) Fume Blanc. This rich and zesty wine is 85% Sauvignon blanc and 15% Semillon, and is very mouthfilling yet light on the palate.

Mango-Veggie Summer Rolls
Adapted from The Ladies Have Left the Building Alfresco Fare

2 ounces bean thread or glass noodles
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 mango, peeled and julienned
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1 medium cucumber, peeled and julienned
1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts only, julienned
1 cup tightly packed mixed herbs such as mint, cilantro and Thai basil
8 Boston lettuce leaves, ribs removed
1/4 cup finely chopped, roasted, unsalted peanuts or cashews
16 8-inch rice paper wraps

Dipping Sauce
6 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
Juice of two limes
1 1/2 tbsp garlic chili paste


Cut the noodles into 3-inch pieces and soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and plunge into hot water for 1 minute. Drain again and rinse with cold water. Place in a small bowl and toss with sesame oil.

Set all ingredients except for rice paper wraps out separately in assembly-line fashion. In a small bowl, mix together the dipping sauce ingredients and set aside. Have a large shallow bowl of lukewarm water close by. Place a clean dish towel in front of you.

Dip one rice paper wrap in the water for about 30 seconds, remove and place on the dish towel, line bottom third of wrap with a small amount of lettuce, then noodles, then mango, followed by a small amount of each of the vegetables and the herbs. Top with a light sprinkle of peanuts and a small drizzle of the dipping sauce. Tightly fold in the sides then roll from the bottom up. Continue with remaining wraps and ingredients.

Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and store covered in a single layer inside an airtight container. Can be made up to 4 hours in advance. To serve, cut on the bias and serve with sauce.


July 22, 2009

Baby Potatoes wth Rosemary Butter

New Potatoes are plentiful during the summer months, so I thought I would take advantage and make this very simple and yummy side dish.

Wine Pairing suggestion: Pinto Noir would be great here because it has a red wine flavor and complexity, but a white wine texture, so it would match nicely with the earthy potatoes, and is a light enough red to enjoy during the hot summer months. Remember this grape as being a great go-to with other earthy ingredients, such as mushrooms and truffles, beets and other root vegetables.

Baby Potatoes with Rosemary Butter
Serves 4
12 small to medium new or baby potatoes
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup of unsalted butter
freshly ground pepper
large flaked sea salt to taste
Boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender. Drain well.
Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet. Add the rosemary and potatoes and mix well. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are thoroughly coated in rosemary butter and are starting to brown.
Serve potatoes in a large bowl and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

July 17, 2009

Roasted Potato and Onion Frittata

What to do with leftover roasted potatoes? A very versatile Italian omelet or frittata is always a yummy go to. All you really need are some eggs, milk and whatever veggies you have hanging around. You can change this up in so many ways to your liking. It would be just as good without any cheese, but you just can't go wrong with a little cheesy goodness. Goat cheese would be great here, but I only had some sharp cheddar and mozzerella on hand. One addition that I always add are chopped scallions, but alas, none to be found in my fridge. Give this a try for a light meal. We like with a green salad and a light citrus vinaigrette.

My wine pairing suggestion: Any Savignon Blanc or Reisling would be oh so sweet.

Roasted Potato and Onion Frittata
Serves 8

12 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 cups roasted potatoes leftover (or 3 small red potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick)
1 sweet onion sliced
1 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 cups each of sharp shredded cheddar and part skim mozzerella (or whatever cheese you have)
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil

Combine eggs, milk, tarragon, salt, pepper, and half the cheese. Set aside.

Heat butter and oil in a 10-12 inch ovenproof nonstick saute pan over medium heat. If your potatoes are not cooked (leftover), add potatoes and onion and cook on both sides until tender and slightly browned about 8-10 minutes. (I added my already cooked potatoes after the onion cooked down a bit.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pour egg mixture over potatoes and onions and cook over medium-low heat, pulling back edges with a rubber spatula until whole frittata is partially cooked, about 8 more minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top of frittata and place in oven. This will bake for about 25 minutes more, until center is completely set. In the last 2 minutes, I like to place this under the broiler to get the cheese all browned and to give it a little crusty top. Garnish with tarragon sprigs. This can be served hot out of the oven, warm, or will be just as delicious at room temperature.


July 11, 2009

Crabby Crab Cakes

The thought of tender little crab cakes has been tickling my fancy for quite sometime now, as did the great sale at the grocery store on the lump crab meat. What could be better than crab cakes....pure and simple. A lot of crab cakes out there are made with a lot of will find that these cakes are mostly crab and very little filler. A very simple recipe with huge flavor.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: A light, refreshing and crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

Crabby Crab Cakes
Yields 6 (3 inch patties)
1 lb. fresh lumb crab meat
2 tbsp. panko crumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp mayo
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp seafood seasoning (Old Bay)
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper

Combine everything but the crab meat in a bowl. Gently fold in crab meat just until combined. Put in refregerator to chill for one hour. (This step will help keep the cakes from falling apart when cooking.) Once you are ready to cook, mold into 3 inch patties and saute in a little canola or grapeseed oil over medium heat for about 4 minutes per side.

I like to serve mine over a bed of arugla lightly dressed with a lemon vinaigrette.


June 26, 2009

Creamy Mac and Three Cheeses

We all know and love the tasty comfort food we found growing up with the infamous blue box of cheesy goodness that our moms made so effortlessly since its introduction in 1937. Now that I'm a mom, I want my daughter to enjoy this cheesy decadence as well, but not always out of a box. Any chance I get to make it without the use of a be it. I mean why not? It's inexpensive, very easy to make, most of us have the ingredients already on hand, and it's certainly tastier and healthier than our boxed friend. I for one am a straightforward Mac and cheese gal...simple, creamy goodness, not baked for that crunchy top (how I love when it's creamy throughout) and no add ins. Now don't get me wrong, every once in a while, a tempting version laced with lobster, truffles, or even bacon manages to tickle my fancy, and it would be so unlike me not to indulge in such luxury. So when I'm at home making this for my family...I keep it as simple as can be, and if they're happy, I'm happy.
Give this a try if you are looking for easy, cheesy comfort food.
Wine Pairing: Some reds and whites would be a nice compliment to this rich dish. For whites, I would go with either a Chardonnay or Soave, and my picks for reds would be a Syrah or Pinot Noir.
Creamy Mac and Three Cheeses
Serves 10-12
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp flour
1 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp kosher salt
6 cups milk
1 box (1 lb) elbow macaroni or cavatappi cooked to package directions
drained and rinsed with cold water
1 1/2 cups manchego cheese, shredded
3/4 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
3/4 cup monterey jack, shredded
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Melt butter in large pan over medium heat. Add flour, salt and mustard powder, and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Add milk very gradually, stirring with a whisk to combine between additions. Bring this mixture to a simmer. You are looking for the consistency of heavy cream. Once you are at this stage, add in all the cheese, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine and lowering the heat to medium low. Cook for 1 minute, then add cooked and drained macaroni to the cheese sauce. Combine and cover for 5 minutes over low heat.
Serve and enjoy!
Oh, and don't only begs for a couple of twists from the peppermill.....

June 24, 2009

Wacky Balsamic Vinegar Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting

Why you ask, are these cupcakes wacky? Well it's simple, there are no eggs in the batter. Yep..cholesterol free and great for those that are allergic to eggs. The concept of this cake has been around for decades, and used to be known as Depression Cake because no eggs were required. Regular vinegar was called for in the original recipe, but I personally like the addition of balsamic vinegar because it adds just a touch of earthy sweetness and is a nice compliment to the rich chocolate.
Now, when it comes to chocolate, I am a firm believer that better quality chocolate makes for a better cake batter. I used Scharffen Berger chocolate for these, but of course you can use whatever chocolate you have on hand. Whatever chocolate you end up using, I know that you will find these heavenly little cakes so moist and a chocolate lover's dream. You are going to love how quick and easy these are to make.
All I can say, is that you seriously have to give these a try.

Wacky Balsamic Vinegar Chocolate Cupcakes
with Cinnamon butter Cream Frosting
12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
5 tbsps canola, grapeseed or veg oil
1 cup cold water

For Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting
1 stick of unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsps good vanilla extract
3 3/4 or 1 pound of sifted confectioners sugar
2 tsps ground cinnamon
2 1/2 - 3 tbsps milk

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until combined. In three separate wells, add vanilla, vinegar and oil. Then pour cold water over all and stir until moistened. Do not overmix.
Fill cupcake/muffin liners 3/4 full. That's it...into the oven it goes to bake for 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Make sure that your cupcakes are completely cool before frosting.
You could also pour batter into an 8x8 greased square cake pan for cake squares. If making cake, cook for 5 minutes longer.

Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting
Using a mixer, cream butter, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add sugar and cinnamon gradully, beating after each addition. Add 2 1/2 tbsps milk, beating until smooth and creamy. Beat in more milk or powdered sugar if needed to get to your desired spreading consistency.
This makes enough to frost a 2 layer cake, a 10-inch bundt cake or 2 dozen cupcakes.
This frosting takes food coloring/dyes very well.

June 5, 2009

Tom Yum Soup

This one is for my cuddly hubby who happens to adore this dish. It is a yummy, traditional and very popular Thai soup that gets a kick from the chiles and sourness by the vinegar, which are the makings for a tasty treat. I like it with a bit of heat, but not as fiery as my hubby likes it. If he were going to be the only one eating it, I would have added 3 chiles in, but for the sake of keeping my tongue from going numb, I only added two.

You can vary the balance of flavors to suite your taste.

Wine Pairing: Riesling is always a nice compliment to Asian dishes.

Tom Yum Soup
serves 4-6

2 fresh red chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
6 tbsp rice wine vinegar
6 cups of low sodium chicken broth
2 lemongrass stalks, halved
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar in the raw
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp canola oil
2 chicken breasts cubed (a store bought cooked rotisserie chicken could be used here)
1 14 oz can straw mushrooms, drained
1/2 lb of shitake mushrooms, sliced
4 scallions, chopped ( leave a bit for garnish)
1 head of bok choy, washed and chopped
fresh cilantro for garnish
lime juice for garnish
Mix the chiles and vinegar together in a nonreactive bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Add chicken broth to pot and bring to a boil. Then add the lemongrass, soy sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a preheated wok, add the chicken and stir-fry over hight heat for 2-3 minutes, or until browned . Remove and drain on a paper towels.

Add the chiles and vinegar with the chicken, mushrooms, bok choy and most of the scallions (leave some for garnish) to the stock mixture and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the lemongrass stalks at end of cooking.

When ready to serve, garnish with scallions and cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


June 2, 2009

Crab Rangoon

One of my favorite appetizers when ordering chinese are these tasty little deep-fried dumplings, which are served in American Chinese cuisine in North America, and more recently, Thai cuisine. The filling is a yummy concoction of cream cheese, lightly flaked crab meat, scallions and garlic all snuggled in a cozy little wonton wrapper. These tasty little treats are also known as cream cheese wontons.

The history of crab rangoon is unclear, as cream cheese as well as any other cheese, is essentially nonexistent in Chinese cuisine. A "Rangoon crab a la Jack" was created as a dish at a Hawaiian-style party in 1952, and has also been on the menu of the "Polynesian-style" restaurant Trader Vic's in San Francisco since at least 1957, which is supposedly from a Burmese recipe and probably invented there.
I had all the ingredients sitting around, just waiting to be intermingled with one another. I like to make the whole batch, put them in the freezer and pull some out whenever we crave a little deep fried goodness. So cheers to yet another yummy treat!

Wine Pairing: An American Riesling or White Alsatian would be crisp and refreshing.

Crab Rangoon
makes 35

4 oz softened cream cheese
1 small can crabmeat drained
3 diced scallions
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp worchestershire sauce
35 wonton wrappers
1 egg white
enough oil for deep frying
sweet chili dipping sauce
Combine first 5 ingredients thoroughly. Place 1 tsp of crab and cheese mixture in the center of wrapper. Brush all edges with egg white and fold over one corner to opposite corner making a triangle and pressing gently to seal, or you can make little pouches by grabbing all four corners up together and crimping with a twist. Seal with more egg white if necessary. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and crabmeat mixture.

Heat the oil for deep frying in a wok or a deep pan to 350-375 degrees, or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Add the wontons in batches, and cook till crisp and golden brown on all sides, approx 2-3 minutes. Remove and place on paper towels to drain. Keep warm while you cook the remaining wontons. Serve with sweet chili dipping sauce.

Note: To prevent the wonton wrappers from drying out as you work with them, keep them in a pile and covered with a damp towel.


May 15, 2009

Banana Macadamia Crumbcake Muffins

Who doesn't like a good old-fashioned crumbcake? One of my favorite treats as a child was a Hostess crumbcake. Remember those? My consumption alone of these sweet little cakes most certainly kept the production lines very busy. So here is my tribute to one of my favorite childhood treats.......a quick and easy crumbcake muffin. I happened to have some really soft bananas, and a few macadamias that needed a new home. A little twirl in the mixing bowl and voila...a yummy crumbcake treat. You will like this.....I promise!

Banana Macadamia Crumbcake Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins

1 stick of butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup light sour cream
1 very ripe banana, mashed

1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup macadamia nuts finely chopped
4 Tbs cold butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cake liners

Cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the sour cream. fold until blended after each addition. Once combined, fold in the mashed banana.

In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon and macadamia nuts. Then add the butter and mix until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

Fill the paper lined muffin tins 3/4 full with the batter. Sprinkle the brown sugar topping over each to cover generously. Bake until browned and toothpick comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Leave in tin for 5 minutes, and out they come to cool on a wire rack.


May 5, 2009

My Recent Restaurant Jaunts

Blanco Tacos + Tequila
This clean minimalist dining room offers a modern twist on Mexican/Sonoran food in a casual-chic setting. The guacamole was a great starter and the carnitas tacos were by far the best I have tasted. The spectacular views of the Tucson valley cannot be beat, as you finish your meal with the brown sugar caramel flan. Oh my yumminess! I washed this all down the the pomegranate-grapefruit margarita - an easy, refreshing and tasty libation.
2905 E. Skyline Drive, Located in the Shoppes of La Encantada, Tucson, Arizona

The Ivy Restaurant
As one of LA's leading celebrity hangouts, this charming french rustic restaurant is full of old world antiques and comfortably worn chintz. The open brick patio (where the highest-profile patrons are seated and dutifully ignore the stares) is filled with blooming flowers and roses.
The mussels with spicy ginger curry sauce were so good that we ordered them twice. They are known for their homemade chocolate-chip cookies and can be ordered to go and wrapped in their signature pink boxes.
113 Robertson Drive Los Angeles, CA

Tender Steak and Seafood
Chef KC Fazel offers an outstanding array of scrumptious dishes, one of which was an unforgettable american kobe wagyu filet mignon that was as tender as a piece of fish, and insanely delicious. We also had the grass-fed Durham Ranch bison strip loin which was perfectly cooked and delicious. With its warm rich environment, the cherry wood decor and soft intimate lighting, you are certainly taken away form the hustle and bustle of the casino excitement.
Located in the Luxor Hotel Las Vegas, Nevada

Majestic View Lodge
With the large picture windows throughout the dining room, you are surrounded by the outstanding views of Zion National Park in this very rustic lodge. The buffalo and elk burgers are a must try, however the buffalo burger was more to my liking as it was perfectly cooked, juicy and very tasty.
2400 Zion Park Blvd. Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah

Nobu New York
Nothing will beat the perfect creations of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa with his new style sashimi, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno and the wagyu beef. All were simply and beautifully presented, with just the right amount of condiment to enhance the flavors. One taste of each just begs for you to savor every scrumptious bite. The atmosphere is fun and upbeat, and our gracious server helped to make our evening very enjoyable. The lychee martini is the best!
105 Hudson Street, Tribeca
New York, New York

This cozy space located at the end of an unused alley off the Bowery was opened in the Fall of 2009. The owners Taavo Somer and William Tigertt were looking to make a rugged, clandestine, colonial american tavern with an early american cuisine. It's simple and rustic. The Freemans burger with the special sauce was just what you wanted in a burger. I want to go back for the hot artichoke dip with crisp bread.
Between Chrystie and the Bowery, at the end of Freemans Lane.
Lower East Side, New York, New York

April 29, 2009

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved creamy soups. Mushroom and cauliflower being at the top of my fav list. I do have a creamy mushroom soup that I look forward to sharing with you on a future post.

What made this soup stand out more than my past creations, was the flavor boost of the roasted garlic and sherry. This is a quick and easy one. Give it a try!

Wine Pairing: A White Bordeaux or Sauvignon Blanc would be a nice compliment to this soup.

Cream of Cauliflower Soup
Serves 6

1 head of garlic
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 head of cauliflower, cored and broken into small florets
2 (14.5 ounce) cans low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of milk (I used 1%)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sherry

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut off top of garlic head and place in aluminum foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap tightly in foil, and bake until garlic is very soft, about 1 hour. Let cool. Squeeze garlic from peel and set aside.

In a large heavy stockpot over medium heat, melt butter and saute onions until soft but not brown, about 5-10 minutes. Add cauliflower florets and chicken broth, cover and cook for for about 20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.

Using a stick blender, food processor or blender, puree this mixture in batches with the roasted garlic until smooth. Return pureed mixture to stockpot and add the milk, nutmeg, salt, pepper and sherry. Combine and simmer briefly.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, fresh croutons and chopped chives.

March 3, 2009

Slow Cooked Black Bean Soup

I love beans... white, black, black eyed, pinto, kidney, butter, pigeon, in fact I have yet to meet a bean that doesn't tickle my fancy. I love that black beans (also known as turtle beans), as well as most other beans are not only tasty, but are virtually a fat-free high quality protein, and a great source of cholesterol lowering fiber.

As I was cleaning out my cupboards, I found some dried black beans begging for an overnight bath and cooked up into a pot of nurturing satisfaction . On this cold winters day, I thought what better way to warm up the soul than with some black bean soup cooked in my slow cooker. With a little planning ahead of time, your slow cooker does all the work and you save time later. Come on...let's face it, do you know anyone who would oppose to opening the front door and greeted by the inviting smells wafting from the slow cooker? Yeah...I don't either!

You can kick up the heat a bit by adding a serrano chile or a milder pepper such as jalapeno in place of the green chilies. If you desire a creamy soup, at end of cooking, puree using an immersion blender or food processor.
This soup is certain to warm you up anytime of the year.

Wine Pairing: An American Chardonnay or a White Meritage would be a nice compliment.

Slow Cooked Black Bean Soup
Serves 6
1 pound dried black beans
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 can low-sodium beef broth
3 small onions
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
3 bay leaves
1 can (4.5 ounce) chopped green chilies
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
3 tbsp sour cream (optional)

Sort and wash beans and place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans. Cover and let stand for 8 hours or overnight. Drain.
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil till soft and translucent. Add sauteed onions and garlic to crock pot with beans, broth, cumin, coriander, bay leaves and green chilies. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours. Add salt and vinegar during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Discard bay leaves and stir in lime juice. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle each with chopped cilantro and top with a tbsp of sour cream.
You now have a hearty, satisfying and fiber rich meal!

February 19, 2009

Swedish Apple Pie Cake

So this recipe came from my grandmother June, the best ever grandma who loved to spoil her grandkids, but also happened to be a fabulous cook. She has had some pretty amazing homemade treats come out of her kitchen. Her coconut cake is my favorite...and that will be a featured in another post soon. But for now.....let's focus on this very quick and easy dessert. It has a cake like consistancy and is very light. Oh my yumminess!!!!! Oh, and did I tell you how quick this is to make. It takes just minutes to mix the ingredients together. Ok, so it took me about 5 minutes to peel, core and dice the apples...but hey...did I tell you how quick this is. This most certainly is a great dessert to make with your kids. The best thing is that they can say they created a homemade dessert.

This can be garnished and served in so many different ways....In fact, the next time I make this, I'm going to serve it with a caramel sauce on the side. Oh my......I can't wait!

Happy baking!

Wine Pairing: This would be great with an Icewine. Try Inniskillin 2006 Icewine. If you like dessert will love this!

Look for a post soon dedicated to my passion for Icewines.

Swedish Applie Pie Cake

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup walnuts or pecans chopped
2 cups apples peeled and diced

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 10 inch pie plate.
Put first 6 ingredients into a bowl and stir all together. Once combined add your vanilla extract, nuts and apples. Stir until all combined and pour mixture into your buttered pie plate.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Your cake will puff up a little and a toothpick should come out clean.
Let rest about 30 minutes and serve warm with ice cream or also good at room tempature.

I think that you will like this one!

February 15, 2009

Lemon-Cornmeal Cake

If you are looking for something different in a cake, then you must try this one. I got this recipe from Woman's Day magazine. It's so perfect, that I found no reason to alter it. What I love about this cake is that it's not too sweet because of the addition of cornmeal, and the yogurt makes it super moist. The best part is that my husband loved it, and he is usually not a cake person.

Instead of the sugar glaze, you would also have a winner with a chocolate ganache drizzle.
I know you will enjoy this one as much as we did!

Lemon-Cornmeal Cake

Baking spray (cooking spray with flour)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 smalls lemons)
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt, stirred to loosen
Sugar Glaze
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

Heat oven to 325 degrees. You'll need a 10-cup decorative tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan coated with baking spray. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, and salt.
In large bowl beat butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. With mixer on low, alternately beat in flour mixture and yogurt until batter is smooth. Scrape into prepared pan; level top with spatula.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sugar glaze:
Whisk glaze ingredients in a small bowl just until combined (sugar will not be totally dissolved). Invert cake from pan onto rack; place rack over a baking sheet. Brush glaze all over hot cake until absorbed (sugar crystals will be evident). Cool completely. Transfer cake to a serving plate and cover. Let cake rest several hours, or overnight, before serving. Store cake covered at room temperature up to 4 days. Cut into thin slices to serve.

Tip: Use lime zest and juice for a zesty alternative.

If you are in the mood for a Chocolate Ganache drizzle, this is a simple one:
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped (preferably 70 percent cacao)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Bring cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour cream over chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add butter, then whisk mixture until smooth. Let cool, stirring often. Use immediately.

February 10, 2009

White Bean Dip

One of my favorite dips has to be a simple white bean dip. It is such a cinch and takes no time at all to make. Most of us have the ingredients in our pantry which makes it an easy go to if you are in need for a quick appetizer. It is also very versatile, meaning you can add different ingredients to it to change it up a bit. It's a great dip for veggies, pita chips and tortilla chips.
Just a little something different to add some variety to your sandwiches, try using this as a spread instead of your everyday mayo or mustards.

Easy White Bean Dip

1 can white beans drained and rinsed
1/2 garlic clove
zest and juice of 1 lemon
handful of flat leaf parsley
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp of a fruity extra virgin olive oil

Add everything but the olive oil to a food processor and pulse until combined. Once combined, add your olive oil through the feeder tube while processor is still on. You can add more olive oil if prefer a thinner consistency.
Serve and enjoy.

For some variety, add the following:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 package of boursin cheese (I especially like this with crackers)
Half a jar of roasted red peppers in water
3 tablespoons of olive tapenade

February 8, 2009

Turkey Cottage Pie (Shepherds Pie)

When I met my husband almost 12 years ago, he was new to this country and I wanted to make him a dish that would give him a taste of home, as well as bring a little comfort to our taste buds. This is the dish that I chose to perfect for him. Having made this many times over, we finally got the seasonings right where we like it, and to us, when we think of comfort food, this is the first dish that comes to mind. You can almost liken it to meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, except this dish is packaged a little differently, where it's all snug and cozy and served in casserole form.
This is my version of a Shepherds Pie, which traditionally is made with lamb or mutton, hence the name. When another meat is substituted, it is then considered a cottage pie by the English and Australians. Ground beef is typically used here, but we have been enjoying the healthier benefits of ground turkey. Cubed beef chunks could also be used here if you desire a meatier bite. Another yummy touch would be to add some cheddar cheese over the top in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Once you try this, you will know what I mean when I say this is one of the ultimate comfort foods.

Wine Pairing: A hefty Zinfandel would be a nice compliment

Turkey Cottage Pie
Serves 6-8

1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion chopped
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried mustard powder (can use regular mustard)
2 tbsp ketchup
1 can low sodium beef broth
1/2 tsp gravy master seasoning
1 package frozen peas and carrots

Mashed Potatoes
4 large potatoes
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk or cream
salt and pepper
Peel and quarter potatoes and boil in salted water until fork tender. This will take about 25 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
While potatoes cook, add oil to a large pot. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add onions and ground pepper and saute until onions are soft. About 10 minutes. Add next seven ingredients and cook uncovered about 15 minutes. Sauce will be thick and will have reduced a bit. At this stage, add package of frozen peas and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes more and take off heat. Add meat mixture to an 8 1/2 x 11 baking dish.

Drain and mash potatoes with butter and milk or cream and season with salt and pepper.
Add mashed potatoes to top of meat mixture and with a spatula or back of a spoon, spread evenly over the top to cover all the meat. Using the tines of a fork, make hash marks over all the potatoes. What you want are little peaks that will easily brown in the oven.
Place in oven and cook for about 30 minutes. Your pie will be bubbling and lightly browned.

Voila! You are ready to enjoy with a simple green salad.

February 2, 2009

Blueberry Pie Scones

On a recent trip to visit our long time friends in North Carolina, our charming hostess who happens to be a wonderful cook, made some very tasty scones which inspired me to create this sweet adaptation to her scone recipe. Cherry pie filling would be yummy as well.
If you can get some English Devon Cream/Clotted Cream to serve with your scones, then you are sure in for a treat.
Enjoy with a cup 0f hot tea of your choice.
At the moment, my favorite tea is the Choco Nut Green Tea from
All I can say is try it. You will love it!

Blueberry Pie Scones
Yield 8 wedges

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter cubed
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup blueberry pie filling
1 tsp turbinado cane sugar or sugar in the raw

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Add first 6 ingredients to a mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until you get a crumbly mixture. Add cream and pie filling to your flour mixture and stir together until the wet ingredients are combined. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until all loose flour is mixed in. Once mixture has come together, place dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and pat into a 9 inch circle. The dough should be about an inch thick. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top and press lightly so that sugar adheres. Cut into 8 wedges and separate so that they are not touching.
Place in oven for about 12-14 minutes. Toothpick will come out clean and scones will be lightly browned in color.

January 19, 2009

Mini Manchego and Onion Marmalade Tartlets

One of my favorite items which you will always find in my freezer are the mini phyllo pastry shells. They are inexpensive, will keep a long time, and you can use them for savory bites, or sweet desserts, and the possibilities are endless as far as what to fill them with. I could go on forever here, but for the purposes of this post, I will keep it to this sweet onion marmalade/chutney which I made to compliment a pork tenderloin glazed with dijon. I had some leftover and thought it would be nice with a little cheese in these cute little shells.
The onion marmalade is very quick and easy to prepare, but if you want to use a store bought chutney, there are lots of great flavors that would be just as good.
Try these the next time you need a quick appetizer and enjoy!

Wine Pairing: try a Sauvignon Blanc or Sancerre with this.

Onion Marmalade
Makes about 2/3 cups

1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine
salt and coarse ground pepper to taste

Heat butter in medium heavy saucepan. Add onion, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes stirring often. Sprinkle with sugar and continue cooking until onions are soft and browned. About 8-10 minutes.
Add vinegar and wine and simmer until almost all the liquids have evaporated and onion mixture is syrupy. About 5 minutes. Bring to room temperature before using.

This can be made 2 days ahead of time. Just keep covered and refrigerated.

Mini Manchego and Onion Marmalade Tartlets
15 Tartlets

1 (1.9 ounce) package frozen mini phyllo pastry shells
1 cup finely grated manchego or mahon cheese (about 2 ounces)
3-4 tablespoons onion marmalade
fresh thyme or marjoram leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange phyllo shells on baking sheet. Add 1/2 teaspoonful of marmalade/chutney into shells. Top each with grated cheese.
Bake for about 6-8 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with a few small thyme or marjoram leaves. Can be served hot or at room temp.

January 18, 2009

Albondigas Soup

Ok, so if you like Mexican food, meatballs and soup, you will love this simple Mexican meatball soup that is hearty and healthy. When I lived in Tucson a few years back, I found this little family owned mexican restaurant which served the best ever Albondigas soup, and I just can't seem to find another that even compares. So I tried to recreate it the best I could. The authentic soup calls for ground beef and white rice for the meatballs, but to lighten it up, I use ground turkey, and I like the addition of brown rice because of the nutty taste it gives to the meatballs. All you need is some crusty bread, and a nice bottle of wine.
I know you will love this one!

Wine Pairing: A Rioja would be do quite nicely here.

Albondigas Soup
serves 6-8

1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup cooked brown rice
1 egg
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (would also be good with mint)
3 green onion chopped
1 tbsp adobo seasoning
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs or Panko crumbs
1/4 cup of ice water
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 carrot diced
1 medium potato diced
2 cans of low sodium beef broth
1 can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained and cut up

In medium bowl, combine first ten ingredients, and form into small meatballs. Set aside. In large dutch oven or soup pot, over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, onion, carrot and potato. Cook for about 3 minutes to soften a bit. Add beef broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add meatballs, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve and enjoy!