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Showing posts from September, 2018

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Cowboy Nachos

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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total: 32 hr 45 min
Active: 45 min
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
2 cups Pinto Beans, recipe follows
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tabasco sauce, to taste
Minced garlic, to taste
Jarred or fresh jalapenos, chopped or sliced, to taste, optional
Canola oil, for warming brisket
2 cups shredded Braised Beef Brisket (plus pan drippings as needed), recipe follows
1 can Mexican red sauce or enchilada sauce (enough to moisten brisket)
Tortilla chips, as needed (about half a bag)
2 cups grated Monterey Jack (or however much you want)
2 cups Pico de Gallo, recipe follows

Pinto Beans:
4 cups dried pinto beans
4 slices thick bacon (you can also use salt pork, a ham hock or diced ham)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Braised Beef Brisket:
2 cans beef consomme
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
5 cloves garlic, chopped
10 pounds beef brisket

Pico de Gallo:
5 plum (Roma) tomatoes
3 jalapeno peppers
1/2 large or 1 small onion
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1/…

Creativity and Magic...

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Two years ago I dreamt of a getaway--my dream had specific details about a weekend in the woods, in a beautiful cabin, where I could be inspired to write, hike, and be with nature. My dream came true this past weekend when I got to spend four days at the writing seminar, Brave Magic--An Invitation to Curiosity, Creativity, and Courage, at 1440 Multiversity. 

This past February I saw a social media post from Elizabeth Gilbert about a writing seminar in Scotts Valley at 1440 Multiversity. I went to the website to check out the details, and it described my dream to the very last detail. I registered and made travel arrangements, and many months later, the date finally arrived. I arranged for a shuttle service to pick me up at the airport and when I jumped in the van, I met two women, Laura and Sunny, who would become the beacons of light. We had an instant connection, the three of us set out to enjoy our weekend as peacefully and authentically as possible. I could combust in happiness jus…

Inside-Out Chicken Cordon Bleu

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 23 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 8 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
3 tablespoons fig jam
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (about 3 ounces)
8 thin slices black forest ham
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 cups baby greens

Directions
Mix the jam, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Lay out a long piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Place the chicken on the plastic and brush half of the jam mixture evenly on top of each breast. Mound a quarter of the cheese on each piece of chicken, then wrap 2 slices of ham around each breast to cover the cheese. Place another piece of plastic over the chicken and gently pound with a mallet or heavy skillet until about 1/4 inch thick.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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20-Minute Shrimp and Couscous With Yogurt-Hummus Sauce

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
This speedy shrimp dish gets you whole grains, protein, vegetables and fruit all ready to go in 5 minutes (Pro tip: prep the couscous while the shrimp broils.)
Prep: 10 min
Inactive: 5 min
Cook: 5 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped (or golden raisins)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup 2-percent plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon prepared hummus
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or dill
Kosher salt
1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions
Preheat the broiler to high. Combine the couscous, apricots and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups very hot water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit until all of the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir together the yogurt, hummus, mint and 1 to 2 tablespoons water in another bowl. Season with salt and se…

10-Minute White Bean Soup with Toasted Cheese and Tomato

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Steeping chicken broth with sprigs of rosemary and thyme for just a few minutes adds great flavor to this creamy white bean soup. The sandwich is toasted under the broiler, not fried in butter, and served open-faced, topped with juicy chopped tomatoes.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 10 min
Prep: 4 min
Cook: 6 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, each about 6 inches long
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Two 15-ounce cans of cannellini or other white beans, strained and rinsed
1 small shallot, peeled, trimmed and halved
1 small garlic clove, peeled, trimmed and halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices crusty sourdough bread (each about 1-inch thick; 8 ounces total),
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Directions
Position a rack about 4 inches from th…

Slow Cooked Korean-Style Short Rib Soup

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 6 hr 20 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 6 hr
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Ribs:12 English-cut short ribs (about 6 pounds)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Korean red chili paste or sambal oelek, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons dark (toasted) sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions (white and green parts, separated), thinly sliced

Noodles and Garnishes:
10 to 12 ounces medium-thick rice noodles (also called rice sticks or jantaboon)
1 carrot, finely grated
1 small Kirby cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, torn
2 limes, cut into wedges

Directions
Remove any silver skin from the surface of the short ribs, and then make 2 cuts across the grain, through the meat down to the bone. (See how-to photo.) Put the ribs in the slow cooker.

Whisk together the broth, soy, sugar, ginger, chili paste, sesame oil, garlic, and scallion whites. Pour…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Heavenly Creme Filled Cupcakes

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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total: 1 hr
Active: 40 min
Yield: 18 cupcakes
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
Cupcakes:
Baking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 whole eggs
2 sticks butter
4 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water

Ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons corn syrup
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Creme Filling:
1 stick butter
1/2 cup shortening, such as Crisco
4 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly spray 18 muffin cups with baking spray.

To make the cake batter, combine the flour, granulated sugar and salt. Set aside.

In a separate container, combine the buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and eggs. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and stir to combine. Add the boilin…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Truth Be Told...

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“In a relationship you need a habit of mind that scans the world for things to appreciate rather than things to criticize.” -John Gottman

We all have the friend or family member who feels like speaking the “truth” is an obligation they must fulfill. Are you someone who has to tell it like it is, too? Sometimes? Me too! I’m doing you a “favor,” or “Someone needs to tell you the truth and hold you accountable,” I say in my head when I tell people the “truth,” which is, by the way, our truth, not the actual truth. One can make the point that researchers have hundreds if not, thousands of pages filled with data from research before they can declare something to be right. How is that by just seeing someone’s behavior or hearing one sentence, we can tell them the truth about themselves? It’s complicated to know what each of us thinks at any given point, which would make it impossible for us to understand what someone else’s intentions or real thoughts are. This begs the question, why do we s…

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Walking Down Memory Lane

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My family moved from my hometown thirty-three years ago, and I haven’t been back since! My grandmother has been ill, and in her fragile state, she’s been reminiscing of our time in our beloved neighboring towns. As much as my grandmother and I have romanticized the memories of what once was, I’m drawn to see what life is like in our towns. I've watched many videos lately and have looked at hundreds of pictures posted online. Going down memory lane has given me a deep sense of gratitude for my life, makes me feel grounded, and gives me a sense of truly belonging to myself, no matter where I am.

Strangely, this has made me feel spiritually reconnected to the land and culture of the town. This is a joy that compares to reconnecting with an old friend and proudly sharing how we’ve grown. To be reminded of the small town simplicity and humility that was part of my life so long ago has been an unexpected awakening of awareness.

After so many weeks of reminiscing on my own and with my gran…

Summer Borscht

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Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Total: 4 hr 50 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive: 4 hr
Cook: 40 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
5 medium fresh beets (about 2 pounds without tops)
Kosher salt
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
16 ounces sour cream, plus extra for serving
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups medium-diced English cucumber, seeds removed
1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus extra for serving

Directions
Place the beets in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook uncovered until the beets are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the beets to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve and also set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the beet cooking liquid, the chicken stock, sour cream, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, 1 tablespoon …

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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