Cook’s County Cookbook Minestrone

19 Jan

Oh my gosh, this soup. This soup!

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I mentioned the Complete Cook’s County TV Show Cookbook on my new Cookbook Club page last week, but I only recently delved into its meticulous pages to try a recipe. I’d followed Chris Kimball, the creator of America’s Test Kitchen, via his excellent Cooks Illustrated magazines in my mother’s kitchen. However, I was unfamiliar with the Cook’s County recipes until this fabulous book showed up under the tree. (Thanks, Mama THT!)

What to do? Why, try a recipe, of course! Hence, this absolutely unreal minestrone soup.

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“So Earth-Friendly, Even a Vegan Will Eat It” Veggie Chili

14 Jan

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Friends, as you know, I’m a fan of experimenting with vegetarian and vegan food. (Baking, more baking, pasta dishes, etc. )While I can’t say I’d go vegan for life (being engaged to a semi-carnivore makes that a bit complicated — love you, THT!), I’ve been working on incorporating a vegetarian diet more regularly into my life for the last 6 months or so. (See, this is what happens when you take a “blogging hiatus,” GKG. No one knows about these adventures! she said to herself…)

The verdict?

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Fruits of Our Labors: Cookbook Club 101

11 Jan
Image sourced from kcrw.com

Image sourced from kcrw.com

Pesto is much-loved around here — I’ve cooked with it in pasta dishes, as a pizza sauce, and even as an addition to hummus or other dips. And while I’ve enjoyed playing with the basil – Parmesan – pine nut formula by swapping in spinach, kale, cashews, almonds and more, until recently, I had never ventured too far outside of that routine. That is, until I tried Rachael Ray’s Roasted Red Pepper Pesto.

That is, until my DC girlfriends and I created a Cookbook Club.

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Bread Baking, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dough

7 Jan
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Why yes, I did Instagram this loaf. Bread: So hot right now.

Once upon a time, there was a little blogger who loved freshly baked bread. She knew that white flour was, according to all things medical research, not the best thing in the world for her nutrition. But, like the steadfast food-lover that she was, she also knew that a nutritionist would have to pry a baguette from her cold, dead hands before she’d give it up entirely. 

Sound familiar?

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Crock Pot Creations: White Chicken Chili

2 Oct

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In the summertime, I suspect that most of us prefer low-temperature cooking and cuisines. (Amirite?) Summer’s most famous dishes from around the world — Caprese salad, Gazpacho, a crisp and fresh Margarita — are all refreshing and require little to no stovetop slavery.

But now that the weather’s turning a bit cooler (depending on the day, it seems — some mornings I’m reaching for my sweatshirts, and other days, I’m in short sleeves!), it’s time to whip out that crock pot and rock some all-day, all-delicious chili.

This particular White Chicken Chili comes from the Mensa-level culinary geniuses lovely ladies and gentlemen of Fix It and Forget It, a collection of Crock Pot-licious cookbooks that my mother (and grandmother) have sworn by for years.

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This recipe could not be simpler. (No, really! I challenge you to find a simpler recipe. Unless its directions are along the lines of, “Peel Banana. Eat.”) If you’re vegetarian, simply double the quantity of beans, or add an equal amount of a different variety of legume. That version is also vegan, if you’re of the no-animal-products persuasion.

My other favorite thing about this recipe is its lack of canned soups. As much as I love a traditional crock pot recipe, watching your sodium gets tricky when you used multiple cans of condensed soup! With this chili, the creaminess comes from those delicious Great Northern beans in all of their slow-cooked glory.  Eat All the Noms!

I’d recommend serving this chili with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro and chopped white onion to garnish, a bottle of Belgian beer or Dos Equis, and a slice of cornbread. Enjoy the deliciousness, and happy early Fall!

White Chicken Chili

Serves 8-10, depending on portion sizes

You’ll Need:

  • 2 16-oz cans of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 4.5-oz cans of green chiles (try Old El Paso or Ortega)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 14.5-oz can chicken broth (try low-sodium broth, chicken stock, or veggie stock as alternate ingredients)
  • 1 cup water

Here’s What You Do:

  • Brown chicken in a large saucepan, if desired. (Not necessary for the dish, but it adds a nice layer of flavor)
  • Add beans, chicken, onion, chiles, seasoning, chicken broth, and water to crock pot.
  • Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours.
  • Eat. Yup, that’s really it.

What are your favorite Crock Pot dishes for fall? Share away! Here’s to seasonal eats, chili dinners and chillier mornings!

 

The Urge to Herbal: An Herb-Growing Update

15 Jul

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My Herbs and I: A Complicated Love Story

Once upon a time — a couple of months ago, in fact — I tried my hand at growing a series of herb plants on the galley kitchen’s big windowsill. I’m a fan of growing and cooking with fresh herbs whenever it’s feasible (check out this post for more herbalicious ideas!), and with pots, seeds and soil in tow, I made my move.

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Micro-Whaaat? Microwaved Egg, Tomato and Kale Wraps

11 Jul

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Friends, you know how much GKG loves eggs as the basis of any meal. Protein + healthy fat + all in a neat little package? What’s not to love? I’ve made these hard-boiled egg snacks, these Italian-style baked eggs for supper, and even these other variations on egg-based meals.

But here’s an unexpected cookery equation for you: One Budding Chef+ One Standard Microwave + one serving of eggs = an unexpected match made in culinary heaven.

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