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You'll find over 340 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole

April 16, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Who knew it could be so easy to make really good mole sauce? Cooking Light’s recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Mole in their April 2015 issue is amazingly good!

Carrie made the recipe before I had gotten around to it. She shredded the chicken to use for tacos (with homemade corn tortillas!) and told me that it was delicious. It wasn’t long before I gave it a try.

I did make a couple of changes. Cooking Light recommended cooking chicken for 8 hours. I had read in America’s Test Kitchen’s Slow Cooker Revolution, Volume 2 that they recommended cooking chicken thighs on Low for 4 – 5 hours. I decided to try 5 hours.

The other change I made was a substitution for the smoked almonds that they used. I’m not crazy about the ingredients in the smoked almonds that I have seen. A little research revealed that many Mexican recipes for mole use peanuts so that’s what I used. For the smoked almonds, I subbed ¼ cup of roasted peanuts and ¼ teaspoon of smoked salt*.

Instead of shredding the chicken, I served the thighs over steamed rice. Thinking that Bob would want to add Tabasco sauce, as he usually does with this type of dish, I put some on the table. He thought it was seasoned perfectly as it was, so he didn’t need the Tabasco. This recipe is a winner!

This Slow Cooker Chicken Mole is very quick and easy to put together. If you are home midday, you can get it going and then have the afternoon free to do whatever you want. I think you will be amazed, as we were, at how fantastic it is! I made the full recipe for the two of us and we eagerly ate it two nights in a row. I also took some to school for my lunch, and it reheated beautifully in a microwave oven. This is a recipe that WILL be part of my regular rotation!

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slow cooker chicken mole

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Slow Cooker Chicken Mole

(Adapted from a recipe in the April 2015 Cooking Light magazine)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4

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8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs

¼ teaspoon kosher salt (I subbed smoked salt)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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Mole Sauce

¼ cup water

¼ cup smoked almonds (I used ¼ cup peanuts plus ¼ teaspoon of smoked salt)

¼ cup raisins

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce

1 tablespoon adobo sauce

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 small sweet onion, chopped

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1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with the salt and pepper and put them in a 5 – 6 quart slow cooker.

chicken thighs

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2. Put all of the ingredients for the mole sauce in a food processor and process until it is smooth. You’ll probably have to stop the machine and push the sauce down the sides of the bowl a time or two.

onion and tomato pasted added

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3. Spread the mole sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker.

mole sauce spread over chicken

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4. Cook on Low for 5 hours.

5. Serve the chicken and sauce over rice. (Or shred the chicken to make tacos.)

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slow cooker chicken mole tall

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A note about smoked salt – I needed smoked salt for another recipe (which turned out to be delicious and will be posted soon). I wasn’t sure I had ever seen smoked salt at my usual grocery stores, but I put it on my list when I headed to Thriftway.  They had 3 kinds of smoked salt, all produced by the same company. They had mesquite smoked, hickory smoked, and alderwood smoked. Their salts are naturally smoked over wood; there are no other ingredients. I chose the alderwood smoked salt and was blown away by the flavor. I have a new favorite ingredient!

Alder Smoked Salt

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Ingredients in alder smoked salt

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Spicy Carrot Salad with Pilpelchuma

April 8, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s recipe for Spicy Carrot Salad in Jerusalem turned out to be a great side dish with our Easter ham. It’s actually best made ahead of time and served at room temperature so it is perfect for entertaining.

A chile and garlic blend called Pilpelchuma, popular in Tripoli, is what makes it spicy. It’s pretty potent, but only one tablespoon is used in the salad. It makes it very flavorful without being too hot. It’s suggested that Harissa can be substituted but you may need to adjust how much you add, which will depend on the heat of your Harissa.

A carrot salad is often a part of an appetizer spread (meze) served in restaurants in Jerusalem. Ottolenghi and Tamimi take the typical salad of carrots, oil, garlic, and lemon juice or vinegar to the next level with their spicy version. I highly recommend this Spicy Carrot Salad!

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Spicy Carrot Salad 2

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Spicy Carrot Salad

(This is adapted from an Ottolenghi/Tamimi recipe in Jerusalem. They credited Pascale Perez-Rubin for her recipe that inspired them.)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4 very generously, 6 – 8 as part of a meal with many other dishes

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6 large carrots (1½ pounds/700g), peeled

3 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 large onion, finely chopped (2 cups/300g)

1 tablespoon Pilpelchuma (recipe below) or Harissa

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon caraway seeds, freshly ground

½ teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoon cider vinegar

1½ cups (30g) arugula leaves

¾ teaspoon sea salt

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1. Place the peeled carrots in a large pot. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and then cover, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes, until just tender. Drain and allow to cool.

2. While the carrots are cooking, put half of the oil in a skillet and cook the onions over medium heat until golden brown, about 10 – 15 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, combine the onions, the other half of the oil, the Pilpelchuma, cumin, caraway, sugar, cider vinegar, and salt.

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Cooked onions added to the mixing bowl

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4. When the carrots have cooled, cut them into ¼-inch slices and stir them into the salad. Let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. (It can be made the day before. If so, cover and refrigerate but allow it to come to room temperature before serving.)

5. Just before serving, add the arugula or simply serve it on a bed of arugula. (If there is salad leftover, the arugula will wilt. I removed the arugula from our leftover salad.)

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Spicy Carrot Salad

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Pilpelchuma

(Leftover Pilpelchuma will keep for about a month in the refrigerator. The authors suggest pouring a thin film of oil over the surface to keep it from drying out. Use it as you would Harissa. Suggestions include smearing on root vegetables before roasting, mixing with oil and herbs to use as a meat rub, or mixing in scrambled eggs.)

 

Makes about 1 cup

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 I found dried ancho chiles in the section featuring Mexican ingredients.dried ancho chili

12 g chili

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You’ll need a small glass container that will hold about 1 cup

1 large ancho or pasilla chile or other dried chile with some heat (12g)

4½ tablespoons (25g) cayenne pepper

3½ tablespoons (25g) sweet paprika

2½ teaspoons ground cumin

1½ teaspoons caraway seeds, ground (I used a coffee grinder)

16 – 20 cloves garlic, peeled (2¾oz/75g)

¾ teaspoon sea salt

5 tablespoons (75 ml) sunflower oil

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Caraway seeds ready to be ground in a clean coffee grinder

ground caraway seeds

One head of garlic had 16 cloves of garlic, weighing 76g

76g garlic - 16 cloves

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1. Use Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s method to sterilize your container. Fill the container with boiling water. Leave it for a minute or so, and then empty and let it air dry.

2. Put the dried chile in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let it sit for 30 minutes.

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soaking the chilia

3. Put the ground spices in a skillet. Stir them over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes.

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Cayenne pepper, ground caraway seeds, ground cumin, and paprika

spices

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4. Put the spices in a small food processor and add the garlic and salt.

5. Remove the chile from the bowl of water. Seed it and cut into pieces and add it to the food processor.

6. Process the ingredients a bit, and then add the sunflower oil and process until it is a well-blended paste.

7. Put the Pilpelchuma in the sterilized container. Put a thin film of oil over it and then put the lid on and refrigerate.

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1 cup of Pilpelchuma

Pilpelchuma

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Spicy Carrot Salad tall

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Coconut Macaroons for Two

March 31, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Bob loves coconut macaroons so I was excited to find this recipe for Coconut Macaroons for Two in the recently published book, Dessert for Two by Christina Lane. The book is full of great sounding desserts made in small batches to serve two people. I’m really looking forward to trying some more of Christina’s recipes!

The Coconut Macaroons recipe (Christina calls them Coconut Macarooooons) uses just five ingredients. With no flour, it’s naturally gluten-free and it is sweetened with honey. And it makes just 6 cookies. Perfect!

We loved these cookies! Bob proclaimed that they are right up there with my baklava. He ate the last one today and asked if I’d make them again. It’s not happening today, but I know it will happen again very soon.

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Coconut macaroons

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Coconut Macaroons for Two

(Adapted from the recipe in Dessert for Two by Christina Lane)

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(print the recipe)

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Makes 6 cookies

 

1 cup packed (3 ounces) unsweetened finely shredded coconut

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons (45 mL) honey

1 large egg white

¼ teaspoon almond extract

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Parchment paper for the baking sheet (or cooking spray)

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Just five ingredients: honey, coconut, almond extract, an egg white, and salt

Ingredients for macaroons

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray it with cooking spray).
  2. Stir the coconut and salt together in a bowl.
  3. In another small bowl, lightly beat the honey, egg white, and almond extract together.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the coconut and stir well until it is all blended together.
  5. Make 6 balls of dough, packing each one as tightly as you can, and put them on the prepared baking sheet.

Ready to bake

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  1. Bake for 17 minutes, or until golden brown.
  2. Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let the macaroons cool completely before removing them from the pan.

Cooling

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8. When they’re completely cool, remove the macaroons to a serving plate.

Coconut macaroons for 2

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Coconut macaroons a

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Corned Beef sans Cabbage

March 18, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Corned Beef is traditionally served in many American homes on St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve thought about trying something else, like Irish stew or even salmon, to celebrate the feast but it just doesn’t seem right not to have Corned Beef.

I’ve always used my slow cooker to make it, but this year I made a wee change. I was intrigued by the recipe in America’s Test Kitchen’s Slow Cooker Revolution, Volume 2: The Easy-Prep Edition. I had always used just water, but they replaced half the water with chicken broth. I wondered if that could make a difference. Trusting all the research that ATK does I decided to try that this year.

I thought the difference was very subtle but positive. I think the added broth gave a bit more depth of flavor to the vegetables without tasting like chicken broth.

I also loved the idea of using whole small potatoes. (Why didn’t I think of that?) They used small red potatoes. I went with Yukon Gold because it is my favorite potato. Either way, the presentation is much better if you use small potatoes instead of cutting up larger ones.

There’s only one thing I might do differently. Next time I might cook the cabbage. It’s a last minute step that I completely forgot. But we nonetheless had a great St. Patrick’s Day feast complete with Southern Corn Bread (which turns out to be a great gluten/wheat-free alternative to Irish Soda Bread) served with Kerrygold butter and 3 kinds of local honey.

Who could blame me for forgetting the cabbage? We had the fun surprise of having an Irish American friend from the East Coast join us for dinner. And she brought her button accordion! It was incredibly fun to hear the accordion and to sing old Irish ballads with her. We were all so glad you could come, Mary Kate! :)

Truth be told, the cooked cabbage is my least favorite part of the dinner, and not one person said, “Where’s the cabbage?” Maybe we have a new tradition – Corned Beef sans Cabbage.

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Photo by Laura

Corned Beef

 

Corned Beef sans Cabbage

(Adapted from a recipe in ATK’s Slow Cooker Revolution, Volume 2)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 6 – 8 (Serves up to 8 if you have a 4-pound corned beef)

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Note: You need a large slow cooker for this recipe. America’s Test Kitchen suggests a 6½ – 7 quart cooker. Mine is a 6 quart cooker and everything fit, but barely.

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1 (3 – 4 pound) corned beef brisket, fat trimmed to ¼ inch

1 can reduced sodium chicken broth (I used Swanson’s Natural Goodness)

About 2¼ cups of water

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1½ pounds small potatoes (cut in half if larger than 1 to 2 inches in diameter)

1½ pounds carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise if large, and cut into 3-inch lengths

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1. Place the corned beef with its pickling spices in the slow cooker.

Corned Beef and pickling spices

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2. Put the potatoes in.

 I cut the larger potatoes in half.

Potatoes added

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3. Add the carrots.

 Carrots added

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4. Pour the chicken broth into a 4 cup measuring cup. Add water to make 4 cups.

5. Sprinkle the thyme over the carrots, and then pour the broth over everything.

Corned beef ready to cook

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6. Cook on Low for 9 – 10 hours. (I cooked mine for 10 hours.)

10 hours set

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7. Remove the vegetables to a bowl. Remove the corned beef and cover it with foil to keep it warm. Let the corned beef rest for 15 minutes. Return the vegetables to the slow cooker set on Warm.

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(This would be the time to remove some of the broth to a large skillet to braise cabbage wedges for 10 – 15 minutes if you want cabbage.)

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8. Slice the meat against the grain and serve with the potatoes and carrots.

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Photo by Laura, resized by Kath

Corned Beef 2

Pecan Pie for Two in honor of Pi Day

March 15, 2015

By Kath Dedon
 
Yesterday was the best “Pi Day” of the Century. It was 3/14/15 and the first five digits of Pi are 3.1415! The next 3.1415 Pi Day won’t happen until 2115. I had to make a pie!
 
Since it was just the two of us for dinner, I decided to make Pecan Pie for Two. I bought a 6-inch pie plate and Internet research proved that its 4-cup capacity is exactly half of the 8-cup capacity of a 9-inch pie plate. That means I can simply cut any pie recipe in half to make a small pie for two.
 
I turned to my trusty Pecan Pie recipe and went to work. It was actually pretty easy, but I did have to deal with using 1½ eggs. If you have a kitchen scale, you can measure ½ of an egg by weight. I put a bowl on the scale and set it to zero grams. Leaving the bowl on the scale, I broke an egg into the bowl. My large egg weighed 48 grams. Still leaving the bowl on the scale, I whisked the egg. I then used a spoon to remove spoonfuls of egg until I had 24 grams left in the bowl. Voila! I had ½ of an egg. If you don’t have a scale, you could just whisk the egg and eyeball it. Just spoon out what looks like about half of the egg. ;)
 
I was quite pleased with the way my Pecan Pie for Two turned out!  It was actually quite adorable. Bob thought it should literally be “for two”, as in cut the pie in two – half for me and half for you. I pointed out that that would be like eating ¼ of a 9-inch pecan pie. This cute pie serves four.
 
If you’re interested in baking smaller pies (or quiches?) to serve two people, I highly recommend getting a 6-inch pie plate. Maybe you’ll make my Pecan Pie for Two for yourself and your honey!
 
Pecan Pie cooling on rack
 

Pecan Pie for Two

 
(print the recipe)
 
Serves 4 (or 2 if you want really big pieces)
 

Olive Oil Pastry for a Single Crust Pie

 
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book)  I used to use Gold Medal Flour, but found that King Arthur Flour gives much better results! It makes a difference.
 

3/4 cups (90 g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 

1/4 teaspoon salt

2.8 (almost three) tablespoons extra light (mild tasting) olive oil

2 tablespoons cold milk

½ teaspoon vinegar

Waxed paper for rolling the dough

A 6-inch pie plate is needed for this recipe
 
 
1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.

2. Put the olive oil in a 1 cup measuring cup.

3. Add the milk and the vinegar to the same cup with the oil.Add the oil mixture to the flour all at once and stir with a fork just until it can be formed into a ball.

4. Form the dough into a ball and put it on a 12-inch sheet of waxed paper.(If you put a little water under the bottom of the waxed paper, it won’t slide around when you roll out the dough.)Flatten it with your hand; put another sheet of waxed paper on top and roll the dough out until it’s large enough to fit in the pie plate. (You can put the pie plate over the dough to judge the size.)

5. Carefully remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Lift the bottom sheet and dough up and put it paper-side up over the pie plate. Carefully remove the waxed paper and fit the dough into the pie plate.

6. Finish the edge of the crust the way you like. I simply use a fork to press into the dough around the edge.
 
 

Pecan Pie Filling

 
1 1/2 eggs (See tips in blog post for measuring ½ of an egg)

1/4 cup honey

2.8 (almost 3) tablespoons pure maple syrup

Pinch of salt

2.8 (almost 3) tablespoons melted butter

¾ cup pecan halves (it’s OK if they’re broken)
 
 
1. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven andpreheat to 350˚. (Don’t skip the baking sheet. It catches spillovers.)

2. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs slightly with a fork.

3. Add the honey, maple syrup, and salt and stir until well-blended.

4. While stirring constantly, pour in the melted butter; mix well.

5. Stir in the pecan halves. Pour the pecan filling into the prepared pie crust.

6. Place the pie on the baking sheet that has preheated in the oven (350˚). Bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted off-center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
 
6-inch Pecan Pie
 

My 6-inch Pecan Pie for Two sitting in my 9-inch pie plate

Pecan Pie sitting in a 9-inch plate
 

Two of the four servings of my 6-inch Pecan Pie for Two

Two servings of Pecan Pie

 
 
Petite Pecan Pie tall Read more…

Petite Flourless Chocolate Cake

March 5, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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I wanted a Petite Flourless Chocolate Cake.

You might remember when I made an Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake from Molly O’Neill’s One Big Table. It was so easy. It was fabulously chocolatey. And it was BIG. It’s supposed to serve 8 people, but it’s so rich I found that it could serve at least 12 people. I wanted that same great cake in a smaller version.

This very handy baking pan substitution chart shows that a 6-inch pan holds exactly half of the volume of the 9-inch pan I originally used. So I invested in the cutest little 6-inch cake pan.

The ingredients for the Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake were simple to cut in half. (I didn’t have to deal with things like 1½ eggs.) I was pretty sure it would work.

It worked beautifully! This Petite Flourless Chocolate Cake will definitely be one that I will make again when serving a small group of chocolate lovers! And I can’t wait to play around with other recipes to make other petite cakes in my new pan. Stay tuned…

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I used the same round serving platter for both cakes. You can see the difference in size.

My Petite Flourless Chocolate Cake

Tiny Chocolate Cake

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My original Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake

9-inch Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Petite Flourless Chocolate Cake

(Adapted from a recipe in One Big Table)

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When I made the original Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake I used sugar. This time I substituted maple sugar and it worked just fine. You can use whichever granular sweetener you prefer.

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4 – 6

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1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus a tablespoon more for buttering the pan

1 tablespoon cocoa powder (For the pan. You can also use 1 Tbsp. sugar as in the original recipe, if you don’t have cocoa powder.)

1/2 cup sugar (100g) (or 100 grams – 1/2 cup – maple sugar)

7 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), broken into smaller pieces

large eggs

Parchment paper for the pan

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Ghirardelli’s 60% Cacao Chocolate is perfect in this cake!

Chocolate

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1. Preheat the oven to 350˚.

2. Use the extra tablespoon of butter to grease a 6-inch round cake pan. Use about 2 teaspoons of it to grease the pan. Then cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Put the paper in the pan and use the remaining teaspoon of butter to grease the paper. Sprinkle the cocoa powder (or a tablespoon of sugar) in the pan and shake it back and forth to cover the bottom. Pour out any excess.

Prepared 6-inch pan dusted with cocoa powder

Dusted with cocoa powder

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3. Melt the 1 stick of butter and the chocolate together in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Stir it constantly once it starts to melt. When it has all melted and blended together, remove from the heat and allow it to cool a bit.

4. Beat the eggs with a mixer until light. Add the sugar a bit at a time, mixing at medium speed for about 6 – 8 minutes. The mixture should be pale and fluffy.

5. Fold the egg mixture into the chocolate and gently stir until well blended.

6. Pour into the prepared 6-inch cake pan.

7. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Check the cake after 30 minutes. The top should be a bit crusty(kind of like brownie tops)and the cake should feel firm. You can test it with an instant read thermometer. Put it in the center of the cake without touching the bottom of the pan. If the temperature is at least 140˚ the cake is done.

8. Cool the cake on a cake rack. When cool, run a knife along the side of the pan and turn the cake out on a serving plate.

9. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired, or simply dust with a bit of powdered sugar.

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Tiny Chocolate Cake 2

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Apple Crisp (or any Fruit Crisp)

February 11, 2015

By Kath Dedon

Apple Crisp is one of the easiest desserts you can make. It’s perfect for entertaining. It can be made ahead of time and then reheated in the oven later. Leftovers can be eaten the next morning for a tasty breakfast treat. (I speak from experience.)

This particular recipe uses less sugar than many others and I love the way it turned out. It’s moderately sweet and the flavor of the apples is not overwhelmed by sugar.

Most recipes call for half flour and half rolled oats. I did not use flour. I used quick oats to make it wheat-free. Without any flour in the mix, I think the quick oats made the texture better than it would have been had I used regular rolled oats.

I made an Apple Crisp, but you can really use a variety of different fruits to make a Fruit Crisp. Laura recently used this recipe to make an Apple/Pear Crisp. She used four medium Granny Smith apples and four not-quite-ripe pears and it was delicious! Apple/Cranberry Crisp would be great when cranberries are available. In The Food Matters Cookbook, Mark Bittman suggests using peaches, pears, plums, or even mangoes in Fruit Crisp. So just get creative with it and use 6 cups of whatever fruit you’d like.

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Apple crisp

Apple Crisp

(Adapted from a recipe from Spud.com, contributed by Jen McColl)

(print the recipe)

Serves 6 – 8

Apples

3 pounds apples (6 large or 8 medium)

¼ cup packed brown sugar (I used maple sugar.)

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Topping

1 cup quick oats

½ cup sliced almonds, chopped just a bit into smaller pieces

¼ cup packed brown sugar (I used maple sugar.)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

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 Almonds chopped just a bit into smaller pieces

Chopped, sliced almonds

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1. Heat oven to 375˚

2. Peel and core the apples. Chop them into ½ – ¾-inch chunks.

Apples

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3. Toss the apples with the ¼ cup of sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.

4. Put the apples in a 6-cup baking dish. (An 11 x 7 x 2 rectangular dish, or an 8 x 8 x 2 square dish, or a 9-inch pie plate would all work.)

Apples in the pan

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5. Cover the apples with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

6. While the apples are baking, make the topping. Combine the topping ingredients in a bowl. Stir with a fork until the butter is well-distributed.

Topping ingredients, ready to blend in the butter

Crisp topping ready for butter

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7. After the apples have baked for 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and distribute the topping mixture over the apples.

8. Put the pan, uncovered, back in the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the topping is browned a bit and the fruit is tender.

9. Best if cooled just a bit so it is still warm when served. (It can also be reheated in a 200˚ oven for about 30 minutes.) It’s delicious served with vanilla ice cream.

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Apple crisp 2

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