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You'll find over 470 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!

Blondies

June 9, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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To me, Blondies are what you get when Brownies marry Chocolate Chip Cookies. You get a chewy bar, like a brownie, loaded with chocolate chips. It’s a great combination!

On Friday I said I would bring Blondies to a birthday party on Saturday. I realized that I don’t have a go-to Blondie recipe, so I turned to Eat Your Books for suggestions. The Cook’s Illustrated recipe came up high on the list. The Food52 blog shared it. Eat Your Books also said the recipe is in the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook. I know you’re not supposed to try new recipes for entertaining, but I trust Cook’s Illustrated so I decided to go for it.

My, oh, my! I now have a go-to Blondies recipe! These Blondies were incredibly good. The texture was perfect. I loved the crunch of the pecans. Cook’s Illustrated said they tried adding the white chocolate chips on a whim, and using them with the semisweet chips turned out to be the winner. I have to agree.

I would not change a thing about this recipe. It’s very easy and produces fabulous Blondies. Put this one in your back pocket to pull out when you want to take a dessert to a summer barbecue. You’ll be a hero!

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The Best Blondies

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Blondies

(Adapted, barely, from a recipe in the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook and on the Food52 blog)

 

(print the recipe)

Makes 36 bars

(I haven’t tried it, but I’m confident that this recipe could be cut in half and baked in an 8-inch square pan if you wanted fewer Blondies.)

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About 1 tablespoon of softened butter to grease the pan

1 cup pecans

12 tablespoons unsalted butter

1½ cups (7½ ounces) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups packed (10 ½ ounces) light brown sugar (Tip: if you have a kitchen scale, measure the brown sugar by weight in a small bowl.)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup (3 ounces) white chocolate chips (For best results, Cook’s Illustrated recommends Guittard Choc-au-Lait or Ghirardelli Classic White Chocolate Chips. I found Ghirardelli at Safeway and that’s what I used.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Use 2 long sheets of heavy-duty foil to make a sling in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Use one sheet lengthwise and the other across the width of the pan. Gently press the foil into the corners and along the edges, leaving the extra foil to hang over the edges. Use a paper towel to grease the foil with the softened tablespoon of butter.

foil in the pan

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4. Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, until they’re lightly toasted and aromatic. Watch closely because they can quickly burn. Coarsely chop the pecans and set them aside.

5. Melt the 12 tablespoons of butter and set aside to cool slightly.

6. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

7. Put the light brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in the butter until it’s well-combined with the sugar. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.

8. Use a spatula to fold the flour mixture into the brown sugar mixture. Do not overmix; fold just until it’s combined.

9. Fold in the pecans and the semisweet and white chocolate chips.

10. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

ready to bake

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11. Bake until the top is shiny and a bit cracked and the surface feels firm, 22 – 25 minutes. (In my oven 24 minutes was perfect.)

Done

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12. Put the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

13. Use the foil sling to lift the Blondies to a cutting board.

14. Cut into 2 x 1½-inch bars. (I used my pizza cutter to cut the bars and it worked great!)

Blondies

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Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower

May 19, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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I have made this Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower about 4 times now. I love it!

The recipe was developed by Carolyn Ketchum for A Sweet Life. She has contributed many great recipes to the site, which is a program of the Diabetes Media Foundation. Their goal is to help people with diabetes live better lives.

The first time I made Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower I followed Carolyn’s recipe exactly, including the 6 slices of bacon. Bob and I both loved it. But Bob, Mr. Bacon-Lover, actually said he didn’t think the bacon was necessary. So I’ve made it without bacon ever since.

Since you cook it on Low for 3 hours, this isn’t a slow cooker recipe that you can start in the morning before working all day. But it’s great if you’re home and want to get a great side dish going a few hours before dinner.

This makes a really good vegetarian main course, too. I doubled it for Easter (which is possible if you have a 6-quart or larger slow cooker) and served it with ham, green beans, and a Greek salad. I think our vegetarian guest appreciated having something a bit more substantial to eat with the beans and salad.

Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower will certainly be something that we will enjoy now and then. It’s easy and tasty. And did I mention that leftovers are delicious? I may have eaten some cold out of the refrigerator for breakfast.  But then, I am someone who thinks cold pizza makes an acceptable breakfast.

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This particular night I served the Pepper Jack Cauliflower with pork chops and a big salad.

Pepper Jack Cauliflower

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Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower

(Adapted from Carolyn Ketchum’s recipe on asweetlife.org)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 6

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I have included the bacon as an optional ingredient. It truly does take it over-the-top and is delicious, but we like it without the bacon, too.

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Cauliflower cut in fourths.

Cauliflower cut in fourths

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It’s easy to cut the core out after cutting the cauliflower in fourths. Then break, or cut, it into florets.

Cut the core off

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1 head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets

4 ounces cream cheese

¼ cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

4 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, shredded

6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional, but really good)

 

  1. Grease the inside of a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Put the cauliflower, cream cheese, whipping cream, and butter in the slow cooker. (No need to stir them together.)
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Cream cheese, cream, butter, salt and pepper added

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4. Cook on low for 3 hours.

5. Stir in the cheese and continue to cook on Low for another 30 minutes to an hour.

6. Stir in the bacon, if using, and serve.

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Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower

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Instant Pot Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites

April 20, 2019

By Kath Dedon

We love these Instant Pot Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites!

My friend, Becky, introduced me to Starbuck’s Sous Vide Egg Bites when I was visiting her. Have you tried them? Well, they are quite tasty and are popular enough that the Internet has many copycat recipes for egg bites.

I actually have a sous vide cooker, but I’m not really as comfortable with it as I am with my Instant Pot. So when I saw recipes for Instant Pot egg bites I was excited to give it a try.

Some recipes use cream and/or cream cheese. I was drawn to the simplicity of Erin’s recipe on her Platings and Pairings blog. She uses just eggs and cottage for the egg base. And she gives five different variations. You can easily customize the egg bites to suit your taste.

So far, I’ve only made this cheddar and bacon version. I’d love to try swapping the bacon for some cooked broccoli or mushrooms. (Bob might object to that.) I’m thinking that leftover Easter ham and Swiss cheese would be good. Be sure to check out Erin’s blog post to see some of her other versions for inspiration.

Bob and I both love these Instant Pot Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites for a quick bite to eat in the morning. Frankly, I think they’re great cold out of the refrigerator. But they reheat beautifully in the microwave. In ours it takes 20 seconds at 70% power to heat them up beautifully.

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Instant Pot Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites

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Instant Pot Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites

(Adapted from Erin’s recipe on Platings and Pairings)

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(print the recipe)

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Makes 7 egg bites

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4 large eggs

½ cup cottage cheese

½ cup (2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese

4 slices of cooked bacon (or about ¼ cup cooked vegetables or ham or sausage)

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  1. .Put the eggs and the cottage cheese in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Distribute the cheese among the 7 egg cups.
  3. Cut the bacon slices in half. Crumble 7 halves into the egg cups. Eat the 8th half.

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Cheese in the egg cups, adding bacon

cheese and bacon in the cups

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4. Pour the egg mixture into the egg cups.

Eggs poured in

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5. Cover the egg mold tightly with foil to keep moisture out of the eggs.

6. Lower the egg mold into the Instant Pot with a silicone or foil sling.

Covered with foil in the Instant Pot

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7. Seal the Instant Pot and press Steam. Set the time for 10 minutes.

8. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then do a quick release for the remaining pressure.

9. Let the egg bites cool for a minute or two before removing them from the mold.

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Cooked egg bites

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Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites

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Easy Cashew Chicken

March 12, 2019

By Kath Dedon

This Easy Cashew Chicken was truly very easy. It required a bit of time to prep the ingredients, but then it took less than 15 minutes to cook. I loved it! Bob thought it needed some heat, but he remedied that with some Tabasco. (I tried to tell him that not every dish needs to be, or should be, spicy.)

I found the recipe on Megha Barot’s and Matt Gaedke’s Keto Connect blog. If you click on the link you can see Megha’s excellent video that shows just how easy it is to make.

Megha says it serves 3. It made 2 servings for us, which was perfect. It would double easily for a family dinner.

I will definitely be making this Easy Cashew Chicken again. I loved the non-spicy flavors and the ease with which it came together. I’ll just make sure we have Tabasco or Sriracha on hand for Bob. 😉

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Cashew Chicken

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Easy Cashew Chicken

(Adapted from Megha Barot’s and Matt Gaedke’s recipe on ketoconnect.com)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2 – 3

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3 raw boneless, skinless chicken thighs

½ medium green bell pepper

¼ large white onion (about 4 ounces)

3 cloves garlic

1½ teaspoons chili garlic sauce (I used the Huy Fong brand)

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ tablespoons soy sauce (use wheat-free tamari for gluten-free)

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar

¼ cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for serving

1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional, to drizzle on the finished dish – I didn’t use it.)

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It looks like there are a lot of steps, but I wanted to make the directions really clear. The recipe is so much easier if you have all of the ingredients prepped before you start cooking.

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  1. Cut the chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
  2. Cut the green pepper and white onion into equal-sized squares and set aside on a different plate from the chicken.
  3. Mince the garlic and add it to the green pepper and onion.
  4. Measure out the chili garlic sauce into a small dish.
  5. Measure out the ginger and salt into another small dish.
  6. Put the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar in a small dish.
  7. Heat a large skillet over low heat. Add the cashews and cook, stirring often, until they are starting to get toasted. It will take 5 – 8 minutes. Remove the cashews from the pan and set aside.

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Toasted cashews

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8. Increase the heat to medium high. After it has heated for a couple of minutes, add the coconut oil and let it melt.

9. Add the chicken to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until it is done. It will take about 5 minutes.

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Chicken cooking. Not done yet.

Chicken thighs cooking

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10. Add the green pepper, onion, garlic, chili garlic sauce, ginger, and salt to the chicken in the pan. Stir and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.

11. Add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and toasted cashews to the pan. Cook, stirring often, for a few minutes. Cook until the liquid in the pan has reduced until there is no more liquid in the pan.

12. Serve topped with the sesame seeds and sesame oil, if desired.

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Easy Cashew Chicken

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Instant Pot Hard-Cooked Eggs in the 6-quart or 8-quart Pots

February 14, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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If you have followed my blog for any length of time, this post is going to make you think I’m obsessed with hard boiled eggs. I’m not really obsessed, but Bob and I both like having a few hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator for a quick breakfast or snack. So when I see a new recipe for “perfect” hard boiled eggs, I’m eager to try it.

You’ll note that I am not calling this post Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs. There’s a reason for that. I have already posted 3 different methods for “perfect” hard cooked eggs (Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs and Deviled Egg Salad Sandwiches, Perfect Instant Pot Hard-Cooked Eggs, and Perfect Hard Cooked Eggs, in case you’re curious). None of them turned out to be perfect.

I have come to realize that there are just too many variables that can affect how the eggs turn out. The size of the eggs (not all of the “large” eggs I buy appear to be the same size), the temperature of the eggs (right from the refrigerator or room temperature), and the freshness of the eggs are just a few of the variables that could make a difference.

And then, of course, there’s personal preference. My idea of a perfectly cooked egg may not be the same as yours. Although I think we can all agree that we don’t want the dreaded green ring around the yolk.

I really thought I had the best method for Instant Pot eggs, but there are a couple of problems with it. I’m not sure every electric pressure cooker has a Low Pressure function. And, if you have an 8-quart Instant Pot, it probably wouldn’t work for you. Carrie tried it in hers and the eggs were terribly over-cooked.

I wondered why it hadn’t worked for Carrie in her 8-quart pot. I turned to the Internet and discovered Kristine’s Kitchen. Kristine did a lot of research and testing and came up with a most reasonable explanation. It takes a bit longer for the 8-quart Instant Pot to get up to pressure, and those extra minutes add cooking time to the eggs. She recommends the 5-5-5 method in a 6-quart pot (5 minutes at high pressure, 5 minutes natural release, and 5 minutes in an ice bath) and the 5-5 method in an 8-quart pot (5 minutes at high pressure, then quick release, and 5 minutes in an ice bath).

Armed with this new information, I decided to try the 5-5-5 method myself in my 6-quart Instant Pot. It worked (ahem) perfectly, so this is my new hard-cooked egg method.

Laura tried Kristine’s 5-5 method in her 8-quart pot and she reported that it worked perfectly!

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, I recommend steaming the eggs as I did in Perfect Hard Cooked Eggs. It’s a method that’s practically perfect in every way, and it’s the method I would use if I didn’t have an Instant Pot.

Do check out Kristine’s Kitchen to see the details of her research. She also tells how she makes soft-cooked eggs in the Instant Pot.
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IMG_2905

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Instant Pot Hard-Cooked Eggs for the 6-quart or 8-quart Pots

(Adapted from methods in Kristine’s Kitchen)

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(print the “recipe”)

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Some say use older eggs for easy peeling. With this method for cooking eggs, I have noticed that freshness makes no difference in the outcome. I have used very fresh eggs and they are easy to peel.

These directions are for large eggs. I have not tested any other egg sizes, but I assume the timing could be different.

 

5-5-5 directions for 6-quart Instant Pot eggs

1.    Place the desired number of large eggs on the trivet in your Instant Pot. (I used cold eggs, right from the refrigerator.)

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Eggs on the trivet that came with the Instant Pot

eggs on trivet

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If you have a steamer basket, you can use that instead of the trivet. It does make it easier to take the eggs out of the pot.

6 large eggs

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2.  Pour 1 cup of cold water into the Instant Pot.

3.  Seal the lid and set it at Manual for 5 minutes.

4.  Prepare a bowl with ice water so it’s ready when you need it.

5. When the 5 minutes of pressure cooking are up, do nothing and let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. (I always set the timer on my phone. If they’re left longer than 5 minutes they will continue to cook, risking overcooked eggs.)

6. After 5 minutes of natural release, move the pressure release handle to the venting position to quickly release any remaining pressure.

7. Immediately put the eggs in the ice water and leave them for a minimum of 5 minutes. (A bit longer is OK.)

ice bath

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8. The eggs are ready to peel and eat or store in the refrigerator for later.

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Easily peeled eggs

5-5-5 hard-cooked egg

 

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5-5 directions for 8-quart Instant Pot eggs

1. Place the desired number of large eggs on the trivet in your Instant Pot. (I used cold eggs, right from the refrigerator. You can also use a steaming basket, if you have one, instead of the trivet.)

2. Pour 1 cup of cold water into the Instant Pot.

3. Seal the lid and set it at Manual for 5 minutes.

4. Prepare a bowl with ice water so it’s ready when you need it.

5. When the 5 minutes of pressure cooking are up, move the pressure release handle to the venting position to quickly release the pressure.

6. Immediately put the eggs in the ice water and leave them for a minimum of 5 minutes. (A bit longer is OK.)

7. The eggs are ready to peel and eat or store in the refrigerator for later.

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I could say this is the last time that I’ll post about hard-cooked eggs. But I’m not making any promises. 😉

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Instant Pot Hard-Cooked Egg

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Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds

February 3, 2019

By Kath Dedon

A few years ago I shared my take on Mark Bittman’s Cabbage Braised with Onions. It’s very good and we enjoy it whenever I make it.

Yesterday I made a very similar recipe, but it has a different flavor profile. Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe for Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds (Bhuni Bandh Gobi) is from her Quick and Easy Indian Cooking. Like Bittman, she uses cabbage, onion, and a bit of cayenne pepper. The cumin seeds, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, and garam masala that she adds gives the cabbage a very subtle Indian flavor.

We really liked the cabbage served with Uli’s Famous Sausage Hungarian Kolbasz.

(For those of you with an air fryer:  I air fried the sausage. Prick holes in one side of the sausages. Put them holes-side-down in the basket. Air fry at 375° for 8 minutes; turn over and  air fry for 8 more minutes. Perfect!)

I will happily make this Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds again! As Madhur Jaffrey points out in her book, it’s a great side dish with any meat.

(And…I just ate some leftover cabbage cold out of the refrigerator. It’s.really.good.)

Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds with Uli’s Hungarian Kolbasz

Stir-Fried Cabbage with Fennel Seeds and Uli's Hungarian Kolbasz

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Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds

(Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe in Quick and Easy Indian Cooking)

(print the recipe)

Serves 4

1 medium head of green cabbage (1½ – 1¾ pounds)

¼ cup vegetable oil (I used avocado oil.)

¾ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

½ large white onion (about 7 ounces), thinly sliced crosswise

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1/4 tsp. and it wasn’t really too hot. Use less if you prefer.)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon garam masala

 

  1. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut it in half through the core, and then cut each half again through the core. Remove the core. Cut the cabbage in thin strips lengthwise.

Head of cabbage

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2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the oil and let it heat up. When the oil is hot, add the cumin, fennel, and sesame seeds. Cook stirring often. When the sesame seeds start to pop, add the sliced onion.

Fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds

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3. Cook the onion, stirring often, for 3 – 4 minutes or until the onion is just starting to brown.

Onions added

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4. Add the cabbage to the pan. You’ll most likely have to add it in stages. Fill the pan with as much as you can, and cook, stirring, until it cooks down enough to add some more. Continue cooking, stirring, and adding more cabbage until it is all in the pan. Cook, stirring often for 4 – 5 more minutes, or until the cabbage is just starting to brown.

Cabbage added

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5. Stir in the salt and cayenne pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring often, for another 7 – 8 minutes.

6. Stir in the lemon juice and the garam masala and serve.

Stir-Fried Cabbage with Fennel Seeds

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Fudgy Keto Brownies

February 1, 2019

By Kath Dedon

These Fudgy Keto Brownies were a big hit with family and friends a few nights ago!

The recipe was developed by Carolyn Ketchum and can be found on her excellent blog, All Day I Dream About Food. If you’re starting the new year watching your carbs, I recommend checking out her blog and her books. She’s a very prolific low carb (and keto) recipe developer. I bought her four books that are currently available and find them very inspiring.

The brownies are sweetened with Swerve, a sweetener that I feel good about using. It measures the same, cup for cup, as sugar, making it easy to use.  I think it’s available at my Safeway stores, but I usually order it from Amazon.

The Lily’s dark chocolate chips are sweetened with stevia. I can buy them, and many varieties of Lily’s chocolate bars, at my local West Seattle Thriftway, but they are also available from Amazon if you can’t find them.

The only change I made was I used a bit less gelatin than Carolyn. Gelatin is the “secret” ingredient that gives the brownies the “fudgy” texture. Carolyn uses 1 tablespoon. I had bought packets of Knox gelation. I did an online search and learned from the Knox site that each packet has about 2½ teaspoons of gelatin. (One tablespoon equals 3 teaspoons.) Knox recommends just using 1 packet if a recipe calls for a tablespoon of gelatin. That’s exactly what I did and it worked fine.

If you want a chocolatey, fudgy treat that’s low in carbs and sugar, give these Fudgy Keto Brownies a try. I think you’ll agree that they are pretty darn tasty.

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Fudgy Brownies

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Fudgy Keto Brownies

(Adapted, barely, from Carolyn Ketchum’s recipe on alldayidreamaboutfood.com)

(print the recipe)

Makes 16 servings

½ cup butter, melted

2/3 cup Swerve Granulated Sweetener (or the equivalent of your favorite sweetener)

3 large eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup almond flour (50g) (I used Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour)

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tablespoon gelatin (or 1 packet of Knox gelatin)

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup water

1/3 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (Optional, but so good. I used Lily’s.)

Ingredients for Fudgy Keto Brownies

Ingredients for Fudgy Keto Brownies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Grease an 8×8-inch pan.
  3. Mix the butter, Swerve, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.
  4. Add the almond flour, cocoa, gelatin, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well-combined.
  5. Stir in the water. Then stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spread the dough out in the prepared pan. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the edges are done but the center still looks a bit wet. (It took 20 minutes in my oven.)

I lined the pan with parchment paper. I don’t think it’s necessary and I won’t do it next time. The paper on the right side folded over the brownies while baking, leaving the mark that you see.

baked fudgy brownies

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7. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before cutting them into 16 pieces.

Fudgy Keto Brownies

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Roasted Eggplant with Anchovies and Oregano

January 26, 2019

By Kath Dedon

Not only do I own Ottolenghi SIMPLE, Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest book, but I have an autographed copy! Carrie went to hear him speak last fall when his book tour brought him to Seattle, and she got a signed copy for me for my birthday! She knows me well.

The SIMPLE in the title is actually an acronym for the 6 different ways that Ottolenghi feels a recipe can be “simple”. They are:

Short on time – quick recipes

10 Ingredients or less

Make ahead

Pantry – recipes that use ingredients that most people keep on hand

Lazy – recipes like long-simmering braises or one-pot wonders

Easier than you think

Each recipe in the book is “simple” in at least one of these ways, and they’re identified with colorful letters right under the recipe titles.

I’m excited to try a lot of the recipes in Ottolenghi SIMPLE. Every recipe is accompanied by a gorgeous photo which really makes me want to get cooking! I have several of his other books and they’re all amazing, but I think I’m most excited about this one.

I have twice made this Roasted Eggplant with Anchovies and Oregano. It is so good! It’s identified as being  I  (10 Ingredients or less)  M  (Make ahead) and  (Using Pantry items). Simple!

This is a recipe that, indeed, can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature. When I’m entertaining, that is my favorite type of side dish!

I recommend that you give this Roasted Eggplant with Anchovies and Oregano a try. I made the full recipe for just the two of us and we enjoyed the leftovers the next day. I just pulled them out of the refrigerator to bring them to room temperature. Delicious!

Eggplant served with Porcupine Meatballs

roasted eggplant with anchovies and oregano with porcupine meatballs

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Roasted Eggplant with Anchovies and Oregano

(Adapted, barely, from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe in Ottolenghi SIMPLE)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4 

3 or 4 medium eggplants (about 2 pounds total weight) sliced into ¾-inch thick rounds

½ teaspoon salt

7 tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 small clove of garlic, crushed

1/8 teaspoon salt

About ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon oregano leaves

¼ cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves, roughly chopped

These 3 beauties weighed a total of about 2¼ pounds.

2.25 pounds eggplant

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  1. Heat the oven to 450°.
  2. Put the eggplant slices in a large bowl. Sprinkle the ½ teaspoon of salt over them and toss them with your hands to distribute the salt.
  3. Line a large (21 x 15 x 1 in) baking sheet (or 2 smaller baking sheets) with parchment paper. Spread the eggplant slices out on the baking sheet. Measure out 2½ tablespoons of olive oil and brush all of it over the eggplant slices. Turn the slices over and brush another 2½ tablespoons of olive oil on the other side.

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My little OXO ¼-cup measuring cup was perfect for measure 2½ tablespoons of oil. The eggplant slices all fit on my large baking sheet.

brush with olive oil

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4. Roast the eggplant for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool a bit.

cooked eggplant

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5. Mix together the chopped anchovies, vinegar, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a small bowl. Slowly pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the mixture while whisking until the ingredients are well combined. At this point the eggplant and dressing can be set aside at room temperature until you’re ready to serve.

6. When it’s time to serve, put the eggplant, oregano, and parsley in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the eggplant, toss gently and serve.

tossed

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roasted eggplant with anchovies and oregano

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Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs

January 15, 2019

By Kath Dedon

My mom used to make Porcupine Meatballs fairly frequently. I’m pretty sure her recipe involved a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup. I always liked the meatballs, so I was excited to see Coco Morante’s recipe for Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs in her new book, The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook. (The recipe is also on Elise Bauer’s Simply Recipes food blog.)

The recipe is easy and the meatballs are tender without the use of bread crumbs. They’re great for people who avoid wheat.

Coco states that the original recipe was from Betty Crocker. That sounds about right. It felt very retro to have the Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs last night. Peas seemed to be the perfect retro side dish.

porcupine meatballs and peas

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Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs

(Adapted from Coco Morante’s recipe on simplyrecipes.com and in The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4

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Don’t double this recipe. The meatballs need to be in a single layer to cook properly.

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1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped (about 6 ounces)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground beef (85% lean)

½ cup long-grain white rice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

One 15-ounce can tomato sauce

½ cup water

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Chopped flat-leaf parsley or small basil leaves for garnish (optional)

  1. Put half of the onion and half of the garlic in a bowl.
  2. Add the ground beef, rice, salt and pepper to the bowl. Mix well with your hands so the onion and rice are evenly distributed. Don’t worry about over-working the beef.
  3. Shape the meat into 12 meatballs.

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12 meatballs

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4. Press Sauté and adjust heat to Normal on the Instant Pot. When the pot is hot add the olive oil. Let it heat for about a minute, and then add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened.

5. Add the tomato sauce, water, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir and let the sauce come to a simmer.

6. Press the Cancel button to turn the Instant Pot off. Carefully place the meatballs in the sauce so they are in one layer. Spoon a bit of sauce over each meatball.

in instant pot with sauce

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7. Put the lid on the pot and set the Pressure Release to Sealing.

8. Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button. Set the time for 15 minutes at high pressure.

9. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes. Then do a quick release to release the rest of the pressure. Open the pot and serve, garnished with parsley or basil, if desired.

done

instant pot porcupine meatballs

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Chana Salaad (Chickpea Salad)

January 7, 2019

By Kath Dedon

There are already several chickpea salad recipes on my blog. We like chickpeas. This new recipe, though, for Chana Salaad (Chickpea Salad) is the one that we find is perfect. Bob is actually quite smitten with it, saying that I should be making it all the time.

Urvashi Pitre’s recipe in Indian Instant Pot Cookbook uses the Instant Pot to cook the chickpeas. I think freshly cooked chickpeas really make a big difference. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you could cook the chickpeas on the stovetop, or substitute 2 cans of chickpeas.

The first time I made this Chana Salaad I did wonder about Urvashi’s instructions to cook the dried chickpeas under pressure for 20 minutes, but I followed her directions. Sure enough, the beans weren’t done. That was really no problem. I simply sealed the pot  again and cooked them for another 20 minutes and they were perfect.

In hindsight, I think she might have meant to have you cook soaked chickpeas for 20 minutes. Since I love to skip the soaking step with my Instant Pot, the next time I made this I cooked the dried chickpeas for 40 minutes. Perfect!

Give this Chana Salaad a try! Leftovers keep well. (We might have had leftover Chana Salaad for breakfast.)

If you have an Instant Pot and love Indian food, I highly recommend Urvashi’s book!

chana salaad

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Chana Salaad (Chickpea Salad)

(Adapted from Urvashi Pitre’s recipe in Indian Instant Pot Cookbook)

(print the recipe)

Serves 4 – 6 (depending on how many other courses are served)

 

The olive oil added to the beans helps to keep the foam down. Foam can clog the pressure valve.

While you can use canned chickpeas, I think you’ll find this recipe is vastly improved if you use freshly cooked beans.

To cook the chickpeas

1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 bay leaves

4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

For the salad

1 cup finely minced red onion

1 large plum tomato, seeded and diced

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Drained cooked chickpeas (or 2 cans rinsed and drained chickpeas)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

  1. Combine the chickpeas, water, bay leaves and salt in the Instant Pot.

chickpeas ready to cook

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2. Stir in the olive oil. Seal the lid. Use high pressure with the Bean/Chili function, and set the time for 40 minutes.

3. When the time is up, use the natural pressure release (in other words, don’t do anything) for at least 10 minutes. (Longer is OK.) Then use the quick release and remove the lid. Drain the chickpeas and discard the bay leaves.

4. Combine the red onion, tomato, and cilantro in a large bowl.

5. Add the chickpeas to the bowl with the salt, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Stir well to distribute the lemon juice and seasonings and serve.

chana salaad - chickpea salad

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