A fantastic dip for Super Bowl Sunday

The nice people at Pace sent me some bottles of picante and asked for a Super Bowl recipe in return. I immediately thought of my friend Diane's "Dump Dip" which is addicting. Actually addicting is an understatement. This stuff is great and it's served with Frito Scoops which are an essential dip component.

You will NOT have leftovers!

I modified her recipe a bit. I used low fat sour cream because the regular was sold out. She also uses a packet of prepared taco seasoning but I mix my own. I have every spice under the sun and usually do not buy mixes. Her recipe calls for a bottle of salsa but I used picante.

One rule-you MUST serve this with Frito Scoops!

Dump Dip
1 16-oz carton sour cream
Taco seasoning mix(recipe below)
1 16-oz jar medium salsa
2 8-oz pkgs sharp shredded cheddar cheese

Mix sour cream and taco seasoning mix. Add salsa and mix. Stir in cheese. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with Frito Scoops.

Taco Seasoning Mix
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

I took a picture but this stuff does not photograph well. I probably could have sprinkled green onions or cilantro on it. Anyway here it is.

IMG_0335 by you.

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

image_1 by you.

My very generous parents bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas. She's stainless and her name is Tabitha. I plan on baking more whole grain breads and I'm definitely buying the meat grinder and grain mill attachments.

I wanted to break her in but we had so many leftovers I really didn't want to add to the food stock until we had gotten rid of them. But my boyfriends favorite cookie is peanut butter. I was perusing recipes and realized we had all the ingredients on hand. And since they're his favorite, more of them will probably go to his waistline instead of mine. Heh-heh.

I used THIS recipe from Bon Appetit's January 1998 issue because the reviewers mentioned how easy and chewy they are. They were definitely chewy to me but Jim said they we very good but could be chewier. I told him to just eat the dough. I definitely recommend the recipe.

The only change I made is using my silpat instead of parchment paper.

Sukhamvit Soi Five Fried Chicken-Better than Southern Fried?

image_1 by you.

Supposedly this is one of the BEST fried chicken recipes EVER! I found it in The Atlantic's April 2009 issue and knew I had to try it as a lover of Thai food and fried chicken. The article is pretty good too.

I'm no fried chicken connoisseur. I've never even been to KFC. My experience is limited to my mom's old school recipe which involved dredging in flour, salt and pepper and a big chunk of Crisco. I loved that chicken but as soon as Oprah and her chef Rosie popularized baking chicken with a cornflake coating it became an endangered species in my world. I don't think mom used the cornfalkes but she did start baking the chicken. It was good but not the same.

My biggest beef with frying is the mess. And the fact I never fail to splatter myself even with my splatter screen. But I wanted the chicken so I bought myself a deep fryer. When I brought it home I think my boyfriend was more excited. He declared we had to "break it in" and ran to the store for a bag of potatoes and some oil and made fries. By the way, Emeril's Perfect French Fries are pretty darn good. He's planning on frying more things. He says he wants fried food once a week. I think once a month, if that often, is a better idea.

I have to admit the chicken is pretty awesome! The leftovers are calling my name. But I don't know if I'd compare it to southern fried as it's a totally different taste.

I found coriander with the roots at the Asian grocery store. I think it's a shame that US grocery stores cut them off as they're full of flavor. If you can't find them it's OK to use all stems. But get the roots if you can.

If you don't have a mortar and pestle you can use a food processor but use a mortar and pestle if you can. I bought mine at the Asian grocery store. Much cheaper than Sur La Table. It weighs a ton but I love it and pounding things to a paste is great therapy.

image_1 by you.

Note it is recommended that the chicken marinate overnight!

Sukhamvit Soi Five Fried Chicken Recipe HERE.

I served my chicken with jasmine rice and steamed vegetables, along with some Sriracha for dipping.

Healthy Ham and Bean Soup

image_1 by you.

I got this well reviewed recipe from the January issue of Runners World magazine. It's a Pam Anderson(no not THAT Pam Anderson!) recipe. I do have some of her cookbooks and enjoy them and was surprised she runs marathons.

This was super easy. For the Italian seasonings I used dried basil, marjoram and oregano. I seasoned further with a little salt and fresh ground black pepper. I served the soup with a salad and whole wheat dinner rolls.

My boyfriend is cooking a ham for Christmas Eve dinner so I'll probably be making another soup with the bone.

"Hearty Ham and White Bean Soup"

1 TBS olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced into medium pieces
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1/2 cabbage, cored, cut into bite-size shreds
12 ounces lean ham steak, diced into small pieces
1 quart chicken broth
1 14.5-ounce can petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (15 oz. each) white beans, undrained
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a soup kettle. Add the onion, saute until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients, then bring to a full simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat to low, simmer gently (partially covered) until the vegetables are just cooked and flavors blended, about 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Serves 6.

Boeuf Bourguignon

image_1 by you.

It's a chilly rainy day and the Julie and Julia DVD is going to be released on Tuesday. A perfect day to make Boeuf Bourguignon.

I am thisclose to being moved to my new hut and will start cooking more consistently in January. At least that's the plan.

I've never been a big beef stew fan but I do like this. It makes the house smell great and it's easy.
This dish is even better the next day!

I used THIS version from the September 1999 issue of Bon Appetit. I didn't use shiitake mushrooms. I used cremini. And I thought I had sage left over from Thanksgiving but apparently I used it all so that was left out as well. Nobody commented that it could have used sage or should have had shiitake's.

I served it over mashed potatoes and with sauteed brussels sprouts.

I do suggest making the recipe over 2 days if you can. This recipe uses a lot of pots and pans. More when you make sides. I hate washing pots and pans.


Basil Shrimp with Feta and Orzo

I'm going to move soon so I'm trying to avoid the grocery store and eat myself out of house and home. After taking inventory I should have some interesting meals coming up. I may have to get very creative.

This is one of my all time favorite recipes and luckily I had all the ingredients on hand. the flavors are amazing. I've made it numerous times since it first appeared in the magazine, and it's good enough for casual company. And easy! Basically dump and bake. I follow the recipe pretty closely except for the olive oil drizzle at the end. And I make my own foil bags. No need to buy them if you have a roll of foil.

Recipe HERE courtesy of Cooking Light, March 2000.

Black Bean Enchilada's with Spicy Pumplin Sauce

This is the least photogenic dish I have ever made so here is a picture of a supercute puppy instead.

courtesy of THE DAILY PUPPY

No matter how I arranged and photographed it this dish was a big pumpkin colored mess and looked like something else entirely.

But the recipe is too good not to share. I've been making it for a few years now and am always astonished at how good it is.

The sauce is from Martha Stewart's Every Day Food, May 2004. You can use any enchilada filling but I like one posted by Bob over on the Cooking Light boards.

("Everyday Food; May 2004)

1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeno, quartered
(remove ribs and seeds for less heat, if desired)
1 tsp. chili powder
8 corn tortillas (6 inch)
Filling of choice (see below)
1-1/2 cups grated sharp white cheese (6 ounces)

Serves 4 * Prep time: 20 mins. *Total time: 1 hour

Preheat oven to 425.

In a blender, puree pumpkin, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2-1/2 cups water, 2 tsps. salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper until smooth. (Hold blender top firmly as blender will be quite full.) Pour 1 cup of the sauce into the bottom of an 8 inch square or other shallow baking dish.

Roll tortillas with filling; mound on half of the tortilla and roll up; place seam side down in baking dish.

Pour remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with cheese. Place dish on a baking sheet; bake until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool five minutes before serving.

2 cups black beans; one cup chopped fine in a food processor
1/2 cup sour cream
1 chopped chipotle in adobo
2 chopped scallions


Spinach, Bacon and Sweet Potato Salad. Also some Moo-cards

Another recipe by Mark Bittman for Runners World. For those who don't know I registered for a half marathon in January so I've been really conscious of my nutritional needs, thinking of food as fuel. But I promise to keep the recipes interesting and I will continue to cook ethnic food when I can.

This salad was very easy and very good! It was closer to a dry salad than a dressed salad and I wasn't sure I'd like it but it was very tasty. And filling!

Recipe HERE

As a Food Buzz featured publisher I get all kinds of offers for products and services. One of the most recent was a set of Moo-cards from www.moo.com.

I was excited to get these as they're little business cards with my blog address. So no more scrambling for something to write on when someone asks for the address. They all have different food related pictures on the back too. I love them!

Thank You AsianFoodGrocer.com!!!

AsianFoodGrocer.com just became a member of Food Buzz's Tastemaker program and were kind and generous enough to send me a $30 gift certificate!

I was really excited! Their products are more Japanese, which, I don't have a lot of experience cooking so this was the perfect opportunity for me to try some new products.

Service was super fast. I had my order in 2 days and it was very well packaged. I would definitely order from them again.

My favorite item is my Maruman Organic Soy Sauce. I sipped a little out of a spoon and it is good. Plus I'm a sucker for cool packaging.

One thing the company asked is that I create an original recipe. Yipe! Like I said I am not proficient in Japanese cuisine so this was a real challenge.

It also probably didn't help that I waited until the last minute either. Anyway I got home one night and realized I was at my deadline. I checked the fridge to see what I could come up with and found some ginger and a package of snowpeas.

It's also hot here today and I wasn't in the mood to cook but I thought a cold noodle salad sounded appetizing. And it was!

So I don't know how original this is as it's a riff on some of the soba noodle salads I've had in the past but I did not use a recipe. If I were to make it again I would add shredded carrot and maybe swap out the peas for shredded baby bok.

Soba Snow Pea Salad with Miso Dressing

3 oz soba noodles
1 cup Snow Peas
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs white miso
1/2 tbs mirin
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp fresh ginger chopped fine
Chopped salted roasted peanuts if desired

Boil noodles until just about done. Drop in snowpeas and boil for 15-30 seconds, until they turn bright green.

Drain and pour ice water over noodles and snowpeas to chill.

In a small bowl combine soy sauce through ginger. Combine with noodles and snowpeas and top with chopped peanuts.

Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables

Another Bittman recipe from Runners World.

Also very popular. I'll be making this again. And as it's a one pot meal you don't have to worry about sides.

He says it serves four but those are very generous servings. I stretched it to six.

For the meat I used half lean turkey sausage and half boneless skinless chicken thighs. I also used leeks instead of onions.


By Mark Bittman
From the October 2009 issue of Runner's World

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage, bone-in pork chops, duck breasts, or chicken legs, or 1 pound of a combination of meats
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
2 leeks or onions, washed and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium zucchinis, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups canned tomatoes (and juice), chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 bay leaves
4 cups canned white beans, drained and liquid reserved in case needed
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add meat and cook, turning until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and drain off all but two tablespoons of fat. Turn heat to medium, add garlic, leeks or onions, carrots, celery, and zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook five minutes, or until softened. Add tomatoes and juice, meat, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Add beans and boil again, stirring occasionally; reduce heat so mixture bubbles gently. Cook for 20 minutes, adding stock or bean liquid when mixture gets thick. Fish out meat; remove bones and skin and chop into chunks. Return to pot and add cayenne. Warm through. Serves four.

FAT: 11 G

Stir Fried tofu and Shrimp

I got this recipe from Runner's World magazine of all places. They had a profile on Mark Bittman and he provided some healthy recipes. I'm trying another tomorrow.

I'm training for a 10K and just happened to pick up the magazine and boy was I ever glad I did. It's an excellent issue.

And this recipe was SO good! A DEFINITE repeater!!! My picture isn't pretty So I may take another tomorrow.

For those of you who have tofu troubles this is what I've learned. Buy extra firm and pat it dry when you take it out of the package. Then place some paper towels on a plate and place the tofu on the towels. Put a couple of towels on top of the tofu followed by a plate and a skillet or a can of vegetables or whatever. Let drain for at least 20 minutes.

Tofu is like a sponge and you have to get the water out so it can absorb whatever flavors you're adding.

I also used reconstituted dried shiitake mushrooms for this dish. You can buy giant bags pretty cheap at the Asian grocery store.

The recipe is HERE.

Nature's Pride

Nature's Pride Bread was kind enough to mail me 2 loaves of bread to try. I received a loaf of 100% Whole Wheat and a loaf of 12 Grain.

I'm not a big bread eater because a lot of supermarket breads have the dreaded HFCS or other objectionable preservatives. Natures Pride has none of those.

I've tried both varieties and I will say I was impressed. I was skeptical of the 12 grain because I like chunky grainy bread and with the exception of some seeds the texture was smooth. My skepticism was erased when I bit into my sandwich. The bread tastes very good and has a bit of a sweet taste. The Whole Wheat was equally impressive and had a nice chewy crust.

I would definitely choose these breads on my own.

For more information the company's website is HERE