Sunday, July 26, 2015

Summer soup.

   Yes, it's a soup recipe in the middle of summer, that's right! I can't help it that I love soups so much and I absolutely do not consider it to be a "winter dish"! Justin is not really a fan of soups, he just doesn't consider it as a "meal", so to encourage him to have a bowl, I need to find one that is full of meat and his favorite flavors! Tortilla soup - chunky, full of tender chicken and Mexican flavors, I knew he won't be able to resist and I was right! Here is the recipe:


* 2 large chicken breasts
* 1 15oz can of black beans,  drained and rinsed
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1 cup frozen corn
* 1 cup fresh cilantro
* 1 15oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
* 1 cup tomato sauce

* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 0.5 - 1 tsp chili powder (depending on how spice you want it to be)
* 1 tsp paprika
* salt and pepper

* tortilla strips
* sour cream


1. In a large pot, cook chicken breast in salted water until soft - 45-60 minutes.

2. Take the chicken out of the water, let it cool for few minutes and shred it.

3. In the meantime, to the remaining water add onions, garlic, corn, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Bring to boil and add spices (cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper).

4. Cook everything for 15 minutes, add shredded chicken and cilantro and cook for additional 15 minutes.

5. Serve garnished with sour cream and tortilla strips.

   Delicious! You can adjust spiciness to your liking, since I am not a fan of spicy food I just added a little bit of chili powder, but feel free to "spice things up"!


Friday, July 10, 2015

The Urban Farmhouse Inspired...

   The Urban Farmhouse Market and Cafe is a chain of restaurants that I consider to be a little bit "hipster", with a cool vibe and a good food. I was told that one of their biggest hits is a "three lentil chili" soup and I absolutely agree with that opinion. So flavorful and delicious... and so "hipster" too. So I knew that I will be making it sooner or later... and the time has come! I have no idea what they used in their recipe, I didn't really ask, I just took the inspiration and created my own version. It turned out pretty tasty, so I think I did a good job! Here is the recipe:


* 1 cup green lentils
* 1 cup black lentils
* 1 cup split red lentils
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 2 packets McCormick TexMex Chili Seasoning
* 2 15oz can diced tomatoes

* salt if needed


1. Combine all the lentils, wash 2-3 times in cold water, transfer into a large pot, cover with cold water (at least 3 inches of water above the lentils) and soak for 4-5 hours, preferably overnight.

2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the onions for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned.

3. Add drained lentils, diced tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Cook for 45 minutes.

4. Add TexMex Chili Seasoning and a little bit of water (if needed) and cook for additional 1 hour, stirring from time to time (the spices tend to stick to the bottom a little bit). Depending on how dense you like your chilli, you can add some more water.

5. Adjust seasoning with salt to your liking (if needed) and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

   Sour cream is a must with this dish! If you are not a fan of sour cream, try Greek yogurt, but trust me when I tell you that you will love it this way!


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Brown or blond?

   That is the question! If it comes to cakes or sweets in general, it's always "blond" for me! Yes, that's right, I do not like brownies, I do not like chocolate cake, I do not like anything chocolate! This is why I was very excited when I found the recipe for these delicious "blondies". I was even more excited about the fact that they are Banana Blondies, because I am so tired of making banana bread every single time I have leftover overripe bananas! And it happens a lot with my two boys who demand that I buy a lot of bananas because they will for sure eat them all! Yeah, right!
   Anyways, the "cake" is really delicious, dense and moist (like a brownie would be), very flavorful and has a nice crunch from the nuts. Quick and easy recipe using the ingredients that can by found in the average pantry.


* 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
* 1.5 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 eggs
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* 3 bananas, mashed
* 2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1 cup walnuts, chopped


1. In a bowl combine sugar and salt, add melted butter and mix together.

2. Mix in eggs, vanilla, bananas and baking powder. Slowly add flour and mix everything together.

3. Stir in walnuts and transfer into a rectangular baking pan. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and the inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool before cutting.

   If you don't have walnuts, you could also use pecans, macadamia nuts, or even hazelnuts. You could even skip nuts all together if you wanted, but I think they add a lot and make the cake way better. I also tried it with different dried fruits and decided that walnuts and cranberries was my favorite combination.