Friday, November 26, 2010


Easy Black Bean Soup
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 C. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1 C. chopped green pepper ( I use poblano peppers)
1 C. chopped red pepper
3/4 T. cumin
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (up to 1 t. if you like it hot!)
6 C. low sodium chicken broth
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained)
Salt and pepper
Grated cheddar or jack cheese
Sour cream
Lime wedges
Crushed tortilla chips
In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium flame. Add onion, garlic and peppers; cook until tender. Stir in spices and toss to coat vegetables. Pour in stock and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. In a blender(or using an immersion blender- much easier!), puree half the soup. Return puree to the pot and stir together. Serve hot with garnishes.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A good and easy snack!

"Sugary cinnamon meets salty pretzels in this super-easy gift-worthy snack mix."  A nice thing to make for your company today or take where ever you are going for Thanksgiving or any winter gathering.

Cinnamon Pretzels

2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 - 16 oz package small pretzel twists

In a large roasting pan, stir together vegetable oil, sugar and cinnamon. 
Add the pretzels; toss well to coat with cinnamon-sugar.
Bake, uncovered, in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring twice.
Spread on waxed paper to cool. 
Store in an airtight container.

Makes 12 (1 cup) servings

Monday, November 22, 2010


We had our Thanksgiving dinner this weekend at Julie's house.  No low-cal dishes for sure, but everything was so yummy!  "Happy Thanksgiving" to you all this week! 

Friday, November 19, 2010


Julie and Dan made a wonderful pot roast dinner last week that they learned at a Joliet Junior College cooking class.  Apple Crisp too!  I am sure she will post soon!  And I did post a little bit of information, in the comment section, about Carolyn's squash recipe that I received from our good detective, Joanne. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Maine Blueberry Jam

In honor of Veterans Day, I decided to make something "all American" and also create a tribute to Maine. So I got out my canning tools, some blueberries frozen earlier, and got going. I started with about 6 cups of blueberries and looked up the recipe in "Ball Blue Book" of Preserving. I adapted it to cut back the sugar, & basically:
1. Washed the blueberries,
2. Washed all the canning jars/ lids and immersed them in hot water,
3. Dissolved about 2 cups of sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and pectin and calcium water, with the blueberries and cooked and mashed them.
4. Ladled the hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch of head space and put the lids on the jars.
5. Processed the jars for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
6. Had Billie Sue Corgi, monitor them cooling on the rack. (Catcher corgi and Ben the cat were near by giving their input too.)
7. Sampled one jar-- had with crackers & a little butter the next day-- ymm!
8. Hope to give the remainder to my friends at work for the holidays.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mac n' Cheese Soup

Here we have real comfort food.  I am forever searching for a real creamy mac n' cheese recipe.  Until I find it, I decided to try this yummy looking soup.  not low-cal, but it was delish!

Mac n' Cheese Soup

makes about 7 cups

1-1/2 cups dry elbow macaroni (6 oz)
1/2 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced celery
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups milk
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt to taste

op:  1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
2 Tbsp minced fresh chives

Cook macaroni in salted water, according to pkg directions.  Drain and set aside.
Sweat onion and celery in butter in lg saucepan over med heat until soft, about 5 min.
Stir in flour to coat and cook 1 minute.  Deglaze with wine and simmer until nearly evaporated.  Stir in broth, mustard and cayenne.  Simmer until slightly thickened, 5 minutes, then whisk in milk and warm through.  Do not let boil or base may become grainy.  Add cheddar, 1 cup at a time, allowing it to melt completely before adding the next cup.  Stir in macaroni, lemon juice, and salt, stirring to break up any clumps.  Remove from heat.

Combine bleu cheese and chives in a small bowl.  Garnish each serving with this mixture. 

And...oh my gosh!