Nectarine Sorbet

They are finally here! Really delicious fresh Washington nectarines! They aren’t the most beautiful nectarines I’ve ever seen, actually this particular crop on this first variety is lacking in size and appearance, but taste is first rate! They are incredible!

I took a few home from the market on Saturday for fresh eating, but most that I took were soft and bruised (the rejects!) So I sliced off the bad parts, cooked them up with some sugar and lemon juice and made nectarine sorbet!

Absolutely delicious!

And as usual I made a horrible mess (overflowing both the food processor and spilling all over the ice cream maker.

I poured the nectarine puree straight into the ice cream maker, let it take a turn in it for about 40 minutes (longer than I planned). And it was perfect!

Not only was the taste nectarine perfect but the color was beautiful as well! From reading other blogs, I found that leaving the peel on makes a pretty color.

Nectarine Sorbet

About 15 small Nectarines

3/4 cup of sugar

1.5 cups of water

Juice of 2 lemons

Chop up nectarines, leaving skin on. Place chopped up nectarines, sugar, water and lemon in medium saucepan, allow to boil, stiring occasionally. Allow to cook down, but be careful that nectarine mixture does not scald on bottom of the saucepan. Allow to cook for 10-20 minutes, depending on ripeness of fruit. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Puree nectarine mixture in food processor (probably in stages, because I really overflowed mine). Pour into ice cream maker and allow to turn for about 40 minutes. You do want nectarine mixture to be as cool as possible so it doesn’t melt ice cream container.

We have a 1 quart ice cream maker, this amount filled it perfectly.


Happy Hubby Meals: Peach Chicken with Broccoli

This is the second recipe in my “Happy Hubby Meals” series. Great, easy freezable meals for Matt for lunch.

I still have a half a box of peaches despite eating them all week long. So, naturally I had to figure out a way to incorporate them into Matt’s lunch meals. This recipe turned out to be incredible! I didn’t want it to be too sweet, but despite the peaches the flavors of the teriyaki sauce and chicken were in the savory, pleasantly sweet range without tasting sugary.

I knew I wanted to slow-cook it, and yet again Betty Crocker to the rescue. The inspiration recipe, had ginger and canned peaches neither of which I wanted.

After the chicken cooked I ladled out about 2/3 cup of the incredible spicy/savory/peachy sauce onto about 1 cup of basmati rice, already portioned into the pyrex bowls. I then topped that with chopped broccoli florets and a sprinkle of sliced almonds and there you go!

Peach Chicken with Broccoli

12 peaches, sliced

1 onion, sautéed until translucent

4 chicken breasts

2 TB fish sauce

1/2 cup teriyaki marinade (like Soy Vay or whatever you have)

1 cup water

1 TB teriyaki Sauce

2 TB Sriracha

1/2 jar cranberry sauce

1/4 cup cornstarch

8 cups cooked basmati rice (about 3 cups dry made this)

3 large broccoli crowns, chopped

Layer chicken breasts into slow cooker, top with onion and peaches. In small bowl mix teriyaki marinade, water, sriracha, cranberry sauce and cornstarch together, pour on top of chicken, onion and peaches. Cook on high for 4 hours. Pull chicken breasts out and divide sauce onto 8 4-cup pyrex bowls. Shred chicken and divide into bowls. Top with broccoli and sprinkle with almonds.


Roasted Corn Pasta Salad

We live in Spokane.

Spokane lives in the shadow of comparison to Seattle and Portland. Which isn’t very fair. Spokane is neat in it’s own right, but the diamonds in the rough are a little fewer and farther between than in Seattle, they require a little more digging to discover. But when you do, you can truly claim them as your own. One of the little diamonds we’ve discovered is The Elk, in Browne’s Addition.

The Elk has all the charm of your favorite greasy spoon but with excellent food, it’s a great place to take out of town friends or to grab a brew on a Friday night. Matt and I enjoy splitting their Reuben sandwich with a side of their INCREDIBLE roasted corn pasta salad.

I made this for the 4th, it was a hit, however it was pretty spicy.

I almost followed their recipe exactly, I used 1/3 cup cracked black pepper mayonaise and I only used a half a bunch of cilantro. It was about 3 times spicier than the salad the Elk serves, but everything else was just about right.

To roast the corn I pre-heated my oven to 350F and put the un-husked cobs right on the oven grates, they roasted for about 40 minutes, they were more flavorful than frozen or boiled corn and had a better crunch. Yum!

Roasted Corn Pasta Salad

1/2 onion, chopped and sautéed until translucent

3 corn cobs, roasted in oven and the kernels chopped off, about 2 1/2 cups

4 ½ cups uncooked fusilli

2/3 cups mayo

1/2 cup black pepper mayo

1/2 bunch cilantro roughly stemmed

2 Tablespoons chipotle puree (canned chipotle peppers with adobo sauce pureed in food processor)

Salt to taste

Cook fusilli in salt seasoned water, rinse with cold water, set aside. Mix mayonaise, corn, onions cilantro and chipotle puree together. Toss fusilli together with mayonnaise mixture. Salt to taste and chill overnight.


Mini Corn Muffins

There isn’t much to say about these sweet little things. Hardly worth a post, but I enjoyed them so much, I thought, why not!

I picked up my mini-muffin tins from my mom recently, they are so useful and cute, albeit annoying to wash. And pinterest as so many fun ideas with mini muff pans,  I wanted to do something creative and fun, I ended up with boring corn muffins, but they are delicious, and so much cuter than regular muffins.

The hierarchy of corn based baked goods cuteness goes something like this

1. Mini Corn Muffins (cute)

2. Regular Corn Muffins (neither lacking nor comprising of cuteness)

3. Corn Bread (not cute)

I just followed the recipe on the side of the corn meal box.

I made two batches of these, so 96 mini muffs, I used fresh corn in them as well, even though the corn is cooked it adds an incredible CRUNCH. Mmmm. I froze two huge bags of them for later use!

My only additional note about muffins, is that you hardly want to mix them, undermix them even, you should be able to see streaks of flour throughout still. Also melt the 3 tablespoons butter before mixing in. I baked these for about 12 minutes at 250 degrees. I added 1 ear of corn, chopped off the cob. And I did spray the muff tins with some non-stick coating.

Pretty simple! Enjoy!


Gingersnap Cranberry Balls

Since the raw brownies  I made a few weeks ago were a success I thought I’d try some of the other energy balls I saw on pinterest. But since I cannot follow a recipe verbatim to save my life I drew inspiration from a few recipes and decided to do my own thing.

Gingersnap Cranberry Balls

20 Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger snap cookies

1/2 cup walnuts, ground

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 TB Maple Syrup

8 Medjool Dates (SEEDS REMOVED)

Toss everything in food processor, process unti everything is incorporated, roll into 3/4 inch balls, should make at least 20 balls

Here is your SCHWEET nutrition facts for 1 ball, 90 kcals isn’t too bad.

Bearded men like gingersnap cranberry balls

So do beautiful nurses

Thank you to D.O. and to Laura for being great taste testers and food models.


Black Bean Burgers

My mom went through this fantastic health food phase in the early 90’s, and that is when I was introduced to manufactured “Garden Burgers”, they have greatly improved over the years, my mom and dad still get garden burgers on occasion.

I think it was the Morningstar Farms brand that came out with a spicy black bean burger that was delicious. That was my inspiration for this recipe. I absolutely love black beans. If you took all the bean varieties and rated them by their percent of nutritional awesomeness black beans are right up there with the top 3 in my opinion.

They’ve got loads of protein, iron, calcium, B-vitamins and lets not forget FIBER. Very important for many reasons.

Oh, and yes, this meal does constitute as a COMPLETE PROTEIN, there is egg in the patty. The only fat in addition to the beans is in the egg, so this is an incredibly low-fat, high protein meal. Mmmm yum.

We ate these burgers with spinach, tomato, Dijon mustard and ketchup.

Black Bean Burgers

3 cups black beans

4 slices bread toasted*

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp salt

2 tsp cumin

2 TB hot sauce

Toast 4 slices of bread (I used stale oatnut bread) tear up and pulse in food processor until desirable size (see above photo, anything works really). Pour bread crumbs into large bowl. Pulse black beans in food processor with eggs, pepper, salt and cumin until smooth (if it all doesn’t fit in processor then blend beans in smaller portions and mix all together in bowl). Mix black bean mixture with bread crumbs (add hot sauce if that’s your thing), roll into 10 balls. Spray small pan with non-stick coating, press a ball into a patty with hands and place on heated pan (medium heat) cook on each side until browned, about 3 minutes on each side.

This recipe made 9 burgers, but could have EASILY made 10, I just wasn’t paying too much attention.

*I suppose you could use bread crumbs, commercially packaged bread crumbs, however, without sounding like a nutritional snoot, I would encourage you to read the ingredients and nutrition facts on a container of . . . let’s say Progresso Bread Crumbs, it’s kind of yucky. Many more ingredients that just a slice of bread and often additional trans fat. One of the few food products STILL on the market with significant amounts of trans-fat. You’ve been warned.

More Bean facts (I LOVE WSU)


The Ultimate Leftover Food: Fried Rice

We went camping this weekend, along Lake Coeur d’Alene. It was beautiful, warm and very relaxing. We were blessed with wonderful company. We also ate amazing food. More on that later. Here is one photo from the trip!

We made hobo packs, they were great, we had a lot of leftovers though, and they all had one thing in common, they were great in fried rice.

I’ve mentioned my obsession with cabbage and basmati rice. Both of these made an appearance in this fried rice. I kind of am under the impression that just about anything can show up and meld well in a pan full of fried rice. You just need eggs, cooked rice (ideally leftover) and soy sauce. But this particular batch was unparalleled in goodness.

I call my fried rice “fried”, but it isn’t really. I actually never used oil or additional grease. The veggies had enough moisture and I just pan fried the finished product a little to give it a a final color and texture of fried rice.

Fried Rice

1.5 cups basmati rice

3 cups water

1 head of cabbage, chopped

1 package Trader Joe’s Jalepeno Chicken Sausage, chopped

3 Carrots, peeled, chopped

1 onion, chopped

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

1 red pepper, chopped

8 eggs

3 TB soy sauce

2 tsp fish sauce

2 TB Sriracha Sauce

In medium saucepan heat water and rice until boiling, put a lid on it and allow to simmer 20 minutes (OR use a rice cooker). In large wok or non-stick skillet pan (large frying pan . . . what have you . . . ) add onion, carrots and chicken sausage cook on medium, cover, stirring occasionally. When carrots are softened add mushrooms, red pepper and cabbage, cover and allow cabbage to soften, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  In separate pan cook eggs with soy sauce, kind of like a mix between fried eggs and scrambled. Add rice and cooked eggs to skillet and stir in fish sauce, sriracha sauce and additional soy sauce to taste. Cook on medium high and mix occasionally, allowing bottom of pan to brown rice and veggies slightly.

Mmm yum. Serve with chopsticks! This is a great side dish, but Matt and I eat it most often as the main entree. Enjoy!