I love one pot meals.  It makes life so much easier, quicker and therefore happier.  I find that between looking for a new job which is my priority, taking on-line classes, making new recipes, making the videos and all the other myriad other things that call for attention during the day, a simple but fresh meal is a life line of sorts.  It has become very cathartic to come into the kitchen with fresh vegi's and herbs and throw together new recipes.  I love the tastes that I have discovered for my self and look forward to new ones. That does not mean however that I want to slave over a hot stove even on cold days.  I like to make things I hope others will try.  I know that fresh herbs can be quite intimidating sometimes but give it a try at least. You can use the dry herbs, they work just as well but in my mind the taste is slightly diminished, but that is just me probably.  Most of the herbs are cheap.  The bunches of Rosemary above and the Thyme were just $1.99 each.  I always have garlic in the house usually just laying on the counter.  The Leeks were only $.069 per pound and the bag of Spinach just $1.99.  Can't go wrong with those prices, though now I'm going to have to come up with a few more recipes for the Rosemary and Thyme before they go bad.  How would an omelet taste with fresh thyme I wonder?  Hmmmmmm, I'm seeing something here.  There may be a new breakfast omelet on the way.  Let me think about that for a few moments.  How about a new salad dressing with fresh rosemary and thyme and, oh I know, lemon over maybe a beet salad.  Ok, I have some ideas on the way.  Try this recipe, I think you are going to enjoy the hell out of it.  Also, the dripping at the end make the best gravy that I have ever had.  No kidding.  Didn't have to add even salt or pepper to the gravy.




Recipe:
Dutchoven  5-6 quart
I used:  1 breast, 2 legs and 2 thighs
Fresh Rosemary several sprigs
Fresh Thyme, several sprigs
Fresh Garlic, 3-4 cloves, minced
1-2 bags Spinach, this will depend on how many you are feeding.  One bag will serve 3 people
1 cup Cherry tomatoes
2-4 Leeks, cleaned and chopped (if you are feeding more than 3 people, increase the Leeks to 4)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2-3/4 stick butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
3-4 tsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Rinse and pat dry the chicken, I left the skin on except for the breast just because it came with no skin.  Put the dutchoven on top of the stove and turn it on medium high.  Add about 2 TBSP butter.
When the butter melts add the minced garlic, 1-2 sprigs of thyme and 1 sprig of rosemary and the chicken. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side just to brown, leave chicken in the dutchoven and remove from burner.
Add tomatoes, chopped Leaks, 2 sprigs of rosemary, 1 sprig of thyme and a handful of the spinach leafs. Cut up the rest of the butter and place on top.  Pour in around the sides the chicken broth.  Salt and pepper. Place the lid on the dutch oven
Place in the oven for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven, add rest of spinach and cover and bake another 10 minutes.

Take out, remove all to a plate except the broth, add 1/4 heavy cream with 2 tsp of cornstarch whisked in. Whisk into broth over a low heat, continue to gently whisk until it thickens.  If it does not thicken, do the same with the other 1/4 cup cream and more cornstarch.  Add about 1/2 to 1 tsp more butter.  You've come this far with the butter, go all the way!

Remember to remove the sprigs before you serve, no one wants to eat a branch no matter how small!
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Add the butter, 1-2 sprigs of Thyme and a Sprig of Rosemary, the minced garlic and lay the chicken on top to brown. Usually 2-3 minutes per side is enough.
I also whipped up some mashed potatoes since I knew this makes a stunning gravy.  I did find that I should have put two bags of the spinach in.  There were only 3 of us eating and the Leeks and Spinach are all gone but I still have two pieces of chicken left.  The serving down below was typical.
The flavors in this recipe are simple outrageous.  Your tongue and belly are going to love you, though you may need a bit of a work out afterwards.  

I hope you enjoyed this recipe.

Remember, enjoy life.

It's the one you have,
Tammie
 
 
I really, really wanted to get this up for National Burger day but Bluehost decided to have a 7 hour outage! Yea me!  Here is what should have been posted:

Happy National Burger Day or as my son calls it "another made up day that gets him out of eating fish".  I'm not kidding that is what he called it.  I call it the easy dinner night so I was all up for it.  Bring on the night! Besides the great thing about burgers is that you can put just about anything on them.  I know one of the big things right now is the mac and cheese on the burger, personally I wouldn't and it sounds on the gross side, but that's just me.  I like my burgers on the spicy side and when ordering generally go for something with jalapeños.  How could I therefore not make a dish without them?  I know my son won't eat the burger that I would make, his will just be hamburger with nothing.  When I say nothing, I mean nothing.  No salt, no pepper, no ketchup, no mustard, no nothing.  Hamburger and bun and the bun is not toasted.  How is this my son I ask sometimes.  When he was little, he tried and liked just about everything.  When did this happen?  I couldn't even tell you.  Just gradually over time he became this standard plain meat and taters kind of kid.  I have tried everything to change him but to no avail.  I have hope, we all should that one day in the far flung future, he will pick up a sauce and actually like it. The thought actually brings a small tear to the corner of my eye.

In the meantime however, I can offer up this recipe in hopes that he might in his early 30's or 40's find it and suddenly decide to try something a little less plain.
Recipe:

1 lb ground meat of your choice (lamb, beef, turkey, chicken)
1/2 Jalapeño, seeds removed and minced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Avocado
Slices of Red Onion
Baby Greens
Salt and Pepper to taste
Buns (GF or regular)

Sauce
1/2 cup Mayo of your choice (I use a Gluten Free Brand)
2 TBSP Sriracha
1 Lime, juiced

Mince the garlic and the 1/2 jalapeño and mix with the meat.  Shape into patties, size and shape of your choice.  Salt and pepper.  If grilling make sure the meat is close to room temp, it cooks better that way.

Make the sauce.
Toast your buns (there's a joke here but I will forego it!)

Assemble!  Here is a little hint and what I ended up doing and forgot to take pictures of.  I made myself two thin patties.  When I assembled mine the meat was on the outside (as if it were a bun) and everything else between the two pieces of meat.  I then wrapped it in parchment paper.  MMMMmmmmm meat buns.  So good.

Fries:

I cheated here big time.  I bought a bag of frozen fries, fast food version (I swear that is what they said), placed some in a bag and sprayed with coconut oil, shook the bag.  Then tossed in the minced garlic that you can buy in a jar because it has way more juice.  Then tossed in fresh grated parmesan cheese and shook the bag again.  I then cooked according to the directions on the bag.
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I put this on my burger and dipped my fries into it. YUM!!!
I hope you like the recipe!  If you did, leave a comment below.


Remember, enjoy like.

It's the one you have,
Tammie
 
 
I have the fondest memories that are associated with smell of cooking foods.  I love the smell of coffee and bacon in the mornings.  The smell of fresh baked breads and cakes out of the oven.  Steaks, hams and turkeys basting are all smells of my childhood.  They bring back such strange and wondrous feelings of absolute complacency with the world.  It's a grand thing to have these associations or so I believe.  Another one that I have is the smell of meatloaf cooking.  There was something securely unique about the cooking of ketchup that makes me feel warm all over.  Yes, I said ketchup.  We always put ketchup on top of our meatloaf to cook it and so will you once you taste it, if you have not already. My thirteen year old already has the associated smells of bacon on a Sunday morning and coming home to the smell of meatloaf cooking. He too says it reminds him of "good things".  Nice to know some memories can be passed on.
Meatloaf has to be one of the easiest and quickest meals to make. This is one of those items that you do not have to use fresh ingredients except for the hamburger meat.  The spices can be the dried variety such as the garlic, onion and anything else you want.  I use gluten free bread crumbs and oats.

Recipe:

1 lb ground beef (I use the 80% due to the fat content, if you use any higher add more tomato sauce to the meat)  If you want to make a larger loaf, make two or they can become too dry.
2 TBSP minced onion, heaping or 1 1/2 TBSP dried onion
1/2 cup oats (I zip them through my coffee grinder to make it finer)
2 Heaping TBSP Bread Crumbs
3 Cloves garlic minced or 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder or other
3/4 c Tomato sauce
1 egg
Ketchup 

(Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, bake for approx. 45 minutes but will depend on fat content.  Start checking at 30 minutes)


Dump it all together except the Ketchup and just under a 1/4 cup of the Tomato Sauce.  Mix by hand.
Throw into a loaf pan and form into a loaf shape.
Pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top along with enough Ketchup to cover the top.  You are done.
This is a great easy meal.  I usually make rice with mine but go ahead and make mashed potatoes with yours.  I also will make my vegitables at the same time.  I like parsnips.  I will take a few parsnips, peeled and chunked up, get some Mexican Green Onions (4-5), 2 cloves of garlic sliced, and several pats of unsalted butter.  Throw together in a covered container along with salt and pepper and bake at the same time.  So so so good.

I went ahead and made a simple video, go ahead and watch.  If you like it please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you don't miss any content!

Thank you!

Remember, enjoy life.

It's the one you have,
Tammie
 
 
I went and did it again.  We are having another "cold" day here in SoCal.  Yay!  I wanted soup since my front porch thermometer at 3:30 pm was reading 49 degrees F.  Now that the rain has hit it's gone up a bit but we're gonna ignore that fact.  Since I made the Thai Tomato Soup the other day, I wanted a little bit different and one that I could put over sticky rice.  I've been really good about not eating the rice and working out so I wanted some rice but didn't feel that I should make it.  My son asked for some though and how could a mother turn down her son?  What kind of mother would I be?  I didn't want to break his heart.
I ran to the store with the thoughts of soup in mind but not want kind I wanted to make.  While there I noticed that the asparagus was on sale, cool.  Ohhhh, and the cipollini onions were on sale also.  So I grabbed those, a hunk of ginger, more garlic, some heavy cream and I was outta the store.  Yippy.  Back at home I decided that I would roast everything.  Yum.  I've made this once before and there is a trick here. Don't over roast the asparagus or it gets really stringy.  That is what happened this time.  Boo.  If that does happen to you, you can do one of two things.  One, pour it through cheese cloth and squeeze.  Two, use a fine mesh strainer and pour it through and then keep squishing it until and the juices pass through.  This method is a bit longer but just as affective.
Recipe:

1 bunch of (baby) Asparagus (less stringy)
6 cipollini onions peeled (or sweet yellow onion if you cannot find these)
6 thin slices of ginger
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
10 Basil leafs
1-2 TBSP Olive oil
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Rough chop the Asparagus,  you can leave the onions whole or cut in half, leave the garlic whole, peel and slice your ginger.  Toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper and throw into the oven at 375 degrees F, it will only take about 20 minutes but keep an eye on them, you just want them roasted and soft not browned.
When you take them out of the oven  let them cool for about 10 minutes and then thrown them into your blender.  Pour in about a cup of broth and the basil leafs.  Puree.  Again, you might have to strain the puree. If running through cheese cloth squeeze as much out as you can.  If using a strainer, use the back of a large spoon to squeeze the juices out.  You should end up with just pulp (this is only if your asparagus was stringy).
In a soup pot get the other 2 1/2 cups of broth, salt and pepper to a slow boil, slowly add the puree.  Let it simmer about 20 minutes.  Right before serving slowly stir in the cream.
This soup turned out just fabulous.  It was awesome over sticky rice or just with a hunk of sourdough bread, which I can't have but could sit and imagine!!  I did buy some gluten free sourdough that cost my son's college tuition but hopefully he won't notice.  The grilled cheese that I had with it was scrumptious.  The soup does not need a bunch of spices.  Since roasting the vegi's brings out a wonderful heartiness and makes the flavor very rich in this soup.
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See, we really had some rain here in Southern California and it was in the high 40's at my house!! Wahoo!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  If so, leave a comment or just go make it, you'll love it.

Remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have,
Tammie
 
 
It has finally been a bit chilly in Southern California for the first time in quite some time.  With the chiller weather I wanted soup.  I like soup but don't like canned soup, nothing against canned soup but it is way too salty for me.  I really wanted something with a bit of flair but not too much, something that I could eat with a grilled cheese sandwich.  Something that would make me say "mmmmmmmmm".
When I was in the market, I saw the fresh basil and thought, what could I make?  Well the only thing that I know that goes with grilled cheese is tomato soup.  Tomatoes were on sale so why not.  I thought what would it taste like with the curry paste and coconut milk and it was absolutely nummy.  Mom ate it without the milk though.  You only want a little of the coconut milk as it will overwhelm the tomatoes.
I also made sourdough (gluten free) and sharp cheddar grilled cheese though I forgot to take pictures of them.  You'll have to take my word for it that it was just so satisfyingly awesome until you try it.

Recipe:

6  Ripe Tomatoes rough diced 
3/4 cup Rough Diced Carrots or baby carrots chopped
1/2 Green Bell Pepper
1/2 Yellow Onion, rough cut
4 Cloves Garlic rough cut
1/2 tsp Fresh Ginger grated
6-10 leafs fresh Basil
1/2 tsp Sugar
2 TBSP Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1 lime, juiced
1 TBSP Red Curry Paste
1/2 Tsp Thyme
2 1/2 cups Vegetable broth
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 med to large soup pot

In a smaller pot blanch your tomatoes.  You don't have to but I don't have the greatest blender so some of the skin will not puree.  If you blanch first and remove the skin then you will not have to worry.  
Rough cut all vegi's.  
In the soup pot add about 1 TBSP Olive Oil and get it hot.  Once hot, add your onion right before it turns translucent add the garlic.  Let it all brown.
Add the carrots and let it brown, add the bell pepper and ginger and let it soften slightly.  Add the Tomatoes and let them all cook a bit.
Add all to your blender  including the fresh basil but DO NOT BLEND YET.  Let it cool slightly.  Never try and blend super hot food as they tend to explode.
To the soup pot add your Vegetable broth, red curry paste, thyme, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar and salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Cover the blender and SHORT pulse until all is blended smooth.
Turn down the broth to a simmer and add the puree
Let it cook at a simmer for 40 minutes.  You can add more broth at any time if you believe it is too thick. Taste and adjust to your liking.

When you serve, add some of the coconut milk to each serving (about a tsp per)


Remember, enjoy life.

It's the one you have,
Tammie

 
 
The market that I shop at has been selling these big and I mean huge, mutant chicken breasts.  These things are so big that I only need to buy one breast and it feeds my son, my mom and myself.  Sheesh, these must be pumped!!  Last night I made salmon though I didn't post it and tonight will be chicken since I am trying to make sure we are not eating beef every night.  Later in the week, pork.  This recipe is really, really easy as all crockpot recipes are.  You gotta love the crockpot, throw it all in there and totally forget about it for 6-7 hours.  How easy is cooking.  The only thing that I dislike about it, the food comes out yummy but it doesn't photograph well.   I like food that photographs well, it makes me happy.  Crockpot food not so much.  I will try my hardest to get a good shot but if it looks funny take my word for it that it is really good.
I know you are also asking, why did I put cabbage in with chicken.  Have you had cabbage with chicken and sweet potato and onions?  No, then you will need to try this recipe.  It actually is a wonderful blend of sweet and savory.  

Try it, really.  I wouldn't lie.
Recipe:
1 Large boneless chicken breast
1 Large sweet potato (not a yam)
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 head of green cabbage cut into wedges
1 1/2 cup uncooked baby carrots
3 cloves of garlic, rough chopped or sliced
1/2 TBSP Rosemary
3/4 TBSP Sage
Salt and Pepper to taste


Peel and rough chop your sweet potato
Peel and rough chop your onion
Slice or rough chop your garlic
Measure out your carrots
Layer in crock pot.  First sweet potato, carrots, onion, then top with the most of the garlic, rosemary and sage.
Throw the chicken on top and sprinkle with the last of the garlic, rosemary and sage.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Throw the wedges of cabbage on top.

You're thinking that it needs a liquid.  No it doesn't.  The heat in the crockpot will create moisture.

Cook on low 6 hours.  This will depend on how many chicken breasts you are cooking, increase the time 20 minutes or so for each breast added and the corresponding vegetables.  

Plate with some fresh fruit and enjoy.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a comment!

Remember, enjoy life.

It's the one you have,
Tammie