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Holy Cow...I Can Cook?

I started this food blog New Years 2010 to force myself to get in the kitchen and teach myself how to cook. Well it has been a year, and it turns out, cooking isn't so hard after all. I kept the promise I made to myself and cooked healthy yummy meals for my family all year. Once I just got in there, read the recipes, and experimented I found cooking is yet another form of artistic expression. Just like with my art, I let go of the fear of failure and found a new passion.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ham & Veggi Chowder (Slow Cooker)

'Tis the season! Nights are getting chilly and comfort food is needed. It is also a busy time for me as Mommy and as Artist, so effortless comfort food is key. That is why I LOVE LOVE LOVE my slow cooker. Everything in one pot = less dishes for me to wash later. Set it while my son eats his breakfast or lunch and forget it = more time to play later. The outcome; a warm, comforting, & tasty dinner = Win Win!

*Cook time for this dish 6-7 hours on low setting or 3 hours on high

2 cups red potatoes (chopped)
8 oz cooked ham (chopped)
1 cup onion (chopped)
1 cup carrot (chopped)
1 14.5oz can cream-style corn
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 14oz cans chicken broth
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup frozen peas

1. In a slow cooker, combine potatoes, ham, onion, carrot, corn, and pepper. Pour broth over all.
2. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high heat for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
3. In a small bowl combine milk and flour; stir well with a whisk. Stir into chowder in cooker along with cheese and peas. If cooking on low-heat setting, turn to high-heat. Cook for 20 minutes more. Stir again before serving.

*Serves 6

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blue Cheese Burgers

The blue cheese and caramelized onions are perfect toppings for this burger. This recipe is quick and easy but looks and tastes very impressive!

2 tsp olive oil
4 cups onion (sliced)
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb ground sirloin
2 tbsp onion (grated)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves (minced)
Cooking spray
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 hamburger buns
4 green leaf lettuce leaves
4 slices of tomato (about 1/4 inch thick)

1. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan. Add sliced onion and 1/4 tsp salt; cook 18 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally.
2. Combine 1/4 tsp salt, beef, grated onion, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, & garlic in bowl. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2 inch thick patty. *Make a dimple in the middle of each patty with your fingers that will insure a flat patty once it is cooked instead of a dome!
3. Spray grill rack or non-stick pan with cooking spray. Grill 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Top each patty with 1 tbsp of cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
4. Grill or toast buns. Place the bottom halves of buns on plates, top each with one lettuce leaf, one tomato slice, 1 patty, 1/4 cup of onion, and one roll top.

Serves 4

*I served these burgers with sweet potato fries.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Potato Soup

This hearty soup is great for chilly nights. It is almost like taking a baked potato and turning it into a soup. The perfect comfort food!

4 red potatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion (chopped)
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp flour
2 cups low fat milk
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 bacon slices (cut in half)
1/3 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
4 tsp green onion (thinly sliced)

1. Peel potatoes then cut in half and place in large pot. Fill with water to just cover potatoes. Boil potatoes until fork tender. Cook bacon until crisp set aside to drain on a paper towel.
2. While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 3 minutes. Add broth.
Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk stir with a whisk add to pan with 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to boil; stir often. Cook for about 1 minute then remove from heat. Stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper.
3. Crumble bacon and set aside. Drain potatoes and coarsely mash them into soup. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon.

Serves 4