A day in the life of a cook in her kitchen

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Sometimes the simplest dinners are the best dinners. I made this macaroni and cheese dish last week. It was a huge hit with all of us…SCORE!! It is perfect for our new Fall daylight savings. It comes together very quickly. … Continue reading

Southwestern Red Bean Vegetable Soup


  What do you get when you combined a wonderful blends of fresh vegetables and herbs with a little kick from some seasonings  and hearty red beans?
A fantastic dinner! This soup is perfect for Meatless Monday or a Friday Lenten meal.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                         

Vonnie

 

 

Ingredients:

3 large green bell peppers

3 celery ribs, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

4 (16 ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, semi-drained

4 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

            Directions

In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the peppers, celery, onions and beans. Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Meatless Monday Root Vegetable Stew


This is a hearty Meatless Monday meal that so satisfying.  Pair it with a green salad and some great bread, like Sue’s Oatmeal Bread (shared recipe last week) made in your breadmaker and you have the perfect dinner!

For some of you Meatless Monday is not your forte so just add some cooked spicy sausage, cooked or leftover chicken shredded right before serving.

This stew only gets better as it sits, so don’t make lunch plans for Tuesday!!

PS….Uncle Jim’s Pepper Mustard is a product friends of mine created and produce. Check them out. You will fall in love with wonderful mustard!   www.unclejimsstore.com

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,

Vonnie

 Ingredients:

1  TBSP.  olive oil

1  cup  chopped onion

3  TBSP.  chopped garlic

1  TBSP.  chopped fresh rosemary, divided

2 1/2  cups diced peeled  potatoes

2 1/4  cups diced peeled rutabaga

2  cups  diced peeled turnip

1 1/4  cups  diced peeled parsnip

1 cup  diced carrots

2  cups  vegetable broth

2  cups  water

1/4 cup  heavy whipping cream

1/2  tsp.  freshly ground black pepper

1/4  tsp.  salt

2-3 TBSP. Uncle Jims Pepper Mustard, Optional…but highly recommended!

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook until tender about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and 2 teaspoons rosemary; cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in potatoes and next 6 ingredients. Bring to a simmer; cook, covered, 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

2. Place 3 cups vegetable mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Blend until smooth. Return to pan. Stir in cream, pepper mustard, pepper, and salt.

Cream of Mushroom Soup


Ever want to have bowl of  rich cream of mushroom soup, but all you have time to make is the canned variety?  This is a great recipe when you are short are time, but trust me it won’t be short on flavor. You will never go to the store and pick up a can of soup again when you put this recipe in your repertoire!   Serve this with a simple salad and you have a wonderful satisfying meal on a wonderful Fall day!

PS This is great for Meatless Monday!

Enjoy and Happy cooking~

 Vonnie                                                                                                    

Ingredients:                                                                                                 

 1 pound fresh mushrooms

 1/4 cup margarine

 1 small onion, chopped fine 

 3 cloves garlic, chopped

 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

 4 cups vegetable broth

 1 cup  cream (I use half and half)

 salt and pepper to taste

 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves

 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

 Directions

Thinly slice the mushroom cap. Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and cook the onion, garlic and chopped thyme, stirring, for 1 minute, or until the garlic is golden. Add the mushrooms and salt and white pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mushrooms  soften. Add flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

 Remove from the heat and add the stock, stirring continuously. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Whisk the cream into the soup, then reheat gently, stirring. Do not allow the soup to boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with the chopped chives and thyme.

Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad


This is a delicious and tangy cold pasta salad with grilled vegetables that is so satisfying it’s perfect for Meatless Monday! I serve mine with warm cornbread muffins, and green grapes.  This is a great way to beat the heat and have a great, satisfying dinner. What a great way to end very busy day. Add a glass of your favorite wine or iced cold beer!

PS…for the meat-eaters, just add 1 pound of  your favorite grilled meat or seafood.  I love this with grilled shrimp, chicken or steak thinly sliced.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,

Vonnie


Ingredients:
1 pound penne pasta, cooked and rinsed in cold water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves washed, dried, and thinly sliced
2 TBSP. lemon juice
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 large onion, thickly sliced in rounds
2 medium zucchini, peeled,thickly sliced in rounds
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper thickly sliced and cut into chunks
1 cup of grape tomatoes
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Directions:

Combine mayonnaise, basil, lemon juice and red pepper flake in a large bowl. Add cooked pasta and toss.
Heat grill on high heat. Place onions and zucchini on grill. Turn heat down to medium. Grill for 2 minutes and turn. Add the rest of the vegetables except tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are tender. About 5 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cook for 2-4 minutes. Remove vegetables from grill and add to pasta.  Add Italian dressing to pasta and vegetables.  Toss mixture and mix well.  Add lemon rest and parmesan cheese. Stir and serve. Can be served warm or cold.
Serves: 6