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Chicken Noodle Soup

There is just something about chicken noodle soup that cures just about anything. It seems like with the change of seasons among us, several people are catching a cold or their allergies are in full swing. I prepared this remedy for a sick friend. It is a very simple recipe and nothing says get well like a homemade dish.

Recipe yields: approximately 3 quarts, 8-10 Servings

Ingredients:

1 Table canola oil

2 large celery stalks, finely chopped

1 extra large (2 inches in diameter) carrot, finely chopped

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1 # (uncooked) Lemon chicken breast (cooked), coarsely chopped (yields about 2 1/2 cups) (RECIPE BELOW)

10 cups water

7 teaspoons Penzeys chicken base

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley

1 1/2 teaspoon pasta sprinkle

3/4 teaspoon ground pepper

3 cups of dry egg noodles

Directions:

  1. On medium to high heat, prepare a 6 to 8 quart stock pot.
  2. Once the vessel is ready, add the canola oil to the pan. Add the carrots, celery & onion. Allow the ingredients to cook for 5-7 minutes. Stir often.
  3. In the meantime prepare the base, boil the 10 cups of water and add the base and stir vigerously with whisk to blend until no signs any clumpy residue.
  4. After the vegetables have softened.Add the prepared base along with pasta sprinkle and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook for 12 minutes. After the time has elapsed add chicken and fresh parsley. Heat the meat through and enjoy.

 

 

Lemon Chicken:

Tip: I prepared the chicken a day in advance.

Ingredients:

1# (thawed) Chicken Breast (about 2 breasts)

1/2 fresh lemon (juiced)

1 teaspoonGarlic Salt (freshly ground)

1 teaspoon Pasta Sprinkle (Italian seasoning from penzeys)

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take a large piece of foil and spread out on the counter. Place the chicken breasts on the foil. Sprinkle evenly both sides of the breast with the pasta sprinkle and garlic salt. Add the butter and juice of the 1/2 lemon. Fold the chicken in the foil and crimp to seal. Place the foil packet in the prepared oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until temperature of the chicken yields 165 degrees.

Topsail Trail Mix

Yep it’s that time of year we load up the car and head to to the beach. Just when you think you cannot fit one more thing in the car (and trust me, my dad is good at packing a car) you find a spot for homemade baked goods and nonperishable snacks! 

Trail mix is my go to for road trips! This one is special since we are taking it to the beach! Look out NC…here we come! 

Ingredient:

1 cup roasted whole cashews

1 cup roasted whole peanuts 

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup roast lightly salted sunflower 

3/4 cup Dark chocolate chips 

1 cup dehydrated apples slices 

1 cup lightly salted roasted whole almonds 

Direction:

1. Mix everything in a sealable container and give a good shake or two. Enjoy! 

Simply the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

If I haven’t said it before, I have made at least 30 different versions of chocolate chip cookies. That said this recipe below is by far my most requested recipe!

In fact it’s the only recipe I have memorized by heart because I have made it so many times. I have been fine tunning it for years. My mom always says I don’t like to share my food but I do love to share my recipes! This one is for you Kathy 😊!

We are gearing up for our yearly Topsail NC road trip and I asked my nephew what cookies I should make. Despite I already knew the answer before I asked the question… CHOCOLATE CHIP Aunt Nelli ❤️.

This Recipe Yields: approximately 5 dozen cookies using number 60 scooper.

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter  (room temperature)

¾ cup brown sugar (not packed)

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 small (96g) box jell-o vanilla instant pudding or white chocolate

2 large eggs (room temperature)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (penzey’s single strength)

2 3/4 cups All purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

1 (12 ounce) bag semi sweet chocolate chips (I used Aldi Brand this time but ghirardelli is always a winner too)

Directions:

1. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment cream together the butter, pudding, and both sugars. On a slow speed, add the eggs (one at a time), and vanilla extract to incorporate.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually on  a low speed add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.

3. Lastly add the chocolate chips. Mix until the chips are spread throughout dough evenly.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

5. After 45 minutes have elapsed preheat oven to 350. Keep the dough in the refrigerator. Prepare 1/2 sheet baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

6. Drop on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I use a number 60 scoop to make them uniform.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes; longer for really large cookies. (13 minutes is usually the trick to my oven)

Let the cookies sit on the pan for about a minute and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Enjoy because they won’t last long !

Mashup Nut Butter Bars

Recipe yields 3 dozen bars

It’s been too hot for the oven in Pittsburgh these last few weeks in July. Yet I have not turned on the air conditioning in the house. In turn, I know I have been taking it easy with the baking. These bars are super easy. Plus soft but crunchy with a blend of two different nut/seed butters.  Plus an extra bonus of a wide variety of seeds and nuts to pack in the protein. 

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cup of Cheerios (I used the pumpkin flavored ones)

2 3/4 cup of Brown rice cereal

1/4 cup of sliced almonds

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup of peptia seeds

1/4 cup milled flaxseed

1/4 cup of quinoa, uncooked 

1/4 cup dried mixed fruit ( I used a variety of blueberry and cranberry)

1 1/2 cup of local honey

1 Cup Smooth Cashew Butter

1 Cup Smooth Sunflower Butter

 

  1. Line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper, make sure to place the parchment over the sides to make for easy removal of the bars. Set aside.
  2. Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the meantime mix together the nut/seed butters and honey in a medium microwavable safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second and stir. Continue to microwave and stir in 30 second intervals until smooth and creamy. The mixture should appear melted. 
  4. Add the melted nut butter mixture over top of the dry ingredients and incorporate thoroughly with a rubber spatula. 
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared half sheet pan. A nice trick to this is to spray your spatula with nonstick cooking spray. Another pearl of wisdom, you can also use wax paper to push the bars down into the pan to make the even. 
  6. Place bars in the refrigerator covered and allow the bars to set overnight. 
  7. After the bars have hardened overnight in the refrigerator cut in to three dozen bars.  For optimal results and extended shelflife, store the bars in an airtight container  in refrigerator.  

 

 

PB2 Hummus


You would probably never guess this about me, but I absolutely hated peanut butter growing up. I’d even go as far as to hide it under the couch (sorry Mom) as a kid. It wasn’t until my 20’s that I acquired a love for this creamy gooey luscious substance. 

Now a days, I consume peanut butter or powered peanut at least a few times a day. It is a protein stable in my diet. Peanut butter is my go-to for adding calories and protein into my clients’ diets. 

However if you are trying to cut down on calories you can try using powered peanut butter instead. 

This recipe yields 14 (2 Tablespoons per serving) servings 

Ingredients: 

6 Tablespoons of PB2 

2 cups of cooked chickpeas (if using canned make sure to rinse and drain thoroughly)

1 tsp kosher salt

2 large gloves of garlic

1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil 

1/8 teaspoon of paprika

3 Tablespoons of water 

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)

Directions
:

Place all the ingredients into the high tech blender. Process all the ingredients until smooth and creamy consistency is achieved with no residue of thick chunks remaining. 

Enjoy with carrots or snap peas 😋

Lucy’s Dog Bisuits


Lucy is my 17 week old English Blockhead Lab. Before I ventured back to Pa my boss in NC made Lucy treats for the road trip. She loved them! My boss was kind enough to share her recipes with me. I believe this is a combination of Gunther’s Blend, her Schnauzer.

I compiled a few recipes into one. Once these are devoured I will make another batch and post.

These have to sit overnight in the oven and Lucy girl knew it and wouldn’t stop barking at the oven. 


I did let her sneak one. After all she is a good girl!


This recipe yield 123 mini dog bone biscuits (1 1/2 inch)

Recipe:

3 cups of whole wheat flour

1 cup Oat brand

1 1/3 cup Corn Meal

1 cup natural crunchy peanut butter

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup skim milk

3 eggs, separated (one is for the egg wash)

Canola oil (optional for soften up the dough)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Parchment paper line two half sheet cookie sheets. Set aside. 

2. In a large bowl mix together first three ingredients (all the grains). Set aside.

3. Place the peanut butter in a medium bowl microwave for 30 seconds stir and repeat once more. Add the milk and chicken stock to the melted peanut butter.  Lightly beat two of the eggs in small dish and add to the liquid ingredients and whisk together.  

4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry using a spatula mix until no dry residue remains. Cover with bowl with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. 

5. Once the dough has rested lay a few hand fills of the dough on pastry mat or lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into 1/4 inch thickeness and cut the biscuits out. Now I did add a teaspoon or two of the oil on my hands and worked it into the dough. The dough is dry. I added it to prevent cracking. 

6: Place the cut outs on the prepared baking dish. I was able to fit 45 per sheet pan using a 1 1/2 inch mini bone cut out. You can use any shape you want. The local dog bakery here in town uses circles. I found one antique cut-out  in the shape of a bunny I’ll use next time. 

7. Before placing in the oven brush with egg wash. The thicker you cut them the longer they need to bake. I went on the thicker side and baked mine for 20-23 minutes. 

8. Let the cookies dry on a drying rack. Once completely cooled and oven cooled as well place the biscuits back on the baking sheet and let dry out over night in oven. 

9. Next day place in airtight container and share with fur friends. 

Grandma Lee’s No-Bake Bars


Today I had my first meeting with my new clinical team. I wanted to make a sweet treat but didn’t want to turn on the oven. It was 88 degrees in my house! I haven’t turned on the air … yet. 

I have been wanting to make Grandma Lee’s recipe for a while now. She used to prepare it for the school where she was employed as head cook.  I can remember growing up and going to visit her at work. She’d always sneak me a cookie and some milk when I visited with grandpa. Grandma also always stored these in the freezer as well, so when we’d go visit her at home she never let us go with a cookie for the road. 

This recipe can be made into cookies or bars. I was pressed for time; therefore, went on the safe side and made bars. 

Yields: 24 bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup, 1 stick unsalted butter (grandma uses salted, I just used a pinch of kosher with the unsalted butter)

1/2 cup (fat free half & half) grandma uses whole milk

1 cup natural creamy peanut butter

4 Tablespoons cocoa powder ( I prefer penzeys)

1 1/2 cups quick oats

1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (grandma uses all quick oats)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

9 by 13 pan & lined with Parchment paper

Directions

1. Take a medium sauce pan on medium heat and add first 4 ingredients and bring to a boil.

2. Once the sauce boils, allow to boil for two minutes & then remove from heat and add oats and vanilla. 

3. Incorporate the oats into the melted mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Even out the batter with a rubber spatula. Cover with sealable container or foil. Store on the counter. Do not refrigerator. 

4. Allow to harden, I waited overnight. Use the parchment paper to pull the bars out of the pan and on a cutting board, cut the bars into even pieces. 

As pictured Recipe yields 24 bars. 

If you decide to go the cookie route, this recipe will yield 30 to 36 cookies using a size 40 scooper. I would recommend dropping them on wax paper and letting them sit before storing them in a sealable container.

Enjoy !

Quinoa and Cucumber Salad

IMG_4512

Today we are celebrating father’s day a little early since my dad has to work next weekend. I was asked to bring a salad or the vegetarian dish. As my mom would put it “something you will eat” lol. This recipe is vegan so you can be safe to make the dish for your vegan guests as well.

There are a lot of benefits to a using quinoa in dishes. I like the fact that it is a whole grain and packed with protein. I prefer using the tricolor quinoa more or less for ascetics. I know the tricolor tends to be more expensive. If you like the tricolor as well,  I will share a trick to making the pantry staple last longer. Try purchasing a large bag of the white quinoa (like the Costco size) and mixing it with a small bag of tricolor. You will be surprised how the two can extend the tricolor effect.

This recipe yields: 6 (1 cup) servings

Ingredients

1 1cup(s )canned low sodium black beans, drained (this is one 15 oz can)
cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and diced
cup cooked tricolor quinoa, cooled
1cup English cucumber, diced (this about 1/2 a medium)
1cup fresh lemon juice (this took about 1 and a half fresh medium lemons)
1 cup raw red bell pepper, diced (this is about one medium)
1 cup raw yellow bell pepper, diced (this is about one medium)
medium raw scallion(s)
clove(s), smallgarlic clove(s)
2Tbs Pasta Sprinkle aka Italian seasoning
1tsp kosher salt
1tsp ground  pepper
1cup Lime jalapeno balsamic vinegar
Instructions
1. Place all the ingredients in a resealable container and give it a good toss.  Place the lid on the container. Store in the refrigerator to marry overnight or for a solid 1-2 hours.
2. Enjoy at your next potluck!

Roasted Yellow Pepper & Garlic Hummus

Hummus is very versatile and can be made with just about any type of bean or legume. Most traditionally though it is made with chickpeas AKA garbanzo beans. 

I like to make all kinds of variations of hummus. Generally, I like to have both garlic and roasted peppers in my hummus. 

 Yields 5 cups (20 servings; 1/4 cup)

Ingredients:

2 cans (15 oz) of reduced sodium chickpeas, drained and reserve one 1/4 cup of liquid

7 ounces of roasted yellow peppers  (packed in water NOT oil); drained
6 cloves of garlic (I love love garlic)
3 tablespoons of tahini ( essentially Sesame seed butter)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

6 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon of curry powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of Penzeys Arizona seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in the vitamix and place the device on liquid setting. Once mode complete, place contents into sealable container. Allow the contents to marry overnight for optimal flavor

Keep stored in refrigerator. 

My favorite combinations with this hummus recipe is tacos tacos, and fresh turnips.

Zesty Tajin Hummus

Yields 14 servings (1/4 cup)

Tools needed for the job:

Vitamix

Ingredients:

2 cans (15 oz) of chickpeas,  drained and reserve one 1/4 cup of liquid

7 ounces of roasted red peppers and yellow or combination (packed in water NOT oil) drained

7 cloves of garlic (I love love garlic)

3 tablespoons of tahini ( essentially Sesame seed butter)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

6 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon reduced sodium tajin 

1 teaspoon of curry powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in the vitamix and place the device on liquid setting. Once mode complete, place contents into sealable container.  Allow the contents to marry overnight.

Keep stored in refrigerator. 

My favorite combinations with hummus are #1 Pizza! Other favorites are snap peas, carrots, wasa crackers, whole grain corn and quinoa cakes,  & added to kale salad!