Sunday, October 30, 2016

Secret Recipe Club: Rosemary Chicken Chowder

This Secret Recipe Club reveal week!

This week we have a special theme reveal. There are 5 Mondays this month and this week's theme is Fall recipes.

You all already know all about Secret Recipe Club. Every month, a group of bloggers make another member's recipe (in secret, of course) and reveal on a particular day. I usually participate in group C, the 3rd Monday of the month, but this week everyone is participating together to make some delicious fall recipes.

Usually, theme reveal day is pretty easy. There's usually only 10 or so recipes that fit that theme and you pick your favorite one. It might be difficult because you can't find anything you want to make, never the other way around.

This month, I had a hard time with Amy's Cooking Adventures because there were just too many delicious recipes. I had about 20 tabs open when I was letting my husband pick what I should make. Amy has tons of recipes involving pumpkin and fall flavors and more soups than I can count. When I think fall, I always think soup first.

The man picked her Rosemary Chicken Chowder for me to make. I really wanted to make these awesome Pumpkin Pie Bars, but he vetoed that one (not sure why...he usually has a sweet tooth). Doesn't matter because I'm sure happy he told me to make this chowder. It was absolutely delicious with chicken, bacon, corn (I kind of mixed to recipes) and just the right amount of rosemary. Thank you so much Army! I will 100% make this recipe (and so many of your other recipes) again.


  • 3 slices of bacon, cut into half inch pieces
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced
  • `1 bay leaf
  • 12 oz potatoes, diced into bit sized pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 can cannelini beans, drained
  • 1 bunch kale, removed from stalks and chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook bacon in a heavy bottom pot and render the fat. Remove bacon and set aside.
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and brown well on all sides. Remove from pot and dice into small pieces
  3. Add onion, garlic and celery. Cook until aromatic.Add hers, chicken, potatoes and chicken stock. Cook until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through
  4. In a separate pot, melt butter and stir in flour until it smells nutty. Whisk in milk to form a bechamel sauce and set aside. 
  5. When potatoes are almost cooked through, add milk mixture to the pot, stirring constantly. Add beans, corn and kale and let thicken slightly.
  6. Add cream cheese at the very end, stirring until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh parsley and the reserved bacon. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Oatmeal is always such a great, simple breakfast but it can get very boring after a while. Even so, it is still extremely versatile. This oatmeal is one of my favorites because it tastes like dessert and it's full of vegetables and not too much sugar. You can dress it up as much or as little as you want. I top mine with a big dollop of greek yogurt mixed with maple syrup. The richness of the dairy really adds something special. You could also top it with cream cheese frosting, I suppose, if you have it on hand.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • dried cranberries or raisins
  • nuts
  • preferred sweetener to taste
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, etc
  1. Melt butter in a pan and brown the oats lightly.
  2. Add water, milk, spices and 3/4 of the carrots to the pot and simmer until thickened. Add more milk if necessary
  3. Season oatmeal to taste with honey, maple syrup, agave or brown sugar. Spoon into bowls and top with reserved carrots, cranberries and nuts. Serve with yogurt or cream cheese if desired.
4 years ago: Easy Coffee Cake

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Secret Recipe Club - French Dip Sandwich

Sadly, it is the second to last Secret Recipe Club reveal day. I've loved Secret Recipe Club since I joined over two years ago. It has kept me diligently blogging and making new, delicious recipes on a regular basis. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to stay motivated to keep up this blog now that it's gone, but if any of you know of other good food blog challenges, please let me know!

Secret Recipe Club is a great collection of bloggers who make another member's recipe (in secret, of course) and write about it on a given reveal day. This week is group C's reveal day and I think I picked an excellent choice for my reveal.

I was assigned Lynsey Lou by Lynsey, a wife and food blogger. Her blog is full of delicious looking recipes (especially desserts). She had a great number of recipes I wanted to make, including Sour Cream Doughnut and Chewy Gingersnap Cookies. However, I knew we needed a main dish option this week so I ended up making her French Dip Sandwiches.

Man, this was a delicious sandwich. The store was out of brisket, so we ended up using a cheaper chuck roast instead (which I honestly always prefer for braises). This meal came together so quickly, easily and perfectly. It was a perfect Monday night dinner that smelled amazing after coming home from a long day at work. Best of all, this meal served us for multiple nights, including rice bowls and a great, re-purposed beef ragu  with red wine fettuccine (recipe for that to come later).

This meat was super tender and perfectly savory. This will certainly make it into our regular meal rotation and I highly recommend it for anyone who needs a new, delicious slow cooker recipe.


  • 1 3lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 Tbsp bacon fat (or 3 slices bacon)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 gloves minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Sliced provolone cheese
  • Hoggie rolls
  • Fresh parsley for serving
  1. Season beef with salt and pepper. Sear in the rendered bacon fat until well browned on all sides.
  2. Place onion, garlic, mushrooms, bay leaf, Worcestershire, honey, thyme, and broth in the crockpot. Place beef on top and cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Toast the bread in a little butter. Place cheese on the bread and place hot shredded beef on top. 
  4. Serve sandwich with leftover broth for dipping and enjoy

Five years ago Bagels 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

West African Chicken and Peanut Soup

One of my favorite blogs has always been Taras Multicultural Table. I discovered it as part of Secret Recipe Club and I always wanted to have her blog as my partner. Sadly, that never happened (but I did add a "By Region" section in my recipes because of her).

I'm always trying to make different ethnic foods. This is a wonderful recipe that has easy ingredients you can get anywhere. This West African chicken stew with peanuts, greens and yams is super hearty and delicious. I like this recipe because it doesn't have a too much peanut butter like some of the recipes I found. Some of them call for a full cup or even 2, which just sounded so fatty and too strong. This one was just right (though it could have used a little more heat. Adjust to taste as you desire).


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 6 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large bunch of collard greens, sliced into thick strips
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, plus extra for garnish.
  • salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
  1. Sautee onion, garlic and ginger in a little oil until fragrant. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned.
  2. Add peanuts, chicken stock, yams, tomatoes and collards and cook until potatoes are tender. Sir in peanut butter and adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Serve with right and a few extra peanuts for garnish.
Five years ago: Chicken Kiev

Friday, October 7, 2016

Creamed Spinach: A Steakhouse Classic

My husband and I rarely go out to steakhouses (I'm usually to the biggest fan of that much meat) but when we do, we basically order the same thing every time. Why mess with the classics?

We start with clams casino or something of that nature. Follow it up with a wedge or caesar salad. Main dish is usually a Porterhouse for two with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. Key lime pie for dessert.

It's the same thing, but why mess with the classics. I love clams casino (mmm need to make that sometime) and I love creamed spinach. The steak is ok too, I suppose.

I make a "lighter" creamed spinach than you'll find in a steakhouse, but its still pretty rich. If you want something delicious and rich feeling, try this as a side dish with your next steak


  • 2 large bunches of spinach (about a pound and a half)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • a splash of cream
  • 1 heaping spoonfull of greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
  1. Blanche spinach in well salted water until tender. Remove from water, shock in ice, drain and chop into small pieces
  2. In a large sautee pan, melt butter and stir in flour to form a blonde roux. Slowly add milk while whisking so no lumps form
  3. Stir in parmesean cheese and a large spoonfull of yogurt. If mixture begins to break, add a little cream to bring it all together. 
  4. Add spinach and simmer until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Two years ago Watermelon Sorbet
Four years ago Easy Coffee Cake
Five years ago Chicken Kiev

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Savory carrot and corn oats with dashi

Yesterday was a good day. We went for tailgating and drank a lot of bud light in the bright afternoon sun. Cal football won a beautiful game against Utah, we took a nap and then we met a few friends for drinks/eats for their engagement party. We drank champagne and large punch bowls of far too sweet liquor and fell into bed exhausted at 1am. It was a good day.

Needless to say, this morning was not the best day.

I wasn't feeling terrible, but I wasn't feeling my best. I was certainly not up for yoga this morning. I only wanted miso soup or ochazuke, which is what I normally have on mornings like this. Unfortunately, I am out of both rice and miso paste (today is grocery shopping day) so I decided to experiment. I've never been a fan of savory oatmeal, but this may change my mind. It is perfectly savory and without too much liquid, the oats are more like a great grain than a porridge. I think that's why I never liked savory oatmeal before... I always added too much liquid.

These oats were cooked with chicken stock and dashi though they could very easily be made vegetarian with veg stock and a mushroom dashi. . They tasted a little like ramen, but was still a delightful breakfast that's hearty and full of fiber. Highly recommended the next time you want something different for breakfast.


  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/2 cup dashi (fish or mushroom)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • a little frozen corn
  • kale leaves,sauteed
  • 1 fried egg
  • Whatever other items you desire
  1. Toast the oats in a little browned butter in a pan. Add carrots, stock, dashi and corn. Cook until oats are tender and liquid is fully absorbed. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, as needed
  2. Spoon into a bowl. Top with sauteed kale, fried egg, kimchi and whatever else sounds good.
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