Smashed potato soup

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

Tricia’s smashed potato soup

3-1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1/2 cup chopped yellow and/or red sweet pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons bottled roasted garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4-1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream, half-and-half, or light cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Sliced green onions (optional)

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine potatoes, sweet pepper, garlic, and black pepper. Pour broth over all.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

Mash potatoes slightly with a potato masher. Stir in whipping cream, cheddar cheese, and the 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions. If desired, top individual servings with additional sliced green onions. Makes 8 servings.

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Thai Green Curry Chicken Filling

The following recipe was used for my Steam Buns cooking class. You can read about my class and get other links to recipes HERE.

Thai Green Curry Chicken Filling

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
1 lb ground chicken
1 can coconut milk
1 cup bamboo shoots, julienned
1/2 cup slivered green onions
salt & white pepper to taste

In a wok or skillet, saute garlic & onions in oil.
Add curry paste and ground chicken and stir to heat.
Add coconut milk and bamboo shoots; stir. Allow the milk to reduce to half.
Remove from heat and stir in green onions, salt & white pepper. Allow to cool before using as filling.

Mongolian Beef Filling

The following recipe was used for my Steam Buns cooking class. You can read about my class and get other links to recipes HERE.

Mongolian Beef Filling

2 bunches green onion, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 lb lean beef, sliced thin
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce

Season sliced beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
Sprinkle cornstarch over beef and toss to coat. Set aside.
In hot pan saute garlic and onion in cooking oil until softened.
Add meat and brown.
Add oyster sauce and soy sauce; stir to coat.
Add green onions and toss.
Allow to cool before using as filling.

Project Pastrami…

I love spices… probably too much. I have a whole drawer full of spice jars and another shelf of random spices. I came across this recipe for Pastrami-Style Salmon and thought the spice mix was rather interesting.

Since I didn’t have any salmon on hand, I did have some ground turkey to use for dinner. Combining the pastrami spice mixture and ground turkey was truly an experiment that turned out to be delicious! I decided to use this spiced ground turkey and stuffed some large portabello mushrooms and voila… dinner is served. I accompanied my stuff mushrooms with roasted asparagus and tomatoes.

Here’s my recipe for Spiced Turkey Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms:

2 large portabello mushrooms
8 oz. ground turkey
garlic, minced
onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
cooking spray for browning turkey
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese (I used fat free)

Remove stems from mushrooms and gently brush off any debris.
In a large bowl, combine garlic, onion, sugar, and the spices and mix thoroughly.
In a saute pan, brown seasoned turkey.
Once browned, remove from heat and toss in cheese and green onions.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place mushrooms gill side up and top with the turkey/feta/onion mixture.
Bake stuffed mushrooms in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

*I’m also submitting this to the “Go Ahead, Honey – It’s Gluten-Free” blog event started way back in the wintry depths of February by Naomi of Straight into Bed Cake-Free and Dried. This month, Rachel of The Crispy Cook is hosting and the focus is seasonal veggies. Be sure to check out Rachel’s site in early September for the round up!*

Salads Get No Respect

This weekend was pretty full of good food, but I feel like my body needs to go into detox. I didn’t splurge much at all with the dinner events I hosted over the weekend but I was craving some fresh veggies. So today for lunch, I made a salad.

Don’t you hate the rep salads get? Some folks think salads are lame, boring and too healthy to taste good. I’ll admit, I had that same thinking until I started being creative with salads. They are a blank canvas to capture flavors, textures, colors… only healthier!

Today my salad consisted of a baked boneless, skinless chicken breast that was marinated in southwest seasoning. I also made a quick mango salsa (fresh mangoes, chopped bell pepper, garlic, red onion, salt & pepper, green onion) to offset the spicy chicken with some sweetness. For texture, I added some slivered almonds. Lastly, all my salads involve a little bit of cheese so I added a pinch of gorgonzola for a bit of tang.
Love and embrace salads… they’re good for you!

Things You Can Caramelize

What food comes to mind when you think of caramelizing? Let’s see… there’s onions, shallots, nuts, apples, creme brulee, etc. Have you ever considered tofu?

I know it’s a bit odd, but hear me out! Tofu is one of those foods that might require some extra coaxing for folks to try. But perhaps caramelizing them to give them more depth, flavor and color will help you to consider trying this recipe for Caramelized Tofu.

For lunch today we wanted to use up some bok choy and tofu we purchased last week. Thanks to my friend, Elly, she shared the site of 101 Cookbooks with me for a pancake recipe. On the same site, my eyes found this dish. I made some adaptations to use what I had on hand and overall, its a great way to use tofu. It made the tofu both sweet and salty – a great combination for most foods. To pair with this, I served it with steamed vegetable dumplings and a simple homemade ponzu sauce.


Here is my adaption of Caramelized Tofu with Bok Choy:

7 – 8 ounces extra-firm tofu cut into thin 1-inch segments
a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salt
a couple sprays of cooking spray
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
3-4 baby bok choy , washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons
salt & pepper to taste
few drops of sesame oil

Cook the tofu strips in large hot skillet (or pot) with a bit of salt and a sprays of cooking spray. Saute until slightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in sugar. Cook for another couple of minutes.

In the same pan, add a touch more sprays of cooking spray, another pinch of salt, and dial the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot stir in the chopped bok choy. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring a couple times (but not too often) until softened.

Return the tofu to the pan with the bok choy and toss together with salt, pepper and sesame oil before serving.

Serves 2 – 3 as a main, 4 as a side

*I’m also submitting this to the Bookmarked Recipes blogging event, hosted by Ruth of Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments. This is a great weekly blogging event so join in the fun or check out the round up every Monday on Ruth’s site!*

Mejillones a la Vinagreta

The following recipe was made and shared at my Tapas party. You can read about the event and view links to the other recipes shared HERE.

Mejillones a la Vinagreta
(Mussels Vinaigrette)
shared at the event by Teresa
recipe from here

2 1/2 dozen mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
Shredded lettuce
2 tbsp minced green onion
2 tbsp minced green pepper
2 tbsp minced red pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
Dash of red pepper sauce
Salt to taste

Steam open the mussels. Put them in a deep pan with the water. Cover the pan and put over a high heat, shaking the pan, until the shells open. Remove from heat and discard any mussels that do not open.
Mussels can also be opened in a microwave. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl, partially covered, and microwave at full power for one minute. Stir and microwave one minute more. Remove any mussels that have opened and microwave one minute more. Again remove open ones. Repeat twice more. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the empty shells. (Mussels can be cooked in advance and refrigerated.) Shortly before serving, arrange mussels on a bed of shredded lettuce on a serving platter. In a bowl combine the onion, green and red pepper, parsley, oil, and vinegar. Season with red pepper sauce and salt. Spoon the mixture into the mussels in their shells.