Thursday, November 08, 2007


Nut-crusted winter squash

This is such a good recipe! I got it from Luna Circle Farm when I was a member of their CSA.

1-2 winter squash (I like to use butternut)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper

1 tbsp cold butter, cut into little pieces
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/2 C coarsely chopped pecans

  1. Cook the squash - with skin on, cut into large chunks and steam over boiling water for 25 minutes or roast in the oven. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then peel skin off squash pieces with a paring knife.
  2. Mash squash with butter, brown sugar, and salt and pepper. Place in a greased 2-qt casserole dish.
  3. Make topping - combine butter, sugar, and flour and blend using a fork. Add nuts and stir. Sprinkle over the squash, adding more nuts if desired.
  4. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. You can also microwave the squash, then add the topping, and broil for a few minutes to let it brown.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Red curry stir-fry

This is so good, I can't stop making it!

The sauces:
  1. Mix together and use to marinate sliced meat for at least 10 minutes and no more than 1 hour:
    • 1 tsp. brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  2. Mix together in a small bowl and set aside:
    • 1-1/2 tsp. red curry paste
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  3. Mix together in a separate small bowl:
    • 3 tbsp. coconut milk
    • 1/2 C chicken broth
    • 1 tsp. cornstarch
    • 1 tbsp. lime juice
    • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
    • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
Now it is time to cook!
  1. Heat 1 tbsp. cooking oil (not olive oil) in a large nonstick pan or wok on HIGH heat.
  2. Add meat in batches to avoid overcrowding and stir-fry until browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe out inside of pan with a paper towel.
  3. Add 1 tbsp. cooking oil to pan. Add onions, if using, and stir fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add any hard, crunchy vegetables you may be using (carrots, eggplant, bell peppers) and stir fry for 2-3 minutes or until half-cooked.
  5. Add softer vegetables (mushrooms, snow peas, cook potatoes) and stir-fry for a couple more minutes or until mushrooms have softened.
  6. Push vegetables to the sides of the pan so there's a well in the middle. Place garlic/curry paste mixture in the middle of the pan and stir constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Stir vegetables into curry mixture. Add beef and stir.
  8. Add coconut milk sauce and fresh basil to the stir fry and heat until the sauce has thickened.
  9. Serve with basmati rice.
Crystal's Helpful Hints:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Mexican Appetizer Dip

This is a combination of 2 appetizer dips that I've had recently. I took my favorite parts of both and made them one dip!

-Take 2 to 3 bars of softened cream cheese and mix with 1 pkg taco seasoning. It's easiest to do in a mixer (or even pop the bars of cream cheese in the oven for a while to get them melty and mixable!). Spread mixture in a 9 X 13 inch pan.

-Top cream cheese with 2 cans of your favorite type of Hormel chili. I like the turkey chili or the veggie chili with lots of beans.

-Top chili layer with a thin layer of taco sauce.

-Top taco sauce layer with lots of your favorite cheese.

-Bake in a 350 oven until hot, bubbly, and melty. Top with green onions if you wish! Serve with tortilla chips.

I'm hungry just thinking about this one!



Avocado Dip

In a blender/food processor, mix:

-2 large or 3 small/medium avocados
-1.5 to 2 16 oz tubs sour cream
-1.5 to 2 packages dry ranch dressing mix

Spread in a 9 X 13 pan.

Top with topped veggies/toppings such as:

-red onions
-black olives
-green chiles
-red peppers
-any veggie or topping you like

Chill and serve!

This is so good! The botttom layer I just added stuff by taste until it was the way I liked it. Then I added whatever I liked for the veggies. It's easy to change it around a bit!


Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 can Rotel Tomatoes
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can Ranch Style beans (pinto)
1 can Hominy (white or yellow)
1 can sweet corn
1 8oz (?) can green chilies
1 package taco seasoning
1 package ranch dressing mix

Brown meat, add taco seasoning, dump in all canned goods and either let simmer in crock pot or heat through on the stove. Once boiling (hot) add the package of ranch dressing. Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips if you want to.

** The original instructions say to use the liquids in the canned goods as the liquid for the soup, but when I made this I drained all the liquid out of the canned goods and used beef broth instead. It turned out wonderful!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Healthy rice recipes

You will love these low-fat rice side dishes. I got them out of Nutrition Action.

Using instant brown rice:
Combine the broth, any water or juice, and herbs or spices in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir in the rice, reduce the heat, and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Remove from the heat. Fluff with a fork. Stir in the oil and any other ingredients listed after it.

Using regular brown rice:
Do the same as above, except simmer for 50 minutes instead of 10 minutes.

Using whole-wheat couscous:
Combine the broth, any water or juice, and herbs or spices in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir in the couscous. Remove from the heat and allow to sit 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in the oil and any other ingredients listed after it.

All recipes make 1 serving. Can be easily multiplied.

Seasoned Rice
1 C vegetable or chicken broth
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C instant brown rice
1 tbsp. olive oil

Spiced Rice
3/4 C vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 C orange juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 C instant brown rice
1 tbsp. olive oil

Mushroom-Walnut Rice
1 C vegetable or chicken broth
1 8-oz. package sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 C instant brown rice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 C chopped walnuts

Parmesan Rice
3/4 C vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 C water
1 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C instant brown rice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese

Greek Pasta
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 C cooked whole wheat penne pasta
1/4 C lemon juice
3 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp. olive oil

Combine the tomatoes, garlic, mint and oregano in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes or until warmed through. Spoon the mixture over the cooked pasta. Drizzle with lemon juice, feta cheese, and olive oil. Stir to combine. Makes 4 servings.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Yummy Pizzas

I made these pizzas for a girl's weekend and they were yummy!! They are courtesy of Rachael Ray. The only change I made was to use precooked pizza crusts from the grocery store instead of pizza dough. Enjoy! ~Randi

White Pizza

1 store bought pizza dough - or pick one up from your favorite pizzeria
Extra- virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 cups whole or part skim ricotta
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella or provolone, 1 pouch
10 fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup, shredded

Preheat a pizza stone if you use one along with the oven to 425 degrees F.
Stretch dough to form a pie and transfer to stone or pizza baking tray. Pierce the dough with the tines of a fork in several places. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil around the crust. Mix the ricotta cheese with garlic and parsley and season it with salt and black pepper. Spread the ricotta across the dough. Top the pizza with mozzarella or provolone. Bake until crispy, 20 minutes. Top the white pizza pie with the shredded basil leaves, cut and serve.

Chicken Parm Pizza

1 store bought pizza dough
Cornmeal or flour, for dough
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (2 turns of the pan plus a drizzle)
1 pound ground chicken
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Couple pinches crushed red pepper flakes
Couple pinches dried oregano
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone
5 to 6 leaves basil, torn or shredded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Coat hands and work surface with a little cornmeal or flour. Using your hand or a rolling pin, form a 14-inch round pizza. Place pizza on a baking sheet or pizza stone and poke the top with a few holes. Drizzle a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil down over the dough and place in oven. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Add meat and break it up with a wooden spoon. To browned meat, add garlic and onions, then season with salt and pepper. Cook together 5 to 6 minutes then add parsley, red pepper flakes, oregano and the tomatoes to the pan. Heat the sauce through.
Remove pizza from oven after 10 minutes and top with sauce and cheeses. Return to oven and bake until golden and bubbly, another 10 to12 minutes. Top the pizza with basil, cut and serve.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Crispy Oven Fries

These oven fries are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. I actually got this recipe from Cook's Illustrated. I know it seems lengthy, but it's really not that hard. And they are sooo good!

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 10-12 even-sized wedges
4-5 tbsp. vegetable (not olive) oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 475.
  2. Soak potato wedges in a bowl of hot tap water for 10 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, coat the bottom of a large, metal baking sheet with 3-4 tbsp. oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove potatoes from water; place on paper towels and lightly pat to dry.
  5. Pour tap water out of the bowl; rinse and dry. Place potatoes in the bowl and toss with remaining 1 tbsp. oil.
  6. Arrange potato wedges on oiled baking sheet in a single layer. Cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil.
  7. Bake 5 minutes; remove foil. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown spots appear on fries.
  8. Remove from oven, flip each potato fry over using a spatula and tongs. Make sure each fry has been flipped.
  9. Put back into oven and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven and arrange on a new baking sheet covered with paper towels to drain. Serve hot.


Freakin' awesome slow-cooker pot roast

This is a very tasty classic pot roast recipe. It's very easy to put together because there's practically NO chopping involved. The veggies are added only to contribute to the overall taste of the roast, not to be eaten themselves.

1 big hunk of beef, doesn't matter what cut or what size. It should be a roast, though.
1 onion, cut in half and stuck with two whole cloves
1 carrot (can be left unpeeled), cut into large chunks
2 stalks of celery, cut in half - include greens on top if they look okay
1 whole garlic clove, peeled
1/2 C water
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Place all ingredients in crockpot. Cook on LOW 8-12 hours. Serve beef with mashed potatoes or rockin' oven fries.

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