Swell Supper: Vegetarian Labor Day Feast


by on Sep 3rd, 2011 // Swell Suppers

Labor Day is all about getting together with friends and throwing one last BBQ before summer’s end. There’s always plenty of burgers and hot dogs, but what about options for the vegetarians? Those veggie lovers deserve something better than a frozen soy patty so for this Labor Day feast we came up with an idea that even the meat-lover might go for. Get ready for the satisfying and tasty Black Bean Quinoa Burgers, Gluten Free Sweet Potato Chips, Crunchy Asian Slaw, topped off with a Date Cake.

Begin this supper by preparing the date cake. When it comes time to blend the date mixture I skipped the food processor and just used an immersion blender. So much easier to clean! While the cake is baking start the black bean and quinoa burgers. The quinoa need to cook for 10 minutes which is just enough time to prep the gluten free sweet potato chips and the glaze for the date cake.

The cake should be done, so take it out of the oven and increase the temp to 400 degrees F. Place the sweet potato chips into the oven. Go back to the black bean quinoa burgers. Mix the ingredients, form into patties on a cookie sheet and spray the tops. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees F and place the burgers in the oven with the chips.

While the burgers and chips are cooking pour the glaze onto the date cake and prepare the crunchy asian slaw. When the slaw is finished the burgers and chips should be too.  Your supper is ready to serve. Now doesn’t that sound swell?

Delicious Links


by on Sep 1st, 2011 // Delicious Links
Delicious Links Delicious Links Delicious Links Delicious Links

Salad. It brings a certain sophistication to any meal, n’est-ce pas?

As I might have mentioned before, I love avocado. I also love mango. I couldn’t dream of a better combination than an avocado mango salad.

Insalata Caprese, the simple, yet delicious, salad that originated in the Italian region of Campania to become the staple antipasto. Try these tiny Caprese Salad Skewers at your next dinner party.

Watermelon, Fig, & Goat Cheese Salad. Need I say more?

If you are looking for a heavier salad as a main course, look no further than this Eggplant, Goat Cheese & Spiced Onion Salad.

Skillet Corn Cake with Blackberries and Nectarines


by on Sep 1st, 2011 // Desserts

A couple of days ago my husband and I got a last minute call that his uncles were in town so we immediately invited them over for dinner. I knew I would make them my grilled veggies with pasta (we omitted the chicken and served salmon and steak on the side), but I was at a loss for dessert. I put a call into my mom and she recommended I serve her cheater tiramisu. There was no way I could serve cheater tiramisu to Italians! Next she mentioned a skillet cake made with biscuit dough. Hmmm, this got me thinking about my favorite skillet cake so I decided to create my own version. I had no idea how it would turn out, kind of scary with guests. It was perfect, so good that this is now my favorite skillet cake (sorry Rebecca). Head on over to the family kitchen for this crowd pleasing recipe and some adorable pics of my kids cooking together!


GF White Bean Chive Cakes with Heirloom Tomatoes


by on Aug 30th, 2011 // Gluten Free

When you’re forced to change the way you eat, sometimes experimenting with new food is a massive failure. Other times I find my new fave meal/appetizer/travel snack, like with these white bean and chive cakes, and all the hockey pucks I’ve baked become a distant memory.

I love this inspiring recipe from Tasty Yummies (she calls them patties, I call them cakes because they make me as happy as eating cake) thrown on top of some greens, served alongside some marina sauce, atop a juicy tomato slice, or just eaten hot off the griddle. You must make sure your cornmeal for this rad dish is gluten-free, as some of them can be sneaky. But once you’ve purchased your bag of g-free cornmeal, think of all the things you can do! Oh, the cornmeal places you’ll go.

Also, do you know what rocks when you can’t eat gluten? Crusts. And this cornmeal makes such a lovely crust I’m thinking about throwing it on everything I eat from now on. Even beaver. First you toss the gluten-free cornmeal on this:

Fry it in olive oil, like this:

Shove it in your mouth, like this:

Here’s how you get a g-free delight that will turn you into a white bean & chive cake addict. You’ve been warned. Read more after the jump…

Swell Supper: Memory Making Calzones


by on Aug 28th, 2011 // Swell Suppers

In Oregon my mom’s best friend, Judi, is known around the valley for her cooking but her calzones and puffed pastry (she makes it from scratch, stretching it paper thin over the entire dining room table) put her on the map. Growing up my favorites were the calzones. We made the dough and selected ingredients from what seemed like a million options and cooked them up into all kinds of shapes and sizes (mine was roughly the size and shape of half a watermelon). I brought it home and shared it with my family, then continued to snack on it for days. Needless to say, calzones have a special place in my heart and I am very much looking forward to sharing this with my kids by making Rebecca’s Easy Calzone’s, with a side of Sprouted Mung Bean Salad and one of my favorite desserts, Rhubarb Bundt Cake.

The sprouted mung bean salad needs a couple of hours in the fridge to cool so begin with this recipe. Once you place it in the fridge move on to the rhubarb bundt cake. My mouth is watering as I type this. Rebecca brought this to my house for a BBQ and gave me the leftovers and I could NOT stop eating it! OK, back to directions. Preheat the oven, mix the cake batter and pour it in the bundt and place in the oven.

Now it’s time for the calzones. I like Rebecca’s idea of using pre-made pizza dough to save time. I also use ground chicken instead of beef as we have some cholesterol issues around these parts. The kids love stretching the dough and sealing it with the filling inside. The rhubarb bundt should be done so remove it from the oven and turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F. Place the calzones in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. My daughter taught me an awesome trick for getting away with sneaking a treat before supper since there is no way I can wait an hour before eating the rhubarb bundt – she says ‘ I need to try it to make sure it’s not poisoned’. I’m glad we are poison testers! Now set the table and serve dinner and watch how everyone devours the dessert. Now doesn’t that sound swell?