Monthly Archives: August 2014

German Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

German chocolate cheesecake cups

It’s strange how a food can symbolize so much more than just food. We attach people, events and emotions to foods and smells to anchor us to our history. The combination of pecans, coconut, chocolate and caramel is one such anchor for me. Continue reading

Where’s My Backpack? Travel Theme: Edges

“Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy.” –Fanny Burney

All roads lead to Rome. Enjoy some of the multiple edges of the Eternal City.

Roman Coliseum

Roman Coliseum

Florence, Italy
You need only look up to see the fine edges of her beauty.

Florence Italy

To see more from Where’s my backpack?, weekly photo theme, go here.

Baked Tomato With Pesto & Mozzarella

Baked tomato with pesto and mozzarella

I have fresh tomatoes coming out of my ears. I’m not complaining, I swear. I will be crying for fresh tomatoes in October when they are replaced in the grocery stores with red, tasteless orbs of tomato likeness. I love caprese salad because seriously what’s not to love about tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella? I wanted a warm pretty side dish to serve with baked black cod (sable fish). These baked “caprese” tomatoes were the perfect addition. Continue reading

Tortilla Soup- Vegetarian

What's for. Dinner?

I know that you all are dying to know what I made with my “What’s for dinner? Challenge” ingredients. I can tell from the “holding your breath in anticipation” cyber silence. Feel free to breathe now and leave a comment if you came up with a recipe for the challenge. 🙂

South of the border, Tortilla Soup is usually made with chicken but the portobello mushrooms lend a “meaty, umami” flavor and the grilled peppers and corn lend a smoky deliciousness to the soup. I topped my soup with avocado, non-fat sour cream and toasted corn tortilla strips for a vegetarian meal. Vegans, just leave off the sour cream for an animal friendly meal.

Mushroom tortilla soup

Roast or grill fresh corn and red peppers.

Mushroom tortilla soup

Combine rough chopped carrot, onion, potato, mushroom, garlic, and sautée in olive oil.

Mushroom tortilla soup

Simmer in cumin, ancho chili powder, coriander seasoned mushroom broth.

Tortilla Soup, Vegetarian

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 medium onion diced
2 gloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground dried coriander
2 tsp ancho chili powder, more or less to taste
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups vegetarian broth, I used mushroom broth
2 cups water
2 cups fresh seeded tomatoes or canned
14 oz can pinto or red kidney beans, drained
2 portobello mushrooms rough chopped, any mushroom will work
2 carrots diced
1 large potato diced
Kernels from 2 ears fresh corn
1 red bell pepper roasted and chopped
2 cups chard, kale or spinach chopped or torn
Adjust salt to taste, the broth and beans may be salted already.

To Serve
1 avocado sliced
1 lime quartered to squeeze over the soup
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves picked
2 corn sliced and tortillas toasted
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese shredded

Grill or broil corn and red peppers until a nice char appears. I don’t bother to skin the peppers after roasting. Remove corn kernels with a sharp knife. While the oven or grill is hot toast the tortilla strips misted with olive oil and lightly salted until golden brown.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 2 quart pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic sautée until soft. Add cumin, chili powder, coriander and ground pepper and cook 2 minutes until fragrant. Add all vegetables except the greens, legumes and the liquids. Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes. Add greens and simmer 10 minutes. Ladle into large bowls and serve with toppings on the side.

Make Time For Arugula Nectarine Feta Salad

Arugula nectarine feta salad

There’s never enough time!

“This is no time to talk about time! We don’t have the time!… What was I saying?” Cmdr. Deanna Troi, Star Trek First Contact 1996

“I’m late, I’m late for a very important date. No time to say Hello, Goodbye, I’m late, I’m late I’m late.” Bob Dale

I’m on my way to Fiesta Friday with this three ingredient salad. Continue reading

What Would You Make For Dinner?


Are you up for a challenge, Top Chefs? The prize, you ask? Uh….a sense of accomplishment. Yes a sense of accomplishment!
Now stop procrastinating and Go!

What would you make for dinner tonight?

Here are your ingredients.
Red bell pepper
Portobello mushrooms
Swiss chard

You may add seasonings and either a meat or a grain. Liquids and herbs are a freebie.

What would you make for dinner tonight?
Stay tuned for the recipe that I dreamed up.
Hint: South of the U.S. border cuisine

Leave a comment with your recipe title or a link to your blog.

Where’s My Backpack? Travel theme: Horizons

Alaskan Horizon

Early morning in Southeast Alaska. Grab a cup of coffee while the crew prepares to make way and just listen to the sea. The gentle tang of the halyards, a distant gull, the huff of a sea lion or the blow of a passing humpback. Now listen to your breath, be one with the moment and let civilization drift away.