Saturday, September 24, 2011

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Just tried my first batch ever at making my own ranch dressing. I played around with some of the ingredients and this is what I arrived at for a base recipe. But I look forward to future concoctions with whatever fresh herbs I happen to have on hand. If this turns out to be a hit, eventually I'll need to learn how to make my own mayonnaise, buttermilk, and sour cream too. Then I can really call it homemade.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

1 1/4 Cups Tillamook Sour Cream
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Juice of one small squeezed lemon
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove finely minced

Combine all ingredients with a whisk. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Should keep for a couple of weeks.

This makes a pretty thick dressing. You can thin it out more by adding extra buttermilk if you prefer.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Coconut Rice with Beef Stir Fry

Coconut Rice with Beef Stir-Fry


  • Rice:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of ground red pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • Stir-fry:
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and thinly sliced across the grain
  • 1 cup vertically sliced onion
  • 1 cup red bell pepper strips
  • 3 cups sliced bok choy
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 lime wedges
To prepare rice, bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

To prepare stir-fry, heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of beef; stir-fry 4 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; cover and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and beef.

Add onion and bell pepper to pan; stir-fry 5 minutes. Add bok choy; stir-fry 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add beef, cilantro, chili garlic sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve with rice and lime wedges.

Oven Baked Pancake with Homemade Raspberry Sauce

Don't be alarmed by the gourmet souffle looking thing. This recipe is easier, that's right easier, than making regular pancakes. The oven does all the work for you. And the raspberry sauce was the perfect accompaniment for this oven baked pancake. But it could easily go with other things as well. It would be a nice treat over some grilled chicken breast, serve over vanilla ice cream, or stir a spoonful of the leftover sauce into plain or vanilla yogurt for instant organic raspberry yogurt.

Oven Baked Pancake with Homemade Raspberry Sauce

Click the link for the basic inspiration recipe. Or try my variation below for the raspberry sauce.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces frozen organic raspberries from Trader Joes
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar (optional)


  • Place frozen raspberries in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat and simmer about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. When the raspberries have cooked down to a soupy liquid remove from heat. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Use a spoon or spatula to press the raspberries into the strainer to get as much juice out as possible. Stir in 2 tablespoons of sugar. Pour into a gravy boat or other creamer cup for serving.
  • Melt butter in a 10-inch ovenproof frying pan over low heat. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl or blender, beat or whirl eggs until light and pale. Beat or blend in milk, vanilla, flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in a 425° oven until pancake is puffed and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve immediately with raspberry sauce. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

This Week's Recipes

It's 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning and I've already completed the meal planning and grocery shopping for the week. Yay! Felt great to be out in the stores while they were well stocked and less crowded than the typical weekend rush. I'm hoping to start a new routine of making Saturday mornings my grocery shopping and meal prep time. I'm intending to post my weekly recipe list if you care to follow along and will share the results throughout the week. Saturday morning I will also try to prep the meals that can be cooked ahead of time (such as soups, marinades, and baked goods) and portioned off in servings and stored for later in the week to quickly grab for lunches on the go or busy nights with meetings, etc.

Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili
Ravioli with Sauteed Zucchini
Spiced Cider and Maple Marinade (with Chicken Breasts)
Mixed Fresh Fruit Cobbler
Curried Chicken Corn Chowder
Baked Sunday Pancake with Raspberry Sauce
Super Sloppy Joe Sandwiches
Arugula and Walnut Salad
Coconut Rice with Beef Stir-Fry
Deviled Eggs
Rise and Shine Oatmeal

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mixed Fresh Fruit Cobbler

Here is another recipe to add to my new basic recipes series. The concept of the basic recipes series is to come up with good staple recipes that can be easily mixed and matched and swapped out for whatever fresh seasonal ingredients you happen to have on hand. This is a must for anyone who is trying to eat locally or seasonally.

Mixed Fresh Fruit Cobbler

Cobbler Filling
6 cups mixed fresh baking fruits or berries (peeled and copped) - such as apples, pears, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb, etc. (I used blackberries and golden delicious apples this time)
1/2 cup sugar
Juice and zest of one small lemon
1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Crumb Topping
/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a greased 9x9 baking dish, stirring to incorporate.

In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients (flour through butter) with a fork until incorporated and crumbly. Spread evenly over fruit mixture.

Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.