Monday, August 26, 2013

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

It's tomato season!  Yummy!  Are you looking for an innovative new recipe to use up all those home grown plum tomatoes?  Well you've come to the right place.  This recipe is zippy and fresh and totally delicious. With a side of homemade bread it hit the spot! 

The original recipe inspiration came from Barefoot Contessa and here is her recipe.  I didn't even try to make the original recipe, I adapted it from the get go.  I've been getting better on spotting a good recipe...and boy is this a good one! 

Karin's Roasted Tomato Basil Soup


3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise (I also trimmed off the stem end)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Sea Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 whole bunch of spring onions diced
3 teaspoons of minced garlic or 6 cloves minced
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, with their juices (Bionaturae- has no MSG or citric acid)
2 cups fresh basil leaves- I honesty didn't measure, but I don't think I used 4 cups like the original recipe called for
4 cups Homemade Chicken Stock I use this recipe but without the turnip and I use 1 bunch of spring onions instead of regular onions.  I also use organic whole chicken.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place fresh plum tomatoes on baking sheet and drizzle with 1/4 cup EVOO, salt and pepper.  Roast for 45 minutes. 

In an 8 quart stockpot over medium heat, sauté the spring onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of EVOO for 3-5 minutes until fragrant.  Add the canned tomatoes with juice, basil and chicken stock.  Add the oven-roasted tomatoes along with their juices from the baking sheet to the stockpot.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes uncovered.  Let soup cool down a bit, and then add to a blender and puree until smooth.  I had to do it in two batches. 

To eat- I prefer mine warm.  Return to stove and reheat until warmed through.  I served mine with a side of toasted bread.  Yummy!


Fruit Pizza

Awhile back I put a challenge out there for my friends and family on Facebook to challenge me to try a new recipe.  I asked people to send me their favorite dessert ideas and then I picked one and challenged myself to make it.  Fruit pizza was the idea and I had never heard of it.  Fruit tarts I've tasted, but never made...but fruit pizza????

So I needed recipe inspiration.  That's where Pinterest came in hand.  This is the original inspiration...and a mighty fine recipe just as it is.  However, I adapted it to be migraine friendly and MSG free. 

Here goes nothing:

Karin's Fruit Pizza

1 1/2 cups pure can sugar
2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Organic White Flour
1/2 teaspoon Debbies Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
14 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, softened (I use Wegmans Organic Brand)
2 teaspoons Organic Vanilla Extract
2 large eggs

1/2 cup Spectrum Naturals All Vegetable Shortening, Organic
1/2 cup (1 stick) Organic Unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract
4 cups (1 lb) Organic Powdered Sugar Sifted- Wholesome Brand carries one variety without cornstarch
2 -3 tablespoons Organic Pasteurized Whole Milk


  • Beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a stand mixer until fluffy (about 3-5 minutes).  Add vanilla and eggs and mix until well combined.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder.  Add this mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just comes together.  Chill the dough at least one hour, up to over night. 
  • Preheat oven to 350.  Spray your tart pans with organic canola spray.  (I used one 10" tart and six 4" tarts with one dough recipe).  Working on a flat surface covered with organic white flour, roll your chilled dough out to shy of 1/2 inch thick.  Lay greased side of tart pan bottom face down on dough.  Using a knife cut dough out to size of pan.  Flip over and place in tart pan.  Repeat with left over dough to fill smaller tart pans. 
  • Sprinkle dough with a total of 2-3 tablespoons of sugar.  I went for the lesser amount. 
  • For large pan bake 15-18 minutes.  For smaller pans bake 10-12 minutes. 
  • When sugar cookie is done, remove from oven and take sides of tart pans off so they chill faster.  Let chill at room temperature.  Meanwhile prep your fruit and frosting.
  • In a stand mixer mix 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup softened butter together.  Mix in vanilla and sifted confectioners sugar slowly.  Once blended add in 2-3 tablespoons whole milk.  Beat until creamy.
  • First frost your cookies using about 1/4 inch of icing as an even layer.  Then start from the outside working in and lay your strawberries, then kiwi, then blueberries, raspberries and then kiwi, then blueberries.  Keep this refrigerated because of the icing.  Let come to room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving. 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Amazing Green Beans

I've always struggled with green beans, but I finally found a winner with a little inspiration from Tyler Florence. 

Karin's Green Beans:

Take 1 pound of green beans, washed and ends trimmed.  In a wok or deep sauté pan fill with water until about 1 inch from the top.  Boil the water with about 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt.  When water comes to a boil add the green beans and cook for 5 minutes.  Green beans will be crisp, but cooked.  Pour green beans into a strainer and run under cold water to stop the cooking.  Meanwhile return the empty walk or sauté pan to the stove.  Over medium high heat add about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of scallions diced with about 1/2 tablespoon or 2 turns of the pan of EVOO.  Add 1 tsp of garlic and cook for about 3 minutes or until tender. Dish up and enjoy!

Serves about 4 people. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Breakfast Menu

So this morning I entertained a group of ladies who are in my prayer group.  I wanted to put together a nice breakfast that we could feast on while praying and catching up.  The group consisted of one gluten free member, myself who is following the MSG free and Migraine free diet, and the other ladies weren't picky. 

I made two 8" pans of Pumpkin Coffee Cake.

I made my Overnight Egg Casserole.

I bought organic gluten free yogurt (not migraine free) and then placed bowls of fruit (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) with the yogurt, and gluten free granola.  People were able to make their own yogurt, fruit and granola parfaits.  Yum!.

Lastly, I took a pound of organic vine ripe tomatoes and placed them on a baking sheet and roasted them with a drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkling of sea salt and pepper at 350 degrees until they started to pop.  I put them on top of an Organic Spring Mix (reserving the juices left behind from the tomatoes popping).  I took the tomato juice, 2 tablespoons Distilled Vinegar, 6 tablespoons EVOO and a dash of sea salt and pepper and whisked until combined.  Then I served this on the side along with shavings of fresh Parmesan cheese for those that can eat cheese (this cheese is not migraine safe). 

This menu seemed to go well for the brunch.  Sweet, salty, filling, healthy, not healthy....had it all.  Menu planning for events is always hard so hopefully this menu sparks some ideas for you.


Overnight Egg Casserole

Are you looking for a great, easy and very tasty dish to make for a brunch or maybe even Christmas morning.  It's very adaptable too.  I was searching in a gluten free book (Living Well Without Wheat, The Gluten-Free Gourmet) for a gluten free breakfast casserole and came across what looked to be an easy recipe.  However, it called for cheese and I was hoping the casserole would be MSG free and Migraine free so I could enjoy the it too....two birds with one stone.  It also had sausage which I couldn't have.  No problem.  So here is what I did.

I took a 9 x 13 baking pan and decided to make half of the casserole gluten free and half with the homemade MSG and Migraine free bread (I couldn't find a GF bread that is migraine safe or MSG free).  I have a wet erase marker so I labeled the right side of the pan GF and left side non GF. 

I took 100% Sunflower Oil Spray by Winona Pure and sprayed the pan.  Then I took 3 slices of each bread and laid them down on their perspective sides of the dish.  You could insert cheese slices (American or Swiss) on top of each slice of bread...but no cheese for me.  Next took 1 tablespoon of EVOO and put it in a skillet over medium high heat.  I added 1 pound of ground turkey which I seasoned with a mix of 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 scant teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground coriander.  Cook until fairly cooked through.  Take the meat and layer it on top if the bread.  Next take 6 eggs, a dash of salt and 2 cups of Organic Pasteurized Whole Milk.  Let sit in the covered in the fridge over night.

In the morning turn your oven on to 350 degrees.  Once ready place the casserole in the oven uncovered and bake for 60 minutes.  Take out and serve.  Yummy!  Whether you use gluten free bread or regular bread this was a fabulous recipe. 

You can, like I said above, easily add cheese slices to the recipe or switch the turkey for sausage.  It just won't be MSG free or Migraine free. 

Get creative....this recipe would be good with spinach too. 


Monday, August 12, 2013

Corn Fritters

Oh my!  Oh Yum!  That's all I have to say.  I was watching The Chew the other day and I saw Michael Symon make homemade corn fritters and he made it look so delicious and easy I just had to try it.  And why not....I had my fryer out anyway!  I did very little adapting of his recipe...mostly just telling you the brands I used and I did change the dipping sauce.  So I still credit this recipe to Michael Symon.

Corn Fritters: (Original Recipe). 
3 cups Organic Non-GMO Canola oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Organic White Flour
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Fine Ground Corn Meal
1 teaspoon Baking Powder (recipe here)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp fresh ground coriander
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 cup Organic Pasteurized Whole Milk
1 1/2 cups Fresh or Frozen Corn Kernels
1 large jalapeno (seeded and minced)- from my garden and oh so good!
1/4 cup sliced organic scallions (green and white parts)
1/4 cup organic unsalted butter, melted
(I did not use...nor did I miss the lime)

Dipping Sauce:
Honey mixed with a small bunch of fresh cilantro chopped

Heat your oil to 350 degrees. 

While the oil is heating, mix together the dry ingredients.  In a liquid measuring cup, measure your milk and add the eggs to the milk and lightly beat the eggs.  Add the egg/milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until well incorporated.  With a spatula, fold in the corn, jalapeno and scallions.  When those are well incorporated fold in the melted butter.  Don't over mix. 

Take your metal 1 tablespoon measure and dip it into your hot oil.  Then dip it into your batter and then drop the batter into the oil.  Repeat until you have 4-5 balls in the oil, but don't over crowd them.  Cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove and place on a plate with paper towels to drain.  Serve with honey/cilantro dipping sauce.


My Weekends Cooking

Recently we went to our local orchard to pick blueberries and walked out with a haul of blueberries, green beans, peppers, peaches and summer squash.  We also walked away with an apple fritter my husband snuck in the cart.  He also managed to eat it so fast I didn't even get to see it!  But oh how he raved about how good it was.  So I was determined to try to make him something similar.  After I slaved in the kitchen yesterday (just kidding these are so easy to make), my husband says, "they are great, but not the apple fritter I had).  In his defense his apple fritter was almost made with a pie crust?  The ones I made were more like mini donuts. 
So here is the recipe:  Apple Fritters by
The only thing I changed was that I used Bob's Red Mill Organic White flour, homemade baking powder, organic unsalted butter (I use Wegman's Organic Brand), I only used 1 apple which was 1 cup, and I used organic powdered sugar for the icing with organic whole milk.  I found my organic powdered sugar at Trader Joes and Wegman's. 










Old Favorite Updated

I promised to update some of my old posts to make them MSG free and Migraine friendly.  I couldn't figure out how to make the recipe show up as new again.  So here is the post updated to fit the new diet.  I hope you love it and add it to your recipe book soon!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Peaches and Cream Ice Cream

Holy poop this recipe rocks...if I don't say so myself!  So I had some really ripe peaches I needed to use up...enough cobbler already I think I made that recipe 4 times...and yes ate them all too!  Something refreshing like peach ice cream sounds good to me! 

So I have the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and I have to say it rocks.  Although, we've never tried another one because we've been so happy with this one.  The only thing that would make it better is if it cake with 2 bowls so you can make 2 ice creams one right after the other since you have the equipment and ingredients out. 

Anyway, the inspiration for this recipe came from Curtis Aikens's Food Network Recipe.  Being that I can't have brandy or lemon juice, I just admitted them from the recipe and I think it still tastes great!

Peaches and Cream Ice Cream:

  • 2 cups chopped fresh, organic, ripe peaches (preferably peeled)
  • 1 1/4 cups pure cane sugar
  • 2 cups organic pasteurized whipping cream
  • 1 cup organic pasteurized whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract or Trader Joes non-alcoholic vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yokes
In a bowl combine peaches and 1/2 sugar.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or over night. Before using peaches in ice cream, drain the juice from the peaches (and reserve) and return the peaches to the refrigerator.

In a medium saucepan combine 3/4 cup sugar, milk, heavy cream and vanilla.  Bring just to a boil.  As soon as it starts to boil slide off the heat because it will rapidly boil quickly and you don't want to do that.

In a bowl whisk egg yokes and as you are whisking them add 1/3 of the warm cream mixture to it.  Once mixed, return the cream mixture to the stove and add egg mixture to the cream mixture while continuously whisking.  Heat should be medium high.  Cook until mixture thickens (can coat the back of a spoon).  Once mixture has thickened and returned to a boil, remove from heat and strain.  Add reserved peach juice, cover and refrigerate until chilled through or over night. 

Transfer mixture to your ice cream maker (do not put warm mixture into ice cream maker!) and mix until thickened.  Towards the end mix in the chopped peaches.  Transfer to a Pyrex glass container and cover with plastic wrap before putting the lid on.  Place in freezer to let it firm up more.   Then enjoy!

Yummy!  Licking the back of the spoon at 10am when I made this wasn't good enough!  Can't wait to have it later for dessert! 

Standard Pancakes

Who doesn't like pancakes on Sunday morning?  Well I happen to like them any day of the week, breakfast, lunch or dinner!  My inspiration for this recipe comes from The All New Joy of Cooking book page 795.

Now this recipe calls for baking powder so make sure you use Debbie's recipe for baking powder from the "Battling the MSG Myth" book.  To remind you how to make it you simply mix 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup organic cream of tarter, 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill powdered arrowroot.  (Store in a glass jar for later use...I use this all the time!).

Standard Pancake Recipe:

In a large bowl whisk together:
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour (can use Bob's Red Mill 100% Organic White flour or even King Arthur's 100% Wheat Flour...they all work and taste great).
  • 3 tablespoons of pure cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Debbie's Baking Powder Recipe
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

In a separate smaller bowl whisk together:
  • 1 1/2 cups Organic Pasteurized (not ultra pasteurized) Whole Milk
  • 3 tablespoons Organic Unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract (Trader Joes also sells a non-alcohol vanilla extract which works great, but is mighty expensive).
Pour the mixed wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk together, mixing until just combined. 

You can mix in blueberries if you'd like.

Spoon 1/3 cup of batter, or less, onto a warm griddle pan.  Cook until the top of each pancake is bubbly then flip and cook until the underside is lightly browned.

You can freeze these in containers with the pancakes separated by wax paper.  They freeze very well.  I usually double the batch and freeze at least half.  Yes we love our pancakes.

For a great fall adaptation of this recipe, for one batch finely grate 1 organic sweet potato and fold it into the batter as the last step.  Add about 4 big dashes of cinnamon or about 1/8-1/4 tsp.  You can also do this with pumpkin puree.  Both taste delish! 

(Topped with farmers market blueberries and local farmers market maple syrup and you can't go wrong!)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Parsley Potatoes

The other night my husband and I wanted to do something different for dinner.  Steak it was.  I had bought grass fed organic strip steak (or maybe it was skirt steak...who knows!) from our local grocery store and just needed to find a good recipe to use it in.  That's where Michael Symon's recipe for strip steak with compound butter comes in hand.  I made the whole amount of butter and dry rub that the recipe called for even though I only made one 6oz steak.  I was able to freeze the left over butter and I packaged up the left over dry rub for a future steak. 

Now on to the main event.  My favorite potatoes!  Yummy!  Start by boiling 1 1/2 lbs or red potatoes.  Preferably the smaller ones.  They work better for this.  Meanwhile you make your basic white sauce.  Start with 4 tablespoons of unsalted organic butter and melt in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat.  Add in 1 tsp of minced garlic.  Then stir in 4 tablespoons of flour.  I used Bob's Red Mill organic white flour. Once flour is cooked off and you have a sandy texture add in 2 cups of whole organic pasteurized milk.  Whisk continually until thickens.  Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2-1 tsp salt and 1/4-1/2 tsp pepper), 3 big dashes of paprika, 1 tablespoon of parsley, 1 tablespoon of fresh diced chives, and 2 dashes of fresh grated nutmeg.  Taste to make sure seasoned well.  Pour over drained and sliced in half potatoes and serve warm...that's if they make it to the table. 

A side of broccoli, the steak and potatoes and it was a perfect meal.