Lamb and Barley Stew

I was dying to make something with some of the leftover lamb from the leg roast.  I first cooked down the bone to make a fantastic broth.  I love beef barley soup and knew that lamb would be at least as fantastic.   Substitute beef if desired and any kind of broth or stock will work.  It could have used a bit more barley perhaps but really quite delicious.

Lamb and Barley Stew

  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 pound fresh sliced or diced mushrooms
  • 4 cups broth – lamb, beef, or chicken
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes
  • 2 cups diced lamb or beef
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic and a dash of cayenne if desired
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute mushrooms for about 10 minutes in butter; cook to desired tenderness.

Add broth and bring to simmer.  Stir in barley and cook for about 30 minutes.

Add carrots, celery and potatoes bring back to boil and reduce heat; simmer another  10 – 15 minutes or until vegetables and barley are tender.

Stir in tomatoes, meat, and desired seasonings.  Heat through and serve.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

I love making quick and easy soups and it doesn’t get much easier than a vegetable soup.  I used hamburger, but leftover roast or steak would be perfect also. Adjust the vegetables to your liking ~ you will want about 2 cups of your favorite combination; I just happened to have a can of mixed vegetables and a few leftover from yesterday’s lunch so I tossed them in too.

Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

  • 8 o.z. ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1/8 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 can mixed vegetables – drained
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram

Over medium heat sauté beef, garlic, and onion.  Add crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper.  Drain beef if desired.  Add mixed vegetables, tomato juice and marjoram.  Reduce heat to very low and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Herb Poached Chicken and Simple Flavorful Broth Recipe

I’ve been try to work out some flavorful reduced sodium broths.  Today there was a package of chicken legs marked down at the grocery so I decided to try a simple herb poached chicken and make a broth as well.

  • about 2 pounds chicken legs
  • 3 quart cool water
  • 1 tsp whole coriander
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 celery stalk – broken in pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 1/4 yellow onion – cut in chunks

Place all ingredients in large stock pot.  Bring to simmer over medium high heat; simmer 20 minutes. Remove chicken legs, set aside, and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile leave broth simmering on stove.  Pick meat from chicken once cooled and set meat aside for another dish.  Return bones and skin to pot and simmer very low for about 4 hours or until reduced by half or more.  Drain in fine sieve and discard bones, skin and herbs.  You can use cheese cloth to remove fine particles if desired; I don’t mind the fine herbs staying in my broth so a fine metal strainer works great for me.

You can freeze the broth for later, use the chicken in a casserole or salad, or make some fantastic chicken noodle soup by adding some vegetable and noodles and stirring the meat back into the broth near the end of cooking.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Tuscan Cannellini and Sausage Soup

This was my first time using dried cannellini beans.  I often by the canned and I am sure they would have worked for this recipe as well, but I was anxious to use the dried beans to create a wonderful soup and thought I would give them a try.

Tuscan Cannellini and Sausage Soup

  • 8 o.z. dried cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 quart water
  • fresh ground black pepper

Prepping the beans in the first step.  Rinse beans and place in sauce pot with onion, water, and a few dashes of black pepper.  Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover; allow to rest for about 2 hours.  I then drained the beans and placed in the refrigerator for the next day; simply drain the beans and proceed if you prefer.

  • 3 cups water / stock ~ I used about 2 cups of ham stock I had frozen and filled out with an additional water; chicken stock would work too

Add beans to water / stock and cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until tender.

  • 8 o.z. ground italian sausage
  • 1 can petite diced tomato
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Cook italian sausage and add to beans;  add tomatoes, spinach and seasonings.  Bring to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or longer if desired.

As I mentioned at the beginning I am sure canned beans would be delicious too.  If you opt for canned beans reduce the amount of stock used by about 1/2, cook the sausage, and add the remaining ingredients. Simmering together to combine flavors.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Butternut Squash Soup

I’ve seen quite a few recipes for butternut squash soup. Most lean more towards the sweeter side; I opted to make a spicy version.  This did come out with quite a bit of heat.  I am sure my chicken stock already had a bit of a kick but the 1/4 tsp of cayenne packed the rest of the punch.  I would suggest leaving out the cayenne for the faint of heart or adding a dash at a time if you like a bit of zip. I will however post the recipe as I made it and let you decide how much heat you would like.

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cup butternut squash
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne ~ adjust to your taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley

Prep squash; peel and dice into small cubes.  (I posted yesterday an easy prep technique) Heat chicken stock over medium high to a simmer.  Add diced squash, salt, pepper, garlic, and cayenne.  Simmer about 10 – 15 minutes or until squash is very tender.

Add cream and parsley and heat through. I used my handheld blender to partially puree; I left some lumps of squash to add texture.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Roasted Winter Vegetable Stock ~ Homemade broth to compliment any recipe!

Homemade broth and stock is wonderful to have around.  It’s so much better when you make it yourself.  You can control what goes into each batch and season to your own personal tastes.  Today we are making a big batch of vegetable stock  ~ it smells heavenly.  Charles did all the work for me today ~ it’s still cooking so I won’t have a time for how long to simmer but I can assure you that several hours are needed for the richest flavors and you may want to adjust the seasoning as you go.   We always put some salt in our stocks but that is the way we like it ~ I feel like the salt helps bring out all of the flavors but if you need a reduced sodium option leave the salt out or adjust to your diet needs.

Roasted Winter Vegetable Stock

  • 1 lb Celery
  • 1 lb Carrots
  • 1 lb Cabbage
  • 2 lbs Onion
  • 1/2 lb Parsnip
  • 1/2 lb Turnip
  • 1/2 lb Green Beans
  • 10 Clove Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs Salt
  • 1 Tbs Corriander
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 4 Bay Leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and prepare vegetables.  Cut vegetables into large chunks.  Peel garlic cloves.  Toss garlic and vegetables with 1/4 c olive oil.  Spread onto 2 large cookie sheets and roast for 1 hour stirring every 20 minutes.  Remove from oven; transfer to large stock pot; add water and seasonings.  Set heat to medium, bring to simmer, and reduce heat simmering for a few hours until desired color and flavor are reached.  We will likely reduce by half or more.  Strain through fine seive or cheese cloth.  Chill and freeze in pint freezer jars or bags.  Enjoy in place of water in your favorite recipe ~ I always cook my rice in stock!

Hope you enjoy the recipe!   ~ Kimberly

Sausage and Potato Chowder ~ Quick and Easy Soup for 2!

I put to use another one of those Smoking Goose Kitchen Sink Sausages I got for Christmas. This soup was delicious.  The sausage had enough flavor that all I added was a little salt.  Use your favorite; it can be smoked sausage, breakfast sausage, italian sausage, you name it it will work.  If it’s leftover from grilling the night before or sausage patties from breakfast even better.  This recipe made a hearty lunch for the two of us.  It’s simple and only takes about 30 minutes start to finish.




Sausage and Potato Chowder

  • 4 o.z. Sausage – diced or crumbled
  • 1/4 Cup Onion – diced
  • 1 Tbs Flour
  • 2 Cups Diced Potato – about 2 medium peeled if desired
  • 1 Medium Onion – finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream

Prepare and cook sausage over medium high heat adding onion when sausage is nearly finished.  After sausage is fully cooked add 1 Tbs Flour; stir over medium heat until flour is thoroughly mixed and no visable flour remains.  Add diced potato and chicken stock; bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 12 minutes until potatoes are desired tenderness.  Once potatoes are cooked add heavy cream and a dash of salt if desired.  Heat through and serve.

Hope you enjoy the recipe ~ I’ve got one more kitchen sink sausage to go so be on the look out for another recipe or idea!  ~ Kimberly

Oyster Stew ~ Just for Starters!

Welcome to our recipe blog.  We love to cook. Creating new recipes and trying new ingredients.  Nearly anything edible is fair game.

We hope to share some recipes that we love.  Yesterday we made our amazing Oyster Stew ~ It is based on a recipe we came acrossed in a Saveur magazine issue and is delicious everytime we make it no matter what changes we’ve made! The techniques are the key – making the golden roux first then sautéing the vegetables is key. Perhaps this is common in French cooking but without our formal training we’ve meerly discovered that it is good.

I’ve posted below our latest variation on the recipe – try at home – share with friends

Oyster Stew

  • 2 pints of Fresh Shucked Oysters
  • 6 Tbs Butter
  • 2 1/2 Tbs Flour
  • 2 Ribs Celery – with leaves – finely chopped
  • 2 Large Cloves of Garlic – minced
  • 1 Medium Onion – finely chopped
  • 1/2 Tbs Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cayanne Pepper
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth (homemade is best)
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 1/2 C Liquid reserved from cooking the oysters (see first step)

Drain oysters and set aside. Combine the oyster liquor and 1/2 cup of water in 2 quart pan.  Bring to simmer over medium heat; add oysters and simmer about 2 minutes until edges start to curl.  Strain oysters through fine seive set aside oysters and reserve 1 1/2 cups of cooking liquid.  Heat butter in 3 quart pan over medium high heat until melted; add flour whisking constantly for 3-4 minutes until roux is golden brown.  Add celery, garlic, onion, salt, and peppers to roux; reduce heat to medium cooking cooking about 25 minutes until vegetables are very tender; stir frequently.

Once vegetables are tender add broth, cream and reserved liquid stirring occasionally until hot and slightly thickened; about 5 minutes.  Add oysters heat through and serve immediately.  Makes 2 entree size bowls or 4 appetizer cups.

Hope you enjoy the recipe ~ Blogging is new to me so bear with me while I figure out how this works.  With any luck I will have many more recipes to share!   ~ Kimberly