Black-eyed peas are considered a lucky food to eat on New Year's Day, and for years now I've made Hopping John Soup for good luck in the New Year. This year I thought I'd go for a double dose of good luck, so I used all the traditional hummus ingredients with canned black-eyed peas to make a tasty and nutritious black-eyed pea hummus that only took a few minutes to whip up in the food processor. If you're going to a New Year's Eve party where guests are supposed to bring a pot-luck dish, this would be unusual and fun, and it might even help you stick with your dieting resolve in the midst of other party foods.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I never post recipes unless I really like how the dish turned out, so asking me to pick my best recipes of the year is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. Still, I love the top ten lists that pop up on blogs during the holidays, and I did manage to choose my favorite recipes in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Last year I had such a hard time narrowing it down that I ended up with ten honorable mentions, and I did that again this year when I found it even more difficult to decide what made the cut. (This is what my mother used to jokingly call "A Good Problem to Have.") I started with more than forty "best" recipes and narrowed it down to this list of twenty; all of these dishes are things that made me drool during 2010.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 12:17 PM
Monday, December 27, 2010
My sister Valerie thinks the week between Christmas and New Year's is the best part of the holiday season,. She loves it when the rush of Christmas is over but kids are home from school and there's a little extra time to hang out with the family. I enjoyed Christmas day at her house, watching the kids open their gifts and indulging in quite a bit of holiday food. Now it's back-to-reality for me, and this vegetarian black bean and sweet potato soup seems perfect after a few days of indulgent eating. It's light enough to help you recover from holiday food overload, easy enough that you don't need much time in the kitchen, and warm and comforting if you're in a part of the world where the weather is cold.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 10:22 AM
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
By the time you read this post I'll be at my sister's house, taking the rest of the week off from the blog and looking forward to Christmas morning with the kids. Before I sign off for a few days I thought I'd share one more set of favorite recipes. I've given you ideas for Appetizers for Holiday Parties and Breakfasts for Christmas Morning, and this time I'm sharing five favorite CrockPot meals. Food that cooks itself in the slow cooker while you're out having fun is perfect for the holidays, so let's start with Chicken Fajitas in the Crockpot, one of the first crockpot recipes ever posted on Kalyn's Kitchen and still one of my favorites.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:00 PM
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Yesterday I mentioned how I'm not doing much cooking this week, so I'm sharing a few favorite recipes before I take off for my sister's house where I'll be spoiling these kids and probably indulging in some not exactly South Beach diet friendly Christmas food. Yesterday I suggested five of my favorite appetizers for holiday parties, and today I'm going to recommend five favorite breakast options that I think would be perfect for Christmas morning, If your family likes Mexican food, I bet they'd enjoy Mexican Baked Eggs with Black Beans, Tomatoes, Green Chiles, and Cilantro after they open their presents. You can make it in one large dish if you don't have individual casseroles.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 5:57 PM
Monday, December 20, 2010
Everywhere you go these days people are looking harried with last-minute holiday preparations. Around here I'm getting ready to go visit some of my favorite kids for Christmas, so there hasn't been a lot of cooking going on. I thought for the next few days I'd share some favorite ideas for Christmas foods before I take a few days off from the blog. (You haven't planned your whole week of Christmas menus yet have you? I didn't think so.) Let's start with five favorite appetizers I'd love to serve for a holiday party, beginning with this Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade with Garlic and Herbs, something I've made many times for parties that's always been a hit.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 7:38 PM
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I first made this colorful chicken salad with sliced green olives when I had leftover rotisserie chicken, but since then I've made it three more times, adjusting the recipe a little bit each time to get a combination that seems just right to me. What makes this a hit with green olive lovers is the little bit of green olive brine added to the dressing. The salad has just enough red and green that you could serve it as a Christmas salad, especially if you serve it plated with dishes that bring out the red and green colors in the salad. And if you're getting tired of sweets and want a savory dish for a holiday pot-luck, this might be just the thing.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 8:54 AM
Friday, December 17, 2010
|Five Spice Blends to give for a Christmas Gift.|
Through the years I've discovered some favorite spice and herb blends that I like to mix up in large batches and give as Christmas gifts. When I manage to plan ahead, I order small glass jars to put the spice mix in, but I've also given them in mini zip-top bags with the recipe stapled on. If you're looking for easy ideas for a food-related gift, here are five of my favorites, starting with the Rosemary and Garlic Herb Rub above that's delicious on pork, chicken, or salmon.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:10 PM
Thursday, December 16, 2010
These Smucker's Sugar-Free Apricot Preserves are an ingredient I've used a few times in the last couple of months, and I love the way they add just the right amount of apricot flavor to a sauce or glaze without adding a lot of extra sugar. They're certainly worthy of being selected as one of my Kalyn's Kitchen Picks just for that reason alone, but there's another reason I'm choosing them as a pick right before Christmas.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 8:08 AM
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
These Twice-Cooked Gigante Beans were the recipe that inspired me to make Garlic Confit, and I'm hoping you will immediately file this in the visual category of tasty-but-gloppy-looking things like refried beans and hummus. Admittedly these long-cooked beans won't win any beauty contests, but this is one of the most flavorful bean dishes I've ever made. The recipe came from How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking, a very interesting cookbook I got from Lydia, and I tried the beans out on my dad and Rand, who both declared them to be delicious!
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 11:42 AM
Monday, December 13, 2010
|Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies|
I can go months and months without making cookies for most of the year, but when it's December I feel that cookie-making urge come upon me. For the last few holiday seasons I've been experimenting with low-sugar and whole-wheat cookie recipes to get cookies that are at least somewhat South Beach Diet friendly. I'm not really a baker, but I am getting better at looking at a recipe and figuring out how to adapt it. This recipe for molasses cookies came from the Bob's Red Mill Baking Book, and it already used whole wheat flour it wasn't too hard to substitute Splenda for sugar and trans-fat free margarine for butter to make these cookies more diet friendly. I also switched out some of the flour for almond flour for a slightly different texture and a more nutritious cookie.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 5:29 PM
Saturday, December 11, 2010
(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites, December 2010) A few years ago when I was visiting the Ferry Building Farmer's Market in San Francisco I was happily surprised to find that Rancho Gordo Beans sold heirloom Anasazi Beans, and I've been buying them ever since. I love the slightly sweet flavor of Anasazi Beans, and when I taught Utah history in fourth grade I used to cook them for the students when we had our "Anasazi Feast." This soup recipe with Anasazi Beans, ham, and cabbage is one of my favorite ways to cook Anasazi beans. Unfortunately they lose much of the delightful speckled look when they're cooked, but they still taste great.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:57 PM
Friday, December 10, 2010
I love my garden, a source of homegrown food and herbs for me every summer. Over the years the garden has expanded with raised beds, and beds by my new deck for tomatoes. But even with these upgrades, the main garden was hard to maintain, due to overhead sprinklers that watered all the dirt as well as the beds. I also had nowhere to store tools, since I don't have a garage. I had some green James Hardie siding left from the house renovations last year, so in early November I started a project to improve the garden and build a shed for tools.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Weeks ago I had the idea of experimenting with little mini-frittatas that would be a whole-breakfast serving size, but my first attempt was less than stellar, and then I got distracted by some other idea. Then recently I saw this crockery muffin pan that makes four large muffins, and immediately I thought of how perfect it would be for this recipe. I bought the pan and tried again, using broccoli and a combination of cheddar, Parmesan, and cottage cheese, and I loved how these mini-frittatas turned out.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:47 PM
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
|Nutritious beans, cooked in the slow cooker. Pre-soak or not, it's your choice!|
Dried beans are one of those magical foods that have everything going for them. Beans are inexpensive, and they're a good source for many vitamins and minerals, plus they're also high in fiber, high in protein, and naturally low in fat, sugar, and sodium. Many types of dried beans are listed among The World's Healthiest Foods, and beans are also listed as one of the Superfoods that we should all be eating often. Not only are beans nutritious, they're loaded with healthy slow-burning complex carbohydrates, and are low on the glycemic index, making them a good food choice for anyone who's concerned about blood sugar, whether for weight-loss or health reasons.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 9:37 AM
Monday, December 06, 2010
Every winter I try hard to remind myself there are lots of places where the weather gets much colder than it does in Salt Lake, and really I'm lucky not to be living in one of those ultra-cold spots. (Chicago, Minnesota, and North Dakota, I'm sending warm vibes.) Still, even if it's not as bitterly cold as some places, Utah is plenty cold this time of year. It's cold enough that nothing sounds much better than a bowl of comforting soup. This easy soup recipe is one I came up with for a family party, and when it was a hit at the party, I wished I'd written down the recipe. Luckily I managed to re-create it a few days later, and now I have a few containers of this in the freezer for those cold winter nights.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 7:01 PM
Saturday, December 04, 2010
|Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies, with Pecans, Coconut, and Chocolate|
We're just heading into the time of year when there are cookies and other sweet treats everywhere you look. I doubt many people are religiously dieting during December, but even for those of us who are just trying to limit our consumption of holiday sweets, it can be a challenge. For a few years now I've been experimenting with recipes for low-sugar cookies for the holidays, and this recipe for Ranger Cookies, which comes from The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook, is one of the most satisfying low sugar cookies I've tried. It's full of flavor from pecans, oatmeal, unsweetened coconut, chocolate chips, and whole wheat pastry flour, and even if you skipped the Splenda or Stevia-in-the-Raw Granulated Sweetener and used regular sugar, this would still be a pretty healthful and low-sugar cookie. The book claims the cookies are named for forest rangers who like these cookies for their energy-boosting ingredients, and if you're looking for a barely sweet cookie to get you through December, this might be just the one.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 7:24 PM
Friday, December 03, 2010
I've been waiting for weeks for these fun (but admittedly silly) license plates to come in the mail. Now people can tell I'm a Utah FDBLGGR . . .
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 4:23 PM
Thursday, December 02, 2010
I'd love to tell you that I'm far enough ahead in my Christmas planning that I already made this garlic confit for a savory homemade Christmas gift idea, but the truth is that I made this for a recipe and then I had the thought that it would be pretty in little jars as a homemade Christmas gift. If you're trying to think of something besides cookies or other sweet treats to give away to neighbors or co-workers, this is a perfect gift for the garlic lovers in your life. In a glass jar, with a layer of oil over the garlic cloves, the garlic confit will keep for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator, and it's great added to pasta sauce, soup, stew, or any dish where you'd like that roasted garlic flavor. I found the recipe in How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking, a great book that my blogging friend Lydia sent me for an early birthday present, and if you can find pre-peeled garlic cloves, this practically makes itself.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 8:11 AM
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
(Updated December 2010 - When I had my blog re-designed, I knew it would throw off the formatting in some early posts, and when I opened this post yesterday, it was clear it needed a make-over! If anyone sees other posts that look odd, please leave a comment and I'll fix them as soon as I can.)
I'm a bit of a chicken stock fanatic. If you came to my house, I'll usually have at least 10 containers of chicken stock in the freezer, despite the fact that I use it all the time. I'm religious about saving scraps, chicken carcasses and leftover veggies, and make stock at least once every month. If you ask me, homemade chicken stock is a wonderful thing!
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:22 PM
Kalyn's favorite Phase One Recipe for November 2001 was
I've been a little distracted for the last month. That, combined with the fact that bloggers don't seem to cook as many Phase One dishes during November means that this round-up is a bit smaller than usual. But there are still some recipes here that I know would really hit the spot if you were doing Phase One, so take a look and see what sounds good. This round-up will get added to the archive list of monthly Phase One Recipes Round-Ups, a section of the recipe archives (over there on the left!) that I know people use over and over.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 2:00 AM