Archive for the ‘Quick and Easy’ Category

No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie

This is a super easy and delicious recipe. It’s perfect for summer and will be a sure hit at any party. I picked up the strawberries from the farmers market this weekend but since I wasn’t sure how much I needed for the recipe I just bought half a flat. Turned out I had way more strawberries than I needed so I ended up making strawberry jam with the remaining fruit.

The recipe doesn’t require baking the graham cracker crust and I think it’s fine that way, but if you want the crust to be golden and crispy you’ll want to bake it for 10-15 minutes before pouring in the filling.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: None
Level: Easy
Yield: 8 servings

Adapted from Noble Pig

2 lbs. fresh strawberries (about 4 pints), tops removed, plus 4 strawberries reserved
1-1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
5 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Place 2 pounds of strawberries in a blender and blend on high until pureed, about 10 seconds.

Combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and whisk until dissolved.  Add the strawberry puree and lemon juice.  Cook on high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and bubbling (about 7 minutes), remove from heat.

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Place graham cracker crumbs in a 10″ x 1-1/2″ deep pie plate, drizzle with melted butter and mix until the crumbs are moistened.  With the back of a spoon, press evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate to form a crust.  Pour strawberry filling into crust and let cool completely (about 45 minutes).  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, place heavy cream in a mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, blend on high until stiff peaks form.  Add confectioner’s sugar and blend another 10 seconds.  Using a spatula, spread the whipped cream over the filling.

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This is a wonderful and easy recipe I’ve made over and over again. Next time you’re stumped on what to make for dinner, try this recipe.

Recipe adapted from Hillbilly Housewife.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 3-4 servings


  • 1 cup dry split peas (I recommend yellow split peas)
  • 2 tablespoons olive or cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Cooked Brown Rice (or quinoa)


Simmer the peas in about a quart of water for 45 minutes, or until they are tender. Cook the rice while the beans cook. Brown rice takes about the same amount of time to cook. After the peas are tender, heat the olive oil in a small skillet or saucepan. Add the seasonings and fry them gently in the fat until they are fragrant and bubbly. You do this to bring out the full flavor of the spices, please do not omit this step or the finished dish will loose part of it’s trademark flavor. After frying the spices, scoop about 1/2 cup of juice from the split peas into the small pan with the spices. Stir it up to dissolve all the spices in the juice. Pour the spicy juice back into the big pot of split peas. Stir it up and simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Ladle the split pea dahl over cooked rice and serve.

This recipe calls for a lot of spices. Essentially you are making your own curry powder by combining the spices this way. Regular curry powder, purchased in cans at the market, is a combination of spices, specifically blended for the American palette. This dish is a little closer to authentic than it would be if made with store bought curry powder. It also tastes much better. Like dishes from many other countries, Split Pea Dahl makes use of those foods which are cheapest and most abundant in the locality which created them. This one gets it’s inspiration from India.

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My co-worker Anne has been bringing left over shrimp stir fry to work for the last couple weeks and it’s been making me crave it like crazy. I make stir fry’s quite often at home because they are so easy but I rarely make shrimp. I finally broke down and spent the $9.99 per pound on shrimp. Of course it has to be wild and local (Alaska, is as local as it gets). You can add any kind of veggies to this dish. I decided to do a combination of broccoli, sugar snap peas and these little red and yellow peppers I had on hand.

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Prep time: 15 minutes (if you don’t have to devein the shrimp)
Cook time: 20 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 2 servings


For the stir fry

  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound shrimp (I think this is about 10 pieces of jumbo shrimp)
  • One small broccoli head, stems removed and cut up into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
  • 3 small red or yellow peppers, chopped

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tbs soy sauce
  • 4 tbs rice vinegar or rice wine (sake)
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp white or black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Black pepper, to taste
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For the sauce, combine all your ingredients and set aside. Before you start to cook make sure you peel and devain the shrimp or buy it already prepped. Heat the oil in a medium pan and add all veggies. Cook on medium head, stirring occasionally. As soon as the veggies start to cook down add the shrimp. When the shrimp turns pink you can add the sauce. Cook for five more minutes and serve immediately over rice.

Shrimp Stir Fry

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The Best Tomato Soup Ever

This is a recipe for Elephants Delicatessen Tomato Orange Soup. This is honestly the best tomato soup you will ever have. My co-worker Anne and I drool over this soup at least once a month. Lucky for us Elephants is just a few blocks away from work. Even luckier, they’ve posted the recipe for this amazing soup on their website. Oh boy!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


In a saucepan, melt butter; add onion and saute until translucent. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, baking soda and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Puree in a food processor or blender; strain through a sieve or food mill.
Return to saucepan and stir in orange juice. At this point, the soup can be refrigerated until ready to serve.

At serving time, add the whipping cream and heat gently, stirring constantly, bringing to a simmer and adjust seasonings if necessary. Extra cream may be drizzled on top of the soup immediately before serving for decorative effect.

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Salmon and Wild Rice

This was a super easy dinner that I threw together one night. I’ve been trying to eat more fish, but I’m just not a big fan of the stuff. My mom always makes salmon this way and I really like it.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Place a piece of salmon skin side down on a baking sheet. Top the salmon with olive oil, lemon juice and capers. Place in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes. That’s it for the salmon!

For the rice I made a combination of wild and brown rice.

  • 1/2 cup of wild rice
  • 1/2 cup of brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tbls butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

Wild rice requires a 3 to 1 ratio with liquid while brown rice requires a 2 to 1 ratio. Wild rice also takes slightly longer to cook. Therefore I started with the wild rice and all the chicken stock (also the salt and butter). Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes before you add the brown rice. Then cook for about 20 minutes or until the rice is almost done. At this point you’ll want to add the frozen peas. Once the liquid has cooked down, your rice should be done.

That’s it! Super easy, right?

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Chicken Schwarma (1)

Schwarma is a delicious Middle Eastern dish of shaved beef, lamb, or chicken wrapped in a pita. According to Wikipedia “Shawarma is a version of döner kebab and is thus similar to gyros. The word shawarma comes from the Turkish word çevirme, meaning turning.” This is an easy recipe that was given to me by a friend.


  • 2 tbls lemon juice
  • 2 tsp curry powder (You can make your own blend if you prefer. I used a combination of cumin, turmeric, coriander, chile pepper, mustard seed, cardamom, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, red pepper, cinnamon, black pepper and saffron)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 pound of chicken


Cut the chicken into strips or in half. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and put chicken in the marinade. Marinade for at least an hour. Then you are ready to grill the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked you can wrap it in a pita with tomatoes, cucumber and yogurt- tahini sauce.We ate it with naan and a side of tabbouleh salad.

Here is the recipe for the sauce.

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbls tahini
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 minced garlic clove

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