Monthly Archives: October 2013

Roasted Poblano & Corn Chowder


Here you go, folks! As promised, roasted poblano and corn chowder, the third and final (for now) recipe of my unintentional poblano series…and boy has this series been delicious!

We started with Quesadillas with Roasted Poblanos & Onion, a hot & cheesy bundle of flavor from sauteed roasted poblanos & onions. My mouth is watering just thinking about them!

Then we stuffed our enchiladas with poblanos! I mean, why not? These Roasted Poblano & Corn Enchiladas won my heart. Completely hearty & satisfying, jam-packed with all the things that make your taste buds dance.

And finally, here we are with soup!


A creamy soup filled with warm spices and tons of veggies. Perfectly paired with cornbread or tortilla chips!

Roasted Poblano & Corn Chowder; Recipe or Not (inspired by Whole Foods’ Poblano & Corn Chowder)

3 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, and diced

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and diced

3 c. corn (about 1 lb.)

1 c. diced onion (about 1 medium or 1/2 large)

2 celery stalks, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 t. ground coriander

1 1/2 t. ground cumin

1/4 c. flour

6 c. chicken or vegetable broth

2 c. milk of choice

salt & pepper to taste

The Prep: Melt a few tablespoons of butter or olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, once heated, sauté the onions and celery with a sprinkle of salt. After 3-4 minutes, add the garlic for one minute. Add the flour, coriander, and cumin stirring until all the vegetables have been coated. Pour in the vegetable broth, milk, poblanos, red pepper, and corn. Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes. Season as necessary with salt & pepper.

Note: I added the spices by taste and 1 1/2 t. of each was my estimation so I recommend tasting the soup a few times and adding more of each if necessary!


Spiced Oatmeal Cookies


There’s really not much to say about these little delights except: You. should. make. them.

TODAY. On the day that is now. Ohh, now would be even better!

And you should sit outside by a fire (since it’s actually getting cool enough for that, yay!) and drink some hot coffee or cider while you eat them. Just sayin’.

I’m ready for fall to be in full swing, can you tell? :)

Spiced Oatmeal Cookies; Recipe or Not

Makes 2 dozen

  • 6 T. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. all spice
  • 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. rolled oats

The Prep: Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugar; once they are combined, mix in the egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, ginger, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until everything has been incorporated, then mix in the oats. Spoon one inch balls of cookie dough onto a ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Butter Leaf with Dried Cranberries, Peanuts, and Deschutes’ Dressing

There are only two reasons I order a salad at a restaurant — either I’m not that hungry or I’m on a healthy eating spree. When I do order a salad, I rarely expect it to be memorable.

Then I tried this salad…


My honey & I spent a week in Portland last May, and during our trip we went to the Deschutes’ Brewery Pub for a fun and relaxing dinner in their rustic atmosphere.

I had eaten a rather excessive amount of scrumptious biscuits & gravy for brunch that morning, which left me feeling ridiculously stuffed and about 17 pounds heavier.

Lets just say when dinner came around, I felt the need to counter-balance with a much lighter meal. So I ordered the Butter Leaf salad based on reasons 1 & 2 above, expecting only to check “healthy deed for the day” off my list. I soon found myself raving about how fantastic the salad was!

What made this salad so rave-worthy?


Really, it was the combination of unique ingredients that made the magic.

Fresh green butter-leaf lettuce, sweet dried cherries, salty & sweet crushed “Beer Nuts” (peanuts), crumbles of creamy goat cheese, and flaky rosemary crackers. Topped with a light dressing that tied it all together perfectly.

After months of telling my husband “Mmmm… I wish I could have that salad again. I keep thinking about it!” I finally decided to create my own version. Knowing it could never taste exactly the same, I was really pleased with how it turned out. My secret weapon, however, was the fact that their dressing recipe was actually readily available on their website.

So that saved me a trip back to Portland just for a salad. #kidding #notkidding


A couple of notes before we get started… goat cheese was part of the original salad but it is not pictured here because hubs does not like it so I left it off. (The things we do for love, right?) Also, the original Deschutes’ dressing recipe makes 5 cups of dressing. (Whoa! That’s a lotta dressing.) My adaptation below is half the original and still makes quite a bit so feel free to cut it down further. I got pretty thorough in creating this salad but I’ve included some quicker alternatives which are noted below.

Butter Leaf with Dried Cranberries, Peanuts, and Deschutes’ Dressing; Recipe or Not (inspired by Deschutes’ Butter Leaf Salad)

The Salad:

Green or red butter leaf lettuce

Dried cranberries

“Beer Nuts” (I used this recipe but cut the sugar & salt in half; quick alternate – honey roasted peanuts)

Croutons (cut small pieces of day old bread and sauté with olive oil until crisp; quick alternate – store-bought croutons)

goat cheese, optional

The Dressing:

Original Deschutes’ Dressing

My adaptation:

1 1/2 c. pale ale

3/4 c. white balsamic vinegar

1/4 bunch parsley, chopped

1-2 T. Dijon mustard

1 1/2 c. olive oil

1/4 bunch of basil, chopped

Pinch of salt & pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and chill until ready to use!

Notes: I know, beer in salad dressing? Crazy, huh? But it’s super delicious. If you’re not a beer drinker and are wondering what to do with any remaining beer, make these New England Fried Shrimp! They are delish!

Asian Pizza with Sesame Sauce


This pizza and I, well, we have a history…

Back in my high school days, my best friends and I were devoted patrons of the local Camille’s restaurant.

They had a delicious Bangkok Thai Wrap, Bangkok Thai Salad, aaand… a Bangkok Thai Pizza. All of which were sampled by me over the years.

Fast forward, I’m busily working at my desk when I’m suddenly bombarded with an overwhelming (and urgent) desire to recreate that Bangkok Thai Pizza. I quickly determined how well I thought this pizza would turn out on it’s first attempt. Pshh… nothing to worry about, it’ll be hit!

When I get bitten by the creative bug, it doesn’t leave my system until I’ve tried my idea.


I created my own thai peanut sauce and, thankfully, was smart enough to make an additional pizza with a store-bought sauce as backup because the combo of my sauce and pizza crust was comparable to peanut-flavored glue. It was pastetastic in a bad way.

It was then that I mentally vowed to conquer this evasive sauce.

Attempt #2 of the thai peanut sauce was better, not as thick, but still missing the mark. With Attempt #3, I opted for a sesame sauce instead and tried using this sauce. However, the sauce was so runny it ran right off the pizza crust and created a soy sauce lake on my baking sheet and a flowing soy sauce waterfall onto my stovetop.

Call me crazy but at this point, I was in too far. I was knee-deep and not turning back.


I’m more than happy to report attempt #4 of this labor of love was a wild success! I think this calls for a celebration, don’t you?

Put on your party hats and whip up this pizza. Your tastebuds will thank you!

Asian Pizza with Sesame Sauce; Recipe or Not (inspired by Camille’s Bangkok Thai Pizza)

1 pizza crust ( I used this recipe and made two individual pizza’s with the 12 oz. recipe)


2 T. honey

2 T. soy sauce

1 T rice vinegar

1 t toasted sesame oil

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 T. olive or vegetable oil

A pinch of ground ginger

1/4 t. cornstarch, for thickening


Shredded carrots

Green onion, diced


Chicken, cooked and finely diced (optional)

Shredded Mozzarella or Provolone slices

Other suggested toppings: Bok choy, water chestnuts, crispy chow mein noodles

The Prep: Prepare the pizza crust according to the recipe and preheat oven to 400°. In a small saucepan, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, olive oil, ginger and turn to medium heat. While the sauce is heating, stir together 1/4 t. cornstarch with 1/4 t. water until the cornstarch has been dissolved, add to the sauce stirring to combine. As the sauce cooks, continue stirring occasionally. After a few minutes, the sauce should bubble and thicken. Keep your eye on it and turn it off as soon as the sauce has thickened. Spread the sauce over the crust, top with the toppings of your choice and the cheese. Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your pizza. The crust should be golden brown, the cheese melted and the toppings heated through.

Notes: For thicker crusts, bake crust on its own for 5-10 minutes (depending on size). Then cover with sauce and toppings and continue baking. For a larger pizza, double the sauce recipe.