I had one more recipe of Curtis’s I really wanted to try but never got the chance while he was out ‘assigned’ chef for I Heart Cooking Clubs.


asparagus and parmesan risotto

Y’all know how much I love risotto so I couldn’t pass this one up.  Seems like every time I went to make it I didn’t have one of the ingredients.  THIS time every thing came together.  YUM!

About 8 cups store-bought vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 Tble dried thyme leaves {I didn’t have any fresh}
2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus, woody ends removed, stalks cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler, for garnish
Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in the mircowave and keep warm.
Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat and  sauté shallots, garlic, and thyme leaves until the shallots are tender but not browned. Add the rice and sauté just long enough to  coat with the oil.Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes,or until it is absorbed.

Add the hot veggie stock 3/4 cup at a time stirring after each addition until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rise is al dente

Add the asparagus cook for 2 more minutes.  Remove the pan  from the heat.  Add the butter, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mascarpone cheese and stir until the butter has melted and the cheeses are just incorporated. Add the parsley, mint, and lemon.juice.  season the risotto generously with salt and pepper.

Garnish with the shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve.
Curtis’s risotto was a beautiful white with the green asparagus shining through.  My veggie stock was really dark so the risotto is very dark.  But it was full of flavor.  The  mascarpone, which I would NEVER have thought of using, added a certain sweetness to the risotto.  And the big shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano….  nuff said!   I think I could live off of this risotto.
The recipe is from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone.  Page 133}  You can find the original recipe his website as well.
Want more POTLUCK?  Visit IHCC.



It was wonderfully cool this morning.  Perfect for a hot cuppa and some warm buttered scones


Cranapple to be exact.

These delicious scones are from The Bluepoint Bakery located in Denver, CO. 

I make scones quite often for breakfast or for friends.  These were among the best I have ever made.  They contained cream cheese which I have never used in scones before.  They added a certain creaminess to the scones.  While the recipe called for frozen cranberries I used dried instead.  I like the sweetness they added to the mix.  I also used Granny Smith apples.

I will definitely make them again – often!

The recipe is on page 165 of The Colorado Farmers’ Market Cookbook.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

…keeps the doctor away. At least that is the saying. Does that mean you have to just eat an apple every day? Well, yeah! But it doesn’t say HOW you have to eat the apple.

And I am sure when Peggy picked this week’s theme she wasn’t just thinking of a plain ol’ apple.

And good thing since Ellie has so many great apple recipes to choose from. Like these….


Apple-Cranberry Turnovers.

Tart Granny Smith apple pieces sauteed in brown sugar with dried cranberries then carefully , CAREFULLY, wrapped in phyllo sheets.  I say carefully because Phyllo is the one crust you cannot be rough with.  Trust me.  I speak from experience.  Mostly bad!

But this time, they worked out pretty well.  My sheets were a little dry but I worked it out. Between two of the sheets of phyllo Ellie sprinkled crushed ladyfinger cookies.  Don’t usually have them in the house so I used crushed graham crackers in stead.  Worked.

The recipe for the turnovers is from The Food You Crave on page 294.  Or on FoodTV.

Want more apples from Ellie – Visit Eating with Ellie.

It’s Fall y’all!  At least according to the calendar.  But with daytime temps still in the mid to upper eighties and nights only going down to 72 or so here in the Deep South it sure doesn’t feel like Fall.  So how do you get in the mood while running the A/C and wishing for cooler weather instead of Summer Part Deux?  You bake with Fall ingredients – apples, persimmons, pecans.  All of them tied up in one big beautiful bundt.

This one is full of all those ingredients plus “Fall” spices


      3/4 cup chopped pecans


      1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar


      1/3 cup butter, softened


      2 eggs


      1 cup cooked persimmon


      1 teaspoon vanilla


      2 3/4 cups all purpose flour


      3/4 cup milk


      1/3 cup apple juice

{I used some spiced pear juice as I was out of apple}

      1 tablespoon baking powder


      1 heaping teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


    3/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 325°. Grease and sugar* 10 or 12 cup Bundt” Pan.

In a large mixing bowl, mix brown sugar, butter and eggs until very light and fluffy.

Add persimmon and vanilla; mix very well.

Add all remaining ingredients; mix well. Gently spoon into prepared pan.

Bake at 325° for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on rack. 16 servings.

* Using sugar to coat pan adds a sugary golden crust to the cake

I drizzled it with a caramel ganache. Recipe for the ganache is from Crazy for Crust.

This cake was unbelievable moist and full of flavor.  One of the best I have made in a long while. {And it would have been beautiful if part of it hadn’t stuck to the pan – thus the leaves!!}

Want more FALL Bundts.  Please visit all the bakers below.  Lots of deliciousness there.


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

Thank you Terri ( of The Freshman Cook) for hosting this month.

Quinoa has become my new best friend. I eat it as a side.  As a cold or hot salad.  Instead of rice sometimes.  It is good, and good for you.  Finding another GOOD quinoa recipe is always a plus.  Like this one from Colorado Farmers’ Market Cookbook – my book for October’s CookBook Countdown.


Red bell peppers, onion, and garlic cooked with curry powder and peas before being added to the toasted quinoa to cook.  How can you beat that?

I did add a little salt at the end since the recipe did not call for it and next time I will ‘up’ the amount of curry powder.  1 tsp just wasn’t enough but I like lots of curry flavor in my dishes.

The recipe is on page 104 of the Colorado Farmers’ Market Cookbook.

Since the recipe can be found on line I will not include it here.  Curried Quinoa

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

It’s the third Monday in October.  While that may not mean much to many of you it means a lot to some of us.  It’s Group C Reveal Day for Secret Recipe Club.By this time each month many of us have browsed through our ‘assigned’ blog and chosen what recipe(s) we want to cook.  Some of us chose 1 or 2. I like to use three so I can get a full idea of what my Blogger is all about.

“I am on a never ending quest for healthier eating. Oh, I totally enjoy fries, and burgers and chocolate, but I try to make the majority of our meals as healthy and unprocessed as possible. Then, in moderation we can enjoy other things that we don’t have as often anymore. I’ve also learned how to tweak some of those old “favorites” to make them a bit healthier. “

So says Kirstin of Loving Life. I think that sums up Kirstin’s food philosophy.  It is a journal of her life and the recipes within it. Good days, bad days, but always great recipes.

I started out making Kirstin’s Cauliflower  Pizza Crust.  Like most of you I have seen a ton of recipes using a cauliflower crust for pizza and I have wanted to try it.  And there it was, right there on Kirstin’s blog.


The crust is made from ‘riced’ cauliflower, eggs, cheese, and seasoning.  It gets nice and crispy around the edges.  I topped it with marinara, mushrooms, black olives and lots of cheese.   If you are looking for a gluten free alternative this is what you need to try.  It wasn’t bad.  But I think I will stick to my bread crust.  But that’s just me.

I make bread every week.  The Man eats sandwiches and store bought just isn’t right.  Too fluffy.  Too white.  So every week – Whole Wheat Bread.  This week when I needed bread I used Kirstin’s recipe for  Multigrain Bread.  


It is very similar to the Whole Wheat Bread I make but has MORE!!  She adds sunflower seeds, 7 or 10 grain cereal and oatmeal.  The oatmeal is supposed to go ON the bread but when Kirstin said she had trouble keeping the oatmeal ON the bread I decided to put it IN the bread instead.  I also used 1/2 water and 1/2 milk instead of all water for cooking the cereal.  The Man really liked it.  Dense and moist.  Very healthy!   I think I will this bread from now on.  {Kirstin – used the bread machine to mix the dough but baked it free-form.  It worked just fine.  Next I will bake it in the machine as well.}

Ok.  One more.


I made Kirstin’s Quinoa Squash Pilaf for lunch today.  Delicious!   This is the dish where she mentioned she wanted to make her meals healthier and less processed.  This one – perfect.  Just the right amount of seasoning and veggies added to the quinoa.  The only change I made – I added some sliced mushrooms.

    1 c. Quinoa rinsed
    1 can (14 1/2 oz.) vegetable broth {I used all broth so two cups of broth.}
    1/4 cup water {NOPE!}
    2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
    1 c. chopped leeks (white portions only)….I used onion
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 Tbs. olive oil
    1 large tomato, chopped
    1 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro (I used parsley)
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    1/2 tsp. chili powder
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (I left these out)
    2 c. fresh baby spinach, chopped
    I cup sliced mushrooms {My addition}

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, toast the quinoa over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
In a small saucepan, bring broth and water to a boil. Add the quinoa. Reduce the heat; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, saute the zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash, leeks and garlic in oil until tender. Lower heat to medium low and stir in tomato, cilantro, seasonings and quinoa. Mix in the spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.

All in all I had a lovely visit with Kirstin. I have several more recipes I want to go back to. Thanks, Kirstin.

Want more “Seecret” goodies. Click the FROG!

This month’s featured chef for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Ellie Krieger.  Over the last five years or so I have made a lot of Ellie Krieger’s recipes.  I started with Craving Ellie in my Belly.  By the time it was over I was with Eating with Ellie with three of my foodie friends.  IHCC  featured Ellie for 6 months from October 5th 2015 to April 3rd 2016.  That’s a lot of Ellie.  I don’t think I will ever get tired of cooking with Ellie.

I needed something quick and tasty the other night since I was completely out of sweet treats. Last fall Eating with Ellie made mini pumpkin ‘jar cakes’ and I missed out on it.  Every one said it was good so I wanted to try them.


The first one I made wasn’t sweet enough.  I didn’t want to up the calorie count {Ellie would be upset if I did!} so I added a tad of stevia to the next one.  Better!  The extra sweetness brought out the spices and pumpkin flavors.

Topped with a little whipped cream it was the perfect sweet treat.

The recipe is on page 291 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders.  {Or find it HERE}

For more Ellie – I Heart Cooking Clubs.


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