Friday, October 9, 2015

Three Recipes - Broomfield, Colorado

The following recipes are courtesy of Vince Cook, my cousin, Michele's husband.  Vince took over the cooking several years ago and while i was staying with them, kept us fed and full. In addition to the recipes below, he also makes delicious, nutritious pumpkin blueberry muffins.

Although my time with Michele and Vince was short, i had such a great time getting to know Vince better.  He's one of these genius-y engineer types who has a rich intellect, that makes watching "The Voice" a hilarious, interesting experience.  And he is re-starting his blog, "Dueling Words," which i am anxious to follow.

๐Ÿœ Chicken Tortilla Soup

6 Tbsp cooking oil
8 6-inch corn tortillas, halved and cut crosswise 
  into 1/4 inch strips
1 onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsps ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth homemade stock
3 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 28 oz. cn)
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 tsp salt (if you used low-sodium broth!)
1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro (optional)
1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 pound Chedder, grated
Lime wedges, for servings

- In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat
- Add half the tortilla strips and cook stirring, until pale golden, about 1 minute.
- Remove with slotted spoon, drain on paper towels.  Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips
- Reduce heat to moderately low.  Add the onion, garlic, and spices;  cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, cilantro if  using, and a third (or more) of the tortilla strips. Bring to a simmer.  Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves.
- In a blender, puree the soup in batches; pour back in pot.
- Add the chicken, bring soup back to a simmer, and cook until chicken is cooked through.  
- To server, put the remaining tortilla strips in bowls, top with avocado (or can mix in) and cheese and pour in the soup.
- Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, if using, and server with lime wedges. 

๐Ÿ Ravioli with Pumpkin Alfredo


  • 1 package (25 oz) frozen cheese ravioli

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree

  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage

  • dash of freshly grated nutmeg

  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the ravioli according to the package directions. Drain.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, chicken broth and milk.

  3. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add in the milk mixture, Parmesan cheese, pumpkin puree, parsley, sage and nutmeg. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.

  4. Stir the ravioli into the sauce. Serve topped with the pine nuts and walnuts.
    Ginger Waffles
๐Ÿฉ Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins

1 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp Canola or Sunflower oil
1 can pumpkin (approx 15 oz)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 egg
2 cups flour (can go 1/2 whole-wheat)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries
3/4 cup ground walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350F

Combine sugar and oil in a bowl; beat at 
medium speed of an electric mixer until well
blended.  Add egg, milk, sour cream, and 
pumpkin; beat well and set aside.

Combine flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt; stir well.  Add dry
ingredients to sugar-oil mixture; beat until
mixture is blended.  Fold in berries and nuts.

Spoon batter into oiled muffin tin.  Bake for
20 minutes (can be 25-30 min.) or until 
wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool 10 minutes; remove from tins.

Makes 12 large muffins. 

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