Roasted Red Bell Pepper Tomato Soup

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Tomato Soup
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Serves 4

2 tablespoons organic canola oil
2 1/4 pounds fresh vine-ripe tomatoes, halved lengthwise (should equal 
approximately 3 cups depending on the type of tomatoes used)
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and quartered
2 large shallots, peeled and halved
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 tablespoon sugar, optional
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 cups vegetable stock
Homemade croutons
Sour cream or mascarpone

Place the cut sides of tomatoes up and arrange on large cookie sheets. Add the 
shallot halves and garlic to the pan with tomatoes. Drizzle the canola oil over the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Roast the vegetables for approximately 40 minutes in a preheated 450 degree oven,
until the skin is brown and tender, turning the peppers and shallots halfway 
through roasting. If any of the vegetables brown before the peppers, remove them to a bowl and continue roasting the peppers. Remove the vegetables from the oven when
they are cooked. Cool completely.

Place the cooled vegetables in a food processor or blender along with any juices, 
add the basil and thyme. Gradually add the stock to thin the soup until desired
consistency. Return the pureed vegetables to a Dutch-oven and heat through, 
stirring occasionally.

Top the soup with a dollop of sour cream or mascarpone and the homemade croutons.

Homemade Croutons from History Lover's Cookbook by Roxe Anne Peacock
Preheat oven to 300 degrees

6 slices of your favorite stale bread, crust removed Italian, French, Sourdough)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: If you are using plain bread, whole grain etc., add spices you love such as Italian seasoning, garlic, a little cayenne, chipotle chili powder etc. 

Slice the bread vertically into one-half inch strips. Next, cut the strips horizontally into one-half inch cubes. Spread the cubes evenly in a single layer on a large
cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for approximately 35 minutes or 
until the cubes are dry and crisp. Cool completely and then store in an airtight 
container for 2-3 days.












Chicken Poblano Soup with Spicy Baked Tortilla Strips

Chicken Poblano Soup
Serves 6

Cooking spray
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 poblano chiles, chopped
2 cups cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 (32 ounce) carton low or unsalted chicken stock
1 (15.5 ounce) can white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Serrano smoked chili powder
1 tablespoon lime, approximately 1/2 lime
1/2 cup light sour cream (2 tablespoons per bowl)
Spicy Baked Tortilla Strips

Spray a large Dutch-oven with cooking spray. Heat the pan over medium-high heat. 
Add the diced onion, garlic and chopped poblanos; saute for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the cooked chicken, chicken stock, tomatoes, white hominy and pinto beans to 
the vegetables, bring to a boil. Next, add the salt, white pepper, coriander, 
cumin, ancho chili powder, Serrano and smoked chili powder. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. 

Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice. Serve 
immediately. Top each bowl with 2 tablespoons sour cream and spicy baked tortilla 
strips. Enjoy!
 
Spicy Baked Tortilla Strips
Preheat oven to 425 degrees

(2) 10-inch flour tortillas 
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (salt to your preference)
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon Serrano smoked chili powder

Place the 2 tortilla shells on a cookie sheet, on top of each other. Carefully, cut the tortilla shells crosswise in 1/2 inch strips; place on a large cookie sheet. 
(I use cooking scissors).

Whisk the olive oil, salt, pepper and Serrano smoked chili powder in a medium bowl.
Toss the strips in the oil mixture and coat. Spread the coated tortilla strips in a single layer on the cookie sheet. 

Bake the tortilla strips in a preheated 425 degree oven for approximately 7-10 
minutes or until golden. Check after 4 minutes, the strips burn easily. Place the 
baked chips on wire racks lined with parchment paper to cool. After the chips are 
cool and feel crisp, store them in a covered container for up to 3 days.




Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Super Seed Sprinkle and Candied Orange Crisps

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Serves 6-8

1 1/2 cups Hemp milk (shake well)
1 cup golden Agave nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin coconut oil
4 medium avocados pitted, remove the avocado from the shell with a spoon
3/4 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (read labels carefully for ingredients added)
Super Seed Sprinkle
Candied Orange Crisps

Place the Hemp milk, agave, coconut oil, avocados and orange zest in a blender on
high speed and blend until smooth. Add the cacao powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger,
orange extract and vanilla to the ingredients in the blender. Blend until the
pudding is smooth.

Refrigerate the pudding for 30 minutes prior to serving. Top with Super Seed
Sprinkle and Candied Orange Crisps.

Super Seed Sprinkle
Serves 6

1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons Hemp seed
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (read labels to make sure nothing has been added)
Pinch of sea salt

Heat a small pan over med-low heat. Add the pistachios and sunflower seeds to the
pan. Heat the nuts for 4 minutes or until the seeds are lightly golden, stirring
often with a wooden spoon.

Add the sesame seeds and heat about 1 minute, stirring. Add the Hemp seeds, maple
syrup, and pinch of sea salt, heat 1 more minute.

Have parchment paper ready on wire racks. Transfer the seed mixture to the
parchment paper. Cool completely. Store in a covered container. Great on ice cream!

Candied Orange Crisps
Preheat oven to 212 degrees

7 ounces of caster sugar (superfine sugar)
1 orange sliced
1 star anise
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring the ingredients to a boil.

Add orange slices and star anise to the sugar water mixture. Cook on low heat for
20 minutes or until the syrup is glossy and oranges are translucent. Allow the
orange slices to cool in the pan.

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the candied orange slices on the parchment paper to dry out in a preheated 212 degree oven for 3 hours or more.

Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Cool the orange slices.
Break apart the orange slices until the resemble small chips.

Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mini muffin tin or regular

Organic spray for tins or paper liners

Organic Ingredients

2 cups blanched almond flour ( I used Bob’s Red Mill)

2 large organic (cage free) eggs

1/4 cup applesauce

1 tablespoon baking Truvia or to your taste. If you prefer Stevia, adjust amount

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon sea salt or a dash

1 tablespoon Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon unsweetened vanilla, ( read the ingredients in the vanilla)

2 tablespoons virgin organic coconut oil (or other healthy oil) heated slightly to liquefy (If you use organic canola oil or even regular canola oil in baking, the finished product has to be refrigerated.)

1 cup organic fresh blueberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place all ingredients except the blueberries in your food processor and blend until smooth. Once it is smooth, gently fold in the blueberries. Fresh works best.

Alternate method for this step:

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Next, slightly whisk the eggs and egg whites together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vanilla, then the applesauce. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Beat or stir with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are smooth. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Baking:

Have the muffin tins prepared either with an organic spray or the paper liners. For the mini muffin tin, put three blueberries in each sprayed hole or on the paper-liners and fill the holes evenly almost to the top. The mini muffin tin should give you approximately 24 muffins. Bake for approximately 17-18 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven. Cool on a wire-rack.

For the regular muffin tins, place blueberries on the sprayed bottoms or paper- liners and fill the holes evenly almost to the top. You should have about 12 muffins. Bake for approximately 25 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Cool on a wire-rack.

Check the middle of the muffins with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are done. When testing the muffins, the blueberries make areas more moist. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Stone Cold Killer

He peers in the door
A ghost of a figure
Watching...observing
Eyes cold...deep
Meaningful, yet evil
The hair on my skin...rises
Chilling me to the bone
As cold sweat drips from my hair
Beads of moisture cling to my clothes
The night air is thick
His musky odor burning deep into my soul
A milky fog grows ever so close
Surrounding me...
In a whirlwind of torment
The hideous creature
Lashes out at me
With a tongue like a snake
And scales of a lizard
His presence is ever so close
The smell of death lingers
His harsh gurgled voice
Claims he is here to take me...
Deep into the darkness of Hell
The sword glowers in the shadowy night
As he thrusts it in my heart...
Stabbing deeper...and deeper
Eyes showing no fear
As I took my last breath
I looked deep into his eyes
Of the stone cold killer I always feared!

By Roxe Anne Peacock

Cooking with Grandma

As a cookbook author and growing up with many relatives in the restaurant business, I feel it is my duty as a grandma to pass the pleasure of cooking and eating at the table with family on to my eight grandchildren. There is quite a difference in this generation than fifty-years ago. My generation was taught to eat everything on their plate, which included foods that made us gag. Even if you were getting ill from liver and onions, we had to sit at that large table alone for hours.

Speaking of eating at the table, I find most families today eat on the run due to family and work obligations. No one is sitting at a table having conversation about their day, friends, or upcoming events. And if they are at a table eating, they have headphones on, are on their cell or laptop. Do parents even check if their child’s homework is done? Do they know when parent teacher’s conferences are, know when to expect a report card, or if their children are actually in their beds? I am sure a lot of you do, but some slip by the wayside only to be eaten up by predators. We all are guilty of leading such busy lives that there is barely time to sleep.

There are many causes for today’s obesity epidemic. From low-income to sugar addiction, which is difficult to conquer along with carbs that turn into sugar. Some of us choose not to eat healthy. It is okay to indulge once in a while, being bored is a sure way to overeat as well as depression. Lack of exercise, which we can all do easily at home is not an excuse. Not getting enough sun isn’t good for our health and don’t forget about all the regulations on daycares. I know my children had way too much sugary juice. I am guilty of doing several items listed above.

My next cookbook, Cooking to Live, is going to be about my journey to lose weight the healthy way. I also need and want to be a better role model for my children and grandchildren from this point forward. Even though I am fighting the, “Mom…Grandma…can’t you cook something good like you used to years ago? Poor Grandpa…he can come to our house and eat.” Did I mention that in the past year, I have had foot surgery, right knee replacement, need left knee replacement, carpal tunnel surgery, kidney disease and I need back surgery. Maybe I should have lost this weight many years ago?

This mystery writer and cookbook author needs to lose about eighty pounds. So exactly how am I going to achieve this healthy weight goal you ask? My lifestyle needs to be about a healthy body, mind, and being around positive people. Children are positive for the most part at a young age until the hormones-testosterone kicks in.

Begin teaching children about healthy eating and cooking as soon as possible. No, I am not suggesting a sword fight with knives. You will know when your child is responsible enough to handle a knife. Even with that, many chefs get knife cuts. It goes along with the job.

The idea at first is to make something fun like my English muffin funny face pizza. Two-year-old Madyson, is a bit shy when her twin brothers aren’t around. She can count, knows her colors, shapes etc. I chose pizza for our first project because it is a happy project, a bit like a piece of artwork. Did I expect her to eat the pizza? No, but she did pick a few black olives and pieces of pepperoni off the pizzas. And she sampled the cheese and sauce with her fingers before the pizza was cooked. I delightfully ate a piece of her pizza after it was cooked. Then I told her how good…it tasted. Don’t forget to take photos of this project with the child’s finished product. This is a great dish to prepare around Halloween. A two-year-old isn’t quite old enough to carve their own pumpkin, but they can make a funny face on a pizza.

I am forever learning how to do modern technology. For the life of me, I spent four hours trying to download the cooking video on this blog. And then I had to change all my passwords and still don’t have it attached. Good grief!

 

English Muffin Funny Face Pizza

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Large cookie sheet, small bowls, plates, spatula, and cooking scissors

1 package sliced English muffins

Turkey pepperoni (cut two eyes, nose, mouth for each pizza)

Small 8 ounce package low-sodium, low-fat Mozzarella or Italian cheese

Small can sliced black olives, drained (about 5 per slice)

1 small jar low-sugar, low-sodium pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the English muffins in half if they aren’t already. Give each child two halves English muffins on a large plate, or one at a time if the child is small. Use approximately two teaspoons sauce per muffin. Spread the sauce evenly on the top of the muffin. Add about five black olives on the top of the sauce. If the child is still learning to count, this is a good time to count with them. Top with cheese and press the cheese down lightly. (Have a parent cut the pepperoni to make two eyes, a nose and mouth for each pizza). Next, give the child the mouth to place on the bottom of the muffin. Then add the nose just above the mouth. And last, place the eyes above the nose on each side of the muffin. I find adding the mouth to the muffin first makes it easier for a toddler to position the pieces of the face.

Use the spatula to lift the pizzas off the children’s plates to the large cookie sheet. Have a parent place the cookie sheet with pizzas in the oven. Cook the pizzas for about 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Have a parent remove the pan from the oven. Place the pizzas on the child or children’s plates. Make sure you remember which pizza belongs to each child. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes. Slice into four or six pieces. Take photos!

Note: If adults are going to join in at dinner, you might increase the amount of ingredients. My husband eats two whole muffins, which makes four pizzas. He uses all the above ingredients. The only differences are he uses three pieces of pepperoni and a few real bacon bits. Add a few pieces of raw carrot and apple to round off the meal. Enjoy!

 

 

 

This site will have the author's fictionand non-fiction cookbooks for sale at a lower price than online. There will be updates on book signings, recipes, and food tips.