Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A disclaimer and a Recipe. {Curried White Bean Soup & Grilled Garlic and Sage Toast}

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I know I was supposed to post some recipes weeks ago. hell, a year ago. i have been behind. really really behind. i am posting a few tonight and I am sorry for not getting these posted before now. I realize that you are not able to print or save these recipes and that is not the most convenient way to reference these recipes.  i took a little time today researching easier ways for you to print or gain access to these recipes and I couldn't find anything for blogger. If any of you know of an easier and more efficient way, please let me know.

I will continue working on this for you. It is looking like I may need to switch over to a Wordpress blog because there are, supposedly,  many easy ways to customize it...we all know this will take me some time, so for now, i will post here!

I would really like to make a disclaimer here:

this blog has been a way for me to document my life with my babies. when i began writing here a few years ago, i thought it would serve as a digital diary of sorts. through the years, i have posted hundreds of photos and several recipes. i love it here. although, i haven't posted enough this past year, i am happy to have these memories here for my kids to read one day.  

when i decided to post recipes, it was because i wanted my children to know my favorite recipes and foods to cook. you see...i love my mom's cooking, i think most people do. 

whenever my mom would ask me what i wanted as a gift, my answer has almost always been, "i want you to write down your fave recipes and copy them for me in a book!"

i haven't received a book of recipes from my mom yet, but i can say that i have called her enough times before, during, and after asking question after question, so in essence, i have what i have always wanted. 

while making friends via social media, i feel blessed to have and be a part of a strong support system of other creative, giving, and strong minded women. i learn from all of you every single day and in some small way, i am sure you pick something up from me. i have been asked several times and by many different people to post more recipes and meal ideas. i have been apprehensive to do this for many reasons. one being the amount of time this may take. i have little ones and they take up most of my time and i really do love it that way.

another reason i have been dragging my heels~~ i am not a professional cook. i am simply a girl that loves food and loves to cook. i love it. i cook off the cuff. i don't always have a plan or even an idea, but i have mastered the use-what-you-have-on-hand philosophy and this is when new recipes are born. 

i am happy to share meal ideas and recipes here and on instagram but i have to make sure that you know, I HAVE NO REAL IDEA WHAT THE HECK I AM TALKING ABOUT. i just do it if it feels right. and i do have one very strong belief about cooking...i'm downright passionate about this

I believe ANYONE CAN COOK. and i think everyone should (if they really want to).
i hear over and over, "i can't cook. how do you do it? and with three kids." 

yes, you can. i'm not trying to put on a dinner at the White House for the heads of state and the president. i'm cooking for the ones i love...in my favorite place in the whole world...my kitchen. i'm inviting you in and i hope you will let go of all self-doubt, grab a bowl and whip something up. 

another tidbit: i burn stuff all the time. it's a running joke here, but i don't let that stop me from confidently walking into the kitchen to try try again. 

so, there may be a better way, a better recipe, a better technique...but i'm happy to share what i'm doing in my kitchen when i can. 

Curried White Bean Soup with Grilled Garlic & Sage Toast

I made this soup one night when I hadn't gone shopping and this is about all i had on hand. i love cooking this way...opening the fridge and using whatever is in there. i didn't have much, but this was done in less than an hour and it was amazing with the toasted bread. I hope you try this one. basically, you throw all of the ingreds into a pot and simmer. feel free to add or subtract as you go. this is a NO RULES kitchen. 


2 cans white beans, rinsed off
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves
1/8 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
fresh thyme, 2 branches
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
couple shakes of cayenne pepper
1 box chicken stock
1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese plus more to sprinkle on top
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste


Medium heat. In soup pot, I added half the oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Add your onions, whole Thyme branches, and curry powder. Stir often and cook until onions soft, 3-4 mins. Then add, chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute. DO NOT overcook garlic or it will become bitter. 

Add chicken stock, homemade is best best, but a low-sodium will do. Add bay leaf, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, beans, cheddar, and rest of olive oil.

Cover and turn it down and let it simmer for 40 minutes and up to an hour over low heat. I think the key to a rich, homemade flavor is simmer, simmer, simmer. Let the flavors meld. 

garnish with a handful of white cheddar cheese.
Garlic Sage Toast


French bread (or your favorite bread)
1 clove of garlic
3-5 Sage leaves chopped


Melt some butter in a pan, add sage.  Lay bread down in butter and brown on both sides. When toasted, rub/scrape raw garlic on both sides of bread. 

Serve with that soup and you are in for a treat!
next blog post: some much needed catch up on life and pics. xo

Tom Kha Soup Adventures

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instagram photo: heidiwish  photo IMG_8208.jpg
instagram photo: heidiwish

So, I was driving down Pine Ridge Road a few weeks ago, or a few months ago, i have no sense of time these days, when i remembered that i promised myself a trip to the Asian Market.  I knew i was very close, but i couldn't find it. this went on for...months. i guess i was too lazy to really LOOK for it. 

I've heard of friends going to the Asian Market for years and each time it came up in conversation, I was all, "oh, yeah. i've been meaning to go there!"

so, like i was readying for a field trip into an unknown land, i dropped the kids at the bus stop, buckled my baby in her seat and grabbed my Tom Kha soup recipe i had pieced together off various sites on the web the day prior. i was excited to finally make my way into this place. this mysterious, elusive place.

i finally found it, but if you are not careful, you will miss it's red letters and asian lanterns hanging in front beckoning you in. 

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this market is an authentic gem, nestled away in a naples plaza. i felt like i was in another country and i quickly learned that i may as well could have been. my senses were in overload with the colors and smells that welcomed Ivy and I. i couldn't find a single thing i needed. luckily, a young woman was there stocking her basket with only green veggies to make a stir-fry. i instantly wondered if adding red and yellow peppers to a stir-fry dish was an "americanized" version of the recipe. she helped me find all the items on my list. of course, i wanted to beg her to take me with her to her house to teach me everything she knew on thai cuisine, but i refrained. 

the recipe i am sharing tonight, is one that i pieced together from about five different recipes i found on the web. i have to say that i really liked this version. it was easy and the flavor satisfying. there is probably a better recipe out there, as i am not an expert, but if you do try it, please let me know you did!

there are a lot of ingredients, but don't be put off by that. this is a super simple soup to make and you can find most items at the grocery store if you don't have an asian market nearby. not having the perfect ingredient list on hand, forces you to be creative. 

Tom Kha Soup


1 1/4 can Coconut Milk
3 cups chicken broth
5 green onions, chop both white and half green stem into small pcs.
1/4 cup thai basil leaves, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
{2 stalk lemongrass, washed well chopped into 3-inch pieces}
{1 chili pepper, cut in half long way. scrape seeds out unless you like heat}
{chuck fresh ginger, cut into three pieces}
{chunk fresh galangal, cut into three pieces} 
{2 kaffir lime leaves that pinch with my fingers to release flavor}
juice of 1 lime
1 cup button mushrooms
3 chicken breast, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons (or more to taste) Ground fresh chili paste (the brand i used Sambal Oelek)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped plus more for garnish
Spiced chili oil, optional garnish
3 tablespoon veggie oil

*{these items are cut into larger pieces as they are used to flavor the soup and are then removed before eating. please keep this in mind when chopping these ingreds.}
*in case you're looking, i didn't use fish sauce
*galangal is also called kha and is optional. if you don't have it, no biggie. move on.


Using my dutch oven (large stock pot would work), i added veggie oil and cooked over medium heat to soften: lemongrass, galangal, ginger, garlic, and chili pepper. about 2 minutes. please do not burn garlic.

Add chicken broth, kaffir lime leaves, mushrooms and bring to a boil and add your chopped chicken, turn heat down just a bit and let simmer. stir often.

now you are ready to add the coconut milk, chili paste, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves, and lime juice.

cover and simmer. i love to let things simmer...it gets everything tasting like it belongs together. it could be done in 20  minutes, but i would let simmer over med-low heat for 40 minutes.

remove {these items} and serve in a beautiful bowl and garnish with cilantro leaves and drizzle with a little spiced chili oil. looks great, tastes beautiful. 

i hope i didn't forget anything and i hope you enjoy it. feel free to google a hundred different recipes and coming up with your own variation and technique. 

NO RULES here!

for more meal ideas and recipes: i post more on Instagram. My username is: heidiwish

Egg Cups: Onions, Peppers, Speck, Cheddar, Asparagus

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instagram photo

My sister, Heather, is the polar opposite of me when it comes to food...in a good way. when she decides that she is eating too much salt, she makes a public declaration to the family that she has given it up...and she sticks with it. i'm so jealous.

when she feels like her favorite jeans are a tad snug, she calls to tell me which foods she is cutting out of her diet. most of these are my favorite things of course: salt, sugar, chocolate, pasta...

she says it...she does it. well, i'm not like that. i want to be a bit more like that, but it's a struggle for me. i have been obsessing over how big my ass is for years, so instead of subtracting things from my diet, i try to cook healthier options for a quick grab and go out of the fridge. when she called to tell me of her new Egg Cup obsession i was excited to hop back on the Egg Cup bandwagon. i used to make these quite often when i was living alone in an apartment back in my college days. i remember those days fondly. i was flat broke, always trying to be skinny, and always running out of the house to either school or work. i miss those days.

Egg Cups: Onions, Peppers, Speck, and Cheddar


9 eggs
1 small onion, chopped
1 red pepper (or any color), chopped
1/2 cup chopped: prosciutto, ham, OR bacon
1/2 cup freshly grated cheddar
olive oil (can use a little butter or cooking spray)
cooking spray


Preheat oven 375 degrees

In a pan, heat a tablespoon of oil, add onions, peppers, and prosciutto and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, crack each egg into the bowl and mix with a fork until well mixed. add cheddar to eggs and mix.  add cooked veggies and ham to egg mixure, salt and pepper and stir. 

Spray the inside of each cup of a cupcake tin. place cupcake tin on a baking sheet. Using a 1/3 cup measure, fill each cup of the cupcake tin. 

Bake these egg cups for 20 minutes. take out, let cool.

i put the rest in a ziploc bag and pull out as an easy, inexpensive, healthier alternative to fast food. FYI: my kids love these. 

add whatever you want to your Egg Cup. My sister's fave cup is made with roasted salmon, fresh dill, broccoli, and parm. cheese. 

no rules. add whatever you have in your fridge.