Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Using up more canned pumpkin.  Trying to find the perfect pumpkin bread recipe.  This one is excellent.  It is a little lighter than I want, but the spice mixture is perfect as well as the moisture.  I think I need to add sour cream or Greek yogurt to make a little more dense bread.
Anyway, this is a fabulous recipe.  It is adapted from and it has over 4,000 reviews and gets a perfect 5 stars.  I upped the spices a little because I like cinnamon and ginger and pumpkin pie spice.  Other than that, it is the same.  Great recipe!


  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I used drained applesauce for 1/2 cup)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 11/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare 2 bread pans with grease and flour  or baker's spray.  Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, spices, sale and baking soda).  Whisk together sugar and wet ingredients. Dump dry ingredients into wet and mix with spatula until dry ingredients disappear.  Pour into pans.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar or pumpkin or sunflower seeds if desired.  Bake 45-50 minutes.  (I made 2 loaves and 7 muffins, muffins cooked for 15 minutes ish?)  Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Lettuce Wraps (like PF Changs)

My sister-in-law got me started on PF Chang's lettuce wraps.  I adore them.  My problem with them is there are never enough for the table to share.  Last night I decided to make them for dinner.  I was not sure how the kids would do with them.  They made me proud!  From age 2 to age 7 they pounded them.  My older 2 both asked for seconds. 
I think they are every bit as good as PF Chang's version and are pretty easy.  They come together very quickly and we made a meal out of them.  The key is chopping up everything before you start cooking because they cook quick once that skillet gets turned on.  Enjoy!


  • 1-1.5 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1-2 TBSP sesame, peanut or walnut oil
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • 2-3 med sized button mushrooms- finely chopped
  • 1/2 can finely chopped water chestnuts
  • handful finely chopped peanuts (opt)
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • spoonful minced ginger (I use jarred or tube)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch to thicken
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 3-4 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
  • 3-4 TBSP brown sugar

Chop all the ingredients that need chopping.  Also, prep lettuce.  Tear leaves off whole and wash gently and place on paper towels to dry. 
This is so you can gauge how much of each. But I am sure it is forgiving.

Preheat skillet and put in oil.  Place in ground turkey and use wooden spoon to chop up.  When turkey starts to brown (4-5 min) add scallions, mushrooms, garlic, and ginger.   Cook until turkey is no longer pink.  Add rice vinegar, soy sauce, water chestnuts and cornstarch. Stir in. Add brown sugar and stir in.  Add chopped peanuts and stir in.  DO NOT OVERCOOK TURKEY!  Let sit for a few minutes off heat  to thicken and let flavors meld.  Serve warm with lettuce like a burrito. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Coconut Cake and Custard Frosting

So, I was so excited to try this cake.  I saw it made on America's Test Kitchen, and Chris Kimball said it was the best things they have ever made. I have had the ingredients forever, but was looking for the occasion.  My parents and brother were in town this weekend for Easter and it seemed the perfect time for it.  So, I made it for my little boys 4th birthday party.  I was so dissappointed.  The cake was truly delicious.  A very lovely coconut flavor and the toasted coconut was just to die for.
My problem was the frosting.  It was like sweetened butter.  I could not even bring myself to eat it.  It was 4 sticks of butter.  Yes, you read that right, 1 lb. of butter in this icing.  Glorified sweet butter as frosting.  So, I refuse to post the recipe for the frosting because I found it offensive.
But I will post the cake and I will make it again.  It was so tender and had a great crumb.  This is not the normal white cake that you find with a coconut cake.   It is truly a coconut cake.

I will post my preferred icing, and also tell you the cream of coconut is used to make pina coladas, found in the mixed drink section.

by: America's Test Kitchen

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1TBSP baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 12 TBSP softened unsalted butter, cubed
  • 5 large egg white
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 3/4 c. cream of coconut (NOT coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 325.  Prepare 2 round pans with parchment on bottom and baker's spray.  Or try your luck with baker's spray only.
Mix dry ingredients on low speed.  Add cubed softened butter one at a time and continue to mix for about 2 minutes until it looks like pea crumbs.  In separate bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, coconut extract, cream of coconut and water.  Add 1/2 of wet ingredients to dry and mix for a minute then add the rest.  Mix until well combined.  Pour evenly into 2 prepared round pans.  Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.  (they said 30, but mine was still soupy in middle).  Let cool for 10-15 minutes.  Loosen cake from sides of pan with a small knife.  Carefully flip onto flat surface to finish cooling.  Cut cake in half so you will have 4 equal layers.

from Ann Czyz

  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
  • 3/4 cup crisco (veg. shortening)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 TBSP Flour
  • 3 tsp vanilla (can sub. one with coconut extract for coconut cake)
  • 1 cup milk

Working with a mixer, beat butter and vegetable shortening until well combined.  Add sugar and beat another few minutes.  Add flour one TBSP at a time until incorporated.  Slowly add vanilla extract and milk and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 5-10 minutes.  NOTE:  It will look greasy and taste grainy at first.  Adding the milk will help, but whipping it will cause it lose all graininess and become smooth and light.

Roasted Cauliflower

Think you don't like cauliflower?  Think again!  This is so yummy and sweet and barely resembles the veggie your used to.  And it is not covered in gooey cheese to transform it.  Healthful and delicious!


  • 1 bunch cauliflower
  • evoo- extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic or Tbsp minced from fridge
  • salt and pepper
  • handful Italian bread crumbs
  • small handful parmesan cheese (couple TBSP)

Preheat oven to 400.  Clean cauliflower and cut into bite sized pieces.  Drizzle with olive oil to coat.  Salt, pepper and garlic and toss to mix.  Place on baking sheet pan.  Let bake for about 20 minutes, turning after about 10 minutes so it will brown evenly.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese and place in oven again for another 10 minutes or so, until browned and tender.

Pumpkin French Toast

A weird Easter brunch choice I realize.  We are moving in a month and due the great pumpkin shortage last fall and my obsessive canned pumpkin buying, I have to use up some pumpkin!!  So, why not?
I kinda made this up on the fly.  Turns out there are similar recipes out there.  This was very tasty and would make a wonderful holiday treat.  There are those mornings where I forgot to prepare a baked french toast the night before,or was too tired.  Have guests and want to impress?  This is a great solution.  It is kinda like my pumpkin bread pudding.   Very yummy!


  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 12 slices bread (I used 3/4" slices of raisin Challah bread)

Whisk all but the bread together.  Let bread sit in mixture for 2 minutes on each side.  Pick up and hold over and let excess come off bread.  Place in buttered hot pan.  Fry until golden on each side.  Pick up and sear sides of bread too (I do this to ensure no raw eggs are going to be consumed and so it won't be soggy on the sides).  Serve with warm syrup.

Poached Pears

Last Christmas we made these and I failed to post them because I lacked a decent picture.  They were the hit of our Christmas brunch for sure.  So, I made them again for Easter brunch.  This recipe is my own, made up from a bunch I looked at online. 
This is a sweet and slightly spiced pear that is so tender, it about melts in your mouth.  They are super easy and look so pretty and elegant.  Add to that the fact that they are delicious, it becomes is a must make!


  • 4 pears, peel, cored and halved*
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine (like Merlot)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • cinnamon stick (or 2 tsp. cinnamon)
  • few cloves
  • some lemon peel
  • 2 tsp vanilla 

Place sugar and liquids in pan and mix.  Add everything else.  Turn heat on high until boils and turn down to medium.  Keep liquid in a light boil turning down if to vigorous.  Leave it and let it cook for 45min-1 hour.  Make sure there is liquid in pan at all times and doesn't go dry.  The liquid will get thick and syrupy.  This is what you want.  Serve warm or room temp with some syrup from pan over them and some whipped cream.

*can peel and leave whole with stem for a very elegant dessert.  After peeled, take a new plastic spongy (soap free of course) and scrub the pear to remove peel lines.  Can cut bottom off slightly so it will be flat and stand up on plate.  Can even core bottom if desired and when serving, fill it with some marscapone or whipped cream.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookie

When I first saw these in my cookbook, they did not appeal to me.  I am not sure if it was the photo that turned me off, or just the idea.  My husband asked me to make them, so I did.  That was many years ago and I have made them a ton of times since.  They are fabulous.
They are like a raisinette with cookie.  The difference is the semisweet chocolate makes them a little richer.  So, that gave me the idea, to maybe try them with milk chocolate chips next time.  And then also to make a raisinette cookie sometime too.  Yum!
These are not at all like a oatmeal raisin cookie.  Lighter and almost delicate.  They have a slight crunch on the edges and are chewy in the middle.  A really great cookie!

from Mrs. Fields- Best Ever Cookie Book!
yield:4-4.5 dozen

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 300.  Whisk flour and baking power together in small bowl and set aside.  Whisk sugars together and add butter.  Beat until grainy, scraping down sides of bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and beat at med. speed until smooth and fluffy.  Add flour, chocolate chips and raisins and blend on low until just combined.  Do not overmix.
Rounded TBSP's and place 1.5" apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Longer because they are cooking at a lower temp.  They will not brown much because it is a low temp.  Transfer to cool flat surface to cool.

Pecan Supremes

Another Mrs. Fields great cookie.  This is a heartier cookie with a bit of oatmeal and pecans.  I usually am not a nut fan in cookies, but this cookie is really good.  It uses dark brown sugar and you can really taste it in them.  A little change from the normal chocolate chip cookie.

adapted from Mrs Fields: Best Ever Cookie Book
yield: 3-4 dozen

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and oats.  With an electric mixer, combine sugars and add butter.  Beat to forma grainy paste.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium until light and fluffy. 
Add the flour mixture, pecans and chocolate chips and mix on low until just combined.  Don't overmix.  Drop by rounded TBSP's onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Cook for 18-20 minutes.  Immediately transfer to cool surface.  (Cookies will not brown much because of the low oven temp.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Butter

My cousin Michelle sent this recipe to me a few days ago. She got it from a mutual friend.  I had some zucchini just waiting to be made into this bread.  Never really thought about combining chocolate and zucchini, but with the healthful addition of zucchini to chocolate, I can eat the whole loaf guilt free, right?
Micah was calling this brownies.  This is a wonderful chocolate bread that is like dessert.  The chocolate butter that goes with it, well, it is one of those love/hate things.  Love the taste, hate that I want to slather the entire thing on one slice of bread.  On entire loaf was gone in the morning, I imagine the other loaf's hours are numbered.  A very tasty treat.


  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup plain applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. sour milk (2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar then add milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 2 cup shredded zucchini (about 2 small)
  • mini chocolate chips- divided

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour 2 loaf pans (or use Baker's spray).  Whisk dry ingredients together.  Cream together butter, applesauce and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg, mix.  Add milk, mix.  Add vanilla and mix..  Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Stir in zucchini and half of the mini chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared loaf pans.  Top with remaining mini chocolate chips.  Bake 45-55 minutes.  Mine was 45 minutes.


  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 2 TBSP Cocoa powder
  • drop of vanilla
Mix until smooth.

Can make as muffins (15 min), mini muffins (10 min).  Freezes well.

Chicken Bruschetta Sandwiches on Ciabatta Rolls

Had a craving for some bruschetta and had some chicken to use up. 
Bought some ciabatta rolls, marinated and grilled some chicken, top with some melted provolone and bruschetta= YUM!

Make it super easy.  Buy prepared bruschetta, sliced cheese and bakery ciabatta rolls. 

1/2 a sandwich was more than enough for me and the kids.  My husband ate a whole, but had room for nothing else.   We have enough for another entire meal.  And I am a lover of leftovers!

You could make a mexican version.  Top with mexi-cheese mix and some salsa in a tortilla.  YUM!


  • 4 chicken breast cut to half thickness
  • Italian dressing for marinade
  • 8 slices of Provolone or sliced mozzarella
  • prepared bruschetta
  • 8 ciabatta rolls

A couple of hours, to 24 hours ahead, prepare chicken by cutting to 1/2 thickness.  Put in gallon bag and dump half bottle of Italian dressing over the chicken.  Close bag and mush around to coat chicken.  Put in refrigerator.  Grill chicken.  When chicken is fully cooked, turn off grill, top with sliced cheese and close top of grill for 2-3 minutes, until cheese is melted.  Toast ciabatta rolls and butter if desired.  Top with cheesy grilled chicken and bruschetta and top of roll.  Open wide and dig in!

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

This is a super easy meal that is great.   I am all for something that requires little prep time and is something all the kids eat without complaint.  My husband calls them sloppy joes.  They are a bit sloppy but not a true sloppy joe.  We usually serve them up on a toasted bun, with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar over the top.


  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  •  1/2 cup chopped red onion (opt.)
  • 1 bottle or your favorite BBQ sauce (I do Dinosaur)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup plus few TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 TBSP worcestershire sauce

Put chicken in the crock pot with onion and a few TBSP of brown sugar.  Cook on high for 2.5 hours or on low for 4.  Pour out juices and save as chicken broth if you want.   Dump 1/2 bottle BBQ sauce and all remaining ingredients.  Taste sauce and add more BBQ sauce and brown sugar, if desired.  Shred chicken with two forks and let simmer in sauce another 45 minutes or however long you need on low.  Can also turn off and keep covered if need to wait longer.  Serve on toasted bun.
*for frozen chicken add about an hour.*

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Garlic Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

No real great way to photograph these.  But they were so great.  And you know how most mashed potatoes are terrible for leftovers?  When we had the leftovers, my daughter asked me what I did to these to make them taste better than last night. 
My 23 month old was using his finger to eating them, then was taking handfuls of them and shoving them in his mouth.  All my kids devoured them, and these may just replace my normal mashed,  They were so creamy and full of flavor!  YUMMO!


  • 2 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 TBSP melted butter
  • 3/4 cup milk or half and half, warmed
  • 1 TBSP pureed garlic
  • salt and pepper

Boil potatoes in (2 tsp) salted water until fork comes out easily.  I put my potatoes through a ricer to make sure there were no lumps, but you can mash however you desire.  Add melted butter, garlic and warmed milk and mash/mix more.  Add cheddar and mash/mix until cheese is melted.  Salt and pepper and taste for seasoning.  Add more garlic if desired. Can also add parsley if you want.

Whole Grain Mustard Crusted Roasted Chicken

Whew, that's a mouthful.  I had this at a restaurant and have been craving it since.  My complaint with the one I had at the restaurant was I felt it lacked flavor throughout the chicken.  Marinating the chicken in the sauce overnight takes care of that problem. 

This was a delicious meal.  The chicken was moist and tender and full of flavor.  We spooned the extra juice over the chicken.  Now I love mustard, but I think even if you are not a huge mustard fan, you would enjoy this.  Cooking the mustard makes the flavor richer and changes it.  Just so good!  Wish there was some left!  My kids ate it wonderfully too!



  • 3-4 large chicken breasts (bone in and skin on) or dark meat)
  • 1 cup(ish) whole grain mustard
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 14 garlic cloves crushed/minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh rosemary and thyme

Preheat oven to 375.

Pat chicken dry and place into a gallon bag.  In small mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients together except salt.  Let marinate over night in refrigerator.  Remove chicken from refrigerator.  Remove from marinade and place in roasting pan or baking dish. 
Put your finger under the skin and stuff some of the marinade under the skin before baking.  Salt top and place a sprig or two of fresh rosemary and sprinkle of fresh thyme on each.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until deep golden brown on top.  Spoon juices over after plating.

Pound Cake

I always knew that pound cake was a dense cake.  But I thought it was doomed to the dry, crumbly, freezer burnt variety of the frozen food section (you know who are), so I never thought myself to be a fan.
Many years ago, I went to a bridal or baby shower (tells you how long ago, I don't even remember which it was) where they served strawberry shortcake with pound cake that my cousin Michelle had made.  Of course, for all I remember it could've been my shower, but I do remember the pound cake!  It was so moist and had such a delicious flavor.  Maybe I was pregnant?!
That deep dark crust makes me afraid (not a crust person) but it is actually delicious, it is caramelized and sweet.

Anyway, I got the recipe from her and have made it several times since and it is just a great pound cake.  There are a million recipes out there in cyber land, but I couldn't find this one.  Most recipes have 3 cups of sugar, this has slightly less with 2 3/4 cups, which takes the edge off it being too sweet.  And it also has baking powder, which I think lends itself to a nice texture.  Dense, but not brick like.  I did make one change by adding more vanilla, because I like a strong vanilla flavor, but you could cut it back if you don't care for vanilla.


  • 3 cups AP Flour (I sifted mine)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups butter (2 1/2 sticks) softened
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare loaf pans with baking spray or grease and flour.  Whisk dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
Working with a stand mixer, beat softened butter until whipped.  Add sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary.  Add eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each.  Add vanilla and beat until combined.
Add evaporated milk and flour alternately while mixing on medium.
Pour into prepared pans.

Bake @ 350 for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Can also use bundt pan, if desired.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Monkey Bread

This was a treat my Aunt Mary used to make all the time when I was a kid and my mom also made it.  I remember all sitting around it, devouring it as fast as we could before it was gone and it always seemed to be in a matter of minutes.  It is a wonderful sugary treat that can be a dessert, or a yummy breakfast treat, which was how we enjoyed it this morning.  It could not be much easier and baked while I got ready for the day. 

This is not my Aunt's recipe, and is similar to the one printed on the Pillsbury label.  The original recipe used    1 1/4 cups of butter, where as the one I used uses 1 stick.  And hers you dip in the butter then the cinnamon sugar and drizzle honey, and this one you dump a brown sugar butter mixture over the top.  Either way, this is an outstanding treat!


  • 4 cans Pillsbury biscuits (I buy the 4 pack)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350. Spray bundt pan with nonstick spray.  Mix together white sugar and cinnamon and open a package of biscuits.  Cut each biscuits into quarters (I used kitchen shears) and roll into balls.

Dip each  piece into sugar cinnamon mixture and place in bundt pan.  Before opening another can, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon sugar over each layer.  Continue with each can, sprinkling sugar cinnamon after, until all the cans are used.  There will be some cinnamon sugar left.  I just added it to my cinnamon sugar mix for toast.  Melt butter in microwave and whisk in brown sugar until all incorporated.  Pour brown sugar butter mixture over top.  Bake for 35-45 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Wait ten minutes before turning out onto plate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberries were 4/$5 this week at our local supermarket.  I bought 5!  So I am using them in lots of recipes so I can go buy more before the weeks end!
This is one of my all time favorite salads.  It is just so good, I find myself treating it like a dessert.  Pretty easy and packed full of good stuff.  A wonderful and refreshing salad for upcoming summer.


  • 2 lbs. baby spinach
  • 1 qt. strawberries sliced
  • candied pecans or walnuts (Opt.)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 1 TBSP poppy seeds
  • 1 TBSP finely diced red onion 
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce

Place spinach and strawberries and nuts in large salad bowl.  Whisk all ingredients in dressing together.  Just before serving, pour 1/2 of dressing over salad and toss.  (Start with 1/2 of dressing and add more as desired/needed.)

Olive Brushcetta Roasted Chicken

So, I had my husband pick up some chicken from Sam's Club, because I wanted to make mustard crusted chicken.  It was a huge package of chicken and I am trying to use up pantry items in preparation for our move.  This is what I came up with.  A jar of olive bruschette from Trader Joe's.
This chicken was so incredible  Seriously, it was amazing!  It was an easy quick meal and looked so fancy and complicated, like I spent a long time making it.   A quick easy meal that I will definitely be making again!


  • 1 jar olive bruschetta (I used Trader Joes)
  • 3-4 Bone in skin on chicken breasts

Pat skin dry and place chicken in gallon bag.  Dump whole jar of olive bruschetta in the bag over chicken and close bag and mush around with your fingers.  Put in refrigerator for a couple of hours.  Preheat oven to 400 and transfer chicken to baking dish.  Put finger under the skin and put some of the olive bruschetta under the skin too.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Cover and leave in oven and turn off oven.  Leave for 15 more minutes to let rest.  Remove from oven.  Slice up and pour juices over.

Wheat Berry Salad

I am not a big rice fan.  But I do love hearty grains.  I love spelt, wheat berries, farro, bulgur, barley and quinoa.  I bought some wheat berries from Whole Foods a few months ago and never leave myself enough time to prepare it.  It is supposed to be soaked overnight or for a few hours, but I cheated and just boiled it a little longer.  This was my daughters favorite part of our meal tonight..  She tasted it before we said grace and said her mouth was watering while we were praying. 
It was very tasty and pretty easy, though you have to make sure you leave enough time for cooking.  It took an hour and 15 for the wheat berries to get tender enough.  Wonderful salad. 


  • 1 cup wheat berries 
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 chopped parsley
  • 2 TBSP chopped chives
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 2-3 TBSP finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • small can chick peas (garbanzo beans)
  • salt and pepper

Rinse wheat berries and soak overnight.  Place in pan with 3 cups water and place over high heat. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 1 hour until chewy and grain opens.   Alternatively, rinse and cook in water for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until wheat berries begin to break open and are chewy. 

Whisk together balsamic vinegar, evoo, garlic, parsley, chives, lemon juice, and salt and fresh ground pepper.  Add onion and stir.  Add tomatoes and chickpeas and stir gently.  Add cooked wheat berries.  Stir.  Serve as side dish or salad.