December 25, 2020

Potato Leek Soup {recipe} Dairy Free

Chilly winter days call for comforting foods. I always crave something that is hearty and yet not so heavy I don't feel like doing anything else. 

I've always loved potato soup and my mom made a potato soup that was chunkier than what I've prepared here. I have fond memories of enjoying that soup at the end of the day growing up. These days, I'm searching for ways to add maximum flavor and satisfaction and still stay in the realm of healthy eating. 

This soup has no cream or dairy in it. The creaminess comes from using my immersion blender after everything has softened (often referred to as a stick blender). This is a great tool to have in your kitchen for soups like this because it blends it right up in the pot and doesn't require disassembling a blender during clean-up. 

If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use your blender. Just be cautious because blending hot liquid-style foods can be dangerous. Make sure to do it it smaller batches so that the steam does not build up inside the blender and cause the lid to pop off... sending your delicious soup all over your counter (and possibly you, too). 

This recipe can be made with other types of potatoes and I've used a mix of Yukon gold and russet potatoes with great results. Make sure you cut the potatoes into similar sizes so that they cook evenly. This soup will keep in the fridge for several days and can be reheated to accompany a sandwich or salad for lunch.

Potato Leek Soup 
Author: Patsyk

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large Russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks 
2 leeks, cleaned and trimmed, sliced into thin pieces 
1 Bay leaf
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons Fines Herbs (Penzey's) or a combination of: dried chervil, parsley, tarragon and chopped chives
32 ounces chicken broth 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt 

In a large pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. 
Add the leeks and allow to cook until soft; approximately 5 minutes. 
Add potatoes, Bay leaf, parsley, fines herbs, Kosher salt and chicken broth. 
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook until potatoes are soft; approximately 25 minutes. 
Once potatoes are soft, remove the Bay leaf and use the immersion blender to blend until the soup is a creamy texture. If using a blender, do this in small batches and then add back to the pot once it's a creamy consistency and allow to heat until it's warm again. 

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

December 17, 2020

Avocado Broccoli Slaw Chicken Salad {Recipe}

I know... it's been awhile. I do appreciate anyone who still checks in to see what I've been making. The pandemic has certainly made my motivation to create go down over time. I had big plans to really jump start the blog with all kinds of new recipes... and then, I reverted to my stand-by recipes and most of those I've already shared or are "throw it together" meals with no real recipe attached to them. 

I have some new things I'm learning about recently related to avoiding certain ingredients due to those I care about discovering food intolerances or allergies. It can be challenging, but I have been doing quite a bit of reading on how to change my approach to cooking. 

I'll be testing out removing eggs, wheat and cow's milk from a number of recipes. Some are easier than others to figure out. Researching alternative products and becoming familiar with how to use them has been interesting and almost like chemistry experiments. There will be more to come as I find success in new recipes to share here. I'll be going through my archives to note which recipes are already free of these ingredients so that they will be easier to find for myself and anyone else avoiding these items. Hopefully, you'll be patient while we explore some alternatives and give them a try as well. 

One of the things that we generally have on hand to nibble on for a quick lunch is the standard chicken salad. For us that includes mayo and mustard and some dried minced onions (Penzey's continues to be my go-to source for spices and seasoning blends). Now that mayo is something I'm trying to replace due to eggs being an issue, I started thinking about dressings that could add enough "umpf" to a chicken salad and what else I could bulk it up with to make it a healthy alternative for lunch. 

I like different textures when I make a salad like this and it's a far cry from the chicken salad I am used to making. The lemon juice in the dressing needs a little time to chill in the fridge to marry into the other flavors of the garlic powder and thyme. 

This was a satisfying option for lunch and fits the need for something to grab quickly and nibble on for a snack or lunch. Let me know if you give it a try or what add in's you like for a salad like this. I see this as a very adaptable salad and you could change up some of the ingredients based on what you have on hand or can find at the grocery store. 

Avocado Broccoli Slaw Chicken Salad 
Serves: 6
Author: PatsyK

2 large cans cooked chicken, drained well 
2 avocados, diced into bite-size pieces
6 ounces broccoli slaw 

2 tablespoons lemon juice 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt 
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 

1/4 cup slivered almonds 

  1. In a large bowl, break up the chicken into bite-size pieces, then toss with the broccoli slaw. 
  2. Add the diced avocado and gently toss to combine. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme. Whisk until thoroughly combined. 
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to incorporate it into the other ingredients. 
  5. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. 
  6. Sprinkle almonds on top prior to serving (optional). 

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

May 24, 2020

Easy Cinnamon Challah {Recipe}

Easy Cinnamon Challah
Happy Memorial Day weekend! While we take time to remember those who gave their lives by protecting our country, I'm sure everyone will also be finding ways to spend time with family (while social distancing, of course).

Our weekend began with a rainy day, which lends itself well to trying new recipes and baking bread. My mother-in-law shared a recipe with me recently for Cinnamon Challah that she assured me was very easy to make. I must say that within a few hours time, this bread was in my oven baking and looking as beautiful as can be.

Yeast breads can be intimidating, but worth the time to figure out and the result of trial and error is baking bread that is so much better than what you can buy. I've been experimenting with sandwich bread recipes and each one is better than the last. That being said, no one can pass up a slick's of challah, let alone one that has a gooey, cinnamon ribbon throughout.

Finding yeast in the stores right now is a challenge, so I had ordered on-line and ended up with an abundance since the smallest amount I could find was 2 pounds for $10. This was better pricing than what I found elsewhere for a small 4 ounce jar. So, into the fridge or freezer it goes to preserve it while I continue on my quest to learn to bake bread.

Easy Cinnamon Challah Loaf

Easy Cinnamon Challah 
Adapted from unknown source


2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2/3 cup warm water (warm enough to activate the yeast, around 79 degrees Fahrenheit)
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs for dough, additional egg for the egg wash after dough is braided
4 cups flour

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (traditional white sugar)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey

Begin by activating the yeast. Ensure the water is around 79 degrees Fahrenheit - too cold and the yeast will not activate, too hot and you will "kill" the yeast. Add yeast and honey and mix with a whisk. Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes until it is bubbly or foamy, this indicates it is activated.

I used my KitchenAid stand mixer with dough hook, you can also do this in a large bowl and a wooden spoon and knead by hand. My instructions are based on using my machine.

In the mixing bowl add: 3 tablespoons honey, olive oil, salt and eggs. Mix together - may need to do this initially with a whisk to ensure the eggs are fully incorporated.

Using the dough hook attachment, start the mixer on a lower speed and gradually add the 4 cups of flour. It will take a few minutes to form into a ball. It will be somewhat elastic at that point. Allow to continue to mix for another 5 minutes.

Cover the bowl and allow to rise for about 1 hour. If your kitchen is not very warm, you can put it inside your oven with the light on to help with the rise. Just make sure to not turn on the oven!

While the dough is rising, you can mix the filling. Combine the vegetable oil, brown sugar, granulate sugar, cinnamon, salt and honey.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Once the dough has doubled in size, separate into 3 equal parts. Each part should be shaped into a ball, then rolled out into a circle. Divide the filling into 3 equal parts and spread one portion evenly on the first rolled out circle. Carefully, roll the dough up and stretch the dough into a long rope as you roll it up. pinch the ends together to seal. Repeat with each portion of dough.

Take the 3 ropes and braid it. Overlapping as you would to braid hair. Sounds silly, but the method is the same. once it is braided, pinch the ends and tuck them underneath. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet.

Beat the remaining egg and then brush the loaf generously with the egg wash. Bake for 30 minutes, checking around 20 minutes to see if it is browning too quickly. If it is, add a pice of aluminum foil over it to prevent it from browning too much.

Allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy!

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

May 14, 2020

Easy Garlic Butter Shrimp {Recipe}

Easy Garlic Butter Shrimp

We are about 2 months into the stay-at-home order due to Covid-19. So, cooking at home on a regular basis can become a bit monotonous if you don't start looking for different ideas.

I typically use the frozen shrimp in my freezer for our family favorite, Shrimp Jambalaya. While I still enjoy that meal, I wanted something more fitting to the shift in seasons.

This recipe is not "light" on calories, but keeping portions in check, you can still enjoy this one while we continue to stay in our own home and neighborhood.

Whenever I try something a bit different, I let everyone know to tell me what they really think of it... otherwise, if I like it and I don't hear otherwise, it could become a regular on our dinner table. Well, this one did not disappoint! Everyone went back for seconds and there was barely a few strands of pasta left when all was said and done.

Easy Garlic Butter Shrimp
Recipe by PatsyK

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, separated
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined; tails removed
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon capers

Using a fork, combine softened butter, parsley, lemon juice, garlic and capers until completely mixed. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. When it's near smoking hot, add half of the shrimp and cook for about 1 minute. Flip the shrimp and turn off heat; allow to cook for about 30-45 seconds, then remove from the pan. Add the remaining shrimp and repeat the process.

Return the shrimp form the first batch to the pan and add the butter mixture; toss to coat. Cover with a lid and allow to continue to cook (do not turn the heat back on, the residual heat from the pan will allow the shrimp to finish cooking).

Serve over pasta immediately.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

May 7, 2020

Steakhouse Onion Hamburgers {Recipe}

There is nothing better than a juicy burger right off the grill, right? Even better is one full of flavor that doesn't require a lot of toppings to make it tasty.

I've been playing around with different combinations the last couple of months and came up with a mixture of sautéed onions, Worcestershire sauce and Penzey's Chicago Steak Seasoning blend. Nice thick, juicy burgers that are sure to satisfy that craving as the weather continues to warm up.

Ensuring that you don't over-handle the meat as you form it into burgers so that they stay juicy when they cook.

You can adjust the amount of ingredients based on the number of people you are serving, right now my crowd is my family of four and the recipe is plenty for two teenage boys, my husband and I. Using my air fryer to add a side of fries and it's almost better than going out for burgers and fries... only because I wouldn't have to clean up after dinner!


Steakhouse Onion Hamburgers 
Recipe by: PatsyK

Serves 4

1 diced onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1.25 - 1.5 lbs ground beef
1-2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Penzey's Chicago Steak Seasoning (or your favorite steak house style seasoning)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown.

Combine ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning and onions in a bowl. Once combined, form into 4 hamburger patties. Ensuring to add an indentation to the center of each burger for even cooking.

Cook to the level of doneness your family prefers. I grill the burgers for about 5 minutes on one side and then flip for another 2-3 minutes for medium-rare.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

April 26, 2020

Broccoli Salad (Recipe)

FamFriendsFood: Broccoli Salad

It's been quite awhile since I've had time to cook like I used to and with the stay-at-home orders, I've been back in action. What better time to get back to sharing recipes and seeing if anyone is still visiting my little space on the internet.

This salad can be sized up to feed a crowd, but as written is enough for about 4 half cup servings to go with your lunch during the week.

It's got crunch and is dressed in a sweet-tangy dressing. Right, now crunchy foods are welcome since many are feeling stress and a good crunch makes you feel better.

If you have an extra broccoli crown hanging around and can't decide what to do that's better than steaming it, try this quick and easy salad. Find new and interesting ways to use what you have on hand.

Broccoli Salad
Recipe by: PatsyK

2 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 1 crown - and cut into small pieces)
2-3 ounces bacon bits
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup reduced fat mayo
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 Tbsp. honey
3/4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Toss broccoli, bacon and onion in a bowl, set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, salt, honey, vinegar and mustard. Once fully blended, pour over the broccoli mixture. Toss to combine and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

January 7, 2017

Bubble Waffles (a.k.a. Eggettes)

There is nothing like something sweet to brighten a cold and snowy afternoon than a sweet treat like Bubble Waffles.
Bubble Waffles aka Eggettes

Have you ever heard of Bubble Waffles or perhaps Eggettes? I know I hadn't until very recently. My Husband had been perusing a website that had a ton of unique gift ideas on it. One of the items he came across was a Bubble Waffle maker and we were all intrigued. We ordered the Bubble Waffle Maker from Cucina Pro and anxiously waited for it to arrive.

January 1, 2017

Welcome to 2017!

Happy New Year! Hoping a few of you might still be stopping in here on occasion.

With a new year and some new inspiration hitting me, I'm going to be adding some new posts... can't promise on the frequency since life has a way of delaying my writing over the past year.

That's not to say that some delicious food and photos haven't been taken. I've been sharing photos on my Instagram like the one below. One of our favorites during the cooler months, Baked Ziti.


One of the things I want to do more of this year is more photography of my family (my boys are growing up so fast!) and of the things that bring a smile to my face throughout the day. Add to that, I really want to dive into the various features in Photoshop... I've had it for awhile and have used a number of the tools successfully, but now it's time to learn more.

For now, I'll leave you with this photo from a day we went hiking last summer. Soon, I'll have some more to share! If you don't want to miss anything, be sure to subscribe through the subscribe option in the right sidebar.

Flowers from a hike

Cheers to a fabulous 2017 for everyone!

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

October 1, 2016

Apple Picking & Fresh Apple Sauce {recipe}

Fall is the perfect time to experiment with ways to use those apples you get from the orchard! Using them for fresh apple sauce is ideal and will keep your family begging for more.
Fresh applesauce!|

Every fall we try to make it to one of the local farms and pick apples. It's fun and if you pick the right day and the weather is perfectly cool, but not too cool... you'll want to spend the whole day outside.

June 2, 2016

Photos from a day in New York City

Spending a day in New York City is always full of surprises! Take a look at what we found during our most recent trip!

#fleetweeknyc great day to be in the city yesterday. Love seeing the #WTC rising up into the sky

We started our day off by taking the PATH train over from Jersey City into the World Trade Center. Since we went in without a specific plan, we spent some time wandering around the memorial and checking out the sites.

Once we left the World Trade Center and wandered a few block over, I spied a little Cuban restaurant, Sophie's Cuban Cuisine, that had empanadas! After a quick look at Yelp! to see how the reviews were, we went in and enjoyed a variety of empanadas as an early lunch/snack... I had the spinach and cheese, and the rest enjoyed the chicken and the beef. They were definitely satisfied my craving!

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