Author Archives: TempInnKeeper

About TempInnKeeper

Margot loves people and is very energetic and organized. She is also a quick study. Her background includes having renovated, owned and operated an 1887 Victorian bed and breakfast in Paso Robles, CA for 5 years. Her guests loved her and she loved her guests. What a perfect combination. Margot’s marketing skills and love of people also was used in her career as a Realtor and in participating in many charitable non-profit organizations. Margot loves to cook and to offer concierge services to people. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland.; has lived all over CA. including Beverly Hills, in the Silicon Valley area, Paso Robles, the San Joaquin Valley as well as in Sun Valley, ID. She has traveled extensively throughout the world; is a CAL alumni (go Bears!); and also speaks French fluently and Spanish semi-fluently. Her interests are people, cooking, arts, books (look at the blog book club and join if you wish), travel, sports, gardening, painting, music, playing classical piano and animals. Margot Van Horn 208-721-3551 PO Box 3788, Ketchum, ID. margot6@mindspring.com TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com

Onion Soup the Slow Cooker Way

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SLOW COOKER ONION SOUP (6 Servings)

 Here’s a yummy soup that will warm your bones, body and soul

 January here in our snowy valley is always a good time to have a repast to warm up the bones, body and soul. After a hard day’s skiing either on our BCRD cross country trails or down-hilling on Mt. Baldy, a delicious hot soup that is easy to make because most of it will be cooking while you are skiing is very desirable indeed. And by the way, you can also after caramelizing your onions, take half of them out and freeze for future use on pizzas, etc. and so just make half of this recipe for your soup.

For the caramelized onions:

  • 8 cups thinly sliced yellow onions, (about 2 very large onions or 4 medium sized ones)
  • 10 to 12 clove garlic, minced or 8 garlic minced garlic gloves and 2 thinly sliced shallots
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil or peanut oil and 2 tablespoons melted sweet butter
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

For the soup:

  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup white wine or white vermouth
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 cups good beef broth (I like the Better Than Bouillon brand but there are others however, of course, the best is the one you’ve made with beef bones, etc. at home)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup mushroom broth which is different than most recipes but I like it in this soup (optional)
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (a last minute deal option—I like it)
  • 3 egg yolks (a last minute deal option and it will make your soup a bit creamier—I like this too)
  • 6 or more thin slices baguette, toasted in a 400 degree oven until golden and quite dry and more slices for your bread basket—and you could just toast it in your toaster to make things easier.
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, Parmesan, Romano, Swiss or any kind of the MUST cheese you can envision for this dish.
  • Serving idea: This wonderful soup plus a green salad, a basket of more baguette slices and a side board filled with an assortment of good cheeses and dried meats would make a great meal at any time of the day—even one to break the day’s fast.

Directions:

  • Coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with some melted butter.
  • Add the onions, (shallots), garlic, oil and melted butter.
  • Toss well, and then season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours, until the onions are richly colored and sweet. After the first hour toss the onions and you can do this one another time in about 3 hours if you wish. I also place a paper towel under the lid to absorb the extra moisture.
  • Once the onions are ready, sprinkle them with the flour and stir until well-combined. Then add the sherry and vermouth or white wine.
  • Then add the bouillons & water (which should be well heated in the micro) and the herbs; cover and cook for another 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.
  • Optional: Once the soup is done, stir in the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning.
  • Optional but very good: Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in one ladle full of hot soup and then whisk in another ladle full in that bowl. Then add this concoction to the soup.
  • Set broiler to high when ready to eat. Ladle the soup into broiler-safe serving crocks. Top each crock with a thin slice of the toasted baguette and a heaping tablespoon of Gruyere. However, see below for additional hints
  • Hints: If you wish, you can place the toasted baguette on the bottom of the crock, ladle in the soup and then top with your choice of cheese; then place it under the broiler for a moment or two. Or you can just add croutons to the top of the soup, plus the cheese and broil it. Or leave out the bread and just top with cheese however no matter what you choose broiled cheese on top is a must. Decisions, decisions, decisions—and don’t forget to remove your herb sprigs before serving.
  • Place the filled crocks on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a bit of foil for easy cleaning and broil just until cheese is golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Do not leave the crocks under the broiler unattended as they will burn quickly so watch carefully.
  • Serve with more toasted baguette slices or even just oven warm slices, a side board of assorted cheeses, dried meats and a green salad and of course, a cupo of vino or yes, even a good glass of bierre. Voila—magnifique!!!!

Don’t forget to check in on Margot’s blog: http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com for more than 200 recipes.

Veggie Soup Perfect For New Year Health & Diet

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 Veggie Soup With An Asian Bent

Got some left over veggies in your frig.?

Or even some very fresh ones? Even lettuce? Yes, lettuce!!! Try it and you’ll see.

Well, I did and before they went south, I made myself a delicious and very healthy soup. I also decided that I wanted to pair it with some hot Saki to warm my cold bones after a delicious day cross country skate skiing Hailey’s Croy Canyon, which by the way was perfectly groomed as usual by the BCRD. Well the moose was out and about, or so I was told by a youngling, but I didn’t encounter it. I have had one of the moose twins (yes indeed) in my front yard whereas after it, along with its brother and mother, sauntered down Hailey’s main street. Now, we do know don’t we (?)that here in Hailey territory when we see the moose(s) we don’t go up and give it(them) a hug or let the dog do that either. Now I bet you all wished you lived in Hailey to see our magnificent wild life.

But I digress and back to the soup—I am going to tell you how I made mine, but my fun in cooking is inventing dishes so here’s one that you can invent for yourself. Then, when you’ve made a really awesome concoction, be sure to email me and then I’ll post it on my eyeonsunvalley.com post. When you do this, imagine yourself becoming a famous chef because yes indeed, EOSV can help you become that.

My Ingredients That I Had & Used:

  • A bit of bacon cut into small pieces (I keep some bacon in the freezer just for this cause)
  • A little butter and a tad bit of olive oil (I like the combo taste of these)
  • One large and long green zucchini—well scrubbed of course
  • Six very large Brussels sprouts—also washed and groomed (brown ends & yellow leaves off)
  • One savory Idaho medium sized baking potato—peeled
  • One or Two garlic clove-peeled of course
  • Four cups of a mixture of vegetable and chicken stock (I love the BetterThan Bouillon brand but of course home made is the best.)
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Inglehoffer Wasabit with Horseradish –a nice healthy dash of that to make it a bit Asian
  • Worcestershire Sauce—a bit of that as well
  • S&P to taste
  • Mary’s Caraway Gluten Free Crackers for a topping

My directions for myself or for yourself if you wish:

  • In your food processor (or by hand) small chop the zucchini, Brussels sprouts, potato and garlic clove
  • Brown the bacon in a medium sized pot and add the bit of butter when browned
  • Brown the chopped veggies over medium low heat (10-15minutes) in the melted oil/butter till they are soft but not browned.
  • Add the stock, lime juice, Inglehoffer, Worcestershire and S&P to taste.
  • Slow simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or more adding more liquid stock and seasonings of your choice if needed.

 

Result: This soup was easy to make, comforting and hot. I knew that it was healthy featuring all those veggies and I topped it with gluten free self-crunched caraway crackers that made it even more delicious. My treat to go with this dish was some nice hot Saki.

Now use your imagination. You can make similar soups with a German bent, Indian bent, French bent—well, you get the idea. Now that it is the New Year and we all wish to scurry away those extra pounds but still remain within the healthy diet realm, here is a recipe that you’ll love eating yourself and serving to others.

 

So, bon appétit and I can’t wait to see what ideas you have and post them to margot@eyeonsunvalley.com

As always—eager for a new recipe?—go to http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com where I have more than 200 yummy recipes posted and also look for this recipe on http://www.eyeonsunvalley.com

Nut Delight Cookies–Extra Delicious and Easy

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Nut Delight Cookies (makes 3-4 dozen cookies) Extra Delicious and Easy.

The holidays are almost upon us and before you know it, they’ll be over and gone. However, even so it’s never too late for a fast and easy cookie making. Why? Well, here are 3 reasons for the baking of this particular lacy and delicate treat.

  • They are a cinch to make
  • They will fill your home with a magnificent scent
  • They are versatile as to the ingredients and therefore I bet that you have them all in your pantry/refrigerator—so no shopping.
  • They are perfect to take for your cross country ski outing on our BCRD (Blaine County Recreation District) trails now that they and the weather are getting rather perfect.

Ingredients Needed:

  • One cup all-purpose flour
  • Half teaspoon coarse salt (regular is fine as well)
  • One cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp or if you only have the salted kind, omit the half tsp. salt
  • Three-quarters cup packed brown sugar—dark is better but if you only have light, that’s OK
  • One egg yolk
  • Two-thirds finely chopped nuts of your choice (I used almonds and I lightly toasted mine. I also used my small Cuisinart to finely chop them.)
  • Nut halves and larger pieces for last minute before baking décor.

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350.
  • Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper if you have that; if not, try to use a Teflon sheet and if you don’t have that, lightly grease your sheet.
  • Cream the butter with the sugar in a medium sized bowl. When the batter is nice and smooth mix in the egg yolk till well combined. I used my electric beaters to do all of the aforementioned and then, you will be using something like a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to add in the well chopped nuts. Stir again till well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, sift and flour and salt or put the flour and salt in a sifter and add the dry ingredients to your creamed butter concoction; mix till well combined.
  • The dough will not be really thick and that’s OK because you are going to drop medium size spoonfuls onto your lined cookie sheets— 3 horizontally and 3 inches apart because they do tend to spread and onward down on whatever size sheet that you are using. When your sheet has the spoonfuls of dough on it, place a half nut or some smaller slices of nuts into the top of each spoonful.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes; if using two cookie sheets, rotate them half way through.
  • You want to watch carefully at the 12 minute point to see that they don’t get too brown.
  • Let them rest for a minute or so on the cookie sheet and then place the cookies on a rack to cool.
  • Store in an airtight container if need be—however, I bet they’ll all be gone before you have a chance to do that.

Need help for parties? Need a recipe? Call Margot 208-721-3551, email margot6@mindspring.com or check out her more than 200 recipe blog: http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com

Nuts, Nuts, Nuts to the Holiday

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Nuts, Nuts, Nuts to the Holidays—

Spiced nuts are so easy to make; they are an easy, lovely little treat to give to someone you like for the holidays. Here are 3 simple recipes that you can make in a jiffy and of course, if I were you, I would keep some of these nuts for myself because of course I hope that you like to treat yourself as well. Any kinds of nuts would suffice for these recipes; however, I have mentioned the ones that I like the most for each individual recipe.

Nuts Recipe #1:   Sugar and Spice Nuts (This is very tasty with raw cashews and raw almonds)

  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 1 Tblsp Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbslp chili powder
  • 2 Tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 Cups raw cashews and almonds

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 300.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the sugar with the salt, chili powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg white until frothy.
  • Add the nuts to the egg white along with the sugar combo.
  • Mix well until all the nuts are well coated.
  • Spread out on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Cool the nuts and store in an airtight container.

Nuts Recipe # 2: Curried Nuts (this is very good featuring raw cashews)

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 6 Tblsp. curry powder
  • 4 Tsp. Kosher salt
  • 6 C. nuts

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 250
  • Whisk lemon juice, curry powder and salt in a large bowl. Add nuts, toss to coat and spread in an even layer in 2 lined with parchment paper baking sheets
  • Bake, stirring every 15 minutes for about 45 minutes.
  • Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for about 3 weeks.

Nuts Recipe #3:   5 Spice nuts (this is very good featuring raw pistachios)

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tblsp. orange juice
  • 6 Tblsp. Chinese Five-Spice Powder
  • 4 Tsp. Kosher salt
  • 6 C. nuts

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 250
  • Whisk orange juice, 5-spice powder and salt in a large bowl. Add nuts, toss to coat and spread in an even layer in 2 lined with parchment paper baking sheets
  • Bake, stirring every 15 minutes for about 45 minutes.
  • Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for about 3 weeks.

 

 

Enchilada with South of the Border Spaghetti Squash Filling

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South of the Border Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Left Over or just plain made stuffing for delicious Enchiladas

Maybe you don’t want a stuffed squash and have just made the stuffing and/or maybe you have served the stuffed squash and have some left over stuffing—so here is a delicious enchilada recipe using this stuffing:

Ingredients:

  1. 1 package of hand made thick styled corn tortillas (soft and flexible)—room temp
  2. 1 10-oz. can of medium (or hot if you like) enchilada sauce
  3. 1 C (or more) of shredded Mexican Styled Cheese
  4. 1 C (or more) sour cream

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Oil an oven proof dish (the right size for however many enchiladas you will be making.)
  3. Spread a generous amount of the enchilada sauce on each side of the tortillas before filling them.
  4. Then, fill each tortilla with the cooked spaghetti squash filling, top with a tsp. of sour cream, some more cheese, roll carefully and place rolled side down in your dish.
  5. Do these with as much filling as you have to fill the tortillas.
  6. When your oven proof dish is filled, top the tortillas with more sour cream and cheese.
  7. Bake this dish uncovered in the pre-heated oven for at least 30 minutes but NOT till the enchiladas are dried out so watch carefully.
  8. Serve with a side of chopped green cabbage that has been mixed with white wine vinegar and salt (no oil) and topped with some avocado slices.

Once again, the recipe for the Filled South of the Border Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:

  1. 1 medium spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (save those seeds to roast in your oven. So yummy.)
  2. 2 Tsp. olive oil
  3. 1 chopped yellow onion
  4. 1 yellow (red or orange is OK as well) pepper, seeded and chopped
  5. 2 garlic cloves-chopped
  6. One 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed in a colander with water
  7. 1/2 C. corn (I used fresh, but frozen or rinsed canned is OK as well)
  8. 1/3 to 1/2 C. chopped cilantro
  9. 1 Tblsp. lime juice
  10. 6 Tblsp. medium enchilada sauce (or more if you wish—taste it first)
  11. 1/4 to 1/2 C. chunky salsa sauce
  12. 1 tsp. salt
  13. 3/4 to 1 C. of rough shredded 4 blend Mexican cheese (or something similar)
  14. Avocado slices for top garnish (optional)
  15. Sour Cream for top garnish (optional)
  16. Corn Tortilla’s for accompaniment

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375. In an oven proof dish, pour 1 C. of water in the dish and place your squash halves, flesh side down, in it. Place the dish in your pre-heated oven for about 35 minutes or until a sharp knife can pierce the skin easily. Take out of oven and let the squash cool for a little bit before you rake it with a fork to remove the strands—but careful, leave the shell in tack for the stuffing. Place the squash back in your dish (which now has no water) because you will be placing the stuffing in the squash and back into the oven for a bit. Turn the oven down to 350.
  2. I used my food processor to pulse quickly into chopped pieces the items listed in #3 through #5.
  3. In a large pot, over medium heat, place the olive oil and when heated, stir in the items #3 through #5 till softened and glistening (about 5 minutes). Then add the ingredients #6 through #12 and cook till well melded for about 2 minutes more.
  4. Place the stuffing you have just created in your shells and sprinkle each with the cheese.
  5. Place your dish back in the 350F oven for about 20 minutes.
  6. Voila—delicious. If you wish to garnish with the avocado slices and sour cream go ahead and do this now. And of course, some nice warm corn tortillas make for a wonderful accompaniment. As well, I’ve noticed that these two spaghetti squash recipes I have made taste even better the next day.

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South of the Border Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

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South of the Border Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Here’s another yummy spaghetti squash dish that is easy to make and healthy to eat. It’s a vegetarian dish and I hope that you will like it as much as I have.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 medium spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (save those seeds to roast in your oven. So yummy.)
  2. 2 Tsp. olive oil
  3. 1 chopped yellow onion
  4. 1 yellow (red or orange is OK as well) pepper, seeded and chopped
  5. 2 garlic cloves-chopped
  6. One 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed in a colander with water
  7. 1/2 C. corn (I used fresh, but frozen or rinsed canned is OK as well)
  8. 1/3 to 1/2 C. chopped cilantro
  9. 1 Tblsp. lime juice
  10. 6 Tblsp. medium enchilada sauce (or more if you wish—taste it first)
  11. 1/4 to 1/2 C. chunky salsa sauce
  12. 1 tsp. salt
  13. 3/4 to 1 C. of rough shredded 4 blend Mexican cheese (or something similar)
  14. Avocado slices for top garnish (optional)
  15. Sour Cream for top garnish (optional)
  16. Corn Tortilla’s for accompaniment

 

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375. In an oven proof dish, pour 1 C. of water in the dish and place your squash halves, flesh side down, in it. Place the dish in your pre-heated oven for about 35 minutes or until a sharp knife can pierce the skin easily. Take out of oven and let the squash cool for a little bit before you rake it with a fork to remove the strands—but careful, leave the shell in tack for the stuffing. Place the squash back in your dish(which now has no water) because you will be placing the stuffing in the squash and back into the oven for a bit. Turn the oven down to 350.
  2. I used my food processor to pulse quickly into chopped pieces the items listed in #3 through #5.
  3. In a large pot, over medium heat, place the olive oil and when heated, stir in the items #3 through #5 till softened and glistening (about 5 minutes). Then add the ingredients #6 through #12 and cook till well melded for about 2 minutes more.
  4. Place the stuffing you have just created in your shells and sprinkle each with the cheese.
  5. Place your dish back in the 350F oven for about 20 minutes.
  6. Voila—delicious. If you wish to garnish with the avocado slices and sour cream go ahead and do this now. And of course, some nice warm corn tortillas make for a wonderful accompaniment. As well, I’ve noticed that these two spaghetti squash recipes I have made taste even better the next day.

Mediterranean Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

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Mediterranean Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Serves 4

Easy on the belly and good besides—that’s what this dish presents. You don’t have to add the shrimp so it can be a totally vegetarian dish. I also have another recipe that uses this kind of squash, so be on the look out for that. It’s a south of the border version.

Ingredients:

  1. One spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (I save the seeds to roast in a 400 degree oven. I let the seeds dry and then sprinkle them with olive oil and red pepper flakes. It takes about 20-30 minutes to roast them.)
  2. 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  3. 1 onion-chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves minced
  5. One 14.5 oz. canned dice tomatoes including its’ juice. (The can I used also included oregano, garlic and basil.)
  6. 1/2 C. chopped artichoke hearts (I used the slightly marinated kind.)
  7. 3 Tblsp. sliced black olives (I used the slightly marinated kind.)
  8. 2 Tbslp. chopped fresh basil
  9. Medium sized cooked deveined shrimp, defrosted, tail taken off—I used about 15 (Optional)
  10. 3/4 to 1 C. crumbled feta cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In an oven proof dish, put in 1/2 to 3/4 C. water and place the 2 squash halves, flesh side down, in your dish. Bake about 35 minutes in the preheated oven. You can check at 30 minutes however the squash is done when you are able to insert a sharp knife with little resistance. When the squash is done take a fork to rake the flesh into your “spaghetti”. Be careful not to rake through the skin because you are going to use that for the stuffing.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large deep pot heat the olive oil and when heated, put in the onion. Sauté till it has softened. (about 5 minutes) Add the garlic and sauté for about 2 more minutes. Stir in ingredients number # 5 through # 8, place a lid on the pot and let the sauce simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. If you are using the shrimp, now’s the time to put them in the sauce for 3 or so minutes or till they are heated through.
  5. Add the feta last and stir it in quickly.
  6. Spoon the sauce into your squash halves. I surrounded mine with some cold marinated hot Italian styled red peppers which I thought tasted quite good with this.
  7. If you wish, you can serve some crusty hot French bread with this. And of course a nice crispy light white wine would be nice to have as well. But even red is good with this dish.