Lentil Bacon Soup

I made this soup the other day for lunch.

So good!

I cooked up some bacon, used the drippings to saute up some onions,
 then added big chunks of carrots. 
It turned out scrumptious.

Throw a couple of wheat crackers on the side and enjoy! I know I did.

Lentil Bacon Soup

4 slices bacon, cut up
1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
Pinch of red pepper flakes
5 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups green lentils
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, brown bacon in a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat until slightly crisp. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add onion to the drippings in the same pot and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add carrots and continue sauteing for a few minutes more. Add garlic, bay leaves, thyme and pepper flakes. Cook 1 minute.

Add stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until carrots are semi-tender. Add washed lentils and reserved bacon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with lid vented for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are desired tenderness, adding more liquid if needed or desired. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if desired.

Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream, if desired.

Mushroom Asparagus Risotto

This was really easy and delicious. Creamy and full of great flavor.

Whoever created risotto is a genius. Just sayin. The possibilities are endless. Sweet, savory, spicy,,,you choose.

I used asparagus tips in this recipe, but it would be equally delicious with peas or squash, whatever you like. I've also made a Creamy Pumpkin Risotto. It was scrumptious!

Mushroom Asparagus Risotto

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 c. onion
10 oz. mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cup Arborio
2/3 cup dry white wine
¾ cup asparagus tips
2/3 cup parmesan, freshly grated

Heat up broth and keep warm. (If using dried mushrooms, rehydrate them in the broth).

Saute chopped onion in the butter and olive oil. Saute for a couple of minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until liquid released from mushrooms has evaporated. Stir in rice and toast 2 minutes, stirring often. Add wine and cook until almost evaporated.

Once the wine has almost evaporated, add the stock one ladle at a time. Keep adding stock once it has almost evaporated in the pan.  You will use 6 – 8 cups.

Stir in asparagus and parmesan cheese and heat through. Taste for salt and pepper.

NOTE: I didn’t have low-sodium broth so I waited until the end to add salt (I don’t even think it needed any).

All I am say-ing,,,,is give risotto a try (lol, I had to). I would love to hear all your creative ideas!



Grilled Chipotle Steak and Onion Hoagie

This sandwich is DELISH!!

I came up with this for a contest I entered (and lost), and it quickly became one of my favorites. Really easy to make and even easier to eat :p

I marinate the steak in beer and chipotle puree for at least an hour, then served it up on a toasted hoagie with grilled onion. I usually spread on Garlic Lime Mayo, but have been known to switch it up with Creamy Chipotle Spread.

Last time I ate this, I added a lightly dressed Cole Slaw. It adds such a great layer of flavor and crunchy texture. For the recipe go to my website" Recipes For Divine Living.

Shrimp Mozambique

I ran across this recipe one day while on one of the many blogs I enjoy. The blog is called Savoring the Thyme. I knew the minute I read the recipe I had to make it. It is so delicious.

The recipe says it feeds 4 hungry people when served over rice. Well, there were only 2 of us and we did not have enough left for 2 people. Neither one of us wanted to quit eating it. Yes, it's that good.

Next time I make this (and there will be a next time because she suggested serving it as a PoBoy sandwich, yea baby), I am going to cut back on the butter and oil some. I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt the taste a bit.

Here's all you do,,,,,

Thaw the shrimp if frozen. Add the butter and oil to a heated skillet.

Prepare your ingredients.

Once the butter is melted, add the onions.

Next you will add the garlic, parsley, azafran and red pepper and cook for a few.

Then add the beer and cook for several minutes more. This is such an easy recipe.

Add in the shrimp, cover and cook for 3 min.

Flip them over and cook for a few more.

Serve over brown rice and enjoy!!!!

 Shrimp Mozambique  

Cooked rice
1 pound of 24-30 size shrimp, raw (fresh or frozen)
1 medium to large sweet onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 packets of Goya Azafran
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 can light beer
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 stick butter
Salt and Fresh Pepper


Thaw shrimp if frozen. Now you can choose to peel the shrimp, just leave the tail on or peel completely (which I do).

Prepare the onion and place in a small bowl. Prepare the garlic, parsley, azafran (and red pepper if you want some more ‘heat’) and place all in a separate small bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter and oil over medium to medium-high heat in a large pan or wok. And the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the ingredients from the second small bowl and cook for 3 minutes.

Pour the beer into the pan, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the shrimp, cover and cook for 3 minutes, flip them over/stir and cook another 3 minutes. Pour the contents into a bowl so that you do not overcook the shrimp. Serve over rice.


Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Glossy Chocolate Icing

I made this cake for my son Christopher's 17th birthday. It was DELICIOUS.

I was a little concerned about moistness at first because the recipe, which I found in 
"Cuisine at Home", called for a cooking time of 35 to 40 minutes. I checked it at 30 minutes 
and it was done. In fact I would have pulled it out a few minutes earlier, 
but it turned out really well. Easy to make too.

I frosted it with "Glossy Chocolate Icing" which I found in the same magazine.
Really really good. A definite "go to" if your craving chocolate cake.

Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Combine the water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee and vanilla in a measuring cup. 
Add it and whisk until just combined. (FYI: I hate hate hate coffee. Works wonders in the cake!)

A few lumps are ok.

Pour it into your pans and bake. 

For the icing, melt the butter in a saucepan.

Stir in sugar, cocoa, and salt.

It will look really grainy, like this.

Gradually stir in the cream, sour cream and granules mixture and blend until smooth.

Cook it until it's nice and hot, and the sugar is melted. Do Not Boil!

It will look like this. Yum!

After the icing is cooled and thickened, the only thing left to do is frost your cake.

And just like that...deliciousness!!!!!

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Glossy Chocolate Icing


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 cups hot water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Glossy Chocolate Icing
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 with rack in the center. Spray two 8" round cake pans with nonstick spray.

Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

Combine water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee granules, and vanilla in a large measuring cup. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined- a few lumps are ok.

Divide batter between the two pans, then bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35- 40 min. *My cooking time was 25-30 minutes.

Cool cakes for 15 minutes on a rack, then invert them onto the rack. Leave upside down (this flattens domed cakes) until completely cooled before frosting them.

To make icing:
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar, cocoa, and salt. Mixture will be thick and grainy.

Combine heavy cream, sour cream and instant coffee granules in a large measuring cup, mixing until smooth. Gradually add cream mixture to chocolate until blended and smooth. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth and hot to the touch. DO NOT BOIL.

Take mixture off the heat, and add vanilla. Cool at room temperature until spreadable, 2-3 hours. (Icing may be chilled until completely cold, then warmed gently in microwave until spreadable. Heat at high power in 20 second intervals, stirring well after each interval.

I gotta say, this was so easy. Give it a try and let me know what you think.