Welcome to Yummy Fixins!

Thanks so much for checking out my blog. My name is Arica, I am a Personal Chef serving the Lake Tahoe area. Please visit my new website at www.yummyfixins.com

Cooking is my passion, I love spending time in the kitchen creating yummy dishes. I originally created this blog to share healthy yummy recipes with my friends and family but now I'm sharing them with the world. Most of the dishes you will find here are very healthy and can be altered to fit any dietary restrictions. I hope you will find something delicious!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cream of Broccoli Soup

I know you're thinking "Another soup? Come'on Arica switch it up". 
But with this weather...
I can't help but want to cook soup, soup and more soup. I'm sure glad I decided on soup for dinner this week because this recipe is a first for me and boy is it YUMMY! 

Makes 4 Servings

3 garlic cloves
1/2 yellow onion
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 tbs tarragon
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup of cream
pinch of salt 
3 broccoli crowns, cut into small florets (1 set aside separated) 
3 carrots, peeled and chopped

Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large pot to medium heat. Add in the onion, garlic, tarragon and potato and 2/3 of the broccoli, cook until onions are translucent. Next add in the broth, cover and cook on med/high for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft enough to puree. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper then puree the soup. After the soup is smooth add in the cream, carrots and the rest of the broccoli, cover and cook on med/low for 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Serve with cheddar cheese and chives. Enjoy!!! 

Place all of the ingredients (except the cream, carrots & 1/3 of broccoli) in a crockpot on high for 2 hours or low for 4-6. Puree the soup then add in the cream, carrots and 1/3 of broccoli. Cover and continue to cook on med/low for another 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Zucchini & Fennel Soup

I really enjoy making soup, it makes the a great leftover meal plus you can easily freeze it and save it for another day and it still tastes great. This Zucchini and Fennel Soup recipe is quite delicious and very easy to make on the stove on in a crockpot.  I hope you enjoy it! 
This picture doesn't do this soup any justice so don't judge this book by it's cover.

Makes 4 Servings

2 tbs butter
3 garlic cloves
1/2 red onion
3 large zucchini, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped (fronds set aside for garnish)
2 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of water
1 tsp thyme 

1/4 cup milk (optional)- add in before pureeing 

Crockpot Instructions
Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4. One the vegetables are super tender use an immersion blender of stand blender to puree. Serve warm with fronds for garnish. 

Stove-Top Instructions
Place the butter, onion and garlic in a large pot and turn heat to medium. Once the butter has melted and the onion and garlic are fragrant add in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes. 
One the vegetables are super tender use an immersion blender of stand blender to puree. Serve warm with fronds for garnish. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gnocchi with Pumpkin Sauce

It's fall and that means it's pumpkin time. This little beauty is a Lady Godiva pumpkin, the meat is not super pumpkiny but the seeds are amazing! The seeds are naked, which means no shell and they plump when you bake them. I had it laying around and decided it was time to cut it open and make something yummy. I was craving gnocchi and wanted something different so I decided to make a pumpkin sauce. You can use any kind of pumpkin for this recipe and it will taste delicious. I had to add a little pumpkin pie spice to the sauce because this specific  pumpkin has a mellow pumpkin taste. It is super easy so give it a try and enjoy. 
Pumpkin Sauce
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 cups of pumpkin
1 tbs butter
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp allspice
1/4 cup milk

Heat oil in a small pot and saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add in the broth, pumpkin and bay leaf, cover and cook on medium/high for 15 minutes or until super soft. Add in the butter and seasonings, remove the bay leaf and the mixture. Puree the pumpkin until super fine and smooth. I typically press the mixture continuously through a mesh colander over a pot to keep all little clumps out of the sauce. Once you place the pumpkin back in a pot heat it to medium heat and add in the milk. Taste the sauce at this point and add any more seasoning that you want. Cover and keep warm on low while you finish the gnocchi. 

Makes 4 servings

1 lb of Yukon potatoes
1 1/4 cups of flour + 1/4 cup more 
1 egg

Lightly flour a smooth surface on your counter top for working. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the potatoes with the skin on until soft. Once the potatoes are soft remove them from the water and let them cool. 

While the potatoes are cooling, make a mound out of the flour on a lightly floured surface, making a well for the egg. Bring a large pot of water to a light boil. Peel the potatoes and then press them through a potato ricer and place next to the flour.
Crack an egg into the flour well and scramble with a fork then slowly mixing in a bit of flour at a time. Continue doing this until it becomes tough to mix then use your hands to combine the potatoes in with the mixture (this is where things get a little messy). Keep mixing and kneading the dough with your hands until the ball of dough is smooth but not sticky, continue to add in flour as needed. 

To prepare the gnocchi split the ball of dough into four pieces and each piece into a snake like tubes. Cut the tubes into 3/4 inch pieces. Make sure to place the cut gnocchi onto a floured surface to keep from sticking then carefully place a few at a time into the boiling pot of water. The gnocchi are ready when they float. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place into a serving dish. Mix in the pesto and serve warm.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Spicy Thai Eggplant Stir-fry

This year I decided to sign up for a new CSA program from Humble Bee Hill Farms. I've been super happy with the vegetables we have received thus far, everything has been delicious and fresh. The past few CSA boxes have had some of the most amazing variety of eggplants and hot peppers. 

The first dish that popped into my head after seeing all of the eggplant an peppers was a Thai dish that is sweet and spicy. This recipe is quite easy and can be easily altered for all of my carnivorous friends. You can also turn up the heat as much as you would like, i'm a wuss when it comes to spice so I went for a medium heat. Go ahead and give this one a try, it is super yummy. And as always let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

2 tbs olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 small red chili peppers, split in halves lengthwise
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 tbs soy sauce or fish sauce
2 tbs brown or palm sugar
5-6 small eggplants of any variety, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced in long strips
2 tbs chopped basil (Thai basil if you have it)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok to medium heat then add in the peppers, garlic and onion. Cook until fragrant then add the soy sauce and sugar until sugar dissolves. 

(At this point if you would like add chicken to the dish do so now until it has started to brown.)

Next add in the rest of the ingredients cook on high heat until eggplant starts to soften. Meanwhile, prep the tofu and make the sauce. 
1/2 water
1 tbs cornstarch 

Mix water and cornstarch until dissolves, mix well and pour onto the vegetables. Increase heat to medium/high for 2 minutes then low to keep warm. At this point taste the vegetables and add in any more salt, pepper, soy sauce etc that you feel necessary. 

Tofu (optional)
1 package of extra firm tofu, dried and diced
1 tbs olive oil

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat, add in the tofu and cook until light brown on each side. Add into the vegetables when you add in the sauce.

                                                     Serve as is or over rice. Enjoy!!!