The Kitchen Witch the recipes and ramblings of a biker chick Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:21:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Pulled Pork Teriyaki Bowls Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:21:44 +0000 Pulled Pork Teriyaki Bowls

We just had a Teriyaki Madness chain open up here in Great Falls and everyone loves it! I have to say I thought it was pretty decent myself.  However, I’m a do it yourself gal in the kitchen and when you cook up almost 8 pounds of pork shoulder, grill 5 pounds of squash, 12 mixed bell peppers and 4 onions for an article you’re doing for The Great Falls Tribune, the teriyaki bowl practically makes itself.

While I was grilling all those veg, I threw on a can of sliced pineapple. Definitely headed to teriyaki town.

I set out to make this a healthy-ish bowl (brown rice would have been better). Only 1/8th maybe 1/4 of the bowl is pork, the rest is full of fruit, vegetables and beans. With all these flavors going on, you don’t need a lot of meat.  As a matter of fact I could have omitted it and been just fine. Then again I had a shit ton of pork to use.

You can use a jarred teriyaki sauce, like Kikkoman’s reduced sodium Teriyaki Sauce & Marinade or you can make my go to Teriyaki Sauce (I really need to update those photos…).

Pulled Pork Teriyaki Bowls

This recipe is more about an assembly of ingredients that I like to cook ahead and freeze, hence the large quantities!

Pulled Pork Teriyaki bowl
Serves 4
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  1. 2 cups cooked Rice
  2. 1 cup pulled Pork
  3. 1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce (or more if you like it saucy)
  4. 1 cup grilled peppers and onions
  5. 1 cup grilled zucchini and yellow squash
  6. 4 slices pineapple, grilled
  7. 1 cup shelled edamame, warmed
  8. 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  9. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  10. Furikake seasoning (optional)
  1. In a small pot, mix pulled pork and teriyaki sauce, gently warm.
  2. For each bowl, place 1/2 cup rice in bowl, top with 1/4 cup teriyaki pork, 1/4 cup grilled peppers and onions, 1/4 cup grilled squash, 1/4 cup edamame and 1 pineapple slice, halved.
  3. Garnish with green onions, cilantro and furikake. Serve with extra sauce.
The Kitchen Witch
Pulled Pork
Serves 30
This pork is made with a wet marinade, plan to prepare it the night before. Although the pork could be cooked in the oven, using a Crockpot is even easier.
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  1. 1 (7 to 8 pound) pork shoulder
  2. 2 tablespoons Black Magic seasoning or Alpine seasoning
  3. 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  4. 1 Tablespoon Onion powder
  5. 1-2 Tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
  6. 1 Teaspoon celery salt 2 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke
  7. 1 Tablespoon Bragg's Amino Acids or soy sauce
  1. Use a disposable foil pan or line a roasting pan with Aluminum foil. Unless using a crock pot. Place roast inside.
  2. In a small bowl mix dry ingredients, stir in liquid (it will look like wet dirt). Spread marinade all over pork (I use gloves to prevent my hands smelling like liquid smoke). Cover with foil, marinade over night.
  3. Preheat oven to 250°F and cook uncovered (or cook on low in Crockpot) 8 to 10 hours, or until tender and easily pulls apart. Let rest 10 minutes, then using two forks or BBQ Claws shred meat. Bag and freeze in 8 ounce or 1 pound portions.
The Kitchen Witch

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Grillaður huma {broiled lobster) Tue, 07 Feb 2017 16:12:50 +0000 icelandic style broiled lobster©rhondaadkinsphotography2017

Easy, easy lobster dish!  And just in time for Valentines Day. Yes I am still exploring the culinary world of Iceland and have spent all of 10 minutes learning some Icelandic words down. I’m now a pro at ja and nei (yes and no), pronounce yow and nay.  To be fair August is a looong way a way.

This recipe I’ve adapted from an Icelandic cookbook titled appropriately “Cool Cuisine” by Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir. I would love to make all the recipes but I have a feeling Puffin may be a tough one to do here.

Icelandic lobster is not very large, not like our Maine lobster.  Sometimes it’s called langoustines. However, from the research that I’ve done Icelandic lobster is indeed lobster.  Langoustines are a totally different species, they are more closely related to crawfish than lobster. Like many things in the culinary world, things are not always what they are called (think kobe beef versus waygu and champagne versus sparkling wine).

icelandic style broiled lobster©rhondaadkinsphotography2017

This lobster dish is so easy and you’ll look like a rock star serving it because of it’s beauty and taste!  If you are a savvy shopper you can get a great deal on lobster tails.  I bought these for $3.98 each, yes even here in Montana.  Now these do not even come close to the beautiful Maine lobster that I get from my fav people Lobster Anywhere

As a matter of fact, if I have a huge gorgeous Maine lobster I’m a purist, I just want the lobster!  With these inexpensive tails I don’t have any qualms about jazzy them up a bit.

icelandic style broiled lobster©rhondaadkinsphotography2017

If you want to plan a special homemade Valentine’s Dinner you will romance the pants off whoever you are with with these lobster tails. Garlic, butter, lemon and a crispy crumb topping, oh yeah it’s on! All that’s left is some wine and Barry White in the background.

icelandic style broiled lobster©rhondaadkinsphotography2017

I will confess that I broiled these babies about 30 seconds too long, as evidenced with some charred crumbs. I gotta say it didn’t hurt the eating none! Hello Lover…

icelandic style broiled lobster©rhondaadkinsphotography2017

Grillaður huma {broiled lobster)
Yields 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 min
  1. 4 (6 to 8 ounce) lobster tails
  2. Icelandic sea salt
  3. freshly ground black pepper
  4. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1/2 cup clarified butter or ghee
  7. 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  8. 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  9. zest of one lemon
  1. Split the lobster tails lengthwise with a sharp knife or cleaver. Place lobster on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small sauce pan heat the olive oil over medium heat, add garlic and saute for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add butter heat until melted.
  3. In a medium bowl toss together bread crumbs, parsley and lemon zest. Pour 1/2 of butter garlic mixture over the crumbs (reserve the other half for dipping, keep warm), stir to combine.
  4. Pile the seasoned crumbs equally over the cut side of the tails.
  5. Broil about 8 to 10 inches from the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes or until lobster is cooked through. If the crumbs get golden brown before lobster is done, turn off broiler mover lobster to lower shelf and close door. Continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes until done (don't over cook).
  6. Serve immediately with extra butter.
Adapted from Cool Cuisine
Adapted from Cool Cuisine
The Kitchen Witch
Icelandic Sea Salt and Rosemary Flat Bread Sat, 28 Jan 2017 19:59:16 +0000 Icelandic_seasalt_and_rosemary_flatbread©rhondaadkinsphotography2017

Big News!!!! I’m going to Iceland in August.  Like, wow, I mean wow I can’t believe it.  If you’ve been hanging out here for awhile you’ll see that I have been posting a lot or Nordic, and more specifically Icelandic recipes.  I’ve taken a keen interest in my heritage and of course for me that means mostly the food part.


Because of my big interest lately, I’ve communicated with Icelandic people in the US that are just full of great information.  Through them I learned about the Snorri Foundation.  It’s a cultural enrichment program for people in the US and Canada that are interested in Iceland. You don’t even have to be of Icelandic descent to apply.

Naturally I will take many photos and do some food adventuring! I don’t leave until August and I will be staying two weeks, oh gosh I am so thrilled, I can’t stop gushing…


But now it’s time to talk bread.  One of my resolutions this year was to reduce waste. Especially food waste.  Truth moment.

There I said it.  It’s crazy, it’s unrealistic, it takes up too much space.

I especially have a problem with stocking the freezer. I use 1 stand-up and two refrigerator freezers.

I am ashamed.

I am on a mission to consume what lurks in my freezer.


What does that have to do with bread? Directly nothing. I just needed something to go with my curried roasted butternut soup topped with maple sage bacon lardons (homemade). From the freezer department I was using up a big package of squash and some bacon. 

I also have a jar of yeast in my fridge that is probably past expiration but it seems to still be performing, although I know that won’t happen indefinitely.

Soup and fresh bread, pretty much a perfect winter meal.


What I was surprised to discover was how much more perfect this bread tasted with Icelandic Sea Salt.

There probably isn’t a more perfect salt than this salt.  Something about the flakes that hit your tongue and burst into a sodium delight, like salt fireworks.  Although difficult to describe I can best say that it has the most pure salt taste I’ve ever had.  Because of it’s mighty saltiness I actually use less sodium.  I conclude that it is tastier and healthier too.

It is a special order item, but very much worth it. The best price I found was at the Nordic Store.  Although only $6.99, it ships from Iceland so expect more cost.  There are several other salts I want to try like licorice salt and kelp garlic salt.


The bread is light and airy with a small amount of chew.  It is similar to a foccacia but quicker to make and milder in flavor. The mild taste of the bread is a perfect foil for the the burst of sea salt and earthy piney flavor from the rosemary.  To add a little pop to the bread I also ground some fresh black pepper on top.

It makes a great panini and some kick ass croutons too.

I guess if I wanted an authentic Icelandic bread I’d have to go bake it in a Volcanic ground hole…

Icelandic Sea Salt and Rosemary Flatbread
Yields 1
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  1. 1 1/4 cup warm water
  2. 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  3. 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  4. 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for pan
  7. 2 tsp Icelandic salt
  8. 2 sprigs of rosemary, stripped
  9. Freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Wiat 5 minutes or until nice and frothy. In a seperate bowl, whisk together the flour and kosher salt add to yeast mixture. Mix with on medium speed for 10 minutes until the dough is compact and smooth. Remove from the mixing bowl and knead on a lightly-floured counter top for two to three minutes or until smooth and elastic, shape into a ball. Transfer the ball into an oiled bowl, cover and rest for 1 1/2 hours in a warm spot. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet, using your fingers spread dough to the ends, it will stretch and bounce back, keep working it until it tills the pan. Drizzle lightly with oil and cover loosely. Rest for 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F, sprinkle the dough with Icelandic sea salt, rosemary and fresh ground black pepper.
  3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the bottom is lightly browned. Let cool slightly, remove from pan cut into desired shapes and sizes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from
Adapted from
The Kitchen Witch
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Dill Pickle and Horseradish Potato Salad Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:00:30 +0000

At home we just call this “Jen’s Potato Salad”.  Jen is my bestie, next to McGyver she is my soulmate.  How lucky I feel to have a friend that I can share, unabashedly everything.

Besides being a great confidant, she’s a pretty awesome cook too. When we were stationed together in Germany she made her signature potato salad and it was love at first bite.  Although we don’t live close together anymore, whenever I visit she knows that her potato salad is a must make for me.


It’s so good though that I can’t wait to only have it when I see her.  Today I’m making my Aunt Lou’s BBQ beef brisket and had a hankering for potato salad and I couldn’t think of a better one than Jen’s.

In this version I’ve put my own little spin on it. We were actually talking on the phone as I made it and she asked “you didn’t put onion in it did you?”, I did. Jen doesn’t much care for fresh onion in her potato salad so she uses onion powder but she told me that this recipe was her grandmothers and she always used sweet onion.  When her mom makes it she uses green onion (I had to confess previously I had also).

Unwittingly I had reverted to her grandmother’s version although I used red onion.  Then I decided to add some radish to it, just because I had some. And ain’t that the beauty of a recipe?


What I love about this potato salad is that it satisfies my love of tart and somewhat pungent foods. The dill pickle gives such a nice tang and the horseradish is a slap to the ol’ taste buds.  Really makes it a great accompaniment to beef or nicely grilled and greasy brats.

I’ve scaled the recipe down to a mere serving size of four (or one if you left me to it…).


Dill Pickle and Horseradish Potato Salad
Serves 4
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  1. 4 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  2. 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  3. 1/4 cup chopped celery
  4. 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  5. 2 radishes, chopped (optional)
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle
  7. 1 to 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
  8. 1 to tablespoons horseradish
  9. 1/2 cup mayonnaise or more
  10. Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  1. Place potatoes in a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and refrigerate.
  2. While potatoes cool, prep celery, onion, pickles and radishes.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, toss together potatoes, celery, onion, pickles and radishes. Add mayonnaise, horseradish, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.
  4. If you like a creamier salad add more mayonnaise but not so much that it over powers the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Refrigerate at least one hour to allow flavors to blend.
The Kitchen Witch
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Icelandic Lakkrís Toppar Sun, 01 Jan 2017 20:20:58 +0000 lakkristoppar©RhondaAdkinsPhotography2016

I can’t believe that I’ve been missing out on these amazing cookies all my life.  It wasn’t until last year when I teamed up with Kris Voorhees to do a Scandinavian Cookie Class that I was introduced to Lakkrís Toppar.

They are basically a meringue cookie with semi-sweet chocolate chips and chocolate covered Icelandic licorice. Scandinavian  licorice is very different than ours.  As a matter of fact I am NOT a fan of black licorice-yeck! However I enjoy anise and tarragon which have a mild licorice flavor. Scandi licorice is a sweet and mild licorice that is more reminiscent of anise.

In fact, in the ingredient list there is licorice powder and anise oil. It is sweet and it is small, just little niblets.  The Icelandic Lakkrís Kurl is covered in milk chocolate goodness – nammi!

You can special order it from Iceland at The Nordic Store, the shipping is more than the candy and expect up to 6 weeks delivery. It’s totally worth the wait!

As you can see from the packaging that the Lakkrís Kurl is so famous for making the Lakkrís Toppar that on this brand the recipe is printed on the package.  Of course it’s in Icelandic, but no worries as I am sharing it in English for you.


Lakkís Toppar is a delicate cookie that has a light crisp on the outside from the meringue and a creamy texture from the chocolate then finishes off with a little chew from the licorice. Dare I say a little heaven in one small cookie?

I imagine that I never grew up eating this traditional cookie from Iceland because the Lakkrís Kurl was not available.  But now that I can order it, there won’t be a Christmas without it!

Did you know that in Iceland when you go to the candy store you say “nammi”, is it a coincidence that it sounds so much like nummy and yummy?

I recently wrote an article for our What Women Want Magazine about my “Invisible Roots” and these cookies, if you are interested in reading it.

Lakkrís Toppar
Yields 36
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  1. 3 egg whites
  2. 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  4. 1 package Lakkrís Kurl
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer beat eggs whites until light and fluffy, slowly add brown sugar and continue beating until very stiff peaks form.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips and Lakkrís Kurl.
  5. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper or pipe on.
  6. Bake 20 to 23 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp on the outside.
  7. Cool completely before serving.
The Kitchen Witch
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Kartöflur í jafningi {Icelandic Potatoes in White Sauce} Sat, 17 Dec 2016 20:24:12 +0000 potatoes in white sauce_Kartoflur i jafningi©RhondaAdkinsPhotography

For the longest time I had a dislike for cream sauce, it seemed as if it was used to cover up food that no child in their right mind would like. Lutefisk and peas in my case. Now put some cheese in the white sauce and it was a whole different ball game, but I didn’t know that they were almost the same. I just thought that white sauce was an evil plot to hide disgusting food, coating it with this thick white goo.

And then one day, my taste buds grew up and my culinary knowledge expanded.  That thick white goo turned out to be a Béchamel Sauce, one of the French Mother sauces.  Béchamel sounds way better than white sauce and certainly white goo!

potatoes in white sauce_Kartoflur i jafningi©RhondaAdkinsPhotography

Boiled potatoes are a staple side in Icelandic cuisine and almost always were served with a white sauce. For my tastes I found the dish on the bland side unless paired with a flavorful dish like smoked leg of lamb. It seemed that whenever there was Kartöflur í jafningi there were peas served on the side as well. 

As an avid hater of peas when I was young (I used to take the peas and make a ring of them under the lip of the plate, then made sure I was last leave the table so when I removed my plate there was the ring of peas left that had to be disposed of quickly before my secret was discovered). It was impossible to hide the peas under the lip of my plate when we had Kartöflur í jafningi because the sauce would run into the peas, forcing me to eat them. Evil, I tell ya!

potatoes in white sauce_Kartoflur i jafningi©RhondaAdkinsPhotography

As my taste buds grew-up and I discovered that I liked peas, okay what I really discovered is that I like fresh or frozen peas that aren’t over cooked and detest canned peas. I also had an affinity to mix my peas in with my Kartöflur í jafningi.  Now I sometimes just serve them already together. Because I served this Kartöflur í jafningi with fiskibollur {Icelandic Fish Balls} I added fresh dill, so freaking good.

How did I ever not like this before?

potatoes in white sauce_Kartoflur i jafningi©RhondaAdkinsPhotography

Kartöflur í jafningi {Icelandic Potatoes in White Sauce)
Serves 4
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  1. 2 large potatoes, peeled and left whole*
  2. 2 tablespoons butter
  3. 2 tablespoons flour
  4. 1 1/2 cups milk
  5. White Pepper and salt to taste
  6. Traditional: Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  7. Non-Traditional: 2 tablespoons chopped dill or other herbs, 1 cup cooked peas, chopped smoked salmon, etc.
  1. Place whole potatoes in a small pot, cover with water (you can salt the water if desired), bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until tender. About 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, once melted add flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute or until hot and bubbly. while roux is cooking, warm milk in microwave. Slowly whisk milk into the roux, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, boil for 1 minute or until thickened. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg or herbs.
  3. Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces (they should be cool enough to handle by now but still hot).
  4. Plate potatoes and drizzle with white sauce. Serve immediately.
  1. I like to leave my potatoes whole for this dish, they will cook quickly if cut up first but they absorb more water and get a little more mushy. This is more of an issue with russet potatoes versus waxy potatoes.
The Kitchen Witch
Icelandic Fish Balls {Fiskibollur} Mon, 05 Dec 2016 23:50:55 +0000 fishballs_fiskbollurrhondaadkinsphotography

I know, snigger, snigger she said fish balls.  I don’t think I’ll ever out grow my juvenile sense of humor.  Fish balls-must be a small meal…Icelandic fish balls-must be cold… Okay so I won’t give up my day job.  Evidently having 4 boys and a husband in the family has affected my funny bone.

Ball jokes aside, these gems are really tasty!  Made from a firm white fish, onion, salt, eggs and flour(s), fiskibollur is more of a croquette than a meatball. Fried in butter with a crisp shell and a light, airy yet creamy interior they are no laughing matter.  

I could eat these every day.  My fiskibollur aren’t very bolti (ball) like, actually they look more like a fish cake. I used frozen (thawed) fish, which has a lot more moisture than fresh, resulting in a looser batter.  Alas, what’s a Montana girl supposed to do, but it don’t hurt the tasting none!  

Fiskibollur is traditionally served with Kartöflur í jafningi {potatoes in white sauce}.  Whenever I have Kartöflur í jafningi I always have peas (I love mixing them together)! I also like a nice cucumber dill salad, which is from the German side of my family but I’m a mutt so mutt dishes are what I make 😉 If I was fancier I guess I’d call them fusion food.


On the non-traditional side I do like to add some fresh herbs to my fiskibollur, typically parsley but dill is nice also, you could also add some minced garlic.  This recipes makes a good size amount, you could easily half it but I like to make the full recipe and freeze them.  They reheat in the oven perfectly.

Try making these smaller and serving them as an appetizer!

I finish off my fiskibollur with some Icelandic flake salt. It’s the perfect finish.


If you are interested in buying this salt they sell it online at the: Nordic Store keep in mind it ships from Iceland.  It is only $6.99 but their is an additional shipping cost.  Another flake salt can be substituted.

Fiskibollur {Icelandic Fish Balls}
Yields 24
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  1. 1 3/4 pounds white fish fillets (haddock, cod or flounder work well)
  2. 2 medium onions, rough diced
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (can use all flour if potato flour not available)
  5. 3 tablespoons potato flour (use all potato flour for Gluten Free)
  6. 2 teaspoons salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  8. 2 tablespoons parsley and/or dill (optional)
  9. 4 tablespoons butter or Ghee
  1. In the large bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add fish and onions. Pulse several times until the fish and onions are finely minced. Add remaining ingredients, mix until well combined. Refrigerate for 1 hour (makes dough easier to handle).
  2. Preheat oven to 300°F. In a fry pan, melt butter over medium heat. Shape fish into balls, patties or quenelle. Fry in butter until golden brown then turn over and brown on the other side. Place on a wire rack fitted in a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven to keep warm while cooking the rest.
  3. After the last fiskibollur, finish cooking in the oven another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with flake salt.
  1. If using frozen fish, thaw completely and drain. Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the fish before processing it. The dryer the fish the firmer the dough. You may need to add more flour than the recipe amount (it will still be fine).
The Kitchen Witch
Turkey Crisp Sat, 26 Nov 2016 17:50:48 +0000 turkeycrisprhondaadkinsphotography

Leftovers are rarely an issue in this house, not because we eat gobble everything down, we have no problems eating leftovers.  However on big meal days, like Thanksgiving (or when I seem to have no sense of “there’s only two of us”) leftovers can eventually become a put off.  You just loose your taste for them.

That’s when it’s time to freeze or reinvent the meal. My turkey crisp is really a no-recipe kind of recipe and it certainly doesn’t miraculously change the flavor of turkey day left overs, rather it presents it in a new light.  Instead of a plate full of exactly what we had the day before and the before that, it’s new and if I may say so cute dish.  With a name like Turkey Crisp it sounds rather tasty.

You can do this as a casserole or in individual dishes (seemed like a perfect time to whip out the mini cauldrons).  It’s layers of leftovers topped with stuffing then baked until hot and bubbly.  What could be easier? A nice salad on the side and your set.

I hope that all of you had a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!


Turkey Crisp
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Suggested leftovers
  1. mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes
  2. green bean casserole
  3. carrots
  4. corn
  5. turkey, diced
  6. gravy
  7. stuffing
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter individual oven safe dishes or casserole.
  3. Spread a layer of mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes on the bottom, about 1/4" thick. Next cover with leftover green bean casserole. sprinkle with carrots, corn and turkey. Pour gravy over top and cover with a nice layer of stuffing.
  4. Bake 30 minutes (or longer for a casserole) until hot and bubbly. Let cool a few minutes before serving.
  1. You can change this up and give it a fresh flavor by adding fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary. Try adding some sliced mushrooms, sauteed spinach or chard!
The Kitchen Witch
Kjötsúpa {Icelandic Lamb Soup} Sat, 29 Oct 2016 14:44:05 +0000 icelandiclambsouprhondaadkinsphotography

It’s always been stew to me.  Grandma Bodin’s stew. The first time I remember ever having it, I was 10 years old.  It didn’t look like stew, as in from the can kind, but it had familiar elements of meat, potato, carrots and liquid. 

Only it wasn’t the same, and it wasn’t stew.  It was called stew but after tasting it I knew that this was not stew.  There was weird tasting stuff in there, at least weird to a 10 year old who couldn’t recall eating something as strange as these unidentifiable veggies. 

I quickly figured out that I liked the round white veg (parsnip) and the orangish potato (rutabaga) but once in a while in this concoction there would be a white firm veg that I didn’t like (turnip). Like all children I adapted to my grandma’s stew by recognizing the cut and color of the veg I didn’t like, then dutifully eating all around it and then suddenly become full…

Fast forward to last year when a friend’s cousin from Iceland came to visit and we hog tied her and begged that she do a cooking class.  Yona agreed; Kristen and I hosted while Yona and her daughter prepared a traditional Icelandic meal (I even brought my Great Great Grandmother’s original Icelandic Costume to display).

The main course was Kjötsúpa. Hello lightbulb moment, you mean my grandmother’s stew (which I knew wasn’t really stew) was Kjötsúpa! I instantly recognized it. My grandmother used beef versus lamb probably because that was readily available but otherwise it was the same.

For those of you with gardens full of root vegetables this is an ideal recipe.  It was translated by Yona from an ancient Icelandic cookbook.  The only real seasoning is salt and pepper. Kjötsúpa lets the lamb and veg do all the palate pleasing.

Iceland is not the land of plenty so there wasn’t much in the way of seasoning or variety of food. This soup is a perfect reflection of making a hearty meal with food that stored well and grew in their very short growing season.


Lamb, diced up and ready for browning.


Diced Celery and onion (browned lamb in back ground).


Carrots, parsnip and rutabaga.


The veg are so colorful cut-up.


Potatoes, cleaned and ready to cut. No need to remove skin off of red potatoes.


Ready for the pot!


Final product with homemade pumpernickel bread.

Here is the translated version from Yona:

Serves 10 to 12

  • 2 pounds lamb shoulder (with bones), cut up (leg of lamb may be substituted)
  • 34 ounces water (add more if necessary)
  • 1-2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 ounces barley
  • 1 pound each carrots, rutabaga and potatoes, chopped
  • Onions, parsley and fresh herbs (optional)
  • Beef bouillon can be added to boost flavor
  • Ground white pepper and salt to taste

This is a rather small portion we translated from an ancient Icelandic cookbook. It is not uncommon that this recipe is done without any measuring.

  1. Lamb meat in moderate small sizes added to the pot and boiled with salt and barley.
  2. 30 min later the vegetables are added.
  3. Boil for additional 30 min and add spices as preferred.

This soup is perfect for leftovers as the flavors have merged overnight. This traditional meal is very popular on cold winter nights and has been enjoyed in Iceland for centuries.

I’ve modified the recipe a little to add more flavor but stay true to its original dish.  To boost the flavor I salt and peppered the lamb then browned it on all sides.  I add celery and cooked it with some diced onion.  Instead of using water I used beef broth, lots of salt and white pepper and a garnish of fresh parsley and it was perfection (of course there weren’t any turnips in it either)!

I’m currently on a journey to explore the foods of my Scandinavian heritage. I’ll be posting recipes from Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Some may be authentic while others updated versions or my spin on them.  Some may be a fusion, you know, just like me.

Kjötsúpa {Icelandic Lamb Soup}
Serves 10
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Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
  1. 2 pounds lamb shoulder (with bones), cut up (leg of lamb may be substituted)
  2. 1 tablespoon oil
  3. Kosher salt and pepper
  4. 1 small onion, diced
  5. 2 ribs celery, diced
  6. 34 ounces water or beef broth (add more if necessary)
  7. 1-2 tablespoons Icelandic sea salt (adjust if using bouillon)
  8. 2 ounces barley*
  9. 1 pound each carrots, rutabaga and potatoes, chopped
  10. Onions, parsley and fresh herbs (optional)
  11. Beef bouillon can be added to boost flavor
  12. Ground white pepper and salt to taste
  1. Heat a dutch oven on medium high heat. Season the cut up lamb with salt and pepper. Brown the lamb in small batches and place on paper towel to drain.
  2. Saute onions and celery in remaining fat, until tender about 5 minutes.
  3. Add meat, barley, salt and water or broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
  4. Add vegetables and continue to simmer another 30 minutes or longer until vegetables are tender.
  5. Season with more salt and white pepper to suit taste. Garnish with parsley if desired.
  1. Quick cooking barley can be substituted, just add during last 15 minutes of cooking versus earlier.
  2. Because this recipe makes so much, rather than cutting in half I make a pot pie with the leftovers. Simply thicken the leftover soup up with a flour slurry, put it into a casserole and top with a sheet of puff pastry. Cut a few slits, brush with an egg wash and bake at 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the puff pastry is golden brown.
The Kitchen Witch
Nutra Ninja Blender Duo Auto IQ Review Sun, 01 May 2016 18:45:09 +0000 nutri-ninja-blender-duo-with-auto-iq

It’s Saturday morning the sun is shining, may garden needs weeding, my lawn needs mowing and my house needs cleaning. Fuck it, I made a resolution to do more blogging and I’m sticking to it.  Especially since I have so many posts to do! I’ve traveled to LA for the IACP conference, went to San Antonio during Fiesta and headed off to Austin to for the Food & Wine festival (which was cancelled) and then I’m off again this coming week to Seattle for the Nordic Food Conference.

Before I take off for the day (tonight I’m cooking a French Dinner for 20 as a fund raiser for our Urban Art Project), I thought I’d enjoy my cuppa and let you know how the Ninja Auto IQ works.  The folks at Ninja were kind enough to send me their Ninja Coffee Bar (which we actually love) and their Ninja Auto IQ Duo Blender. I’m not getting paid to do this review so the opinions are all mine (necessary disclaimer).

The idea behind the duo concept is brilliant, it’s magic bullet meets big girl blender/food processor.  The blender comes with the glasses and drinking tops for smoothies that fit right onto the base, and a small blender attachment with a wicked looking double blade, plus a double blade for dough blending.

At 1500 watts this blender has some power! It has an average size foot print so it won’t take up much room on the counter.  You could conceivable use it as your blender and food processor, eliminating those appliances that build up. The function is fairly intuitive. Start, pulse, etc. It has two unique settings just for smoothies; one is extract to use when blending leafy greens like kale and spinach and the other is a standard blend.  I tested both (see the video below for the blend mode) and it worked fabulously.  I used two recipes from the recipe book that is provided.

First we tired the Top O’ the Mornin’ smoothie.

Ninja Duo Blender©RhondaAdkinsPhotography

We obviously had bananas in dire need of smoothie-dom.

Ninja Duo Blender©RhondaAdkinsPhotography

I like how the ingredients are blended right in the cup you drink out of.

Let’s see how it does live on video (okay this is my first home video post and I did nothing fancy at all…who has time for that?) You’ll get the point regardless.

You definitely won’t be sneaking in any smoothies without someone knowing or waking up the house hold.  That being said it’s a powerful machine and blended the crap out of the ingredients.

Ninja Duo Blender©RhondaAdkinsPhotography

Super smooth and creamy

We also made the Sweet Spinach Detox smoothie (sorry no photos), the extract setting ensured there weren’t any stringy bits at all.  Actually it was my favorite of the two.

Next I tried it as a food processor.

Ninja Duo Blender Chicken Salad©RhondaAdkinsPhotography

I adapted a recipe from the recipe book and followed their directions for cutting size and order placement in the blender/processor.

Ninja Duo Blender Chicken Salad©RhondaAdkinsPhotography

It didn’t look too bad although to cut up the celery and apple I really had to keep pulsing and ended up with my chicken being much smaller than I wanted.

Ninja Duo Blender Chicken Salad©RhondaAdkinsPhotography

Not what I want to find in my Chicken Salad.

As you can see I found large chunks not cut up, in fact I found several.  This was resolved by cutting the chunks into smaller pieces than directed. Pulsing the tougher to chop ingredients a couple of times first then adding the softer ingredients.

I’ve tried using the blender to do more processing, including making dough for corn tortillas and was disappointed each time. It’s fine for some small chopping but honestly the Ninja does best with what Ninja does, making smoothies.  It’ll remain on my counter since McGyver is a big smoothie fan and this makes it super easy and cleanup is easy also.

Ninja Duo Blender©RhondaAdkinsPhotography