Petite Inspirations

In the name of inspiration and all things interesting to me and hopefully you.

Archive for the tag “recipe”

Albondigas Soup

It was a bit cold in the evenings a few weeks ago and Mr. Wonderful wanted some soup to warm up, so I decided to make Albondigas (Meatball) soup again. This recipe is adapted from here. The key is fresh herbs from the garden and great broth! This version has no bread crumbs which still works great and is gluten-free!


1/2 cup cooked rice
salt to taste
1 pound ground beef
2 eggs
1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
1/4 + 1/4 cup fresh oregano, minced
1/4 + 3/4 cup onions, chopped (divided)
1/2cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 – 1/2 cup of oil (i used grape seed oil)
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
1 – 15oz can diced tomatoes
3 quarts beef broth
2 cups chayote, cubed
1 1/2 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper2 Limes, wedges


Prepare the meatballs: Mix first 5 ingredients, 1/4 cup oregano, 1/4 cup onions, and  1/4 cup cilantro in a bowl and make 1″ meatballs. You can stick them in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden them up a bit if they’re too mushy, but if you work quickly, you can heat up your dutch oven while your making the meatballs and toss them to pan fry it with a bit of oil on medium high heat. Brown on all sides. It’s not necessary to make sure the insides aren’t pink because you will be cooking it in the soup later. Do this in 2 or 3 batches, you don’t want to overcrowd your pan because they won’t brown properly. The brown crispy bits when frying will give the soup a really good flavor!

Tip: I pan fry a small sample of the meat and try it to see if there is enough seasoning and adjust accordingly, before frying all the meatballs.

When all the meatballs are done, reserve some of the drippings from the pot and add the rest of the onions, carrots, and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onions are see through, then add the tomatoes, broth, and the rest of the oregano. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Add the chayote,  meatballs, salt and pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the chayote is fork tender. Take a taste of the soup and adjust with salt and pepper.

Serve with cilantro and lime. Enjoy and warm up.

I like using chayote because it has a neutral flavor and picks up the flavor of the soup nicely without overpowering any of it’s flavor to the soup. If you don’t have chayote, use any other summer squash you like.

Double the batch of  meatballs to save time the second time around,  for another quick  fix of this awesome soup. Lay the second batch of meatballs separately on a cookie sheet and stick it in the freezer. After a few hours (when it’s frozen), I seal them up in a ziplock.



Harvest and Kale Chips

First post for the year and I give you my latest harvest and a recipe for it! The kale looked great for harvesting and I was having my girlfriends over for our annual get-together, so I decided to make kale chips. In the picture below, the kale plants are in the front. There are two different kinds that I planted, 1) Lacinato kale (dinosaur) and 2) Red Russian Kale.  The color on the Red Russian Kale is so beautiful, from light green to rich purples.

kale harvest with honey

Honey (my puppy/dog) helping me harvest the kale and getting her sun for the day.

I had a few more things I harvested, like salad greens, parsley, swiss chard, a couple of limes that went way past their prime, cayenne peppers, and a green onion.


Separate the kale leaves from their ribs (the center part of the leaves). The ribs are too fibery and thick. You can split the leave so you have smaller chips. I left some whole to see which one I like better. Then triple wash them in your salad spinner and dry. If you don’t have one, you can just fill up your sick with water and wash them that way. Then pat dry with a dish towel or some paper towels.


Sprinkle some sea salt on the dried kale and massage the leaves for a couple of minutes. I know it sounds funny, but when you do this, the salt breaks down the leave a bit and imparts the salt in the leaves. When I did this the first time, it was way too salty. So I would recommend using less salt in the begging, about 1/2 teaspoon. You can always add salt after you bake the kale and adjust to your taste.

When the leaves starts breaking down (looks like you’re bruising it and have a darker color) add some olive oil and garlic powder, just enough to coat all the kale, front and back. Lay the kale leaves down on your baking sheet in one layer. I used parchment paper for easier clean up. Bake them for about 45 mins to 1 hour. When they’re crispy, they’re done!

I must say making these kale chips are much more work than going to a store and buying your bagged potato chips, but so much more healthier and worth it….to me anyways.



kale chips

Kale Chips Recipe

1 Bunch of Kale, stem and ribs removed
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Garlic Powder

Bake at the lowest temperature your oven can go, about 180°s for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. I had a warm setting and then it went straight to 220°, so I set it in between the two.

Arroz Caldo Soup

This filipino comfort food is one of my favorites! It reminds me of when I was a little girl and it would be cold and rainy outside. My mom would cook this soup especially if anyone was sick in the house.

I did alter the traditional recipe to include more veggies and not so typical for my family is adding a hard boiled egg. It’s soooo good! I think Mr. Wonderful and I tried the hard boiled egg version on Guam when I was back home for vacation. So, we stuck with the egg. I find it makes the soup heartier and more satisfying. Enjoy!

1 1/2 lbs chicken, cubed
1 cup carrots, cubed
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup onions, diced
1/4 cup ginger, diced
1 cup rice, uncooked
2 Tbsp Garlic powder
2 quarts chicken broth
Salt and pepper
Hard boiled eggs

Fried minced garlic
Fish Sauce

1) In a large pot on medium high heat, brown the chicken, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper (S&P).

2) Remove from pot. Add celery, carrots, and onions and brown for about 3 minutes or until the onions are almost translucent and season with S&P.

3) Add the ginger, rice and garlic powder and stir until well coated and cook for about 30 seconds. Season with S&P.

4) Add the broth and bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and starts to break.  Stir every few minutes. It will look like you will need more rice, but when the rice gets cooked it will soak up a lot of the broth and make the soup thicker.

5) Make sure you taste and season with more S&P if needed.

Garnish with fried garlic, scallions. Serve with lemon wedges and fish sauce.


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