Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders

Original Recipe found here

24 pack of Hawaiian Rolls
1 lb Thick sliced Ham
6-8 slices Provolone or Swiss Cheese
Mayonnaise
1 stick butter
1 tbs worchestire
1 tbs yellow mustard
1 tbs poppyseeds

Preheat oven 350
Slice rolls and spread mayo on both sides. Layer Ham and cheese on bottom half then finish with top half.
Melt butter then add poppyseeds, worchestire, and mustard. Whisk until well combined and pour over top rolls. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake 2 minute to brown the tops and serve!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stuffed Mini Peppers

Perfect Party Appitizer! Assemble ahead of time and good at room temperature.

Mini Sweet peppers ( usually about 50-60) in a bag.
(1) 8oz block cream cheese
5 oz goat cheese
3 tbs chopped sundried tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil or 1 tbs fresh
pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Cut tops off pepper, and clear opening with fingers. set aside
Mix remaining ingredients together and start stuffing peppers.
I found the best way to is to put filling in a plastic sandwich bag, snip the corner, and use like a pastry bag.
Crowd pepper in a smaller dish so they all stand up. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.

*Wrap in a half slice of bacon before baking for added goodness*

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Apple Pie

2 refrigerated pie crust (found by the cookie dough not in the pan)
4 apples (i used 2 green golden and 2 jonathans) peeled and sliced super then. (this is important)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gently toss apples with flour, sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla until coated.
Lay one pie crust over pie dish. Dump apples into pie dish. Crumble 1 tbs of butter on top of apples and cover with other pie crust. Crimp edges with finger and rub 1 tbs melted butter on top. Carefully slice at least 2 slit in top to let steam escape.
Loosely cover with aluminum foil to prevent burnt edges and bake 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20-25 minutes until golden brow.
Let rest, but best served warm.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wild Rice Crab Cakes

Light Crab Cakes only 180 calories per crab cake
Servings: 2
Cooking time: 15 minutes

1/4 cup Uncle Ben's Wild Rice (picture below)
1 8oz  crab claw meat, drained and shell pieces removed
Heaping 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 Tbs light mayonnaise
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch ground red pepper
Pinch teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg 
2 teaspoons olive oil

Combine cooked wild rice, crab, and next 11 ingredients in a large bowl. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1-inch-thick patty.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 patties; cook 4 minutes. Carefully turn patties over; cook 4 minutes or until golden. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and patties.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Avocado and Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette


Original Recipe found here.
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Avocado and Corn Salad
5 Ears Corn, husk removed,
2 Avocado’s, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
2 C. Tomatoes, red and yellow cherry variety or equivalent
1/2 Small red onion, finely diced
1 cucumber, chopped small dice
Cilantro Vinaigrette
6 T. Olive oil
2 T. Sherry vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar
1 t. Garlic powder
2 T. Fresh cilantro, minced
½ t. Salt
A pinch of pepper

Bring Corn to a boil for about 5 minutes and remove from heat. When cooled, remove kernels with a sharp knife. Mix corn and other vegetable together (don't add the avocado until just before eating).

Mix the ingredients for the Cilantro Vinaigrette and pour over vegetables, serve immediately.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tres Leches Cake

This Recipe is Courtesy of the PioneerWoman.com and it is amazing!

1 cup All-purpose Flour
1-1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
5 whole Eggs
1 cup Sugar, Divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/3 cup Milk
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
FOR THE ICING:
1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
3 Tablespoons Sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Separate eggs white into one bowl and yolks into another.
Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.
Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.
Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable
Spread over the surface of the cake.

Baked Chicken, Chorizo, and Potatoes

Super Easy All-In-One Meal, Great for a crowd!
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
1 pack chicken thighs (10-12) skin on and bone in
1 large orange
1 pack Chorizo Sausage, cut into bite size
2 tbs dried oregano
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
2 lbs small red or white potatoes, chopped bite size

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees.
Dump potatoes,onions, and chorizo into a large roasting pan (big enough for everything to just fit in one layer), Nestle chicken in the potatoes and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano. Sprinkle zest of one orange and juice of one orange over top. Bake for 1 hour until chicken is cooked through (when cut its juices run clear).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stuffed Chicken Breast

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
2 chicken breast
1 oz goat cheese
2 tbs chopped sundried tomatoes
1 tbs sundried tomato oil
4 basil leaves or dried basil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degreas. With a small knife slice and opening lengthwise along the side of your chicken breast, work the hole throughout the center of the chicken without puncturing through. Mix goat cheese, basil, and tomatoes and stuff into chicken Seal with a toothpick. season outside with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in skillet and brown chicken 5-7 minutes on both side. Place in oven for 10 more minutes to finish cooking.

Baked Spinach

1 lb baby spinach (for 2 servings)
1/4 cup shredded italian cheese
Grated parmesan (2-3 tbs)
1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
olive oil
mushrooms (optional)
1 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tbs Chicken stock
salt and pepper

In a large cover skillet or pot, heat chicken stock and vinegar. Dump in spinach and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let steam until wilted.

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees.

When spinach is wilted remove with thongs and add to a small baking dish, top with bread crumbs, cheeses, then drizzle with olive oil. Bake until cheese is brown.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chicken with Ricotta, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Eggplant

This recipe came from foodnetwork.com. I omitted the toasted pin nuts and did not dredge the chicken in flour in effort to save calories and it was amazing!!

Servings: 2

2 chicken breasts pounded thin seasoned with salt and pepper.
1 small eggplant peeled and cubed
3 garlic gloves chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes drained and chopped
hand full of fresh basil
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 large tablespoon of ricotta cheese for each piece of chicken
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Heat a little oil in a deep skillet and brown chicken on both sides.
Microwave eggplant covered for 1 minutes tossed with a little olive oil and salt.
Add garlic to chicken, after a minute add eggplant, tomatoes, basil, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and let reduce about 5 minutes. Serve chicken topped with a large tablespoon of ricotta cheese, and then topped with tomato and eggplant sauce.

If you don't like ricotta leave it out, the sauce it amazing on its own.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

My husband is a hunter, so I am always trying to find ways to use ground venison instead of in spaghetti. I came across this recipe which called for ground turkey, but will be great with any lean ground meat. It did take a little more prep than I usually do, but it was worth it.

Servings: 5

1/2 lb ground turkey or another lean meat. 
1 medium onion diced
1/2 container sliced button mushrooms
1 cup cooked rice (i used what i had on hand, white, brown, or wild would be good)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 20oz can pasta sauce
1 head cabbage


Place head of cabbage in a large pot and fill with water to cover just over half the cabbage. Heat to a boil and reduce to a simmer flipping cabbage every 5 minutes to soften all the leaves, I started pulling off the outside leaves as they were ready. (This process is a little tedious because the center leaves take a while to soften enough to handle without ripping.)

Meanwhile, Brown meat, mushrooms, and onion in a pan. Add oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix with rice and a 1/4 cup pasta sauce and set aside.

Once cabbage leaves are softened start placing 2 large tablespoons of the meat mixture in each leaf and roll them up like a burrito. Lay in dish seam side down and top with remaining pasta sauce.



You can cook these all day (6-8 hours) in a slow cooker on low or in an oven on 225 degrees (covered with aluminum foil).  This makes 10-12 rolls.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today I am just sharing an idea for my Tarragon Salmon as a salad. I made the salmon per the recipe but broke it up over some mixed greens with fresh grated parmesan cheese, baby portabella mushrooms, grape tomatoes, and Ken's Light Poppy Seed dressing. It was an awesome and a very filling salad!!

You should give it a try!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

BLT Pasta Salad

1 lb corkscrew pasta
1/2 cup milk
1/2 lb lean bacon
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbs fresh
1 glove garlic, minced
1/2 cup light mayo
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
12oz bag chopped romaine

cook pasta according to package direction, drain and mix with milk. sprinkle with salt and pepper and Set aside.
Cook all but two pieces of bacon whole. Set aside.
Chop the remaining two pieces of bacon and cook in a fry pan on medium low, rendering the fat, for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and tomatoes and heat through. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Mix mayo, sour cream, pinch of salt and pepper, and combine.
Crumble bacon and mix everything except lettuce together in a large bowl until evenly combine. Fold in lettuce and serve at room temperature or cold from the fridge.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Broiled Italian Salmon

Super Easy!!

Salt
Pepper
Italian Seasoning
grated parmesan

Sprinkle salmon filets with a pinch of salt, pepper, italian seasoning and bake under broiler for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and bake about 3 more minutes for medium and 5 minutes for well done.

Cook time based on 4-6 oz portions.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sauted Flounder with mushroom and shallot

1 tbs butter
1 package sliced portabellas
1 shallot minced
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper
4 flounder filets


Heat 1 tbs butter in a large skillet and cook mushrooms, shallot, and garlic about 6-8 minutes until tender. Add wine and let reduce 2 minutes, then add chicken stock, pinch of salt and pepper. Salt and pepper fish and nestle to bottom of pan under mushroom sauce. Cook for 10 minutes until cook through. Ready to serve!! 

*any white fish works well with this recipe.

Please excuse the poor picuture

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chicken with Creamy Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Sauce

4 Chicken cutlets
1/4 cup milk
1 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
1 tbs of tomato's oil
1 tbs olive oil
tsp italian seasoning
salt, pepper

Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and italian seasoning. Heat both oils in a pan and sear chicken 5 minutes on both sides until cooked through. Stir in milk, goat cheese, and tomatoes with chicken and scrap brown pits from bottom of pan. Let simmer a couple minutes until sauce thicken. Turn the chicken to coat with sauce and serve.

*If any white stuff cooks out of your chicken remove it before add the sauce ingredients.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sundried Tomato, White Bean, and Arugula Pasta Salad

Sundried Tomato, White Bean, and Arugaua Pasta Salad:
1/2 lbs pasta such as bowtie or penne
2 oz crumbled feta
1/2 can rinsed cannellini beans
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in herb oil, drained
1 tbs of tomato's herb oil
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
2.5 oz arugula
salt and pepper

Cook and drain pasta. Mix all ingredients together and chill.

I found after the pasta cooled, it seemed a little drier than I like so I added a touch more oil and lemon.

Simple Seared Tilapia with Fresh Herbs

Simple Seared Tilapia:
(4) tilapia filets (any white fish)
salt and pepper
1/2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tbs butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tbs fresh chopped oregano
1 tbs fresh chopped parsley
fresh lemon (optional)

Heat oil and butter in fry pan. Mix a pinch of salt and pepper with the flour. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Lightly coat fish in flour and lay in pan. Sear for about 3 minutes, until brown and flip. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and let finish cooking for about 3 minutes and serve with a squeeze of lemon.

This is light and delicious, hope you enjoy!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Spinach Pesto and Vegetable Pizza

Spinach Pesto and Vegetable Pizza:
Store bought pizza dough (I like the refrigerated thin crust that you find near the crescent rolls)
Mushrooms
Onions
Shredded Mozzarella
Roasted Grape tomatoes
        -Sprinkle 1 pint with salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Bake at 400 until burst and wrinkled.
Spinach Pesto
        -Blend together 2 cups spinach with 5 basil leaves, a pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg, and about 1/4 cup olive oil until smooth.

Roll pizza dough to spread out just a little, top with spinach pesto, then cheese, then vegetables. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until cheese bubbles and crust is browned.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Salmon Wellington

Salmon Wellington:
2 ( 6oz) salmon filets, skin removed
1/2 pint baby portabella mushrooms
1 garlic glove
1/3 a sheet of puff pastry
salt and pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Finely chop mushrooms and garlic glove (i used a food processor). Cook the mixture with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper in a saute pan for about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.

Cut your puff pastry in half crosswise. Use a rolling pin to spread out enough to wrap around your salmon.

Lay your pastry on a cooking sheet, spread the mushrooms evenly on each piece, lay salmon bottom side up, and pull the pastry around. Flip fish right side up and bake for 25 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

Drizzle a little olive oil over top before baking.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Carbonara (ish) Pasta

This was a really simple recipe I found in a weight watchers cookbook. They didn't call it carbonara, but it pretty much is. I added shrimp to mine, but you could add chicken, or have it as a side to anything. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture.


1/2 lbs pasta
1 garlic glove
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 large eggs
2 tbs fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 tbs oliv oil

Cook pasta, drain, and set aside. Heat olive oil and garlic glove in the pasta pot. Once starting to brown add wine and let boil just a few seconds. Add chicken stock and let boil about 1 minute. Meanwhile, whish two eggs until well combined. Mix with cheese, pinch of salt and pepper. Quickly Whisk eggs while adding 1/2 cup of liquid from the pan. This is called tempering the eggs, as not to have scrambles eggs with your pasta.

Add pasta to the pot, then pour in egg mixture. Remove from heat and fold together until thick sauce forms and sticks to pasta.

Ready to Eat!

If you want to add a protein, Brown the chicken or shrimp while cooking the pasta and add to the sauce at the same time.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Iced Coffee

I love coffee every morning, but during the summer a hot drink just isn't what I want. This iced coffee is awesome with out lots of sugar or cream.

Iced Coffee:
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (3tbs ground to 1/2 cup water)
1/4 cup 2% milk (whatever you like)
1 tbs unsweetened cocoa
2 tbs honey
2 cups ice cubes.

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ribs, Corn on the Cob, Baked Beans

I recently had family over for dinner for a layed back summer meal. I choose to cook ribs, corn on the cob, and baked beans. The only thing I had to prepare was the dry rub for the ribs, soooo easy and delicious!

Baby Back Ribs: (one pack (3 racks) from Sam's feeds 6-8)
I told you I come from a family of cooks and my cousin is one of them. She has an amazing recipe for baby back ribs and everyone at my dinner agreed.
Check it out here

Corn on the Cob:
It is in season now so your can get a dozen ears for around $3, that is a cheap side dish. I removed the husk slathered on some butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil and cook in the oven (350 degrees) or grill for 35 minutes. (You can boil on the stove too and add the seasoning once its done) The trick to good corn is cooking it long enough for the sugars to develop.

Baked Beans:
Definitely from the can, I can't do it better than Bush's. I just think it takes a little more than heating in a pot on the stove. I like to dump mine in a baking dish and bake for about 1 hour on 350 degrees until it gets really thick and condenses a little.

It can be sooo easy and affordable to entertain. This whole meal fed 6 adults with left overs for $33.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuna Melt

Tuna Melt: (2 servings)
1 cup Tuna Salad : Recipe
4 slices french bread
1 tomato sliced thin
2 slices mild cheddar cheese

Bake bread slice in oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and top each piece with 2 tbs tuna salad, 1 tomato, and half a slice of cheese. Bake for 7-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Super Easy Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad:
1 lbs corkscrew pasta
1/2 bottle favorite italian dressing
1 cucumber pealed and chopped
1 cup of chopped tomatoes (or grape)
optional: 1/4 cup freshly shaved parmesan cheese

Cook pasta a mix with remaining ingredients. Chill and serve. 

Alternative: Add 2 tbs mayo for a creamier salad.

Puppy Chow (Chex Cereal Snack)

Puppy Chow:
half a box chex rice cereal
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt chocolate and pour over chex in a large bowl. Gently fold with an rubber spatula until every piece of cereal in coated. Dump powdered sugar in and gently fold until every piece is coated.

This is super easy and addicting. Melt a couple tablespoons of peanut butter or nutella with the chocolate for a twist.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Red Velvet Cake

This is definitely a cake for special occasions, when fat and calories go out the window! I have had so many complements on this cake and have even sold it! It is involved but well worth it for a special dessert.

Red Velvet Cake:
2 boxes butter cake mix (duncan)
2 sticks butter, softened
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 oz red food coloring
1 tbs cocoa
6 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vinegar

cream cheese frosting:
• (3) 8 oz cream cheese, softened
• 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
• 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Mix cake with butter, water, and buttermilk. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each. Add cocoa, food coloring, and vinegar. Fill 2 round cake pan (a little more than) 3/4 way full, you will have some batter left over. The idea is to have plently of cake to trim off the top.

I split the 2 layer later, but you could evenly fill 3 pans instead.

Bake for 25 minutes, rotating every 5-7 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Mix all the frosting ingredients together until smooth.

Optional: Cut 2 layer in half to make 4 layers, but using fishing string, carefully sawing in long swipes each direction. (If you choose to cook 3 layers then skip this step)

Stack layers with 1/3 cup frosting between each layer (for 3, 1/4 cup for 4) and spread remaining down sides. Garnish with pecans if you'd like.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vegetable Lasagna

This is a lot of ingredients, but perfect for feeding a large crowd, serves 8-10

Look for these vegetables already sliced or in the freezer section (defrost completely) to save time on prep. Can easily be prepped and assembled the night before.

Vegetable Lasagna:
2 thinly slices zucchini
2 thinly sliced large or 3 small yellow squash
2 thinly sliced carrots
1 small container sliced mushrooms
1 onion diced
large can or jar spaghetti sauce (original, no special flavors)
1 8oz package cream cheese ( you can go light but not fat free)
1 cup cottage cheese or ricotta (must be whole milk)
1 large egg
10 oven ready lasagna noodles
12 slices provolone cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix cottage/ricotta cheese, cream cheese, and egg with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Put 1/3 of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a large casserole dish and lay noodles with out overlapping (4-5). Spread half the cream cheese mixture, half the vegetables, 1/2 remaining sauce, then 6 slices of provolone, and 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat with noodles, rest of cream cheese mixture, rest of vegetables, remaining sauce, and then top with remaining cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, remove foil and bake 20 more minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

*I like to pile my vegetables on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for about 10 minutes on 350. just to soften slightly, but still have a alot of texture when the lasagna is done.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Potato Crusted Tilapia

Potato Crusted Tilapia:
4 tilapia filets (any thin white fish will work)
1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 large baking potato
salt, pepper
olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.
Very thinly slice potato, best to use a mandolin.
Lay 1 layer of potatoes on fish, overlapping like shingles. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary
Drizzle a oven safe pan with olive oil and add butter, on med-high heat.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Once butter is melted and starts to foam, add fish potato side down. Cook until potatoes brown around the edges about 5-7 minutes.
Put pan into the oven for 15 minutes until fish in cooked through. Remove from oven.
Carefully removed fish and potatoes with a spatula, should come out easily. 
I like to finish with a light sprinkle of salt.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower:
2 lbs cauliflower florets, cut from one large head or bought frozen.
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 oz cream cheese
1 tbs butter
salt and pepper

Put cauliflower florets in deep sauce pan with milk and chicken stock. You want them to be covered with liquid so choose a pot that doesn't leave a lot of extra room. Simmer for about 20 minutes until very tender. Move cauliflower with a slotted spoon to a blender/food processor with butter and cream cheese, pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse a couple short times then add 1/2 liquid pulse and check to see consistency (should be like loose mashed potatoes) then add more liquid. I ended up using 2 cups. (Remember you can always add but you can't take away) Blend until smooth.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata:
4 chicken cutlets pounded even
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tbs olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1 tbs butter
half a lemon
2 tbs drained capers
1 garlic clove
1 tbs chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Heat large pan with oil. Sprinkle cutlets with salt and pepper. Lightly coat in flour. Brown on both sides and remove. Pour wine into the hot pan and reduce by half. Scrap bits from pan with a wooden spoon. Add remaining ingredients and put the chicken into the sauce flipping to coat until most of the sauce is absorbed. Serve with remaining sauce pour over top.

*this would be great recipie for veal, pork, and white fish

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Green Vegetables Risotto

Green Vegetable Risotto:
1 small bag arborio rice (about 2 cups)
1 onion diced
3/4 cup white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1 tbs butter
1 tbs oil
1oz cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
half a lemon
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
vegetables: (your choice)
        I used green beans, spinach, and peas

Risotto is a process, but well worth the 30 minutes for a silky creamy dish.

Melt butter with oil in bottom on large pot. Add onion and cook till tender about 5 minutes. Mix in rice until each grain is coated with oil and butter. Keep heat on medium- medium high for a steady simmer and add the wine. Stir constantly until wine is absorbed. Add chicken stock one cup at a time stirring constantly after each cup until stock is absorbed, then add the next. When you add the fifth cup of stock add the vegetables, (i like to cut mine into bite size pieces) Once the fifth cup of stock is absorbed you will have a creamy thick consistency, add cheeses, juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper. Mix well and serve.  Great served as the main dish or a side item.

Note: the process of add the liquid slowly to uncooked rice allows the rice to release it starched and develop a creamy texture. The constant stirring helps with the process.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

This is a recipe from a fabulous book, The Charleston Cake Lady.

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake:
Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan

1 box butter golden recipe cake mix
1/3 granulated sugar
1 8oz container sour cream
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 12oz bag mini chocolate chips

Mix cake mix, sugar, sour cream, and oil until well combined. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and mix for 3-4 more minutes on medium. Stir in chocolate chips and pour into bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cook completely before removing from pan.  

Strawberry and Banana Dessert

This is the perfect easy and inexpensive dessert to feed a large crowd!


Strawberry and Banana Dessert:
1 large box vanilla cook and serve pudding, made according to package direction and chilled
1 angel food cake (from bakery) cubed
6 bananas sliced
2 lbs strawberry sliced
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Beat whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until thick and whisk leave a track.

In a large clear dish or bowl layer half the angel food cake, then half vanilla pudding. Next, layer all the bananas (make it look nice around the edge) then half the whipped cream. Remaining cake and pudding, then all the strawberries (make a ring around the edge) Put rest of whipped cream in the center and work towards the edge, but leave enough room for a strawberry boarder. Top with a shaved chocolate (optional).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes:

1 lbs potatoes, cut into bite size
3 tbs olive oil
generous pinch of salt and pepper
2 tbs whole grain mustard

Dipping sauce
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbs whole grain mustard
1/2 tsp honey
small pinch salt and pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees

In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients together with the potatoes and spread in one layer on a large baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes or until fork tender.

Mix ingredients together for dipping sauce and serve with potatoes.

Roasted Pork Loin

Roasted Pork Loin:
3-4 lbs boneless pork loin
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
pinch red pepper flakes
3 gloves garlic
2 pieces bacon
2 bay leaves
1 large onion sliced in thick rounds
3 cups chicken stock
2-3 tbs flour

Combine oil, mustard, and next seven ingredients in a large plastic bag. Put the loin in the bag and massage. Let marinate a couple hours or overnight.

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Place loin on top of onion slices. Add bacon bay leaves and 1 cup chicken stock to bottom of the roasting pan. Cook pork uncovered for about an hour  until internal temperature in 140 degrees. Remove and transfer to a platter, tent with aluminum foil and let rest 15 minutes. Place the roasting pan on the stove top and turn on high. Whisk in flour until it turns pasty, gradually whisk in more chicken stock until you have reached the thickness you want. If it doesn't thicken enough add a little more flour. Remove bay leaves and bacon the serve.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Decadent Chocolate Cake

Decadent Chocolate Cake:

Cake:
2 box chocolate cake mix (i used duncan hines)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cold coffee
1 cup milk
6 eggs

Filling: (optional)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbs chocolate syrup
2 tbs milk
2 tbs coffee

Icing:
1 cup chocolate chips
4 tbs milk

Mix all ingredients together for 2 minutes then  pour into 2 8inch round cake pans. I like to spray with nonstick spray then dust with cocoa powder.

Let cake cool completely and remove from pans. Punch holes all over with end of wooden spoon or scewer. Mix ingredients for fillin and pour over each layer and let it absorb, about 10 minutes.

Melt chocolate and mix in milk. Pour half over first layer, top with second later and pour rest of melted chocolate over.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Roasted Chicken

This chicken was delicious and beautifully golden brown, unfortunately I forgot to take a picture before cutting.

Roasted Chicken:
1 tsp crushed rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 lemon
1 onion
1 whole chicken or chicken already quartered with skin on
1 tbs butter
olive oil

I know this seems like alot of ingredients, but usually you can find a seasoning pack including all of them. These are very universal seasonings that will last a long time if you go ahead and buy them.

Preheat oven 475 degrees. Mix all the seasonings together for a dry rub. Rub chicken all over with olive oil then generously with seasonings. Don't feel like you have to use all of it, but don't be shy with them either.
Spread butter underneath the skin. Lay whole chicken breast side up with legs tied and wings tucked in. I use a large roasting pan, but for chicken quarters use a baking sheet.

Bake whole chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes on lower half of oven. Until thermometer in leg joint reads 165 degrees

Bake quarters on center oven rack for 45 minutes or until thermometer in center of each piece reads 165 degrees.
  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Collard Greens

Collard Greens:
2 bags chopped collards or 2 bunches and remove stems
2 quart low sodium chicken stock
smoked ham hocks
2 tbs vinegar, i like to use half red wine and half balsamic
1 tbs brown sugar
1 onion peeled and halved
2 whole garlic gloves
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper

Heat everything except collards in a large stock pot. Leave on medium low for 20 minutes to let flavors marry. Turn to high and add collards. When wilted reduce to medium low and let for 40 minutes until tender. Taste for salt and pepper.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Braised Brisket and Vegetables

Braised Brisket and Vegetable:
5 lbs beef brisket, fat removed
3 lbs potatoes
1 lbs sliced carrots
1 lbs button mushroom whole
3 onions
3 garlic gloves
3 ribs celery
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3-4 cups chicken stock
5 sprigs thyme, bundled
salt and pepper

Coarsely chop onions and garlic. Chop carrots, potatoes, and celery in large bite size pieces. Put all the vegetables, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme in a large roasting pan. Spring with salt and pepper. Lay brisket over vegetables and pour in vinegar. Add chicken stock to level with brisket, but not covered. Put in a 225 degree oven for 10 hours.

Remove brisket and pour liquid into a large saucepan. Turn heat on high and let reduce. If it doesn't thicken to your liking. Mix 1tbs cornstarch with water and whisk in while boiling.

This is the perfect meal for entertaining on a week day. Just put it in the oven and don't think about it until you get home from work. Great with a side of white rice to pour gravy over.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Skillet Baked Tilapia

Skillet Baked Tilapia:
4 filets of fish (Tilapia, flounder, red snapper, and similar fish)
1 lbs bags fresh spinach
1 small onion diced
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic and onions
3-4 tbs bread crumbs
1 tbs italian seasoning
shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Heat oil in skillet and add onions. After 1 minute add spinach until begins to wilt. Lay fish filets on top of spinach. Sprinkle salt and pepper over entire pan. Gently pour wine over top fish, then the can of tomatoes. Sprinkle bread crumbs, italian seasoning, then cheese and bake in top half of the oven for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and fish is cooked through. Great served over my simple pasta or with loaf of italian bread.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Egg Salad

Egg Salad:

1 dozen eggs hard boiled and shell removed
1/4 cup mayo plus 2 tbs
1 heaping tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp paprika

Chop eggs and gently mix with rest of ingredients, Chill and serve.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

1 box Pillsbury double chocolate cookie mix
3 tbs water
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
Frozen red raspberries

Mix first 3 ingredients. Form 1 teaspoon of dough in to a bowl and put 2 raspberries in center. Work dough around and into a ball around the berries and bake 10 minutes on 350.

Soooo good!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Jambalaya

2 boxes Zataran's Jambalaya
1 lbs smoked sausage
1 lbs cooked chunked chicken, pork, or raw shrimp
1 large onion diced
2 garlic gloves diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 green bell pepper diced
5 cups water


It is so easy to use a box meal like this, especially when cooking for a large crowd, but adding fresh ingredients makes a short cut like boxed rice taste like you made it from scratch.

Brown sausage, add onion, peppers, and garlic and cook until soft. Mix in second meat, and add water. Bring to a boil and add contents of box. Return to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Leave for 30 minutes without uncovering. Give a final stir and its ready to serve!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Pasta with Pink Sauce

This is a very light and flavorful pasta dish that would be great with shrimp or chicken.

Pasta with Pink Tomato Sauce:
2 tbs Extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper
1 cup tomatoes, cherry halved or regular diced 
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
Kosher salt
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 pound pasta
1/4 cup grated parmesan
6 basil leaves chopped

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook pasta.
Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and add the garlic and the crushed red pepper. Cook until garlic is browned. Add tomatoes and half the stock and season with salt. Simmer the pan until the tomatoes have wilted and let off their juices. Add the corn and the remaining stock and simmer until the corn is cooked through.
If adding shrimp, add along with corn.
If adding chicken, brown in pan before adding garlic and let chicken finish cooking as you add ingredients to the same pan.

Drain pasta and add to pan with the tomatoes and corn. Add about a half a cup of the pasta cooking water and cook on low for about 5-7 minutes until sauce thickens and clings to pasta. Toss in the parmesan and basil.

Monday, January 24, 2011

White Chili

White Chili:
1 pound ground beef or chicken
2 can cannellini or white kidney beans
1 large onion chopped
4 garlic gloves chopped
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons flour
1 lb baby spinach
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
parmesan cheese

Brown meat in a pan (drain of needed) add onion and garlic and cook until tender. Add cumin, chili powder, fennel seeds, oregano, beans, flour, a pinch of salt and pepper, combine. Add spinach and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cover and let cook for 1 hour. Add red pepper flakes. Serve with parmesan cheese grated over top.

Chicken Saltimbocca

Chicekn Saltimbocca:
4 chicken cutlets, pounded to evenly flatten
Salt and pepper
4 thin slices proscuitto
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
1/2 lemon 

Place the chicken cutlets flat on the work surface. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Lay 1 slice of prosciutto atop each piece.
In a bowl add spinach and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place a couple tablespoons on top of prosciutto. Then a tablespoon of cheese. Beginning at the skinny end, roll up each chicken cutlet and secure with a toothpick.


Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy skillet on high. Add the chicken and cook just until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice, and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and let simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 -10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Simmer the cooking liquid over high heat until it is reduced to about about 5 minutes. Remove toothpicks from the chicken. Drizzle the reduced cooking liquid over the chicken and serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Banana Bread with Streusel Topping

Banana Bread with Streusel Topping:

Topping:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
7 tablespoons uncooked oats
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup (3/4 stick) cold butter cubed

Bread:
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butted
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup nuts (optional)

This recipe makes 2 7"x4" loafs or 3 mini loafs

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Combine streusel ingredients and combine using fingers till until crumbly but forms when pressed.  Set aside

For bread: In a large mixing bowl combines bananas, eggs, sugar, and melted butter until smooth. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined but don't over mix. Stir in vanilla and optional nuts. 

Pour into greased pans. Top with streusel and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted on middle comes out clean. Let cool before removing from pan

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Foil Baked Salmon

Foil Baked Salmon:
(4) 5-6 oz salmon filets skin removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 can chopped tomatoes (drained)
2 chopped shallots
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat oven 400 degrees

Mix tomatoes, shallots, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Place each piece of salmon on its own large piece of foil. Drizzle both sides with Olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with tomatoes and close foil like a boat. Place on baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes until salmon is cooked through.

Reserve the tomato juice from the can and pour it over half a pound of cooked pasta with a little salt, pepper, olive oil and parmesan cheese. For an easy side.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chicken with Basil sauce, Roasted Tomatoes, Simple Salad

Chicken with Basil Sauce:
For sauce:
1/2 cup fresh basil
juice of 1 lemom (1/4 cup)
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 small garlic glove
Pinch of salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a food processors or blender. Use with in a couple hours of making then freeze the remaining for another meal.

Salt and pepper two chicken breast and grill about 10 minutes each side or until cooked through. Drizzle a tablespoon of basil sauce over each piece and serve! (A little goes a long way).

Roasted Tomatoes:
1 plum tomato per person sliced length wise.
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp of crumbled gorgonzola for each tomato
1 tsp of bread crumbs for each tomato

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub each tomato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix together bread crumbs and gorgonzola, breaking it between your fingers and divide into tomato halves. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake 15-20 minutes until Golden brown. 


Simple Salad:
Greens of your choice
1/2 peeled and diced cucumber
1/2 cherry tomatoes halved
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese

Add all ingredients into a bowl, and toss with hands until everything in coated. Sprinkle top with parmigiano.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Bars

Chocolate Caramel Bars
Crust:
          2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
          1/4 cup light brown sugar
          1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

Caramel:
         3/4 cup heavy cream
         1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
         2 1/4 cups light brown sugar

Chocolate Top:
        3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
        3/4 cups heavy cream
        1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional, but really adds depth of flavor)
         sea salt (optional)

You will need a candy thermometer
                        heavy bottom pan for caramel
                        9x13 baking dish

For the crust, melt butter and pour over sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Mix until well combined and press into a buttered baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and cool completely before adding caramel layer

For Caramel, you will need a large heavy bottom pan. The mixture will boil up alot. Over medium high heat mix all the ingredients together. Set up your candy thermometer and wait until mixture reaches 240 degrees. About 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and pour gently over graham cracker crust. Let set for 30 minutes until set before adding chocolate layer
      * you can try melting caramel squares if it becomes pourable, then they should work as a replacement to this process

Chocolate Layer: Using a double boiler combine chocolate and cream. Stir occasionally until smooth, then add espresso powder if you wish. Pour evenly and gently over caramel and smooth out. Sprinkle salt on top if you choose too. 

Let set at room temperature for 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!!

Double Boiler: Heat a medium sauce pan with an inch of water to a steady simmer. Place a glass boil on top that will not touch the water. The steam from the water gently melts the contents of the bowl.   

The recipe came from the cookbook Giada at Home, but with a few alterations.


 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Chocolate Kahlua Trifle

This is an amazing recipe courtesy of my Sister, Laura Lynn

Chocolate Kahlua Trifle:
1 box devil food cake
1 3.9 oz instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup kahlua
1 pk heath bits
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Bake cake according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into cubes.

Whip cream until soft peaks

Mix pudding with milk and kahlua just before assembling trifle.Want it to be pourable while layering

Layer 1/4 cake cubes, pour 1/3 pudding, sprinkle heath bits, then 1/3 whipped cream. Cake, pudding, bits, and rest of whipped cream. Top with heath bits.

Refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.

Usually 2 layers with half the cake fills a regular trifle dish. But if you use a larger dish, get a 5 oz box of pudding, 1 cup kahlua, 2 cups milk, 4 cups whipped cream, and use the whole cake.

Tomato Basil Soup with Mozzarella grilled cheese

Tomato Basil Soup:
4 cups peeled chopped tomatoes (4 large tomatoes)
4 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 cup lowfat milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese softened

Bring sauce and tomatoes to a simmer for uncovered for 30 minutes. Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth and return to pot. Add remaining ingredients and let simmer until everything is melted and flavors marry.

Grilled Cheese:
1 ball of fresh mozzarella, patted dry and slices in 1/4 inch slices
Any bread you like. (i like a sourdough or french bread)
olive oil

heat a skillet or grill pan. Place 2 slices mozarella between 2 slices bread. Drizzle out side slices with olive oile and sear in pan until golden brown and cheese is melted.