Sunday, December 27, 2009

Southern-Style Crab Cakes with Cool Lime Sauce

Dave and I are visiting the parentals in TN. Tonight we are having Crab Cakes for dinner. This is a recipe that my parents got from Kraft Foods. So I need to give props where props are due! The parentals say they are fantastic.


1 medium lime

1 cup Kraft Mayo Real Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip Dressing, divided

1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix

2 Tbsp. Grey Poupon Country Dijon Mustard

2 cans (6 oz. each) crabmeat, drained, flaked

25 finely crushed Ritz Crackers, divided

2 Tbsp. chopped green onion

1/4 cup Breakstone's or Knudsen Sour Cream


Grate the peel and squeeze the juice from the lime. Mix half of the lime juice, 1/2 cup of the mayo, salad dressing mix and mustard in medium bowl until well blended. Add crabmeat, 1/2 cup of the cracker crumbs and onion; mix lightly. Shape into 18 (1/2-inch-thick) patties; coat with remaining cracker crumbs. Cook patties, in batches, in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 2 minutes on each side or until browned on both sides and heated through. Meanwhile, mix remaining 1/2 cup mayo, remaining lime juice, lime peel and sour cream until well blended. Serve with crab cakes.

Wild Mushroom Alfredo Sauce

Well, this sauce is anything but healthy but oh my word was it heavenly. We made this for our traditional Christmas dinner. It all started when my parents were with us about 5 years ago for Christmas. We spent Christmas making homemade raviolis. Each year since, we have continued the tradition. Every year we come up with a different ravioli and a different sauce to compliment the ravioli. This year, our ravioli was a ground turkey, spinach, mascarpone cheese, shitake mushroom and crimini mushrooms with parmesan cheese and as a compliment I made a wild mushroom alfredo sauce. Boy was it tasty. I hope you enjoy the sauce.


1 small pkg of crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 pkg dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted with boiling water (just enough to cover them)

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 cup of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

2 blocks of Parmigianino Reggiano cheese, shredded

¼ dry sherry

1 cup of milk

1 pint of whipping cream


In a deep pan, take 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and heat. Add the crimini mushrooms and begin sautéing about 3 – 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove about half of the water from the porcini mushroom and pour the remaining water and porcinis into pan with the crimini mushrooms. Add the garlic and the sherry. Sauté for about 5 – 7 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to wilt. Add the stick of butter and the parsley. You do not want to add any of the dairy products until you are about 5 – 10 minutes away from serving the pasta/raviolis. It won’t take long for the dairy to heat up and melt and you don’t want it to scald. Turn the stove down to low/medium and add the milk to the mixture and all of the cheese and begin to stir constantly making sure the cheese doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Pour the entire pint of whipping cream into the mixture and just stir making sure it is heated all the way through. Serve over your raviolis or pasta.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Candied Walnuts

A friend of mine brought these into work and they were just yummy!!! I asked for the recipe and wanted to share it with all of you.


2 tbsp butter

1 lb (about 4.5 cups) Walnuts or Pecan Pieces (any unsalted raw nuts will work)

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

Course sea salt or kosher salt (1 or 2 tbsp)

Fresh ground black pepper (1/2 tsp)

Course raw sugar


Preheat oven to 350. Generously grease 15x20x1 baking pan. Mix together butter, nuts, sugar, corn syrup, salt and pepper. Spread in pan. Bake 25 minutes, stir 1 or 2 times. Toss to cool and transfer to foil. Sprinkle generously with raw sugar. Cool. Break apart. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature, will keep about two weeks. Freeze up to three months.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Marscapone and Gorgonzola

This was a recipe that Giada made on the Food network, however she made it with turkey sausage and did not use shallots. Since I did not have turkey sausage, I mixed things up a bit and made it my own recipe by adding shallots and panko bread crumbs. But with stuffed mushrooms you can pretty much make any type of mixture you would like and they will turn out yummy.


2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1/4 cup

12 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 shallots, minced

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme leaves

2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano leaves

3/4 cup panko crumbs

1 cup (4-ounces) Gorgonzola

1/2 tsp sea salt, plus extra for seasoning

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning

4 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the mascarpone cheese. Add the thyme, oregano, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of Gorgonzola, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Place the mushrooms on a large cookie sheet (I used a pie pan with a rim to prevent the juices from flowing over). Fill each mushroom with the sausage mixture and top with the remaining Gorgonzola. Return the mushrooms to the grill and cook until the stuffing is warmed through and the Gorgonzola starts to melt, about 25 – 30 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.

Alternative: You can use turkey sausage, ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey. Just add different seasonings to spice it up, crushed red pepper, parsley, parmesan cheese, or gruyere, etc just to name a few

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hot Spinach and Artichoke dip

This has to be one of my favorite dips...I absolutely adore artichokes and could eat eat a whole jar by myself...yummmm. Here is a recipe, hope you all enjoy. This would be great with the homemade parmesan chips you made earlier ;o). Now of course since I am on a perpetual diet, I do low fat everything, but if you can't bring yourself to do that, use the regular.

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
2 (13 3/4-ounce) cans artichoke hearts

1 tbsp crushed garlic
1/2-cup mayonnaise, low fat
1/2-cup cream cheese, low fat
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 2% skim
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese, 2% skim

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Heat the spinach in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes and squeeze dry. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop in a food processor. Combine all the ingredients except the jack cheese in a large bowl. Stir well. Scrape into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the jack cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a chafing dish and keep warm over a low flame. Serve with the parmesan tortilla chips.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Parmesan Tortilla Crisps

This is great if you want a bit of homemade when you are eating chips and salsa. If we have extra tortilla wraps in the house I will make up a batch of these and go crazy with the salsa.

1/4-cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
1/4-teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with aluminum foil. Whisk the oil, oregano, and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until warm. Set aside for 15 minutes. Brush the oil mixture over both sides of the tortillas. Stack the tortillas and cut them into 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide strips. Arrange the strips in a single layer over the baking sheets. Sprinkle the cheese and salt over the strips. Bake until the strips are golden brown and crisp, about 12 minutes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach

This was another recipe that turned out to be fantastic.

1 tbsp olive oil

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved

8 oz baby spinach

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, no salt added

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside. To the same pan, add the shallots and the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and the tomatoes. Add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Bring to a simmer. Add the chicken back into the mixture and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve with brown rice.

Shrimp Scampi with Artichokes

Well, I am trying to get Dave to eat a bit better so I started looking for recipes that are on the lighter fare when it comes to fat and sodium. I found this recipe and tried it. It was very yummy. Hope you all enjoy.

2 tbsp olive oil

5 large cloves garlic, minced

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and quartered

1/3 cup dry white wine

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring until softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp, artichoke hearts, wine, and lemon juice and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley, salt and pepper. Serve over brown rice.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cream Cheese Danish

My mom sent me this recipe from a lady at her work. She says it is fantastic.

2 cans of crescent rolls

2 8 oz packages of cream cheese (softened)

1 cup of sugar

Topping

1 cup of powdered sugar

2 tbsp of milk

1 tsp of vanilla

Unroll one can of crescent roll onto a baking cookie sheet. Mix softened cream cheese and sugar till smooth then spread on crescent roll. Place other crescent roll on top of cream cheese mixture and brush with butter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. For the topping mix the ingredients together and sprinkle over warm the Danish. You can also mix in cherries or blueberries instead of half of the cream cheese as an alternative. Instead of 2 packages of the cream cheese, replace one of the pkgs with a can of cherries or a can of blueberries.

Enjoy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sausage Dressing

I made this today as an alternative to stove top stuffing. It was actually pretty good. I used regular bread and made homemade croutons and used that instead of buying croutons.

3 ½ cups dry bread cubes (I made my own)

1 cup cracker crumbs

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup chopped celery

½ cup white wine

1 large onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups chicken or turkey broth

Sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

2lbs ground hot Italian sausage

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

3 sage leaves, finely minced

2 eggs

1 stick butter, unsalted

Brown the Italian sausage in a pot. Add the celery, onion and garlic and sauté till cooked. Add the bread cubes in phases. Pour just enough broth to wet and incorporate into the sausage mixture. Add a shot of white wine. Continue incorporating the bread cubes and bread crumbs, and the broth into the mixture until you have used up the bread. Add the butter and incorporate into the mixture. Stir until everything is cooked. Stuff into the turkey and cook.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dad's Brown Sugar Carrots

2 lbs carrots, peeled and split in half lengthwise
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar

Boil the carrots until they are tender. Take the butter and melt in a frying pan. Add the Dijon mustard and the brown sugar. Cook until it becomes a syrup and then add the carrots. Sauté in the syrup for about 5 – 10 minutes. Serve with chop parsley. Boy was it ever good

Turkey Meatballs with a Creamed Leek and Mushrooms Sauce

I made this last night for dinner and it turned out quite tasty:

Meatballs:

2 lbs lean ground turkey, I get white meat only
1 pkg frozen spinach
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp garlic
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs

Sauce:

2 leeks, chopped
1 pkg crimini mushrooms, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup sherry
1 cup beef broth, unsalted
1 cup whipping cream
2 tsp sea salt
Shaved fresh nugmeg

For the meatballs, mix all ingredients together until well blended. Roll into the size of meatballs that you would like. I made approximately 2 inch meatballs. You can either bake them or fry them. I fried them in a cast iron pan using Pam cooking spray (no oil) until they were browned on all sides. I removed them from the pan and poured a touch of sherry in the pan to deglaze the bottom to pick up all of the turkey drippings. While the meatballs were cooking I began sauteeing the leeks, mushrooms and garlic until tender. After I deglazed the meatball pan, I poured the drippings into the deep pan with the veggies. I then added the sherry, beef broth, salt, thyme and nutmeg. Cook for about 7 - 10 minutes until veggies are tender. If your broth has evaporated, add more sherry and beef broth and more salt and thyme...just to make sure you have enough spices. Transfer the meatballs back into the mixture and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the cream 5 minutes before you are ready to serve. Serve over brown rice.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cranberry Rice Pilaf

I made this tonight and it was excellent

1 cup brown rice
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cup chicken stock, no salt added
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sherry
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds

To a pot add the brown rice, cranberries, stock, orange juice and sherry. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and let cook for 45 minutes. In the last 5 minutes add the salt and the almonds. Serve with chicken.

Lemon-Horseradish Sole

My Uncle and Aunt made this and said it was great. Hope you enjoy.

3 tablespoons butter, softened, unsalted
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons prepared white horseradish
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 sole fillets, (6 ounces each)
Coarse salt
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

In a small bowl, stir together butter, parsley, lemon zest and juice, horseradish, and mustard.
Season both sides of fillets with salt; lay, flat side up, on a clean work surface. Reserve 2 teaspoons butter mixture; dividing evenly, spread remaining butter mixture on top of fillets. Fold fillets in half crosswise, enclosing butter mixture. Place folded fillets in a 9-inch microwave-safe dish with a tight-fitting lid. Top with reserved butter mixture, dividing evenly. Cover; microwave on high until fish is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. To serve, place fillets on plates, and spoon juices from dish over fillets; garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Citrus-Wine Chicken

2-1/2 to 3 lbs chicken breasts
1/4 tsp salt, low sodium
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tbsp diet margarine
1 cup orange juice
1 cup white table wine
1 tsp Worcestershire
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Lightly sprinkle chicken pieces with first four ingredients. Place chicken, skin side down, in non-stick shallow casserole. Melt margarine; brush chicken pieces. Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes. Combine juice, wine, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder; pour over chicken. Cover and bake 20 minutes or until tender. Remove chicken; combine cornstarch and water, add to pan juices. Cook over medium heat; stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Serve sauce over chicken.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Carribbean Reef Chicken

2 chickens -- broiler/fryers halved
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sugar, brown dark
4 tbsp rum, dark divided
1 tbsp juice lime
2 tsp pepper lemon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves, ground
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 drops hot pepper sauce
10 ounces chutney mango
lemon, sliced
lime, sliced
parsley

Sprinkle salt and pepper over washed and dried chicken. Set aside. In a small bowl, make Caribbean paste by mixing together sugar, 2 tbsp of the rum, lime juice, lemon pepper, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, garlic powder, and hot pepper sauce; set aside. Place the chicken, skin side up, in a large shallow baking pan. Rub Caribbean paste evenly over the chicken. Bake in a 400F oven for 45 minutes or until the chicken is fork tender. In a blender, place chutney and remaining 2 tbsp of rum; process to blend. Spoon chutney mixture over chicken and bake about 3 minutes more or until chutney is warm. Arrange chicken on a serving platter. Garnish with lime, lemon, and parsley.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Polish Sausage and Cabbage Soup

1/2 lb. polish sausage ring, sliced (I used turkey sausage to limit the amount of fat)
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes and liquid, sliced and boiled
1/2 onion, diced (optional)
1 can stewed tomatoes, cut up while in can, no salt added
1 can chicken broth, low sodium or no salt added
1/2 head medium cabbage, cut up in bite size pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sweet and sour red cabbage (optional)

In a 4 qt. pan, cook potatoes and onions until a fork can pierce the potatoes. Add sausage, tomatoes and broth. Cook together to get a blend of flavors. Add cabbage 5-10 minutes before serving. Length of time depends on crispiness desired in cabbage. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving. Sweet and sour red cabbage may be added to give soup a more tangy taste. Add cooked navy or any kind of beans or corn if desired.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Moroccan Chicken Couscous

3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 ½ tsp salt
¾ ts each ground cumin and cinnamon ¼ tsp cayenne
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 boxes couscous
¾ cup golden raisins
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium high heat. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, 7 minutes, until golden. Add garlic and chicken; cook, stirring, 6 minutes. Add salt, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne; cook 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in couscous, raisins and olives. Remove from heat. Cover pot; let stand 5 minutes. To serve, fluff couscous gently with a fork. Serve with warm pita bread.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bacon and Brussel Sprouts Hash

Okay...I am not one that usually eats brussel sprouts but my mum and dad made this the other day and absolutely raved about it. So for those of you that love brussel sprouts, I would give this a try!!

Extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices thick-cut bacon
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pints brussels sprouts, cut in 1/2
1 pound fingerling potatoes split down the middle
1/2 pound red pearl onions, peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth, low sodium or no salt added
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped

Set a large saute pan over medium heat and add a 2 count of olive oil. Cut bacon into long strips and add to pan together with thyme. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes to render the fat then strain and set aside. Add Brussels sprouts, potatoes and pearl onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly browned. Add chicken stock and steam for 3 to5 minutes until liquid has evaporated and vegetables are tender. Add balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. Cook until balsamic has reduced then fold in fresh parsley and bacon

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicken Murphy

I made this recipe tonight. Found it in Family Circle, but actually modifed it a bit to make it my own. It was fantastic and served it over brown rice.

2 tbsp olive oil
8 cloves of garlic, sliced paper thin
2 cans, 14 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes, no salt added
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
5 chicken breasts, cubed
2 red peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
7 cherry peppers, hot or sweet depending on your preference (I did hot), chopped (2 tbsp pepper juice)
1 tbsp crushed red peppers
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock

Heat olive oil in a pot. Saute chicken cubes until cooked. Remove from heat. Add onions, garlic and saute until translucent. Add the peppers. Saute until tender. Add the chicken back in. Add the wine and scrape off the chicken scrapings from the bottom. Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve over brown rice. This was an excellent dish.

Chinese Chicken Salad

2 cups chicken cooked and shredded
½ head iceberg lettuce or cabbage, shredded
½ red bell pepper, sliced
½ pkg Fried Chow Mein Noodles
¼ cup green onions, chopped
¼ cup shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Dressing:
¼ cup natural rice vinegar
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Soak the shiitake mushrooms in warm water until soft; drain and cut into strips. Combine the dressing ingredients and mix well. Toss salad ingredients with dressing just before serving.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Open-Faced Chicken Sandwich

This is the best open faced chicken salad sandwich I ever tasted

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper - watch the salt if you use a store bought cooked chicken
About 1 cup mayonnaise
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 celery stalks, small diced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves plus sprigs, for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded chicken meat, roughly chopped I used store bought rotisserie chicken
4 slices sourdough bread cut 3/4-inch thick I found a large loaf so it made a big slice
Butter, room temperature, unsalted
1/4 cup cranberry sauce whole berry not jellied
1/2 pound brie I peeled the rind off the Brie slice the brie so it can be placed on the sandwiches
1 green apple, peeled thinly sliced

Building the sandwich: Roughly chop the walnuts and then gently toast in a dry skillet over medium heat until they brown and are slightly fragrant. . Add the walnuts, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, celery, parsley, olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a large mixing bowl and combine. Fold in the shredded chicken and set aside while you prepare the bread. Slice the bread into at least 3/4 inch slices. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, so they are toasted and crisp. Remove from oven and butter the slices. Spread the cranberry sauce on the slices. Next top with the apple slices and spread the chicken salad over the apple slices. Top with the sliced Brie. Place under the broiler until the cheese starts to melt. I served this open faced with a salad.

I have to admit this was bloody good.

Mario

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Brandied Tarragon Creamed Chicken

We had this tonight. It was fantastic! I still have fresh tarragon growing in my garden and am trying to find ways to use it!

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup calvados or applejack brandy
6 large white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge chicken lightly in flour and shake off any excess. Brown chicken 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken and reduce heat a little and melt in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Saute the shallots 3 minutes until soft but not browned. Remove pan from the heat, add the brandy and ignite with a long kitchen match until the flame subsides. Return pan to the heat, add mushrooms and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add wine and reduce 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cream and tarragon and slide chicken back into the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer 8 to10 minutes. Serve over brown rice

Friday, September 18, 2009

Asian Chicken Wraps

¾ cup chunky peanut butter, low fat
½ cup warm chicken stock, no salt added
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp hot pepper sauce 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 medium size sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
6 burrito size flour tortillas

In a medium size bowl, whisk together peanut butter, water, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, ground ginger and hot pepper sauce. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together chicken, red pepper, cucumber and scallions. Mix in 1 ½ cups of the peanut sauce. Reserve any remaining sauce. Heat the tortillas. Place about 1 cup of the chicken mixture on each tortilla and roll up. Serve any additional sauce on the side.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pepperoni Pizza Pockets

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 ounces pepperoni slices cut in strips
1 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
6 tsp homemade basil pesto
6 pita breads with precut pockets

Pat chopped tomato dry with paper toweling. Place in a medium size bowl along with mozzarella cubes, pepperoni strips and bread crumbs. Stir to combine. Spread 1 tsp pesto on inside of each pita pocket. Spoon an equal amount of the tomato and mozzarella cheese mixture, about 2/3 cup, into each pita pocket. Place upright in a small baking dish and microwave on high for 1 minute until warm. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Peanut Chicken with Coleslaw

1 can light coconut milk, low fat
¾ cup peanut butter, low fat
2 tbsp rice vinegar
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 ¼ tsp salt, low sodium
2 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 lb cappellini
2 pkgs coleslaw mix
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 tbsp dry roasted peanuts chopped
t tbsp roasted sesame seeds

In small bowl, whisk coconut milk, peanut butter, vinegar, red pepper flakes and ½ tsp of the salt. Set aside. In large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Season both sides of chicken breasts with remaining ¾ tsp salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet; cook 4 minutes. Flip chicken over; cook until done. Transfer to plate; cover and keep warm. Cook cappellini in large pot of lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Drain. While pasta is cooking, place skillet over medium heat. Add 1 bag of coleslaw mix, scallions and 2 tbsp water; cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Add second bag of coleslaw mix; cook 2 minutes. Slice chicken into thin strips. Stir half of the chicken and all the peanut sauce into skillet; cook 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Add cappellini to chicken mixture; toss to mix well. Top with the remaining sliced chicken and chopped peanuts. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

German Sauerkraut

An old friend of mine's family used to make this every Christmas as a tradition. I fell in love with it the first time I had it and used to beg him for the recipe.

4 cans or bags of pre-made sauerkraut
1 small head of white cabbage
2 small onions
salt and pepper to taste
hand full of caraway seeds
1 cup water
1 cup apple juice
1 cup orange juice
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 medium duck or pork roast

Mix all ingredients together except for the duck/pork roast. Place in a roasting pan along with the roast. Bake for 4 hours covered with foil at 300 degrees. Uncover and bake for 2 more hours at 325. The fatty meat is a must.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chipotle Pepper Rice

I just made this recipe up tonight. We were trying to get rid of some vegetables out of the fridge and use up some things so I hope you enjoy.

4 large scallions chopped
2 tbsp chopped garlic
5 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
5 chipotle peppers, chopped, including the sauce
2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes, chopped, no salt added
1 cup corn, frozen
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1 cup chicken stock, no salt added
1 tsp mole
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp smoked sea salt

In a saute pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the scallions, garlic and the jalapenos. Saute until wilted. Add the chipotle and the corn. Cook about 5 minutes. Add the chipotle peppers and the sauce. Cook about 5 minutes. Add the vermouth and scrap up the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve over brown rice. This was absolutely excellent. You can use this as a side dish or you can just take the sauce and put over chicken enchilladas and bake in the oven.

Mandarin Chicken Salad

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp onion, chopped
1 cup macaroni rings or shells
1 cup grapes, halved
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup mandarin oranges or pineapple tidbits
1 cup miracle whip
1 cup cool whip, added just before serving

Combine the chicken, salt and onions. Refrigerate for several hours. Cook macaroni according to directions. Drain and rinse. Pour oranges or pineapple over macaroni. Let sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Add the grapes, celery, Miracle Whip and the chicken mixture to the macaroni. Add cool whip just before serving.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chicken with Feta Cheese and Spinach

This was one of my g'mas recipes. I hope you enjoy it.

1 lb chicken breast
1 lb spinach
Garlic salt optional
Feta cheese crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
Bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter
Mushrooms
1 ½ tbsp flour
½ cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
Juice of one lemon

Pound the chicken breast out until very thin. You will be stuffing the chicken breast with the spinach and feta cheese. Boil spinach. Chop fine than sauté in butter and garlic. Crumble cheese. Spread the chicken breast with sautéed spinach and feta cheese. Roll and dunk in eggs and crumbs and cook in a large fry pan until cooked through. Remove from heat and reserve the drippings. Add 2 tbsp butter to the drippings and the mushrooms, flour and chicken broth. Add a cup of wine. Cook until nice and saucy and a bit thick.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mini Crab-Cakes

I just love crab cakes. With these, you can even switch out dipping sauce. The jalapeno sauce that I have with the zucchini cakes would be fantastic with these little guys as well!!

¾ lb surimi crabmeat
1 red pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 rib celery, cut into 3 pieces
3 scallions, trimmed
2 egg whites
3 tbsp light wasabi mayonnaise
2/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs

Dipping Sauce:
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup light wasabi mayonnaise
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 tbsp sweet pickle relish
2 tsp water or skim milk

In a food processor, combine the surimi, pepper, celery and scallions. Pulse to finely chop. Add the egg whites, mayonnaise and 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs. Pulse to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place remaining 1/3 cup bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Using a heaping tbsp, gently form small patties, each about ½ inch thick and 1 ¾ inches across. Coat with bread crumbs. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Spray tops of crab cakes with cooking spray. Bake crab cakes at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once. In medium size bowl, combine celery, mayonnaise, scallion, pickle relish and water or milk. Stir until ingredients are well blended. Refrigerate until serving. Once crab cakes are done baking, transfer to a serving platter. Serve with dipping sauce on the side.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Zesty Honey Glazed Chicken

2 tbsp butter or margarine
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp poultry seasoning
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp prepared mustard
1 ½ lbs chicken wings

Preheat oven to 375 degrees in a 9” square baking pan. Melt butter. Add remaining ingredients except chicken; mix well. Dip chicken pieces in butter mixture to coat on both sides, arrange in single layer in pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes until tender and well glazed. For more flavorful chicken, baste once or twice during the last 15 minutes of baking.

To prepare with:

Breasts: bake 50-60 minutes
Drumsticks: bake 45-55 minutes
Thighs: bake 45-55 minutes

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pork BBQ Sandwiches

1 bone in pork shoulder roast (about 4 lbs)
1 cup water
1 tsp salt, low sodium
2 cups finely chopped celery
1/3 cup steak sauce
¼ cup cider or white wine vinegar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp chili sauce
1 tsp ketchup
2 medium onions, sliced
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter or margarine
16 hoagie buns, split

Place the pork roast, water and salt in a Dutch oven. Cover and simmer for 3 ½ to 4 hours or until the meat is very tender. Remove meat and discard bone; shred the meat with two forks. Skim fat from pan juices. Stir in the celery, steak sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, lemon juice, chili sauce, ketchup and shredded pork. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. In a large skillet over low heat, sauté onions and sugar in oil and butter for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and tender stirring occasionally. Serve pork and onions on buns.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cabbage Patch Stew

1 lb. ground beef
2 med. onions thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cabbage
1/2 cup diced celery
1 (16-oz.) can stewed tomatoes, no salt added
1 (16-oz.) can kidney beans
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1-2 tsp. chili powder

Dumplings
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3 T. shortening
3/4 cup milk

Cook & stir ground beef until brown drain. Add onion, cabbage & celery cook and stir until vegetable are light brown stir in tomatoes, Kidney beans with liquid and seasonings. Heat to boiling and reduce heat & simmer while preparing dough for dumplings, drop dough by spoonfuls into shimmering Stew cook uncovered 10 minutes, Cover & Cook 10 minutes longer. Makes 4 to 6 servings. I add more tomato juice. For dumplings, measure flour, baking powder and salt into bowl. Cut in shortening thoroughly until mixture looks like meal stir in milk and drop into stew and cook. Good Eating

Friday, August 28, 2009

Potato Soup

2 cups potato, peeled and diced
1 med. onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 can evaporated skim milk, divided
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large saucepan combine the potatoes, onion, celery, broth and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup milk, stir until smooth, stir into potato mixture. Add remaining milk. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until melted.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chicken n Olives

6 thinly sliced chicken breast cutlets
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp garlic
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 small onion, diced
¼ cup white wine
½ cup homemade sun-dried tomato pesto
¼ cup Nicoise olives, pitted and quartered
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In skillet, over medium high heat, heat oil. Add 3 cutlets; cook 3 minutes per side. Remove; keep warm. Repeat with remaining chicken. Add pepper flakes, garlic and onion to skillet; cook 3 minutes. Add wine; cook 1 minute, stirring to dissolve browned bits. Add tomato pesto, olives, broth and cream. Bring to boiling; cook, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Now this recipe is a decadent sin... :)

4-6 russet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup garlic cloves peeled
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Rinse potatoes under cold water; cut into quarters. Place potatoes in large pot. Add enough cold water to cover potatoes; add 1 tablespoon salt. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat and boil until potatoes are tender when poked with thin paring knife; drain. Let potatoes stand uncovered 3 to 5 minutes, allowing liquid to steam off. Add butter, cream, garlic, parsley and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Mash until creamy.

Eggplant Lasagna

4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large eggplants, peeled, sliced 1/2 thick
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, no salt added
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce, no salt added
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp of oregano and basil
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese

Combine lemon juice and olive oil into a bowl. Brush eggplant slices with mixture and place on a cookie sheet . Broil for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat to 350. Pour the tomatoes and puree into a bowl and break them up. Add tomato sauce and dry seasonings. Mix well. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and parmesan. Spoon 1/3 of sauce into a baking dish sprinkle with 1/3 bread crumbs. Cover with a layer of eggplan then a layer of 1/3 cheese. Repeat layering ending with the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake for 45 min.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thyme Taters

This is the second recipe my dad sent. Hope you all enjoy.

1.5 pounds new red and yellow small potatoes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 chopped medium onion
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 cup chicken broth (add more if needed during cooking)
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
½ tsp pepper

Wash potatoes and peel a strip of skin around middle of each potato. Place potatoes in cold water and set aside. Heat a large enough skillet ( so potatoes will remain in one even layer for the fastest cooking) over medium-high heat, add oil. Sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until they become tender, but not browned. Add the broth and dried thyme mix well, and bring to a boil. Place potatoes in a single layer in skillet. Return to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer covered until potatoes are tender. Keep close eye for fluid drying up. Add more broth if necessary. Remove potatoes with slotted spoon to a serving bowl. Add pepper to skillet and stir. Pour sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle with the fresh thyme.

North African Meatballs

My dad made two recipes these past couple of days and he said they were excellent and wanted me to share them with all of you. This is the first one.

For the North African Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, zested
1/2 cup pitted and chopped briny olives
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock or broth
1 (14-ounce) can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Pinch ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Meatballs:

1 egg
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch ground cinnamon
3/4 pound ground beef
1/3 cup finely ground rolled oats or fine bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Couscous with Dried Dates, recipe follows

To make the North African Sauce: In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and olives and cook for 1 more minute. Add the white wine, deglaze the pan, and let it reduce for a 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, canned tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon, and simmer to blend flavors, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To make the Meatballs: In a medium bowl, add the egg and tomato paste and stir until smooth. Add the cilantro, ginger, cumin, and cinnamon and mix until well blended. Stir in the ground beef and oats, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and combine gently after each addition. Do not overmix. Rolling with your hands, make about 32 meatballs, about 1-inch in diameter.

In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat, and brown the meatballs in batches until golden on all sides. Add more oil, as needed. Transfer the meatballs to the pan with the sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Turkey with Chipotle Peppers

2 lb turkey tenderloins sliced into medallion sliced pieces
1 large spanish onion chopped
3 heaping tbsp garlic chopped
1 large red pepper chopped
1 can chipotle peppers chopped, including juices
1 1/2 cup dry vermouth
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp sea salt.

In a pot, heat olive oil. Brown turkey until just done. Remove from heat. Saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the red pepper and the chipotle peppers. Add the juice from the chipotle peppers. Saute for about 5 - 7 minutes. Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the Vermouth. Add the chicken stock. Add back in the turkey and the spices, including the salt. Simmer for about ten minutes. If you want more juice, add more of the vermouth and chicken stock and adjust the spices. This was very tasty!!. Serve over rice and top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa

We had a Mexican feast tonight. I made a Tomatillo and Jalapeno salsa and Turkey with Chipotle Peppers. Here is the Salsa recipe.

1 pound Tomatillos
1 heirloom tomato (if they are in season
2 Jalapeños, seeded - more to taste if desired (I used 5 jalapenos)
1 medium onion
1/3 bunch Cilantro
3 Cloves garlic, unpeeled (more if desired, I used 8 cloves)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 lime, juiced
2 avocados

Remove the husk from the tomatillo, stem and seed the jalapeño chile. Roast the tomatillos, tomatoes, jalapenos, onion and garlic in a roasting pan or deep cookie sheet. It will be easier to roast the onion by slicing it into 4 slices. Place under the broiler until the tomatillos start to blacken, turning if necessary. Place all ingredients (add the avocados after you have roasted the vegetables) including the delicious juices from the roasting pan in a blender or food processor. Process to your desired consistency.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shrimp and Goats Cheese Zucchini Cakes

I made a really good zucchini cake the other day. I have huge zucchini’s in my garden…the size of rolling pins and wine bottles. So we are pretty much having zucchinis every day for the next two weeks. I made this recipe up as I went along and it turned out really good. The only thing I would do different is to shred the zucchini about a half hour to an hour before I am ready to make them, add salt and let the water drain out. There was so much liquid coming from the zucchini it took a while for them to fry up.

1 large zucchini or 2 – medium
2 small pkg of goats cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
3 cups of cooked salad shrimp
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 tbsp fresh savory chopped
3 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
2 eggs
Sea salt and pepper
1 ½ cup bread crumbs for the filling
1 – 2 cups panko bread crumbs for the outside
Jalapeno dressing (dressing recipe below)
Dollop of sour cream

Shred the zucchini in a food processor or using a mandolin. Let the zucchini drain in colander. Press out all of the liquid. You can sprinkle salt on the zucchini. That will also help draw out all of the moisture. Put zucchini in a bowl. Add the goats cheese and the parmesan cheese. In the food processor, chop the shrimp until very small, add to the zucchini mixture. Add the herbs, the eggs and the bread crumbs (not the panko bread crumbs). Mix all ingredients together well. Form the mixture into small patties, about the size of your palm. Roll into the panko bread crumbs and fry in olive oil until browned. Top with the jalapeno dressing and a dollop of sour cream.

Jalapeno dressing

4 – 5 jalapenos, seeded and chopped until very fine in food processor
1 cup white vinegar
4 tbsp sugar

Mix all ingredients together and let stand for a half hour.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rainforest Cafe Rasta Pasta

1 (8 ounce) box bow tie pasta
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 cup broccoli florets
1 medium red pepper, roasted
1 cup grilled chicken, sliced into 1/2-inch wide pieces
1 cup prepared Alfredo sauce
1/8 cup prepared basil pesto
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and set aside. In a 10-inch sauté pan, sauté garlic in olive oil. Add spinach, broccoli, red pepper and grilled chicken; toss to combine. Stir in Alfredo sauce and pesto; simmer an additional 5 minutes. Reheat pasta if necessary under hot running water in a
strainer; pour into a pasta bowl. Pour Alfredo sauce mixture over bow ties. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and Parmesan. Yields 2 servings.


**Courtesy of the Rainforest Cafe

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sautéed Zucchini and Fettuccine

1 pkg refrigerated fresh egg fettuccine
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 large zucchini trimmed and shredded ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces shaved parmigiana cheese

Cook fettuccine following package directions. Drain and place in a large serving bowl. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil, garlic and zucchini. Sauté for 1 minute. Add zucchini to pasta in bowl along with pine nuts, salt, pepper, lemon juice and remaining 2 tbsp olive oil; toss to combine. Sprinkle with shaved Parmigiana cheese and serve immediately.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fennel and Thyme Rubbed Chicken

Sauce:
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
6 large fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Chicken:
2 tsp fennel seeds
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

For the sauce, combine chopped tomatoes, basil, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and black pepper in food processor or blender. Whirl until sauce is very smooth. Set aside until ready to use. For the chicken, finely crush fennel seeds. Add the salt, cayenne and black pepper to the fennel; crush to thoroughly mix. Add oil, garlic and thyme; blend to form spice paste. Rub paste thoroughly over chicken; refrigerate chicken for about 30 to 60 minutes. Heat broiler. Broil chicken 6 inches from heat, turning once, about 12 minutes or until instant read thermometer registers 160 degrees. Spoon sauce on plate. Top with chicken. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve with butter fettuccine.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

French Onion Soup

I found this recipe on Food Network, but I actually made a few changes to it and made it my own. I added the garlic, thyme and chives and just used only beef stock (the original recipe called for beef and veal stock). I also added the gruyere cheese and mozzarella cheese. The soup turned out fantastic. Hope you all enjoy.

2 1/2 pounds Vidalia onions, halved, and sliced 1/4-inch thick (8 cups)
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup medium-dry sherry
1/2 cup brandy or Cognac
1 1/2 cups good dry white wine
8 cups beef stock, unsalted
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly grated gruyere cheese
Shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, saute the onions with the butter and bay leaf for 20 minutes, until the onions turn a rich golden brown color. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and brandy and simmer
uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer uncovered for 15 more minutes. Add the beef and veal stocks plus salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, taste for salt and pepper. Ladle soup into an oven safe bowl and top with the three different types of cheeses. Place in the oven and broil until cheese has melted and has started to brown.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Rum or Whiskey Cake

1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 cups walnuts
1 cup whole maraschino cherries
1 ½ cup pitted dates
1 ½ sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
3 ¾ cup flour
½ cup brandy or rum and orange juice

Drain cherries. Cream the butter and margarine. Add sugar, eggs and cream mixture all together. Sift flour, baking soda and add to cream mixture alternating with sour cream. Add vanilla gently. Fold in nuts, dates and cherries. Bake at 375 degrees 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream

Well...We went strawberry picking yesterday. As a result we have a TON of strawberries and wanted to try a different kind of dessert. With that said, I also (as you know) have a ton of herbs growing, one of them being mint. I found this recipe. They use basil, but we decided to go with mint. It was fantastic. I added a picture to show you. Hope you enjoy.

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (16-ounce) container strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, cut into ribbons

Put the ricotta cheese, honey and vanilla extract into the small bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. In a small saucepan combine the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely. In a medium bowl, toss the berries with the mint and the balsamic syrup. Layer the cream, then the strawberry mixture. As a variation, for Dave’s, I first put in a layer of crumbled graham crackers.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Smothered Pork Medallions with Sage and Apples

We tried this tonight because my sage is just blooming right now. I am having to find recipes to eat up all of my herbs. What a problem to have huh? :o). The only thing I did differently was add a bit of dry white wine to the broth. The recipe was courtesy of the Food Network (but it didn't have the white wine as part of the original recipe).

4 (6-ounce) boneless center-cut pork medallions Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 large onion, sliced
1 cooking apple, like Rome, Gravenstein, or Golden Delicious, peeled, halved, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine.
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Dry the pork medallions well and season with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Lay the pork in the pan and cook until browned on the first side, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until the second side is browned, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the pork to a plate, and cover loosely with foil. Add the onions to the skillet, stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover, and reduce heat to medium and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the cider vinegar and stir, scraping up the browned bits that cling to the skillet. Add the onions to the pork. Add butter to skillet, raise heat to medium-high. Add the apples and sage; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the broth and mustard, and simmer until the apples soften, about 2 minutes. Return the onions and any accumulated juices from the pork to the skillet. Simmer to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes. Nestle the pork in the onions and heat until the meat is warmed through. Divide the pork medallions among 4 plates and smother them with apples and onions. Serve.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Carrot Cake

This was my grandma's recipe

4 eggs
2 cups carrots
pinch of salt
½ cup walnuts
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup oil
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla

Beat eggs with sugar in the mixer. While beating add oil and vanilla. Mix flour with baking soda, baking powder and salt. Blend little by little with the mixture. Grate the carrots on a thick grater and add to the mixer. Mix everything well. Spread some grease in the baking dish. Put in the dough and bake in preheated oven at 325 for one hour.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spanish Spice Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Parsley-Mint Sauce

This was FANTASTIC. My mint is exploding in my garden and I had to find a couple of recipes to use it in. This was courtesy of Bobby Flay off the Food Network website. Everyone should try it!!!

Spice Rubbed Chicken:
1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, ground
2 teaspoons mustard seeds, ground
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, ground
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 (8-ounce) boneless chicken breasts
Olive oil
Parsley-Mint Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat your grill to high. Whisk together the paprika, cumin, mustard, fennel, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Brush the chicken with a few teaspoons of oil on both sides. Rub the breasts on the skin side with some of the rub and place on the grill, rub side down. Grill until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the breasts over and continue cooking until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and immediately drizzle with some of the Parsley-Mint Sauce. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve with additional sauce on the side.

Parsley-Mint Sauce:
1 1/2 cups tightly packed fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 serrano chiles, grilled, peeled, chopped
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the mint, parsley, garlic and serranos in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Add the honey and mustard and process until combined. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Grilled Carrots with Thyme and Onion

My parents made this recipe and loved it. Since my thyme is blooming right now, I am going to have to try it!!!

1 lb. small carrots, peeled
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
4 tsp. butter
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste

Divide carrots between two pieces of foil large enough to fold into packets. Sprinkle evenly with onion, butter and thyme; season with salt and pepper to taste. Loosely wrap foil over vegetables, sealing tightly. Place on grill over medium-high heat; cook, turning once, for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender-crisp.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Calypso Shrimp Pasta

½ tsp Salt and Pepper
12 oz wt Shrimp, medium size, peeled and deveined
4 oz wt Butter
½ cup Green Onions, sliced thin
1 cup Calypso Broth
½ cup Heavy Cream
3 cups Linguine or spaghetti, cooked
4 Tbsp Tomatoes, Diced ¼”


Season your shrimp with salt and pepper while you heat a skillet with the butter added. Add the shrimp and scallions; cook until they begin to turn opaque. Add the calypso broth and cream. Bring this to a boil and reduce until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, add the pasta. Cook for an additional 2 minutes to heat the pasta. Garnish with diced tomatoes. Enjoy!!!

Calypso Broth

½ cup Chicken broth
½ cup Clam juice
1 clove Garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp Blackening seasoning
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 tsp Thyme, dried

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a wire whip then cover and refrigerate until needed. This broth is great for poaching seafood or making a sauce. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mom's Party Meatballs

This is a good recipe for a potluck at work.

2 lbs ground beef
1 small bottle Ketchup
2 eggs
1 jar Black Current jelly
¾ cup seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine and form into meatballs a little smaller than a golf ball. Place on cookie sheet sprayed with Pam and bake at 350 for 10 minutes 2 to 3 hours. Prior to serving place jelly and ketchup in crock pot add meatballs and cook on high. Serve from crock pot

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Salmon with a Thyme and Mint Cream Sauce

My mint is just over taking my pot right now so I needed to start using it. So I found this recipe and added a couple things to it. Hope you enjoy


½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken stock
1 tbsp garlic
1½ cup heavy cream
1½ tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Saute garlic. Add chicken stock and wine. Add the mint, thyme and lemon zest and let boil for about 5 - 7 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Right before serving add the cream. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 - 3 minutes. Serve over grilled salmon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chicken, Leeks and Mushrooms with a Dill and Mustard Sauce

I made this up yesterday and Dave and I thought it was great.

2 pkgs chicken tenders
1 cup no sodium chicken stock
1 cup white wine
2 leeks, chopped
1 pkg mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
2 tbsp ground mustard
3 tbsp heavy whipping cream

In a large skillet, heat a couple tbsp of olive oil and put in the chicken tenders. Heat until cooked through. Remove from skillet. Add leeks, garlic and mushrooms and saute until cooked. Add the wine and and deglaze the pan. Add the chicken stock. Saute for about 5 - 7 minutes. Add the dill and the mustard and add the chicken back into the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the whipping cream right before serving. Serve over brown rice.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dave's Tomato Soup

16oz can of tomato sauce
1 vine riped tomato chopped
1 tsp sweet basil
pepper
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp sweet cherry pepper juice
2 tbsp sugar
16 oz can of milk
2 cloves chopped garlic

Combine all ingredients together in a small sauce pan. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Caesar Salad Dressing

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic minced
1 egg yolk
3 anchovie fillets
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dry mustard
Salt
Pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Serve with romaine lettuce and top with croutons.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms

This recipes was from my father.

9 to 10 large whole mushrooms
½ pound bulk breakfast sausage, hot if you like it
½ teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 ounces cream cheese room temperature
2 scallions chopped
Slices of mozzarella cheese
Paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, seasoned salt, sage, and garlic and cook until nicely browned or about 7 minutes. While the sausage cooks wash the mushrooms and leave them slightly damp. Remove the stems dice them and add them to the sausage for the final 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain any excess fat and place in a large bowl. Add the cream cheese and scallions and mix well. Brush the mushroom caps with olive oil. This will keep the moist during cooking and they’ll turn a golden brown. Fill the mushroom caps with the sausage mixture and place on a baking sheet. Cut the mozzarella slices into small pieces and place over each mushroom. Sprinkle some paprika over the cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Pickled Eggs

This was another one of my gpa's recipes.

12 to 18 extra large eggs
3 to 4 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced in half
2 cups red wine vinegar
1 tsp basil
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper

Combine in a saucepan ingredients 2 through 6 and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand. Working with one egg at a time lightly beat with a fork and fry in butter in a 6-inch or smaller non-stick fry pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook all the eggs as you would a crepe. When all the eggs are cooked slices the eggs into halves and place in a container that can be sealed. As you layer the eggs in the container add some of the vinegar along with the garlic and spices use up all the vinegar seal the container and refrigerate for at least one week before use.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Zabaglione

This recipe was from my g'pa. He is no longer with us, but I found a few of his recipes and I will get those out on here in the next couple of days. He was an awesome person!! I loved him very much.

6 egg yolks
Dash of salt
Marsala
6 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup sherry

Combine egg yolks with sugar and salt in the top part of a double boiler (not over water). Beat with rotary eggbeater until thick lemon color. Gradually beat in the Marsala wine. Place over hot water not boiling. Beat with rotary eggbeater about 5 minutes until thick and fluffy. Remove from heat and serve in desert dish.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wild Mushroom Pasta with Mascarpone Cheese

This was so very very yummy!!!!!!

½ lb shitake mushrooms, stems removed, and chopped
½ lb crimini mushrooms, chopped
2 pkgs dried porcini mushrooms
1 medium sized leek, chopped
1 large shallot chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 cup beef stock
1 cup boiling hot water
1 cup red wine
1 pkg mascarpone cheese

Heat 1 cup boiling hot water. Add the dried porcini mushrooms and let stand. This will reconstitute the mushrooms. In a tbsp olive oil, sauté the shallots, the leeks and the garlic until wilted. Add the shitake mushrooms and the crimini mushrooms and let simmer for 5 – 7 minutes. Add the porcini mushrooms, including the water they have been sitting in. Let simmer for 5 – 7 minutes. Add the red wine, thyme and beef stock and let cook for about 10 minutes. Add the mascarpone cheese right before serving. Stir in until melted. Serve over whole wheat pasta.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Baked Rigatoni with Eggplant and Sausage

Kosher Salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
6 links fennel pork sausage (about 3/4 pound)
1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large can (28 ounces) peeled whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
Leaves from 1 small bunch basil
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound fresh mozzarella
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat for the pasta. Get yourself a 9 by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Heat a 2 count of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and toss in the hot oil for 3 to 4 minutes, you want them nicely browned on the outside but still rare on the inside. Put the sausages in the baking dish. Turn the heat down to medium. Add a generous 1/3 cup of oil to the skillet and get it hot. Add as many eggplant pieces as you can comfortably fit in a single layer and sprinkle well with salt. Cook, turning, for 7 to 8 minutes, until the eggplant is nice and browned, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Use a spatula to put the eggplant into the baking dish with the sausage. Cook the rest of the eggplant pieces, adding more oil to the pan, as needed, and putting the finished eggplant into the baking dish. Add another 2 count of oil to the skillet, then your onion and garlic, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent. Dump the whole can of tomatoes and their juices into a bowl and crush the tomatoes with your hands to break them up; add that to the pan with the basil and cook it down until pulpy and relatively thick. This will take about 15 minutes. By this time your pasta water will be boiling. Add the rigatoni, give it a stir, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, it should be slightly firm as it will cook further in the oven. Ladle out 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and reserve; the drain the rigatoni. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Chop the sausages into nice big, bite-size chunky pieces and return the pieces to the baking dish. Add the tomato sauce, rigatoni, and the reserved pasta water. Break up half the mozzarella over the mixture, season with salt and pepper, and gently mix with your hands or a spatula. Dust with the Parmigiano and drizzle with more olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Spread the remaining mozzarella in an even layer over the top and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Marinara Sauce

4 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 28-oz cans peeled tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
4 tbsp sun dried tomatoes
10 fresh basil leaves
Pepper
Grated cheese

In a 10-inch frying pan, heat the olive oil and gently sauté the garlic. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes. Put on medium heat for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Tear basil leaves into small pieces and sprinkle on top after adding to pasta. Add pepper and grated cheese to taste.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Potato Gnocchi

5 pounds potatoes
2 cups flour
6 quarts boiling water
3 tbsp Salt
4 to 5 cups tomato sauce
(I usually use sausage and chicken in my tomato sauce for this)
4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Boil potatoes until well done. Cool a little, peel and mash or rice thoroughly. Place on floured board and mix well with flour. Some potatoes will need more flour than others. Knead potato dough well. Roll into finger-thin roll and cut into pieces 2 inches long. Press each piece lightly with fork. Place about 20 or so gnocchi in boiling salted water. When they come to surface, remove from water with strainer and place in serving dish. Keep water boiling briskly; repeat until all gnocchi are cooked. Add sauce and mix well, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve. Note: sometimes my mother added egg to the potato dough; it is a matter of preference.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ravioli Caprese

This is the recipe for the ravioli caprese. I love making homemade ravioli. Dave and I actually have a tradition every Christmas. I think this year, we will actually try to make these.

Dough:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup very hot water

Filling:

3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1 egg
1/2 cup finely shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the dough:

In a large bowl combine the flour and the water. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine into a large ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.

For the filling:

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. To form the ravioli, cut the dough into 4 evenly sized pieces. The dough should be slightly sticky. Add extra flour as necessary for rolling, but use only a little as necessary. Form each piece into a 2 by 6-inch rectangle. Recover the dough with the plastic wrap. Lightly dust the work surface and a rolling pin. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a 4 by 19-inch rectangle. Place 9 rounded teaspoons of filling about 1-inch apart down the center of the dough. Fold the dough over the filling. Press down around the edges of each of the ravioli with your fingertips. Cut the ravioli into small squares and press down around the edges again with your fingertips to seal. Place the finished ravioli on a baking tray and continue forming the remaining ravioli.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add half the ravioli and cook until the ravioli float stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain into a large bowl and cook the remaining ravioli. Pour the olive oil over the cooked ravioli. Add the basil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Gently toss to coat and serve immediately.

Chicken Scallopine with Saffron Cream Sauce

A friend of mine made this for me and it was fantastic! It was very light and was excellent with the ravioli caprese that she served with it.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken cutlets (scallopine)
2 shallots, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until golden and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to serving plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Turn the heat to medium, add the shallot and the garlic and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine is almost evaporated. Add the chicken broth and saffron threads bring to a simmer and reduce for 10 minutes. Add the cream, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for 1 minute to blend the flavors. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes

This is Dave's recipe. Periodically I actually let him into the kitchen ;O). He secretly loves to cook, but he also knows how much I enjoy it too....

5 – 6 Large Russet Potatoes
2 cups of flour
1 stick of butter or margarine, unsalted
1 tsp parsley
1 large onion diced
salt and pepper
1 bunch of small scallions
1 ½ cups of milk, 2% or 1%
1 tsp chives
4 – 6 pork chops, boneless (less fat)

Peel and slice the potatoes. Grease a shallow baking dish with either butter or Pam. Sprinkle light coating of flour on the bottom of the baking dish. Layer the baking dish with potatoes. Sprinkle top of the potatoes with flour, onions, scallions, pats of butter, salt and pepper, chives and parsley, and pour about a ¼ of milk over the potato layer. Arrange 3 of the pork chops so they are not overlapping. This completes first layer. Add additional layers as desired. The final layer should be potatoes. Cover with Aluminum foil and bake at 350 for an hour. Remove foil and brown for about 15 minutes or until liquid is evaporated.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chicken with Fennel and Capers

This was fantastic.

1/4 cup olive oil
6 chicken breasts
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning meat
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning meat
2 fennel bulbs with fronds, thinly sliced (about 8 ounces or 2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus 1/3 cup
1/2 cup white wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
1/2 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons capers

In a large, heavy skillet heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes each side. Remove the chicken from the pan, cover loosely with foil, and set aside. Add the fennel, shallots, and garlic and 1/3 cup parsley to the pan and cook over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and stir. Add the chicken back into the pan, nestling the chicken between the fennel and tomatoes so they are mostly submerged in the pan juices. Cook until the fennel is tender and the chicken is done, about 12 to 15 minutes. Place the chicken on a serving dish. To finish the sauce, add the lemon zest, remaining 1/3 cup parsley, capers, and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Spoon over the pork chops and serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spicy Tomato Relish

2 medium ripe tomato
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp spanish onions finely diced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
¼ cup red wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hot and Sweet Shrimp

We tried this recipe the other day and it was great. Instead of the lettuce wraps, we served it over rice.

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 (1-inch) ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable or other light oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 small red chili peppers, very thinly sliced
1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, deveined, tails off
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and quartered

Combine sugar, vinegar and ginger in a small pot and bring to a boil, dissolve sugar and turn off heat, reserve. In a skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, chili peppers, mushrooms and garlic 3 to 4 minutes then add shrimp and toss 3 to 4 minutes more until pink and firm. Douse the pan with the sweet vinegar, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with cold lettuce for wrapping the hot-sweet shrimp.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pork Chops with Peach Salsa

½ cup southwestern chipotle 10 minute marinade
4 ¾ inch thick pork chops

Peach Salsa:
2 peaches, halved, pitted and diced
1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
Grated peel and juice from 1 large lime
1 tbsp finely chopped seeded red or green jalapeno pepper
¼ tsp salt

Put marinade and pork in a gallon size zip top bag, seal bag and turn to coat pork. Refrigerate 2 hours, or overnight. Heat outdoor grill. Meanwhile make salsa: mix ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Remove chops from bag: place on grill. Grill, turning as needed to avoid burning, 10 to 12 minutes until cooked through. Serve with the salsa

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Shrimp Boil

2 Lemons halved plus wedges for serving
3 Bay leaves
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning
1 large garlic head halved horizontally
3 medium onions peeled and quartered
1 dried red chile
Coarse salt or sea salt
8 sprigs of thyme tied together with kitchen twine
1 pound new potatoes unpeeled and halved if large those little ones are good
4 ears of corn husked and halved
1 pound large unpeeled shrimp, shells split lengthwise from top to halfway down the back and deveined
Hot sauce for serving

Fill a large stock pot with 4 quarts of water. Squeeze the lemons into the water and add the rinds. Add bay leaves, seasoning, onions, garlic, chile, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add potatoes, simmer 12 minutes. Add corn simmer 5 minutes. Add shrimp; cover and simmer until opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl sprinkle with salt serve with lemon wedge and hot sauce.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rum or Whiskey Cake

This is another one of my g'mas recipes. I hope you all enjoy

1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 cups walnuts
1 cup whole maraschino cherries
1 ½ cup pitted dates
1 ½ sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
3 ¾ cup flour
½ cup brandy or rum and orange juice

Drain cherries. Cream butter and margarine. Add sugar, eggs and cream mixture all together. Sift flour, baking soda and add to cream mixture alternating with sour cream. Add vanilla gently. Fold in nuts, dates and cherries. Bake at 375 degrees 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Deluxe Pecan Pie

This recipe is from my g'mas recipes

1 pie crust – 9 inch
2 tbsp chopped nuts
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp butter melted
½ cup dark corn syrup
½ cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup brandy
1 cup pecan halves

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare pastry. Stir in chopped nuts before adding water. In a small mixer bowl, beat eggs, sugar, salt, butter, syrup and cream. Stir in vanilla brandy and pecans. Pour into pastry line pie pan. Bake at 40-50 minutes or until filling is set and pastry is golden brown.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pesto Chicken Panini

1 (16-ounce) package chicken tenders, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
1/2 cup mayonnaise (we actually used light creamy ceasar dressing)
1 (16-ounce) loaf ciabatta bread, sliced in half horizontally
4 slices pre-sliced mozzarella (we actually used pre-sliced gouda cheese)
1 cup baby arugula or spinach, rinsed and patted dry
2 tomatoes, sliced
15 fresh basil leaves

In a plastic bag, combine chicken tenders and 1/4 cup of pesto, set aside and let sit for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup pesto and mayonnaise. Spread mixture on both sides of ciabatta; set aside. Preheat an oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill chicken tenders 5 minutes per side. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and re-oil the grill pan. Place cheese on both halves of bread. Add arugula, then tomato, then basil leaves, then pesto chicken to bottom piece. Top with top half of bread. Place onto the grill pan and place a heavy pan on top of the sandwich. Grill for 3 minutes per side or until cheese starts to melt.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mixed Greens with Blueberries and Feta

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup fat free chicken broth
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
2 small fresh mint leaves
1 cup plus 10 fresh blueberries
8 cup mixed salad greens, torn into bite sized pieces
2 oz crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

In a blender, combine the vinegar, broth, olive oil, honey, mint leaves, and 10 blueberries. Blend the mixture at low speed just until smooth and well combined. Transfer the vinaigrette to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and refrigerate until needed. In a large bowl, toss the mixed greens with the remaining cup of blueberries. Shake the vinaigrette until thoroughly blended, drizzle over the salad, and toss lightly. Sprinkle the feta over the top and serve.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Beef and Cabbage Casserole

1 tbsp salad oil
1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 can tomato soup
1 can water
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp white rice (not minute rice)
4 cups cabbage, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add beef and onion, cooking until beef is brown and onions are tender. Add soup, water, salt, pepper and rice. Bring to a boil. Simmer 3 minutes. use a 3 qt. casserole dish, place 1 cup of chopped cabbage in dish, spoon some beef mixture over cabbage, continue layers until all cabbage and beef mixture are used. Bake 1 hour. You can add 2 tbsp of green pepper and 1/3 cup grated potato if you wish.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chicken Casserole

My mother's friends put together a recipe book, and these are some of the recipes from it.

1 can chicken breast, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup, low sodium
1 can chicken noodle soup, low sodium
1 (5-oz.) can evaporated milk
1 pkg fres mushrooms (if desired)
1 can chow mein noodles

Preheat oven at 350 degree. Mix all together and put in buttered casserole. Top with croutons. Bake for 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hamburger Stroganoff

I am going to put out a few comfort recipes. Even though they may not be considered healthy, you can still make them a bit healthy by going low fat or low sodium. :o)

1 lb. ground beef, lean
1 cup onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup, low sodium, low fat
1 can water, use the soup can
pinch garlic salt
pinch celery salt
pepper to taste
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 cups dry noodles
1 cup sour cream, low fat

Cook the ground beef and onion. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook until tender. Add sour cream. Serve while hot.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pork Skewers with Sate

1 unseasoned pork tenderloin
¾ cup miso-sesame dressing
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
½ tsp hot pepper sauce or more to taste
1 small red pepper thinly sliced
3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced.


Cut pork tenderloin in half crosswise. Slice each half lengthwise into ¼ inch thick pieces. Lay each piece flat on cutting surface cut in half lengthwise; the slices should be about 5 x 1 x ¼ inch. Place pork in medium size bowl; add ¼ cup of the miso-sesame dressing and let stand 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for several hours. While pork marinates, soak bamboo skewers in cool water. Thread skewers with pork strips. Stir together remaining sesame dressing, peanut butter and hot pepper sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Heat grill to medium heat or heat broiler. Cook 2 minutes per side or until done and slightly crisped on edges. Toss pepper and scallions together place on platter. Top with pork skewers and sate sauce.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Bread Salad

Marinade:
2 tbsp each grated lemon peel, chopped fresh rosemary and olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
4 each chicken drumsticks and thighs

Bread Salad:

3 large tomatoes cut in chunks
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 cup bottled light Italian dressing
4 large 1-inch thick slices Italian bread
Garlic flavor cooking spray
½ cup lightly packed basil leaves, stacked and cut into narrow strips

Reserve 1 tsp each grated lemon peel and chopped rosemary. Put remaining marinade ingredients in a gallon size zip top bag and add chicken; seal bag and turn to coat chicken. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or overnight. Heat outdoor grill. Meanwhile make bread salad: combine tomatoes, onion and dressing in a medium bowl. Coat both sides of bread with garlic spray. Grill 2 minutes per side or until lightly toasted. When cool enough to handle, cut bread in bite size chunks. Put basil and bread on vegetables; set aside. Toss 10 minutes before serving. Remove chicken from bag; place on grill. Cover grill and cook, turning chicken once, 30-35 minutes until juices run clear when meat is pierced. Sprinkle with reserved lemon peel and rosemary. Serve with the salad.