Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chicken Parmesan w/Wild Mushroom Sauce (Round 2 Recipe)

When I am making sauce (or gravy) I just don't have the capacity to know when to stop. I always end up making way to much and we have quite a bit for leftovers. Quite often we will freeze the sauce and just pull it out when we want a quick spaghetti/baked ziti meal, but this evening I thought we would try something a bit different. You will have to pardon the photo, but Dave had dug into the pot before I had a chance to yell "stop" and take a picture.


We had some frozen chicken in the freezer and decided to pull that out. As a variation on this meal, you could actually slice a fairly thick chicken breast almost in half and stuff it with goats cheese or feta cheese before you brown it. That would have been heavenly as well. We just didn't want to much fuss so it was just straight up chicken breasts tonight.



4 good size chicken breasts
1/2 cup white wine
Wild Mushroom sauce (from my blog)
Grated parmesan cheese

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a dutch oven, add about 2 tbsp olive oil and bring to about medium high heat. Sear/brown the chicken breasts until they are golden brown on all sides. Remove from the dutch oven. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with the wine and scrape up the bottom of the pot (all those good little chicken bits). Add the wild mushroom sauce to the pot and mix in with the wine...I would say enough to cover the chicken when you put it back in. Add the chicken to the pot and cover. Put in the oven for 45 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of cooking time, pull out and uncover. Sprinkle each chicken with grated parmesan cheese and put back into the oven for the remaining 10 minutes. Pull out and serve. You can put over pasta, rice, or just by itself (which is what I did). This was so yummy and used up quite a bit of the extra sauce.

Wild Mushroom Ravioli Sauce

We had our normal Christmas Traditional dinner yesterday. We made homemade ravioli last night, two kinds actually. Dave decided to color the dough so we have red ravioli and green ravioli. Our red ravioli had a 3 -cheese filling (marscapone, romano, ricotta, parsley and garlic) and our green ravioli had a sun-dried tomato pesto filling, the recipe is on my blog as well (just click the link). So I decided to make a wild mushroom sauce to go with it. This time, instead of a cream sauce, however, I went with a red sauce. Hope you enjoy.
1 pkg crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 pkg shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 pkg dried porcini mushrooms
2 elephant garlic cloves, chopped
1 lg onion, chopped
1 cup red wine
2 cans muir glen, fire roasted tomatoes, crushed (the larger cans)
2 cans muir glen, fire roasted tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp dried sage
2 tbsp dried thyme
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
2 cups beef stock, no salt added
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of the sun dried tomato pesto (from the left over filling of the ravioli)

In a deep pot, add about 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute the onion until translucent. Add the crimini and the shiitake mushrooms. Saute until almost cooked. Add the garlic. Deglaze with the red wine. Add the dried porcini mushrooms. They will reconstitute in the wine. Add the remaining ingredients to the sauce and let simmer 3 - 4 hours. The sauce will thicken up. The porcini mushrooms actually gave this sauce a very meaty flavor. It was excellent!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Caribbean Chicken Sandwich

From the grilled chicken with the jerk marinade, the following day we made a ciabatta sandwich. I altered the marinade a bit and made a sauce of sorts. We shredded the chicken and sauteed it with the following sauce:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh gingerroot
3 scallions
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp of paprika
salt and pepper to taste

For the sandwich fixins:

1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1 cup roasted red peppers
1 cup coleslaw

Blend the above ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Shred the leftover chicken from previous night. We ended up shredding two large chicken breast and two thighs and had enough for a 1/2 of a loaf of ciabatta bread. In a pan, add a 1tbsp of olive oil. Add the shredded chicken and heat. Pour the marinade over it and cook until the liquid is pretty much evaporated. Preheat the oven to 415. Heat the bread until brown or toasted. About 3 minutes before you pull it out, add the cheese to one side or both, your choice and put back in the oven and keep in there till cheese is melted. Pull the bread out and build your sandwich. Add the coleslaw, the chicken and the roasted red peppers.

This was sooo yummy!

Jerk Marinade

We grilled chicken the other day and I found this jerk marinade on Epicurean. It was fantastic.

2 cups vegetable oil

2 lg yellow onions coarsely chopped

4 scallions coarsely chopped

3 habanero peppers or jalapeno peppers stemmed

3 tbsp fresh gingerroot peeled & grated

6 cloves garlic coarsely chopped

2 tbsp fresh thyme finely chopped

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

3 tbsp light brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg freshly ground

pinch ground cloves

2 tsp ground allspice

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients into a food processor until smooth. Pour into a ziploc bag and add your chicken. My recommendation is to let marinade for about 24 hours prior to grilling.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Butterscotch Pie with Walnuts and Toffee


Now this pie is pure fat and sugar. So if you are watching your figure...your blood sugar..or anything this is definitely not for you...but boy oh boy it was yummy! And once a year...why not splurge!!!!! Now I would suggest if you are going to make this, to get two people to do it. I would have had a heck of a time trying to do this by myself so I enlisted Dave's help! It was definitely needed!!!

For the crust:

1/4 cu heavy cream
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
10 tbsp chilled unsalged butter, cut into 1/4 -inch cubes
10 tbsp powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

For the filling:

1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp table salt
10 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup (if you can't find this, use corn syrup)
1/4 cup boiling water
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp whiskey (I used brandy)
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp whiskey (brandy)
1 skor bar (I couldn't find this so I used Heath crunchies)

Heat 1/4 cup heavy cream for the crust in a small saucepan over medium until it bubbles around edges of pan. Place cocoa powder in a bowl, stir in cream; set aside. Beat cubed butter and 10 tbsp powdered sugar in bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth. Beat in cocoa mixture, half the flour, and 1 egg yolk until smooth. Beat in remaining flour just until combined. Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Roll chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick; transfer to a 9 - inch pie plate. trim overhang to 1 inch and roll edge under itself. Cover crust with plastic wrap and freeze 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil inside pie shell and fill with pie weights. Bake pie shell 25 - 30 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and bake the crust until crisp and dry, 5 - 10 minutes more; set aside. Sprinkle walnuts on bottom of crust.

Whisk together milk, cornstarch, and salt for slurry in a bowl; set aside. Brown 10 tbsp butter for the filling in a saute pan over medium heat, about 15 minutes. Add brown sugar and golden syrup; bring to a boil. Boil 3 minutes; whisk in boiling water until smooth, boil 1 minute more. Whisk slurry into sugar mixture and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes; cook 1 minute more and remove from heat.

Drizzle 1 cup butterscotch into 4 egg yolks to temper, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium low and gradually whisk tempered mixture back into filling. Simmer filling 1 minute to thicken, whisking constantly; remove from heat. Stir in 1 tbsp whiskey and vanilla; pour filling into crust. Press plastic wrap onto filling to prevent a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature about 1 hour then chill overnight.

Beat heavy cream for the topping in a bowl with a hand mixer on medium to soft peaks. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 tsp whiskey, beating until combined. Top pie with whipped cream and garnish with the Heath crunchies.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Now some of you may say "Ewww" to my next dish, but they were sooooo yummy!! I found this recipe in the Cuisine Magazine, but changed it up a bit. As soon as I said Brussel Sprouts, Dave said "Bacon?". Well the recipe didn't call for bacon so I added it. It also said to roast in the oven and since I had dressing, green bean casserole and rolls in the oven, PLUS the turkey, I had to improvise and actually fake roast them in cast iron pot on the stove, but they turned out so yummy I wanted to share them with you:



2 lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 tbsp, olive oil, salt and pepper
5 slices of maple bacon, chopped
1/4 cup minced shallots
8 oz mushrooms, sliced (if you have them)
½ cup of chicken stock or white wine
1 cup heavy cream

In a Dutch oven pot, cook the chopped bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon. Using the grease from the bacon (adding a bit of olive oil if you don’t have enough grease) add the shallots and garlic. Sauté till tender. Add the mushrooms and sauté till tender. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock or the white wine. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook over medium heat until they are tender and start to become a golden brown. Mine were kinda large, so this took about 30 minutes.  Add the heavy cream bring to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste. It was heavenly! The sauce browned a bit..Yum!




Yummy Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

I tried out three new recipes this Thanksgiving and I wanted to share them with you all. I have a couple of pictures of them as well. Hope you enjoy the recipes. We did!!

2 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1 cup Cheddar cheese

3/4 cup Whole milk

2 tablespoons Butter

1/8 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup Butter

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon Dried parsley flakes

1 dash Salt










Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Combine Bisquick with cheddar cheese, milk, 2 tablespoons of butter that has been melted in the microwave, and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder in a medium bowl. Mix until well-combined. Drop approximately 1/4-cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Combine 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, parsley fla


kes and salt. Brush this mixture over the tops of each unbaked biscuit. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown. Serve warm
.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Italian Pot Roast

My parents sent me this recipe today and had it this evening. They said it was fantastic.

Chuck eye round, tied
2 tbsp tomatoes paste
1/2 cup tomatoes sauce
1/2 cup of water
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 can diced tomatoes
Salt
Pepper
1 cup red wine divided
1 onion diced
1 carrot chopped fine
1 stock of celery chopped
1 head garlic
1 lb mushrooms

Oven at 300. Dry meat and season well with salt and pepper, sear meat 8 to 10 minutes in a Dutch oven till well browned. Remove from pan and cook veg till soft. Cut the garlic in half and add to the pot add everything else except rosemary and only 1/2 cup of red wine. Cover the pot with tin foil and cover, roast till very tender about 3 hrs. Remove from pot and cover with foil. Skim fat from roast and add 1/2 cup of red wine and simmer for 12 min and add the sprig of rosemary and let cook for two minutes and remove it and the sprig of thyme.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

We smoked some flank steak last night in our smoker and had pulled beef sandwiches this evening for dinner. To them we added this bbq sauce. It turned out really yummy!!

1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup chili sauce
3 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon liquid hickory smoke flavoring
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
dash cayenne pepper, or to taste

In a saucepan, slowly sauté the chopped onion in butter until soft and just beginning to turn yellow. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Delicious on chopped pork sandwiches or use with chicken.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Steak and Wild Mushroom Risotto

I hope you all enjoy.

1 1/2 cups of arborio rice
½ cup dry sherry (not cooking sherry)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb beef, I used beef stew beef that was already cut into cubes from the butcher
1 leek, chopped
1 tbsp thyme
2 tsp sea salt (this may sound like a lot, but with the amount of rice you will end up with it will be perfect)
10 crimini mushrooms, chopped
10 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 pkg dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in beef broth
1 to 2 cloves garlic (depending on how much you like)
5 cups chicken stock, homemade or low sodium boxed
1 small container of mascarpone cheese

In a pot, heat up the chicken stock until simmering, turn medium low heat. In a deep pan, bring the olive oil up to medium heat. Brown the steak/stew meat. Remove from the pan. Add the leeks and sauté until tender. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté until cooked. Add the rice and sauted for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the ½ cup of dry sherry and begin stirring continuously. Add 1 ladle of the chicken stock and stir the rice continuously until the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat 2 times with the chicken stock. On the third, add the steak back in, and a ladle of the stock. Stir until the chicken stock has evaporated. Continue until all stock has been used/absorbed. This should take approximately 20 - 25 minutes. The rice will become very creamy. Add the mascarpone cheese at the very end and fold into the rice.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chipotle Peppers in Adobe Sauce

Not sure if you have ever used them before, but there are chipotle peppers in adobe sauce that you can buy in the grocery store in these small cans. All chipotle peppers are, are smoked jalapenos. We had some jalapenos that we weren't quite sure what to do with so I decided to make my own. :) ...and if I do say so myself, they turned out fantastic.

Chipotle Peppers

1lb of jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved
Smoker

Half the jalapeno peppers and seed them. In a smoker, add whatever flavored wood chips you like. Dave had hickory and crabapple. We smoked them for about 3 hours, then took them off because we were heading off to bed. We finished them off in a dehydrator so they were dried out...pretty much like little hockey pucks.

Adobe Sauce

12 dried Ancho Chiles
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions (I used 1 large onion)
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ground cumin
4 cups chicken stock, unsalted
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice (as a personal preference, I got the no pulp OJ)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt

In a saucepan, add the chiles, vinegar and water. bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes to soften. Transfer the chiles and liquid to a blender or food processor. Puree until a smooth paste is formed, adding a tablespoon or 2 of water if necessary to thin. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until golden brown, 8 - 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook briefly just to release the aroma. Next, stir in the cumin and cook another minute. Add the chicken stock and reserved chile paste. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 20 minutes. meanwhile, mix together the brown sugar, orange and lemon juices, tomato paste, salt and pepper to form a paste. Add to the simmering stock mixture and continue cooking another 15 minutes.

The Adobe Sauce can be stored in the fridge for about 1 week or frozen indefinitely. Once we were done cooking it, I took the smoked jalapenos (chipotles) and put them into a tupperware. I then took enough of the sauce and poured it over the chipotles until they were submersed in the sauce.

MMMM MMM.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jalapeno and Garlic Marinade

2 pickled Jalapenos, minced
4 heaping tbsp, minced garlic
5 tbsp of the jalapeno juice
2 tbsp smoked paprika
3 tsp cumin
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp montreal chicken spice
10 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 cup zesty Italian dressing

Mix all ingredients together. Add the chicken breasts, and let marinade for about 2 - 3 hours. Grill. This was fantastic.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Caramel Apple Butter

Dave and I went apple picking at Aamodt's this past Friday. It is this local orchard. We probably ended up picking about 16 lbs worth of apples. One of my all time favorites is apple butter. My dad used to put this on toast for me when I was growing up. There is nothing like almost burnt toast (yes I like it that way), butter, and a big heaping spoonful of apple butter....pure heaven. I found this recipe online and decided to make it. The recipe called for two specific apples (Rome and Granny Smith) but the apples Aamodt's was harvesting on Friday were State Fair apples so this is what I used. The butter turned out fantastic!!! and I ended up with 6 half pint jars from it. MMM MMM. Dave wasn't sure he would like it since "I don't like caramel" but once he tasted it, he definitely changed his mind. You don't taste the caramel.

8 lbs apples
1 cup Water
4 cup Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Ginger
2 tbsp Lemon juice

Wash apples and cut into pieces; combine with water in a large covered sauce pot.
Cook until soft, about 30 minutes. Press through a food mill; measure 12 cups apple pulp; and return to sauce pot. Heat 2 cups sugar in a saucepan, stirring until sugar melts and turns a rich golden brown. Carefully pour into apple pulp. Sugar will crackle and harden. Add remaining 2 cups of sugar and spices. Cook, uncovered, about 1 hour or until apple butter thickens, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Stir in lemon juice. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust caps.

Jenna's BBQ Sauce

Here is another fantastic BBQ sauce that my 'rents wanted to share with you. My mom's boss gave this recipe to her and she said it was definitely finger licking good! Hope you all enjoy!

1 Stick of butter
2 20oz ketchup Heinz or Hunts only
1 1/2 cup of white vinegar
1/4 vegetable oil
1 1/2 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper
5 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup brown sugar
10 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In large pan on stove melt butter over med heat, then combine all other ingredients. Continue to cook over med heat until it foams. Once it foams let cool and put in bottles.

Enjoy

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ruby Tuesday's Basil Pesto Pasta Salad

My Father has fallen in love with this pasta salad they have on their salad bar. We had asked for the recipe, but unfortunately, they couldn't give us quantities but just gave us the ingredients. So what I did was bought the ingredients then played around until I got the dish to taste like their salad. Dad says it tastes exactly like it so I hope you enjoy!!

Made Basil Pesto first:

3 cloves of garlic
4 large sprigs of fresh basil
½ to 1 cup of parmesan cheese
2 tbsp slivered almonds
Olive oil to make a paste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor till pesto like consistency

For the pasta:
4.25 oz can of chopped black olives (they were already pre chopped)
2 roasted red peppers (marinated in water only, not pickled in vinegar and not marinated in olive oil), chopped very fine
1 pkg of feta cheese
1/3 of a Vidalia onion, chopped very finely
7 leaves of fresh spinach chiffonade cut
Salt and pepper to taste
½ pound of spaghetti, broken into threes before cooking

For the dressing:

2 tbsp of the basil pesto
3/4 cup of vegetable oil

Whisk together the vegetable oil and the basil pesto together. Mix together all of the ingredients and pour the dressing over it. Let stand to meld the ingredients together.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Have you ever run out of barbeque sauce? Or just felt like making your own? Well, my parents made some this past weekend and fell in love with this recipe. Thought I would share it with you. Hope you all enjoy!!

1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until thick. If you want to spice it up a bit, add crushed red peppers to the mixture.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Flank Steak Pinwheels

Hi all, hope everyone had a great 4th of July. Yesterday we made a great dinner! Found the recipe in a magazine and kind of mixed it up a bit and made it our own. This is basically a stuffed piece of flank steak! We grilled/baked it on the grill and it was great!

Flank steak, butterflied
1 cup sun dried tomato pesto
2 bags of fresh spinach (when cooked it pretty much goes down to nothing)
1 16 oz pkg of white mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tsp crushed red peppers
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup green olives, chopped
2 cups mixed italian cheeses, shredded
1 pkg hot/spicy sliced pepperoni

Marinade for the flank steak

1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup soy sauce, low sodium
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp crushed red peppers
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp garlic

In a ziploc bag, mix the ingredients for the marinade together. Place the butterflied flank steak in the bag and let sit for 2 - 3 hours. In a large sauce pan, saute the mushrooms, garlic, and spinach until all are cooked through. Add a tsp crushed red peppers to the mixture. Take the steak from the marinade and lay flat. Take the sundried tomato paste and spread out as your first layer on the steak. Add a layer of cheese. Then add the spinach mushroom mixture. You are basically creating a pizza. Then add an olive layer, then the last layer will be the pepperoni. Very carefully, take one end of the flank steak and begin rolling, making sure you try to keep as much of the filling in tack as possible. Once you have rolled the entire steak up, (it looks like a pinwheel), you can either secure it with a metal skewer, or do what Dave did and tie it up with string. He took white cotton string and just wrapped it all around the steak, from one end to the other (which you will need two people to do this). The string actually helped keep all of the stuffing on the inside as well.

He flash grilled it on high heat, about 15 minutes (7 minutes on each side_ just to get the grill marks, then turned the grill to medium low to technically bake it until it was cooked through (about 45 minutes). This way the meat wouldn't burn. All in all, it took about an hour to cook.


This was fantastic.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Welp peeps ;o) it is that time of year where a lot of my recipes are going to contain fresh herbs because I have been overrun with my herbs. Mind you, I am not complaining...just sayin is all :o). I am actually in seventh heaven with how my herbs are growing!! Well anyone who knows me knows I go ape over fresh basil pesto every year and that is one of my main herbs that I grow. Well I goofed this year and grabbed one Lemon Basil (a hybrid between sweet basil and african basil) instead of my regular Sweet Basil that I get. It was too late after my mistake, to do anything about it so I just went ahead and kept it, even though I was not quite sure what to do with it.

Yesterday, Dave and I had a day off, and we decided to make a salad for lunch. I figured...hmmm..vinaigrette...why not. Might as well try it. I have to figure out some use for it, (still not sure if the pesto will taste good using lemon basil, instead of the sweet basil). It turned out great. It is just my standard vinaigrette that I make, but I wanted to share it with all of you. This just shows that you can mix things up, by using different herbs, but keeping your same main ingredients, and coming up with a completely different taste!

1 cup lemon basil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup basil vinegar
1 tbsp coarse ground mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice (just to keep the leaves from turning brown)
1 tsp crushed red peppers
2 cloves garlic
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste

Put all ingredients except for the olive oil into a blender and liquefy. Once everything has been blended thoroughly, begin adding the EVOO until you get the dressing to a consistency you like. I don't usually measure this because sometimes I like a thicker dressing, other times I like a thin dressing, it all depends on what my mood is or what time of salad you are making. A pasta salad you would probably want a thicker dressing so it would stick to the pasta, verses a greens salad where you would want it a bit thinner.

Hope you all enjoy.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Creamy Lavender Vinaigrette

Here is the second recipe I found. This one was a dressing that ended up being quite tasty as well. It is kinda of scary testing new recipes out on people sometimes, but every now and then you just gotta jump in with both feet and say what the heck.

3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup hone
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp herbs de provence
1 1/2 tsp lavender (I used the leaves and the flowers this time and ground them to a fine powder)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a wisk until combined well. Keep in an air tight container.

Lavender Butter

I had a friend who was kind enough to bring me in some of her lavender from her garden the other day. She wasn't sure what to do with it so i found some recipes. Lavender is a an interesting herb to cook with. Most often you find recipes that say you can replace rosemary with lavender. Most recipes call for you to use the flower part of the lavender verses the actual leaf of the lavender, so here are a couple of the recipes that I made.

1 stick softened butter, salted
1 tsp fresh lavender, crushed (i used just the flower)
1 tbsp honey

Mix the ingredients thoroughly together with a wisk until light and fluffy and wrap with waxed paper. Store in the refrigerator until hard. I made her a lavender, rosemary, parmesan bread that was just fantastic with the butter.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chili-Orange Chicken

I found this recipe in a Woman's day magazine and tried it. It turned out fantastic. With the left overs we are actually going to be shredding the chicken and making enchiladas from them. The only difference we did, in order to make the recipe our own, was to add minced chipotles to the dish.

3/4 cup mild enchilada sauce
1/4 cup barbecue sauce (I used a bbq sauce that had honey in it, any brand)
2 tbsp salt free chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
4 bone-in chicken breasts
1 chipotle pepper, minced
3 tbsp orange marmalade
2 tsp grated orange zest

Mix enchilada sauce and barbecue sauce in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. mix chili powder and cumin in a small cup. Rub all over chicken. Put chicken in slow cooker along with the minced chipotle pepper and turn the chicken to coat with the sauce. cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours or on low 5 to 7 hours until chicken is cooked through. Turn off cooker. Remove chicken to a serving platter. Stir marmalade into sauce until blended. Stir in the grated orange zest. Pour over the chicken.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chicken with a Lemon Herb Sauce

I made this last night and it turned out excellent. Hope you all enjoy it. My darling hubby helped me with this one. He grilled the chicken while I made the broth. It is good to tag-team with this one unless you happen to be one of the lucky ones to have a grill built into your stove ;).

6 bone-in breast of chicken
8 oz pkg of crimini mushrooms, sliced
8 oz pkg of shitaki mushrooms, sliced
2 small leeks, sliced
15 large cloves of garlic, leave whole
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 stick of butter, unsalted
2 cups white wine
2 cups chicken stock, unsalted
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus the rind from one lemon
1 lemon, sliced into thin slices
4 sprigs of rosemary, stems removed, chopped
4 sprigs of fresh oregano, stems removed, chopped
4 sprigs of fresh margoram, stems removed, chopped
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Flash grill the chicken breasts so the skin gets crispy and the chicken is about 50% cooked. Even though the skin will not be crisp once you finish making the dish, it is the smokey flavor you get from the grill that you are after. While the chicken is grilling, In a large oven safe pot (must be deep), add the olive oil and bring up to medium heat. Saute the leeks until they become translucent. Add both kinds of mushrooms and saute until they are cooked through. Add the garlic and the butter. Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the wine. Add the remaining ingredients, the herbs, chicken stock, lemon juice and sliced lemons, and the salt and pepper. By this time the chicken should have been pulled from the grill. Add the chicken to the mixture. make sure it is covered with the broth. If it isn't, add equal parts of the stock and wine just until there is enough. Cover and put into the oven. Let it cook for 45 minutes. We ended up taking the cover off at around 10 minutes and increasing the temperature of the oven to 425.

It was excellent. The garlic just melted in your mouth!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mustard Glazed Grilled Pork Roast

My dad sent me this recipe and said that you all HAVE TO TRY IT!!! Which I am guessing means that it was excellent :)

½ Cup of Grainy Brown Mustard

6 tbsp Apple Jelly

2 tbsp Brown Sugar

2 tbsp Olive Oil

2 tsp Chopped Thyme

3 Cloves Garlic Minced

½ tsp Salt

¾ tsp Pepper

3 to 4 pound Center Cut Pork Loin with FAT CAP attached

Mix well all the ingredients except the roast. Please reserve 1/3 of the mustard glaze in a bowl for later use. Score the fat cap in a checker fashion taking care not to cut into the meat. Tie the roast with butchers twine. Dry the roast and rub ½ the remaining glaze covering the meat on all sides. Preheat the grill and clean and SEASON the grates with oil. (Do this to prevent sticking.)

Place the roast on the grill over the burners on high and brown on all sides. After browning, continue to cook with indirect heat making sure the fat cap is on top. Baste with the remaining sauce every ten minutes until the internal temp is 140 degrees. Remove from grill and let rest at least 10 minutes for internal temp to rise to 150. Add any drippings from the roast to the reserved glaze. Slice and add the reserved glaze to the slices as gravy.

Melts in your mouth.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

My parents sent me this recipe and said it was fantastic!!! So I hope you all enjoy it.

1 pkg Duncan Heinz 100% whole grain blueberry muffin mix
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup blueberry preserves
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. Rinse blueberries with cold water and drain. Combine muffin mix, sour cream, milk and eggs. Stire until just moistened. Spread half the batter in the pan.

Combine blueberries and preserves in a small bowl. Spread half the blueberry mixture on top of the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the blueberry mixture. Top with remaining blueberry mixture avoiding edges. Bake 40 - 45 minutes for an 8 inch pan or 25 to 30 minutes for a 9 inch pan or until golden.

Sprinkle powdered sugar on top and serve warm.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fusilli with Spicy Sausage and Spinach

1 lb fusilli pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small leek, chopped
1 6 oz pkg, crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lbs spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup chicken stock, no salt added
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 bags baby spinach
grated parmesan


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook as package directs. Chop the leek, mushooms and garlic.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat, brown the sausage. Add the leeks, mushrooms and garlic and saute for about 7 minutes.

Stir in the chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Add the cream and the nutmeg. Let simmer for about 1 -2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place the spinach in a colander and drain the pasta over the spinach. This will help the spinach wilt. Pour the pasta and the spinach into the sausage mixture and combine. Serve with grated parmesan.



Monday, April 12, 2010

Penne from Hell

I made this up tonight as a way to use some dried ancho peppers we bought a while back. You have to make sure you seed these peppers before you use them because of course the seeds will kill ya ;o) but even, seeded, it still packed a spicy punch.

3 shallots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 jar sun dried tomatoes, julienned, in olive oil
4 dried ancho peppers, seeded and crushed
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
6oz container marscapone cheese
2 1/2 cup chicken stock, no salt added
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tsp lemon flavored sea salt
1 lb penne pasta

First seed the ancho peppers and put in a grinder. We used our coffee grinder and pulverized the ancho peppers. BE CAREFUL when you take the cover off because the dust from grinding the peppers will cause you to sneeze your nose off ;o). In a coffee cup, take the powder ancho peppers and mix with about a 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and stir. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Saute the shallots and the celery until they are close to translucent. Add the sun dried tomatoes and the garlic and let saute for about 7 - 10 minutes until the veggies are cooked. Stir the cup of ancho pepper to make sure the pepper hasn't fallen to the bottom of the stock and add the mixture to the veggies, add the wine, salt and the chicken stock. You should be cooking the pasta as the veggie mixture is cooking. Right before you are ready to serve, stir in the marscapone cheese and bring back up to a simmer to make sure the cheese has warmed through. This turned out to be very very yummy. If you find the mixture to thick, just add more chicken stock. As a variation, add peas and crispy bacon to the mixture.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Poblano Stuffed Peppers

Well, Dave wanted to cook dinner one night from start to finish! Usually if he cooks, I will be the sous-chef and chop veggies, saute stuff etc. But not this time. He did this recipe from start to finish and it turned out excellent!!

4 Poblano Peppers
3 carrots, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 scallions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large pickled jalapenos, chopped
3 tbsp of the jalapeno juice
1 small can of diced green chilis
2 cup brown rice, quick cooking (15 minutes)
Chicken stock, no salt added
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 lb ground turkey, browned
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 lime sliced

Wash and clean the Poblano peppers. You can either grill the peppers to pre-roast them or you can broil them in your oven making sure to turn them occasionally. You are looking to get a pre-cook them slightly to get a charred taste to them. This should be done before you start cooking the other items so they have time to cool and you will be able to handle them.
Pre chop all of your vegetables. For the jalapenos, de-seed them. This is where your heat will come from. If you like the heat, feel free to leave them in ;o).
In a large cast iron skillet, in 2 tbsp olive oil, brown the turkey. Once the turkey has been browned, remove from heat. Begin preparing the rice. Instead of all water, use 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 cups water to the 2 cups rice. May sound like a lot of rice, but you are going to be making a bed of rice on the cast iron skillet. Add the jalapeno juice, paprika, cumin and the chili powder to the rice along with the chilies, and let it start cooking.
While the rice is cooking, begin sauteing the vegetables. Start with the onions, carrots and celery and let cook for 7 - 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the jalapenos. Let the vegetables saute until tender. Your rice should be done about this time. You will be adding the turkey and the vegetables to the rice. Mix together completely. Let the flavors meld together and as they are simmering, turn your attention to the poblanos.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice a slit down from the top of the poblano to just above the bottom, making sure you don't go all the way to the end. You want to make sure you create a little boat. Turn your rice mixture off, and fill the bottom of the cast iron skillet with a bed of rice.
With a pepper in your hand, put in a layer of cheese, then a layer of the rice filling. Lay the pepper on the bed of rice. Repeat with each of the peppers.
Sprinkle with the fresh cilantro leaves and the lime slices and sprinkle the peppers with any remaining cheese. Put in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes or until the peppers have warmed up again. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Almond Crusted Chicken with a Dijon Mustard Wine Sauce

Well, it was a comedy of errors tonight with both the camera and my phone, so you don't get to see pictures tonight of my dinner. This is sad for you, because this dish turned out to be quite excellent. Besides having to actually go and get chicken from the grocery store, I am in day two of my unofficial "use what is in the pantry before you buy new" mission and I made this recipe up with a few things I had on hand. I hope you enjoy!!

4 chicken breasts
1 - 2 cups of finely crushed almonds (depends on how big the chicken breasts are)
3 eggs scrambled
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp lemon sea salt
1 tbsp finely grated gruyere cheese
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp coarse ground mustard
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup wine
1/2 cup chicken stock, no salt added

On your counter top get three flat dish bowls. In the first one, place your flour, second, your eggs (scrambled) and in your third, mix together your finely crushed almonds, parsley, sea salt and the gruyere cheese. Preheat a deep frying pan and add about enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan. While the pan is preheating, take each piece of chicken and first dip and coat in the flour, then in the eggs and then in the almond mixture making sure the chicken is thoroughly coated with the almonds. My pan was on medium for about 5 minutes before I put the first chicken breast in the pan. Repeat for each breast. Do not mess with the chickens. Let each side cook for about 5 minutes before you even attempt to flip, otherwise you will lose all of your coating. You will be able to tell just by sneaking a peak if the bottom is ready to flip, or if the coating has set. My chickens were very thick so it took a good 20 minutes worth of frying and every so often flipping them to make sure each side was cooking evenly before they were done. The temperature of the chicken should be between 170 - 180 degrees if you are using a meat thermometer to check. Other wise, just take your thickest breast and slice into the meatiest part to see if it is white on the inside.

While the chicken breasts are cooking, in a small bowl, combine both mustards, the honey and the garlic and mix thoroughly. Once your chicken breasts are done, remove from the pan. At this point you should have a lot of droppings and bits of the coating that have fallen off in the pan. Take your wine and pour into the pan to deglaze the pan by scraping up all the little bits and pieces up off the bottom of the pan. Add the mustard and honey mixture and stir into the wine. Add the chicken stock. Just let this simmer for about 1 -2 minutes and add the chicken back into the gravy. Serve with rice.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Citrus Shrimp over Rice

Tonight was what my father calls a "pastish" night, when you pretty much clean out the refrigerator and use whatever you can to make your dinner. So that is what we did! Dave and I went through and grabbed what veggies were looking a little worse for the wear and I came up with this citrus dish for our shrimp. It turned out very good!! As I have said more than once, Dave loves sauce, so you can adjust the broth as you see fit. This could have been a dry dish or a soupy dish..we ended up making it a soupy dish.

1/2 lb to 1 lb shrimp
6 oz pkg crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 leek, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 clementine oranges, juiced (I used the cuties)
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup grand marnier liquer
1/2 cup to 1 cup chicken stock (depending on how much broth you want)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp crushed red peppers
1 tbsp chili paste
3 dried chilis, de-seeded
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

In a very hot pan, spray some pam and sear the shrimp till they are almost done. Remove the shrimp from the heat and place on a dish. You will be adding them back into the sauce prior to serving so you will be able to complete the cooking process and heat them through.


Chop the leeks and place in a bowl of water to make sure the dirt and grit have been removed. Chop the mushrooms and the celery and garlic. It is important to make sure all veggies are prepared prior to beginning the cooking process.


In the same frying pan you had the shrimp, add about 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Add the leeks and the celery, and saute for about 7 minutes. You want to make sure the leeks and the celery are almost cooked prior to adding the rest of the veggies. Add the mushrooms and the garlic and saute for about 7 more minutes until the mushrooms have reduced in size and are almost cooked through.

While the veggies are sauteeing, juice the lemon and the clementines and add to the pan to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add the liquer and the chicken stock, thyme, rosemary, chili paste, chilis and the crushed red peppers. Bring to a simmer for about 5 - 7 minutes. Add the shrimp back in and finish cooking. Serve over rice.






Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Marscapone Cheese

Well, here is another version of the stuffed portobellos. Sometimes you just crave them, and Dave was craving them. I prefer them with ground turkey, but since we try to eat healthy all week long, I will usually cave and let him pick the meat and Italian Sausage was on the menu. I am going to try something new and add pictures to the blog (as you can see from a few of the other posts) and have taken pics at each stage of the cooking.

2 pkgs of ground Italian Sausage, hot or mild (your preference)
1/2 jar of sun-dried tomatoes, julienned in olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 leek, chopped
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp fresh thyme
6 oz container marscarpone cheese
1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese

Pre heat over to 350 degrees. Pre-chop the leeks, mince the garlic and chop the sun-dried tomatoes and thyme.
In a large saute pan, take 2 tbsp olive oil and brown the italian sausage till it is cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat and put into a bowl. In the same pan, add the leeks and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the sun-dried tomatoes. Saute for 5 - 7 minutes on medium heat.
Deglaze the pan with the sherry. Add the thyme. Saute for about 5 more minutes. Add the sausage back into the mixture and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes giving the mixture a minute for the tastes to meld together. While the mixture is sauteing, prepare the portobellos. Remove the stems and place the caps on a baking pan. When you are ready to fill the caps, add the marscapone cheese to the mixture stir it, letting it melt into the sausage mixture.
Fill the mushroom caps with the mixture then top each mushroom cap with the gruyere cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Lemon Roasted Potatoes

A friend of ours made these for us and they were fantastic. He found the recipe on a website (allrecipes.com) and cut back on some of the butter for me (since he knows I am so health conscious). As you will see by the photo I am attaching, they were pretty much gone, before I had a chance to react and take a picture of the final product. :) I was only able to take a picture of a few of these little guys (only the few that were left once we all inhaled them) but it is just a testament to the chef!

1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, melted (1 stick) he actually only used half a stick of butter for the recipe
2 tbsps lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried dill weed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
5 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the canola oil, melted butter, lemon juice, garlic, dill, salt and pepper. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet and drizzle any remaining liquid from the bowl over them. Bake in the preheated oven until potatoes are brown and crispy, about 45 minutes.
The potatoes came out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. MMM MMM

Monday, February 22, 2010

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcakes

My darling hubby wanted me to make him these cupcakes that he saw in my Woman's Day magazine that I picked up at the grocery store. Well....they turned out fantastic. This time I followed the recipe exactly (since it is baking), however, the only thing I did differently is when it comes down to the pastry bag. I am not much of a baker...in that I don't have all the right equipment so we compromised. We used a hand apple corer and used that to make the holes inside the cupcakes instead of using a pastry bag like the recipe called for. I hope you all enjoy.

Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 large eggs

Peanut Butter Filling
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 to 4 tbsp milk

Chocolate Frosting
2 cups (12 oz pkg) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt until well mixed. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and sour cream until blended. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamed. Beat in the peanut butter until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until just blended. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cook 10 minutes; remove cupcakes from pan to wire rack to cook completely.

For the filling, beat the peanut butter and butter in medium bowl with electric mixer until smooth. On low speed, gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and 3 to 4 tbsp milk until blended. Beat mixture on high speed 1 minute or until fluffy. **Now here is where mine is different*** I will give you their directions, then tell you what I did. Spoon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 in plain round tip. Insert tip into the top of each cupcake. Squeeze as much filling into the center of each as possible (top of the cupcake will bulge slightly). **Since I didn't have a pastry bag, we took an apple corer and cored out the middle of the cupcake to about half way down. Once we did that, we put the filling into one corner of a Ziploc bag and snipped just a bit of that corner off. We twisted the bag and pushed the filling out of the snipped corner and filled each cup cake with the peanut butter filling.

For the frosting, melt the chocolate chips in a large glass bowl in a microwave as package directs. add sour cream; beat with an electric mixer until fluffy and good spreading consistency. Spread about 2 tbsp frosting on each cupcake.

These were absolutely FANTASTIC!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chicken with a Sun-Dried Tomato and Rosemary Cream Sauce

Made this tonight and Dave was licking the bowl!! So I am guessing it turned out pretty good! :)

2 tbsp olive oil
2 boneless chicken breast halves, skinned and cut into bite size pieces
4 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced,
1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes, julienned in olive oil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup chicken stock, unsalted (kitchen basics)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt to taste

In the olive oil, saute, the chicken breasts until they are cooked. Remove from heat. Add the jar of tomatoes including th eolive oil and saute for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and the rosemary. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock. Add the sherry and saute for another 5 - 7 minutes. Add the chicken back in and let saute for another 5 minutes so the flavors have time to blend together. About 5 - 7 minutes before serving stir in the whipping cream and the paremsan cheese. Serve over pasta!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spicy Orange Stir Fry Sauce

Dave has been trying to season his new wok I bought him for Christmas and I found this recipe on Recipezar. I modified it a bit, but it turned out fantastic. I hope you all enjoy it!!!


½ cup fresh orange juice (I squeezed juice from cuties (little clementine oranges))

4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

4 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoon chili paste with garlic

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp crushed red peppers


Combine all ingredients together. Mix into a stir fry…any ingredients of your choice. We used, shrimp, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, celery, mushrooms and scallions. This sauce was absolutely fantastic.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lemon Mushroom Cream Sauce

I made this to go over some homemade raviolis we had made this past Christmas. It ended up being rather tasty. Hope you enjoy.

3 scallions, chopped

8 oz crimini mushrooms, halved and sliced

5 cloves garlic, minced

Rind and juice from two lemons

½ cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock, unsalted

½ stick of butter, unsalted

1 tbsp flour

1 shot of brandy

Small container of heavy whipping cream

Sea salt to taste


On medium heat, sauté the scallions, and mushrooms in olive oil until cooked, about 7 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the sauce pan and add the garlic and the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer. Add the lemon juice and the brandy. In a small cup take the ½ stick of butter and the tbsp of flour and mash together. Scoop the mixture into the pan and stir until thoroughly melted. Simmer for about 5 – 7 minutes. Right before serving, pour in the whipping cream and the rind of the two lemons. Serve over raviolis.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mustard Chicken Salad

I made this tonight and it was excellent. I used Ina Garten's recipe from the food network. I am only going to give you the recipe for the dressing because you can pretty much put anything you want in chicken salad. She just had chicken, broccoli and tomatoes. But I had a fridge full of veggies, so I made a true salad (minus the lettuce) with mine, carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes and chicken. So here is the recipe. The only thing I did differently is I used dried tarragon instead of fresh, because that is all I had.

1 1/2 cup good mayonnaise (I used low fat miracle whip)
2 tbsp white wine
1/4 cup good dijon mustard
3 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp fresh minced tarragon


For the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, wine, mustards, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add enough sauce to the warm chicken to moisten well. Add the tarragon and mix gently to combine. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Spanish Rice

We made this Spanish rice for New Years dinner. You can alter the spiciness by adding or subtracting the “hot” peppers in this recipe. Dave and I like it spicy, I had to alter it a bit for my parents.


1 cup cooked rice

1 red pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 pickled jalapenos, seeded, chopped (you can add more if you want it spicy)

1 small can of chipotles, take two out and chop them (you can add more if you want it spicy)

1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp mole

1 cup chicken stock

1 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp chili powder


In a large sauté pan, heat a tbsp olive oil. Add the onions and the red pepper and sauté till tender. Add the cumin, chili powder and garlic. Sauté together for about 5 minutes. Add the jalapenos, and the chipotles. To the chicken stock, combine the cocoa powder and the mole and mix together. Pour into the mixture. Add the cooked rice and mix combine until thoroughly mixed.

* Note, when making this, you can tame down the hot peppers at firs then add to it when you make it again. The chipotles and the jalapenos are quite hot. If the mixture becomes too hot, add sugar and red wine vinegar to the mixture to tame down the spiciness.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Spicy Black-Eyed Peas

3 cans black-eyed peas, no salt added
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
14 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, no salt added
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt

In a large pot, add 2 cans of the black eyed peas (drained) and one can with the juices and bring to a boil. Add all of the other ingredients and cook on low for 30-45 minutes until the peas are tender, stirring occasionally.