Thursday, November 19, 2009

Help!

I need some recipes for the holidays! Any and all. Will you share? Oh and I need a good chicken salad recipe for a shower I'm throwing. Anyone have a great one? Miss you all!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Salsa Verde






1 teaspoon oil
¾ pound whole green tomatillos, in their husks
½ small red onion, peeled and quartered
1 small Serrano pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 to 6 ounces water
½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro
1 ripe Hass avocado

1. Lightly oil the griddle or skillet with coconut oil and heat over medium-high heat.
2. Roast the tomatillos, onion, Serrano pepper, and garlic until they begin to brown.
3. Remove tomatillos to a bowl and cover the roasted vegetables with ice to cool.
4. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the husks from the tomatillos and cut them into quarters.
5. Place all the roasted vegetables, black pepper, lemon and lime juices, water, and salt into a blender and blend until smooth.
6. Refrigerate the blended salsa, tightly covered, for several hours orup to 2 days.
7. Just before serving, dice the avocado and add it and the cilantro to the salsa. Pulse a few times to blend slightly, leaving some chunks of avocado intact.
8. Serve chilled with a garnish of lime wedges and whole cilantro leaves.

You can mess around with the spices to get it how you like it.

Posted by Kendee at 6:51 PM

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Spicy Honey Chicken Salad

Once again, this is a recipe from ourbestbites.com . . . I'm feeling kinda guilty posting so many recipes from their site, so just go there! http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/05/spicy-honey-chicken-salad.html And enjoy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chicken Coconut Curry

Serves 4

4 Chicken Breasts cut into cubes
1 Cup Plain Yogurt (The acid in the yogurt tenderizes the chicken)
1 Cup of Coconut Milk
4 tsp. ground Cumin
2 tsp. Turmeric
2 tsp. minced Garlic
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. ground Ginger
1 tsp. ground Coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. sugar
A pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Optional:

A Handful or two of shreaded spinach
Mint, parsley or basil leaves
Cashews ( I love this)
Potatoes cut into small little cubes so they cook faster.

You use this as a marinade and then also as the curry sauce. Curry is just a blend of lots of spices, particularly cumin, coriander, ginger and turmeric. Pour coconut milk and yogurt in a bowl and add everything but the chicken. Give it a good stir. Add chicken cubes and make sure they are well coated. Let marinade for at least 20 minutes covered in the fridge. The longer you leave it, the more flavor it will have and the softer the chicken will be. Then pour it all in a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 min. Serve hot over rice or quinoa. I love the quinoa, so I highly recommend it. It's the only grain with a complete protein also, so it's super good for you. Enjoy!

Couscous Salad with Raw Veggies

1 Cup of Water
1 Cup of Couscous
3 Tbsp olive oil ( I sometimes use flaxseed oil or half of each)
3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Braggs Amino Acids (soy sauce substitute - this is optional or you could just salt it)
Juice and zest of one lime
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 Can of Corn (slightly drained - a little of the water adds some nice flavor)
1 diced Beefstake Tomato
1 diced red Bell Pepper
1 small cucumber diced
1/2 small yellow squash diced
1 small onion diced
2 Cups of spinach, somewhat shredded or torn
1 small handful of cilantro


Bring water to a boil. Take water off heat and pour couscous in. Fluff with a fork and then transfer to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, take the next five ingredients and mix together well, then pour over couscous to keep it from sticking together and getting too dry. Pour can of corn in and the remaining ingredients. Toss until all is well blended. This salad is a super healthy and filling meal by itself. Feel free to experiment with other veggies too. Diced celery or carrots add a nice crunch. You can basically throw in your favorite veggies, and it will still be yummy. Enjoy.

Monday, August 3, 2009

BBQ Chicken Salad

chicken breast 
Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce
romaine lettuce finely chopped
corn 
black beans drained and rinsed
avocado diced
tomato diced
scallions diced
cilantro chopped
french's fried onions
ranch dressing

Cut up raw chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and add chicken.  Brown on all sides.  Drain off the juice and add the bbq sauce.  Simmer until chicken is cooked through then set aside to cool. Combine lettuce, corn, beans, avocado tomato, scallions and cilantro.  Toss the lettuce mixture with some ranch dressing.  When chicken is cool enough place on top of the lettuce.  Top with the fried onions and enjoy!! I didn't list quantities because you can make as much or as little as you would like! 

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Couscous Salad

2 cups diced tomato
1/4 cup diced fresh mozarella cheese
3 Tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove crushed
1 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl cover and marinate tomato mixture in refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous.  remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork; cool.  Add couscous and fresh basil to tomato mixture, toss gently.  Garnish with basil leaves.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Make Ahead Butterhorns


We call these manatee rolls because they kind of look like roly-poly manatees. This is a stress-relieving recipe because you can make the rolls several days ahead. I have stored them in the freezer (before cooking) for up to 4 weeks.


1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 tsp. salt
4 - 4 1/2 cups flour
softened butter

Combine yeast and warm water; allow to stand 5 minutes until it foams, then stir. Melt butter and warm milk in microwave. In mixing bowl blend in sugar, eggs, salt and dissoved yeats. Add warmed butter and milk slowly. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rise until double, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Turn dough (which is very soft and should remain so) onto floured board. Knead slightly to handle. Divide in half. Roll each half into a 12-14" circle. Spread the circle with softened or melted butter. Cut pie fashion into 16 pieces (I use a pizza cutter.) Roll each piece loosely from large end to pointed tip.

Place point down close together on a buttered baking sheet. Repeat with second half of dough. cover with plastic wrap and immediately place in freezer for at least 2 hours or until rolls are firmly frozen. Remove from tray and pack in a heavy plastic bag, seal and return to freezer.

Three to four hours before time to bake, remove desired amount of rolls from freezer and place on buttered baking sheet. Cover lightly with a clean towel and allow to rise at room temperature until double. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 32 rolls.

VARIATIONS:

Orange Rolls:
1/2 cup sugar
1 orange
2-3 cups pwd. sugar

Make rolls according to directions above. When the dough is rolled into circle and spread with melted butter, zest orange into sugar, mix and spread half over the dough. Repeat with second part of dough. Freeze and bake according to directions. While baking, mix powdered sugar with juice from orange unitl it makes a thin glaze. Drizzle over rolls when they come out of the oven.

Cinnamon Rolls:
Same as above, only sprinkle circle of dough with sugar and cinnamon mixture. While baking make a glaze with powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle over top of cooked rolls.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Toasted Ravioli- served at Olive Garden


This recipe can be used as a main dish or as a finger food appetizer.

6 to 10 cups canola oil (required by fryer)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup Progresso Italian style breadcrumbs
12 pre-made beef raviolis (fresh, or if frozen, thawed)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

On the Side:
1/2 cup marinara sauce warmed 

1. Preheat the oil in your deep fryer to 325 degrees F  ( you can use a pot or pan to fry if you don't have a deep fryer)

2. Combine the beaten egg with the milk in shallow bowl. Pour the breadcrumbs into another shallow bowl.

3. Bread the ravioli by dipping each one in the milk and egg, then into the breadcrumbs. Arrange the breaded ravioli on a plate and let them sit for 5 minutes so that the breading sticks.

4. When the raviolis have rested, drop a handful into the oil. Depending on the size of your fryer, you may want to fry in batches so they aren't to crowded. Fry for 1 to 2 mins. or until golden brown. Remove them to a draining rack or a paper-towel lined plate.

5. When all the raviolis are cooked, arrange them on a serving plate and sprinkle 1 T. of grated Parmesan cheese over the top. Serve the dish with a small bowl of warmed marinara sauce on the side for dipping or if used for main course, serve over the top.

Serves 3 to 4 as an appetizer

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Creamy Lime Cilantro Dressing

Ever since Jennie B. told us about www.ourbestbites.com I've become addicted. They have so many yummy recipes. I originally got this recipe from that site, then made a few tweaks so it's a little bit healthier. This is similar to the dressing they have at Costa Vida.

1 pack (1oz) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (ignore directions on the packet)
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 lime
2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup green salsa

Place milk, mayo, yogurt, and ranch mix in a blender. I accidently grabbed a ranch dip pkt. instead of a ranch dressing pkt, but it worked just fine. Juice the lime in there, you should get about 2T juice. Toss in the garlic, cilantro and green salsa. Blend it until smooth. Make it several hours ahead of time to allow it to thicken.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sugar Scrub



Sweet and Spicy Sugar Scrub

1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground cloves
Oil: olive oil*, almond oil, grape seed oil, apricot oil, jojoba, etc.
optional: a few drops of essential oil, such as cinnamon

*I use olive oil for my sugar scrubs, which does have a scent. If the smell bothers you, try a "light" olive oil which has a milder taste and smell. Or just use a different type of oil all together.



Directions: Combine everything but oil in a bowl and then add in oil and stir to combine. I suggest starting with just part of the oil and adding it until it's the consistency you want it. Store in a container with a lid. I suggest keeping it in the fridge if you have left overs, it should last quite a while. Stop using it if it smells gross :)

For Use: Soap off in the shower so you have clean skin. Stir the sugar scrub and then massage into skin in circular motions for several minutes. I use it from my neck all the way down to my toes. After rinsing, if your skin feels too oily you can use a little bit of soap to wash it off. I personally leave it. By the time I finish my shower it doesn't feel too oily anymore and it adds to the benefits of a sugar scrub. It will trap in the moisture and make your skin so soft and smooth. After you get out of the shower, slather on some lotion and try to keep everyone from touching you!

I no it's not food, but some of the girl's have been asking for the recipe. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Black Bean Enchiladas

2 t. oil
1 med onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 (15 oz) black beans drained & rinsed
1 medium tomato diced or 1 can diced tomatoes
4 oz can diced green chilies undrained
1 T chili powder
1 t ground cumin
2 T tamari or soy sauce
salt & pepper
corn tortillas
1 large can enchilada sauce
cheddar cheese
1 pint plain yogurt
olives, scallions,tomatoes and avocado for garnish

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9x13 pan.  Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add onion and garlic stir until translucent.  Add beans, tomato, chilies, chili powder, cumin and tamari or soy sauce.  Bring to a boil stirring frequently. Lower heat, cover and simmer 10 min.  Uncover and continue simmering about 5 minutes or until liquid reduces and mixture is firm. Season with salt and pepper.  Mix enchilada sauce and yogurt in small bowl.  In the baking dish tear the corn tortillas in the bottom.  Spoon 1/2 of the bean mixture and then top with 1/2 of the sauce.  Repeat starting with the tortillas.  Top with cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes or until bubbly! Garnish and enjoy!
 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mango Peach Green Smoothie


So I've been experimenting with quite a few of these smoothies for a lot of reasons. We've gone Vegan for a while so they're dairy free and for anyone who has finicky eaters like my son, it's a great way to sneak in a lot of greens and they don't even care. My son thinks it's yogurt. I don't care what he calls it so long as he drinks it. It looks pretty and is super good for you. The blending process breaks down the leaves for you so your tummy doesn't have to work as hard and you actually get more enzymes this way than if you were just to chew on the leaves in a salad. They're full of antioxidants and you may go into a slight detox healing crisis if you drink a lot of them so just be aware. But it's all good for you. I can definitely say I'm a big fan of green smoothies. This particular recipe is my favorite but I'll be sure to post others if I think they're really good too.

-1 Handful of Fresh Kale (Make it a Hefty Handful cuz this stuff is so good for you)
-1 Handful of Arugula or Baby Spinach
-1 Handful of Parsley
-1/2 of a Medium Cucumber diced
-1 Handful of Green Grapes
-1 Peach with skin
-1 Mango (Get as much off the pit as possible and then squeeze in the rest of the juice)
-1 Kiwi
-1 Small Banana
-1 small scoop of Soy Ice Cream
-4-6 Ice Cubes (Whatever fits)
-Water to blend easier (Or if you want a little more flavor you can do soy or rice milk or a little bit of Mango Peach V-Fusion Vegetable Fruit juice)
-1 Mint leaf to garnish

Toss into blender and blend. Super easy.

Yields about 4 very filling smoothies. The more I have them the more I want them. I recommend using a Vitamix or a really good blender because this will make them smoother and they're better that way so if you don't have one, I would invest in a good blender cuz you won't want to stop after making just one of these. I'd love a Vitamix but I have a Cuisinart blender and that does the job very well.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

mustard-roasted potatoes

2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
2 yellow onions
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 425
Cut the potatoes in halves or quarters, depending on their size, and place them on a sheet pan.  Remove the ends of the ions, peel them, and cut them in half.  Slice them crosswise in 1/4 inch-thick slices to make half-rounds.  Toss the onions and potatoes together on the sheet pan.  Add the olive oil, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper and toss them together.  Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the potatoes are lightly browned on the outside and tender on the inside. Toss the potatoes from time to time with a metal spatula so the brown evenly.  
Serve hot sprinkled with the chopped parsley and a little extra salt.
* These potatoes have quickly become one of our favorite sides.  I like to serve them as a side for breakfast with eggs or quiche.  For dinner I serve them with turkey burgers (I will post that recipe later).

Friday, July 3, 2009

Black Bean Dip


I could eat an entirely HUGE bowl of this all to myself. It is DELICIOUS, healthy, easy and perfect for the 4th! It is so fresh and yummy. Enjoy! (It looks a little different than the picture....way better!)
Black Bean Dip

2 Cans black beans (wash and drain)
2 cans white shoepeg corn (drain)
4 tomatoes-diced
3 avocados - diced
Cilantro to taste
1 bunch green onions
1 pkg. Italian seasoning mix - mix according to directions, add 1 T sugar.
Mix all together and serve with chips.
My mouth is watering!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

French Onion Soup


INGREDIENTS (Nutrition)
2 onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth
2 1/2 cups water
6 slices French bread, toasted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F(220 degrees C). Separate sliced onion into single rings.
In a medium sauce pan saute onions in butter until soft, approximately 20 minutes. Stir in flour and gradually add broth and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast French bread slices.
Place toasted bread into soup bowls. Pour soup mixture over bread and sprinkle with Parmesan and Swiss cheese. Bake for 10 minutes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sugar Cookies

So... I'm not a sugar cookie person at all, but I love these cookies! They are really soft and moist. I like to make them pretty thick, but you can do them thinner and a bit more crunchy if that's what you like. I'm a thick and soft person. Hahahaha. That sounded really funny. The butter calls for butter OR margarine, but I always use real butter when I bake. I'm sure they're great either way if you don't have any butter on hand.


Sugar Cookies

½ cup ‑ butter or margarine
½ cup ‑ sour cream
1 cup ‑ sugar
1 ‑ egg
1 ‑ egg yolk
1 tsp. ‑ vanilla
½ cup ‑ flaked coconut
2¾ cups ‑ flour
¾ tsp. ‑ salt
½ tsp. ‑ baking powder
½ tsp. ‑ baking soda

Cream together first six ingredients. Stir in coconut. Sift together all dry ingredients and then add to mixture.

Roll out, cut and then bake at 375 for 8‑10 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet. Don't roll too thin. Thicker is better and a lot more moist.

Frosting ‑

2 to 2 ½ cups ‑ powdered sugar
4-6 Tbsp. (1/2 to 3/4 cube) ‑ butter or margarine
1 tsp. ‑ vanilla
2 Tbsp. ‑ milk
Sprinkle of salt
food coloring of choice

NOTE-

Sometimes the dough is too sticky and it might need a little bit more flour to get it to the right consistency for rolling out. Also make sure you have enough flour on your surface when rolling out.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Baked Ziti

ziti.jpg



1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 (26 oz) jars spaghetti sauce
6 oz. provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add Ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes, drain.
In a large skillet brown onion and ground beef over medium heat.  Add spaghetti sauce and simmer 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish.  Layer as follows:  1/2 of the ziti, provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven or until cheeses are melted.

*I got this recipe from Marissa and it is so good! Some suggestions:  Use a meat flavored sauce, it will give the dish great flavor.  You can mix half ricotta and half sour cream.  You could use half italian sausage half ground beef to mix it up.  This dish makes a lot and tastes even better as leftovers!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

HOW CUTE


I WANT TO MAKE THESE BUT DON'T NEED 12, WHO'S IN?


RECIPE INGREDIENTS:
Chocolate-frosted cupcakes
Coconut, flaked
Green food coloring
Hershey's Nuggets
M&M's
Frosting
Black licorice laces
1. For each cupcake, mix a handful of flaked coconut with a few drops of green food coloring. Press a chocolate-frosted cupcake into the coconut to cover.

2. The mower is made with a dark chocolate Hershey's Nuggets body, brown M&M's wheels, and a red M&M's engine, held in place with dabs of frosting.

3. Shape the handle from a piece of black licorice lace, then insert the ends into the cupcake.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I will confess that I am not really into cooking (I wish I was) and I rarely try a recipe that has more than 5 ingredients. However, I appreciate good food and hopefully will be inspired by this blog! So here it is, my first recipe post and it only has 4 ingredients - enjoy! This is Jeff's favorite.

Chicken and Stuffing Bake

4 chicken breasts
2 boxes stuffing mix
1 12 oz package swiss cheese slices
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Make stuffing, according to directions. lay chicken in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spoon soup over chicken and distribute evenly. lay sliced swiss cheese on top of soup. Cover all with stuffing mix. Bake covered for 45 minutes at 350. Remove cover and bake another 20 minutes.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

½ pound fusilli (spiral) pasta
Salt
Olive Oil
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
¼ cup olives
1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing
5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
6 Tbs. good olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
1 tsp capers, drained
2 tsp salt
¾ tsp black pepper

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and basil, and toss well.

*I used 2 cups grated mozarella cheese and only 1/2 cup grated parmesan and it tasted great. I just didn't want to use so much cheese!

From Ina Garten's Family Style cookbook

Lemon Cream

van-lemon-berry-parfait-hl-1193349-x.jpg



5 Eggs
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 c. cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup cold heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and granulated sugar in the top pan of a double boiler or in a medium metal bowl until well mixed.  Set over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water over medium heat.  Add the lemon juice and kosher salt.  Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl.  Strain the mixture into the bowl, pressing with the back of the spatula. Cool slightly at room temperature, then refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.  
Combine the cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Beat on high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute.  The cream should slowly fall forward when lifted with a whisk.  Alternatively, use an electric mixer  Fold half of the whipped cream into the chilled lemon curd, then fold in the remaining cream.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

*  This is delicious served as a parfait with a variety of berries.  I have also used this to make a trifle layering sponge cake, berries and the lemon cream.  

Chocolate Cake

2807674212_f385f03832.jpg


*This is the cake that was made for Jenny's birthday!

1 chocolate fudge cake mix
1 small package chocolate fudge instant pudding
16 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 c. water
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Mix cake mix and pudding mix together. . . then add the remaining ingredients.  The original recipe calls for it to be baked in a bundt pan but I have made it in different pans as well.  Grease desired pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.  Don't overbake!!  It is sometimes hard to tell when done because the chocolate chips will be melting throughout.  You can serve this cake with chocolate buttercream frosting or fresh berries and cream.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spaghetti Bolognese


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 3/4 cup diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground veal
  • 1/2 pound pork sausage, removed from the casings, or ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes and their juice
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock or broth
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until browned and the fat is rendered, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beef and sausages, and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and remove any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, and until half of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices, the tomato sauce, beef broth, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the cream, butter, and parsley, stir well, and simmer for 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and return the water to a low boil. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing to coat. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and toss to blend. Divide among pasta bowls and serve with the cheese passed tableside. (Alternatively, toss only the desired portion of pasta with a bit of the sauce at a time in a serving bowl, reserving the remainder for another meal.)

*This dish is so good!! It tasted like a dish I had in Italy years ago. I made a couple of modifications.I used all ground beef, whole wheat pasta, the smallest amount of cinnamon and nutmeg (barely a sprinkle but it goes a long way) and next time I will do it without the butter because I tasted it before and after and it didn't change the dish much!! 

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lemon Fusilli with Arugula

1 Tbs. good olive oil
1 Tbs. minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
3 lemons
Salt and pepper
1 pound dried fusilli (spiral) pasta
½ pound baby arugula (or 2 bunches of regular arugula, stems removed and leaves cut into thirds)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pint grape or cheery tomatoes, halved

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds, then add the cream, the zest and juice of 2 lemons, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 Tbs. salt and the pasta, and cook al dente according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until the pasta has absorbed most of the sauce. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl and add the arugula, Parmesan, and tomatoes. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it ¼ inch thick crosswise, and add a few slices to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

*I made this for dinner last night and we really enjoyed it. I used heavy whipping cream and spinach instead of heavy cream and arugula since I couldn't find those ingredients. I also cooked the tomatoes in a lightly oiled pan until they split since I'm not a fan of raw tomatoes. This is just as good the next day, just heat it back up.

Recipe from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa, At Home cookbook

Thursday, May 28, 2009

PANERA BREAD BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP..MY FAVORITE


1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cupschicken stock or bouillon
1/2 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar


Directions:

Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

serves/makes 4

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CHOCOLATE COOKIE WITH MARSHMALLOW



Ingredients
1 box of chocolate cake mix (I like devils food)
1/2 cup of butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla
1 bag of large marshmallows (cut each marshmallow in half and set aside)
Chocolate frosting (you can make it or by it canned - one can will do for this whole recipe and its easy!)


Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. With an electric mixer, cream butter (apx. 2 minutes)
3. Add cake mix, eggs and vanilla - mix until blended
4. Drop by spoonful onto cookie sheet lined with parchment (I use a medium cookie scoop)
5. Bake @ 350 for 8- 9 minutes
6. Remove cookies from oven and quickly place 2-3 marshmallow halves sticky side down on top of the cookie
7. Place pan back in oven for 1 minute
8. Remove cookies again and use the back of a buttered spoon to lightly flatten and spread the melted marshmallow across the top of each cookie
9. Allow to cool and frost with the chocolate frosting, making sure to cover all the marshmallow
10. Eat, eat, and try to share :)


Friday, May 22, 2009

Red Velvet Cake Balls



1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)

1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)

1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)

wax paper


1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.

2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)

3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, but I like to hand roll them.)

4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)

5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)I also only melt a few pieces of chocolate bark at a time because it starts to cool and thicken. It's easier to work with when it's hot.
*These are so amazing... I actually used those large chocolate melting chunks instead of bark... it was so easy!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce



Hey girls....We had this dish for dinner last night and really enjoyed the sauce. It would also be delicious to add mushrooms and serve it over steak. If anyone is looking to add to their cookbook collection I strongly recommend anything in the Williams-Sonoma series. They have great books devoted to specific foods like Chicken, Soup, Salad, Cookies, Pies and Tarts, etc. I bought "Italian," "Cake," and "Hors d'oeuvres" gently used online at Amazon.com for a combined price of under $15.00. These books also make great gifts!


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons canola or olive oil

FOR THE MUSTARD SAUCE:

1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
3/4 cup heavy (double) cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard (Another word for whole-grain mustard is "stone-ground mustard." This is easy to find at the grocery store. I prefer Grey Poupon stone-ground mustard).

Place a large baking dish in the oven and preheat to 150 degrees.

Rinse the chicken breasts and pat them dry with paper towels. Using a meat pounder, lighty pound the breasts to an even thickness of just under 1/2 inch. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. When the foam begins to subside, add the chicken breats without crowding and cook, without moving them, until just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook until firm to the touch and there is no sign of pink in the center when tested with a knife, 2-2 1/2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken breats to the baking dish in the oven.

To make the mustard sauce, return the frying pan to medium-low heat and add the shallot (or 3 Tbs of onion). Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Add the wine and raise the heat to medium-high. Simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the flavorful bits from the bottom and sides of the pan, until the wine is rduced to about 2 tablespoons, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring frequetly, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and imediately whick in the mustard just until smooth.

Transfer the chicken breast to warmed individual plates. Top each with 2 or 3 spoonfuls of the sauce and serve at once.

Williams-Sonoma: Chicken (I really recommend this book! It is my favorite chicken cookbook).

Our Best Bites


Hey everyone! I have so many yummy recipes to post, but I found most of them HERE, so go to the site instead. I have tried the Spicy Honey Chicken(I use chicken breasts and the old recipe), Texas Sheet Cake, Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread, and tons more and it is all SOOO DANG GOOD! So, if you need some ideas for dinner tonight, make sure and check out this site!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Delicious White Bread


This bread is so good toasted with some homemade jam or use it for a sandwich! I LOVE it! I love bread WAY too much. Enjoy!


In a large mixing bowl add:
5 c. hot water
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. canola oil
2 T. salt

Mix for 20 seconds.

Add:
1½ c. bread flour (The flour is called Better for Bread flour and it is usually in a yellow package. I get the Gold Medal brand.)

Mix for 30 seconds.

Add:
3 T. yeast

Mix for 30 seconds.

Add:
10 c. bread flour

Mix and knead all together until mixed thoroughly. (It's easiest to use your bare hands.)

Rest dough for 20 minutes in bowl.

After 20 minutes is up, pre-heat oven to 170 degrees or lowest oven temperature. Then roll out dough onto a non-stick surface and use rolling pin to smooth it out. The dough will be sticky. I use non-stick cooking spray and spray it on the counter and the rolling pin as well as the top of the dough. Some people use flour, but I prefer non-stick cooking spray. After the dough is rolled out smoothly, cut the dough in half and then cut those halves in half, so you have 4 separate equal sections of dough. Spray the bread pans with non-stick spray. Roll each piece of dough (like a fruit roll up) and create 4 large loaves and put into bread pans.

Bake at 170 for 20 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN!!! The bread will sink if you do.

Increase oven temperature to 325 and bake for 30 more minutes. (Because all ovens are different, check bread after 25 minutes)

*If you make small loaves, only bake for 20 minutes.

I hope you like it! If you want, you can use 5 c. bread flour and 5 c. whole wheat flour for healthier bread. It still tastes good, but just not AS good. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chicken Tetrazzini


Ingredients

  • 9 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup dried Italian-style breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Spread 1 tablespoon of butter over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a deep large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot pan and cook until pale golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool slightly. Coarsely shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil to the same pan. Add the mushrooms and saute over medium-high heat until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates and the mushrooms become pale golden, about 12 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl with the chicken.

Melt 3 more tablespoons butter in the same pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream, broth, nutmeg, remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Drain. Add the linguine, sauce, peas, and parsley to the chicken mixture. Toss until the sauce coats the pasta and the mixture is well blended.

Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Stir the cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the pasta. Dot with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top and the sauce bubbles, about 25 minutes.

Taken from foodnetwork.com Giada De Laurentiis

Friday, May 8, 2009

Best Carmel PopCorn Ever!



You will need:
2 Bags Popped Popcorn
1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
1 Stick Of Butter
12 Big Marshmallow's

I Double The Recipe

Mix With Rubber Spatula Melt All Together And Poor Over Popcorn, And Let Stand For 10 Minutes... And Enjoy

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Green Chili Quiche

This quiche is super easy and requires no crust. I love it. Feel free to use it as a base and add other veggies like spinach, onions, mushrooms or anything else you think sounds good in a quiche. Have fun.

10 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Blend above ingredients. Pour in a mixing bowl, then add the following:

1 pint small curd cottage cheese
1 lb. Monterrey Jack cheese
1/3 cup melted butter
1 small can diced green chilies

Bake in a 9x13 inch pan for 35-45 minutes (350 degrees). Serve with sour cream and salsa. Serves 12-15 people.

Yummy Crepes


INGREDIENTS
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg


DIRECTIONS
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the milk and egg. Beat well to combine.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Homemade Oreo Cookies



2 pkg. German chocolate cake mix or Devils Food Cake 
1 1/2 c. shortening
4 eggs

Mix well, roll into half inch size balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet. 
 
For the Frosting you can either use Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting or make the one below:

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
1 tbsp. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar


Angela's Butter Noodle Pasta (easy)

Angel hair pasta (desired amount)
1 T. Butter (about)
1 C. Grape tomatoes cut in half
1 C. avocado cubed
Italian Seasoning (couple dashes)
Lawry's Salt (couple dashes)
Garlic Salt ( dash)  

Once pasta is cooked add butter, all the seasons, and then the tomatoes and avocado. Mix together. The seasonings are to your preference. This is one of those recipes that goes off of taste. Add as little or as much tomatoes and avocado as you like.  Enjoy!

Yogurt Pie



2 cartons of flavored yogurt (pick your favorite)
some fresh or frozen fruit that will go on top. (optional)
1 carton of whipped cream
a pre-made graham pie crust


Mix the yogurt, and whipped cream together in a large mixing bowl.

pour into pie crust, freeze until desired.
garnish with fruit or whip cream.

Shepherds Pie with Scallion Cheese Crust


Shepherds Pie with Scallion-Cheese Crust


Directions

For the filling:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound minced British lamb
  • 1 pound minced beef
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped very small
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms
  • 1 level tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 level tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh beef stock
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the crust:

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup scallions, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 cup mature Cheddar, coarsely grated

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or deep saute pan. Brown the lamb and beef. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the onions to the pan and saute until the onions are tinged brown at the edges - about 5 minutes. Add the chopped carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, tomato puree, thyme, parsley and cinnamon. Stir and saute for 2 minutes. Next, stir in the flour, which will soak up the juice, then stir in the wine and the beef stock. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Return the meat to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover, turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lamb is fully cooked.

Peel the potatoes, cut them into large even-sized pieces and place into a pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water to a boil and cook potatoes until they are tender, about 10 minutes. (Potatoes are done when a knife can easily go through.)

When the potatoes are done, drain off the water, return them to the saucepan, cover with a clean tea cloth to absorb the steam and leave them for about 5 minutes. Next, add the butter and mash them to a puree. Season with salt and pepper. When the meat is ready, spoon it into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and level it out with the back of the spoon. After that, spread the mashed potato evenly all over. Sprinkle the scallions on top of the potato, scatter the cheese over the scallions and bake the pie until the top is crusty and golden, about 25 minutes.

*I made this for dinner last night and I thought it turned out really good. I made some modifications to make it more what I wanted.  I used only ground beef. I added frozen sweet corn and baby peas to the meat mixture right before I spooned the meat into the casserole dish. The meat mixture is a little soupy so I drained a lot of the liquid. I only added a sprinkle of cinnamon and thought it was the perfect amount.  I made my own recipe of mashed potatoes so they would have more flavor. Next time I am going to add celery with the carrots. Hope you enjoy this dish.