Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lemon-Garlic Chicken

This recipe comes to you from one of my favorite celebrity cooks, Ina Garten. She's brilliant at coming up with recipes that are simple and delicious... I love this lady!

This lemon-garlic chicken is super easy to prepare, moist and screaming with flavor... a perfect recipe for those busy weekdays. I would serve it with boiled dill potatoes or steamed vegetables... oh, and make sure you use a good white wine. The first time I made this I used an out of date white wine and it was less than stellar... the wine makes difference!  


Lemon-Garlic Chicken


Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lemon


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a pan, heat olive oil on medium-high and stir in minced garlic. Cook garlic for exactly 1 minute. Add white wine and lemon juice. Stir and remove from heat.

3. Pour mixture into oven safe dish. Place chicken breasts on top of mixture and roll the breasts so that they are coated. Sprinkle breasts with salt, pepper, oregano, lemon zest and fresh thyme.

4. Cut a lemon in quarters and spread around the chicken.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes. 






Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fried Cauliflower

I know some people don't like cauliflower... but that's because they haven't tried fried cauliflower. :-) I had an extra head of cauliflower in my fridge the other night that needed to be used... otherwise it'd go to waste and wasting food in my house is sinful! I decided to fry it up and serve it as a side dish with a new chicken meatloaf recipe I was fixing. They were both a huge hit at dinner and everybody loved them. Will I be frying more cauliflower in the future? Absolutely! Give it a try and see what I mean!

Oh... in case you don't have self-rising flour, remember you can add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoons of salt for every 1 cup of all-purpose flower. So... in this recipe... if you're using all-purpose flour... add 3 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt and you're set to go!





Fried Cauliflower



Ingredients:

2 cups self-rising flour
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
2 eggs


Directions:

1. In a pot, heat water to a boil. Place cauliflower florets into boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Remove and allow to dry.

 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.

3. In another bowl, beat eggs; adding just a little water while beating.

4. Dip each cauliflower floret into the egg mixture, then immediately into the bowl with the flour mixture. Toss and coat each floret and set aside on a plate.

5. In an electric skillet heat oil to 350 degrees. Place coated cauliflower florets into the skillet. Make sure there's enough oil to almost completely submerge the cauliflower. Fry for 10-12, flipping occasionally, until the florets are golden brown.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Serve with ranch dressing.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Homemade Apple Butter

If you've never had homemade apple butter you're missing out on something special. This slow-cooker/crock-pot recipe takes a little time... but what you get in return is truly wonderful... not to mention your kitchen will be smelling delightful & delicious during the entire process. If you're looking to can or jar the apple butter, it makes a unique gift for the holidays... or keep it all to yourself and spread it on a piece of toast or a toasted bagel with your coffee in the morning.


* If you've never canned before, check out this video below to learn.




Homemade Apple Butter

Ingredients:

5 pounds (about 10 large) apples, preferably a mix of sweet and tart varieties, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups apple cider
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup Applejack or Calvados
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Zest and juice of ½ large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice



Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Spread the apple chunks in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast until they’re softened but not very brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer the apples and any juices they’ve released to a slow cooker.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cover the pot. Turn the slow cooker to low and cook until the mixture has turned brown and reduced to a chunky purée, about 10 hours. (This is convenient to do overnight.)

3. Remove the lid, turn the slow cooker to high, and cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 3 hours or longer, depending on the desired consistency. (The longer you cook it, the thicker the butter will be.) Turn off the slow cooker.

4. Purée the apple butter with an immersion blender until completely smooth (or let the butter cool completely before puréeing with an upright blender or food mill). Serve the butter warm or at room temperature. (Keep apple butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month, or can it and keep it at room temperature for up to a year.)  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Baked Acorn Squash with Crushed Pineapple

If you're interested in preparing acorn squash in a new, sweet and delicious way... try this recipe for Baked Acorn Squash with Pineapple from Paula Deen's bookcook, Southern Cooking Bible. I was a little hesitant at first - the idea on squash and pineapple sounded a little strange to me... but it actually turned out quite good and a sweet side dish that would go wonderfully with a delicious, savory main dish.



Baked Acorn Squash with Crushed Pineapple 
 

Ingredients:

1 can crushed pineapple (8 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoons pepper
2 medium acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds and pulp removed


Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the pineapple, butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat until syrupy, about 5 minutes.

3. Place the squash halves, cut side up, on he prepared baking sheet. Spoon the pineapple mixture into the cavities, making sure to cover all the cut surfaces with the syrup. You don't want to miss 1 square inch with the syrup. Bake until the squash is tender and golden brown. About 1 hour.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Peppermint Holiday Bark

If you're looking for something fun, easy and sweet to make for a Christmas or holiday party, take a look at this recipe video below by Stephanie Jaworski of Joyofbaking.com. One can NEVER go wrong with chocolate and candy canes. I sprinkled my batch of bark with green sprinkles to make them look even more festive. :-) If you have kids, this is an easy recipe they can help you make... or, if you're a big kid at heart with a sweet tooth, you'll love this!





 Peppermint Holiday Bark



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cinnamon-Roast Almonds & Spicy-Candied Pecans

Today you get two recipes in one blog post... because these delicious candied nut recipes are so similar, addicting and EASY!

This holiday season I've decided to send off candied pecans & roasted almonds to a few friends & family members. I started off trying a wonderful recipe for Spicy-Candied Pecans from Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible, page 417. I'll tell ya right now, these things are amazing. Thank you, Paula! They're so good I almost did a cartwheel... almost. My partner asked me to try something with almonds instead of pecans. I searched online and found several ways to roast them... until I came across one for Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds that sounded good. After tweaking it a bit they turned out to be an addictive treat worth sharing. At a dinner party, place a bowl of these out on the table and watch people devour them. 

Like I mentioned, both of these recipes are very easy to make... plus they make your kitchen smell like Heaven. Enjoy!




Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds


Ingredients:

1 egg white
4 cups whole almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon



Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Lightly greased a 10 x 15 inch baking pan or sheet.

2. Lightly beat the egg white; add water and vanilla and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts, and stir until well coated. Mix the sugar, salt, cayenne pepper and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat and spread evenly on the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring every 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating.





Spicy-Candied Pecans


Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1 large egg white
1 pound pecan halves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch of ground cloves


Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  -  I just lined a baking sheet with foil. It worked just fine. 

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg white. Add the pecans and toss to combine. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and cloves. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the nuts and toss well.

3. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, until the pecans are fragrant and almost dry to the touch, about 30 minutes. 





Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cheddar Biscuits

Have you ever been to the seafood restaurant, Red Lobster? I haven't been there in years, but one of things I remember about that restaurant was the cheddar biscuits they would serve you as soon as you sat down. Man, those were good. Here's an easy recipe for delicious biscuits that you're entire family will enjoy. They're not exactly like the ones from Red Lobster... but they're pretty darn good. They go well with just about any type of meal...or they're great by themselves too!


Cheddar Biscuits


Ingredients:

2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted.


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and parsley. Whisk.

3. Cut in shortening until it resembles cornmeal. Add Cheese and sour cream.

4. Stir in buttermilk all at one time. I usually get in there with my hands and mix it up to form a thick dough. Careful not to over stir.

5. Make little balls of dough (about 1 to 2 tablespoon of dough per ball) and place on a well greased baking sheet.

6. Brush with each dough ball with melted butter.

7. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

8. Brush with a little more butter as soon as removed from the oven.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables isn't rocket-science. It's super easy. The trick I've found over the last few years comes down to just a few simple rules - (1.) Roast veggies under a high heat, (2.) Stir every 10 to 15 minutes, (3.) know what veggies are in season, and (4.) always use fresh herbs. That's it. If you know of any other "tricks" for better roasted vegetables I would welcome your thoughts!

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, this recipe would make a healthier side dish. The original recipe I found online excluded Brussels sprouts... but, with the sprouts being in season, I saw no reason not to add them.

 Coating the vegetables.

Ready to be popped in the oven.

 Final results after 45 minutes.


                Balsamic Roasted Vegetables


Ingredients:

1 small Butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cubed
2 Red Bell Peppers
1 Sweet Potato, peeled & cubed
3 Yukon Gold Potatoes, cubed
1 Red Onion, guarted
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Thyme
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Rosemary
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cups Brussels Sprouts, halved
3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 475 F.

2 In a large bowl, combine squash, bell pepper, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts and gold potatoes. Separate the red onion quarters into pieces and add to the mixture.

3. In a small bowl, stir thyme, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss with the vegetables until they are well coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan.

4. Roast for 40-45 minutes in the prepared oven, stirring every 10-15 minutes.  



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Apple Pumpkin Muffins

I never thought the combination of pumpkin & apples would taste so good! I've never come across a recipe that did... until now. These delicious Apple Pumpkin Muffins are a wonderful treat with your morning coffee or a perfect dessert for a dinner party. I personally like cutting them in half and spreading butter on each piece. Ymm! This recipe is by Beth Knapp from New Hampshire and can be found in the cookbook, The Best of Country Cooking, 2000. She writes, "The combination of apples and pumpkin makes this recipe a perfect treat for cool autumn days." Right you are, Beth!


                    Apple Pumpkin Muffins



Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped peeled tart apples


Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients.

3. In a small bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin and oil. Stir.

4. Stir pumpkin mixture into dry mixture until it's a moistened batter; then fold in apples.

5. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen muffins.



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Brussel Sprouts with Apple & Bacon

I LOVE Fall produce - butternut squash, cabbage, celery (which is best in the Fall season), eggplant and, my favorite, Brussels sprouts... or, "little cabbages" as I used to call them when I was a child.

This simple holiday recipe for brussel sprouts with apple & bacon is brought to you today by Chef Susan Feniger from a little cooking pamphlet titled, Holiday Joy Made Easy, chef collection 2010, volume 1 that I picked up 2 years ago at the store. Feniger writes, "There's something about brussel sprouts that make them perfect to combine with other flavors." I'm no chef, but I couldn't agree more with her. This recipe is incredibly simple to fix and bursting with flavor - sweet from the apples & salty from the bacon. I would go well with your Thanksgiving turkey as a delicious and unique side dish!

Give this recipe a shot and check out Chef Susan Feniger's website for more of her recipes HERE !




Brussel Sprouts with Apple & Bacon


Ingredients:


12 ounces brussel sprouts, cut and quarted
1 fuji or gala apple, cut in 1/2 inches
1 red onion, cut in 1/2 inches
3 slices of applewood smoked bacon or good quality bacon, cut in 1/4 inch strips
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Directions:

1. Place the oil, bacon and onions in a saute pan, on medium heat. Stir constantly and cook for 4-5 minutes to caramelize. The onions should be golden and the fairly bacon fairly crispy.*

2. Add apples, brussel sprouts and salt and continue cooking for another 5-8 minutes. Stir occasionally, but you want to let sit still in the pan long enough to sear and color.

3. When all are nice, seared, golden brown, but brussel sprouts are still partially crisp, turn off the heat and add lemon juice. Stir and remove pan to stop the cooking process. Serve warm


* I personally felt it took a little longer than 4-5 minutes for the onions to caramelize and for the bacon to become crispy. I would suggest adding the bacon first and cooking just a few minutes before adding the onions. 


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Red Beans & Rice

Red Beans & Rice is one of those cheap, easy to make comfort foods that almost always go well on cold or rainy day - and with Hurricane Sandy hitting us this week we needed all the "comfort" we could get. This is my crock pot take on this old Southern favorite.


Red Beans & Rice


Ingredients:

1 pound bag (16 ounces) kidney beans - make sure you soak them in water for 8 hours/overnight first
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
4 strips of bacon, chopped into little pieces
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup 
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 bay leafs
1 1/2 cups of chopped Chorizo sausage... or any type of linked, precooked sausage would be.
Prepared white rice.
Salt & Pepper

* for an added "kick" you can add Cajun seasoning 
 


Directions:

1. In a nonstick skillet, on medium-high heat, cook the pieces of bacon. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then add garlic, onions, celery, bell pepper, sausage and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Saute for a few minutes until the onions become transparent.

2. Add kidney beans to crock pot. Pour contents of skillet on top of the beans. Stir. Add enough water or chicken stock to crock pot to just cover the beans.

3. Add Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and bay leafs to the crock pot. Stir.

4. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5-6 hours. Add water or stock if need be.

5. Salt & pepper to taste and serve over a bed of white rice.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Paprika Chicken with Sour Cream Gravy

It's great to be back in my own kitchen after 2 months on the road.

This simple paprika chicken recipe is a perfect weekday meal for the family. I found it in a the Campbell's Cooking Companion Cookbook and it's never failed me. I've added sauteed yellow onions and green bell peppers for variety... but the basic recipe is definitely a winner. I recommend serving it with a brown rice and peas & carrots.



Paprika Chicken with Sour Cream Gravy

Ingredients:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoons each garlic powder, ground black pepper and ground red pepper
4 to 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 tablespoons butter
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (regular or 98% fat Free)
2 medium green onions, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream


Directions:

1. Mix the flour, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and red pepper on a plate. Coat the chicken with the flour mixture.

2. Heat the butter in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until it's well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken and set aside.

3. Stir the soup and green onions into the skillet. Heat to a boil. Stir in sour cream. Lower heat and add chicken back to skillet.

4. Cover and cook for 7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve warm.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blueberry Pudding Cake

I've been on the road the last week or so and been away from a kitchen... hence the reason my blog has been relatively quiet of late. :-(

However...

Prior to my travels, I had a dinner party in Norfolk, Virginia with friends and colleagues. I was asked to provide the dessert for the evening festivities. I wanted to try something new... but also something I knew I couldn't screw up...

... actually, unless your guests are good friends, I usually suggest NEVER making anything "new." Stick with what you know and don't let your guests be your guinea pigs... unless they're willing to volunteer!

Anywho... I found this delightful, award winning dessert in The Best of Country Cooking, 2000 cookbook. The recipe by Jan Bamford. Thanks, Jan! She writes, "My family loves blueberries, so I'm always looking for new ways to use them. This recipe is popular!"

Now, this isn't the prettiest dessert... but decorate it with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream, maybe a few mint leafs to garnish, and you won't care what it looks like... this is will be every sweet-toothed, blueberry loving, comfort food craving, persons dream come true!



Blueberry Pudding Cake


Ingredients:
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Topping:
3/4  cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup boiling water


Directions:

1. Toss the blueberries with cinnamon and lemon juice; place in a greased 8-in. square baking dish.

2. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder; stir in milk and butter.

3. Spoon over the berries.

4. Make the topping - Combine sugar and cornstarch; sprinkle over the batter.

5. Slowly pour boiling water over all.

6. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.
 









Monday, October 8, 2012

Potato Salad with Sausage & Grainy Mustard Dressing

There are numerous dishes you can make with potatoes and this latest recipe is one that will please your family members, friends and dinner guest. What's so wonderful about this particular recipe... aside from being extremely easy to make... is that it tickles your taste buds. You get sweet from the sugar, salty from the bacon or sausage, sour from the vinegar and it's all soaked up by each small potato and bursting with flavor. I decided to use bacon pieces instead of sausage, but you can use any type of meat you like or exclude it all together. Also, for the grainy mustard, look for Grey Poupon... I find their grainy mustard is far better than most.

This recipe was found on Better Homes & Gardens website - click here!


Potato Salad with Sausage & Mustard Dressing


Ingredients: 
1 pound small red new potatoes, halved
1 pound small yellow new potatoes, halved
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt


Dressing:
1/4 cup coarse-grain mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/3 cup dry cured sausage - such as soppresata, pepproni, or salami, cut in 1/4 inch pieces or bacon.
1/2 cup torn fresh curly-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
salt & pepper


Instructions:

1. In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan combine potatoes, 3 Tbsp. cider vinegar, and 1 Tbsp. kosher salt. Add water (about 4 cups) to cover potatoes. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, just until potatoes are tender when gently pierced with a fork. Drain well. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before adding dressing.

2.  For Grainy Mustard Dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the mustard, 3 Tbsp. vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. In a steady stream, whisk in peanut oil until well blended.

3.  Transfer potatoes to a mixing bowl. Add Grainy Mustard Dressing all at once. Mix gently to avoid breaking potatoes. Gently mix in sausage. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Add parsley and green onions. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Zucchini Ricotta Casserole

I felt a little guilty posting that incredible cookie recipe last week... so, this week, I thought I would introduce a healthier dish. Though zucchini season is leaving us, this light, easy to prepare, recipe will have zucchini lovers asking for more. I gave it a try last week... a little uneasy about adding the fresh mint leafs, but I did as I was instructed and it turned out wonderfully. Roasted zucchini, with fresh garlic and topped with a nonfat ricotta cheese... yum! I found this recipe on YouTube and presented by Chef John, who's recipes are always a treat, from FoodWishes.com. Click here to watch him prepare this delicious dish. 



Zucchini Ricotta Casserole


Ingredients:

6-8 medium size zucchini squash, chopped in triangles (see video)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
A few fresh mint leafs (about 7 leafs), chopped
1 cup of nonfat ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
salt & pepper


Directions:

1. Preheat over to 450 degrees F.

2. Place chopped zucchini in a large bowl. Add oil, paprika, mint leafs, salt & pepper, and a garlic. Stir.

3. Place zucchini mixture in an oven safe casserole dish that has been sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray.

4. Top with several clumps of ricotta cheese... leave room between the clumps.

5. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes and... that's it! Serve warm!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fudge BonBon Cookies

Who likes chocolate? Ok. That's a dumb question. We all do, right?... well... ok... maybe not ALL of us... but the majority. As we enter the Fall season I'm trying new recipes for cookies... as I'll be sending boxes of them around Christmas time in a few months. I found this recipe for Fudge BonBon Cookies (isn't that a great name for a cookie?) in a wonderful cookbook, The Best of Country Cooking 2000, with the recipe by Janice Smith of Cynthiana, Kentucky. The recipe is very simple and the results are... just... wow. The fudge part of this cookie is not overwhelming sweet... like most fudge recipes... but rather a nice, subtle, setup for the milk chocolate kiss at the center. The white chocolate drizzled on top of each BonBon cookies not only adds a little color  and decoration... it's also a chocolate lovers Heaven when combined with the dark chocolate, fudge outside and the milk chocolate, sweet inside. This one's a winner, kids!


Fudge BonBon Cookies


Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (13 ounces) milk chocolate kisses
2 squares (1 ounce each) white baking chocolate
1 teaspoon vegetable oil


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and pecans; set aside.

3. In a microwave or saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter; stir until smooth.

4. Stir condensed milk and vanilla extract until blended well.

5. Add to flour mixture; mix well.

6. When cool enough to handle, shape a tablespoon of dough around each chocolate kiss... rolling them between your hands to form balls.

7. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes... or until tops begin to crack.

8. Cool on a wire rack,

9. In a microwave or saucepan, heat white chocolate and oil; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.

Makes about 5 1/2 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hobo Burgers

I learned how to make these while watching an episode of Paula's Home Cooking with Paula Deen. I thought to myself, "dang... that doesn't look hard to make!" Not only was I right about that, but these little meaty delights are actually quite tasty! I suppose you can get creative with what you want to put on, or in, your Hobo Burger... but I would strongly suggest not omitting the hickory-smoked bacon. That's against the law.



HOBO BURGERS


Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 package (2 cups) of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup saltine crackers, crushed
1 cup diced green peppers
1 dash of lemon juice
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2-3 red potatoes, sliced
carrot sticks
strips of hickory-smoked bacon


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, cheese, crushed crackers, green peppers, lemon juice, egg, salt and pepper... get your hands in there and make sure it's blended well.

3. Make small, oval shaped loaves with the meat mixture.

4. Top each of the loaves with potato, onion and carrot slices... then top it with a few slices of bacon!

5. Securely wrap each of the loaves in foil and place on a foil lined baking sheet.

6. Put baking sheet in oven and cook for 45-50 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and carefully remove the foil. Enjoy!




Friday, August 31, 2012

Chicken Broccoli Divan

If you ever take a moment to look on the back of a soup can you can sometimes find a really great recipe. Cambell's Soup usually has excellent recipe recommendations which are easy to make and affordable. The other night, I needed to give the leftovers in my refrigerator a facelift or throw them out... I hate throwing away food that isn't spoiled yet... so I decided on a casserole... which is a perfect dish for using up leftovers, btw. Looking through my pantry I noticed I had a can of Campbell's Broccoli Cheese soup. I turned the can around and, sure enough, noticed a recipe. This casserole turned out wonderfully and was a big hit. I'll definitely be making this again very soon! Thanks, Campbell's Soup!




Chicken Broccoli Divan

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh broccoli, cut into spears or 1 package of frozen broccoli, cooked & drained
1/1/2 cubed cooked chicken or turkey
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's Broccoli Cheese Soup
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F.
2. Place broccoli and chicken in a 9" pie plate.
3. Stir bread crumbs and butter together in a small bowl.
4. Stir soup and milk in a small bowl until mixture is smooth. Pour over broccoli and chicken. Top with cheese. Sprinkle with bread crumb mixture.
5. Bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Southern Peach Cobbler

Every year I make a few peach cobblers. It has to be one of my favorite desserts of all time. My Grandma Letha could make some pretty incredible cobblers... peach always being my favorite. I can remember walking into her house and smelling a freshly baked cobbler... that would always put a smile on my face. Make it with fresh, juicy Georgia peaches and serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream... serving this with no ice cream is a SIN!! This particular recipe comes from AllRecipes.com... a website I often turn to for new recipes. Though July is the peak season for peaches, there are still a few good ones out there! Take advanage of them and throw'em in a cobbler.




 Southern Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:

Peach Mixture
8 fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced into wedges
1/4 cup of white sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons corn starch

Batter for Cobbler
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

Topping
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.


3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in boiling water until just combined.


4. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping oven them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden... about 30 minutes.

5. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Split Pea Soup

There's just something about split pea soup that makes the world a better place, in my opinion. It's a comfort food and makes a great starter for any dinner party... or, if you're like me, a nice midnight snack. This is my own little recipe. Hope you enjoy it!



Split Pea Soup


Ingredients: 

2 teaspoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 medium sized carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
4 cups of chicken broth
3 strips of thick-sliced bacon, chopped in little pieces
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper


Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Saute the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Add thyme. Cook for 5 minutes.

2. Add bacon pieces. Stir. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.

3. Add split-peas and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the low heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

4. Serve with a garden salad and/or French bread.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Parmesan Covered Aspargus Rolls

These asparagus rolls are super simple to make. You'll find Phyllo dough in your frozen food section at your local grocery store... usually next to frozen pie crust. Make sure you work swiftly after removing the phyllo from the box... if it stays out too long at room temperature it can become hard to work with and crack. These make excellent snacks for kids and a great side dish. Instead of french fries with your hamburger, try these instead. You won't regret it!




Parmesan Covered Asparagus Rolls 


Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus
Phyllo dough
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cube butter, melted
salt & pepper
garlic powder


Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 360 degrees.

2. Wash asparagus and place in a large bowl. Cover with olive oil, making sure all of the asparagus is covered. Add salt & pepper & garlic powder.

3. Roll out phyllo on counter. Roll the dough around each piece of asparagus, one at a time. Place on a cooking sheet.

4. Brush melted butter over the asparagus rolls, then cover with Parmesan cheese.

5. Bake for 12-15 minutes... or until the phyllo is golden brown!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cheesy Elbow Lasagna

This recipe is a mixture of a few different pasta recipes I've thrown together. There's really endless possibilities you can add to this dish - including using mushrooms and other veggies to make a delicious vegetarian dish. Just be creative. Use more vegetables... or add some spicy Italian sausage to give it a kick! You can eat on this all week and a perfect one dish meal to feed an entire family. Enjoy!


Cheesy Elbow Lasagna


Ingredients:

1 -1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1-2 medium zucchini, sliced
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 can (14 oz.) of diced tomatoes
1 cup meatless spaghetti sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups of dry elbow pasta
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1 cup fat-free soft ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
3 fresh basil leafs, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried



Directions:

1. In a nonstick skillet, cook the ground turkey, onions, garlic, zucchini and carrots over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink.

2. Drain the skillet of any excess liquid. Add canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and spaghetti sauce. Stir. Add fresh basil and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

3. While the pasta mixture is simmering, boil two cups of elbow pasta - according to the directions of the pasta box. Drain.

4.  Place half of the pasta in an ungreased 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish. Top with half of the meat sauce, then top that with half of the sour cream, soft ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers. Finish with topping with the mozzarella cheese.

5. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes... or until the cheese begins to brown.

6. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Slow Cooked South Carolina BBQ Pork Loin


If you've read my cooking blog before, you know how much I enjoy my slow cooker. This recipe was a real winner the other night. I had a thawed out pork loin and wanted to try a new recipe. I narrowed it down to two slow cooker BBQ recipes - North Carolina BBQ Pork Loin or South Carolina BBQ Pork Loin - though I'm pretty sure both North & South Carolina would not consider this an actual BBQ recipe and probably would scoff at the idea that it's cooked in a crockpot. Anyway, I flipped a coin and, unlike the Civil War, the South won. If you enjoy a sweet tang to pork loin, you'll love this recipe. Makes for a nice Sunday dinner. Fix it in the morning and leave it alone for 8 hours. Perfection!



Slow Cooked South Carolina BBQ Pork Loin


Ingredients:

4-6 pound pork loin
2 medium onions
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Directions:

1. In a bowl mix finely sliced onions, brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper. Coat the loin with this mixture. Put loin in the slow cooker with onions and seasoning.

2. In a bowl mix vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, dry mustard, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper. Mix. Pour a third of the sauce on loin, then refrigerate the rest.

3. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours... or HIGH for 5 to 6 hours

4. Add one more third of the sauce to the loin and cook for 30 minutes.

5. Pour off excess liquid and serve. Top with the cooked onions. 


Friday, July 13, 2012

Weight Watcher Brownies

Ok... I'm on a diet, believe it or not. It's nothing out of the ordinary... I usually try an watch what I eat during the Summer... because by the time Fall and Winter come around, I'm "packing on" for the colder months after Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I digress...

As I was searching through my Weight Watchers Cookbook, I came across a recipe for brownies!! I had been craving something that was chocolate and sweet for weeks and, for only 3 points a brownie, I HAD to try these... and, surprisingly, they're very good. I had never added cinnamon to brownies before... but I really enjoy the subtle hint of it in this recipe.

They do tend to get dry if left out, so be sure to put them in a air-tight, ziplock bag when not enjoying them.



Weight Watcher Brownies


Ingredients:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 egg white
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter



Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8-inch-square baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, egg white, sugar, and vanilla; beat well to dissolve the sugar.

3. In a sauce pan, melt butter and chocolate chips, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute, then stir into the egg mixture; beat well to combine. Stir the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan.

4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, 20-22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into 16 brownies.

per serving (1 brownie): 127 Cal, 5 g Fat, 3 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 34 mg Chol, 54 mg Sod, 20 g Carb, 1 g Fiber, 2 g Prot, 15 mg Calc.

Weight Watcher Points value:  3

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Turkey Cabbage Casserole

As my journey continues in finding delicious low-fat dishes to prepare, I came across this wonderful turkey cabbage casserole recipe on Food.Com that was beyond my expectations, in terms of flavor. It a perfect combination, lowfat, easy to prepare, relatively cheap prepare, and makes a great dish for the family to enjoy. For those interested, it's only 7 Weight Watcher points per serving, and renders about 4 servings all together. Try it out... I'm sure you'll agree... it's a keeper!



Turkey Cabbage Casserole


Ingredients:

1/2  head of cabbage, shredded
1 pound lean ground turkey
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup of diced tomatoes
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups shredded cheese (any type will do) 
1/ teaspoon oregano
salt & pepper



Directions: 

1. place shredded cabbage in a lightly greased 2 quart casserole dish.

2. In skillet, saute onions and garlic with a touch of olive oil for a few minutes. Add turkey and cook until brown and no longer pink in color.  

3. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano, salt & pepper. Stir.

4. Place turkey mixture over cabbage in casserole dish. 

5. Top with shredded cheese.
  
6.  Cover and bake 350 about 1 hour.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Glazed Turnips

I think turnips are probably one of the most underrated vegetables out there... which is such a pity, they're so full of flavor and make a wonderful side-dish. I remember my Grandma Letha making turnips when I was a kid, sometime boiled, sometimes fried and sometimes mashed. I'm always surprised to meet people who have never tried turnips. In you or somebody you know has never had them, try this wonderful recipe I found at LaaLoosh.com - it's a Weight Watchers recipe, but DON'T judge a book by it cover - they're good & healthy!!

   
Glazed Turnips

Ingredients:

  • 1lb fresh turnips
  • 2 tbsp low calorie butter (I used Brummel & Brown)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fat free vegetable broth

Directions:

  1. Peel turnips, remove stem, and slice thickly
  2. Simmer them in salted water for about 10 minutes. They should be just tender when you take them out of the water.
  3. Drain them very well. Heat some butter in a skillet and brown the turnips in it.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and brown sugar, turning the turnips around to get colored. Add stock as needed to make a thin glaze. Taste to adjust seasonings.
  5. Chop parsley or celery leaves and sprinkle over turnips. Serve hot.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spicy Turkey Enchiladas

I've been cooking more with ground turkey lately... but not just because less fat than ground beef, but because I actually think it tastes better. Going through my cookbooks I found this delicious recipe for turkey enchiladas (sometimes I just have these crazy cravings for enchiladas) in a helpful little book called The $7 a meal Cookbook by Linda Larsen. I'm all about trying to save money while cooking and this book is great! Anyway - back to the enchiladas... they're wonderful and easy to make. If you don't like them spicy, but omit the cayenne pepper and green chilies - you can replace the chilies with 1 can of sweet corn.


Note - Look for ground turkey, dark and light. This type has more flavor and is much less expensive than ground turkey breast.




Spicy Turkey Enchiladas


Ingredients:

8 ounces ground turkey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies, undrained
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese or Mexican blended cheese
8 flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Sour cream to garnish


Directions:

1. In a large skillet, cook turkey until browned; remove from skillet with slotted spoon, place in medium bowl, and refrigerate. Drain skillet but do not wash or wipe.

2. In same skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper; cook and stir until bubbly.

3. Add chicken broth; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens. Add chilies, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and chili powder; simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of this sauce to the cooked ground turkey; stir in pepper jack cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese.

4. Preheat over to the 350 degrees. Dip tortillas into the sauce, then place a few spoonfuls of the turkey mixture on each tortilla and roll up. Place, seam side down, in 13" x 9" glass baking dish and cover with remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until sauce begins to bubble. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lentils with Chorizo


Chorizo is a Spanish/Portuguese pork sausage full of flavor. My grandmother, who is full-blooded Portuguese and a wonderful cook, would often use this type of sausage in bean dishes. This Spanish lentils recipe is fantastic for a last minute meal and the ingredients are simple. If you can open a can, you can make this. Enjoy!



Lentils with Chorizo


Ingredients:

28 oz canned lentils
20 slices of chorizo
14 oz canned fire-roasted tomatos
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt & pepper


Directions:

1. In pot the heat olive oil. Add onions and chorizo and saute until the meat is not longer pink.

2. Add canned lentils and tomatoes. Stir. Add red wine vingear and salt & pepper to taste.  Stir.

3. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Garnish with parsley and serve!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cooking Tip #30

Ok... I know this isn't necessarily a "cooking tip"... but it's an eating tip and I think it has a good point.


"Make sure that vegetables are the first things you eat at lunch or dinner. You'll fill up with fewer calories and less fat. Clean that part of your plate first or, if you're at a restaurant, ask for a leafy green salad before getting your entree. "

 - Andrea Giancoli, registered dietitian and the spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chicken Asparagus Roll-Ups

Now this recipe is a real treat, folks! My mother used to make a similar dish when I was growing up... and it was always one of my favorites. I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com. It was given 4.5 out of 5 stars from people who have prepared it... and I can understand why! My only recommendation would be - take your time. Be patient. If you go slow and steady, the recipe is not rocket science. I used mozzarella instead of provolone cheese, which worked out great. I also used toothpicks to help keep the chicken rolled up nicely... especially when your adding and rolling in the breadcumbs.


Chicken Asparagus Roll-Ups



Ingredients:

1/2 cup of mayonnaise
3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 spears of asparagus, trimmed
4 chicken breasts, skinless
4 slices provolone cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Grease a baking dish. In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, tarragon, salt, and pepper until the mixture is well combined. Set aside. 

2. Cook asparagus in the microwave on High until bright green and just tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Set the asparagus spears aside. Place a chicken breast between two sheets of heavy plastic (resealable freezer bags work well) on a solid, level surface. Firmly pound the chicken breast with the smooth side of a meat mallet to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Repeat with the rest of the chicken breasts. 

3. Place 1 slice of provolone on each chicken breast, and top the cheese with 4 asparagus spears per breast. Roll the chicken breasts around the asparagus and cheese, making a tidy package, and place, seam sides down, in the prepared baking dish. With a pastry brush, apply a coating of the mayonnaise mixture to each chicken breast, and sprinkle each with panko crumbs, pressing the crumbs into the chicken to make a coating. 


4. Bake in the preheated oven until the crumbs are browned and the chicken juices run clear, about 25 minutes.

Cooking Tip #29

" When a recipe calls for zest, instead of grating it into a separate container or onto parchment paper, hold the zester over the mixing bowl and zest directly onto the butter or cream. The aromatic citrus oils that are sprayed into the bowl will give the dessert a zesty finish." - Pichet Ong, Spot Dessert Bar, NYC.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pan-Seared Pork Chops

I originally discovered this recipe by Chef Gerry Garvin last year for pan-seared turkey chops... but I decided to use, "the other white meat" and tried pork chops. This is one of those easy dishes you can make without any trouble, but taste good enough to convince people that you've slaved in the kitchen all day preparing. Soul Food Seasoning is sold in most grocery stores... it's a bit like regular seasoned salt but with just a hint of spiciness to it... and, of course, full of "soul" too! ;-)


Pan-Seared Pork Chops with a White Wine Sauce




Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 or 4 medium sized, boneless pork chops
Soul Food Seasoning
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoons butter
Black Pepper


Directions:

1. In a large saute pan heat olive oil over medium heat.

2. Rinse pork chops. Season with Soul Food Seasoning and ground black pepper, making sure to pat seasoning into the meat to seal in flavor.

3. Sear chops in pan for 9-12 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove chops from pan; lay on a paper towels to soak up excess oil.

4. Add white wine to remaining juices in the pan, stirring to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring sauces to a slight simmer for 3 to 5 minutes; whisk in butter to finish.

5. Place chops on a serving plate and drizzle sauce over the chops.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cooking Tip #28

Bottled Lemon Juice vs. Real Lemons

According to Martha Stewart - "When time is tight, using a few dashes of bottled juice can be tempting in lieu of giving the fresh fruit a good squeeze. However, packed juice lacks the bright flavor of a lemon and costs more for less. No zest? No thanks! For the most efficient squeezing, use a citrus press."


.... guess I'm going to need to purchase a citrus press! ;-)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cooking Tip #27

Batter vs. Breading

Batters are liquid mixtures of flour, eggs and milk or water. Breadings are dry ingredients used to coat fish such as cracker crumbs, bread crumbs, flour or corn meal. Usually the fish is dipped into an egg mixture and then into the dry mixture. Batters tend to result in a thicker, breadier coating after the fish is fried. Corn meal breading is the favorite way to prepare Southern favorites like catfish and crappie.

Crab Cakes


I love crab! I prefer it over lobster any day of the week. Crab cakes are truly one of my favorite seafood treats... I'll take them as an appetizer, for lunch, a snack, or dinner. This recipe is a combination of a few I found... both online and in my cookbook collection. You could add hot sauce to the recipe if you like, but I opted to leave it out. They're easy to make and delicious to eat! If you're planning a seafood dinner, try these as an appetizer... your guests with will love them!


Crab Cakes


Ingredients:

1 pound lump crab meat
1/3 cup of breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 large egg
1 rib of celery, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons mayo
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Mix all the ingredients into a large bowl. Fold the mixture with a spoon or mix with your hands.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

4. With your hands form cakes with the crab mixture.

5. In a skillet or frying-pan heat 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat. Place the cakes in the skillet and allow to cook for 3 minutes, then flip them over and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes.

6. Transfer cakes to oven pan or baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes.

7. Serve with tartar sauce, rice or a garden salad.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Turkey Meatloaf


I live near a Penzeys Spices in Philadelphia. I love walking in the shop and smelling all the different spices and dried herbs. Aside from buying spices, they also have free recipe cards you can take throughout the store. I found this Turkey Meatloaf recipe by Robin Jackalone in the store. If you're looking for a healthier alternative to meatloaf I would highly recommend trying a this.

* TIP - If you don't have a Penzeys Spices near you try making your own Bavarian seasoning mixing together 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard, 1/4 teaspoon dried sage, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary.



Turkey Meatloaf



Ingredients:

1 24-oz. package ground turkey
1/2 cup plain uncooked oats or breadcrumbs
1 small yellow onion, grated
1 egg
1 tablespoon Bavarian seasoning *
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup ketchup


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

3. IN a large bowl combine the turkey, oats/bread crumbs, onion, egg, spices and milk. Mix well.

4. Pat into the loaf pan and top with ketchup.

5. Bake for 1 hour.

Cooking Tip #26

Substitute for a one large egg for two tablespoons of mayonnaise.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Avocado Fries


You would think that, having grown up in California, I would have heard of avocado fries... but I had no idea what they were. My partner was in Southern California a few months ago on a business trip and returned home raving about these fries. I told him if he found a recipe online I would attempt to make them. He found one and, true to my word, I made them. If you enjoy avocados as much as I do, this recipes won't disappoint. It's an excellent appetizer! Serve with buttermilk ranch dressing for dipping!


Click HERE for the link to the recipe.



Avocado Fries


Ingredients:
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • About 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 firm-ripe medium avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-in. wedges
Directions:
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 200°. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 in. oil until it registers 375° on a deep-fry thermometer.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, mix flour with 1/4 tsp. salt in a shallow plate. Put eggs and panko in separate shallow plates. Dip avocado in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, then panko to coat. Set on 2 plates in a single layer.
  3. Fry a quarter of avocado slices at a time until deep golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer slices to a plate lined with paper towels. Keep warm in oven while cooking remaining avocados. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Cooking Tip #25

"Learn how to cut up a whole chicken. Not only will you become well-versed with the different parts of the chicken, but buying a whole chicken rather than individual parts will save you money."
- Martha Stewart


1.  Remove the legs
Place the chicken breast side up on a solid cutting board. Pull one leg away from the body and cut through the skin between the body and both sides of the thigh.
Bend the whole leg firmly away from the body until the ball of the thighbone pops from the hip socket.  Cut between the ball and the socket to separate the leg. Repeat with the other leg.




2.  Divide The Legs
Place the chicken leg skin side down on the cutting board. 
Cut down firmly through the joint between the drumstick and the thigh.







3. Remove The Wings
With chicken on it's back, remove wing by cutting inside of wing just over joint.   Pull wing away from body and cut from down through the skin and the joint. Repeat with the other wing.







4.  Cut Carcass in Half
Cut through the cavity of the bird from the tail end and slice through the thin area around the shoulder joint.  Cut parallel to the backbone and slice the bones of the rib cage.  Repeat on the opposite side of the backbone.

5.  Remove The Breast
Pull apart the breast and the back.  Cut down trough the shoulder bones to detach the breast from the back.  Cut the back into two pieces by cutting across the backbone where the ribs end.
 6.  Cut Breast In Half
You may leave the breast whole if your recipe requires. To cut in in half, use a strong, steady pressure and cut downward along the length of the breastbone to separate the breast into two pieces.