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


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


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


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


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

  • 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
  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.