Monday, October 14, 2013

Amish Turnips

Autumn is here... and that means great root produce!! Turnips are in season and I love to cook with them during this time of year. I've mashed them, boiled them and glazed them... but this recipe was new to me - Amish turnip pie!? Never heard of that before!? I got this from an Amish recipe food application on my iphone called, "The All in One Cookbook." This makes for a wonderful side dish, has only a few ingredients, easy to throw together and... the most important aspect... it's tastes good! If you have somebody in your family who hates turnips, give this recipe a try. If they still don't like turnips afterward take them to the doctor... because there is something seriously wrong with them! ;-)



2 1/2 cups cooked turnips
2/3 cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg
salt & pepper


1. Peel & chop turnips into chunks. Boil them until tender.

2. Drain, mash and then add 1/2 cup of bread crumbs - save the rest for the topping.

3. Add egg, milk, sugar and salt & pepper to taste. Mix together and pour into a greased baking dish - a pie dish works well!

4. Dot with butter and top it off with the rest of the bread crumbs.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Beef Casserole

I believe "comfort food" is always better during the Fall season... so, it goes without saying, I enjoy getting out recipes, like this one, when the weather starts cooling down. This delicious, easy to make Beef Casserole is perfect for those weekday meals... when you just need something quick to throw together for you and the family. I've made this many times... it's nothing fancy... but it's only a few ingredients, it's fast, tastes good and hits the spot after a long, hard days work. Enjoy!

Beef Casserole


1 pound ground beef
1 tsp salt
16 oz. canned pork & beans
1 cup BBQ sauce (I like honey BBQ sauce!)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can biscuits


1. Brown ground beef and pour off fat.
2. Add all the other ingredients, except for cheese and biscuits. Mix well.
3. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish and lay biscuits over the beef mixture. Cover biscuits with shredded cheese.
4. Bake at 350 F until biscuits are brown (about 20 -22 minutes... but I would check it at 15 minutes to be sure)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Homemade Egg Bread

I was looking for an easy recipe for homemade egg bread and, lo and behold, I found this wonderful YouTube channel that teaches you how to make various types of breads - visit Stevethebreadguy . My first few attempts at making bread were disappointments, but this channel on YouTube has been extremely helpful in changing that. I now find making egg bread to be fun and stress-free. It's makes a perfect addition to meals and snacks. I love having a buttered slice of egg bread with my coffee in the morning. Feeling adventurous? Give this a try!

Homemade Egg Bread


1 tbsp of yeast
1 tsp sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp salt
2 tbsps of honey
4 cups of flour
2 tbsps of sesame seeds


1. Add 1 tablespoon of yeast & 1 tablespoon of sugar to a large bowl.  Add 1/2 cup of warm water and stir. Set aside.

2. Crack 2 whole eggs in a bowl, then, with the other 2 eggs, separate the yolk and the whites. Add the yolks to the bowl with the two whole eggs and, in another small bowl or cup, add the whites and set aside - you'll need this later. Add 2 tablespoons of honey to the bowl with the egg yolks mixture and beat.

3. Check to see if the yeast is activated - it should look foamy. Once it's activated, add the egg mixture to the yeast and stir. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Stir.

4. Add flour, one cup at a time until dough starts to form. Using your hands, make a ball with the dough. Remove the dough ball for second and grease the inside of the bowl with canola oil, then place the dough ball back in the bowl, flip once, cover with a damp towel, and let it sit for an hour. It should double in size.

5. After an hour, take dough and kneed for a few minutes. Separate the dough into three pieces and roll them out into 2 feet long, "snakes" shapes. Joining the bottoms of each "snake", proceed to braid the dough. Watch this video if don't know how to braid.

6. After braiding the dough, place it on a greased baking sheet, cover it with a damp towel and let it rise sit for 1 hour to allow it to rise.

7. Brush the dough with the egg whites you set aside earlier, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

8. Place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. Set in for 12 - 17 minutes, but check it around 10 minutes... just to be sure.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

This week's recipe for Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs is brought to you from allrecipes. com. I love using my slow cooker, especially when I know I'm going to busy during the day and/or have side dishes that need an extra amount of time to prepare. This is such a simple recipe and the meat is so tender and delicious... falling off the bone! Serve this with corn-on-the-cob and mashed potatoes or a big pasta salad.

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs


3 pounds baby back ribs, trimmed
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup water
salt & pepper, to taste
1 bottle (8 oz.) of BBQ sauce

  1. Season ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour water into slow cooker. Layer the ribs into the slow cooker. Top the ribs with onion and garlic.
  3. Cook on High for 4 hours (or Low for 8 hours).
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  5. Transfer ribs to a baking sheet. Discard onion and garlic. Coat ribs with barbeque sauce.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until the sauce caramelizes and sticks to the meat, 10 to 15 minutes.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Avocado Chicken Salad

Here's a really delicious chicken salad recipe from Paula Deen's website that's sure to be a winner for those end of Summer potlucks or family BBQ's. If you have a few extra avocados laying around that need to be used and/or some left-over chicken, this would be a perfect way to use them up. The first time I made this, I cut the ingredients by half... I don't like wasting food when experimenting with a new recipe. It was ridiculously good... but make sure the chicken salad has had time to chill in the refrigerator before serving... it's much better cold! Feel free to use a reduced-fat mayonnaise and sour cream, if you wish... if you're concerned about that. This would also be wonderful if you used a rotisserie chicken that you buy at the grocery store, pull off the meat, chop it up and throw it into the salad. You could serve this on a bed of lettuce with freshly sliced tomatoes.     

Avocado Chicken Salad
by Paula Deen


3 cups cooked, diced chicken
3 cups cooked white rice
2 avocados, peeled, diced, and tossed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Avocado Dressing:
1 large avocado, peeled and mashed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
Thick, crusty bread, multi-grain or sourdough, for serving
Lemon wedges, for garnish


Mix all ingredients and chill. Pass with avocado dressing.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Chill and serve alongside chicken salad.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Crispy Oven Zucchini Fries

At long last - I'M BACK!!!

This Summer has been tough keeping up on my food blog... but I've been home and back in my kitchen in Philadelphia for the last few weeks and have tried a few new recipes that I'm excited to share with you! I'm spare you the recipes that didn't turn out so well. ;-)

Summertime brings in one of my favorite vegetables - zucchini!! There are so many different ways to prepare zucchini. You can serve it grilled, sautéed, mashed, and, my favorite, bread & fried with a side of ranch dressing. YUM! I found this recipe for Crispy Oven Zucchini Fries on Paula Deen's website- Go here to visit the site. It has the same type of crunch that fried zucchini has... only a bit healthier because it's baked. Using panko breadcrumbs for a coating is a brilliant idea... mixed in with some grated Parmasean cheese and fresh parsley (I add it)... it's a winning combo! They make perfect finger foods, appetizers and/or a side dish that everybody can enjoy.

Because of this recipe, I was introduced to baking with parchment paper... which, if you haven't baked with it before, it's wonderful. Why didn't I know about this before!?! It saves your cookie sheets or baking sheets the hassle of getting messy while baking... after you're finished baking, just remove the paper from the sheet and that's it... an easy clean up! I guess you do learn something new everyday!

 Crispy Oven Zucchini Fries
by Paula Deen

½ cup all purpose flour 
1 beaten egg with 1 egg white
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 zucchini, sliced into ½ inch thick and 4 inches long
Cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Add flour to a pie plate and whisk in some salt and pepper.

3. Beat the eggs together in another pie plate.

4. In a third pie plate, whisk together the panko, Parmesan, smoked paprika, and another big pinch of salt and pepper.

5. Dip the zucchini in the flour, then in egg, and then through the breadcrumb mixture. Add the zucchini to a parchment lined sheet tray, leaving ample room between each fry so it has room to crisp up form the heat of the oven. Give the zucchini a light spritz with some non-stick spray and sprinkle again with some salt.

 6. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip, and continue cooking for 10 minutes more, until golden and crisp.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fried Green Tomatoes

I've been away from the kitchen the last few weeks rehearsing an opera in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm also away from my home in Philadelphia and subletting an apartment with very little cooking utensils... so I'm challenged in with preparing certain dishes.

However... I'm back today with a FANTASTIC recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes! A true Southern classic! This is brought to you by Patrick & Gina Neely and listed on Click HERE to see their video.

I tried fried green tomatoes this past March for the first time while I was performing in Valdosta, Georgia. I was instantly hooked, unsurprisingly. I couldn't wait to find a recipe when I got home so I could make my own batch. After hunting around through cookbooks and various cooking sites online, I was drawn to The Neely's recipe. I loved the idea of using panko instead of cornmeal. Green tomatoes are usually out in early Summer and are easy to find in certain regions in the United States... as Gina Neely says in the video though, Northerners may find it a bit more difficult to find them. Southerners, you're in luck!

I made these for my best friend, whom I'm living with in Cincinnati... and we both were in the love with these tomatoes after the first bite! I'll be making these again and again for years to come. :-)

NOTE: There is a recipe for a dipping sauce at the bottom that goes wonderfully with these tomatoes!

Fried Green Tomatoes


4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch rings
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
4 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch paprika
Buttermilk Dipping Sauce - recipe follows


1. In a deep-fryer, preheat oil to 350 degrees F.    (I used a skillet & heated the oil on medium-high)

2. Season tomatoes, on both sides, with salt and pepper. Place flour and garlic powder in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat eggs with the milk.
3. In another dish, mix bread crumbs with cayenne and paprika. Dredge tomatoes through the flour, then the eggs, and then through the bread crumbs. Add only a few pieces to the fryer at a time, so they can cook evenly, about 2 to 3 minutes. 
4. Drain on paper towels and serve with Buttermilk Dipping Sauce.

Buttermilk Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (online, they forgot to list this as apple cider VINEGAR)
2 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Neelys BBQ sauce
1 lime, juiced
4 scallions, sliced thin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Allow to reduce until thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, add buttermilk, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce and lime juice and whisk well. Add in the scallions and the apple cider mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with Fried Green Tomatoes.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Green Bean Gremolata

This weeks recipe, once again, comes from The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. This healthy, side dish is packed with flavor and can be made ahead of time. When you're ready to serve dinner, just reheat these green beans and toss with the garlic, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese & toasted pine nuts mixture! :-) Enjoy!

Green Bean Gremolata
by Ina Garten - Barefoot Contessa, Foolproof 


1 pound French green beans, trimmed
2 teaspoons minced garlic, (2 cloves)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, (2 lemons)
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leafed parsely
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper


1. Bring a large pot of water a boil. Add the green beans and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender but still crisp.

2. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately put them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve their bright green color.

3. For the gremolata, toss the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, Parmesan, and pine nuts together in a small bowl and set aside.

4. When ready to serve, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Drain the beans and pat them dry.

5. Add the beans to the pan and saute, turning frequently, for 2 minutes, until coated with olive oil and heated through.

6. Off the heat, add the gremolata and toss well. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt & 1/4 teaspoon pepper and serve hot.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Saucy Chicken & Asparagus Bake

Say what you want about Paula Deen... healthy recipes or not... she knows exactly what the term "comfort food' means. With asparagus season at it's peak and a few chicken breasts in the refrigerator, I came across this recipe for Saucy Chicken & Asparagus Bake from The Lady & Sons, Too. You can't go wrong with chicken, asparagus and cheese. It's a perfect busy weekday meal!

Saucy Chicken and Asparagus Bake
by Paul Deen


1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 pounds chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
one 10 3/4-ounce can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


1. If the asparagus spears are thick or seem tough, cook them in boiling water for 2 minutes; drain.

2. Place the asparagus spears in a greased 9 x 9 baking dish.

3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat; add the chicken and brown on both sides; season with salt & pepper.

4. Arrange the chicken over the asparagus.

5. In a bowl, mix the soup, mayo, and lemon; pour over the chicken.

6. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees F for 40-45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and it's juices run clear.

7. Sprinkle the dish with cheese and let stand for 5 minutes so the cheese melts. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Little Chocolate Cake Treats

Have you ever had a dinner party and forgot to a dessert? Maybe you got caught up in the preparation of the main course and didn't have enough time throw something together. Ever have a sudden craving for something chocolate!? I know, I know... who hasn't, right!? This super easy, quick-fix chocolate dessert is the perfect remedy for nights like that.

If you don't own any ramekin bowls, try using a regular coffee mug.

Also - since microwaves vary, be careful not to overcook... otherwise your chocolate will get hard as a rock! You can usually be safe with 2 minutes and 25 seconds.

                Little Chocolate Cake Treats


3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
Hershey kisses
Powdered Sugar


1. Coat ramekins with cooking spray.

2. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients - except for the Hershey Kisses and powdered sugar.

3. Pour mixture half-way into the ramekins.

4. Place in microwave for 2 minutes 25 seconds.

5. Remove from microwave and immediately place a Hershey Kiss in the middle and dust with powdered sugar. (Careful! The ramekins will be hot!)

6. Serve warm with coffee or vanilla ice cream... or BOTH!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Creamy Fried Bacon Mashed Potatoes

Most of the recipes I post on here aren't that bad for you - it's just that... well... the "less healthy" ones tend to stand out more because... uh... they're just so darn good... that's why! And speaking of good... and, take note, this recipe will NOT be found on your Weight Watchers list, folks... this Creamy Fried Bacon Mashed Potatoes recipe completes a Sunday evening dinner perfectly!  It goes well with fried chicken, steak or pork chops and works well for those Springtime potlucks... people will be on this like a piranhas to blood. Ms. Paula Deen can be credited for this hearty, Southern creation... y'all! ;-)

Creamy Fried Bacon Mashed Potatoes
by Paul Dean


3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 shallot, finely minced
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh chopped chives, 1 tablespoon reserved, for garnish


1. Place the potatoes into large pot and cover with cold water. Salt generously. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for roughly 13 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.

2. While the potatoes are boiling, melt 1 tablespoon of butter into a saucepot. Add the minced shallot and saute until soft. Add the cream and rest of the butter being sure not to bring to a boil.

3. Drain potatoes in a colander. Return to pot and mash with a potato masher. As soon as they are mashed slowly add in the hot cream and butter. Stir slowly and do not overwork or the potatoes will be heavy. Add the sour cream and the bacon and fold in the chives. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Cut a round in the top of the bread. Pull off and remove top, reserve. Pull out all of the soft bread inside. Be careful not to take out too much, as you want this to be a serving vehicle for your mashed potatoes.

5. Place potatoes in bread and garnish with chives.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Slow-Roasted Filet of Beef with Basil-Parmesan Mayonnaise

The following recipe is, without question, one of the best dishes I have ever prepared... and something I plan adding to my list of favorite recipes. This slow-roasted filet of beef with basil parmesan mayonnaise by Ina Garten (from her cookbook, Foolproof) is so wonderful and loaded with so much flavor that you'll attempt cartwheels in your kitchen after trying it. :-)... but seriously,  the secret is all in the homemade basil Parmesan mayonnaise, which compliments the slow roasted filet nicely... it's such a lovely combination and a perfect match made in Heaven. I would suggest allowing yourself plenty of time for preparation for this recipe... don't bother trying to rush and toss it together at the last second... there's a reason why it's called "slow-roasted filet of beef" after all. This brilliant dish goes wonderfully with a nice glass (or bottle) of cabernet sauvignon or a pinot noir. Enjoy!

Note: There are two recipes here - the first is the filet of beef, the second is the basil Parmesan mayonnaise. You'll have plenty of time to prepare the mayonnaise while the beef is roasting... plus is stays good for about a week in the refrigerator.

 Slow-Roasted Filet of Beef
by Ina Garten

1 whole filet of beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied (4 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons good olive oil
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
10 to 15 branches fresh tarragon
Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise, for serving (see recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Use an oven thermometer to be sure your oven temperature is accurate.

2. Place the filet on a sheet pan and pat it dry with a paper towel.

3. Brush the filet all over with oil, reserving about a half a tablespoon.

4. Sprinkle it all over with the salt and pepper - it will seem like a lot but it makes a difference.

5. Place tarragon branches around the beef, tying them in 4 or 5 places with kitchen string to them in place and then brush the tarragon with the reserved oil.

6. Roast the filet of beef for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until the temperature registers 125 degrees in the center for rare and 135 degrees for medium-rare.

7. Remove and cover the filet of beef with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

8. Slice thickly and serve warm or at room temperature with the Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise.

Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise

2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup good olive oil, at room temperature

Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, mustard, basil garlic 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of pepper in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process for 20 seconds, until smooth. Combine the vegetable oil and olive oil in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. With the processor running, slowly pour the oil mixture through the feed tube to make a thick emulsion. Taste for seasoning - the mayonnaise is a sauce so it should be highly seasoned. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use; it will keep for up to a week

Friday, April 12, 2013

Shepard's Pie

On St. Patrick's Day,  I wanted to make something "Irish"... or close to it. I turned to one of my favorite food blogs Food Wishes by the wonderful Chef John. I absolutely love this blog and Chef John is wonderful in presenting recipes that are both delicious and easy to follow. But, back to St. Patrick's Day...  I decided to make Chef John's Shepard's Pie... though, he would call it a "Cow Pie" because I used ground beef instead of ground lamb.

Side Note - I've never tried lamb. Can you believe that? That's a food goal of mine this year - to try lamb!

This is a great one-dish recipe for a busy weekday. I also found it could be prepared in advance and then popped in the oven at a later time. I would suggest really investing time in looking for a nice aged Irish white cheddar cheese... it does make a difference. :-)

Shepard's Pie 
by Chef John from

For lamb mixture:
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 diced onion
2 pounds lean ground lamb
1/3 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp ketchup
2 1/2 cups water or broth (use more or less to adjust thickness as needed)
12 oz bag frozen peas and carrots, thawed, drained well

For the potato topping:
2 1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 pound Irish cheddar
1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tbsp milk

  1. Place cubed potatoes and garlic in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Brown ground beef over medium heat in a skillet. Stir in flour, mixing with beef drippings.
  4. Add beef broth, ketchup and vegetables. Stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, until thick.
  5. Transfer beef mixture into an oven-proof casserole dish.
  6. Drain potatoes and smash them a little bit before adding 1/4 cup of grated cheese and sour cream. Mash together until smooth.
  7. Spoon potatoes onto the middle of the meat mixture. With a fork, spread potatoes from the center to the edges to form the top layer.
  8. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sauteed Carrots

I enjoy the combination of sauteed carrots and fresh dill... and this recipe from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten is definitely a winner. I'm trying to use more fresh vegetables... as opposed to canned... and what a difference in flavor that alone makes. This is a quick fix side dish... and it couldn't be more simple to make. Enjoy!

Sauteed Carrots


2 pounds carrots
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


1. Peel carrots and cut them diagonally in 1/4 inch slices. Should have about 6 cups of carrots.

2. Place the carrots, 1/3 cup water, salt and pepper in a large saute pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for  7 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are just cooked through.

3. Add butter and saute for another minute, until the water evaporates and the carrots are coated with butter.

4. Take off the heat, toss with dill and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I've blogged enough times on how I thoroughly enjoy Brussels sprouts... there in my top 5 favorite vegetables and I'm always interested in finding new ways to prepare them. I've been turning to the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, lately and exploring her wonderful recipes. This week I prepared her balsamic-roasted brussels sprouts recipe from her newest cookbook, Foolproof... and this was absolutely Heavenly! I did use a good white balsamic vinegar instead of the regular dark balsamic... because it was more syrupy and a higher quality... and it turned out perfectly! This is perhaps my new favorite way to make Brussels sprouts now! Thanks, Ina!

Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts


1 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed  and cut in half through the core
4 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup good olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon syrupy balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the Brussels sprouts on the sheet pan, including some of the loose leaves, which get crispy when they're roasted. Cut the pancetta into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the pan. Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss with your hands. Spread out the mixture in a single layer

Roast the Brussels spouts for 20 to 30 minutes, until they're tender and nicley browned and the pancetta is cooked. Toss once during roasting. Remove from the oven, drizzle immediately with the balsamic vinegar and toss again. Taste for seasoning and serve hot.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Taco Seasoning

If you're making tacos tonight? Don't waste your money on those little seasoning packs you find in the grocery store... first, look in your spice drawer or cupboard to see if you have the right spices to make your own taco seasoning. This recipe is from by Bill Echols.

Taco Seasoning


1 tablespoon chili powder 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Curried Wild Rice Salad

If your looking for something different to entertain dinner guests with or if you're just in the mood to fix something new, I've found a recipe called Curried Wild Rice Salad. I picked this one up off of Better Homes & Gardens online and it's loaded with flavor and makes for a perfect side dish. I would recommend putting a bit more curry powder in this recipe... I personally got more of a delicious citrus flavor in the rice rather than a curry flavor... but play around with it and arrange the ingredients to suit your tastes. :-)

NOTE: This recipe needs 24 hours to make. 

Better Homes & Gardens

Curried Wild Rice Salad


3 cups water
2/3 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 10 ounce package frozen peas, thawed (1 cup)
1 medium red or yellow sweet pepper, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup currants or raisins
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped honey-roasted peanuts (optional)


1. In a medium saucepan combine the water, wild rice, and brown rice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 40 minutes or until rice is tender; drain if necessary.

2. Transfer rice to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Add peas, sweet pepper, green onions, and currants to rice mixture.

3. In a screw-top jar combine oil, orange peel, orange juice, honey, curry powder, and salt. Cover and shake well.

4. Pour dressing over rice mixture in bowl. Gently toss to combine. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.

5. Let salad stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with chopped peanuts just before serving.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mandy's Crab Stuffed Zucchini

It's great to be back in my kitchen after being on tour this last month.

I was wanting to make something unique with crab this last week. I came across this recipe on and, though it takes a little time and patience scraping out each zucchini, it was fun to make and even better to eat... especially if you like both crab and zucchini.... which I do. ;-)

Mandy's Crab Stuffed Zucchini


4 zucchini, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 pound crabmeat
1 teaspoon ground paprika
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup mayonnaise, or as needed
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Slice the zucchini in half the long way, and scoop out the seeds and flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch thick shell all around. Discard flesh, or save for another use. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and immerse the zucchini boats in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from the water, drain, and place into a 9x12-inch baking dish. With a paper towel, blot away any excess water from the inside of the zucchini.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the onion, garlic, and green pepper until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Gently stir in the crabmeat, and cook about 5 more minutes, until the crabmeat is hot. Keep the crabmeat in lump pieces as much as possible.  Season the crab mixture with paprika, salt, and black pepper.

4. Place the crab mixture into a mixing bowl, and lightly stir in bread crumbs, mayonnaise, and white wine. Add a bit more mayonnaise to help the mixture hold together, if needed. Spoon the filling into the prepared zucchini shells, and brush each zucchini with about 3/4 tablespoon of melted butter. Top each stuffed zucchini with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.

5. Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese melts and the filling is hot, about 15 minutes.