Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Veg Lasagne

Tammy this one's for you~! xo

1 Box Lasagne Noodles
2 28 oz Cans Good Marinara, Trader Joe's has a good one
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
2 t Garlic, Chopped
8 oz Mozzarella Shred
8 oz Provolone Shred
8 oz Parmesan Shred
1 Eggplant, Sliced and Roasted
1 8 oz Bag Fresh Spinach
1 8 oz Tub ricotta

Slice and roast eggplant by placing on a baking sheet and sprinkling with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast for 10-15 minutes in a 425 degree oven.
Place Marinara, red pepper flakes and garlic in a bowl and mix well.
To assemble:
Place a ladle full of the marinara in the bottom of your lasagne baking dish. Top with uncooked noodles.
Add 2 ladles of marinara.
Top with eggplant, spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, & parmesan. Top with uncooked noodles and repeat and end with noodles then top with marinara and remaining cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour, tenting with foil if the top is getting too brown.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wine Cake

1(18.25 ounce) Package Moist White Cake Mix
1 (5 ounce) Package Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 t Nutmeg
3/4 C Oil
3/4 C White Wine
4 Eggs

1/4 Butter
1/4 C Water
1 C Sugar
1/4 C White Wine
Combine butter, water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add white wine. Stir to combine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray Bundt pan or 9" round pan with pam.
In a medium bowl combine the cake mix, instant vanilla pudding, nutmeg, vegetable oil, white wine, and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer for 5 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool on rack in pan for 10 minutes. Pour warm syrup over whole cake while still in pan. Let set until absorbed.
Serve with a dollop lightly sweetened Mascarpone cheese with a dash of nutmeg.

Enjoy! xod

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Bran Flax Muffins

These muffins are so yummy and good for you, too! A little tip on Flaxseed meal is that it can be substituted for butter or oil in a recipe. The ratio is 3 to 1 in baked goods, so if a recipe calls for 1/2 C butter you can substitute 1 1/2 C Flaxseed Meal. Enjoy!

2 C Flour
3/4 C Flaxseed Meal
3/4 C Oat Bran
1 C Brown Sugar
2 t Baking Soda
1 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt
2 t Cinnamon
1 t Nutmeg
3 C Pumpkin, 1 large can
1 C Raisins
1 C Nuts, Chopped
3/4 C Milk
3 Eggs, Beaten
1 t Vanilla

Mix together all dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add milk, eggs and vanilla. Stir until all ingredients are moistened, but don't overmix. Fill muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cranberry Coconut Bars

I guess this is Bar Cookie Week! LOL I love bar cookies because you can cut them into small bite size pieces for dessert bars and tiny bite munching! These are so yummy and chewy! Cinnamon is good but if you want to switch it up try Pumpkin Pie Spice or cardamom! Once again you can switch up the dried fruit! xo

1 C Flour
2 t Cinnamon, or other interesting spice!
1/2 t Baking Soda
1 t Salt
1 C Butter, at room temperature
1 C Brown Sugar
2 Egg
1 C Dried Cranberries
3 C Sweetened Shredded Coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream butter, eggs and sugar until smooth. Add flour mixture and blend. Stir in coconut and dried fruit until thoroughly mixed. Spread evenly into an ungreased 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pan. Bake until cookies are firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Place on a rack to cool, cut when completely cool.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Almond Bars with a White Chocolate Drizzle

Almond is one of my favorite flavors and these bars are amazing! I like to add dried blueberries, mango or cherries to make these bars more festive and colorful~ try adding your favorite dried fruit! xo

1 C Butter
3/4 C Sugar
2 Egg
1/2 C Almond Paste or almond pastry filling, grated
1 t Almond Extract
2 1/2 C Flour
1 C Dried Fruit Such as Blueberries, Cherries, Mango, etc
2/3 C Sliced Almonds
1 Egg White
1/2 C White Chocolate, Melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, beating until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg, almond paste, and extract, beat until well blended. Stir in flour and dried fruit if adding. Spread mixture in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Beat egg white (at room temperature) until foamy; brush over entire surface of dough, and sprinkle with almonds.

Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. Drizzle the melted white chocolate over the cooled bars. Allow the white chocolate to set. Slice into squares and then on the diagonal, if desired.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Deb's Chimichurri

Yes, Jeff, I am finally posting my version of Chimichurri. Traditional Chimichurri calls for Italian Parsley, but you know I like to switch it up, so I use Cilantro. It is so good! It is great as a sauce for grilled meat. I like to use it to marinate shrimp and then grill them! Amazing! Try it on steamed veggies or over rice! xo

1 C Firmly Packed Cilantro Leaves
3-4 Garlic Cloves
2 T Fresh Oregano or 2 t Dried Oregano
1/2 C Olive Oil
2 T Red or White Wine Vinegar
1 t Salt, I like Sea Salt but use what you have!
1/4 t Black Pepper
1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning and refrigerate until use!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce

My friend Kathy has lots of tomatoes from her garden, so I told her about this recipe! So easy and delicious! If you have fresh herbs you can add those, too! Love you Kathy! xo

2 T Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
1 Onion, Chopped
2 t Chicken Stock Powder
1 1/2 C White Wine
3 C Fresh Tomatoes, Chopped
1 lb Pasta, Cooked Al Dente

In a sauce pan combine olive oil, garlic and chopped onion. Saute for 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add chicken stock powder and white wine, simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 5 more minutes. Add cooked pasta and simmer for 10 more minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Goat Cheese Pesto Pita Bites

This is an easy fresh tasting appetizer. You can use whole wheat or regular mini pita breads. The Goat Cheese Pesto is from an earlier post so I have copied it here for you!

1 Pkg Mini Pita Bread
1/4 C Chopped Basil
6 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced and quartered
Goat Cheese Pesto
2 T Olive Oil
8 oz Goat Cheese
4 oz Prepared Pesto
1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 C Shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese
Mix together in food processor or with an imersion blender, to make a paste.

Mix sliced and quartered tomatoes gently with basil, spread Goat Cheese Pesto on Pita Bread so you can't see any of the bread. Cut Goat Cheese Pesto covered pita in 6 pie shaped pieces. Top with a pie shaped piece of tomato that has been tossed in the basil. Enjoy! xo

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bailey's Irish Cream Cake

I first made this cake for the Grandparent's day celebration at St. Vincent de Paul High School (my kids went there). Everyone loved the cake! I hope you try it! If you have recipes you would like me to share, send them to my email address, I'd love to post your favorites! xo

1 pkg Chocolate Cake Mix, with pudding in the mix
3/4 C Oil
1/8 C Water
1/4 C Vodka
3/8 C Bailey's Irish Cream Liquer
4 Eggs

Combine cake mix, oil, water, vodka, liquer and eggs in a bowl. Beat until smooth. Pour into a Bundt pan sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until done. Remove from pan and cool completely. Mix a glaze of Bailey's and powdered sugar to a thick consistency and drizzle over cake.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Arugula Pesto & Gorgonzola Bites

This appetizer is great with the West Wind Wines Sangiovese, but you can try it with your favorite red wine or beverage! The Arugula pesto is amazing on pasta or as a sandwich spread. Create something of your own with it! xo

1 – 6 ounce Bag Arugula or Rocket
1 T Olive Oil
1 T Lemon Juice & Zest
Salt & Pepper to taste
1a Chip
1/2 C Gorgonzola, Crumbled
1 Bag Salted Pita Chips
1 Small Bag Candied Pecans, Available at Trader Joe’s, Chopped (purchased), I chop them by hitting the bag with a rolling pin, it works well and doesn’t make a mess!
In the bowl of a food processor place arugula, olive oil, lemon juice & zest, salt & pepper. Process until it looks like pesto. Place in a bowl.
Place a dollop of the arugula pesto on a pita chip, top with Gorgonzola and sprinkle with candied spicy pecans, serve.
Makes 30.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rosemary Focaccia & Capricious Aged Goat Cheese

This interesting combination will excite your palate especially with your favorite Merlot, of course we paired it with West Wind Winery's version. xo

1 Rosemary Focaccia, sliced lengthwise
1 C Dark Chocolate, Shredded
2 C Capricious Aged Goat Cheese, Shredded
4 T Fresh Rosemary, Roughly Chopped
Heat oven to 450. Place halves of focaccia, cut side up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Shredding chocolate is a bit tricky, I like using a large chunk and place it in the microwave for 10 second intervals so it is soft but not liquid. Then hold with a paper towel and grate on a grater or in your food processor. Sprinkle each side with 3/4 C shredded chocolate, then top with 1cup aged goat cheese and sprinkle each with 2 T rosemary. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is light brown and bubbly. Cut into desired size pieces and serve.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Date Mint Bites

We paired this flavor explosion with West Wind Wines Grenache. A flavorful red wine, try it with your favorite red! xo

8 Dates, Pitted and Sliced into round 4 pieces
32 Mint Leaves
32 Frozen Blueberries
Placed sliced dates on a parchment lined baking sheet, poke mint leaf into center of date and top mint leaf with a partially defrosted blueberry. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 32.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Burgandy Lamb Tips with Avocado Appetizer

This is a hearty appetizer with great flavor. Enjoy with West Wind Winery Malbec!

½ lb Lamb Roast, Cut into bite size pieces
¼ C Red wine
½ C West Wind Malbec
1 T Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 Avocado, Cut into cubes
2 T Summer Savory, Chopped Finely
2 T Tarragon, Chopped Finely
In a saucepan combine lamb, red wine, malbec, & Montreal Steak seasoning. Heat to simmer and cover, cook for 1 hour or until meat has absorbed the wine,looks a bit purple and is very tender. Mix summer savory and tarragon together. Assembly: pick up a cube of avocado with a toothpick, dip into the finely chopped herbs and then pick up a piece of lamb. Can be warm or cold, assemble just before serving.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Major Grey’s & Mascarpone Spread

This interesting appetizer was also part of the West Wind Flights & Bites Pairing. Each day I will post a recipe from the pairing. This was paired with the Muscat Canelli, a dry, fruity wine, it would also pair well with Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. This recipe contains Lychee Fruit, it is available now at Trader Joe's and can also be found canned. xo

8 oz Mascarpone Cheese

3 T Major Grey’s Chutney

4 Lychee Fruit, Peeled & Seeded

4 T Sweetened Coconut

1 t Lemon Juice

1 Box Water Crackers

Small Slices of Chili Mango ( available in the Mexican Market)

Combine mascarpone cheese, Major Grey’s Chutney, lychee fruit, coconut and lemon juice in the food processor and process until smooth. Spread on Water Cracker and top with a slice of chili Mango.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Deb's Blood Orange Mignonette

I am back! I have been working lots and yesterday it was Flights & Bites for my dear friends John & Cynthia's West Wind Winery. This is a wine pairing I have done for them for the past 4 years. It is truly a labor of love! Pairing food with Cynthia's wines is a blast! The best part is that all the proceeds from the wines go to Gilead House, a home here in Novato for single Mothers and their children. So yesterday Drake's Bay Oyster Company donated some of their fabulous oysters to the event! Thank you Drake's Bay and the wonderful Ginny! I came up with this twist on a mignonette for Cynthia's Sauvignon Blanc. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! We got rave reviews...let me know what you think! xo

1 C Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T Blood Orange Juice, Fresh or Bottled
2 T Shallots, Finely Minced
2 T Cilantro, Finely Minced
Pinch of salt
Combine and refrigerate. When ready to serve on Drake’s Bay Oysters, spoon over oysters in the shell!
Add a little olive oil and this would be a great salad dressing!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Asparagus Fettuccine

1/2 lb Asparagus
3 T Butter
1/2 C Onion, Chopped
4 oz Proscuitto, Cubed, available in a package
1 C Heavy Cream
1 C Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, Grated
1 lb Fettuccine, Cooked Al Dente

Trim the asparagus of the tougher lower portions and cut into 1 inch pieces. Place in a microwave safe dish, cover and cook on high for 3 minutes.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent and golden. Stir in proscuitto and saute until slightly crispy. Add the asparagus and turn the heat to medium high. Stir in the cream and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside. Add cooked pasta to pan and add cheese. Stir until all is incorporated. Add some of the pasta water if needed.

Cilantro Avocado Crab Salad

1/3 C Red Onion, Chopped Finely
1/4 C Best Foods Mayonnaise
2 T Cilantro, Chopped
Juice and Zest of 1 Lime
1/2 t Cumin
8 oz Crabmeat
1 Avocado, Ripe and Cubed

Stir red onion, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest and cumin in a medium bowl to blend. Add in crab meat and avocado, toss gently to mix. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve over your favorite salad greens or can be served on cucumber rounds as an appetizer.

Chinese Chicken Salad

This recipe rocks! One of my favorites from my Mom... I have been making this for years to raves! I use the Mai Fun Noodles that you break apart and when you add them to hot oil they puff up, but you can just as easily use the prepared packaged Chinese noodles. xo

1 C Sugar
1 C Rice Wine Vinegar
3/4 C Oil
1/2 C Sesame Oil
2 T Soy Sauce
2 T Sesame Seeds, Black or Tan
1 T Dry Mustard

Mix all ingredients and taste for seasoning. Add salt & pepper as needed.


4 C Sliced Grilled Chicken, Homemade or prepared
1 Pkg Mai Fun Noodles, Fried or 1 Pkg Prepared Chinese Noodles
1 Head Nappa Cabbage, Shredded Thinly
3 C Sugar Snap Peas, Sliced Diagonally if desired
1 Pkg Bean Sprouts
1-8 oz Pkg Purple Cabbage, Shredded
1-8 oz Pkg Carrots, Shredded
2 Heads Romaine, Shredded
1 Bunch Cilantro, Roughly Chopped
2-3 C Dry Roasted Cashews

To assemble add cabbage, romaine, snap peas, bean sprouts, carrots and cilantro to a large bowl and mix together well. Top with chicken, cashews and noodles. Toss with dressing and serve.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Roasted Lemon Asparagus

This is a bright and fresh way to make asparagus! xo

2 lb Asparagus
2 Lemons, Thinly Sliced
2 T Olive Oil
3 t Fresh Oregano, Chopped
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss asparagus, lemon slices, oil, oregano, salt and pepper and place on a large parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until the asparagus is tender-crisp, 13 to 15 minutes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Portabella Pizza

This was one of the first products I got into Trader Joe's. This is just like a pizza only using the Portabella mushroom as the crust. Play with it and switch up the toppings! xo

4 Large Portabella Mushrooms, Wiped clean with a paper towel
Pizza Sauce (from an earlier post or purchased)
2 C Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded, divided
1/4 C Red Onion, Chopped
1/4 C Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
1/4 C Prosciutto, Chopped or Cubed, Available at the Grocery Store
1/4 C Parmesan, Shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place mushrooms rib side up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Mix together the red onion, bell pepper and prosciutto, set aside. Top each mushroom with pizza sauce, then mozzarella, then one quarter of the red onion mixture, sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and mushrooms are tender.

Open Face French Dip

If we have Tritip, Prime Rib, Filet Mignon or any beef I like to slice it thin and use it for French Dip Sandwiches... this is my take on it as an open face version. xo

1 Baguette, Sliced in Half Lengthwise
1 lb Cooked Beef, Sliced Thinly
3 C Beef Broth
2 C Horseradish Cheddar, Shredded

Place beef broth in a medium saucepan and add sliced beef, warm on low for 5 minutes or until beef is heated through. Cut baguette in half making 4 pieces and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spoon the 3 T of the beef broth on each piece of baguette. Top with sliced beef dividing evenly on the four pieces of baguette. Top with each with 1/4 C of shredded cheese. Place under broiler for 5 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Serve with additional beef broth for dipping.

Swiss Chard Benedict

I love Eggs Benedict so this is my take on it without the Hollandaise or English Muffins. I hope you love it!

1 T Butter
1 Bunch Red Swiss Chard, Rinsed and Chopped including stems
1/2 Red Onion, Chopped
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 C Real Bacon Bits
4 Slices Sharp Cheddar Cheese
8 Eggs

Melt butter in a large saute pan and add Swiss Chard, onions, red pepper flakes and bacon bits. Saute' stirring until chard is wilted and onions are translucent. Remove from pan. Fry 2 eggs at a time over easy or to your personal preference. Divide the Chard mixture evenly between 4 plates and top each with a slice of cheese and then top each with 2 eggs.

Friday, May 7, 2010

BeeJay's New York Steaks and Port Caramelized Onions

I recently had this steak at a birthday party that Beejay gave for our friend Lisa. It was one of the best meals I've ever had! We had Lobster, this steak, and an amazing shrimp dish over rice that I will post soon! Thanks Beejay for a great meal and thanks Lisa for having a birthday!xo

4 New York Steaks
2 T Herbs d Provence
2 t Kosher Salt
1 t Fresh Ground Pepper
3 T Olive oil
4 Large Onions, Sliced Thinly
1/2 C Chicken Broth
1/4 C Port

Mix herbs de provence, salt and pepper together. Rub into steaks and keep at room temp until ready to cook, up to 2 hours.
Meanwhile in a saute pan over medium heat add olive oil and onions. Cook until onions are translucent adding 1/4 C of chicken broth at a time and cooking until absorbed. After all chicken broth is absorbed and onions are caramelized, after about an hour add port and cook for 7-10 more minutes.
Heat a grill pan or fry pan over high heat and add New York steaks. Cook over high heat for 10 minutes on each side for medium rare.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinnamon Pecan Baked French Toast

I love baked french toast, it can be made the night before and is so yummy!

6 thick slices cinnamon bread
Creme Fraiche
1/2 C Butter, 1 Stick
1 1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Nutmeg
10 eggs
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 C Heavy Cream
1 T Vanilla Extract
Chopped pecans

Spray 13 by 9 inch baking dish with Pam. Spread each slice bread with light layer of creme fraiche and place in dish. In separate bowl, melt butter and brown sugar. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, salt and cream and pour over bread. Top with brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle pecans over entire dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Leave covered and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kalua Pork

I am in a book club and we try and match the food to the book we read. Like a theme thing. Sooo I picked the book Moloka'i and I loved it! I wanted to make Hawai'ian food. I even had my friend Linda come and do a beautiful Hula!
Traditional Kalua Pig is pork wrapped in banana leaves and roasted in an underground oven called an Imu, but this simpler version can be made in a Dutch oven, pressure cooker, or crock pot.

3 - 5 lb Pork Butt Roast, Cut into 5 pieces
3 T Olive Oil
1/4 C Soy Sauce
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
5 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
2 T Ginger, Chopped
2 t Liquid Smoke

Heat oil over medium high heat in Dutch oven or whatever pot you will be using. Add pork pieces and brown on all sides. While pork is browning, mix soy sauce, garlic, ginger and liquid smoke together. When pork is browned on all sides pour mixture over and place the lid on your pot. Bake at 325 for 3-4 hours or until pork pulls apart easily. Before you are ready to serve shred pork with a fork in baking pan and bring remaining liquid to a boil so it is absorbed into the meat.
For Pressure Cooker, cook on low for 1 hour.
For Crock Pot, cook on high for 5-6 hours.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Orzo Garbanzo Bean Spinach Salad

This is a great luncheon salad as you use it atop a bed of baby spinach. Serves 4. xo

1 C Orzo, Cooked to package directions, drained, rinsed and cooled
1 T Olive Oil
2 Clove Garlic, Chopped
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
2 T Lemon Juice

1 14 ounce Can Artichoke Hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 15 ounce Can Garbanzo Beans, Drained
1/2 C Feta Cheese
2 T Fresh Dill, Chopped
2 T Fresh Mint, Chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped (Sundried Tomatoes can also be used)
1 16 ounce Pkg Fresh Baby Spinach

Transfer cooked orzo to a large bowl and toss with oil.

Whisk garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice together. Add to the cooked orzo. Then add the artichokes, garbanzo beans, feta, dill and mint; toss gently to combine. Add tomatoes and toss again.

Divide spinach between 4 plates and top with the orzo mixture. Garnish with lemon wedges or slices.

Black Forrest Cake with Fudge Frosting

This is a super moist cake that everyone will love! Garnish with whipping cream and a mint or lavender sprig. This is a great frosting and can be used for many different cakes. xo

1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
21 ounce Can Cherry Fruit Pie Filling
2 t Almond Extract
2 Eggs, Beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with Pam. Combine in a large bowl, the cake mix, cherry pie filling, almond extract and eggs. Mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Fudge Frosting
1 C Sugar
5 T Butter
1/3 C Milk
6 ounces Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Pour over cake and spread to smooth.

Broccoli Salad

This is my take on a recipe my Mother-in-law gave me! I think you'll love it! xo

2-8 ounce Bags of prepared Broccoli
1 C Raisins or Dried Cranberries
10 slices bacon (fry, drain and break up) or 1/2 C Real Bacon Bits
4 T Chopped Pecans or Sliced Almonds
2 Green Onions, Sliced
1 Can Water Chestnuts, Finely Chopped

For Dressing
1 C Mayonnaise
1/2 C Sugar
3 T Rice Wine Vinegar
Mix together and let stand till other ingredients are ready. Toss just before serving. Keeps well for a couple of days.

Baked Ravioli

I have been working and I have not posted in a while, but I promise to catch up Pronto! xo

2 lb Ravioli- Your favorite kind
2 - 8 ounce Containers Arminino Pesto, Found in the freezer section of the market.
1/2 C Olive Oil
2 T Butter Melted
3 C Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
1 C Parmesan, Shredded
1 C Romano Chredded
2 t Red Pepper Flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook ravioli as directed on package decreasing the boiling time by 2 minutes. In a large bowl combine pesto and olive oil and butter. When ravioli are done add to pesto and gently toss to coat. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with Pam. Add half the ravioli, top with half the cheeses and 1 t red pepper flakes. Repeat finishing with the red pepper flakes. Bake for 45 minutes or until cheese is melted and is light brown on top.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bruschetta & Crostini

Lisa this one's for you! Glad you loved it at the party! xo


2 C Tomatoes, Diced
1/2 C Red Onion, Chopped
1/2 C Fresh Basil, Chopped
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
3 T Olive Oil
2 T Balsamic Vinegar
1 t Salt
1 t Pepper

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until use.


1 Sourdough Baguette, Sliced
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place baguette slices on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Cool and place in an airtight container or ziplock bag until use. Serve with bruschetta.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Garlic Balsamic Asparagus

These amazing asparagus marinates in your fridge for an hour or overnight and can be roasted or grilled. xo

1 lb Asparagus, Trimmed
1/4 C Olive Oil
3 T Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 t Montreal Steak Seasoning

Mix olive oil, balsamic, garlic and seasoning in a zip lock bag. Add trimmed asparagus and refrigerate until ready to grill or roast in the oven. Place on grill for 2-3 minutes on each side or until tender crisp. For oven roasting heat oven to 400 degrees and roast for 10 minutes or until tender crisp.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Creamy Mac n Cheese

1 lb Macaroni (Use your favorite shape)
1/4 C Butter
1/4 C Flour
2 C Milk
1 t Chicken Bullion, Optional
8 oz American Cheese, Cubed
1 1/4 C Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/4 C Parmesan
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Boil macaroni in salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water and pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish sprayed with Pam. In a sauce pan melt butter and stir in flour and bullion, cook for 3-5 minutes. Gradually add milk, then sour cream. Add American, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and cook stirring until sauce thickens. Salt & pepper to taste. Pour over macaroni and mix well. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until brown and bubbly. Serve and enjoy!

Smashed Potatoes

3 Lb Potatoes, Diced
3 T Butter
3/4 C Sour Cream
1/2 C Real Bacon Bits
3 Scallions, Chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil or microwave potatoes until tender. Smash with butter, add sour cream, bacon bits, scallions. Salt & pepper to taste and serve!

Linguine & Clams

2 T Olive Oil
2 T Butter
5 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
3 C Dry White Wine
2 Cans Baby Clams with juice
1/4 C Italian Parsley, Chopped
1 lb Linguine, Cooked Al Dente
Parmesan Cheese

In a large saute pan melt butter with olive oil. Add garlic & red pepper flakes, saute for 2-3 minutes, add wine and clams with juice. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until liquid has reduced by half. Add parsley and linguine, toss to coat and cook 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

MIcrowave Red Potatoes with Cilantro

This is an easy side dish that goes together in a snap and tastes great!

2 lb Red Potatoes, Cut into bite size pieces
1/4 C Cilantro, Chopped Roughly
3 T Butter
1 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper

In a microwave safe bowl place red potatoes, cilantro, salt & pepper. Toss to mix and top with butter. Cover with plastic wrap, poke a hole in middle. Microwave on high for 4 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lemon Cauliflower with Sundried Tomatoes

1 Large Head Cauliflower, Trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces, Steamed
Zest and juice of 1 Lemon1
2 T Olive Oil
1 T Shallot, Minced
1 T Water
1 t Thyme, Fresh or 1/4 t Dried
1/4 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper
2 T Sundried Tomatoes, Chopped

In a serving bowl add lemon juice and zest, oil, shallots, water, thyme, salt, pepper and stir to combine. Add the cauliflower and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sundried tomatoes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Rib Eye Steaks with Gorgonzola Butter

2 Rib Eye Steaks, (about 12 ounces each)
2 T Fresh Thyme, Chopped
2 T Garlic, Minced
1/2 t Pepper
1 lb Portabella Mushrooms, Sliced
1/4 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Italian Parsley, Chopped

Gorgonzola Butter
1/2 C Crumbled Gorgonzola
1/4 C Butter, Softened
3 T Sun-dried Tomatoes, Chopped
1 T Italian Parsley, Chopped

Combine thyme, garlic and pepper in small bowl; press evenly onto beef steaks. Set aside.
Brush mushrooms with oil. Place steaks in center of grill over medium heat, arrange mushrooms around steaks. Grill steaks, uncovered, 11-14 minutes for medium rare to medium, turning once. For mushrooms 16-18 minutes until tender, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile combine Gorgonzola Butter ingredients in small bowl until well blended.

Coarsely chop mushrooms and divide evenly among 4 plates. Spread Blue Cheese Butter over steaks. Carve steaks into slices; arrange evenly over mushrooms. Season with salt, as desired. Garnish with parsley.

Arroz Con Pollo

1 T Olive oil
2 1/4 Lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, Cubed
4 Anaheim Chile Peppers, Chopped
1 Onion, Chopped
1 T Dried Oregano, crushed
1 t Paprika
1 t Salt
1 8-ounce Can Tomato Sauce
1 Tomato, CCopped
1 4-ounce Jar Pimientos, Drained & Rinsed
2 C Peas
1 C Green olives, Sliced
2 T Capers
8 C Water
2 1/2 C Brown Rice
1 C Fresh Cilantro, Chopped

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken, chiles, onion, oregano, paprika and salt and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add tomato sauce, tomato, pimientos, peas, olives, capers and water and bring to a boil. Stir in rice, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the sauce is thick, the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Carrot Bundt Cake

3 C Flour
1 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt
1 C Pecans, Chopped
2 C Brown Sugar
1 C Oil
3 Large Eggs
1 t Vanilla
4 C Shredded Carrots
1 C Crushed Pineapple, Drained or Dried Cranberries

1 C Sugar
1/2 C Buttermilk
1 T Light Corn Syrup
1/2 t Baking Soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Bundt pan with Pam.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, stir in nuts. Whisk 2 cups sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in another bowl until well mixed. Fold in carrots & pineapple. Add the flour mixture and mix just until completely blended.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched in the center, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
While the cake is cooling 10 minutes make glaze by adding the sugar,buttermilk, corn syrup and baking soda to a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until glaze turns a caramel color about 10-12 minutes.
Turn cake onto serving plate and poke cake with a fork or skewer. Pour hot caramel mixture over cake by tablespoon full.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Corn & Black Bean Salad with Cumin LIme Dressing

This is a bright fresh salad that goes well with Mexican food. It is also great as a main dish with sliced grilled chicken on top of it. xo

For Dressing:
1/2 C Olive Oil
Juice & Zest of 1 lime
2 T Cilantro, Chopped
1/2 t Cumin

Mix well with an immersion blender or whisk. Set aside or refrigerate until use.

For Salad:
1 Head Red Leaf Lettuce, Cleaned and Roughly Chopped
1 Can Corn, Drained
1 Can Black Beans, Drained
3 Green Onions, Sliced
2 Tomatoes, Diced
1 Avocado, Diced

Mix all ingredients and toss with dressing.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Diella's Artichoke & Mushroom Pasta

This is the simplest and most tasty recipe, thank you so much Diella! I love it! xo

3 T Olive Oil
4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
10 oz Mushrooms, Sliced
12 oz Frozen Artichoke Hearts
2 C White Wine
1 T Chicken Bouillon Powder
2 T Butter
1/2 C Parmesan, Grated
8 oz Spinach Pasta, Cooked Al Dente

Place the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, artichokes, bouillon and wine. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 1 hour until most all the liquid is absorbed. Add butter. Add cooked pasta saute for 2 minutes, plate and garnish with grated parmesan. Serve and enjoy!

Jan's Tartar Sauce

1 C Mayonnaise
1/2 C Sweet Pickle Relish, Drained
Pinch of Sugar
2 T Onion, Chopped
2 t Lemon Juice

Mix all ingredients, salt & pepper to taste and refrigerate until use.

Jan's Crab Cakes

1 lb Fresh or Good Quality Canned Crab Meat
1 1/4 C Bread Crumbs
1/4 C Onion, Chopped
1/2 C Mayonnaise
1 Egg
1 t Worcestershire Sauce
1 t Tabasco
1/4 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper
1/4 C Italian Parsley, Chopped
2 T Butter

Mix all ingredients together and form into patties. You can determine the size, this recipe makes 4 to 6 large patties, 6 to 8 medium patties, and 20 or more for appetizer size patties. Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat and saute crab cakes for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve hot.

Friday, April 9, 2010


4 Large Artichokes
3 Lemons
3 t Lemon Pepper

Trim artichokes down to tender leaves and cut the prickly tips off of the top and peel or remove stem (if one is present). Wash and spread leaves, sprinkle with lemon pepper and place upside down in a microwave safe dish. Slice lemons and place around artichokes. Cover with plastic wrap, and prick a hole it in. Microwave for 5-8 minutes on high or until bottoms are tender. Serve with aioli.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hot Cheesy Yummy Corn Dip

This stuff is amazing! You will want to double it! Serve with tortilla chips! xo

1 T Butter
2 Cans Corn Kernels, Drained or Kernels from 3 Ears of Corn
1 T Butter
1 C Onion, Chopped
1/4 C Roasted Red Pepper, Chopped
1/4 C Green Onions, Green & White Parts, Chopped
1 Jalapeno,Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic (chopped)
1/3 C Mayonnaise
1 C Pepper Jack Cheese, Shredded
1 C Sharp Cheddar, Shredded
1/4 t Cayenne

Melt butter in a medium saute pan and add onions, cook until onions are translucent. Add the corn, season with salt and pepper and saute until the corn starts to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add roasted red pepper, green onions, jalapeno and garlic and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mix with mayonnaise, pepper jack, cheddar and cayenne, reserving some cheddar for sprinkling on top of dip.
Pour the mixture into an 8x8 inch baking dish sprayed with Pam and top with the reserved cheddar cheese.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until bubbling and golden brown on top, about 15-20 minutes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Water Chestnut Meatballs

This recipe was given to me by my friend Jan. They are so yummy and would be great with the Asian Sauce in a previous post.

4 Slices Sourdough Bread Crumbs
1 C Milk
2 T Soy Sauce
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Onion, Diced
1 Egg
1 Lb Ground Beef
1 Lb Bulk Pork Sausage
2 Cans Water Chestnuts, Roughly Chopped
1/4 C Italian Parsley, Chopped

Mix all ingredients and combine well. Form into small balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until browned. These meatballs freeze well.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pine Nut & Rasin Chicken Salad

1/2 C Red Wine Vinegar
2 T Sugar
1 Bay Leaf
Rind of 1 Lemon
1 C Raisins
1/3 C Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
1 C Pine Nuts
1 Bunch Italian Parsley, Chopped
1 lb Cooked Chicken

To make dressing place vinegar, sugar bay leaf, and lemon rind in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in raisins and 1/3 C olive oil and set aside, remove bay leaf and lemon rind before combining with chicken.
In a small saute pan with 1 T olive oil quickly saute garlic & pine nuts, just until garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl combine chicken, pine nuts, garlic, parsley, dressing with raisins. Serve over arugula or water cress.

Roughly cut chicken in 2 inch pieces!

Asian Appetizer Meatball Glaze

You can use this glaze for homemade appetizer meatballs or purchased ones. The char siu, General Tso and chili garlic sauce can be found in the Asian section of the market. So yummy!

3 C Pineapple Juice
1 C Brown Sugar
3/4 C Teryaki Sauce
1/2 C Char Siu BBQ Sauce
1/2 C General Tso Sauce
2 T Soy Sauce
1 T Chili Garlic Sauce
1 T Chopped Ginger
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 C Corn Starch

2 lb Cooked Meatballs
1 Red Bell Pepper, Cut in 1 inch pieces
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Cut in 1 inch pieces

Place the pineapple juice in a large sauce pan over medium high heat, add the brown sugar, teryaki sauce, Char Siu, General Tso, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, chopped ginger & red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer until sugar is dissolved. Before adding the corn starch add 1/4 C of the pan mixture to it and stir into a paste. A Add to pan stirring constantly, bring to a simmer and add meatballs. When meatballs are heated through add red and yellow bell pepper pieces. Toss to coat and serve.

Asparagus & Pancetta Oven Frittata

1 T Butter
1 T Olive Oil
1 4 oz Pkg Cubed Pancetta
1 Large Onion Chopped
2 t Herbs d Provence
1 Lb Pencil Thin Asparagus, Trimmed & Cut in 1 inch pieces(frozen ok)
12 Large Eggs
1/2 C Milk
1/2 C Parmesan Cheese
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat, add pancetta and cook stirring for 5-6 minutes. Add onions and herbs d provence and saute until onions are translucent. Add asparagus and saute 4-5 minutes. Salt & Pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside. Beat eggs, milk, salt & pepper. Place asparagus mixture in a Pam sprayed oven proof saute pan or baking dish. Pour egg mixture over, sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 45-40 minutes or until done through.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Peanut Sesame Noodles

1/2 lb Angel Hair Pasta
1/2 C Sesame Oil, Plus 2 T
1 Bunch Scallions, Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 C Rice Wine Vinegar
2 t Sugar
2 T Soy Sauce
1/2 C Salted Dry Roasted Peanuts, Chopped
1/2 C Cilantro, Chopped

In a pot of boiling salted water cook noodles until they are al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain and place in a bowl and toss with 2 T sesame oil. In a large skillet add sesame oil, scallions, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until scallions are just tender. Add noodles, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce, heat and mix well until noodles are heated through. Stir in the peanuts, cilantro and salt to taste.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Best Buttermilk Biscuits

4 C flour
3 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1 t Salt
1/2 C Butter, cut into small chunks
1-1/2 C Buttermilk

Preheat oven to 500 degrees

Place flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt in the bowl of a food processor. Mix until combined. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in buttermilk and pulse just until dough dough forms. Turn onto a floured surface. Handle as little as possible and form into a rectangle 1 inch tall. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Fava Bean & Proscuitto Salad

I love beans! This salad is amazing and of course, easy! Serve it with a piece of grilled fish or chicken! You can substitute white beans or any beans you have on hand, but I really love the Fava! xo

1 lb Prepard Fava Beans (available in the refrigerator section of Trader Joe's, also available frozen)
1/4 C Olive Oil
1 Red Onion, Chopped
1 4 oz Pkg of Proscuitto, Chopped (available in the deli section already cubed!)
1/2 C Italian Parsley, Chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

Place fava beans in a bowl, add olive oil, red onion, proscuitto, parsley and salt & pepper to taste. For a twist you can fry the proscuitto to get it crispy. So yummy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Caviar & Cream Appetizers

This is the easiest, most elegant appetizer and people love it! Don't be afraid to try it! My friend & client Velda told me about the black caviar at Ikea and it is awesome! If you can't get to an Ikea conviently any caviar will do. Sometimes I like putting a dallop of orange and black caviar on each chip. xo

1 8 oz Tub Creme Fraiche
1 Bunch Fresh Chives, Roughly Chopped in half inch lengths
1 2 oz Jar Black or Orange Caviar
1 6 oz Bag Kettle Salt & Pepper Potato Chips

Break chips into bite size pieces, place a half teaspoon of Creme Fraiche on each chip, top with a small amount of black or orange caviar or a little of both and sprinkle with the fresh chives.

Monday, March 29, 2010

All Day Brisket

1 T Oil
3 Large Onions, Halved & Sliced
1 T Brown Sugar
1/4 t Salt
1 Small Can Tomato Paste
2 T Flour
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 3/4 C Chicken Broth
1/4 C Red Wine
1 T Paprika
2 t Onion Powder
1 t Garlic Powder
1/8 t Cayenne Pepper
1 5 lb Beef Brisket, flat-cut, trimmed of excess fat
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
3 Bay Leaves

In a Dutch oven over medium heat place oil, onions, brown sugar,& salt. Cook until onions are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and cook until sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Take off heat and stir in the wine.

Combine 1 teaspoon salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne in bowl. Add to above mixture and combine well. Add Brisket, thyme sprigs & bay leaves, cover and place in a 350 degree oven for 4-5 hours. Taste for seasoning. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberries (Kaylen's Birthday Cake)

Yesterday was my daughter Kaylen's birthday and she requested this cake. It is an easy cake to make because I use a chocolate cake mix, whipping cream and fresh strawberries! Sure to be a hit! xo

1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
1/4 C Cocoa Powder
3 Eggs
1/3 C Oil
1 1/3 C Water

1 Quart Whipping Cream
1 t Vanilla
3/4 C Sugar
2 Lb Fresh Strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cake mix, cocoa powder, eggs, oil, & water. Divide between 2 - 8 inch cake pans that have been sprayed with Pam and lined with parchment. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
Meanwhile wash and dry strawberries. Whip cream with vanilla and sugar until it forms stiff peaks. Refrigerate until use.


Place one layer of cake on your cake plate. Spread 1 C whipped cream on layer, place sliced strawberries on whipped cream covering surface of the layer. Top with 1 C whipped cream. Place second layer on top. Frost entire cake with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with halved strawberries around base and butterflied strawberries on top.

Italian Lemon Cheesecake with Microwave Lemon Curd

For Crust:
3 C Crushed Almond Biscotti(purchased)
2/3 C Melted Butter

Place biscotti in food processor and process until it looks like coarse meal. Add melted butter and pulse until combined. Press evenly and up the sides of a Pam sprayed 9 inch spring form pan.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
1 Lb Mascarpone
1 Lb Ricotta
1 1/2 C Sugar
4 Eggs, Beaten
2 T Lemon Juice
1 t Vanilla
3 T Flour
3 T Cornstarch
1/2 Lb. Butter, Melted
1 16 oz Container Sour Cream

Beat mascarpone until fluffy. Add ricotta to mascarpone. Beat in sugar gradually. Add beaten eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Stir together the flour and cornstarch. Gradually beat into cheese mixture. Add melted butter and sour cream. Pour into greased 9" spring form pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour or until set in center. Turn oven off and let cool in oven for 2 hours. Remove from oven and cool until room temperature. Chill thoroughly before removing sides and serving. Top with Microwave Lemon Curd (earlier post) and serve.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Maple Pecan Muffins

1 3/4 C Flour
1 1/2 t Baking Powder
1/4 t Baking Soda
1/4 t Salt
1 Egg
1/2 C Maple Syrup
1 t Maple Extract
1/2 C Milk
1/4 C Butter, Melted
1/2 C Pecans, Roughly Chopped

Spray muffin cups with Pam or line with paper baking cups.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. In a small mixing bowl combine egg, maple-flavored syrup, maple extract, milk, and melted butter. Add all at once to flour mixture; stir just till moistened. (The batter will be lumpy.) Fold in pecan. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full. Bake for about 20 minutes, or till golden brown. Transfer muffins to a wire rack.

For the Icing:
1/2 C Powdered Sugar
1/4 t Maple Extract
2 to 3 t Milk or Half & Half

Mix together and spread on cooled muffins.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Polenta Cake with Lemon Curd & Fresh Basil

1/2 C Butter, softened
1 C Sugar
1 C Flour
2 t Vanilla
2 Eggs
1/2 C Ricotta Cheese
1 C Dry Polenta
Zest and Juice of 2 Oranges
1 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt

Microwave Lemon Curd, recipe in a previous post
Fresh Basil, Rolled and Sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with Pam.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add sugar, and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in ricotta, flour, vanilla, orange juice and zest. Mix baking powder with polenta and fold into batter. Pour into pan and bake for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut into wedges and serve topped Microwave Lemon Curd and Fresh Basil.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Goat Cheese Pesto

This Goat Cheese Pesto made it's first appearance in portabella mushrooms for Trader Joe's, I also use it in my Goat Cheese Garlic Bread. Feel free to create your own something wonderful! xo

2 T Olive Oil
8 oz Goat Cheese
4 oz Prepared Pesto
1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 C Shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese
Mix together in food processor or with an imersion blender, to make a paste.

Citrus Sole with Potatoes & Fennel

I wrote this recipe for Sole but you can use any fish you like, salmon, cod, tilapia, or even shimp. I like that this is a one dish meal. You can also grill the fish.xo

1 1/2 lbs Fingerling Potatoes or Red Potatoes, Sliced Thinly
1 Bulb Fennel, Sliced Thinly, Save tops for garnish
1 Large Onion, Sliced Thinly
1/2 C Chicken Broth
1/2 C Orange Juice
2 Oranges, Sliced Thinly
1/4 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
2 lb Sole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with Pam. In baking dish toss together potatoes, fennel, onions, and orange slices. Combine chicken broth,orange juice, salt, pepper and pour over potato mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and top potato mixture with sole fillets, salt & pepper sole fillets, cover and bake for 10-12 more minutes or until fish is done.
Garnish with fennel tops.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

West African Peanut Soup

I got this recipe from Coleen whom I met at Power Camp at Stillheart! I tweaked it a little and served it not as a soup but as a thick bed for Grilled Alaskan Pollock, it would be great with any grilled fish. It was so good! You can puree it too to make a delicious soup. Thanks Colleen and YUM! xo

2 T Olive Oil
2 Large Onions, Chopped
3/4 t Cayenne Pepper
2 t Grated Ginger, Fresh or can be found in a tube in the herb section of the market
1 C Chopped Carrot
2 C Chopped Sweet Potatoes
4 C Chicken Stock
3 C Tomato Sauce
1 C Peanut Butter
1 T Sugar
1 C Chopped Scallions or Chives
Greek Yogurt for garnish
Salt & Pepper to taste

Place olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat and add onions. Saute until translucent. Stir in cayenne and ginger. Add the carrots and saute 3-4 more minutes. Add the potatoes, chicken stock and tomato sauce and slow simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add peanut butter and sugar. At this point you can use an immersion blender if you want a smoother soup. Place soup in bowls and garnish with scallions and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chorizo Prawns

This is a spicy satisfying dish that is quick and easy. Serve over whole wheat penne.xo

1 lb Chorizo
2 Bell Peppers, Chopped
1 Large Onion, Chopped
1 15 ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
1 lb Raw Prawns, Tails Removed
1 lb Whole Wheat Penne Pasta, Cooked Al Dente

In a large skillet over medium heat add chorizo and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add bell pepper and onion, cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and saute for 5 more minutes. Add the prawns 5 minutes before you are ready to serve. The prawns will cook quickly and turn bright orange when they are done. This should not take more than 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta to skillet, turn off heat and mix thoroughly. Serve.

Healthy But Yummy Meatloaf

I really love meatloaf and this is a little healthier version. The bacon adds a great flavor. This is great the next day for sandwiches, top it with some of the tomato sauce and cheddar cheese and microwave or broil.xo

2 T Real Bacon Bits
2 15 ounce Cans Tomato Sauce
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced & Divided
1/2 C Zucchini, Shredded
1/3 C Oats, Uncooked
1 Onion Chopped, Divided
1/4 C Italian Parsley, Chopped
1 Egg
1 T Water
1/2 t Thyme
3/4 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
1/4 t Cayenne Pepper
1 Lb Ground Beef
1/2 Lb Ground Turkey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl beat the egg & water together. Then add 1 T bacon bits, 2 T tomato sauce, zucchini, oats, 3/4 C onion, 2 T parsley, 2 t garlic, thyme, cayenne, salt & pepper, stir well. Add meats and mix well. Shape into a loaf and set in a baking pan sprayed with Pam.
In that same bowl add remaining tomato sauce, bacon, onion, garlic & parsley mix well to combine and pour over meatloaf. Bake for 35-45 minutes until done through.
Serve with mashed potatoes and a salad.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spicy Sausage Baked Rigatoni

1 lb Rigatoni, Cooked Al Dente, 2 minutes less than recommended
3 T Olive Oil
1 4 ounce pkg Fresh Arugula
1 lb Ricotta Cheese
1 lb Spicy Italian Sausage, Cooked & Drained
1 15 ounce can Roasted Diced Tomatoes with juice
1/3 C Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
1/2 t Grated Nutmeg
3/4 t Salt
1/4 t Black Pepper
2 C Fontina Cheese, Shredded

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with Pam.

Put the pasta in the prepared baking dish and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Place the spinach in a food processor and puree with the ricotta, Parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir the spinach mixture with half the Fontina, tomatoes and cooked sausage into the pasta. Top with the remaining Fontina. Bake the until the top is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Spanish Brown Rice

Nancy, my biggest fan asked for this recipe. I like to add this rice to my Awesome Veggie Chili. It is also great with the Mexican Style Pinto Beans. xo

2 C Brown Rice
1 1/2 C Water
1 15 ounce can Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 t Chili Powder
1 t Cajun Seasoning
3 t Chicken Broth Powder
2 C Frozen Peas (optional)
1 C Diced Carrots (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a oven proof covered baking dish with Pam. Add the rice, water, tomatoes and juice, chili powder, cajun seasoning, and chicken broth powder, peas & carrots (if you are adding them) stir to mix and cover. Bake in oven for 40-50 minutes or until rice is moist and all liquid is absorbed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Indian Relish with Tandoori Garlic Naan Appetizer

I do the wine pairings for my friends Cynthia & John Klock's West Wind Winery. The Klock's and West Wind Winery donates all proceeds to a transitional home for single moms. Every year we do a Flights & Bites for their new wines. This bite was paired with the chardonnay. Try this interesting and tasty appetizer. xo

1 Pkg Tandoori Garlic Naan (Available at Trader Joe's)
1 8 ounce Tub of Mascarpone

Indian Relish
1 12 ounce Jar Major Grey's Chutney
1 15 ounce Can Diced Tomatoes, Drained
3 T Honey
1 t Curry Powder
Black Sesame Seeds for Sprinkling

Cut naan into bite size cubes and set on a baking sheet pan.

For Indian Relish:
Combine chutney, drained tomatoes, honey and curry powder. Mix well breaking up large pieces in chutney and tomatoes. Refrigerate until use.

Assembly: Spread a small amount of the mascarpone on each bite size piece of naan, top with a dollop of Indian Relish and sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pastrami & Naan Sandwich

This sandwich is so amazing and incorporates my Jalapeno Garlic Dill Pickles from an earlier post! I know you will love it! This recipe uses Tandoori Naan which is an Indian bread, if you have trouble finding the tandoori garlic naan you can use plain. This goes very well with the Roasted Beet & Apple Salad. xo

8 Pieces of Tandoori Naan (available at Trader Joe's)
1 lb Sliced Pastrami
16 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese
32 Slices Jalapeno Garlic Dill Pickles
1 8 ounce Bag Arugula

Preheat broiler.
Set 8 slices of the tandoori naan on a large parchment lined baking sheet. Top 4 of the pieces of naan with 1/4 of the pastrami, add 2 slices of the pepper jack cheese on top of the pastrami. Place under broiler and broil until cheese is melted. Place 8 pickles on top of the melted cheese on each and then add the arugula on top of the pickles on each. Top with naan to make a sandwich, and cut in half. Makes 8 half sandwiches or 4 whole sandwiches. Serve with additional pickles.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Corn Salsa

The sun is finally out and it makes me think of fresh yummy things. This corn salsa fits the bill and is great with quesadillas or just on chips. Feel free to use canned corn if you're having a craving for this salsa and fresh corn is not in season!xo

3 Ears Corn, Husked & Cut off of the cob or 2 Cans
1 Avocado, Diced
1/2 C Jicama, Diced
2 Tomatoes, Diced
1 Small Onion, Diced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, Minced
3 T Fresh Cilantro, Roughly Chopped
Juice of one Lime
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 T Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and combine until well mixed. Serve with chips!
Tip: An easy way to dice avocado is to cut in half lengthwise and remove the seed. Score each half, first lengthwise then across making a cross hatch pattern with a knife all the way to the skin but not puncturing the skin. Your chunks will be larger or smaller depending on how far apart your cuts are. Scoop out with a spoon and you have easy diced avocado.

Roasted Beet & Apple Salad

I love roasted beats and this recipe is so refreshing. I think you will love it too! xo

3 lb Beets, Trimmed
3 T Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1 lb Greek Yogurt, Non-Fat is ok
4 T Fresh Mint, Chopped
1 T Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Apples, Skinned & Cored

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut beats into bite size pieces. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes or until crisp tender. Remove and let cool. In a bowl combine yogurt, mint, vinegar and lemon juice. Cut apples into bite size pieces and add to the yogurt mixture. Add beets and toss to combine. Taste and add additional salt & pepper.

Lisa's Favorite Focaccia Fritatta

I had a wonderful 3 days at Stillheart with some amazing women at Power Camp again this week! So Lorraine, Kaylen and I came up with this fritatta and Lisa deemed it her fave! So here is the recipe! xo

4 C Rosemary Focaccia, Trader Joe's carries the one I used
2 Large Shallots, Finely Diced
2 T Butter
1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes
8 Ounces Sliced Crimini Mushrooms
3 C Broccoli, Cut into Bite Size Pieces
1 C Feta
1 C Gruyere Cheese, Shredded
1/3 C Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
10 Eggs
1 1/2 C Milk
1 T Montreal Steak Seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with Pam. Cut focaccia into bite size pieces and place in prepared baking dish.
In a saute pan over medium heat place butter and shallots, saute until translucent and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, mushrooms and broccoli, lightly salt. Saute until the broccoli is bright green. Place evenly on top of focaccia in baking dish. Sprinkle cheeses on top of broccoli mixture. Beat eggs, milk and seasoning, beat until well incorporated. Pour over cheese in baking dish. Let sit in the refrigerator over night or for at least 3 hours so the focaccia can absorb the egg mixture, this will ensure a fluffy end product. Bake for 1 hour or until eggs are set. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fresh Cilantro Cucumber Cold Slaw

This cold slaw pairs well with Mexican dishes. The light fresh taste is a compliment to grilled meats and fish.
2 1lb Packages Cold Slaw Mix, (Shredded Red Cabbage, Green Cabbage & Carrots)
1 English Cucumber, Quartered & Sliced
1/2 White Onion, Chopped
1/2 Jalapeno, Chopped
1/4 C Cilantro, Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
Juice and Zest of 1 Lime
1/3 C Olive Oil
2 T Red Wine Vinegar
1 t Salt
1 t Pepper

Place Slaw mix in a bowl with cucumber, onion, jalapeno, & cilantro. In a separate bowl whisk together garlic, lime juice, zest, olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper. Fold into cold slaw mixture until well mixed. Refrigerate until use.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mexican Style Pinto Beans

I love refried beans and these are a healthier version for nachos, quesadillas or just eating! xo

1 lb Bag Dry Pinto Beans, Rinsed
10 C Water
1 T Salt
6 Garlic Cloves, Whole
1 Fresh Jalapeno, Sliced

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot, boil then turn down to a simmer. Simmer until beans are soft and jalapeno and garlic are disintegrated, stirring frequently. As water boils away, add more as needed. When done beans will be soft and water will have turned thick and milky.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

I love cheese and spinach, so this easy recipe really makes me smile! :) Serve with roasted potatoes or rice and a salad and you have an amazing dinner fit for guests! xo

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut lengthwise into cutlets
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
2 T Butter
12 Spinach Leaves, Stems Trimmed
4 Slices Proscuitto
4 Ounces Gruyere, Shredded

Preheat broiler.
Pat chicken cutlets dry and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Heat butter in a ovenproof fry pan over medium high heat until melted and clear. Saute' chicken in butter, about 2 minutes on each side, turning once. Chicken should be nicely browned on each side. Top each cutlet with 3 spinach leaves, 1 piece of proscuitto and 1/4 of the cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Slow Cooker Curry Chicken

2 Medium Potatoes, Peeled & Cubed
1 Onion, Chopped
2 T Olive Oil
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cubed
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, Cubed
1 15 oz Can Coconut Milk
1 T Curry Powder
1 t Gharam Masala
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Chicken Bullion Cube
1/2 t Pepper
3 C Hot Cooked Rice
1/4 C Green Onions, Sliced

Place in a 3-4 quart slow cooker the coconut milk, curry, gharam masala, garlic, bullion cube, & pepper and stir to combine, add potatoes and onion. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and brown chicken, transfer to slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours or until chicken is tender. Taste for seasoning. Serve over rice and garnish with green onion.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Phyllo Scallion Bites

These easy and elegant appetizers are so good! You can add ham or sausage, too. Make them the night before and reheat before serving!xo

2 Leeks or 4 Scallions, Chopped
1 T Butter
1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes
1 Pkg Phyllo Dough
Pam Non-Stick Spray
4 Eggs, Beaten4
4 T Half & Half
1 C Sharp Cheddar, Shredded
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Separate 4 sheets of Phyllo dough from the stack and spray with Pam. Cut 2 x 2 inch squares. Spray 2 mini muffin tins with Pam. Place squares in mini muffin tin cups folding as needed to fit.
Beat eggs and add scallions, sharp cheddar, salt & pepper. Pour egg mixture into phyllo cups, careful that there is cheese and scallions in each cup. Bake for 12 minutes or until nicely brown on top. Serve!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Focaccia Fritatta

This was another favorite of the Power Camp( at Stillheart ( Ladies I loved being a part of your week!
Breakfast is my favorite meals and I make variations of this depending what is in my vegetable and cheese drawer, so use the base of this recipe and create your own amazing fritatta! xo

5 C Rosemary Focaccia, Cubed
2 T Butter
8 Ounces Sliced Mushrooms
1 Onion, Chopped
3 C Spinach
1 C Manchego Cheese, Shredded
1 C Mozzarella, Shredded
1/2 C Romano, Shredded
1/4 C Parmesan, Shredded
8 Eggs
2 C Milk
1 T Salt
1 T Pepper
1 t Tabasco Sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with Pam. Add cubes of focaccia, sprinkle with half of each type of cheese, set aside. Place 2 T butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat, add onion and cook until translucent, add mushroom and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Spread evenly over cheese. Whisk together eggs, milk and seasonings pour over bread, cheese and vegetable mixture in baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden on top and cooked through. Let set for 10 minutes before serving.

Lemon Artechoke Pesto

This bright pesto is great on crostini as an appeitizer or tossed with penne pasta as a first course or main dish! xo

1 12 ounce Bag Frozen Artechoke Hearts, Thawed
2 Cloves Garlic
1/2 C Romano Cheese, Grated
1/2 C Parmesan Cheese, Grated
Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon
1/4 C Olive oil
1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 t Salt
1 t Freshly Ground Pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Place in a bowl drizzle with additional olive oil and serve with crostini.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Quinoa Salad with Feta & Spinach

I am lucky enough to be cooking for some wonderful women at Power Camp and today for lunch I made this quinoa salad. It was a hit and some wanted the here it is! I have enjoyed each and every one of you and I hope our paths cross again soon! xo

2 C Quinoa
3 C Chicken or Vegetable Stock
2 T Butter

Place above ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil until almost all the water is absorbed (it will look like mush). Remove from heat, cover pan and let stand for 5 minutes. Place in a bowl to cool and add the following:

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced or Crushed
3/4 C Sundried Tomatoes with Oil, Undrained & Chopped
1/4 C Olive Oil
3 C Spinach, Roughly Chopped
2 T Fresh Basil, Roughly Chopped
Juice & Zest of 1 Lemon
3/4 C Feta
1 C Kalamata Olives
Salt & Pepper to taste

Toss to mix. Garnish with additional spinach leaves & feta. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made one day ahead.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring Mix & Edamame Salad with Miso Dressing

1 8 oz Bag of Spring Mix
3 C Arugula
2 C Edamame Peas
1 Fennel Bulb, Thinly Sliced
2 C Shredded Carrots

Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss with Miso dressing. Miso dressing can be found in the grocery store.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Proscuitto Artichoke Gorgonzola Gratin

I had this at my friend Kristi's house and I loved it! She served it as an appetizer and it was sooo good! I think it would be good with penne pasta too. I'm not sure which I liked better the Kristi Kosmo or the dip...cause we had a lotta those Kosmos! xo

2 14 ounce Cans Artichoke Hearts, Drained & Quartered
6 Ounces Chopped Proscuitto, Available in the Grocery Section already Chopped!
1 C Whipping Cream
1 1/2 C Gorgonzola Cheese, Crumbled
1/2 C Pine Nuts, Toasted
1/2 C Parmesan Cheese
1 t Fresh Sage, Chopped or 3/4 t Dried Sage
1/4 t Pepper

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, reserving half of the pine nuts, and mix well. Pour into a baking dish sprayed with Pam and sprinkle with pine nuts and some extra Parmesan. Bake until gratin is bubbly and thick, about 25 minutes.
Serve with baguette rounds.

If you want to serve this as a pasta dish toss in 1 lb cooked penne and bake as directed.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Watermelon Gaspacho

This cold soup is so refreshing on a hot summer day and is so pretty. It works well as salsa, too!

3 Red Onions, diced
3 Cucumbers, diced
1 Watermelon Half Pureed, Half Chopped
1 Cup Olive Oil
3/4 C Raspberry Vinegar, Can substitute 1/2 C Apple Cidar Vinegar & 1 C Frozen Raspberries, thawed & pureed
2 t Jalapeno, Minced
1/2 C Sugar
6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/3 C Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 t Cayenne Pepper
Salt to taste
1 Bunch Cilantro, Chopped Roughly

Combine all ingredients toss gently to mix. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made a day ahead.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spicy Tomato & White Bean Soup

3 T Olive Oil
2 Carrots, Peeled & Chopped
1 Onion, Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 26 ounce Can or Jar Marinara Sauce
2 14 ounce Cans Chicken Broth
2 Cans Cannelini Beans or Great White North Beans, Drained
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 C Orzo
1/2 C Fresh Basil, Chopped
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic, saute until onions are translucent. Add the marinara sauce, chicken broth, beans, red pepper flakes, orzo, salt & pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, add basil, mix well and serve.

Chicken Mirabella

This is my take on one of my favorite dishes! So good and so easy! I know you'll love it! xo

Serves 8.

6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 C Dried Prunes, Pitted & Roughly Chopped
1 C Dried Apricots, Roughly Chopped
16 Green Olives, Pitted
1/4 C Capers, with liquid
3 T Olive Oil
3 T Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 C White Wine
3 Bay Leaves
3 t Dried Oregano
1/4 C Brown Sugar
Salt & Pepper
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Quartered
8 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

Place garlic, prunes, apricots, olives, capers, olive oil, vinegar, white wine, bay leaves, oregano, brown sugar, salt, pepper, in a large zip lock bag. Mix well by zipping bag and manipulating bag. Add chicken breasts and thighs. Seal and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour contents of zip lock bag in a baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice or couscous.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thai Shrimp Soup

1 T Vegetable Oil
3 T Fresh Ginger, Minced or from a tube in the herb section of the grocery store
1 Onion, Chopped
5 C Chicken Broth
1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes
3 Stalks Baby Bok Choy, Sliced
1 1/2 Lbs Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined, and tail taken off
2 T Asian Fish Sauce
2 t Grated Lime Zest
1/4 C Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 C Fresh Cilantro, Rough Chop
1/2 C Scallions, Sliced

Heat oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add ginger and onion; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add broth and red pepper flakes; increase heat and bring soup to a low boil. Add bok choy and cook 2 minutes. Add shrimp, fish sauce, lime zest, and lime juice, cilantro and scallions; cook just until shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute. Serve hot.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yummy Garlic Croutons

These croutons are awesome for Caesar Salad or Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad).

1 C Olive Oil
1 C Butter (2 Sticks)
10 Cloves Garlic, Chopped or crushed
1 t Salt
1 T Dried Parsley
1 Loaf Sourdough French Bread or left over garlic bread, cut into cubes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Place olive oil, butter, garlic, salt and dried parsley in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a slow simmer until butter is melted. Place bread cubes in a large bowl, pour melted mixture over and toss to coat evenly. Spread in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lime Shrimp Dip

This one is for my friend Lisa, I brought this to a party and we couldn't leave the dip!

2 C Bay Shrimp, (small salad shrimp)
1/2 C Sour Cream
Zest of 1 Lime
Juice of 1 Lime
1/4 t Salt

Mix all ingredients and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning. Serve with water crackers.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jalapeno Cheese Rice

I first had rice like this on at my friend Jacque's. I love it because it can be made ahead and goes well with grilled meats and fish. This is my version of the great one Jacque makes! xo

8 C Cooked Rice
3 C Extra-Sharp Cheddar, Shredded, or a combo of Cheddar and Jack
1 C Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
1 T Tabasco Sauce
3 Eggs, Well Beaten
2 Jalapenos, Finely Diced
1/4 C Canned Chopped Green Chiles
1 Garlic Clove, Finely Chopped
1 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9 X 13 glass baking dish with Pam. In a large bowl add rice, cheddar, sour cream, Tabasco, eggs, jalapeno, green chiles, garlic, salt & pepper. Stir well a to combine, taste for seasoning. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 1 hour. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spicy Orange Vinaigrette

2 C Orange Juice
2 T Rice Wine Vinegar
2 T Red Onion, Chopped
1 Jalapeno Pepper, Chopped
1 T Chili Powder
3/4 C Olive Oil
1 T Sugar
1 t Salt
1 t Pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, process until all ingredients are liquid.

Serve with your favorite greens, avocado, & shaved fennel.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes & Fennel

I had purchased a port roast and invited my parents over for dinner. I had no idea what I would do with it so Mom and I hit the kitchen. I started pulling things out of the fridge with the flavor of Chicken Mirabella in mind, that salty sweet combo is so good. So here's what I came up with! You could add green olives, or dried prunes for another twist on this recipe. xo
2 T Olive Oil
1 3-4 Lb Boneless Pork Roast
Salt & Pepper
7 Garlic Cloves, Coarsely Chopped
1 Large Carrot, Peeled & Coarsely Chopped
2 Onions, Coarsely Chopped
2 Celery Stalks, Coarsely Chopped
2 Fennel Bulbs, Coarsely Chopped
1/4 C Italian Parsley, Chopped
6 Sweet Potatoes, Peeled & Sliced 1 inch Thick
2 C Dried Apricots, Quartered
3 Bay Leaves
2 T Dried Oregano
1/4 C Sugar
1/4 C Capers, with liquid
3 C White Wine
3 T Butter
1/4 C Fresh Mint, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season pork on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear well on all sides. Add all remaining ingredients to pot. Cover and place in the oven. Cook until internal temperature of the roast reaches 150 degrees, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and add 3 T butter. Garnish with fresh mint. Serve over whole wheat couscous.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Basil Bites

It was girls night at Kristi's and boy was it fun! She made these great appetizers, easy and tasty! xo

1/2 C Fresh Basil, Roughly Chopped
1/2 C Parmesan, grated
1 Clove Garlic
1/3 C Mayonnaise
1 Baguette, Sliced

Stir together basil, cheese, garlic and mayonnaise. Set aside. Slice baguette and broil until slightly toasted. Remove from broiler, turn on other side and spread mixture on top. Broil again til bubbly and light brown.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Greek Yogurt with Fresh Berries

I first had this amazing Greek yogurt dessert at Avra in New York City. I was not a fan of yogurt in general, so our waiter had to convince me to order it, I am so glad I did because I have been making it ever since. It is so easy and delicious it will become one of your favorites, too! xo

Serves 4

2 C Greek Yogurt, Full Fat, 2%, or Non Fat
1 C Blueberries, Frozen are ok
1 C Fresh Strawberries, Quartered
1 C Fresh Raspberries
1/2 C Honey
1/4 C Toasted Walnuts, Chopped

Rinse and mix berries together. Toast walnuts and chop.
To assemble desserts, place 1/2 C Greek yogurt in each dessert bowl, divide berry mixture between the 4 dessert bowls and spoon on top of yogurt. Drizzle with 2 T honey and top with chopped toasted walnuts. Serve. Can be made ahead and kept in the fridge.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes

4 Large Potatoes, Baked
1 1/2 C Broccoli Florets, Steamed & finely chopped
1 C Cheddar Cheese, Shredded & Divided
1/2 C Sour cream or Greek Yogurt
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper
4 Scallions, Sliced

Carefully cut off the top third of the cooked potatoes; reserve the tops for another use. Scoop the insides out into a medium bowl. Place the potato shells in a small baking dish. Add 1/2 cup Cheddar, sour cream, salt and pepper to the potato insides and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add scallions and broccoli to the potato mixture and stir to combine.

Evenly divide the potato mixture among the potato shells and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until potatoes are heated through.

Fattoush Salad

I first had a Fattoush salad at Insalata in San Anselmo about 12 years ago and I loved it! I recently had the pleasure of meeting Heidi Insalata Krahling at a book signing for her new cookbook! It is a beautiful book! Fattoush is a great and versitile salad of fresh vegetables, a bright dressing, and pieces of crisp pita bread. You can easily add sliced pepperoncini or shaved fennel. This salad is a great addition to grilled dinners or as a light dinner all on its own. xo

1 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 C Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 T Lemon Zest
2 t Salt
1 t Black Pepper
1 t Dry Mustard
1 t Cumin

Mix all ingredients with a whisk or immersion blender. Refrigerate until use.


2 to 4 Pitas, Cut into bite size pieces and toasted
1 t Cumin Seeds (optional)
2 Heads Romaine, Torn or cut into bite size pieces
1/2 Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
4 Tomatoes, Large Dice
1 English Cucumber, Quartered & Sliced
1/2 C Mint Leaves, Roughly Chopped
1/2 C Cilantro Leaves
1/2 C Italian Parsley
3/4 C Kalamata Olives
1 C Feta Cheese

Cut, toast and cool pita. Assemble all ingredients in a large bowl, toss with desired amount of dressing, I like to start with 1/2 cup. Taste for seasonings and serve.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Microwave Lemon Curd

Speaking of lots of Lemons! I like to make lemon curd with the abundance of lemons and I found this recipe years ago. I use it as a filling for white cake, on top of cheese cake, or between 2 butter cookies. Any way you use it you will love it! Lime and orange juice work well, too! xo

1 C Sugar
3 Eggs
1 C Fresh Lemon Juice, Real Lemon works well too!
Zest of 3 Lemons
1/2 C Butter, melted

In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the microwave, and pour into small sterile jars. Store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Red Pepper Dijon Salad Dressing

I got this recipe from my friend Lynn and her Mom. I made it and loved it! It is not only a great salad dressing but is also great as a marinade for chicken, beef or fish! xo

1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar
1 T White Vinegar
2 t Dijon Mustard
1 t Oregano
1 t Thyme
2 Cloves Garlic
1 t Salt
1 t Pepper
1 Roasted Red Bell Pepper
1 1/2 C Olive Oil

Place all ingredients but olive oil in a food processor or blender, an immersion blender can also be used. Blend to mix, while machine is running slowly add olive oil. Taste for salt and pepper, add more if needed.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lemon Marscapone Custard

My Mom and my friend Kristi gave me a bunch of Meyer Lemons...which I love, so I am always looking for yummy ways to use them. Here is one I came up with last night and everyone loved them! xo

8 Eggs
1 1/2 C Fresh Lemon Juice, you can use refrigerated
8 oz Mascarpone Cheese
1 1/4 C Sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
2 Pkg Puff Pastry

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring puff pastry to room temperature, with a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough until it is half its original thickness. Cut dough in sixths. Spray a large size cupcake tin with Pam. Place each square in a cup, folding over the edges. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor add eggs, lemon juice, sugar, zest and mascarpone cheese, process or mix until all ingredients are incorporated and mixture is light yellow. Ladle into each pastry lined cup and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Custard will set as it cools. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pepperoni Mushroom Pizza

We love pizza at out house, especially homemade! I posted the Quick Pizza Sauce and the Pizza Dough so here it is all together. If you don't want to make the pizza dough you can use your favorite French Bread cute lengthwise. Feel free to create your own masterpiece! Here is one of our favorites.

1 C or More Quick Pizza Sauce
1 1/2 C Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
1/4 C Asiago Cheese, Shredded
15-20 Slices Pepperoni
3/4 C Sliced Mushrooms
1/4 C Fresh Basil Leaves, Roughly Chopped

On homemade pizza dough or on french bread cut lenghtwise, spread pizza sauce and top with mozzarella and Parmesan, add pepperoni and mushrooms, top with asiago cheese then the fresh basil. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until edges are light brown and cheese is bubbly.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pizza Dough

5 C Flour
1 t Yeast
3 t Honey or Sugar
2 t Salt
1 1/2 C Hot Tap Water
1/2 C Olive Oil
2 T Corn Meal

Combine flour, yeast, honey, and salt in work bowl stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. With machine running, add the water and olive oil. Let mixer run on medium speed for 5 minutes or until dough is formed and is soft and elastic. This can also be done by kneading by hand.
Place dough in a gallon sized zip lock bag, coated lightly with olive oil, zip and place in a warm dry place to rise for an hour or refrigerate overnight or up to 48 hours. If refrigerating, bring dough to room temperature and let rise for one hour.
Sprinkle cornmeal on baking stone or baking sheet, spread dough and add sauce and toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quick Pizza Sauce

I like to keep this in the fridge to make French Bread Pizzas. Simple and delicious. xo

1 -14 1/2 ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 -14 1/2 ounce Can Tomato Sauce
1 6 ounce Can Tomato Paste
4 Cloves Garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press, or more if desired
2 T Olive Oil
1 t Red Pepper Flakes or more depending on your tastebuds

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and red pepper flakes cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce & tomato paste, simmer until the sauce thickens. Season with salt & pepper.
Use on pizza dough or french bread for a delicious pizza!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

This one is for Andrea who asked me this morning if I had a good Beef Stroganoff recipe. I said I would post it and here it is. xo

2 T Olive Oil
1 Lb Beef Sirloin, Cut into thin strips
2 C Flour Seasoned lightly with Salt & Pepper
4 T Butter
2 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
12 Ounces or more Mushrooms, Thickly Sliced
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1 T Ketchup
2 C Beef Broth
1/4 C Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
1 T Italian Parsley

12 ounce package Egg Noodles, Cooked according to directions.

Dredge beef in seasoned flour mixture, heat 1 T olive oil and cook meat until just brown about 1-2 minutes. (It is important to only partially cook the meat at this stage, since it will be finish cooking later in the sauce.) Transfer to a large plate and set aside. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add 4 T butter and garlic, onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent about 5 minutes. Add katsup, and beef broth, stir until sauce thickens, about 7 minutes.
Add beef, accumulated juices and sour cream, heat through, taste for seasoning. Serve over cooked egg noodles, sprinkle with parsley.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Carrot Cake

2 C Flour
2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Salt
2 t Ground Cinnamon
3 Eggs
1 1/2 C Sugar
3/4 C Buttermilk
1/2 C Canola Oil
1 t Vanilla Extract
1 20-ounce Can Crushed Pineapple, drained, juice reserved
2 C Grated Carrots (4-6 medium)
1/4 C Coconut
1/2 C Walnuts or Spicy Pecans, Chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with Pam. Can also be made as a layer cake, for that you have to double the frosting.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and coconut. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Stir in the nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely.

For the Frosting:

12 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 C Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 1/2 t Vanilla Extract
2 t Saffron

Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fettuccini with Broccoli & Gorgonzola Creme Sauce

3/4 C Chicken broth
1/2 C Dry White Wine
2 C Gorgonzola Cheese, Crumbled
2 C Heavy Cream
3 T Butter
1 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper
1 Lb Fettuccine
4 C Broccoli
1/3 C Grated Parmesan
3 T Italian Parsley, Chopped

In a medium stainless-steel pot, combine the broth and wine and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until the mixture is reduced to about 2/3 cup, 5 to 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add the Gorgonzola, cream, and butter. Bring to a simmer, cook, stirring, until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until almost done, about 9 minutes.

Meanwhile steam broccoli in microwave until soft and slightly crunchy.

Toss the fettuccine and broccoli with the Gorgonzola sauce, Parmesan, and parsley. Serve with extra Parmesan.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mango Kiwi Salsa

This is great for tortilla chips but also on grilled fish! xo

2 C Fresh or Frozen Mango, Thawed and Diced
2 C Kiwi, Peeled and Diced
1/2 C Cilantro, Chopped
1/2 C Red Onion, Copped
1 Jalapeno, Minced
1/4 C Seasoned Rice wine Vinegar

Mix all ingredients together and chill before serving!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Homemade Salsa

Homemade salsa is the best! And as I've said before I always have what it takes in the fridge to make it! You can use fresh tomatoes if you have them and add more or less jalapeno depending on your preference for heat. xo

1 Clove Garlic, Crushed
1/2 Onion, Chopped Finely
1 Jalapeno, Chopped Finely
1/2 C Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
Juice of 1 Lemon or lime
1 15 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 t Salt

Mix all ingredients and serve!

Cheesy Crab Appetizer Bites

And the crab version, I told you there were lots of versions, use these or create your own! xo

1 Sourdough Baguette, Sliced

1 C Canned Crab Meat, Drained, can use fresh
1 T Red Onion, Chopped Finely
Zest of one Lemon
2 C Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
1/2 C Mayonnaise
Dash of Tabasco
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix crab meat, onion, lemon zest, mozzarella, mayo, Tabasco, salt & pepper until well combined. Spread on baguette slices and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Broil on the middle rack of your oven until lightly browned and bubbly.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pizza Appetizer Bites

Here is the pizza version! Leave out the pepperoni or substitute chopped bell pepper and it is a vegetarian appetizer! xo

1 Sourdough Baguette, Sliced

1/4 C Sliced Olives
2 Scallions, Chopped
1/4 C Pepperoni, Chopped
1/2 C Pizza Sauce
1/4 t Cayenne Pepper
1 C Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
1 C Romano Cheese, Shredded

Mix olives, scallions, pepperoni, pizza sauce, cayenne, mozzarella and Romano until well combined. Spread on baguette slices and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, broil on the middle rack until brown and bubbly.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cheesy Bacon, Scallion & Tomato Appetizer Bites

I really like appetizers that you can do ahead and then pop in the oven when your first guest arrives. This one fits that bill to a T. Prepare the mix a day ahead and then top the baguette slices about an hour before your guests arrive! It is also a great one to have the kids put together for you! This recipe has lots of variations and I will post another tomorrow! xo

1 Sourdough Baguette, Sliced Thinly
1/4 C Real Bacon Bits
2 Scallions/Green Onions, Sliced Thinly
1/4 C Roma Tomato, Small Dice
1 C Sharp Cheddar, Shredded
1 C Jack Cheese, Shredded
1/2 C Best Foods Mayonnaise
Dash of Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce or more to taste
1/2 t Black Pepper

In a medium bowl mix bacon bits, scallions, tomato, cheddar, jack, mayo, tobasco and pepper. When mixture is well combined, spread a half teaspoon or more on each baguette slice, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and place under a broiler until the topping is hot, bubbly and slightly brown.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Perfect Guacamole

I love making homemade guacamole and salsa so I always have fresh jalapenos, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and lime or lemon juice on hand. I make the base for the guacamole and keep it in the fridge, then all I have to do to make the guacamole is cut the avocados! xo

Guacamole Base
1 Fresh Jalapeno Pepper
1/2 Onion, Quartered
1 Roma Tomato or 5 Grape Tomatoes, Quartered
1/4 C Cilantro Leaves
Juice of 1 Lime or Lemon
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 t Salt or to taste
1/2 t Pepper
3 Avocados

Place all ingredients (but avocados) in the bowl of a food processor, pulse until all ingredients are roughly chopped. Halve avocados and remove pit, cut the avocado in the skin first vertically then horizontally, spoon into a bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup of the base mixture with the avocado. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. Store remainder in refrigerator for up to a week.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spicy Wings

Just in time for Superbowl are my spicy wings! Everyone loves wings with blue cheese dressing! Oh and don't forget the celery sticks, they add a healthy twist to the wings! LOL Enjoy! xo

4 Lbs Chicken Wings, or Drumettes
3 T Olive Oil
4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1 3/4 t Salt
1 1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
1 T Chili Powder
1 T Lime Juice

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the wings, olive oil, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, cayenne, chili powder and lime juice. Mix well to coat wings, you can do this in a large zip lock bag or the bag the wings came in, and let stand an hour or overnight in the fridge. Arrange the wings in a single layer on two large baking sheets lined with foil or parchment and sprayed with Pam. Bake until brown and crispy, about 25 minutes.

Blue Cheese Dip

2/3 C Mayonnaise
1/3 C Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
1 C Blue Cheese, or Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbled
2 Scallions, Chopped
1 t Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 t Salt
1/4 t Black Pepper

8 Ribs Celery, Cut into Sticks

In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, blue cheese, scallions, 1 teaspoon of the vinegar, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve line serving platter with large lettuce leaves, place bowl of blue cheese dressing in the middle, surround with cooked wings and celery sticks!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Grilled Salmon with Spinach, New Red Potatoes and Dijon Broth

This is a dish I like to make for dinner parties. You can serve it in bowls and garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sprigs of lavender. It goes together easily beforehand and popped in the oven for the final bake. This recipe can be doubled or tripled depending on the number of guests. Serve with your favorite salad!xo

4- 8 Ounce Salmon Fillets, Skinned
1 1/2 lbs New Red Potatoes, Fingerlings, or you can even use Red potatoes and cut them in bite size pieces
2 T Butter
2 C Dry White Wine
2 Large Shallots, Chopped
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 C Chicken Broth
2 T Herbs de Provence
1 T Dijon Mustard
2 T Olive Oil
1 1/2 Lbs Baby Spinach Leaves

Skin salmon fillets and season with salt & pepper. Grill for 2 minutes on each side, just to get a sear and grill marks on the fillets.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss potatoes in olive oil and lightly salt & pepper. Roast potatoes for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan and stir in shallots. Cook shallots until translucent. Add wine and vinegar, boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 7 minutes. Add chicken broth, herbs de provence and mustard. Bring to a boil and set aside. Place spinach in the bottom of a large baking dish, arrange salmon fillets on top of spinach, place potatoes around salmon fillets, pour broth over salmon, potatoes and spinach. Bake at 350 until all salmon is done, about 10-15 minutes.

Irish Soda Bread

Well Nanc, here it is the Irish Soda Bread from SVHS Grandparents Day '09. xo

4 C Flour
2 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1/2 t Salt
1/2 C Butter
2 Eggs, Beaten
1 1/2 C Buttermilk or kefir
1 C Raisins or Dried Cranberries
1 C Walnuts (optional)

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg, raisins and buttermilk to mixture above and stir until just moistened. On a lightly floured surface, knead gently for 12 strokes. Place on a greased baking sheet or a piece of parchment and shape the mixture into a  round loaf and cut a cross in the top. Brush with beaten egg or milk (optional). Bake at 375°F for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

3 C Flour
1 1/2 C Sugar
3 T Poppy Seeds
1 T Baking Powder
2 T Grated Lemon Zest
1 t Salt
10 T Butter, Cut into small pieces
2 Eggs
3 T Fresh Lemon Juice
1/3 C Greek Yogurt

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder lemon peal and salt in food processor. Add butter, cutting in using pulse, pulse intermittently until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add eggs, lemon juice and Greek yogurt pulsing until dough comes together, adding more Greek yogurt if the dough seems dry. Using floured hands, gather dough into a ball. Flatten into an 8 inch round and cut into 8 wedges. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Split Pea Soup

When I was a kid and Mom made ham for dinner, I knew Split Pea Soup wasn't far behind.
I loved the smokey flavor of the ham and the sweetness of the split peas. So if you have a left over ham bone and ham you can use that in this recipe, but if not, you can use bacon as I've indicated in the recipe. xo

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Celery Stalk, Chopped
2 Carrots, Peeled and Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 1/4 C Green Split Peas, rinsed
6 Slices Thick-Cut Bacon, Chopped, or Ham Bone with some ham still on it
7 C water
1 Bay Leaf
3/4 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper
1 T Italian Parsley, Finely Chopped

In a medium size stock pot, heat olive oil and bacon, brown bacon, if using a ham bone, skip bacon and add ham bone when water is added. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent. Add split peas, water, bay leaf, salt, pepper and parsley. Let simmer on medium-low heat for an hour or until peas are soft and soup has thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove ham bone, remove any remaining ham and return to soup. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I haven't made Chocolate Chip Cookies since my son, Evan started making them about 5 years ago! He's really good at it, and doesn't even use a recipe, so I just enjoyed the fruits of his labor! Well now he's off at college and I had a hankering for his cookies. I threw together this version. I love it and hope you do, too! xo
2 C Butter, Softened
2 C Brown Sugar, Packed
1 C Turbinado Sugar
4 Eggs
2 t Vanilla Extract
3 C Flour
1 1/2 C Oats
2 t Baking Soda
2 t Salt
2 C Chocolate Chunks or Chocolate Chips (12 ounces)
1 C Pecans, Chopped

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, & salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Dough will be slightly sticky.

Drop by tablespoon full onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.