Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mini Meat Loaves

This was a great dinner made with fingerling potatoes, bacon wrapped green bean bundles and these mini meat loaves. I also had a request from the family to make again.

Ingredients:

1 large egg
1 cup yellow onion, grated (1 large or 2 medium)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 Tablespoons worchestershire
2 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 1/4 - 2 lbs ground beef
1/3 cup ketchup

Directions:

Preheat oven 425F. in a large bowl add the egg, onion, Italian seasoning, tomato paste, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and dried parsley. Whisk together then add the ground beef. Mix but don't mash the meat.


Form mini meat loaves and add the to a foil lined baking sheet. Spread the ketchup evenly on each meatloaf. Bake 20-25 minutes.


 Remove and drain grease. At this time you can add other food, like the potatoes and beans. Place back in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until meat loaves internal temperature is 160 degrees. Yum Yum!


Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles

Wow ever have your children eat more than one helping of green beans? My 9 year old granddaughter loved these bacon wrapped green bean bundles.

Ingredients:

16 oz bag of organic green beans, 6-8 beans per bundle
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 slices of bacon, 1/2 slice per bundle
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F. Cook bacon in a skillet, not crispy (if they are crispy they will crumble instead of being able to wrap them around the beans) Reserve the drippings.

Trim and wash the beans. In a large saucepan boil water and add the baking soda and beans. Cook for 3 minutes until tender. Remove to a large bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Dab dry and toss into the reserve bacon drippings add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Remove and place on paper towels to soak up grease.

Cut a slice of bacon in half and wrap it around 6-8 beans. Secure with a toothpick and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Combine brown sugar with a tablespoon of water and lightly brush over the beans. Bake 20-22 minutes or until bacon is crisp and beans are lightly roasted. Yum Yum!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Crockpot Orange Chicken

This crockpot orange chicken recipe is different from the orange chicken I made in the wok. Again there are a lot of ingredients which now I had most on hand.




Ingredients:

1 1/2-2 lbs boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut in one inch cubes.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup corn starch
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup orange marmalade
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons green onion, sliced thin for garnish
1 orange, sliced for garnish optional

Directions:

Line your crockpot with a liner for quick and easy cleanup. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of the crockpot.

In a gallon size ziplock bag add the cubed chicken, corn starch and salt and pepper. Close bag and shake until the chicken is completely covered, then add it to the crockpot. Disperse evenly.

In a medium size bowl add the orange marmalade, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ground ginger, onion powder and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix well and pour over chicken. Make sure all pieces are covered.


Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours. Make sure cooked thoroughly. Remove to a plate pour some of the liquid over the chicken and garnish with sesame seeds, green onion slices and orange slices (optional).

Note: I used 3 lbs of chicken because we are a family of 5. so I doubled the rest of the ingredients. I don't think I needed to double the corn starch to cover the chicken. I ended up putting it in the wok. My 9 yr old had 3 helpings, so it was a hit!

Here is another recipe on how to get crispy crockpot chicken

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks


Ok this was my 12 year old granddaughter's first attempt at making homemade mozzarella sticks. If you watch the video you can tell her sticks didn't turn out quite right. Maybe we should of used different bread crumbs. What do you think?


Ingredients:

1/4 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
16 oz package string cheese, cut in half
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup pizza or marinara sauce


Directions:

Whisk egg and milk together. Coat each piece of cheese in the flour, then in eggs and roll in bread crumbs  Dip in eggs and crumbs again. Freeze before frying. Heat oil in skillet and cook sticks about a minute on each side or until golden and before cheese starts to leak. Drain on paper towels. Serve with pizza or marinara sauce.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tortellini Antipasto Salad

Love, love, love this easy yummy tortellini antipasto salad. Serves 4.

I bought some antipasto at the local supermarket and decided to use it in a salad. The other ingredients are:
1 8 oz bag of cheese tortellini
8-10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
8-10 kalamata olives, cut in half
1/2 - 1 cup Italian dressing of your choice, or make your own.

Directions:

Cook tortellini per package instructions, about 16 minutes. Cut up the antipasto into bite size pieces and add it to a medium size bowl, then add in the cherry tomatoes and olives. Fold in the cooked tortellini and add in the dressing, mix well. Top with feta cheese and serve. Yum Yum!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Strawberry Spinach Salad šŸ„—

This Strawberry Spinach Salad has a homemade honey balsamic dressing that you will love.

Ingredients:

Candied Pecans:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans
Pinch of salt

Salad:
10 oz spinach, rinsed, dried and torn into bite size pieces
1/4 cup onion, diced (preferred red)
1 qt strawberries, cleaned and halved
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 of an avocado, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 pkg or 5 oz blue cheese or feta crumbles

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey

Directions:

Pecans:
In a small skillet melt butter add pecans, sugar and salt. Stir until coated and sugar carmelizes, about 3-5 minutes. Spread out on parchment paper and let cool.

Dressing:
Whisk all ingredients together until honey dissolves and dressing is smooth.

Salad:
In a large bowl combine the onion, spinach, strawberries and blueberries. Pour 1/2 dressing and toss. Top with avocado, cheese and pecans. Refrigerate 15 minutes before serving. Serve with remaining dressing on the side. Yum Yum

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Broccoli and Swiss Cheese Bake

This broccoli and Swiss cheese bake serves 6 - 8 and takes 45 minutes to an hour to prepare and cook.

Ingredients:

8 cups of broccoli florets
4 tablespoon butter
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 medium sized garlic clove = 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic)
2 tablespoon flour
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese + 2 Tablespoons for top
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. In a microwave safe bowl add broccoli and 2 tablespoons water. Cover and cook on high 3 minutes or until al dented and still bright green. Remove, drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan melt 2 tablespoons over medium heat and sautƩ onions and garlic 3-5 minutes or until onions become translucent. Increase temperature to med/high and add 2 tablespoons butter to melt. Sprinkle in the flour and cook another 2 minutes. Add the 1/2 & 1/2, whisk continuously until thickens then add the thyme, Swiss cheese, the 1/2 cup Parmesan and the salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 2-3 minutes until cheese melts. Remove from heat, add broccoli and toss to coat.

Pour into a 9x11 baking dish, top with panko bread crumbs and the 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

I'm serving this with Archer Farms stuffed chicken breast cutlets with garlic herbed butter sauce from Target.






Okay, I've run across something new with this recipe and that's panko bread crumbs. (My Dum Dum showing) I've never heard of this before and wondered why I couldn't use just plain ole bread crumbs???  I think panko bread crumbs would have been better on my Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. From the kitchn.com:

Panko has a light, airy, and delicate texture that helps it crisp as it cooks. The texture of panko makes it especially wonderful for fried food because it absorbs less oil than breadcrumbs, keeping food more crisp and crunchy.
On its own, panko has little to no flavor. It can be used as a crunchy topping to add texture to baked casseroles, like macaroni and cheese, as a breaded coating for fried foods, or as a binder for meatballs. It's also commonly used in Japanese cooking.
There's quite a noticeable difference in texture between panko and regular store-bought breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs can be made with different varieties of bread and are ground more fine than flakier panko. Of course you can make homemade breadcrumbs that are processed into a larger grain, but they still lack the distinct flaky texture that sets panko apart.
Make your own homemade wheat or white panko bread crumbs:

Makes about 3/4 cups. Preheat oven to 300F. Take 8 slices of wheat or white bread and cut them into strips. (Some recipes suggest that you cut off the crusts) Using the shredder attachment on your food processor, feed the bread into the machine. Lay the crumbs out on a baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes, shaking or tossing every 2 minutes or so. You don't want the brown, just crispy. Once cooled place crumbs in an airtight container and refrigerate for a couple weeks or freeze up to two months




Saturday, April 15, 2017

Crockpot Pepper Steak

Boy does this Crockpot Pepper Steak look good. What better way to enjoy a Saturday then to make a crockpot meal. This takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare then you don't have to worry about it for 5 hours.

Ingredients:

1 lb skirt steak, cut into strips
1 green pepper, cut into thick strips
1 red pepper, cut into thick strips
1/2 white onion, sliced into strips

Sauce:

1/4 cup beef broth, heated
1/4 cup cold water
1 Tablespoon corn starch
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon each; garlic powder, pepper, ground ginger
2 teaspoon brown sugar

Directions:

Put the beef, peppers and onions in the crockpot. In a smal bowl add 1/4 cup cold water with the corn starch, soy sauce, garlic powder, pepper, ground ginger and brown sugar. Whisk until the corn starch dissolves then add the hot beef broth and stir. Pour over crockpot contents and cook on low for 5 hours. When done make side and serve. Yum Yum
My side was rosotto allo zafferano

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Pecan-Crusted Pork with Pumpkin Butter

Ingredients:

1 14oz can of pumpkin purƩe
3/4 cup apple juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans 
3/4 cup bread crumbs
4 1/2 inch thick boneless pork chops
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Whisk together the pumpkin purƩe, apple juice, sugar, cloves, ginger and cinnamon in a saucepan until smooth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to med/low and simmer until the mixture has reached the consistency of apple sauce; about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse the pecans and breadcrumbs in a food processor until the pecans are finely chopped. Pour into a shallow dish and press the pork chops into the mixture to coat.

Heat oil in a skillet over med/high heat and add pecan-encrusted pork chops. Cook until golden brown on both sides; 4 minutes per side. Remove and place on a paper towel to soak up any oil.
Serve with a dollop of pumpkin butter.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Crockpot Pork Loin Chops with Gravy and Klondike Potatoes

These crockpot pork loin chops are delicious. I do want to say that my gravy in the video is a tad darker because I ran out of chicken broth and had to use about a 1/4 cup vegetable stock. Nevertheless, I did get a thumbs up from one of my granddaughters.

Ingredients:

4 pork loin chops
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
Seasonings: dried mustard, thyme, salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons dried basil
2 Tablespoons dried parsley

Directions:

Season to taste your 4 pork loin chops on both sides with the dried mustard, thyme, salt and pepper. In a large skillet add the oil and butter. When the butter melts sautƩ the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent. Push the onions to one side and add the chops. Cook the chops at least 2 minutes on each side. Add chops and onions to the crockpot. Add the 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and cook 4 hours on low. Remove chops and add the flour to the liquid in the crockpot stir until thickens. Add your dried parsley and basil to the gravy. Serve with gravy and roasted Klondike potatoes on the side. Yum Yum

Roasted Klondike potatoes directions:

Clean and cut in half. Place on a foil lined baking sheet cut side up. Drizzle olive oil and season with rosemary, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake 20 minutes in a preheated 425F oven.
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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms šŸ„

These spinach Stuffed Portobello mushrooms make an excellent side dish or a delicious easy appetizer.

Ingredients:

4 large portobello mushrooms
1 Tablespoon Italian dressing
1 egg
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 5 oz bag fresh spinach, chopped
1/4 cup chopped pepperoni
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove gills and stem from mushrooms then brush each side with Italian dressing. Place on a foil lined baking sheet, gill side up.  Bake for 12 minutes. When done drain any juices.

In a large bowl, beat egg, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped spinach and pepperoni. Add the Parmesan, 3 Tablespoons of the mozzarella and 3 Tablespoons of the bread crumbs. Mix evenly into the eggs.

Divide spinach mixture over mushrooms. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese and 1 Tablespoon bread crumbs. Return mushrooms to oven. Continue baking until top is golden brown and cheese melts, about 10 minutes or more. Serve Yum Yum


Marinated Tomatoes and Mushrooms

With warmer temperatures I look for a cold side dish to compliment my meals. Especially a cold side dish with fresh tomatoes and mushrooms.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 oz cherry tomatoes
1 8 oz pkg of mushrooms
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil

Directions:

Whisk vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, green onions and basil. Toss, cover and chill for 3 hours. Yum Yum

Egg Stuffed Tomatoes

You can either have your eggs scrambled or sunny side-up. Only difference is the temperature of the oven and the duration of the cooking process. Serving size depends on number of people and how many they want. One egg per tomato.

Sunny side-up directions:

Cut off the top of the tomatoes and core. Preheat oven to 350F. Drop a teaspoon of butter in the bottom of the tomato then crack and add the egg. Put the tomatoes in a muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley, optional.


Scrambled egg directions:

Cut off the top of the tomatoes and core. Preheat oven to 425F. In a bowl whisk the eggs. Add eggs to cored tomatoes, then and add a pinch of Parmesan cheese and some salt and pepper to taste. Put tomatoes in a foil lined muffin pan and bake 25 minutes.




Copycat European Mushroom Tomato Salad with Cream Cheese

While I was surfing for something to do with my mushrooms and tomatoes I came across this recipe on YouTube... looks good, so I thought I'd share it with you. If you make this Italian Mushroom Tomato Salad with Cream Cheese let me know what you think.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (save a little for garnish) 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 pound crimini mushrooms 5 sprigs of thyme 2 garlic cloves, chopped 3 scallions, chopped 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 teaspoon lemon juice 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 10 ounces grape tomatoes, halved (save some for garnish) 2 ounces original Philadelphia cream cheese, softened 4 cups mixed spring leaves 2 tablespoons pine nuts, roasted or sunflower seeds salt, pepper to taste

Directions:

In a skillet add the oil and butter on med/high heat. One the butter has melted add the mushrooms, thyme, garlic, scallions, lemon juice, lemon zest and balsamic vinegar. Lower heat and let simmer until the mushrooms become tender. Add the tomatoes, cream cheese and salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese has dissolved. Let sit until it is room temperature. On a platter arrange greens. Top greens with mushroom mixture and garnish with nuts, cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve. Yum Yum






Mushroom Stuffed Tomatoes

I had some tomatoes and mushrooms in my refrigerator and wondered what I could do with them. So, I googled tomato mushroom recipes and came up with Mushroom Stuffed Tomatoes. Not everyone in my family likes tomatoes whether they are cooked or not....but everyone liked the mushroom stuffing and ate it as a side with the Crockpot Pork Tenderloin.

I only had 6 Roma tomatoes and I wished I had beefsteak tomatoes because I had a lot of the mushroom stuffing left over.



Ingredients:

6 mushrooms, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
6 medium large beefsteak tomatoes, cored
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup parsley, either fresh or dried
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese + some to top off
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Foil line a baking dish. (Next time I am going to use a muffin tin)  Cut tops off tomatoes and core out the inside. Be careful not to come through to the outside of the tomato. Slice a little off the bottom so the tomato will stand up. This would be more for the Roma tomato and not the beefsteak.

In a skillet on med/high heat sautƩ the onions until they are translucent. Add the parsley, garlic and salt and pepper; stir and cook another 5 minutes. Add in the sour cream and cheese until the cheese melts. Add in the mushrooms, stir and cook 10 minutes or so. Stuff the tomatoes, top off with a little mozzarella cheese. I put the cut top back on but this is optional, I don't think anyone ate them. Bake 15-20 minutes then serve. Yum Yum.


Roasted Russian Banana Potatoes or Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes have a creamy, almost sweet flavor that makes them a nice alternative to ordinary white, yellow or red potatoes. Their unusual elongated shape, which slightly resembles fingers, will give your plate a different look.
They're considered waxy potatoes (like red potatoes, white potatoes, and Yukon golds), which means they're great for roasting and boiling. When it comes to mashing, you're better off with starchy potatoes like Russets.
Fingerling potatoes are available in multiple colors, including yellow, orange, red or even purple. So you can use a combination of colors or just one. The yellow ones, sometimes referred to as Russian banana potatoes are probably the most common.
You can halve them lengthwise before roasting or roast them whole, depending on your preference. Size also matters. If they're on the larger side, halving might be best. Otherwise, I prefer to roast them whole. (You can also slice them crossways into rounds, which is useful if you're planning to sautĆ© them.)
By the way, fingerling potatoes are terrific for making potato salad, because they stay firm when you boil them, and they have a lovely flavor. And by potato salad, I mean the American kind, with either a mayonnaise- or vinaigrette-based dressing.
Ingredients:

1 bag of Russian banana potatoes


Seasonings: garlic powder, salt, pepper and rosemary
Olive oil

Directions:

1. Clean and discard any imperfections, then cut in half lengthwise*
2. Place on a foil lined baking sheet.
3. Season with salt and pepper, garlic powder and rosemary 
4. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes 
5. Put in a preheated 425F oven for 20 minutes.

* If you prefer you can leave them whole, but bake them 20-25 minutes

Monday, April 10, 2017

Crockpot Pork Tenderloin

If you have an extra 15 minutes in the morning when you come home from work (6-8 hrs) you will have a great crockpot pork tenderloin dinner. Just steam some Russian banana potatoes and green beans. Yum Yum

I had a 1.2 lb pork loin which could feed 2-3 people, depending on the people. My butcher always says that 1/2 lb per person is a good standard portion. It's a bit too much for me personally, but I always multiply the number of diners by 1/2, then add some extra - how much extra depends on how many people are eating.

Ingredients: 

1.2 lb Pork Tenderloin 
1 Tablespoon dried oregano 
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon minced garlic 
1/4 cup honey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/8 cup soy sauce 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions: 

Place pork tenderloin in crockpot. In a medium bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour sauce over pork, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove pork onto a serving plate and pour liquid in a saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced and thickened. Pour thickened sauce over pork and serve. 


Friday, April 7, 2017

Mama's Goulash

My mama's goulash was one of my favorite meals growing up. Now it's a favorite of my granddaughters. Takes only 15-20 minutes to make. The ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 15oz cans of Italian Stewed tomatoes
1 15oz can of tomato sauce
16 oz macaroni
Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook the ground beef until done and set aside on a paper towel to soak up grease. Cook macaroni 8 minutes. Rinse in cold water right away to stop cooking process. In the same skillet cook the chopped vegetables until the onions are translucent. Add the meat back in then add the stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce, stir well. Let simmer 10 minutes. Fold in the macaroni then season with garlic powder and salt and pepper. Serve Yum Yum!

Baby Back Ribs with Corn, Asparagus and Pear/Celery Salad

My granddaughter Cristen loves some Baby Back Ribs, so I picked up some Kansas City ribs at the local grocery store. They were already wrapped in  the famous Kansas City tomato molasses based sauce, so I only added some garlic powder and season salt before baking them. Set your oven at 275F place ribs on a foil covered baking sheet and cover the ribs in foil. Bake for 2 hours for one rack or 3 hours for two racks.. Once the ribs are done uncover and smother with a cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. Increase heat to 500F. Prepare corn on the cob and asparagus on another foil lined baking sheet if cooking 2 racks of ribs. If only one rack, use the same baking sheet, place corn on one side and asparagus on the other. Drizzle olive oil over the corn and asparagus, salt and pepper to taste. Place the food in oven and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.





Pear/Celery Salad ingredients:
6 servings

4 stalks of celery, diced 1/2 inch
2 pears, sliced
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese (I only had regular)
*1/2 cup toasted pecans (I toasted some slivered almonds)
6 leaves of butterhead lettuce
Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place diced celery in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the honey, raspberry vinegar and salt in a medium size bowl. Add the pears and coat well. Then add the celery and cheese and stir. In each bowl place the lettuce then add the salad, top with the nuts and serve. Yum Yum

*Toasting pecans or almonds. Preheat oven to 350F. On a foil lined baking sheet place nuts in a single layer and bake 3-4 minutes. Half way through stir. Keep watch every minute or so to get desired color.

She likes it...hey Cristen!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Roasted Vegetable and JalapeƱo Soup

I had a roasted vegetable and jalapeƱo soup on vacation it was so good I had to attempt it. Since it was dark and I didn't get the ingredients i'm going to make a couple different roasted vegetables and jalapeƱo soups. The first one is with roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes and jalapeƱos. The second will be with a roasted cauliflower instead of the red peppers and cherry tomatoes. The ingredients for the first one is:

6 jalapeƱos, cut in half seeds and membrane removed
2 red peppers, cut in quarters seeds and membrane removed
1 white onion, diced usually yields 2 cups
2 Tablespoons garlic
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons rosemary
2 Tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken broth
16 oz heavy cream (double if you don't want as thick or use less corn starch)
10 oz container of cherry tomatoes
2 stalks of celery, diced
3/4 cup corn starch
1 cup cold water

Directions:

On a foil lined baking sheet add the sliced peppers and jalapeƱos in a single layer cut side face down. Add the cherry tomatoes; drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the rosemary over the tomatoes.  Place in a preheated 400F oven for 20 minutes. I had to use 2 baking sheets.

In a stock pot on med/low heat melt the butter then add the garlic, celery and onions. Stir until the onions are translucent. Slice the peppers and jalapeƱos add them to the pot along with the tomatoes. Add in the cream and chicken broth. Turn off heat and let cool. Once cool add to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot. Mix corn starch and water until smooth. I increased the heat to med/high and gradually added it to my soup stirring constantly until it reached the desired thickness. Serve with  bacon bits and cheese, if desired. Yum Yum



The ingredients for the second soup:

Makes 8 large bowls of soup or 12 small bowls
2 heads of cauliflower, leaves removed and cut into large chunks
2 jalapeƱos, membrane and seeds removed slice in half
2 large white onions, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 cups of vegetable broth
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

In a 400F preheated oven place the cauliflower chunks and jalapeƱos (cut side down) on a foil lined baking sheet; salt and pepper to taste. Bake for twenty minutes or until cauliflower starts to brown on edges. In a large saucepan on medium heat add the butter, once melted add the celery and onions. Cook unail the onions become translucent. Add the jalapeƱos and cauliflower to the saucepan and the 2 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to boil then let simmer for 5 minutes; remove from heat. Once cooled, blend in a blender, return to saucepan and reheat. Garnish with cheddar cheese and serve...Yum Yum

Monday, April 3, 2017

Skillet Chicken Piccata

Serving 6 ...Prep time 15 minutes Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 Tablespoons Olive oil
6 Chicken breasts
1 1/2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup White wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 Tablespoon Capers (see substitutions)
Slices of 1 Lemon
Parsley to garnish

Capers substitutions:
Don't have capers on hand? You could get away without them, but add more lemon juice and maybe a teaspoon or two of freshly grated lemon zest. Other suggestions are green olives (no pimento), sun-dried tomatoes or Kalamata olives.

Directions: 

In your electric skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook chicken until golden brown (no pink inside), about 8 minutes per side. Remove chicken and discard 1/2 of the chicken juices from the skillet. Reduce heat to low. Add to skillet: garlic, butter, wine, lemon juice and capers (or substitute), bring to simmer. Add lemon slices then return chicken to skillet. Let simmer in sauce 5 minutes then serve with parsley and your favorite side dish. Yum Yum

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Peppercorn Steak with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Italian Risotto

Steak...who doesn't like a good steak. This is a great meal that took me about an hour to prepare. My steak was 1.5 lbs and frozen when I started. Defrost time was a little over 9 minutes. The recipe also suggests to salt the steak on both sides then let sit for 30 minutes. While this was going on I prepared the mushroom sauce and risotto. The Italian risotto was in a gift set I received one Christmas. The risotto I used had Italian herbs and dried mushrooms in it. You can find this at your local store or purchase it here.


The risotto is made like a rice using a fat and some liquid. The ingredients I used are:

1 package of Italian risotto
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 glass of white wine
3 cups of beef broth

Directions:

In a saucepan melt the butter. Add the package of risotto and stir until well blended. Add the 1/2 glass of wine and stir until the wine has evaporated. Then add in the 3 cups of broth, one cup at a time on med/low heat stir occasionally for 15-18 minutes.

Ingredients for the Creamy Mushroom Sauce:

1 3.5 oz package of shiitake brown button mushrooms
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup roux or heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Wash and cut the mushrooms in half then slice. In a skillet add the olive oil. When hot add in the mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste then sautƩ until they are brown. Add in the roux or heavy cream (if adding the heavy cream cook until thickens) then add in the minced garlic. Cook for another minute or two then set aside on a warmer

Directions for Peppercorn Steak:

Now that the steak has set out at room temperature for 30 minutes, pat dry. Heat a skillet with 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, until the oil smokes. Add the steak and sear on all sides. Remove from heat and check desired internal temperature. See chart. I didn't grill, but the same temperatures work for pan frying. If the meat needs to cook longer return to skillet, if not cover the steak with cracked peppercorns then slice. Serve with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Italian Risotto. Yum Yum!