Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cracker Barrel Copycat Meatloaf

My mother, like me, was in a meal rut. You could count on her to make the same meals within a 2-3 week period. Some of her favorites, or mine, were her scalloped potatoes with ham and goulash. Some side dishes, which I didn’t like, were rice in cold milk smothered in cinnamon and sugar and peas and carrots 🤢. I remember sitting at the dinner table in the dark after everyone else had left trying to eat peas and carrots. After a while, I’d be really quiet and sneak over to the sink and gently put them into the garbage disposal. They never said they caught on.

My mother wasn’t that big on cooking. It was just enough to get something on the table after a day of being a kindergarten teacher. Now my Dad loved to cook, but he didn’t do much of it until us kids flew the coop. I think Mom told me his “what do you want to be when you grow up” answer was to be a chef. But life happened and he ended up in the Korean War learning how to be an electrician and that’s what he ended up doing for Ohio Bell Telephone Company. He was a big shot in Boy Scouts and got to cook for the boys on camping trips. Otherwise, after he retired, like moi, he experimented with recipes. One of his favorites was trying to copycat Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf. Which I also like to make. If you do try it, let me know if you like it. Serves 9 Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
32 ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 cup onion, chopped finely
1/4 cup celery, chopped finely
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped finely
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

In a medium size bowl beat the eggs with the milk and add in the crushed crackers, mix well. Add in the vegetables, ground beef, cheese, salt and pepper, combine then shape and put in an ungreased loaf pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. While baking combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard in a small bowl. After the 30 minutes is over remove the meatloaf from oven and spoon on half of the ketchup mixture, bake 10 minutes. Remove again and spoon on the remaining ketchup mixture and bake for 5 minutes. Serve. Yum Yum!


Monday, July 30, 2018

Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake



Yum Yum ...Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake.

Since it is National Cheesecake Day I couldn’t pass it up without posting my favorite cheesecake recipe.

Oh no, I couldn’t find my recipe, so I used one from fine cooking.

Ingredients:


For the vanilla batter:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the chocolate batter:

  • 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 5 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. dark rum or espresso
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt
  • Cocoa powder for dusting
Directions:

  • Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a 9×2-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.
  • Make the vanilla batter: In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and no lumps remain. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until blended. Set aside.
  • Make the chocolate batter:  In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in a large metal bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. With a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs, sugar, rum or espresso, vanilla, and salt on medium high until the mixture is pale and thick, 3 to 4 min. With the mixer on low, gradually pour in the chocolate mixture and continue beating until well blended.
  • Combine and bake: Spread about half of the chocolate batter in the bottom of the pan. Alternately add large scoopfuls of each of the remaining batters to the cake pan. Using a knife or the tip of a rubber spatula, gently swirl the two batters together so they’re mixed but not completely blended. Rap the pan against the countertop several times to settle the batters.
  • Bake until a pick inserted about 2 inches from the edge comes out gooey but not liquid, 40 to 42 min.; don’t overbake. The top will be puffed and slightly cracked, especially around the edges. It will sink down as it cools. Let cool on a rack until just slightly warm, about 1-1/2 hours. Loosen the cake from the pan by holding the pan almost perpendicular to the counter; tap the pan on the counter while rotating it clockwise. Invert onto a large flat plate or board. Remove the pan and carefully peel off the parchment. Sift some cocoa powder over the cake (this will make it easier to remove the slices when serving). Invert again onto a similar plate so that the top side is up. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight, or freeze.
  • Sprinkle cocoa on the bottom of the cake before inverting it onto another plate; the cocoa will keep the cake from sticking when you slice and serve it. Yum Yum!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Chunky Monkey Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes 🍠

Have you ever had sweet potatoes for dessert? Well if your a lover of sweet potatoes, like I am, your in for a treat.

These Chunky Monkey Twice Baked Potatoes are made with all natural ingredients and are good for you. The sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber, bananas are rich in pectin, which is a detoxifying agent and we all know  dark chocolate has antioxidants, so you can eat them guilt free. 😸 Serves 2 Total Time: 55 minutes.

Ingredients:

2 sweet potatoes
1 Banana, sliced
3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Garnish with pecans, optional

Glaze:

1/2 Banana, mashed
1 tablespoon coconut milk
1 tablespoon almond butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F

Was the sweet potatoes and then dry them with a paper towel. Prick the with a fork many times then wrap them in foil. Place them in a baking sheet and bake them for 40-45 minutes, or until fork tender. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.

When cooled, slice open each potato lengthwise. Using a fork mash up the inside flesh leaving the skin intact. Gently mix in half a tablespoon of maple syrup into each one. Next, add banana slices and chocolate chips evenly into the center. Place back into the oven for 10 minutes.

While they are baking make the glaze. Mash half of a banana with the coconut milk and the almond butter until smooth. After potatoes are done drizzle on the glaze. You can add more maple syrup or even pecans on top. Yum Yum!



Saturday, July 28, 2018

How to Make a Crab Rangoon

When we go to a Chinese buffet the first thing we grab are the crab rangoons. Why do we have to wait to go to the buffet when we can make these tasty treats at home.
Makes 10-12 Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
6 oz crab meat
6 scallions, whites only, finely sliced
1 pack of square wonton wrappers
2 qts peanut oil
Kosher salt

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, crab and scallions and fold with a spatula until well combined. Lay one wonton wrapper  out on a cutting board (keep the rest under a plastic wrap) and place a small amount of the filling in the center, about 1 1/2 teaspoons.

In a small bowl of water use your fingers to moisten the edges of the wonton wrapper. Push the four edges towards the center to create a four-pointed star. Be sure not to allow any air to remain inside as you seal them. Transfer to a large plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap and repeat until all of the filling is used.

Heat the oil in a wok and carefully add the rangoons. Cook and flip them constantly with a wire mesh spider until crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel, season with salt and serve immediately. Yum Yum!





Thursday, July 26, 2018

Easy Frito Corn Salad

Ive got to go to the store right now and get me some Fritos so I can make this Easy Frito Corn Salad.

It looks super simple and could be served as an appetizer or a side salad. What you don’t want to do is add the Fritos right away as they tend to get soggy fast. If serving as an appetizer for a get together, I’d let the guests add the Fritos.

 Serves 8
Total Time: 10 minutes plus the 20 minutes to go to the store

Ingredients:

2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained

  •  2 cups grated cheddar cheese

  •  1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 cup celery, chopped 

  •  1 cup green pepper or whatever color pepper, chopped

  •  1 ⁄2 cup red onion,  chopped

  •  1 (10 1/2 ounce) bag coarsely crushed regular Fritos corn chips or Fritos chili cheese corn chips

  •  Fritos Scoops for serving, if appetizer 
Directions:

Not much to it, just mix together everything except the Fritos. As I stated earlier it’s best to add them when your eating the salad, so they don’t get soggy. Yum Yum!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

MasterChef Cheese Soufflé

Did you watch MasterChef Wednesday July 25, 2018? The elimination challenge was to make a cheese soufflé. Would you be able to make a cheese soufflé?

Here is Gordon Ramsay’s Classic Cheese Soufflé Recipe.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter (5.5 tablespoons), softened
1/4 cup flour
2 1/4 cup milk
1 sm onion, chopped
1 star anise
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
6 eggs, separated
1 cup mature gruyere, grated
1 cup mature cheddar, grated
3/4 cup well-aged Parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 cup ripe Brie, cut into chunks

Directions:

Mix 3 1/2 tablespoons of butter and flour to make a paste called beurre manie. Chill to firm for 30 minutes. Heat milk to boil add the onion, spices and bay leaf, reduce to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool. Taste test for flavor.

Strain the milk into a pan then press down on the onion to extract the maximum flavor. Place pan back on heat and gradually whisk in the butter paste, adding in small pieces until it thickens. Season then let cool 3-4 minutes. Whisk egg yolks with grated gruyere and cheddar plus 2/3rds of the Parmesan. Add in the Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Brush a soufflé dish (7”x3”) with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter using upward strokes. Coat base and sides with remaining Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Chill to set. Cut gruyere into diamond shapes.

Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Coat a large grease-free bowl with the lemon juice. Whisk your egg whites in the bowl, then whisk 1/3rd of them into the cheese mixture, to loosen. Carefully, fold the remaining egg whites into the cheese mixture until well blended, but still light.

Spoon half of the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish and dot with the Brie pieces then top with the remaining mixture. Gently level off the top. Bake 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 365F/185C and bake another 15-20 minutes. Soufflé should evenly rise and be slightly wobbly. Serve immediately. Yum Yum!



Lite Fare Foods Copycat Outback’s Steakhouse Salad

One of my favorite lite fare foods is a salad with steak cut in strips and cooked medium rare to medium.


Outback Steakhouse is where I experienced this dish for the first time and I was hooked. In fact, tonight I had a wedge salad with steak at a restaurant called Wolfie’s Grill in Indianapolis.


It really doesn’t matter what way you like your salad, it’s a meal that will fill you up without weighing you down. I love it and you will too.


I’m going to try to copycat Outback’s Steakhouse Salad even the Danish Blue Cheese Vinaigrette. If you have any changes to either recipe, please let me know. Serves 5-6 Total Time: 25 minutes











Dressing Ingredients:


1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients together and store in an airtight container, refrigerate. 

Salad ingredients:

6 oz Sirloin, seared and sliced per plate
Mixed greens, your choice. Iceberg has the mildest flavor of all greens.  Try combining it or other mild flavored greens (Bibb, romaine, red or green leaf, and spinach) with bitter greens (Belgian and curly endive, watercress, flowering cabbage, kale and radicchio).
Aussie Crunch, Fried angel hair noodles, optional. They don’t provide any flavor. I’m going to eleminate them. 
2 Tomatoes, sliced per plate
1/8-1/4 cup Red onions, diced per plate
1/8-1/4 cup Cinnamon Pecans

Cinnamon Pecans Directions with Ingredients:

In a medium size bowl combine the cup of pecans, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 tablespoon light brown sugar. Toss to coat then place on a baking sheet and cook in a preheated 375F oven for 3-5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. 

Directions:

Arrange per plate; enough greens to cover plate then add the tomatoes, red onions and pecans. Top with the slices of sirloin. Salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with the dressing, Yum Yum! 





Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tips for a Lifetime

Tips for a lifetime from: Arthur Williams in 1999. Has any of these changed?

1.  Stuff a miniature marshmallow at the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.🍦 

2.  Use a meat baster to squeeze your pancake batter onto the hot griddle. (Makes a perfect shaped pancake every time)

3.  To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes. 🥔 

4.  Before hard boiling eggs add a pinch if salt to the water, to prevent the egg shells from cracking. 🥚 

5.  Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies treats. The marshmallows won’t stick to your fingers.

6.  To get the most juice from fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature then roll them under your palm on the kitchen counter before squeezing. 🍋

7.  To easily remove burnt food from your skillet, simply add a couple drops of dish soap and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil. Now it should be easier to clean.

8.  To prevent tomato sauce stains on plastic storage containers, spray them beforehand with a nonstick cooking spray. 🍅

9.  When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the cake mix instead which prevents flour on the outside of the cake.

10. If you accidentally over salt a dish while it’s still cooking, drop a peeled potato in, it will absorb the excess salt for an instant fix. 🥔

11. Wrap celery in aluminum foil when storing it in the refrigerator, it will keep for weeks.

12. Brush beaten egg whites over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish. 🥚

13. Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it back up. 🍎

14. When boiling corn on the cob add a pinch os sugar to help bring out the corns natural sweetness. 🌽

15. To determine if an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool salted water. If it sinks, it’s fresh. If it rises to the surface throw it away. 🥚

16. Cure for a headache, take a lime cut it in half and rub it on your forehead, the throbbing will go away.

17. I don’t know if anyone would have leftover wine, but if you do freeze it in ice cube trays for future recipes. 🍷

18. If you have a problem opening jars use latex dishwashing gloves to give a non-slip grip.

19. If you get food stains on your fingers, slice a raw potato, rub on and rinse. 🥔

20. Apply soap on a mosquito bite to get rid of the itch.

21. Did you know that ants never cross a chalk line? So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or anywhere they may march. 🐜

22. Use air freshener to clean a mirror..you’ll get a lovely smell with the shine.

23. When you get a splinter reach for the scotch tape before the tweezers. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter then pull it.

24. To clean your toilet 🚽 drop in a couple Alka-Seltzers, wait 20 minutes, brush and flush.

25. To unclog a sink drain drop three Alka-Seltzers down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar wait a few minutes then rinse with hot water 💦

Monday, July 23, 2018

Creamy Chicken Bake with Garlic Tomatoes and Basil

Hi everybody. Tonight I'm making this Creamy Chicken Bake with Garlic, Tomatoes and Basil in my cast iron skillet. You don't need to have a cast iron skillet any oven ready skillet that goes up to 400F will do. I don't have any fresh basil, which is best for this recipe, but use 3 different dried herbs, basil, parsley and chives.  You can decide what herbs you like best to make this recipe your own.  Serves 3 Remember 1 breast per person if you need more servings.

Ingredients:

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic or 2 cloves, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or 2 medium size tomatoes, sliced
1 cup fresh basil, chopped or 1/2 cup combination of dried herbs
1-2 cups cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat over to 395F.

In your over ready skillet add 1 tablespoon of olive oil on med/high heat. Prepare your chicken by rubbing olive oil on both sides along with adding salt and pepper, to taste.  Pan fry your chicken until they are golden on both sides, about 6 minutes each.  Remove and set aside.

In the same skillet add another tablespoon of olive oil add you chopped onions, cook until tender, then add your garlic, cook an additional minute.  Add in the cream let come to a boil and cook down some before adding in the basil/herbs and tomatoes.  Cook about 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken back in and top each breast with cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Serve with rice, potatoes or egg noodles. Yum Yum!


Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

This Southern Sweet Potato Casserole is about as old as my daughter, 32 years. Back in the day when I used to tear recipes out of magazines thinking I was going to write them down on recipe cards. 

My ambition to do this was more than my desire to get it done. Almost like your eyes are to big for your stomach, are you smelling what I’m selling? (Me and my movie lines. It’s almost if I quit saying them, I’ll forget about it.) See what I did there? 😸

Ok, so I’m no Donnie Brasco. Now I know your wanting to google him right now, but don’t leave until you get this delicious recipe. Makes 12 servings  (I’ve made this for a few Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners over the years and always got some 👍🏼)

Ingredients:

4 lbs of sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and sliced 1/4” thick.
1 teaspoon salt
6 bananas, peeled
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter plus some to grease casserole dish
1/4 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 375F. Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender, drain and set aside. Using the butter, grease a 2 qt. casserole dish. Cut the peeled bananas into 1/4” slices. In a medium size bowl add the bananas and orange juice, mix to coat. In another small bowl mix together the brown sugar and the cinnamon. In the bottom of the prepared casserole dish layer 1/3 of the potatoes, then 1/2 of the bananas, sprinkle 1/3 of the sugar mixture and use 1/3 of the butter. Repeat layering reserving 12 slices of bananas for the top. Finish the third layer with the remaining potatoes and the 12 banana slices and the rest of the sugar mixture and butter. If there is any orange juice remaining in the bowl pour it on top. Bake 45 minutes or until bubbly. Yum Yum!

I’ve made 3 pictures for this post. Pin your favorite one! 


Sunday, July 22, 2018

#350 Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Sugar Bacon

I was watching a baking show on Netflix last night called Sugar Rush and one of the contestants put brown sugar on some bacon and baked it in the oven. I didn’t know you could do that. Dum Dum.....Let alone put brown sugar on top, which sounds absolutely delicious. 

I had to figure out what I would do with brown sugar bacon and low and behold, what would be better than putting it into a chocolate chip cookie!  Don’t you agree? Pretty smart smart, if you ask me. Makes roughly 3 dozen. (BTW this is my 350th recipe...Yeah😺)

Let me know what recipes or dishes you use brown sugar bacon.

Ingredients:


for the bacon:
  • 10 strips bacon (we used turkey bacon)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
for the cookies:
  • 10 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Cup + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 heaping cup dark chocolate chips
  • caramelized bacon
Directions:

1.  First step is to make the bacon because it will need to cool before it goes into the cookie batter. Preheat your oven to 380F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lay bacon strips on foil. Sprinkle the bacon with half the brown sugar. Bake for 5-7 minutes and flip the bacon over. Sprinkle the other side with the remaining brown sugar. Bake for another 5-7 minutes until the bacon is a deep brown color – but make sure it doesn’t burn!

2.  Then remove the bacon from the oven and let it cool before chopping. **Note – we used turkey bacon. It tasted good, but it doesn’t crisp up as much as regular bacon would have so it was a bit chewy. However, it still works if you need to make the substitution.

3.  Once that’s ready, you can start on the cookie dough. Turn the oven down to 350F, and line or grease a couple of baking sheets.

4.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda, then set aside.
5.  Cream your butter and sugar together in a large bowl. While that’s going, mix together your egg and vanilla. Then add the egg mix into the creamed butter and sugar. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter and mix until almost combined. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed. Then add in your chips and bacon and mix until incorporated.
6.  Place tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets about an inch and a half apart.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cookies turn a nice golden color. Make sure you check on your cookies during baking. When done remove them to a rack to cool a bit before eating. Yum Yum!

Double Dip Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts

To double dip is usually a big no no when it comes to taking money or using the same chip in the dip jar, except when it comes to this recipe.

This Double Dip Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts recipe is Asian inspired as its honey, garlic sauce is made with soy sauce.
Serves 4 Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 eggs
8 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
Oil for frying

Directions:

Remove any fat from the chicken breasts. Place them between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat mallet to 1/2” thick. In a bowl sift together the next nine seasoning ingredients. In another bowl add your eggs and water, mix well. Salt and pepper your chicken breasts, then dredge them into the flour mixture, then the egg wash and then again in the flour mixture. Press down to make sure it sticks.

In a skillet add the oil (the skillet should be the right size so the oil is 1/2” deep.) on medium heat. When heated add your chicken and cook until crispy, 4-5 minutes on each side. The chicken will cook faster, because it’s onlt 1/2” thick. Remove to a wire rack to drain.

Make your garlic honey sauce. In a medium skillet add 2 tablespoons olive oil and cook the garlic on medium heat to soften, but not brown, maybe a minute. Add honey, soy sauce and black pepper, let simmer 4-5 minutes. Watch so it doesn’t foam up. When you are ready to serve, dip chicken into the garlic honey sauce. Yum Yum!




Saturday, July 21, 2018

Chorizo Sausage and Potato Tacos

Yesterday I made a post How to Make a Homemade Blue Corn Tortillas, so today we are going to make Chorizo Sausage and Potato Tacos using our blue corn tortillas.

What is Chorizo sausage? It is a spicy Mexican or Spanish sausage.  If you’re new to cooking with chorizo remember to remove the casing before cooking. It lasts about two weeks in the refrigerator. It’s delicious so of course it’s high calorie, high fat and high sodium. One good thing, it’s low in carbs, therefore, it fits into the ketogenic diet.

Besides Mexican and Spanish recipes, you can also uses it in Portuguese, Puerta Rican, Panamanian, South American and Filipino dishes.

What recipe do you use chorizo? Or what recipe would you like to see chorizo being used? Let me know in comments. 

And who makes her own chorizo sausage? Bet you can guess. Ok, I’ll tell you.. The Pioneer Woman. So, if you can’t find chorizo at your local grocery store, you can whip up some...be like Ree 👩‍🌾.



This Chorizo Sausage and Potato Tacos recipe makes 4 servings or 12-15 tacos. Total Time: 30 minutes. If you try this recipe let me know if you like it or would make any changes. 

Ingredients:

1 lb. boiling potatoes (about 2 large)


  • 1 lb. Mexican or Spanish chorizo or your own
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican, crumbled
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 to 15 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup guacamole 
  • Queso fresco, for serving (optional)

Directions:

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2” dice. In a saucepan of boiling salted water cook until fork tender and still holding their shape, about 15 minutes. Drain.

Remove the casings from the chorizo sausage and crumble if Mexican or finely chop if Spanish. Cook in a large skillet (add a tablespoon of olive oil if Spanish) over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, oregano and salt, to taste. Cook an additional 5 minutes.

Make the tacos with your blue corn tortillas, add the meat/potato mixture then some of the guacamole and queso fresco, if using. Yum Yum!




How to Make Homemade Blue Corn Tortillas

Yum, Blue Corn Tortilla Tacos made with homemade blue corn tortillas. Did you know that.....

Blue corn contains high levels of anthocyanins, which is what gives it the blue tines. This is the same antioxidant found in other blue, red and purple plants including berries.

The health benefits of anthocyanins include:

1. Better metabolism of glucose 

2. Properties that protect from cell damage and toxins 
3. Inflammation reduction and
4. Better cognitive function

Ingredients:

As to the question of, “How to make blue corn tortillas”? Only 2 cups of blue corn flour mixed with 2 cups of warm water. Could there be anything easier than that?
We used Minsa Blue Corn Masa Mix. Not only can you make tortillas with this mix but also tamales, sopes, enchiladas, pupusas, gorditas and atoles. They are easy to make, deliver a superior result and the dark blue color makes for some interesting taste and color combinations. Try making fish tacos with them or a spicy sausage taco. This recipe makes 16 tortillas in 20 minutes.



Directions:

Mix the blue corn and warm water together for about 4 minutes. Divide the dough into 16 golf ball size portions. Press into 6” round shapes using a tortilla press lined with wax paper. Or you can use your hands to press out the dough without the wax paper. Place on a hot skillet and let cook 20 seconds on each side. Depending on the thickness of the tortilla you may have to flip it more than once. You can use a sandwich press. Keep made tortillas in the oven in a covered tortilla server on low, (covered to keep them from drying out while you cook the remaining tortillas).

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Incredible Edible Fruit Salad

The Incredible Edible Fruit Salad 
How could I write about adding color to your plate and not give you a fruit salad recipe!

Remember what I said about avocados that they are  loaded with fiber and monounsaturated fats that will fill you up and destroy belly fat?

Well, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are also loaded with fiber which helps to slow down sugar absorption. They are packed full of vitamins that fight cravings by preventing vitamin deficiency, which is one of the causes for food cravings.

I’m sure you can find all the fruit salad ingredients at your local grocery store, even some dressing, but’s let’s be adventurous and make our own. How about a honey cilantro dressing?

Serves 1 Total Time: 20 minutes


Dressing Ingredients:

1/4 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Italian dressing
Dash of lemon pepper

Directions:


Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. 

Salad Ingredients:

Couple handfuls of mixed greens
1 cup strawberries, cleaned and sliced 
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup of assorted berries; raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries 
1/4 cup nuts or seed, optional (they’ll also help fill you up)

Directions:

Arrange on a plate and drizzle with the dressing. Yum Yum!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Color of Fatty Foods

Fatty Foods: Fried Chicken, French Fries, Corn, Cheese, Cream, Butter...

Have you ever looked down at your plate and said OMG everything is yellow? I know I have.

Isn’t ironic that visceral fat is a whitish-yellow color that resembles a lot of our fatty foods?

What can we do to get out of the yellow food rut and quit gaining weight?

We need to make wise food choices which not only reduce chances of excess fat, but also reduces fat from forming.

Foods that help reduce fat are:

1. Avocados. They loaded with fiber and monounsaturated fats. They’ll fill you up and help destroy belly fat.

2. Green vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, have very few calories and can speed up your metabolism. Eating a salad before a meal will fill you up faster, so you’ll eat a smaller portion of your main course.

3. Eggs. Loaded with protein, vitamins and minerals, eggs keep you full for longer periods of time, because they digest slowly.

4. Dark Chocolate. Now your talking, dark chocolate with 80% cocoa is a stimulant and fat burner. Another good thing is that is loaded with antioxidants and a little piece should be consumed daily. 😋

5. Nuts and Seeds. Add these to your salad or have them as a snack, as they help to fill you up. They are also filled with healthy oils and minerals.

6. Oatmeal. Kills stomach fat effectively. Packed with fiber and whole grains that will keep you full for a longer period of time. Did you know that fiber aids in digestion and prevents the accumulation of food which can lead to fat storage?

7. Cinnamon. This spice contains a type of antioxidant that increases insulin sensitivity in the body and efficiently helps to stabilize blood sugar which leads to a decrease in fat storage in the stomach.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar. I know we’ve all heard the stories that Apple Cider Vinegar is the best food that kills fat fast, but it also stabilizes blood sugar levels which can curb unhealthy snacking.

9. Chili Peppers. They contain a compound called Capsaicin which causes an increase in adrenaline thus increasing metabolism which in turn helps to burn fat quicker and makes the body use stored fat.

10. Protein Powder. We all know that protein powder contains amino acids that help build muscles and reduce fat, especially when we exercise. It’s a healthy alternative to pancakes or muffins for breakfast, just make a low sugar smoothie with reduced fat yogurt, fruits (berries), low-fat milk and some vanilla protein powder. Sounds good. Yum Yum!

PS: we need to put some different colors on our plate. Are you smelling what I’m selling! (A movie line, do you know which movie?)

Do you have any additional foods you eat that help reduce belly fat. Let me know in comments. Thx.





Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Gordon Ramsay’s Hollandaise Sauce

What can you use a creamy Hollandaise sauce on beside the traditional Eggs Benedict?


To make the best food pairings you have to think of taste, flavour and texture.

Hollandaise Sauce is obviously soft in texture, also creamy. It tastes citrusy (sour), creamy, fatty (buttery), rich.

Knowing this, allows you to find pairings that either compliment it or contrast it.

You want to balance out your dish, and since the sauce is creamy, have something crispy in the dish. Asparagus is known to be crispy so it goes well with the sauce.

Bitter tasting foods are also known to contrast fatty tasting foods as well as sour tasting foods. This works great because Hollandaise sauce is both fatty and sour.






  • some good examples of bitter foods are dark green vegetables
    • asparagus
    • spinach
    • brussel sprouts
Umami tastes also contrast well with sour tastes, and may compliment fatty foods.
  • some good examples of umami tastes are seafoods
    • salmon
    • shrimp
    • crab or lobster
    • scallops
    • mushrooms
Spice Ideas to add to the mix:
(think of bitter spices to contrast with sour and fatty, and perhaps even cooling spices to liven up the fatty tastes)
(pungent spices can even contrast and compliment the fattiness of the sauce)
  • some good examples of spice & herbs pairings
    • thyme - bitter
    • oregano - bitter
    • Garlic - pungent
    • mustard - pungent
    • onion - pungent
Remember, don’t just make a salmon and hollandaise recipe, it may taste good, but it isn’t balanced. Salmon is creamy when cooked, with a soft texture just like the sauce. You will need something with a crunch. Try adding a crispy vegetable to it, like fennel root, or asparagus, and top it off with a sprinkle of thyme.
I’ve mentioned Gordon Ramsay’s Hollandaise Sauce before in my Gordon Ramsay’s Crab Benedict, but I want you to use this sauce with various dishes. Be creative.

Even though Chef Ramsay makes it look simple enough there are a couple components to this recipe and one is to make the tarragon reduction for the hollandaise sauce. Serves 2

1) Tarragon Reduction Ingredients:

1/2 tablespoon peppercorns

5 tarragon sprigs
1 cup white wine vinegar

Directions:


In a small saucepan combine the ingredients and cook on med/high heat until it’s reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Set aside (any unused portion can be kept and refrigerated for later use).


Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients:


3 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon tarragon reduction
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:


In a medium size saucepan boil some water. Use a heat-proof glass bowl place on top  of the saucepan and add in your eggs and tarragon reduction, whisk to combine. Remove from heat and while you are continuously whisking gradually add in the butter and return to heat for a minute or two. Remove again, then whisk in your seasoning and lemon juice. Pour into a ramekin and set aside. Yum Yum!