Monday, July 22, 2019

Grilled Chicken with Sweet Potato and Strawberry Salsa

This Grilled Chicken with Sweet Potato and Strawberry Salsa sure looks delicious. It might look like its on the sweet side, but don’t let it fool you...it’s packing some heat with chili powder, cumin and jalapeño. Serves 4 Total Time 40 minutes.

Ingredients:

4 small sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the grill
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 8 ounces each)
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 strawberries, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (leave in some seeds for heat)
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving

Directions:

Preheat a grill to medium. Microwave the sweet potatoes until soft, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool slightly, then brush with 1 teaspoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, toss the chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the chile powder, cumin and a big pinch each of salt and pepper. 

Make the salsa: Combine the strawberries, bell pepper, jalapeno and half each of the scallions and cilantro in a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Toss well and set aside until juicy. 

Oil the grill grates and add the sweet potatoes and chicken. Grill, covered, turning, until the sweet potatoes are tender and charred and the chicken is cooked through, 15 minutes for the sweet potatoes and 16 to 20 minutes for the chicken. Split open the sweet potatoes. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, sprinkle with the remaining scallions and cilantro and season with salt and pepper; fluff with a fork. Serve the chicken with the sweet potatoes; top the chicken with the strawberry salsa and serve with lime wedges. Yum Yum!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

German Cucumber Dill Salad Recipe

This German Cucumber Dill Salad was a favorite side dish in my house growing up. This recipe has been past down from my grandmother who was from Germany to me and now I can continue by giving it to my granddaughters. (I just hope they like it.) Serves 6 Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cucumbers, sliced 
1 tablespoon kosher salt 
1/2 red onion, sliced 
1 clove garlic, minced 
3/4 cup sour cream 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
2 teaspoons fresh dill 
1 teaspoon sugar 
1 teaspoon black pepper 

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with a tea towel. Thinly slice the cucumbers and lay on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the cucumbers to release their water. Pat cucumbers dry and add to a large mixing bowl with the red onion and garlic. Whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, dill, sugar and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the dressing mixture over the cucumbers and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yum Yum! 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Italian Sausage Sun-Dried Tomatoes Olives Asparagus Spaghetti

Instead of your usual spaghetti try this Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Asparagus over your Spaghetti tonight. And let me know if you liked it. Servings: 4-6 Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
1/2 -3/4-pound spicy ground Italian sausage
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 can of diced Tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
15 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
10 green olives, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
4-6 servings of spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
Salt and pepper, to taste 
Garnish: shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, brown the sausage. When sausage is mostly cooked, drain away excess grease. Lower heat to about low to medium-low and add the oil, garlic and shallots. Cook and stir until just tender and fragrant then add everything but the asparagus. Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile cook the spaghetti. Save 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Uncover the skillet and add the asparagus and a little pasta water, if needed for more liquid. Cook until asparagus is tender to your liking (I like my asparagus somewhat crisp but if you like it pretty soft feel free to add it with all of the other ingredients). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat and serve over spaghetti. Top with shredded parmesan cheese. Yum Yum!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Cherry Pear Tart or Orange Blueberry Crostata

Which one do you like better? It’s so hard to choose I like both the Cherry-Pear Tart and the Orange Blueberry Crostata. Both take an hour and 10 minutes to make. The Cherry-Pear Tart serves 8 and the Orange Blueberry Crostata serves 6.

The Cherry-Pear Tart
Ingredients:

Crust:
1 Pillsbury pie crust, softened as directed

Filling:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 ripe large pear, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 can cherry pie filling with extra fruit
2 teaspoons orange zest

Crust Topping:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon sliced, toasted almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Unroll pie crust onto the cookie sheet.

In a small bowl stir together the cornstarch and water then add it to a medium bowl with the remaining filling ingredients. Spoon into crust leaving a 2” edge. Fold 2” edge over filling, pleating as necessary.

In a small bowl beat the egg then add the water. Brush over crust edge then sprinkle with sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes until pears are tender and crust is golden brown. Let cool 15 minutes. Cut into wedges and served warm...preferably with some vanilla ice cream. Yum Yum!


Orange Blueberry Crostata
Ingredients:

Crust:
1 Pillsbury pie crust, softened as directed

Filling:
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cups fresh blueberries

Crust Topping:
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons coarse sparkling sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a 15x10-inch pan with sides with parchment paper. Unroll pie crust into pan.

In a medium bowl mix together the marmalade, flour and cardamom then fold in the blueberries. Spoon into crust leaving a 2” edge. Fold edge over filling, pleating crust if necessary. In a small bowl beat yolk with water and lightly brush the edges; sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 17-23 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let cool 30 minutes before serving. Yum Yum!

Chicken Paprikash

Chicken paprikash, the traditional Hungarian dish, is thick and velvety with the subtle flavors of paprika and sour cream. Serve the chicken paprikash on a bed of egg noodles (or rice, späetzle, dumplings, etc.; or just dunk thick slices of buttered bread). Serves 6 Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken pieces
Salt, to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 lbs yellow onions, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon hot Hungarian paprika
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:

Salt chicken pieces, to taste and set aside, letting them come to room temperature. In a Dutch Oven melt the butter on medium heat then brown chicken on all sides, remove and set aside. Add sliced onions to the Dutch Oven, scraping the bits from the bottom and cook until lightly browned. Add in the paprikas, stir to combine then add in the chicken broth and deglaze the bottom of the Dutch Oven.

Add the chicken pieces back in on top of the onions. Cover and cook on a low simmer for about 25 minutes or until chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165F. If you want the chicken to fall off the bone (I do) add another 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. At this point I’m going to let the chicken cool enough to remove the bones.

Let Dutch Oven cool down before adding the sour cream. Season, to taste. Put the chicken back in coating it well with the sauce. Serve with rice, noodles or dumplings etc...and a side salad would be nice. Yum Yum!

You need a Dutch Oven for this recipe. I ❤️ my Dutch Oven!


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Meatless Taco Salad with Homemade Guacamole Dressing

All the vegetables you love in a Taco Salad minus the meat. Made with a rich creamy guacamole dressing you won’t miss the meat at all! Mix it up a bit with a varieties of beans; kidney, chili or red beans.  Serves 2 Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1/3 cup guacamole 
1/4 cup sour cream 
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper 
1 tablespoon chopped green onions 
1 tablespoon prepared Italian salad dressing 
1/4 teaspoon chili powder 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
3 cups shredded lettuce 
8 cherry tomatoes, halved 
1/2 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained or any variety of beans 
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives 
1/2 cup crushed corn chips 
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, beans and olives. Arrange lettuce mixture on a serving plate; top with guacamole mixture. Sprinkle with corn chips and cheese. Yum Yum!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Secret Tips for Homemade Coleslaw 🤫

TIPS FOR THE BEST COLESLAW

Check out these 4 tips to make sure your coleslaw comes out perfect every time:
Texture is important. Shredded vegetables make the best texture for classic coleslaw, but many people prefer chopped cabbage with smaller pieces. But take note! Using chopped veggies often leads to a more watery coleslaw.
Add some variety by mixing and matching your vegetables. Coleslaw doesn’t have to be made with the 4 veggies specified in this recipe. Feel free to mix and match them, and try adding roasted corn or chopped green onions to your bowl of veggies.
Toss, don’t stir! Lightly toss in your dressing to evenly coat the vegetables and keep them crisp. Start slow when you add the dressing, and add more until you get the coleslaw to your ideal veggie/dressing ratio.
Keep your veggies and your dressing separated and in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. This ensures that your vegetables stay crisp and crunchy and don’t go limp before dinnertime.

Serves 16 ...leftovers? This will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Or reduce ingredients. Total Time: 20 minutes 
Ingredients:

1 head green cabbage, shredded 
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded 
2 cups carrots, shredded 
1/4 cup red onion, diced 

Dressing Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup Dijon mustard 
1/4 cup lemon juice 
2 tablespoons sugar 
1 teaspoon celery seeds 
1 teaspoon poppy seeds 
Salt and pepper, to taste 


Directions:

Combine all shredded vegetables and the diced onion in a large serving bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over vegetables just before serving, toss to combine. Yum Yum! 

Balsamic Chicken with Veges

This BHG’s recipe states: “This balsamic chicken recipe will soon become a family favorite. Balsamic vinegar, with its hallmark dark color, syrupy body, and slight sweetness, brings a wonderful out-of-the-ordinary touch to any recipe. Pair this easy balsamic chicken recipe with a side of quinoa or rice to satisfy heartier appetites.”

Personally I’d pair it with some small parsley potatoes and some homemade coleslaw. In the summer don’t you like to serve a hot entree with something cold like; applesauce, salad, cottage cheese with fresh pineapple or Arroz con Leche served chilled? Serves 4 Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup bottled Italian salad dressing
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken breast
10 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, or one 10-ounce package frozen cut asparagus, thawed and well drained
1 cup purchased shredded carrot 1
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, honey, and crushed red pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink, turning once. (Internal temperature reaches 165F) Add half of the dressing mixture to skillet; turn chicken to coat. Transfer chicken to a serving platter; cover and keep warm.

Add asparagus and carrot to skillet. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender; transfer to serving platter. Stir remaining dressing mixture; add to skillet. Cook and stir for 1 minute, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Drizzle the dressing mixture over chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle with tomato. Yum Yum!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Better than Manwich Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

Why are these Instant Pot Sloppy Joes better than Manwich Sloppy Joes? It’s in the ingredients.....

Manwich Ingredients:
Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Less than 2% of: Salt, Sugar, Dried Green and Red Bell Peppers, Chili Pepper, Tomato Fiber, Guar Gum, Spices, Xanthan Gum, Dried Garlic, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid

Now who wants high fructose corn syrup, additives  and preservatives when you can make your own healthier homemade version in your Instant pot??? Makes 10 sandwiches Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 cup beef broth or water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
8 hamburger buns
Sliced pickles, for topping (optional) 

Directions:

Set Instant Pot to saute. Add the ground beef, garlic, red pepper and onion and cook until meat is no longer pink; drain, if needed. Add the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, water, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, if using to the pot; mix well.

Place the cover on the pot and set timer to 5 minutes on high pressure (pressure cook setting). It will take the Instant Pot around 9 minutes to build up pressure before it begins cooking. When cooking is done, let it release naturally for 10 minutes then do a quick release. Remove cover, stir and let sit for 10 minutes before spooning into buns and serving. Top with pickle slices, if desired. Yum Yum!

You need an Instant Pot for this recipe

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Grilled Shrimp with Red Pepper Dip

These grilled shrimp with red pepper dip are great as an appetizer or a snack on game day. If you are using wooden skewers make sure you soak them in enough water to cover for at least 30 minutes before using. Serves 8 Total Time: 40 minutes + chill time 1 to 24 hours.

Ingredients:

2 lbs fresh or frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact (if desired)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium red sweet peppers, halve, remove stems, seeds and membranes
1 8oz carton sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

Rinse and pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Thread shrimp with wooden or metal skewers, leaving 1/4” between each shrimp. Lightly brush each shrimp with oil, set aside. Lightly brush halved sweet red peppers with remaining oil. Preheat gas grill to medium. Place shrimp and peppers on rack over heat, cover and grill until shrimp are opaque and peppers are slightly charred, turning once halfway through grilling. 9-11 minutes for shrimp and 15 minutes for red peppers.

Immediately wrap peppers in foil, let stand until cool. Place shrimp skewers in a shallow dish, cover and chill 1-24 hours.

Use a knife to peel the skins off the peppers and discard. In a blender combine the peppers, sour cream, salt and pepper, cover, blend with on/off pulses until mixture is coarsely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and chill for 1-24 hours. Serve dip with shrimp. Yum Yum!


#800 Easy Roasted Cherry Balsamic Rosemary Chicken

All I have to say is “It’s what’s for dinner..eat mor chikin!”

What do you make when you have chicken to use, an abundance of sweet cherries and fresh rosemary from Imperfect Produce? You make this easy roasted cherry balsamic chicken dinner.  Roasted chicken to a golden brown flavored with sweet balsamic, cherries and herbal rosemary...it’s not only delicious, it’s mouth watering to look at. And it only takes 50 minutes! Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken or enough breasts per serving 
6 fresh sprigs of rosemary 
2 cups pitted sweet cherries 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 cup olive oil 
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
Salt, to taste 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. In a oven proof skillet layer the pieces of chicken (if using the whole skins-on chicken pieces, place skins sides up), tucking the rosemary sprigs around the chicken. In a bowl combine the remaining ingredients and season with salt, to taste. Pour the bowls contents over the chicken. Roast for 40 minutes or until skins are golden brown and internal temperature of the chicken breasts are 165F.  Yum Yum! 

How to Cook Stuffed London Broil

This Easy Stuffed London Broil recipe should be on every meat lovers bucket list! It is so flavorful, but be sure not to over cook it as it may get tough. Serves 5-6 Total Time: 42 minutes + marinating 1-2 hours 

Ingredients:


1 3lb London broil 


Marinade:

2 tablespoons olive oil 
2 tablespoons lemon juice 

Filling Ingredients:

4oz cream cheese, softened 
2 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled 
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced 
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced 
1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced 
1 tablespoon fresh chives or green onion, minced 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
Salt and pepper, to taste 

Directions:


Cut a lengthwise pocket in the steak. Marinate in the olive oil and lemon juice for 1-2 hours at room temperature. In a bowl mix together the filling ingredients and salt and pepper, to taste. Stuff pocket with filling mixture and secure with toothpicks. Sprinkle the steak with a little salt and pepper, to taste. In a roasting pan lined with foil place the stuffed London broil. Broil 3” from heat for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness. Slice thin against the grain. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately. Yum Yum! 

Crab and Asparagus Frittata

Having guests for the weekend? Want to impress them with a fancy breakfast? For an elegant presentation of this crab and asparagus frittata, choose slender asparagus spears and leave them long. Serves 6 Total Time: 32 minutes

Ingredients:

8 eggs 
1/3 cup milk 
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1 tablespoon snipped fresh tarragon or basil 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
 2 teaspoons olive oil 
1/4 cup chopped onion 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 1/2 cups bias-cut fresh asparagus (1-inch pieces)* 
2 tablespoons water 
6 ounces fresh or canned lump crab meat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed 
1/3 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped 
2 tablespoons snipped fresh Italian parsley bottled hot sauce (optional) 

Directions:

Preheat broiler. In a bowl whisk together the first six ingredients (through salt).  

Heat oil in a large broilerproof skillet over medium heat; add the onion and garlic. Cook 2 minutes. Add asparagus and the water. Cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Drain and discard any liquid remaining in the skillet. 

Evenly sprinkle the crab and roasted peppers over asparagus. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and crab in skillet. Cook over medium heat. As mixture sets, run a spatula around edge of skillet, lifting egg mixture so uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking and lifting edges until egg mixture is almost set (surface will be moist). 

Place skillet under the broiler 4 to 5 inches from heat. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until top is just set. (Or preheat oven to 400°F; bake about 5 minutes or until top is set.) Cut into wedges. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with hot sauce, if using.  Yum Yum!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Pan-Seared Chicken with Tomatoes Harissa and Feta

I’m going to change one thing with this recipe and that’s the thighs for breasts. I’m not a fan of thighs, if you are, then stick to the original recipe. My last attempt with breasts took forever to get to an internal temperature of 165F, so I’m going to cut them in half and pound them down to 1/2”. Serves 4

Many people complained about the tomatoes getting burnt because they recommended them to be cooked with the thighs to temperature. I’m going to make sure the chicken is seared well at temperature before I remove them to make the tomato sauce.

Another thing, I’m not going to use a cast iron skillet when cooking tomatoes. My cast iron skillet is relatively new and not highly seasoned. Per the kitchn.com “If the seasoning is very good, you can prepare dishes with tomatoes and other acidic foods, but it's best to wait until your piece is well-seasoned.” Recipes including very acidic foods, like tomatoes and citrus juices, should not be cooked in seasoned cast iron until the cookware is highly seasoned.



Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded to 1/2” (2 1/4lbs)
2 tablespoons olive oil 
3 teaspoons salt, divided 
1 1/2 lbs cherry tomatoes 
1/4 cup harissa paste
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
3 sprigs oregano, divided 
4 oz feta

Directions:

Pat chicken dry then season with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. (Seasoning rule: 1 teaspoon salt per pound). In a skillet add the oil on med/high heat. Sear on both sides until no longer pink and internal temperature reaches 165F. Remove to a plate and cover to retain heat. 

In the same skillet add in the cherry tomatoes, vinegar, harissa paste, 1 oregano sprig and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the tomatoes burst releasing their juices, 8-10 minutes. Add the chicken back in to reheat, 5 minutes. Add in the feta, breaking it into large pieces amongst the chicken. Pick the leaves off the remaining oregano sprig and sprinkle on top. Serve hot. Yum Yum! 

Let me know if you tried this recipe and if you made any changes. 

Classic Cobb Salad Recipe With Homemade Dressing

This gluten free Classic Cobb Salad was a favorite of mine when I used to go to French Lick Power Plant Restaurant. They also added crisp green beans and sweet corn to make it extra healthy.

The Homemade Cobb Salad Dressing is better for you than anything store bought without added preservatives, artificial sweeteners or additives; like Xanthan gum. Whatever that is. Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

1 head of iceberg lettuce or romaine, cleaned and chopped
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 tablespoons chopped scallions
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup blue cheese
1 avocado, diced
3 hard boiled eggs, quartered or chopped
2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups cooked crisp fresh green beans, trimmed and halved (optional)
2 cups cooked sweet corn (optional)
Homemade Dressing

Homemade Cobb Salad Dressing:

2/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/3 cups safflower oil

Dressing Directions:

In a small bowl add all ingredients except oil. Blend well. Then add oil in thin stream whisking constantly until emulsified.

Salad Directions:

Place your lettuce in a large salad serving bowl. Artfully arrange remaining ingredients over lettuce. Pour dressing over salad or serve to the side. Yum Yum!

French Lick Power Plant Menu:

Melon Melee Salad with Melon Vinaigrette

This Melon Melee Salad with Melon Vinaigrette is definitely a light refreshing salad you can serve as a side or as the main course. I’d add some fresh mozzarella or feta, watermelon and top it off with a sprinkle of fresh basil or mint leaves. Let me know what you would add to make this salad your own. Serves 2-4 Total Time: less than 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1/4 lb sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
1/4 lb smoked turkey, cut into strips
Mixture of cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon (optional), scooped into balls
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 8oz pkg of fresh mozzarella balls (optional)*
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped (optional)
Watercress
Melon Vinaigrette

Melon Vinaigrette Ingredients:

1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice from 1/2 lime
2 1/2 tablespoons Midori melon liquor
1/3 cup olive oil

Melon Vinaigrette Directions:

In a medium bowl crush garlic with salt, then add the remaining ingredients, mix well.

Melon Melee Salad Directions:

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except herbs. Pour in vinaigrette and toss to coat. In a shallow serving bowl layer a bed of watercress on the bottom of the bowl then add the melon melee, top with herbs. Yum Yum!

Note: if you are adding mozzarella and can’t find it in balls, buy a log and make balls with a melon scoop. 

You’ll need a melon scoop for this recipe 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Asparagus with Orange Sauce

Not only is this Asparagus with Orange Sauce easy to make it only takes 15 minutes. The heat of fresh-cooked asparagus brings out the orange flavor in the sauce, so be sure to spoon the sauce over the stalks while they are piping hot. Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh thin asparagus
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 orange, zest 1/2 of the orange 🍊  then cut it in half squeeze juice from the 1/2 you zest and slice wedges from the 1/2 you didn’t zest.
Salt and pepper, to taste

White Roux:
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream

White Roux Directions:
In a saucepan on medium/high heat combine the flour and butter until you form a paste. Add in the cream a little at a time with a flat whisk until blended and smooth.

Asparagus Directions:

In a large saucepan heat salted water to boil. Bend each asparagus until it snaps then peel and 1” of the bottom with a vegetable peeler. Add asparagus to boiling water and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold running water. Transfer to a paper towel.

In a skillet combine the butter, peanut oil and orange juice; when butter foams season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove 1/2 of the orange juice mixture. Prepare a white roux and add 1/2 of the orange juice mixture. To serve: Heat the asparagus in the skillet and toss with the remaining orange juice mixture. Transfer to a serving plate, top with the roux orange juice mixture (as pictured) and sprinkle on the orange zest. Garnish with orange wedges. Yum Yum!

Note: I added the white roux which increased the ingredients to 9 and 10 minutes to cooking time. You don’t have to, you can just heat the asparagus in the skillet and toss with the orange juice mixture. Serve with orange wedges and sprinkle zest on top. 

If you want to get really fancy make a Maltaise: Blood orange juice blended with hollandaise sauce

You need a flat whisk because it’s the best for getting out lumps in your roux.

Kahlua Cherry Ice Cream

I just received a bunch of sweet cherries from Imperfect Produce and now what to do with them all. Since July is Ice Cream month what better way to enjoy them then with a Kahlua Cherry Ice Cream. You wouldn’t believe how addictively delicious this ice cream is, and that’s before you even get to the Kahula! Thanks Dini for the recipe. Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

Cherry Compote:
1.1 lb fresh sweet cherries
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoon Kahlua (or coffee)

Ice Cream Base:
1 1/4 cup half & half
3 cups heavy whipping cream
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Kahlua (or coffee)
Cherry compote

Directions:

Cherry Compote: Pit cherries and halve them. Combine pitted cherries with the sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat until it starts to simmer then cook for 20 minutes or until liquid becomes syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool completely, then stir in Kahlua (or coffee). Refrigerate.

Ice Cream: Combine the half & half and the sugar in a saucepan. Heat until sugar dissolves. In a heat safe bowl whisk the egg yolks together with the vanilla extract. Pour 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the eggs whisking the entire time (tempering the egg yolks). Once combined add the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk, continue whisking. The custard is done when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and the 1/4th cup Kahlua (or coffee). Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Churn according to your ice maker instructions. The last 5 minutes add in the refrigerated cherry compote. When done transfer to an ice cream container and freeze for a few hours before serving.
Yum Yum!

What you need to make this recipe:


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Hash Brown Delight Casserole with a Potato Chip Topping

Kids love it!...and who wouldn’t with a potato chip topping. Hash Brown Delight Casserole goes great with chicken, pork chops or even a side for breakfast.  Serves 4 Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes 

Ingredients:

2 lbs frozen hash browns 
3/4 cup butter, melted 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
1/2 cup chopped onion 
1 can cream of chicken soup 
1 cup sour cream 
1 cup half & half 
2 cups shredded American cheese 
Topping: crumbled potato chips 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F.

Grease a 9”x13” baking dish. Place hash browns in the bottom, then top with melted butter, salt and pepper, to taste, chopped onion, soup, sour cream, half & half and the American cheese. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. To serve: top with potato chips. Yum Yum! 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Easy Stuffed Chicken Breast

This is an easy bruschetta topped stuffed with cheesy goodness chicken breast. To make this recipe Keto friendly substitute the Italian panko breadcrumbs for zero-net carb breadcrumbs. Serves 4 Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

4 (6-8oz each) boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Italian panko breadcrumbs or zero-net carb breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups (3 medium) chopped Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon clove garlic, finely chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with a nonstick cooking spray. Place breasts flat on a cutting board surface. Cut a lengthwise slit in each breast to form a pocket. Stuff each breast with 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese then press edge to seal.

In a shallow dish add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. Brush each side the the breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then coat both sides with the breadcrumb mixture, pressing slightly to adhere. Transfer to the baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumb mixture.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. While baking combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, a dash of salt and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium bowl. Top chicken breasts with tomato mixture before serving. Yum Yum!

Can’t find Zero Net Carb Breadcrumbs then make your own. This recipe only has 5g carbs. 

Ingredients: 

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup psyllium husk powder
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 packed cup flax meal
2 tsp cream of tartar or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
5 tbsp sesame seeds or seeds of choice
Optional: garlic powder, onion powder and/or dried herbs and spices of choice

Wet ingredients:
6 large egg whites
2 large whole eggs
2 cups boiling water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Prepare the buns (same recipe as the Ultimate Keto Buns). Mix all the dry ingredients (apart from the sesame seeds). Add the egg whites and eggs and process well using a mixer until the dough is thick. Add boiling water and process until well combined. Using a spoon, make 8-10 buns and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Top each of the buns with sesame seeds (or any other seeds) and press them into the dough, so they don't fall out. Place in the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven, let the tray cool down and place the buns on a rack to cool down for a few minutes.

Lower the temperature to 210 °F. Dice the bread. Place on a tray and dehydrate for 45-60 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and set aside for 5-10 minutes. Place in a food processor and process until fine. Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 6 months.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Pan-Seared Scallops with Chorizo and Corn

Treat scallops to the flavorful oil left behind when you cook chorizo—it’s basically liquid gold. Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 ears of corn, husked
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 oz. smoked Spanish chorizo, finely chopped
12 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2-1 serrano chile (depending on heat), finely chopped 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
12 large sea scallops (about 1 lb.), side muscle removed, patted dry
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lime, halved Lime wedges (for serving)

Directions:

Cut kernels from corncobs and place in a medium bowl. Using the back of a chef’s knife, scrape milk from cobs into the bowl; discard cobs. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Cook chorizo, stirring occasionally, until it starts to get crisp, about 2 minutes. 

Carefully pour chorizo oil into a small bowl (use a slotted spoon to hold back chorizo); set chorizo oil aside. Return chorizo pan to medium heat and add scallions, garlic, chile, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and ¾ tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until bright yellow and softened, 5–7 minutes. Remove from heat and let corn mixture cool in pan 5 minutes. Gently mix in buttermilk and cilantro. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Season scallops generously with salt. 

Heat reserved chorizo oil and remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high until just beginning to smoke. Cook scallops on one side, reducing heat if they are taking on too much color and moving around in pan for even browning, until a golden brown crust forms on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and turn scallops over. Add butter to skillet and, using a spoon, baste scallops with butter 30 seconds. Transfer scallops to a plate. Squeeze halved lime over. Divide corn mixture among plates and arrange scallops on top. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over. Yum Yum!

Note: You can add the buttermilk to the corn mixture before allowing it to cool enough. The recipe says let it cool for 5 minutes. You can also let it cool for 20, then added the buttermilk, and then placed the pan on very very low heat to warm up before serving. If you can’t find smoked chorizo use beef smoked sausage instead. It will still be fantastic. 

 Substitution for buttermilk can be heavy cream or coconut milk.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Pizza-Flavored Chuck Steak Recipe

Chuck steak cooked to tenderness in a Pizza-flavored sauce. Serve with pasta or rice, a salad and some warm bread and you have a money-saving meal everyone can enjoy. Serves 4 Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes. 

Ingredients:

4 pieces (1-1 1/2 lbs) chuck steak 
Flour to coat steaks 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 tablespoon minced garlic 
1 can (14 1/2 oz) Italian flavored stewed tomatoes 
1 teaspoon dried basil 
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
Salt, to taste 
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, to garnish 
1/2 -1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional) not pictured 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Coat steaks with flour. Pound with a mallet to 1/2”, pounding in the flour. In a skillet heat oil add the garlic, cook 1 minute.  Add in the steaks and brown both sides. Transfer to a casserole, add tomatoes, cover and bake for 1 hour or until steaks are tender. After 45 minutes add in the seasonings, including the crushed red pepper, if using. Return to oven for the last 15 minutes. 1. To serve: spoon sauce over steaks, garnish with fresh parsley and sprinkle on Parmesan cheese. Or 2. Remove casserole, uncover, spoon sauce over steaks. Top with mozzarella and broil until cheese melts. Garnish with fresh parsley. Yum Yum!  

Note: Add your pizza favorites like; bell peppers, onions or mushrooms. 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Pesto Chicken Tortellini and Vegetables

Chicken Tortellini smothered with basil pesto and served with lots of veggies. Mediterranean style dinner packed with colorful vegetables: red and yellow grape tomatoes, asparagus, and sun-dried tomatoes.  Serves 4 Total Time: 40 minutes 

Ingredients:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken thighs boneless and skinless, sliced into strips
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes drained of oil, chopped
  • 1 lb asparagus ends trimmed, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto or use more
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes yellow and red, halved
  • 1 cup tortellini uncooked

Directions:


  1. In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat.  
  2. Add sliced chicken thighs (seasoned with salt), 1/4 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes and cook everything on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, turning chicken slices over a couple of times, until the chicken is completely cooked through.
  3. Remove the chicken and the sun-dried from the skillet, leaving the oil in.
  4. Add asparagus (ends trimmed), seasoned generously with salt, and 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes to the same skillet.  
  5. Cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the asparagus is cooked through. Remove the asparagus to a serving plate.
  6. Cook tortellini according to the package instructions, drain.
  7. Add cooked chicken back to the skillet.   Add basil pesto.  Stir to coat and cook on low-medium heat until the chicken is reheated, 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 
  8. Add cooked tortellini and halved cherry tomatoes to the skillet with the chicken.  Stir to combine.  Add more pesto if desired.
  9. Season with more salt if needed.  
  10. Add chicken, cherry tomatoes and tortellini to the serving plate with asparagus. Yum Yum! 

    Thanks Julia! My granddaughter loved it! 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Chicago-Style Hot Dog

Favorite times to eat a hot dog; at the ball park, 4th of July, picnic, family barbecue or when I’m in Chicago.  My go-to hot dog is the Chicago-Style Hot Dog, because it’s loaded with goodness. I’m going to give you a recipe to make one at home, but if you want the real thing then you’ve got to go to the Chicago Hot Dog Fest in August. Serves 8 Total Time: 25 minutes


Festival Details - "Chicago Hot Dog Fest"...

Celebrate the City’s Favorite Food at their Picnic in the Park with the Chicago History Museum
Take a bite out of Chicago history at Chicago Hot Dog Fest, presented by the Chicago History Museum. The fest returns to Lincoln Park this August to include a full lineup of bands, hot dog and city history speakers, and the star of the event: Vienna Beef hot dogs prepared in various regional and ethnic styles by the city’s top hot dog vendors.
WHAT 
The Chicago-style hot dog is a quintessential part of Chicago’s storied history, celebrating its premier at the 1893 World’s Fair. Now in its seventh year, the Chicago Hot Dog Fest has become one of the largest festivals in the world to honor the red hot.
More than 30,000 people attend this picnic in the park annually to relish the interesting twists and unique red-hot recipes from more than a dozen vendors. With more than 35,000 hot dogs served each year, there’s something on the menu for everyone.
While fans fill up on mouthwatering encased meats, cold beer and decadent desserts, a tasty lineup of local and touring bands will take the Main Stage to keep the party going as well as craft activities and games for the whole family. Hot dog and city historians will provide historic entertainment on the Speaker Stage, while family-friendly performances entertain kids throughout the weekend.
Held just steps from, and benefiting, the Chicago History Museum, it has all the ingredients of an exceptional summer event.
WHEN 
Friday, August 9, 2019 – 11AM to 9PM
Saturday, August 10, 2019 – 11AM to 9PM
Sunday, August 11, 2019 – 11AM to 8PM
WHERE 
Lincoln Park, 1701 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago, IL
COST 
$5 Suggested Donation
WHY 
Proceeds from the Hot Dog Festival fund educational programming at the Chicago History Museum, bringing the power and perspectives of Chicago history to students from across the city.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped seedless cucumber
1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small)
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
2 – 3 teaspoons cornichon or dill pickle juice
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
8 Grilled All-Beef Hot Dogs
Yellow mustard
12 cornichons or petite dill pickles, halved lengthwise
 Sport peppers and/or pepperoncini salad peppers
8 hot dog buns

Directions:
In a small bowl stir together tomatoes, celery, cucumber, onion, pickle relish, pickle juice, celery seeds, and poppy seeds. Toast buns from Grilled Hot Dogs. Place grilled frankfurters in toasted buns. Drizzle with mustard. Spoon tomato mixture onto frankfurters. Top with cornichons and sport and/or pepperoncini salad peppers. Yum Yum!