Thursday, January 28, 2010

Artichoke, mushrooms & Sundried Tomato Paste

Sounds Weird.. yeah I guess it is.. I just made it up as a healthier spread for sandwiches and bread. I LOOOOOVVVEE artichokes and anything with it!

1 Can artichoke
1/4 C sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/2 Roasted Bell pepper
1 C mushrooms
tiny bit of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Crush Garlic set aside. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor.

Saute garlic 1/2 tsp olive oil, add the pureed mixture and saute for a few minutes.


I thought about trying some capers and olives when cooled...maybe next time.

Sun dried tomato Hummus

Sun Dried Tomato Hummus
(LOOOOVE this stuff!! To my surprise so did baby Wyatt! He couldn't get enough!)

1 Clove Garlic
1 19oz can chickpeas, some juice reserved
2 tbs tahini (sesame seed butter... can be found in most grocery stores now days)
1 roasted bell peppers
1/2 C sun dried tomatoes
2 TBS olive oil
1/4 tsp basil or Italian seasonings
salt and pepper to taste

Put garlic in food processor and pulse. Add the remaining ingredients (if your food processor will hold it). Blend and enjoy. If it is too thick to to process add juice until desired consistency.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pretty Chicken Marinade

Pretty Chicken Marinade
(My MIL makes this for huge family gatherings. I am not kidding that it makes the chicken taste like steak:) It is amazing! I have done it in the oven as well, good but not as good as grilled on the bbq.)

Prep Time: 15 MinutesCook Time: 16 Minutes
Ready In: 4 Hours 30 MinutesYields: 4 servings

Allow chicken to marinate for no longer than 4 hours, because the lemon juice will begin to cook the chicken.

2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, liquid smoke, mustard, pepper, and garlic powder. Place chicken in the bowl, and coat with the marinade. Cover, and allow chicken to marinate a maximum of 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the grill for high heat.

Oil grill grate. Discard marinade, and place chicken on grate. Cook 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear.

Artichoke Panini

Artichoke Panini
(I went to lunch at Paradise Cafe with my friends Amiee and Jamie. There we had a delicious Panini. After reading Amiee's recipe http://rollmeouttahere.blogspot.com and hearing her success,(and not being able to taste it sinse she lives so far away!).. I HAD to try it.) The result is OMGosh AMAZING! Lets stop and do the happy food dance for a minute!!)
(Hint, I don't have a panini press, but Amiee says that the George Forman grill works great for this.. she says that is the only reason she uses her grill.. haha)

6 slices Sour Dough Bread
2 Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin
1 Can Artichokes, well drained
1 Red bell pepper, sliced thin
1/4 of medium Red Onion, sliced very very thin
Olive oil, aprx 3 tbs
Coarse salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/3 C Freshly ground Parmesan cheese
2 Slices Swiss cheese

hand full Spinach
hand full of spring mix

Creamy mayo sauce
(This sauce is also really yummy in tortilla wraps)
2 TBS cream cheese
1 tbs mayo
1 tsp spicy brown mustard (more if you like it)

Place tomatoes, artichokes, bell pepper, onion in a pan, sprinkles with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss until well coated.. add more oil if you think it is too dry. Broil on low, top shelf, for 15 or so mins. Watch closely so it doesn't burn.
Add cheeses and continue to broil for additional 5 mins.

While that is cooking, butter one side of two slices of bread. Next, spread decent amount of sauce on both sides of your sourdough bread. Top with veggies, minus the spinach, unless you want it warm. Put the other slice of bread on top. Make sure your grill or skillet is and hot. If you're using a George Forman grill press down firmly on top of the grill to squish your sandwich. Let it cook until it's golden brown. When it was nice and hot I opened it threw in some lettuce (gotta get my veggies in some sort of way). Eat and enjoy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Can't get the search engine to work..

When I search for something that I know is there it says "No results found". arghhh
How do I get this to work? Do I have to link it or something?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mexican Ceviche Recipe


Mexican Ceviche Recipe
(ohhh mama! This is so good!)

SERVES 4 -6
· 1 lb Shrimp (you can use ½ halibut and shrimp for more authenticity, but I am scared to “cook” the fish in the lime juice
· 5-6 limes (Enough Juice to cover fish) if you are brave to use this method
· (2-3 limes if using cooked seafood)
· 1 cup diced fresh tomato
· 1 green pepper, sweet, chopped
· 4 tablespoons chopped parsley or chopped cilantro
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 teaspoon pepper
· 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (or more to suit your taste)
· 1 tablespoons white vinegar
· 1 medium onion, finely chopped
· 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
· 1 dash Mexican hot sauce
· lettuce leaf (to line serving bowls)
· avocado (optional)
· black olives, sliced (for garnish) (optional)
1. Cook Shrimp usual method, I gently boil mine until done.2.Dice veggies and cilantro. Stir together. Let sit for an hour or so, add shrimp a few hours before serving.
3. I serve with crackers and top with avocado. YUMMY!
If doing it authentic and “cooking” the fish in lime:
1.Dice the fish (approximately 1/2-inch dice if using shrimp use cleaned shrimp).

2.Marinate fish in the lime juice in the fridge overnight (this step cooks the fish).

3.Stir often.

4.Pour off most of the lime juice (just leave it moist).

5.Add remaining ingredients except lettuce, avocado and olive. Do this preferably a few hours before serving & refrigerate.

6.Toss well and arrange in individual serving bowls that are lined with the lettuce leaves.

7.If you wish garnish with sliced avocado and sliced black olives.

Black Bean Salsa


Black Bean Salsa

1 Can black beans,rinsed
1 Can corn, drained
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large avocado, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
¼ C chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper
Lime Juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill. Serve with tortilla chips.

Chicken Enchiladas


Chicken Enchiladas
(I love to double wrap these enchilada's, but no need if you don't want to.)

¼ C chopped onion
2 Tbs butter
1 4-oz can diced green chili peppers, drained
1 3- oz package cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs milk
1 tsp taco seasoning
2 C chopped cooked chicken
12 7 inch flour
12 Corn toritta's (optional)
1 10 ¾ oz can cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz carton sour cream
¾ C Salsa (Pace is great)
¾ C shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Sauté the onion with the butter over medium heat till tender. Remove from heat and stir in 1 Tbs of the chili’s.

In a medium mixing bowl combine cream cheese, 1 tbs milk, taco seasoning, onions and chicken. Stir till combined. Spoon about 3 Tbs of the chicken mixture onto each tortilla near an edge and roll up. Place filled tortillas, seam side down in a d greased 3 quart rectangular baking dish.
In a medium mixing bowl combine soup, sour cream, ¾ C salsa. Pour the soup mixture over the tortillas in the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 oven about 35 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven to bake about 5 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Green Tortilla Soup


Green Tortilla Soup

(My friends husband created this recipe about 6 or 7 years ago and it is still one of my favorites! I have never met a person who doesn't LOVE this soup! AND it is super healthy and full of fiber!This will go great with your cafe rio night. It is also easy to make vegan or vegetarian by omitting chicken and using vegetable broth.)


1 qt of chicken stock
6-8 tomatillos with husks removed and rinsed well
2 bunches of cilantro with ends cut off
1 jalapeno with seeds removed
1 whole med-large yellow onion
½ head garlic
Juice of lime (or 3 limes)
2 4oz cans of diced green chilies
1 lb of cooked chicken shredded, diced, or cut
1 can corn
2 15oz cans of black beans
1 green bell pepper diced
2 tsp ground cumin (or more if desired)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
Ground red pepper to desired heat

Warm up stock on stove in med-large pot. Rinse all veggies. Put tomatillos, cilantro, and jalapeno in blender. Blend well. Add 1 of the cans of diced chilies. Add garlic and onion to blender mix. Blend well for a few minutes. Add Lime Juice and make sure it is well blended. Add to chicken stock in pot. Bring to boil. Add diced green pepper, other can of diced chilies, corn, beans, and chicken. Add seasonings (cumin, salt, and peppers). Let simmer stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.

Optional: Served with fried corn tortilla strips, sour cream, and diced avocado. Add a little more lime juice if you desire.

Black Bean Hummus


Black Bean Hummus
(I didn't love hummus until I tasted this.. now I love garbonzo bean hummus as well.)

1 clove garlic
1 (15 ounce) can black beans; drain and reserve liquid
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
10 Greek olives

Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add black beans, 2 tablespoons reserved liquid, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, tahini, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper; process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
Add additional seasoning and liquid to taste. Garnish with paprika and Greek olives.

Southwestern Egg Rolls


Southwestern Egg Rolls
(serve with side of Café rio dressing)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1/3 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons diced jalapeno peppers
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 teaspoon salt1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
5 (6 inch) flour tortillas1 quart oil for deep frying

Rub 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over chicken breast. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook chicken approximately 5 minutes per side, until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender.

Dice chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.

Wrap tortillas with a clean, lightly moist cloth. Microwave on high approximately 1 minute, or until hot and pliable.

Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each tortilla. Fold ends of tortillas, then roll tightly around mixture. Secure with toothpicks. Arrange in a medium dish, cover with plastic, and place in the freezer for an hour or so.

In a large, deep skillet, heat oil for deep frying to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Deep fry frozen, stuffed tortillas 10 minutes each, or until dark golden brown.

Easiest Pinto Beans


Easiest Pinto Beans
(No soak required for these beans and they turn out perfect. These are also perfect for refried beans. hint: I always save my bacon grease after cooking bacon.)

1 bag pinto beans
Aprx 6 cups water
1 Tbs dried onion
2 Tbs of bacon grease

Rinse and sort beans. Combine water and beans in Crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours. Reduce heat to low, add seasonings and bacon grease, continue cooking for 2 hours or until you are ready to eat.

Lime Rice


Lime Rice
Great with “café rio” salad.

1 onion
1 can diced chilies
1 lime, juiced
2-3 Tbs cilantro
2 C long grain Rice
2 Tbs butter
½ tsp garlic salt
1 tsp cumin (or more to taste)
3 C chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

Blend onion, chilies, lime, cilantro in blender, set aside. In medium pot Sauté rice with butter for 2 minutes, add blender ingredients. Gently stir i broth, garlic salt and cumin; bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Tres Leches (Milk Cake)


Tres Leches (Milk Cake)
(OWE chihuahua! I love this cake.. and now would be a good time to ask for Cafe Rio's chocolate Tres Leches. This one is best if topped with strawberries.)

5 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13 inch baking pan.

Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.

Cream butter or margarine and 1 cup of the sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla extract, beat well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter or margarine mixture 2 tablespoons at a time, mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.

Combine the whole milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake. Let soak for at least and hour.

Whip whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup of the sugar together until thick. Spread over the top of cake. Be sure and keep cake refrigerated, enjoy!

Garden Tomato Salsa


Garden Tomato Salsa

1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
5 slices pickled jalapeno peppers, or to taste
6 fresh tomatoes, quartered
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 lime, juiced
1/8 teaspoon salt

1.Place onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and jalapeno peppers into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add tomatoes, and pulse just a few times until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl with a tight-fitting lid.

2.In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, and salt.

3.Pour dressing over tomatoes, and stir well. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Lime Agave Drink


Lime Agave Drink
(My favorite drink to serve with Mexican food, and healthy too- this drink saved me my first trimester of pregnancy)

1 bottle sparkling water
2 limes
Agave nectar

Make each glass as in individual serving to the liking of guest.
Pour sparkling water in iced glass, add desired amount of lime juice and Agave nectar, stir. SO EASY and always a hit.

Spanish rice


Spanish rice
(A friend of mine from Mexico, Rosana Sosa, taught me how to make this and I was amazed that she used instant rice.. but it is great)

2 ½ C broths or water
¼ C cilantro
¼ C onion
1 C tomato sauce
1 TBS butter
½ tsp chicken bouillon
½ tsp salt
3 C instant rice

In blender liquefy 2 ½ C of broth, onions, cilantro and tomato sauce.
In large saucepan add butter and blender mixture, bring to boil and add rice. Cover and cook over low heat until done. (Makes 4 servings)

Authentic Tortilla’s


Authentic Tortilla’s
(A friend of mines mother, Yolanda Ortiz, who is from Mexico, taught me how to make these. They are tricky though, hard not to turn into pie crust…but I am not going to give up.)

Mix:
Aprx 1 tsp salt
3 C flour
Work in:
1 C shortening or lard
With hands
Add 1 ¼ C (maybe more or less) Hot water
Knead a few minutes (5 or so. Let rest for few minutes (5 or so) . Roll into balls. Cover with shortening. Let rest few minutes.
Use cornstarch as “dusting flour” so prevent sticking and roll out, flip roll out, flip… continue until the size and thickness preferred.
Cook on ungreased non-stick skillet.

Ganache Recipe


7 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 TBS butter
1 TBS vanilla

Melt chocolate, cream, butter or margarine, and brandy together until smooth. Allow to cool a little before spreading liberally over cake.

April's non-traditional Wedding Cake

April's Wedding Cake
(I was not a huge fan of cake, until I tasted the cake my SIL made for a wedding a few years ago. I have only gotten this right a couple of times... but then again I seem to ruin most cakes. Ice this with chocolate Ganache.

1 Yellow cake Mix (butter flavor)
1 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 C sugar
1 box cheesecake pudding
4 eggs
1 C butter softened
2 C almond Milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Bake at 375 30 minutes. Just keep checking the center.

Focaccia Bread


Focaccia Bread
(I use this recipe for Pizza, cheese sticks, focaccia bread.. my kids call it cheesy bread and they love it!)

3/4 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 TBS active dry yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 C water
2 TBS butter
1 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1 C mozzarella

2 TBS corn Corn meal

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Best, Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Best, Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Natalie, these are for you! :) I am not a huge fan of cookies, but these taste very close to ones you might find at a bakery. I found these on all recipes a few years ago and haven't looked at another cookie recipe. I didn't change one thing from the original recipe and that is rare!...oh except only putting way less chocolate chips)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
4.Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Mango Salsa


(Photo taken from food network)
Mango Salsa
(I got this from the Food Network, it is served with Caribbean Salmon but I did NOT like the sauce for the Salmon. So I just BBQed mine on a flank and poured the salsa on it with butter rice on the side.. YUUMMMYYYY!!!)

For the salsa:

* 1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra for greasing the baking dish
* 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
* 1/4 C lime juice (from about 2 limes),plus 2 limes cut into wedges, for serving
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 mangoes, peeled, fruit cut off seed and diced
* 1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded, and finely diced
* 1 green bell pepper, halved, seeded and finely diced
* 1 yellow bell pepper, halved, seeded and finely diced
* 1 large red onion, halved and finely chopped
* 1 serrano chile, finely chopped, optional
* 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

* 1 whole side salmon (about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds)

For the salsa:
Peal garlic with a large knife smash the garlic, add the salt and some of the oil and continue to cut on the cutting board. Then press down with the flat side of the knife to release the juices.

Whisk the olive oil, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add the mangoes, peppers, red onions, chile, and cilantro and toss to coat. Add the beans and gently toss everything together.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cinnamon Caramel Corn


Cinnamon Caramel Corn with Pecans & White Chocolate
Recipe by Our Best Bites *** Warning, this is addictive***

(OH MY GOSH, this stuff is redonkulous Good!! This is what I gave as neighbor gifts for Christmas this year...(which this would be a great time for me to apologize if you did not get one, I only gave out gifts to people on my street since we were crazy getting ready for our New Orleans trip.)

12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)
1 C pecan halves, roughly chopped
1 C brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 C karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)
1 stick real butter (1/2 C)
1t vanilla
1/2 t baking soda

3 squares almond bark (about 4 oz)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a 2 liter capacity microwave safe bowl. Mix well. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over the top of everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more.

Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda. Stir to combine. Mixture will foam and rise. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir very well so everything is well coated.

Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil.

Melt almond bark according to package instructions. Drizzle over popcorn mixture. When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!

*** Here are my changes: I do my caramel over the stove.. for some reason I liked it better. Also, I add about 1/2 C of White chocolate chips to the almond bark when I melt it... I like the cocoa butter in the white chocolate chips. (Call me precious,but I CAN tell). I then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.


Caramel Popcorn


** if using this for cinnamon popcorn note that it is double the amount of popcorn that you need, so you could do one regular batch of caramel corn and one of the amazing kind... so don't be silly and just go ahead and just make 2 batches of the Cinnamon Caramel Corn! You wont be disappointed!!)

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. (if you are making the cinnamon popcorn don't forget to add the cinnamon here (2 tsp is what I add).Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.

Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Don't say you weren't warned.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Caper Salad Dressing


Caper Salad Dressing
We went to Don's seafood during our visit to Louisiana for Christmas. While we were there I had the best salad dressing. While I am sure this isn't what the house dressing is, it sure inspired me to create this one.



1/2 C Olive Oil
1/2 C vinegar
season with coarse Salt and Fresh ground pepper
1 glove Garlic, minced
2 Tbs Capers
Juice from one lemon
1/3 C Parmesan Cheese
green olives, chopped enough for your liking and add juice too

I think this is what it is..I should have written it down right after I made it. I kept the rest of the dressing in the fridge for a few days and I have eaten a salad everyday because I love this dressing so much.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

French Onion Soup



I know that I am a weirdo but this soup is a romantic soup to me. Can't explain it. It is dark and delicious. Maybe it is the wine flavor that I love:)

I made this for Valentines day 2009 and I almost chopped the entire tip of my finger off, even went right through the nail. EEWWWW But I survived, still have my finger... all ended well. In fact, I am sure it was this soup that made it all better. Just be careful with the baguette and serrated knife. And if someone is calling your name as you are slicing the bread, DON'T LOOK!

So now that y'all are ready to eat after that delicious story let get cookin'.

French Onion Soup
(From Pioneer Woman cooks blog)

1 stick Butter
4 whole Large (or 6 Medium) Yellow Onions, Halved Root To Tip, And Sliced Thin
1 cup Dry White Wine if using Cooking wine, season to taste.
4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
4 cups Beef Broth
2 cloves Minced Garlic
Worcestershire Sauce
Several Thick Slices Of French Bread Or Baguette
Swiss or Provolone cheese, 1 oz or so...to melt on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Place soup pot into the oven with the lid slightly ajar to ensure the onions will brown. Allow onions to cook in the oven for 1 hour, stirring at least once during the cooking process so onions won’t stick and burn.

Remove pot from oven and place back on stovetop over medium heat. Stir, scraping off all the brown, flavorful bits. Turn off heat and pour in wine. Turn heat back to medium. Cook wine for five minutes, allowing it to reduce. Add broths, Worcestershire Sauce and minced garlic and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Butter one side of the bread slices and broil over low heat, allowing bread to brown and become crispy.
When soup is ready, ladle into bowl or ramekin. Place crispy bread on top, and then sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve immediately.

*** Since I am Mormon and a recovering alcoholic (just kidding) I don't have real wine around my house. (Scared the kids will drive me to drink and I wont be able to stop... no joke). I do use cooking wine and that works Ok in most recipes. But you have to be careful about the salt in cooking wines. I bought some non-alcoholic wine that works awesome in this one, but I ran out.
I am making it with Cooking wine for the first time today. I will let you know how it turns out. I should have gotten low sodium beef broth.

Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad


Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad

I don't know if Mormon cooking is finally rubbing off on me, but I LOVE this Jello Salad. It is the best. My husbands cousin made this for Thanksgiving and it was top 3 favorite things there. I wont tell you how many servings I ate:)
I have been craving this for weeks, even bought all the stuff to make it while visiting my parents in Louisiana (to prove that some Jello recipes are actually good) but I never got around to making it. I am finally making it today.... oh the sweet and salty yumminess!

* 1-½ cups Crushed Pretzels
* ½ cups Sugar
* 1 cube Butter, Melted
* 1 cube Cream Cheese, softened
* ½ cups Sugar
* 1 tub Cool Whip (8 Oz)
* 1 Large Box (6 Oz) Raspberry Jello
* 2 cups Boiling Water
* 1 bag Unsweetened Raspberries



Pretzel crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
1/2 cup sugar
1 cube (1/2 cup) butter, melted

Mix and press into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Let cool.

Cream:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip

Blend together. Spread on top of pretzel crust. Refrigerate until cool.

Jello:
6 oz. raspberry jello
2 cups boiling water
1 bag unsweetened raspberries

Dissolve jello in water. Add raspberries, stir. Pour over cream mixture. Refrigerate until set.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Chinese Lettuce Wraps


Lettuce wraps
(The only reason to go to PF Changs now is b/c these are time consuming.... but again.. OH SO WORTH IT!)

Special Sauce
¼ C sugar
½ C water
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS vinegar
2 TBS Ketchup
1 TBS lemon juice
1/8 tsp toasted sesame oil

Mix together:
1 TBS Chinese hot mustard
2 tsp water
Add later to desired taste:
1-3 tsp garlic and red chili paste

Stir-fry sauce
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS brown sugar
½ tsp vinegar
(Or instead of first 3 ingredients use
½ C Yoshidas)
1 C rice noodles
3 TBS vegetable oil
2 Chicken breast fillets
1 tsp Asian seasonings (pampered chef)
1 C minced water chestnut
2/3 C minced mushrooms
4 green onions minced
1 tsp minced garlic

Make special sauce (for spooning over your lettuce wraps) by dissolving the ¼ C sugar in ½ C water in a small bowl. Add 2 TBS soy sauce, 2 TBS vinegar, 2 TBS ketchup, 1 TBS lemon juice and+1/8 tsp sesame oil. Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve the lettuce wraps.

Combine the 2 tsp water with the Chinese hot mustard and set this aside as well.
Eventually you will add your desired measurement of Chinese mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over your lettuce wraps

FILLING: Bring 2 TBS of vegetable oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan sauté the chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken from the pan to cool. Keep the oil in the pan and keep the pan hot. Mince the water chestnuts, mushrooms, green onions and chicken (about the size of small peas)... Pampered Chef food chopper or food processer works awesome for this.

Prepare the stir-fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar together in a small bowl.

With the wok or pan still on high heat, add an additional tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chicken, garlic, water chestnuts, onions, and mushrooms to the pan.
Add the stir fry sauce (or Yoshidas) and Asian seasoning to the pan and sauté the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it onto into a dish lined with a bed of fried rice noodles (maifun).

Tidbits: Follow the directions on the package for frying the maifun (rice sticks)-- usually by pouring 2 inches of vegetable oil into a pan and heating to around 400º .
Add maifun, the oil has to be SOOOO HOT!!! and make sure to add it a little at a time , and when it floats to the top remove it to a paper towel.

Serve chicken with a side of lettuce cups

Make these lettuce cups by slicing the top off of a head of iceberg lettuce right through the middle of the head.
Pull your lettuce cups off of the outside of this slice.
Make the special sauce at the table by adding your desired number of mustard and chili sauce to the special sauce blend: 1 teaspoon mustard and chili sauce for mild, 2 teaspoons each for medium and 3 teaspoons of each for hot. Stir well.
Assemble lettuce wraps by spooning filling into a lettuce cup, adding special sauce over the top, folding it up like a taco.

Orange Chicken


Orange Chicken
(I took a Chinese cooking class~ thanks Yolanda~ and learned how to make this delicious dish.)

Marinate chicken in:
1 Tbs soy suace
1 Tbs rice wine or cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbs cornstarch

Sauce:
1 tsp each: minced garlic, fresh minced ginger
1/3 C soy sauce
½ Water
2/3 C sugar
1/3 C vinegar
¼ tsp each:salt, mushroom seasoning
2 large fresh orange (make about 1/3 or ½ c fresh juice)
¼ C cornstarch add about 2-3 tbs at a time to thicken sauce while the sauce is boiling

Marinate the chicken for at least 15 minutes. Heat the wok or fryer on 340 degrees with 3 C canola or peanut oil. Dip the chicken pieces in the cornstarch then in eggs, then back in cornstarch again. Deep fry the cornstarch-coated chicken for about 3-5 minutes or golden brown. After cooked, drain on paper towel. Spoon out 1 Tbs oil on the wok, stir-fry the minced garlic and ginger then add the orange mixing sauce in a saucepan and bring to boil. Add the cornstarch water mixture and stir until thickened, pour over chicken and serve over rice.

Sticky Chicken

“Sticky” Chicken
(this is Judson’s favorite dinner)

2 lbs chicken breast
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 c all-purpose flour for coating
Oil for frying (peanut best)

SAUCE
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Cut chicken breast in large bite size pieces.
3.Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Fry chicken until deep brown. Place in a shallow roasting pan.
4.In a small bowl combine soy sauce, water, sugar, vinegar, garlic powder and salt. Pour over chicken.
5.Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve over sticky rice.

Beef & Asparagus with Oyster Sauce


Beef & Asparagus with Oyster Sauce
(this has the Ying and the Yang! The asparagus is cold and needs ginger for warm)

½ lb Asparagus
(trim the ends of the asparagus and cute on the diagonal into thin slices about 2” long)
½ lb beef fillet
(tip: add salt to keep veggies fresh and cover, don’t stir)
Marinate
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine
¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp cornstarch
Add 2 tsp oil before stir frying

For Cooking:
2 tsp chopped ginger
2 Tbs water
2 Tbs oyster sauce
1 Tbs brown sugar
Marinate beef in soy sauce, rice wine, baking soda and cornstarch for 10-15 minutes, adding 1 Tbs oil before stir frying so the meat will separate easily during frying.

Heat about 1 C oil to 360 degrees, deep-fry beef for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the wok and drain the oil. Set the beef aside.

Heat 1 Tbs oil on medium-high heat. Add the ginger stir fry for 20 seconds, add the asparagus, quick stir, add 1 Tbs water, cover and let it cook until steamy, add cooked beef and oyster sauce, and sugar, turn off heat, mix well and serve

Best Sweet and Sour Sauce



Best Sweet and Sour Sauce
(Best with homemade egg rolls)

½ C Brown sugar

4 tsp corn starch
½ C chicken broth
1/3 white vinegar
2 Tbs corn syrup
¼ finely chopped bell pepper
2 Tbs chopped pimento (optional)
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp grated ginger root
1 clove minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in small sauce pan, bring to slow boil, and stir until thickened.

Gyoza


Gyoza (Japanese pot stickers)


½ head cabbage
2 large green onions, minced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 small piece ginger, grated or pressed
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp soy sauce
1 TBS sesame oil
1 tsp rice wine (opt)
1 pound of ground pork
4-5 white mushroomsm minced
1 pack Gyoza wrappers, round

Combine all ingredients (minus wrappers) and mix coarsely with fingers. Place a tablespoon of filling in gyoza skin and crimp edges. Place small amount of oil in frying pan and heat. Place gyoza in pan and fry over med heat until lightly browned on one side. Add 3 tablespoons of water to pan, and cover. Allow gyoza to steam a couple of minutes.

Serve with dipping sauce of (aprox)1/4 Csoy and 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1/4 Cvinegar.

Chinese Fried Rice


Chinese Fried Rice
(a favorite side to compliment any Chinese Dish OR use as a main dish. I am not going lie, this is my favorite, no restaurant even comes close!)


4 tablespoons oil, preferably peanut oil- separated
2-3 eggs, slightly beaten and cooked
1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic
3 green onions
8 ounces cooked ham, beef, pork, shrimp or chicken
3/4 cup petite green peas, frozen (or bean sprouts)
3/4 cup baby carrots, cut into matchstick or thin strips
3 cups leftover cooked long grain rice
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tsp sugar

Heat oil in large skillet in a large, nonstick frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Pour scrambled eggs in the middle of pan and tilt to spread egg out. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top if desired. Once the underside is lightly browned, flip egg over and cook about a minute longer or until bottom is lightly browned. Cut into small pieces with knife and set aside.
Add more oil in wok then add garlic, the green onions stir a minute or till fragrant add chopped ham and fry 2 minutes or so add veggies and cook for 2 or so minutes. Add rice, soy sauce and sugar.

Egg Rolls


Egg Rolls
(Trust me, these are SO worth it!!)

1 pound ground pork
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
2 green onions, chopped
½ C finely chopped mushrooms (optional)
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 large carrot, shredded
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses(or sugar)
1/2 Tbs sesame oil
Package of egg roll wrappers
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 Tbs water
1 quart peanut oil for frying


Cook pork in a large wok over medium-high heat. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the cabbage, carrot, green onions, mushrooms, garlic and ginger. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch, soy sauce, and molasses until smooth.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok. Stir in cabbage mixture in batches, cooking each batch 3 to 4 minutes, just until tender. Return vegetables to bowl, and mix in pork. Stir in the cornstarch mixture.

Mix flour and water in small bowl. Brush mixture over edges of egg roll wrapper. Place about 1-2 tablespoons filling on each egg roll wrapper. Fold one corner of wrapper over filling. Fold wrapper sides over filling. Roll wrappers to form egg rolls.

Fry egg rolls in batches in the hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve with sweet and sour sauce.

Spring Rolls with Thai Peanut Sauce


Spring Rolls with Thai Peanut Sauce
(a pain to make, but so worth it!)

2 ounces noodles, bean thread (cut into short lengths)
2 ounces mushrooms
1 tablespoon sesame oil, toasted
1 cup green cabbage, shredded
1 C bean sprouts
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
10 wrappers, paper spring roll
1 1/4 cups carrots, shredded
1 1/4 cups red cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, fresh
1/2 cup basil, fresh (optional)
1/2 cup mint leaves, fresh (optional)

For dipping sauce use the sauce for Cold Sesame noodles.

Soak bean thread noodles until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Chop the mushrooms fine; set aside. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, green cabbage, and bean sprouts and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add noodles, soy sauce, and maple syrup and cook another 2 minutes. Cool this mixture to room temperature.

Fill large bowl with warm water. Working with one rice paper wrapper at a time, soak wrapper in water until pliable, 10 to 30 seconds. Transfer wrapper to clean kitchen towel and pat dry.

Spread 2 tablespoons carrots in 1-inch-wide layer across bottom half of wrapper. Top with 2 tablespoons red cabbage, a portion of the mushroom mixture, carrots, and several leaves of each fresh herb. Fold bottom of wrapper over filling. Roll up like a burrito, folding in sides as you roll toward top of wrapper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Slice spring rolls in half on diagonal. Serve immediately with peanut sauce for dipping.

*** You could skip the cooking part and just add whatever veggies you like raw right into it. DELISH!! Great way to get your veggies in.

Cold Sesame Noodles


Cold Sesame Noodles
(This sauce is versatile and can be used in different dishes and/or for dipping spring rolls)

Combine in saucepan:
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice or white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried hot pepper flakes
2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp. Oriental sesame oil
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger root
1/2 c. chicken broth

Simmer over low heat until thick and smooth. Cool slightly. Cook 1 pound of lo mein, rice noodles, or thick spaghetti.
(when used as a dip add ¼ C freshly chopped cilantro, and juice of one lime)
Toss pasta with sauce. Serve at room temperature. Can garnish with chopped scallion and cucumber strips. Serves 4 to 6.

Thai Peanut Tofu


Thai Peanut Tofu

1 block tofu diced
1 cup flour
1 cup arrowroot
1 cup of chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tsp chili sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp fresh ginger, crushed
½ C chicken stock or water
1 tsp sesame oil, dark
¼ C peanuts for garnish
enough oil to fry tofu

salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl mix flour, arrowroot, and a pinch of salt. Toss tofu with flour mixture being careful not to break up tofu. Let sit for 5 minutes and give it another toss. Add oil to frying pan and carefully place tofu in the pan. Once tofu is golden brown remove from pan and place on oven sheet pan. Bake tofu for 20 minutes or until crispy.
Mix the peanut, teriyaki, and chili sauce, ginger, sesame oil in a small saucepan. Add hot water (or chicken stock) until mixture smoothes out.
Remove tofu from oven and drain excess oil. Toss with Thai peanut sauce, garnish with peanuts. Try this with soba noodles, and snow peas.

Pad Thai


Pad Thai
(This is very time consuming and messy, but so good! I crave it often. All the ingredients can be purchased at the Asian Market for much cheaper than grocery stores.)

1-ounce tamarind paste
3/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
4 ounces rice stick noodles
6 ounces Marinated Tofu, recipe follows
1 to 2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup chopped scallions, divided
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 whole eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons salted cabbage
1 tablespoon dried shrimp
3 ounces bean sprouts, divided
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped, divided
Freshly ground dried red chile peppers, to taste
1 lime, cut into wedges

Place the tamarind paste in the boiling water and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.
Combine the fish sauce, palm sugar, and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

Place the rice stick noodles in a mixing bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Once the other ingredients are measured out into separate bowls, drain the water from the noodles and set them aside. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch wide strips, similar to French fries.
Press the tamarind paste through a fine mesh strainer and add to the sauce. Stir to combine.

Place a wok over high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil. Heat until it shimmers, then add the tofu. Cook the tofu until golden brown, moving constantly, for no longer than 1 minute. Remove the tofu from the pan to a small bowl and set aside.

If necessary, add some more peanut oil to the pan and heat until shimmering. Add 2/3 of the scallions and then the garlic, cook for 10 to 15 seconds. Add the eggs to the pan; once the eggs begin to set up, about 15 to 20 seconds, stir to scramble. Add the remaining ingredients in the following order and toss after each addition: noodles, sauce, cabbage, shrimp, and 2/3 of the bean sprouts and peanuts. Toss everything until heated through, but no longer than 1 to 2 minutes total. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with the remaining scallions, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Serve immediately with the ground chile peppers and lime wedges.

Tofu Recipe
6 ounces extra-firm tofu, not silken
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
Wrap the tofu firmly in a tea towel. Place the wrapped tofu into an 8-inch cake pan. Top with another cake pan and weigh down with a 5-pound weight. (Bags of dried beans or grains work well.) Place in refrigerator and press for 12 to 15 hours.
Place pressed tofu in a 2-cup container. Combine soy sauce and five-spice powder and pour over tofu. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, turning once. Remove the tofu from the marinade and use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days.

Green Curry


Green Curry

* 1 lb chicken breast, cubed
* 1/2 onion, sliced thin
* 1 potato, cubed and boiled (almost cooked)

* 1 1/2 -3 tbsp green curry paste (depending on taste)
* 2 cans coconut milk
* 1/2 C chicken broth
* 5 small fresh Thai eggplants, quartered (opt)
* 1 can bamboo shoots, drained
* 1/4 cup sweet basil leaf (optional)
* 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
* 1 1/2 tsp sugar

Preparation

1. Sauté chicken in a Tbs olive oil, cook a few minutes, add onions and boiled potatoes. (set aside)
2. In small saucepan sauté the green curry paste in oil over medium heat until fragrant, reduce the heat, gradually add 1 can of the coconut milk a little at a time, stir until a film of green oil surfaces. Add chicken broth.
3. Add the chicken, continue cooking for 3 minutes until fragrant and the chicken is cooked through. . Add the remaining coconut milk, season with sugar and fish sauce. When the mixture returns to the boil add the eggplants and bamboo shoot and potatoes. Cook until the eggplants are done, sprinkle sweet basil leaves.

Arrange on a serving dish and garnish with sweet basil leaves and lime if desired

Chicken with Peanut Curry Sauce


Chicken with Peanut Curry Sauce

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut in 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
½ onion, sliced
1 large potato (precooked and diced)
Veggies of choice.. such as Bell Peppers (red or green), carrots, whatever you want

For sauce:
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth,
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice, plus wedges for garnishing
few sprigs of Thai basil
4 tsp fish sauce (or season to taste)

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add cut up chicken, season and saute until cooked through stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add onions and continue cooking for 3 minutes, add potatoes and gently stir. Add rest of veggies.

While chicken cooks, start the peanut curry sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the sauce. Pour sauce into a frying pan over the chicken and vegetables, stir to combine. Turn heat up to high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 6 to 8 minutes. Serve over Coconut Rice or plain steamed rice

Praline-Pumpkin Cake


Praline-Pumpkin Cake
(This is a weight watchers recipe that is really good! Why else would I include it.. of course when I made it I added real butter.)
POINTS: 6 just in case you were wondering Makes 16 Servings

1 spray(s) cooking spray
15 oz canned pumpkin
12 oz fat-free evaporated milk
1/4 cup(s) fat-free egg substitute
1/2 cup(s) sugar
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
18 1/4 oz unprepared white cake mix
1/2 cup(s) pecan halves, chopped
1/4 cup(s) reduced-calorie margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Stir pumpkin, milk, egg substitute, sugar and pumpkin pie spice together in a medium bowl until smooth; pour into pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture and gently press it into pumpkin mixture to moisten. Sprinkle cake with pecans and then drizzle margarine evenly over top.

Bake, uncovered, until knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool completely before slicing into 16 pieces.

Creme Anglaise


Creme Anglaise
(this is wonderful over fruit crepes)

1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup white sugar

In a small, heavy saucepan, heat cream and vanilla until bubbles form at edges.

While cream is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

Sweetened whipped cream


Sweetened whipped cream
(Before I got married I didn’t know about whipped cream, only cool whip … hello! There isn’t even a comparison! No wonder my husband is spoiled and wont touch Cool Whip.)

1 C whipping cream
¼ C powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
Beat whipping cream w/ electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Whip until stiff peaks form.

Peach Pie with Almonds


Peach Pie with Almonds
(My Sister Dana helped me create this recipe. It is amazing and I have never served it to anyone who hasn't asked for the recipe. I am not a huge fan of peach cobbler, but this is a mix between a pie and cobbler and oh so yummy!)


1 can (29 oz) or 2 Cans (16 oz) cling peach slices in syrup
1/3 C plus 1 Tbs granulated sugar, divided
1 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Almond extract (or more to taste)

Drain peach slices in fine meshed sieve over 2 Cup glass measure. Reserve ¾ C syrup.
Combine 1/3 C granulated sugar and cornstarch in small saucepan. Slowly add reserved syrup. Stir well. Add vanilla and almond extract. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Set aside.
Crunchy topping
½ C packed brown sugar
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C uncooked rolled oats
¼ C butter, melted
½ tsp cinnamon
1/3 C almonds, blanched and chopped.

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.

Butter Flaky Pie Crust
(I use this for all of my pies, I didn’t like pie crust until I tasted this one)
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C butter, chilled and diced
1/4 C ice water

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (a food processor works great for this part) Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball.
For best results wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, but not necessary. Roll dough out to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Serve with Sweetened Whipped Cream or ice-cream if desired.

Chocolate Truffle Pie


Chocolate Truffle Pie
(This is a VERY rich pie! OH so worth every calorie!! I usually save this for Valentine’s day)

2 C crushed Oreo’s (remove the filling)
¼ C butter, melted
2 Tbs sugar
2 8 –oz packages semisweet Chocolate, cut up
1 C whipping cream
6 beaten eggs
¾ C sugar
1/3 C all-purpose flour
Raspberry sauce (recipe follows)

1 . For crust, combine crushed Oreos, melted butter, and the 2 Tbs sugar. Press onto bottom and about 1 ½ inches up the sides of greased 9-inch springform pan. Set pan aside.
2. In a large saucepan cook and stir chocolate and whipping cream over low heat till the chocolate melts. Transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, the ¾ C sugar, and flour; beat 10 minutes or till thick and lemon colored. Fold one-forth of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture; fold chocolate mixture into remaining egg mixture. Pour into crust lined pan.
4. Bake pie in a 325 oven about 45 minutes or until puffed around the edges and halfway to center (the center will be slightly soft). Cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Cool for 4 hours. If desired serve with Raspberry sauce and/or whipped cream. Store in refrigerator. Serves 16.

Raspberry Sauce
2 C frozen raspberries, thawed
¾ C sugar

In a medium bowl, combine raspberries sugar. Stir gently until sugar dissolves; cover and chill at least 3 hours. Serve over pie.

Chocolate Truffle Cake


Chocolate Truffle Cake
(My friend Ashley entered this into Good Day Utah and it won first place. It is suggested to wait a day after baking before eating this delicious cake because on day two the texture of the cake is like a truffle)

1 chocolate cake mix
1 box (8oz) of chocolate pudding mix
5 eggs
1 stick of butter, melted
16oz of sour cream
1 bag of chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Combine cake and pudding mixes and then create a well in the middle of a large bowl.
Dump the sour cream, melted butter and eggs in the well.
Using a large spoon (trust me, your mixer will fry because this is so thick, plus your arms will need the workout!) mix all of the ingredient together, don't be alarmed on how thick the batter is, that is normal.
Then pour the entire bag of chocolate chips in and mix it again.
Spray your bundt pan with some pam and put the batter in it.
Bake 50-55 minutes. Once it is done baking let it cool for 10 minutes and then flip it.
This cake does not need any frosting but some fresh whipped cream or ice cream is yummy!
You can eat it right away, but again, I highly suggest waiting a day, I promise it is well worth the wait! Enjoy!

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips


Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 apples - peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2 cups cinnamon sugar

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

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

Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.

Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

7 Layer Dip


7 Layer Dip

1 can refried beans
1 pint of sour cream
½ pkg. Taco seasoning mix
2 large avocados
2 TBS lemon juice
½ C salsa
2 tomatoes chopped
1 lb grated cheddar cheese
5 green onions
1 small can olives, chopped
1 bag tortilla chips

Layer in 9X13 inch pan in this order. Refried beans, sour cream mixed with taco seasoning mix, avocados (mashed with the lemon juice and salsa), and then layer with tomatoes, chopped green onion, cheese, and olives. Refrigerate. Serve with chips.

Hot Wings


Hot Wings

oil for deep frying
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce
2 TBS brown sugar
dash Worstieshire sauce
10 chicken drummetts

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). The oil should be just enough to cover wings entirely, an inch or so deep. Combine the butter, hot sauce, pepper and garlic powder in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir together and heat until butter is melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and reserve for serving.

In a small bowl mix together the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Place chicken wings in a large nonporous glass dish or bowl and sprinkle flour mixture over them until they are evenly coated. Cover dish or bowl and refrigerate for 60 to 90 minutes.

Fry coated wings in hot oil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until parts of wings begin to turn brown. Remove from heat, place wings in serving bowl, add hot sauce mixture and stir together. Serve

Guacamole


Guacamole

3 avocados - peeled, pitted, and mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)

In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.

Southern Fried Chicken


Southern Fried Chicken

Large and deep "Cast Iron" skillet
1 boiler/fryer cut into pieces or your favorite pieces ie. leg and thigh etc.
1 egg
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Tobasco or any other hot sauce
1 cup flour
2 Tablespoons cornmeal, finely ground
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons paprika
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons onion powder
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups oil for frying or shortening

Make certain that you have enough oil to cover the chicken half way, in the skillet.


1.Heat oil in skillet on medium/high till very hot, but not smoking
2.Whip egg with water and hot sauce.
3.Mix flour with salt, pepper, paprika. onion and garlic powder.
4.Coat chicken pieces in flour
5.Dip in egg mixture, to coat
6.Coat again in flour.
7.Fry pieces several at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for approximately 20 minutes on each side, until skin is a dark golden brown.
8.Avoid turning too often, as the chicken might stick to the skillet.
9.Drain on paper towels.
10.Serve with collard greens or coleslaw or a fresh leafy green salad and always, hot homemade biscuits. We always have honey on the table!

Roast Chicken-Rotisserie Style


Roast Chicken-Rotisserie Style
(The hardest part of this is planning ahead. This taste like you slaved in the kitchen. I have tried it with chicken breast and halved the cooking time.)

4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 onions, quartered
2 (4 pound) whole chickens

In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat dry with paper towel. Rub each chicken inside and out with spice mixture. Place 1 onion into the cavity of each chicken. Place chickens in a resealable bag or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

Place chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 5 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Let the chickens stand for 10 minutes before carving.

Traditional Mashed Potatoes


Traditional Mashed Potatoes

6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
¼ cup warm milk
¼ C sour cream
1/4 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon salt

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil; cook for 20-25 minutes or until very tender. Drain well. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper; mash until light and fluffy.

Southern Macaroni and cheese


Southern Macaroni and cheese
(this is my Thanksgiving tradition... it always is gone super fast!)

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
9 tablespoons butter
¼ C flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 1/2 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup chicken broth
4 cup shredded cheddar
8 ounces cubed processed cheese food
3 eggs, beaten

Cook Pasta according to directions until al dente; drain well. Do not rinse. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 8 tablespoons butter, add flour and make “rue”. (3-4 minutes) add all seasonings and continue stirring constantly. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Slowly add the half and half, broth, cheddar cheese, cubed processed cheese food. Stir until cheese is just slightly melted, add eggs to macaroni. Transfer to a lightly greased deep 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese mixture and 1 tablespoon of butter.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbling around the edges.

Stuffed Mushrooms


Stuffed Mushrooms
(all I have to say is AMAZING!)

20 fresh mushrooms, stems removed
½ lb crab meat
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons Italian-style seasoning
ground black pepper to taste
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch-baking dish.
Arrange mushroom caps hollow side up in the baking dish.
In a medium bowl, mix together minced crab meat, garlic,
Parmesan cheese, onion, breadcrumbs, green bell pepper,
parsley, Italian-style seasoning and black pepper. Slowly stir
in approximately 1/2 the butter, enough to make the
mixture slightly moist.
Generously fill the mushroom caps with the crabmeat
mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with
remaining butter.
Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Mock Italian Sausage


Mock Italian Sausage
When you're working hard to cut calories but you're craving some spicy Italian sausage, try this quick mock version. It's great as a pizza topping and in soup when you're trying to "beef" up a broth to make it more substantial.

1/2 pound chicken tenderloin
1/4 of a small sweet onion, cut in half
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seed
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it looks like ground chicken or hamburger meat. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. When hot, add mock sausage mix and cook, stirring often until crumbly and cooked through, about 7–9 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Recommended substitution: If you like sweet Italian sausage, don't use the chili flakes. Instead, add 1/4 teaspoon of allspice and one teaspoon dried oregano.

Recommended technique: This recipe uses chicken tenderloin, which is usually cheaper than boneless breasts. You'll have to trim the vein, but it's really easy—like unzipping a zipper with your knife. You can ask your butcher to grind the tenderloin for you, or do it at home. Just cut the chicken into one-inch pieces and pulse in a food processor (about three or four quick pulses) until it looks like ground chicken.