Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sweet Potato Doughnuts

Prep : 45 minutes ...Total time :3 hours  ... Makes 2 dozen doughnuts

1 ........................12-ounce sweet potato
3 ........................tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 .....................cup whole milk
1 ........................envelope instant dry yeast
1/2 .....................cup granulated sugar
1/2 .....................cup light brown sugar
1-1/4 ..................teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 .....................vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/4 .....................teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 ........................tablespoon dark rum
1 ........................large egg
2 ........................large egg yolks
3-1/4 .................cups bread flour, plus more for rolling
                        **Topping**  
1 .......................cup granulated sugar
1 .......................teaspoon cinnamon
4 .......................tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
MEANWHILE, MAKE THE TOPPING:
1 .         Prick the sweet potato all over with a fork and cook it in a microwave at high power for 10 minutes, until tender. Let cool, then peel and puree the sweet potato; you should have about 1 cup.
2 .         In a small skillet, cook the butter over moderate heat until nutty and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Scrape the browned butter and solids into a small bowl and let cool.
3  .       In the same skillet, heat the milk until just warm, about 105°. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the yeast and let stand for 5 minutes. Gently mix in the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, salt, vanilla seeds, nutmeg and rum. Add the sweet potato puree, browned butter and solids, egg and egg yolks and beat until combined. Add the 3 1/4 cups of bread flour and beat at medium speed until the dough is evenly moistened, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to moderately high and beat until a soft dough forms, about 5 minutes. Gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a buttered bowl. Cover and let rise in a draft-free place for 1 hour.
4 .         Punch down the dough and let stand for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2 3/4-inch round cutter, stamp out as many rounds as possible. Using a smaller round cutter (1 inch), stamp out the centers. Transfer the doughnuts and holes to 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the doughnuts and holes rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
5 .           Preheat the oven to 400° and position racks in the upper and lower thirds. Bake the holes for 10 minutes and the doughnuts for about 20 minutes, until risen and golden.
6 .          In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Put half of the hot doughnuts in a large bowl and drizzle with some of the melted butter; toss and turn to coat. Sprinkle with some of the cinnamon sugar and toss and turn until evenly coated. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts, butter and cinnamon sugar. Transfer the doughnuts to a platter; serve.
TIP :
Baking the doughnuts and tossing them with a little butter, cinnamon and sugar makes them healthier than fried doughnuts. The sweet potato in the dough adds a lovely, earthy flavor. Instead of slowly baking the potato in the oven, microwave it for just 10 minutes.
Heart Healthy

Olive Oil Cake...( pissota con l'Oio)




MAKES 1 9" CAKE

1 tbsp. butter
3 cups plus 2 tbsp. flour
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1⁄4 tsp. lemon zest
3⁄4 cup quality extra-virgin olive oil
2⁄3 cup milk
3 tbsp. Grand Marnier or other sweet citrus-flavored
liqueur
1 tbsp. baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 3"-deep round 9" cake pan and the outside of a heavy 3"-deep 3" ovenproof ramekin or bowl with butter, then dust with 2 tbsp. of the flour, tapping out excess. Put ramekin or bowl upside down in center of prepared pan. Alternatively, grease an 11-cup bundt pan with butter and dust with flour. Set prepared pan aside.
2. Beat eggs and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale yellow, about 1 minute. Add remaining 3 cups flour, lemon zest, oil, milk, and liqueur and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add baking powder and stir until thoroughly combined.
3. Holding ramekin or bowl firmly in place, spoon batter into prepared pan around ramekin or bowl or spoon batter into bundt pan, if using, and smooth out top with the back of the spoon. Bake until cake is deep golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer cake to a wire rack to let cool completely, in its pan.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hot Pimiento Cheese Sandwich

 

1/3 ..................cup butter, softened
16 ...................sourdough bread slices
16 ...................thick applewood-smoked bacon slices, cooked
                      **Strawberry preserves**

1 ** Prepare Miss Mattie's Southern Pimiento Cheese as directed. **(RECIPE BELOW)
2. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Place 8 bread slices, buttered sides down, on a hot griddle or in a large skillet over medium heat.
3. Spread 1/2 cup pimiento cheese over each bread slice on griddle. Top each with 2 cooked bacon slices.
4. Place remaining 8 bread slices, buttered sides up, on bacon. Turn sandwiches, and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown.
Pimiento cheese should be slightly melted.)
**Serve with strawberry preserves.**


Miss. Mattie's Southern Pimiento Cheese                         **Makes about 5 cups**

1/2 .................cup chopped pecans
1 ....................cup mayonnaise
1 ....................(7-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
1/2 .................cup chopped jarred sweet-hot pickled jalapeno pepper slices
1 ....................tablespoon liquid from sweet-hot pickled jalapeno pepper slices
4 ....................cups freshly grated mild Cheddar cheese (1 lb.)                 

**Garnishes:**sweet-hot pickled jalapeno pepper slices, toasted chopped pecans**

1 .      Bake 1/2 cup chopped pecans at 350° in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool 20 minutes.

2 .       Stir together mayonnaise, diced pimiento, pickled jalapeño pepper slices, liquid from sweet-hot pickled jalapeño pepper slices, and toasted pecans. Stir in Cheddar cheese until well blended. Garnish, if desired.

TIP:
I use with The Original Texas Sweet & Hot Jalapeños. You can use what's in your area.

Miss. Mattie's Southern Pimiento Cheese gets its sweet and spicy taste from sweet-hot pickled jalapeno peppers. The toasted pecans add to its Southern flair.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake

                                    Makes 12 servings

1/2 ............cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 ............cup shortening 2 cups sugar
5 ...............large eggs, separated 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 ..............cups all-purpose flour
1...............teaspoon baking soda
1 ..............cup buttermilk
1 ..............cup sweetened flaked coconut Fresh Orange Curd (recipe below)
3 ..............cups Peacan-Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
1/2 ...........cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (optional) **Glazed Pecan Halves (optional) Boxwood Garland (optional)    

1.           Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla; beat until blended.Combine flour and soda; add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in 1 cup flaked coconut.
2 .          Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.
3 .          Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
4 .         Spread 3/4 cup chilled Fresh Orange Curd between layers; spread remaining Fresh Orange Curd on top of cake. (The Fresh Orange Curd layer on top of cake will be very thick.) If desired, loosely cover cake, and chill 8 hours. (Chilling the cake with the curd between the layers helps keep the layers in place and makes it much easier to spread the frosting.) Spread 3 cups Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting on sides of cake, reserving remaining frosting for another use. Sprinkle 1/2 cup toasted coconut over top of cake, if desired. Arrange Glazed Pecan Halves around top edge of cake, if desired. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Arrange Boxwood Garland around bottom edge of cake before serving, if desired.

TIP :    Cake may be frosted with Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting immediately after adding the Fresh Orange Curd, but the cake layers will not be as steady.
This Italian cream cake recipe is enhanced with a pecan and cream cheese frosting and sweet, tangy orange curd between the cake layers. Garnish with glazed pecans and a boxwood garland to make it special for the holidays. You'll need to start this cake  a day ahead because the Fresh Orange Curd must chill for 8 hours.

                      ***Fresh Orange Curd ***
1.................... cup sugar
1/4................. cup cornstarch
2 ....................cups fresh orange juice (about 4 pounds navel oranges) 
3 ...................large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4................. cup butter
1.................... tablespoon grated orange rind

1 .       Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 3-quart saucepan; gradually whisk in fresh orange juice. Whisk in lightly beaten eggs. Bring to a boil (5 to 6 minutes) over medium heat, whisking constantly.
2 .       Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter and grated orange rind. Cover, placing plastic wrap directly on curd, and chill 8 hours.
TIP :
You can substitute reconstituted orange juice for fresh; however, squeezing navel oranges only takes about 15 minutes and can make all the difference in this cake's fresh flavor.

                    **Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting**
1 .............(8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 
1/2 ..........cup butter, softened
1 .............tablespoon vanilla extract
1 .............(16-ounce) package powdered sugar
1 .............cup chopped pecans, toasted

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed until smooth; stir in pecans.

Ultimate Burgers

 
  Prep / Total: 45 minutes  ...............Makes 8 servings
3 ................pounds ground brisket or chuck
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper freshly ground black pepper
8 ..............hamburger buns, split
8 ..............thin slices Swiss cheese SautAced Mushrooms

 1......... In a large bowl, lightly season ground meat with salt and pepper if you like (optional) and mix in gently with your hands. To shape the burgers, take about 1/8 of meat and form it into a meatball; then flatten it a between your hands until it's about 1/2 in. thick. Turn the patty on your palm while firming up its edges with the thumb and forefingers of your other hand (your goal is to get rid of a crumbly edge). Repeat with remaining meat. Let burgers rest at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
2............. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for high heat (450° to 550°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above grate level only 2 to 4 seconds). Wipe grate with oiled paper towels.
3............. Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper (especially if you chose not to season the meat in Step 1). Grill burgers 4 to 6 minutes, turning once, for rare*, topping with cheese during the final minute or two.
4. ............Transfer burgers to a plate. Clean grate with oiled paper towels. Toast buns on grill 1 minute and serve with burgers.
TIP:
***For a medium to well-done burger, cook over medium-high

1 .   Buy the right meat. Brisket has the perfect mix of lean and fat to make a juicy burger. For uniform texture, ask your butcher to grind it twice for you.
2 .   Don't overwork it. You really don't even need to add salt and pepper to the meat; all the action is in the toppings. Also, let the patties rest before cooking. Otherwise they'll be chewy.
3.     Start with a clean cooking grate. Dirt makes food taste bad and makes it stick.
4 .     Cook it hot. Heat the grill to between 450° and 550°. Cold burgers on a cold grill are going to stick every time.
5 .     Create a nonstick cooking surface. When the cooking grate is hot, wipe it quickly and carefully with an oiled square of several folded paper towels.
***Heat (about 450°) for 10 minutes total; cut to check doneness.***
 
             **Caramelized  Onions **

2 ..........tablespoons unsalted butter
2 .........tablespoons olive oil $
2 ........large onions, halved and cut into 1/2-in.-thick slices
1 ........teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 .....teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter with oil. Add onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until well caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.

             **Herbed Horseradish Mayonnaise**

1/2 ...........cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 .......tbsp. prepared horseradish
2 .............tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley, basil, or chives
1 ............tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
           **A squeeze of fresh lemon juice**
           **Kosher salt**
           **Freshly ground black pepper**
           
In a small serving bowl, stir together mayonnaise, horseradish, herbs, oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
    Tomatoes with Sea Salt and Chives
2 ...................large tomatoes, cut into at least 8 slices
About ..........2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
About ..........1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 ..................tablespoon chopped chives
              **Preparation**
Arrange tomato slices on a platter and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and chives.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spaghetti Bread...To Die For



You will need:
  • 1 Loaf Rhodes Bread Dough or 12 Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed to room temperature
  • 6 oz spaghetti, cooked
  • 1 cup thick spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 –inch cubes
  • 1 egg white
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Parsley flakes
Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray (or use parchment paper).
Roll loaf or combined dinner rolls into a 12x16-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and let cool slightly.
Remove wrap from dough. Place spaghetti lengthwise in a 4-inch strip down the center of dough. Tip with sauce and cheese cubes. (I mixed my spaghetti and sauce together and added a ½ pound of cooked Italian Sausage)
Make cuts 1 ½-inches apart on long sides of dough to within ½-inch of filling.
Begin braid by folding top and bottom strips toward filling. Then braid strips left over right, right over left. Finish by pulling last strip over and tucking under braid.
Lift braid with both hands and place on large sprayed baking sheet. (or transfer parchment paper to baking sheet). Brush with egg white and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley (I added garlic powder).
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and slice to serve.
This was fantastic! I knew it would be. I mean, how can you go wrong with spaghetti and garlic bread all wrapped up into one?!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fig Cake

                                  Makes 1 ----2-layer cake

3........................ large eggs
1....................... cup sugar
1....................... cup vegetable oil
1/2.................... cup buttermilk
1....................... teaspoon vanilla extract
2...................... cups all-purpose flour
1 ......................teaspoon baking soda
1 ......................teaspoon salt
1..................... .teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2....................teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 ..................teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/2 ..............cups fig preserves
1/2 .................cup applesauce 
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
                  **Cream Cheese Frosting  Below:**
 Garnishes: dried figs, fresh raspberries, fresh mint sprigs

1.         Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add buttermilk and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; gradually add to buttermilk mixture, beating until blended. Fold in fig preserves, applesauce, and toasted pecans. (Batter will be thin.) Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cakepans.
2 .         Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
3.          Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Store in refrigerator. Garnish, if desired. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Braswell's Pure Fig Preserves. Coarsely chop figs, if necessary.

This recipe can be made with fresh figs or with good quality preserves. Sweet cream cheese frosting covers the cake and is a nice balance to the spicy fall flavors.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING :
Makes 3-1/2 cups

1 1/2 .............(8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 
5 ...................tablespoons butter, softened
2 ...................teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ..................cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed just until blended. (Do not overbeat, or frosting will be too thin.)

Heart Healthy

Salmon Croquettes

Total time: 30 minutes ... Makes 4 servings  ... (serving size 2 croquettes and 1 tablespoon sauce)

1/4 ..........cup organic canola mayonnaise (such as Spectrum), divided 
4 .............teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided 
2-1/2 ......teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
1/4.......... cup finely chopped green onions
2 .............tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1/2 ..........teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 ..........teaspoon salt
1/8 ..........teaspoon ground red pepper
2 .............(6-ounce) packages skinless, boneless pink salmon
1.............. large egg, lightly beaten
1 .............cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 .............tablespoon canola oil
1 .............tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 .............teaspoon finely chopped capers
1/2 ..........teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 ..........teaspoon salt

 
1.        Combine 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard, and next 7 ingredients (through egg), stirring well. Add panko; toss. Shape mixture into 8 (3-inch) patties.
2.        Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add patties; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned.
3.        Combine remaining mayonnaise, juice, and mustard with parsley, capers, garlic, and salt, stirring well.
TIP :
 
By pairing this superfast recipe with a light salad, you can impress guests and have time to enjoy the meal.


Heart Healthy

Sunday, April 21, 2013

White Wine Cog au Vin

Prep/Total : 45 minutes  ... Makes 4 servings

4-1/2 .........tablespoons flour
3/4.............teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 ............teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 ...............teaspoon herbes de Provence
4............... slices bacon (1/4 lb.), chopped 
1-1/2 .........pounds boned, skinned chicken thighs 
2 ...............tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 .........cups peeled baby carrots
3 ...............stalks celery 
1 ...............medium onion
1-1/3 ........cups Chardonnay 
2 ...............cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 ............cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1................cup lightly packed fresh tarragon sprigs

1.         In a plastic bag, shake flour with 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and the herbes de Provence; set aside.
2.         In a 5- to 6-qt. pan over medium-high heat, brown bacon, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, cut chicken into 1-in. chunks, then shake half at a time in flour to coat.
3.        With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon from pan to paper towels. Brown half the chicken in bacon fat, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding oil to pan. Meanwhile, cut carrots in half lengthwise and cut celery into diagonal slices. Chop onion.
4.        Add vegetables to pan with remaining salt and pepper and sauté until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave wine and broth until steaming, about 3 minutes.
5.       Add broth mixture, chicken, and bacon to pan, stirring to loosen browned bits. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop parsley and tarragon. Stir them into stew.
TIP :
This recipe for coq au vin is a fresher, green-herb-laced version of the original French classic. Serve with a crusty baguette for dunking.
Heart Healthy

Shepherd's Pie



Makes 4 servings   ..... Serving size 1 cup

2 ...........cups prepared mashed potatoes (such as Simply Potatoes)

3/4......... pound ground sirloin
3/4 ........cup picante sauce
1/3 ........cup water
1 ...........tablespoon ground cumin
2 ...........teaspoons sugar
1/8 ........teaspoon salt
1 ..........(15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 .......cup (2 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat extrasharp cheddar cheese 

1 .       Prepare mashed potatoes according to package directions; keep warm.
2.        Cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in picante sauce, water, cumin, sugar, salt, and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until mixture thickens (about 5 minutes).
3.       Remove from heat. Spoon mashed potatoes over meat mixture, and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
TIP:
Prepared mashed potatoes are found in the refrigerated section of larger grocers. They only need a few minutes in the microwave to reheat.


With ground sirloin, creamy mashed potatoes, and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, your family will never know this comforting shepherd's pie is low in calories.
Heart healthy


Thighs , The Darker Sise of Chicken ... Asian

Prep /Total time : 2 hours  ... Makes 6servings ( 2 thighs per servings)

1/3 ..................cup rice vinegar
1/4 ..................cup lower-sodium soy sauce
3 .....................tablespoons honey
2 .....................tablespoons dark sesame oil
1-1/2 ...............tablespoons chile paste (such sambal oelek)
10 ...................garlic cloves, minced
12 ...................bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
             **Cooking spray**
1/2 .................teaspoon salt

1..........Combine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, chile paste, and garlic, stirring until honey dissolves. Pour vinegar mixture into a zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally. Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade.
2......... Preheat oven to 425°.
3......... Place reserved marinade in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes or until syrupy, stirring occasionally. Place chicken on a rack coated with cooking spray, and place rack in a roasting pan. Baste chicken with reserved marinade; sprinkle evenly with salt. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes; baste. Bake an additional 10 minutes; baste. Discard remaining marinade. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until done. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tip:
The tasty Asian-inspired glaze gives these chicken thighs a mahogany sheen. Rich thigh meat is higher in fat than lean white meat, so the thighs stay moist even when they're roasted without skin. Garnish with fresh cilantro and sliced green onions, if desired.
Heart Healthy

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

 

Happy Birthday 'Aunt Jeannie'


Aunt Jeannie ,
Hope your special day brings you all that your heart desires ! We are wishing you a day full of surprises

We may not be by your side ... celebrating your special day with you ...but we want you to know that we're thinking of you & wishing you a wonderful 'Birthday.'

You are much adored  this card brings so much love it will last a lifetime .

Jonny , Sha , Jenny , Man Carano

Chris ,Sherlyn , Bubba Landrieu


Polar Bear Cubs

Monday, April 15, 2013

Broccoli Chicken Cups

Prep: 15 minutes  ...  Bake : 25 minutes ... Makes 12 serving

2-1/2 ..................cups diced cooked chicken breast
1 ........................can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 ........................cup frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained 2  .......................small plum tomatoes , seeded and chopped
1 ........................small carrot , grated 1 small carrot , grated
1 ........................tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 ........................garlic clove, minced
1/4 .....................teaspoon pepper
1 ........................sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 .....................cup grated Parmesan cheese

1)          In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a 12-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Cut lengthwise into four strips and widthwise into three strips. Gently press puff pastry squares into muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
2)          Spoon chicken mixture into pastry cups. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

4)          Frozen puff pastry makes these rich and creamy appetizers a snap to prepare. Sometimes, instead of chopping the tomatoes, I put a slice on top of each cup before popping them in the oven. —
TIP : 
Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

Chipotle-Sparked Mustard Salmon

Prep / Total time : 25 Minutes  ...   Makes 6 servings

6 ..........................salmon fillets (4 ounces each)
1/4 .......................cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/4 .......................cup prepared horseradish
1/4 .......................cup stone-ground mustard
1/4 .......................teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1 ..........................teaspoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce 1 ..........................teaspoon snipped fresh dill

 
Place salmon in a foil-lined 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Combine the mayonnaise, horseradish, mustard, lemon-pepper and chipotle pepper; spread over fillets. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Sprinkle with dill.

This delicious salmon packs huge flavors—chipolte, stone-ground mustard and horseradish come together in a fantastic blend that's anything but boring. —
 
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
*** TIPS for STORING FISH ***
When buying fresh fish fillets or steaks, look for firm flesh that has a moist look. Don't purchase fish that looks dried out. Whole fish should have bright clear eyes that are not sunken and a firm body that is springy to the touch. Fresh fish should have a mild smell, not a strong odor.

When buying frozen fish, look for packages that are solidly frozen, tightly sealed and free of freezer burn and odor.
Follow these guidelines for how much fish to purchase per person: about 1 pound whole, 1/2 pound pan-dressed or steaks and 1/4 to 1/3 pound fillets.

Fresh fish is highly perishable and should be prepared within a day or two after it is caught or purchased. Freshly caught fish should be pan-dressed, washed in cold water, blotted dry with paper towels, placed in an airtight container or heavy-duty plastic bag and refrigerated.

For long-term storage, wrap fish in freezer paper, heavy-duty foil or heavy-duty plastic bags and freeze no longer than 3 months for fatty or oily fish (such as salmon, whitefish, mackerel) or 6 months for lean fish (such as sole, catfish, cod, orange roughy).
 

Mini Fruitcake Jewels

 

FRUITCAKES---------
1 c All-purpose flour
1/3 c BUTTER FLAVOR CRISCO
1/3 c Granulated sugar
1/4 c Orange juice
1/2 t Baking powder
2 Eggs
1 c Diced mixed candied fruit
1/2 c Quartered red candied
-cherries 1/2 c Quartered green candied
-cherries 1 c Golden raisins
1/2 c Diced dates
1/2 c Coarsely chopped pecans

--GLAZE-----------
1/3 c Confectioners' sugar
2 t Brandy or orange juice

Instructions--------
1. Preheat oven to 350'F. Place 22 (2 1/2") foil baking cups in muffin pan
cups.
 2. FOR FRUITCAKES, combine flour, Butter Flavor Crisco, granulated sugar,
orange juice, baking powder and eggs in large bowl. Beat at low speed of electric mixer until blended. Increase speed to medium. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in mixed fruit, red and green cherries, raisins, dates and pecans. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.
 3. Bake at 350'F. for 25-27 minutes or until toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Leave fruitcakes in muffin pans.
 4. FOR GLAZE, combine confectioners' sugar and brandy in small bowl. Stir
until smooth. Brush lightly over tops of warm baked fruitcakes. Cool in pans. Makes 22 miniature fruitcakes.
NOTE: Can also be made in 2" baking cups. Place 36 foil baking cups in muffin pan cups. Prepare batter and fill cups as directed in step 2. Bakes at 350'F. for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Makes 36 fruitcakes.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nutty Butty Chocolate and Creamy....Very simple


 




FANTASTIC DESSERT....For moms on the go...a hostess in a mad hurry...
or an inexperienced cook

1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. chopped pecans
1/8 c. powdered sugar

Melt butter and mix with sugar, flour and nuts. Press in pan. Bake for 15 minutes
 at 375 or browned.
1ST FILLING:
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. Cool Whip
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Mix well and spread onto cooled crust.
2ND FILLING:
1 sm. pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1 3/4 c. milk

Beat until thick and spread onto other layer.
3RD FILLING:
Top with Cool Whip and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Refrigerate.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie With Ham...Real Comfort Food



Total Time: 1 hr
Prep Time: 40 min

If you want to take a time saving shortcut you can get some rotisserie chicken from your supermarket and some pre-made dough. It is cheating but you can be forgiven if you are in a hurry. If you are a novice chef , it's a 'can't fail' recipe.


U.S.
Metric
 
 
Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon(s) butter
  • 1carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1fennel bulb, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) fennel seed, crushed
  • 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 cup(s) whole milk
  • 1 can(s) (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (about 2 1/2 pounds) rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed, meat shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1ham steak (8 ounces), cubed
  • 1 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 9-inch-round store-bought pie dough (from a 15-ounce package)



Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in the middle. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add carrot, onion, fennel, and fennel seed. Cook until carrot is crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add milk and broth, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat; stir in chicken, ham, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Divide filling among eight 8-ounce ramekins or ovenproof bowls; set aside.
  3. On a floured surface, roll out dough to a 15-inch round. With a 3 1/2-inch floured biscuit cutter, cut out eight rounds; place one on each ramekin. Transfer ramekins to a rimmed baking sheet; bake until filling is bubbling and crusts are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.



Tips & Techniques
To store: Prepare through step 3; let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil; store in freezer, up to 3 months.

To reheat: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Uncover ramekins; bake on a rimmed baking sheet until bubbling and golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Peppermint Crush Cookies


 




U.S.
MetricConversion chart


Ingredients

  • 1 cup(s) Butter
  • 1 cup(s) Granulated sugar
  • 1 cup(s) Brown sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) Flour
  • 2 cup(s) Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Salt
  • 1 cup(s) Crushed peppermint candies



Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Combine butter, sugars, eggs, extract and salt, and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Use a cookie dough  scoop. Dip tops into peppermint candy. Place candy-side-up on a baking sheet one dozen at a time. Bake in center of oven 10 to 13 minutes, until puffy and lightly tanned. Makes 2 dozen.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chicken with Ratatouille ... 30 minute meal

Total : 30 Minutes ................Makes 6 servings

1 .....................small red onion, chopped
1/2.................. (1-lb.) eggplant, peeled and chopped
2 .....................tablespoons olive oil
2 .....................small summer squash, chopped
2 .....................garlic cloves, minced

1 .....................medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
1......................medium tomato, diced
1/4 ..................cup chopped fresh basil
1-1/4 ...............teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3/4 ..................teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
6 ....................(4-oz.) chicken breast cutlets
1/3 .................cup all-purpose flour
1 ....................cup canola oil
                **Garnish: fresh basil leaves**
1.           Sauté onion and eggplant in hot olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender and light brown around edges. Add squash, garlic, and bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add tomato, basil, and 1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated.
2.           Remove vegetable mixture from skillet. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Wipe skillet clean.
3.          Rinse chicken, and pat dry. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess.
4.          Fry chicken, in 2 batches, in hot canola oil in skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and done. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels; cover and keep warm. Transfer to a serving dish, and top with vegetable mixture.
TIP : 
Ready in 30 Minutes
This is the perfect one-dish dinner when the garden is in full swing.
Feel free to substitute whatever is overflowing in your garden or at the market for the vegetables in the ratatouille.
Thin cutlets cook fast. Make your own cutlets by slicing chicken breasts in half lengthwise.
Heart healthy

Beef-and-Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry


                                Makes 4 servings

1/2 .............. pound flank steak
1/4 ..............teaspoon salt
1/8 ..............teaspoon freshly ground pepper 2 .................tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1/2 ..............cup beef broth or water
1 .................tablespoon light brown sugar
2 .................tablespoons soy sauce 
2 .................teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 ..............teaspoon cornstarch
12 ...............ounces fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved 1 .................red jalapeño or red serrano pepper, sliced 1 .................tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 .................garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 ..............cup chopped fresh mint
                 **Hot cooked rice**

1.          Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin strips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2.          Stir-fry steak, in 2 batches, in 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet over high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Transfer to a plate, and wipe skillet clean.
3.        Whisk together beef broth and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
4.        Stir-fry Brussels sprouts in remaining 1 Tbsp. hot oil over high heat 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add jalapeño pepper, ginger, and garlic, and stir-fry 1 minute. Pour soy sauce mixture over Brussels sprouts, and bring mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until sprouts are tender. Stir in mint and steak. Serve over rice.

TIP :
A ripping-hot skillet works as well as a wok to sear food fast. Just be sure to use one that can take the heat, preferably cast-iron or a large, heavy-bottomed stainless. Feel free to substitute any cruciferous vegetable cut into even pieces in place of Brussels sprouts, from broccoli and cauliflower to cabbage and bok choy.
Heart Healthy

Hamburger Stroganoff

6 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup stroganoff, 2/3 cup pasta, and 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley)

8 ............ounces uncooked medium egg noodles
1 teaspoon olive oil 1 pound ground beef, extra lean
1 ............cup prechopped onion
1 ............teaspoon bottled minced garlic 1 (8-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms
2 ............tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 .............cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1-1/4 ...... teaspoons kosher salt
1/8 ..........teaspoon black pepper
3/4...........cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 .............tablespoon dry sherry
3 .............tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1.         Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain.
2.         Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms to pan; cook 4 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute or until slightly thick. Stir in salt and pepper.
3.         Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and sherry. Serve over pasta. Sprinkle with parsley.
TIP :Serve a lightened version of this classic dish with a tossed green salad and sautéed red and green bell pepper strips for a satisfying family-friendly meal.

Heart healthy

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cobb Potato Salad

Total time : 2 hours  30 minutes  ... Makes 8 servings

1 ..................pound baby red potatoes, quartered 
1/3............... cup sliced green onions
1 .................(11.5-oz.) bottle refrigerated blue cheese vinaigrette, divided
2.................. large avocados
1 ..................tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 ..................cups shredded romaine lettuce
1................... pt. grape tomatoes, halved
1................... cup (4 oz.) shredded white Cheddar cheese 
2................... ounces blue cheese, crumbled
6 ..................cooked bacon slices, crumbled

1)          Cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover 15 to 20 minutes or until tender; drain. Toss potatoes with green onions and 1/3 cup vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours.
2)          Peel and chop avocados; toss with lemon juice. Toss lettuce with avocado mixture, tomatoes, and next 2 ingredients. Arrange lettuce mixture on a large serving platter; top with potato mixture, and sprinkle with bacon. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
Note : I  use  Marie's Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Transform a Cobb salad into a potato salad by adding avocado, blue cheese, bacon, tomato and lettuce to boiled red potatoes.

3 Fresh Spring Vinaigrettes

This season's best-dressed salads start with a trio of versatile vinaigrettes that serve double .
Ginger-Basil Vinaigrette:
Use this as a sauce for fish or shrimp, crisp lettuces, avocado, or rice.
Process ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped; 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice; 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger; 1 garlic clove, minced; 1 tsp. honey; and ½ tsp. kosher salt in a food processor until smooth. With processor running, pour 2/3 cup grapeseed oil through food chute in a slow, steady stream, processing until smooth.
Makes about ¾ cup
Red Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette   

Pair this sweet, piquant vinaigrette with fresh greens and tangy goat cheese. It also works as a marinade for chicken or pork.
Whisk together 6 Tbsp. red wine vinegar; 1/3 cup olive oil; 3 Tbsp. red pepper jelly; 1 shallot, minced (about 2 Tbsp.); 1 Tbsp. coarse-grained mustard; ¼ tsp. kosher salt; and ¼ tsp. black pepper in a small bowl.
Makes about 1 cup
Peach-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Pair with any lettuce, or drizzle over grilled pork.
Process ¾ cup frozen sliced peaches or mango, thawed; 3 Tbsp. peach preserves; 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar; ½ tsp. Dijon mustard; and ½ tsp. kosher salt in a food processor until smooth. With processor running, pour ½ cup canola oil through food chute in a slow stream. Process until smooth; stir in 1½ tsp. poppy seeds.
Makes 1¼ cups



Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cubs Video Club







































 
 
 
 

 




Banana Caramel Cake...Oh Boy, It's Decadent

 

Yields: One 9-inch 2-layer cake
Cake
Oven Temp: 350



U.S.
MetricConversion chart
 
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 cup(s) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup(s) buttermilk
  • 1 cup(s) (about 2 bananas) very ripe, mashed bananas
  • 1 recipe Caramel Icing

Directions
  1. Make the batter: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a small brush, lightly coat two 9-inch cake pans with softened butter or vegetable-oil cooking spray. Dust with flour, tap out any excess, and set aside. Over a surface covered with a large sheet of waxed or parchment paper, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Into a medium bowl, resift the flour mixture and set aside. In a large bowl, using a mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the butter until light -- about 1 minute. Add the sugar and continue to beat for 2 more minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition, and mix in the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the buttermilk and bananas and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just enough to blend the batter after each addition.
  2. Bake the cake: Divide the batter equally between the pans and bake on the middle rack of the oven until a tester inserted into each cake layer comes out clean -- 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the cake pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the cake layers from the pan sides and invert the layers onto the wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Ice the cake: Use a serrated knife to trim the mounded side of the cake layers, if necessary. Line the edges of a cake plate with 3-inch-wide strips of waxed or parchment paper and place a cake layer, trimmed side down, on top. Place 1 cup Caramel Icing on top of the layer and spread evenly. Place the second layer, trimmed side down, on the first and cover the top and sides with the remaining icing.
Caramel Icing
Ingredients

U.S.
MetricConversion chart

  • 3 cup(s) light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoon(s) butter, cold, cut into pieces

Directions
  1. Make the icing: In a medium saucepan with a candy thermometer attached, stir sugar, heavy cream, and lemon juice together. Cook the mixture, without stirring, over medium-high heat to soft-ball stage (238 degrees F). Remove from heat and cool the caramel mixture to 140 degrees F. Place the butter on top of the cooled caramel mixture. Remove the thermometer and, using a handheld mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the caramel until it thickens enough to hold its shape, lightens in color, and changes from translucent to opaque -- about 5 minutes. Apply icing immediately.