Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Treats....Amazing Watermelon Pie

 

Balls of fresh watermelon in a whipped watermelon filling make a delightful summer treat.

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 1-1/2 C. low-fat graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 C. light margarine, melted
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • Filling:
  • 12 oz. Cool Whip Free, thawed
  • 3 oz. watermelon gelatin powder ( I have heard that strawberry gelatin works very well also)
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 2 C. watermelon balls

Directions

To prepare crust, combine crumbs, margarine, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Press mixture firmly in a 9-inch pie pan. Chill one hour, or until firm. Or, bake in a 375-degree F oven for ten minutes or until edges are brown. Cool on rack before filling. To prepare filling, combine whipped topping, watermelon gelatin powder, and water. Fold in watermelon balls. Spoon into pre-baked crust. Chill for two hours.
Your family will be so happy you made this pie...perhaps you better make two.

Yield: 8 servings
 
Some people are a little nutty about their watermelon pie. Please restrain yourself
 


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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Food for Thought : National Dairy Month

                             June is National Dairy Month
Dairy foods provide a delicious source of protein , calcium and essential vitamins and minerals for a healthy diet. Consuming low-fat and fat-free milk , yogurt or cheese with meals and snacks can help you get the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day. Here are a few tips  and a recipe to help you get more dairy in your diet :
1 . Use low fat or fat free milk  when cooking instead of water for foods  like oatmeal and soups.
2 . Combine yogurt and fruit for a quick parfait . Top with low fat granola and /or fruit.
3 . Top baked potatoes  with low fat cheese or yogurt.
Those with trouble digesting lactose (lactose intolerant) can try yogurt , lactose free milk and enjoy cheeses such as cheddar , Swiss , Monterey Jack  , which is national low in lactose.
  
               Recipe for Stawberry Yogurt Parfait
3     pts. strawberries, plus 3 halved berries for garnish
2     tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1     teaspoon lemon zest, divided
1     cup heavy whipping cream
3     tablespoons powdered sugar
1     cup plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt
1. Slice tops off 3 pts. strawberries and cut lengthwise into wedges. Toss with brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. lemon zest in a medium bowl. Let sit at room temperature until juicy, about 20 minutes, or chill 2 hours.
2. Meanwhile, whisk cream and powdered sugar in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold in remaining 1/2 tsp. zest and the yogurt. Cover and chill until used, up to 2 hours.
3. Divide half of strawberry mixture among 6 parfait glasses. Top with half of cream mixture, dividing equally. Repeat layering and garnish with strawberry halves.
                             Words of Wisdom:
It has been proven that if you can not take a joke , you will have to take medicine.
A merry heart does good like a medicine , so when you laugh , it does your heart good . That is why humor is good just for the health of it .

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Snapper with Zucchini and Tomato

Makes 2 servings (Serving size: 1 fillet & 1 cup zucchini & tomato)

4 ..................teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
1/2 ...............teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 ...............teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 ..................(6-ounce) snapper fillets
2 ..................tablespoons dry vermouth or white wine
1 ..................cup diced zucchini 
1-1/2 ............tablespoons minced shallots
1 ..................teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 ..................teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 ..................cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 ..................tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 ..................teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1.        Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over fish. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan; keep warm. Add vermouth; cook until liquid almost evaporates. Add zucchini, shallots, oregano, lemon rind, 1 teaspoon oil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; sauté 3 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
2.         Combine zucchini mixture, tomato, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 2 teaspoons oil, basil, and juice; toss gently. Serve with fish.
TIP:
Lemon juice and rind brighten this Snapper with Zucchini and Tomato dinner for two.

Vermouth also adds a hit a flavor to the vegetables.
Heart healthy

Monday, June 24, 2013

Roasted Fennel, Egg and Pancetta Panzanella

Prep /Total : 30 minutes  ...  Makes 4 servings

8 ................ounces pancetta, cut into cubes
1 ................large fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced
2 ................large garlic cloves, chopped
1 ............... tablespoon packed light brown sugar
3 ................tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ................cups cubed or torn ciabatta bread
1/2 .............teaspoon pepper
4 ................large eggs
2 ................cups arugula

1.          Preheat oven to 425°. Mix pancetta, fennel, garlic, sugar, and 2 tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast together, stirring often, until mixture is starting to brown and soften, about 10 minutes. Add ciabatta and sprinkle mixture with pepper. Roast until bread is toasted and fennel is softened, about 10 minutes more.
2.         Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Crack eggs into pan, cover, and fry until whites are set, about 3 minutes.
3.        Mix warm bread mixture with arugula and divide among 4 plates. Set an egg on top of each.
Heart healthy

Grilled Asian Drumsticks

Prep: 10 minutes  ... Cook:20 minutes ... Makes 4 servings (serving size :2 drumsticks  & about 3 tablespoons sauce)

8 ...............chicken drumsticks (about 2 pounds), skinned
**Cooking spray **
3 ...............tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 ...............tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 ...............tablespoons honey
2 ...............teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)

1.         Preheat grill.
2.         Coat chicken and grill rack with cooking spray. Grill chicken 20 minutes or until done, turning once.
3. ........While chicken grills, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 4 minutes or until reduced to 1/3 cup.
4. .......Transfer chicken to a large bowl or pan. Pour sauce over chicken, turning to coat.

These drumsticks are a perfect balance of smoky, sweet, and spicy.
Heart Healthy

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Vacation Lime Cream Pops


Now these pops are easy as falling off a log for those folks who are not into cooking or food preparation. The kids will love them.

                   
TOTAL TIME:5 hr 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Freeze time: 5 hr                
 
YIELD: Makes 8 to 10
LEVEL: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand  sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 large limes)
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups coarsely crushed graham crackers                                                           

Directions

Put the sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half, lime juice, lime zest, and salt in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. If using conventional molds, divide the mixture among the molds, snap on the lid, and freeze until solid, about 5 hours. If using glasses or other unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set (1 1/2 to 2 hours), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer's instructions.Spread the graham cracker pieces on a large plate. Unmold the pops and press each side into the graham crackers, coating completely.

Summer Vacation Peanut Butter Pie Pops

 
Everything's better on a stick, especially frozen treats like these peanut butter pie pops. Don't let the total time fool you -this recipe is easy to follow and worth the wait! Prep it the night before and wake up to deliciousness.
 
 
                  
                   
TOTAL TIME:8 hr 40 min
Prep: 40 min
Inactive Prep: 8 hr
Cook: --
 
YIELD: Makes 16 pops
LEVEL: Easy
 
Ingredients
 
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup salted pretzels, crushed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces creamy peanut butter
  • 4 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup salted dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup small chocolate-covered rice balls or toffee pieces
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate

  •  
    • Special equipment: pop mold with sticks                                                             

    Directions

    To make the crust, place graham crackers, pretzels, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder in a bowl and mix well. Add the cooled melted butter, mix, and set aside.

    Place the cream cheese in a stand
    mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed to soften the cheese, about 1 minute. Add the peanut butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla paste and mix at medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, and then increase the speed to high for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture will become light and fluffy. Add the peanuts and mix just enough to incorporate the nuts. Scrape the mix into a bowl and set aside.

    Clean the mixing bowl and add the heavy cream. With a
    whip attachment, whip the cream until slightly firm peaks. Be careful not to over whip. Fold one-third of the soft cream into the mixture. When the cream is folded in, continue with the remaining cream.

    Fill a
    pastry bag with the peanut cream and pipe a small amount into each mold. Tap the mold to ensure the mixture drops to the bottom of the mold. Sprinkle the chocolate balls over the mix. Pipe more mix, making sure to tap again. Sprinkle some crust and repeat with the cream. Continue layering the chocolate balls and crust. Insert the pop sticks into the mixture three-quarters of the way into the pop. Freeze overnight. Melt the chocolate and keep warm. To unmold the pops, dip the mold into hot water. Gently twist the sticks as you lift the pops out of the mold. Dip the pops one at a time into the warm chocolate allowing the excess chocolate to run back into the bowl. Place the pops on a pan and return to the freezer. The pops can stay for up to 2 weeks wrapped in an airtight container.

    Thursday, June 20, 2013

    Mozzarella , Ham & Basil Panini

    Prep/ Total: 20 minutes ...Makes 6 servings(serving size :1 wedge)


    1 ................(16-ounce) loaf ciabatta, cut in half horizontally
    4 ................teaspoons Dijon mustard
    4 ................teaspoons balsamic vinegar
    1-1/3 .........cups (8 ounces) thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese 12 .............basil leaves
    8 ...............ounces sliced 33%-less-sodium cooked deli ham (such as Boar's Head)
    2 ...............sweetened hot cherry peppers, sliced
    1 ...............large plum tomato, thinly sliced 
                            **Cooking spray**

    1.        Brush cut side of the bottom bread half with mustard; brush cut side of top half with vinegar. Top bottom half with mozzarella, basil, ham, peppers, and tomato. Top with remaining bread half.
    2.       Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sandwich to pan; top with another heavy skillet. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Cut sandwich into 6 wedges.

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    Curried Chicken Salad

                                         Makes 6 servings

    1 .........................cup walnut halves (optional)
    4 .........................cups diced cooked chicken (about 12 oz.)
    1 .........................cup seedless red grapes, halved crosswise 
    1 .........................large celery rib, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
    2 ........................scallions, trimmed and thinly slice 
    1/2 .....................cup mayonnaise 
    1/3 .....................cup plain low-fat yogurt or sour cream 
    1 ........................tablespoon distilled white vinegar
    1/4 .....................teaspoon curry powder
    1/4 .....................teaspoon pepper
    6 ........................radicchio cups
    4 ........................cups mixed baby greens (about 3 oz.)

    1 .       Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread walnuts on a shallow baking sheet and roast in oven until toasted, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
    2 .      Coarsely chop walnuts and transfer 3/4 cup of them to a bowl with chicken, grapes and celery; toss.
    3 .      In a small bowl, whisk together scallions, mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, curry powder and pepper. Scrape mixture over chicken mixture and toss well.
    4 .      To serve, arrange a radicchio cup in center of a plate. Fill radicchio with chicken salad. Arrange greens around radicchio. Sprinkle remaining nuts on top of salad.
    TIP :
    Spice up a plain chicken salad with curry powder and add grapes for sweetness and chopped walnuts for crunch. Serve the salad in radicchio cups for an elegant presentation.
    Heart Healthy

    Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

    Makes 4 servings (serving size : 1 chicken breast half / about 1/2 cup salsa)

    CHICKEN :
    2 .................tablespoons minced fresh cilantro 
    1-1/2 ..........tablespoons fresh lime juice
    1-1/2 ..........tablespoons olive oil
    4 ................(6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 
    1/4 .............teaspoon salt
                                 **Cooking spray**
    SALSA :
    1 ...............cup chopped plum tomato (about 2) 
    2 ...............tablespoons finely chopped onion
    2 ...............teaspoons fresh lime juice 
    1/4 ............teaspoon salt
    1/8 ............teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 ...............avocado, peeled and finely chopped

    1.        To prepare chicken, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss and let stand 3 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.
    2.       To prepare salsa, combine tomato and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium bowl. Add avocado; stir gently to combine. Serve salsa over chicken.
    TIP :
    A three-minute dip into a pungent cilantro-lime marinade is all that's needed to deliver big flavor to chicken breasts. Serve with saffron rice.
    Heart Healthy
     

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Sauteed Chisken Breasts with Fennel & Rosemary

    Prep : 10 minutes ....  Total time : 35 minutes ...  Makes 4 servings
    2  ............tablespoons olive oil
    1 .............large fennel bulb (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch slices
    2 .............teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
    1/2 ..........teaspoon salt
    1/2 ..........cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
    4 .............boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
    1/4 ..........teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
    2 .............cloves garlic, minced
    2 .............tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
    1 .     In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the fennel, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is golden brown and almost done, about 12 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the fennel is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the fennel and the cooking liquid from the pan.
    2 .         Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Add the chicken to the pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon of rosemary and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until almost done, about 3 minutes longer. Add the garlic; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the fennel and its cooking liquid and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let steam 5 minutes.  **Stir in the parsley.**
    Serve WithSoft polenta is an appropriate accompaniment to this Italian-style dish. Mashed potatoes are another good match.
    Suggested Pairing:
    The fennel and the rosemary will pair especially nicely with a full-bodied red wine that has a hint of sweetness, such as a Rioja from Spain.
    TIP : 
    The Mediterranean flavors of fennel, garlic, and rosemary are perfect with chicken. The fennel and chicken are sautéed and then briefly braised in chicken broth, which becomes a tasty light sauce.
    Heart Healthy

    Chicken Scarpariello

    Prep /Total : 50 minutes    ... Makes 4 servings

    8 ................small skinless, boneless chicken thighs (2 pounds)
                             **Salt and freshly ground pepper**
                             **All-purpose flour, for dusting**
    1/2 .............cup extra-virgin olive oil
    8 ................garlic cloves, halved lengthwise and lightly smashed
    4 ................large rosemary sprigs, broken into 2-inch pieces
    2 ................cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
    2 ................tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    2 ................tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/2 .............cup Peppadew peppers or other pickled peppers, sliced

    1 .        Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust with flour. In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned and crusty on both sides, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for 3 minutes, until the garlic is lightly browned. Transfer the chicken to a platter, leaving the rosemary and garlic in the skillet.
    2 .       Add the stock to the skillet and cook over high heat, scraping up any browned bits, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and butter and swirl until emulsified. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Add the peppers and cook, turning the chicken until coated in the sauce, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken and sauce to the platter and serve.
                                **Serve WithCrusty bread.**
    Suggested Pairing:
    Bright, cherry-rich Chianti Classico.
    TIP:
    To make Sunday-supper scarpariello—chicken sautéed in a tangy lemon glaze with bell pepper—Fran Parisi always uses a whole chicken cut into pieces, then cooks it on the stove for hours. Grace Parisi opts for faster-cooking boneless thighs and skips the bell pepper in favor of jarred Peppadews, sweet-spicy pickled peppers from South Africa, sold in many US supermarkets.
    Heart Healthy

    Sunday, June 16, 2013

    Happy Father Day ---- Uncle Brian

    Happy Father's Day  Uncle Brian ... hope you get a lot of hugs & kisses ...

    The Polar Bear Cubs

    Jonny , Sha , Jenny , Man Carano

    Chris , Sherlyn , Bubba  Landrieu

    Raspberry White Chocolate Cupcakes for People Who Don 't Cook

           White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

    This recipe requires a bunch of Duncan Hines Products (4 to be exact) but they are easy to use and you cannot fail. Be brave. ( As if you didn't already guess, I got this recipe from the Duncan Hines website...lol.)

    Ingredients:
     
    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cupcake liners in muffin pans.
    2. Prepare cake batter as directed on package.
    3. Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling them no more than two-thirds full.
    4. Bake 18 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcakes comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.
    5. Use paring knife or apple corer to remove a small, 1" deep circle from the center of each cupcake.
    6. Place 1 teaspoon of Duncan Hines® Comstock® Raspberry Pie Filling in the cavity of each cupcake.
    7. Pour packet of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ White Chocolate Raspberry Flavor Mix into can of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Frosting Starter. Stir until evenly blended.
    8. Frost top of cupcakes with the White Chocolate Raspberry frosting you just created and garnish with white chocolate curls.
    9. Tip:

    10. You can fill your cupcakes with the Duncan Hines® Comstock® Raspberry Pie Filling by using a small spoon or by putting the filling in a piping bag and squeezing it into the center of the cupcake. Congratulations ! You made cupcakes. Reward yourself by eating one.
     

    Cherry Dream Bars

    Dreamy Cherry Bars

    If you love the flavour of cherries, this bar is for you. A buttery homemade crust is slathered with Smucker’s Pure Cherry Jam and then sprinkled with a crunchy, delicious brown sugar, walnut and coconut crumble. A delicious treat any time of the day and a lunch box winner.
     
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Bake Time: 35 minutes
    Freezing : excellent
    Makes: about 30 bars        

    Ingredients:

    Base:
    1 1/3 cups (325mL) All Purpose Flour
    1/3 cup (75mL) sugar
    1/2 tsp (2mL) baking powder
    1/2 cup (125mL) butter
    1 egg, beaten
    1 jar (250mL) Smucker’s® Pure Cherry Jam


    Topping:
    1 cup (250mL) brown sugar
    3/4 cup (175mL) chopped toasted walnuts
    3/4 cup (175mL) toasted coconut
    2 tbsp (30mL) Robin Hood All Purpose Flour
    1 tbsp (15mL) lemon juice
    1 tsp (5mL) baking powder
    2 eggs, beaten

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Line a 9” (23 cm) pan with foil and grease.
    2. Crust: combine first 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and mix. Press evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350ºF (180ºC) and spread jam over partially baked crust.
    3. Topping: combine ingredients in medium bowl and spread evenly over jam. Bake 30 – 35 minutes longer, until set. Remove and cool. Cut into bars.

    Note:

    1. These bars tend to be gooey. For easier cutting, chill in fridge over night. You're a genius...Buy yourself a new pair of shoes.

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    Hoisin & Bourbon-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

                                              Makes 6 servings

    1 .......................cup hickory wood chips
    1/3 ....................cup hoisin sauce
    2 .......................tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
    2 .......................tablespoons bourbon 
    2 .......................tablespoons maple syrup
    1-1/2 .................teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
    1-1/2 .................teaspoons fresh lime juice 
    1/2 ....................teaspoon chile paste with garlic
    1 .......................garlic clove, minced
    2 ......................(1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed 
    1/2 ...................teaspoon salt
    1/2 ...................teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                                  **Cooking spray **

    1.        Soak wood chips in water 30 minutes; drain well.
    2 .         Prepare grill.
    3 .         Combine hoisin sauce and next 7 ingredients (hoisin through garlic) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
    4.         Slice pork lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves, laying pork flat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Add wood chips to grill. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cook 5 minutes. Turn and baste pork with hoisin mixture; cook 5 minutes. Turn and baste pork with hoisin mixture; cook 5 minutes or until pork reaches 155° or desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes; cut pork into 1/2-inch slices.

    Hoisin and Bourbon-Glazed Tuna:
    **Follow steps 1 through 3 above. Sprinkle 6 (6-ounce) tuna steaks with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Add wood chips to grill. Place tuna steaks on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cook 5 minutes. Turn and baste tuna with hoisin mixture; cook 5 minutes. Turn and baste tuna with hoisin mixture; cook 2 minutes or until tuna flakes easily when tested with a fork. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 tuna steak).**
    Add a little sweetness to smoked pork by adding hoisin sauce and maple syrup to the bourbon marinade, and then balance that sweetness with the acidity of lime juice and rice vinegar.

    Heart Healthy

    Grilled Buttermilk Chicken

                                          Makes  6 servings

    1 .................quart buttermilk
    1/2 .............cup chopped shallots
    2 ................tablespoons chopped garlic
    2 ................tablespoons kosher salt
    2 ................tablespoons sugar 
    1 ................tablespoon ground cumin
    1 ................teaspoon pepper
    6 ................chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 lb. total) 
    6 ................chicken drumsticks (about 1 3/4 lb. total) 

    1.          In a large bowl, mix buttermilk, shallots, garlic, salt, sugar, cumin, and pepper.
    2.         Rinse chicken thighs and drumsticks and pat dry. Trim off excess fat. Submerge chicken pieces in buttermilk brine. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day (see notes).
    3.         Lift chicken from brine; discard brine. Wipe excess from chicken with paper towels.
    4.        Lay chicken pieces on a barbecue grill over medium coals or medium heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning frequently, until browned on both sides and no longer pink at the bone (cut to test), 20 to 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
    Tip:
    Brine the chicken up to 1 day before grilling; grill up to 1 day before serving (chill airtight). Transport in brine when grilling on-site. Keep the meat well chilled in an ice chest until ready to serve or grill.

    Instead of soaking the chicken in a saltwater mixture to add flavor and juiciness, this grilled chicken recipe is brined in a mixture of buttermilk, shallots, and spices.
    Heart healthy

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    Grilled Honey-Glazed Nectarines

    Prep : 5 minutes  ... Cook : 5 minutes  ... Makes 4 servings

    4 ...............firm, ripe nectarines, halved and pitted 
    1/4 ............cup honey
    1 ...............pint vanilla ice cream 

    1.         Heat a gas grill to medium and oil grates. Brush nectarines all over with honey. Grill, turning several times, until nectarines are slightly softened and show grill marks, 4 to 5 minutes total.
    2.        Arrange 2 nectarine halves in each of 4 dessert bowls. Top with ice cream and serve.
    TIP:
    You can use any stone-fruit with this recipe, but we love nectarines. Just three ingredients and you have a simple, elegant, and delicious dessert.

    Heart Healthy

    Rotini with Chicken, Asparagus and Tomatoes

                                         Makes 4 Servings

    8 ...................ounces uncooked rotini (corkscrew pasta)
                                    Cooking spray
    1 ...................pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch strips
    1/2 ...............teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 ...............teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 ..................cup (1-inch) slices asparagus
    2 ..................cups cherry tomatoes, halved
    2 ..................garlic cloves, minced
    2 ..................tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    2 ..................tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    1.................. tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
    1/4 ...............cup (1 ounce) crumbled goat cheese

    1 .       Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
    2 .       Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken and asparagus to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta, basil, vinegar, and oil. Arrange 2 cups pasta mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

    Reminiscent of a pasta salad, this recipe coats rotini and colorful vegetables with a basil-flecked balsamic vinaigrette.
    Heart Healthy

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    Food For Thought: Men's Health Month

    Calcium-rich foods include low-fat dairy such as yogurt. These are especially important as men, as well as women, age.

    June is National Men’s Health Month. The purpose of this observation is to raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment among males.

    Did you know that on average, men are less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy? There are several reasons for this including men are more likely to work in dangerous occupations, they put off going to the doctor more often, and they are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors.

    Knowing your risks for chronic disease and keeping up a healthy lifestyle and diet are keys to living longer and staying well. Here are a few tips to help you, or a man that you care about, celebrate Men’s Health Month:

    1 . There are some conditions that affect only men, such as prostate disease and low testosterone. Proper screening tests can find help find these early, when they are easier to treat. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to get current with all health tests and screenings.

    2 .   Get plenty of calcium. Vitamin D helps to maintain strong and healthy bones. Calcium-rich foods include low-fat dairy, dark green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals and fruit juices. These are especially important as men, as well as women, age. Check with your doctor or dietitian to determine if you are getting enough.

    3.    Increase your potassium intake. Along with decreasing your sodium intake, potassium can lower your risk of high blood pressure. Choose low-sodium foods and use herbs and spices to reduce your sodium intake. Visit a local farmers’ market to purchase some locally grown fruits and vegetables, as they are the best source of high-potassium foods.

    WORDS of WISDOM:
    Life is like a roll of toliet paper  --- the closer it gets to the end , the faster it goes .
    A day of worry burns more energy than a week's work .
    Have a great day .

    Monday, June 10, 2013

    Chicken, shiitake and asparagus skewers with sweet chili sauce


    Chicken, shiitake and asparagus skewers with sweet chili sauce recipe

     

     

    Ingredients

      FOR SAUCE:
    • garlic cloves
    • large red chili peppers, seeded and chopped
    • 1/3 cup white vinegar
    • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
    • 3 tbsp honey
    • 1/4 tsp salt
      FOR SKEWERS:
    • 8  wooden skewers
    • asparagus spears
    • 2 113g pkg shiitake mushrooms
    • skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    Simple yet sophisticated, these skewers will be a hit at your next barbecue. Bonus: the sauce can be made a day ahead.

    Instructions: 
  • Preheat barbecue to medium. Soak skewers in warm water for 20 min.
  • Whirl garlic with red chili peppers in a food processor until finely minced, scraping down sides if needed. Add vinegar and pulse until combined. Transfer to a small saucepan set over medium-high. Add sugar, honey and salt. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is syrupy, 15 to 17 min. Set aside.
  • Snap and discard tough ends from asparagus. Slice into 1-in. pieces. Remove and discard stems from mushrooms. Cut chicken into bite-sized cubes. Toss chicken and vegetables with oil and salt in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Thread chicken, asparagus and mushrooms onto skewers.
  • Oil grill, then barbecue skewers, lid closed, until chicken is cooked through, flipping at halfway point, about 8 min. Serve with Sweet Chili Sauce.

  • Birthday Cake Icebox Cookies



    Roberto Caruso


     

     

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup coloured sprinkles
    • 1/2 cup icing sugar
    • 1 tbsp milk

    Instructions

  • Stir flour with baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. Add 1/2 cup coloured sprinkles to flour mixture.
  • Beat butter with sugar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture, just until combined. Gather into a ball. Divide dough in half, then roll each portion into a 2-in.-wide log. Wrap logs in wax paper and twist ends. Chill until firm, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Position racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  • Slice cookies into 1/4-inch rounds and arrange 1 inch apart on prepared sheets. Bake in top and bottom thirds of oven, switching halfway through, until cookies are golden, 10 to 12 min. Let cookies cool on sheets for 1 min, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Whisk 1/2 cup icing sugar with 1 tbsp milk until smooth. Brush cookies with a thin layer of icing. Cookies will keep well, stored in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 5 days.

  • The kids love them

    Raspberry Hearts..Pretty and Delicious

    Preparation time:30 minutes
    Refrigeration Time:60 minutes......Makes:35 cookies

     
     
    Roberto Caruso

     

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus about 1/4 cup for rolling
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

    Instructions

    • Stir flour with baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In another large bowl, beat butter with sugar on medium-high using an electric mixer, until fluffy, 3 min. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in flour mixture, just until evenly blended. Form into a ball. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a flat disc. Wrap separately with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 1 week.
    • Preheat oven to 375F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust a rolling pin with flour. Roll dough no thicker than 1/4 in. on a lightly floured surface. Cut out shapes with a 2- to 3-in. heart cookie cutter. Transfer to prepared baking sheets and place about 2 in. apart. Use a smaller cutter to cut out centres of half of the cookies on baking sheet.
    • Bake one sheet in centre of oven until cookies are pale golden, 7 to 8 min. Place cookie sheet on a rack for 5 min. Then remove cookies to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather dough scraps and form into a disc. Chill until firm enough to re-roll.
    • Assemble cookies by generously dusting cut-out cookies with icing sugar. Spread about 1 tsp jam on each bottom half. Then set sugar-dusted cookies over jam-covered hearts. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.
    • So pretty ..they make up a beautiful plate to take to a friend's house if the kids don't scoff them all first.

    Sunday, June 9, 2013

    Dreamy Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

    Prep : 30 minutes  ... Bake :10 minutes + chilling ... Make 8 servings

    24 .............Nutter Butter cookies, crushed
    1/3 ............cup butter, melted
    1 ...............cup cold 2% milk
    1 ...............package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
    1 ...............cup creamy peanut butter
    4 ...............ounces cream cheese, softened
    1/2 ............cup sweetened condensed milk
    1/4 ............cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
    1  ..............cup heavy whipping cream
    2 ...............tablespoons sugar
                           **Chocolate curls**

    1 .        Combine cookie crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. pie plate. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
    2 .        In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth; stir in pudding. Set aside.
    3 .      Gently spread ice cream topping into crust. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold 1-1/2 cups into pudding mixture; pour into crust. Spread remaining whipped cream over top; garnish with chocolate curls. Refrigerate until serving
           **Sweet White Wine**
    Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling

    Peanut butter fans love both the crust and creamy filling of this popular pie. With four young children in the house, a lot of my baking happens after bedtime!—
    Heart Healthy

    Asian Chicken with Gingered Vegetables

    Prep : 15 minutes + chilling ... Grill: 15 Minutes ...  Makes 4 servings

    1 ....................tablespoon brown sugar
    1 ....................teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 .................teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 .................teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
    1/2 .................teaspoon pepper
    4 ...................boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
    2 ...................cups fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed
    1 ...................medium carrot, julienned
    2 ...................tablespoons orange juice
    2 ...................tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
    2 ...................teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot

    1 .        Combine the first five ingredients; rub over chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    2 .        Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170°.
    3 .        Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, combine the remaining ingredients. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve with chicken.

    Light-Bodied White Wine
    Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio

    "My family loves this light, colorful and quick meal. Grilled pineapple sprinkled with cinnamon makes a yummy dessert."
    Heart Healthy