Monday, March 31, 2014

Coq au Vin

Makes  4 servings (serving size: 1 thigh, 1 drumstick, and 3/4 cup sauce)

2 ......................bacon slices, chopped 

4 .....................(4-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, skinned

4 ....................(4-ounce) chicken drumsticks, skinned

1/2 .................teaspoon salt

1/2 .................teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 ................cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided

1-1/2 .............cups sliced cremini mushrooms

1-1/2 .............cups dry red wine

1 ...................cup chopped carrot 

1/2 ................cup chopped shallots

1/2 ................cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 

1 ...................tablespoon brandy

1 ...................teaspoon minced fresh thyme

2 ...................teaspoons tomato paste

1 ...................garlic clove, minced

1.             Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons parsley, mushrooms, and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is done.
2.           Remove chicken with a slotted spoon; keep warm. Bring cooking liquid to a boil; cook until reduced to 3 cups (about 6 minutes). Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.
Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.

Heart healthy


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Waldorf Chicken Salad

Prep / Total :  30 minutes ... Makes 6 servings

Add chicken and grapes to the classic Waldorf salad to make it a hearty main dish.

1/2 ...................cup chopped walnuts

3 ......................cups chopped cooked chicken 

1 .....................cup seedless red grapes, halved

1 ....................large Gala apple, diced 

1 ....................cup diced celery

1/2 .................cup mayonnaise

1/2 .................cup honey mustard
                     **Salt and pepper to taste**

1.         Preheat oven to 350°. Bake walnuts in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
2.         Stir together chicken, next 5 ingredients, and walnuts. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Heart healthy

Friday, March 28, 2014

Chicken-and-Okra Gumbo

TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS 45 MIN ...SERVINGS: 6 to 8
1 ..........................cup all-purpose flour
                     **Vegetable oil **
1 ..........................large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 ..........................large celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 ..........................green bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3.......................... garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 ..........................cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
6 ..........................ounces andouille links, thinly sliced
2 ..........................bay leaves
2......................... tablespoons prepared jerk paste or 1 tablespoon ground jerk seasoning
1 .........................tablespoon dried thyme
1 .........................tablespoon smoked hot paprika
3/4 .....................pound fresh or thawed frozen okra, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1........................ 3-1/2-pound rotisserie chickenmeat shredded, skin and bones discarded
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Tabasco
Steamed rice, for serving
2 .....................scallions, thinly sliced

1 .         In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, whisk the flour with 1/2 cup of oil until smooth. Cook the roux over moderately low heat, whisking often, until deep brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add the onion, celery, bell peppers and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 20 minutes.
2 .         Gradually add the stock to the casserole, whisking until smooth. Add the andouille, bay leaves, jerk paste, thyme and paprika and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3 .         Add the okra to the casserole and simmer until tender, 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken meat and season the gumbo with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Discard the bay leaves, ladle the gumbo over rice, garnish with the scallions and serve with Tabasco.


Suggested Pairing :
Melony, aromatic Gewürztraminer.
Heart healthy

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Catfish Po'Boys with Pickle Remoulade

                    TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN ....SERVINGS: 8
Pickle Remoulade
1 ...................cup mayonnaise
1/4 ................cup minced celery
1 ...................small shallot, minced
1 ...................garlic clove, minced
2 ...................tablespoons Creole mustard
2................... tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2................... tablespoons chopped drained capers
2 ...................tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
po'boys
1 ...................cup cornmeal
1 ...................cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs), crushed
1/2 ................cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 ...................teaspoon salt
1/2................ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 ................teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 ................teaspoon onion powder
1/4 ................teaspoon dried thyme
1/4................ teaspoon dried sage
1/4.................teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 ................teaspoon ground cumin
3 large eggs
8................... 5-ounce skinless catfish fillets
                ***Vegetable oil, for frying ***
8 ..................crusty hero rolls, split
               ***Shredded romaine, for serving ***

1 .        In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
2 .        In a pie plate, whisk the cornmeal, panko, 1/2 cup of flour, the salt, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, sage, ginger and cumin. In another pie plate, beat the eggs. Dust the catfish with flour, then dip in the beaten egg; coat in the panko mixture, pressing the crumbs to help them adhere. Transfer the fish to a baking sheet.
3 .        In a skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Fry the catfish in 2 batches over moderately high heat, turning once, until the crust is golden and crisp and the fish is cooked through, 4 minutes. Drain the fish on paper towels.
4 .        Spread the rolls with the remoulade. Top with the fried fish and romaine and serve.

Suggested  Pairing:
Zippy Pinot Grigio.
Heart healthy


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Striped Bass with Tomato Fondue

PREP /TOTAL TIME:................ 1 HOUR .......... SERVINGS: 6

6 ................large garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 ................tablespoons thinly sliced sage
                  ***Salt and freshly ground pepper*** 1 ................tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ................large shallot, minced
2 ................pounds assorted tomatoessmall tomatoes halved, larger tomatoes cut into wedges
2 ...............tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ...............tablespoon vegetable oil
6 ...............6-ounce striped bass fillets with skin, skin scored

1.      Preheat the oven to 350°. Wrap the garlic in foil and bake for 30 minutes, until soft. Let cool, then squeeze the garlic into a bowl. Stir in the sage; season with salt and pepper.
2 .     In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook over low heat until softened, 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, butter and garlic-sage paste and cook over moderate heat until the tomatoes release their liquid, 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3 .      In a nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Season the bass with salt and pepper and add to the skillet, skin side down. Cook over moderately high heat until the skin is browned, 4 minutes. Turn the fillets and cook until just white throughout, 2 minutes. Serve the fish with the tomato fondue.
Heart healthy

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stripe Bass or Redfish

TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES ...,, SERVINGS: 6

 
Roasting this fish, then serving it in its hardened skin ("on the half shell"). You can also use a large, flexible spatula to slide the fillets off the skin and onto a platter, discarding the skin, for a more elegant presentation. Redfisha white-fleshed fish with big scales that are hard to removeis an ideal choice, but striped bass is great too. You'll have to buy the fish directly from a fishmonger; ask him to leave the scales on the fillets.

1/4 ...................cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 .....................redfish or striped bass fillets, with scales still on (about 2 1/2 pounds) and pin bones removed
1/2 ..................teaspoon crushed red pepper
               **Salt and freshly ground pepper **
1/4 ..................cup minced flat-leaf parsley
2 .....................garlic cloves, minced
              **Lemon wedges, for serving**

1 .          Preheat the oven to 475°. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet. Lay the redfish fillets, skin side down, on the baking sheet and brush them with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Roast the redfish fillets on the bottom rack of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the flesh flakes with a fork.
2 .         Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the parsley and garlic with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the fish to a platter, drizzle with the parsley-garlic oil and serve with lemon wedges.
Suggested paring :
 
These oven-roasted fish fillets with Provençal notes would be delicious with a citrusy New Zealand Sauvignon Blan .

Heart healthy

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mininature Mini Pound Cakes

Prep Time: 28 Minutes  ...Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Makes 2-1/2 dozen

Enjoy these pound cake bites for breakfast or as a late-night snack by the fire, or split and toast them with butter. Vanilla bean paste, which can be found at specialty food stores, gives these cakes a sublime goodness. And just as with classic pound cake, we loved the crusty top edges on these, too.

1-1/2 ...................cups butter, softened 
1 .........................(8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened  3 .........................cups sugar
6 .........................large eggs 
3 .........................cups all-purpose flour
1/4.......................teaspoon salt
1 .........................tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract 1/2 .....................teaspoon almond extract

1.          Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well, 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.
2 .       Combine flour and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended; stir in vanilla and almond flavorings. Spoon batter into paper-lined standard-size muffin pans, filling three-fourths full.
3.        Bake at 350° for 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

Pound Cake Minis:
 Spoon batter into paper-lined (1-3/4") miniature muffin cups, filling three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 16 to 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
Makes: about 9 dozen.

Fluted Baby Pound Cakes:
Spoon batter into a greased 1/4-cup capacity mini fluted tube pan, filling three-fourths full. (We tested with a 12-cavity mini fluted tube pan.) Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with Jelly Bean Thumbprint Cookies glaze of powdered sugar and heavy cream, if desired.
Makes : about 9 dozen
 TIP:
The vanilla bean paste really does add a more distinct vanilla flavor to these cakes. You can find it at specialty food stores or order online.

Heart healthy

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Maple-Glazed Salmon

Prep Time :5 minutes ... Cook Time: 10 Minute
Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 fillet)

You can also cook salmon on the grill in the same amount of time.

1 ............tablespoon maple syrup 1 ............tablespoon hoisin sauce 1 ............teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2..........teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 2 ............(6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
                 ***Cooking spray***

1.          Preheat broiler.
2.          Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
3.          Place salmon, skin side down, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Brush with maple mixture. Broil 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, brushing with maple mixture after 5 minutes and again after 10 minutes.
Heart healthy

Saturday, March 22, 2014

White Cocolate Mousse Cherry Pie

White Chocolate Mousse Cherry Pie Recipe

A cookie crust topped with a cherry-almond filling and light-as-air mousse makes this a delectable dessert. This pie makes any dinner special. Don't forget you're special too and you're a genius for coming up with this amazing dessert.

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour Bake: 15 min. + chilling
MAKES: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 14 Oreo cookies
  • 3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  •                             
  • FILLING:
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  •                             
  • WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE:
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup cold 2% milk
  • 1 package (3.3 ounces) instant white chocolate pudding mix
  • Chocolate syrup and curls,

    Directions                                                                      
  1. In a food processor, combine cookies and nuts; cover and process until cookies are finely chopped. Add butter; cover and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. deep-dish pie plate. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
  3. For filling, combine cornstarch and water in a small saucepan until smooth. Stir in pie filling. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in extract. Cool completely.
  4. For mousse, in a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cream; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  5. In a large bowl, beat remaining cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and extract; beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in gelatin mixture. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). Fold whipped cream mixture into pudding. Refrigerate until slightly firm, about 30 minutes.
  6. Spread cooled filling into crust; top with mousse. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Garnish with chocolate syrup and curls if desired. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

German Chocolate Cake...Pecan Coconut Filling


One tasty forkful is all you'll need to recognize the distinctive crunchy-chewy filling — pecans and coconut cooked to a sublime finish — of our German Chocolate Cake.

Ingredients

U.S.
MetricConversion chart
  • 1/2 cup(s) boiling water
  • 4 ounce(s) German's Chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup(s) cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 cup(s) (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla
  • 1 cup(s) buttermilk
  • Coconut-Pecan Filling  (directions below)      


Directions
  1. Make 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 and tap out any excess. Set aside. In a medium heat-proof bowl, pour boiling water over German's Chocolate. Stir until smooth and set aside. In another medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, using a mixer set on medium-high speed, beat sugar and butter until very light, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, until well incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low and add chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture by thirds, alternating with buttermilk and ending with dry ingredients. Thoroughly clean mixer beaters. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir a half cup beaten whites into batter. Fold remaining whites into batter.
  2. Bake cake: Divide batter equally between pans and spread evenly. Bake on middle rack of oven until a tester inserted in center of each cake layer comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Use a knife to loosen cake from sides of pan and invert onto wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Finish cake: Place 1 layer on a cake plate and top with 1/3 of our Coconut-Pecan Filling. Repeat with second and third layers and remaining filling. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Coconut-Pecan Filling
Ingredients

U.S.
MetricConversion chart

  • 1 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 can(s) (12-ounce) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup(s) unsalted butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla
  • 2 1/3 cup(s) (one 7-ounce package) flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) chopped pecans


Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in coconut and pecans. Transfer to a bowl and, stirring occasionally, allow to cool to room temperature before frosting the cake. This cake is awesome and you are a genius.



Food for Thought : Thursday is Meatout Day

Thursday is Meatout Day. Started in 1985, Meatout is one of the largest annual grassroots diet education programs. Eating a diet high in plant-based foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grain, beans and nuts, may help reduce obesity, heart disease and other health problems. Many people are afraid to go meatless because they think they will miss out on nutrients, especially protein. However, Americans regularly eat more than enough protein on a daily basis and there are many protein-rich foods to choose from when going meatless. Here are a few tips:

Go meatless once a week. Many people go meatless on Mondays, but find a day that works best for your family.

Keep things simple. Try a grilled cheese with vegetable soup or a bean burrito with a salad for quick and easy meals.

Replace meat in your favorite recipes with beans. Try beans in salads for a great meal.

 Don’t think of going meatless as taking something away. Think of it as adding to your diet. Experimenting with a new grain or bean such as oats, quinoa and millet are great for the adventurous palate.

Word of  Wisdom :
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.'

Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.

The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity.

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning

 
Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.

Did you know that if ask anyone from a Professor to a politician 'Why', three times in a row, you can reduce them to a gibbering idiot. Incidentally, the three 'Whys' trick is one that I learnt from watching my 5 year old grandson question  his mother.

A Proud  Grand  Poppa
 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Roasted Chicken Legs with Potatoes and Kale

Prep / TOTAL TIME: 1 hour  20 minutes ...SERVINGS: 8

For this one-pan dish, roast the chicken legs on a bed of potatoes and kale so the meaty juices keep the vegetables moist.

1-1/2 ..............pounds tender, young kale, stems and inner ribs removed
1-1/2 ..............pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 ....................medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 .................cup extra-virgin olive oil
               **Salt and freshly ground pepper**
8 ...................whole chicken legs (about 10 ounces each)
1 ...................teaspoon paprika
             **Lemon wedges, for serving**

1 .          Preheat the oven to 450°. In a very large roasting pan, toss the kale, potatoes and onion with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread in an even layer.
2 .          Set the chicken on a cutting board, skin side down. Slice halfway through the joint between the drumsticks and thighs. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the paprika and set on top of the vegetables.
3 .          Cover the pan with foil. Roast the chicken in the upper third of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for 30 minutes longer, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Transfer the chicken to plates and spoon the vegetables alongside.
           **Serve with lemon wedges**

Suggested  Pairing :
Full-bodied, pear-inflected Chardonnay

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spicy Sausage, Barley, and Mushroom Stew

                           Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 cup)

2 .....................teaspoons olive oil
2 .....................cups thinly sliced onion
8 .....................ounces spicy turkey Italian sausage
1 .....................cup chopped celery
1 .....................cup sliced carrot
2 .....................garlic cloves, minced
1 .....................bay leaf
5 .....................cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 1/2 pound mushrooms)
1-1/2 ..............cups chopped portobello mushroom
1/2 .................cup uncooked pearl barley
3 ....................(15.75-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 ....................tablespoons brandy
1 ....................teaspoon salt
1/4 ................ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 .................cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until slightly soft. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 8 minutes or until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble. Add celery, carrot, garlic, and bay leaf; cook 10 minutes or until onions are golden brown, stirring frequently. Stir in mushrooms; cook 10 minutes or until mushrooms release moisture. Stir in barley, chicken broth, brandy, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until barley is tender. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.
Heart healthy

Sunday, March 16, 2014

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Prep: 15 minutes ... Cook : 10 minutes ...Bake : 40 minutes  Makes :8 servings

1 ................large onion, chopped
1 ................large green bell pepper, chopped
            **Vegetable cooking spray**
2 ................cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
1 ................(10-ounce) can fat-free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 ................(10-ounce) can fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 ................(10-ounce) can diced tomato and green chiles 
1 ................teaspoon chili powder
1/2 .............teaspoon pepper
1/4 .............teaspoon garlic powder
12 ..............(6-inch) corn tortillas
1 ................(8-ounce) block reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded 

1 .           Sauté onion and bell pepper in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender.
2 .          Stir in chicken and next 6 ingredients; remove from heat.
3 .          Tear tortillas into 1-inch pieces; layer one-third tortilla pieces in bottom of a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with one-third chicken mixture and one-third cheese. Repeat layers twice.
3.           Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly.
TIP:
Freeze casserole up to 1 month, if desired. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed.
TIP:
Serve with a veggie-loaded salad and vinaigrette. For added Southwest flavor, whisk a few dashes of hot sauce into the dressing.
Heart Hearty

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Stovetop Red Beans and Rice

Prep /Total: 2 Hours, 45 Minutes
Makes about 10 cups (serving size: about 1 cup bean mixture and 1 cup rice)
Here's a low-fat version of the Louisiana favorite with all the classic, cue-the-trombones flavor you'd expect in this hearty dish.

1 .................pound dried red kidney beans
1/2 ..............pound andouille smoked chicken sausage, thinly sliced 3 .................celery ribs, chopped 
1 .................green bell pepper, chopped 
1 .................medium onion, chopped 
3 .................garlic cloves, minced 
1 .................tablespoon Creole seasoning
3................. cups uncooked long-grain rice
**Garnish: sliced green onions**

1.           Place beans in a Dutch oven; add water 2 inches above beans. Bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute; cover, remove from heat, and soak 1 hour. Drain.
2.          Sauté sausage and next 3 ingredients in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until sausage is browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add beans, Creole seasoning, and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
3.          Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. Serve with red bean mixture. Garnish, if desired.
TIP:
I used Aidells Organic Fully Cooked Cajun Style Andouille Smoked Chicken Sausage.

Try These Twists!
Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice: Omit chicken sausage. Prepare recipe as directed in Step 1.
Coarsely chop celery, green bell pepper, onion, and 1 red bell pepper. Sauté chopped vegetables and garlic in 1 Tbsp. hot olive oil 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Stir together vegetables, beans, Creole seasoning, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 vegetable bouillon cube, and 7 cups water in Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer as directed. Season with salt to taste. Serve with rice. Makes: 10 cups.

Quick Red Beans and Rice: Substitute 2 (16-oz.) cans light kidney beans, drained and rinsed, for dried beans. Reduce Creole seasoning to 2 tsp. Prepare recipe as directed in Step 2, substituting 2 cups low-sodium fat-free chicken broth for 7 cups water and simmering 20 minutes. Serve with rice.
Makes: about 7 cups.

Slow-cooker Red Beans and Rice: Omit Steps 1 and 2. Stir together first 7 ingredients and 7 cups water in a 4-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 7 hours or until beans are tender. Serve with rice.

 Makes: about 10 cups.
Heart healthy

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Son , Family , Memories

Hello my  friends , 
I saw this  cute cartoon in the Sunday paper (3/8/14) ,  I have to share it with you .
It made me think of  my son when he  moved in his  first home  with  his wife  and kids .
When my son was  a  small child  and as  all parents  know  kids  gets into everything  and  it was always  stop it  or  don't  do that  or  get down  from there  , put you  pants  back on  . As parents  you all know  what a handful  your  kids are . 
My son was about  5 or  6 at the time  when he decided  he was  going to move out  and I asked  did he want me to help him pack  and the little devil said  yes . Put  some things in a pillow  case   and  left him on the  back steps .  About  20 minutes  later  I heard  him coming  back inside , my dear Rosa  said  well he's hungry  and I said  yes .  
I heard something in our  bedroom  and went in to  check   and  by dang  that boy was taking my clothes out the  drawers  and putting his  in, I  asked  , son , what are  you doing  and he  looked at me  and said , I'm moving  in here  and  you can have my  room .  I said  son  it  do not work that way  and  I will be glad  when you  have kids of  your own . 
He has four  and it  pleases  me to no  end  to watch him cope .
This  incident  happen  when he  moved in his first home   and they was potting training  the baby  boy , that kid loved watching  the  water going  down the  toilet . He's a smart  little  guy, he would watch  them and he  learn how to pull the level to make  the toilet flush . 
One boy is playing in the water , his wife is  trying to scoop it up , food is  burning  on the stove  , the  youngest  girl  is  holding the screaming baby boy  that started all this  mess (laughing  my  butt off) .
Now  you want to know where  the oldest  girl is, well dear friends  she learned well from me  , she is  hiding in the toilet . 
And  you say  where  am I ,  I am  behind the door  just chuckling . I told him that this would happen .
Now  I am sure  all grandparents  can relate  to  this .
Just  one  word of  wisdom  : Kids  listen  when  your  parents say  you will get pay back . 
My son always asked me  why my hair was  white  , well he is beginning to  find out  .
A proud  grand-poppa 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Creamy Potato Soup

                           Makes 4 serving

3 .................strips (1-1/2 oz. total) turkey bacon, thinly sliced crosswise 
1 ................cup chopped onion  
1 ................pound thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed  
2 ................cups chicken broth 
3 ................tablespoons all-purpose flour 
2 ................cups low-fat (1%) milk
1/4 .............cup chopped parsley 
                       **Salt and pepper **
Preparation:
1.              In a 5- to 6-quart pan, stir bacon over medium-high heat until lightly browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Lift from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
2.            Add onion to pan drippings and stir often until limp, about 3 minutes.
3.           Meanwhile, cut potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes.
4.           Add potatoes and broth to pan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5.          Blend flour and milk until smooth. Add to soup and stir over high heat until boiling, about 3 minutes.
6.          Stir in parsley and ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heart healthy


Monday, March 10, 2014

Amazing things people do....For the Cubs



And here is a picture of my amazing, awesome grandson ( the one we call the Wildman) about to snowboard down a huge mountain in Canada. 'He must be crazy'.


One of Wildman's favorite spots to sit and think

He is happiest when he is in the mountains.


Braised Pork with Lemon and Sage

                          Makes 6 servings
This traditional Italian method used for this dish makes a rather lumpy, toffee-colored sauce, but it is one of the most succulent ways to cook pork. You'll need to uncover the cooker for the last three hours, so plan ahead. Serve with polenta and a green salad. 

Prep and Cook Time: about 25 minutes ... plus 7 to 8 hours in the slow-cooker. 
3 ................pounds boned pork shoulder roast, fat trimmed 
2 ...............tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1-1/2 ........tablespoons kosher salt 
2 ..............teaspoons fresh-ground pepper 
2 ..............tablespoons olive oil  
4 ..............cloves garlic, minced 
5 ..............fresh sage leaves 
3-1/2 ........cups whole milk 
1 ..............teaspoon grated lemon peel 
Preparation:
1.            Rinse pork and pat dry. In a small bowl, mix flour, salt, and pepper; sprinkle mixture over pork. Pour oil into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat; add pork and turn to brown well on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork and any juices to a slow-cooker (at least 5 qt.).
2.           Let pan cool slightly, then add garlic and sage and stir over medium-low heat until garlic turns golden, about 1 minute. Add to the slow-cooker, along with milk and lemon peel.
3.           Cover and cook on high until pork is tender when pierced and sauce is golden brown and reduced by about half, 7 to 8 hours; about 3 hours before pork is done, uncover the crock to let the pan juices reduce and thicken.
4.           Transfer pork to a rimmed board and slice. Serve meat with sauce on the side.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bourbon-Pecan Tart with Chocolate Drizzle

Bourbon-Pecan Tart with Chocolate Drizzle Recipe

Pecan pie is often purely sweet with no undertones, but the bourbon, molasses, and chocolate in this beautiful centerpiece dessert all add complexity of flavor. It's also somewhat thinner than a pie, meaning you get more buttery, flaky crust in each bite. Tip: Make the tart a day ahead, and store it in the refrigerator. You can use a 9-inch pie plate instead: simply roll the dough to a 13-inch circle, fold the edges under, and flute.


Bourbon-Pecan Tart with Chocolate Drizzle Recipe



Ingredients
 1 cup packed light brown sugar                              
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour                               

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon                               

  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted                               

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs                               

  • 1 large egg white                               

  • 2/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped



  •                   
    Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. Combine first 10 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in pecans. Roll dough into a 13-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray. Trim excess crust using a sharp knife. Spoon sugar mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
    3. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over tart.

    Chicken Thighs With Carrots and Potatoes

                              Makes 6 servings
    All you need is 20 minutes to get this dish in the slow  cooker, then you have a hearty chicken and veggie supper waiting for you when you get home
    Makes 6 servings

    1 ...................medium onion  
    4 ...................medium-size new potatoes (about 1 lb.) 
    2 ...................cups baby carrots  
    1/4 ................cup chicken broth 
    1/4 ................cup dry white wine or chicken broth 
    1 ...................teaspoon minced garlic 
    1/2 ................teaspoon dried thyme 
    1-1/4 .............teaspoons salt, divided 
    1/2 ................teaspoon pepper, divided 
    1 ...................teaspoon paprika 
    6 ...................skinned, bone-in chicken thighs 

    Preparation:
    1.           Halve onion lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place onion in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker; top with potatoes and carrots.
    2.          Combine broth, next 3 ingredients, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pour over vegetables.
    3.          Combine paprika and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper; rub over chicken. Arrange chicken on top of vegetables.
    4.         Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.
    Heart healthy

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

    Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter–Pecan Frosting

    Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter–Pecan Frosting Recipe
    Put those ripe, speckled bananas to good use. This dish starts with roasting bananas which adds caramelized notes to their tropical sweetness. The bananas flavor the light-and-fluffy bars, which are topped with cream cheese icing and chopped pecans for the perfect amount of tanginess and crunch.


  • Bars:
  • 2 cups sliced ripe banana (about 3 medium)
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 9 ounces cake flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar                               

  • 2 large eggs                               

  • Baking spray with flour
  • Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened                               

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted 
  •                               

  • Preparation

    1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°.
    2. 2. To prepare bars, combine banana, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon butter in an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes, stirring after 17 minutes. Cool slightly.
    3. 3. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°.
    4. 4. Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 9 ounces (about 2 1/4 cups) flour, soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Combine banana mixture, buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in another medium bowl. Place 1/2 cup butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs to granulated sugar mixture; mix well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternating with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
    5. 5. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
    6. 6. To prepare frosting, melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly. Combine browned butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled bars. Sprinkle with pecans

    Warm Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie

    Warm Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie Recipe

    Warm, cinnamon apples combine with a creamy custard for a fun twist on apple pie. Tip: The key to both a flaky piecrust and crisp streusel topping is to keep them as cold as possible before putting them into the oven.


  • Crust:
  • 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
  • Cooking spray                               


  • Streusel:
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour                               
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  •                               
  • Filling:
  • 5 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 2 pounds)                               
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided                               
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour                               
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs                               
  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 325º.
    2. To prepare crust, roll dough into a 14-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch deep dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Place pie plate in refrigerator until ready to use.
    3. To prepare streusel, lightly spoon 1/3 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1/3 cup flour, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Place streusel in refrigerator.
    4. To prepare the filling, heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add sliced apple, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cook 10 minutes or until the apple is tender, stirring mixture occasionally. Spoon the apple mixture into prepared crust.
    5. Combine remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Pour over apple mixture. Bake at 325º for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300º (do not remove pie from oven); sprinkle streusel over pie. Bake at 300º for 40 minutes or until set. Let stand 1 hour before serving.