Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

The cheesecake itself has the perfect texture – wonderfully creamy and melts in your mouth. Pair that with the double crust, a bite of fudgy brownie in every other forkful and a layer of rich, bittersweet chocolate ganache and really – cheesecake (or life, for that matter) does not get much better than that. We tried it and it's awesome. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

For the Brownies:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
1¾ cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

For the Crumb Crust:
1½ cups or 5 ounces (3 cups or 10 ounces to double) finely ground Oreos, or other chocolate cookie
5 tablespoons (10 tablespoons to double) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup (2/3 cup to double) granulated sugar
1/8 teaspooon (¼ teaspoon to double) salt

For the Cheesecake:
3 (8-oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Ganache Glaze:
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon powdered sugar


Directions:

1. To make the Brownies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil.
2. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minute or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles.
4. Cool brownies, then cut them into 3/4- to 1-inch squares for use in the cheesecake (I used a pizza cutter, per Deb's recommendation). You will have more than the two cups of cubes, loosely measured, than you will need, and I'm sorry, you're just going to have to decide for yourself what to do with the extra. Add cubes to cake batter as directed below.
5. To make the Crumb Crust: Stir together the Crumb Crust ingredients and press into bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 10" springform pan. Fill right away or chill for up to 2 hours.
6. To make the Cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350°F.
7. Beat together cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.
8. Fold brownie cubes in very gently. Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and place on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch drips) in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken.
9. When completely cool, top with following glaze.
10. To make the Ganache Glaze: Place finely chopped chocolate in a medium size mixing bowl. Scald the butter and cream together in a saucepan (or in the microwave on HIGH for 1 minute). Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla and then whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread over cheesecake while ganache is still warm. Chill until ready to serve. It's fabulous and you are amazing and a wonderful baker.


Many thanx to the Brown Eyed Baker.....


http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2008/10/11/brownie-mosaic-cheesecake/

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Grilled Honey-Mustard Pork Tenderloin

         Prep Time: 10 Minutes ......... Chill: 2 Hours    
 Grill: 30 Minutes ...........Stand: 10 Minutes
Fire up the grill to prepare a succulent pork tenderloin marinated in a delicious honey-mustard sauce.

2 .................1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 ..............cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 ..............cup red wine vinegar
1/4 ..............cup olive oil
1/4.............. cup honey
3 .................tablespoons country-Dijon mustard
2 .................garlic cloves, minced
1 .................tablespoon kosher salt
                   **1-1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper**

1.           Remove silver skin from tenderloin, leaving a thin layer of fat covering the tenderloin.
2.           Stir together chopped parsley and next 7 ingredients until blended. Pour mixture in a large, shallow dish or zip-top plastic freezer bag; add pork, cover or seal, and chill at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Remove pork, discarding marinade.
3.           Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Grill tenderloin, covered with grill lid, 8 to 10 minutes on all sides or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 150° to 155°. Remove tenderloin from grill, and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Heart healthy
 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

                                       Makes 6 servings

These simply-seasoned grilled pork tenderloin sandwiches are topped with a sweet onion barbecue sauce and served on whole wheat buns. Add vitamin-rich leafy greens, such as romaine lettuce, Bibb lettuce, or peppery arugula.

1.................... teaspoon garlic powder
1 ....................teaspoon salt
1 ....................teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 .................teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
2 ....................(3/4-lb.) pork tenderloins
                 **Vegetable cooking spray**
6 ...................whole wheat hamburger buns
6 ...................tablespoons Vidalia Onion Barbecue Sauce

1.              Stir together first 4 ingredients; rub pork tenderloins evenly with seasoning mixture. Lightly coat pork with vegetable cooking spray.
2.              Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 10 to 12 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portions registers 155°. Remove from grill, and let stand 10 minutes. Chop or slice, and serve on hamburger buns. Drizzle each sandwich with 1 tablespoon Vidalia Onion Barbecue Sauce.
Heart healthy

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Whole Grilled Fish with Crispy Garlic and Red Chiles

              TOTAL TIME: 45 MINUTES ... SERVINGS: 6

6 ......................18-inch-long banana leaves, rinsed (see TIP)
3 ......................tablespoons minced fresh ginger
6 ......................scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced separately
2 ......................2-pound whole red snappers
1/4 ...................cup sherry
1/4 ...................cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 ...................cup vegetable oil
8 ......................large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 ......................fresh long red chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
                                       **Salt**
1/2 ...................cup cilantro leaves
                                      **Lime wedges, for serving**

1 .               Light a grill and line the grate with lightly oiled heavy-duty aluminum foil. Arrange the banana leaves in two stacks of 3 and sprinkle each with one-fourth of the ginger and scallion whites. Cut 3 gashes into the flesh on both sides of each fish, cutting to the bone. Set the fish on the banana leaves and scatter the remaining ginger and scallion whites on top. Sprinkle with the sherry and soy sauce. Fold the leaves over the fish and tie each packet in 3 places with kitchen string.
2.               Place the packets on the grate, close the grill and cook over high heat for 25 minutes, turning the packets once, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the fish registers 140°. Carefully transfer the packets to a platter and let rest for 2 minutes. Cut them open and peel back the banana leaves.
3.               Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and chiles and cook over low heat, stirring, until the garlic is crisp, 2 minutes. Spoon the oil, garlic and chiles over the fish; season with salt. Scatter the cilantro and scallion greens on top and serve with lime wedges.
TIP:
Banana leaves are available in Latin and Asian markets.

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Beer Chimay Red, a Belgian Trappist beer, has a fruity richness that balances the chiles here. For wine, try a lemony Semillon.
Heart healthy

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Waldorf Chicken Salad

                                        Makes 4 servings
3 ..................chicken breast halves on the bone, with skin (about 14 ounces each)
2 .................large garlic cloves, minced
1 .................teaspoon ground fennel seeds
                   **Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper**
7 ................tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1................ cup walnut halves (4 ounces)
1................ tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 .............teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 ................ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1/4 cup)
1/4 .............cup buttermilk
1/2 .............teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 ................cup red seedless grapes, halved
2................ Fuji apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 ................celery ribs, thinly sliced
5 ................ounces mesclun salad greens
2 ................tablespoons chopped parsley
2................ tablespoons chopped tarragon
2 ................tablespoons snipped chives

1 .          Make 3 deep slashes in each chicken breast. In a small bowl, mash the garlic, fennel, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the oil. Rub the mixture all over the chicken and into the slashes. Transfer to a small roasting pan, cover and let stand for 1 hour.
2.           Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast for 10 minutes, until browned and fragrant. Let cool.
3.            Roast the chicken for about 40 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool slightly, then discard the skin and thinly slice the meat.
4.             In a food processor, blend the vinegar with the mustard and the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Blend in the cheese and buttermilk. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the lemon zest and season the dressing with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken with the walnuts, grapes, apples, celery, mesclun, parsley, tarragon and chives. Add the dressing, toss well and serve.

Heart healthy
 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Coconut-Curry Grilled Chicken

PREP / TOTAL TIME: 3 HOURS    PLUS OVERNIGHT MARINATING   ..........SERVINGS: 20

1 .................head of garlic, cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
6 ................serrano chiles, seeded and chopped
3 ................tablespoons sugar
2 ................tablespoons ground coriander
1................ tablespoon turmeric
1................ tablespoon curry powder
1 ................teaspoon salt
1/3............. cup Asian fish sauce
5................3-pound chickens, backbones removed, chickens cut into 8 pieces each
                          **Salt**
                          **freshly ground pepper**
1.................14-ounce can coconut milk

1.             In a food processor, combine the garlic, serranos, sugar, coriander, turmeric, curry powder and salt. Pulse to mix. Add the fish sauce and process to a paste, about 30 seconds. Transfer the spice paste to a medium bowl.
2.            Season the chicken with salt and pepper and rub the pieces with 6 tablespoons of the spice paste. Transfer the chicken parts to 4 large, sturdy resealable plastic bags. Whisk the coconut milk into the remaining spice paste in the bowl. Pour the spiced coconut milk into the bags of chicken; gently squeeze out the air in the bags and seal. Turn the bags to coat the chicken thoroughly. Set the bags on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight.
3.             Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove the chicken from the bags; discard the marinade. Arrange the chicken on 3 large, rimmed baking sheets, skin side up, keeping all of the breast pieces together on the same sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken in batches until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 165°, about 25 minutes for white meat; and 35 to 40 minutes for dark meat. If oven space allows, roast two sheets at once: increase the cooking time by 10 minutes for both the white and dark meat. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest while you roast the rest.
4.            Shortly before serving, light a grill. Grill the chicken skin side down over moderate heat until heated through and the skin is crisp. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.

Heart healthy

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Honey-Glazed Baby Back Ribs with Whiskey Marinade

            PREP / TOTAL TIME: 5 Hours 30 minutes 
                          MAKES 8  SERVING
You can roasts these meaty, tender ribs for two to three hours over a low fire for a fabulously smoky flavor. In this easy adaptation, the ribs are slow-cooked in the oven, then finished on the grill. Baby back ribs cut across the bone are the classic Thai choice, but whole ribs are just as delicious.

MARINATED RIBS:

3 ......................racks baby back ribs (about 5 pounds)
1/4 ..................cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 ..................cup plus 2 tablespoons whiskey
1/4 ..................cup honey
2..................... tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
1-1/2.............. teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
1 .....................teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 .................teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 .................teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

HONEY GLAZE AND DIPPING SAUCE:
1/4 ................cup honey
2 ...................tablespoons hot water
1/2 ................cup fresh lime juice
1/4 ................cup fish sauce
1/4 ................cup soy sauce
1/4 ................cup Korean red pepper flakes or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 ................cup chopped cilantro
2 ...................tablespoons sugar

1.           Arrange the rib racks in a large glass or ceramic baking dish, overlapping them slightly. In a medium bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the whiskey, honey, ginger, white pepper, sesame oil, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour the marinade over the ribs and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
2.            In a small bowl, combine the honey with the hot water. In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice with the fish sauce, soy sauce, pepper flakes, cilantro and sugar; stir until the sugar is dissolved.
3.             Preheat the oven to 300°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the ribs on the baking sheet, meaty side up. Roast for about 2 hours, until tender. Baste the ribs with the honey mixture and roast for another 15 minutes, until browned and glossy. Remove the ribs from the oven and baste again with the honey mixture.
4.           Preheat a grill. Grill the ribs over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes. Transfer the racks to a cutting board and cut into individual ribs. Arrange the ribs on a platter and serve the dipping sauce alongside.

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
These slow-cooked pork ribs have a sweet-tart marinade that makes them delicious with a dry, crisp Ferrari-Carano Provençal rosé.
Heart healthy

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Curry- and Ginger-Rubbed Lamb Chops with Apricot-Lime Sauce

My guests found these lambchops so delicious, they went back for more and nibbled the bones clean. Time to get out that grill.

This dish can be dressed up for a holiday dinner, or served as a casual summer meal.

Ingredients




  2 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

  1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

  1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil                               


  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt                               

  1/8 teaspoon black pepper

  8 (6-ounce) lamb shoulder chops, trimmed

  1/2 cup Apricot-Lime Sauce





Apricot-Lime Sauce


2/3 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)                               
1/3 cup golden raisins                               
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint                
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar                               
1/4 cup ketchup 
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce                 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt                               
1/4 teaspoon black pepper   

 

Preparation

Melt the preserves in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Remove from heat

Preparation of chops

  1. Prepare grill.
  2. Combine the curry, ginger, oil, salt, and pepper; rub paste evenly over lamb.
  3. Place lamb on grill rack, and cook 4 minutes. Turn lamb; brush with 1/4 cup Apricot-Lime Sauce. Cook for 4 minutes. Turn lamb, and brush with 1/4 cup sauce. Cook 2 minutes, turning once.

Smoked Gouda and Bacon Burgers with Barbecue Sauce

PREP / TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES  ... MAKES  4 SERVINGS                      ***oil ***
1 ...................pound onion, halved and thinly sliced
                     ***Salt ***
1/4................ cup Frank’s RedHot or other hot sauce
1/4 ................cup beef broth
6................... tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 ...................1/2-inch-thick slices of firm white bread
8 ...................slices of thick-cut bacon
2 ...................pounds ground beef chuck or ground turkey (20 percent fat), formed into 4 patties the same size as the bread slices
3 ...................ounces smoked Gouda, shredded (1 cup)
1/4 ................cup Sweet Barbeque Sauce (recipe below)

1.           In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until the onion is crisp-tender and just turning translucent, 5 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce and beef broth and remove from the heat. Season with salt.
2.           Heat a large griddle. Spread the butter on 1 side of each bread slice and griddle buttered side down over moderate heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the toasts to a plate. Add the bacon to the griddle and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 4 minutes per side; drain on paper towels. Wipe off the griddle.
3.           Season the beef patties with salt and cook on the griddle over moderately high heat until medium-rare, about 2 minutes per side. Top each burger with 1/4 cup of smoked Gouda and cook until the cheese melts, 1 minute.
4.           Set the burgers on the unbuttered sides of 4 toasts. Top with the bacon, onion and Sweet Barbecue Sauce. Close the burgers and serve, passing more barbecue sauce at the table.

Make Ahead The onion can be refrigerated overnight and reheated gently before serving.

Suggested Pairing
Slows boasts a superb lineup of beers on tapmostly from Michiganand this indulgent burger can handle a beer with pretty assertive hops. Try Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale or New Holland Brewing’s Mad Hatter IPA .

                           ***Sweet Barbeque Sauce :***
2 .....................tablespoons vegetable oil
1 .....................large onion, thinly sliced
***Salt ***
2 .....................tablespoons unsalted butter
1..................... cup ketchup
1/2................. cup dark brown sugar
1/2 .................cup apple juice
3.................... tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2.................... tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 ....................tablespoons unsulfured molasses
In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until richly browned, about 20 minutes. Add the butter and melt. Add the ketchup, brown sugar, apple juice, lemon juice, ginger and molasses. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 2 cups, about 25 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree. Season with salt.

Make Ahead The barbecue sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Heart healthy

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thai Tuna Burgers with Ginger-Lemon Mayonnaise

TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR ..... SERVINGS: 4
These offbeat tuna burgers were loosely inspired by a Thai fried white fish patty called tod man pla. The Thai cucumber salad stands in for pickles. Use sushi-quality tuna so you can serve the burgers medium rare.

2 ...............Kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/4 ............medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 ...............tablespoons rice vinegar
1 ...............tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
      **Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper**
2 ..............teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 ..............garlic clove, smashed
1 .............Thai or serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 ..............tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 ..............tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 ............ .tablespoon finely chopped basil
1-1/2 ..... ..pounds sushi-quality tuna
1-1/2 ..... ..tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2...... ..teaspoons Asian sesame oil
4 ..............hamburger buns
  **Ginger-Lemon Mayonnaise (recipe below)
2 ..............tablespoons finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

1.       In a medium bowl, toss the cucumbers, onion, vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Season with pepper and let stand for 1 hour at room temperature.
2.      In a mortar or medium bowl, using the back of a spoon, mash the ginger with the garlic, chile and remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar to a paste. Stir in the fish sauce, cilantro and basil. On a clean cutting board, thinly slice the tuna. Stack the slices and cut into thin matchsticks. Cut the matchsticks into rough cubes, then chop until the pieces are roughly 1/8 inch. Add the tuna to the ginger paste and stir until evenly combined.
3.       Using lightly moistened hands, shape the tuna mixture into 4 patties about 1 inch thick. Set them on a large plate lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the tuna burgers for 20 minutes.   

4.       Light a grill. In a small bowl, combine the vegetable oil with the sesame oil. Lightly brush the burgers and the cut sides of the buns with oil. When the fire is medium hot, brush the grate with oil. Grill the burgers for 6 minutes, turning once, for medium rare. Move the burgers away from the heat and grill the cut sides of the buns until toasted, 1 minute.
5.        Drain the cucumber salad. Spread the Ginger-Lemon Mayonnaise on the cut sides of the buns and set the tuna burgers on the bottoms. Top with the cucumber salad and peanuts. Cover the burgers with the buns and serve.

Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated for up to 3 hours.

Suggested Pairing:
Beer with an aromatic golden lager will complement the rich tuna here. Look for one with hoppy or lemony flavors, such as Asahi Super Premium from Japan or Singha Lager from Thailand.

 Lemon Ginger-Lemon Mayonnaise:
1 ...........cup mayonnaise
2.......... .tablespoons soy sauce
2 ...........tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 ......... .tablespoons finely chopped scallion greens
1 ...........tablespoon black sesame seeds or toasted sesame seeds
2 ...........teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
         **Finely grated zest of 1 lemon**
2 ...........teaspoons fresh lemon juice
          **Freshly ground pepper **
In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients.

Make ahead the mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Heart  healthy

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter

Corn Bread with Broccoli and Cheese

                     Prep : 15 minutes ... Cook : 10 minutes ... serves 6

Horseradish , Ham , Dijon mustard and soft pretzel rolls round out this easy to make sandwich . This is a tasty recipe for those looking to try something new , yet familiar .

1 ...............package soft pretzel rolls (6 rolls)
1/4 ............cup Mayonnaise
2................teaspoons horseradish
1................teaspoon Jack Daniel's old number 7 mustard ( or mustard of your choice)
                            **zest of lemon (optional)**
                            **Pinch of black pepper **
6.................slices deli-style baked ham
3................slices Swiss cheese . cut into half pieces
                           **Green lettuce leaf**

1 .                Prepare pretzel rolls according to package directions and cool .
2 . ..............In a small bowl , whisk together mayonnaise , horseradish , mustard , zest and pepper .
3.                To assemble sandwiches , split rolls in half and arrange on a tray . Spread one side of each roll with horseradish sauce . Arrange ham , Swiss cheese and lettuce on each sandwich . Cover with tops to finish sandwiches and serve .

Heart Healthy

Friday, April 18, 2014

WOW!! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BIRTHDAY CARD!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH MY WONDERFUL CUBS.
YOU MADE ME DANCE FOR JOY


I LOVE YOU ALL A WHOLE LOT
AUNT JEANNIE

Happy Birthday Aunt Jeannie


Whatever you ask , may  you receive ,
Whatever  you seek , may you find ,
Whatever  you  wish , May it be fulfilled ,
On  your Birthday  and always .

From the Cubs ................
Jonny , Sha , Jenny , Man  Carano
Chris , Sheryl , Bubba  Landrieu

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Food for Thought : Sweet Easter

Easter is almost here, which means if you haven’t already filled your Easter baskets with those sweet treats children and adults crave, you’d better get a move on.
It used to be such a simple thing. Go to the store, grab some jelly beans, Peeps, Robin Eggs and chocolate bunnies and you’re done. But now, with so many more choices and even more variations on the classics, it can be difficult deciding what goes into your baskets. So, in the quest to find the most popular Easter candy, I asked around to see what people preferred in their Easter baskets. Some favorites included red jelly beans, Cadbury Eggs, Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, chocolate bunnies (hollow or solid) and who would have thought carrot cake M&Ms.
So here in no particular order are some of the all-time favorites. So go fill those baskets, or just skip the basket and go straight for the candy
*******************************************
Peeps. These chick or rabbit-shaped marshmallow delights covered in sugar at one time only came in a few choice colors yellow or pink. But since their introduction more than 60 years ago, there are now a lot more colors and flavors from which to choose.
*************************************************
Chocolate bunny. An Easter basket is not an Easter basket if it doesn’t have at least one of these. Although they come in different sizes, the bigger the better. But one thing’s for sure nobody can pass up the opportunity to bite off the ears of this Easter mainstay.
Cadbury Creme Eggs. Not to be confused with Cadbury Mini Eggs, this egg-shaped mound of chocolate is filled with a white and yellow gooey fondant that is supposed to resemble the inside of an actual egg.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. If you’re a fan of peanut butter and chocolate, these egg-shaped peanut butter delights surrounded by chocolate are a must for Easter baskets.
Robin Eggs. These malt-filled chocolate eggs covered in a speckled pastel shell add plenty of crunch to your Easter basket offering offerings.*****************************


*****Jelly beans. These colorful bean-shaped sugary treats have filled many an Easter basket. Not only do they come in a variety of colors, depending on the brand you choose, the different flavors are seemingly endless.
***** Cadbury Mini Eggs. These miniature crunch-coated eggs could very well be placed in the same category with Robin Eggs; but let’s face it, they deserve their own spot.
*****Chocolate Marshmallow Eggs. If you have a hankering for marshmallows, these chocolate-covered treats should be included in your Easter basket. And you can’t miss them in the store. They’re the ones in the egg cartons.
*****Bunny Munny. Something fun for the little ones, this coin-shaped assortment of crispy milk chocolate is wrapped in colorful paper.

Words of Wisdom
"I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation."

"I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly a list of beautiful quotations from minds profound - if I can only remember any of the damn things."

"There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything and people who know absolutely nothing."

"Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory."

"If nobody spoke unless they had something to say, the human race would very soon lose the use of speech."

A Proud Grandpa              G.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ham & Swiss Pretzel Rolls

Prep : 15 minutes ... Cook : 10 minutes ... serves 6

Horseradish , Ham , Dijon mustard and soft pretzel rolls round out this easy to make sandwich . This is a tasty recipe for those looking to try something new , yet familiar .

1 ...............package soft pretzel rolls (6 rolls)
1/4 ............cup Mayonnaise
2................teaspoons horseradish
1................teaspoon Jack Daniel's old number 7 mustard ( or mustard of your choice)
            zest of lemon (optional)
            Pinch of black pepper
6.................slices deli-style baked ham
3................slices Swiss cheese . cut into half pieces
          Green lettuce leaf

1 .        Prepare pretzel rolls according to package directions and cool .
2 .         In a small bowl , whisk together mayonnaise , horseradish , mustard , zest and pepper .
3.         To assemble sandwiches , split rolls in half and arrange on a tray . Spread one side of each roll with horseradish sauce . Arrange ham , Swiss cheese and lettuce on each sandwich . Cover with tops to finish sandwiches and serve .

Heart healthy
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Glazed Pineapple Ham

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 minutes ... Bake: 2-1/4 hours + standing ... 16 servings

1 fully cooked bone-in ham (7 to 9 pounds)
Whole cloves

GLAZE/SAUCE:
2 ..................tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 ..............cup cold water
2-1/2 ...........cups packed dark brown sugar, divided
1 .................can (20 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained
1/4 .............cup lemon juice
2 ................tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 .............teaspoon salt
1 ................cup packed light brown sugar

1.       Place ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Using a sharp knife, score surface of ham with 1/4-in.-deep cuts in a diamond pattern; insert a clove in each diamond. Cover and bake at 325° for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until a thermometer reaches 130°.
2.       Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in water; stir in 2 cups dark brown sugar, pineapple, lemon juice, mustard and salt. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
3.        Reserve 2 cups for sauce; keep warm. Remove ham from oven. Increase oven setting to 425°. Pour remaining pineapple mixture over ham. In a small bowl, mix light brown sugar and remaining dark brown sugar; spread over ham.
4.        Bake ham, uncovered, 10-15 minutes longer or until a thermometer reads 140°. Serve with reserved sauce. Yield: 20 servings.

Heart healthy
 
 
 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fish Italiano

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 minutes ... Cook: 30 minutes .. 4 servings

2 ..................tablespoons chopped onion
1 ..................garlic clove, minced
1 ..................tablespoon olive oil
1 ..................cup canned Italian diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 ...............cup white wine
1/4 ...............cup sliced ripe olives
1-1/2 ............teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 ...............teaspoon salt
1 ..................pound cod, haddock or orange roughy fillets

1. In a skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in tomatoes, wine, olives, parsley and salt. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
2. Add fillets. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove fish to serving plates; keep warm. Simmer sauce, uncovered, for about 4 minutes or until it reaches desired thickness.

Heart healthy    

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Catfish Courtbouillon

Prep / Total Time: 1 Hour ... 45 Minutes
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon. Stephen and co-owner Donald Link conceived Cochon as a shrine to ultra-authentic Cajun foods. That means using the freshest local ingredients available and making ingredients like boudin and andouille sausage the old-fashioned way in the back of the restaurant. Unlike its French ancestor, a light broth used for poaching, a Cajun-style courtbouillon is a thick sort of fish stew, here made even more delicious by frying the fish first.

2 ..................red bell peppers
2 .................green bell peppers
2 .................poblano peppers
1 ..................jalapeño pepper
3 .................medium tomatoes
1 .................whole head garlic
5 .................tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2................. tablespoons butter
1 .................large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
6 .................medium cloves garlic, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
2 .................cups fish or seafood stock (for testing purposes, I used Kitchen Basics brand)
1/2................ cup red wine vinegar
**Hot sauce, to taste**
**Salt, to taste **
**Freshly ground pepper, to taste**

1/4 ................cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 ................cup fresh parsley
4 ....................green onions, sliced
1/2 .................teaspoon lemon juice
1 ....................cup all-purpose flour
1..................... cup self-rising white cornmeal mix
2 .....................pounds small catfish fillets
**Hot cooked rice **

1.           Preheat broiler. Broil peppers and tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet 5 inches from heat, with oven door partially open, about 5 minutes on each side or until blistered. Place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins. Open bag, and allow to cool. Peel peppers and tomatoes; remove and discard seeds and stems from peppers.
2.           Reduce oven temperature to 400º. Cut off pointed end of garlic head; place on a piece of aluminum foil, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Fold foil to seal. Bake at 1 hour; remove and allow to cool. Squeeze pulp from garlic cloves, and place in a food processor with peeled peppers and tomatoes. Pulse until roughly chopped and a chunky consistency.
3.          Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until soft and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add chopped raw garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in chopped pepper mixture.
4.          Add stock and vinegar, and bring to a low boil. Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or until sauce has a thick, stew-like consistency. Season with hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir in mint and next 3 ingredients.
5.         Combine flour and cornmeal in a shallow dish. Season catfish with salt and pepper, and dredge in cornmeal mixture, pressing to adhere. Heat remaining 4 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat, and fry catfish in batches, 3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet, and place in a 200º oven to keep warm.
6.           Place rice on a large serving platter. Remove fish from oven, and arrange on top of rice. Spoon sauce over fish and serve remaining sauce alongside. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.
Heart healthy


Thanx   Emil

Zesty Barbecued Chicken (Crockpot)

Zesty Barbecue Chicken {Crock Pot}

Zesty Barbecue Chicken (Crock Pot)

Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (can be frozen)
  • 1 (12 oz.) bottle barbeque sauce
  • ½ cup Italian salad dressing
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Pour over the chicken.
  2. Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low.
  3. Serve as is or shred chicken and stir. Serve on a bun.

I have tried the recipe and and my grandkids loved it with a salad on the side. A guaranteed success...Thankyou Becky

Saturday, April 12, 2014

B52 Orange Mocha Cake

B52 Cake
B-52 Cake
3 cups cake flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 oz box Instant vanilla pudding mix
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups butter, melted
3/4 cup water
2-3 tsp blood orange essential oil
orange food coloring, optional
1/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1 recipe Milk Chocolate Whipped Ganache: recipe below
2 tsp blood orange essential oil
1 batch Swiss Meringue Buttercream: recipe below
1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream

Milk Chocolate Whipped Ganache:
This is a great alternative for buttercream, when frosting or filling a cake
 10/11 oz bag good quality milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp flavoring extract (optional)
2 tbsp butter
         
Place chocolate chips into a glass mixing bowl, and put aside.
In a small saucepan, combine heavy whipping cream, flavor extract (if using), and butter. Heat to a boil, remove from heat.
Pour hot cream mixture into bowl of chocolate chips. Let sit for 3-5 minutes. Starting in the middle of the bowl, slowly start stirring the chocolate and cream until all of the chocolate is melted and the cream has disappeared into it – it should be smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap, preferably resting right on top of the surface – this prevents a skin from forming while it cools.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then whip with a stand or electric hand mixer for 2-5 minutes, or until fluffy.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
This is the base for all of our delicious frostings… Light, yet rich and soo creamy!
5 egg whites
1 cup granulated (NOT powdered!) sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Mix egg whites and sugar in a *clean* metal mixing bowl, and place over a pot of simmering water on your stovetop. Whisk occasionally until it hits 160 degrees.
Move egg mixture to your stand mixer and whip on high (using the whisk attachment) until stiff peaks form, and mixture is relatively cool. While waiting, cut up the butter into chunks.
When Meringue has reached the stiff peaks stage, switch to low speed and add the butter a chunk at a time. Add vanilla.
Once vanilla and butter is incorporated into the mix, turn speed back up to high and whip until you have a smooth buttercream. It will go through some weird stages before this point – soupy, maybe curdled. Don’t worry! It will come together!
 
Cake Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Liberally grease two 8″ round cake pans with vegetable shortening, and/or spray with baking spray.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl.
 Add in eggs, beating just until smooth.
Carefully add melted butter to the batter, mixing on medium speed until smooth.
  Divide batter evenly into two bowls. Add water and blood orange essential oil to one bowl, beating until well incorporated and smooth.
 Taste, adding more blood orange essential oil if desired. Tint orange, if desired. Add cocoa powder to second bowl, stirring until evenly distributed.
 Add coffee, beat once more until fully incorporated and smooth.
Divide batter among prepared cake pans, one flavor per pan. Bake until golden and knife inserted into center of batter comes out clean and cake springs back – about 45-60 minutes.
 Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before turning cakes out onto baking rack to cool fully. Ideally, allow to cool to room temperature, wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Allow cake to sit overnight.
Prepare a batch of milk chocolate whipped ganache, flavoring the whipped cream – while heating – with blood orange essential oil.
Prepare Swiss meringue buttercream, flavoring it with Bailey’s instead of the vanilla.

To assemble cake:
Remove plastic wrap from cake layers. Carefully slice the domed top off each round, leveling the surface of the cake. Carefully cut each cake in half, horizontally, for 4 thin rounds of cake in all.
Place one round of orange cake on cake plate, spread with ganache. Top with a round of mocha cake, spread with buttercream. Top with second round of orange cake. Spread with a final layer of ganache, and top with remaining layer of mocha cake. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining buttercream. Serve at room temperature.


Note: This cake gets VERY hard when chilled. Always serve cakes at room
 temperature! Cold cake is DRY cake.
Your family will be amazed by your awesomeness as a baker.


Thanx to Marie Porter at Celebration Generation 

http://www.celebrationgeneration.com/blog

Friday, April 11, 2014

Triple-Decker Strawberry Cake

                           Makes 16 servings
This three-layer strawberry cake gets its delicious flavor from chopped fresh strawberries and strawberry gelatin. Slather with the homemade strawberry buttercream frosting for a rich cake that's truly out of this world.

1 ................(18.25-ounce) package white cake mix 
1 ................(3-ounce) package strawberry gelatin 4 .................large eggs
1/2 .............cup sugar
1/4 .............cup all-purpose flour
1/2 .............cup finely chopped fresh strawberries 1................. cup vegetable oil
1/2 ..............cup milk
***Strawberry Buttercream Frosting (recipe below)***
      **Garnish: whole strawberries** 

1  .         Beat the cake mix and next 7 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Scrape down the sides, and beat at medium speed 2 more minutes, stopping to scrape down sides, if needed. (Strawberries should be well blended into batter.)
2.             Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch cake-pans.
3.         Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.
4.            Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
5.            Spread Strawberry Buttercream Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately, or chill up to 1 week.
TIP:
I used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic White Cake Mix without pudding.
To make ahead:
Place finished cake in the refrigerator, uncovered, and chill for 20 minutes or until the frosting sets. Cover well with wax paper, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To freeze:
Wrap chilled cake with aluminum foil, and freeze up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
TIP:
This cake keeps best in the refrigerator.

***Strawberry Buttercream Frosting ***

Perk up a traditional buttercream frosting by adding fresh chopped strawberries. The fresh strawberries add flavor and a beautiful pink tone to the frosting
1 ................cup butter, softened
2 ................(16-ounce) packages powdered sugar, sifted
1 ...............cup finely chopped fresh strawberries

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 20 seconds or until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and chopped strawberries, beating at low speed until creamy.
(Add more sugar if frosting is too thin, or add strawberries if too thick.)
Heart Healthy

Sauvignon Blanc

Total: 2 Hours, 35 Minutes ... Makes 12 servings

2/3 ...................cup milk
1/3 ...................cup Sauvignon Blanc
1...................... cup butter, softened
2 ......................cups sugar
4 ......................large eggs 
3 ......................cups all-purpose flour
1/2 ...................teaspoon baking powder
1/2 ...................teaspoon baking soda
1/4................... teaspoon salt
1 ......................teaspoon vanilla extract 
         **Sauvignon Blanc Glaze (recipe below)**
1.            Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together milk and wine; let stand 10 minutes.
2.            Meanwhile, beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
3.            Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan.
4.           Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Brush or drizzle Sauvignon Blanc Glaze over top and sides of cake. Cool completely (about 1 hour).
Sauvignon Blanc Glaze:
1-1/2 ............cups powdered sugar
2 ..................tablespoons Sauvignon Blanc
1 ..................tablespoon milk

Whisk together powdered sugar, Sauvignon Blanc, and milk until smooth.
Heart healthy

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Food for Thought : Testing Week for Our Area Students


Hello  my  friends .
You may have heard this week is testing week  for our area students . Eating  a healthy breakfast  will help set  you for a day of eating . A healthy breakfast  is important for kids year-round  , but a well-balance breakfast  is especially  important  on tasting days . Children who eat  breakfast  are significantly  less likely to be over weight . School breakfast improves test  results  as well as well as memory  and verbal skills . It may seem  convenient  to grab  prepackaged  foods or go  through a drive-through  , but in the long  run  , these options  will end up costing you  more money  and most likely  do not contribute  to long-term health  goals . Avoid products  that are  made with abundance  of added sugars  and fat . Although  these can provide  immediate energy  , later sugar  and insulin  levels  will fall , creating periods  of extreme  tiredness . Here are a few  tips  to help you and your  child  have a healthy breakfast .
Plan ahead :
When you plan your meals  for the week , make sure  you include breakfast . Many breakfast  options  can be made  ahead  for the week or several days ,
Have  a portable Breakfast :
In Case you are running  late  have a portable breakfast  ready to  go . Portion  out  dry cereal  or chopped fruit  into sandwich bags . Buy  single-serve  yogurt  and fruit  cups  . All of these are  great when  you are in a hurry .
Think outside the box :
Turkey or peanut  butter  sandwiches  make  a good quick breakfast .
 Words Of Wisdom :              
                9 Things I Hate About Everyone
1.            People who point at their wrist asking for the time... I know where my watch is pal, where the hell is yours? Do I point at my crotch when I ask where the toilet is?
2.           People who are willing to get off their a** to search the entire room for the TV remote because they refuse to walk to the TV and change the channel manually.
3.          When people say "Oh you just want to have your cake and eat it too". Damn Right! What good is cake if you can't eat it?
4.          When people say "it's always the last place you look". Of course it is. Why the hell would you keep looking after you've found it? Do people do this? Who and where are they?
5.           When people say while watching a film, "did ya see that?" No Loser, I paid $12 to come to the cinema and stare at the damn floor!
6.           People who ask "Can I ask you a question?"... Didn't give me a choice there, did ya sunshine?
7.           When something is 'new and improved'. Which is it? If it's new, then there has never been anything before it. If it's an improvement, then there must have been something before it, couldn't be new.
8.            When people say "life is short". What the hell??? Life is the longest damn thing anyone ever does!!! What can you do thats longer?
9.           When you are waiting for the bus and someone asks "Has the bus come yet?" If the bus came, would I be standing here?

A proud  grand-poppa                  G.
 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chicken -- Coq au Vin

Prep /Total time : 1 hour
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.

3.        Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.
Heart healthy