Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
2 Cups of Basil leaves, stalks removed and torn into pieces
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 Cup of pine nuts or walnuts
3 tablespoons Pecorino Romano
Put everything in a food processor and then slowly drizzle in the oil. You do not want this completely smooth. Serve on bread, flavor your meats or seafood or just toss some into your favorite pasta dish.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
I had only planted a couple of jalapeno plants at the beginning of the season and to my surprise these plants are producing dozens and dozens of peppers. So here is a really nice salad that combines a little bit of everything; hot, sweet, tangy, crunchy but most of all delicious.
Jalapeno, Jicama and Mango Salad
1 small Jicama sliced thin, adds a nice crunch to the salad but can be omitted.
4 ripe mangos
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
4 fresh jalapenos, seeded and sliced fine
1/4 c. light oil
1/8 c. of apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash of sugar to taste
Peel and slice the mangos and Jicama and combine mango, jicama, onion slices with the jalapenos. Make a dressing by stirring the oil, cider vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar together. Mix well and let stand for at least 2 hours before serving.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I have added Brussel sprouts to my garden this year; it will be my first time planting them. I have always loved them so it will be especially nice to enjoy them fresh picked right from my own back yard. Brussel sprouts can be prepared in a hundred different ways from simple to over the top and turn out delicious every time. I like this recipe because it reminds me a little of the English bubble and squeak (cabbage and mashed potatoes). I guess you could mash this up and pretty much have the same thing either way it is just good eating made simple.
Brussel Sprouts and New Potatoes
About a dozen sm. red potatoes washed and quartered
A dozen or so Brussels sprouts, trimmed with X cut in stem for quicker cooking
Tablespoon of butter
Tablespoon of olive oil
3/4 c. of chicken broth or water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives or green onion tops
Place Brussel sprouts and potatoes in large sauté pan with olive oil and butter set to medium high heat. Once sprouts and potatoes are nicely coated with the butter and oil add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes then lower heat, cover and let simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes. Turn off heat, add salt, pepper, herbs and onion tops, give it a good stir and serve.
The addition of crumbled bacon or a dollop of sour cream is a welcome touch.
Monday, June 21, 2010
It is that time of year when I take great pleasure in watching my garden grow. As I wait for sun, rain and nature to take its natural course, I start to daydream of all the wonderful ways that I will prepare the fruits of my labor. Right now I am focused on just how pretty the sweet peas are winding and clinging to anything and everything. Their beautiful pinkish purple blossoms letting me know that something special is yet to come. Gardening is so magical and so satisfying in so many ways.
Sweet Pea Salad
3 to 4 cups of cooked rice, any type
2 c. of fresh from the garden sweet peas, may substitute frozen
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, taste much better if you toast the walnuts first
1/2 c. chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 c. sliced green onions (scallions)
1/3 c. bottled buttermilk ranch or creamy Italian salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
In bowl combine rice with peas, nuts, pepper and onions. Add salad dressing and gently toss to coat. Chill and toss again just before serving.
This salad is very pretty served in lettuce cups or over lettuce covered plates.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1 cup of sugar
2 pkgs. of. Frozen strawberries, using the juice as well
1 can crushed pineapple with juice
6 bananas, diced
Combine all ingredients. Pour into 9 x 13 inch pan. Freeze. Take out 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. Put a scoop of the fruit ice into glass of your choice and fill remainder of glass with 7-UP. It's just fruity, fizzy fun on a hot summer day.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
1 whole watermelon
2 whole cantaloupe
1 whole honeydew melon
Juice of half a lemon, lime or orange helps fruit stay fresher longer while adding extra flavor.
Mint sprigs, optional
If you feel that your melon is not sweet enough just add a tablespoon of sugar to the cut up melon and stir in before placing in the fridge.
Scoop balls from melons (for less work you may just cube the melon). Chill and serve with garnish of mint sprigs.
8 ounces of Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon of orange juice concentrate
1 Tablespoon of powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
Mix all ingredients together, place in covered container and refrigerate.
One spoonful of this dressing is just enough to make that melon salad extra special.
Monday, May 17, 2010
1 lg. can pink frozen lemonade
1 lg. can water
1/2 c. grenadine
1 cup of vodka
Mix well and freeze until mixture turns to slush (at least 2 to 3 hours); stir occasionally. Fill glass 1/2 full with slush. Fill remainder with 7-Up or if you want your drink to pack more punch skip the 7-Up and use sparkling wine or champagne instead.
Just keep doubling and tripling the amounts, so your freezer never runs dry.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
• One portion of linguine
5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
7. Sit back, relax and enjoy!!!
Monday, May 3, 2010
As soon as I see a recipe for any type of impossible pie it instantly reminds me of my grandmother. My grandmother loved all of those impossible pie recipes and there was actually a period of time when she was making a couple different impossible pies per week. I think besides the fact that they were easy to make and that they tasted good, I believe my grandmother derived a bit of amusement and fascination by the crust that would magically appear from nothing but a pool of wet batter. My grandmother was not alone; all of us kids loved the magic pie crust trick....especially the part where we made the magic pie disappear one tasty bite at a time.
This impossible coconut pie turns out with the consistency of a crème Brulee that just happens to have a very thin crust. You could probably sprinkle some sugar on top and use a torch to melt the sugar and actually turn it into a coconut Crème Brulee pie.
You may substitute a 1/2 cup of Bisquick as a replacement for the flour and baking powder in this recipe.
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a greased pie pan. Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes at 350°F.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Only twenty calories in five spears, nutritionally well balanced, in season and great tasting. Only a few minutes of cooking time and I am munching those spears one after another as if they were pretzel rods. I seem to do the same thing with brussel sprouts I eat them as if they were popcorn. It's not that I can't have the pretzels or the popcorn; I actually enjoy the asparagus and the brussel sprouts and find them to be a treat and not a deprivation.
Asparagus is so low in calorie that you can actually fill your plate without fretting over the portion size. This recipe is perfect if you are looking for something a little different with loads of flavor without packing on too many additional calories.
If you would like to have this salad as a meal rather than a side, just add some tuna for the addition of protein. The tuna would actually make this more of a traditional Nicoise salad.
3 lbs. of asparagus trimmed
6 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
3 Teaspoons. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. of olive oil
3 shallots minced
3 plum tomatoes, diced (any nice ripe tomato will do)
1/2 c. Nicoise or Kalamata olives, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 Tablespoons drained capers
Place asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 4-5 minutes, then drain. Transfer asparagus to bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
Whisk vinegar and mustard in small bowl, slowly whisk in the oil until it emulsifies. Then add in the shallots, tomatoes, olives and capers, salt and pepper to taste. Drain asparagus and arrange on individual plates or on a big serving platter and let everyone help themselves. Spoon Nicoise mixture over asparagus and serve cold
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
I am always struggling with what to eat while doing my night job cleaning at an athletic club. The hours are technically hours that most people should not be eating. I am there from 9:30 pm until 6 in the morning. It is only three nights a week but it is a physically grueling job that requires a lot of energy that quite frankly I don't always have. So what to eat that isn't too calorie laden but yet packs enough protein to give me the energy that I so desperately need. Well, eggs are great which I do often either hard boiled or I'll make a nice vegetable frittata which always travels nicely but I also would like some variety. Then I remembered a tuna and bean salad that my grandmother made and kept in a covered container in the fridge. This salad is perfect; it keeps well and is not only delicious but packed with protein. So I made myself a triple batch of the recipe below using three types of beans; cannellini, black and butter beans. This is the perfect healthy go to food to keep on hand, especially for those of us constantly watching our weight.
FYI-Tuna has always been a favorite protein source especially for bodybuilders, dieters, and other athletes. Tuna is a very inexpensive, convenient food that is low in fat and a great source of protein and omega-3 essential fats. Beans and legumes are inexpensive and a common food all over the world. Very high in calcium and iron, beans and legumes are also a great source of protein and can be a nice alternative to meat.
High Protein Salad
Make a double or triple batch, this salad will keep for a couple weeks refrigerated. I usually allow myself a one to one and a half cup serving.
1/3 c. olive oil
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
1 lg. tomato, seeded & diced, optional
Bell peppers, chopped, optional
Combine beans, tuna, tomato and onion in large bowl. Combine lemon juice and mustard in small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Add to salad. Mix in basil, season with salt and pepper.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I realize that I am extremely fussy when it comes to meat loaf, it is just one of those foods that I tend to be quite judgmental about. To be fair, I have even made some meat loaves that I wouldn't eat.
My mother liked topping her meat loaf with ketchup and bacon which is pretty common. I don't mind the bacon but I am not real big on the ketchup.
I actually prefer meat loaf with brown gravy or no gravy at all as long as the meat loaf is moist. I have had a couple people who have served me meat loaf and I have actually enjoyed it and gone back for seconds, my grandmother being one and the other being my dear friend Christine.
The funny thing is I could really care less about the initial meat loaf dinner, what I truly look forward to, obsess over and dream about is that meat loaf sandwich I am going to make with the leftovers! I am surprised by the number of people that feel the exact same way. I guess when it comes down to it meat loaf is less about dinner and more about the sandwich!
A Simple Loaf
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 cup of sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 or 4 slices bacon
3/4 c. bread crumbs or bread cubes
1/2 c. parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. of onion powder
1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients except the bacon in a bowl. Briefly blend well and form into a loaf. Place the loaf on a rack in a 10" baking pan and cover with the bacon slices. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the meat loaf is firm and the bacon browned. Let the meat loaf rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
made animal balloons and played with the children. Kinder-printing was also available. Drawings were held for various prizes, including a free income tax return and free second looks.
Bath's chili was delicious and hearty with a nice bit of kick; it was definitely the chunkiest of the three chili's entered. This chili had loads of bell peppers and something you don't often see in chili; big pieces of celery. I have to say the celery was a nice addition and just added to the textures and flavors. Bath's team also made mini corn muffins to accompany their chili and also offered a garnish of shredded cheese and sour cream.
I asked their team who was responsible for cooking the chili and they insisted it was a team collaberation along with the help of their spouses and children.
Savona's chili was quite different from the others; their chili was actually quite sweet. It mainly consisted of meat and beans and some of us thought we detected a hint of cinnamon or some other unusual spice. It was really quite good and we appreciated that they stepped outside the box a little in terms of flavors. Dawn Phenes, CSP for H&R Block Painted Post shopped for the ingredients while Joe Rotsell, Volunteer Firefighter did the cooking.
Even though we (the judges) loved each of the chili's that we tasted, we were quite unanimous when it came to the chili that we felt stood out as being the best.....And the winner was....Congratulations to the Bath Volunteer Fire Department.
Kicked Up Con Carne
This is not one of the recipes from the chili cook-off but I am sure it is one you will enjoy.
2 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 bunch celery, diced
2 lg. onions, diced
4 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced
2 green peppers, diced
2 red peppers, diced
1 Yellow pepper, diced
Add tomato puree and ground tomatoes. Mix all together and simmer slowly for 1 1/2 hours. After 1 hour, add remaining chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Also add drained beans and finish simmering for 30 minutes.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sometimes food should just be fun, carnival fun, food on a stick fun, fried ooey gooey fun. Hopefully leaving behind no regrets, nothing more than a full stomach and a sticky lipped smile. Save sensible for the remaining eighty percent of the week or ninety percent if you have to be really, really careful.
Sure sensible foods can be made to be fun like riding a Merry-Go-Round fun but sometimes you just need the exhilaration only a Roller Coaster can deliver!
Deep-Fried Stuffing on a Stick
• 1 pound breakfast sausage, bulk
• 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
• 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
Preheat oil in the deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Chocolate, coffee and Jack Daniels made into a cake is it any wonder we were all asking for the recipe! There always seems to be at least one dish at every gathering that gets everybody buzzing. This cake was that very dish, I was pleasantly surprised. I am not a big fan of cake unless of course it is cheesecake. I really liked this one because it was exceptionally moist, had really deep rich flavors and the addition of pecans gave it a nice textural balance.
Just think you could serve this cake with a cup of hot coffee or a shot of Jack Daniels to wash it down and not worry about the flavors clashing.
You make this cake and people will be begging you for the recipe.
Jack Daniels Cake
Sunday, March 14, 2010
At times we get a glimpse into what might be while spending time with older relatives. You become an observer to what waits for you as you approach the end of life's road. It can be a very sad and painful time but luckily as with all other times in life it to can be fraught with joy and laughter as well. Thank God, we can laugh even through insurmountable sadness.
My mother spent her last several years of life living in a nursing home a potential existence most of us view with fear and dread. In my mother's case this was a welcome and much needed chapter in her life and fortunately in my mother's case her time in the nursing home was a very good, loving and nurturing experience.
My grandmother's road in life has lead her to an assisted living facility, considered to be a step up from a nursing home but in the eyes of many who are living there it is another cruel act of life that rids us of our independence and ability to choose.
What I have observed so far in my 51 years on this earth is; we live to gain as many chronological years as possible hopefully filling those years with love, laughter, hope and our God given free will of; "choice". Choice, the freedom to think independently and choose between what you deem right or what you deem wrong, what you feel that you need or that you don't need, what you want or don't want, who you love or don't love.....How you wish to be cared for, who will be doing the caring and where you will call, home.
What I have learned as I lovingly observe all these potential " future me's" is as we forge through this life with all its joy, hardship and never-ending changes. As we gain years our list of choices becomes smaller and the unpleasant choices seem to out number the pleasant ones.....except for one choice that is always ours to make no matter how old we are or where we are on this road in life and that is to laugh. Laughter will always help us to rise above the gloom and shine down on us with a light that lets us know that we will and can survive this moment and any moment that life can throw our way.
I am posting a recipe for shrimp croquettes because they became a source of laughter while having a dinner visit with my grandmother. Let's just say a woman that was seated two tables away from ours took great issue with her croquettes and it just grew into being comical. My grandmother who was in a crabby mood (which is most of the time) even began laughing, she looks so much better with a smile on her face......so here is to the power of laughter, smile and enjoy!
3/4 lb. frozen cooked shelled shrimp
3 tbsp. Crisco
1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. milk
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 tbsp. snipped parsley
Dash of pepper & paprika
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. fine dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp. water
1 pkg. (8 oz.) frozen peas with cream sauce
Defrost shrimp, devein if necessary. Chop finely (about 2 cups). Melt 3 tablespoons Crisco. Blend in flour. Add milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until very thick and smooth; remove from heat. Add onion, parsley, lemon juice and seasonings; stir in shrimp.
Preheat Crisco for deep frying to 350 degrees. Shape shrimp mixture into 8 cones. Roll in crumbs. Combine egg with water. Dip cones in egg mixture roll in crumb again.
Deep fry a few at a time until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn if necessary, drain on paper towel
Prepare peas according to directions on package. Spoon creamed peas over croquettes.
Makes 4 servings.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Aligot (pronounced Ah-Lee-Go)
4 Tbsp. of heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter
Cook potatoes in boiling salted water in large saucepan for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain; peel. Mash the potatoes with the heavy cream in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Sauté garlic in butter for about one minute, do not allow garlic to brown. Add Brie; stir until completely melted. Stir the melted cheese mixture into the mashed potatoes. You want to keep stirring the mixture until it has a gummy silky texture (may use mixer to accomplish this more easily, garnish with the chopped chives.
FYI - We have also experimented using shredded Swiss cheese instead of the brie and it worked exceptionally well giving the Aligot a more nutty taste.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
ONION AND BLUE CHEESE SOUP
4 lg. onions, sliced thin
3/4 stick (6 tbsp.) butter
4 c. canned beef broth
1 c. dry white wine
1/4 lb. blue cheese, crumbled (about 1 c.)
1 baguette, for croutons. (Just slice, butter or drizzle a little olive oil on each slice and put in 400 degree oven for 5 to 8 minutes). Spreading with blue cheese is optional but really, really good!
In a large saucepan, cook the onions in the butter over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until they are softened. Sprinkle the onions with salt and pepper, stir in the broth and the wine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer the soup, covered, for 1 hour.
Remove the pan from the heat and add 3/4 cup of the cheese and stir the soup until the cheese is melted. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish it with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and the croutons.