Thursday, June 30, 2016

Egg Strata.........

One thing about a Strata, you can make it for just one person and it's just as good as if you make it for 12 people. It's fun to make the night before, stick it in the fridge and then bake it off in the morning. What kind is up to you. Just add some ham, bacon, sausage, onion, herbs or even fruit and make it a sweet strata. What could be better than a blueberry strata for breakfast with a few more fresh blueberries?
Till next time.....

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Chocolate Truffles............

What's your favorite candy? 
Chocolate Truffles just has to be right up near the top of your list. They are so simple to make and make a great gift. Put a few in a nice candy box and give as a thank you, birthday or a just because gift. What the heck, make a few for yourself as well. The cayenne is optional, but I really like cayenne with chocolate. Especially in hot chocolate to drink.
Chocolate Truffles
7 ounces, weight Bittersweet Chocolate
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a small saucepan. Pour the heavy cream and the salt into the pan and set over medium heat. Once the chocolate starts to melt, stir until the mixture is very smooth. Move the pan to the refrigerator and chill until firm, approximately 1 hour. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and cayenne together. Set aside. Once the chocolate is firm to the touch, use a small 2-teaspoon cookie scoop to form balls. Use your hands to quickly roll the balls and smooth out the creases. Your hands will get very chocolaty, so you may want to wear plastic gloves. Place the balls in the bowl of cocoa powder and roll around to thoroughly coat. Then store them in an airtight container until ready to serve. Serve the chocolate truffles at room temperature. Set them out on the counter about 30 minutes before serving. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Till next time.........

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Yorkshire Pudding...........


Yorkshire Pudding is a gift we got from the British. You can cook it in the fat from a beef roast or in cupcake tins for individual puddings. You can eat them with jam or jelly or pour some gravy on them as you would mashed potatoes. 
Yorkshire Pudding
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons beef fat
Whisk the eggs and milk into a large bowl until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine salt and flour, then add gradually into the egg mixture. Whisk quickly until the flour is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Cover it with plastic wrap and let stand for at least one hour, but no more than three. Collect the fat from the roast.If you’re collecting the fat from a fresh roast, the best time to do it is after the roast has been in the oven for an hour, and while the roast rests. Whisk 1 tablespoon of beef fat into the batter until it’s bubbly and smooth. Transfer the batter to a large measuring cup or pitcher. Measure 1/2 teaspoon of beef fat into each cup of a standard muffin pan. Once the roast is out of the oven, set the oven to 450 degrees. Place the pan into the oven to heat for 3 minutes. Quickly remove the pan from the oven, close the door, then divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups so ech are about 2/3 full. Return the pan to the oven then bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and pierce each pastry with a skewer to release the steam and prevent collapse. Serve immediately.
Till next time......

Friday, June 24, 2016

Gyros...........

Gyros are one of my favorite sandwiches. Not that I want to eat one every day; but when I do, I really enjoy it. It is lamb strips, with tomato, onion, sometimes lettuce and a tzatziki sauce. The sauce is a combination of plain Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, minced cucumber, dill, salt and pepper. It is an amazing sauce. All of this is then put in a grilled Pita bread. They are a bit sloppy to eat, but so worth it. Find your nearest good Gyro shop and enjoy. Not all Gyro shops are the same. Ask around and find a good one.
Till next time..........

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Apple Sausage.........

A friend of mine from "across the pond" introduced me to this breakfast meat from his area. I had never heard of it before. Just take a lb of pork sausage (any kind) and add a small cored and grated Granny Smith apple to it. Mix well. It just adds another layer of flavor it to it. You don't even have to peel the apple!!
Till next time.......

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Lobster Roll.........

You can laugh if you want to but when I went to Maine the first time; I did not know what a lobster roll was. I was thinking maybe something like a egg roll w/lobster. I truly had no idea. So before leaving, I had to stop and get one. Just to say I had eaten a Lobster Roll. So coming back to the Inn from Kennebunkport I stopped at a little place on the side of the road. They soak the lobster meat in butter and then fill the grilled bun. As you can see, the roll is full. I was quite pleased to say the very least. It was so yummy! In Maine, lobsters are quite cheap. At that time, you could get two large lobsters on a plate for dinner for $9.95!! That included steamed corn on the cob and rolls. Any place else it would have been three or four times that price.
Till next time.........

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Turnovers..........

Nothing like an apple raisin turnover to brighten your day. Just take an apple, dice it, put it in a skillet with a little water and brown sugar and some raisins. Then cook till the apples are done. Take some puff pastry and cut it into squares, add some fill and bake. So good. There really isn't a recipe. Just puff pastry and some fruit. (your choice of fruit or pie filling). Experiment and have some fun making your own turnovers. Put a glaze on them if you like.
Till next time........

Monday, June 20, 2016

Oreo Cookie Frozen Dessert...........

Summer is here, in full force and what could be better than a frozen dessert. This is the best of both worlds, chocolate and ice cream.

Oreo Cookie Frozen Dessert
1 package (15-1/2 ounces) Oreo cookies, crushed, divided
1/2cup butter, melted
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
1 8 oz container of cool whip
In a large bowl, combine 1 pkg cookie crumbs and butter. Reserve a few crumbs for garnish. Press cookie mixture into a greased 12” cheesecake pan or 9x13 pan. Mix ice cream and cool whip and spread over crust. Sprinkle reserved cookie crumbs on top and freeze until firm or overnight. Serves 12.
Till next time..........

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pineapple Rumaki..........

You've all heard of Rumaki with chicken livers. But let's face it; not everyone is thrilled over eating chicken livers. So for your next party try Chicken Pineapple Rumaki.
Chicken and Pineapple Rumaki
Vegetable oil, for the pans
3 small boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt and  ground black pepper
15 pineapple chunks
1 pound bacon, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and then set a rack on top. Lightly oil the rack. Toss the chicken and scallions with the soy sauce, sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Meanwhile, wrap each pineapple chunk in a half slice of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. Arrange them on the rack set in the baking sheet. Wrap each piece of chicken and 2 pieces of scallion with the remaining bacon, securing each with a toothpick and arranging on the rack. Bake the chicken and pineapple Rumaki until the bacon is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve the Rumaki on a platter, sprinkled with the sesame seeds. Crisp bacon is a MUST! I guarantee these will be the hit of the party!!
Tip: Soak the toothpics in water if you don't want them to burn.
Till next time.......




Friday, June 17, 2016

Raspberry Vinaigrette.........


If you want something refreshing this summer for your salads, give this fruity vinaigrette a try. It makes one cup, so you don't have to worry about having a lot of it around. I can tell you, it won't last long.

Raspberry Vinaigrette
Puree:
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup raspberry jam
Whisk in:
1/3 cup raspberry wine vinegar
2 Tbsp minced shallots
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Puree the raspberries and jam in a food processor and strain with a sieve, discarding the seeds. Transfer puree to a bowl and whisk in the next 5 ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Then enjoy on your favorite salad.

If that seems like too much work, you can always buy Panera Bread's Raspberry Vinaigrette. It is fat free and has only 5 grams of carbohydrates in 2 Tablespoons of their vinaigrette. You know if it is Panera's, it's got to be good.
Till next time.........

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Lettuce Mandarin Salad............

I am so trying to be good in my food choices. I want to drop several pounds this year.  I figure this summer is a good time to do it. All those great fruits and veggies will help. This is my supper for tonight with 4 little shrimp on top of it. 
Till next time.........

Monday, June 13, 2016

Indoor S'mores........

Summer is here and campfires will be burning throughout the summer. But what if you can't go camping? Why can't you still enjoy a camping dessert? Well, you can! Just follow the simple directions below.

Indoor S'mores 
1 3/4 cups of graham crackers
1 stick of butter 
1 cup of chocolate chips (I used semi sweet) 
3 marshmallows for each cup (you could also use the mini ones)
Butter your muffin tins WELL or use aluminum cupcake papers. Melt the butter in the microwave and combine with the graham crumbs using a fork. Press onto a muffin tin and bake for 10 min or until golden brown. Top each cup with chocolate chips right after removing from the oven (so that they melt). Set aside. When you are ready to eat or serve, place 3 marshmallows on top and place in the oven on broil (high setting) for just 45 seconds. Don't let them broil for longer than that because they will burn!
Enjoy your S'mores!
Till next time.......

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Orange Crates & Glass Blocks.......

How many of you remember the revered orange crate? Yes, oranges used to come packed in wood crates to the grocery stores. They were generally thrown out by the stores and of course the neighborhood children were there to get the "free wood". The girls would make a vanity out of two crates and a top or bookcases to hold a multitude of things. The boys were more into making scooters with old roller skate wheels race cars, wagons and swords. AND no one ever got hurt with them. You could make a guitar out of an old wooden cigar box and different sizes of rubber bands, with a handle made from old orange crate wood. The children also made a bookcase or desk for homework. If you painted them or stained them, they even made it college dorms. But alas, the wood crates were changed out for cardboard ones, that were useless to make anything out of.
These are glass blocks that also made their way to the college dorm rooms. With a board put across two of them you had a bookshelf. Put another tier of them and you had a bookcase. Yes, I know, people don't do that anymore, but when I grew up, this was very economical and it worked. Children and young adults now miss out on the creativity that was born out of necessity.
Till next time.........

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Southern Pimento Cheese Spread.........

If you live in the South or have lived there, you know what this spread tastes like. Make a grilled cheese sandwich out of it or tea sandwiches, or just spread on crackers and you will love the taste.
Southern Pimento Cheese Spread
2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional) 
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimento, drained
salt and black pepper to taste
Place the Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, minced jalapeno, and pimento into the large bowl of a mixer. Beat at medium speed, with paddle if possible, until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Till next time...........








Friday, June 10, 2016

Camper's Favorite Dip.........

Summer is finally here and so is the camping season. While you are sitting around the campfire, relaxing among the trees and waiting for the meat and veggies to get done on the grill, you need something to snack on. This is perfect for that. Dig out an aluminum pie pan and start to layer this crazy good dip.
Camper's Favorite Dip
8oz pkg of cream cheese
1 (15oz) can of chili w/beans
2 cups cheddar cheese
2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)
A bag of Scoop corn chips
Spread the softened cream cheese in the bottom of a nine inch aluminum pie pan, top with the chili w/beans and cheddar cheese. Heat on grill until cheese is melted, about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve with corn chips.
Till next time........

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Baklava...........

Baklava is that gooey honey, nutty, crispy and sweet pastry that we all love. But have you noticed that no matter how much you love it, two bites are usually enough. It is so rich and sweet, it is hard to eat. But those 2-3 bites that you do manage to eat; are divine. There is just no other word for it.
Till next time.......

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Recycle Veggies...........

Want to save a little money this summer? Recycle some of your veggies, like scallions, celery and Romaine lettuce. Yes, you can regrow these items with little effort and you will have half of your salads at not cost! Cut off about an inch or so of your scallions and put it in water to just cover the bottom of the onion and it will regrow itself.

Celery is another veggies that will regrow itself. Just cut off the bottom and put it in water. As you can see, before long you will have more celery to use as you want. And it is always fresh! You can't ask for more than that.


You do the same with the Romaine lettuce and it will definitely cut down on the price of it and you will have fresh lettuce whenever you want it.
Till next time.........

Monday, June 6, 2016

Tomato Pie..........

Have you heard of tomato pie? With the summer tomatoes arriving before long, think about making a tomato pie. It is a pie crust with scallions, tomatoes, basil and cheese goodness. Serve it up with some nice greens and it is a perfect summer supper. This is best at room temperature. So it can be made ahead and just warmed up a little before serving. You can spice it up by using different cheeses, like Mexican Blend or Pepper Jack for one of the cheeses.



Tomato Pie
2 - 3 fresh Tomatoes, sliced or cubed and drained.
8 fresh Basil leaves, finely chopped.
1/2 cup Scallions, chopped.
1 Pre-Baked Pie Crust, 9 inch.
1 cup of grated Cheddar Cheese.
1 cup of grated Mozzarella Cheese.
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise.
Salt and Pepper to taste. Slice and chop the Basil, set aside. Slice and chop the Onion, set aside. Slice and cube the Tomatoes, place in colander to drain. Sprinkle the Tomatoes with Black Pepper. Sprinkle on the Salt, stir and let continue to drain. In a separate mixing bowl, add the Cheddar Cheese. Add the grated Mozzarella Cheese. Add the Mayonnaise, stir until combined, set aside. To assemble the Pie, place chopped onions in bottom of crust. Sprinkle with the chopped Basil. Add the drained Tomatoes, spread around evenly in crust. Top with the Cheese mixture, spread almost to edges of pie crust. Bake at 350º for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm and Enjoy! Makes 6 slices.
Till next time.........

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Corn Salsa.........

It's summer time and time for picnics galore. Mayonnaise does not keep well in the heat. So why not bring something that will. This corn salsa is so good. The lime juice really brings out the freshness. This does have a bit of a "kick" to it. Use 1/4 of a green pepper instead of the Poblano for less "kick".
Corn Salsa
1/2 small Poblano chile pepper, seeded
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears), or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 small Jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Preheat a grill to medium high. Brush the poblano with 1 teaspoon olive oil and grill, skin-side down, until charred but still firm, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly; peel and finely chop.
If using fresh corn, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes; drain. Mix the corn (if using frozen, add it here), poblano, jalapeno, cilantro and red onion in a bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, the lime juice, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Till next time...........

Friday, June 3, 2016

Italian Dressing........

I have tried many Italian Dressings and none of them was I fond of. So many of them have ingredients I can't even pronounce and are thick from emulsifiers and preservatives. Yuck!!
Anyway, while browsing the recipes I found this one. It is said to be a family favorite. I made it this afternoon. Then I had a lovely salad for my supper with this dressing. So good. It will be my favorite from now on! 
Italian Dressing
1 1/3 cup olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Add all of the ingredients to a salad shaker, mason jar or other container. Close with a tight-fitting lid and shake for about 10 seconds to combine. Let it sit for 2 hours and let the flavors do their thing. Leftover dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Till next time.......