Monday, February 27, 2017

Angus ...........

As you probably know by now; Angus is a Teddy Bear that accompanies me from time to time on road trips and around the house. Today he was checking to see if I needed to water my plant. He is such a big help. Later on he will be supervising my packing for a St. Pat's party.
Till next time........

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Compound Butter..........

Compound Butter is nothing more than flavored butter. You can flavor it with something savory for dinner or sweet for a brunch. Either way it is a delightful addition to a meal and very easy to make. So don't be "put-off" by compound. This first butter is a basic savory butter and great sliced on a grilled steak.
Maitre D'hotel
1/4 lb salted butter
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1/2 tsp ground pepper
Soften the butter and mix all ingredients together. I use my mixer for this.
Raspberry Butter
1/2 cup butter, softened, not melted
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/2 cup clover honey
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients together and beat for about 8 minutes. Store in air tight container in refrigerator. You can serve it in a cute little dish or ramekin.
Till next time.......

Monday, February 20, 2017

Strawberry Fudge.........

Did you know you can make strawberry fudge with two ingredients. I didn't either. At least not until today. This would be a great craft for the children to make for their parents, grandparents, teachers, etc.. for Valentine's Day. Or just to make on a rainy day with dark chocolate chips and fudge frosting.
Strawberry Fudge
1 (16 oz) can of strawberry frosting
1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
Prepare a 9x9 pan by spray lightly with cooking spray. Over a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt your white chocolate chips. When chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in your strawberry frosting, evenly. Spread in your prepared pan and place in fridge to set for 30 minutes. Cut into squares to serve.
Optional: Top each square or heart with a half strawberry to cut the sweetness.
NOTE: Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. I found this fabulous recipe shortcut on the following blog. Cookies & Cups 
Till next time.........

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Apricot Sauce for Chicken.........

You can use chicken tenders or pound the half chicken breast a little to make it even thickness. Cook over high heat till inner temp is 165F. Take chicken out of pan and set aside. Put the next three ingredients into the chicken pan and stir. This dish will look fancy but as you can see, it is so simple. If you are not a fan of pistachios, use chopped almonds.
Apricot Sauce
1/2 cup of apricot jam
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Honey
Mix in the chicken pan and get all those yummy chicken brown bits from the bottom of the pan into the sauce. Roll the chicken in the sauce and top with chopped parsley and roasted, chopped and salted pistachios. 
Till next time.........

Friday, February 17, 2017

Avocado Dressing...........

Here is a fresh dressing for just about anything requiring a dressing. It's in season and it has a fresh taste. I prefer the lemon juice, but if you like limes, go for it!
Avocado Dressing
1 whole Avocado
1 clove Fresh Garlic, peeled
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
In a mini food processor add the peeled clove of garlic, avocado, lime or lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Thin the salad dressing out with a little bit of water until it reaches a desired consistency of dressing. Keep in an airtight container for at least a week. 
Makes 1 cup.
Till next time...........

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Asian Sauce.........

Have you ever wondered what makes Chinese food taste so good. It's the Asian sauce they use. So good.
Asian Sauce
4 cloves garlic, crushed 
1 rounded Tbsp grated ginger root 
1 rounded Tbsp dark brown sugar
4 oz light soy sauce (less salt)
Dried red pepper flakes to taste, optional
You can use this in your stir-fries and marinate your fish or meat. Make sure you score your meat before putting it in to marinate. Make it each time you want to use it. It does not keep well for long periods of time. Perhaps a few days only. If you use it as a marinade, don't reuse it.
Till next time........

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Parmesan Tidbits.........

We all like some snacks that are a little different from the ordinary fare. These are so yummy, you will want to make them often.
Parmesan Tidbits
1 pkg. (8 oz.)  Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, 
divided (3/4 cup & 1/4 cup)
2 cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Heat oven to 350°F. 
Mix cream cheese and 3/4 cup Parmesan until blended. Unroll dough; separate into 8 rectangles. Press seams and perforations together to seal. Spread with cream cheese mixture; top with peppers and parsley. Fold each dough rectangle lengthwise into thirds; cut crosswise into 4 squares. Place, seam sides down, on baking sheet; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake 13 to 15 min. or until golden brown.
Till next time........

Monday, February 13, 2017

Canned Spiced Peaches ........

Are you looking for a quick condiment/side dish for a dinner and don't know exactly what to have? This is quick and perfect and pretty to look at. In 24 hours, you have a delicious pickled peach. 
Canned Spiced Peaches 
2 large (29 ounce) cans of peach halves, in heavy syrup
1 cup of light brown sugar, packed
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
4 whole cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
1/4 cup of fresh cranberries, optional
Drain the syrup from the peaches into a medium sized saucepan. Add the brown sugar, vinegar, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks to the syrup; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, carefully place the peach halves and cranberries, if using, into a covered storage bowl. Pour the hot syrup over the top. Cover and refrigerate for a full 24 hours at least; longer is even better, up to a week. Transfer the peaches and syrup to a serving dish.
Till next time........

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Pizza Dough.........

Why buy Pizza dough when it is so easy to make? Give it a try and you won't buy pizza dough again.
Pizza Dough
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast 
3 3/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp Kosher salt
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Combine water, sugar and yeast in small bowl. Let sit 5 minutes. Mix flour and salt together in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with dough hook. Add oil to yeast mixture. Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture and knead on low speed for 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape into 2 balls. lightly brush dough balls with olive oil and cover completely with plastic wrap. Let rise another 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease pizza pan or dust with cornmeal. Take each dough ball and using your fingers, pat it out from the center to the edge, leaving the outer edge a bit thick. Top with favorite toppings. Bake 10-15 minutes until edges are golden brown. 
Till next time.......

Friday, February 10, 2017

Slow Cooker Artichoke Spinach Dip.......

We are all busy these days and looking for a shortcut when we entertain. Here is a Spinach Artichoke dip that is made in the slow cooker. Put the ingredients in the slow cooker, set it and then wait for it to be done. While you are able to go about and do other things.
Slow Cooker Artichoke Spinach Dip
1 (10 oz.) bag fresh baby spinach,  chopped
1 (13.75 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, chopped and drained
1 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup light sour cream 
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely-chopped Vidalia onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until evenly combined. Spray the inside of your slow cooker and put the mixture into the crock part of your slow cooker. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high for 2 hours, or until the dip is completely warmed through and the cheese is melted. Stir and put into a serving dish. Serve warm with pita chips, pretzel crackers, etc.
Till next time.........

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Creamy Thai Sweet Chili Sauce...........

This sauce is so good but it is definitely HOT. Not enough to burn your mouth, but leaves the heat lingering for sure. It is good on fried shrimp, roasted cauliflower, chicken and salmon. Just let your imagination go. It is great used as a dipping sauce for Chicken tenders. If you want to drop the heat, leave out the Sriracha and cut back on the Thai sweet chili sauce. Both give heat to the sauce. I store mine in a small jelly jar.
Creamy Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Sriracha
Mix well and put in a small jar and refrigerate.
Till next time........

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bean Dip...........

Bean Dip was the Hummus of the 60's. Yes, even back then we had hummus, but it tasted better than the chick pea hummus of today. This actually had a good flavor. Okay, so that's just my opinion. But you could add anything you wanted to it, the choice was yours.
Bean Dip
11/2 cups white beans, canned, drained 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Add ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. This is a blank canvas for adding whatever you like. Yield: 2 cups  Add ins: Diced tomatoes, JalapeƱos, Scallions, Red sweet pepper.
Till next time..........