Monday, December 26, 2011

Tortellini Soup


I love to have a nice bowl of delicious soup in the winter time. There is just no other food that is so comforting during the cold months.

You will need:
1 lb. ground spicy italian sausage
1 sweet vidalia onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. dried oregano
6 cups chicken stock
8 oz. can of tomato sauce
3 carrots, sliced
2 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
10 oz. frozen package spinach, thawed
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. of fresh tortellini pasta
1 zucchini, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the sausage until no longer pink. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and put to the side. Add the onion, garlic, and the dried oregano to the drippings in the pot and saute for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, carrots, tomatoes,  spinach, basil, salt, and the cooked sausage. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the pasta, zucchini, and red bell pepper and simmer for another 25 minutes. You can serve this with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese and some crusty bread. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Roasted Garlic Chicken Pasta

Your family will love this recipe. It is so simple and delicious.

You will need:
1 head of garlic
8 oz. pkg. linguine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup of white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
4 Tbs. butter
1/3 cup of chopped scallions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the top off of the head of garlic. Place the garlic head in the middle of a piece of foil. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil on top and wrap with the foil. Bake for 30 minutes, until cloves are soft. Let cool enough so you can handle.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions; drain. Place the pasta on a large platter.
Squeeze the garlic cloves into a medium bowl. Mix in the chicken broth, white wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat 2 Tbs. of olive oil in a large skillet. Lightly coat the chicken in the flour and add to the skillet. Brown the chicken breast on each side, about 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the heat and set aside.
Leave the juices from the chicken in the skillet. Stir in the garlic and chicken stock mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the parmesan cheese, chicken and mushrooms. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the skillet leaving the sauce in the pan. Place the chicken on top of the pasta. Add the butter to the garlic sauce and add the scallions. Stir just until the butter is melted. Pour the sauce over the chicken and pasta. You can top this dish with chopped tomatoes for freshness. Bon Appetiti!



Monday, November 7, 2011

Cranberry Orange Bread


This a wonderful moist bread. The orange goes very well with the cranberries and walnuts.

You will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 egg
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
2 Tbs. melted butter
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. orange extract
2 Tbs. hot water
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts
Raw sugar for sprinkling the top of the batter before going into the oven

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl whisk sugar, egg, orange zest, orange juice, melted butter, vegetable oil, orange extract and hot water. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir until combined. Be careful to not over mix. Carefully fold in the cranberries and walnuts. Pour into a 9 inch x 5 inch greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the raw sugar over the top of the batter. Bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Slow Cooker Swiss Steak


You will need:
2 lbs. Cubed Round Steak, cut into serving size pieces
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 can (15 oz.) sloppy joe sauce
1 Tbs. of worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed through a garlic press
1/2 cup of red wine
1 Tbs. sugar, to mellow out the acidity

Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the steak. Add the vegetable oil to a skillet over medium-high heat, add the steak and brown on both sides. Add the steak to the crock pot. Add the onion, green bell pepper, chopped tomatoes, sloppy joe sauce, worcestershire sauce, garlic, red wine and sugar. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until tender. You can thicken the sauce with a Tbs. of cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbs. of water. Add this slurry to the pot and turn the crockpot to high and cook until the sauce is thickened. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice. Bon Appetit!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Fritters


Here is another way to utilize all those apples that you picked at the apple orchard. So fluffy and yummy, you can't just have one!
You will need:
Vegetable oil for frying
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbs. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
2/3 cup of milk
3 cups of chopped apples
1/3 cup of powdered sugar
1/3 cup of caramel, optional

Fill a heavy pot with about 3 inches from the bottom with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar until all combined. In another small bowl whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and the milk. Stir in the apples. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir just until all combined. Add tablespoons full (about 1/4 cup) of the batter to the hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Place on a papertowel to drain off the excess oil. Dust with the powdered sugar and serve warm. You can serve it with caramel. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash & Spinach Risotto


This recipe is great!! The risotto is so creamy and declicious with lots of flavor. You can make this a vegetarian main dish or a side dish. Either way it's wonderful!
You will need:
3 lbs. of butternut squash, peeled & cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
4 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups of Arborio Rice
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. of cumin
1 tsp. of dried sage
1/3 cup of white wine
1/3 cup of grated parmigiano cheese
6 cups of organic chicken stock
6 cups of fresh baby spinach leaves or 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove any liquid

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the squash cubes on a baking dish. Toss the squash with 2 Tbs. of olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. of black pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and tender. While the squash is in the oven, start the risotto.
Bring the broth to a simmer and keep at a low simmer. In a 4 quart saucepan, cook the onion in 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Stirring until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the rice, garlic, cumin and sage. Cook, stirring for about 3 minutes. Sir in the white wine. Cook for another 4 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy- looking. About 20 minutes total. Stir in the spinach, parmigiano cheese, salt and pepper. Add the roasted squash cubes. Serve this immediately. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake


My family absolutely adores this cheesecake. I love the spices and the creaminess of the cheesecake. I use Paula Deen's recipe but, I modified it to my taste buds. If you haven't noticed already, I am a HUGE Paula Deen fan, LOL! I love the ginger snap crust with this cheesecake filling instead of the graham cracker crust that Paula Deen uses. Hope you like it!

You will need:
Crust
2 cups of ginger snap cookie crumbs ( I use a food processor to ensure the crumbs are crushed finely)
6 Tbs. of melted unsalted butter
2 Tbs. of sugar

Filling
3 pkgs. (8oz. each) of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 (15oz.) can of pumpkin puree
3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup of sour cream
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1/4 of tsp. of freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. of ground cloves
2 Tbs. of all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. of vanilla bean paste (if you can't find this, you can use vanilla extract)

Topping
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. of ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, combine crumbs, butter and the sugar with at fork. Pour into a 9 inch springform pan. Press onto the bottom and half way up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate until you have finished combining the filling ingredients.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, eggs, sour cream and spices and beat until it is all combined. Add the flour and vanilla bean paste and beat until all combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Spread evenly. Bake for an hour or just until the middle is almost set. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the door ajar for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and the cinnamon until stiff peaks are formed. Top cheesecake with the whipped cream before serving. Enjoy!




Friday, September 30, 2011

Lemon Cheesecake


I got this recipe from Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee years ago. Modified it a little bit to my taste. Hope you like it.
You will need for the Crust:
2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup of sugar
6 Tbs. of melted butter
Filling:
4 pkgs. (8oz. each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup of sugar\
2 Tbs. of all-purpose flour
4 eggs
3 Tbs. of milk
1 cup of sour cream
2 pkgs. (4-serving size each) Lemon Flavored instant pudding mix
Topping:
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
Lemon Zest (optional), this should be zested with a lemon zest peeler and not a grater

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and the butter. Press the mixture firmly onto the bottom and half way up the sides of a 9 inch spring form pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Beat the cream cheese and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and the eggs one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition of egg. Add the milk and sour cream and mix well. Add the pudding mix and mix just unil combined. Pour into the prepared spring form pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes or until the center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
For the topping, in a large bowl beat the heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks are formed. Top the cheesecake. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chicken & Roasted Veggies Pot Pie


I watched the Paula Deen show the other day and she had a guest on the show by the name of Rodney Henry. He made a chicken pot pie with roasted veggies and it immediately got my brain working on how I could make that recipe my own. So here it is! Hope you like it!

You will need:
Roasted Veggies
3 carrots, sliced
5 white baby potatoes, sliced with the skin on
1 vidalia onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
green beans, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl add the sliced carrots, potatoes, green beans, chopped onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour onto a baking sheet and roast for about 30-35 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized.

Filling:
1 pkg. of Pillsbury Pie crust
Roasted Veggies
2 cups of chicken (breast or dark), chopped
6 Tbs. of butter
2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
1 cup of chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp. of dried Sage
1 egg, slightly beaten

Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter for about 15 minutes.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and the chicken stock. Add the salt, pepper and sage. Cook until the sauce comes to a boil and is thickened. This cream sauce will be thick. In a large bowl add the roasted veggies, chicken and the sauce. Line the pie dish with the pie crust.

 Add the filling. Take the other pie crust and put over the filling and crimp the edges together with the bottom crust.

 Making sure that the pie crusts are completely sealed together so that the filling does not ooze out. You can flute the edges or use a fork for a nice decorative look. Cut 4, 2 inch slits, on the top crust so the steam can escape. Take a pastry brush and brush the egg onto the crust. This will give the crust a nice shiny look. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the pie is a nice golden brown. Serve with a nice side salad.



Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Best Apple Cinnamon Muffins


I have tried many apple cinnamon muffin recipes but, this recipe I came up with is by far the best I have ever tried. You can make these and let them cool completely and wrap tightly and freeze. During the week just get one out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter while you are getting ready and then pop it in the microwave just to get it slightly warm. Great way to begin your day!
You will need:
2 cups of all-purpose flour
3 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of baking soda
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 1/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp. plus a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg, divided
1 cup, plus 2 Tbs. of sugar, divided
2 eggs
3/4 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of canola oil
1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
2 cups of peeled and chopped golden delicious apples

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup of packed light brown sugar
3 Tbs. of all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
2 Tbs. of cold butter, cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, combine chopped apples, 2 Tbs. of sugar, tsp. of ground cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. Set to the side and let the sugar draw out some liquid. This will make the muffins even moister.
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients with a whisk. In another bowl, beat with a mixer, sugar, eggs, canola oil, sour cream and vanilla extract. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet and beat. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and beat well. Fold the apples into the batter. Line your jumbo muffin tins or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Fill the 10 muffin tins 3/4 full. In a small bowl, add the streusel topping ingredients except for the butter and combine. Using a fork cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle about 1 tsp. over each muffin tin. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for about 5 to 8 minutes before removing the muffins from the tins and placing them on cooling racks. Enjoy!



Monday, September 12, 2011

Roasted Sweet & Spicy Acorn Squash


2 acorn squash, cut lengthwise
4 Tbs. of honey
2 Tbs. of softened butter
1 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
1 tsp. of freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arrange the cut acorn squash on a foil lined baking sheet. Place cut side up. In a small bowl, combine honey, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and red pepper flakes. With a pastry brush, brush the mixture on the acorn squash flesh. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the squash is tender when pricked with a fork. This side dish is great with chicken or meat. I love making this in the fall when there is a little nip in the air. The spice smell in the house is to die for!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pumpkin Cobbler


This cobbler is so scrumptious! So moist, sweet and the warm spices are just irresistible. A wonderful dessert for the fall. I can't tell you how many compliments I get when I make this. Easy and delicious!
You will need:
1 (29 oz.) can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
6 eggs at room temperature
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 box of spice cake mix
1 cup of chopped pecans
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup of light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cake mix, 1/2 of the pecans and 1 can of the condensed milk. Melt 1 stick of the butter and pour onto the bottom of a 13x9 inch deep dish pan (lasagna pans work well). Make sure the pan is fully coated with the butter. Pour the cake batter into the pan. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes. Melt the other stick of butter, add the other can of condensed milk and pecans; mix together. Pour this over the top of the hot cake, when it comes right out of the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Easy Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I came across this "Easy Coffee Cake" recipe in one of Paula Deen's first cookbooks. I tweeked it in a couple of ways and it is scrumptious. Great go to recipe for a breakfast treat for the kids and even the adults, LOL!
You will need:
2 cans of Pillsbury Crescent rolls
2 (8oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar plus 2 Tbs., divided
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 egg, divided
1 1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking dish with one can of the crescent rolls. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and the egg yolk and beat until combined. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crescent rolls. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon over the cream cheese filling. Cover the filling with the second can of crescent rolls. Whisk the egg white until frothy. Brush the egg white over the crescent rolls. Mix 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 2 Tbs. of sugar. Sprinkle over the top of the crescent rolls. Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve at room temperature. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Super Moist Meat Loaf

This meat loaf is so delicious and moist. The bacon just makes it even better!
You will need:
2 1/2 lbs. of ground beef
1/2 lb. of chopped bacon, cooked until crisp and cooled
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/3 cup of ketchup
2 Tbs. of mustard
1 Tbs. of worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of ground black pepper
1/3 cup of chopped scallions
2 Tbs. of chopped parsley
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of shredded monterey jack cheese
6 slices of white bread, divided
3/4 cup of milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, add the ground beef and the rest of the ingredients listed except for the sliced bread and milk. Mix the ground beef mixture, just until all combined. Place 4 slices of bread into the milk and remove and squeeze out the excess milk. Tear into pieces and add to the beef mixture. This is what makes the meat loaf so moist. I am sure that the bacon helps with that also, lol! Place the other 2 slices of bread at the bottom of a 11x8 inch baking dish. This will help soak up excess fat rendered from the meat loaf in the oven.

Form the beef mixture into a loaf and place on top of the slices of bread.
Bake in the oven for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink in the middle. Let the meat loaf rest for about 10- 15 minutes before slicing.You don't want all that wonderful juice to run out of the meat loaf. Hope you enjoy this as much as my family and I do.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Grilled Marinated Steaks


There is nothing like a good juicy steak off the grill!
You will need:
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of white wine
1/4 cup of soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. of worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. of ground black pepper
1 tsp. of onion powder
1 tsp. of sea salt
1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper
3 Tbs. of basil, chopped
2 1/2 to 3 lbs. of rib-eye steak

In a bowl, whisk all the listed ingredients except for the steaks. Place the steaks in a large zip-lock bag and pour the marinade over the steaks. Seal the bag and mix the marinade by moving the steak all around through the outside of the bag. Making sure that all the steak has been covered in the marinade. Place the bag in a shallow dish and place in the refrigerator for 1 day.
Preheat the grill to medium-high to high heat. Spray the grill grates with non-stick grilling spray. Grill the steaks about 8 minutes per side or to desired doneness. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

S'mores Cheesecake

If you haven't been able to tell yet, I am a finatic for cheesecake!! Love Love Love cheesecake! This particular recipe is so good with the gooey chocolate on top, toasty marshmallows and milk chocolatey cheesecake. Try it. You will not be disappointed.
You will need:
CRUST
2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup of sugar
7 Tbs. of melted butter
CHEESECAKE FILLING
3 (8oz.) pkgs. of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 Tbs. of vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
2 Tbs. of all-purpose flour
3 eggs
3 cups of tiny marshmallows
2 Tbs. of graham cracker crumbs for decoration, if desired
GANACHE
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and the sugar. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and 1/2 way up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to pour the filling in and bake. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and the vanilla bean paste and mix just until combined. Add the cooled melted chocolate and the flour and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour into the prepared springform pan. Bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the cheesecake is set and the center is slightly jiggly. While the cheesecake is in the oven, begin to make your ganache. Pour the heavy cream into a heavy saucepan and heat on medium-high heat just until boiling over. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set to the side to completely cool. When the cheesecake is done baking, remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes. Add the ganache over the top of the cheesecake. Make sure to reserve a few tablespoons to drizzle over the top of the mashmallows later. Pile the tiny marshmallow on top of the ganache and broil 5 inches away from the heat. Keep the oven door open so you can keep a close watch so as to not let the marshmallows burn. This should take a couple of minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown. Remove from the broiler and cool completely and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Before serving, drizzle the reserved ganache over the marshmallows and sprinkle with a little more of the graham cracker crumbs. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Prosciutto & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

I apologize for not having a picture for this recipe. I will post a picture really soon. We eat a lot of chicken in my house, so I am always looking for different ways to making chicken. Hope you like this one as much as we do!
You will need:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 (8oz.) pkg. of cream cheese, softened
8 slices of prosciutto
1 tsp. of garlic powder
3 Tbs. of chives, chopped
1 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of panko crumbs
1/4 cup of parmesan, grated
2 large eggs, beaten
Salt and Pepper for seasoning the outside of the chicken breasts
2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a mallet, pound the breast halves until 1/4 inch thick. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, garlic powder, chives, black pepper and salt. Place 1/4 of the mixture onto the middle of each breast half. Place 2 slices of prosciutto on each half. Pull the sides over the filling and roll, tucking in the ends. Use toothpicks to secure the filling. Place the flour in one dish, the eggs in a second dish, panko and parmesan in a third dish. Mixing the panko and parmesan together. Dip the stuffed chicken breasts first into the flour, shaking off any excess; dip into the eggs, then dredge in the panko and parmesan. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil. Bake for about 25- 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.




Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blueberries & Cream Cheesecake

This is such a wonderful treat. I can't tell you how many requests I have for this cheesecake. It has just the right sweetness in the filling and tartness from the sour cream layer. A wonderful dessert to have in the summer with all the fresh blueberries available.

2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
2 cups plus 6 Tbs. of sugar, divided
6 Tbs. of melted butter
4 cups of fresh blueberries, divided
1/4 cup of water
3 Tbs. of cornstarch, divided
3 (8oz.) pkgs. of cream cheese, softened
4 extra large eggs
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 (8oz.) carton of sour cream
1 Tbs. of vanilla bean paste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of sugar and the melted butter. Press on the bottom and half way up the sides of a 9 inch spring form pan. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
Blend 2 1/2 cups of blueberries, 3 Tbs. of sugar and 1 Tbs. of cornstarch until smooth. Pour into a saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Set mixture aside to cool. Reserve 1/2 cup of the blueberry mixture to make the topping and refrigerate.
Beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and vanilla extract and  mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the remaining 2 Tbs. of cornstarch. Pour batter into prepared crust. Dollop the blueberry mixture over the top of the batter. Gently swirl with a knife to make swirling designs. Be careful to not let the knife get to the crust. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the center is just slightly jiggly. Stir together the sour cream, 3 Tbs. of sugar and the vanilla paste. Pour over the hot cheesecake and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
In a saucepan, cook the reserved blueberry mixture, 1/4 cup of sugar, water and 1 1/2 cups of blueberries for 8-10 minutes or until thickened. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve the cheesecake.
Run a knife around the cheesecake to separate the cheesecake from the spring form pan. Unlatch the spring form pan and place on a serving dish. Pour the blueberry topping over the cheesecake and enjoy!!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Oven Fried Chicken

I like this recipe because it doesn't get my stove top dirty and I don't have to stand around and watch the chicken. Just throw it into a baking dish and into the oven and I am free to do other things. This is a great weekend meal. I Love me some comfort food, yummm!!

Whole chicken, cut up into 8 serving pieces
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of white wine
2 tsp. of salt, divided
2 tsp. of black pepper, divided
2 Tbs. of portuguese red bell pepper paste (massa de pimentao)
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp. of paprika, divided
1 tsp. of onion powder
1 tsp. of dried sage
3/4 cup of canola oil
2 cups of all- purpose flour
1 tsp. of garlic powder
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup of hot sauce

In a large bowl, whisk oil, wine, 1 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. of pepper, red bell pepper paste, garlic, 1 tsp. of paprika, onion powder and sage. Add the chicken to the marinade. Marinate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour canola oil into a 4 quart baking dish. Place the dish in the oven to heat the oil.
In one dish add the flour, 1 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. of pepper and the garlic powder and whisk together. In another dish add the eggs and the hot sauce and whisk together. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg then dredge in the flour mixture. Place chicken in the baking dish with the heated oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and bake for another 20-25 minutes.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bacon & Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

I am always trying to come up with some appetizer recipes. I love appetizers! Sometimes I rather have a few different appetizers for a meal rather than having just one main dish. So here's my latest! I hope to have a picture for you soon. I didn't get to take a picture of this dish the last time I made it because I wasn't fast enough for my family. They just jumped right in and before I knew it there weren't any left to take pictures of. LOL!

You will need:
1 lb. of Jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved lengthwise
1 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. of bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped
1/4 cup of chives, chopped
2 Tbs. of fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl combine cream cheese, bacon, parsley and chives. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto each pepper half. Arrange the pepper halves on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each half with a little of the grated parmesan cheese. Drizzle the olive oil over the tops of the peppers. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Tiramisu Cheesecake

I adore cheesecake and tiramisu! Now I get to enjoy them both at the same time with this recipe!
You will need:
Crust:
1 (12 oz.) pkg. of ladyfingers, crushed into fine crumbs
4 Tbs. of melted butter
1/4 cup of Kahlua
Filling:
4 (8oz.) pkgs. of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of Kahlua
2 eggs
3 Tbs. of all-purpose flour
Ganache for topping:
9 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of heavy cream
whipped cream and chocolate covered coffee beans for decorating


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small bowl, mix the ladyfinger crumbs, melted butter and Kahlua. Press onto the bottom and half way up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Refrigerate for about 10- 15 minutes. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, heavy cream and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the Kahlua and mix. Add the eggs and flour and beat until completely combined and smooth. Pour into the springform pan. Bake on the middle oven rack. Bake for about 50 minutes or until set. The middle should be slightly jiggly. Turn off the heat and open the oven door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool for about 25-30 minutes. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours or overnight. To make the ganache; place the chocolate chips and heavy cream over the double boiler. Occasionally stirring until melted. Pour over the top of the cheesecake. Allow the ganache to set in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Decorate with whipped cream and chocolate covered coffee beans if desired. Enjoy!!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Peanut Butter & Banana Pancakes



I am a huge fan of peanut butter and banana together. I like to make these pancakes once in a while on the weekend and my family just loves them.
You will need:
1 banana, mashed
1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
3 Tbs. of honey
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbs. of canola oil
1 1/4 cups of buttermilk
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp. of baking powder
1 tsp. of baking soda
1/4 tsp. of salt

Preheat your griddle to a medium heat.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk the mashed banana, peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, egg, oil and buttermilk. Whisk until smooth. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well to combine. Add ladle fulls of the batter to the griddle. Cook until you see bubbles forming on the surface of the pancakes, then turn them over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve with  sliced bananas, butter and warm maple syrup. What a great way to start the day!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Honey & Sriracha Grilled Shrimp

I adore shrimp any way you cook it. Yummmy!!!
You will need:
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. of salt
2 Tbs. of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 tsp. of dried oregano
1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp with tails attached
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of butter, melted
1 Tbs. of Sriracha (hot chili sauce that can be found in your Asian aisle of your grocery store)
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 Tbs. of fresh parsley, chopped
skewers

In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and dried oregano. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat the grill to high heat. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and thread them through the skewers. In a small bowl, stir together the honey, melted butter, Sriracha, salt and parsley. Set aside to baste the shrimp. Spray the grill racks with non stick grilling spray. Grill the shrimp for about 3 minutes on each side or until a beautiful pinkish color. Do not over cook or the shrimp will be like erasers. Baste occasionally with the honey and sriracha sauce. Bon Appetit!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Canadian Bacon & Cheese Savory Bread Pudding



You will need:
2 1/2 cups of sourdough bread, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
5 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup of chopped cremini mushrooms
1/3 cup of chopped onion
1 cup of pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
2/3 cup of milk
1/3 cup of chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup of canadian bacon, chopped
4 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet. Drizzle 3 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil over the bread cubes and toss with your hands. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, turning the bread cubes over once. Remove from oven; cool. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onion and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes and let cool. In a large bowl beat the eggs, milk and chicken broth. Add the bread cubes to the egg mixture and let it sit in the liquid for 5 minutes. Add the cheese, canadian bacon, parsley, salt, and pepper to the egg and milk mixture. Spoon about 1 cup of the bread mixture into each of the greased 5 (7 oz.) ramekins.

Divide the 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese among the tops of the 5 ramekins.
Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Zucchini Bread


I love the smell of this wonderful bread baking in the oven. The aroma of the spices is just so comforting! This recipe yields 2 loaves.
You will need:

3 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. of ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. of baking soda
3 cups of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of canola oil
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup of water
2 cups of grated zucchini
1 tsp. of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients; fold into the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into 2 greased 9x5 inch loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour, or until done.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chocolate com Pimenta Ladyfingers Cheesecake


Everyone will eat this and wonder, hmmmm, what is that warmth I am sensing on the back of my throat? Chocolate lovers dream!
You will need:

8 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar, divided
3 Tbs. of water
2 pints of whipping cream
3 Tbs. of confectioner's sugar
2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper
3 packages of sponge ladyfingers
Chocolate shavings for garnish

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, sugar and water. Then set aside to cool. In a large bowl beat the whipping cream and confectioner's sugar until stiff peaks are formed. In another large bowl beat the cream cheese and the 1/2 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate and cayenne pepper and beat until well combined. Fold in half of the whipped cream, being careful not to deflate the whipped cream. Line the sides and bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with the lady fingers. Making sure the rounded edges are on the outside. Pour half of the chocolate mixture. Layer half of the remaining whipped cream and then another layer of the ladyfingers and repeat with the remaining chocolate mixture and lastly the whipped cream. Top with some chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve nice and cold. Enjoy!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Greek Style Pasta with Chicken


You will need:

1 lb. of uncooked pasta
3 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
3 Tbs. of fresh oregano, chopped
3 Tbs. of fresh parsley, chopped
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 14 oz. can of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup of crumbled feta
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup of pitted Kalamat olives, sliced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and follow the instructions on the pasta box; drain.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken, salt and peppers. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear. Add the oregano, parsley, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta and fresh lemon juice. Cook for another 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the olives and toss gently. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss all together. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Stuffed Zucchini


You will need:
3 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 slices of bacon, chopped
1 lb. of ground turkey
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. of poultry seasoning
1/4 cup of red wine
1 1/2 cups of country style (Pepperidge Farms) stuffing
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 cup of monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
4 zucchinis, each cut in half lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
In a skillet, add olive oil, red bell pepper, onion, bacon and turkey. Add salt and pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook until the turkey is no longer pink. Add the wine and cook for 5 more minutes.  Add the stuffing and cheeses. Remove the pulp from the zucchinis, making boats. Place the zucchinis in a baking dish. Spoon the stuffing into each of the zucchini halves. Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Panko Crusted Fresh Cod


You will need:

2 lbs. of fresh cod fillets
Salt and Pepper
2 eggs
3 Tbs. of hot sauce (this doesn't make the fish spicy, just gives the fish a nice tang)
1 cup of panko crumbs
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbs. of onion powder
2 tsp. of dried dill
2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
Season your cod fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. In a shallow dish beat the eggs and the hot sauce together. In another shallow dish, add the panko, parmesan cheese, onion powder and dried dill. Mix with a fork to combine. Pour the olive oil into a 13x9 inch baking dish, coating the bottom of the dish. Place your cod fillets in the egg wash and then dredge with the panko crumb mixture. Place the fish in the baking dish. Turn cod to coat with the olive oil. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the cod before serving. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kabobs


This is a great summer recipe! The sweetness with the spiciness is delicious.
You will need:

1/4 cup of canola oil
1/3 cup of honey
3 Tbs. of chili garlic sauce (you can find this in your oriental aisle of your grocery section)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup of low sodium soy sauce
8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 large red onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 pineapple, cored and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut inot 2 inch pieces
Wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 1 hour

In a large bowl whisk together the oil, honey, chili garlic sauce, garlic and soy sauce. Reserve a small amount of the marinade for basting the kabobs later (about 1/4 cup). Place the chicken, onions and peppers in the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight. Preheat the grill to high heat. Drain the marinade from the chicken, peppers and onions. Skewer the chicken, peppers, onions and pineapple alternately. Spray the grill rack with nonstick grilling spray or just use some canola oil on a towel. Place the kabobs on the grill and grill for 6 to 7 minutes, basting once half way through grilling. Turn the kabob over and repeat the process. Hope you enjoy!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Barbecue Chicken Pizza


I love getting in the kitchen with my kids and creating some pizza masterpieces. They love to make their own personal sized pizzas with their favorite toppings. I purchased a pizza stone and what a difference it makes in the crust. Just purchase some pizza dough from your local grocery store or stop by a pizza place and ask them if you can purchase some pizza dough. Get into your kitchen and have some fun making this pizza!
You will need:

Pizza dough
3 Tbs. of garlic infused olive oil
1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 cup of grilled chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup of cooked crisp bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup of thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of shredded monterey jack cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
Roll out your pizza dough with a rolling pin to a 12 inch circle. Place on a pizza stone. If you don't have a pizza stone just place in a pizza baking pan. With a pastry brush, brush on the garlic infused olive oil. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the barbecue sauce on the crust leaving about a 1/2 inch space from the edges. Place your grilled chicken and bacon over the barbecue sauce. Spreading them apart evenly. Add the green pepper and the onion. Sprinkle the cheeses over the top. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Serve with a nice green salad. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Linguica Quiche with a Hash Brown Crust


I came up with this recipe one day after realizing I didn't have any bacon or pie crust. I looked in the fridge and found linguica and figured, hmmm everything is better with linguica, LOL!! Then I looked in the freezer and found some hash brown patties and asked myself why not? Turned out to be one of my families favorites. It goes to show you that some mishaps end up being DELICIOUS!! You will need:

2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. of linguica, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 Tbs. of chopped parsley
5 eggs
1 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste
6 frozen hash brown patties, defrosted
1 cup of shredded monterey jack cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Then, add the linguica and chopped onion. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the linguica is a little browned and the onions are translucent. Add the parsley and cook for another minute. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, salt and pepper. Add the milk and beat until combined. Add the linguica mixture. In a 9 inch pie dish, line the bottom with torn up pieces of the hash brown patties. Press down to create a crust. Pour the linguica and egg mixture over the hash brown patties. Sprinkle the monterey jack cheese all over the top. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees Farenheit. Bake for another 20 minutes or until firm. Serve this with a nice green salad. Enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Brownies



Whenever I make these brownies, they are gone the same day. These brownies are soft, gooey and delicious.
You will need:

2 pkgs. (16.5 oz. each) of cookie dough
2 egg yolks
2  pkgs. (8 oz. each) of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and the sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks and the vanilla extract and beat until completely combined. Line the bottom and half way up the sides of a 13x9 inch baking dish with one package of the cookie dough. To do this you will need to take pieces of the cookie dough and press with the palm of your hand onto the bottom and sides of the dish. Pour the filling over the cookie dough. Take the other package of cookie dough and break into pieces and flatten in between the palms of your hands and put on top of the filling. Covering all of the filling. Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Slow Cooker Beef Stew


This is what you call comfort food. A bowl of beef stew with a nice piece of bread. I can't even begin to tell you how delicious this stew is. The meat is like butter, just melts in your mouth. Walking into your home and getting smacked in the face with this aroma after a long day at work. There is just nothing like it!!
You will need:

2 lbs. of stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup of flour
1 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper
3 cups of beef broth
1/2 cup of good red wine
1 beef bouillon cube
1 Tbs. of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. of hot sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. of paprika
16 oz. bag of baby carrots or 4 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 Tbs. of dried rosemary

Put the meat into the slow cooker insert. In a small bowl combine flour, salt and pepper and pour over meat; toss the meat to coat with the flour. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. Cover and cook on low 10 hours. Stir the stew before serving. If you find that it is not thick enough for you, simply mix 1 Tbs. of cornstarch with 3 Tbs. of water and add to the stew and cook in the slow cooker for another 5 minutes.
 Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Taco Meat Pie

For this recipe you will need:

1 pkg. (15 oz.) of pie crusts (2 crusts)
1 lb. of lean ground beef
1/3 cup of pitted black olives, sliced
1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro or you can use parsley
1 1/2 cups of shredded Mexican blend cheese
3/4 cup of thick and chunky salsa
2 Tbs. of Taco Seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
Let pie crusts stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef until the meat is no longer pink. Drain in a colander. Place the meat in a large bowl. Add the olives, onion, cilantro, cheese, salsa, taco seasoning and garlic; mix well. Place one pie crust on the bottom of  a 9 inch pie dish. Add the filling and top with the second pie crust. Be sure to pinch the edges of the bottom crust and the top crust together. This seals the crust, ensuring that the filling will not ooze out and create a huge mess. Flute the edges of the pie crust to make a beautiful pie. Cut 4 slits on the top of the crust. Brush the pie with the egg. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle the top of the crust with the shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. Bake for another 10 minutes. If the edges of the pie start to get too browned, cover the edges with aluminum foil. You can serve this with mashed potatoes and a vegetable of choice. Also, serve with some sour cream and extra salsa. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Baked Stuffed Shrimp


This stuffing is so delicious. It beats the stuffing that you sometimes get at some restaurants. You know, the kind that is 80% bread. I have made it a tradition to have this on the table every Christmas dinner. It has gotten rave reviews. It is a little expensive but, that is why we make it for Christmas and other special occasions. It is a nice treat.
You will need:

1 lb. fresh lump crabmeat, shells removed
2 Tsp. of Old Bay Seasoning
4 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
 3 Tbs. melted butter
1/2 cup of onions, minced
1/4 cup of green bell peppers, minced
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbs. of fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. hot sauce
1 1/2 cups of fresh homemade bread crumbs (few slices of good bread like Ciabatta, in a food processor with 1 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil) fresh bread crumbs make a world of a difference
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs. jumbo shrimp, shelled, deveined and butterflied

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
Line a 4 quart baking dish with foil and spray with non stick cooking spray. Place the crabmeat in a large bowl and sprinkle the old bay seasoning and toss gently, being careful of not breaking apart the lump crab. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a skillet over medium- high heat, add the olive oil. Add the onions and peppers and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the parsley and garlic and cook, stirring for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Add the cooled vegetables to the crabmeat and toss gently to combine. Add the mayonnaise, egg, lemon juice, Worcestershire and hot sauce and toss gently. Add the bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste, and toss gently. Spoon the stuffing evenly into each shrimp (about 2 Tbs.) and place, stuffed sides up, in the baking dish. Drizzle with the melted butter. Bake until golden brown, about 20- 25 minutes. I like to serve this with a vegetable like green beans and rice.
Bon Appetit!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Portuguese Baked Beans/ Feijao Assado


This dish is a portuguese traditional dish. This recipe is usually made with dry beans but,  I use the canned beans because it is much quicker to make this way. I love to eat this over a white rice but, my favorite way is to have it as a sandwich in a portuguese pop. My mom always made sandwiches with these beans for my dad and herself to bring for lunch. It is an inexpensive dish and is absolutely delicious. You will need:

2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbs. of portuguese paprika
1 lb. of linguicia or chourico, chopped with casing removed
1/2 of a package of smoked bacon, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 (15.5 oz.) cans of cannellini beans
3/4 cup of good red wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup of chopped parsley (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Then, add onion, paprika, linguica and bacon. Let these ingredients cook until the onions are translucent and the linguica is a bit browned and a little of the fat from the bacon has been rendered. This takes about 10 minutes. Add the beans, wine, parsley and the salt and pepper. Cook for another 5-8 minutes. Pour the beans into a 13x9 inch baking dish. Bake covered, for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 25- 30 minutes.

Serve over rice or in a portuguese pop. You can also just serve as is with a salad on the side. Hope you enjoy!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Portuguese Sweet Rice/ Arroz Doce


This recipe always brings back such wonderful childhood memories for me. The smell of this sweet rice cooking on the stove always puts a smile on my face. My mom never had a Christmas Eve celebration without this being on the table for everyone to feast on. I just hope that my children have the same sweet memories. This recipe is so wonderful because all of the ingredients get dumped into one pot and cooks slowly. You don't have to fuss or muss over it. You will need:

4 cups of whole milk
4 cups of water
2 cups of sugar
4 Tbs. of unsalted butter
Lemon rind from 1 lemon (you will need to remove the rind in big pieces with a pairing knife)
1 tsp. of salt
2 cups of rice (River Rice)
6 egg yolks that have been beaten
1 Tbs. of ground cinnamon

In a non-stick 6 quart pan over medium heat add milk, water, sugar, butter, lemon rind and salt. Stir and let it come to a boil. Add the rice slowly, constantly stirring. Let this mixture come to a boil and lower the heat to low. Stir occasionally just to ensure that the rice is not clumping up. Let it cook for about 45 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the lemon rind. Add about 1/2 cup of the rice to the egg yolks to temper them. Then add the egg yolks to the rice, stirring vigorously to prevent making scrambled eggs. Pour the rice onto a serving dish. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon. I hope you enjoy this sweet rice as much as my family and I do.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cheesesteak Egg Rolls


I can't tell you how good these egg rolls taste. You will have to make them so you can see what I mean. This appetizer will be the first to go. Although, I have to confess that I have made them as a meal for myself. The crispy outside and delicious filling of oozing cheese and the tender and moist steak is just out of this world.
You will need:

Canola oil for frying
1/4 cup of water
2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium vidalia onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. of shaved steak
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. of monterey jack cheese or pepper jack cheese, your preference
8 egg roll wrappers

Preheat your oil in a large pan to 350 degrees Farenheit. The pan should be about half way full in order to deep fry. In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, saute the onion and peppers in olive oil. Saute until slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the shaved steak and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are translucent. Add cheese and toss lightly. Remove from heat. Remove the meat mixture from the skillet with a slotted spoon so as to get rid of the excess liquid, and place in a bowl. Divide the meat mixture in 8 equal portions onto the center of the 8 egg rolls. Take your finger and dip into the water. Run your finger all along the edges of the egg roll. Fold in the left and right sides and roll, sealing tightly. Place in the oil. Fry these in 2 batches. Fry them until they are golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with a paper bag or paper towels.

Serve these hot so that the cheese is nice and melted and just ooey gooey. Bon Appetit!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Crescent Pizza Casserole


I love to share recipes like this because they are quick, easy and delicious. A great recipe for a weeknight meal. We all know how crazy and hectic weeknights can be. So, instead of stopping to get some unhealthy fast food for the family, you can whip up this recipe in no time. And it is inexpensive! This meal can be made with your favorite toppings like mushrooms, green peppers, bacon, olives and linguica, just to name a few options. I make it with few ingredients because my family is very picky. You will need:

2 cans of crescent rolls
1/3 cup of pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups of cubed ham
1 cup of pepperoni
1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella or montery jack cheese
1 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1/4 cup of grated paremesan cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Line the bottom of  a 13x9 inch baking dish with one can of the crescent rolls. Separating the cresent rolls into rectangles and pressing and sealing the preforated seams.


Spread the pizza sauce leaving a 1/4 inch border so that the pizza sauce does not ooze out. Sprinkle the cheese on top and add all your favorite toppings.


Top with the second can of crescent rolls. Drizzle the olive oil on top and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. The olive oil and parmesan cheese are optional.



Bake in the oven for 25-27 minutes or until golden brown.


This can be served with some warm pizza sauce for dipping. Enjoy!