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.