Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Left Over Turkey

About now is the time people are pretty darn sick of that leftover turkey, and for good reason. While I should have been grading papers yesterday I decided it was a good time to make enchiladas. I tried only once before to make them and it was slightly disastrous. This recipe however, is AWESOME!!!!! Here it is:

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas
2-3 cups cooked turkey, diced or shredded
1/2 onion, small dice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jar of Trader Joe's Enchilada Sauce (if TJ's is not local, use a can of sauce from the store if you don't want to make your own, but TJ's is the best!)
12 or so corn tortillas
1 Tb. Olive Oil (better for the heart)
1 small can of olives (or not if you hate olives)
2-3 cups of cheese, Mexican blend

In a saute pan, add olive oil and onions and soften. Add garlic when the onions are almost soft and continue to saute for a bit to cook the garlic. Add the turkey and about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce, mix. This is the filling!

In another pan, heat the remaining enchilada sauce, but do not boil.

In a glass pan, or corning wear pan, cover the bottom with enchilada sauce.

Toast the corn tortillas with a cast iron tortilla plate or in a dry frying pan. Some people fry the tortillas in oil rather than doing it dry. I prefer no oil on the tortillas because frying them makes the enchiladas oily. After toasting them until a bit bubbly, dip them into the enchilada sauce. Here's where your hands get messy. Once you dip them, place them into the pan with the enchilada sauce and fill with a few tablespoons of turkey mixture. Add a couple slices of olive to the inside and sprinkle with as much cheese as you'd like (try not to overfill the enchiladas - it may take a try or two to get it right). Line the pan with enchiladas touching. Once you have filled the pan, you can add more enchilada sauce if you like saucy enchiladas, or not if you don't (I did not). Sprinkle cheese on the top and line them with olives (see pic above) to delineate where the individual enchiladas are located. Serve with sour cream, avocados, rice and beans for a complete dinner. Shawn and I don't do rice and beans at home, so we ate them ala carte. They are awesome!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have been craving Chicken Tortilla Soup for weeks. I finally went to the supermarket today to gather all of the ingredients needed. If you are interested, here's the recipe:

1 Whole Chicken
3 Carrots, small dice
3 Stalks of Celery, small dice
1 Large Onion, small dice
6 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 15oz. can Petite Diced Tomatoes (not drained)
1 15oz. can Chili Beans (not drained)
1 15oz. can Pinto Beans (drained and rinsed)
2 cups corn, more if you'd like
1 cup salsa (use your favorite type)
10-12 cups of water
3 Tablespoons "Better than Bullion"
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder (I use Grandma's Chili Powder)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Limes to squeeze on top for that fresh citrus flavor

Optional Toppings:
Sour Cream
Black Olives
Tortilla Chips

Saute onion, celery and carrots in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add water and Better than Bullion (make sure the bullion dissolves). Meanwhile, skin the chicken, make sure to remove as much visible fat as possible, and drop it into the pot. Cook the chicken until it reaches 180 degrees. Remove the chicken and cool until you can handle it. Shred the chicken or cut into little pieces and add it back to the pot. Add everything else listed: beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa & chili powder. Simmer until all flavors meld together, approximately 30 minutes or so. The flavors get better as it sits.

*Better than Bullion is indeed much better than bullion cubes or chicken broth. In a pinch, use anything you have, but Better than Bullion is the way to go if possible.

*Use boneless skinless chicken breasts if you don't want to deal with the whole chicken. Sometimes whole chickens are ridiculously cheap, so that's why I used the whole thing today.

*Add more/less veggies to taste. Next time I will probably use a bit more onion.

*Use marinated jalapenos if you want a bit of a kick. I love vinegar, so sometimes I just spoon out some of the marinade to use on top of the soup instead, or in addition to the jalapenos themselves. Using a teaspoon or more of the marinade gives the flavor without the kick of the jalapeno itself.

*The squeeze of lime finishes the soup off nicely. Squeeze the fresh lime into the soup right before serving.

*Use whatever beans you'd like. If you do use other beans besides Chili Beans, rinse and drain before adding to the pot. The Chili Beans are in a marinade that goes well with the recipe. Black, Chili, Pinto, Kidney, etc... work well in this soup too. Use whatever you have on hand.

*This list looks like quite a bit of stuff, but it really is an easy soup to make.

The verdict: I will be keeping this recipe for quite a long time. It is awesome!!! It's kind of an amalgam of a bunch of different recipes I have seen, but of course had to put my own twist on it. Try it, you'll like it. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

French Baguettes

I found this recipe on my favorite website, Click on the link and it will take you to the original recipe. This recipe was so spectacular that I did not change a thing, and will more than likely never change it, save adding half wheat flour instead of all white bread flour. I did, however, change the way I prepared the recipe.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water

  1. Place 1 cup water (100 degrees), sugar, and yeast into a stand mixer and allow the yeast to bloom for a few minutes.
  2. Add the flour and salt, mix for 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Place dough in a greased bowl (NOT plastic), turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
  4. Punch down dough making sure to punch down all bubbles. Cut dough in half, creating two long thin loaves. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
The verdict: O-H....M-Y....G-O-S-H....the best bread I have ever eaten. Some people who reviewed the recipe said that it was the closest thing to real french baguettes they have eaten since they were in France. I have never been to France, but my gosh, I may just go for the bread......wait a minute.....if I can make bread like that, why go to France? Really though - this is amazing bread. It has just the right amount of sweetness, and the taste and texture are awesome! I can't recommend this recipe enough.

Spicy Meatballs

I found a recipe on that was for "The Best Meatballs You'll Ever Have". Well, I changed the recipe a bit to suit what we had in the house. Here it is:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 4 slices of bread, toasted and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
I threw everything together and mixed it. I then rolled the mixture into small meatballs and baked it at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, then broiled for a few minutes.

The verdict: The meatballs are very spicy. Next time I will use less than half of the red pepper flakes. I also used quite a spicy Cajun mix. I will use half of that too, and possibly add some cheese. So far we have tried them alone, they may be better once we put them in some pasta sauce. Of course Shawn likes them, me, not so much! They are decent, but far too spicy for me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Slow Cooker Stew

I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to cook Shawn and Jonathan breakfast (see the cast of players on the right side of my blog to understand who these people are). I wanted it done by the time Jonathan got here because they needed to get on the road ASAP. They are heading up to Donner Lake to help Mamaw and Papaw with their lake house. Every year around this time they need to weather the boat and prepare the deck for the winter. Shawn and Jonathan help them every year prepare the house for winter, then in Spring, the prepare the house for the Summer. What nice grandsons!!!! Back to my point....I got up early to shop for all the stuff I needed to make them breakfast and for the ingredients to make dinner tonight. What's for dinner??? Thanks for asking!

Crockpot Stew!!!! The picture above is partially cooked. I had sauteed the meat and onions, but those are the only two ingredients cooked. Hopefully it will cook down without spilling out, I quite overfilled the crockpot. Here's my recipe:

2-3 lbs. Stew Meat
3 Yukon Gold Potatoes - cut into 1 inch or so pieces
3 Red Potatoes - same as above
3 Celery Stalks cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1-1 1/2 cups baby carrots
2 Onions cut into hearty chunks
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup mix
1 beef bullion - large
1 Bay Leaf
2 cups of boiling water
1 Tb. parsley
1/4 - 1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1 Tb. butter
4 Tb. olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 Tb. flour or cornstarch to thicken

1). Rinse meat, drain and coat with flour and seasoned salt. Brown on all sides in a pan with 3Tb. olive oil. Once browned, add to crockpot.
3). Add butter and remaining Tb. of olive oil and soften onions and garlic.
3). Deglaze pan with wine and add to crockpot.
4). Combine 2 cups of boiling water with Bullion Cube and Lipton Onion Packet, mix well and add to crockpot.
5). Add parsley to crockpot and mix.
6). Add bay leaf, carrots, celery, and potatoes to crockpot and stir.
7). Turn the crockpot on high for 30 minutes, then lower to low setting and leave for 6-8 hours.
8). Once done, you can add the slurry (water and cornstarch or flour) to thicken.

Tips: Here's one of my most important tips to cooking.....are you ready??? Are you sure??? Try to make all of your veggies and meat the same size. This should be self-explanatory, but for some it is not. When people speak of "love" in cooking, this is what comes to mind (for me anyway). Why would people say "It's cooked with love"? I personally think it's because of the amount of time someone takes to cook something, and for a dish like this, that means taking the extra time to cut everything 'right'. Why take the time too cook unless it's extraordinary. :)

The verdict: Well, as is my nature, I didn't like it. Shawn liked it quite a bit, but me, uh no! There was a flavor in it that was a bit off. Jonathan said that it needed salt. I guess I'm still on the hunt for the perfect stew recipe. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sesame Black Olive Hummus

I just made Black Olive Hummus with Sesame Oil last night, and it was so good that I had to share the recipe. Usually traditional Hummus calls for Tahini, which is a sesame paste almost like peanut butter. But since I don't usually use Tahini, I saw no need to buy it. Here is my recipe without it. I hope you like it. (I cannot take credit for the picture. I failed to take a picture of my hummus, so I pulled this off of the internet)

2 15 oz. cans of garbanzo beans drained
1 15 oz. can of black olives, reserve 3 Tb. of liquid
1 garlic clove minced
2 lemons juiced, remove seeds
1 Tb. of Sesame Oil

Directions: If you have a food processor, this will make your life TONS easier. I will assume you have one. Throw in 1 garlic clove and mince the crap out of it. Add in 1/2 can beans and blend really really well. This insures the garlic is minced really small. Add in the rest of the beans, the juice of both lemons, reserved olive brine, the tablespoon of sesame oil and grind grind grind until almost pureed. Add more olive brine if needed. Pour into a bowl. Then, add the olives, the whole can to the food processor and coarsely chop (don't worry about cleaning out your food processor). Chop until desired consistency and stir into hummus. Sprinkle with a few reserved olives if you'd like, and sprinkle with paprika if needed for presentation value.

Tips and Variations: Use Greek Olives, Green Olives or Roasted Red Peppers. Also, taste as you go. I ended up adding about a teaspoon of sea salt, but only because I like my hummus a bit salty. This is certainly NOT needed because the olives are fairly salty, but will be needed if you make the Roasted Red Pepper variety.

Serve with Club crackers, Ritz crackers, carrots, cut red pepper and other veggies for dipping. Of course you can serve it with pita bread, pita chips or my favorite, Gorgonzola Crackers from Trader Joe's (a fairly new item). I personally like cut veggies because you can't have too many veggies in your diet right? Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Double Dipping

A couple of weeks ago Shawn and I were watching Food Detectives on the Food Network. While the host of the show, Ted Allen, is a horrendous host, some of the stuff they cover is pretty interesting. Double dipping, is it really that big of a deal? In short, YES! As most of us have probably known for a while, double dipping causes bacteria to be spread from one person to the next. This essentially means that if people are double dipping, dipping a chip or cracker into something, taking a bite, and dipping it again, they are spreading their saliva throughout the bowl of dip or salsa. Uh, YUCK!!!!!

Here is an article from the New York Times to confirm what I'm talking about. Click Here!

Now time for a confession: I have long hated eating out of communal bowls at parties. I can obviously handle eating out of the same bowl as my husband, and certain married couples that I know and hang out with quite a bit. But I try to avoid eating out of the same bowl as anyone else, or sharing drinks for that matter. People are sometimes offended, yes, but as my close friends can probably tell you, I avoid doing this because I don't like other people's germs. It's a psychological thing really. Why can some of us choke down chocolate covered grasshoppers and others not? It's a psychological issue.

Heck, my friends and family can probably reveal to you, for that matter, that I sanitize my bathroom all the time even though it's just my husband and I living in our house, and I sanitize especially after someone else uses my bathroom. At motels/hotels I bring bleach and my own sanitizing wipes, as I revealed to my friend Jaymie a couple of weeks ago. Thankfully she understood where I was coming from, because she does the same thing. :) But here's the issue - I like my stuff clean! It's as simple as that. Yes my house is cluttered. Yes I can stand to vacuum up the dog hair on a more consistent basis. Yes I can stand to dust more. Even though my house may be all those things, the places that 'matter' are sterilized, not only for my protection but for the protection of my guests. Double dipping falls into this category, I want my food 'clean'. I don't mind, at all, people dipping a chip or cracker into a communal bowl, but for heaven's sake, PLEASE DON'T DOUBLE DIP!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chicken Stuffed with Dried Apricots and Gorgonzola

I just came up with a recipe. Chicken stuffed with chopped pieces of dried apricots and slices of gorgonzola cheese. It's still in the oven, but when it comes out I will let y'all know how it is. But in the meantime, here's the recipe:

2 chicken breasts
6 dried apricots chopped
gorgonzola cheese, about 3 ounces
10 buttery crackers (like Club, or Ritz)
1 Tb. flour
1 egg beaten

Cut a pocket into the chicken breasts and fill it with the apricots and gorgonzola cheese. Crumble the crackers, then add the flour, salt and pepper to taste and place onto a dish. Once the chicken is filled, dip the chicken breasts in the egg, then into the cracker mixture. If need be, stick a toothpick through the opening in the chicken. Throw it into the oven at 350-375 for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through. (I would give you a time frame on cooking the chicken, but I simply don't know. I always cook chicken until the tempertaure reads about 180 degrees.)

The verdict: The husband really liked it. I however, thought that a milder cheese would have worked a bit better so the sweetness of the apricots could have come through a little more. But, all in all it's a keeper. If the husband likes it, heck, it's a keeper. Nothin' more to say!

Update: You know what would go really good in the stuffing of this recipe? Some chopped pecans. Not too many, but enough to taste. Hmmm, I will have to try that next time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cheesecake Cookie Cups

Alright ladies and gentlemen, here's an awesome recipe I found on It is cookie at the bottom and cheesecake at the top. As is my nature, I can't follow a recipe exactly, but I did change it to suit my needs. I bought Nestle Brownie Bites and put those at the bottom. Other users have said to use sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies and other stuff if you'd like. But, at least here's the original recipe so you can see it, and of course, change it as you see fit! :) Oh yeah, I also did not use the pie filling.

  • 12 pieces NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Dough
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup NESTLE CARNATION Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
  1. PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F. Paper-line 12 muffin cups.
  2. PLACE one piece of cookie dough in each muffin cup.
  3. BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookie has spread to edge of cup.
  4. BEAT cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, egg and vanilla extract in medium bowl until smooth. Pour about 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture over each cookie in cup.
  5. BAKE for additional 15 to 18 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Top with pie filling. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Portobello Napoleon

For lunch today I made something that looks like the picture below. We were too hungry to wait to take a picture, but it's generally the same, minus the meaty looking thing on the top. Here's the recipe:

6 Portobello Mushrooms (not the HUGE ones, but the medium sized ones)
1 or 2 tomatoes (match the size to the portobello's)
6 large basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
Mozzarella cheese (we used fresh, but a more flavorful variety would have been better)
2 cups of balsamic vinegar

Put balsamic vinegar in a pot and reduce down by half.
Grill the mushrooms for about 10 minutes. First brush them with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Stack the ingredients in this order once you have completed the above two steps:
Portobello's first
slice of cheese
thick slice of tomato
basil leaf resting on top
pine nuts scattered over the stack
pour a TB of cooled vinegar over the mushroom stacks.

Such a great meal!!!! Enjoy!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

The soup came out great. The recipe I posted serves 6-8 people. I LOVED the chunkiness of the soup, my husband did not. He prefers a much smoother soup. So, if you have picky eaters in the house, just puree everything. The flavor was good, although, I thought it needed quite a bit more basil. But, I did add fresh basil to the top of the soup, and that helped. I do think that it would have been better with another tablespoon of basil during the cooking process. Next time I will add two and see how it comes out. I tend to like really strong flavors (and again, the husband does not), so sometimes I try to compromise. All in all this is a keep recipe.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

I just made this soup for lunch today. In fact, it is still simmering on the stove for about 40 more minutes. But, even the 'young' soup is amazingly good. This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, and oh so good.

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half (I used Roma Tomatoes)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil (I used less)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (I am not a big pepper fan, so I used about 1/2 a teaspoon total)
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced (garlic lover here - I used almost 10 cloves)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I only had salted on hand, and it came out fine)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (this is a MUST, but if you don't like spicy, cut that in half)
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (who has 4 cups of basil leaves on hand? I used 1 tablespoon dried, crushed in my hand)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/4 teaspoon dried and crushed in my hand)
1 quart chicken stock or water (uh yeah - stock is expensive, so I used broth made from bullion cubes)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

Personal Adaptations: In the ingredients list above, I have obviously made notes. Other than that, and because I don't have a food mill, after sauteing the onions and garlic, I put the tomatoes from the oven and onion mixture in the food processor and pulsed it until pretty smooth, but still had small lumps in it. Then, I put the whole can of tomatoes in the food processor and gave that a rough-ish chop, but somewhat smooth. (I tend to like my soups with some substance. My husband does not, so when it's done, I will probably have to put a few servings in the blender or food processor for him to make it really smooth). When serving, I will put a chiffonad of fresh basil on the top and serve it with some parmesan crisps from the oven. You can also serve this cold with a dollop of creme fresch on top (but that stuff tastes like sour cream to me and I don't really like cold soup). Enjoy!!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Healthy Yumminess

I don't usually endorse products, but I MUST tell you about these baked goods. You can find the products HERE! These cookies are from the Rising Dough Bakery. Just look at the nutritional facts. 200 calories, 4 grams of fat and a WHOPPING 10 grams of dietary fiber (this is for the Double Chocolate Chip version - other varieties have differences in nutritional info.). But let me tell you, the Double Chocolate Chip Cookie is absolutely amazing. It tastes like a brownie - no lie! Especially if you warm them up a bit. I eat one of these for lunch almost everyday - and for a late night snack if I feel so inclined. Each time I order I get two boxes (free shipping). They are awesome!!!!! Even my mom liked them, and that lady hates just about anything I have tried the other varieties, and they are good too, but I keep coming back to the Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. Man cannot live by bread alone - but no one said man can't live by Double Chocolate Chip Cookies alone.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Recipes

Stuffed Zucchini

1 large zucchini or a few small zucchini

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ - 1/3 cup salsa (any commercial salsa will work)

½ onion chopped

1-2 cloves of garlic minced

½ to 1 tablespoon of spike

1 to 1 ½ cups cooked rice

10 oz ground turkey

1 cup cheddar cheese (½ for mixture, ½ for top)

Cut zucchini lengthwise and scoop out middle with a spoon or melon baller. Take care not to scoop out too much, the zucchini must have walls to hold in the filing. Leave walls on all sides so the filling stays in. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add the ground turkey and cook. Add the rice, spike, salsa and half of the cheddar cheese. Mix everything together until warm and the cheese has melted. Place mixture equally into zucchini boats. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 until zucchini are a bit soft, but not too soft. The zucchini should still be quite firm but cooked. Add cheese to top once cooked and melt cheese on top.


1 can Organic Muir Glen Fire Roasted Salsa

¼ cup cilantro

¼ Vidalia onion chopped or other mild flavor onion

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 serrano chili

1 jalapeno pepper

juice of ½ lime

In a dry frying pan, place the whole Serrano chili and whole jalapeno for approximately 5-10 minutes tuning every minute so the chili’s are browned/blackened and steamy on the inside. Let them sit on the counter for a few minutes to cool. Cut off the tops and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and veins (do this if you don’t want the salsa too spicy. If you want more spice in the salsa, leave the veins and seeds in). Chop into small pieces. Add all other ingredients into a food processor and blend well – until desired consistency. TIP: Wear gloves if you are working with chili's. The heat of the chili's will make your hands burn for a day or two if you don't - and that's not comfortable. :)

Monday, June 9, 2008


Last year our zucchini was cross pollinated so it didn't produce anything but two funny looking zucchini that were as hard as a rock. This year however, we are bursting at the seams with zucchini. I have picked 5 so far, and there are still about 20-30 on the plants we are growing. I must say, fresh from the garden zucchini is amazing. They taste a bit sweeter than what is sold at the stores, but the store version is still quite acceptable (not like the difference between home grown tomatoes and store bought ones). I am looking for zucchini recipes so we don't have to give too many of them away. The night before last I made zucchini sauteed in a little bit of olive oil. Last night I made zucchini spears baked in the oven so they would be like the zucchini sticks that are deep fried at every restaurant in America. I made two different types, one with Shake n Bake believe it or not which came out really good. The other ones I made were a mixture of flour, corn meal, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian spices and salt (can't remember if I added anything else). Both came out great. Tonight, well, I have no idea what I am going to do. Maybe I will make zucchini chips or something so we can dip in marinara sauce. It's essentially the same thing as the spears, but the breading is a bit different. If I find any overwhelmingly great recipes I will be sure to post them here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cheddar Dill Scones

I spent the morning making these......

Oh yes, these are AS good as they look. They are flaky, buttery, dilly, cheddary and all around awesome. If you like dill and cheddar cheese, you are ABSOLUTELY going to love these. This recipe is by the Barefoot Contessa a.k.a., Ina Garten. Shawn's grandparents gave me her cookbook for my birthday this year, and I decided to make these for them. :) I did make one simple change to the recipe, I made 36 small scones instead of 16 LARGE ones. Large scones don't appeal to me because it's too much bread, and simply has too many calories - approximately 400-500 per scone according to the recipe if you make only 16. Without further ado, here's the recipe.

Cheddar-Dill Scones
4 c. (plus 1 T.) all-purpose flour
2 T. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
3/4 lb. cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. cold heavy cream
1/2 lb. extra sharp cheddar, small-diced
1 c. minced fresh dill
1 egg, beaten with 1 T. water or milk, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine 4 c. of flour, baking powder & salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter and mix on low, until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Mix the eggs & heavy cream together & quickly add them to the flour & butter mixture. Combine until just blended. Toss together the cheese, dill & 1 T. of flour - then add to the dough & mix until they are almost incorporated.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 1 minute, until the cheddar and dill are well distributed. Roll the dough 3/4 inch thick, cut into 4 inch squares, and then in half diagonally to make triangles. Brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 20-25 minutes, until the outside is crusty and the inside is fully baked.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Best Salsa EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sometimes I love being an instructor. I have seen so many speeches, and learned so many 'secret' family recipes from people over the last few years. Some of these recipes have made it into my permanent collection (of course I ALWAYS GIVE credit where credit is due and NEVER take credit for someone else's recipe's or ideas - because in my book, that's worse than being slapped or spit on!). Getting back to the point, one of my students has been making salsa for about 20 years, and she shared her recipe in class today. I must say, it is BY FAR one of the best salsa recipes I have ever had. I replicated it tonight at home because it was so good in class. Well, it wasn't quite a perfect as the one in class, but it was still quite amazing. She said that she is going to send me the recipe so I can forward it on to the class. So, if you want the recipe (which I will NOT be posting here), I will certainly send it to you through email. That is, once I get it. :) Let's just say, that even 5 hours later and a dip in the hot tub, my hands are still burning from the habanero pepper that is in it. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you'd like, but the recipe calls for 5 different types of chili's. That's right folks - 5 different types. Now, I'm not generally a hot salsa kinda person, but this one I made fairly mild - and it was DELICIOUS. Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pork Roast

I will be trying this new slow cooker recipe. Although I love cooking, there are always those times in life when long cooking sessions are simply not enjoyable, or cannot be done due to time constraints. I am trying to compile a list of recipes that take little to no prep time, but may have a longer cooking time - like slow cooker recipes. I have made pot roast in my slow cooker, and love the way it comes out. Tonight I am going to try the following recipe. I will be serving it with some simple veggies and red potatoes.

Tangy Slow Cooker Pork Roast

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste

  1. Arrange onion slices evenly over the bottom of the slow cooker, and then place the roast on top of the onion. In a bowl, mix together water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and hot sauce; pour over roast.
  2. Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours, or on High for 3 to 4 hours.
From what the reviews said on Allrecipes, which is where I found this one - DOUBLE the liquids if possible to make sure to cover the roast. They also said, if you do double the recipe, don't double the sugar. Apparently it turns out quite sweet if you do. In addition to that, I will probably use broth instead of water to add a bit more flavor and fresh garlic instead of garlic power - heck, maybe a bit of both and probably some extra onions because cooked onions are the best. I will let you know how it turns out tonight or tomorrow.