Saturday, December 24, 2011

Spiced Chicken with couscous Salad

I took this picture after we had already started eating, so it didn't really turn out as good as I wanted. Stacy, Bodie, and Nicholas had dinner with us and all the adults declared it a winner.  Everytime I have couscous, I realize how much I like it.  I don't know why I don't make it more often. Maybe I 'll do better about making it in 2012.

Printable Version:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4-6oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 cup couscous
3/4 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 pound snap peas, thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1 lemon zested
juice of 1 lemon
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with the paprika, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until browned on both sides and cooked through, 6-7 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board.
Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large bowl, Add 1 cup hot tap water, (I warm chicken stock on the stovetop and then add the couscous)Let sit for 5 minutes; fluff with a fork. Add the tomatoes, snap peas, basil, lemon zest and juice. and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to combine. 
Slice the chicken and serve on top of the couscous.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Pretzel Treats

I made these treats with Anthony the other night when I was in Austin, but I didn't have my recipe and put it in a 350 degree oven. I noticed that the pretzels burned, even though I only left them in the oven long enough to melt the chocolate. When I got home, I noticed that it was suppose to be in 170 degree oven.  They are also much more festive if you buy some hugs Kisses. They are the white chocolate ones.I couldn't find them, so I bought some mini-reases chocolates. These were all I had left, when I thought to take a picture.
Printable Recipe:

bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels
Hershey's Kiss and/or Hershey's Hug
M & M candies

1. Heat the oven to 170 degrees. Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss or Hershey's hug.

2. Bake for 4-6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M & M candy into the center of each Kiss.

3. Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes. Place handfuls of the candies in clear plastic bgs and tie on colorful ribbons for a nice gift.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Beef Brisket

Jud loves brisket and I forgot to take a picture until the next day.  This was big enough for 3 nice meals.  This is the picture of the second day.  The last day, we had beef brisket tacos.  I love it when I get 3 meals out of one preparation.

Printable Recipe:

1-2 1/2 pounds flat-cut beef brisket, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/4 teaspoon salt,divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup water
4 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups pale ale
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1-2 potatoes cut in chunks (I added this)
5-7 carrots cut in chunks
6 ribs of celery cut in chunks
1 onion - quartered
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine cumin, paprika, and thyme in a small bowl; stir in 1 teaspoon salt. Rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of the brisket. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add brisket; saute 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove brisket from pan. Add beer; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add broth and garlic; return to a boil. At this point, I added the brisket and juices from the Dutch oven to a crock pot and cooked it about 7 hours on low. About 3 hours before ready to serve, I added the potatoes, carrots, and celery.   Return brisket to pan. Cover and cook at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Turn brisket over; cook an additional 2 hours. Turn brisket over, add carrots, celery, and onion; cook an additional 1 hour or until brisket is very tender..
Remove brisket and vegetables from pan using a slotted spoon. Skim fat from cooking liquid; discard fat. Bring cooking liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Place flour in a small bowl; stir in 1/2 cup water. Add flour mixture to pan, stirring until smooth; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the sauce with beef and vegetables. When ready to serve, I took out about a cup of liquid and added it to a pan with 1 tablespoon of flour.  Whisk constantly until smooth. Add more liquid if needed for the consistency that you like.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Orleans Bean Soup

I have no idea why this is called New Orleans Bean Soup, and I don't remember where I got the recipe, but it is a winner.  Hearty and you can double or even tripple the recipe very easily.  I had made a big pot of beans last week and had some left-over. I also had about 3 cups of turkey meat left-over from Thanksgiving. I took it out of the freezer, added the onion, beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Yum!

Printable Recipe:

1 chicken
1 - 1pound can tomatoes
2 cups uncooked pinto beans
1 tablespoon salt
1 onion - quartered
1 large bell pepper
1 lemon
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Soak the bean overnight in a large pot of hot water to cut the cooking time.
In a large add 2-quarts of water along with the whole chicken, onions, and beans.  When the beans are tender add salt, green peppers, tomatoes, lemon, garlic powder, and pepper.  Simmer 40 minutes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie

I made 1/2 of the cookie recipe without raisins or nuts and 1/2 with nuts and cranberries. The picture is the ones with nuts and cranberries.  I have a great recipe for trail mix that I got from Claire Robinson's who hosts the show 5 Ingredient Fix. I made a big batch and used the nuts and fruit from that concoction.  This is adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookie Book.

Printable Version:

11/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3 cups quick-cooking or old--fashioned oats
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins, if desired -I don't like raisins in my cookies, but if you do--Go for it.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat all ingredients except oats, flour, and raisins in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed. Stir in oats, flour, and raisins.
2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.Bake 9-11 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
When I made the Pumpkin Seed Dried Cherry Trail Mix, I didn't have enough maple syrup so the mix did not stick together like it usually does after I baked it. I probably wouldn't use this in my cookies if I had all 6 Tablespoons of the maple syrup.

Sesame Beef Stir-Fry

I just love meals that can be ready if 15 minutes.  Jud has been sick for a week and this is the first meal that he said he could actually taste something.  Serve it with some rice and another vegetable and you have a great meal.  November 2011 - Cooking Light

Printable Version:


1 tablespoon bottled minced ginger - I used fresh
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic - I used fresh
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 pound presliced stir-fry meat (I found it in a package at H.E.B. already ready to cook)
4 cups bagged baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 1/2 of the beef to pan, and cook for 3 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining beef. Add onions; cook for 1 minutes. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 1 minute. Return beef to pan; cook 1 minute. Stir in spinach, and cook 30 seconds. Top with sesame seeds.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Homemade Salami

I have been making this homemade salami for over 20 years. It is a tradition at our house.  I'm not a big fan of salami, but this homemade version is a winner. Makes great sandwiches or for an appetizer with crackers and cheese. It is so easy! You will certainly make it a family tradition if you ever try it.  The Tender Quick is a little hard to find.  Our H.E.B. doesn't carry it.  I had to get a friend in Houston buy it for me at a Kroger.

Printable Version:
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Tender Quick
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
Mix with hands in a large bowl and leave in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, shape into 4 loaves and bake 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.  It doesn't get much easier than that.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Crispy Pork Medallions

When I cut into the meat, it wasn't done, so I cooked it another 8 minutes.  I am going to write the recipe like it says, but I would cook it for 16-20 minutes depending on how done you like your pork. Next time I will probably cook it closer to 20 minutes. I really liked the crispyness of the pork cooked this way.  Recipe from November 2011 - Cooking Light

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 (1pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 8 medallions.
As you can see by the picture, I didn't do this. Maybe it would have been done in 8 minutes if I had done this. 
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Rub mustard evenly over pork medallions. Combine panko, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Dredge pork in panko mixture. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oilto pan; swirl to coat. Add pork; saute 2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn pork. Place skillet in oven; bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes or until pork reaches 145 degrees. Let stand 3 minutes.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Simple, Perfect Enchiladas!

This is a really good enchilada recipe.  When I made my grocery list for the week, I forgot to put Enchilada red sauce.  I bought green sauce. It was delecious. I can't imagine the red being any better, but I will try it next time to see which I like better.  Jud was the tortilla chef. He cooked them in oil and dipped them in sauce and then I wrapped them and put them in the baking dish.  Delecious. But then, I have never made anything bad that the Pioneer Woman cooked.  This is from August 2009 - Ree Drummond- The Pioneer Woman
Printable Version:

Ingredients for the Sauce:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 can (28 oz) enchilada or red sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
For the Meat:
1-1/2 pound ground beef- I only used 1 lb. and I had some left-over for something else another night.
1 whole medium onion, finely diced I used 1/2 onion
2 can (4oz) diced green chilies I didn't use this since I used green enchilada sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Tortillas:
10 whole corn tortillas-Since is just Jud and me I used 8.
1/2 cups canola oil
To Assemble:
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1 cup chopped green onions I didn't have any green onions. I used them all last night
1/2 cups chopped cilantro
Step #1 - The Sauce
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour. Whisk together to make a rough, cooking for 1 minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.
Step #2 - The Meat
Brown the meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.
Step #3 - Tortillas
Heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas in oil until soft, not crisp - about 10 seconds on each side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.
Step #4 - Assembly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour 1/2 cup of red sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Spread to even out. Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and green onions in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle cilantro over enchiladas before serving.
Since Jud was my sou chef, I had him fry and dip the tortillas, and then I filled and wrapped them. They were a little hot to work with so frying and dipping them all like Pioneer Woman says is probably a good idea.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling

I love the lettuce wraps at P.F. Changs and so I was excited to try these from I love her blog and cook from it fairly often.  If you like lettuce wraps you must try these. It made 6 nice-size wraps for Jud and me.

Printable Version:
1 T. peanut oil or vegetable oil
2 T. minced red onion or shallots
2 T. minced garlic
2 T. grated ginger root
1-1/2pound ground turkey I used 1 pound
4 T. soy sauce
1 T. Chile Garlic Sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce (I didn't use this)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
1 head of Boston Lettuce or butter lettuce

Chop onions and set aside. Peel ginger root, then grate with the large side of a cheese grater, and chop garlic. Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet, add onions and saute about 2 minutes, then add garlic and ginger root and saute about 1 minute longer.

Add ground turkey to skillet and break apart and spread out with turner, then add soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and fish sauce. Cook until the turkey is brown and crumbling apart, and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. I browned the meat first and then added the soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce.

While turkey cooks, wash and chop fresh cilantro to make 1 cup. Remove the core end from lettuce, separate leaves, and wash in salad spinner and spin dry. Chop peanuts and put in a small bowl to serve at the table.

When turkey is done, add chopped cilantro and cook 1-2 minutes more. Serve filling and lettuce leaves in separate bowls, with chopped peanuts in another small bowl. Each person takes a lettuce leaf, fills with desired amount of turkey mixture, adds chopped peanuts, and then eats the mixture from the lettuce cup. She folds the lettuce cup over when she eats it, so it's kind of taco-shaped, but some people like to wrap the lettuce clear around the filling.

Cajun Shrimp and Pasta

Jud really liked this dish, but I just thought it was o.k. I probably won't make it again.
Found this in the Express News from Jan Tilley's book, Healthy Meals for Hurried Families

6 oz. whole-wheat angel hair pasta
1/4 cup butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 chopped green onion
1 1/2 teaspoons Tony Chachere's Spicy Creole Seasoning, or to taste (Next time I will probably only use 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon cracked fresh black pepper
1 cup white wine
1 cup diced plum tomatoes
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup baby spinach
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, cook for 5 minutes until almost al dente; drain.
Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic and green onion. Season with Cajun seasoning and pepper, and cook about 2 minutes. Stir in wine, tomatoes and shrimp.
Continue to cook and stir until shrimp are opaque. Mix in pasta and spinach, cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until pasta is al dente and spinach is wilted.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Salmon Patties

We had these salmon patties for dinner last night.  The recipe makes about 7 nice patties.  So I had 3 left-over for lunch today.  I served them on a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, and salad dressing for lunch today.  It was really good and I will make them again.

1 large can of salmon (about 2 cups)
2 Tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 tablespoon dry parsley
3 dashes tobasco
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
8 crackers - coarsely crumbled (I used about 1/2 cup of wheat germ instead)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
12 crackers crushed fine for coating the patties
(sometimes I also use wheat germ to coat the patties)
1. Remove bones and skin from salmon. flake
2. Add onion, dill, parsley, tobasco, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
3. Slightly beat 2 eggs, add to salmon mixture
4. Add wheat germ or 8 crackers to mixture, stir to combine
5. Add juice and zest of 1 lemon
6. Make patties 1/2 inch thick and 4" round. Dip both sides in fine crushed crackers, put on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
7. Fry in butter and canola oil.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chicken Artichoke Salad

I cut this recipe in 1/2.  We had this for a light lunch with crackers.  Homemade bread would be even better. I had a green bell pepper, but a red would have added a pop of color that would be really nice.  You could also add some toasted pecans or almonds. This would be a great way to use left-over turkey.  Hope I have some.  My mom, Barbara Brown, gave me this recipe.

Printable Version:

2--6.2 oz long grain and wild rice mix
2--6oz jars marinated artichoke hearts - drain and save liquid
4 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
1 medium chopped red pepper
2 ribs chopped celery
5 scallions, chopped
1--2.2oz can ripe olives (drained)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons curry powder
3/4 cup liquid from artichoke hearts
Cook Rice according to directions. Drain Artichokes and reserve 3/4 cup of the liquid
Mix first 7 ingredients in a bowl. Mix artichoke liquid with mayonnaise and curry powder. Add to chicken mixture.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beef and Ground Pork Sliders

Jud and I really liked these pork sliders, but Bodie didn't really like them. He choose a pbj instead.  He did try them. It made enough for a couple more times for Jud and me.

Printable Version:
2 ounces butter
1 cup onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
12 oz (80/20) ground beef
12 ounces ground pork

1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup equal parts mayonnaise and mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup thinly shredded romaine hearts
12 slices cheese of choice (Gruyere, baby Swiss, or Gloucester)
12 petit buns, toasted
In a saute' pan over high heat, add the butter, onions, white pepper and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook over high heat until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat to medium and finish cooking the onions until slightly browned on the edges, 708 minutes.

Mix the beef, pork, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Do not over mix or the burger will be too tightly bound. Portion the meat into 12 (2 oz) balls, then flatten the balls into patties about 2 1/2 inches round.
Preheat a grill and grill the burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
Combine the mayonnaise/mustard mixture with the lemon juice and shredded romaine. Top the bottom bun with the dressed lettuce, a burger, some carmelized onions, and cheese of choice. Add the top bun.

Chocolate Chip Waffles

I gave Bodie a choice of what he wanted for breakfast and he chose the chocolate chip waffles.  Good choice. They were delicious. I forgot to take a picture of them when we had them, but I had some left-over that I went ahead and cooked. I put them in the refrigerator to warm-up for another day.  I took them out for the picture, so it doesn't have butter or syrup on it.  From Foodnetwork Kitchens

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing the waffle iron
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup mini-chocolate chips
Prehead a waffle iron to medium-high heat
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and 1/4 cup melted butter. Whisk the milk mixture into the flour mixture until a batter is formed. Take care not to over mix the batter.

Whip the egg whites with a hand-held electric mixer or whisk, until they just begin to hold a loose peak. Scatter the sugar over the whites and continue beating until they hold a soft peak. Fold a third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten the base, then fold in the remaining whites. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Brush the inside surface of the iron with butter. Pour in enough batter to barely fill each hole of the waffle iron; the amount will vary depending upon the size of the iron. (Take into consideration that the batter will spread once the lid is closed.) Close and cook until crisp and the waffle iron stops steaming, about 4-5 minutes. Serve as the waffles come off the iron or transfer to a rack set on a pan in preheaded 200 degree F. oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.

If the waffle iron is well seasoned or nonstick it is not necessary to brush the inner surface each time before cooking the waffles.)
Serve waffles with wyrup, jam, fresh fruit, or yogurt. Or turn into a dessert with a scoop of ice cream

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tilapia with Mango Salsa

I don't know if I have posted the recipe for mango salsa, but we love it on everything from fish-chicken-pork tenderloin. It is very versatile and oh so good. You can make the same salsa using fresh pineapple and it is just as good.

Printable Version:
1 ripe mango, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 of a small red onion
juice and zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Let rest for about 15 minutes to give the flavors time to combine.

To make the fish, use a non-stick skillet and use 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter.  While this is heating,  take two talapia fillets and salt and peppered them on both sides. Then  lightly floured both sides.  Carefully, place the fillets in the hot oil/butter. Cook on both sides for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan to papper towels. Blot dry and plate the fish.  Spoon the mango salsa over the top of the fish.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Corn and Red Bell Pepper Chowder with Kielbasa

I have had this soup book for several years, but this is the first time I tried this soup.  We are into our soup of the week, and this recipe got a 10. We grade and date our soup at the top of the page so we will know if we want to try it again. This will definitely be a repeat. We both loved it.  I doubled this recipe.  From The Big Book of Soups and Stews by Maryana Vollstedt
Printable Version:
1/2 pound kielbasa sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices and then halved
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 tablespoon olive oil, if needed
2 cup chicken stock or broth
3 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound), unpeeled, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (I just used a can of corn drained)
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup chopped parsley
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, combine sausage, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Saute' until vegetables are tender, 6-8 minutes. Add oil, if needed. Add stock, potatoes, salt, and white pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add corn, half-and-half, and parsley and simmer, uncovered, until flavors are blended, about 10 minutes longer.
Note: To add more body to the soup, mash a few potatoe pieces with the back of a spoon against the side of the pan. I didn't do this.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

German Meat Balls with Lemon Caper Sauce

I changed this recipe just a little.  It called for boiling the balls in simmering salted water, but I put them in a 400 degree F. oven and baked them for about 25-30 minutes. I was just afraid to try boiling them. I thought they might fall apart. If you try the boiling method, let me know how they turn-out.  This recipe made enough meatballs for two meals, so I saved 1/2 of them back and will use the other half in some marinara sauce for spaghetti with meatballs.  I got this recipe from my Talk About Good Cookbook. It was submitted by Mrs. Richard P. Sevier

Printable Version:
1 slice firm type bread (+ just enough water to soak the bread)
3/4 pound ground chuck
1/4 pound ground pork
2 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed (I used one)
2 chopped anchovies
1 egg
3 tablespoons flour (If you bake them in the 400 degree oven, you don't need this)
salt and pepper
Ingredients for Sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup water ( I ended up using about 2 cups of water because it got really thick fast) use your judgment.
1 beef bouillon cube
1 tablespoon capers and 1 tablespoon caper liquid
juice of 1 lemon (I also used the lemon zest)

Moisten bread and squeeze dry. Mix thoroughly with meat, potatoes, anchovies, egg, 3 tablespoons flour, salt and pepper. Shape in balls about the size of a walnut. Dredge in flour. Drop in simmering salted water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove meat balls from water.

For sauce, melt butter, add flour; add water and bouillon cube. Cook, stirring until thickened. Add capers, lemon juice and zest, and pepper to taste. Add meat balls simmer for a few minutes. Serve over egg noodles or with parsley, boiled potatoes. I should have chopped a little parsley to go over the dish, it would have made the presentation much better.  I used bowtie pasta, because that is what I had.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chocolate Pork Roast Sliders

Since I have been on the Paleo diet, I haven't been eating much bread at all so I had the pork with the slaw on the side. I didn't miss the bread at all, but I have discovered that the bread is what makes you feel full. I get hungry sooner, and need a snack. But from what I read, that is good to eat 5 little meals instead of 3 big meals. I will probably just have some raisins and nuts for my snack around 2:30p.m.  This comes from Paula Deen from Foodnetwork.

1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon whole white peppercorns I couldn't find white so I used the black instead
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon ground ancho chile pepper I had two dried ancho chiles so I ground them in my spice grinder and used 1 tablespoon of that.
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
one 4-pound Boston butt pork roast
1 cup beef stock
1 onion, thinly sliced
6-8 hamburger buns I used the sliders
pickle spear, optional
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a small skillet, combine the coriander seeds and peppercorns. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and toasted, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. In a coffee grinder, process the spices until finely ground.
In a small bowl, combine the peppercorn mixture, salt, ancho chile pepper, cinnamon and cocoa. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the pork roast.
In a Dutch oven, combine the beef stock and onions. Add the roast to the Dutch oven. Cover and bake until very tender, about 3 hours.
Using two forks, shred the roast. Serve on buns with pickle spears if desired
After 3 hours I didn't feel like it was tender enough to shred, so we had slices of the roast with some vegetables for dinner.  Then I put it in the crock pot and cooked it on low for about 4 hours. It was perfect. So today we had it shredded on sliders for lunch. I just warmed it in a saucepan.

Broccoli and Red Cabbage Slaw Ingredients
Two 12-ounce packages broccoli slaw mix
2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
1 head cabbage, thinly sliced
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli slaw mix, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and cabbage.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, brown sugar, and salt. Add to the broccoli slaw mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours before serving.
I took the lazy and fast way. I just opened the broccoli slaw mixture and poured enough in the bowl for 3 sliders. Then I added a mixture of mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Though it was delicious.

Green Rice and Corn Pudding

This green rice is one that my mom always made and I could eat the whole recipe by myself. It goes great with almost anything. I probably already have this on my blog, but it never hurts to repeat.  The corn pudding is a recipe I got from Barefoot Contessa. It is my favorite corn pudding recipe.  I love the basil in it and you can get basil year-round.  I grow it in my backyard, but that time is almost gone.
Printable Recipe:
Green Rice Ingredients:
1 cup green onions, chopped
2/3 cup green bell pepper
2 tablespoons veg. or canola oil
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 small jar pimiento
Method for Green Rice
Add the 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Heat to medium. Add onions, bell peppers, parsley and cook until soft.  Add remaining ingredients in a 12" X 13" baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and add chopped pimients. Toss with a fork to combine.

Printable Version:

Ingredients for Corn Pudding:
1 stick butter
5 cups corn kernels cut off cob (6-8 ears)This time I used frozen corn and I couldn't tell the difference
1 cup chopped onion
4 extra large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons basil - chopped
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
34 cup grated cheddar cheese + extra for the top
Method for Corn Pudding:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease inside of baking dish. (I use cooking spray)
Melt the butter in a large saute' pan and cook the corn and onion over medium/high heat 4 minutes. Cool slightly. Whisk together eggs, milk, 1/2 and 1/2 in large bowl. Add cornmeal and ricotta cheese. Whisk well. Add basil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Add the corn mixture and grated cheese. Pour in a baking dish and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake 40-45 minutes. Cook in pan filled 1/2-way with water. This time when I cooked it, it seemed to take much longer ( about 1 1/2 hours) Maybe it was because I cooked the green rice at the same time.  Of course the green rice was finished long before the corn.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cracker-Breaded Fried Shrimp

We love fried shrimp at our house and this is a nice buttery crispy shrimp that we really enjoyed.  Hope you enjoy it as well. This recipe comes from Julianne Polaha from Tuluca Lake, California.
We found that coarsely crushed crackers work best for this recipe. Place crackers in a zip-top plastic bag, and crush with a rolling pin.

Printable Version:

2 pounds unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
1 1/2 cups crushed buttery round crackers (about 26 crackers)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2-3 drops hot sauce
1 large egg
vegetable oil
Peel, shrimp, leaving tails intact, and devin
Combine crushed crackers, flour, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and salt in a shallow dish. Stir together buttermilk, hot sauce, egg, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl until blended. Dip shrimp in buttermilk mixture; dredge in cracker mixture.
Pour oil to a depth of 2 1/2 inches into a large, deep cast-iron or heavy-duty skillet; heat to 375 degrees F. Fry shrimp, in batches, 1-2 minutes or until golden; drain on wire racks over paper towels

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brie En Croute

 This is probably my favorite appetizer. I could probably eat the whole thing, if I would allow myself the luxury.  But I was a good girl and only had two little slices. It tastes like you worked all day, and it probably only takes about 10 minutes to prepare this dish once the puff-pastry has defrosted.  Recipe from Paula Deen of Foodnetwork

Printable Version:
1 sheet frozen Pepperidge Farm puff pastry
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup walnuts
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (8oz) wheel of Brie cheese
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
Crackers for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Defrost puff pastry for approximately 15-20 minutes and unfold.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the walnuts in the butter until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the cinnamon and stir until walnuts are coated well. Place the brie in the middle of the puff-pastry. Place the walnut mixture on top of the brie and sprinkle the brown sugar over the mixture. Gather up the edges of the brie, pressing around the brie and gather at the top. Gently squeeze together the excess dough and tie together with a piece of kitchen twine. Brush the beaten egg over top and side of puff-pastry. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Serve with crackers.

Savory Palmiers

I made several appetizers and the lemon tea cakes for Jud's book celebration at the Flynn's.  These were a hit, and if you try them, you will know why.  I probably should have made more, but we really didn't have a clue how many would come. Hope you will try these.

Printable Version:

1 package frozen PepperidgeFarm puff pastry sheets, defrosted
1/4 cup prepared pesto, store bought or homemade (recipe follows)
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
kosher salt

Lightly flour a board and carefully unfold one sheet of puff pastry. Roll the pastry lightly with a rolling pin until it's 9 1/2" X 11 1/2" Spread the sheet of puff-pastry with 1/2 the pesto, then sprinkle with 1/2 the goat cheese, 1/2 the sundried tomatoes, and 1/2 the pine nuts. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Working from the short end, fold each end 1/2way to the center. Then fold each side again towards the center until the folded edges almost touch. Fold one side over the other and press lightly. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat the entire instructions for the second sheet of puff pastry using the remaining ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes.  I chilled it overnight so I could do as much ahead of the party as possible.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the prepared rolls of puff pastry in 1/4 " thick slices and place them face up 2 inches apart on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 14 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.

Homemade Pesto:
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is finely pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer. A fine film of olive oil will be on top.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

My daughter-in-law, Juanita made these for a family party and we all enjoyed it so much that I knew I wanted to make it for Jud's book celebration party.  It turned out good, but I think her's was better.

2 (8oz) packages cream cheese
1 jar blue cheese dressing (in cold section of produce department)
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 jar Franks hot wing sauce (with barbeque sauce in grocery store)
4 cooked chicken breasts
8 oz grated cheddar cheese
In a 9" X 13" pan layer the following
1. Cream cheese cut in chunks
2. Cooked chicken mixed with the hot wing sauce.  I place my chicken breasts on a cookie sheet and baked it at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until done.
3. Chopped celery
4. Blue cheese dressing
5. grated cheddar on top
Bake at 350 degrees covered with alluminum foil for 20 minutes
Uncover and bake 20 additional minutes.
Let rest for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Lemon Tea Cakes

My mom gave me this recipe in the cookbook she made for me. The recipe came from my great grandmother, Cora Ashley.  I added the lemon juice and lemon zest because I thought it needed a little added flavor.  I think I would probably glaze them with a lemon juice and powdered sugar next time.  I needed them to be a little sweeter for my taste.  I had a dozen left-over from the book celebration, so I made some lemon icing.  I used about 1/4 of an 8oz. cream cheese, zest of one lemon, and juice of one lemon and enough powdered sugar to make it the right consistency.  I probably won't make these cookies again. Not worth the calories.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and soda. Mix well and add flour. Turn dough onto a floured surface, working by hand until you can handel the dough. Rool out about a 1/2 thick and cut with a round cookie cutter.  My mom said that one time she rolled them in wax paper and put them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.  I put them in overnight. Then she sliced them and baked at 350 degrees about 13-15 minutes.  I sprinkled them with sugar.  Next time I will ice them. I admit it, I love sweet things.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Country French omelet

This will be a repeat.  I doubled this recipe and this is what was left-over from 4 people.  Delicious!

Printable Version:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil- I didn't use this
3 slices bacon
1 cup unpeeled yukon gold potatoes
salt and pepper
5- extra large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chives
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat extra virgin olive in an ovenproof skillet. Add bacon and cook 3-5 minutes or until they way you like it. Remove bacon and set aside. Place cubed potatoes in the pan of bacon grease. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook 8-10 minutes until tender and browned. Remove potatoes to bacon plate. Beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper with a fork. Remove fat from bacon pan. Add butter. Lower heat and pour egg mixture into pan. Sprinkle bacon, potatoes, and chives over top of egg mixture. Bake 8-10 minutes until set.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

When Jud worked at the church, Sharon Sheriff made something wonderful for the staff every Tuesday for their staff meeting. These were some of Jud's favorite. She gave me the recipe, but this is the first time I have made them. I can see why they are Jud's favorite. Thanks, Sharon!

Printable Version:

4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar, divided (less 1 teaspoon for yeast mixture)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
4 cups flour, plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon warm water, plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
vegetable oil
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Directions for dough:
For the dough: In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in 1 tablespoon warm water with 1 teaspoon sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, buttermilk, and yeast mixture. Add 2 cups of flour and salt. Whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of remaining flour; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turning over dough so that top is oiled. Cover and let double in volume, 2-2 1/2 hours.
For the Filling:
Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9" X 13" glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18" X 12" rectanghle. Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving a 1/2 inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4 " border along the top edge. Gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2 " rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator, leaving plastic wrap on, and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When the oven is ready, place the uncovered rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.  Mine only took about 20-25 minutes.

While rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in a bowl with a mixer. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Anything that Paula Deen cooks you can almost guarantee to be good.  She does not worry about calories, but you usually go away from the table saying that it was worth the calories.  I know I plan to have at least a small slice.  What a beautiful presentation.

Printable Version:

1- 21 ounce can apple pie filling
1- 9" graham cracker crust
2- 8ounce cream cheese - room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup carmel topping
12 pecan halves + 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Reserve 3/4 cup apple pie filling; set aside.
3. Spoon remaining filling into the bottom of the crust.
4. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
5. Add eggs and mix well. Pour over apple pie filling. Bake 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
6. Mix reserved pie filling and carmel topping in saucepan and heat 1 minute. Spoon mixture over top of cheesecake and spread evenly in the middle. Decorate the edges with the whole pecans. Add chopped pecans in the middle. Refrigerate.

Gouda-Stuffed Pork Chops

I really enjoy stuffed pork chops, but sometimes they turn out dry.  The brine really helps to keep it moist. Not sure I would use the onions and apple again. I would probably do some kind of cherry compost.

For the Brine:
4 cups of water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
For the Pork Chops:
4 thick-cut bone-in pork chops (1 1/2" thick)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
8 fresh sage leaves, minced
1 cup grated aged Gouda cheese
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 large apple, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1. For the brine, bring the water and vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan, and add the salt, brown sugar, and peppercorns. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Put the pork chops in a large baking dish and pour the brining liquid over them. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the pork chops from the brine and rince thorouyghly, then pat very dry with a paper towel. Set them aside to air-dry a little longer, while you make the stuffing.
3. Coat a large cast-iron skillet with olive oil and set it over medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil, then add the garlic. Turn the heat to low, and cook the garlic for 5 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly, for another 3-4 minutes, or until the bread crumbs brown.
4. Put the garlic and bread crumbs in a medium size bowl and mix with the parsley, sage, Gouda cheese, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
5. Take each pork chop and slice it almost in 1/2 lengthwise, so that it has an open pocket in the center. Stuff the Gouda mixture into each pocket. (At this point the pork chops can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
6. Heat the skillet again over medium-high heat and coat it with olive oil. Carefully add the stuffed pork chops. Brown on each side for 2 minutes, or until the pork chops are golden brown. Remove the chops and spread the apple and onion slices in the skillet. Place the pork chops on top and pour in the white wine. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the stuffing registers 160 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer and the Gouda is melted. Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


It is Thursday night and Jud made this for dinner tonight. I bought some ciabatta bread and toasted it in the oven.  That was dinner and it was oh-so-good. Pictures never show how good something is.  Before leaving for Oregon this Summer, I had some left-over celery, bell pepper, garlic, and onion.  I sweated it out before leaving and froze it.  Jud got to use it in his gumbo. He said it really was nice not having to chop everything. I'll have to remember to do that again.  Recipe from Paula Deen of Foodnetwork

Printable Version:

3 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4" slices
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped, plus chopped leaves for garnish
4 cups hot water Jud used beef stock
5 beeef bouillon cubes not needed if you use beef stock
1 (14 oz. can) stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cups frozen sliced okra
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts
1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. Add the sausage and cook until browned, then remove. Sprinkle the flour over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Let the roux cool.
Return the Dutch oven to low heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine. Add the onions, garlic, green pepper, and celery. Cook for 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, to taste and the 1/4 bunch parsley. Cook, while stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups hot water and bouillon cubes (or 4 cups beef broth)whisking constantly. Add the chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Just before serving add the green onions, shrimp, and chopped parsley.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken Florentine Style

This is a winner.  I  made only 1/2 of the sauce recipe.  It was really good so I should have made the whole recipe because I had made 4 chicken breasts and would have enjoyed having a little extra gravy for the rice.
Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis

Printable Version:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
all-purpose flour, for dredging (since I am trying to stay away from grains, I used coconut flour instead.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided use)
2 tablespoons shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 (10oz.) packages frozen cut-leaf spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat lightly. Shake off any excess flour. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep it warm.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until the shallots are translucent, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet, about 1 minute. Add the wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and boil until the sauce reduces by half, stirring often, about 3 additional minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the sauce, and turn the chicken to coat in the sauce.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a separate large skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and saute until heated through. Season the spinach to taste, with salt and pepper. Arrange the spinach over a platter. Place the chicken atop the spinach. Pour the sauce over and serve.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Baked Gruyere and Sausage Omelet

This is a really good casserole that is nice enough for company, but easy enough for family.  It would warm easily for left-overs later in the week.  We had it for lunch, but it would be great for breakfast or a supper dish. I sliced tomatoes and called it lunch.  I got this recipe from Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis in 2008 

Printable Version:

butter, for greasing baking dish I used cooking spray.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 pound milk turkey sausage, casings removed I used italian sausage, but whatever you like is fine.
8 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups (4 oz.) grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly butter or spray with cooking spray an 8" X 8" baking dish
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Set the pan aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper to taste, until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add the red bell pepper, 1 cup of Gruyere cheese and 1/4 cup parsley. Stir in the onion mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cut the baked omelet into wedges and sprinkle with remaining parsley before serving.
Cook's note: To make individual servings, divide the batter between 4 buttered 8'ounce ramekins. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sausage and Peach Stuffed Pork Chops

Saw Paula Deen cooked this on her Food Network show and I knew that we would love it.  Since I only made two butterfly pork chops, each side stuffed, I cut the stuffing  recipe in 1/2. Next time I would probably not cut the stuffing in 1/2 because it was really good, and we didn't have enough to have some in every bite.  Next time I will stuff it, but then have extra to serve on the side.

Printable Version:
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 pound hot or sweet sausage, casings removed, crumbled
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 peaches, peeled and diced
1 cup (1/4 pound) grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning
6 (12-oz.) 1-inch thick center-cut boneless pork chops
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the sausage and brown, breaking the meat up with a fork, for about 3 minutes. Stir in the sage and cook for 1 minute more. Pour off the fat and transfer the sausage to a bowl. Stir in the peaches, cheese, and pepper.

With a sharp knife, cut a pocket in the side of each chop, slicing horizontally, almost through to the other side. Season with salt and additional pepper, and then stuff the chops generously with the filling.

In a large ovenproof skillet, working in 2 batches if necessary, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil until very hot. Sear the chops on one side until browned 3-4 minutes. Turn the chops and transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking, 20-25 minutes more. Serve immediately, spooning over any stuffing that might fall out.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables with Curly Endive

I really enjoyed this dish.  I ate it twice while Jud was out-of-town and decided to have this as I side dish with grilled chicken.  Most people have roasted vegetables, the  extra layer of flavor in this dish is the curly endive. 

Printable Version:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Choose at least 4 of the following vegetables to equal 1 pound of diced root vegetables.

Parsnips, Red or Yukon Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes,Turnips, Carrots

Place these in a large bowl and add 2 shallots cut in thick slices along with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil salt, and pepper.  Mix thoroughly and spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Bake for 45 minutes and then add about 1/2 head of curly endive. Season with more salt and pepper and mix well.  Bake for another 20 minutes until endive has wilted.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Massaged Kale Salad

I thought I had posted this salad before, but I couldn't find it when I got ready to make it yesterday.  Last time I made it, I thought it was even better the next day, so this time, I decided to make it a day ahead of when I plan to eat it.  Jud is out-of-town so I will probably have this for lunch with some baked chicken, and then eat it for dinner tonight with some shrimp cocktail.
I got this recipe from Aarti Sequeira from Food Network.

Printable Version:
1 bunch of kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced. I haven't been able to find the black kale at H.E.B.
1 lemon, juiced--I also zest the lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons honey
freshly ground black pepper
1 mango, diced (about 1 cup)
Small handful toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), about 2T.
In a large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice and zest if using, a drizzle of olive oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2-3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1/2 of lemon juice and the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of olive oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes. Pour dressing over kale and add mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bacon and rosemary Sauteed Brussels Sprouts and Baby Bellas

Jud is out of town and I am eating very healthy.  Tonight I came home from the movie, Higher Ground, and made this meal for myself.  It was all I needed. I loved it. I could have eaten the whole thing, but I wanted to save half for another time.  It could certainly be a side dish, but I made it for my meal.

Printable Version:

1 pound brussels sprouts
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, whiped clean
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil I probably only used about 2-3 T.
2 oz bacon, cut into 1" pieces.  I used 4 slices of bacon
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, each about 4 inches long  I probably only used one piece 2" long
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 lemon
1. Trim the stem ends of the Brusserls sprouts. Cut the smallest spraout into quarters
Cut the largest sprouts in half, and then cut each half into thirds, in both cases, cut lengthwise through the stem so that a piece of the core holds the leaves together. Cut the mushrooms in a similar fashion. Quarter the smallest ones, and cut the larger ones in half and then into thirds, lengthwise.
2. In a 10" skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sprouts, mushrooms, bacon, and rosemary. Season with the salt and using tongs, stir well to combine everything. The pan will be very crowded, that's okay.
3. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring ocasionally at first and more frequently when the vegetables begin to brown, until the vegetables are well browned and the Brussels sprouts are tender. (28-30 minutes. The bottom of the pan will be quite brown. Remove the pan from the heat, discard the rosemary, and add the butter pieces. Stir gently with a silicone spatula until all of the butter has melted. Give a generous squeeze of lemon over all and stir again. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve warm.  I did not use the butter and didn't think it was needed.  I also didn't add any lemon juice. When I have it for left-overs tomorrow, I may add a little butter and some lemon juice to warm.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Berry Good cobbler - Paleo style

If you have been on the Paleo diet
for a while, you may be craving
something sweet.  This is one option.
The coconut milk saves it.  It is not
like your grandmother's cobbler, but it will do if you are desperate, and believe me when I say I was desperate.  This comes from Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo

3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (or other berry of your choice) I used blueberries
1 egg
2 T. coconut oil
Drizzle of honey
1 1/2 cups almond meal
2 T. cinnamon
"So Delicious" unsweetened coconut milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Pour the blackberries into a pie pan.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, almond meal, coconut oil, and cinnamon. Stir well until the mixture starts to crumble. If you wish, drizzle a bit of honey on top of the blackberries.
4. By hand, evenly crumble the almond meal mixture on top of the blackberries and bake for 35 minutes
5. Serve in bowls with cold "So Delicious" coconut milk poured over the top.

Paleo Smoothie

I had not eaten breakfast, so after my workout at Cross-Fit, I made myself a fruit smoothie with the fruit I had in the house.  You can use just about any fruit you have to make this drink. I had a hard-boiled egg along the side and did fine until lunch.  You will notice that there is no sugar.  Sugar is a no no on the Paleo diet. You can use a little honey, but I didn't need it.

Fill the blender 1/2-way up with banana, frozen cranberries, mango, and 1 T. coconut oil. Then add Coconut milk until it's just covering the fruit. Blend until smooth.  I added a few ice cubes because I thought it was too thick.

This smoothie is made with mango, pineapple, coconut oil, and coconut milk.  Play around with different fruits and see what you like.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Steak Chile Rellenos

This is an awesome stuffed pepper. If you don't like spicy, I would suggest you use a bell pepper instead of the poblano pepper. We liked it, but it was a two water meal.  I had never bought tri-tip. So, I googled tri-tip to see what kind of meat it was.  I read that it is a forgotten but very flavorful  meat that people don't use very often. I asked the meat guy at the grocery store if I could dice it into small pieces. He said that he didn't recommend it.  I would. It was great. Now I have a nice size of meat left that I will grill later this week.  This comes from Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo

4 large poblano or Anaheim chilies                        2 T. coconut oil (feel free to use vegetable oil )
1/2 red onion, diced                                                1 pound tri-tip, diced into small pieces
1/2 T ground cumin                                                1 T. dried oregano
1 T. chili powder                                                    sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper, diced                                          1 bunch Kale, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced                                   2 Roma tomatoes, diced and seeded
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, mild                    1 cup salsa verde
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
2. On a tinfoil-lined baking sheet, bake the whole chilies for 10-12 minutes.
3. The chilies will be slightly charred when finished, remove from baking sheet and set aside to cool.
4. In a large skillet, add the coconut oil (or vegetable oil if you aren't on Paleo diet) and heat over medium. Add the onions and saute' for 2 minutes.
5. Add the steak and saute' until the meat starts to brown.
6. Add the spices to the onions and meat and stir well.
7. Add the remaining ingredients, except the salsa verde and cilantro. Cook until the greens are tender, about another 2 minutes.
8. Remove the meat mixture from the heat and set aside. Using a knife, cut a slit lengthwise down the middle of the chilies. Remove the seeds gently with a spoon and place the chilies into a glass baking dish.
9. Stuff each chili with the meat mixture and bake in a 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes.
10. Remove from the oven and top each chili with some salsa verde and fresh cilantro. Serve. 
I would not hesitate to serve this meat without the peppers.  It would be great over rice or potatoes. Of course those are not on the paleo diet, but it would be fine by itself served with sides of your choice.

Egg Houses

This is a great breakfast of light supper option.  I would suggest cooking them at least 30 minutes instead of the 25 min. that Sarah recommends. I also made one of Sarah's fruit smoothies. I will post a recipe for that later when I remember to take a picture.  This comes from Sarah Fragoso's book, Everyday Paleo

Printable Version:
4 large tomatoes
4 eggs
2-3 strips bacon, crumbled
black pepper to taste
diced chives
I also salted the inside of the tomato after I cut out the insides. Sea salt is acceptable in Paleo cooking.
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut off just the top of the tomatoes and gently scoop out the insides. I used a grapefruit spoon.
3. Crack one egg in each tomato cup and bake for 25 minutes.
4. While the tomatoes and eggs are baking, cook the bacon. I had some diced pancetta left-over.
5. After the egg houses are ready, crumble the cooked bacon on top. Next, top with chopped chives

4 large tomatoes                                                        
4 eggs
2-3 strips bacon, crumbled                                        
black pepper to taste
diced chives
I also salted the inside of the tomato after I cut out the insides. Sea salt is acceptable in Paleo cooking.
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut off just the top of the tomatoes and gently scoop out the insides.  I used a grapefruit spoon.
3. Crack one egg in each tomato cup and bake for 25 minutes.
4. While the tomatoes and eggs are baking, cook the bacon. I had some diced pancetta left-over.
5. After the egg houses are ready, crumble the cooked bacon on top. Next, top with chopped chives.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Perfect Pork Pot Roast

I am still on the Paleo diet.  I have lost 2 pounds in two days. If you don't want to spend the money on coconut oil or coconut flour, just use whatever vegetable or canola oil that you use to brown the roast and use all-purpose flour to coat the meat if you are not on the Paleo diet plan.  Comes from Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo

Printable Version:

2 T. coconut oil                                                            sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
4-5 pound pork loin roast                                             1/4 cup coconut flour
6 carrots                                                                        5 celery stalks
2 leeks                                                                           1 yellow onion
2 cups red wine                                                             1 cup chicken broth
1 can (14oz.) diced tomatoes                                        6 fresh thyme branches
6 garlic cloves                                                               4 Tablespoons butter
1. In a large soup pan or Dutch oven add the coconut oil and heat over medium heat.
2. Sprinkle a bit of the sea salt and black pepper all over the roast.
3. Roll the seasoned roast in the coconut flour.
4. Sear the roast in the soup pot for 4 minutes on each side (make sure you get the top and bottom of the roast seared as well).
5. While the roast is searing, chop the veggies into large pieces. When cutting the leeks, make sure to cut them in half lengthwise and rince well because they are often full of sand and dirt between the layers. I cut the leeks in round and put them in a pan of water.  As I separate the rings, I give the leeks a swish and all the sand/dirt goes to the bottom of the pan.
6. Remove the roast from the pan, add all the veggies, and cook in the drippings from the roast until the onions and leeks become tender.
7. Add the wine, chicken stock, canned tomatoes, thyme branches (tie them together with some cooking twine so they are easier to remove later). (I just placed them on top of the veggies in the crock pot at the end), and a bit more pepper.
8. With the flat part of your knife blade, crush the whole garlic cloves and toss those in as well. Stir well and bring to a boil.
9. In the meantime, place your roast in a slow cooker. Pour the vegetable mixture over the roast, cook on high for 4 hours, and then on low for 1 hour.
10. After the roast is done, remove the roast from the vegetable mixture.
11. Remove the thyme branches from the vegetable mixture and pour 1/2 of the veggie mixture into a food processor or blender, add the butter, and blend until smooth.
12. Place the sliced meat on a large serving platter, top with the remaining cooked veggies, and pour the blended sauce over all of it.  Enjoy!  We certainly did.