Monday, December 27, 2010

Pot Roast During The Snowstorm!

Okay,so you're snowed in....but you were one of the smart ones who did all of your grocery shopping before the big Nor-easter....Here is a great recipe for a nice dinner for two or more on a cold and snowy day like today!


1 (3 to 4-pound) boneless bottom round roast

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup red wine

2 cups beef stock

2 fresh thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

Freshly chopped parsley leaves, for garnish


1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.Season the roast on all sides with salt and pepper.

3.In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil and sear the roast on all sides. Add the onions, garlic and tomato paste and cook until slightly colored. Add the wine, stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven.

4.Roast for 1 1/2 hours and then add the carrots. Continue to cook for 1 more hour. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Slice and place on a serving platter. Skim the fat off the braising liquid and serve with the roast. Garnish with parsley.

And there you have it...a nice mouth watering pot roast. Hopefully it will make you forget that the football game was postponed for two days because of the snow and that you can't go anywhere and nobody can come to see you! Oh well.....enjoy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!! (Enjoy)

Enjoy! Don't overeat and most of all, remember the real reason for the season!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Crunch Time Appetizer

At sometime this holiday weekend you're going to be entertaining friends during the Football game or a slew of NBA games that are scheduled for Christmas Day and the entire weekend. Want to really impress your friends...Try something new..Deli select wrapped pickles with cream cheese... This is an apetizer....Not the main course...but it will get you started....Check it out.


8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 pkg. ranch dressing seasoning mix, dry

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 cup green onion, chopped

3 Tbsp. red pepper, chopped

1 (6-oz.) pkg. Hillshire Farm® Deli Select Pastrami

5 dill pickle spears, sliced in half, lengthwise

1 (6-oz.) pkg. Hillshire Farm Deli Select Turkey

9 (6-inch long) pretzel rods


1.In a small bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. Blend with hand mixer until smooth. Add green onions and red pepper; stir until well blended.

2.Stack 2 slices of pastrami on top of each other. Spread 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture over the slices. Roll the pickle spears in the slices.

3.In the same manner, roll pretzel rods in turkey slices spread with the cream cheese mixture. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours prior to serving.

Yield: about 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes or less

Cook Time: no time at all

People will be talking about your unique apetizer for weeks....Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Banana -Chocolate Chip Muffins

Here is a sweet treat for the upcoming Christmas Holidays...Banana -Chocolate Chip Muffins! Guess what? This is good for you too!


1-1/2 cups flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 ripe bananas

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup mini chocolate chips


1.Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 18 muffin pan wells with paper liners.

2.In a medium-size bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, use a fork to mash the bananas, then stir in the milk and vanilla extract until well blended.

3.In large bowl, use a mixer set on medium speed to beat together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Reduce the mixer's speed to low and blend in one third of the flour mixture. Add half the banana mixture and blend again. Continue alternating between the flour and banana mixtures, until all the ingredients have been incorporated into the batter. Fold in the chocolate chips.

4.Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Don't feel like making a big meal for Christmas breakfast....then don't...Whip up a batch of these the night before and serve them in the morning...Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Romaine Salad with Chicken and Apricots

Since I'm making this for my family's annual Christmas Dinner this coming Saturday, I thought I'd give you guys, my loyal readers a look at the actual recipe.


1/2 cup dried apricots

1 cup hot water

2 cups loosely packed mint leaves (about 1 bunch)

1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons honey

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

4 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat

1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (10 cups)

6 fresh apricots or plums, pitted and cut into wedges

1 cup loosely packed mint leaves (about 1/2 bunch), roughly chopped

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see Tip)


1. Preheat grill.

2. To prepare marinade & dressing: Soak dried apricots in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and transfer apricots to a food processor. Add 2 cups mint, orange zest, orange juice, honey, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. With the motor running, gradually drizzle in oil. Reserve 1 cup for the dressing.

3. To prepare salad: Transfer the remaining marinade to a large sealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

4. Lightly oil the grill rack (hold a piece of oil-soaked paper towel with tongs and rub it over the grate). Grill the chicken over medium-high heat until no longer pink in the center, 6 to 8 minutes per side. (Discard the marinade.)

5. Meanwhile, combine lettuce, apricot (or plum) wedges and chopped mint in a large bowl. Add the reserved dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Slice the chicken and arrange over the salads. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Tip: To toast almonds: Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F until golden brown and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Toasted almonds will keep, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Butterscotch Oatmeal

I'm always looking for something hot to eat for breakfast. What I should say is that I look for something a little different than the normal Pancakes, Waffles ,Eggs ,French Toast and what have you. I came across this recipe for hot cereal yesterday and I'd like to share this with you.
Check this out-


1 egg, beaten

1 3/4 cups milk

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup of Quaker Oats Oatmeal mix.

2 tablespoons butter


1.In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the egg, milk and brown sugar. Mix in the oats. When the oatmeal begins to boil, cook and stir until thick. Remove from the heat, and stir in butter until melted. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cornbread Fit For A King!

Nothing Like some good hot cornbread....


2 3/4 cups cornmeal

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups sour cream

3/4 cup milk

4 eggs

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup melted butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sour cream, milk, eggs, salt and melted butter. Bake in a greased loaf pan for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and when a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Serve this at dinner or on a easy Sunday Morning....enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

There's Always Room For A Jello Recipe

Depending on how old you are, you might remember an old Jello commercial in which the tag line was-"There's always room for Jello" Well in the tradition of that commercial..Here is a Jello salad recipe I think you'll enjoy.


1 (6 ounce) package any flavor Jello gelatin

2 cups boiling water

1/2-3/4 cup plain yogurt or 1/2-3/4 cup sour cream or 1/2-3/4 cup cream cheese

12 ice cubes

3/4-1 1/2 cup any kind fruit, chopped (canned or fresh, except fresh pineapple)


1.Stir the jello in the boiling water until completely dissolved

2.Add the yogurt or sour cream, mixing vigorously with a whisk, or add the softened cream cheese and mix with an electric mixer.

3.Then add 12 ice cubes, stirring until completely melted.

4.Add fruit and chill until set.

5.For an added treat, you can add miniature marshmallows on top before chilling.

6.Can be prepared up to 2 days beforehand.

This will make a great holiday desert. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Interesting Breakfast Idea.

This recipe is not for every breakfast, but it certainly could be an impressive breakfast for that special someone the first time they spend the night....Check this out...It's called a Sausage and Apple Breakfast Casserole. Yeah,Yeah..I know it sounds nasty...but once you see the finished product..You'll have to admit that it sounds at least interesting.


2 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, chopped

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 eggs

3 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 cups French bread cubes (3/4-inch pieces)

1 (9.6 ounce) package Jimmy Dean® Original Hearty Pork Sausage Crumbles

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided


1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Toss apples with sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

2.Beat eggs, milk and vanilla in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add
bread cubes, sausage and 1 1/2 cups cheese; stir gently until evenly coated.

3.Spoon into lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish; top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

4.Bake 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into 12 squares to serve.

5.Serve with warm maple syrup.


Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.

1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website

Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household