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Monday, December 31, 2012

Hoppin into the New Year






Okay, so I lied...This is actually my last post for the year.....What kind of New Year would it be if you don't include some Hoppin John? Huh?


INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 small smoked ham hocks or meaty ham bone
  • 2 medium onions, divided
  • 3 large cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 can (10 to 14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with chile peppers, juices reserved
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 green onions, sliced
DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large Dutch oven or kettle, combine the black-eyed peas, ham bone or ham hocks, and 6 cups water. Cut 1 of the onions in half and add it to the pot along with the garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until the beans are tender but not mushy, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove the ham bone or hocks, cut off the meat; dice and set aside. Drain the peas and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaf, onion pieces, and garlic.

2. Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and simmer until the rice is almost tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Mince the remaining onion then add to the rice along with the peas, tomatoes, and their juices, red and green bell pepper, celery, jalapeno pepper, Creole seasoning, thyme, cumin, and salt. Cook until the rice is tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the sliced green onions and the reserved diced ham. Serve with hot sauce and freshly baked cornbread.

Okay, now there you go.....Serve this with some good old sweet tea..






Enjoy! Eat well my friends...and HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Shrimp and Broccoli Fettuccine






For what is probably going to be my last post on this blog  for this year, (don't get in a panic folks!) I present you with an Itallian dish..You know how much I love my pasta....You also know that I can't eat any type of seafood either.

For this dish..Light, sweet shrimp and fresh broccoli make a healthy topping for fettuccine pasta.

INGREDIENTS: 


  • 1/4 pound(s) fettuccine, uncooked
  • 1 cup(s) broccoli florets
  • 3/4 pound(s) frozen cooked cleaned medium shrimp, thawed
  • 1 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1 tub(s) (10-ounce) PHILADELPHIA Savory Lemon and Herb Cooking Creme
  • 1/4 cup(s) milk
  • 1/4 cup(s) chopped tomatoes


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt and adding broccoli for the last 3 minutes. Drain; keep warm.
  2. Cook and stir shrimp and garlic in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until shrimp are heated through. Add cooking creme and milk; cook and stir 2 minutes.
  3. Add pasta to shrimp mixture; mix lightly. Top with tomatoes.
Tips &; (Don't sweat the...) Techniques..

 Variation: Prepare as directed, substituting 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips, for the shrimp and increasing the cooking time to 6 to 7 minutes, or until chicken is done. Add cooking creme and milk; continue as directed.






Enjoy with a nice red wine.....HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYBODY!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Nog it Up

Egg Nog is a totally delicious drink..I could drink a quart. That's what I like about this time of year, Noggin it up! Have some today!

Most people buy Egg Nog from the corner store....I know I do...but if you feel like making your own (and I know you don't, but this being a food blog and all...I have to give you recipes..) Here is an easy recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites*
DIRECTIONS:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.


Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

Keith's Note: For cooked eggnog, follow procedure below.


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.

I should give you a raw egg warning-

 I suggest extreme caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, I recommend you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served, use shell eggs that have been treated to destroy salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method.





Otherwise...drink up and enjoy this holiday season with it's most festive of drinks, Egg Nog....Do yourself a favor...Skip all of this and go to the supermarket and buy yourself a carton!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FAMILY!  NOG IT UP!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Coffee Cake




It's Monday and I'm in Breakfast mode.....Something nice to have with your coffee I suppose!


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 3 cup(s) (plus 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup(s) chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup(s) packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup(s) (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened, substitute margarine
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 container(s) (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
  • 4 teaspoon(s) milk
DIRECTIONS:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12-cup fluted baking pan; dust with flour.
  2. On waxed paper, combine baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 cups flour. In small bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and remaining flour.
  3. In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat granulated sugar, butter, and 2 teaspoons vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Alternately beat in flour mixture and sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl.
  4. Evenly spread 2 cups batter in prepared pan; sprinkle with half of nut mixture. Top with 2 cups batter. (See tip below.) Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture, then spread with remaining batter.
  5. Bake cake 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. With small metal spatula, loosen cake from pan; invert onto rack to cool completely.
  6. Prepare glaze: In small bowl, stir confectioners' sugar, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. When cake is cool, transfer to cake plate. Use spoon to drizzle glaze decoratively over cake. Let glaze set.
Tips & (Don't sweat tha) Technique:

 Drop batter in 3 or 4 dollops over nut mixture; gently spread with spatula to evenly cover. Be careful not to lift nut mixture out of place.

Serve with coffee-





or milk-





Enjoy and eat well my friends.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Simple Sangria

> I was thinking of drinking today....A nice wine or sangria ,with some hot bread.....Why?  Just mellow..Kind of bummed out by the latest atrocity...the mass murder in Newtown ,Conneticut....But alas...This is a food blog, If you want to hear about that...My other blog, Keith's Space and others are talking about the grisly details ad nauseum...But if you like me, just want to mellow out and try to not think about the evil in the world ...Here is the solution...a nice pitcher of Sangria...

Sangria! The name is derived from sangre, Spanish for "blood," and this ruby-red concoction is truly the essence of any proper fiesta. Stud your pitcher with whatever fruits look good at the market, making sure to load up on sangria's signature citrus. We love merlot or Shiraz, but you can create a lighter punch with a crisp white or rosé. No need to spend a bundle — an inexpensive bottle will do the trick. Salud!

INGREDIENTS: 


  • 1 bottle(s) (1.5 liters) red wine
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup(s) brandy
  • 1/3 cup(s) sugar
  • 2 (nectarines) pitted and cut into wedges
  • 1 orange, cut in half then sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 (Kirby (pickling) cucumber) sliced
  • 3 cup(s) seltzer or club soda, chilled
  • Ice cubes (Plenty of ice cubes!)


DIRECTIONS: 


  1. In 3- to 4-quart pitcher, combine wine, orange juice, brandy, and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves.
  2. Stir in fruit and cucumber. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  3. To serve, stir seltzer into pitcher. Fill glasses with ice and pour sangria. 
Serve With Freshly Baked Bread-






Enjoy! Chill Out...Eat and Drink well my friends!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Roasted Vegatable Gumbo


I am sitting here listening to Kem's new Christmas CD... The relevance of this is that it has put me in a somewhat Christmassy mood....And when I am in such mood, my thoughts go to preparing good food.. (Boy I am destroying the english language in this post..)

My thoughts take me to New Orleans for this recipe....Once again, a quick recipe...


INGREDIENTS:

3 cups assorted cut-up vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, celery, eggplant, zucchini or yellow squash (1-inch chunks)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ZATARAIN'S® Creole Seasoning  (Shameless free advertising)
6 cups water
1 package ZATARAIN'S® Gumbo Mix with Rice (Shameless free advertising)
1/4 cup chopped green onions

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss vegetables and oil in large bowl. Add Creole Seasoning; toss to coat well. Spread vegetables in single layer on foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

2. Bake 25 minutes or until vegetables are golden brown, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, bring water and Rice Mix to boil in Dutch oven or large saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 25 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Add roasted vegetables; mix well. Sprinkle with green onions, before serving.

This makes 7 (1-cup) servings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
 

Enjoy!    Eat well my friends!
 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus


I can  never eat enough pasta.... and when I saw this recipe...I just had to post it...

Ready to go at a moment's notice, this asparagus-embellished classic is not only creamy, quick and delicious, but it dirties only one pot....and that is right up my lazy alley!


INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 pound(s) asparagus
  • 3/4 pound(s) fettuccine
  • 4 tablespoon(s) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 1 pinch(s) grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fettuccine until almost done, about 8 minutes. Add the asparagus; cook until it and the pasta are just done, about 4 minutes longer.
  2. Drain the pasta and asparagus. Toss with the butter, cream, nutmeg, salt, pepper and Parmesan. Serve with additional Parmesan.
  3. VARIATIONS
    Fettuccine Alfredo: Eliminate the asparagus.
    Fettuccine Alfredo with Ham and Peas: Eliminate the asparagus. Add 1 cup frozen peas to the pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Toss 1/4 pound of deli ham, cut into matchstick strips, with the remaining ingredients.
    Fettuccine Alfredo with Fresh Mixed Herbs: Eliminate the asparagus. Toss in 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, and/or chives, at the end.
    Fettuccine Alfredo with Parsley and Sage: Eliminate the asparagus. Toss in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley and 1/2 teaspoon dried sage at the end.
  4. Wine Recommendation: A forcefully acidic white wine is a natural with asparagus and will pierce the richness of the sauce. Try one of the sauvignon blancs from New Zealand or a vernaccia from Italy.
Enjoy! Eat well my friends!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mixed Green Salad with Grapefruit & Cranberries



Hey folks....I'm always thinking ...at least now of days of easy meals to prepare after a long hard day of work.... Nothing is easier to prepare and healthier than a good salad and especially this one.

In this particular salad,Grapefruit juice is the base for the tangy vinaigrette on this salad studded with grapefruit segments and dried cranberries. This salad serves 12 as a starter or about 6 if you'd like a larger portion per person...Your choice.

INGREDIENTS:

2 red grapefruit

1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil

 2 tablespoon(s) minced scallions

 1 tablespoon(s) white-wine vinegar

 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt

1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper

8 cup(s) torn butter lettuce

 6 cup(s) baby spinach

 1 can(s) (14-ounce) hearts of palm (see Tips & Techniques), drained and cut into bite-size pieces

1/3 cup(s) dried cranberries

1/3 cup(s) toasted pine nuts

DIRECTIONS:

1.Remove the skin and white pith from grapefruit with a sharp knife. Working over a bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membranes. Cut the segments in half on a cutting board and transfer to a large salad bowl. Squeeze the grapefruit peel and membranes over the original bowl to extract 1/4 cup grapefruit juice.

2.Whisk oil, scallions, vinegar, salt and pepper into the bowl with the grapefruit juice.

3.Add lettuce, spinach and hearts of palm to the salad bowl with the grapefruit segments. Just before serving, toss the salad with the dressing until well coated. Sprinkle cranberries and pine nuts on top.

TIPS & (Don't sweat the) Techniques:

Shopping tip: Hearts of palm are the tender inner stem portion of certain species of palm trees. Their flavor and texture is reminiscent of artichoke. Look for canned hearts of palm near other canned vegetables in most supermarkets.

Anutha Tip: To toast chopped nuts, small nuts and seeds, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Carb Servings: 1 fruit, 2 fat Carbohydrate Servings: 1



Enjoy and Eat Well My Friends!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Apple Oatmeal Spice Cookies







My Grand-daughter, my oldest grandaughter (I have two) loves cookies..Everytime she comes over my house, the first word out of her mouth is "cookie"....So I decided to write this post for her...A cookie recipe!

Apple Oatmeal Spice Cookies! Warming winter spices, sweet apple, and toasty oats make tasty, healthier cookies the whole family will love....or in this case..All three of my grand-children! 


INGREDIENTS:

 


  • 1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 2/3 cup(s) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup(s) (1/2 stick) light butter
  • 3/4 cup(s) unsweetened applesauce or apple butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon(s) skim milk
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla
  • 3 cup(s) Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned), uncooked
  • 3/4 cup(s) diced dried mixed fruit or raisins
DIRECTIONS:


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, beat sugars and light butter with electric mixer until well blended. Add applesauce, egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg; mix well. Stir in oats and dried fruit; mix well (dough will be moist).
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets, press lightly to flatten.
  4. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Serve with a big glass of milk!  





Enjoy! As always, Eat well my friends!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Curried Rice with Shrimp






Heyyy, It's been six days hasn't it?  I really got to show this blog some love....I mean, I throw about 50 percent of my time on my other two blogs...Keith Space, which is getting more political and topical every day and Escapades, which started out as a Poetry blog and now has gradually become a fiction and short story blog...but enough of that....

This is my food blog and since food is the subject here...let's talk about a delicious dish for an above normal ,warm winter day in early December...Curried Rice with Shrimp.

INGREDIENTS:




DIRECTIONS:


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, 2½ cups water, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Season the shrimp with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Nestle them in the partially cooked rice. Cover and cook until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes. Fold in the basil. 
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 20m| Total Time: 40m 


 Enjoy! Eat Well My friends...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Garlic & Herb Standing Rib Roast



Hey People...It's been awhile hasn't it?   Yeah...I've been busy...Anyway...I've got a delightful and delicious new recipe for you....Garlic & Herb Standing Rib Roast...
An alternative holiday meal...

A standing rib roast makes a grand statement at the table. You do not need to ask your butcher for a frenched roast (one that has had the meat stripped from the bones); A regular standing rib roast will work just as well.


INGREDIENTS:



1 (5-pound) standing rib roast, trimmed Cooking spray

 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground black pepper

 4 clove(s) garlic, minced Parsley sprigs (optional)

Roasted garlic heads (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place roast on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Combine thyme, salt, pepper, and 4 garlic cloves; rub over roast. Bake at 450 degrees F for 45 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (do not remove roast from oven). Bake roast at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145 degrees F (medium-rare) or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with parsley and roasted garlic, if desired.

What do you think?  Pretty fly eh?

ENJOY!  Eat well my friends.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cincinatti Chilli






With just a few days before Thanksgiving...You would wonder why am I even thinking about anything other than Turkey and other thanksgiving related dishes wouldn't you?  Well, look...you all will have a whole weekend to indulge in those type of things....but tonight!!! Tonight, maybe you want to chill a little with something different... Cincinatti Chilli.

Cincinnati has a unique spin on chili — they serve it over spaghetti. Typically the chili is just made with meat, no beans, but we couldn't resist adding beans to add fiber and nutrients. Serve with sliced cucumber and red onion with lemon juice and olive oil.


INGREDIENTS:
8 ounce(s) whole-wheat spaghetti

1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound(s) (90-percent or leaner) lean ground beef

1 medium onion, diced

2 tablespoon(s) chili powder

1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon

1 can(s) (15-ounce) crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted

1 can(s) (14-ounce) reduced-sodium beef broth

1 can(s) (15-ounce) kidney beans, rinsed

1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh cilantro, divided

DIRECTIONS:
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, chili powder, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring and breaking up lumps with a spoon, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a lively simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes.

Stir beans and all but 2 tablespoons cilantro into the sauce. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute more. Serve the chili over the pasta. Garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Yields: 4 servings, about 1 1/4 cups pasta and 1 1/4 cups chili each

Total Time: 35 min

Prep Time: 20 min

ENJOY!.....Eat well my friends!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Apple Blintz







Dessert time again!  I just have a sweet tooth...Either that or I want to try bold new foods for breakfast...I think it's a little of both....Here is my recipe for Apple Blintzes.

These sweet little pies have a lovely filling that combines tart and sweet apples with farmer cheese and cinnamon.

INGREDIENTS: 


  • 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 pound(s) all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 Pink Lady apple, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 3 tablespoon(s) sugar
  • Sugar, for dusting
  • 1/2 cup(s) farmer cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
  • 1 pinch(s) salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten


DIRECTIONS:


  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12- by 16-inch rectangle and cut out twelve 4-inch squares. Transfer the squares to a baking sheet and freeze until firm, 10 minutes. In a bowl, toss the apples with the sugar, farmer cheese, cinnamon, salt, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Brush the edges of the squares with the egg and mound 2 tablespoons of the apple filling on each one. Fold to form triangles and press to seal. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
  3. Using a fork, crimp the edges of the triangles. Brush the tops with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Cut 3 small slits in each to release steam. Bake until golden and crisp, about 30 minutes, shifting the pans halfway through. Let cool, then serve.
Enjoy! EAT WELL MY FRIENDS!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Whole Wheat Penne Pasta with Sausage & Broccolli



Here is a nice pasta dish that will set off your evening quite nicely.....Best thing about it...It's a one dish meal that features meat and veggies and a starch all in one.

INGREDIENTS:

12 ounce(s) whole wheat penne pasta

 1 large bunch broccoli, cut into florets

12 ounce(s) hot Italian turkey sausage

1 pint(s) grape tomatoes, each cut in half

1/2 cup(s) (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/4 cup(s) freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

DIRECTIONS:
Heat large saucepot of salted water to boiling on high. Add pasta and cook as label directs, adding broccoli when 3 minutes of cooking time remain. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water; drain pasta and broccoli.

Meanwhile, thinly slice sausage on the diagonal. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook sausage on medium 7 to 8 minutes or until it begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring.

Stir pasta, broccoli, and 1/4 cup pasta cooking water into sausage mixture in skillet; heat through, adding additional cooking water if needed. Remove from heat; stir in basil and cheese.

Have a glass of wine with this-


Enjoy! Eat Well My Friends!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marmalade Glazed Orange Cheese Cake



Now that the election is over and it's time indeed to move on....can we all just .......Have a nice dessert?? and maybe some coffee, regardless of your political persuasion and just chill out???  That's a rhetorical question and I already fear the answer....but I am going to post a peaceful, time out dessert for a nice afternoon for you to offer as a peace offering for your friends who may have a different political opinion from yours...Marmalade Glazed Orange Cheese Cake.

This showpiece cheesecake celebrates one of this time of year's brightest gifts: the orange. It is exceptionally rich and creamy-tasting, but lower in saturated fat than a traditional cheesecake. The secret is to replace most of the cream cheese with pureed cottage cheese. Be sure to let the food processor do its job and process the cottage cheese until it has a silky texture. I'm not a big cheesecake eater, but even I liked this.


INGREDIENTS:

 

  • 20 : vanilla snaps or wafers (see Ingredient note)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) canola oil
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
  • 12 ounce(s) reduced-fat cream cheese (not nonfat), cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup(s) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup(s) cornstarch
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup(s) nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 4 teaspoon(s) freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoon(s) orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon(s) orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoon(s) orange liqueur or orange juice
  • Mint sprigs
DIRECTIONS:


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath. Wrap the outside of the pan with a double thickness of foil.
  2. To prepare crust: Grind vanilla snaps in a food processor. Add oil and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press crumbs evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. To prepare filling: Puree cottage cheese in a food processor (use a clean workbowl) until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice. Add cream cheese, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Process until very smooth. Add egg, egg whites, yogurt, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla; process until smooth. Pour over the crust.
  4. Place the cheesecake in a shallow roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come 1/2 inch up the outside of the springform pan. Bake until the edges are set but the center still jiggles when the pan is tapped, 50 to 60 minutes.
  5. Turn off the oven. Spray a knife with cooking spray and run it around the inside edge of the pan. Let the cheesecake stand in the oven, with the door ajar, for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and remove the foil. Refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled, about 2 hours.
  6. To glaze and garnish cheesecake: Shortly before serving, combine marmalade and orange liqueur (or juice) in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring, until melted and smooth. Place cheesecake on a serving platter and remove pan sides. Brush glaze over the top of the cheesecake. Make a slit in each orange slice, then twist and wrap it into a rosette. Garnish cheesecake with the orange rosettes and mint.
(Don't Sweat The) Tips & Techniques:

 Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 5. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Ingredient Note: To avoid trans fats, look for wafers without hydrogenated canola oil, such as My-Del Vanilla Snaps (found in natural-foods stores and large supermarkets).





Have a cup of coffee with this!


Enjoy, Eat and drink well my friends!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Liver And Onions






Years ago....my fiance, now my lovely wife of 24 years cooked a meal for me... Liver and Onions was the meal.  Now I had eaten liver and onions in the school cafeteria and in the Air Force for years and it had been the kind of meal that I could take or leave, but when she made it for me...It was extra specially good.. They say that love mixed with anything makes it better...perhaps, but here is a recipe for Liver and Onions...

(Note: It'll never taste as good as my wife's...but you can try! LOL!)


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound sliced liver, half inch thick
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 teaspoon chopped marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • ice cold milk
Cooking Utensils:


  • 1 large heavy or cast iron skillet
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 1 medium food storage container
  • 1 measuring spoons

    DIRECTIONS:

    As always the key to great cooking is to be prepared and to use quality ingredients.
    1. Prepare your liver 1-hour before cooking.
    2. Rinse sliced liver under cold running water and place in ice-cold milk for about 40 minutes.
    3. Peel and slice onions, then set aside.
    4. In a small mixing bowl combine together chopped marjoram, thyme, parsley flakes, seasoned salt, prepared mustard and black pepper. Crush and mix all of the ingredients together to form your seasoning mixture.
    5. After about 40 minutes, remove sliced liver from milk and pat dry with paper towels. Coat each piece of liver first with seasoning mixture and then with flour.
    6. Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the liver to your desired doneness.
    7. Removed cooked liver and place on a warmed plate until onions are done. Place onions into skillet, season with salt and pepper and brown, turning occasionally.

    Enjoy! Eat Well My Friends

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    Black Cauldron






    Last Day of the month!  Halloween...Here is something ghoulishly delish for grown folks!....
    After the kiddies retire to inventory their candy haul, grown-ups can drink  from this Black Cauldron — a spiked ice-cream float that bubbles and burbles.

    INGREDIENTS:


    • 2 cup(s) vanilla ice cream
    • 1/4 cup(s) vodka
    • 1/4 cup(s) brewed espresso
    • 24 ounce(s) oatmeal stout beer

     
    DIRECTIONS: 

     Place 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream in each of 4 tall glasses. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon vodka, 1 tablespoon brewed espresso, and 6 ounces oatmeal stout beer. Serve immediately.

    See, that was simple!





    Enjoy with your significant other!    Eat well my friends!

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    Friatta






    Amazing that on the eve of a storm where I might lose power in my home (but I'm not expecting to) and therefore can't cook that I'm thinking of something to fix for brunch, just in case I can cook something..(Which I fully expect to be able to do tomorrow.)

    Country Friatta!... (Hope I spelled that right!) Loaded with green peppers, ham, and cheese, this skillet egg dish is appropriate for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Serve with an easy green salad and rolls to accompany it.


    INGREDIENTS:


    • tub(s) (10-ounce) PHILADELPHIA Original Cooking Creme, divided
    • 6 eggs
    • 1/4 teaspoon(s) black pepper
    • 2 tablespoon(s) butter
    • 1 cup(s) chopped green peppers
    • 4 green onions, sliced
    • 1/4 cup(s) chopped OSCAR MAYER Smoked Ham
    • 1/2 cup(s) KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese 
    DIRECTIONS:
    1. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking creme. Whisk remaining cooking creme with eggs and black pepper until well blended.
    2. Melt butter in 10-inch ovenproof skillet on medium heat. Add green peppers; cook and stir 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in egg mixture, onions and ham; cover. Cook on medium-low heat 8 to 9 minutes or until center is almost set.
    Heat broiler. Uncover frittata; sprinkle with cheddar. Broil, 6 inches from heat, 2 to 3 minutes or center is set and cheddar is melted. Drizzle with reserved cooking creme.


    TIPS & TECHNIQUES
    Variation: Pizza Frittata Prepare as directed, substituting chopped OSCAR MAYER Pepperoni for the ham and KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese for the Cheddar.(See Photo up top!)

    Enjoy!  Eat Well my friends!

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Pork Chops with Harvest Rice Pilaf



    I thought it was about time I posted a recipe featuring that "other" white meat...Pork... This one comes from my favorite food city, New Orleans...It's called Pork Chops with Harvest Rice Pilaf. (Special thanks to the good people at Zatarain's)


    Favorite fall ingredients like apples and cranberries provide texture and color to this flavorful one-skillet pork chop and rice dish.


    This dish yields 4 servings.
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cooking Time: 35 minutes

    INGREDIENTS:


    1 teaspoon paprika

    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 4 bone-in pork chops,

    1/2-inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds)

    1 tablespoon oil

    1 cup apple juice

    1 cup water

    1 package ZATARAIN'S® Rice Pilaf

    1/2 cup chopped apple

    1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries

    1/2 cup chopped onion

    1/2 cup chopped pecans

    DIRECTIONS:


    1. Mix paprika, thyme and pepper in small bowl. Sprinkle evenly on both sides of pork chops. Heat oil in nonstick large skillet on medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 3 to 5 minutes per side or until pork is cooked through. Remove from skillet; keep warm.


    2. Stir apple juice, water, Rice Mix, apple, cranberries, onion and pecans into skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes.

    3. Place pork over rice mixture. Cover. Cook 5 minutes longer or until most of the water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.

    Tips

    Test Kitchen Tip: For saucier rice, add 1/4 cup apple juice or water when returning pork to skillet.






    Enjoy, Eat Well My Friends!

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Steak Tacos







    Hey folks....I really need to stop neglecting this blog...This is my baby blog...I've been gone for a few days..but I'm back now and with a great recipe.....Steak Tacos with Chimichurri sauce...(I can't pronounce it or spell it correctly either!)

    A fresh, herby chimichurri sauce is the perfect contrast to the succulent grilled steak in these tacos. Thank you to O.Magazine, where I got this recipe from.


    INGREDIENTS:


    Steak:
    • 1 1/2 pound(s) skirt steak
    • 1 teaspoon(s) cumin
    • 3 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
    • 2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
    • 5 clove(s) garlic, minced to a paste
    • 1/2 lime
    • 1/2 cup(s) thinly sliced red or white onion

    Chimichurri Sauce
    • 2 clove(s) garlic
    • 1 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup(s) cilantro
    • 1/2 cup(s) flat-leaf parsley leaves
    • 1/2 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoon(s) lime juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) crushed red chilli flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
    To Serve:
     DIRECTIONS:
    • Cut steak into 6 pieces. In a medium bowl, combine cumin, oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic. Add steak to bowl, rub spice mixture into meat, squeeze lime juice on top, and mix in onion. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
    • To make chimichurri sauce: In a small food processor, pulse together garlic and salt until it forms a paste. Add cilantro and parsley and pulse, scraping the sides down often. Place in a small bowl and stir in olive oil, lime juice, red chili flakes, and black pepper.
    • About 10 minutes before serving, grill steak 2 to 3 minutes on 1 side, without moving, then flip and continue cooking to desired degree of doneness, 2 to 3 minutes for medium rare. Let meat rest 5 minutes, uncovered.
    • Dice or slice meat against the grain and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Serve on a tortilla with chimichurri sauce and Pico de Gallo
    Enjoy, Eat Well My Friends!

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    Herb Roasted Chicken (For Two?)







    You might think I've got chicken on the brain.....I know that my last recipe was latin chicken...but I can't write too much about Beef and Pork...The Healthy eating people wouldn't like that...So since no one that I know of has a beef with Chicken....(No pun intended...I give you a Herb roasted chicken recipe.)


    INGREDIENTS:


    1/4 cup(s) chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, rosemary and/or thyme

    2 clove(s) garlic, minced

    2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil

    2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt

    1 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper

    2 (4 to 5 pounds each) whole chickens, giblets removed.

    DIRECTIONS:

    1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray.

    2.Mix herbs, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to form a paste. Rub the herb mixture all over the chickens, under the skin and over the breast and thigh meat. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the chickens in the prepared pan, breast-side up, preferably not touching each other.

    3.Roast the chickens for 45 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone, registers 165 degrees F, 45 minutes to 1 hour more. (Be sure to check the temperature of each chicken. One might be done before the other.) Transfer to a clean cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before removing the string and carving (see How To).

     Exchanges: 4 lean meat

    Serve With a White Wine...Enjoy!  Eat well my friends!

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012

    Latin Chicken with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes



    Heyyy..Any of you guys or gals ever use a slow cooker?  Well there is no better time than the present..Merits of the slow cooker are many: If you routinely get home late from work,(like my wife and I sometimes do.) set up a comforting stew before you leave in the morning.

     Can't stand turning on the oven in warm weather?(My wife particularly hates that!) Use the slow cooker to make everything from pot roast to braised chicken without turning the kitchen into a sauna. You'll save money, too. Slow cookers use less electricity than a standard oven.

    I'll have more recipes for the slow cooker in later posts, but let's start with this dish...
    Latin Chicken with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes.

    INGREDIENTS:

    3 pound(s) bone-in skinless chicken thighs

    2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin

    Salt and pepper

    1 teaspoon(s) smoked paprika, or

     1⁄2 tsp. chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

    1/2teaspoon(s) ground allspice

    1 cup(s) chicken broth

    1/2cup(s) salsa

    3 clove(s) (large) garlic, crushed with press

    2 can(s) (15 to 19 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained

    2 pound(s) sweet potatoes, peeled cut into 2-inch chunks

    1 jarred roasted red pepper, cut into strips (1 cup)

    1/3cup(s) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

    Lime wedges

    DIRECTIONS:

    1.Sprinkle chicken thighs with 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot; add chicken thighs and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate. Remove skillet from heat.

    2.In same skillet, combine smoked paprika, allspice, chicken broth, salsa, garlic, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin.

    3.In 6-quart slow cooker, combine beans and sweet potatoes. Place chicken on top of potato mixture in slow cooker; pour broth mixture over chicken. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook as manufacturer directs, on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.

    4.With tongs or slotted spoon, remove chicken pieces to large platter. Gently stir roasted red pepper strips into potato mixture. Spoon mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

    Serve with a white wine
    Enjoy!  Eat Well My Friends!




    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 Cooking.com.

    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 Recalls.gov






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