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Friday, December 26, 2014

Slow Cooking Rice Pudding

Hey folks...Hope you enjoyed your holiday...Here is a sweet breakfast treat for the day after Christmas..Slow Cooking Rice Pudding...But you probably have to get up a little early to fix it.. This is assuming like me..You have the day off.

INGREDIENTS:

2 quarts whole milk (8 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups uncooked arborio or short-grain brown rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-4 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup diced dried pears, cranberries, cherries, or raisins, optional
Dark chocolate chunks, optional

DIRECTIONS:

1.In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker stir together milk, half-and-half, sugar, rice, and salt. Add vanilla bean and cloves. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 5 hours. (Do not stir).
2. Remove vanilla bean and cloves. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes before serving. (If pudding gets too thick upon standing, stir in additional milk to make desired consistency.) Serve warm or chilled with lingonberry sauce. Makes 16 servings.
Enjoy this nice mid winter treat! Eat Well My friends!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pesto Penne With Deli Roasted Chicken

You in a rush...Need to cook something fast? Here is a quick and easy pasta dish that is sure to please.

INGREDIENTS:
  • ounces dried penne, mostaccioli or bow tie pasta (4 cups)
  • 2 cups broccoli flowerets
  • 1 7 ounce container purchased basil pesto (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 1/2 cups bite-size slices of deli-roasted chicken, purchased refrigerated cooked chicken strips, or bite-size slices of leftover cooked chicken (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 7 ounce jar roasted red sweet peppers, drained and cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return drained pasta and broccoli to saucepan.
2. In a small bowl, combine pesto and the reserved pasta water. Add chicken, roasted red peppers and pesto mixture to pasta in saucepan. Toss gently to coat. Heat through over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup cheese to pasta mixture and toss to combine. Divide the pasta among 4 warm pasta bowls. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if you like. Top with coarsely ground black pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
 Serve this with a nice salad...
 and a white wine!
 Enjoy to the fullest!

EAt Well My Friends!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Can you believe how many posts I've done for this blog in just one week?  yeahhh...I'm givin this blog some love..

Doesn't that Cake in the above photo look delicious? Want to know how to prepare it?  Sure you do....That's what this blog is here for.....

It's called Cream Cheese Pound Cake..

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened

1 8 oz package Cream cheese, softened


3 cups sugar


6 large eggs


1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


3 cups all-purpose flour


1/8 tsp salt


DIRECTIONS: 

 Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy. 

Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. 

Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. 

Add vanilla mixing well. 

Combine flour and salt, gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. 

 Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. 

Fill a 2-cup, ovenproof measuring cup with water; place in oven with tube pan. 

This will help keep the cake moist. 

Bake at 300°F for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Glaze-
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 TBS milk, to consistency.


 Mix together till desired consistency is reached, but should be thin. Add more milk one teaspoon at a time to get the thinness you want. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Fix yourself a big glass of cold milk to go with this..
Enjoy!

Eat Well My Friends!
 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

CAJUN CHICKEN STUFFED WITH PEPPER-JACK CHEESE

Does the photo above look good or what?  Yes it does...I go far and wide trying to find great recipes for this blog and I think I've hit the jackpot today with this one...

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 oz Pepper-jack Cheese, shredded (you can use up to 6 oz
1 cup Frozen Spinach, thawed and well-drained

Sea Salt, to taste

Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
1 Tbsp Italian-style Dry Breadcrumbs

Lots of Toothpicks


2 Tbsp Olive Oil
DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pound to flatten the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.

In a medium bowl, combine the pepper-jack cheese, spinach, salt and pepper.

Combine the Cajun seasoning and breadcrumbs together in a small bowl; set aside.

Spoon about 1/4 c of the spinach mixture onto each chicken breast. Roll each chicken breast tightly and fasten the seams with several toothpicks. This part requires a tiny bit of skill, and I typically use about 8 toothpicks in each roll to ensure none of the filling seeps out. Be sure to count how many total toothpicks were used so you can remove that same number!

Brush each chicken breast with the olive oil. Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning mixture evenly over all. Sprinkle any remaining spinach and cheese on top of chicken (optional).

Place the chicken seam-side up onto a tin foil-lined baking sheet (for easy cleanup). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Remove the toothpicks before serving. Count to make sure you have removed every last toothpick. Serve whole or slice into medallions.

DON'T SWEAT THE TECHNIQUE:
If you have little ones eating this or your spice tolerance is fairly low, halve the amount of Cajun seasoning and double the breadcrumbs.

Enjoy!  Eat well My friends!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Perfect Porterhouse Steak

No your eyes don't deceive you...This is three straight posts in a row...Hey..I've neglected this blog...I'm paying it a little more attention..

Okay,so I'm off pasta for a minute and I'm on to a perfect porterhouse steak...

This is simple... you start by going to the butcher or supermarket or wherever it is you go and buying a nice cut of steak...In this case...a 20 ounce Porterhouse steak...

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon meat tenderizer
  • 1 teaspoon steak seasoning (Your choice, it doesn't matter..)
DIRECTIONS:

Place steak on a plate and coat lightly with olive oil. Rub steak with meat tenderizer. Sprinkle steak with Canadian steak seasoning and gently rub into steak. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 20 minutes. 

Preheat a grill for high heat. When the grill is hot, lightly oil the grate. 
 
Unwrap steaks and grill on open flame or charcoal grill for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or to your   desired degree of doneness.    
 
A Baked Potato with melted butter goes perfectly with this!
 
 


See? Simple...Enjoy!  Eat well my friends...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bucatini with Butter-Roasted Tomato Sauce

I know this looks like Spaghetti, but I am told it's not...I am told that this is Bacatini with Butter Roasted Tomato sauce...It looks good doesn't it? Whatever it is called.

I am also told that roasting intensifies the flavor of tomato sauce.....This recipe will serve four...How about inviting three of your friends over for dinner tonight, with this and some White Wine on the menu? Huh?





INGREDIENTS:


  • 128-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 8garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 2anchovy fillets packed in oil
  • ¼cup(½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12oz. bucatini or spaghetti
  • Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)
DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Combine tomatoes (crushing them with your hands), garlic, anchovies, butter, and ½ tsp. red pepper flakes in a 13x9” baking dish; season with salt and black pepper. Roast, tossing halfway through, until garlic is very soft and mixture is jammy, 35–40 minutes. Using a potato masher or fork, mash to break up garlic and tomatoes.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
  • Return pasta to pot and add tomato sauce and pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium-high heat, tossing until sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Serve topped with Parmesan and more red pepper flakes.
  • Do Ahead: Tomato sauce can be made 4 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat before mixing with pasta.
MMMM...I can taste it now...Enjoy! Eat well my friends!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage


Hey Guys....and Gals...I'm back...You know me...I'll eat some pasta any time of year , but winter pasta dishes are especially satisfying. Braised meats, slow-simmered sauces, and plenty of cheese: It’s all here, in this pasta dish which is perfect for chilly weather like this.(I live in Philadelphia ,on the Eastern coast of the U.S. It's usually cold this time of year!)

INGREDIENTS: 


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4oz. pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped
  • 1tablespoon of finely chopped fresh sage
  • 12-lb. kabocha or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½” pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cup of slow-sodium chicken broth
  • 12 oz. fettucine or linguine
  • ¼cup of finely grated Pecorino, plus shaved for serving.
  • DIRECTIONS:

    • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8–10 minutes. Add sage and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta and sage to a small bowl; set aside.
    • Add squash, onion, and garlic to skillet; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 8–10 minutes. Add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until squash is soft and liquid is reduced by half, 15–20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then purée in a blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Reserve skillet.

      • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
      • Combine pasta, squash purée, and ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid in reserved skillet and cook over medium heat, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Mix in ¼ cup Pecorino; season with salt and pepper.
      • Serve pasta topped with reserved pancetta and sage, shaved Pecorino, and more pepper.
      • Do Ahead: Squash purée can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

         Thank you to Allison Roman and Christina Holmes of Bon Appetit for this great recipe! 

        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