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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower



I love roasting vegetables and I had not done Cauliflower for a long time.  I had a head in my fridge and decided to look up some recipes for roasting them.  I found one on All Recipes and decided to change it up a bit.  I turned out quite well, next time I will forgo the garlic, it burned and stayed on the pan.  The end result was nutty and delicious.

 3 tablespoons olive oil
 1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 salt and black pepper to taste
 Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp onion powder
Scant bit of red pepper flakes

I actually put all the ingredients (except the lemon and Parmesan) into a Ziplock and let it sit overnight. Mix well.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees 

Grease a large casserole dish or sheet pan

Pour Cauliflower into the prepared casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste

Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through 

Top with Parmesan cheese, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown

Squeeze the lemon on top of the roasted Cauliflower and serve

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chicken Fried Steak


It is no secret I love Chicken Fried Steak, every breakfast place we go, I try it and I am nearly ALWAYS disappointed.  I got a wild thought and bought some cube steaks and my Husband who is the very talented weekend breakfast chef at our house, said he would make it for me.

We checked out a few recipes online and this one looked promising.  It was soo tasty!  Instead of making the gravy with the drippings, we used Southeastern Mills Old Fashioned Peppered Gravy Mix (much less fat and calories)

Two key things we learned, if you buy cube steaks you need to pound them a bit thinner and coating the steak and letting it sit about 10 minutes prior to frying really helps the coating stick.

4 quarter-pound cube steaks (pre-tenderized) or round steaks
A sprinkling of salt for pre-salting the meat
2 cups of flour for breading
2 teaspoons Kosher salt for breading
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
Canola oil, rice bran oil, or other high smoke point oil or fat for frying

1 If you are using round steak instead of the pre-tenderized cube steak, you will need to pound the steaks thin or they will be way too chewy. (Already tenderized cube steaks can also use some meat mallet attention to get more thin.) Place each steak between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, rubber mallet, rolling pin, or empty wine bottle, beat the steak until it is very thin, less than 1/4-inch. As you beat the steak, you will want to turn over often, and spread out the plastic wrap which tends to wrinkle as you work.

2 Sprinkle a little salt over the meat. Preheat the oven to 170°F.  In the oven put a wire rack over a baking sheet. This will keep the finished steaks warm until you have all 4 cooked

3 Prepare two wide, shallow dishes such as a Pyrex casserole dish. In the first  whisk together the eggs and milk. In the second, whisk together the flour, salt, cayenne, and garlic powder. Working one at a time, dredge a steak into the flour. Using the heel of your hand, press the flour into both sides of the steak. Lift up the steak, shake off the excess flour and dip the steak into the egg wash, coating it on both sides.  Lift the steak out of the egg wash, shake off the excess egg wash, and then dredge the steak again in the flour. Again, press the flour into the steak on both sides. Set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining steaks.

4 Pour enough oil in a large frying to cover the bottom by 1/4-inch. Heat the oil to 350°F or when you drop a little flour into the oil it sizzles. If the oil doesn't sizzle it isn't ready, if it burns, the oil is too hot, reduce the heat. Working one at a time, lay a flour-egg-coated steak into the hot oil. Gently shake the pan a little to wash a little hot oil on the top of the steak. Or you can use a metal spoon to spoon some of the oil over the steak. This sets the coating. Fry until you see the edges of the steak turn golden brown, about two minutes. Carefully turn the steak over in the pan, and fry for two more minutes. Once both sides of the steak are golden brown, tip the steak up with a metal spatula to drain the excess oil. Remove it from the pan and place if on the wire rack in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining steaks.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread

My Sister and fellow Food Blogger, Mary Beth gave me this recipe and I was eager to try it!

I finally remembered to buy Flaky Biscuits and gave it a whirl last night, goodness is it tasty and easy!

 It would be a great add to a Holiday Dinner, no changes necessary except perhaps add some herbs such as Chives, Parsley or an Italian Blend.




1 Can Flaky Grands
1/2 Stick Butter
3 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the cold butter in a bunt pan and let melt in the oven. While the butter melts quarter the grands and place into a bowl. Sprinkle on the garlic and Parmesan  cheese toss with the grands, when the butter has melted pull out the pan.

Put the grands into the prepared pan then sprinkle over any reaming garlic and cheese in the bowl over the grands. 

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Turn out onto a serving plate.




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Potato and Leek Soup


If you know me, you know I love to make soup, I love the process of making the broth from scratch and hand crafting soup.  My Mother In Law who has Celiacs Disease cannot eat Wheat, so I enjoy making soup she can consume.  I try to make her soup every two weeks or so, and this time I decided to try something a bit lighter.

I started with Alton Brown's recipe and tweaked it quite a bit actually.  It was smooth and delicious.  My husband likes more of  a Thick Soup or in the words of Rachael Ray, Stoup!  He thought it was good but needed more substance.  Mom and I loved it just as it was.



  • 1 pound leeks, cleaned and dark green sections removed, approximately 4 to 5 medium
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Heavy pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 14 ounces, approximately 3 to 4 Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced small
  •  2-3 quarts chicken broth, homemade if possible
  • 1 fat free half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese

    Slice the leeks.

    In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and a heavy pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are tender, approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add the potatoes and the broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 45 minutes.

    Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the half and half , white pepper and cheese. (I broke my immersion blender, so I ladled it into my Blend Tec blender and pureed it, be very careful doing it that way)

    Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately, or chill and serve cold.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    John's Special Hot Cereal


    I was never a fan of Hot Cereal for breakfast, that is until my Husband started making it for me after we were married.  I love his version of hot cereal it is full of yummies and so good for you!

    Here is how he makes it so delicious!  I think part of why it is so good is he uses Bob's Red Mill 7 Grain Cereal.

    1/4 cup Udi's Cranberry Granola (or any kind would work)
    3 1/4 water
    1/4 cup raisins
    1/4 cup blueberries fresh or frozen
    1/8 cup dried strawberry slices (you can omit)
    pinch of salt
    butter and brown sugar for topping the cereal

    Make the cereal according to the package directions, adding in all ingredients, cook for suggested time.  If you are using fresh blueberries save them back and put them in right at the end of the cooking time.


    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

    Caprese Tart



    I have made tomato tarts for a few years now and decided to do it again, but with a twist!

    I grow my own Sun Glow Orange Tomatoes this year as well as a ton of Basil, so I thought Caprese Salad but in Tart format.  I purchased some gorgeous Buffalo Mozzarella and got started.  It was fresh, tasty and seasonal.  I highly recommend it!

    1 basket of Cherry Tomatoes (I used my home grown ones, about 25 of em)
    1 package Puff Pastry (you will only use 1) at room temperature
    Sliced Buffalo Mozzarella
    10 Basil leaves washed and cut into a chiffonade
    2 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    salt and pepper to taste
    1 beaten egg

    Heat your oven to 400 degrees and mix the tomatoes with the olive oil and a bit of salt

    Roast on a sheet pan in the oven for about 20 minutes, remove and let cool

    Reduce heat to 350

    In the meantime, get your puff pastry out and place on a cutting board, you may need a bit of flour, I did it right on the sheet pan I was baking it on

    You will cut off about 1 inch strips all the way around, you are going to build a dam to hold your ingredients

    Brush your puff pastry with the beaten egg, then place the strips on each side (cutting off excess), bake for 20 minutes until lightly brown, remove and set aside

    Place your tomatoes on top and add your sliced Buffalo Mozzarella.

    Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese melts a bit.

    Sprinkle on your Basil, let rest a few minutes and serve.



    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Lemon Chicken Piccata


     I have been meaning to make this again for quite sometime, we loved it the first time we had it several years ago.  We were tired and wanted something fast and easy for dinner and I knew I had a handful of lemons to use.  It was lemony and delicious, I paired it with Roasted Red Potatoes and Sweet Corn on the Cob for a wonderful summery dinner!

    • 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
    • halves - cut into 1/2-inch medallions
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or as needed
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
    • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
    • 3 tablespoons butter

    DIRECTIONS:

    1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F  Place a serving platter into the oven to warm.

    2. Season the chicken breast pieces with salt and pepper and dredge them in flour. Shake off excess flour. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet; pan-fry the chicken pieces until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, adding oil as needed . Place the chicken pieces onto the warmed platter in the oven. When finished with all the chicken, drain most of the oil from the skillet, leaving a thin coating on the surface of the pan.

    3. Cook and stir the minced garlic in the skillet until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Pour in the chicken broth. Scrape and dissolve any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the lemon slices and bring the mixture to a boil. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces to about 2/3 cup, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the lemon juice and capers; simmer until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes more. Drop the butter into the skillet and swirl it into the sauce by tilting the skillet until the butter is melted and incorporated, remove from heat and set aside.

    4. Arrange the chicken medallions on serving plates and spoon sauce over each portion to serve.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    Ham, White Cheddar, Mushroom and Green Onion Quiche



    I love Quiches and my husband does as well, even though "real men don't eat Quiche" he is a real man who does eat Quiche!   I had a hunk of Ham leftover and decided it had been awhile since I had made a Quiche.

    I had some Green Onions, Mushrooms and I was all set.  I still cannot make a decent pie crust so I use pre-purchased ones.  I do not pre-bake my pie crust, do you?  I did put a pizza stone in the oven and placed the Quiche on top of it, I hope it makes the crust nice and crispy.  I also used Egg Substitute and only two eggs.

    1.5 Cups of Diced Ham
    4 Green Onions sliced (green parts included)
    2 big or 4 small Mushrooms, I used Crimini
    1.5 small size containers of Egg Substitute
    2 large Eggs
    1/4 cup of half and half or milk
    2 Cups of Cheese, I used a sharp white cheddar
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/4 tsp Cayenne
    few shakes of Tarragon

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, place pizza stone in the oven if you have one

    Place the Ham, Green Onions, Mushrooms and Cheese into your uncooked pie crust, try to even it out

    Mix the eggs, egg substitute, milk, salt, pepper and spices, using a whisk mix well

    Place in the oven for 40 minutes, checking for doneness, it should not wiggle around.  My Quiche took well over an hour to cook.

    Let cool and serve.  This Quiche is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    Sausage and Potato Skillet




    I found some Johnsonville Turkey Sausages in the Freezer and decided I wanted to do a Skillet dinner.  I used Red Potatoes, Onion and a Jalapeno.  It was quite delicious and very easy.  I served with a Tomato and Cucumber Salad for a bit of freshness.

    2 Johnsonville Sausages (I used Turkey but any would do)
    4 Red Potatoes (clean and microwave for 4 minutes)
    1/2 Onion, diced small
    1 Jalapeno seeded and diced
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    1/4 tsp Thyme
    1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

    I sliced my Sausages into coins, and placed them into a hot pan with some peanut oil (it is a high heat oil)

    I cooked them at high heat to get some caramelization, then I transferred to a plate

    Microwave your potatoes for 4 minutes and let them cool, then cut in half and make slices

    Dice your onion and jalapeno finely

    Once your potatoes are about 3/4 of the way done add the onion, jalapeno and spices, let cook for another 10 minutes or so

    Add your sausages back in, stir until everything is hot

    Top with grated cheese if desired

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    Pork Posole


    My husband is a nut for Posole, he has eaten it a few times at Mexican Restaurants and always raves over it.  I finally decided to put my soup skills to the test and make it myself.  It is actually fairly easy to make, all the toppings add to the flavor profile!  Since I was unfamiliar with the process I used a recipe I found online, next time I will tweak it more for our tastes!

    Ingredients:
    • 4 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
    • 2 cups boiling water  
    • Cojita Cheese
    • Red Cabbage
    • Avacado
    • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
    • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
    • 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into (1/2-inch) pieces
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion  
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced  
    • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth  
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans white or yellow hominy, undrained
    • 6 tablespoons sliced radishes  
    • 6 tablespoons chopped green onions  
    • 6 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
    • 6 lime slices  
    • Cotija Cheese
    1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Place chiles in pan; flatten with a spatula. Cook 10 seconds on each side or until blackened. Combine toasted chiles and 2 cups boiling water in a bowl; let stand 10 minutes or until soft. Place chile mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth
    2. Cook cumin seeds in a large Dutch oven over medium heat for 1 minute or until toasted and fragrant. Place in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground.
    3. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove pork from pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 8 minutes or until onion is browned, stirring frequently. Stir in pork, pureed chiles, toasted ground cumin, broth, sugar, salt, and hominy; bring to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes or until pork is tender. Spoon 1 2/3 cups posole into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon radishes, 1 tablespoon green onions, and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Serve with lime slices.
    4. I cut up some Corn tortillas into strips and baked them for a little crunch

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    Roasted Red New Potatoes















    I was planning on Steak for dinner and was looking for nice side dish to go along with my Steamed Broccoli. I searched the Inter Web and found this recipe at Allrecipes.com, it had many excellent reviews.

    I used three medium Red Potatoes and cut them in thirds to make a log type shape then cut again to make cubes.  I also used my old Lodge Cast Iron Skillet.  It worked wonderfully and the dish was a hit with my husband, who is not a huge fan of carbohydrates.  I on the other hand love my carbs!  I changed the recipe slightly to my tastes.

    This is enough for 2-3 servings

    3 medium size Red New Potatoes, cubed
    1/4 cup of oil (or a little less), I use Grape
    seed Oil
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    Fresh Rosemary chopped well, total of about 1 tablespoon
    1/2 tsp garlic powder

    Toss it all into your Cast Iron Skillet or onto a baking sheet and mix well.

    Place into an over preheated to 450 degrees.

    Let roast for 40 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    Blue Isle’s Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads


    I was lucky to receive an email from the manufacturers of Blue Isle's Yogurt Spreads offering to send me some samples.  I love a Bagel and Cream Cheese for breakfast, so this seemed like a great alternative to cream cheese, plus it has the addition of probiotics which I like ALOT!

    You can use it in place of cream cheese for just about anything.

    They currently have six varieties and they are all delicious!  I especially like the Spicy Vegetables, I love to dip Sugar Snap Peas into it.  The Blueberry is my new favorite for Plain Bagels and the French Onion is great on a Sesame Bagel.

    I even stirred some of the plain variety into a Fettuchini Sauce and it was delicious.

    Blue Isle Mediterranean yogurt spread are made from the healthy goodness of yogurt including live cultures, probiotics and calcium but with no added sugar.  With only 60 calories and 6 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons it is 40% less fat and calories than the leading cream cheese, and it is good for you!

    The flavors are:

    Blue Original
    Honey
    Blueberry
    French Onion
    Spicy Vegetables

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp





    I was busy making a Strawberry and Rhubarb Galette for hubby, and I and had a bunch of leftover filling so I decided I would make a Crisp for some of my Husband's friends at work.

    I have these sweet mini Emil Henry ceramic pie dishes a dear friend gave me years ago so I used them.   The filling is easy to make and the crisp part is only three ingredients.  This will easily make 6 Crisps if you use Ramekins.  Alternately you can use one of the smaller sized square casseroles.

    1 cup of strawberries, stem removed sliced in half
    1 cup or about 3 stalks of Rhubarb sliced (when cutting the ends off, it may act like it wants you to peel the skin off, go ahead but don't obsess on it)
    1/4 cup of Sugar (I have Vanilla Sugar so I used that)
    1/2 tsp Cinnamon
    1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
    1 tsp Orange Zest
    2 TBL AP flour
    Pinch of Salt

    Place all the above ingredients in a bowl and stir well, set aside and let macerate for a few minutes while you make the topping.

    Topping
    2 cups of Rolled Oats, I used Rudi's Gluten Free Granola
    4 Tablespoons of butter, melted
    1/4 cup chopped nuts

    Mix well, set aside

    1.  Place your fruit mixture in the Ramekin or whatever you want to use
    2.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes
    3.  Mixture should be bubbly and the topping crisp
    4.  Remove from oven, let cool and top with whipped cream or ice cream

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    Strawberry and Rhubarb Galette



    We visited our favorite local Farm Store, Unger Farms and picked up 12 pints of our local Hood Strawberries, they are a bit smaller but super sweet.  I also got some fresh Rhubarb which I think I have only used once in my life.  My Sister In Law, Mary said she was going to make a Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp or Cobbler I cannot remember which one.

    Anyway it gave me an idea, I thought I would make a Galette which I love to do when fresh fruit is in season. I looked about the inter webs and used this recipe as my start, I of course had to change it and add ingredients to make it my own.

    I only had a Deep Dish Pie crust already in the pan, so I flipped it over and let it thaw, then tried to roll it. It was a bit of a disaster so I apologize for how terrible it looks.  Next time I will either make my own pie crust or get a frozen rolled one.

    1 Pie Crust Round, either make or buy one
    1 cup of strawberries, stem removed sliced in half
    1 cup or about 3 stalks of Rhubarb sliced (when cutting the ends off, it may act like it wants you to peel the skin off, go ahead but don't obsess on it)
    1/4 cup of Sugar (I have Vanilla Sugar so I used that)
    1/2 tsp Cinnamon
    1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
    1 tsp Orange Zest
    2 TBL AP flour
    Pinch of Salt
    1 Egg, lightly beaten
    3 TBL of Sugar In the Raw

    Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

    Place thawed pie crust on your counter with a little flour and roll out to a 10 inch round

    Place the round carefully on a greased baking sheet (I used a Silpat)

    Blot Strawberries and Rhubarb with paper towels to remove excess moisture, place the fruit and the flour, spices, sugar, salt and orange zest.  Let rest for 10 minutes or so and mix well

    Using a slotted spoon, place the fruit in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 3 inch pastry edge.  Fold pastry edge up and over the fruit mixture, overlapping the edges as required, leaving the center of the pie uncovered

    Place small dots of butter on the exposed fruit, 2 total tablespoons

    Brush pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle the pastry and filling with the Sugar In the Raw

    Bake on lower shelf of pre-heated oven for 30 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the pastry is golden brown

    Let sit for 5 minutes and serve with whipped cream or ice cream





    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Peach Cobbler




    I had been feeling yucky for the past several days along with craving something sweet, so I took a peek thru my old beaten up Recipe Box and found several recipes for Cobblers! This recipe is one of the many ones I was given during my tenure at Teasley Learning Center as a Pre-School Teacher!

    I gave both recipe cards to my husband and he was kind enough to make me a fabulous Cobbler!

    Peach Mixture

    2 15 oz cans Lite Peaches, drained, reserve 1/4 cup liquid
    1 tsp Cinnamon
    1 tsp Vanilla
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 tbl lemon juice
    1 tsp corn starch

    Topping

    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 tsp baking powder
    3/4 stick butter, cut into small pieces
    1/2 cup Rolled Oats
    1/4 cup Boiling leftover peach liquid

    Mix the Peach ingredients in a bowl and pour into a 9X9 Casserole, bake at 375 for 20 minutes
    remove and set aside.

    In the meantime using a pastry cutter or your hands or forks, mix the topping mixture together until it looks somewhat like cookie dough. Remove the Peach mixture from the oven and optionally dust the mixture with brown sugar.

    Using your hands place the topping on in dollops and get as much of the mixture spread over the entire peach dish as possible.




    Bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes still at 375 degrees, remove and let cool, top with Ice Cream or Whipped Topping