Thursday, July 31, 2008

Grilled Peaches


I have been wanting to grill Peaches all summer and I finally did it. You can drizzle them with honey, balsamic vinegar and add all sorts of toppings including ice cream! I ate mine with just a few Raspberries and a drizzle of Balsamic and they were wonderful.

2 ripe peaches, cut in half pit removed
fresh ground pepper
cooking spray
Balsamic Vinegar (the good stuff not the cheap kind)

Spray the peaches with a bit of pan spray to prevent sticking
fresh ground pepper to your taste
place peaches face down on the grill and grill for 2 minutes

turn them 1/4 turn and grill for 1 more minute (makes the pretty grill marks)

Add whatever toppings you like

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Parmesan Chicken



We saw this made on the Cook's Illustrated Television show and thought it looked amazing. It is easy, unusual and and very tasty, and would be a great meal to impress guests with.

We were so excited we forgot to take pictures of the plating!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
3 large egg whites
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives (optional)
6 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups) see note above
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 lemon , cut into wedges

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound to even 1/4-inch thickness. Pat dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Set wire rack on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk together 1/4 cup flour and grated Parmesan cheese in pie plate. In medium bowl, whisk egg whites and chives (if using) together until slightly foamy. In second pie plate, combine 2 cups shredded Parmesan and remaining tablespoon flour.

Using tongs and working with 1 cutlet at a time, coat chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Transfer chicken to egg-white mixture; coat evenly and let excess run off. Coat chicken with shredded Parmesan mixture, pressing gently so that cheese adheres. Place on wire rack.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place 2 cutlets in skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook until cheese is pale golden brown, about 3 minutes. While chicken is cooking, use thin nonstick spatula to gently separate any cheesy edges that have melted together. Carefully flip cutlets and continue to cook until cheese is pale golden brown on second side and meat is no longer pink in center, about 3 minutes.

Transfer chicken to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towel and return to medium heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and cook remaining 2 cutlets. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Roasted Turkey Breast


I love Turkey, it is a real comfort food for me, and we make it all year long. We smoke it, barbecue it, deep fry it and roast it! I used a fresh Turkey Breast (thank you my local Haggen Store) for this one. It turned out wonderfully! I served with mashed potatoes loaded with chives!

1 turkey breast = two actual breast halves
  • 6-7 leaves of fresh sage, stems removed chopped fine
  • 1/2 cube unsalted butter at room temperature
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper
score the sternum of the beast (not all the way thru to the meat), with a sharp knife, flip the turkey over, and crack it so it lies flat

mix the butter and sage together until well incorporated

using your hands separate the skin so you can place the sage butter between the skin and the breast meat (save some for the outside)

massage the remaining sage butter on the outside of the bird

sprinkle with salt and pepper

Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, internal temp of 165, the carryover heat will finish it for you at 170 degrees
I highly recommend a temperature probe (which you place in the breast and it will beep when the requested temp is reached)

Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes

Carve and serve

SHOUT OUT!

I was given a Brillante Weblog award by For The Love Of Cooking. Thank you so much for the award, I appreciate it very much! You inspire me to be a better cook!

The rules for receiving the award are as follows:
Post the logo on your blog.
Add a link to the person who nominated you
Nominate 5 other people for this award and add links to their blogs.
Leave a message for the people you've nominated

I don't have much time to view other blogs, so if you are reading this, I nominate YOU (yes I am pointing at you). Go for it!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake



I have to thank my lucky stars that we live in such a wonderful neighborhood, everyone is friendly and genuinely concerned about each other. This recipe was shared with me by my fabulous neighbors Arty and his lovely wife Mitsy. I have to say it is the BEST Coffee Cake I have ever tasted!

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar, I used Splenda Sugar Blend
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup milk, I used 2%
Topping
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbl butter or margarine
  • **I also added a few dashes of Ginger**
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Mix flour, baking powder and salt on waxed paper.

Cream softened butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, beat in the egg.

Place blueberries in a small bowl, dust with a small amount of the flour mixture. Toss to coat. Add the remaining flour mixture and milk alternately to creamed mixture, mixing continually

Gently fold blueberries into batter.

For the topping, mix flour, sugar and cinnamon (Giner if you wish) in a small bowl, cut in butter until crumbly.

Spread batter into a greased 8 inch square baking dish.

Sprinkle topping over batter.
Bake for 45 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

Serve warm.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kitchen Sink Brownies



I like to make these brownies when I am having a huge chocolate craving! I call them Kitchen Sink Brownies as you can put in whatever you have in your pantry. Today I had mini chocolate chips, walnuts and marshmallows! I have made brownies a million different ways and to be honest there is no recipe that is any better than Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownies, so save yourself some time and buy a box!

1 box Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix
handful of mini marshmalls cut in half
1/2 cup chopped nuts (any kind you choose)
1/4 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Make your brownie mix according to the package directions, add in the marshmallows, nuts and chips.

Bake according to the package directions.

Let cool, cut and serve.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Monster Cookies


I love these cookies, had in fact almost forgotten about the recipe. In the "olden days" when I was young, I used to be a pre-school teacher and the kiddo's loved these cookies! Try em, you will too!

As you can see the M&M's are the most important ingredient in my book!

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon corn syrup (I always omit this does not affect the cookies)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a very large bowl, beat the eggs.
Add the remaining ingredients in order, mixing well.
Use an ice cream scoop to put on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Peach and Blueberry Crisp


I had some fruit I needed to use and I had not made a crisp in ages. I decided to make it diabetic friendly in case I wanted to actually eat a dessert I made!

It was delicious, and I finally was able to use my Emile Henry individual pie dishes.
  • 4 small peaches peeled, pitted and diced large
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 Splenda packages
  • 2 tbl Splenda brown sugar substitute
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 tbl butter or margarine
  • dash of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger
  • chopped pecans or almonds
Mix the diced peaches with the blueberries, add the 2 packages of Splenda, mix well

Pour the fruit mixture into your baking vessel (this made two large servings)

Mix the rolled oats, brown sugar substitute, butter, spices, and nuts together until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly

place the topping mixture on top of your fruit

bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes (I would bake on a sheet pan, it will boil over a bit)

let cool or serve hot with ice cream

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Crab Cakes with a Spicy Remoulade Sauce



One of the most romantic spots on the Oregon Coast is Newport Bay. Our favorite restaurant is called Canyon Way Bookstore and Restaurant, their Crab Cakes are amazing. We order them each and every time we eat there. One day on a whim, I called them and asked for the recipe, and the Chef was kind enough to give it to me. My husband has since tweaked it and it is richer and crabbier than theirs! He makes it on special occasions.

1 lb Dungeness Crab meat (2.5 to 3 whole crabs will yield this amount)
1 cup fresh chopped parsley (regular not Italian)
3 cups bread crumbs (one cup for the cakes the rest for breading)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 yellow onion diced (mild onion)
1 whole shallot diced
2 eggs, beaten
2 additional beaten eggs (for dredging)
2 cups flour (for dredging)
1.5 cups white sauce, commonly called Bechamel (click here for link for white sauce), it must be made from a flour roux and simmer with 1 bay leaf and 2-3 whole cloves, 1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

Saute the onions till they are translucent, add shallots and the parsley, continue sauteing till parsley is limp. Remove to cool.

Put the cooled onion mixture in a bowl, add 1 cup white sauce (remove bay leaf and cloves), stir in eggs, gently fold in the crab.

Start adding bread crumbs folding the mixture, till the batter is the consistency of a sticky cookie dough. If you add too many bread crumbs and it becomes dry, add more white sauce.

Form cakes about 1/2 inch thick and 4 inches across

Dredge in flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs. Makes between 15and 20 cakes. You can refrigerate for a day before cooking if you wish.

Preheat a non stick sauce pan on medium heat, add enough oil to come 1/2 way up the cake, add a tablespoon of butter.

Pan fry the cakes until bot sides are golden brown, you can hold in the oven on a raised rack at 170 degrees

The Remoulade Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp franks red hot or any hot sauce
2 tbl rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 tbl good balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt

Mix well, re-season to your taste, we like it spicy!

These freeze amazingly well

Friday, July 18, 2008

Creamed Spinach


I have always wanted to try making creamed spinach, and I had a huge bunch of lovely spinach I did not want to waste. I made it the normal way then popped it into the oven for a few minutes until it was bubbly. Very rich and delicious.
  • 3 lbs spinach
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic lightly smashed
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash the spinach in several changes of water to get rid of any grit. Drain the spinach but keep some of the water clinging to the leaves. (I used pre-washed Organic spinach)

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the spinach and garlic.

Cook, turning frequently, until the spinach has wilted down evenly.

Add the cream, parmesan and nutmeg; cook until it reduces a bit, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

I then placed in a greased casserole and baked it at 350 for 10 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.

Sprinkle with snipped chives if you wish

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Yakisoba Chicken


It has been in the 90's here and I wanted something light and easy for dinner. It has been ages since I fixed Yakisoba noodles, and this turned out beautifully.

  • 1 package fresh Yakisoba Noodles
  • 1 bunch Brocollini, washed and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 red pepper cut into chunks
  • 3 green or spring onions diced
  • 2 chicken breasts diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • peanuts or cashews for garnish
  • any sauce you like, stir fry sauce, oyster sauce, peanut sauce
In a wok or non stick pan with a 2 tbl or so of sesame oil, at high heat, quickly sear your chicken chunks, remove to a plate

Now loosen your noodles and cook for several minutes at high heat, I like mine a bit crunchy, remove to a plate (I used half a package of noodles)

Lower your heat and add your vegetables, and cook for several more minutes, add your meat and noodles back in

Add 2 tsp soy sauce

salt and pepper to taste

add the sauce of your choice and mix well, I used Oyster Sauce and some Peanut Sauce

garnish with nuts if you wish

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Glazed Pecans


I love nuts in general, especially in salads (probably because I am one, a nut not a salad) and they "used" to sell glazed walnuts and pecans. I really miss them in my Walnut Pear Salad, so I decided to see if I could make them. It turns out it is quite easy and you could use any nut you choose.

1 1/2 cups whole pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons butter
pinch of salt

Melt the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat, stir until the brown sugar is well incorporated, add a pinch of salt

Add your nuts and keep cooking until the grittiness is gone and your nuts are lightly toasted.

Place the nuts on a plate lined with either Wax or Parchment paper and let cool

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Medjool Cheese Toasts


This is an excellent appetizer, the combination of the savory cheese and sweet Medjool Dates is unique and tasty. My guests love them!

1 baguette
5-6 oz Cambozola cheese
1 lemon
Medjool Dates
Using your microplane or zester remove the zest from 1 lemon
Mix the lemon zest with the cheese (at room temperature)
cut up your baguette and toast slightly in the oven on a sheet pan
cut the dates in half, remove the pit
place a smear of the cheese and zest mixture on each piece of bread
place half a date on top

Warm in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese is soft and oozing
Scarf them up before anyone else can get to them!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lentil Soup



My husband LOVES Lentil soup, and I had never made it before, so I decided I would give it a whirl. I like my foods to be highly flavored, so I decided to create a Ham stock to use instead of water. It turned out spectacular, and had extra depth due to the Ham stock. YUMMY~

1 onion chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 carrots diced
3 celery stalks diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups lentils
1 ham steak, cut into cubes
8 cups water (I used Ham Stock, make it the same way as chicken but use a meaty ham hock)
1/2 cup spinach rinsed and thinly sliced
2 tbs vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large dutch oven or soup pot heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery, cook and stir until onion is tender

Stir in garlic, bay leaf oregano and basil, cook for 2 more minutes

Stir in lentils, water/stock and can of tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour, add in ham anytime during the cooking.

When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook till it wilts

Stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper

*you can add more vinegar if you wish*

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Blueberry Muffins



I love Blueberry Muffins and the fruit is in season locally so I decided to bake some. I found this recipe in Gourmet Magazine years ago and still use it today. It is super easy and the muffins are extremely tender and moist.

· ¾ cup butter
· 1 cup sugar
· ¾ cup milk
· 1 egg
· 1 ¾ cup sifted flour
· 2 ½ tsp baking powder
· ½ tsp salt
· 1 cup blueberries (I always increase the amount of blueberries)
· 1 tbl flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add milk and egg and beat until smooth. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Mix until moistened. Toss blueberries with 1 tbl of flour and fold into batter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Mama's Cole Slaw Recipe



My husband goes crazy for this Cole slaw, (talking about him again, dang it, I can't stop!). It is super easy to make and gets better with time in the fridge. I am making brisket sandwiches for the boyz tomorrow and wanted to include my Cole slaw! We purchased a Traeger Smoker last weekend and smoked our first brisket, however we forgot to take pictures.

8 cups finely chopped cabbage (I use half cabbage and half broccoli slaw) which you can find in the salad section.
1/4 shredded carrots (I skip this as the broccoli slaw has carrots)
Raisins (my mom added them, hubsters does not like so I omit)

The dressing

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used the low fat variety)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper, you could use white pepper, I like fresh ground
1 1/2 tbl white vinegar
2 1/2 tbl lemon juice

Mix well, taste and re-season if needed to your liking.
Combine with your shredded cabbage and broccoli slaw.
Refrigerate and it will improve with a few hours in the fridge

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Deviled Eggs


I love deviled eggs, and it seems everyone I know has a different version of them. I am a purist and I like them pretty basic, and very piquant. My only add is fresh chives and a dash of Franks Red Hot.

6 eggs, place in pan, cover with water, bring to boil, place lid on, remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes = perfect hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp or more yellow mustard
3/4 tsp white wine vinegar
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper or you can use white pepper
3 tsp chives diced
dash Franks Red Hot
paprika

Peel your eggs and cut them in half lengthwise, remove yolks to a bowl
Add all the above ingredients to the yolks and mash well
Taste and re-season if necessary
I use a piping bag on occasion, otherwise spoon the mixture into the eggs
sprinkle on more chives and paprika
Inhale them before anyone else gets to them!

Moist Turkey Meatloaf

In our continued effort to eat a little better and keep it "clean", I decided to make Turkey Meatloaf.  In my previous attempt...