Monday, May 25, 2009

Jello Shots

I thought it would be fun to make Jello Shots for our Memorial Day barbecue, I had never had them before. They ended up being pretty darn tasty, my teetotaling mother in law even had two! They were fun for a change and so easy to make.

I used Sugar Free Peach Jello and 100 proof Vodka, per the recommendation of my local liquor store.

1 package sugar free Jello, your choice on the flavor
1 pint 100 proof vodka (you could use flavored Vodka if you wish)
20 tiny little plastic cups with lids (you can get these about anywhere).

Make your Jello according to the directions on the package, substitute Vodka for the cold water portion of your mixture.

Pour into the cups and let refrigerate overnight.

This makes about 30 of the small shots or probably 20 of the larger ones

Friday, May 22, 2009

Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

My husband had this Ice Cream in Costa Rica and wanted to try to make it at home, luckily I just received the Ice Cream attachment for my Kitchenaide Mixer I ordered from Williams Sonoma.

I have not had homemade ice cream for about 12 years, and had forgotten how much better it is than regular Ice Cream. This is absolutely divine!

Making home made Ice Cream is a tradition at our yearly family reunion.

3 cups strawberries, rinsed
1 cup sugar (my husband used Splenda Blend 3/4 cup)
1 cup sour cream (I used low fat)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups half-and-half (light cream)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Hull strawberries and place in a 3- to 4-quart pan. Coarsely mash with a potato masher. Add 1/2 cup sugar and stir occasionally over medium-high heat until mixture begins to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes.

Nest pan in a bowl of ice water and stir often until cold, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from ice water.

Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, sour cream, lemon, water, half-and-half, vanilla, and almond extract to berries; stir until blended (mixture will be streaked).

Pour into an ice cream maker (1 1/2-qt. or larger capacity). Freeze according to manufacturer's directions until mixture is softly frozen, dasher is hard to turn, or machine stops.

Spoon out and serve softly frozen or, to scoop, freeze airtight about 3 hours; store airtight in the freezer up to 1 week.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quick and Tasty Chicken

Last Thursday I was tired but had remembered to thaw some chicken breasts for dinner. I wondered what I could do to them which would be tasty and fast. I came up with the following which turned out tender and very flavorful! I call it my quick and dirty chicken!

Donna, since we know you are all about Quick and Dirty, I think you will like it!

With less than 4 ingredients, you cant go wrong!

2-4 thawed chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
Your favorite Barbecue Sauce
1-3 Clementines, Lemon, Lime or Orange would work too

Pan spray a non stick cookie sheet
place your chicken on the pan
salt and pepper chicken
pour on barbecue sauce and spread on the chicken with the back of a spoon
slice the citrus and place on top of the chicken breasts

Cook at 350 for 25-30 minutes

Serve with Rice and a Veg

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sausage and Asparagus Pasta

My husband decided to cook dinner last night and since that does not happen much anymore, I let him. The dynamics of our cooking have changed so much over time. He used to cook almost all our meals, and as the years have passed by, I have taken over those duties as well as all of the baking.

He is still a far better cook than me, but I can out bake him any day!

1 box Penna pasta
1 large link basil, garlic, chicken sausage (I got at Costco, you can use any smoked sausage you wish)
6 Asparagus spears, ends trimmed and chopped into 1 inch lengths
White sauce, I used Knorr Fettuchini Sauce
1 diced and cored tomato
several scallions ends removede and diced
1 tbl basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook your pasta in well salted boiling water until al dente, drain, run under cold water and set aside.

Microwave your asparagus for 2 minutes to give them a head start on cooking

Meanwhile, slice your sausage into 1 inch pieces, and saute along with the asparagus until caramelized, several minutes, remove and set aside

Make your Knorr Fettuchini sauce as directed on the package (use a good sized sauce pan as you will be combining everything into this pan)

Add all your ingredients into the cooked Fettuchini sauce, mix well, include salt and pepper, and top with Parmesan if desired!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Stir Fried Green Beans and Tomato

This was a quick vegetable side dish my husband came up with. It was insanely delicious!
He used black bean sauce and it was an instant hit with me! If I had thought of it at the time, I would have sprinkled toasted sesame seeds on top.

Fresh green beans, ends trimmed
cherry or pear tomato's cut into half
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl black bean sauce
sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp minced garlic

Place your olive oil into a pan and heat until shimmering

Add your beans and garlic and saute until the beans become a bit tender

Add your tomatoes, black bean sauce and salt and pepper

Continue sauteing until the beans are your desired tenderness

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bacon, Potato and Leek Soup

The chill of Fall is here and that of course means soup! I had the leftovers from a Roasted Chicken, so I made my usual Chicken Stock. In case you weren't aware, I have Chicken Stock Disease, (every time we eat a whole chicken I feel compelled to make Stock and freeze it). I am embarrassed to admit it, but at last count I had 11 gallons of stock in my freezer.

I have made Potato, Leek and Cauliflower soup previously and it was enjoyed by all, but I wanted to add Bacon and omit the Cauliflower this time, so it ended up being Potato, Bacon and Leek Soup and it was DELICIOUS!

3 leeks white and light green parts only, ends removed and sliced thinly
1 lb smokey bacon
8 cups chicken stock homemade if possible
3 russet potatoes, scrubbed and diced into cubes
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried thyme
several dashes Franks Red Hot
chives for garnish (optional)

Dice your bacon into small pieces and place into your soup pot, cooking until crisp, remove to paper towel

In the meantime, place your leeks into a bowl of cold water and swirl them around to remove the dirt, it will settle at the bottom of the bowl, remove and drain on a paper towel

Drain almost all of the bacon grease leaving about 5 tbl behind in the pot, add your leeks and sweat them until they have become limp and somewhat translucent

Add your chicken stock, salt, pepper and Thyme, bring to a boil, then add in your potatoes and cook until they are fork tender. Using a blender or an immersion blender, work the soup until it is smooth and creamy.

Add your heavy whipping cream and Franks Red Hot, bring to a simmer, ensuring the soup is hot.

Garnish with chives /and or additional bacon bits

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