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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Asparagus Salad

Made with fresh asparagus and a simple
red wine vinager dressing this is one
of my favorite vegetable dishes.
It's colorful and flavorful.
Sometimes I'll also add gorgonzola,
feta or fresh mozzarella cheese.

1 bunch fresh asparagus
1/2 cup olive oil, separated
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
12 capers, drained
2 eggs, hard boiled
dried chives to taste
1 fresh lemom for garnish
roasted red pepper for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the asparagus baking sheet and
sprinkle with salt and 1/4 cup olive oil.
Place in oven and roast until softened.
Peel the eggs, chop and set aside.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil,
vinegar, sugar, capers and chives.
Remove the asparagus from the oven and plate,
pour the dressing over it and top with chopped egg.
Garnish with lemon and roasted red pepper slices.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Corned Beef Dinner

At least twice a year I must serve this.
Cooked corned beef, potatoes and cabbage.
This is a comfort food and really good.
It's traditional to serve this with some
good prepared mustard and/or horseradish.

1 corned beef brisket
1 tablespoon pickling spice
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/4 head fresh cabbage
prepared mustard to serve

Cut open the plastic bag and place the
corned beef brisket into a large soup pot.
Cover corned beef brisket with cold water.
Add in pickling spices if desired and cover.
(I like to keep the cover at a slant)

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer,
for 160 minutes, then add in carrots,
potatoes and cabbage and cook for 1 hour
our until all is done as God had ment for
Corned beef and cabbage to be prepared.

Serve warm with prepared mustard.
This makes for a really good tasting
corned beef sandwich on rye bread.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fresh Fig Pie or Tart

I had a bunch of ripe fresh brown turkey figs
and wanted to make a fresh fig pie with them.
Being very culinary creative and remembering
that Fig Newton cookies taste really good if
you brown the cookies a bit in melted butter.
I came up with this fresh fig pie / tart recipe.

Using Fig Newton cookies for the bottom crust,
a jar of fig preserves in a ripe figs filling.
If you like figs your going to love this pie.
The Fig Newton cookies get all buttery crisp,
while the fresh fig filling is sweet and dreamy.
I serve this with some fresh whipped cream.
A touch of bourbon would put this over the top.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Fig Newton cookies
12 fresh figs
1 cup fig preserves
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 9" ready pie crust

Melt butter and place in the bottom of a 9" pie plate.
Line the bottom of the pie plate with Fig Newton cookies,
flat side down and also around the side of the plate.
Remove the stems from the fresh figs and cut in half,
place in a bowl with fig preserves, egg, lemon juice,
vanilla, brown sugar, corn starch and cinnamon.

Mix well and pour this fig mixture over the Newton's.
Place a Ready made pie crust over to make a top crust.
Cut a few slits in the top crust to vent the steam.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 80 minutes.
Remove and let cool before serving with ice cream.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Easy Inexpensive Seafood Chowder

I made this using canned soup and
imitation crabmeat with a few fresh
vegetables added and in no time had
a very good tasting satifying chowder.
Your not going to believe what a drop
of honey can do to enhance this chowder.

1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon flour
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pound imitation crabmeat
12, 20 to a pound shrimp
1/2 pound fresh mussels
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
juice of 1 lemon
sprinkle of olive oil

In a sausepan melt butter and add oil,
White wine and onions, saute until tender.
Add in flour and mushroom soup, stir to combine.
Add in imitation crabmeat, shrimp and mussles.
Cover and cook until mussels open and are done.
Garnish with chives and a drizzle of lemon and oil.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fresh Beet Vinaigrette

This salad dressing is amazing tasting
when drizzled on any salad greens that
are accompanied with gorgonzola cheese.

2 fresh beets
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

Wash and peel beets.
Place in a glass bowl along with
the sugar, water and vinegar.
Cover with plastic wrap and microwave
on high setting fot 15 minutes.
Remove and discard beets.
Place beet vinaigrette in refrigerator.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
Makes about 1/4 cup vinaigrette.

Microwaved Fresh Beets

Use these in a salad with gorgonzola cheese,
some fresh basil and sliced fresh tomatoes.
The red wine vinegar tastes great with beets.

2 fresh beets
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

Wash beets and cut of both ends.
Using a paring knife peel beets.
Place peeled beets in a glass bowl,
sprikle with sugar and pour in
the water and red wine vinegar.
Cover with plastic wrap and cook
on high setting for 6 to 8 mintutes.
check beets for doneness,
remove beets from liquid to cool.
Slice and serve as a side dish
or in a salad of your choice.

Creamed Fresh Kale

I used a bag of fresh kale and
threw in some diced red onion into a
butter, white wine and cream sauce.
This is surprisingly good tasting.

1 pound bag of fresh kale
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large saucepan,
add in the onion and sugar, saute
stirring just until the onion gets soft.
Pour in the wine and cream.
Then add the fresh kale, cover and
cook until kale is wilted and soft.
Stirring once and awhile.
Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Best Cabbage Cole Slaw

This is a specially good tasting cole slaw,
it has one secret surprise ingredient,
brown sugar which gives the slaw a
behind the scenes carmel like sweetness.
Everybody likes the great tasting flavors.
This slaw is mayonnaise based and must be
refrigerated, kept and served ice cold.

1 medium sized fresh cabbage
3 carrots, peeled
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cups white sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 cup Real mayonnaise
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Shred the cabbage and carrots and
mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
The cabbage will give up some water.
Cover, refrigerate and let sit overnight.

Green Pepper Meatloaf

The pepper makes this taste great.
Only a few ingredients put together,
and this is a special comfort food.
This is super moist and yet slices good
and holds together on the serving plate.
Notice no onions or salt in this recipe.

1/2 pound ground beef
1 large egg
1/4 cup beef gravy
1 slice of bread
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 green bell pepper
tomato ketchup

Break egg into a mixing bowl,
add beef gravy and mix well.
Chop pepper in a food processor,
add to egg mixture in bowl.
Chop slice of bread in processor,
add to the mixing bowl.
Place in the ground beef and the
dried bread crumbs, stir to combine.
Drop onto a baking dish, form into a loaf.
Top with tomato ketchup to taste.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees F.
for 90 minutes or until done.
Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Orange Bread Pudding

I used fresh oranges and wheat bread
and made one tasty bread pudding.
This was easy to make in 20 minutes,
baked to a creamy goodness in 1 hour.
I served this warm with vanilla ice cream.

4 oranges
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
dash of salt
6 slices wheat bread
cinnamon sugar for topping

Peel and segment oranges making sure
to remove any seeds and place in bowl.
Add sugar and salt, stir to combine.
Into a seperate bowl crack open eggs,
stir to mix well, add milk and vanilla.
Pour into a buttered baking dish.
Cut bread into 1/2 inch squares and add
to milk/egg mixture, pressing down.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over top to taste.
Cover and bake about one hour or until done.
Let rest 15 minutes to cool some before serving.
This is really good with vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Orange, Banana and Tomato Salad

Stop laughing because this is a really good tasting
fresh fruit salad. And yes tomatoes are a fruit.
Adding fresh mozzarella cheese and some fresh basil
puts this great tasting side dish over the top.
Please use the very best extra virgin olive oil.

2 fresh orange wedges
2 ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 banana, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup red onion, minced
1/2 cup black olives
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup white grapes
2 tablespoons dried coconut
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Olive oil to taste
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl,
serve at room temperature.
I serve this over a bed of lettuce.

How To Soften Brown Sugar

I've tried to use hardened brown sugar,
it's not an easy thing to loosen up and
I've even tried to use a knife to break it up.
But, you can easily re-moisturize brown sugar
by placing the open sugar bag in a microwave
with a cup of water next to it and heating it
on high for a few minutes or so.

To Clean Browned Skillets

I've got a bunch of skillets that
over time the bottoms get all brown stained,
and have found and easy way to clean them.

Spray the bottom of skillets and pots
with oven cleaner and leave them for
a couple of hours and the brown stains
will easily wipe right off.

To Remove Egg Shells

It happens all the time to me,
I crack open an egg and a tiny
piece of the egg shell falls
into the bowl along with the raw egg.

Wet your finger with water before
attempting to fish it out.
You’ll be shocked at how easily
it can be grabbed and eliminated.

Opening Pistachio Nuts

How to Open Stubborn Pistachios.
Pistachios are way too expensive to waste.
Yet many of the delicious roasted nuts
arrived in shells with little to no opening.
Rather than attempting to bite them open or
ruin your nails in a struggle you can’t win,
next time try this foolproof method
for opening stubborn shells:

Take one half of a shell,
stick it into even the littlest
opening of an unopened pistachio,
and turn the shell half like a key.
The pistachio will pop right open.

I like the natural nuts, not red.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Beefy Sloppy Joe Meatloaf

I'm not over last winter yet but,
with the weather now turning colder.
I put this spicy meatloaf together
and warmed things up at the dinner table.
This is not sweet like that canned sloppy
stuff and has a good amount of hot spice.
You can adjust the heat to your taste.

1 onion, minced
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, minced
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 pound ground beef, 80/20
1/2 pound ground pork
1 packet sloppy joe mix
1/2 teaspoon cayanne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
tomato ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together in a bowl the onion, garlic,
green pepper, tomato paste, bread crumbs, and egg.
Add the spice mix, ground peppers and combine well.
Mix in the ground beef and pork and put into
a meatloaf baking pan or shape in a glass baking dish.
Cover the top with tomato ketchup if desired.
Bake for 60 minutes or until done.
Allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sour Bread Dough Pizza

O.k. I cheated and used an already
baked sourdough bread in this recipe.
This is so good tasting you must try it.
I added some crumbed sour dough bread
to the dough and the taste was amazing.
You can taste sour dough in the crust.

1 store bought pizza dough
1 store bought sour bread, crumbed
(I used a food processor)
pizza sauce of your choice
toppings of your choice
dried oregano and what ever

Place the dough in a mixer,
add the sour dough crumbs.
Mix to combine and then wrap
in plastic wrap to refrigerate overnight.
Remove dough fro wrap and roll out.
Top with sauce and what ever else.
Bake, slice and eat.

Black Bean Yellow Corn Salsa

With fresh corn off the cob and
some cooked black beans this is
one colorful and tasty side dish.
I use rinsed canned black beans
and grill the ears of corn to get
a nice smokey and earthy taste.
olive oil, fresh basil and garlic.
I like to sweeten this a touch just
to balance out the tart vinegars.
Use this in fish tacos and you
got a really good tasting topping.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicken Stuffed Mushrooms

As requested here is a stuffed mushroom recipe.
You could also use crab meat and spinach here.
These can be served warm or at room temperature.

1 pound cremini mushrooms
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 cup cooked chicken, ground
1 roasted red pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Clean mushrooms if needed and remove stems.
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Chop stems in a food processor,
place in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Chop roasted red pepper and add to stems.
Add chicken and egg to mixture, stir to combine.
Using a spoon stuff mushroom caps one at a time,
dip top in parmesan cheese to coat stuffing
and place them stuffed side up on an
aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until cheese
is browned and the stuffing is cooked solid.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Grilled Rib Eye Steak Salad

This salad takes two days two make
and is well worth the time involved.
The steak turns out tender and sweet,
complimenting tangy sliced red onion.
You can dress this with your favorite,
in this recipe I like poppy seed dressing.

1 rib eye steak, cooked and sliced
1 iceburg lettuce, cut up
12 grape tomatoes
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
1 peeled carrot, peeled to taste
1 red ripe tomato
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonaise
1 dash oh of soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted poppy seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Grill steak to just medium rare,
refrigerate overnight.
Cut steak into serving pieces.
Mix all ingredients in a big bowl.
Chill before serving.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Garden Fresh Tomatoes

Simple and delicious tasting.
Fresh red ripe tomatoes sliced
and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
Seasoned with salt and served at room temperature.
It doesn't get much better than this.

ripe tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
course sea salt
fresh basil leaves

Wash and remove stems from tomatoes.
Slice as desired and place in serving dish.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Serve at room temperature.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pickled Fresh Shrimp

This is an easy recipe for making
a shrimp appitizer that will simply
wow your holiday dinner guests.
Simple to make with a few ingredients
this is so good it's the first to go.

4 quarts water
1/2 pound shrimp 15/20
2 onions, peeled and sliced
black pepper to taste
1/2 teasponns peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
/2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 dried bay leafs
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a large saucepot bring water to a boil.
Add the shrimp and cook until just pink,
Rinse in cold water to prevent further cooking.
Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails on.
Layer shrimp and onions in a coverable dish,
and top each layer with ground black pepper,
peppercorns, bay leaf and a clove of garlic.
Keep layering until jar is about 2/3 full.
Pour vinegar and lemon juice over layers
until jar is almost full, seal.
Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan.
Add the shrimp and cook until just pink,
no more than 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well
and rinse in cold water to prevent further cooking.
Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails on.
In a large glass airtight jar (about 1 1/2 quarts).
layer shrimp and onions and top each layer
with freshly ground black pepper, peppercorns,
bay leaf and a clove of garlic.
Add vinegar and lemon juice.
Seal jar tightly and chill for a few days.
Serve well chilled as an appetizer.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Easy Roasted Vegetables

This is quick to put together and is a
good meatless meal any day of the week.
You can roast any fresh vegetables you
desire and have on hand at the time.
This only takes one hour to prepare.

1 whole eggplant
1 whole fennel
4 white potatoes
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
1 onion
drizzle of olive oil
dried herbs to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash fresh vegetables if needed.
Peel and cut up carrots and celery
and into serving pieces.
Peel the outer skin off of the onion.
Rinse white potatoes but leave whole.
Pierce the eggplant a few times
to release steam while roasting.
Place vegetables in a roasting pan,
drizzle with oil and season to taste.
Salt and pepper vegetables to taste.
Cover and bake for about one hour.
Fork test vegetables for doneness.
Remove from oven to cool before serving.