Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Lavender Lemonade

Using Lavender in Food- FUN! This was a very sweet beautiful Lemonade.

1 T dried food grade lavender
4 cups boiling water
1 cup sugar
Juice of 4 lemons

Steep 1 T lavender on boiling water for 5 minutes and then strain.

Mix 1 cup of the lavender water with the sugar and stir until well mixed.

Add the remaining 3 cups of Lavender water and the juice of the 4 lemons.

Chill until Ice cold and serve over Ice.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chocolate Fudge Ribbon Cake

I make this Chocolate Cake recipe often- It always turns out and it looks great!
The recipe comes from the Dinner Doctor

Chocolate Fudge Ribbon Cake

Makes 16 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 48 to 52 minutes
Assembly time: 5 minutes


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain devil's food cake mix
1 1/3 cups buttermilk or water
1/2 cup vegetable oil


1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

Place the soft cream cheese, butter, and cornstarch in a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sweetened condensed milk, 1 of the eggs, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Set aside. Place the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, and 3 eggs in a large mixing bowl, and with the same beaters, mix on low speed for 1 minute to incorporate ingredients, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer to medium and beat two minutes or until lightened. Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the chocolate batter, and do not stir. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until the top is firm and the cake tests done, 48 to 52 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring until the glaze is smooth.

Turn the cake out onto a rack or cake plate, and while it is warm, pour
or spoon the glaze just over the top. Let the glaze firm up before slicing, then serve.

The 'Glaze" recipe is the best ever, great on ice cream, or other cakes!

Baking: Blueberry Kuchen

This is a great breakfast recipe that does not take long to make. Perfect right now when blueberry prices have been great.

1/2 cup butter Melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 1/4 cup flour
2 cups fresh blueberries

Streusel Topping:
1 T butter
2 T sugar
2 T flour
1 pinch cinnamon
1 dash vanilla extract

Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan. Preheat oven to 375. Cream together the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Add the baking powder, salt, and flour. Stir until smooth. If necessary, add a drop or two of milk to make the batter smooth. Flour your hands and pat the dough into the prepared pan. Press the dough up 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. Place the Blueberries on top of the dough. Combine the Streusel ingredients and sprinkle on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 27 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Other fruit may be used instead of blueberries. You can also use peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, blackberries, raspberries, or a combination of any of these. Apples and currants are also really good, use 2 peeled, sliced apples and 1/8 cup of currants.

A recipe from Penzeys Spices.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Caesar Salad Pizzas

Caesar Salad Pizzas

Yield: 4 individual pizzas


For the crust:*

1½ cups warm water (105-115˚ F)

5 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast

2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for brushing

2 tsp. honey

4-5 cups all-purpose flour

3 tbsp. semolina flour (optional)

1 tsp. coarse salt

½ tsp. red pepper flakes

¼ cup coarse cornmeal

Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

For the dressing:

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 anchovy fillet

2 large eggs, beaten (or ½ cup pasteurized egg product)

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:

1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Garlic croutons

Parmesan shavings


To make the crust, combine the water, yeast, olive oil, honey, and 3 cups of the flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the semolina flour, salt, and red pepper flakes; mix on low speed until combined. Add in 1 more cup of the flour and mix until a soft dough comes together. Mix on low speed about 5 minutes to knead. Add additional flour, 1-2 tablespoons at a time as needed until the dough is smooth and tacky but not sticky.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Coat 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Sprinkle the sheets with cornmeal. Preheat the oven to 450˚ F. (You can also use a baking stone, preheating it with the oven - no need to oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal just before adding the crusts.) Divide the dough into four equal pieces, transfer to a work surface, cover with a damp towel and let rest 10-15 minutes. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 hours.

With a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, flatten each dough ball into an 8-inch circle. Brush each dough round lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet or stone and bake until browned and crisp, about 10-15 minutes.

To make the dressing, combine the garlic, anchovy, eggs, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and mustard int he bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. With the processor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube in a thin, steady stream. Pour the dressing into a bowl, stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the salad, combine the lettuce and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle with some of the dressing and toss to coat; add more dressing as needed. Place a generous amount of salad on top of each warm pizza crust. Top with croutons and Parmesan shavings, and freshly ground pepper if desired.

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Recipes for Book Study: Kelly Minter's Ruth

Here are the recipes that go along with the Book Study.

Chicken Enchiladas

Serves 6-8
Perhaps one of my all-time favorite dishes. It takes a little effort, but your group will love you for taking the time to tackle this one. (And it’s even better the next day.)

6 Chicken breasts (boiled 20 min, keep 2 cups broth)
2 cups canned chicken broth
8 burrito size tortillas
8 Tbsp picante sauce
1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon cumin (I use more)
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 stick of butter
4 oz. grated jack cheese
4 oz. grated cheddar cheese
(optional, 1 can black beans)

In blender, combine cumin, cilantro, sour cream, 1 cup canned chicken broth, 1 cup reserved chicken broth. In skillet or saucepan, heat butter slowly and add flour until smooth. Slowly add 2 other cups of chicken broth until smooth and creamy (I usually add more flour to make it thicker). Add in sauce in blender. This is the “gravy”.

To make enchiladas: Take each tortilla and fill with 1/3 cup shredded chicken and 1-2 Tbsp of picante sauce. (You can also add black beans to this which I love). Roll Tortillas and place in 9×13 pan with seam side down. Fill 9×13 pan with gravy and completely cover the enchiladas. Sprinkle cheeses on top. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.


Mexican Ice Cream Sundae
Serves 6-8
Lauri pulled this out during one of our last gatherings. We were putting the cinnamon whipped cream on anything we could find. It’s a Lauri original, easy and sophisticated.

1 Quart of Good Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
Ingredients for Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

Put almonds in small saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until sugar has melted and coated the almonds. This will take awhile but don’t try to speed it up! Then, when all are coated, dump onto plate and allow to cool. These should break up pretty easily. Set aside.

In the mixer bowl of an electric mixer put the heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. With the whisk attachment, blend at low speed until consistency is thick enough to turn it up. Then, turn to med-high speed until stiff peaks form on the end of the whisk. Test it to get the texture that you want. Just don’t over beat it. Set aside.

Assemble: Scoop some ice cream into a dish, add a scoop of whipped cream and sprinkle with almonds and extra cinnamon if you want! The best part is there is left over almonds to munch on and whipped cream to add to your coffee.

Fresh Tomato Pasta
Serves 6
I talk about this recipe in the introduction to Week IV. It’s an easy, personal, fresh, and healthy favorite.
1 (12 ounce) package dried linguine
4 large tomatoes, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced (I like tons of garlic, you can back this off)
6 big leaves of fresh basil chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (2 1/4 ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

The above measurements are good starters but feel free to add more or less to taste. Cook pasta according to package directions. (If you’re really feeling inspired, make your own pasta. All you need is semolina flour, eggs and olive oil. You can find a recipe anywhere on the web.) Okay, but if this is too much, just buy it from the store.

While pasta water is boiling, combine tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. Salt the mixture and let the tomatoes soak up the salt for a few minutes, this will bring out the flavor of the tomatoes. (If heirloom tomatoes are in season, these will work great.) Drain pasta, and place in a large bowl. Top with tomato mixture, and sprinkle with olives and cheese.

Parmesan Flat Bread
Serves 6
This is surprisingly restaurant-like. Without any fancy bakeware you can make amazing flatbread. The girls ate it up.

I teaspoon white sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan (you can use pre-grated, but fresh parmesan is best)

I made this for our first gathering; it’s easy and it goes great with pasta. Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a regular bowl. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. In a larger bowl, combine the yeast mixture with flour. Stir in additional water, one tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour is absorbed. When the dough has come together, knead it on a lightly floured surface for a couple minutes.

Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. It should double in size. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; knead briefly. Pat or roll the dough into a sheet and place on a lightly greased baking sheet (I like either a stone or the kind with holes in it). Brush the dough with oil and sprinkle with salt and lightly dust with parmesan (more or less to taste).

Bake bread in preheated oven for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on desired crispness. Moist and fluffy is less time and crispier will take a little longer. Let cool for about 5 minutes and cut into 1 1/2 inch strips with pizza cutter. Then cut strips in half. They will look like little bread sticks.

For an easy dip for the bread, combine desired amount of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and freshly grated parmesan in a serving bowl to dip the bread in.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries
Serves 6
I make this all the time. Once you get it down you’ll be looking for whole chickens at every turn. You’ll never want to do grocery store rotisserie again. I served it the first night of our study.

1 3-4 lb whole chicken
1 can of coke
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Spice rub (Greek or Cajun)
1 Large head Red Leaf Lettuce (fresh)
1 cup sliced strawberries
6 oz. container Feta cheese
1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning (or your favorite chicken seasoning)
Can of Coke

Directions for chicken
Take whole chicken and rinse with cold water inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub a little olive oil over the outside of the bird and then rub inside and out with your favorite seasoning. I like Cavender’s, or sometimes spice it up with a Cajun seasoning mix.

If you have a Vertical Chicken Roaster (easy and fairly cheap to find) to grill your chicken on, pour half the can of Coke (or other soft drink) into its built-in cylinder and place the bird upright on the cylinder. OR, do the following: Open a can of Coke and then remove the whole top with a can opener. Pour out enough of the drink so that the can is half full. Add some of your seasoning mix to the liquid. Sit the bird upright on top of the can (the can should go about halfway into the cavity of the bird). Then place the chicken on the can sitting upright on your grill. I preheat the grill for several minutes then leave one side up on higher heat setting while placing the chicken on the other side and turning the flame down to a medium to medium low setting. Let the chicken slowly cook on the grill for about 45 minutes and then check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Bird is done when it is 160 degrees in the breast area and 180 degrees in the thigh area. Slice chicken after letting cool.

Directions for salad
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees for walnuts. Place walnuts on a cookie sheet and cook until toasted. Wash red leaf lettuce and tear into bite-sized pieces. If you have a salad spinner, this is the best way to rinse and dry. Place prepared lettuce in salad bowl. Add sliced strawberries, toasted walnuts, feta cheese and sliced chicken to lettuce. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste and toss. This is a standby for me. It’s healthy and satisfying and I think you’ll love it.

Banoffi Pie
Serves 6-8
If you try only one recipe, this is the one! I ate this at the Hungry Monk restaurant in England where it was invented, and it’s the dessert of desserts. It’s a personal standby.

*It takes three hours to boil the cans of sweetened condensed milk. This is time consuming, but the rest is a snap. You can boil extra cans for storing in Tupperware for later if you want.

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
10 tablespoons butter, melted
2 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
3 large bananas
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon powdered instant coffee
A little freshly ground coffee or chocolate shavings

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix graham cracker crumbs with softened butter and press mixture into 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes. Allow to cool.

Immerse the cans of sweetened uncondensed milk unopened in a deep pan of boiling water. Cover and boil for 3 hours making sure that the pan does not boil dry. (You need to top off the pot of boiling water every so often.) Remove the tin from the water and allow to cool completely before opening. Inside you will find the soft toffee filling.

Whip the cream with the sugar, vanilla and instant coffee until thick and smooth. Now spread 1/3 of the toffee over the base of the crust. Slice the bananas and lay them on the toffee. Spoon another 1/3 of toffee over the bananas. Layer more bananas and more toffee. Finally spoon or pipe on the cream and lightly sprinkle over the freshly ground coffee or chocolate shavings.

Curry Chicken with Chick-Pea and Dried Fruit Couscous
Serves 6-8
Anadara made this during our study. Unbelievable, if you’re looking for something a little different but bursting with taste this is it.

Ingredients for couscous:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup chopped mixed dried fruits (apples, pears, apricots, prunes. I get the Sunmaid Fruitbits).
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups instant couscous
1 15-ounce can chick-peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped scallions

Ingredients for chicken:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup four
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 eggs
1 large Ziploc bag
6 chicken breasts

In a large pot, heat oil and sauté onions over medium heat. Add dried fruit and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Add cumin and continue stirring and cooking for one more minute. Add vegetable broth, couscous, and chick-peas. Bring to a boil, cover and turn off heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and add salt to taste. Sprinkle with chopped scallions before serving.

For chicken: In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon curry powder in a large Ziploc bag. After dipping chicken breasts in bowl with 2 beaten eggs, shake chicken pieces in flour mixture to coat. Add chicken to skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning after a few minutes and cooking through. (Note: You can butterfly the chicken breasts to make them thinner and more chicken-tender like. This also makes it go further.)

Serve chicken breasts alongside or on top of couscous.

Mom’s Ice Cream Dessert
This is one I grew up on. If you’ve never had anything like it, it will be a new staple. Right up there with potatoes or flour.

24 Oreos (regular, not double stuffed)
1/2 cup butter (melted)
2 tbs butter
1/2 gallon good Vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
I cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 5 oz. can evaporated milk

Crush Oreos in food processor. Melt butter and stir into crumbs. Press down in 13×9 pan and freeze about 30 minutes. Take out of freezer and spread ice cream on top. Put it back in freezer for an hour or more.

You can then spread commercial fudge sauce over it. But the homemade one is best and easy. Melt 2 tablespoons butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips and 1 5 oz evaporated can of milk in a pot. Cook gently and whisk, until it is all melted and bubbly. Then let cool. Pour it over the frozen ice cream/Oreos and put back in the freezer. The longer it stays in the freezer, the better. Serve and enjoy.

Classic Lasagna with Homemade Noodles
Serves 8-10
The homemade pasta makes this! But if you don’t have the time it’s still an amazing lasagna recipe. I’ve been eating the leftovers for days now. Couldn’t bear throwing out one homemade noodle.

Ingredients for lasagna
1 lb. Lasagna noodles *(optional homemade lasagna noodles below)
1 1/2 lbs. Mozzarella cheese
16 oz. Cottage cheese
4 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 large onion
2 lbs. Ground beef
1 teaspoon basil (dried)
1/2 teaspoon oregano (dried)
dash nutmeg
1 can tomato paste
4 cups whole canned tomatoes
4 Tablespoons worcheshire sauce
1 Tablespoons A-1 Steak Sauce
1 Tablespoon Heinz 57 Sauce (if you like less sweet, leave this out)
4 Tablespoons Red Wine (Chianti)

Ingredients for homemade pasta
1 cup Semolina Flour
1 cup Flour
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions for Lasagna
Brown chopped onion & garlic in olive oil. Add meat and cook until redness disappears. Drain any grease. Add oregano, basil, nutmeg, wine and sauces. Add tomato paste, tomatoes and enough juice from tomatoes to fill the tomato paste can. Simmer uncovered for one hour. All liquid should be cooked off. Add cottage cheese to sauce. Line 9×13 pan starting with layer of noodles then sauce then cheese. 4 layers (12 noodles) and finish with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Directions for Pasta
Combine flours in food processor and process for 30 seconds. In a bowl, combine water, eggs and olive oil and stir with a whisk. While food processor is running add liquid mixture through the shoot. Run food processor until a round dough ball appears. Kneed dough lightly about five times. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.

Start bringing 6 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil for noodles to cook in. Separate dough into 13 round balls (close to cookie size). Keep all the dough balls covered in plastic wrap, removing one at a time and place on lightly floured surface. Roll out dough balls into approx 3 x 13 inch long strips. (Basically you want three noodles to be able to cover the surface of the 9×13 inch pan, 12 in all. You have an extra dough ball in case one doesn’t turn out.) After each ball has been rolled out set aside on a lightly floured surface and cover with plastic wrap or a cloth. These dry out quickly so keep them covered or cook them immediately. Lower one to three pasta sheets at a time into boiling water cooking for 90 seconds or until done. Remove noodles with slotted spoon, set aside and repeat until all are done. Then follow lasagna directions above.

Insalata Estiva
Serves 6-8
I ate this at a restaurant in San Francisco and duplicated it for a dinner party. It’s a new spin on your standard favorites.

1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) cherry tomatoes, all colors
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
15 big basil leaves
1/2 cup capers
1 small red onion
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoons olive oil

Wash cherry tomatoes and slice in half across. Put into salad bowl. Heavily salt the tomatoes once sliced and in bowl. Let these sit while you’re preparing the rest. Wash fresh basil. Roll up each leaf and slice into strips. Cut strips in half if too long. Dice red onion. Slice four ounces of mozzarella cheese (not buffalo, just regular) into bite-sized cubes. Add, basil, onion, mozzarella, and capers to salted tomatoes in salad bowl. Add vinegar and oil. Add pepper to taste and toss.

Southwest Chicken Soup
Serves 6-8
This is an easy favorite that’s quick and delicious. Extra good during football season.

1 12 ounce jar of salsa verde (or make your own!)
3 cups cooked chicken (you can use an oven roasted chicken from your grocery to save time, or you can use the whole chicken recipe on page???)
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained
3 cups chicken broth (can use canned broth. Use more for soupier mixture.)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (I use more!)
2 green onions chopped
Sour cream
Tortilla chips
1 package frozen corn
Chili powder to taste

Empty salsa into large sauce pan. Cook 2 minutes over medium high heat. Then add chicken, beans, broth, cumin, corn, and chili powder. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Top each bowl with onions, sour cream and chips.

Mom’s Cornbread
Serves 6-8
This goes great opposite the Southwest Chicken Soup and it’s as easy as pie… or cornbread.

1-cup self-rising corn meal
3/4-cup milk
1 egg
1 Tablespoon oil

Mix and bake in a greased pan at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until brown.
Double for a 9×13 pan.

No Other Gods Recipes

Black Beans and Rice
4 standard-sized cans of black beans
1/2 yellow onion
6 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of cilantro
8 oz of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups of whole grain brown rice
2 avocados
1 can salsa
1 cup sour cream
1 bag of tortilla chips

Heat black beans in a pot over 325 degrees, keeping most of the juice. Chop onion and cilantro, mince garlic, and place all in a saucepan and sauté. After beans have heated for 20 minutes, add sautéed ingredients and stir into black beans. In a separate pot, begin preparing brown rice (follow rice instructions on bag). Pour black bean concoction into a 13_9 inch pan and add shredded cheese on top, covering extensively. Cover with foil paper and bake for 30 minutes. Serve black bean entrée over the brown rice, having a nice spread of chips, slices of avocado, salsa, extra shredded cheese, and sour cream as toppings.

Butterfinger Cake
1 box Devil’s food cake mix
10 oz. Cola or diet cola
1 egg white
7 oz. Sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
8 oz. Frozen whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), thawed
7 Nestle fun-sized Butterfinger candy bars

Combine cake mix, cola, and egg white. Bake according to cake mix instructions in a greased 9×13 pan.

A few minutes before the cake is to be done, combine sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in a saucepan. Cook and stir on low to make creamy and warm.

When cake is done and still hot, poke holes in top of cake with a knife and pour peanut butter mixture over top of cake. You may have to spread the mixture a little to help it go down into the holes. Sprinkle top with half of the chopped butterfingers. Cool cake completely

Cover with Cool Whip and sprinkle remaining Butterfingers over top. Keep in fridge until ready to serve

Becker’s Pasta
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 box of bowtie pasta
1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (or packaged sun-dried tomatoes, in which case follow the directions to soften them and then add olive oil for the sauteing)
1 garlic head (this can be backed off if needed)
1 can of black olives (pitted)
2 blocks of feta cheese
1 bag of pine nuts

Slice chicken in bite-sized pieces and sauté with sun-dried tomatoes and minced garlic. (add more olive oil to this if more is needed). Begin boiling water for pasta. In a large bowl, mix crumbled feta, pine nuts (broil them first until they are golden brown), and chopped olives. After the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic have been sautéed, add them into the bowl of dry ingredients and toss thoroughly. After pasta is cooked, add pasta in mixing bowl and toss again. The pasta is then ready to serve. Goes well with Italian bread dipped in balsamic vinegar, olive oil and shredded Parmesan.

Easy Peach Cobbler
1 large can sliced peaches
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. self-rising flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter or margarine and pour into 9×9 or 8×8 pan. Mix flour, sugar and milk together and pour over butter, do not stir. Place peaches on top and pour syrup from can over that. Bake for 45 min to an hour. Make sure top is good and brown—that way you know it is done.

Stir-fried Veggies
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
Desired amount of Soy sauce
2 tsp. Fresh ginger
1 tsp. Minced garlic
2 tsp. natural or organic peanut butter
Vegetables of your choice- I prefer, sweet peppers, snow or sugar snap peas, broccoli, onions, and carrots.

Cut veggies into small to medium pieces and toss in soy sauce. Add coconut oil, grated ginger, and minced garlic to a wok or large fry pan over medium heat. Stir for a couple minutes and then stir in peanut butter. Add veggies to the wok. Add more soy sauce as you fry the veggies, stirring frequently. Watch closely and turn down heat if the sauce starts to boil. Drain remaining sauce when veggies are done and serve over rice or as a side item.

Carrie’s Chicken Scaloppini

5 Chicken Breasts butterflied
3/4 cup Milk
1 Egg White
1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
2 cloves fresh garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 can (or more) Chicken Broth
1 can artichoke hearts
1/2 cup Sun dried tomatoes
Angel hair pasta

Butterfly chicken breasts. Cover each piece in a piece of plastic wrap (on both sides) and roll thin with rolling pin or mallet. Beat egg white in with milk. Put chicken breasts in the milk mixture. Dip each milk-covered chicken breast in bread crumbs and lightly cover. Put garlic and oil into large skillet. Oil should lightly cover entire pan. Let the garlic cook on Med. to mix flavor in with the oil for 1 min. Drop breaded chicken into skillet and cook on one side until crispy brown. Flip chicken and cook until light brown. Add more oil if needed. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth into side of skillet (careful not to dump it onto the top of crispy brown chicken). Add artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes into skillet. Slowly add more chicken broth as you allow chicken to cook. Cover skillet to keep broth from cooking down too much. Boil water and cook pasta. Strain pasta and cover with a little olive oil and set aside. Remove chicken breasts with finished cooking. Add pasta into skillet with the broth mixture. Serve chicken over pasta mixture.

(I’m not much of a recipe person. I just add things as I see they are needed. If you want a thicker sauce, add a little corn starch etc… *Capers are also a great addition to the broth mixture.)

Romaine Salad With Blue Cheese Maple Glazed Pecans And Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt_1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as corn or canola

10 cups romaine lettuce,
torn into bite-size pieces (2 small heads)
3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

1 cup pecan halves
3 tbs maple syrup

For The Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, shallots, salt, pepper, maple syrup, mustard and vinegar. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream. Set aside. For The Pecans: preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets. In a small bowl, combine pecans and maple syrup and toss gently to combine. Spread the pecans in a single layer on 1 of the prepared baking sheets. Roast in the preheated oven, stirring once, until the syrup is bubbling vigorously, about 5 minutes. Immediately scrape the glazed pecans onto the other prepared baking sheet, spreading them in a single layer. Set aside to cool. For The Salad: Place romaine in a large bowl, drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add as much of the remaining vinaigrette as desired and toss again. Divide individual plates, sprinkle with the cheese and the reserved pecans and serve immediately.

Easy Beef Pot Roast

1-2 lbs of any kind of beef roast
1/2 of an onion, I prefer a red onion
Carrots, can use baby carrots
Red Potatoes
2-4 tbsp beef base (can buy in a jar at most stores)

Cut up veggies as desired. Add an inch or two of warm water to a slow cooker and then stir in the beef base. I would say a tablespoon for every pound. Add the roast into the water, do not cut off the fat because it adds flavor. Add the onions on top of the meat, and then add the veggies. Only the meat should be covered by the water when you first turn on the cooker. Allow at least 8 hours to cook on low heat for best results. Can do it in less time by cooking on high heat for a few hours and then switching to low. Try not to open the lid after you start the cooking. (This recipe can be adjusted according to how many people you are serving, the size of your slow cooker, and your personal preferences).

Pumpkin Muffins

2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 Eggs
2 cups pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Cloves
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Soda
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Put into muffin tins and bake 20-25 minutes. These are a great addition to a fall meal!

Allis’ Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 cups plus 1 T. of flour
3/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups oatmeal (quick or old fashioned)
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream shortening and sugar together in electric mixer. Add eggs and vanilla and mix. Add flour, salt, and soda. Mix. Add oatmeal and chips and mix. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Take out of oven before they start to turn brown, and let them finish baking on the pan for a couple minutes before you before you move them to a cooling rack. Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 bag baby spinach leaves
1 carton fresh strawberries, sliced
8 oz. feta or blue cheese
1 cup toasted whole pecans

1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T. strawberry jam
salt and pepper
olive oil

Toss salad ingredients in big bowl. To make the dressing, whisk balsamic vinegar and jam together. Stream in olive oil until it is runny. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the salad and toss well.

Italian Sodas

Club Soda
1-2 tablespoons of flavored syrup
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Mix club soda with 1-2 tablespoons of a flavored syrup. For a cream soda, add 1 tablespoon heavy cream. These are easy and delicious! Serve over lots of ice.

Crème Caramel

3/4 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1 3/4 cup water
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (can use low-fat)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, cook and stir sugar until melted and light brown. Carefully pour into a 9-inch round baking dish, tilting the dish to coat the bottom completely. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and egg whites. Stir in water, condensed milk, vanilla and salt until smooth. Pour into prepared dish. Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel. Place baking dish on towel, inside roasting pan, and place roasting pan on oven rack. Fill roasting pan with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake in preheated oven 1 hour, until center is just set (still a bit jiggly). Remove dish to a wire rack to cool for one hour. Then refrigerate several hours or overnight. To unmold, run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a rimmed serving platter.

A walk through the Garden in July

Piggy Bank Cookies for a baby shower

Friday, July 02, 2010

Making: Quick Coconut Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries

Quick Coconut Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries
makes 1 quart

For roasted cherries
1 pound Bing cherries
2 tablespoons sugar

For coconut ice cream
One 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 cup cream
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Heat the oven to 450°F. Toss the cherries with the sugar and spread them out in one layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring several times, and watching to make sure the sugar and juices don't burn. Remove from the oven and let cool. Pit the cherries and set them aside.

Whisk together the ice cream ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure the sweetened condensed milk has been thoroughly mixed into the cream.

Put the ice cream mix in your ice cream maker and freeze according to instructions. When the ice cream is the texture of soft-serve, scrape it out and fold in the roasted pitted cherries. Transfer to a bowl or container and cover the ice cream with plastic wrap so that the plastic wrap is in full contact with the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for another 2 hours, or until firm.

Tip: Chill the separate ingredients (coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk) for an hour in the refrigerator before mixing everything together. This will help the mix be colder and therefore freeze faster when you put it in the ice cream maker.

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