Sunday, April 29, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake Drink

INGREDIENTS: 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, thawed 1 1/4 fluid ounces amaretto liqueur 2 (1/2 cup) scoops vanilla ice cream 1 dash vanilla extract 1/2 cup crushed ice 1/4 fluid ounce vanilla-flavored vodka (optional) 1 tablespoon whipped cream 1 fresh strawberry DIRECTIONS:
1. Place thawed frozen strawberries, amaretto liqueur, vanilla ice cream, vanilla extract, crushed ice, and vanilla vodka into a blender. 2. Cover and blend until smooth. 3. Pour into a glass and garnish with whipped cream and a fresh strawberry.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Meat Loaf

INGREDIENTS: 2 eggs 3/4 cup milk 2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs 2 teaspoons dried minced onion 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 1/4 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground mustard 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well (mixture will be moist.) Shape into a round loaf; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. 2. In a small bowl, whisk the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Spoon over the meat loaf. Cook 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cranberry Lemonade Punch

Servings: Makes 8 cups (serving size: 1 cup) ingredients • 2 cups water • 1/2 cup sugar • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed • 3 cups cranberry juice directions
1. Combine 2 cups water and sugar in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat, and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool. 2. Combine sugar mixture, lemonade concentrate, cranberry juice, and 3 cups water in a big pitcher. Chill at least 1 hour. 3. Use ice cubes made with cranberry juice for extra flavor

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Garlic Shrimp and Spinach

Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 25 min Ingredients • 1 pound angel hair pasta • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper • 1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved • 1/4 cup pine nuts • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon) Instructions
1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm in a serving bowl. 2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; add shrimp, garlic, salt, and pepper, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp mixture to a bowl. 3. Add spinach, cherry tomatoes, and pine nuts to skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Return shrimp mixture to skillet with vegetables, and simmer 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over pasta and drizzle with lemon juice.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Trader Joe's Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Torta

1 (8-ounce) container prepared pesto 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 2 tablespoons lemon juice Garlic pepper to taste 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves RED LAYER: 1 cup rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes, drained (to rehydrate tomatoes, cover with water and plastic wrap and microwave on high power 1 to 2 minutes until water boils; let stand 10 minutes or until very soft, then discard liquid) 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup roasted red peppers (from a jar), rinsed and well-drained 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves Seasoned salt and garlic pepper to taste WHITE LAYER: 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper To make Green Layer: In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process all green layer ingredients together until well-blended. Carefully spread evenly in a 7 1/2- or 8-inch springform pan lined with plastic wrap, or in a 9-inch glass pie plate. Refrigerate while preparing red layer. To make Red Layer: In a food processor combine tomatoes and cream cheese until as smooth as possible. Add red peppers and process until smooth. Add basil,seasoned salt and garlic pepper, then process until basil is finely chopped. Carefully spread over green layer. Refrigerate. To make White Layer: In a food processor combine cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and garlic pepper and process until smooth. Spread over red layer. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. To serve time, turn torta out of springform onto a serving plate (removing plastic wrap), leaving white layer on top. If using a pie plate, there's no need to turn it out. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, cut-up red pepper pieces and toasted pine nuts. Serve with crackers and fresh cut vegetables, if desired. Makes 20 to 25 servings

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Slow cooker Greek Style Chicken and Potatoes

Ingredients: 4 large potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in big wedges 1 kg (about 2 lb family pack) chicken drumsticks, skin removed (try a paper towel for pulling off the skin. Easy!) 1/2 to 1 Tbsp minced garlic, depending on how many vampires you plan to kill 1/2 cup water 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp corn starch 1 Tbsp dry oregano 1 tsp salt lots black pepper Preparation: Place potatoes in bottom of slow cooker. Place chicken pieces on top. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix water, corn starch, olive oil, garlic and spices. Using a brush, brush pieces of chicken with the sauce and pour the rest in the bottom of the crock. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Ball

6 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled 2 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened 8-oz. pkg. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 1/2 c. green onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 3 T. pimento, diced 3 T. fresh parsley, minced assorted crackers Combine all ingredients except crackers, blending well. Form into a ball; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. Serve with crackers. Makes 8 servings

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Easy Five Ingredient Coca Cola Chicken

Serves: 4 Preparation Time: 15 min Cooking Time: 1 hr Ingredients • 1 large fryer, cut up, or 4 chicken breasts, cut in half • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder • 1 cup ketchup • 1 cup Coca-Cola (not diet) • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce Instructions 1. Wash chicken and dry thoroughly. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place in a large frying pan. Combine all other ingredients and pour over chicken. Simmer, covered, for 55–60 minutes. Turn one time. Serve with rice. 2. Can also be prepared in the Crock-Pot. Place chicken in the Crock-Pot and pour marinade over the top. Cook on low for 6–8 hours.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


SPINACH SALAD DRESSING This dressing is perfectly proportioned for a spinach salad made with 1 1/2 pound, washed, stemmed spinach, crumbled bacon and hard-cooked eggs. The salad could also be made with only 1 pound of spinach (washed and stemmed), adding three small apples (chopped) and 1/4 cup, toasted sunflower seeds, instead of the bacon and eggs. Make it the first time exactly as written (so you can see how perfect it is) – then change ingredients or amounts if you choose. 2 tablespoons, grated (or finely minced) white onion 4 teaspoons, Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon, fresh-ground pepper 1 teaspoon, Kosher (or other coarse) salt 4 tablespoons, white wine vinegar 1 cup, oil (use walnut oil, if you are willing to bear the expense) 9 teaspoons, fresh lemon juice Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor until well-blended. Allow to rest for at least 8 hours (refrigerated) to develop best flavor. Shake before using. Will keep in refrigerator for several days

Smoky Corn Chowder

Smoky Corn Chowder Serves 6 Hands-on Time: 20m Total Time: 40m Ingredients • 8 ounces sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces • 1 large sweet onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika also known as Spanish paprika • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper • 2 10-ounce packages frozen corn • 3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth • 1 cup half-and-half • kosher salt and black pepper • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal • 1 baguete, sliced and toasted (optional) Directions 1. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. 2. Spoon off and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. 3. Add the garlic, paprika, and red pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. 4. Stir in the corn, broth, and half-and-half and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 5. Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot and stir in ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. 6. Divide the soup among bowls and top with the scallions and bacon. Serve with bread, if desired. Tip The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Real Simple

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Orecchiette with Peas, Shrimp, and Buttermilk-Herb Dressing

Orecchiette with Peas, Shrimp, and Buttermilk-Herb Dressing

• Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
• Hands-on:30 Minutes
• Total:30 Minutes
• 8 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta
• 1 cup shelled green peas (about 1 pound unshelled green peas) or frozen green peas
• 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
• 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add peas and shrimp during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.
2. Combine pasta mixture and radishes in a large bowl. Combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Pour over pasta mixture, tossing to coat. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature, or cover and chill until ready to serve
Cooking Light JUNE 2011

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shrimp-Vegetable Quesadillas Recipe

Shrimp-Vegetable Quesadillas Recipe

Serves 2
• 2 large flour tortillas
• 2 cups baby spinach
• 1 carrot, sliced on the bias
• 8 large raw shrimp, deveined, tails removed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 white onion, half sliced into thin rounds, half diced
• 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
• 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a cast-iron or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and allow to brown slightly. Turn onions over and add carrots and bell peppers. Cook for 4–5 minutes or until carrots soften slightly. Add shrimp and cook slightly until just pink and firm. Season well with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. While oil heats, assemble quesadillas by laying a tortilla on a clean, flat surface. Sprinkle with half of the cheese, half of the spinach, and half of the vegetable-shrimp mixture. Fold in half. Repeat with remaining tortilla and fillings. Fry the quesadillas one or two at a time, depending on the size of your pan, for 2–3 minutes on each side or until golden-brown and crisp.

To serve, cut the quesadillas into wedges.

From The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook (Egg & Dart), by Gabi Moskowitz.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spinach & Artichoke Tuna Melts

Spinach & Artichoke Tuna Melts

• 2 5-ounce cans Italian tuna, drained and flaked
• 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained well and chopped
• 1 10-ounce box thawed frozen chopped spinach, drained well and pulled apart
• Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
• 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
• 2 ribs celery hearts, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 3 tablespoons capers, drained
• 2 cloves of garlic, grated
• Pepper
• 4 large ciabatta rolls
• 2 cups shredded mild provolone
• Sliced tomato, for topping
Yields: 4

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the broiler. In a bowl, combine the tuna, artichoke hearts, spinach, lemon juice, onion, celery, EVOO, parsley, capers and garlic; season with pepper.

Split the ciabatta rolls and arrange on a baking sheet. Top the bottoms with even mounds of tuna salad and cheese. Broil to melt the cheese and toast the roll tops. Add the sliced tomato to the sandwiches, cover with roll tops and serve.
Rachael Ray

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sliced Steak Clubs with Bloody Bull Sauce

Sliced Steak Clubs with Bloody Bull Sauce

• 8 slices smoky bacon
• 4 8-ounce flatiron steaks (about 1 inch thick) at room temp
• Coarse salt and pepper
• Vegetable oil or EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
• About 1 cup organic ketchup
• 1/2 cup beef consommé or stock
• 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped celery ribs with leaves
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish sauce
• About 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
• 4 ciabatta rolls
• 8 slices extra-sharp cheddar cheese
• Romaine lettuce leaves and a sliced beefsteak tomato, for topping
Yields: 4

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Bake the bacon on a broiler pan until crisp, 15-18 minutes. Preheat a cast-iron skillet or griddle pan over medium-high heat.
Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle the pan with oil, add the steaks and cook, turning once, until medium-rare, 8-10 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes, then thinly slice on an angle.
While the steaks are cooking, in a small saucepan, combine the ketchup, consommé (or stock), celery, Worcestershire, horseradish and hot sauce; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes to thicken.

Place the roll bottoms on a baking sheet. Top with the steak, sauce and cheese. Broil until melted. Toast the roll tops. Layer the clubs with the bacon, lettuce, tomato and roll tops. Pass extra sauce at the table.
Rachael Ray
l Ray

Sunday, April 15, 2012



1 lb. uncooked chicken, cubed
1 family-sized can (26 oz) cream of chicken soup
½ C white wine or milk
1 can corn, drained
1 16-oz bag of frozen peas and carrots
1 small onion, chopped
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 t dried basil
1 t dried thyme
½ t sage
½ t pepper
3 red potatoes, sliced thin
Put all of the ingredients except the potatoes into the slow cooker. Mix well. Layer the potato slices on top of the chicken mixture. Cook on low heat for 6 hours.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Honey Walnut Shrimp

1 lb Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1/2 c walnuts
2 c water
1 c sugar
2/3 c flour
3 egg whites
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

creamy sauce:
2 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp light mayo
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp condensed milk

Combine all the ingredients of the sauce in a large bowl and set aside.

Bring the water to a boil in small pot and add the sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add the walnuts and boil for 2 min. Then drain and place onto a parchment paper lines cookie sheet to dry.

In another bowl combine together flour and egg white. Mix until smooth. Season with some salt and pepper and add the paprika.

Heat the oil and pan-fry the shrimp until golden brown. Roughly 60 second per side. Then drain the excess oil on a paper towel and toss into the creamy sauce mixture. Add the dried walnuts and toss well again.

Serve immediately.

Friday, April 13, 2012



2 large egg whites
½ TSP pure vanilla extract
¼ TSP pure almond extract
1 TSP lemon zest
3 TBL vegetable oil
8 TBL all-purpose flour
1½ TSP cornstarch
¼ TSP kosher salt
8 TBL granulated sugar
3 TSP water
Write fortunes on pieces of paper that are 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 9-X-13 inch baking sheets.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white, vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon zest and vegetable oil until frothy, but not stiff.
Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar into a separate bowl. Stir the water into the flour mixture.
Add the flour into the egg white mixture and stir until you have a smooth batter. The batter should not be runny, but should drop easily off a wooden spoon.
Place level tablespoons of batter onto the cookie sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Gently use the back of the back of a spoon to make circular motions on the surface of the batter to form circles with about 3.5” diameters.
Bake until the outer 1/2-inch of each cookie turns golden brown and they are easy to remove from the baking sheet with a spatula (14 – 15 minutes).
Working quickly, remove the cookie with a spatula and flip it over in your hand. Place a fortune in the middle of a cookie. To form the fortune cookie shape, fold the cookie in half, and then gently pull the edges downward over the rim of a glass, wooden spoon or the edge of a muffin tin. Place the finished cookie in the cup of the muffin tin so that it keeps its shape. Continue with the rest of the cookies.
Makes about 14 cookies.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Serves: 12
Cooking Time: 55 min
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 cup ricotta cheese
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 egg
• salt to taste
• black pepper to taste
• 6 whole chicken breasts, split and boned (leave skin on)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil until moderately hot; add onion and garlic, cooking just until tender.

2. Stir in spinach, parsley and basil; heat thoroughly. Remove skillet from heat and let cool to room temperature.

3. In a large bowl, mix together ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, egg, salt and pepper; add spinach mixture and blend.

4. Place chicken breasts, skin-side up, on a cutting board. Gently loosen skin from one end of each breast, creating a pocket in each. Stuff each pocket with spinach-cheese mixture and gently press on surface of skin to spread mixture evenly under skin. Tuck ends of skin and meat under chicken breasts.

5. Place stuffed chicken breasts in a greased baking dish(es) and bake 35 to 45 minutes or until chicken is done and skin is golden brown. Serve immediately

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Butterscotch Pie

Butterscotch Pie

Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time: 10 min
Difficulty: Easy

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell
1/4 cup butterscotch morsels, plus more for topping
Whipped cream, recipe follows
Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Slowly add milk, constantly stirring until it thickens.
In a separate bowl temper 2 egg yolks by whisking in a small amount of hot mixture to bowl. Whisk in the eggs and add the butter and vanilla. Allow to cook for a few minutes.
Pour into a dish and refrigerate, allowing to cool. When ready, fill pie shell with butterscotch mixture.
Mix the butterscotch morsels into the whipped cream. Cover pie and garnish with more butterscotch morsels.
Whipped Cream:
Using a hand mixer, whip together the heavy cream and sugar until light and fluffy.
From Paula's Best Dishes

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lemon Artichoke Chicken

Lemon Artichoke Chicken

Makes 4-6 servings

1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground thyme
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and each one cut into 4 pieces
Salt and pepper
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, chopped
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 (13.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup sliced white button mushrooms

1. Combine onion, garlic, oil, paste and thyme in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are soft.
2. Place chicken in the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add in the onion mixture and white wine vinegar.
4. Cover and cook on LOW for about 4 hours.

Crispy Hash Brown Waffles

Crispy Hash Brown Waffles

• 3 potatoes, peeled and shredded
• Salt
• 1/4 cup grated red onion
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 1 tablespoon horseradish
• Pepper
• 2 tablespoons melted butter

Yields: 4 waffles
Preheat waffle maker to the highest heat.
Liberally salt potatoes and lay them out on a stack of paper towels to drain. Stack a few paper towels on top, press down and let sit for a few minutes.
While potatoes drain, whisk together the onion, egg, sour cream, horseradish and pepper in a large bowl. Add drained potatoes to bowl and fold until combined.
Brush hot waffle maker with melted butter. Evenly spread potato mixture around the waffle maker. Close and cook for 12 minutes or until potatoes are crispy and brown.
Rachael Ray

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Eggs Sardou

Eggs Sardou

• 2 egg yolks
• 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
• 2 tsp. water
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
• 2 Tbs. chopped fines herbes (fresh chives,
tarragon, parsley and chervil)
• 4 cups creamed spinach (see related recipe)
• 8 cooked artichoke hearts (fresh or canned),
halved or artichoke bottoms
• 8 poached eggs
• 8 slices toast, halved diagonally
To make the hollandaise sauce, assemble a double boiler and heat water according to the manufacturer's instructions. In the bowl of the double boiler, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice and water. Place over the heat on the stovetop and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, then whisk for 1 minute more. Season with salt, white pepper and cayenne.

Continue to whisk the mixture while slowly pouring in the melted butter in a thin stream until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the fines herbes. Keep the hollandaise sauce warm but not hot until ready to serve.

Divide the creamed spinach among 4 plates and top each with 4 artichoke halves. Place 2 poached eggs atop the artichokes. Ladle about 1/4 cup of the hollandaise sauce over each serving and arrange the toast around the plates. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Creamed Spinach
The béchamel sauce can be prepared a day or two in advance. Let the sauce cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. It will become very thick as it cools. If the sauce is still too thick when reheated, add a bit of milk.
• 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups milk
• 1/2 yellow onion stuck with 1 clove
• 1 bay leaf
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
• Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
• 1 lb. baby spinach, stemmed and rinsed well
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and bubbling without browning, about 2 minutes. Cool the roux slightly.

In another saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk just until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Gradually add the milk to the roux, whisking constantly until the milk is fully incorporated. Add the onion and bay leaf, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and very lightly with white pepper and nutmeg. Cover the béchamel sauce tightly or brush the surface with melted butter to prevent a skin from forming on top; keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large pot with a steamer basket in place, steam the spinach until wilted and tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and chop coarsely. Drain the excess liquid.

Remove the onion and bay leaf from the béchamel sauce, add the spinach and stir until blended. Adjust the seasonings with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Serve immediately.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Egg Bread

Easter Egg Bread

Yields: 1 loaf
Preparation Time: 1 hr 15 min
Cooking Time: 25 min
• 2 cups plus 2 teaspoons water, divided
• 4 teaspoons white vinegar
• 4 different food colors
• 4 eggs (see Note)
• 1 pound frozen bread dough, thawed
• 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1. In each of 4 cups or small bowls, combine 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of a different food color to each cup.

2. Place 1 egg (in shell) in each cup and allow to sit until the desired color is attained, turning eggs occasionally with a spoon. Remove to paper towels to drain and dry completely.

3. Divide dough into thirds. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Braid strips together then place on a baking sheet and form into a ring, pinching ends together to seal. Tuck colored eggs into the braid, spacing them evenly. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden; allow to cool slightly.

5. In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and the remaining water, stirring until thoroughly blended. Brush warm bread with sugar glaze, being careful not to coat the colored eggs. Serve warm, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

• Feel free to decorate the eggs any way you like, but remember: they need to be raw when you start (so they don't overcook).

Friday, April 6, 2012

Deviled Easter Eggs

Deviled Easter Eggs

• 1 dozen large eggs
• 2 tablespoons grated onion
• 1 clove garlic, pasted or grated
• 2 tablespoons pickle relish, such as Heinz
• About 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon mustard, yellow or Dijon
• 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon hot sauce
• Salt and pepper
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 3 to 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
• Thinly sliced red pepper, for garnish
• 24 capers, for garnish
Yields: 12 deviled Easter eggs
Rachael Ray

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mediterranean Layered Dip

Mediterranean Layered Dip

1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced 3 tablespoons dry vermouth
ground white pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 cup pesto sauce
1. In a food processor, combine the butter, feta cheese, cream cheese, garlic, shallot, vermouth, and white pepper. Process until smooth.
2. Oil a medium bowl, or gelatin mold, and line with plastic wrap for easy removal. Layer the dip into the mold as follows: Sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, pesto, cheese mixture. Repeat. Pat down into the mold, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
3. Turn the dip out onto a serving plate, and remove plastic wrap. Serve with crackers.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Caramelized Bacon

Caramelized Bacon

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 pound sliced bacon
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. In a shallow bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon. Dip bacon slices in the brown sugar mixture to coat, and arrange in a single layer on a rack on a baking sheet.
3. Bake 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven, turning once, until dark golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

If you want a more savory flavor, substitute dry mustard for the cinnamon

Note: For easy cleanup, line the pan with foil

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Honey Glazed Ham in the Slow Cooker

Honey Glazed Ham in the Slow Cooker

The Ingredients.
serves 6-8.

5-7 pound bone-in ham
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon gluten free Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground thyme

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Unwrap ham, and discard flavor packet. Put ham into slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, honey, butter, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and thyme. Pour mixture evenly over the ham. and cook on low for 6 hours, or until heated through.
Stephanie Dea

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fruit Roll Sushi

Fruit Roll Sushi

Serves: 30
Preparation Time: 10 min
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 12 marshmallows
• 2 cups crispy toasted rice cereal
• 4 (4-1/2-inch) square fruit roll-ups (1/2 ounce each)
• 6 assorted licorice or fruit twist sticks, cut in half crosswise
1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in cereal until completely coated.

2. On a flat surface, unroll fruit roll-ups. Spread equal amounts of cereal mixture over each roll-up, covering entire surface and packing mixture flat.

3. Place 3 different-colored licorice or fruit twists in center of each and roll tightly into a log, sealing where edges meet. Squeeze rolls gently to secure. Trim ends and slice with a serrated knife into 1/2-inch pieces. Serve, or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Tip: To give your snacks the most variety and color, use different-colored and -flavored fruit roll-ups and licorice or fruit twist sticks. And if you can't find different-colored licorice, you can even use gummy worms.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Homemade Marshmallow Peeps

Homemade Marshmallow Peeps

Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes around 1 1/2 cups
o 1 packet unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
o 1/3 cup cold water, plus 1/4 cup
o 1 cup sugar
o Colored sugar (or make your own with food coloring and sugar)
o Cocoa powder and water (optional; for eyes and nose)
Lightly coat a silicone mold or small pan with non-stick spray.
In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 cup cold water and sugar. Whisk together over medium heat. Once sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and cook until mixture reaches softball stage (between 235-240°F).
While sugar mixture is boiling, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 C cold water in a large, deep heatproof bowl (a stand mixer bowl is perfect for this). Let stand for about 1 minute, until it softens.
Once the syrup reaches softball stage, remove from heat. Turn mixer on low and carefully pour hot syrup into into gelatin, avoiding the beaters and sides of the bowl. Increase to medium-high speed and beat for 8-10 minutes, until mixture thickens, turns white and can hold soft peaks. Immediately and quickly spoon into prepared mold or pan (the mixture will set quickly so don’t wait long).
If you used a pan, cut desired shapes out of marshmallow with lightly greased cookie cutters. If you used a mold, wait a few minutes and then pop them out of the mold.
Drop marshmallows onto a plate covered with colored sugar and move them around to coat each side.
To make eyes and nose, sprinkle some cocoa powder on a clean plate. Dip a toothpick in water and then dip wet tip into cocoa. Dab dots onto sugar covered marshmallow.