Thursday, May 31, 2012

3 Dips for Veggies

Avocado Ranch Dipper Ingredients • 1 Hass avocado • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt • Juice of 1 lemon • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped • A small handful of fresh chives, finely chopped • A small handful of fresh dill, finely chopped • A small handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped Preparation Place the avocado in a food processor. Add the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, chives, dill and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth dip consistency. Tomato Balsamic Dipper Ingredients • 2 vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped • 1 tablespoon tomato paste • Salt and black pepper to taste • 2 tablespoon balsamic drizzle • 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Preparation Place the tomatoes in a blender, add the tomato paste and balsamic; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in the oil until smooth dip consistency
Herby Honey Mustard Dipper Ingredients • 1 shallot, grated • Juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar • Salt and pepper • 3 tablespoons honey from White House • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard • 1/4 cup fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley and thyme, chopped • 1/3-1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil Preparation In a mixing bowl, grate the shallot and whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Let sit to let flavors combine. Whisk in the honey, Dijon, herbs and EVOO, and serve as a dipper. From the White House Cookbook

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pineapple Sangria Recipe

Ingredients you will need: 1 Large Can of Pineapple Juice I bottle of white wine (your choice) 1 each: Orange, Lemon, Lime. Sprite Soda 2 tablespoons of sugar
Directions: Pour half of the pineapple juice (approximately 8 ounces) and The entire bottle of wine into a pitcher. Add in 1 tablespoon of sugar. Taste. Add in the second if you like a sweeter sangria. Stir to combine. Roll each of the fruit on the counter. Cut in half and squeeze the juice into the pitcher. Then, slice each and add to the pitcher, too. Here you can chill the sangria until you are ready to serve. The longer you chill the better the flavor. Once you are ready to serve, add in ice and 8 ounces of Sprite.

Copycat Trader Joe's Mediterranean Hummus Recipe

Ingredients: 2 cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained (about 3 cups) 1 garlic clove 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons tahini 1 1/4 teaspoon salt zest of 1 large lemon juice of 2 large lemons 1/4 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper about 1/2 cup hot water
Directions: Place the garlic clove in the food processor and pulse a few times. Dump the rest of the ingredients in to the food processor, except for the hot water, and run for 3-4 minutes. After the first 30 seconds or so, stream in the water while the processor is still running - until you reach your desired consistency and continue to process until very smooth and creamy. Taste for seasoning and consistency, adding a bit more water if needed. This will set up a bit in the fridge, so make it a tad runnier than you think you'd like! Pour the hummus into a container & chill a few hours or overnight before serving to let the flavors meld. Before serving, drizzle with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes. (For a true Trader Joe's copy, top with pine nuts, dried parsley, and dehydrated bell pepper!) Serve with veggies and rice crackers or pita chips!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pulled Pork Sandwich (with all of the fixins')

Ingredients • Smoked pork butt • Sweet-and-tangy tomato barbecue sauce • Chowchow • White bread bun •Smoky-sweet BBQ rub • 1/4 cup kosher salt • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons smoked paprika • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar • 2 teaspoons garlic powder • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper • 1 teaspoon dry mustard • 1 teaspoon ground cumin • 1 teaspoon ground ginger •Slow-cooker pork butt • 1 (4-5-lb.) bone-in Boston pork butt roast • 1/4 cup smoky-sweet BBQ rub • 1 1/4 cups barbecue sauce (we prefer homemade sweet-and-tangy tomato barbecue sauce below) •Sweet-and-tangy tomato barbecue sauce • 1 cup ketchup • 1 cup water • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar • 1 tablespoon onion powder • 1 tablespoon chili powder • 2 tablespoons tomato paste • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark molasses • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper •
Chow chow • 3 cups chopped fresh cabbage • 3/4 cup chopped onion • 3/4 cup chopped green tomatoes • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper • 1 tablespoon pickling salt • 3/4 cup sugar • 1/2 cup white vinegar • 1/4 cup water • 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds • 1/3 teaspoon celery seeds • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (if desired) • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped Preparation To make the smoky-sweet BBQ rub, combine all ingredients. For the slow-cooker pork butt, cut 1 (4- to 5-lb.) bone-in Boston butt pork roast in half, and trim pork. Rinse and pat dry. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Smoky-Sweet BBQ Rub. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Place pork in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker, fat sides up. Cover and cook on LOW 7 hours or until meat is tender and shreds easily. Transfer pork to a cutting board, discarding liquid; cool slightly. Shred pork with 2 forks. Stir 1 1/4 cups barbecue sauce into pork. Return pork mixture to slow cooker; cover and cook on HIGH 30 minutes, or transfer pork mixture to a 2-qt. baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. For the sweet-and-tangy tomato barbecue sauce, bring ketchup, water, apple cider vinegar, light brown sugar, onion powder, chili powder, tomato paste, dark molasses, and freshly ground black pepper to a boil in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes or until slightly thickened. Cool 10 minutes. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Store in refrigerator for up to one week. To make the chowchow, stir together fresh cabbage, onion, green tomato, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and pickling salt. Cover and chill 2 to 8 hours. Transfer mixture to Dutch oven. Stir in sugar, white vinegar, water, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric and dried crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and summer 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Stir in jalapeno. Cover and chill 1 to 8 hours before serving. For the sandwich, combine all ingredients on bun and enjoy!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chicken Satay

INGREDIENTS: 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter 1/3 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoons curry powder 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
DIRECTIONS: 1. In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, curry powder, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and refrigerate. Let the chicken marinate at least 2 hours, overnight is best. 2. Preheat a grill to high heat. 3. Weave the chicken onto skewers, then grill for 5 minutes per side

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Serves 8 to 10 The Ingredients 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut into wedges (I used Russet, and didn't peel; red would work great too) 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon dried parsley 2 green onions, sliced 3 teaspoons dried dill 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (might want more to taste if you use unsalted butter) 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
The Directions Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Put the cut potatoes and water into the slow cooker (READ this carefully! only potatoes and water so far!). Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the accumulated liquid and put the potatoes back in the crock. Toss potatoes with melted butter, lemon juice, sliced green onion, and all seasoning. Keep potatoes on the warm setting and serve right out of the pot.

Friday, May 25, 2012

French Onion Dip Burgers

Ingredients • 3 tablespoons butter • 5 onions, 4 thinly sliced and 1 peeled • 1 bay leaf • Sea salt and pepper • • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme • 1 cup beef consommé • 1 1/2 cups sour cream • 2 pounds ground beef sirloin • About 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it) • • A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped • • EVOO, for drizzling • • 6 brioche buns, split • 36 good-quality ridged or thick-cut potato chips, preferably cooked in olive oil • Sliced sweet pickles, for serving •
Preparation Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and bay leaf; season with salt, pepper and the thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until deep caramel in color and very soft, 35 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the beef consommé and cook until all the liquid is almost absorbed. Let cool, then discard the bay leaf. Stir in the sour cream. Preheat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place the beef in a bowl and season with the Worcestershire, salt (for a crusty coating on the burgers) and pepper. Using a box or hand-held grater, grate 3 to 4 tablespoons of the peeled onion over the meat (the grated onion and its juice will flavor the meat itself, plus keep the burgers moist as you cook them). Add the parsley. Mix the meat, but do not overwork it. Form 6 patties, thinner at the center than at the edges for even cooking. Drizzle with EVOO. Cook the burgers, turning once, for 6- 8 minutes for pink centers. Serve the burgers on the bun bottoms and top with the sour cream sauce, potato chips, a couple of pickles each and the bun tops.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rainbow Stacked Salad

Serves: 10 Chilling Time: 2 hr Ingredients • 1 cup plain lowfat yogurt • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives • 1 (10-ounce) package ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix • 1 head romaine or iceberg lettuce, chopped • 1 (12-ounce) package frozen corn, thawed • 6 to 8 plum tomatoes, chopped • 2 (16-ounce) packages frozen fully cooked chicken breast strips, thawed • 1 (12-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Instructions 1. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, chives, and ranch salad dressing mix; mix well, cover, and refrigerate. 2. In a large glass bowl, layer half the lettuce then all the corn, tomatoes, chicken, peas, and remaining lettuce. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving. 3. Toss with dressing just before serving.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Orange and Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs

Serves 4 Vegetable oil for the broiler pan 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 16 small to medium shiitake mushrooms, stemmed 3 medium scallions (green parts only), cut into 3-inch lengths 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/3 cup granulated sugar 2 Tbs. mirin 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice 1-1/4 tsp. cornstarch 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds ________________________________________
Position a rack about 7 inches from the broiler and heat the oven to 450°F. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil and lightly oil the top of the pan. Season the chicken all over with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Arrange the shiitake in 8 pairs, gill sides up, on the prepared broiler pan and season with salt and pepper. Arrange 2 or 3 scallion pieces on top of each mushroom pair, then put a chicken thigh, skin side up, on top. Press with your hand to flatten. Roast until the edges of the chicken begin to brown and an instantread thermometer inserted in a thick part of the biggest thigh registers 165°F, about 20 minutes. Turn the broiler to high and broil until the skin is crisp and deeply browned, 5 to 6 minutes, rotating the pan once for even browning. While the chicken is cooking, combine the soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and orange zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. In a small bowl, stir the orange juice and cornstarch; add this mixture to the saucepan. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and glossy, about 1 minute. To serve, transfer the chicken, scallions, and mushrooms to dinner plates, drizzle with the sauce, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. serving suggestions There’s no better accompaniment to this dish than white rice.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Red Velvet Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting from the Cake Boss

Ingredients • 1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening • 2 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling the parchment paper • 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder • 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 tubes) red food coloring gel • 3 cups cake flour, plus more for flouring the cake pans • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda • 1 1/4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar • 3 extra-large eggs • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk • Unsalted butter (about 2 tablespoons), nonstick spray or vegetable oil, for greasing the cake pans Yields: two 9 inch cakes or 24 cupcakes Preparation Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350˚F. Put shortening, sugar, cocoa, food coloring, flour, salt, vanilla, baking soda and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can use a hand mixer if you allow the shortening to soften at room temperature before beginning.) Mix to combine, starting at low speed, then raise the speed to low-medium and mix for about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 1 minute after each is absorbed into the mixture. Add the buttermilk in two portions, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl between additions. Grease two 9-inch cake pans (2 inches deep) with the butter, and flour them. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl and get as much batter as possible out. Bake until the cakes begin to pull from the sides of the pans and are springy to the touch, 35-40 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour. The cakes should be at room temperature before you remove them from the pan. Put a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with sugar, and one at a time, turn the pans over and turn the cakes out onto the parchment; the sugar will keep them from sticking. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to decorate with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Buddy Valastro’s Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 2 cups powdered (10X) sugar, sifted Yields: about 3 cups, enough to fill and ice one 9-inch cake Preparation Place cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix at medium speed until creamy, approximately 30 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the vanilla and mix for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and mix until smooth, approximately 1 minute after the last addition. Use right away, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tiny Twice-Baked Potatoes with Smoked Paprika and Bacon

Makes 40 hors d'oeuvres Ingredients • 20 small baby red potatoes (about 1 pound) • 1 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • 2 slices of bacon • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese • 2 Tbsp. sour cream • 1 scallion (green part only), minced • 1/4 tsp. smoked spicy paprika • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter • 1⁄3 cup heavy cream or whole milk or a combination
Directions Preheat the oven to 400°F. Leaving the skins on, cut the potatoes in half crosswise, and place cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss until evenly covered. Bake for 20 minutes, until cooked through. Cool completely. Cook the bacon over medium-low heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels, and then mince. In a bowl, combine the bacon, cheese, sour cream, scallion, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Using a sharp knife, trim a tiny slice off the round end of each potato half, so that they can stand upright. Using a melon baller or a paring knife and small spoon, carefully scoop enough potato flesh from each potato half to form little cups. Mash the scooped-out potato into the cheese mixture along with the butter and cream. Spoon the mashed stuffing into a pastry bag or a freezer-strength zipper bag with a corner snipped off, and pipe it into the potato cups. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 1 day. At serving time, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the potatoes until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve warm. Reprinted from In My Kitchen

Sunday, May 20, 2012


INGREDIENTS • 1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame, defrosted • 2 tablespoons tahini • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) • Juice and zest of 2 lemons • 1 clove garlic, finely grated • 1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated • Salt, to taste Makes about 2 cups
PREPARATION Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it creates a smooth puree. Serve

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken

Ingredients: • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts • salt to taste • 1 (15 ounce) can pineapple slices, juice reserved • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar • 2 tablespoons lemon juice • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger • 1/4 cup cornstarch
Place chicken in slow cooker sprayed with non-stick spray and sprinkle with a little salt. Place pineapple slices over chicken. In a small bowl, combine pineapple juice, brown sugar, lemon juice, ginger and cornstarch and stir until combined. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Serve over rice.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cranberry Lemonade Punch

Prep: 10 min. Cook: 5 min. Other: 1 hr. 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, May 17, 2012

Boston Market Rotisserie Whole Chicken Copycat

1 (3 1/2 pound) whole chicken Onion chunks Unpeeled apple wedges 10 chunks celery Fill the cavity with apple, onions and celery. Place it in a Pam-sprayed Dutch oven or a roasting pan deep enough that it can later be sealed in foil without the foil touching the skin of the chicken. 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon lime juice 1/4 teaspoon paprika Seasoned salt Mix all ingredients well in saucepan and warm just to melt honey. Put on skin of chicken. Bake at 350 degrees F for an hour plus 15 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the chicken, basting chicken without turning, 3 or 4 times during baking or until nicely browned. Immediately upon removing from oven, seal baking dish tightly in foil and let stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Pesto

Serves 8 to 10 Ingredients • 1 cup fresh basil leaves • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, peeled • 5 Tbsp. pine nuts • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, or to taste • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional as needed • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
Directions Place the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, salt, olive oil, and Pecorino in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. If the pesto is too thick for your taste, add a little more olive oil. Cut the tops off the tomatoes. With a small spoon (I use an espresso spoon), scoop out the seeds and pulp, taking care not to puncture the skin. Fill the tomatoes with the pesto and serve at room temperature. From Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Homemade Limoncello

Yields 3 quarts 15 thick-skinned lemons 2 750-ml bottles 100-proof vodka 4 cups sugar
Wash the lemons well with a vegetable brush and hot water; pat dry. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemon in long, wide strips. Scrape away any of the bitter white pith from the lemon peel with a paring knife. Combine the lemon peels and one of the bottles of vodka in a large (at least 4 quarts) glass jar with a lid. Cover the jar and store it at room temperature in a dark cabinet or cupboard for 40 days. As the vodka sits, it will slowly take on the bright yellow color of the lemon zest. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar with 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and let the syrup boil for 5 minutes. Let the syrup cool, then add it to the limoncello mixture, along with the remaining bottle of vodka. Cover the jar and return it to the cupboard for another 40 days. Strain the limoncello into bottles and discard the lemon zest. From Fine Cooking

Basil Butter

INGREDIENTS: 4 cloves garlic 15 leaves fresh basil 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup butter
DIRECTIONS: 1. Place garlic, basil, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the garlic is in small bits. Add the butter, and process just to mix together. Spoon into container, and refrigerate until firm. This can also be frozen.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hot Dog Fries

Ingredients • 1 package (about 8) hot dogs • 1 cup flour • 6 eggs • 2 tablespoons yellow or Dijon mustard, plus more for dipping • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs Yields: 6-8 as a snack Preparation
Cut each hot dog into quarters lengthwise into 4 long strips. Fill three separate shallow dishes with the flour, the eggs whisked with the mustard and the breadcrumbs. Coat the hot dog strips with the flour first, then the eggs, then the breadcrumbs. Heat a couple inches of oil in a heavy bottom pot to 350°F. When the oil is ready, add the breaded hot dog strips and cook over medium heat until golden, 3-4 minutes. Drain on a rack or paper towel-lined plate. Serve with mustard dipper alongside.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Yummy Chocolate Cake

16 Servings Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling Ingredients • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix • 1 package (2.1 ounces) sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix • 1-3/4 cups water • 3 egg whites • FROSTING: • 1-1/4 cups cold fat-free milk • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract • 1 package (1.4 ounces) sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed • Chocolate curls, optional
Directions • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, water and egg whites. Beat on low speed for 1 minute; beat on medium for 2 minutes. • • Pour into a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. • • For frosting, place milk and extract in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a third of the pudding mix; let stand for 1 minute. Whisk pudding into milk. Repeat twice with remaining pudding mix. Whisk pudding 2 minutes longer. Let stand for 15 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. • Frost cake. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired. Yield: 16 servings. Taste of Home

Friday, May 11, 2012


SERVES 8 TO 10 • ACTIVE TIME:20 MIN • START TO FINISH:1 1/4 HR FOR POACHING CHICKEN • 4 large chicken breast halves (with skin and bone; 1 lb each) • 1/3 cup kosher salt • 1 small carrot • 1/2 onion • 1/2 celery rib • 4 parsley sprigs • 2 to 3 qt water FOR DRESSING • 2 cups slivered blanched almonds (6 oz) • 3 garlic cloves • 1/2 to 1 fresh hot jalapeño, coarsely chopped, including seeds • 3/4 cup mayonnaise • 1/2 cup sour cream • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, or to taste • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste • 3 cups chopped cilantro • ACCOMPANIMENTS: Mixed greens; roasted yellow, orange, or red bell peppers POACH CHICKEN: • Coat chicken with kosher salt in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature, turning once or twice, 20 minutes. • Rinse salt from chicken. Put chicken in a large deep pot with vegetables, parsley, and just enough water to cover. Bring just to a boil, skimming froth. Immediately reduce heat and poach chicken at a bare simmer (water should tremble but not erupt in big bubbles), uncovered, 25 minutes (about 160°F on an instant-read thermometer). Remove pot from heat and let stand, uncovered, 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a clean large bowl and cool. Reserve broth, letting it cool, uncovered, before chilling, covered. • When chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones and shred meat (you will have about 8 cups). MAKE DRESSING WILE CHICKEN COOLS: • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Roast almonds in a 4-sided sheet pan until golden and fragrantly toasty, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool. • With motor running, drop garlic into food processor and finely chop. Stop processor and add jalapeño, mayonnaise, sour cream, 1/2 cup lime juice, and 1 Tbsp kosher salt and blend until smooth. Add almonds and pulse until chopped. Add cilantro and pulse just to incorporate. Taste and season with additional salt and lime juice. • Combine chicken with dressing in a large bowl. Moisten chicken salad, if necessary, with a little reserved broth. COOKS’ NOTES:
• If the only chicken breasts you find are smaller, make sure to buy 4 lb and reduce the poaching time. • Chicken breasts will shred most easily and beautifully when freshly poached and cooled, so try to refrain from the temptation to cook and chill the breasts a day ahead before shredding. • Chicken salad keeps, chilled, 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. • Leftover broth keeps, chilled, 3 days, or frozen 3 months. It can be used in soups and sauces.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Southern Red Velvet Waffles with Cream Cheese Glaze

Cook time: 20 Min Difficulty: Prep time: 20 Min Serves: 4-5 INGREDIENTS - 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder - 2 eggs - 1/3 c vegetable oil - 1 1/2 c water - 3 c waffle mix - 3 oz cream cheese, softened - 3 Tbsp powdered sugar - 1/4 tsp vanilla - 3 Tbsp milk - 1/2 btl red food coloring (approx 25 drops) - 1/2 c chopped pecans, lightly toasted DIRECTIONS
1. Heat up waffle maker. Mix waffle mix and eggs, water, and oil according to pkg instructions. 2. Add cocoa powder to waffle mix and blend. 3. Add red food coloring slowly until you get the "red velvet" color you want. Cook waffles in waffle maker. This will make 5-6 Belgian waffles or 10 regular waffles. 4. With a mixer blend together cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Pour glaze into a saucepan and warm on med-low. Stir frequently. 5. Serve Red Velvet Waffles with warm cream cheese glaze and toasted pecans on top and a side of fruit and bacon. YUM!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spinach Artichoke Baked Egg Soufflé

Ingredients: 3 tablespoons frozen spinach, thawed 3 tablespoons minced artichoke hearts 2 teaspoons minced onion 1 teaspoon minced red bell pepper 5 eggs 2 tablespoons milk 2 tablespoons heavy cream ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese ¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese ¼ teaspoon salt 1 8-ounce tube Pillsbury Crescent butter flake dough melted butter ¼ cup shredded Asiago cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine spinach, artichoke hearts, onion, and red bell pepper in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the plastic. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Beat 4 eggs. Mix in milk, cream, cheddar cheese, Jack cheese, Parmesan, and salt. Stir in spinach, artichoke, onion, and bell pepper. Microwave egg mixture for 30 seconds on high, and then stir it. Do this 4 to 5 more times or until you have a very runny scrambled egg mixture. This process will tighten up the eggs enough so that the dough won't sink into the eggs when it's folded over. Unroll and separate the crescent dough into four rectangles. In other words, don't tear the dough along the perforations that make triangles. Instead, pinch the dough together along those diagonal perforations so that you have four rectangles. Use some flour on the dough and roll across the width of the rectangle with a rolling pin so that each piece of dough stretches out into a square that is approximately 6 inches by 6 inches. Brush melted butter inside four 4-inch baking dishes or ramekins. Line each ramekin with the dough, then spoon equal amounts of egg mixture into each ramekin. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of asiago cheese on top of the egg mixture in each ramekin, and then gently fold the dough over the mixture. Beat the last egg in a small bowl, then brush beaten egg over the top of the dough in each ramekin. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until dough is brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the soufflés from each ramekin and serve hot. Serves 4 Tidbits: You can make the spinach and bacon version of this dish by substituting 4 pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon for the artichoke hearts. Simply leave the artichoke out of the recipe above, and then add the bacon to the egg mixture before you microwave it. If you'd like to make bigger soufflés, double up on all the filling ingredients, and bake the soufflés in 6-inch ramekins. You will also have to extend the baking time by 5 minutes.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chicago-Style Pan Pizza

INGREDIENTS: 1 (1 pound) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed (or pizza dough) 1 pound bulk Italian sausage 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or more) 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms 1 small onion, chopped 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake dough for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle half of the cheese on the crust. 2. Crumble the sausage into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon, and sprinkle over the dough crust. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the sausage. 3. Add mushrooms and onion to the skillet; cook and stir until the onion is tender. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, salt, fennel seed and garlic powder. Spoon over the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top. 4. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crust is golden brown

Heavenly Filled Strawberries

36 Servings Prep/Total Time: 20 min. Ingredients • 1 pound fresh strawberries • 2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract • Grated chocolate Directions
• Remove stems from strawberries; cut a deep "X" in the tip of each berry. Gently spread berries open. • • In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and extract until light and fluffy. Pipe or spoon about 2 teaspoons into each berry; sprinkle with chocolate. Chill until serving. • Yield: about 3 dozen.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Grilled Chicken with Apricot-Balsamic Glaze

Serves 6-8 2 Tbs. unsalted butter 1/2 cup apricot preserves (preferably without corn syrup; I like St. Dalfour's) 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 1/4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary Kosher salt Vegetable oil for the grill Two 4-lb. chickens, each cut into 8 pieces, or 5 to 6 lb. good-quality bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, drumsticks, and breasts, each breast half cut into two pieces Freshly ground black pepper
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the preserves, vinegar, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and a large pinch of salt; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. (If making ahead, store covered in the refrigerator. Before using, warm over low heat to loosen the consistency.) Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. Using a stiff wire brush, scrub the cooking grate thoroughly. Dip a folded paper towel into vegetable oil and, using tongs, rub it over the grill grate. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Set the parts skin side down on the grill. Cook, covered, until the skin is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stay near the grill, especially during the first 10 minutes, to manage any flare-ups, by moving pieces out of the way. If the chicken is browning too quickly, turn the heat down slightly or close the vents partially. Flip the chicken and cook until an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F in the thickest part of each piece, 5 to 10 minutes more. The thighs, legs, and thinner breast pieces are apt to cook a little faster than the thicker breast pieces. Transfer each piece to a platter when done and tent with foil. When all the chicken is done, brush it with the glaze on all sides. Return the chicken to the grill and cook for another minute or so on each side to caramelize the glaze. Brush the chicken with any remaining glaze and serve. make ahead tips The apricot glaze can be made up to a day ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator. Before using, warm over low heat to loosen the consistency.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Jamaica Margaritas

Jamaica Margaritas - pronounced HA-MY-KA Hibiscus blossoms can be found at Latin grocery stores. Boiling the blossoms in a sugar-water mixture and then steeping infuses more flavor than just steeping them in warm water • Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup margarita and 1 lime slice) Ingredients • 1 cup dried hibiscus blossoms (about 2 ounces) • 3 cups water • 3/4 cup sugar • 1 1/4 cups tequila • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice • 1/3 cup Triple Sec or other orange-flavored liqueur • 8 lime slices Preparation
Place blossoms in a strainer; rinse under cold water. Combine blossoms, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Strain; discard blossoms. Cover and chill hibiscus mixture. Combine hibiscus mixture, tequila, juice, and Triple Sec. Serve over ice. Garnish with lime slices

Friday, May 4, 2012

Kentucky Pie

Servings: 2 pies Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 1 hour Difficulty: Easy Ingredients 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted 1 cup sifted self-rising flour 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels, melted 2 cup sugar 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 2 cup chopped pecans 2 (9-inch) deep dish unbaked pie shells or 3 (9-inch) unbaked regular pie shells Ice cream, optional Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine eggs, sugar, and melted chocolate in large bowl. Add flour and mix well, stirring in remaining ingredients except for pie shells. Bake 50 -60 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream. Freezes well!! Recipe Courtesy of Paula Deen

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Homemade Kettle Corn

- 1/4 cup vegetable oil - 1/2 cup popping kernels - 1 1/2 tbsp white sugar - 1 tsp salt In a large, non-stick skillet with lid, warm oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough (you will be able to tell by flicking water onto the pan – if it bubbles, then it’s ready), add the popcorn kernels, swishing the pan around the coat them in the oil. Add the sugar and make sure the kernels are coated. This is what will give the popcorn its candy coating. Put the lid on the pan and shake the pan often, increasing the frequency of the shaking when the popcorn starts to pop. This is very important as it prevents the kernels from burning. Once it sounds like all the kernels have popped, remove the pan from heat and carefully open the lid. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the popped corn and toss gently to coat. Makes one big popcorn bowl (good for two ravenous snackers).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Italian-Style Rice

Ingredients • For the Pesto: • 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves • 3 tablespoons pine nuts • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated • Salt and pepper • 1/2 cup EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil • • For the Italian-Style Rice: • 1 package Uncle Ben’s® Rice • 2 to 3 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil • 1/2 pound pork or turkey sausage • 1/4 cup Pesto • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese Yields: 4-6 Preparation For the Pesto: Into the bowl of a food processor, place the garlic, basil, pine nuts, cheese and salt. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. With the food processor still running, stream in 1/2 cup of EVOO into the mixture until it becomes a smooth paste. Set aside. For the Rice: Prepare rice to package directions. In a large pan, heat a few tablespoons EVOO over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks. Add pesto and rice. Toss until coated. Top with cheese and serve. Rachael Ray

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Strawberry or Raspberry Margarita

Ingredients o 1 cup strawberries or 1 cup raspberries o 1/2 cup lemon juice o 1/2 cup lime juice o 1/4 cup superfine sugar o 1 pinch salt o 1 cup agave tequila o 1/2 cup triple sec o 1 cup Chambord raspberry liquor ( or raspberry liquer) Directions
1. Puree berries in food processor, add juice, sugar and salt. 2. Strain into pitcher. 3. Add tequila, triple sec, chambord, and 1 cup crushed ice. 4. Stir or shake thoroughly, 20 to 60 seconds. 5. Divide 1 cup ice into slated glasses, pour mix over. 6. Serve immediately.

Crockin' Lasagna

Ingredients: 2 lbs. fully cooked ground hamburger meat 2 jars favorite marinara sauce (15oz) 1 box uncooked lasagna noodles 2 lb. tub ricotta cheese 1 cup mozzarella cheese 1 egg, beaten Italian seasoning to taste Fresh baby spinach
Directions: Brown hamburger meat and add marinara sauce. Let simmer for 20 minutes. (You can also make your own marinara sauce). While simmering, in a bowl combine your ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and egg, Italian seasoning to taste and mix well. Spray the crock with cooking spray, and start your layers of 1) meat sauce 2) uncooked lasagna noodles 3) ricotta cheese mixture 4) spinach. Repeat layers one more time. Top with remaining meat sauce and cheese. Cook on low for three hours, any longer will overcook the noodles! To cut in half, use a smaller crock pot and check to see if it's done after 2 1/2 hours instead of 3 and make sure your pot is at least half to 3/4 full for best results. If you have any leftovers, this freezer really well