Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Zucchini Oven Chips

Recipe makes 4 servings

This is such a tasty and healthy snack, and so simple. Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light magazine, and a real "Keeper" in my family! Wonderful to dip in Ranch dressing too! The kids even ask for this as a snack!

* 2 1/2 cups zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
* 1/4 cup dry Italian style breadcrumbs
* 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
* 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons whole milk
* Pam cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°F
Combine all ingredients except for zucchini in a medium bowl, stirring well
with a whisk.
Place milk in shallow bowl.
Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with Pam cooking spray.
Place rack on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 425°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until browned and slightly crisp.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

She Loves Wine's Favorite Tomato & Olive Spaghettini

This recipe was on the cover of "Dazzling Delightful Delicious" - I tweaked the original and made this for Nick about the time he started at Ball State - as he says, "It's better than most restaurant dishes!"

Serves 6

18 oz good quality pasta, preferably spaghettini
1/4 cup extra virgin Olive Oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
12 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
9 oz black olives
Some shredded chicken from grocery store rotisserie chicken (Sam's best) – I added this
2 TBSP Olive tapenade ( I used this) OR 2 TNSP Pesto
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish
A few shakes of garlic salt
Fresh black pepper
Freshly grated parmesan, to serve

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and cook gently for about 1 minute or until fragrant.. Add the tomatoes and olives, then increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring for 1 -2 minutes until warmed through. Season to taste.

Drain the cooked pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Toss the pasta with the tomato mixture, adding some of the reserved water is the sauce is too dry. Add any of the optional ingredients and the parsley Check seasoning and adjust. To serve...... divide pasta among 6 bowls, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and extra parsley.

Paula Deen's 5 Star Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

Easy - 2 dozen cookies

1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

Beat in the egg.
Then beat in the vanilla extract.
Beat in the cake mix.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls.

Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes.

The cookies will remain soft and "gooey."
Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Deen Family Fried Baked Potato

Easy Serves:

1 serving

1 large baked potato, flesh scooped out
1/2 cup grated Cheddar Jack
2 to 3 tablespoons cream cheese
1/4 cup bacon bits
1/2 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
Melted butter, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Scoop out baked potato. Add Cheddar, cream cheese, bacon, and House Seasoning and seasoning salt, to taste. Stuff the potato skin with the filling. Bake the potato for about 10 minutes, or until heated through, or fry the potato until crispy. Add melted butter as topping.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Mashed Potato Skins from Paula Deen


6 servings

These potatoes taste like skins with the works and sour cream but they are boiled, not fried. The bacon is baked on a slotted broiler pan so the fat falls away. The sour cream is replaced with buttermilk, which is tangy but made from skimmed milk. I use whole milk Cheddar but it is super sharp so a little goes a long way!

6 slices bacon
2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes, halved
1 cup buttermilk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
1/2 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, yellow or white

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange the bacon on a sheet pan and bake for 12 to15 minutes until crisp. Cool and chop.

Put potatoes in a medium sauce pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and season with salt. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash potatoes with buttermilk and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the chives, Cheddar and fold in bacon.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Delicious Meatballs

1 package frozen meatballs (homemade if you like)
1 can Campbell's Garlic Mushroom soup
1 can Campbell's French Onion soup
Cooked noodles or rice

Mix soup in pan large enough to hold the meatballs.
Add meatballs and coat well.

Stir frequently until warmed through. Serve over noodles or rice.

Chili Dog Sundae

frito corn chips
hot dogs-grilled
shredded cheese

In individual bowls, start with frito corn chips on bottom of bowl.
Add warmed chili, followed by hot dogs (grilled is best) cut up, followed by shredded cheese, and topped with more frito corn chips.

Super easy, and the kids LOVE IT!

Easy Campfire Pizza

flour tortillas
pizza sauce
shredded mozzerella cheese
pizza toppings: pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, pineapple etc.

Cover one side of a flour tortilla with pizza sauce, cheese and topping.
Fold tortilla in half or place another tortilla on top.
Wrap gently with foil and place in wire handheld campfire basket or on grate over hot coals until cheese is melted.

It doesn't take long and you've got a meal kids and adults alike will love

Campfire Baked Potato in a Can

1 medium size potato
heavy duty aluminum foil
tin can (from veggies or beans)

Clean the potato.
Butter the outside of the potato really well, and season to taste.
Put potato into the tin can and cover top of can with foil.
Place the tin can next to a fire pit of coals and let it set for 25 minutes, then turn can 90° and cook for another 20 minutes (do not peek at potato).

After 45 minutes you will have a perfect baked potato.

Teriyaki Steak on a Stick

2 pound(s) boneless sirloin steak
1/2 c soy sauce
1/4 c vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp minced onion (can use dried onion)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp pepper

Wooden Skewers - soaked before using

Combine all ingredients except meat. set aside.

Trim off fat and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips.

Place in a large glass bowl or pan. Pour marinade over meat and toss. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. (the longer the better)

Drain and discard marinade.

Thread the strips of meat on a skewer.

Grill meat, or cook over a campfire.

Easy Broccoli Chicken Casserole

2 10 ounce package of broccoli cuts
2 cans boned chicken
2 cans undiluted cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 c shredded cheese

Boil and drain broccoli (not too done).
Arrange in dish and top with chicken.
Mix together soup, mayonnaise and lemon juice and pour this over the chicken.
Top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Orange Honey Butter

1/2 c honey
1/2 c butter - softened
1 orange
1 tsp orange rind

Beat honey into butter. Add grated orange rind, squeeze juice from orange into honey and butter, and continue beating until light and fluffy. Makes 1 cup.

Serve with rolls or toast

Campfire Stew

I remember this from my days at Fallen Timbers Girl Scout Camp.... this was the best meal I had all week!

2 pound(s) ground beef
2 large cans of campbells ABC vegetable soup
salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground beef in large skillet ; drain; add two large cans of soup. Simmer and Enjoy! MMM MMMM GOOOD!!! Happy Camping!

Sweet Cinnamon Crisps

This recipe I found on justJenn's recipe blog - I love her blog, please visit it - she posts lots of photos and it's a fun read!

These tastes a lot like the cinnamon crisps from Taco Bell, only better.

flour tortillas
cookie cutters
melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Put the melted butter in another bowl.
On a cutting board, lay out the tortillas and cut out any shape you want. If you are boring, just cut them into triangles.
Brush butter on the cut out tortilla, sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Turn over and do the same. Lay them down on a prepped baking sheet. By prepped I mean with a silpat or a parchment liner.

Bake for 5 minutes, turn and bake another 5. That’s it. Super simple, very tasty. And fun for the kids, at that!

Caramelized Bread Pudding with Chocolate and Cinnamon

This is an exerpt from the cookbook

This recipe is a lifer. I’ve been making it for more than 20 years, and every time I try to file it away, someone inevitably comes along asking for it. I brought it to my first staff get-together when I was working at Chez Panisse and, from then on, for all of the parties that followed, when I would even think of making something different, my friends and coworkers would cry out for this caramelized chocolate bread pudding. A few years later, the bread pudding gained an East Coast fan club, too. I was working at Alloro, a tiny restaurant in Boston’s Italian district. Back then, the Mafia owned all the local cafés and had a monopoly on the dessert-and-coffee crowd. Whereas the other (probably wiser) restaurants on the street obeyed the unspoken law of not selling dessert, at Alloro we broke the rule and secretly served this bread pudding to our in-the-know customers. We worked hard to keep the highly requested dessert under cover, and it seems we succeeded: both the recipe and I are still around.

A few things make this bread pudding better than most. I love custards and am often disappointed by bread puddings with too much bread and not enough pudding. So be careful to use just a single layer of brioche, which creates a crispy crust but won’t absorb all the rich, silky custard underneath. Once you break through the caramelized, toasty top layer and dig down through the luscious custard, a treasure of melted chocolate awaits you at the bottom.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 or 5 slices brioche, or good quality white bread (I like Pepperidge Farm), 1/4-inch thick, crusts removed
3 extra-large eggs
2 extra-large egg yolks
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, for caramelizing the top

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the softened butter on one side of the brioche. Cut each slice in half on the diagonal and then again into quarters.

Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the cream, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, whisking to combine well.

Sprinkle the chocolate over the bottom of a 9-by-9-inch (or equivalent) baking dish. Arrange the brioche, buttered side up, with slices overlapping just slightly, on the chocolate (there should be just a single layer of bread). Pour the custard over the bread, pressing down with your fingers to make sure the bread soaks it up. Place the bread pudding in a roasting pan, and pour warm water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the pudding dish. Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the custard is set and the bread puffs up slightly. The pudding will be springy to the touch.

Let the bread pudding cool at least 10 minutes.

If you have a kitchen blowtorch, sprinkle the sugar over the top, and torch to brown and caramelize. You could run the pudding under the broiler to caramelize if you don’t have a torch, but be careful not to curdle the custard underneath. Serve the bread pudding from the baking dish at the table, using a big spoon.

Zucchini Fritters

This is another book on my wish list....


1 large onion, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil, plus more for frying

1 pound zucchini, finely chopped

3 eggs

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

black pepper

2 to 3 sprigs of mint, chopped

2 to 3 sprigs of dill, chopped

7 ounces feta cheese, mashed with a fork

Serves 4

Fried onions, feta cheese, and herbs lift what is otherwise a bland vegetable. These little fritters can be served hot or cold. They can be made in advance and reheated.

Fry the onion in 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat until it is soft and lightly colored. Add the zucchini and sauté, stirring, until they, too, are soft.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with the flour until well blended. Add pepper (there is no need of salt because the feta cheese is very salty) and the chopped herbs, and mix well. Fold the mashed feta into the eggs, together with the cooked onions and zucchini.

Film the bottom of a preferably nonstick frying pan with oil and pour in the mixture by the half ladle (or 2 tablespoons) to make a few fritters at a time. Turn each over once, and cook until both sides are browned a little. Drain on paper towels.

Kenny Shopsin wants you to know that sliders are not really hamburgers: "They might be made of the same components, but so is spaghetti and meatballs when you stop to think about it." The meat is steamed rather than seared like a burger, the bun becomes super soft from the juices, and in the recipe below, a good amount of fried onions are slathered on top. I've had these sliders, and I'm going to side with Kenny and claim, "they are definitely the best sliders out there." Make sure you eat them the moment they're finished cooking, and don't let them sit around and catch a cold while waiting for another batch.

'My Sliders'
- makes one set of 3 sliders -

Adapted from Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin by Kenny Shopsin.

1 big yellow Spanish onion, thinly sliced
5 ounces chopped meat (20 to 30 percent fat)
Butter for the rolls
3 Martin's dinner rolls, or any soft rolls about the size of Parker House rolls, cut in half but leaving them attached to one another if possible
3 slices American cheese

1. Fry the onion slices until they're brown and crispy (Kenny slices them very thin and throws them in a pot of hot oil until they are charred).

2. Divide the meat into three equal-sized balls. Preheat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet over high heat until it is searing hot. Place the balls of meat on the griddle or in the pan and press them down with a heavy spatula or bacon weight to form patties about 1/2 inch thick. Season them with salt. Place a bacon weight or heavy lid on top of the patties to keep them smashed down and cook about 2 minutes per side, until they are cooked through.

3. Meanwhile, butter the insides of the rolls and toast them in whatever way is most convenient for you. Place the patties so they are all in a row, butting up against one another. Put the fried onions on the patties, and then top each patty with one slice of the cheese. On top of the cheese, place the tops of the buns and on top of the tops, the toasted bottoms. Then, on top of everything, place your bacon weight or a lid and cook for 1 minute to melt the cheese and steam the bun.

4. To serve, place the bun bottoms on a plate. Carefully slide your spatula under the three patties to lift them up in one piece and place them on top of the bottom buns. Serve at once.

Spinach-Wrapped Chicken Bites with Sesame Soy Dipping Sauce

This recipe is from the cookbook, "Happy Holidays from the Diva of Do-Ahead" - Diane Phillips. Buy her book!

Serves 10 to 12

These succulent bites of cooked chicken wrapped in bright green spinach will be gone in no time, so plan to have plenty of them on hand, along with cocktail toothpicks for spearing. The prep requires a little bit of time, but the result is well worth the effort.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 quarter-size piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
One 10-ounce bag baby spinach
2 quarts boiling water
Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce
1. Trim the chicken breasts of any fat and place them in a large sauteé pan with the broth, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer the chicken until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the broth.

2. Remove the chicken from the broth and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Discard the broth.

3. Place the spinach in a colander in the sink and pour the boiling water over it. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Lay a spinach leaf on a cutting board and place a piece of chicken in the center. Roll the leaf around the chicken and secure with a toothpick. Repeat until all the chicken is wrapped. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

4. Arrange the wrapped chicken on a serving platter and place the dipping sauce in a small bowl in the center. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce
Makes about 1 cup

This sauce is delicious with Spinach-Wrapped Chicken Bites with Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce, but it's equally good served with skewers of cooked beef, salmon, or shrimp.

3/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 scallions (white and tender green parts), thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and scallions, stirring to blend. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

2. Stir in the sesame seeds just before serving.

Secret Recipe for WONDERFUL Turkey

Make sure you use the broth and butter or you will not have enough pan drippings to make gravy ........and this makes the most delicious gravy and moist turkey.

3 ¼ hours | 10 min prep

SERVES 12 , 1 turkey

1 (5-20 lb) fresh or frozen turkey breast (thawed) or turkey
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (10 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1-2 tablespoon mayonnaise

Place turkey or turkey breast in a roasting pan.
(I use a foil-lined 13x9-inch pan)

Combine melted butter and chicken broth.
Pour over turkey.
Rub mayonnaise all over turkey's exterior.
Salt lightly if desired.
Roast at 300°-325°F until internal temperature reaches 170°F on an instant read thermometer. (I raise the temperature to 350° for the last approximate 30-45 minutes to crisp skin).

Remove from oven and let sit for about 30 minutes before slicing.
Note: because the butter and broth are for making gravy, if you need to make a lot of gravy, double the amount of both

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Balsamic Glazed Almonds

This recipe comes from one of my favorite food blog, Coconut & Lime....check it out.

1 cup raw almonds*
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the nuts, brown sugar and vinegar in a heavy sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until their is no liquid left and the sugar has dissolved, about 5-8 minutes. Add the salt and chile powder. Stir until dissolved (about 30 seconds) then pour the nuts on the the prepared pan and quickly use a spatula to separate the nuts into one layer, no touching. Cool completely before eating.

*I used skin on, but blanched would probably work just as well.

My thoughts:

This year I decided to make flavored nuts to give as gifts. However, this first recipe was all for me. Look for several new recipes in the days to come.

These are perfectly caramelized almonds with a secret. I love that the candy shell that envelopes the nut is not too sweet and not sour at all- just right. I honestly have never been much of a nut** person, but I wish I had made two or three times the amount I did.

Beef and Salsa Burritos

(From magazine ad: Beef! It's What's for Dinner)

1 1/4 pound ground beef
1 1/2 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1 package (10 oz) frozen, chopped spinach; thawed and drained
1 1/4 C. chunky salsa
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. salt*
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 medium tortillas**

1. In nonstick skillet, brown beef over medium heat 10 to 12
minutes or until no longer pink. Pour off drippings.

2. Season beef with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir
in spinach and salsa; heat through. Remove from heat and stir
in cheese.

3. Spoon 1/2 C. beef mixture into center of each warmed tortilla.
Fold bottom edge up, fold over sides - overlapping edges, and

* I see no reason to add the extra salt, but the recipe calls for
it, so there you go. You decide.
** I use whole-wheat tortillas, warmed 25 seconds each in micro.
*** I like to serve Spanish rice with mine, or salsa and chips.

Bacon Wrapped Sausages - Appetizers

1 package link sausage
1 package bacon
1 cup of brown sugar

Open pack sausage links and cut them in half. Open package of bacon and cut the slices in bacon in thirds. (I do this all at once while it is still one big slab...easier that way)

Wrap bacon around a sausage (1/3 piece of bacon around 1/2 of a link) and secure with toothpick. Put all of the wrapped sausages in a 9x13" pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar all over the top of the bacon wrapped sausages. Cover with foil. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove foil and bake at 375 for approximately 40 minutes.

Healthy Black Bean Roll-Up’s

1 pack of flour tortilla’s
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 oz cream cheese (I used fat free)
6 green onions, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
juice from half of a lime.

Mix all ingredients together. Spread 2-4 tablespoons of bean mixture on one entire side of tortilla. Roll up and place tooth pick to secure. Refrigerate over night. Cut and enjoy!

Black Bean Soup

1small onion chopped/diced
2 carrots finely chopped/diced
Saute in 1-2 T oil and cook until tender.
Add 2 crushed cloves of garlic.
Saute about 1 minute - do not brown (makes the garlic bitter)

2 cans of black beans
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 cup chicken broth /bullion
1can diced tomatoes
Cook over low heat for 5 min or until it starts to bubble.

3 T apple cider vinegar.
dash of Cayenne pepper (optional)
Cook over low heat for about 15min. or longer

Fake Baked Beans with Crispy Bacon

Time: About 21/2 hours, plus overnight soaking

1 pound dry white beans, like navy, pea or cannellini (see note)
2 whole cloves
1 small onion, halved lengthwise and peeled
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 slices thick-cut bacon
Chopped red onion, for garnish.

1. Cover beans with water to top them by 2 inches and refrigerate overnight, or bring to boil in water to cover, cool 1 hour.
2. Drain and rinse beans. Put them in a pot. Stick whole cloves into onion halves and add to pot along with garlic and bay leaf. Cover with enough water to top them by 1 inch. Simmer beans, partly covered, until just tender, about 1 to 2 hours depending upon age and size of beans; do not overcook. Add boiling water if beans look dry during cooking; they should be surrounded by just a little liquid.
3. Remove onion, cloves, garlic (if desired) and bay leaf from pot. Stir in the salt.
4. In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, molasses, vinegar, mustard powder, Tabasco and pepper. Pour mixture into beans and stir well. Add a slice of bacon to pot and bring everything to a simmer. Let simmer over low heat until beans are thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove bacon slice, if desired. Season with more salt if needed.
5. Just before serving, reheat beans, if necessary. Fry remaining bacon in large skillet and drain on paper-towel-lined plate. Transfer beans to heated gratin dish or baking pan and top with bacon and red onion. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 servings.

Note: You can substitute three 15-ounce cans of white beans, if desired. Put them, with their liquid, in a pot and simmer with the ketchup, molasses, vinegar, mustard, Tabasco, pepper and bacon as directed in Step 4. Serve as above.

No-Hull No-Seed Puff Caramel Corn

1 (8 ounce) bag barrel o' fun corn puffs (NOT Cereal)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
vanilla (optional)

Mix butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in saucepan. Cook on low-med heat for 2 min or until bubbly around edges, remove from heat. Add 1t baking soda to cause foaming (helps coat them better). Pour caramel slurry over corn pops and stir until pops are properly coated. Place in 250 degree oven for approx 45 min, stirring every 10 minute Remove from oven and pour onto waxed paper. Break apart into desired piece size.

Easy Roasted New Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Scrub and dry new potatoes
Rub potatoes with olive oil; sprinkle with coarse salt.

Place on baking sheet. Pierce with fork. Bake until tender, about 1 hour.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Orange Cocktail Pecans

1 hour 30 min prep
4 cups
· 1/2 lb butter
· 3 tablespoons orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
· 1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
· 1 1/2 lbs pecan halves
· 1 tablespoon salt

Preheat oven to 300°.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat; add in liqueur and orange zest; stir until blended.

Remove the pan from heat, add in the pecans, and toss to coat well.

Spread the nuts evenly on a large baking sheet and toast in the oven, uncovered, until golden brown, about 30 minutes, tossing the nuts from time to time.

Drain on paper towels, sprinkle salt on top; let cool completely, and serve in crystal bowls with cocktails.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Crockpot Mulled Cider

Serves 24-30
6 quarts apple cider

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tsp whole cloves
3 tsp whole allspice
6 cinnamon sticks
3/4 tsp salt
dash ground nutmeg (optional)
Golden or spiced rum (optional)

Put cloves and allspice together in teaball. You may need to use multiple teaballs.
Put all ingredients, plus teaball(s) but minus the rum, in a crockpot.
Cook on low for 2-8 hours. Basically, you're just heating it all together, which is why it can stay in the crockpot up to 8 hours.

Tip: The longer it's in the crockpot, the better your home will smell.
Stir occasionally to dissolve sugar.

Rum: The rum adds a great kick to the cider, but is optional and should not be cooked with the rest of the ingredients. Let guests add the rum to their mug accordingly, although 1-1/2 oz is the recommended amount.

Serving: I usually put a big ladle by the crockpot and let everyone spoon the cider into mugs.

She Loves Wine's Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

Now don't say "ewww" when you see what I use in these...they are not only light and fluffy, they taste great!

My preference is to always cook an egg in bacon grease but if I don't have that, I will spray the frying pan with PAM

In a medium size bowl....... add
4 eggs
a heaping soup spoon of HELLMANS REAL MAYONAISE ( NOT Miracle Whip)
2 spoonfuls of water
Beat with a whisk, it will look real lumpy, ignore that - pour into your hot frying pan and scramble the eggs. Enjoy!

Roasted New Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Cooking spray

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh minced rosemary
Salt and pepper
16 large new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into relatively uniform chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Place the olive oil, garlic, rosemary and salt and pepper, to taste, in a large re-sealable plastic bag. Add the potatoes, seal and toss to coat evenly.

Pour into the prepared baking dish. Roast the potatoes for about 30 to 40 minutes until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

Smashed Potato Chowder with variations

3 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 can sweet corn undrained
1 1/2 teaspoons bottled minced roasted garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 cups chicken broth
8 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and coarsely chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
1/2 cup whipping cream or half-and-half or light cream
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion (4)
1/2 cup sour cream

In a 4-quart Dutch oven combine potato, garlic, and black pepper.

Stir in broth bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until potato is tender.

Use a potato masher to mash potatoes slightly. Stir in bacon, 1-1/2 cups of the cheese, the whipping cream, and green onion; heat through.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with sour cream and remaining cheese.
Makes 8 main-dish servings.

Smashed Potato Chowder with Ham: Prepare as above, except substitute 1-1/2 cups chopped, cooked ham for the bacon.

Smashed Potato Chowder with Beans: Prepare as above, except substitute shredded carrot for the sweet pepper. Add one 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans) or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained, after mashing the potatoes. Substitute 2 teaspoons dried dill for the green onion.

She Loves Wine's Devine Green Olive Cheese Ball

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1/2 (7 ounce) jar stuffed green olives, sliced thin
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1/2 (8 ounce) package shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)
Mix together and form into a ball; chill overnight.
Serve with crackers.
May roll in paprika, dried parsley or finely chopped nuts or finely grated ham before chilling, if desired. Top with a stuffed green olive.

Special Cheesy Bacon Apricot Spread from Taste of Home

Taste of Home is a wonderful magazine - I have rarely made anything from there I did not care for.

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Smucker's® Apricot Preserves

BEAT cream cheese in medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.

STIR in remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate several hours for flavors to blend.

SERVE with crackers or cut vegetables.

Smuckers Orange Spiced Nuts

Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

1/3 cup Smucker's® Sweet Orange Marmalade
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (11.5 oz.) can Jif® Mixed Nuts (2 cups)

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 dashes cayenne pepper or to taste (optional)

HEAT oven to 300°F. Line 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan with foil. Lightly coat with no-stick cooking spray.

PLACE orange marmalade in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 45 seconds on HIGH. Stir in 1 tablespoon paprika and 1 teaspoon cumin. Blend mixed nuts with marmalade mixture in medium mixing bowl until evenly coated. Spread nut mixture in a single layer in prepared pan.

BAKE 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Break up mixture. Combine brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and cayenne pepper to taste. Sprinkle over cooled nuts, stirring to combine. Cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Yield: 2 cups

Smuckers King Pao Chicken

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons Crisco® Pure Peanut Oil, divided
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 green onions, sliced on a diagonal
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste (optional)
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup Smucker's® Sweet Orange Low Sugar Marmalade
1 cup Jif® Dry Roasted Peanuts
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

Hot cooked rice

TOSS together chicken and cornstarch in small bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add half of chicken. Stir-fry 3 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Remove from skillet. Repeat with remaining chicken.

ADD remaining oil, red and green peppers to skillet, stir-frying 30 to 45 seconds. Add green onions, garlic, gingerroot and crushed red peppers, cooking 15 seconds more. Remove pan from heat.

ADD soy sauce, orange marmalade, chicken, peanuts and sesame oil to pan. Cook and stir until heated through. Serve with steamed white or fried rice.

Yield: 4 servings

Smuckers Grilled Sausage with Apricot Mustard Glaze

1 pound smoked pork sausage
1 cup Smucker's® Apricot Preserves
8 tablespoons coarse-grained or Dijon mustard

HEAT broiler or outdoor grill. Combine preserves and mustard in small bowl; set aside. Cut pork sausage into two-inch pieces. Place sausage pieces on a tray under broiler or on grill.

COOK 4 minutes; turn over and cook an additional 4 minutes. Remove from broiler or grill. Dip each piece in apricot mustard glaze; return to broiler or grill and cook an additional 2 minutes until lightly browned.

SERVE with toothpicks and additional apricot mustard glaze for dipping.

Yield: 8 servings

Smuckers Chicken Salad with Rice, Pecans, Grapes and Orange Dressing

Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

4 (4 oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 1/2 cups cooked wild rice (about 1 cup uncooked)
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 cup Smucker's® Orange Sugar Free Marmalade
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Lettuce (optional)

HEAT oven to 450°F. Spray a large skillet with no-stick cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
SPRAY an 11 x 7-inch baking dish with no-stick cooking spray; place chicken in prepared dish. Bake 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken; cool and cut into 1/4-inch strips.
COMBINE in large bowl chicken strips, rice, green onions, grapes and pecans, if desired. Toss well and set aside.
COMBINE orange peel, marmalade, vinegar, salt and pepper in small bowl; stir well. Pour over chicken mixture; toss well. Serve salad at room temperature, on lettuce-lined plates, if desired.

*To toast nuts: place pecans in dry nonstick skillet; cook over medium heat, shaking pan until nuts are lightly browned.
Yield: 7 servings

Banana Nut Salad

We used to have a wonderful homestyle restaurant that was known for it's great pies.... they had many unique items on the menu, this was one of my favorites, and so easy anyone can create it quickly.

When my sons were little they used to love to make this.....

Leaf lettuce or Bibb Lettuce
Banana- not green
Whipped Cream
Chopped pecans

For each individual salad, put a piece of lettuce on the salad plate, cut a banana in half length-wise, top with cool whip and chopped pecans.

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Delights

From the book, "Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder" by Joanne Fluke. (Author's note about this recipe: "A plate of these should be in every psychiatrist's office - - two Chocolate-Covered Cherry Delights will lift anyone out of a depression)
48 cookies

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup cocoa powder
3 cups flour (not sifted)
2 (10 ounce) jars maraschino cherries
2 cups chocolate chips (6 oz package)
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk Preheat oven to 350 degrees, rack in middle position.
Melt butter and mix in sugar.
Let mixture cool.
Add eggs, mix thoroughly.
Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla and cocoa, stiring after each addition.
Add flour and mix well. (Dough will be stiff and a bit crumbly).
Drain cherries, remove stems, reserve juice.
Pat dough into walnut-sized balls.
Place on a greased cookie sheet, 12 to a standard sheet.
Press down in center with thumb to make a deep indentation.
Place one cherry in each indentation.
In a saucepan, over simmering water (double boiler), combine the chocolate chips and condensed milk.
Heat on low until the chips are melted.
Add approximately 1/8 cup of reserved cherry juice and stir to a thick sauce.
If sauce is too thick, carefully add a little more juice. Test with a teaspoon. If it doesn't glob off, it is too thick.
Spoon the sauce over the center of each cookie, just enough to cover each cherry. Make sure it doesn't drip down the sides.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Let cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes.
remove to rack to finish cooling.

Mackinac Island Peanut Butter Fudge

This recipe makes 64 pieces

3 cups sugar
1 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup water
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
5 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanuts (optional)
2 dashes salt
Butter 8 inch square baking dish.
In a saucepan, melt together milk, water and chocolate.
Stir in sugar and salt.

Over moderate heat, bring to soft ball, about 234 degrees F. on a candy thermometer, stirring frequently. Keep bottom of pan free of lumps.
Remove pan from heat.
Add peanut butter, vanilla and nuts.
DO NOT stir.
When mixture cools to 150 degrees F, stir until it loses its sheen.
Turn rapidly into buttered dish.
When firm, cut into 1-inch squares.

Toasted Almond Berry Chocolate Bark

This makes a very small recipe – only 15 pieces A delicious and easy to make bark with toasted almonds, dried berries and rich, luscious chocolate. Makes a nice hostess gift.

8 oz. NESTLÉ CHOCOLATIER™ 62% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar(s), broken into small pieces ( Or use white chocolate)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup combined dried cranberries, blueberries and/or cherries

LINE 8-inch baking pan with wax paper.

MELT small chocolate pieces using a double boiler – stirring just until melted.

POUR into prepared pan.

Sprinkle with almonds and fruit. Tap pan several times to spread chocolate and settle almonds and fruit. Refrigrate for about 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces.

Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Tiger Butter Fudge

This is my favorite fudge......peanut butter with white and chocolate fudge!

72 pieces
1 lb white chocolate
12 ounces peanut butter, chunky style
1 lb semisweet chocolate, melted

Combine white chocolate and peanut butter in top of a double boiler; bring water to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, and cook until chocolate and peanut butter melt, stirring constantly.
Spread mixture onto a waxed paper-lined 15- x 10- x 1-inch jellyroll pan.
Pour semisweet chocolate over peanut butter mixture, and swirl through with a knife.
Chill until firm.
Cut into 1 1/2- x 1-inch pieces.
Store in refrigerator.

She Loves Wine's Favorite Smoked Pork Chops

Again, another ultra easy and delish meal.....grill chops, when they are close to being done, baste them with "Tiger Sauce" found in the condiment aisle of the grocery, usually close to the hot sause. It's not hot in the traditional sense..... but it does have a little kick to it and it's less spicy on a grilled chop.

She Loves Wine's Favorite Grilled Pork Chops with Chop Lovin' Butter

This is about as simple and delicious as it comes........ grill chops basting with my "chop loving butter".........

4 Chops

Chop Loving' Butter
1 stick of softened butter
W-shire sauce

To make the Chop Lovin' Butter  add LOTS of W-shire sauce to the soft butter and  use this to baste the chops as they cook on the grill.


Bountiful Bean Soup Mix (for gifts)


1 lb. dried red kidney beans
1 lb. dried black beans
1 lb. dried red lentils
1 lb. dried brown lentils
1 lb. dried pinto beans
1 lb. dried baby limas
1 lb. yellow split peas
1 lb. cow peas
1 lb. dried chick peas
1 lb. green split peas

In a 4 quart saucepan, heat 1 quart of water and 2 cups bean mixture to boiling, boil 2 minutes. Cover and remove from heat, let soak 1 hour.
Drain thoroughly.

Wash saucepan, fry 1/4 lb. bacon chopped over medium heat until crisp, discard all but 2 tablespoons fat
OR omit bacon and fry 1/4 lb. sliced kielbasa in 2 tablespoons butter.

Add 1 carrot, peeled and chopped, 1 clove garlic, finely chopped. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft.

Add 6 cups water, 1 bay leaf and drained bean mixture to bacon mixture. Cover and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 1/2 hours.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf before serving. Makes 8 cups of a delicious fiber soup.

Makes 11 (1 pint) jars.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Shel Loves WIne Fabulous Oven Meatballs & Marina Sauce

  • Oven Meatballs
    1/2 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed (about 20 crackers or 1 cup crushed) 1 cup milk 1 pound ground beef, or a combination of ground beef, pork and veal1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon schopped parsley
    Heat oven to 350 degrees.
    Combine crushed crackers and milk in a large bowl. Set aside until all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Form into meatballs and place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes. Remove dish from oven, turn meatballs, return to oven and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until meatballs are completely cooked.
    Makes 12 large meatballs, or 4 to 6 servings.

She loves Wine's marinara

1 large onion, peeled and quartered 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks 2 29-ounce cans tomato sauce 1 29-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes 1 12-ounce can tomato paste 1/4 cup olive oil1 bay leaf3 teaspoons Italian seasoning1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese3 tablespoons sugar
Place quartered onion and bell pepper chunks in food processor of blender and liquefy. In a large stock pot or crock pot, combine liquefied vegetables with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours. Or cook on low heat in a crockpot for 8 hours.
Makes about 12 cups (3 quarts) of sauce.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Raspberry Tea Punch

Serves: 25

10 oz Apple Raspberry Jelly
6 1/2 cups brewed iced tea, chilled
6 1/2 cups Sprite
1 2/3 cups unsweetened pineapple juice

Heat jelly until it is liquid. Mix all ingredients; chill and serve over ice.

Georgia Peach Iced Tea

1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz rum
1.5 oz sweet and sour mix
1/2 oz peach schnapps

Fill collins glass with ice, add vodka, gin, and rum. Fill with sweet and sour mix. Pour peach schnapps on top.
Serve in: Collins Glass
9.7 / 10
5.0% (10 proof)467 calories91.90 carbohydrates

Long Island Iced Tea

1 part vodka
1 part 1800® Tequila
1 part rum
1 part gin
1 part triple sec
1 1/2 parts sweet and sour mix
1 splash Coca-Cola®

Mix ingredients together over ice in a glass. Pour into a shaker and give one brisk shake. Pour back into the glass and make sure there is a touch of fizz at the top. Garnish with lemon.
Serve in: Collins Glass

Daiquiri Cocktail

1 1/2 oz light rum
1 oz limes
1 tsp powdered sugar
Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.
Serve in: Cocktail Glass

9.2 / 10
22.0% (44 proof)136 calories10.30 carbohydrates

Aunt Den's Banana Bread

This is one of those recipes that goes wayyyyy back to my childhood.

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed bananas ( 2 or 3)
1 TBSP vinegar + milk to equal - 1/2 cup

Sift together - flour, baking soda and salt

Cream shortening, blending sugar - add eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluff
Add flour mixture alternating with bananas and milk mixture. Beat well after each addition.

Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for 60 -70 minutes or until done. Cool several hours before slicing.

Top of the Mountain Banana Daiquiri

This is from my honeymoon ......served at the top of the mountain in St. Thomas...many years and a marriage ago.

1/2 oz white rum
1 TBSP Banana liquor
1 oz lime juice
1 tsp sugar
1 ripe banana

* I like this best without the rum

Blend with crushed ice.

Orange Julius

It's not just for breakfast... makes 3 cups

1/2 of a 6 oz can of frozen orange juice concentrate ( 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 - 10 ice cubes

Blend all in the blender until ice is chopped into slush.... Serve NOW.

Your Momma's Strawberry Smoothie

4 - 6 oz Papaya or grapefruit juice (or pineapple or orange)
1/4 cup of frozen strawberries with sugar, thawed
1 cup crushed ice
1/2 - 1 banana

Blend the above in a blender and enjoy!

Victoria Station's Pina Colada

This makes enough for 2
2 oz Orgeat Syrup
3 - 4 oz Coco Lopez
3 oz Rum
4 oz Sweet & Sour Bar Mix
8 oz Pineapple Juice

Blend everything together with enough ice to make it slushy.....garnish with mint or one of those cool mini umbrellas or a slice of pineapple on the glass.