Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa

Chicken Enchiladas With Roasted Tomatillo Chile
This is a recipe from Tyler Florence that I'm filing here for safekeeping. He suggests serving it with Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice, so I'll post those, as well. I've served these dishes for friends on several occasions, with very good results (i.e., we LOVE it!)
by bandmom4ever

1¼ hours | 30 min prep


* 1 lb tomatillo, husked
* 1 white onion, peeled, sliced, quartered
* 4 garlic cloves
* 2 jalapenos
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
* 1/2 lime, juice of
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 medium onion, diced
* 3 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 cups chicken stock, storebought
* 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
* 1 (3 lb) rotisserie-cooked chicken, from the deli boned, meat shredded (about 3 pounds)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
* 10 large flour tortillas
* 1/2 lb monterey jack cheese, shredded
* 2 cups sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. For the salsa:.
3. On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.
4. Enchiladas:.
5. Meanwhile heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized - this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin then cook for a further minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn't burn then gradually add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat, add half of the roasted tomatillo chile salsa, some additional fresh chopped cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
6. Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and begin assembling the dish. Take a large baking dish and smear the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa. Now take the flour tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly under the broiler if using an electric stove). Using a shallow bowl, coat each tortilla lightly with the reserved salsa mix. Put a scoop of the shredded chicken-enchilada mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to enclose it. Using a spatula place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked on top. Garnish, cilantro and tomato.
7. Serve hot with Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice, the remaining tomatillo salsa, sour cream and fresh guacamole, if desired.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

You will just love this dish. So good and so quick to put together and simply delicious. Rice as a side goes very well I have even used the frozen mixed vegetables instead of broccoli. Excellent!

50 min | 5 min prep


* 4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
* 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen broccoli, partially cooked
* parmesan cheese
* breadcrumbs

1. Combine chicken, cream of chicken soup, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and broccoli.
2. Pour into a 9x13-inch pan.
3. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
4. Bake in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes.

Chicken Florentine


Serves:6-8 servings

* 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach
* 6 chicken breast halves (about 4 pounds), cooked, boned, and shredded
* 2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
* 1 cup mayonnaise
* 1 cup sour cream
* 2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon curry powder
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
* 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
* 2 tablespoons butter

Remove the outer wrappers from the box of spinach. Open 1 end of each box. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes, until thawed. Drain the spinach and put into a large bowl. Add the shredded chicken.

In a medium bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, Cheddar, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper, to taste, and wine. Whisk together to make a sauce. Pour the sauce over the spinach and chicken. Mix well with a spatula.

Place the mixture into an 11 by 7-inch casserole dish or 2 (9-inch) square disposable aluminum foil pans that have been sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Pat down evenly and smooth with a spatula. Combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top. Dot with the butter.

Wrap the uncooked casserole securely with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil. Place each pan into a plastic freezer bag and seal. Place into freezer.

Allow casserole to thaw 24 hours in refrigerator. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and foil. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes until bubbly.

Paula Deen Hurry UP Chicken Pot Pie

* 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
* 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
* 1/2 cup frozen green peas
* 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
* 1 cup chicken broth
* Salt and pepper, optional
* 1 1/2 cups instant biscuit mix
* 1 cup milk
* 1 stick melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a greased 2-quart casserole, layer the chicken, eggs, carrots, and peas. Mix the soup, chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Pour over the layers. Stir together the biscuit mix and milk, and pour this over the casserole. Drizzle butter over the topping. Bake until the topping is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.

Rachel Ray Chicken Mug Casserole with Biscuits

* 1 tube jumbo bake-off butter biscuits, from the dairy aisle of market
(recommended: Grands by Pillsbury)
* Sweet paprika, for sprinkling
* 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast pieces, diced
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 2 ribs celery and greens from the heart, chopped
* 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
* 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
* Salt and pepper
* 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 cup shredded potatoes, ready to cook hash browns,
available in sacks on dairy aisle
* 1 pint half-and-half or cream
* 1 quart chicken stock, available in boxes on soup aisle
* 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, a healthy grating
* 1 cup frozen green peas

Preheat oven according to package directions and arrange biscuits on cookie sheet. You will have 4 extra biscuits. Save them for ham and cheese or egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches the next morning. Sprinkle biscuits with a little paprika and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

In a medium pot over medium to medium high heat, cook chicken in butter 2 minutes then add veggies and season with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook 5 minutes more, add flour cook another minute. Add potatoes, then whisk in half-and-half or cream and chicken stock. Add nutmeg. Bring soup to a boil by raising heat, then turn heat back to simmer and cook soup another 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Add peas. Stir in to warm them through a minute.

Serve mugs of soup with biscuits on top to cap the mug: chicken mug pies!

The Lady and Sons Chicken Pot Pie

* 4 sheets frozen puff pastry
* 1 egg, beaten
* 4 chicken breast halves, or 2 cups leftover cooked chicken
* Seasoned salt and pepper
* 2 tablespoons cooking oil
* 1/3 cup butter
* 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 quart heavy cream
* 1/4 cup chicken base
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1/2 small yellow onion, minced
* 1 cup frozen green peas, cooked
* 1 cup chopped cooked carrots
* Pinch fresh grated nutmeg, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut each sheet of frozen puff pastry into 1-inch strips, 8 inches long. On a large cookie sheet, weave strips into a lattice large enough to cover each pot pie. Brush beaten egg onto each lattice square. Bake for 5 minutes, or until dough has risen and turned light golden brown. Set aside until ready to assemble pies. Leave oven on at 350 degrees F.

Season chicken with seasoned salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through. Remove from heat and cut into chunks. Alternatively, you may use precooked chicken.

In a large saucepan, melt butter and then slowly add flour, stirring until consistency of peanut butter, but not brown like a roux. Slowly add cream and keep stirring. Add chicken base, garlic, and onion and stir until thickened. Add peas, carrots, nutmeg, if using, and cut up chicken. Remove from heat. Fill 4 individual oven-proof bowls with chicken mixture and then top each with a pre-cooked lattice square. Bake for 5 minutes or until bubbly. Any remaining pie filling may be frozen.

Delicious Chicken Pot Pie

1¾ hours | 1 hour prep


* 1 cup potato, diced
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 1 cup celery, diced
* 1 cup chopped carrot
* 1/3 cup melted margarine
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 1 cup half-and-half
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
* 2 pie crusts (either store bought or your own recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Saute onion, celery, carrots and potatoes in butter for 10 minutes.
3. Add flour to sauteed mixture, stirring well
Cook one minute stirring constantly.
4. Combine broth and half and half
5. Gradually stir into vegetable mixture
6. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly
7. Stir in salt and pepper; add chicken and stir well
8. Pour into shallow 2 quart casserole dish and top with pie shells
9. Cut slits to allow steam to escape.
10. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling
is bubbly and cooked through.

Olive Garden Bruschetta Caprese

SERVES 6 -12

* 2 (6 inch) Boboli pizza crusts
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated


* 1 1/2 cups Italian plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
* 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Blend all topping ingredients thoroughly and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Just prior to serving, drain to eliminate excess liquid.
2. Let minced garlic soak in 2 tbsp olive oil for 1 hour. Remove minced garlic from oil before use.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F Line a sheet pan or cookie sheet with foil. Dribble 1 tbsp garlic oil over each Boboli shell, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 4 to 5 minutes, until hot, but not crisped or dried. Cut each Boboli into 6 wedges.
4. Remove to a serving plate and cover, generously, with the cold tomato/basil topping. Serve immediately.

Easy Cheesy Bread

* 1 loaf unsliced round sourdough loaf
* 1 lb monterey jack cheese
* 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
* 1/2 cup chopped green onion
* 2-3 teaspoons poppy seeds
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Cut the bread lengthwise and crosswise without cutting through the bottom

Insert Cheese between cuts.

Combine butter, onions, garlic powder and poppy seeds; drizzle over the bread.

Wrap in foil; place on a backing sheet.

Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Barr's Famous French Onion Soup

Recipe makes 16 servings
Calories 170

* 5 lbs onions, unpeeled
* 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
* 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
* 2 tablespoons paprika
* 1 bay leaf
* 7 (16 ounce) cans beef broth, divided (recommended Swanson's)
* 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or instant flour (such as Wondra)
* caramel coloring (optional) or Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
* 2 teaspoons salt
* French baguette (optional)
* swiss cheese (optional) or gruyere cheese (optional)

Peel onions and slice 1/8 inch thick, preferably in a food processor.

Melt butter in a 6-quart (or larger) stockpot.
Add onions; cook, uncovered, over low heat for 1 1/2 hours,
stirring occasionally.
(The long cooking time makes the onions mellow and sweet.)

Stir in pepper, paprika and bay leaf; saute over low heat 10 minutes more,
stirring frequently.

Pour in 6 cans broth and wine. Increase heat and bring to a boil.

Dissolve flour in remaining 1 can broth.

Stir into boiling soup.

Reduce heat and simmer slowly for 2 hours.

Adjust color to a rich brown with caramel coloring, season with salt.
Refrigerate overnight. To serve, heat soup in microwave or on stove top.

If desired, pour into ovenproof crocks
or bowls.

Top with a slice of bread and a sprinkling of grated cheese.
Heat under the broiler until cheese melts and bubbles, about 5 minutes.

Leftover soup can be frozen.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Make your own Enchilada Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 cup salsa
1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water

Add more of your favorite ingredient for your own taste.
Good reciepe though!

Paula Deen Basil Lemon Chicken Salad

* 4 cups diced cooked chicken (buy one at the deli)
* 1 rib minced celery
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
* 1/4 cup slivered almonds
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, celery, basil and almonds. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add to chicken mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill.

Tiramisu a L'orange Sandra Lee

* 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (recommended: Medaglia D'Oro)
* 1/3 cup warm water
* 1/3 cup orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
* 16 to 24 ladyfinger cookies
* 1 (1-ounce) box sugar-free cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix
(recommended: Jell-O)
* 1 3/4 cups milk
* 1 teaspoon orange extract
* Cocoa powder, for dusting

In a shallow bowl, stir espresso powder into 1/3 cup warm water until dissolved. Stir in orange liqueur. Dip ladyfingers into espresso mixture and line the sides of 4 parfait or wine glasses; set aside.

Note - If you can't find lady fingers, use those little shortcakes you find near the strawberries. I put them in the bottom of ramekins then ladeled the coffee / liquor over them, topped with pudding (I used regular, not sugar-free), and voila.

In a large bowl, whisk together pudding mix, milk, and orange extract for 2 minutes. Divide pudding mixture among the lady finger-lined glasses. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Dust tops with cocoa powder and serve.

Cheesecake Parfait Paula Deen

* 2 (3-ounce) boxes cheesecake instant pudding mix
* 2 cups heavy whipping cream
* 1 cup milk
* 2 cups sour cream
* Vanilla Wafers
* Fresh Raspberries
* Whipped Cream, if desired

In medium bowl, combine pudding mix, cream, milk, and sour cream. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Cover and chill 2 to 3 hours.

In individual serving dishes, layer pudding mixture, vanilla wafers, and raspberries. Repeat layers, ending with raspberries, serve immediately. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Paula Deen's Bobby's Favorite Goulash

* 2 pounds lean ground beef
* 1 pound ground turkey
* 2 large onions, chopped
* 3 cups water
* 1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
* 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
* 3 bay leaves
* 3 tablespoons soy sauce or w-shire sauce
* 1 tablespoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
* 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
* 2 cups dried elbow macaroni

In a Dutch oven, saute the ground beef and ground turkey over medium-high heat, until no pink remains. Break up meat while sauteing; spoon off any grease. Add the onions to the pot and saute until they are tender about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, House Seasoning, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 20 to 25 minutes.

Add the elbow macaroni, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving.
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.

Stick to your ribs cheeseburger bacon meatloaf Paula Deen

Layer bottom of casserole dish with slices of bread

8 oz shredded sharp cheddar
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup toasted plain bread crumbs
1 TBSp W-shire Sauce
1/3 cup ketsup
prepared mustard, couple TBSP
10 slices of bacon torn up in small pieces
1 pound of ground beef

Mix together with your hands
1/3 cup ketsup
2 TBSP Brown sugar

Form into a loaf and put on top of bread - put topping on it

350 oven for about 40 minutes
Pour one can of french friend onion rings over the top and put it back in the oven for 15 minutes

Parker's Split Pea Soup from Ina

Serves: 5 to 6 servings

1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)(can use grated carrots)
1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (3 small)
1 pound dried split green peas
8 cups chicken stock or water (or half and half)

If desired, throw in a ham bone or leftover ham cubes.

In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, split peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

5 Star Orange Cream Mimosa

Serves: 8 to 10 mimosas

2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (5 to 6 oranges)
1 orange, zested
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup superfine sugar
1 bottle sparkling wine or Champagne*
Strawberries, for garnish
*Non-alcoholic sparkling wine, sparkling cider, or ginger ale can be substituted

Put orange juice, zest, half-and-half, and sugar into a blender and process until the sugar has dissolved, about 30 seconds. Pour this mixture into a shallow pan and freeze until hard, 4 hours or overnight.

Remove the frozen orange mixture from the freezer and let it sit to soften slightly, about 10 minutes. With a scoop or tablespoon, scrape out a small scoop and put it into a Champagne glass. Slowly fill the glass with Champagne and serve garnished with strawberries.

Ina's Cranberry Orange Scones

Copyright, 2006, Ina Garten,

Serves: 14 to 16 scones

4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
My note: add a splash of Grand Marnier to make it even more delish!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest.

Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas.

Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture.

Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy!

Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball.

Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn't stick.

Flour a 3-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch.

Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners' sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

Note: When I turn the dough out to mush together, I do this on the baking sheet, form into a circle about 3/4 in. thick and score completely thru with pizza cutter, then brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar leaving the round intact. Baking time is a little longer, should be slightly firm to the touch. Can be presented as a round that easily breaks into wedges - keeps the insides much moister with a crispy top. I put all the dry ingredients together with food processor - including craisins and orange zest and put in the freezer, all I have to do is add the wet stuff and I'm ready to bake!

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Ellie Krieger Recipe

This is her original recipe tweaked by me.

Serves: 6 servings (1 1/2 cups each)

2 (15-ounce) can low-sodium canellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced, (about 1/2 cup)
1 small zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 clove garlic, minced
dash red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage OR Rosemary leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes
2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves ( or use cabbage and cook longer)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional

Cooked Italian Sausage or cooked pasta could also be added for more flavor.

In a small bowl mash half of the beans with a masher or the back of a spoon, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, garlic, thyme, sage, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 20- 30 minutes.

Add the broth and tomatoes with the juice and bring to a boil. Add the mashed and whole beans and the spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes more.

Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired.

Easy Lemon Linguine with Chicken

1 pound dried linuine
2 chicken cutlets, cut into fingers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
fresh basil leaves, diced (optional)

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Prior to draining the pasta reserve about 2 ladels of the pasta water and add it to the fry pan with the cooked garlic and pepper flakes and then added the drained pasta. Drain pasta well.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large grill pan over medium high and add chicken. Grill until golden and completely cooked. Remove to a plate and slice.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to a saute pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute until fragrant. Add the cooked pasta and turn heat off. Mix all together.

Remove pasta to a large bowl. Add chicken to the warm pasta and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in chopped parsley. Add the juice of 2 lemons and mix. Before serving top with Parmesan and fresh diced basil, if desired.

Sliders with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay, 2007

Serves: 6 to 8 servings

Chipotle Mayonnaise:

* 1 cup mayonnaise
* 2 chipotles in adobo sauce
* 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
* 1/2 lime, juice
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper


* 1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck, 80/20
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Cheese slices, your choice
* Mini burger buns

Burger Bar (if desired):

* Chipotle Mayonnaise
* Pickles
* Red onion slices

Chipotle Mayonnaise:

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and puree. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Preheat grill over medium-high heat.

Form the meat into 2 to 3-ounce portions, packed tightly. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the sliders on the grill. Wait until they are nice and crusty on the first side, about 4 to 5 minutes and then flip and cook another 4 minutes. When the sliders are about done, top with desired cheese and close the grill, allowing the cheese to melt.

Place the slider on mini burger buns and top with chipotle mayonnaise and any other desired toppings.

Cheesy Spinach and Bacon Dip

Courtesy of Kraft Foods
4 cups or 32 servings, 2 Tbsp. each.

1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1 lb. (16 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, in 1/2-inch cubes
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
1 can (10 oz.) RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
8 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, crumbled

Microwave all ingredients in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 5 min. or until VELVEETA is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 3 min.

Serve with tortilla chips and cut-up fresh vegetables.

To cut in half-

Cut ingredients in half; combine in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 3 to 4 min. or until VELVEETA is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 2 min. Serve as directed. Makes 2 cups or 16 servings, 2 Tbsp. each.

Prepare using VELVEETA 2% Milk Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product and PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese.

Hot dips should be discarded after sitting at room temperature for 2 hours or longer.

How to Cut Up VELVEETA:

Cut VELVEETA (the whole loaf) into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Then, cut each slice crosswise in both directions to make cubes.
Creative Leftovers:

Refrigerate any leftover dip. Then, reheat and toss with your favorite hot cooked pasta.

Use Your Slow Cooker:

When serving this dip at a party, pour the prepared dip into a small slow cooker set on LOW. This will keep the dip warm and at the ideal consistency for several hours. For best results, stir the dip occasionally to prevent hot spots.

Paula Deen's Toffee Brownies

I know, I know, the last thing we need is a brownie with even MORE calories... but for a splurge or a girls' night...try these!

1 (17.6-ounce) package brownie mix with walnuts
Vegetable oil cooking spray
3 (6-ounce) candy bars with almonds and toffee chips - Symphony brand)

Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.

Line a 13 by 9-inch cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. Spoon in half of the brownie batter and smooth with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Place the candy bars side by side on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter.

Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely, then lift from the pan using the edges of the foil. This makes it easy to cut the brownies into squares.

Brenda's BBQ Chicken

12 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup olive oil
2 cups Sprite or any lemon lime soda
1 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

: In a medium bowl combine the oil,soda, soy sauce and garlic powder.
Stir thoroughly until you have a good mixture.
Put chicken and marinate together in a plastic container and marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 7 hours. For best results I'd suggest you marinate overnight.

Barbecue this chicken slowly over a charcoal or gas fire. Turn it frequently to avoid overcooking. Baste it with marinade each time you turn it. Cook until meat is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear. Make sure you throw out any marinade that's left over. I tell you more about why in a future post.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Party Sandwiches

2 packages of 24 party rolls such as Hawaiian rolls
1 stick butter, softened
2 TBSP prepared mustard - I used Dijon
2 TBSP poppy seed (optional)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
8 oz shaved lunch meat ( ham, cajun turkey, roast beef)
6 oz Swiss cheese

Without tearing the rolls into individual rolls, slice the block of rolls in half ...

Combine the butter, mustard, poppy seed and W-shire sauce together... coat both side of the bread with this mixture ... top with meat and cheese... wrap in foil and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fusilli with Spinach and Sun-Dried-Tomato Pesto

Recipe Provided By: Food & Wine

3/4 cup pine nuts
10 drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
5 drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 pound fusilli
1/4 pound spinach leaves, shredded
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1. In a small frying pan, toast the pine nuts over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; remove from the pan. Or toast the pine nuts in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. In a blender or food processor, put 1/4 cup of the pine nuts, the whole sun-dried tomatoes, the oil, water, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Puree until smooth.
3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fusilli until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.
4. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, toss the pasta with the remaining 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the pesto, the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, the spinach, cherry tomatoes, and Parmesan.

Yield: 4 servings

Spinach Bow Tie Pasta with Feta Cheese

It is so easy to make and the kids like it too! If you can find "Girard's Light Chapagne Salad Dressing" in your grocery, use this. Otherwise, a light italian will substitute fine. (Fat free's are too sweet)
by Pam-I-Am

25 min | 15 min prep


* 1 (12 ounce) bag bow tie pasta
* 1 (8 ounce) box cherry tomatoes, grape tomtoes will do as well
* 4 cups baby spinach
* 1 cup green onion, chopped
* 4 ounces pine nuts
* 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
* 12 ounces light Italian dressing (Girard's Light Chanpagne Salad Dressing preferred)

1. Boil the pasta till done (about 10 minutes) and cool.
2. Toss all the ingredients together, except baby spinach. Add about 1/2 the bottle of the dressing and refridgerate.
3. When you are ready to serve, add spinach and more dressing to your taste. (About another 1/4 of the bottle) Serve.


serves 6

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup dry white wine
1 14-ounce can diced peeled tomatoes with juices
1 cup whipping cream
6 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 pound penne pasta
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes.
Add sausage and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 7 minutes.

Drain any excess drippings from skillet. Add wine to skillet and boil until almost all liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and simmer 5 minutes. Add cream and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in 4 tablespoons parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat. (Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite.
Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl. Bring sauce to simmer. Pour sauce over pasta. Add 1/2 cup cheese and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons parsley.

Penne with Chicken and Broccoli

* Servings: 6 (1 1/2-cup) servings
* Calories 309
Mayonnaise makes a terrific no-fuss sauce for the chicken and pasta. What's more, using light mayonnaise rather than regular helps keep the fat and calories down.

SERVINGS: 6 (1 1/2-cup) servings

8 ounces dried whole grain or regular penne pasta (about 2-1/2 cups)
3 cups broccoli florets
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 to 1-1/4 pounds total), cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning*
2 tablespoons olive oil, margarine, or butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1. In a Dutch oven, cook pasta according to package directions, except add broccoli for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain well. Return to hot pan.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine chicken pieces and adobo seasoning; toss to coat. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add chicken; cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly brown and cooked through, stirring occasionally.

3. Add chicken to drained pasta and broccoli in Dutch oven. Stir in the mayonnaise and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.

4. To serve, top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 (1 1/2-cup) servings.

*Test Kitchen Tip: Look for this seasoning blend at a market that specializes in Hispanic foods.


Serves 6

6 cups Farfalle pasta
3/4 cup sliced red pepper
4 green onions, sliced
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
2/3 cup shredded fresh basil
2 cups lightly packed fresh spinach
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced

Cook pasta until firm but tender.
Drain and rinse under cold water; drain again very well.
Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic. Add pasta, red pepper, onions, feta cheese and half of the shredded basil; toss gently.
Stack spinach leaves and roll up tightly; cut crosswise into thin strips. Add to salad along with tomatoes and remaining basil; toss gently.

Sesame Orange Beef

Toasted sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil give this beef-and-fruit stir-fry a delightful double dose of nutty flavor.
SERVINGS: 4 (3/4 cup beef mixture and 1/2 cup cooked rice) servings

8 ounces fresh green beans, halved crosswise
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup bias-sliced green onions
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cooking oil
12 ounces boneless beef sirloin steak, thinly sliced
2 cups hot cooked brown rice
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned or thinly sliced crosswise

1. In a covered medium saucepan, cook green beans in a small amount of boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook sesame seeds over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Set aside.

3. For sauce: In a small bowl, combine orange juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and orange peel; set aside.

4. Coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium-high heat. Add green onions, ginger, and garlic to hot skillet; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the precooked green beans; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove vegetables from skillet.

5. Carefully add oil to the hot skillet. Add beef; stir-fry about 3 minutes or until desired doneness. Remove from skillet.

6. Stir sauce; add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Return meat and vegetables to skillet. Heat through, stirring to coat all ingredients with sauce. Serve over hot cooked brown rice. Top with orange sections and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Makes 4 (3/4 cup beef mixture and 1/2 cup cooked rice) servings.

Oriental Pasta Salad

6 servings

1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
8 ounces penne pasta, cooked
1 head white Salad Savoy, shredded
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons sliced green onions
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic.
2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the sesame seeds; toss with the dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve

Linguine With Sun-Dried Tomatoes Weight Watchers

6 oz uncooked linguine
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed w, about 30 - oil
nonstick cooking spray
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cup coarsely chopped spinach
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add linguine;
cook 7 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander; rinse under very hot
water. Set aside. 2. Place cornstarch in bowl. Gradually add broth;
stir with a whisk until blended. Add tomatoes; set aside. 3. Coat Dutch
oven with cooking spray; add oil. Place over medium-high heat until hot.
Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Add broth mixture; bring to a boil.
Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Return linguine to pan. Stir in
spinach, salt, and pepper; toss well. Spoon mixture onto plates; sprinkle
with cheese and pine nuts. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup pasta
mixture, 1 tablespoon cheese, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pine nuts). Selections:
2B, 3 FR/V, 1 FA, 40 C. Per serving: CAL319 (29% from fat); PRO 15.3 g;
FAT 10.4 g (sat 2.3 g); CARB 44.5 g; FIB 8.6 g; CHOL 5 mg; IRON 4.8 mg; SOD
514 mg: CALC 185 mg.

Recipe by: Weight Watchers Magazine, May/June 1997, page 70


1 package (16 ounce) wagon wheel pasta, cooked as package directs, drained
1/2 pound Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar cheese, diced
1 cup frozen tiny peas, thawed
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup baby zucchini, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1 sweet red pepper cored, seeded and diced

2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon salad mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all salad ingredients in large bowl. Blend all dressing ingredients in small bowl. Fold dressing into salad. Store in refrigerator or cooler. (Dressing is excellent for potato salad too!)

ROAD TRIP ROLL-UPS Turkey Sandwiches

8 large flour tortillas
1 package (8 ounce) Cream Cheese
1 package (8 ounce) sour cream
16 large turkey breast slices
1 package (7 ounce) fresh spinach leaves, rinsed well and drained
1 package (4 ounce) alfalfa sprouts, rinsed and dried
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 pound Wisconsin Provolone cheese, shredded

Spread each tortilla with 1 ounce cream cheese then 1 tablespoon sour cream. Arrange 2 turkey slices atop each, then divide spinach leaves, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, and cheese evenly over turkey. Roll up each filled tortilla tightly from one side to the other, securing with toothpicks. Chill. At serving time, cut crosswise into slices for tasty wheel-shaped sandwiches.

Variation: Use vegetable flavored wraps instead of tortillas; ham or other meat slices; sliced olives; chopped roasted red peppers; shredded carrots; Cheddar or Baby Swiss.


2 cups strawberries,* hulled and halved
2 containers (6 ounces) strawberry yogurt
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1-1/2 cups milk

* You may substitute any fresh fruit.

Cooking Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Cover and blend until well-mixed (about 30 seconds).

Pour into 6 glasses and serve immediately.


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 mini graham cracker pie crusts*
1-1/3 cups berries (6 ounces)**

*You may substitute one 6-ounces graham cracker crust for the mini crusts, if desired. Refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving for ease in cutting.

**Any fresh berry may be used.

Cooking Directions:

Beat cream cheese in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add brown sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla; mix well. Divide cream cheese filling among tart shells, spreading evenly, then top with berries.


4 baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
2 cups water
1 can (12 ounces) can evaporated milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Wisconsin Mild Brick cheese
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook potatoes in microwave on high until tender; cool. Place butter and onions in large bowl. Cook in microwave on high until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour; add bouillon granules and water. Stir well; return to microwave and cook on high for 2 minutes until mixture is heated. Scoop out potatoes, leaving pieces in chunks. Add potatoes, evaporated milk, cheese and seasonings to hot mixture. Return to microwave and cook on high 2 1/2 to 4 minutes until cheese is melted and soup is hot.


2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 cups broccoli flowerets
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded aged Wisconsin Cheddar cheese
Dash pepper

In 3 quart saucepan, combine water, bouillon cubes, onion, celery, carrot and broccoli. Bring to a boil; reduce and heat and simmer 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in 1 to 2 quart saucepan. Mix in flour; cook over low heat 2 minutes. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese, stir until melted. Stir cheese mixture into simmering vegetable mixture. Season with pepper. Do not boil. Soup can be reheated over low heat.


2 cups onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) butter
1/2 cup flour
2 quarts milk
2 bay leaves
3 cups (12 ounces) Wisconsin Medium Cheddar, shredded
3 cups (12 ounces) Wisconsin Aged Swiss, shredded
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 pinch nutmeg
1 1/2 cups pale ale

Sauté onion and garlic in butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring frequently over medium heat about 5 minutes. Whisk in milk. Add bay leaves; cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Stir in cheese gradually; cook just until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg; remove bay leaves. Stir in beer reserve.


1/2 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cups small broccoli florets
1 cup chicken broth, boiling
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
8 ounces (1/2 pound) cooked Polish sausage, cubed
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup beer
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter

In medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add onion, carrots and broccoli. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

Add chicken broth; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8 minutes.

In large saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium-high heat. Stir in flour, dry mustard and pepper. Add milk, stirring until thickened. Stir for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

Cut cream cheese into cubes and stir in until smooth.

Stir in vegetable mixture, sausage, 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese and beer. Heat to serving temperature. Top each serving with remaining cheese.


1 pound savoy cabbage
1 quart beef broth
2 mild Italian sausages (1/2 pound)
8 ounces Wisconsin Aged Cheddar cheese
3 ounces Butter
6 slices country bread, about 1/2-inch thick (3-1/2 x 4-inch slices), cut in half

Preheat oven to 325º F. Clean and wash cabbage leaves. Cook in boiling water 5 minutes or until limp. Drain well and cut in juliennes. Set aside. In 2-quart saucepan, bring beef broth to a boil with the sausages. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes until thoroughly cooked. Remove from broth and cut into thin slices. Set aside. Cut Cheddar cheese into thin slices. Set aside.

Melt butter over low heat. In oven-proof casserole (preferably terra cotta), arrange 3 of the bread slices. Layer with the cabbage, sausage, cheese, and remaining bread. Drizzle top layer of bread with melted butter. Gently pour the boiled broth over the top. Bake about 30 minutes, until the top bread layer is crisp and soup is thoroughly heated. Spoon into soup bowls. Season to taste.


For 6 servings:
1/2 pound thin sliced ham
1/2 pound Wisconsin Swiss Cheese
6 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 egg
12 puff pastry squares (5x5 inches each)
Water as needed

For 48 servings:

4 pounds thin sliced ham
4 pounds Wisconsin Swiss Cheese
1 1/2 cups Dijon mustard
6 eggs
96 puff pastry squares (5x5 inches each)
Water as needed

Lay puff pastry squares out on a lightly floured surface. Place 2 ounces ham on half of the squares, leaving 1/4 inch border all the way around. Spread 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard evenly over the ham, top with 2 ounces of Swiss cheese.

Lightly brush the border of each square with water. Place the remaining square evenly on top of the cheese. With the prongs of a fork, seal the pastry all the way around.

Combine egg with water (1 tablespoon per egg), beat well. With a pastry brush, baste all of the squares with the egg wash, and prick top with fork. Place the square on a parchment-lined sheet pan (12 pockets per sheet pan) and bake at 400° F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.

Serve the pockets immediately with gherkins and carrot sticks to garnish.

Note: Any type of meat can replace the ham.


8 slices firm-textured sandwich bread
Mayonnaise, optional
Mustard, optional
1/2 pound (8 ounces) Wisconsin Cheddar cheese, mild, medium or sharp, grated
3 to 4 tablespoons butter, softened

Spread bread slices with a thin layer of mayonnaise and/or mustard. Evenly divide the grated Cheddar over four slices of the bread. Top with remaining four slices.

Heat half of the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches in skillet. Spread remaining butter over top slices of bread. Cover skillet. Cook about 3 minutes, until underside is golden brown. Carefully flip sandwiches with spatula and continue cooking, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese is melted and underside is browned. Serve immediately.

Tip: Using 2 to 3 ounces of processed cheese to replace part of the Cheddar imparts a creamy, silky sandwich. Processed cheese was traditionally used in grilled cheese


By Chef Kent Rathbun, Abacus Restaurant and Japser’s Restaurant, Dallas, TX

2 pounds red potatoes, washed
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
8 ounces (1/2 pound) smoked bacon, diced and cooked crisp
1 cup sour cream
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin Aged Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss potatoes, canola oil and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in large bowl. Place potatoes on rimmed baking sheet, and bake until potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on size. Meanwhile, fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.

When potatoes are baked and cool enough to handle, quarter them or cut in large chunks and place in a large mixing bowl. Add bacon (reserving 1/3 cup), sour cream, green onions and Aged Cheddar. Season with remaining kosher salt and black pepper. Fold all ingredients carefully, being careful to leave the potatoes chunky. Scatter reserved bacon over. Best served warm.

Franks & Beans, Hawaiian Style

makes 4-6 servings

4 cups canned or homemade beans, about 2 cans
4 hot dogs or sausages, any kind you like, sliced into bite sized chunks
1 cup canned pineapple chunks
3 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon mustard, any kind you like

Dump all of the ingredients into a large saucepan or dutch oven and gently heat through. Season to taste with additional mustard, ketchup, etc. Enjoy!


By Chef Tom Catherall, Here to Serve Restaurants, Atlanta, GA

3 pounds white onions (3 or 4 large)
4 medium leeks
4 ounces pancetta, in 1 piece
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cups chicken stock
3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 to 1 cup fruity red wine, such as Merlot or Beaujolais
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 slices rustic country style bread
2 garlic cloves, peeled, halved
3 ounces Wisconsin Parmesan cheese, in 1 chunk
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Peel onions and cut in half lengthwise. Thinly slice crosswise. Trim leeks and cut in half lengthwise. Slice crosswise in 1/4-inch slices, using 3 inches of pale green. Place leeks in cold water and rinse to remove dirt. Drain. Reserve onions and leeks.

Unroll pancetta and dice into 1/4-inch pieces. Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook until some of the fat has been rendered, about 5 minutes. Add onions and leeks. Sauté 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add stock and simmer 30 minutes. Stir vinegar, wine, salt and pepper into soup. Cook until thoroughly heated.


Toast bread slices and rub with peeled garlic clove halves.

Final Preparation:

Spoon soup into soup bowls. Float bread croutons in soup. Pare 4 or 5 shavings of the cheese on top of each serving. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Creative Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

Serves/Makes: 6
Ready in: > 5 hrs

* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 3 cloves garlic
* 1 yellow onion, diced
* 1/4 cup dry white wine
* 1 can (35 oz. size) plum tomatoes, chopped with juices PLUS
* 1 can (12 oz. size) plum tomatoes, chopped, with juices
* 1 tablespoon oregano
* 1 tablespoon basil
* 1 dash red chili flakes
* 1/8 teaspoon sugar
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 tablespoon fresh basil, thinly sliced, if desired
* Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
* 1 pound spaghetti
* Freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a saute pan over medium heat, warm olive oil, add the onion and saute until soft and lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Slice and add the garlic cloves and saute about 1 minute more. (if using meat, add at this time and saute until browned).

Drain pan of excess fat, add the wine and simmer until it is almost completely evaporated. Add the tomatoes and juices. Then add bay leaf, seasonings and salt and pepper, to taste

Transfer sauce to crockpot, cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Uncover, stir thoroughly, then leave cover off crockpot and turn heat to high. Cook, uncovered, for 1 more hour to thicken sauce. *

Cook pasta per package directions in generously salted boiling water. Drain the pasta well and put it in a warmed large, shallow bowl. Add a sprinkling of chopped basil to the sauce, remove the bay leaf and pour the sauce over the pasta. Toss gently and serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

*At this point the sauce can also be frozen. Divide into smaller portions and cool in refrigerator. Wrap, label, and freeze the sauce up to 3 months. To thaw and reheat, thaw sauce overnight in refrigerator. Pour into skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 15-20 minutes or until sauce bubbles and is thoroughly heated.

Spicy Chicken Wings in Crockpot

Serves/Makes: 4
Ready in: 2-5 hrs

* 2 pounds chicken wings


* 1 cup your favorite hot sauce
* 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
* 1/2 cup soy sauce
* Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut off and discard wing tips. Cut each wing into 2 sections. Rinse chicken; pat dry.

Place chicken on the rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for about 10 minutes, or until chicken is nicely browned, turning to brown both sides evenly. Transfer chicken to crockpot.

In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour over chicken wings in crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours or on HIGH for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Chipotle Barbecue Ribs in Crockpot

Serves/Makes: 4
Ready in: > 5 hrs

* 2 slabs (4 lbs each) pork spareribs
* Salt and pepper, to taste
* 1 large yellow onion (sliced)
* Chipotle powder or pureed chipotle peppers, to taste
* 1 bottle barbecue sauce

Cut ribs into serving portions (usually, two ribs). Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Place ribs on a broiler pan and broil for 10 to 12 minutes on each side or until browned. Drain as needed.

Place sliced onion in a layer in the crockpot. Mix chipotle and barbecue sauce together.

Place rib sections on top of onions. Pour a little barbecue sauce mixture over each section as you place it in the crockpot. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top.

Cover and cook on low heat for about eight hours.

Carbonnades Flamandes in Crockpot

This slow-cooker interpretation of a Belgian beef stew called is cooked with a delicious secret ingredient: beer. It can be made up to a day in advance, making it perfect if you know you have a long hectic day ahead. Simply cool and refrigerate, tightly covered. Rewarm the stew gently when you are ready to eat it, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

A good recipe using beer will have a distinct light, not dominant flavor of beer in the finished dish; make sure to pick a dark beer that is full flavored. If you can't find a brown ale, use a strong, dark beer, but not a stout. You can of course, use non-alcoholic beer if the alcohol content is a concern. Beer also has tenderizing properties, making it an excellent choice for a marinade for tougher cuts of meat. Make sure to allow enough time for the flavors to blend. Soups, stews and other slow-cooked dishes made with beer taste better than quick sauces make by deglazing a skillet.

Believe it or not, in moderation, beer actually has some healthy properties. It contains vitamins and minerals that help you concentrate, increase blood circulation, stimulate the metabolism, and are good for nerve production. The hops, low alcohol content, and carbonation help relax the body. Just what I needed after a day like yesterday!

Belgian Beef Stew Recipe
Ready in 5 hrs

* 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
* 2 pounds bottom round, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
* 2 yellow onions, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
* 3/4 pound sliced cremini or white button mushrooms
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 cups brown ale or dark beer
* 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
* 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1 bay leaf
* 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, for garnish

Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dry beef thoroughly and season with salt and pepper. Add half of beef to skillet and brown in batches on all sides, turning frequently, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker and brown the remaining beef. Transfer to the slow cooker.

Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the remaining teaspoons oil, and add onions, stirring frequently until nicely caramelized, about 7-8 minutes. Set onions aside.

Add mushrooms to skillet and cook, stirring often, until they give off their liquid and it evaporates to a glaze, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mushrooms; cook for 10 seconds, then stir and cook for 30 seconds more.

Pour in beer; bring to a boil, whisking constantly to reduce foaming, until thickened and bubbling, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the slow cooker, layering with the beef and the onions.

Add carrots, onion, garlic, mustard, caraway seeds, salt, pepper and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat until the beef is very tender, about 8 hours. Discard the bay leaf before serving.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving.

Crockpot Chocolate Fondue

Serves 4
Ready in: 1-2 hrs

* 20 ounces fine quality sweet milk chocolate, broken into pieces
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* Pound cake or Angel food cake and fruit (such as strawberries, bananas, apples, and plums), cut into bite sized pieces

Place chocolate pieces in slow cooker and cook on high setting until chocolate melts, stirring constantly. Turn slow cooker to low setting.

Incorporate the vanilla and heavy cream, until smooth. Continue to keep warm on low setting while serving. Serve with cake, strawberries, bananas and other fruit as dippers.

Crockpot Split Pea Soup Recipe

4 Servings
Ready in: > 5 hrs

* 1 pound green split peas
* 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 1 smoked ham bone or ham hock
* 1 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
* 1 cup Spanish onions, finely chopped
* 1 cup celery, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 bay leaves
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours, until peas are tender. Remove bay leaves and ham bone and season with salt and black pepper before serving.

Easy Beef Pot Roast Recipe

Serves 6
Ready in: > 5 hrs

* 3 pounds beef rump or round roast (lean)
* 1 package dry onion soup mix
* 1 medium onion, sliced
* 1 package (8 oz size) baby carrots
* 1/4 cup water
* Salt and black pepper, to taste

Mix soup mix and water, pour over roast, onions, and carrots in crockpot. Cook on low heat for about 8 hours, or until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper, slice beef and serve with juices and vegetables.

You can also slice and serve beef on rolls with a bit of gravy made from the drippings, or slice and chill for use in cold sandwiches.

Big Easy Red Beans and Rice

Serves 4
Ready in: > 5 hrs

* 1 pound red kidney beans
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 bell pepper, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 pork hambone
* Salt to taste
* Cayenne to taste
* Black pepper to taste
* Water
* 1 pound smoked sausage cut in ½ inch pieces
* Cooked rice

Rinse beans; place into crockpot along with onions, bell pepper, garlic, ham bone, and bay leaf. Pour enough water in the crock-pot so water is 2 to 3 inches above the beans. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.

Smash 1/3 of the beans to thicken, remove bay leaf, add smoked sausage, and cook for additional 30-60 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve hot over cooked rice.

BBQ Sandwiches Supreme Recipe

Serves: 8
Ready in: > 5 hrs

* 3 pounds beef round steak
* 1 cup chopped onions
* 1 can (12-ounce size) beer
* 3 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1/2 cup ketchup
* 1/4 cup cider vinegar
* 1 can (6-ounce size) tomato paste
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* Salt to taste
* Hamburger buns

Trim excess fat from beef; cut into large chunks. Place in crockpot. Add all remaining ingredients (except for buns). Stir to mix. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.

Remove meat from crockpot. Shred meat (two forks do the trick nicely); return meat to crockpot. Stir meat into sauce; let sit for 10 minutes.

Serve on hamburger buns.

Crockpot Barbecue Ribs

Serves 4
Ready in: > 5 hrs

* 4 pounds spareribs (or beef ribs)
* 1 bottle (16 oz size) BBQ sauce
* 1 white onion, chopped
* Salt and pepper, to taste

Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Place ribs on broiler pan; broil for 15-20 minutes to brown and remove excess fat. Slice ribs into serving pieces and place in crockpot. Add onion and sauce. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

Garlicky Rice Recipe

Serves/Makes: 4
Ready in: > 5 hrs

* 1 small green pepper, diced
* 1 small red pepper, diced
* 1/4 cup pine nuts
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 cups rice
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons parsley, freshly chopped
* Salt and pepper to taste

Saute peppers, pine nuts, garlic and rice in olive oil until rice is browned. Place in crockpot. Add chicken broth, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.

Cheddar Worcestershire Butter

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Combine all ingredients. Serve with warm bread.

Carrabas Dipping Oil for bread

1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon or a little less kosher salt (use according to your taste)
fresh ground pepper
2 dashes red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix together your dry spices. Add crushed garlic to the dry spices.

Place on small saucer. Pour olive oil over mixture. Dip with your favorite hot French bread.

Bad Breath Butter for Wings

1 cup Softened Unsalted Butter
1 cup Chopped Fresh Basil
6 Cloves Garlic -- minced
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Turn this recipe into a puzzle! [click]

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, basil, garlic, pepper, onion powder, and cayenne.

With a rubber spatula, place the mixture width-wise down the middle of a 12x8 inch sheet of tinfoil or wax paper, leaving about an inch free at either end. Roll the foil or paper up lengthwise to create a little cylinder of butter. Seal the ends of the cylinder and freeze for at least 1 hour before using.

To use butter grill, bake or fry some chicken wings. Leave them plain or toss them with hot sauce in a bowl. Then slice a few slices of butter from the roll in your freezer and toss with the wings while they are still warm

Pumpkin Syrup Butter

From Executive Chef/Owner Joe Miller, Joe's, Venice, CA:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 tablespoon Arrop Syrup*
1 ounce Arrop Pumpkin Rind*
Allow butter to soften. Mix all ingredients together with a wire whisk. Serve with berry scones or zucchini bread. *available on-line at

Brennan's Bananas Foster Butter

From Executive Chef Michael Roussel, Brennan's Restaurant, New Orleans, LA:
Based on the original Bananas Foster dessert created at Brennan's Restaurant in 1951.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 large banana, mashed
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon banana liqueur
Whip ingredients together until completely blended. Place mixture into the Butter Bell crock and serve. Recommended on warm French bread, pancakes, French toast or any of your favorite breakfast items.

Provençal Butter

From Master Chef/Owner Jean François Meteigner, La Cachette, Los Angeles, CA:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 tablespoons finely chopped black olives
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, sautéed
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Allow butter to soften. Sauté the rosemary for 10 seconds in a dab of butter; remove and let cool. Mix all ingredients with a wire whisk until well-combined. Fill the Butter Bell crock with the mixture and serve with French baguettes or freshly-baked sourdough rolls.

Garlic Pepper Butter

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
2 candied garlic cloves*
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of salt
*Candied garlic cloves: In a frying pan, place whole garlic head in 400 degree oven, covered with aluminum foil, for about 45 minutes, or until garlic is softened. Scoop out cloves when cooled. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well-combined. Serve with crusty French bread or warmed rolls.

Apple-Cinnamon Butter

2 ounce dried apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
Mix all ingredients in a food processor or with a hand-mixer until well-combined. Fill the Butter Bell crock with the mixture and serve with fresh scones, muffins or other breakfast breads.

Orange Flavored Butters

From Executive Chef Claude Millien, Brazilian Court, Palm Beach, FL

Orange Butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
2 teaspoons sugar
Juice from one medium sized orange
Zest from one orange
Zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liquor (optional)
Blanch the zest of the orange and lemon, then chop finely. Mix all ingredients together until well-combined. Fill the Butter Bell crock with the mixture and serve. Goes well with warm croissants, toast or even as a spread for crepes or pancakes.

From Executive Chef Peter Roelant, The Wine Bistro, Studio City, CA:

Orange Honey Butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
1 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 tablespoon orange preserves
1/2 tablespoon orange blossom honey
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl with wire whisk until well-combined. Fill the Butter Bell crock with the flavored butter mixture and serve with fresh scones, muffins or other breakfast breads.

Cinnamon Twists

This recipe comes from The Nibble - check them out!

Cinnamon Twists

Holiday dinners tend to be plentiful and rich, so that when dessert time comes, no one needs anything heavy. Yet, everyone wants to end the evening with something a bit sweet. These cinnamon twists are crunchy and airy—perfect for a light dessert. They can be served with ice cream or fruit salad, and are delicious plain with coffee or tea, for people who want a really light dessert. They’re actually a universal pastry—they can be served at brunch, lunch, dinner or as a snack. They’re both elegant-tasting and casual. We promise they’ll become a favorite.


* 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter,
* 1½ cups sugar
* 3 extra large eggs
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1½ teaspoons group cinnamon

Cinnamon Twists


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder until combined.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and beat until a dough forms.
4. In a bowl, stir together the remaining ½ cup sugar and cinnamon, then spread the cinnamon sugar evenly over a baking sheet or flat surface.
5. To shape the twists, measure the dough into tablespoons. Shape each tablespoon into a compact cylinder, about 2" long, then roll it with your hands on a counter top until it measure 12".
6. Fold the roll in half, then twist the roll about 3 times to form a spiral. Roll the spiral gently in the cinnamon sugar, coating it completely as you maintain the spiral “rope-y” shape. (When you roll the spiral in the sugar mixture, it will lengthen by about 1".)
7. Transfer each finished twist to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about ½" in-between. Continue to make twists and sugar them in the same manner.
8. Bake the twists, one sheet at a time, for 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. Store the twists in a large container, in layers separated by wax paper, for up to 1 week.

Makes about 44 cookies, each 7 inches long.

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

Green and white for St. Patrick’s Day, springtime, or anytime, this tasty recipe is made with reduced-fat cheddar and serves 8.

* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 medium head cauliflower, separated into florets
* 2-1/2 cups chicken broth (reduced-sodium if desired)
* 1/2 cup non-fat milk
* 4 ounces grated Reduced Fat Cheddar, or more to taste
* 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


1. In large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine onion and oil; cook, stirring, until onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer. Add broth and milk to pan and bring to boil.
3. Reduce heat to maintain gentle simmer, cover pan and cook for 30 minutes until cauliflower is very tender.
4. In blender, purée soup in batches. Return to pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in cheese and continue stirring just until melted. Whisk in dill and serve.

Sweet Flavored Butters

Orange Butter

* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 tablespoon orange juice
* 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Pecan Butter

* 1 cup butter
* 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
* 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Strawberry Butter

* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 cup puréed strawberries or 2 tablespoons of strawberry preserves
(not jelly or jam)
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
* 1 teaspoon grated orange peel or 1
teaspoon fresh lime juice
* Makes 1 cup

Honey Butter

Honey Butter

* 1 cup butter
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
* Makes 1.5 cups

Honey Vanilla Butter

* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1/2 cup whipping cream
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* Makes 1.5 cups

First cream the butter with the honey. Slowly add the whipping cream, beating constantly until the mixture is fluffy. Then add the vanilla.

Cinnamon Butter

Great on muffins, fruit breads, pancakes.........

* 1/2 cup butter softened
* 1 cup honey (substitute superfine sugar if you don’t like honey)
* 1 tablespoon cinnamon (you can add more to taste)
* Makes 1.5 cups
Mix together for a couple minutes, let set at room temp for an hour or so, mold, wrap and refrigerate or freeze.

Wonderful, Fabulous Flavored Butters

All flavored butters are made basically the same way:

Soften unsalted butter to room temperature
blend in the flavor ingredients with an electric mixer
beat at medium speed until completely blended (1 to 2 minutes

Use only fresh herbs and lemon or lime juice
Let the butter stand for an hour in a cool place, covered, so the flavors can develop; then refrigerate to harden.

Before refrigerating, you can roll the butter into logs with wax paper; press it into molds to create stars or other shapes; create balls with butter paddles; or simply press it into ramekins for serving.

Butter can be made several days in advance of use; or it can be frozen for up to three weeks.

Before Refrigerating or Freezing: Wrap it very tightly before refrigerating or freezing, in double layers of plastic wrap and freezer bags, since butter absorbs other flavors and odors like a sponge.

Herb Butters

The French create “compound butters”—seasoned with herbs, spices, wine, and other flavors—to quickly season meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables. They roll the butter into logs and cut of a slice to finish the dish. The butters work equally well as pasta sauces or bread spreads; and atop steaks and burgers.

A Basic Herb Butter
Use one of the following, or combine them -
Basil Butter, Dill Butter, Parsley Butter, Rosemary Butter, Sage Butter,
or Tarragon Butter

* 1 cup butter
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, dill, parsley, rosemary, sage or tarragon
* 1 clove minced garlic (optional)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* Makes 1 cup

Butter à la Maître d’Hôtel
This is one of the most famous seasoned butter...... great to top pastas, meat, bread.... veggies

* 1/4 pound butter
* 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon minced parsley
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

One of the most famous seasoned butters.

Herb Butters

The French create “compound butters”—seasoned with herbs, spices, wine, and other flavors—to quickly season meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables. They roll the butter into logs and cut of a slice to finish the dish. The butters work equally well as pasta sauces or bread spreads; and atop steaks and burgers.

Basil Butter, Dill Butter, Parsley Butter, Rosemary Butter, Sage Butter,
or Tarragon Butter

* 1 cup butter
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, dill, parsley, rosemary, sage or tarragon
* 1 clove minced garlic (optional)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* Makes 1 cup

Butter à la Maître d’Hôtel

* 1/4 pound butter
* 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon minced parsley
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

One of the most famous seasoned butters.

Chive Butter

* 1 cup butter
* 2 tablespoons fresh minced chives or more to taste
* Variation 1: Add 8 drops Worcestershire sauce or 1/8 teaspoon
fresh-cracked pepper
* Variation 2: Make Lemon Chive Butter by adding 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
and 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
* Makes 1 cup

This butter is delicious with potatoes, corn on the cob, and other vegetables. Use it to baste poultry and fish as well.

French Herbs

* 1 cup butter
* 2 tablespoons dry white wine
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
* 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
* 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
* 1 tablespoon small capers (optional)
* Makes 1 cup

Garlic Butter

* 1/2 cup butter
* 4 cloves peeled, puréed garlic
* 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
* 2 tablespoons minced shallots (optional)
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* Salt to taste

Variation - roast the garlic cloves first in foil with a little Olive Oil, for
about 20 minutes, squeeze to remove skin, mash... enjoy your roasted
garlic butter!

Horseradish Butter

* 3/4 cup butter
* 2 tablespoons of bottled horseradish, drained
* 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives (optional)
* Makes 1 cup

Great on beef, ham, and pork sandwiches, canapés.

Italian Herbs

* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Use this butter to baste meats, poultry, fish and vegetables when grilling, or toss with hot cooked rice or vegetables.

Nut Butters

Almond, Hazelnut or Walnut Butter

* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts
* 1 teaspoon honey or 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
* Makes 1 cup

To toast nuts: spread nuts in a pan or on a baking sheet in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes. Cool. Remove any skin from nuts and coarsely chop them.

Serve this butter with breakfast foods (breads, muffins, pancakes), potatoes and other vegetables.

Cheese Butter

* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/4 cup grated parmesan or cheddar cheese or crumbled blue cheese
* 2 teaspoons sliced green onions (optional)
* Makes 3/4 cup

Great on baked potatoes, pasta and rice

Lemon Butter

1/2 cup butter

* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
* 1 clove of garlic, minced
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
* Makes 2/3 cup

A delicious butter for fish, seafood and vegetables.

Sundried Tomato Butter

* 1/2 cup butter
* 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
* 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
* 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine butter with a pureed garlic clove and 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary. Serve with fresh rolls or smear over french bread (1" thick), place in oven and bake.


Add a squeeze of lemon juice to butter made with two tablespoons fresh thyme. Excellent served over warm vegetables.

Bread Soup

This comes from another food blogger's site...Everybody likes Sandwiches,
looks interesting to me, especially since I'm dieting and trying to avoid bread which I really love.

1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1 t dried hot chili flakes
1 t dried oregano
4 c vegetable stock
1/2 small loaf of stale bread, cubed
1 small can of diced tomatoes
1 bunch spinach
2 T Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Saute the onion, garlic and celery in the oil over medium-high heat. When softened, add in the chili flakes, oregano and some salt and pepper. Add in vegetable stock and tomatoes and simmer over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add in bread and spinach, stir and cover pot. When bread is soft and spongy and the spinach is wilted, throw in some cheese. Taste adding more salt or pepper if necessary. Serve with more cheese, if that's the way you wanna go.

She Loves Wine's Easy Pecan Pie Bars

These are so good and so rich! I usually just make them for Christmas.

Base -

1 (18.25 oz.) package of yellow cake mix (reserve 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 large egg

Filling -

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 cups chopped pecans - separated in half

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2" baking pan. Reserve 2/3 cup of the dry cake mix to use in the filling.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining dry cake mix, butter and 1 egg at low speed until well blended. Press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown.

In a large bowl, combine reserved 2/3 cup dry cake mix, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and 3 eggs at low speed until moistened. Beat 1 minute at medium speed or until well blended. Add 1 cup of chopped pecans and pour filling over the warm base, sprinkle with the additional cup of chopped pecans.

Bake an additional 30 - 35 minutes or until filling is set. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 36 bars.

She Loves Wine's Caramel Puff Corn

I'm going to blame it on the bifocals......... I misread a recipe and came up with a better one!

This is an easy and addictive recipe... it goes fast and makes a great gift!

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

1 7-8 oz bag of Puffed Corn Curls (or you could use popcorn)
1 large deep pan - I buy the throw away kind you use to roast a turkey

Empty the bag of puffed corn into the large turkey roaster... set aside

Caramel Sauce -Combine the following together in a 2 or 3 qt saucepan:

1 stick of butter (use the real thing, not margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup

Stir constantly, cook and stir for 2 minutes after it boils. After this, remove from heat and add:

1 tsp baking soda to this mixture... it will foam up high. Stir well and pour this mixture over the corn curls. Place in 250 degree oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and pour on wax paper and Break apart. Enjoy!

NOTES - My dad likes this with mixed nuts added to it.... very good

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lemon pepper spaghetti with Chicken Alfredo Florentine

Recommended wine Pinot Grigio

Serves 4

* 2 cups heavy whipping cream
* 6 tablespoons sweet cream butter
* 12 ounces cooked, chopped or shredded chicken
* Pepper, to taste
* Salt, to taste
* 1 cup fresh spinach, julienned
* 1-1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
* 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
* 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
* 1 12-ounce package lemon pepper pasta


Cook spaghetti according to package directions. In large skillet, heat cream and butter. Add mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper to skillet and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken to skillet and blend in parmesan cheese. Continue to cook sauce to a medium-thin consistency. Blend in hot al dente pasta and spinach. Serve immediately.

Linguine Primavera

Serves 4

* 1-16 oz. pkg. linguine pasta
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 3/4 cup red peppers, julienned
* 3/4 cup broccoli florets
* 3/4 cup carrots, julienned
* 3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
* 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
* 1 Tbs. garlic, chopped
* 1 cup chicken stock
* 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
* Salt and pepper, to taste

Note:This recipe works well for any seasonal vegetables, and can also be used for any shape of pasta, from Penne to Spinach Fettuccine.

Cook linguine according to package directions. When pasta is half cooked, put olive oil in large pre-heated sauté pan. Sauté vegetables with basil, garlic, salt and pepper for 6 minutes. Next add chicken stock and simmer for 2 minutes. Toss in hot "al Dente" pasta and mix well. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Pairs well with Pinot Grigio

Fantastic Fusilli

Wine Suggestion: Pinot Grigio

Serves 4

* 2 large garlic cloves, pressed
* 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1 (28 ounce) can ready-cut tomatoes, well drained
* 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
* 8 ounces fusilli or spiral pasta
* 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves, torn into large pieces
* 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
* 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts

In a medium skillet, heat garlic in olive oil over low heat about 5 minutes. Stir in well drained tomatoes and olives. Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook pasta according to package direction. To serve, turn tomato mixture into a warm ceramic bowl. Add well drained hot pasta, basil leaves, and 1/2 cup cheese. Toss well. Sprinkle remaining cheese and pine nuts on top.

Farfalle pasta with chicken, roasted red peppers and feta cheese

Ecco Domani Merlot- suggested wine

Serves 4

* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
* 1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained, finely chopped
* 6 oz. grilled chicken breast strips
* 8 oz. farfalle (small bow tie pasta)
* 2 package (4 oz. each) crumbled Feta Cheese
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Cook and stir garlic in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on medium heat 3 minutes. Add roasted red peppers, grilled chicken breast strips and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Cook farfalle pasta as directed on package, drain.

Toss vegetable mixture with hot pasta and feta cheese. Sprinkle with parsley.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Basil Pesto Farfalle W/Roasted Pine Nuts

This is a wonderful mixture of basil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Be sure to try it hot and cold, both versions are fantastic!

20 min | 5 min prep


* 1 lb farfalle pasta (bow tie)
* 4 cups parmesan cheese, shredded
* 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
* 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 3 ounces pine nuts
* salt

1. Boil Farfalle according to instructions. Al Dente works the best.
2. Meanwhile: Add 2 cups Parmesan cheese, 2 packages fresh basil, garlic, salt,
and 1/2-package pine nuts in food processor.
3. Slowly pour the olive oil while blending all ingredients together.
4. Set aside.
5. Toast the remaining pine nuts in a splash of olive oil until golden brown.
6. Set aside.
7. Rinse pasta.
8. Stir in the cheese/basil mixture.
9. Blend in the remaining 2 cups Parmesan and the toasted pine nuts.
10. Serve warm or cold.

Variations - Add any of the following - chopped cooked chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, left over steak........fresh baby spinach, or zucchini and cherry tomatoes

Farfalle with Chicken and Spinach

Servings: 4-6

Wine pairing: Red

1 box BARILLA Farfalle
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup chopped red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 pounds spinach, rinsed and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

SPRINKLE chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
HEAT oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, onion, pepper and garlic: cook and stir 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked through. Add chicken broth, spinach and remaining salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted and chicken is cooked through.
COOK Farfalle according to package directions; drain and return to pot.
ADD chicken mixture to hot Farfalle; toss. Transfer to serving platter; sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Real Simple Veggie Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 14.5-ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped broccoli
Grated Parmesan (optional)
1 1 baguette, sliced and toasted (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, 1 cup of water, the potatoes, thyme, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover partially, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, green beans, and broccoli, return to a simmer, and cook until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the Parmesan (if using), and serve with the baguette slices (if using).

Next Time, Try... Making an improvised minestrone. When you add the potatoes to the pot, also include a handful of macaroni or broken spaghetti.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Chinese BBQ Char Siu

Char siu is a Chinese version of barbecue. Serve with sticky or long-grain white rice and a steamed or stir-fried medley of bell peppers, carrots, snow peas, sliced baby corn, and water chestnuts.
Yield 8 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork and 1/4 cup sauce)

* 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
* 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
* 3 tablespoons ketchup
* 3 tablespoons honey
* 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
* 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
* 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
* 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
* 2 pounds boneless Boston butt pork roast, trimmed
* 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add pork to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Place pork and marinade in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove pork from slow cooker using a slotted spoon; place on a cutting board or work surface. Cover with aluminum foil; keep warm.

Add broth to sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Shred pork with 2 forks; serve with sauce.

Kielbasa Cabbage Soup

This is a recipe from Taste of Home
* small head cabbage, coarsely chopped
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 4 cups water
* 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
* 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, halved, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
* 3 large carrots, chopped
* 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, saute the cabbage, onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes or until tender. Combine the water, vinegar and brown sugar; add to cabbage mixture.
Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 60-70 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Yield: 8-10 servings.