Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Skillet Herb Roasted Chicken

2 T all-purpose flour
1/4 t ground sage
1/4 t dried thyme leaves, crushed
4 boneless chicken breast halves OR 8 boneless chicken thighs
2 T butter or margarine
1 can (11 oz) cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
4 cups hot cooked rice

Mix flour, sage and thyme. Coat chicken with flour mixture.

Heat butter in skillet. Add chicken and cook 15 minutes or until done. Remove and keep warm.

Add soup and water in skillet. Heat through. Serve over chicken on rice.


Sunday, June 03, 2007


Easy Bistro Chicken

2 t oil
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (15 oz) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup italian dressing
3 T tomato paste
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onions; cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, dressing and tomato paste.

Add chicken; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Sprinkle with cheese and bacon; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.



Berry Bliss Cake

Perfect when prepared ahead of time for an elegant outdoor summer dinner party!

3/4 cups cold milk
1 pkg (4 svg size) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups whipped topping, thawed
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen pound cake, thawed
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups raspberries and sliced strawberries
1/4 cup blackberries

Add milk to dry pudding mix in medium bowl. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping.

Cut cake horizontally into three layers; brush with juice. Place bottom layer on serving plate; top with small portion of berries, big dollop of pudding mixture and another cake layer. Repeat layers of berries and pudding mixture then add top cake layer. Top with 1/2 cup whipped topping and more berries. Cover loosely with foil.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.



Baked Chicken & Cheese Risotto

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
3/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix soup, water, milk, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, chicken and rice in 3 quart shallow baking dish. Cover.

Bake for 35 minutes. Stir. Bake for another 10 minutes or until hot and rice is done. Let stand 5 minutes.



White Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake

2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
unsalted butter for pans
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 T ground cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 T brandy
1 1/2 cups unsalted macadamia nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 pound white chocolate
2 cups heavy cream

Heat oven to 400F. Coat potatoes with 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and place on baking sheet. Bake until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and mash with a fork into coarse pure.

Lower oven temperature to 325F. Butter two 8 x 1 1/2 inch round cake pans, dust with flour, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup vegetable oil; beat on medium-speed until well combined. Add the cooled sweet potatoes; mix until combined.

Sift together cake flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; mix into sweet potato mixture. Mix in vanilla and brandy until combined. Remove batter from mixer; fold in 1 cup macadamia nuts by hand.

Evenly distribute cake batter into prepared pans, and transfer to the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let pans cool on a wire rach 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack, cool completely, about 1 1/4 hours.

Meanwhile, chop white chocolate into small pieces, set aside. Bring 1 cup cream to a boil, pour over chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Chill for 30 to 40 minutes.

When chocolate mixture has cooled, pour remaining cup cream into an electric mixer; whip on medium until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixtureuntil fully incorporated.

Cut each cake layer in half horizontally, creating four layers. Spread 2/3 cup chocolate frosting on one layer, then stack next layer on top, and frost.Repeat frosting and stacking until each layer is frosted. Spread remaining frosting on sides and top of cake. Arrange remaining 1/2 cup macadamia nuts on top of cake and serve.



Easy Herb Frittata

8 eggs
2 T water
4 oz shaved smoked ham, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
3 T chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Preheat oven to 350F. Beat eggs and water with wire whisk in medium bowl. Stir in ham, 1/2 of the cheese and 2 T of cilantro.

Pour into greased 9-inch pie plate; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.



Apple Crumble

1 tub (8 oz) honey nut flavor cream cheese spread
64 vanilla wafer cookies, crushed
8 small apples, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix cream cheese spread and wafer crumbs with fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Toss apples with sugar and cinnamon until evenly coated. Spoon into 1-1/2 quart casserole dish or eith (4 oz) custard cups; sprinkle with crumb mixture.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until crumb topping is lightly browned and apples are tender. Serve warm. Store with leftover dessert in refrigerator.



Warm Caramel Bananas

2 T butter or margarine
1/3 firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
2 medium bananas, peeled
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/2 square semi-weet baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup whipped topping, thawed

Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add sugar; cook until melted, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Gradually add sour cream; cook 1 minute.

Cut bananas in half lengthwise and crosswise creating 4 half slices. Add banana slices, cut sides down, and peanuts to skillet. Cook 1 minute or until bananas are evenly coated and tender, basting occasionally with sauce.

Spoon bananas evenly into 4 dessert dishes; top with remaining sauce in skillet. Drizzle chocolate on top of bananas. Top each evenly with whipped topping.


Friday, March 23, 2007


Pecan Coffee Cake

This is a delicious coffee cake that is both moist and crumbly.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Oil a 9x13 baking pan with vegetable oil or cooking spray.

In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt to combine.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sour cream, then beat in sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.

By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Spread batter into prepared pan.

To make the Pecan Topping: In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Work in the softened butter until a crumbly, streusel-like mixture forms. Sprinkle over the batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Seared Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa Spice Rub

1 T. whole white peppercorns
2 T. whole coriander seeds
5 T. ground cinnamon
2 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. ground cloves
3-½ T. unsweetened cocoa
4 T. sea salt
2 boneless pork tenderloins
2 T. extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, toast white peppercorns and coriander seeds until they begin to pop. Remove from heat and grind to fine powder in a spice mill or coffee grinder. Mix the ground pepper and coriander with remaining spices, cocoa and salt.

Trim the pork tenderloins of fat and silver skin. Rub with a generous amount of the cocoa spice rub. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Sear each tenderloin on all sides until a rich brown color, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove tenderloins from heat and finish in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Let the tenderloins rest out of the oven for at least 10 minutes before carving.

To make a sauce for the pork:

While the pork is resting, deglaze the saute pan with 2-3 T. sherry or white wine, stirring up the bits. Strain and return to the saute pan. Add about 1/2 cup chicken broth and another tablespoon of the spice rub. Cook over medium high heat so the sauce reduces somewhat. Add about 1 T. honey and continue stirring. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste (maybe a pinch of salt, possibly some more honey). Sauce should be the consistency of a thin gravy. Pour over the pork just before serving.

Extra cocoa spice rub will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 months.



Bread and Butter Pudding

I'm not a big fan of bread pudding. It's often so heavy, plus no one in our family enjoys things with raisins cooked into them. But this dessert is not a traditional pudding. It's light, delicious and goes together very quickly. Makes a very satisfying treat at the end of a meal. (The leftovers, assuming there are any, are also delicious rewarmed for breakfast!)

4 large eggs
¼ c. milk
¾ c. cream
7 T. sugar
2 T. dark rum or 1 T. vanilla
8 slices white bread
4 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled & sliced in half

Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, 3 T. sugar and rum or vanilla. Set aside

Spread top of each slice of bread with generous amount of butter. Cut slices in half diagonally. Overlap bread slices in oiled 9x13 pan. Pour egg mixture over bread and let stand 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle pudding with 2 T. sugar. Bake until puffed and golden brown, and pudding has set, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine strawberries with remaining 2 T. sugar. Let stand while pudding bakes. Serve strawberries with bread pudding.


Thursday, February 01, 2007


Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls

3 T butter, melted
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 T sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground cloves
1 (1 lb) loaf frozen white bread dough, thawed
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 T mascarpone cheese
1 T buttermilk

Brush 1 T of melted butter over the bottom and sides of an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Mix the nuts, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a small bowl. Roll out the thawed dough on a lightly floured surface in to a 12x9-in rectangle. Brush 1 T of butter over the dough. Sprinkle the nut mixture over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border along the top and bottom sides. Starting at 1 long side, roll up the dough jelly-roll style, forming a log. Pinch the seam to seal. Cut the log into 9 equal pieces. Arrange the rolls, cut side down, in the prepared baking dish, spacing evenly. Cover the dish with plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm draft-free area until puffed, about 45 minutes.

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325F.

Bake the cinnamon rolls uncovered until the tops are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the powdered sugar, mascarpone cheese, and buttermilk in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy.

Brush the remaining 1 T of butter over the baked cinnamon rolls and then drizzle the cheese mixture over top.

Serve warm.



Ham & Cheese Frittatas

8 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t salt
4 oz thinly sliced ham. chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 T chopped fresh parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Spray two mini muffin tins (each with 24 cups) with nonstick spray. Whisk the eggs, milk, pepper and salt in a large bowl to blend well. Stir in the ham, cheese, and parsley. Fill prepared muffin tins almost to the top with the egg mixture.

Bake until the egg mixture puffs and is just set in the center, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittatas from the muffin cups and slide the frittatas onto a platter.

Serve immediately.



Chicken Divan Southern Style

2 (10 oz) packages chopped broccoli, thawed
6 cups shredded chicken, cooked
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 t curry powder
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 T butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F.

Drain broccoli and put into a casserole dish. Add the shredded chicken.

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

Place the mixture into an 11x7-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, bread crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the top.

Bake for about 30 to 45 minutes.



Baked Salsa Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb)
1 pouch extra crispy seasoned coating mix
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. Coat chicken with coating mix as directed on package. Place on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly (170F).

Top each ckicken breast with 2 T salsa. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.



Italian Sausage Rotini

3 cups rotini pasta, uncooked
1 lb Italian sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup Balsamin Vinaigrette dressing
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella

Cook pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile, cook sausage in large skillet on medium-high heat 10 minutes or until sausage is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Drain sausage; return to skillet. Add tomatoes with liquid, onions and dressing. Cook 5 minutes or until onions are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta. Toss with the sausage mixture and 1/2 cup of mozzarella. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of mozzarella.


Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Brown Family Spaghetti Sauce

This recipe was created and adapted in New Mexico. My father's family is from Santa Fe, and everything there has chile powder in it. Even the Italian food. This sauce is really hearty, works well as a base for lasagna and is a super-duper sauce for any pasta. Simmer it on a cold Sunday afternoon, you'll be rewarded with a rich sauce for supper. The red wine gives this a particularly rich flavor.

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced into half-moons
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 tsp chile powder
salt to taste
24 oz crushed tomatoes
12 oz tomato paste
1 pinch each of: oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine (plus 1 glass for the cook...ha ha!)
1 small can chopped and drained black olives
2 pounds sliced mushrooms

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and carrots and saute until onion is softened. Add ground beef and continue to saute until all meat is browned. Drain off extra grease.

Add chile powder and saute for one minute. Add salt to taste, tomatoes, spices, bay leaf and wine, mushrooms and olives. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for at least 45 minutes.

You'll want to correct the seasonings and add more salt once it's had a chance to cook down.

Spoon over pasta and enjoy!


Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Maple Walnuts

I found this recipe in Martha Stewart "Living". The original plan is to serve the walnuts with sliced pears and Gorgonzola for dessert (which I did and which rocked). But the nuts have many other delicious uses, not the least of which is embellishing a nice steaming bowl of oatmeal. Dessert for breakfast!

These could also be sprinkled on a spinach salad, add crunch to a fruit and yogurt parfait, grace the top of a cake...the options are endless.

1 ¼ t. sugar
¼ t. coarse salt
1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. maple syrup
1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine sugar and salt in a small bowl.

Put butter and syrup into a sauté pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add nuts and toss to coat.

Transfer nuts to a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar mixture, tossing to coat.

Toast in oven until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Let nuts cool completely on sheet set on a wire rack.



Sage & Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin

4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. finely chopped fresh sage
1 ½ t. coarse salt
¼ t. fresh ground pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 ¼ pounds)
1 T. veggie oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together garlic, sage, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl. Rub mix all over the tenderloin.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat; add veggie oil. Add pork and brown all over, about 4 minutes to a side. Transfer skillet to oven and roast pork, turning occasionally until a thermometer inserted into thickets part of the meat registers 145-150 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork to cutting board, tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Deglaze pan with some brandy, scraping up the bits. Bring to a low simmer and add a knob of butter, stirring until butter has melted and enriched the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour over sliced pork before serving.



Bruschetta Chicken Bake

This is sooo easy and sooo delicious! But double the recipe if you are serving more than two.

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg (6 oz) chicken flavored stuffiing mix
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 t dried basil leaves
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. Place tomatoes in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, water and garlic; stir just until stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside.

Place chicken in 13x9 baking dish; sprinkle with the basil and cheese. Top with stuffing mixture.

Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?