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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Broccoli and Kielbasa Skillet

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This savory skillet dish is just too easy not to make... over and over again! The perfect ingredients for a scrumptious meal!

Ingredients:

- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 of a 13 oz. package of turkey kielbasa, sliced diagonally
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 4 cups chopped fresh broccoli
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 2 cups rice or quinoa, cooked
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions and sauté for 2 minutes, until onions become translucent. Add kielbasa and cook until it's lightly browned on both sides. Add red pepper, broccoli, chicken broth, and tomato sauce. Let simmer 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir in cooked rice and cheese. Serve and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


"What's meant to be will always find its way." - Anonymous

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Prosciutto and Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

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Talk about savory! Talk about healthy! Talk about delicious! And all in one dish! 

Ingredients:

- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
- 1 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 Tbs diced garlic
- 2 cups summer squash or zucchini, chopped
- 1 1/2 cup multi-colored cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Pierce the spaghetti squash with a knife or fork several times and place in the microwave. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Cut spaghetti squash length-wise and, using a fork, scrape out the seeds and spaghetti. Discard seeds, and set spaghetti portion aside. 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and cook until crisp. Remove, crumble, and set aside. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet along with onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Add summer squash and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add spaghetti squash, parsley, and parmesan. Divide into bowls and top with chopped prosciutto. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here

"Sometimes we just need to give it to  God and go to bed." - Anonymous



Monday, October 17, 2016

Poached Lobster Tails in Spicy Ginger Broth

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This delicate, yet spicy broth adds a unique flavor that is enhanced with each succulent spoonful of fresh lobster meat.

Ingredients:

- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper, to your desired spice level
- 1 tsp. diced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 of one lemon 
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 Tbs honey plus 1 tsp., divided
- 1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbs soy sauce, divided
- 1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 2, medium fresh lobster tails
- 1/2 tsp. grated lime rind
- 1/2 Tbs fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. minced shallots
- 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add red pepper, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes. Add lemon (rind on), vegetable stock, 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey, rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Place the lobster tails in the sauce pan, cover, and cook for 4 minutes or until lobster reaches 145 degrees with a meat thermometer. Remove tails and let cool slightly. Split tails lengthwise and remove meat from shells. Discard shells. Slice the lobster meat into bite-sized pieces. Pour cooking liquid through a sieve into another sauce pan. Discard solids and keep the broth warm over low heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon of honey, grated lime rind, lime juice, shallots, and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Stir until combined. Place about 1/3 cup of broth in a bowl and arrange lobster meat on top. Garnish with pea shoots or mixed lettuce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"Do the right thing, even when no-one is looking. 
It's called integrity" - Anonymous

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Shrimp and Potato Corn Chowder

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One of my favorite things to do is change up recipes to make the dishes a lot easier to prepare. Like this recipe for an amazing shrimp and potato corn chowder that I came across today. The original recipe indicated it took 8 hours to make this. I made it in less than 30 minutes, and it is fantastic! Seasoned perfectly, this creamy chowder, with bites of shrimp and corn, will very much please your palate and have you coming back for more!

Ingredients:

- 2 cups chicken stock (or homemade bone broth)
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
- 2 cups frozen corn, thawed and divided
- 1/2 cup of half and half 
- 2 Tbs butter, divided
- 1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning 
- 1 Tbs diced fresh chives, plus a little more for a garnish
- 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined - Tip* if you don't have a great place to get fresh shrimp, you can also buy frozen already peeled, deveined, and cooked shrimp as well.

In a medium to large sauce pan or dutch oven, heat chicken stock over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, thyme, and one cup corn. Stir until potatoes are soft. Transfer to a blender and with the lid slightly open to allow steam to escape and holding a towel over the top, begin blending on low and increase the speed slowly until the potatoes and corn are completely blended. Return mixture to the sauce pan and add half and half, one tablespoon of butter, the remaining cup of corn, and the Old Bay seasoning. Turn down heat to low. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter shrimp. Sauté until shrimp turn pink and are done, stirring occasionally. Divide the soup into bowls and add shrimp on top along with a little more chives for garnish. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"Be the type of person you want to meet." - Anonymous

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

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If you love pumpkin and cheesecake both, this is your lucky day! Well, I guess a truly lucky day would be to receive them in the mail from me. :) A wonderful dessert for Thanksgiving or any lovely fall day!

Ingredients:

- Store bought ready pie crusts
- 3, 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 5 Tbs pure pumpkin
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 Tbs corn starch
- 2 Tbs pumpkin pie spice
- pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 pie pans with crust. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, and sugar. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Divide batter evenly among the 2 pie pans. Top with pecans, if desired. Before baking, rim the edges of the pies with aluminum foil so crust does not burn. Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, shut off the oven but leave the pies in for another 30 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"Let us give thanks for the blessings we receive. 
Especially pies." - Anonymous

Friday, October 7, 2016

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Homemade Bone Broth

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Let's talk collagen! Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is the substance that holds the whole body together. It is found in the bones, muscles, skin and tendons, where it forms a scaffold to provide strength and structure. Source: Medical News Today

Bone broth is one of the world's best sources of natural collagen. Protecting joints, strengthening the gut lining, maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails, and supporting immune system function are just some examples of what collagen does for you. A lot of people, including my husband at one time, take glucosamine for pain and arthritis in joints. By drinking one cup of bone broth a day gives you more collagen than the supplements and it also includes other great minerals that glucosamine does not have. Taking glucosamine supplements to help with joint pain has been common knowledge for years, but it turns out that bone broth has glucosamine too. 

Bone broth is very easy to make. You can use chicken bones as well as turkey, wild caught fish, duck, etc. When I buy a rotisserie chicken, I save the bones in my freezer until I'm ready to make my stock. There are quite a few ways and suggestions of how to make your stock, what ingredients to use, and how long it should be cooked. Read here for one way to make your bone broth. My recipe differs in that I don't let it simmer quite as long but the thick gelatinous broth, once it's cooled, is one indication that you have got some good healthy broth. My quick and easy recipe is below:

Ingredients:

- 1 or 2 pounds of bones from rotisserie chicken
- 1/2 cup onions, roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, simply cut in half with the skins on
- pinch pepper
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar (which helps extract the minerals from the bones without leaving a vinegar taste)

NOTE: Most recipes include roughly chopped carrots, celery, and herbs to their stock. I incorporate all of that after my stock is done and I'm ready to make a good soup, because when your stock is done you need to strain it to remove all the bones. I find there are so many little cooked-down bones that it's too time consuming to remove the carrots and celery alone. For me, the garlic and onion with the bones still provides a fantastic taste.

Add the bones, onions, garlic, and pepper to a large dutch oven or stock pot. Add enough water to cover and bring this to a roaring boil. Let boil for 10 or so minutes and turn down to simmer. Simmer for 3 hours. (The longer you simmer, the more collagen is extracted from the bones. That's why a lot of recipes say to put all ingredients in a crock pot and let simmer overnight.) You may need to add water as it begins to evaporate. The bones provide such good flavor, it shouldn't taste watered down. You can always add seasonings when you make your soup or drink your bone broth. 

After 3 hours, strain the broth to remove all of the bones, onion, and garlic. It is good to cool this down quickly as the hot broth breeds bad bacteria. You can add 2 cups of ice to help cool down quickly. Once it's cool, you can freeze it up to a year or place it in the refrigerator for about 5 days.  When you remove the broth from the fridge, you will notice a layer of fat that has risen to the top. You can heat this back up and drink it, or if you're like me and don't need the added fat, ladle it out before heating up the broth. Your broth should be jiggly and gelatinous. If it is not, you might not have used enough bones or simmered it long enough to extract the gelatin.

Once you're ready to make your soup, just heat the broth up with your favorite ingredients. I have used carrots, celery, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, edamame, and chicken. Makes for one healthy pot of soup!

If you would like this bone broth recipe in a printer-friendly version. Click Here.

Bon Appetite! 

"Every cook praises his own broth." - Anonymous

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Individual Crumb Cakes

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Last year I made these the morning of Thanksgiving. It's difficult to wake up and have to wait for the turkey and all the trimmings to be prepared; the smell in the kitchen is just so mouth-watering. These delightful crumb cakes were the perfect start to our day, and suppressed our appetites until the turkey was done! :) 

Ingredients:

- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. apple pie spice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except egg and milk. Remove 1/2 cup of crumb topping and set aside. Add egg and milk to remaining crumbs and pour into baking cups, a greased muffin tin, or a greased 8-inch pan. Sprinkle with reserved crumb topping. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Baking times may vary. Check before 25 minutes to see if they're done. Don't over bake. Just enjoy! :) If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"Leaves falling, lots of laughter, and a cup of coffee. 
Perfect." - Anonymous

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Strawberry Cream Cups

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Don't throw that stale bread away! Here's a recipe that turns stale bread into the most amazing little strawberry cream cups! All you need is a cup of coffee and breakfast is served!

Ingredients:

- 4 pieces of stale bread, cubed small
- 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 Tbs powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 cups of a muffin tin. Divide bread evenly among greased muffin cups. Press strawberries into and on top of the bread. Beat cream cheese, sugar, milk, egg, and vanilla together in a large bowl until smooth. Pour over each muffin cup slowly until bread and strawberries are fully soaked. Bake for 25 or 30 minutes. Cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


"Change your thoughts and you change your world." - Anonymous

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Creamy Potato and Leek Soup

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Only recently have I started cooking with leeks. Freshly diced in my salads, sautéed with other healthy vegetables, and in soups such as this one. So creamy and incredibly flavorsome. What's even better is it's very easy to make!

Ingredients:

- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
- 2 leeks (whites only), thoroughly washed and chopped
- 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream

In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, add all of the ingredients down to and including a little salt and pepper (to taste). Boil until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Let set 5 minutes to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor, add half of the soup mixture and blend until it's smooth. (Release the lid slightly when blending hot liquids so the steam can escape. Hold a towel over the top.) After blended, add the remaining soup mixture and blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium sauce pan, add heavy cream and let simmer 5 to 10 minutes to thicken slightly. Remove to soup bowls, garnish with chives or thyme and Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"To change the world takes time; to change yourself 
takes courage." - R. S. Lowel

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mini No-Bake Pumpkin Pies

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Fall time is here! Time to bring out all of the fall recipes, at least the ones that are incredibly easy to make. You might want to make copies and keep this recipe handy, because people will be asking for it once they try these dreamy pies!

Ingredients:

- .25 oz. package of unflavored gelatin (about a tablespoon)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1, 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1, 15 oz. can pure pumpkin
- 9 mini Keebler graham cracker pie crusts

Add gelatin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt to a sauce pan. Stir in milk and eggs, and let set one minute. Place pan over low to medium heat and stir constantly for 10 minutes until gelatin dissolves and mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in pumpkin and spoon into pie crusts. Chill for 3 hours or more before serving. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower." - Anonymous

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Eggplant Meatballs

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I had eggplant meatballs at a restaurant recently and couldn't believe how fabulous they tasted. What a healthy way to enjoy one of our favorites dishes, spaghetti and meatballs!

Ingredients:

- 1 medium to large eggplant
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (you can also use navy beans)
- 1 tsp. diced garlic
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (use Italian Panko if you would like more Italian flavor)
- Olive oil mister or nonstick pan spray
- Spaghetti sauce (homemade or store bought)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place eggplant on top. Use a fork or a knife to prick eggplant about 4 to 6 times. Place eggplant in oven for 30 minutes. Remove and cool for about 20 minutes. Leave the oven on. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, removing as many seeds as possible. Discard flesh. Chop the eggplant into very small pieces and place in a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, down to and including Panko. Combine ingredients. Line a baking sheet or baking dish with foil and spray cooking spray on foil. Roll eggplant mixture into balls (about the size of a golf-ball) and place them on the baking sheet or dish. Lightly mist them with the olive oil or baking spray and put them in the oven, baking them for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and a bit firm. Remove, and enjoy with your favorite spaghetti sauce. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"It's really simple... be good to each other." - Anonymous 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Chocolate Chip Blondies

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Amazing dessert that is incredibly easy to make! A bite of this soft warm chocolate blondie will make you feel like you're in heaven! Sheer bliss! 

Ingredients:

- 1 cup Turbinado sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a standing mixer, combine sugars, eggs, butter, and vanilla. In a separate, small bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter and mix. Add the chips and combine. Pour in a greased and floured baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Don't over bake. Let cook, cut into squares, pour yourself some coffee, and ENJOY! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


"Sometimes all you need in life is just a little chocolate." - Anonymous


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Easy Flatbread Pizza

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This simple recipe can be changed up according to your desired taste. Fast, easy, and oh so fine! :) 

Ingredients:

- Whole grain baked Naan flatbread
- diced green onion
- Pizza sauce
- fresh spinach
- shredded or cubed chicken breast
- diced pineapple
- fresh mozzarella
- pepper

Toast the naan bread until slightly crisp. Preheat the broiler on high. Combine diced green onion with some pizza sauce and spread on the bread. Top with spinach, chicken, pineapple, and fresh mozzarella. Set pizza on a pizza pan and put under broiler until mozzarella begins to melt. Remove, sprinkle with a little bit of pepper and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here

"Stop saying I wish and start saying I will!" - Anonymous




Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Pie

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A great recipe is one where you can add, substitute, or remove any ingredient you desire. This spaghetti pie was made with brown rice pasta, making it not only tasty, but gluten free as well!

Ingredients:

- 8 oz. uncooked spaghetti (I used gluten-free brown rice pasta)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 oz. mild Italian sausage
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 3/4 cup chopped onions
- 6 oz. fresh spinach or power green mix
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheese (I used Mexican 4-cheese blend), divided
- cooking spray

Place an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan in the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees (while leaving the pan inside the oven).  In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil and add spaghetti. Cook about 8 minutes until almost done. Drain. Place eggs in a large bowl and add hot pasta, tossing to coat.

In a large skillet, cook sausage until browned, stirring to crumble. Add tomatoes, onions, and cook for 1 minutes. Add spinach, salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup of the cheese, cooking until most of the liquid is evaporated. Combine sausage mixture with spaghetti. Remove cake pan from the oven (using oven mitts) and spray with cooking spray. Add pasta mixture to the cake pan and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cut spaghetti pie into wedges. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your 
best today." - H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Candy Corn White Chocolate and Pecan Cookies

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Bring on fall! Having always been a fan of candy corn, when I saw this recipe, my mouth immediately started watering. With the addition of white chocolate and pecans, it tastes more like a heavenly chewy candy bar as opposed to a cookie. The only drawback is, you're not going to lose weight by eating these. But to mimic a lot of people who love to indulge themselves with the good things in life (that maybe aren't so good for you)... YOLO!

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 TBS vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. corn starch
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups candy corn
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine first 5 ingredients (down to vanilla). Mix until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl combine the flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the cookie batter and once incorporated, add the rest of the ingredients. Scoops mounds of cookie dough onto an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes until the edges have set and tops are beginning to set. (They harden as they cool and you still want them heavenly... or chewy. :) Let cool and enjoy!! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

NOTE: For thicker cookies, refrigerate batter for 3 hours before baking.

"Cookies make the world a better place." - Anonymous

Friday, August 26, 2016

Individual Lemon Cream Pies

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I think some of the best recipes are the ones that are really easy to make with very few ingredients. This absolutely delightful dessert is perfect for parties, family gatherings, or for yourself! Indulge! 

Ingredients:

- Individual Keebler ready pie crust
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- zest from a lemon, optional
- yellow food coloring, optional

In a mixer, combine all of the ingredients except lemon zest. If you desire a more yellow color, feel free to add a few drops of yellow food coloring. After blended and smooth pour into mini shells and refrigerate. Enjoy!! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply." - Anonymous

Strawberry Cake Squares

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This very popular cake is always in great demand around here! Made with fresh strawberries, it goes from being a sweet magnificent dessert to health food! :) 

Ingredients:

- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups strawberries, chopped small


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 15x10 baking dish. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In a mixer, blend sugar, oil, applesauce, and eggs. After blended, add flour mixture. Combine flour mixture and add strawberries. Pour into baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


"Action may not always bring happiness but there is no happiness without action." Benjamin Disraeli

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Scallops with Warm Corn-Chorizo Salad

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Melt-in-your-mouth scallops with this very savory warm salad is sure to delight your palate and keep you coming back for more. I am going to start making the salad by itself to have with other meals or just an egg on top! 

Ingredients:

- 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
- 5 oz. sweet Italian chorizo (or your favorite kind)
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- slightly charred corn from 4 ears of corn
- 6 cups packed baby spinach
- 1/2 lb. fresh scallops
- salt and pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and cook for 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Stir in kernels of corn (charred or uncharred) and the spinach. When the spinach starts to wilt, remove mixture from skillet to a bowl and set aside. Rinse and pat dry your scallops. Add salt and pepper to the scallops. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and turn up the heat to high. When skillet is very hot, add scallops and sear 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Serve over warm corn-chorizo salad. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." - Roald Dahl

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

French Toast Cupcakes with Bacon Maple Buttercream Frosting

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Finally, a dessert fitting for breakfast! ;) These french toast cupcakes, with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg offer a delightful bite that one can quickly become addicted to. Add the bacon maple buttercream icing and well.... good luck trying to stop yourself!

Ingredients:

- One box white cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- bacon, cooked crisp, for crumbling on top of icing

Preheat oven for 350 degrees. Mix together the cake mix, eggs, half and half, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Batter might seem a little thick. Scoop batter into cupcake liners, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. (I used mini cupcake liners so my baking time was about 11 minutes). Cool completely and frost with maple buttercream frosting. Enjoy!

Bacon Maple Buttercream Frosting:

- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 lb. powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. maple flavoring (see note below)
- 3 Tbs heavy cream or more if desired

In a large mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add maple flavoring and cream. Slowly add powdered sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Feel free to add more cream until it reaches your desired consistency. 

NOTE: I did not have maple extract on hand. I did find maple sugar at the store so I used 1 tsp. maple sugar and 1 Tbs pure maple syrup for my frosting. 

If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"There's nothing better than dessert for breakfast." - Anonymous

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Balsamic Bacon Cauliflower

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Beautiful? Maybe not. Scrumptious? DEFINITELY! This tasty dish, seasoned only with white balsamic, intensifies in flavor with the added bacon and apples! Combined, they create a party on your palate!

Ingredients:

- 1 head of cauliflower 
- 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 4 to 5 strips of bacon, cut into pieces
- 1 granny smith apple

Preheat the oven for 400 degrees. Clean and cut the cauliflower into bite-size pieces. In a medium bowl, soak the cauliflower with the balsamic vinegar and let set for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the bacon into pieces and thinly slice the apple. Drain the excess vinegar off the cauliflower and line cauliflower in a baking dish. Arrange the apple slices on top of the cauliflower and top it off with the bacon pieces. Place, uncovered, in the oven and bake for 45 minutes (or until cauliflower is tender and bacon is crisp.) Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"First, they'll ask you why you're doing it. 
Later, they will ask you how you did it." - Anonymous 

Lavender Lemonade

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I started using doTERRA Essential Oils a few months ago. When I came across this recipe, using my lavender oil, I just had to try it. Talk about refreshing! The tartness of the fresh lemons, the soothing taste of lavender, and the sweetness from organic raw honey make this drink top on my list!

Ingredients:

- The juice from 6 fresh lemons
- 5 cups of water
- 3/4 cup raw organic honey
- 1 drop lavender Essential Oil

Juice the lemons and set aside. In a small sauce pan, heat 2 1/2 cups of water with the honey until honey has completely dissolved. Let cool slightly and pour it into a pitcher. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups water and 1 drop lavender. Stir and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"Life is the flower for which love is the honey." - Victor Hugo

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Strawberry Caprese Salad

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A new twist on caprese salad makes this one refreshing summer dish!

Ingredients:

- strawberries
- mozzarella
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- handful of raw almonds
- 1 to 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar 


Note I didn't put how many of the strawberries and mozzarella to add to this delicious salad. That is because it can be totally left up to you! Some people may like a lot of mozzarella and less strawberries, while others prefer the opposite. 

Dice the strawberries and mozzarella into small bite-size pieces. Put 2 cups fresh basil in a food processor, along with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a handful of almonds. Process until well blended and drizzle in about 1 to 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar.  Combine basil mixture with strawberries and mozzarella, and you have yourself one amazing salad! Enjoy! 

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summer Chicken Salad

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This salad with fresh seasonal strawberries turn this meal into a summer sensation!

Ingredients:

- 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil, divided
- 1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme
- 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper, divided
- 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
- 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries, divided
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2, 4 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups fresh lettuce (your favorite kind)
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

Combine 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, honey, thyme, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and an 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk. Add one cup of the strawberries, blueberries, and pecans, tossing to coat. Set aside.

Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt over chicken. Add chicken to skillet and cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from skillet and let stand 5 minutes. Cut chicken into cubes. Divide lettuce between 2 plates or bowls. Add chicken to lettuce and top with strawberry-balsamic mixture. Add some of the remaining fresh strawberries as well, along with about 2 tablespoons of feta cheese on each plate. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"Today, close the door to your past and open the 
door to your future." - Anonymous

Sunday, May 29, 2016

SOUS-VIDE COOKING - It doesn't get any easier than this!

Yum

You may or may not have heard of sous-vide cooking. I know I hadn't until I attended a cooking class and the chef was demonstrating this method with an immersion circulator. It definitely had me curious, but not so much that I wanted to run out and buy one. Looked complicated. It is a machine afterall, I knew I'd screw it up. It intimidated me. And the list went on. However, after seeing an immersion circulator demonstrated at another cooking class I thought, "I might actually be able to work that thing," while my husband probably sat there thinking "I like the idea of my wife not overcooking my meat or fish any longer." So guess what I got for Christmas? :) Then my research began. What is it? How do I use it? And what all can it do? After five months of experimenting with my precision cooker, which has been renamed "my baby", the question is "what can it NOT do?" 

Sous vide, french for "under vacuum", is a cooking method that has been used for years. Food is placed in a vacuumed-sealed bag and submersed in a water bath that is temperature-controlled. Typically the food is cooked for longer periods at an accurately-regulated temperature much lower than normally used for cooking, ensuring the food is cooked evenly on the inside without overcooking the outside. This method of cooking can be done simply by using a kettle on the stove. However, with a regular food thermometer, it made the task of regulating the temperature very tedious and left you standing guard, ready to adjust the heat if the temperature started rising or lowering. With the invention of immersion circulators, the painstaking task of keeping the cooking temperature held steady is eliminated!

There are several different types and brands of these immersion circulators on the market. The one that I received as a gift was the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker. A printable temperature guide allows you to forgo the stress of standing over the stove trying to cook your meat or fish at that perfect degree of doneness only to realize you have overcooked it... again! NO MORE OVERCOOKED FOOD! Instead, perfectly cooked, succulent, melt-in-your-mouth bites of food that have completely lead you to believe you are a very high-qualified chef, even if it's just in your own kitchen!

Once you start using the sous-vide method using an immersion circulator, it will be difficult to go back to standing over the stove calculating cooking times all the while knowing you still have several side-dishes to complete as well. Let the precision cooker handle the entree while you concentrate on your five-star side dishes. 

It has been so much fun trying new and different appetizers, entrees, and desserts with my precision cooker.  After seeing a video recently of a chef making one of my favorite desserts, creme brûlée, using the sous-vide method, I'm very eager to accept that next challenge to see if I can create that same delicate dessert. And since my husband recently bought me a kitchen torch, I've already gotten a head start! (note: do not have torch pointed toward a kitchen towel when lighting.) 

Whether you're a professional cook or an amateur, once you see how easy it is to cook with an immersion circulator, you'll want to keep trying new things for your family and friends to enjoy!

Below I have attached photos of just a few of our favorite dishes cooked the sous-vide method with my baby, the immersion circulator.

Sea Scallops - 123 degrees for 30 minutes

Swordfish - 130 degrees for 45 minutes

Poached Eggs - 145 degrees for 2 hours

3 lb. Turkey Breast - 145 degrees for 3 hours

Lamb Shoulder Chops - 132 degrees for 4 hours

2 1/2 lb. Pork Tenderloin - 144 degrees for 4 hours

4 lb. Brisket - 131 degrees for 48 hours

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dr. Pepper Crock-Pot Pork Tenderloin

Yum

A little sweet, a little spicy, and a lot of flavor make this a super pork supper! The Dr. Pepper adds flavor without creating a prominent Dr. Pepper taste. Great blend of seasonings and tender pork make this a meal worth repeating.

Ingredients:

- 2 lbs. pork tenderloin
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 cups diet Dr. Pepper
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 1 tsp. creole seasoning (or more if you prefer more spice)
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 Tbs flour

Add all ingredients, except flour, in the crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove 1 cup of the broth from the crock pot and add to a small sauce pan. Heat broth, over high heat. When broth starts to boil, whisk in the flour and stir constantly until sauce thickens. Serve sauce over pork. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"May your burdens be light and your coffee be strong." - Anonymous