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 cubes. Beat cream cheese, sugar, milk, egg, and vanilla together in a large bowl until smooth. Pour over each muffin cup slowly until bread cubes 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