Friday, September 26, 2008

Asparagus with a kick

After I started the No Name Chicken(the name is still to come) I had to run a few quick errands and I asked Spencer to take care of the asparagus and rice.  I gave him free reign over the asparagus; and I told him he could do whatever he pleased.  The end result was so awesome and it complimented the flavors of the chicken incredibly well.  The spice added to the asparagus was the "kick" we needed to go with our meal.  He did an excellent job; and the texture of the asparagus was perfect!

 

Chipotle Ranch Asparagus:

Ingredients:

Asparagus

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1 1/2 Teaspoons Tupperware Chipotle Ranch seasoning

Olive Oil for drizzling



Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line a small pan with foil, place aspragus in foil.  Drizzle olive oil over asparagus and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chipotle ranch seasoning.  Close foil over asparagus and bake until desired texture.

 A picture of the yummy asparagus Spencer cooked!

 

Recipe by: Lynsey Lou's hubby!

I didn't know what to make last night so...

Last night was one of those nights I could have stared at cookbooks and recipes for hours and still not found a thing to cook.  After finally getting fed up with looking and trying to find something I went into the kitchen and started browsing to see what all I had.  After looking around for a while I had finally and idea pop into my head.  The outcome of it was pretty tasty, if you ask me!  It's also another one of those recipes that is very quick and is a great week night meal.  

No name-cilantro chicken. (I'll update when I think of a name...feel free to leave ideas in my comments)

Ingredients:

2 Chicken breast

2 Ounces cream cheese

2 Tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

2 Tablespoons bread crumbs

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling

1 Tablespoon Lime juice

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Take the 2 ounces of cream cheese and soften, add lime juice, and cilantro and mix together.  Add a dash of cayenne pepper and mix well. 

Butterfly the chicken breast, sprinkle some salt and pepper and then spread cream cheese mixture onto the chicken.  Once it's evenly spread fold chicken back together, sprinkle top with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and bread crumbs.  Place the chicken on a pan and drizzle with olive oil. 

Place in oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes. 

Serve over a bed of rice.

 

Recipe from: Lynsey Lou

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

You know how there are times where you get in the mood for a specific food?  Those times where no other food will satisfy your hunger, let alone your craving?  Well, the other night I was in one of those moods.  I NEEDED something that had buffalo chicken incorporated into in one way or another.  I didn't have any wings on hand, so hot wings were out of the question.  So what is a foodie to do when they are craving something?  Make their own recipe to satisfy that craving.  That's how these buffalo chicken sandwiches came about.

From the first bite my craving was satisfied!  This sandwich encompassed every single element I was craving.  The end result was nothing less than amazing, but there is always room for improvement.  I think next time I will not only add the blue cheese crumbles, but homemade blue cheese as well.  These would also be good with the addition of scallions or cabbage to give a little more flavor and texture.     

My favorite thing about these sandwiches had to be the sauce.  This hot wing sauce made the meal.  It was the perfect mix of spices, tang, salt with and undertone of butter.  It was everything you expect from a buffalo sauce.  I loved the spice from the sauce; the heat from the hot sauce as well as the cayenne pepper not only hits you initially but after you've finished your bite.  It his every flavor note that is desired.  This is now our "go to" sauce recipe.  

Blue Buffalo Sandwiches


Ingredients:


Chicken Batter-
2 Chicken breast
1/4 Cup flour
Salt and Pepper-to taste
1/2-1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Egg
Oil-for frying the chicken 


Buffalo Sauce:


1/4 Cup butter-melted
1 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/4 Cup hot sauce
1 Tablespoon worschestshire
Dash of soy sauce
Pepper- to taste
Garlic salt-to taste
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise

Directions:


Preheat skillet and oil on medium heat.


Mix flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper together.  In a separate bowl whisk egg.  Roll chicken breast in egg and then in flour mixture, coat well and then place in oil.  Repeat process with second chicken breast and place in oil.  Cook on each side until thoroughly cooked.  


While the chicken is cooking; whisk mayo and melted butter together.  Add hot sauce and mix together well.  Once butter, mayo and hot sauce are blended add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Take cooked chicken and pour buffalo mixture over it and make sure both sides are coated.   


Take toasted hamburger buns, or bread of choice, spread a little mayo on them, place chicken breast on bun and them sprinkle with blue cheese.





Recipe from: Lynsey Lou

Miami Beach Birthday Cake


For my birthday my boss made me a cake called "Miami Beach Birthday Cake".  I have to say that is one of the best cakes I've ever had and my husband loved it too.  So for his birthday I asked my husband what kind of cake he wanted.  He thought about it for a while, I named different cakes for a while and then he decided he wanted the same kind I had on my birthday.  

I have never tasted a cake like this; it was so good but very different than cakes I've had in the past.  All the elements of this cake combined made the end result incredible.  The cake is a heavier more dense cake, but the icing is so light and fluffy they complimented each other well.  

Also, this month Joelen's Culinary Adventures is featuring bakeware as her "Tastey Tools".  I've been looking for something to cook to submit to Joelen's and Spencer's cake turned out to be the perfect cake.


   


This time baking is a time of firsts for me.  I have been in the kitchen baking my entire life but this time it's with a new mixer, new pans and a recipe that I've never made before.  I'm set in my own ways and so this is a pretty big thing combining all these new elements at once.  Spencer, my wonderful husband, was nice enough to treat me to a Kitchen Aid Mixer!!!  That alone made my year; and the same day I also got some new cake pans...which I was in dyer need of.  So the least I could do after all these treats was try to make him a delicous cake!  Everything, all the new elements, worked together wonderfully and we had an awesome birthday cake! 


 


Miami Beach Birthday Cake:


For the cake: 


1 Cup chocolate chips
1/2 Cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 Cup melted butter
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts
2 Cups flour
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Cup butter
1 1/2 Cup sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon vanilla


For the frosting:


1 1/4 Cup buttermilk
1 Cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons sugar


Directions:


Heat oven to 375 F.


Melt 1/3 Cup chocolate chips.  Grease and flour bottom of 3, 9 inch cake pans.  Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter, stire in walnuts and rest of chocolate chips.  Set aside.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Cream butter, gradually add sugar. Cream well.  Add eggs.  Blend in melted chocolate chips and vanilla.  At a low speed add dry ingredients alternately with 1 1/4 cups buttermilk-beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Pour into prepared pans.  SPrinkle pans with crumb mixture. 
Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.  Cool.


For the Frosting:


Beat heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff.  Fill and frost the cakes, keeping the crumb sides up.  Refrigerate before serving and any leftovers. 


***If you have time to make the cake in advance it ices better if you freeze it first.  I made the cake and baked it one night, let it cool, covered it well, and put it in the freezer over night and iced it the next evening.  This helps eliminate the crumbs getting mixed up in your icing.


  


Recipe Source: www.fareshare.net/recipesV10-03M.html, and Judy

Symphony Brownies

I am a huge fan of chocolate; the more chocolate the better in my opinion.  I was over at a friends house the other day when she showed me these brownies she had made.  Right when she pulled the cover off of the container my jaw dropped; they were the thickest brownies I think I've ever seen.  Not only was the brownie mix Ghirardelli, to top it off there were candy bars in the middle of the brownies.  I knew from the site I would be in heaven when I tasted them. 

From the first bite I was in awe and very addicted to these tastey treats.  Later on my husband came over and I was telling him about them; he just went on and on about them and how awesome they were.  He said they were some of the best brownies he's ever had.  This really means something coming from him because he's usually not a big fan of "rich" tasting desserts.  He seriously could not get enough of them. 

Since I have tried these brownies I've been on a kick of making them.  I went to visit my parents and when I told my mom about them we immediately went to the store to get the ingredients to make them.  It was love at first taste for my parents!  After we made them at my parents I made them to take with me and my husband to his birthday weekend...they were a hit there as well. 

This has to be one of my new favorite desserts.  It's so easy to throw together and so quick too.  Now that these have been tested on people of all "sweet" likings I figured they are very much "fan approved"!!!  Not that they wouldn't be a hit, because the recipe originated from Paula Deen.  Would we expect anything less than something so rich and tempting?  Now don't be shocked, there is no butter in this recipe anywhere but she definitely keeps up her reputations for rich and savory desserts by adding 3 Symphony bars! 

 

Symphony Brownies:


Ingredients:

2 Boxes Ghirardelli brownie mix (I chose the double chocolate mix by Ghirardelli...made for a 9x9 pan)

  Oil

 Eggs

Water

3 Symphony Bars (I used the ones with almonds and toffee bits

Directions:

Preheat oven to temperature indicated on box. 

Mix 1 box of brownie mix and pour in prepared 9x13 pan.  Unwrap the 3 candy bars and place on top of brownie mix in pan.  Mix the other box of brownies and pour over the candy bars. 

Place in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, turn/rotate them and cook for additional 20-25 minutes. 


Recipe adapted from a friend and Paula Deen

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Simple Fried Rice

So the theme of the food we had last night was Chinese/Japanese inspired.  We had chicken vegetable stir fry, which is in the previous post, and fried rice.  Like I mentioned earlier, this is my first time cooking this type of food.  Everything was more or less experimental for me last night, for the first attempt I would have to say it was pretty good and pretty successful.  

I didn't want just normal, boiled rice to go with the stir fry so I thought while I was experimenting Iwould try fried rice too.  Everything turned out good, but like my stir fry recipe, there will be some tweeking the next time I make the fried rice.  I didn't want to have too many flavor combinations going on, so the only thing I seasoned my rice with this time was salt, pepper and soy sauce.  Next time I will plan a little better and have a sauce to season my rice with that compliments what I seasoned my stir fry with.  

This version of fried rice is probably one of the simplest versions out there.  There really isn't a whole lot that goes into this; so it could really be a base recipe which practically anything could be added to.  I think my next attempt at Chinese/Japanese type food is going to be a chicken or shrimp fried rice...that sounds so good!

 

Ingredients:

1 Cup Rice, cooked   (I used brown rice)  

1/4 Cup scallions/green onion, chopped

1/2 Small onion, diced

1-2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Salt and Pepper, to taste

4-5 Tablespoons butter

2 Eggs

Olive Oil, to coat pan

Soy Sauce



Directions:

Add olive oil and preheat skillet/wok over low-medium heat.  Add diced onion and saute until onion begins to turn clear.  Once onion is cooked remove from skillet/wok.  Place eggs in skillet/wok and break yolks, cook while stirring and flipping occasionally until completely cooked.  Once eggs are cooked leave them in the pan and then add part of butter and return cooked rice and onion.  Stir together then add scallions, sesame seeds, the rest of the butter and soy sauce to your taste.  Once everything is combined and heated through, serve with favorite stir fry!



  

Recipe Courtesy of Lynsey Lou

Spicy and Sweet Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry

I have been in the mood for Chinese/Japanese food for quite some time now, but everytime I've gone into the kitchen to make something it hasn't been anything Chinese/Japanese inspired.  I don't know why though, the best way to quench a craving is to have what you are craving!  Yesterday while I had some down time I started looking around the internet trying to find recipes that could inspire me on how to go about a stir fry. 

There are tons of recipes out there and there are so many different ways people go about making stir fry and seasoning it.  I guess the taste and spices that are added are all in the desired taste of the cook.  After looking around, I decided I would give stir fry a try and make a creation all my own.  I must say it wasn't as difficult as I imagined.  I guess I just get discouraged when I am out and watching the professional chefs at the hibachi grills, watching them is so much fun but I guess they do so much extra for the entertainment factor and that also makes it seem like there is so much more to it.  It's true what they say, looks really are deceiving. 

I think my first attempt at stir fry was pretty successful.  Now that I've finally gotten over my fear or complex of cooking Chinese/Japanese food I will definitely be cooking it more often.  There are some things in this recipe I think I'm going to work on and try to tweek next time, but ya know you have to start somewhere...and I think that's half the battle.  So here's the recipe I used for my first attempt at stir fry...please excuse the pictures, the presentation was not at all what I wanted it to be but I wanted to have something to post.  I will post me next attempts at this recipe and hopefully the pictures will be better too!

 

Ingredients: 

8 Chicken Cutlets, cubed

1 Small onion, chopped

1 Small bag fresh frozen stir fry vegetables

(I used a bag that had cauliflower, red bell pepper, sugar peas, carrots, and zucchini)

1 Clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons Chili Garlic Wok Sauce (Mine was from WIlliams-Sonoma)

Salt and Pepper

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 Cup water

1 Tablespoon Corn Starch

 

Directions:

Pour olive oil in large skillet, preheat over medium heat.  Add chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Once chicken is mostly done add the onions and garlic, saute until onions begin to clear.  Add the vegetables, stir together.  Once vegetables are mixed in and cooking add sugar, Chili Garlic Wok Sauce, and more salt and pepper if desired.  Cook combined ingredients for about 5-10 minutes.  

Stir together water and corn starch, pour over chicken and vegatables and cook for 1-2 minutes.  

***Serve over rice.

 

Recipe Courtesy of Lynsey Lou

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Hundreds

I got this from food alla puttanesca- KMay's blog.  I've seen it on a few others but didn't really take the time to read it until today.  I know it's been around a while, but better late than never. 



I'm a little behind the ball on this but thought it would be interesting to do both of them together.


1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at
www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3.
Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9.
Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16.
Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21.
Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23.
Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27.
Dulce de leche
28. Oysters

29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted
lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted
cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39.
Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43.
Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46.
Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51.
Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal

56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59.
Poutine
60. Carob chips
61.
S’mores

62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake


68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71.
Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76.
Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79.
Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85.
Kobe beef
86. Hare
87.
Goulash
88. Flowers (they were edible)
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92.
Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95.
Mole poblano
96. Bagel and
lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake



 

 

Thick and Creamy Potato Soup


This weather is killing me; a couple of days of fall like weather (soup weather) and then it goes back to summer time weather.  It seems like about the time I get my mind made up to start making fall type foods the weather goes back to cool, light food weather or grilling weather.  As you can tell by some of the previous posts I was in the fall mood and there is a soup or two out there right now.  The other night I wanted soup so bad that I really didn't think about the weather outside and I made up my mind that's what we were having. 


I love potato soup, it's one of my all time favorites.  I think my top two favorite kinds are my Grandma's and McAlister's Deli; you just can't beat them.  I have seen my grandmother make her potato soup a lot throughout the years but I couldn't remember the recipe step by step so I tried to recreate it to the best of my knowledge.  It turned out pretty good; I did add a few extra things to mind.  This is definitely  a great cool weather meal!

Ingredients:


6-8 Medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 Medium carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 Onion, diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2-2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 Cup milk (or more if needed to thin it down...depends on desired consistency)
1-8oz block cream cheese
4 Slices thick bacon, cooked and chopped (for this I used pepper bacon)
1 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded (reserve some to sprinkle on top)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Scallions
Sour Cream



Directions:

In a large pan, add olive oil and heat over medium.  Add the carrots, celery and onions and cook until tender.  Add the prepared potatoes and chicken broth and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add the cream cheese and milk and stir to combine.  Add the bacon and cheddar and stir until combine.  Spoon into bowls, garnish with sour cream, cheese and scallions.



 
 Recipe Courtesy of: Lynsey Lou

BBQ Chicken Pizza

 


 


I was craving a different type of pizza one night, so after preparing my drunken pizza dough I started thinking about toppings.  I was in the mood for something with chicken and you know with chicken there are endless possibilities; so I started listing all the options in my head and what all kind of chicken pizza I have had before when I thought BBQ Chicken Pizza sounds like it will hit the spot.  



This pizza turned out awesome.  The flavors of thedoughcomplimented the flavor of the chicken the flavores throughout the rest of the pizza.  This would be a great addition to any pizza night, or just for a quick meal.  

Ingredients:

6-8 Chicken cutlest

1 1/2-2 Cups cheddar cheese, shredded

1 Bell Pepper, sliced in strips

1/4 Red Onion, sliced (kept in long pieces)

1-1 1/2 Cups BBQ sauce-keep it sweet.  (I used equal parts of "Bone Sucking Sauce" and KC Masterpiece honey)

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Montreal Grill Seasong-for chicken or steak

1 Recipe for drunken pizza dough (or your favorite dough recipe)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

After dough is made and rising, put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet on medium heat.  Season chicken cutlets with salt, pepper and Montreal seasoning.  Place is skillet and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Cook chicken completely and remove from pan.  Place sliced onions and peppers in skillet on low-medium heat, drizzle with olive oil and saute until onions begin to clear.  Once onions are clear remove both from heat.  After chicken is cooled, cut into bite size pieces.

Remove risen dough from bowl and roll out in desired size.  Place on pizza sheet or baking stone and form edges of the dough.  Spread part of bbq mixture over the dough and then sprinkle chicken, onions, and pepper (I reserved part of the mixture to put on top of the cheese) and then top with the rest of the bbq sauce.  Sprinkle cheese over pizza, and then add the reserved onions and peppers then place in oven.  Cook for 20-30 minutes, until dough is golden brown. 

***I cooked mine for 25 minutes


 


Recipe Source: A Lynsey Original

Drunken Pizza Dough

I was really in the mood for pizza the other night but I didn't want the same old regular pizza, I wanted something different.  I thought the first thing I could start with was the crust.  How could I give the crust a little different flavor but not so much that it would take away from the pizza toppings?  I had some wine in the refrigerator and thought I could use wine as part of my liquid to give it a little kick.  The end result was absolutely fabulous and would be great with a multitude of different toppings.  I got so many compliments on it and I had no leftovers after that meal!

This recipe made quite a bit of dough.  I just made 1 large, thick crust pizza with it and the dough was still pretty thick and puffy after being cooked.  This recipe could probably make 2 medium thick crust or even more thing crust pizzas.  I didn't need more than one pizza when I cooked but I probably could have halved the dough and used the other half for something later on.  It was still really good though; I paired it with BBQ Chicken Pizza...oh so good!!! 

Ingredients:

 1 Package yeast (1/4 ounce package)

1/3 Cup warm water

1/3 Cup white wine (I used a Riesling)

1/2 Teaspoon syrup

2 Tablespoons oil

2 Cups flour

1/2 Teaspoon sugar

1/2 Teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

In a large bowl proof the yeast with the sugar in 1/3 cup lukewarm water for 10 minutes or until it is foamy.  Stir in the wine, oil, flour, and salt and blend until it forms a dough.  Knead the dough on a floured surface.  Knead until smooth and elastic.

Put dough in an oiled bowl and turn it to coat it with the oil.  Let the dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size. 

 

Recipe Source: A Lynsey original

Raspberry Curd Tartlets

This was another recipe I made for the family reunion over the Labor Day weekend.  I kept the salad pretty easy so I could focus on these tartlets.  I am a huge fan of lemon curd, my Grandma makes the best lemon curd I've ever had, so when I came across this recipe for Raspberry Curd I knew I just had to give it a try.  I came across this recipe a few weeks ago and from then on I was looking for an excuse to make it and the family reunion was a perfect excuse. 

This recipe was fairly easy, I think the thing that gave me the most problems was the seeding of the raspberries.  I followed the directions and tried to seed them after the puree and the mixture wasn't thin enough to actually run through or be pressed through my strainer; so after getting a little frustrated with it I went ahead and melted the butter and mixed the puree and butter together and then tried to seed it again and that worked so much better. 

I started these fairly late in the evening, my own fault, but time was really an issue since I knew I had to wake up early the next day.  I feel had I had more time I would have been able to work with the pastry mixture a little more and actually make the sides pretty and neat.  It really bothered me leaving the sides/tops undone because I'm such a perfection and want everything to look pretty, but it was either have pretty pastries and no sanity or still have my sanity...I chose sanity!  When I do try these again I'll re-post my picture and hopefully it will look a lot better than these.

The combination of the tart crust, which tasted like a butter cookie with almonds, and the raspberry curd was absolutely awesome.  The tarts were light and flaky and then the raspberries came in with a burst of flavor.  These were so good and a big hit at the reunion!

 

Ingredients:

1 Cup butter, softened

1/2 Cup confectioners' sugar

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Cups all-purpose flour

Dash salt

1/2 Cup finely chopped almonds

Raspberry Curd:

1 Package (10 ounces) frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 Cup butter

3 Tablespoons sugar

4 Eggs

Red liquid food coloring, optional

Whipped cream, fresh raspberries and mint



Directions:

Tartlets:

In a large bow, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla.  Combine flour and salt; add to creamed mixture and beat until smooth.  Stir in almonds.

Press into 2 1/2  inch tartlet pans, trim edges.  Place pans on a baking sheet.  Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.  Remove from pans.

Raspberry Curd:

Combine raspberries and lemon juice in a blender or food processor; cover and process until pureed.  Press through a strainer to remove seeds.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low; add the raspberry puree, sugar and eggs.  Cook and stir for 10-15 minutes or until mixture is smooth and thickened and reaches 160 degrees.  Remove from the heat.  Add food coloring, if desired.  Press plastic wrap on surface of curd.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. 

Spoon about 3 tablespoons of curd into each tart shell; top with whipped cream, raspberries and mint.  Refrigerate leftovers.



 

Courtsey of Taste of Home Cookbook

Broccoli Sunshine Salad

Over the Labor Day holiday we didn't have much going on but we did have a family reunion to go to.  I was looking for something that was light, and tasty but traveled well and looked just as good after the travel as it did when we left the house.  I needed something that didn't have to be served hot or extremely cold, so I thought that some type of veggie salad would be the perfect item to bring.  There are so many salads out there and endless varieties of what can be done.  I started thumbing through some cookbooks when I started thinking back of all the pot-lucks and cookouts I've been too and there is one thing that is pretty much always there and that would be the Brocoli Sunshine Salad.  It had been forever since I had some and I had never made it, so what better time than now to have some and to try to make it. 

This recipe was so simple to put together.  I actually made it the night before, since we had to leave early in the morning to travel to the reunion, and it still tasted great the next afternoon.  I think it gave the flavors time to really mix together and compoliment each other.  I was skeptical of how the bacon would be the next day but it was still just as good as when I made it.  If you are leary you could always mix everything else together the night before and add the cheese and bacon the next day.  This is defininetly going to be a "go to" recipe for me from now on. 

***Be sure to let the bacon cool completely before mixing into the salad.  

 

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon sugar

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

3 Cups broccoli flowerets (1/2 pound)

4 Slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

2 Tablespoons chopped red onion



Directions:

Mix mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar in large bowl.

Add remaining ingredients; toss until evenly coated.  Store and cover in refrigerator.





 

Recipe courtesy of: Betty Crocker's Cookbook

Monday, September 8, 2008

Garlic Chicken Omelette

I wanted to cook something different for breakfast, not just the same old sausage and biscuits or other traditional type breakfast foods.  I started looking at everything I had and then started brainstorming.  I had some leftover rotisserie chicken and thought...Chic-Fil-A serves chicken for breakfast so why can't I make something with chicken it for breakfast.  This turned out really good and was the something different I was looking for.  It was so easy to throw together and cooked up really fast. 



 

Ingredients:

1-1 1/2 Cup chicken-shredded

1/2-1 Cup shredded cheese (I used part pepper jack and part sharp cheddar)

1 Clove garlic, finely chopped

1/4 Small onion, finely chopped

1 Small tomato, seeded and finely chopped

Salt and Pepper

Cumin-to taste

6 Eggs

Directions:

In skillet add a little olive oil then place onions and garlic.  Once onions start to clear add chicken; season with salt, pepper and cumin.  Keep on low-medium heat 3-5 minutes then remove from heat. 

Crack eggs over bowl, mix together and then pour 1/2 mixture in skillet over low-medium heat.  Once egg is pretty much entirely cooked; add 1/2 the chicken garlic mixture, 1/2 the cheese and 1/2 of the tomatoes to one half and then fold the other half over.  Cook until cheese is melted. 

***Repeat process for second omlet.  This recipe and these amounts make 2 omlets. 



 

Recipe courtsey of Lynsey Lou

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Avocado Smash

This recipe came with the Salsa StoupI found at Food Network.  This recipe was great on the soup that called for it but it would also be great on it's own.  I thought the sour cream that was called for in this receipe sounded a little different at first but once I mixed everything up it all blended together very well.  It also makes the dip go a little further without having to add a ton of avocados; although I do love traditional guacomole...but this was a nice little change too.  





Ingredients:


1 avocado
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 lime, juiced
1 cup sour cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 plum tomato, finely chopped 
        



 

Directions:
Remove 1 avocado flesh to a bowl. Add the cilantro and scallions. Pop the lime in the microwave for a few seconds. Add the juice of 1 lime, the sour cream, and season with salt and pepper. With a fork or spoon, smash up the mixture, leaving chunks for a good consistency.


Chop and seed the plum tomato and fold into avocado. Serve.




Courtesy of Food Network








Monday, September 1, 2008

Salsa Stoup with Avocado Smash and Double Decker Baked Quesadillas

A few days ago we actually had some nice fall like weather that got me in the mood to make some soup.  This weather is so odd...soup in August, who would have thought???  Anyway, I wanted something that wasn't too hearty that I could add something with and we wouldn't feel overloaded with food.  I was looking through recipes and magazines when I came accross one at Food Network that looked pretty good, fall like and not too heavy.  

Also we were having my hubby's mother over, and it was a work day, so I wanted something that was going to be good and taste great but didn't take forever.  I didn't want us to be sitting down to eat at 9:00.  Since I'm a big fan of salsa this recipe jumped out at me; what a great idea to make a soup out of one of my favorite appetizer dishes.  It was so simple to throw together and it's one of those, just like my salsa recipe, that can be moderated to accomodate any temperature for people who do like spicey and then those that don't care too much for it.  It's also great left over and could be a great base for another type of soup later on in the week; just add some hamburger meat or beef chunks and it would be a great beef stew recipe.  

The quesadillas that went with this recipe were really good.  I could have had the whole meal be meatless but my hubby thinks that a meal without meat it just incomplete.  When I was at the store I bought one of those rotisserrie chickens and pulled some meat off and put it in one of the double layers of the quesadillas.  It turned out so good and the quesadilla recipe would be great on it's own. 

 

Ingredients:



2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 Jalapenos, seeded and chopped

1 Large onion, chopped

3 Ribs celery, chopped

3 Cloves garlic, chopped

Salt and Pepper

1 (28oz) can stewed tomatoes

1 Can crushed tomatoes

2 Cups veggie/chicken stock

3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley

6 Flour torillas (6-8in)

1 Cup shredded cheddar

3 Scallions- chopped

4 oz brick Pepper Jack- shredded

Sour Cream

***Use recipe for Avacodo Smash under the tags of appetizers or veggies***



Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Heat soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tablespoons evoo, jalapenos, bell pepper, onion, celery and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper then saute veggies for 5 minutes, add tomatoes, crushed tomoatoes, and stock and bring to a bubble.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add cilantro. 

Brush one side of tortilla with oil, place next to one another, oiled side down on large cookie sheet.  MIx cheddar with scallions and divide cheese evenly among tortillas.  Top with another toritilla and top each with pepper jack cheese (and chicken if desired).  Set last tortilla on top and brush with evoo.  Cook 10 minutes in oven to melt cheese and crisp tortillas.  Let cool then cut each quesadilla into 6 pieces. 

Top soup with sour cream and avocado smash. 



  

Avocado Smash

 

Adapted from Food Network per Rachael Ray   

Homemade Salsa

Salsa is one of my absolute favorite things, I absolutely love it.  I could eat salso pretty much any time and that is my mean when we go eat Mexican.  I really don't think that fresh, homemade salsa can be beat though.  Summer time is awesome because that means fresh produce and people with gardens that have more tomatoes and fresh vegetables than they know what to do with. 

This recipe is so simple and so easy to adjust according to what "temperature" your taste buds can handle.  I have used the base recipe to make many different temperature and flavors of salsa.  You know what they say, you can never go wrong with the original and I've had so many people that go on and on about this recipe.  However, if you do'nt like your salsa sweet then I suggest halfing the sugar that is called for.  I like the sugar and the amount of sugar in this recipe because when I make it spicy the sugar is there to immediately tone it down.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do in our home.  

 

Ingredients:

12 Tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 Onion- chopped

2 Bell peppers- chopped

2 Teaspoons salt

1 Tablespoon pepper, or to taste

1 1/2 Tablespoons red pepper flakes

1 Jalapeno- finely diced

Garlic salt- to taste

1 Cup sugar

2/3 Cup vinegar

Chili powder- to taste

Tobasco- to taste

 

Directions:

Heat tomatoes, onion, and bell pepper on medium to medium high until tender.  Once tender, add sugar and vinegar and stir together.  Once combined add the rest of the ingredients and cook until salsa begins to thicken. 







Courtesy of Lynsey Lou  

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream Icing

At my work we are always looking for excuses to bring goodies and have "snacks" on any given day.  The other day was one of our co-workers last day so that meant we had to send her off with a good farewell; so what better way to send someone off that cupcakes!?!?!  I love cupcakes; they are so much fun and a great way to have cake in an easier version to eat.  This specific recipe was pretty easy but all I did was get a cupcake mix; which is pretty nifty because it comes with the cupcake liners and everything, and then I spiced it up a little bit.  I had quite a few things going on the night I needed to bake them so that's why I used a little help from a box mix.  They were so good but the icing it what made them; I love this icing and it will add that something special to any recipe...homemade or box.  Everyone loved the cupcakes, they went over very well and needless to say I came home empty handed.

 

Ingredients:

Cupcakes-

1 Box Duncan Hines chocolate cupcake mix ( plus ingredients listed on box)

1/2 Cup chocolate chunks

1 Small box chocolate pudding



Icing-

1 Package (6 squares) white baking chocolate

1/4 Cup whipping cream or milk

1 Cup cold, unsalted butter

1 Cup powdered sugar



Directions:

Cupcakes-

Preheat oven at 350 F.  Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.  Mix cupcakes as directed on box.  Once mixed add pudding and mix in and then stir in chocolate chunks.  Fill cupcake liners with batter and bake for time specified on cupcake mix box.   



Icing-

Microwave chocolate and whipping cream in large bowl on high until almost melted, stiring every 45 seconds.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted. 

Cool 30 minutes or until room temperature, stirring occassionally. 

Add butter gradually, beating with electric mixer on high until well blended.  Add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. 

Place in icing bag and pipe onto cupcake or spread onto cupcake/cake with a knife.





Icicng courtesy of Kraft Food

Cupcakes courtesy of a box mix and a little "spice" by Lynsey Lou
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