Saturday, February 28, 2015

Black Bean Chili With Fire Roasted Corn

Black Bean Chili With Fire Roasted Corn
Serves 4
30 minutes or fewer

Corn kernels and a tomatillo-based salsa verde keep this chili fresh-flavored. The recipe also makes a great filling for enchiladas or burritos.

1 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
1 16-oz. jar salsa verde
2 15-oz. cans low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen fire-roasted corn kernels
4 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

1. Spray large saucepan with olive oil cooking spray, and heat over medium heat.

2. Add 3/4 cup green onions, and sauté 3 minutes, or until softened.

3. Add salsa, beans, corn, and 1/2 cup water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

4. Garnish each serving with 1 Tbs. green onions and 1 Tbs. cilantro.

Great served over rice or quinoa also!

Friday, February 27, 2015

How To Make Cake Flour

How To Make Cake Flour

Measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and place it back in your flour canister. Replace the removed all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

Sift flour 5 times. Yes… 5 times. Sifting the flour and cornstarch together will help thoroughly combine the mixture and help to lighten and aerate the flour.

By replacing a bit of the all-purpose flour with cornstarch, we’re removing some of the gluten and replacing it with a tenderizing element. But cornstarch is so neutral, how is it a cake tender? Well, cornstarch works alongside other cake ingredients (like sugar, for example) to inhibit gluten development. It’s ingredients like sugar and cornstarch that compete with the flour for liquid absorption (think: eggs and buttermilk) in a recipe. If flour gets to gobble up all of the liquid in a recipe and is worked in a mixer (like we work cake batter), it’s gluten development will be off the charts… and you’ll basically have a baguette. Cornstarch (and sugar) makes the flour share liquid, easing the gluten development and creative beautifully tender cake texture.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp
Deep-frying keeps these shrimp super moist and flavorful.

3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) ground ginger
1 egg
2 tbsp (25 mL) liquid honey
½ cup (125 mL) unsweetened grated coconut
½ cup (125 mL) panko bread crumbs (Tip follows)
¾ lb (375 g) large peeled deveined uncooked shrimp
4 cups (1 L) peanut or vegetable oil (for deep frying)
Chopped coriander (optional)
Lime or lemon wedges or sweet Thai chili sauce
1. Stir flour with salt and ginger in a wide shallow bowl. Whisk egg with honey in separate bowl. In another bowl, stir coconut with panko. Coat shrimp in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg-honey mixture and roll in coconut mixture. Set aside on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet until all shrimp are coated. Shrimp can be coated earlier in the day and refrigerated, or refrigerate while heating oil.

2. Place oil in a large, wide, deep saucepan (the pan should be about a third full, no more). Heat to 375ºF (190ºC) over medium-high heat. This should take 6 to 10 minutes. Oil is hot enough when oil bubbles around shrimp when added.

3. Line separate baking sheet with paper towel. Fry shrimp, several at a time, without overcrowding pan, until a deep golden colour and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes, reducing heat if they brown too quickly. Remove to baking sheet. Continue with remaining shrimp. Sprinkle with coriander, if desired. Serve with citrus wedges and sweet Thai chili sauce for dipping.

Tip Panko breadcrumbs are coarse Japanese crumbs that when used as a coating for frying, maintain their crunchy texture. They can be found in some supermarkets or in Japanese or other Asian markets.

Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Shrimp And Asparagus Risotto With Leek Broth And Fresh Tarragon

Shrimp And Asparagus Risotto With 
Leek Broth And Fresh Tarragon

Serves 4 to 5.
6 cups chicken broth
2 T. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lb. large shrimp (16-20 per lb.), cleaned and cut in half through the back 

1/2 lb. asparagus, ends snapped off and cut into 1 inch lengths diagonally
 3 T. unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 T. chopped Italian parsley, divided use 

1 T. chopped fresh tarragon

1. Bring broth to a simmer in a 4-quart saucepan.

2. For risotto, heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute.

3. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly until wine is just about gone. Add 2 cups hot broth and cook, stirring constantly, lowering heat as needed just to keep mixture simmering. Add broth 1 cup at a time as needed. Keep stirring and adding rice until rice is just barely tender.

4. Stir in the shrimp and cook 1 minute. Stir in the asparagus and continue cooking and stirring until rice is tender and shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes adding more broth if necessary to maintain a creamy texture.

5. Remove rice from heat and stir in butter, Parmesan cheese, 1 T. parsley and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide rice between bowls or plates and sprinkle with remaining parsley; serve immediately.                      Recipe by Phillis Carey.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Savory Pumpkin Scones With Gruyere and Sage

Savory Pumpkin Scones With Gruyere And Sage

1 stick unsalted butter, 4 tablespoons cubed and chilled
8 sage leaves, cut crosswise into thin ribbons
1 large shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
7 ounces Gruyère cheese—6 ounces cut into 1/4-inch dice, 1 ounce shredded

In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter until foaming. Add the sage and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until crisp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. Melt another 1 tablespoon of the butter in the skillet until foaming. Add the shallot and cook over moderately high heat until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the pumpkin puree, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream and stir until very thick and reduced to 1 cup, about 4 minutes. Scrape the pumpkin mixture into a bowl and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream and the milk. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 cups of flour with the baking powder. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the 4 tablespoons of cubed butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the diced cheese and toss to coat. Add the sage and the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a 6-by-9-inch rectangle, 1 inch thick. Cut into 6 large triangles and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the melted butter and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Bake until golden and puffy, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly; serve warm.
Yield: 6 Scones

Monday, February 23, 2015

Maple Bourbon Drumsticks

Maple Bourbon Drumsticks


2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces orange juice concentrate
8 ounces bourbon
8 ounces maple syrup
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 cup sugar
24 chicken drumsticks


When ready to cook, start the Bar-b-que grill on smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 180 degrees and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

While the grill is preheating, generously coat the drumsticks with onion powder, garlic powder, ground coriander, salt, and black pepper.

Place the coated drumsticks on the grill and let them smoke for 1 hour. While the chicken is smoking, prepare the glaze by combining the orange juice concentrate, bourbon, maple syrup, sugar, and salt. Combine these ingredients and let it reduce by 1/3.

After the chicken has smoked for 1 hour, turn the grill up to 325 degrees and roast the drumsticks for 30 more minutes, until the chicken has reached an internal temp of 160 degrees.

Remove drumsticks and turn grill to high (450 degrees). Toss the drumsticks in the glaze and place them back on the grill for 10 to 12 more minutes or until you get some good grill marks. Serve.

Recipe uses hickory pellets.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Garlic Mushroom Bites

Garlic Mushroom Bites
These Garlic-Bacon Mushroom Bites are so scrumptious, so savory, and so simply delicious cooked in melted, paprika-spiked butter. Serves: 24 

24 large cremini mushrooms 
1 stick butter, melted 
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 
1 large egg 
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped 
4 thick slices peppered bacon, cooked and finely diced 
2 teaspoons sweet paprika 
¼ cup green onions, chopped 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
Pull the stems from each of the mushrooms. Wash and gently dry with a clean paper towel. 

Dip mushrooms in melted butter, then place mushrooms round-side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or in a large parchment-lined skillet or baking dish). Arrange the mushrooms so they’re not touching. Bake for 15-18 minutes in the preheated oven until mushrooms are tender and dark brown. Flip each mushroom so the bottom side is up. 

In a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, egg, garlic, and bacon. Beat until smooth. Spoon into the center of each mushroom. Drizzle with butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the center mixture melts and begins to bubble lightly around the edges. Cool slightly before serving. Garnish with chopped green onions. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sugared Lemon-Rosemary Scones

Sugared Lemon-Rosemary Scones


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
1.) In a food processor, pulse the flour with the 1/3 cup of sugar, the rosemary, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with some pea-size pieces of butter still visible. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the 3/4 cup of cream until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead just until it comes together. Gently roll the dough into a 14-inch log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.  Can be refrigerated overnight to chill.  

2.) Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the log into eight           1 3/4" rounds and transfer to the baking sheet. Brush the scones with cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until the scones are golden. Let cool slightly before serving.  Yield: 8 scones

MAKE AHEAD  The recipe can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Jumbo Coffee Cake Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
8-ounce carton dairy sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
beaten egg

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts
tablespoons granulated sugar
teaspoon ground cinnamon

Lightly coat 6 jumbo (3-1/2-inch) muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper bake cups. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly.

In another bowl, stir together the sour cream or yogurt, the 1/2 cup sugar, the milk, and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Stir together the brown sugar, nuts, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon.

Spoon half the batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture into cups. Top with remaining batter and the remaining nut mixture.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in pan on wire rack. Remove from pan and serve warm.

 For standard-size muffins, use twelve regular (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups; divide batter evenly as above. Bake in 400 degree F oven for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pans and serve warm.

Candied Ginger Cookie

Ginger Sable
This is a recipe from France and commonly served during the Christmas season as well as all year long. Ginger is an old time use for stomach ailments.
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
10 tablespoons butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup chopped candied ginger
Egg wash:
1 egg white
2 teaspoons water
Granulated sugar for sprinkling

In a medium bowl mix the flour and baking powder and set aside. In large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg and mix in the dry ingredients and candied ginger until a smooth dough forms.

Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch diameter log. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or up to 3 days. 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare the egg wash by beating together the egg white and 2 teaspoons of water. 

Slice the dough crosswise into ¼-inch thick coins. Brush the ginger cookies with the egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and then bake them on a parchment lined baking sheet for 15 minutes, or until they are lightly browned around the edges. 

Cool the cookies for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Yield: 2 to 3 dozen

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chickpea Burgers

Chickpea Burgers
Chickpeas, a very versatile legume, are a good source of protein.  So whether you’re vegetarian or just want to try a new type of burger, this recipe, Chickpea Burgers, is a healthy alternative to your traditional burger.   4 servings

1 19-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
½ cup diced onion
1 egg
2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To prepare burgers: Place chickpeas, scallions, egg, flour, oregano, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Pulse, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides, until a coarse mixture forms that holds together when pressed. (The mixture will be moist.) Form into four patties.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until golden and beginning to crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes more.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fig Cake

Fig Cake
4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus butter for greasing pan
1 cup natural raw almonds (not blanched)
¼ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon almond extract
12 to 14 ripe figs
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan or pie pan; set aside. Put almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor and grind to a coarse powder. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; pulse to combine.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, honey and almond extract. Add almond mixture and beat for a minute until batter is just mixed. Pour batter into pan.

Remove stem from each fig and cut in half. Arrange fig halves cut-side up over the batter. Sprinkle figs with sugar and bake for 30 minutes, until golden outside and dry at center when probed with a cake tester. Cool before serving.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pina Colada Muffins

Pina Coloada Muffins
This is a recipe from Welcome Home.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 heaping cup sugar
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup canned pineapple chunks, drained


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put muffins liners in muffin tin. Take out buttermilk and eggs, so they can come to room temperature. In a large bowl, mix together flours, salt, baking powder, sugar, and coconut flakes. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and coconut extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Don’t overmix or your muffins will be dry. Chop pineapple chunks to make mini chunks and then gently fold into muffin batter. Again, folding just enough to distribute pineapple bits. Sprinkle top with a little coconut that will toast during baking time.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops of the muffins feel set when gently pressed. Cool a few minutes in the tin and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Blueberry Lemon Streusel Coffee Cake

Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake

Crumb topping:1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, cubed, at room temperature

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter, using a fork or your fingers to cut in the butter until it is reduced to the size of peas. Loosely cover the bowl, and place it in the freezer while you mix the cake batter.

6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided
Zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided
Crumb topping, chilled
Juice of 2 lemons (about 6 tablespoons)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

In the bowl, using a mixer, cream together the butter, three-fourths cup sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir the flour mixture into the bowl, a third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk, until both the flour mixture and buttermilk are evenly incorporated into the batter. Gently fold 1 cup of the blueberries into the batter.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and distribute the remaining blueberries evenly over the top of the batter. Remove the crumb topping from the freezer and sprinkle it over the berries. Bake the cake until it is lightly golden and firm on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through for even baking.

Lemon Glaze:
In a small saucepan, combine the remaining one-third cup sugar with the lemon juice and whisk until blended. Heat the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens to a syrupy consistency, 6 to 8 minutes. (The glaze will bubble while cooking and may need to be removed from the heat to check that it is the proper consistency.) Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.

Remove the cake from the oven and drizzle the warm glaze over. Cool to room temperature. The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, covered in plastic wrap.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Turtle Cake

1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups pecans
3/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 (14 ounce) bags caramels
1 1/3 cups water ( or as called for by your cake mix)
1/3 cup oil ( or as called for by your cake mix)
3 eggs ( or as called for by your cake mix)
1 (18 ounce) boxes German chocolate cake mix
Prepare cake mix as directed.
Pour 1/2 of the batter in a 13x9 inch pan.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Remove and let cool.

In a double boiler, add carmels, milk and butter and stir constantly till melted.
Pour melted carmel over cooling cake.
Sprinkle on top 1 cup of pecans& chocolate chips.
Pour remaining batter on top and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Lemony Linzer Cookies

Lemony Linzer Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
Nut flours are common ingredients in Central and Eastern European cookies such as this Austrian favorite.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup almond flour
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
4 oz. Earth Balance margarine, cut into cubes (1 stick)
2 Tbs. agave nectar
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 ½ tsp. egg replacer powder, such as Ener-G
½ tsp. almond extract
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup raspberry jam or preserves, seeds preferred

1. Combine all-purpose flour, almond flour, and confectioners’ sugar in bowl. Add margarine, and mix with electric mixer on low until mixture is crumbly.

2. Whisk together agave nectar, lemon zest, egg replacer, and 2 Tbs. water in small bowl. Stir in almond extract and vanilla extract. Add agave mixture to flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Shape dough into smooth disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 10 days.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or coat with cooking spray.

4. Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness on well-floured work surface. Cut dough into 48 hearts using 2-inch heart-shaped cutter. Transfer hearts to baking sheets. Cut heart-shaped holes in centers of 24 cookies using 1-inch heart-shaped cutter. Bake 5 to 6 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown around edges. (Cookies with holes will cook faster.) Cool on baking sheets 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack with spatula to cool.

5. Return cookies with holes to baking sheet, and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

6. Line up remaining cookies on work surface. Spoon 1 tsp. raspberry jam on top of each solid cookie. Place confectioners’ sugar-dusted cookies on top.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

2 cups milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
Line a mini-muffin tin with cupcake liners, set aside. 
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine peanut butter, butter, and the brown sugar. Heat until completely melted, and starting to bubble a little, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat, then add the powdered sugar and graham cracker, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring until completely combined before adding more. Set aside to allow to cool.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each increment until melted.

Spoon a little melted chocolate into the bottom of each lined muffin cup (you want to leave chocolate leftover.)

Use a heaping teaspoon to scoop out the peanut butter mixture, and roll into a thick disk (you want it to fit comfortably into the muffin tins without quite touching the edges) for each cup in the mini muffin cup. Once finished with all of the peanut butter mixture, refrigerate both the muffin tins and the peanut butter for 30 minutes.

Place a peanut butter patty into each lined up in the tin, then use a scoop or a spoon to add more melted chocolate on top (you'll probably need to re-melt the chocolate in the microwave for a few more 30 second bursts). Make sure the chocolate goes over and around each patty.

Refrigerate again for 30 minutes, then serve! Store in the fridge or freezer.    Yield 3 dozen.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Andalusian Chicken Noodle Soup With Chickpeas

Andalusian Chicken Noodle 
Soup With Noodles

Broken-up spaghetti is a popular addition to homemade soup in Spain. With a chunk of rustic bread, this version from the southern part of the country is hearty enough to serve as a main course. If you prefer, you can use 2 cups (500 mL) leftover shredded cooked chicken for this recipe.

8 cups (2 L) homemade or low-sodium
chicken stock
2 bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
2 bay leaves
1 leafy sprig flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
4 oz (125 g) cooked sweet or hot
chorizo sausage, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) sweet smoked paprika
½ cup (125 mL) dry sherry
2 oz (60 g) spaghetti, broken into
2-inch (5-cm) pieces
½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and freshly ground
black pepper
1 can (540 mL) chickpeas, drained
and rinsed
⅓ cup (75 mL) finely chopped
flat-leaf parsley

1. In a large saucepan, combine stock, chicken breasts, bay leaves and parsley sprig. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to mediumlow; simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes or until chicken breasts are no longer pink inside. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken breasts from stock and set aside to cool slightly.

2. When chicken breasts are cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and shred meat finely. Set aside. 

3. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add chorizo; cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until chorizo is starting to brown and has rendered some of its fat. Add onion, carrot and potato. Cook, stirring for 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is softened but not brown. Add garlic and paprika; cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. 

4. Add sherry. Bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Boil for 2 minutes or until sherry has almost all evaporated. 

5. Strain stock into Dutch oven, bring to a boil over high heat. Add spaghetti, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until potato and spaghetti are tender. 

6. Stir in reserved chicken meat and chickpeas. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 2 minutes for fl avours to blend; stir in parsley. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Ladle into warm soup bowls.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Acid Reflux Smoothie

Acid Reflux Smoothie


1 and 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple,
1 banana,
1/2 cup Greek yogurt,
1/2 cup ice, 
1/2 cup pineapple juice or water.
Blend to consistency of a smoothie.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Reuben Crescent Bake

Reuben Crescent Bake

2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 pound sliced Swiss cheese
1-1/4 pounds sliced deli corned beef
1 can (14 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
2/3 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 teaspoons caraway seeds

Unroll one tube of crescent dough into one long rectangle; seal seams and
perforations. Press onto the bottom of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake
at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Layer with half of the
cheese and all of the corned beef. Combine sauerkraut and salad dressing; spread
over beef. Top with remaining cheese. On a lightly floured surface, press or
roll second tube of crescent dough into a 13-in. x 9-in. rectangle, sealing seams
and perforations. Place over cheese. Brush with egg white; sprinkle with caraway
seeds. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until heated through and crust is golden
brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bourbon-Sea Salt Caramels

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, 
    cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Special equipment: A candy thermometer

Lightly coat an 8x8" baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2" overhang on 2 sides; spray parchment.

Bring sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture turns a deep amber color, 8–10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and whisk in sweetened condensed milk and butter (mixture will bubble vigorously) until smooth. Fit pan with thermometer and return to medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thermometer registers 240°F. Remove from heat and whisk in bourbon and kosher salt. Pour into prepared pan; let cool. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt, cut into 3/4" pieces, and wrap individually in parchment paper.
DO AHEAD: Caramels can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store wrapped tightly in plastic in airtight container at room temperature.
Yield 81 pieces 3/4" square

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pizza Dough

2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
2 teaspoons coarse salt
4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface

Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Whisk sugar, oil, and salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and stir until a sticky dough forms. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and brush top with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead 1 or 2 times before using.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (recommended:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl combine the butter, chocolate hazelnut spread, sugar, and brown sugar. Using an electric mixer, cream the ingredients together, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Add the hazelnuts and stir until just combined.

Using a tablespoon measure, spoon out the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet, spacing the mounds about 4 inches apart. Use the tines of a fork to flatten the cookie dough. Bake until lightly golden around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

Yield: 3 dozen

Friday, February 6, 2015

Lavender and Lemon Scones

Lavender And Lemon Scones

{makes 16, adapted from Bon Appetit}

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
3/4 cup sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup half and half, plus more for brushing
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
sanding sugar
lemon curd

Place the butter in the freezer. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, lavender, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.

On the large holes of a grater, grate the frozen butter and add to the flour mixture. Stir gently, then rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until it resembles a coarse meal.

Whisk together the buttermilk, half and half, lemon zest and vanilla bean paste. Add to the flour/butter mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead about 5 times, until the dough comes together. Pat into a 10 x 6" rectangle. Halve the dough into two 5 x 6" sections. Cut each section into fourths, then cut each square diagonally. (A bench scraper is the perfect tool for this.)

Place 8 of the scones on the prepared baking sheet. Brush lightly with half + half and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden and done. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, place the remaining 8 scones on another baking sheet and freeze in a single layer. Once frozen, place in a freezer bag. Bake from freezer as directed above. Add a few more minutes of cooking time as necessary. If baking all at once, move oven racks to the lower and upper thirds and rotate sheets during cooking.

Once the scones are cooled, serve with a dollop (or three) of lemon curd. I used store-bought, but if you are looking to make your own, check out Sweetapolita's post on Citrus Curd. It's heavenly!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Yeast Dinner Rolls

Yeast Dinner Rolls

Yields 12 rolls 
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110º F)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted; plus extra for brushing 

   on top
1 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, combine warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar and active yeast. Set aside 5 minutes; mixture should be bubbly.

In a large bowl or mixer, combine milk, egg, oil, remaining sugar and salt and mix together.

Once yeast mixture has bubbled up, add that to the mixing bowl.

Gradually add flour to the dough mixture, beating on low speed. Dough should begin to come together.

Drizzle melted butter in and beat at medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Continue to knead until the dough comes together into a sticky, elastic ball.

Turn dough out into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and place in a warm, draft-free place for 60-90 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Gently transfer dough onto a smooth, lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. 

  • [If not making immediately, freeze rolls at this point.]
Roll into balls, but slightly flatten one side and place it in a 9x13-inch baking dish that’s been lined with non-stick sprayed parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Set baking dish aside for another 45-60 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.

Optional: melt extra butter and brush it over the tops of the rolls.

Place rolls in oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden.

Remove from oven and lift parchment paper out of baking dish, transferring rolls to a wire rack to cool.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Celery Soup with Bacon Croutons

Celery Soup With Bacon Croutons
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium leeks, halved and thinly sliced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
12 large celery ribs (2 lbs.) trimmed and
   thinly sliced
4 ounces bacon, finely diced 
Three 1/2" thick slices country bread,
   cut into 1/2" dice
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
Lemon olive oil, for drizzling
In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter.  Add the leeks, onions, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring until softened but not browed, about 12 minutes.  Add the celery and cook, stirring until just starting to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to moderate.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to half of a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the bacon fat.  Add the bread and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, 8 minutes.  Transfer to the other side of the prepared baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth.  Return the soup to the saucepan, whisk in the creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper.  Serve hot topped with the bacon croutons and a drizzle of lemon olive oil.

Serve with citrusy, medium bodied Chardonnay or a Chablis  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki Sauce
1 pound (1 pint) plain yogurt (whole milk or

   low fat)
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or 

   white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    (1 lemon)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth or paper towel-lined sieve and set it over a bowl. Grate the cucumber and toss it with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt; place it in another sieve, and set it over another bowl. Place both bowls in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the yogurt and cucumber can drain.

Transfer the thickened yogurt to a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber as you can and add the cucumber to the yogurt. Mix in the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. 

You can serve it immediately, but I prefer to allow the tzatziki to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Chicken And Biscuits Casserole

Chicken And Biscuit Casserole

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Cream of Chicken Soup
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Chopped onions (if you like )
Green peas
Boiled potatoes
Boiled chicken shredded or chunked
1 package (7.5 ounces) refrigerated biscuit dough (10 biscuits)

Directions:Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the soup, milk, cheese and black pepper in a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Stir in the vegetables and chicken.  You can add whatever veggies you like...

Bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the chicken mixture. Top the chicken mixture with the biscuits.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.