Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Kitchen Intel, Number Eleven!

January 16, 2020

Here are some tips and tricks for honey:

  • keep the honey jar closed and warm (room temperature).  If your honey crystallizes, put the jar in warm water until the crystals dissolve.
  • use a wide rubber band around the lid to easily open the jar.
  • you can soften honey by microwaving (but proceed with caution).
    • don’t put a jar with a metal ring in your microwave.
    • always loosen the cap when microwaving.
  • measuring sticky ingredients: measure oil first then your honey (or maple syrup, or corn syrup, or molasses, etc.).  The oil will prevent the syrupy ingredient from sticking.
  • substitute honey for sugar (with minor modifications)
    • use 1 part honey for every 1-1/4 part sugar.
    • reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.
    • add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for each 1 cup of honey.
    • reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent overbrowning.

Source: How to Break an Egg, by the editors, contributors, and readers of Fine Cooking magazine, p. 51-52, Jane Charlton, Verna Poole, Lisa Jung, Bernard Roth, and Kate Brick.

Fun Idea for Breakfast!

January 5, 2020

A few weeks ago I ran across this recipe that is super easy and super delicious!  Enjoy!

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Monkey Bread

Ingredients
4 Tablespoons of butter
6 eggs, beaten
1 can (16.3 ounces) of Pillsbury™ Grands!™ biscuits
1-1/2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup of bacon (cooked and crumbled)
1/4 cup of finely sliced green onion

Directions
1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 12-cup Bundt cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  In a skillet, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter over medium heat (be sure to coat the entire pan).  Add the eggs and reduce the heat to medium low.  Cook until firm but still moist (stirring frequently).

2. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the remaining 3 Tablespoons of butter until melted (30-45 seconds).  Add 1 Tablespoon of the melted butter to the bottom of the pan and brush halfway up the sides.  Separate the biscuit dough into the eight biscuits and cut each into six pieces.  Coat the biscuit pieces with the remaining melted butter and place half of them on the bottom of the pan.  Add a layer of 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese, then half of the bacon, then the scrambled eggs, then another 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese, and the green onions.  Add the remaining bacon, another 1/2 cup of cheese, and the remaining biscuit pieces.

3.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the biscuits well browned.  Cool for 5 minutes before running a spatula around the outer and inner edges of the pan to loosen the sides.  Invert the pan onto a serving platter and serve.

Cheesecake of the Month – December 2019!

December 15, 2019

With the Christmas holiday just ten days away, here is a festive idea to help brighten up that holiday gathering!

Santa Cheesecake Bites

Ingredients
1 plain cheesecake (homemade or store-bought)
1-1/2 cups of whipped cream
Strawberries, with the tops (stem end) sliced off

Create any standard “plain” cheesecake (or any flavor that will be complemented by a strawberry flavor).  You can use a store-purchased cheesecake if you don’t wish to go to the trouble of making your own.

Use a round biscuit cutter to “punch” holes out of the cheesecake (you should be able to get 8-12 cheesecake bites depending on the size of the cheesecake as well as the size of the biscuit cutter) creating round “bites.”

Pipe a small layer of whipped cream onto the top of each cheesecake bite.

Top this whipped cream layer with a strawberry (sliced side down).

Pipe a small dot of whipped cream on the top of the strawberry and serve (mini-Santa cheesecake bites).  Ho!  Ho!  Ho!

Homemade Salsa!

December 7, 2019

My hair stylist shared this recipe with me and it is a keeper (and it makes a lot).

Enrique’s Salsa

Ingredients
4 tomatillos
2 onions (yellow)
1 head of garlic
2 jalapeño peppers
1 bunch of cilantro
8 or 9 cans (how many ounce?) of stewed tomatoes (with cumin)
2 Tablespoons of white pepper
2 Tablespoons of garlic powder

Directions
1.  Steam the first four ingredients until slightly soft; chop roughly.
2.  Remove the stems from the cilantro and chop roughly.
3.  In an electric blender, process all of the remaining ingredients until you achieve the consistency you desire (work in batches if you have to — be sure to use pepper and garlic powder in each “batch”).
4.  Combine and stir it all together.
5.  Put in glass jars with tight lids.  Store in the refrigerator (will keep for several weeks).

Source: Enrique of Enrique’s Salon . . . muchas gracias Enrique!

Do You Like Squash?!

November 5, 2019

I’m not a big fan of squash, but my sister-in-law served this wonderful stuffed squash that was simply delightful (and very tasty).  The recipe calls for acorn squash, but she substituted della cotta squash and it was phenomenal!  Enjoy!

Apple & Sausage Stuffed Squash

Ingredients
2 squash
2 teaspoons of curry
1 pound of sausage
4 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 finely diced shallot (or small onion)
1 diced red apple
1 clove of minced garlic
1/3 cup of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup of maple syrup
4 slices of Swiss cheese

Directions
Halve and clean the squash, place in a roasting pan, and sprinkle with the curry.  Season with a little salt and pepper.

In a skillet, crumble the sausage, sprinkle it with the black pepper and begin to cook.  When it is about halfway done, add the crumbled bacon and continue cooking until done.

Remove the meat mixture (but leave the grease).  Saute the apple, shallot, and garlic in the grease until the shallots have softened.

Preheat you oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the meat, apple mix, and the softened cream cheese.  Add the maple syrup and stir well.  Feel free to add more curry if you really like things spicy.

Pack the mixture into each half-squash (mound it up a bit) and pop them into the oven.

Bake for 55 minutes then top with the Swiss cheese and bake an additional five (5) minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Yum!

Yummy Chili!

October 5, 2019

I’m a big fan of chili to begin with, but when my brother served this version, I was smitten immediately!  A bit more on the “sweet” side (as opposed to the “spicy” side), this is a recipe that is sure to please most any palate.

Yummy Chili

Ingredients
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 Tablespoon of butter
2/3 cup of ketsup
1/2 cup of water
2 Tablepoons of lemon juice
1-1/2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of MSG
1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard
1 can of beans (white, pinquitos, or aduki)
3/4 cup of tomato juice
1 Tablespoon of chili powder

Directions
Combine all ingredients and heat.

Cheesecake of the Month – September 2019!

September 14, 2019

Here is another low-fat recipe for an orange-flavored cheesecake (and it has a gingersnap crust, and Grand Marnier – woot).  Enjoy!

Low-fat Orange-Glazed Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Ingredients
1 cup of gingersnap cookie crumbs
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1 Tablespoon of butter, melted
2 packages (8-ounces each) fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 packages (8-ounces each) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 container (8-ounce) reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup of flour
1-1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of thawed orange juice concentrate, undiluted
1 Tablespoon of Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur or orange juice concentrate
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup of orange marmalade
1 Tablespoon of Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur or orange juice concentrate
1 orange, peeled and sliced

Directions

  1. Combine the first three ingredients; toss with a fork until moist.  Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ springform pan.  Bake at 325 degrees F for 5 minutes.
  2. Beat cheeses and sour cream in a large bowl at high speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the flour, sugar, and next 3 ingredients and beat well.  Add the eggs and the egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Pour the cheese mixture into the crust-lined pan and bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until almost set.  (The cheesecake is done when the center barely moves when the pan is touched.)  Remove the cheesecake from the oven; gently run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake.  Cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  4. To prepare the topping, combine the marmalade and liqueur.  Spread half of this mixture over the top of the cheesecake.  Cut the orange slices in half and arrange over the cheesecake.  Spread the remaining marmalade mixture over the top of the orange slices.  Cover and chill until you are ready to serve.

Chicken, Quick and Easy!

September 7, 2019

I am always on the lookout for recipes that are quick and easy . . . they come in handy on those evenings when you really don’t seem to have the energy for anything too complicated.  Here is a recipe that combines chicken with crescent rolls . . . delish!  Enjoy!

Chicken Crescent Bake

Ingredients
1 tube (8-count) of regular-sized crescent rolls
2 cups of shredded chicken (cooked)
4 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
1 teaspoon of instant minced onion
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
a pinch of pepper
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan (or Romano) cheese
1 can (10.75 ounces) of cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of milk

Directions
1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Lightly spray an 11″ x 7″ pan (oven-safe) with cooking spray.
3.  In a medium bowl, mix together the chicken, cream cheese, minced onion, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and mozzarella cheese.  Set aside
4.  In another bowl, mix the soup mix and the milk, stirring until smooth.
5.  Separate the crescent dough into the eight triangles.  Place about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture on the wide base of each triangle.  Roll up the crescent rolls and seal completely.
6.  Place the chicken-filled crescents in the pan making two rows with four crescents in each row.  Be sure to leave space on all sides (to be filled in with the sauce).
7.  Pour the sauce around the crescents, but avoid covering the dough completely or the tops will not brown.
8.  Sprinkle the tops with the grated cheese.
9.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are nicely browned.

Source: The Midnight Baker; https://bakeatmidnite.com/chicken-crescent-bake/

 

No-Crust Pizza!

August 6, 2019

Here is an amazing recipe that I found for a pizza that has no crust!

No-Crust Pizza

Ingredients
1 Tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon of caraway seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of garlic salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 pounds of extra-lean ground beef
2 eggs
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 package (12-ounce) of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 package (3.5-ounce) of sliced pepperoni (or to taste)

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2.   Mix together the salt, caraway seeds, oregano, garlic salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
  3. Mix ground beef and eggs in a mixing bowl until thoroughly incorporated.  Add the Parmesan cheese and seasoning mixture to the beef and combine.  Press the ground beef mixture onto a 12″ x 17″ pan and spread out evenly.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the meat is no longer pink (about ten minutes).  Drain the grease.
  5. Set the oven rack to about six inches from the heat source and turn on the oven’s broiler.
  6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese over the baked meat followed by the tomato sauce in an even layer.  Sprinkle another 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese over the sauce and top with the pepperoni.  Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over the pizza.
  7. Broil until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and lightly browned (about 3-5 minutes).

Cheesecake of the Month – July 2019!

July 15, 2019

Looking for that “healthier” option when it comes to desserts?  Here is a much-reduced calorie cheesecake that is sure to please.

Fresh ‘n Healthy Lemon-Berry Cheesecake

Ingredients
3/4 cup of crushed gingersnap cookies
3 Tablespoons of quick-cooking oats, uncooked
2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 container (16-ounce) 1% low-fat cottage cheese
1 package (8-ounce) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup of sugar
3 Tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel
2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of raspberries

Directions

  1. Placed the crushed gingersnap cookies, oats, and butter in a food processor; process until blended.  Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 7″ springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 6 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  2. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.  Combine the cottage cheese and cream cheese in a food processor; process 2 minutes or until smooth.  Add sugar and the next six ingredients; process 1 minute or just until blended.  Pour the cheese mixture over your prepared crust.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until the center is almost set (the center will be soft, but will firm up as it chills).  Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.  Remove the cheesecake from the oven and gently run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen the pan.  Cool to room temperature on a wire rack before covering and chilling for at least 8 hours.
  4. Unmold the cheesecake onto your serving dish and serve with raspberries.