Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Night Specials

I think I like apricots now. When I was a child (I still am a child) we had two apricot trees. What a chore they were, when they were on we picked like crazy. We made apricot nectar, jam, fruit leather and some dried apricots. I don't remember having Apricot Chicken. Searching through my recipes I found several, but not quite what I was looking for so I mixed them up a little. This chicken was so tasty and tender the nuts and the jam add tons of flavor to the rice. Yesterday on my daughter blog she posted the song I Did It My Way, sung by the Three Tenors performed for Frank Sinatra. So here is my way Apricot Chicken.
My Way Apricot Chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup wild rice
1 cup chopped nuts not fine
4 boneless chicken breast
1 cup apricot jam
1 cup low cal French dressing
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 c dried apricots
1 envelope onion soup mix

Combine onion soup mix and 2 cups chicken broth in small sauce pan. Cook rice in chicken broth instead of water. While that is cooking heat oil in skillet and add chicken and nuts. Cook chicken for about 5 minutes until brown on both sides. Remove chicken from pan and combine cooked rice, nuts, apricot jam, and French dressing mix well together. Pour rice into a glass casserole dish, place chicken on top of rice with dried apricots on top of chicken and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

Friday, February 27, 2009



Donna from My Tasty Treasures gave me my first reward she has an incredible blog where she shares the kitchen with her fire fighting husband. Check it out often

I am passing this award on to my ten most favorite blogs about food.

Linda from -
The five sister
Katherine- Smoky Mountain Cafe
Laura- Real Mom Kitchen
5 Star Foodie
Julie- Pia Productions
Chocolate Blonde

Check out all of these great blogs and let me know what you think.
After you receive the award

1. Put Logo on your blog
2. Nominate 10 blogs to receive
3. Link nominees
4. Let them know they received the award
5. Share the love and link post of the person who sent the award.

Dinner and a Movie Friday

He is just not that into you

A few years ago when I was single I read the book and had a light bulb moment. Wasted time and energy. I believe allot of single women fall into this situation. The movie makes women look like they are stupid when it comes to dating most are, me included. A few big stars Jennifer Aniston, Ben Afflec, and Drew Barrymore. Some what entertaining and true about the dating life. All single women should see this movie and take it to heart.
My mom always makes this pull apart on Christmas morning I missed Christmas this year and the craving was building. The cream cheese mixture add tons of flavor.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Pull Aparts

24 frozen bread rolls, thawed but cold ( Rhodes brand recommended)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup butter melted
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon each, grated orange rind and lemon rind
1 cup powdered sugar
5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Press about 1 teaspoon cranberries into each thawed roll. Place the rolls in a 9 by 13 inch pan coated with non- stick cooking spray. Combine the butter, 1/2 cup sugar, cream cheese and orange juice. Blend well and pour over rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size.

Heat oven to 350. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the rind and any remaining cranberries. Sprinkle this
mixture over the risen rolls. Bake immediately for 25 minutes or until rolls in the center are cooked through. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over rolls. I believe this recipe came from Rhodes Bake-N-Serv but I am not sure.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stay at home Thursday

I always wondered how this was done, now I know. It is not allot of work but a little standing time. So get it in the oven and forget about it. They serve this at my favorite places to eat you can have steak, soup, salads, pork, fish, enchiladas, and a variety of different sandwiches. This is what I have every time I go. I have tried different items but I always go back to my favorite. At the restaurant they call it Rare Roast Beef after seeing how it is cooked, I would not call it not rare just mouth watering pink. They have three location with different names and menus but all three have this sandwich on the menu. It is served with a horseradish sauce that you can pour on the sandwich or dip it in.

Never Fail Medium Rare Roast Beef

4 lbs or larger roast beef (try to avoid the fat)
steak seasoning
Garlic powder

Have roast beef at room temperature (very important)
Dredge with flour combined with seasoning shake off excess flour from meat.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Cook 5 minutes per pound.
Turn off oven and leave roast in oven for two hours.
DO NOT open oven at any time until the 2 hours (plus the 5 minutes per pound) are up VERY IMPORTANT!
Let stand at least 10 minutes after removing from oven before carving.

I used sourdough bread, butter lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, Swiss cheese and lots of paper thin rare roast beef.

Horseradish Sauce

2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons horseradish
salt and pepper

Mix together and lightly butter bread use the rest for dipping.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Low Cal Wednesday

Several months ago Suze Orman was on Oprah talking about the deficit of the country. In the audience that day the credit card debt was over two million dollars. Wow you say. I believe she said the audience consisted of 250 people. She talked about ways people could try not to use your credit cards. One of her suggestions was to eat at home. We took this literally until today, I believe it has been about 60 days since we have eaten out. We do not have any credit card or any debt period but enjoyed the challenge to see if we could do it.

Today we are celebrating my parents 55 Wedding Anniversary. If or when I celebrate my 55 Wedding Anniversary I will be 101 years old. I probably won't care and either will any one else. What an accomplishment for Mom & Dad. We would have celebrated the 50th but we had a death in the family that week it was not time to celebrate. We get to eat out. Now I don't really want to go out. I won't know what the calorie intake will be, I will try to eat lite.

Since I won't be cooking today I am sharing my favorite low cal treat. They can be eaten hot or cold I prefer the cold method. They come in twelve bags inside this bag. I just keep in the freezer and get one bag out at a time. All natural soy beans. The pod is not edible. One of the best things if you are watching your cholesterol 0g of cholesterol. Great heart healthy treat. The FDA has determined diets low in fat and cholesterol that include 25g of soy protein per day may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Veggie Tuesday

Get out the blender or the food processor. This soup had so much flavor and was also beautiful to look at. I doubled the recipe because I felt like it was not enough for four people. It is very easy to make you could whip it up after work.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup sliced shallots
1 15oz jar roasted red peppers packed in water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and red pepper flakes saute 5 minutes. Add red peppers with their liquid. Stir in sugar; saute 2 minutes. Add 2 cups broth and simmer 5 minutes. Cool soup slightly. Working in batches, puree soup on blender. Return soup to pan. Bring to simmer; stir in orange juice. Thin soup with additional broth, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Whisk whipping cream and orange peel in small bowl until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle orange cream over. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gourmet Monday

The oven probe! While I was fixing this dinner I decided to try and use the oven probe. We got out the owners manual and still could not get it to work. This again is another first for me. I have never cook lamb before. It was very tender with tons of flavor in every bite. It was very easy to make and looks like you worked for hours.

Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb

1 2-pound rack of lamb about 8 ribs
3 tablespoons olive oil divided
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon Greek seasoning
3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 12 oz container cherry tomatoes

Preheat over to 425 F. Rub lamb with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with 11/2 teaspoons rosemary, then salt and pepper. Place on large rimmed baking sheet. Place 2 tablespoons oil, 11/2 teaspoon rosemary, and tomatoes in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat; scatter around lamb.
Roast lamb and tomatoes until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of lamb register 135 F for medium -rare, about 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Cut lamb between bones into individual chops. I cooked the lamb for about 45 minutes it was to rare at 30 minutes.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

2 lb medium potatoes
5 large garlic cloves roasted
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3 teaspoons olive oil

I roasted the garlic in a Terra Cotta roasting pot while the lamb was cooking. Roasting the garlic makes it spreadable. Boil the potatoes until tender, add garlic and thyme to potatoes and serve.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sundays are Chocolate

Not much cooking going on today it's clean clean clean. We have an Open House today. But yesterday I made this marble cake it is so rich in chocolate and moist. We will be distributing during the open house. What will everyone do when we leave town. My husbands stepbrother is glad he is a member of the dessert of the month club.

Sour Cream Marble Bundt Cake

4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup sour cream
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray 10 inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine first six ingredients. Using electric mixer beat until well blended about 2 minutes.
In a medium glass bowl microwave chocolate morsels for 30 seconds. Stir to blend. Continue to heat until melted.
Remove 2 cups of yellow cake mix and blend into chocolate thoroughly. Spoon chocolate batter and yellow batter alternately into prepared pan this will make the marble effect. Bake on center rack of oven for 55 minutes. Insert toothpick to check center of cake to make sure it is done.
Transfer pan to cooling rack and cool completely. Invert cake onto plate and carefully remove pan.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Night Specials

For a few years the hubby has been asking for Gnocchi yea sure sometime I will make them. Finely I had to let it be known I was clueless as to what a Gnocchi even was let alone make. I don't feel so bad my parents also didn't know what a Gnocchi was. At my local Sam's Club a few weeks ago I saw a box of Gnocchi's so I picked it up. What is a Gnocchi? A Gnocchi is a little potato dumpling wrapped in a noodle. I believe they are on the menu at Olive Garden but I have not tried them before. This is a first I must say I was very impressed. Teresa at had a vegetarian recipe on her blog a few weeks ago with spinach and pine nuts that's next to try. The Gnocchi come in a vacuumed packed package with three in a box, the shelve life is a year. Next time I am going to try making them by scratch.

First Time Gnocchi

1 package of Gnocchi
1 large Italian sausage sliced
2 cans of tomato sauce
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 can diced tomato's
1 chopped red bell pepper
Romano Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

In large skillet cook Italian sausage, garlic, bell pepper and red pepper flakes. Then add tomato's and simmer at least 15 to 20 minutes. Place Gnocchi in boiling water it takes about three to four minutes they will float when they are done. Pour sauce over drained Gnocchi add cheese and enjoy.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dinner and a Movie

Oscars Oscars we just can't wait

This is the first time that I am looking forward to the Oscars I just can't wait I think we have seen every movie that is up for an Oscar and then some. I guess I can say when you are retired and you don't eat out, going to the movie is great entertainment. Can't wait to plan the Oscar feast.

I would like to make a few suggestions if you have not seen Milk it is worth the time and money I thought I was walking into Brokeback Mountain that was not the case at all. I don't believe their is any comparison. It is rated R for the content and not suggested for young adults. Every one knows some one who is gay or they deny that they do. We felt a lot of pain for the community in the movie. Shawn Penn portrayed Harvey Milk this was a true story with a heart wrenching ending. Harvey Milk was a gay elected official in San Francisco. If I have offended anyone here I am really sorry. I think that is it so unfortunate that a movie with violence will be shown in every theater and one that has to do with same sex being in love with each other is only shown in one theater in our City. Our prisons are all over loaded and we show films with violence in every theater. You can not turn on the news without seeing something about gay rights. I feel our country should spend more time taking care of our criminals than fighting over gay rights. Coming from a married heterosexual female.

Slumdog Millionaire low budget must see be sure and take some Kleenex.
Maurice's Frozen Key Lime Pie

11/2 cups graham-cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter melted

Mix above ingredients and press evenly in pie plate. Bake at 375 F for eight minutes or until very lightly browned on the edges.

4 egg yokes
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Key lime juice

In a small bowl beat the yolks until they are pale. Gradually add the condensed milk, beating only to mix. Then on low speed beat in the Key lime juice. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold a point when the beaters are raised, but not until they are stiff or dry.
Fold about one-third of the whites into the lime juice mixture and then, in a large bowl, fold together the lime juice mixture and the remaining beaten whites. Do not handle any more than necessary.
Turn into the prepared crumb crust and smooth the top.
Freeze for about an hour and then wrap airtight with plastic wrap. Continue to freeze the pie.

Cover with whipping cream and enjoy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stay at home Thursday

If you don't make anything I have suggested be sure and try these shrimp. They are pan smoked, what a new adventure served with a Barbecue Hollandaise sauce. Don't tell but I ruined the pan making these shrimp. It's a good thing we did not have a buyer for our residence the day I cooked these shrimp. The recipe calls for apple wood chips I could not find any, so I used hickory instead. When you line your pan you want to be sure that you cover every thing no holes please learn from my mistake. They would be great on the BBQ it's a little to chilly for me to work outside. I know I know I need a new camera that is this week investment. Mr analytical is checking out all of the camera's if any one has any suggestions and willing to share please pass them along. My pictures do not justify all of my hard work, am I on a soap box.

Pan Smoke Barbecue Shrimp

3 tablespoons brown sugar
5 teaspoons chili powder
4 teaspoons salt
11/4 teaspoon chili powder
11/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder

Whisk the first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Toss shrimp in rub to coat. Line heavy skillet with foil. Drain 1 cup wood chips, scatter in skillet. Place round rack or steamer rack over chips. Cover skillet with foil, wrapping tightly to seal. Place lid atop foil. Cook over high heat until smoke begins to form about 5 minutes. Carefully remove lid and top layer of foil. Place half of shrimp in a single layer on rack. Cover skillet tightly with foil, them place lid on smoke shrimp 5 minutes. Remove wood chips and replace with other wood chips and repeat with remainder of the shrimp.

2 lbs deveined uncooked shrimp tail left intact

2 cups apple wood chips soaked in water 1 hour

Barbecue Hollandaise Sauce

3 large egg yokes
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
11/2 cups butter (this is way to much 1 stick would be just fine)
2 teaspoons prepared barbecue sauce

Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Place bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water. Whisk egg mixture until light and fluffy about 3 minutes. Whisk in butter in slow steady stream; continue whisking until thick and smooth. Whisk in barbecue sauce. Remove saucepan from heat; let stand while grilling shrimp.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Low Cal Wednesday

If you notice on my blog very rarely do I have any breakfast items. The reason being I dislike breakfast. I have to force myself to eat breakfast. Usually a bowl of Cheerios's with some blueberries and a banana and always skim milk or soy. My choice would be to have chocolate for breakfast doughnut, cake, candy bar or chocolate instant breakfast might do. This morning I got out my smoothie maker and whipped it up. It was pretty easy, done in about 2 minutes and easy to clean up. Next time maybe I can do the chocolate instant breakfast and make it into a smoothie that would work even better. I just found a few items in the fridge that I thought would make a good smoothie. The oranges added tons of flavor. It was really good and made enough for two.

Mandarin Pine Nanna Smoothie

1 cup white grape juice
1 cup nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
2 mandarin oranges peeled
1 banana
1 spring of fresh mint
ten ice cubes

Put in the smoothie machine in the order listed above. The key to a smoothie is to have consistency in the liquid and the solid, with the ice cubes added last. Blended for about thirty seconds. Adding the mint added lots of extra flavor and not many calories. It would be great with flax seed or a protein powder. It would be really easy to do in a blender, if you do not have a smoothie maker. Curved my appetite until lunch time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Veggie Tuesday

This would make a lovely appetizer. It took a while to make but it was not difficult. I don't believe that my dough rouse as much as it should of. The onions had tons of flavor. I also added a little crushed pineapple because I had some left over. I found the recipe in an old Bon Appetit Magazine. I was not able to find the creme fraiche, instead I used a little sour cream and 1 tablespoon of whipping cream. It was devoured before I could take the pictures. I had several requests for the hubby's blog yesterday here it is check out his story to quit.

Caramelized-Onion Flatbreads

Bread dough
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water (105°F to 115°F)
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon nigella (kalonji) seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
Caramelized onions
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound onions (about 2 medium), cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges through root ends
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 crushed pineapple
  • Semolina flour (pasta flour)* or cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

For bread dough:
Whisk 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water and yeast in small bowl; let stand until yeast is dissolved, about 10 minutes.

Mix flour, nigella seeds, and salt in medium bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with wooden spoon until mixture clumps together. Add butter; mix until incorporated. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces; roll each into ball. Place on baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep covered and refrigerate.)

For caramelized onions:
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion wedges to skillet and cook without turning until beginning to brown, about 7 minutes. Carefully turn onions over; reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until onions are tender and brown, occasionally stirring gently, about 10 minutes. Add thyme and honey; cook 1 minute. Stir in vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat. Cool. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 1 hour. Whisk crème fraîche and egg in small bowl to blend. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with semolina flour. Roll out each dough ball to 5-inch round. Transfer 3 rounds to each prepared baking sheet. Let rest 10 minutes. Pierce dough rounds all over with fork. Spread 1 generous tablespoon crème fraîche mixture over each dough round, leaving 1/4-inch plain border. Arrange onions evenly atop each; drizzle lightly with crème fraîche mixture (mixture may spill over edges of dough).

Bake flatbreads until crusts are puffed and golden, about 12 minutes. Transfer to plates; sprinkle with chives.

*Available at some supermarkets, and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gourmet Monday

I have to admit I can not tell a lie I took this from the hubby's blog.I have eaten a lot of baklava and have found this recipe to produce the finest quality pastry yet. This baklava recipe Makes 2 dozen pieces. The recipe has 2 parts. The first is for the baklava and the 2nd is for the syrup that goes on the baklava when it comes out of the oven. I will also have to admit he did all of the work I was just here for moral support it was our first time making Baklava. We gave every piece away. If you are one of our neighbors just let us know we will put you on our list.BAKLAVA
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
1/2 cup finely chopped, blanched almonds, toasted
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 lb. butter melted
1 pkg. filo pastry sheets

Combine nuts, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Brush a 13x9x2 baking pan well with butter. Separate 25 filo pastry sheets from package. Place under a smooth (not terrycloth), damp towel so filo does not dry out. Wrap remaining filo well and freeze for future use. Place one filo sheet in pan. Trim to fit. Brush generously with melted butter. Repeat procedure until there are 5 layers of buttered filo in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of nut mixture over buttered filo sheets. Butter and layer 5 more filo sheets. Sprinkle with 1/4 of nut mixture. Repeat this procedure two more times, ending with the top of the pastry consisting of 5 sheets of filo. Drizzle and remaining butter over the top. Bake in 300 degree F oven for 1-1/2 hours or until golden brown. Remove baklava from oven. Using a sharp knife, immediately cut long, diagonal lines from corner to corner, forming an "x". Follow these guidelines to cut baklava into serving sized diamonds. While still hot, pour cooled syrup over baklava.

2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups water
finely grated rind of 1 orange
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup honey

Combine sugar, water, orange and lemon rinds, cloves and cinnamon stick in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes to thicken syrup slightly. Remove from heat. Discard spices. Stir in honey. Cool at room temperature. Pour over hot baklava. Allow to stand overnight before serving.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sundays are Chocolate

I made this for my little Valentine last night while he was down stairs working on his blog. I say little because he is not eating any sweets every time I look at him he gets thinner. He took one bite and said will you makes these again, and" why haven't you ever made these before". Then he suggested maybe green for St Patrick's Day. You want to be sure and let the chocolate set up, I waited a few days before I filled the shells. It is hard to tell in the picture they are little petit four paper cups filled with chocolate. I can't remember where the recipe came from I tore it out of the book.

Peppermint Mousse Cups
11/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white vanilla baking chips
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 drops red food color
2 tablespoons crushed candy mints

Line 24 mini muffin cups with petit four paper cups. In 1-quart saucepan, melt semisweet chocolate chips over low heat, stirring frequently. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the chocolate in each paper cup. With back of small measuring spoon, spread chocolate up side to within 1/8 inch of the top. Chocolate should be warm enough to spread. Refrigerate about 20 minutes or until completely set.

Meanwhile, in small microwaveable bowl, microwave vanilla baking chips uncovered on High 1 minute. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the whipping cream: microwave about 30 seconds longer or until chips are melted. Stir in peppermint extract and food color. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Carefully remove paper cups from chocolate cups.

In medium bowl, beat remaining whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold melted vanilla chips mixture into chocolate cups. Refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, sprinkle with candy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday Night Specials


We love to travel and our favorite trips are cruising. Last year we introduced all of our children, (adults) on the way to the airport. Here we had seven people who knew a lot about each other through email, pictures, and web cams but had never been introduced. What a fun trip that was. Reasons being the Iraq war. Our son is their for the second time and our son-in law is on his third tour. " Our little grandson's can't wait to see daddy." One of the meals we all enjoyed was the Steak and Lobster Tail. This is so quick and easy. We found the Lobster Tail at Albertsons for 5.50 this last week, not much to spend for a great Valentines Meal.

Broiled Lobster Tails

Preheat the broiler.

Place lobster tail on a medium Baking Sheet. With a sharp knife or kitchen shears, carefully cut top side of lobster shells lengthwise. Pull apart shells slightly, and season meat with equal amounts butter, paprika, salt and white pepper.
Broil lobster tails 5 to 10 minutes, or until butter is melted and lightly browned, and lobster meat is opaque. Carefully remove from shell. Dipping sauce 3 tablespoons butter with a little garlic and parsley flakes. You could also use cocktail sauce.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Carrot Cake Showdown

Check it out I entered my first competition.............Follow the link below to check out all of the entries.
No Sugar Added Carrot Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded carrots
3 eggs
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups honey
18 oz can crushed pineapple (packed in natural juices)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Sift together the flour and cake flour, baking soda,cinnamon, nutmeg,allspice, cloves, and salt Set aside.Grease what ever pan you would like to use.

I used to 8 by 8 pan to make this cake. Watch your cooking time depending on the size of the pan you use. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Wash the carrots (do not peel them) and cut off the ends. Shred the carrots with a fine shredder you can use a manual grater or a food processor. You should have 2 cup firmly packed. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat and whisk the eggs just to mix. Gradually beat in the oil, buttermilk, and honey. Then stir in the carrots, pineapple (with its juice), raisins, and nuts. Add the sifted dry ingredients all at once and stir, mix only until the dry ingredients are moistened. ( Do not over mix, if the bowl is large enough stir with a large rubber spatula, you will not over mix.) It will be a very liquid (thin) mixture.

Turn into the prepared pan and rotate the pan a bit to smooth the top. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, depending on the size of the pan.

Let cake cook in the pan for about 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cake cool completely.

Sugar added Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz package of cream cheese at room temperature
2 tablespoons of milk
2 tsp of vanilla
1 package of powdered sugar
1/2 stick of butter

Blend together until nice and smooth ice cake layer at a time.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stay at home Thursday

It's the first time. My family owned a pie company when I was a young girl. I remember going to the pie shop Saturday morning, I think that was Moms time to do what she wanted. We would play with the whipped cream and all the fun big machines. I have never been into making pies. When my Grandmother would make a pie from scratch it would look like a machine made it. Same goes for my Dad. I am sure the crust will never look like Dad's crust, but the filling is excellent. You could also use a store bought pie crust. This recipe made two pies so we gave one away.

First Time Chicken Pot Pie

Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons vinegar

Mix flour and salt together, then add shortening. Work it i n until mixture is crumbly. Beat egg, then add 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1/4 cup water. Mix well together with flour mixture. Makes pie crust for two double pie (bottom and top)

3 boneless chicken breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cooked and skinned potatoes diced
1 cup of diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup whipping cream

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic saute until tender about ten minutes. Add chicken breasts, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until cooked through. Add chicken broth, carrots and celery cook for about 20 minutes until sauce in thickened. Remove chicken breast shred coarsely and return to skillet. If sauce is thin continue to cook until it thickens. Add raisins and 1 cup whipping cream. Simmer 5 minutes. Pour half of chicken mixture into pie crust. Take second pie crust put over the top and flute the edges. Be sure and cut a few holes in the crust top. If you like you can brush the top with a egg wash 1 beaten egg and a little milk. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes until the top is brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Low Cal Wednesday

We exercise we eat at home but I still can not seem to lose the weight, I would like. This is one of our favorites we have it often I mean at least once a week. Usually my husband does all of the grilling. We make this salad in a teak bowl rubbed with anchovies. Then we finely dice the anchovies and put the remainder in the dressing. We usually buy the wild salmon we enjoy the flavor more. You can also do this recipe in the oven placing the salmon in parchment paper and broil. The calories is 342 depending on the size of the fish.

Salmon Cesar Salad

2 cloves of garlic
2 pieces of wild salmon
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
3/4 cup fat fee Caesar salad dressing
2 anchovies
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup slivered almond, toasted

Drain all access water off the salmon. Rub the chopped garlic over the salmon. Place salmon in small pan to marinate with teriyaki sauce and hoisin sauce. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes so that the salmon can take in all the flavors of the sauces. If cooking in a pan pour part of the sauce in the pan. If grilling brush sauce on salmon, cook on both sides at least 4 to 6 minutes depending on the temperature. In a large bowl toss romaine lettuce with dressing and juice from the anchovies. Slice salmon into pieces arrange over salads. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and almonds.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Veggie Tuesday

Years ago when my daughter was small she came home from Grandma and Grandpa's house and said "Mom why don't you make us a brain?" I questioned her as to what she was talking about, I still did not quite understand. So I made the call to my Mom to ask her what a brain was. She explained that the previous Sunday while I was working they had cauliflower. I had to laugh then because I new what she meant. This is our version of the brain. No body parts or drugs are involved. You will be surprised how quickly it will disappear.

The Brain

One good size cauliflower
1 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

First steam cauliflower. While that is steaming mix the Dijon mustard and mayo in a small bowl. With a spatula spread mustard mixture over entire cauliflower. Cover with cheese and bake at 350 F for ten minutes.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gourmet Mondays

For months I have looked for a Potato and Cheese soup. This soup needs to cook on low heat for at least six hours. The red pepper flakes add flavor and a small touch of color. If you don't cook with alcohol you could use a nonalcoholic beer. I am sure it would work to use one can of condensed cheddar cheese soup. Don't forget to add the rye croutons.

Potato Cheese Chowder

2 lbs russet potatoes peeled chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium stalk celery chopped
1 medium carrot finely chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can chicken broth
1 can of beer preferably dark
8 oz shredded Cheddar and American Cheese blend
1/2 cup whipping cream

In 3 to 4 quart stock pan combine potatoes, onion, celery, carrot, garlic and pepper stir gently to mix. Pour broth and beer over vegetables. Cover cook on very low heat for 6 to 8 hours. About 10 minutes before serving, coarsely mash vegetables with potato masher or fork. Add cheese whipping cream; stir until cheese is melted. Cover; cook an additional 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with rye croutons.

Rye Croutons
Arrange single layer of cubed rye bread. Butter and sprinkle garlic salt. Toast for 15 to 25 minutes until golden and dry.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday's are Chocolate

Each time I have made this cake the requests keep coming in to make it again. I decided I would keep everyone happy. This cake has allot of different spices and seasonings. It is very easy to put together. The white chocolate icing brings out all the flavors of the spices. So moist and yummy.

Triple Chocolate Cake

1 package chocolate cake mix, any variety
1 package (4-serving size) chocolate flavor instant pudding
4 eggs
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup mini chocolate chips

White Chocolate Icing
1 cup white chocolate chips
4 teaspoons of milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 10 cup bundt pan with non-stick baking spray with flour. Beat all ingredients except chocolate chips in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, scraping side of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 to 3 minutes or until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into pan. Bake at 350 F for about 50 minutes or until cake pulls away from pan and cake springs back when touched lightly. Cool on cake rack for 20 minutes. Invert cake onto cooling rack and remove pan. Cool completely. White Chocolate Icing: Combine white chocolate chips with milk; microwave on medium power 1 minute. If necessary, repeat microwave process in 10-20 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until morsels have melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Drizzle over cooled cake. Icing will harden so prepare just before spooning over cake.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Staurday Night Specials

Near the mouth of Sardine Canyon just outside of Brigham City Utah sits Maddox Ranch House (Restaurant). Maddox is famous for beef, bison, lamb, chicken and fish the list goes on and on. Several friends and family members have asked, if I could find the recipe for the Maddox Ranch Rolls. I was able to find several, each recipe was different with the same ingredients. The rolls are almost like a piece of freshly cooked bread.

Maddox Ranch House Rolls

2 tablespoons of yeast
1/2 warm water
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
5 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Heat 2 cups scalded milk and 1/2 cup butter and salt. Let milk cool until warm. Mix together 1/2 cups sugar, yeast mixture, 3 eggs, 5 1/2 cups flour. Stir thoroughly. Add the milk portion to the flour and mix until well blended. The dough will be very sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise for 90 minutes. Spoon into greased muffin tins makes 24. Allow to rise until slightly rounded. Takes at least one hour. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.

Cinnamon Honey Butter
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream the three ingredients together makes great honey butter. I found this recipe on Thanks Laura.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dinner and a Movie

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This movie is still playing at the theater. Be sure you have three hours to spare. The story starts as Brad Pitt is born an old man and he ages backwards. The story is based in the 1920's . Developed from F Scott Fitzgerald writtings. You will laugh and you will cry. Cate Blanchett plays one of Brad's love interests, she is always their to help him through his dificulities. This movie is rated PG-13 I would give this movie two and a half out of four stars.

Blueberry Orange Cornbread Loaf

1 cup blueberries
1- 3/4 cup flour
1/2 c orange juice
1/4 c cornmeal
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspoons orange peel grated

Preheat over to 350 F. Grease and flour one 8-1/2 loaf pan. In a small bowl toss blueberries with two tablespoons of flour. In another medium bowl combine baking powder, baking soda, salt, cornmeal and remaining flour. In another large bowl cream together butter and sugar for two to three minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the two eggs one at a time and beat well. Beat in the orange peel and the orange juice. Add flour mixture to orange mixture and beat on low speed mixing together well. Carefully stir in blueberries and spread in greassed pan. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until tested with toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on the rack.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stary At Home Thursday

For years I worked at a small Italian Restaurant in Salt Lake City the Cinegrill. The lasagna was incredible. The noodles were kept in a big pan then as ordered, placed in a stainless bowl with tons of sauce poured on top. Now that I think about it, maybe that's were my weight problem came from. I always thought lasagna was to expensive to make. M e and the Stoffers are great friends. My husbands part Italian so he makes sure I used the best ingredients. He claims that in Italian cooking the cheese is the most important part. We were able to find fresh mozzarella at Sam's Club 24oz for 7.50. I used half in this recipe. It does not quite come out of the crock pot as easily as a layered casserole. The Alfredo sauce adds tons of flavor. It was perfect even the Italian agreed.

Crock Pot Lasagna

l lb lean ground beef
1 (26 to 28-oz) jar tomato pasta sauce
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 (9-oz) pkg no boil lasagna noodles
1 (1-lb) jar Alfredo pasta sauce
12 oz (3 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef in large skillet over medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Spray crock pot with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 3/4 cup of the tomato pasta sauce in bottom of sprayed crock pot. Stir remaining tomato pasta sauce and tomato sauce into ground beef. Layer 3 lasagna noodles over sauce in crock pot breaking noodles as necessary. Top with 1/3 of the Alfredo pasta sauce, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Top with 1/3 of the ground beef mixture, spreading evenly. Repeat layering twice, using 2 lasagna noodles in last layer. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. Cover; cook on Low setting for 31/2 to 41/2 hours.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Low Cal Wednesday

It got very warm here today about 45 degrees. This soup warms the soul in three minutes. It takes about eight hours to cook. The flavors are real rich and the wild rice adds a very nice texture to the soup. This recipe would be very easy to make vegan just add vegetable broth. Calorie content is 140 calories for a one cup serving.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

1 lb small whole mushrooms, halved
1/2 cup uncooked whole grain wild rice
1 medium stalk celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 envelopes onion soup mix
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup water
1 can of beef broth (could use vegetable broth)
1 cup frozen Corn thawed

In 3 to 4 quart stock pan or slow cooker, layer mushrooms, rice, celery, carrots, soup mix and sugar. Pour water and broth over top. Cover; cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Stir once an hour. About 10 minutes before serving gently stir in the thawed corn. Cover and cook additional 10 minutes.

Veggie Tuesday

The flavors of the onions and the red peppers really bring out the taste of the broccoli. I enjoyed the crust on this bake it is thick and holds in the juices from the mushrooms. I used goat cheese but I think you could use Cheddar or Swiss cheese and it would melt better.

Broccoli Roasted Pepper Bake
two nine inch refrigerated pie crust
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 onion chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups mushrooms
3 cups broccoli chopped small
1 cup low fat milk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Roll the two pie crusts together spread in bottom of spring form pan, 9 in with removable bottom. Turn up on edge about 1 inch clear around. Heat oil, add onion and garlic cook until nice and soft. Mix in mushrooms , broccoli, and roasted red peppers cook about five minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F. In large bowl combine eggs, milk, sage, thyme and red pepper flakes. Pour broccoli and mushrooms over pie crust spread evenly. Pour egg mixture over broccoli and spread crumbled goat cheese over top. Bake for 35 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes cut and serve.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gourmet Monday

This is one of my favorite dishes but they are so hard to find. At Christmas I tried but failed. So now I have decided if I see one I will pick it up. Just last week at Albertsons I just happened to see a freezer full, so I bought two. They came in a air tight little bag. I am sure you could keep them for several weeks or even months in the freezer. This recipe was so easy and from start to finish less than an hour. The picture is half of one Cornish Game Hen. After I defrosted I just drained the excess water. Laying flat on cutting board, cut through the back bone to split. They were very moist and tender.

Cornish Game Hens with Double-Cranberry and Thyme Sauce

3 tablespoons butter divided
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 pound Cornish game hen, halved, backbone removed, rinsed, patted dry
1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white grape juice
1/3 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate,
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries.
1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 450 F. Blend 2 tablespoons butter, sugar, add 2 teaspoons thyme in small bowl. Sprinkle hen halves with salt and pepper. Spread skin of each with half of butter mixture. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add hen halves skin side down. Sear until deep brown, about 4 minutes. Turn, skin side up, and sear 1 minute. Remove from heat. Transfer hen halves, skin side up, to small rimmed baking sheet. Reserve skillet (mixture will be dark). Roast hen halves in oven, until cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with fork,, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, blend remaining l tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon flour in small bowl. Add broth, grape juice, cranberry concentrate, and remaining teaspoon thyme to reserved skillet. Boil until sauce is reduced to 3/4 cup, whisking often, about 7 minutes. Whisk in flour mixture and cranberries and raisins. Simmer until sauce coats spoon, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer hen halves to plates. Spoon sauce over and serve.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday's are Chocolate

For Christmas in 2007 my sweet husband bought me a Cuisinart. I remember the box being very large, I guess that is why it has been packed in the closet. Today while he was gone for a few hours, I got it out and I used it. I must say it really was fun, quick, and easy to clean. My mind just keeps thinking of all the fun things I can make. I was able to make this mousse in about 10 minutes from start to finish. The recipe says it makes four servings, I was able to get two very small serving. Next time it will be perfect in a small creme brulee bowl. The lemon cream brings out the flavor in the chocolate. It was not quite as rich as I thought it would be.

Blender Chocolate Mousse

1 c bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c water
3 tablespoons sugar divided
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee
3 large egg whites
1/3 c chilled whipping cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Place chocolate in Cuisinart or blender. Bring 3/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar, and espresso powder to simmer in medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour over chocolate. Cover tightly; blend 5 seconds. Add egg whites. Cover tightly; blend on high 1 minute. Pour into 4 small bowls. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Whisk cream, lemon juice, peel, and 1 tablespoon sugar in small bowl to very soft peaks. Spoon over mousse; serve. This recipe came from