Saturday, May 28, 2011

BBQed Cheeseburger with Bacon and Grilled Onions

Years ago I remember adding a little green pepper to my hamburger mixture and I absolutely loved it. I even called it my own, "Cheese burger in Paradise." If you don't like green pepper add some jalapeno. I found the following recipes from a six year old Bon Appetit magazine and a I'm making this menu for Saturday night's dinner and the jalapeno is put into the spicy ranch sauce.

Spicy Ranch Sauce: 1 cup of mayo, 1 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro, 6 tbsp. of lime juice, 4 green onions, finely chopped, 2 tbsp. of minced seeded jalapeno chile, 1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper.

Burgers: 2 pounds of ground beef, 1 small onion chopped, 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, 2 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp. chopped seeded jalapeno chile, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground black pepper.

BBQ Sauce, Bacon Slices, lettuce, grilled onions, tomato, 2 cups of shredded white cheddar, hamburger buns or focaccia rolls, split horizontally, non-stick vegetable oil spray.

For Spicy Ranch Sauce: Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Season suace with salt and pepper.

For Burgers: Gently mix all ingredients in large bowl. Form mixture into eight 1/2 to 3/4 inch patties. Place on a small baking sheet. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or even over night.

Get BBQ ready and spray the grill with non-stick spray to toast the buns. Once they're done put aside. Then begin BBQing the patties, about 5 minutes per side. If you press your thumb in the middle of the burger before you cook it, it will get cooked through better. Baste with BBQ Sauce.

Put cheddar over top of burgers and begin assembling topping with spicy ranch sauce. Yum!!!!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New York chef elevates grilled cheese 'to an art'

New York chef elevates grilled cheese 'to an art'

Mock Carbonara Pasta Sauce

Have you ever noticed anytime you use "cream cheese" in a recipe in lieu of something else it's called, mock. Well I made a quick and overwhelmingly yummy pasta sauce the other night...but let me warn you, the recipe I made is not for bathing suit season. You could easily modify it however. It's the perfect comfort food, especially after a too busy weekend. Serves four.

Cook up 6 pieces of yummy bacon, blot with a paper towel and cut up into little pieces, 1 cup of half and half cream, plus 1/2 cup of 1 milk, 1/2 cup of Philly Cream Cheese, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, and 1 tsp. or more of garlic powder. Now whisk over a medium heat to assure it stays smooth. Feel free to add more garlic, Parmesan, or cream cheese. Toss into cooked noodles and devour. The bacon really makes this a nice dense smokey flavour.

To make it lower calorie, simply use low fat milk, low fat Parmesan, and low fat cream cheese.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How To Keep Your Avocados Green From Bon Appetit Magazine

What a beautiful cover of Gwyneth Paltrow on Bon Appetite magazine this month. Wow, this girl is multi talented and can cook? Amazing. I came across some really cool information in Bon Appetite Magazine this month on how to keep your avocados green, without pouring lemon juice on it. What to know how? Keep reading:

"It's always upsetting to watch a luscious (and expensive!) Hass avocado turn from vibrant green to icky brown after you've cut into it. i used to slice avocados just before serving, adding yet another time-sensitive step to getting dinner on the table. Then a visiting chef at my culinary school showed us that rinsing or submerging in cold water prevents the sliced (and exposed) fruit from browning for hours. So cool! So Simple! So...mysterious! Even food scientist Shirley Corriher isn't sure what's going on. Phenolic compounds cause the browning," she says. "Perhaps you're rinsing off enough of these compounds to slow the process." While we wait for a proven scientific explanation, we can just enjoy the phenomenon."


Easy And Updated Bisquick's Chicken With Wine Pot Pie

*****Kind of a silly picture of me first thing this morning and though I look mad, I'm actually quite happy! I can see I'm a little spotty this morning and have a zit coming up under my nose. Thank God for foundation...imagine how celebrities must feel on a big screen TV - YIKES!!!!

Today I'm making a gorgeous chicken pot pie using the recipe from a box of Bisquick mix. My Aunt makes it and loves it, only today I'm forgoing the "frozen veggies" for fresh ones and adding some white wine to it. Hope you like it!

Two cups of left over roast chicken (or any cooked chicken meat you have left over), 1 plus another 1/2 can of cream of mushroom or chicken soup, 2 finely chopped celery stalks, 1/2 cup thinly sliced/chopped mushrooms, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup of white wine, 1/2 tsp. of tarragon, left over roast potato (optional), a little salt and pepper, and any other seasonings you like, (thyme would be nice). I had sundried tomato seasoning.

Mix together the chicken, the soup, celery, mushrooms, and wine in a separate bowl. In a pie plate, grease with olive oil and layer with chopped up roasted potatoes (remember this is could even layer the bottom with zucchini I just got to thinking), then pour the soup and chicken mixture over the potatoes in the pie plate.

To make the bisquick: Mix one cup of Bisquick with 1/2 cup of milk and one egg (I added two by accident) and pour over the chicken mixture in the pie plate.

Put into a preheated 400 degree oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until golden. I sprinkled sundried tomato/herb mix over it before I put it into the oven.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse HOT DOG Song

All dressed up

All dressed up

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Recession Stir Fry!

OK - I don't even know if we're still in a recession, but I do know gas is sure up, so are taxes, and so is everything. That's why I really like making a stir fry once a week, mid week to use up all my peppers, broccoli,and mushrooms together with some left over chicken or pork. It's also a great way to use up those "getting wrinkly" veggies that need a little sprucing up in some olive oil, garlic, and some special Asian sauce. Of course there is nothing new about stir fries, but I've really taken to them lately and for all the reasons I just mentioned. A couple of secrets I've learned along the way though is 1. To cook all your veggies separately so they each invididually keep their texture and flavor. Mushrooms and pepper don't cook at the same speed right? 2. I steam my broccoli first so it doesn't crisp up in the pan, and 3. I use an Asian Vinegrette, by Renee's and it is the absolute best. Renee's vinegrette has in it sesame oil, soya sauce, rice vinegar, orange peel and brown sugar. You could even make your own.

Take any left over veg that you have and chop up and put into separate piles. I added three cut up red and yellow peppers to a garlic and olive oiled pan and sauteed until they were just cooked. Take out of the pan and add the mushrooms and sautee until just cooked. Then add the peppers back to the pan, add the steamed broccoli and cooked left over meat - tonight ours was chicken. Stir around and add about 1 cup of the vinegrette and simmer for a few minutes on low. So delish and so easy.

Serve with brown rice.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Back in a Couple of Days

Wow - been too busy lately, but it's all for good busy...well mostly. Getting a bazillion recipes tried and will bring them to you for the weekend. XO

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Stuffed Chicken Girls...Breasts with Prosciutto And Stuff

Ok, I have to admit, I'm not the best stuffer because I'm impatient. I get all these great ideas about putting cheese, nuts, spinach and stuff into the chicken and it doesn't always stay. Of course I could twine it but the cheese always seems to melt. Listen if stuffing is too much to imagine or think about, just cook the chicken then top it 5 or 10 minutes before it's done with cheese and the apricot jam, spinach, pine nuts and stuff. Here is a recipe I found from The Province Newspaper and made the other night for dinner with just a few tweeks. I'll admit that it all worked out for me just fine, but twine it if you can and add the cheese afterward if you I did.

4 boneless chicken breasts, 1/2 cup of sugar-free apricot jam, 8 slices of Havarti cheese, 16 thin slices prosciutto, 2 Tbsps. grape seed oil, Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lay chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them into 1/4 inch thickness. Cut each breast into 4 strips and place two end to end at a time to create a long strip. Spread jam over chicken the add a layer of sliced Havarti. Roll up strips like a pinwheel and secure with bamboo skewers. Refrigerate 30 minutes to firm up. Roll a slice of prosciutto around outside of each chicken medallion and chill. Heat grapeseed oil in a skillet over medium high burner. Sear both sides of medallions until golden brown, then finish in oven 5-7 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Let stand 3 minutes before serving.

Layered Veggie and Herbalicious Salad With Lemon and Garlic Vinaigrette

I love this time of year when the produce gets so colourful and tasty. I made an herb salad which is my fav with lots of dill and cilantro as well as arugula and other fine lettuces together with peppers some yellow and orange tomatoes and some perdy red cabbage. I stuffed some chicken breasts to go with it, but here is the salad dressing I put over it.

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from about 1 large lemon), 1 tsp. granulated sugar, 1 tsp. minced fresh garlic, 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper.

Put all the ingredients together in a jar and shake it then pour over salad and toss. You can keep the vineaigrette in the jar for up to 5 days - though I've fed my husband stuff after 10 days and he's fine. :)

As you can see I'm going to try and add photos to my blog which in some ways makes me feel a bit silly when my family is wondering what the hell I'm doing while they're trying to eat.


Sunday, May 01, 2011

Creamed Cauliflower with Smoked Paprika

I can not even begin to think about the fat and calories in this dish, but it is so good and amazing I had to add it to tonight's Sunday night dinner. My Aunt Tracey is a spectacular cook and this is what she served at lunch yesterday (just one of the many dishes she makes amazingly well).

Boil 2 Cauliflower heads until almost mushy, drain and put aside (do not mash). Then make a sauce and melt 1 block of cream cheese (or laughing cow cheese) in a pot adding 1 cup of whip cream, or even lower fat milk for less calories with 1 tsp. of minced garlic garlic and a pinch or two of smoked paprika.

Break up cauliflower and put into a buttered casserole. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and top with shredded 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.