Thursday, February 28, 2013

One Pan Baked Potato Casserole

I love one pot meals! It's just so convenient not having to wash alot of pots, pans and utensils.
I also love potato recipes that do not require pre-cooking the potatoes in a separate pot. So I decided to create this baked potato recipe that has all the easy steps that I love!

You just wash, peel and dice the potatoes, toss them in a baking dish with some butter, salt and pepper.
Then bake them until tender. Mix in all the remaining ingredients and bake again until cooked!  Sprinkle with fresh chives and your done! This is an easy way to make loaded baked potatoes in one pan! About 1 hour and 1 pan and your done!
One Pan Baked Potato Casserole
INGREDIENTS:
6 large baking potatoes - washed & peeled
2 Tbls. butter
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup bacon bits
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped chives - garnish

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put the butter in a large rectangle baking dish and put in the oven until melted.
Dice the potatoes into 1 inch chunks.
Swirl them in the melted butter and season with the salt & pepper. Add in the garlic.
Baked uncovered for 30 minutes or until fork tender.
 While still hot add in cream cheese, sour cream, bacon bits and shredded cheddar.
Toss to combine, scraping the bottom of the baking dish.
Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Toss to mix well again.
Serve warm with chopped chives on top.
If you want it to be more creamy add a little milk and stir to combine.
Serves 4-6

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Super Easy Poor Man's Mongolian Beef

My favorite dish to order when I go to my favorite Chinese restaurant ( P.F. Chang's China Bistro) is their Mongolian Beef. The beef is saturated in a thick, rich, dark, sweet and savory soy sauce glaze. And the flavor of the green onions and other veggies just go so well with the beef and sauce!

I've been trying to re-create their recipe at home and I think I came very close with this simpler version of the recipe! I made it with 93% lean ground beef. It cooks up so quickly! In about 20 minutes you have a really tasty version of Mongolian Beef!


Super Easy Poor Man's Mongolian Beef

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
2 Tbls. pure sesame oil
4 cloves garlic - minced
1/4 tsp. fresh ginger - grated
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup green onions - chopped
2 tsp. dry sherry or dry vermouth
2 tsp. dry white wine
2 tsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups cooked rice - I use jasmine

DIRECTIONS:

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef in the sesame oil with the garlic. Cook while constantly stirring until the meat is very well browned and most of the meat juices have evaporated.
Now add in all remaining ingredients except for 1/4 cup of the green onions and the rice.
Simmer for a few minutes to heat thoroughly and to marry all the flavors of the ingredients.
Serve warm over cooked rice with green onions on top.
Serves 2

 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cannoli Dip

Internet Photo
When I think of good Italian pastries, the first thing that comes to my mind is cannoli! It's found in every Italian bakery! And it's always served at important family gatherings in our house! My favorite kind of cannoli is the little mini ones! Sometimes the pastry shell is dipped in chocolate! The best!!! But a properly made cannoli, in my opinion, must contain mini chocolate chips!

I recently had a huge cannoli craving, so I decided to make a quick recipe that I knew would satisfy me! I used my recipe for Cannoli Cream Dessert and tweaked it to make that recipe into a dip.

This was so quick to make...only took about 10 minutes for me to be in cannoli heaven!
I served my Cannoli Dip with graham crackers! I was a very happy camper!

Cannoli Dip

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup ricotta cheese - I used part skim
1/4 heaping cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbls. mini chocolate chips - semi sweet
graham crackers

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the first 5 ingredients together thoroughly.
Chill until ready to serve.
Serve with graham crackers for dipping.
This recipe serves 2-4 people
 





Monday, February 25, 2013

The Sloppy Shepard

 The Sloppy Shepard
In my house we love a good Sloppy Joe sandwich! But I've always wanted to make a Shepard's Pie! So why not combine the two?

 I just cooked up my favorite Sloppy Joe recipe. Then I made basic mashed potatoes using 6 potatoes, butter, milk and salt to taste. I spread the cooked Sloppy Joe mixture into a greased  7 1/2" x 11" casserole dish. Pressing the mixture down firmly. Then I spread the mashed potatoes on top and baked it at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. I then placed it under the broiler for 3 minutes to brown the top. This serves 6.

Here is the Sloppy Joe Recipe...

INGREDIENTS:
2 pounds 93% lean ground beef
1 large chopped onion
1 chopped red bell pepper
2 large cloves garlic minced
4 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbls brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. chili powder

DIRECTIONS:
In a large skillet over medium heat, thoroughly brown the ground beef, onion, red pepper and garlic.
Stir in the mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar, salt, Worcestershire sauce, white vinegar and chili powder. Mix thoroughly.
Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
 
So if you love Sloppy Joe's and you love Shepard's Pie, give this recipe a try!
 






Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cheese Crisps


Anything with the word 'cheese' in the title, will usually get my attention when it comes to recipes! And when I saw that this recipe only contained 3 ingredients, I was even MORE interested!

I first spotted this recipe on a recipe sharing site called RecipeNewZ. It's my new favorite hangout to stalk recipes! That site is like one big link party all day long! I love it!

These easy to make cheese crisps were posted on a food blog called Dr. Ola's Kitchen. I wanted to make them the same way Dr. Ola did, but I didn't have the same cheeses she used. So I did some experimenting and tried it with mozzarella and romano. Those are the cheese crisps on the right side of my photo above. They were a little too salty for my taste. Then I tried the recipe with mozzarella and sharp cheddar...much better! I used fresh parsley instead of thyme. This was very good. The parsley freshened up the taste of the cheeses. This was perfect with a glass of red wine! But I like Dr. Ola's idea of a dip. She used a yogurt dip, but I think I'll try a garlicky marinara sauce next time! I say 'next time' because we ate these so fast that I didn't get a chance to try them with a dip!

Here is how I made these...


INGREDIENTS:
 
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tbls. chopped fresh parsley
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
Preheat oven to 430 degrees.
Mix together all the ingredients.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Drop the mixture by the tablespoon full onto the parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving room between each.
Bake for 6 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Then blot on paper towels and serve warm or room temperature.
 
cheddar/mozz combo before being baked
romano/mozz combo before being baked
These cheese crisps taste just like the cheese that you find at the bottom of a delivery pizza box! You know, those pieces that ooze off the side of the pizza and get stuck to the cardboard box! 



Saturday, February 23, 2013

Zucchini Souffle

I love to make vegetable recipes that my kids will actually eat! They don't like too many vegetables, but this one didn't seem to be a problem for them! So I was doing a happy dance after they ate this for dinner!

This was light but filling and I loved the cheddar cheese in this! I found this recipe *here* on Allrecipes.com. I tweaked it slightly to make it more flavorful. The cheddar cheese was my idea along with sauteing the onions with garlic and the zucchini. Seasoning it with salt and pepper  was a must! These tweaks gave it so much more flavor! I've made this Zucchini Souffle many times! I usually serve this with a salad and I'm done! A very easy, healthy, hearty meal!

Here is my version of this recipe...


INGREDIENTS:
 
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil + 2 tbls.
1 onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic-minced
2 pounds zucchini, peeled and diced
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

paprika
chopped fresh parsley
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Heat the 2 tbls. of oil in a skillet.
Saute the onion and garlic with the zucchini until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Sift flour and baking powder together into a bowl.
Lightly beat eggs, and mix them into the flour with 1/2 cup of veg oil and 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese.
Stir in the sauteed onion, garlic and zucchini mixture.
Pour mixture into a well-greased 9x13 inch baking dish, and sprinkle with paprika and parsley.
Bake in preheated oven for one hour.

 


Friday, February 22, 2013

Eggs in Clouds

This was a very interesting recipe from the title...to the preparation...to the taste and texture! I had some concerns about if this recipe would work because I've come across many Internet recipes these days, that just look good in photos and are very popular on certain websites, but are totally fake and could never work in the real world! They just look cute on 'Pin' boards, if you know what I mean! This recipe had its share of problems from start to finish but it did taste very good! So all was not lost!

Here is how it went...

This recipe called for whipping the egg whites into stiff peaks and then folding in lots of grated romano cheese, bacon pieces and fresh chives! This was to create the 'cloud' part of this recipe. I knew that the egg whites just couldn't hold up to all those heavy ingredients! And they didn't! Then you are to separate this egg white mixture into 4 portions by mounding them onto a baking sheet and baking them for 3 minutes. I had what resembled 4 lumpy puddles of dog bile! They were foamy and flat. I had to bake the clouds for much more than 3 minutes to get them to even be slightly cooked. Then I had to carve out a gully in the middle of each cloud so that I could have a place to put the egg yolk for the last step!

Then you add the egg yolks to each baked 'cloud' and bake it for 3 more minutes. But that wasn't nearly enough time because the yolks looked very raw. So I baked it for about 6 minutes.

Even though there were lots of problems getting this recipe to work, it still tasted very good and was very interesting to serve. I loved the cheesy flavor of the 'clouds'. The texture of the 'clouds' was not as light as a 'cloud' but resembled  something similar to a fluffy omelet.

I'm just disappointed that my finished product looked nothing like the one in the original recipe! See that photo *here* and judge for yourself!

Maybe I'm the only cook that can't get this recipe to look like the original photo! If you make this recipe and you can achieve those huge, fluffy, glorious 'clouds', that look like twice baked mashed potatoes, please let me know and send me a link to your photo of the recipe!

In the mean time...bon appetit!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Zebra Cupcakes - Low Fat

I've been looking for a decadent chocolate dessert that has some substance, but is not too fattening! Is there such a dessert or am I just dreaming? Well if I'm just dreaming, then my dreams just came true!

I found this recipe called Root Beer Float Cake and decided it was the one for me! It had lots of positive reviews and one of the ingredients was root beer...which I had some that needed to be used up since my family hasn't been drinking it lately! I decided to tweak the recipe to make it lower in fat and calories!

It was a huge success! I didn't taste the root beer in this cake, but I loved the spongy texture and the decadent chocolate flavor! I made them into cupcakes and decorated them with a root beer drizzle (my own idea) The cupcakes were such a lovely dark chocolate color. The drizzle really stood out and resembled a zebra print, mainly because I have poor drizzling skills! The drizzle, just like the cupcakes, didn't take on any of the root beer flavor, but I thought I would use the root beer to continue the theme!

Here is my version of the recipe...
INGREDIENTS:
 
2 cups root beer
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbls. butter
4 tbls. applesauce
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Put 24 paper cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
In a medium size sauce pan heat root beer, cocoa powder, butter and applesauce until butter melts.
 Then add both sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a small bowl beat eggs with salt and baking soda until combined.
Then add to cooled root beer mixture.
Add in the flour and mix until blended. There will be lumps but that's okay.
Fill all 24 cupcake liners and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool completely then drizzle with glaze.
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
DRIZZLE RECIPE
 
1/2 cup powdered
2 oz. fat free cream cheese
1/2 tbls. root beer
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
Mix the 3 ingredients together until smooth.
 If glaze is too thin add more sugar. If the glaze is too thick add more root beer.
Dip the tip of a butter knife into the glaze and drizzle over cooled cupcakes in a thin stream.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thai Iced Tea

Me and my hubby...or is it, my hubby and I? Well, we went to a really good Thai restaurant that served iced tea. It's not the iced tea that Americans usually drink here in the U.S. It's a darker, richer kind of tea and they serve it with some sort of sweetened milk. Thai iced tea has such a unique flavor. I asked the waitress how it was made and she said it's just tea with milk! Well this didn't taste like tea with milk, so it must be some special kind of tea and some special kind of milk!

I did a little research recently because I've been wanting to duplicate that Thai iced tea.
I read lots of recipes on the Internet and found that some people like to use  Thai tea bags. And others use black tea like the black tea they serve in Chinese restaurants. Some recipes called for spices like star anise and cardamom. Also many recipes used sweetened condensed milk, sugar and/or coconut milk to sweeten the iced tea. My head was spinning trying to think of how to make Thai iced tea!

Then I just decided to take the plunge and try this
 Thai Iced Tea from a blog called
It was very good, but I know it would have been better if I would have used Thai tea bags instead of black tea! I added 6 drops of red food coloring because Thai tea is much more red in color than black tea. I'll be trying this again with the proper tea next time!
 
Ingredients:
4.5 cups of water
4 tea bags of Thai tea (if loose leaf then 4 tablespoons). Must be purchased at Asian supermarket.
4 tablespoons of white sugar
4 tablespoons of sweet condense milk
ice
3-4 tablespoons of coconut milk

Instructions:
Bring water to boil and turn oven off.
Steep tea for 10-15 minutes and remove. (I usually steep for a much longer time because you need this strong!)
While this is still hot, mix in sugar and condense milk. Stir for three minutes until everything dissolve.
Allow tea mix to cool down to room temperature.
Pour mixture over a glass of ice
Topped with 3-4 tablespoon of coconut milk. No need to mix in the coconut milk. Let it sit on top of the drink.
Optional: Can garnish with mint leaves.
 
Recipe courtesy of  'Oh Abby Day'

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
February 26, 2013
 
I'm so happy to say that I have an update!
A very kind and generous fellow foodie named Stella Reynoso from the 'Stella Reynoso Photograhy' and food blog, sent me a large supply of her Thai Iced Tea bags! I was able to brew up another batch of the above Thai Iced Tea recipe using those tea bags! And let me tell you...WHAT A HUGE DIFFERENCE in the taste and even in the color! No red food coloring needed this time! The flavor of the Thai tea bags was so much more strong but so much more smooth. It reminded me of a really lovely pipe tobacco...if that makes sense! So aromatic and full of tea flavor. But not anything like black tea or orange pekoe. Just a very unique tea flavor!
 
Thank you so much Stella! I will only be using Thai iced tea bags to make my Thai Iced Tea  from now on! It's so worth the trip to the Asian food market for this tea!
 
www.vasinee.com
 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cornmeal Crusted Pork Chops

 
I love to find new ways to prepare pork chops! I've been buying lots of pork chops these days because I've been finding great sales! I can never pass up a great meat sale! So now I just need TONS of recipes for yummy ways to prepare pork chops!

This recipe sounded very interesting because of the cornmeal. I've never used cornmeal to coat pork chops. This worked out really well! The cornmeal made the coating VERY crunchy...which I love! This recipe just needed a little more seasoning, in my opinion! But that's so easy to fix! I think next time I would double the salt and add some garlic powder. Still a very good coating for fried pork chops! I love the nice golden color of the crust! I usually would cover the pork chops in a nice thick gravy, but I didn't want to hide the beautiful crust!

Here is the link to the original recipe...Cornmeal Crusted Pork Chops

Now I just need to find about another 47 great pork chop recipes! That should be just about enough to cover the batch of pork chops I have saved in my freezer right now!



Monday, February 18, 2013

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

 
I love Thai food so this was a no-brainer for me! The ingredients and direction were so simple, which enticed me even more! This recipe cooked up so quickly! It was done in less than 30 minutes! I made a few changes because I like a little heat and creaminess in my Thai soups! This is a nice light soup with lots of flavor from the peanut butter and garlic. I will be making this often. I'm posting my version below. But check out the original version also!

I found this original recipe *here* on the Fitness Magazine website.
INGREDIENTS:
 
1 Tbls. pure sesame oil
4 large cloves garlic - minced
2 large boneless skinless chicken cutlets, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup crushed tomatoes
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 Tbls. oyster sauce
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
6 oz. rice noodles
1 1/2 cups frozen spinach -thawed and squeezed of excess water
1 cup canned bean sprouts - drained
1/4 cup chopped scallions
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
1. In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
2. Dissolve the peanut butter in the crushed tomatoes; add the mixture to the soup pot along with the chicken broth, coconut milk, cayenne pepper, salt and oyster sauce. Bring to a boil. Add the noodles; reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the bean sprouts and scallions; turn off heat.
3. Ladle soup into bowls and top each with more scallions if desired.
 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bak Kwa Cookies ( Bacon Cookies)

 
You know what? I'm so glad that I love to try unique recipes because the title of these cookies alone, might have scared me away! I'm very happy it didn't! These cookies were so very good! I thought they were going to be a very savory cookie, but they're not! These Bak Kwa cookies are very similar to a shortbread cookie. Slightly sweet and very buttery! The bacon bits just gives the cookie a little  hint of smokiness and a nice chewiness! This is a crisp but crumbly cookie. I truly enjoyed these and will make them again!

I found this recipe *here* on a blog called 'No-Frills Recipes'.

I'm posting the recipe below with conversion from metric, to make it easier for my U.S. readers.

INGREDIENTS:
 
3 1/2 Tbls. sugar
4 1/2 oz. butter
1/2 egg - beaten -**see note
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour - sifted
3 Tbls. Bak Kwa - (I used pre-packaged real bacon bits)
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
Cream butter and sugar together.
Add in egg and vanilla extract.
Add in bacon bits. Mix well to combine.
Then fold in flour to form a dough.
Shape into a firm log 10" long x 2" wide x 1 1/2" high
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Then slice into 1/4 " thick slices and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake in preheated oven at 355 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.
**note...After beating the egg pour about 1/2 into the butter/sugar mixture. Or double this recipe and use the whole egg!
 
 



Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cran-Broccoli Slaw

This is such a unique and refreshing salad! It's perfect when you want something out of the ordinary to tickle your taste buds! I found this recipe many years ago on Allrecipes.com  It is sweet and tangy and crunchy! And tastes even better the longer it marinates! Try this for a change of pace!            
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp 100% pure maple syrup
1 clove garlic-minced
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c corn oil
16 oz package broccoli slaw mix
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/4 c chopped green onions
1/4 c chopped pecans or almonds-toasted
NOTE...DOUBLE THE DRESSING IF YOU
LIKE ALOT OF DRESSING.
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, garlic, and lemon zest. Gradually whisk in the corn oil while drizzling in a fine stream.
 
In a serving bowl, combine the broccoli slaw, dried cranberries, and onion. Pour the dressing over, and toss to coat evenly. Chill for at least 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle toasted pecans over the top just before serving.
 
This salad tastes best if you let it marinated with the dressing for a few hours or overnight.



 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Key West Chicken


I'm not much of a griller! That's usually my hubbys job! But I can say that I really out did myself with this chicken! Look how juicy it is!




 And there was 32" of snow covering the BBQ just days earlier, from a freak NY storm! But I was not going to let that stop me! It was all worth it for that chicken!

 

I found the secret to juicy grilled chicken! Use a great marinade like this one *here* ...I marinated the chicken for 24 hours. And I grilled it only until just about done...slightly pink! Then I put it on an oven safe platter, covered it in tin foil and put in the oven at 200 degrees for about an hour. You can leave it the oven much longer if needed. The chicken was so tender and so juicy!!! This was a big hit with my family! The marinade recipe was just what I wanted! It was the perfect balance of sweet and savoury! I'll be making this often!




Ingredients:

3 tablespoons soy sauce





 




Thursday, February 14, 2013

Creamy Crab Pasta

 
This recipe was calling my name from the first moment I laid eyes on it! I found the recipe on a food blog called
I love creamy, cheesy, pasta recipes! And I had a can of lump crab meat that was begging to be used!! So this was destiny!
I whipped this up so quickly...it was done in LESS than 30 minutes! Take that, Rachael Ray!
This was so good! I was afraid there wouldn't be any left to put with the pasta! I was just eating it out of the pan while I was waiting for the pasta to boil! That's when I realized that this recipe would work great as a dip! Or maybe even as a stuffing for mushrooms!
I was so tempted to tweak this recipe because the ingredients looked to simple... how could it be tasty? Oh, but it was perfect 'as is'... So don't mess with it! The only thing I did was sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley on top to make it look pretty for the camera!


 

 Ingredients:
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 cups half and half
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for garnish
¼ teaspoon. ground nutmeg
kosher salt, white pepper, and black pepper to taste
1 lb. cooked lump crab meat
1 lb. cooked rigatoni pasta

Directions:

In a large saucepan or deep skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook about 1 minute, until thick and combined, but not discolored. Whisk in cream, and stir until the sauce begins to thicken. Stir in the cheese and seasons to taste. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors, and stir in the crab meat. Cook just until the crab is heated through.

Serve over cooked pasta of choice. Top with additional cheese and pepper, if preferred.

 
 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fruit Roll-Up Valentine Fortune Cookies!

 
Okay, don't judge these by how sad mine look! This is a cute Valentine treat to give the kiddies! Especially if you use the Fruit Roll-Ups that DON'T have the tongue tattoos printed on them! You can add any message you want inside! No cooking involved! Just roll out, cut and fold into shape!
 
Check out this *link* to see the easy steps to making these fortune cookies for yourself!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bombay Stew

 
I've been loving Indian food lately! I'm always looking to try new recipes with the flavors of India! I've never tried an Indian stew before, so that's what attracted me to this recipe!
I found this stew recipe here, on a blog called Perry's Plate.
 
This Bombay Stew was everything I wanted in an Indian recipe! It was easy, had just the right amount of seasoning and was not too spicy! The pork was so tender! I even had all the ingredients to make it, except for the garam masala. But I was able to make that spice using this combination of spices that I already had...
Substitute for Garam Masala
1/2 tsp.ground cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper - add more if you like it spicy
2 bay leaves - remove from stew before serving
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
 
I made the recipe as written and loved it! I served the Bombay Stew with jasmine rice to soak up the delicious gravy! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Skinny Pop Popcorn


I am totally in love with this snack!!! I buy it whenever I see it and I eat it just about everyday! I even bring it with me to the movies because I like it better than movie theatre popcorn! I never thought I would like ANY popcorn better than movie theatre popcorn! This popcorn has the unique flavor of movie theatre popcorn without all the fake butter and heavy salt!

The fact that it is lower in fat and calories...and cholesterol free, is just a bonus!

I was not compensated in any way for my opinion of this product! This is just something I wanted to share with my readers!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year!

This is the year of the Snake! In honor of this holiday I decided to share with you this delicious recipe that I tried last night. Snake is not one of the ingredients! That's not something I think I would ever eat! I said 'think'...so it is possible I would eat snake, if it was prepared in a totally delicious way! Instead, I'll show you this Asian Meatball Soup Recipe posted on a blog called 'Noshing with the Noland's'.

This soup was just what I wanted! I love the chicken meatballs because they were so flavorful from the garlic, ginger, soy sauce and green onion! And the broth was perfect too! Garlicky and lightly seasoned! I wish I had the crunchy chow mien noodles that was suggested for this soup! But it was still very satisfying anyway!

Thank you to Tara Noland for sharing this recipe with her readers!

And check out this post for a delicious and easy Chinese New Year chocolate candy...only 4 ingredients! Chinese New Year Chocolate Candy 

                  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Simple Creme Brulee Pie

My husband loves creme brulee! He orders it every time he sees it on a menu! I've been thinking of making creme brulee at home, but it requires the use of a small blow torch (kitchen size) to crystallize the sugar topping! I don't want to invest money in a kitchen torch, that will probably only be used to make creme brulee!

Then I saw this recipe...Simple Creme Brulee Pie...and
knew I had to try it because it didn't require the kitchen torch!

This recipe was just as the title says, 'Simple'. You just put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until combined! Pour into a greased pie dish, sprinkle with nutmeg and turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw), and bake for 40 minutes.

I made my pie low fat by using fat free half n' half instead of whole milk! And I topped mine with fresh berries! It was very good! My hubby approved! But I know he'll still order creme brulee every time he sees it on a menu!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Leftover Champagne? Make a Martini and Some Cookies!

What do you do with leftover champagne? I don't like to just throw it away! It's too expensive to waste! So I went looking for recipes that I could make with it!

The first recipe I found was for a martini! Have I ever mentioned how much I love martinis? Yes, I think I may have mentioned it once, twice or three
times...*here*...*here*...*here*!

I love the idea of a fizzy martini, so this was perfect! This one contained not only champagne but also lemon vodka and orange liquor. I loved the citrus flavors! This was sparkling and refreshing! The name of this martini is 'The Lisa-Tini Martini' from Allrecipes.com.

I still had more champagne to use, so I went looking for more recipes on Allrecipes.com and found a cookie recipe! I never thought to use champagne in cookies! But why not? This next recipe is simply called 'Champagne Cookies'. Not only is it MADE with champagne but it tastes great SERVED with champagne! Of course, I had a few cookies and a few sips, just to make sure!  These cookies taste similar to a sweet bread. They're plain but satisfying! They are soft with a slightly crunchy edge! I loved them!


So don't throw away those extra bottles of champagne! And don't try to re-gift them, like I've done! Just make them into something delicious!

Thank you to my neighbors Frank & Kristie for the bottle of champagne that was used in these recipes! xoxox

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pasta Pie

Isn't this a cool way to serve baked ziti? Well I thought so, that's why I tried it! And really that's what it is...just a cool way to serve baked ziti! There's no other reason to play with pasta like this! Having said that...I got such a kick out of making this! I know...I'm such a food dork!!! But I enjoyed lining up the pasta in the pan! It was very therapeutic and didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would! Only about 10 minutes.

I found this recipe on a site called Noble Pig. Check out the photo tutorial for this pasta pie recipe! It's very easy to make!

It's basically your favorite meat sauce poured over slightly cooked, large, rigatoni pasta that is standing upright in a 9 inch springform pan. In my photo here, you can see there's an empty space in the middle! That's because my springform pan was 9 1/2 inches in diameter. But it still worked out! I just filled in the empty space with meat sauce. And make sure to place your springform pan on a cookie sheet to catch any liquid that might leak out! That's what happened to me! I also added about 1/4 cup ricotta cheese to my meat sauce.

Baked ziti usually isn't that exciting, but preparing it this way really gives the dish some eye appeal!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spiral-Cut Hot Dogs!


This is very easy to do! It not only looks cool, but it does serve a purpose! These spiral cut hot dogs cook without curling up...they're also great because the spirals help to capture all the condiments you put on top. And if you grill them, there is more surface area that gets all brown and flavorful! Or if you microwave them in a dish of water, like I did, they won't burst open!

Here is a link to a video that shows you the easy way to cut these hot dogs into spirals...**Video**

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

How could I resist I recipe with THAT title? Well, I couldn't, so I made it! I found the recipe on Pinterest, of course, because that's where I find most of the recipe I make these days! This recipe was VERY popular over there! Lots of people were singing it's praises! You'll see evidence of that on this **page** where lots of others have made it and photographed it, just like I did!
 
I'm not sure what all the hype was about! This was okay, but not great!  I saw that other people used yogurt instead of mayo...maybe that's the secret? And if I would have known that the topping was not going to melt, I would have spread it more evenly over the ENTIRE chicken cutlet! I don't like seeing a big hunk of undressed chicken sticking out! And the topping doesn't have that caramelized look, that was in the original recipe photo...**see here**. I had to stick it under the broiler to get it to brown...it was a pasty beige color before then! And the chicken didn't melt in my mouth! So what's up with that? It was moist, but that's it!
 
If you try it, let me know if you have better luck! Here is the link to the recipe...'Melt in your Mouth Chicken'