Friday, May 17, 2019

Fast Pho

This is great for those Michigan May days when the weather can be fickle.

I've made this soup vegetarian but you can also use leftover beef or chicken.

1 package rice noodles
4 - 6 c. low sodium chicken or beef broth
1/2 - 2/3 c. each: sliced fresh mushrooms, chopped onion, sliced carrot
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. each: chopped fresh ginger, salt, pepper, sesame oil, low sodium soy sauce
1 lime quartered
1 clove fresh garlic chopped and crushed
1/8 c. chopped green onion
Pinch red pepper flakes

Cook rice noodles according to package instructions, drain and set aside.

Peel, rinse, chop onions.

Peel, rinse, crush, chop garlic.

Rinse and chop carrots, ginger, green onions, mushrooms.

Set aside green onions for garnish.
Cut lime in quarters, set aside.

In a pot, pour chicken broth and bring to medium high heat.

Lower heat to medium low, add remainder of ingredients. 

Let soup cook for 20 - 30 min.

To serve:  Put rice noodles in the bottom of 4 soup bowls.

Ladle broth over the noodles.

Sprinkle green onions for garnish and squeeze some lime juice over soup.

Serves 4 - 6.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Chocolate Strawberries

This is great for Mother's Day or anytime

1  3 oz bar each: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate
1 package fresh strawberries
cookie sprinkles (optional)

Rinse strawberries under cold water, drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use.

Break chocolate bars into pieces into 3 separate microwave safe bowls.

Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for 30 seconds approx. Keep an eye on chocolate so that it melts evenly. Remove bowls carefully from microwave.

Dip strawberries into the chocolate.

Remove strawberry from chocolate with a clean fork. Place strawberries on a parchment lined cooking sheet. Sprinkle cookie sprinkles over strawberries.

Place tray in refrigerator to harden.

Serves 6.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Keep Cool Coffee Cooler

Love coffee drinks but don't like the prices of them.

This recipe is easy and affordable.

This recipe is great for relaxing on a hot day, unwinding after a hard day, entertaining during brunch or anytime.

I've use decaffeinated coffee but you can also use regular coffee if desired.

This recipe has Kahlua in it.

For kiddos you can omit it, if desired 

I've also use low-fat milk and real whipped cream but you can also use whole milk, vegan milk or dairy free whipped cream if desired.

I prefer my coffee sugar free but you can adjust amount of sweetener if desired too.

2 - 4 c. decaf coffee
1/8 - 1 c. reduced fat milk (optional)
1 - 3 T. Kahlua
1/4 - 1 T. each: chocolate syrup, instant espresso granules, sugar (optional)
Whipped cream

Brew coffee according to desired strength. Turn coffee maker off and let cool.

Pour some of the coffee into a clean ice cube tray, put tray in the freezer until frozen.

 Set aside rest of coffee to use later.

When you're ready to serve, remove ice tray from freezer.

In a blender combine frozen coffee cubes, milk, Kahlua, espresso granules. 

Add sugar or dietetic sweetener if desired.

Blend for 20 - 40 seconds or until blended.

Pour into glasses. 

Garnish glasses with a dollop of whipped cream, chocolate syrup and an environmentally safe straw, if desired.

Serves 4.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Bangers and Mash

This is great to celebrate St. George's Day or anytime.

1 package smoked sausage
3/4 c. chopped onions
1 - 2 cloves garlic 
3/4 c. beer (adjust amount needed)
2 - 3 T. flour
1 - 2 T. oil
pinch each: salt, pepper
4 - 6 c. prepared mashed potatoes.

Prepare mashed potatoes if needed.

Peel, rinse and chop garlic.

Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Lower heat to medium, add oil.

Add sausages, onions, garlic to skillet.  

Add beer carefully so that it doesn't splash or spill over.

Cook for 7 - 10 min on 1 side. Turn sausages over and cook on other side for 7 - 10 min more or until done. 

Remove sausages from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Lower heat to medium low and add flour, salt, pepper to pan.

Stir with a whisk for a few minutes until gravy is thickened.

Turn off heat when gravy when thickened.

Serve sausages alongside potatoes.

Spoon gravy over potatoes, if desired.

Serves 4 - 6.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Hard Cooked Egg

Happy Easter and Passover!

Hard-boiled eggs are an important part to the holidays.

This recipe is great for the holidays or anytime.

1 dozen raw eggs
6 - 8 c. cold water

In a pot place eggs. Cover with water and bring to a boil.

Let it boil 30 sec - 1 min, turn off burner and cover the pot with a lid.

Let it sit for 10 - 20 min. or until the egg is hard cooked.

Serves 12.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Aspargus Soup

This is great for early spring or anytime.

I've used regular unsalted butter. But you can use vegetarian butter as well. 

I've used low sodium chicken broth, but you can used vegetable broth, if needed.
1 bunch cleaned, finely chopped asparagus
1 tsp. dried or fresh parsley
1/8 - 1/4 tsp each: salt, pepper
6 c. low sodium chicken broth
4 T. flour
1/2 stick unsalted butter (or vegetarian alternative)
1  small to medium onion chopped
1/3 c. reduced fat
 sour cream

Rinse and cut ends of asparagus.

Bring a pan to boil add aspargus.

Boil asparagus in water approx. 1 min, remove pan from heat. 

Drain water from asparagus, set aside.

Make a roux by melting butter over medium heat.

Add the chopped onion in the melted butter.

Add flour and stir until thickened. Add chicken broth 1/2 c. at a time, stirring constantly.  

Finely chop and add asparagus. Add the salt, pepper and parsley, stir.

Cook over medium heat until soup is heated through on medium about 20 - 30 min.

Add sour cream and cook for 5 - 10 min. more or until done.

Makes 4  - 6 servings. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Home Opener Nachos

This is great for opening day or anytime.

1 lb. ground meat (lean Beef)
1 T. olive oil

1/2 c  chopped onion
1/8 - 1/4 tsp.  each: salt, pepper
1 c. salsa
1 - 2 cloves fresh garlic (chopped, crushed)
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp chopped cilantro
1 lime, juice and zest
1 package  tortilla chips
1 c each: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, bell peppers
1 - 2 c. shredded cheese
1/2 - 1 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350' F

Heat saute pan over medium high heat. 

Reduce heat to medium and add oil. if needed.

Add onions and meat. Brown meat and onions for 8-10 minutes.

 Drain excess grease from meat (If using lean beef, omit step). 

Add salsa, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, lime zest and chilies to meat.

Cook for another 4 - 7 minutes or until done. 

Squeeze some lime juice over meat mixture.


To serve: Place torilla chips on a oven proof plate.

Spoon meat mixture over tortilla chips.

Top with shredded cheese.

Place plate on a baking sheet and place in the oven to cook 2 - 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Be careful to watch so that the cheese so it doesn't burn.

Top with your favorite fixins.

Serves 4 - 6

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Conchiglie Florentine

This is great for early spring or anytime.

1 - 2 c. fresh baby spinach
1/8  - 1/4 tsp. each: salt, pepper
1 pkg. conchiglie pasta
1 - 2 c. ricotta cheese
1 c. mozzarella cheese (adjust to taste)
1/4 - 1 tsp. each: oregano, basil, parsley
1 -  2 T. olive oil
1 - 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 - 3 c. pasta sauce (homemade or jar)
Non stick cooking spray
Water
1/2 c. parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400' F.

Rinse and pat dry spinach. Snip ends of spinach.

Cook noodles according to package. 
Drain in colander, set aside.

Spray non-stick cooking spray in baking dish, set aside. 

Heat saute pan over medium high heat. 

Lower heat to medium, add oil.

Add spinach, salt, pepper and saute for 5 min. 

Crack egg into a bowl and mix with a clean fork for a few seconds, set aside.

Peel, rinse, crush, chop garlic.

In a mixing bowl combine; spinach, ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, beaten egg, herbs, garlic, mix well. 

Pour some of the sauce in bottom of baking dish.

Use a spoon to fill the noodles with the mixture. 

You can even fill the noodles by placing  the mixture in a baggie, snipping one corner of the baggie to use as a piping bag.

Arrange filled noodles in baking dish.

Pour remainder of sauce over noodles.

Top noodles with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. 

Bake for 30 min or until done.

Serves 6. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

March Into Spring Madness Meatballs

Welcome spring!

This is perfect for a March Madness watching party, watching the home opener, dinner or any time.

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. each: salt, pepper, dried or fresh parsley
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 clove chopped and crushed garlic
1 egg (cage free) or egg substitute
1/8 - 1/4 c. each: bread crumbs, diced onion, bell peppers, low fat milk
1 - 3 T oil
dash of hot pepper sauce.

Set aside oil.

In a mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients. 

Mix well with clean hands. Form meat mixture into 16 meatballs. 

Preheat skillet to medium high heat. Lower heat to medium, add oil.

Place meatballs in pan and brown on 1 side for 6 - 10 min approx.

Turn meatballs over and cook for 6 - 10 min. more or until done.

To serve: 

Insert a clean toothpick into meatballs and serve alongside your favorite dipping sauce.

Serves 4. 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Kiss Me I'm Irish Corned Beef

A couple of years ago a family member got one of those ancestry DNA tests.

The results, we have some Irish heritage.

Corned beef is a tradition in our family to have on St. Patrick's Day. 

Enjoy!


3  - 6 lbs corned beef
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
1 bay leaf
Water

Preheat oven to 350 F'.

Remove corned beef from refrigerator and its packaging. Place in a baking pan.

If the beef came with a seasoning packet, sprinkle it, salt and pepper over both sides of beef.

If there's no season packet with the meat, you can use premade or you can make homeade.

In a baking pan, place 1 inch of water and bay leaf.

Cover corned beef with aluminum foil tightly and place in oven.

Cooking time for the corned beef is 50 minutes per lb. 

It varys depending on how many lbs of meat. For a 4 lb brisket it would be 200 or 3 hr. 20 min. approx.

Makes   4 - 6   8 oz  serving.

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Big Easy Red Beans and Rice

This is great for Mardi Gras or anytime.

1 - 2 bags boil in bag rice
1/2 - 1c. each: fresh chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped celery, chopped pepper
1 c. low sodium chicken broth
1 - 3 c. water
1 c. precooked Kielbasa sausage cut into chunks
1 can kidney beans drained
1 - 2 T. oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1/4 tsp. each: salt, pepper

Peel, rinse chop onion and garlic, set aside.

Rinse, seed, chop pepper, set aside.

Remove tops from celery and chop.

Remove kielbasa from fridge and chop.

Heat skillet over medium-high heat, lower heat to medium and add oil.

Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, celery salt, pepper and kielbasa and cook for 7 - 10 min.

While kielbasa and vegetables are cooking, place bags of rice and water into a microwave safe bowl.

Cook on high for 5 - 7 min. or according to directions on package.

Open can of beans, drain and pour into the pan. Add tomatoes and chicken broth. 

Lower heat and let skillet simmer for 7 - 12 min. more or until done.

Remove rice bowl from microwave.

Cut bag of rice and pour into bowl.

Serve bean mixture along with the rice.

Serves 4.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Cafe Con Leche

This is a great way to wake up on a cold Michigan morning.

If you don't have and espresso pot or maker,  you can also use strong coffee.
I've used reduced fat milk, but you can use what you like.

4 c. espresso or strong coffee
1/4 - 1 tsp. sugar (optional)
1/2 - 1c  milk
Pinch of ground cinnamon

Brew coffee according to coffee makers instructions.

Sweeten brewed coffee to taste, if desired. 

In a microwave safe measuring cup, combine: milk and cinnamon.  Stir to mix. 

Microwave on high for  30 - 60 seconds.

Make sure the milk doesn't boil over in the microwave. 

Remove milk from microwave and spoon over coffee.

Serves 4.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Winner, Winner. Romantic Chicken Dinner

This is perfect for date night or anytime.

I've used dry white wine, but you can also use a sparkling wine if desired.

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
1/8 - 1/4 tsp each: salt, pepper (adjust to taste)
1 - 2 T. fresh lemon juice, oil
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. dried parsley, 
1 clove chopped and crushed garlic
1/2 c. chopped onions
1/3 - 3/4 c. dry white wine


Peel, rinse, chop onions, garlic, place in bowl and set aside.

Heat saute pan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add oil. 

Add chicken, salt, pepper and some of the wine.

Cook on one side for 7 - 12 min or until desired doneness. 

Flip chicken over and repeat on other side until done. 

Remove chicken from pan when done.

Add wine, onions and garlic to pan.

Stir with a whisk and let reduce for a few minutes.

When sauce is reduced, pour over chicken.

Serves 4.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Lunar New Year Martini

Happy Lunar New Year!

Today marks the start of the Chinese Year Of The Pig.

This is a great cocktail to toast the Lunar New Year, while watching the Grammys or anytime. You can adjust the amount of liquor and food coloring, if desired.

4 - 6 oz. of each: gin, sake
1 - 2 drops red food coloring
Ice

Place 4 clean martini glasses into the freezer for a few minutes to chill.

In a cocktail shaker combine: sake, gin, ice, food coloring (adjust amount of food coloring).

Shake for 10 - 20 seconds to blend.

Remove glasses from the freezer and pour martini into glasses.

Serves 4.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Big Game Cannoli Cups ™

This is perfect for watching the big game, company or anytime.

12 wonton wrappers
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch if cinnamon
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 - 2 T. sugar (adjust amount)
1/2 - 1 c. each: marscapone cheese, ricotta cheese

In a bowl combine marscapone cheese, ricotta cheese, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla mix with a fork.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Place in refrigerator to chill for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

Place wontons into muffin tin and bake for 8 - 12 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and let cool.

To serve: Remove bowl from refrigerator.

Spoon cheese mixture evenly into each of the wonton cups.

Serves 3 - 4. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Game Day Venison Tenderloins™

This is an excellent, easy recipe for venison. But it works for beef too.

 I've used merlot wine for this, but you can use a dry red wine that you like. 

1 -  1 1/2 lb. venison tenderloin
1/8 - 1/4 tsp each: salt, pepper (adjust to taste)
1 T. each: butter, Worcestershire sauce
1/8 - 1/2 tsp. each: dried parsley, granulated garlic, red wine or balsamic vinegar
Pinch each: red pepper flakes, turmeric (optional)
1/3 - 1/2 c. each: chopped onions, chopped shallots, sliced mushrooms
1 - 2 T. olive oil
1/3 - 3/4 c. dry red wine


In a bowl, combine tenderloins, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, parsley, oil, red pepper flakes, vinegar and turmeric.

Toss to coat tenderloins on both sides. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for a few hr. or overnight.

Peel, rinse, chop onions and shallots, place in bowl and set aside.

Rinse and slice mushrooms, add to bowl with onions, set aside.

Heat saute pan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add butter. 

Add tenderloins and cook on one side for 6 - 9 min or until desired doneness.

Flip tenderloins over and repeat on other side until done. 

Remove tenderloins from pan when done.

Reduce heat to medium low.

Very carefully add wine, onions, shallots and mushrooms to pan.

Stir with a rubber scraper or whisk and let reduce for a few minutes.

When sauce is reduced, pour over tenderloins.

Serves 4. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Picadillo

This is great for 3 Kings Day or anytime.

1 lb ground beef (ground round)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 - 2 T fresh or dried parlsey
2 - 3 T. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic chopped
1 - 2 cans diced tomatoes,
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 bag of boil in bag rice

Peel, rinse and chop onion, set aside.
Rinse, seed and chop bell pepper, set aside.

Preheat skillet over medium high heat, lower heat to medium heat and add oil.

Add beef, and brown or 8 -10 min and drain off meat if needed.

While meat is cooking, put rice and water in the microwave safe bowl. Put bowl in the microwave and cook for 5 - 6 minutes or until done.

Add, onions and peppers. Saute for 8 - 10 minutes. 

Add tomatoes, herbs and spices. Let simmer for 10 min, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice.

Serves 4.

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