Monday, April 30, 2012

Guacamole

I could eat Guacamole every day. Me and avocados have a special bond. Lately they have been on sale in the stores so I think I made this twice last week. I had made some of my quick salsa and just added it to the avocado with some fresh cilantro and salt and pepper. That is what I love about this dip...it is very versatile and easy. Try this recipe and let me know what you think. 

Ingredients
2 ripe avocados
1 tbs chopped cilantro
1/2 tomato diced and seeded
2 tbs red onion diced
1 garlic clove minced
salt and pepper to taste
dash of lime juice

Directions

In a large bowl add all ingredients and mash up with a large fork. I don't like my guacamole like paste. I like it to be chunky so I just mash mine with a fork until I get my desired consistency. Taste and then add   more salt and pepper if needed. Serve right away with your favorite chips. 


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Popcorn

My favorite night snack is popcorn. Ever since I was a kid I made it this way. I've tried it many other variations but this is always been my all time favorite. For years I used microwave popcorn but once you pop it on your own it is hard to eat the super salty microwave stuff. Give this a try next time you are making some for your movie night and let me know what you think.

Ingredients

1/3 cup kernels
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons salt

Directions

In a large stock pot add oil and kernels and cook on high with a lid.  Once all the popcorn is done popping turn off heat. Pour melted butter over the top along with parmesan cheese and salt. Shake it all up and pour into bowl and serve. 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Meatloaf


I saw a photo for meatloaf and decided I needed to make one over the weekend. I normally add chopped onion and green pepper to my meatloaf but chose to do it a little different this time. The one reason I don't like it is because it breaks up the meat and falls apart and the next thing you know you have little pieces of meat, next to the onion and the green pepper. So to keep the meat moist I grated half an onion instead of chopping it up.  I also decided to add barbeque sauce and that was a great new addition.

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion grated
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1 egg whipped lightly
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of your favorite bbq sauce.

Directions

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees

In a large bowl add the first 7 ingredients and mix all together thoroughly with hands. I like mine to have a crust all over so I don't put mine in a bread pan. I either place on a large pan and form it into a loaf. cover meat loaf with half of the bbq sauce and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Baste the meatloaf with the other half of bbq sauce and then bake for 20 minutes. Let it sit with foil on top for 5 to 10 minutes.



My favorite part is the end where it is crispy on the outside and moist in the inside. Try it and let me know what you think. The only bad part was that I didn't double the recipe and have enough for sandwiches the next day. I wasn't sure if my kids would like it and well they loved it and Brody said I always make the best beef.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blueberry Struesel Muffins

I have been going blueberry crazy because I bought a huge bag of main berries from Costco. I decided to take some part from my favorite muffin cookbook and the topping from the blueberry muffin cake I made and try it as a muffin. It was delish. Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

Ingredients for topping
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, cut in

Ingredients for Muffins
7 Tbs unsalted room temperature butter
3/4 granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup frozen blueberries

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 standard muffin cups with butter or butter flavored nonstick cooking spray

For the topping add sugar, flour, cinnamon and then cut in butter until you get a nice crumbly mixture.

To make the muffins, in a bowl using and electric mixer or medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until blended into the butter mixture. 

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in a 2 increments, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Stir just until evenly moistened. the batter will be slightly lumpy. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold in the blueberries just until evenly distributed, no more then a few strokes. Take care not to break up the fruit. Do not over mix. 

Add a big ice cream scoop to each cup and then cover with struesel topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes. I added the a glaze to the top of some of them but you don't have it you don't want to. If you do just add 1/4 powder sugar. couple drops of vanilla and 1 tbs of milk. Mix it all together and drizzle on top. 




Thursday, April 19, 2012

Marinade

I love marinating pork, steak and chicken. I have learned that an easy way to do this in a bag so that you don't have to touch it and re open it each time you add something. Stick the bag in a medium to large size plastic container. It helps keep the bag open and in place. Then when you are all done adding ingredients and meat you should wash hands, seal it and then nothing gets contaminated. Give a try the next time you marinate your meat. I guarantee you will do it this way from now on. Here are the ingredients for this marinade. I love pork tenderloin and this one happens to be a favorite of the entire family. 

Ingredients

4-5 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil

Check out the whole pork recipe here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bloody Mary

Everyone I know loves a Bloody Mary. I personally do not like them. I am not a big fan of tomato juice but I love everything else that is in them. However, I still made some of the best Bloody Marys on Easter. I basically followed what I saw on the Martha show but slightly different. I made a pitcher put it in the fridge and add a little vodka to each drink. Give them a try and let me know what you think. 

Ingredients
8 cups tomato juice
the juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons horseradish
2 cloves garlic minced
3 tsp pepper
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp celery salt

Directions
Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir well. Rest in fridge and when you are ready to serve add 1 to 1 1/2 ounce vodka to each glass add mix on top. make sure to blend well with spoon. Garnish with celery stick, lemon, or even olives. I like to see them with all three.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ravioli with Garlic Wine Cream sauce

I have never made my own ravioli. It is so easy to buy fresh pasta here and it is pretty affordable so I figure why go through all that work. I am sure it taste even better but Fairway sells some great ravioli and this time I got the wild mushroom. I had some heavy cream left over from Easter so I decided to make a garlic wine cream sauce to go with it. It was so fantastic that I licked my plate clean. 

Ingredients
1 package of 24 ravioli
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a medium pot boil enough water for Ravioli and follow cooking instructions.  I boiled mine for 6 minutes. While it boils saute onion and garlic in a large saute pan with olive oil. Cook for about 2 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add white wine and cook for 1minutes and scrape all bits off the bottom of the pan. Add heavy cream and simmer while it thickens. Cook for 1 -2 minutes and then add cheese. Stir it sauce and pour a few big spoonfuls over ravioli. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I made it 2 nights in a row because it was just so delish. 




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pork Sandwich

One of the best reasons for hosting a holiday is the leftovers. This Easter I made pork tenderloin for dinner and oh boy was it yummy. I used it in this bagel sandwich the day after. It was perfectly tender and the garlic and balsamic vinegar seasoned it just right. I added some pesto into mayo and added red onion. First try this easy breezy pork tenderloin and try this sandwich the next day. I had it for two days straight and I am still not sick of the pork. 

Ingredients
6 slices of pork
mixed greens
thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon pesto
1 tablespoon mayo

Monday, April 9, 2012

Roasted Asparagus

I didn't start liking asparagus until I was 19. Now I eat it like it is chocolate. One of my favorite ways to make it is to roast it in the oven with a little Parmesan cheese melted on top. My little Brody loves it just as much as me. The best part is the some of the cheese is gooey and some gets crunchy. Give a try and I bet you will make it like this over and over. 

Ingredients
1 bunch of asparagus with ends cut off.
2 tbs Parmesan cheese
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper (just a dash)

Directions
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the ends off of the asparagus and wash. Dry them and lay them on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and toss around to get oil on each one. Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper on top and bake for 10-15 minutes. Then add Parmesan and roast for 1-2 more minutes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sweet Tea

As soon as the weather warms up all I can think about is Ice Tea. I guess I am not alone because lately I see Mc Donald's and Dunkin Doughnuts advertising their Sweat Tea. If you have ever had Mc Donald's sweet tea then you know just how sweet it is. I ordered one and couldn't drink it because I felt as though I was creating cavities with each and every sip. I have loved ice tea since I was a kid and I do like it sweet but not too sweet. Between me and the boys we go through quite a bit of ice tea during the summer. So after spending way to much on the store bought stuff, Gold Peak I started making my own. I saved us a ton and I actually like mine better. I saw some on sale and bought a bottle and was shocked that I actually preferred mine over theirs. 

Ingredients
7 cups of water
3 black tea bags. I use Tetley or Lipton 
4 heaping tablespoons of sugar

Directions
Add 7 cups of water to medium pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn it off and add sugar. Stir the water around with spoon to make sure the sugar is all blended and dissolved. Add 3 tea bags and let sit and cool. Add the tea to a pitcher and refrigerate. Double it and serve to your guests this Easter. I guarantee they will love it as much as we do. You can add less sugar or more depending how you like it. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chicken Fricassee

I move to NYC with very little cooking skills and became a nanny for some very wealthy families. I was lucky to work with some wonderful people who cooked some wonderful meals. One family had a lady come in and babysit the kids on the weekend and cook enough food for the entire week. One of the meals she made was Chicken Fricassee. I couldn't wait to come in on Monday to see it in the fridge. My only mistake was that I didn't have her show me or give me her recipe. Years later I was thinking of this lovely meal  and decided to google it. I didn't like the versions I saw and decided to ask for some help on facebook. My old friend Chris Hartfield who I worked with for years at the Nordstrom Cafe gave me a recipe. I used he recipe and changed just a few things to my liking. If you live in Seattle go and check out my good friend Chris who is the chef at Paragon Bar and Grill. Also give this chicken fricassee a try and let me know what you think. My family loved it and the best part is I made a lot so I have leftovers for another the night. 

Ingredients

1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
2 carrots cut into big chunks
2 stalk of celery cut into big pieces
1 green bell pepper diced
1 onion diced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning If you have fresh herbs please add them instead
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup flour
2 tbs canola oil
Salt and pepper

Directions

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees

Heat a large stock pot with canola oil. Salt and pepper each piece of chicken. Dredge each chicken piece with flour and add to pot once it is piping hot. You want it to be hot so the chicken will get nice and brown. Brown each side and then remove chicken. 

Once all the chicken is brown add all the vegetables and cook for about 2 minutes. Add white wine and scrape all bits off the bottom of pan. Cook until reduced and then add chicken stock and tomatoes and a little more salt and pepper. Place the chicken back into the pot, cover with lid and cook in oven for 1 1/2. 

Take it out of the oven let it sit while you cook rice or mashed potatoes. The chicken will just fall off the bone and the sauce is great over the rice.