My favorite mag --- Cookbook Digest. Check it out, it's great!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Quick Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry

This is a great meal when you're too tired to cook for long and you don't want to order take-out. Substitute tofu, pork, beef, or fish for the chicken if you wish. It's great either way.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Black pepper to taste
2 cups white or brown rice, cooked

Stir-fry onions with broccoli in olive oil. Add chicken along with the minced garlic and ginger. When almost done, add half cup of water, two tablespoons soy sauce and plenty of black pepper. Heat through and serve over the rice.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fettucini with Sweet Pea Pesto

Every year when it's time for the early peas to be ready, I make this sweet pea pesto. I serve it with fettucini, and sometimes I put a piece of grilled fish on top. It's lovely this way. A wonderful flavor. Even if you don't really like peas, you'll like this pesto.

Fettucini with Sweet Pea Pesto
7 ounces fettucini
About 2 cups fresh peas (you can use frozen, but it won't be nearly as good)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small chili pepper (I usually use a jalapeno for this, a small one)
Basil leaves from 1 small bunch
1/2 Lime
Salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
4 green onions

Place the peas in a pan of boiling salted water and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender. Drain in colander and refresh under cold running water. Cut the chili in half, remove the seeds with a teaspoon and finely chop. Put in a food processor with the oil. Add the basil leaves. Squeeze the 1/2 lime and put juice in the blender also. Blend until smooth. Add the peas to the blender along with all spices. Put the pea mixture into a bowl.

Finely chop the green onions and sun-dried tomatoes and fold into pesto. Season to taste and set aside.

Cook the fettucini in boiling salted water until al dente.

Serve the fettucini with the sweet pea pesto.

Give Peas a Chance

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms Party Appetizer

I love mushrooms, but nobody else at my house likes them, so I have to either make a small batch of these, or cook them for a party appetizer. If you have a food processor, you can put all the ingredients in and pulse for a minute to chop everything finely instead of manually.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

1 pound (about 24) large white mushrooms
4 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped or 1 tsp dried
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped or 1 tsp dried
1/2 pound sausage
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated

Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and remove the stems. Place the mushroom caps on a shallow baking dish.

Cook the sausage, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks. Drain oil from sausage (I usually just put it on a paper towel).

Mince the stems. Combine all the ingredients with the sausage in a small bowl and mix well.

Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps and bake in a preheated 350° oven for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easy Caramel Sauce

This is a quick, easy, and delicious caramel sauce. You always thought it was hard to make caramel, didn't you? It's not, but you have to be organized. Lay out all your ingredients by the stove where you're working, because if you delay with anything, the caramel will burn. Use a pan with high sides, because the sauce will bubble up when you add the butter and cream. And since melted sugar is twice as hot as boiling water, you don't want to get this stuff on you. I usually wear oven gloves while making it, so as not to get any splashes on my skin, but you can keep a dish of ice water close by to put your hands in if you get any splashes as an alternative. Make sure no pets or small children are underfoot. Delicious on ice cream.

Easy Caramel Sauce

1 cup of sugar
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Heat sugar on medium high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2 or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir slowly with a whisk.

As soon as all of the sugar has melted and the liquid sugar is amber in color, immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.

Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Whisk in the cream until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple of minutes, then pour into a glass jar and cool to room temperature. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Ice cream tile coaster and gifts
Ice cream tile coaster or spoon holder

Monday, March 24, 2008

Apple Fritters with Espresso Caramel Whipped Cream

Beautiful Apple Framed Tile

Apple fritters are easy to make, yet taste like you spent hours slaving away. Buy a firm, juicy, tart apple, and these will turn out well. They're deep-fried in hot oil, so they're not exactly calorie-free, but a treat now and then never hurt anyone. They're like a donot, only better. Your mix should look like a slightly thick pancake batter before you add the apples, so if it looks too thin, add more flour. You can serve them with or without the Espresso Caramel Cream. (Recipe directly beneath the one for apple fritters) Enjoy.

Apple Fritters

1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
2 apples, cored but not peeled, finely chopped

Preheat deep fryer or heat at least two inches of oil in a wide pan on stove on Medium High.

Mix all dry ingredients (except apples), then add beaten egg and enough milk to make a batter slightly thicker than a pancake batter. Adjust flour or add more milk as needed. Add chopped apples and drop by tablespoon into hot oil, turning over with long spatula or fork as it browns. It will be dark brown and an odd shape as it cooks, and it will puff up a lot. Drain on paper towels and top with espresso caramel cream.

Espresso Caramel Cream

1 cup whipped cream (you can use cool whip if you want, but whipped cream is better)
1/2 tsp espresso powder or 1 tsp instant coffee
1 tablespoon caramel

Fold together all ingredients. Cover and store in refrigerator until needed.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Honey Lime Glazed Ham

This is a wonderful glaze that I adapted from a recipe my mother had (she used orange juice, but it was too sweet for me) and it's very simple and easy. I've got the recipe with a fully cooked boneless ham, but if you're cooking your own, just baste for the last 45 minutes of cooking time. It's great for Easter dinner; I cook this every year. Big favorite around my house, and it's stunningly simple, yet tastes great.

1 (8 pound) fully-cooked boneless ham
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In a small bowl combine lime juice, honey, cinnamon and cloves; mix well.

Place ham on rack in shallow roasting pan. Roast in a 325 degrees F. oven for 2 hours (15 minutes per pound), basting with the honey glaze during the last 45 minutes.
Quick, easy, and delicious.

Enjoy your holiday dinner!

Funny Chocolate Easter bunny t shirt

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maple Soy Glazed Salmon

This maple soy glazed salmon has just the right amount of salty and sweet to complement the salmon. I usually do it on the grill outside, but this can just as easily be cooked under the broiler. If you're going to cook it inside, place the broiler pan in the second position down from the heat source and make sure it doesn't burn.

This salmon needs to stay in the marinade at least two hours ... but 4 is better, and if you make this up right before bed and stick it into the refrigerator, it makes a quick, easy dinner the next day. 15 minutes, tops, to fresh, delicious salmon. What could be better?

Maple Soy Glazed Salmon

1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Season salmon fillets with garlic powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, maple syrup, water, and vegetable oil until syrup is mixed in. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours .
Preheat grill for medium heat.
Lightly oil grill. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.


If you need a green way to carry your groceries home, or just something to carry things around in, this three salmon tote by Ghost Dog Productions is perfect. Three salmon represent the circle of life. Plenty stylish.

Circle of Life Salmon Tote Bag

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Moroccan Couscous

Couscous is a wonderful, quick side dish that takes just minutes to prepare and adds a little Eastern flair to your cuisine. You can use the instant, which is totally easy. This particular variation is a Moroccan recipe, and it's a wonderful side dish for chicken or spicy sausage.

Moroccan couscous

1 cup orange or other juice
1 cup instant couscous
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp melted butter

Boil the juice and pour on top of couscous. Mix, cover, and set aside. Meanwhile, soak the dates and raisins in the hot water for 2 minutes. Saute the slivered almonds in the butter. Add raisins and dates to couscous (water and all), then add in almonds. Let sit a couple more minutes, covered. Fluff lightly with fork and serve.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ten Minute Meals - Quesadillas

When I want a no-fuss, nutritious meal with a little kick, I make quesadillas. You can put anything on a quesadilla (and I have). Chicken cubes, pork shreds, onions, peppers, mushrooms, squash, avocado, any kind of vegetable or meat at all. I usually keep tomatilla sauce and salsa around all the time and serve it with some on the side, along with sour cream or guacamole.

Flour tortillas
shredded cheese, either Monterey Jack or cheddar
chopped vegetables
chopped meat
olive oil for skillet

Preheat skillet to med - med high. Put about a teaspoon of oil in it and swirl around until the skillet is coated. Place a tortilla in, flip a couple of times, add a handful of grated cheese and the toppings of your choice. Top with a second tortilla, mash slightly together, and flip. Keep flipping until tortilla is browned to your satisfaction, and the cheese is melted.

Alternatively, you can assemble them and put them in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Serve with salsa or tomatilla sauce, sour cream or guacamole. Add a salad, and you have an entire meal.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Ten Minute Meals - Honeyed Chicken Salad

I've come home from work many a night, exhausted, not wanting to cook, so I've come up with the ten minute meal. I can't abide terrible food, so it must taste good, and be quick. This Honeyed Chicken Salad is terrific on a whole grain roll, or to top a spinach salad. It's got a little zip to it -- the balsamic vinegar is a wonderful counterpoint to the sweetness of the honey.

Use leftover chicken breast for this, or buy and keep on hand cubed chicken. I add pecans, and grapes to this, but have been known to substitute chopped apples on occasion. Experiment. It's your recipe, do it the way you want to.

Try to use local honey if you can; if you have allergies, it's a good way to desensitize yourself to the local pollens. And by the way, babies under one year of age should never eat honey. Although honey is a natural, healthy food that cannot support bacterial life, it's important to note that it can carry C. botulinum spores which may be harmful to the undeveloped immune systems of infants.

Honeyed Chicken Salad

2 chicken breast, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 rib celery, chopped very fine
2 tbsp. onion, chopped very fine
2 tbsp. chopped pecans
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 cup sliced seedless grapes
1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Mix it well. It's even better the next day.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Vegetarian Chili

This great meatless chili is wonderful for those cold winter days. Vary the vegetables, add different kinds of beans, make it without the soy crumbles. You can vary it many ways, and it still turns out great. Top it with some cheese and sour cream, or a tablespoon of salsa. Hearty, healthy meal that is done quickly. I've used canned beans in this recipe, but you can, of course, cook yours from scratch. Even better the second day.

Vegetarian Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 green or red pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cans crushed tomatoes
salt to taste
1/2 cup salsa
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can refried beans
1 cup soy crumbles

Heat oil in large pot. Add onions, green pepper and garlic. Saute until onions are soft. Add the zucchini, squash, oregano, red pepper and chili powder and saute for another couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, salsa, and salt. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, lightly covered. Add all the beans and cook on low to medium for about 20 minutes to let all the flavors meld. Add soy crumbles and cook until heated all the way through. Serve with chopped onions, cilantro, cheddar cheese, or sour cream.