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


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fresh Fruit with Faux Marscarpone cheese

I love marscarpone cheese, but I can't afford it. It's very expensive, and it's very hard to find where I live. I've come up with a reasonable substitute, and this fresh fruit recipe is great for breakfast or for dessert.

Fresh Fruit with Faux Mascarpone Cheese

8 oz package of cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
1/4 cup whipping cream
Fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, etc. doesn't work
with apples, melon, or pears, in my opinion)
Honey, for drizzling

When the cream cheese is softened, beat with the whipping cream. Slice fruit and place in bowl, placing an Ice Cream Scoop (psst. Buy this one and help fight breast cancer) of the cheese on top. Drizzle with honey, to taste.

This is a great way to start your day, or a wonderful, light dessert.

Easy Quick Way to Peel Tomatoes

I used to see those recipes that called for you to peel the tomato, and I'd wonder how I was supposed to do that. Ever tried to peel a tomato with a knife? Please. I fished out the skins as it was cooking.

Then I got smart.

This is so easy, and it takes a milli-second.

How to Peel a Tomato

Fill a 2 Quart Saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil.

Using tongs, drop a tomato in and leave for about 15 seconds.

Using tongs, transfer tomato to a bowl of ice water and leave for about 20 seconds.

Use a Paring Knife to make a small tear in the skin, and then peel it off. It will come off very easily. If it doesn't, drop in boiling water for another 5 seconds and repeat the process.

That's it. As easy as that.

Best Baked Beans Recipe

I love baked beans. Love them. I've experimented with several different recipes, and I've finally come to find one that I like the best, and this is it. If you want to make them vegetarian, leave out the bacon. By the way, 10 cups of cooked beans is a 2 lb package cooked. This recipe is easy to cut in half if you don't want to eat baked beans until they are coming out of your ears, but I've given you the large recipe because it's good for picnics, BBQ's and celebrations.

Baked Beans

10 cups cooked navy beans or other white beans
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup black coffee
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup bourbon
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 tomato, peeled and chopped fine
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated or chopped fine
1/2 half green or red pepper, chopped fine
2 tablespoons Molasses
2 tablespoons dry mustard

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, then pour it into a baking dish. Bake, uncovered, about 1 1/2 hours until they have thickened and cooked down, with a skin just beginning to form on the top of the beans.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

This is a great recipe for a barbecue or for someone who is watching their weight, because it is made with small red skin potatoes. I used to use large potatoes for this and I used a lot more cheese, but I scaled it down and changed some of the ingredients around. It cuts the cooking time in half, which is perfect for me. (Who has an hour to cook potatoes?) I found that it tastes even better this way. The mashed carrots and roasted red pepper in this recipe add a complexity that it lacked before, and it is still a rich, satisfying comfort food. Try it for yourself at your next BBQ and see.

Twice Baked Red Skin Potatoes

12 small red skin potatoes
About 8 peeled baby carrots, cut in half *see note*
1/4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped fine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
8 green onions, chopped fine

Preheat the oven to 425. Cut potatoes in half and toss with olive oil. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and cook in oven for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, steam or cook carrots in saucepan in water on high heat until very soft. If boiling, this will take about 10 minutes.

When potatoes are done, put to the side for about 10 minutes to cool. Then scoop out flesh with melon baller, leaving a small amount of flesh clinging to the potato skin.

Mash together potato flesh, carrots, and red pepper. Stir in remaining ingredients. If it seems too thick, put more milk in, a tablespoon at a time. Put mixture back into potato skins, heaping it up in mounds.

Cook in oven for 15 more minutes.


*You can use regular carrots for this--it's the equivalent of half of a carrot. Just peel it and cut it up into small chunks for quick cooking*

Friday, April 25, 2008

Easy Homemade Sloppy Joes

Do you love Sloppy Joes? Don't buy those expensive mixes and cans of pre-made sauce --- they're full of salt and preservatives and other things that aren't so good for you. This recipe for Sloppy Joes is fast, easy, and delicious. I made them last night for dinner, and fifteen minutes after I started, I was sitting at the table, eating my sandwich. Serve them on a whole grain bun with a salad, and you've even got a healthy meal. You can make this a vegetarian meal by substituting soy crumbles for the ground beef. If you do so, just dump the soy crumbles in at the end and heat them up, no extra cooking time required.

Homemade Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 red or green pepper, chopped fine or one roasted red pepper, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Brown ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain in the sink in a 3 qt Colander and run hot water over it for a minute to get rid of the grease, if you desire. Put onions in the pan over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until almost soft. Add pepper and garlic and cook two minutes more. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat all the way through. Add ground beef or soy crumbles and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Slicebuns in half and top with meat and sauce. Enjoy.

And here's a funny Adam Sandler lunch lady video for you about--you guessed it--Sloppy Joes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quick and Easy Fruit Pizza Recipe

This is a great dessert recipe, quick and easy and delicious. You can use any fruit that you like, using seasonal fruits (which I like to do) or using canned fruit, like mandarin oranges. It's light yet satisfying. One thing I recommend; if you don't want your fruit pizza to be soggy, drain your fruit well in a colander in the sink. Of course, it tastes just as good soggy as it does crispy, and sometimes I like the juice all sopped into the crust. Great take-along dessert for parties, but it is a little hard to cut through the fruit. If I'm taking it somewhere, I usually cut the crust before I put on the fruit, then I decorate it. Much easier to serve this way.

Fruit Pizza

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened *see note on softening it quickly below*
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg and mix until blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate large bowl, then stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Press dough down onto an ungreased pizza pan.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Spread on cooled crust.

Arrange desired fruit on top of filling, and chill.

*Cream cheese can take a while to soften, and if you don't want to wait, remove it from the package and put it on a microwave-safe plate. Place in microwave and microwave on High for about 8 seconds. Turn over. Microwave 8 seconds more. You'll have to scrape it off the plate, but it will be soft.*

This is the best thing I have ever found to spread cream cheese with. I love this thing, and I don't know how I ever did without it. I used it to spread the cream cheese filling on this fruit pizza, by the way. You can't stain it if you try, and I've had everything from strawberries to tomato sauce all over it, and the blade is made from high carbon steel, so it's indestructible (says the woman who accidentally dropped it in the garbage disposal and then turned it on). You can click on the picture to find out more about it.

SANI SAFE (17403) 4 and one quarter

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Honey Lime Glazed Salmon

This is the easiest recipe in the world. Salmon cooks quickly, and you just pour this glaze in at the last, let it cook for a minute, and serve it up. The honey and the lime and the dijon mustard all combine together in a lip-smacking good recipe. If you're short on time, this is a great salmon recipe for you.

Honey Lime Glazed Salmon

1 lb. fresh salmon fillets
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1/4 c. honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lime

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the salmon and saute until nearly done. Whisk together all remaining ingredients in a small bowl. When salmon is nearly done, pour honey mixture over it and cook for a couple more minutes, until the sauce thickens and forms a glaze. Serve at once, spooning a little glaze over the salmon. Serve with a slice of lime of lime on the side.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quick and Easy Beef and Broccoli Recipe

This quick alternative to Chinese take-out takes about 10 minutes to cook, start to finish. It's a great meal for when you get home late from work, or just when you're pressed for time. You can use frozen vegetables for this, but it's not going to be nearly as good, and if you do use them, thaw in the microwave before using.

Beef and Broccoli

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
3/4 pound La Cense Beef, sliced against the grain 1/8 inch thick
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 - 3 cups broccoli florets
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
4 or 5 green onions, chopped, green as well as white parts
3 tablespoons Ohsawa Soy Sauce
1/3 cup water

Toss together cornstarch, salt, both types of pepper, and beef in a bowl until meat is coated. Alternatively, you can toss this in a sealed plastic bag.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok or heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then stir-fry beef until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate or bowl.

Add remaining tablespoon oil to wok along with broccoli, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry until broccoli is just tender, about 2 minutes. Add green onions, stir fry for about 1/2 minute more.

Add soy sauce and water and bring to a boil. Return meat to skillet and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. If sauce seems too thin, mix 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and add to the pan, stirring until it thickens.


Mmmm ... broccoli t shirts and gifts

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tunisian Harissa Sauce

Harissa is a North African condiment and is used a lot in cooking, especially in Tunisia. It is used as a table condiment, as an ingredient in tagines or stews, and to add flavor to couscous or salads.

If you want to use this as a dipping sauce for flatbread or pita, mix 2 tablespoons prepared harissa with 1/8 cup of lemon juice and 1/8 cup olive oil and stir. Alternatively, you could replace the lemon juice with 1/8 cup coconut milk, which makes a sweet counterpoint to the heat of the chilies. Delicious and spicy, it's a perfect sauce for fish.

1 cup hot dried red chile peppers
1 roasted red pepper
2 teaspoons Salt
10 cloves Garlic
2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or 1/4 cup
Olive Oil

Cover the dried chilies with boiling water in a small bowl and let sit for about an hour. Drain and place in blender or food processor with the salt, garlic, and roasted red pepper. Puree the mixture and add the lemon juice, a little at a time. Add additional lemon juice if necessary. Pack the sauce into a small jar and add a thin layer of olive oil to top, just enough to cover. Refrigerate. This will keep about two to three weeks in the refrigerator, and the taste improves after it sits a couple of days.

Chili Pepper Tile CoasterChili Pepper Tile Coaster

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Easy Linguine with Clams

While on a recent trip to San Francisco, I had the best linguine with clams that I have ever eaten. It was so good that I begged for a recipe and was very surprised that it was such a quick, easy food to fix. Excellent taste, and if you serve it with a good Italian bread and Olive Oil, add a tossed spinach salad and a Cheesecake Assortmentfor dessert, you have a world class menu.

Linguine with Clams

1 pound linguine
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon crushed red chilies
1 pound fresh clams, scrubbed and rinsed
2 cups dry white wine
4 Tablespoons butter
1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped

Bring six quarts of water to boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.

In a large pan, sauté onion and garlic in two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until onion is very soft, about 10 minutes. Add more olive oil if you need it. Add hot chilies, clams, white wine, and butter and bring to a boil. Cook until all clams have opened, and then set aside.

Boil linguine according to package instructions. Drain in colander over sink; toss with clams and stir gently to mix. It will be very juicy, but that's okay. Add chopped parsley, pour into warm serving bowl and serve.

Baar Product's Olive Oil 1 qt

Baar Product's
Olive Oil 1 qt

Olive Oil
Our Olive Oil
is made from unsprayed,
tree ripened olives and
is pure extra virgin,
cold pressed, with
no solvents,
bleaches, dyes,
hexane, or preservatives.
This product is
all natural.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Gingerbread with wheat germ.

I love a warm piece of gingerbread with applesauce on top. I also love cooking with wheat germ; it adds a crunch and a nutty taste that's just perfect. This recipe combines both of those things, and it's a perfect breakfast food or a healthy afternoon snack. You don't have to serve it warm with applesauce, but I think it's better that way.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup olive oil
2 eggs

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil 9' baking pan.

In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients; mix well. In medium bowl, combine milk, molasses, applesauce, oil and egg; mix well. Add to flour mixture, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into baking pan.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Serve warm with additional applesauce.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quick Chicken Cacciatore

This is a great, quick dinner that you can make in 20 minutes. Use pre-cooked, cubed chicken or you can saute your own. If you use your own, cut up the chicken while still a little frozen; it's easier that way. Cook it for about 10 minutes, until it's not pink. You can substitute any vegetable that you like in this recipe; be flexible.

Chicken Cacciatore

1/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 pound chicken meat, cooked and cubed
1 can peeled tomatoes
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (I use broccoli stir fry)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Grated Parmesan to taste

In a large skillet, saute onion, garlic and bell pepper until soft. Add chicken, then stir in tomatoes, vegetables, and oregano.
Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and serve hot. Top with grated Parmesan and serve over noodles or rice if you prefer.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Easy Banana Bread

This is an easy banana bread recipe with a moist, delicious banana taste. If you don't like the walnuts, you can leave them out. It's full of uncompromising banana taste, and a great way to get rid of those over-ripe bananas.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas. Add walnuts. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture just until moistened. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.