Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies


  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yoke
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Mix the butter, cream cheese and sugar
  3. Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix well
  4. Add salt and flour, half a cup at time
  5. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. 
  6. Decorate and ENJOY :-)
Pics to come later ...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chicken with a Dijon-Tarragon Cream Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • Seasoned flour or breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Splash of white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  1. Melt the butter and heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry and coat with seasoned flour. Place in the skillet and brown on both sides. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and continue cooking 15 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. Add minced garlic and shallot to pan and sauté until almost soft. Splash with white wine and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Stir cream into the pan, scraping up brown bits. Mix in mustard and tarragon. Cook and stir 5 minutes, or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Drizzle chicken with sauce to serve. (I served the chicken on a bed of rice and topped with the sauce) … very YUMMY!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Italian Meatball & Tortellini Soup

Well ... given that today started out so dark and gloomy I decided I was going to make soup for dinner. I didn't want to go to the store so I pulled together ingredients from home ... this is what I came up with! Cheers :-)

Italian Meatball & Tortellini Soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 5 cups beef stock
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • ½ teaspoon each: marjoram, thyme, rosemary, & oregano
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ pound frozen, cooked Italian-style meatballs - thawed
  • About 36 cheese tortellini
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; cook the onion and garlic in the oil until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the beef stock into the pot; add the tomatoes, carrots, edamame, spices, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the meatballs and simmer for about 30-40 minutes. (I cut the meatballs into quarters so it was easier form the kiddos to eat)
  2. Return to a boil, add tortellini and cook another 3-5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese to serve.  (Serves 4)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Heavenly Halibut

I finally found a halibut recipe that the Hubby loves :-) The basics of the recipe is from however, I made a few changes to make it a bit healthier (using olive oil rather than butter) shhh ... don't tell! Recipe is for about 8 servings. Amazing flavor and a little over 200 calories! Can't beat that ... Enjoy ... 

Heavenly Halibut
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • 2 pounds skinless halibut fillets
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix the Parmesan cheese, olive oil, mayonnaise, lemon juice, green onions, salt, and hot pepper sauce.
  3. Arrange the halibut fillets in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake halibut fillets 20 minutes in the prepared oven, or until easily flaked with a fork.
  5. Switch oven onto broil and spread halibut with the Parmesan cheese mixture.
  6. Broil 2 minutes, or until topping is bubbly and lightly browned.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Seared Scallops on Wilted Spinach with Champagne Butter Sauce

1 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 4 tablespoons, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 bag fresh spinach
White pepper
8 sea scallops, patted dry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup Brut Champagne

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spinach, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pinch white pepper, and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Season both sides of the scallops with salt and white pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook until golden and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the shallots to the oil remaining in the pan, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 1 minute. Add the champagne and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the pan, and cook until reduced by 50 percent in volume. Add the remaining butter, 1 piece at a time, taking the skillet from the heat as necessary to prevent the sauce from breaking, and cook, whisking constantly, until all the butter is incorporated. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Divide the wilted spinach among 2 serving plates, top each with 4 sauteed scallops, and drizzle with the champagne butter sauce.

(Food Network recipe uses watercress instead of spinach)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rosemary Beer Butt Chicken

I've tried several different variations of Beer Butt Chicken this is by far my best. Hubby loved it! The chicken was so moist and packed full of the flavor!!! I cooked it in the oven but I bet it would be even better on the BBQ :-) Just have to adjust cooking time accordingly ...

Cooked bird ...

Ready to eat :-)

Rosemary Beer Butt Chicken
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can beer
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
  • 3 tablespoons rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour out half the beer into the baking dish. Set can in beer butt chicken holder and place the holder in to the baking dish.
  2. Combine all spices in a bowl and mix together. Pour half of the spices into the beer can along with ¼ cup of the butter. Loosen the skin over the breast of the chicken; insert an onion slice and two slices of butter (1 T each) under the skin of each side of the breast. Sprinkle half of the remaining spices under the skin of the chicken as well.
  3. Spray the outside of the chicken with cooking oil spray, and sprinkle the remaining spice mixture on the outside of the chicken. Place the chicken onto the beer can in an upright position, with the can inserted into the cavity of the chicken. Pour the chicken broth into the baking dish, and place the rest of the sliced onion into the broth and beer mixture.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven until the skin is crisp, the meat is no longer pink at the bone, and the juices run clear, about 1 1/2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Note: I prepped this about 4 hrs before actually cooking it. Covered it in plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator. The flavor was amazing as the spices and onion really soaked into the chicken.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Add posts to the blog ...

Hey Followers :-)

So, thanks to Erica, we realized that in order to post to the blog, I need to add you to the account as an authorized publisher ... so, if you would like to post recipes, pics, etc ... let me know what e-mail account you would like to use for your posts and I'll happily send you an invite :-)


Pan - Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach

This is my first contribution to the Kindred Spirits Kitchen Blog. Enjoy!!

3 center-cut bacon slices

1 1/2 lbs jumbo sea scallops

1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp kosher salt, divided

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 c chopped onion

6 garlic cloves, sliced

12 oz fresh baby spinach

4 lemon wedges (optional)

1. Cook bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; coarsely chop and set bacon aside. Increase heat to high.

2. Pat scallops with paper towels. Sprinkle scallops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add scallops to dripping in pan; cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer to a plate; keep warm. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onion and garlic to pan; saute 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add half of spinach; cook 1 minute stirring frequently. Add remaining half of spinach; cook 2 minutes or just until wilted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon and remaining 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Divide spinach mixture among 4 plates; top each serving evenly with crumbled bacon scallops. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

I served this with cous cous. You can choose any side!!!!
Delicious =)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Prawn Fajitas

We didn't quite get enough Mexican food yesterday on Cinco de Mayo so I decided to make fajitas tonight :-) In part to finish off the guacamole I made yesterday. Turned out pretty good ... Hope you enjoy!

Prawn Fajitas
1 pound prawns, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced bell pepper (I used red & orange)
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup frozen corn
Garnish: cilantro, cheese, sour cream, salsa, black beans, and guacamole
  1. Combine the Worcestershire, soy sauce, lime juice, cayenne pepper and chili powder in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp and marinate 30 minutes or so.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the peppers, onion, and corn for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
  3. In a separate skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the shrimp are pink. Combine the shrimp and the vegetables.
  4. Set out the spread and enjoy the feast :-)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese

Well it turned out great!!! (not to toot my own horn :-) ) I think next time I might add a bit more cayenne pepper, but I wanted to make sure it was Hubby and Kiddo friendly. There are also a couple different ways you can cook it depending on the texture you want from your mac 'n cheese ... see the directions below! If you decide to try this NCD Original, I hope you like it :-)

Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese
12 oz elbow noodles
2 T butter
1/3 c minced onion
2 T minced garlic
2 T flour
½ c half & half
1 ½ c milk
½ t ground mustard
1/8 t Cayenne Pepper
4 T Laughing Cow Swiss cheese (5 triangles)
1 c shredded sharp cheddar
1 c shredded smoked Gouda
1 ½ c Gouda
1 ½ c Parmesan cheese
½ c bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook for 3 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, and continue cooking until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 2 minutes more. Slowly stir in the flour, and cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
  4. Slowly stir in the half-and-half and milk, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in mustard powder and desired amount of cayenne pepper; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, along with the Laughing Cow cheese, Smoked Gouda, regular Gouda, and Cheddar cheeses; stir until melted. Season with S & P. Then stir in the drained macaroni noodles. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, then breadcrumbs, finally the paprika over the macaroni and cheese mixture.
  5. For a "creamer" version, bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes then switch to broil for 5 minutes to crisp the top – OR – for a “dryer” version, bake in preheated oven until bubbly and brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Balsamic Chicken with Garlic and Mushrooms

Okay ... here is the first recipe post! Finally :-) From here on out I'm hoping to make at least one post a week and would love if any of the 3 other current followers would like to add their own recipes and pics to share :-) Hope you all enjoy this one ...

Balsamic Chicken with Garlic and Mushrooms 
Served with Jasmine Rice, Steamed Asparagus (which were cooked at the same time in my rice cooker ... AMAZING) and garlic bread ... (and red wine :-) of course )


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Rinse and slice the mushrooms. Season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat and saute the chicken until it is nicely browned on one side (about 3-4 minutes).
  2. Add the garlic to skillet with the chicken. Turn the chicken over and cover with the mushrooms. Continue frying, shaking the skillet and stirring the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the vinegar, broth, bay leaf and thyme. Cover tightly and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, turning every few minutes.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a warm serving platter and cover with foil. Set aside. Continue simmering the sauce, uncovered, over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Swirl in the butter or margarine and discard the bay leaf. Pour this mushroom sauce mixture over the chicken and serve.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Recipes, entertaining, etc

With the help of my Hubby, we came up with the name for this blog ... a blog where we can share recipes, entertaining ideas, etc ... Hope you enjoy our posts :-)