Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pumpkin Ravioli

I've made this recipe using pumpkin and sweet potatoes ... both turned out DE-LISH :) As for the sauce, I primarily used the same ingredients, however, with pumpkin ravioli I added a bit of Gorgonzola cheese to the sauce. Hubby said he preferred the sauce with the Gorgonzola. 

Ravioli Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (drained on paper towel for 5-7 minutes) or cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (substituted paprika for sweet potatoes) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 ounces Mascarpone cheese
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • Wonton wrappers
Directions: 
  1. Combine pumpkin, sage, nutmeg, salt, pepper, cheeses, and breadcrumbs. 
  2. Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep from drying), spoon 2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into the center of wrapper. Brush edges of wrapper with water and fold in half, pressing edges firmly with fingers to form a half-moon. Place on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch. Repeat procedure with remaining wonton wrappers and pumpkin mixture.
  3. Fill a large pot with water; bring to a simmer. Add a dozen of ravioli to pan (cover remaining ravioli with a damp towel to keep from drying). Cook 4 minutes or until done/rise to the top (do not boil), stirring gently. Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon; lightly coat with cooking spray, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining ravioli.  
Sauce Ingredients: 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup milk, cream, or half & half
  • 1 tablespoon flour (if using milk ... to thicken if desired)
  • 1/3 -1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese (for pumpkin ravioli) 
Directions: 
  1. Saute garlic and shallots in in olive oil and butter until tender and fragrant. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients and heat through over medium low heat until desire thickness. 
I severed this dish with pan roasted chicken breast and ... APPLES!!! Yes ... apples! Its adds a crisp, refreshing twist to the dish. When plating, I placed two apple slices on the bottom, topped with 4-5 raviolis, chicken, then topped with the sauce, an apple garnish and a sprinkle of chopped pecans. Enjoy!! 


Monday, December 12, 2011

Gorgonzola Caramelized Onion Dip

HELLO!!!! WOW!!! Its been entirely too long since my last post!! Still cooking and baking all the time and LOVIN' it ... just not taking the time to update my poor blog :/ Anywho ... I came up with this recipe ... with the help of a fellow foodie friend's taste buds :) ... after having it in a restaurant in Portland during another friend's bachelorette party! It was DE-LISH!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 8 oz Gorgonzola cheese, roughly chopped
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chipotle Chile Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika 
Directions: 
  1. Saute the onion over medium low heat with butter and brown sugar until the onions are cooked through and have a nice caramelized color. 
  2. Add Gorgonzola, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and Parmesan cheese and cook until all the cheese are mixed together. 
  3. Mix in Chipotle Chile pepper and paprika (more or less to taste) 
Note: I've served this crackers, baguettes, celery, apples and pears ... my favorites are celery and pears :) As a family friend told my Hubby, "I keep craving that dip Nicole made at dinner! It was good on EVERYTHING ... apples, pears, crackers, bread, celery, FINGERS!" Maybe I should rename it "Finger Dip!?!" I'd love to hear your pairing combinations and find out what was your favorite! 

Enjoy!! 

Nicole  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Smoked Salmon

This past weekend we co-hosted a Block Party ... having bought our home almost 6 years ago, we decided should get to know some more of our neighbors and had heard they used to have block parties all the time. It was a huge success (well over 60 people!) and everyone requested that we continue to have block parties on a more regular basis. Anyway, one of our neighbors made this super yummy smoked salmon and was kind enough to share the recipes!!! So ... I'm sharing it as well!

Ingredients:
  • 8 lbs salmon
Brine:
  • 1 c non-iodized salt
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 2 qts water
  • 1 small bottle crescent seafood seasoning (or 1/4 c Old Bay)
  • 2 - 3 crumbled bay leaves
  • 1 tsp rosemary
Syrup:
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 2 lbs brown sugar
Garnish:
  • Diced red onion
  • Cream cheese
  • Capers
  • Crackers/Baguette
Directions:

Cut salmon into squares about 2 to 3 inches thick and 4 inch squares. Marinate 10 to 12 hours in brine solution (make sure all salmon is immersed). Rinse under cold water. Cook 1 bottle of wine and 2 pounds sugar just until sugar dissolves (don't boil). Marinate first in this for 1 hour. Place fish on racks to dry slightly (should have nice coating on it). Place on racks in smoker and smoke 10 to 12 hours. (8 hours for smaller pieces.) Add smoking chips every hour or 1 1/2 hours (he recommended apple or hickory chips).

Note: Put skin side up and smaller pieces on top shelf.

I have to admit, I haven't smoked anything before, but this is on the top of my list :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

Hi All!!! I know its been FOR-EVER since I posted ... but I'm still cooking :) and baking! Here's a quick and easy app that we have been enjoying this summer!! Its SUPER yummy!!!


Ingredients:
  • 16 jalapeno peppers
  • 8 oz cream cheese - at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 16 + slices prosciutto
Directions:
  1. Remove stems from jalapeno peppers, slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds
  2. Combine cream cheese, sharp cheddar, and Parmesan cheese in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Spoon mixture into the "bowl" of the jalapeno peppers and wrap with prosciutto
  4. Place on grill, cheese side up, over medium-low heat and cook until cheese mixture is melted ... about 8-10 minutes or so.
Note: You can also add different types of cheeses or other ingredients to the filling ... On the top of my list is a smoked Gouda :)

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Easy Microwave Risotto

    I LOVE this recipe! Its so easy and you can add whatever you like to totally change the flavor of the dish ... it's SO versatile!!! In the photo shown, I've added/used green onion, mushrooms (LOTS), 2 garlic cloves and a combo of 5 yr Gouda and Parmesan cheeses and served it with grilled pork chops and grilled prosciutto wrapped asparagus :) YUMMY!


    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 - 2 clove garlic, minced
    • 2/3 cup onion, chopped
    • 1 1/2 cups broth (chicken, vegetable, or beef pending what else your having)
    • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
    • 3/4 cup white wine
    • 1/4 - 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    Directions

    1. In a 3 quart, microwave safe casserole dish combine butter, olive oil, garlic and onion. Place dish in microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes.
    2. Add broth and heat in microwave until the broth is hot but not boiling (approximately 2 minutes).
    3. Stir the rice into the casserole dish with the onion, butter and garlic mixture. Cover the dish tightly and cook on high for 6 minutes.
    4. Stir wine into the rice. Cook on high for 10 minutes more. Most of the liquid should have boiled off. Stir the cheese into the rice and serve.

    I'd love to hear any variations of the recipe should you decide to try this one :)

    Black Bean & Corn Salad

    I posted this recipe once before but it seems to have disappeared??? So, here it is again ... This salad is AMAZING!!! I've made it three times now ... for Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day and Memorial Weekend ... very refreshing and full of lots of good-for-you stuff :)

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
    • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 36-40 grape tomatoes - sliced in half
    • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

    Directions

    1. Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small jar. Cover and shake until ingredients are well mixed.
    2. In a salad bowl, combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Shake lime dressing, and pour it over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetables and beans with dressing, and serve.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Potato Salad

    Made this one for dinner tonight ... LOTS of leftovers given we're just a family of 4 but now the Hubby has a yummy side for lunch for the rest of the week :) And if the sunny weather continues for the rest of the week as "forecasted" ... we might enjoy it again for dinner side ...



    Ingredients
    • 8-10 Yukon Gold potatoes
    • 3 eggs, hard boiled
    • 1 ½ cups chopped celery
    • ¾ cup chopped onion
    • ¾ cup chopped kosher pickles
    • ¼ cup chopped red pepper (cause I had it on hand and like the color addition) :)
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
    • Pinch or 2 of kosher salt
    • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 2 splashes Worcestershire sauce
    • ground black pepper to taste
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
    • Paprika
    Directions
    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 12 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and chop.
    2. In a small bowl, mix together garlic powder, celery salt, kosher salt, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and mayonnaise. Stir until well blended.
    3. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, pickles, and red pepper. Add mayonnaise mixtures and stir together until well coated. Refrigerate until chilled.
    4. Top with parsley and paprika just before serving.
    Note: I cooked and peeled my potatoes using this fancy tip as seen here… Highly recommend :)

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Cowboy Potatoes

    This is an amazing recipe I received from my MIL which I have since made for my side of family and now it requested for Easter EVERY year!!! Made the mistake of not making it one year ... that didn't go over very well ... I'll be making a double batch for tomorrow's Easter Brunch and will post pics then but I wanted to share this now in case any of my fabulous followers would like to add it the menu for Easter ...

    UPDATED with a pic ...  



    Ingredients

    • 2 lb bag hash browns, partially thawed
    • 1 can cream of chicken soup
    • 1 pint sour cream
    • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • Salt and Pepper to taste
    • 2 cups crushed potato chips
    • 1/4 cup melted butter
    • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
    Directions
    1. Place hash browns in 9x13 pan
    2. Mix everything but chips, butter and cheese and spread over hash browns
    3. Sprinkle cheese on top 
    4. Mix crushed potato chips with butter and sprinkle on top
    5. Bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours

    Note - I normally leave the butter out and just add the potato chips during the last thirty minutes of baking

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Grilled Avocado

    I LOVE avocados!!! Especially when I was pregnant with both of our daughters ... I probably had about half an avocado a day which apparently was passed on to them as they both love avocados too!!! A friend of ours made these for us for the first time about 5 years ago and I've have been hooked ever since :) Great during the summer and easy to make while camping ... Simple and DELICIOUS!!!

    Ingredients:
    • Avocados - halved with pit removed
    • Olive Oil
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Salsa
    • Mexican Blend Cheese
    • Sour Cream
    • Tortilla Chips
    Directions:
    1. Heat grill to medium. 
    2. Brush the avocado flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
    3. Place flesh side down on the grill over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes
    4. Turn avocados over and fill the "bowl" with salsa
    5. Sprinkle with cheese and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted
    6. Top with sour cream and serve with tortilla chips :)



     Enjoy with your favorite beer :)

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Chicken Salad Sandos

    I came up with these yesterday for lunch for the Hubby and I ... Very flavorful and lots of different textures for a "salad" style sando! Served with a side of fruit ... as you can from the pic! Enjoy :)



    Ingredients:

    • 1 can chicken - a rotisserie chicken would be even better, but this is what we had in the cupboard
    • 2 green onions, diced
    • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
    • 1/4 cup green grapes, sliced in half
    • 1/4 cup apple, chopped
    • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1 dash Worcestershire 
    • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    Directions:
    1. Place the first five ingredients in a bowl.
    2. Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl and whisk until well blended. 
    3. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the chicken mixture and stir until well mixed. 
    Note: if a rotisserie chicken is used, you may want to adjust the remaining ingredients accordingly ...

    Posting new recipes all recipes all the time ... follow me to keep on the latest :-) And I'd love any feedback on this or any other recipes you've tried! Thanks!

    Cheers!!!

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    AMAZING ... Peeling a Potato!

    This is too awesome to not share! Its not a recipe but it will make preparing potato dishes so much easier ... can't wait to make a potato salad now!!! Thanks to my MIL for e-mailing this to me :-)

    Peeling a Potato



    I'd love to hear about other cooking tricks or tips out there ... please share them in the comments section and I'll post for others as well (including a link to your blog if you'd like)

    Happy Cooking!!!
    Nicole

    5/17/11 - UPDATE: Tried this peeling method today ... IT IS AMAZING!!! And another added bonus is that placing the hot potatoes in the ice water stops the cooking process (making them perfect for potato salad) ... not sure why I didn't think of that the first time I watched the video ... but anyway, you must try this :)

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Sausage & Potato Soup

    YUMMY!!! This is one of my new favorite soups ... it's been a while since we've had Ham and Potato Soup but I think I enjoy this one more ... LOTS of flavor!!! Sydney finished her dinner in record time tonight!!! (And that's a huge accomplishment) I used maple sausage which added a lot to the flavor of the soup ... I might try an Italian sausage next time as a comparison but this was DE-LICIOUS!!! Served with Onion and Cheddar Biscuits ... I'll blog that recipe on another day :-)


    Ingredients:
    • 4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
    • 1/2 cup diced celery
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion/scallion
    • 3/4 cup sliced carrots
    • 1 pound sausage
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper, or to taste
    • 5 tablespoons butter
    • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups milk
    • Garnish: Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Green Onion
    Directions:

    1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, carrots, water and chicken broth in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. 
    2. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, cook sausage over medium high until done, about 10 minutes. Drain any grease from sausage and add sausage the stockpot a long with the salt and pepper.
    3. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, about 4 to 5 minutes.
    4. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    Chicken with Wine Sauce (Hubby's Recipe)

    Here's the recipe for our dinner that my wonderful Hubby made tonight ... it was very tasty :-) He served this over linguine noodles with steamed broccoli and caesar salad for sides!

    Ingredients:
    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1/3 cup flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
    • 1/3 cup white wine
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    Directions:
    1. Mix flour, salt and pepper. Coat chicken with flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
    2. Melt butter over medium heat. Add chicken and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and cover to keep warm. 
    3. Add mushrooms and white wine to skillet. Cook, stirring continually, for about 2 minutes.
    4. Add parsley and heavy cream to skillet. Cook over low heat stirring continually until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. 
    5. Serve sauce over chicken and ENJOY!!

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Strawberry Shortcake

    This is one our favorite desserts and while I can't claim to have made any of the "ingredients", I still wanted to share this DELICIOUS "recipe" :-)



    Ingredients:
    • Pound Cake (toasted ... this make a huge difference)
    • Strawberries, sliced
    • Whipped Cream
    • Chocolate Sauce (my favorite is Chocolate Espresso Merlot!!!) 
    Directions:

    Cut the pound cake (from Costco) into 3/4" slices and toast. The toasted Pound Cake holds up so nicely against the juices of the strawberries and adds another texture to the dish! Normally I just pop them into the toaster but when entertaining large groups, it works great to put them on a cookie sheet and in the oven on broil for 2-4 minutes per side. Once toasted, top with strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce ... I highly recommend a Chocolate Espresso Merlot!!! So many of my favorite things in one dish: coffee, vino, chocolate and fruit ... makes me want to go back for seconds :-)

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Baked Tilapia w/ Mango Peach Salsa

    I was looking for something quick and easy (and healthy ... shhh!) to make for dinner and have been wanting to try my hand at Tilapia for some time now ... Prior to tonight I have yet to prepare, cook, or consume Tilapia, but after tonight it will me a staple in our home. This was GREAT!!! I made 3 Tilapia fillets for our family of 4, which worked out great for us, and served the fish with Sticky Lemon Rice and an Italian Spinach Salad ...




    Ingredients:
    • 3 (4 oz) Tilapia Fillets 
    • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    • Lemon Pepper
    • Garlic Powder
    • Salt
    • 1 teaspoon Butter
    • 2/3 cup Mango Peach Salsa (I love the brand from Costco!!)
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees 
    2. Coat bottom of baking dish with olive oil and place Tilapia fillets in dish. 
    3. Season with desired amounts of salt, lemon pepper, and garlic powder. Flip fillets and season again. (At this point, I allowed the fillets to marinate for about 45 minutes) 
    4. Prior to baking, drop 1 teaspoon butter in the dish.
    5. Place in preheated oven and cook for about 20 minutes.
    6. Remove from over and cover each fillet with Mango Peach Salsa. Return to oven and cook for addition 2 minutes. (Fish should flake easily with a fork when cooked)
    7. Serve and enjoy :-)

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Slow Cooker Chicken

    This is a recipe that I received from my Hubby's Cousin's Wife ... and I LOVE it!!! It's so SIMPLE and VERSATILE that I make sure to have all 3 ingredients on hand at all times :-) I have used this chicken recipe for everything from Tacos and Tostadas to Mexican Salads and Enchilada Casseroles.

    Ingredients:
    • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 10-12 Sweet Banana Wax Peppers (with about 1/4 cup juice)
    • 1 cup Italian Salad Dressing (homemade or store bought) 
    Directions:
    1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook until chicken is done (I've made this on both Low and High settings with thawed and frozen chicken, adjusting the cooking time accordingly)
    2. Remove the cooked chicken and shred.
    3. Remove and dice the peppers, discarding the stems.
    4. Combine the shredded chicken and diced peppers and add desired about of cooking broth from the slow cooker. 
    From here, the possibilities are endless :-) 

    All ready to cook ... and no prep dishes :-) YAY!

     Shredded and ready to enjoy with all the "accessories"

    Tostada - My fav!
    (Side note: on our old kitchen's counter top ... )

    Soft Taco - Hubby's fav!
    (And the new kitchen's counter top!!!)






    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Citrus Teriyaki Salmon w/ Mushroom Rice

    Opted for something with some "Spring" flavor for dinner tonight even though we are expecting a "huge" snow storm ... it was very refreshing and the Hubby and Kiddos loved it! Served with sour dough and sauteed brussels sprouts. Enjoy ... 


     Citrus Teriyaki Salmon
    Ingredients
    • 1 pound salmon fillet
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar, divided
    • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper, divided
    • 1 ½  teaspoon garlic powder, divided
    • 1/3 cup soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 ½ teaspoons ginger
    • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
    Directions
    1. Rub salmon with about 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Lightly sprinkle with lemon pepper and garlic powder; rub seasoning into fish.
    2. Combine remaining ingredients in a Ziploc bag and shake to mix.
    3. Add salmon to bag and allow 30 - 60 minutes to marinate.
    4. Preheat broiler. Place fish in a foil-lined baking pan drizzled with additional olive oil. Reserve marinade.
    5. Pour remaining marinade into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer for about 7 minutes.
    6. Broil fish skin-side up, 2 minutes. Remove from oven, pull skin off with tongs. Baste with marinade, return to oven, and broil 2 minutes more. Turn fish, and broil until fish flakes easily, about 4 minutes. Remove from oven, and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

    Mushroom Rice with Parmesan
    Ingredients
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 4 mushrooms, coarsely chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
    • 1 ½  cups water
    • ¾  cup uncooked jasmine rice
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
    Directions
    1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook mushrooms, garlic and onion until mushrooms are cooked and liquid has evaporated.
    2. Add rice and water to rice cooker. Stir in mushroom, garlic and onion mixture along with parsley.
    3. Cook until rice is done, about 20 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper and parmesan.
    Serve and enjoy :-)

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Seared Scallops over Linguine with a Red Pepper Sauce

    This turned out great! It was DELICIOUS ... if I do say so myself :-) Lylah LOVED the scallops (hence the pic of her I've included) and I hope you enjoy them just as much should you try this recipe. I served it with blanched and sautéed green beans and three cheddar bread.



    Ingredients:
    1 cup Heavy Cream
    ½ cup Half & Half
    1 T Minced Garlic
    1 large Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped (or 2 small peppers)
    Dash Sugar
    1/8 t White Pepper
    1 T Lemon Juice
    ¾ t Cajun Seasoning (more or less to taste)
    Dash Cayenne Pepper
    20 Scallops – sprinkled with add’l Cajun Seasoning
    1 T Butter
    1 T Olive Oil
    1 T Minced Garlic
    7 oz Linguine Noodles (cooked according to directions)
    Directions
    1. Combine the bell peppers, heavy cream, half & half and sugar in a pot and bring to boil over medium heat; reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the cream reduces to about 1 cup, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the Cajun seasoning, lemon juice, salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper.
    2. Pour the sauce into a blender and blend until smooth.
    3. While the sauce is cooking, heat oil and butter over medium heat.
    4. Add garlic and scallops. Sear scallops on each side for 2-3 minutes or until done.
    5. Place the seared scallops over the pasta and drizzle the red pepper sauce over top.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Meaty Garden Chili

    Thought chili would be good for dinner tonight given the stormy, wet weather we're have today ... here's what I put together ... A Meaty Garden Chili!! Think I'll serve it with corn bread and a salad. Yummy!

    Hoping it tastes as good as it smells :-)


    Ingredients
    • 2 pounds lean ground beef
    • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
    • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained & rinsed
    • 1 (27 ounce) can chili beans in chili sauce
    • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
    • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 stalks celery, chopped
    • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 4 beef steak tomatoes, diced
    • 3/4 cup beer
    • 1/4 cup chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons Franks Red Hot sauce
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon white sugar
    • Garnish: Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, Chips, Green Onion ... ???
    Directions
    1. Place ground beef & sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, and crumble.
    2. Combine meat and all other ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours or on high for about 4-5 hours.

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Feta, Basil, & Tomato Stuffed Chicken

    Came up with this for dinner last night while trying to use up some stuff I had on-hand ... turned out pretty tasty :-) Served over whole grain angel hair pasta tossed with EVOO, minced garlic, tomatoes, and basil. Finished off the dish with a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a glass of Cab Sauv :-) Cheers!


    Ingredients:
    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
    • 1/4 cup chopped basil
    • 1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup feta cheese
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • Breadcrumbs 
    • Balsamic vinegar
    Directions: 
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish.
    2. Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Gently pound chicken with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick; remove wax paper. 
    3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta. 
    4. Roll up the chicken and secure with toothpicks.
    5. Spread 2 tablespoons bread crumbs in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange chicken in the dish, and sprinkle bread crumbs over top of the chicken.
    6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.