Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving Leftover Poppers and Savory Cranberry Sauce

This year I cooked up Two Turkey's for Thanksgiving and now I have a fridge that is overflowing with leftovers. You only have about 5 days to eat your leftovers or they will go bad. Here is one of my favorite appetizers to make after Thanksgiving, they are great for all those football parties going on over the weekend! Also I have totally deserted my blog for the past year and I am sorry! I am BACK now so get ready to start cooking!!

Stuffed Turkey Jalapeno Poppers with Savory Cranberry Sauce

8 jalapenos
1 8oz package cream cheese - softened
1 cup shredded leftover Turkey
1 bunch scallions - diced with 1 inch green stem
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1tsp pepper
1/8 tsp dry mustard
1 package bacon

Preheat Oven 425 degrees

Rinse your jalapenos then cut lengthwise and spoon out the veins and seeds. (Wash hands or wear gloves) In a standing mixer with paddle attachment blend cream cheese, scallions, turkey, mustard, S&P. Blend until fully mixed and creamy.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the jalapeno boats. Carefully wrap 1 piece of raw bacon around each jalapeno. Make sure you wrap them pretty tight. The bacon will shrink in the oven.
Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes until your bacon is crisp. Place on platter with your cranberry dipping sauce and serve.

Cranberry Sauce

1 cup whole cranberries
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 shallot diced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp. Olive oil

Sauté garlic and shallot in small sauce pan with olive oil until fragrant. Add whole cranberries, sugar, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer for another 10 minutes until the sauce has cooked down into a jam like consistency. Take off heat and let cool completely.

Happy Eatings!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is an amazing recipe that I always bust out during the holiday season. You can use this from Halloween through New years and it's always a crowd pleaser. The Pumpkin cake is so moist and when it's topped off with cream cheese icing you just can't go wrong.

Pumpkin Spice Cake:

11/2 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2tsp salt
2tsp baking powder
2tsp cinnamon
1Tbs molasses

In a mixer blend you vegetable oil and eggs together until pale yellow, add in your molasses and pumpkin puree and blend until smooth. In a separate bowl place all your dry ingredients and mix with a fork or whisk until well blended. With mixer on low slowly add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Once all ingredients is blended and smooth pour into a well greased bundt pan.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Pull from oven and let cool, once cooled remove from pan.

Cream Cheese Icing:

8oz Cream Cheese softened
1/2 stick butter (room temperature)
1lbs powdered sugar
2tsp vanilla

Blend cream cheese and butter until smooth, add vanilla. Slowly pour in powdered sugar while blender is on low. If your icing seems to thick add in some milk.

Slice your cake in half horizontally. Smooth a layer of icing in the middle, place the top of your cake back on and top with another layer of icing.
*You can top your cake with any extras you like...I top mine with spices apples and golden raisins. You can use caramel or candied nuts as well!

Enjoy and Happy Eatings!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Pasta Bravo - Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Sometimes I have an abundance of vegetables and herbs that I need to use before they go bad. When that happens I always think of pasta. I had a couple red bell peppers that I wanted to use and I also had a jar of roasted red peppers so I thought roasted red pepper sauce. It's bright, vibrant, and has a wonderful flavor. I also had some ripe tomatoes from my dad's garden that I could never put to waste.
Add in some fresh basil that I needed to use, some garlic, fresh spinach and there it was, our dinner!

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

1 jar roasted red peppers
2 red bell peppers
1 28oz can whole tomatoes
3 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
1 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper
parmesan cheese
Fresh Spinach (optional)
Cooked Chicken breast (optional)

Take your red bell peppers and roast them under the broiler until they are black on all sides. Once
they are black take them out, place them in a bowl and put plastic wrap over the bowl. Wait 20 minutes then take them out and peel the skin from the peppers. Place the roasted peppers and the canned tomatoes in a food processor and puree. In a large sauce pan heat some EVOO and your garlic until fragrant. Add in your tomatoes and roasted red peppers as well as your basil. Let simmer for 25 - 30 minutes. Once again take your sauce and place in a blender. Blend until smooth. Place your sauce back in the sauce pan and pour in your heavy cream along with some parmesan cheese. Let simmer on low. Meanwhile bring your water to a boil for your pasta and salt it. Cook your pasta until al dente. Strain your pasta and pour into your red pepper sauce. Add in your spinach and chicken. Make sure to season with salt and pepper!

That's it!!! Happy Eatings!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Baked Trout with Lemon Dill Linguine

Sunday dinner is a must at our house and I always love having guests. It seems the only way I am able to get one of my best friends over on occasion is if I tempt him with food and a few cocktails of course. This weekend was a full blown Midwest summer meaning hot, humid, and muggy! Like when you step outside you start to sweat! After a day of baseball all I could think about making for dinner was something light, refreshing, and simple.
I decided on some Steelhead Trout since it was on sale at Kroger. I figured I would cook that up and serve it over linguine tossed in a lemon dill sauce. I threw in some sugar snap peas for some texture and I also served a caprese salad with ripe tomatoes from my dads garden. Needless to say this dinner hit the spot and my dinner guest left full and satisfied.

For the Trout
1 1/2lbs Trout
2 diced scallions
1 bunch fresh chopped cilantro
2Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine

Bake 375
Place Trout in a baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Pour 2Tbs Olive oil over the trout and rub. Sprinkle the fresh herbs all over the top of the trout. Pour in your white wine. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

For the Linguine
1lbs linguine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup white wine
zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic minced
Fresh Dill
Grated Parmesan

Get a pot of boiling water going and season with salt once it comes to a boil. Cook your linguine until al dente, in the final 2 minutes of cooking your pasta throw in your snap peas for a quick blanch then pour out and strain with your pasta. (reserve a cup of pasta water)
Meanwhile in a large sauté pan heat up a 2 count of EVOO and add your garlic. Cook until fragrant, add your lemon zest and juice, white wine, cream, dill, and salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes until your sauce thickens.  Add some grated parmesan at the end.
Turn off your heat and toss in your pasta and snap peas. Add some pasta water if needed.
Serve immediately with the trout and fresh grated parmesan on top.

This whole dish takes about 25-30 minutes to cook and it's totally YUMMY!

Happy Eatings!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Charred corn chowder w Shrimp and Poblano Quesadillas

Sweet summer corn is in full effect and I can't get enough of it. While running errands the other day I made a stop at a local farm, I picked up a dozen cobs of sweet corn. I only need to feed a family of 4 so I thought I would use some of the cobs for soup. It was a great idea if I don't say so myself.
I always tend to go towards more of a Mexican flavor when I make corn chowder so to go along with our soup I decided on shrimp quesadillas. I picked up some fresh cilantro, raw shrimp, a couple poblano peppers, avocados, and I swung by my dads house to pick a couple fresh vine ripe tomatoes from his garden. I knew I had everything else at home to whip up this delicious meal.
Here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy it as much as our family did!

Charred Corn Chowder                                                    

6 ears sweet corn
2 yellow onions sliced
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
1 cooked Poblano pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
1tsp cumin
1 bay leaf

Set oven to broil
Shuck your corn and clean it thoroughly. (Let soak in water) Once your corn is clean, dry it and place on a baking sheet with your poblano. Rub your corn with a little olive oil just to coat. Place in oven under the broiler. Continue to check your corn turning each cob when one side starts to brown. For your poblano, you want it to blacken on each side. Once your corn is lightly browned on each side take out of the oven and let cool. Once your poblano is charred on each side place in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile in a soup pot sauté your onions and garlic until translucent. Pour in your chicken broth, cumin, and bay leaf. Let simmer. Take 5 ears of corn and cut the corn off of the cob and add to the soup. Cut the corn off the last cob and set aside for the end. Take your poblano pepper and peel off the skin. It should be very easy to do at this point. Take out the seeds and place the whole pepper in the soup. Continue to simmer for another 25 minutes.
Take the soup out of the pot a few cups at a time and place in a blender. You need to puree your soup. Be very careful with this part. Blend your soup in small portions until it is all smooth. DO NOT blend hot soup with the entire lid on or it will explode from the steam. Take the middle part of your blender lid off, letting the steam escape. Use a kitchen towel to cover the whole while blending.
Once all your soup is smooth, place back in your soup pot and season with salt and pepper and add the remaining whole corn kernels.
Garnish your soup with fresh cilantro, sour cream, avocado, fresh diced tomato, and lime juice.

Shrimp Quesadilla's

1/2 lbs.  raw shrimp
16oz bag Monterey Jack Cheese
Small Flour tortillas
1 can unseasoned black beans
1 can Hernedez salsa verde
1 poblano pepper

Peel and lightly chop your shrimp. Mix with the salsa verde and  then place in a sauté pan and cook until shrimp is pink and cooked through.
Do the exact same thing to your poblano pepper as you did for the soup. Once it is peeled and seeded dice it up and set aside.
To assemble: In a large skillet on med high heat, place one tortilla in the pan, add your cheese (I use a lot) then spoon on some black beans, then your shrimp and some of the poblano, add a little more cheese and then top with another tortilla. Flip your quesadilla over and brown the other side. When your quesadilla is golden brown on each side and your cheese is melted take out of the pan and cut into to four's.
I serve my quesadillas with the same garnish as the soup!

Happy Eatings!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Brie Quesadillas with Mango Salsa

Made these quesadillas last night and they were wonderful, quick, and delicious.
Sometimes I have to be quick on my feet with meals in my house. With work, picking up the kids from school, sporting events, and guitar lessons I don't have a lot of time to prepare a full on meal. I still want our food to be home cooked, fresh, and taste good though!
All you need is some large flour tortillas, brie cheese, mangos, red bell peppers, cilantro, limes, jalapeno, and an avocado.

For the Mango Salsa:

1 ripe Mango - peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper - small diced
1 jalapeno -  seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 2 limes
1tsp sugar
1tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together and let stand for at least 20 minutes.

For the quesadilla:

Large flour tortillas
Brie cheese - at room temp

Heat your skillet with some olive oil at med heat. Place your tortilla in the skillet and add sliced brie covering one side of the tortilla. Flip the other side of the tortilla over the brie. Once the bottom side of the tortilla is golden brown flip the quesadilla to brown the other side. This process only takes about 4-5 minutes.
Cut your quesadilla in 4 pie pieces. Top with mango salsa and fresh diced avocado.

That's it.

***The Mango Salsa can also be used as a topping for your eggs the next morning, or to top grilled fish, chicken, and steak!

Happy Eatings!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

German Chocolate Caramel Bars

Words to describe these bars...Ooey, gooey, chewy, crunchy, chocolaty, deliciousness! I don't think I need to elaborate any more than that to convince you to make these ridiculously amazing treats!

Here's what you need to do:

German Chocolate Caramel Bars

1 box German Chocolate cake mix
1 small can evaporated milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup melted butter
1 11oz bag of caramels

Pre heat oven 350 degrees
In a bowl combine your German chocolate cake mix, melted butter, and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk. The batter will be dough like. Grease a 9X13" pan, spread half of your cake mix throughout the bottom of the pan to cover. Place in oven and bake for 6 minutes.
While that is baking put your caramels in a pot over medium heat along with another 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk. Heat until all the caramels are melted. Take the caramel and pour over the already baked cake mix. Spread evenly. Take the rest of your dough and place on top of the caramel. The dough will not cover the entire top. Try to spread as much as you can with your fingers.
Top with the chocolate chips and place back in the oven for another 28 minutes.
Let cool and cut into squares.

**Sprinkle some sea salt on top or add some toasted nuts for a little something extra!