уторак, 26. јун 2012.

Parmesan Baked Potato Halves


Ingredients
  • 6 small potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • garlic powder
  • other seasonings (to personal preference)
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter and pour into a 9x13 inch pan and spread evenly across the bottom. Generously sprinkle parmesan cheese and lightly sprinkle other seasonings all over the butter. Place potato halves face down on the butter and seasonings. Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve on a plate with a side of sour cream for dipping.


Super Simple Shrimp Tacos


Super Simple Shrimp Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of frozen shrimp, defrosted, peeled, & deveined
  • 6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ a head of cabbage, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat tortillas over medium heat in a dry skillet until warm and starting to form small brown spots. Set aside on a plate covered with a clean kitchen towel.
Mix yogurt, cayenne, lime juice, cilantro, & salt in a small bowl, set aside.
Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet and add cabbage.  Cook for about four minutes or until the cabbage is just barely wilted.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Cut shrimp into thirds, so you have little bite size pieces.  Sauté in two teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper over medium heat just until done.  They cook up in just a few minutes… so be sure to watch them!
Build your taco!  Place a scoop of cabbage on the warmed tortillas taco, then top with shrimp, and cilantro sauce… enjoy!
Serves 4.


Baked Potato Salad


Baked Potato Salad      
4 large russet potatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
1/4 cup chopped chives, divided (I used 2 tablespoons dried chives)
8 strips thick cut bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
In a medium bowl whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream until well mixed.  Add 3/4 of the chopped chives along with some salt and pepper.  Whisk to mix. Fold in the cheese and bacon.  Cover and chill for thirty minutes.
 Peel and cube the potatoes into 1/2″ pieces.  Cook the potatoes in salted water until fork tender.  Drain and cool slightly.  Fold the cooked potatoes into the chilled dressing.  Garnish with the remaining chives.  I recommend serving this warm or at room temperature because it’s not as good cold. 
Serves 6-8


Roasted Garlic-Thyme Butter


Ingredients

Serves: Makes 1-1/4 cups
1 large or 2 small heads garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
Extra-virgin olive oil to cover
1 cup (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme
Sea salt, preferably gray salt

Directions

Put the garlic cloves in a saucepan with just enough olive oil to cover them. Place over low heat and simmer until the cloves are soft and golden, 30 to 40 minutes. With a slotted spoon, scoop the garlic into a bowl, then mash to a puree. Immediately strain the oil through a coffee filter and reserve.
Process the butter in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add 1/4 cup of the garlic puree (save any extra for spreading on bread), 1 1/2 tablespoons of the reserved garlic oil, the thyme, and a pinch of salt. Process until well blended. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Refrigerate until firm enough to shape into a log. Put an 18-inch sheet of aluminum foil on your work surface. Spoon the butter down the center of the foil into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Enclose in foil and twist the ends to make a sealed log, like a Tootsie Roll. Refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 6 months.


понедељак, 25. јун 2012.

Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese


Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese
adapted from Buffalo Chicken Pizza

White Sauce
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
pinch of sugar
pinch of garlic powder

Buffalo Sauce 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup cooked and shredded chicken (from about 1 small chicken breast)
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons minced celery
4 1/2-inch thick slices Italian bread
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

To make the white sauce: Stir the yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, garlic powder and a pinch each of salt and pepper together in a small bowl. (The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated.)

To make the buffalo sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the hot sauce, brown sugar and vinegar and stir until combined. Add the shredded chicken, red onion, and celery and toss to coat. If the chicken was cold, keep the pan over low heat and let it warm through a bit.

Lightly butter one side of two slices of the bread. Flip the slices over and lay them butter side down on your work surface. Spread half of the white sauce on the side of those two slices that is now facing up (the unbuttered side). Distribute half of the cheese among the two slices. Top each slice with half of the chicken mixture and then distribute the remaining cheese over the chicken. Lightly butter one side of the two remaining slices of bread, then flip them over and use the other half of the white sauce to coat the unbuttered side. Top each sandwich with a slice of this bread to finish it (buttered side facing out). 

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches butter side down in the pan and cook on the first side until the bread is golden brown and toasted. Flip the sandwiches using a spatula and continue to cook on the other side until the bread is golden brown. You can use the spatula to compress the sandwich as it cooks on the second side. Remove the sandwiches from the pan and let them rest for a minute or two, then slice in half (if desired) and serve.

Makes 2 sandwiches



Sirloin Tip Roast




























INGREDIENTS

  • 1 2.5 lb boneless eye-round roast, tied
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon plus one tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped to a paste

METHOD

  1. The day before you plan to cook the roast, sprinkle the salt evenly over the meat, rolling it on your board to pick up excess salt that has failed to stick.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refridgerate overnight.
  2. Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 250°.  Remove the roast from the refrigerator and use paper towels to dry excess moisture from the meat.  Rub all over with the teaspoon of oil before evenly sprinkling on the oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, pepper and garlic.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it just begins to simmer and slightly smoke.  Add the roast and sear until richly browned on all sides (including ends), 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer the roast to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast the meat for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the meat reaches 115° on a meat thermometer.
  5. Turn the oven off, leaving the roast in the oven for another 30-40 minutes, or until the roast reaches an internal temperature of 130° for medium-rare or 140° for medium. Do not cook the roast past medium or the meat will be too dry.
  6. Remove the roast from the oven to a carving board and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.  Slice the meat as thinly as possible and serve.



Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Brie Grilled Cheese


Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Brie Grilled Cheese

  • 2 Slices French Bread
  • Brie Cheese
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 5 Mushrooms
  • 50-100ml Concentrated Beef Broth
  • Thyme
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Salt & Pepper
BEWARE!  The following grilled cheese takes time and patience, so grab a book, your tablet or a computer, sit back and relax while you watch your onions turn into caramelized gold!

First things first, get a pan going on medium heat with 1-2 tablespoons of butter. While your pan is heating, evenly slice your onion (if you are impatient, thinner slices will cook faster), then place them in the pan once the butter is bubbling. Stir the onions, coating them with the butter and only stirring periodically after that, allowing them to brown, but not burn. After a few minutes, turn the heat to  medium-low and start slicing up your mushrooms and garlic.


After about twenty minutes, add in your mushrooms, garlic and more butter. Stir everything around and add a few pinches of thyme (not necessary if you don’t have any on hand) and a generous amount of salt and pepper (the brie will tone down the salt and pepper once everything is combined). Let everything cook for about five more minutes, then sprinkle a pinch or two of flour over everything and begin adding in the beef broth. I poked a hole in the can and slowly added the broth a little at a time, letting it reduce and then adding more. This allows the onions to continue caramelizing instead of steaming from too much liquid. As you pour in the broth, you will get a nice gravy forming around the onions; taste it as you’re going, and stop once you’re satisfied with the “beefiness” of your onions and mushrooms!


Cut two slices of bread and spread butter on both sides of each slice. Place brie cheese on one slice, then top with your onions, mushrooms and more brie! Put the sandwich together, and grill it in the same pan you used for the onions and mushrooms (you’ll get some nice flavour on your bread this way!). Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned, then slice in half and enjoy this gloriously gooey mess!


The time spent caramelizing the onions is definitely worth it, and adding the beef stock gives this sandwich a flavour similar to a roast beef dip almost tricking you into thinking there actually is meat in it! Overall, you can’t really go wrong with a sandwich loaded with caramelized onions and mushrooms, and tons of creamy brie. Just thinking about it makes me want another!!




Chocolate Mint Oreo Cookies


Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chocolate cookies with chocolate chips, mint green chips, and chopped up Cool Mint Oreos. These cookies are rich and decadent with a refreshing mint twist.

ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mint green chips (I used Guitard)
1 cup chopped Cool Mint Oreo cookies

directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.
3. With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Next, add in vanilla extract. Mix until blended.
4. Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix until flour disappears. Stir in chocolate chips, mint green chips, and chopped Cool Mint Oreos. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
5. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set around the edges, but still soft in the center. Don't over bake. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely.




субота, 16. јун 2012.

Taco Roll-Ups


These flavorful roll-ups will become a family favorite that grows with your kids' tastes -- teenagers might choose to spice theirs with jalapenos.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 to 1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
  • 6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican cheese blend
Instructions
  1. Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet and brown over medium-high heat. When the meat is cooked (about 10 minutes), drain the fat. Add the taco seasoning and water, then stir and simmer the mixture for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the refried beans.
  2. To give the filling a smooth consistency, pour the beef mixture into a blender. With 4 or 5 short pulses, eliminate any large chunks from the mix.
  3. For each wrap, heat a tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds. Spread about 1/2 cup of the beef mixture evenly over it, then top with a layer of salsa and cheese. Roll it up and tuck in the ends.
  4. Tightly cover each sandwich in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Cut in half at serving time. Makes 6 roll-ups.


понедељак, 04. јун 2012.

Reese's cheesecake brownies


A few weeks ago we celebrated a friend's life, which sadly ended far too soon. Our celebration of his time on earth was bittersweet. It was great fun, but we missed our friend. The celebration involved food and martinis. Food because, well, everyone needs food, and martinis because our friend loved martinis. I decided to contribute a "dish" to the potluck that was totally indulgent. I didn't feel like being healthy that day and based on all of the martinis consumed, nobody else did either. These delicious treats were supremely indulgent and I only needed a teeny tiny square to be satisfied. If you have a reason to be indulgent, you must give these a try. We don't always need a reason, though, do we?


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

Prepare a 19.5-oz. box of chocolate fudge brownie mix according to package directions. Spread the batter in the pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat one 8-ounce package of softened cream cheese with a hand-held mixer until fluffy.

Add:

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Beat until smooth.

Stir in a 12-ounce package of Reese's Pieces candies.


Spoon the mixture over the brownie batter and spread evenly.


Bake for 40 minutes or until the cheesecake layer is set and the edges are golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Add the following ingredients to a small microwaveable bowl:

One 12-ounce bag milk chocolate chips

3 tablespoons whipping cream

Microwave on high for 1 minute, or until the chips are melted. Stir until smooth. Spread over the cheesecake layer. Sprinkle 12 large Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (chopped) over the top. Store covered in the refrigerator.  








Peanut Butter Cup Brownies



Makes 40 brownies as adapted

1 box of your favorite brownie mix
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease 40 mini-muffin cups.

Prepare boxed brownie mix as directed. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups (about 1 heaping teaspoon). Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top is set and a toothpick inserted into center comes out slightly wet. After brownies are out of the oven, wait for centers to fall. This will happen upon cooling. If not then tap the centers with the back of a teaspoon to make a hole for the peanut butter.

Place peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds then stir. While brownies are still warm spoon about half a teaspoon of peanut butter into the center of each brownie. Top with semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Cool completely in pan.