Showing posts with label Tastings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tastings. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Spicy Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

This is a delicious addition to any holiday dinner. The recipe makes 3/4 cup - it will go fast, so you may want to double or triple the recipe!

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced

- Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan - bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Stir in cranberries - reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes
- Remove from heat - stir in jalapenos.
- Cool to room temperature.


* If you like it a little spicier, add a few of the jalapeno seeds.
* Once cooled, you can put it in the refrigerator - personally, I think it's best cold.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thai Basil Chicken

A good friend of mine is from Thailand and she introduced me to Thai food a few years ago. One of my favorites is Gai Pad Krapow, so I had to find a recipe - this is the first one I tried and my son and I love it!!

2 Tbsp sesame oil
10 (or more) cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup ginger, thinly sliced OR 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 lb. chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup mirin (rice wine) OR 1/4 cup white cooking wine + 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3-4 Tbsp sugar
1 cup basil leaves
red chilies

Heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil in a skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and onbion - cook 5 min. Add the chicken thigh pieces, mirin (or substitute), soy sauce, sugar and 1 Tbsp sesame oil - bring to a boil and simmer until chicken is cooked and the liquid is almost absorbed - about 15 minutes. Stir in the basil leaves. Serve over rice.


* 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic from a jar = 1 crushed clove
* Add red pepper flakes or dried jalapenos for extra spice
* Try to find Thai Holy Basil at your local Asian Store, it gives it more of an authentic flavor.
* I don't like fish or oyster sauce (I tend to use way too much) - this is a great recipe that uses neither!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tollhouse Pie

             I've made this super-easy chocolate chip pie many times - it's so rich and delicious, this pie disappears quickly!

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
2 large eggs 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened chips 
1 cup chopped nuts  (optional)
Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

                     Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean.

Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Reba's Beans

                                                    These are THE BEST beans - sweet, spicy and delicious!!

Bacon - 5 slices
medium onion
1 lb. ground beef
28 oz. can Campbell's Pork & Beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup barbeque sauce (your favorite)
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp red pepper sauce

Fry 5 slices of bacon in a deep 10-inch cast iron skillet until crisp. Set the bacon aside on paper towels: drain off grease. Chop one medium onion and brown in same skillet over medium-high heat, about 5-6 minutes. Add one pound lean ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off excess grease. Stir in beans, stewed tomatoes, barbeque sauce, brown sugar, mustard and red pepper sauce.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15-20 minutes - until it tastes real goooood! Crumble the bacon over the top before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings


* If you buy your hamburger in bulk at Sam's/Costco like I do, 1 lb. ground beef = 2 cup cooked ground beef.
* I cook my bacon in a cast iron skillet in the oven at 350 degrees for approx. 20 minutes - until crispy.
* The beans can be eaten with a spoon or with tortilla chips - yummy, either way!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Banana Split Bread

We always have bananas in our house, so we often have a couple of over-ripe bananas which means we get banana bread! We love banana chocolate chip bread so I try to make it once a month. I found this recipe awhile ago and it's become THE favorite!

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 Tbsp milk
3 eggs
1/4 tsp coconut extract
1/4 tsp butter extract
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt - then add mashed bananas, butter, milk and eggs. Mix well until combined. Stir in extracts and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces (I use mini chocolate chips).

Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans (or 4 mini loaf pans) - fill pans to about half full.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then bake 45 minutes (35 min. for mini loaf pans) or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Once cooled, gently melt the 1/2 cup chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the bread and allow to cool before slicing.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day !!

I'm half Irish, so I enjoy the most Irish of days by making a delicious Irish stew and drinking an Irish beer - I've recently discovered Smithwick, definitely not as dark as the favored, Guinness, on this day.

I just found that you can look up your Leprechaun name - I thought it was a fun idea and started checking the different sites.

At this site - - I'm Sneaky Stoutdrinker - maybe .....

If you don't like your first one, go down the list to the next site - -  I'm Fightin' Mcwoozy - getting better .....

Another site - - I'm Wee O'Gold - I like this one!!

So, have fun with it - we had a good laugh with our new names! So, from Peevish, Shamus, Sprinkles and Moneybags .......

                                Slainte, Slainte, Slainte

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe is one of our favorites!! I have adapted it a little for our family and for ease of use. This is a little spicy, but oh so delicious!

2  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small red onion, chopped
1 4 oz.can green chilis
1 14.5 oz. can sliced stewed tomatoes
2 Tbsp minced garlic
pepper, to taste
1/2 medium bunch cilantro

Monterrey Jack cheese
tortilla chips

Saute chicken breasts in 1 Tbsp butter or olive oil and 1 Tbsp garlic - remove chicken and saute onions for five minutes.  First, add the sliced stewed tomatoes to your pan, use a potato masher to squeeze out the juice - it almost doubles the liquid. Add chicken, onion,green chilis, garlic and pepper. Cook over medium heat - stirring frequently for about 30 minutes. Add cilantro and simmer another 30 minutes. Serve, using your favorite toppings.

* I recently bought the Perfect Tortilla Pan Set at Bed Bath and Beyond (under $10 with coupon) and served this soup in crispy tortilla bowls - delicious!! I cooked the bowls a little longer than suggested, so it wouldn't fall apart with the soup in it. This is an inexpensive alternative to buying the tortilla bowls already made at the grocery store (about $6 for a 4 pack, here in OH!) and so easy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cranberry - Date Bread

My Mom was a lover of the cranberry and would often make this easy and delicious bread. The cranberries keep this bread super-moist, even right out of the freezer. I always slice the bread before I freeze so I can just grab a slice, toast it (toast twice) - it tastes like it just came out of the oven! Add a schmear of cream cheese ..... divine!

2 boxes Pillsbury Quick Bread - Date
1 14 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
Cream cheese

Make the date bread according to the package directions, then add about 1 cup of cranberry sauce (1/2 the can) - mix in. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes - check to see it is done with a toothpick - add extra time, if needed.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pasta Salad w/Grilled Corn & Broccoli

I've found several recipes that include grilled corn - I wasn't sure, should I ruin a perfectly good corn on the cob?? What the heck, and it follows one of my "recipe rules" - EASY!

4 ears fresh corn, husked
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 (16-oz) box tricolor rotini (or any noodles)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup pitted black olives, halved (optional)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp dried)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup bottled white-wine vinaigrette or more to taste
* Parmesan shavings for garnish

- Preheat grill to medium.
- Rub corn with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Toss broccoli in 2 Tbsp oil - put in a foil pouch. Grill corn, covered, turning frequently, for 10 minutes or until it starts to brown. Grill broccoli, covered, for 8 minutes or it starts to soften. When corn is cool, cut kernels from cob.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water (I add 1 tsp oil to my water). Drain.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss grilled veggies with pasta, garlic, olives, parsley, salt and vinaigrette.
- Transfer to a large serving bowl, Top with Parmesan.

* I quartered the recipe, but still used the same amount of garlic - I love garlic AND it keeps the vampires away!

* I didn't use the olives - I usually throw out any recipe that calls for olives, but this was soooo easy!

* When you add the vinaigrette, you may gag - I thought I'd ruined the noodles (I throw out about half of the recipes I try), but this pasta dish is delicious! ENJOY!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Triple Chocolate Mess

I found this recipe in Columbus Kids magazine & it sounds like ooey - gooey chocolate heaven!!

1 pkg. devil's food cake mix
1 pint sour cream
1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding & pie filling mix
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 c. water

Spray crock pot w/non-stick spray.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
Pour mixture into crock pot.
Cook on low 6-8 hours.
Serve in a bowl w/vanilla ice cream.

This doesn't look edible, but it WILL be delicious!
* I didn't have chocolate chips, so I used a Lindt chocolate bar that we broke into small pieces. I'm sure you can use any one of your favorite of candy bars for an equally yummy taste!
  * At about 3 hours our "mess" started to smell like it was burning (it did a little on one side) - when I checked, the middle was still very soupy. Next time, I'm going to stir every hour & cook on low for only 3-4 hours.

  It is so incredibly delicious - I can't wait to make it again !!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pepperoncini Roast

I found this recipe at A Year of Slow Cooking - I get her emails & love trying out new recipes that Stephanie comes up with!!

2 lbs. beef chuck
1 16 oz. jar pepperoncini peppers - mild
1-2 cloves crushed/minced garlic (I add garlic to almost everything)

Throw everything in the slow cookler (my beef was still frozen). Turn your slow cooker on low for 8 hours.
When it's done, shred meat (I did this on a plate so I could get rid of the fat easier). Add to juices & peppers OR use juice as a dip. We also used the juice on our mashed potatoes - delicious!!
This is what it looks like when its done - now shred & ENJOY!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Easy Pineapple Salsa

This is one of those recipes that you can make EXACTLY as the directions state or add more or less "to your liking".

1 can (20 oz.) pineapple tidbits in juice (can use the chunks)
3 Tbsp finely diced red bell pepper
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp finely diced red onion
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 jalapeno, seeded minced
Salt & pepper, to taste

Drain pineapple - add the rest of the ingredients. Chill till serving.

*The pineapple juice can be used to make a marinade/glaze for chicken. I added 2 Tbsp honey, 1 tsp ginger, & 1 Tbsp horseradish mustard to make a slightly spicy glaze for chicken breasts. Also, made rice w/lime juice & chopped cilantro - delicious dinner.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Crispy Roasted Potatoes

I subscribe to a wonderful blog called the Purple Foodie because she comes up with lots of interesting recipes & her pictures made the dishes look so delicious & drool-worthy!! I saw the pictures for the Crispy Roasted Potatoes w/Lemon, Garlic & Sage & knew I had to try them.

Here is the Purple Foodie's recipe - I am a big lover of caramelized (almost burnt) red onions, so I added them to the pan first & cooked them for about 10 minutes before I added the rest on the ingredients.

Crispy Roasted Potatoes with Lemon, Garlic and Sage

Inspired from: Ottolenghi Cookbook (USA | UK | India) and Nigella Lawson (USA | UK | India)
Yield: 4-6 servings

1kg / 2.2lbs new potatoes (if you’re using larger potatoes, you can cut them to the size you like)
4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
50ml olive oil
2 tbsp roughly chopped sage
1 lemon
Salt and pepper
  1. Boil the potatoes in plenty of salted water. Pass a knife through it to check for doneness after 7-9 minutes. Longer, if you’re using larger potatoes.
  2. Once boiled, cut the potatoes into half lengthwise and transfer to a big box that will hold all the potatoes and still have additional room. Shake the box vigorously until the potatoes look smashed on the edges.
  3. Toss with garlic, olive oil, sage, juice of lemon, salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer to a roasting pan and layer the potatoes in a single layer.
  5. Roast the potatoes in the oven at 200C/390F for 30-40 minutes until crispy, golden and brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve immediately, perhaps with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
Oh so delightful!! They were crispy on the outside & creamy, like mashed potatoes on the inside (just like the Purple Foodie said!). I didn't have fresh sage when I made mine (in my rush to try them, I just forgot to pick that up at the store). Next time I will, I'm sure that adds even more punch to the flavors!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Easy Roast

This recipe for roast beef is really easy & makes a terrific gravy for mashed potatoes!

I chuck roast (2+  pounds)
1 can Campbell's golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup ketchup

Brown the beef in 1 Tbsp olive oil (I add a crushed clove of garlic). Add soup & ketchup - cook at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.
Crock pot version - lowest temp for 6-8 hours (the longer you cook the roast for, the more tender it gets!)

Serve w/ garlic mashed potatoes, salad & garlic cheese bread.....YUMMY!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chicken & Peppers in Vinegar Sauce

I saw this recipe in a recent Parade magazine (2-21-10 issue) & had to give it a try. I don't use balsamic vinegar very often, so I thought this sounded interesting.

3 Tbsp olive oil
8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
1 lg. red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 lg. yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp clover homey
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven over high heat, until it simmers. Pat the chicken dry w/paper towels, season w/salt & pepper. Place chicken in the pan, in batches, top-side-down. Cook until golden brown, 4 minutes. Turn over, continue cooking 3 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
2. Add peppers & cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic & cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste & cook for 1 minute. Add the vinegar & cook until reduced by half. Add honey & broth, season w/salt & pepper, cook for 5 minutes. Return the chicken & accumulated juices to the pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot, & cook util the chicken is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken to a platter. Cook sauce until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley & pour sauce over the chicken.
We ate it w/rice, salad & rolls - DELICIOUS! The leftovers were even better the next day after all of the flavors had more time to absorb into the chicken!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Go-To Noodle Dish

We have a favorite pasta dish that I make at least every 3 weeks that is d-e-licious!

    Chinese Chicken & Noodles
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. Oriental sesame oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger (or 1 tsp. ground)
2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped green onions
1 lb. linguine/thin spaghetti (I use penne rigate)
2 cup cooked julienned chicken
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 bunch broccoli florets
2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted

Combine dressing ingredients - set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions - drain, rinse under cold water, set aside.
Cook the onions & broccoli in oil for 5-8 minutes - add chestnuts & chicken, heat thru.
Add pasta & dressing - heat. Add sesame seeds, toss & serve.
*Can also be served as a cold salad - refrigerate up to 4 hours for flavors to enhance.

I usually cook the chicken on the side, sometimes add the water chestnuts - you can really make this recipe "your own" by adding what your family likes!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chili When It's Chilly...

This recipe is for the best homemade chili for hotdogs I've ever had! A good friend of ours always made it for us because she knew it would be a big hit - & it's not expensive to make. The chili is also good w/tortilla chips, on potatoes or just about anything!                           
1 lb. hamburger
1 cup ketchup
2 cups water
1 tsp. chili powder
a dash of Tabasco
1/3 cup Worcestershire
* optional - chopped onions (cook w/hamburger)
                         a pinch of brown sugar


Cook the hamburger & drain grease (I also rinse the hamburger w/hot water). Add the rest of the ingredients & simmer on low heat - No Cover - until there is no longer any liquid. It can take 2-3 hours.

* I always double/triple the recipe because it freezes well.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Miss Betty

My kids LOVE chocolate chip cookies (who doesn't?!). The easiest (& BEST) recipe we've found is:

Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix + white chocolate chips = HAPPY KIDS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fudge Sauce

When I was a kid, my mom used to make THE BEST fudge sauce for ice cream!!

1/2 bag (8 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pour in microwavable container (w/lid) - microwave for 30 seconds & stir - do 2-3 times until completely melted. Pour on ice cream.
Refrigerate - reheat as needed!

Friday, January 15, 2010

the Perfect Fudge

This recipe is incredibly easy & quick!

3 cups (18 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
dash salt
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, optional
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan; over low heat, melt chips w/condensed milk & salt. Remove from heat; stir in nuts (if desired) & vanilla. Spread evenly into wax paper/foil (already sprayed w/oil) lined 8- or 9-inch square pan.

*Quick method*  Place chips, milk & salt in microwavable bowl (sprayed w/oil), microwave 45 seconds & stir (do this 2- 3 times until it's completely melted). Add nuts & vanilla, pour into lined pan.
Chill 2 hours (or until firm). Turn fudge onto cutting board, peel off paper & cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator.

                                 The best part of helping mom bake!

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