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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mini Potpies

"With its golden brown crust and scrumptious filling, these comforting potpies will warm you down to your toes. They're the perfect way to treat those you love." Love You Potpies 

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry sheet. Cut sixteen hearts with a floured 2-in. heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk egg and cream; brush over hearts. If desired, sprinkle with cheese. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. For filling, in a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables; cook and stir until tender.
  4. Stir in flour until blended; gradually whisk in broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the remaining ingredients; heat through. Spoon into four 10-oz. ramekins or bowls; top with pastries. Yield: 4 servings.
Source: /  Laurie Jensen

Puff Pastry Spinach Cups


  • 1 Storebought Puff Pastry
  • 250 g Frozen Spinach
  • 1 tbsp. Sour Cream
  • 3 tbsp. Cream Cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Cup Cheese, grated
  • salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Muffin Tin

First chop the garlic. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium low heat, sprinkle with some cooking oil. Add garlic and cook for few seconds, then add spinach and cook until all water vapourised. You can also add a little bit of grated fresh ginger, it will give an amazing aroma to the spinach. Leave cooked spinach on the side to cool down.

Combine cooled spinach with sourcream, cream cheese and grated cheese, add some salt and black pepper to taste.

Divide puff pastry into 8 pieces.

Press each of the dough pieces into a muffin tin.

Using a spoon, fill each cup with the spinach mixture.

Heat the oven to 200°C, and bake the cups for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Goat Cheese Tomato Pot Pie

Goat Cheese Tomato Pot Pie

1        Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Pie Crust
1        (28 oz) can Muir Glen™ organic whole peeled tomatoes
1/2     large red onion, thinly sliced
4        cloves garlic, minced
1        tablespoon fresh oregano
1        teaspoon fresh thyme
3       ounce softened goat cheese
2       cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2    cup shredded romano cheese
1/2    teaspoon garlic powder
1       pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Unroll and place the pie crust inside a 2 quart baking dish, or a pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, drain the tomatoes and pat them as dry as you can. Slice them.
  • Arrange half the sliced tomatoes in the bottom of the parbaked pie crust. Layer half the onions on top, followed by half the garlic, half the thyme, oregano, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese and romano.
  • Then layer with the remaining tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs and cheeses. Lightly sprinkle the top with the garlic powder and a small pinch of salt.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is starting to brown and bubble.
  • Serve immediately!

Smoky Cauliflower


1 large head cauliflower, broken into 1-inch florets (about 9 cups)

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

  • Directions:
    1. Place cauliflower in a large bowl. Combine the oil, paprika and salt. Drizzle over cauliflower; toss to coat. Transfer to a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 450° for 10 minutes.
    2. Stir in garlic. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cauliflower is tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 8 servings.
    Source: / Juliette Mulholland

    Cream Cheese Cookie Cups

    "Need a quick dessert? Try these yummy cookie bites. For a pretty look, use an icing bag to pipe the filling into the cups, then top each with mini M&M's."


    1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Directions:

  • Cut cookie dough in half (save one portion for another use). With floured hands, press about 1 tablespoon of dough onto the bottom and up the sides of 12 ungreased miniature muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, reshape the puffed cookie cups. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Spoon into cookie cups. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 1 dozen.

  • Source: / Rachel Blackston of Mauk, Georgia

    Southern Pecan Praline Cake With Butter Sauce



    1 (15 0z) box Butter Pecan Cake Mix
    1 (16 0z) tub Coconut Pecan Frosting
    4 eggs
    3/4 cup oil
    1 cup water

    1/2 cup chopped pecans


    1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
    2 tbsp. butter
     1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)


    Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

    Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
    I know I say this all the time but it bears repeating for the new cooks out there, I love the nonstick spray that has flour in it for baking.

    In a medium bowl (or your stand mixer bowl), combine all the cake ingredients except for the chopped pecans.

    Don't forget to add the tub of coconut pecan frosting. That goes into the cake batter too!

    I just dump it all in there then let the mixer do the work.
    Once it's all combined, stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
    Pour batter into greased baking dish.
    Bake for about 40 minutes.
    As with most baked goods, oven times vary but cake should spring back to the touch and be golden brown.  And if you insert a toothpick into the middle it should come out clean.
    This cake is perfectly good just like this.
    It is moist and yummy.
    But we're gonna take it up a notch with some butter sauce.
    Butter Sauce: 
    In a small pot over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter.
    Pour in can of sweetened condensed milk with the melted butter and stir.
    Continue to stir until heated thoroughly, then add 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
    Stir again then take off heat.
    Then spoon this deliciously yummy sauce over individual slices of cake.
    I pour the sauce over the individual slices instead of just pouring it over the whole cake because I love to be able to scoop up some of the sauce off my plate as I eat it and I don't want the sauce to just become part of the cake. 
    But if you are feeding a crowd, it may be easier to pour the sauce over the entire cake before serving.  This sauce takes this cake from yum to yowsers!

    Cook's Note: You can also make this in a bundt pan. Bake for about 50 minutes.

    Lemon Crumb Muffins

    "I love to have the dough for these muffins ready and waiting in the refrigerator when company comes. They bake up in just 20 minutes and taste delicious warm. Their cake-like texture makes them perfect for breakfast, dessert or snacking." Lemon Crumb Muffins.


  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice

  • Directions:

    In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream, butter, lemon peel and juice. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.

  • In a small bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over batter.
  • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. In a small bowl, whisk glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm muffins. Serve warm. Yield: 40 muffins.

  • Source: / Claudette Brownlee, Kingfisher, Oklahoma

    Hamburger Stew


    2 pounds ground beef

  • 4 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons pepper

  • Directions:

  • In a Dutch oven, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, carrots, celery, potatoes, water, rice, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables and rice are tender.
  • Uncover; simmer 20-30 minutes longer or until thickened. Freeze in 3-cup portions for up to 3 months.
  • To use frozen stew: Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Transfer to a saucepan; add water. Cook until hot and bubbly. Yield: about 5 batches (15 cups total).

  • Source:

    Mini Key Lime And Coconut Pies

    Savor the flavor of Key Lime Pie with these individual muffin-size treats. They're great when you need to serve a large group." Mini Key Lime and Coconut Pies.

    • 1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
    • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
    • 1/2 cup Key lime juice
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 2 teaspoons grated lime peel
    • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
    • 1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted 
    1. Slice cookie dough into 18 pieces. With floured fingers, press onto the bottom and 1/2-in. up the sides of greased muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
    2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the milk, lime juice, egg yolks and lime peel. Spoon into hot crusts. Bake 7-9 minutes longer or until filling is set. Cool completely in pans on wire racks. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
    3. Just before serving, in a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add the confectioners' sugar and extracts; beat until soft peaks form. Remove pies from muffin cups. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with coconut. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.
     Total Time: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 10 min. + cooling


    Sunday, March 22, 2015

    Slow Cooker Beef Teriyaki With Pineapple

    slow cooker teriyaki beef with pineapple

    • 2 lbs. stew beef
    • 15 - 20 oz jar Teriyaki sauce
    • 20 oz pineapple tidbits, drained
    1. Put the beef in the slow cooker.
    2. Pour sauce over the top.
    3. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
    4. Add pineapple during the last 20-30 minutes of cooking.

    Easter Lambs – Creme Egg Animals

    cookies 180
    If you remember the Easter chicks from last year you’ll know I have a thing for turning a Creme Eggs into something else for Easter,  this year it’s lambs!


    Creme Egg
    Sugarpaste; white, peach/flesh/pink, black plus green and pink for flowers and leaves
    Use ready coloured or colour your own using gel paste colours
    Black edible ink icing pen
    Pink lustre dust and soft paintbrush
    Royal icing
    Piping bag and no. 2 piping tip
    Small blossom plunger cutter
    (Equipment links to The Pink Whisk Shop)


    Click Here for the tutorial.


    Copy Cat Creame Eggs

    copycat creme eggs 3.jpg


    1/2 Cup of Light Corn Syrup
    1/4 Cup of Butter
    1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
    1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
    3 Cups of Powdered Sugar Sifted
    4 Drops of Yellow Food Coloring
    2 Drops of Red Food Coloring
    1 12 oz. bag of Chocolate Chips
    2 Teaspoons of Vegetable Shortening

    1. Combine the corn syrup, butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl.
    2. Beat well with an electric mixer until smooth.
    3. Add powdered sugar, a little bit at at time and mix by hand after each addition.
    4. Mix until creamy.
    5. Remove about 1/3 of the sugar mixture and place in a small bowl.
    6. Add the food coloring and mix well.
    7. Cover both mixtures and chill for at least 2 hours or until firm.
    8. When mixtures are still firm roll a small, marble size from the orange filling.
    9. Wrap a small amount of the white filling around the orange.
    10. Form into the shape of eggs and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
    11. Repeat until done and chill for at least 4 hours.
    12. You want them "set".
    13. Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler or ceramic bowl.
    14. Melt down and mix well.
    15. Take each egg filling, dip into the melted chocolate mixture and return to baking sheet.
    16. Repeat and chill again for 2 hours.
    17. Repeat the dipping process, chill again and you're good to go.

    Homemade Cadbury Cream Cookie Cups
    Homemade Cadbury Cream filling stuffed into chewy chocolate chip cookie cups


    Chocolate chip cookie dough, prepared or purchased
    ½ Cup light corn syrup
    ¼ Cup salted butter, softened
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3 Cups powdered sugar
    Yellow food coloring

    1. Prepare your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray and add about 3 Tablespoons of dough to each muffin well. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden. Let cool 15 minutes in the pan. The middle will sink in. To help it along you can press a small glass (or spice jar) into the well to create a cookie cup. While the cookies are warm but firm use the tips of your fingers to gently twist the cookie cups up and out of the pan. Let cool completely.
    2. In the bowl of your mixer combine corn syrup, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until incorporated.
    3. Remove about 1/4 of the cream and dye with yellow food coloring.
    4. Pour white cream into the cookie cups. Finish off with a small drop of yellow cream.


      • I used the Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe (off of the back of the yellow bag).
      • If the filling gets too firm as you are making these you can warm it up in the microwave (5 - 10 seconds at a time) to make the consistency pourable again.

    Potato Topped Mini Meat Loaves

    Potato Topped Mini Meat Loaves



    1         pouch (4.7 oz) Betty Crocker™ roasted garlic and Cheddar mashed potatoes
    Water, butter and milk called for on potato mix pouch 

    Meat Loaf Mixture

    1      lb extra-lean (at least 90%) ground beef
    1/4   cup Progresso™ Italian style bread crumbs
    2      tablespoons chopped onion
    2      tablespoons milk
    1/4   teaspoon pepper
    1      egg 


    1/2     cup ketchup
    1        tablespoon packed brown sugar
    2        teaspoons ground mustard
    1/2     teaspoon ground nutmeg
              Chopped fresh parsley, if desired
    • 1 Heat oven to 375°F. Place foil baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups.
    • 2 In 2-quart saucepan, make potatoes as directed on pouch. Set aside. In large bowl, mix meat loaf mixture ingredients. Press about 3 tablespoons meat mixture in each muffin cup.
    • 3 In small bowl, mix all sauce ingredients except parsley. Spread about 2 teaspoons sauce over meat loaf mixture in each muffin cup. Place potato mixture in decorating bag fitted with #847 or desired tip. Pipe potatoes on cupcakes.
    • 4 Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in center of cupcake reads 160°F. Sprinkle with parsley; serve immediately.

    Delicious Pizza Muffins

    • 2 cups Self Raising Flour
    • 2 Eggs lightly beaten
    • 1 cup Milk
    • 2 Zucchini grated
    • 1 cup Cheese grated
    • 1 cup Bacon diced
    • 1/2 Spanish Onion
    • 1/4 cup Olives pitted
    • 1/4 cup Cheese (feta)
    • 1/4 cup Sundried Tomatoes
    • 1 tsp Garlic minced
    • 1 tsp Italian Herbs Or Tuscan Seasoning
    1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
    2. Mix grated cheese, zucchini and self raising flour together in large bowl. Add olives, feta and sundried tomatoes, mix well.
    3. Lightly sauté chopped bacon and onion until soft then allow to cool before adding to mixture.
    4. In separate bowl mix eggs, milk, garlic and herbs then add to the muffin mix and stir with wooden spoon until mixed through evenly.
    5. Line muffin tins with cupcake cases or cafe style baking paper wrappers.
    6. Fill each muffin tin until mix is evenly divided into 12 muffin tins.
    7. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
    They should be a regular muffin consistency. Wholemeal flour generally needs extra liquid, so you could try adding 1/4 cup more of milk next time. Salt apparently can also help with texture when using wholemeal flour! And if you do use chia, add an extra egg.

    However, if it seemed like they were too moist, it may have been the zucchini, in which case you could try squeezing the juice out before adding to the muffing mixture.


    Roasted Garlic Mushrooms


    16 even-sized open cup mushrooms, stalks cut level
    3 tbsp corn or vegetable oil
    75g unsalted butter, softened
    3 cloves garlic, chopped very finely
    2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
    1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
    salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    50g fresh breadcrumbs


    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Lightly fry the mushrooms, cap-side down, in hot oil for 20 seconds.

    Arrange the mushrooms in a shallow roasting tin with the stalks facing upwards.

    Mix together the butter, garlic, thyme, lemon juice and seasoning. Spoon a little garlic butter on to each mushroom, then lightly press the breadcrumbs on top. Either refrigerate for later use, or cook immediately in the oven for 10 minutes.

    Source:  Crockpot Recipes

    Pecan Pie Cobbler


    1 Box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
    2 1/2 cups light corn syrup
    2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    6 eggs, slightly beaten
    2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
    Butter-flavor cooking spray
    2 cups pecan halves
    Vanilla ice cream, if desired


    1. Heat oven to 425°F. Grease 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with shortening or cooking spray. Remove 1 pie crust from pouch; unroll on work surface. Roll into 13x9-inch rectangle. Place crust in dish; trim edges to fit.
    2. In large bowl, stir corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs with wire whisk. Stir in chopped pecans. Spoon half of filling into crust-lined dish. Remove second pie crust from pouch; unroll on work surface. Roll into 13x9-inch rectangle. Place crust over filling; trim edges to fit. Spray crust with butter-flavor cooking spray.
    3. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until browned. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Carefully spoon remaining filling over baked pastry; arrange pecan halves on top in decorative fashion. Bake 30 minutes longer or until set. Cool 20 minutes on cooling rack. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

    Source: Crockpot Recipes

    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    Taco Cupcakes

    Taco Cupcakes
    1         pound ground beef
    1         (1.25 ounce) package of Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix
    36       wonton wrappers
    1         (16 ounce) can Old El Paso™ refried beans
    36       tortilla chips
    2         cups shredded cheddar cheese
    Sour optional toppings: cream, diced tomatoes, cilantro, onion
      • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray 18 muffin cups with cooking spray.
      • Brown beef in a skillet and drain the fat. Add the taco seasoning mix and water called for on the package and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
      • Place one wonton wrapper in the bottom of each muffin cup. Layer about 1 tbsp of refried beans on top of each wonton. Crush one tortilla chip on top of the beans. Top with 1 tbsp of taco meat and 1 tbsp of shredded cheese. Repeat the layers again with a wonton wrapper, refried beans, tortilla chips, taco meat, and cheese.
      • Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
      • Remove cupcakes from tin and top with your favorite taco toppings (i.e. sour cream, diced tomatoes, onion, or cilantro). 

        Garlic And Herb Pizza Puffs

        Garlic and Herb Pizza Puffs |

        Garlic and Herb Pizza Puffs are tasty little pizza bites filled with cheese, garlic and herbs.  They make a great appetizer, snack or light meal and are perfect for dipping in your favorite pizza sauce!

        • ¾ cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat pastry)
        • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
        • ¾ cup milk
        • 1 egg, lightly beaten
        • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
        • 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Garlic (paste or chunky)
        • 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs
        • ½ cup chopped fresh spinach
        • ¼ cup fresh Parmesan cheese
        • 1 cup pizza or pasta sauce, for dipping
        • 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Basil, for pizza sauce
        • Cooking spray
          1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Spray 18 cups in mini-muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. (I have 2 12-cup mini muffin tins, so just fill the 6 empty cups with water before baking).
          2. In a large bowl, whisk flour and baking powder. Add milk and egg, whisking until combined.
          3. Fold in mozzarella cheese, garlic, herbs and spinach, gently mixing until combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.
          4. Meanwhile combine sauce and basil to make the dipping sauce. Adjust amounts as desired.
          5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin tin(s). Sprinkle tops with Parmesan cheese.
          6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve with sauce for dipping.

            Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket

            Serves: 4
            Prep time:
            Cook time:
            Total time:

            This recipe was written for you to sear the meat the night before and store in the refrigerator with all of the other ingredients overnight. It was written this way for a busy working household where you do all the prep the night before and just place the bowl in the slow cooker the following morning and let it cook all day while you are out. When you return at the end of the day, dinner is ready. Or feel free to prepare everything in the morning and let it cook all day. Either way, it will need 8-10 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high. (Slow cookers vary. Our brisket was pull-apart tender in nine hours on low.)  
            • 2 pounds beef brisket
            • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
            • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
            • 1 tablespoon olive oil
            • 1 tablespoon canola oil
            • 2 cups diced onions
            • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
            • ½ cup bourbon
            • 1 cup non diet cola
            • ½ cup beef stock
            • ½ cup brown sugar
            • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
            • ½ cup ketchup
            • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
            • 2 tablespoons molasses
            • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
            • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
            • Few dashes of your favorite hot sauce
            • Bulky rolls
            • Coleslaw (see our recipe here)
            1. Pat the beef dry and season on both sides with the salt and pepper.
            2. Heat both oils in a heavy bottomed pan or pot until smoking hot and carefully lay in the beef. Let it sear without touching for about four to five minutes, flip and repeat. Remove directly to the slow cooker pot.
            3. Reduce heat to medium high and add onions. Cook for one minute and add tomato paste. Stir constantly for another minute.
            4. Add bourbon to deglaze pan. Let reduce by half then add cola, beef stock, sugar, mustard, ketchup, vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and hot sauce. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
            5. Pour liquid over beef. At this point, you can refrigerate until morning or place in slow cooker and set for eight to ten hours on low or five to seven on high. While beef is cooking, or the night before, prepare the coleslaw (see recipe here).
            6. Once beef is fall apart tender, remove to a cutting board to rest. Pour the contents of the slow cooker into a sauce pan and reduce to a thick sauce, about 1 ½ cups.
            7. To serve, slice the beef against the grain, place coleslaw on the roll bottom and top with the sliced beef and spoon on some of the sauce you reduced. Serve with lots of napkins.

            Herb And Quinoa With Roast Pork

            For a refreshing twist on the Sunday roast, stuff with flavour-infused quinoa and add some bite to your crackling with fennel seasoning. Mouthwateringly good.

            • 3kg whole piece of pork belly, with ribs, from the butcher (choose the widest piece possible, which will be easier to roll)
            • 2 tbsp flaky sea salt
            • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
            For the stuffing:
            • 100g quinoa
            • 2 tbsp olive oil
            • Knob of butter
            • 1 leek, finely sliced
            • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
            • 1-2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
            • 150g baby spinach (wilted by pouring boiling water from a kettle over it in a colander, then refreshing in cold water and squeezing dry), chopped
            • 8 sun-blush tomatoes, finely chopped
            • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon and squeeze of juice
            • Large handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
            1. For the stuffing, put the quinoa in a pan with 340ml cold water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Drain, refresh under cold running water, then set aside in a bowl.
            2. Heat the oil and butter in a pan and gently fry the leek for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and chilli, then fry for a further minute. Add to the bowl with the cooled quinoa and mix. Add the spinach, sun-blush tomatoes, lemon zest and juice, and parsley, then season well.
            3. Preheat the oven to 240°C/fan 220°C/gas 9 or as high as it will go. Put the pork belly skin-side down on a work surface. Using a Stanley knife or very sharp knife, remove the ribs and set aside (see tip) or you can ask your butcher to do this for you. Turn the belly over and make a series of scores across the skin, widthways.
            4. Place 8 x 30cm pieces of string along a work surface and put the pork belly on top, skin-side down (make sure the string is lying the same way as the scored lines).
            5. Spoon the stuffing down the middle of the belly, then bring up the sides around the stuffing until they meet. Tie tightly with the string and weigh to calculate the cooking time (25 minutes per 450g, plus 20 minutes). Turn the belly over and rub all over with sea salt and fennel seeds.
            6. Put the reserved ribs in a roasting tin and put the pork on top with the join underneath. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 and roast for the remainder of the cooking time.
            7. When cooked, transfer to a warmed platter and rest uncovered for 20 minutes before serving.

            Lemon Butter Chicken

            Easy crisp-tender chicken with the creamiest lemon butter sauce ever - you'll want to forget the chicken and drink the sauce instead!


            8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
            1 tablespoon smoked paprika
            Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
            3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
            3 cloves garlic, minced
            1 cup chicken broth
            1/2 cup heavy cream
            1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
            Juice of 1 lemon
            1 teaspoon dried thyme
            2 cups baby spinach, chopped


            Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

            Season chicken thighs with paprika, salt and pepper, to taste.

            Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; set aside.

            Melt remaining tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream, Parmesan, lemon juice and thyme.

            Bring to a boil; reduce heat, stir in spinach, and simmer until the spinach has wilted and the sauce has slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet.

            Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.

            Serve immediately.


            Breaded Chicken Piccata

            Prep time
            Cook time
            Total time
            Delicious bread crumb crusted chicken gets paired with a classic lemon wine sauce for a new take on Chicken Piccata.
            Cuisine: Italian
            Serves: 6 servings

            • 6 thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
            • Salt and pepper to taste
            • 1 cup all-purpose flour
            • 2 large eggs, beaten
            • 1 cup Italian seasoned dry breadcrumbs
            • ½ teaspoon paprika
            • Olive oil for sauteeing
            • ½ cup white wine
            • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
            • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
            • Salt and pepper to taste
            • Lemon slices and chopped fresh parsley, for serving
            1. Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.
            2. Season thin chicken breast pieces with salt and pepper to taste.
            3. Add flour to a separate shallow bowl. In another bowl, add beaten eggs. In a 3rd shallow bowl, whisk together breadcrumbs and paprika.
            4. Dip seasoned chicken one at a time into flour then eggs then breadcrumbs coating both sides then place on a baking sheet to rest. Repeat with all chicken breasts until complete.
            5. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sized saute pan over medium heat.
            6. Add two chicken breasts at a time to pan and cook on both sides until golden brown. As each piece is finished, place the chicken breast on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the chicken in the oven when it is done and continue the cooking process (starting with adding more olive oil with each cook) until all chicken is cooked and placed in the oven.
            7. Clean the saute pan and put back over medium high heat. To make the lemon sauce, add white wine and lemon juice to pan and boil until reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste then turn off heat and add butter, swirling in the sauce to completely melt. To serve, ladle sauce over chicken and garnish with lemon slices and parsley.

            Sunday, March 1, 2015

            Rainbow Black Bean Salad

            Rainbow Black Bean Salad

            1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
            1 red onion, finely minced
            1 mango, diced
            4 tomatoes, diced
            1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
            1/2 large cucumber, seeded and diced
            1 small carrot, peeled, chopped into matchsticks
            1 singkamas, peeled, chopped into matchsticks
            1 sili labuyo, finely minced (optional)
            1 avocado, diced (optional)
            1/4 to 1/3 cup calamansi juice
            Large handful of cilantro, minced
            Salt to taste
            1 red cabbage, thinly sliced
            Julienned carrots, singkamas, and chopped cilantro for garnish


            1. Toss everything except the cabbage in a large bowl.
            2. Adjust seasonings - add more mango, cilantro, calamansi, cilantro, and / or salt to your liking.
            3. Arrange the cabbage in a serving dish and top with the salad. Garnish with carrots, singkamas, and cilantro, and serve.


            Slow Cooker Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches


            1 loaf Italian bread, or French bread or 2 large hoagie or sub rolls
            12 lb deli roast beef , (very rare, sliced wafer thin, or you can use a frozen rib-eye roast shaved on an electric slicer)
            1 white onion, thinly sliced
            1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
            2 tsp garlic, minced
            12 lb provolone cheese, thinly sliced
            1 extra-virgin olive oil, for grilling
            1 salt
            1 marinara sauce, or ketchup (optional topping)
            1 black pepper

            1. Heat a griddle or a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
            2. When hot, cover bottom with olive oil.
            3. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until carmelized, which will take about 6 to 8 minutes.
            4. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for about 30 seconds.
            5. Then, push the mixture off to one side of the griddle.
            6. Add the meat to the hot part of the griddle.
            7. Cook, continuously flipping the meat over and slightly chopping the meat into slightly smaller pieces with 2 spatulas, until the meat is not pink, which should take about 2 minutes.
            8. Mix the meat and the carmelized onions and bell pepper together.
            9. Divide into 2 portions, and top both portions with the cheese to melt.
            10. If using Italian or French bread, cut the bread in half, crosswise, and slice lengthwise to open for the 2 sandwiches.
            11. Hollow out some of the soft white bread part from inside and place face down on top of the meat and cheese.
            12. When the cheese is melted, and with 1 or 2 spatulas, flip the sandwiches over and add topping, such as marinara sauce or ketchup, if desired, and serve immediately.