Sunday, April 15, 2018

GINGER TZATZIKI CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

GINGER TZATZIKI CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
There is something delightfully fresh about this dish that makes it a great springtime choice for your dinner table.  Olivia found this recipe at www.cookingpanda.com.  It is loaded with lots of bold flavors like soy sauce and ginger.  The cucumber, dill and Greek yogurt blend together to make a smooth and flavorful addition to this dish.  Placing all of this on crispy Romaine lettuce leaves makes it a yummy choice for lunch or dinner. 

You can enjoy these wraps and get your fill without feeling stuffed.  If you are craving something fresh and tasty, try these.  You'll love them.
-Nanette

Ginger Tzatziki Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CHICKEN
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • FOR THE TZATZIKI
  • 1/4 cup diced cucumbers
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • FOR THE WRAPS
  • 8 - 10 whole romaine lettuce leaves
  • Sliced cucumbers

Instructions

1) In a bowl mix together soy sauce, ginger powder, olive oil and pepper. Add chicken and mix until fully coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 30 minutes.

2) In a small bowl, add diced cucumbers, garlic, dill, salt, pepper and yogurt. Mix together.

3) Skewer chicken and grill until fully cooked through. You can also bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

4) When chicken is done, build your wraps. Line romaine leaves with sliced cucumber, add a few pieces of chicken and top with tzatziki. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

20 CLOVE GARLIC SOUP

20 CLOVE GARLIC SOUP
***WARNING:  IF YOU DON'T LIKE GARLIC, STOP READING.  THIS SOUP IS NOT FOR YOU.***
Most people I know either really like garlic or avoid it all together.  If you are one of those folks who likes garlic, you will probably love this soup.  Olivia found the recipe at www.ediblemichiana.com.  It is rich, smooth, and flavorful.  Not only do the 20 cloves of garlic scream taste in this soup, the wine, half-and-half, broth, and cheese, give it a smooth and perfect finish.

I don't know what it is like in your corner of the world, but we are stuck in a trend of 20 degree weather combined with obvious hints of Spring such as blooming crocus, daffodils anxiously waiting to bloom, and birds searching for nest materials.  A comforting, smooth, warm soup gets us through.
This soup can be that amazing soup for you too.  Enjoy!
-Nanette

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20 CLOVE GARLIC SOUP

INGREDIENTS
  • 20 garlic cloves (about 2 full heads)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1¼ cups half-and-half
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan
  • 1½ cups croutons (see below)
  • Sage oil (see below)
Croutons
  • 3 slices bread
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Sage oil
  • 6 sage leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt 

Instructions

Serves 3–4
Cut off the base of 2 whole heads of garlic and leave the paper on the cloves. Pour ½ teaspoon of olive oil over each head of garlic and place in aluminum foil.

Roast at 350° for 30–35 minutes, until soft. The cloves should easily squeeze out of their peel.
Place the roasted garlic cloves and butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Add the wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and chicken broth, then use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to an upright blender to blend. Return to low heat and add the half-and-half. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the cayenne and Parmesan, shut off the heat and cover with a lid to let the cheese melt. Serve with croutons and a drizzle of sage oil.
Croutons
Toast 3 slices of good bread and cut into 2- by 2-inch pieces, then drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake at 400° for 10–11 minutes.
Sage oil
Sauté the sage leaves in oil with a pinch of salt over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Monday, March 26, 2018

IRISH CREAM BUNDT CAKE

IRISH CREAM BUNDT CAKE

Olivia found this outstanding recipe at www.recipegirl.com.  If you are still struggling with what to serve for Easter dessert, this is a superb choice.  The inside is moist with just the right amount of Irish  cream taste and the nut crust on a he outside is scrumptious!  My husband is not usually a big cake eater , but this one had him begging for more.  It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to make you want to try this cake.  It is wonderful!
-Nanette




Irish Cream Bundt Cake


Ingredients:

CAKE:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • One 3.4-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup Irish Cream liqueur

GLAZE:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup Irish Cream liqueur

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour 10-inch bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over bottom of pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake and pudding mixes. Add eggs, water, oil and liqueur. Beat for 5 minutes at high speed. Pour batter over nuts in pan.
  3. Bake 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
  4. Prepare glaze while cake is cooling in pan. Combine butter, water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in Irish Cream.
  5. Invert cake onto serving dish. Prick top and sides of cake. Spoon glaze over top and brush onto sides of cake. Allow to absorb glaze; repeat until all glaze is used.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

SWEET POTATO GRATIN WITH GOAT CHEESE, PARMESAN AND THYME

This unique recipe came from a site called Kalyn's Kitchen and Olivia made it at
Thanksgiving.  We are posting it now because it would make a great side dish for Easter if you are having ham or turkey, or anything else for that matter.  The sweetness of the sweet potatoes blends so beautifully with the creaminess of the goat cheese and the saltiness of the Parmesan cheese.  Olivia and I are both big fans of thyme.  It is a subtle herb that enhances vegetable and meat dishes alike.

The picture you see below is from Thanksgiving.  You may notice there is the canned jellied cranberry sauce that I grew up on and happen to love AND there is a delicious cranberry relish in a bowl that Olivia made.  She does not share her mother's love of the mundane canned version.  Personally I like them both and more than that, both of us love the great memories we have of holiday meals.  Olivia always makes them special because she finds new and exciting recipes to add to the family standards.  I just plain love about any holiday.  We hope you consider this recipe for your Easter table.  It is a winner.
-Nanette



Sweet Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese, Parmesan, and Thyme

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes 
  • salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • 8-10 oz. log soft goat cheese
  • 1 cup half and half or cream
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Parmesan

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  Take goat cheese out of the fridge and let it soften at room temperature.  Spray a 3-4 quart glass casserole with with non-stick spray or olive oil. 
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick.  (Don’t make them too thick or they will take longer to cook.)
  3. Put the softened goat cheese in a small bowl, add the half and half and the thyme, and whisk together until it’s smooth.  (You can put the package of goat cheese in the microwave and heat in 10 second intervals until it’s soft to make this easier to mix.)
  4. Layer half the sweet potatoes in the baking dish and season well with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.  Spread half the goat cheese mixture over the sweet potatoes and sprinkle on half the grated Parmesan.  Make another layer each of sweet potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper, goat cheese mixture, and Parmesan.
  5. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake 1 hour (or until the sweet potatoes are quite soft when you stick a fork in them.)  Remove foil and bake 20-30 minutes more, until the sweet potatoes are very soft and the top is nicely browned. Serve hot.
  6. This will stay good in the fridge for several days and may have reheated a little too well, if you know what I mean.  (You can assemble this the day before and bake the day you want to eat it, too!)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Zamzetti

Zamzetti
There are a handful of recipes my husband holds dear from his childhood.  Many of them are tied to the holidays, but a few were everyday standards that his mother made when he was growing up.  The Zamzetti recipe is one that he talks about wistfully and remembers fondly.  I made it a few times as Olivia was growing up, but to be honest it seems overwhelmingly simple.  

Perhaps it is because the recipe recalls a time growing up when there weren't such things as microwave meals or even things like Hamburger Helper.  When my husband and I were growing up crock pots were something totally new and easy homemade recipes often involved canned goods such as soup.  That is the context in which this recipe came about.  It is simple, but wholesome and very good.  Give it a try!

-Nanette

Brown one pound of hamburger with one thinly sliced onion.  Cook in boiling water 1/3-1/2 bag of wide egg noodles.  Combine one can of condensed tomato soup with eight ounces of shredded cheddar cheese.

Combine drained meat and onions with the drained noodles.  Stir this mixture together with the soup and cheese mixture.  Place in a greased casserole dish and top with grated parmesan cheese.  Bake uncovered for about 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Serve.




Sunday, March 4, 2018

LEPRECHAUN BAIT

LEPRECHAUN BAIT

saint Patrick's Day is only a few weeks away and what better way to celebrate than with a sweet tasty snack guaranteed to delight the "wee people"  and everyone else who tries it.  Olivia found this great recipe on a site called www.wishesndishes.com.  It calls for Rice Chex but she was low on those when she made it so she used half Rice Chex and half corn flakes.  The result was a delicious treat and the corn flakes were reminiscent of gold coins one might find at the end of the rainbow!

If you just want to make it for family or maybe create small treat bags as Olivia did here to share with coworkers, the result is sure to please everyone.

We ALWAYS celebrate St. Patrick's Day at our house and have many a traditional food that day.  Maybe you can incorporate this into your celebration.  We leave you with this traditional Irish blessing:


May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


-Nanette






LEPRECHAUN BAIT
Ingredients
  • 7 cups Rice Chex
  • 1 cup Lucky Charms
  • 1 cup crushed pretzels
  • 1 11.4-ounce bag dark chocolate mint M&Ms
  • 1 11-ounce bag white chocolate chips 
  • ¾ cup of JUST the marshmallows from Lucky Charms box 
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine Rice Chex, 1 cup of Lucky Charms, pretzels and M&Ms.
  2. In a heat-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds on 50% power. Stir and repeat until the chips are completely melted.
  3. Pour the melted white chocolate over the cereal mixture.
  4. Stir carefully to combine, as to not crush the Rice Chex.
  5. Stir until the mixture is completely coated with the white chocolate. Sprinkle with the ¾ cup of Lucky Charms marshmallows.
  6. Pour mixture onto wax paper or parchment paper to dry and spread it out.
  7. Allow to set until white chocolate has hardened (about 45 minutes) and then break up into pieces.
  8. Store in an air-tight container.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes have always been a staple meal in our household.  I made them frequently when Olivia was growing up and I still make them occasionally for my husband and myself.  They are a great way to use ground beef. 

Olivia made this incredible version of a Sloppy Joe that makes it taste like a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich.  You can't miss with the combination of onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, and of course the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce to add great flavor.  The use of Provolone cheese gives the whole thing a great creamy texture you can't help but love. 

Accompanying this with chips, fries, soup, or salad would make a great quick and satisfying lunch or dinner.  If you like Sloppy Joes, I'm pretty sure you will like Olivia's version.  Enjoy!
- Nanette

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 8 ounces brown mushrooms minced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 8 ounces Provolone Cheese Slices, chopped (use 6oz if you don’t want it very cheesy)
  • 6 brioche hamburger buns

Directions:

  1. Add the ground beef to a large cast iron skillet (this browns very well) and brown until a deep brown crust appears before breaking the beef apart.
  2. Stir the ground beef and brown until a deep crust appears on about 50 or so percent of the beef.
  3. Remove the beef (you can leave the fat) and add the butter and the onions and bell peppers and mushrooms.
  4. Let brown for 1-2 minutes before stirring, then let brown for another 1-2 minutes before stirring again.
  5. Add the beef back into the pan.
  6. In a small cup mix the beef broth and cornstarch together
  7. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, beef broth/cornstarch mixture into the pan.
  8. Cook until the mixture is only slightly liquidy (about 75% of the mixture is above liquid), 3-5 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat, add in the provolone cheese.
  10. Served on toasted brioche buns.