Sunday, June 3, 2018

ROASTED GARLIC & DILL RICOTTA SPREAD




ROASTED GARLIC & DILL RICOTTA SPREAD

This delicious recipe came from www.bunsinmyoven.com.  Olivia made this smooth, fresh spread and found it to be great with either toasted baguette slices, on veggies, or on a tasty cracker.  It is loaded with flavor from the fresh dill and roasted garlic. 


Grilling season is now upon us and having a crispy textured accompaniment smothered in creamy ricotta spread may be just the ticket to your next successful barbecue.  Fresh herbs may be available in your own back yard so take advantage of the season, and try incorporating your herbs into this spread. 


Olivia and I love this time of year when the garden, including herbs, starts to produce and fresh flavors abound.  We hope you are enjoying some flavorful fun too!
-Nanette

Ingredients


  • 1 cup full fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • crostini, fresh vegetables, chips, crackers for dipping/spreading

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the cheese and dill. Squeeze the entire head of garlic into the mixture. Add one teaspoon of olive oil and the salt. Stir well to combine.
  2. Place in a serving bowl and drizzle with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil.
  3. Serve spread on crostini or as a dip for vegetables, chips, or crackers.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

RHUBARB CRISP

RHUBARB CRISP
One sure sign of Spring is rhubarb.  Olivia is not a big fan of this plant and many people aren't.  I've always grown up eating it and now have a plant of my own.  Rhubarb never seems to last long and typically goes to seed as soon as the really nice, warm weather comes around.  I didn't realize until just recently that not all rhubarb turns red.  When I was a kid, the rhubarb my mom made was always from red stalks.  The rhubarb I grow now never turns red.  I have been known to even add red food coloring when I cook it just to make it more attractive to myself.  

This particular recipe for rhubarb crisp comes from Taste of Home.  It includes slices of apple which I found to be particularly pleasing.  I have also made it without any other kind of fruit or sometimes with strawberries or blueberries.  You can experiment a little and see what you like.  Also, I cannot eat much white sugar, so when I make this recipe, I use half sugar and half powdered stevia.   It is still good and sufficiently sweet.  If you've never tried rhubarb, this is a great way to make it.  It is sure to delight your springtime taste buds.
-Nanette



INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb, thawed
  • 2 cups sliced peeled apples or sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add rhubarb and apples or strawberries; toss to coat. Spoon into an 8-in. square baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until bubbly and fruit is tender. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.Yield: 8 servings.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

CHEESEBURGER SOUP

CHEESEBURGER SOUP
Olivia found this amazing soup at www.12tomatoes.com.  She said she would make it again in a heartbeat because it is just that good!  If you like burgers and you like soup, there will be nothing about this soup you won't like.  It includes the meat and cheese required for a proper cheeseburger, but adds so much more.  The addition of vegetables, parsley, garlic, basil, and even bacon bits brings the humble cheeseburger to a whole new level.  If you are a fan of a soup and sandwich combo, you may have "one stop shopping" with this dish.  It has all the meaty, cheesy goodness of a burger sandwich and the hearty goodness of a good, creamy vegetable soup. 

While the Spring chill is still in the air, warm up to this delicious soup.  You're going to want to make it again and again.
-Nanette


SLOW COOKER CHEESEBURGER SOUP

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 (16 oz.) package velveeta, cubed
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • bacon bits
  • cheddar cheese, grated

Preparation

  1. Heat a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat and cook ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks, until browned. Season generously with salt and pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Drain fat, then wipe out skillet with a paper towel. Melt butter in skillet, then whisk in flour. Cook roux for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, then whisk in whole milk. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from heat and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Place beef, along with onion, carrot, celery and potatoes in slow cooker and cover with chicken broth. Season with basil and parsley, the cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Stir in refrigerated roux mixture, then add in cubed velveeta. Cover again and cook for another 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and soup is thick and smooth.
  5. Serve hot, topped with cheese and bacon bits. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

BACON AND VEGGIE QUICHE



BACON AND VEGGIE QUICHE
Mother's Day is next weekend and most people will fall into one of two categories if their mother is still living and they are able to celebrate with her.  They will either take her out to eat or find themselves scrambling for something unique and delicious to make for her as a way of celebrating the day.  Olivia adapted this recipe from one she found at www.pilllsbury.com.  You might just find this is the special dish that will  make your mom's eyes light up.  It would make for a nice breakfast in bed or perhaps a brunch addition. 

If you have never made quiche at home, wait no longer and don't be afraid to make one because you think it is too exotic for your weekday menu.  Quiche can be a great breakfast item or even dinner if paired with a salad or some fruit.  One of the best things about quiche is that you can be creative.  Mix and match ingredients.  Experiment with pairings you like. You might just find it becomes a "go to" favorite in your household.
-Nanette


BACON AND VEGGIE QUICHE

Ingredients

1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
1 cup milk
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled 
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 red bell pepper and 1 purple onion sliced thin and sauteed

Steps

  • 1  Heat oven to 350°F. Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie.
  • 2  In medium bowl, mix milk, eggs, salt and pepper; set aside. Layer bacon, sauteed veggies, cheeses and onion in crust-lined plate. Pour egg mixture over top.
  • 3  Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into wedges.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

CROCK POT PORK CHOPS WITH GRAVY

CROCK POT PORK CHOPS WITH GRAVY
I rarely brown meat before putting it in the crock pot, just because I"m lazy,  but doing what Olivia did with this recipe makes perfect sense to me.  She doubled the gravy part so she would have plenty of gravy for mashed potatoes. 

To make this recipe easy for the working person to make, Olivia browned the meat the night before and put it in a crock pot liner in the refrigerator.  She also mixed the gravy the night before and in the morning just put the meat in the crock pot and the gravy on top.  The result was a Sunday-worthy dinner any day of the week.  This recipe came from www.recipesthatcrock.com  Make this soon and you will be very glad you did. 
-Nanette







Homestyle Crock Pot Pork Chops

Ingredients
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t dry mustard
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 6-8 boneless pork chops
  • 2 T oil
  • 10.5 oz can chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Spray your 6-quart crock pot with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together your flour, mustard, salt and garlic powder in a bowl.
  3. Lightly coat your pork chops in flour mixture (set the remaining mixture aside for later).
  4. Pour your oil in a skillet and brown your pork chops over medium-high heat.
  5. Mix your broth with the remaining flour mixture and pour in your crock pot.
  6. Place your browned pork chops in your crock pot.
  7. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.

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.