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Happy New Year to YOU!

May you all have a  fantastic 2012 that is filled with:
Good Health
Joy
Success and
Peace!

Happy New Year!!!
Cheers!



Cranberry-Maple Syrup and Merry Christmas!

Your pancakes will really be perfect on Christmas morning when drizzled with this mouthwatering cranberry-maple syrup! 
This syrup is a cross between a colorful jam and viscous syrup.  Crushed cranberries provide an interesting texture with a tart flavor, mingling with the sweet sticky maple syrup.  Four ingredients are all it takes.  Cook the cranberries in the maple syrup, until they pop, then crush the cranberries with a potato masher.   The aroma as it cooks is mouthwatering. 
I saw this recipe somewhere on the internet a while back, but don’t remember where.  It’s a great recipe ~ so try topping your waffles or pancakes with this fruity syrup!


Cranberry-Maple Syrup
Ingredients:
1 cup pure maple syrup 1 cup fresh cranberries ½ teaspoon orange zest 1 tablespoon butter
Method:
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring syrup, cranberries and orange zest to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, until the cranberries have popped, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and crush cranberries with a potato …

Fried Apples My Way

I’ve always been crazy about apples ~ especially, baked apples, until I made fried apples; they’re even better!  Fried apples are not quite apple pie but a close second.  Perhaps, most folks think of fried apples as a dessert; but in my mind, it's a side dish.  This is a simple, seasonal food that is packed with flavor.
Cook the apples just until they are fork tender.  They can quickly surrender and turn to mush, so watch them closely.  It’s as easy as apple pie!

Fried Apples
Ingredients:
4 apples:  2 Granny Smith and 2 Honeycrisp ½ teaspoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons brown sugar (I use Splenda) Dash salt ½ teaspoon cinnamon Dash nutmeg
Method:
Melt butter in skillet. Drizzle lemon juice over apples. Cover and cook about 15-20 minutes or until tender.  (Watch closely; they can turn to mush quickly). Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg, and toss. Serve warm or room temperature, maybe with a dollop of whipped cream.

Be sure to take time to check out my friend, Linda’s, great blog @…

Corn-in-a-cup From Stephen’s Unorthodox Cookbook

Wednesday morning Haiku for you…

claims he eats like wren
while cooks spam from can superb
and that’s no bird seed!


I’m a little late with this, and had intended on posting it in November but; if you follow my blog, you will remember it was a hectic time at our house then. 
Stephen was inspired to make corn-in-a-cup after having it at Jack-n-Grill in Denver.  I love corn and the name intrigued me, and then I realized that he really didn’t give measurements or directions for it.   

I took the plunge, anyway, and whipped the dish together quickly and snapped a couple of photos.  How hard could cooking it be?   A cup of corn, some chile powder, hot sauce and parmesan, easy, easy and actually, pretty good. 
Then, I had second thoughts about it:
If you’re acquainted with Stephen’s blog, The Obsessive Chef,you’re aware of his colorful, entertaining writing and his cookbook is no different.  “Unorthodox” is the word that comes to mind!  I agree with Stephen though, it’s good to “think outside the …

Crispy Sesame Chicken

Sesame seeds on oven-fried chicken?  Crispy chicken without a grease-filled iron skillet? 
This recipe got my attention, when I saw it in my America’s Best Recipes cookbook, and I had to try it!  The recipe includes grated Parmesan cheese and dry breadcrumbs, along with sesame seeds for the breading.  Use skinless chicken and it’s even healthier.
I can tell you this chicken ROCKED!   It turned out very crispy and juicy and smacked of good flavors.  Just try it --- I bet you will think so also!


Crispy Sesame Chicken
Ingredients:
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese ½ cup fine, dry breadcrumbs ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 1 teaspoon pepper 1 (3 to 3½-pound) fryer chicken, cut up, skinless ¼ cup butter, melted
Method:
Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Dip chicken in butter. Dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done. 4-6 servings
Yum!  Tender and crispy too!
Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Co…

Baked Salmon with Mushrooms and Garlic

I really like salmon ~ whether it’s straight out of the can or fresh and grilled or baked.  But, I’ve never combined it with mushrooms until now and it definitely won’t be the last time. 
The origin of the recipe is a mystery to me; one of those in my “must try” file.  Whatever, it’s delicious!  The blend of ingredients compliments the salmon excellently.   It’s a tasty salmon dish that goes great with a helping of rice and broccoli, for a good side dish!

Baked Salmon with Mushrooms and Garlic
Ingredients:
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced 1 pound salmon filets Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste 4 tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs ¼ cup onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Lemon wedges for garnish, optional
Method:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place mushrooms in baking dish that is sprayed with a cooking spray. Salt and pepper salmon filets and layer over mushrooms. Combine breadcrumbs, onion, garlic and parsley…

WOO HOO!!! I’m Soooo Happy to Be Back!

I’ve missed all of you, and thought of you often!  I have been on the internet very little since late October and here is the reason why… 
Close to dinner time on October 25th, Bill told me to call the paramedics because he was having difficulty breathing.  During his hospital stays, he had several lung and heart procedures; was diagnosed with pericarditis, resulting in pericardial window surgery.  He is very thankful as well as happy ~ and I am too ~ to say that all test results were good and he is recovering well.  I knew 4 days ago he was returning to his usual self when his sense of humor returned!
And now that I’m back, I’ve got a tasty Chicken Marsala recipe for you.  I really like Italian dishes, and the depth of flavor in this one will surely have you repeating the recipe many times.  This is a lighter version of Chicken Marsala, without the usual ingredients of butter, flour and cream.
It’s a simple Marsala sauce:  reducing Marsala wine to a thin syrup with mushrooms and braisi…

I'm Taking a Break

Due to family concerns, I will be taking a break for several weeks.  


I will miss you but I will be looking at your blogs from time to time.  Here's wishing you all the best.


Happy blogging and Happy Halloween!


Till later...
Pam







The Best Lemon Pound Cake ~ I’m Telling You the Truth!

On my September 27th post, I told you I would be baking the Lemon Pound Cake recipe from the Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook that Bill had been yearning for.  I finally got around to baking it and now I’m trying to figure out what took me so long…



You know how foodies say, “I swear, it’s the best I’ve ever eaten?”  Sometimes I try the recipe, sometimes I don’t.  Everyone’s taste is different and you just never know; however, I can honestly say, “this Lemon Pound Cake is the best pound cake I have ever eaten in my life.”  And Bill echoes the same.  NO LIE!!!  It is outstanding!!!
Here’s what Kathleen King, the owner and founder of Tate’s Bake Shop, says about her cake, “The lemon flavor really comes through in my lemon pound cake.  It keeps well and freezes well, and is exceptional on its own or with fresh berries and cream.”



Here’s what I say about it:  Enjoy it on its own!   If you love lemon and love pound cake, you will fall hard for this one!  It’s so good that after having a slice of it, …

Crusty Cheddar Garlic Pepper Biscuits my Way

Biscuits aren’t fancy but believe me, these biscuits are as about as flavorsome as you can imagine a biscuit would be ~ crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside.  

Over the years, I’ve tried many variations of this biscuit and never achieved a “great” crusty top layer until by accident recently.  Here’s how it went:
Normally, in recipes for cheese-garlic biscuits, the biscuits are baked and then brushed with the garlic butter when they come out of the oven.  But, one evening in a rush, I brushed them with the butter mixture when I realized they needed more baking time ~ they just weren’t the golden brown they should have been and I was afraid they may not be baked through on the inside.  

So back in the oven they went and when they came out and I bit into one, Voila!  I was shocked!  They were a beautiful golden brown, tender inside with a very crusty, cheesy, garlicky top!
We swore they were the best!  Make the batter, drop the biscuits and bake a while.  Pull them out of the oven;…

Crunchy Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia plus… a Surprise Visit from Fairy Hobmother

I used to be leery of eating fish way back when and only ate fresh bluegills that Dad and friends caught at the lake.  With time, I tried more varieties.   

So, I was pleased to have my first tilapia experience at a restaurant with my boss and co-workers when I was in the working world not so long ago.  I saw tilapia on the menu but had never heard of it.  I was curious and then thankfully someone before me ordered it.  I was saved a lot of embarrassment as I would’ve definitely called it “till-up-eeee-uh!”
This dish is delicious with a capital “D!”  The crouton crumbs are crunchy to begin with and combining them with the cheese and cayenne pepper makes a perfect crunchy topping for the slightly firm flaky texture of the tilapia.  It’s a quick dish to prepare that we really like.  It’s a winner!  And I hope you will try it and think so also!

Crunchy Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia
Ingredients:
4 tilapia fillets ¾ cup finely crushed garlic-flavored croutons 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated 2 t…









Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape…

~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird






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