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Showing posts from February, 2015

Cheesy Penne w/Broccoli

What a way to eat your broccoli!
I’m thinking broccoli and pasta are made for each other, a great duo as this Cooking Light recipe proves.



This tasty sauce is similar to an alfredo sauce but, without heavy cream and butter.  Low-fat cream cheese and skim milk are the substitutes, with Dijon mustard and seasonings flavoring it up.



Any short pasta can be substituted here, with rotini and farfalle being good choices.  I think next time; I’ll throw some minced garlic into the mix.
Try this and enjoy your broccoli!

Cheesy Penne w/Broccoli Adapted

Ingredients:

8 ounces uncooked penne pasta 5 cups broccoli florets (about 1 medium head)
1 1/3 cups skim milk
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons 1/3-less fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
Dash ground nutmeg
2/3 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

Method:
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. During the last 4-5 minutes, add broccoli to pan; drai…

Ground Beef Tacos w/My Homemade Taco Seasoning

There’s nothing fancy about this recipe, and I’m not sure how authentic it is as far as Mexican cuisine goes ~ we just know these beef tacos are fun and taste good!


No matter what type of meat I decide to include in tacos, the cooking is especially easy due to my homemade taco seasoningrecipehere.  All the seasonings for the tacos are in the jar, with no measuring of spices each time I make tacos. 




After browning the ground beef and onions, add 3-4 tablespoons of taco seasoning, and a little salt; fill the shells, add toppings, and ¡Olé!  A spicy, tasty dinner with a side of refried beans!

Ritzy Meatballs

I’m always trying to improve turkey meatballs; I think I finally succeeded ~ thanks to ground chicken, fennel seed, and buttery garlic crackers.



Am I the only person who doesn’t like a lot of fillers in meatballs?  It seems they always end up mushy with a mealy consistency.  I like them drier ~ firm and meaty ~ no eggs, no milk, no breadcrumbs, and definitely no Parmesan cheese.  Just several crumbled crackers for binding and a plethora of seasonings.  




Serve these meatballs your favorite way ~ as an appetizer for dipping with blue cheese or ranch dressing, or for dinner as your main dish with pasta and sauce or mashed potatoes and a little gravy.
These chicken turkey meatballs are a real winner:  cheap, nutritious, low in fat and tasty!

Ritzy Chicken-Turkey Meatballs
Ingredients:
1 pound ground chicken 1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
12 Ritz Garlic Butter Crackers, crushed
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon fennel seed, ground
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teas…

Savory Sea Salt and Pepper Biscuits

Bill and I were reminiscing about these fluffy warm crisp biscuits for a couple of days after eating them.  That’s how good they are!



I’ve made many a biscuit over the years, and this is definitely one of the best! 

It’s an Ina Garten recipe from her Make it Ahead cookbook.  In her words, “Lee Bailey was a great cookbook author and host.  He often served baking powder biscuits with dinner but I also love them for breakfast with scrambled eggs.  This is a twist on Lee’s original recipe; I’ve added flaked sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper.”
Most of the time, I follow the recipe exactly ~ but, when I don’t have half-and-half on hand, I swap one-third cup light sour cream plus 7-8 tablespoons of low-fat milk for the half-and-half, making a lighter biscuit.
I’ve found that sour cream is a great binder when making cornbread or biscuits as it minimizes crumbly baked goods.  Plus, the sour cream imparts richness and a slight tang.






Valentine’s Day Parfaits

The French word parfait translates to English as “perfect,” and that’s what this little dessert is ~ perfect for Valentine’s Day!
The United States version of a parfait is made by layering puddings, Jell-O, or ice cream, in a tall clear glass; topping the luscious dessert with whipped cream, fruit, and/or liqueurs.





This Valentine’s Day parfait is a simple dessert layering strawberry Jell-O with vanilla pudding, topping it with whipped cream, sugar sprinkles and a cherry.  For more color, you might want to add a drop or two of red food coloring to the pudding for a red/pink parfait.
After pouring the Jell-O into glasses, place them in a container in which they can be tilted and refrigerated until set. 




I used ale glasses for the parfaits; ending up with 2 servings, use a smaller glass if you want more servings.  For the finishing touches, squirt a dollop of Reddi-wip on top, scatter pink sugar over it, add a single bright-red maraschino cherry on top, and  ~

Voila, a perfect little desser…

Baked Pork Chops w/Apples and Cabbage

This dish is delicious with the sweetness of apples harmonizing with the cabbage and pork; absorbing all the good flavors.



It can be a one-pot meal if that’s what you like, or after browning the chops, assemble all in a baking dish.
I prepared the pork and accompaniments in an ovenproof paella pan; cast iron would be fine too.  To avoid drying out, it may be necessary to add more stock during baking.  However, do not add too much; or, excluding the pork, all will turn to mush.



It’s a good dinner for this time of year, and I will be adding a little caraway seed the next time!
Oh, mashed potatoes on the side would be a wonderful thing!

Baked Pork Chops w/Apples and Cabbage
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
3-4 boneless loin pork chops
1/3 cup unsalted chicken stock
3 tablespoons cooking sherry
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small head cabbage, large chop
2 large Honeycrisp apples, cored and sliced

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Hea…

Homey Tamale Pie

I like authentic tamales, but to be honest, making them from scratch scares the heck out of me.  Enter, tamale pie, a great swap for the real thing!


This is another recipe from Martha Stewart’s, Martha’s American Food cookbook, from The Southwest section of the cookbook.  I’ve said it before, this cookbook is on my “favorites” list. 
No shredding meat, neither cornhusk wrapping, nor steaming needed here:  The casserole is layered with the flavors that make authentic tamales, a product of Mexico, so delicious, but with distinctly American ease and with beef or pork being swapped out for lean turkey. 



This tamale pie is a tasty example of Tex-Mex cooking that I like cooking here in the Midwest, especially in the cold weather we’re having now:  it’s all of 2 degrees out there now, wind chill –9 degrees; that's on top of the 19.8-inches of snow we had Sunday ~ won't be going to our beach today!
It’s really delicious down to the last bite ~ give it a try!

Tamale Pie Adapted

Ingredients:

Slow Cooker Pork Roast w/Mushroom Ragout & the Blizzard

The blizzard came with a vengeance, delivering 19.8” of snow from late Saturday through 1:00 a.m. this morning ~ making this the 5th heaviest snow in history for this area.  The howling winds that came with it left 4-foot snowdrifts in some spots, and only an inch of snow in a few other places.



It’s that eerie howling wind that so unsettles me and puts me on edge…  

Thankfully, New England’s win made it all better and a great diversion!













“He toasted his bacon on a fork and caught the drops of fat on his bread; then he put the rasher on his thick slice of bread, and cut off chunks with a knife, poured his tea into his saucer, and was happy.”


~ D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers







ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

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