Monday, January 30, 2012

Smoked Salmon Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. or more of sour cream
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried dill
Several large dashes of Chipotle Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
lots of black pepper
8 oz. or more of smoked salmon

Cream the cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. Add everything else but the salmon. Process until mixed together. Add the salmon. Blend until all mixed well. Taste test to make sure it's to your liking. When it's how you like it, chill then serve with crackers.

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted:

Cranberry Cookies with White Chips

Here is a link to my friend's recipe of Cranberry Cookies:

1 c. butter
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. orange zest
1 c. white chips
2 c. cranberries, chopped (fresh or dried)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix the butter and the sugars until creamy. Stir in the egg.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until all blended in.

Bake for 11 minutes. They may still be a little soft when you take them out of the oven, but they will harden a little after they cool. They will still be chewy and delicious.

They are delightful. I used dried cranberries instead of fresh because it was what I had on hand. I've made these cookies a lot. They are one of my favorites. Very full flavor. Tasty. Could be addicting.

Recipe courtesy of Lindsey Ismailova

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Shrimp Starters

4 oz. can shrimp, drained
3-4 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tsp. lemon juice
large dash of dill
dash of coriander
dash of garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper (or more!)
1 1/2 tsp. chives
cucumber, sliced

Add everything but the cucumber and capers to a food processor. Blend until well mixed. I stopped and taste tested a few times to see if I needed anything else. When you're satisfied, scoop a small bit of the shrimp mixture onto each slice of cucumber. Center it so it looks pretty. When you've used up all the mix, then place one caper onto the top of each cucumber shrimp starter. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from Easy Appetizer Recipes Kindle Edition

Lemon Bread

1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
lemon zest from 1 lemon, grated
1/8 c. lemon juice
1 c. butter, melted and cooled
1/4 c. sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. sugar

1/2 c.  confectioners sugar
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan, then set aside.

To make the cake: In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, blend sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice together with an electric mixer. Slowly add the melted butter while mixing. Add the sour cream and vanilla; mix until just combined. Use a spoon or spatula to fold in the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, until just combined. Do not overmix. Do not use an electric mixer on this last step.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan, reduce the temperature to 325 F, and bake another 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in pan 15 minutes.

To make the syrup: While the loaf is cooling, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice and sugar together until the sugar completely dissolves. After it's completely dissolved, continue to cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.

After the cake has cooled 15 minutes and the syrup is ready, remove the cake from the pan and place on a plate. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the top and sides of the cake. Brush the tops and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the loaf, then brush again. Let the cakes cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

To make the glaze: Mix together the sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Mix until there are no lumps. Drizzle over the top of the cooled loaf. Serve.

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted: Lemon Bread.
Lemon bread (or cake)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Zuppa Toscana Soup

1 lb. Italian sausage (If you don't have Italian sausage, just add fennel, oregano, and garlic powder to the sausage while it cooks)
potatoes, onion, garlic
5-7 slices of bacon
5-6 red potatoes
1 onion
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 qt water
6 c. chicken broth
2 c. kale, chopped
1 c. heavy cream or half and half
1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Cook the sausage (with the seasonings if needed) until cooked through. Set aside. Cook bacon until crispy. Crumble, set aside.
sausage and bacon

Slice the potatoes between 1/8 - 1/4". Make sure they are all similar in size so they cook evenly. Dice the onion. Put potatoes, onion, garlic, water, and chicken broth into a large pot over medium heat. Cook until potatoes are cooked through (about 15 minutes).

Add the sausage, bacon, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Soup's on!
Turn to low heat, add the kale and cream. Let the soup heat through. Serve with a bit of Parmesan cheese on top.

Here's the link to the recipe I adapted. Hopefully it tastes a little like the Olive Garden's soup. Chris said ours tasted better.  =)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
pinch of cayenne
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Mix in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Jamaican Stew

2 tsp. oil
Onion, garlic, chicken, and spices
1 c. onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 lb. chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. pepper (I may have added more...)
1/2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1/4 c. red wine
2 Tbsp. capers
1 can black beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, not drained
1 c. chicken broth
Hot cooked rice

Saute the onion in the oil in a large pot over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic, and cook a minute or two longer. Combine the chicken and next five ingredients (through the pepper) in a bowl. Mix well. Add chicken mix to the pan, and cook about 4-5 minutes. Add cilantro. Stir in wine, capers, beans, tomatoes, and chicken broth. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer about 10 minutes or until tender.

Put about 1/2 a cup of hot cooked white rice in the bottom of a bowl, then spoon the stew over it.

If you don't want as much liquid in your stew, leave out the chicken broth.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: Jamaican Stew

Monday, January 9, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. flour
2 c. half and half
2 c. chicken stock
1/2 lb. fresh broccoli, chopped
1 c. carrots, chopped
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in butter until tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half and half. Add the chicken stock, then simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots, and onion. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add cheese. Stir until melted. Stir in nutmeg.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Egg Drop Soup

1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. garlic clove, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1/2 can water chestnuts, finely chopped
16 c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Lots of black pepper
3/4 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. cold water
4 green onions, chopped fine
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped fine
6 large eggs, whisked

Add oil to large stock pot over medium high heat. Stir in garlic, ginger, and chestnuts until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. I added the cilantro at this step because I prefer to give it time to cook in. The original recipe adds it at the end.

Mix together the cornstarch and cold water. Whisk thoroughly. Pour a teaspoon or so of the cornstarch mix into the whisked eggs. Add half of the remaining mix to the soup and stir in. Cook for 2 minutes. Add more of the cornstarch mix if desired. Cook additional 5 minutes until thickened completely.

Turn the heat off and gently pour the eggs in a thin stream around the pot. Do not stir. Allow to cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes and then gently stir in the cilantro (if you haven't already added it) and green onions. Serve. Makes 16 servings

Adapted from Doriola's Soups and More Cookbook

Friday, January 6, 2012

Avocado & Artichoke Pasta Salad in a Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

2 c. pasta, uncooked
1 avocado, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 roma tomatoes (Next time I might just leave them out)
14 oz. jar of artichoke hearts, chopped
1 lime, zest and juice + a little more bottled lime juice
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/4 c. Romano or Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper (at least)

Cook pasta according to package directions, rinse, and cool. When the pasta is cooled, add all ingredients to a large bowl. Mix well. Refrigerate. Serve chilled.

Here is a link to the original recipe I adapted:

This is a double recipe picture