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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Ham & Cheese In Puff Pastry

Total Time: 50 minutes
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
3-4 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 lb. black forest ham, sliced
1/2 lb. Gruyere cheese, sliced (or sharp cheddar)
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.

Lay 1 sheet puff pastry on a floured board and carefully roll it out to 10 by 112 inches.  Place it on a sheet pan and brush center with mustard, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.  Place a layer first of ham then cheese, also leaving a 1-inch boarder.  Brush the border with the egg wash.

Place the second sheet of puff pastry on the floured board and roll it out to 10 by 12 inches.   Place the second sheet on top of the filled pastry, lining up the edges.  Cut the edges straight with a small, sharp knife and press together lightly.  Brush the top with egg wash and cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.  Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve hot or warm.

Healthy Paydays - Only Two Ingredients!

Yields 16

These seriously only have two ingredients and are easy to make with a food processor. Healthy, chewy, great for lunches, snacks, breakfast, or dessert!

Prep Time10 min 
Total Time10 min

4 cups Lightly Salted Peanuts, divided*
1 1/2 cups Dried, Whole, Pitted Dates**
2 Tablespoons Water

In a food processor blend 1 cup of peanuts until they are very fine and start to clump together.
Add the dates and water and blend until you get a fairly smooth paste. You will have to stop several times and scrape down the sides.
Lay out 1 1/2 cups of peanuts on a baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper. Don't try this without parchment.
Spoon the date mixture onto the peanuts as evenly as possible without disturbing the peanuts underneath.
Press the remaining peanuts into the top of the mixture flattening it as you go. Use an additional piece of parchment to completely flatten. You can utilize a cutting board to help flatten the mixture.
Refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting into candy bar sized pieces.

*Substitutions: If you can't find lightly salted peanuts you can use regular salted peanuts. OR, use unsalted peanuts in the filling and salted peanuts on the outside if you're worried about them being too salty.
**I find my dates in the dried fruits and nuts near the produce section of my grocery store. I would advise you to avoid using "chopped" dates in this recipe as they often have a different texture. Dried "Medjool" dates are considered the King of Dates. They are usually a bit more expensive but they have the proper texture too.

By Micheline


3 orange habanero peppers
1 cup fine sea salt
1/2 cup coarse sea salt

Heat broiler. Place peppers on a lined baking sheet, broil until blackened. Wrap peppers in foil, let stand 10 min. Peel peppers, chop coarsely. Heat oven to 185°. Place peppers and fine salt in a processor, process until ground. Spread mixture on a baking sheet, bake 45 min. Cool on pan. *Place pepper mixture in a bowl, add coarse salt, stir, break up any clumps. Store in an container up to a month. SERVE on radishes, scrambled eggs, and sliced melon and ENJOY...

Ham, Cheese and Spinach Casserole

From: Peak of the Market (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 12/9/2016)

1 large baguette
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter, melted
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 lb (455 g) piece of ham, cubed
4 large eggs
4 cups (1 L) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) nutmeg, grated
pepper to taste
6 cups (1.5 L) fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
3/4 lb (345 g) fontina or gruyere cheese, grated

1. Cut the baguette diagonally into 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick slices. Brush both sides with butter, then toast them on a baking sheet under a preheated broiler until golden; about 30 seconds each side.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and stir until golden. Add the ham and saute until it is lightly browned. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Add the toasted bread and toss gently.
4. Transfer the saturated bread and shallow casserole dish, slightly overlapping the slices. Place the aam mixture on top. Pour the remaining egg mixture over all.
5. Sprinkle the casserole with cheese, lifting the slices with a spatula to allow the cheese to fall between the slices.
6. Bake in a preheated 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until the edges are golden and the custard is set.
Serves 6

Healthier Ginger Beef Stir-Fry

Serves: 4
Posted in Arlette's Deliscious recipes from all around the world 

1 lb. Ontario Corn Fed Beef stir fry strips
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup light soy sauce
¼ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. dry sherry
2 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp. canola oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp. finely minced fresh ginger
1 large carrot, finely julienned
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
Sliced green onions, for garnish

In a small mixing bowl, combine the broth, soy sauce, hoisin, honey,  vinegar, sherry, chili flakes, and cornstarch. Add ¼ cup of the sauce over the beef strips and toss to coat. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes. Set aside the rest of the sauce for later. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a wok or heavy skillet set over high heat. Add the marinated beef strips to the hot pan, discarding the marinade, and stir-fry until well browned on both sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a clean bowl. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. oil to the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high, and add the garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 1 minute, then add the carrots and peppers, and stir fry until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, along with the
reserved sauce. Cook until the sauce is thickened and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions, and serve immediately.

Source: Crumb

Friday, December 15, 2017

Good Eats Beef Stew

TOTAL TIME: 6 hours 35 minutes
Prep: 35 minutes
Inactive Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook: 4 hour 30 minutes
YIELD: 4 servings

1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons dried herbs, any combination of thyme, oregano and rosemary
3 pounds English-cut short ribs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 pound red potatoes, unpeeled and diced small
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and dried herbs. Set aside. 

Season the short ribs with 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt. Place a large griddle over medium-high heat and once a drop of water bounces off, sear the meat until browned on all sides. Once browned, remove the meat to the bowl with the paste and toss to coat. Transfer to a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and seal tightly. Place the package into a metal pan and put into a cold oven on the middle rack. Set the oven to 250 degrees F and cook for 4 hours. 

Remove the meat from the oven and carefully poke a hole in the pack while holding it over a heatproof container. Drain the liquid into the container and place it into the refrigerator to cool enough so that the fat separates from the rest of the liquid, approximately 1 hour. After 1 hour, transfer the liquid to the freezer and keep there until the fat cap has solidified, approximately 1 hour. Allow the ribs to sit at room temperature while the liquid is cooling or if serving the next day, place in the refrigerator until ready to finish. 

Retrieve the liquid from the refrigerator and remove the fat cap that has formed on top. Measure out 1 tablespoon of the fat and reserve the rest for another time. Place the fat into a large saucier and place over medium heat. Once the fat has melted add the onion along with the remaining teaspoon of salt and stir to separate the onions into rings. Allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes along with a pinch of black pepper and stir to combine. Next, add the liquid reserved from the meat and stir. Cover tightly and decrease the heat to low so that no heat is escaping the lid. Cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. 

Meanwhile, cut the meat away from the bone, removing the connective tissue and discarding. Once the potatoes are tender, uncover and set the meat atop the vegetables. Cover and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the parsley.

Grandma’s Heirloom Country Chicken Casserole

2.5 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed (not peeled), boiled and mashed
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded, cheddar cheese
1 2.8 oz./80g can french-fried onions
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
Combine ingredients and spread into the bottom of a baking dish or comparable oval baking dish.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1.5lb. – 2.0lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts – poached and shredded
1 26-oz./785ml can cream of mushroom soup
1 16 oz./170g bag frozen, mixed vegetables – thawed and drained
1 c. sour cream
2 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 c. shredded, cheddar cheese – for sprinkling on top

Combine ingredients and spread over potoato mixture.  Sprinkle with additional cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake in oven for 45 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly, serve and enjoy.

Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
YIELD: 4 servings

2 tablespoons/30ml olive oil
3 large onions, sliced
Salt and pepper
8 thick slices bread
1/4 cup/60ml butter, room temperature
2 cups/500ml grated aged Cheddar

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions until soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the onions to a plate.

Generously butter both sides of each bread slice. In between two bread slices, pile the caramelized onions between two layers of cheese.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Cook the sandwiches, flipping once, until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

The grilled cheese with caramelized onions is Chuck Hughes' divine tweaked version of the tried-and-true classic sandwich. Serve with Creamy Tomato Soup.

Grilled Feta with Tomatoes

From: Peak of the Market (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 12/5/2016)

1 lb (455 g) beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
1 lb (455 g) feta cheese
2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
bunch fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper

1. Arrange the tomatoes on a serving plate.
2. Cut the feta into 6 even slices and place them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil, the heat under the broiled until lightly browned.
3. Place the warm feta on the tomato slices.
4. Chop the basil and sprinkle it over the salad.
5. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) of olive oil & the pepper over the salad and serve.

Serves 6


2 3/4 cups flour
2 tbs gingerbread spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 tsp baking soda

MIX flour, spice, and salt. Beat next 3 ingredients 1 min. Dissolve baking soda in 2 tbs hot water, add flour in turn with baking soda. Beat 1 min. Wrap, chill 1 1/2 hours. HEAT oven to 375°. Roll out dough to 1/4" thick. Using 3" gingerman cutter, cut out cookies. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake 8 min. Cool. LET GUESTS DECORATE COOKIES AS DESIRED, SERVE and ENJOY...

Thursday, December 14, 2017


The combination of molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cream cheese icing gives these blondies an unmistakable gingerbread flavor, without being overly rich or sweet.?

Portion size 48 servings
Credits : Canadian Living: Holiday 2012

1 cup butter softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup fancy molasses
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cinnamon Icing:
1 pkg (250 g) cream cheese softened
2 tablespoons butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cups icing sugar sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In large bowl, beat butter with brown sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in molasses and vanilla. 

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt; stir into butter mixture in 2 additions. Spread in greased or parchment paper–lined 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish; smooth top. 

Bake in 350F (180C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging, about 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.)

Cinnamon Icing: In large bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Beat in icing sugar and cinnamon until fluffy. 
Transfer blondies to cutting board; spread icing over top. Cut into bars.

Per piece: about
FibretraceSodium68 mgSugars13 gProtein2 gCalories138.0Total fat7 gPotassium104 mgCholesterol33 mgSaturated fat4 gTotal carbohydrate19 g

Gingerbread Fudge

prep time: 5 MINUTES
cook time: 2 MINUTES

A quick and easy gingerbread fudge recipe. Perfectly spiced and festive, this gingerbread fudge is creamy and crunchy thanks to the festive Christmas sprinkles.

¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
12oz/340g white chocolate, chopped (or chips)
2-3 tsp ginger, sifted
½-1 tsp cinnamon, sifted
½-1 tsp nutmeg, sifted

Pour the condensed milk and white chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the white chocolate chips are almost completely melted. DO NOT OVERHEAT! Stir until completely blended, melted and smooth.
Immediately add the spices and combine thoroughly.
(Optional) Add a handful of sprinkles and fold in quickly. They will melt and make the mixture an awful muddy colour if stirred for too long.
Transfer to an 8×8 inch aluminium foil-lined baking pan. Leave to set either in the refrigerator or at room temperature. If you live in a hot and humid climate, it’s preferable to allow to set in the refrigerator.
Once set, cut into cubes. Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Prep time doesn’t include setting time which usually takes about 3 hours.
If stored in an airtight container, they should keep for 2 weeks.

Gingerbread Martini

1 oz/30ml Your Favorite Vodka
1 oz/30ml Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur
½ oz/15ml Kahlúa Liqueur
½ oz/15ml Monin Gingerbread Syrup
Crushed Graham Crackers
Whipped Cream (For Garnish)
Gingerbread Cookie (For Garnish)

1. Rim a chilled martini glass with crushed graham crackers.
2. In a shaker, combine Vodka, Bailey’s, Kahlua, Monin, and Ice. Shake!
3. Strain mixture into prepared martini glass.
4. Garnish with whipped cream and a gingerbread cookie.

Green Beans with Toasted Almonds

Servings 4

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Good old-fashioned green beans are always a main stay around our home. The toasted almonds add a delightful crunch.


1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon (1 turn around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
California garlic powder, to taste
sea salt, to taste
toasted slivered or sliced almonds, for garnish


Yield: 4 servings

Cook green beans 5 minutes in 1-inch boiling water, covered. Drain beans and return pan to heat.

Add oil and butter pat to the pan. Toss beans in oil and melted butter. Season beans with a little California garlic salt and transfer to a serving plate.

Garnish green beans with toasted slivered or sliced almonds.


Green Dragon Apple Salad with butter lettuce, blue cheese crumbles and walnuts

Green Dragon Apple Salad with butter lettuce, blue cheese crumbles and walnuts

Servings 4

Prep Time: 15 mins
The flavor of the Green Dragon Apple is really unique like no other apple I have ever had before. Juicy, crisp in texture, and sweet, the Dragon Apple tastes like an apple-pear-pineapple!

1/2 green tart apple, thinly sliced
1/2 red sweet-tart apple, thinly sliced
squeeze of lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon whole grain or dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 head of butter lettuce
2 tablespoons toasted walnut pieces
2 tablespoons about 1 ounce of blue cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon whole grain or dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Thinly slice your apples and toss gently in lemon juice. This will help the apples from turning brown.

In a small bowl whisk together all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette - chill until ready to use.

Arrange apple slices onto the bottom of a salad plate in a circular pattern. Then stack 3 to 4 butter lettuce leaves on top of the apples. Tuck a few more apple slices in between the layers of lettuce and scatter walnuts and blue cheese over the top.

Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve cold.

You can also tear the head of lettuce into a salad bowl and toss with the walnuts, blue cheese, and vinaigrette to taste.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Garth's Taco Pizza

Recipe courtesy of Trisha Yearwood
Total Time: 45 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Easy

One 13.8-ounce/387g can premade pizza crust dough or a pre-formed round crust, such as Papa Murphy's
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
One 16-ounce/450ml can refried beans
1/2 cup picante sauce (see Cook's Note)
3/4 cup sliced green or black olives
8 ounces/225g sharp cheddar, shredded
Kosher salt
1 cup finely diced tomato (about 1 large or 30 grape tomatoes)
12 ounces/340g shredded lettuce (about 1 large head)
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough and fit it onto a 15-inch pizza pan.
Brown the ground beef in a medium skillet over medium heat, about 10 minutes. Stir in the taco seasoning. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the refried beans and picante sauce until combined. Spread the mixture onto the crust. Scatter the olives over the crust, then top with the cheese and the browned beef. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned.
While the crust is baking, lightly salt the tomatoes, then, in a medium bowl, toss them with the lettuce and sour cream. Once the pizza is out of the oven, top it with the cool lettuce mixture. Slice into eight pieces and serve.
Cooks Note: Garth likes extra-mild picante sauce. I'd use medium to hot.   


Canadian Living Magazine: September 2016

In this crisp libation, bright lemongrass and warm ginger and rum create a punchy full-flavoured cocktail that will wash away your day on the first sip. For a virgin version that's just as delicious, simply hold the rum.

Prep time 5 minutes
Total time 5 minutes
Portion size 1 serving

1 1/2 oz/42ml dark rum (about 1 tbsp)
1/4 cup Lemongrass and Ginger Simple Syrup (Instructions in method)
1/4 cup soda water
1/4 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 slice lime (optional)
Stalks peeled lemongrass (optional)
Sprigs fresh mint (optional)
ice cubes

In whisky tumbler, combine rum, syrup, soda water and ginger. Add lime, lemongrass and mint (if using). Top with ice cubes.

Lemongrass and Ginger Simple Syrup 
In saucepan, bring 1 cup granulated sugar; 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised and chopped; 6 slices (1 inch) fresh ginger; and 1 cup water to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool for 20 minutes. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Strain through fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 1 month.) Makes about 1 cup.

Per serving: about
Fibre0 gSodium1 mgSugars12 gProtein0 gCalories289Total fat0 gPotassium0 mgSaturated fat0 gTotal carbohydrate12 g


1 tbs each chopped mint and lemon juice
1 tsp each oil and honey
1/4 tsp each salt and cumin
Dash of crushed red pepper
7 oz/200ml container plain Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, grated
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, chill 30 min. SERVE and ENJOY...

Giant Chocolate Eclair

From: "Our Best Holiday Desserts" (12/2/2016)

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 55 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 5 hours
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Freezes well

Nutrition (per 1/10th of recipe):
calories 310, total fat 24 g (saturated fat 14 g), sodium 110 mg, carbohydrates 21 g, fiber 1 g, protein 4 g

Ingredients Choux Pastry:
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) unbleached all purpose flour
2 eggs

Ingredients Pastry Cream:
2 tablespoons (30 ml) cornstarch
1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup (125 ml) 35% cream, warm
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk, warm
3 tablespoons (45 ml) butter

Ingredients Whipped Cream:
3/4 cup (175 ml) 35% cream
3 tablespoons (45 ml) icing sugar

Ingredients Ganache:
2 oz (55 g) dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) 35% cream

Directions Choux Pastry:
1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Butter an 8 inch (20 cm) springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. In a saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar & salt to a boil.
3. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until a dough forms a smooth ball pulling off the pan.
4. Place the saucepan over low heat and cook the dough, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously after each addition until the dough is smooth.
7. Spread the dough in the bottom of the prepared springform pan an up to the middle on the sides to obtain an even thin layer of dough.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven. With the tip of a knife, pierce the centre of the cooked dough a few times to allow it to deflate (see note). Run a blade of a knife between the pan & the pastry as it cools. Set aside.

Directions Pastry Cream:
1. In a saucepan off the heat, combine the cornstarch with the sugar. Whisk in the egg yolks. Add the cream and milk.
2. On the heat, bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat.
3. Strain the mixture, if needed. Add the butter and  mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the cream and let it cook to room temperature.

Directions Whipped Cream:
1. In a bowl, whip the cream with the icing sugar until stiff peaks form.
2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Directions Ganache:
1. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let it stand for 2 minutes.
3. With a whisk, stir until the mixture is smooth. Let it cool.

Directions Assembly:
1. Spread the cooled pastry cream over the pastry. Top with the whipped cream. Cover that layer with the cooled ganache.
2. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
3. Unmould before serving.

Right out of the oven, the dough will be rounded and puffy. It will deflate as it cools (after being pricked with a knife). Press lightly with your hands, if needed.
The cooked pastry can be frozen.
When assembling, make sure the pastry cream is cool enough or it could melt the whipped cream.


7 oz/200g gingersnapes
1 tbs sugar
4 tbs butter, melted
4 cups vanilla bean ice cream
1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
1/2 whipping cream
1 tbs sugar
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Heat oven to 325°. 
MAKE CRUST---Butter, flour a 9" pie pan. In a processor, whirl cookies with sugar into crumbs. Drizzle in butter, whirl until crumbs come together. Press crumb mixture over bottom and up sides of pie pan. Bake 14 min. Let cool. 
MAKE FILLING---In a bowl, mash ice cream. Stir in pie mix, freeze 15 min. Dollop ice cream into crust, spread outward. Slide into freezer, freeze 4 hours. Whip cream with sugar into soft peaks. Chill. Take pie out of freezer. Cut into slices, top each with whipped cream and a pinch of crystallized ginger. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

French Onion Garlic Bread

My husband and I love creating new recipes together based on our favorite foods. This is our very first creation as a married couple. The cheesy bread can also be use as an appetizer for a party. —Taryn Camp, Oviedo, Florida

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 minutes
Bake: 10 minutes
YIELD: 2 servings

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup beef broth
4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 loaf (1 pound) French bread, sliced
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups (8 ounces/225g) shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

1. In a large saucepan, sauté onion in oil for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Add the broth, 1 garlic clove and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine butter and remaining garlic; stir until creamy. Spread over bread slices. Place on a greased 15-in. x 10-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 5-8 minutes or until lightly toasted.

3. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; top with onion mixture and Gruyere cheese. Broil 3-4 inches from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until bubbly.  

Nutritional Facts: 1 slice: 323 calories, 18g fat (10g saturated fat), 52mg cholesterol, 452mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 16g protein.

French Onion Soup

There is no end of different recipes for this divine soup!

I remember, when I was a young girl, my mom taking me to down town St. Louis to Famous-Barr (Now Macy’s) and we’d go to the fourth (?) floor and have French Onion Soup.  To this day it’s one of my favorite memories and favorite soups.  I felt so grown up.  I hate raw onions, but usually keep some caramelized onions in the fridge for topping burgers, steaks, etc.  YUM

TOTAL TIME: 2 hours
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 45 minutes
YIELD: 8 servings

5 sweet onions (like Vidalia’s) or a combination of sweet and red onions (about 4 pounds)
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white wine
10 ounces/30ml canned beef consommé
10 ounces/30ml chicken broth
10 ounces30ml/ apple cider (unfiltered is best)
Bouquet garni; thyme sprigs, bay leaf and parsley tied together with kitchen string
1 loaf country style bread
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Splash of Cognac (optional)
1 cup Fontina or Gruyere cheese, grated

Trim the ends off each onion then halve lengthwise. Remove peel and finely slice into half-moon shapes. Set electric skillet to 300 degrees and add butter. Once butter has melted add a layer of onions and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat layering onions and salt until all onions are in the skillet. Do not try stirring until onions have sweated down for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, stir occasionally until onions are dark mahogany and reduced to approximately 2 cups. This should take 45 minutes to 1 hour. Do not worry about burning.

Add enough wine to cover the onions and turn heat to high, reducing the wine to a syrup consistency. Add consommé, chicken broth, apple cider and bouquet garni. Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.

Place oven rack in top 1/3 of oven and heat broiler.

Cut country bread in rounds large enough to fit mouth of oven safe soup crocks. Place the slices on a baking sheet and place under broiler for 1 minute.

Season soup mixture with salt, pepper and cognac. Remove bouquet garni and ladle soup into crocks leaving one inch to the lip. Place bread round, toasted side down, on top of soup and top with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, 1 to 2 minutes.



1lb lean ground Beef
1 Packet of Lipton Onion soup Mix
1 Packet of Beef Seasoning or  one “Au Jus” seasoning packet
5 medium Onions
8 tbs. Butter
Swiss Cheese or Gruyere Cheese Slices
Burger Buns
Slice up the Onions , keeping them thin…wipe your tears!

In a medium pan, add the butter and the onions and let them get golden and caramelized.  Stir them to keep them evenly coated in the butter.

Mix the ground beef with the Soup packet and form burger patties.

Grill them up until they’re done to your liking!
While they’re grilling up, make the Au Jus!  Add the packet with 2 cups of water to a medium pot and simmer.

Top those hot burgers with a generous amount of Swiss/Gruyere cheese, cover them with a foil tent and let it get melty!

Brush the buns with some warm Au Jus!

Now stack that big juicy, cheesy burger…You’ll need two hands and/or a knife and napkins for sure!

You’ll never have a more flavorful & juicy burger!  The perfect compromise!  ~Enjoy!

Fresh Corn Omelet

I throw in homegrown corn and from-scratch salsa when I make this super omelet. Sprinkle on onions, mushrooms, peppers and breakfast meat to customize it. —William Stone, Robson, West Virginia

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 minutes.
YIELD: 4 servings

10 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Fresh salsa

1. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, water, salt and pepper until blended. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons butter over medium heat. Add corn; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until tender. Remove from pan.

2. In same pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Pour in half of the egg mixture. Mixture should set immediately at edges. As eggs set, push cooked portions toward the center, letting uncooked eggs flow underneath. When eggs are thickened and no liquid egg remains, spoon half of the corn on one side; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Fold omelet in half. Cut in half; slide each half onto a plate.

3. Repeat with remaining butter, egg mixture and filling. Serve with salsa.  

Nutritional Facts: 1/2 omelet (calculated without salsa): 336 calories, 25g fat (12g saturated fat), 500mg cholesterol, 482mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 20g protein.

Fried Green Tomato Burger

2 pounds ground chuck
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
8 slices bacon, cooked
4 Kaiser rolls, split and toasted
Thousand Island dressing
1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal mix (Jiffy)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 large green tomato, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
vegetable oil or bacon grease (leftover from frying the bacon) for frying

In a medium bowl, combine ground chuck, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt, stirring well. Form mixture into 4 (4-inch) patties Grill until done to your guests preference. Place 1 cheese slice over each patty; cover until cheese is melted. Place patty on the bottom half of the bun, add bacon and fried green tomatoes. Drizzle Thousand Island dressing on top. Cover with bun top and serve immediately.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Florida Sweet Corn, Snap Bean and Bell Pepper Sauté

Serves: 4

4 ears fresh Florida sweet corn, kernels cut off the cob
1 pound fresh Florida snap beans, rinsed and stems trimmed
2 large Florida bell peppers, sliced thin
1/4 cup green onion, washed and chopped fine
1 teaspoon plus more to taste seasoning blend (Greek, Latin, Cajun)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon vegetable or olive oil

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat.
Add vegetable or olive oil to the preheated sauté pan.
Carefully add the trimmed snap beans to the sauté pan.
Cook snap beans for 2 to 4 minutes until they start to get some color.
Add the corn kernels and sliced bell pepper to the cooking snap beans.
Cook ingredients for another 2 to 4 minutes until the ingredients become crisp-tender.
Add the seasoning blend and lemon juice.
Stir ingredients to combine.
Add the green onion and taste.
Adjust seasoning with sea salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and serve warm as a side dish. 

Four Cheese with Bacon Mac

Makes: 12 servings
Yield: 10 cups
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes at 350°F
Broil: 3 minutes

1 box (1 pound) cavatappi
6 slices bacon, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2 percent milk
1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese (4 ounces/115g)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces/115g)
8 slices Kraft Deli Deluxe American cheese (6 ounces/170g) [I substituted more cheddar for these.  We don’t care for American Cheese.  Not much taste]

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 3-quart broiler-safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling.

2. Cook cavatappi 8 minutes in boiling water, then drain. Meanwhile, in medium-size saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Carefully pour off drippings, returning 2 tablespoons to pan. Add butter.

3. Whisk in flour until smooth. In a thin stream, whisk in milk. Stir in onion flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. In large bowl, toss together cheddar, Colby-Jack and mozzarella.

4. Remove milk mixture from heat; whisk in American cheese and 1-1/4 cups of the cheddar mixture. Toss bacon pieces with remaining shredded cheese.

5. In pasta pot, combine cooked pasta and cheese sauce. Pour half into prepared dish. Sprinkle with a generous cup of the bacon-cheese mixture. Repeat layering.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil and broil 3 minutes, until top is lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition Information for Four Cheese with Bacon Mac

PER SERVING: 404 calories, 21 g total fat (11 g saturated fat), 63 mg cholesterol, 616 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (2 g fiber), 20 g protein. 

Fluffy 1-Bowl Sugar Cookies (Vegan + GF)


Prep time 25 mins Cook time 12 mins Total time 37 mins Serves 24

Fluffy, perfectly sweet sugar cookies made in 1 bowl! Roll out and cut into shapes or roll into easy circles. Entirely vegan and gluten free and perfect for the holidays and beyond!


* 1/2 cup (1 stick or 112 g) softened vegan butter* (or dairy butter if not vegan)
* 2/3 cup (133 g) organic cane sugar*
* 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
* 3 Tbsp (45 ml) chickpea brine (aquafaba - the liquid left behind in a can of cooked chickpeas), or sub 1/4 cup (50 g) pumpkin purée*
* 3/4 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp sea salt
* 1 2/3 cups (266 g) gluten free flour blend*
* 2/3 cup (75 g) almond flour* (not almond meal - the texture and flavor is different)
* 1/3 cup (56 g) cornstarch or arrowroot
* 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk

FROSTING optional

* 1/2 cup (1 stick or 112 g) vegan butter, softened
* 1 1/2 - 2 cups (150-200 g) sifted organic powdered sugar (to ensure vegan friendly)
* 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
* 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) unsweetened almond milk
* optional: Natural food dyes (like Watkins or Color Kitchen or my DIY version)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Add softened vegan butter (make sure it's softened - not melted or cold) to a large mixing bowl and beat or whisk until creamy and smooth - about 1 minute.
3. Add sugar and mix on medium speed until fluffy and light - about 1 minute. Then add chickpea brine (or other egg substitute*) and vanilla and mix again, scraping down sides as needed.
4. Add baking powder and sea salt and blend or whisk to combine. Then add gluten free flour blend, almond flour, and cornstarch and mix on low until the ingredients are combined. I had to switch to a wooden spoon toward the end. Add almond milk and stir once more.
5. The dough should be thick, moldable and a little difficult to mix at this point (see photo). If too soft, continue adding a mixture of gluten free flour blend, almond flour, and cornstarch until a thick, moldable dough is formed. If too thick, thin with a bit more almond milk.
6. Transfer dough to the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes*. Once chilled, use a cookie scooper (I like this one) or a Tablespoon to measure out 1 1/2 Tbsp amounts of dough and gently roll into balls - the dough will still be soft so be gentle. Arrange on the parchment-lined baking sheets with 1 inch room between each and press down gently with the palm of your hand to smash slightly.
7. Alternatively, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface until about 1/4-inch thick and dip cookie cutters in gluten free flour before pressing into the dough. Use a floured spatula to gently scoop onto baking sheets. This recipe works well with both cut outs and traditional circles!
8. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes or until the cookies appear fluffy and the edges are slightly beginning to dry out. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a plate to cool completely.
9. To make frosting (optional), add softened vegan butter to a mixing bowl and whisk or beat until soft and fluffy - about 1 minute. Then sift in powdered sugar in small amounts and mix. Around the 1-cup mark, add the vanilla extract and whisk. Continue adding powdered sugar until you have spreadable frosting (I used about 2 cups powdered sugar). If you prefer a thinner frosting, add a little almond milk to thin. If it becomes too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it becomes too thick, add more almond milk. Add natural food coloring at this time (optional).
10. Frost cookies or leave plain! I decorated with some naturally-dyed sugar sprinkles like these. Organic cane sugar as a base should ensure vegan friendliness.
11. Storage: Once cooled, store leftover cookies covered at room temperature for 3-4 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.

*I tested this recipe with coconut oil and found it didn't work for me, therefore I'd highly recommend sticking with vegan butter (Earth Balance brand sticks).

*If you'd like to cut back on sugar, sub 1/3 cup of the sugar with 1 packet (~1/4 tsp) stevia extract (I like Trader Joe's brand). This will make the cookies softer, so you may need to add more gluten free flour, almond flour, and/or cornstarch to help thicken the dough.

*The chickpea brine substitutes an egg in this recipe. In its place, you can also try subbing 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1 egg replacer, or 1 small chicken egg if not vegan. I haven't tested it with a flax egg or any of the other substitutes and can't guarantee the results.

*If not gluten free, sub the almond flour and gluten free flour blend with unbleached all purpose flour, but keep the cornstarch - it helps them puff up.

*The brand of almond flour I recommend is WellBee's, which I find on Amazon.

*You can make the cookie dough ahead of time and refrigerate up to 2-3 days in advance. Simply let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before scooping and baking. It should be soft and moldable.


Fluffy Vegan Gluten Free Sugar Cookies | Minimalist Baker Recipes
Fluffy, perfectly sweet sugar cookies made in 1 bowl! Entirely vegan and gluten free and perfect for the holidays and beyond!

(From Daily Recipes (Linda Gambi))


2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed
6 tbs olive oil
Two 28 oz/785ml cans diced tomatoes
1 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Sweat onions and garlic in 3 tbs oil in a pressure cooker until translucent. Add tomatoes, orange juice, salt, and cinnamon, affix lid. Once cooker comes to pressure, a constant loud hissing or whistling, reduce heat to low, maintain a low hiss for 6 min. Kill heat, release pressure on cooker. Remove lid, add vinegar. Puree with a blender while adding 3 tbs oil. SERVE and ENJOY...

Garlic Honey Asparagus

From: Peak of the Market (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 9/23/2016)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) peanut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 ml) honey
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 ml) soy sauce
1 tablespoon (15 ml) minced garlic
1 lb (455 g) asparagus, rinsed and trimmed
red onion, chopped (for garnish)

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the honey, soy sauce and garlic. Saute until the garlic is tender.
2. Lay half of the asparagus in the skillet. Saute, turning, until it is lightly browned on all sides.
3. Transfer the asparagus to a warming dish and repeat with the remaining asparagus.
4. Place the asparagus on a serving plate and sprinkle with the chopped red onion.

Serves 4

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Famous-Barr's French Onion Soup

3 pounds sliced onion, 1/8" thick
4 ounces/115g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse-ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup flour
3 quarts beef stock
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
24 slices crusty French bread
2 cups Swiss cheese, grated

1. Peel onions, cut in half, then in half again, then in 1/8" slices. (usually a 5 lb bag of onions peeled will equal 3 lbs)
2. In large soup pot, melt butter. Add onions and sauté over low heat, until translucent, about 1 1/2 hours
3. Add paprika, salt and pepper to onions, blend well
4. Add flour and stir constantly to combine to roux
5. Add beef stock, wine and bay leaves, stir to combine
6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours
7. (optional) Add kitchen bouquet for rich brown color
8. Check for seasoning and adjust to taste
9. Put in icebox overnight
Proper serving: Heat soup. Fill individual fireproof bowls with 8oz/225ml of soup, top with three slices of (Famous Barr) French bread and 1 1/2 oz/14g grated Swiss cheese. Place under broiler approx 550°, until cheese starts to brown and soup bubbles.

Flemish Onion Soup With Cheese

Yield: 6 servings

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick/60g) unsalted butter
2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups water

1 bay leaf
1 cup milk
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Ground nutmeg, preferably fresh, to taste
3 tablespoons minced chives, optional
Croutons, optional
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese

1. Melt the butter in a heavy soup pot over low heat. Add the onions and increase the heat to medium. Cook stirring occasionally, until translucent, 10 minutes. Let the onions brown slightly for a more pronounced flavor.

2. Add the potatoes, water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, until the potatoes are soft, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Discard the bay leaf and let the soup cool slightly. Press the soup through a food mill or purée in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth.

4. Return the purée to the pot and gradually stir in the milk. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

5. Reheat the soup gently before serving. Do not let it boil. Serve hot, in warmed soup plates. If desired, sprinkle with chives and float croutons in each soup plate. Place the grated cheese in a bowl and pass at the table.

Per serving: 223 calories; 14g fat; 8g saturated fat; 39mg cholesterol; 8g protein; 19g carbohydrate; 3g sugar; 2g fiber; 154mg sodium; 208mg calcium.

Recipe from “Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook,” by Ruth Van Waerebeek, with Maria Robbins

Fairy Food

"santa's workshop"
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
1 (12 ounce/340g) package chocolate chips (optional)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, corn syrup and vinegar. Bring to a boil, and heat to the hard crack stage, 300 to 310 degrees F (149 to 154 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads. Do not stir once the mixture begins to boil.
While you wait for the sugar to come up to temperature, grease a 7x11 inch baking dish. When the mixture reaches the hard crack stage, remove from heat, and quickly stir in the baking soda with a long handled spoon; it will become very foamy. Pour immediately into the prepared dish, and set aside to cool.
Cut into little pieces when cool.
If you wish to coat the candies with chocolate, melt the chocolate chips in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. If the chocolate is too thick, some vegetable oil may be added. Dip pieces of candy in chocolate, and place on waxed paper until set.

Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze

Servings 2

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 8 mins
It's date night! Begin with these delicious filet mignon steaks.


2 (4 ounce/115g) filet mignon steaks
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
salt to taste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine


Sprinkle freshly ground pepper over both sides of each steak, and sprinkle with salt to taste.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place steaks in hot pan, and cook for 1 minute on each side, or until browned. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add balsamic vinegar and red wine. Cover, and cook for 4 minutes on each side, basting with sauce when you turn the meat over.

Remove steaks to two warmed plates, spoon one tablespoon of glaze over each, and serve immediately.