Saturday, November 03, 2007
Grilled Lemon Chicken with Satay Dip

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Created by Ina Garten, from the July, 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Makes 8 servings (1 1/2 cups dip)

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts, halved (8 breasts)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2/3 cup diced red onion (1 small onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Add chicken breasts and turn to coat. Cover and marinate, turning occasionally, in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight.

In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, cook olive oil, sesame oil, red onion, garlic, gingerroot and red pepper flakes 10 minutes, or until onion is softened. Whisk in vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, peanut butter, ketchup, sherry and lime juice, and cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Heat a charcoal grill and cook chicken 10 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Cool slightly and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Put each slice on a 7-inch bamboo skewer.

Place the bowl of dip in the center of a platter, and arrange chicken around the bowl, or transfer dip to individual plastic cups with 1 skewer dipped in each.

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Camarones al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)

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Recipe courtesy of Memories of a Cuban Kitchen

1/2 cup pure Spanish olive oil
4-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2-1/2 to 3 pounds prawns or extra-large shrimp, shells and heads left on (we de-shelled)
juice of 2 limes
salt to taste
pinch of dried oregano
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
dash of Tabasco sauce, optional (we added more)

In a large skillet over low heat, heat the oil until it is fragrant, then cook the garlic, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium, add the shrimp, and cook, stirring, until they turn pink, 5 minutes. (If you prefer extra oil, add it along with the shrimp.) Add the lime juice, salt, oregano and parsley, and stir well. Adjust seasonings to taste and add Tabasco. Transfer to a heated serving platter and serve immediately, accompanied by crunchy bread to soak up the garlic-flavored oil.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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Garlicky Cheese Fondue

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Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003

8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, coarsely grated
8 ounces Muenster, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon kirsch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Optional Dipping Items on Skewers:
Boiled baby new potatoes in their skins, or quartered if large
Lightly steamed broccoli florets
Lightly steamed cauliflower florets
Lightly steamed asparagus
Button mushrooms, wiped clean and stems removed
Cubed smoked ham
Cooked sliced hot sausage
Long thick pretzel sticks
Lightly toasted cubes French bread

In a bowl or large plastic bag, combine the cheeses and toss with the cornstarch to coat. Set aside until ready to use. In a fondue pot or large heavy saucepan, bring the wine and garlic to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the cheese a bit at a time, stirring well to prevent from clumping, and cook until melted. Add the kirsch, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, stir well, and cook stirring until the mixture is smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Set the pot over a candle or canned heat and serve hot with assorted dipping items.

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Parmesan-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

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Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart's Great Food Fast

Serving: Serves 4

1 Cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 Cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
Grated zest of 1 lemon, (about 1 tablespoon)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 bone-in chicken breast halves, (about 3 pounds)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, mix parsley, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and zest. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Divide parsley mixture into four mounds. Carefully loosen chicken skin with fingers; tuck parsley mixture under skin (left). Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place in a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan. Bake until skin is crispy, chicken is cooked through, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees; about 30 minutes.

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Corn Salad

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Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart's Great Food Fast

Serving: Serves 4

6 ears corn, husks and silk removed (I used three small cans)
3 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise (1/2 cup)
2 Tablespoons white-wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Remove kernels: Cut off tip of each cob; stand in a wide shallow bowl. With a sharp knife, slice downward to remove kernels. To bowl, add scallions, vinegar, and oil. Season generously with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.

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Glazed Easter Ham

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Recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens
Prep: 15 minutes
Roast: 2-1/4 hours

1 8- to 10-lb. fully-cooked boneless ham
1 recipe glaze

Place ham on rack in roasting pan. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into center. Bake in 325 degrees F oven 2-1/4 to 2-3/4 hours or until thermometer registers 140 degrees F. Brush ham with desired glaze during last 20 to 30 minutes. Makes 10 to 12 (3-ounce servings) plus leftovers.

Stout Glaze: In a saucepan combine 1/2 cup Irish stout or apple cider and 1/4 cup each honey and butter. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Makes 3/4 cup glaze.

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Chocolate-Raspberry Truffle Bars

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From Every Day with Rachael Ray, February 2007

MAKES NINE BARS (that's crazy! we got way more)
Prep Time: 15 min
Bake Time: 40 min

1 pound semi-sweet chocolate
2 sticks (8 ounces) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup flour
2 half-pints fresh raspberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan. In a microwave oven or double boiler, melt half of the chocolate and the 2 sticks butter; stir to combine. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, using a whisk, beat the sugar with the eggs until bubbly, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the melted chocolate, then the flour. Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs, about 35 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

3. In a microwave oven or double boiler, melt the remaining chocolate and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter; stir to combine. Pour the glaze onto the cooled truffle cake and tilt the pan to coat the top. Refrigerate to partially set the glaze, about 30 minutes. While the chocolate is still tacky, scatter the raspberries in a single layer on top, then refrigerate for a few more minutes to set the glaze completely. Cut the cake into 3-inch squares.

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Veggie-Cheese Sandwiches

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Recipe courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens, April 2007

Prep: 20 minutes; Cook: 5 minutes
8 1/2-inch slices country French white bread
4 tsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. honey mustard
4 oz. thinly sliced Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1. Brush one side of each bread slice with oil; brush other side with mustard. Top mustard side of four slices with cheese, cucumber, spinach, and onion. Top with remaining bread slices, mustard side down.

2. Preheat indoor electric grill. Place sandwiches on grill. If using covered grill, close lid. Grill sandwiches until bread is golden. For covered grill, allow 3 to 5 minutes. For uncovered grill, allow 6 to 8 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling. Serve.

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Cheese-Stuffed Jalapeños

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Taste of Home Celebrations Cookbook Copyright 2005 via The Cookbook Junkie

25 medium fresh jalapeño peppers
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3 cups (12 ounces) finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Cut jalapeños in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membranes. In a large saucepan, boil peppers in water for 5-10 minutes (the longer you boil the peppers, the milder they become.) Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and Worcestershire sauce. Spoon 2 teaspoonfuls in to each jalapeño half; sprinkle with bacon. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Yield: about 4 dozen

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Peas Pullao

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Recipe courtesy of Every Day with Rachael Ray, May 2007

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 30 min

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garam masala and turmeric and stir to combine. Stir in 3 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and salt and return to a boil, stirring briefly to break up any clumps. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer, without disturbing, until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through, about 18 minutes.

2. Uncover the pan and mix in the peas while fluffing the rice with a fork; cover and set aside for 5 minutes, until the peas are heated through.

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

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Recipe courtesy of Grand Floridian Cafe, Disneyworld

(Full recipe below; I halved recipe; it makes a ton)

2 lbs cream cheese
1/2 quart heavy cream
6 oz parmesan cheese
1/8 oz garlic powder
3 lbs frozen spinach
2 lbs artichoke hearts

In a food processor, process the cream cheese, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder until smooth and creamy. Add the spinach and process until thoroughly mixed. Add the artichokes and process until coarsely chopped. Place 10 ounces of mix in large ramekin and bake in oven for 20 minutes at 350. Cool.

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Peanut Satay Sauce

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Recipe courtesy of 'Ohana Restaurant
Yield: 1 quart or 6-8 servings

1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
3 cloves garlic
1 finger garlic
1/4 cup Spanish onion, diced
1 tablespoon chopped peanuts

Peel garlic and ginger. Add all ingredients together in a blender and pulse until smooth.

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The Best Shrimp and Parsley Frittata

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Recipe courtesy of Jamie's Italy
Yield: 4 servings

6 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
10 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, half roughly chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, salt, and pepper. Add cheese, parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice; add whole and chopped shrimp to egg mixture. In a small, heavy non-stick ovenproof skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat; add egg mixture. Stir eggs slowly for 1 minute, then place pan in oven and cook 9-10 minutes, until frittata is slightly set in the middle. Remove pan from oven; sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

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Spinach Salad with Waffle Croutons

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Recipe courtesy of Woman's World magazine
Yield: 4 servings

Cut 2 (4") waffles into 1" pieces. Whisk 1/2 cup Italian vinaigrette, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard; toss 1/4 cup with waffles. Bake in 400F oven until golden. To leftover dressing, add 4 cups spinach, 3 slices cooked chopped bacon, 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved), 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms and 1/4 cup sliced onion (I used red) and croutons.

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Penne Del Goloso

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Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Allan Daly, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Serves 4

12 oz penne pasta
2 oz sliced zucchini
2 oz prosciutto, cut into strips
2 oz gorgonzola cheese
3 oz white wine
6 oz bechamel sauce
1 oz onion, finely diced (I used one small)
1 oz chopped garlic
1 oz chopped basil
3 oz cream
2 oz olive oil
salt, pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in pan and slowly cook onions and garlic without color. Add prosciutto, zucchini and cook until prosciutto is crispy. Add gorgonzola, mix well. Add wine, stir until gorgonzola is dissolved. Add cream and white sauce, bring to a boil and cook until creamy in consistency. Mix in pasta until hot, add basil and season as required.

P.S. If you want to skip the bechamel step (I did), just add in heavy cream and about a half-teaspoon of flour to thicken it a bit. Worked like a charm.

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Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Veggies with Dijon Asparagus

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Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Sweetnicks' Notes: Instead of doing the potatoes separately, I added them to the roasting pan. Because of that change, I added more wine.

2 turnips, cut into large wedges
4 parsnips, peeled and cut on a long bias (skipped)
3 carrots, peeled and cut on a long bias (added 4-5)
3 shallots, peeled and quartered
1 fennel bulb, cored and cut into wedges (chop and save fennel fronds for herb rub)
1 cup dry white wine (used 1-1/2 cup)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tarragon, roughly chopped
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, grated
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) (I used softened butter instead), plus 2 tablespoons and additional for drizzling
4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
4 thigh/leg pieces, left whole and not disjointed
2 pounds small white potatoes, quartered
1 bunch thin asparagus
4 leeks, cleaned well and thinly sliced, white parts only
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place turnips, parsnips, carrots, shallots, fennel wedges and wine into a roasting pan. Drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the chopped fennel fronds, tarragon, parsley, grated garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 cup of EVOO, salt and pepper. (Instead of the EVOO, I used 1/2 cup of softened butter to make it more of a paste)

Rub mixture all over the chicken, place the pieces on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 60-90 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest 10-15 minutes.

Once the chicken has been in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, place the potatoes in a medium sauce pot and cover with cold, salted water. Place on high heat and bring up to a boil. Cook 12-15 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through. Drain potatoes and set aside.

Once the chicken is out of the oven, add one inch of water to a high-sided skillet and place over high heat. Bring to a simmer and add asparagus. Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes or until asparagus is tender.

As the asparagus is steaming, place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons EVOO. Sauté sliced leeks and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked potatoes to the leeks, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until slightly browned.

Drain the asparagus and return to them skillet. Place over medium heat and add the Dijon and butter. Toss until the butter has melted.

To serve, place a portion of chicken on a dinner plate, add a scoop of the roasted veggies and spoon some of the pan juices over the top. Serve the Dijon asparagus and the potato-leek mixture alongside.

Yields 4-6 servings

Dijon Asparagus
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

1 bunch thin asparagus
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon butter

Add one inch of water to a high-sided skillet and place over high heat. Bring to a simmer and add asparagus. Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes or until asparagus is tender.

Drain the asparagus and return to them skillet. Place over medium heat and add the Dijon and butter. Serve.

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Carbonara Pizza

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Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

1 refrigerated pizza dough, or one from your favorite pizza joint
Cornmeal, for sprinkling on pizza pan
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 large clove garlic, grated
Black pepper
2 large egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded provolone cheese
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 450°F. Roll out dough into a large, thin, round or rectangular shape. Scatter a little cornmeal on the pizza pan or baking sheet before placing rolled-out dough on it. Drizzle dough with EVOO and prick it with fork tines in a few places.

Place in oven and partially bake for 7-8 minutes. Drizzle EVOO in a small skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Cook pancetta until crisp, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool. Brush the baked pizza crust with some of the grease from the skillet you cooked the pancetta in for a little extra flavor. (I skipped that step; extra grease not necessary) Add beaten egg yolks, ricotta, Romano, grated garlic and black pepper to a bowl and stir to combine.

Spread the ricotta cheese mixture out over the pizza crust, then top with provolone cheese.

Scatter the reserved pancetta all over and bake 12 minutes or until crust is crisp and the cheese is evenly golden on top. Scatter parsley over cooked pizza, cut into wedges and serve.

Yields 4 servings

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Cheese and Caramelized Onion Pizza

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Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
2 large onions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pizza dough, from your favorite pizza shop or store-bought
1/4 pound sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
1 cup grated fontina cheese
1/4 pound gorgonzola cheese, crumbled into small pieces

Preheat oven to 425°F. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the butter and 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the sliced onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook; stirring frequently for 20-25 minutes or until very brown and caramelized. Remove from skillet and let cool slightly.

Drizzle a little EVOO on to the pizza dough and pull and stretch until almost the same size as the baking sheet pan. Drizzle the baking sheet pan with EVOO, then set crust in place. Poke the pizza dough in several areas with the tines of a fork. Season the dough with salt and pepper, and spread the caramelized onions on top.

Top the onions with the prosciutto, then the fontina and gorgonzola cheese.

Transfer to the oven and bake until the dough is cooked through and the cheese melts, about 20 minutes. Remove, cut into portions and serve.

Yields 4 servings

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Sweetnicks' Mussel Salad

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Recipe courtesy of Cate O'Malley

Mussels, cooked
1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch or two of oregano

Combine oil, vinegar, and mustard and stir with whisk. Add salt, pepper and oregano, stir to combine. Add mussels. Toss to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

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Greek Feta and Tomato Pasta

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Recipe courtesy of Family Circle

1/2 pound thin spaghetti
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 fresh plum tomatoes, cored and chopped (I used one 14.5 oz can diced)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil and lightly salt. Prepare spaghetti following package directions. Remove 1/4 cup of the cooking water and reserve; drain pasta.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring so garlic does not burn. Stir in tomatoes, oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for 2 minutes. Add wine and cook for 1 minute. Add feta cheese, spaghetti and reserved water and toss with pepper. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 (we easily got 6 servings out of recipe, with at least 1 serving leftover)

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White Bean Puree

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Recipe courtesy of Mensch71

1 head fresh garlic
1 can cannelli beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Cut the top of the garlic head off and cover with olive oil. Wrap head in aluminum foil and roast in oven for 45 minutes. Allow to cool to room temp and squeeze out the roasted garlic.

In a food processor, add the beans, the roasted garlic and the lemon juice and pulse until thoroughly blended. Taste for seasoning, adding about 1.5t salt and 5 - 10 cranks of fresh pepper. Add the parley at the last second.

Serve with veggies or on toasted rounds of bread.

You can also roast half the garlic and add one fresh clove for a more intense garlicky taste.

Sweetnicks' Notes: Added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the top before serving for a little something extra.


Diane's Colcannon

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From AllRecipes

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 slices bacon
1/2 small head cabbage, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter, melted

Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving drippings, crumble and set aside. In the reserved drippings, saute the cabbage and onion until soft and translucent. Putting a lid on the pan helps the vegetables cook faster.

Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with milk and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions, then transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter. Serve immediately.

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Apple-Oatmeal Crisp with Irish Whiskey Cream

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Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse

1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 pounds Rome Beauty or Winesap apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
Pinch salt
1/4 cup Irish oatmeal
1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnut pieces
Irish Whiskey Cream, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter an 11 by 7-inch baking pan and set aside. In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, lemon juice, 1/2-cup of the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of the flour. Stir well, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the whiskey, cinnamon, cardamom and salt, stir well, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl combine the remaining flour, oatmeal and remaining 1/2-cup sugar. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter, and with your fingers or a pastry blender, work the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the walnuts and mix well.

Place the apple mixture in the greased pan and sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot with the Irish Whiskey Cream.

Irish Whiskey Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

Whip the cream until it begins to form soft peaks. Add the sugar and whiskey and beat until stiff peaks form. Cover and chill until needed. Yield: about 2 cups

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Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake

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Recipe via CLBB from Josh Weekley, Executive Chef, Lowe’s Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel, Nashville

For Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ lb (one stick) butter, melted
1 Tbsp honey

Combine ingredients, mixing by hand until crumbs are moist and sticky. Butter inside of a 9-inch springform pan. Press crumbs into bottom and along sides. Set aside.

For Cheesecake Filling:
2 ¼ lbs Philadelphia (or other high-quality) cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur (no substitutions)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend cream cheese and sugar with mixer until creamy. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well, scraping sides of bowl frequently to incorporate all ingredients. Add vanilla extract and liqueur, mixing well again. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Let cheesecake cool slightly at room temperature, then chill completely – preferably overnight. The cheesecake will have a mousse-like texture when it comes out of the oven and requires thorough chilling to set. Serves 12.


Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner

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Recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Makes 6 servings

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 30 minutes

1 2- to 2-1/2-pound corned beef brisket*
1 teaspoon whole black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise
2 medium parsnips or 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium red onions, cut into wedges
10 to 12 new potatoes (1 pound)
1 small cabbage, cut into 6 wedges (1 pound)

1. Trim fat from meat. Place in a 4- to 6-quart pot; add juices and spices from package of beef. Add enough water to cover meat. Add pepper and bay leaves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 2 hours or until meat is almost tender.

2. Add carrots, parsnips or rutabaga, and onions to meat. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Scrub potatoes; halve or quarter. Add potatoes and cabbage to pot. Cover and cook about 20 minutes more or until vegetables and meat are tender. Discard bay leaves. Remove meat from pot. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving platter. Makes 6 servings.

*Note: If your brisket comes with an additional packet of spices, add it instead of the pepper and bay leaves called for in the ingredient list.

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Guinness-Braised Beef Brisket

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Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light, MARCH 2003
Tender from gentle cooking, this entree is a classic preparation made without the usual pot watching. Serve it with grainy, coarse-ground mustard. Use the leftovers in classic Rueben sandwiches: sliced corned beef with Thousand Island dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on sourdough, rye, or pumpernickel bread.

2 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup Guinness stout
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 tablespoon dried dill
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-salt beef broth
6 black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 (3-pound) cured corned beef brisket, trimmed

Combine first 11 ingredients in a large electric slow cooker, stirring until well blended; top with beef. Cover and cook on HIGH 8 hours or until beef is tender. Remove beef; cut diagonally across grain into 1/4-inch slices. Discard broth mixture.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 3 ounces)

CALORIES 226 (39% from fat); FAT 9.7g (sat 3.2g,mono 4.7g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 17.9g; CHOLESTEROL 87mg; CALCIUM 28mg; SODIUM 1105mg; FIBER 0.9g; IRON 2.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 15.2g

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Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Recipe courtesy of Technicolor in English blog

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat the oven to 165ºC/325ºF. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 7cm apart. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 38-40 cookies


Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

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Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart's Great Food Fast

2 bunches (1-1/2 pounds) asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450F. Trim the tough ends from the asparagus. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Roast until the asparagus is tender and the cheese is melted, 10 to 15 minutes. Serves immediately. Serves 4.

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Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Recipe courtesy of Kimkelly on CLBB

1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place all ingredients in blender and blend with oil. Serve on your favorite mixed green salad.


Swanson Broth Simmered Rice

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Makes 4 servings (I had to double, and there's just a smidge left)

1-3/4 cups of Swanson chicken broth (of course, your favorite brand will do just fine)
3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice

Heat broth in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Stir in rice. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.

*For an interesting twist, stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese before serving. Serve with additional cheese.


Bombay Sliders

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Recipe courtesy of 3/07 Bon Appetit magazine
Dinner rolls work well as buns for these mini burgers. Allow three burgers per person and top with tomato, red onion, and cucumber slices.

Makes 4 servings (3 burgers each).

1 cup mayonnaise, divided (I used 1/2 cup mayo)
6 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, divided (I used 3-1/2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 tablespoons plain yogurt (I used 3/4 tablespoon)
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup (I used 3/4 tablespoon)
1 garlic clove, minced

2 pounds ground turkey
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger (I used 1 tablespoon ginger paste)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon hot chili powder or Hungarian hot paprika
1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 small dinner rolls, cut horizontally in half, lightly toasted preparation

Mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, and next 3 ingredients in small bowl for sauce. Let stand at room temperature while preparing sliders.

Place turkey, next 6 ingredients, remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and 4 teaspoons curry powder in large bowl. Mix with fork or hands just until blended (do not overmix). Divide mixture into 12 equal portions. Using wet hands, form each portion into patty about 1/2 inch thick.

Preheat broiler or heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. If broiling patties, brush rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil and arrange patties on sheet. Broil (or cover patties in skillet and cook in batches) until cooked through, pressing patties down lightly with spatula before turning over, about 3 minutes per side (or 4 minutes per side if cooking in skillet).

Place patties on bottom halves of rolls. Top each patty with sauce. Cover with roll tops. Place 3 sliders on each of 4 plates and serve.

Sweetnicks' Notes: I roughly halved the sauce ingredients and still had plenty leftover.

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Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies

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Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker

Prep Time: 25 min (it's really way shorter than this)
Start to Finish: 1 hr 30 min
Makes: 4 dozen 1 1/2-inch cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons shortening

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla with spoon. Stir in flour. (If dough is crumbly, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened.)

2. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into small shapes by hand or use cookie cutters. Place 1/2 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until set and bottoms are light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on High 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted; stir until smooth. Dip half of each cooled cookie into melted chocolate. Place on waxed paper until chocolate is set.

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Roasted Oysters

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Recipe courtesy of Scott Phillips on Get Your Grill On

On the stove top, saute a couple of finely chopped shallots and three cloves of minced garlic in a two tablespoons of butter. Cook until soft.

Shuck a dozen large oysters and place in a cast iron skillet or other grill-safe vessel. A layer of crumpled aluminum foil in the bottom of your skillet will keep the oysters from rattling around.

Cook on a HOT grill until done. Your cooking time will vary depending on how heavy your skillet is. In my cast iron skillet it took about 7-10 minutes. In a light weight, disposable aluminum roasting pan, maybe 5-6 minutes.

When your oysters come off the grill, top each with a little of the sauteed shallot and garlic butter. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

A few words of caution may be in order. On the difficulty scale, both of these recipes get around a 1.25 out of 5. If you can read simple directions and are comfortable around hot grills, you will be fine. Just be careful when shucking the oysters. The natural inclination is to hold the oyster in one hand and go at it with an oyster knife held in the other. This is a good way to jab said oyster knife into the meaty part of your hand. Having done this once, I can’t recommend this technique.

Instead, place a folded towel on a cutting board and place the oyster on it, hinge side up. This way, you can support the oyster without too much risk of gouging your hand. Insert the tip of the knife into the hinge. Push the knife inward into the hinge and twist. The oyster should open right up.

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Chile-Lime Shrimp

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Recipe courtesy of Scott Phillips of Get Your Grill On

4 tablespoons of olive oil
Juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Combine the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add one dozen large shrimp (peeled and de-veined) and coat thoroughly. Put shrimp on wooden skewers (soak the skewers in water beforehand to prevent burning) and cook until done. On a hot grill about a minute per side is usually enough.

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Buffalo Chicken Chili

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Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds all-white meat ground chicken breast
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (you can substitute with chipotles or chipotle chili powder)
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1/4-1/2 cup hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (if you have a big can of tomatoes, don't go to the store to get the sauce, it's fine. Just use what you have)
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 7-ounce bag yellow corn chips
1 7-ounce bag blue corn chips
3/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled, recommended type Maytag Blue
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (a couple of handfuls)

Preheat oven to 375°F or broiler to medium. Place a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon, and the butter. Once the butter has melted and the pot is hot, add the ground chicken. Brown it, using the back of a wooden spoon to break it up in to small pieces, about 5-6 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the hot sauce, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together.

While the chili is simmering, spread the yellow and blue corn chips out on a cookie sheet. Top with the crumbled blue cheese and transfer to the oven to melt the cheese, about 4-5 minutes. If using the broiler, 2-3 minutes should do the trick. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Top each serving of buffalo chicken chili with a few blue cheese-topped corn chips.

Yields 4 servings

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Spinach, Artichoke & Cheeses Wrap Or Dip

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Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

1 2.5-ounce container Boursin cheese
1 package cream cheese (4 ounces)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 15-ounce can artichokes in water, drained and roughly chopped
1 10-ounce bag of spinach, stems removed
Salt and black pepper
2 bags, bagel chips (if making as a dip)
4 large, wrap-size spinach tortillas (if making as a wrap)
2 roasted red peppers, chopped

In a food processor, add the Boursin and cream cheeses, lemon juice, chopped artichokes and spinach, and pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bagel chips as a dip or spread on a spinach wrap, top with red peppers and take it on the go!

Yields 4-6 servings

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Thursday, August 30, 2007
Tomato Soup Cake with Toasted Walnut and Cream Cheese Frosting

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4 tablespoons butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cans Tomato Soup
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves

Blend butter, sugar and eggs. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with soup. Pour into bundt pan. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Toasted Walnut and Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter, softened
3/4 pound (about 3 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces

In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the cheese and butter. Add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the vanilla and milk and mix well. Fold in the walnut pieces.


Shrimp Jambalaya

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Courtesy of Cooking Light, March 1995.

1/2 pound medium unpeeled shrimp
Vegetable cooking spray
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used a little more when adding the vegetables)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery (I omitted)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 pound lower-salt, lean ham, diced (I used three sausages instead)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked

Peel and devein shrimp; set aside. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add the oil, and stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat 1 1/2 minutes or until brown, stirring constantly. Add onion and the next 4 ingredients; sauté 7 minutes or until tender. Add chicken broth and next 7 ingredients; stir well, and bring to a boil. Add rice; stir well. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in shrimp; cover and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp is done.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

CALORIES 356(16% from fat); FAT 6.4g (sat 1.4g,mono 1.9g,poly 2.3g); PROTEIN 19.7g; CHOLESTEROL 79mg; CALCIUM 111mg; SODIUM 625mg; FIBER 2.7g; IRON 5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 53.1g


Flounder Oreganata

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Recipe courtesy of Weight Watchers' Make It In Minutes
7 points

4 (6-oz) flounder fillets
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried oregano

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place the fish fillets on the baking sheet. Combine the olive oil, bread crumbs, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and oregano ina bowl. Press an equal amount of the bread crumb mixture onto the top of each fillet. Bake until the fish is just opaque in the center - about 10 minutes.


Angel Hair Pasta With Crab

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1 pound angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons butter (I used three)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sliced green onions (I used one medium onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (I used one can of diced, drained)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 pound cooked flaked crab meat
1/4 cup chopped parsley (I used dried, and about 1-1/2 tablespoons)
Salt and pepper to taste

Have salted water boiling for pasta then start sauce. Cook onion, garlic, tomatoes in butter and oil until soft. Add wine, simmer 2 minutes. Add lemon and Crab turn to warm. Cook pasta per package. Drain, toss with sauce. Garnish with parsley. Serve with grated Parmesan on the side.

Notes: I drizzled the top with just a smidge of extra virgin olive oil and then mixed.


Feta, Black Olive and Oregano Salad (aka Pizza Parlor Salad)

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Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman

1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and roughly chopped
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 cup good quality feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup pitted black oil-cured Moroccan olives (I used Kalamata)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large serving bowl, combine iceberg lettuce, red onion, feta and olives.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper, to taste. Whisk until well combined. Toss the salad gently with dressing and serve immediately.

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Fresh Mushroom Pasta Sauce

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Courtesy of Foodie Bride's blog

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb mushrooms, washed and sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used 1/4 cup instead)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Saute mushrooms, parsley and salt in 1 tablespoon olive oil, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and set aside. Pour remaining olive oil and black pepper over drained pasta and toss. Add mushrooms, toss and serve.

(Recipe didn't specify how many it served, but 4 seems about right for a lb of spaghetti)


Grilled Asian Kabobs

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Recipe from Hellmanns
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 Minute(s)
Cook Time: 10 Minute(s)

1 cup Hellmann's ® or Best Foods ® Real Mayonnaise (I used 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup apricot preserves*
1 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (I used half teaspoon of ginger paste)
8 uncooked shrimp or chicken kabobs (I used 1/2 lb of medium raw shrimp and 1 lb of chicken breast tenderloins)
4 medium green onions, cut into 3-inch pieces

Combine first 6 ingredients; reserve 1/3 cup. Brush kabobs with remaining sauce. Grill shrimp with green onion until shrimp turn pink. Serve with reserved sauce.

*Variation: Use orange marmalade or mango chutney instead of apricot preserves.


Baked Scallops Au Gratin

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From 10/06 issue of Coastal Living

1/2 pound sea scallops
1/3 cup Japanese breadcrumbs (panko) or fine, dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place scallops in a lightly greased 1-quart baking dish. Combine breadcrumbs and remaining ingredients, and sprinkle over scallops. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until scallops are opaque and topping is golden.

Yield: Makes 2 servings


Vegetable Casserole

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Posted by luvItalian on the Cooking Light Bulletin Board

1 lb carrots cut diag., 1/2 inch slices
2 zucchini sliced, not too thin
small head of broccoli
small head of cauliflower
1/2 cup mayo (I used a little less than a 1/3 cup)
2 T grated onion
3/4 t horseradish
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1/3 cup grated parm. cheese
1/4 cup melted butter

Cook vegtables in small amount of salted water until crisp. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid. Combine liquid, mayo, onion, horseradish, salt & pepper. Put vegtables into greased casserol dish & pour mixture over top, mix well. Combine cheese, breadcrumbs & butter and sprinkle over top. Bake 375 degrees ffor 15 - 20 minutes until bubbly.


Nacho Bread Pizzas

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Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

1 loaf baguette or semolina bread, day old is fine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped or 1 pickled hot pepper of any kind, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and pepper
1 cup prepared salsa, any variety
2 cups shredded Cheddar, smoked Cheddar, Monterey Jack or pepper Jack
1 heart romaine or 1/2 iceberg head, shredded
1/2 cup green olives with or without pimiento, chopped
1/4 red onion or 2 to 3 scallions, chopped
2 plum or vine tomatoes, seeded and diced

Split bread lengthwise. Hollow the bread out and cut each half in half across, making 4 boats. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil, 1 turn of the pan, garlic and hot peppers. Drain beans. Add half of the beans then mash the remainder of the beans in the can using a fork. Add mashed beans to the pan and combine with whole beans. Season beans with hot sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. When the spicy beans are hot through, spread them evenly across all of the bread. Top with salsa and liberally sprinkle with cheese, covering bread to all edges. The boats will only be half-full. Melt cheese in the oven until it bubbles and begins to brown.

Top Nacho Bread Pizzas with lettuce, olives, onions and tomatoes and serve.

Sweetnicks' Notes: Put the hollowed out bread in the oven for a few minutes before filling it up. This allows the bread to get a little crispy.


Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake

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Coffee Cake
1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup firm butter or margarine, cut into pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used regular milk)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking cocoa
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom of 8 inch square pan. In large bowl, stir 1-1/2 cups flour, the granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt until mixed. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Beat with mixer on medium speed 1 minute. Spread in pan.

In small bowl, mix all streusel ingredients except chocolate chips with fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

9 servings


Smarter Fettuccine Alfredo

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Recipe courtesy of Kraft.

Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 20 min
Makes: 4 servings, 1 cup each

8 oz. fettuccine, uncooked
1-1/4 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 tsp. flour
1/3 cup PHILADELPHIA Light Cream Cheese Spread (I used one with chives)
3 Tbsp. KRAFT 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (I skipped)
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

COOK pasta as directed on package. MEANWHILE, combine broth and flour in medium saucepan. Stir in cream cheese spread, 2 Tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese, the nutmeg and pepper; cook 2 min., stirring constantly with wire whisk until mixture boils and thickens. DRAIN pasta. Toss with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Notes: 300 calories and 6 grams of fat per serving.


Baked Pasta e Fagioli

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Recipe courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Yields: 6 main-dish servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: About 15 minutes

8 ounces mini penne or elbow pasta (about 2 cups)
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes in puree
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (I skipped)
2 cloves garlic, crushed with press
2 cans (15 to 19 ounces each) navy or other small white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
Ground black pepper
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat large, covered saucepot of water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook 2 minutes less than label directs. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Return pasta to saucepot.

2. Meanwhile, drain tomatoes, reserving puree. Coarsely chop tomatoes.

3. In 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and celery and cook 9 to 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.

4. Stir in tomatoes with their puree, beans, broth, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; stir in spinach.

5. Add bean mixture, reserved pasta cooking water, and 1/4 cup Romano to pasta in saucepot and toss until well mixed. Transfer pasta mixture to 3-quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Romano. Bake 15 minutes or until center is hot and top is golden.


Classic Fondue

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Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray.

1 large clove garlic, smashed and peeled
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
8 ounces Emmenthaler cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup Kirschwasser cherry brandy
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
White pepper or cayenne, a pinch to taste

Serve with any or all of the following:
Fresh sausages such as lamb, beef, chicken and pork, broiled or sautéed and cut into bite-size pieces
Small Red Bliss potatoes, boiled
French bread, cut into chunks
Blanched green beans
Drained pickled vegetables such as cauliflower
Whole small radishes

Rub the inside of a small pot with the smashed garlic clove, then discard. Add wine to the pot and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with a wooden spoon.

When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir the cornstarch into brandy using your finger until smooth, add brandy mixture into the cheese slowly. Add the lemon juice and season the fondue with nutmeg and white or cayenne pepper, to taste. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and serve.

* If your fondue pot is made of cast iron, you can heat the wine on the stove and then add the cheese, all in one pot. If your fondue pot cannot be placed on the stove, follow the above recipe.

Yields 4 servings


Cuban Toasties

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Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray.

PREP TIME 30 min; COOK TIME 10 min

1½ ounces boiled deli ham slices, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
3 ounces shredded Swiss cheese (3/4 cup)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons chili sauce
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 baguette, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices, or 5 slices of white sandwich bread, quartered
2 to 3 crisp dill pickles, thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 500°. In a small bowl, stir together the ham, cheese, mayonnaise, onion, chili sauce and mustard.
2. Arrange the bread slices on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place 2 pickle slices on each slice of bread, then spread about 1 tablespoon of the ham mixture on top. Bake the toasties for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Cool for a few minutes before serving.


Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes
6 servings


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine eggs, milk and oil; add to dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Keep warm.


Steak and Boursin Sandwiches

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Recipe courtesy of Gourmet, February 2007
You may never go back to roast beef sandwiches after trying the bold flavor of steak with creamy, garlicky Boursin.

1 (1-lb) piece flank steak
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (24-inch-long) baguette or 4 (6-inch-long) ciabatta rolls
1 (5-oz) package Boursin cheese (herb or pepper)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 hearts of romaine, halved lengthwise

Preheat broiler. Pat steak dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Put on rack of a broiler pan and broil 2 to 3 inches from heat, turning over once, 6 to 8 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes.

While steak broils, cut baguette into 4 sections, then halve each horizontally. Spread Boursin over bottom halves of bread.

While steak stands, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté romaine in 2 batches, turning over once, until browned in spots and slightly wilted, about 2 minutes per batch. Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet between batches. Transfer as sautéed to cutting board with meat. Cut off and discard core end of romaine, then lay romaine on top of Boursin.

Cut steak across the grain into thin slices and divide among sandwiches.

Makes 4 servings.


Crab Quiche

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Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light Bulletin Board (luvItalian)

1/2 cup mayo
2 beaten eggs
12 oz shredded swiss cheese
6 oz canned real crab, drained
2 Tbs. flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup chopped onion

Combine mayo, flour, eggs & milk. Add crab, cheese & onion. Pour into prepared shell and bake 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.


Barbara Bush's Crab or Clam Dip

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Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light Bulletin Board (slknight)

1 (6 1/2 ounce) can crabmeat or minced clams - I used a 6 ounce package of fresh crabmeat.
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
2 tbl chopped chives (optional)
2 tsp dry sherry (optional)

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Transfer to a 1 quart casserole dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with corn chips or crackers.


Cafe Mocha Tart

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Recipe courtesy of Family Circle magazine
Makes 12 servings

1 refrigerated ready-rolled piecrust
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
whipped topping, optional

Heat oven to 350. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan (I used regular glass pie dish). Sprinkle chocolate chips and walnuts evenly over crust. Set aside. Microwave butter in large glass bowl for 30 seconds, or until melted. Whisk in espresso powder. Beat in brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs and vanilla. Pour into crust. Bake in lower third of oven for 37-40 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Cut into slices, serve with whipped cream, if desired.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Italian Club Finger Sandwiches

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray
Serves 4

Print PDF of recipe here.

6 slices thin-cut white bread
1 cup soft, spreadable herb cheese
8 slices Prosciutto di Parma
12 leaves fresh arugula or basil
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 radishes, thinly sliced

Spread 4 slices of bread with soft herb cheese. Top each cheese-covered slice with 2 slices of prosciutto, 3 leaves of arugula or basil, and 4 thinly sliced tomatoes seasoned with a pinch of salt. Place a completed layer atop another, making 2 stacks—each 2 layers high. Set the final bread slices in place, making 2 triple-decker sandwiches.

Thinly slice and salt the radishes. Pierce a couple of thin slices of radish on each toothpick and place 4 toothpicks in each sandwich. Cut each sandwich into 4 equal parts, cutting the sandwich across evenly on each side.

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Garlicky, Cheesy Bread Chunks Topped with Steaks

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Recipe Courtesy of Rachael Ray
Serves 4

4 beef tenderloin steaks, 1-1/2 inches thick
leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons very soft butter
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
generous handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
generous handful of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 2-inch thick slices Italian sesame-semolina bread, cut on an angle

Season the steaks with the thyme, salt and pepper. Place a large skillet over high heat with the EVOO, once around the pan. When the oil is hot, using a pair of tongs and a folded paper towel, spread the oil lightly over the surface of the pan. Place the steaks in the hot pan and sear the meat, cooking it for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the steaks for 3-4 minutes longer on each side. Remove the steaks to a plate, cover them loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for about 5 minutes.

While the steaks cook, combine the soft butter, garlic, parsley, basil, Parmigiano and some pepper in a bowl. Spread the butter mixture evenly on all the cut sides of the bread slices. Once the steaks are out of the skillet and resting, return the skillet to the stovetop over medium heat. Add the slices of bread and cook until the first side is golden, 2-3 minutes. Flip and toast the second buttered side. Serve the steaks on top of the cheesy, garlicky bread chunks.

Sweetnicks' Notes: Slice steaks before topping on bread. Top with melted cheese or gravy next time.

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Peanut Butter Crunchies

Recipe courtesy of Sweetnicks reader Merry.

Print PDF of recipe here.

1 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
4-6 cups cornflakes

Heat the corn syrup and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is desolved. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Add cornflakes until you have the consistency you want (more cornflakes make them crunchier while less make them chewier). Drop on waxed paper or press into a buttered 11x14" pan.


Beef Wellington Burgers

Print PDF of recipe here.

Recipe Courtesy of Every Day with Rachael Ray
Makes 4 burgers

1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 eggy rolls, split and toasted, or 8 thick slices challah bread, toasted
1 small bunch watercress, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cornichons or baby gherkin pickles
1/2 pound truffle mousse pate

In a medium bowl, mix together the meat, shallot, parsley and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper. Score the meat into 4 equal portions and then form into large patties. Heat a drizzle of EVOO in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is screaming hot, add the patties and cook for 4 minutes on each side for medium rare, 6 minutes on each side for medium well.

Meanwhile, place a medium skillet over medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a drizzle of EVOO, add the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Pour in the sherry and let it cook off, about 30 seconds. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Stir together the mustard and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Spread the Dijon butter liberally on the bun bottoms. Top with the watercress, a burger patty, a pile of mushrooms and a few chopped cornichons. Spread the mousse pate on the bun tops and set them into place.

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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

From Southern Living magazine
Serves 8

Print PDF of recipe here.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 cups (3 lb.) thinly sliced baking potatoes (about 4 large)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise and next 3 ingredients in a saucepan. Gradually add milk, and cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Add Cheddar cheese and next 3 ingredients, stirring until cheese melts and is well blended.

Place half of potato slices evenly in a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish; pour half of cheese mixture over potatoes. Repeat layers with remaining half of potato slices and cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.

Bake, covered, at 350 for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 30 more minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and fork tender.


Short Ribs with Chinese Flavor

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Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman

8 short ribs, about 3 pounds (I used regular ribs)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar or honey
3 star anise (I used a teaspoon of five spice instead)
6 scallions, trimmed
1 3-inch piece cinnamon (I used a teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
5 nickel-size slices of ginger
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (I skipped)
Cooked white rice for serving
Chopped scallions or fresh cilantro leaves for garnish.

Combine all ingredients, except salt, rice and garnish, in slow cooker. Cover and cook until meat is very tender and falling from bone, 5 hours or more on high, 7 hours or more on low. Taste and add salt if necessary.

If you like, remove meat, strain liquid and refrigerate meat and liquid separately;
skim fat from liquid, and reheat with meat. Serve hot over white rice garnished
with scallions or cilantro.

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Holiday Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe Courtesy of Good Housekeeping (December 2006)
Yields: About 4 dozen cookies

Print PDF of recipe here.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1 cup raisins
1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350F. On waxed paper, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown and granulated sugars until creamy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually beat in flour mixture just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl. With spoon, stir in oats, raisins, and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by heaping measuring tablespoons, 2 inches apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet. Bake cookies 13 to 15 minutes or until tops are golden. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Repeat with remaining dough. Store cookies in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 1 week or in freezer up to 3 months.


Grilled-Chicken Caesar Salad

This version of the classic salad shows why it is a favorite across America. Recipe courtesy of Gourmet magazine.

Print PDF of recipe here.

1 1/2 lb skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, smashed
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 (10-oz) packages hearts of romaine
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 1/2 cups plain or flavored croutons

Special equipment: a well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan

Heat lightly oiled grill pan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Meanwhile, pat chicken dry and coat with 1 tablespoon oil, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grill chicken, turning over once, until just cooked through, 14 to 16 minutes total.

While chicken grills, blend garlic, lemon juice, mustard, anchovy paste, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a blender until combined. With motor running, add remaining 7 tablespoons oil in a slow stream, blending until emulsified.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Toss chicken with 2 tablespoons dressing in a large bowl. Add romaine, cheese, remaining dressing, and croutons and toss.

Makes 4 servings.


Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Print PDF of recipe here.

Recipe courtesy of Gourmet magazine.
In true Argentine and Uruguayan fashion, the steak is simply seasoned with salt and pepper, so the quality of the ingredients is particularly important. This is a well-marbled cut, which makes for a juicy and full-flavored grilled steak.

2 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
2 lb skirt steak (about three 1/2-inch-thick pieces)
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

Accompaniment: chimichurri sauce (see recipe below)

Prepare grill for cooking over direct heat with hot charcoal (high heat for gas; see "Grilling Procedure."

While grill is heating, coarsely crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or by wrapping them in a kitchen towel and pressing with bottom of a heavy skillet.

Pat steaks dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and crushed pepper, pressing to help adhere. Grill steaks on lightly oiled grill rack (covered only if using a gas grill), turning over once and moving around to avoid flare-ups if necessary, 6 to 8 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 5 minutes. Thinly slice steaks diagonally.

Cooks' notes:- Steaks can be grilled in a hot lightly oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan in batches over moderately high heat.
- If your sea salt is very coarse, lightly crush it with a mortar and pestle or the side of a large heavy knife.

Makes 4 servings.

Chimichurri Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Gourmet magazine.
This is the national condiment of both Argentina and Uruguay, and there are hundreds of versions. The sauce is also great with vegetables, especially grilled or fried tomatoes.

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced shallots (about 2 medium)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together all ingredients in a bowl.

Makes about 2/3 cup.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad

Print a PDF of this recipe here.

Courtesy of Italian Salads cookbook

Serves 4

2 balls of buffalo mozzarella, 5 oz. each
2 large rip tomatoes, roughly the same size as the balls of mozzarella
2 oz. fresh basil leaves
about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the mozzarella and tomatoes into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Arrange the tomato slices on a large plate and season with salt and pepper. Put a slice of mozzarella on each slice of tomato and top with a basil leaf. Tear up the remaining basil and scatter over the top. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil just before serving. This salad must be made at the last moment to prevent the tomatoes from weeping and the mozzarella from drying out. Serve at room temperature, never chilled, as this would kill the flavors.


Sweetnicks Golden Crispy Herbed Potatoes

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Using Yukon Gold, slice them pretty thinly. Put them in a single layer on a greased cookie sheet and drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and a smattering of herbs. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 or until slightly crispy. Delicious, and a perfect complement for the steak.


Monday, August 20, 2007
Stir-Fried Broccoli with Mustard Glaze

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1 tablespoon butter -- melted
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups broccoli florets -- 1 pound
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon water

Mix butter, brown sugar and mustard; set aside.

Heat oil in 10-inch skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add broccoli; stir-fry 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons water. Cover and cook about 3 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender.

Add butter mixture and 1 tablespoon water; toss until broccoli is coated.

Makes 4 servings (about 3/4 cup each)


Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

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October 2005 Supper Club, Recipe from Nan

These peppery-sweet potatoes are delicious with roasted meats. Cooking them at a high heat makes their interior tender just as the sugar-and-spice coating begins to caramelize and brown the outside.

6 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds)
Cooking spray
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 500°. Peel potatoes; cut each lengthwise into quarters. Place potatoes in a large bowl; coat with cooking spray. Combine sugar, salt, and peppers, and sprinkle over potatoes, tossing well to coat. Arrange potatoes, cut sides down, in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 500° for 10 minutes; turn wedges over. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 wedges)

CALORIES 153(2% from fat); FAT 0.4g (sat 0.1g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 2.4g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 31mg; SODIUM 166mg; FIBER 2.3g; IRON 0.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 35.5g


Sauteed Garlic Asparagus

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Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Yields: 4 servings (ha! I ate it all myself!)

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 bunch fresh asparagus
3 cloves garlic, chopped

Melt the butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and asparagus spears; cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until asparagus is tender. If you like your asparagus well done, reduce heat and cook an additional 10 minutes.


Salt, Vinegar and Cayenne Fries

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1 lb bag of frozen fries
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
vinegar (white, malt or cider) for sprinkling
olive oil for drizzling

Cook fries to package directions on a cookie sheet. Combine salt and cayenne. Remove fries and toss with spicy salt, seasoning to your taste. Sprinkle with vinegar and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

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Roasted Carrots

Print a PDF of this recipe here.

12 carrots
2 T good olive oil
1-1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 T minced fresh dill or parsley

Preheat the oven to 400. If the carrots are thick, cut them in half lengthwise; if not, leave whole. Slice carrots diagonally in 1-1/2 inch thick slices. (The carrots will shrink while cooking, so make the slices big). Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until lightly browned and tender. Toss the carrots with minced dill or parsley, season to taste and serve.


Potato and Lentil Stew

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Recipe courtesy of Jane Brody's Good Food Gourmet

1 cup lentils
4 cups water
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 - 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne or to taste
Salt to taste (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups canned chopped or crushed tomatoes
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp honey
Water, if necessary

In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, water, salt (if desired) and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to med-low, and simmer the lentils until they are just soft, about 30 minutes. Do not drain the lentils! Discard the bay leaf, then set the lentils aside.

In a large dutch oven or saucepan with a nonstick surface, heat the butter or margarine and oil briefly, and add the potatoes. Sprinkle them with the turmeric, cayenne, salt (if desired), and pepper. Cook the potatoes, tossing them, over medium heat, for about five minutes.

Add the tomatoes, the reserved lentils and their cooking liquid, the garam masala and the sugar or honey to the potatoes.

Cook the stew over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring the mixture from time to time and adding water if the stew seems to be too dry.

Sweetnicks' Notes: I usually serve this over rice with a dollop of sour cream and mango chutney on top, and hot, crusty bread on the side. Originally made and reviewed here.


Parmesan-Style Asparagus Bundles

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Cook asparagus in a covered skillet in 1 inch of boiling water for 5-7 minutes, until crisp-tender. Divide in bunches; roll a slice of prosciutto or other ham around each. Place in an oiled baking dish, dot with butter and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes until a golden crust forms. Serve.


Oven-Fries Italiano

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Recipe courtesy of Time Life's Fast, Fresh and Delicious cookbook
4 servings

4 large all-purpose potatoes, unpeeled
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon basil
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease the foil. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Melt the butter on the stovetop or microwave. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, oil, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and toss to coat well with the herbed butter. Arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan. Bake the potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until they are tender and golden. Twice during the cooking time, use a spatula to move the potatoes around to ensure even cooking.


Oven Fries

Print a PDF of this recipe here.

5 all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed and dried
extra virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon Monterey Steak seasoning
Salt, to your taste

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Cut potatoes into thin wedges and place on a cookie sheet. Coat potatoes in a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with herbs. Toss potatoes to coat evenly. Roast potatoes 25 minutes, until crisp and golden at edges. Season hot wedges with salt to your taste.

Sweetnicks Notes: Quick, easy and nice alternative to French Fries. Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray.


Melty Portobello Sandwiches

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Recipe courtesy of Penzeys.

6 ounces sliced portobello mushrooms
1 teaspoon your favorite seasoned salt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, sliced thin
2 slices provolone cheese
4 thick slices of bread (Texas Toast), toasted

Gently rinse and clean the mushrooms; pat dry. Place in a bowl and carefully toss with seasoned salt and 1 tablespoon oil. In a large fry pan, saute onions in 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium heat until brown, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Carefully place mushrooms in the pan flat side down (start the toast now). Fry for 2 minutes then gently turn each piece. Fry for another 30 seconds then arrange the mushrooms into 2 lots, roughly the shape of the toast. Top with a slice of provolone then cover the pan for about 30 seconds until the cheese is melted. Slide a spatula under the mushrooms, trying to keep the shape, and place on the toast. Top with onions and serve.

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Martita's Awesome Asparagus

Print a PDF of this recipe here.

Serves 4 (or just one asparagus lover!)

fat-free cooking spray
1 lb. asparagus spears, bottoms ends trimmed, cut into thirds
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic salt
freshly ground cracked pepper
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375. Spray baking sheet with fat-free cooking spray and place asparagus on sheet. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over asparagus. Sprinkle on cheese, garlic salt and pepper; toss well. Top with sliced red onion. Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy.


Indian Spinach and Chickpeas

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Recipe from November 2005 Supper Club

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
3/4 cup half-and-half
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add spices and cook until fragrant. Add yogurt, half-and-half, thawed spinach with its liquid, and drained chickpeas. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until heated through.


Indian Potato Salad

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3 pounds potatoes, cut in bite size chunks
2 T olive oil
2 T mustard seed
2 tsp coriander seed, crushed
1 tsp salt
½ cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 green onions, trimmed, sliced

Heat oven to 400. Toss together the potatoes, oil, mustard seed, crushed coriander and salt in roasting pan. Roast in oven for 35-45 minutes or until potatoes are light brown and fork tender. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, cilantro, salt and pepper. Toss together potatoes and dressing in bowl. Add green onion. Serve.

Sweetnicks Notes: Woman's Day magazine recipe, modified by Sweetnicks. Loved this one.


Healthy Black Bean Tostados

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Have all the ingredients ready before starting this easy recipe. Bake 4 tortillas in a 375 degree oven (directly on the rack, no baking sheet) until crisp, about 4 minutes. Carefully remove and place each one on a plate. Top with warmed canned refried black beans, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes (or your favorite salsa), avocado, corn and chopped scallions. Enjoy!

Sweetnicks' Notes: I also added a bit of sour cream and my Guacamole Cream to the top before serving. Originally made and reviewed here.


Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice, Currants, and Herbs

Print a PDF of this recipe here.

October 2005 Supper Club, Recipe from Nan

Make this dish the night before a gathering, refrigerate overnight, and serve at room temperature.

24 large grape leaves
Cooking spray
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 cup water
2 tablespoons dried currants
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
11/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
11/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
8 lemon wedges

Rinse grape leaves with cold water; drain well. Pat dry with paper towels. Remove stems; discard. Set aside. Set large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup chopped onion; cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice, green onions, and nuts; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in water and next 7 ingredients (through cinnamon); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Cool slightly.

Spoon 1 rounded tablespoon rice mixture onto center of each grape leaf. Fold one side of leaf over filling. Fold opposite side of leaf over filling. Beginning at 1 short side, roll up leaf tightly, jelly-roll fashion. Steam grape leaves, covered, 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Cool to room temperature. Serve with yogurt and lemon wedges.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 stuffed grape leaves, 1 tablespoon yogurt, and 1 lemon wedge)

CALORIES 88(12% from fat); FAT 1.8g (sat 0.2g,mono 0.4g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 2.7g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 72mg; SODIUM 500mg;

Joanne Weir Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2005

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Easy Cheesy Salsa Potatoes

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8 oz. (2 cups) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (24-oz.) pkg. (about 8 cups) frozen hash-brown potatoes, thawed
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish or pan. In large bowl, combine cheese, salsa, onion, sour cream, soup and pepper; mix well. Add potatoes; mix well. Spread in greased dish. In small bowl, combine bread crumbs and butter; mix well. Sprinkle over potatoes. Bake at 350°F. for 45 to 60 minutes or until cheese is melted and potatoes are tender.


Crustless Spinach-Cheddar Quiche

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2 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 (10 ounce) package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained (I used fresh)
1-1/2 cups (about 6 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
6 large egg whites
1 large egg
1/3 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375. Coat 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray and set aside. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add spinach and stir until moisture has evaporated, about 3 minutes longer. Sprinkle cheese evenly in prepared pie plate. Top with spinach mixture. In medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, egg, cottage cheese, red pepper, salt and nutmeg. Pour egg mixture evenly over spinach. Bake 30-40 minutes or until set. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve. (4 servings)


Cheesy Crunchy New Potatoes

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12 small new red potatoes
1 (0.4-ounce) package ranch dressing mix (recommended: Hidden Valley Original Ranch Buttermilk Recipe)
2 cups crushed Cheez-It crackers
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes, let cool slightly, and then peel. Mix the dressing mix and the crackers in a bowl. Dip the potatoes in melted butter, and then roll them in the cracker mixture. Place the potatoes in a greased baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.


Broccoli Rabe with Oil and Garlic

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1 bunch broccoli rabe
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
salt, hot sauce to taste
Wash the rabe and trim off any yellowed parts. Trim off the stalk ends, cutting at a sharp angle, and, again with the knife at a sharp angle, cut the stalks in thirds. (This last instruction is optional: many Italian restaurants serve the stalks whole, for the diners to cut at table.)

In a roomy heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, saute the rabe in the oil over high heat, tossing constantly with tongs, for a couple of minutes. When the rabe is all coated with the oil and has turned a brighter green, add in the garlic, hot pepper flakes (if using) and broth. Cover tightly, lower heat to medium-high, and cook for 4 minutes. Toss the rabe with the tongs and replace the cover and let them sit in their steam for another 5-10 minutes. Season to taste.


Barbecued Mushrooms with Feta (Gluten-Free)

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From delicious. Magazine Serves 4

300g fresh shiitake mushrooms, halved if large
200g swiss brown mushrooms, halved if large
300g oyster mushrooms, halved if large
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
150g mixed salad greens
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
75g reduced-fat feta, crumbled

Place the mushrooms in a bowl with the olive oil, garlic and 1/4 cup of the balsamic vinegar, and toss to coat mushrooms in the mixture. Heat a lightly oiled pan over high heat. When hot, add the mushrooms in batches and cook for 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally, until cooked all over. Place salad and parsley leaves in a bowl with the remaining tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, then toss to combine. Divide the salad among plates, then top with the mushrooms and feta.

Sweetnicks Notes: Instead of the different types of mushrooms, I used 4 large Portobello mushrooms that I had on hand.


Sweetnicks Spicy Sausage Pizza

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Spicy Sausage

2 pounds ground pork
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, crushed

Rest of Pizza:

1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
Cooking spray
5 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 3/4 of an 8 oz bag)
4 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained well
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients for spicy sausage in a large bowl. Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain. Preheat oven to 450°. Unroll dough onto large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Pat the dough out. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border, and top with sausage, basil, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pepper. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts.


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