Saturday, May 31, 2008

Italian Pasta Bolognese

Italian Pasta Bolognese

1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound ground beef
1 cup canned low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white grape juice or apple juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 pound spaghetti or other pasta
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

In a large frying pan, heat the bacon over moderately low
heat. Cook until the bacon renders some of its fat, about 3 minutes.
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to
soften, about 3 minutes longer. Stir in the ground beef and cook
until the meat is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Add the broth,
juice, tomato paste, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer, stirring
occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 25 minutes. Stir in the
cream and remove from the heat.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until
just done, about 12 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce and the

Photos from the weekend

Our Favorite Marinara Sauce

Heat in a Large Skillet

1/2 C Olive Oil
4 garlic cloves crushed ( saute until browned )
1 28 oz can crushed Tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Oregano
1/4 t chopped parsley
1/8 t pepper

Cook over medium heat until olive oil is fully incorporated Stirring Occasionally.

Italian Meatball Sandwich

2 pound lean ground beef and 1 pound of mild italian sausage (out of its casing and ground)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 eggs
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (Italian variety works well)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk
Mix meats in a large mixing bowl thoroughly. Mix in eggs,milk, bread crumbs, cheese,garlic, salt and pepper. Saute onion in oil in skillet over medium heat. When onions go glassy, add them to your meat mixture. Form into balls - size of your inside palm.. (Wet your hands just a bit for easier rolling). Or Use a large cookie scoop. I then broil the meatballs intil done approx 13 minutes.

Split your ciabatta or mini-baguettes. You may want to spread them lightly with olive oil and grill the inside surfaces very quickly on extremely high heat - to give them color and help them stand up to the meatballs and sauce. Spoon meatballs down center of bottom half bread; spread your favorite marinara over the meatballs; grated mozzerlla cheese add cover with top bread half and serve You may want to halve these hearty sandwiches for the messy eater in us all! Makes 10 to 12 portions

Chicken Enchiladas

6 large Chicken Breasts
1 med. Yellow onion chopped
1Tbl. oil
1 8oz pkg cream cheese(can be fat free)
2 C. Shredded Cheddar or Jack Cheese
1 small can diced green chilies
1 can of reduced fat cream of chicken soup
1 can of Chicken Broth (optional)
2 small cans of mild green chili enchilada sauce
Flour or corn tortillas

Cook chicken and onions in 1 Tbl oil. Add Cream Cheese and cream of chicken soup, green chilies and stir until cream cheese is melted and blended well. Add Chicken broth to get your desired consistency (I rarely use a full can)Warm tortillas in Microwave and fill top with shredded cheese and roll up. Place in a 9x13 baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam and a thin layer of enchilada Sauce on the bottom. Place rolled enchiladas in pan cover with enchilada sauce and top with shredded cheese. ( You can package and freeze at this point) Bake at 350 * for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Apple Crisp

This Apple Crisp Restaurant Dessert Recipe has been requested by many

Preparation time: 30 minutes. The apple crisp recipe serves 12.

2 to 2 1/2 pounds of sliced Granny Smith apples, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 1/3 teaspoon of flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Ingredients for Topping:
3/4 cup of old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup flour
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F Butter an 8 X 11 inch baking dish (use glass or stainless steel for best results) Combine apples, sugar, lemon juice, flour and cinnamon in a bowl Mix well to blend Transfer to baking dish Mix old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl Add butter and rub into mixture until coarse crumbs form Mix in walnuts Spread topping onto apple mixture Place in oven and bake until topping is golden brown and apples are tender (about 35-40 minutes)
YUMMY! Some customers even order this for their breakfast! It is a best restaurant dessert recipe.

Great served with Vanilla icecream and carmel sauce

Carmel Sauce

Caramel Sauce
from Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats who got it from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody who got it from Baking: From My Home to Yours

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, stir just to combine the ingredients and then put the pan over medium-high heat. Heat, without stirring , until the caramel turns deep amber., 5-10 minutes. Lower the heat a bit and, standing back from the saucepan add the cream and butter. When the spatters are less vehement, stir to calm down the caramel and dissolve any lumps. Let cool slightly before serving.

Oat Bread

This bread recipe is a family favorite. You can adjust the flours to use 100% whole wheat if you prefer.
Oat Bread
(Printable Version)
1 C.Oats
2 C.Boiling Water
1/3 C. warm water with 2T yeast (activate yeast)
1/2 C. Honey
1 T salt
2 T melted butter
1 ½ C. Wheat Flour
3 C. White Flour

In Mixing Bowl add oats and Boiling water to soak and soften. While still warm add honey , salt ,butter and yeast mixture. Mix together and then add flours continue mixing until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Let rise until double.
Spray 2 loaf pans with Pam and dust with oatmeal.
Put dough in pans lightly drizzle with honey and oatmeal. Let rise until dough reaches the top of pan . Bake in preheated 350* oven for 30-40 min.
My Family likes this bread with cinnamon honey butter. Combine 1 Cup of softened butter with 1/2 C. Honey and 1 tsp of cinnamon.


Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

This Is A Bread Machine Recipe

4 tbsp Melted butter
4 tbsp Water
1/2 Box ( 3.4 oz size )instant vanilla pudding
1 c Milk
1 Egg
1 tbp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
3 C Bread flour
2 1/2 tsp yeast

Fill with:
1/2 C Softened butter
1 C Brown sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon


ROLLS: Place ingredients in machine following the specifications of that particular machine.Set for dough cycle.After complete on dough cycle, remove from machine & roll out to 17 x 10 (approx) rectangle.

FILLING: Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread softened butter over dough. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over top. Roll tightly from long end, pinching edges closed when completely rolled. Slice rolled dough into 1/2" slices (or larger if a larger bun is preferred ). Place into greased cake pans. Can usually get 19-20 buns from this. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 for 15 -20 minutes, until golden. Do not over bake.

FROST with:
4 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/4 C butter (softened)
1 1/2 C confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp milk

SPREAD on very warm rolls. They are best when eaten fresh, but have found that 10-15 seconds in the microwave rejuvenates them!

Chicken Pot Pie

FROM: - Southern Living Do-Ahead Cookbook

Chicken Pot Pie
(printable version)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery ( I omit celery and use pkg. of frozen peas and carrots)
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup diced potatoes, cooked until just tender, drained(I don't use potatoes)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
4 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon shortening
1/3 to 1/2 cup cold water
Sauté first 3 ingredients in butter in a skillet over medium heat until tender. Add flour; stir until smooth. Add potatoes. Cook 1-minute stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and half-and-half; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken, peas, salt, and pepper.
TO PREPARE PASTRY - Mix flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour until the size of peas. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix gently.
Divide Basic Pastry into 8 equal portions. Roll portions of pastry to 10-inch circles on a floured surface. Place in four 6-inch disposable pie pans. Divide chicken mixture over pastry in pans. Roll remaining 4 portions of circles over filling; fold edges under and flute. Cut slits in tops to allow steam to escape.
TO FREEZE - Cover tightly and freeze up to 1 month.
TO SERVE - Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until crust is brown and filling hot.
NOTE - You can double this recipe and they will last for a couple of months in the freezer.
Makes four - 6-inch individual servings

Chicken Lo Mein

Serves: 4
4 ounces spaghetti or fettuccine
1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/2 cup snow peas, cut in thirds diagonally
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain. Combine broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, and orange juice concentrate in a medium bowl. Coat a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat until hot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, or until fragrant. Add the peppers and onions, still stirring. Cook for 5 minutes, or until onions are soft but not brown. Toss in the chicken. Cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink. Add the snow peas, pasta, and broth mixture. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute. Sprinkle with scallions.

To Freeze: Cool and pack into plastic container. Freeze. To use, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Place in skillet. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until hot.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sweet Pork Salad

This recipe tastes just as good as Cafe Rio and Costa Vidas Versions
(Printable Version)

8 lbs. pork (can be roast, tenderloin, etc.)

4 8oz. canned tomato sauce
2 (8oz) can El Pato spicy mexican tomato sauce
2 c. brown sugar

Mix sauce ingredients and pour over pork in slow cooker. Cook on low for one 8-10 hours. One hour before serving, shred meat and put back in slow cooker in sauce. Can keep on warm for several hours.

Cafe Rio House Dressing

Buttermilk ranch packet (make as per directions)
3 tomatillos
1 C. cilantro chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix in blender / Chill

To make the Pork Salad:

Grill in a skillet individual tortillas topped with cheese until cheese melts.
Place on the tortilla the following ingredients:

• glob of spanish rice or cafe rio rice (below)
• glob of cooked, seasoned black beans
• glob of the cooked sweet pork
• cover with lettuce
• top with tortilla strips
• dab of sour cream
• dab of guacamole
• lime wedge (to look authentic)

Cafe Rio Rice option 1
4 tsp chicken bouillon
2 tsp garlic (freshly minced or chopped)
½ bunch cilantro
¾ tsp salt
1 Tbs. butter
2 cups rice
4cups water
the juice of 2 limes

Blend all ingredients in blender then put in pan; add 4 cups water and bring a boil; add 2 cups rice and simmer 30 min.

1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth ad enough water to make 2 cups of liquid
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

Honey Roasted Chicken

Serves 4

The honey is brushed onto the chicken during the last 10 minutes of roasting and it gives just a hint of sweetness to the skin.

Whole chicken, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan.

3. Melt a half of a stick of butter in a small saucepan. Drizzle the butter over the chicken a little bit at a time, rubbing and turning the chicken so it's evenly coated on every side. (Go easy on the butter because you'll use any butter that remains in the saucepan. And don't put the pan in the sink because you'll reuse it to melt the honey.) Sprinkle salt over the bird but don't use more than 1 or 2 teaspoons.

4. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, and then flip the bird and roast for another 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, pour honey into the saucepan and heat over low heat until thin enough to drizzle over the chicken. With a pastry brush, or even a clean sheet of paper towel, brush the honey over the bird. Roast for another 10 to 15 minutes. If you want to use a meat thermometer, insert it into the thigh at the widest part but don't allow the tip to touch the bone in the thigh. The bird is done when meat is 170 degrees F.

6. Pull the bird from the oven and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Printable Recipe)
1/2 C. softened butter
1/2 C. stick shortening
3/4 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 pkg chocolate chips

Cream butter, shortening ,brown sugar and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt and soda. Add chocolatechips and 1 cup of nuts if you like them. Bake at 375* for approx. 11 minutes... (I use a medium scoop and get 3 dozen cookies ) If you prefer chocolate chocolate chip cookies simply omit 1/2 C. flour and use 1/2 C. Cocoa instead.