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Monday, March 31, 2008

Martha's Favorite Tuna Salad Sandwich

12 ounces good-quality tuna, packed in oil, drained
2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 apple, such as McIntosh or Gala, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise, preferably Ojai Cook's Lemonaise Light
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 slices best-quality sourdough

Cooking Directions
In a medium bowl, combine tuna, celery, apple, mayonnaise, basil, and lemon juice; mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
On a work surface, divide tuna salad among 4 slices bread; top with remaining 4 slices bread. Serve.
Yield: 4 servings

Decadent Devilled Eggs

Hardboiled egg yolks are mixed with bacon, shallots, and white wine vinegar and piped back into the egg whites.

1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 large shallot, minced
6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and finely chopped
6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and split length-wise
1 heaping tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 drops Tabasco sauce or to taste Paprika, to garnish

In a medium-size bowl, mash the egg yolks with a fork. Add the bacon, shallot, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and Tabasco. If desired, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe the yolk mixture back into the egg whites. Or use a small spoon to fill the whites. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.
Makes 12 filled egg halves.

Crab Stuffed Devilled Eggs

1 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled
1 6-oz. can of real lump crab meat (drained)
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbs. yellow mustard ( I prefer Frenchs)
2 Tbs. mayonaisse
1 tsp. finely diced chives
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper if needed (taste first)


Cut eggs length wise and separate yolks into a small bowl. Arrange eggs on a platter. Put the crab meat into the yolks and break down. Depending on the size of the eggs you have you may need to adjust the amount of mayonnaise and yellow mustard. I used large eggs in this recipe. Add remaining ingredients except the paprika and combine well. Divide mixture evenly into the eggs. Sprinkle eggs with a little paprika for color and enjoy.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Asparacus Portobello Pasta

Asparagus and portabello mushrooms give this pasta a unique and full-bodied flavor.

2 (15-oz.) cans asparagus
1 (2.25-oz.) can sliced black olives
1/2 lb. fettuccini pasta
1 Tbl. olive oil
3 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 (8-oz.) can peas, drained
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Fill a large pot with water and the drained liquids of the asparagus and the olives; bring to a boil. Cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms, peas, and Italian seasoning until mushrooms are tender. In a blender or food processor, puree asparagus, black olives, tomato paste and Parmesan. Transfer to a small saucepan, and heat through over medium-low heat. Spoon asparagus sauce over fettuccini, and top with mushrooms and peas.

French Chicken -Low Fat Au Cog Vin

This is a French chicken dish cooked with vegetables, herbs and burgundy wine that is absolutely marvelous. Serve with hot cooked noodles, crusty French bread and a green salad, if desired.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 C. small whole fresh mushrooms
1 C. thinly sliced carrots
1 C. Burgundy wine
16 pearl onions, peeled
1 Tbs. bacon bits
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. dried marjoram, crushed
3/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 C. cold water
1/8 C. all-purpose flour

Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Sauté chicken over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on both sides. Add the mushrooms, carrot, wine, onions, bacon bits, parsley, garlic, marjoram, thyme, bouillon, pepper and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, mushrooms, carrot, and onions to a platter, discarding bay leaf; cover to keep warm and set aside. In a small bowl combine flour and water and whisk together. Stir mixture into skillet and cook until thick and bubbly, 5-10 minutes. Cook and stir 1 minute more and pour mixture over chicken and veggies. Serve warm.

Lite Tuna Sandwich

This is the way to have tuna... refreshing, zinging, creamy and sooo tasty. You will really enjoy this fish full of fun.. Kids love it too! Serve it up with toast points, field greens, or pita bread for that lunch on the go!

2 C. tuna (canned is fine, in water)
1/2 C. cranraisins
1/4 C. celery (chopped)
1/4 C. almonds (sliced)
1 small granny smith apple (chopped)
2 Tbs. sweet onion or scallion (chopped small)
1/3 C. mayonnaise
kosher salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together; fold mayonnaise in last. Be sure to coat all ingredients well.
Add toast, greens, or pita if desired.

Creamy Ham Macroroni Bake

Macaroni can be mixed with a lot of tasty ingredients, ham tastes great baked with macaroni along with other delicious ingredients.

1 7 oz. pkg. elbow macaroni (2 C. uncooked)
2 Tbs. margarine
3 Tbs. flour
1 Tsp. salt, if desired
1 Tsp. parsley flakes
3/4 Tsp. dry mustard
3 Tbs. dry bread crumbs
1 (6 oz.) jar Mushrooms
1/4 Tsp. pepper
2 C. milk
2 1/2 C. shredded American cheese
2 C. diced ham
1 10 Oz. pkg. frozen asparagus cuts thawed, drained
1 10.5 oz. can of Asparagus drained can be substituted for frozen Asparagus

Prepare macaroni as package directs; Drain and set aside. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large saucepan, melt margarine. Stir in flour, salt, parsley flakes, dry mustard and pepper. Blend in milk; Cook stirring continually until thick and bubbly. Add cheese; Stir until melted. Add cooked macaroni, ham, asparagus and mushrooms; Mix well. Pour into buttered 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Avocado Chicken Wrap

Marinated chicken and vegetables are rolled in a flour tortilla with avocado and homemade avocado mayo.

1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
1/3 C. olive oil
1 Tbs. sugar
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large green bell pepper, quartered
1 large red bell pepper, quartered
1 large purple onion, cut into
3/4-inch-thick slices
2 large avocados, peeled and sliced
8 (10-inch) flour tortillas

Avocado Mayonnaise:
2 small avocados
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil

Whisk together first 6 ingredients. Place chicken breasts in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; pour half of vinegar mixture over chicken. Place bell pepper, onion, and avocado in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; pour remaining vinegar mixture over vegetables. Seal bags, and chill at least 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Remove chicken and vegetables from marinades, discarding marinades. Grill chicken and vegetables, covered with grill lid, over medium- high heat (350* to 400*F / 175* to 205*C) 20 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once. Remove vegetables from grill when done. Cool; cut chicken and vegetables into strips. For mayo: Peel avocados, and mash in a small bowl; stir in mayonnaise and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill. Spread tortillas with Avocado Mayonnaise. Place chicken and vegetables on tortillas; roll up. Cut in half diagonally. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Makes about 1 1/2 C.

Avocado Chicken Wrap

Marinated chicken and vegetables are rolled in a flour tortilla with avocado and homemade avocado mayo.

1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
1/3 C. olive oil
1 Tbs. sugar
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large green bell pepper, quartered
1 large red bell pepper, quartered
1 large purple onion, cut into
3/4-inch-thick slices
2 large avocados, peeled and sliced
8 (10-inch) flour tortillas

Avocado Mayonnaise:
2 small avocados
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil

Whisk together first 6 ingredients. Place chicken breasts in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; pour half of vinegar mixture over chicken. Place bell pepper, onion, and avocado in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; pour remaining vinegar mixture over vegetables. Seal bags, and chill at least 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Remove chicken and vegetables from marinades, discarding marinades. Grill chicken and vegetables, covered with grill lid, over medium- high heat (350* to 400*F / 175* to 205*C) 20 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once. Remove vegetables from grill when done. Cool; cut chicken and vegetables into strips. For mayo: Peel avocados, and mash in a small bowl; stir in mayonnaise and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill. Spread tortillas with Avocado Mayonnaise. Place chicken and vegetables on tortillas; roll up. Cut in half diagonally. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Makes about 1 1/2 C.

Grilled Portobella's Sauteed In White Wine.

Try this wonderful recipe for grilled Portobello that are sautéed in a white wine sauce.

4 Portobello mushroom caps
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 C. white wine

Preheat grill for high heat. Place mushrooms onto the grill, smooth side up. Grill until they start to soften, about 10 minutes. Turn over, and grill on the other side for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, and fry for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Remove mushrooms to a cutting board, and slice. Place into the skillet, and increase the heat to high. Cook for about a minute, and then pour in the wine. Continue to cook and stir until the wine is nearly evaporated. Remove from heat, and serve.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Orange Chocolate Banana Bread

Just when you thought there was nothing better than chocolate, this fruit and chocolate bread comes along.
3 C. flour
1-1/2 C. white sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 tsp. orange extract
3/4 C. orange juice
4 heaping Tbs. sour cream 6 or 7 oz. Baking chocolate, melted (I use bittersweet) 3-4 very ripe bananas (2 C. banana puree)

Preheat oven to 325 F. Combine dry ingredients.
In another bowl, combine beaten eggs, oil, orange extract, orange juice and sour cream.
Make a well in center of dry ingredients and mix in liquid ingredients.
In small bowl, mash bananas with fork.
Continue bananas with hand mixer until pureed and as smooth as possible
Add to batter; do not over-mix. Gently mix in melted chocolate and incorporate until evenly blended.
NOTE: Start with six oz. And if you like darker flavor/color, add other oz.
Pour into greased loaf pans.
Bake 50-55 minutes, until pick comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes in pan, remove to cooling rack.
Wrap in plastic when cool and serve the following day.

Blueberry Banana Bread

This is a great twist on a basic bread.
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. sugar 1 egg, beaten
1/2 C. vegetable oil 1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 C. mashed bananas 1 C. fresh blueberries
1/2 C. chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine egg, oil, and vanilla extract and mix. Add to dry ingredients.
Fold in bananas and blueberries and mix well. Add nuts and mix.
Pour into a greased loaf pan and cook at about 1 hour.
Allow bread to cool before slicing.

Banana Cream Cheese Bread

The cream cheese add flavor and moisture to this regular banana bread.
1 C. sugar 1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. mashed ripe bananas
2 eggs
2 C. buttermilk biscuit mix
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (can use pecans)

Cream sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in banana and eggs.
Add biscuit mix and pecans. Pour into a greased and floured 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done.
Cool before slicing.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Rosemary Lamb Chop

A light and delicious lamb preparation with rosemary, white wine, and teriyaki.

1/2 C. Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
1 Tbs. dry white wine
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 clove garlic, minced
4 lamb shoulder, arm or blade chops, each about 1/2 to 3/4 in. thick

Combine teriyaki marinade & sauce, wine, rosemary and garlic; pour over lamb chops in large plastic food storage bag. Press air out of bag; close top securely. Refrigerate 45 minutes, turning bag over occasionally. Reserving marinade, remove chops and place on grill 4 to 5 inches from hot coals. Cook 5 minutes on each side (for medium-rare), or to desired doneness, turning over and brushing occasionally with reserved marinade. (Or, place lamb chops on rack of broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat 5 to 6 minutes on each side [for medium-rare]; brush with reserved marinade after turning over.)Cuts of lamb such as steaks or chops are great on the grill. Grill about 4 inches from the coals or heat on a gas grill and they'll take about 15 minutes total or a little longer for medium well.

Easter-Lemon Coconut Meringue Pie

To make the toasted coconut for the meringue, spread flaked coconut on a baking sheet and bake on the center rack of a 350°F oven, stirring often around the edges, until light golden, about ten minutes.

1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large egg yolk
3 Tbs. (about) ice water

1 C. sugar
2 Tbs. cornstarch
6 large egg yolks
4 large eggs
3/4 C. fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces Meringue
6 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/3 C. powdered sugar
1 C. sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted

For crust: Blend flour, coconut, and salt in processor. Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg yolk and 2 Tbs. ice water in small bowl to blend. Add to processor and blend until mixture begins to clump together, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 2 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.) Roll out dough on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 10-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Fold overhang under; crimp decoratively. Pierce crust all over with fork; freeze 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is set, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake until crust is pale golden, about 15 minutes longer. Cool completely on rack. For filling: Preheat oven to 300°F. Whisk sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Whisk in yolks, whole eggs, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and just begins to boil around edges, about 6 minutes. Add butter; whisk until smooth. Cool 10 minutes. Pour warm filling into crust. For meringue: Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl until foamy. Add cream of tartar and 1 Tbs. powdered sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining sugar, 1 Tbs. at a time, then beat until stiff glossy peaks form, about 7 minutes. Gently fold 3/4 C. toasted coconut into meringue. Spread coconut meringue over warm filling, covering completely, sealing meringue to crust edges and mounding in center. Bake pie 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 275°F; bake 30 minutes longer. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 C. toasted coconut over pie; continue to bake until meringue is light golden brown and set when pie is shaken slightly, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely, about 4 hours. (This can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered.)

Makes 10 servings.

Easter Ham Pie

Spinach, cheeses and fresh basil make this the perfect pie for your Easter table.

2 9" pastry crusts
8 oz. thin sliced ham
5 oz. frozen spinach, thawed
3 eggs at room temperature
2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
15 oz. Ricotta cheese
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. chopped basil leaves
Lemon pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line pie pan with 1 crust. Sauté peppers and ham in olive oil for 3 minutes and season with pepper. Whisk 2 eggs and ricotta in large bowl. Spread mixture into pie crust. On paper towels, pat spinach dry - then scatter on top of mixture. Sprinkle peppers and ham over spinach and top with mozzarella then basil leaves. Cover with second pie crust and trim edges. Cut vents in top of crust and brush top with 1 beaten egg. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown. Let set about 15 minutes before serving.

Easter-Curry Egg Spread

This creamy eggs salad is perfect for your Easter brunch.

1 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 Tbs. Half & Half, cream or milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

In small bowl, beat cream cheese and Half & Half until smooth. Add seasonings; beat until blended. Stir in eggs; cover and chill to blend flavors. Spread on crackers or cocktail rye bread as an appetizer. Use as a sandwich filling or as a stuffing for tomatoes or celery sticks.

Easter-Cream Cheese and Ham-Asparacus Rolled Up

This is a unique way of making an appetizer without bread. Take you piece of sliced ham and spread some softened cream cheese on it, then to top it off add an asparagus spear and roll.

1 1-lb. pkg. of sliced ham
2 cans of asparagus spears
1 brick of cream cheese, softened

Dry each slice of ham and dry it of the watery juices. Drain asparagus. Lay ham out on a flat surface, spread a thin layer of cream cheese on top, and then lay a spear of the asparagus on the cream cheese. Roll.

Easter-Phyllo Triangles with Devilled Ham and Cheese

Forget the sandwich and use phyllo dough for a tasty lunch or finger-food appetizer.

12 sheets phyllo dough
100% vegetable oil non-stick spray
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
4 oz. deli ham, minced (about 1/2 C.)
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed into 12 equal pieces


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer 4 sheets of phyllo, spraying each with vegetable oil spray. Cut layered phyllo in four slices crosswise. Place 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard about 1 1/2-inch from end of a phyllo strip. Top with 1 Tbs. ham and one cube of cream cheese. Fold one corner diagonally across to opposite edge to form a triangle. Continue folding triangle onto itself. Spray top and bottom of triangle with vegetable oil spray. Repeat until you have 12 triangles. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes

Monday, March 17, 2008

St.Patty's-Stuffed Green Pepper and Corn Beef

These stuffed peppers are rumored to be the favorite breakfast of President Reagan.

3 medium potatoes, cooked
1 large onion, diced
3 medium tomatoes
1 can corned beef
4 bell peppers
4 eggs
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Brown onions and potatoes in oil. Add tomatoes, corned beef, salt, pepper and enough warm water to keep from burning. Simmer for 20 minutes. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers. Clean out seeds and remove center core. Parboil in salted water until tender limp. Drain. Fill peppers almost to the top with corned beef mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Five minutes before serving, drop raw egg on top of each pepper. Return to the oven until egg has set.

Crockpot=Apple and Brown Sugar Corned Beef

1 corned beef brisket
1 quart apple juice
1 C. brown sugar
1 Tbs. prepared mustard
8 small red potatoes
2 medium carrots, pared and cut into chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut into eights
1/2 head cabbage, cut into chunks


Place all ingredients in large crock pot (cut meat in half if necessary). Stir to mix. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low. Remove meat and vegetables and some of the cooking liquid. Slice meat thinly across the grain. Serve with the vegetables and some of the liquid. Use left over corn beef the next day.....layer in crock pot with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. Warm and serve on rye bread with 1000 Island dressing!

St.Patty's- Corned Beef Pie

Perfect for a Christmas morning brunch, or breakfast for dinner!

1 15 1/2-oz. can corned beef hash
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
2 eggs, beaten
1 4-oz. container whipped cream cheese with chives
1 C. small curd cottage cheese
1/4 C. onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine corned beef and onion and put in bottom of pie shell. In a medium bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add remaining ingredients to eggs and blend well. Pour over corned beef mixture. Bake for 50 minutes. Serve warm

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lousiana- Peeled Shrimp

These are delicious and addictive little buggers. Serve them with baguettes and lemon wedges.

1 1/2 lb. large shrimp, 21 to 25 per lb.
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. black pepper
4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

7 wooden skewers, 12-inch


Snip shells of shrimp with scissors down middle of back, leaving the tail and first segment of shell intact. Make an incision along length of back where shells are cut and devein, leaving shells in place. Leaving the shells on will prevent the shrimp from becoming tough on outside when grilled. Toss shrimp with oil, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. salt and marinate at cool room temperature 15 minutes.

While shrimp marinate, prepare the grill for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill, then light charcoal. Charcoal fire is medium-hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3-4 seconds. If using a gas grill, preheat burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-high.

Heat butter, chili powder, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt in a small heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until butter is melted, then remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Thread 4 or 5 shrimp onto each skewer and grill, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, until just cooked through, 3-4 minutes total. Push shrimp off skewers into a bowl, then pour butter mixture over them and toss to combine well.

Note: Shrimp can be broiled on a broiler pan 6 inches from heat, turning over once, about 6 minutes total.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

St.Patty's Special-Sweet Potatoes and Wild Mushroom Lamb Stew

A delicious combination of ingredients with the interesting touch of pumpkin seeds.

Olive oil
3 lbs. lamb shoulder, cut into 2-in. pieces
1 onion, diced
2 Tbs. garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C. flour
4 oz. unsalted butter
1 C. red wine
3 C. veal stock
1 Tbs. dijon mustard
2 C. wild mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-in. pieces
1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-in. pieces
2 Tbs. fresh thyme
1/2 C. pumpkin seeds, toasted

In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat oil. Add the lamb and sauté until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove lamb to a plate. Add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the butter and melt. Add the flour to make a roux. Lower the heat and cook the roux until it is brown, about 15 minutes. Whisk in the wine and stock and raise the heat to medium high. Add in the reserved lamb. Add the mustard. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until liquid is lightly reduced and thick. In a separate sauté pan, sauté the mushrooms until wilted. Add the mushrooms to the stew. Add the potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add the thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds. Yield: 6-8 servings

St.Patty's Special-Chicken and Dumplings

Lots of potatoes add sustenance and substance to this dumpling dish.

2 10 3/4 oz. cans condensed cream of chicken soup
3 C. water
1 C. chopped celery
2 onions, quartered
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breast halves
5 carrots, sliced
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen green peas
4 potatoes, quartered
3 C. baking mix
1 1/3 C. milk

In large, heavy pot, combine soup, water, chicken, celery, onion, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat about 1 1/2 hours. Add potatoes and carrots; cover and cook another 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot, shred it, and return to pot. Add peas and cook only 5 minutes longer. Add dumplings.

To make dumplings: Mix baking mix and milk until a soft dough forms. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto boiling stew. Simmer covered for 10 minutes, then uncover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

St.Patty'sSpecial-Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage

This classic Irish dish is the perfect meal to serve on St. Patrick's Day to really celebrate. It's also a hearty dish any other day of the year.

1 3-4 lb. corned brisket of beef
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cloves, whole
2 bay leaves
6 potatoes, small to medium, pared
6 carrots, small, pared
6 onions, small, pared
1 cabbage, medium, cut in wedges

Place brisket in a Dutch oven and barely cover with hot water; add onion, garlic, cloves and bay leaves. Cover and simmer (do not boil) 1 hour per lb. of meat, or until fork tender. Remove meat from liquid; add potatoes and carrots and cover. Bring to boiling and cook 10 minutes. Then add cabbage wedges and whole onions and continue cooking 20 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Serve.

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St.Patrick's Day Special-Irish Lamb and Barley Soup

Serve this hearty soup with the traditional Irish Soda Bread.

1 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 1/2 lbs. meaty lamb neck bones
10 C. water
1/2 small cabbage, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 large rutabaga, peeled, diced
2/3 C. pearl barley, rinsed
3 Tbs. instant beef bouillon
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/16 tsp. ground all spice
Black pepper

Heat oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over a high heat. Add lamb bones and sauté until dark brown for about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium temperature. Simmer and stir occasionally until the lamb, barley and all the vegetables are tender and the soup is thick. Cooking time is about 2 hours. Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and black pepper.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Drunken Chicken

The whole chicken looks kind pretty humorous perched upon its beer can throne, but the final product is a delicious, moist bird that's always a hit at cookouts.

Start with your beer at room temperature. The right brand seems to be a hot debate among my friends. Some insist on light beer .

1 whole frying chicken
1 can, 12 oz. beer

1/2 C fresh lemon or lime juice
1/2 C fresh orange juice
1/3 C olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 C minced cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 - 1 minced, seeded jalapeño pepper (more or less depending on how much heat you like)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all marinade ingredients together. Place chicken in a large plastic zipper bag and pour in the marinade, squeeze excess air from the bag and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat grill to medium-hot temperature. Place a roasting pan on the grill, open a can of beer and carefully sit the chicken on top of the open can and set both the can and the chicken in the roasting pan on the grill (make sure you have previously removed the chicken's gizzards). The beer will bubble and boil during cooking, basting the bird from the inside. Brush bird with reserved marinade every 20 minutes or so. Bird should be cooked in about an hour, or however long it takes the breast meat to register 180° F on a meat thermometer.

Casserole-Curry Chicken And BrownRice

So easy to make and freezes wonderfully as well.

1 C. water
1 8 oz. can stewed tomatoes
3/4 C. quick-cooking brown rice
1/2 C. raisins
1 Tbs. lemon juice
3 tsp. curry powder
1 cube chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf (optional)
3/4 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, stir together water, stewed tomatoes, brown rice, raisins, lemon juice, curry powder, bouillon, ground cinnamon, salt, garlic, and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil; then stir in chicken. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish. Cover, and bake in the preheated oven 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and chicken juices run clear.

Crockpot-Savory Pot Roast

was inspired by my like for lightening up a dish when a hearty base is being used. This dish is wonderful served along side home-made dumplings.

2 1/2 lb. sirlion bottom roast(tri-tip), trimmed
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 pkg. leek dry soup mix
1 1/4 C. chicken broth
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 celery stock(with leafy parts), sliced 1/4 inch


Combine soup, dry soup mix, broth, onion and celery. Stir until mixed well. Spoon about one half cup of the sauce mix into the crock pot to coat the bottom. Next place meat into pot and cover with remaining sauce mixture. Cook on low for 6 1/2 - 8 hours or on high for 4 1/2 - 6 hours.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Casserole- Mushroom and Chicken

This easy chicken dish is simple to throw together but a classic staple in any chef's repertoire. A delicious casserole dish!

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approximately 4 pieces)
Black pepper
1-2 can(s) cream of mushroom soup

De-fat and wash chicken. Lightly season both sides of chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic. Pour can of mushroom soup into medium bowl. Refill can with milk, and add milk to bowl. Lightly season soup mixture with salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir until well mixed.

Coat baking dish with cooking spray (makes for easier cleanup). Place chicken in baking dish, and cover well with soup mixture (if you're using a large dish or big chicken breasts, use 2 cans of soup & milk). Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until the center of the chicken is no longer pink. Serve hot with white rice (for the "gravy") and peas for a smash hit!

Casserole-Lemon Chicken and Rice

Try this nice chicken and rice casserole with a lemony flavor. This is a great meal to cook for the whole family.

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can chicken broth
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt, optional
1 1/2 C. uncooked instant rice
1 C. frozen peas

In a skillet, cook the first 4 ingredients in butter for 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. In a bowl combine cornstarch, broth, lemon juice and salt if desired until smooth. Add to skillet and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add rice and peas. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Yield: 6 Servings.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Daily Meal Planners-Meatballs and Tortellini Soup

Wednesday- Savoury

4 C. chicken stock, low sodium
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1/2 C. sweet bell pepper,(red, green and yellow), chopped
1 C. celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 C. zucchini, diced
1 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 C. Italian parsley, chopped
2 C. canned tomatoes,chopped and undrained
1 lb. frozen mini meatballs
2 tsp. season salt
1 8-oz. pkg. 3-cheese tortellini
2 Tbs. grated parmesan

Place all ingredients except meatballs, tortellini and Parmesan, in a large pot. On high heat, bring to boil, about 10 minutes. Add tortellini and meatballs and turn heat down to medium and simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until pasta and veggies are tender. Take off heat. Gently stir in 2 Tbs. parmesan cheese. Serve garnished with slices of pepperoni and fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and garlic bread.

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Daily Meal Planners-Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Pork


Soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger and brown sugar make up this delicious Asian-inspired dish.

2 lb. lean pork tenderloin, or other cut of pork, cubed
3 Tbs. soy sauce or teriyaki sauce
1/4 C. cider vinegar
1 small red onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, cut in slices or chunks
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 C. packed dark brown sugar
2 green bell peppers, cut into strips

In crockpot mix pork with cornstarch. Then mix in remaining ingredients except green pepper and tomatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in green pepper and tomatoes. Cook on high for 10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Daily Meal Planners-Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Herbs


You can also use this recipe to make sqaghetti squash lasagna!

Spaghetti squash, cooked
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes, drained
1 Tbs. chopped fresh or frozen basil
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
2-3 Tbs. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Sauté the garlic in the oil until it's softened but not burned. Chop the tomatoes (I usually squish them in my hand over the pot). Add them along with the herbs to the garlic and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes. Ladle this on the squash and top with freshly grated parmesan for a light dinner.

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