Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese

 Holiday/Entertaining, Vegetables, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese
Feb 022015
 

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned, dried, trimmed, and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 (8-inch) white or whole wheat tortillas
  • 4 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 ounce baby spinach leaves
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Set a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add oil and ½ tablespoon butter; once melted, swirl to coat pan.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately five minutes or until mushrooms give off liquid.
  4. Increase heat to high and stir frequently until liquid has completely evaporated.
  5. Add remaining ½ tablespoon butter to pan, and stir and cook until mushrooms are tender and browned, about five minutes more.
  6. Add garlic to pan and stir constantly for about 30 seconds, or until garlic becomes aromatic but not too dark.
  7. Season mushrooms with salt and freshly ground black pepper and transfer to a plate, draining on a paper towel if they seem too oily.
  8. Lay out two tortillas on a cutting board.
  9. Sprinkle EACH tortilla with 1 ounce of shredded cheese, ½ ounce spinach, ½ of the cooked mushrooms, ½ of the sliced avocado, and final 1 ounce of shredded cheese.
  10. Lay the remaining tortillas on top.
  11. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  12. Transfer an assembled quesadilla onto the skillet.
  13. Cook for a couple of minutes, occasionally lifting edge of quesadilla to check color of underside, until tortilla begins to turn golden and cheese starts to melt.
  14. Carefully flip quesadilla over and cook for another couple of minutes or until cheese is fully melted.
  15. Remove hot quesadilla to a plate and repeat with second quesadilla.
  16. Alternatively, you may cook both quesadillas at the same time on a flat griddle.
  17. Slice each quesadilla into 6 wedges and serve hot.

 

Feta & Spinach Couscous Patties

 Easy Recipes, Holiday/Entertaining, Side Dish, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Feta & Spinach Couscous Patties
Feb 022015
 

Feta & Spinach Couscous Patties
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅔ cup whole-wheat couscous
  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅔ cup shredded seeded cucumber
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup silken tofu
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups sliced or torn green leaf lettuce
  • Grape tomatoes, halved, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from the heat.
  3. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Combine yogurt, cucumber, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and salt in a small bowl.
  5. Mash tofu with a fork in a large bowl.
  6. Add spinach, feta, dill, onion, pepper, the remaining ½ teaspoon garlic powder and the couscous; stir until well combined.
  7. Form into 8 patties, using about ½ cup for each.
  8. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to the lowest setting.
  9. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  10. Add 4 patties and cook, turning once, until lightly golden on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to the baking sheet.
  11. Repeat with the remaining oil and patties.
  12. Serve over lettuce, topped with the yogurt sauce and garnished with tomatoes, if desired.

 

I love CHILI when it’s chilly!

 Beef, Chicken, Cold Weather Favorites, Easy Recipes, Pork, Side Dish, Vegetables  Comments Off on I love CHILI when it’s chilly!
Jan 072015
 

When it comes to the story of chili, tales and myths abound.

Most historians agree that the earliest written description of chili came from J.C. Clopper, who lived near Houston. While his description never mentions the word chili this is what he wrote of his visit to San Antonio in 1828: “When they [poor families of San Antonio] have to pay for their meat in the market, very little is made to suffice for the family; it is generally cut into a kind of hash with nearly as many peppers as there are pieces of meat–this is all stewed together.”
From the time the second person on earth mixed some Chile peppers with meat and cooked them, the great chili debate was on; more of a war, in fact.

The desire to brew up the best bowl of chili in the world is exactly that old.

The great debate, it seems, is not limited to whose chili is best. Even more heated is the argument over where the first bowl was made; and by whom.
There may not be an answer. There are, however, certain facts that one cannot overlook.

The mixture of meat, beans, peppers, and herbs with a thick slice of buttered cornbread, can’t be beat on a cold evening!

Here is a collection of Chili Recipes that are sure to please…you may even find a NEW favorite!

 Jean, Jean’s Bean, Bean Chili

Chili_fixed

Click here to try this classic RED version

Not really craving RED chili…how about trying a WHITE version

Easy White Chicken Chili   

CQ-White chicken chili

Click here to try this delicious WHITE version

Looking for something a little more..EXOTIC?

Pumpkin & Black Bean Chili

CQ- pumpin and black bean chili

Click here for this exotic blend of Pumpkin and Black Beans

 We have RED, we have WHITE , we even had ORANGE if you count the Pumpkin…how about a GREEN version

Pork Chili Verde  

CQ-Pork chili verde

Click here for a delicious explosion of flavors

Don’t forget the Cornbread…for many, that is the best part!

Homemade Cornbread

CQ-Cornbread

Click here for this tasty recipe

Pick one or pick them all…whichever version you choose, grab a big bowl, a thick slice of warm cornbread and get ready for some good ole’fashion love in a bowl!

     

Homemade Corn Bread

 Breads, Easy Recipes, Side Dish  Comments Off on Homemade Corn Bread
Jan 072015
 

Homemade Corn Bread
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup butter
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1⅔ cups milk
  • 2⅓ cups flour
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl combine the eggs and milk.
  4. In a third bowl combine the flour, corn meal, baking powder and salt.
  5. Alternating pour in ¼th of the milk mixture, then ¼th of the flour mixture into the large bowl with the butter and sugar mixture until everything is combined.
  6. Pour batter into a pam sprayed 9x13 inch pan.
  7. Place in oven and bake for about 25 minutes.

 

Pork Chili Verde

 Easy Recipes, Pork, Vegetables  Comments Off on Pork Chili Verde
Jan 072015
 

Pork Chili Verde
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. pork, diced (I used boneless pork ribs)
  • 1 c. onion, chopped
  • 14 oz. chicken broth
  • 1½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • ½ Tbsp. jalapeno
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • ½ Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. green Tabasco sauce
  • 10 oz. green enchilada sauce
  • 27 oz. canned green chiles, chopped or diced
  • 8 oz. canned green chiles, pureed
  • 1-2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • ½ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Brown pork and drain.
  2. Add onion & chicken broth (will not cover meat).
  3. Simmer 1 hour, stirring often.
  4. Combine garlic powder, chicken stock, celery salt, cornstarch, oregano, cumin, jalapeno, cilantro, chili powder, and green Tabasco sauce.
  5. Simmer 1 hour stirring often to avoid sticking.
  6. Add green enchilada sauce and stir.
  7. Simmer ½ hour.
  8. Add chopped green chiles and cook for 15 minutes.
  9. Add pureed green chiles, white beans and salt to taste (about ½ tsp).
  10. Serve with cheese, sour cream, chips and/or flour tortillas.
  11. SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Brown pork and drain.
  12. Saute onion and add to slow cooker with meat.
  13. Add chicken broth and cook on low heat for 3 hours.
  14. Add remaining ingredients and cook additional 2 hours on low heat.

 

Pumpkin & Black Bean Chili

 Beef, Easy Recipes, Slow Cooker, Vegetables  Comments Off on Pumpkin & Black Bean Chili
Jan 072015
 

Pumpkin & Black Bean Chili
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 28oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar
Instructions
  1. Cook ground beef in stock pot until brown, drain, and return to pan.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients (besides the sour cream and cheese, of course) and stir to combine.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Serve in bowls topped with sour cream and cheddar.
  7. This chili is perfect with some good cornbread!

 

The Holidays and Moms Noodles

 Cooking Lessons, Holiday/Entertaining, Side Dish  Comments Off on The Holidays and Moms Noodles
Dec 052014
 

Chances are you’re spending a lot of extra time in the kitchen during the holidays preparing for countless festive meals. I would like to share with you one of my very favorites. ( I am only making faces, because the dough is so sticky…hahaha)

cq-noodlepic2

Moms Homemade Noodles

cq-noodlepic

Click here for my mom’s awesome recipe 

My mom’s noodles have always been a favorite for generations. They can be enjoyed anytime the mood strikes! I am so thankful that I have it, and that my children and their children will have it years from now. They love being in the kitchen with me and I really enjoy the time spent with them.
My most favorite thing is, when I pull the recipe and I see her handwriting. It’s the best!
These recipes are not perfect, or written like one in a cookbook, and of course, she didn’t  include how many servings it makes….But they are the real recipes that were created with love by her.
Are they still relevant? Maybe the foods and techniques aren’t  (remember Jell-O Molds), but what they represented still matters to most of us. I am sure you have 1 or 2 (maybe dozens) of cookbooks or recipes handed down.
A friend of mine told me recently, as she searched for a recipe in an old cookbook her mom left her, that not only did her mom leave notes on the pages of the recipes she used, but she also used to stick coupons and supermarket sales pages in them to hold the recipe page. Not only is the handwritten notes special to her, but also the (now) vintage coupons for “cents” off of various items, and the old supermarket ads.
Memories like this are wonderful for sharing with your family and friends.

CQ-mom
So get inspired, make a mess in the kitchen, and share your favorite recipes, too. Happy holidays!

Love, Jean

( PS. I love you mom)

Moms Homemade Noodles

 Side Dish  Comments Off on Moms Homemade Noodles
Dec 012014
 

Moms Homemade Noodles
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 7 Eggs
  • 3 C flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Whole Chicken, seasoned as you like it
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
  • salt, to taste
  • 6-10 cups water
Instructions
  1. Boil chicken in water and veggies for 2 hours, then remove the chicken and veggies from the stock.
  2. Mix eggs, flour and salt to make the dough for the noodles.
  3. Roll out the dough and cut into noodle shapes
  4. Drop noodles into the chicken stock and boil for 20-30 minutes.
  5. * it's important to have enough stock when making an extra large batch, so you can add a can of chicken broth if needed.

 

Thanksgiving Traditions

 Salads and Dressings, Side Dish, Thanksgiving, Turkey  Comments Off on Thanksgiving Traditions
Nov 202014
 

As the holidays approach it brings to mind such sweet memories of  Thanksgivings past. Here is a little peek into my holiday memories.

Gina B. – Team member of  Cooking Queen

Each year, Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday on the fourth Thursday of November. Most families follow traditions begun on the first Thanksgiving, but many have their own traditions that they follow each year. One such tradition in my family was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade! Thanksgiving was my daddy’s favorite holiday. Thanksgiving morning , my sisters and I would lay across the living room floor and watch the parade with my parents. We never missed it!  We loved seeing our favorite balloons appear on the parade route…and seeing all the performers.  My dad used to say that if we watched till the end and saw Santa waving at us, that he would know exactly where to find us on Christmas day. That was back in 1973- Today I still can’t miss the parade. I watch it every year no matter where I am. The first few minutes of the start of the show, as they are announcing the special guests…I am in tears remembering those past thanksgivings with my daddy and how much he loved my mom’s cooking and Thanksgiving.  Today I share this same tradition with my own children.  We all snuggle up, with coffee or Hot chocolate and tune in.  We don’t start our day until the parade is over. Thanksgiving is my absolute FAVORITE holiday.

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Traditional foods are a large part of Thanksgiving celebrations. Many families include the entire family in the food preparation. Traditional foods include turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, cornbread, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Many people serve pie for dessert at the end of the meal. Popular pie flavors are pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, and apple. In my family , growing up with a mom from Jamaica and a father who was American, our Thanksgiving feast was a tasty combination of  food that became our favorite tradition day one! Of course no meal is complete with out the traditional ,Roast Turkey and Gravy but mom also made a Brown-Sugar Glazed ham and Roast Beef . Instead of mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes as most would have …we had  sliced Cranberry, Cucumber Vidalia Salad, Homemade Stuffing and Coconut Rice or “Rice and Peas” , as they would call it in Jamaica.  Coconut rice is delicious! It is rice cooked with coconut milk instead of water and either Black eye peas or Red Kidney beans are added. The end result is amazing and really compliments the trio of meat and other sides. I hope you enjoyed this trip into my Thanksgiving Traditions and I hope you try the recipes!

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