Apr 192012
 
Apr 102012
 

 

If you want it, there is a  click here or on the picture to make your life easier.  I love Rachel. She speaks my language. So many pictures. If you are unsure of your ability, this is the cookbook for you.

“Inexperienced cooks need more that just a few lines of laconic test to help them along.  Rachael Ray has coached a generation of rookies on her Food Network shows, talking and plopping and emoting her way through dish after dish.  Her latest books, Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook, shows what each stage should look like in big photos.  Betty Crocker, or more specifically, the 1976 edition of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, used to be my bulletproof go-to recipe source. But now Ray fills that role.”  — Time magazine

From her cookbooks to her magazine to her daily talk show, Rachael Ray’s message remains the same today as the day she wrote her very first 30-minute meal—making delicious, knock-your-socks-off dishes should be fun, fast, fulfilling, and foolproof.

Rachael now presents her best idea yet: Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook—100 brand-new recipes, each featuring beautiful and helpful step-by-step full-color photographs that illustrate how to create each meal, along with photographs of the gorgeous finished dishes. You literally look along while you cook!

Apr 052012
 

I thought it might be helpful to suggest a sample menu for those of you who might be cooking for the holidays for the first time. I hope you’ll notice the variety in color and texture with each of the menus. For finger foods: spiced bacon twists, asparagus ham roll ups, deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms, brie with apricot topping, chicken salad puffs, and citrus pound cake. For a brunch you might serve: spiced bacon twists; asparagus,brie, and parma ham crostini; applesauce oatmeal pancakes; bacon quiche; chicken salad puffs; and citrus pound cake. For dinner may I suggest: applesauce pork loin recipe, glazed orange carrots, never fail scalloped potatoes, and Easter pie. These menus vary different flavors and don’t focus too much on one ingredient in case you have guests that don’t like a particular food. And most of these menus will have you out of the kitchen in less than an hour to prepare the entire menu (not including cooking time). Let us know which of these have become your favorites. We’d love to hear. You’ll find the recipes on http://www.pamperedchef.com and http://www.tasteofhome.com 

Apr 022012
 

 

Whether you are entertaining many friends or serving your family for Easter, here are some simple tips that have served me well over the years. There are three basic menus: finger foods, brunch, and dinner. Depending on the size of the group the menu can be scaled back. If you are serving finger foods or brunch it is best to have between 4-8 choices. For  dinner a main dish, 2 side dishes, and a dessert is enough. When choosing a menu try to remember to vary color and texture in your dishes. When the kids were little finger foods were a fun way for them to eat; but, if you have teens the dinner idea might be more filling!

For recipes try http://www.pamperedchef.com and http://www.tasteofhome.com

Mar 162012
 

If you want to be able to cook sweets without the negative effects of refined sugar, honey is an excellent option since it is metabolized in the body much more slowly than refined sugar. However, many people find cooking with honey challenging. Let me walk you through the most common problems and their solutions.
1. Honey burns easily; solve that by cooking at lower temperatures.
2. Honey has more liquid; solve that by adjusting the liquid added to cakes and cookies. Pies and bread tend to not need any adjustment.
3. The flavor of honey is a bit different; this is negligible usually. However, if the change in taste bothers you remember that the lighter in color the honey is, the milder it is. So buy a lighter honey or simply use part honey and part other sweetener such as stevia, apple juice, or agave nectar.

I hope with these tips you will find that honey becomes a favorite option in your recipes.

Jan 162012
 

This easy dessert had them licking the bowl during cooking club. I do mean the bowl not just the spoon  😆 . It is one of the quickest and easiest desserts you will ever make. It is a classy dessert that the beginner cook could easily serve. It is the perfect dessert to impress at a dinner party. You don’t have to tell anyone that it was a quick and easy recipe.

 

Ingredients
8 oz Mascarpone Cheese
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
Fresh Strawberries (use as many or a few as you would like)

Mascarpone is just a sweetened Italian cream cheese. It’s a little denser of a product, and it has a silkier, smoother finish. Just like you would whip cream, you’re going to use a stand-up mixer. Add Mascarpone cheese and turn mixer on the lowest setting. Add half a cup of powdered sugar and one tablespoon of vanilla extract . Stop the mixer and with the spatula to scrape down the sides and make sure everything gets smooth and incorporated. And that’s it, mascarpone already is a pretty dense product so you really don’t have to give it much whipping. Mix for a few seconds more and then spoon out just a little dollop right in the middle of the bowl and I use some fresh strawberries right over the top and I just drizzle a little bit of honey. You can taste every strawberry. Feel free to substitute other berries.

Jan 032012
 

Pasta and Chicken are always a favorite at my house, and this dish is no exception. The fresh tastes of the tomatoes and basil come through. Using a store bought chicken broth makes this recipe ideal for the beginner cook; however, for an even better flavor, you might try making your own broth by simmering a whole chicken.

CQ- Chicken Penne Al-fresco

Ingredients:
4 Garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
3 cups uncooked mezze penne pasta
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay
1/2 tsp each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, divided
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup packed)
2 cups diced grilled chicken breasts
Additional grated fresh Parmesan cheese and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
Directions:

Spray baker with olive oil spritzer. Slice or press garlic into baker  Add tomatoes. Cover; microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst, stirring after 2 minutes. Crush tomatoes. Add pasta, broth, wine, salt and black pepper.
Return baker to microwave; cover and microwave on HIGH 16-18 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring after 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop basil. Reserve 2 tbsp for garnish. Grate cheese.
Carefully remove baker from microwave and remove lid, lifting away from you. Add remaining basil, cheese and chicken to baker ; mix well. Garnish with reserved 2 tbsp basil, additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrients per serving: Light (about 1 cup): Calories 240, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat .5 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 450 mg, Fiber 2 g

Cook’s Tips: An additional 3/4 cup chicken broth can be substituted for the wine, if desired.

Any tube-shaped pasta requiring 9-11 minutes cook time, such as penne or rigatoni, can be substituted for the mezze penne pasta.

To grill chicken in a Grill Pan, season 2 chicken breasts, about 6 oz each, with salt and black pepper. Heat Grill Pan over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Spray pan with oil. Cook chicken 4-6 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn chicken over; cook 4-6 minutes or until center of chicken is no longer pink and Digital Pocket Thermometer registers 170°F.

Another favorite chicken recipe of mine is Chicken Bourguignon with White Wine

Nov 282011
 
 CQ-Pear gingerbreadcake
 1/3 cup (75 mL) plus 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil, divided
 1 can (29 oz or 540 mL) pear halves
 1 pkg (18.25 oz or 510 g) spice cake mix
 2 tsp (10 mL) ground ginger
 3 eggs
 1/2 cup (125 mL) molasses
 1/2 cup (125 mL) Butterscotch Rum Sauce or Caramel Sauce
  1. Brush Stoneware Fluted Pan with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil using Silicone Basting Brush. Drain pears using medium Stainless Mesh Colander; blot pears dry with paper towels. Using Utility Knife, slice four of the pear halves lengthwise into quarters for a total of 16 slices. Arrange pear slices in a circular pattern over bottom of pan. Place remaining pears in Food Processor; cover and pump handle until smooth. Spoon pear puree into (1-cup/250-mL) ; add enough water to puree to measure 1 cup (250 mL).
  2. In large Bamboo Fiber Mixing Bowl, combine cake mix, ginger, pear mixture, eggs, molasses and remaining 1/3 cup (75 mL) oil; whisk until well blended using Stainless Whisk. Slowly pour batter into prepared pan. Microwave on HIGH 10–12 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Carefully remove pan from microwave; cool cake in pan 10 minutes.
  3. Center Large Round Platter over pan and carefully invert; remove pan. Drizzle sauce over cake.
Yield: 16 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 250, Total Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Sodium 240 mg, Carbohydrate 43 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 3 g

Cook’s Tip: To bake in a conventional oven, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Prepare batter as directed; bake 40–45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.

Nov 212011
 

Ingredients:

2/3 c. water
2/3 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. cranberries
4 tsp. cider vinegar
1/3 c. dark raisins
1/4 c. chopped pecans
2 tsp. brown sugar
Scant 1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
2 1/4 lb. wheel of Brie cheese
1 loaf French bread cut in thin slices or party
loaf pumpernickel bread

Directions:

To make chutney: In a heavy saucepan combine water and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Add cranberries, vinegar, nuts, sugar, ginger and garlic. Boil slowly, stirring until thick, 5-10 minutes. Cool and refrigerate. It will keep in refrigerator up to 1 week or it can be frozen. To serve: Place Brie on the Medium Round Stone with Handles. Spread chutney over top of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 5-10 minutes watching carefully so as not to melt brie, just to soften it. Serve with slices of bread or top your leftover turkey sandwich. I don’t know about you but my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Nov 202011
 

Here is another way to use up those holiday leftovers. You can even entertain guests with this one and they will be impressed every time. I promise.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1green onion, sliced thin (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons honey dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*F.
  2. In bowl, combine turkey, 1 cup of the cheese, celery, green onion if using, cranberries, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard and black pepper. Mix well. Set aside.
  3. Unroll the 2 packages of crescent rolls; separate into 16 triangles in a circle on a large pizza pan or stone with wide ends 3 inches from the edge of pizza pan and points towards the outside. Points will extend off the edge of the pan(depending on size). Arrange the remaining triangles in the center of the pan, matching wide ends with triangles already in placed. The points will overlap in center.
  4. Using small rolling pin(or small round jar or drinking glass), roll over seams of triangles where wide ends meet, making a smooth surface for filling. Don’t seal center triangles.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop filling evenly over the dough in a continuous circle.
  6. Beginning with the last triangle placed in center of pizza pan, bring point of triangle straight across filling. Next, bring point of the opposite outside triangle diagonally across filling, covering point of previous triangle. The filling will show.
  7. Repeat, overlapping points of inside and outside triangles to form a wreath. Tuck the last end under first.
  8. Brush top of wreath with egg white.
  9. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
  10. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Turkey Cranberry Wreath