Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cavatelli with Broccoli

This classic combination almost always shows up at parties or in any Italian buffet.
It's great warm or even at room temperature.
1 (16 oz.) package frozen cavatelli
1 head fresh broccoli florets or 1 (12.oz) package frozen broccoli florets
1/4 cup olive oil
6 oz. chicken stock
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Oregano to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Steam or boil broccoli until just tender, but not soft.  Heat oil in a medium saute pan and lightly saute garlic and onions until golden.  Add chopped tomatoes and continue to saute.  Add chicken stock and spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.

Cook cavatelli according to package direction or until desired doneness.
Toss with broccoli and tomatoes and sprinkle with grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blueberry Summer Pudding for Two

Summer puddings are popular across the board in Eastern Europe, including Britain, not only for their flavor, but because they are a no-bake dessert.  They make good use of leftover bread and let ripe summer fruit take center stage.

1 pint fresh blueberries, washed and stemmed
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. water
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Brioche of Challah Bread

Line two ramekins with enough plastic wrap to fold over the top when filled.

In a small saucepan, combined all ingredients and bring to a boil.  Let simmer 4-5 minutes until blueberries release all their juices.

Cut six circles from the bread the same size as your ramekins.  You can place the ramekin on the bread and just cut around it.

Place one bread round in the bottom of each ramekin.  Place two heaping tablespoons of blueberries and syrup on top of the bread.  Repeat with another layer ending with a bread round.  Pour any leftover juices over the bread.

Fold plastic wrap tightly over filling.  Use empty ramekins to weigh down the filling.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours.  

When ready to serve,  peel back plastic wrap, invert ramekin onto serving plate.  Remove ramekin and plastic.  Garnish with whipped cream.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Spinach & Mushroom Crustless Quiche + Flavor Bombs Giveaway!

Love to cook, hate to prep, or just don't have time?
Chef Giovannina Bellino has created the perfect solution!
Flavor Bombs are an all natural, fresh frozen cooking base to start or finish a dish.
They can be used in sauces, stews and soups, in meatballs or meatloaf, as a marinade or even as an herb dip.
This is the next best thing to sliced bread!

I chose to try the Soffritto Flavor Bomb which contains onions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, garlic, basil, parsley an salt and pepper to make this delicious Spinach & Mushroom Crustless Quiche.
All I had to do was thaw the spinach!

Flavor Bombs come in five exciting and delicious flavors that enhance the flavor and cooking experience of everyday dishes!

Visit FLAVOR BOMBS for photos, recipes and video instructions!

Spinach & Mushroom Crustless Quiche 

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 package Soffrito Flavor Bombs, thawed or frozen
1 (10-oz.) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 oz. crumbled Feta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Thaw and drain spinach.  In a medium saute pan, pop Soffrito Flavor Bomb out and add to pan.  Let melt over medium low heat.

Place the sliced mushrooms in the pan and increase heat to medium-high.  Saute the mushrooms until they release all of their moisture, about 5-7 minutes.

Spray a pie dish with non-stick spray.  Spread the spinach onto the bottom of the pie dish.  Top with sauteed mushrooms and feta cheese.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs until fairly smooth.  Add the milk, parmesan and a dash of salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine.  Pour mixture into the pie dish over the spinach, mushroom and feta.  Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and a sprinkling of paprika for color (optional).

Bake until puffed and golden brown and the center is solid, 40-45 minutes.
Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Enter below to get your own FLAVOR BOMBS!
You won't be disappointed!

~Recipe adapted from Budget Bytes
~I received this product for review
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Classic Sloppy Joes

An American, kid-friendly classic.
There are hundreds of versions of this recipe, but this one is my favorite.

1-1/4 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup grated carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery (I substituted 1/2 tsp. celery seed)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, pureed
1 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Hamburger Buns

Salt the bottom of a large saute pan (about 1/2 tsp.)  Heat the pan on high.  Crumble the ground beef into the pan.  Let it cook until it is well browned on one side, then flip the pieces over and brown the second side.  Brown the beef until all the water evaporates.  Then the beef will begin to brown and add extra flavor to your Sloppy Joes!

If you are using extra lean beef, you will not have much excess fat in the pan.  If there is excess fat, strain off all but one Tablespoon.  Add the carrots, onions and garlic and cook until slightly softened, about 5-6 minutes.

Add the ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar and brown sugar to the pan.  Stir to mix well.  Add cloves and cayenne pepper.  Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer 20-25 minutes to blend flavors and thicken the mixture.  Adjust with salt and pepper.
Serve with toasted hamburger buns.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Savory Grilled Corn Nibblers

Summer corn is now in season!  Jersey Corn can be so sweet, that is amazing simply boiled, and topped with salt pepper and butter!  For a Mexican twist, we added some savory spices, along with a touch of brown sugar to melted butter for a delicious sweet and savory summertime corn!
4 ears fresh corn (if you are making more than 4 ears just double the ingredients)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper
1 lime juiced and additional slices for garnish
Chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add fresh corn and simmer for 5 minutes.
In a small sauce pan, add butter, spices and minced garlic and simmer over low heat to cook garlic slightly, about 2-3 minutes.  Add lime juice.

Cut each corn in half.  Brush with butter mixture.  Grill until lightly charred, 3-4 minutes.

Drizzle with remaining melted butter.  Add corn cob skewers and serve hot.
Serve with lime wedges or slices.

Recipe Source:  J. Borys

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Smothered Pork Chops

Thin pork chops can be difficult to cook without them being tough and dried out.  These smothered chops come out tender and moist with a silky flavorful gravy.
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
Salt and Pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 bone-in pork chops, about 1/2" thick, trimmed
1-1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/4" thick
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (or dried)
3/4 cup beef broth
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar 
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Combine onion powder, paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl.  Pat chops dry with paper towels.  Cut 2 slits about 2 inches apart through fat on edge of each chop.  This keeps the chops from curling up.  Rub chops with spice mixture.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Brown chops on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes and transfer to plate.  Melt butter in empty skillet over medium heat.  Cook onions until lightly browned.  Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant.  Stir in 3/4 cup broth, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to a boil.  Return chops and any accumulated juices to pan, cover with aluminum foil and transfer to oven.  Cook until chops are completely tender, about 1-1/2 hours.
Transfer chops and onion to a serving platter.  Bring stock to a boil.  Whisk 1 Tbsp. water and cornstarch in a boil until no lumps remain.  Whisk cornstarch mixture into sauce and simmer until thickened.  Stir in apple cider vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over pork chops.

Adapted from ~Cook's Country

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Topping + Blueberry Cream Cheese Crepes

Fresh strawberry topping is great to have on hand!  Use it for topping ice cream sundaes, pancakes, cheesecake or add to your favorite milkshake!  It takes only a few minutes to make!
I bought a quart of beautiful strawberries and within a few days some fuzzies started to appear!  One quart is not enough for jam, so I decided on this strawberry topping!

2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. cornstarch

In a medium saucepan, add strawberries, sugar and 1/3 cup water.  Bring to a boil and simmer 3-4 minutes.  Mix cornstarch with 2 Tbsp. water.  Add to strawberries and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Chill until ready to use.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Crepes
For the crepes:
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter melted

Place flour, milk, eggs, salt, water and melted butter in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Heat about 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a 8" non-stick skillet.  Warning:  The first crepe never comes out right, so don't be discouraged.  As the pan gets to proper temp, they will be perfect.

Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet allowing it to run down from the highest point.  Swirl the batter quickly before the batter has a chance to set. Cook 30 to 40 seconds until lightly browned.  Flip over and cook second side about 1 minute.  Slide the crepe onto a plate and repeat with the remaining batter, re-oiling the pan as necessary.  Stack crepes in-between wax paper.

Spread one heaping tablespoon of Blueberry Cream Cheese (or strawberry)on to crepe.  Fold crepe in half, then into quarters.  Top with Strawberry Sauce and whipped cream.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Enchilada Pie

Enchiladas made easy!  This pie is topped with tortilla chips and while it bakes, the lowest layer transforms into a beefy-enchilada-like base while the top layer stays crisp.  Everyone asked for seconds!

1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
One 10-ounce can of enchilada sauce
1/2 cup salsa (mild, medium or hot)
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup sour cream
One 4-ounce can green chilies, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
One 10-ounce can Mild green chile enchilada sauce
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1-1/2 tsp. cumin
3 cups coarsely crush tortilla chips
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
3 scallions chopped, white and tender green parts only
2 Tbsp. chopped pickled jalapenos
Lime wedges for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a saute pan cook the beef, onion and garlic until the vegetables are soft and the beef is no longer pink, about 6-8 minutes.  Drain fat.  Lower the heat and add the enchilada sauce, salsa and black beans to the pan.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, in a food processor, add green chilies and cilantro and pulse until finely minced.  In a small bowl, add chilies and cilantro, sour cream, mild green chile enchilada sauce, chili powder and cumin.  Whisk until smooth.

Spoon half of the meat and bean mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.  Top with half of the crushed chips and cheese.

Cover the chips and cheese with the rest of the meat and bean mixture.  Spoon on the sour cream mixture and spread it lightly so it covers the meat in an even layer.  Sprinkle on the scallions and the jalapenos.

Top with the remaining 1-1/2 cups crushed chips and the remaining cup of cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve warm with lime wedges.

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

"Pudding Done Right" + Kozy Shack Giveaway!

Do you have memories of delicious, wholesome pudding from your childhood?  Did your Grandmother or your Mother make rice pudding?  Kozy Shack is the next best thing to Mom's homemade pudding!  
Kozy Shack® Pudding is pudding made right—made with simple, wholesome ingredients, so it’s simply delicious.   
All three puddings are made with wholesome ingredients, including real milk and no artificial preservatives or hydrogenated oils. All three are a good source of calcium. Kozy Shack® Puddings are also gluten free. 
• Kozy Shack® Rice Pudding is America’s number one rice pudding. It is made with low-fat milk, rice, sugar, eggs, salt and natural flavors. Nothing more. 
Kozy Shack Pudding tastes delicious straight out of the fridge, but you can turn your everyday pudding into a special treat by adding fruit, spices and other toppings you already have at home.
I turned this Rice Pudding into a tropical treat by layering pudding with crushed pineapple and topped with toasted coconut!  Delicious!
With simple toppings and mix-ins, you can enjoy pudding exactly the way you like it. Here are some of our favorite combinations. Feel free to use these ideas and/or create your own:
• Bananas & Cinnamon Rice Pudding 
Spoon Kozy Shack® Rice Pudding into a small dish. Top with sliced bananas and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
• Peaches & Blueberries Rice Pudding 
Layer diced fresh peaches, Kozy Shack® Rice Pudding, and blueberries in a small dish. Top with any remaining fruit.
• Chocolate Drizzled Strawberries and Tapioca Pudding 
Drizzle strawberries with melted dark chocolate and allow to set. Layer chopped strawberries and Kozy Shack® Tapioca Pudding in a small dish. Top with a chocolate-drizzled strawberry.
• Banana Split Chocolate Pudding 
Spoon Kozy Shack® Chocolate Pudding into a small dish. Top with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, a banana spear and a maraschino cherry.

"Giveaway Pudding Cups"
 One lucky reader can enter to win 2 premium, ceramic Kozy Shack® Pudding mugs with spoons. They will also receive a product coupon good for one (1) free package of any Kozy Shack® product, up to $4.99 value. 
TO ENTER:  Simply click on the link above, then return to my page and leave a comment about how you enjoy eating pudding or memories of eating pudding from your childhood.

This article is sponsored by Kozy Shack.

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