Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year From My Family To Yours The Caranos

                         Happy New Year
The year in the calendar changes after every 365 days , but my good wishes remain with you throughout the year .
Wish you and your family a prosperous and very Happy New Year .


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Braised Cabbage & Root Vegetables with Fruit


2             tablespoons unsalted butter
2             tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1             small white onion, thinly sliced
4             carrots, sliced 1/3 inch thick
4             large radishes, quartered
4             baby turnips, peeled and quartered
3/4              pound Savoy cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
1                Golden Delicious applepeeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
2                garlic cloves, thinly sliced
**Freshly ground pepper**
1/2            cup low-sodium chicken broth
1               Bosc pearpeeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. When the foam subsides, add the onion, carrots, radishes, turnips, cabbage, apple and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until the vegetables are lightly browned in spots, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and braise in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender.

2. Remove from the oven, stir in the pear pieces and cook over high heat until the liquid is evaporated and the pear is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the braised fruits and vegetables to a bowl and serve.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas from our Family ...The Caranos'

            The Real Meaning of Christmas
Two thousand years ago the King of Kings was born.
'The Lamb of God' later made to feel the thorn,
If his words are accepted and not scorned,
They will make us all reborn.

Though God's grace, Joseph and Mary presented
A gift to the world that day, which we can all repay,
by living the ten commandments each and every day.

Try to remember and keep in your heart and mind
Jesus's gospel while here on Earth,
Redemption not a life lived in constant mirth. 
Peace on Earth, good will toward man
Everyone should try it, whenever they can.

The Lord gave us the option and choice of 'free will,'
Now it's up to us to fit the bill.

So when you’re Christmas shopping for family and friends,
and money is tight at both ends,
Remember that the greatest gift of all,
Is your love of Jesus in the manger stall. 

- A Christmas Poem by Joseph P. Martino

Merry Christmas  everyone  .... ~~Nee~~

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fast & Easy Fruitcake

Company  coming   ,  you want  to serve   something  special   that  will make  your  guests  think  you spent  hours   in the  kitchen .  Well friends  here  we  go  , the Christmas  fruit  cake  is  still in a  dark place  getting  drunk  soaking  up  the  liquor.(giggling) .
I told  the  kids  lets  try  a  fruit  cake  using  cake  mix  and  Dream Whip ,  I had  lots  of  help with  my  do-overs .  I  only had  one  when I  used  to much water  , it  had  to  cook longer  ,  but  the  kids  didn't  care .
In a  hurry  for  a cake  using  cake  mix  and want  it  to taste homemade . Use  the  Dream Whip , the  directions  are  on the  box  and  for  pies  also  and  it  sure  beat   the  pudding  in  the  mix .  Hmmm  hmmm good .

                               Fruit  Cake

1            pound candied red cherries
1            pound candied green cherries
8            ounces candied pineapple, diced
1            cup pecan halves 
1/2         cup walnut halves 
1            cup dates, chopped
18-1/2    ounces spice (or your choice ) cake mix
1            package  dream whip
3-1/2      ounces vanilla 
3            eggs
1/2         cup vegetable oil
3/4        cup water
1/4        cup flour

Karo light corn syrup

1 .   Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2 .   In a large mixing bowl combine all fruits and nuts.
3 .   Add flour and toss until fruits and nuts are well coated.
4 .   In another large mixing bowl combine cake mix, dream whip, eggs, oil and water.
5 .   Beat for 3 minutes.
6 .   Fold in fruit/nut mixture; batter will be very stiff.
7 .   Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan very well. (2 loaf pans or  15x13 pan)
8 .    Bake for 2 hours or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
9 .    Cool completely in pan.
10 .  Heat light Karo syrup until warm.
11 .  Brush cake with warm syrup.
12 .  When glaze and cake are cold cover with aluminum foil.

You can also  use  Dream Whip  in  any  flavor of  your  choice .

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mouth Watering Chili

4             slices thick-cut apple smoked bacon, diced
3/4          pound chicken breast , cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1             tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1             teaspoon ground cumin
1             tablespoon Southwest Seasoning, (recipe below )
2             medium onions, diced
1/2          red bell pepper , diced
1             tablespoon minced garlic
1/4          teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1             (14-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, with juices
4             cups chicken broth
3             cups water, plus more if needed
1             pound dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
3-1/2       tablespoons light brown sugar
2             tablespoons ketchup
1             teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

Southwest Seasoning:

2            tablespoons chili powder
2            teaspoons ground cumin
2            tablespoons paprika
1            teaspoon black pepper
1            tablespoon ground coriander
1            teaspoon cayenne pepper
1            tablespoon garlic powder
1            teaspoon crushed red pepper
1            tablespoon salt
1            tablespoon dried oregano


1 .       In a heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until the fat is completely rendered and the bacon is crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and set on the side. Add the cubed chicken, chili powder, cumin, and Southwest Essence to the hot rendered fat in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is well browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
2 .      Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic and oregano and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes,broth, water and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat and beans are tender and sauce is thick and flavorful, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
3 .        (TIP : add more liquid if the sauce gets too thick before the beans are tender.)
4 .         When the beans are tender and sauce is thickened, add the brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard and cook until thick and flavors have come together, about 20 to 30 minutes longer.

Serve hot.

Southwest Seasoning:
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 1/2 cup

TIP:While most chili starts with a basic base of meat and tomatoes, some can be very complex with vegetables, beans and other ingredients. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a healthy pot of chili:

1 .      When preparing chili, make sure you wash your hands frequently as you handle hot peppers. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to wear gloves. Be very careful not to touch your eyes, mouth or nose until you have thoroughly washed your hands.

2 .       Choose lean cuts of meat and add lots of beans. Try adding different types of beans such as black, small red beans, kidney beans and pinto beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse these before adding to the pot.

3 .        Add whole grains such as barley or serve chili over brown rice.

4 .         Add extra vegetables. Onions, bell pepper, zucchini, squash, shredded carrots and celery make wonderful additions to your pot of chili.

5 .        Limit high-fat additions such as cheese, sour cream, and corn chips. A little of any of these is all you need to add a little extra flavor to your chili.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Vegetables & Creole Chicken

Makes 4 serving (serving size 1 cup

**Cooking spray**
1            pound chicken breast tenders
2            cups frozen pepper stir-fry (such as Bird's Eye brand), thawed
1           cup frozen cut okra, thawed
3/4        cup thinly sliced celery
3/4        teaspoon sugar
1/2        teaspoon salt
1/2        teaspoon dried thyme
1/4        teaspoon ground red pepper
1           (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4       cup chopped fresh parsley
1          tablespoon butter

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Add pepper stir-fry and next 6 ingredients (through red pepper), stirring to combine. Pour tomatoes over chicken mixture; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover; cook 3 minutes. Add parsley and butter, stirring until butter melts.

Enjoy the flavor of anytime of the year by using frozen bell peppers and frozen okra in this speedy Creole dish.

For a filling meal, serve over rice.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cod , Brown Butter , Lemon & Aged Fish Sauce

                          Make  4  servings

1/4           cup wheat berries
1              stick salted butter
3              tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
4              6-ounce skinless cod fillets
**Kosher salt**
**Freshly ground pepper**
3             celery ribs, thinly sliced
1             bunch of scallions, minced (1 cup)
1             dried hot chile, such as árbol
2             tablespoons fresh lime juice
3             tablespoons Blis Barrel-Aged Fish Sauce or Red Boat conventional fish sauce  (or  aged  fish sauce of  your choice)
**Steamed white rice, for serving**

1. In a small saucepan of boiling water, cook the wheat berries until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Drain and spread out on a plate to cool.

2. In a small skillet, toast the wheat berries until golden and crunchy, 7 to 8 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter. Cook over moderate heat until golden brown and nutty-smelling, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the cod with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned on both sides and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

5 .Transfer to a plate. Add the celery, scallions and dried chile to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the brown butter, lime juice and fish sauce and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the fish and turn to coat in the sauce. Discard the dried chile.

6 .Transfer the fish and sauce to a platter and garnish with some of the toasted wheat berries.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Zucchini Pie

Prep : 25 minutes Bake : 20 minutes Makes 6 servings

1           package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
2           medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise and quartered
1/2        cup chopped onion
1/4        cup butter, cubed
2           teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/2        teaspoon salt
1/2        teaspoon garlic powder
1/2        teaspoon pepper
1/4        teaspoon dried basil
1/4        teaspoon dried oregano
2           eggs, lightly beaten
2           cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3/4        cup cubed fully cooked ham
1           medium Roma tomato, thinly sliced

Whether you're making sauces, salsas, salads, or just a snack, fresh and juicy tomatoes make any recipe better!

1. Separate crescent dough into eight triangles; place in a greased 9-in. pie plate with points toward the center. Press onto the bottom and up the sides to form a crust; seal seams and perforations. Bake at 375° for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute zucchini and onion in butter until tender; stir in seasonings. Spoon into crust. Combine the eggs, cheese and ham; pour over zucchini mixture. Top with tomato slices.

3 . Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy this pie with a medium-bodied white wine such as Riesling or Gewürtztraminer

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from my Family to Yours : The Caranos'

                           Thanksgiving is...
                Thanksgiving is anticipation...
the excitement of wonderful aromas,
golden, harvest-themed décor,
the best linens, china and silver.

Thanksgiving is...
platters of of special Thanksgiving foods
prepared only once a year,
mmn...mmn... mouths watering,
ecstatic taste buds quivering with joy.

Thanksgiving is...
the family all around the table,
clean, dressed, smiles all around,
recitation of what we are thankful for,
the saying of grace,
our special Thanksgiving prayer.

And now, finally, dig in!
We are thinking of you
at Thanksgiving, and hoping
your Thanksgiving experience
will be surrounded
by a special glow in your memory.

                    Author : Joanna Fuchs

Thursday, November 20, 2014

THANK YOU SO MUCH : For the out Pouring of Your well Wishes & Prayers ~~Nee~~

Can't Kick as  high as  my birthday dance  ,  but  hey ,  I'm getting there . I am so bad .

Your friendship is a special gift , generously given , happily accepted and  deeply appreciated

If you could see my face , you'd see the smiles everyone put on it ;-() .
Thanks  again  my friends  for  all the prayers  and well  wishes .
  ~~Nee~~ Carano 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

MIA ----I Got The Flu

Hello  everyone  I  am  down and out  for  the  count ,  don't worry  I will be back soon . Little  weak  but  coming back to my sassy self .
I thank  you for  your  dear  and heartwarming comments .  It  means  a  lot .


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bake Chicken Enchilada

Prep : 20 minutes Bake : 50 minutes + standing serves 6
4-1/2             cups cubed rotisserie chicken
1                   can (28 ounces) green enchilada sauce
1-1/4             cups (10 ounces) Daisy Brand Sour Cream (or your choice)
9                   corn tortillas (6 inches), cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
4                   cups (16 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 . In a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, layer half of the chicken, enchilada sauce, sour cream, tortillas and cheese. Repeat layers.

2 . Cover and bake at 375° for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cheese Crust Apple Pie

Size :9.5-inch pie plate
For the pie  dough :

2-1/2             cups all-purpose flour
1                    cup  shredded  sharp cheese
1                    tablespoon sugar
1                    teaspoon salt
2                   stick  unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4                 cup very cold water
For  the pie filling :

3-1/2             pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8-inch slices
3/4                cup sugar
1                   teaspoon cinnamon
1/8                teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8                teaspoon ground allspice
1/4                cup cornstarch
1/2                teaspoon lemon zest
juice of half a lemon
pinch of salt
1                   egg, combined with 1 tablespoon of water
turbinado sugar (optional)

To make the pie dough:

1 .     Begin by combing the flour, sugar, cheese and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle the cubes of butter over the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour. Continue to do so until the mixture resembles small peas. Slowly drizzle in the cold water and combine with a rubber spatula. Continue to add water until the dough comes together. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into two balls. Flatten each ball into a dish, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours.
2 .    After the pie dough has chilled for at least two hours, roll out one disc of dough into a 12-inch circle on a well-floured surface. Carefully transfer the dough to the pie plate. Using your hand, flatten the dough into the corners of the dish. The dough should hang over the edges of the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3 .     Roll out the second disc of dough into a 12-inch circle on a well-floured surface. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, place it on a baking sheet for easy transfer, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To make the filling:

1 .    Place the peeled, cored, and sliced apples in a large bowl. Toss with the juice of half a lemon.
2 .     In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cornstarch, pinch of salt, and lemon zest.
3 .     Add the sugar mixture to the apples. Using your hands, toss the apples and sugar mixture together until all of the apples are evenly coated.

To assemble the pie:

1 .     Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2 .     Carefully spoon the apple filling into the dough-lined pie plate. Use a rubber spatula to press the filling down as needed. If necessary, it is okay to mound the apples slightly in the center of the dish.
3 .     Unwrap the second circle of dough and carefully lay over the top of the pie filling. Using your fingers, press the top and bottom crust together to seal. Use kitchen shears to trim the dough until it only hangs over the edge of the pie plate by half an inch. Tuck the dough under itself onto the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the crust with your fingers or a fork, if desired.
4 .     Using a sharp paring knife, cut four slits in the top of the pie crust to allow stream to escape. Combine an egg and 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pie with egg wash. Sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar, if using.
5 .    Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for 1 to 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.


This pie is very buttery and juicy. If needed, place the die dish on a large baking sheet when baking to catch any and all juices.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Chocolate Coke Cake

Chocolate Coke cake is a Southern favorite, and this recipe of Old-Fashioned Coca-Cola Cake is a great version. The combination of buttermilk and Coke help to keep this chocolate cake perfectly moist. This recipe for Old-Fashioned Coca-Cola Cake is particularly special because it has marshmallows folded right into the batter. Another great thing about this homemade cake recipe is that you can either make it in two round cake pans or in one large casserole dish. Once the cake has cooled, it is frosted with a delicious homemade frosting made from butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, and a bit more Coke.
                                      Serves: 12
1            cup Coca-Cola
1/2         cup buttermilk
1            cup butter, room temperature
1            cup granulated sugar
3/4         cup brown sugar
2            large eggs
1            tablespoon vanilla
2            cups flour
1/2         cup unsweetened cocoa
1            teaspoon baking soda
1            cup mini marshmallows
1-1/2      cups chopped nuts, I used pecans
Frosting (recipe  below)

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in middle of oven.
2 .  Mix Coke and buttermilk together in a measuring cup, set aside.
3 .  In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars together until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients all at once. Mix and add the coke mixture all at once. Fold in the marshmallows.
4 .   Spoon mixture into two greased and lined 9 inch cake pans or one greased 9x13 cake pan.
5 .   Bake 30-35 minutes for layer cake and about 35-40 minutes for 9x13. Cake is done when a few moist crumbs are attached to a toothpick.
6 .  Remove from oven and if using layer pans, run a butter knife around edges and invert onto a rack to cool, placing the parchment side down so it won't stick to the rack. Make sure to peel parchment paper off before frosting cakes.
Cool completely.

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coke
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream as needed

1 .  Mix the butter in a bowl with powdered sugar and cocoa. Add salt, vanilla and coke. Beat until creamy. Add milk until desired spreading consistency.
2 .  Place cake on a platter. Spread 1/3 of frosting on layer. Top with other layer. Spread frosting on top and sides. Place chopped nuts on top of cake.
Serves 12

This cake is very tender, or falls apart easily because it is so moist. Be careful to not over bake. The first time I experimented with this recipe, it came out dry. I think I baked it for 40-45 minutes. I found that about 35 minutes worked perfect in my oven.

The cake will come out with little indents where the marshmallows have melted and sunken into the batter. No worries. The frosting will fill in the indents.

You may add up to another cup of marshmallows to the cake batter if you wish. Only use fresh marshmallows.
Don't use Diet Coke.

Friday, October 31, 2014

'Happy Halloween' from my hamily to yours ... From the 'Caranos'

Well my friends  , Halloween is here again , as you know I have two boys & two girls , the girls picked a poem , as did the boys , so here they both are enjoy . ~Nee~

Halloween is Here ..............Girls
by Debbie  ... last name  unknown

It's time for Halloween,
A day for trick or treat,
When the kids dress up in costume,
And walk proudly down the street.

They ring alot of door bells,
And collect alot of candy too,
And if they happen to see a ghost,
They will be greated with a boo.

Pumpkins light up the windows,
And decorations adorn the front yard,
So be careful when you come in,
Because the skeleton will be on guard.

So go have alot of fun,
And don't have any fear,
Because it will soon be over,
And you'll have to wait till next year.

It's Halloween .....................Boys
by Jack Prelutsky

It's Halloween! It's Halloween!
The moon is full and bright
And we shall see what can't be seen
On any other night.

Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls,
Grinning goblins fighting duels,
Werewolves rising from their tombs,
Witches on their magic brooms.

In masks and gowns
we haunt the street
And knock on doors
for trick or treat.

Tonight we are the king and queen,
For oh tonight it's Halloween!

Check the  candy  and  be  safe  out there  ~Nee~

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bourbon Sauce with Ceole Bread Pudding

Prep time : 20 minutes ... Total time : ... 1 hour - 15 minutes (including  sauce)
                 Makes 10 to 12 servings
2            (12 ounce) cans evaporated milk
6            large eggs , lightly beaten
1            (16 ounce) day old French Bread loaf , cubed
1            (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple , drained
1            large Red Delicious apple , unpeeled and grated
1-1/2     cups sugar
1            cup raisins
5            tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4         cup butter , cut into 1/2-inch cubes and softened
                   bourbon sauce (recipe below )
1 .    Preheat oven to 350*F . Whisk together evaporated milk , eggs and 1 cup of water in a large bowl until well blended . Add bread cubes , stirring to coat thoroughly . Stir in pineapple and next 4 ingredients . Stir in butter , blending well . Pour into a greased 13x9-inch baking dish .
2.     Bake at 350* for 35 to 45 minutes or until set and crust is golden brown . Remove from oven and let stand 2 minutes . Serve with Bourbon sauce .
               BOURBON SAUCE
Hands on time : ... 18 minutes ...Total time : ... 18 minutes ....Makes 1-1/2 cups
3                       tablespoons butter
1                       tablespoon all-purpose flour
1                      cup whipping cream
1/2                   cup sugar
4                      tablespoons bourbon
1                      tablespoon vanilla extract
1                      teaspoon ground nutmeg

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat ; whisk in flour and cook , whisking constantly , 5 minutes . Stir in cream and sugar ; cook , whisking constantly , 3 minutes or until thickened . Stir in bourbon , vanilla and nutmeg ; cook , whisking constantly , 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated .

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pan Roasted Vegetables with Curried -Chicken

Prep :15 minutes Cook : 1 hour Makes 12 servings

2                pounds butternut squash in 1-inch cubes 
1-1/2         pounds brussels sprouts, halved
2               large red onions, cut into thin wedges
1               cup canola oil  , salt and freshly ground pepper
1               cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, plus more for serving
2               tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2               large garlic cloves, minced
1               tablespoon Madras curry powder
4               pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1 .    Preheat the oven to 450° and position racks in the upper and middle thirds. In a very large bowl, toss the butternut squash with the brussels sprouts, onion wedges and 1/2 cup of the canola oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables on 2 large, sturdy rimmed baking sheets.

2 .     In the same bowl, combine the cup of yogurt with the ginger, garlic, curry powder and the remaining 1/2 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss until and the chicken is nearly cooked through. Pour off any accumulated liquid in the pans and roast for about 20 minutes longer, until the vegetables are thoroughly coated. Arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables. Roast for about 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until the vegetables are nearly tender  and the chicken is lightly browned. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a platter and serve with warm  yogurt.

Make ahead the chicken and vegetables can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cornbread Biscuits and Sweet Potato Biscuits

                                      Cornbread Biscuits
Total : 55 minutes

Add your own signature spin with a few teaspoons of your favorite herb, such as thyme or rosemary.

3                  cups self-rising soft-wheat flour
1/2              cup yellow self-rising cornmeal mix
1/4              cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/4              cup shortening, cut into pieces
1-1/2           cups buttermilk
1                 teaspoon yellow cornmeal
2                 tablespoons butter, melted

1.         Preheat oven to 500°. Whisk together first 2 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in cold butter and shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas and dough is crumbly. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

2.         Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times. Pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick circle.

3.         Cut dough with a well-floured 2 1/2-inch round cutter, rerolling scraps as needed. Sprinkle cornmeal on ungreased baking sheets; place biscuits on baking sheets. Lightly brush tops with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

4.         Bake at 500° for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

                                Sweet Potato Biscuits

Prep / Total time : 40     minutes Makes        1 dozen

These slightly sweet and oh-so-tender biscuits pair nicely with ham, sausage, or bacon.

2                cups all-purpose flour
1/4             cup firmly packed brown sugar
1                tablespoon baking powder
3/4             teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/2             cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2             cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1/2             cup cold whipping cream
**Parchment paper **
**Vegetable cooking spray**
2               tablespoons whipping cream
2               teaspoons granulated sugar

1.             Preheat oven to 450°. Stir together first 4 ingredients and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas and dough is crumbly. Freeze 5 minutes.

2.            Stir together sweet potatoes and 1/2 cup whipping cream. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

3.           Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface (mixture will be crumbly); knead 1 minute. Pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick circle. Cut dough with a well-floured 2 1/2-inch round cutter, rerolling scraps as needed.

4.            Line baking sheets with parchment paper; lightly grease paper with cooking spray. Place biscuits 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Brush tops of biscuits with 2 Tbsp. whipping cream.

5.            Stir together granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle dough rounds with sugar mixture.

6.            Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


A stromboli is basically a pizza rolled up. Stromboli is bursting with springtime flavors! Fresh vegetables, four cheeses and prosciutto come together to make this delicious meal.

Lemon Confit :
1/3                cup olive oil
1                  white onion, finely chopped
1                  pound fresh, young asparagus, cut off tough ends, peel, cut into 1-inch pieces
1                  cup fresh sweet peas, shelled
1/2               cup goat cheese, cut into pieces
1/2               cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
2                  teaspoons fresh tarragon, finely minced
2                  teaspoons fresh chives, finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1                 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2              cup fresh mozzarella, shredded
1/2              cup fresh fontina cheese, shredded
1                 egg, beaten

Assemble Stromboli : 
Your favorite pizza dough 7 8 slices prosciutto, sliced paper-thin   Lemon Confit:

Lemon Confit can be made ahead for this recipe, refrigerate until using. When ready to use, mince ingredients.


1 .        Preheat oven to 500 degrees. In a medium-size sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons  olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden brown and caramelized. Add asparagus pieces and peas, stir until well-coated. Set aside.

2 .      In small bowl, add goat cheese and Parmesan cheese, mix together adding a little olive oil if necessary. Add the lemon confit, tarragon, chives, salt and pepper, to make a spreadable paste, set aside. Slice tomatoes in a bowl, set aside.

3 .     In another small bowl, mix the shredded mozzarella and fontina cheese together, set aside. Add the egg to a small bowl and beat with a fork, set aside.

Assemble Stromboli :

1 .          Shape the pizza dough out on a rectangular baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

2 .        Spread the goat cheese mixture over 2/3 of the dough lengthwise, leaving 3 inches on the long side of dough and 1 inch on top and bottom. Spread the asparagus mixture on top of the goat cheese, then place the sliced tomatoes evenly over the top of the asparagus layer. Top the tomatoes with the shredded mozzarella and fontina cheese. Lay the prosciutto slices on top of the shredded cheeses, then add the rest of the shredded cheese over the top of the prosciutto slices.

3 .        Brush the plain 3-inch strip of dough on the side with the egg. Fold up the shorter ends about an inch, and brush these flaps with egg as well. The idea is to roll tightly, like a jelly roll, making sure to seal dough sides and ends. Brush the entire pizza roll with the remaining olive oil. Cut diagonal slits on outside top and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan and parsley.

4 .       Bake 8-10 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Let rest before slicing through to serve. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shortbread Lemon-Basil Cookies

1                     cup butter (at room temperature)
1/2                  cup and 2 Tbsp sugar
1                     teaspoon grated lemon peel
1                     tablespoon lemon juice
2-1/2              cups all-purpose flour
6                     tablespoons cornstarch
1                     tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves

1 .    Preheat oven to 300º. In a food processor, whirl all ingredients, (holding aside 2 tablespoons sugar), until smooth. Press dough into two 8-inch cake pans with removable rims. Press tines of a fork around edges to make a ridge pattern, then pierce dough with fork in parallel lines about an inch apart.

2 .   Bake until firm to touch and slightly browned, about 45 minutes (40 minutes in convection oven).

3 .   Sprinkle hot rounds with 2 tablespoons sugar. Remove pan rims and cut each round, while still warm, into 12 or 16 wedges. Let cool completely on pan bottoms on racks, then remove wedges and serve or store airtight up to 1 week.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cherry Pinot Noir Sauce & Pork Tenderloin

A new  twist on the other  white meat (pork tenderloin) , a dish  that you can adjust to  your  taste . I love  cooking  with  wine  , especially  meats  , it  gives  meats  a unique  taste  with the  right  combination  of  wines .  My baby  boy  tells  everyone  mama  is  making  drunk  food  .  So  enjoy  from my family  to  yours .~~Nee~~

Prepare the Tenderloin:

1         Pork tenderloin (approximately 2-3 pounds)
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/3      cup flour
1         teaspoon dried thyme
1/2      teaspoon ground fennel seeds (optional)
1/2      teaspoon  ground ginger
1/2      teaspoon  ground mustard
2         tablespoons olive oil

Sauté the Mushrooms:

1       tablespoon unsalted butter
8       ounces  gourmet mushrooms, oyster, shiitake, trumpet etc...

Cherry Pinot Noir Sauce:
1       cup Pinot Noir
2       cups chicken stock
2       tablespoons honey
1       tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1       cup dried pitted tart cherries

Prepare the Tenderloin:
1 .      Preheat oven to 350. Pat loin dry, trim any fat and season with salt and pepper. To make rub, mix flour, thyme, fennel, ginger, and mustard on a large plate with a spoon. Set aside 2 tablespoons of rub mixture. Place tenderloin on plate and rub mixture over tenderloin.
2 .     In a large, oven-proof pan heat olive oil on medium high heat. When hot, add tenderloin and sear until brown on all sides. Transfer to oven to finish cooking, 10-12 minutes more, or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 142 degrees. Remove pan from oven and transfer tenderloin to platter, cover to keep warm.

Sauté the Mushrooms:
In a medium size pan, add butter and sauté mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cherry Pinot Noir Sauce :

1.     Place the pan you cooked the pork in over high heat. Add wine, chicken stock, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Whisk in the reserved flour mixture, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add dried cherries and continue to cook until sauce has thickened, can add a pat of butter also to smooth sauce, about 10 minutes.

2 .   To serve, cut tenderloin on the diagonal into 1/4-inch thick slices, fan out on platter or individual plates. Add sautéed mushrooms on top of meat, then pour sauce over pork tenderloin and mushrooms.

Pairing :

Ferrari-Carano Sky High Ranch Pinot Noir

This superbly crafted, limited wine boasts spicy aromas of vanilla, cedar, and black fruits with full flavors of mocha and chocolate, cedar, spice, clean and pretty delicate blue fruits, reminiscent of blueberry, blackberry and plum. The velvety texture and dazzling complexity are underscored by bright acidity, creating a naturally-balanced wine with a lingering, rich finish.

Monday, October 13, 2014

'Happy Columbus Day : From My Family To Yours ... The Caranos'

In fourteen hundred ninety-two;
Columbus sailed the ocean blue .

He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine , wind and rain .

He sailed by night ; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way .

A compass also helped know ;
How to find the way to go .

Ninety sailors were on board ;
Some men worked while others snored .

Author unknown .

Happy Columbus Day 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cardamom Wine Broth with Salmon

                                               Serves 4
Fish Broth:

4             cups fish broth
1             cup dry white wine
1             scant tablespoon cardamom seeds or 1 tsp ground cardamom
1            cup peeled baby turnips or 2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
4           cups arugula, washed, dried, and roughly chopped if the leaves are large


4           6-oz salmon fillets
Salt and white pepper  to taste
2          tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil


3         tablespoons butter

2         medium ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1" dice

Bring the fish broth to a fast boil and reduce by about one-quarter, so that there are about 3 cups of liquid. Add white wine and slowly reduce. Add the cardamom and let sit over low heat for 10 minutes. Strain out the seeds if you used them.


While your fish broth is cooking, blanch the turnips in boiling salted water until tender; plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking, drain, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 500º. Return the stock to the pot over medium-low heat.


Divide the arugula among 4 bowls.


1 .    Season with salt and pepper

2 .    Place an ovenproof skillet over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the oil, then the salmon, skin side down. Cook for 1 minute, then place in the oven. Roast for about 5 minutes, a little longer if the pieces are thick or you like your salmon well done.


1 .    While the salmon roasts, season the broth with salt and white pepper. Add the butter; when it melts, add the turnips and tomatoes.

2 .    Place the salmon on the arugula, skin side up. Spoon the vegetables and broth around the arugula, not over the salmon. Serve immediately.

Pairing :
 Ferrari-Carano Emelia’s Cuvée Chardonnay

Russian River Valley

Named for Don Carano’s paternal grandmother, Emelia Ferrari, the 2012 Emelia’s Cuvée Chardonnay from Russian River Valley is a delicious wine with aromas and flavors of white peach, nectarine, pear, nutmeg, fig and vanilla, interwoven with layers of apricot, maple, cream and vanilla. An elegant, smooth, toasty oak finish characterizes this lovely wine.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ham Hock Shanks with White Beans

                                            Serves 6
This recipe for slowly braised ham hocks shanks is made with white wine and no tomatoes. Enjoy with a lush Merlot or try with Reserve or Single Vineyard Chardonnays.

Ham Hock Shanks :

1/4         cup olive oil
4            pounds cracked ham hock shanks 
2            teaspoons  salt
1            tablespoons  freshly ground black pepper
6            cloves garlic, minced
1            large onion, minced
2            carrots, chopped
3            cups good dry Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay
2            bay leaves

White Beans:

1/2        pounds Great Northern white beans (soak overnight)
1           small onion studded with 8 whole cloves
2           bay leaves

Ham Hock Shanks

1 .    Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Brown the shanks in the oil, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Remove the shanks and pour off all but 1 tablespoon  of the oil. In the remaining oil, sauté the garlic, onions and carrots until tender, about 7 minutes.

2 .     Return the shanks  to the pan and add the wine, bay leaves and rosemary. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 1-1/2 hours.

White Beans:

1 .      Meanwhile, drain the beans and put into a pot, cover with cold water to 2 inches above the beans.
2 .     Add the clove-studded onion and remaining two bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Skim off the foam. Reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
3 .     Add the salt and continue to cook until tender. Remove onion and bay leaves. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid.


1 .     Pour half of the beans into a clay casserole or other oven-proof casserole and arrange the shanks  on top of the beans.
 2 .    Cover with the remaining beans. Pour reduced cooking liquid over the beans and put in the oven to cook for about 30 minutes.
3 .    Check after 15 minutes and if it has become too dry add some of the bean cooking liquid. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Add chopped tomatoes as garnish.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Start to finish: 40 minutes              Makes 4 servings

For the dressing:

1/4            cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
½              clove garlic, smashed or roughly chopped
2               tablespoons  olive oil
1               tablespoons  Dijon mustard
1               tablespoon  red wine vinegar
1               tablespoon  water
¼              teaspoon  kosher salt
½              teaspoon  ground black pepper

For the salad :

1              Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1              teaspoon  lemon juice
1              pound  Brussels sprouts, shaved or thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
1              pint  grape tomatoes, halved
¼             cup almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
1              boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped or shredded (about 1 cup)
1              scallion, chopped
1              ounce  Parmesan cheese, broken into shards
Lemon wedges, for serving

1 .       To make the dressing: In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Set aside.

2 .       To prepare the salad: in a large serving bowl toss the diced apple with the lemon juice. Add the Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, almonds, chicken and scallion. Drizzle ¼ cup of the dressing and toss well to coat. Top with Parmesan shards. Serve with the remaining dressing and lemon wedges on the side.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mushroom Risotto & Butternut Squash

                                Serves 4-6
The classic Italian rice dish made with Arborio rice. This recipe combines the sweet caramelization of butternut squash with the earthy characteristic of wild mushrooms to create a symphony of harvest flavors.
 Squash Puree:

3/4      pound butternut squash, can also substitute Kabocha or acorn squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
A little olive oil and salt
3        cups chicken broth
3        cups vegetable broth
2        tablespoons butter
1        tablespoon olive oil
6        ounces  Shitake or other wild mushrooms (remove stems, slice, approx. 2 cups)
Splash of Pineau des Charentes
1/4      cup half and half
Salt and freshly ground pepper


1            teaspoon  butter
1            teaspoon olive oil
1/3        cup minced white onion
1-1/2     cup Arborio rice  (or rice of  your  choice)
1/2        cup of white wine
Parmesan cheese and parsley to garnish
 Squash Puree:

1 .   Preheat oven to 450ºF. Toss squash cubes in olive oil, season with salt. Place on baking sheet and cook until brown and tender. Allow to cool. Put in blender to make a puree and set aside.
2 .   Bring broth to a steady simmer in a medium size pot on top of the stove slow simmer.
3 .   Heat butter and olive oil in a small skillet. Add mushrooms and gently sauté until mushrooms are cooked. Deglaze with Pineau des Charentes, add cream and simmer until reduced slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Take off stove and set aside.

1 .   Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a heavy, medium size wide-bottom pan. Add onion and sauté do not brown. Add rice, stirring all rice grains until translucent. Add white wine. Begin adding broth a ladle at a time, making sure each addition is absorbed, but not dry. Keep adding for approximately 18 20 minutes.
2 .    When rice is almost cooked, add squash puree and mushroom mixture. Stir in parmesan cheese to make creamy. Garnish with fresh parsley 

Monday, September 29, 2014

10 fresh ways to use butternut squash

Everyone  loves butternut  squash  ... well most everyone . Here's an article that was  recently published  in my local  newspaper (Shreveport Times)  I  want to share with you .  I  will try  them all  with my own twist  and share  with you . I do so  hope  you find   some that you will like  .

Like zucchini , pumpkin , cucumber  and melon , butternut is a member of the  gourd family . You may not think of  butternut as a fruit , but if it  has seeds  ... guess what ?  It's  a fruit !
By  Alison Ladman
Now that summer's abundance of zucchini is over, autumn's overabundance of butternut squash is here. Time for some fresh ideas.

But before you  get cooking, let's talk prep. Butternut's thick skin and rock-hard flesh can make the peeling, seeding and chopping part of the meal a challenge. No wonder those bags of prepped squash chunks at the grocer are so popular. But they also are pricy, so let's talk tips for making the work a little easier.

Start by setting your squash on its side on the cutting board. Use a heavy chef's knife to slice off the top (stem end) and bottom (wider end). Slicing off the bottom reveals the seedy-stringy interior. It also gives you a flat base so you can stand your squash upright without it wobbling. Now use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.

Once the squash is peeled, grab your melon baller. You don't have one? Get one. It doesn't need to be fancy, just sturdy. A melon baller with its sharp edges designed for scooping and scraping is the best tool for quickly and cleanly removing the seeds and strings.

Once the interior is scraped clean, return the squash to the cutting board on its side. Cut the squash in two crosswise, cutting just above the bulbous bottom. At this point, you have manageable chunks of squash with flat edges. And that means those chunks can be easily cut or chopped without wobbling.

10 fresh ways with butternut squash:
For simplicity, every recipe idea assumes you've peeled and seeded the squash.

1 .  Patties: Cut a squash into 2-inch pieces. Microwave until just tender. Allow to cool slightly, then arrange small mounds of cubes on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Use the bottom of a bowl or mug to gently smash each mound into a patty about ½ inch thick. Brush the top of each patty with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Bake at 450 degrees until browned and crispy, flipping the patties after about 10 minutes.

2 .  Hummus: Boil 2 cups squash cubes in water until tender. Drain well, then combine in a food processor with ¼cup tahini, 2 cloves garlic, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, and salt and pepper, to taste. Process until smooth, then spoon into a bowl. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped Peppadew peppers. Serve with pita chips.

3 .  Salad: Boil 2 cups squash cubes in water until just tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside to cool. Toss the cooled squash with ½ cup chopped cilantro, 1 cup cooked shelled edamame, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar and 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers. Season with salt and pepper, then top with shredded manchego cheese and toasted pine nuts.

4 .  Hash: Cut the squash into 2-inch chunks, then add to the food processor. Pulse until well chopped, but not pureed. Heat a splash of canola oil in a large skillet, then add the squash and an equal amount of chopped corned beef. Saute until the squash is browned and tender. Serve topped with poached or fried eggs.

5 .  Grilled: Slice the squash into ½-inch-thick slabs. Drizzle each slab with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat until tender when pierced with a fork. If the squash browns too quickly, turn one side of the grill off and leave the other side on medium-high. Move the squash slices to the cooler side and continue cooking, with the grill covered, until tender.

6 .  Soup: Bring to a simmer 2 cups chicken broth, a 13½-ounce can of coconut milk, 3 cloves garlic and 3 cups cubed squash. Cook until very tender. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt, a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of hot sauce. Stir in cooked shredded chicken or cooked shrimp, if desired. Top with shredded fresh basil.

7.  Ganache: Boil 1 cup squash cubes in water until tender. Drain, then add to the food processor and puree until very smooth. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup heavy cream with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and ½ teaspoon ground dry ginger. When just hot, remove from the heat and stir in 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate bits. Stir in the squash puree until completely smooth. Serve warm over ice cream or toasted pound cake or gingerbread.

8.  Biscuits: Boil 1 cup squash cubes in water until tender. Drain and mash with a fork; you should have ½ cup of mashed squash. Cool and stir together with 2/3 cup buttermilk . Freeze 6 tablespoons butter until it's  very  cold  but not  rock  solid . Grate the  butter  with a cheese  grater into a bowl  with 2 cups self-rising  flour . Stir together with  folk . Add the squash  and stir  just until it  comes together . Scoop 1/4  cup at a time  onto an oiled  baking sheet  and bake at 425 degrees  for 19 to 12 minutes . 

9.  Roasted: Toss squash cubes in a bowl with melted butter, salt, pepper, and Italian or Cajun seasoning. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees until tender and browned, stirring occasionally.

 10 .  Crab cakes: Drain a 16-ounce can lump crabmeat. Stir in 1 cup finely grated butternut squash, ¼ cup chopped fresh chives, 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, 1 egg and ½ cup panko breadcrumbs. Form into 8 patties and cook in a skillet with vegetable oil until browned and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side at medium-high.