Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year to your family from mine

Happy New Year 

For everbody in the world 

 Whatever  color their  skin may be ,

Whatever  their  religion may be ,

Whatever  their  situation may be , 

Good health , lots of love , of possibilities  

and  ..... Peace !!!!!

Author unknown :

Nee Carano  & Family

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas to your family from mine Nee Carano

Recipe for Christmas All Year Long 

Take a heap of child-like wonder  
          That opens up your eyes 
To the unexpected gifts in life  --
         Each day a sweet surprise

         Mix in fond appreciation 
For the people  whom we know ;
Like festive  Christmas candles,
   Each one has a special glow .

Add some giggles  and some laughter ,
            A dash of Christmas  food ,
        (Amazing  how a piece of pie
              Improves  our attitude !)

Stir it all with human kindness ;
   Wrap it up in  love and peace ,
    Decorate  with optimism , and 
         Our joy will never cease .

 If we use this healthy recipe,
     We know we will remember 
 To be  in the Christmas  Spirit , 
  Even when it's not December ,
       But every day of the  year .

Author : Joanna Fuchs

Taking the  holidays  ,  see you in 2016 
The Caranos 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chili in 30 minutes Hmm Good

Prep : 5 minutes       Time: 25 minutes      Total Time: 30 minutes
6 Generous Servings
This recipe was  given to me  by a very close friend , I couldn't believe the  taste  , deliciously  good . This  a hectic time with  shopping  , and for those  that need a hot  comfort dish quickly , well this is it . ENJOY !
This ground beef chili is hearty and delicious, and it takes only 30 minutes from start to finish! Don't feel overwhelmed by the list of ingredients, many are suggested toppings.
The ground beef is quickly browned, then it is combined with a spice mixture, beans, and tomatoes for a quick and easy meal for a busy day. It's also easy on the budget.
Make a pan of cornbread to go with the chili, along with a salad or slaw, or serve it with hot cooked rice and warm tortillas.
If you're making this for a party game day gathering, offer several toppings with the chili and add a bowl of tortilla chips to the menu. The recipe is easily doubled.

3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
                 Chili :
1-1/2 pounds ground beef, at least 85% lean
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with mild green chile peppers*
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (15 to 16 ounces) black beans, undrained
salt  to taste
shredded cheddar, cheddar-jack, or a Mexican blend of cheeses

Topping Suggestions :
sour cream, chopped green onion, chopped red onion, shredded lettuce, cilantro, guacamole, diced tomatoes

1 . In a small bowl or cup, combine the chili powder with the dried minced onion, cumin, oregano, sugar, garlic powder, and the black and cayenne peppers. Blend well and set aside.

2 . In a Dutch oven or large sauté pan over medium heat, brown the ground beef, turning and breaking up with a spatula as it cooks.

3  . Drain the ground beef well. Return the beef to the pan over medium heat. Add the chili seasoning mix and stir to blend.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Spicy Chicken and Pasta With a Cajun Kick

This Cajun chicken and pasta skillet dish is quick and easy to prepare. It's made with diced cooked chicken, spicy Cajun seasonings and cayenne pepper, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and a variety of vegetables. Enjoy this flavorful chicken pasta dish with a salad and cornbread or biscuits. Use fusilli, rotini, or similar pasta in this dish.

12 ounces or fusilli or rotini pasta
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
3 to 4 cups diced cooked chicken
1-1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling

Preparation :

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse well with hot water.

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the mushrooms and sliced red and green bell pepper until the vegetables are tender and mushrooms are lightly browned.

To the mushroom mixture, add the sliced green onions, minced garlic, and chicken; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Chicken :

Stir in the Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and black pepper; cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the soup, milk, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and the cooked pasta. Heat through.

You can pick up  a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket , they are seasoned  , no fuss  and little  cleanup .

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Prep: 25 minutes Bake: 40 minutes Makes: 6-8 servings

1 pound ground beef
1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 package (25 ounces) frozen sausage or cheese ravioli
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 .  In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. In a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish, layer a third of the spaghetti sauce, half of the ravioli and beef, and 1/2 cup cheese; repeat layers. Top with remaining sauce and cheese.

2 .  Cover and bake at 400° for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Pecan Pie with a touch of Bourbon

Pie Crust :
2 cups all-purpose flour

cups light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon  fine sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter
7 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar

1½ teaspoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon  fine sea salt
4 large eggs
1½ cups cane, sorghum or dark corn syrup, or honey
3 tablespoons bourbon
1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1¾ cups unsalted pecan halves

1 .  Make the Piecrust: In a bowl, whisk the flour with the brown sugar and salt. Stir in the butter until the dough comes together into a ball. Transfer the dough to a deep 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Using your fingers, press the dough over the bottom and up the side of the plate to the rim. Crimp the edge with your fingers or a fork. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 3 days.

2 .  Make the Filling: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F*. In a bowl, whisk both sugars with the flour, salt and eggs until smooth, then mix in the syrup or honey. Add the bourbon, butter and vanilla and fold in the pecans.

3 .  Pour the filling into the chilled crust and transfer the pie to a foil-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour, until the filling is nearly set. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely, about 4 hours, before serving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 minutes  + soaking     Cook: 40 minutes MAKES: 8 servings

1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1/2 pound bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt to taste
Additional cooked and crumbled bacon, optional

1 .  Rinse and sort black-eyed peas. Place peas and bacon in a Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let soak, covered, 1 hour. Do not drain.

2 .  In a skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in thyme.

3 .  Stir into pea mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 30-40 minutes or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with salt to taste. If desired, serve with additional crumbled bacon. Yield: 8 servings.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Icebox Cookies

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch MAKES: 102 servings

6 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups chopped nuts

1 .   Sift together first five ingredients; set aside. In a bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon extract; beat well. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in nuts.

2.    Divide dough into four parts and shape into 1-1/2-in. x 11-in. rolls. Wrap in foil and chill overnight. Slice cookies 3/8 in. thick.

Bake on greased baking sheets at 350° for about 10 minutes.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Cake _Apple Cheese Filling ---- Bundt Cake

Prep / Total time: 4 hours 10 minutes Makes 12 servings

1         (8-ounces) package cream cheese, softened
1/4      cup butter, softened
1/2      cup granulated sugar
1         large egg
2         tablespoons all-purpose flour
1         teaspoon vanilla extract

1        cup finely chopped pecans
3        cups all-purpose flour
1        cup granulated sugar
1        cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2        teaspoons ground cinnamon
1        teaspoon salt
1        teaspoon baking soda
1        teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2     teaspoon ground allspice
3        large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4     cup canola oil
3/4     cup applesauce
1        teaspoon vanilla extract
3        cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1-1/2 pound)

1/2      cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4      cup butter
3         tablespoons milk
1         teaspoon vanilla extract
1         cup powdered sugar

1.     Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
2.     Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
3.     Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
4.     Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).
5.     Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake.

This delicious apple bundt  cake features a sweet cream cheese filling and homemade praline frosting. Garnish the frosting with extra toasted pecans. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pasta & Bean Soup

Perfect for a cold weather day, this hearty soup features cranberry beans and pork. Cranberry beans are also called shell beans or shell out and are known as borlotti beans in Italy.

2          tablespoons chopped yellow onion
1/4       cup olive oil (less if there is much fat on the pork you are using)
3          tablespoons chopped carrot
3          tablespoons chopped celery
3/4       pork ribs or a ham bone with some meat on or 2 small pork chops (do not use smoked pork)
2/3      cup canned Italian tomatoes, cut up, with their juices

Prepare the Beans:
2         pounds fresh cranberry beans, unshelled weight (If they are not available, use 1 20-oz can white kidney beans or other white bean, such as Great Northern)
3         cups homemade meat broth
Fresh ground pepper

Add Pasta & Serve
6       ounces of tubular pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese

Put onion in a stockpot with oil and sauté over medium heat until pale gold. Add carrot, celery and pork and sauté for about 10 minutes more. Add chopped tomatoes and their juice. Turn heat down to medium low and cook for 10 minutes.

Prepare the Beans:
1      If using fresh cranberry beans, shell, rinse them in cold water and add to the pot. Stir, then add the broth. Cover the pot, and adjust heat to a moderate boil. Cook for 1 hour, or until beans are tender. (If using precooked beans, cook the tomatoes for 20 minutes, instead of 10, then add the drained beans. Let the beans cook in the tomatoes for 5 minutes, stirring thoroughly, then add the broth and bring to a moderate boil.)
2      Scoop up about 2/3 cup of beans and mash them through a food mill back into the pot. Add the salt and pepper.

Add Pasta & Serve
 Check soup for density. It should be like a thick cream soup. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. The soup should rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Swirl in some grated cheese before serving. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese at the table.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Tilapia Tacos

Inexpensive tilapia is readily available and sustainable. Broiling makes this a no-fuss fish dish. The tilapia cooks fast, so make sure all the other components for the taco are ready before you put it under the heat .        Serves 6 (serving size: 2 tacos)       
My  family  love  these  tacos  , so easy and the  clean up is  not  much fuss  .

1         teaspoon garlic powder
1         teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
1/4      teaspoon ground coriander
1/4      teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/8      teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2         pounds tilapia fillets 
1         tablespoon olive oil
1         tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
2         teaspoons canned chopped green chiles
1        diced peeled avocado
12      (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cooking spray
6        lime wedges

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Combine first 4 ingredients and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Brush fillets with oil, and sprinkle with spice mixture. Place fillets on a baking sheet. Broil 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

3. Combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, cilantro, chiles, and avocado in a bowl; lightly mash with a fork.

4. Heat tortillas on a grill pan coated with cooking spray 20 seconds on each side or until lightly charred. Divide avocado mixture and fish among tortillas. Serve with lime wedges.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cajun Catfish Fillets

The spicy cornmeal breading stays crispy when the fish is baked on a ventilated broiler pan. You can also use yellow cornmeal. Try this breading on other white fish fillets.

6 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and 1 lemon wedge) Total time: 23 Minutes

2             tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1-1/2      teaspoons seasoned salt
1-1/2      teaspoons dried oregano
1            teaspoon garlic powder
1            teaspoon onion powder
3/4         teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2         teaspoon chili powder
1/4         teaspoon ground cumin
1/4         teaspoon black pepper
6            (6-ounce) catfish fillets
Cooking spray
6            lemon wedges (optional)

Preheat broiler.:

Combine first 9 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag. Add 1 catfish fillet. Seal bag, and shake well. Remove fillet from bag, and place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with the remaining fillets and cornmeal mixture. Broil 6 inches from heat for 6 minutes. Carefully turn fillets over, and broil 6 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic

1            tablespoon kosher salt
8           ounces uncooked spaghetti
1/4        cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2           pints multicolored cherry tomatoes
4           garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2        teaspoon kosher salt
1/4        teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2           ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
1/4        cup small basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt. Add pasta; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 6 tablespoons cooking liquid. Return pasta to pan. Combine reserved cooking liquid and 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil 4 minutes or until mixture measures 1/3 cup. Add oil mixture to pan with pasta; toss to coat.

3. While pasta cooks, combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, tomatoes, and garlic on a jelly-roll pan, tossing to combine. Bake at 450° for 11 minutes or until tomatoes are lightly browned and begin to burst. Add tomato mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to pasta; toss to coat. Top with cheese and basil. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Spooky Halloween to your family from The Caranos'

                          Night Of Fright
Monsters, stalking through the night,
Halloween is the Night of Fright.
Fear is what this night brings,
Along with many other things.

Are you sure you are prepared?
Tonight is not for the easily scared.
Creatures from hell roam on this night,
For tonight is the Night of Fright.

Trick or treat you say,
You should not have waited until the end of the day.
Tonight you will lose your tricks and treats,
For the monsters need to eat.

You better not take this night lightly,
Or else you will truly learn what fright means.

In ancient times people feared this night,
The night they greeted with fright.
Why they were so scared you will soon see,
On this "All Hollows Eve.

Author : Jasmine

Have  you heard  about  the 'Witches  Garden,' I  learned  about  the  history  of  the  Watches  Garden   and  I do so think  you will enjoy  the  history  of   the  garden of  herbs  ... please  pay  a visit  to   a Dottie  and say hello , I know  you will enjoy  the  history of the  herbs at 
Family Plus  Food  Equals  Love   , I  know  you will enjoy  the  history   of  herbs .
Happy  Halloween  from my  family  to yours . Nee Carano

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Shrimp, Tomatoes and Arugula with Capellini with Capellini

Pasta Side Dish | Serves 4
One  of  our  last  meals  at  the  lake ,  we  will close  the  cabin  down  for  the winter  ,  hubby  and  brother  fish year round .

The perfect pasta for a light dinner or an al fresco lunch. The taste of summer is written all over this easy entrée. Add a summery sizzle to your shrimp by tossing them on the BBQ grill while enjoying a glass of Ferrari-Carano Fumé Blanc.

Cooking the Pasta:
16 ounces  cappellini

Basil-lemon marinade:
4       tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4       garlic cloves, minced
4       tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
1       tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
2       teaspoon lemon zest, minced
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste

2       tablespoons olive oil
1       pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1       medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4   cup Ferrari-Carano Fumé Blanc
4      cups fresh arugula (rocket greens)

Final Touch
1/2      cup Parmesan cheese
1         teaspoon  fresh mint, julienne sliced for garnish

Cook the cappellini according to package directions.

Basil-lemon marinade:
In a small bowl, add oil, garlic, basil, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper and stir. Set aside at room temperature.

1      Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet, add shrimp and tomatoes. Add Ferrari-Carano Fumé Blanc. Let cook until the shrimp turn just pink.
2      Drain pasta onto a platter and immediately add the shrimp and tomato mixture, the fresh arugula greens and the basil-lemon marinade.

Final Touch:
Toss with Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle top with fresh mint. Serve immediately.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Cilantro-Lime & Tequila Slaw

Grab a bag of packaged coleslaw mix, and you've saved yourself the time of slicing cabbage and shredding carrots. A splash of tequila adds spirit and complexity (I urge you not to leave it out), while lime juice's zing perks up earthy cabbage. Serve on tacos, alongside barbecue chicken, with grilled flank or skirt steak, or with (or on) burgers.

Serves 6 (serving size: about 2/3 cup)        Total time: 5 Minutes

1/4 cup canola mayonnaise (such as Hellmann's)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
1 tablespoon silver tequila
2 teaspoons sugar 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions 
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (14-ounce) package coleslaw
Try Fluffy Three Pepper Sausage Corn Cakes

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Enjoy this dish year round --- Grill or Oven Broiler Grilled-Onion Chowchow with Grilled Sausages

2      sweet onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2      jalapeños
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
1/2   cup cider vinegar
1/4   cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4   cup grainy mustard
1/4   cup Dijon mustard
1/4   teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4   teaspoon turmeric
1      teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3      pounds mixed sausages (see Tip)

1 .   Light a grill or the oven broiler to medium high . Skewer each onion slice with a toothpick. Thread the jalapeños on a skewer. Brush the onions and jalapeños with olive oil and on grill or oven boiler on a medium fire until charred but still slightly crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the toothpicks and skewer. Coarsely chop the onions. Peel and chop the jalapeños.

2 .   In a medium saucepan, combine the cider vinegar with the light brown sugar, grainy and Dijon mustards, caraway seeds and turmeric and bring to a simmer. Add the onions and jalapeños and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 12 minutes. Stir the cornstarch mixture, add it to the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3 .   Grill the sausages over a medium-high fire on grill or oven until golden and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve the sausages with the grilled-onion chowchow.

Make ahead:
The chowchow can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

The sausages can include Italian fennel, merguez, turkey and chicken sausages, which will cook in about 12 minutes; and andouille and kielbasa sausages, which will cook in about 10 minutes.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pasta Shells with Chicken & Broccoli

"This cheesy entree can be assembled ahead of time and popped in the oven when company arrives," I suggest rounding out the meal with a tossed salad and warm bread.

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min. MAKES: 7 servings

1 jar (16 ounces) Alfredo sauce
2 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
21 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained

In a large bowl, combine the Alfredo sauce, broccoli, chicken and cheeses. Spoon into pasta shells. Place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.

Cover and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.

Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked casserole. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fishing -- Fixin' -- Trip to the Cabin Lake

Our last family fishing trip for summer with the kids to the cabin on the lake . what a great time everyone had . Hubby and brother went out in the boat with the two older boys , both 13 , they love fishing with their daddies , ( think they love to hang out in the gallery) . The 3 girls  (mine 11 and 12 , niece 12) stayed with us , they are great help .2 little boys , 6 (mine) 7 (nephew) hung out with their sisters.
I want share with you our last outdoor meal  on the lake .
                                                                     Pan Fried Fish:

1          pint homogenized milk
6-8       ounces beer
1          egg, beaten well
2          tablespoons prepared mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
Creole Seasoning, to taste
10-12   catfish or trout filets
2/3       cup cornmeal
1/3       cup flour
Salt & cayenne pepper, to taste
Creole seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder, to taste
 3/4       cup extra light virgin olive oil
¼         cup butter

Mix well the first seven ingredients; add fish filets and marinate at least 4 hours. Drain filets in a colander. Mix cornmeal, flour, and seasonings. Dip fish filets in cornmeal mixture and fry on medium heat, adding more oil as needed. Drain well and drizzle with lemon juice. Makes 4-6 servings.

            Zesty Tartar Sauce:

1½    cups mayonnaise
1       pickled jalapeno, diced
3       tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2       tablespoons green onion tops, chopped fine
1       tablespoon celery, chopped fine
1       tablespoon capers
1       teaspoon dried dill, optional
Mix together all ingredients; chill.

                                                                       Simple Slaw:
1        (l pound) bag shredded slaw mix
3        hard-boiled eggs, chopped
3-4     stalks green onion tops, chopped
¾       cup mayonnaise
¼       cup bottled Ranch dressing
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
Crispy, fried bacon, crumbled, (optional)

Combine slaw mix with hard-boiled eggs and green onion tops. Mix mayonnaise and Ranch dressing; toss with slaw mix. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Blend in crumbled bacon, if using. Makes 6 servings.

Note: For a change of flavor, substitute Italian dressing for the Ranch.
                      Tomato Pie:
5 or 6      tomatoes, peeled and sliced
Salt, to taste
10           fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2          cup chopped green onion
1             (9-inch) deep dish pie shell, baked
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1             cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1             cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1             cup mayonnaise

Place tomatoes in a colander in the sink in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes. (If tomatoes are still juicy, place them between layers of paper towels to absorb remaining moisture.) Layer tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine grated cheeses and mayonnaise; stir. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes. Garnish top with additional chopped green onion and basil, if desired. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Makes 8-10 servings
Vegetable oil for frying
2            cups yellow cornmeal
1-1/2      cups flour
3            teaspoons baking powder
1            teaspoon salt
1            teaspoon sugar
1            teaspoon garlic powder
Black pepper and Cajun or Creole seasoning to taste
1           egg
1          (15-ounce) can cream-style corn
1/2       cup finely chopped onions
Hot pepper sauce to taste
Worcestershire sauce to taste

Heat vegetable oil in large frying skillet. Mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Mix together the wet ingredients in a small bowl; blend until well mixed. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. (If consistency is too thick, add milk, a little at a time) Form batter into small balls and drop into hot oil. Cook until lightly brown. Serve with your favorite fish and fries.
                 Sausage Biscuits:
1         pound bulk pork sausage
2         cups biscuit baking mix
1         teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1         egg, beaten
1/2      cup water

1 .  Make sausage into patties , fry in non-stick skillet about 3-4 minutes each side , remove to paper towel to drain.

2 .  Mix all ingredients; drop by spoonful's on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven until brown, approximately 25 minutes. These will keep well in a sealed container for several days.

TIP:1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese may be added.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Stuffed Peppers -with Orzo


I want to think everyone for their prayer and well wishes for my family  and myself . Everything is wel in my little corner of the world .  Had a very severe storm , knocked out the web service in our area , wires were replaced about 20 or 30 square miles , so I heard . As you know , businesses first .
Did a lot of reading and cooking . I will be visiting  and catching up with all of you . 
Again I thank you .   Nee
Packed with orzo, Italian sausage and summer flavors, these stuffed peppers make a fun, fast-fixing meal. Get colorful with green, orange, red or yellow peppers. Use more or less pepper flakes to adjust the level of heat to your liking!
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min. MAKES: 4 servings

4        large green peppers
1        cup uncooked orzo pasta
1        pound bulk Italian sausage
1/2     cup chopped red onion
2        teaspoons minced garlic
2        cups marinara or spaghetti sauce
1        medium tomato, chopped
1/4     cup minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
2        teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1        teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4     cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2        tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 .   Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. In a Dutch oven, cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.

2 .   Cook orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain.

3 .   Drain orzo; stir into meat mixture. Add the marinara sauce, tomato, basil, rosemary and pepper flakes. Spoon into peppers.

4 .   Place in a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheeses. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Crisp Apple Candy Salad

This creamy, sweet salad with crisp apple crunch is a real people-pleaser. It makes a lot, which is good, because it will go fast!

Prep/Total Time: 15 minutes MAKES: 12 servings

1-1/2        cups cold 2% milk

1              package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix

1              carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

4              large apples, chopped (about 6 cups)

4              Snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping. Fold in apples and candy bars. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 12 servings (3/4 cup each).

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cherry-Glazed Chicken with Toasted Pecans

Prep/Total Time: 30 minutes Make 4 serving

4          boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)

3/4      cup cherry preserves1 teaspoon onion power

2         ounces fontina cheese , thinly slice

2        tablespoons chopped pecans , toasted

1 .   Preheat oven to 375°. Place chicken in an ungreased 11x7-in. baking dish. Top with preserves; sprinkle with onion powder. Bake, uncovered, 18-22 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165°.

2 .   Top with cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with pecans. Yield: 4 servings.

TIP: To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally

Enjoy with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pork Adobo Salad ---Cuban Style

Prep:10 minutes Total time : 20 minutes Serves 4

4           (top loin boneless) pork chops, 3/4-inch thick 2/3 cup lime juice*
3          cloves garlic, minced
1          teaspoon ground cumin
1          teaspoon salt
1/4       teaspoon black pepper
4          1/2-inch-thick slices cored fresh pineapple
5          ounces arugula, watercress, or assorted baby greens
1         14.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2       small red onion, cut into thin slivers
3          tablespoons olive oil (plus oil for the grill grate)
1          teaspoon honey

1 . For the dressing-marinade mixture, in a small bowl whisk together lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture for the dressing in the refrigerator. For the marinade, transfer remaining mixture to a self-sealing plastic bag.

2 . Add chops; seal bag and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Prepare a medium-hot fire with charcoal or preheat gas to medium high. Lightly oil grill grate. Remove chops from marinade (do not pat dry), discarding marinade from the bag.

3 . Grill chops and pineapple directly over heat, turning once, until internal temperature of pork on a thermometer reads between 145 degrees F. (medium rare) and 160 degrees F. (medium), followed by a 3-minute rest, about 8 to 11 minutes.

4 . Plate greens on 4 dinner dishes. Divide pineapple, black beans, and onion onto plates. Top with pork chops. For the dressing, whisk the 3 tablespoons of oil and honey into the reserved dressing mixture; drizzle atop salads.

*Cuban cooking often calls for sour orange juice, which is less sweet and more acidic than common orange juice. If you can find sour oranges, such as Seville or Bergamont ,substitute this juice for the lime juice. You can also use half lime juice and half orange juice.

Hello :
I've missed all you  and glad to be back , I caught up with a few of you , I will catch up with the rest as soon as possible , some may ask  what I've been up to ,  well learning how to dance , teacher says I need lots more lessons . What you think ...pretty good HUH? (giggling)  For those that don't know the dance  is called the  "Hip-Hop" dance . I am good , do you not think so ?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Rainbow Salad

Hi everyone ,
I have been away for awhile  not by choice , but by need of family. Hubby's aunt broke her leg , after 2 /3 weeks the doctors put it in a walking cast , boy was she happy , so were we , now we don't have to dodge that dang scooter . I think she tried to deliberately run over her caregiver .
Hubby asked her how she broke her leg , she said singing and doing the twist to Chubby Checkers  Doing the twist song  with a sip of wine .(aunty is 87) giggling , aunty slipped outside in the garden . She likes to punch his buttons (a true Italian lady).
The kids want to go to the ranch in Reno and then to Sonoma / Napa valley ,wine country  to visit hubby's dad . As you know they are having water shortages there , Baby Boy  said , mama we can drink wine , gramps has lots and lots of wine in bottles and kegs . The kids love to see how the wine is made , go out to the grape fields ,pick the grapes of the vine .
I will leave you my favorite salad recipe , enjoy .
See you in September ..... Nee
Time: 15 minute

1/2          teaspoon orange zest
1/2          cup orange juice , preferably freshly squeezed
1/4          cup cider vinegar
1             tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2             teaspoons fresh oregano , chopped, or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1             teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2          teaspoon salt
1/2          teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1-1/2       cups bell peppers , chopped
1-1/2       cups broccoli florets , chopped
1             cup shredded carrots
1/2          cup radishes , diced
1             tablespoon red onion , minced
1/2          cup Orange-Oregano Dressing

1 .    To prepare dressing: Place orange zest and juice, vinegar, oil, oregano, mustard, salt and pepper in a jar. Cover and shake to combine. (Makes about 1 cup.)

2 .    To prepare salad: Combine bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, radishes and onion in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
(Refrigerate extra dressing for up to 1 week.)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fouth of July 4th :BBQ Pork Chops Southern Style

 Juicy pork chops aren't that hard to come by when you have this simple sauce on your side. In other words, there's no reason to bust your chops with a ton of unnecessary ingredients. Sink your teeth into this tasty recipe.

1/4 cup Italian salad dressing

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

1 tsp. chili powder

4 boneless center cut pork chops, 3/8-inch thick

Combine first three ingredients and pour over pork. Cover container and place pork in refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight.

Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Drain liquid from pork and save .
Place pork in skillet and brown for a few minutes on both sides. Pour the liquid that was saved over the top of chops.
 Cover pan.
Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Greek Pizza Muffins

Total Time: 50 minutes

2              tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2/3           cup finely chopped onion
2/3           cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/3           cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/3           cup all-purpose flour
2              teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2        teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1              teaspoon sugar
1/4           teaspoon garlic powder
1/4           teaspoon salt
1/3           cup low-fat milk
1/3           cup crumbled feta cheese
1              large egg, well beaten
2              tablespoons tomato paste
2              tablespoons chopped kalamata olives

1.   Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Serve at room temperature or reheat at 350°F. | Equipment: Mini-muffin pan with 24 (2-tablespoon) muffin cups.

2.  2 dozen mini muffins

3 .  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes

4 . Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.

5 . Whisk whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, oregano, sugar, garlic powder and salt in a medium bowl.

6 . Stir milk, feta, egg, tomato paste and olives into the onion mixture. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fill the prepared muffin cups two-thirds full.

7 .Bake the muffins until lightly browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Jalapeño Pepper Egg Muffins

If you want to add a little spice to your life, try these jalapeño muffins. Believe it or not, jalapeños are a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C.

1             tablespoon olive oil
2             tablespoons minced onion
2             cloves garlic minced
3             slices turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
7             eggs
1             tablespoon fat free milk
1/2          cup medium white cheddar
1/4          cup mild cheddar
2             tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño
Pepper to taste

1 .  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2 .  Grease a muffin tin and set aside.
3 .  Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil.
4 .   Beat the eggs. Add the milk, onion mixture, bacon, cheese and jalapeño.
5 .  Spoon into the muffin tins, about halfway full.
6 .  Bake 20 minutes until the edges begin to brown.

Store extras in the refrigerator and pop in the microwave for 30 seconds for a quick breakfast.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pepper Shrimp

Rice flour is the "secret ingredient" in this dish and is used to make the flavorful coating for the shrimp. But if you can’t find it, cornstarch makes a fine substitute. Serve with rice noodles or brown rice and a sprinkle of chopped scallions.
               Total Time: 30 minutes       Makes 2 serving

2              tablespoons lime juice
2              teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2              teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2           teaspoon sugar
3              cups thinly sliced cabbage, preferably napa (about 1/4 head; see Tips for Two)
1               small red or orange bell pepper, very thinly sliced
2              tablespoons rice flour  or cornstarch
1/4           teaspoon kosher salt
1/2           teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2           teaspoon five-spice powder,
10            ounces raw shrimp, (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined
1              tablespoon canola oil
1              jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and minced
 1 .Whisk lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add cabbage and bell pepper; toss to combine.
2 .Combine rice flour (or cornstarch), salt, pepper and five-spice powder in a medium bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring often, until they are pink and curled, 3 to 4 minutes. Add jalapeno and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, about 1 minute more. Serve the slaw topped with the shrimp.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Brithday ---- Louise----John ---- Nee

It's that time of year again , the second day of summer , our birthday has rolled around again. Instead of getting older , we my friends are getting better .
Last year we did the Two-Step Hoe-Down , this year for your enjoyment lets have some fun .
Introducing the 'Jalapeno Chili Band' , playing  your favorite music for jalapeno hot-hot-hot dances;
Rumba ---- Salsa ---- Chipanecas (chip) ---- Samba and let's not foget the Tango and Cha-Cha

 We were able to get Miss . Whatazzhername to walk the catwalk or should I say , wobble (giggling).
Last , but not least , I was able to book the 'White House Trio,' boy , they sure can get down.
After the party end ,hop over to John's at  Kitchen Riffs , John has  cocktials waiting.
                                           Have a great hear      

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day ---Summer is Here

                    A Father's Day Poem by Anonymous

A Dad is a person  who is loving and kind,
And often he knows what you have on your mind .

He's someone who listens, suggests, and defends.
A dad can be one of your very best friends!

He's proud of your triumphs, but when things go wrong,
A dad can be patient and helpful and strong.
In all that you do, a dad's love plays a part.
There's always a place for him deep in your heart.

And each year that passes, you're even more glad,
More grateful and proud just to call him your dad!
Thank you, Dad...for listening and caring,
for giving and sharing, but, especially, for just being you.

              A Sunny Day Waterfall
by Sybrina Spencer

On a sunny, hot, windy day
chirping birds come my way
Comfortable, beautiful, smashing
When water comes down and crashing

Relaxing, misty air
When people come they will stare
Sweet, pine, wet
People will never forget.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fillets with Pineapple-Jalapeño Salsa

Serve simple sautéed fish fillets with jalapeno-spiked pineapple salsa for a Caribbean-inspired meal. Serve with black beans and brown rice.

Total Time: 35 minutes

                                         Salsa                4 Serving
1                  small ripe pineapple
1/4               cup minced scallions
3                  tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3                  tablespoons lime juice
2                  tablespoon minced fresh jalapeño pepper, (about 1 large)
1                  tablespoon canola oil
1/4               teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

                                       Fish                 4 servings
1/3               cup all-purpose flour
1/2               teaspoon salt
1/4               teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1                  pound catfish, tilapia, haddock or other white fish fillets  cut into 4 portions
1                  tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Cover and refrigerate the salsa  for up to 1 day.

1 .   To prepare salsa: Cut the top and skin off pineapple, remove the eyes and core. Finely dice the pineapple (you will have about 4 cups diced pineapple) and place in a medium bowl. Add scallions, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and oil. Toss to mix. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

2 .   To prepare fish: Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish; thoroughly dredge fillets (discard any leftover flour).

3 .   Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish, working in batches if necessary, and cook until lightly browned and just opaque in the center, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve each portion of fish with about 1/4 cup salsa

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Salmon -- Morel &Red Wine Sauce

Dried mushrooms give this rich red-wine sauce an almost meaty flavor. Look for them in the produce department of well-stocked supermarkets or specialty grocers. If you’re not a fan of salmon, try the recipe with halibut instead. Serve with barley tossed with parsley and steamed broccolini. To double: Prepare a double batch of sauce in the large skillet, increasing reduction time as needed. Cook 2 1/2 pounds of salmon in two batches, adding oil as necessary.

Time: 45 minutes

1-1/2             ounce package dried morel or porcini mushrooms
1                   cup boiling water
2                   teaspoons cornstarch
2                   teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3                cup finely chopped shallots
3/4                cup dry red wine
1                   cup seafood stock, or bottled clam juice (see Tip)
1                   teaspoon butter
1 to 2            teaspoons lemon juice
1/2                teaspoon salt, divided
1/2                teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1-1/4             pounds wild-caught salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 4 portions

1 .   Combine mushrooms and boiling water in a small bowl. Soak until the mushrooms are softened, 12 to 15 minutes. Strain the soaking liquid through a paper towel-lined sieve into a bowl. Rinse the mushrooms; finely chop. Stir together 1 tablespoon of the soaking liquid and cornstarch in a small bowl.

2 .   Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in wine and cook, stirring, until reduced to about 1/2 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining soaking liquid and seafood stock (or clam juice) to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 10 to 14 minutes.

3 .   Stir the cornstarch mixture and stir it into the simmering sauce. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in butter, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

4 .   Meanwhile, season salmon with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon and cook until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with the mushroom sauce.

TIP: Bottled clam juice can be high in sodium. We like Bar Harbor brand, which has 120 mg sodium per 2-ounce serving. Look for it near canned fish or in the seafood department.

Tip: For more information about wild-caught salmon, visit To skin a salmon fillet, place it skin-side down and, starting at the tail end, slip a long, sharp knife between flesh and skin, holding the skin down with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, without cutting through fillet or skin.

If preparing ahead of time: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate the sauce for up to 1 day. Reheat the sauce just before serving.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Beef and Cabbage ........... for the Busy Cook

For those days  you are  so busy  and  wants  a  delicious   but you don't have  time  to prepare  a   home-cooked meal, prepare dinner in the morning. Leave this scrumptious cabbage and beef dish cooking all day long. 
You will have  the  family wondering  how  you did  it  so deliciously  good .  

2            pounds  ground beef
3/4         cup cooked rice 
1            egg 
1            onion, finely chopped 
1/2         teaspoon  salt & pepper 
1            large head of cabbage 
1            can condensed tomato soup 
1            can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes 
1/2         teaspoon  cinnamon 
salt and pepper to taste 

Remove leaves from head of cabbage without breaking. Add to boiling salt water until leaves wilt. Drain and set on paper towels to cool. Combine meat, rice, onion, egg, salt and pepper; mix well. Place 1/4 cup meat mixture in center of each leaf. Fold in sides and roll ends over meat. Secure with wooden toothpicks. Place rolls in crockpot. Combine tomato soup, tomatoes, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Pour mixture over cabbage rolls. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.