Friday, February 27, 2015


   Start to finish: 2½ hours (30 minutes active)

Makes 10 servings

2 to 3          large sweet potatoes (1½ to 2 pounds )
5                 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3                 large eggs
¾                cup heavy cream
2                 tablespoons  bourbon
1                 generous tsp. vanilla extract
¼                cup granulated sugar
½                cup packed dark brown sugar
1                 teaspoon  cinnamon
¼                teaspoon  kosher salt
¼                teaspoon  grated nutmeg
¼                teaspoon ground dry ginger
Pinch ground cloves
10-inch graham cracker pie crust, homemade or store-bought

For the topping:
1               cup heavy cream
2               tablespoons  granulated sugar
½              teaspoons  ground dry ginger
Toasted pecans, to garnish

1 .    Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, then pierce them on top with a fork. Set the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and roast until soft, about 1 hour, or until you can see juices bubbling where you pricked the potatoes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
2 .   Once the sweet potatoes have cooled, peel and roughly chop the potatoes. Measure out a generous 2 cups of the flesh, then transfer to a food processor. Process for 2 minutes, or until very smooth.
3 .   With the processor running, add the melted butter, eggs, cream, bourbon and vanilla. The mixture should begin to look light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add both sugars, the cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Process again to combine and fully incorporate the final ingredients.
4 .   Place the prepared pie crust on a baking sheet, then transfer the sweet potato mixture into it. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the filling jiggles just slightly at the center. Let cool to room temperature.
5 .   When ready to serve, prepare the gingered whipped cream. In a large bowl, combine the cream, sugar and ginger. Use a whisk or electric mixer to whip until stiff peaks form. Mound the whipped cream over the cooled pie, then sprinkle with toasted pecans.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chicken with Avocado-Green Pea Salsa

2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1          3-1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Kosher salt
1          medium onion, minced
2          serrano chiles, seeded and minced
2          garlic cloves, minced
3          plum tomatoes (1 pound), cored and finely diced
1          teaspoon ground achiote (annatto)
1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
Small pinch of saffron threads
1          cup dry white wine
3          cups chicken stock
1          cup pilsner or light beer
2          cups Bomba or other short-grain rice
1/2       cup chopped parsley

Avocado-Green Pea Salsa for serving  **(recipe below)
Hot Sauce or other hot sauce, for serving  **(recipe Below)

1.   Preheat the oven to 400°. In a very large, deep ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook skin side down over moderate heat, turning once, until nicely browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2 .  Add the onion, serranos and garlic to the skillet and season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, achiote, cumin and saffron and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes start to break down, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and beer and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and return to a boil. Nestle the chicken into the rice and bake uncovered in the lower third of the oven for about 30 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed, the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
3 .   Transfer the chicken to a plate. Fluff the rice with a fork, then gently fold in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the skillet and serve with AvocadoGreen Pea Salsa and hot sauce.

Suggested Pairing :
Serve with a medium-bodied Spanish whitesomething nicely citrusy and versatile with food.

Avocado-Green Pea Salsa

1            cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
1            small red onion, minced
1/4         cup fresh lime juice
Kosher salt
3            Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and finely diced
1/4         cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 . In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the peas until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain and cool under running water, then drain on paper towels.
2 . In a bowl, mix the onion with the lime juice and 3/4 teaspoon of salt; let stand for 10 minutes. Fold in the avocados, peas and oil, season with salt and serve.
Make ahead:  The salsa can be refrigerated overnight.

                     Hot Sauce
1        quart extra-virgin olive oil
1        large onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
1        large tomato, cut into 2-inch pieces
1        red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
1        Cubanelle pepper, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
9        serrano chiles, stemmed
7        garlic cloves
5        habanero chiles, stemmed
Kosher salt
1 .    In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the salt. Cook over low heat until all of the vegetables are falling-apart soft, about 4 hours; let cool slightly.
2 .    Drain the vegetables in a fine sieve set over a heatproof bowl; don’t press on the solids. Transfer the vegetables to a blender, add 1/4 cup of water and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine on, gradually drizzle in 2 cups of the cooking oil and puree until smooth and slightly thick (reserve the remaining cooking oil for another use). Season the hot sauce with salt and let cool completely before serving.
Make ahead : The hot sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, February 23, 2015

This Cheezy Spud's for You ... Casserole

6        medium potatoes
8        ounces small curd cottage cheese
8        ounces French onion dip
6        slices bacon
Shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Peel the potatoes if you like. Cut into chunks and cook in boiling water until done, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash. Cook bacon until crispy . Add all the cottage cheese, French onion dip, and seasonings. Place in a 1-1 1/2 quart shallow casserole dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until heated through. About 10 minutes before done, cover the potatoes with shredded cheese. If you have refrigerated the mixture, heat it up in a microwave before baking.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Carrots with Spice Garlic

Prep / Total time : ... 30 minutes ... Makes 6 servings

2             pounds medium carrots , cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices
2            cinnamon sticks , (3-inch)
1            teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4         cup olive oil
12          garlic cloves , peeled and slightly crushed
1/2         teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4         teaspoon salt

1) Place carrots in a large saucepan and cover with water . Bring to a boil . Cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until ender ; drain .
2 ) In a large dry skillet . toast cinnamon sticks and cumin seeds over medium heat until aromatic , stirring occasionally . Add oil ; heat over medium-high heat . Add the carrots , crushed garlic , pepper flakes and salt ; cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes or until carrots and garlic are slightly browned . Remove cinnamon .
This classic Moroccan side dish is serve as often as possible , hot or as a cold salad . The natural sweetness of the carrots tempers the garlic and balances the sizzle of the pepper flakes .

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pork Roast with Garlic ----- Recipe from a very dear friend

Prep :10 minutes .. Bake:1 hour 30 minutes .. Makes 8 servings

1              bone-in pork loin roast (5 pounds)
1/2           medium green pepper , finely chopped
1/2           thinly sliced green onions
1/2           cup chopped celery
8              garlic cloves , minced
1              teaspoon salt
1/4           teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 . With a sharp knife , cut a deep pocket between each rib on meaty side of roast . In a small bowl , mix the green pepper , green onions , celery and garlic ; stuff into pockets . Sprinkle salt and cayenne pepper over the roast .
2 . Place roast in a shallow roasting pan , stuffing side up . Roast at 350* for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours or until a thermometer inserted in pork reads 145* . Remove roast from oven ; tent with foil . Let stand for 15 minutes before carving .

The memory of Ruby Williams lives on in this always perfect roast . She grew up in a family of 11 children , which meant her mom made basic simple foods most of the time . But not on holidays !
Ruby Williams
Bogalusa , Louisiana 
I think about  often dear  Ruby ....Nee

Monday, February 16, 2015

Shrimp With A Kick A** Taste (giggling)

Makes 4 servings

3         tablespoons  mayonnaise
1         tablespoon  butter, room temperature
1         cup sweet chili sauce
1         pound  fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2      cup seafood breading
Olive oil for deep frying
Crushed red pepper, to taste

Mix mayonnaise, butter and sweet chili sauce in a bowl until blended; set aside. Lightly coat shrimp with seafood breading. Shake off excess and deep-fry shrimp in olive oil with crushed red pepper for approximately 3 minutes. After removing hot shrimp from oil and draining on paper towels, add to sauce mixture and toss to coat.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Cupcake with Bacon & Herbs

Prep: 25 minutes Bake: 26 to 28 minutes Makes about 32 cupcakes

1-1/2        cups sour cream
1/2           cup cooked finely crumble bacon
1/2           cup melted butter
1/2           cup finely chopped assorted fresh herbs
2              green onions , chopped
1/2           teaspoon pepper
2              cups all-purpose flour
6              ounces cream cheese , softened
*Garnishes : assorted fresh herbs , cooked and crumble bacon

1 .   Preheat oven to 375* . Stir together first 6 ingredients . Stir in flour until well blended . (mixture will be thick). Spoon batter into lightly greased miniature muffin pans filling completely full .

2 .   Bake at 375* for 26 to 28 minutes or until golden brown . Remove cupcakes from pans to a wire rack and cool completely (about 30 minutes). Spread or pipe tops of cupcakes with cream cheese . Garnish if desired .

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Beef Veggie Casserole

Prep / Total time : --- 25 minutes --- Makes 5 servings
1                 envelope mushroom gravy mix
3/4              cup water
2                 cups cubed cooked beef
2                 cups frozen mixed vegetables
2                 medium potatoes , peeled , cubed and cooked
1                 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits , separated into  8 biscuits

1.     In a large sauce pan , combine the gravy mix and water until smooth . Bring to a boil ; cook and stir 1 minute or until thickened . Stir in beef , vegetables and potatoes ; heat through .
2 .    Transfer to a greased 8-inch square baking dish . Top with the biscuits . Bake , uncovered , at 400* for 12 to 16 minutes or until bubbly and biscuits are golden brown .

Leftover roast beef and refrigerated biscuits make this satisfying stew a breeze to fix .

You  can also use  any  left over  meat ,  pork ,  chicken  and  Italian  sausage.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Frittata Fajita

                                       Makes 8 servings
1/2          pound boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into strips
1             small onion , cup into thin strips
1/2          medium green pepper , cut into thin strips
1             teaspoon lime juice
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/2         teaspoon ground cumin
1/2         teaspoon chili powder
2            tablespoons canola oil
8            eggs , lightly beaten
1           cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
                             Salsa and sour cream optional

1) In a large ovenproof skillet , saute the chicken , onion , green pepper , lime juice , salt , cumin and chili powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink .

2) Pour eggs over chicken mixture . Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until eggs are nearly set . Uncover ; broil 6-inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes are until  eggs are set .

3) Sprinkle with cheese . Cover and let stand for 1 minute or until cheese is melted . Serve with salsa and sour cream if desired .

It takes just a few minutes to prepare this delicious dish . You could serve it for brunch ... this will be a popular request from your family .

Friday, February 6, 2015

German Sauerbraten ---- slow cooker

Prep : 10 minutes + marinating        Cook : 6 hours Makes 12 servings

1-1/2          cups water , divided
1-1/4          cups cinder vinegar , divided
2                 large onions , sliced , divided
1                 medium lemon , sliced
15              whole cloves , divided
6                whole peppercorns
2                tablespoons sugar
2                teaspoons salt
1                boneless beef sirloin tip roast (3 pounds) cut in half
1/4             teaspoon pepper
12              gingersnap cookies , crumbled

1 .       In a re-sealable  plastic bag , combine 1 cup water , 1 cup vinegar , half of onions , lemon , 10 cloves , four bay leaves , peppercorns , sugar and salt . Add roast .Seal bag and turn to coat , refrigerate overnight , turning occasionally .
2 .     Drain and discard marinade . Place roast in a 5-quart slow cooker . add pepper and remaining water , vinegar , onions , cloves and bay leaves . Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until meat is tender .
3 .     Remove roast and keep warm . Discard bay leaves and cloves . Stir in gingersnaps . Cover and cook on high for 10 to 15 minutes or until gravy is thickened . Slice roast ; serve with gravy .

You can serve this popular German  entrée  with potato pancakes and vegetables . Crushed gingersnaps lemon and vinegar give the marinated beef and gravy their appetizing sweet-sour flavor .

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Italian Sausage , Chicken or Turkey Spinach Manicotti Casserole

Prep : 30 minutes Bake: 45 minutes Makes 14 servings

2              packages (8 ounces each) manicotti shells
1/4           cup butter , cubed
1/4           cup all-purpose flour
2-1/2        cups milk
3/4          cup grated Permesan cheese
1             pound bulk Italian sausage
4             cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
2             packages (10 ounces each ) frozen chopped spinach , thawed and squeezed dry
2            eggs beateb
1            cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
2            jars (26 ounces each) spaghetti sauce
1/4         cup minced fresh parsley

1 .   Cook manicotti according to package directions . Meanwhile , melt butter in a saucepan . Stir in flour until smooth . Gradually add milk . Bring to a boil ; cook and stir for 2   minutes or until thickened . Add Parmesan cheese ; stir until melted and set aside . Drain manicotti and set aside .
3.   In a large skillet , cook the saausage over medium heat until no longer pink ; drain . Add the chicken , spinach , eggs , mozzarella cheese and 3/4 cup white sauce . Stuff into manicotti shells .
 4 .   Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in each of 2 ungreased 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch baking dishes . Top with manicotti . Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over the tiop .
 5 .   Reheat remaining white sauce , stirring constantly . Pour over spaghetti sauce . Bake , uncovered at 350* for 45 to 50 minutes . Sprinkle with parsley .

This hearty , stuff pasta dish feeds a crowd . Tangy tomato sauce tips manicotti that's filled with a mouth watering blend of Italian sausage , chicken , spinach and mozzaerlla cheese .

Monday, February 2, 2015

Cabbage Rolls -------------------Slow Cooker

Prep : 20 minutes Cook : 6 hours Makes 6 servings

1           large head cabbage
1           egg , beaten
1           can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
3/4        cup quick-cooking rice
1/2        cup chopped green pepper
1/2        cup crushed saltines (about 15 crackers)
1            envelope onion soup mix
1-1/2     pounds lean ground beef
1           can (46 ounces) V8 juice
*** salt to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese optional

1.  Cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall of head . Set aside . 12 large leaves for rolls , drain well .(Refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use) . Cut out the thick stem vein from the bottom of each reserved leaf , making a V-shaped cut ; set aside .
2 .  In a bowl , combine the egg , tomato sauce , rice , green pepper , cracker crumbs and soup mix . Crumble meat over mixture and mix well . Place about 1/3 cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf . Fold in sides , beginning from the cut end . Roll up completely to enclose filling . Secure with toothpicks if desired .
3 .  Place cabbage rolls in a 3-quart slow cooker . Pour V8 juice over rolls . Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or until filling reaches 160* . Just before serving , sprinkle with salt and cheese if desired .

This recipe is good for people on the go , it's a lifesaver . It's great to have dinner ready when you walk in the door .