Sunday, April 27, 2008

taco salad bowls

I took a 10 inch tortilla shell and sprayed both sides with PAM olive oil spray, and then put the shell in my mixing bowl and then placed it in the oven on 400 until golden brown. turned out pretty good.

Strawberry Bread

I was looking for a recipe to use up some strawberries that were starting to go bad in the fridge and joesygirl from gave me this great recipe
By Submitting using the ingrediants in the ( ) you can make the recipe a lot healthier She was able to cut the calories by 100 per serving. I used some of the substitutions and some of the regular ingrediants on the list. I did put pecans in it, and i have to say you can't really taste them and it was really good.
I cut the recipe in half so there wouldn't be a whole bunch laying around to have to try and eat with just the 2 of us here.
2 cups fresh strawberries*
3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour (1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 1/8 cups AP flour)*
2 cups white sugar (1 cup splenda, 1 cup white sugar)*
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon*
1 teaspoon salt*
1 teaspoon baking soda*
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil (12 oz. no sugar added applesauce)*
4 eggs, beaten* 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans (omitted because I hate pecans)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
2. Slice strawberries, and place in medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside while preparing bread mixture.
3. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl: mix well. Blend oil and eggs into strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in pecans. Divide batter into pans.
4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaves out, and cool completely.

Mushroom Stuffed Pork Chops

I found this recipe in a book called Grilling Recipes Gas or Charcoal by Carrie Holcomb

1/2 C coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms, such as buttong, chanterelle or shiitake
1/4 C chopped onion
1 T Margarine or Butter
1 t grated fresh ginger
1/4t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 C coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
1/4 C soft sourdough or white breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)
4 pork loin or rib shops 1 1/4 in thick
1/4C ginger jelly, ginger preserves or Orange Marmalade
12 green onions
2 t Olive Oil

1. In a small bowl soak 8 wooden toothpicks in water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile for stuffing in a saucepan cook mushrooms and onion in hot butter until onion is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in grated ginger the 1/4t salt and 1/4 t pepper. Add Spinach and bread crumbs, tossing gently to combine.
2. make a pocket in each chop by cutting horzontally from the outside edge almost to the bone. Spoon 1/4 of the stuffing into each pocket, Secure with water soaked toothpicks. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. In a grill with a cover arrange medium hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above the pan. Place chops on grill rack over pan. Cover and grill for 35-40 minutes or until juices run clear. (160*) Turning once halfway thru grilling and brushing occassionally with jelly of choice during the last 5 minutes of grilling. Romove toothpicks before serving.
4. Meanwhile trim roots and tops of the green onions. In a medium skillet cook green onions in hot oil for 1 to 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Serve green onions with chops.

I omitted the green onions on top of the chops. I also used the Orange Marmalade, and they cooked just fine on the gas grill. They were tastey. I cut the recipe in half and used boneless chops.


I found this delious recipe in Lindsey's Kichen blog
1 lb ground beef (or your could use turkey burger)
1 egg
1 teaspoon dried
Italian parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup bread crumbs, divided
½ cup grated Romano cheese
¼ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine 1/4 cup of bread crumbs with milk and let soak for 10 minutes. Combine with all remaining ingredients and shape into balls.
3. Cook for 30 minutes and then add to sauce. If you want to cook them the whole way in the oven, cook for 40-45 minutes, depending on size.

Potato Salad

Called up my gramma and got her "famous recipe" for potato Salad, with a little twist on the ingrediants it came out rather well.
4 lbs potato
1 onion
6 eggs (Save 2 for the top)
1 jar Mayo
3 dime squirts of Mustard (I used Spicey brown mustard, and used a bit more)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Boil Potatoes (I cooked them just a little too long)
then mix everything to a nice consistancy in a big bowl, slice the remaining 2 eggs on the top, and sprinkle with paprika!

Daring Bakers Cheesecake Pops

Another Daring baker challenge completed. These were really good, I used Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate, some Peanuts, and Crushed Graham Crackers for toppings.

Cheesecake PopsMakes 30 – 40 Pops5

8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

5 large eggs

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup heavy creamBoiling water as needed

Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks (used the flexi straws cut in half couldn't find the lollipop sticks)

1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)

Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) -

OptionalPosition oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.

Set some water to boil.In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature.

Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate.

In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety. Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Jambalaya Pasta with Penne, Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille

My "little sister" came over a week ago and we made my recipe exchange recipe. She wanted to try some homemade rangoons too even though they don't go together it was still a good mix. Certainly was a bit spicey! I would tone down the spice next time. otherwise very good. It's a Emeril Recipe i got in the Recipe Exchange on

I have Since submitted this recipes to Joelens Culinary Adventures, Cajun/NOLA Eats Contest.

1/4 cup plus 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided (omitted completely, in my adventures to cut salt down)
1 pound dry penne rigate
3 tablespoons olive oil,
divided 1 pound peeled, deveined large shrimp
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Essence, divided, recipe follows
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast,
1-inch diced 3/4 pound andouille sausage, diced into 1/2-inch pieces (we used johnsonville andouille sausage)
1/2 cup yellow onion, small diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, small diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Fill a large, 1-gallon stock pot with a pasta insert, 3/4 full with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and add 1/4 cup of the salt as it boils. Place the penne in the salted water and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook the pasta until nearly al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and set aside, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
While the pasta cooks, set a 14-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, swirl the pan to evenly coat with the oil. Season the shrimp with 2 teaspoons of the Essence and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place the shrimp in the pan and sear for 1 minute per side. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Add another tablespoon of the olive oil to the saute pan and season the chicken breast with 2 teaspoons of the Essence and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Place the chicken breast in the pan and sear for 3 minutes, turning to ensure even browning. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside with the seared shrimp.
Place the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the saute pan and add the sausage, onions and bell peppers. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is lightly caramelized and the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock to the pan and scrape with a spoon to remove any browned bits that have formed in the bottom of the pan, about 30 seconds. Add the diced tomatoes, fresh thyme, the remaining tablespoon of Essence and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the pan and cook an additional 2 minutes. Return the shrimp and chicken to the pan, as well as the nearly al dente pasta and the reserved 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Continue to cook the sauce and pasta, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp and chicken are cooked through, the pasta is al dente and most of the pasta cooking water has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the basil and Parmesan. Toss to combine and serve while hot.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast): 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 tablespoon dried thyme Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 2/3 cup Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch Published by William Morrow, 1993.