December 27, 2010

Shrimp Salad on Endive

Makes 8-10 Servings

1 - Pound large precooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, and detailed, cut into halves
1 Tbsp - Lime juice
1 Tbsp - Olive Oil
2 Tbsp - Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp - Salt
1/2 tsp - Ground black pepper
2 tsps - Thyme leaves
1 Tbsp - Fish seasoning
1/2 cup - Sweet onion, diced
6 slices bacon, cooked and diced
1 cup - Mayonnaise

1. Over low heat add the shrimp, olive oil, fish seasoning, thyme, salt, pepper, onion, and bacon. Cook until the onion is soft then take off the heat.

2. In a large bowl add the cooked mixture and mayonnaise, dijon mustard, and lime juice.  Mix well and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

3. Place the endive leaves on a platter and scoop the shrimp mixture into each one and serve!

November 17, 2010

Ham Hock and Beans

Makes 4-6 Servings

5 - Ham hocks
6 oz - Ham, diced
1 - Sweet Onion, diced
3 cups - Pinto beans
2 - Garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a 6 quart crock-pot add your onion, garlic, ham, and ham hocks.  Then add your beans and enough water to cover all of the food.

2. Cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours. 

3. Take out ham hocks and let cool.  When cool enough to handle pull apart and add ham hock meat back to the crock-pot and discard fat.

4. Taste then add salt and pepper if needed.

November 10, 2010

Stuffed Pork Chops

Makes 4 Servings.

4 - Boneless pork chops
6 - Slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 - Sweet onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 - Green bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 cup - Stuffing
1/2 cup - Water
1/2 cup - Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp - Salt
1/4 tsp - Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Make a pocket in each pork chop by cutting into side of chop toward the bone.

2. In skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Stir in onion and bell pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender; remove from heat. Drain. Stir in stuffing crumbs and water until well mixed. Stir in cheese.

3. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. Fill pockets with about 1/3 cup stuffing. In same skillet, cook pork over medium heat, turning once, until brown.

4. Place pork chops in 13x9-inch pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil; bake 45 minutes. Uncover; bake for 10 minutes longer.

November 9, 2010

Sunset Dinner Cruise Menu Review

Over the weekend I went on a sunset dinner cruise around Lake Washington and it was romantic and beautiful.  I would recommend this to anyone wanting a romantic date with their significant other.   

1st Course:
Amuse Bouche: a small appetizer to entice your palate - This was an amazing duck spring roll, the duck was perfectly cooked.  It was a perfect starter.

2nd Course:
Chef’s Salad made from fresh local greens, cheese, nuts, and fruit - When the salad first arrived infront of us we weren't sure what to think of it.  We received a salad wedge with blue cheese, bacon, and tomatoes.  Now not being a fan of blue cheese and tomatoes I was very worried about this course.  I tried a small bit (minus the tomato) and really liked it, I finally found a blue cheese that was delicious. 

3rd Course:
Boneless Braised Short Ribs and Black Mission Fig Demi
served with a Mascarpone Potato Puree and Roasted Root Vegetables - The main course looked beautiful infront of us, like it was a piece of art.  It was the most delicious short ribs I have ever had, and the potatoes were amazing, they had just enough garlic to make you want more.  I'd recommend this meal to anyone who goes on one of the cruises it's worth it!

4th Course
Decadent Chef’s Choice Dessert - Of course they saved the best for last....we were served with creme brulee and it was the perfect dessert to sum up the dinner.

Although there menu varies I would recommend eating here...I plan on returning to the Sunset Cruise on a yearly occasion. (It's a little pricey)

November 6, 2010

Mama's Manicotti

Makes 6 Servings.

1 pkg - Manicotti noodles
1/2 lb - Ground beef
3 cups - Small curd cottage cheese
8 oz - Shredded mozzarella cheese
1 - Egg
1/2 cup - Parmesan cheese
32 oz - Garlic spaghetti sauce
1 Tbsp - Parsley flakes

Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Cook the ground beef until brown, drain, then sit to the side.

2. In a large bowl add the cottage cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, ground beef, parsley, and 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and mix together.

3. In a large glass baking dish pour half of the spaghetti sauce. Then fill the manicotti noodles with your mixture and place them in the large glass baking dish.

5. Poor the remaining spaghetti sauce over the noodles and cover pan with foil.

6. Bake for 40 minutes then put the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.  Cook until the cheese has melted.   Let the manicotti sit for 10 minutes before serving.

October 31, 2010

Biscuits and Gravy

Makes 2-4 Servings.

1/2 lb - Ground Italian sausage (spicy)
2 Tbsp - Flour (or less for thinner gravy)
1 1/4 cups - Milk
2 Tbsp - Butter
1 can - Pillsbury large biscuits.

Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Bake your biscuits per the instructions on the can.

2. In a skillet cook the sausage over medium heat until you no longer see pink, then drain. With a paper towel soak up most of the grease in the skillet, and then return your meat to the pan.  Add the butter, once melted add the flour, salt, pepper; stir until blended.

3. Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly. Bring the milk to a boil; cook for 2 minutes making sure you continue to stir.  Once thick it's ready to serve.  Serve over your biscuits.

October 29, 2010

Bloomin' Onion

This is one of those recipes that you HAVE to try, it's as good as any restaurant bloomin' onion.

1/3 cup - Cornstarch
1 1/2 cups - Flour
2 tsp - Paprika
2 tsp - Garlic, minced
1 tsp - Salt
1 tsp - Pepper
24 oz - Beer
4 - Walla walla onions

Seasoned flour:
2 cups - Flour
4 tsp - Paprika
2 tsp - Garlic powder
1/2 tsp - Pepper
1/4 tsp - Cayenne

Seasoned Flour:
1. In a bowl mix all of the ingredients and set to the side.

1. In a bowl mix the cornstarch, flour, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Then add the beer and mix well.
2. Cut a 3/4 inch off the top of the onion and peel. Then cut 12-16 vertical wedges making sure to not cut through bottom root end. Remove around 1 inch of petals from center of onion
3. Sprinkle the seasoned flour all over the onion and then gently shake to remove excess. Separate the petals to coat thoroughly with batter, then dip the onion into the batter.
4. Gently place in a fryer basket and deep fry at 375-400 for 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and fry 1 1/2 minutes more or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Place onion upright in a shallow bowl and remove center core with a circular cutter or apple corer.  Serve hot with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup - Mayonnaise
2 tsp - Creamed horseradish
2 tsp - Ketchup
1/4 tsp - Salt
1 dash freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp - Paprika
1/8 tsp - Dried oregano
1 dash cayenne

Mix everything together well, then place into the refridgerator for at least 2 hours.

October 28, 2010

Crockpot Pot Roast

Makes 4 Servings.

2 lb Roast
1 - Walla walla onion
6 - Red potatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can - Green beans
1 cup - Beef stock or chicken stock
1 Tbsp - McCormick steak seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Dice up your onion into large chunks and place at the bottom of your crock-pot along with your 2 cloves of garlic.  Turn on your crock-pot to low heat.

2. Dice up your potatoes and set to the side.  Rub the steak seasoning around the roast then place it into the crackpot, and then add the potatoes.

3. Add your beef stock then add enough water to cover most of the roast. Cover. Cook on low heat for 6 or more hours.

4.  When your roast is almost done, add the green beans.

October 22, 2010

White Chili

Makes 6 Servings.

4 cans (14oz) - Navy beans
3 cups - Chicken, cooked and diced
3 cups - Chicken broth
2 - Onions (walla walla), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (4oz) - Diced green chilies
2 Tbsp - Vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1- 1/2 tsp - Dried oregano
1/4 tsp - Cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp - McCormick's basil and garlic seasoning
1/2 tsp - Pepper

Salt to taste

1. In a pan place your diced up chicken and basil and garlic seasnong and cook over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink. 

2. Add navy beans, seasoned chicken, and chicken in a crock-pot. Turn to low heat.

3. Saute chopped onion and garlic in oil then add spices and green chiles to onion mixture and stir well. Add to crock pot mixture.

3. Cook in crock- pot on low for at least 2 hours. Garnish with sour cream, chopped green onions and Monterey Jack cheese if desired.

Molasses Cookies

1 cup - Sugar
1/2 cup - Butter
1/2 cup - Shorening
3/4 cup - Sour cream
1/2 cup - Molasses
1 - Egg
3 cups - All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp - Salt
1 1/2 tsp - Baking soda
1 tsp - Ground ginger
1 tsp - Ground cinnamon

Preheat ove to 375 degrees.

1. Mix sugar, butter, shortening, sour cream, molasses and egg in large bowl, once mixed stir in remaining ingredients.

2. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place onto aungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until done. Let them cool on a wire rack and then sprinkle with sugar while warm if desired.

Red Velvet Cookies

1 box - Sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup - Unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup - Butter
1/4 cup - Sour Cream
1 Tbsp - Red food color
1 - Egg
1/2 tsp - Vanilla extract
Cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. In a bowl stir the cookie mix, butter, sour cream, coca, vanilla, red food color, and egg until dough forms. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until set.  Let cool for at least 2 minutes then remove from cookie sheet to a wire rack.  After cookies have cooled off completely frost with the frosting.

October 12, 2010

Loaded Potato Soup

Makes 6 Servings.

8 - Red potatoes
2 tsp - Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup - Onion (walla walla), chopped
2/3 cup - All-purpose flour
6 cups - 1% milk
1 cup - Sour cream
1 tsp - Salt
1 tsp - Freshly ground black pepper
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2  cup - Sharp cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp - Butter or margarine
Dash of parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Peel the potatoes leaving some skin.  Pierce potatoes with a fork then bake for 1 hour or until tender. Cool then coarsely mash.

2. While potatoes cook, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 3 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a pan over medium heat add your flour and gradually add your milk; stirring until blended. Bring to a boil; stir often. Cook until it becomes thick and bubbly then add the mashed potatoes, onions, salt, pepper, parsley, and 1 cup cheese; stir until cheese melts then remove from heat.

3. Stir in sour cream and butter and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.  Garnish with remaining cheese and bacon.

October 11, 2010

White Bean Soup

When the weather changes so does my food.  I hope you try my white bean soup because it is very easy to make and is full of flavor! The perfect fall soup!!!
Makes 4 Servings

2 tsp - Olive oil
1 cup - water
1/2 cup - Prosciutto, chopped
1 cup - Onion, chopped
1 cup - Celery, chopped
1 cup - Carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15-oz cans - White beans, undrained
2 - Bay leaves
16 oz - Chicken broth
2 Tbsp - Fresh parsley, minced
2 Tbsp - Sherry
1/4 tsp - Black pepper

4 Tbsp - Parmesan Cheese (to garnish)
Salt to taste.

1. In a large stockpot heat the olive oil over medium heat then add the prosciutto, and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, carrot, onion, and celery; saute for 2 minutes.

2. Add the water, beans, bay leaves, and broth, and bring soup to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer soup for 20 minutes.

3. Add the sherry, parsley, black pepper, and salt (if needed); cook for 1 minute. Discard bay leaves. Serve garnished with parmesan cheese.

September 28, 2010

Spicy Chicken Chow Mein

Makes 4 Servings

1/2lb - Boneless skinless chicken
12oz - Egg noodles
4 Tbsp - Soy sauce
1 Tbsp - Chinese rice wine
1 Tbsp - Dark sesame oil
2 Tbsp - Vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Fresh green beans, two handfuls
1 bag - Beansprouts
3 oz - Ham, finely chopped
4 - Green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp - Sriracha hot chili sauce (use more to kick up the spice)

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.

2. Shred chicken into fine slices then place in a bowl with the soy sauce (use only 2 Tbsp), rice wine, hot chili sauce, and sesame oil.

3. Add the vegetable oil into a wok and heat over high heat.  Once it starts smoking add the chicken, cook until done.

4. Once chicken is cooked add ham, green onion,  garlic, green beans, and sprouts.  Cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes or until green beans are tender.

5. Add a squirt more of the hot chili sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and the rest of the soy sauce.  Add the noodles into the mixture to warm then serve.

September 21, 2010

Crab & Artichoke Dip

This is an easy recipe that everyone can make, and everyone will LOVE it!

Makes 6 Servings

2 cups - Crab meat
1 cup - Sour cream
1 cup - Cream cheese
1 cup - Mayonnaise
1 cup - 1% milk
1 cup - Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup - Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz can - Artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 Tbsp - Minced garlic
1/2 tsp - Fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp - Salt
1 tsp - Emeril's essence seasoning
1 tsp - chopped parsley
1/2 cup - Parmesan cheese (save 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. In a large bowl combine the crab meat, sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, milk, monterey jack cheese, sharp cheese, artichoke hearts, garlic, pepper, and salt.  Stir until mixed well.  Poor mixture into a greased 8x8 baking pan.

2. Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese, parsley, and essence.

3. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Serve with sourdough or french bread!

September 17, 2010

Tangerine Flank Steak

Makes 4-6 Servings

2 lbs - Flank Steak
1 - Tangerine
5 - Scallions, sliced (use one for garnish)
1/3 cup - Soy sauce
2 Tbsp - Sesame oil
2 tsp - Sugar
2 Tbsp - Chopped peeled ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp - Orange juice

1. Use a fork to pierce the steak several times all over the steak.
2. Remove about a 2-inch strip of zest from the tangerine, then halve the fruit and squeeze the juice into a Ziploc plastic bag.
3. In addition to the juice add the following into your Ziploc bag: zest, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, sugar, pepper flakes, and garlic. Mix well!
4. Add your meat to the marinade, making sure to coat the meat.  Refrigerate overnight, make sure to flip the bag in the morning.
5. Preheat your BBQ to medium heat. Place your steak onto your BBQ for 10 minutes or until your thermometer says 130 degrees (medium-rare).
6. While your steak in cooking place your marinade into a sauce pan over medium-high heat then stir in the orange juice to make a yummy sauce!
7. Once your meat is done slice it against the grain and top with scallions.  Serve with the sauce.

September 15, 2010

Parmesan Risotto

Makes 4  servings.

1 cup - Arborio rice
2 Tbsp - Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp - Butter
1/2 cup - Walla walla onion (chopped)
3 cups - Chicken broth
1 cup - Parmesan cheese
3 slices - Bacon (cooked and chopped up)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Saute onion in oil and butter for around 3 minutes.
2. Add rice, stir additional 2 minutes.
3. Stir in 1 cup of broth.  Continue cooking and stir until liquid is absorbed.
4. Gradually stir in the remaining broth 1 cup at a time, until the liquid is absorbed before adding the final cup.
5. Add the butter, cheese, and bacon, stir until melted.
6. Add salt and pepper, the serve.

September 2, 2010

Chicken Tacos

Makes 4 servings

1 lb - Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 - Lime
1 - Walla walla onion, diced
1 cup - Fresh cilantro
8 - Tortilla shells (medium size)
Garlic powder and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Place your chicken on the cookie sheet and season with garlic powder and pepper.  Cook for 25 - 30 minutes or until no longer pink.

2. In a bowl add your chopped onion and cilantro; then squeeze the lime over the mixture.  Set aside.

3. Cut your chicken into strips for serving.  Take a tortilla shell and add sour cream, chicken, then a spoonful of the onion cilantro mixture and enjoy!!

For a wonderful addition, buy a can of refried beans and add one jalapeno (fresh without seeds) and a few slices of sharp cheese.  Make sure you use enough jalapeno to give it a good bite!!

August 31, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

I grew up not being a fan of chicken pot pie because it always had peas in it...well I decided to make my own version from scratch.  I will never buy another frozen chicken pot pie again.  This is a quick and easy meal that your whole family will enjoy!
Makes 8 Servings
1 lb - Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 box - Stuffing (chicken flavor)
1 bag- Mixed frozen vegetables
1 pkg - Pillsbury pie crust
1 can - Cream of chicken
1 Tbsp - Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp - Flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Cut chicken up and cook in pan w/ olive oil. Season chicken w/ Paula Deans seasoning (Johnny's seasonings work too).
2. Cook veggies in ½ cup of water then drain.
3. Once veggies are done add cream of chicken, heavy cream, flour, and mix on low heat.
4. Add chicken to veggie mixture.
5. Cook stuffing to the boxes directions.
6. Add stuffing to the veggie/chicken mixture, and then add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Put pie crust in the pie pan then fill w/ veggie mixture, add additional pie crust to top and cut slits for air.
8. Bake for 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Nutrition Information:
PER SERVING: 429 calories, 10g fat, 626mg sodium, 24g carbs, 17g protein

August 30, 2010

I love food!

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and fell in love with their food? Well, I have, and I want to help you fall in love with food too! There are so many choices on a menu which makes it difficult to decide what you want. My goal is to help you with your choices. Here are a few of my favorites:

Chicken Fajita Wrap - The Loose Wheel (Tacoma, WA)
Classic French Onion Soup - Mama Stortinis (Puyallup, WA)
Cleopatra Pizza - Cinebarre (Seattle, WA)
Crab & Cheese Dip - Northwest Vintage Wine Bar (Puyallup, WA)
New York Steak - Casa Mia (Puyallup, WA)
Salt Crusted Roast Prime Rib of Beef - Gateway Cottage (Tacoma, WA)
Spanakopita - My Greek and Italian Restaurant (Puyallup, WA)

Spicy Salsa

Although there are wonderful salsas to buy at the store, I think homemade salsa tastes better; plus you can make it as mild or hot as you like!! 

1 can - Rotel
1 can - Whole canned tomatoes
1 - Jalapeno (makes your salsa medium, use more to spice it up)
1/4 cup - Walla Walla onion, diced
1 tsp - Garlic salt
1/2 tsp - Cumin
1/4 tsp - Sugar

1. In a food processor add the jalapenos and onion, chop for a few seconds, then add all of the other ingredients and chop until you get to your favorite salsa texture.

2. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then enjoy!

August 23, 2010

Chipotle Brownies

Bring a fun dessert to your next gathering!
(makes 4 servings)

1 tsp + 1 cup - Butter (2 sticks)
1 Tbsp + 1 cup - All-purpose flour
4 oz - Unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups - Sugar
1 tsp - Ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp - Ground chipotle chili pepper
4 - Eggs
1 cup - Chopped mexican chocolate or semisweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1. Grease and flour an 11x7 baking pan with 1 tsp butter and 1 Tbsp of flour.

2. Heat the remaining butter and unsweetened chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining flour, sugar, cinnamon, and ground chipotle.  Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth.  Stir in the chopped chocolate.

4. Poor the mixture into a prepared baking dish and bake until the center is set.  Around 35 to 40 minutes; let it cool completely before cutting.

Pigs In A Blanket w/ Bacon

Instead of making the traditional pigs in a blanket my boyfriend suggested that I somehow add bacon to it also.  He thinks bacon should be included in every meal. :)  Here is my version of pigs in a blanket with bacon.

1 pkg - Cocktail wieners
2 cans - Crescent rolls
4-6 slices of thin cut bacon
2 Tbsp - Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Unroll the cresent rolls and cut the triangles into thirds.

2. Spread the dijon mustard onto the dough.

3. Cut the bacon into small pieces, just large enough to wrap around the wieners.

4. Place the bacon ontop of the mustard on the cresent rolls, then the wiener. Wrap the wiener with the dough making sure it is nice and tight. You don't want the wiener to slip out!

5. Place the wrapped wieners onto a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.