Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Monte Cristo Sliders

  • 1 12-count package Hawaiian Rolls
  • 12 slices deli ham
  • 12 slices deli turkey
  • 6 slices Baby Swiss cheese
  • Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • Powdered sugar
  • Strawberry or blackberry preserves, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 11-inch rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Using a large serrated knife, slice the rolls in half so you have a “slab” of tops and a “slab” of bottoms; don't pull the rolls apart and slice individually because you want to keep them connected. Spread dijon mustard on each slab.
  3. Layer the sliders as follows: half of the sliced cheese, then sliced ham, sliced turkey, and remaining cheese.
  4. Replace the top half of the rolls.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with the egg and brush on top of the rolls.
  6. Cover with loosely with foil (careful not to let it touch the tops of the bread to avoid sticking - use toothpicks if necessary to "life" the foil).
  7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until tops are nice and golden brown.
  8. Cool slightly, then cut the sliders apart with with a sharp knife. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top, if desired, and serve hot with berry preserves on the side.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

½ cup well-shaken lowfat buttermilk
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons Duke mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped chives, dill, parsley, tarragon or celery leaves
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ juiced lemon
5 dashes of tabasco
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
Salt to taste (go easy on the salt if you use the anchovy paste)

Whisk together all the ingredients except buttermilk and lemon juice.  Put buttermilk and lemon juice in mason jar and shake vigorously.  Then add the remaining ingredients to the mason jar and shake some more.  Refrigerate, but shake vigorously before each use.  Use just a little bit of dressing because this is very flavor packed.  You will never buy bottled ranch dressing again. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless fresh fish filets (grouper, catfish, trout, halibut) cut into 2” pieces
8 oz. medium fresh shrimp
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
8 cloves of minced garlic
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly shaved/sliced
1 fresh cubanelle, stemmed and seeded (can substitute yellow bell pepper)
2 plum tomatoes (1 minced, 1 thinly sliced) - can substitute 1 can cubed tomatoes, drained
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons palm oil (Whole Foods or Amazon)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup minced basil

Toss fish, shrimp, lime juice, half the garlic and salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside.

Heat olive oil in 6 qt. dutch oven over medium heat.  Add minced onion, minced pepper, and cook until translucent.  Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook until broken down, approximately 5 minutes.  Then add stock, coconut milk, and palm oil.  Heat until slightly boils.

Drain fish, shrimp and lime juice.  Add to dutch oven and cook until fish and shrimp are barely done (pink shrimp).  Add thinly sliced onion and pepper then cook gently for 5 minutes.

Stir in chopped cilantro and basil.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Oreo Chocolate Poke Cake



1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup  natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup  milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup  hot water
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 cup  semi sweet chocolate chips


2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
3/4 cup (86g) powdered sugar
1/4 cup (29g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (235g) chopped Oreos and crumbs
15 Oreos, crushed


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a 9×13 inch cake pan with non-stick baking spray.
2. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
5. Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 29-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove cake from oven. Using the end of a spatula, straw or something similar, poke holes all over the cake.
8. In another bowl, combine the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Heat in the microwave until hot, about 1 minute.
9. Whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth, heating for additional time if needed.
10. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cake and spread it into the holes. Allow the cake to cool.
11. To make the whipped cream topping, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
12. Stir in the Oreos and crumbs.
13. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cooled cake, then top with additional chopped Oreos.
14. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Pimento Cheese

  • 4 oz. Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1/2 c. Mayonnaise
  • 2 T. Dijon Mustard 
  • 2 T. Adobo Sauce From Canned Chipotles 
  • 1/2 t. Black Pepper
  • 8 oz. Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
  • 8 oz. Pepper Jack Cheese, Grated
  • 4 oz. diced Pimentos, Drained

Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon, adobo sauce, and black pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix it until totally combined (if you have a few lumps from the cream cheese, no problem; you won't see them later!)

Add the cheddar and Pepper jack and mix gently until combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl and make sure all the ingredients are mixed together. Stir in the pimentos Taste and mix in more of whatever you think it needs. Add more cheese if you like the pimento cheese to be less creamy; add less if you like it to be more creamy.

Refrigerate pimento cheese for at least 2 hours before serving. 

Serve with crackers, small hollowed-out peppers, carrot and celery sticks, and olives. (Or make small sandwiches or even a grilled cheese with it!)

***Note: For best results, make sure the cheddar and jack cheeses are nice and cold when you mix them in.

Adapted from Pioneer Woman 's recipe

Monday, January 1, 2018

Chocolate Pie (Microwave)

1 1/2 c. Sugar
3 T. plus 1 1/2 t. Flour
3 T. cocoa
1 1/2 c. milk
3 eggs, separated
3 T. Butter
1 1/2 t. vanilla

Mix sugar, flour and cocoa in glass microwave safe bowl. Add milk and whisk.  Cook in microwave oven for 4 minutes.. Remove and whisk until smooth. Beat egg yolks and temper before adding to hot mixture. Return to microwave and cook for 4 more minutes. Remove (mixture will be thick) and whisk; add butter and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Pour into baked pie crust. Top with meringue.

3 egg whites
1/4 t. cream of tartar
3 T. sugar

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar, until stiff. Add sugar last. Bake pie at 350 until lightly browned.

Thanks to Charlene Cole for this amazing recipe.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Jake's Shrimp and Grits

1 lb. shrimp peeled and deveined
1 c. stone ground grits (not instant)
3 T. butter
2 c. sharp Cheddar cheese
6 slices of bacon, chopped
4 t. lemon juice
2 T chopped Italian parsley
1 c. thinly sliced scallions
1 large clove garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Cajun Seasoning

2 t. salt
2 t. garlic powder
2 1/2 t. paprika
1 t. fresh ground black pepper
1 t. onion powder
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 1/4  t. dried oregano
1 1/4 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. lemon juice

Marinate 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp in Cajun seasoning.

Cook the bacon crispy and remove from pan. Save 2 T. of bacon grease in the pan.

Cook grits per package instructions.  When done, stir in cheese, butter, salt, and pepper until the cheese and butter have melted and are well mixed.

Cook shrimp in pan with the bacon grease until pink.  Add cooked and sliced bacon, parsley, scallions and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes.
YUM! Enjoy . . .