Thursday, November 24, 2016

Warm Asparagus and Brussels Sprout Salad

3 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 lb. bacon, sliced
1 cup onion
2 lbs. brussels sprouts
1 bunch asparagus
1 cup pomegranate arils
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
salt & pepper, to taste

Heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute bacon until crispy, 6 minutes.
While the bacon is cooking, wash asparagus and brussels sprouts. Snap off the ends of the asparagus and chop into small pieces. 
Remove bacon, leaving  grease.  Add brussel sprouts to pan to sear. After searing, remove brussel sprouts and set aside.
Stir in onions and asparagus and saute about 5 minutes (leave a little crunchy). Add salt and pepper.
Pour pine nuts  into a clean dry pan and roast on the stove top until fragrant.
Remove from heat and stir in cooked bacon, pomegranate arils and toasted pine nuts.
 Toss with apple cider vinegar and serve warm.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sarah's Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary

Sarah’s Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary

1/4 cup diced pancetta (Italian bacon; about 1 1/2 ounces)
6 pounds bone-in short ribs
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry red wine
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups chopped drained canned diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 very large fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons shaved or grated bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

Heat heavy large pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown ribs in drippings in pot over medium-high heat until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to plate. Add onions and next 4 ingredients to pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add wine. Boil uncovered until liquid is reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pancetta. Return ribs to pot, cover partially, and simmer 1 1/2 hours (or just put them in the crockpot for 6-8 hours on low). Uncover and simmer until rib meat is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours longer.

Transfer ribs to plate; discard bay leaf. Spoon fat from surface of sauce. Boil sauce until beginning to thicken, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add chocolate, cocoa powder, and rosemary; stir until chocolate melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return ribs to pot. Simmer to rewarm, about 5 minutes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

  • Cake
  • 1 German Chocolate Cake Mix
  • ½ cup butter - melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2nd Layer
  • 8 Peanut Butter Cups - large one
  • 3 small Butterfinger Candy Bars
  • Cream Cheese Layer
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 4 cups confectionery sugar
  • Chocolate topping
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, 325 degrees if using a glass pan.
  2. Combine the cake mix, egg and butter together. Beat until it is combined. Spray a 9 x 12 pan with cooking spray and then put the cake mix layer over the bottom. Pat it down.
  3. Cut the large peanut butter cups into 4 pieces. Roughly chop the Butterfingers. Spread evenly over the cake layer.
  4. Combine the cream cheese, vanilla and peanut butter together until combined. Add the eggs one at a time and mix them in. Add the butter. When this is all combined together add the confectionery sugar. Spread evenly over the candy bar layer.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes. I used a glass pan and it took just over an hour. The mixture will be puffed up in the center when done. It will jiggly just slightly. Remove from oven and let cool.
  6. Melt the chocolate for 1 minute in the microwave. Add the oil. Stir until combined. Spread over the top of the cream cheese layer.

 from Recipes Food and Cooking

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Fresh Corn Salad

Fresh Corn Salad
6 ears of sweet corn, shucked
1/2 cup small-diced Vidalia or red onion
1 small-diced red bell pepper
1 grated fresh jalapeno
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (or cider)
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons of sugar if corn is not super sweet
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.
Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the onion, red pepper, jalapeno, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  If corn isn’t super sweet, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Kale Salad and Dressing

Kale Salad

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. kosher salt 
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
13 cup olive oil

5 oz. baby kale
1 cup shaved parmesan
34 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

Wash kale and chop into small pieces, removing ribs.  

Shake dressing ingredients in small jar and pour over kale.  Top with parmesan and pine nuts.

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin

For the balsamic-rosemary marinade: 

2/3 cup balsamic vinegar 

1/3 cup olive oil 

2 Tbs. soy sauce 

4 1/2 tsp. firmly packed golden brown sugar 

3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper 

1/2 cup chopped fresh rosemary 

5 garlic cloves, 

2 pork tenderloins, about 2 1/2 lb. total

Salt, to taste

Combine all marinade ingredients in the blender and pulse until garlic and rosemary have a good chop.

Put tenderloins in marinade in a ziplock bag for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.  

Cook on 300 degree grill for 15 minutes.  Flip tenderloins after first 7 minutes.  Do not cook beyond 141 degrees reading from internal probe temperature.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Store Bought Mozzarella Magic

1 8 oz. ball of fresh mozzarella
1 cup of whole milk
1 tsp. kosher salt

Add salt to milk and stir.  Heat milk mixture for a few minutes in microwave to 110 degrees.  Remove from microwave and stir.  Put the fresh mozzarella in the water (make sure the cheese is covered) and let it stand on the counter for one hour.  Use this magic cheese to make the best caprese salad you ever ate!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Frozen Butter Biscuits

1 stick frozen butter
2 ½ cups of all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup chilled butter milk

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Grate frozen butter using large holes of a box grater. Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.  Then sift this mixture.
Toss together grated butter and flour mixture in a medium bowl.  Stick back in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Make a well in center of flour & butter mixture. Pour buttermilk in center well and stir 15 times.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly sprinkle flour over top of dough. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Fold dough in half so short ends meet. Repeat rolling and folding process 4 more times.
Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch floured round cutter, reshaping scraps and flouring as needed.

Place dough rounds on a parchment paper-lined jelly-roll pan. Bake at 475° for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter.

Monday, June 20, 2016

BBQ Bean Bake

1/2 lb. ground beef, browned
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
6 slices bacon, fried and chopped
1 can pork 'n beans
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 package frozen lima beans (cook as directed on package)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. BBQ sauce
1 t. dry mustard

Bake at 400 for 45-55 minutes.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Perfect Potato Salad

  • 6 pounds Russet Potatoes (about 8 Medium Russets)
  • 1-1/2 cup Real Mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip)
  • 4 Tablespoons Prepared Mustard (regular, Dijon Or A Mixture Of Both)
  • 5 whole Green Onions, Sliced Up To The Darkest Green Part
  • 8 whole Small Sweet Pickles 
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 5 whole Hard Boiled Eggs
  • chopped celery to taste--1/2 c. to 3/4 c.
  • celery seed to taste
Peel potatoes and cut into bite-size chunks, then boil until fork tender. Drain. Fold potatoes together with mayonnaise, mustard, green onions, salt, pepper, and other seasonings you like. Fold in pickles and eggs, then taste for seasonings, adding more salt, mustard, or mayo as needed. You may also splash in juice from the pickle jar if salad needs a little moisture.

~~adapted from Pioneer Woman 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Turtle Rice Krispie Treats

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 7 cups mini Marshmallows, divided
  • 7 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1⅓ cups pecans, divided
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 5.5 oz caramel bits (or 5.5 oz caramels unwrapped)
  • 2½ tablespoons heavy cream
Rice Krispies

  1. Melt butter and 6 cups of mini marshmallows over medium low heat until smooth.
  2. Stir in Rice Krispies, ⅓ cup pecans and 1 cup of marshmallows (unmelted). Press into a well greased 9x13 pan (or slightly smaller if you prefer a thicker Rice Krispie).
  3. Melt caramel bits and 2½ tablespoons heavy cream in the microwave for 60-90 seconds (stirring every 30 seconds) until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine ¼ cup heavy cream and chocolate chips. Microwave at 50% power for 90 seconds (stirring every 30 seconds) until smooth.
  5. Drizzle ½ of the caramel and ½ of the chocolate over the Krispies. Top with pecans. Drizzle remaining caramel and chocolate. Cool completely.
  6. Cut into squares and serve.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Best Ever Peach Cobbler


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine tapioca, peaches, sugar (if used), cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour the fruit mixture into a buttered 9" X 13" baking dish.
  5. In a bowl mix thoroughly the ingredients for the Cobbler Dough.
  6. Spread over the fruit mixture.
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together 
  8. DRY cobbler topping ingredients.
  9. Sprinkle evenly over the cobbler dough layer.
  10. Then pour the boiling water evenly over the cobbler.
  11. (Do Not Stir.) Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean and top has a golden crust.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Almond, Berry and Chicken Spinach Salad

  • 4 cups baby spinach (remove stems if desired)
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup clementine or mandarine oranges
  • 2-3 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (plus olive oil, salt, and pepper

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Optional: squeeze of lemon, Mrs. Dash chicken grilling blends seasoning, salt
  1. Prepare the fruits and lettuce by washing and completely drying. If the spinach is still wet it won't absorb the dressing very well.
  2. Remove strawberry stems and slice them. Remove clementine skins and separate into sections. OR drain a can of mandarin oranges.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash chicken grilling blends to taste.
  4. Lightly coat your skillet with 2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil.
  5. Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Place the chicken in the skillet and then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 8 to 12 minutes.
  6. As the chicken cooks, turn it occasionally so it browns evenly. If it starts to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium-low.
  7. Meanwhile, combine all of the dressing ingredients into an airtight jar. Add some salt to taste. Shake until well combined. Toss the dressing with the spinach. Add in the fruit and feta cheese and toss again. If desired squeeze some fresh lemon over the salad.
  8. Toast the almonds in a small skillet over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes stirring constantly. Add the almonds to the salad.
  9. Once the chicken is finished, remove from heat and slice or chop it. Let it cool and then add it to the salad.
  10. Separate the salad onto two dishes and enjoy immediately.
  11. If not enjoying immediately do not toss with the dressing or feta cheese!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Salted Caramel-Chocolate Dump Cake


small (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 
cups cold milk
box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ devil's food cake mix
1 1/2 
cups chopped caramels
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together chocolate pudding and milk for one minute to combine.
  • Add cake mix ONLY and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Spread batter evenly into bottom of prepared pan (batter will be thick). Sprinkle with chopped caramels. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste (remember: A little bit goes a long way).
  • Bake cake 30-40 minutes or until edges pull away from sides and a toothpick inserted in the cake portion comes out clean.
  • Remove cake from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
  • Pour chocolate chips into a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is fully melted. Using a spoon, drizzle chocolate over cooled cake.
  • Serve cake with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mint Oreo Brownies

Brownie Layer
  • 1 package (18.3 ounces) fudge brownie mix* + ingredients called for
  • 6-8 oreos
Frosting Layer
  • 3 ounces full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract, not mint extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Green food coloring, optional
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
Chocolate Topping
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Andes Mint Baking Chips
  • 1/2 cup, 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with foil or parchment paper with an overhang. This is essential if you want the brownies to come out well.
  2. Follow the directions to make the brownies. Do not add the fudge packet.
  3. Coarsely chop the oreos into pretty small pieces (more for a heavier oreo flavor, I generally use just 6)
  4. Stir in the chopped oreos with the brownie mix.
  5. Bake according to package directions. Remove from the oven when finished baking and add the fudge packet on top. Spread with a spatula.
  6. Place the brownies in the freezer (covered) while preparing the frosting layer.
  1. In a large bowl, beat together the room temperature (not melted at all!) cream cheese and butter until creamy.
  2. Beat in the peppermint extract, salt, and food coloring. Slowly add in the powdered sugar beating in between additions.
  3. Beat until smooth and creamy. Resist the urge to add milk or cream, it will come together, just keep beating it! Taste and add more peppermint extract if desired.
  4. Spread on top of the cooled brownies and return the brownies to the freezer while preparing the topping.
  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, add in the mint chips and butter. Microwave in bursts of 15 seconds stirring for 15 seconds in between each burst until the chocolate is melted and smooth. (I've burned the mint chips by being impatient, so don't microwave longer than 15 seconds without stirring it to avoid burning yours)
  2. Remove the brownies from the freezer and top with the melted mint chips. Tip the brownie pan from side to side to get the chocolate to coat evenly.
  3. Cover the brownies and place in the fridge to allow to full set-up before enjoying.
  4. To cut, remove the completely set-up and chilled brownies from the fridge. Remove brownies from the pan (using the overhang) and cut with a very sharp knife. To get clean cuts, run your knife under very hot water, dry, and then cut in quick fast cuts. The sharper the knife, the less chance you'll have for the chocolate breaking on top.
*My ultimate favorite mix in this recipe is the Betty Crocker's Original Supreme mix (with packet of fudge in it) and another favorite is the Ghiradelli Chocolate Ultimate Fudge Brownie Mix.