Category Archives: Favs

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict coming up! Yesterday was my husbands 35th birthday. I decided to start the morning off by cooking him eggs benedict since he absolutely loves breakfast and a good eggs beni.

Cooper was sleeping, Michael was working out and I stood in my stomping grounds whisking up a delicious breakfast right here in the kitchen. Eggs benedict, fresh fruit and asparagus with hollandaise sauce.

This breakfast was absolutely delicious. I was very happy with this meal and so was my husband. Happy Birthday Honey!

Ingredients:

  • 2 English Muffins
  • 4 slices of cheese (I used habanero pepperjack as we love spice)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 package Canadian Bacon
  • 4 eggs

Open the English Muffins and lightly butter them. Top each half with a slice of your favorite cheese. Place on a broil pan and set aside.

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Slice avocado and tomatoes, set aside.

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To crisp up the Canadian bacon, fry for a couple minutes each side.

Broil the muffins until crispy and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with Canadian bacon, avocado and tomato.

Begin the sauce now.

Meanwhile in light boiling water add one egg at a time. This will help poach the eggs. Make sure the egg whites are thoroughly cooked and the yolk becomes slightly done. I prefer a runny yolk. Remove eggs with a fork and place atop the English muffins. Drizzle with hollandaise sauce.

Sauce:

You can simply buy a packet of hollandaise sauce to alleviate the tension of making it yourself.

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh tastes best
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp salt

Whisk egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl or kitchen aid mixer until the mixture has doubled in size. Place the bowl over a small saucepan containing 1/2 inch simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly making sure the eggs don’t get too hot resulting in scrambled eggs. Slowly add in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume once again. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt.

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Serve with asparagus and fresh fruit; mango, pear, oranges and grapes.

Hickory Smoked Mahi

This meal has become one of my favorite meals to date. The delicious flavors wrapped in the sweet crunch of bacon- awe Yes bacon completes this meal. The homemade smoked hickory rub gave the mahi the greatest flavor. Beyond healthy in an unexpected way. Most the time I feel “healthy” meals are not satisfying to my soul, well this my friend accomplishes those feelings.

I buy my fish from Costco as they have very good products with no added hormones and so on and so forth. I had two pieces remaining for last nights dinner and sought out to make it the last best meal. Mission accomplished… this meal was fabulous and the best part of all was it was so simply!

Ingredients:

  • Mahi
  • Bacon, uncooked
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp Caribbean jerk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cauliflower
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese, for topping

Cut Mahi into serving size if not already done. Pat dry.

In a small bowl combine cinnamon, coriander, paprika, garlic salt, Caribbean jerk and salt and pepper.

Dip Mahi into seasoning- coating every side.

Take bacon and wrap around the fish, I used 4 pieces per serving as we are bacon lovers.

Place on a broiling pan. This helps to catch the bacon grease.

Bake at 400 degree for 20-25 minutes or until flaky.

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Serve with fresh garden salad and steamed cauliflower topped with cheese.

Quick Easy Pork Roast

After our sunny afternoon adventures (click here) we came home to finish up the bathroom remodel, get dinner on, bathe Cooper and get him to bed. After being gone all day and not having anything prepared for dinner I went to an easy Pork Roast with fresh vegetables and fresh salad.

This meal takes very little prep work and bakes for 45-55 minutes while the oven does all the work. Company will believe you slaved over dinner as well. :)

Ingredients:

  • Pork Roast
  • 1 lb parsnips
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 2-3 celery stalks
  • 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 small onion
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350

In a greased 9×13 place the pork roast in the middle of pan; season to your liking. (I used smoke flavor) and scattered all the vegetables around and on top of the pork.

Sprinkle whole garlic cloves through the dish in casing. This will roast the garlic leaving a very tasty clove inside and allowing for easy removal of the casing. (I believe this makes the dish taste the best)

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Season with garlic salt and salt and pepper.

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Place Fresh Rosemary leaves on top and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes, depending on the size of your roast.

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Enjoy!!!

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Croissants By Trade

Not sure if they are the best thing on the face of the planet but they come quite close. I must say I always love a good croissant and Costco has a really good soft, decadent joy of a croissant that I fill our counter and freezer with. To be honest, I am a carbohydrate LOVER. Bagels, bread, English muffins, cookies, chips, pastries, muffins, and yes the classis croissant; all of which I eat a lot of if they are lying around. I have never watched my carb intake and although I should, I don’t, I can’t get away from them. They make my palate happy.

Although I took on the task of making my own croissants, I will not make them on a regular basis as they are fun to make they are a two day process and my household quickly devours them. All that hard work put into these astonishing delights do give a new name for homemade croissants. They are worth making a couple times a year to simply experience the flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth pastry.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1 tbsp. instant yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1¼ tsp. salt
  • 1¼ cups whole milk, cold
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

For the butter square:

  • 24 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces and kept cold
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Directions: To make the dough, combine 2¾ cups of the flour together with the yeast, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.  Whisk together and set aside.  Add the milk to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Add the dry ingredients and knead on low speed until a ball of dough forms, about 5 minutes.  Cut the butter into small pieces and add them to the dough.  Continue to knead until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth.  The dough should form a ball and begin to clear the sides of the bowl, about 5-6 minutes more.  The dough should be sticky but if the dough sticks more to the bowl than itself, add the remaining ¼ cup of flour a small bit at a time as needed.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the butter square, toss together the butter pieces and flour on a clean work surface.  Smear the butter back and forth using a bench scraper against the work surface until they have combined into a smooth mixture. OR in a Kitchen Aid Mixture combine cold butter and flour and mix well. Shape into a ball and wrap the butter mixture in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.

After butter mixture is chilled place butter between wax paper and roll into a 8″ square.

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Dust a work surface with flour. Roll dough to approximately 1/4 inch thick.

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 Fold the corners of the dough towards the center of the butter square. Pinch edges to seal the dough and keep the butter hidden.

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If your dough is pretty thin and large, repeat the folding process.

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Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night or for at least 30 minutes.

Using a rolling pin, gently tap the dough starting from the center of the dough and working outward, until the square becomes larger and the butter begins to soften. Fold dough back up placing the corners in the middle of the dough and repeat the rolling process three times to get the butter mixed well into the dough. Make a 14″ square while keeping the surface well floured.

Slice the dough in half and begin cutting triangles.

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Slice the middle of the triangle to help fold the croissant to the correct shape.

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Place on cookie sheet or leave on the counter to rise for another 45 minutes. Cover with tea towel.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake croissants for 18-22 minutes depending on your oven.

Enjoy!!!!!

**They freeze well if you decide to make a double batch and get all the work out at once. This would be my best advice; double batch!

Tasty Dogs

Scrumptious, absolutely heavenly. This was a new creation that morphed into something beautiful. I must say I had no hot dog buns, and wanted to experiment a little. How could a hot dog go wrong? Well the simple answer is, it can’t.

Today I took a couple tortillas and broiled them with Swiss cheese slices. In a saucepan I cooked up some mushrooms, Brussels sprouts and onions; simple and delicious. I topped my 100% kosher dog from Costco with my saucepan mixture, blue cheese dressing and VIOLA, a scrumptious hot dog with a twist.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 100% Kosher Hot Dogs
  • 4 Tortillas
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms
  • 1 pound sliced Brussels sprouts
  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • 1 tsp Garlic salt
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese (or cheese of choice)
  • Blue Cheese dressing for topping

Broil tortillas with cheese in the oven until bubbly. Broil hot dogs as well to get the bbq taste.

In a saucepan sautee mushrooms, onions and Brussels sprouts with seasoning.

Assemble the dogs and top with blue cheese dressing. Fold up and stick with a toothpick to hold together. :)

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These are probably my favorite ‘go to’ meal right now!!!

Twice Baked Tacos

Tacos, tacos and more tacos. These are absolutely my favorite dish in all my life. I am a complete foodie but absolutely love tacos above any other meal, there are a lot of close seconds, but this tops them all. All growing up my mom would ask what dinner we wanted for our birthday meal. I always picked Tacos, I don’t know if I ever chose anything but tacos. My moms homemade taco meat plus all the toppings and ranch was my dream come true. I remember when I was 8 years old and I was so excited for my birthday dinner I ate 8 soft tacos and/or double deckers. These 8 tacos were anything but small, I would add sour cream, ranch, meat, tomatoes, Spanish rice, lettuce, olives, cheese, and onions. Now that is what I am talking about, that’s a true taco. Although, if I remember correctly, I was sick as a dog afterwards. :)

I have been making this recipe for quite some time and my husband and I go nuts over it. We aren’t big crunchy taco fans, but this recipe is all crunchy and all delicious. The flavors blend perfectly that we don’t even get to add toppings as one bite leads to the next and the next that by the time we get to add toppings we have already ate the taco. Toppings would be good, but we don’t use them with this recipe. This is a one-pot-dish and that’s what is for dinner tonight.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground beef or turkey
  • 15 hard shell tacos
  • Minced onion
  • 1 can Pinto Beans pureed
  • 1 cup salsa
  • Garlic
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (depending how spicy you like it)
  • 1/2-1 tsp paprika
  • 2-3 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (Use whatever you have on hand. I’ve used Cojita, Mozzerlla, Cheddar or 4 cheese blend)

In a skillet cook meat thoroughly and add onion. While cooking, puree pinto beans in a food processor with juice. Do not add water. Add to meat and combine all remaining ingredients except cheese and mix well. Once seasoning is thoroughly mixed add 1 1/2 cup cheese to the skillet and let melt.

In a 9×13 pan, line with standing tortillas and spoon mixture into shells. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
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Optional Toppings:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Olives
  • Ranch/blue cheese

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Serve with brown rice and chips and salsa

Oven Fried Chicken

13 years ago when I was in Palm Springs with a friend of mine and her family, we met up with an older couple who was a good family friend and lived at PGA West condos. We rented another one that we had the pleasure of relaxing in and enjoying our own private pool and hot tub. We also got to play tennis on their clay courts and I must say it was a very amazing experience. Wish I was a little older to have appreciated it more. Anyways, this couple had their condo directly on the golf course overlooking the beautiful green. They made us dinner one evening and it was to die for. Back then I still loved to cook but knew I needed to capture this recipe and make it my own. I asked her for it and she said she would get it for me but with time flying by on this trip, it never made it into my hands. I decided I would recreate this from memory when we arrived home. I must say it’s been a well talked about recipe and always gets compliments on and asked for.

Tenderizing the meat in this recipe is a must. I’ve tried both ways and it never tastes as well when not tenderized.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (may be freshly grated)
  • 1 cup mayo
  • ½ tsp garlic
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Chopped olives
  • ½ cup chopped olives
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 4 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Tenderize the chicken breasts until they are flat as a pancake. The easiest way to do so without worrying about raw meat juice is to place one or two at a time in a zip lock bag. This keeps the juices contained and then you may just toss the baggie once done. Easy clean up. J Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl combine parmesan cheese, mayo, garlic, black pepper, Italian seasoning, olives, and sour cream. Coat each side of the chicken with the mayo mixture. Coat each side with the bread crumbs and lay in the pan; I always dump the extra on top of the chicken to make it extra creamy. Bake for 15-20 minutes until juices run clear.

Each oven is a different so depending if your oven is more warm, drop the temp 25 degrees and cook longer with less heat. This will keep the chicken moist and not dry out.

 

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs

We didn’t have much in our cupboards the last few days except a plethora of hot dogs. I love hot dogs but simply wasn’t in the mood for a baseball meal. I decided since we had hot dogs and bacon I would combine the two. This meal was actually a huge hit and was super easy. My husband ate two dogs and wanted a third one, but I convinced him he couldn’t eat it because I needed it for his lunch the next day. :)

 

The bad part to this evening was that my son was eating dinner with us and although he had a rough day due to teething he hadn’t eaten much. I was trying anything and everything to get some nutrition into his little body. My husband decided to give him a bite of hot dog; I’ve heard they are choking hazards but he is 14 months old and has a couple teeth. Well, this was a terrible decision. My little man somehow inhaled his bite and it was sitting right on his windpipe that he freaked out. He could let a little cry out every couple of seconds but his face was terrified, the cry sounded as something was not right. My mother instincts decided to quickly pull him out of his highchair even though a little whimper was still able to squeak out. All of a sudden his squeak turned to silence and his face turned beat red and was drooling pretty heavily at this point. I had him tummy down over my arm and was patting his back. Granted, I don’t know how hard I was hitting his little back due to the panic I was experiencing. All of a sudden my husband said “there we go” and the chunk of hot dog flew to the floor. This chunk of hot dog was somehow large and roughly an inch all around. I’m not sure how he got that much and how it quickly got lodged into his little throat but it was SCARY.

 

Needless to say, my fear was through the roof and my silence overtook. I embraced him the rest of the night before bed and poor little man was thrown off the rest of the night. Poor baby. I hate choking and yet we’ve had a few scares the last 14 months. He hasn’t mastered the task of chewy quite yet, but he will in due time.

 

Note to self: Don’t feed your little baby hot dogs!

 

Ingredients:

  • Hot dogs
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Buns (I used buns from the bakery)
  • ½ large red pepper
  • ½ large orange pepper
  • ½ large yellow Pepper
  • ½ onion
  • 2 large mushrooms chopped

I wrapped the hot dogs with bacon and placed them on a cookie sheet and set aside. Meanwhile, I sautéed peppers, onion and mushrooms with a little EVOO and a pinch of salt and pepper.

 

Broil hot dogs on high or 550 degrees until bacon is crisp, roughly 10 minutes depending on your oven. Slice bun open and lightly spread mayo on the bun and cover the hot dog with pepper mixture. Very simple yet so delicious. Serve with salad or potato chips.

Mini Pita Pizzas

I made homemade Pita the other day and ended up using them for individual pita pizzas. They were delicious! I made some with pesto sauce and some with red sauce; the pesto was perfect and tasted so much better than the red. Must try this recipe with my homemade-pesto and Pita.

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 individual Pitas
  • 1 8oz package of salami
  • 1 8oz package of pepperoni
  • 1 8oz package of mozzarella cheese
  • Pesto

 

Spread pesto on pita, top with salami, pepperoni, and sprinkle cheese on top to hold on toppings. Place on a cookie sheet and broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

 

Serve with fresh chopped salad.

Barbequed Yam Salad

This recipe originated from my husband. He is the chef that cooks only his three specific meals that he’s mastered. Other than that he will once in awhile get a bee in his bonnet and experiment with some sort of steak or burger spread. Apart from that I am the chef, maid, nanny, wife, and now gardener.

This recipe is actually really good and sounds interesting but even my dad who absolutely hates sweet potatoes or yams will eat this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 yams
  • 1 ½ cups grated cojita cheese
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bushel chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • Sea Salt

Chop the yams into ¼ inch pieces and drizzle with EVOO and sea salt. Place in a barbeque basket and grill for approximately 25-30 minutes depending on your grill. The goal here is to have the outer layer a bit soft with the inside still a little crunchy; leaving them perfectly grilled without being too squishy.
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Meanwhile, chop the cilantro, red onion and grate the cheese.
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Once yams are cooked, combine everything together adding another drizzle or so of EVOO and sea salt (to taste). Serve freshly warm.
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This dish goes really well with burgers, steak, or ribs…
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