Thursday, March 29, 2012

Need an Elegant Appetizer? Smoked Salmon Canapes

For the Crust
You can either use one Boboli (you may use a pre-made Focaccia or even Naan bread) or I make my own crust by using a package of pizza dough, rolled out thinly. Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake until cooked, but not browned. Make sure you cool this before assembling.

Cream Cheese Topping

1 package of cream cheese
3/4 cup of Sour Cream
2 tbs of horseradish
1tbs of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp of grated lemon zest
3 tbs of capers (chopped), Plus 2 tbs for topping
1 tbs of fresh dill
Mix all of the above

Salmon Topping
1-2 packages of smoked salmon
1/4 of one small red onion THINLY sliced

Spread the cream cheese mixture so it covers the entire pizza. Add the onion next and then add sliced salmon on top of the cream cheese and onions. You do not want any of the cream cheese exposed. Add capers and extra dill as a garnish. Serve chilled or at room temp.

Cut into one inch pieces for Canapes or serve as a pizza in squares. 

Looking to get extra fancy? 
Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes
Top with caviar
Top with chives
Get as creative as you can with this one. You cannot go wrong!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tequila Lime Chicken or Steak!

2 large steaks (I am using NY Strips, but use whatever you love)
1/2 cup of Tequila
1 fresh lime squeezed
1/2 jalapeno sliced
Salt and pepper
1/2 onion thinly sliced
1 Green Bell Pepper thinly sliced

Start by seasoning your steaks with salt and pepper. Let sit for 10 minutes. After that add your Tequila and lime juice. Let marinate for about 30 minutes. Put on the grill and cook until your liking. I always go for medium rare

Tequila Peppers and Onions
Get a large saute pan and add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil...let heat up and then add your onions and peppers. Add a some salt and pepper to this and about 1/4 cup of water to this and 1/4 cup of Tequila.

Serve with guacamole, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, etc. or serve as is with rice and beans! Enjoy! Oh and Margaritas of course!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chicken Wings on the Grill!

2 pounds of chicken wings (or chicken breasts or even pork chops and steak!)
1 Bottle of Wishbone Italian Salad Dressing

Marinate the chicken wings in the entire bottle of salad dressing for at least one hour (overnight is best). Grill up until crispy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Pistachio Pudding Sour Cream Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant pistachio pudding
4 eggs, beat until foamy
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbs green food coloring
Mix all ingredients together. Beat with electric mixer until smooth.
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped fine
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix together. Pour 1/2 of the batter into small size tube pan which has been well greased. Sprinkle 1/2 of the topping over batter. Gently pour remaining batter over this. Then sprinkle the remaining topping over the batter. Press topping down with back of spoon. Bake at 350 degrees at 45-50 minutes.  

Frost with cream cheese frosting that is tinted green!
You can also make these into cupcake as well!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fire up the Grill Tonight! Boursin Cheeseburgers with Sweet Potato Fries!

2 lbs of ground beef or turkey
1 block of Boursin Cheese + an extra block for crumbling on top to melt
1 egg
1/2 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
splash of milk
salt and pepper

Mix all of the above and form into patties. Grill until cooked to your preference and crumble additional cheese to melt on top. DELICIOUS!

Sweet Potato "Fries"

2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small match sticks
2 tbs of Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 tbs of brown sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon
salt and pepper
2 tbs olive oil

Toss everything together very well. Lay onto foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 375 until crispy (about 25-35 minutes).

Sriracha Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup of Hellmans Mayo
2 squeezes of Sriracha 
1 tsp of Sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp maple syrup

Mix up and dip away!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Easy and Elegant Monday Evening Dinner - Carrot Orzo

1 cup of orzo
6 oz of baby carrots (1 1/4 cup)
2 tbs of butter
1 cup of water
1 large garlic finely minced
1 1/4 cup of low fat chicken stock
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese (you know I like more!)
2 tbs chopped green onion
1 tsp minced fresh Rosemary

Place carrots in a food processor and finely chop them.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add the orzo and carrots.
Saute until the orzo is golden. About 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, broth and garlic.
Cook uncovered over medium heat until the liquid is absorbed and stir frequently for 10 minutes.
Stir in the cheese, green onion and rosemary.
Season to taste. Enjoy!

In addition to my zucchini orzo recipe, this carrot is a delicious version to keep in your recipe arsenal.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Snow Day! - Make Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs!

Tomato Sauce
Pastene tomatoes I have to say are the best tomatoes to use for making sauce, they are fantastic. My grandmother always used these and I must say my sauce only comes out good when I use this product! Look for them in the yellow can!

2 can of Pastene Kitchen Ready Crushed Tomatoes
1 can of Pastene tomato paste
1 clove of smashed garlic
1/4 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper
(pinch or red pepper flake optional)

In a large pot, on medium-high heat, add your olive oil and garlic. The trick here is to make sure the garlic gets golden brown. Once this happens, add your tomato paste and stir for about a minute or two. Cooking the tomato paste will caramelize it and sweeten it up. To this, add the two cans of crushed tomato and add one can of water to the pot. Add salt and pepper and let simmer for at least 30 minutes on medium.

In the meantime, once the sauce is simmering, its meatball time!

2 lbs of ground beef chuck (you may use ground turkey here too)
3 beaten eggs
1 cup of Italian bread crumbs OR 1 cup of torn Italian bread soaked in milk (you may need a little more)
1 cup of Romano Cheese
1/4 of finely chopped Italian Parsley
Cubed Mozzarella (do not use fresh)
1 Tbs of salt
1/4 tsp each  of pepper and garlic powder
1/2 of milk (you may need a little more here as well)

In a large bowl add all of the ingredients. As you mix these by hand, you want the consistency not to be too hard and not to be too soft. You also do not want to over mix these. If the consistency is too wet, add more bread or breadcrumbs, if too dense and hard, add more milk or even water. Once you have mixed these up, its time to start making the balls. Roll into 1.5 inch balls, place one mozzarella cube in the middle and cover with meat, making a ball and place on a plate. Get a large pan with about 1/4 cup of olive oil and start frying these up until they are brown. Once they are brown (they do not need to be fully cooked)....add them to your sauce. They will finish cooking in there. Cook in the sauce for another hour or two and you are ready to eat.


*The longer you let the sauce simmer, the better it will be. You can let this cook all day if you like!

**Add browned sausage or pork to the simmering sauce.

***Skip the sauce and just try the meatballs fried! Delicious! Just make sure you cook them fully! You can also serve these fried meatballs at room temperature or make mini ones!

**** Try stuffing these with different cheeses such as: Fontina, Asiago, Parmesan and even American!

***** Add pieces of pepperoni to the sauce as it cooks!