Friday, February 27, 2015

Individual Chocolate Molten Cakes

Oh, what a delight these cakes are!  They're rich, chocolatey, decadent!  Absolutely delicious!  You can make 6 jumbo ones or 12 regular muffin size.  Also, you can serve them with a scoop of ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or simply by themselves.  However, you desire, just enjoy them!
*this recipe yields 6 jumbo cakes or 12 muffin size cakes
For pan coating:
-2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
-2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
For cakes:
-3/4 cup unsalted butter
-1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-5 large eggs
-3/4 cups sugar
-2/3 cups flour
Whether you use a jumbo muffin pan or a regular one, coat the inside of each one with the melted butter.  Then sprinkle the inside with the cocoa powder.  Set aside.
Place 3/4 cup butter, chocolate chips and heavy cream in large microwavable bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each stop, until completely melted and smooth.  Let chocolate mixture cool for about 5 minutes.
To it, add the eggs, sugar and flour.  Mix by hand until well incorporated.
Pour batter evenly into prepared cups.  Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days (the mixture will look like set pudding).
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 F.
Bake cakes in preheated oven for 20 minutes for jumbo cakes or 10-12 minutes for regular size muffin pan.  They are done when the middle looks like thick pudding.  Do not overbake them!
Remove from oven and let them rest for 5 minutes.
Place a sheet pan on top of muffin pan and invert the cakes.
Serve hot with ice cream, whipped cream or just by themselves.  Enjoy the oozy, chocolatey middle!  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Adobong Baboy (Filipino Braised Pork in Tangy Sauce)

My sweet husband spent 2 years in the Philippines sharing the Gospel.  He fell in love with the people, as well as with the food.  I sometimes try to recreate some of the dishes he enjoyed there, but it's a little hit and miss since I have never been there and I don't really know how the dishes are supposed to taste.  This tangy pork is something he's talked about for years.  I looked up a lot of recipes and came up with this one.  He said the taste is spot on.  Yay!  I got this one right. :)  The meat is nice and tender, and the taste is salty and tangy.  Very nice.  Enjoy!
-5 garlic cloves, crushed
-1/3 cup white vinegar
-3 Tbs soy sauce
-1 bay leaf
-2 tsp salt
-1 Tbs peppercorns
-1 tsp sugar
-4 cups water, divided
-2 lbs pork, cut into bite size chunks
-cooking spray
Place garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf, salt, peppercorns, sugar and 1/2 cup water into a large saucepan.  Mix very well.  Add the pork, mix well to coat and let it sit on your counter for 30-40 minutes.
Place pot with meat mixture on the stove over medium heat and bring to a boil.  
Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour, adding 1/2 cup of water every 10 minutes or so, until all 4 cups are added.  Stir occasionally.
Remove the pot from stove.  Carefully, remove the meat (it should be very tender) onto a plate.  Strain the liquid in a large bowl and set aside.
Generously, coat a large skillet with cooking spray.  When hot, add the pork and fry until golden brown.  
Add the reserved sauce and bring to a quick boil.
Serve hot over cooked rice with a generous helping of the sauce.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ana's Peanut Butter Cookies

My beautiful daughter hijacked my kitchen the other day and whipped up a batch of absolutely delicious peanut butter cookies.  They're easy to make and very, very tasty!  Yum!  Enjoy!
*this recipe yields about 18-20 cookies
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1 large egg
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 1/4 cups flour
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In you mixer's bowl, cream the peanut butter and butter.  Add the sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla.  Beat for about 1 minute.
Gradually, add remaining ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
Scoop cookies onto baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cookies stand on the sheet for about 10 minutes.  Transfer onto serving plate and enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese Bites

I had one pie crust, an onion and some goat cheese in my fridge.  All of them needed to be used soon, so I started to look up ideas.  I came across this recipe on food network.  It was just perfect for my odd combination of ingredients.  I adjusted it a little bit, but this is absolutely amazing!  Such a delicious combination of flavors and textures.  These are perfect savory bites!  You get the sweetness of the caramelized onions, the crunch of the pie shell and the tanginess of the goat cheese mixture.  Absolutely perfect!  Enjoy!
-1 Tbs unsalted butter
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 large onion, finely chopped
-1 Tbs sugar
-1 tsp salt
-4 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
-1 large egg
-2 Tbs 2% or whole milk (do not go lower than 2)
-1 tsp dried thyme
-1 refrigerated rolled pie crust (it comes in a box with 2 rolled pie crusts)
-mini muffin tin to make the tarts
Heat butter and oil in large skillet.  Add the onion, sugar and salt.  Give it a good stir and cook until onions begin to brown.  Lower the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and let the onions cool.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F.
In a bowl, mix with a fork the cheese, egg, milk and thyme.   Mix very well, until smooth.
Unroll the pie crust.  Using a 2 inch round cutter (out of a pack of 3, the middle one) cut out circles out of the crust.  There will be remaining crust.  Bunch it together, roll it out and cut more circles until all dough is used.  Place each circle of crust into mini muffin tin.  You should get 22-24 crusts.
Spoon a little of the cooled onion into each pie crust (make sure to do it evenly).  Pour goat cheese mixture evenly on top of onion.
Bake the tarts in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until filling is set.
Remove from oven and let tarts rest for about 5 minutes.  Remove from muffin tin and serve.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a Sandra Lee recipe

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cream Cheese-Orange Bites with Pomegranate

This, my friends, is an absolute perfect bite of heaven!  It is creamy, sweet (but not much) and simply amazing!   It seriously is the perfect dessert bite.  Enjoy!
-8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
-1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
-2 tsp orange zest
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-30 frozen mini fillo shells
-1 small pomegranate-scoop out the arils
Cream the cheese, milk, zest and vanilla until smooth.  Scoop evenly into frozen fillo shells.  Top with a few pomegranate arils.  Enjoy each bite of heaven.
*If you happen to have leftovers, refrigerate immediately.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Slow Cooker Dijon-Maple Chicken

I don't think you can really take good pictures of slow cooker food...  That said, this is a very  nice dish.  Quick to put together and very tasty.  Enjoy!
-4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
-1/2 cup dijon mustard
-1/4 cup real maple syrup
-1 Tbs white wine vinegar
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
Coat the bottom of your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add the chicken thighs.  Mix remaining ingredients and pour over thighs.  Turn the chicken so that it is completely covered in the sauce.  Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Slow Cooker Winter Mixed Berry Cobbler

Oh, what a treat this is!  And the best part is that is made with frozen berries, so you can enjoy all the goodness right in the middle of a cold winter.  Is sweet, creamy and simply delicious! Enjoy!
-16 oz frozen mixed berries (blackberries, strawberries, raspberries)
-1 (21 oz) can blueberry pie filling
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 (7 oz) package blueberry muffin mix
-1/3 cup water
-2 Tbs vegetable oil
-whipped topping or vanilla ice cream, to serve
Lightly coat the bottom of your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add the frozen berries, pie filling and sugar.  Stir well.  Cover and cook on LOW for 3 hours.
In a bowl, combine the muffin mix with the water and oil.  Mix well and drop by spoonfuls on top of the berry mix.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour or until the toothpick comes out clean.
Turn off the slow cooker, uncover and let it sit for about 1 hour.  
Serve with some ice cream or whipped topping.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Frickles"-Fried Pickles with Ham and Cheese

This makes a wonderful little snack or appetizer.  I love the crunch of the pickle spear with the yumminess of the ham or pastrami and the goodness of melted cheese.  And all of this in an egg roll wrap.  Yum!  You can get creative and use any deli meat you want and any cheese you like, even cream cheese.  The possibilities are endless.  Enjoy!
-egg roll wrappers
-deli sliced ham, pastrami or any meat you like
-deli sliced cheese (mozzarella, swiss, provolone, pepper jack) or cream cheese
-dill pickle spears
Heat oil in deep fryer or deep skillet until it reaches 350 F.
Place 1 egg roll wrapper on your working surface.  In the middle of it, place 1 slice of meat, topped with 1 slice of cheese (or spread some cream cheese), then add a pickle spear on top.  Roll everything like an egg roll.  Moisten the end with a little water so that it won't become loose and press to seal.
Carefully, deep fry until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.
Serve as is or with a little ranch to dip.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Minute Minestrone

This is quick, easy and very comforting.  It's the perfect dish for the cold weather or for a little pick me up, if you're not feeling too well with all the nasty stuff going around.  Great soup!  Enjoy!
-2 Tbs margarine/butter
-1/2 small onion, finely chopped
-1 medium zucchini, chopped
-10 oz frozen lima beans
-3 cups beef or vegetable broth
-1 cup water
-1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
-1/2 cup elbow macaroni
-1 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
-1/2  tsp dried basil leaves
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp cayenne 
Melt margarine in large saucepan.  Add the onion and zucchini.  Cook until vegetables are nice and soft.  Add the beans and cook for about 5 minutes.
Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Adjust seasoning, if needed.  Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Orzo-Shrimp Salad

This is an easy and quick to put together meal.  I really love the flavors in this dish.  Very fresh and delicious!  Enjoy!
-1/2 lb orzo
-1 1/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 lemon
-1 Tbs dill, chopped
-1 Tbs parsley, chopped
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
-1 small bunch of radishes, cleaned and chopped
-12 oz small cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tails removed
Cook orzo in salted water, according to package directions.  Drain and place in large bowl.  Toss with the pepper.  Add the zest and juice from the lemon.  Add remaining ingredients and toss well.  Adjust seasoning, if necessary.  Serve and enjoy!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mexican Shrimp Bisque

This is super easy, fast and absolutely delicious, with a little kick.  Enjoy!
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 Tbs flour
-3 cup chicken broth
-1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with zesty jalapenos
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1 tsp chili powder
-1/2 tsp ground cumin
-12 oz small shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tails removed
-1/2 cup sour cream
Heat oil in large saucepan.  Add the onion and cook until tender.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the flour.  Mix until creamy.  Add the broth, tomatoes, cream, chili powder and cumin.  Mix very well.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes.
Mix the sour cream with about 1 cup of the hot soup.  When smooth, add to the soup.  Cook for 1 more minute.
Ladle into bowls and enjoy!


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