Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blueberry Lime Corn Muffins

Good morning it's been one of those weeks trying to make sure you get everything done on time.  I shot out of bed this morning realizing I didn't finish this post and knowing it all ready posted.  I wanted to sleep in this morning I stayed up too late reading.  Well instead of trying to figure out something witty to say I'm just going to leave you with these Blueberry Lime Corn Muffins.

Blueberry Lime Corn Muffins

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
2/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup Albers Yellow Corn Meal
1 tablespoon baking power
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
zest from one large lime
juice from one large lime
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or paper-line 14 to 16 muffin cups.

Combine in a medium bowl flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder and salt.  In a small bowl combine milk, eggs, oil and butter.  Add to flour mixture, stir until blended.  Add zest and lime juice and blend. (adding the lime at this time will keep the milk from curdling). Fold in blueberries and  pour into prepared muffin cups filling 2/3 full.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove to wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm

Monday, June 24, 2013

Avocado Salsa For A Crowd

It's that time of year to start planning your Independence Day celebration.  Family picnic, friends over for a BBQ - Swimming, games, food and fireworks.  What are your plans for the holiday?  We are lucky that from our deck we have a birds eye view of the fireworks at the airport. 

The food and the fireworks are the highlight of the day. Here is a crowd size recipe for Avocado Salsa.

Avocado Salsa For A Crowd

3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 onion, diced
2 large jalapeños, seeded and diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 avocados, diced
zest from a large lime
juice from a large lime
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, cilantro, lime zest and garlic.  Add avocados before combining them to the salsa drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and lime juice.  Mix together gently.

Until Next Time,

Friday, June 21, 2013

Whisky Raspberry Bacon Chicken

My husband is finally getting his appetite back.  To celebrate I wanted to make his a dish with a lot of flavor.  This dish fit's the bill my Whisky Raspberry Bacon Chicken.  The glaze makes this a winner it's buttery, fruity and with just a kick of whisky.  

I have plans for this glaze with other dishes a pork loin, brussel sprouts I think it would also taste good in the right dessert. 

Whisky Raspberry Bacon Chicken
(say that 3 times fast)

2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
2 teaspoons McCormick Grill Mates Molasses Bacon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Ingredients For Chicken
10 pieces of chicken (I used legs and thighs)
6 slices bacon cut up
rub (recipe above)

4 Tablespoons butter
6 sage leaves torn up
1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper
1/4 cup Raspberry Pepper Jam (I use Sunchowders Emporia Jams)
1/4 cup good whisky (optional, yeah right)
reserved bacon, crumbled 

Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle chicken on all sides with rub and cover let sit at least 20 minutes any long than that place in the refrigerator.   In a large skillet cook bacon until just starting to crisp move to paper towel to drain.  Add chicken to the skillet with the bacon drippings and cook on both side until a nice golden brown.  Place in oven cook for 15 minutes and turn and cook another 10 to 15 minutes until chicken reaches a 160 degree inside temperature.  Brush chicken with glaze the last few minutes of cooking.  Plate and pour the rest of the glaze over chicken.

Glaze: While the chicken is cooking you can make the glaze.  In a saucepan heat butter and sage until it gets to the brown butter stage.  Add the raspberry pepper jam, reserved bacon, salt and pepper.  Heat over a medium low heat until the jam melts and add whisky.  Stir on low heat for about 5 minutes.

Until Next Time,

Jam Hands

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Asian Inspired Salad

This is a salad I make all the time.  What I really like about it it's fast and easy and I can change the dressing to suit my taste.  Many times I have made it with a Italian dressing, even a creamy bacon ranch but this time I went with an Asian flair.  This salad travels well and makes a nice side dish for that summer family reunion.


27 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
29 oz can corn, drained
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
2/3 cup cilantro, rough chop 


1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon country dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Simply Asia Sweet Ginger Garlic seasoning

Place salad ingredients except cilantro in a large bowl and mix together.  In a mason jar add all dressing ingredients and shake the heck out of it.  Pour half the jar over the vegetables and mix together.  Cover salad and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring a few times during that 2 hours. Add cilantro and toss just before serving.  Add more dressing if needed.

Note:  If you would like to make this salad as a main dish salad I like to add Udon Stir-Fry Noodles with a little chili oil, chill and top with the salad above, strips of cooked cold chicken and top with fried wontons strips.

Until Next Time,

Monday, June 17, 2013

Leftover Herbs

My husband had knee surgery June 1st and the medication he has been on he has lost his appetite and I have not been cooking.  I'm now trying to figure out what kind of posts I'm going to do. Bare with me until I can get back to cooking.

What to do with leftover herbs

I had picked some herbs for a dish I was making.  After chopping the herbs and measuring out what I needed I still had a lot of herbs left.  I'm not one to throw them away.  Instead I grabbed a small canning  jar and added some kosher salt, then the herbs and some more kosher salt.  I put the lid on and shook the jar until it was all mixed together.  The shaking also helps to release the oils into the salt.  I then let it sit for a week.  I opened it and the salt smells so good and it's now ready to use in your favorite recipes, rub for meat or fish, on top of bread and the list goes on.

Herb Salt

The two herbs I used for this salt were oregano and rosemary. 

Until Next Time,

Friday, June 14, 2013

Marinated Mushrooms

When you go to a deli and are looking at all the salads does your eyes go straight to the marinated mushrooms?  Mine do, I love mushrooms every kind, every way, they make me happy.  The only thing I don't like is they are pretty expensive at the deli.  So why not make them yourself.  They are so simple to make and better than what you will get at the deli. 

The marinated mushrooms are great to take to a picnic, serve with antipasto, chop them up and put on top of your sub or meatball sandwich. 

Marinated Mushrooms

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup white wine vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
1 packet McCormick Gourmet Sweet Basil and Oregano Bruschetta Mix
1 small red onion sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers
1 lb small mushrooms (button or cremini)

With a damp paper towel clean mushrooms and trim bottoms, set aside.  In a deep bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegars, water, salt, pepper, sugar and McCormick Gourmet Sweet Basil and Oregano Bruschetta Mix.  Add onion, garlic, red peppers, mushrooms and mix together.  Let set at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours, give the mushrooms a stir throughout the day.  They can then be stored in the refrigerator.

After the mushroom are gone I usually add another pound of mushrooms or sliced cucumbers or I will use it to make pasta salad. The olive oil mixture is also good to dip your bread in.

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cranberry Sage Cornbread

Cornbread is one of those things I made throughout the year.  We eat it with soup, chili, beans, steak, chicken, pork you get the idea it goes with everything.  It's something that tastes great with a fall dinner or taking to a summer pot-luck.  The thing I like about cornbread is you can add different ingredients to the base batter to kick it up.  

I had a bag of Oceanspray Craisins in the pantry and grabbed some sage leaves out of my herb garden and made this delicious cornbread which will be perfect to fix during the fall too.  What a great combination of flavors.

Cranberry Sage Cornbread

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup Albers Yellow Corn Meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh minced sage
5 oz package Oceanspray Craisins 
1 tablespoon flour

Butter a 8 x 8 baking dish and set aside. Over low heat melt butter in a small sauté pan add minced sage and sauté for 5 minutes, set aside for at least 15 minutes.  

In a medium bowl add flour, sugar, corn meal and salt and set aside.  In a measuring cup add milk, eggs, vegetable oil and with a fork gently incorporate your wet ingredients.  Add wet ingredients to the dry and gently whisk together.  Re-heat the butter if needed just until it has melted and add to the corn bread mixture and incorporate.  Add a tablespoon of flour to the craisins and toss to coat the craisins add to corn meal batter, fold in.  Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a wooden tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Until Next Time,
Jam Hands

Monday, June 10, 2013

Spicy Pinto Beans

If you have been following my blog you will see a pattern I love spicy food.  99% of the time I am splashing Tabasco on my eggs. I don't like it so hot that it zaps your taste buds where your mouth is numb I just like a nice kick.  I stay away from habanero chilies I had a very bad experience and I think it was at least a month before I could taste food again. The nice thing about this recipe is just with a couple adjustments you can bring down the heat.  

Spicy Pinto Beans

1 lb package of dried pinto beans
approx enough water to cover 4 inches above beans 
1 tablespoon Fiesta Quick Chili Mix
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon chipolte chili powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, rough chop
1 4oz can diced jalapeños fire roasted

Optional Toppings
Sour Cream

Go through pinto beans and take out any stones or wonky pinto beans rinse with cold water drain, add to a bowl with onions and garlic and set aside.

In a large stock pot add water, spices and jalapeños and bring to a boil.  Slowly add beans, onions and garlic and bring back up to a boil.  Reduce heat just until there is a gently boil, occasionally give the beans and nice stir and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the beans are tender, taste for seasoning add additional salt if needed.  If the water reduces and you can see the beans just add a couple cups of water and turn up the heat until it is just starting to boil then lower again.   Your beans are now ready to serve as a side dish, over rice, in burritos, nachos or anything else you want.  

Note:  For less spicy beans leave out the chipolte chili powder and substitute 4oz can mild diced green peppers for the jalapeños.

Until Next Time,

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cheese Ravioli and Chicken Alfredo

Freezer update:  Chicken, green beans and 4 cheese ravioli taken out of the freezer, I am still working on my goal to use everything in my freezer.  I am also trying to work on dishes that I am using what I have on hand in the refrigerator.  If you don't have mushrooms on hand use bell peppers there is nothing set in stone that you have to use the veggies I did.  Boy I wish I did have some yellow, red or orange bell peppers they would have tasted delicious sautéed with the onions and garlic.

Cheese Ravioli and Chicken Alfredo

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed
1 tablespoon cajun seasonings
1 20 oz package frozen 4 cheese ravioli, thawed
1 15oz jar of prepared alfredo sauce (I used Classico Roasted Poblano Alfredo)
12 white button mushroom, quartered
1/2 bag frozen cut green beans
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon plus extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup or more parmesan cheese (who doesn't love cheese)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a skillet add some olive oil.  Sprinkle chicken breasts all sides with cajun seasonings and rub seasonings onto the breasts.  Heat skillet with olive oil until hot.  Place chicken breasts in skillet for 3 minutes turn and place skillet into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover with foil and allow to cool 20 minutes.

In another skillet heat butter and olive oil, add mushrooms, onions and green beans and sauté for about 10 to 15 minutes, add garlic and stir until garlic has released it's flavor but do not  brown.  Remove from heat.  Cube chicken and place in large bowl, add sautéed veggies, ravioli and Alfredo sauce, stir together and place in a baking dish. Heat in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Top with parmesan cheese and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Until next time,

Monday, June 3, 2013

Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies

My husband is in surgery right about now he is having his left knee replaced. (next year they are doing the right knee)  Poor guy he kept saying all they need to do is clean out the joint.  The doctor told him there is nothing to clean out because there is nothing there.  No wonder his knee has been killing him it is bone rubbing against bone.

 I fixed up the guest bedroom for him which is downstairs.  Bought him all his favorite magazines, downloaded some books for him on the iPad. I just want to make him comfortable and make him his favorite dishes. I made my bionic man some brownies to have ready when he gets home from the hospital not some plain brownies but Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies

one box of your Favorite Brownie Mix (I used Kodiak)
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
6 teaspoonful your Favorite Jelly or Jam (I used Sunchowder Emporia Black Forest Jam)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  Follow the directions on preparing the brownie mix according to the box.  Place a little more than half of the brownie mixture in your baking dish.  In a small saucepan on medium low heat add peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk as soon as it starts to melt, (which is about 1 minute) remove from heat and mix until smooth.  Pour peanut butter mixture over the brownie mix and top with the remaining brownie mixture.  Top with 6 spoonfuls of jelly and using a chopstick swirl it around.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting.

Until Next Time,

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