Game Day

Mediterranean Salsa

February 2, 2013

Mediterranean Salsa

If you need to whip up a quick salsa as either a dip or condiment here is a super easy and quick recipe.  Serve with tortilla chips or use as a topping for tacos or burritos. 

INGREDIENTS

3 1/2 Cups Diced Tomatoes

1/2 Cup Pitted & Chopped Black Olives

2 Seeded & Chopped Whole Green Chiles

1 Tablespoon Diced Jalapeno Peppers

3 Chopped Scallions

4 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

In a large serving bowl combine all of the ingredients.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Serve with tortilla chips or use as a topping for tacos or burritos.  If you are not fond of cilantro then substitute the cilantro with fresh parsley.  Makes approximately 4 1/2 cups. 

Sausage & Cipollini Calzones

January 27, 2013

Sausage & Cipollini Calzones

Calzones are great with a variety of ingredients.  I layered these calzones with sweet Italian sausage, roasted cipollini onions, mozzarella cheese, basil and marinara sauce.  All that needs to complete this lunch or dinner meal is a tossed salad. 

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Pizza Dough (Homemade or Store Bought)

1 Pound Cooked Sweet Italian Sausage

1/2 Pound Roasted Cipollini Onions

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

6 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Pound Mozzarella Cheese

1 Cup Fresh Basil

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2 Cups Marinara Sauce (Homemade or Store Bought)

1/4 Cup Butter

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  In a large skillet sauté the sausage and minced garlic.  Remove from the heat and drain on paper towels.  To roast the cipollini onions line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut the onions in half and line on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle with the olive oil and place in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  In a large size bowl mix together the sausage, garlic, onions, basil, salt and pepper.   Set aside.  Stretch the dough to make 2 large round pieces.  Make sure to leave the dough slightly thick so that the filling will not leak out.  Put the dough on a lightly oiled pizza pan.  Keep away from the edges.  Gently spoon the 1/2 cup of the sauce onto the pizza round.  Place a couple of cheese slices over the sauce.  Spread 1/2 cup of the filling over the cheese.  Add two tablespoons of sauce over the top of the filling.  Fold over and dough over and seal by using your fingertips to press the edges tightly together until all of the dough is sealed.  Dot the tops with the butter and place into the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and serve with additional marinara sauce.  Makes 2 large calzones. 

 

Basic Pizza Dough

3/4 Cup Lukewarm Water

1 Package Dry Yeast

1/8 Teaspoon Sugar

3 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Vegetable Oil

 

Place the lukewarm water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast and sugar over it.  Let stand in a warm, draft free place for 15 minutes until a foam forms on top.  In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour and the teaspoon of kosher salt.  Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture.  Pour the mixture into the bowl of flour.  Gradually add the second cup of flour, stirring with a wooden spoon.  When the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, turn it out onto a floured board.  Gradually knead the rest of the flour into the dough until the dough is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky.  The amount of flour needed will vary depending on how moist the dough is and on the weather.  A damp or humid day will cause excess moisture.  Coat a medium size bowl with vegetable oil and place the ball of dough in it, rolling to coat it on all sides.  Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until it has doubled in bulk.  This should be about 1 hour.  To test if the dough has doubles, gently press two fingers into it.  If your fingers leave impressions the dough is ready. 

Saturday Night Turkey Burgers

January 26, 2013

Saturday Night Turkey Burgers

Once in a while I get a real hankering for a turkey burger.  The great thing about turkey burgers is that they are lean and flavorful.  Almost guilt-free eating! Add your favorite burger toppings or just eat them naked…the burgers that is.

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Ground Turkey

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Teaspoon Ground Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Ground Onion Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Powder

2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley

4 Brioche Buns

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  In a large size bowl combine all of the ingredients (except the brioche buns) and mix until well blended.  Line a large roasting pan with foil.  Shape the turkey burgers into 4 large burgers and place onto the roasting pan.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  How long you bake them depends on the size of the burgers.  Remove from the oven and serve on brioche buns.  Top with avocado slices, lettuce, tomato slices or your favorite toppings.  Serve with oven fries and a garden salad.  Serves 4

New York Black & Whites

January 22, 2013

New York Black & Whites

Go into any New York City bakery and you will find Black & White Cookies.  These cookies are cakey and delicious.  Why make a trip to the big apple when you can make your own at home?!  Feel free to use fondant instead of icing if you want.

INGREDIENTS

Cookies:

1 3/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/8 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

10 Tablespoons Softened Unsalted Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1 Large Egg

2 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1/3 Cup Sour Cream

 

Frosting:

5 Cups Sifted Powdered Sugar

7 Tablespoons Whole Milk

2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Tablespoons Sifted Cocoa

 

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Move your oven racks to the middle and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a large size bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt.  Set aside.  In a large size bowl beat the butter and sugar together for 3 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat another 2 minutes.  Slowly add a portion of the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Alternate with the sour cream.  Beat on low.  Repeat until you have incorporated all of the flour and sour cream.  Place 1 tablespoonful (each) of dough, 2 inches apart, on the parchment covered baking sheets.  Place into the oven for 15 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely before glazing. 

For the Glaze:  In a medium size bowl whisk together the sugar, 6 tablespoons of milk, vanilla, kosher salt and corn syrup.  Mix until smooth.  Put 1 cup of the glaze in a small bowl and set aside.  In the original bowl of glaze add the cocoa and 1 tablespoon of milk.  Mix well until combined. 

To ice the cookies make sure to work with 1 cookie at a time.  Spread 1 tablespoon of the vanilla glaze on 1/2 of the cookie.  You will be icing the flat side of the cookie.  Put the 1/2 glazed cookies in the fridge for 20 minutes.  Remove from the fridge and glaze the other half of the cookie with the chocolate glaze.  Set the glaze cookies aside for 1 1/2 hours to make sure that the icing hardens completely.  Makes between 12 to 18 cookies.    

Hot Hot Wings

January 16, 2013

Hot Hot Wings

Why go to Hooters for hot wings when you can make them at home.  Never mind…I just realized that’s not why someone would go to Hooters.  Make my Hot Hot Wings at home and you’ll be a happy camper. 

INGREDIENTS

3 Pounds Chicken Wings

2 Tablespoons Chili Powder

1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne  

3 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Cup Chili Sauce (I Use Sriracha Chili Sauce)

1/4 Cup Honey

3 Tablespoons Malt Vinegar

3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons Brandy

Dried Parsley For Garnish

Split the chicken wings at the joints and remove the tips.  Place the wings in a large zip lock bag.  Sprinkle the chili powder, oregano and kosher salt into the zip lock bag, zip up the bag and give a good shake.  Place in the fridge for 2 hours. If you need to use two bags then use two bags.  Remove from the fridge when you are ready to prepare. Preheat your oven to 375º F. Spread the chicken wings on 2 baking sheets covered with parchment paper.  Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until they are pretty crisp.  While the wings are baking prepare the wing sauce in a medium size pan.  Add the remaining olive oil and the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute over a medium heat.  Add the chili sauce, cayenne, malt vinegar, honey, soy sauce and brandy.  Bring the sauce to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer.  Simmer for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally.  Turn the heat off and put a lid on the pan and let sit until ready to use.  When the wings are done remove from the oven and place into a large bowl.  Pour the chili sauce over the wings and dredge until all wings are completely coated.  Transfer to a serving platter.  Serves 6

 

 

Cajun Popcorn

January 3, 2013

Cajun Popcorn

It’s the beginning of the year and many of us are looking to cut calories, but still want a good snack.  Here is a good treat that is worth a little splurge.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

1 1/4 Teaspoons Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

3/4 Teaspoon Onion Powder

3/4 Teaspoon Ground Pepper

3/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

3/4 Teaspoon Ground Thyme

3/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1/4 Cup Melted Butter

24 Cups Plain Popped Popcorn

Pop either 1 cup of kernels in a pan on the stove or pop 4 microwave packages of popcorn.  Personally I think the stovetop is a better way to pop popcorn.  In a small size bowl mix together the kosher salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, oregano, thyme and cayenne pepper.  In an extra-large size bowl drizzle the butter over the popcorn and toss.  Add the spice mixture and toss well to coat.  Serves 12

Hearty Vegetable Soup

December 3, 2012

Hearty Vegetable Soup

With so much heavy holiday food this time of year it’s good to take a nice little soup break.  Here is a Hearty Vegetable Soup that goes well with a nice loaf of crusty bread.

INGREDIENTS

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Diced Carrots

1 Large Diced Onion

5 Cloves Minced Garlic

2 Cups Cubed Butternut Squash

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

4 Cups Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth

15  Ounces Diced Tomatoes

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Thyme

2 Cups Chopped Kale

15 Ounces  Cooked Chickpeas

In a large soup pot add the olive oil and turn the heat to medium high.  Add the carrots, garlic, onions and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the butternut squash cubes, kosher salt, pepper and sauté for 2 more minutes.  Add the vegetable broth or chicken broth and stir.  Add the diced tomatoes and ground thyme.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir in the chopped kale and cooked chickpeas.  Cook for another 30 minutes.  Transfer to bowls and serve with crusty bread.  Serves 4

Ultimate Ginger Snaps

December 1, 2012

Ultimate Ginger Snaps

Back By Popular Demand!

If you like Ginger Snaps, like I do, then you will love these.  They are nice and chewy with just the right amount of ginger.  You just might want to double the batch because they are sure to be a big hit. 

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cloves

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

3/4 Cup (1 1/2 Sticks) Softened Unsalted Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Dark Molasses

1 Large Egg

3 1/2 Ounces Crystallized Ginger Chips

Preheat your oven to 375° F.  Sift the dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Stir in the molasses and the egg.  Add the dry ingredients to the ginger chips.  For the best result, chill the dough for 1 hour.  Form 1 inch balls.  Roll in granulated sugar.  Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Make sure that they are about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven while the cookies are still soft.  Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes before removing and placing on a serving plate.  Makes 3 dozen cookies. 

White Chocolate Chip Cookies

November 29, 2012

White Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is a good change of pace from chocolate chip cookies.  Sometimes I just get a real craving for white chocolate. 

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Softened Butter

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

1 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 Cups White Chocolate Chips

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  In a large size bowl mix together the butter and the sugar until fluffy.  Add the vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Beat well.  Add the flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix well.  Add the white chocolate chips and mix for another minute.  Cover your baking sheets with parchment paper.  With a teaspoon scoop the cookie dough and drop onto the parchment paper.  Place 1 inch apart.  Bake for 10 minutes or until done.  Remember that each oven is different from the next so you may want to check the cookies at 9 minutes.  I like to take the cookies out a bit early so they are nice and soft because the cookies will continue to cook after removal from the oven.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.  Repeat until you are finished cooking all of the dough.  Makes 60 cookies. 

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

November 27, 2012

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love dark chocolate much more than milk chocolate.  Here is a great easy recipe for dark chocolate chip cookies.

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Softened Butter

3/4 Cup Sugar

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

2 Eggs

2 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  In a large size bowl mix together the butter and the sugar until fluffy.  Add the vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Beat well.  Add the flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix well.  Add the dark chocolate chips and mix for another minute.  Cover your baking sheets with parchment paper.  With a teaspoon scoop the cookie dough and drop onto the parchment paper.  Place 1 inch apart.  Bake for 10 minutes or until done.  Remember that each oven is different from the next so you may want to check the cookies at 9 minutes.  I like to take the cookies out a bit early so they are nice and soft because the cookies will continue to cook after removal from the oven.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.  Repeat until you are finished cooking all of the dough.  Makes 54 cookies

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