New Years

Herb Salmon

March 2, 2012

Herb Salmon

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Skinless Salmon Fillet Cut Into 4 Portions

1 Lemon

1 Tablespoon Dillweed

1 Tablespoon Lemon Thyme

1 Tablespoon Italian Parsley

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2 Tablespoons Softened Butter

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Shred 1 teaspoon of the peel from the lemon and set aside. Juice half the lemon. In a small bowl combine the lemon peel, herbs, salt & pepper and butter. Stir to combine. Spread evenly on the salmon. Heat a large oven-proof skillet over a medium heat. Add the salmon, her side down. Turn the salmon. Pour the lemon juice over. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 5 minutes until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with the pan juices. Top with the additional shredded lemon peel. Serves 4

Red Velvet Cupcakes

March 1, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

These Red Velvet Cupcakes are unbelievably good. They are so good I could eat 5 in one sitting!

INGREDIENTS

2 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour

½ Cup Cocoa Powder

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Softened Butter

2 Cups Sugar

4 Eggs

1 Cup Sour Cream

½ Cup Milk

1 Ounce Red Food Color

3 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a medium size bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large size bowl beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on a medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in the flour mixture on low speed. Spoon into paper lined muffin cups. Fill each cup 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely. Spread with the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting. Makes 30 cupcakes.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting: In a medium size bowl beat 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 4 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons sour cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 16 ounces powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar) until smooth.

Garlic Mushroom Pizza

February 27, 2012

Garlic Mushroom Pizza

Soooooo good!

INGREDIENTS

1 Pizza Dough

¼ Cup Pizza Sauce

3 Finely Chopped Garlic Cloves

1 ½ Cups Shitake Mushrooms

1 Cup White Mushrooms

4 Tablespoons Herb Olive Oil

2 Cups Shredded Provolone Cheese

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to make the pizzas. Preheat your oven to 400° F. Spread the pizza dough out to cover a large pizza pan. Brush with 3 tablespoons of the herb olive oil and then sprinkle with the chopped garlic. Put in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. While in the oven, thinly slice the shitake and white mushroom in a large skillet, heat with the remaining tablespoon of herb olive oil. Cook over a high heat and sauté the mushrooms for 8 minutes until golden. Remove the cooked pizza dough from the oven. Spread the pizza sauce over the cooked dough. Sprinkle the baked dough with the 1 cup of the shredded provolone cheese, then the mushroom and the other cup of the provolone cheese. Place back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and cut into slices. Repeat until you have used all of the ingredients. Makes 4 pizzas. Serves 8

Soooooo good!

INGREDIENTS

1 Pizza Dough

¼ Cup Pizza Sauce

3 Finely Chopped Garlic Cloves

1 ½ Cups Shitake Mushrooms

1 Cup White Mushrooms

4 Tablespoons Herb Olive Oil

2 Cups Shredded Provolone Cheese

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to make the pizzas. Preheat your oven to 400° F. Spread the pizza dough out to cover a large pizza pan. Brush with 3 tablespoons of the herb olive oil and then sprinkle with the chopped garlic. Put in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. While in the oven, thinly slice the shitake and white mushroom in a large skillet, heat with the remaining tablespoon of herb olive oil. Cook over a high heat and sauté the mushrooms for 8 minutes until golden. Remove the cooked pizza dough from the oven. Spread the pizza sauce over the cooked dough. Sprinkle the baked dough with the 1 cup of the shredded provolone cheese, then the mushroom and the other cup of the provolone cheese. Place back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and cut into slices. Repeat until you have used all of the ingredients. Makes 4 pizzas. Serves 8

Lobster Bisque

February 13, 2012

Lobster Bisque

A nice special treat. This soup is great to make for Valentine’s Day.

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Cooked Lobster Meat

1/3 Cup Dry Sherry

¼ Cup Butter

3 Tablespoons flour

3 Cups Milk

1 Teaspoon Steak Sauce

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Tablespoon Chives

Combine the lobster meat and sherry in a small bowl. Set aside. In a medium saucepan over a low heat melt the butter. Blend in the flour and cook. Stir constantly until smooth and bubbly. Gradually add the milk and stir constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture is thickened. Stir in the steak sauce, salt and pepper. Add the lobster and sherry. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Garnish with chives. Makes 4 Cups.

Chopped Cobb Salad

February 7, 2012

Chopped Cobb Salad

There are various stories of how the Cobb Salad was invented. The most popular story is that it came about in the 1930s at the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, where it became a signature dish. It is named for the restaurant’s owner, Robert Howard Cobb. Legend has it that Mr. Cobb had not eaten until near midnight, and so he mixed together leftovers found in the kitchen, along with some bacon cooked by the line cook, and tossed it with their French dressing.

The best way to serve this hearty salad is on a large luncheon plate, so that all of the ingredients can be seen. Serve any extra vinaigrette on the side.

INGREDIENTS

For the Vinaigrette:

2 Tablespoons Red-Wine Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon Sugar

Pinch of Dry Mustard

¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

½ Teaspoon Finely Minced Garlic

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the Salad:

1 Head Diced Romaine Lettuce

3 Ripe Diced Plum Tomatoes

6 Diced Radishes

3 Diced Scallions

¼ Pound Diced Baked Ham

1 Cooked Diced Skinless/Boneless Chicken Breast

2 Diced Hard Boiled Eggs

4 Tablespoons Snipped Chives

¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

12 Slices Cooked & Crumbled Bacon

1 Ripe Avocado Peeled, Pitted and Diced

4 Ounces Crumbled Roquefort Cheese

In a bowl, whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients except the olive oil. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the oil; continue whisking until the dressing is slightly thickened. Set aside.

For the salad, arrange the lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, scallions, ham, chicken, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the chives, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Just before serving, toss the salad with the reserved vinaigrette. Arrange the salad in a decorative serving bowl. Garnish with the avocado, bacon and Roquefort cheese. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons of chives. Serves 4

Ultimate Ginger Snaps

January 30, 2012

Ultimate Ginger Snaps

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 ¼ Cups Unbleached Flour

½ Teaspoons Ground Cloves

½ Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

¾ Cup (1 ½ Sticks) Softened Unsalted Butter

1 Cup Sugar

¼ Cup Dark Molasses

1 Large Egg

3 ½ 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.

Camille’s Pita Pizza

January 26, 2012

Camille’s Pita Pizza

Camille created this “Pita Pizza” and loves how it tastes. Try it and see if you like it.

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Pita Flat Bread

½ Cup Humus

½ Cup Feta Cheese

¼ Cup Pitted Olives

½ Cup Diced Artichoke Hearts

¼ Cup Halved Cherry Tomatoes

½ Cup Baked & Shredded Chicken

Apply the humus to the pita flat bread. Sprinkle on the feta cheese. Layer with the olives, artichoke hearts and cherry tomatoes. Finish up with placing the shredded chicken on the top. Bake in a 350° F preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and slice like a pizza. Serves 4

Champagne Cocktails

December 31, 2011

Champagne Cocktails

By the mid 1800’s the classic Champagne Cocktail was all the rage in genteel society. Cocktails using champagne as a base are as old as the beverage itself. Add fruit to anything that fizzes and you’ve got a drink that’s been around for hundreds of years. One has to believe that the monks who invented champagne put in some local fruit during their experimentation with the bubbly wine that they created. Today champagne cocktails are as hip as ever!

Champagne Cocktail Basics

1. Chill your champagne to 42 to 45° F.

2. Do not use cheap champagne for cocktails.

3. Good ingredients make for a good drink.

4. Use dry champagne for cocktails because most champagne drinks are on the sweet side.

5. Chill the glass/flute ahead of time.

6. Pour small amounts at a time to prevent a foam over. Repeat until the glass is filled.

Classic Champagne Cocktail (From the Metropolitan Hotel, NYC circa 1935)

1 Sugar Cube

Angostura Bitters

Chilled Champagne

Lemon Twist

Champagne Flute

Soak the sugar cube with a couple of good splashes of Angostura

Bitters and place in the bottom of a large champagne flute. Fill

Slowly with the sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist.

For a stronger drink add a “float” of cognac to your Champagne Cocktail or add a splash of Campari instead of the cognac and you’ve got a “Goodnight Kiss.”

Prepare the lemon twists one or two hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate them until they are needed. Lemon twists are made from the entire peel. Peel half a lemon with your thumb (as you would and orange) and then cut several twists from the peel. A twist should be about ¼ inch wide and 1 inch long.

Kir Royale

½ Ounce Crème de Cassis

Champagne

Lemon Twist

Large Wine Glass

Pour the champagne into a large chilled wine glass. Add ½ ounce of crème de cassis and gently stir. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Mimosa

1 Ounce Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

5 Ounces Champagne

Orange Slice

Wine Glass

Pour the champagne and orange juice into any chilled wine glass and gently stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

Ginger Shrimp

December 28, 2011

Ginger Shrimp

INGREDIENTS

24 Shrimp With Shells On

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

4 Cloves Chopped Garlic

4 Tablespoons Julienned Fresh Ginger

1 Tablespoon Sugar

¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ Cup Soy Sauce

¼ Cup Brandy

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over a high heat. Add the shrimp quickly and stir fry. When done remove the shrimp from the oil and set aside. Add the chopped garlic and julienned fresh ginger to the hot oil. Also add the sugar and salt to the wok. Add the shrimp back to the mixture and continue to stir fry. Season with the soy sauce. Add the brandy to flambé. Be very careful as the pan must be very hot in order for it to ignite and you are about to have a large flame coming out of your wok. Do not attempt to do this near any flammable materials or too close to your guests. Once the alcohol has cooked off the dish is ready to serve. You can serve this dish over rice, noodles or its own. Serves 2

Glazed Ham

December 26, 2011

Glazed Ham

A Boxing Day Tradition!

INGREDIENTS

1 Five Pound Cooked Ham

¼ Cup Whole Cloves

¼ Cup Maple Syrup

2 Cups Honey

2/3 Cup Butter

Score the ham and stud with the whole cloves. Place the ham in a foil lined pan. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Using a double boiler, heat the maple syrup, honey and butter. Keep the glaze warm while baking the ham. Brush the glaze over the ham and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Baste the ham every 10 minutes with the glaze. During the last 5 minutes of baking, turn on the broiler to caramelize the glaze. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 15

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