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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Mint Chocolate Heaven

These tasty cookies came from my friend Angel

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2T water
2 c. chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 box Andes Mint
Over low heat, cook butter brown sugar and water until Melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chips are melted. Pour into mixing bowl and let stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly. With mixer at high speed, beat in eggs one at a time. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients beating until blended. Chill dough for 1 hour. Line cookie sheets with foil. Roll teaspoonful into balls. Place 2 inches apart-- bake approx. 10 min. (350 degrees) Immediately place mint on each hot cookie. Wait 30-45 seconds and then spread melted mint over entire surface of cookie.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pulled Pork with Cornbread Topping

  • 1/2 cup bottled barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, country-stylpork shoulder ribs, cut into 6 pieces
  • onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup creamed corn
  • egg
  • tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 8 1/2 ounce box  corn muffin mix
  • scallion, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees . In a large, heavy ovenproof pot or Dutch oven, whisk the first 3 ingredients. Add the pork and onion and bring to a simmer over medium; cover. Roast until the pork is tender, 1 3/4 hours. Remove the pot from the oven and increase the heat to 400 degrees . Using 2 forks, shred the pork in the pot.
  2. In a bowl, stir the creamed corn, egg and sour cream, then gently fold in the muffin mix and scallions. Spoon the batter to cover the pulled pork. Bake, uncovered, until cornbread is golden and tester comes out dry, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Complete step 1 in a slow cooker on low, 3 1/2 hours. Shred the pork and return to the slow cooker. Spread the batter on top and cook on low until cornbread is golden and tester comes out dry, about 2 3/4 hours

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cranberry Sauce

1 - 12 oz pkg cranberries
1/2 orange, zested
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks
1 c. orange juice
1 c. brown sugar.

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon, orange juice, and brown sugar. Add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the sauce has thickened. Taste for sweetness, and adjust with additional sugar if necessary. You can not overcook, so continue cooking until you have a good thick consistency. Let mixture cool, then refrigerate in a covered container.

Green Bean Casserole

This is a great "lighter" and in my opinion, tastier version than the cream of mushroom soup version


Vegetable cooking spray
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-sodium, reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
(9-ounce) packages frozen French-style green beans, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
2 teaspoons margarine, melted
egg white, lightly beaten
Coat a medium saucepan with cooking spray, and place over medium heat until hot. Add onion; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Add flour, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk, stirring until blended. Stir in cheese, sour cream, sugar, and salt; cook 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.
Place green beans in an 8-inch square baking dish; pour the sauce over beans. Combine stuffing mix, margarine, and egg white in a bowl; stir well, and sprinkle over green bean mixture. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

2 lbs. pork tenderloin

spice mixture:
1 t. thyme (or sage)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 clove garlic

1/2 c. water

1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. water
2 T. soy sauce

Mix spice mixture and rub over pork.  Place in slow cooker and add 1/2 c. water.  Cook on low 6 - 8  hours or high for 4 hours.

One hour before pork is done, combine glaze ingredients and cook in saucepan on stove until thick.  Pour over pork and continue cooking on high for 1 hour.  Baste pork with mixture 2 - 3 times.

Option:  Transfer roast to a roasting pan, add glaze and cook under broiler for 1 - 2 minutes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Marinated Mushroom Bruschetta

This came from one of my favorite grilling cookbooks: Weber's Real Grilling

1/2 c. white wine
1/4 c. olive oil
2 t. minced garlic
2 t. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. black pepper

1/2 lb. large shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 red bell peppers
20 slices good quality French bread, each about 2" in diameter and 1/4" thick
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. pine nuts
2 T. finely chopped parsley
4 oz. goat cheese

1. To make the marinade: in a medium bowl, whisk the marinated ingredients.  Place the mushrooms in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade.  Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly.   Turn the bag several times to distribute the ingredients.  Allow the mushrooms to marinate at room temperature for 1 - 2 hours, turning occasionally.
2. Grill the bell peppers on direct heat until they are blackened (or in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes).  Place the peppers in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap to trap the steam.  Set aside for at least 10 minutes, then peel the skins and discard the stems and seeds.
3. Shake any excess moisture from the the mushrooms.  Grill over medium heat until tender, 8 - 10 minutes (or in 400 degree oven).  Lightly brush or spray the slices of bread on both sides with olive oil.  Grill over medium heat until lightly toasted (or in oven 1 - 2 minutes).
4. In a medium pan over medium heat, cook the pine nuts until lightly toasted, 5 -10 minutes; shaking the pan occasionally.
5. Very finely chop the bell peppers, mushrooms, and pine nuts, and combine all of them in a medium bowl.  Add the parsley and stir.  Spread a very thin layer of goat cheese on one side of each slice of bread.  Arrange about 1 T. of mushroom mixture on top of each.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Roasted tomato & vegetable soup

I like vegetables, but getting the recommended servings in per day is hard!  I created this soup as a great way to get a good portion of veggies and fiber, plus it's filling.

In a 425 degree oven roast the following on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray:

tomatoes, cut into quarters (I used about 3 med sized tomatoes)
1 onion, cut into chunks
1 lg. zucchini and 1 large summer squash, cut into thick chunks
1 red pepper, cut into large slices
handful of baby carrots

Douse with olive oil and roast!

Roast for approximately 20 - 25 minutes

In a stockpot, add 1 T. olive oil and saute 3 cloves of garlic.  Once soft, add 2 - 28 oz. cans of tomatoes (they can be fire roasted or the kind with basil, oregano & garlic), a can of garbanzo beans, 2 t. basil, 2 t. oregano, salt & pepper (adjust as needed). You can add what you have on hand... like kale or spinach or any other vegetables you might want to throw in.  If you don't like peppers, leave them out.

Add in roasted vegetables.  Puree in with an immersion blender, or puree (in batches) in blender.  Add chicken or vegetable broth to achieve desired consistency.

Add 3 T. Greek yogurt (or more to taste), to add creaminess.  Adjust amount of salt and pepper to taste.

Done!  Make a grilled cheese and start dipping.