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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Sep 29, 2010

Cuban Pepper Chicken

6 Chicken Breast, Boneless, -Skinless                             
1 Tsp paprika                                                                   
1 Tsp cumin                                                                            
1 Tsp salt                                                                         
1 Tsp cayenne
1/4 Cup lime juice                                                                   
3 Tbl butter                                                                      
4 Clove garlic                                                                  
Zest from 1 lime                                                              
1/2 Cup light rum
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 -inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch-cubes
2 Tbl fresh thyme, chopped
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
3 Cup cooked rice

Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes.  Season chicken breasts with cumin, cayenne, salt, and paprika. Place chicken breasts in 3-4 quart crock pot, add butter, garlic, lime zest, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, and rum. Cover and cook on medium for 4-6 hours. Stir in cubed bell peppers, thyme, and tomatoes. Cover and continue to cook for an additional 1-2 hours. Serve over rice.

Sep 23, 2010

Creamsicle Cupcakes

Orange Cupcakes                                                          
2 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour                                              
2 Cup granulated sugar                                                   
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder                                                   
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda                                                       
1/2 Tsp Salt                                                                      
3 Large Eggs                                                                   
2 Tbl grated orange zest
2 Tsp Orange Extract                                                      
3/4 Cup vegetable oil
1 Cup Milk, Soured

8 Ounce Cream Cheese, softened
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cup confectioners’ sugar, Or -To Taste

1. Cupcakes: Heat oven to 350F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, baking soda and salt until
3. In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat eggs, orange zest and orange extract until blended. Beat in
 remaining 1 cup sugar. Beat in oil, then buttermilk, until blended.
4. On low speed, beat in flour mixture just until blended. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each muffin
5. Bake 25 to 28 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove to wire rack to
 cool completely.
6. Frosting: Beat cream cheese and vanilla in a medium bowl with mixer on low speed to blend. Add
 confectioners sugar and beat until fluffy.  Refrigerate until firm enough to spread.
7. Spread about 1 Tbsp frosting on each cupcake.

Sep 19, 2010

Pumpkin Fudge

  1 Cup Almonds, Chopped                                             1 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  3 Cups Sugar                                                                  1 3/4 Cup Butterscotch Chips
  1 Cup Butter                                                                   1/4 Cup Cinnamon Chips
  5 0unces Evaporated Milk                                              7 Ounce Marshmallow Cream
  1/2 Cup Pumpkin, Pureed                                              1 Tsp Vanilla

Butter a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Arrange almonds on a cookies sheet and place in oven to toast.  Stir frequently,
 do not burn.  Remove from oven and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, butter, milk, pumpkin and spice.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Continue boiling over medium heat until mixture reaches 234 degrees F on a candy thermometer (about 10
Remove from heat.  Stir in butterscotch and cinnamon chips.  When chips are melted, add marshmallow cream, nuts and vanilla.  Mix until well blended and immediately pour into prepared pan.  Spread evenly.  Cool at room temperature, cut into squares and store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.

Sep 16, 2010

Linguine With Roasted Red Peppers And Tomatoes

  13 Ounce Linguine                                                         1 Tablespoon Parsley
  1 Medium Clove Garlic                                                  1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  1/2 Tsp Salt                                                                     3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  12 Ounce Roasted Red Pepper                                      1/2 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  1 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, Quartered                              1/2 Cups Parmesan

Bring large pot of well salted water to a boil over high heat. When boiling, cook Linguine per package directions.

Meanwhile, coarsely chop garlic and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt.    Cut red peppers into a 1/4 inch dice and put in a large bowl.  Add garlic, tomatoes, parsley, Italian seasoning, olive oil and red pepper flakes.  Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, pour in pepper and tomato mixture, stir until heated through, about 5  minutes.  Return to your bowl.

When the pasta is done, add it to the bowl and mix thoroughly.  Put in bowls and top with cheese.

Per Serving: 346 Cal (31% from Fat, 14% from Protein, 55% from Carb); 12 g Protein; 12 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 6 g Mono Fat; 48 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 3 g Sugar; 124 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 339 mg Sodium; 66 mg Cholesterol

Sep 15, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake

1 1/2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs                               
2 Tablespoon Sugar                                                         
3 Tablespoon Melted Butter                                            
24 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened                               
1 Cup Sugar                                                                     
2 Tsp Grated Lemon Peel
1/4 Tsp Vanilla
3 Tbl Corn Starch
3 Large Eggs
3 Cups Strawberries, Diced
8 Ounce Cool Whip
Strawberries, For Garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Crust:  Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Mix in the melted butter and
 press into a 9 inch spring form pan.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes and cool.

Reduce Oven to 300 degrees.
Mix cream cheese in a large bowl and gradually add 1 cup sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Add the lemon peel, vanilla and cornstarch.  Gently stir in 1 cup of the diced strawberries.    Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for about 1 hour, or until the center is set.  Cool on a wire rack for about an hour and then refrigerate for 3 hours, until cheesecake is firm.  Before serving, mix the cool whip and remaining strawberries and spread on the cheesecake.  Arrange whole or halved strawberries on top for garnish.

Sep 14, 2010

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

1 1/2 Lb Lean Ground Beef                                            
3 Large Green Pepper, chopped 
1 Large Onion, chopped                                      
28 Oz Beef Broth
20 Oz Condensed Tomato Soup, undiluted
28 Oz Crushed Tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 Cup Rice, Cooked                                                  

In a dutch oven or large saucepan, cook beef, onion and peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the broth, soup and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice, heat through and serve

Sep 10, 2010

Paximadia (Anise Finger Bars)

  1/2 Cup Butter                                                                4 Tsp Baking Powder
  1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil                                                    2 Tsp Anise Seed
  1 1/2 Cups Sugar                                                            4 3/4 Cups Flour
  3 Large Eggs                                                                 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  With electric mixer, beat butter, oil and sugar until blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat until light and creamy.  Stir in baking powder and anise seed.  Gradually add flour and stir until a soft dough is formed.  Divide dough into 5 parts.  Shape into long, narrow, flat loaves about 2 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch thick.  Place on greased cookie sheets 2 inches apart to allow for rising and score diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.  Bake about 20 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven, reduce oven temp to 350, slice through marks while warm.  Return to baking pans, with a sliced side down, and return to oven until lightly browned.  Remove from oven, put on a cooling rack until completely cool.  Store in an air tight container.

Sep 9, 2010

Indoor S'mores

8 Cups Golden Grahams cereal                                       5 Tbl butter, cut in pieces
6 Cups miniature marshmallows                                       1/4 Cup light corn syrup (optional)
1 1/2 Cups chocolate chips                                              1 Tsp vanilla

Grease 9x13 pan.  Pour cereal into large bowl.  Heat 5 cups marshmallows, chips, butter and corn syrup in medium saucepan over low heat, stir constantly until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour
 mixture over cereal; stir until coated.  Stir in remaining marshmallows.  Press into pan.

Refrigerate for 1 hour until firm.  Cut into bars.

Sep 8, 2010

Pepperoni Chicken

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil                                                    
12 Ounce Chicken Breast, Skinless, Boneless, Cubed                              
1 Cups Marinara Or Spaghetti Sauce                              
1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
1 Cups Green Pepper, Cut In 1" Cubes
3 Ounce Pepperoni, Chopped
4 Ounce Noodles, Cooked

Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add chicken and brown (about 10 minutes).  Remove from heat and keep warm.  Sautee peppers, seasoning and pepperoni in hot skillet, about 2 minutes, and add marinara  sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.  Stir in noodles and serve.

Per Serving: 303 Cal (45% from Fat, 35% from Protein, 20% from Carb); 26 g Protein; 15 g Tot Fat; 4 g Sat Fat; 8 g Mono Fat; 15 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 34 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 671 mg Sodium; 74 mg Cholesterol

Sep 5, 2010

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

  1 Lb Macaroni, Cooked Half Way                                 8 Oz Extra Sharp Cheddar, cubed
  1 Qt Milk                                                                        Salt
  1 Stick Butter, cut in chunks                                             Pepper
  1 Lb Velveeta, cubed                                                                

Slice up cheese.  Throw all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on high for three hours, stirring once in a while.  8 servings

As is, this recipe fills a small crock pot.  Can be multiplied by 1.5 for a 6 quart crock pot.  I highly recommend a crock pot liner.

Sep 4, 2010

Books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Independently, the authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln child are prolific authors who are wonderful to read.  Together, the are just as wonderful if not better.  Fever Dream is the latest in a series that visits Agent Pendergast and Lieutenant D'Agosta.  These books can be read in order or independently, but they are hard to put down no matter what order you choose to read them.  I started Fever Dream on a Thursday night, read five chapters, and completed the book Friday night.  One of their books, Relic, has been made into a movie by Paramount.  Check out their website by checking the title above.  Enjoy!

Sep 2, 2010

Chicken and Pineapple Fajitas

8 6-inch flour tortillas                                                   
4 1-inch slices peeled fresh pineapple                                             
1 Lb boneless, skinless chicken breast                                                                 
2 small red or orange sweet peppers, seeded and cut into strips                                    
2 Tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning OR 1 envelope Fajita Seasoning  OR 2 tsp of your own mix (see below)   
1/8 Tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbl cooking oil
Toppings:  Cheese, Fresh cilantro, sour cream, guacamole and lime wedges                                    

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap tortillas in foil and heat in oven. Meanwhile, coat a 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high. Add pineapple slices; cook 4 to 6 minutes, until
 browned, turning once. Remove.
2. Cut chicken in strips; toss with sweet peppers; seasoning, and pepper. Heat oil in skillet; add chicken and peppers. Cook and stir over medium-high 4 to 6 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink. Chop
 pineapple. Serve with chicken, tortillas and toppings

Fajita Seasoning:

Mix together the following:
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Red Pepper
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp Onion Powder (Optional)