Friday, October 29, 2010

Salmon & Individual Faux Souffles

Super Easy and a Real Treat!  The faux souffles rise only to the top of the ramekin but are so fast and easy you will be pleased with the outcome!  This dinner or lunch is dished up in the kitchen and the finished plates are brought to the table.  Serve with crusty bread and a glass of chilled white wine for a delightful meal your family and guests will rave over!

Ingredients for the Salmon: Serves 4
Fresh salmon Fillet
Sliced Lemons
Fresh Thyme or Dill
Ingredients for the Souffles: Serves 4
4 Eggs
1 Package Baby Spinach
1 Large Sweet Onion
1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt
2 T Olive Oil
4 T. Grated Parmigiano
Ingredients for the Salad: Serves 4
2 Vine Ripe Tomatos
4T Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to Taste

1. Chop the onion and saute in olive oil.
2. Place salmon on foil or parchment paper and top with sliced lemon and thyme.

3. Seal the salmon inside the foil and preheat the oven to 400.
4. Add the spinach to the onions and saute for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

5. Separate the eggs and beat the whites until stiff.  Spray baking dishes and coat with cheese.

6. Mix together yogurt and egg yolks until smooth.  Add the spinach and onions, mix well.
7. Gently fold in the egg whites one third at a time.
8. Divide mixture into 4 individual baking dishes.

9. Bake the salmon and souffles for 15 minutes in 400 degree oven.

10. While Salmon and Souffles are baking get serving plates ready.  Cut the tomatos into eight pieces each and place on plates.  Drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar, dust salt and pepper.
11. Place one slice of salmon and one souffle onthe serving plates witht he tomato salad and serve!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Pot Soup

I just love being able to serve soup for dinner and this one is such fun and so easy!  Everyone gets their very own pumpkin bowl filled with chicken broth, sautéed onions, bacon and cheese.  It’s quite reminiscent of a French onion soup but much faster to prep.
1 small pumpkin per person
½  large onion per person
1 slice bacon per person
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder per person
Olive oil for sautéing the onions and bacon
½ cup ( or a bit more, I eyeball this depending on the size of the pumpkins) shredded mozzarella or Swiss cheese per person
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Cut tops from pumpkins and clean out seeds.  I use a melon baller for this job; it scrapes out the seed very easily.

Place pumpkins in a roasting pan and preheat oven to 375

Sautee the onions and bacon (extra fat removed) in olive oil until they are soft and slightly browned.  Dust with garlic powder, mix well and transfer to the pumpkins.
Fill pumpkins 1/2 to 3/4 full with chicken broth then add the cheese.

Replace pumpkin tops and bake for 1 hour.
Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes then serve with crusty country bread.  The pumpkin will be cooked and you will get a spoonfull of the cooked pumpkin in every bite!

Pumpkin Pot Soup

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wanted to make these cookies again for Marina to take to school.  They were out the door as soon as they came out of the oven so I’m using the photos from the first batch.
Using part almond meal and slivered almonds give the cookies a wonderful chewy yet crunchy texture and really nice blend of flavors.
I have made them both in cookie and bar form now; my daughter prefers the cookies and my son liked the bars best; go figure!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks Margarine
1 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Beat sugars and margarine until creamy
add eggs and vanilla
add flour, almond meal, cinnamon and salt; mix well
add oats, almonds and chocolate chips; mix well
drop rounded teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet
bake about 12 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven
cook slightly before transferring to rack

Friday, October 15, 2010

Non Profit Board Retreat Dinner for 20 @ $5 Per Person

The task was to provide an afternoon snack, drinks, dinner, dessert and all utensils for a board retreat attended by 20 people…and spend as little as possible!  OK, the board gave approval for catering…board retreats only happen every two or three years with a professional facilitator so they are really quite special and important to the organization…
I looked into restaurant catering and the least I could get with delivery and clean up was $15.00 per person for dinner only and it was so minimal that …what the heck…I decided I’ll do it myself!
The dinner menu was slow cooker chili, slow cooker cheese ravioli with tomato sauce, green salad and lots of fresh French bread followed by oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  The afternoon snack was artichoke and white bean dip served with toast and fresh veggies.  The drinks were coke, iced teas and water.  I had to purchase the forks, knives, spoons, napkins, plates and bowls.
I did all my shopping in one go with the recipes in hand; I really didn’t want to have to make another trip to the market.  I was shocked when the register rang up $100.00 EXACTLY!!!  Well that was $5.00 per person including the afternoon snack!
Since I am a member of the board and participated in the retreat I could not break to set up dinner…that’s why I went with the two main dishes cooking in the slow cookers; thank goodness I have two!  Sorry the photos were shot on location without much time for set up but at least they give you the idea of what was served.
First up is a photo of the artichoke and white bean dip:

Artichoke & White Bean Dip
2 cans artichoke hearts drained
2 cans white beans rinsed & drained
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 generous tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Olive oil to drizzle on top
Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth
Drizzle with olive oil
Serve with sliced cucumber or toast slices

Slow Cooker Cheese Ravioli
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion chopped quite fine
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 large jar four cheese spaghetti sauce
1 can tomato sauce 15 ounces
2 tablespoons oregano
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 packages frozen cheese ravioli 24 ounces each
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook onion and garlic in oil until tender
add the two sauces and oregano
put one cup of the sauce in slow cooker then add one package of the ravioli
top with 1 cup cheese
Add the remaining package of cheese ravioli and top with one cup cheese
Pour remaining sauce over ravioli and top with remaining cheese
Cook on low for about 6 hours

Slow Cooker Chili
1pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 large onion chopped
1 red pepper chopped
2 cans red beans drained
1 can cannelloni beans with liquid
2 cups V8 juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Brown beef, pork and onion
add the red pepper and saute for 10 minutes drain
mix in all other ingredients and put into slow cooker
cook on low for 6 hours
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks Margarine
1 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Beat sugars and margarine until creamy
add eggs and vanilla
add flour, almond meal, cinnamon and salt; mix well
add oats, almonds and chocolate chips; mix well
drop rounded teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet
bake about 12 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven
cook slightly before transferring to rack

Monday, October 4, 2010

Real Women of Philadelphia Dessert Contest

Hello Everyone, I want to encourage you to watch the introduction to the RWOP contest; International Dessert Week.  It will give you all you need to know for a chance to win $500 and be published in the Real Women of Philadelphia Community Cook Book!

Good Luck and I can't wait to see your desserts!
If you have any questions I'm here to help; just leave a comment and I'll get back to you ASAP.

Pulled Pork Provencal

Pulled Pork Sandwiches were something I never had until we moved from the south of France to Venice Florida.  Seems that pulled pork is something of a southern barbeque delicacy and every area claims theirs is the absolute best.  I even have a friend from the Midwest who is adamant that pulled pork sandwiches are a specialty of Oklahoma!  The thread that ties all the areas together is barbeque sauce. Rich, sweet, tangy and intense barbeque surrounds every morsel of the roasted pork.  I’ll probably insult some friends with what I’m about to say but…..I find the barbeque flavoring all a bit overwhelming.  The meat is moist and tender for sure but all you taste are the barbeque spices.
So I thought I’d try roasting a pork butt using the same herbs I often rely on when roasting a pork tenderloin.
Herbs de Provence, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil are mixed together and rubbed on the pork and for the Pulled Pork Provencal, I put it into the refrigerator for a couple of hours to let the flavors meld together.
It went into a pre heated 350 degree oven for three hours; this was pork butt weighed in at about 2 ½ pounds and was roasted with the lid on.  I’d say 3 ½ to 4 hours for a 4-4  ½ pound roast.
I removed the pork to a bowl and after separating the fat from the juices, added ½ cup white wine and deglazed the yummy brown bits from the side of the pan then I reduced the sauce by half.
While the sauce was reducing I simply removed and fat from the roast and then using two forks shredded the meat.  Pour the sauce over the shredded pork and mix together.  Now pile the shredded pork onto sandwich rolls and serve as is or with sliced tomatoes and lettuce. 
It’s different than southern pulled pork for sure, but well worth a try.  My family really enjoyed this twist on Pulled Pork Sandwiches and wants it added to our weekend menus.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apple Bush Muffins

Found these amazingly delicious apples at the farmers market and the first thing I thought of was muffins!  Apple cinnamon muffins with walnuts for Sunday morning breakfast!
My friend Teri Bush Belvins suggested I toast the walnuts to bring out the flavor and boy was she right.  It really intensified the nuttiness of the walnuts so Apple Bush Muffins became the name to say thanks to Teri for her great idea!
Ingredients for 12 muffins:
2 Cups self rising flour
1/3 cup buttermilk
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup melted butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1 ½ cup finely chopped apples
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
2 tablespoons melted butter
Mix together flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, toasted walnuts and chopped apples.
In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, melted butter, vanilla and buttermilk.
Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix only until everything is moistened. Do not over mix!
Coat muffin tin with non stick spray or use paper liners.
Fill the muffin tins ¾ full with batter.
Mix together the topping ingredients and distribute evenly over the muffins.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 to 23 minutes.
Cool five minutes prior to removing from muffin tins.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sunshine Muffins

We call these Sunshine Muffins because they are filled with sun dried tomatoes!  I'm just wild about muffins these days; not sure why but I can't get enough of them.  Savory muffins with a variety of cheeses and veggies seem to enhance every variety of main dishes.  From Valbonne France to Malibu California, international or American regional, muffins fill your home with the most wonderful aroma and definitely bring a smile to your table.
I always use buttermilk in muffins; it makes your muffins light and spongy.  Never worry if you don't have buttermilk in your fridge; you can make substitute buttermilk in 10 minutes!  Just measure out one cup milk and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes; voila you have your buttermilk!
2 cups self rising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup spinach chopped quite fine
6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
6 sundried tomatoes finely chopped
Mix together buttermilk, eggs, sun dried tomatoes, and chopped spinach
In a separate bowl mix well the flour, salt, bacon and cheese
Pour liquid into dry ingredients and gently mix JUST until blended.  About 15 strokes should be enough!
Coat muffins tins with non stick spray and fill 3/4 full
Bake in pre-heated 400 degree oven for 25 minutes
Serve warm and enjoy!

Friday, October 1, 2010

KC in the Kitchen: Time Crunch Dessert Winners

KC in the Kitchen: Time Crunch Dessert Winners: "Absolutely THE most fun day in a long time! Josee Lanzi is just the perfect person; she shared her office,Raymond James in Saint Petersbur..."

Time Crunch Dessert Winners

Absolutely THE most fun day in a long time!  Josee Lanzi is just the perfect person; she shared her office,Raymond James in Saint Petersburg Florida, her time and her friends to celebrate the Time Crunch Dessert winners from the RWOP!!! Next week we start the competition for International Dessert recipes.  Will YOUR recipe win $500?  Enjoy the video!
to enter go to for YOUR chance to win $500!

Comfort of Apples Give Away

Congratulation Nicole Luciana-Epperson!  You are the winner of The Comfort of Apples give away!  You will recieve your copy of The Comfort of Apples directly from the publisher!