Friday, November 26, 2010

Buffalo Wings....

I absolutely love spicy chicken wings.  Try making these, they're baked!  Believe me, they come out very crispy, you would never know that they were not fried.  The sauce is outstanding.  Be sure to serve with my Light Bleu Cheese Dressing, and crunchy carrot and celery sticks, fantastic!  Enjoy!

Oven Fried Buffalo Chicken Wings

For the chicken:
2-3 lbs. chicken wings
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the sauce:

½ cup Open Pit Original BBQ Sauce or your favorite sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
¼ cup Red Hot Sauce
2 teaspoons butter

1) Preheat oven to 400’. Non stick foil line a cookie sheet with sides. Set aside.
2) Cut wings into pieces at joints (discard the little flapper portion) and place on prepared cookie sheet. Generously season wings with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over wings and toss to coat. Arrange on cookie sheet so they’re not touching. Drizzle the vegetable oil over the prepared wings.  Bake for about 50 minutes or until wings are very crispy.
3) While wings are baking, add all sauce ingredients to a large sauce pan. When the wings are almost finished baking, warm sauce over medium heat and mix well.  Remove from heat.
4) Remove wings from oven right onto a paper towel lined plate. Add the hot wings to the sauce pot. Toss to coat. Serve immediately with bleu cheese dressing and celery and carrot sticks. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Recipe Error....

Geeze!  I went to make my Traditional Pumpkin Pie and realized there was no sugar in the recipe!  Cripes!  Please make note of it, I corrected the recipe.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Corn Bread with Fresh Sage....

 This bread is absolutely fantastic!  The fresh sage very gently flavors the entire bread.  This is a lovely and dramatic presentation, dont' you think?    This one bowl recipe goes together in minutes and bakes for only about 22 minutes.    Serve this with your Thanksgiving dinner, your family will be very impressed!

Corn Bread with Fresh Sage

1 small bunch fresh sage leaves
2 teaspoons softened butter to grease pan
1 cup corn meal
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup oil

1) Preheat oven to 350’. Grease a 9” round pan generously with butter. Arrange the sage leaves on the prepared pan. Set aside.

2) In a large mixing bowl, combine corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until combined.
3) Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the yogurt, milk, eggs, and oil. Mix until just blended.
4) Carefully pour into prepared pan. Bake for 21-23 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness.
5) Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.  Cool completely and cover with saran wrap.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Pie Crust Tips....

I suggested many pie recipes for your Thanksgiving finale but did not mention pie crust.  Try my step by step Butter Pie Crust recipe for any pie you might be making.  I love that it is made with a very short and real ingredient list.    And the taste!  I don't have to tell you that the taste of real butter in anything is better.

Pie crust tips:

*Use a pastry blender to incorporate the butter into the flour.  The flour should resemble coarse cornmeal when it's ready for the next step.
*Try not to referigerate for too long, it is unnecessary and will make the dough too cold to work with.  Optimal time is 30-60 minutes.
*Use cold butter and ice water.
*Limit the amount of time you handle the dough.  Try to knead the dough into a ball in 3-5 turns of the dough.
*There must be enough liquid to combine all the ingredients.  Use a fork when adding water to the flour/butter/salt mixture.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Thanksgiving Ideas.....

Hello everyone-

I am a firm believer in getting as much done ahead as possible for this holiday feast.  Need turkey and prep ahead dinner tips?  Click here. 

Try my recipes for Cherry Crumb Pie, Traditional Pumpkin Pie, and Apple Crumb Pie....all my favorites for Thanksgiving!  Don't feel like making a pie???  Try my Peach Crisp.  Use frozen peaches, this dessert will come together in a matter of minutes!  Make ahead and refrigerate.  About 20 minutes before dessert time, warm in 325' oven for about 20 minutes....serve with real vanilla ice cream.  I cannot forget to mention Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding, yet another easy dessert that can be made ahead and baked before serving.  What's not to love about bread pudding??

If you're having over night guests and would like a simple and delicious breakfast idea, why not try the Egg, Sausage, and Cheese Breakfast Bake.  You can prepare it the night before and simply pop it in the oven in the morning, so easy and delicious!  Try one of my delicious quick bread recipes such as Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Bread, Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes, or Blueberry Streusel Bread.  All freeze beautifully and thaw out quickly in the microwave on defrost for 2 minutes or for an hour on the kitchen counter.

I especially love this holiday where the main focus is on being with everyone we love and simply enjoying delicious foods together.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Brussel Sprouts, Pan Roasted with Bacon....

Why not serve these beauties as an elegant side for Thanksgiving dinner?  These are one of my favorite vegetables.  Caramelizing the brussel sprouts makes them sweet while the bacon adds a smokey and salty element.  Soooooo tasty!

Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

2 strips bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 lb. brussel sprouts, stems removed and cut in half
salt and pepper
1/2 cup water

1)  In a large skillet that has a lid, cook bacon until crispy.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
2)  Add brussel sprouts immediately to the hot pan with the bacon fat.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until the brussel sprouts are nicely browned.
3)  Add 1/2 cup water and cover with tight fitting lid.  Steam for 5 minutes.
4)  Top with the cooked bacon.  Serve immediately.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oven Roasted Turkey Legs...YUM!

The unfortunate part about making a whole turkey is that there are only two legs.  Most people either love the breast or the leg....I think it a good idea when making a whole turkey to make additional turkey legs.  I make turkey legs occasionally for dinner, so easy and so delicious!  You could make them ahead for Turkey day and re-warm in the oven for 30 minutes prior to serving. 

Whip up some mashed potatoes and make a little pan gravy and you have one inexpensive and delicious weeknight dinner.

Oven Roasted Turkey Legs

4 large turkey legs
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 cups water

1)  Line a cookie sheet with sides with non stick aluminum foil.  Preheat oven to 325'.
2)  Rub each turkey leg generously with olive oil.  Season generously with salt, pepper, and oregano.
3)  Place in oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours.
4)  Remove pan from oven, add 1 1/2 cups water and cover with foil.  Roast another hour.


Pan juices
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon corn starch

1)  Pour the pan juices into a gravy separator.  Drain off the juices you'll be using into a one cup measuring cup and discard the fat.  Add enough water to measure 1 cup.  Pour into small sauce pan.
2)  Mix the cornstarch with the 1/2 cup of water until incorporated.  Pour immediately into the broth in the pan. 
3)  Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Serve immediately.

To re-warm turkey legs.  Place in a pan with sides and add 1/2 cup of water.  Cover tightly with foil and warm in 325' oven for 30 minutes.
To re-warm gravy.  Microwave for one minute increments, stir between.  Whisk in a little water if necessary for a smooth gravy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Celery Root Mashed Potatoes, "UFO" Identified!

Once the rather unappealing exterior is cut away, this is what you have.....this "UFO" is celery root, or celeriac.   (Jessica, you were right!)  The best size to buy are about the size of a softball as the larger they get the more fiberous.  Use in soups, stews, or mashed potatoes.  Read more about celery root here.  I use this flavourful root vegetable in mashed potatoes.  It has a very gentle celery flavor that pairs well with potatoes.  It takes a bit longer to cook, so I recommend slicing them thinly while you slice the potatoes thick.

Everyone loves a good mashed potato, right?  Add a little twist to your Thanksgiving dinner and serve these delicious potatoes.

Celery Root Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” slices
1 lb. celery root, all hard exterior removed and cut into ¼ ” slices
Water to cover
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup sour cream or low fat yogurt
½ cup milk, warmed in microwave for 45 seconds
2 pinches kosher salt, or more to taste

1) Add prepared potatoes, celery root, and salt to a large pot and cover with water.
2) Over medium heat, bring to a boil and then set the timer for 15-20 minutes. Vegetables should be fork tender. Drain.
3) Put potatoes back into pot, add butter and salt, cover for a few minutes to allow the butter to melt.
4) Add the sour cream and half of the milk and beat with an electric mixer. Add the rest of the milk and beat until smooth.  Makes about 6 one cup servings.

*mashed potatoes can be made ahead and re-warmed in the microwave. Heat on high for 2 minute increments, stir between. Heat until piping hot. Add a little milk if they’re too thick.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"UFO"....Unidentified Food Object....

It is time to start thinking about the upcoming Thanksgiving menu.  Am I suggesting you make this UFO???

We're going to have some fun with some creative Thanksgiving recipes.  Nothing crazy that no one will eat of course....and nothing that is going to be ridiculously time consuming, ugh, who wants that?!

We're going to stir it up.

I'd love to hear your thoughts of what this is and what to do with it.

This is going to be fun!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lima Bean Salad with Zucchini....

This is a great salad to enjoy while we have such excellent zucchini around.  I just love different salads, I get bored with the typical lettuce/tomato/cucumber salad.  I use frozen baby lima beans, simply cook for about 8 minutes, drain and cool.  This is a great side to chicken or fish.  Enjoy!

Lima Bean Salad with Zucchini

1 16 ounce package lima beans, cooked, drained, and cooled
2 small zucchini, cut into small pieces
1 small red onion, diced
1 medium red pepper, seeded and diced
1 small bunch Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1)  Using a large mixing bowl, add cooled lima beans through olive oil.  Toss gently to coat. 
2)  Add salt, garlic powder, and pepper.  Toss to coat.
3)  Add vinegar and mix well.  Makes about 10 1/2 cup servings.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Good morning.

Last week was very busy.  I hosted a Pampered Chef party on Thursday and then Joe and I attended a very good friend's wedding Saturday....I'm ready for a quiet dinner at home this evening.  I'm going to make Jamie Oliver's Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary Roast Potatoes....ummmm can't wait!  He does some very interesting and simple techniques with the lemon, garlic, and potatoes. 

I haven't cooked dinner in my kitchen since last Wednesday, I'm missing it!   Luckily I made plenty of my boy's favorite, pulled pork for my party.  They've been noshing on that for days. I did make breakfast Saturday morning.  I made whole wheat pancakes with blueberries (recipe in archives) and bacon..the house smelled dreamy.  I first thaw out frozen blueberries and with a fork, plop them on the top of the pancake batter on the griddle, they come out fantastic!  You will notice that there are tons of juices in the bowl after thawing.  You wouldn't want to mix this into your batter, it would be compeltely blue!

My friend Genevieve would like a good Thanksgiving stuffing recipe...anyone have any other suggestions/requests?

Have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Iron Foodie BlogRoll Challenge.....

Foodie Blogroll and Marx Foods have come up with a very exciting food challenge.  To enter, I must post answers to the five questions listed below.  Judges will read posts and choose only 25 bloggers to compete.  The winning recipe must use three mystery ingredients.  The winner will receive a $200 credit to Marks Foods, yippee!  Cross your fingers for me!

1)  Why do you want to compete in this challenge?  Occasionally,  I am able wrestle the TV remote from my testosterone filled sports loving home and watch Chopped, where contestants are given "mystery" ingredients and have to whip up something fabulous...I think this challenge would be so much fun.  I would LOVE the opportunity to compete in such a challenge.
2)  Limitations of time/space notwithstanding, whose kitchen would you like to spend the day in and why?  Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria, James Beard, Marie Antoine Careme, or the Sweedish chef?  That's easy, Julia Child.  I remember as a child watching her on TV and I thought it so fascinating to watch her cooking and loved her voice and how she spoke.  As an adult, I love that she was able to show flaws and that not everything always turned out perfect.  She seemed like a very real person.  Love that.
3)  What morsel are you most likely to swipe from family and friend's plates when they aren't looking?  Bacon
4)  Sum up your childhood in one meal.
Cast iron fried chicken, fried potatoes with onions, and green beans from the garden.  Lastly, a slice of Mom's homemade bread with homemade apple butter.
5)  The one mainstream food you can't stand.
About the only thing I'm not crazy about is octopus, not crazy about suction cups in my mouth.

There you have it. 



Monday, November 1, 2010

Basil Chicken Stir Fry.....

Stir frys are quite simple, healthy, and delicious.   I think it best to enjoy the ones you make at home as you can control the amount of oil that is used.  Use whatever vegetables you like.  Just remember that when you begin cooking to cook the vegetables that take the longest to cook first.

This recipe is a delicious combination of sweet and spicy with vegetables that have many different textures, so good!  Adjust the level of spice according to your own taste.  If you'd like it to "blow your head off," add jalepenos at the end of step #5.

Have everything completely pan ready before you begin to stir fry.  Let's not forget the rice!  Before you begin cooking, put the rice on the stove.  If using brown rice, count on at least 40 minutes of cooking time.  Begin cooking the stir fry after about 20 minutes.   If using white rice, rinse the rice thorougly through a fine sieve.  (this will prevent the rice from being too gummy or mushy)  Cook according to package instructions.  Once it's on the stove, you're ready to start cooking.

 I've assembled all my ingredients.  You can see in the very back a measuring cup with sauce ingredients ready to go.
Use a large heavy skillet.  It is important not to crowd ingredients in the pan.  Plenty of space will allow for nice browning on the chicken.  It will also make the stir fry cook very quickly.

Basil Chicken Stir Fry

2 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 pinches kosher salt
1 pinch black pepper
3 large cloves garlic, minced

For the veggies:

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 small orange pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
6-8 button mushrooms, quartered
2 cups bok choy, chopped
1 cup sugar snap peas or pea pods
5-6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small bunch fresh basil leaves
1 small jalepeno thinly sliced (optional, will really spice up the dish, use carefully)

For the sauce:

1 cup chicken broth (Better than Bouillon is great, mix just what you need)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce (you can find in the Asian food section of the grocery store)
Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

White or brown basmati rice cooked according to package directions

1) On a cutting board designated just for meat, cut the chicken breast into small pieces. Season with salt and  pepper and toss well with one teaspoon cornstarch to coat. (this will allow the chicken to brown nicely) Refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.
2) Prepare all vegetables and put into separate bowls.
3) Prepare sauce. Mix cooled chicken bouillon with cornstarch, whisk until blended. Add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and chili sauce, whisk. Set aside.
4) Heat a large heavy non stick skillet or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add one tablespoon oil and add chicken breast. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is nicely brown. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Remove from pan into a large bowl, cover with foil.
5) Add remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the bell peppers, cook for about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and bok choy. Stir fry for about 5 minutes stirring often. Add snap peas and green onions. (add jalepenos here if you wish)  Cook for a couple of minutes.
6) Whisk the sauce ingredients until well blended and add to the pan with the veggies. Bring to a bubble. Add chicken back to the pan.  Add basil and mix well. Serve over brown basmati rice and garnish with sesame seeds. Serves 4.