Thursday, June 16, 2011

Store Food in Aluminum Foil?

Is it harmful to cook or store food in aluminum foil?
We do not recommend cooking or storing food in aluminum foil-even though there is no strong scientific evidence showing these practices to be harmful to your health. We have three reasons for making this recommendation. First, even though research studies don't show the food use of aluminum foil to be harmful, they clearly show migration of small amounts of aluminum from the foil into the food. For example, in one study conducted in Italy about 2-6 milligrams of aluminum was found to move over into food from aluminum foils, cookware, and utensils. Even if this amount has not been show to pose health harm, we don't like our food containing a potentially problematic metal that wasn't naturally supposed to be there.

Second, we believe that the jury is still out on aluminum with respect to chronic long-term health problems. (We're talking here about exposure to aluminum from all sources, including the environment, certain workplace settings, personal care products, etc.) Potential connections have been found between certain cancers and aluminum exposure, and also between aluminum exposure and Alzheimer's disease. Infertility connections have also been found. We don't see any reason to add potential exposure through the use of aluminum foil with food.

Finally, we don't like the consequences of aluminum foil manufacturing for our planet. Aluminum remains on the federal government's list of priority toxins for the United States, and its mining, manufacture, and post-use disposal pose significant problems for our environment. From our perspective, while aluminum foil is definitely lightweight, flexible, and convenient, these upsides don't come close to outweighing the downsides here.

  •     Gramiccioni L, Ingrao G, Milana MR, et al. Aluminium levels in Italian diets and in selected foods from aluminium utensils. Food Additives and Contaminants. 1996; 13(7):767-774. 1996.
  •     Lopez FE, Cabrera C, Lorenzo ML, et al. Aluminum levels in convenience and fast foods: in vitro study of the absorbable fraction. Sci Total Environ 2002;300(1-3):69-79. 2002.
  •     Nayak P. Aluminum: impacts and disease. Environ Res 2002;89(2):101-15. 2002.
  •     Pratico D, Uryu K, Sung S, et al. Aluminum modulates brain amyloidosis through oxidative stress in APP transgenic mice. FASEB J 2002;16(9):1138-40. 2002.
  •     Rondeau V. A review of epidemiologic studies on aluminum and silica in relation to Alzheimer's disease and associated disorders. Rev Environ Health 2002;17(2):107-21. 2002.
  •     Soni MG, White SM, Flamm WG, et al. Safety evaluation of dietary aluminum. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 2001;33(1):66-79. 2001.
  •     Sugita T, Ishiwata H, Yoshihira K. [Migration of heavy metals into food-simulating solvents from aluminum pans]. Eisei Shikenjo Hokoku 1988;(106):124-6. 1988.

Florists Muffins

This muffin has a little bit of everything - carrots, raisins, apple butter, wheat germ, nuts. A perfect start for your day!

  •  1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  •  1 1/4 cups white sugar
  •  1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  •  2 teaspoons baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  2 cups grated carrots
  •  1 apple - peeled, cored, and chopped
  •  1 cup raisins
  •  1 egg
  •  2 egg whites
  •  1/2 cup apple butter
  •  1/4 cup vegetable oil
  •  1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  •  2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  •  2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly oil 18 muffin cups, or coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, apple butter, oil and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in carrots, apples and raisins. Stir in apple butter mixture until just moistened. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.
  4. In a small bowl, combine walnuts and wheat germ; sprinkle over the muffin tops.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly pressed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Apple Banana Cupcakes

 Apple Banana Cupcakes
"This is a cupcake that smells as good as it tastes. It's an old Polish recipe from some of the best bakers in Milwaukee!"

  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  2/3 cup shortening
  •  1 1/4 cups white sugar
  •  2 eggs
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1/4 cup buttermilk
  •  1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
  •  2 apples - peeled, cored and shredded

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 24 muffin cups, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and buttermilk. Beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the mashed bananas and shredded apples. Fill each muffin cup half full.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Park Coffee Ice Cream

This recipe is an attempt to emulate 'ParkCoffee Ice Cream' made by an ice cream maker in Santa Barbara, California. It comes very close. If you like coffee-flavored ice cream, you'll like this.

  •  1 1/2 cups water
  •  2 cups white sugar
  •  1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  •  1 1/2 cups milk
  •  6 egg yolks
  •  3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  •  2 tablespoons finely ground coffee (optional)


  1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan over high heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup turns clear. Pour into a double boiler along with the cream and milk. Whisk until the syrup has dissolved into the milk, then whisk in the egg yolks and instant coffee until completely incorporated.
  2. Set the double boiler insert over (but not touching) a pan of gently simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly until the custard has thickened and will stick to the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Pour through a mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the coffee grounds. Refrigerate several hours until cold.
  3. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Monday, June 13, 2011

San Antonio Pasta

A pasta salad is only as good as the noodles that hold it all together. Have fun with different pasta shapes-short or long, narrow or wide, solid or hollow, big or small, flat or stuffed ... you can put a brand new face on the same salad simply by varying the pasta. Pasta is made from many different types of flour, and colored beautifully with many different vegetables, so be adventurous and try something out of the ordinary-from rainbow radiatore, spinach ravioli, and whole wheat fettuccine, to corn macaroni, buckwheat soba noodles, and rice vermicelli. There's no way to get bored with pasta when the choices are so deliciously endless.

It's even more important with pasta salad than with hot pasta dishes that you avoid overcooking the pasta. Overcooked pasta will fall apart when you try to toss it with dressing. Not only that, but if you allow your salad to "marinate" for several hours to let the flavors mingle, the pasta will soak up the moisture from the dressing and the other ingredients, turning slightly overcooked pasta to absolute mush. Cook the pasta just until it becomes tender, pour it into a colander in the sink, then run cold water over it to stop the cooking and cool it down quickly. As soon as the pasta feels cool to the touch, shake the colander to drain off as much water as possible. Now dump the pasta into a bowl and toss it with some oil to keep it from sticking together.
A Little of This, a Little of That
Because pasta itself is so versatile and mild in flavor, just about everything tastes good with it. Use ingredients that will give your pasta salad lots of varied taste and texture: cook vegetables just until tender, then plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking before they get mushy (this is called "refreshing" or "shocking" your vegetables), or just leave the vegetables crisp and raw. Other things to add gusto are toasted nuts, dried fruit, fresh herbs, crumbled cheese, and tidbits of your favorite meat.

Dress for the Occasion
To save a little time, you can always use bottled salad dressing to toss with your pasta salad, but if you're in a "from scratch" kind of mood, the possibilities are positively tantalizing. A mixture of oil and vinegar is arguably the most popular way to dress a pasta salad, but you can also make creamy dressing with mayonnaise, sour cream, or yogurt.

For sautéing, it's fine to use vegetable oil, but for salad dressing, use high-quality, flavorful oils. Extra-virgin olive oil, toasted sesame oil, hazelnut oil, and walnut oil are all power-players in the world of taste, and you can get by with using much less oil while still adding superior flavor if you choose a bold one. To add that all-important zing to the dressing, try cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, raspberry vinegar, or even lime or lemon juice. Whatever you use as the basis of your dressing, be sure to round it out with salt and pepper, and perhaps a dash of red pepper flakes, a little bit of crushed garlic, a dab of mustard, or anything else you think will make your pasta salad distinctly divine.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Flag Day Cake Recipe

Flag Day Cake

  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the icing:
  •  1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  •  1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
  •  1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To assemble:
    * 2 half-pints blueberries
    * 3 half-pints raspberries


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
  4. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
  5. For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth.
  6. Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake. Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe. Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.
  7. Serve this cake right in the pan. If you want to turn it out onto a board before frosting, use parchment paper when you grease and flour the pan.

Coffee Cookies

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar and coffee. Beat in the egg, flour, vanilla and chopped nuts. Mix until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Let cool on wire racks.

Panama Chicken With Sesame Noodles

Sesame Noodles
  • 1 lb spaghettini (get the thinnest spaghetti you can find)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil (some reviewers have said that 1/2 cup of oil is too much and have halved the amount, so use your own)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  •  3 scallions, thinly sliced
  •  1/4 cup sesame seed (or more)

Panama Chicken
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  •  2 garlic cloves, minced
  •  1/4 cup brown sugar
  •  1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  •   4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  •   sesame oil, for sauteing
Prep Time: 3 hrs
Total Time: 3 1/2 hrs

  1. First make the sesame noodles: Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. Drain (I also rinse).
  3. In a jar, add the soy sauce, sesame oil and the sugar.
  4. Shake until well blended and the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Pour this over the pasta.
  6. Toss with scallions and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
  7. Set aside while you marinate and then cook the chicken.
  8. Funkying the chicken: In a bowl mix the soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic, brown sugar and the ginger.
  9. Make sure the sugar has pretty much dissolved.
  10. Add the chicken, making sure it's all coated with the sauce.
  11. Cover and stick in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  12. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and toss out the marinade left at the bottom of the bowl.
  13. Heat the sesame oil in a large non-stick pan.
  14. Add the chicken in batches and saute for about 10 minutes, or until done, adding more sesame oil as needed.
  15. Remove the chicken from the pan and let cool slightly.
  16. Slice the chicken diagonally into thin strips.
  17. Serve the chicken over the sesame noodles.
  18. Stand back and watch your guests/children/loved ones inhale this dish.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chicken Paprika

"My grandmother made this hearty chicken dish whenever we visited her. It was the only thing I'd eat until I was ready to bust! It's wonderful."
Prep Time:
30 Min
Cook Time:
30 Min
Ready In:
1 Hr

  •  3 eggs, beaten
  •  1/2 cup water
  •  2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 teaspoons salt
  •  1/4 cup butter
  •  1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, with skin
  •  1 medium onion, chopped
  •  1 1/2 cups water
  •  1 tablespoon paprika
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •  1 cup sour cream

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Gradually stir in 2 1/2 cups of flour to make a stiff batter. Using two spoons, scoop out some batter with one spoon and use the second to scrap off the spoonful of batter into the boiling water. Repeat until several dumplings are cooking. Cook dumplings for 10 minutes or until they float to the top; then lift from the water and drain in a colander or sieve. Rinse with warm water.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and add chicken; cook until lightly browned, turning once. Add onion to skillet and cook 5 to 8 minutes more. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water, and season with paprika, salt, and pepper; cook 10 minutes more, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.
  3. Stir 2 tablespoons of flour into sour cream; then slowly stir into the onion mixture remaining in the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened.
  4. To serve, add dumplings to the sour cream/onion mixture, then spoon onto dinner plates adding a piece of chicken.

Earth Day Bars

Celebrate the planet's natural delights by baking a batch of these sweet snacks filled with a harvest of ingredients from all around the world. Here's some background info on the tasty add-ins:
Raisins: California, the only place in the United States that harvests the grapes used to make raisins, is the world's No. 1 supplier.
Pineapple: Thailand produces approximately 20 percent of the world's pineapple crop, surpassing the Hawaiian Islands.
Brazil nuts: The complex growing environment this tree crop requires prevents it from being grown on farms. Instead, it's harvested directly from the rain forests of Brazil, Peru, and other South American countries.
Chocolate: Africa's Ivory Coast is the largest producer of cocoa beans, the ingredient that gives chocolate its unique, irresistible flavor.
Coconut: The Philippines and Indonesia are the world's leading producers of copra, or coconut meat.


  • 1 1/2 cups baking mix (we used Bisquick)
  • 1 1/2 cups instant oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

        * Coconut flakes
        * Chocolate chips
        * Chopped dried pineapple
        * Raisins
        * Chopped Brazil nuts


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the baking mix, oats, brown sugar, butter, egg, and cinnamon.
  2. Stir the mix with a wooden spoon until you have a crumbly dough. Next, customize your international treats by folding in 1 cup total of the add-ins of your choice.
  3. Press the dough into an ungreased 9- by 13-inch pan and bake for 17 minutes or until the center is set and the bars are slightly brown. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Makes 1-1/2 dozen 2- by 3-inch bars.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Baked Garlic Puerto Rico Chicken

    A wonderful baked chicken recipe that's quick and easy! Using just a few handy ingredients, create a delicious main dish, that also makes great leftovers - if there are any! Serve with a salad and pasta or rice for a quick, scrumptious dinner.

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
    • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
    2. In a bowl, blend the olive oil and garlic. In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the oil mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish, and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.
    3. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Taco Casserole Diet Recipe

    A Delicious Heart Healthy Taco Casserole Recipe That Family And Friends Will Love.
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Cook time: 30 minutes
    Servings: 8 Servings

    • 1 lb ground chicken breast skinless
    • 8 ozs taco sauce
    • 1/2 c onions, chopped
    • 8 ozs light sour cream
    • 1/2 c bell peppers, chopped
    • 1 c fat-free cottage cheese
    • 1 tsp garlic, minced
    • 1 c low-fat tortilla chips, crushed
    • 1 1/4 oz low-sodium taco seasoning mix
    • 1 c cheddar cheese, shredded

    1. Preheat oven at 400. Prepare a 8" square dish with cooking spray; set aside.
    2. In a large saucepan, cook chicken, onions, bell peppers, and garlic until chicken is no longer pink.
    3. Stir in taco seasoning mix and taco sauce; set aside.
    4. In a medium sized bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese; set aside.
    5. Place half the crushed chips onto the bottom of the prepared dish. Add chicken mixture to cover the chips, then cover the chicken mixture with sour cream mixture.
    6. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining crushed chips.
    7. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted.

    Tila Tequila Cocktail Recipe

    Tila Tequila is a Singapore-born singer, model, and television personality. She’s modeled for Maxim, Stuff, and Penthouse and was the star of her own MTV reality show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.
    The Tila Tequila cocktail is inspired by a famous drink from her home country of Singapore (the Singapore Sling) with some slight modifications to make it a bit more tequila-friendly. It’s a deliciously potent drink that her fans can admire - sweet on the palette and easy on the eyes.

    Tila Tequila cocktail recipe
    • 2 oz Gold tequila
    • 1/2 oz cherry brandy
    • 1/4 oz Grand Marnier
    • 1/4 oz Benedictine
    • 1/4 oz Grenadine
    • 4 oz Pineapple juice
    • 1/2 oz Lime juice (fresh)
    • 1 dash Angostura bitters
    • Fill to top, or to taste Club soda
    • Pineapple slice (garnish)
    • Cherry (garnish)
    1. Combine tequila, cherry brandy, Grand Marnier, Benedictine, grenadine, pineapple juice, lime juice, and bitters into a cocktail shaker half full of ice.
    2. Shake vigorously.
    3. Strain into a tall glass (Collins or highball).
    4. Fill to top, or to taste, with ice and/or Club soda and garnish with a pineapple slice and a cherry.

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Wiener Schnitzel

    •  4 veal cutlets (about 4 ounces each), pounded very thin, scallopini style
    •  Salt
    •  Freshly ground black pepper
    •  1 cup all-purpose flour
    •  2 eggs, beaten
    •  2 tablespoons water
    •  2 cups plain, dry bread crumbs
    •  Vegetable oil, for frying
    •   Lemon wedges, for service

    Pat the veal cutlets dry with paper towels. Season them with salt and pepper. Set up a standard breading procedure in 3 shallow bowls or pie plates. Put flour in 1, eggs and water in another, and bread crumbs in the last. Beat the eggs and water together. Dredge each of the veal cutlets first in flour, then egg wash and then the bread crumbs. Transfer the coated cutlets to a platter.

    Heat a large straight sided skillet, filled half way up with vegetable oil, over medium-high heat. Carefully, transfer the coated cutlets into the hot oil to fry. Since they are so thin, the veal will cook very quickly, about 2 minutes per side. Drain the cutlets on a paper towel lined plate. Serve with lemon wedges.

    Cowboy Caviar Recipe

    This is fresh, healthy and delicious. People love it, even kids. You can make it ahead, so it's great for a summer party. Serve it with scoop-shaped tortilla chips, or have it on the side as a relish. I add extra cilantro, because there can never be too much cilantro!
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Servings: 1
    • 2 - 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed
    • 1 - 17 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
    • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 large avocado, diced
    • 1/2 red onion, chopped
    • 1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
    • Dressing:
    • 1 T red wine vinegar
    • 4 T lime juice
    • 2 T olive oil
    • 1 t salt
    • 1/2 t ground pepper

       1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
       2. Chill if making ahead.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Amazing Potato Topped Chicken Pie

    Tuck into a hearty potato topped chicken pie and keep the winter blues away.
    Preparation Time
    30 minutes
    Cooking Time
    120 minutes

    Ingredients (serves 4)
    •  1 tablespoon olive oil
    •  8 (about 1kg) chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3cm pieces
    •  200g speck, cut into batons (see Notes)
    •  12 pickling onions, peeled, trimmed
    •  1 carrot, peeled, thickly sliced diagonally
    •  2 celery sticks, trimmed, thickly sliced diagonally
    •  200g button mushrooms
    •  2 garlic cloves, crushed
    •  1/4 cup (60ml) brandy
    •  40g butter
    •  1/4 cup (40g) plain flour
    •  1 cup (250ml) dry white wine
    •  1 1/2 cups (375ml) chicken stock
    •  3 sprigs thyme sprigs
    •  2 dried bay leaves
    •  4 (about 800g) pontiac potatoes, very thinly sliced
    •  50g butter, melted, extra

    1.  Preheat oven to 160C. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add one-quarter of the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until brown all over. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat in 3 more batches with remaining chicken.
    2. Add the speck to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, or 2 minutes or until crisp. Transfer to the bowl. Add the onions, carrot, celery and mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until lightly brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the brandy and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until brandy reduces by half. Return the chicken and speck to the pan with the butter and flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until well combined. Add the wine, chicken stock, thyme and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Bake in preheated oven, covered, for 1 hour or until chicken is tender and sauce thickens slightly.
    3. Increase oven to 200C. Combine the potato and extra butter in a large bowl. Season well with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Arrange potato slices evenly over the chicken mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until potato is tender and golden brown.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

    • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
    • 4 ounces linguine, cooked al dente
    • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 thinly sliced green onion
    • 1 -2 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

    1. Place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat.
    2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken in butter or margarine until chicken is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.
    3. Reduce heat add green onion, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through.
    4. Pour over hot linguine and toss with Parmesan cheese

    Prep Time: 10 mins
    Total Time: 25 mins

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Chocolate Crepe Cake

    Ingredients (serves 8)
    • 1 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour
    • 1 tbs caster sugar
    • 3 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
    • 600ml milk
    • 40g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra melted butter to brush
    • Pure (thin) cream, to serve
          Chocolate & espresso filling
    • 250g good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
    • 50g unsalted butter, chopped
    • 150ml milk
    • 100ml thickened cream
    • 100ml strong black coffee (espresso)
    • 1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
    1. Mix flour, sugar, eggs, yolks and milk in a blender or food processor until smooth, then pour into a jug and stand for 30 minutes. Just before cooking, stir 40g melted butter (2 tbs) through the batter.
    2. Heat an 18cm crepe pan or non-stick frypan over medium-high heat. Brush with extra melted butter, add enough batter to coat base, swirl to cover, then tip out any excess. Cook for 45 seconds, then flip and cook for 30 seconds more or until golden. Repeat with butter and remaining batter (you should have about 20 crepes), stacking with baking paper in between. The crepes can be made 2 days ahead, then wrapped in foil and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, defrost at room temperature for 1 hour.
    3. For the filling, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (ensure bowl doesn't touch water). Stir in butter, milk, cream, coffee and sugar, then whisk until mixture is smooth and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 20-30 minutes until mixture cools and thickens.
    4. Lightly grease an 18cm springform pan. Place a crepe in pan and spread with a little filling. Continue layering, finishing with a crepe. You should have about 1/3 cup (80ml) filling left. Cover cake with foil and chill for 1 hour.
    5. Preheat oven to 180°C.
    6. Place cake pan on a baking tray and heat gently for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, reheat remaining filling in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water for 2-3 minutes until warm. Serve cake drizzled with filling and pure cream.

    Torino Ham, Fried Green Tomatoes

    •  4 -6 tablespoons butter or 4 -6 tablespoons oil, for frying
    •  4 slices country ham, about 1/2 inch thick
    •  2 -3 green tomatoes, cored, sliced 1 1/2 inch thick, and soaked in milk
    •  all-purpose flour, seasoned with
    •  salt & freshly ground black pepper
    •  1 pinch sugar

    Cream Gravy
    •   reserved cooking fat
    •   1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    •   2 cups milk
    •   salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy skillet and sauté the ham slices about 3 minutes on each side. Remove the ham to a heated platter and keep warm.
    2. Drain the tomatoes and dust them with the seasoned flour. Add more butter to the pan if necessary and fry the tomatoes 3 minutes on each side or until tender, sprinkling each side with a little sugar. Remove and drain on paper towels, then arrange on the platter with the ham.
    3. While the tomatoes are cooking, make the gravy:Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the cooking fat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Stir constantly until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Pour the gravy over the ham and tomatoes and serve immediately.

    Magic Chicken Noodle Soup

    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 1/4 cups sliced carrots (into round coins)
    • 1 1/4 cups diced celery
    • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 pinch ground pepper
    • 3/4 cup corn (fresh or frozen ( not canned)
    • 2 (32 ounce) boxes chicken broth
    • 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
    • 1 teaspoon thyme
    • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
    • 6 -8 ounces egg noodles
    • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (not canned)

    Prep Time: 10 mins
    Total Time: 45 mins


    1. In a large soup put melt butter over high heat add onions, carrots and celery. Season with salt and pepper.
    2. Saute over high heat until slightly softened (constantly checkto make sure veggies aren't burning), about five to eight minutes.
    3. Add corn, broth and all seasonings. Stir and bring to a boil.
    4. Add egg noodles and cook until noodles are almost done.
    5. Add in chicken and continue to cook until egg noodles are done and chicken is heated through.
    6. Serve alone or as we like it with grilled cheese sandwiches!

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Hungarian e3 Goulash

    Ingredients (serves 4)
    •  1/2 cup plain flour
    •  1kg beef chuck casserole steak, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
    •  2 tablespoons olive oil
    •  1 large brown onion, halved, thinly sliced
    •  2 garlic cloves, crushed
    •  1 tablespoon paprika
    •  425g can condensed tomato soup
    •  200g button mushrooms, sliced
    •  cooked pasta, sour cream and chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve

    1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Place flour and salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly coat steak in seasoned flour.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook steak in small batches, adding more oil as required, for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a 2-litre (8-cup) capacity, ovenproof casserole dish.
    3. Add 2 teaspoons oil, onion and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft. Add paprika, soup and 1/2 cup water. Bring to the boil. Pour over steak. Cover dish and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
    4. Remove casserole from oven. Stir in mushrooms. Cover. Bake for a further 30 minutes or until steak is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Place pasta in shallow serving bowls. Spoon over casserole. Top with sour cream and parsley. Serve.

    Celebrate Shavuot! Make a Cheesecake!

    har sinai cake

    Sundown on Wednesday, June 7, marks the beginning of the two-day Jewish holiday of Shavuot. If you’re asking yourself ”What’s Shavuot?” don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place.
    Shavuot (also called Shavuos) commemorates the day God gave the Torah to the Jewish people.  This great event happened at Mount Sinai, and today you’ll find lots of Jewish preschool kids coming home with their own little Mount Sinai’s, covered in the many flowers that are believed to have bloomed there immediately preceding the giving of the Torah.  There is also a beautiful story about why Mount Sinai was chosen as the place for the Torah to be given – because even though it was not the biggest mountain, it was the most humble.
    On Shavuot it is customary to eat dairy desserts, as the arrival of the Torah was the first time the Kosher dietary laws of not mixing milk and meat were introduced. Ice cream, cheesecake and cheese blintzes are all traditional favorites.
    One of my favorite holiday recipes is No Bake Cheese Pie – this easy recipe is perfect to make with kids, and it is a holiday treat I look forward to every year.  The recipe is for a crust that is baked, so if you don’t want to use the oven just purchase a pre-made crust.

    chabad cheese pie

    I also love cheese blintzes, and while I usually buy these pre-made year round, I make a special effort to make my own on Shavuot. This recipe for Cheese Blintzes is pretty easy and fail-proof.

    shavous cheese blintz

    In addition to dairy desserts and a festive meal, Shavout is also often celebrated with greenery and flowers in homes and synagogues. This custom is in remembrance of the blossoming on Mount Sinai before the presentation of the Torah. I love the idea of a Mount Sinai cake to symbolize this. A quick Google search showed many beautiful ones, but a lot are so elaborate it seems like making the cake could turn into an all night project – and it shouldn’t. If you’re up all night, it should be studying Torah – a tradition many Jewish people partake in on erev Shavuot.

    Mystique Crock Pot Roast

    • 1 (4 -5 lb) beef roast, any kind
    • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package brown gravy mix, dry
    • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package dried Italian salad dressing mix
    • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package ranch dressing mix, dry
    • 1/2 cup water

    Prep Time: 5 mins
    Total Time: 1/2 day

       1.Place beef roast in crock pot.
       2.Mix the dried mixes together in a bowl and sprinkle over the roast.
       3.Pour the water around the roast.
       4.Cook on low for 7-9 hours.