Friday, January 29, 2010


Elegant Kickin' Chicken
2 butterflied chicken breasts, rinsed & patted dry
2 tbsp- Boars Head stone ground mustard mixed with 1 tsp of horseradish
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp dried thyme (fresh would be better)
black pepper
1-2 tbsp of olive oil to cook in
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread olive oil in the bottom of a glass casserole dish. Sprinkle both sides of each breast with the black pepper.
Place breasts smooth side up in casserole dish. Drizzle each breast with 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of the mustard blend, and 1 teaspoon each of the herbs. Place in the preheated oven, uncovered. Cook for 20- 25 minutes. DO NOT OVER COOK. Serve on a bed of sauteed spinach with sauteed yellow squash with onions & mushrooms.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Sweet N Sour Haddock
2 nice haddock fillets (these are very sweet and mild)
butter- (olive oil if you must, but butter makes a difference in the taste)
1/2 cup each of red & green bell peppers diced
1 cup of dice fresh or canned pineapple
1/2 cup pineapple juice
salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp of sweet paprika
Rinse and pat dry the fillets. Salt and pepper both sides. Melt the butter in a non stick skillet and add fillets. Cook 2 minutes per side, then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of paprika on each of the fillets and continue to heat turning one more time. Add in the bellpeppers, pineapple and juice. Continue to cook until the haddock is done and the peppers are crisp-soft.
Serve with assorted green beans and sliced baked yams.

Monday, January 25, 2010

CULINARY MONDAY: Marsala or Masala

Two very similar words, two totally different meanings.
Marsala: (sounds just as it's spelled) Italy's most famous fortified wine. These have a rich, smoky flavor, most of which comes from the oxidation during it's aging. It comes in dry (secco), sweet (dolce) & semi sweet (semisecco). It's uses range from aperitifs* (dry Marsala), used in desserts (sweet), or it's also great to cook with.
*An aperitif is an alcoholic beverage taken before dinner.
Chicken Marsala
2- Whole Chicken Breast, wrapped in plastic wrap & pounded flat.
Wondra flour for dredging
1-tsp- dry rubbed sage, or to taste
2 tsp- salt
1-2- tsp-pepper
2-tbsp of olive oil
2 cups of assorted mushrooms
1 cup dry Marsala
In a shallow flat dish, mix the Wondra, sage, salt & pepper. Warm an iron skillet with olive oil on medium. Dredge each breast in the flour mixture and cook in the oil for about 2 minutes per side to brown. Remove and set aside. Next add the mushrooms to the same skillet and saute a few minutes then add the Marsala and bring to a simmer. Place breasts back in pan and continue to cook about 10 more minutes or until breasts are done and sauce is thick & creamy. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes or skillet potatoes.

Masala: A fusion of varried Indian spices. Ranging anywhere from 2-10 different spices depending on the cook! It can include things such as corriander, mace, cardamon, cinnamon & tumeric. What we most commonly know is sold as Garam Masala.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Getting started with the setting. A small event for 20. Crostini for Spinach -Artichoke Dip

Cheese Tray
Spicy BBQ Meatballs

Franks in a Blanket
Mini Beef Wellington

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip (recipe tomorrow)

Cold Peeled Shrimp

Deli Meat tray with my special Horseradish Mayo.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chicken with Artichokes

This is a quick, easy & delicious meal if you enjoy artichokes.
Chicken with Artichokes
2 butterflied chicken breasts (or just an uncooked breast will do)
1 small jar of marinated baby artichokes in oil
1/4 cup each -diced red & green bell peppers
2 diced scallions
1/2 tsp. McCormick's Cajun Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Table Blend
1 tbsp olive oil
Over medium low heat, in a cast iron skillet, saute the chicken breast in the olive oil. While cooking, sprinkle chicken with the seasonings. Next stir in the bell peppers and scallions; saute as the chicken cooks. Get a nice browning on each side of the chicken before turning. Last pour in the artichokes, oil and all. Using a spatula, pull the artichokes apart slightly and warm through. Remove from heat and serve over rice. California blend makes a good side.

Monday, January 18, 2010


As stated last week, I'm going to try and give you the definition for culinary words that confuse us! So if there are any words or items you are not famialiar with, send them in.
Today's words:
Chess Pie- Now I know all you Southerner's probably know what a Chess pie is, but I did not!
A simple pie made with eggs, sugar, butter and cornmeal. You can also flavor it with lemon juice, vanilla, chocolate or change white sugar for brown. ( I do believe some people use vinegar in the recipe too. If you do would you share?)
Bechamel- (bay-shah-MEHL)
Generally speaking this is just a white sauce originating in France and is made from butter and flour. Although originating in France the Italians use this sauce on a variety of foods. It is named for Steward Louis Bechamel.
Chess Pie
1 ubaked 9" pie crust- in pan
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3 tablespoons of melted butter
1 tablespoon of white cornmeal
1/3 cup of buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients in with the beaten eggs. Pour into the pie crust and bake on the bottom rack for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 20 minutes longer.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hot Potato Soup

It seems everyone is making potato soup lately and that includes me. I got the recipe from one of the sites I follow and I must say it turned out very nice. I did replace the 1/2 & 1/2 called for with heavy cream and I added chopped parsley. You can find her recipe here Her site name is almost the same as mine- isn't that neat.

I had mine with leftover quiche. Very soothing to the soul.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tablescape Thursday

I've decided to try and join the Tablescape Thursday crowd (although not connected with the group yet) just doing it for fun. So that being said, here is my Thursday scape. I was inspired by friend Angela with her winter white scene. Although all white makes me feel cold....I decided to warm it up with gold and a bit of green & browns. My pretty snow dove and pine cones
My favorite angel of all (I've had at least 20 years.) She has been droppe, broken& put back together 2 times.

Ah, the sun is shining!
Simple, but elegant placesetting.
I did the sideboard in white too.
It has a very romantic feel to it.

I hope you enjoyed your visit and look forward to more Thursdays with more tablescapes and some "catering" tablescapes in the future as well. :>)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Spinach-Feta-Tomato Quiche

Mix 4 eggs, 1 cup of half & half with 6 oz. of Basil-Tomto Feta Cheese

I really like Athenos brand- it's the best!

Line a pie pan with a crust (Pillsbury ready made is great)

Layer crust with 1/2 cup of very thinly sliced red onion and 1 cup of frozen spinach that has been thawed and squeezed dry.

Top with 3/4 cup of cheese of your choice. Here I am using cheddar, gouda & Monterey jack blended.
Pour in the beatened egg mixture.

Top with thin tomato slices (I used cherry tomatoes too),dried basil or fresh if you have it, 1- 2 tsps. of pepper & 1 tsp. of salt.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the top
looks dry and firm. Serve with a bowl of homemade baked potato soup.

"All About Food- Culinary Monday"

Have you ever ran across a culinary term you weren't familiar with? I know I certainly have. So I have decided to dedicate Monday's to helping with this. I'll be posting new words each week in hopes of helping someone. I also hope you will challenge me by providing words that you're not familiar with. I'll start today with two that I had a hard time with in years past.

Mezzaluna (mehz-zuh-LOO-nuh)
A crescent shaped steel chopping blade with a vertical wooden handle at each end. It's used to chop or mince food by rocking side to side on a cutting board. (These things are great by the way!)
Meyer Lemon-
A relatively new member to the lemon family. Imported in 1908 by F.N. Meyer from China. It is believed to be a cross between an orange and a lemon. It has a smoother and rounder surface than a typical lemon. Their color ranges from a deep yellow to almost yellow orange. It consists of a much sweeter and less acidic taste than other lemons and they are available from October until May. Choose heavy fruit for the size and keep refrigerated in plastic. (I find they make the best lemonade as well as flavoring for cakes or pies. I prefer to use a standard lemon for fish or salad dressings or anything that is more on the pungent or savory side.)

So send in those words. I look forward to the challenge!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Newest Cooking Gadget

For Christmas this year, the only real "thing" I wanted was a new mixer. Never in my wildest dreams did I really think anyone would buy one for me, but just look! I am thrilled with it. I like the fact that it has a bowl cover too.
Here I'm making a 'no bake' cheese cake (it wasn't very good), but my new mixer is great.
It's great for whipping cream- fast & fluffy.
Samantha thought it was pretty cool too.
I'll post as I go along making new recipes with this awesome new gadget. And since it does have a dough beater, maybe I'll try baking some bread too. With 750 hp, it should be a breeze. LOL!
Thank you Kristen, my eldest, for this wonderful gift. It truly was a surprise.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Well, leftover veggies were flowing in my refrigerator yesterday so vegetable beef soup was the answer of the day. It's so simple and so good, plus having all the vegetables ready and available made it cheap too! Yum Hot & steaming
Good piece of cornbread & yea for the sunshine!
And a nice cuppa to finish it off!
All it takes is:
-1- lb of ground chuck or beef or whatever
-leftover vegetables (carrots, green beans, corn, butter beans, potatoes or whatever)
-1-large carton of beef broth
-2- cans of stewed tomatoes
- salt & pepper to taste
Add a pan of cornbread & there you have it.
Or you can change the beef to chicken & broth to chicken broth or use no meat, easy!
Simple & delicious!
PS. I did have to go out though- out of dog food, ugh!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Soups On- Cause Baby, It's Cold Outside!"

No it didn't snow, this was from last year, but it is supposed to snow on Thursday! We woke again for the second morning in a row, in the teens here! That is very unusual for us. So I'm looking forward to making a hot steaming pot of soup today. What kind? I don't know. But one thing is for sure. If I don't have all the ingredients, I'll just make due. Because I'm not getting out unless I must! LOL! What's your favorite soup to have on a cold, blustery day?