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April 30, 2010

Recipe: Grilled Shrimp with Garlic Lemon Butter

Shrimp and pasta go exceptionally well together, and I often serve shrimp with angel hair pasta, nicely cooked al dente. The secret, though, is in how you prepare the shrimp! How does grilled with garlic lemon butter sound?

Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 40 minutes


  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled deveined and slit down the back
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


Combine oil and 1/2 of the garlic add shrimp.

Marinate refrigerated for 20 minutes up to one hour.

Prepare a medium hot fire.

Melt butter in pan over medium heat.

Add lemon juice, remaining garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.

Heat gently on low heat until flavors have infused.

Lightly salt shrimp and place on prepared grill.

Baste with 1/3 of the butter mixture, turn after 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove shrimp when pink and allow to rest a few minutes before peeling.

Toss with remaining butter mixture

Terri's Tips:

  • Serve with angel hair pasta cooked al dente.
  • Change the recipe up a bit by removing shrimp after grilling on one side and tossing with bow tie pasta (cooked al dente). Add remaining butter mixture and place in a oven proof dish. Add 1/4 cup white wine. Top with bread crumbs and fresh grated parsley. Cook until cheese melts and breadcrumbs are toasted.
  • I use a medium light Chardonnay wine for cooking; save some for dinner.

Cooking Wisers:

  • Omit butter and use 4 tablespoons vegetable oil to cut calories and cholesterol.

Posted by conradb212 at 04:18 PM | Comments (0)

Recipe: Sicilian Green Beans & Fennel Salad

Italians know how to make a salad, and this Sicilian green bean and fennel salad is one of my favorites. The ancient Romans already knew how to use fennel to spice up their cuisine, and the French later used it to make absinthe!

Serves 8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes


  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans

  • 1 2/3 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb (one large)

  • 1/2 cup julienne-cut red bell pepper
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fennel leaves


Wash the beans.

Trim the ends and remove the strings.

Cut the beans in half.

Place the beans in a vegetable steamer and place over boiling water.

Cover and steam for 5 minutes or until tender-crisp.

Drain beans and plunge into cold water.

Drain again.

Combine beans, fennel bulb, and bell pepper in a bowl; toss gently and set aside.

Combine lemon juice and next 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir well.

Pour over vegetables; toss gently to coat.

Sprinkle with fennel leaves.

Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Terri's Tips:

  • Add sliced almonds or pine nuts for protein
  • Add a splash of lemon juice to enhance the flavors

Posted by conradb212 at 02:29 AM | Comments (0)

Recipe: Lemon Green Beans & Celery Salad

Bored with the same old salads? Try making one with green beans! I'm also adding some celery and use lemon to give it a delightfully refreshing taste!

Serves 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lbs. Green beans, trimmed
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon dried chervil
  • 1/4 Cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 Cups diagonally sliced celery

  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 Cup chopped parsley

  • 2 Tablespoons grated lemon peel

  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Cook the green beans in lightly salted water for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender-crisp.

Drain the beans and plunge into a bowl of ice water.

Drain thoroughly, pat dry with paper towels.

Heat the oil in large skillet over medium heat.

Add shallots, chervil, and celery; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes.

Add green beans, lemon juice, parsley and lemon peel; toss to combine.

Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until beans are warm.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Posted by conradb212 at 02:24 AM | Comments (0)

Recipe: Green Beans, Feta & Pecans

This a totally new way to make green beans, it's simple with great crunchy flavor.

Serves 4-6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes s


  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese


Cook green beans in large saucepan of boiling water, about 4 minutes.

Drain, immerse in cold water, drain, and pat dry.

Combine olive oil, dill, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Whisk to blend.

Place beans in a shallow serving dish.

Toss with dressing.

Sprinkle with pecans, red onion and feta, toss and serve.

Terri's Tips:

  • ou can use any cheese that you like, such as goat cheese Asiago, or blue cheese

Posted by conradb212 at 02:19 AM | Comments (0)

Recipe: Sesame Green Beans

Here's how to quickly whip up a batch of delicious Sesame green beans in a wok or skillet. It takes just ten minutes and goes great with just about any dish.

Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Black pepper, freshly ground to taste


Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat.

Add sesame seeds.

When seeds start to darken, stir in green beans

Cook, stirring, until the beans turn bright green.

Pour in chicken broth, soy sauce salt and pepper.

Cover and cook until beans are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes.

Uncover and cook until liquid evaporates.

Terri's Tips:

  • You can add crisp bacon to top this recipe
  • You don’t need additional salt when using soy sauce
  • You can use vegetable broth to replace the chicken broth for a vegetarian dish

Posted by conradb212 at 02:11 AM | Comments (0)

Recipe: Rosemary Rosted New Potatoes

The Irish knew a good thing when they saw the potato and with hundreds of varieties of this versatile vegetable the possibilities are endless. This recipe uses red potatoes which are great for roasting.

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


  • 8 medium new red potatoes
  • 1 large sweet red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2 inch squares
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped


Wash, dry potatoes

Precook potatoes in the microwave until slightly tender

Cut potatoes in 4 equal pieces, rub with oil, salt and pepper

Mix in rosemary and coat potatoes generously

In an oven proof dish, toss in red peppers roast in 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes until potatoes are golden brown on the outside.

Terri's Tips:

  • Get some fresh air on a pretty day, avoid heating up the kitchen and save on cleanup -- grill vegetables alongside an herbed chicken

    Make it your own
    Ideas for serving: thread each potato alternating with red pepper onto rosemary sticks and grill. See grilling tips

  • Add onions and green and yellow peppers- even mushrooms to skewers
  • Try cooking the potatoes in with a roasted chicken, pork or beef.

    Posted by conradb212 at 02:03 AM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Quinoa Salad "Your Way"

    I call this delicious Quinoa salad "your way" because you can easily make it your own recipe by substituting some of the ingredients. The opportunities are endless, and each salad will have its own taste and personality!

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 2:15


    • 2 cups chicken broth, low sodium
    • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
    • 1 cup sliced green, red, and/or orange sweet bell pepper
    • 1 cup toasted pecans
    • 1/2 cup slightly steamed broccoli florets
    • 1/2 cup chopped purple onion
    • 1/2 cup sweet potato diced and roasted with dash of freshly cracked black pepper
    • 1/4 cup celery


    • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon fresh mixed herbs,chopped (such as basil, thyme, parsley, oregano)


    In a small saucepan, combine the broth and quinoa.

    Bring to boiling; reduce heat.

    Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

    Remove from heat and set aside.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine sweet pepper, pecans, sweet potato, onions, and celery.

    Add the cooked quinoa and mix well.

    Combine vinegar and mustard and whisk until well blended.

    Add herbs.

    Add to quinoa.

    Can cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before serving.

    Cooking Wiser:

  • If you are watching your sugars substitute the sugar in the vinaigrette for your favorite artificial sweetener (1 packet = 2 teaspoons sugar). You could also use Agave syrup, a food with a low glycemic index, the syrup won’t raise your blood glucose levels as much as sugar or honey do. Plus, it’s sweeter than sugar, so you’ll use less.

      Create your own
      Substitute and use any of the following

    • -- Garbanzo beans, olives, feta cheese, tomatoes (when in season) with lime, cilantro and olive oil vinaigrette
    • -- Corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro with ranch or thousand island dressing
    • -- Summer vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, grape tomatoes, broccoli with Italian dressing
    • Although this recipe calls for fresh herbs, you can substitute with dry herbs by using 1/3 the amount. I used parsley, basil and lemon thyme which all compliment the other ingredients.
    • Sauté the quinoa in 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high heat for 4 minutes to toast and release more flavor, then continue with directions.
    • The pecans and sweet potatoes add sweetness to the recipe without adding sugar.

    Posted by conradb212 at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Pumpkin Stew

    Have you ever noticed how versatile pumpkins are (and I don't mean just around Halloween)? You've probably enjoyed pumpkin pie, but have you ever had pumpkin stew?

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 2:15


    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 medium onions, diced
    • 1 pound stew meat, trimmed and browned
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 2 cups solid pack canned pumpkin
    • 1/4 cup carrots, diced
    • 1/4 cup apple cider
    • 4 cups beef stock or vegetable stock
    • Salt & ground black pepper, to taste
    • Sour cream or yogurt to garnish
    • 1 medium pumpkin


    Carve a hole in the top of the pumpkin; remove seeds and stringy inside, then set the pumpkin aside.

    Heat the olive oil in a large wide-based saucepan over medium heat.

    Add the onions and cook for 4 minutes or until softened.

    Increase heat to medium-high, add the cumin, coriander and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute or until aromatic.

    Add the pumpkin and meat and stir to coat well in the spice mixture.

    Add the stock and apple cider and bring to the boil.

    Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for one hour or until the meat is tender.

    Place pumpkin in shallow baking pan.

    Fill with the stew mixture and cook on 325F for 1-1 1/2 hours or until the pumpkin is tender (cooking time will depend on the size of your pumpkin)

    Terri's Tips:

    • Use smaller individual pumpkins; just adjust cooking time
    • Top with yogurt or sour cream
    • Be sure to get chunks of pumpkin in your stew as you serve it for more rich pumpkin flavor

    Posted by conradb212 at 01:33 AM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Thai Seafood Soup

    Thai food has its own delicious taste and flavor, and Thai Seafood Soup is a beloved classic. I use shrimp in my recipe though the soup is often also made with all sorts of other seafood items.

    Serves 6
    Prep time: 20 minutes
    Total time: About an hour


    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 cup mixed mushrooms, sliced
    • 4 cups chicken stock
    • 8 ounces fish stock
    • 1/2 pound 20/25 count scallops
    • 1 pound 21/25 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
    • 3- 3 inch pieces lemongrass, smashed
    • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
    • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
    • 1 lime, juiced and zested
    • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
    • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves chopped
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon red-pepper flakes
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • Salt and pepper to taste


    Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat.

    Add carrots and celery and sauté until tender.

    Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté 1 to 2 minutes being careful not to burn garlic.

    Add stocks, lemongrass and simmer for 20 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

    Add scallops, shrimp and simmer 5 minutes.

    Add soy sauce, ginger, coconut milk, salt and pepper, lime zest and juice and red pepper.

    Cook another 2 minutes.

    Remove from heat.

    Add cilantro and discard lemongrass before serving.

    Terri's Tips:

    • Make chicken and fish stock in advance and freeze in 1 cup containers. Use as needed.
    • I use button, shitake and baby portabella mushrooms in this recipe l

    Cooking wiser...

    • Omit coconut milk
    • Use low sodium soy sauce.

    Posted by conradb212 at 01:21 AM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Roasted Broccoli & Marinara with Penne Pasta

    A bit tired of Pasta Primavera (sometimes it feels like that's always the only vegetarian dish many restaurants have)? For a very tasty alternative, try this old world style pasta dish with broccoli and other veggies!

    Serves 6
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 45-60 minutes


    • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
    • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
    • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
    • 2 cups broccoli florets marinated in 1/4 cup low fat Italian dressing
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 12 ounces penne pasta


    Heat skillet to medium high, add olive oil, and reduce heat to medium.

    Add onion, celery, garlic, and carrots and sauté until slightly tender.

    Meanwhile heat the oven to 400 degrees.

    On a nonstick pan place marinated broccoli and roast until lightly browned around edges.

    In a food processor place one can of the tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper.

    Blend until smooth.

    Add blended tomatoes to vegetables

    Add the remaining can diced tomatoes, wine, and broccoli to skillet and stir to combine.

    Simmer for 30 minutes up to one hour.

    Terri's Tips:

    • Cook penne pasta al dente. Drain and serve with Marinara sauce
    • Add roasted chicken or shrimp to change this into a complete meal

    Cooking wiser...

    • Use whole wheat pasta.

    Posted by conradb212 at 01:09 AM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Jicama Salad

    Jicama, a delightfully crunchy Mexican root vegetable, is often eaten raw in salads and slaws. Tossed with a zesty lime dressing and mixed with beans and juicy tomatoes, it makes an easy, irresistible salad. Prepare a double batch and take it along to your next potluck -- just be ready to share the recipe!

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 15 minutes


    • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    • 1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

    • 1 small jicama, peeled and chopped

    • 3 tablespoons diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


    Whisk together lime juice, garlic, and cumin in a large mixing bowl; slowly whisk in oil.

    Add beans, jicama, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.

    Toss to combine, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

    Is best if made a few hours in advance. Chill until ready to serve

    Posted by conradb212 at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

    Granny Mae's Sweet Pickles

    Granny Mae made pickles every summer. I learned a lot about cooking from her. She also taught me how to can fresh vegetables, jams and jellies.

    This takes a bit of time, and it's a lesson in patience...


    • 1/2 cup pickling salt
    • 1 gallon cold water
    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 2 tablespoons mixed spices (pickling spices are now available but 40 years ago we made our own)
    • 4 pounds firm pickling cucumbers, washed and cut into ½ inch thick
    • 4 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 quart white vinegar


    Wash and dry canning jars.

    Dissolve pickling salt in water (brine) and stir well.

    Place the brine in a non reactive pan, add cukes and soak at room temperature in brine overnight.

    Remove the cukes; wash, and rinse 3 times.

    Put the spice in cloth bag and tie.

    Place the spice bag in a pot with cukes and pour vinegar mixture over them and soak overnight, refrigerated.

    Next morning cook them on medium heat for 15 minutes until boiling.

    Put the hot pickles with vinegar mixture into jars and seal.

    Allow to cool. Check for seal.

    If the jar lids did not seal process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

    Posted by conradb212 at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

    Granny Mae's Dill Pickles

    Granny made pickles every summer. I learned a lot about cooking from her. She also taught me how to can fresh vegetables, jams and jellies. I loved dill pickles. I use the pickles in potato, tuna, egg, and chicken salad. A lot of love must go into these pickles.

    Makes enough to fill one quart jar
    So increase ingredients by number of jars you can fill with cucumbers


    • 1/4 cup pickling salt mixed into 1 quart water (brine)
    • 2 sprigs fresh dill
    • 1/2 teaspoon dill seed
    • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 1 teaspoon pickling salt
    • 2 cups vinegar
    • 3 cups water
    • As many pickling size cucumbers as will fit well packed into a one quart jar


    Soak cukes overnight in brine, refrigerated.

    Remove from water and wash four times.

    Wash canning jars.

    Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar and water in a kettle.

    Add mustard and dill seeds.

    Place over moderate heat and bring slowly to a boil.

    Meanwhile, pack the cukes in the jars.

    Leave about 1/2 inch at the top.

    To each jar add the fresh dill and garlic cloves.

    Pour boiling liquid into jars enough to cover cukes but leaving 1/2 inch at the top.

    Remove air bubbles.

    Wipe jar rims and seal jars.

    Pickles will be ready in about one month.

    Posted by conradb212 at 12:55 AM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Egg Omelet with Chives

    Making omelets is simple and takes just a few minutes. And with a bit of imagination you can create your own special omelets! Here's how I make my egg omelets with chives, and I'll give you some hints on experimenting with omelets!

    Serves 2
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 15 minutes


    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon minced onions
    • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced chives
    • Salt and pepper to taste


    Break eggs into a medium bowl and beat with a fork or whisk until combined but not too frothy. Add remaining ingredients except for the butter.

    Melt the butter over medium heat.

    When the butter stops foaming, pour the egg mixture into the skillet, and swirl the skillet to cover the bottom

    As eggs set, take a spatula and push the edges of the egg mixture in, allowing the uncooked eggs on top to flow underneath and make direct contact with the skillet.

    Repeat the procedure at various spots around the edge of the setting egg mixture.

    Flip omelet over and continue to cook until eggs are set.

    Remove the omelet from the heat. The whole process should take just 2 or 3 minutes.

    Cooking Wiser:

    • You can use Egg Beaters to decrease cholesterol and calories
    • Replace butter with vegetable oil.

    • Add nutmeg to eggs while beating eggs for a wonderful flavor enhancer

    Create your own
  • -- Add diced ham and Swiss cheese (omit cheddar cheese)
  • -- Add ground sausage, gouda, sautéed chopped red and green bell peppers
  • -- Replace chives with chopped fresh basil, and add diced fresh in season tomatoes and minced onions; top with fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • -- Add salsa, ground beef and Monterey Jack cheese; increase heat with jalapeno pepper

    Posted by conradb212 at 12:48 AM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Dill Bread

    Making your own bread is very satisfying, doesn't take a lot of time, and there's nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread! This Dill Bread recipe has long been a favorite of mine.

    Makes 1 pound loaf
    Prep time: 20 minutes
    Total time: 40 minutes


    • 3 1/3 cups bread flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 packet dry active yeast
    • 1 1/4 cup warm water (100 degrees F)
    • 2 tablespoons dill mix

    Dill Mix:

    • 1 1/4 tablespoon dried dill weed
    • 1/4 tablespoon dill seeds
    • 1/4 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 tablespoon onion powder


    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    Dissolve yeast in water.

    Combine dry ingredients including dill mix in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour in water with yeast and oil.

    Stir to combine and allow to rest 5 minutes to absorb the liquid.

    Knead dough 10 minutes on a flat surface.

    Shape into round disc and lightly brush top with oil.

    Cover and allow to rise for one hour or until doubled in size.

    Punch down dough and shape into disc or baguette and allow to rise until doubled in size.

    Bake free standing in oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

    Remove and allow to cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.

    Cooking Wiser:

    • If the dough is cooked free standing it has to be formed in a way that the tension will hold the dough in shape while rising. See instructions for shaping loaves under “Back to the Basics”, baking
    • The slower the dough rises the more flavor that will develop from the yeast, one reason why rapid rise yeast is not recommended
    • Do not heat water for yeast above 110 degrees F.
    • Make a healthy version by substituting ½ cup bread flour for whole wheat flour; because this will cause the bread to be a little heavier, cut flour down by 2 tablespoons.

    Make it your own

  • Make Italian bread by using Italian mix or replace dill with rosemary

    Posted by conradb212 at 12:41 AM | Comments (0)

    April 29, 2010

    Recipe: Chocolate Genoise with Grand Marnier and Ganache

    A genoise is a rich, moist cake used for many elegant presentations. Serve for special occasions or enjoy anytime because every day should be special.

    Serves 8-10
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 55 minutes


    Candied Orange Zest

    • 1 orange
    • 1-1/2 cups sugar

    Chocolate Genoise

    • 1/3 cup cake flour
    • 1/3 cup cornstarch
    • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
    • 4 eggs
    • Pinch salt
    • 2/3 cup sugar

    Grand Marnier Syrup

    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 3 Tablespoons Grand Marnier

    Grand Marnier Filling

    • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
    • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

    Whipped Genache Filling

    • 12 ounces dark chocolate
    • 1 cup heavy cream

    Genache Glaze

    • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
    • 1 cup heavy cream


    Zest the orange into strips. To remove bitter taste place zest in a small saucepan, and boil for 5 minutes.

    Drain and rinse under cold water.

    Add 1 cup of water to 1 cup of the sugar and bring to a boil.

    Remove from heat, add zest.

    Let stand for 30 minutes.

    Remove the zest and cool on a wire rack.

    Spread remaining sugar on a plate and roll the zest in the sugar. The zest will keep refrigerated for one week.


    Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Oil and flour 3 cake pans.

    In a bowl, sift cake flour with remaining dry ingredients.

    In a medium saucepan on low, combine eggs and a pinch of salt. Whisk, slowly while adding the sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture is light in color and fluffy being careful not to overheat (not over 110 degrees).

    Fold in the dry ingredients in 3 batches.

    Pour the batter into the cake pan.

    Bake until the cake is firm and pulls away from the edges. Remove cake and cool on a wire rack.

    Grand Marnier syrup:

    Bring 1/3 cup water to boil over medium heat.

    Add sugar and cook until sugar dissolves.

    Allow to cool then add the Grand Marnier.

    Grand Marnier Filling:

    Mix together orange marmalade and Grand Marnier.

    Ganache Filling:

    In a large saucepan bring cream to a simmer.

    Remove from heat and stir in chocolate pieces, cool.

    With a mixer, beat until light and fluffy.

    Ganache glaze:

    In a saucepan bring cream to a simmer.

    Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, cool. Mixture should be smooth. Do NOT refrigerate.

    To assemble the genoise:

    Split into 3 layers.

    Brush each layer with syrup.

    Place first layer on a plate and spread with Grand Marnier filling, then with ganache filling, top with next layer and repeat spreading with fillings.

    Add last layer and repeat with fillings. Reserve enough of the ganache filling to decorate cake.

    To finish the cake pour the glaze over the cake and smooth with a metal spatula. Refrigerate until glaze has set. With remaining whipped ganache pipe rosettes around the top of the cake and add zest.

    Cooking Wiser:

    • To help the cake rise, evenly tilt the pan around to cover cake pan sides with batter
    • The genoise, syrup, and fillings can be prepared in advance and stored at room temperature
    • Do not refrigerate the glaze.
    • To save sugar, use what is left from making orange zest for syrup, just add the Grand Marnier
    Make it your own
  • Change the flavor of this cake by using raspberry or peach jam with brandy in place of orange marmalade and Grand Marnier. Garnish with raspberries or fresh sliced peaches.

    Posted by conradb212 at 11:39 PM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Chive (dill or Cilantro) Aioli

    Aioli is a sauce that's usually made of garlic and Mayonnaise or olive oil. That can be a bit strong flavored. As an alternate, try my chive (dill or cilantro) aioli!

    Makes 1 cup
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 15 minutes


    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives


    In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients; store in refrigerator until ready to use.

    Terri's Tips:

    • Dollop on top of baked potato, fish, or mixed grilled vegetables
    • Make cilantro or dill cream by substituting chives for cilantro or dill respectively and lemon juice for lime juice
    • Add a new spin by using Ranch dressing instead of sour cream and mayonnaise. Make traditional aioli by combining 2/3 cup mayonnaise and 2 minced garlic cloves.

    Cooking wiser...

    • Substitute low fat or fat free sour cream and mayonnaise for the regular versions
    • Use low fat or fat free Ranch dressing

    Posted by conradb212 at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Italian Bread

    Make your own delicious Italian bread! It's easier than you think, and your guests and family will love it!

    Makes two loaves
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 2-3 up to 8 hours depending on the temperature during rising


    • 5-1/2 cups bread flour
    • 2 packages active dry yeast
    • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning mix
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano (optional)

    Italian seasoning:

    • 1 tablespoon dried basil
    • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
    • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
    • 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
    Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in airtight container in the freezer.


    Mix yeast, warm water, and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside to activate.

    Measure 5 cups of the flour into a large bowl, add salt and whisk to combine.

    Add yeast mixture and oil to flour. Add Italian mix and cheese, stir to combine, rest dough for 5 minutes to allow flour to absorb liquids.

    Turn dough out onto clean flat surface and knead dough for 10 minutes.

    Place dough back into the bowl and oil the top. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. The time will vary depending on the room temperature.

    Punch dough down to release all of the air. Shape into two baguettes or round loaves.

    Place loaves on stone cookware and allow to rise until doubled in size about 1 hour.

    Bake in preheated 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

    Remove loaves from stones and cool on wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. s.

    Terri's Tips:

    baking tips
    • To develop yeast flavor allow dough to slowly rise in refrigerator overnight
    • Use flour with high protein, increasing gluten
    • Shape loaves and pinch together seams placing them bottom side down Make it your own

    • Use dill mix to replace the Italian seasoning by using dry dill (1 tablespoon) and dill seeds (1/4 teaspoon) instead of basil and oregano

    Cooking wiser...

    • Replace one cup of white flour for wheat flour

    Posted by conradb212 at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Beef Bourguignon

    Beef Bourguignon, a famous and traditional French recipe, is a wonderful stew made with beef braised in red wine, mushrooms and spices. This is one of my favorite recipes and I am presenting it to you with my special tips! Serve with a French Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel.

    Serves 6
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 4-1/2 hours


    • 4 ounces Bacon
    • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
    • 3 pounds beef stewing meat cut into 2 inch cubes
    • 1 carrot, sliced
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 3 cups full bodied red wine
    • 2 cups beef stock
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons flour mixed with 2 tablespoons melted butter
    • 1/4 pound pearl onions, sauteed in about 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 pound small button mushrooms, whole or halved, sauteed in 2 tablespoons butter


    In a large pan, sauté the bacon over moderate heat until lightly browned. Remove bacon and set aside.

    Dry the beef in paper towels before sautéing to enhance browning.

    Lightly salt and pepper the beef.

    Add the oil to the pan and sauté the beef until brown on all sides.

    Remove the beef and place into a Dutch oven with bacon.

    Add the vegetables to the sauté pan and cook on high heat until lightly browned. Add 2 tablespoons flour and continue to cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

    Stir in the wine then add vegetables and wine to the Dutch oven.

    Pour in the stock being sure to completely cover meat and vegetables.

    Add garlic and herbs.

    Cover dish with aluminum foil and press down slightly in center to make a well. This will catch any condensation that may occur, keeping it from falling back into your beef. Cover with the lid and place into a preheated 350 degree oven for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

    When meat is tender, remove cooking juices and pour the liquid through a sieve and collect into a saucepan. Chill liquid to remove fat from top. Re-heat liquid to simmer and reduce to about 2/3.

    Add butter-flour mixture. Stir with whisk until thickened.

    Adjust flavors with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and onions to meat.

    Reheat the meat and pour sauce over meat and vegetables to coat.

    Cooking Wiser:

    • I use top round or bottom round cut of beef but you could use sirloin tip roast
    • To save time with a speedier version use left over roast from Sunday dinner, cut into chunks. Make the sauce with 2 cups beef broth, 2 cups red wine and thicken with beurre manie. Adjust the seasoning and pour over the meat.
    • A beurre manie is softened butter mixed with an equal amount of flour. It is added to cooked liquid to thicken it such as a stew or soup. See my cooking tips for making sauces, adding beurre manie to the broth
    • Use a French Red Burgundy wine for cooking
    • Serve the bourguignon with a Red Burgundy or a big Cabernet Sauvignon.
    • Serve with lots of crusty bread or egg noodles and a simple fruit salad with apples, peaches and pears
    • For a healthier version, use a very lean cut of beef and omit bacon, using olive oil to brown meat and vegetables
    • To save time, cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 hours, then it is ready when you get home from work

    Posted by conradb212 at 08:56 PM | Comments (0)

    April 20, 2010

    April Food and Wine Club Dinner

    Another great dinner with our wine club friends left us wondering how we could top this one. The theme was food and wine pairing; select the wine and bring the food that best pairs with your wine.

    The welcome drink was a Chandon, Blanc De Noirs Sparkling wine from the heart of Napa Valley, California. If you know French, you would know that the name actually means a white wine made from red grapes, resulting in a very soft salmon color. So the question was, why not pair this with salmon mousse and so we did. Sparkling wines go with many foods but this pairing was right on in so many ways. The colors and flavors of the mousse and the wine were delightful.

    Next up were the Chardonnays. We tried two with very different styles. The Kali Hart, 2008 from Monterey County will run you about $16.99 a bottle. The wine was fermented in French oak and stainless steel. The color was straw and the flavors led with lots of citrus, a simple but enjoyable wine. The food pairing was with a pear and Gruyere cheese strata, providing a great combination of flavors with both Chardonnay wines. I must get the recipe for the Gruyere Cheese Strata, it was incredible.

    The Cakebread Cellars, 2008 Chardonnay from Anderson Valley was rich with more complexity. The flavor was a combination of crisp pears, apple and melon that paired excellently with both the Smoked Salmon Quiche and the strata. The creamy textures of the quiche with the fresh dill lifted the citrus and vanilla flavors of the wine to a new level. This wine was fermented in French oak barrels and will set you back about $46.00. I’ll post the Quiche recipe soon!

    Have you ever heard anyone say, “I don’t really like white wine”? I have even said this myself until I started experimenting with food and wine pairings. The 2008 Riesling from Germany’s Mosel Valley was a little sweet for me until I tried it with the spiced creamy shrimp. The wine came to life, the sweetness disappeared and the result was fascinating. You’ll have to try it for yourself; it was one of those combinations that demonstrate the importance of selecting the right wine for the food.

    Just when you think it can’t get any better we opened the Pinot Noirs. The 2006 Reserve Pinot Noir from V. Sattui winery in Napa Valley was a little spicy with a little earth and a long and elegant finish. The wine paired well with the pork tenderloin with Vodka, bacon cream sauce. This wine runs about $36.00 a bottle. I’ll let you in on a little secret. The wine also paired really well with the quiche.

    The Youngberg Hill 2006 Pinot Noir did not disappoint us until we found out that the wine has sold out. Well, too bad we can’t order anymore because it was very good, but you can get the 2007 for about $38.00. The winery is in McMinnville, one of the most beautiful places in Oregon. This particular wine is a barrel select, an extremely balanced wine, rich with fruit flavors. It paired very well with the pork tenderloin.

    The last pairing was a Valley of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon paired with chocolate truffles. I loved the wine; it was rich with lots of structure. The grapes were fermented in stainless steel then spent 22 months in French and American oak barrels. I would love this wine with a good roast beef stew, but everyone else loved it with the chocolate. That is why they say that wine and food pairing is a matter of taste. The price of the wine is about $46.00 a bottle.

    Posted by terri at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

    April 10, 2010

    Eating out- Did it deserve the WOW factor

    There are so many restaurants in Knoxville to choose from, that you most likely can find anything that suits your mood. Though many of the over 600 restaurants are chains, there are many unique, privately owned establishments that are worth your visit. But are they all worth your money? Do we begin to think that an expensive meal must be the best? Do you walk out saying, “now that was the best meal I have eaten in a long time”? Can you truthfully judge an incredible culinary experience even when it is a little pricy? Next time you go out for a special dinner ask yourself if it deserved the “wow” factor.

    We recently had dinner with friends at Le Parigo, located in the downtown area of Knoxville, TN. They offer French cuisine, a large selection of French wines and very good service. The most important things I consider when evaluating my experience at any restaurant is the food, the wine and the service.

    I selected the three item special. It was a good deal since everything was a la carte. I started with a mozzarella and tomato salad that was very fresh, flavorful with a fabulous presentation. Someone said that it was too pretty to eat but that didn't stop me. They used fresh mozzarella, the best and it may have been marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette. The salmon was served with fingerling potatoes, carrots and a cream leek fondant. The salmon was very mild, it had to be wild rather than farm-raised, the potatoes were fingerling but were sliced into ½ rounds. I would have left them whole for a more elegant presentation and possibly that would have provided a softer texture but they were flavorful. The cream leek fondant was really really good. It had a slightly sweet taste and a wonderful creamy texture. The dessert was a pistachio crème brulee. The crème brulee did not have as much flavor as I was hoping for, I didn't get much pistachio. The texture was a little thin for my liking.

    My husband ordered the Brasserie steak with gratin dauphinois, shitake mushrooms and carrots. I will start by sharing his opinion of the steak since I would consider him an expert on the subject, the man knows his steak. He thought the texture was good and pretty tender. The flavor didn’t grab him; it was very well seasoned with pepper which really masked the flavor of the steak. Now I like a good pepper steak but the pepper shouldn't overpower the flavor of a good steak. The mushroom sauce was very good. Shitake mushrooms will become tough when cooked with high heat but these were just right. I tasted the dauphinois, that by the way get their name from a region in France called Dauphiné, and they were very good. The potatoes were thinly sliced and layered with just the right amount of cream, butter and garlic without being too rich.

    Nancy said that she was going to try the duck since her last experience in New York was not good. She was very pleased that her opinion of the delightful fowl was restored. It was tender, well seasoned and very good. She was raving even the next day.

    The wine was delightful. It was a French Cabernet Sauvignon with a good balance of fruit, alcohol and tannins. I failed to note the vintage but the soft tannins would lead me to believe that it had been cellared for a few years. It complimented the salmon and even the steak which was surprising. We tend to drink so many California wines that we get accustomed to a wine with lots of alcohol. It is always nice to enjoy a French wine that generally has a lower percentage of alcohol.

    The service was very good, just enough attention without hovering. The restaurant had a nice atmosphere, not too large giving it a more personal touch.

    Overall I would say that the meal was very good but I wouldn’t say it was the best meal I’ve ever had. Will I go back? Yes most likely I will. Does it deserve the WOW factor? For some of us it did but not for everyone. For Knoxville it was a little pricey but what we were expecting. A tip for you- go early for dinner and take advantage of the half price bottles of wine.

    Posted by terri at 03:40 AM | Comments (0)

    April 03, 2010

    Spring Vegetable Salad “Rock Star”

    To your good health. I did a cooking demonstration for a diabetes class featuring a healthy, low fat salad. Make this salad any time you want to impress your foodie friends. Always try to use vegetables that are in season; they are more affordable, tastier and better for you.

    Arugula, an annual, edible plant is the salad green used in this recipe. It is often called “Rock Star” because it is very low in calories, only one calorie for every ¼ cup serving and high in vitamin A, C, K, and folic acid with fair amounts of calcium, zinc, potassium, and iron. It has a very peppery flavor that compliments many other ingredients such as lemon, fennel and mustard. Try growing it in your garden; it is a very easy crop to grow, growing best in the spring. As the temperature warms up the plant will rapidly go to seed. Replant the seed to keep your crop young. The flowers are also edible and make an attractive presentation in a salad or as a garnish.

    Snow peas are a legume with an edible pod. They got their name from the frosted appearance they give when growing. They are underused as a side dish but often added to stir fry recipes. Snow peas add a crispy, fresh flavor to any dish. They have high levels of vitamin K, A, C, thiamine, folic acid and many amino acids making them a very healthy choice.

    Asparagus, in the lily family, has been cultivated for thousands of years. It grows from a crown and has been recorded as growing 10 inches in 24 hours. The highest quality spears are those from more mature crowns, the larger spears. I like the small spears too for sautéing with a little lime and soy sauce. The crown doesn’t produce until it is about 3 years old. There are only 5 calories per spear, no fat, cholesterol or sodium, but high in vitamin A, C, folic acid, thiamin, B6, potassium and fiber. It is one of the richest sources of rutin, a compound that strengthens capillary cell walls.

    The many health benefits of this salad include facilitation of weight loss, regulation of the digestive system, and strengthening the immune system all good for type 2 diabetes.

    Serves 6-8
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 15 minutes



    2 cups baby Arugula (or other mixed salad greens), washed
    ¾ pound asparagus, remove tips
    ¼ pound snow peas, stem and string
    1 ½ pounds small red potatoes
    1/3 cup pecan halves
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    ½ cup diced turkey ham (optional)


    1 small shallot
    ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    ¼ cup white wine vinegar
    ½ cup extra virgin olive oil


    For the vinaigrette, peel and mince the shallot, sauté on medium heat until slightly caramelized. Whisk the vinegar, mustard, shallot, and seasoning in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

    Wash the potatoes and cook in microwave until tender, then quarter them. Trim the ends from asparagus and steam with snow peas until crisp tender. Drain and run cold water over vegetables to stop the cooking process. Toast the pecans in the oven, being careful not to burn. Dice the ham into ½ inch dice and sauté the ham with the olive oil until brown on outside. Toss in potatoes with the ham to coat with olive oil. Divide salad greens onto eight salad plates, top with ham and vegetables. Top with pecans, drizzle with vinaigrette, and serve immediately.

    Terri’s Tips:
    •For the seasoning in the vinaigrette, I use a dry herb mix with a little salt, pepper, basil and thyme
    •You can use any dry herb mix you prefer, make it your own; such as dry Italian salad dressing mix
    •If you want more texture and color use a mix of salad greens
    •If the vinaigrette is to tangy for you add a teaspoon of honey
    •Try using a little lemon and olive oil on arugula for a quick side dish.

    Posted by terri at 02:08 AM | Comments (0)