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June 30, 2010

Bourbon and Benton Baked Beans

What a great side dish for Barbeque. I demonstrated this recipe in a BBQ cooking class and it was a hit. The winning ingredients were Of coarse the Bush's Best beans and the Benton bacon which is available at Benton's in Sweetwater Tennessee. I made this at home before class to perfect the recipe. After a few experiments I found the best canned beans were Bush's Best Original Beans.

Serves 8
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour


  • 1 onion, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 6 strips Benton bacon
  • 2- 16 ounce cans Bush's Best Original baked beans


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a skillet, fry 2 strips of bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and crumble. Add onions to hot grease, sauté until soft. Add garlic, mustard, cumin, chili powder and sauté for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 3 more minutes.

    Pour beans into a baking dish and add onion sauce and crumbled bacon. Top with remaining bacon and cook on 325 for 1 hour or until thickened but not dry.

    Cooking Wiser:

    If you have a bean pot use it and cook slowly on 300 degrees F for 2 hours for rich, flavorful results

    Make it your own
    Add minced green bell peppers, red bell peppers, and/or jalapeno peppers

    Add 1/2 pound cooked sausage with or without the bacon

    Posted by terri at 03:15 AM | Comments (0)

    Rib-Eye Steak with a Western Dry Rub

    Start any holiday like the 4th of July with a pitcher of refreshing Watermelon margaritas and finish with another one of America’s greatest traditions a big, thick rib-eye steak on the grill, Western style. Add Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, Bourbon Baked Beans, and Apple Pie and Ice Cream for a spectacular celebration. You can find all these great recipes on my website.

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


    Dry Rub

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove

  • 6 eight ounce rib -eye steaks or steak of choice, 1 ½ inch thick
  • Kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper
  • 6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup red wine


    Mix all dry rub ingredients together.

    Combine Worcestershire sauce and wine.

    Refrigerate and marinate steaks in with sauce mixture for 4 hours.

    Bring steaks to room temperature

    Liberally salt and pepper steaks then coat them evenly with the dry rub.

    Prepare grill with high heat coals.

    Sear steak 3-4 minutes on each side for medium rare.

    Serve with grilled onions:

    Peel and slice into thick slices one onion, brush with olive oil and add to the grill. Cook until tender.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Make a large batch of dry rub and use it for chops, ribs, and even vegetables; store in air tight container in the freezer
  • For best results you should use a light to medium bodied red wine when cooking or marinating. I use a light burgundy or Pinot Noir for this recipe
  • Don't over marinate steaks in the wine it will cause them to become mushy. Tougher cuts of steak like round and flank can marinate overnight but the more tender cuts should not marinate over 2-4 hours
  • Drink a big, bold oak flavored Cabernet Sauvignon with this big, bold steak

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Select a less expensive cut of beef and marinate steaks overnight to tenderize.

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

    Old Fashion Apple Cobbler

    This is the cobbler that granny passed to mom and mom passed to me. We've been making it in our family since the 1930's. We always made this recipe with Granny Smith apples but try it with Golden Delicious for a sweeter pie.

    Serves 10-12
    Prep time: 5 minutes
    Total time: 50 minutes


  • 1 stick butter melted into 9 x 13
  • 1 ½ cup self raising flour
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 large granny smith apples, peeled and sliced


    Preheat oven- 375 degrees Mix together in a medium bowl the flour, sugar, oil and milk. Pour batter into butter and top evenly with the fruit. Pour juice over apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

    Bake until crust turns golden brown about 45 minutes

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Use any fruit in this recipe, I love peach and Dennis loves blackberry. Strawberry is good too.
  • Always select fresh fruit in season. You will need about 3 cups of fruit
  • Make sure your self rising flour is good, check the date
  • If you don't have self rising flour use 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt with plain all purpose flour
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, you can even top with a little caramel sauce

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Use sugar free apple juice
  • Use 2% or 1% milk
  • To decrease the sugar use ½ cup sugar + 12 packs of sweet n low; sweet and low will maintain sweetness during baking

    Posted by terri at 02:45 AM | Comments (0)

    June 26, 2010

    Beef Burgers with Turmeric Raisins and Onions

    Try this burger for something fun and different. You can grill, bake or cook it on top of the stove with a skillet or grill pan. The tumeric will give the burger a slight yellow color, plus it offers important health benefits especially for meats that are grilled. Read more about these health benefits Health benefits.

    Serves 4
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 40 minutes


  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 large onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 sesame seed buns, toasted
  • 4 tablespoon French dressing
  • Optional toppings: sliced onions, lettuce, tomatoes


    Mix together ground meat and salt and pepper to taste. Heat butter in skillet and add onions and raisins and sauté until onions are tender. Add spices and heat to release flavors. Add wine and continue to cook on medium heat until the wine has reduced. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Divide meat and form into eight disks. Top 4 of the disks with onion mixture spreading evenly over each disk. Top each of the disks with one remaining disk and press into 1 inch thick patty, pinching edges together to seal. Place burger on grill and sear for 3 minutes on each side. Continue to cook until desired doneness. Spread French dressing on top of bottom buns and top with burgers and desired toppings. Add top bun and serve right away.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • If you prefer your burger well done use ground beef that is at least 15% fat, 20% is even better
  • Add your favorite cheese to top of burger during last 5 minutes of grilling
  • See grilling tips for helpful grilling ideas
  • For best results, make your own French dressing by mixing 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced thyme

    Cooking Wiser:

  • For juicier burgers ground chuck is the best choice but you can reduce the fat by using a leaner meat such as ground round or turkey
  • Save time by using a bottled French dressing, but you will compromise the flavor and most prepared dressings have added sugar

    Posted by terri at 07:49 PM | Comments (0)

    June 17, 2010

    Another Great Wine Club Dinner

    Once again I am humbled by the amazing talents of my friends. The food was incredible and the wine pairing with each dish was excellent. I will try to recreate the evening so that you too can enjoy great wine and food with your family and friends.

    Tonight's menu consisted of a series of small plates, each paired with a specific wine.
    Small plate #1
    Prosciutto wrapped Scallops with Romesco Sauce
    The scallops were cooked perfectly and their flavor was enhanced by the slightly salty prosciutto. The Romesco Sauce, which is similar to a sundried tomato pesto, provided great flavor and color, a true work of art.

    The Scallops were paired with a citrus flavored 2009 white wine from Argentina, Don Manuel Villafane Estate Torrontes. The sweetness of the wine marries well with the tomatoes in the sauce. This wine averages about $10.99.

    Plate #2:
    Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Tomato Relish.
    This recipe deserved a bold, complex and distinctive Pinot Noir that could stand up to the tomato relish and compliment the rich flavor of the mushroom. Pinot Noir is the most food friendly of the red wines and this wine pairing proved it.

    The Pinot Noir was a 2007 wine from Chamisal vineyards, the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley of California. They consistently produce wines of a distinctive character thanks to the ideal climate of the region and the exceptional clonal selection planted on their vineyard. My husband and I stumbled on this winery about 12 years ago and he goes back for more wine everytime he visits his family.

    Plate #3
    Another wonderful pairing was a Marinated Beef Stew with a 2005 Zinfandel from Rosenblum winery. Since my husband Dennis is a veterinarian we are particularly fond of this winery because it was founded by a veterinarian, Dr. Kent Rosenblum, and it goes without saying that they have been making fabulous Zinfandels for years. Today, Rosenblum Cellars is recognized as one of North America’s most acclaimed producers of zinfandels, called a “mecca for zin-fanatics.”

    This Zinfandel is a big wine with jam flavors made bold by a high alcohol style, 15.6%. The fruit in the Zin paired really well with the beef and cinnamon flavors in the stew. The stew was as complex as the wine with lots of flavors dancing off the tongue. I really loved this pairing.

    Plate #4
    Zinfandel marinated chicken thighs grilled and paired nicely with a V. Sattui 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. V. Sattui is an incredible winery offering food and wine pairing opportunities, a deli with the best meats, cheeses, and salads to select from and beautiful picnic grounds to enjoy, just bring a bottle of wine for a wonderful time.

    Plate #4
    The final wine pairing of the evening was Chateaubriand with a your choice of several Cabernet Sauvignons. Chateaubriand has often been thought of as a cut of beef but it is actually a recipe for grilled beef tenderloin. This particular dish was grilled to perfection- hats off to the chef, it was fabulous. The end pieces allowed for a little less rare choice while the center cuts were rich and delicious. We enjoyed two Cabs, both new to me. While I have had several varietals from Robert Mondovi winery, I hadn’t tried the 2006. It had a velvet texture rich with blackberry, mocha and spice.
    We also enjoyed a 2007 Jaqk Cabernet Sauvignon, 22 Black and a Portugal 2001 Port from Graham winery, both excellent selections.
    The Jaqk has cherry and blackberry aromas with a well balanced flavor with a soft finish. It also was good with the tenderloin.

    A fortified wine from Europe must be from Portugal to be labeled a Port, under European Union Protected Designation of Origin guidelines. They protect the quality and it was evident with this wine. Port is a sweet wine most often served with dessert. We had a fabulous pound cake and the match was made in heaven. I don't usually gravitate to the desserts but I am so glad I did this time. I will have to swim for two years to work off all the food and wine from tonight's fabulous dinner!

    Posted by terri at 02:49 AM | Comments (0)

    June 11, 2010

    Grilled Rosemary & Sage stuffed Burgers with Portabella Mushrooms

    Don't let the hot weather keep you from preparing a wonderful meal, just take it outside to the grill. Grilling provides wonderful flavor to meats and vegetables. The rosemary in this recipe not only enhances the flavor of the burgers but now research studies are confirming that it offers important health benefits too.

    Serves 4
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 40 minutes


  • 1 ½ pound ground chuck
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Sage, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoon pecans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • Additional condiments optional: lettuce, tomato, cheese, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise


  • 4 medium portabella mushrooms, gills and stems removed
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


    For the mushrooms: to make the marinade combine the e.v. olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. Brush inside each mushroom with marinade and set aside for no longer than one hour. Meanwhile, prepare the grill.

    For the burgers: combine ground chuck and pork together and mix. Combine rosemary, sage, garlic, pecans, e.v. olive oil, salt and pepper to form a pesto type mixture. Divide meat into eight disks and top 4 of the disks with herb mixture spreading evenly over each disk. Top each one with one remaining disk and press into 1 inch thick patty, pinching edges together to seal.

    Place burger on grill and sear for 3 minutes on each side. Continue to cook until desired doneness. Add mushrooms to the grill, top side up and grill for 4 minutes or until tender.

    Arrange buns on a plate and top each half with a burger and mushroom. Add additional toppings. Serve right away.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Pair this burger with a medium bodied Merlot with hints of black cherry. This wine pairs well with grilled meats and herbs such as rosemary and sage.
  • If you prefer your burger well done use ground beef that is at least 15% fat, 20% is even better
  • Add your favorite cheese to top of burger during last 5 minutes of grilling
  • See grilling tips for helpful grilling idea

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Exchange the ground pork for a leaner choice, ground turkey or ground round
  • For juicier burgers ground chuck is the best choice but you can reduce the fat by using a leaner meat such as ground round
  • For lean, mean burgers use ground turkey and stuff each burger with one ounce (about 2-3 grams of fat) low fat cheese. I love Cabot 50% reduced Cheddar

    Posted by terri at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

    June 08, 2010

    Shrimp with Caribbean Rum Barbeque Sauce

    Remember Bubba in the movie "Forrest Gump" listing all the many ways shrimp can be prepared? Well, I have one more: serve it with a delicious Caribbean Rum Sauce!

    Makes two cups

    Ingredients for sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 cup small diced white onion

  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic

  • 2 Tbsp. minced ginger

  • 1 cup Rum
1 cup ketchup

  • 1/2 cup molasses

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar 

  • 1 Tbsp. ground allspice

  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper


    In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.

    Add the onion and cook until light brown.

    Add the garlic and ginger.

    Stir while cooking for another minute or two.

    Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until thick.

    Cool completely.


    Ingredients for the shrimp:

  • 1 pound 24-count Shrimp
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter


    Squeeze lime juice over shrimp, add butter.

    Set aside for 5-10 minutes.

    Prepare grill and grill shrimp.

    Serve with Barbeque Sauce.

    Posted by conradb212 at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)

    Buttermilk Scones

    Scones, a Scottish quick bread originally were made with oats and triangular shaped but today they come in just about any flavor and shape. They can be savory or sweet and are most often eaten for breakfast but don't worry you can have one of these anytime.
    I especially like blueberry or cinnamon scones.

    Serves 8
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange or lemon zest
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
  • 1/4 cup sugar, for dusting


    Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

    In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with a fork.

    Add the cold butter pieces working the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

    Pour in 1 cup buttermilk and zest.

    Mix with a fork just until the ingredients are just moistened. Mix until soft dough forms, about 30 seconds.

    Roll the dough into a rectangle and cut into 12 equal pieces.

    Brush the dough with the butter and sprinkle with the sugar.

    Bake at 425F for 10-12 minutes until the tops are golden.

    Transfer to a cooling rack.

    Terri's Tips

  • Lightly work with dough for best results, don’t over mix or over knead
  • Preheat oven for best results
  • Add 1/3 cup fresh or dried fruit after adding the liquids. For example fresh blueberries or dried apricots, diced apples
  • Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon with the dry ingredients, and mix additional cinnamon with the dusting sugar
  • Mix in 1/2 cup of your favorite cheese into the dry ingredients

    Cooking Wiser

  • Use low fat buttermilk
  • To save scones for later, wrap airtight and freeze.
  • To serve defrost and reheat for 5 minutes in a 350 degree F oven

    Posted by conradb212 at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)

    Roasted Tomato and Garlic Salsa

    You can practically build a party around a bowl of salsa and some chips, or you can use it in numerous ways as part of a great meal! The roasted tomato and garlic salsa here is one of my favorites!

    Serves 8
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 3 ripe tomatoes, roasted
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic (see recipe)

  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onion
1/2 Serrano pepper
  • 1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


    Preheat the broiler.

    In a medium baking dish, place tomatoes, onion and Serrano pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

    Checking often, broil 5 to 10 minutes, or until outsides of vegetables are charred.

    Remove vegetables from heat. Remove and discard tomato cores and seeds.

    Coarsely chop the charred vegetables. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.

    Terri's Tips

  • This recipe is good with yellow tomatoes too. Use both red and yellow tomatoes for a beautiful presentation.
  • Make sure the tomatoes are in season for better flavor, texture and price
  • If tomatoes are not in season, use diced canned tomatoes, drained.
  • The roasted garlic will be like a paste, to incorporate it into the salsa first mix it with the vinegar until well blended.

    Posted by conradb212 at 07:58 PM | Comments (0)

    Herbs & Spices for Health

    Herbs and spices have been used to enhance the flavor of food for years but now research studies are confirming that they offer important health benefits too. Most recently herbs and spices are being used for decreasing cancer causing compound levels in grilled meats. Light the grill and try these great herb and spice rich recipes.

    According to J. Scott Smith, a Kansas State University food chemistry professor, adding spices to meat could lead to certain health benefits. He has been conducting research on carcinogenic compounds called HCAs (heterocyclic amines) to determine ways to reduce them in meat products, especially those that are grilled. Consuming HCAs through meat increases risk factors for colorectal, stomach, lung, pancreatic, mammary and prostate cancers.

    ScienceDaily (May 2010) reports that Smith’s research found certain spices containing natural antioxidants would reduce HCA levels by 40 percent when applied to beef patties during cooking. Cooked beef tends to develop more HCAs than other kinds of cooked meats such as pork and chicken," Smith said.

    The research indicated that rosemary, turmeric and fingerroot had the highest levels of antioxidant activity toward inhibiting the formation of HCAs, with rosemary as the most effective.

    To read more about this article go to

    Rosemary is an evergreen bush in the mint family. It resembles pine needles and has a very pungent smell and flavor, like that of pine. It is one of my favorite herbs, giving wonderful flavor to stews, meats and vegetables. Learning that it has great health benefits is an added bonus.

    Rosemary goes well with other herbs especially sage; try Roasted Rosemary and Sage Chicken and Rosemary Roasted New Potatoes. The next time you are planning to grill beef burgers, try my recipe for Grilled Rosemary & Sage stuffed Burgers with Portabella Mushrooms

    The use rosemary for cooking, pull the needles backwards to release them from the stem. Finely chop the needles and use in your favorite stews and sauces. Rosemary is also delicious made into pesto. See my Five Herb Pesto Sauce. The branches can be stripped of their needles and used as skewer sticks; great for potatoes and meat. Soak the sticks prior to grilling in water for 3-4 hours.

    To start your own rosemary bush, take a cutting from a stem producing new growth and plant it in soil with good drainage and full sun. During the rooting time, keep it well watered. Read more about rosemary under the ingredients section of my website.

    Turmeric is cultivated from the root of a perennial plant in the ginger family. It has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance that will remind you of orange and ginger. It is a common ingredient in curry, but is best known for the yellow color it gives mustard. Try my Eggplant Curry recipe.

    As with all spices, turmeric powder should kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place and fresh turmeric roots should be kept in the refrigerator. Use the spice sparingly to avoid over coloring your recipe bright yellow.

    According to a research study reported in the August 2006 issue of Clinical Gasteroenterology and Hepatology, a phytonutrient found in the curry spice turmeric, and quercitin, an antioxidant in onions, reduce both the size and number of precancerous lesions in the human intestinal tract. In your grilling plans for this summer include my version of Beef Burgers with Turmeric Raisins and Onions.

    Posted by terri at 03:01 AM | Comments (0)

    June 07, 2010

    Five Herb Stuffed Meatloaf

    If you are tired of the same ole meatloaf try this one. It is very flavorful and it will wake up your tastebuds and put a smile on everyone's face.

    Serves 6
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 1:20 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs (oregano, marjoram, rosemary, sage, parsley), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons onions, finely minced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 – 7 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until simmering. Combine herbs, onions, garlic and sauté until fragrant and onions are softened. Mix ground beef with eggs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and tomato sauce. Combine vinegar, brown sugar and tomato paste and stir until well blended. Divide beef mixture in half and form both of them into an oval shape about 8 x 5x 3. Place one of the beef ovals onto a roasting pan. Spread evenly on top with herb mixture. Place remaining beef oval over the herbs, pressing down to seal the top and bottom halves, pinching around the edges. Pour tomato paste mixture on top. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center registers 155º F. Remove and allow meat loaf to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • I use half ground chuck and half ground round for best flavor and texture
  • Cooking on a roasting pan allows fat to drip away resulting in a firmer texture
  • Make this your own recipe by changing the stuffing. Suggestions:
  • Use basil, oregano, chopped sundried tomatoes, garlic and onions.
  • Use any cilantro, onions, jalapeno pepper and top with salsa in place of tomato paste
  • Use 1 package onion soup mix and sautéed mushrooms with basil and garlic

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Use ground turkey to cut calories and cholesterol; add ½ cup white wine to the meat because turkey has less fat so it tends to be very dry
  • Use low fat sour cream to replace the eggs
  • Use the leftovers for sandwiches!

    Posted by terri at 04:05 AM | Comments (0)

    Roasted Garden Vegetables

    It is always best to use fresh vegetables in season. Growing a little garden is a sure way to have the best produce available. This dish is packed with flavor, low in calories and fat.

    Serves 6
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 medium yellow squash, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram and thyme and/or parsley finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper (freshly ground), to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


    Combine all ingredients and toss with oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Add herbs and toss to coat well. Roast in preheated 375º F oven until vegetables are tender and slightly brown, about 20-25 minutes

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Add the salt right before cooking to avoid pulling the moisture out of the vegetables
  • Or these vegetables can be grilled too; prepare the grill with medium heat and grill in grilling basket until tender

    Make it your own:

  • Add 2 medium red potatoes, diced
  • Add green, red and/or yellow peppers- even mushrooms
  • You can substitute or add broccoli and cauliflower too!
  • Fresh in season tomatoes can also be added, diced

    Posted by terri at 03:54 AM | Comments (0)

    Potato Casserole with Smoked Gouda and Thyme

    This potato casserole is without a doubt the best I've ever eaten. It is rich and creamy without all the calories using chicken broth thickened with a beurre manie. The smoked gouda adds great smoked flavor without using bacon!

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 30 minutes
    Total time: 1:30 minutes


  • 8 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 pounds russet potato, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • salt and pepper, to taste


    Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add garlic, cook one minute. Whisk in flour and cook until golden and bubbly, about 30 seconds. Whisking constantly, gradually add chicken stock. Increase heat to high and add bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens about 2 minutes. Off heat, remove and discard bay leaf. Cover and keep sauce warm. Alternating Yukon and russet arrange a third of potatoes in overlapping rows. Sprinkle potato layer evenly with thyme, salt and pepper and a third of cheese mixture. Repeat with second and third layer. However do not add last layer of cheese until the end of cooking. Pour warm sauce over potatoes, tilting pan side to side to distribute evenly. Cover and bake 45 minutes. Remove cover and continue to bake until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes longer. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake about 5 more minutes until cheese is golden brown. Cool about 10 minutes and serve.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Make this recipe your own by changing to your favorite cheese like smoked cheddar, Swiss or pepper jack
  • Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf before serving

    Posted by terri at 03:42 AM | Comments (0)

    Béarnaise Sauce

    One of the most basic and important French sauces includes béchamel (white) sauce. Once you master this sauce you can create wonderful sauces for fish, beef, vegetables, soups and even pasta.

    Makes 2 cups
    Prep time: 5 minutes
    Total time: 30 minutes


  • 1/3 cup fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 3 eggs, separated and beaten
  • 1 stick butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


    In a small saucepan melt 2 tablespoons butter and sauté shallots, add vinegar and cook until reduced by half. Add tarragon, white wine and butter. Reduce heat to low and gradually incorporate eggs into liquid, tempering as you go, being careful not to overheat which will cause the egg to overcook. Once the sauce has thickened, add salt and pepper.

    Terri's Tips:

  • See Back to the Basics tips for making great sauces

    Posted by terri at 03:32 AM | Comments (0)

    Basil Pesto

    Basil, called the royal herb by ancient Greeks and a token of love by the Italians is the main ingredient in pesto. It provides a peppery flavor with a little spice with hints of clove and licorice

    Makes enough for 4 servings of pasta
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 20 minutes


  • 2 bunches basil
  • 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cup extra virgin olive oil (add more as necessary)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


    Immerse the basil leaves in boiling water for about 30 seconds to prevent the leaves from turning dark. Drain well and squeeze all liquid out. Separate the leaves and place into a food processor. Add the nuts and garlic and process the mixture until minced. Add the cheese. Add the oil a little at a time, still continuing to blend until it thickens. Add a little more oil at the end. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Terri's Tips:

  • This pesto is great served with pasta but it has so many more uses; add to soups, stews, and sauces or baste pork tenderloin or chicken for roasting
  • When serving with pasta, cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain pasta and immediately stir in the pesto and serve.
  • Add one cup of oregano to increase volume and build the flavor profile

    Cooking wiser:

  • Substitute almonds for the pine nuts to save money
  • Can keep refrigerated for several days in a glass container with secure lid. Pour a thin layer of oil on top to help keep the bright green color.

    Posted by terri at 03:15 AM | Comments (0)

    Vegetable Couscous Paella

    This wonderful dish can be served as a complete meal. The chick peas (also know as Garbanzo beans)have a delicious nutlike taste and buttery texture. They provide a good source of protein that can be enjoyed year-round. The flavor from the saffron adds a bit of a honey taste and fortunately you only have to use a little; it is the most expensive spice in the world.

    Servings: 6
    Preparation time: 20 minutes
    Total time: 40 minutes


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 large plum tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 6 medium artichoke heart, canned
  • 1 medium red pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium lemon wedge
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped


    Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and chopped bell peppers, saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and paprika and saute l minute. Stir in broth and next 6 ingredients. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low.

    Cover and cook 5 minutes to blend flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Mix couscous into vegetable mixture. Cover and simmer 1 minute. Remove pot from heat. Let stand covered 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with fork. Let paella stand covered 5 minutes longer, fluff with fork again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl.

    Terri's Tips

  • Arrange artichoke hearts, red bell pepper rings and lemon wedges atop paella. Sprinkle parsley over and serve.
  • Add the cayenne to the onions and saute to intensify the flavor
  • Use fresh vegetables for best results. Check my list of ingredients for more information about vegetables

    Posted by terri at 01:52 AM | Comments (0)

    June 06, 2010

    Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding

    My friend Nancy shared this recipe with me many years ago and it is one of my favorites. It is a wonderful side dish for the Holidays that utilizes any combination of mushrooms. One mushroom that enhances the flavor is the shiitake but the baby Portobellos (cremini) are also a good choice.

    I usually serve it only on special occasions because it is high in calories with lots of cream, eggs and butter. You can alter it to a healthier version but in this case I would recommend you just have a small piece and Enjoy!

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 25 minutes
    Total time: 1:25


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces each button and Portobello mushrooms (cremini)
  • 6 ounces shiitake, oyster, or chantrelle (any combination) if available
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon each fresh basil, parsley, sage and thyme, chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups French bread cut into cubes

    Preheat oven to 350º F.
    Lightly butter 8 inch square baking dish. Heat butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat and add the mushrooms, continue cooking until mushrooms release liquid then reabsorbs. Then add garlic, basil, parsley, sage and thyme. Sauté 1 minute more. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Whisk eggs, cream, milk, and ¼ cup cheese in a large bowl to blend. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes. Stir in mushroom mixture. Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until pudding is brown and puffed and set in the center.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • This recipe can be made ahead and frozen by wrapping tightly with aluminum foil. Remove from freezer, place on a baking sheet and heat in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. It will not dry out if you slightly undercook the casserole before freezing
  • I use Shitake, cremino, oyster and button mushrooms because together they have a great combination of flavor
  • When sauteing the mushrooms don't use high heat, it will make the mushrooms tough and prevent the flavors from developing

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Replace whipping cream with milk and add 2 tablespoons flour
  • Use egg beaters
  • Replace butter with canola oil

    Posted by terri at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Beer Batter

    A batter is usually made with flour, eggs, and milk but this recipe uses beer. A beer batter is very popular for fish especially cod, haddock, perch or any fresh water fish. The food is dipped into the batter then immediately placed into the hot oil. When deep frying any food, a crisp crust with a moist inside is the goal. The cooking process is usually short so the food you select should be tender.

    Makes enough batter for two pounds (fish)
    Prep time: 3 minutes
    Total time: 20 minutes including frying the (fish)


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 egg, beaten


    Mix all ingredients. Dry food. Dip in batter. Fry food in hot oil.

    Terri's Tips

  • Batter is great for deep frying anything, especially fish and shrimp; fish that are especially good: cod, haddock or perch
  • Add dried herbs or spices to batter like paprika, chili pepper, cilantro, tarragon or dill.
  • Batter can be refrigerated for up to one week, occasionally stir
  • I use a light beer but you can increase the richness with a darker beer
  • Also good for vegetables like squash, eggplant and okra
  • The oil for frying should cover the food
  • The temperature for deep frying should be about 375 degrees F
  • See other tips for frying

    Posted by terri at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Granny Mae's Fried Chicken

    One of the techniques I learned very early from my granny Mae (my dad’s mother) was how to fry chicken. Her Fried Chicken recipe was a pinch of this and a dab of that. The skill really came from just watching her cook. I went through the steps and came up with these measurements. Its close but no one will ever be able to fry chicken like granny Mae!

    Serves 4
    Prep time: 5 minutes
    Total time:


    • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into eight pieces
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup cracker crumbs
    • 1 egg, cracked and beat into ½ cup milk
    • salt and black pepper to taste
    • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying


  • Mix the flour and crumbs together, add a little salt and pepper.
  • Place flour into a brown paper bag
  • Dip the chicken into the egg mixture. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Granny always used more pepper than salt
  • Add the chicken to the bag and gently shake to coat
  • Add 1/2 to 3/4 inch oil to a large, heavy skillet. Heat to approximately 365 degrees F
  • Place chicken pieces in hot oil and allow to brown on one side.
  • Turn the chicken over, turn down the heat to medium approximately 350 degrees F and cover with a lid.
  • Fry until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Drain on paper towels.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Use a fryer or broiler chicken, they are the youngest and most tender
  • Breast and thighs will take longer to cook than wings and legs so cook them together in batches
  • Don’t crowd the chicken pieces and don’t touch until they are well browned on the bottom side. Then turn them over only once. This helps chicken to cook inside before burning on the outside.
  • Remove lid and continue to cook until juices run clear about five more minutes”
  • Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees
  • Granny didn’t use paper towels, she used dish towels

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Buying a whole fryer will save money. It will take a little more time to cut it up so you decide which is most important to you, time or money
  • To cut down on calories, remove the skin

    Posted by terri at 08:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Recipe: Pan Seared Sea Bass with Lime Pepper

    Developing the flavor, color and aroma doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take practice. A wonderful dish can be as simple as sautéing food with a few spices and herbs. Get started with my Pan Seared Sea Bass with Lime Pepper. This recipe will save time and money and you'll be asking how so few ingredients could taste so wonderful.

    Serves 4
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Total time: 20 minutes


  • 4 – 6 ounce sea bass filets
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons lime pepper seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 4 lime wedges


    Sprinkle each side of the fish filet with salt and lime pepper seasoning. Melt butter in skillet over high heat. When butter begins to sizzle add each filet and allow time for a good sear. Turn filets and cook additional 2-3 minutes depending on the thickness of each filet. Be careful not to overcook. Serve with cilantro and a lime wedge.

    Terri’s Tips:
    • Serve with my fresh vegetable couscous
    • This simple way to prepare fish is good for any fresh fish,
    tilapia, grouper, even tuna
    • Pat the fish dry, this will help with producing a good sear

    Cooking Wiser:
    • Replace butter with canola oil

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

    Roasted Rosemary & Sage Chicken

    This juicy, delicious recipe explodes with flavor, requires little time, is easy to clean up, and provides a very nutritous meal. Chicken is an excellent source of protein and iron and is low in fat. Please use fresh herbs for the best results.

    Serves 4-6
    Prep time: 20 minutes
    Total time: 1:10


  • 3 1/2 pounds whole chicken

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


    Remove the chicken neck, giblets, and any fat from the cavity, rinse and pat chicken dry.

    Prepare chicken for roasting- see tips below.

    Combine the olive oil, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper.

    Rub front and back of the chicken with the mixture.

    Transfer chicken to a roasting pan.

    Adjust oven rack to low position and heat oven to 425 degrees F.

    Roast the chicken until chicken juices run clear and the thermometer reads 175 degrees F.

    Remove chicken from oven and allow to rest until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F.

    Terri’s Tips:
    • For additional flavor, lift skin from breast and legs,
    detaching membrane and stuff under the skin with 1 tablespoon additional herb mixture made above.

    • Combine oil, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper into a paste and
    keep refrigerated up to 2 weeks or freeze in ice cube trays.
    They are ready to go when you are. Easy to use for stews,
    sauces and stuffing chicken.

    • To prepare a chicken for even cooking (all parts of the
    chicken will be done at the same time), put the chicken,
    breast side down, on a work surface and use a pair of poultry
    shears to split the bird lengthwise along the backbone. Turn
    chicken breast side up, open it flat, and press down on the
    breastbone with the heel of your hand to flatten it
    completely. With a small, sharp knife, make a 1/2 inch long
    slit in the apron of skin on each side of the breastbone tip.
    Tuck the end of each drumstick through one of the slits

    • Serve with Roasted New Potatoes and sesame green beans

    • Use leftover chicken for my chicken salad, chicken casserole, chicken pot pies or chicken and rice soup

    Posted by terri at 03:46 AM | Comments (0)

    Grilled Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms with Tomato Basil Relish

    The meaty dense texture of Portobella mushrooms make them a wonderful substitution for steak. When grilled, they have a rich flavor that can be enhanced with marinades. They are actually a mature form of the crimino mushroom and because of their size can become a complete meal when stuffed. Mushrooms have little or no calories, fat or cholesterol.

    Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Tomato Relish

    Serves 4
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 25 minutes + 1 hour to marinade


  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Kosher salt


  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons each chopped fresh oregano and thyme

    Mix all ingredients together and stir to combine

    Tomato Relish

  • 1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • Kosher salt and fresh grated black pepper

    Mix all ingredients together and stir to combine. Can be made a day in advance



    Prepare a grill with medium hot coals

    Clean mushrooms and remove stems and gills.

    Place mushrooms on a plate.

    In a small bowl, combine the oil, onion, garlic, pepper and vinegar. Pour mixture evenly over the mushroom caps and let stand for 1 hour.

    Lightly salt the inside of the mushroom.

    Stuff mushrooms with bread crumb mixture.

    Grill over grill for 10 minutes with lid closed. Move mushrooms to side, close lid to continue heat through for about 10 additional minutes.

    Top with more Parmesan cheese.

    Serve immediately with tomato relish.

    Terri’s Tips:
    • Change the flavor of the mushrooms by changing the herbs;
    use rosemary or tarragon
    • Make homemade breadcrumbs from left over bread or buns
    • Add cooked, chopped bacon to the relish
    • Make appetizer size portions with smaller mushrooms
    • Don’t wash the mushrooms, they are like sponges and will
    soak up the water making them soggy and tasteless. Wipe them
    off with a damp paper towel
    • Salt the mushrooms prior to cooking, never add salt to the
    marinade. It will pull the moisture out of the mushroom
    ruining the texture.

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Substitute chicken broth for the butter in the stuffing
  • Use low fat cheese

    Posted by terri at 02:28 AM | Comments (0)