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December 27, 2010

Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Stack

This recipe was wonderful and so colorful. I used it for one of the recipes I taught in class this summer.
From Cooking Light, 2010

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 14 minutes



  • 1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons low fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash of red pepper


  • 4 medium tomatoes (strip, golden, yellow, red, and or purple)
  • 1 small purple onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste


    To prepare the dressing, combine the first 9 ingredients in a small food processor and process until pureed. Cover and chill.
    For the salad, slice each tomato into equal slices about ½ inch thick. Place one tomato slice on each of 4 salad plates and sprinkle with salt. Top with a few onion pieces and some avocado. Repeat 2 or 3 more times ending with avocado. Drizzle the dressing over each serving and sprinkle with black pepper.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Replace the dressing with a vinaigrette: 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon mustard, 1 garlic clove minced and salt and pepper to taste. Combine all ingredients in a container with lid and shake well until combined.
  • This salad should be made when tomatoes are in season, usually late May through September depending on your growing season
  • Another option for serving, layer tomatoes, add avocado and purple onion on the side

    Posted by terri at 04:28 AM | Comments (0)

    Valencia Orange and Ginger Carrot Soup

    The flavor combinations in this soup will surprise you it is so yummy and the colors are exciting together.

    Serves 6-8
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 30 minutes


  • 7 large Valencia oranges
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, freshly ground
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped


    Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the ginger, coriander, carrots, and scallions and saute over low heat until the scallions are soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups of the chicken stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer, covered, until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender and press through a food mill. Return puree to the saucepan and add the remaining chicken stock and cook an additional 10 minutes until soup is thoroughly heated.
    Thinly slice one of the oranges for garnish. Squeeze 3 cups juice from the remaining oranges and add to the saucepan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill if serving soup cold. Float an orange slice on each serving and sprinkle with parsley.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • To enhance the flavor of the coriander, sauté it with the vegetables.

    Posted by terri at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

    Apple Streusel Pie

    My mom gave me this recipe while I was in highschool over 30 years ago. She wrote a note on the card stating that she won first place with the pie in a contest she entered. So it must be fantastic. You can easily make mini pies with this recipe, they make a great presentation. Top with whipped cream using a pastry bag with a star tip.

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time:


  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup butter

    Mix ingredients until they crumble. Sprinkle mixture with 4 tablespoons water and ¼ tablespoon almond extract. Roll out to fit a 9-10 inch pie pan. Bake 15 minutes at 450 degrees F.


  • 5 large apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup butter

    Combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat until apples are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Pour apples into baked pie shell


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

    Mix brown sugar and flour together in a bowl. Combine coconut, chopped pecans, and melted butter and add to dry mixture. Add the topping to the pie and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.

    Terri’s Tips

  • Use Granny Smith apples for the tart flavor and firm texture
  • Use a good quality cinnamon available from specialty stores
  • To make mini apple pies, cut circles from the pie crust large enough to line the bottom and up the sides of 4 spaces in a muffin tin and add ½ cup of the filling to each muffin space. Top with streusel and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Do not overcook apples when making the filling, it will break down the cornstarch and the pie will not set up properly
  • Serve with whipped cream mixed with ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and ½ teaspoon cinnamon

    Posted by terri at 03:44 AM | Comments (0)

    Chunky Potato and Bacon Soup

    Potato soup is a comfort food favorite especially on a chilly night.
    You can select your favorite toppings. I like bacon, chives and cheese.
    This soup has an extra splash of favor.

    Serves 6
    Prep time: 12 minutes
    Total time: 45 minutes


  • 4 cups chicken stock or canned broth
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste


    In a large saucepan, boil potatoes in stock until potatoes are almost tender but still have some texture. Remove from heat.

    In a skillet sauté bacon until crisp, remove and drain on paper towel.

    Add butter to 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings and sauté onion and garlic until onion is tender. Stir in flour. Add onion mixture and 1/2 of bacon to potato mixture. Add half and half and sherry and simmer until soup is slightly thickened; season with salt and pepper.

    Serve with Cheddar cheese biscuits

    Terri's Tips:

  • Use Yukon gold, red or russet potatoes for best results. These potatoes will maintain their shape and texture
  • Garnish with finely minced herbs such as parsley or chives and/or freshly grated nutmeg

    Cooking Wiser:

  • replace the half and half with chicken broth thickened with a beurre manie (a paste made of softened butter and flour in equal parts. Use 2 tablespoons for this recipes.
  • For a vegetarian dish omit bacon and use 1 tablespoon olive oil with the butter to saute the onion

    Posted by terri at 02:44 AM | Comments (0)

    December 22, 2010

    Eating Healthier this Winter

    The holidays are particularly challenging as far as healthy dieting goes. There are so many social events, office parties, and family dinners to attend that we tend to go into overload. But there are several suggestions and tips that can help us keep a check on our love handles. Begin with seasonal fruits and vegetables. South Beach diet provides several cost effective suggestions for reaping the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter.

    Citrus fruits, like oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines, are at their peak during the winter months, as are winter squashes and dark leafy greens, such as collards, kale, and brussels sprouts.

    Get to know your local farmers markets and grocery stores. Take a good look around your local farmers markets if they are still open, small local grocers, and supermarkets for good deals on produce. Your supermarket will likely run weekly promotions on selected produce. Check the weekly circular for coupons or bargains before heading to the store.

    Shop the frozen-food aisle. Believe it or not, some nutrients are better retained in frozen produce than fresh. The frozen-food aisle is also an especially great place to find berries, peas, and other off-season fruits and veggies. Plus, frozen produce is a real time-saver because it requires less preparation. By stocking your freezer, you’ll always have fruits and vegetables on hand — no matter what season it is.

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

    December 15, 2010

    Cinnamon Apples

    Even though apples are a favorite with pork chops, this simple side can also be enjoyed with toast for breakfast or try it as a dessert.

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


  • 4 apples, peeled and sliced; golden delicious, gala or granny smith
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice (you could use water but apple juice provides more flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon butter


    Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss apples with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add apples to the skillet. Add apple juice. Cover and cook until apples are tender. Serve with toast, atop cake, or as a side with pork chops.

    Posted by terri at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

    December 13, 2010

    Hot Spicy Fruit

    This recipe is so versatile- serve hot as a side dish, cold as a snack, over roasted pork or on top of your favorite pound or angel food cake

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


  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 large can (28 to 29 ounces) peach slices, drained (28 to 29 ounces)
  • 1 can pineapple tidbits with natural juices, undrained (8 to 16 ounces)
  • 1 large can (28 to 29 ounces) pear slices, drained (28 to 29 ounces)
  • 1 package dried apricots
  • 1 small package pitted prunes
  • 2/3 cup brandy
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground anise
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


    Mix together in a large bowl all ingredients and pour into a large baking dish (9 x 13 casserole dish). Bake 45 minutes at 350.

    Terri's Tips:

  • This recipe can be prepared in advanced and refrigerated. You can then serve it hot or cold. To re-heat, place in 325 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

    Posted by terri at 02:36 AM | Comments (0)

    December 12, 2010

    Christmas Fruit Pizza

    I posted a recipe several months ago for Fruit Pizza. For a wonderful Christmas version make a few simple changes and you will have another delicious dessert. You can still pair this pizza with an Icewine from Germany.

    Serves 12
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 55 minutes


  • Cookie dough for crust (Terri’s Tips, see below)
  • 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 each Red and green apple, washed, core and sliced into rings
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


    Roll cookie out onto a pizza stone and bake according to recipe. Remove from oven and cool completely. In a medium bowl, whip cream cheese until creamy, add sour cream, sugar and vanilla and continue to mix until blended. Using a spatula, spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cookie. Top pizza with fruit and chill for 30 minutes up to 4 hours. Bring out of refrigerator 20 minutes before serving and top with heated caramel and walnuts.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Use Cooking Light’s Vanilla Bean Shortbread recipe for the cookie dough. It is the best shortbread recipe I have ever had and it has less fat than most other recipes
  • Dip apples in carbonated colorless drink such as sprite or use lemon juice to prevent apples from turning brown. Keep in mind that lemon juice will change the taste of the apples.
  • Slice the cookie into desired portions after you ice it with the cream cheese, making it much easier to manage, then top it with the fruit
  • Replace sour cream with ½ cup peanut butter
  • Change fruit according to what is in season. Other great fruits include pineapple, bananas, raspberries, plums, and even grapes
    Other fruit pizza ideas:

    Posted by terri at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)