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May 22, 2011

Strawberries and Cream Cheese on Puff Pastries

Try these three strawberry recipes for a little different take on using fresh strawberries this season. Now is the time to pick fresh strawberries from the patch or pick them up at the supermarket; they’re in season and deliciously sweet.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, cut into 8 equal pieces, baked according to package directions
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
    2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups strawberries, remove caps and thinly slice

    Instructions:

    Combine sugar and strawberries and set aside for one hour. Combine cream cheese, vanilla and confectioner’s sugar. Spread cheese mixture equally on top of each puff pastry. Top with strawberries and serve right away.

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

    Strawberry Parfaits with Fresh Cream

    Another great Strawberry recipe for Strawberry Season! Now is the time to pick fresh strawberries from the patch or pick them up at the supermarket; they’re in season and deliciously sweet.

    Serves 4

    Ingredients:

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 2 cups strawberry sorbet
  • 4 whole strawberries for garnish

    Instructions:

    Combine brown sugar and vinegar in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add the strawberries, stir to coat. Cover and chill 4 hours.
    To assemble parfaits, spoon ½ cup sorbet into each champagne flute, top with 4 tablespoons strawberries, top with cream. Garnish with whole strawberry and mint.

    Posted by terri at 03:28 AM | Comments (0)

    Strawberry Mint Sauce

    It’s Strawberry Season! Now is the time to pick fresh strawberries from the patch or pick them up at the supermarket; they’re in season and deliciously sweet.


    Makes about 2 cups

    Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    Instructions:

    Combine strawberries, honey and mint into a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat. Cook until honey dissolves. Remove from heat. Place strawberries in a blender and process until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, discard solids. Stir in lemon juice.
    Serve over ice cream, pound cake or biscuits.

    Posted by terri at 03:26 AM | Comments (0)

    May 08, 2011

    Jalapenos with Goat Cheese and Bacon

    Some like it hotter than others and depending on the heat of your Jalapeno, these can set you on fire or put your fire out. The heat comes mainly from the seeds and inside membrane. Remove those and you will decrease the heat. Just like wine, the weather plays an important role on the flavor of the pepper. The more rain, the less flavor.

    Makes 16 bites
    Prep time: 8 minutes
    Total time: 23 minutes

    Ingredients:

  • 8 fresh jalapenos, cut in half lengthwise, remove seeds
  • 4 ounces goat cheeses, softened
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 slices hickory smoked bacon, cut in half and partially cooked

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together cream cheese and goat cheese. Stuff each jalapeno with equal portions of the cream cheese. Wrap bacon around each stuffed jalapeno. Place on a baking sheet with the cheese side up. Bake until bacon is done and cheese has slightly melted.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Wear gloves when seeding the jalapenos and don’t touch your eyes.
  • Bring cheeses to room temperature about 1 hour prior to mixing
  • Can secure bacon in place with a toothpick or place the seam of the wrap on the bottom of the pepper or place a slice of bacon on top of each jalapeno slice
  • Partially cook the bacon in the microwave about 2-3 minutes depending on your microwave

    Cooking Wiser:

  • use low fat cream cheese
  • save time by mixing and stuffing the day before

    Make It Your Own
    Try a different cheese by adding 4 ounces smoked cheddar, Gouda, or Monterey Jack, et. to the cream cheese (omit the goat cheese)

    Posted by terri at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)

    Traditional Pumpkin Pie

    Everyone makes this pie during the holidays but you can enjoy it anytime since canned pumpkin is so readily available.

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 8 minutes
    Total time: 48 minutes

    Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 9 inch unbaked pie shell

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake for 40 minutes or until set.

    Serve with whipped cream

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Beating the eggs prior to adding will give the pie a lighter texture
  • Use a good quality cinnamon, one from your local co-op

    Cooking Wiser

  • Use whole milk to replace the heavy cream. The texture will not be as rich but it will be good
  • Use low fat prepared whipped topping

    Posted by terri at 04:26 AM | Comments (0)

    Roasted Root Vegetables

    Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sugars. Try roasting them on a grill prepared with medium hot coals to add a little smokey flavor. Use a vegetable grill pan.

    Serves 4-6
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 50 minutes

    Ingredients:

  • ½ butternut squash, peeled, cut into to ½ inch thick strips
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 parsnips, scrubbed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 turnip, cut in half and then into 3/4 inch slices
  • 2 red onions, quartered through the root
  • 3 medium red potatoes, scrubbed, quartered
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut lengthwise into 4 pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme and rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

    Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Place all vegetables on a baking sheet. Combine oil, garlic and herbs and pour over vegetables, toss to coat. Allow to set about 1 hour. Roast in oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Place squash in a baking dish and cook about 15 minutes in the microwave. This will soften skin making it easier to peel.

    Posted by terri at 03:51 AM | Comments (0)

    May 07, 2011

    Stuffed Peppers

    Use an assortment of peppers, green, yellow and red bell peppers or poblano for a color and flavor rich dish.

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 1 hour


    Ingredients:

  • 4 peppers, any kind or color (bell, banana, pablano), tops removed, sliced in half and seeded
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 cups rice, cooked
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon barbeque sauce
  • ½ tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet add cooking oil and heat, add onions and herbs. Sauté until translucent. Add ground beef and cook until lightly browned. Remove from heat and add rice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, barbeque sauce and salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Use ground beef mixture to stuff peppers. Place in oven and cook until peppers are slightly tender.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • If using bell peppers, remove tops, seed and stuff upright for a different presentation
  • When in season use fresh diced tomatoes

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Save time by making the stuffing ahead
  • Use ground turkey

    Make it Your Own

  • After stuffing, top with your favorite cheese, cheddar, hot pepper jack
  • Make a vegetarian version by omitting the beef and adding sautéed chopped mushrooms and chick peas or other bean, I like black beans and corn; try adding cilantro to replace other herbs
  • Go Italian with basil, Italian sausage and Mozzarella

    Posted by terri at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

    Mediterranean Endive Salad

    A new way to present a salad, or just put out the ingredients and let your guests top their own endive leaves. If you can't find endive any type of lettuce will do. In the picture I used Boston Bibb.

    Serves 4
    Prep time: 6 minutes
    Total time: 6 minutes

    Ingredients:

  • 8 large endive lettuce leaves
  • 1 tablespoon green olives, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons black olives, sliced
  • 4 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
    the dressing
  • 6 ounces Feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ½ heavy cream

    Instructions:

    For the dressing: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top each lettuce leaf with equal parts of the olives, tomatoes, and artichokes. Add the dressing and serve.
    Make it Your Own:

  • Add salami or other Italian meat, diced small to create a clever way to serve an antipasta dish
    Use any salad ingredients, just be sure the pieces are small so they will fit into the lettuce leaf.
    Examples:
  • Black beans, corn and diced tomatoes, topped with shredded cheddar cheese, drizzle with ranch dressing, sprinkle top with chili powder
  • Diced grilled chicken (a great way to use left overs), diced celery, sliced green onions, chopped grapes, and cilantro, drizzle with olive oil and lime juice, salt and pepper to taste
  • I made this salad in class and I couldn't find endive leaves anywhere so I used Napa cabbage and it was a hit!

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

    Texas Caviar (Black-Eyed Peas)

    If you have ever turned your nose up to black-eyed peas try this recipe for a surprising result. Mom always served black-eyed on New Year's Day. She said for every one we ate we would have a day of good luck. I remember eating 365 but I didn't like it at all. If only I had this recipe I would have eaten two for every day of the year and doubled my luck.

    Serves 10
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 1 hour to marinate

    Ingredients:

    2 cans black-eyed peas, drained
    1 can diced tomatoes, drained
    1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    1/2 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
    2 medium jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and minced
    1 small onion, peeled and diced
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    6 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    pinch cayenne pepper

    Instructions:

    Combine all ingredients in a medium serving bowl, cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Before serving, adjust seasonings to taste, adding extra vinegar, salt and pepper.

    Posted by terri at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

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