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July 11, 2012

Herbes De Provence

This mixture of herbs, used in southern France to flavor meats, poultry, fish and stews usually contains basil, fennel, rosemary, sage, thyme and sometimes lavender flowers. Other herbs can be used such as oregano and savory. If you make your own you can use any combination that you prefer. I have provided one of my recipes that can be used as a guide.

Makes 1/2 cup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano


    Mix all ingredients together. Store in air tight container for up to 6 months in dark, dry and cool place or freeze up to 8-10 months.

    Posted by terri at 09:07 PM | Comments (0)

    July 06, 2012

    Snack Edamame

    Edamame is an immature soy bean in the pod. It is highly nutritious, a good source of protein, calcium, iron and folate. Keep a bag in freezer to have on hand for a great snack or appetizer when you're in a hurry.


  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 large strips lemon zest, cut into thin slivers
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen edamame in the pod
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

    Instructions: In a medium saucepan, combine 6 cups of water, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook the seasonings partially covered for 3 minutes to blend the flavors.

    Add the frozen edamame. Return the water to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes.

    Drain well and transfer the edamame to a serving bowl. Toss the edamame with the lemon juice and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Serve warm.

    Cooking Wiser:

    Season with dried herbs and decrease salt. Herbs that go well with lemon juice include basil, cilantro, dill and thyme, try a combination of herbs

    Make it your own
    Serve with dipping sauces such as soy sauce, hot sauce or salad
    dressing (Ranch or French, add a little chili powder to spice it up a bit

    Posted by terri at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

    July 03, 2012

    Firey Red Tomato Cocktail

    It sounds like a Bloody Mary and basically it is. But look what you can do with the left over pitcher of juice.

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


  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeledtomatoes, with juices
  • 4-6 ounces Vodka
  • 1/3 cup freshlemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • good pinch of cayenne pepper, depending on how hot you like it
  • ice cubes

    To garnish:

  • 4 celery stalks, with leaves
  • 4 lime wedges


    In a blender, puree tomatoes and their juices until smooth. Strain puree into a large pitcher, pushing liquid through the strainer with a rubber spatula; discard seeds. Add vodka, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot-pepper sauce, and peppers to the pitcher; stir to combine.

    To serve: fill chilled highball glasses with ice, pour in tomato cocktail and garnish with celery stalk and lemon wedge

    Cooking Wiser:

    Use fresh tomatoes when in season for the richest flavor
    Save time by using your favorite store brand of tomato juice
    Don't let the left-overs go to waste. Add 1/4 cup half and half cream to each cup of juice for a delicious pasta sauce. Heat the ready made cocktail juice in a medium saucepan, add cream bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Top with 1/4 teaspoon fresh chopped tarragon. Serve with your favorite pasta and grilled chicken.

    For a lighter version with less fat use 1 part milk and 1 part cream

    You can always make any drink a non-alcoholic drink. For this recipe just omit the alcohol and replace with water or more ice.

    Posted by terri at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)

    Red Wine Cake

    "What?!! You put wine in a cake?" That's what everyone asks and the answer is always the same, "yes, and it is delicious"

    Prep time: 25 minutes
    Total time: 1:45


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups dry red wine
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • Whipped cream for serving


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a Bundt pan. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter with the granulated sugar at medium high speed until fluffy, 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. Working in 2 batches, alternately fold in the dry ingredients and the wine, until just incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn it out onto a rack; let cool completely before slicing. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with whipped cream.

    Cooking Wiser:
    Baking tips and cooking with egg tips

    Posted by terri at 04:34 AM | Comments (0)

    July 02, 2012

    Zucchini and Dill Slaw

    Zucchini, a popular summer squash replaces the traditional cabbage for this slaw. It's a very cool and refreshing side dish that goes really well with grilled or fried fish. Try it with Fish Tacos.

    Serves 4
    Prep time: 8 minutes
    Total time: 23 minutes


  • 3 medium zucchini, peeled, seeded and coarsely shredded
  • 3 tablespoons dill infused vinegar
  • ¼ cup Canola mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


    To make dill infused vinegar: Place 1 cup white wine vinegar in a small saucepan with 2 springs of dill. Simmer for 10 minutes, cool and pour vinegar into a sterile, clean bottle with lid. Will keep on shelf or refrigerate for several months.

    To make slaw: Combine all ingredients together and mix well. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow zucchini to absorb the flavors. Serve right away as a side dish or use as the topping for fish tacos.

    To make in advance see the note below.

    Cooking Wiser:

    Zucchini has a high content of water that extracts after adding salt. To avoid a soupy slaw, salt the zucchini and allow it to sit for an hour to draw out the moisture. Pour the liquid off and continue the recipe omitting salt.

    Posted by terri at 03:17 AM | Comments (0)

    Red Velvet Cake

    I think the best part of the cake is the cream cheese frosting; makes up for the most difficult part- getting the cake the right color of red. Use more food coloring as needed and try a paste for best results.

    Serves 10-12


  • Vegetable oil for the pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Crushed pecans, for garnish
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon brandy


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 3 (9 by 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.

    Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
    Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.

    Frosting: In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, and sugar on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.)
    Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla and brandy; raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally).

    Frost the cake: Place 1 layer, rounded-side down, in the middle of a cake stand. Spread some of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. (Spread enough frosting to make a 1/4 to 1/2-inch layer.) Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Top with the remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Top with pecans if using.

    Cooking Wiser
    See baking tips and egg tips
    The frosting can be made 3 days in advance but bring it to room temperature to frost cake, making it easier to frost.
    To save time and money use a white cake mix, prepare according to directions but substitute the water for buttermilk and add red food coloring

    Posted by terri at 02:46 AM | Comments (0)

    July 01, 2012

    Herbed stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Pinot Noir Sauce

    The sauce is rich, the herbs are flavorful and the meat melts in your mouth. What more could you ask for. Oh I know a light but earthy Pinot Noir.

    Serves 8

    Prep time: 30 minutes
    Total time: 1:30 hour



  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 3 cups Pinot Noir wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon flour

    Pork tenderloin:

  • 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh sage, finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 (2-3 pounds) pork tenderloins

    For the Sauce: Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium high heat. Add onions, carrot, garlic and herbes to pot. Sauté until vegetables are deep brown, about 8 minutes. Add wine and broth to pot. Bring to simmer and cook until reduced by half. Strain into bowl to remove vegetables and return stock to pot. Mix butter and flour to smooth paste. Whisk into stock. Simmer sauce until slightly thickened and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

    For the tenderloin: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir fresh herbs, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend. Add oil and mix until herbs are sticking together. Slice pork lengthwise but not through. Open up and flatten out sides. Place herb mixture onto pork and roll jelly roll style. Tie with string or secure with toothpicks. Place tenderloin on baking sheet and roast until thermometer inserted into center registers 150. Let pork rest 15 minutes, temperature will continue to increase temperature guide. Slice tenderloin. Drizzle sauce on plate and arrange 2-3 slices on top.

    Cooking Wiser:
    Save time by mixing herbs up in advance. They will keep 2 days refrigerated or several months in freezer.
    Prepare meat in advance up to adding herbs the day before. Remove from refrigerator, add herbs and continue with directions.

    Make it your own
    Try this recipe with chicken breasts. Pound breast flat, place herbs on top, roll up and secure with toothpicks. Cook until juices run clear. See temperature guide for chicken

    Posted by terri at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)