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August 31, 2015

Mom's Beef Stew

Mom always canned tomatoes in the summer and used the juice for chili, soups and sauces. I have been canning for 30 years myself and home made tomato juice makes every dish so much better. If you don't have access to home made, try Campbell's Tomato juice.

Use the Pepper encrusted beef roast from last night's dinner and save time. The meat is cooked, tender and full of great flavor.

Serves 4-6


1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 cups tomato juice
2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
1 cup carrots, sliced ¼ inch thick
3 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
2 cups cooked beef roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup frozen green peas


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Sauté the onions in the oil for 5minutes, or until onion is tender, stirring often.

Add garlic and cook additional 1 minute. Add the carrots, potatoes, broth, tomato juice, water and bay leaf.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Add tarragon, beef and peas and continue to cook 10 minutes. (Note: It may be necessary to add some water if the stew seems too thick.)

Remove bay leaf before serving.

Cooking Wiser:

Use low sodium tomato juice and beef broth to reduce salt

Add other ingredients that you like in stew like corn, okra, and/or green beans

Posted by terri at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2015

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are edible roots in the morning glory family. They are a great source of vitamins A and C with less carbohydrates than Irish (baking) potatoes.

Baking is a simple way to prepare sweet potatoes. They can also be diced and roasted with other vegetables.


4 medium sweet potatoes, washed
½ teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup low fat vanilla yogurt (optional)


Rub each potato equally with olive oil. Place in baking dish. Bake in 375 degree oven until potatoes are fork tender. Check after 40 minutes. If not tender, continue to cook another 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven, slice open length wise. Top each potato with cinnamon and portion of the yogurt. Serve hot.

Create your own:

Other topping options:
Butter, nutmeg, honey, brown sugar, salt & pepper, sour cream, dried herbs

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

August 19, 2015

Roasted Grapes with blue cheese, honey and walnuts

Prepare this with or without the pizza crust but the crust will make
it easier to eat.

Serves 8


Make your own pizza crust or buy a readymade crust
Home made pizza crust

Pizza Topping ingredients:
1 large bunch grapes, washed and separated
3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons honey
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 12 inch pizza pan. Place pizza crust on a prepared pizza pan. Build up edges slightly. Might need to bake crust about 10 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Remove from oven.

Top with grapes. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with Blue cheese and Monterey jack cheese, walnuts, and thyme. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edge of crust is browned. Cut into wedges.

Posted by terri at 01:34 AM | Comments (0)

Home Made Pizza Crust

Easy to make but plan ahead to allow time for dough to rise. A home made crust is so good but there are many commercial available crusts as well. Check with your favorite pizza place, they may sell you a pre-made crust. All you have to do is top with your favorite toppings and bake.

I get my crusts from SAM's Club

Makes a 14 inch pizza crust


1 teaspoon active dry yeast
¾ cup warm water
1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt


In a small bowl dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture and oil. Stir until combined. Turn out onto a well floured surface. Knead gently about 20 times or until a soft dough forms. Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise until double, about 60 minutes.

Roll dough out on a lightly oiled pizza pan or baking sheet. Cook 10-15 minutes in a 375 degree preheated oven.

Top with favorite ingredients and continue to cook until done about 15-20 minutes.

Posted by terri at 12:50 AM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2015

Tomato Jam

Tomato jam is a blend of tangy, spicy and sweet flavors. It is a perfect side for meat, fish or even as an appetizer served over cream cheese. My favorite way to serve it is over meatloaf with scallions and herbs.

Makes about 1 cup


1 pound Roma tomatoes (about 6-8 medium), cored and quartered
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
½ cinnamon stick (about 1½ inches)


In a food processor, pulse tomatoes, sugar, 1 teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice until fruit is finely chopped but not completely pureed and sugar is dissolved, about 6 ( 2-second) pulses.

Pour into a 12-inch nonstick skillet, add cinnamon stick and ginger. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced noticeably, about 9 minutes. Adjust heat to medium-high and simmer vigorously, stirring more often as the mixture reduces, until it is glossy and has a jammy consistency between sauce and paste, 10 to 18 minutes. Set aside off heat to cool to room temperature.

Discard cinnamon stick and stir in remaining lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired, and serve (can be refrigerated for 1-2 weeks).

Posted by terri at 06:23 PM | Comments (0)

Mini Meatloaf with Herbs and Scallions Served with a Tomato Jam

Make these mini meatloaves in a flash or for a more elegant version bake in an oval baking dish. Either way the meatloaf is so flavorful and the delicious tomato jam can be served as a side or topping.

Serve with Mac and Cheese and add fresh fruit for dessert. Try my ,fruit with mint

Wine pairing: A jammy Zinfandel from Lodi CA.

Serves 4-6


1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped

3/4 pound ground beef (80% lean)

½ pound ground pork

1 teaspoon sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup homemade breadcrumbs

1/3 cup scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 small can tomato paste

1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup apricot jam, heated until the consistency of a sauce


Preheat oven 350 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring until softened.

Combine the beef and pork in a large bowl and gently mix to combine. Add the cooled onion, paprika, salt and pepper and continue to gently blend. Add the eggs, breadcrumbs, scallions, sour cream, parsley, tomato paste, and herbs and stir until just incorporated.

Test the meat mixture for the right texture by heating the remaining oil in the skillet over medium heat. Take a spoonful of the meat mixture and form into a patty. Cook on both size until done. Cool and taste. If it is too moist or dry to hold together adjust with additional breadcrumbs or a small amount of oil, respectively.

Form the meat mixture into the muffin pan. Brush the top with the apricot jam and bake until the meat is firm and the internal temperature is 160 degrees F, about 30-45 minutes. Allow to rest about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with Tomato Jam

Posted by terri at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

UT Cooking Class, Comfort Foods

Comfort food in August?? Well it was a hit and the food was delicious. The class participants perfected my recipes and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal.

Thanks guys for your enthusiasm. It was a great class.

These are really simple and yummy recipes you could make anytime of the year.

On the menu
Mini Meatloaf with Herbs and Scallions served with Tomato Jam

3 Cheese Mac and Cheese
Apple Cobbler and Ice Cream

Posted by terri at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

UT Baking Class continues

What fun we had baking amazing biscuits and cakes. You've heard the saying, "third time's the charm"... well this was no exception. This was the third baking class and each time the class participants did an amazing job.

Here are a few of the highlights from class.

Hey guys, look what we made!

Find the recipes here:

Basic Biscuits

Basic Cake

We got great results, just look how high these biscuits rose!

Their frosting and glazes were delicious


They got really creative!!

Posted by terri at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2015

Jalapeno Encrusted Cod

Cod is a very mild salt water white fish that can be as large as 100 pounds. If properly prepared, the jalapeno peppers will provide great flavor and won't overpower the delicate flavor of the fish.


4- 6 ounce pieces fresh cod
1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers, seeded, finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup queso fresco cheese


Squeeze juice of lemon onto each piece of cod, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon EV olive oil and jalapeno peppers.

Heat butter and 1 tablespoon EV olive oil in an oven proof medium skillet on medium heat. Add cod. Top cod with jalapeno bread crumb mixture. Sear for 3-5 minutes until bottom is golden brown.

Turn on oven broiler and place skillet under broiler and broil top of cod until top of bread crumbs are slightly brown. Remove from oven, top with cheese. Turn oven off, put cod back under broiler just long enough to heat the cheese. Serve over couscous.

Cooking Wiser
Replace all butter with cooking oil
Cod is a very mild, low in calorie fish. To maintain the flavor, seed the peppers to minimize the heat.

Posted by terri at 03:30 AM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2015

Pan Seared Beef Tips in a Red Wine Sauce

Cutting the beef into bite sized pieces creates a fast and easy meal. The red wine and broth add a rich flavor to the meat. The beef tips can be used in so many ways; on top of your favorite salad greens, in a delicious sandwich wrap or serve over pasta.

I also like to serve as an appetizer with a good bottle of red wine.

Serves 4


1-1½ pound top sirloin beef steak, cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup red wine, light body
1/3 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Heat large skillet on med high heat until hot. Add butter. When butter has melted. Season the steak with salt and pepper and add to skillet in a single layer, careful not to over crowd the pan. Sear on one side. Add wine and broth and continue to cook shaking pan to turn steak pieces, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Cooking Wiser:
To cut fat and calories replace the butter with cooking oil

Make it your own by adding garlic, add to the meat while searing
Add any herbs that you like for additional flavor, such as tarragon or thyme.

Posted by terri at 01:34 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2015

Pancakes with Orange Sauce

One serving(one pancake) with sauce only has about 233 calories but you will think you are having something much more decadent.

Serves 4


¾ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cooking oil
2 stiffly beaten egg whites
Nonstick spray

For the orange sauce:

2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
11 ounce can Mandarin oranges, drained
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped

Instructions :

Combine flours, baking powder, and pinch of salt. Combine milk, honey, and oil. Add to flour and stir just till moistened. Fold in egg whites.

Spray a griddle or crepe pan with cooking oil. For each pancake, pour in ¼ cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook till brown, turning when pancakes have bubbly surfaces. Cook until center is set.

Serve with orange sauce.

For the orange sauce: Combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in ¾ cup water and orange juice concentrate. Stir till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Add oranges and walnuts.

Cooking Wiser:
Decrease calories even more by using skim milk

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

Cream Cheese Stuffed Raisin Bread

A very simple, healthy and yummy way to start the day. Or turn it into a dessert by adding strawberry or apricot jam.

Serves 4


1 loaf raisin bread
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 apples, sliced
1 teaspoon butter

Instructions :

Place 2 slices raisin bread on a plate. Top each with 1 ounce cream cheese. Top with remaining bread.

Melt ½ the butter in a non-stick frying pan. Toast bottom of the two sandwiches, add remaining butter, flip sandwiches and toast on other side until cheese begins to melt.

Cut each sandwich into fourths. Serve with sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon.

Cooking Wiser:
To save calories and fat use low fat cream cheese.

Posted by terri at 02:31 AM | Comments (0)

Fruit Parfaits

Start the day with a healthy choice that is fun to make and good to eat.

Just double the ingredients to make two or triple for 3.

Serves 1


½ cup blueberries or strawberries or a combination of both
½ cup low fat plain yogurt
1 ounce granola
Sprinkle with cinnamon, optional
Top with 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, optional

Instructions :

In a bowl or parfait glass pour in half of the granola. Top with ½ of the yogurt then ½ of the fruit. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle with cinnamon and almonds if desired

Cooking Wiser:

If you have a bit of a sweet tooth and like the vanilla yogurt better then go for it. Or be in control of what you eat- add 1/2 teaspoon honey and a little vanilla extract to the plain yogurt.

To save sugar and calories try to stay away from the yogurt with added fruit.

Posted by terri at 02:06 AM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2015

Pancetta and Herb Risotto

Risotto is made with Arborio rice, a very traditional Italian dish. There have been many variations created with added ingredients such as shrimp, vegetables and cheese but the basic recipe is standard. The dish begins by sautéing onions and rice, stirring in white wine and adding hot broth until the rice is creamy and tender.

To serve this as a vegetarian dish, omit the pancetta and replace the chicken stock with tomato juice.

Wine Pairing: A French or Spanish Rose wine

Serves 6


1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup pancetta, cut into ¼ inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
¼ cup parmesan Reggiano cheese, freshly grated plus more for garnishing


In a medium nonreactive saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil over moderately high heat; keep warm. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large nonreactive saucepan. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until almost completely absorbed, about 7 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the broth to the rice and simmer over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until almost all of the broth is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of broth and stir constantly until absorbed. Continue adding broth to the risotto, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed before adding more.

Stir in the pancetta, thyme, rosemary and parmesan about 5 minutes before the rice is done. The rice is done when it's al dente and lightly bound with creamy cooking liquid; about 20 minutes total cooking time. Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Top with additional parmesan and serve.

Cooking Wiser:
Sautéing the rice before adding the liquid will the total amount of cooking time

Keeping the liquid warm will prevent the rice from cooking down each time you add more

Be sure you reserve enough time to keep a close watch on the rice, it will dry out and burn before you know it.

Posted by terri at 03:22 AM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2015

Fresh Fruit with Mint

Fruit salad makes a wonderful side dish for pork or fish. It can be served on a bed of salad greens or over rice. It could also be served as a light and healthy dessert.
Try it with Five Herbed Encrusted Pork Tenderloin

Serves 6-8


2 apples, washed and cubed
1 cup fresh red grapes
1 cup strawberries, washed, capped and sliced
Add any amount of other fruit that you like, fresh or canned; pineapple, mandarin oranges, pears, peaches, blueberries
½ cup sweetened fruit juice
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped, plus more to garnish


In a large bowl, combine all fruit. Add fruit juice.

Add 1 tablespoon mint, gently stir to combine. Cover and chill for up to 1 hour.

Before serving garnish with additional mint.

Cooking Wiser:
Save calories by using unsweetened fruit juice

Posted by terri at 02:09 AM | Comments (0)