Sunday, January 22, 2012

Foamy Peach Dessert

This was one of my Mother's favourite recipes.  She got it off of a box of Jello.  I still have that piece of Jello box with the recipe.  This is such an easy and light dessert.

Here's what you'll need:
(printable recipe)

1 14 oz. can of sliced peaches in fruit juice
1 pkg Jello raspberry powder
1/2 cup ice cubes
hand full of blueberries (this is my addition to the recipe)

Drain peaches reserving juice.  Add water to juice to make 3/4 cup.  Bring liquid to a boil.  Pour boiling liquid into blender.  Add Jello powder and blend on low until dissolved, about 1 minute.  Add ice cubes and blend on low until partially melted.  Add peaches and blend on high until ice is all melted: about 30 seconds.  Add a few blueberries to 6 dessert dishes and pour Jello mixture over.  Chill until set; about 1 hour.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Homemade Croutons

These are so easy.  They are really worth making as they come out light and full of flavour.  Great in a salad or on soup but we even eat them as a snack!

Here's what you'll need:
(printable recipe)

a few slices of day old bread cut into cubes
about 1/4 cup of butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. garlic seasoning ( I use Club House Garlic Plus)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place bread cubes on baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes or until they start to lightly brown.  Melt butter and olive oil in frying pan until bubbly and add garlic powder and garlic seasoning; then toss in toasted bread cubes.  Toss to coat and place on paper towel lined plate to cool.

Note:  I have used all different breads including regular and whole wheat sliced bread.  But I do prefer slicing my own with breads such as Italian, French, Sourdough or my favourite Calabrese from the bakery section of the supermarket.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Crepes With Ham and Eggs

Canadian Living is one of my all time favourite magazines.  It is loaded with great recipes, stories, reviews and tips.This recipe is from the February 2012 edition that I picked up last weekend.  As soon as I saw their Sugar Shack Crepes with Ham and Eggs, I had to make them.  Oh boy!  Were they a hit!  This is a great recipe for brunch as you can make ahead and keep warm in the oven.    The only change I made was adding a 1/4 tsp. of baking powder to the crepe batter and lessening the refrigerate time..

Here's what you'll need:
(printable recipe)

8 slices of black forest ham
6 eggs
pinch of salt and pepper
1 tbsp. butter
maple syrup

Chive Crepes

2/3 cup flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
1 tbsp. of fresh chives (I used dried chives)

Whisk flour and salt together.  Whisk in the 2 eggs milk and half the butter.

Strain into bowl and add chives. (You can skip the straining part if your batter is lump free)  Refrigerate for 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.  Heat 8 inch crepe pan or non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Brush with some of the remaining butter.

Pour a 1/4 scant cup of batter into pan swirling the pan around as you go to coat bottom with a thin layer.  Cook turning once, about 30 seconds per side.  Transfer to plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining butter and batter until all batter is gone.

You'll get about 8 crepes.
In same pan heat ham in batches turning once to heat through about 1 minute.  Transfer to plate and keep warm.
Beat together eggs, salt and pepper.  Melt butter in same pan and cook eggs stirring gently with spatula until large moist curds form and no liquid remains, about 3 minutes.
Top each crepe with a ham slice and one eighth of the scrambled eggs.

Roll up and serve drizzled with maple syrup.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stuffed Mushrooms

Another recipe from  The Pioneer Woman.  These were good but not quite as light tasting as my own recipe (which I will post at a later date).  Next time I think I would probably leave the egg out.

Here's what you'll need:
(printable recipe)

24 oz. white button mushrooms
1/3 lb. hot Italian sausage
1/2 a medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
8 oz. package light cream cheese
1 whole egg yolk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Wipe off mushrooms in warm water and dry on paper towels.  

 Pop out the stems and place mushroom caps on a parchment lined baking sheet.

 Finely chop the stems and set aside.

Brown and crumble sausage and drain on paper towel. Set aside to cool.

Add onions and garlic to skillet and cook for 2 minutes over medium low heat.  Pour in wine/chicken broth to deglaze pan; allow liquid to evaporate. 

Add in chopped mushroom stems and cook for 2 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool.

In large bowl combine cream cheese and egg yolk.  Stir in Parmesan cheese.

Add cooled sausage and mushroom stem mixture.

Fill mushroom caps.

I then sprinkled with more Parmesan and topped half with a jalapeno pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.  Great appetizer!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mushroom Soup

I love mushroom soup and you'd be surprised at how easy it is to make. This is a tried and true recipe from my Joy Of Cooking cookbook.  So much better than canned!

Here's what you'll need:
(printable recipe)

For the mushroom base
2 tbsp. butter
8 oz. of mushrooms with stems, I use baby bellas (or cremimi) plus a few extra chopped up to add at the end
2 cups low sodium chicken broth or water
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp. chopped parsley

White Sauce (light bechamel)
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup of milk

Melt butter in a soup pot.  Add mushrooms with stems and cook, stirring until they start to release their juices.

Add the chicken stock, celery, onion and parsley.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.

 Using a hand blender puree until smooth.

In small sauce pan make white sauce by melting butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour and cook for about a minute then gradually add milk.

Cook stirring constantly (a whisk makes this easier) until mixture is smooth, hot and has thickened.  About 2 minutes.  Season with a dash of salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Slowly stir the cream sauce into the puree.

Add the reserved chopped mushrooms and cook stirring until hot.  Don't boil.  Makes about 4 1/2 cups.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

I got this recipe off of the Pioneer Woman's sight.  I thought it both sounded and looked good.  A fairly healthy dip and easy too!  We had it New Years Eve and it was great!

Here's what you'll need:
(printable recipe)

1 14 oz. can black-eyed peas
1/4 of an onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup sour cream (I used no fat)
8 slices jarred jalapenos, chopped
1 cup grated cheese
3 tbsp. salsa
hot sauce to taste
dash of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain black-eyed peas and partially mash, leaving some whole.

I do this right in the dish I am going to bake it in.

Add all the other ingredients and stir to combine.  Spread into 1 1/2 quart baking dish and bake for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serve with tortilla chips!

Note:  I also added some chopped fresh spinach to mine.