Tuesday, October 30, 2012

November 2012 Newsletter

Hi Everyone,
November is almost here and thought I would get my newsletter out early before the weekend as work tends to get busier.
My heart goes out to all of those that are experiencing difficulties due to Hurricane Sandy...doubled for some with the snow storm from the other direction. Be sure to take heed to offers of help from Red Cross, churches and government funding if you are in need. Having lost my home in '95 to a tornado, I do know there are many services available to assist in these times.
As the sun shine returns, be thankful for your blessings of life, family and friends. These are the priceless treasures in this world.
Cleaning Cupboards & My Heart
Today while cleaning cupboards
With organized housewifely art
I suddenly decided  To clean the cupboards of my heart.
I threw out negative criticism
To the trash pile-to the fire!
I added extra cups of appreciation
And worthwhile thoughts that will inspire.
I threw out constant condemnation                                  
Which says, you're wrong, I'm right!
I put in an extra measure of consideration
For all folks, red, yellow, black, & white.
Yes, out went constant complaining
Grumbling about those trivial things
I put in smiles and laughter,
To ease the tensions each day brings.
Friends, let's all clean our cupboards,
With help from Creator above
Throw out pride and hatred, too.
Replaced with humility and love...
Paula George

Dutch Oven Layered Chicken Three-Cheese Enchilada
Use your favorite enchilada sauce to prepare this recipe, which layers corn tortillas, chicken and three kinds of
cheese into one hearty casserole.
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 3/4 cups red enchilada sauce
9 corn tortillas, each about 6 inches in diameter
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded yellow cheddar cheese
Sliced green onion tops for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
In a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and
pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Add the chicken to the onion and stir well to combine.
Spread 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 3 1/2-quart round wide Dutch oven. Arrange 3 tortillas
in a single layer on the sauce, overlapping them as needed to cover the sauce. Top with a generous 1 cup of
the chicken-onion mixture, 1/2 cup of the sauce and 1/4 cup of each cheese. Repeat the layering 2 more times,
alternating the direction of the tortilla layers and finishing with 1/2 cup sauce and 1/4 cup of each cheese.
Transfer to the oven and bake until the ingredients are heated through and the cheese is melted, about 30
minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with green onions and cilantro.
Serves 4 to 6.
Italian Lemon Creme Cake

1 18.25-ounce box Betty Crocker white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
I added 1 tsp. lemon zest to the cake.
1 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese, softened (could use mascarpone instead of cream cheese) I used cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cold butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch cake pan or springform pan
Make white cake following the directions on the box. Pour the batter into prepared pan.Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely when it comes out of the oven.
Make lemon cream filling by mixing cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in lemon juice.
Whip cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Combine cream cheese mixture with whipped cream. Stir by hand until blended.
Make crumb topping by combining flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add butter and dribble in the vanilla extract. Use your hands to mix cold butter into the flour and sugar. Break butter into smaller and smaller pieces as you incorporate it into the dry ingredients. Be sure not to press the mixture together. You want to end up with a very crumbly consistency with pieces no bigger than a pea. (If you have trouble making small crumbs, pop the bowl into your fridge for a few minutes.) Chill this crumb topping until you are ready to use it.
When the cake is cool, slice it in half through the middle and remove the top. Spread all but 1/2 cup of the lemon cream mixture onto the bottom half of the cake, then carefully replace the top half of the cake.
Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of cream filling over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the cake and press it onto the sides all the way around the cake.
Now chill the cake for at least 3 hours before you serve it. When you are ready to dig in, slice the cake into 12 slices. Serve each slice topped with powdered sugar tapped through a strainer.
Servings: 12
Lasagna Rolls
from Suzanne @ Emeril group
1/2 c ricotta cheese
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
1 egg
8 lasagna noodles
14 oz jar pasta sauce or  2 cups of your own homemade marinara
Cook the lasagna according to the package directions, drain,
and rinse in cold water to cool. Stir together the ricotta, mozzarella,
and Parmesan cheeses, garlic powder, basil, oregano, and egg.
Spread about 2 T of this mixture on each noodle, then roll up the
noodle. Arrange the rolls, seam side down, in a lightly oiled
baking dish. Pour the pasta sauce over all, cover, and bake at
350 for 20 to 25 minutes.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
From Olives & Oranges
slow-cook recipe/Makes 10 servings
Versions of this simple cake are made all over Italy, to be eaten at breakfast with coffee or tea. Similar to pound cake, it differs mainly in that the fat used is olive oil instead of butter, which, surprisingly, results in a cake with an even richer and more unctuous character. yogurt adds a subtle tang. Use your best extra-virgin olive oil here.
Flavor tip:Whether you are baking or making a sauce or salad dressing, capture the flavorful oil that lies just beneath the peel of a lemon, lime, or orange by zesting the citrus directly into the bowl with the other ingredients.
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Put oven rack in center position and heat oven to 325* F. Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
With an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl on high speed for 5 minutes, or until pale and thick. Add yogurt and zest; beat to combine. With mixer on medium speed, add oil in a quick, steady stream. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture just until blended. Whisk batter by hand to make sure that all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour batter into pan. Bake, rotating pan once, until cake is golden, center springs back to the touch, and edges pull away from pan, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for a minute or two on rack, then release from pan and let cool completely on rack before slicing.
Place a doily on top of inverted cake and dust lightly with confectioner's sugar. Remove doily before serving.
Mediterranean herb-Roasted Chicken

Whole leg portions are the tastiest part of the bird, and one per person is just enough to satisfy. If you can’t find entire legs, purchase separate thighs and drumsticks. Potatoes, onions, zucchini and mini sweet bell peppers roast alongside the chicken, making this a complete meal in a pan.
5 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried savory or oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 medium red potatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch wedges
4 whole chicken legs
1 (4-oz.) pkg. multi-colored mini sweet bell peppers, halved, or 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch wedges
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into 2-inch pieces
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Finely chop rosemary, garlic and salt together; place in small bowl. Stir in lemon juice, oil, thyme, savory and pepper.
2. Spray bottom of wide shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Scatter potatoes and onions in pan; add chicken. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the herb mixture over chicken and vegetables in pan; toss to coat. Place chicken on top of potatoes and onion.
3. Bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven; baste with accumulated juices. Scatter peppers and zucchini around chicken; spoon remaining herb mixture over chicken and all vegetables. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is browned and no longer pink in center.
4 servings

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Version of Baklava

> Paula George
> Syrup:
> 1-1/2 cups sugar
> 3/4 cup water
> 1/4 cup honey
> 2 cinnamon sticks
> Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer and cook 20 minutes. Set
> aside
> to cool.
> Filling:
> 1-1/4 lb. walnuts chopped fine
> 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
> 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
> 1/3 cup honey
> Baklava:
> 1 lb. phyllo dough, thawed
> 3 sticks butter, melted
> Glaze:
> 1-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
> 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
> 2-3 tsp. water to get glaze consistency
> Prepare syrup, set aside.
> Combine ingredients for filling.
> Working quickly, have phyllo sheets on large tray, cover with plastic wrap
> and a
> damp towel. Brush 15x10x1 jelly-roll pan with melted butter. Layer phyllo
> sheets
> in single layer, brushing each with melted butter. Layer 8 layers of dough.
> Sprinkle with 1/2 to 3/4 cup filling. Repeat with 4 layers of dough,
> brushing
> each layer with melted butter. Repeat filling layers 2-3 times. Finishing
> with
> another 8 layers of phyllo dough. Brush entire top with butter. Cut through
> dough with sharp knife on a diagonal about 1-1/2 inches apart. Cut in the
> opposite direction at same distance to form diamond pattern. Bake at 325
> degrees
> for 40-45 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and spoon syrup over entire
> top.

OPTIONAL: Prepare glaze and drizzle sparingly over top.
> Eat warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall...Soup, Sandwich and Dessert...Perfect Meal for Fall

Sometimes a hearty sandwich just fits the bill to accompany a hot bowl of soup...soup and sandwiches are a favorite at the restaurant and I think this would satisfy even the heartiest of appetites!

Turkey Artichoke Panini
1 loaf pesto focaccia bread
8 oz. freshly sliced turkey
4 oz. spinach artichoke spread
2 oz. asiago cheese
1 small red onion, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1-2 tomatoes, sliced ( 6-8 slices)
1 pinch salt and pepper
Preheat panini grill to medium temperature.
In a medium sauce pan, sauté diced red onion in olive oil until
transparent. Add balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the loaf of pesto focaccia into two semi-circles, and halve
each semi-circle.
Layer the turkey onto the bottom halves of the focaccia bread, and
spread spinach artichoke mix over turkey. Layer sautéed onions,
asiago/parmesan blend and tomato slices. Close face of panini with
the top halves of focaccia bread.
Add panini to preheated grill and press lightly. Grill 5 minutes on
medium or until the cheese begins to melt and there are grill marks
on the focaccia bread.
Serves 2
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 jar (14.75 oz.) Cara Mia Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients; mix well. Spoon into a microwave-safe 9-inch pie
plate and heat in the microwave (80% power) for 3 minutes.
Serve immediately. Serves 5-6

A delicious Robillito soup from my online friend, Mare,  http://saffron215.blogspot.com/ after repeated attempts to lighten the soup "sans" the bread that is normally in Robillito...this is Mare's version that gets rave reviews!
1/4 lb. smoked bacon, diced
4 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 onions, sliced thinly
2 medium potatoes, diced small
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can of chopped tomatoes (I use Pastene)
1/2 large savoy cabbage, cored and chopped
1 bunch of kale, ribs removed and chopped
1 can of small white beans, rinsed and drained
6 cups of chicken stock
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 T. kosher salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. red pepper flakes (or a pinch more if you like a kick) parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top
Place large Dutch Oven on stove top, heat to medium and add bacon. Cook bacon until it's golden brown and remove to paper towels, set aside.
Add onions, carrots and celery, turn down to low and cook for about 10 minutes. Add garlic, potatoes, reserved bacon, salt and peppers. Cook for a few more minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken stock, turn heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Let cook for about 15 minutes on a low simmer. Add kale and cabbage, stir, let cook for another 15 minutes. Stir again and add the beans. Turn to low, adjust seasoning and let simmer with lid on, but not sealed for about 10 more minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for another 10 minutes. At this point, I use an immersion blender to whiz it a bit. NOT much though. Just a bit to get the large pieces chopped.
Serve hot with a big sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

So,if you are in the mood for a complete comfort meal...try the Turkey Artichoke Panini and a comforting bowl of Robillto!

To finish off this fall dinner menu...Mom's Apple Cobbler is sure to fit the bill!

Mom's Apple Cobbler
1/2 cup one stick butter or 1/2 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup milk
2 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (or fruit of choice)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 13x9x2 inch baking dish ( I prefer to use a glass one).
Cut shortening into flour until particles resemble fine crumbs.
Add milk and stir with a fork only until dough leaves the side of the bowl.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured board or pastry cloth, and knead just until smooth.
Roll dough out into a large rectangle about 1/4 inch think. Sprinkle cinnamon over chopped apples,
then sprinkle apples evenly over the dough. Roll up dough like a jelly roll and dampen the edges with water to seal. Slice dough into about 16 slices, 1/2 inch thick. Place slices in baking dish with the melted butter. In saucepan, heat water and sugar until dissolved. Pour the sugar syrup around the rolls. This will look like too much liquid, but dough will absorb it while baking. Bake for 55-60 minutes.
2VARIATION: This cobbler can also be made with other fresh, frozen, or canned fruits such as blackberries,
cherries, or peaches. If the fruit is packed in liquid, drain and substitute for part of the water
in the sugar syrup. Add enough water to make two cups of liquid.
I also make a small amount of glaze,
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. milk
Whisk together and drizzle over warm cobbler.

Happy Eating! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2012 Newsletter

Evening Everyone...
Fall is definitely in the air...loving these cooler temps! Hope this finds all well...
I thought of my new great-granddaughter, Jayda Nevaeh that was born prematurely 3 weeks ago...and the love her Mommy, Sierra formed
when she knew she carried this life in her body.
Enjoy the fall recipes using chicken and pears!
Your Mother's Love...

From the moment I learned of the life I carried within me...I already knew I'd love you,
Even before I knew if a little boy or little girl is coming into my life.
Before I even met you, my heart was stirred; you had your Mother's love...
Knowing I had been blessed to carry and give birth to a little one.
From the moment you were born, you stole my heart, you'd always know your Mother's love.
There may have been some long nights, as you were unsure about this place!
Yet, there were many moments...a smile, a coo...even that sparkle in your eyes...
And I knew, even in those earlier days, you'd always know your Mother's love.
Childhood, adolesence, young adult, even becoming a wife...I knew there would be
Trying times, times of training and discipline; yet all were given with your Mother's love.
I'm sure as the years have passed, and, now that you're a young adult, these things are seen more clearly.
Wherever life made lead you...although sometimes, not easy, nothing will change!
And should the path we're given take one of us from this earthly walk...
You'll Always Have My Love, from the moment you were conceived, You've had Your Mother's Love!

August 2011

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Croutons
from Splendid Soups and Spectacular Sides

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup quartered button mushrooms ( I used Baby Bellas)
1/2 cup diced carrot
2 tsp minced garlic (I used 4 large cloves, minced)
1 1/2 cups diced red potatoes (I used, unpeeled red potatoes)
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp dry sherry (I used 1/2 cup Dry Vermouth)
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken ( I cut and sautéed 3 chicken breasts in 2 Tbsp. Olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dry)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp. dry)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt & pepper, to taste (I didn't find it necessary to add any more salt or pepper)
Puff Pastry Croutons

Melt butter over medium high heat in the pot you will use to make the soup.
Sauté onion, celery, mushrooms, carrot and garlic for about 4 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook about 3 minutes more. Whisk in the flour and cook a couple of minutes to
get rid of the raw taste. Deglaze pan with sherry. Stir in broth, chicken,
thyme, bay leaf, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil,
then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through
and the mixture has slightly thickened. Stir in the corn, peas, parsley and lemon juice.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons.


Grandma's Lab-Tested Chicken Soup
Allergies, sinus infections galore! Pulmonary infections! This really does help! Not only does it help, it is delicious!

Found this recipe several years ago in Reader's Digest. It had been lab tested by pulmonoligists and said to be effective in pulmonary infections. I have made it several times and it honestly does help! Not sure of the combo of nutritional values but it does work!

Grandma's Lab-Tested Chicken Soup
1 2-1/2-3 lb. chicken
2 lbs.chicken wings, extra
3 large onions, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
2 turnips, peeled and diced
11 to 12 carrots, peeled and diced
5 to 6 sticks celery, sliced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1.Put cleaned chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to boil.
2.Add chicken wings, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips and carrots.
3.Boil for 1 1/2 hours, removing fat from surface as it accumulates.
4.Add celery, parsley, salt and pepper, cook for 45 minutes, then remove chicken and skin, bone and dice.
5.Remove vegetables, process 1/2 of veggies in food processor until smooth. Return with chicken.


White Chicken Chili
Makes 12 servings

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped poblano pepper
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 bay leaves
1 quart chicken broth
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
2 (16-ounce) cans navy beans, drained
4 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream

In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. A
dd chicken, ground chipotle chile pepper, cumin, salt, coriander, and red pepper.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is browned.
Remove chicken to a bowl. In same Dutch oven, heat remaining 2 tablespoons
olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, poblano pepper, jalapeño peppers,
garlic, and bay leaves. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until tender.
Add chicken, chicken broth, and green chiles. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer,
and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans;
cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves.
Add cheese and sour cream, stirring just until cheese is melted.


Saw a version of this recipe in Sunday's paper...so, naturally, I had to try it (change it up, as usual)...rolls eyes! haha

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 b/s chicken breasts, cut in bite size strips
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes in juice
2 cans seasoned black beans, undrained
2 cans Chipotle corn, drained
2 qts chicken broth (or 3Tbsp. chicken base & 2 qts. water)

For serving:
Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar
Chopped Green Onions
Lime Wedges

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven. Toss chicken strips with chili powder and salt. Add to hot oil and cook until chicken is cooked through. Add onions and cook 5 minutes longer, add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Place tortilla chips in bowl and ladle soup over. Can add additional toppings of sour cream, shredded cheddar, diced avocado, chopped green onions; if desired. Add a lime wedge to be squeezed over individual servings.
Louisiana Pear Cake with Lemon Sauce recipe:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups finely chopped, peeled pears
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Grease & flour 13x9x2 baking pan. Combine flour, baking powder and
salt; set
aside. In mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add
mixture and mix well. Fold in pears and pecans with wooden spoon.
Spread in
baking pan. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. or until toothpick inserted
center comes out clean.
For sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter,
lemon zest, and corn syrup.Cook and stir over medium heat until
boils; remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and cool slightly. Serve
warm cake
with warm sauce spooned over.