Saturday, February 1, 2014


Your Life Canvas
by Paula 2009

Brushes in hand...we contemplate our palette of life...choices we will make
Each day brings added touches...some of warmth and beauty
Yet others, not so ends with a blank canvas
Contemplate carefully, making strokes of color to enhance your canvas
Build on your canvas, adding texture and warmth...embrace beauty
Be creative...sensitive, inspired, preparing a masterpiece...
Unfolding the Master Artist's plan, allowing His Guidance of each stroke.

Design a Dish:
Seafood and pasta, these are a few of my favorite things! About 15 years ago, we dined at a restaurant in Decatur...the entree that I chose was very similar to this so I came home and recreated the dish with my tastebuds. It is absolutely delicious!
from the tastebuds of Paula George aka mecookin
4 (6 oz) filets of salmon or halibut
Caribbean Jerk seasoning
Butter flavored Pam, melted butter, or olive oil
6 oz. Capellini pasta, prepared in salted water and drained
Sauce 1:
1 clove garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. pinenuts, lightly toasted and divided
1 Tbsp. fresh snipped basil
1 tsp. dried marjoram
3 Tbsp. fresh snipped parsley
3 oz. grated Romano cheese
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers, divided
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell peppers, divided
Sauce 2:
1-1/2 Tbsp. butter
1-1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup half and half
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
reserved red and yellow peppers
Cook angel hair pasta according to package directions, drain and keep warm.
Spray or brush both sides of each filet with Pam, butter or olive oil. Season
generously with Caribbean Jerk seasoning.
Heat 12 inch skillet over med-high heat. Saute fish filets 4-6 minutes per side
until flaky. Prepare sauces while fish is cooking.
Sauce 1:
In food processor or blender, puree garlic and 2 Tbsp. pinenuts. Add basil,
marjoram, parsley, romano cheese, salt and pepper. Continue to puree and slowly
drizzle in olive oil. Add remaining pinenuts, red and yellow bell peppers minus
2 Tbsp. each. Toss with pasta.
Sauce 2:
In saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour until smooth. Over medium heat, Add
remaining sauce 2 ingredients and heat until bubbly.
Divide pasta tossed with Sauce 1 on 4 plates.
Top each bed of pasta with prepared filet.
Spoon generous 1/3 cup of sauce 2 over each filet.
Garnish with reserved red and yellow peppers and fresh ground pepper.
Sarge's Brown Rice
My version, Paula
4 cups cooked white rice
1 bunch green onions,chopped fine (green & white part)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup beef broth
2 Tbsp. corn starch
2 Tbsp. Dale's steak seasoning
1 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce
salt & pepper to taste
In large skillet, saute onions in butter for 5 minutes. Stir in rice. Whisk together remaining ingredients and heat through until bubbly.

The next one is a recipe or guess I should say my copycat version of McAlister's Vegetarian Chili...a food board member asked me to try it and see if I could recreate it; this is the result of my tasting!

Copycat McAlister's Chili
By "George" (pun intended) I think I've got it!
copycat Vegetarian Chili
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped red roasted peppers (I used jarred)
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles (mild)
1 can navy beans, undrained
1 can red beans, undrained
1 can pinto/northern bean mix, undrained
1 can light red kidney beans, undrained
1 28 oz. petite diced tomatoes
2 heaping Tablespoons tomato paste (about 1/2 of a 6 oz. can)
1 28 oz. can Enchilada sauce (mild) (I used El Pato)
1 cup water
2 heaping Tbsp. ground cumin
3 heaping Tbsp. Mexene Chili Powder
1 heaping Tbsp. Mexican oregano
1 cone piloncillo (or use 1/4 cup dark brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. molasses)
1 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
In Dutch oven, saute onions, garlic and carrots; using 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Saute for 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
I didn't add any salt as most of the canned products contain salt other than the tomato paste,
I chose lower sodium count products where available.
If you desire additional heat...add a couple of diced jalapenos or chipotle peppers in adobe sauce.

Fun Times with Decolady!
Several years ago, I was asked to decipher a recipe for an online friend...Becky and I talked and decided to meet at Romano's Macaroni Grill. We ordered the appetizer Mushroom Ravioli and set out on our quest! This is the recipe that we derived from our tastebuds! Such fun as we identified the mushrooms, flavors in the sauce!
COPYKAT Mushroom Ravioli
from the taste buds of:
mecookin & decolady
1 lb. flour
4 eggs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp.
1 tsp. salt
Place the flour in a mound on a clean, dry surface. Form a well in the center of the flour. Break eggs into the well
and add the oil, water and salt. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together and slowly mix in the flour. Knead
until well mixed. Cover with a clean towel, let it rest for 30 minutes. Cut the dough into
quarters. Begin to pass through a pasta machine and continue to run it through until the
dough is smooth.Run the dough through the thinnest setting to form 4 sheets of dough.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
6 shitake mushrooms, chopped coarse
6 button mushrooms, chopped coarse
1 portobello mushroom, chopped coarse
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Asiago cheese
1 cup grated fontina cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute mushrooms for 5 minutes in 1 Tbsp. oil. Add cream and reduce by 1/3. stir in cheeses and
season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
Marsala Cream Sauce:
2 shallots, sliced
1 Tbsp. unsalted
1 cup dry marsala wine
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Saute the shallot in 1 Tbsp., covered for 5 minutes. Add the wine and thyme; reduce until only about 2-3 Tbsp. of liquid remain.
Add cream and simmer until reduced by half.Add 2 Tbsp. butter and stir continuously until fully emulsified. Season with
salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Additional Ingredients & Garnish:
beaten egg
1 cup sauteed sliced button mushrooms (lightly sauteed)
mixture of chopped basil, parsley and chives
1/2 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano
Brush each pasta sheet with beaten egg. Place 1 Tbsp. of Mushroom filling mixture 3 inches
apart along 1 side of pasta. fold the pasta over to form pockets. Gently press an indention
between the mounds of mushroom/cheese mixture. Cut into pieces along these lines. Cook
ravioli in pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove and drain. In baking dish, top
ravioli with the grated Parmesan Reggiano. Place under broiler until cheese has browned.
Spoon warm Marsala Sauce into serving platter. Sprinkle with sauteed button mushrooms.
Place hot ravioli over sauce. Sprinkle with herb mixture.

Double Chocolate Tiramisu
A new treat that I made this year for the holidays with rave reviews! Hope you enjoy!
Double ChocolateTiramisu
from the kitchen of Paula aka Nana!
2-3 packages Ladyfingers (enough for 2 layers in 10" springform pan)
2 cups strong
1/2 cup kahlua divided
1/2 cup
1 cup
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1-1/4 cups heavy cream divided
1 cup confectioner's
3 cups marscapone cheese
1 Tbsp cocoa powder mixed with 1 Tbsp confectioner's sugar for dusting
Dissolve cocoa powder in hot water. Melt semi sweet chocolate with 1/4 heavy cream in 30 second intervals in microwave.
Beat 1 cup heavy cream with confectioner's sugar until soft peaks form. Add cocoa & chocolate mixtures, marscapone and 1/4 cup kahlua. Beat on low speed until combined.
Line springform pan with plastic wrap. Combine 1/4 cup kahlua with coffee. Dip 1 side of ladyfingers in coffee/Kahlua mixture. Place in bottom of pan. Spread 1/2 of the Chocolate Marscapone mixture over. Repeat another layer of dipped ladyfingers and remainder of Chocolate Marscapone mixture. Sprinkle with cocoa/confectioner's sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight. 
Remove outer ring from pan and plate tiramisu on serving plate. Garnish as desired. Enjoy!

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