Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Day Menu

Breakfast:
- Cinnamon Rolls and Coffee

Snacks:
- Meat Tray
- Cheese Tray
- Veggie Tray

Dinner:
- French cut green beans
- Brussel Sprouts with Prosciutto
- Ham
- Roast
- Rolls
- Truffle Mac n Cheese







Friday, December 11, 2009

Sea Scallops with Orange and Rosemary

Another great recipe from the December issue of O magazine.

3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
16 dry-packed large sea scallops (about 1 3/4 lbs)
Flour, for dredging
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc or Albarino
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from about 1 large orange)
1 Tbsp julienned orange peel preferably organic
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Cooked wild rice, for serving

1. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet. Saute shallots over medium heat until soft. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, pat scallops dry with paper towels. Dredge very lightly with flour, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Increase heat under pan to high; sear half of scallops for 1 minute. turn and cook other side for 2 minutes; set aside. Add rest of oil to pan; when hot, repeat process with remaining scallops.
4. Add wine, lemon juice, orange juice, and orange peel to skillet (the sauce will sizzle and steam).

Bring to a boil, and reduce until thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste for sweetness; add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper if necessary. Return shallots to pan and swirl in butter; add scallops to heat through and coat with sauce. Sprinkle with rosemary, and serve with rice on the side.
Makes 4-6 servings.

Cara Cara Orange, Arugula and Vidalia Onion Salad with Ricotta Salata and Pomegranate

I pulled this recipe out of my December issue of O magazine. Sounds delicious! Can't wait to make it.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bunches arugula or about 4 ounces baby arugula
1 large Cara Cara orange (you may use other varieties), peeled and pith removed, sliced crosswise.
1/2 vidalia onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 pound ricotta salata, thinly shaved
4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp mint leaves

1. In a small bowl, combine oil and lemon juice to make a dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Place arugula in a medium bowl and toss with dressing. Transfer to a serving platter; top with orange slices, onion slices, and ricotta salata. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and mint leaves; serve. Makes 2-4 servings.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mom's Clam Chowder


2.5 lbs of white potatoes - peeled and cut into small cubes
1 White onion chopped
2 - 3 cans of chopped clams
1 can of evaporated canned milk
Milk
1 cup of butter
1 cup of flour
Sea Salt
Pepper
Hot Sauce
Cheddar Cheese
Fresh Garlic - Minced

Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot and fill with water just to cover the potatoes and onion. Add in the juice from the clams and the diced fresh garlic. Boil until tender. In a small pot melt the butter and whisk with 1 cup of flour and equal parts canned milk and regular milk. Stir constantly over medium heat until thick. Once thick pour into the pot of cooked potatoes and stir until mixed in thoroughly. Add in the clams, sea salt and pepper to taste. Heat thoroughly and serve with the option of hot sauce and grated cheddar cheese.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chicken Samosas with Mint Chutney


Ashlyn, these were a HUGE hit. Everyone raved about them and will continue to. Thanks so much for making them. P.S. totally going to ask for these again....

Baked Samosas

Makes eight or nine samosas.
Note: If you do not want to make your own dough, use Puff Pastry sheets available in in the frozen section of your local supermarket. One box contains two sheets and all you need is one sheet for this recipe cut into nine squares.
For pastry: 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
(you can use 1 cup all-purpose flour if you prefer)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable/canola oil
Big pinch salt
1/2 tsp. ajwain seeds (optional)
For filling:1 big russet potato, boiled until soft
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, poached and shredded
1 mango, finely diced
Zest of 1 lime, plus juice of half of it
5 tbsp chipotle sauce
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Big handful cilantro, minced
Salt and pepper
1) To make pastry: In large bowl, combine flours, buttermilk, oil, salt and ajwain seeds. Bring ingredients together into a dough. Knead for 5 minutes until it has softened a bit. Allow to rest, at room temperature, for 15 minutes. You can put this in the fridge too, but make sure you let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so, in order for it to soften.
OR 1) Set aside one sheet of the Puff Pastry to thaw for about 30 minutes.
2) Make filling: Combine all ingredients with your hands until it’s well mixed up. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.
3) Preheat oven to 425 degrees f.
4) Roll the dough into a short cylinder. Slice into two. Slice each half into two, so you have 4 bits. Roll each bit into a ball. Flatten ball into a disc, then, on floured surface, roll into a 1/8″ thick, 7″ wide circle. Cut into two semi-circles.
OR 4) Open the puff pastry sheet and cut into nine squares.
5) Place a tablespoon or so of filling in the center of one of the semi-circles. Have a small bowl of water handy. Dip your finger in the water and run it along the edges of the semi-circle. Arrange semi-circle so the flat side is facing away from you. Grab the left corner and fold it over dough in a triangular motion, so that this corner lands on the bottom right side of the filling. Do the same with the other corner. Squeeze bottom shut, and fold over, sealing with water. If you like, seal using a fork. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat, until you have 8 big samosas ready for baking!
OR 5) Simply spoon enough to fill the middle of the square. Dip your fingers into the bowl of water and run it along the edges of the square. Pinch two opposite corners together and fold the sides in to seal the samosa, it should look somewhat of a triangle now.
6) Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then turn the baking tray around and bake 12 more minutes.
7) Serve hot, with the chutney… and bask in gratitude for the great ideas we all come up with, for our sensitive taste buds and for the blessing of good friends!
"Fresh and Fancy-Free" Mint Chutney
Mint-cilantro-lime saucy-thing with mustard-seed infused oil
You’ll need this stuff:
1 cup mint leaves 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and soft stems
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime (more, if you like it limey!)
Enough water to make a sauce, about 1/4 cup
Salt and pepper
Tadka:
1 tbsp vegetable oil/olive oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1) In a food processor, whiz together mint, cilantro, ginger, lime juice and water until it all comes together as a sauce. There’ll probably still be little bits of leaf in there, but I like how those taste, so no worries. Pour chutney into a bowl.
2) In a small pan, over medium heat, warm oil until it shimmers. Add mustard seeds — they should sizzle. Immediately cover with lid, until they stop spluttering. Make sure they don’t burn! If they do, start over. No big deal. I do it all the time! Immediately add the seeds and oil to the chutney. It will sizzle so stand back. Once you’ve poured all the oil in, you can even spoon a little chutney into the pan (cue sizzling again!) so that you pick up all that lovely oil. Serve! Get fresh!


Cranberry Baked Apples

"Baked apples are stuffed with cranberries and sweetened with honey and brown sugar in this simple recipe for a delicious autumn dessert."

  • 6 Golden Delicious Apples - Jenn used Fuji or Gala which were awesome!
  • 1-3/4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey
Preparation -
Spray a shallow baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. Peel only around the top of each apple... about one inch around the stem. Carefully remove the apple cores... do not cut all the way through... leave about 1/2" in the bottom of each apple. Place the apples in the prepared baking dish. Rinse the cranberries in a strainer. Fill the center of each apple with cranberries, as many as will fit. In a saucepan, combine the water, brown sugar, cinnamon and honey. Heat and stir until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is well blended. Pour the mixture over the apples. Bake in a preheated oven at 350º for about 1 hour or until the apples are tender, spooning the liquid over the top of the apples about every 20 minutes while they're baking. Serve warm.



These were fantastic, thanks for making them Jenn!

If you want eggnog, call Ashlyn


So I posted a lite eggnog, but due to popular demand I am posting the eggnog Ashlyn makes. This is so delicious and so not low fat.

http://256.com/gray/recipes/eggnog/ - this is where he found the recipe

Cyril K. Collins Eggnog Recipe (Egg Nog)

Advice from Cyril Collins "Please note that this eggnog is a potent alcoholic beverage. Please encourage the members of your party to bring a Designated Driver if they plan on drinking. To lower the alcohol in the recipe, use lower proof whiskey and/or rum, or substitute a cup of milk for every cup of alcohol removed."

Ingredients8 servings16 servings24 servings
Fresh Eggs
(separated into yolks/whites)
4812
Sugar
(divided into 2 equal parts)
1/2 cup
(1/4c, 1/4c)
1 cup
(1/2c, 1/2c)
1 1/2 cups
(3/4c, 3/4c)
White Rum (dark works)1/2 cup1 cup1 1/2 cups
Milk (Whole or 2%)1 1/2 cups3 cups4 1/2 cups
Whiskey (Bourbon or Canadian)1 1/2 cups3 cups4 1/2 cups
Heavy/Whipping Cream
(divided into 2 equal parts)
1 cup
(1/2c, 1/2c)
2 cups
(1c, 1c)
3 cups
(1 1/2c, 1 1/2c)
Ground Nutmeg
(strongly recommended)
Enough to sprinkle on servings.
Consider whole nutmeg nuts and grinder.

Eggnog Recipe Instructions

You are doing things gently and slowly to preserve the eggnog's fluffiness. A good whisk for the stirring and a high speed mixer for the egg-whites and cream helps this process immensely. Notes on taking this to a party below.

  1. Separate eggs into yolks and whites in separate bowls (see below for a how-to). I put the whites into the mixer and the yolks into another bowl.
  2. Beat egg-yolks with 1/2 of sugar, set aside.
  3. Beat egg-whites until stiff, then mix in other 1/2 of sugar.
  4. Pour the yolks into the whites and mix together slowly.
  5. Stir in white rum slowly. I've tried dark rum and it works.
  6. Stir in milk slowly (see below for dairy intolerance)
  7. Stir in whiskey slowly (Bourbon, Canadian, Sour Mash. I use Jim Beam or Jack Daniels)
  8. Stir in 1/2 of cream slowly
  9. Whip rest (1/2) of cream and fold in carefully. Notes on how to fold below.
  10. Serve at room temperature by ladling the eggnog into cups and sprinkle nutmeg on the top. Information on nutmeg grinders below. Try to get some of the foam and some of the liquid (if not fully mixed) in each cup.
Visit the link for more tips on drinking and enjoying eggnog.

Cheers!!!!



November at Jolene's


Our gathering this month was small but so much fun. Thank you to all that attended. Great food, Great Friends and a Great Cause.

The food for the evening consisted of;

Chicken Samosas
Garlic Soup
Clam Chowder
Fresh Baked Breads
Cranberry Stuffed Apples

Recipes for all the above to follow soon.

Wines for Humanity's joined us and brought a nice variety of wines for sampling.

The wines we tasted were:
1. Duca di Montebello - Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay blend
2. Kakadu Ridge Unoaked Chardonnay, SE Australia
3. 2006 Stafford Lodge Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
4. 2006 Pierre Laforest Cuvee St. Vincent, France
5. 2005 Golden Grape Estate Shiraz Blend, Southeastern Australia
6. Boland Cellar Pinotage, Winemakers selection
7. 2006 Matrai Blaufrankisch, Hungary

The groups favorites were the Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Cuvee and Shiraz, but all were really good.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kraft Foods is Feeding America

This weeks issue of People Magazine was covered with a section by Kraft Foods.

"Holidays are all about twinkling lights, sharing gifts with loved ones, gathering with friends and making treasured family recipes." I couldn't agree with the Kraft folks more and I love that they are taking it one step further by donating meals to Feeding America.

"For every FREE e-card you send, Kraft Foods will donate 10 meals to Feeding America. Visit www.kraftrecipeforjoy.com from Nov. 16 - Dec. 31."

On the site check out the recipes for Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms, Pretzel Bark and Caramel Nut Cheesecake. Yummy!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lite Eggnog

The way to survive holiday eating is to start by skipping on the food. I don't agree! It's the holidays, enjoy the food that you won't get for at least another year when they quickly roll back around.

One of my favorite card sayings, which I am sure most of you have heard...."you’re not supposed to walk into your grave perfectly preserved, made up, and hair in place! No! Slide in sideways, body completely used up, martini in one hand, chocolate bar in the other screaming, ‘what a ride!’”

If you must go lite, I pulled this recipe out of the O Magazine December issue.

Eggnog

6 cups skim milk
1 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk
6 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp rum extract
ground nutmeg or cinnamon
sugar free whipped topping

1. Whisk skim milk, egg substitute, powdered milk and sugar over medium heat. Stir 15-20 minutes, until thickened.

2. Remove from heat; which in vanilla and rum extracts. Let cool, stirring occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.

3. Stir and pour into cups. If desired, sprinkle each with nutmeg or cinnamon; add a dollop of whipped topping.

Makes 6 servings (about 100 calories each)

Eat, Drink and be Merry!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Last Minute Dinner Plans, No Problem!

Last minute dinner plans made easy....

You can't go wrong with a quick fresh red sauce and pasta. Add a tossed salad to the mix and you are good to go. I usually buy my canned tomatoes by the case when they go on sale so that I always have them in stock. This has come in very handy due to quite a few impromptu dinners with guests.

Red Sauce
- Fresh sliced garlic
- Canned stewed tomatoes or fresh chopped tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Basil chopped if fresh
- Oregano
- Pinch of sugar

1. Saute the sliced garlic in the olive oil, add the tomatoes, seasonings and pinch of sugar.

If you want a bit of a heartier dish add some chopped onions, sliced mushrooms and toss in a few home-made meatballs. (when you make the meatballs make extra and freeze them so you have them ready to go for the next time you want them)

Last night we used a penne pasta, but capellini works great as well.
Toss together a salad with mixed greens, walnuts, feta cheese, chopped red pepper and top with a nice balsamic vinaigrette.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sweet Potatoes And Greens

One of my dinner staples during the fall and winter is Sweet Potatoes and Greens. This dish is so easy to make and healthy.

Below is my version of how I make it as well as a version I pulled out of my people magazine by Chef Sam Kass. Both quite different yet so good!

Head out to the farmers market for some fall veggies and enjoy! Don't forget that collard greens are at their best after the first frost, in which they are less bitter)

Sweet Potatoes And Greens - Jolene's Version

2 large sweet potatoes
1 bag of pre-washed spinach
4 cloves of garlic
Lemon juice
Olive Oil
Cottage cheese
Large tomato

1. Wash the sweet potatoes and cut into cubes.
2. Put the potatoes with 2 peeled cloves of garlic into a pot with water that just covers them and bring to a boil. Once tender, remove from heat and drain water.
3. While the sweet potatoes are cooking heat a little olive oil in a skillet and add minced fresh garlic, cook slightly then add the spinach, put a couple tablespoons of lemon juice over the spinach. Saute and season with Janes crazy mixed up seasoning.
4. While the spinach is cooking mash the sweet potatoes with a little butter, don't need much. Add one packet of Sazon Goya and stir in.
5. Slice tomatoes and sprinkle with sea salt.
6. Place the spinach on a plate, top with the with mashed sweet potatoes and then top with a spoonful of cottage cheese. Place the sliced tomatoes off to the side and enjoy! You will love all the beautiful colors on your plate and will be completely satisfied.

Sweet Potatoes And Greens - Chef Sam Kass

2 or 3 large sweet potatoes
2 bunches of greens (chard, kale or collards)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground gloves
salt and pepper
1/4 tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil.

1. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into bite size pieces
2. Heath half the oil in pan over medium heat and add potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just brown on all sides and soft. (about 12-15 minutes, depending on size) when they are cooked, add spices and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, wash the greens (do not dry), remove stems and cut leaves into small pieces. Heat remaining oil over medium heat, add the garlic and cook for a minute before adding greens. Stir often and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Combine potatoes, honey and lemon juice with the greens, stir and serve.
Makes 4 servings.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mom's Home Cooking

For some reason the fall season is when I feel the need to stay in, cook up a good meal and hang out in front of the fireplace. It is also when I spend the most time reflecting back on the yummy meals of my youth. My mom was an amazing cook and ruined my brothers and I for life on how we define food and what is good. No chain restaurant would ever stand a chance in our eyes, I mean, really, how could you pay for a meal out for mediocre food when you could pay for a meal cooked a home that is yummy and that will last for days.

Lately my mind has been thinking over so many recipes due to me being the next host of Sunday Supper Club, my mouth is watering while writing this just thinking about all the things I could be making. There is a variety of hearty soups, tamale pie, chicken pillows, sweet and sour chicken, brat with sauerkraut and potatoes, the list goes on.

Oh what to make? I have something planned that may not seem exciting at first but I am certain all will love.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Easy Shepherds Pie



This ones a favorite and can be made a variety of ways. Below is how I made the most recent one.

Ground Meat - cooked and seasoned with sea salt and pepper
Mashed potatoes - homemade, of course!
1 can cream of mushroom soup mixed with either milk or water per can instructions.
1 can of green beans
1 can of corn
Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large casserole dish put the cooked meat then layer with green beans and corn. Pour the soup mixture over it, top with mashed potatoes and then a layer of grated cheddar cheese. Place foil over the dish and back for 35 minutes until thoroughly heated. Remove the foil and back another 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Peppers, Peppers and more Peppers

Sunday was the annual Piedmont Biofarm Pittsboro Pepper Festival adding to the feeling of fall with the crisp air, beautiful peppers and habanero beer. Yes! Habanero beer, it was quite nice.

There were 40 different varieties of peppers by farmer Doug Jones, local chefs (Sarig was there) cooking foods using peppers, jalapeno water ice, liberacion juice station (so yummy) and music by Howie Dewitt blues/funk band.

It was interesting to see and taste all the foods with peppers in them. We had a casserole, lasagna, stuff peppers, stuff jalapenos, pepper goat cheese, pepper jelly, jalapeno water ice, Habanero beer (beers a food, right?) frito pie and green chili stew. By the time the event was over I was definitely peppered out.

Pepper Tasting Table. Number #9 was one of the best!





Pepper plants!

These were heavenly. Jalapeno's stuffed with 2 different kinds of cheeses and spices, then egg battered and rolled in cornmeal. Elaine's is definitely one restaurant I would love to try.
Habanero beer!

The Green Liberation was AWESOME!


Some very spicy goat cheese!



While it was a small event it was fun none-the-less and one that we just may attend again next year.

Did I mention I LOVE the fall!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Taco Dip


Taco Dip

**this was a HUGE hit and so yummy! Perfect for football season, actually any season.

1 package softened cream cheese

1 med sized container of sour cream

1 package taco seasoning

1 bag shredded lettuce

2 small tomatoes chopped

1 bag shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 small can sliced black olives

Taco sauce – I like medium

Jalapenos

Mix cream cheese, sour cream & taco seasoning. Spread evenly on bottom of dish. Then add lettuce, tomatoes, olives, taco sauce, cheese & jalapenos.

Serve with scoops J

Buffalo Chicken Dip


Buffalo Chicken Dip

This is definitely a personal favorite of mine that Melissa makes.

**cheesy image in picture, obviously:)**

2 cups cooked & shredded chicken breast

2 packages cream cheese

5 oz. FRANKS red hot sauce (you can use other hot sauces, but FRANKS is the best)

1 cup ranch dressing

¾ cups (about 4 stalks) finely chopped celery

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Sauté cooked chicken with cream cheese, celery and hot sauce in skillet over low heat until cream cheese is melted and celery is soft.

Remove from heat and add ranch dressing.

Pour into serving dish & top with cheddar cheese.

Bake @ 350° for about 20 minutes.

Mem's Lasagna


Mem’s lasagna

Side note: If you follow this to the tee it will not taste like it did at Supper Club – it will be SOOOOOO much better! Not sure what I did, but I screwed something up that night!

1 lb ground beef

1 clove garlic – minced

1 teaspoon fresh parsley (dried is okay, if need be)

1 teaspoon fresh basil (I would not use dry)

1 16oz canned tomatoes – undrained. I stew my own but have used canned and it turns out pretty good.

2 6oz can tomato paste

1 package lasagna noodles – if you are able, make your own noodles. I tend to take the easy road on this one!

2 large eggs - beaten

½ teaspoon pepper

2 12oz containers cottage cheese

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 ½ pound freshly sliced mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef – drain. Add garlic, parsley, basil, tomatoes & paste. Simmer for 15 minutes or until sauce is thick.

Cook lasagna noodles – drain.

Combine eggs, pepper, cottage cheese & parmesan – mix well.

Spread ½ cup meat sauce in greased 13x9 dish.

Layer ½ each of noodles, cottage cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese & meat sauce. Repeat layers. I like to have a nice think layer of mozzarella cheese on top!

Cover and bake @ 350° for 45 minutes. Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese on top is brown & bubbling!

Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Lasagna Alfredo


Lasagna Alfredo

Courtesy of allrecipes.com

Submitted by: Sybil Gregory

Ingredients:

1 16oz package lasagna noodles

1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach

3 cooked, boneless chicken breast, diced

2 16oz jars Alfredo sauce (I made a double batch of Tim’s Alfredo recipe)

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 pints ricotta cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 – 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Cook spinach according to package directions; drain.

In a medium bowl, combine chicken and one jar alfredo sauce, stir together. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta and drained, cooked spinach & stir.

In a 9x13 baking dish, place one layer of lasagna noodles, edges overlapping. Pour chicken and alfredo sauce mixture over noodle layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over chicken mixture. Top with another layer of noodles. Spread spinach mixture evenly over noodles. Pour ½ of remaining jar of alfredo sauce over spinach mixture, spread evenly. Sprinkle another cup of mozzarella over sauce, lay on the final noodle layer and top with remaining 2 cups of mozzarella. Bake 5- 60 minutes until top is brown and bubbly.

*side note: if you use Tim’s alfredo recipe; you may want to use a bit less parm cheese; I found the final dish with all the other stuff to be a bit salty.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Butterscotch Brownies


1/4 cup Butter
1 cup light brown sugar packed
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350. melt butter over low heat, remove. Stir in sugar, cool. Add eggs, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix, then add vanilla. In a greased square pan 8x8 and bake for 25 minutes. Do not over bake. Cut into bars while still warm.

Chocolate Brownies


INGREDIENTS

2 cups white sugar

1 cup butter

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup walnut halves

DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter or margarine and mix all ingredients in the order given.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes in a 9 x 13 inch greased pan.

Tracy's Gumbo (Courtesy of Paula Deen)


I adapted this recipe from one I picked up from Paula Deen and provide you with the original ingredients and then how I modified it – mostly replacing with healthier fats and meats. I love to make this dish on a weekend when it first starts to cool and there’s great football to watch all day!

My best advice for this dish is to take your time. The roux is the most critical part of the whole thing and you don’t want to rush through it or the flavors won’t blend properly. You can play around with the amounts of veggies and meats to taste – but don’t mess with the roux – that’s what makes this dish.

Paula’s Original Recipe

Tracy’s Modifications

3 large chicken breasts

boneless and skinless

1 lb Smoked Sausage

Hillshire Farms Smoked Turkey Sausage

¼ c Vegetable Oil

Canola Oil

Salt and Pepper

---

½ c All Purpose Flour

---

5 tbsp Margarine

Crisco Butter Sticks and not the full amount – more like 4 tbsp.

1 chopped onion

1 bag Frozen chopped onion at the supermarket and I use the whole thing

8 Cloves Minced Garlic

I use the stuff in the jar and eyeball three to four spoonfuls

1 Green Bell Pepper seeded and chopped

---

3 stalks celery chopped

I usually use more about 5 or I get the celery hearts from the grocery and just chop the whole thing

¼ c. Worcestershire sauce

---

¼ bunch flat leaf parsley chopped

I use a ½ bunch – I chop of the leafy green tops and chop it in a mini prep

4 c hot water

---

5 beef bouillon cubes

Knorr’s Big Cubes in Veggie (not beef )

1 -14oz can stewed tomatoes in juice

Muirs Organic Petite Diced – drained

2 c. frozen sliced Okra

Use a 1 lb bag

4 green onions sliced – green and white parts

Whole bunch plus more to garnish

½ lb small shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked

At least 1 lb and more like 2 lbs per batch – the small ones though. See notes to prepare these fresh below


STEP ONE: THE ROUX

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium high heat.

Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. I put the chicken on a plate and cover with some tin foil – it still cooks that way and stays warm and juicy before it goes back in the pot. After the chicken is removed, add the sausage and brown that, then remove.

Sprinkle flour over the oil and add 2 tbsp of the margarine (Crisco) and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly, until brown about 10 minutes (my cooktop and Dutch oven are about 8 so you want this brown but not burnt keep an eye on it). Remove from heat and let the roux cool – I give it about 15 minutes and use this time to prep/chop remaining ingredients.

STEP TWO: THE SAUCE

Boil the water in a separate bowl (I use a 1 qt measuring cup) and add the bouillon cubes, set aside.

After cooling, return the roux to the stove top over low to medium heat and melt the remaining margarine (Crisco). Add the onion, garlic, green pepper and celery and cook until it’s all softened and then add the Worcestershire and parsley (the whole process is about 7 to 10 minutes).

Add in the hot water and stir constantly until everything is well incorporated (about 5 minutes). Chop up the chicken (I so this while the roux is cooling) and return to the pot. Add back the sausage, too. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.

STEP THREE: FINAL FIXINS & PREP

At this point, you can transfer the gumbo to a crock pot (what I did for supper club). Or you can keep it on the stove top, your choice. Add in the tomatoes and OKRA and simmer for another hour on the stove top or 2 hours on high in the crock pot. Then turn the crock pot to the warm of low setting until you are ready to serve.

I like the crock pot if there I am doing this for supper and there is a later day game that I want to watch. I cook this up in the morning and then let it simmer in the crock pot until we are ready for dinner.

If you are on the stove top, add the shrimp about 15 minutes before you serve. If you are in the crock pot (which is on low now) add in about 45 minutes (or so) before serving.

SERVING:

I serve over rice with corn, French or garlic bread and sometimes a salad (but there are enough veggies this way that it’s easy to go without). Great on a plate or in a bowl if you are all hanging around a tv watching a game. This tastes even better the next day and it freezes beautifully! Enjoy!

Final Note: Steamed Shrimp

I always steam my own shrimp for this recipe so they are nice and tender (I hope!). I get uncooked, unpeeled (but deveined) shrimp from the grocery. I peel the shrimp and place in a steam basked. I will cover about 4 or 5 layers and if I have more I do it in two batches. Also, bring the water to a boil BEFORE you add the steamer basket. Steam about 8 to 10 minutes with the stove top on medium to low setting (I always test one or two to be sure they are done). If you are working with multiple batches, dump the steamed shrimp into a colander to drain and cool, return water to a boil (and add more if needed) and repeat the process. Let the shrimp cool in the colander and then transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use. Enjoy!

Honey Cornbread


INGREDIENTS

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs, lightly beaten

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x9 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the cream, oil, honey and eggs; stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of pan comes out clean.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Supper at Tracy's


Thank you Tracy for hosting this months supper club. Loving the fall food theme we had going and am hoping for more to come!


The menu consisted of:

Main Course - Shrimp, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo over Rice, compliments of Tracy

Side - Honey Cornbread, compliments of Tim

Appetizer - Taco Dip, compliments of Melissa

Dessert - Butterscotch Brownies, Chocolate Walnut Brownies and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, compliments of Jolene

Thank you to those that brought beer.

Next month we will have a new addition joining us, looking forward to meeting him.

I will make sure lasts months Lasagna recipes are posted this week.

Looking forward to next months supper club at Marc's.