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
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. - 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)
(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.


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 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.


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.