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Chocolate Bark

Again using Trisha Yearwood’s painted white chocolate bark recipe, I modified it to be other than her recipe.

Ingredients:

16 oz. dark chocolate chips

1/2 bag white candy melting wafers

1 C chopped pistachios

1/4 C chocolate nibs

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate chips.
  3. With a off-set spatula spread all the dark chocolate in a large rectangle.  Fill the mat.  
  4. Sprinkle with pistachios.
  5. Melt the white candy wafers. drizzle over the chocolate and swirl with a toothpick.  Sprinkle with more pistachios and chocolate nibs.  

The picture is before I break it up.  

 

I also made sugar cookies that I carefully stamped with a imprint of holly leaf and berries.  They spread on the sheet into square blobs.  So much for that idea.  I spread with blue icing and sprinkled with white sprinkles.  The end.  


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Asian Chicken and Veggie Tortilla Wraps &Moroccan-Spiced Butternut Squash Bisque

After my day of baking, I made this for dinner.  Weight Watchers has changed up their ideas again and I think they are really on the right track now.  Many of my favorite recipes now track at a lessor amount of points and the soup I made tonight is zero points and delicious.  I added more chicken to this recipe, no extra points.  We also have a lot less points to use.  Monday we were invited by our Dance Club for dinner at Jimmy Kelly’s.  So we had this again as leftovers on Tuesday. 

Ingredients:

2 C packaged coleslaw (I used the entire package)

4 scallions thinly sliced 

1 C finely chopped cooked skinless chicken breast (I probably had 4 C of chicken.  I should have chopped it in the food processor to make it easier to roll the wraps.)

2T chopped dry roasted peanuts

2 T chopped fresh basil

2 T chopped fresh mint

4 t fresh lime

2 t Asian sesame oil

2 t reduced sodium soy sauce

2 (10”) burrito-style fat free flour tortillas warmed 

Directions:

  1. Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat.  Add coleslaw mix, scallions, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until cabbage begins to wilt.
  2. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently , until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in peanuts, basil and mint.  
  3. Meanwhile, stir together lime juice, sesame oil, and soy saucier a small bowl.  
  4. Spoon filing evenly onto tortillas.  Drizzle filling evenly onto tortillas. 
    Drizzle filling with lime juice mixture and roll up.  Cut wraps in half on slight diagonal.
  5. Serve at once.

The chicken is 4 WW pts. per serving.  It says serves 2 but as I doubled the recipe it actually made 5.  They and the following soup were beyond filling.

Ingredients:

3/4 t coconut oil

2 C diced onions

3 C diced carrots

1 t table salt

1T minced ginger

1 t minced garlic

1 T ground coriander

2 t ground cumin

1 t ground cinnamon

1 pinch cayenne pepper

8 C cubed butternut squash

4 C fat-free chicken broth (Used my own broth)

1 T orange juice

2 T chopped chives

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots and salt.  Cook stirring frequently until vegetables are softened, 10 minutes.  
  2. Add ginger garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne; cook stirring constantly 1 minute.  
  3. Add squash and broth to pot.  
  4. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until squash is very soft.  30-35 minutes.  
  5. Puree soup in pot with an immersion blende, stir in OJ and garnish with chives.  
  6. Yield is 1 C per serving and it makes 8 servings.

Both were very good and filling. Jo is not happy about his new hat.


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Mom's Fruitcake & White Chocolate Bark

Well, I am hardly getting to cook these days.  Wednesday we had leftovers as Jim had a meeting here of our Let’s Dance Club.  He is now the president.  Thursday his senior golf group had a dinner.  The food was surprisingly very good.  I had salmon on pea risotto.  It was delicious.  Friday I could have cooked but, I had been up early and toured the governor’s mansion and then had a great lunch with all the Newcomer’s at The Yellow Porch.  I had a yummy black bean burger with salad.  We went to our local Japanese restaurant before dance club.  I had edamame and cucumber rolls.  Jim had his shrimp tempura.  I also ordered 2 squid sushi.  I gave one to Jim and he gave me his tempera fried broccoli.  Jim danced his tango with Rachael.   

Last night was to be our University Club Christmas dance.  One hour before we were to leave, we got a call.  Vanderbuilt University had a wanter main break and they turned off the water in several buildings including our club.  So we met Barbara and Joel at Giovanni’s in Bell Mead for dinner.  I had a delicious grilled octopus as an appetizer followed by pillow soft gnocchi in a tomato sauce for dinner.  They had vanilla galletto with chocolate sauce and Jim had some choral ate cake.  

Speaking of Jim, he woke up with strep throat this AM.  He went to Vanderbuilt Clinic and had it confirmed.  He is on Penicillin.

After breakfast, I started my baking mission for the day.  I made my Mom’s fruit cake and chocolate bark.  I haven’t made it in years as in the east, they only had cut up little pieces of candied fruit in the markets.  You need whole cherries and whole pineapple for hers.  I walked in Publix and there was my dream red and green whole cherries and whole pineapple.  Yesterday I shopped for hours in two different Publix and Costco.  I started making the fruitcake and found out we were totally out of butter.  So back to the market this AM and we now have butter.  

Ingredients:

1# candied red and green cherries

1# candied pineapple cut in large pieces

1# pecan halves

1 1/2 C white raisins

1/8t baking powder

1/2 t cream of tarter

dash salt

6 eggs

1/4 # butter (1 stick)

1 C sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients over the fruits and mix well.  
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar, beat in the eggs.  
  4. Mix the pecans in with the fruit and pour in the butter/egg mixture.  Mix throughly and divide into floured loaf pans.  Press down to release pockets of air as much as possible.  It will make 2 loaf pans or I made 4- (3 1/2” X 6”) loaves.   
  5. Bake at 225 d.F. for 2 1/2 hours. Turn out on a wire rack to cool.  

Next I tackled a chocolate candy recipe I saw on the Trish Yearwood show.  She used a lot of colors, I was going to use red and green, but they only had white or chocolate in Publix.  So I turned her recipe into white and dark chocolate bark with peppermint sprinkles.  Later I am going to turn it around again and Use dark chocolate chips with white melts with cocoa nibs and chopped pistachio.  I am going to type her recipe and you will get what I am doing.  

Ingredients:

1/2 C blue candy melting wafers

1/2 C pink candy melting wafers

1/2 C green candy melting wafers

1/2 C yellow candy melting wafers

1 12 oz. bag white chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Special equipment a skewer or tooth pick
  2. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper
  3. Add the 4 colors of candy melting wafers to separate microwave-safe bowls.  Microwave each bowl separately for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for 30 seconds more or until just fluid.  (Microwave should be on 50% or defrost.  I highly recommend you melt over hot water.  White chocolate is tricky and can turn on you in a heartbeat.)
  4. Melt the white chocolate chips in a separate microwave-safe bowl at 70% power for about 1 minute.  If needed, microwaves at 70% in 10-second intervals until fluid.  
  5. Pour the white chocolate onto the silicone mat and spread thin white an off set spatula into a square or rectangle,
  6. Using a small spoon, drop and drizzle the assorted melted candy wafers over the top of  the white chocolate.  Then, take a skewer and grab the color around to make swirls.  
  7. Refrigerate to set up, 1 hour.  
  8. Break the chocolate bark into pieces and serve.  Store in an airtight container.  

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Chicken Bog

As promised we had leftover Monday and so Tuesday I had to cook again.  I had planned this meal to make with the leftover chicken, But Jim wanted to eat it as served Sunday.  So I used frozen chicken breast from Costco.  The recipe calls for rotisserie chicken, but this was easier.  During the Christmas season, easy is better.  

Ingredients:

2 T EVOO

1 C chopped yellow onion

1 C chopped carrots

2 t chopped garlic

1 1/2 C uncooked long-grain rice

1 t kosher salt

3/4 t pepper

4 C chicken stock

1 (4”) piece Parmesan cheese rind

4 C shredded boneless, skinless rotisserie chicken (1 whole)

3 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 oz. parmesan cheese, shaved

Directions:

  1. heat oil in a Dutch oven over mediums-high.  Add onion and carrots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic, rice, salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant and rice begins to toast, about 3 minutes.  
  2. Stir in stock, and add Parmesan rind, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer until rice is just cooked through about 18 minutes.  
  3. Cook until chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes.  
  4. Stir in parsley and lemon juice just before serving and top with shaved Parmesan.

There is no way this serves just 4.  We ate it for 2 nights and we’ve decided that Jo will get the remaining leftovers.  

No need to cook tomorrow, lunch and dinner parties.  Lunch is at the Centennial Woman’s Club.  It is always a perfect menu.  They are very good cooks there.  Our wine club goes there for our Christmas party.  The evening party is Jim’s senior golf group at Temple Hills.  Club Corp can’t keep a good chef so we will see what is served tonight.  


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Chicken Cooked Under a Brick & Pear and Brussels Sprouts Hash with Crispy Bacon

Saturday we went to two parties.  The first was my Newcomer Group.  We really aren’t new, it is just we have not lived in Nashville forever.  They had a lovely dinner.  Next we went to Jim’s cooked group party.  The coffee group has wine club members and and dance club members and many other interesting people.  And again wonderful food and drinks.  

Sunday I started right after breakfast with dinner.  I took time out to go to John and Tamera’s house for a Holiday Tea with the Democratic women.  I am now an official member of the Democratic Women of Tennessee.  

Breakfast was bacon and scrambled eggs with pepper, mushrooms and cheddar cheese.  

Time for chicken again.  I fixed the wonderful grilled chicken from Mario Batali, Italian Grill.  It says to refrigerate for 12 hours.  Mine got close to 8 and it was fine.  It serves 6 so again, I cut it in half.  We have enough of everything leftover for Monday night.  

I used a prepared rice dish called vegetable paella.  I wasn’t keen on it.  The Brussels sprout hash from Costco was also a winner.  

Il Galletto Al Mattone

Ingredients:

2 young chickens (about 3# each)

3 T fennel pollen or ground toasted fennel seeds

1/4 C sea salt or kosher slat

1 T freshly ground black pepper

1 T chopped fresh thyme

1/4 C EVOO

About 1/2 C chopped fresh Italian parsley

Lemon wedges for serving

Directions:

  1. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut down along both sides of the backbone of each chicken and remove it.  Turn the chickens king side up and press down hard on them with your palms to crack the breastbones and flatten them.  Remove the excess fat and pat the chicken dry with paper towels.  
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the fennel, salt, pepper and thyme.  Pat the mixture onto both sides of the chickens, coating them generously.  Wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap, place on a baking sheet or in a baking dish and refrigerate  for 12 hours.
  3. An hour before you are ready to grill, remove the chicken from the refrigerator.  
  4. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling.  Wrap two clean bricks in a double thickness of heath-duty aluminum foil and place them on the hot par of the grill to preheat.
  5. Gently blot the chicken dry.  Rub the birds all over with the oil.  
  6. Using pot holders or oven mitts, move the bricks to the side of the grill.  Oil the grill rack, using a clean rag dipped in oil or a basting brush.  Place the chickens skin side down on the line midway between coals and no coals.  Place a brick on top of each chicken, cover the grill, and cook for 10 minutes.  Move the bricks to the side of the grill again, carefully lift up each chicken, making sure the at the skin doesn’t tear and place skin side up on the hot part of the grill.  Place the bricks on top again, cover the grill and cook for 15 minute, being careful to snuff any flare-ups with a squirt gun.  
  7. Remove the bricks, carefully turn the chicken over, and cook, still on the hot part of the grill, for 5 minutes more, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F.  
  8. Transfer the chickens to a platter and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle the chicken with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.  

While the chicken was grilling I made the Brussels sprouts.  Earlier I had fried the bacon pieces and cleaned and halved the sprouts.

Ingredients:

5 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2” pieces

2# Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

2 T EVOO

Salt and ground black pepper

2 ripe Bartlett pears, large dice

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven 375 degrees F.  
  2. Place bacon pieces in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring often, until most of the fat has been rendered out and bacon is beginning to get crispy. 
  3. Place sprouts on a sheet pan.  Pour bacon and fat from pan over the sprouts.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Toss thoroughly to coat sprouts with seasoning.  Transfer to oven.  
  4. Bake has 22-24 minutes, stirring once during cooking.  Add diced pears and thyme leaves and toss together gently.  Return hash to oven for 4-5 minutes to warm pears through.  
  5. Serve immediately.  

The evening ended with a pumpkin pie I made earlier in the day.  Very good Sunday dinner.  


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