Thursday, August 30, 2012

Deconstructed Chicken Fajitas

Fajitas are a lot easier to make than you think. I always wonder why we don't have them at home at least twice a month. I just have to get down the serving on a sizing plate down... 

1 tablespoon fajita rub
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
16 ounces boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
1 large sweet or yellow onion, sliced
4 roasted bell peppers
1/2 cup fresh corn
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
16 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

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Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Mustard Greens

This easy pasta makes a great Meatless Monday dish. The mushrooms will give it the meaty flavor and the mustard greens will give you a good source of protein. 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings

1 cup button mushrooms, sliced and browned
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound fettuccine
1 bunch, mustard greens, with tough ribs removed and leaves torn into pieces

Baked Sweet Potato Donuts

I tend to like my sweet potatoes more on the savory side, but this recipe just looks too good to pass up! Yes, they're donuts, but at least you're incorporating a vegetable and you're not frying them. That's worth something right? 

2 cups of sweet potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender, then thoroughly drained
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp double acting baking powder
sugar coating:
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mac N' Cheese With Butternut Squash

Talk about the ultimate comfort food. This recipe mixes butternut squash with ricotta cheese to give it a richness that is beyond compare. Cutting it up can be a bit tough at times, but trust me, it's worth the work.

1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 ounce)
2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon olive oil
Olive-oil, cooking spray
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer Peach Cake

With peach season rapidly coming to an end, it makes sense to make something beautiful and delicious to celebrate the fuzzy fruit. For those of you celebrating back-to-school, this would make the perfect addition to your celebration!

2 1/2pounds peaches, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch-thick wedges
5 tablespoons peach schnapps
4 teaspoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/4teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs, finely crushed

Garlic Rosemary French Fries

You don't need to have a professional fryer to make restaurant-quality french fries at home. I love putting rosemary on everything, but they make the best pair with potatoes.

2 lbs white Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick sticks
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, minced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Apple Cartwheels

Apple Cartwheels RecipeWhile we are still getting over the shock of having apples so soon, it's great to dive in and start making delicious snacks that make Fall our favorite season. This recipe combines all things comfort. It's great for the kids, but don't let them have all the fun! 

1/4 cup peanut butter
1-1/2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons raisins
4 medium apples, cored

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Chargrilled Pepper, Eggplant and Basil Salad

This recipe makes a colorful and savory side dish. The flavor combination of smoky eggplant and pepper is irresistible!

1 each large red, yellow and orange pepper
2 medium-sized eggplants
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
olive oil to brush eggplant with
2 good handfuls fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Chili Lime Corn on the Cob

As the corn season will soon come to an end, we hope that you've been freezing your corn and enjoying its wonderful season. We can't get enough of it (and neither can our chickens!)  This recipe can be done using grilled corn and broiled corn.

Ingredients:4 ears of corn
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
optional: lime wedges for serving

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cantaloupe Popsicles

If this doesn't make you want to break down and buy some popsicle molds, nothing will. If you have an ice-cream maker, use the same recipe to make an equally refreshing sorbet. Don't have either of these? Use your ice cube trays!

2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sweet mint leaves, crushed
Zest of 1 lime
3 cups cantaloupe, pureed
2 Tbsp white rum (optional)

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Vive le Jardin Ratatouille

Ratatouille CookedYou will love saying this when your family asks what you will be cooking for dinner tonight. This is a great way to use up some of the veggies that are left in your fridge. It's beautiful, colorful and makes a great side dish or a light main dish. 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup white wine
1 tsp Whistlestop Herbes de Provence
1 cup crushed tomatoes
3 turkish orange eggplants, thinly sliced into rounds
3 large beefsteak tomatoes, thinly sliced into rounds
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced into rounds
1 red bell pepper, carefully cored and thinly sliced into rounds
2 sprigs fresh thyme, de-stemmed
3 1/2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled

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Grilled Brown-Sugar Peaches with White Chocolate

This decadent dessert will make you appreciate a good peach even more. It's easy to make, but very impressive.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 unpeeled peaches, halved, pitted
1/3 cup finely chopped white chocolate
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted salted pistachios

Cucumber Avocado Tea Sandwiches With Dill & Mint

If you all are like me, you've been glued to the TV the past couple of weeks watching every event for the Olympics. I am watching sports that I would never sit down and watch, but all of a sudden they seem so fascinating. If you are going to be having friends over this weekend to watch the closing ceremonies, these mini cucumber sandwiches will be ever so appropriate and fit for a queen.

Tea SandwichesIngredients for the spread:
2 ripe avocados, kept cold in the fridge
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
2 tablespoon fresh chopped dill

Nectarine Cheesecake Bars With Ginger Cookie Crust

I have never had nectarine with cheesecake before. What a great combination to make! With a ginger cookie crust? even better! This makes a big batch so you'll have some to share with your neighbors... or you know... not. We won't tell.

2 8-oz blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar + 2 Tbsp, divided
3 eggs
3 nectarines
lemon zest from one lemon (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups crushed ginger cookies
6 Tbsp butter, melted

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer Produce Freezing

All this great produce it at its peak right now and it will be gone before we know it. Now is the time to preserve all those great flavors so that you can enjoy them later in the year. 

Freezer Tomato Sauce 

12 to 15 medium to large ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup diced basil leaves
8 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons powdered ascorbic acid preserver, such as Fruit Fresh
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Basil Cubes

Olive Oil

Puff Pastry Veggie Pizza

I love using puff pastry for desserts and savory dishes. The buttery flakiness goes well with just about anything. This veggie pizza can be cut up into small squares and used for appetizers or you can cut them in larger pieces and serve with a salad for a simple, weeknight dinner.

1/2 of a 17.3-ounce packagePepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped yellow squash
1 small green or red pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup Prego® Pizzeria Style Pizza Sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

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Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed With Mozzarella & Basil

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Mozzarella & Basil RecipeThese cute little appetizers are just what you need for unexpected guests. Serve these up with a pitcher of iced tea and you'll be a very gracious host. They're easy to make and with it being late summer, you should always have these ingredients on hand. 

1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into tiny dice (to yield about 1-1/4 cup)
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest (from about a quarter of a lemon)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pint (about 18) cherry tomatoes, rinsed