Archive for January, 2011

This dish is one of my families favorites!  This dish is so EASY to put together and quick too!   Add a salad or a Veggie and you have a Gourmet Meal, but Quick, Simple & Tasty! What more can you ask for?

Chicken Marsala

Adapted From: Emeril Lagasse

1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

1 Tbsp. Essence (Recipe Follows)

4-6 Chicken Breasts, Sliced thinly or pounded thin

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

4 Tbsp. Butter

3 Cups Sliced Mushrooms (Cremini, oyster, Shiitake, or your choice)

1/2 Cup Marsala Sweet

1/2 Cup Marsala Dry

1/8 Cup Dry White Wine

1 Cup Veal Stock (you can use Chicken stock or Vegetable stock if you’d like instead. I used Minor’s but the better than bouillon is fantastic too and easy to find!)

1/3 Cup Heavy Cream

Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

Chopped Chives for Garnish


In a large plastic bag (or pie plate) combine, flour and Essence and shake or stir to mix thoroughly.  Dredge the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess flour.  Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium high heat until hot, but not smoking.  Add olive oil and butter to skillet.   Cook the chicken breasts in the olive oil and butter until the chicken breasts are golden brown on both sides.  Remove chicken breasts from skillet, tent with foil and set in a 200 degree oven to keep warm.  Add a little more olive oil and butter to the skillet and when it’s hot but not smoking add the chopped mushrooms.  Saute’ until golden  on both sides and water has released from the mushrooms.  Add the Sweet Marsala, Dry Marsala, Dry White Wine (I used a chardonnay), and cook over medium high heat, scrapping bits from the bottom of the pan,  until liquid is reduced by half.   Add the veal stock, and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.  Continue to cook until sauce thickens, about 5-6 minutes.  Add 1/3 cup Heavy whipping cream, and if needed a slurry of a little bit of flour (Approximately 2 Tbsp. mixed with a little bit of water) to thicken sauce to desired consistency.  Add the last 2 Tbsp. of butter to the skillet, swirling it into the sauce.  Add chicken back into the pan, adding any pan juices that have accumulated. Stir the sauce again, add the chives, and serve at once.  Yield: 4-6  Servings.

Parsley Potatoes

From: Fire up the Oven

6- 8 Medium sized Potatoes, Russet or Yukon Golds

1/2 cup Butter (1 Stick)

1/8 tsp. Dried Dill

1 -2 Tbsp.  Freshly Chopped Parsley

Salt & Pepper, to taste


Peel potatoes, and cut into 1 inch dice.  Add water, enough to cover by 1 inch and salt the water, making it taste like the sea. (Approx. 1 /2 Tbsp.)  Boil the potatoes on medium high until you can stick a fork into the potato with ease. Remove from heat, and drain potatoes.  Put potatoes back into the pot, add a stick of butter.  Set a lid on top of the pot to help the butter melt.  Let set for approximately 5 minutes, or until butter has melted.  Add the dill and the fresh parsley.  Stir to mix thoroughly, taste and correct seasoning if needed and serve at once.  Seves 4-6.

Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning)

2 1/2 Tbsp. Paprika

2 Tbsp. Salt

2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tbsp. Black Pepper

1 Tbsp. Onion Powder

1 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper

1 Tbsp. Dried Leaf Oregano

1 Tbsp. Dried Thyme


Combine all ingredients together and mix well. Store in an air-tight jar or container.  (You can purchase this seasoning in the grocery store also if preferred)

Read Full Post »

Pizza Calzones!

My daughter (Sherie)  made Pizza Calzone’s not too long ago and I thought I’d share the recipe and the pictures! These were delicious.  Another thing that I like about making individual pizzas is everyone gets to have one, just the way THEY like it! What could be better!  My Grand Kids especially like this idea as they hate all those toppings on there! Anyway without further ado, the pictures and the recipe.

Easy Peezy Pizza Dough (Bread Machine Dough)

2 tsp. Yeast

3 Cups Bread Flour

1 tsp. Salt

2 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Cup, plus 2 Tbsp.  Water

Combine all of the ingredients above in the order I have listed into your bread machine.  Select the dough cycle and hit start.  When the dough cycle is completed, take the dough out of the machine and place in a well-greased bowl.  Roll the dough around in the bowl to completely cover with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.  Knead the risen dough lightly. Your now ready to shape and use it for your pizza.

(This can also be done in a stand mixer.)

I cover my pizza with pizza sauce and bake in a 450 degree oven for 9 minutes. Pull it out and put toppings of your choice onto the pizza.  Put it back in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with cheese. Put it back in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Let pizza set for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Ham, Onion, Pepperoni and Green Peppers

To make Calzone’s:

Roll pizza out on a lightly floured surface to approximately 9X12 rectangle.  Spoon sauce on one half of the rectangle, and then top with your choice of toppings. Fold dough over and pinch seams together. Brush top of pizza with an egg wash and sprinkle with seasonings of your choice. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Gooey, Ham & Cheese!

Read Full Post »

Bagel Sticks!

My family is a little different and requests Bagel Sticks instead of Bagels. Not a big deal, actually very easy to shape. This is my families favorite way to eat bagels.

Once you try the Bread Maker’s Apprentice recipe, you’ll never go back to buying bagels. These are so worth the time and effort you put into them. My family won’t settle for anything less!  You’ll find me in the kitchen making bagels quite often!

This recipe comes from the Book: The Bread Maker’s Apprentice. (page 115)



1 tsp. Instant Yeast

4 cups high Gluten or bread flour

2 1/2 Cups Water


1/2 tsp. Yeast

3 3/4 Cups unbleached high gluten or Bread Flour

2 3/4 tsp. Salt

2 tsp. Malt Powder OR

1 Tbsp. Dark or light malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar (I used brown sugar)

To Finish:

1 Tbsp. Baking Soda

Cornmeal or Semolina Flour for dusting

Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Kosher Salt, Rehydrated dried minced garlic, or onions, or chopped fresh onions that have been tossed in oil. (Optional)


To make the Sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4 quart mixing bowl. Add the water,

whisking and stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the batter with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.

To Make the Dough: In the same mixing bowl, (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional  yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of flour and all of the salt and malt. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients form a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough.

Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at 10 minutes (or for 6 minutes by machine). The dough should be firm, stiffer than French dough, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour – all the ingredients should be hydrated.  The dough should pass the window pane test (page 58) and register 77 to 81 degrees F.  If the dough seems to dry and  rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If dough seems to tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable, but not be tacky.

Immediately divide the dough into 4 1/2 ounce pieces for standard bagels or smaller if desired. Form the pieces into rolls, as shown on page 82.  Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow to rest for approximately 20 minutes.

Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment and mist lightly with oil. Proceed with one of the following shaping methods. (Method 1: (A.) Poke a hole in a ball of dough and (B) gently rotate your thumb around the inside the hole to widen it to approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter. The dough should be evenly stretched as possible. (Try to avoid thick and thin spots.)

Method 2: Roll out the dough into an 8 inch long rope. (This may require rolling part of the way and resting if the pieces are too elastic and snap back, in which case, allow them to rest for 3 minutes, and then extend them again to bring to full length). (A) Wrap the dough around the palm and back of your hand, between the thumb and forefinger, overlapping the ends by several inches. (B)  Press the overlapping ends on the counter with the palm of your hand, rocking back and forth to seal.

Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans. Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and slip each pan into a food grade plastic bag, or cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Check to see if the bagel are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight (it can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days). If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester bagel floats.  The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on ambient temperature and the stiffness of the dough.

The following day (or when your ready to make the bagels), preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. with the two racks set in the middle of the oven, Bring a large pot of water to a boil, (the wider the pot, the better), and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.

Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them in the boiling water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minute, flip them over and boil for another minute. If you like chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you decide to replace the paper, be sure to spray the new paper lightly with oil to prevent from sticking to the surface). If you want to top the bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water. You can use any of the suggestions in the ingredient list or a combination. I make a seed and salt blend.

When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180 degree rotation. (If you are baking only one pan, keep it on the center shelf, but still rotate 180 degrees). After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450 degrees and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until bagels turn light golden brown.  You may bake them darker if you prefer.

Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.

Grace Note: For cinnamon raisin bagels, increase the yeast in the final dough to 1 teaspoon, and add 1 Tablespoon if ground cinnamon and 5 Tablespoons of granulated sugar to the final dough. Rinse 2 cups of loosely packed raisins with warm water to wash off surface sugar, acid and natural wild yeast. Add the raisins during the final 2 minutes of mixing. Proceed as directed, but do not top the bagels with any garnishes. When they come out of the oven and are still hot, you can brush the tops with melted butter and dip them in cinnamon sugar to create a cinnamon sugar crust, if desired.

Yield: 12 standard bagels.

Read Full Post »

Hot Wings

Were on a wing kick around here lately!  But no one is complaining at my house.  Yesterday my daughter and I made homemade Hot Wings and they sure came out great! Very Tasty! Here’s the recipe.

Hot Wings

5 lb. Bag Chicken Wings, (drumettes and flats)

1/2 Bag (10 oz.) Sylvia’s Restaurant Crispy Fried Chicken Mix

1/2 Cup McCormick Golden Dipt Cracker Meal

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

1 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper




In a large ziplock baggie combine the fried chicken mix, cracker meal, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Close bag and shake to mix well.   Take 12 wings at a time and place in the plastic bag and shake to coat well.  Remove wings one at a time, shaking excess flour off.  Fry in a hot deep fryer in peanut oil at 375 degrees for 6 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. (6 minutes is completely defrosted wings. If your wings are frozen, cook longer, approximately 8-10 minutes.)  (Do not crowd wings, I cooked 12 at a time). Drain on paper towels.  Serve with celery sticks, ranch or blue cheese dressing!

Read Full Post »

This is my daughter Sherie’s favorite dinner. You’ll find it on our table quite often!  We make Steak Caesar salad, but we also make the Chicken Caesar Salad too! Sometimes both!

Sherie’s Steak Caesar Salad

Rib Steak or Steak of your Choice (If you like a marinated steak, see recipe here)

Montreal Steak Seasoning (Or seasoning of your Choice)

Romaine Lettuce


Parmesan Cheese

Cardini’s Caesar Salad Dressing


In a large bowl, combine romaine lettuce, Croutons and Parmesan Cheese.  Set aside.  Grill Steak to your liking and slice into thin strips. Dress the salad with Cardini’s Salad Dressing and toss to coat.  Put salad on plate, and add steak strips (Or chicken strips).  Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over top of salad and add more dressing to top of salad if you’d like. Eat at once, and go back for seconds!

Read Full Post »

Bloomin Onion!

One of the reasons that I go to Outback Steak House is specifically for their Bloomin Onion. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the other stuff too, (like the hot bread they arrive with shortly after your seated) but you can pretty much bet that I will be having a Bloomin Onion!  Even people who don’t like onions will eat a Bloomin Onion, at least in the experiences that I have run into. Several years ago, on my way home from work, I would stop at Outback Steak House to pickup my fix of this delicacy! At least once a month I would stop. Finally I picked up a Bloomin’ Onion cutter and started making my own!  Now since that time, I have lost my Bloomin Onion cutter! It’s here somewhere, the question is where!?!!  Last night my daughter Barb, made the Bloomin Onion for her family for dinner! She said she didn’t have a cutter, but she used a knife and cut hers. She said the hardest thing about making this, was cutting up the onion, but she had it done in no time! Praises were hers! I just wish I lived closer! I would have invited myself for dinner! (LOL!!)  Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a try! (I see one in my future VERY soon!) Good job Barb!

Blooming Onion

Adapted to our tastes from: Allrecipes.com

  • Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoons cream-style horseradish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Blooming Onion:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8  teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil for frying


  1. To make sauce: In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, paprika, salt, oregano, and dash of ground black pepper and cayenne pepper; mix well. Keep sauce covered in refrigerator until needed.
  2. To make the batter: In a medium bowl, beat egg and add milk. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, ground black pepper, oregano, thyme, cumin and garlic powder; mix together well.
  3. To slice onion: slice 1 inch off of the top and bottom of the onion and remove the papery skin. Use a thin knife to cut a 1 inch diameter core out of the middle of the onion. Now use a very sharp, large knife to slice the onion several times down the center to create ‘petals’: First slice through the center of the onion to about three-fourths of the way down. Turn the onion 90 degrees and slice it again in an X across the first slice. Keep slicing the sections in half, very carefully until the onion has been cut 16 times. Do not cut down to the bottom of the onion. (The last 8 slices will be difficult, be careful).
  4. Spread the ‘petals’ of the onion apart. To help keep them separate you could plunge the onion into boiling water for 1 minute and then into cold water.
  5. Dip the onion into the milk mixture and then coat it liberally with the flour mixture. Again separate the petals and sprinkle the dry coating between them. Once you’re sure the onion is well-coated, dip it back into the wet mixture and into the dry coating again. This double-dipping ensures you have a well-coated onion because some of the coating will wash off when you fry the onion.
  6. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Make sure you use enough oil to completely cover the onion when it fries.
  7. Fry the onion right side up in the oil for 10 minutes or until it turns brown. When the onion has browned, remove it from the oil and let it drain on a rack or paper towels. Open the onion wider from the center so that you can put a small dish of the dipping sauce in the center.

Read Full Post »

My Top 5 Favorite Recipes for 2010

As promised, following is my Top 5 recipes for 2010!!

my #1 Top 5 recipes are:

#1 My Top 5 Recipes for 2010 –  Rib Steak & Salad

This is my favorite Dinner Recipe. Give me a Steak, a Baked Potato and a salad and I’m all set!

#2 My Top 5 Recipes for 2010 – Nappa Chicken Salad

This recipe almost made it into the Top 10 Recipes, coming in 11th!  This is one of our favorites! I can’t say enough about this salad. You’ll be back for more!

#3 My Top Recipe for 2010 – Hidden Valley Ranch Buffalo Wings

So tasty, So Easy, So Versatile!  Serve for any Occasion!

#4 My Top Recipes for 2010 – Finger Lickin’ BBQ’ed Chicken!

I love Barbecued Chicken on the grill!  This is so good!  Don’t skip the brine, it makes the chicken moist and juicy, not to mention flavorful!

#5 My Top Recipes 2010 – Pepper Steak!

This recipe spells Comfort for me! This is one of my favorite dishes. Tastes good too!

So there you have, my selection of the Top 5 Recipes for 2010! Give them a try, and see what you think!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers

%d bloggers like this: