Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chicken with Wine and Grape Sauce

This sauce has a very heavy, sweet grape flavor. If you are a grape lover, you will like the distinctive flavor, if you do not like grapes; this is probably not the sauce for you. The grapes could be substituted with mushrooms instead.

4 Chicken Breast
1 Lg. Onion, Minced
1 C. Grapes, halved
1 C. White Wine
2 C. Chicken Broth
2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
Canola Oil
All-Purpose Flour

Place about 1 cup of flour into shallow dish. Season well with salt and pepper. Trim chicken breast of fat. Slice into 3 or 4 pieces. Lightly pound to flatten to ¼ “pieces. Dredge chicken in flour. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in skillet over med-high heat. Reserve the flour. Cook chicken in batches until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. (Chicken may not be cooked through.) Transfer to plate. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add grapes. Cook until softened. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. of reserved flour. Stir to coat. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine and broth. Bring to boil, stirring to break up any clumps from the flour. Return chicken to skillet and cover with a lid. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thickened. Stir in parsley. Serve over rice.

Sloppy Joes

A little bit more time consuming than just opening a jar, but well worth the effort.  You can also substitute ground turkey for the beef.

6 oz. Tomato Paste
1 lg. Onion, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. Butter
½ C. Dry Red Wine
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 Carrots, Diced
1 Celery Stalk, Diced
1 ½ Pd. Ground Chuck
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. Cumin
Kaiser Rolls

Melt butter in large skillet. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Sauté until softened. Add beef. Cook until browned, breaking into small pieces. Add chili, cumin, salt and pepper. Add tomato paste, wine, Worcestershire and sugar. Simmer until thick. Serve on Kaiser Rolls.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Citrus Pulled Pork

Nice easy weeknight meal that’s ready when you are.  Minimal prep and with the gallon baggie, cleanup is fast.  Before refrigerating the filled baggie overnight, I place it in a large bowl.  If the bag happens to leak, the bowl will catch it and will save you a cleanup.


2 Pd. Boneless Pork shoulder
4 tsp. Oregano, dried
2 tsp. Cumin
1 Onion, chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 Jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 Lg. Orange
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

In a large gallon ziplock plastic baggie, combine the oregano, cumin, onion, garlic, oil and jalapeno.  Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the bag.  Add the oranges halves as well into the bag.  Cut the pork shoulder into 2 or 3 large pieces and season with salt and pepper.  Add the pork to the bag and rub the mixture to thoroughly coat.  Seal tightly and refrigerate 6 – 24 hours.  Place pork and any accumulated juices into a slow cooker.  Arrange orange halves on top of pork.  Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours until meat is very tender.  Remove pork to platter to cool slightly.  Discard orange halves.  Transfer the cooked onions and juices to a blender and puree into a sauce.  Return sauce to slow cooker.  Shred pork and return to slow cooker.  Adjust all seasonings.  Heat cooker to high and let pork simmer for about 30 minutes or until hot.  Serve with tacos, as a side over rice or as a filling for quesadillas.

Corn Soup

Easy weeknight meal and reheats well for leftovers.  I usually make quesadillas to go with this soup.  Also good with crushed tortilla chips.  Make your own chips by lightly brushing leftover corn tortillas with oil and cutting into sixths.  Season with salt or spices and arrange in a single layer on cookie sheet.  Bake until lightly browned.


12 oz. jar Roasted Red Peppers, diced
2 Tbsp. Veg. Oil
1 Onion, diced
32 oz. Frozen Corn
4 C. Chicken Stock
½ C. Heavy Cream

Heat oil in large saucepan.  Add onion and sauté until softened and becomes translucent.  Add to the pan, corn red pepper and liquid from the jar.  Add the chicken stock.  Simmer on low for 25 – 30 minutes.  Puree until desired consistency.  Stir in cream.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

White Chocolate Chip Black Walnut Cookies

Don’t get me wrong.  I love Nestle chocolate chip cookies.  Sometimes though, you want something different.  These are the cookies for those moments.  They remind me of Blondie Brownies.  Substitute English walnuts if the Black walnuts are too strong for you.  These cookies are also good with some chopped coconut added in the dough.  Make sure you have plenty of milk for the dunking!!


12 Tbsp. Butter, Melted
1 C. Brown Sugar
½ C. Granulated Sugar
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 C.  All purpose Flour
½ tsp. Baking Soda
½ tsp. Salt
1 ½ C. White Chocolate Chips
1 C. Black Walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Set oven racks to top and middle position.  Whisk flour, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.  In large mixing bowl, mix butter and both sugars.  Beat until light in color.  Add egg, yolk and vanilla.  Beat until incorporated.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix until well combined.   Stir in chips and walnuts.  Measure out 1/8 C. portions.  Roll into balls and flatten slightly.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 15 – 18 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.  Cookies should be lightly brown on the edges but still soft and slightly moist in the middle.  Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 10 minutes.  Transfer to rack to cool completely.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Turkey Ragu

This is a healthier, lighter version of the Italian Sausage Ragu using ground turkey.  All of the wonderful flavors of Ragu are still present though, so you won’t feel as if you’re skimping on anything.  For an extra benefit, serve with a whole grain pasta and salad. 

1 Pd. Ground turkey
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
6 oz. Tomato Paste
2 Bay leaves
1 Onion, minced
2 Bell Pepper, minced
3 Carrots, minced
28 oz. Tomatoes, diced
1 C. Red Wine
1 C. 2% Milk
1 – 2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
Parmesan Cheese, shredded

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add carrots, onion and bell pepper.  Sauté until vegetables are beginning to soften.  Add ground turkey.  Cook until turkey is fully cooked and beginning to brown, breaking into small pieces.  Add remaining ingredients, stirring until well incorporated.  Cover with lid and turn heat down to low.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove lid.  Continue to simmer until desired thickness is reached.   Remove bay leaves.  Serve over your favorite cooked pasta.  Top with Parmesan.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chocolate Cookies with Coconut

These cookies make me think of devil’s food cake.  Has a nice, dense, moist flavor.  If you don’t care for the coconut, substitute orange extract in the icing and top with a light sprinkling of orange zest.


1 ¼ C. Flour
1/3 C. Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
½ tsp. Baking Powder
¼ tsp. Salt
1/3 C. Butter, softened
1/3 C. Granulated Sugar
1/3 C. Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2/3 C. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Coconut extract
1 – 2 tsp. Milk
½ C. Coconut, unsweetened, shredded

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.  In separate bowl, beat butter until light in color.  Add granulated and brown sugars.  Beat until combined.  Add egg and vanilla.  Beat until combined.  Add flour mixture.  Beat until combined.  Divide dough in half and form into 6 inch rolls.  Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 2 hours until firm.  Spread coconut on baking sheet.  Toast in 350 oven until lightly browned.  Remove to bowl.  Slice dough into 1/3 inch slices.  Place on baking sheets.  Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until set.  Transfer to rack to cool.  In small bowl, combine powdered sugar and coconut extract.  Add enough milk for a drizzle consistency.   Drizzle cookies with icing and sprinkle with shredded coconut.