Sunday, May 29

Slow fried egg with Rosemary Bacon Hash

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, but I think it can actually be the best part of the day! It could be eaten when you first wake up, before you head out for the day, or sometimes breakfast for dinner is great!
Breakfast is a fun way experiment with creative flavors, plating, and ingredients. On the mornings you have a little extra time, try creating a great tasting and looking dish. It will start your day with a smile, I promise!

Try this beautiful slow fried egg served on top a toasted bagel with a rosemary bacon hash, I am sure it will win you and your taste buds over.

Makes 2 servings
Full time: approximately 30 minutes
You will need:

1 plain bagel slightly toasted
2 eggs
4 small potatoes
8 sprigs rosemary
1 small onion
1/4 pound bacon strips
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Let us begin:

Start by dicing your potatoes, onions, and bacon into pieces approx the same size. I stick to around 1/2" pieces
Add a small amount of oil to a pan and brown bacon, onions, and potatoes, over a med-high heat. Don't use to much oil, it is only to get the process started, bacon creates oil as it cooks.

Once pieces have begun to brown and onions begin to turn translucent. Lower heat to a low and add in half the amount of thyme. Add in salt pepper and 6 springs of rosemary (remove leaves from stem and use just leaves)
Allow to cook down for 5-8 minutes

In a separate smaller pan, melt butter over high heat. Crack and place egg in pan, lower heat to med, and pull pan, half off heat. this will create a very hot heating surface which will cook egg white almost instantly, while letting yellow cook slowly.

Once egg is to your liking, begin to build by placing half the bagel on a plate slightly off center

Scoop half the bacon, rosemary hash onto the plate allowing it to cover on edge of the bagel.

Carefully slide egg from pan to top of bagel

Garnish with the remaining thyme and rosemary

Wednesday, May 25

Spiced Apple Pie

For those of us who have family picnics, brunches, holidays, and celebrations. What is the best way to celebrate the get together? Dessert, the best part of the meal. Here is my twist on a classic family favorite, the apple pie. My spiced up version pairs apples with a savor spice rub to create a juicy all time people pleaser.

This will make 1 9" pie
Full time: 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours

You will need:

6 green apples, cored and sliced ( I leave peal on, but feel free to remove)
2 pie crusts (either home made or store bought)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cinnamon
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutmeg
2 tbsp allspice
2 tbsp ground cloves
2 tbsp sugar (separate from above)

Let us begin:

In a large bowl, toss apples, sugar,cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, lemon juice, and flour. Let sit for 15-20 minutes to allow excess water to come out of apples.

Preheat oven to 375.

Line pie plate with one of the two crusts.

Remove apple from excess liquid that had built up in bottom of bowl and place into pie crust.

Cover with top crust and crimp closed. Cut a few slits in the top to help with ventilation.

Brush top crust with milk and sprinkle on the 2 tbsp of sugar.

Use either a pie shield or wrap tin foil on edges of crust to prevent burning.

Place on cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes, until top of crust develops a golden color.

Lower oven to 350. Remove crust cover and bake additional 30-45 minutes. Juices should be nice and bubbly.

Remove and let stand at room temp for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 22

Putting a spin on the Classics

Summer time is fast approaching and that means picnics, cookouts, and BBQs. There are always the stand by family favorites. These favorites include things like baked beans, pasta salads, iced tea, s'mores, and many more.

While the traditional family recipe is great, by summer's end you may be wishing for a little pizazz to the traditional. Or perhaps you are going to a gathering and wish to bring a dressed up dish.

Try putting a spin on one of you family favorites, try adding new ingredients, different ingredients, or new plating styles to these recipes.

My favorite thing is to revamp the s'more, try turning them into a cupcake! this is an easy to eat, transport, and fun way to get all the flavor of the s'more without the fire!

S'mores Cupcakes

Here is a great spin on an all time favorite. Bring these along to your next bake sale, picnic, or BBQ for an instant smile!

This will make 12-18 cupcakes
Full time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours (cool time included)
You will need:

1 1/2 Cups white whipped frosting
1 1/2 Cups fluff
8 Graham crackers
2 Hersey bars
1 Box Chocolate cake mix
                 *Make sure you select a chewy or pudding style cake to keep them moist and rich
                 *Make sure you read the box and pick up the ingredients to mix it

Let us begin:

Start by mixing the cake mix and setting it aside. Preheat oven to the temperature specified on the package

Place graham crackers in a small bowl and gently mash them, you want a mix of crumbs and crumbles.

Place your cupcakes liners in the pan and place 1/2 tbsp of graham crackers in each liner. This will not create a crust but a dusting of crumbles that will bake into the cupcake's bottom. Reserve remaining for garnish

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake according to package.

Once baked, move cupcakes to fridge, this will help them set. Refridgerate for 20 to 30 minutes

While cupcakes set: mix whipped frosting and fluff together. This will create a frosting that tastes like marshmellow, but doesn't stick like one.

Place mixture in a large zip topped bag (or pastry bag). Move mixture to corner and snip off.

Remove cupcakes from fridge and pipe frosting onto top in a swirl pattern

Sprinkle frosting with graham crumbles.

Break Hersey bars into sections and top each cupcake with one.

Friday, May 13

Summer Salads

Summer is the best time of the year for salads, the garden is overflowing with fresh vegetables. the days are hotter, you body tends to want refreshing, and let us be honest, the all important tank top, bathing suit, body is a little motivation to eating better.

I find that salads are sometimes over looked, or even just thought of as lettuce, a few toppings, and dressing. There are tons of salad ideas out there:

Ty an Asian inspired salad-top with crispy noodles, mandarin oranges, and a ginger dressing

Try a Mexican salad filled with avocados, corn, and Honey lime dressing

Try a Greek inspired salad- top with kamalta olives, feta cheese, and a light vinaigrette

Try a Cobb salad-top with fresh roast turkey, blue cheese crumbles, and a balsamic vinaigrette

Try an Italian salad filled with Panchito, pasta, and a Northern Italian dressing

Fiesta Salad


Here is a quick, fun, filling salad that will bring a little fiesta to you dinner table!

This will make 4 dinner size salads
Full time: 10 minutes

You will need:

1 package mixed wild greens
1 small can Green Giant Mexi-corn, whole kernel corn with peppers mixed in, drained
1 small can sliced olives, drained
2 chicken breasts cooked and cooled
2 key limes
2 celery stalks diced
1 avocado
1 banana pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 cup Honey lime dressing
1/2 cup crispy onion straws
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup guacamole

Let us begin:

Start by getting your salad plates ready, this salad is built and prepped the same time. Divide the mixed greens equally between all four plates

On on edge of the plate create a condiment row by placing small mounds of sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.

Slice limes in half and add to condiment row

Slice the grape tomatoes in half and place them in a container that has a lid

Take the olives, diced celery, Mexi-Corn, and add them to the container with the tomatoes. Pour in your dressing.

Pop on lid and shake up to mix well

Divided mixture into equal mounds in center of your mixed greens

Slice chicken breasts, into strips and place on top of corn mixture

Take banana pepper and slice into rounds, place these on top of corn mixture

Slice avocado into 16 wedges and place around the outside edge of salad

Top center of salad with crispy onion straws

Serve with some tortillas on a margarita filled night for some great smiles!

Antipasta salad

This is one of my favorite things to make in the summer. It goes great at family picnics and get together's. it also makes a wonderful mid-week meal, or side. Sometimes it is referred to as my non-pasta pasta salad, or my kitchen sink salad, I created it blending both a traditional antipasti and traditional pasta salad together.

Serves 8-12
Full time: 10 minutes (does not include pasta cook time)
You will need:

1/2 lb panchito sliced thick then quartered
1/2 lb pepperoni sliced thin, if you can get the pepperoni rounds they work great
1/2 lb chicken sliced into 1/4" pieces
1/2 lb wheel or shell pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
1 cup feta cheese
1 cup Northern Italian dressing with parmesan
1 cup celery diced
1 cup cucumber diced
1 cup pepper diced
1 pint grape tomatoes cut in half
1 pint kamalta olives pitted

Let us begin:
Start with a very large bowl, toss in all the vegatables, olives, and dressing mix well.

Prepare your chicken, panchito, and pepperoni, make sure the pieces are big but not much bigger than bite size.

Fold meats into the vegetables.
Now carefully, fold in the pasta, trying not to break to many pf the pieces

Allow this mixture to sit and "rest" for 10 minutes in a fridge. This will allow the dressing and pasta to firm up just a bit.

If you will be sreving this right away, toss in the feta chesse and give it a quick stir. if you are making this a head of time, you will want to leave the feta out as long as possible, gently stir it in prior to serving.

Wednesday, May 11

Savory Pulled Pork

Here is a great way to spice up you spring and summer. Pop this in your slow cooker in the morning, spend the day at work or play, and when you walk in the door it will be there to great you!

This will serve 4-6
Full time: 6-8 hours on high 8-10 hours on low
You will need:

2lb boneless pork shoulder
1 large onion diced large
4 long hot Chile peppers
2 Cubanelle peppers
1 Habanero pepper
4 cups sweet BBQ sauce
1/4 cup peppercorn seasoning, or your favorite dry rub

Let us begin:

Start by placing your pork shoulder into the crock pot. Coat with peppercorn seasoning, pat seasoning into the shoulder to insure it will stay put

Tuck the large chunked onions along the sides of the pork.

Depending on how hot you want the pork to be, cut and place the peppers into the crock pot. Try to keep the peppers to the sides of the pork on top of onions.

Now carefully pour in the BBQ sauce so that it covers the peppers and onions, but only covers the edge of the pork. This will allow spices to meld in slowly ass the meat sinks down

Cover with lid and heat on low. Cook for minimum of six hours but longer is better. I usually try to cook it for eight to ten hours.

Once cooked, you can easily pull apart the pork with two forks. Serve on top of rolls or by itself.

Monday, May 2

Citrus Swordfish and potatoes

I love swordfish, its a great fish, full of amazing flavor. It lends itself to many different flavors and is very easy to prepare. One of my favorite ways to prepare it is in a citrus vinegar with potatoes and scallops!

Makes 2 servings
Full time: 30 minutes

You will need:

2 large pieces of swordfish
2 medium potatoes, diced into 1/2" chunks
1 lime
1/2 pound bay scallops
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
2 tbsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Let us begin:

Heat oven to 425

In a small bowl mix orange juice, apple cider vinegar, oil, dill and rosemary. Whisk to fully incorporate flavors

In a small baking dish place potatoes and pour over half of the marinade. Mix with fingers to coat all sides.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes

While this bakes, place bay scallops into second half of marinade and leave them

Carefully remove baking dish from oven and push potatoes to outer edge of pan, it will sizzle as you do this so be careful.

Place swordfish into middle of pan and pour scallop/marinade over the top

Return to oven, reduce heat to 400, and cook 20 minutes or until swordfish is flaky and cooked through

Remove from oven and squeeze the juice of the lime over dish, let sit for 2-3 minutes before serving