Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Easter

I'm so excited to announce as of this minute I have 1005 page views on this blog. Even though I do not know most of the people that view this page, I'm thrilled to see so many people seem to be enjoying it.
Easter is coming up, and I hear something called Spring is also joining us, though looking out of my snowy Ohio window I don't believe it. I thought I would share a salad recipe with everyone that is great if you are to bring something to someone's house or for a quick dish at home.
Enjoy the recipe. Happy Easter!

Make Ahead Caesar Salad

2 heads of romaine lettuce

1 tsp dry mustard

2 cloves of garlic

S & P

1 Tbs anchovy paste

Juice of half a lemon

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, fresh grated (reserve some for the top)

Fill sink with ice cold water. Tear romaine leaves directly into sink. Spin dry leaves with a salad spinner.
In the bottom of the salad bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Using a fork thoroughly mix all dressing ingredients.
Place lettuce on top of dressing, cover tightly and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
To Serve, toss lettuce with dressing, top with remaining cheese and croutons.
Serves 4 to 6

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Another dessert for the "tool box"

One of the reasons I love to teach cooking classes is because I forces me to think outside of the box. Now, anyone that knows me knows baking is not my forte. If I find a recipe with very little ingredients, and in the end will not throw me into a sugar comma, it wont take much convincing for me to try to make it. It also gives me a dessert to put in my "tool box" so that when I have guests over and they ask "what can I bring" I can ask for more wine instead of dessert. This is a great one that can be made in a tarte tannin pan, a cake pan, or a cast iron skillet.
Apple Tarte Tatin
 4 Tbs butter, cut into thin slices
2 cups sugar
4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 pound puff pastry or pie dough
Cut the butter into thin slices and arrange them evenly in the base of the Tarte Tatin dish.
Sprinkle with the sugar and melt on top of the stove over medium heat, until sugar begins to caramelize. Remove from heat.
 Peel, core and slice the apples. Arrange the apple slices in a circle on top of the sugar in the pan. They should be overlapping.
 Heat on top of the stove over low to medium heat for 15 - 20 minutes or until a golden caramel is formed. Cook until the liquid produced by the apples is almost completely evaporated.
 Preheat oven to 425°
 Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick, and cut out a circle slightly larger than the diameter of the pan.
 Set the circle of dough on the apples so that they are completely covered.
 Bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is puffed and golden brown.
Lower the oven temperature to 350°
 Continue baking for 10 minutes or until the pastry is crisp.
 Let the tarte cool slightly 5 or so minutes. Cover pan with a plate, and flip. Don’t freak out if a couple of apples stick to the bottom, just use a spatula to get them off, and put them back into place.
 Serve with ice cream or homemade whipping cream
 Serves 6 to 8

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash is a fantastic vegetable to have on hand. It can be used as a side or a meal. It can also be used as a perfect substitute for pasta, hence the name.  With a mild flavor this absorbent squash can pick up and enhance any flavor. Getting into the squash can be kind of scary. You will need to cut it into two halves, a good knife is a must have for this one. If the squash is just too hard to get through don't despair, poke a few holes into the skin with a fork, and pop it into the microwave for 5 minutes. After it will be much easier to tackle.

Bake in a 375 deg. oven for 45 minutes, cut side down
Set aside and allow to cool slightly

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 polish kielbasa, cut into bite size pieces
sauté in EVOO for 2 minutes

1 Tbs. EVOO

 Substitutions for the kielbasa could be:
  • spinach
  • kale
  • parmesan cheese, and lots of pepper
  • diced tomatoes
  • brown sugar and butter
just to name a few. Have fun with this yummy and very kid friendly vegetable.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Easy as fried rice

 One of my families favorite dishes is fried rice. This dish can be served as a side or a main course depending on if you add a protein or not. Also it can be a great way to use up rice that may
be left over from a Chinese carry out. This dish can be vegetarian or add the protein of your desire. I am giving you my shrimp and chicken fried rice recipe. For anyone new CES is Courtney's Everything Seasoning.

Shrimp and Chicken Fried Rice

1 lb. raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 chicken breast, butterflied and diced


1 tsp. corn starch, divided between shrimp and chicken

Blended oil

3 eggs, beaten

1 bunch green onion, chopped

4 cups white rice, cooked

¾ cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed

2 Tbs. soy sauce

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil


In two separate bowls, toss shrimp and chicken with CES and corn starch. Heat a large skillet over high heat; add 1 Tbs. oil to pan. First cook the shrimp making sure they are in one layer. Do not overcook; cook until the shrimp just turns pink on both sides. Transfer shrimp to a large dish. Repeat this process with chicken. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel. 

Turn skillet to medium heat, add 1 Tbs. oil pour in beaten egg, stir quickly for one minute and remove from the pan (the egg may still be a little runny).

Back in the skillet add 1 Tbs. oil along with the green onions, sauté for 30 seconds. Add the cooked rice and toss, continue cooking for two minutes until the rice begins to pop.  Add peas and carrots and soy sauce toss to incorporate throughout rice.  Finish with toasted sesame oil, serve immediately.


Serves 4 to 6


I used a julienne peeler to make these perfect carrots. I love gadgets that make my life easier.

Tada it really is a beautiful dish