Monday, December 23, 2013

T.T.D.S. "Virginia Albright's Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Pretzel Brittle"

Okay....stuff like this is what Christmas memories are made of. This extremely simple recipe will absolutely astound you.  The flavor notes: salty & sweet; the texture: soft & creamy meets crunchy; the results: great joy! well, antiphonally speaking: (f) JOY! JOY! JOY! (mp) joy, joy, joy.  I am entering Ms. Albright's to my "T.T.D.S." category (which stands for Tasted & Tried Deputation Splendor - as I am working through my deputation ministry I am collecting a series of recipes that meet and exceed my standards for good eats.  Let's face it, if the ministry doesn't work out for me, I will at least have a cook book done from many people that we have crossed paths with during our deputation ministry...well, don't take me to serious here.  ALL right onto Albright's delectable and simple treat! (it is surprisingly easy).


1. Peanut butter chips (1 bag) (good start)
2. White chocolate chips (1 bag)
3. Peanut Butter (2 tbsp.) - (use JIF, get it right people, there is only one!)
4. Broken pretzel pieces (2 cups) (I prefer the big sized pretzels - but this is completely subjective, but not the JIF, no way).


In a large glass microwave bowl, melt the chips & peanut butter at 50-55 sec. intervals, stirring in between until melted then add pretzels & mix till well coated. Spread onto cookie sheet & chill for 1 hr. then break into chunks. Eat with delight in the mouth and thankfulness in the heart.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cuban Pork Kebabs

Why is it Cuban?...glad you asked.  The marinade is called "mojo" (not to be pronounced like it looks, it's "mo-ho" - get that one right). It is essentially, olive oil, garlic and citrus (in this recipe, we will use oranges and lime).

Why a grilling recipe? - bec. there's nothing like grilling in that cold, chilly, brisk Fall atmosphere or winter wonderland, depending on climate change. :-) {i don't worry about it at all, coz, I have an indoor, electric grill}

1. Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
2. Garlic - 3-5 cloves rough choped
3. Red Pepper Flakes - 1 teaspoon or more adjust according to heat flavor desire
4. Limes - about 2, fresh squeeze and a bit of zest for a bang.
5. Oranges - about 2, fresh squeeze and a bit of zest for a bang. (redundant, I know)
6. Pork tenderloins - cubed (about 2 lbs. - this recipe would do feed about 6 people - but that really depends upon who you're having over - ha!)
7. For a visual effect and tasty garnish: cut up an orange into 16 pieces, and 1 large English cucumber cut into 1 inch rounds or Zucchini - obviously, you will add them to the skewer with the pork. REMEMBER to soak your skewer in water for at least 30 min. in order to withstand the grill unless of course you are using something metallic.

 In a sauce pan, combine the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes over a medium-low heat.  Cook it until the garlic is soft (about 15 min.), remember to stir sparingly.  Remove from heat, and add the citrus juices, stir a bit more, and let it sit and cool.  This will become your marinade and also save some for applying a bit of oil to the pork while grilling.

Place the pork in a zip lock bag and pour much of the mojo (aha, did you say "mojoe" or "mo-ho"?) into the bag and let that marinade do its thing for at least 30 min. (if you really are in a hurry - which I find that if you are in a hurry, this is okay time for the flavors to set in, but there is nothing like doing it right - meaning you can marinate your meat up to 12 hours).

Thread the pork, orange slices, and cucumbers slices alternately onto the skewers. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Grill the kebabs for about 4-5 min. on each side for a medium finish or 6 min. on each side for a well done finish. Brush the kebabs with the remaining marinade while grilling, and serve it with a little bit of that marinade brushed onto the kebabs.

You can use chicken or scallops instead of pork if you wish to change up the protien - or, and I haven't tried this one, but Tofu may or may not work, so forget me suggesting Tofu. :-)

Friday, August 2, 2013

3 Cheese Spinach & Baby Bella Mushrooms Lasagna Roll-Ups (forthcoming)

Recipe is forthcoming...(I am heading out to VA for nine days and I do not know if I have the time to blog about this food, for now).  I do have enough time to say that it is absolutely delicious (and adaptable to suit your taste buds).

The three cheeses are Ricotta, Mozzarella, and Gorgonzola.  I could have added Parmesan, too, but I think that may over do it...well, now that I think of would have made it better, I think, but I digress.

For now enjoy the picture, and when I get a chance I will share with you the recipe!

Friday, May 17, 2013

T.T.D.S. "Sis. Adams' Pork Roast"

One of the joys of deputation is being exposed to so many good foods.  The ministry of deputation is extremely intense when it comes to eating and everything "food."  SO, occasionally, I will be blogging about the food that really got my taste buds going when I am out on the deputation trail.  AND SO MY readers...I gladly present to you....(imagine a trumpet fanfare here)...."Tasted and Tried Deputation Splendor" (T.T.D.S.).

As usual we will give credit where credit is this first recipe is by Sis. Adams (Lyons, NY).  This is her version of the ever popular and classic "Pork Roast" - I will call it: "Sis. Adams' Pork Roast."

1 Pork Shoulder or Butt
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Garlic Powder
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (not the bulb, watch out for that, e/pDrV)
Salt and  Pepper
Yellow Mustard

Cut the garlic cloves in half and and insert it in the meat (before seasoning the meat).  Heavily season the roast with Lemon Pepper, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper.  Then squirt the meat with yellow mustard and give the meat a massage.

Slow cook the roast at 260 degrees for 7 or more hours.

ENJOY!  #sodelicious

Friday, February 1, 2013

Spinach Fritata w/ a roasted tomato topping

The perfect canvass for a vegetable catch all, classic Frittata!
A Frittata is perhaps the best way to use your left over vegetables before pitching them (you feel good because you use the scraps and save food!).  In this recipe I will share my simple spin on the classic frittata.

1.  Garlic - 3 or 4 cloves (smashed, peeled, and diced). - You may add a shallot for sweetness, if you wish.  Garlic and shallots go wonderful together, here.
2.  2 Tbs. of Extra Virgin Olive oil.
3.  Fresh spinach - about 1 & 1/2 cups or 2 - They wilt down nicely. (you can eye ball this).
4.  5 or 6 eggs (serves 4 people) - as usual, increase ingredients to increase servings. - I know, you are thinking, "well, duh" - but I want to sympathize with that stupid automated voice that pops up when you call the doctors.  You know, the one that says: "If this is an emergency, then hang up and dial 911."  Duh!
5.  A splash of half and half (or heavy cream - if you like it creamier) - I prefer cooking with half and half better.  It reacts to heat better than cream.  But purely subjective here. You can use milk if you have neither.  You can even use a little bit of water (2/3 tbs.) if you must - this would thin out the eggs a bit.
6.  1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
7.  1/2 cup of grated cheese (whatever you may have).
8.  A pinch of fresh ground black pepper.
9.  A half a pinch of nutmeg and salt - :-)
10. A whole tomato (sliced, pour Olive oil on it and salt and pepper it - then place it on a cookie sheet, under the broiler for about three to four minutes to get it roasted).

Heat up your skillet to med./low setting.  Pour 2 tbs. of EvOO in it, followed by the garlic and shallot.  Sweat the garlic and shallots out a bit before adding your fresh spinach.  Cover your skillet with a lid to allow the spinach the heat and moisture it needs to start wilting.  Lower your heat to low.  Meanwhile, mix up ingredients 4 to 9 in a large bowl and stir as to scramble the eggs.  Pour the egg mixture into the skillet.  Bump up the heat to medium/low, and cover it again for about 4-5 min.  Meanwhile do what is written in #10.  Keep the broiler on (all you will do is finish the Frittata off in the broiler anyway).  Sprinkle some extra Parmesan and grated cheese onto the surface of your frittata.  Add the roasted tomato on the top and stick the entire skillet under the broiler for about 4-6 min. (constantly check to make sure you don't over cook your Frittata).

Eat with:
1.  A fruit
2.  A breakfast meat: sausage or bacon
3.  Buttered toast bread

Friday, January 25, 2013

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

The perfect comfort soup for any day
A creamy delight and ultimate comfort food: Creamy Chicken Gnocchi soup!

1.  Onion - diced.
2.  Garlic - a couple of cloves.
3.  Celery - diced.
4.  Butter - half a stick  - this soup will feed four.  For more, well, increase the ingredients accordingly.
5.  2 tbsp. of Extra Virgin Olive oil.
6.  1/4 cup of flour
7.  Half and half or for a rich and creamier experience use Heavy Cream. (2 cups)
8.  Spices: fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, dried oregano, dried bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
9.  Chicken stock -  32 oz.
10.  Chicken - white meat is preferred, but that is totally subjective. - Roast it or grill it, just make sure it is cooked and shredded or cubed.
10.  Carrots - metzo luna or half moon or shredded.
11.  Gnocchi - home made or store bought.
12.  Baby portabella or crimini mushrooms - purely optional, but I like the body and flavor that it adds.
13.  Baby spinach or kale - I prefer spinach.

Half of the soup is all about the roux or what is known as the Bachemel or white sauce.  In a pot, coat it with a generous helping of Extra Virgin Olive oil and half stick of butter.  Add the diced onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Sweat the veggies in the oil and butter mixture.  Add the fresh thyme and rosemary, season with salt and pepper.  Add the 1/4 cup of flour.  The flour and butter/oil combination is going to turn into something like a paste.  Be careful not to burn the flour.  Add the half & half (or heavy cream) very slowly and delicately stirring the pot in intervals as you are pouring in the cream little by little.  This loosens up the paste and prevents lumps from forming and giving time for the cream and roux to marry.  Add the chicken and the chicken stock and the dried bay leaves.  Turn up the heat to bring the soup into a boil, then simmer it down.  Add the gnocchi, mushrooms and the last item should be the spinach or kale (this should be placed in the pot about five minutes before serving for a robust green presentation and texture.  Add a dash of nutmeg to compliment the spinach, but not too much and if you don't have any, don't worry about it.

Eat with:
1.  Parmesan cheese.
2.  Italian bread or a bruchetta.
3.  I like to add cayenne and fresh Jalapenos for a kick.

Chipotle Black Bean Chili

a perfect winter surprise: Chipotle Black Bean Chili
Sounds complicated but it isn't.  Extremely flavorful and satisfying.  Another bonus is that you can adjust the heat according to taste (cut back on the chili powder, for instance).  Here is my little twist onto a basic and delicious pot of chili.

1.  Bacon - cut it up into small pieces.
2.  Onion - diced.
3.  Red, Yellow and Orange peppers - seeded and diced.
4.  Garlic - 2 cloves or according to taste.
5.  Spices - 2 tbsp. of chili powder; 1.5 tbsp. of chipotle chili powder; 2 tbsp. of cummin, a dash of cayenne, and tsp. of dried oregano, and a pinch of paprika, salt and pepper and two or three bay leaves. (You can always adjust the spices according to taste).
6.  1 lb. of ground beef (your choice, I like the 85% for the fat and flavor, but it's purely subjective).
7.  1 lb. of ground pork (or ground turkey) - adds body to the chili but not the fat. - I personally like ground pork better than ground turkey, but either way works.
8.  2 cups of beef broth.
9.  2 medium cans of black beans - drained. - btw, I just really like black beans, by all means if you like Red Kidney beans or  a combination or whatever other beans there are, help yourself, it's your chili.
10.  1 large can of crushed tomatoes.
11.  1 large can of diced tomatoes.

First, turn the heat on medium/low and place the bacon pieces in first to render the fat out of them and get them crispy for texture.  The bacon fat will be useful for flavor and for cooking the onions and peppers.  No oil necessary as it will come from the bacon and beef.  Stir in the diced onion, garlic, & peppers.  Sweat them out.  Add the spices (no. 5) to flavor the onions and peppers.  Then, add the meat and stir and cook the meat through.  Add the 2 cups of beef stock to add flavor and moisture to the mix.  Add the drained black beans, which then you will need to "fold" the beans into the pot so you don't bruise and beat up the beans. Add the cans of crushed and diced tomatoes.  Allow all these flavors and spices to marry (just let it simmer, low and slow).

Eat with:
1.  A bowl with rice at the bottom of the bowl.
2.  Sour cream on top.
3.  Grated cheese or onions for garnish.
4.  A good Italian or French bread in the oven for soaking up all that chili goodness. (Corn bread, too).
5.  Next day: Chili dogs!