Summer salad recipe

With summer winding down and gardens producing great veggies, I thought I would share one of my favorite summer salads.  It is quick, easy and very filling.  You can serve it with just about any kind of meat.  I hope you enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot, and fill with about 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add the green beans to steam after the first 10 minutes. Drain, cool, and cut potatoes into quarters. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with fresh basil, red onion, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Pour over the salad, and stir to coat. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

 

green bean and potato salad

Reflection

People come and go in your life but a true friend is always there.  No matter how long it has been since you have seen them or spoken with them.  Take time to make that phone call or drop them a letter.  Do it now while they are still here!!!

Today, I am sharing two of my favorite holiday recipes for you to share with your friends and family.   I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and friends do.

Holiday Eggnog

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites

INSTRUCTIONS:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg yolks until they light in color. Gradually add  1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.

Place the egg whites in the bowl and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve. Top with a sprinkle of nutmeg and cool whip (optional).

eggnog

Milk Gravy and Biscuits

INGREDIENTS:

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat bacon/sausage drippings in a skillet over medium heat; whisk flour into drippings until smooth. Reduce heat to low and cook the flour mixture until it turns a caramel brown color, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Be careful, the roux burns easily. Stir in salt and black pepper.

Whisk 1/2 cup milk into the roux until thoroughly blended. Continue whisking milk into the gravy, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking in each amount of milk completely before adding more. Bring gravy to a simmer and whisk constantly until thick, smooth, and bubbling.

Add crumbled bacon or sausage then serve over biscuits or toast and enjoy.  I have this for any meal of the day!!!

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Quick & Easy Apple Crisp

One of the best recipes I have for apples is one of the easiest.  With Fall upon us, I thought I would share it.  Hope you enjoy……

Quick Apple Crisp

INGREDIENTS:

5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1 – 9 oz. pkg. yellow cake mix

2 tbsp. sugar

1 – 2 tbsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sliced apples in greased and floured pan. combine remaining ingredients. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over apples. Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until apples are tender.    Can add Vanilla ice cream or thawed whipped topping when serving. Great served cold or warm.  For a change, use any fruit like peaches, strawberries, etc.; quick and easy recipe.

apple crusp.jpg

BACON CHEESEBURGER CROCK POT DIP

Great for a game day or party dish.

bacon cheeseburger dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of lean ground beef or turkey
  • 8 oz package of cream cheese, cubed & softened
  • 2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 10 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chiles – do not drain
  • 6 oz package of real bacon bits, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Nacho Chips

Instructions:

  1. Brown meat, drain and place in large skillet
  2. Over low heat, stir in cheeses, tomatoes and bacon bits except for 2 tablespoons
  3. Cook while stirring frequently until well blended and heated
  4. Pour mixture into a 2-quart crock pot
  5. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally
  6. Stir in parsley and sprinkle with remaining bacon bits just before serving

Serve as an appetizer or main dish with Nacho Chips.

PEANUT BUTTER ESPRESSO SMOOTHIE

Love smoothies in the morning especially if coffee is involved.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 frozen banana (if banana not frozen, add ice)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ cup almond milk

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!
  3. On the weekend for a late breakfast, sometimes I put in a little Irish Creme Liquor for flavor…..

Peanut-Butter-Banana-Smoothe

 

Sugar Alternatives to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Thought I would try a healthy blog for this one; hope you learn something and enjoy it!

Craving sweet flavors is something we all have from time to time but there are alternatives to conquer those cravings without the calories!

A lot of the way highly processed sugars such as granulated sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have popped up in foods where we do not expect them like breakfast cereals, dairy products, salad dressings and nut-butter spreads. These sugars are highly processed and have been zapped of nutrients during refinement.

Luckily, there are a variety of foods that contain natural, unprocessed sugars you can enjoy.

RAW HONEY

This is honey from flowers that still contains healthful vitamins A, C, D, E and K, various B vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium and live enzymes that are removed when honey is heated, filtered and processed.

Raw honey is also rich with bifidobacteria, a group of bacteria associated with digestive and immune health. An effective probiotic, raw honey stimulates bifidobacteria growth in the intestine and aids in digestive health.

raw honey

MAPLE SYRUP

Similar to honey, maple syrup contains antioxidants, vitamins and phytonutrients not found in refined sugar. Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees and also contains trace minerals absorbed from the ground by the trees.

maple syrup

DARK CHOCOLATE

Not all chocolate bars are created equal, and dark chocolate — containing more than  70% cacao — has a higher quantity of superpowered cacao than chocolate bars, which contain more milk and sugar. The cacao portion of a chocolate bar is made by grinding the nibs in cacao beans. The nibs are dried, then fermented and ground for making chocolate. The percentages you see on a chocolate bar wrapper are indicative of how much cacao is in each bar out of 100% by weight. So, if you read 45% on the bar, it means the bar is 55% milk and sugar and only 45% cacao. But a 75% bar contains only 25% milk and sugar, making it a lower-sugar choice. A bar that reads 100% would be made entirely of cacao nibs and cacao butter without added refined sugar or milk solids.

dark chocolate.jpg

COCONUT PALM SUGAR

Similar to the way that maple syrup is harvested, coconut palm sugar is made by harvesting the sap of a coconut plant. Then, the sap is dried to evaporate the liquid out,  leaving the natural sugar crystals behind. Coconut palm sugar is lower on the glycemic index than both honey and maple syrup and is a great substitute for granulated sugar in baking recipes.

coconut palm sugar

DRIED FRUIT

Dried blueberries, cherries, peaches, apples, dates — even kiwi and mango — are all great options when you’re reaching for something sweet. Dried fruits are made by evaporating the juices out of fresh fruit, leaving concentrated flavors and natural, unprocessed fruit sugars behind. But be warned that in addition to being a concentrated source of flavor, dried fruit is also concentrated in calories, so once again, a little goes a long way.

 

dried fruit

Sweet Potato Casserole

One of my favorite sweet potato recipes is a Sweet Potato Casserole.  Ruth’s Chris Restaurant has one of the best but my Mothers is just as good.  So I am sharing my Mother’s recipe with you today.

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

SWEET POTATO MIXTURE:

  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I use canned to save time but make sure you drain them)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs (well beaten)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 bag mini-marshmallows

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Put marshmallows on the top then cook for another 5 – 8 minutes to melt them.
  8. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

Sweet-Potato-Casserole-with-Marshmallow-Pecan-Streusel-5

Chicken Kabobs on the grill

I recently visited my parents in Kentucky and we made the most fabulous chicken kabob.  It was a hit and I will make it again.

Chicken Kabob on the grill

INGREDIENTS:

2 – 3 lbs cubed chicken breasts

1 Yellow Pepper (cubed)

1 Red Pepper (cubed)

1 Green Pepper (cubed)

1 Medium Onion (cubed)

1 package large Mushrooms (cleaned and dried)

1 package Cherry Tomatoes

Italian Dressing

Teriyaki Marinade

Wooden Skews (soak in water for 20 minutes prior to using)

Salt & Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place 1/2 the chicken in freezer bag with Italian Dressing and the other 1/2 in a freezer bag with Teriyaki Marinade and let marinade for 24 hours.  Once grill is ready, put meat and vegetables on skews alternating until all is used except the cherry tomatoes.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink.  Put cherry tomatoes on skew and grill for the last 5 minutes of the chicken cooking.  Season all with salt and pepper to taste.  We served with Texas Toast and a side of Sangria.  You can use any vegetable you like that taste well with chicken.

Great recipe and very filling!!!

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Storing Foods: Spices

spices1

Storing Spices

Did you know that more than 200 million pounds of spices are consumed annually? Spices are what makes food more piquant and appetizing. Storing spices properly will help you bring out the best flavor in each spice to ensure a delicious, aromatic dish.

Most people store their spices in a drawer, cabinet or on a spice rack.  Spices lose their delicate aroma quickly. Properly storing your spices is just as important as which spices you choose to cook with.

Step 1: Purchase whole spices, not ground

The most important thing you can do to maximize the flavor of your spices is to purchase them whole, not ground. Ground spices tend to deteriorate after about three months, especially if stored improperly.  Crushing spices as you need smaller amounts is the best way to ensure better flavor and freshness.

Step 2: Dry and dark is best

Spices are best preserved if stored in a dry, dark space. Light, air, moisture and heat are spices’ biggest enemies. These four factors keep spices from performing at their highest potential. Avoid clear bottles for storage, especially if using a spice rack hanging on your kitchen wall, as the spices will be exposed to too much light. Steel tins and canisters work best to ensure light-proof storage. Always keep your spices away from areas that will expose them to heat and affect the flavor.

Step 3: Know when to throw them out

Even though storing spices properly helps maintain freshness and flavor, everything does expire eventually and it’s important to know when to throw old spices out. A good rule of thumb is once a year; an easy way to remember when you need fresh spices is to throw them out every year during spring cleaning; or write the purchase date on top of each spice so you can track it. If the spice begins smelling musky or has no odor, or changes color, replace it, it has expired.Hope you enjoyed and learned from this blog; flavor is very important for all recipes.Spice-Jars

Perfect BBQ Ribs on a Charcoal Grill Recipe

This Memorial Day weekend, I want to take a moment to say thank you for our freedom and to remember all who have served and are serving in the military so we may have that freedom!

Made this last night and it was awesome!

Perfect BBQ Ribs on a Charcoal Grill Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 rack Pork Back Ribs
  • 2 lbs boneless Country Ribs
  • 1 Bottle of Sweet Baby Ray BBQ Sauce
  • 1 jar Rodeo Rub (or your favorite rub)
  • Heavy Duty Foil or a foil pan can be used

Instructions:

  • Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel
  • Cut the rack in half
  • Use the rub to coat all the ribs well on both sides
  • Using TWO pieces of foil or the pan spray the area the ribs will be on with non-stick cooking spray
  • Place rubbed ribs in the doubled foil or the pan (top pan with foil) and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour
  • Once the charcoal is ready, place the rib packets on the grill, close the lid and let cook for 50 minutesribs on grill

  • After 50 minutes remove from foil and place top-side down on the grill
  • Brush BBQ sauce all over the bottom of the ribs, close the lid, and let cook for 5 minutes

ribs

  • Flip the ribs, brush the top side with the BBQ sauce, close the lid, and cook for 5 minutes
  • You can use the juice left in the foil/pan as an a-jus sauce for dipping the ribs or to pour over them when served
  • Serve and Enjoy!
BBQ-RIBS-CUT