Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Peach Salsa

Peach Salsa
Peaches are in season right now. There are many wonderful dishes you can make with them. Try my Sunshine Peach Cobbler. It is amazing.

However, my husband and I are trying to eat less sugar and fat and more veggies and fresh fruit. Peach Salsa helps us move toward that goal without being boring (I’m looking at you steamed broccoli.)

This would be delicious on Jerk Chicken, Pan Seared Pork Chops, Island Pulled Pork Tacos or Crispy Chicken Tacos. You could also eat just the salsa with chips. It was really good!

Servings:  Makes 3 cups
Time:  prep: 5-10 minutes; Rest: 2 hours-overnight
Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, a cutting board and a large knife, a pot and a bowl to peel the peaches, a wooden spoon, a zester, an airtight container




Ingredients

  • 4 large peaches (about 2 cups)
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 tomato ( cup-3 ounces)
  • 1 small red onion ( cup-3 ounces)
  • ½ a green pepper or 3 baby bells ( cup-3 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper
  1.   Peel the peaches. Blanch the jalapeño at the same time. To blanch the pepper, cut it in half, discard the seeds and remove the white ribs. Boil the pepper for about 2 minutes and then plunge it into an ice bath.
  2.  Dice the peaches. Zest and juice the lime. Dice and seed the tomato. Dice the onion and peppers. Try to cut the fruit and veggies into equal size pieces.
  3.  Mix the fruit and veggies with the cilantro, zest and lime juice.
  4.  Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate overnight. Allow the salsa to return to just below room temperature before serving.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Rotisserie Chicken Patties

                       

Rotisserie Chicken Patties

My grocery store often has sales on rotisserie chicken. I always buy two whenever they do. I remove as much meat as possible and then use it to make chicken salad, BBQ chicken sandwiches or chicken soup. I also make Chicken Patties. You can serve them as is with chicken gravy and mashed potatoes. I like to make Chicken Patty sandwiches.

You can use any kind of creamy salad dressing with this recipe. I used ranch because that is what was in the fridge. I have used Caesar dressing instead and it is just as yummy. I wouldn’t recommend bleu cheese dressing with this, even though I love bleu cheese.

Bacon is optional. One way to save time is to fry a whole package of bacon when you aren’t busy. Then crumble and freeze it. You will have no fuss bacon crumbles on hand whenever you need them. A tablespoon of bacon crumbles roughly equals one slice of bacon.

When you are shaping the patties, don’t be afraid to really mush them together. They are delicate and will fall apart easily if you don’t. Also, don’t throw away the cleaned chicken. You can save the chicken and the ends of carrots, onions and garlic and the tops of celery in the freezer in a bag until you are ready. Just throw the whole carcass and the veggie pieces into a pot of boiling water. Turn the pot down and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain everything and you have the base for a delicious chicken soup or gravy. (Discard the stuff you strained.)

Servings:  4
Time:  Cook time: 10 minutes, active time: 25 minutes, Dinner in about 30 minutes
Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, a mixing bowl, a cutting board and knives, a wooden spoon, a bowl or shallow dish, a skillet, a large spatula for turning, 2 plates, paper towels
Before you start: Read through the entire recipe. Pre-measure all of the ingredients. Have all of the required utensils laid out before you begin.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 pieces of bacon (optional)
  • ⅓ cup dressing, maybe more (I used Marie’s Creamy Ranch)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, maybe more
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Remove the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin, fat and gristle. You only need two cups. Shred any large pieces.
  2. Wash and slice the onions as thin as possible, use both the green and white parts. Crack the egg into the mixing bowl and beat it. Mix in the dressing.  Place the crumbs into the shallow bowl. Cover one of the plates in paper towels. Set aside.
  3. Cook and crumble the bacon. Do not clean out the skillet.
  4. Mix the chicken, onion, bacon and Parmesan in the bowl with the dressing mixture. Shape the mixture into 4 hamburger sized patties. If the mixture isn’t sticking together you may need to add a tiny bit more dressing or Parmesan cheese. Generously salt and pepper the outside of each patty. Then lay the patty into the crumbs. Mash it just a little to make sure the crumbs adhere. Flip the patty and cover the other side. You can lay the patties onto the empty plate while you clean your hands and get the skillet ready. Allowing the patties to rest will also help them hold together.
  5. Use the same skillet you used for the bacon. If there isn’t enough bacon fat to cover the bottom of the skillet, add more. Heat the oil on medium. Sauté the patties until they are golden brown (about 5 minutes.) Carefully flip the patties and cook the other side. Drain on the paper towel covered plate. Serve warm.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Cheeseburger Gnocchi


Cheeseburger Gnocchi
We are still staying in as much as possible even though restaurants are opening up. Most years, I try to come up with a new burger recipe for Memorial Day, as burgers are great for summer and summer is just beginning. However, lockdown has forced me to get creative and try changing up old ideas.

Cheeseburger Gnocchi is a twist on Cheeseburger Pasta which is a twist on the  Burgers we all know and love. This is really easy to make and takes no time and no talent. Inexpensive and kid friendly,  Cheeseburger Gnocchi is also really tasty, comfort food.

Servings: 4-6
Hardware:  A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a can opener, a skillet that can be used on the stove top and in the oven, a large pot, a colander, a slotted spoon or a skimmer, a wooden spoon 
Time:  Cook time: 30 minutes, active time: 20 minutes, Dinner in about 40 minutes




Ingredients:
  • 16 ounces gnocch
  • 1 ½ ground chuck
  • 1 cup chopped onion (5 oz)
  • 1 can of Original Ro-Tel-drained
  • 3 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning
  • ½ tablespoon of mustard
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ½ + ½  cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Optional: seeded and chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚. Chop the onion. Open and drain the Ro-Tel. Put the large pot of water onto boil.
  2. Cook and crumble the ground chuck over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the meat is no longer pink. This should take about 7 minutes. Drain. Return the meat mixture to the skillet.  Stir in the ketchup, steak seasoning, mustard, soy sauce, and drained Ro-tel. Turn to low.
  3. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water. Gnocchi cooks in 3-4 minutes. It is done when it floats. Use the slotted spoon or skimmer to scoop the floating pasta out of the pot and place it in the skillet with the meat mixture.
  4. When all the pasta is in the skillet, add ½ cup of cheese and stir. Taste and adjust the salt.
  5. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. 
  6. Rest for 5 minutes before serving.You can top the gnocchi with chopped tomatoes and green onions before serving.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Walnut Crusted, Oven Baked, Lemon-Dill Tilapia


Walnut Crusted, Oven Baked, Lemon-Dill Tilapia

This is the beginning of our eighth week of the shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. We are only going out when we absolutely must. My mother lives with us and is immuno-compromised because she is receiving chemo. Last Thursday I made a grocery run. We have been eating shelf-stable food (cans and jars.) I needed something fresh! I bought fish.

I purchased tilapia because my mom will eat it. I decided to encrust it because it keeps the fish moist and because it is yummy! I had walnuts so I chose to use them. You could use pecans. I love Honey Mustard, so I made a Honey Mustard Cream Sauce. You could also choose to use different seasonings and sauces. If you wanted to use Cajun seasoning, you would serve this with Rémoulade Sauce. Replace the lemon-pepper with taco seasoning and the dill with cilantro and use Lime Chipotle Mayo as a topping for a south of the border dish.

I served the fish with Orzo Pilaf (I replaced the onion with garlic) and fresh steamed broccoli with a squeeze of lemon.

Servings: 4-6
Time:  Prep:10 minutes; Cooking:12-15 minutes; Dinner in less than 30 minutes.
Hardware:  An airtight container, measuring spoons and cups, 2 forks, paper towels, 2 large shallow bowls or plates with high sides (I use pie plates for this), foil, a baking sheet, a large spatula (or a fish turner)

Ingredients:

  • 1-pound tilapia fillets
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup ground walnuts
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon + ½ tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning (salt free)
  • 2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • Cooking spray
  • A little chopped parsley for garnish

……………………..
Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • A pinch of salt

  1. Mix the sauce ingredients in the airtight container and put it in the fridge until dinner.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°.  Line the baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Rinse the fish in clean water and pat dry. Cut into serving sizes. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the fish pieces. Season them with ½ tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning and 1 teaspoon dried dill. Set aside.
  4. Mix the crumbs, walnuts, and the rest of the lemon pepper seasoning and dried dill in one of the bowls/plates. Beat the egg and yogurt together in the second bowl. Put the flour in the last bowl.
  5. Dip each fillet into the flour, then the yogurt mixture, then into the crumb mixture. You may need to press a little of the crumbs onto the fish to make sure that it is completely coated.
  6. Place the fish onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake the fish for 7 minutes and then turn with the spatula. Bake for 5-7 minutes on the second side depending on the thickness of the fillets.  Be careful to not over cook the fish.  It is done when it is opaque and flakes easily.
  7. To serve top each piece of fish with some sauce and sprinkle on some chopped parsley.