Friday, November 6, 2009

Let's Just Hanging Out

Let's Just Hang Out

This month's theme is Let's Just Hang Out and Make It Easy. All of us are busy during the Fall month's with our children's activities, sports and work so Kathi-Anne hosted a wonderful night of hanging out with the girls in her beautiful new home. Come check out all the "Easy" foods we prepared (no stress dishes) ...we have some humorous people in our group so see who came up with the funnest easiest dish tonight:

Pomegranate Mango Gaucamole

Prepared By Cathy


  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano chili, finely chopped, including seeds
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 cup diced peeled mango
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


1.Cut the mango in half lengthwise. With a small sharp knife score the flesh both horizontally and vertically. Pushing on the skin of the mango, flip it inside out and cut off the flesh from the skin.

2. To remove the pomegranate seeds, cut the pomegranate in half and submerge in a large bowl of water then gently peel to remove all of the seeds.3. Halve, pit, and peel avocados. Coarsely mash in a bowl. Stir in onion, chiles, 1/4 cup lime juice, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, then fold in pomegranate seeds, mango, and cilantro. Season with salt and additional lime juice.

Hot Crab Cream Cheese Dip

Prepared By Debbie

  • 2 packages Crab Delight (Imitation Crab Meat)
  • 1 8 0z package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • garlic powder

Chop or shred crab meat into small pieces. In a mixing bowl, mix together the crab meat, cream cheese and mayonnaise until well combined. Place dip into a baking dish. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 mins or until bubbly.

Serve with crackers.

Thai Chicken Satay Skewers

Recipe From, Prepared By Jen

Chicken Ingredients:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 servings)

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon grated gingeroot
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Marinade Directions:

1. Reserve 3 tablespoons mixture for dipping sauce; cover and refrigerate
2. Add 2 tablespoons water to marinade and pour over Chicken.
3. Cover; marinate in refrigerator at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, stirring mixture occasionally. (very salty if marinated overnight)

Peanut Sauce:

Bring to boil over Medium-high heat stirring constantly:
  • 3 tablespoons reserved soy sauce mixture
  • 3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk or Coco Goya Cream of Coconut (I prefer Sweetened Coconut Milk – stronger Coconut flavor & sweeter taste)
  • 2 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
Simmer uncovered 2 – 4 minutes or until sauce thickens

Grill or Bake Chicken in oven

1. Soak 8 (10- to 12-inch) bamboo skewers 20 minutes in cold water to prevent them from burning; drain. Prepare grill for direct cooking.
2. Drain chicken; reserve marinade. Weave 3 to 4 chicken strips accordion-style onto each skewer.
3. Brush chicken. Discard remaining marinade.
4. Grill skewers on uncovered grill over medium-hot coals 6 to 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning halfway through grilling time or bake at 350 in oven.

Serve with warm peanut sauce for dipping.

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

Prepared By Kelly


  • 6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


1 Prepare the tomatoes first. Parboil the tomatoes for one minute in boiling water that has just been removed from the burner. Drain. Using a sharp small knife, remove the skins of the tomatoes. (If the tomatoes are too hot, you can protect your finger tips by rubbing them with an ice cube between tomatoes.) Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and juice from their centers. Also cut out and discard the stem area. Why use plum tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes? The skins are much thicker and there are fewer seeds and less juice.

2 Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.

3 While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes finely. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4 Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.

Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.

5 Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.

Makes 24 small slices. Serves 6-10 as an appetizer. Or 3-4 for lunch (delicious served with cottage cheese on the side.)

Dipping Oil for Bread

Dipping Oil for Bread
like Carrabba's®
The perfect blend of herbs, spices, garlic, and red pepper
mixed with olive oil and serve with crusty bread cubes.

Prepared by Kelly

Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep. Time: 0:05

  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper (I would 1/2 this amount)
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary (I wish I used fresh - a little strong dried)
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic (I used powder, didn't have granulated)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I doubled the olive oil)

Combine all ingredients, except oil, on a shallow bowl or plate. Pour olive oil over.

Notes: Serve with fresh-baked bread for dipping.

Friday, August 28, 2009

New York Style Texas BBQ

New York Style Texas BBQ

This month's theme has turned into How to have a Family Style Texas BBQ in New York State when it's pouring down rain and you don't have a grill or smoker ..... I think it turned out pretty well. We had to bring in all the tables & chairs from the outside. Some how I was able to fit all our families and food in my house. There was some really great food despite the absence of a grill or smoker so be sure to check out the recipes in the following posts here.

Jalepano Popper Dip

My attempt to make Jalapeno poppers was failing quickly so I turned them into a Jalapeno Popper Dip.
Prepared by Debbie

These are rough estimates for the dip since I didn't follow a recipe.

  • 6 Jalapeño peppers, diced very small (You may want to use more or less depending on how spicy the peppers are. The peppers I used were pretty mild)
  • 2 - 8 oz pkgs of 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups Mexican style cheeses (I used Great Value brand already shredded cheese)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese


Mix all ingredients together except for the Cheddar Cheese. Spread cheese & Jalapeño mixture an ungreased baking dish, top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until it just starts to bubble around the edges. Serve with tortilla chips.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Prepared by Debbie

  • 12 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, diced
  • 3 tbsp, onion, diced
  • 3 tsp, fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime

Mix all together and in a medium size bowl. Refrigerate at least a couple of hours. Serve with tortilla chips.


Recipe from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Prepared by Kelly


* 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 3/4 cup flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 2 eggs, slightly beaten
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/4 cup melted butter
* 2 tablespoons honey


1. Set the oven at 350 degrees F, Grease an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with shortening. Pop the pan in the oven to heat while you're mixing up the corn bread.
2. Mix the cornmeal, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
3. Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter in another bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and give them a good stir, just til everything is moistened. Pull the hot greased pan from the oven and pour in the batter.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or til a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Take the corn bread out of the oven and brush the top with honey.
5. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before cutting into squares.

Makes 9 servings

Best Ever Vegetarian Chili

Prepared by Kathy

Water-packed tofu changes texture when it is frozen, resulting in “meaty” crumbles that are less processed and healthier than soy ground beef substitutes. Simmered in a spicy sauce, the tofu adds body and soaks up the vibrant flavors of this classic dish.


  • One 14-ounce tub firm water-packed tofu
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 New Mexico chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 15 oz cans chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 t. Mexican oregano
  • ½ t. cinnamon
  • One canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely minced (or to taste)
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 t. salt, or to taste

Freeze the tofu overnight (or longer) in its container. Thaw, squeeze out excess moisture, and crumble. Set aside.

In a large soup pot or skillet, sauté the onion, garlic, carrot, and chiles in a little water until onion is translucent (about 5 minutes), adding more water as necessary to prevent sticking.

Add the tomatoes, beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, chipotle chile, sugar, and bay leaf. Stir in crumbled, previously frozen tofu. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until flavors blend. If additional liquid is needed, add a little water, vegetable stock, or red wine. Add salt to taste and serve, garnished with chopped raw onions and Golden Cheaze Sauce, if desired.

Texas Barbecued Beef Brisket

Prepared by Debbie


(Need to marinate over night)
  • 1 whole (5-6 lbs) beef brisket, well trimmed
  • 1 1/2 cups Chili Sauce (get near the ketchup)
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. Hot pepper sauce
  • 2 Beers (12 oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Liquid Smoke (it comes in a bottle. You can normally find this near bbq sauces)
  • Hamburger Buns

Note: (Don't use corned beef brisket. I had a hard time finding a brisket. I ended up buying the brisket at Butcher Boy on Taft Ave in Endwell - he will cut it the size you want. It was very fatty so I'd say if you buy one from there you may want a bigger one. I bought 5.5 lbs and probably 1/3 of it was fat. I cut most of the fat off but you need some fat on the top layer to keep it most)


Put brisket in a large glass dish (I just used my 9x13 dish). Combine chili sauce, sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, hot epper sauce, beer and liquid smoke in a large mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar. Pour mixture over beef (there will be alot of marinade). Cover dish, refrigerate overnight (I did 6 hours), turning occasionally. After marinating, transfer beef AND marinade to a large roasting pan. Cover pan tightly with foil. Set pan in a pre-heated 300 degree oven and roast beef (about 4 hours) until it easily pulls apart in shreds. Remove beef from the oven and drain sauce into a large sauce pan. Remove all fat from top of sauce. Set saucepan with the sauce over high heat and boil until sauce is reduced to about 3 cups (it takes about 20 -30 mins to reduce).
With a fork, pull beef apart into shreds. Mix beef & sauce. Serve on hamburger buns. Serves 10-12 people.

I made this the day before and then reheated in the crockpot.

Texas Oven Pork Ribs

Prepared By Debbie

  • 6 pounds baby back pork ribs (I bought mine at Butcher Boy on Taft Ave in Endwell)
  • 1 1/2 cups White sugar
  • 1/4 cup Salt
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Sweet paprika (I used about 4 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder (optional - can't remember exactly what I used)
1. Clean the ribs, and trim away any excess fat. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, 1/4 cup salt, ground black pepper, paprika, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Coat ribs liberally with spice mix. Place the ribs a large dish, laying ribs next to each other in the dish.Cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

2. Remove ribs from the refrigerator. Wrap each rack of ribs in heavy duty foil (2x). Very important to wrap tightly so it doesn't drip while cooking.

3. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Bake uncovered for 3 to 4 hours, or until the ribs are tender and nearly fall apart. We like the top of the ribs to be a bit crispy so I placed each foil package of ribs on a cookie sheet and opened each foil pack so the ribs were exposed and baked another hour. You can keep them warm in an electric roaster or crockpot.

Note: I doubled this recipe and had some dry rub left over (I made about 15 lbs of baby back ribs)

Ranch Chicken

Prepared By Debbie

  • 1 1/2 cups Unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 packet Hidden Vally Original Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
  • 8 Bone-in chicken pieces (legs, thighs and breasts), leave some skin on the pieces.

Combine seasoning & salad dressing mix with bread crumbs in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Add chicken pieces; seal bag. Shake to coat chicken. Bake chicken on ungreased baking pan at 375°F. for 60 minutes or until no longer pink in center and juices run clear.

Note: I had about 12-16 pieces of chicken in each pan and baked it for 1.5 hours at


Prepared By Kathi-Anne

Kathi-Anne provided us with a wonderful Fruit Tray with dip and yummy Cheesecake for Dessert!! And Cathy brought a big container of Cookies ... I didn't get a photo of those but I know the kids gobbled them down quickly!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Picnic Salads & Desserts

Maybe you and your family are invited to a family reunion or an outdoor party summer ...

So this month Kelly will be hosting an outdoor picnic at her house with Salads & Desserts You Would Bring To A Picnic as our theme.

Kelly setup a wonderful picnic area in her backyard for us to relax and enjoy a great evening outdoors. She had tea lights at each of our seats, pansies in our wine glasses and fresh cut flowers from her garden as our centerpiece.

Nantucket Lemonade

Prepared by Kelly

Nantucket Lemonade

This punch gets its name from a concoction the author whipped up for a dockside get-together on the island several summers ago. The ginger ale balances the tart lemon and lime citrus tones, while the cranberry juice adds sweetness and vivid, festive color. After all, if you're going to name a drink after one of the cranberry capitals of the world, the juice should star.

Serving: 12

  • Punch bowl and glasses
  • 5 cups lemonade, homemade or good-quality purchased
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 cups vodka
  • 2 cups chilled ginger ale
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • Frozen cranberries and lemon slices for garnish

Combine the lemonade, cranberry juice, lime juice and vodka in the punch bowl and mix well. Just before serving, slowly pour in the ginger ale. Add the ice cubes. Garnish with the frozen cranberries and lemon slices and serve immediately.

Notes: For non-alcoholic Nantucket Lemonade, substitute 2 cups additional ginger ale and 1 cup additional cranberry juice for the vodka. For a picnic or harbor cruise, mix the punch directly in a small insulated cooler for instant and easy transportability.
Prepared By Kelly

"I have always wanted to attempt to capture "Chat-a-Wyle's" pasta salad and I think I may have found it" ... Kelly

Sweet & Sour Pasta Salad


* 1 (16 ounce) package tricolor spiral pasta
* 1 medium red onion, chopped
* 1 medium tomato, chopped
* 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
* 1 medium green pepper, chopped
* 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1/2 cup vinegar
* 1 tablespoon ground mustard
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder


1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large serving bowl. Add the onion, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and parsley; set aside.
2. In a saucepan, combine the dressing ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Farmer's Market Salad With Strawberries & Goat Cheese

Prepared By Kathy

Farmers Market Salad With Strawberries and Goat Cheese

  • Fresh salad greens for 2 servings (loose leaf lettuce, romaine, dandelion, spinach and baby arugula would all work well, as would a good spring mix)
  • 6 to 8 strawberries, or more if you like
  • A few drops good balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1 ounce fresh goat cheese (about ¼ cup crumbled)
  • 1 plump farmers market scallion (or 3 thin supermarket ones)
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (regular or herb-flavored)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  1. Rinse the salad greens well, tear into large pieces, and either pat dry or spin in a salad spinner. Refrigerate if not serving the salad right away.
  2. Rinse the strawberries under cool running water, and cut off the green cap and any tough core with a paring knife. Cut strawberries in half if they’re small, in quarters if they’re larger.
  3. Place the strawberries in a small bowl and drizzle with a few drops of good balsamic vinegar if you have it. The rich sweetness of the vinegar complements the flavor of the strawberries, but if you don’t have any good balsamic vinegar, you can skip this step. Set the strawberries aside until you’re ready to add them to the salad.
  4. Unwrap the goat cheese and break into small pieces. If the cheese is so soft it doesn't crumble easily, you could instead spread it on thin slices of toasted French bread and then cut the slices into small pieces, so they become goat cheese croutons.
  5. To make the vinaigrette, place the vinegar and mustard in a small bowl, and add a little salt and pepper. Whisk together until the salt is dissolved and the mustard and vinegar are well incorporated. Then whisk in the oil in a steady stream until the vinaigrette thickens and looks smooth. Stir in the chopped scallions. Taste and add more salt if needed, and if the dressing is too tart, add a pinch of sugar.
  6. To assemble the salad, place the greens in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette until the greens are lightly coated. Divide the greens between two plates, top each with the crumbled goat cheese, and arrange the strawberries on top.
Makes 2 servings.

Fresh Veggies & Dip

Prepared By Karen

Knorr Easy Vegetable Dip

  • 1 package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix
  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 container (16 oz.) sour cream

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients. Cover and chill 2 hours to blend flavors.
Stir before serving. Serve with your favorite dippers (carrots, broccoli, celery, snow peas, etc.).

Heavenly Orange Fluff

Prepared By Kathy

Heavenly Orange Fluff

  • 2 – 3 oz pkgs orange flavored gelatin
  • 1 – 13 ½ oz can crushed pineapple
  • 1 – 6oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 – 11 oz cans mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 -3 ¾ oz package instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Dissolve gelatin in 2 ½ cup boiling water.
  • Add undrained pineapple and concentrate.
  • Chill until partially set.
  • Fold in oranges and pout into a 9 x 13 pan.
  • Chill until firm.
  • Beat pudding and milk with a rotary beater until smooth.
  • Fold in whipping cream.
  • Spread over gelatin.
  • Chill

Tall and Creamy Cheescake

Prepared By Debbie

Tall and Creamy Cheesecake

For the crust (omit the crust for Passover or see above):
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
2 pounds (four 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sour cream

To make the crust:
1. Butter a 9-inch springform pan—choose one that has sides that are 2 3/4 inches high (if the sides are lower, you will have cheesecake batter leftover)—and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil; put the pan on a baking sheet.

2. Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. (I do this with my fingers.) Turn the ingredients into the buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Don't worry if the sides are not perfectly even.

3. Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake.

To make the cheesecake:

1. Working in a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft and lives up to the creamy part of its name, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition—you want a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.

2. Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that nothing has been left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, and scrape the batter into the springform pan. The batter will reach the brim of the pan. (If you have a smaller pan or a pan with lower sides and have leftover batter, you can bake the batter in a buttered ramekin or small soufflé mold.)

3. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn oven to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour 30 mins or until cheesecake is not jiggly (I baked it for almost 2 hours).

4. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack. Once cool, remove cheesecake from springform pan. (I kept the cheesecake in the pan while chilling overnight - this helps it from sticking or falling apart)

5. When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours, although overnight would be better.

6. Serve with macerated strawberries (see below), blueberry sauce (see below), chocolate sauce, canned cherry or blueberry pie filling or whatever you like on your cheesecake .. or just plain.

Macerated strawberries: To bring out the full flavor of strawberries, place hulled and sliced berries in a bowl and sprinkle with granulated white sugar (about 2 tablespoons (28 grams) per pint). Let the berries and sugar macerate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Blueberry Sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Wash and crush blueberries; add sugar, lemon juice and salt. Mix well. In a small saucepan, bring blueberry mixture to a boil; boil 1 minute. Add vanilla. Chill. Serve over puddings, cake, cheesecake or ice cream.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tasty, Tangy and Tantalizing ...

Our theme for the month of May will be an informal "T"

Hosted by Theresa ...

"I will be serving hot and cold teas but you are totally encouraged not to limit yourself to tea party fare (ex. finger sandwiches, scones, etc.). Here's an opportunity to tempt everyone with your most treasured recipe."

The only "Taste Tempter" requirement for your "T" dish is that it's tasty, tangy, and/or tantalizing" ...

Strawberry-goat cheese Bruschetta

Prepared By Karen

Strawberry-goat cheese Bruschetta

(Recipe from: Better Homes & Garden)

  • 1 8-oz. baguette
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 4-oz. log goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt or coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Snipped fresh herbs


Heat broiler. Halve baguette crosswise, then lengthwise. Place cut sides up on large baking sheet. Brush with the 1 tablespoon oil. Broil, 3 to 4 inches from heat, for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Slice and divide cheese among toasts. Top with sliced berries. Broil 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese and berries soften. Remove from broiler; top with arugula. Drizzle additional oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and herbs.

Makes 4 servings.

Baked Cucumber & Cheese Squares

Prepared By Cathy

Baked Cucumber & Cheese Squares

aka Cucumber & Cheese Things (CCT) :)


  • One loaf appetizer square bread (Artisan Section) – rye or pumpernickel (I used pumpernickel)
  • 1- 2 Large seedless cucumber (it is okay to use w/ seeds) – sliced approx. ¼ inch thick
  • 3 cups of White Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Shredded in bag)
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise (approx. – may need more/less) – I used light Mayo
  • Minced Onion to taste (I used dry)
  • Paprika (Optional)
  1. Mix all ingredients except bread and cucumber slices in a bowl (like the consistency of tuna salad)
  2. Line baking sheet with slices of bread
  3. Place one cucumber slice on each piece of bread
  4. Spoon a generous amount of cheese mixture on each piece covering cucumber slice
  5. Sprinkle lightly w/ paprika (optional)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese has melted and golden brown (apx. 5-8 minutes)
NOTE: The first time I spooned too much on each and had enough mixture for half of the loaf, so this should be enough for almost the entire loaf. You may only need half of the second cucumber depending on how thick you slice them. Be sure not to slice the cucumbers to thin. Enjoy!

Vidalia Onion Dip

Prepared by Debbie

Vidalia Onion Dip - "New Recipe"

(Vidalia onion dip is recipe I've made for years. Here is a recipe for this dip that includes water chestnuts and wine ... I found this recipe at


  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 large Vidalia onions coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 225gm tin sliced water chestnuts drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add onion, and saute 10 minutes or until tender. Stir together shredded Swiss cheese and next five ingredients; stir in onion, blending well.

Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes, and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with corn chips or crackers.

Vidalia Onion Dip - "Original Recipe"


  • 2 cups Vidalia onions coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Swiss cheese
  • 1-2 cups mayonnaise


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in an oven safe bowl and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve with crackers or pita bread wedges.

Crunchy Turkey Salad

Prepared By Kelly

Crunchy Turkey Salad

(Recipe from: Family Circle Magazine - June 2009)


  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 Large head Bibb Lettuce, washed
  • 2 Cups diced cooked turkey or cooked chicken (about 3/4 lb.)
  • 3 Scallions, sliced (I may put this on the side for people to add their own)
  • 1 Cup sliced almonds
  • 1 Cup chow mein noodles ( such as La Choy)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, sugar, poppy seeds and pepper; set aside
  2. Chop lettuce; you should have about 8 cups. Transfer to a medium size bowl and add turkey, scallions, almonds and noodles. Toss with dressing and serve immediately.

Mediterrane Orzo Pasta Salad

Prepared By Jill

Dressing Preparation:

In a bowl whisk together:
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1-2 garlic gloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp oregano

Salad Preparation:

  1. Cook and drain 16oz. Orzo pasta, rinse and drain well
  2. Cut and dice: 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 sweet onion, 3 carrots
  3. Toss with pasta
  4. Add sliced black olives (as much as you like, I omit all together!)
  5. Add dressing, and just prior to serving top with 4 oz. crumbled Feta cheese.
This salad is not supposed to be chilled prior to serving. Just make the pasta and rinse with cold water so it cools down, then add chopped veggies, dressing, top with Feta, and you're ready to serve!


Crustless Crab Quiche

Prepared By Kathy

Crustless Carb Quiche

  • 1/2 lb Fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 Scallioins, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup Cottage Cheese (Do not use low fat or fat free)
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 4 Drops bottled hot sauce
  • 1/2 lb Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
  • 6 oz Crabmeat

  1. Saute mushrooms and onions in butter, drain off excess liquid.
  2. In blender of food processor, blend eggs, sour cream, Parmesan, flour, salt and peppr
  3. Pour into large bowl.
  4. Stir in mushrooms and onions, Monterey jack cheese, and crabmeat.
  5. Pour into a lightly buttered 1 inch pie plate or shallow casserole dish.
  6. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
  7. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Great served at any temperature.

Easy Fruit Tarts

Prepared By Patty

Easy Fruit Tarts

  • 16 frozen tart shells (from your grocer), thawed and baked*
  • 3 cups vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups assorted fruit
  • 2 cups strawberry or raspberry gelatin, slightly thickened but not set
  • Whipped cream, optional
  1. Spoon the pudding into the bottom third of the tart shells.
  2. Decoratively arrange the fruit on top.
  3. Pour gelatin over the fruit and chill.
  4. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
Makes 16 tarts.


Try using mini tart shells, if you like. As long as they're not too small they'll work well for traditionally small tea-party fare.

Think about adding a sprig of mint or pecan half, to your fruit tart arrangement.

Tasty Lemon Blueberry Trifle

Tasty Lemon Blueberry Trifle

  • 1 Light and Easy Vanilla Cake, cut in cubes (see recipe below)
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) lemon instant pudding and pie filling
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (about 2 cups)
  • 1 square (1 ounce) white chocolate for baking
Trifle Preparation:

Prepare and bake Light and Easy Vanilla cake. Cool. (You may substitute this cake with store bought angel food cake or 1 160z frozen pound cake, such as Sara Lee).
  1. Cut cake into 1-inch cubes; place in large colander bowl. Using a lemon zester, make several lengthwise scores in one lemon, top to bottom; slice into 6 slices. Cut each slice in half and set aside for garnish. Zest remaining lemon using short strokes; set aside. Juice lemon. Sprinkle lemon juice over cake; toss .
  2. In a bowl, combine milk, sour cream, half of the whipped topping and reserved lemon zest; whisk until smooth. Add pudding mix; whisk until mixture begins to thicken.
  3. Set aside 12 blueberries for garnish. To assemble trifle, place 1/3 of the cake cubes into bottom of chilled bowl. Top with 1/3 of the blueberries. Grate 1/4 of the chocolate over blueberries. Top with of the pudding mixture, pressing lightly. Repeat layers 2 more times, reserving the remaining grated chocolate for garnish. Spread remaining pudding over entire top of trifle, creating a smooth surface.
  4. Attach open star tip to a decorator; fill with remaining whipped topping. Decorate by piping 12 rosettes around edge of bowl. Place one lemon slice between rosettes and one reserved blueberry on each rosette. Grate remaining chocolate in center.
Yield: 10 servings or 20 sample servings

Light & Easy Vanilla Cake

1 (18 1/2 oz) package white cake mix
1 2/3 cup water
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp imitation butter flavor

In a large bowl, blend cake mix, water, egg whites, vanilla extract, butter flavor on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Pour batter into lightly greased and floured 13x9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

This cake is great served with whip cream or cool whip and fresh berries. Or use in a trifle (see Tasty Lemon Blueberry Trifle recipe above).

Note: This recipe is from Jenny

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, we'd like to share our recipes from Mexican Night at Kathy's in April. The combination of foods and Kathy's Mexican decor made it feel like we were sitting in a delightful Mexican restaurant. You will find our Mexican Night recipes in the following posts. Enjoy!


Pepared by Kathy

I found several Mexican Sangria recipes. The one thing they all have in common was that they used orange juice. Some used triple sac, some did not. Some added sugar, some did not. This Sangria does not need to sit over night or several hours.

Here is the recipe I used:

Wow, I’m looking at that and just realized that I did not follow this recipe correctly at all… oh well, it was still good.

2 cups Pinot Grigo (I used 1 cup Pinot Niero)
1 cup Merlot (I used 2 cups Merlot)
1 cup triple sac (got this part right)
1 cup OJ (got this part right too)

Ice, Oranges, Lemons, Limes

I combined the liquids in the morning, added the fruit and ice about 30 minutes before anyone arrived

NOTE: It’s ok not to follow this recipe correctly

Layred Taco Dip

Prepared by Karen

  • 1 (16 ounce) container nonfat sour cream
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce - rinsed, dried, and shredded
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, drained

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine sour cream and taco seasoning. Spread this mixture in a 9-inch (or a little larger) round serving dish. Top the mixture with lettuce, Cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bell pepper and black olives.

Tostones - Twice Fried Green Plantains

Prepared by Debbie


2 green Plantains
Vegetable oil for frying

  1. Heat the oil to 375 degrees.
  2. While the oil is heating up, peel the green plantains and then cut them into 3/4 inch slices.
  3. Fry the slices in the hot oil for 3 minutes. They should be a light golden color and semi-soft.
  4. Remove the plantain slices with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  5. When the plantain slices are cool enough to handle (about 1 minute), smash them into flat rounds.
  6. Fry the rounds in the hot oil for 3 minutes. They will turn crisp and golden brown.
  7. Remove the Tostones with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Salt to taste.
Serve Tostones with various dipping sauces ..

Tostones Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup Sour cream
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Lime juice
1 tsp Chipotle pepper

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients. Place in a serving bowl and serve with Tostones.

Albondigas Soup Recipe

Prepared by Kelly

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 3 quarts of chicken stock or beef stock OR water OR a mixture of both (we usually use half stock half water as the meatballs will create their own stock)
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 lb of string beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup of raw white rice
  • 1 raw egg
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves and/or parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup of frozen or fresh peas
  • Dried oregano, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Heat oil in large (5 qt) heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and broth mixture. Bring to boil and simmer. Add carrots and string beans.
  • Prepare meatballs. Mix rice into meat, adding mint land parsley leaves, salt and pepper. Add raw egg. Form beef into 1-inch meatballs.
  • Return soup to gentle simmer. Add meatballs to soup, one at a time. Cover and let simmer for 1/2 hour. Add peas towards the end of the 1/2 hour. Add a few pinches of oregano and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish soup with chopped fresh cilantro.
Serves 6-8.

Taco Meatball Ring

Prepared by Theresa

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/2 medium head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
  • Sour cream and salsa, optional
  • In a large bowl, combine 1 cup cheese, water and taco seasoning. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 16 balls.
  • Place meatballs on a greased rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 12 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Drain meatballs on paper towels. Reduce heat to 375°.
  • Arrange crescent rolls on a greased 15-in. pizza pan, forming a ring with pointed ends facing the outer edge of the pan and wide ends overlapping.
  • Place a meatball on each roll; fold point over meatball and tuck under wide end of roll (meatball will be visible). Repeat. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.
  • Transfer to a serving platter. Fill the center of the ring with lettuce, tomato, onions, olives, jalapenos, remaining cheese, and sour cream and salsa if desired.
Yield: 16 servings.

Serrano Ham And Poblano Corn Pudding

Prepared by Kathy

  • 2 Large Poblano chilies
  • 2 cups fresh corn or frozen, thawed, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • large pinch of baking powder
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup instant corn masa mix (Maseca)
  • 4 oz ¼ in thick slice Serrano Ham or prosciutto, cut into ¼ in clubes
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Manchego cheese (4.5 oz)
  • Char chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in a paper bag 15 minutes. Peel and seed chiles, then cut lengthwise into ¼ in strips.
  • Preheat oven to 350. Spray 13 x 9 x 2 with pam. Combine 1 ½ cups of the corn, eggs, butter, salt and baking powder in a blender until almost smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add sour cream and Maseca, stir to blend. Add ham, cheese, chiles, and remaining ½ cup corn, and blend again. Pour into baking dish. Bake until pudding is puffed and golden brown in sports, about 40 minutes.
Notes: Masa mix can be found at Wegmans. Serrano Ham is very expensive, I used prosciutto. Manchego cheese can be found at Wegmans, they will shred it for you, and it’s really really good.

Chile Relleno Casserole With Enchilada Sauce

Prepared by Debbie


8 to 10 poblano chiles, roasted, seeded and peeled and stemmed
3 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese, or a mixture of colby and jack
1 can Enchilada sauce

Note: See tutorial on how to roast poblano peppers. (I will post this later).


To make casserole: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stuff each chili pepper with half the cheese. In a lightly oiled casserole dish, spread a 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of dish. Layer the stuffed chiles on top of enchilada sauce. (You may layer the peppers with the cheese rather than stuffing each pepper). Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the peppers. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This is great served with Spanish Rice.

Spanish Rice

Prepared by Debbie

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (can use up to 1/4 cup)
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups* chicken stock (or vegetable stock if vegetarian)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 fresh tomato, seeded and diced
  • Pinch of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Note: Check the instructions on the rice package for the proportions of liquid to rice. They can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If your rice calls for 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, then for this recipe, use 4 cups of stock for 2 cups of rice.

  • In a large skillet brown rice in olive oil, medium/high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook onion rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until onions are softened.
  • In a separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. Add tomato sauce, tomato, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Serves 4 to 6.

Fresh Fruit & Dips

Mexican Fruit Dip:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 jar (7 oz size) marshmallow cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons rum -- optional
  • Fruit such as pineapple -- strawberries, banana
Directions: In small bowl of a mixer, beat the cream cheese until it's soft and smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until well blended. Add the sour cream, marshmallow cream, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon and rum. Blend just until well combined. Place the mixture in serving bowl, cover and chill several hours before serving with fruit.

Easy Chocolate Fruit Dip:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
  • 1 jar marshmallow cream (7 0unces)
Directions: In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and chocolate syrup with a mixer until well blended. Then fold in the marshmallow cream. Place the mixture in a serving bowl, chill several hours before serving with fruit.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mexican Night at Kathy's

Tonight is Mexican Night at Kathy's house.

You may think of Mexican food as tacos and burritos because that's what we have at fast food chains. Mexican cuisine is so much more. So tonight Taste Tempters will be trying out some Mexican style recipes.

TT's Mexican Fiesta Menu:

Taco Meatball Ring
Spanish Rice
Roasted Chili Rellenos

Albondigas Soup
Ham and Poblano Corn Pudding
Chips and salsa
Tostones (Twice Fried Green Plantains)

More to come later so check back...

Update .. See recipes under Cinco de Mayo or Mexican Night.