Follow by Email

Sunday, June 23, 2013

COCONUT LEMON SOUR and TUNA AND CAPER DIP and COCONUT LIME CHICKEN TACOS and BANANA SOUR CREAM MASCARPONE CAKE

I invited friends over for cocktails by the pool - but we moved up to the back deck once the kids, chilly and exhausted from swimming, decided they would rather play indoors.
We Mums could faintly hear the music from the Ice Cream truck at the park, and in an attempt to entice the kids outside once more, I called one of the drivers I know - a better connection than Santa Claus this balmy time of year - and not 6 minutes later, he was in our driveway dispensing his frozen treats, and merry music - the kids were ecstatic!
I developed my menu for the adults, around the Coconut Lemon Sour cocktail - which I had first tried at a friends informal gathering, and was excited to replicate and share.

COCONUT LEMON SOUR


2.5 ounces of coconut water
1.5 ounces of coconut vodka
.75 ounces of lemon juice
.75 ounces of simple syrup or agave nectar

Mix all ingredients together and pour over ice.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from PF Changs Bar Drinks
quizlet.com/5964635/pf-changs-bar-drinks-flash-cards/‎

TUNA AND CAPER DIP


In a medium bowl, mix together 1 can (5 ounces) of tuna packed in oil, drained, 1/3 cup sour cream (I used fat free), 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped, 2 teaspoons of capers, drained and chopped, two anchovies, chopped, 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food
www.marthastewart.com/everydayfood‎

COCONUT LIME CHICKEN TACOS




2 to 3 chicken breasts
1 can coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground cumin
zest and juice of 1 lime
splash of hot sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
tortillas
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped

Combine the chicken breasts, coconut milk, cumin, lime zest and juice, and hot sauce. Simmer until chicken is cooked through. Coarsely chop chicken and return to the pot, continue cooking until liquid has mostly boiled away. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Divide among the warmed flour tortillas, or tortilla cases (I cut rounds from the tortillas, put them into mini muffin pans, and baked them for 7 to 10 minutes at 375F until they were lightly browned and crisp).
To serve, top each tortilla with avocado.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, July 2012
www.arkansasonline.com/news/features/food/‎

BANANA SOUR CREAM MASCARPONE CAKE


1 package yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup oil
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 cups powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350F.
Beat cake mix, eggs, bananas, sour cream, mascarpone and oil with mixer on low until moistened, scraping bottom of bowl as needed. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes.
Pour into greased 13 by 9 inch pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake completely in pan on wire rack.
Beat cream cheese and butter with mixer on medium until blended, add vanilla essence. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition.
Remove cake from pan, carefully cut cake crosswise in half.
Place 1 cake half, top side down, on a plate, spread the top with frosting. Top with the remaining cake half, frost the top and sides.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Food and Family, Winter 2009
www.kraftrecipes.com/foodfamilyarchive/foodandfamilyarchivelanding....‎

Saturday, June 22, 2013

FEIJOA AND APPLE FIX and SAUSAGE ROLLS and ROAST KUMARA AND CASHEW SALAD and PINK PEPPERCORN PAVLOVA WITH VANILLA CREAM AND BASIL SYRUP

I was very excited to gather together and spend time again with the wonderful ladies who lunch. I chose a New Zealand theme - preparing some of the dishes I grew up with and some that were new to me. Everything everyone contributed was fabulous - food and conversation, resulting in yet another joyful occasion for the taste buds and the soul.

FEIJOA AND APPLE FIX





1 ounce of feijoa vodka
apple juice
ice
lemon wedge to garnish

Fill glass with ice. Add vodka and top with apple juice. Stir and garnish with lemon wedge.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Food.com
http://www.food.com/recipe/feijoa-vodka-apple-fix-153867

SAUSAGE ROLLS


1 pound of sausage
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/3 cup stale breadcrumbs
1 to 2 sheets of puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

Lightly grease 1 to 2 oven trays.
Combine sausage, onion, thyme parsley, ketchup and breadcrumbs in a bowl, mix well.
Spread out pastry sheets and using a rolling pin, roll them until they are thin.
Place the sausage mixture down the center of the pastry.
Brush edges of pastry with lightly beaten egg, fold over sides of pastry to enclose mixture.
Trim ends of rolls, and cut into 2 inch long pieces. Repeat as necessary.
Lightly brush rolls with remaining egg, cut a couple of slits into the top of each roll.
Bake in a moderate oven about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Australian Womens Weekly, October 1991
aww.ninemsn.com/recipe-search/‎

ROAST KUMARA AND CASHEW SALAD


2 to 3 kumara, peeled and diced
olive oil for roasting
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh rosemary sprigs
1 cup cashew nuts
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
couple of handfuls of arugula
chopped spring onion for garnish
DRESSING
200 ml olive oil
75 ml balsamic vinegar
50 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoon curry powder

Heat oven to 180C.
Toss diced kumara in oil and season with salt and black pepper. Place in a roasting dish and scatter with rosemary sprigs. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.
While kumara is cooling, increase temperature of oven to 200C and roast cashew nuts in a separate dish for 8 to 10 minutes. Toss after 5 minutes so nuts become evenly colored.
Add cooled cashews to the kumara, and toss with chopped mint and arugula.
Make dressing by blending all ingredients in a blender.
Add about half the dressing to kumara mixture and stir lightly. Add more dressing to taste.
Garnish with chopped spring onion.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Market Day, 2007
Vicki Winn

PINK PEPPERCORN PAVLOVA WITH VANILLA CREAM AND BASIL SYRUP


BASIL SYRUP
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup light corn syrup
MERINGUES
4 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
VANILLA CREAM
3/4 cup chilled whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

BASIL SYRUP
Blanch 1/3 cup basil leaves in a small saucepan of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain, then transfer basil to a bowl of iced water to cool. Drain, squeeze out excess water from basil. Puree basil with corn syrup in blender. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight to allow flavors to develop.
Bring basil syrup to room temperature before serving.
MERINGUES
Position rack in the center of the oven and heat to 275F.
Draw six 2 1/2 inch circles on parchment paper, then invert onto baking sheet. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating to medium firm peaks. Beat remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Gradually beat sugar-cornstarch mixture into meringue, beating until very stiff. Beat in white wine vinegar. Fold in peppercorns. Divide meringue between circles, spread to fill completely. Bake until outside is dry, about 25 minutes. Turn oven off and open door slightly. Let meringues cool in oven until completely dry, about 1 hour.
VANILLA CREAM
Place cream and sugar in a medium bowl. Scrape seeds in from vanilla bean. Using electric mixer, beat cream to soft peaks.

Place a meringue on each plate, top with a generous amount of vanilla cream. Top with strawberries and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle basil syrup on plate.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2008
www.bonappetit.com/recipes‎

Friday, June 21, 2013

PASTRY TURNOVERS WITH BLUE CHEESE

A friend graciously invited a group of ladies to her home for lunch - she had been in a supper club where each time they assembled, they chose a different theme, and she was excited to start up another such gathering.
It was a truly wonderful group of Mademoiselles, some I knew, and some I met for the first time. There was fabulous, meaningful conversation, a wonderful sensation of feeling connected and my tastebuds were extremely happy with the chosen French theme.
I was excited to try these petit chaussons, but of course I was running late and didn't have time to make my own pastry, as Julia Childs suggested in the recipe, so I used store bought puff pastry. Because I was so busy fixing my hair, I overcooked the turnovers, which resulted in them looking a little unattractive, and caused a lot of the filling to ooze out, so it seemed like I was biting into an empty pastry shell. Needless to say, I was disappointed.
In an effort to redeem myself, I have made them since, using store bought pie dough and it worked much better. I had simplified my hair style, so they were cooked perfectly, the filling remained contained and they were fabulously delicious. One day, when I have the time, and perhaps even less hair, I would love to try and make my own pastry dough.

PASTRY TURNOVERS WITH BLUE CHEESE or PETITS CHAUSSONS AU ROQUEFORT


1/2 pound Roquefort or blue cheese
1/4 pound softened butter
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cognac
1 1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 to 6 tablespoons of cream
chilled pastry dough
1 egg beaten in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon water

Mash the cheese in a bowl with a fork. Beat in the butter then the egg yolks, cognac, pepper and chives.
Beat in the cream by tablespoons but do not let the mixture thin out too much. It should remain a fairly thick paste. Correct seasoning.
Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. With a ravioli whee or a knife, cut the dough into 2 1/2 inch squares. Heat oven to 425F.
Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square. One by one, paint a 1/4 inch border of beaten egg around the edges of the pastry. Fold the pastry over on itself to form a triangle. Press the edges together firmly with your fingers. Press them again making a design with the tines of a fork. Place on a buttered baking sheet and continue with the rest of the turnovers. Paint the tops with beaten egg.
Poke a 1/8 inch hole in the center of each pasty top so cooking steam can escape.
Bake in the oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until puffed and lightly browned.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck, 2009

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ZESTY PIMIENTO CHEESE SANDWICHES

My husband grew up dining on pimiento cheese - it is his comfort food and something he fondly associates with his Grandmother.
Although it's not something I would ever venture to buy, he will often pick up a container for outdoor occasions - camping or a day on the Lake.
I've never been all that impressed when I've sampled the store bought kind, but I made up a batch of this zesty pimiento cheese for a family RV trip, and it was a favorite snack. It was delicious and full of flavor, unlike the ones I have tried before.

ZESTY PIMIENTO CHEESE SANDWICHES


Stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 3 drained (4 ounce) jars diced pimiento, 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce, 3/4 teaspoon celery seeds, 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in 5 cups freshly grated white cheddar cheese until well blended. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours, spread between two slices of bread.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Southern Living, February 2012
www.southernliving.com › Food › Recipes

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

GARDEN TOMATO SAUCE OVER PASTA

I made this nutritious pasta sauce for the kids, before leaving on a date night with my husband. Although I thought it was delicious, my three connoisseurs expressed their strong opinions and left the majority on their plates. I enjoyed the healthy left overs the next day, the perfect counterbalance to the rich meal I had enjoyed the evening before.

GARDEN TOMATO SAUCE OVER PASTA


1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 to 1 pound of tomatoes, cored and chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste 
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Saute onion in hot oil, over medium high heat, 3 to 5 minutes or until tender.
Add garlic saute 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, 2 or 3 minutes or until tomatoes start to release their juices.
Add wine and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until almost all liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, and stir in oregano. Serve sauce over hot cooked pasta.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Southern Living, August 2012
www.southernliving.com/food/‎

Monday, June 17, 2013

HERBED GOAT CHEESE DIP and SWEET PEA CROSTINI and SPRING VEGETABLE AND GOAT CHEESE DIP

There have been several occasions lately that involve visiting friends, bearing an appetizer and a bottle of wine - perhaps something to do with the warmer weather, longer days, and kids being out of school.
The essence of these gatherings is always to relax and have fun and catch up with a gorgeous group of ladies - apparently I have my own theme going that includes toasted baguette and goat cheese.

HERBED GOAT CHEESE DIP


In a medium bowl, beat 2 tablespoons of whipping cream until thickened. Stir in 3.5 ounces of crumbled goat cheese, 1/4 cup of snipped herbs (I used oregano, parsley, dill and tarragon), a finely chopped shallot, finely grated peel from one lemon, and a clove of minced garlic. Stir to combine, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Thin with additional cream if desired.
Serve with toasted baguette slices.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, March 2013

SWEET PEA CROSTINI


1 14 ounce package frozen sweet peas, thawed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
french baguette slices, toasted
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Place peas and garlic in a food processor, add olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 2 hours.
Spoon pea mixture onto toasted baguette slices, sprinkle with goat cheese.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Southern Living, June 2011
www.southernliving.com › Food › Recipes

SPRING VEGETABLE AND GOAT CHEESE DIP


1 cup 3/4 inch pieces asparagus
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped leeks
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup grated cheddar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 ounce) can of chopped artichoke hearts in water, drained
1/2 cup peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
6 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese, divided

Heat oven to 450F.
Cook asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, let cool.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes. Whisk in flour, gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, remove from heat. Add cheddar, whisk until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold in asparagus (reserve tips), artichoke hearts, peas, chives, mint, parsley, lemon zest and 4 ounces of crumbled fresh goat cheese.
Transfer mixture to a baking dish, arrange asparagus tips on top and dot with another 2 ounces of goat cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Epicurious
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spring-Vegetable-and-Goat-Cheese-Dip-395040

Sunday, June 16, 2013

ZUCCHINI CORN BREAD WITH SPICED NUTS and GOLDEN ZUCCHINI CAKE WITH APRICOTS AND RAISINS and ZUCCHINI OLIVE OIL AND PISTACHIO MADELEINES

This was some of the most delicious, moist corn bread I have ever had.

ZUCCHINI CORN BREAD WITH SPICED NUTS


1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup spiced mixed nuts, finely chopped
1/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 (14.75 ounce) can of cream style corn
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion

Heat oven to 300F.
Grease a 13 by 9 inch baking pan, set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, nuts, sugar, baking powder and salt, set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, and applesauce. Stir in the corn, zucchini, cheese and onion. Add butter mixture all at once to cornmeal mixture. Stir just until moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Serve warm.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, March 2012
www.bhg.com/recipes/

This cake was delicious - rich and moist - and filled with fruit and spice. The cream cheese frosting wasn't too sweet and complimented the cake perfectly.
I stored the cake in the refrigerator, and it was even better the following day and even the one after that.

GOLDEN ZUCCHINI CAKE WITH APRICOTS AND RAISINS


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup finely diced dried apricots
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup shredded zucchini

Heat oven to 350F.
Spray an 8 by 8 inch pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and baking powder. In a small bowl, stir together apricots, raisins and 1/4 cup of the flour mixture until fruit is well coated.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla until blended. At low speed, slowly beat in flour mixture until blended, stir in apricot mixture and zucchini. Pour batter into pan, bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

FROSTING
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
dash salt
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese, butter and salt at medium speed until blended and smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, beat until smooth and creamy.
Spread frosting over cooled cake.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Cooking Pleasures, August 2002
www.cookingclub.com/recipes.aspx

This was a fun and unique way to cook with zucchini.

ZUCCHINI OLIVE OIL AND PISTACHIO MADELEINES


1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup creme fraiche
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1 egg
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped

Wrap grated zucchini in paper towels.
Heat oven to 375F.
In an electric mixer, beat creme fraiche, lemon zest, oil and egg on medium speed until uniform consistency is reached.
Sift flour, baking powder, pepper and salt together. Shift mixer to low speed and add dry ingredients to egg mixture, a third at a time, scraping bottom of the mixing bowl between each addition.
With mixer still on low speed, add parmesan and drained zucchini and mix until well incorporated.
Pipe batter into a madeleine mold and garnish with chopped pistachios. Bake until tops are golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Wall Street Journal, June 2012

Monday, June 10, 2013

CHICKEN WALDORF SALAD

Superlative, splendid salad, and super snappy.

CHICKEN WALDORF SALAD


DRESSING
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
SALAD
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup walnut pieces
4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
mixed salad greens
2 cups thinly sliced celery
4 apples, diced
3 cups grapes, halved
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped

In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients.
Heat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, microwave honey for 15 seconds. Add walnuts and toss to coat. Spread walnuts in single layer on baking sheet, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring once or twice. Transfer nuts to a wire rack to cool.
In a large bowl, toss the greens, chicken, walnuts, celery, apple, grapes, tarragon and dressing until all ingredients are coated.
Enjoy!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

VANILLA BEAN OLD FASHIONED and SMOKED SALMON ON RYE

This has been one of my favorite food and beverage pairings - the smoky rye flavor of the particular bourbon I used was a wonderful compliment for the smoked salmon on rye appetizer.
It was a fun evening of food and friends, and although we haven't yet had the chance to invite our guests to return, I have repeated the cocktail, it was so tasty and delicious.

VANILLA BEAN OLD FASHIONED


1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans split lengthwise
1 teaspoon orange bitters
1 orange
1/2 cup bourbon
2 maraschino cherries

Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add the vanilla beans, let them steep for 15 minutes. Scrape the seeds out of the beans and leave them in the syrup, remove the bean. Cool simple syrup.
Place a piece of orange peel and 1/2 teaspoon bitters in each of 2 old fashioned glasses. Add 1 tablespoon simple syrup and juice of 1/2 orange to each glass. Fill glasses with ice. Pour 1/4 cup bourbon over ice in each glass, stir to blend. Garnish with a cherry.
Serves 2.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2008
www.bonappetit.com/magazine/toc/october_2008_toc

SMOKED SALMON ON RYE


4 ounces of cream cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
8 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped
12 slices of mini rye bread

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, dill and smoked salmon. Refrigerate until ready to use. With a 1/2 inch cutter, cut out a circle from each slice of bread. Toast them in a 325 degree oven until crisp.
Put a dollop of the smoked salmon mixture on each toast round and garnish with a bit of dill and caviar if desired.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Morning News, December 2004

Saturday, June 8, 2013

SMOKY CHIPOTLE COD WITH CORN

Memories are made around the dinner table - and I love it when we have the opportunity to sit down as a family and enjoy each others company and fun, wonderful, healthy food.
This was a simple week night dinner, that we all enjoyed, and although I left the aioli off the kids plates, as they havent developed a taste for spicy foods yet, they thought the rest of this fresh summery meal was delicious.

SMOKY CHIPOTLE COD WITH CORN


1 pound of cod fillets
1 cup clam juice
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 canned chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Rinse fish fillets and pat dry, set aside.
In a bowl, combine clam juice, white wine, and cornstarch, set aside.
For the chipotle aioli, in another bowl combine mayonnaise, chipotle pepper, vinegar, and mustard. Cover and chill.
Sprinkle cod pieces with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, add the cod and cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes or until opaque and browned on the bottom. Turn fillets over, cook 2 to 3 minutes more until opaque and browned. Transfer to a plate.
Swirl remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, over medium-high heat. Add onion and corn, and season with salt and pepper.
Cook 1 minute, then pour clam juice mixture into pan, bring to boiling. Boil gently, uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes. Return cod to pan, cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 to 8 minutes, or until cod is just cooked through to center.
To serve, dollop with the chipotle aioli, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, April 2013
www.bhg.com/recipes/‎

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

THE STRAWBERRY MUDDLE

I served this fun cocktail before a friend and I attended a recent show at the Walton Arts Center. Our regular mama schedules left little time to catch up before the performance, so it was a quick drink, bite to eat (I thought this yummy and fresh cocktail paired well with a triple cream brie with strawberries and crostini sprinkled with sea salt and herbs de provence) and an excited flurry of words on the back deck before rushing off to the show.
"Listen to your Mother" was absolutely incredible, we laughed, we cried and I felt my role as a mother was re-affirmed and re-energized. Every women (and Man) up there had a wonderful, touching, thought provoking story, that made me feel so very thankful to be a mother.
I told my kids about the show earlier and my oldest son said "no Mum, what is it really called". They were as intrigued as I was, and I'm not sure I could find the words to fully explain its awesomeness to them even after seeing the show.

THE STRAWBERRY MUDDLE


1 1/2 cups chopped hulled strawberries
3 tablespoons of agave nectar
juice of 1 lemon
6 ounces of gin
6 thin lemon slices
ice
1 chilled bottle of prosecco

Divide strawberries among 6 glasses, add 1/2 tablespoon of agave nectar, a splash of lemon juice, and 1 ounce of gin to each glass. Mash with a muddler.
Add a lemon slice to each glass, several ice cubes and top with prosecco.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2009
www.bonappetit.com/recipes‎

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

CHIPOTLE CHICKEN TORTILLA SALAD and COBB SALAD

We have only been out to our lake cabin a few times this summer, it is close, and we love to go, but due to the cool spring, and then our summer travel schedule, it has been difficult to get out there as much as we would like.
However, every time we are able to make it, it feels like a vacation, and I try to keep the food simple, so it's relaxing all around. Therefore, I look for recipes that take minimal preparation, cooking and clean up and, enjoyed out on the deck with a lake view, has made even the most simple of dishes taste amazing!

CHIPOTLE CHICKEN TORTILLA SALAD


1 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 tablespoons of chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 to 2 romaine hearts, coarsely chopped
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 avocado, diced
1 lime, juiced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 to 2 cups of lightly crushed tortilla chips

Season with the chicken with the cumin, paprika, coriander, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil or spray with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook through, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate, reserve the skillet.
In a food processor, puree the shallot, garlic, chipotle in adobo, vinegar and brown sugar. Add 1/4 cup olive oil.
In the reserved skillet, simmer the sauce for 1 minute.
In a large bowl, place the lettuce and pepper. Add the avocado and dress with the lime juice. Top with the tomatoes, cilantro and chips. Pour in the warm dressing and toss. Top with the chicken.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
www.rachaelraymag.com/‎

COBB SALAD


2 chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 eggs
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
8 slices cooked bacon, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 ounces blue cheese, sliced or crumbled
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced

Heat oven to 425F. On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle chicken with 1 tablespoon of oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast until cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let sit until cool enough to handle. Slice chicken.
Quarter eggs. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, toss to combine and top with eggs, bacon, tomatoes, cheese, avocado and chicken.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food
www.marthastewart.com/everydayfood‎

CITRUS TOPPED DOUBLE BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

I made these muffins for the first morning of summer vacation. The kids had friends over and everyone loved them - I even overheard, it was one of the best breakfasts ever. When I asked my Son what he liked so much about them, he said they were sweet, with a good texture (I'm not kidding) and that they were exceptional right out of the oven, but not so great the next day.
It could have been because of the small sweet Maine blueberries, or because of the sweet sticky blueberry preserves, or it could just be the sweet taste of freedom of summer vacation, either way, I think they will be an often requested breakfast item.

CITRUS TOPPED DOUBLE BLUEBERRY MUFFINS


2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup blueberry preserves
1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter

Heat oven to 375F.
Line twelve muffin cups with paper liners, set aside.
Stir together flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of flour mixture.
Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and 6 tablespoons of the melted butter, add to the dry mixture. Stir until just moistened. Fold in blueberries. Remove 1 cup of batter.
Spoon remaining batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about half full. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the blueberry preserves into the center of each muffin. Top with remaining batter to cover the preserves. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Stir together orange peel, lemon peel and the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Remove the muffins from the oven, brush with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle with the citrus sugar mixture.
Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, March 2013
www.bhg.com › Food › Recipes from the Magazine‎