Sunday, August 31, 2014

Best Birthday Cake Ever

This is an old recipe I made for Stella's 3rd Birthday. It was the cover picture that Summer on Family Circle Magazine. I thought I gotta make that cake. Needless to say it's the food of legends and fairytales. It more then wows the crowd, it's time consuming but easy and truly makes the guest of honor feel super special. This year my birthday buddies, Stella and Max, are tag teaming this tasty treat. Thankfully they both picked mint chocolate chip. Create any flavor combo, or take requests. It will be a bittersweet tradition as our first borns turn another year older it also means summers over. No better way to celebrate them ages 4 and 8, then with this ICE CREAM SPECTACULAR!
Homemade Ice Cream Cake
:from Family Circle Magazine's recipe


Ingredients
24 Oreos plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon milk
8 to 9 ice cream sandwiches, depending on size
1 pint mint chocolate chip ice cream- sky's the limit pick any flavor
1 pint Dutch chocolate
(The original recipe calls for a 3rd flavor but 2 will do)
1 container of cool whip

Directions
Coat bottom and side of a 9-inch round springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line side with waxed paper, using spray to help adhere to pan. Trim paper to height of pan.
Finely crush 12 of the cookies in a food processor. Add milk; pulse just until mixture holds together. Set aside. Pulse next batch of 12, no milk just dry crumbs set aside in separate bowl.

Unwrap 4 ice cream sandwiches. Working quickly, cut each in quarters. Stack strips of sandwiches on end, packing them snugly together, around waxed-paper-lined pan. Repeat with remaining sandwiches to form a stand-up edge. Spoon milk cookie crumbs into center of pan; press firmly over bottom. Freeze 1 hour.

Remove both flavors of ice cream from freezer and let soften for 15 minutes at room temperature. Transfer mint ice cream to a small bowl and stir until good but firm spreading consistency. Repeat with chocolate. Remove pan from freezer. Spread mint ice cream on bottom, then top with second set of crushed cookies. Then top with chocolate ice cream, you can repeat layer of mint for 3 layers. Up to you. Top with thawed whipped topping swirling top decoratively. Garnish with more crumbs or whole Oreos. Cover and Freeze overnight.
To serve, remove side of pan, then waxed paper. Cut into wedges.

**I know mine is square, I couldn't find my spring form pans. Compromise to make it work. But the circle definitely holds more and has a better presentation.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chicken N Rice

Back to school means back to germ city. There is nothing better for those sick days then this chicken and rice soup. The original recipe stems from my Mom, she makes it at Thanksgiving with leftover turkey. I always have leftovers when I buy a rotisserie chicken and tonight it's leftovers turned soup.
1 container Mirepoux (Trader Joe's) fancy culinary term for diced carrot, celery, onion
2-3 tbs olive oil
1 container free range chicken broth
1-2 cups water
1 bouillon cube
1 breast picked and shredded chicken
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup Uncle Ben's instant brown rice
1 clove garlic
Pinch thyme
2-3 Bay leaf

Direction
Place a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the mirepoix stirring until evoo has coated the veggies and they are mixed. Slice end off garlic clove and crack it with flat side of your knife add to the mix. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the onions are translucent not browned. Add rice and stir to coat with the evoo. Turn flame to low. Then add the chicken, broth, bouillon, and water- bring the liquid to low simmer. Taste test and season with salt and pepper. Cook on low until the rice is tender-about 20 minutes. Serve hot w/ favorite crackers. My Mom used to serve it to me with buttered saltines! Yum.

**cooking the rice or any starch in your broth makes a thicker broth.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Toasted Perfection

For some unknown reason there is no written recipe for this remarkable family garlic bread. Of course over the years I've added my own twist on it by added fresh or dried herbs but that's one of the reasons I love it. It goes with everything soup to nuts. Oh and did I mention my kids love it so much sometimes I catch them just eating the buttered part. But it's ok cause then I know they are mine.
Bissell Family Garlic Bread
Any day old bread, Kaiser rolls, French or Italian -if it's a loaf slice long ways.
1 stick butter unsalted
1 bunch basil leaves washed and patted dry
2 stalks scallion white and green slices
1-2 tsp salt
Dash thyme
Dash granulated garlic
Dash onion powder
Garnish Tops
2 tablespoons Romano Cheese
2 tablespoons sedans seeds black or white

Preheat oven to 375. Line sheet try with foil, unless pans are non stick.
In food processor add butter, pulse. Add rest of ingredients, except cheese and seeds, until combined. You will need to scrape the sides down a few times.
Empty butter into serving dish. Butter tops of bread. Sprinkle w/ scallions, cheese and seeds. Bake until golden brown about 10 minutes. Or wrap and refrigerate if made ahead of time. As Dean would say..."mmm, da-li-sus"!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Perfect Pulled Pork Southern Style Crock Pot Recipe

As summer winds down we do not want to spend our last school free moments in the kitchen. This is a full proof delish down home dinner. You can serve with onion straws, coleslaw, baked beans (I did), corn salad, etc. You get the idea. Sad to see summer go? Well so am I and Olaff I'm sure. Nothing a crock pot and an onion soup packet can't fix. This recipe is a keeper, so click print now. The original recipe has been tweaked but courtesy of Lipton Recipe Secrets:
INGREDIENTS
3- lb. boneless pork shoulder
1 envelope Onion Soup Mix
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. hot pepper sauce (optional)
1/4 cup veggie stock
Dash cinnamon, thyme, pepper, cayenne, granulated garlic
10 soft rolls, like Kaiser or egg twist

DIRECTIONS
Arrange pork in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients except rolls and pour over pork; turn to coat.
Cook covered LOW 8 to 10 hours or until pork is tender (or timer pops).
Remove pork; reserve juices. Shred pork with fork, then stir into reserved juices. Serve on rolls.

Recipe Idea: Pulled Pork Tacos

Saturday, October 6, 2012

One Pot Wonderfallllllllll!


It's a fantastic time of year for cooking hearty wholesome comfort foods. This is one of my favorites, that can be served two ways. It works as a sandwich or entree for dinner with pasta. If you've been looking for a go-to Sunday tailgating recipe, look no further, this one serves 6 hungry fans. This recipe has been adapted from several different sausage & peppers recipes. I have always used pork sausage, different peppers, and a variety of spices, and herbs which I had on hand. This is a keeper and never gets old. It is a one pot wonder in the fall & winter, could also be grilled in the summer time. It is full of flavor, and very filling for a change of seasons appetite. Let's EAT!

Ingredients

-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1 pound sweet Italian sausage
-2 red bell peppers, sliced
-2 yellow/or green peppers, sliced
-2 yellow onions, sliced
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
-1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
-1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
-2 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 12 oz beer - I used Leinenkugles Sunset Wheat, but any you would enjoy drinking will do
-1 large can of Trader Joe's Marinara sauce
-6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Serving ideas - 1lb pasta cooked, your choice or 4 to 6 fresh Italian sandwich rolls

Directions

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan.

Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the beer, tomatoes, and chili flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer.

Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch cubes. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Serve in bowls with pasta. Or, if serving as a sandwich, split the rolls in half lengthwise.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Green Soup PEEEAAASSS


Nothing says fall better than a hearty delicious soup! As the days grow a little cooler and nights get chilly this makes for a superb lunch or a great compliment to a sandwich at dinner. Split peas are full of vitamins such as A, C, B-6, folate, and niacin. The split pea is a member of the legume family and are a good source of cholesterol lowering fiber. The following recipe can be made w/ or without the ham. The ham adds a richness that lends to the soups sweet yet smoky flavor. So if your not a vegetarian keep the ham. This recipe serves 8, but can be doubled for an afternoon crowd of Eagles fans...Let's tailgate!

Green or Yellow Split Pea Soup (GOYA sells both colors)
1 16lb package of split peas
1 & 1/2 box- I use Trader Joe's quart size free range chicken stock
1/2 lb smoked ham diced
1 small red onion diced
2 medium carrots diced
2 stalks celery clean & diced
1 clove of garlic minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 tbs EVOO
Cracked black pepper tt
Sea Salt tt

Directions - Sort and rinse peas. In large quart pot saute veggies in EVOO, until onions are translucent. Add ham until a slight browning occurs. Add beans and stir then add chicken stock. Stir all ingredients to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until peas are tender. Taste and add salt or pepper to taste, remove bay leaves. Blend entire soup with hand blender until your desire consistency, I like mine extra silky. Add more stock if needed as you blend. Top with croutons, or for the kiddos cheddar goldfish!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Appetizer in an Instant

This is a exciting time of year when friends and family gather together on the fly to enjoy the weather and spend time together. Here is a quick spur of the moment appetizer that will make your shindig looked planned and you can avoid spending the whole day inside cooking - EASY! THE CRUDITE PLATTER: FARMERS MARKETS have popped up everywhere so go explore. Try heirlooms, local and baby varieties of any vegetable. Make it interesting and try fresh green beans or zuccini, you may surprise yourself! It's all fresh this time of year, live in the moment. Standby dipper - this is from an older post... Garlic Yogurt Dip 1 cup Greek Yogurt 1 medium garlic clove minced Sea Salt tt Cracked Black Pepper tt ADDITIONAL DELIGHTS that will have your crowd noshing all day! 1-CURED MEATS - Dibruno brother's isn't in everyone's neighborhood but their ideas are, you can find a plethora of charcuterie items at any local grocery store. Pick up a summer sausage, or an already sliced package of proscuitto. Serve with a fresh baguette, or in a pinch crackers will do. 2-Cheeses - enough said, skys the limit here people! FYI- don't buy a wedge of creamy brie when I'm coming or I'll eat the whole thing - oink. 3-Nuts - TRADER JOE'S has a crazy selection of different mixes, and just stock pile bags, and use on salads or trail mix in the mean time. 4 - OLIVES - Try and grab jars when they go on sale, stock pile then put them out with this beautiful Tuscan spread you just created. Where's the white wine - I could be in heaven . . .LET'S APP