Archive for July, 2009

The other night we made a grilled pizza! Post is coming, I promise! But for our starter, I found this recipe in the book called Relaxed Cooking, by Curtis Stone.  I knew it’d be great for a summer night with a grilled pizza! The original recipe called for spinach, but since I’m just starting to enjoy spinach in my salads, I used an Italian blend instead.  This salad was so yummy, the dressing was fantastic! Perfect to pair with a glass of Carl Reh Riesling. This makes two servings.


Italian Blend Salad With Crispy Bacon & Cheese Croutons (Printable Recipe)


2 slices of crusty sourdough bread, crusts removed

2 ounces of unsalted butter

1/2 ounce of Dry jack Cheese, finely shredded

1 1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons of grape seed oil

1/2 tablespoon of flat leaf parsley

Salt and Pepper

4 slices of bacon

4 cups of Italian blend salad mix

1 tomato sliced


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Tear or cut bread into 1 inch pieces. Place bread pieces on a baking sheet and toast in oven, stirring pieces halfway through to ensure they cook evenly, 8 minutes or until they are dry and crisp. Remove from oven and crisp. Remove from oven; keep oven on.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan; drizzle the butter over croutons, toasting to cut them. Arrange butter-coated croutons close together in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese generously over croutons are golden. Remove from oven; set aside to cool.
  3. Place vinegar in a medium bowl. Slowly add oil, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Heat a large skillet, over medium heat. Add bacon and cook about 3 minutes per side or until crisp and golden. Transfer to a paper towel to drain.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss salad with enough vinaigrette to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Break half the bacon into bite size pieces and add to the salad. Diving the salad among two salad bowls, garnish each salad with some tomato slices.



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During the summer months it gets so hot and humid all of a sudden where we live, so at dinner time I’ve been trying to keep our meals a bit on the light side.  Because when it’s hot out, like many others, we don’t feel like consuming a lot! This shrimp, asparagus and cauliflower stir fry was a great light meal! With only 265 calories per serving, it was filling, but yet light on the calories! With about 20 minutes to prepare as well, it doesn’t get much better! The original recipe called for brown rice, but I decided to use couscous instead! This makes about 3 servings.

Shrimp, Asparagus & Cauliflower Stir Fry


Shrimp, Asparagus & Cauliflower Stir Fry (Printable Recipe)


1/2 cup of couscous

1 1/2 teaspoons of Asian Sesame Oil

About 10 asparagus stalks, cut into three’s

1 cup of cauliflower

1/2 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp

1/2 tablespoon of fresh ginger

1 tablespoon of reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/8 cup loosely packed basil leaves, thinly sliced


  1. Cook couscous as directed.
  2. In a large non stick skillet, heat the sesame oil on medium for about 1 minute. Add asparagus and cauliflower and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until both veggies are tender. Add shrimp and ginger, cook 5 to 6 minutes or until shrimp are opaque throughout, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in soy, lime and basil.  Serve over couscous.


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Mojito Pork Chops

If you remember a few post ago, I made Mojito Rubbed Chicken, so I decided since we had a lot of pork chops leftover, why not try it with some pork, but change the recipe a bit!  They turned out great as well and I don’t think I could pick out a favorite of the two. This recipe is pretty basic, perfect to make on a warm weeknight!


Mojito Pork Chops (Printable Recipe)


2 bone in pork chops

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of lime zest

1 tablespoon on lime juice

1/8 cup of tequila


  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat. In a bowl combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, tequila, lime juice, olive oil and lime zest.  Brush chops with the above mixture, cook chops for about 6-8 minutes on each side, or till no longer pink.
  2. Serve with Mojito or Tequila Sunrise!


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This was a totally different way that I’ve ever prepared ham or had ham prepared this way. The neat thing about this, was that you actually stick cinnamon sticks in the ham while it bakes!  They added so much flavor into the meat! It also makes enough so you have so yummy leftovers for your husband for lunch! It makes about 10-12 servings and you could always buy a smaller ham.


Cinnamon Spike Ham (Printable Recipe)


1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple

3/4 cup of apricot preserves

1/3 cup of dark rum or pineapple juice

1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger

3/4 teaspoon of cornstarch

1 (7 to 8 pound) bone-in half ham

2 cinnamon sticks, cut into 1 inch long slivers


  1. Blend pineapple, preserves, rum and ginger in a blender until smooth. Pour into a mediums saucepan; bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water. Stir into pineapple mixture; boil 2 minutes or until thickened. Reserve 1 cup of the glaze to serve with ham.
  3. Heat oven to 325 degrees. With fat side up, score ham with a sharp knife, 1/4 inch deep, creating 1 1/2 inch squares, insert cinnamon sliver in corner of each square.
  4. Place roasting rack in broiler pan or large shallow roasting pan; place ham on rack.  Bake 1 1/2 hours; brush generously with glaze. Bake an additional 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees, brushing with glaze every 20 minutes.  Remove ham. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 20 minutes.
  5. To slice, cut in half by cutting through the ham along bone. Serve with reserved glaze.


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I love using my grandmother’s recipes.  They bring back so many memories of her baking days.  Next to her apple pie, her peach pie recipe is one of the best out there I have to say!  I would of made her recipe for the crust, but this was a last minute dessert so I just bought the already made crust.


Peach Pie (Printable Recipe)


1 package of refrigerated rolled pie crust(15 ounces, 2 per package)

1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon of sugar

3 tablespoons of cornstarch

Pinch of Salt

Pinch of Allspice

3 pounds of peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced (about 8 peaches)

1 egg white


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Fit one pie crust into a 9 inch pie dish. Refrigerate while preparing filling. In small bowl, blend 1/2 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, salt and allspice.
  2. Place peaches in a large bowl. Add sugar mixture and stir to combine. Pour peach mixture , scraping bowl into bottom of crust.
  3. Unroll the second crust. Place a lattice cutter or pizza cutter on a cutting board. Drape crust over cutter and roll with rolling pin until pie crust is cut. Carefully lift crust from cutter and drape over pie filling. Fold top crust edges  together and crimp decoratively. Brush with the egg white; sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of sugar.
  4. Bake pie at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes, until fruit is bubble and crust is nicely browned(tent with foil if browning too quickly). Cook on a wire rack for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.


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Egg & Sausage Strata

I saw this recipe on Rachel’s Good Thymes and Good Food food blog.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to save the recipe and make it for Chris for breakfast! It so easy to assemble and put together and just as great to re-heat! I sampled a little bit of it and it was so good. I had to quickly put it back away so I didn’t eat more!  As Rachel says, it does need to sit overnight.  My pictures, I know aren’t that great, especially the “baked” because, well it was 5:30 am! So the one drawback of this recipe is if your hubby gets up early for work, you have to get up 30-40 minutes before he does to get it in the oven!


5 English Muffins, split

1 pound of Bob Evans Maple Flavored Breakfast Sausage

8 Eggs

3/4 cup of half and half

1/2 cup of extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup of white cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Cook sausage in a large skillet until browned and cooked through. Drain and set aside.
  2. Butter a large casserole dish and lay the split English muffins in the bottom. Cover the entire bottom and fill in the gaps.
  3. Layer cooked sausage  on top of the English muffins.
  4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add half and half. Pour over the sausage layer
  5. Top with the two cheeses.
  6. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake from 30-45 minutes depending on your oven and the eggs are set and cheese bubbles.



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My husband loves peanut butter cups, absolutely hands down his favorite type of candy! I had some heavy cream left over from a previous recipe and wanted to use it before it spoiled. So I thought why not make him some pudding.  In the middle of making the pudding, I spotted some peanut butter cups, and though why not throw them in between two layers of the pudding! I tasted a tiny bit of and it was yummy! Surprising, the peanut butter cup flavored the whole pudding! For this recipe I used my Nana’s vanilla pudding recipe! This makes only one serving!


1 cup of whole milk

1/4 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of heavy cream

1 large egg

1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter

2 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, in chunks


  1. In a medium pan, warm milk and sugar over medium heat. Make sure you don’t boil! Stir until the sugar dissolves. In a small bowl whisk together the cream egg, and cornstarch. Slowly whisk cream mixture into warm milk, whisking it constantly.
  2. Cook, whisking constantly again, until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in vanilla and butter. Transfer to parfait dish, fill halfway and add PB cups and then add rest of pudding on top and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap right against the pudding. Refrigerate until cold or about 1.5 hours, pudding thickens as it cools.
  3. Sprinkle with some chocolate powder and serve!


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