Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Now, here's award rules: Copy the award image in your post. Then, list 10 things that make you happy and tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day. For those 10 bloggers who get the award, you must link back to my blog. Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award and notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

10 things that make me happy!!!

1. My family and all the memories we make and share together.

2. Cooking for my family and friends.

3. Spending time with my grand-daughters and teaching them to cook.

4. Going to church.

5. All my blog friends and sharing with them.

6. New recipes that I can try for the first time.

7. Reading a good book.

8. Taking a long bath after a long day.

9. Beading: making rosaries and jewelry.

10. Laughing and having fun with family and friends

I am sharing this AWESOME!!! award with the following blogging friends:

Go visit:

Alea @ Premeditated Leftovers!

Tiffanee @ One Crazy Cookie!

Samantha @ Sweet Southern Journey!

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm!

Sugar @ Vanillastrawberryspringfields!

Wendy @ Relatively Unique!

Gina @ Ravenwolf Lodge!

Lee @ Conserving Leos!

Cynthia @ Cookin' with Cynthia!

Hallee @ Hallee The Homemaker!

I have made so many WONDERFUL!!! friends in eight months and would really like to give each one this AWARD. I just want to say a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all of you. Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! to each and all of you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009



12 ounces firm chorizo or other cooked sausages
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (8 oz.) peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper (8 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded and diced (1/4 inch)
2 cups arborio or other short-grained white rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart fat-skimmed chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoons ground dried turmeric
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces boned, skinned firm white-fleshed fish, such as halibut
1 pound shelled, deveined shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.), tail left on
8 ounces mussels in shells
1/4 cup silvered green onion (including green tops)
Lemon wedges

In a 15 - inch paella pan or 12 - inch frying pan (with at least 2 - 1/4 - inch tall sides) over high heat, add sausages and turn occasionally until browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes total, With tong, transfer to a broad.

Reduce heat to medium-high and add olive oil to pan; when hot, add onion, bell pepper and garlic, stir often until onion is limp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until it begins to turn opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in wine, chicken broth, paprika, turmeric and saffron. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring once or twice, until rice is almost tender to bite, 15 to 18 minuted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain fish and shrimp; cut fish into 1 - inch pieces. Pull beards off mussels and scrub mussels; discard any gaping ones that don't close when you tap their shell. Cut sausage diagonally into 1/2 - inch thick slices.

Gently stir in fish, shrimp and sausages into rice mixture; arrange mussels on top. Cover pan with foil or lid and cook until rice is tender to bite, fish and shrimp are opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), and mussels shells have open, 7 to 8 minutes.

Sprinkle evenly with green onions, Garish with lemon wedges. Serve from pan, adding juice from lemon wedges and more salt and pepper to taste.

YIELDS: about 6 servings


2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces dried angel hair pasta
1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 - 1/2 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
1 can (14 - 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 package (8 oz.) frozen artichokes hearts, thawed
1 dozen small calms in shell, suitable for steaming (about 1 lb. optional) scrubbed
8 ounces peeled, deveined shrimp (21 to 30 per lb.), rinsed
8 ounces skinned halibut, rinsed and cut into 1/2 - inch chucks
1 cup frozen petite peas
lemon wedges

Pour olive oil into an 11 - 12 - inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Break pasta into 3 to 4 inch lengths and drop into oil; stir often until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add onion, garlic and turmeric; stir until onion is limp, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in broth and tomatoes, including juice; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Spread mixture level. Evenly distribute artichoke hearts and clams, if using, over pasta. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Evenly distribute shrimp, fish and peas over pasta. Cover and cook until clams have opened and fish is barely opaque in center of thickest part (cut to test), 5 to 8 minutes longer.

Uncover and cook until pasta has absorbed most of the liquid and is beginning to brown on the bottom, 2 to 4 minutes. Add salt to taste. Garnish with lemon wedges to squeeze over seafood. Serve from pan.

YIELDS: 4 serving


1 - 1/2 pounds broccoli florets
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon hot chili flakes
about 1/2 teaspoon salt
about 1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 ounces dried penne pasta
1/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

Rinse broccoli, trim and discard stem ends. Coarsely chop tops and stem. In a 5 to 6 quart pan over medium heat, stir olive oil and garlic often until garlic sizzles, then stir in broccoli, chili flakes, salt and pepper and 1/2 cup water. cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is very soft. Add 1/4 cup more water to pan if broccoli threatens to scorch.

Meanwhile, in a 5 to 6 quart pan over high heat, bring 4 quarts water to a boil; add penne and cook until tender to bite, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and return to pan.

Stir broccoli mixture into pasta along with cheese. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

YIELDS: 4 to 6 servings

Monday, December 21, 2009


3 pounds boned pork shoulder roast, fat trimmed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 - 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 fresh sage leaves
3 - 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Rinse pork and pet dry. In a small bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper, sprinkle mixture over pork. Pour oil into a 10 - to 12 - inch frying pan over medium-high heat; add pork and turn to brown well on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork and juices to a slow-cooker (at least 5 qt.).

Let pan cool slightly, then add garlic and sage, stir over medium-low heat until garlic turns golden, about 1 minute. Add to the slow-cooker, along with milk and lemon peel.

Cover and cook on high until pork is tender when pieced and sauce is golden and reduced by about half, 7 to 8 hours; about 3 hours before pork is done, uncover the crock to let the pan juices reduce and thicken.

Transfer pork to a rimmed board and slice. Serve meat with sauce on the side.

YIELD: Makes 6 servings

NOTES: This is a rather lumpy, toffee-colored sauce, but it is one of the most succulent ays to cook pork. You'll need to uncover the cooker for the last three hours, so plan ahead. Serve with polenta and a green salad.


1 cup polenta
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a shallow 2 - quart baking dish, mix 4 cups water, polenta, butter and salt. Bake in a 350 F. oven for 40 minutes. Stir polenta and continue baking until creamy to bite, about minutes longer. Stir in grated parmesan cheese and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes to thicken

Friday, December 18, 2009


Glazed Carrots with Pecans

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups diagonally sliced (1/4 in) peeled carrots
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 - 1/2 cups toasted pecans

Heat oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook, stirring frequently, 4 minutes. Stir in ginger and brown sugar, cook, stirring, until sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Add pecans and cook until carrots are tender when pierced and mixture is glazed in sugar, 3 to 5 minutes.

Yield: Serves 10

Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pounds brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
salt and black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add garlic and brussels sprouts, cook until brown and softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add broth and cook until sprouts are tender bot not soggy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add pine nuts and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a small dish and sprinkle with parmesan.

Yield: Serves 6

Creamed Spinach Gratin

1/2 teaspoon butter
5 packages (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach
2 - 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs

Butter a shallow 1 - 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach ( use your hands or a clean kitchen towel). Set aside.

Heat spinach and cream in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese to melt. Stir in salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Transfer spinach mixture to buttered baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Just before serving, place dish in the oven 5 to 6 inch below broiler set to high; broil until top is golden and crunchy, about 3 minutes.

Yield: 12 servings

Southwestern Roasted Green Beans

2 - 1/2 pounds grenn beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon butter
about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt to taste

Rinse and drain green beans; trim and discard stem ends. In each of two 12 - by 17 - inch baking pan, mix half the beans with half the oil; spreand level.

Bake in a 450 F oven until beans are slightly browned and tender when pierced, 15 to 25 minutes.

Stir half the nuts and butter into beans in each pan; continue baking until pine nuts are golden, 50 to 6 minutes longer. Pour into a bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and mix well. Taste and add more cayenne and salt if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

Spinach and Persimmon Salad

1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
5 quarts baby spinach leaves (1 - 1/4 lb), rinsed and crisped
3 firm persimmons (5 oz each), peeled and sliced into wedges
3/4 cup glazed pecans

In a large bowl, mix rice vinegar, marmalade and sesame oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add spinach, persimmons and pecans. Mix gently to coat with dressing.

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

NOTES: The dressing and persimmons for the salad can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead; wrap fruit airtight and chill. Assemble the salad shortly before serving. You'll find glazed pecans in the nut section of your supermarket or make your own, recipe below.

Glazed Pecans

2 cups pecan halves
1/3 cup light corn syrup
vegetable spray

Combine pecan halves and corn syrup, stirring to coat pecans. Line a 15 - x - 10 - inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil; coat with cooking spray. Arrange pecans halves in an even layer in pan.

Bake at 350F for 12 minutes; stir using a rubber spatula. Bake 8 more minutes. Remove from oven and stir, arrange in an even layer on wax paper and let cool completely.

Yield: 2 cups.

NOTES: After glazed pecans have cooled, pecans can be stored in an airtight ziploc bag. These can be made before hand, up to one week. Also GREAT!!! served with ice cream or added to one of your favorite holiday bread recipes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 - 3/4 cups sugar
1 egg plus one egg yolk
2 - 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
12 ounces sliced almonds
1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/2 cup dries cherries, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter with 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and egg yolk and beat to combine. Gradually add flour and mix well (dough will be very soft). Transfer to a floured 16 - by - 11 inch parchment paper. with a floured rolling pin, roll dough to same size as parchment paper. Trim any overhang, then transfer dough (on parchment) to a large rimmed baking pan. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on) and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together butter, remaining 1 - 1/4 cups sugar, honey and cream. Cook mixture, stirring frequently, until it registers 250 on a candy thermometer. Remove pan from heat and stir in almonds, raisins, apricots and cherries.

Using a spatula, gently spread warm topping over shortbread. Bake until topping is caramelized and almonds are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; while still warm, cut into 2 inch squares. Cool completely.

YIELD: make 35 bars

Monday, December 7, 2009


1 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups chocolate chips

1 - 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips, oats and peanuts.

Drop dough in rounded 2 tablespoon portions, 3 inches apart, onto buttered or cooking parchment-lined baking sheet. With a lightly floured fork, flatten slightly into 2 - 1/2 - inch rounds about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake in a 350 F oven until cookies are golden and tops fell set when lightly pressed, 12 to 14 minutes (they will feel underdone but firm up as they cool).

Let stand 5 minutes on sheets, then, with a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.

MAKES: about 30 cookies

NOTES: The best accompaniment to these indulgent cookies is a cold glass of milk.



1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced

1 tablespoon cilantro, minced

1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, minced

5 - 1/2 to 6 ounces of goat cheese, rolled into a log.

2 tablespoons extra - virgin olive oil

On a 12 - by - 15 - inch piece of plastic sprinkle herb mixture.

Roll goat cheese in herb mixture to coat evenly.

Set on a small serving dish and drizzle with extra - virgin olive oil

Serve with toasted baguette slices


1 egg white

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

4 teaspoons dried rubbed saga

3/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 - 3/4 cups each of salt peanuts and pecan halves

1 cup pine nuts

In a medium bowl, whisk egg white until frothy; whisk in honey, sesame seeds, dried rubbed sage, cinnamon, cayenne and salt.

Add salted peanuts, pecan halves and pine nuts; stir.

Divide the mixture between 2 large parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet and spread evenly.

Bake at 300 F, stirring often, until nuts are golden and fragrant, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from oven leave on baking sheets to cool, turn often to prevent sticking as it cools.

MAKES: 6 cups


1 avocado, peeled and pitted

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves; loosely packed

1 garlic clove; peeled

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 lb. green beans; trimmed and cook until tender to the bite

1/2 lb. jicama; cut into 1/2 - inch thick sticks

In a blender or food processor, combine avocado, yogurt, lime juice, fresh mint leaves, garlic and salt; whirl until smooth.

Serve dip with green beans and jicama

MAKES: 1 cup


2 garlic cloves; peeled and finely chopped

2 cans white beans; drained and rinsed

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest; finely shredded

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves; very finely chopped

salt and black black pepper to taste

In a food processor, whirl garlic, white beans, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice. Whirl until smooth.

Transfer dip to small bowl. Stir in fresh oregano leaves, then season to taste with salt and balck pepper.

Serve with assorted fresh vegetables or pita bread.

MAKES: 2 - 1/4 cups

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Buttery Lemon Squares on Foodista
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 - 1/3 cups all - purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 - 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
6 tablespoons lemon juice
4 eggs

In a bowl, beat butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar at medium speed until smooth. Beat in 2 cups flour until dough is no longer crumbly. Pat into a ball.

Press dough evenly into a buttered and flour 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 F oven until golden, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a food processor, or in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, whirl or beat sugar, remaining 1/3 cup flour, baking powder, grated lemon peel, lemon juice and eggs to blend. Pour onto hot crust.

Bake until lemon mixture is no longer runny in the center (cut to test), 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and dust with remaining 2 tablespoons powdered sugar.

Let cool completely in pan, then cut into 24 bars.

Makes: 24 bars

The lemon squares can be chilled airtight for up to 2 days.


Raspberry Royal Bars on Foodista
1 - 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 - 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3//4 cup sweetened flaked dried coconut
1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup raspberry jam
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a bowl, mix oats, flour, coconut, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Add melted butter and stir until well blended. Press dough evenly into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

Bake in a 325 F oven until edges begin to brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes, then spread jam evenly over warm crust.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until thick and foamy. Gradually add remaining 2/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until mixture holds soft, shiny peaks. With a spatula, spread meringue evenly over jam.

Bake until meringue is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then cut into 24 bars. Let cool completely in pan.


Yummy - Snickerdoodles on Foodista
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
1 - 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
4 - 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon

In a bowl beat together butter, oil, 1 cup sugar and the powdered sugar on medium speed until very smooth. Beat in eggs until well blended, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Add to butter mixture and beat until well blended.

In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.

Shape dough into 1 - inch balls. then roll each in cinnamon. Place balls 3 to 4 inches apart on buttered or cooking parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake in a 370 F oven until edges of cookies are lightly browned 12 to 15 minutes.

Using a spatula, transfer cookies to a cool rack, cool completely.

These cinnamon-sugar cookies disappear quickly, so keep plenty on hand!
You can store these cookies airtight for up to 5 days.