19 November 2012

Broccoli Cheddar Gnocchi Soup

I adapted this recipe from a copy cat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese soup and my cousin's Gnocchi Soup recipes. It was AWESOME! I about licked the bowl clean :-)

Broccoli Cheddar Gnocchi Soup

1lb bacon, cooked and chopped, reserve the grease
1 lb chicken, cooked & cubed (I baked mine with Garlic & Onion powder and just a sprinkle of salt)
bacon grease 
1/2 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli
1 cup carrot, julienned
1 pkg Gnocchi
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese


1 Sauté onion in grease.

2 Add in melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.

3 Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4 Add the broccoli and carrots. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.

5 Add in Gnocchi.

6. When gnocchi is just about done, add in cheese and nutmeg. Once combined, add in the chicken and bacon. 

You're Welcome :-D

12 March 2012

Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp and Apples

Honestly, I was a little timid to try this recipe.  I'm new to the world of shrimp, I didn't know what prosciutto was, and savory seasoning over apples just didn't sound like it would be good. O.M.G. I was SO surprised.  It's a definite must try recipe if you like shrimp and apples.

1lb large or colossal shrimp, shelled and deveined but with tails 
4 thin slices of prosciutto, cut into strips
2 granny smith apples
2T maple flavored syrup
2T Bourbon or orange juice
2T Dijon Mustard
1T teriyaki sauce (I used reduced sodium)
1/2tsp ground black pepper

Wrap each shrimp in a slice of prosciutto. Core and cut apples into wedges. Put shrimp and apples on skewers, alternating each.

Mix together remaining ingredients and brush over shrimp and apples. Cook on grill over medium heat until shrimp is opaque. Enjoy!

Vinaigrette Steak Sandwich

This is super yummy!  I was a little skeptical at first because Mayo and Italian Dressing don't go together in my head, but it was soooo good. Enjoy!

Vinaigrette Steak Sandwich

1lb boneless beef sirloin steak, cut 1/2 '' thick
1 bottle Italian Vinaigrette dressing, reserve about 1T
1/4c mayo
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2tsp cooking oil
4 hoagie rolls
spinach leaves, fresh
Mozzarella, shredded
pepperoncinis (optional)

Marinade the steak in Italian Vinaigrette for a couple hours. Mix 1T Italian Vinaigrette with mayo; cover and chill.

Cook steak and onion in oil over medium heat until meat is browned. Assemble sandwich with mayo, spinach, pepperoncinis, cheese, and meat. Enjoy!

Oreo Truffles

This recipe makes the most addicting truffles in the world.  I dislike cream cheese with a passion, but this was just AMAZING! These truffles did not last long in my family.

Oreo Truffles
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (1lb 2oz) package Double Stuf Oreos, finely crushed
2 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Mix softened cream cheese and crushed oreos. Form into (48) 1-inch balls. Dip in melted chocolate and place on waxed paper covered cookie sheet. Place in fridge for 1hr. Enjoy. 

05 February 2012

Ginger Beef Stir Fry

This was so good, simple and healthy. It's another adaptation from the BHG's Dieter's Cookbook.
Ginger Beef Stir Fry

1lb beef top round steak, thinly sliced across grain
1/2c reduced sodium beef broth
3T reduced sodium soy sauce 
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1tsp sugar
1tsp grated fresh ginger
1lb asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 small onion sliced 
oil for cooking
2 cups hot cooked rice

In a small bowl stir together beef broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and ginger. Set aside.

Lightly coat nonstick pan with oil and warn to medium heat.  Add asparagus, mushrooms, and onions. Stir Fry for 3-4 mins or until crisp tender. Remove from skillet.  Add more oil and beef and cook until brown (about 2-3 mins). Stir sauce and add to skillet. Cook beef and sauce until thickened and toss in vegetables. Serve over hot rice. 

04 February 2012

Mojo Pork Sandwiches

This was simply just amazing! I loved it from the first bite.

Mojo Pork Sandwiches

for pork chops:
2 pork chops, boneless
1cup orange juice
2TBSP lime juice
2TBSP olive oil

for mojo:
3/4c chopped sweet peppers, finely chopped or minced
4 large garlic cloves
1/4c orange juice
1TBSP lime juice, fresh is MUCH better
1tsp cumin
1tsp dried oregano
1/4tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Mozzarella Cheese (thinly sliced or shredded)
shredded cabbage and carrot mix (like a coleslaw mix)

To make the mojo, cook sweet pepper and garlic in hot oil until tender.  Stir in orange and lime juice, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring up to a boil, reduce to a soft boil for about a minute.  Take off burner and let cool to room temp.

 In a medium skillet cook pork chops in 1c orange juice, 2 TBSP lime juice and 2 TBSP olive oil until no pink remains in the center.

Toast bread, and construct a sandwich with pork, mojo sauce, mozzarella and cabbage/carrot mix. Enjoy!

31 January 2012

Warm Shrimp and Pasta Salad

I'm a newbie when it comes to Shrimp. Majority of my life I stubbornly refused to eat any seafood, of any kind. I'll admit I'm still a little on the fence about it, but with recipes like this one, I could possibly see a lifelong friendship between those little critters and myself.  This recipe was adapted from the Dieter's Cookbook by Better Homes and Gardens. It's healthy for you and best part, it taste good!

Warm Shrimp and Pasta Salad

6-8oz fresh or frozen shrimp, salad sized
8oz pasta (gemelli or celletani) 
6oz snow peas, frozen or fresh
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, sliced or diced
4 green onions, cut/diced
1/4c rice vinegar
4tsp vegetable oil
3T reduced sodium soy sauce
1T honey
pinch of crushed red pepper

Thaw shrimp if it's frozen. Cook pasta according to box directions. Add the snow peas in the last minute of cooking. Drain and toss in peppers. Cover and set aside.

Combine vinegar, oil, soy sauce, honey and crushed pepper together to make a dressing. In a small skillet, warm/cook shrimp in dressing until opaque. Toss into pasta mixture and serve warm. Super yum!

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Here's another spice blend I've had a hard time finding in stores. Plus it's also more cost effective in the long run to make your own and you can control how much of certain spices you add. For instance, I'm not the biggest fan of nutmeg or rosemary so I always put slightly less than what a recipe calls for.

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

1T onion powder
1T garlic powder (I added slightly more cause we are garlic fiends) 
2tsp thyme
2tsp salt
2tsp sugar
2tsp dried chives
1tsp ground allspice
1tsp paprika
1tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp ground cumin
1/4tsp ground nutmeg

Mix together and store in air tight container. 

Garam Masala

Garam Masala

1 T ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander- I used whole and crushed it by hand
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Mix together and store in air tight container.

26 January 2012

Monkey Bread

Monkey bread is an awesome sweet, cinnamony bread that is finger licking good. I found this recipe on pintrest.

Monkey Bread

3 1/4 cups AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 packet plus 1/2 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans, left whole

Softened butter

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F, then turn the oven off and keep the door closed.

Generously grease a bundt pan with a nice schmear of soft butter.

Whisk together the warm milk, water and sugar until dissolved. Add the butter and then the yeast, stirring and place in a warm place until yeast has bloomed.

Sift together the salt and flour, before making a well in the center of the bowl. Pour the yeast-milk- butter-sugar mixture into the depression, and stir, using a wooden spoon, until a shaggy, clingy dough begins to form. Turn out onto a well-floured board and knead for a good 7-10 minutes, until elastic, smooth and hefty.

Dump into a large buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the warm-but-off oven for one hour.

Once risen, remove dough from the oven and dump out onto a well-floured surface. Gently shape and pat the dough into a free-form square, and cut the square into quarters. Then cut each quarter into at least ten smaller pieces. Roll each piece of dough gently, until rounded, but don’t compress or squish too much air out of them.

Mix both sugars, cinnamon, and melted butter. Schmear (<--very technical term) mix on each piece of dough and and drop into a greased bundt pan. Randomly drop whole pecans and "clumps" of sugar mixture into bundt pan for extra yummy, gooey-ness.Continue until you're out of dough.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 50 more minutes in a warm, calm place and then remove plastic and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30-35 minutes, until top is golden brown. Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a large platter or plate. Cool for 10 more minutes, then serve warm.

Tip- If you want smaller portions, try using a greased cupcake pan instead of a bundt pan.

Bread Bowl

I love soup, and what better to go with it than a bread bowl? I made my mom's Tater Soup and paired it with these homemade bowls. Delish! I found this on

Bread Bowl

2 pkss active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

In a large non-reactive bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition.

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

Punch dough down, and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400*F. In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.

To make bowls: Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4-inch-thick shells. Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately.

Herb Oil Focaccia

There is only one word to describe this bread...Phenomenal. It's time consuming and labor intensive, but the outcome is SO very worth it!

Herb Oil Focaccia

(Recipe adapted  from Bread Baker's Apprentice and another blog...I can't remember which one sorry!, we've made minor usual)
5 cups White flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon instant yeast
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups room temperature water
1/4 cup + 1/2 cup of herb oil (oil gently warmed with garlic and Herbs de Provence)
Stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Add the oil and water and knead with a dough hook for 5-7 minutes.  The dough with be smooth but fairly sticky. It will be sticking to the bottom of the bowl but should be clearing the sides of the mixing bowl.

Liberally sprinkle a surface with flour. Then flour your hands and transfer the dough to the floured surface. Dust liberally with flour and then pat into a large rectangle and let relax for five minutes.
Pulling on each end of the dough stretch it to twice its size and the then fold it like a letter to return it to the original rectangle size. Lightly brush with oil, sprinkle with flour, then cover with plastic wrap and let relax for 30 minutes

Stretch and fold again. Let relax 30 minutes

Stretch and fold again. Cover and let rise on the counter for 1 hour.

Line a baking pan with parchment or tinfoil. (We used two  9'' cake pans for our loaves)
Spread the pan with 1/4 cup of herb oil then transfer the dough and spoon another 1/4 cup of oil on top. Stretch the dough to fill the pan. If the dough keeps springing back and won't stretch let it relax for a few minutes before continuing.

Loosely cover with plastic wrap  and let rise overnight in the fridge

Remove the focaccia three hours before baking to allow it to come to room temperature and rise a bit more. Drizzle more oil on top (you can use all the remaining 1/4 cup if you like) and stretch the dough a bit further to completely fill the baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 500 *Don't're not going to bake it at 500*

Three hours after removing the focaccia from the fridge place in the oven and TURN IT DOWN to 450.
Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 10 minutes. If you are adding cheese sprinkle it on now and then bake for a further five minutes. The bread should be golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack to prevent the bread from over baking. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before eating.

We served with garlic butter and it was just mouth watering!  It also made amazing turkey sandwiches.

Amish Wheat Bread

I'm trying to get my household to a point where we buy less store-bought/processed foods. Homemade just taste so much better, not to mention less chemicals going into your body. I'm not a health foodie (there is nothing wrong with that :-) ) but I do like knowing where my food comes from. What better place than my own kitchen? In this quest for "yummilicious" (i totally made that word up haha) food, we're trying difference types of bread, one of the first on the list...Wheat bread! This is a very simple (with a hint of sweetness) recipe that I found on Pintrest (that site is so horribly addicting!) but we had to figure out a couple things for ourselves (ie - rise time) Without further adieu....

Amish Wheat Bread

3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. flour
1 Tbsp. salt
3 c. warm water
2 Tbsp. (2 pkg.) yeast
3/4 c. vegetable oil
2 c. whole wheat flour
6 c. white flour

Preheat oven to 200*F. Turn off and keep closed. You'll need this for the bread to rise.In a large, non-reactive bowl mix sugar, flour and salt together then add in water making sure to blend well. Add yeast and let set until is rises just a bit (about 10mins) Mix in Vegetable Oil then flour. Place into warm (but off) oven and let rise about 45mins- one hour. It should double in size.  Form into loaves (we used standard sized loaves and managed to get three loaves. Put back into warm oven and let rise again (about 30 more mins) Preheat oven to 350*F and bake for 25-30mins. Enjoy!

Naan Bread

In central Louisiana it's hard to find Middle Eastern food, so we're left to our own devices to try to figure it out ourselves. So here's the recipe we found and adapted...


2 tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 C water
2 1/2(make take up at 3) C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4C vegetable oil
1/3C plain greek yogurt
1 egg (preferably large)

Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a small, non-reactive, bowl.  Let it sit until it's dissolved. Stir in oil, egg and yogurt; mix well.

Mix one cup of flour with salt in a medium bowl then add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.Slowly add flour (up to 1 1/2C more) to mixture until you can no longer stir with a spoon. Then move mixture onto a floured pastry board (or counter top). Knead for 3 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking (it should be soft to the touch and not sticky/tacky.

Cover dough and let rise about 45mins - one hour. It should be about double it's original size. Flatten dough carefully and cute into appropriate sizes (we cut into about 6 pieces)  Stretch dough under itself in order to make each piece into a small ball.

Preheat skillet to medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Take one piece of dough and roll out to desired thickness (we made our about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick ). Cook in hot skillet until golden brown, flip and repeat. At this point you'll have bubbles forming which is normal. Remove from heat and repeat until all dough is cooked. Makes a great side for curry :-)