Thursday, April 2, 2015

Here are my "go to" Easter Sunday recipes! You can make just about everything the night before and enjoy your Easter Sunday with friends and family :) Happy Easter!


Coca Cola Ham

1 3-lb. boneless, full cooked ham

8-ounces coca cola                                          

½ cup yellow mustard

1 cup brown sugar

Mix brown sugar and just about 1 to 2 tablespoon coke until it makes a paste.  Place ham in a shallow baking dish and rub paste over ham.  Pour coke all around ham, cover with foil and bake 50 minutes. 

 

MELISSA’S CORNBREAD SALAD

2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix, baked according to directions

1 envelope Ranch dressing mix

1 cup sour cream

1 cup Hellmann’s mayo

1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained well

2 cans whole kernel corn, drained well

½ cup each of red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and green onions, chopped

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Mix the 2 boxes of cornbread up and bake in a black skillet according to directions on the box.  Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.  Meanwhile, in a medium –size bowl, mix Ranch dressing mix, sour cream, mayo and Creole seasoning well.  Using a whisk works well.  Now you are ready to layer!  In a large bowl OR a 13x9x2 pan, crumble half the cornbread and place it on the bottom.  Now place half the corn, beans and veggie mix on top of the cornbread.  Carefully spread half of the dressing mixture over veggies using a butter knife and/or spoon.  Top this with 1 cup of the cheese.   Now, repeat a second layer ending with cheese.  It’s important to let this sit in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours.  Serve with a large spoon and dig deep! J  Enjoy!  Any time I make this, the people who are hesitant to try it always, always end up loving it and ask for the recipe!

 

Black-eyed Pea Salad

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup vinegar

¼ cup sugar

2 cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained well

1 red bell pepper, chopped

½ onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (I suggest wearing gloves when you do this)

Place all veggies and peas in a bowl.  Mix oil, vinegar and sugar together and pour over veggies and peas.  Refrigerate for 4-6 hours before serving.  Stir well before serving.

 

 

Sweet and Tangy Macaroni Salad

1 (16-ounce) box elbow macaroni

4 carrots, scraped and grated

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cups mayo

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

½ cup sugar

½ cup white vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain.  Rinse with cold water and drain again very well.  Combine macaroni, carrot, onion, and bell pepper in a large bowl.   Combine mayo and remaining ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.  Pour dressing over macaroni mixture and toss gently.  Cover and refrigerate 8 hours.  The mixture will thicken as it chills.  Makes 16-18 small side servings.  Delicious!

 

STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD

2 ½ cups pretzels, crushed (I place them in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a glass)

1 tablespoon sugar

¾ cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar

2 (16-ounce) containers of frozen strawberries, thawed

1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened

1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip

1 large box strawberry Jell-O

1 ½ cups boiling water

In a 13x9 oven proof dish, stir together crushed pretzels, sugar and melted butter.  Stir well and then press down and up the sides of the pan.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes then let it cool completely.  While crust is baking, stir together cream cheese and sugar and then stir in the Cool Whip until mixed very well.  Spread this mixture over the cooled crust.  Next combine Jell-O, and boiling water until mixed well.  Stir in the strawberries and pour this mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture.  Cover and place in the fridge for about 3 hours or until Jell-O is set.  It’s best the next day J

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

And here is the past Sunday's episode...Healthy stuffed peppers, BLT salad with homemade ranch, jalapeno corn and no-bake coconut bars!


BLT SALAD WITH HOMEMADE RANCH

CORN WITH JALAPENOS

HEALTHY-STUFFED PEPPERS

NO-BAKE COCONUT BARS

 

BLT SALAD WITH HOMEMADE RANCH DRESSING

1 bag Romaine lettuce

1 large tomato chopped

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

DRESSING:

1 cup mayo

½ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon dried chives

1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon dill weed

½ teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Place lettuce, tomato and bacon in a large bowl.  Wisk remaining ingredients together and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Serves 6 to 8

CORN WITH JALAPENOS

4 ears fresh corn, cut from the cob

1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped

½ cup chopped onion

1 (4-ounce) jar chopped pimentos, drained well

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, melt the butter and add the corn and onions.  Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring often.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 10 minutes.

 

HEALTHLY-STUFFED PEPPERS

4 medium bell peppers (I like to get different colors)

16-ounce pack ground chicken or turkey

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup onion, chopped

¼ cup parsley, washed and chopped

1 (10-ounce) bag fresh pre-washed cauliflower, chopped fine  (this is your rice substitute)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder and Cajun seasoning  (taste and add more seasonings if you like)

½ cup low-sodium chicken broth

Topping:

1 small can tomato sauce

2 tablespoons organic coconut sugar

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Mix well and spoon evenly over peppers.

Cut the tops of the peppers off and pull all seeds and insides out of the peppers.  Wash and dry.  Place peppers upside down on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 10 minutes.  Remove and set aside to cool.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown the ground chicken.  This will only take 5 to 7 minutes.  Spoon the cooked, ground chicken into a bowl and set aside.  In the same skillet, add the olive oil and butter and heat over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and parsley and sauté for 7 or 8 minutes or until onions are softened.  Add the finely chopped cauliflower and sauté another 5 minutes.   Add the remaining ingredients in the order they are listed.  Stir well and simmer on low for 15 minutes.   Spoon a generous amount of the ground chicken mixture evenly into each pepper.  Place the peppers into an 8x8 baking dish and spoon the topping evenly over the stuffed peppers.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  These are delicious and guilt-free!  Enjoy J

 

 NO-BAKE COCONUT BARS

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup agave syrup

4 tablespoons organic coconut oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium-size bowl and blend with a hand mixer for 2 minutes.  Spoon into an 11x7 dish.  Place in the fridge for at least an hour.  Cut into squares before serving, and be sure to store leftovers in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the second episode of this season..this seared salmon is amazing! :)


Simple Stuffed Mushrooms

Seared Salmon Filets

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Butternut Squash

Lemon-Roasted Asparagus

 

SIMPLE STUFFED MUSHROOMS

1 lb. pork sausage ( I use Jimmy Dean)

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

3 (8-ounce) cartons whole mushrooms, stems removed and scraped out

Paprika

Chives, chopped

Place room temperature cream cheese in a medium-size bowl and set aside.  Cook sausage in a skillet.  Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and place in bowl with cream cheese.  Stir vigorously until cream cheese is melted and mix well with sausage.  Using a teaspoon or baby spoon, stuff each mushroom.  Place them in a 13x9x2 oven-proof dish.  Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Broil for 2 to 3 minutes (watching carefully) then remove them from the oven.  Transfer them to a serving dish and sprinkle chives over the tops.  So delicious and so easy! Enjoy J

 

SEARED SALMON FILETS

4 (1-inch thick) boneless salmon filets with skin on

2 tablespoons sesame oil or olive oil

Salt and pepper

Small amount of cumin

Heat oven to 425.  Season the salmon with cumin, salt and pepper.  Heat a non-stick skillet with a metal handle over medium- high heat for 2 to 3 minutes then pour oil into the pan and heat it for 1 minute.   Place the salmon, skin side up in the skillet, and sear it for 2 to 3 minutes or until you see a crust start to form around the edges.  Don’t flip the salmon.  Carefully transfer the skillet into the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Carefully remove from the oven using heavy-duty pot holders and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

 

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES & BUTTERNUT SQUASH

2 uncooked medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 Butternut squash peeled, seeds removed and cubed

½ cup olive oil

2 T. brown sugar

2 T. maple syrup

1 t. each of salt and cayenne pepper

1 t. black pepper

2 t. white sugar

1 t. ground cinnamon

Toss all ingredients very well in a large mixing bowl, adding a little more olive oil if needed.  Pour out onto a non-stick foil-lined jelly roll pan or large cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Make sure potatoes and squash are in a single layer and not too crowded.   Bake at 400 for 40 minutes or until tender.  These are delicious and sweet but have a great kick with the cayenne pepper.  Enjoy!

LEMON-ROASTED ASPARAGUS

1 bunch of fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed

Juice of half of a lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

Place the asparagus on a cookie sheet and drizzle with about a tablespoon olive oil.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and lemon juice evenly over asparagus and bake at 400 for 12-14 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New season of Dream Home Cooking! This was the first show of this season..


TURKEY ITALIAN SAUSAGE & MARINA SAUCE WITH SPAGHETTI SQUASH

ANTIPASTO KABOBS

 HOMEMADE ITALIAN VINEGARETTE

FRESH BERRIES WITH SWEETENED MARSCAPONE CHEESE

 

Turkey Italian Sausage and Marinara Sauce with Spaghetti Squash

1 tablespoon olive oil          

2 lbs. lean ground turkey Italian sausage

1 small onion, chopped

½ cup fresh carrots, peeled and diced

½ cup celery, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

1 ½ tablespoons brown coconut sugar

1 tablespoon white vinegar

½ cup dry red wine

½ cup water

1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, dried basil, and dried oregano (add more if you like)

2 large cans crushed tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and cook the turkey sausage, onions, celery and carrots until turkey is browned.   Add the garlic and remaining ingredients.  Cover and simmer on low for at least 1 hour.  The longer it simmers, the better it is!  Serve over spaghetti squash for a very low-carb, low-cal meal.

 

2 medium-sized spaghetti squash

Salt, pepper and olive oil

To cook spaghetti squash, carefully cut squash down the middle and scrape out as many of the seeds as you can.  Drizzle the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 40 minutes.   Let it cool then take a fork and scrape all the goodness out of the squash J  Scrape it into a colander and let it drain for about 15 minutes.  Place drained squash into another serving bowl and heat it in the microwave for about a minute and a half just before serving the marinara over it.    Delicious and healthy!

Antipasto Kabobs

1 small container cherry tomatoes

¼ lb. pepperoni from the deli, sliced thin

Fresh basil cut into thin strips

1 container of fresh mozzarella balls cut in half if desired

Small wooden skewers

Balsamic or Homemade Vinaigrette

On each small skewer, thread a cherry tomato, piece of basil, pepperoni, and mozzarella

Drizzle vinaigrette onto a small platter, place kabobs on top and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

 

Italian Vinaigrette

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¾ cup extra light olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 packet of Stevia

1 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

In a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid, shake vigorously and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.  This makes enough dressing for 4 to 6 salads.

Fresh Berries with sweetened Mascarpone cheese

1 cup each of fresh blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, washed and patted dry

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

8-ounces mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons whipping cream

In a bowl, toss the coconut sugar over the fresh berries.  Mix the last 4 ingredients well.  Place berries in a pretty glass and top each with a dollop of the mascarpone cheese mixture.  Makes 4 servings.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I've never just loved Salmon, but I tell you--I could eat it this way twice a week! My recipe is so simple and I find that using course ground salt and course ground pepper really makes it fantastic! Enjoy :)


SEARED SALMON FILETS

4 (1-inch thick) boneless salmon filets with skin on

2 tablespoons sesame oil or olive oil

Salt and pepper

Small amount of cumin

Heat oven to 425.  Season the salmon with cumin, salt and pepper.  Heat a non-stick skillet with a metal handle over medium- high heat for 2 to 3 minutes then pour oil into the pan and heat it for 1 minute.   Place the salmon, skin side up in the skillet, and sear it for 2 to 3 minutes or until you see a crust start to form around the edges.  Don’t flip the salmon.  Carefully transfer the skillet into the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Carefully remove from the oven using heavy-duty pot holders and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year's Day Lunch -- I have cooked this every New Year's Day for the last 24 years--yes, I'm a creature of habit :)


Coca Cola Ham        

1 3-lb. boneless, full y cooked ham

8-ounces coca cola

½ cup yellow mustard

1 cup brown sugar

Mix brown sugar and just about 1 to 2 tablespoon coke until it makes a paste.  Place ham in a shallow baking dish and rub paste over ham.  Pour coke all around ham, cover with foil and bake  at 350 for 50 minutes. 

FIELD PEAS WITH BACON

2 lbs. fresh or frozen field peas with snaps

1 pound thick-sliced peppered bacon, chopped

1 onion

4 cups water

1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder

1 or 2 teaspoons Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning

In a heavy-duty pot, sauté the chopped bacon for about 8 minutes then add onion.  Sauté’ until the bacon becomes crispy.  Add the peas, water and seasonings and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered on very low for about 45 minutes or until the peas are tender.  Feel free to add more seasonings to your liking.  This is so good with a roast, rice & gravy and cornbread or ham and cabbage for New Year’s Day J  Enjoy!

SPICY BOILED CABBAGE

1 large head of cabbage washed and chopped

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons white vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 to 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (optional)

Place washed and chopped cabbage in a large pot and fill with water.  Bring to a boil and boil for 8 to 10 minutes or until cabbage is soft.  Drain cabbage and return to the pot.  Add the remaining ingredients and heat about 5 more minutes or until butter is melted.

CHEESE-APPLE BAKE

2 cans pie apples, drained

1 cup sugar

¾ cup flour

8-ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed

1 stick butter, cubed

Place apples into a 13x9 baking dish.  Cut butter and cheese into small cubes and place in a large bowl.  Add the flour and sugar and use a pastry cutter to mix it all together.  It will be lumpy.  Spread the flour mixture over the apples and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until browned on top.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Who has left-over turkey? Here is a delicious recipe for my Turkey and Potato Gnocchi Soup. You can find Gnocchi on the pasta aisle of most grocery stores..enjoy :)


TURKEY & GNOCCHI SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoons butter

2 stalks celery, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken breasts

1 (32-ounce) box chicken broth

2 chicken bouillon cubes

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

1 (16-ounce) package potato gnocchi

1 (6-ounce bag) baby spinach leaves

2 cups half-and-half cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ cup water

Sauté veggies in oil and butter for about 6-8 minutes.  Stir in broth and chicken and bring to a soft boil.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients and simmer covered on low for 30 minutes.   Stir cornstarch and ½ cup water together and slowly pour into soup while stirring.  Cover and simmer on low another 10 minutes or so.  Great with grilled cheese!  Remember, though, the longer a soup simmers, the better.  So if you aren’t in a hurry,  let it simmer on real low heat for a couple of hours.