CHARDONNAY/MOSCATO CHICKEN, BEET CHEDDAR APPLE TARTS & BEER BATTERED ZUCCHINI

CHARDONNAY/MOSCATO CHICKEN
1 chicken fillet per person
2 + 3 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons Wondra flour + flour for dusting
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup favorite wine (I alternate between white Moscato and chardonnay)
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup heavy cream
Angel Hair pasta
diced green onions
diced tomatoes
Parmesan Cheese

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat.
  • Generously salt and pepper chicken pieces.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in flour and add to melted butter.  Brown both sides evenly.
  • Plate Chicken over prepared angel hair.
  • In a small saucepan melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in 2 1/2 tablespoons flour until well blended and golden.
  • Whisk in lemon juice and wine, bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Whisk in cream and serve immediately.
  • Pour over chicken pieces and top with green onions, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.

BEET CHEDDAR APPLE TARTS (from an old recipe page – source unknown)
1 sheet Puff Pastry, thawed and cut into fourths and edges rounded
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 apple peeled, cored and sliced thin
1 beet peeled and slice thin
4 green onions, sliced thin
Fresh ground salt and pepper medley

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place pastry circles on parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle half the cheese on the rounds.
  • Arrange apple slices and beet slices alternately on pastry circles.
  • Top with remaining cheese and green onions.
  • Sprinkle again with salt and pepper.
  • Bake 15 minutes until pastry is golden and slightly puffed.

BEER BATTERED ZUCCHINI 
2-3   zucchini, sliced (I used round – love them)
1 1/2 cup four
1 cup+ Angry Orchard Summer Ale
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Avocado oil
Wondra flour for dredging
fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
Coconut oil for frying
Jalapeno Ranch dressing

  • Whisk together flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl
  • In a smaller bowl whisk together the eggs and avocado oil.
  • Drizzle egg mixture over flour and mix together with a fork until you have a rough dough.
  • Add beer slowly while whisking until you have a smooth batter.
  • Cover with saran and chill at least 1 hour.
  • Bring coconut to frying temperature over medium high heat.
  • Slice zucchini.
  • Dredge in Wondra flour.
  • Drop into batter and coat both sides well.
  • Drop pieces in the oil making sure NOT to crowd.  Brown both sides. 
  • Drain. 
  • Repeat until all pieces are fried.
  • Serve with Jalapeno Ranch dressing.

PAPRIKA CHICKEN and the RUB RUB RUB!

There are so many foods to work with, but honestly most of us use the same basic meats, beef, chicken pork or fish.  One of the best ways to spice it up a bit is to use spice rubs.  Most rubs use simple ingredients, but finding your favorite flavor combination can make the difference between eating the same old thing or trying a BOLD new flavor.  Sometimes the rub seasoning mixes can be added to your wet mixtures instead of directly being rubbed on the meats and have just as great a flavor enhancement.

PAPRIKA CHICKEN
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon Penzey’s Sweet Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
2 cups buttermilk
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cup self rising flour
Fresh ground salt and black pepper, to taste
Avocado oil & Crisco

  • Sift together flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon paprika, set aside. 
  • Whisk together buttermilk, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon paprika, oregano, salt and pepper.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in four, making sure to coat ALL edges and folds. Save remaining flour mixture for use later.
  • Submerge chicken pieces in buttermilk mixture and chill 3-4 hours.
  • Heat a combination of avocado oil and Crisco over medium high heat.
  • Place remaining flour in a shallow dish.
  • Remove each chicken piece from the buttermilk shaking off excess.
  • Dredge each piece in flour mixture.
  • Fry until golden, turning only once about 15-20 minutes.
  • Using a wire rack place chicken pieces to drain.

Rubs will store, but I prefer to make them fresh for each recipe. 

Here are a few of my other favorite flavor combinations for rubs:

CHILE COFFEE – great for beef
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 tablespoon ancho-chile powder
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
pinch of cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

  • Mix together and store at room temperature.

SESAME SPICE – great for chicken
1/4 cup sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground Himalayan Pink salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
pinch sugar

  •  Mix together and store at room temperature.

ORANGE CORIANDER – great for fish
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons finely ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground Himalayan Pink salt 
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  •  Mix together and store at room temperature.

Here are a few other flavor combinations that are great for fried chicken:

SPICED MUSTARD
1 tablespoon ground mustard
4 teaspoons OLD BAY seasoning
flour
buttermilk
2-3 teaspoon Frank’s hot sauce

  • Add dry seasoning to dredge mixture.
  • Add hot sauce to buttermilk.
  • Coat chicken pieces with buttermilk mixture for several hours.
  • Drain chicken pieces, dredge through flour mixture and fry as normal.

LEMON PEPPER
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Fresh ground Himalayan pink salt
Zest from 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice from 1 lemon
flour
buttermilk

  • Add dry seasoning to dredge mixture.
  • Add garlic, zest and lemon juice to buttermilk.
  • Coat chicken pieces with buttermilk mixture for several hours.
  • Drain chicken pieces, dredge through flour mixture and fry as normal.

    BBQ CARROTS
    1 bag baby carrots
    2/3 cup favorite BBQ sauce
    1/4 cup honey

    • Steam or boil carrots until tender.
    • Whisk together the honey and BBQ sauce.
    • Heat sauce mixture for 30-45 seconds on high in the microwave.
    • Toss together and serve.

      RITZY CARROT & BROCCOLI CASSEROLE revisited

      Grams made this as a broccoli casserole for years and I recently converted it to include carrots (I love the color combo) and removed the yucky for you condensed soup and rice. Tonight we had it with some of the best smoked pork chops I have ever eaten.  Thank you Nickabob’s Outpost!
       RITZY CARROT & BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

      6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
      1 tablespoon sugar
      pinch cinnamon
      6 broccoli crowns, washed and trimmed into 2 inch pieces (stalks also)
      1/4 cup mayonnaise
      2 Jumbo eggs
      1 small Vidalia onion, chopped 
      4 cloves garlic, minced
      1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese**
      salt and pepper to taste
      4 tablespoons butter
      1 1/3 cups ritz cracker crumbs**
      4 tablespoons Wondra

      1 KNORR chicken gel bouillon cube
      1/4 cup water
      1/2 cup buttermilk 

      salt and pepper, to taste

      • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
      • Steam broccoli and carrots until JUST tender.
      • Drain well, cool slightly and toss with carrots and onions.
      • Whisk together the bouillon gel, water, egg, mayonnaise and buttermilk.
      • Melt butter in bottom of saucepan. Whisk in the flour until smooth.
      • Whisk in mayonnaise mixture, simmering until thickens.
      • Pour over broccoli and carrots, folding until well coated.
      • Spread into a greased 9×9 baking dish.
      • Top with cracker crumbs.
      • Cover and bake 40 minutes.
      • Top with cheese and bake uncovered an additional 10 minutes.
      • Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

      **I love to substitute Keebler buttery garlic club crackers and use Parmesan cheese instead  of cheddar!

      HALIBUT STEAK VINAIGRETTE & CABBAGE AU GRATIN

      These recipes are sooooooo simle, but your dinner guests will think you worked all day on them.

      The Halibut recipe originally came from First Magazine and the cabbage recipe from Sunset Magazine. Right now halibut is so much more expensive than other fish that I am tried it on other white fishes and have found they taste just as well.  You just have to adjust cooking time based on the thickness of your fish.

      The cabbage recipe is VERY versatile!  You can use less cabbage and substitute broccoli or cauliflower for a tasty variation.

      HALIBUT STEAK VINAIGRETTE
      1 piece of halibut or other white fish (salmon is good too)
      3 tablespoons white balsamic or champagne vinegar (recipe originally called for red wine vinegar)
      Fresh ground salt and black pepper
      1/4 cup Avocado oil for brushing fish
      1/4 cup minced red pepper
      Paprika, to taste
      1 small bunch green onions, minced

      • Pre-heat broiler.*
      • Brush pan with oil.
      • In a dressing or mason jar combine, oil, salt, pepper, most of the green onions and red pepper shaking to mix.
      • Brush fish pieces with oil on each side.
      • Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika on fish pieces on both sides.
      • Arrange fish on oiled pan.
      • Broil fish, turning one until cooked through (5-10 minutes depending on fish).
      • Drizzle vinaigrette over fish and return to broiler for 1 minute to heat through. 
      • Top with remaining green onions for garnish.

      *Bakes well also.  If you bake it put the vinaigrette on it before baking.

        CABBAGE AU GRATIN
        1 small head cabbage* (about 1 /2 pounds), cored and cut into 8 wedges
        Fresh ground salt and black pepper
        2 + 2 tablespoons butter
        Fresh ground salt and black pepper to taste
        1/4 cup water
        3 cloves garlic, minced
        fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
        nutmeg
        1 tablespoon Wondra
        1 cup heavy whipping cream
        3/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese (gouda works well as does swiss)
        1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
        1/4  cup fresh bread crumbs

        • Spray a 2 quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
        • Preheat oven to 400°.
        • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a larger skillet over medium high heat.
        • Add cabbage wedges flat edge down.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn once and brown bot edges, about 5 minutes.
        • Add 1/4 cup water to pan. Cover and cook 3-5 minuted until cabbage is tender.
        • Transfer cabbage to baking dish, arranging wedges so the snuggle.
        • Add remaining butter to skillet drippings and melt.
        • Add garlic, thyme, nutmeg and flour, stirring to combine.
        • Add whipping cream and bring to a SLOW boil, just until thickened and beginning to bubble.
        • Pour cream mixture over cabbage.
        • Salt and pepper again.
        • Top with cheese and bread crumbs.
        • Bake until browned and bubbling, 20-30 minutes.

        *Or veggie combo of your choosing.  If you use broccoli or cauliflower, halve the spears so you have a flat side on each piece.

        MARINATED PRIME RIB & OVEN ROASTED ASPARAGUS with LEMON SAUCE

        This was our Christmas Eve meal with the Caramel Apple Cheesecake for dessert. We used to have larger Christmas eve family gatherings when I was young and those tended to be buffets.  Now that it is usually either just the 2 of us or a smaller gathering I make a more formal and traditional meal. 

        I used the scraps leftovers (not that were many) to make the New Year’s Day Black Eyed Pea Chili.

        MARINATED and SEASONED PRIME RIB
        5 pound boneless beef rib roast
        3/4 cup Mad Housewife Merlot wine
        1 small Vidalia onion, sliced thin
        1/4 cup water
        1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
        Avocado oil
        *2 tablespoons  Savory Spice Shop Hidden Cove Lemon Garlic Blend
        *2 tablespoons  Penzey’s English Prime Rib Rub 
        *1 teaspoon  Penzey’s OR Savory Spice Shop’s Horseradish powder

        • Whisk together the wine, water and Worcestershire sauce.
        • Place roast in a large plastic bag that has been placed in a shallow baking dish.
        • Pour marinade over roast and seal bag.
        • Marinate 6-8 hours, turning bag occasionally.

        • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
        • Place sliced onions in bottom of roaster.
        • Drain roast and discard marinade.
        • Rub roast generously with the avocado oil. Let roast sit on drainboard a moment to allow excess oil to drain off.  At this point wash your hands to remove the excess oil also so the rub will go on better.
        • Stir together the Hidden Cove Lemon Garlic Blend, English Prime Rib Rub and the horseradish powder until well mixed.
        • Sprinkle rub mixture over roast until well coated all the way around.
        • Place roast, fat side up on onion slices.
        • Insert oven thermometer.
        • Roast until desired doneness (we like medium rare which was 135 degrees and about 2/14 hours), but no more!
        • Transfer roast to cutting board and immediately tent with foil for 20 minutes before carving. This is the resting phase and mandatory to the perfect prime rib. During this phase your roast will raise another 10 degrees. 

        *If you want a thicker rub add more spices making sure to keep these proportions.

        DO NOT SKIP THE RESTING PHASE!!

        OVEN ROASTED ASPARAGUS with LEMON SAUCE
        1 bunch asparagus
        Avocado oil
        sea salt
        fresh ground black pepper

        • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
        • Snap off woody ends. 
        • Wash asparagus and drain well.
        • Pat dry and then drizzle with avocado oil, smoothing all along each stalk as you place asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet.
        • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
        • Roast 10 minutes or until fork tender, but snappy and browning on the outside.

        Juice of 2 lemons
        1 tablespoon cornstarch
        1 tablespoon cool water
        2 teaspoons sugar
        2 large egg yolks

        • In a small saucepan whisk together the water and cornstarch over a medium heat.
        • Bring to a slow boil, whisking constantly.
        • Add sugar and whisk until dissolved. Immediately remove from heat to cool!
        • Return the saucepan to the lowest setting.
        • Beat egg yolks and lemon juice until well blended.
        • Whisk egg yolks into cooled sauce and cook slowly to thicken.  TOO HIGH A HEAT WILL CURDLE YOUR SAUCE.
        • Season as necessary and pour over plated asparagus.

        MALIBU RUM GLAZED CARROTS

        I started with the Whiskey glazed carrot recipe from Pioneer Woman, but wanted a new little OOMPH so I changed up the Whiskey to Malibu coconut rum.

        MALIBU RUM GLAZED CARROTS
        2-3 pounds carrots* peeled and cut into chunks
        1/2 – 1 stick butter
        1/2 cup Malibu Rum
        1 cup brown sugar
        1 teaspoon sea salt
        1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

        • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over high heat.
        • Add carrots** sauteing several minutes.
        • Remove carrots.
        • Add rum to skillet for a minute.
        • Add remaining butter.  When melted add brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
        • Add carrots back into skillet. Cover and cook 5 minutes.
        • Remove lid, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until glaze is thick.

        *I used bagged baby carrots
        **You may have to do in 2 batches depending on your skillet size

        CREAM OF ASPARAGUS VEGETABLE CHOWDER

        CREAM OF ASPARAGUS VEGETABLE CHOWDER
        1 pound asparagus, wood ends trimmed
        1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
        1 large bunch green onions, sliced
        1 cup sliced carrots
        2 stalks celery, halved and sliced
        4 cloves garlic, minced
        1 KNORR tomato bouillon cube
        1 KNORR chicken broth gel tub
        8 cups water
        3 tablespoons butter, sliced and freezer chilled
        1/2 cup white Moscato wine or Cream Sherry
        1/2 cup heavy cream
        6 ounces Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
        1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
        1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
        1 teaspoon sea salt
        1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced (3 cups +/-)
        1 tablespoon White Balsamic Vinegar
        Parmesan cheese for garnish

        • Whisk KNORR chicken broth gel tub and KNORR tomato bouillon cube into the water as you are bringing it to a boil.
        • Add onions, carrots, asparagus, celery and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes until all vegetables are tender.
        • Remove vegetables to a colander, retaining broth that drains off.
        • While vegetables are draining whisk salt, pepper and red pepper into broth.
        • Add potatoes and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer cooking until potatoes are tender.
        • While potatoes are cooking, process cooling vegetables until smooth.
        • When potatoes are tender, slightly mash most of the potatoes.
        • Return vegetable mix to the potato broth along with any broth that drained off.
        • Add wine or sherry and vinegar blending well.
        • Add in heavy cream and Mascarpone cheese stirring until cheese is melted and well blended.
        • Serve with fresh Parmesan as garnish.

        BLACK FRIDAY THANKSGIVING WRAP UP with NEW RECIPES for GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE, CRANBERRY POMEGRANATE TANGERINE SAUCE, PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECANS

        As I mentioned before, I DO NOT shop Black Friday, unless it’s from the comfort of my desk chair talking to a computer.  Thanksgiving weekend for us is and always has been casual.  This year was no exception. With just 2 of us this year I bought a turkey breast only.  So my questions is, where does the rest of the turkey go?

        Our range is on the way out also – losing the heating elements one by one and the oven is now 75 degrees under temperature.  I didn’t want to take a chance so I started the turkey breast in the slow cooker and then used the oven to only brown the top.  Amazingly, it turned out PERFECT!  I see great turkey sandwiches tomorrow! And there are plenty of leftovers until the new range is installed next week.

        Our morning started out foggy and drizzly before turning to serious cold and rain.  I did manage to capture this Robin hanging out in the old garden bed.

        And the first opening bloom of the Christmas Cactus this season.

        99.9% of my recipes are made from scratch, but every now and then I do cheat a bit.  Part of Thanksgiving’s dessert, PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECAN was one of those small cheats and believe me I will cheat again, but next time I’ll add some fresh whipped cream.  MOST of the recipe is scratch ingredients, but it called for a Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix.  Instead I used a SuperMoist BUTTER PECAN cake mix and it was FABULOUS!  I’ll give you the original recipe (which for the life of me I can’t remember where it came from – probably pinterest) with my changes in red.

        GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
        3-15 ounce cans cut green beans, drained VERY WELL!
        2 1/2 tablespoons butter
        2 tablespoons Wondra
        1 1/4 cup whole milk
        3/4 cup heavy cream
        1/2 teaspoon each, paprika, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
        1 teaspoon Savory Spice Shop Hidden Cove Lemon Garlic Blend
        1 teaspoon celery flakes
        2 tablespoons Riverhouse Parmesan Herb dressing **
        3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
        1 cup +/- French’s French fried onion rings

        • Over medium heat melt butter in saucepan.
        • Whisk in Wondra until golden.
        • Add milk and heavy cream gradually, bringing to a boil JUST SLIGHTLY!
        • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring continuously until sauce begins to thicken.
        • While still stirring add in paprika, salt, pepper, Lemon Garlic and celery flakes. When you reach your desired consistency set pan aside to cool slightly.
        • In a large mixing bowl toss the green beans with the Riverhouse Parmesan Herb dressing.
        • Pour sauce over beans and gently toss and coat.
        • Pour into a baking dish and top with crumbled bacon and fried onion rings.
        • Bake 20-30 minutes until heated through.

        **If you can’t find this brand, Litehouse Parmesan Caesar is a great substitute.

        CRANBERRY POMEGRANATE TANGERINE SAUCE
        1 bag cranberries
        1 cup pomegranate seeds

        1/2 cup fresh squeezed tangerine juice with pulp*
        1/2 cup pineapple juice*
        2 cups sugar
        ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
        1 teaspoon orange peel
        • Wash cranberries and drain in colander.
        • Mix tangerine juice, pineapple juice and sugar in saucepan until dissolved.
        • Add cinnamon and orange peel. Stir well.
        • Add the cranberries and pomegranate seeds simmering over medium high heat until bubbling, stirring often.
        • When the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat.
        • Cook uncovered or until all cranberries and pomegranate seeds have ’popped’.
        • Sauce will thicken as it cools.
        • Can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for future holidays.

        Yields: 2 cups
        *You can use ALL orange juice if you prefer

        ***I like to make a double batch at Thanksgiving and freeze half for Christmas.

        PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECANS
        CAKE BOTTOM 
        1 Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix (Butter Pecan)
        8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
        1 Egg

        • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
        • Line the bottom of your 10 inch springform pan with parchment paper. I cut a square sheet and close it into the seam of the bottom with the latch and then trim into a circle. Lightly spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
        • NOTE: you can use a 9×13 cake pan, but coat it well with non-stick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, melted butter and egg until well blended.Press batter into the bottom of your springform pan.

        FILLING 
        8 ounces softened cream cheese
        15 ounce can pumpkin
        8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
        1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
        1/2 teaspoon orange peel 
        3 eggs
        2 cups powdered sugar
        2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
        Caramel sauce (recipe follows) 
        Candied pecans (I used Fisher’s Cinnamon Pecans) 
        Kraft Caramel Balls 
        Smucker’s Pineapple Sauce, slightly warmed (optional)

        • In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.
        • Add melted butter, vanilla and eggs, beating until well combined.
        • Fold in powdered sugar, orange peel and pumpkin pie spice until just mixed.
        • Pour batter over cake base and smooth even.
        • Bake 60-75 minutes until cake is set and top is only slightly wobbly (similar to a cheesecake consistency).
        • COOL COMPLETELY on a wire rack BEFORE removing the pan.
        • Serve sliced with Caramel sauce, pineapple sauce, caramel balls and pecans.

        NOTE: YOU WILL NEED LESS TIME USING A 9X13 PAN!

        CARAMEL SAUCE 
        1/2 cup heavy cream
        4 tablespoons butter, softened
        2 tablespoons light corn syrup
        3/4 cup sugar
        2+ tablespoons water

        • Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
        • Remove from the heat.
        • In a medium saucepan cook the corn syrup over a medium heat until bubbly.
        • Fold in 1/4 cup of the sugar and continue to cook until the edges begin to turn a light amber color.
        • Add in 1/4 cup sugar more and repeat until all the sugar is blended in.
        • Continue cooking until amber color darkens stirring constantly.
        • Remove from the heat and carefully fold in the cream mixture.
        • Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until caramel is bubbling.
        • Serve warm.
        • Makes 1 1/2 cups.

        Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Microwave 20-30 seconds to soften refrigerated caramel before serving.

        I’m off to wrap Christmas presents – Have a great weekend! 

        Save

        PARSNIP PUREE POTATO SKINS

        Did you know that parsnips are from the carrot family? This vegetarian diet hubby requested is giving me room to try some new recipes and I’m losing weight though he says he isn’t.

        PARSNIP PUREE POTATO SKINS
        1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled & cut into 1 inch pieces
        2 medium potatoes, baked & scooped out
        1 green onion, sliced thin
        2 tablespoons sour cream
        3-4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
        1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
        4 tablespoons butter, melted
        pinch of nutmeg
        salt and pepper to taste

        • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
        • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add parsnips and boil 20-25 minutes until extremely tender.
        • Bake potatoes in oven or microwave. Halve them and scoop out the insides.
        • Puree the cooled parsnips and potato insides until smooth.
        • Add butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and heavy cream and blend well.
        • Fill potato shells with puree. This makes enough to also fill 2 compotes for another meal later in the week.
        • Top with grated cheese and green onion
        • Bake for 20 minutes.
        • Increase to broil and brown tops for a minute or so.

        GORGONZOLA BACON GREEN BEANS

        GORGONZOLA BACON GREEN BEANS
        1/4 pound thick bacon, chopped
        1 small bunch green onions, sliced
        1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
        1/4 cup Gorgonzola crumbles

        • In a large skillet cook bacon until crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on papertowels.
        • Add onions and green beans to bacon drippings and stir fry until crisp tender.
        • Drain off any remaining bacon drippings.
        • Toss onions, green beans, bacon bits and Gorgonzola crumbles.

        BROCCOLI GREEN BEAN ALMOND SAUTE’

        BROCCOLI GREEN BEAN ALMOND SAUTE’

        2 tablespoons olive oil
        2 tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
        1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
        1/3 pound green beans, trimmed
        1 broccoli crown, chopped small
        1 teaspoon sea salt
        1/2 teaspoon white pepper
        1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
        2 tablespoons slivered almonds

        • Heat olive oil in large skillet.
        • Add vegetables and saute’ until tender.
        • Add soy sauce and white balsamic vinegar.
        • Sprinkle with sea salt and white pepper.
        • Add almonds, blend well and heat through.
        • This dish is good hot OR cold!

        DECONSTRUCTION: HOW STUFFED CARROTS BECAME A CARROT CASSEROLE

        I’m always on the look out for great ways to spice up vegetable recipes.  I found what sounded and looked like an awesome recipe in a magazine for a carrot side dish.  I was excited to make it, but then oh so disappointed.  They looked pretty, but they tasted awful.  So, we sat around the dinner table deconstructing AND reconstructing the recipe!  My family is so good at dinner conversation.  Well, maybe not, but at least they tell me what they don’t like and then help turn it into something they will like.


        The original recipe:
        BAKED STUFFED CARROTS
        12 medium carrots
        1/4 cup mayonnaise
        4 teaspoons grated onion
        2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
        1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
        salt and pepper to taste
        1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
        2 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
        1/8 teaspoon paprika

        1. Place carrots in a skillet. Add 1 inch of water.  Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until crisp tender.  Drain.
        2. Cut a thin lengthwise slice out of each carrot.  Scoop out carrot, leaving a 1/4 inch shell, set shells aside. Place the removed carrot in a food processor; cover and process until finely chopped.  Transfer to a large bowl; add mayonnaise, onion, horseradish, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Spoon into carrot shells.
        3. Place in a greased 13 inch x 9 inch baking dish.  Combine the crumbs, 1 tablespoon butter and paprika; sprinkle over carrots.  Drizzle with remaining butter.
        4. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until tender. 
        Do you remember Gilligan’s Island Season 3, episode 20?  No, I didn’t REMEMBER the number or season either, but I remember the episode well.  Gilligan discovers a crate in the lagoon and pries off the lid, which falls face side down of course, and inside are all these beautiful seeds.  Mary Ann immediately plants a garden and they all have their favorite vegetables.  Because the seeds are radioactive they produce bigger and “better” vegetables that gives each castaway a special ability.  These were 2 1/2 inches in diameter!

        I present to you the Gilligan’s Island Carrots:
        THE RECIPE WORTH MAKING:
        BAKED CARROT CASSEROLE
        12 medium carrots

        1/4 cup mayonnaise1 large bunch green onions, minced3 cloves garlic, minced1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg1 teaspoon sea salt
        1 teaspoon white pepper
        1/4 cup dry bread crumbs2 tablespoons butter, divided1/8 teaspoon paprika

        • Place carrots in a skillet. Add 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain. Cool.
        • Slice carrots into 1 inch lengths and then into 4 pieces each.
        • In a small skillet melt 1 tablespoon of butter.  Saute’ onions and garlic until translucent and fragrant. Drain of fat.
        • Transfer to a large bowl; add mayonnaise, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
        • Toss with cooled carrots until well coated.
        • Place into a greased 9X9 baking dish. Combine the crumbs, 1 tablespoon butter and paprika; sprinkle over carrots. Drizzle with remaining butter.
        • Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until tender.