ANTIPASTO SQUARES ~ COOKING THURSDAY ~ BLOG 365.292

Antipasto salad at its best – as a hand held snack sandwich. Perfect for tailgating, pot lucks, baby showers, game nights, family get togethers…

ANTIPASTO SQUARES

non-stick cooking spray
2 (8 ounce) tubes crescent dough (non-perforated if you can find them)
1/2 pound thin sliced tavern ham
1/4 pound sliced pepperoni
1/4 pound slice salami
1/2 pound sliced provolone
1/4 pound sliced mozzarella
1 cup WELL drained sliced pepperoncinis and/or banana peppers
1/2 cup WELL drained and chopped marinated artichokes
4 ounce can WELL drained sliced olives
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons FRESH grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon FRESH chopped oregano
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped basil

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease a 9×13 baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Roll out one can of crescents on prepared baking sheet, gently stretching into a rectangle.
  • Layer in the following order ~ pepperoni, provolone, salami, mozzarella, ham, olives, artichokes and pepperoncinis.
  • Sprinkle with half of the FRESH chopped herbs followed by the 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
  • Unroll remaining tube of crescent dough and place on top.
  • Pinch together seams to seal.
  • Whisk together the oil and remaining herbs.
  • Brush oil mixture all over top of crescent dough, then sprinkle with Parmesan.
  • Bake until dough is golden and cooked through, about 35 minutes. (If dough is browning too quickly, cover with foil.)
  • Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing into squares.

NOTE: Keep in mind that draining everything exceptionally well and HOW you layer this recipe makes a difference in the outcome. If there is too much moisture the squares can be too soggy.

AUTUMN CASSOULET ~ COOKING THURSDAY ~ BLOG 365.285

Is it a soup or is it a stew? The French call it a casserole. Whatever you call it, it is a hearty warm dish for a cool fall evening!

AUTUMN CASSOULET

3 tablespoons butter or avocado oil
1 pound beef kielbasa, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 pound stew meat (or pork pieces, or chicken – it’s up to you)
1 small red onion, diced
2 medium carrots, small diced
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
2 cups homemade chicken bone broth
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 cans navy beans, drained and rinsed

  • Melt butter in saute pan.
  • Add onions and carrots. Simmer 3-5 minutes.
  • Generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper and add garlic.
  • Add stew meat and kielbasa pieces, stirring well and simmering another 5 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
  • Add chicken broth, beans and tomatoes with juice. Simmer 10-15 minutes until heated through.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes or as a soupy stew.

NOTE: If you prefer a thicker stew like consistency, use a 3rd can of beans, but drain them well and run them through a food processor with a 1/4 cup of the broth making a paste. Add this paste along with the beans and tomatoes.

TIMELESS CLASSIC SUGAR COOKIES ~ BLOG 365.278

TIMELESS CLASSIC SUGAR COOKIES
4 cups sifted flour (sift first, measure second)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 1/2 cups extra fine sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons PURE vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly grease baking sheets.
  • Sift together the pre-sfited flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  • Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.
  • Stir in one third of the flour mixture until incorporated and repeat two more times until you have a smooth stiff dough.
  • Dust wax paper with powdered sugar.
  • Roll out a portion of dough until 1/4 inch thick.
  • Cut out cookies as desired and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake 10 minutes until cookies are firm and golden brown.
  • Allow to cool COMPLETELY before icing or decorating.

SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SALAD ~ BLOG 365.265

SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SALAD
1/3-1/2 cup FINELY chopped red onion
1/4 cup drained chopped green chiles
1/4 cup coleslaw dressing (bottled or homemade – you choose)
Juice of 1 lime
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can Green Giant Mexicorn niblets, drained WELL
3 cups chopped greens (I like a mixture of iceberg and romaine)
2 small red and/or orange mini peppers, chopped
1 cup drained and rinsed black beans
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup French’s crispy onions

  • Whisk together the coleslaw dressing and lime juice.
  • Fold in the red onion and green chiles, shake well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Grill chicken until cooked through. Let rest 5 minutes and then slice into desired size pieces.
  • Wash and drain lettuce.
  • In a large bowl toss together the lettuce greens, peppers, black beans, corn and cheese.
  • Arrange chicken pieces on top.
  • Drizzle with dressing and top with crispy onions.

DRUNKEN EAGLES aka PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP RAISIN COOKIES BLOG 365.264

DRUNKEN EAGLES aka PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP RAISIN COOKIES

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 cup JIF or SKIPPY creamy peanut butter
6 teaspoons PURE vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups QUALITY semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup spiced rum
1 cup golden raisins

Up to 48 hours before you plan to make the cookies pour rum over raisins, cover and let raisins absorb the rum.

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Drain any remaining rum off raisins.
  • Cream together the butter and both sugars until smooth.
  • Add eggs, peanut butter and vanilla, mixing again until smooth.
  • Sift in flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Mix in old fashioned oats and chocolate chips until well blended.
  • Fold in raisins.
  • Using a large scoop arrange cookies on cookie sheets. (Cookies will not flatten very much.)
  • Bake 11-15 minutes until edges are golden.
  • Allow cookies to rest 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes.

NOTE: I make a gluten-free version substituting almond flour 1:1 and gluten-free oats 1:1 that is actually tastier to me 😀

BEEF TIPS IN ONION WINE SAUCE ~ COOKING THURSDAY ~ BLOG 365.257

This is an easy, go to fall favorite at our house when the mornings AND the evenings have that cool crisp feel that out last the 2-3 hours of warmth in the midday afternoons.

BEEF TIPS IN ONION WINE SAUCE
3-4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 2 inch cubes
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder
16 ounce package baby carrots
1 cup rough chopped Vidalia onion
2 stalks celery, minced
2 cans Campbell’s Golden Mushroom soup
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup Marsala wine
1 (1 ounce) package Lipton onion soup

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Spray a dutch oven with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Generously season the beef chunks with the FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
  • Place beef in dutch oven, cover with carrots and onions.
  • Whisk together the golden mushroom soup, Lipton soup mix and Marsala wine until well combined.
  • Pour over meat and veggies.
  • Bake completely undisturbed for 3 hours until meat is tender.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes.

CHICKEN & CHEESE PIE aka MEXICAN QUICHE ~ BLOG 365.255

CHICKEN & CHEESE PIE aka MEXICAN QUICHE – servings: 8 servings

Whether you eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner this chicken and cheese Quesadilla Pie is a combination of a quiche and a quesadilla.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

1 10-inch flour tortilla, burrito size
3 cups rotisserie chicken shredded pieces
4 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained WELL
1 can ROTEL tomatoes, drained WELL
2 tablespoons pampered chef taco seasoning or 1 package Taco Bell taco seasoning

1/4 cup FINELY chopped FRESH cilantro leaves, PLUS some for garnish
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 LARGE eggs
1 cup WHOLE milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Garnishes – sour cream, salsa, guacamole, diced green onions, cotija cheese crumbles

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425-450 degrees.
  • Grease 9-inch pie plate.
  • Press tortilla into prepared pie plate and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  • Toss chicken, cilantro, jalapeños (optional), 1 cup of the cheese, FRESH ground sea salt, and black pepper in large bowl until combined.
  • Spread filling over tortilla.
  • Whisk eggs, milk, flour, baking powder in bowl until smooth.
  • Slowly pour over filling.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until surface is golden brown and knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese on top and bake for about 3-5 minutes more or until cheese melts.
  • Let cool 5 minutes.
  • Cut into wedges and serve.
  • Top with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole if desired.

NOTES: Adding 1/4 cup drained chopped pickled jalapeños in place of the or in addition to the green chiles oomphs this recipe up quite a bit.

CHICKEN in TOMATO ROSE SAUCE ala CROCKPOT ~ BLOG 365.248

Flavorful chicken made with a creamy tomato rose sauce in your slow cooker and ready to serve over your favorite pasta in no time at all.

CHICKEN in TOMATO ROSE SAUCE ala CROCKPOT

1 pound boneless chicken breasts, sliced into bite sized pieces or slivers
1 small bunch green onion FINELY minced
2-3 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1/2 cup of your favorite Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon dried oregano
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
FRESH chopped Italian parsley

  • Whisk together the garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Generously season chicken pieces with seasoning mix.
  • Spray the bottom of your slow cooker with non-stick spray or line with liners.
  • Place chicken pieces in the bottom of the cooker.
  • Top with onions and garlic.
  • Whisk together the alfredo and red sauce and pour over chicken pieces.
  • Sprinkle both cheeses over the sauce.
  • Cover and cook on high for 1-2 hours or until cooked thoroughly. (See notes)
  • Gently toss together to coat chicken.
  • Serve over your favorite pasta.
  • Garnish with parsley and a bit more grated Parmesan

NOTE: If you wish to cook your chicken on the low setting, increase your cooking time to 3-4 hours, depending on the size of your chicken pieces.

HUMMINGBIRD CAKE ~ BLOG 365.243

Homemade hummingbird cake is exceptionally moist and flavorful with layers and layers of banana pineapple spice cake and a super silky cream cheese frosting!

HUMMINGBIRD CAKE

2 cups THINLY sliced pecans
1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut would be wonderful though!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons PURE ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups mashed bananas (4 large ripe bananas)
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, slightly drained. You want a little juice, but not all of it!
3 LARGE eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup neutral oil or melted coconut oil)
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup FINELY ground granulated sugar
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 300°.
  • Spread pecans onto a lined baking sheet,toasting for 6-8 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven to cool.
  • Turn oven up to 350°.
  • Grease three 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper rounds, then grease the parchment paper. The parchment paper will help the cake release from the pan.
  • Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl.

  • Whisk the rest of the cake ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined. You’ll have 7 cups of batter.
  • Fold in 1 1/2 cups of the toasted pecans, saving the rest for garnish.
  • Spread batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Rotate pans halfway through baking.
  • Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. Once completely cooled, remove cakes from pan and level the tops off so they are flat. If desired cut cakes in half to make 6 smaller layers.
  • Discard the tops or eat. 



CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
16 ounces FULL FAT cream cheese, softened room temperature
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

  • In a large bowl beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt, beating on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. 
  • Taste and adjust salt if needed.

ASSEMBLY 

  • Place 1 cake layer on your cake turntable, cake stand or serving plate.
  • Evenly cover the top with frosting.
  • Top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with frosting.
  • Finish with the third cake or 4th, 5th and 6th layer(s) and spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides.
  • Garnish with leftover toasted pecans.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing to prevent the cake from falling apart as you cut it.

NOTES:

  • TO MAKE AHEAD: Prepare cakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cakes at room temperature, covered tightly. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container, then bring to room temperature when ready to use. 
  • FROZEN BANANAS: You can use thawed frozen bananas in this recipe, but thawed bananas are extra wet, so drain off as much of the excess liquid as you can before mashing.
  • CUPCAKES: This recipe will make 3 dozen cupcakes. Fill liners 2/3 full and bake 20-22 minutes or until cooked through.
  • BUNDT CAKE: This recipe makes a great bundt cake, but is too much batter for a 9×13 cake. Bake time will be longer for a bundt cake, 55-65 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. DO NOT OVER BAKE.

Adapted from Southern Living.

CHICKEN CHILE RELLENOS CORNBREAD CASSEROLE ~ BLOG 365.241

CHICKEN CHILE RELLENOS CORNBREAD CASSEROLE
2 cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sour cream
2 LARGE eggs
1 can Mexican Corn niblets
1/2 cup FRESH chopped roasted HATCH chiles or 4 ounce can chopped green chilies, rinsed and drained
2 cups rotisserie chicken pieces

1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Lightly coat an 10 inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In another large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, and corn.
  • Fold in the cornmeal mixture, chicken pieces, green chiles, and cheese into the dry ingredients JUST until blended.
  • Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
  • Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Garnish with minced green onions, sour cream and minced cilantro.

HATCH CHILES are my favorite green chile. They are similar to their cousin the Anaheim green chile, but is specific to the Hatch Valley in southern New Mexico. Hatch chiles only come from Hatch, New Mexico. The HATCH green chile is especially popular throughout all of New Mexico, as well as Texas and Southern California.

They have a balanced, smoky heat that enhances both savory and sweet dishes. You can buy a canned version of roasted Hatch chiles, but nothing beats a FRESH roasted one. August and September are the BEST times to find them.

True Parmesan cheese only comes from the Reggio Emilia and Parma region, champagne only comes from the champagne wine region of France. Similarily Hatch chiles from the Hatch Valley are like grapes coming from the Napa Valley.

Hatch chiles are extremely versatile. I add them to stews, sauces, dips, dressings, salsa and even desserts. Some of my favorite sandwich cookies (Sweet Lime chile) in the world come from the HEB grocery chain in Texas. Try adding them to your apple pie or on top of a burger or your slice of pizza.

Green and red Hatch chiles are the same pepper just picked at different times. They do each offer distinct flavors though. I LOVE them best in August when they offer a smoky flavor. But, in September when the turn red they offer a sweeter flavor better suited for the sweeter recipes.

SLOW COOKER HATCH CHILE BBQ RIBS ~ BLOG 365.237

SLOW COOKER HATCH CHILE BBQ RIBS

The best part of this slow cooker recipe is that it does all the work! All you have to do is come home to a prepared dinner of sticky, fall apart, melt-in-your-mouth incredible ribs!

2 cups barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup diced FRESH roasted Hatch chiles
4 pounds baby back pork ribs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Spray inside of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
  • Remove and discard the inner membrane from the ribs and cut into slabs that will fit into your slow cooker.
  • Generously season the ribs with a good amount of salt and pepper.
  • Combine BBQ sauce, brown sugar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and chiles in a small bowl, mixing well to combine.
  • Completely cover the ribs with half of the sauce. 

  • Cover with lid and cook on low setting for 7-9 hours or high setting for 3-5 hours (see notes).
  • Refrigerate remaining sauce to use later.

  • When ribs are tender and falling apart, transfer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Lift them carefully as the meat will be very tender and falling off the bone). 

  • Pour half of the juices from the slow cooker bowl into the remaining sauce.
  • Baste ribs with half of the sauce and broil in preheated oven at 400° for 5-10 minutes or until beginning to char and crisp on the edges. 

  • Serve ribs with remaining sauce.


NOTES:

  • Cook times seriously depend on the desired results you are looking for:
  • Ribs that are soft but stay on the bone = LOW: 5-6 HOURS / HIGH: 3 HOURS.
  • Tender, fall apart ribs that melt in your mouth like butter = LOW: 7-8 HOURS / HIGH: 4-5 HOURS.

HATCH CHILES are my favorite green chile. They are similar to their cousin the Anaheim green chile, but is specific to the Hatch Valley in southern New Mexico. Hatch chiles only come from Hatch, New Mexico. The HATCH green chile is especially popular throughout all of New Mexico, as well as Texas and Southern California.

They have a balanced, smoky heat that enhances both savory and sweet dishes. You can buy a canned version of roasted Hatch chiles, but nothing beats a FRESH roasted one. August and September are the BEST times to find them.

True Parmesan cheese only comes from the Reggio Emilia and Parma region, champagne only comes from the champagne wine region of France and similarily Hatch chiles from the Hatch Valley are like grapes coming from the Napa Valley.

Hatch chiles are extremely versatile. I add them to stews, sauces, dips, dressings, salsa and even desserts. Some of my favorite sandwich cookies in the world (Sweet Lime chile) come from the HEB grocery chain in Texas. Try adding some FRESH roasted chopped chiles to your apple pie or on top of a burger or your slice of pizza.

Green and red Hatch chiles are the same pepper just picked at different times. They do each offer distinct flavors though. I LOVE them best in August when they offer a smoky flavor. But, in September when the turn red they offer a sweeter flavor better suited for the sweeter recipes.

Right now there is a local food truck specializing in Roasted Hatch Chiles in our little town and I have been taking full advantage of buying them FRESH roasted and preparing them for the freezer so I’ll have them all year long.

BUTTER SWIM BISCUITS ~ BLOG 365.234

Butter Swim Biscuits are buttermilk biscuits that are baked drenched in butter for a biscuit that has a crispy crust with a soft and fluffy inside.

BUTTER SWIM BISCUITS
2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup butter, melted

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Drizzle the buttermilk into the sifted flour mixture and gentle stir until mostly combined. Be careful not to overwork the batter.
  • Pour the melted butter into an 8×8-inch baking dish.
  • Spread the dough evenly over the butter all the way to the edges.
  • Cut the unbaked dough into a 3×3 pattern (9 squares).
  • Bake for 28 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
  • Allow the butter to be absorbed into the biscuits before cutting and serving.


NOTES:

  • Place the baking dish on a baking sheet in case of spillover.
  • I often use herb butter to add flavor.