RUSTIC TOMATO TART

RUSTIC TOMATO TART
1/2 package Pillsbury pie crust or homemade
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons tomato or basil pesto
3/4 cup shredded Havarti cheese
1-2 LARGE heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch slices
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon FRESH thyme leaves
1-2 green onions, sliced thin

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll out pie dough and shape into baking sheet dimensions creating an edge.
  • Brush with oil and pesto of choice.
  • Sprinkle 2/3 of the cheese onto the crust.
  • Arrange tomato slices over the cheese.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  • Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish and serve.

ASPARAGUS POCKETS

ASPARAGUS POCKETS

2 pounds thin baby asparagus, cut about 4 inches from the top
1/2 pound diced prosciutto
6 slices of smoked Gouda cheese
2 Sheets Puff Pastry Dough or pie crust
1 LARGE egg
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH Thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Roll out dough.
  • Cut dough into 6 rectangles and brush with egg wash.
  • Cut 5-7 asparagus in half and lay evenly in the center of each pastry dough rectangle. Leave about a 1/4 inch of dough on each side.
  • Fold 2 slices of prosciutto into a fan and place on top of the asparagus.
  • Place 1 slice of smoked Gouda on top of the the asparagus and prosciutto.
  • Flip the bottom of pastry dough to cover the bottom half of the asparagus, and to create a pocket.
  • Pinch the edges.
  • Brush the whole pocket with egg wash and sprinkle with pepper.
  • Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

MARMALADE CARROTS

MARMALADE CARROTS

5 LARGE carrots, sliced into rustic chunks
1 tablespoon butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons red chile flakes
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
scant cup homemade chicken broth

  • Whisk together chicken broth, vinegar, marmalade, chile flakes, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
  • Add carrots, sautéing 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add broth mixture, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes until softened and well coated.

SWEET & SOUR CARROTS

SWEET & SOUR CARROTS
4 LARGE carrots, sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup homemade chicken stock

  • Blanch carrots in boiling water for 8-10 minutes until JUST tender. Drain.
  • Bring chicken stock to a boil.
  • Whisk sugar and cornstarch into vinegar.
  • Add vinegar mixture to the chicken stock, seasoning to taste and cooking until thickened.
  • Add butter and pour over hot carrots.
  • Toss and serve immediately.

HAM & BROCCOLI BAKE

HAM & BROCCOLI ALFREDO BAKE
12 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups shredded Fontina or baby swiss cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 pound country ham, FINELY diced
1 tablespoon Frank’s hot sauce
1 jar Alfredo sauce or preferably homemade
2-3 cups al dent noodles or pasta, prepare al dente
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped tarragon
1/2 cup FRENCH’S crispy onion rings

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Coat 2 quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add broccoli florets 1-2 minutes until starting to soften.
  • Drain broccoli and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss fold together the ham pieces, hot sauce, alfredo sauce, tarragon, 1/2 cup of cheese and broccoli.
  • Arrange ham mixture in baking dish.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese and the crispy onion rings over top, baking 5-7 minutes more until cheese is melted and crispy.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

BAKED CAULIFLOWER STEAKS

They are easier to eat and you get more coated surface that’s ooey gooey tasty 😀

BAKED CAULIFLOWER STEAKS

1 head cauliflower hard pieces and stem removed, but head intact.
1 cup Duke’s Hint of Lime mayonnaise
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1 tablespoon FINELY chopped Italian leaf parsley
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add cauliflower for 5 minutes, drain and pat dry. Cool slightly.
  • Coat baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Slice cauliflower into “steak” slices and arrange on baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic and parsley.
  • Spread the mixture evenly on the cauliflower steaks.
  • Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes until golden and cheese is bubbly.

MYSTERY INGREDIENT ~ BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

MYSTERY INGREDIENT ~ BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

3/4 cup canned plain unseasoned black beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup applesauce
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, FINELY chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup QUALITY cocoa powder
1 LARGE egg
2 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon FINE sea salt
Powdered sugar, garnish (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line an 8 inch baking dish with foil, leaving enough hanging over the edge to be used as handles.
  • Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine beans, applesauce and chopped chocolate in food processor and process until smooth.
  • Add sugar, cocoa powder, egg and vanilla. Process again until well combined.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  • Add flour mixture to bean mixture processing JUST until combined.
  • Spread batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until center is firm and edges are puffy.
  • Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • Lift by foil and cut into squares.
  • Garnish with powdered sugar.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS with BACON, CHERRIES & APRICOTS

BRUSSELS SPROUTS with BACON, CHERRIES & APRICOTS
4 slices bacon, diced
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered
1 LARGE shallot, FINELY chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 pinch of salt, to taste
2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence seasoning
1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/3 cherries, chopped

  • In a large skillet over medium to high heat cook bacon until JUST crisp.
  • Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to drain on paper toweling.
  • Add the Brussels sprouts, cut side down and saute 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the shallots, brown sugar, Herbs de Provence and a pinch of salt. Saute 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add apricots and saute 1-2 minutes longer.
  • Add cherries and mix well.
  • Sprinkle with bacon before serving.

RECIPE REVIEW
TASTE: Full of flavor.
TEXTURE: Crunchy, yet soft and chewy – very satisfying.
EASE: Easy to Moderate.
APPEARANCE: Appetizing and visually appealing.
PROS: Great for a company meal.
CONS: None that I found!
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? DEFINITELY Yes.

COPY CAT PAN SEARED PORK CHOPS with BRAISED RED CABBAGE & APPLE

PAN SEARED PORK CHOPS with BRAISED RED CABBAGE & APPLE
1 + 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 boneless pork steaks
1 SMALL red onion, halved and THINLY sliced
1 LARGE clove garlic, FINELY minced
1/2 pound red cabbage, cored and THINLY sliced
2 LARGE apples, 1 cored & sliced the other cored and grated
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup hot water
1 1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon beef base
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 green onions, minced and separated

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Pat pork steaks dry.
  • Whisk together the FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper until well blended.
  • Generously season pork steaks on both sides with the seasoning mix.
  • Add the pork steaks to the skillet searing 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer pork steaks to platter and keep warm.
  • Add the remaining butter to the skillet.
  • Add the onions and cabbage to the pan, 3-4 minutes until slightly softened and beginning to caramelize.
  • Whisk together the beef base, warm water and vinegar.
  • Add vinegar mixture to pan, stirring to blend.
  • Add apple pieces topped with the pork steaks, cover and simmer 5-6 minutes to soften apple and reheat pork steaks. MOST of the liquid should cook off, but DO NOT BURN.
  • Slice pork and serve over cabbage mix.

RECIPE REVIEW
TASTE: Sweet & Tangy
TEXTURE: Tender caramelized cabbage, onions and apples topped with fork tender pork tenderloin. 
EASE: Moderate.
APPEARANCE: Appetizing and visually appealing.
PROS: Great meal for company.
CONS: None that I found!
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? DEFINITELY Yes.

CHICKEN PARMESAN SPINACH ARTICHOKE BAKE

Turn your favorite party dip into a hearty casserole meal that will satisfy EVERYONE!

CHICKEN PARMESAN SPINACH ARTICHOKE BAKE serves 8

3 cups chicken rotisserie chicken **
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fusilli pasta, uncooked
12 ounce container spinach artichoke dip
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
16 ounces frozen baby spinach, THAWED & SQUEEZED DRY
3 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 13×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Mix together the artichoke dip, onions, garlic, spinach, chicken pieces and 1/2 cup of the cheese until well blended.
  • Add chicken stock and blend well.
  • Fold in pasta.
  • Cover with foil and bake 30-35 minutes, stirring a time or two.
  • Remove foil and sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan.
  • Bake 5-10 minutes more until cheese is melted and pasta is tender.
  • Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

NOTES:

  • You can make this more of a side dish by deleting the chicken pieces.
  • Another alternative is to season and grill the chicken first and then shred it. It adds another depth of flavor.

CORN SALSA SALAD

CORN SALSA SALAD
5 ears fresh corn, 1 1/2 cups
2 cups lettuce (optional)
1 SMALL red pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, seeded & diced, or 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup red onion
1/4 cup FRESH chopped cilantro
1 cup bite size pineapple pieces
1 cup bite size watermelon pieces

2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 limes, juiced
6 ounces pineapple juice
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon green Tabasco, to taste
1/4 cup salted & roasted sunflower seeds
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Boil corn 5 minutes JUST until tender.
  • Rinse under cool water.
  • Cut kernels from the cobs.
  • In a large bowl combine all ingredients except the lettuce and sunflower seeds, tossing until well mixed and coated.
  • Whisk together the lime juice, avocado oil, pineapple juice, Tabasco, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Chill until ready to serve.
  • Just before serving, add lettuce and sunflower seeds, tossing to mix well.

NOTE: If you are in a hurry, a QUALITY defrosted frozen corn or even cans of Green Giant Mexican corn niblets substitutes easily. AND if you have enough time charring the corn on the grill before hand adds another depth of flavor 😀

TOMATO CUCUMBER SALAD

TOMATO CUCUMBER SALAD

1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped into pieces
1 LARGE box cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and halved
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup FRESH chopped cilantro
1/4 cup FRESH chopped parsley
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Whisk together the oil, vinegars, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, cilantro and parsley together.
  • Pour vinegar mixture over top and toss together.
  • Chill in refrigerator for AT LEAST 2 hours before serving.