Ricotta cake with raisins and confetti – Cakes and tarts

 

Ricotta cake with raisins and confetti – Cakes and tarts

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Izzy’s Lean Corned Beef Sandwich w/ Meijer Reduced Fat Chips

My Meals are on Wheels

Today’s Menu: Kitchen Closed! Izzy’s Lean Corned Beef Sandwich w/ Meijer Reduced Fat Chips

I’ve been running behind all day! One long day, won’t go in to details. Come Dinner time I was too tired to Cook so the Kitchen is closed today and it’s Izzy’s Lean -Lean Corned Beef on Whole Grain and Meijer Reduced Fat Potato Chips.

I would put the Izzy’s Corned Beef up against any other. Plus with their “Lean’ version of the Corned Beef it makes it healthier also. The sandwich contains 170 calories and 16 carbs per serving (1/2 Sandwich) and 340 calories and 32 carbs for a Full Sandwich. I had the Full, as usual, along with a serving of Ruffle’s Reduced Fat Potato Chips and their 80 calories and 17 carbs per serving. For Dessert/Snack later a bowl of Skinny Pop – Pop Corn along with a Coke Zero to drink.

Izzy’s…

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Fish du Jour

Culinary Distractions

The other day I received a surprise de-briefing from my local fish monger.  As I obliquely scanned the beautifully displayed case and mumbled ‘red snapper’, he dropped everything, came around the counter, and pulled me aside.

With his hands pressed in front of him, he gazed off to the side and softly explained that Red Snapper is an excellent fish that originates in Atlantic waters and not widely available on the west coast.  He pointed out  that the misleading label Pacific Red Snapper is simply some sort of rockfish.  I guess I’m the last person to get the message.  That’s okay, in Tahiti ‘lagoon fish’ is always a delicious menu choice.  I happily headed out with 3 sweet smelling rockfish fillets.

Rockfish is a bass-like species, with a large mouth and spines on its head. Nothing like the red snapper I recall.  This large variety of fish can range in…

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Painless Polenta

Culinary Distractions

I just had to stop and pass on this memorable method for cooking polenta.  Finally, the nightmares are over: no more burbling projectiles of searing polenta. With no effort—and no pain—creamy, smooth polenta is ready in 30 minutes.

In cooking your polenta, it’s important to select the right type. There are instant polentas that cook up in a flash, for which this whole episode is likely a waste of your time. Coarser grains, such as authentic polenta, stone-ground cornmeal, or grits require a longer cooking time. That is what we are interested in here, we want the more traditional style for rich flavor and divine mouth-feel.

And, there is no sticking or burning polenta, either…

This may sound like an infomercial, but I have nothing to gain but good food. The secret is in the multi-cooker and the trick is to use a bit more water than usual. Bring it…

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Easy Entertaining: Chicken Ragout

Culinary Distractions

This hearty chicken dish is the definition of flexibility—and the ideal solution for an easy dinner with friends.

Our Chicken Ragout features plump chicken pieces simmered in a rustic tomato sauce that is enriched with mushrooms, rosemary, sweet carrots, and other vegetables.

We have options with this dish:  it can be prepped and cooked in various stages for enjoyment right away or set aside until later. If you chose to make it ahead,  know that these big flavors will mellow and improve as the ragout waits for you.

The preparation is straight forward, brown the chicken off then use the pan drippings to flavor the basic tomato sauce. Let the chicken simmer in the sauce until tender. When it’s convenient, separately roast the mushrooms, onion, pepper, rosemary, and carrots in a hot oven to precook and bring out their inherent sweetness, and set aside until needed.

The dish can all…

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Zoodles, Chicken Meatballs, & Garlic Green Beans!

Breeanna Living Brilliantly

After a long day of work, working out, blogging, and running errands, I’m always looking to take the easy way out. This recipe requires very little work but is full of flavor and nutrients. You can easily omit the meatballs to make it vegetarian/vegan! I made them for my husband. This dish is also low-carb, and it’s an awesome post-workout meal. It’s filling but light, and I felt good after eating it, not sluggish like I do with regular pasta!

All you need is:

  • Medium-Large zucchini
  • 7-10 Bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 sweet peppers
  • 1/2 lb green beans
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 small can crushed tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese & Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder

First, I used my vegetable spiraler to make the zucchini into noodles and chopped the other vegetables.

While sauteing the onions, pepper, garlic, and mushrooms, I mixed…

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Caprese-Style Baked Chicken

Breeanna Living Brilliantly

Hello, all! It’s another beautiful evening in Chicago and I just finished up a Flexibility and Strength yoga flow with Sanela. I had all the windows open to let in some fresh air, a Bath & Body Works scented candle going, and a Synergy Gingerberry kombucha. I feel loose and relaxed and wanted to take a little time to write about the dinner I made yesterday: Caprese Baked Chicken. Since I am leaving for a trip to Tacoma in a couple days, I wanted to use up the groceries and make a nutritious dinner, so I considered what I had lying around and decided to make a Caprese-style dish.

This dish is super-simple to make, and as always, easy to customize. If you want to make it vegetarian, you can easily sub zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower rice, or even pasta. It’s also low-carb and full of protein and veggies. To make…

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Eggplant Ragout (Meatless)!

Breeanna Living Brilliantly

My take on eggplant ragout differs a bit from the traditional route, but it’s a versatile and flavorful meatless dish that you can customize to your liking. Some of the best vegetables that have a “meaty” bite to them are eggplant and mushrooms, and the thicker, chewy veggies add a nice texture to the dish. Eggplants are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, so though the flavor is rich, this is a dish you can feel good about!

You can use any kind of pasta you’d like, but I chose to serve it over sauteed zucchini noodles! This recipe serves 2 (and if you’re lucky, you may have leftovers!), and the great thing about it is that you can use substitutions for items you may not have or want to use.

For this ragout, you will need:

  • One large eggplant, diced
  • One small red onion
  • Three large cloves of garlic
  • One…

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Roast Chicken Dinner in an Instant

Chef 411

The rising increase of devices such as the Instant Pot and other similar devices in our kitchens has left many novice cooks scratching their heads. Many of these have been purchased on the spur of the moment, received as a holiday gift, or with the intent to eat more real foods at home. Whatever the reason may be, these devices are nothing to fear. Today I decided to experiment with a whole roasted chicken dinner for our Sunday supper.

Mise en place all ingredients before starting.

I have kept the recipe simple for the beginner cook (see below), including a small organic fresh chicken weighing in at 3.5 lbs., a pound of fresh green beans, 1.5 lbs. of small whole potatoes, olive oil, chicken stock, Kosher salt, ground black pepper, and Herbes de Provence.

Seasoned raw chicken.

First, you want to set your Instant Pot to the saute-more setting for…

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Quick Ratatouille for Two

Chef 411

Ratatouille was made famous in the movies, although its origin as a French Provencal peasant dish means you can make it as a weeknight dish. This version does not need a recipe, just use summer vegetables you have on hand or even better from your own garden. For those who prefer an exact recipe see the instructions below.

In a large saute pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil and add in your aromatics such as garlic and onions. Sweat the vegetables until tender and slightly caramelized.

Add in some rough chopped eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add in olive oil as needed if the pan becomes dry.

Caramelize the vegetables and saute until partially cooked.

Add in diced ripe tomato, thinly sliced bell peppers, bay leaves, and chopped basil.

Simmer the vegetable until tender. Taste and season with more…

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Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pork Chops

What's for Dinner Moms?

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pork Chops

It is Spring Break here and we are trying to make the most of it. Lots of Spring cleaning going on even though it feels like February instead of April. I want to get all the windows open but not quite time yet. So, we are washing walls, baseboards and cleaning out all the cupboards and closets. I love this time of year. Everything goes back where it belongs and I have my 5 pairs of scissors in the drawer instead of having to look in each room to see where my kids left them.

I am still making simple dinners during break because I want to spend more time doing things rather than cooking. My favorite small appliance, my slow cooker is going to be getting quite a bit of use this week.

Verdict:

This was a good meal but most of my family is still getting over being…

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Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Sauerkraut and Apple

What's for Dinner Moms?

Things in our house have been hectic so I am trying to use my slow cooker as often as possible. I don’t always care for meat cooked in the slow cooker as they easily overcook (like when I forget to set the timer and they cook for 10-12 hours) and though they are edible they fall apart and can be stringy or dry.  I have finally found the secret is generally closer to 6 hours on low for pork chops and thinner chicken breasts. Use your slow cooker timer, if yours has one to switch from cook to keep warm and your meat thermometer and check the temperature of the meat. You will be glad you did!

Can you believe Spring is finally here? I came out of a meeting the other night and usually I walk out into the hallway and look outside into the dark evening at 6:30…

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Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops

What's for Dinner Moms?

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops (2)

I can’t believe that everyone was home before 8:00 pm the other night. It was such a treat for all of us to be together at 6:00 pm and cooking dinner together. That hasn’t happened in quite a while.

One of my kids sets the table and gets the condiments ready while the other pours water for everyone. Sometimes the dishwasher needs to be unloaded too so one of them has to do that too. We are stirring and laughing. That is what is important to me. We are all in this small space together.

Even though dear daughter was grumpy last night, it is the end of the school year, we still were able to laugh and almost make her smile. If anyone else has a teen or tween sometimes almost getting them to smile is as good as it gets some days.

Verdict:

These were yummy! I am…

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Spicy Pork Ramen Noodles

What's for Dinner Moms?

Lots of kids across the south and some in the lower Midwest seem to be heading back to school. This is my second least favorite time of year only to New Year’s Eve. I am very sensitive to the passage of time and reflection on life during these times. It has been only about 2/3 of the year and I am feeling a bit blue lately. I noticed the trees were turning on the edges yesterday while we were out picnicing. Then the sunsets are getting earlier and earlier each night. The air at night is tinged with just a bit of chill. It is coming, Fall.

I think this year is even harder for me as we are at the point where we are needing to make some decisions with my parents about the future. I have my ideas what I would like to see but I must also…

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Chocolate Pecan Caramel Scones

CHEF BLOG

Chocolate and caramel….oh my!

Ingredients
2 cups flour                                                    pecans-1214697_1920
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
2 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, frozen
¼ cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
*salted caramel topping
*1/2 cup candied pecans, chopped

cocoa-174872_1920Method

Preheat oven to 400F radiant, or 370F convection.

Sift flour and cocoa, then combine with sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Grate frozen butter into flour mix and combine with a pastry cutter until medium meal stage.

In a separate bowl, mix together egg, cream and vanilla. Pour into flour and butter mix and combine gently with a spatula. Add in candied pecans.

Gently press dough on a floured surface by hand. Form either a…

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Mango Chicken Tarkari

Claudine's Home Recipes

Ingredients:

7 chicken thighs skinned

1 mango chopped

2 teaspoons of cumin

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 red & 1 white onion diced

1 tablespoon of garlic puree

1 thumb size ginger chopped

1 teaspoon of chilli powder

1 teaspoon of curry powder

1 teaspoon of peppercorns

3 tablespoon of ghee

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of salt

Freshly chopped coriander

2 tablespoon of coconut milk

Method:

In a bowl marinade the chicken with lemon juice, salt, & coriander set aside for 30 minutes.

Heat the ghee in a frying pan over medium heat.

Fry the peppercorns for 30 seconds.

Add the onions, & turmeric stir and fry until the onions are soft.

Add ginger, garlic, chilli powder, curry powder, cumin, stir add the mango fry for 3-5 minutes.

Transfer to a blender add coconut milk and blend to a paste.

Add chicken to the slow cooker and…

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Bison Chopped Sirloin Steak w/ Sauteed Mushrooms and Baked Potato

My Meals are on Wheels

Today’s Menu: Bison Chopped Sirloin Steak w/ Sauteed Mushrooms and Baked Potato

For Breakfast this morning I Scrambled a couple of Eggs and topped them with Sargento Shredded Reduced Calorie Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Then I made some Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns and toasted a slice of Aunt Millie’s Light Whole Grain Bread. I also had my morning cup of Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. I was starved this morning! 94 degrees and partly cloudy today, and very humid with rain showers moving in later. My allergies kept me in most of the day. Sneezing along with one bad headache. For Dinner tonight I prepared a Bison Chopped Sirloin Steak w/ Sauteed Mushrooms and Baked Potato.

For Dinner tonight it’s the always delicious SayersBrook Ranch Bison Chopped Sirloin Steak. I love this Chopped Steak. To start I preheated the oven on 400 degrees. To prepare it I’ll need McCormick Grinder Sea…

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Bison Steak, Eggs, Hash Browns, and Toast Breakfast is served – For Dinner!

My Meals are on Wheels

Today’s Menu: Bison Steak, Eggs, Hash Browns, and Toast Breakfast

To start my Morning off I Poached an Egg and served it on a Thomas Light English Muffin. I also had a cup of Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. After Breakfast I went and picked up Breakfast for Mom at McDonald’s. Back home did a couple of loads of laundry and did some light cleaning around the house. Had thunderstorms and a big change in the temperature, only a high of 79 degrees. Felt like having a Breakfast again for Dinner tonight. I prepared a Bison Fillet, one Egg Sunny Side Up, Hash Browns, and Toast!

For my Steak I fried up a SayersBrook 4 oz. Bison Fillet Mignon. I just seasoned it with some McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Peppercorn Medley. I then grabbed a small skillet, sprayed it with Pam Cooking Spray, and added a 1/2 tablespoon of Extra…

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Cheesy Italian Chicken

Nine times out of ten I have my weekly meals planned. I like to have my ideas down, a potential shopping list, and potential spin offs for left overs of ingredients. I usually have a general idea for the week. Now whether or not I get to everything is another story. Sometimes I have my ideal menu down pact but life gets in the way and its pushed to another day. That’s not a problem as long as I don’t find myself shopping a hundred times a week. Now today was one of the drowsy days that I was just tired and my brain chose not to function. Or maybe its been the entire week. Focusing is hard man. Today I took a nap. I’m not generally a nap taker but I crashed with my one year old because I couldn’t hang anymore. Now normally I take this time to…

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Double Garlic Fideo w/ Grilled Eggplant

It’s not easy to find the Fideo pasta but this dish has to be fantastic!

Fideo pasta is something really neat. At first glance it seems to be spaghetti just cut into eighth but, unlike most pasta this one is toasted in olive oil prior to drying. What’s also unique about it is it can be simmered in a sauce to cook since it is such a smaller, thinner noodle. For reference fideo is like the noodle you see in chicken noodle soup. Another fun fact fideo is often adapted to Spanish cooking for soups, broths and even paella!

So for this dish when I say double garlic I mean double garlic. I often see recipes that have 1 clove of garlic and think no way that flavor remotely comes through. Unless its like marinated, fermented, roasted. you get what I’m saying, its just not happening. No matter how much I respect a recipe if I see a clove ill probably add 3 minimum. If…

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Cajun Jambalaya

Jambalaya is something I’ve eaten a lot of and I loved since I was kid. I just love the mix of crunchy peppers and veggies. The assortment of meats and of course the kick of the spices. It really brings out my inner Newman. When I was a kid though it used to leave this ring around my lips that would last for days I used to eat it ridiculously spicy. That doesn’t happen anymore but I still sometimes wonder what that was about.

When I started making Jambalaya on my own I was kind of intimidated. It seemed to have so many ingredients but most importantly the rice! The thought of prepping all this stuff plus the expense of the ingredients led me to some concerns . I had to nail the rice. When I was just learning to cook I was so intimidated i’d make boil in bag…

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Hoisin and Beer Marinated Pork Chops

I tend to over do it when I go to specialty markets. The over excitement of it all always gets me. I’ve even gone so far as to picking up a hand basket from the front instead of a cart to try and keep things at a minimum. The way I shop sometimes you’d think I was either a tourist and ill never see the store again or its like its going about of business and I must buy everything . With that being said I have a lot of seasoning and spices from a lot of specialty places and that keeps things fun. But most importantly it helps me become familiar with ingredients and helps me think about them in different ways.

Recently on my adventures into specialty stores I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone. So even if I cant read the bottle I use some context…

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Porkchops w/ Whiskey Red Onions and Apple Sauce

It takes a lot to get me excited about pork if I’m being honest. Being a steak kinda girl most of the time I’m thinking why not just eat steak. Naturally, I occasionally do crave porkchops so I obviously know that includes its companion gravy and mash potatoes. Sometimes I don’t actually feel compelled to change up pork chops and gravy too too much. But I’ve been sitting on this recipe for a while. I wrote it into my food journal a while back when I thought it up and figured next time I have the craving I’ll try it out. I thought the recipe was delicious the original recipe had cinnamon in it and I’m so glad I left it out. It also inspired me for a another future recipe. So stay tuned for that. This is one of the best gravy’s I’ve ever made the red onions absolutely…

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Apple Brined Fried Turkey Legs

As a kid I only ever had turkey during the holidays or at the renaissance festival. If I had it during non holidays it was in the form of lunch meat for sandwiches and that’s really about it. Basically I saw turkey as a treat and I really still do. Turkey to me kicks off the holiday season. On the downside that means you’re not practicing with turkey regularly so when it comes to the big day of a holiday that can be a lot of pressure. So I avoid whole birds during the rest of the year and if I do make my own turkey its drumsticks or breasts, not a whole 10lb turkey. That way I can experiment trying out new recipes and get more familiar with the bird. So this recipe was kind of a challenge for me in a learning something new, what I would do…

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Fudgy Brownies

meltingpotberlincom

A very good friend of mine is a veritable brownie monster. And for him, only a fudgy brownie is a good brownie! So when his birthday came, I decided to bake him a large tray of the chocolaty sweet. Turned out we all went to an Italian restaurant in the end…

But as the ingredients lay ready, it did not take me long to find the next opportunity. I am usually not much of a friend of chocolate desserts myself, although I love a piece of intensely dark, good chocolate. However, as so many times before in my life, I stand corrected. I fell absolutely in love with this recipe and the wonderfully moist, chewy, and – yes – fudgy little square of wonder that it guides you to let rise in your oven…

So – here’s to share 🙂

Sanni

Ingredients (for a 20×25 cmrectangular cake pan):

  • 300…

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