Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tropical Spring Fruit Salad with Fresh Mint

                                        -Tropical Spring Fruit Salad With Fresh Mint-      
This beautiful Fruit Salad really says Spring to me..The vibrant colors and yummy flavors are to die for, not to mention you could eat the whole bowl and not feel so bad! Its refreshing and light and honestly what I came up with when I opened my fridge this morning! You don't have to stick to the fruit in this recipe although I think its a pretty great mix..get creative and do what you have on hand...or get out to your local market and buy the fruit I chose to will be so happy you did! Happy Spring!!

Spring Fruit Salad
   1 Cantaloupe
3 Plums
   3 Oranges
3 Pears
              1/2 Cup of dried pineapple
  1 Cup Red Grapes  
                    1/4 cup Pineapple Orange juice
                1/4 Cup Fresh mint Chopped

Cut Cantaloupe, Pears, Plums and Oranges in uniform size. Place  fruit in a medium size bowl.Add Dried Pineapple and the  Red grapes then the Chopped mint....Pour The 1/4 Cup of  OJ & Pineapple juice over entire fruit salad and toss! The OJ & Pineapple Juice will  preserve your fruit from turning brown, & It makes a lovely medley of flavors  too... I  also embellished the top with  Mint sprigs ....It really makes this salad extra pretty..Pour into  little cups run to the silverware draw grab a spoon and indulge!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sweet-n-Spicy Chicken with Mango Salsa-n-Corn Bread

I was recently asked to do some recipes for March Madness...What the heck is March Madness
was my question?..Let me just tell you , Basketball was just something I didn't pay much attention too. Now I have a reason...FOOD!!! & any reason to create recipes is OK with me..So here is one that you can enjoy in front of the TV during what else but March Madness!!!!!

                                                                             - Mango Salsa-
                                                                               1/2 Red Onion
                                                                               1 Red Pepper
                                                                               1 Yellow Pepper
                                                                               1  6oz Container of Feta Cheese
                                                                               2 Jalapeno Peppers   
                                                                               1 lime
                                                                               1-20 oz Jar Sliced Mango   
                                                                               1/3 Cup of fresh parsley chopped
                                                                               1 tsp Olive Oil
                                                                                Salt & Pepper                                             

Chop all veggies& the mango uniformly then place in a medium bowl add Feta cheese,parsley,Olive Oil salt & pepper. Toss gently next squeeze the  juice from  lime and pour over salsa ,cover and refrigerate until your ready for use.
                                                    Sweet and Spicy Chicken Sliders on Corn Bread
                                                                      3 -Chicken Breast
                                                                      1-Cup of Orange Juice
                                                                      1-6 oz Container plain Yogurt
                                                                      2 tbs Red Pepper Flakes
                                                                   1 Pkg Thoma's Corn Bread Muffins
                                 ( If you cant find ,you may use corn bread slices bought made)                      
       Pour all ingredients in a bowl ,whisk yogurt and OJ add the chicken.Marinate for 4 hrs when done marinating place either in a grill pan of an outdoor grill and cook for 6-8 min each side next
                  Toast Corn bread ,place chicken slices on toasted corn bread, add Salsa enjoy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Creamy Roasted Pepper & Sausage Lasagna Rolls

Sunday night Dinners are a must with my family, Its our chance to catch up, see everyone and have great food and a few laughs. With a family of amazing cooks its hard to think of something new and exciting to bring... This week I wanted to bring something easy but super yummy and of course Italian (even though I'm not) This is the recipe I came up with hope you make and enjoy this one as much as we did!

1- 9 oz  box of Barilla Lasagna Noodles(rolled flat like homemade)
1 pkg Garlic &Asiago cheese chicken sausage
1 -8oz jar roasted red peppers
1& 1/2 cups shredded Parmigiana cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 pkg of baby spinach leaves
6-oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1cup of milk
1/2 cup of freshly chopped parsley
4-cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of olive oil 
1/2 cup of chicken stock 
2 tbsp of butter
1tbsp of flour

fill a 4 quart pot with water cover and bring to a boil, when water comes to a boil add  lasagna noodles and cook for three minutes remove promptly  then run cool water over the noodles .Place a few paper towels just damp with water on the counter and lay noodles out flat until your ready to use them. Using the same pot add chicken stock, butter and milk bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of shredded parmesan  whisk until melted, next  add the tbsp of flour to a bowl with enough water to create a paste pour  flour mixture into cheese sauce and whisk vigorously until sauce thickens . Set aside until your ready to use

Pour  2 tbsp of Olive oil in saute pan ,saute garlic cloves and two tbsp of parsley in a saute pan just until garlic is fragrant, remove chicken sausage casing  and add to garlic and olive oil. Cook until no longer pink (like ground beef) add 1/2 of the jar of roasted red peppers rough chopping them first just warming them through & Set aside

Gather all of your cheeses , Pour Ricotta the egg ,remaining parsley and 1/2 cup of  parmigiana into a big bowl and mix well. Next place the lasagna noodle on your counter , Scoop 1 tbsp of ricotta mixture , place it in the center of noddle then a 2 tbs of the chicken sausage mixture and spread evenly over noodle and roll. Repeat until all sausage& Cheese mix is used

 Pour  1/2 cup of the cheese sauce in a prepared 9x9 pan. Add rolled lasagna noodles next placing them side by side. Cover with remaining cheese sauce chopped Roasted red peppers & parsley if you wish. Bake @ 375 for 45 minutes.. this seems like lots of steps but its super easy! You can make this in no time TRUST ME!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Italian Club....

The Italian Club Sandwich
6 Slices of Pancetta
1/2 of a 12oz Jar of Roasted Red Peppers
1 cup of Baby Spinach or Arugula
2  Chicken Breast  (from a rotisserie chicken)
3 slices Tuscan Pane Whole Wheat Bread
3 slices Smoked Provolone Cheese
1 tbs Mascarpone Cheese
1 tbs Balsamic Vinegar

Fry Pancetta in a pan as if you were cooking bacon , and set aside , then slice the two chicken breast diagonally leaving skin on .Remove the red peppers  from the jar and slice uniformly. Toast the whole wheat pane bread... next whisk balsamic vinegar & mascarpone Cheese in a bowl .  Gather all ingredients..start layering .. in this order Toasted bread, Balsamic-cheese spread (or condiment of your choice) Provolone Cheese , Pancetta, Baby Spinach-or Arugula & Chicken

Repeat all above steps to make a "club" sandwich  if you wish you may leave  it as a single layer...if not open wide!! This sandwich is so great and so so pretty! Simple for warm spring, summer nights like we've had lately......Happy first day of spring! hope you try this soon....

Monday, March 12, 2012

...Black Forest Cherry stuffed Cupcakes...

...Black forest Cherry stuffed cupcakes...

1 pkg Devil food cake mix
1 can of cherry pie filling
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1-8 oz container whipped cream cheese
2 cups of powdered sugar
1-4oz bar of semi sweet chocolate
1-8oz container of whipped  cream

Prepare cake batter as directed ...with the exception of instead of 1& 1/4 cups of water.. I used 1 cup of water & 1/4 cup of chocolate syrup..& Instead of regular oil..I always use olive oil..I know sounds expensive but believe me its worth it! I also added the 1 tsp of Almond extract...use eggs as directed.

bake for 20-25 minutes @ 350. Let cakes cool on counter ,prepare cream cheese mix as follows
in a medium bowl ..mix on low speed with handheld blender the cream cheese and powdered sugar , next open cherry filling..when cupcakes are cooled , use a spoon and scoop out a small section of the center of the cupcake, fill with 1tsp of cream cheese mix and 1 tsp of the cherry pie with whipped cream & chocolate curls ( which i did by "peeling "the chocolate bar with a veggie peeler)  top with a cherry for garnish..there is nothing difficult about this recipe...I would even say it's simple..but wow!!! Looks so pretty and bakery bought...give it a try !!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Baked Brie with Peach Jam in Puff Pastry...

            Creamy Brie Cheese , Sweet yummy Peach Jam..try this tonight and indulge....its heavenly
                                                              1 sheet frozen puff pastry
                                                              1/4 of 12oz Jar Peach Jam
                                                              1 -5" Brie Cheese
                                                              1 tbsp butter              

Pre -heat oven to 350, Cover a baking sheet with Parchment Paper.Allow frozen Puff Pastry to come to room temperature. Flour rolling surface, Roll dough to a 12" square. Place rolled puff pasty on prepared baking sheet. Cut 1/4 off the top of your Brie Cheese making a shallow indentation for the Jam,  place cheese on puff pastry fill top of cheese with Jam, fold remaining dough over cheese& Jam, you may trim dough if you have excess... press together to seal. Brush with melted butter & bake for 30 minutes!
                                 serve with buttery crackers & Fruit!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sweet Pear , Bluberry & Gorgonzola Salad...

          Sweet Pears...Blueberry...Gorgonzola Salad...
                           Not only is this beautiful its really yummy!
So today I had 20 minutes to eat lunch and rush back to work.. being on vacation was great ,and we had the best time ever!!! Skiing, tubing, Ice skating ,swimming in the pool and enjoying our beautiful rental condo..

But Monday came and its back to business : )  and a quick lunch was to be had...I love all of these ingredients and believe it or not was lucky enough to have them all in the fridge...I hope you enjoy this recipe , have it tomorrow for a quick will love it!!
                      1 bag baby spinach
                      3 Pears(dried or not)
                      1 pkg dried blueberries
                      1 8oz container of Gorgonzola
                      Poppy seed dressing

              wash & spin dry baby spinach, set aside
   slice pears on a mandolin for drying ,of course you can use dried pears that You can purchase at your local grocery store.

I had dried some fruit that was on the brink of spoiling & keep it in  an air tight container . Drying fruit is really easy, just slice thin  then place on a cookie sheet, bake @ 170 for 6 hrs.

Place spinach on a pretty platter ,sprinkle Gorgonzola add sliced pears & dried blueberries.Top with poppy seed dressing and enjoy!