Friday, November 15, 2019

Cooking Show: Day-After Thanksgiving Recipes!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it wasn't difficult to come up with a theme for our recent cooking show.

Instead of preparing traditional recipes, however, I decided to focus on leftovers.

I need to confess that I actually roast a pre-Thanksgiving turkey, and perhaps make an extra batch of mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce as well, ensuring that there will be post-Thanksgiving leftovers...can you relate?  

I find it helpful to have a fridge full of leftovers because it makes meal-planning a cinch when I'm in the midst of my decorating frenzy during the days after Thanksgiving...

I was assisted by my friend, Maureen.  We made batches of No-Stress Cranberry Sauce and Make-Ahead Gravy.  This is a cooking show after all.  We felt the need to actually cook something before we started assembling our leftovers!

If you've never made homemade cranberry sauce, please give it a try!  I would usually strongly suggest making gravy using pan drippings, but a recipe like this one that you can make ahead before you even put the bird into the oven can certainly come in handy!

(Click on the highlighted titles to be taken to the recipes.)

One more phyllo tart recipe to add to the repertoire. FOUR ingredients!!! 

Great way to use your leftover cranberry sauce! And so easy to whip up a batch to fortify yourself during your post-Thanksgiving decorating frenzy (hint-hint).

If you're wondering what to do with leftover mashed potatoes, look no further!  Soooo good.  

Simply reheat your mashed potatoes and add your favorite toppings!

Fill them up, give them a quick sear, dip them into gravy.  A one-stop-shopping recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers!

Thank you for following along.  I hope that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving...

...and a very happy day after Thanksgiving as well!

Friday, October 11, 2019

"Meat Free Monday" Cooking Show!

Our most-recent episode of the cooking show featured recipes from Paul McCartney's Meat Free Monday cookbook.

We always try to have some type of theme to our shows.  Most of the time I play it safe and go with a seasonal theme; sometimes my cooking guest(s) will offer suggestions.

This time, however, I opted to go the surprise route.  My friend, Maribeth, was cooking with me and I happen to know that she adores Paul McCartney.  I thought I would surprise her by preparing recipes from his cookbook.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Cooking Show: Shrimp Francese and S'mores Ice Cream

I can't be the only one who feels like this summer flew by.  Happy Fall!

We filmed an episode of the cooking show last week, and decided to feature a couple of recipes that will help ease our transition into fall before we are surrounded by pumpkin spice EVERYTHING.

Not that pumpkin spice is a bad thing, it's just that I usually spend the entire month of September in denial...and lemon-infused Shrimp Francese over linguine and S'mores ice cream loaded with toasted marshmallows and graham crackers are high-octane fuel for denial!

My friends, Kerry and Kelly, assisted me.  We were in agreement that the following recipes are keepers!

Incredibly fresh-tasting thanks to the lemony sauce.  Absolutely delicious if I do say so myself!

The camera crew and Kerry, Kelly and I devoured every last bite, leaving just a tiny bit of room for dessert.

Seriously, if you have an ice cream maker and you love to make homemade ice cream, you have to give this a whirl!

It only takes two minutes to toast the marshmallows in your oven, and they are the key to this amazing concoction.  Can you tell by looking at this picture how perfect they are?  Crunchy-toasty on the outside, still soft and chewy on the inside.

Yes, we devoured every last bit of this as well!

(Click on the highlighted titles to be taken to printable recipes)

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Cooking Show: Breakfast!

We've filmed several cooking shows with a "Breakfast for Dinner" theme.

Recently, we finally filmed a show featuring breakfast recipes that are perfect for a quick a.m. breakfast!

My friend, Lisa, cooked alongside me.  She agreed that all of these recipes were quick and easy enough to prepare on even the most hectic of mornings.

Some of these recipes need a teensy bit of prep in advance...but if you've done the prep work, all you need to do is throw the ingredients together at breakfast time!

(Click on the titles to be taken to the printable recipes.)

Make the pudding the night before: stir chia seeds, agave syrup, salt and vanilla with a can of coconut milk.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, simply spoon the pudding into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings!

Ok, you don't have to make your own granola for the pudding bowls, but this is a cooking show after all.  We had to cook something!  

There are no special skills required to make granola.  If you can stir ingredients with a spoon, you can make granola...and it tastes sooo much better than pre-packaged granola!

No advance prep needed for this frozen, slushy smoothie.  There are five ingredients.  Place them into your blender and blend.  Done.

If you're unfamiliar with açaí berries--and have somehow managed to avoid the seemingly endless bombardment of news articles touting the health benefits of this superfood--click here if you would like to learn more.

I mix my own seasoning (salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder) and keep it handy for when I make this recipe. 

Mix the seasoning ahead of time! While the bread toasts, mash an avocado and stir in lemon juice and a pinch of the seasoning blend. Spread on the toast and sprinkle with cilantro.  

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Cooking Show: Breakfast for Dinner, Part III

It's been a while since we've filmed a show with a "Breakfast for Dinner" theme (click here and here to be taken to recipes from the previous shows).  I was joined by my friend, Maureen. We did our best to prepare a few breakfast recipes that are also great at dinnertime!

I love breakfast recipes, but I don't typically have time to make them in the morning hours. At dinnertime, however--when I've usually put aside the time to actually cook something--I find that making breakfast can actually save time, because many breakfast recipes require less time to prepare than traditional dinner recipes.

(Click on the recipe title to be taken to the printable recipe.)

Layered with hash browns, ham, eggs, veggies and cheese!  

These are one of my favorite wraps.  I would eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Or breakfast, lunch AND dinner!

You could serve this topped with maple syrup, whipped cream...or ice cream...

The perfect choice if you're feeling like you might want to mix up a special fruity drink to go with your breakfast-dinner!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Cooking Show: Soup's On! Chicken Florentine w/Pasta, Loaded Potato and Egg Drop Soup

We recently filmed an episode of the cooking show featuring soup recipes.  

My friend, Lisa, joined me.  Lisa and I both agree that soup is one of our favorite things to make when the temperatures dip!

Make this soup if you're looking for a change from traditional chicken noodle!  Comforting and creamy, thick and hearty.  Mmmmm.

(Click on the title to be taken to the recipe)

Minimal prep required!  Place chopped potatoes, scallions and chicken broth into your slow cooker and forget about it for 6 hours.  Puree it, stir in cream and cheddar and you're done!

All that's left to do is add a few toppings. Don't forget the toppings!

I had never tasted egg drop soup before I decided to give it a go for this show.  I googled it and read a few reviews, trying to put together a recipe that kept the components of positive reviews and omitting things that I wasn't sure about (many recipes listed yellow food coloring as an ingredient...hmmm).

Since I've never had egg drop soup other than this one, I can't tell you how it compares to the egg drop soup that you may be used to!  But I will say that I think this soup is FABULOUS.  I wish the cameras had recorded when Lisa and I were taste-testing for seasoning.  She also had never tried egg drop soup, and when she tasted her first spoonful her eyes flew open and she exclaimed, "WOW! I was not expecting this to be so flavorful!"

If I haven't already swayed you into giving this soup a try, here's one more reason: it only takes 15 minutes to prepare.  

Yes, you read that correctly!  FIFTEEN minutes. From the time you stir your broth, ginger and soy sauce together on your stovetop to the moment you take your first spoonful.  Fifteen minutes is all it takes!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Cooking Show: Bahama Mama Drinks, Cajun Shrimp Pasta and Valentine's Day Baking

You could say that our recent cooking show was a mish-mash of recipes.  My friend, Amy cooked with me.

We were all business as we tried to wish away our winter doldrums with cajun shrimp pasta and a tropical cocktail.

We were in a party mood, however, by the time we finished cooking our desserts!  Valentine's Day is right around the corner, so we prepared a couple of recipes featuring my favorite combination: chocolate and raspberries.

(Recipe titles are printable links; click on the title to be taken to the recipe!)

Amy and I both agreed that we can't wait for this cold weather to end!  We sipped this drink with our eyes closed and imagined that we were somewhere tropical.

Just enough spice to warm you up during this cold weather! 

Amy and I made this into a heart shape to fit with our Valentine's Day theme.

Make it into any shape that you want, or leave it whatever shape the pastry happens to be, just please MAKE THIS.

It is so easy to make and it's SO GOOD!

It was impossible to decide which dessert recipe to give you so I decided to make both.  

Please don't let my horrid photography skills deter you from making this.  Ignore the ugly picture!  

After we finished filming, this dish was quickly snarfed down. Just imagine slices of buttery, pillowy soft brioche bread, crispy on the outside, with a warm center of creamy white chocolate mascarpone and sweet raspberry.  

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Cooking Show: 'Tis the Season! Last-Minute Gifts from Your Kitchen

Our recent cooking show featured treats for gifting.

'Tis the season, correct?

Are you interested in recipes that you can prepare, package and have on hand when you have a last-minute need to bring a friend a homemade treat?

It was only fitting that my friend, Maribeth, cooked alongside me. I vividly remember the first time she came to my house, approximately 20 years ago.  I had invited all of the moms from my son's preschool class for an end-of-the-year celebration.  She arrived with a bag of homemade dog treats. My dog, Rosie, eagerly devoured them.

She's continued to supply my dogs with treats throughout the years. Always thoughtfully packaged, always eagerly devoured.

Here's a photo from a batch of treats I made after we filmed the show.  I'm confident that if you make these treats, the odds are overwhelmingly in your favor that your dog will enjoy them.

If you are able to watch the show, however, you'll witness how the recipe didn't cooperate during filming.  Was it a case of being camera shy, or maybe the ingredients were slyly having a laugh at our expense as we tried to roll and mold the uncooperative dough into bone-shaped treats?

They were certainly drier and crumblier than any batch that either Maribeth or I had ever made.  The best thing I can say is that packaging them in a polka dot bag with festive cupcake liners stapled over the top helped to disguise their ugliness. But we had the last laugh, because you can see by this video that my dogs still thoroughly enjoyed the defective treats:

There was a moment of confusion where they both tried to snarf down the same treat. We sorted that out, and after I stopped filming Clyde adorably picked up his empty plate and sat down in front of me asking for another treat. 

I suppose the takeaway from our mishap is that I am telling the truth when I claim that there are plenty of perfect cooking shows to watch, but if that's your goal and you're watching my show, then you should probably change the channel. 

Or perhaps the lesson is not to give up if a recipe turns out differently than expected?  Maribeth and I both knew that there was something off about the recipe.  We stubbornly continued and the finished product was no worse for the wear.

Nah.  My actual thoughts?  It's true--dogs will eat anything.

Thankfully, Maribeth and I were able to prepare ourselves a cocktail to distract us from the dog treat mishap.

However, we couldn't come up with a clever name for our cocktail.  Dan the Awesome Cameraman seemed to be on-point as he started saying, "Rudolph's Red Raspberry..." but his thoughts ended there.

Maribeth and I both drew blanks.  The best I could come up with was "Festive Crangria."  So I googled it to see how original my thinking was and I was greeted with "Did you mean festive SANGRIA?"

No, Google, I did mean CRANGRIA, I'm trying to be clever by combining cranberries and sangria and apparently I'm so clever that it doesn't exist. (However, after scrolling down the page I did find a few links for crangria which differed from my recipe.)

I know, technically this is not a last-minute gift from your kitchen but it makes a nice refreshment to sip on as you prepare the other recipes!

I wish I could post a clip of Maribeth's reaction when she took her first sip of this cocoa.  Her eyes flew open wide and she exclaimed something like, "Oh, LORD, is this GOOD!"

I believe that if you make this mix it's quite possible that you will never buy prepackaged cocoa ever again.  It's that good.  And it took us about 30 seconds to combine the ingredients for the mix.  You can click the above link for the printable recipe, or you can save yourself that extra effort and simply mix together 1 cup each of non-dairy coffee creamer (powder), nonfat dry milk, sugar, milk chocolate chips and 2/3 cup of cocoa powder.  There you go.  Five ingredients, stirred together and your mix is done.  To serve, stir 1/4 cup of the mix into 1 cup of hot milk (or hot almond milk, which is truly a spectacular choice).  Top with mini marshmallows, whipped cream, or cinnamon sticks.  Or any combo thereof.

Transfer the mix into mason jars topped with festive fabric wrapped with a ribbon. You now have a supply of homemade gifts that is possibly the tastiest hot cocoa mix that the lucky recipients will ever have!

Here is another treat that you can make and transfer into fabric-topped mason jars for gifting.  

If you don't set aside enough of this toffee for your own household, there's a chance that your husband will be asking you if he can open up one of the fancy jars of toffee that he just saw. You will have to tell him that it's a gift for a special friend. Oh, wait, that's the conversation I had with MY husband a week after I made a batch.  Hide the fancy jars that you want to give as gifts. Nobody in your house will be tempted to open them if they can't find them.

The oreos add a nice texture as well as festive color to this classic treat.  Be sure to have enough mason jars to package up yet another tasty offering from your kitchen!  

You'll be glad to have a supply of any of these tasty treats on hand when you are suddenly in need of a last-minute gift.  Click on the titles to be taken to the printable recipes!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Cooking Show: Gluten-Free Pasta Party!

I've been toying with the idea of a pasta-themed cooking show for a while.  I knew that I didn't want to do a run-of-the-mill show with a basic spaghetti/meatballs/tomato sauce menu, but other than coming up with a couple of different sauces I still couldn't figure out what else I could do to make it more interesting.

Enter my friend Joanie.  She agreed to cook with me for the show, and I told her about my idea for a pasta show featuring a couple of different pasta sauces.  She replied, "and how about using pasta that isn't wheat pasta?"


We could prepare the sauces, and then critique the gluten-free pastas.

We paired a creamy tomato sauce with chick pea spaghetti, and soy fettucine with an alfredo sauce.

First up was the soybean pasta Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli.

Heavy cream is a hallmark of classic Alfredo; however, I use light cream in my Alfredo sauce instead. Making this swap only sacrifices calories, not flavor! 

Click here for the printable recipe.

As promised, Joanie and I offered our critique of the soy pasta.  We were happy to be in agreement!  But that's about all that we were happy about.

The positives: 1. The pasta remained firm in texture.
                        2. It only took about 2 minutes to cook the pasta 
The negatives: 1. There was no flavor at all to the pasta.  It did not even retain the slightest
                            bit of salty flavor from the salted water that it was boiled in.
                         2. The pasta did not hold the sauce at all.  It slid right off and pooled on the plate.

I would not recommend soy pasta!

Next on the menu was chickpea Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce.

This is a very simple, quick, flavorful red sauce.  The addition of a bit of cream at the end gives it a nice, rich texture.

Click here for the printable recipe.

Once again, Joanie and I were in agreement as we critiqued the chickpea pasta.

The positives: 1. It was very flavorful!
                        2. It held the sauce very nicely.
                        3. Chickpea pasta has about 3 times as much protein as traditional pasta!

The negatives: 1. It doesn't turn entirely soft and mushy, but it does get starchy-soft on the
                             surface.  It still retains a bit of a bite...but if you prefer a true al dente pasta
                             you would probably be disappointed.

We did not prepare these drinks on-camera; however, if you watched the show and noticed Joanie and I sipping these delightful concoctions and you're wondering what they were, click here for the recipe!