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Friday, May 4, 2018

Cooking Show: Spice is Nice! Fajita Rice, Cinco de Mayo Salad with Chicken, Ginger Soy Shrimp Salad and Frozen Mango-Peach Cocktails

Our recent cooking show featured recipes to wake up your taste buds.

A bit of spice makes everything nice! 

My friend, Maribeth, cooked with me and we covered all the bases with salads, festive rice, and a fruity, frozen concoction to wash it all down.

We've featured this recipe on a previous show, but it bears repeating!! Toss frozen mango chunks, simple syrup, lime juice, peach schnapps and ice cubes into a blender and minutes later you'll be sipping this tropical cocktail.  

Easy clean-up because you only need one pan! Rice, veggies, seasonings, broth, rotisserie chicken--stir it up, let it simmer, sprinkle with cheese...

 ...add your favorite toppings and voilà!

A fabulous combination of spicy/melty/creamy/YUM.

A meal that's easy to throw together if you're pressed for time! 

This has recently been the go-to salad in my house.  I marinate the chicken for 15 minutes (a simple mix of olive oil and spices) and while it's marinating I prep the salad and whisk together the dressing.

If you're in the mood for an Asian-inspired salad, we've got you covered!

Another quick salad where you're going to marinate the protein (in this case, shrimp) while you prep your salad and dressing.  A few minutes under the broiler is all it takes to cook the shrimp!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Cooking Show: Slow Cooker Ribs & Chili, Wedge Salad and Roasted Potatoes

We're still waiting here in New England for this seemingly endless winter to end.

Snow in April? Check.

Comfort food still on the menu? Check.

I've been looking forward to spring for months (since the first week of January), but until warmer temperatures actually arrive I'm still cooking comfort food and our latest cooking show menu featured a few favorites!

Fall-off-the-bone perfection.  When they're done, throw them onto your grill or stick them under the broiler for a minute or two to crisp them up!

Click here for the printable recipe.

Slow Cooker White Chili.   Perfect chili for a chilly day!

My friend, Amy, cooked with me and she has informed me that these are "Everyone's new favorite potato!"

They are so quick and easy to prepare.  No special skills required!

And finally....

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

I admit that this was my favorite recipe of the night.  Try this and you will agree that salad can be a comfort food!  Crunchy lettuce, creamy dressing and sweet tomatoes topped with crunchy pancetta.  What's not to love?

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Cooking Show: St. Patrick's Day Recipes

We filmed an episode of the cooking show last week.  

St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching, and given that Dan the Awesome Cameraman hails from the Emerald Isle, it seemed appropriate to feature recipes for a St. Patrick's Day celebration!

We started with a batch of Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur.  If you like Baileys® Irish Cream, you will love this recipe!

My friend, Maureen, was my co-chef for this show.  When we were setting up before the show, I poured her a shot from a batch I had already made.

I wish the cameras were running to capture the look on her face when she took that first sip!  All of a sudden her eyes popped open, like OH MY.  

No special skills are needed for this recipe!  Just pour all of the ingredients into a blender and five minutes later you will be having an OH MY moment of your own. 

My favorite moment came after we were done filming.  Dan the Awesome Cameraman took a bite of this bread, closed his eyes and said, "Ahhh, lovely!" in his lilting Irish brogue.

Click here for the printable recipe.

 And finally, Chocolate Guinness Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting .

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

These photos simply do not do this cake justice.  It is so chocolatey, so deep, dark and delicious.  And the frosting is the perfect combo of whipped and creamy.

If you make this cake, I promise that you will not be disappointed!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Cooking Show: It's a Wrap!

Our recent cooking show featured an assortment of wrap sandwiches--Southwestern, Italian and Asian-inspired.

Although each type of wrap has its own distinct flavor, the method of preparation was the same: start with shredded chicken (use a rotisserie chicken!), add assorted veggies, drizzle with a flavorful dressing.

Caprese Chicken Wraps with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. My favorite combo!

Asian Chicken Wraps with Ginger Teriyaki Dressing

Always a hit in my house.  Loaded with fresh, crunchy veggies, it will curb your craving for Chinese takeout and you can pat yourself on the back for making a healthier choice!

I unabashedly admit that this is my favorite.  Combine the chicken with the dressing, then customize the rollups with assorted add-ins--avocado, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce.  I'll take the works, please.

Butterscotch Pudding

Pudding from scratch, so creamy and so dreamy!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Cooking Show--Tomato Recipes

I feel like I beat this subject to death...but am I the only one who wants to skip right through winter and into summer?

I'm not even going to pretend that winter tomatoes can compare to summer tomatoes...but cooking with ingredients that remind me of summer is one way to beat the winter blues.  Bring on the tomato recipes!

So simple, yet so good!  The assorted tiny tomatoes are very sweet and flavorful, drizzled with a creamy buttermilk dressing...I can close my eyes and almost feel like summer is here.  Almost.

A couple of tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes in the dressing provide a big punch of flavor!

Creamy Tuscan Shrimp with Pasta

Another recipe where a handful of sun-dried tomatoes add a wallop of flavor!

My friend, Trish, was cooking with me and we discussed adding a few mushrooms in...we ultimately decided against this, but next time I make this recipe I'm planning on adding some 'shrooms!

 Oatmeal Sheetcake with Caramel/Coconut Frosting

Okay, this recipe certainly departs from our tomato theme, but Dan the Awesome Cameraman is a fan of all things sweet. We haven't filmed a dessert since November and I want to keep him happy!

This dense cake is oozing with cinnamon flavor, and the caramel topping (perfectly browned by placing the frosted cake under the broiler for a minute) adds a crunchy texture.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Recipes for the New Year

Happy New Year!

The idea for our latest cooking show was sparked during a recent trip to the supermarket.  Another shopper noticed the spaghetti squash in my cart and started asking questions:

"Is that a spaghetti squash? What are you going to make? How do you cook it?"

It only took me a few minutes to answer her questions.  It was her final comment that caused the rusty gears in my head to start turning: "It sounds easy enough.  I guess I just need to branch out and try new things."

Hmmm, I thought to myself, the next cooking show could revolve around that theme.  We all get stuck in a rut now and then.

Maybe you've never cooked spaghetti squash before, or maybe you're looking for a twist to your usual prep methods --like baking slices of eggplant parm individually, instead of frying and layering them casserole-style. My friend, Joanie, joined me for this show.  At the end of the night she declared, "I think I may have found my new go-to recipe for eggplant parm!"

It seemed fitting that we should pop open a bottle of bubbly to toast 2018! We added a handful of fresh raspberries and a few spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream to create Bubbly Raspberry Cocktails. Mmmmm.

Click here for the printable recipe.

We jumped right into preparing our first dish.  We made our sauce while the spaghetti squash was roasting, and then shredded the squash and served it right in the shells.

{{Are you laughing at these pictures?  I forgot to take pictures after we finished cooking! We were already digging in and filling our plates when I suddenly remembered that I needed to snap a few photos for this blog. Instead of asking everyone to freeze what they were doing so that I could grab my DSLR camera to try and take photos, I made do with my iPhone. On my best day, I take horrendous photos. THESE photos, however...yikes.  Please accept my apologies!}}

There is so much going on here.   Sautéed chicken cutlets, bow tie pasta, wild mushrooms.  The mushroom/wine sauce is heavenly...and crumbling crispy pancetta on top sends over the top!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Skip the frying and layering.  This recipe for eggplant parm is quick compared to the traditional method, and this platter was the one that was empty at the end of our cooking session!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cooking Show: Holiday Treats!

We filmed an episode of the cooking show last week.  'Tis the season, so I tried to feature recipes that are special enough for the holidays, but I didn't want them to scream, "CHRISTMAS!!" 

You can confidently prepare these recipes for a special occasion, yet they are easy enough to make that you may want to add them to your usual rotation!

 Cranberry-Pistachio Cake Bars

Fresh cranberries and whole pistachios add festive pops of red and green. There is no leavening agent in these bars (whipping the eggs provides the volume), and the combination of the dense texture, tart cranberries and crunchy sugar on top is a winning combination!

Click here for the printable recipe.

So simple to make: equal parts chocolate liqueur, salted caramel Baileys®, light cream and milk. 

You can prepare one or two in a cocktail shaker or make 'em by the pitcher like we did!  Dip the rims of the glasses into caramel syrup and toffee bits, add a swirl of chocolate syrup on the bottom of the glass. Don't forget the whipped cream on top!

I was sort of debating whether or not to use the toffee bits on the rims...the toffee has a tendency to slowly slide down the side of the glass.  Each and every one of us licked our glasses clean, however!

I may have used a spoon to fish out the bits that sank into the syrup in the bottom of the glass.

 Snow-Capped Molasses Cookies

This is one of those recipes where the results are so much more spectacular than the effort you put in!  

The batter doesn't require any chill time--just mix, scoop and bake. They are crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside and sweet with a hint of spice.  Dip them into white chocolate after they've cooled.  Cookie perfection!

Click here for the printable recipe.

 Gingerbread Dutch Baby Pancake

Incredibly easy and quick.  You will have the ingredients mixed and ready to go while your oven is still heating up.

 Festive Fruit Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Such a fabulous contradiction of flavors!  Sweet, sour, minty and a tiny drizzle of the vinaigrette really puts it over the top.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cooking Show: Oatmeal is NOT Boring!!

We recently filmed a cooking show with an oatmeal theme.  Good old-fashioned oats!

It seems like refrigerated oats have been an overnight sensation (see what I did there? tee-hee) for the past few years.

I simply can not reconcile cold, chalky refrigerated oats with the warm, creamy oats that I love. Don't even try to convert me. You may have managed to convince yourself that your overnight refrigerated oats are creamy, but if I truly want something cold and creamy I will reach for yogurt, thank you very much.

I've tried to embrace overnight refrigerated oats but I had to finally jump off of that bandwagon because one person's creamy is another person's chalky (hint: that other person is ME).  

Overnight oats in a slow-cooker, however?  Yes, please!!

Chop a couple of apples (no peeling necessary!), toss them into your slow cooker, measure in the remaining ingredients (no further prep work required) and stir.  Set your slow cooker to LOW and when you wake up your breakfast will be warm and waiting for you!  Give it another quick stir then add some nuts, raisins and a swirl of maple syrup.

Same minimal prep as the Apple/Cinnamon oats, but rather than chopping apples you need the special skill of opening up a can of pumpkin puree. Measure all of the ingredients into the slow cooker, stir, and let it cook while you sleep.

All that is required of you when you wake up is to stir it again...

...and add a few toppings.  Chopped nuts and raisins add nice texture!  Stir in a bit of brown sugar for sweetness, or add a swirl of maple syrup.

If you prefer your oats in the form of a muffin instead, we've got you covered!

If you're like me, you probably don't have time in the morning to bake a batch of muffins for breakfast.  I bake these muffins whenever my schedule allows and freeze them!  Pull them out of your freezer as needed, defrost them in your microwave (it only takes less than a minute), and now you have another quick (and warm!) breakfast item to add to your repertoire.

Packed with protein (thanks to peanut butter), these muffins get their sweetness from bananas and honey and are free of processed sugars. They can be gluten-free as well if you use gluten-free oats!

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

These are my favorite muffins!  Oats, applesauce, much yumminess in one muffin.  Click here for the printable recipe.