Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday Morning Smoothie - Morning Glorie

Smoothie Tip: You don't need a recipe to make a healthy smoothie.  Just start out with the 2 - 3 fruits you like, water and a handful of spring mix or spinach or any lettuce. Just remember to refrain from using processed ingredients.

Morning Glory
2 Servings
50% (1 cup) spinach
50% (1 cup) fruit, frozen
½ avocado
½ cup mango, frozen
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1½ cups water 
Dice and freeze any fresh fruit of your choice (apple, banana, pears, etc.)
Peel, dice and freeze the mango.
Place the water and dried cranberries in blender and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, add the spinach and avocado puree until creamy.  Add the frozen fruit and more water if needed then puree until the desired texture is reached.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas 2014

On the Menu

2 Servings


10 ounces baby spinach

8 – 10 large strawberries cut in 1/8, lengthwise

¼ cup almond slithers

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

¼ bunch chives cut into 1 inch long pieces


2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

¼ cup orange juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


Rinse spinach and spin in a salad spinner or drain in a colander then blot with paper towels to remove excess water.

Whisk together dressing and set aside.

Toss spinach with enough dressing to lightly coat. 

Add the strawberries and almonds and toss again.

Place on platter and top with feta cheese and chives.
 Citrus Dill Salmon Fillet
6 – 8 Servings
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup parsley, chopped
¾ cup fresh dill, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 – 8 salmon fillets
¼ cup raw almonds, slithers
6 - 8 Lemon slices

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a bowl, whisk together the juices, salt, and pepper.  Add the cilantro, dill and garlic whisk until all is combined.
Pour mixture in a baking dish and place the fillets in the dish.  Cover dish with foil or plastic wrap and let salmon marinate 1 – 2 hours in the refrigerator, turning once.
Remove salmon from refrigerator and let it sit for 30 minutes or come to room temperature before placing in the oven.
Turn fillets again and top with almonds and lemon slices place in oven and bake, uncovered for 20 minutes.
 Honey Glazed Christmas Ham
Serves 10 – 12

5-6 lb. fully cooked ham
¼ cup whole cloves
¼ cup pure maple syrup
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
1 ½ cups honey
1 tablespoon butter
 ¼ cup brown sugar
 ¼ cup orange juice
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place ham cut side down in a foil-lined roasting pan.
Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern
lace the whole cloves in the scored intersections.
Combine  syrup, allspice, honey, butter, brown sugar, orange juice, and pepper in the top half of a double boiler, and heat until the butter melts and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally.
Keep this glaze in the top of a double boiler, over hot water, while baking ham.
Brush glaze over ham, then cover with foil.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325 degrees, basting ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the warm honey glaze.
During the last 5 minutes of baking time, remove the foil and turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze.
Watch the ham carefully during the broiling time! Remove the ham from oven, cover with foil, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. 
  Roasted Yams with Apricot Sauce
6 – 8 Servings

3 pounds yams, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 cup apricot nectar
1 medium orange, juiced
2 teaspoons grated orange peel [grate orange before juicing]
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger apricot nectar, orange juice and grated orange peel in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat to medium low, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly until sauce is thick.  Let sauce cool to room temperature.
Place the diced yams and pecans into a baking dish, and pour the cooled sauce over them.  Mix until all is coated.
Bake in a preheated oven uncovered for 45 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. 
Macaroni and Cheese - for Holidays Only 10 - 12 Servings
1 pound box elbow macaroni
4 quarts water
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon basil, ground
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cups (1 lb.) pepper jack cheese
6 cups (1 1/2 lbs.) NY or WI  Xtra-Sharp cheddar cheese


Heat oven 350 degrees
Cook macaroni until it's al dente:  In a large pot, pour in 4 quarts of water, add salt, granulated garlic and granulated onion and bring to a boil.
Once water is boiling, add the macaroni, stir and bring the water back up to a boil.
Remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let the pot sit covered and undisturbed until the cooking time stated on the box is reached. Approximately 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, add the milk and butter heating just long enough to melt the butter.
Once the cooking time has elapsed on the macaroni, drain it and return it to the pot.

Add the paprika and basil and mix thoroughly.
Add the warm milk and mix thoroughly.  Add the cheese and mix until well combined.
The cheese does not necessarily have to be melted, just make sure it is well distributed
throughout the dish. Mixture should be moderately moist, if needed add more milk.
Taste for flavor and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Transfer mixture to a baking dish.
Cover dish with plastic wrap and then cover with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the
foil and plastic wrap and bake uncovered another 15 minutes or until the casserole is slightly
browned on the top and all of the milk is absorbed.

Rosemary Lemon Green Beans Almandine
8 Servings

2 pounds green beans, trimmed and sliced diagonally into 2-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
⅓ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper

In a saucepan add the green beans and bay leaf.  Bring water to a boil. Cook until beans are tender-crisp, about 6 minutes.
Drain and remove bay leaf.
Heats a sauce pan add almonds and dry roast almonds until they are slightly brown.
Add olive oil, lemon zest and juice, rosemary and green beans, season with salt and pepper.
Mix thoroughly and for a few minutes then transfer to a serving dish.
 Sautéed Red Cabbage
6 Servings

3 pounds red cabbage- coarsely shredded
1 lemon. juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion sliced thin
2 granny smith apples, cored, sliced thin
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup 100% maple syrup [grade B]
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Squeeze the lemon juice into a large pot of boiling water then add the lemon. The juice is important as it seals the color in the cabbage.
Add the cabbage to the boiling water and boil approximately 3 minutes then drain thoroughly, discard the lemon.
In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and onions; sauté stirring frequently until onions are caramel in color.
Add the apples and cook until apples are slightly softened.
Add the juice from the orange, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, pepper,bay leaf and cloves, mix thoroughly.
Mix in cabbage and cook 13 minutes stirring frequently. 
Remove bay leaf before serving.
Red Velvet Cake

2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon distilled vinegar

1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons all purpose four
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can of angel flake coconut
½ cup black walnuts, crushed

For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder.
In another bowl, add the food coloring, buttermilk, vanilla extract and vinegar and mix thoroughly..
Pour 2 cups of the flour mixture into the creamed butter, mix and add 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture. Continue mixing alternating between the flour and buttermilk mixtures until all ingredients are added.
Pour batter into 2 (8-inch) round cake pans, greased and floured.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before icing.

For the Icing:
Using a double boiler, whisk together the buttermilk and flour until smooth.
Cook until mixture is thick.  Refrigerate until cool [while cake is baking].
Once cake is done and you sit it aside to cool, start putting together your icing.
In a medium bowl, add butter make sure it‘s at room temperature or soft enough to cream. 
Then add the sugar, vanilla and cooled buttermilk mixture and mix or whisk until creamy.
Add coconut flakes and walnuts then mix thoroughly.
Once cake is cooled you can begin icing it. 
Spread icing  between layers and on top and sides of  cake.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sunday Dinner December 14, 2014

On The Menu

Applewood Smoked Chicken
4 – 8 Servings
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic granulated
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 whole chicken, cut into 1/8 
Applewood chips for smoking


In a medium size bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Rub the seasoning over the chicken. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Place wood chips in the smoking tray of the grill. If you don't have a smoking tray, you can make a packet out of aluminum foil and punch a few holes in the top of it with a fork and place directly on the hot coals.
Place the chicken on a hot grill over medium-heat with the meat side down. Grill over the wood chips for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Cover, this will keep in the smoke and to prevent oxygen from igniting the smoking wood. After 30 minutes turn the chicken to its opposite side. The juices near the bone should run clear. 

 Grilled Corn Salad
6 Servings
6 ears fresh corn, husked with silks removed
2 tablespoons canola oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
2 cups packed arugula
Lemon Dressing:
1 lemon, juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon chili
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion

Preheat grill or broiler to medium heat.
Rub corn with 2 tablespoons of canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil corn for 7 minutes or until ears are lightly browned. Remove from grill and let it cool. Cut the kernels off the cob and place it in a large mixing bowl along with the cherry tomatoes, red pepper, scallions, and arugula.
In a small bowl whisk together all the ingredients.
Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.

Broccoli with Garlic
6 Servings


2 large bunches of broccoli

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers

6 – 10 garlic cloves, halved

½ - 1 teaspoon sea salt


Cut broccoli into florettes, peel and dice the stalk into 1 inch pieces.

Place broccoli into a large pot of water and boil for three minutes.

Remove from heat and drain in a colander.  Discard the bay leaves.

Meanwhile in a large sauce pan heat the oil add the chili peppers and saute until peppers are slightly browned.

Add the garlic and saute until cloves are golden in color about 2 minutes.

Add the drained broccoli, sea salt and mix until broccoli is coated with the oil, and seasoning and the garlic is distributed throughout.

Serve hot.

 The Best Tomato Soup Ever 
10 – 12 Servings

¼ cup olive oil
½ cup chopped onions
⅔ cup chopped garlic
1 quart vegetable broth
2 quarts crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons basil, dried
¼ teaspoons salt – dependent upon type of broth used
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup fresh chopped basil leaves

In a large stock pot, heat the oil and saute the onions for 2 minutes, add the garlic and saute another minute.
 Add the vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, sugar, basil salt and pepper; cook 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Taste for season and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Remove from heat, stir in the cream then puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor.
If pureeing using a food processor, return pureed soup to the pot then stir in the fresh basil.