Sunday, October 7, 2012

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

We made this the night Chris and Kristy got engaged.  It was the first time I had ever made bread pudding and was surprised at how easy and delicious it was.


3 c. whipping cream
10 oz. white chocolate
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
8 egg yolks
1 loaf French bread, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces, dried in oven
2 tbsp. chocolate shavings

8 oz. melted white chocolate
3 oz. heavy cream

Heat whipping cream. Add melted white chocolate - I melted chocolate in the microwave but original recipe said to do it using a double boiler to avoid from scorching. When chocolate is melted, remove from heat. Heat milk, sugar, eggs and yolks until warm. Blend egg mixture into cream and chocolate mixture. Place bread slices in a baking pan. Pour 1/2 mixture over bread and let settle. (Let bread soak up mixture.) then top with rest of mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 275 degrees. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes until top is golden brown. Serve hot or cold. Top with sauce and sprinkle with chocolate shavings.
SAUCE: Melt white chocolate in double boiler. Remove from heat and mix in heavy cream. Spoon over bread pudding. NOTE: May be kept at room temperature.

Variation:  You could add any liquor to the sauce for a little extra kick.  I added a little rum to the sauce - similar to rum cake.  It was delicious. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thai Peanut Noodles


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into strips
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 ounces linguine noodles
  • 1 cup snow peas (could substitute broccoli)
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 cup baby carrots or thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 6 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce (more or less depending on heat preference)
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 0.5 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 medium limes, wedged


In a large skillet, saute chicken and veggies in oil. Cook the linguine to al dente in boiling water. Make the peanut sauce by whisking together all sauce ingredients in a bowl. Add drained noodles to chicken and veggies. Mix the sauce with noodles mixture. Cook about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with peanuts, limes, and cilantro for garnish.

Freezing Directions:

Prepare noodles as above. Do not add garnish. Allow to cool, then portion into freezer bags or containers. Seal, label, and freeze. To serve: thaw in fridge. Reheat in microwave in a covered, microwave safe bowl, or on low in a large skillet on the stovetop. Add a little water if noodles seem to gummy to help the reheating consistency. Serve with peanuts, limes, and cilantro for garnish.

Servings: 6

From Once a Month Mom

Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas

These are fantastic and perfect frozen ahead of time too!  They may be vegetarian, but you wouldn't know it.  Super satisfying and creative at the same time.  This below is for a double recipe.

-4 large sweet potatoes
-2 T. olive oil
-2 cloves garlic
-2 roasted green chilis
(or two 4 oz. cans chopped green chiles)
-2 cans black beans, rinsed
-3 large tomatoes
(or two 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes)
-2 T. chili powder
-salt & pepper
-4 C. salsa
-16 large tortillas
-1/2 red onion
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Peel your sweet potatoes, and chop them into 1-inch chunks.  Spread them out on ungreased cookie sheets in a single layer.  Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.  
Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Chop up your garlic, red onion, green chiles and tomatoes.  
After 20 minutes, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the garlic and green chiles and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the black beans, tomatoes, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the roasted sweet potatoes and let everything cook together for about 5 minutes.  While the filling is on the stove, prepare two 9×13 glass dishes by spraying lightly with olive oil spray, and coating the bottom with a light layer of salsa.
Grab your tortillas and set up a filling station.  Place a spoonful of filling into the middle of each tortilla, roll it up and place it seam-side down in your dish. Repeat until there are eight enchiladas per pan. Spoon any extra filling over the top.  Add 1 cup salsa and half of the chopped red onion to the top of each dish.  Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes. (At this point I put one in the oven and one in the freezer)
This recipe is perfect the way it is, but you can always change it up.
Vegan options:
-add sauteed onions
-add sauteed mushrooms
-add avocados
Vegetarian options:
-add cheese
-serve with sour cream
Meat-eater options:
-add shredded chicken, pork or beef.

From InspiredRD.

Curried Chicken and Jasmine Rice Soup

Fabulous dish I have made many times!  Such a refreshing version of chicken noodle soup.  It has pureed jasmine rice which thickens it beautifully and smells delicious.


  • several chicken tenders or breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced diagonally into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
  • 1/3 cup jasmine rice
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


Combine the chicken, carrots, bay leaf, and 3 cups of broth in a crockpot.   Start to cook on high for 3 hours.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in another saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt; cook until the onion is soft, 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and the remaining 3 cups broth. Increase the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the rice falls apart, 15 to 20 minutes. 

Puree the rice mixture with an immersion blender until smooth (or use a regular blender, then return to the pan).  In the crockpot, take a fork and shred the now-cooked chicken.  Pour the rice mixture into the crockpot with the chicken and carrots.  Continue to cook for 1 hour if desired.  Toss in the chopped herbs and serve the soup with lemon wedges. 

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped spring or sweet onion
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
5 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and thyme; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add artichokes; sauté 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add broth and quinoa; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 18 minutes or until liquid is completely absorbed.

2. Remove pan from heat. Stir in parsley, rind, juice, and salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
From: Cooking Light

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hot Chicken Salad

So delicious and easy for parties!  We had at my son's christening luncheon at Aunt Sister's house.

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 cups sliced celery 
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion 
  • 1/4 cup chopped  roasted red pepper 
  • 1 package mushrooms chopped  
  • (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded white Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 cup refrigerated shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Bake slivered almonds in a shallow pan at 350° for 5 to 10 minutes or until toasted.
  2. Stir together almonds, chicken, and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together 1 cup Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, and lemon juice until blended; stir into chicken mixture. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Cheddar cheese, panko crumbs, and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Colombian Arepas

Nothing brightens a Monday like coming home to a mini cooking session organized by your fabulous nanny!  Mrs. Elsy brought these Colombian treats, corn cakes called Arepas, to us last week for breakfast.  Today she came with all of the ingredients to teach me!

1 1/2 cups corn meal (hers is from a Tiendo Latino)
1 1/2 cups warm/hot water
~ 1 tsp salt
~ 1/2 - 3/4 cup Latino Queso, shredded, from grocery

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with hands into a dough.  Should get to the point of not being sticky but able to be formed into balls as shown above.  Flatten slightly.

Warm pan on stove over medium.  Rub a little butter on the pan and get hot.  Cook arepas for 5-15 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tomato Pie

Every summer Fred grows tons of tomatoes ~ we eat them almost every night ~ Here are two great ways to serve them !

Simple Tomato Pie
1 Pillsbury pie crust slightly baked.
Onion, chopped and sauteed
4-5 large red tomatoes, sliced
2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup Mayo

Layer and bake 350 until bubbly and brown, about 20-30 minutes

Another Favorite is Ina's Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
Good olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dry white wine 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet)
1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves


Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border. Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper.

Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Best Shrimp & Grits

On mothers day I had a brunch celebration at our house to honor my mom and mother-in-law. I love it when we are all togeather!! The menu consisted of shrimp and grits, ham biscuits, fruit with baileys dipping sauce, mimosa's, and bloody mary's. I have to say, the shrimp and grits were the best I have ever had.  It started from a recipe, but I modified it to add white wine, tomatoes, changed the cheese, and added more sauce.  Here it is below:
Shrimp and Gris
(serves 8)

Ingredients:4 cups water

1 (29 ounce) can chicken broth

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 cups regular grits (I used quick grits and they were fine)

2 cups Gouda cheese

4 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

6-8 slices bacon

2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup flour

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 cans petite diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cup sliced green onion

5-6 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 -2 cup white wine

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

2 to taste lemon wedge


Grits:  Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in grits; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thickened; add Gouda cheese and next 4 ingredients; set aside but keep warm.

Sauce & Shrimp:
- Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lay down slices of bacon.  Cook in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until it has reached the desired crispiness (Alternative method is to cook bacon in a pan); remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserve 3-4 tablespoon of drippings and put in a skillet; crumble bacon and set aside.
- Sprinkle shrimp with pepper and salt; dredge in flour. Set aside.
- Saute mushrooms in hot drippings in skillet 5 minutes, or until tender; add green onions and saute 2 minutes; and garlic and saute 2 minutes; stir in white wine, lemon juice, tomatoes, and hot sauce and cook 2 more minutes, stir in salt and pepper to taste. Add shrimp to the sauce and stir until they are pink.  If the sauce looks dry then add white wine and lemon.

Serve: Divide grits into large, shallow soup bowls; divide shrimp mixture into servings and place on top of grits; top each serving with crumbled bacon and serve with lemon wedges

If you are going to make for a crowd then you can do a few things ahead of time:
- Peel and devein shrimp
- Grade cheese
- chop green onions
Goes great with Mimosas

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Apple Crisp

So quick and easy and saves excellent!!  I have made this at least three times this last year!


  • 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped small
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the Filling:

  • Mix all the ingredients together. Place into 13 x 9 " pan.

For topping:

Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Blend the butter into the mixture until it forms pea size lumps. Stir in pecans and sprinkle over filling.
Bake crisps for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

From the Neely's

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Better Cheddar Spread

Better Cheddar Recipe

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or more if you like it creamier)
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper

In a large saute pan over medium heat, lightly toast walnuts. Stir occasionally to prevent from burning. Remove from heat; allow to cool. Transfer walnuts to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; stir to combine. Transfer dip to a serving bowl; refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with assorted crackers, chips or raw vegetables. Makes about 2 cups.
The above is as close to the real New Orleans Langenstein recipe that has been found yet. The credit goes to the blog: www. All I can say is IT IS FINE!!!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Clay Pot Pork

Inspired from the aroma seeping from the microwave in the anesthesia lounge... my friend Mark Stivers is quite the gourmet chef and he gave me this recipe that he just whipped together one day!  OMG it is to die for - modified from the Gourmet Vietnamese recipe here, we had it for several nights in a row!

PS I doubled this recipe.

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup Asian fish sauce, preferably Vietnamese
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced (I used an onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • lb country-style boneless ribs (or trimmed boneless pork shoulder), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 3 jalapenos, (1 chopped)
  • 1 hand of ginger, grated
  • 1 16 oz package of noodles of preference, I used egg-yolk free wide noodles, or jasmine rice
  • 2 Tbs butter + 2 Tbs flour for thickening sauce

Cook sugar in a dry 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, without stirring, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar has melted into a deep golden caramel. Carefully add stock and fish sauce (caramel will harden and steam vigorously) and cook, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Add shallots/onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapenos, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.

Toss pork with pepper in a bowl and stir into sauce. Bring to a simmer, then cover pan, reduce heat to low, and braise pork, stirring once or twice, until very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. 

Mark (and I) both pulled out the pork when it was perfectly braised so we could reduce the rest of the sauce.  I added melted butter tabs to flour and stirred, then mixed in with the sauce to thicken.  Once the right consistency, readd the pork to warm and use fork to pull apart.

Cook pasta/rice as directed.  Serve the pork over top and enjoy!