Crockpot Eye of the Round Pepper Mushroom Steak

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fork tender round steak smothered with peppers and mushrooms over rice. Slow cooked to perfection!

Crockpot Eye of the Round Pepper Mushroom Steak

6-8 small eye of the round steaks ( a tougher inexpensive steak that will work great with this recipe and fall apart after cooking in the crockpot)
2 bell peppers sliced
8 oz fresh or canned mushroom
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup Cabernet Wine or any good Red
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper
1 clove minced fresh garlic

Place the sauce, wine and spices in a bowl and mix together. Pour into greased or use crockpot liners. Place the steaks on top, add mushrooms, garlic and peppers on top of the steak. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high 4 to 6 hours. Serve with cooked pasta or rice.

Serving suggestions:

Broccoli and Cheese Casserole
Upstate Utica New York Greens Baked, Fried
Eggplant and Cheesy Casserole
Lemon Pepper Bowties
Vermicelli Peas
Herb Orzo

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Health

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I decided to see how we would like Whole Wheat crusted Pizza.. Italian pizza dough, is in my blood but a healthy version is a great change of pace!  I have been pretty dedicated to eating just healthy grains lately, this will take a bit of getting use too after all these years of white flour but I really do like the fact that this really did turn out very crunchy and delicious as pizza should be with a nutty flavor instead and want to thank  Kathy from Are You Hungry for introducing me to this great flour I won on her site!
3 cups lukewarm water should feel like warm to your wrist, not hot
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated fast acting yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons regular salt, kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 1/2 cups sifted Whole Wheat Flour Extra flour for your hands while molding the dough

Make sure the water is luke warm to the touch, this is very important to the rising method.
Add yeast, salt and sugar to the water in a 5 quart bowl or a plastic container with a lid.
Mix in the flour there is no kneading necessary but I like to use the mixer since it's so much easier!  I put all ingredients in my Kitchen Aid mixer  for 10 to 20 seconds  then put the plastic wrap on the bowl and cover it. If your doing this by hand, using a large 5 quart bowl and spoon just mix till everything is uniformly combined well. The dough will be pretty stiff with using whole wheat but  that's normal.

Allow to rise. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and add a lid ( it's ok if not airtight). Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flattens on top), about two hours.

When it's ready shape into whatever you like,  try  stretching out some of the pizza on a pizza pan or see recipes below, let rise around a half hour before baking. If your like bread shape into a loaf pan and bake a loaf of bread, let it rise around a half hour then bake in a hot preheated oven of 420 degrees until browned. Cool at least 5 minutes before eating the bread on a wire rack. For pizza bake until browned and crisp edges on the same oven temperature. Use your favorite sauce and cheese or see links below for more suggestions.

I refrigerate the unused dough and it will keep up to a week in the refrigerator. Take out as needed until it rises slightly and bake.

Idea's that can be used for making this Whole Wheat Dough: ( click on each first word below highlighted for more suggestions.

Deep Dish Grilled Pizza

Crunchy Potato Cubes Cajun Seasoned

Monday, March 26, 2012

Crunchy with a little heat, potatoes that go with anything and everything that everyone will love! For those of you that like onion, you can add that seasoning as well if  you like.....
I am unfortunately allergic to onion of any kind!

These are always a favorite with any meal!
 zip lock bag
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon, salt, pepper, parsley and oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoon olive oil
5 medium potatoes cut in  chunks or cubes ( I leave the skins on)
1 cookie sheet
parchment paper

In the zip lock bag add all spices, oil and then cubed potatoes shake until evenly coated. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread out the potatoes in a single layer on the cookie sheet, sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake in a preheated hot oven of 400 degrees until crisp and browned around 45 minutes depending on the thickness of your cubes. 

Avocado Mozzarella Insalata Caprese Appetizer With Creamy Blue Cheese Balsamic Dressing

Sunday, March 25, 2012

An addictive easy appetizer you and your guests will love !

2 large roma or vine ripe tomatoes (rinsed) cleaned and diced
2 avocados (rinsed) cleaned and diced
2 cloves of garlic minced fine
Optional: calamata olives sliced or wrinkled black Italian olives
8 oz fresh mozzarella ball or already sliced mozzarella cheese rounds
1 cup blue cheese dressing or light sour cream (see below for recipe)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
Sprigs of fresh Italian Parsley or Basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix the blue cheese with honey and vinegar set aside.
In the meantime:
Dice tomatoes . Clean avocado and dice, plus remove seed and peel. Cut mozzarella in rounds or you can buy it already sliced, mine wasn't pre sliced. Arrange slices on serving platter, mix the diced tomatoes, avocado, garlic and olives and place on top of the cheese slices. Sprinkle with pepper.  Drizzle with sauce. Garnish with  fresh basil or parsley.

Fabulous Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
1 cup (8 ounces) Hellmann's mayonnaise
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream
2 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
7 ounces best quality blue cheese, crumbled 

Mix all together and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

Simple Salmon Puttanesca Over Spinach

Friday, March 23, 2012
4 salmon fillets (1 1/2 lb; skin removed)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
squeezed fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups store bought pasta sauce or try this homemade puttanesca sauce recipe
2 to 3 tablespoons of  sliced calamata olives
1 (9-oz) bag fresh spinach leaves
garnish with shredded grating cheese and parsley flakes

Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper  Place 1 tablespoon oil in pan, then add fish; cook 4 minutes on each side. Place fish in a baking dish.
Pour pasta sauce with olives over fish. Bake on 350 degree hot oven until fish flakes easily.
Meanwhile, preheat second large sauté pan on medium-high 2-3 minutes. Place 1 tablespoon oil in pan, then add garlic for one minute then spinach and cover. Cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted and tender. Place the salmon puttanesca on a bed of spinach and serve.

Shrimp with Coconut Rice Recipe

Thursday, March 22, 2012

1/4 cup frozen sofrito thawed
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
peel for garnish
1 cup instant rice
1 lb large peeled/deveined shrimp (thawed)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup light coconut milk
sesame seeds toasted
Suggestions for sides dish: Steamed broccoli
Combine water and oil in medium saucepan; bring to a boil for rice.Stir lemon zest and rice into boiling water. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes or more.
Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place 1/4 cup sofrito in pan (chill remaining sofrito for another use), then stir in shrimp. Cook and stir 4 minutes or just until shrimp begin to turn pink.
Stir in wine, coconut milk, and cilantro. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Use a fork to fluff the rice. Serve shrimp over rice, garnish with broccoli and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Mango Salsa Barbecued Bourbon Salmon Recipe

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

1 lb Salmon filet's (marinate this in 1/4 cup of bourbon 1 hour, optional if  your not wanting to use alcohol,then you can marinate in pineapple juice instead the same amount)
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into small cubes
1 cup minced papaya or peaches
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled plum tomatoes, put through food processor with juices just until they are crushed
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon Franks hot sauce or Tabasco
Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan.  Simmer covered, over low heat for 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Cool slightly. Puree sauce until smooth in a food process or blender. (If using the bourbon or the pineapple juice then add that to the sauce after the salmon is marinated)
Heat the grill or use a hot oven heating to 420 degrees.
Place the salmon on a piece of oil sprayed foil, pour some sauce over the top, seal the foil tightly, grill or bake.  Or you can throw this directly on the grill for around 20 minutes depending on thickness or bake in a hot heated oven in a baking dish.
After the salmon is cooked, pour more sauce on top. Sauce will keep around a week in the refrigerator or freeze it.

Eggplant Parmesan with Penne Pasta

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Calling all eggplant and pasta lovers, this is the best of both worlds with eggplant parmesan and penne pasta.

This is total comfort food and anyone that adores eggplant meals like I do will love this tasty delicious dish.

It is full of freshly grated cheese, tender eggplant, and homemade tomato sauce.

The flavors are perfect together!

this is eggplant with pasta and tomato sauce with cheese on top


Irish Cream Cake Mix Bars

Monday, March 12, 2012

These tasty morsels are adapted from "Holiday Cooking Cookbook 2010".
These normally would have a tinted food coloring such as green through them for the Holiday either Christmas or St. Patricks Day,  I decided to adapt this one with chocolate instead.. the combination of flavors came out like a chocolate caramel brownie, just delicious!

1 (18.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
2/3 cup Irish Cream either homemade or store bought
1/3 cup oil

Marble filling:
1 can chocolate frosting or 1 can cream cheese frosting ( you can tint green  with food coloring for St Patrick's Day or Christmas)
1  12 oz package of chocolate chips, white chocolate chips if tinting
1/4 cup Irish Cream

Whipped Cream
Chocolate Syrup

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 15 x 10 x 1-inch jellyroll pan, line with parchment or heavy greased  the pan with butter.

Mix cake mix with eggs, Irish Cream and oil. Set aside 1/2 cup of prepared cake batter for marble swirl. Pour cake batter into pan.

In a small bowl, blend the frosting, chips and cake batter to swirl together.  Drop large spoonfuls of this mixture over the cake batter. Swirl with a fork to make a marble effect. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares... Optional:  pour chocolate syrup over the tops and serve with whipped cream.

Low Carb No Guilt Tortilla Pizza Plus Video

Sunday, March 11, 2012
I know all too well how hard a diet is to stick with. After 5 months, I decided I needed to eat some of my favorite foods again. I worked so hard to get down to my goal weight and don't want to start climbing back up to ruin my accomplishments. So here is a no guilt pizza, crisp light, low calories unless you choose to add more, it's your call!

Even my husband who isn't as faithful to a diet as I,
was sure pleased with this tasty thin crust pizza,
 with no guilt here, he loved this one!
Oh course if you love thick oily crust with everything on it, not dieting,  this recipe isn't for you ..... so here it goes.
  Without pepperoni it's only around 125 calories and you can add as many vegetables to the top as you want
 with no additional points on weight watchers!

Low carb Flour Tortilla (5 carb) found on the shelves in the Mexican isle of your supermarket, you may even find them less!
Homemade or bottled sauce 2 or 3 tablespoons for each tortilla pizza
Lowfat shredded mozzarella cheese
optional: fresh or dried parsley, basil, oregano, cayenne pepper and garlic powder
Low fat topping suggestions: chopped peppers, broccoli, spinach, eggplant, mushrooms, olives, turkey pepperoni, sliced tomatoes, grated zucchini, baby shrimps

For White Pizza:
Low fat mozzarella
fat free ricotta cheese two to three tablespoons
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
fresh parsley chopped
fresh basil chopped
salt, pepper to taste
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Place a tortilla an oil sprayed piece of parchment paper or foil lined cookie sheet.  Top with above suggestions starting with sauce, then vegetables or meat of choice then cheese. Sprinkle the cheese with herbs or spices desired.

For White Pizza: start with tortilla,  spread a light coating of ricotta, sprinkle on the salt, pepper garlic and herbs on top, mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake as directed below.

 Bake on a preheated hot oven of 400 degrees until the edges are dark brown but not burnt. This takes approximately 15 minutes but watch it, depending on the tortilla some cook faster. Transfer onto a plate, cool a few minutes as these get really hot!

Berry Fat Free Sour Cream Muffins

Saturday, March 10, 2012
It's amazing how different we change our eating habits when on a diet, sometimes our foods taste the same or better with reduced fats, no really I'm not kidding, it's what you get use too! Only 65 calories ( of course without the frosting on these but they sure look good with it! ) For all you dieters out there here is a guilt free breakfast muffin you will love!
They taste great with  or without the optional sugar icing on top!

1 cup or 8 oz of fresh berries of your choice, raspberries, blackberries,  strawberries chopped or blueberries (you can used canned but drain well)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2/3 cups fat free sour cream or low-fat plain yogurt
1/3 cups canola oil
2 to 3 teaspoons grated orange zest (from about 1 orange)
1/3 cups orange juice
1 extra large egg
Preheat oven to 375 degree hot oven

Drizzle topping is powdered sugar and water mixed together

Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners or greased the tins.
Mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl, breaking up any lumps of sugar.
Combine sour cream, oil, zest, juice and egg in a large bowl. Stir in flour mixture till moistened. Add raspberries and fold in gently until evenly mixed. Batter will be thick, do not over mix.
Divide batter evenly between muffin tins with paper liners.
Bake 20 to 22 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool in pan 3 minutes. You can serve these warm or while still warm drizzle icing on top if preferred but not needed!


Zuppa Di Pesce (Italian Fish Soup)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

4 lb of assorted mixed fish
 ( some suggestions would be all boneless haddock, cod or other white firm fish. Shellfish, mussels, clams cleaned thouroughly. Cleaned squid, shimp, scallops, lobster meat or crab meat )
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 vidalia onion chopped (optional for me)
5 cloves garlic sliced in half
3 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup Burgundy wine
3 cups of fresh vine ripe or plum tomatoes pureed(or use canned)
6  very thick slices of Italian bread day old toasted

In a large sauce pot 5 quarts, on medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until it begins to soften 3 minutes. Add the minced (3 garlic cloves) of the sliced garlic cloves and 2 tablespoon of the parsley and sauté until the garlic is starting to smell fragrant, around 1 minute.

Add the red pepper flakes and pour in the wine and next put in in the tomato puree and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 5 minutes.

Begin adding the seafood to the soup, starting with the squid if using.  After all the seafood is added, reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, at a slow simmer for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Note: If using mussels or clams, discard any that haven't opened before serving.  Shrimp can be served with tails on for presentation.

Meanwhile, toast the bread and rub the surface with the rest of cut sides of the halved garlic. Place 1 thick slice of bread into a serving bowl. Pour fish over the bread to serve.
Sprinkle with the remaining parsley. My family loves to sprinkle grating cheese on top  and add more hot red pepper flakes.

Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Sunday, March 4, 2012
32 jumbo pasta shells
2- 15 oz containers of Store Bought Ricotta cheese or homemade Ricotta
2- (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fennel seed
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste
Mozzarella cheese shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, gently place pasta shells in boiling water; bring water back to boil. Cook until pasta until tender, drain.

Squeeze spinach dry. Combine spinach, ricotta, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, fennel, parsley and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper; mix well.
Spread Traditional Sunday Sauce (or your favorite sauce)  evenly over the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Fill each pasta shell with the spinach cheese mixture. Arrange the shells, filling side up in the baking dish. Spoon remaining Traditional Sunday Sauce over the shells. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top of the shells.
Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven until heated through; about 30 minutes.  You can also fill the shells and freeze them without sauce on a cookie sheet. When solid throw them into freezer bags until ready to use. Bake as directed with sauce when ready to use.  These will keep frozen for 6 months.

More Homemade Pasta's?
Homemade gnocchi
Homemade egg noodles
Homemade manicotti
Homemade ravioli
Homemade cavatelli
Homemade orecchietti
Stuffed Shells
Mom's Lasagna

Italian Bake Scallops with White Wine and Stuffed Grape Tomatoes

Saturday, March 3, 2012

1 pound fresh or frozen thawed sea scallops
5 tablespoons grating cheese
 1 cup Italian flavored breadcrumbs
1/2 cup white wine
extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon each oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, parsley
3 tablespoon butter melted
fresh lemon wedges to squeeze over the top

In a small fry pan saute fresh garlic 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Saute until soft tender, add wine, herbs, spices and simmer 4 minutes. Line the bottom of a large pie plate with scallops and pour the sauce over the scallops. Put a layer of sliced grapes tomatoes on top. Mix bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over the top of the tomatoes, then sprinkle with grating cheese. Bake around 25 minutes on 400 degree hot oven until tomatoes are soft, bread crumbs are browned on top. Serve and garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon wedges.
A great side dish would be a light pasta dish try some of these below:

Lemon Pepper Bowties
Herb Orzo
Garlic Mac and Cheese with 5 Cheese
Orzo and Tuna Salad
Bowties with Creamy Garlic

Crockpot Bosc Pears in Tropical Orange Coconut Sauce Recipe with Video

Thursday, March 1, 2012

An elegant dessert for family, friends anytime that will wow them!

6 bosc pears with stems attached
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup tangerine or orange juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Grated coconut

 Slice off the bottom of each pear so they stand up straight. Peel the entire pear and  use a core remover for the center of the pears from the bottom up leaving the stems in place.

 Place pears upright in a lightly oil sprayed  4 to 5 quart slow cooker.  Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl except orange juice and cornstarch.  Pour over pears and cook for 3 to 4 1/2 hours on low or 2 to 3 1/2 hours on high (depending on the crockpot)cook until soft when pierced with a fork. If your in a hurry bake at 400 degree hot oven, until soft when pierce around an hour. Mix cornstarch and orange juice and add to the pot or pan if baking, cook till thickened around 10 minutes.
Place pear in a dish, spoon sauce over the top. Sprinkle with coconut. Add a dollop of whipped cream. Serve warm.