7/22/2022

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

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I am pretty sure that if you are a red meat fan, then you have probably had flank steak on the grill during the summer season.  If you have not, well now is the time!

Flank steak, a cut from the lower abdomen of a cow, is a less expensive, leaner, thiner cut of meat than can serve a small group of people.  While it can be simply salt and peppered before grilling, I find that it holds up really well with a good marinade that keeps the meat moist and tender. One of the main ingredients to this marinade is soy sauce, so no extra salt is needed.  Having said that, I do also use low-sodium soy sauce so that it does not over power the meat flavor.  

This cut of meat grills up rather quickly, so you'll want to keep a close eye on it.  Within 10-14 minutes, you should have a perfect medium-rare cooked steak.  I like to double check that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the steak reaches 125°-130°F.  I let my meat rest on a cutting board with the juice groove to collect all of that tasty juice.  I slice the meat against the grain and then mix together the juice with scallion and parsley for a nice jus on the side.


Not that you'll have any, leftovers are wonderful is a sandwich or on top a bead of greens and veggies.  
Looking for another great way to enjoy flank steak on the grill? Take a lookout my Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri. Happy Grilling!

7/21/2022

Peach and Cucumber Salad

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You just read Peach and Cucumber Salad; sounds, simple and seasonally refreshing.  And then you're going to read the recipe and the first ingredient is fish sauce. Fish sauce?? Yes, fish sauce.  You are now probably having the same initial reaction that I did,😶😐. Me, being a rather culinarily curious individual, I had to try it and I am so glad I did. Another recipe to add to the caché!

This salad is sweet and has a little bit of kick from the heat.  The original recipe called for chili-garlic paste which is a bit on the sweeter side, so I changed things up.  I choose to add red bell pepper and Sambal Oelek and it worked out just right. I also used diced red onion in lieu of sliced shallot rings.  The freshly squeezed lime juice and fresh herbs really bring all of the flavors together for one fantastic salad that is delicious on its own, but it pairs extremely well with grilled meats.  Speaking of grilled meats, stay tuned...

Happy cooking!

7/19/2022

Cappuccino Semifreddo

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Before I get to the recipes that I wanted to share last week,  I want to share something sweet today, July 19.  This day holds a special day in my heart for two reasons, my mother's birthday and my 25th wedding anniversary! Oh, what a celebratory day that was!
 
If you are a lover of iced coffee, then you will LOVE this dessert- or you could even indulge and have a slice for breakfast for your morning caffeine fix😉.  As the name implies, this is a half-cold or half frozen cappuccino. The combination of a whipping egg whites into a meringue and then folding in whipped heavy cream creates a cloud-like texture.  The almond biscotti adds a little bulk to the semifreddo and crunch to the topping.  Speaking of topping, I gilded the lily with a homemade "Magic Shell" (you know that nostalgic chocolate sauce that firms up almost immediately on top of frozen treats).  The "Magic Shell" adds an additional tasty texture to the overall dessert. It is certainly optional, but who doesn't love the chocolate-coffee combo??  Don't tell me that you don't.

I have to point out that he recipe instructions seem a bit methodical.  For one,  it says to start beating the egg whites when the sugar syrup reaches exactly 210° F.  But, don't let that daunt you.  If your whipped egg whites sit for a a minute or two before adding the syrup, that's ok.  Secondly, it says that when you add the hot syrup, one needs to avoid pouring the syrup against the sides of the bowl and on the whisk attachment.  All you need is a steady hand or a pot with a pouring spout.  

There are so many things to love about this semifreddo, but there is one that really stands out.  It can be made up to one month in advance which makes it ideal for planning ahead and entertaining!  

Happy Cooking!

7/17/2022

Sunday Dinner

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Poached Shrimp with Green Goddess Dip/Dressing 

Grilled Butterflied Chicken
Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette 



I wish you could have seen the excitement on my face when my husband and I came home from walking the dogs today and there was a package from Adorama on our front stoop.  Talk about Christmas in July!! So, to christen my new camera body, I thought it would be fitting to feature a recipe from the gods or in this case, goddess.  Okay, this is not a celestial recipe, but it is really good.  

Green Goddess dressing (also referred to as sauce verte) is actually named after a stage play from the 1920s.  A hotel chef wanted to pay tribute to the lead actor of the play with this recipe.  The original version contained chives, parsley, tarragon, scallions, tarragon vinegar, mayonnaise and anchovies, but like many recipes, it has been adapted over decades and this is my adaptation.

Tonight we are enjoying it as a dip with poached shrimp.  It is also delicious with crudité.  If serving as a dressing over crisp greens, I just thin the mixture with a bit of water.   Happy Sunday!

7/15/2022

Baja Fish Taco Bowl

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Before I begin telling you about this must make meal,  I want to share with you that The Galley Gourmet is temporarily out-of-order for a very short time for two reasons.   The first reason I am out of order is with the recipe that I am sharing today.  I wanted to share two other seasonal recipes this week and the reason that I was unable to do so, leads me to out-of-order reason #2.  The LCD screen on my camera died and because of that, I cannot transfer the images from my camera to my flash drive. Ugh! Fortunately, I already had this photo and the recipe (I was going to publish it in a week or two) saved as a draft and I can share it with you until my new camera body arrives sometime on Sunday 🤞.

Now, on to my our new-favorite meal.  My husband has declared that he he loves this bowl better than eating a fish taco and I absolutely agree! Super crispy and lightly fried cod strips on a bed of cilantro-lime rice, served with thinly sliced red cabbage, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and a drizzle of a cilantro crema is fish taco bowl lovers dream! My jaws crack just thinking about it!

There are a few steps into creating this meal, but trust me, it's worth it and it really doesn't take that much time.  It's just prep work and dirty dishes.  I like to start by making the pico and slicing the cabbage. I like to make my homemade Pico de Gallo,  but of course, you can use store-bought and that will save some time and dishes😉.  Then I make the cilantro crema and keep it in the refrigerator  until I am ready to serve.  While the rice cooks,  I start working on the fish. It is dredge in seasoned flour, dip in eggs, then rolled in Panko also known as Japanese-style bread crumbs.  You won't believe how crispy the fish fries up. Thank you, Panko! As the fish rest, I dice the avocado and slice a lime into wedges and then it is load-up-the-taco-bowl time! I make this on weeknights, weekends and it even is perfect for entertaining. Taco bowl buffet anyone?!  Happy Cooking!

7/02/2022

No Churn Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

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I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream 🍨!! And you'll be even more excited because this is another no-churn ice cream recipe that takes minutes to prep and seconds to prepare.  The hardest part is waiting for it to freeze! Okay, you might have to take a taste before you put it in the ice chest😉.

The original recipe called this recipe Key Lime Ice Cream, but it just used frozen lime concentrate.  I took the flavor a little further to really make this a key lime ice cream, so I used Nellie and Joe's Famous Key Lime Juice.  And with the graham cracker add-in, this really does taste like a frozen key lime pie.  Therefore, I have renamed it Key Lime PIE Ice Cream.    

Please see my No Churn Salted Caramel-Coconut Ice Cream recipe in case you missed it and if you want a little more info about the "no churn" technique and my explanation about the difference in creams.

Happy Freezing!

6/30/2022

BBQ Pork Tenderloin with Romaine and Red Cabbage Slaw

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Are you looking for an easy, no-fuss meal that has all of the flavors of a summer bbq without slaving over the grill?? This recipe will be your answer.

Tender pork tenderloin cooked to perfection on the stove top with a side of crisp and crunchy slaw is perfect for a weeknight dinner or part of a weekend menu for entertaining (recipe can easily be doubled). It is also an excellent summer meal for those of you who might not have access to a grill.
 
Barbecue sauce is the highlight ingredient for the sauce and dressing.  I like to use my Western Carolina Tomato-Based Sauce, but you can use whatever bbq sauce your taste buds prefer.  Since the original recipe used cilantro in the slaw, I like to kick up the barbecue flavor with some chipotle in adobe.  It's optional of course, but it's really, really good! (See my tip HERE about how to store leftover chipotle peppers and adobe sauce.) I also add a bit of mayo for a creamier dressing and I add some chopped scallions to complete the flavor profile for the salad.

If you do decide to make this for entraining a crowd, might I recommend my Mango Guacamole as an appetizer and for dessert...stay tuned.

6/27/2022

Quinoa Salad with Red Bell Pepper and Cilantro

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I want to start the summer season off with an absolutely delicious salad.  Recall the word 'salad'. The base of this salad is quinoa, the ancient grain or "mother of all grains".  I wrote about it before when sharing the recipe for Apricot-Curry Chicken Salad. This quinoa salad is flavored with red bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, red onion, cilantro and a lovely cumin-lime dressing.  Can you taste it already??

The original recipe called for just half of each pepper, but I like my veggies, so I use the whole peppers (I included cup amounts in the recipe below).  Speaking of whole peppers, jalapeños can be as mild as a green pepper or as hot as blazes, so give the flesh a little taste first.  If you need more heat, use the seeds as well.  This is a delicious vegetarian salad on its own for lunch or dinner on those hot summer days/nights.  If you are looking to make it a bit more heartier, you can add black beans (drained and rinsed), diced avocado, charred/roasted corn and/or even mango for a tropical twist on the taste buds (you'll just have to adjust the seasoning if you do). If you are looking to serve it with a meat protein, it is a  welcome side dish to any grilled meat this time of year.I like to serve it with shrimp, chicken or Grilled Salmon with Lime Butter Sauce.  

As always, "Make it for you, make it your own!" Happy cooking!

5/08/2022

Sunday Dinner

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Radish Butter on Baguette Croutons

Standing Prime Rib Roast au Jus
Roasted Carrots 
Smashed Potatoes with Herbs

Strawberry Mousse with Frozen Strawberries


How frustrating is it when you plan a dessert for your menu and then go to the store with a list only to find that the main ingredient on your list is  not up to perfect produce standards? Well, it is frustrating indeed, but I am so thankful to have an alternate version of the dessert that highlights the flavor of the ingredient in...wait for it... frozen form.  And as you can see from the photos, that ingredient is strawberries.  The bonus of using frozen strawberries is that they are already cleaned and hulled, so less work for me. Thumbs up! 

The strained juices from the thawed berries are cooked, therefore concentrating that beautiful strawberry flavor.  Seriously, one would never know that frozen berries were used in lieu of fresh berries for this dessert. A few extra ingredients and a couple of hours to chill and your first spoonful will have you dreaming of strawberry fields.


The only thing sweeter than this dessert is my mother.  Happy Mother's Day to my ma and to all of you moms and motherly caregivers 💐🍓, 

4/24/2022

Sunday Dinner

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Cheddar Cheese Coins 
with Cream Cheese and Red Pepper Jam 

Rice and Gravy



If you are from the South, you are familiar with cheese crackers and cheese straws. There are countless recipes out there, but this one works for me and I hope it works for you.


They are delicious on their own, but I like them served with a dollop of cream cheese and red pepper jam.
Happy Sunday! 

4/10/2022

Sunday Dinner

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Rack of Lamb Persillade
Braised Spring Vegetables
Potato Gratin

Strawberry Tarts


Spring is in the air and in my kitchen! Radishes, asparagus, sweet peas and fresh herbs are a welcome addition to any springtime menu or meal and they come together beautifully in this dish.  The vegetables are braised (simmered in a liquid) and then lightly glazed with the buttery reduction of the braising liquid. The fresh lemon zest and herbs make the dish sing (or should I say spring?).  Now, let me briefly talk about each vegetable.

Radishes- I adore them in any way. They add a peppery crunch when served raw and when cooked, like in this dish, they become sweet and tender.  If you haven't tried cooked radishes, please do.  It might change your mind/taste buds.  

Asparagus- I adore them in any way as well.  If I am not snacking on the raw spears, I enjoy making pesto for pasta and to use as a spread for sandwiches and tartines (recipe can be found HERE). I like to use medium-sized asparagus for this dish (see my post and kitchen tip HERE about preparing them and roasting them).  

Sweet Peas- Fresh or frozen is the only way for me (canned peas are just blah).  Frozen peas are used in this recipe because they are readily available and I live in Northern Illinois, so the ground in my garden is just barely thawed. 

Once prepped, this dish comes together rather quickly and should be served immediately while it is still warm.  It is the perfect accompaniment to any Springtime fare, like ham, chicken or lamb.  But it is equally delicious all on its own. Happy Sunday!

4/03/2022

Sunday Dinner

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Caramelized Onion and Black Truffle Cheddar-Gruyère Mini-Phyllo Tarts

Butterflied Roast Chicken
Warm Bread and Arugula Salad

Low-Fat Lemon Pound Cake
Blueberry Compote

I call this a "Use What's in the Refrigerator/Freezer/Pantry/Leftover" Sunday Dinner.  Please let me take a moment to explain.

Appetizer- Onions is in the pantry, 4-ounces cheese is leftover in the refrigerator and the Mini-Pyllo Tart Shells I almost always have in the freezer for a quick little bite.

Main Course- A whole chicken (or two or three) is always in my freezer, the warm bread I will make into croutons from my No-Knead Country Bread recipe and there was about 4-ounces of arugula that needed to be eaten up from a dinner earlier this week.

Dessert- I had quite a few lemons and wanted a little treat for breakfast this morning, so I baked this cake last night and we had a few slices this morning. The leftovers will be enjoyed for dessert tonight along with a compote from about 1 cup blueberries that were hanging out in my refrigerator. 

And that's how my Sunday Dinners roll some times.

This is a wonderful light little cake.  Low-fat sour-cream is used to knock out some of the fat without compromising the butter flavor of a traditional pound cake.  It bakes up beautifully with a nice dome, but just make sure you use an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.  Anything bigger may put a damper on the dome.  My only change to the recipe was to triple the glaze because I love me some glaze.  Having said that, you could even make this cake without the glaze and enjoy it by itself or to be used in another layered dessert. Enjoy it for breakfast, as a tea time treat, dessert, or a "just passing-by" snack and you'll be glad it is low-fat😉. Happy Sunday!

3/30/2022

Spanish Tuna and White Bean Salad with Marcona Almonds

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Remember when I was talking about the word 'salad' in THIS post?  Well, here is another delicious salad.  But the funny thing about this salad, it is served as a dip.  Does your brain hurt right now? Whether you serve it as a dip with pita chips or as a salad (on a bed of lightly dressed mixed greens is nice), it is quite tasty and quick to prepare. 

If you haven't tried or heard of Marcona almonds, you are in for a treat.  They are Spanish almonds that have become increasingly popular over the last couple years.  They are flatter in shape, a little sweeter and much softer in texture than regular California almonds, so please do not substitute.  They can easily be found at most grocery stores or gourmet food shops.

Here's a fun food fact and another etymology tidbit for you.  The word 'almond' is derived from the Ancient Greek word 'amygdala', the almond shaped portion of the brain. Now does your brain hurt?😜

3/28/2022

A Special Day!

Pin It Yesterday, on March 27, 2021, my puppers/baby dog, Miss Hazel, came into this world. We celebrated with treats, a new stuffed animal, and a drive-thru to a certain fast food place for a cheeseburger (minus the pickle).  If she could talk, she would say it was an epic day! 



3/20/2022

Sunday Dinner

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Crispy Cheese Wafers
Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly Spread


Shortbread Brownies
Vanilla Ice Cream


I am going to keep this short and sweet because it is way to beautiful outside right now to be blogging. I mean sunshine with a "real feel" temperature of 65° F!! Oh the things I get excited about. And these brownies are something to get excited about as well.

Brownies with a shortbread crust are definitely in the "Brookie" (brownie + cookie) category of sweets.  It is a two in one treat that is delicious on it's own, but is taken to a whole other level when paired with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. Jaws are cracking.  

Now, to point out a few tid-bits and minor adjustments to the original recipe.  For the shortbread crust, I added a bit of salt to the shortbread because otherwise, there will be a heavy flour taste.  That little bit of salt heightens the sugar and butter flavors. For the brownie batter, I added a bit of espresso powder because that really amps the cocoa flavor. The only other thing that I need to point out in the brownie batter is the butter; the recipe calls for 1/3 cup.  That is such an odd measurement for butter using the U.S. system of measurements. When baking, I prefer to use the metric system, so I included equal measurements to 1/3 cup in grams and ounces (1/3 cup is also 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon). Baking is a science, but even if you are .5 grams off in butter, I think you'll still be really pleased with the end result.  Happy Sunday!

3/14/2022

Good Eats with an Irish Flare

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"Doing anything later in the week? Well now you have a little updated reading material and some inspiration to cook up a grand feast for St. Patrick's Day."-  (said in my best Irish accent)
Sláinte! 




























































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3/09/2022

Chinese Chicken Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette

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What do you think of when you hear or read the word 'salad'? Appetizer, breakfast, light lunch, dinner, first course, fruit, vegetable, meat, protein, grain, pasta, leafy green, etc...? My husband and I recently had a conversation about the word 'salad'.  I asked, "I wonder what the origin of the word 'salad' is. I'm thinking French." He responded, "I wonder what the etymology of the word 'salad' is." That became quite the lengthy discussion and study session, as well as, me buying the book Acetaria- A Discourse of Sallets by John Evelyn, Esq. (If you can read Old English, you'll love the book. I just skipped to the appendix where he shared his recipes.)  Search the word 'salad' on your device and see what you come up with.  It's quite interesting.

Back to my initial question and my response to that question, a salad can be anything. That is my modern day take on the word and this is my take on a Chinese Chicken Salad.  

I could literally eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even a bite for a snack.  Chicken and a mixture of vegetables always gets a thumbs up from me.  And the hoisin vinaigrette just makes it all that much better.

Stay the course for my next recipe (pun intended).

2/26/2022

No Churn Salted Caramel-Coconut Ice Cream

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I know there are people out there that don't like chocolate, but is there anyone that doesn't like ice cream?? I cannot think of a one.  To me, ice cream is the perfect frozen treat. It's kind of like a work of art.  You start with a blank canvas and go to any sweet or savory flavor town from there.  It is enjoyed anytime of year, it helps what ails you at times (especially if it is turned into a milk shake), it is portable (bowl, dish, cone, etc...), it can be made suitable to a particular diet (vegan, lactose intolerant, or dairy protein allergy), it takes certain desserts, like apple pie, to a new level, it conjures up many of memories with friends and family (I can think of so many), it...let's face it, it's the best.  I mean is there really anything bad about ice cream? Oh yeah, BRAIN FREEZE! But even brain freeze is a little fun and makes us laugh at one another.  Wait, I did think one problem. What if you don't have an ice cream maker to make it home? Cue this heirloom recipe!

I could channel my inner "Alton Brown" and explain the science behind ice cream, but I will keep it simple.  Instead of cooking a custard mixture of eggs and cream, chilling it completely and then letting a machine incorporate air to keep it from freezing rock hard, a no churn ice cream incorporates air by beating or whipping heavy cream.  Sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup are added as sweeteners and also to keep the cream from freezing rock hard.  Once that is done, the imagination can go wild with flavor ideas. So,  I am starting this no churn ice cream flavor journey off with one of my husband's favorites, caramel, with a twist!! Salted caramel with coconut (that's the twist).  I have literally seen him eat a half a quart in one sitting.  He could really eat the whole thing, but he has to talk to himself about strength and will power.  Please don't tell him I told you!  

There is one critical culinary element that I must discuss.  For those of you that know the difference between heavy cream, heavy whipping cream and whipping cream, you can just skip on down to this incredible recipe.  The rest of you, keep your reading glasses on. 

How confusing is it when you go to the store and you have all of these choices for cream? For example, you need one for making whipped cream, so which one do you choose?? Well, I will explain it to the best of my ability.  All three of them will make whipped cream, but not all whipped cream will be the same.  Whipping cream (or light whipping cream) is between 30-36% milk fat.  So if you whip it, you will only get soft peaks that will eventually weep if kept at room temperature or refrigerated too long. I really only use whipping cream if I am making a light sweet or savory sauce.  What about heavy cream and heavy whipping cream?? Is there a difference? NO! Both creams must have at least 36% milk fat.  Once whipped, that higher fat content will give you those nice stiff peaks.  Does that make sense?  Good because heavy cream or heavy whipping cream is what you will need for this recipe.

Ok, now that we have that down, let's talk about the "no churn" technique.  The original recipe uses a blender which makes for a  really quick whipping time, but if you don't have a blender you can use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Both appliances will whip the cream enough to incorporate that air we are looking for to achieve stiff peaks.  I have noted both methods in the recipe below. And with no heat involved, this is a great recipe for kids to help with.

I apologize for keeping your eyes too long, but now we must move on to flavor😃.  Salted Caramel with Coconut...mmmm!!!  Makes my jaws crack thinking about it (and yes I have to think about it because my husband ate it all)!  You will need the All-Purpose Caramel Sauce that I perviously shared, but you can certainly use a good quality store bought caramel sauce.  The recipe also calls for toasted coconut.  Obviously we can't get toasted coconut at the store, so I just measure out about 1/3 cup (it'll shrink once toasted) and toast in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Transfer it to a plate to cool before using. What if you don't like coconut or can't eat it? Just leave it out, but then you'll have to change the name of the ice cream😉 and that's ok.  What is not ok is if you do not make this wonderfully easy and super delicious frozen treat!



Lastly (I promise I will stop typing in a sec), I have 1-quart plastic containers with silicone lids that I like to use (I bought them at Williams-Sonoma), but you can freeze it in a metal loaf pan or even a metal 8-inch square pan to freeze the mixture more quickly.

Ok, I am done. Now go have fun in the kitchen!!

2/24/2022

Quick Creole Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

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I know I said stay tuned for more sugar, but with Mardi Gras just around the corner, I wanted to share this dish first.  

Long time readers should recall that I spent part of my childhood on the North shore of Lake Ponchartrain in Mandeville, Louisiana.  Good times and good eats were had all year long, but the season of Mardi Gras still stands out in my mind.  One of the dishes that stands out is jambalaya. I have talked about it previously when I shared my version of Cajun Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, so please take a moment to read about the different versions of jambalaya. Today, I share another version; the QUICK one.  

Typically a quick jambalaya is called a "white jambalaya" because the rice is cooked separately from the meat/s and veggies and then it is all mixed together.  It does save quite a bit of time with still great flavor. This particular recipe was originally called Quick Chicken Jambalaya, but I knew I could do the name and recipe a little make over. So, here goes...

The original recipe parboiled the rice before adding it to the meat and veggies, but I stayed true with a quick jambalaya and cooked the rice separately. Also, this is my preferred method of cooking rice.  The only change to the liquid is that I use chicken broth to bump up that meaty flavor, but you can certainly use water instead.

Now, as far as the meats. This recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They are tender with loads of chicken flavor and are more economical than chicken breasts and there are no bones, so that quickens the cooking time.  The other meat is andouille chicken sausage.  I used Gilbert's Craft Sausage.  The sausages are filled with chicken, roasted red and green bell peppers, onion, roasted garlic, celery powder, cayenne and other spices.  So basically, lots of flavor. The original recipe called for 8-ounces of sausage, but this particular brand has four links for a total of 10-ounces, so I used all four links.

On to the veggies...Now this is where things initially looked off to me.  The only fresh veggies are green bell peppers and scallions. What?? Where was the Holy Trinity; bell peppers, onion and celery? Well, there is one more critical mixture that can help answer that question.  After cooking the rice, meats and veggies separately, you bring it all together with a mixture of Worcestershire, tomato paste and ketchup. It seems completely weird, but it makes total sense.  I'll explain.

Worcestershire lends so much flavor including garlic and onion. The tomato paste and ketchup stand in for tomatoes that are traditionally used in a creole jambalaya.  Combine that with all of the flavors in the sausages, and you will find all the flavors of the Holy Trinity.  Throw in a few more herbs and a good dash hot sauce and BOOM! You've got a quick and flavor skillet full of grub that tastes like you spent hours over the stove.


I truly hope I didn't bore you with that lengthy explanation, but I feel that some recipes need to be broken down, especially if one is not familiar with its roots. And now you might understand why I renamed this Quick CREOLE and Chicken Sausage and Jambalaya instead of Quick Chicken Jambalaya.

This makes a great weeknight meal all by its self, but is well received to serve for a gathering. I like to serve this with my Creole Cabbage Salad, New Orleans French Bread, and something sweet to end the meal. Now about that something sweet...

2/23/2022

All-Purpose Caramel Sauce

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There are countless caramel sauce recipes out there, but they are not all created equally. A classic and more traditional caramel sauce, like my Caramel Sauce Cockaigne, there is one ingredient that this recipe does not have.  I'll give you a minute to test your caramel sauce knowledge...

Ok a minute is up.  Did you think you have the right answer?  Well, If you said butter, then you are correct! You see, even though you can use more traditional caramel sauces on just about anything, there is one little hiccup.  When you use them on ice cream, the sauce has a tendency to harden up due the butter used.  A bowl of ice cream with bits of chewy caramel is still delicious, but with the exclusion of butter and the inclusion of corn syrup, you have a silky smooth caramel sauce to really use on ANYTHING. I would just stay away from the "shoe leather" route. Not good eatin'. 

So, this is the perfect caramel sauce to use on top of ice cream, but what if you put it in a super-easy ice cream recipe?? Stay tuned for something sweet!

In the meantime, check out some of my other caramel sauces.

2/10/2022

Nutella Brownies

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I am sure many of you will be either hosting or going to a Super Bowl party this Sunday.  I do not usually partake in that American tradition, but I do enjoy the good eats that are usually involved. All of those appetizers, snacks, finger foods, messy foods, sandwiches, chilis, SWEETS, etc...!  Now that's a party I can get after! Well here is another recipe you can add to that sweet table or simply to your recipe caché.  

How many of you keep that lip smacking, super delicious, chocolate hazelnut spread in your pantry?? Oh is my hand ever raised! I actually keep both size jars, the larger 26.5-ouncer and the smaller, 13-ouncer. Why you ask? Well the big one we use for slathering on just about anything and the smaller one is just right for this recipe because you use the entire 13-ounces (1 1/4 cup, divided).  But really, size does not matter here😉.  

The cool thing about this recipe is that there is no cocoa powder.  You don't even to melt chocolate. It is just Nutella, sugar, eggs, and flour. Well, of course, there is vanilla and a little salt.  I do like to add a little espresso powder because it always bumps up the chocolate flavor in most desserts, but if you don't have it, don't worry about it.  Remember that I said the Nutella is divided? Well that is because Nutella is in the batter and then it is dropped by teaspoons then swirled on top of that luscious batter.  Swoon! They should be called double Nutella Swirl Brownies.  Once baked, the "brownie batter" comes out with the perfect cake to fudge ratio with a nice shiny top.  And the Nutella swirl? Well, that stay in its natural Nutella glorious state.  My jaws just cracked!  

I like to finish the brownies with a little sprinkle of sea salt as soon as they come out of the oven because I like a little salt with my sweets, but again, that is optional. What is not optional is making these wonderful squares of Nutella heaven.  Don't put the recipe in a file, in your reader or in your bookmark.  Put it on your counter on bake away! 

Peanut Butter and Banana Pupcakes

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Yesterday was a special day in this house.  Black Lab #4, my Ruby, turned 10! When your a dog in this house and you make it to 10 years of age, that calls for a celebration! And if you know me personally, you'll know that one of my favorite ways to celebrate a birthday is with cupcakes! So, PUPcakes it was.

These are so easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients on hand.  For the cake I used a super-ripe mashed banana and some applesauce as the base of the wet ingredients.  If you don't have one of those ingredients, pumpkin purée or smoother puréed fruit would be fine. You might even stroll down the baby food isle. (I really don't think your doggers will be too picky.)  The frosting is simple a 1:1 ration of cream cheese and peanut butter (I just used traditional peanut butter, not the natural or organic).  I don't know one dog that doesn't like peanut butter.  As for the garnish, it's just Milkbones and finely chopped bacon because I felt like getting fancy and let's face it, even in the dog world, bacon makes everything better.  

Now, I made these treats for my dogs, but really, there isn't anything in the cake that a human couldn't eat outside of any allergies.  In fact, when my husband walked in he saw them on the table and asked if he could eat one.  I said sure, but you might want to take off the Milkbone first😂.

There was a lot of smelling and drooling as I was making these, but if they could speak, I think they would say the wait was worth it!


Happy Birthday, Rubes!!

1/28/2022

Buffalo Chicken Chili

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If you follow my FB page, you might recall that I was trying out a new recipe for dinner.  Well, here is said recipe and wow, was it a winner-winner-chicken dinner!! Combining two American classics in one pot and you'll get a new contender for the next chili cook-off.  I mean, this was a "why didn't I think of that" recipe.

My only change to the original recipe was adding an onion because I like onions and I think they go hand in hand with any type of chili or stew.  And speaking of hand in hand, the accompaniments (sour cream and blue cheese) do just that; they complete the entire dish.  Cornbread crackers and tortilla chips are also welcome to the party😋.

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