I love being a mom-in-law!  Today my beautiful daughter (in-law) sent me a text asking for a recipe for her office (she’s a wonderful dentist) “Cinco de Mayo” party next week.  I guess you can say she knows where to turn when looking for a recipe.  I immediately thought of one that I wrote for a cookbook several years ago, however that recipe never made the final cut.  Here’s the recipe…

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup tomato salsa
2 tablespoons Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or to taste1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle in adobo
1 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cumin
2 tablespoons Mazola Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ to 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack or Queso Fresco cheese
Tortilla chips for dipping

Directions:

Combine black beans, salsa, burger seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, chipotles, adobo sauce, cumin, and oil in a blender or food processor; pulse until blended but still chunky.DSC_0035DSC_0038

Place bean mixture in a two-quart casserole dish.  Top mixture with shredded cheese.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden and bubbly.  Serve with chips for dipping.

Note:  Tonight when I made this dip I was out of canned chipotle peppers, so I substituted 1 tablespoon Chipotle Pepper Seasoning and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke!  It rocked!!!

Quick Facts:
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  15-20 minutes
Yield:  8 servings
Great dip or use as a topping on eggs, fajitas or sandwichesDSC_0043

Kinta’s Famous House Margarita

1.5 ounces Tequila (Reposado)
1.5 ounces Triple Sec
1.5 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 cup Ice
1 lime
kosher salt

Rub the outside of 1 glass with cut lime. Dip into a plate of Kosher salt.
Combine the Tequila, Triple Sec and lime juice and ice into a cocktail shaker, shake well
and pour into prepared glass…..

Recipe courtesy of Kristopher Wallenta
Kinta’s Restaurant

margarita

Happy Cinco De Mayo


Lemon Poppyseed Bars

Sometimes you just have to have a refreshing dessert.  As part of my job as an R&D Consulting Chef for ACH Food Companies, I get to “inventorize” (new word) recipes made with our products.  This truly is one of my favorites, next month’s is another.  I hope you enjoy these bars as much as we all did testing and tasting them.  Quick, easy and just delicious!  This would make a very refreshing dessert for your Easter Sunday Dinner.

Lemon Poppyseed GY Bread

This wonderful product is available at Sam’s Clubs and soon to be in a Walmart near you!

Lemon Poppyseed Yogurt Bars

Servings: 36 2-inch squares
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes

1 Package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade® Lemon Poppyseed Mix
2/3 cups Greek yogurt
1 stick butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 ½ cup sugar
¼ cup lemon juice, or juice from 2 fresh lemons
¼ cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium mixing bowl, blend together softened butter and yogurt. Add lemon poppyseed mix and continuing mixing until combined.

Press mix into an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm and golden.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice until creamy. Add the flour and whisk until incorporated. Pour over the baked crust.

Bake for an additional 20 minutes. The bars will firm up as they cool. Top with powdered sugar, if desired, for garnish.

Photo

Buon Appetito!


For those of you that have been waiting for this one….a wonderful dessert after any meal.  The Raspberry Yogurt Quick Breads are available at Sam’s Club. (Or you can use my basic crepe recipe…see below)

Raspberry Crepes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Cream Cheese Filled Raspberry Crepes with Blueberry Sauce

Yields: 12-16 crepes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 10 minutes

Raspberry Crepes:
1 package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade Raspberry Flavored Yogurt Quick Bread mix
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup milk
4 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Basic Crepes:
4 eggs
1-cup milk
1-cup flour
1 teaspoon of sugar

Put eggs and milk in food processor. Pulse several times. Add remaining ingredients. Heat omelet pan. Put enough batter in the skillet just to cover the bottom. Swirl the pan around to cover if you need to. As batter cooks it will become dry looking. Remove and add your filling.

Filling:

2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Vanilla Flavoring
½ cup blueberry or raspberry jam

Berry Sauce:
1 package (16 ounce) frozen berries
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon Argo® Cornstarch

Topping:
Powdered sugar

To make the crepes, combine quick bread mix, yogurt, milk, eggs and melted butter in a food processor or an electric mixer. Mix until smooth. Lightly butter a non-stick 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Using a one ounce ladle (or 2 tablespoons) pour batter into prepared pan,  rotating pan until batter covers the bottom. Cook until lightly brown, about one minute.   Remove crepe from pan and repeat with remaining batter.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth, add the jam and stir until well combined. Preheat oven to 300°F.

To assemble the filled crepes, place about 2 tablespoon of filling on each crepe in a line. Roll up the crepes and place them in a baking dish, seam side down. Bake for 10 minutes.

To make the berry sauce, combined all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve over cooked crepes and top with powdered sugar.

Happy March – Cream Cheese Filled Raspberry Crepes with Blueberry Sauce


Happy Valentines Day!

Mushroom Mixture:
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped sun dried tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine

Wellington:
4 prime cut filet mignons, 4-6 ounce in size, 1 1/2” thick
freshly ground sea salt & coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
Egg wash, 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water

Wine Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 package Beef Demi Glace, 2.6 ounces
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Heat a medium sized saute pan over medium heat, add butter and melt. Add the shallots & garlic, saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook until wine has evaporated.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Generously spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray.
In a large skillet, heat oil. Generously sprinkle both sides of filets with salt & pepper. Place in hot skillet and sear filets on all sides until brown. Remove from skillet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry large enough to wrap around the beef. Divide mushroom mixture in fourths and place in center of pastry. Top mushrooms with filet. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash. Wrap filet with pastry cutting off any extra (use the extra for topping wellington with shapes or initials).
Place seam side down on baking sheet and top wellington with egg wash. Bake 15-20 minutes or until pastry is golden on top. Use an instant read thermometer for accurate meat temperature (125 for rare, 130 for medium) let meat rest 5 minutes before serving.
In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft. Add demi glace and red wine. Cook until mixture is reduced by half. Add heavy cream. Serve immediately. Place wine sauce on a serving dish and top with beef wellington.
Buon Appetito!



This one is for all my gluten free and vegetarian friends…an easy and very flavorful side dish, or even as a main meal.

Spaghetti squash (also called vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, vegetable marrow, spaghetti marrow, and squaghetti) is a group of cultivars of Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo.[1] The fruit can range either from ivory to yellow or orange in color. The orange varieties have a higher carotene content. Its center contains many large seeds. Its flesh is bright yellow or orange. When raw, the flesh is solid and similar to other raw squash; when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

You will need:

1 2lb. spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional oil for drizzling over squash
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & freshly ground black pepper
red pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, strained & rinsed
2 tablespoons Panko Breadcrumbs

Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half, lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds from center of the squash.  Place squash cut side down in a microwavable pan.  Add 1 inch of water to the pan.  Cover the squash with plastic wrap, microwave for 10 minutes.DSC_0045

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.  When oil is hot add chopped onion, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (to taste), cook over medium low heat until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.  DSC_0050

When cooked, remove squash from microwave.  Place squash on a cutting board; use a fork to remove the strands of the “spaghetti” squash, place in a mixing bowl.DSC_0051 DSC_0055

Add chopped parsley, basil, parmesan cheese, tomatoes, salt and freshly ground black pepper to spaghetti squash.  Mix until combined.  Fill each squash skin with mixture, divided evenly.

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Top each half with 1 tablespoon Panko bread crumbs.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (if desired).  Place squash in a preheated 350° oven, bake for 15-20 minutes or until squash is golden brown.  DSC_0065 Buon Appetito!!!

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Baked Stuffed Spaghetti Squash


For those of you who purchased my calendar, here is the one I know you have been waiting for….the perfect cheesecake.  Enjoy!!!

Bailey's Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
2.25 ounces toasted pecan pieces
1 16 ounce package Oreo cookies
1 stick butter, melted

In a skillet over medium high heat, toast pecans until slightly golden, about 2-3 minutes. Place Oreo’s in a food processor and process until finely crumbled. Add toasted pecan pieces and process for a few seconds. Combine melted butter and Oreo mixture. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9” spring form pan. Bake in a preheated 325° oven for 7 minutes.

4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup Bailey’s Coffee Liquor
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add Bailey’s and mix untiled blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add sour cream, vanilla and flour and mix until smooth.

2 oz. semi sweet chocolate, melted

Pour 1/2 of the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pan. Drizzle 1/2 of the melted chocolate over the cheesecake. Using a knife, swirl the chocolate over the top. Repeat with the remaining cheesecake mixture and melted chocolate.

Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cake cool in the oven for one hour with the door closed to prevent cracking. Refrigerate overnight…best made one or two days before serving.

Buon Appetito!!!

Bailey’s Marbled Cheesecake