Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Zucchini Noodles with Lime Tomato Salsa

Summer's bounty with a new twist.

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Use a spiral vegetable slicer to make zucchini noodles.  Set aside.
Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl.
Season to taste with additional jalapeno, lime juice, and salt.
Toss with zucchini noodles.
Serve immediately.

I received a Very Healthy Spiral Vegetable Slicer for free to review from VarietyLand.  This easy to use kitchen gadget will add a healthy twist to your meals.  I have only used it to make the zucchini noodles, but I can't wait to try sweet potatoes next. I was delighted at how easy and effortless it was to create the long noodles.  Perfect for all the fresh summer vegetables.  The Very Healthy Spiral Vegetable Slicer is made of high-quality durable plastic with stainless steel blades that are built to last.  Clean-up was a breeze, just rinse under running water.  I didn't even need to use the brush that was included with it.  So if you want to try a spiral vegetable slicer, I would highly recommend Very Healthy Spiral Vegetable Slicer by VarietyLand available from Amazon.

Pecan Pie Cookies

Rich flavors of pecan pie in a cookie.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix 1 cup butter and sugar at medium speed with a mixer until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks, 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and pinch of salt, mixing well.
Gradually add flour into batter; don't over-mix.
Cover and chill 1 hour.
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat; stir in powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons corn syrup.
Cook, stirring, until mixture boils.
Remove from heat.
Mix in pecans and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla.
Chill 30 minutes.
Shape mixture into 1/4-inch balls; set aside.
Roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls.
Place cookies 2 inches apart on  parchment-lined cookie sheets.
Beat egg whites until foamy; brush on cookies.
Bake in preheated 375-degree oven for 6 minutes.
Remove from oven, and place pecan balls in center of each cookie.
Bake 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheets.
Cool completely on wire racks.

Yield: 4 1/2 dozen.

Freeze up to 1 month, if desired.

Printable Recipe

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

A tender and moist cake, with a middle layer of cinnamon filling and a crumbly streusel topping.

Streusel Topping:
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Stir together streusel topping ingredients.  Set aside.
Stir together filling ingredients. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, salt, sugars, baking powder and vanilla until well combined and smooth.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, mix together the sour cream and milk.
Add the flour to the butter mixture alternating with the milk mixture, beating gently to combine.
Begin and end with flour.
Spread half the batter into a prepared 9"X13" baking pan.
Sprinkle the filling evenly over top of the batter.
Drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over top of filling.
Gently pull knife through batter to swirl throughout pan.
Sprinkle the streusel topping over the batter in the pan.
Bake for 50 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool for 20-minutes.
Serve from pan.


Bake in two  9" round cake pans.  Freeze one for later.
You can prepare this coffeecake the night before, then bake in the morning. Cover the unbaked cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Next morning, bake the cake as directed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Swiss Steak

Slow-cook a relatively tough round steak to produce a fork-tender Swiss Steak in a rich gravy.

  • 1 pound beef bottom round, tenderized by butcher
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth

Season the steak on both sides with the salt and pepper.
Dredge the pieces of meat on both sides in the flour.
Add vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the steaks to the pan.
Cook until golden brown on both sides.
Remove the steaks to a plate and repeat until all of the steaks have been browned.  Set aside.
Add the onions and garlic to pan and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and stir.
Add the tomatoes, paprika, oregano, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth and stir to combine.
Return the meat to the pot, covering it in the liquid.
Bring to a boil.
Cover the skillet.
Reduce heat to a simmer.
Cook for 1 1/2  hours or until the meat is fork-tender.

Printable Recipe

Monday, June 15, 2015

Grilled Onion Cheeseburgers and Alpha Grillers Grill Brush

Summer grilling starts with a clean grill.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 hamburger bun, made into soft bread crumbs
  • 4 ounces melted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 American cheese slices
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • tomato slices
  • lettuce
  • dilled pickle slices
  • mayonnaise

Mix ground beef with egg, bread crumbs, butter, salt and pepper.
Divide and shape into 4 patties.
Place meat patties and onion slices on pre-heated grill.
Close grill lid.
Cook onion slices 3 minutes, turn and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove onion slices from grill and place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Cook meat patties for 5 minutes with grill lid closed.
Turn meat patties over and cook 3 minutes.
Remove from grill.
Top with onion and cheese.
Return to grill and finish cooking until desired doneness.
Toast buns.
Serve with desired toppings.

Nothing is worse than a dirty grill that has to be cleaned before you can make your favorite burgers. Today, I received the Alpha Grillers grill brush to use and review.  It is made with tough stainless steel bristles and a comfortable plastic two-handed grip.  The 18" long shaft is perfect. It allows good control and pressure, but also keeps your arms far enough away from the heat.  The best feature is the innovative 3-sided design that lets you get deep between the grates and into those tricky corners.  For best results you should clean your grill while it is still hot.  Just have a bowl of soapy water and your Alpha Grillers brush by your grill and clean-up is a breeze.  No more brunt on food the next time you are ready to grill.  I highly recommend you try the Alpha Grillers grill brush if you are in the market for a new grill brush.  It is safe to use on all grill surfaces, even porcelain grill grates.  You can purchase your Alpha Grillers grill brush from Amazon at this link Alpha Grillers grill brush and Free E-recipe Book.   I found their video How to Clean Your Grill very helpful. No more dirty grills for me. 

Pina Colada

A refreshing tropical drink with the taste of coconut and pineapple to beat the summer heat.
  • 3 ounces light rum
  • 4 ounces cream of coconut
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 cup frozen crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup crushed ice
Pour rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice and frozen crushed pineapple into a blender with crushed ice.
Blend until smooth, and pour into 2 glasses.
Garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve.
Non-alcoholic Pina Colada
  • 5 ounces cream of coconut
  • 6 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 cup frozen crushed pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed ice
Pour cream of coconut, pineapple juice and frozen crushed pineapple into a blender with crushed ice.
Blend until smooth, and pour into 2 glasses.
Garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Cajun Spiced Pecans

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 ounces pecan halves

Mix butter, Creole seasoning, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce.
Pour over pecan halves.
Toss to coat.
Arrange pecans into a single layer on a jelly-roll pan.
Bake in preheated 300-degree oven for 15 minutes.
Stir after about 8 minutes.
Store in airtight container.

Make your own Creole seasoning.

Recipe for Creole Seasoning

Creole Seasoning

26 ounces table salt
1 1/2 ounces ground black pepper
2 ounces ground red pepper
1 ounce garlic powder
1 ounce chili powder
1 ounce Accent seasoning

Mix all ingredients together.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Orange Glazed Pecans

Citrusy-sweet pecans make the perfect appetizer or snack.

  • 2 cups pecans halves
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Toast pecans in a 350-degree oven for 8 minutes.
In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and orange juice.
Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads soft-ball stage, 
Remove from the heat; stir in pecans and orange zest
Beat mixture with a wooden spoon until it thickens and loses its gloss, about 2 minutes.
Drop pecan halves onto waxed paper to set.
When cool break apart.
Store in an airtight container 

Printable Recipe

Monday, June 8, 2015


A sweet, slightly crumbly brown sugar candy loaded with toasted pecans.

  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toast pecans in a 350-degree oven for 8 minutes.
Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, evaporated milk and butter in a heavy sauce pot.
Bring to a boil stirring constantly.
Cook over medium-high heat until soft-ball stage, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat when candy thermometer reads 232-degrees.
Cool sugar mixture about 15 minutes or until 150-degrees.
Stir in pecans and vanilla.
Beat with a wooden spoon for 1 to 2 minutes or candy begins to thicken.
Drop quickly onto wax paper.
Store in air-tight container.

If candy becomes to hard to drop add a spoonful of hot water and stir.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Pear Martini

Try Pear Martinis at your next brunch for something different. A drink that has a delicate fresh taste.

  • 1 1/2 ounces pear vodka
  • 1  ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce pear puree
  • pear slice for garnish
  • cheese cube for garnish

Mix together and shake over ice.
Strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with pear and cheese.

You can buy pear flavored vodka and pear puree, but it is easy to make your own.
For a non-alcoholic version replace vodka with pear nectar.

Pear Vodka
  • 6 pears, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 fifth vodka
Pour vodka over pears.
Store in refrigerator for one week.
Shake occasionally.
Strain and discard solids.

Pear Puree
  • 2 cups pears, peeled and cored
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
Mix together in a medium sauce pot.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and cook 2 minutes or until tender.
Puree in blender.
Store in refrigerator.
Freeze for longer storage.

Printable Recipe

Monday, June 1, 2015

Peach Daiquiri

Enjoy with or without rum on a hot summer day.

  • 4 large peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons simple syrup
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 4 ounces light rum

Place all ingredients in blender.
Blend on high speed until slushy.
Pour into glasses.
For non-alcoholic drink omit rum.

For non-alcoholic drink omit rum.

Printable Recipe