Wedge Salad

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters
  • Thousand Island Dressing (you could use your favorite dressing)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cucumber peeled, and then cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 (or as many as you want) Peperoncini’s

On each salad plate, place 1 wedge of lettuce turned on its side. Pour dressing on wedge. Sprinkle with carrots, green onions, cucumbers, shredded cheese, and crumbled bacon, LOTS of Bacon!

Vanilla Sugar

I always see and hear the chef’s on Food Network talk about Vanilla Sugar and always wanted to make it. I mean how much better can you get than adding Vanilla Beans to sugar! YUM! So I made some. I had some extra vanilla beans and I needed vanilla sugar for a cookie recipe, so I made extra to put on other stuff too. My hubby added it to his coffee and he said it made the coffee taste even better. I like to slice Pink grapefruits up and sprinkle a little sugar on them to take away a little of the tang they have. So I added the Vanilla sugar and it added a little something more than just plain sugar! Make some! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! And not to mention it smells fabulous! Who doesn’t like the smell of vanilla, and sugar?

Vanilla Sugar:

Cut a vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds. Stir together seeds, (I even put it through a sifter, cause sometimes I scrape the bean too hard and I get some of the insides of the bean too) stir in bean after you sift, add 2 cups sugar. Cover and let sit at room temperature fir 1 to 2 weeks.

BLT Bites

Recipe

24 -30 cherry tomatoes

1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup mayonnaise or 1/2 cup salad dressing

1/3 cup chopped green onion

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese or 3 tablespoons cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

Cut slice off tops of tomatoes.

Use a small (1/4 tsp) metal measuring spoon to scoop out pulp and discard.

 Invert tomatoes on paper towels to drain.

 Combine remaining ingredients.

Spoon mixture into tomatoes.

refrigerate several hours.

Watch them disappear.

Chicken with Tarragon and White Wine

Today I am very excited to post this recipe as I got the best Christmas present EVER from my hubby! I got  a Le Creuset Dutch Oven! I have wanted one of these since I can Remember! And now I have one and I am SO Excited to cook MANY awesome dishes in it!

Recipe

Chicken:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (4 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour for dusting

Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) cipollini or pearl onions, trimmed and peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white wine, such as Riesling

 

  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

For the chicken: In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the oil over high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste, and dust with flour.

Cook the chicken, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.

For the sauce: Heat the same pan used for the chicken over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the chicken pieces to the pan. Add 3 cups of chicken broth and 1/2 cup of tarragon and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and cook, turning the chicken pieces over every 10 minutes, until cooked through, about 30 minutes total for the breasts and wings and 40 minutes total for the legs and thighs. Transfer the chicken to a platter and loosely tent with foil while finishing the sauce.

To finish the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1/3 cup chicken broth and flour. Whisk the flour mixture into the sauce until smooth. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve the sauce over the chicken and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of tarragon.

Cucumber, Tomato Salad

I found this Recipe on The Food Network. Watched it being made one day! Looked so good! So I got all the stuff to make it and then come to find out that I don’t like Snap Peas! I tried them before I put them in the salad (Good Idea) So this salad ended up being just a Cucumber, Tomato Salad instead and it was so yummy!

  • 2 small Persian cucumbers, unpeeled, thinly sliced (Couldn’t find these, so I used English Cucumbers)
  • 1 cup (about 1/2 pint) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad: add to a salad bowl cucumbers, tomatoes and dill.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and lemon zest until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until coated.

Cook’s Note: As an alternative to boiling, the snap peas can be lightly steamed for 2 minutes.

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Spicy Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

Wanted to make these because well #1 they call for BACON!! #2 they call for Rosemary and I was so excited to use fresh Roasemary from my tree that I got. #3 you dip them in sour cream (my second favorite thing next to bacon).

Recipe

1 pound small or medium red potatoes

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped, fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
12 ounces-to-1 pound thick-cut bacon
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon hot sauce
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and dry the potatoes. Chop them into 1-inch pieces, keeping the chunks roughly the same size, even if they aren’t the exact same shape. Put the potatoes in a medium pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Season the water with salt. Once the water begins to boil, cook the potatoes for about 3 to 4 minutes, until you can stick a fork into them without too much resistance. You want the potatoes to be almost, but not fully, cooked through (so they won’t fall apart during the next steps).

Drain the potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Add the rosemary, olive oil, salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and toss until the potatoes are evenly coated.

Cut the strips of bacon in half (with a short, vertical slice). Wrap each piece of potato in a half-strip of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. You may need to cook the potatoes in two batches.

Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, then flip each piece. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through and crisp. Mix the sour cream and hot sauce in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pile the potato bites on a plate and serve alongside the dip.

Sugar Cookies

Found this magazine one day at the Grocery store:

and one of my favorite cookies is (of course) sugar cookies, so I found a yummy recipe and made some!

 

Sesame Chicken Salad with Spinach, Cucumber and Cilantro

I am in love with Tyler Florence on The Food Network. I LOVE his show Tyler’s Ultimate. He makes pretty much all the foods I like. And it always looks SO good. So I was at a get together with some friends and I was telling a friend how much I love him and she has his cookbook so she brought it out to show me, and then I started looking through it and then she offered for me to borrow it. So I did. This is one of his Recipes from his Cookbook:

Page 128

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 4 boneless,skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 1.5 cups panko
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • A couple good handfuls of stemmed spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled, cut crosswise into think slices
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 scallion, white and green part, sliced
  • Cracked black pepper

Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 table spoon rice wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, ginger, sugar, and red pepper flakes for the vinaigrette.

  • Toast 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet until fragrant, a minute or two, then set aside.
  • Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Put a chicken breast on the cutting board and, holding a large knife parallel to the board, cut through the breast horizontally so that you get 2 thin fillets. Repeat with the 3 remaining breasts. Put the chicken on a platter, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Set the rest of the vinaigrette aside. Let the chicken marinate for about 10 minutes.
  • Combine the panko and the remaining ¼ cup sesame seeds in a shallow bowl and season with a little salt and pepper. Mix with your fingers so that the seasoning is incorporated and then taste it; the panko should be well seasoned. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned crumbs, patting the crumbs gently so that they adhere.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Line a platter with paper towels and set that to the side of the stove. Add about half of the chicken to the pan and cook about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Remove the chicken to the towel-lined platter to drain while you cook the rest of the chicken.
  • Put the spinach in a bowl with the cucumber, cilantro, scallion, and a tablespoon of the toasted sesame seeds, and give it a good toss. To serve, arrange a mound of greens on a plate, set a piece of chicken on top, stack a few more greens on top, and finish with another piece of chicken. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Make 3 more plates this way and shower with the remaining tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds and cracked black pepper