Cheese-Stuffed Portobellos

Recipe

Cooking spray
4 6-inch Portobello mushroom caps
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4 cups spinach
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 shallot (1 finely chopped)
1 large tomato, diced (I did canned tomatoes)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
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Preheat the broiler. Mist a foil-lined broiler pan with cooking spray. Put the mushrooms gill-side down on the pan; broil 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the spinach,
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breadcrumbs,
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mozzarella,
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chopped shallot,
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tomato,
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2 tablespoons each Parmesan
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and olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.

Remove the mushrooms from the broiler and turn them gill-side up on the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Mound the spinach filling on the mushrooms and top with the ricotta. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan and broil until the filling is heated through and the ricotta is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
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Spicy BBQ Chicken Tostadas

Recipe

Spicy BBQ Chicken:
2 tablespoons sweet paprika (I used smoked)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
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2 pounds bone in, skinless chicken thighs

For the tostadas:
Tostadas (store bought or homemade*)
Sour cream
Shredded cheese of your choice (I used Monterey Jack & Colby)
Salsa or pico de gallo
Lime wedges

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the spices in a small bowl.
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Generously rub the spice mixture on the chicken thighs, making sure to thoroughly coat.

Place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until juices run clear and is completely cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 5-10 minutes.

Using 2 forks, remove the chicken from the bones. Use this seasoned chicken or your tostadas.

To assemble your tostadas, spread a dollop of sour cream on top of the tostadas. Top with a heaping tablespoon of the spicy bbq chicken. Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

*To make homemade tostadas, briefly fry corn tortillas in oil until crisp and lightly browned. Drain on a paper towel and cool slightly before topping.
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Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna

So friday was a pretty good day. Made my boss a tart and got to slack off the last hour of work, my co workers thanked me for that!

Then after work Normy called and said he was hanging out with Timmy and then asked if I wouldn’t mind if Timmy and Katie coming over and I said sure why not, but I needed to bake. I had a cake and cupcake order and I also had another cake I was baking my nephew for his birthday. So I told Normy I saw a recipe at work and I wanted to make it, so I told him it was Ahi Tuna and he said ok let’s make it and we will make Timmy and Katie dinner too.

So I started the night off making dinner for Timmy and Katie This is what I made…

Well First I started everyone off with these chips from Whole Foods with Whole food Guac, Great way to start!

Then Normy made some Drinks
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Then I made them Caprese Salad

But First Timmy had to do this before I made the salad
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I taught him SO well!
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Then I made Mushroom Salad
LOVE me some mushrooms!
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Then I made the Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna

Recipe

◦1 Ahi tuna steak (mine was about 8 oz. or 1/2 pound) – I did this X4 as there was 4 people!
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◦2 Tablespoons of black sesame seeds
◦2 Tablespoons of white sesame seeds
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◦Kosher Salt
◦Olive oil (or vegetable oil) for frying
◦Optional: (Arugula tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper), Teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and wasabi

Let tuna steak completely defrost overnight in the freezer (if using fresh tuna, skip this step). Lightly use a paper towel and pat the steak to absorb excess juices. Cut steak to your liking–you can sear the entire steak as it is or cut it into a rectangle to get more even slices (I did the latter and cut my tuna steak in half to get smaller pieces).

In a separate bowl big enough to fit the tuna steak, add the black and white sesame seeds as well as a sprinkle of kosher salt. Using tongs, coat the entire outside of the tuna by pressing it into the sesame seeds until the steak is completely covered.
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In a pan, add enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan and preheat the pan to medium-high heat. Then take the tuna and place it in the hot pan and sear for about 45 seconds* on all sides (including the skinnier sides!). Tongs really help for this process.
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Slice steak up into pieces
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and serve with soy sauce and wasabi.
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* I like my tuna extremely raw (like sashimi) so 45 seconds on each side was perfect. If you don’t like your tuna as raw, sear for longer but I suggest that you don’t go over 2 minutes or else your tuna will be too dry.
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Timmy and Katie Really liked dinner
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Especially Timmy
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He said the Mushrooms were Money.

So then after dinner I started baking and Normy got to do this
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LUCKY!

So I started baking around 10PM. I had a Guinness chocolate cake to make and a dozen rainbow cupcakes too, PLUS I wanted to make my nephew TJ an angry bird cake for a family party for Saturday. I was up till 2AM making the Guinness cake and cupcakes, and baked the cake for my nephew, then got up Saturday morning and started frosting my the cake and finished that at 2:30PM…Check out my creations!
When baking, you use a LOT of butter
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and the BEST cake of them all
Angry Birds Cake!
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Look at that cake!
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all that work was SO worth it, cause look at what I got
A hug
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and a Smooooooch
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and ANOTHER hug
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But then Angry bird had to be cut…GRRRRR
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AHHHHHHHH
So sad!
But tasted oooooh soooooo goooood
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That's all Folks!

Fresh Fruit Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream

I made this Friday for my boss. It was her Birthday and well she puts up with a LOT! So I thought I would make her feel special! I think everyone should feel special on their birthday, no matter what age you are…

So special story about my tart pan and why I bought it. Well I had always wanted a tart pan and well I just kept putting it off to buy one, and by the way they aren’t that expensive. So one of my co workers helps these special kids out and so she was having a celebration for them http://youthtransformationcent​er.org/ and so I offered to donate some Jamie Cakes (Cupcakes) to them. So I made Rainbow Cupcakes for these amazing kids and just really made their day and made them feel special. So to thank me for being so generous and making these cupcakes for them, They got me a gift card to my favorite Cake store and so I saved my gift card for a while and wanted to save it for something special to buy, So I bought my very 1st tart pan with it! So this tart pan is special to me…So my 1st tart was to make someone else feel special…my boss.

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recipe

For the tart dough:
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
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For the pastry cream:
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping:
15-20 Strawberries, washed and sliced
I Heart YOU!
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6-9 oz. raspberries
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1/2-1 cup blueberries
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6-9 oz. Blackberries
Apple jelly, for glazing

To make the tart shell, whisk together the egg yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl; set aside. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Process briefly to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture;
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process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch dish. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. (If refrigerated for more than an hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable.) Unwrap and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan. Mold the dough to the sides of the tart pan and remove the excess off the top. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to middle position. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a 12-inch square of foil into the frozen shell and over the edge, and fill with pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5-8 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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To make the pastry cream, heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
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When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

To assemble the tart, spread the cold pastry cream evenly over the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange the fruit on top of the pastry cream as desired. Heat the jelly in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, just until slightly melted and easy to stir. Using a pastry brush, paint a light layer of jelly over the fresh fruit. Serve.
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Norman’s Beer Can Grilled Chicken

I can not take credit for this recipe or the pictures taken…

Normy made dinner the night we had this as I was getting my hairs done! When I get my hairs done it takes 3 hours. I have LOTS of hairs! I can take credit for the pictures of my hairs, but the food pictures are all Normy! BTW Dinner was fabulous! Nice to have it cooked for me!

before
Before
before
Before
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After
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After

It always feels so good to get your hairs did!

Recipe

Beer Can Chicken Rub:
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder

For the Chicken:
4 pounds chicken, washed and dried
Vegetable oil
Beer Can Chicken Rub
1 (12-ounce) can beer

For the chicken rub:

In a small bowl mix all the ingredients together and use for the grilled chicken. You can store extra rub mixture in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

For the chicken:

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

Rub the chicken and its cavity down with the vegetable oil. Season the chicken with rub mixture, remembering to season the cavity. Pour out 1/4 of the beer and sit the chicken on top of the beer can. Place the chicken in the center of the hot grill and cover. Cook the chicken for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F. Once cooked, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

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(Normy doesn’t do step by step photos like I do, he just gives you the finished product) LOL
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Oven Steak Fries

recipe

5 russet potatoes, cut into thin wedges
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme, eyeball it
1 teaspoon dried oregano, eyeball it
1 tablespoon steak seasoning blend, such as Montreal Steak Seasoning or, salt and pepper

Preheat oven to high. Cut potatoes
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and spread out on a cookie sheet.
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Coat potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil, dried herbs and steak seasoning or, salt and pepper. Spread potatoes to the corners of the cookie sheet. Cook potatoes in very hot oven 25 minutes.
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Turn potatoes once, half way in the cooking process. Serve fries hot from the oven.
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Ranch Burgers

recipe

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup crushed saltine crackers
1 onion, chopped

Preheat the grill for high heat.

In a bowl, mix the ground beef, ranch dressing mix, egg, crushed crackers, and onion. Form into hamburger patties.
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Lightly oil the grill grate. Place patties on the grill, and cook 5 minutes per side, or until well done.

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Maple Glazed Salmon

Recipe

2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
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Cooking spray
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Preheat broiler.

In a small bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients; stir well.
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Place salmon, skin side down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush the tops of each filet with maple mixture.

Broil 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, brushing with maple mixture after 5 minutes and again after 10 minutes.

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Chinese Beef With Broccoli

Found this recipe from Food Network Magazine that I bought!

Recipe

2 tablespoons cornstarch
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4 tablespoons soy sauce
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2 teaspoons sugar
5 tablespoons peanut oil
1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
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1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 thin slices peeled ginger
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
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2 cloves garlic, minced
Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)

Whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch,
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3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a large bowl. Add the steak and toss to coat;
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refrigerate until ready to cook.

Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon each cornstarch and soy sauce, the oyster sauce and chicken broth in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the ginger, broccoli and the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar and stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a plate. Heat 1 more tablespoon peanut oil in the skillet, add the onion and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, turning gently, 2 minutes. Transfer the onion and tomatoes to the plate with the broccoli.

Reduce the heat to medium high; add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil to the skillet. Add the garlic and steak and stir-fry 1 minute. Whisk the sauce mixture, then add to the skillet and simmer 1 minute. Return the vegetables to the skillet; cook until the meat is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with rice, if desired.
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