Tag Archive | recipe

FAK !! ChaCha Cherry Sangria

“Friday Afternoon Kocktails” time…  Made a delicious refreshing Sour Cherry Sangria.  Yum yum, this hit the spot Friday afternoon after work, a tall glass loaded with ice, sitting by the pool, chilling with my Sangria, on a hot sunny day, I couldn’t ask for more.  Cheers!

Sour Cherry Sangria

– 1 Bottle of Zinfandel (750ml)

– 3 Cups of FRESH squeezed Orange Juice (I used about 4 Really Big oranges).

– 2 Cups Club Soda or 7-Up  (I like the fizzy and I used 7-Up)

– 1/4 Cup Triple Sec

– 1 Jar Sour Pitted Cherries, juice drained  (NOT Maraschino)

– 1/2 Cup of the Sour Cherry Juice (from the jar)

– Several Slices of Oranges  (keep a few to decorate your glasses)

– Several Slices of Lemons

– Lots of Ice (for the glasses not the pitcher)

In a glass pitcher add the Zinfandel, the fresh squeezed Orange Juice, Club Soda or 7-Up, Triple Sec, Sour Cherries, Sour Cherry Juice, Orange and Lemon slices.  Stir well and refrigerate until very cold.  In a tall glass, fill with ice, pour in Sangria, decorate the rim with a few orange slices…Enjoy!  Simply refreshing !!

Cherry Sangria

Cherry Sangria

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“FAK!” Pina Coladas

“FAK !”   I hope to have a recipe every Friday for our “Friday Afternoon Kocktails”.  It is nice to just sit and relax and have a cocktail (you can make it virgin, they still taste amazing even if you don’t add the alcohol) and cocktails look soooo pretty too!  Weather has been rather hot here to say the least,  the humidity just makes it more unbearable.  At least I have some comfort in the enjoyment of my pool and a nice cold  refreshment makes it so much more enjoyable.  My recipe for my cold frothy Pina Coladas.  You can hold the alcohol or not, your choice.  I opted for the booze (Oooops!).

PINA COLADA

–  2  Cups Fresh Pineapple (Blended and pureed and put into ice cube trays, Freeze.  Do this a day ahead)

–  3 oz Rum  (I used 1 oz Bacardi White Rum and 2 oz Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum)

–  1/2 Cup Coconut Cream

–  1 Cup Pineapple Juice

–  1 Cup Crushed Ice

–  Fresh Slices of Pineapple and Maraschino Cherries (on the stem if you can find them) for Decoration and eating enjoyment  🙂

Put all the ingredients into a blender and Blend, Blend, Blend…  Serve immediately in a tall glass and decorate with Pineapple slice (I forgot to keep myself a few slices of fresh pineapple, o0yyy!  But I did add the cherries heehee).  A cute little paper parasol was missing, oh well next time.

Cold Frothy Pina Colada Drink

Cold Frothy Pina Colada Drink

Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti

One dish meals,  I think they are my favorite.  So much less clean up after dinner and more of relaxing time.  Tonight I prepared spinach stuffed manicotti.   You can prepare a few things ahead of time for this recipe, like making a fresh spaghetti sauce, chop up the onion, wash and chop up the spinach and prepare your pan to receive the shells after boiling.  I had my homemade spaghetti sauce in the freezer (I do a lot of cooking and prep and freeze to have homemade meals rather than make a fast food pit stop), so I simply took it out of the freezer the night before to thaw in the refrigerator.  So lets get to it…

Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti               Makes about 20 stuffed shells.

–   1 small onion, chopped

–  2 cloves garlic

–  1 T. Olive Oil

–  1 package Manicotti shells (I had 20 shells)

–  9×13 inch baking dish, lightly oiled  (I used a glass lasagna dish)

–  Prepare a cookie sheet lined with foil and oiled lightly with olive oil.  (This prevents your shells from sticking to the pan while they cool).

In a small pan on medium heat, add olive oil.  Add the onions and garlic and sautée for a few minutes.  Remove from heat.  In a large pot, fill with water adding a drop of olive oil to the water and bring to a boil.  Add the manicotti shells and cook for approximately 6-8 minutes.  They should be somewhat firm, do not overcook or they will break when you are filling the shells.  When they are done, remove the shells to your prepared cookie sheet, in a single layer, do not put them on top of one another, they will stick together.  Set aside to cool.  Begin your Ricotta mixture.

Ricotta Mixture:

–  1 tub of Ricotta (625 grams or  2 1/2 cups)

–  1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese  (grated fresh or the container kind)

–  4 to 6 cups Spinach, chopped

–  1 large pastry bag fitted with just a coupler or a freezer bag with the corner cut off about  1″  wide.

–  Prepared homemade spaghetti sauce or you can use a store bought variety  (I used about 3 – 4 cups)

–  1/4 cup heavy cream 35%

–  1 cup shredded Mozzerella Cheese

In a large bowl, add the reserved onions and garlic, Ricotta, Parmesan Cheese and the Spinach and mix well until fully combined.  Set aside.   Add your spaghetti sauce to a pan and heat.  When the sauce is hot, add the heavy cream and stir until combined.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spoon about 1-2 cups of your sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, spreading it to all the sides, make sure it is a thick enough layer.  Take your pastry bag fitted with the coupler and fill the bag with the Ricotta mixture.  Begin to fill your Manicotti shells, careful not to break any by overstuffing, fill one side halfway and then turn your shell and fill the other end.  Place your shell in the baking dish on top of the sauce and repeat these steps until all your shells are filled and in the baking dish.  They should be in one layer side by side not on top of one another.  Ladle some more sauce on top of the shells, be generous.  Top with the shredded Mozzerella Cheese.  Put in the preheated oven, uncovered, and bake for about 30 minutes.  When you remove your Manicotti from the oven, let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with crusty bread and a wonderful salad.  Delish!

Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti.

Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti.

Forgot to take a picture when they were baked….Oooops!

 

 

 

Breakfast Crepes with Fruit

Made some delicious crepes last week and wanted to share the recipe.  It was fast and easy (okay maybe washing and slicing the fruit took a little time, but deliciousness is worth it!).  Here is the recipe,

Breakfast Crepes with Fruit

2 Large Eggs  

3/4 Cup Homogenized Milk (3.25%)

1/2 Cup Water

1 t. Vanilla

1/4 t. Cinnamon

1 Cup Flour

3 T. Melted Butter (+ some for pan)

Assorted Fresh Fruit, cut-up in small pieces  (I used Strawberry, Banana & Pineapple)  Any fruit would be great  🙂

Whipping Cream 35% for filling.  (about 1 cup)

DIRECTIONS:  Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Transfer your crepe batter into a covered bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.  This allows for the bubbles to subside, so the crepes are less likely to tear during cooking.  Can be kept in refrigerator up to 48 hours. Meanwhile, prepare all your fruit to fill the crepes and whip up the the whipping cream.  Heat a non-stick pan.  Add some butter to coat the pan.  Add about 1 T. of the batter to the center of the pan and swirl around quickly to form a large circle, batter is thin and you should easily be able to do this, but do it quickly.  You can also decide on how big or small you want your crepes by decreasing or increasing your Tablespoon amount of batter.  Cook for about 30 seconds and flip the crepe, cook for another 10-15 seconds.  I like mine a deep golden color.  Remove the cooked crepe to a cutting board with lined paper towel to cool. Continue cooking all your crepes.  When all your crepes are cooled, take one crepe and spread some whipped topping, add some fruit and roll up, Voila!  so easy. Crepes can be stacked and stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer up to two months.  I stack my crepes between parchment paper when storing in the freezer.  When defrosting your crepes from the freezer, allow them to completely defrost before separating papers.  *If you want to make a crepe for filling with eggs or veggies, simply omit the vanilla and cinnamon.  Crepes are not just for breakfast, these fruit filled crepes make an excellent dessert!  If you want to go crazy, drizzle some melted chocolate over top your fruit filled crepes.  Slurrrrp!

Cut up your desired fruit.

Cut up your desired fruit.

 

Refrigerated batter.

Refrigerated batter.

 

Swirl batter in pan quickly to form a thin circle.

Swirl batter in pan quickly to form a thin circle.

 

Cook 30 seconds on one side, flip and cook another 10-15 seconds on other side.

Cook 30 seconds on one side, flip and cook another 10-15 seconds on other side.

 

Crepe Fillings

Crepe Fillings

 

Devour Me Ready Crepes !!

Devour Me Ready Crepes !!

This recipe has been adapted from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/crepes-recipe.html

Cabbage Rolls

Who likes cabbage rolls?  I like cabbage rolls, very much so. I know I know, the smell of cooking cabbage, if you can just forget about that for 20 minutes they taste absolutely delicious!  On the menu today, Cabbage Rolls!  They are very simple to make and do not have many ingredients, you probably have everything on hand, well maybe except the cabbage?!  Here we go…

CABBAGE ROLLS

1 medium to large size head of cabbage

1-2 lbs extra lean beef hamburger 

1 Egg, slightly beaten

1 cup of rice (converted, not the quick cooking kind)

1 Can Heinz Tomato Juice 1.36L (The can with less sodium)

Salt and Pepper

Toothpicks

In a large bowl, combine your hamburger meat, the slightly beaten egg, the rice and salt and pepper.  Mix well and set aside.  Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-med so it is simmering.  Cut off the hard core of your cabbage and put the cabbage in the simmering water for about 10 minutes then turn heat to low.  Your cabbage leaves should easily pull off, be careful not to tear any. Place them on a large plate and begin to make your cabbage roll ups.  Take a leaf and cut the hard piece (in the center of leaf)  off on each leaf in a v-shape (see picture). Place about 1 Tablespoon of the meat mixture on the leaf and begin rolling up. Make sure you wrap so no meat is exposed and they are tight.  Secure it with one toothpick (you only need one toothpick so try hard not to use 3 or 4,  like I did my first time making these, lol!) Place on a plate and continue making your rolls until all your leaves are used.  I always have extra of the meat mix so I make meatballs with the leftovers.  In a large saucepan, add your Heinz tomato juice.  Now place all your meatballs into the juice, and next your cabbage rolls.  Keep your heat on low-medium, not too high and cook until the meatballs are cooked through.  The juice will thicken up on it’s own.  An easy, simple and pretty quick meal.  Don’t forget, make extra so you can put in the freezer, they freeze very well.

Beef hamburger, Rice, Salt & Pepper.

Beef hamburger, Rice, Salt & Pepper.

Cut the hard membrane out of the cabbage in a V-Shape, makes it easier for rolling.

Cut the hard membrane out of the cabbage in a V-Shape, makes it easier for rolling.

Cooke until meatballs are cooked through.

Cooke until meatballs are cooked through.

Simple, Quick & Very Tasty Too!

Simple, Quick & Very Tasty Too!

 

Tender Beef Stew

Temperatures are mild here, but the sun is nowhere to be seen  😦

It’s a cloudy damp snowy day.  I guess I will do a little cooking and whip up a tender beef stew, AudiRose way…

Crock Pot Tender Beef Stew

3 lbs beef, cubed (I use a blade roast)

1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1/2 tspn. Sea Salt

1/4 tspn. Crushed Black Pepper

2 Tblspns. Olive Oil

1 Tblspn. Butter

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat.  In a large bowl (or zip-lock bag) add flour, salt and pepper.  Coat the beef cubes with the flour.  Add the beef cubes to the skillet and only cook the beef just until it turns a slight brown, do not cook the meat, just change the red colour to a pinky brown.  Overcooking your meat will result in you having to chew on tough meat, and no one wants that!  Set aside. *Keep your pan, do not wash it, as you will use this to sauté your onions and garlic in this pan using the beef remnants.

Now prepare the following:

1 Cup Carrots, Sliced (not too thick)

1 Cup Turnip, Cubed (not too big)

About 6 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed (not too big)

Salt and Pepper

Add all your veggies to the crock pot and sprinkle with a little salt & pepper.

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Prepare your broth for the stew using the pan you used for browning the beef.  Add to the pan,

3 Tblspns. Butter

Once the butter has melted, add:

3 sliced Onions (I did mine in big chunks cuz some people are onion haters here boo)

2 Cloves minced Garlic

Sauté for a few minutes and add,

1 tspn. Thyme

1 tspn. Parsley

1/2 tspn. Allspice

Stir well combining onions and garlic, then add to the pan:

2 Cups Vegetable Broth

1 Cup Red Wine (I use whatever I have in my fridge, this time I used Dao Meia Encosta, a wonderful Portuguese Red Wine)

2-3 Bayleaf

*Mushrooms can also be added at this point, but I didn’t have any on hand.

Now add your beef cubes to the crock pot and pour the broth wine mixture over the meat and vegetables, add the Bayleaf to the top.  Put the lid on the crock pot and cook for about 30 minutes on the high setting and then for approximately 5-6 hours on the low setting. Check your meat, you do not want to overcook it.  

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When the last 1/2 hour of cooking arrives, whisk together

1/4 Cup Vegetable Broth, warmed

1/2 Cup Heinz Ketchup

3 Tblspns. All-Purpose Flour

Add this flour mixture to the crock pot and slowly stir it in to thicken up the wine broth.

In a microwavable container, add 1/2 cup frozen peas and 1/2 cup frozen corn with some water and microwave or a few minutes.  Add to the crock pot. Continue cooking for about 2 more minutes. Serve with some garlic toast!

Tender Beef Stew.

Tender Beef Stew  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delicious Eggplant Roll Ups

Wow!  It has been quite a while since I have been here  (Oooops!)   I  am so busy with a small reno project at the house and everything else,  it has just been crazy to find time.  I am however posting a great recipe for these “Eggplant Roll Ups”.   A friend would always bring me these delicious eggplant rolls every Friday for our little 5:00  à  7:00  by the pool and they were amazing, and good for you!  A great vegetarian alternative.   So I wanted to try and make them myself and they turned out great.  They are pretty easy to prepare,  just a little chopping,  but if you have a processor it is real fast to make.   They are also filling enough to be a meal if you have two.

This recipe was adapted from the Dr. Oz show.  I just tweaked it a little to make them how I would like them.  I am always tweaking things  🙂

EGGPLANT ROLL UPS

2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
2-3 tbsp water   (I used 1 Tblsp.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped   (I used 1 med. red pepper and 1 med. green pepper)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped carrots  (I chopped them very fine)
1/2 cup chopped celery  (I chopped them very fine)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz baby spinach  (I used about  2  1/2 cups baby spinach or 16.5 oz)
1 tbsp no-salt seasoning, adjusted to taste  (I used 1/4  tsp.  ground 3 peppers  red/black/white mix  and 1/2 tsp. each Basil – Oregano – Parsley – 1/4 tsp. Hot peppers)
2 cups no salt added or low-sodium pasta sauce, divided   (I used  1 –  240 ml can diced tomatoes in roasted garlic, juice drained  and 1 – 200 ml can tomato paste and combined them together)
6 oz non-dairy mozzarella-type cheese, divided  (I used 1/2 a bag of the Kraft already shredded Italiano 3 cheese mix)

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a non-stick baking pan. Arrange eggplant in a single layer in the pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until eggplant is flexible enough to roll up easily (check them to make sure they do not get overcooked, you want to be able to just roll them, they should still be firm).  Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons water  (or olive oil)  in a large pan, add the bell pepper(  both peppers if you make my version), onion, celery, and garlic; sauté until just tender, adding more water if needed  (I also added some water at this point not any more oil). Add the spinach and seasoning  (or seasonings) and cook until spinach is wilted  (I did not let it wilt too much I left them still pretty stiff, if that is the right word, they cook in the oven so you still want them to be that pretty bright green).

Transfer to a mixing bowl. Mix in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pasta sauce and all of the shredded cheese (I reserved a bit to include in the middle of each roll up).  Spread about 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce in a baking pan. Put some of the vegetable mixture on each eggplant slice  (I also added some of the reserved cheese here, but just a bit), roll up and place in a pan. Pour the remaining sauce over the eggplant rolls. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until heated through.  *Do not overcook, or they will become soggy.  Serves 6

I have to say this is a very tasty recipe   yummy!   🙂

Easy Eggplant Roll Ups

Easy Eggplant Roll Ups