Monday, 29 December 2014

Zucchini Sticks

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium sweet onion, about 1/2 pound, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
Zucchini sticks
  • 3 medium zucchini, unpeeled, cut into 3"-long stick
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup coarse, dry bread crumbs (e.g., panko)
  • scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Pizza Seasoning or mixed Italian herbs
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute; or 2 large eggs; or 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1) To make the dip: Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over moderate heat, and add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, then caramelize. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions.
2) Once the onions are a medium brown, remove from the heat and add the vinegar.
3) Place the onions and vinegar into a small food processor. Add the honey and mustard, and process or blend until smooth.
4) Add the mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
5) To make the zucchini sticks: Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt. Let the zucchini drain for 1 hour or longer; rinse and pat dry.
6) Combine the Panko, Parmesan, and pizza seasoning; set aside.
7) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spray the parchment with olive oil.
8) Dredge sticks a few at a time in the egg, then roll in the crumb mixture. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.
9) Bake sticks for 12 minutes, turn over, and bake for an additional 8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
10) Serve immediately, with sweet onion dip.


Guacamole Deviled Eggs

  • 6 large Eggs
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Tablespoon Cilantro, chopped (more for garnish)
  • 1 Teaspoon Serrano Peppers, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds, finely ground
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Olive Oil
  • New Mexico Chili Powder, for garnish
  1. Carefully place the eggs in a sauce pan and fill the pan with enough water to cover the eggs by 1-inch.
  2. Bring the water to a boil over a medium-high heat. Once it is boiling, turn of the heat and remove the eggs from the stove. Cover them and let them sit for about 20 minutes.
  3. To stop the eggs from over cooking and turning the yolk gray (like I did because I got distracted by Hulu), empty the hot water and replace it with cold water.
  4. Once the eggs are cool enough to touch, crack each egg on each end by firmly tapping it on a hard surface. Placing the side of the egg on the counter, roll it with the palm of your hand while slightly applying pressure. The shell should crackle all over but be careful to not squish the egg. Place the egg in a bowl of warm water and the shell should slide right off.
  5. Half the eggs, placing the cooked yolks into a mixing bowl. Add one tablespoon chopped cilantro, one teaspoon of minced serrano chile, one teaspoon of ground mustard seed, one tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil. Mix it well.
  6. Half the avocado, pit it and mash it in a separate mixing bowl.
  7. Fold together the egg mixture and the mashed avocado. I like the yellow and green contrast so I suggest not overdoing it here.
  8. Scoop heaping spoonfuls of the mixture into the halved eggs. You can use a pastry bag if you want it to be all pretty and stuff, but ain’t nobody got time for that! I like the messier look and plus I want to get to eating these eggs! Top with some chile powder and cilantro.
  9. Enjoy!

Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 10 whole Baby Bella Or Crimini Mushrooms
  • 4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¼ cups Grated Parmesan Or Mozzarella Cheese
  • ¼ teaspoons Dried Basil
  • ⅛ teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • Garlic Salt And Pepper, To Taste
  • ¼ cups Finely Diced Pepperoni
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Green Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Red Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Black Olives
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray two mini iron skillets with non stick cooking spray and set aside. (A sheet tray will work just fine, too!)
  2. Wash mushrooms with a damp cloth and remove stems. (They should just pop out!) Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, stir cream cheese, parmesan, basil, oregano, garlic salt and pepper together until combined. Stir in remaining ingredients, excluding the mushrooms.
  4. Spoon into prepared mushroom caps by the heaping teaspoonful. Place 5 in each skillet and bake 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, switch your oven from bake to broil and brown the tops of each mushroom. Remove and serve hot.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Snickers Popcorn

  • 8 quarts air popped corn (about 2 cups of kernels)
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • 30 "Fun Size" Snickers bars coarsely chopped
  • 3 oz melted semi sweet chocolate (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 200°
  2. Over medium heat boil butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in your baking soda.
  4. Pour over your popcorn and stir to coat evenly.
  5. Transfer to waxed paper lined counter and sprinkle peanuts on top. Stir until all is coated evenly.
  6. Transfer popcorn into a large roasting pan and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and stir in your coarsely chopped Snickers. Return to oven for 3 more minutes so the Snickers begin to melt slightly into the popcorn.
  8. Remove from pan and transfer popcorn back to wax paper to cool.
  9. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of popcorn if desired.
  10. Let set and store in an airtight container.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

French Dip Crescent Rolls

  • 1 (8 oz.) can Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 8 slices cheese of your choice (swiss is traditional)
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced roast beef
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch onion powder
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lay out the individual crescent triangles on a work surface. Add a small roll of roast beef and a slice of cheese at the larger end of the triangle, then roll the crescent over the mixture until the crescent roll is formed. Repeat with remaining crescent triangles, roast beef and cheese.
  3. Once completed, lay each crescent roll on a baking sheet that has been prepared with cooking spray. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the crescent rolls are slightly golden and the cheese is melted.
  4. Meanwhile, bring the beef broth, garlic powder and onion powder to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and pour into serving bowls.
  5. Serve the crescent rolls with the au jus for dipping.

Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza Balls

  • 10 refrigerator biscuits
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup browned hamburger pieces
  • ¼ cup crispy bacon bits
  • Black pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Egg white, beaten
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Flatten the refrigerator biscuits and top them with shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, browned hamburger pieces and bacon bits.
  3. Then, add a little more cheese, if desired, and sprinkle with some black pepper and onion powder.
  4. Gather the edges up around the toppings and pinch together at the top. Place the pizza balls into a greased pie pan with the seam on the bottom.
  5. Brush the tops with a beaten egg white.
  6. Sprinkle the tops with grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake at 425°F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Serve with pickle slices and ketchup.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Chocolate Crinkle Rolo Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup black cocoa (substitution: unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons REAL unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 24 chocolate-covered caramel candies (such as Rolos), unwrapped
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powders, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand-held mixer on medium speed, combine the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Pat the batter into a giant ball and wrap up in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, or until completely chilled.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Pour the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. Scoop out a large spoonful of dough and flatten it into a disc using your fingers. Place a chocolate-covered caramel into the center and wrap the dough around it, forming a ball. Smooth out the creases in the dough as much as possible. Roll the ball in the confectioners’ sugar twice, completely covering it both times, and set on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat this process with the remaining dough. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pretzel Jello

  • 6 oz package Raspberry Jell-O
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups pretzels
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese - softened
  • 1 (8oz) package Cool Whip - thawed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bag frozen raspberries - thawed in refrigerator
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine 6 Oz packet of Jell-O with 2 cups of boiling water and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Crush 2 cups of pretzels in a ziploc bag, using a rolling pin.
  4. Melt 1 stick of butter than add ¼ cup sugar in saucepan. Add pretzels and mix together.
  5. Lightly press pretzel mix into a 13x9 -inch pyrex dish and bake for 10 minutes at 350°F, then cool to room temperature.
  6. While pretzel mix is cooling down, beat 8 oz of cream cheese and 1 cup sugar on medium/low speed until well-combined.
  7. Next, stir in Cool Whip using a spatula and mix until well combined.
  8. Spread mixture over cooled pretzels and go all the way to the edges of the dish to create a seal. You don't want the jello to leak into the pretzels. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  9. Place raspberries evenly on top of the cream filling..
  10. Pour Jell-O over raspberries and refrigerate until jello is set.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Candy Cane Cookies Recipe

  • 1 cup butter, cubed and softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Gold Medal unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 20 round peppermint candies or 5 candy canes, crushed1/4 cup sugar

  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add egg, almond and vanilla extracts and salt and stir thoroughly to combine. Add in flour in 3 intervals, stirring until just combined between each interval.
  3. Divide dough in half and shape one half in a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Keep the other half in the bowl and add red food coloring and peppermint extract and stir until color is evenly distributed throughout. Shape dough in a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap, placing on a lightly floured surface. Scoop 1 teaspoon dough from each ball and roll each piece into a 4-inch log. Place logs next to each other and press together very lightly, then twist and pinch ends lightly to seal. Place log on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and curve one end to form a candy cane shape. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Bake cookies 10 minutes or until set. Meanwhile, mix together crushed peppermint candies and sugar. Remove cookies from oven and immediately sprinkle with candy/sugar mixture, if desired. Allow to cool completely on cooling rack before serving.

Fruit Tacos With Chocolate Torillas

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 small papaya
  • 1 mango
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 2 kiwis
  • Juice from one lime
  1. In a large bowl combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Whisk all the ingredients to combine.
  2. Add coconut oil, agave nectar and warm water to the bowl of dry ingredients.

  3. Mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until a large ball of dough forms.

  4. Transfer the ball of dough to a floured work surface and knead the dough for five minutes, adding additional flour if the dough becomes too sticky to handle.
  5. Cut the ball of dough in half and roll both pieces back into a ball. Continue to cut the balls of dough in half until you have 16 even pieces. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

  6. Transfer one ball of dough to a floured work surface and roll the dough into a circle that is one- quarter inch thick and about five inches in diameter.
  7. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Do not add oil to the pan because the tortillas need to be cooked on a dry surface. Once the skillet is hot, add the rolled out dough and cook for 30 seconds.

  8. Flip the tortilla and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Repeat until all of the dough has been used and you have 16 cooked tortillas. Transfer the tortillas to a plate lined with a damp paper towel.

  9. Wash all the fruit for the fruit salad. Measure blueberries, chop strawberries, peel and dice kiwis, dice mango, remove the seeds from papaya and peel the skin. Dice the papaya into bite-sized pieces and place all of the fruit in a dish. Drizzle the fruit with the juice of the lime. 

  10. To serve, place one chocolate tortilla on a serving plate.

  11. Add a handful of blueberries, several pieces of diced kiwi, a few pieces of chopped mango, several pieces of diced papaya and a handful of strawberries to the center of one chocolate tortilla.

  12. Top the fruit with additional toppings of your choice. Chocolate sauce, shredded coconut, fresh mint and honey all work wonderfully.


Bacon & Egg Stuffed Avocados

  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled

  1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado so the hole matches the size of your eggs. I didn’t do this the first time and the eggs were too big and oozed all over the pan.
  2. Crack an egg into each half of the avocado, resting the edge of the avocado on the side of the cookie sheet. This helps keep it stable so the avocado doesn’t roll and spill the egg. Add the pieces of bacon to the top and place in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. You can adjust this based on how you like your eggs cooked. Then add salt and pepper to taste. I would not have imagined that warm avocado would be so yummy, but IT IS! I could eat this for any meal.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

  • 1/2 cup melted butter (or 1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8-10 all-beef hot dogs, cut into 1″ bites
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter and sugar in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Add eggs and whisk to incorporate. Add buttermilk and whisk to incorporate.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt, and stir to combine. Whisk into wet ingredients in two batches.
  3. Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray, and spoon 1 Tablespoon of batter into each mini muffin cup. Place one hot dog bite into the middle of each cup.
  4. Bake for 8-12 minutes (oven temperatures vary), or until cornbread is golden brown. Cool in mini muffin tin for 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, and re-heat for 20-30 seconds before serving.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Homemade Chicken Taquitos

It's hard to put amounts on ingredients that should be added "to taste" or "to consistency" that you like, but here's a rough guide.
  • rotisserie chicken
  • 2/3 - 1 cup of jarred or fresh salsa
  • 1 cup shredded "Mexican blend" cheese
  • 1/3 cup sweet white and yellow corn niblets
  • 1/3 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • large pinch of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 pack of egg roll wrappers
*I'm thinking that a little chopped baby spinach would be good in here, too. So much nutrition... but that would totally depend on whom you are making them for.

  1. Remove the chicken from the rotisserie chicken, and chop into small bite-sized pieces.
  2. Mix the next seven ingredients into the chicken and mix well.
  3. Add a few spoonfuls of the chicken mixture to an eggroll wrapper. Fold in the sides first, then roll. Wet the far end with water so it will stick to itself.
  4. Spray a cookie sheet with butter flavored nonstick spray and arrange the taquitos. Spray the tops of them with the butter flavored spray and sprinkle with black pepper and extra cumin.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. It would be nice to turn them onto their sides if you can remember. Serve with condiments of choice. I had light sour cream, salsa, and a spicy ranch for dipping.

Sea Salt Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 10-oz package regular sized marshmallows or 4 cups mini marshmallows {I always toss in an extra 1/2 cup for good measure.}
  • 6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
  • 1 package Kraft Caramel Bits
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • about 2 tsp coarse seal salt
  1. Caramel:
  2. Melt caramels and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Add caramel ice cream topping and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Rice Krispie treats:
  4. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until almost melted.
  5. Stir in vanilla, 1 tsp of sea salt, and about ⅔ of the caramel mixture. Stir until ingredients are completely combined.
  6. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal, a cup at a time, until it’s evenly coated with the marshmallow mixture.
  7. Press mixture into a 13×9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray – press down with a spatula sprayed with cooking spray.
  8. Spread the reserved caramel mixture over rice krispie treats. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tsp of the sea salt.
  9. Let treats cool, then cut into squares and enjoy!
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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Megan’s Ham & Cheese Pretzel Bites

  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees F)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
  • 1 package (1/4 oz) instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped ham
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1-2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and warm milk until dissolved. In a large bowl, combine 2 ½ cups flour, the milk mixture and the yeast. Stir until a soft dough forms. Add the remaining flour as needed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times, forming a smooth ball.
  2. Brush the inside of a large clean bowl with olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 2 hours, until dough has doubled in size and bubbles appear on the surface.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust hands and rolling pin with flour. Roll one of the four sections into a 12x4-inch rectangle. With the long side facing you, gently press ¼ of the ham and cheese into the bottom third of the dough, and roll as tightly as possible, starting with the end that has the filling. Cut into 12 1-inch pieces and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining 3 portions of dough.
  4. Let rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the baking soda and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Boil pretzels in batches, cooking about 20 seconds each, turning once. They should be slightly puffed. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them back to the baking sheets. Bake until puffed and golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Brush warm pretzel bites with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm.

Stuffed Pizza Muffins

  • 1 pkg Store-Bought Pizza Dough
  • 1/2 Jar Pizza Sauce
  • 1 c. Mini Pepperonis, Divided
  • 1/2 c. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 6 Mozzarella String Cheese, cut into 1 inch pieces
  1. Preheat oven according to pizza dough’s directions.
  2. Begin by rolling out the pizza dough flat. Spread the pizza sauce over the dough, leaving 1 inch around the edges. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. mini pepperonis. Cut the dough in half.
  3. Lay 4-5 pieces of string cheese across the dough, adding more as you roll. Do this with both of the pizza doughs.
  4. Cut into 1 inch pieces and place in a greased muffin pan with the swirled side up.
  5. Bake according to your pizza dough’s directions checking after about 12 minutes. When tops begin to brown, remove from oven.
  6. Use a knife to separate from the pan and cool.

Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lb skirt steak/ 8-10 thin sliced sirloin
  • Salt & Pepper (according to taste)
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Any steak seasoning you like
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
For the Veggie filling
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 a zucchini (depending on size)
  • 5-6 green onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp Italian herb seasoning
For the Balsamic glaze sauce
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  1. Start by prepping the steak. (I used skirt steak cos it’s what I had on hand, but in hind sight, I probably would have gone for a more leaner cut like flank steak or looked for thin sliced sirloin.) I trimmed as much fat as I could and cut the steak into 3 inch wide strips. I managed 8 strips and used the odd shapped ends to taste test my marinade and balsamic glaze. You can then tenderize the meat with a meat hammer (if you’re using sirloin it doesn’t need any tenderizing).
  2. Season the steak pieces generously on both sides with salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce. And let them sit in the marinade for atleast 30 mins if not a couple hours.
  3. While the steak is marinating you can prep the filling for them. Chop up the carrot, bell pepper and zucchini into matchstick size pieces, little longer than the width of the steak strips. I used a mandolin slicer to jet thin sliced and hand cut them to make matchsticks. I then cut the green onion in a similar size and sliced them in half length wise. For the garlic, simply peel and crush the cloves with the flat side of your knife, just enough to bruise them.
  4. Now for the sauce, melt the butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat.
  5. Add the finely chopped shallot and sautee it for a minute or 2 until they turn soft and transluscent.
  6. Add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and beef stock and stir to mix everything well.
  7. Allow the sauce to come to a boil and reduce to almost half its volume. You’ll notice it starts becoming thicker and have the consistency of syrup. The butter also starts separating and comes to the top. Turn the heat off and transfer the sauce to a bowl.
  8. In the same pan (no need to wash it) add a touch of olive oil and toss in the garlic cloves to allow them to flavor the oil for a few minutes.
  9. Turn the heat up to high and toss in the carrots, bell pepper and zucchini (there’s no need to cook the green onion) and stir fry the veggies for no longer than 2-3 minutes.
  10. Season them with the the itlalian herb seasoning and salt and transfer the veggies to a bowl.
  11. To assemble the steak rolls, simply take a strip of the marinated steak and lay it with the short side towards you. Place the veggies (dont forget the green onion!) in the middle and oll the beef up over the filling, securing it with toothpick. Repeat the same with the other rolls.
  12. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a touch of oil swirling to coat bottom. When hot, add beef rolls, seam side down, not touching and pan fry for a couple minutes. Then turn roll and cook it on all sides in the same way. Cook until you’re desired done-ness. I cooked mine medium well and seasoned it with some mesquite seasoning for a touch of a smokey flavor.
  13. Remove the toothpick and serve with the balsamic glaze sauce spooned over the top of each roll.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

  • 1 large red pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 9-10 small corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, and onion on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until vegetables are coated. Season with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables for 30-40 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove vegetables from oven and let cool to room temperature. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8x8 square baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine roasted vegetables, black beans, cumin, chili powder, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro. Stir and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortillas, to completely cover the bottom of the pan. You might have to cut the tortillas to make them fit. Top with 1/3 of the vegetable/bean mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortilla, enchilada sauce, vegetables/beans, and cheese. Top with with a layer of tortillas, enchilada sauce, vegetables/beans, and cheese. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover the pan.
  4. Bake enchiladas for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the enchiladas are bubbling. Remove enchiladas from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

World to see

Lantern Walk, Ponte de Lima, Portugal

Stunning mountain landscape in Geiranger fjord, Sunnmore, Norway. 

Cape Schank, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia 

Whitianga, Sunset, Coromandel, North Island, New Zealand 

Matterhorn - Zermatt, Switzerland

Campfire Cones

  • Sugar Cones
  • Peanut Butter
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Bananas
  • Aluminum Foil (to wrap them in)
  1. Chop up the bananas and get some marshmallows and chocolate chips ready. ( I liked using these ingredients on a camping trip because they don't need to be refrigerated and you can easily slice the bananas with a plastic knife ~ oh, and the fact that they're really, really yummy together!)
  2. Spread some peanut butter on the inside of the cone, then put in the bananas, marshmallows and chocolate chips.
  3. 3. Wrap the whole cone in aluminum foil, then put in over the hot coals for 5-10 minutes or so, turning every so often.
  4. Unwrap your cone, check to see that everything's ooey, gooey, and melted... then dig in and enjoy! 

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Polka Dot Cheesecake

  • 1 cup Graham crumbs
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 16 oz softened cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 7 X 7 inch square pan and line it with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the graham crumbs, sugar, cocoa, and melted butter and press into the pan.
  4. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time on low speed. Add vanilla and sour cream. Scrape the sides of the bowl one more time and beat until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cheesecake filling and set aside.
  5. Melt the 2 oz of dark chocolate in a bain marie (a bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water), or in a microwave on low temperature. Stir the melted chocolate into the reserved 1/2 cup of cream cheese filling.
  6. Pour the plain batter into the pan, smoothing out to the edges. To make the dots you will need a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Fill the pastry bag with the chocolate cheesecake mixture. Gently press the tip of the bag into the smoothed out plain cheesecake and squeeze the bag forming a dot. Place dots all over the cheesecake until the chocolate mixture is used up.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 1 hr. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Freeze if you wish for about 1/2 hour before cutting. Use a knife dipped in hot water to help when cutting.