Super Nachos

We had a mini Cinco de Mayo dinner the other night.  We made nachos with some left over turkey and margaritas to go with it.

DSC01800Ingredients:

2 cups cooked turkey or chicken, chopped

1 8 ounce block cream cheese

1 cup salsa verde

1 can black beans

tortilla chips

1 bag shredded Mexican style cheese -8 ounce

salsa

sour cream and chopped avocados for garnish

DSC01801Using a Kitchenaid mixer or hand mixer, blend meat, cream cheese and salsa verde until the meat is shredded.

DSC01802Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cover a large cookie sheet (9×13) with tortilla chips.  Add the black beans evenly over the chips.

DSC01803Add spoonfuls of the meat mixture as evenly as possible.  You may need to use your hands to spread the mixture.

DSC01804Cover all with shredded cheese.  Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

DSC01805Remove from the oven and add garnishes; salsa, sour cream and avocado.  Serve immediately.

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Fresh Rhubarb Coffee Cake

We planted rhubarb in our garden three years ago.  I read online that you could not harvest until the second year.  Well, we had a fantastic crop last year, but the stalks never turned red!  This year it is growing great again.  I went to our local nursery to ask what I could do to turn them red.  It turns out they are a green variety of rhubarb.  Who knew!  We are using our “green” rhubarb in this coffee cake.  It is not quite as pretty as the red, but it tastes great.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup sour cream

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DSC01790Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder,  and baking soda.

DSC01789Beat butter and brown sugar in a separate bowl until smooth.

DSC01792Stir in sour cream, egg and vanilla.

DSC01793Add flour mixture and mix all together well.

DSC01794Spread batter into a greased 9×11 baking dish.

DSC01795Add the chopped rhubarb to the top.

DSC01796Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.  If using green rhubarb, you may want to add a little extra sugar.

DSC01797Bake for 45 minutes and serve.

Chicken Piccata

This fresh, springtime dish is made with a few simple, on-hand pantry ingredients.  This recipe comes from “Everyday Italian” by Giada De Laurentis.

DSC01771Ingredients:

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied in half

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

flour for dredging

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives for garnish

DSC01772Cut chicken breasts in half to make thin cutlets.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.

DSC01774Place the flour on waxed paper.  Coat both sides of the chicken breasts with flour.

DSC01775While preparing the chicken breasts, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.

DSC01776Place breasts in the pan and cook until brown, about 3 minutes each side.  Remove the chicken to a plate.

DSC01777Add the broth, lemon juice and capers to the same pan.  Bring the mixture to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the pan.

DSC01778Add the chicken to the pan and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken to a serving platter.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into the sauce.

DSC01779Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with chopped chives.

Hot Appetizer for Super Bowl Sunday

This appetizer recipe has been in the family for a long time.  We usually have it during the holidays.  It is so easy and so tasty! Give it a try.

DSC01721Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 small (4.25 ounce) can chopped olives

2 teaspoons curry powder or to taste

cocktail rye bread slices

DSC01722Place grated cheese, mayonnaise and chopped olives in a medium bowl.

DSC01723Add curry powder and stir all together well.

DSC01724Place rye bread slices on a cookie sheet.  Spoon mixture onto the bread.  Place under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

DSC01725Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Biscotti

We have lots of fresh pumpkin puree on hand.  We added it to a basic biscotti recipe we have and it came out delicious!  The pumpkin gives the biscotti a nice color.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1 teaspoon ground anise seed

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

2 large eggs

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup Heath Bar chips

DSC01675Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Blend flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

DSC01676In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, anise seed and mace until blended.

DSC01677Add eggs, one at a time to creamed mixture.  Blend in pumpkin.

DSC01678Add the flour mixture until combined.  Stir in Heath Bar chips.

DSC01679Transfer the dough to prepared baking sheet.  Form a log about 16 inches long and 3 inches wide.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.

DSC01680Slice into 1/2 inch slices, then cutting in 1/2 with a serrated knife.  Place biscotti on their sides and bake another 15 minutes.

DSC01682Allow to cool, then enjoy! Great dippers in coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Green Chili Carnitas Nachos

This is one of those “make it up as you go” recipes.  We don’t really have exact ingredients because you can add or delete ingredients you like on your nachos.

DSC01589Ingredients:

2 cups cooked pork carnitas meat or any cooked meat you desire

1 8-ounce cream cheese

1 cup green chili salsa

1 bag of tortilla chips

1 8-ounce bag shredded Mexican cheese blend

Toppings:

Guacamole

Salsa

Tomatoes

Green onions

Sour cream

DSC01582Take the first 3 ingredients: cooked meat, cream cheese and green salsa…

DSC01583Place all in a mixing bowl.  Using an electric mixer, mix ingredients together, shredding the meat.

DSC01584Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cover a large baking sheet with tortilla chips.  Spoon meat mixture on top.

DSC01585Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top.  Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

DSC01587While the nachos are in the oven, work on the toppings.  We made a quick guacamole with fresh avocados, lemon juice, jalapeno, onion and tomato.  You can also use ready made guacamole.

DSC01588Remove nachos from the oven.  Add desired toppings: we put on salsa, fresh tomatoes, green onion, guacamole and sour cream.

DSC01589Serve immediately and enjoy!

Fresh Peach and Plum Crisp

We’ve been enjoying our Wednesday morning trips to the farmer’s market in town.  This week we bought some beautiful fresh peaches, came home and made a crisp with them,

DSC01572Ingredients:

4 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced

2 fresh plums, pitted and sliced

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup unsalted butter

DSC01573Prepare the fruit by peeling the peaches, pulling out the pit and slicing. Take the pit out of the plums and slice.

DSC01575Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place the sliced peaches and plums in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle the vanilla over the top.

DSC01576In a large bowl combine: flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and oats.

DSC01577Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly.

DSC01578Sprinkle topping over the peaches and place in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

DSC01579Serve warm and enjoy!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Peel, pit and core the peaches.  Pit the plums and slice.  Place sliced fruit in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle vanilla over all.  Combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and oats.  Cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly.  Pour flour mixture over the fruit.  Bake in the oven 45 minutes.  Serve warm and enjoy!!

Curried Pasta Salad

We found this recipe in Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Cooking.  Here’s another easy summer salad.

DSC01559Ingredients:

3/4 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks

1 red apple, cored and chopped

8 ounces bow tie or farfale pasta

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

DSC01560Blend together the sour cream and curry powder.

DSC01561Core and chop the apple into chunks.

DSC01562Drain the pineapple.  Chop the peeled avocado into chunks.  Add apple, pineapple and avocado to a large bowl.

DSC01563Add the dressing and mix together well.

DSC01564Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.

DSC01565Drain and rinse with cold water in a colander.

DSC01566Mix the pasta into the salad, add salt.  Chill for about 15 minutes before serving.

DSC01569

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix sour cream and curry powder.  Chop apple and avocado.  Drain pineapple and place all in a large bowl.  Add the dressing and mix together.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Add pasta to the salad along with salt; mix well.  Chill in the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving.

Zucchini Butter

We are starting to get a lot of zucchini in the garden this year.  Here is a quick and tasty use for some of our squashes!!

DSC01542Ingredients:

1-2 pounds of zucchini squash

2 shallots

1 green bell pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

DSC01543Chop shallots and place in a saute pan with the olive oil.

DSC01545Shred the zucchini and pepper with a grater or in the food processor.  Wring out the excess liquid with a clean kitchen towel.

DSC01546Add the zucchini and cook on medium high until it becomes “jam-like”.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

DSC01547Spread on toasted french bread.  We served it on french bread with goat cheese spread on it and the zucchini butter on top.

Directions:

Chop shallots and saute in the olive oil.  Shred the zucchini and green pepper.  Wring out the excess liquid with a clean kitchen towel.  Add the zucchini and pepper to the saute pan.  Cook to a “jam-like” consistency.   Add salt and pepper to taste.  Spread on toasted bread.

Fresh Apricot Cobbler

Love, love this time of year with all the fresh fruit coming into season! Here’s an easy apricot cobbler recipe to try!

Ingredients:

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

6 cups halved, pitted fresh apricots

1 Tablespoon butter

1 ready pie crust

DSC01516Place water, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil and cook about 1 minute, until thickened.

DSC01517Chop the apricots into slices.

DSC01518Place apricots and butter in a large pot.

DSC01520Add the boiling liquid to the apricots and butter, simmer about 5 minutes until heated through.

DSC01521Place apricots in a 9×12 baking dish, roll crust over the top.  Make slits in the crust and sprinkle a little sugar over the top.

DSC01522Bake in a 400 degree oven 30 minutes.

DSC01523Allow to cool.  Serve with whip cream or ice cream.  Delish!!!

Directions:

Place water, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook about 1 minute until thickened.  Slice apricots and place in a large pot along with the butter.  Add the liquid and heat through, about 5 minutes.  Pour apricots into a 9×12 baking dish.  Roll crust over the top.  Make slits in the crust to vent.  Sprinkle sugar over the top.  Place in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.