Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate and strawberry bliss! My Mom’s “magical” jello popped into my mind. She used to make jello squares and pour heavy cream into the jello mix (including water); placed them in the refrigerator and a couple hours later, 2 tone jello… creamy on top and jello on the bottom. Our family and friends used to think it was pretty neat!

I love the color contrast! Poured into 4 stem glasses for a charming, Valentine style. It’s meant to share or not. Lol! 

Ingredients: 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, cut into pieces/chopped – 3 ounces 60% Ghiradelli – 1 cup cold heavy cream, – 3 egg whites 

Strawberry – 3 oz strawberry jello  (follow jello directions) – 2 cups heavy cream – allow jello to cool before adding whip cream/cool whip. At least 30 minutes. Whisk together the strawberry jello and whip cream until smooth. 

Fill a medium saucepan with 1-2 cups of water and bring to medium heat. Place chocolate and 1/4 cup heavy cream in a heatproof bowl. Put remaining heavy cream back in the refrigerator. Place bowl over the saucepan (bowl should not touch the water). Melt chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. I suggest medium low heat. Carefully remove bowl from the saucepan and set aside to cool. Place egg whites in a separate medium/large bowl and whisk (you may use electric whisk) for 3 minutes until stiff peaks form. Place the remaining 3/4 cup heavy cream into a third medium bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to fold half of the whipped cream into melted chocolate. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture. Thoroughly combine. Spoon mousse or pipe it from a pastry bag. 

Diagonal inspiration TipBuzz on Pinterest.

Homemade Whip Cream – 1 1/2 cups heavy cream – 2 tablespoons sugar – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste 

Slow Cooked Pot Roast

Cooked with love? …. in a large electrical pot. Lol. A little morning prep work, place everything into the cooker, clean up & set a timer. Go to work, run errands, play with the kids, your fur babies, exercise, go brunching or whatever your heart desires. Low & slow eight hours later, an amazing delicious meal that may look fancy but didn’t require much of your time. That’s what I call a wonderful dinner! 

I have cooked this meal over the years with different ingredients, chuck vs rump, red wine vs no wine, worcestershire & Dr. Pepper soda at one point.  My suggestion is try what you like …it’s all about your taste preference : ) 

Note: I make a bowl of mashed potatoes as well. My Mom used to include mashed potatoes with this meal and my Dad is the one who taught me how to make mashed potatoes. 

#sundaydinner #cookedwithlove 

Ingredients: 2 lbs baby carrots – 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut – 3 to 4 lbs rump round roast – 1/4 sweet or yellow onion, sliced – 2 sticks; ribs of celery 

Spaghetti and Meatballs

A classic dinner, that many of us love! 

Do you call it red sauce or gravy? Twirl or cut your pasta? As a teenager, I was invited to my boyfriend’s Nana’s home for dinner. We were all seated at the table and I began to cut the spaghetti with my fork & knife, Nana was not pleased! She scolded me — you should never cut spaghetti. That was the day I learned how to twirl spaghetti with a fork & spoon.  

Between you and me, I use the spoon and fork twirling method while dining at restaurants or in a new social setting however, in the comfort of my home …. I do not.   

I think meatballs tastes even better the next day : ) 

 #spaghettiMEETball  #Nonna

Ingredients: 1 cup bread crumbs/panko – 2/3 cup finely grated parmigiana – 1 teaspoon salt – 1 teaspoon pepper –  1/2 small red onion finely chopped and sauteed  – 1 to 2 teaspoons butter or olive oil to saute – 1 tablespoon parsley pieces, chopped – 2 eggs, slightly beaten – 2.5 to 3 lb ground meat

*Allow sauteed onions to slightly cool prior to combining into meat mixture* 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avocado Toast

Happy Sunday!

I’m slightly obsessed with avocado toast! Avocados pair well with a variety of vegetables, fruits, dips and salads.

Sundays are a cooking day! Breakfast or dinner or even a new recipe. I enjoy cooking and baking plus it’s an amazing stress reliever.

Slice or mash avocados, blend with sea salt, splash of lime, olive oil, lemon, tomato or whatever your heart desires. Simple, light, healthy and delicious!

I added mangoes, fresh lime, a pinch of sea salt and cilantro.

#avocardiocooking 🥑😃

Chicken and Dumplings

Sunday dinner — Tiffani Thiessen’s Pull Up A Chair cookbook was a Christmas gift and apparently so was the ’tis the season cold I had last week. Huge ugh! Still slightly lingering around, Tiffani’s chicken and dumplings recipe sounded perfect. The chicken is succulent, quantity of flavors and a touch of dry sherry. Apparently recipes including alcohol is a recurring theme for me throughout 2018 and the New Year, Lol. 

My Mom used to cook chicken and dumplings with Campbell’s chicken & rice soup, boiled chicken water, salt and Bisquick’s dumpling recipe. Distinctly remember my Dad was not fond of the dumplings, he liked the broth though. 

This recipe does require a little kitchen time — your taste buds will thank you! 

#sundaydinner #inspiredtotrynewrecipes #foodforthesoul 

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick 
  • 1 small bulb fennel, trimmed, quartered and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick 
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 10 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry 
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth 
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme 
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh Italian parsley 
  • 2 bay leaves 
Dumplings:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk 
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted 
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill 

Directions:

For the stew: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add half of the chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Set aside.

Add the butter to the same pot and melt over medium-high heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, fennel and parsnip and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and when it releases its fragrance, stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sherry and stir, scraping up any bits stuck to the pot. Add the broth and stir to combine.

Tie the thyme, parsley and bay leaves together with kitchen twine, drop the bundle into the broth and add the chicken, taking care to fully immerse it in the liquid. Bring the stew to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked, about 1 hour.

Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Remove the bundle of herbs and discard. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and discard. Tear the meat into bite-size pieces. Using a skimmer or wide spoon, skim the fat from the surface of the sauce in the pot. Return the chicken and any drippings to the pot and bring the stew to a simmer.

For the dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and pepper. Add the buttermilk, butter, thyme, parsley and dill and stir to form a thick, very sticky dough.

Using your hands, roll the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball. Drop the dough balls into the stew spaced about 1/4 inch apart. Cover and simmer over low heat until the dumplings are firm and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Sicilian Chicken Soup

Fall is my favorite season! Gorgeous colored leaves, apple cider, football, hockey, boots…a long list of seasonal favorites that includes soup for the soul. 

Inspired by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Spicy Sicilian Chicken Soup.  A warm bowl of deliciousness! I printed a copy cat recipe, doubt it will be “exactly” like theirs. Similar ingredients along with some cooking confidence, it tastes amazing.

Whether you’re a chicken noodle kind of lover, creamy or vegetable soup lover…there’s just something about soup that’s good for your soul.

Ingredients: 3 chicken breasts – 6 to 8 cups of water – one 14.5 oz can chicken broth – 1 yellow onion finely chopped – 3 celery ribs diced – 3 carrots diced – 1 green bell pepper – 2 medium russet potatoes peeled & diced – one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes – 1/2 cup fresh parsley – 3 garlic cloves pressed or diced – kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste – half box ditalini pasta cooked & set aside

Directions: 

  • In a slow cooker add chicken breast, water, chicken broth, onion, celery, carrots and diced tomatoes (whole can with juice), garlic, parsley and 2 teaspoons salt and pepper
  • Cook on low for 6 hours, remove chicken breasts and shred, place back in the soup. Add potatoes and pasta, allow to cook/simmer additional hour. Note: I peeled & boiled potatoes, cooled down and slightly mashed for pieces.
  • Modified ingredients
  • Tastes better the 2nd day : )

#comfortfood #emmmsoup  

Creamy Cole Slaw

This is my Grandmom’s recipe — I can hear her southern accent calling it “slaw”. Her laugh was contagious, stories were funny and her slaw was a tradition passed down.

I love a side of good coleslaw with seafood, ham, burgers, ribs (anything barbecue) and Thanksgiving dinner. For our family, Grandmom’s slaw became a holiday tradition!  I sat with my Mom and Grandmom shredding an enormous amount of cabbage & carrots the day before Thanksgiving….for years. 

Grandmom always added raisins. My older sister disliked having raisins combined so we made a separate bowl without too. It wasn’t until years later, I realized everyone’s idea of dressing does not include mayonnaise.

I find myself shredding a small portion throughout the year for home made happiness on the side. Serves 4-6 people, depending on portion. This recipe is definitely creamy with a slight crunch. 

#southernslaw #tradition #sidesalad 🥕

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium cabbage head, shredded
  • 1 1/2 to 2 fresh carrots, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ounce small box of raisins, optional

Directions: 

Remove outer layers of cabbage. Cut into 4 pieces. Shred cabbage (watch your fingers), place into medium/large mixing bowl. Rinse and peel carrots, shred and combine with cabbage. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise & vinegar stir and then add sugar. Mix well. Pour dressing over the cabbage and carrots, stir together. Allow to refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Optional: for extra creamy coleslaw, allow to marinate overnight.

Smokey Gouda Mac n’ Cheese

Cheese…yes please! Smoked gouda might just be my new favorite. A creamy texture and hickory flavor that melts beautifully.

I’ve made the same 5 cheese macaroni n’ cheese recipe for years…thanks to Patti LaBelle. It is delicious however, it’s time to switch it up.

A tad reluctant while whisking the flour & butter. It crossed my mind, what if we don’t like it? My motto is, try it! If you don’t like it, spit it out into a napkin but at least you can say you tried it. Something I taught my son while growing up.

The View from Great Island originated the recipe however, I modified this macaroni & cheese recipe to my taste.

I will definitely make this again! The smoked gouda gave a hint of flavor different to cheddar and it was amazing. We all went back for seconds… it’s all Gouda 😀😋

#sundaydinner #itsallgouda #cheeseplease

Ingredients:

  • – 3 cups cooked macaroni, follow instructions on box
  • – 2 TBSP all purpose flour
  • – 1 TSP salt and pepper
  • – 4 TBSP unsalted butter
  • – 2 cups smoked Gouda, shredded
  • – 2 to 2 1/2 cups of milk
  • – 1 egg, slightly beaten

Directions:

  • Preheat oven at 350. Melt 2 tbsp butter in saucepan over medium low heat. Add the flour, whisk together; stir constantly. Add the milk and whisk to combine over heat and simmer. Over low heat or remove saucepan from stove top, begin adding the shredded Gouda. Handful or so at a time, stir until melted and repeat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook pasta, al dente. Drain. Whisk or beat egg, pour into bowl with cooked pasta, stir until combined.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine cooked pasta with melted cheese mixture. Stir. Pour into a baking dish or individual dishes. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  • * Optional – After cooking macaroni, I add extra butter. Stir until melted and then add egg. Sprinkle shredded cheese to top and broil until golden brown*