Monday, November 5, 2007

My Favorite Tuna Melt

This recipe is modeled after one from a local restaurant that my family loves. I think it turned out just like the real thing! I apologize for my camera. I'll hopefully be getting a new one for Christmas:)

My Favorite Tuna Melt

2 Large cans Albacore Tuna
1/2 c. Mayo
1/3 c. chopped white onion
1/3 c. chopped celery
1/3 c. chopped kosher pickle
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 t. garlic salt
pepper to taste
sliced tomato (if desired)
10 slices Sharp cheddar
10 Pepperidge Farms English muffin halves

Toast English muffin halves and butter. Set aside. Set oven to broil. In large bowl, combine tuna, mayo, onion, celery, pickle, egg, salt and pepper. Stir well. Add more mayo if necessary. Mound tuna mixture onto muffin halves top with tomato, then cheddar. Broil until cheese is bubbly. Makes 5 servings.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Shrimp Bisque

Mmmm! This was the perfect meal for a fall evening. I served it with asiago focaccia. The recipe is from Barefoot Contessa's At Home cookbook. I have made a few adaptations as noted below.

Shrimp Bisque

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
4 C. seafood stock (I used vegetable stock)
3 T. olive oil
3 Leeks, chopped, white and light green parts

1 T. chopped garlic
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 c. cognac
1/4 c. sherry (I omitted the cognac and used 1/3 c. sherry)
4 T. unsalted butter
1/4 c. flour
2 C. Half and half
1/3 c. tomato paste
2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper

Place shrimp shells in stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve stock. Add enough water to make 3 3/4 cups.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large pot. Add the leeks and cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat or until leeks are tender but not browned. Add garlic cook for 1 more minute. Add cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to food processor and coarsely puree.
In the same pot, melt butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring with wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring iwth a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, the tomato paste, salt and pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Chicken Tikka Masala

I got this recipe from Mrs. Presley on the Nest's Food board.
It tasted just like an authentic Indian restaurant. It was a little spicy for our taste, so I've adjusted the recipe to how I will make it the next time I prepare it.


1 C. plain yogurt
1 T. Lemon juice
2 t. cumin
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1 t. garam masala
1 t. salt
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks

2 T. butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 t. cumin
2 t. paprika
2 t. garam masala
1 t. salt
2 (8oz) cans of tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 c. fat free evaporated milk
*cilantro to garnish :)

In large bowl, combine marinade ingredients with chicken. Refrigerate for one hour or up to overnight.

Grill chicken chunks in George Foreman grill or skewer and grill on high heat.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic for 1 minute. Season with spices and salt. Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes and milk. Simmer on low until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over Basmati Rice.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Chicken Tetrazzini

This is a fabulous recipe I got from my friend Dorene. We make it regularly. Enjoy!
Chicken Tetrazzini
1 C. Diced Celery
1 C. Diced Green pepper
1 C. Diced onion
1 C. Sliced mushrooms
2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
3 C. Cooked, cubed chicken
1 lb. Cooked spaghetti
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 c. Milk
1/2 lb. grated sharp cheddar
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 T. Worcestershire
1/4. c. Sherry
3/4 c. shredded Parmesan

Boil water and cook spaghetti. Meanwhile; Cook veggies and mushrooms in butter until onion is transparent. Add flour and blend. Add milk stirring constantly. Add cheddar, salt, pepper, garlic, Worcestershire, chicken and Sherry. When cheese is melted, mix with spaghetti. Place in casserole and top with Parmesan. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

This cheesecake was amazing! I made it for my husband. I don't even like cheesecake and still loved it. The recipe is from, the pie crust I used was from

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

5 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 c. cookie crumbs (I used 24 gingersnaps)
1/8 t. salt

Combine ingredients in food processor. Press evenly into bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Cool.

2 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
1 pinch nutmeg

whipped topping or ice cream for serving

Preheat oven to 325. In large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust. Set aside.
Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until blended. Carefully spread over batter in the crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerated for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping or ice cream to serve.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pumpkin Bliss Cupcakes

OH! MY GOSH! These are sooo yummy!
This recipe is from Domino magazine, but I found it online.

Pumpkin Bliss Cupcakes

3 c. flour
1 T. plus 1 t. pumpkin pie spice
2t. baking soda
1 t. salt
3 c. Sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. orange juice

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin pans with liners or spray with baking spray. Sift together flour, spice, soda and salt. In large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin and eggs. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the oil and orange juice until smooth. Add flour mixture and fold together until incorporated. Do not overmix. Bake 20-25 minutes and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting
4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. vanilla
5 c. confectioner's sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add vanilla and beat. Add sugar one cup at a time and continue to beat an additional 5 minutes.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Apple-Cheddar Soup

I served this soup with Panini's and Caesar salad. It was a hit! I found this recipe in the October 2007 issue of BHG.

1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 T. butter
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and diced
2 c. apple cider
1 t. fresh thyme, crushed
1/2 t. salt
dash cayenne pepper
1 medium cooking apple, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 c. milk
2 T. flour
1 c. Sharp cheddar, shredded
Fresh apple slices
Green peppercorns

In large saucepan cook onion in hot butter over medium heat until tender. Stir in potatoes, cider, thyme, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. Add chopped apple; simmer, covered 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender. In small bowl combine milk and flour; stir into soup. Cook and stir until bubbly. Slowly add cheese, whisking until melted. Garnish with fresh apple slices and peppercorns.


This is one of my Mom's recipes. It is super easy and tastes just like the real thing minus the eggs and mascarpone!

1 c. cold water
1 (14 oz) can Sweetened condensed milk
1 large pkg. Vanilla instant pudding mix
1 (8 oz) pkg. softened light cream cheese
1 (8 oz) container light Cool whip
1 c. hot water
1/2 c. Kahlua
2 T. instant coffee granules
24 lady fingers
3 T. cocoa

Combine cold water, condensed milk and pudding mix. Chill 30 minutes. Add cream cheese. Beat. Fold in cool whip. In separate bowl, combine hot water, coffee granules and Kahlua. Quickly dip lady fingers into coffee mixture. Place dipped side down in 8x8 pan. Spread 1/2 of cheese mixture. Sprinkle 1 T. of cocoa. Repeat next layer. Chill. Serve.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pasta Ai Quattro Formaggi

We loved this recipe from the America's Test Kitchen, Cover and Bake book. We will definitely be adding this one as a regular!

Pasta Ai Quattro Formaggi
4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 lb. penne
1 T. olive oil
2 t. unsalted butter
2 t. flour
2 C. heavy cream
1/4 t. black pepper
1 1/3 c. shredded fontina
3/4 c. crumbled gorgonzola
1/2 c. grated pecorino romano
1/4 c. grated parmesan

For the topping: process the bread and butter in food processor. Transfer to bowl and toss with parmesan. Set aside.
For the pasta: Preheat oven 500 degrees. Cook penne in water and 1 T. salt until al dente. Drain and toss in olive oil. Set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in cream; bring to a simmer and cook whisking often, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off the heat add 1/4 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper. Cover to keep warm.
Combine the cheeses in large bowl. Add the cooked pasta to the cheeses. Pour hot cream mixture over pasta and cover immediately. Let stand for 3 minutes. Uncover bowl and stir with rubber spatula until cheese are melted. Transfer to 9x 13 casserole dish and sprinkle with bread crumb mixture. Bake until topping is golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Our Favorite Recipe!

This is our favorite recipe. I've made it for several friends and family members. Everyone always loves it. It is a knock-off of a dish we had at a restaurant that no longer exists.

Peking Peanut Penne
1 lb. Penne Pasta
4 chicken breasts grilled, cubed (I use olive oil, salt,pepper, garlic powder and lemon juice)

1 c. Creamy Peanut butter
1/3 bottle Bangkok Padang Peanut sauce
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 c. heavy cream or milk
1/2 c. plus 1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta and chicken. Toss hot pasta with peanut butter, peanut sauce, garlic, milk and 1/2 c. parmesan. Use salt to taste. ***For a more creamy sauce- add more milk, for a more spicy sauce- add more peanut sauce.This recipe is not meant to be very saucy, rather more sticky in consistency***Transfer to Casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 until cheese is light brown. Enjoy!