Nothing says savor life more than a warm bite of chocolate chip muffin!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mini Stuffed Meatloaves

 Succulent, juicy mini meatloaves are stuffed with mozzarella and glazed with marinara. I served these with garlic bread and creamed potatoes. Drools.

Mini stuffed meatloaves

Serves 4

2 medium onions, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
1 egg, beaten
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup mozzarella, cubed
1 cup basic marinara sauce

Grease 8 mini loaf pans.
Pre-heat oven.
In a mixing bowl, combine onions and next 9 ingredients through salt. Add beef and massage seasonings into meat with fingers being careful not to mix too much.
Pat meat mixture into an even surface and divide into 8 equal portions. Take one portion in your palm, form into a ball then pat with fingers to flatten. Place  3-4 cubes of cheese in center of meat patty then enclose cheese with the edges of meat patty, forming a mini loaf. Place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining portions.
Brush tops of meatloaves with marinara sauce and bake until cooked through about 30-45 minutes depending on oven temperature.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

This is a great cookie recipe to squeeze heartily healthy wholegrain into your little one's diet. I couldn't resist these. Savor with a smile!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
 pinch of salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup softened shortening
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup oats

Grease cookie sheet and pre-heat oven.
Combine dry ingredients, excepting oats.
Cream butter, shortening, peanut butter and sugar together.
Mix in eggs and vanilla, stirring to incorporate well.
Add dry mixture and stir just until moistened.
Stir in oats. Using an *ice-cream scoop, place mounds of dough on prepared cookie sheet.
With the tines of a fork, make the traditional peanut butter cookie criss cross pattern. Dip fork in flour if sticking to dough.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.
Enjoy this crunchy treat warm with a cold glass of milk.

*Recipe yields a dozen cookies if using a large ice-cream scoop.

Curried Potato Paprikash

My previous post Chicken Paprikash Marinara was the inspiration for this recipe though the flavour components of both recipes are not really similar except for the paprika. These potatoes are delish over white, steamed rice. I used red creamery potatoes as the silky texture of those potatoes goes well with the velvety, spiced sauce in this unique curry.

Curried Potatoes Paprikash

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch chives, chopped
1 sprig French thyme, leaves minced
1 tbsp. curry
1 lb red potatoes, peeled and large diced
1 cup vegetable stock or water
*1 tbsp. chadon beni, minced
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder, optional
1 tsp. roasted cumin
1/4 cup plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
snipped chives for garnish

Heat oil in heavy sauce pan. Saute onion until softened and translucent. Add garlic, chives, French thyme and curry. Saute a further 2 minutes then stir in potatoes, coating them well with the aromatic mixture.
Season with a pinch of salt then add stock or water.
Bring to a boil then simmer on medium low heat until potatoes are almost tender and liquid has reduced.
Stir in chadon beni, paprika, cumin, chili and yogurt. Cook until potatoes are fully tender. Take off heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with snipped chives and serve on a bed of fluffy white rice. Yum!

*Chadon beni is a herb commonly found in Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean region. If unavailable, you can substitute with cilantro.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chicken Paprikash Marinara

This recipe takes two great sauces and marries them together, creating one magnificent tasty sauce. Ideal for highly seasoned food lovers.

Chicken Paprikash Marinara

1 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
3 skinless chicken breasts fillets
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 medium onions, diced
1 small carrot, grated
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1 lb portabella mushrooms, rinsed, dried and chopped
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 can tomatoes with juices, chopped
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried French thyme
1 tbsp. paprika
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 package egg noodles

Heat a heavy sauce pan with half of the olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper then add to heated pan. Brown chicken on both sides until just tender. Cool chicken slightly then dice and reserve.
Add remaining olive oil to same pan and saute onions, carrots, celery and bell peppers until vegetables have become slightly softened. Add garlic and saute a further 2 minutes. At this stage, season veggies and aromatics with a pinch of salt. Stir in mushrooms and saute until mushrooms have released their fluid.
Add tomato paste and stir for a minute then add tomatoes, sugar, stock, dried spices and paprika.
Allow sauce to simmer and reduce to half. Stir in parsley and diced chicken. Simmer a couple more minutes.
Take pan off heat and stir in cream cheese until melted into sauce. Taste and season to your liking with salt and pepper.
Cook noodles according to package directions.
Serve sauce over noodles. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blackened Tuna Alfredo

This pasta makes a tasty lunch with all the right elements: tuna, whole wheat pasta, veggies and a decadent creamy Alfredo sauce to perk things up. Savor!

Blackened Tuna Alfredo

*Alfredo sauce:
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cream cheese
salt and white pepper to taste

1 cup whole wheat penne
1 cup frozen green peas
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can chunky tuna in oil, drained
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried French thyme
Pinch of cumin
salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish

To make Alfredo sauce, melt butter in sauce pan.Whisk flour into melted butter to make a roux, mixing well to prevent lumps. Make sure stove heat is low to prevent burning.Cook a couple minutes to dissolve raw flour.
Slowly stream milk into roux, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer, stirring often until sauce has thickened. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Follow package directions to cook penne. In the last 3 minutes of cooking time, add peas. Drain and reserve.
Heat a non stick pan with olive oil. Add onion and peppers. Saute until onions are soft and translucent, around 3-5 minutes on medium low heat. Add tuna, garlic, paprika, thyme and cumin. Saute a further 2 minutes to incorporate flavours. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir tuna into Alfredo sauce then add to the penne and toss together. Serve garnished with parsley, if desired.

*Alfredo sauce is traditionally made with parmesan, however the cream cheese adds an extra creamy texture and its slightly tangy flavour complements this white sauce well.

Real Chicken Sandwich!

If you are on a gluten-free diet, this is the perfect sandwich for you. Just pure chicken with deli ham and cheese 'sandwiched' inside. Can't get any more meaty than this!

Real Chicken Sandwich

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 skinless chicken breasts fillets
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 roasted bell pepper, cut into strips
2 slices deli Muenster cheese
2 slices deli ham

Heat olive oil in saute pan. Season one side of the chicken fillets with half of the salt, pepper and paprika.
Place seasoned sides down in heated pan and season tops of fillets with remaining salt, pepper and paprika.
Cook chicken on low heat until just tender, about 8 minutes, turning halfway through.
Let chicken cool slightly then carefully slice the chicken fillets at the side but don't cut all the way through. Open the chicken like a book and fill with bell pepper strips, cheese and ham. Enclose filling and put under the broiler for a few seconds to melt cheese, if desired.
Savor your sandwich without the bread!

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

These delectable little bits are ADDICTIVE! Great to serve as an appetizer at a dinner party for your lucky guests. Savor!

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

2 lbs small cremini mushrooms
1 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks chives, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig parsley, finely chopped
1 tin crab meat, drained
1/2 cup cream cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese, I used provolone
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Rinse mushrooms and wipe dry. Twist off stems and finely chop, reserving stems for filling mushroom caps.
Grease a baking tray and pre-heat oven.
Heat olive oil then add chives, garlic and chopped mushroom stems. Saute for 2 minutes on low-medium heat. Add parsley and crab. Saute a further 2 minutes.
Allow crab mixture to cool slightly then combine with cream cheese. Season mixture with salt and pepper.
Place mushroom caps on baking tray. Fill caps with crab and cream cheese mixture then top with some shredded cheese and bread crumbs. Dot the tops of the bread crumbs with a bit of olive oil. Bake for 45 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
Enjoy but don't be ashamed if you snagged a couple or more before guests arrive...I wasn't : P