Poached Pears w/ Condensed Milk & Chocolate Ganache ~ Yum!

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This easy, elegant looking dessert recipe is another example of how to create something delicious to eat with whatever ingredients you already have on hand.

We both wanted dessert. There were three local pears in a bowl that had to be used, like, now. Bruce said “I can poach them in simple syrup.” That sounded good. I said, “I have an open can of sweetened condensed milk, a new bag of chocolate chips, and a little heavy cream left. I have an idea!” ***

Poached Pears with Condensed Milk

& Chocolate Ganache

METHOD:

He peeled the pears, then poached them in boiling sugar and water. Then we cooled the poached pears in the freezer for 10 minutes. Just before serving, Bruce heated the heavy cream over a double boiler, and folded an equal amount of chocolate chips into it. He drizzled the cooled pears with sweetened condensed milk, and then the ganache. I sprinkled a small amount of raw sugar over it, just to make it glisten.

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That’s It! It couldn’t be easier!

We just threw this together with what we had, and it was FABULOUS!

I mean, lick the bowl fabulous. :p

Remember – You CAN go into the kitchen with no ideas, and still come up with something great. You will never know how good you are at it until you try!

All it takes is to Be Creative!

Please feel free to share your photos, recipes or ideas with us.

If it worked and looks good – we’ll post it here

giving YOU full Photo or Recipe Credit! 🙂

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*** For our CHOCOLATE GANACHE RECIPE, click here!

Tangy Chicken in Lettuce Cups Recipe!

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Tangy Chicken in Lettuce Cups

Chicken in Lettuce Cups is a fun casual meal for family or friends.

This juicy dish is served family style, and to be eaten with your hands.

Roll your sleeves up, grab some napkins, and dig in!

We Love these, and hope you give it a try!

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Sweet & Tangy Chicken in Lettuce Cups

Makes Appetizers for 4, or Dinner for 2

* Equipment:

Large Wok or medium sauté pan

Tongs, wood paddle, chef knife

Little bowls or dishes for fixings

Ingredients:

3 T oil (peanut or Sunflower is preferred)

6 boneless chicken thighs

1/4 cup flour placed in soup bowl or mixing bowl

1 T chopped Ginger

2 T Honey

1 T Hoisin

1 T Ketchup

1/2 Lime- juice only

1 T light soy sauce

1 T Marie Sharp’s [or your fave] mild hot sauce

1/4 cup water

Side Condiments:

1/4 cup sliced scallions (optional)

1/4 cup lightly chopped cilantro

1/4 cup choice of diced pineapple, red pepper, carrot, onion, chopped peanuts, etc as condiments (as few or as many as you like)

20 lettuce cups (butter or bib lettuce, or Swiss chard leaves) – place on dinner plate

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Chicken in Lettuce Cups
~ Plated to Serve ~

* Method:

  1. Put wok on medium fire
  2. Add oil
  3. Dust chicken thighs in flour
  4. Place chicken in wok and cook to golden brown on one side
  5. flip chicken and cook to brown color on the other side
  6. Turn down heat to low and add ginger and stir with wood paddle, then add honey, Hoisin, ketchup, lime juice, soy sauce, and hot sauce. And continue to stir for maybe a minute
  7. add water and stir.
  8. As soon as chicken is fully cooked, use tongs to remove chicken and place on a cutting board – let the chicken rest for 5 minutes
  9. Using chef knife, slice chicken and place in a bowl
  10. Plate up chicken & condiments, serve and enjoy!

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Twice Cooked Pork & Pineapple – A Tasty 30-Minute Meal!

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Twice Cooked Pork and Pineapple

“A Delicious 30 Minute Meal”

Twice Cooked Pork & Pineapple

Its noon, and I’m hungry,
If you follow us, you know my routine by now.
Off to the kitchen to see what I already have in the fridge and pantry that needs to be used up.

I see 1 cup of Belizean rice that I think I bought in Belize last year, a bottle of oyster sauce that has maybe 2 ounces left, one 4 ounce filet of cooked pork (left over from making steamed pork buns), a carrot, a chunk of ginger, one lonely clove of garlic, some chunks of cut up pineapple, a half red onion, and fresh broccoli stems with no flowers (I save the stems for soup). ~ Chef Bruce

Perfect.

These ingredients can easily make a really tasty meal for two, in only 30 minutes.

Ready? Let’s get Cooking!

Twice Cooked Pork & Pineapple

 The Rice Step: (28 minutes total)

  • 1 cup rice & 2 cups water

Rinse rice and drain.

Bring to a boil 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Add rice and a pinch of salt, then place a tight fitting lid on saucepan. Reduce flame to low or simmer. Do not lift the lid. No peeking!

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Present Rice by Packing in Mold,
Then turn Rice out on a plate

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…Like this!

Simmer Rice on low for 18 minutes;

then let the rice rest – with the lid still on – for another 10 minutes.

In 28 total minutes, you will have perfectly cooked rice.

Method:

  • 4 ounces cooked pork, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices (loin, shoulder, round are all fine). Sliced cooked beef would work fine as well
  • 1 T corn starch mixed with 1 Tblsp water
  • 1 Tblsp Gochujang Fermented Red Pepper Paste OR Sriracha Sauce.

Red Pepper Paste

– Mix all ingredients together in a large dish or container.

Marinate the pork (10 minutes):

While the meat is marinating, Prep the veggies and Sauce (15 minutes):

2 Tblsp fresh peeled ginger, sliced into coins

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 carrot, cut into thin coins

Healthy Ginger

Healthy Ginger

1 handful of pineapple chunks

1/2 cup thinly sliced broccoli stems

1/2 onion, sliced

2 ounces oyster sauce

1 Tblsp soy sauce

2 ounces water or beef stock

3 Tblsp oil

* Time to Cook (5 minutes):

  1. Place a 12 inch wok on high flame, add the oil. Roll the wok so the oil coats the surface of the wok. When oil starts to smoke, add the marinated pork slices so they are separated in the wok. Cook the meat on one side to get some color; then flip the meat and cook on the other side.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and stir all together for 30 seconds; then add the veggies and stir 30 seconds.
  3. Add the pineapple chunks, soy sauce, oyster sauce, water and stir together about 30 seconds. Remove from the wok and serve with rice
  4. Plate, Serve, and Enjoy!

That’s it! In 30 minutes, you made a wholesome & delicious meal for two.

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Same basic dish, using different ingredients

On a busy work day, you too can be a hero by cooking a tasty meal
with food items you already have in your home.
Your grandma would give you a thumbs up for being frugal,
and you get a warm, home cooked meal. Win / Win!
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If you like, please feel free to contact me  with a list of ingredients in your home that need to be used,
and I will respond with an easy recipe. Teamwork!! ~ Chef Bruce

 

Shrimp in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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Please Check out our latest Recipe Blog. We’d also like to say Thank You to all of our Readers & Followers. We really appreciate your support! 🙂

Mmm, Taste This!

Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

Image Shrimp & Fresh Pasta in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

 “It’s no secret that I love tomatoes, homemade pasta and seafood…

…and the multiple combinations and possibilities using herbs, wines, butters and cream. Having worked in many restaurants, we often made tomato and cream sauces, calling them “Rose Sauces”. The term was used as a quick way to communicate to our guests about the color of the sauce, but it did not succeed in describing the flavors or ingredients to them. Over time, I dropped that term from my menus, and wrote descriptively about tomato sauces; offering critical ingredients that dominated the flavors of the dish. If made often, you will see when combining tomatoes and cream, the results can vary depending upon the type of cream and its origin, or where the tomatoes and garlic were grown. These factors do influence the flavors in your…

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Shrimp in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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Shrimp & Fresh Pasta in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

 “It’s no secret that I love tomatoes, homemade pasta and seafood…

…and the multiple combinations and possibilities using herbs, wines, butters and cream. Having worked in many restaurants, we often made tomato and cream sauces, calling them “Rose Sauces”. The term was used as a quick way to communicate to our guests about the color of the sauce, but it did not succeed in describing the flavors or ingredients to them. Over time, I dropped that term from my menus, and wrote descriptively about tomato sauces; offering critical ingredients that dominated the flavors of the dish. If made often, you will see when combining tomatoes and cream, the results can vary depending upon the type of cream and its origin, or where the tomatoes and garlic were grown. These factors do influence the flavors in your sauce. This fact holds true for the origin of all your ingredients. So I am careful and choosy when making classic sauces. For this dish, I decided to bring back a classic sauce using fresh pasta, tomatoes, cream and shrimp. Note: If you do not eat, do not want, or do not have shrimp on hand – this sauce and dish work equally as well without. You may also choose to omit the cream, and use as a delicious “any day” Tomato Sauce.

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Natural, Quality Ingredients

The tomatoes I used for this recipe are ripe whole tomatoes in puree (canned) from Italy, the cream is local and organic, the garlic and basil were grown in upper Bucks County. This is an easy recipe that anyone can make at home. So, Let’s Get Cooking! 🙂 ” ~ Chef Bruce

 Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

(with Shrimp & Fresh Pasta}

Prep Time: 20 minutes ** Cooking time: 20 minutes

* Natural Ingredients: (Serves 2)

4 ounces fresh pasta (you may use dry as well).

** Cook the pasta according to directions, but do not over cook the pasta. The pasta will be added to the shrimp and sauce so it will be cooked a bit more in the sauce.

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Fresh, Homemade Pasta

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

10 Shrimp, shelled and deveined *

1 Tblsp Chopped fresh garlic

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or chopped fresh chilies

1/4 cup dry white wine (I prefer Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)

1/2 cup diced tomatoes in puree, or use your own fresh tomato sauce

1/2 cup fresh cream (I used organic half & half)

1/2 tsp salt

Fresh milled black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

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Simmering the Tomatoes, Herbs & Spices

* Method:

  1. Place a 10 or 12 inch sauté pan on medium flame. Add the olive oil and butter.
  2. When the butter is melted and starts to sizzle, add the shrimp to the pan in single layer. Cook the shrimp on both sides for about one minute each side.
  3. Add the garlic and stir but do not burn the garlic. Add the white wine and cook for about one minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the cream, salt, milled pepper and basil. Bring to a boil again and then add the cooked pasta.
  6. Stir all ingredients together and taste if more salt or pepper is needed. If you think you need more sauce, just add a few tablespoons more cream.
  7. Plate, and serve. If your pasta absorbs the sauce, you may add a few tablespoons of water or chicken stock. Enjoy!
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Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce w Pasta

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Easy Butter Pecan Caramel Candy Recipe

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Home Made Butter Pecan Caramels

Butter Pecan Caramels

I love sweets. There. I said it.

I must have a sweet treat after dinner every night. But we try not to eat processed foods anymore.

What’s a girl to do?

That is why I began my quest to make my own sweets. By making my own all natural desserts and treats, I can satisfy my sweet tooth without compromising our goal of eating as few food additives as we can.

I’d been making a lot of chocolates and such lately, and was craving something different. So I set out on a Google Search to find something yummy for my tummy. You can find a recipe for almost everything on the ‘net today. I am not sure how the idea of Squirrel Nut Zippers came to me. For some reason, it did.

My Inspiration: Squirrel Nut Zippers

Squirrel Nut Zippers are individually wrapped, odd little caramel-type candies I used to see only at Halloween time.Back in the days when candy didn’t have to be ‘sealed for your protection’. Anyway… Lo and behold, someone had posted a home made version of them! [original recipe link at page bottom] I couldn’t wait to try it!

I love that this recipe is super easy. I love that it is made in one bowl and one pan. I did not love that it called for corn syrup, as I don’t use it. Instead, I substituted honey in one trial, and  Brown Rice Syrup in another. Both worked fantastically. The original recipe also calls for walnuts. Neither of us likes walnuts, so I substituted pecans. WOW! It taste AWESOME! I made them twice in two months, so they must be good! Well, what are we waiting for?

Let’s Get Cooking!

Butter Pecan Caramels

Butter Pecan Caramels

Easy Butter Pecan Caramels

*Ingredients (makes 40 – 50 small candies) 
All Natural Ingredients

All Natural Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (I use raw cane sugar)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Honey, Maple, or Brown Rice Syrup (or light Karo syrup)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (or other nuts of choice)
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
Sprayed Pan Lined with Parchment, then nuts

Sprayed Pan Lined with Parchment, then nuts

Method:
  • Prep a 8″ X 8″ casserole dish with cooking spray on bottom and sides, and then line pan with parchment paper. DO NOT skip the parchment paper step!! You need it to remove the candy from the pan.
  • Sprinkle nuts evenly on bottom of pan and set pan aside.
  • In a large microwave safe glass or ceramic bowl (i used corningware) mix together butter, sugars, honey / syrup and condensed milk. The caramel will bubble up when cooking, so make sure your bowl is large enough.
  • Cook mixture on High for 7 total minutes, STOP AND STIR at the 2, 4 and 6 minute marks.
Mix at 4 minutes

Mix at 4 minutes

Mix at 6 minutes

Mix at 6 minutes

  • Remove the cooked mixture from the microwave. Add the vanilla and stir.
  • Gently pour the hot caramel mixture into the lined pan, trying not to displace the nuts.
Cooked mix in lined pan

Cooked mix in lined pan

  • Sprinkle sea salt evenly over the caramel. Set the on the counter to cool for 20 minutes. The original recipe says to fridge the mix at this point, but when I did, it got all moist & sticky the next day. We recommend you simply allow to cool on counter several hours, until firm and no longer sticky.
  • Remove caramels from pan by gently lifting the ends of the parchment paper. If the caramel sticks, gently go around the edge of the pan with a spatula to loosen. They should then lift right out. lip & turn out on flat dish or cutting board. Remove parchment.
Cut into pieces

Cut into neat pieces

  • Using a bench scraper or large chefs knife, cut into 1″ squares, or 1 x 1.5″ rectangles.
  • Plate so they do not touch each other – they will stick. Or, wrap pieces in wax paper to store. Unwrap, eat, and enjoy!

Try them using maple syrup, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, coconut –  experimenting is fun!

Try Peanut  Caramels too!

Try Peanut Caramels too!

 

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** Original Source Recipe HERE: Homemade Squirrel Nut Zippers