Thursday, June 26, 2008

Simple Pleasures--the birth of the fluffer nutter butter gutter

Sometimes it is not about fancy ingredients and grown up desires. Sometimes it is just about something yummy. Growing up people were always afraid to cook for my father. My Aunt always cites the first time she went to visit my mother after she married my dad. My mother had made some dish and used powdered ginger. My father, as legend has it, and knowing him I believe, took a bit and said, “You didn’t use fresh ginger did you?” My Aunt recalls not even being able to tell ginger was in the dish. She was always worried to cook for dad after that. Many folks were. I always tried to explain, it doesn’t have to be fancy to impress him, just good. A good burger is just as heavenly to him as a good filet. It just has to be good.
That is what I was thinking today. I had a 3 year old that was terribly out of sorts. I was out of cereal and he wasn’t having the idea of eggs. I couldn’t sell him on the Kashi waffle either, because at that point he was contrary for contrary sake. So out came, the “fluffer nutter butter gutter” (I dunno, I was desperate for a giggle, or at least desperate to end the tears). I toasted some bread, spread some creamy peanut butter on it and took the 100% true maple syrup from the freezer (just heaven in its own right if you ask me) and smeared it all together in a ridiculous concoction. And you know what? It was good. No Eggs Benedict, but just plain old good.
Try it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Feta Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

Ahhh, the stuffed chicken breast, this was to my family what pizza or maybe taco night was to others. It was the in a pinch or I have leftovers but not quite enough for a whole meal, meal. You can really stuff it with anything, cold cuts (hence chicken cordon blue----doesn’t seem so fancy now huh!) try some Chinese leftovers, a little moo-shoo or a little fried rice and some sesame oil. Yummm. Heck I bet, even some leftover chilli topped with some cheddar cheese and sour cream would be Jim Dandy. Season the chicken or it can suck the flavor away from anything you put in there.

1.5-2 lbs bonless skinless chicken breasts filleted open and pounded out
½ C. marinated artichoke chopped up
1 tsp garlic
¼ C. feta
1TBS olive
Salt and pepper

In a pan heat oil. Mix the artichoke, feta and garlic up and spread a fair amount on one side of chicken. Roll and secure with toothpicks or poultry string. Cook until done. This would also be good with the addition of roasted peppers, or olives or both!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Herb Cheesecake

All the fresh herbs clearly has inspired me recently. This was particularly good. Serve this on crackers or on a bagle in the a.m.

1 package of cream cheese softened
½ C. sour cream
1 egg whole
1 egg white
2 TBS fresh parsley packed in
1 TBS fresh rosemary packed in
1 TBS fresh oregano packed in
30 fresh chive stalks
½ tsp salt
1TBS lemon
8TBS soft goat cheese
1 tomato
Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 250. Slice tomato fairly thinly and lay on baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper it. Bake for 45 minute to an hour (depends on if you like them more soft or more chewy).
Meanwhile in food processor (if you do not have, chop herbs finely and use hand blender), process first 10 ingredients until herbs are fairly smooth. Add 6 TBS of the goat cheese and process for 20 more seconds. Set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 350. Line the bottom of a 7 inch spring form pan with tomatoes. Dot tomatoes with the 2 remaining tablespoons of goat cheese. Pour herb mixture on top of tomatoes and goat cheese.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife come out almost clean. Let cool. Loosen sides by running a knife around edge of spring form. Remove outside of pan. Place serving dish on top of cheesecake and invert so tomatoes are on top. Chill and serve.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Herbed Bulgur Salad

2 C. uncooked Bulgur
2 C boiling water
1 C. diced tomatoes
3 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS olive oil
1/8 C. Parsley
1 TBS oregano, packed
1 Tsp. thyme packed
1 TBS basil packed
30 chive stalks
½ c, Feta
Salt and pepper to taste
Place raw bulgur in big bowl. Boil water and pour over bulgur. Cover bulgur and set aside. Meanwhile, in food processor, process all herbs until fairly fine. Once bulgur cooled add herbs, tomatoes, lemon, oil and feta. Stir and season.

Tilapia with Tomato, Feta and Capers

4 filets of Tilapia
½ c feta
14oz diced tomato
1/8 c. caper
3 tbs lemon
1tbs olive oil
¼ onion diced
Salt and pepper filets. Add olive oil to pan and diced onion. Add filets and cook. Remove filets a little early (cook about 2 -3minutes each side over medium heat) keeping onion in the pan/ Drizzle 1TBS lemon over filets and set aside. Add tomato, capers (the caper are variable it depends on how much you like, I love them, so personally add much more, but if you don’t love them or the salt add a little less and keep adding until you are happy with the flavor). Cook until most of water from tomatoes cooks off. Reduce heat. Add filets back to tomato mixture, and put crumbled feta on top. Increase temperature until liquid is bubbling hard. Cover and turn off heat. Let pan sit for 5 minutes. Serve.

Sunday, June 22, 2008



This comes all the way from Indiana, and my favorite Aunt. Thank you for sharing!!!!

2 cups diced chicken
1 cup mayo
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 8oz cream cheese
1 cup diced jalepenos (I use a bit less)
1 4ox can chopped chilies

Mix. Bake at 350* for approx 30 minutes

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Horseradish Crusted Salmon

1lb Salmon
1TBS horseradish
1 TBS course mustard
1TBS bread crumbs
3TBS sour cream
Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 350, salt and pepper salmon. Mix, horseradish, mustard, bread crumbs and sour cream together and spread on filet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Walnut Truffle Pasta

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found.

1TBS Butter
1 C mushrooms chopped
1 Shallot chopped
1/2 cup cream or half and half
½ C walnut halves toasted
4TBS sour cream
1 garlic clove chopped
1 tsp truffle oil
¼ tsp sea salt
1pound pasta

Put water on to boil for pasta. Melt butter and sauté mushrooms and shallots. Meanwhile toast walnuts over medium heat in frying pan shaking pan frequently (about 7 minutes). Put pasta in to cook. Place mushroom shallot mixture, cream, sour cream, garlic, walnuts, salt and truffle oil in food processor and blend. Drain pasta and add sauce serve immediately.

Monday, June 16, 2008

strawberry salad

This is a little freeform here. Make a very simple salad. A little onion, a little cucumber, lettuce and maybe carrot. For a salad for 4 slice about a pint of strawberry’s. Add 1/2 C crumbled blue cheese. Toss with a slightly sweet dressing. I used Maple Grove Farms Ginger Pear but a poppy seed would be good as well.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Herbed Goat Cheese Salmon

1 tbs olive oil
1/2 c. goat cheese
5 slices sun dried tomato
½ tsp rosemary
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
½ tsp salt
1 lb salmon

Process first 5 ingredients. Salt and pepper salmon. Heat oven to 350. Smear fish with cheese mixture. Cook for 20 minutes. This would be great on pork too. Again, feta would work.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Baked Goat Cheese

1 c. goat cheese
10 kalamatas
10 slices of sun dried tomatoes
There are two steps involved here. I made my own tomatoes. I like it infinitely better than the store bought sun dried. Or really, I like it and hate the store brought stuff. I can thank my friend Sallie for turning me on to making my own. She told me they were indulgent they were so good and boy was she right.
I find that the size and flavor of plums works better, but I am confident if I were working with true fresh I wouldn’t care. Cut up as many as you like, but stick with what you think you will use in the next couple of weeks. Heat the oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with tomatoes slices roughly the same size. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. How long you bake depends on how chewy you like them. I like them a little more supple. I baked mine for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350. Once your tomatoes are done, put your goat cheese in a cast iron skillet or baking dish. Top with tomatoes and olives. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with some bread.
This would also be good with roasted peppers, or use brie or feta even. Ymmm.