Monday, February 23, 2015

Seared Pork Chops with Spicy Blueberry Bacon Jam

6 bacon strips, fried (reserve 4 TBS grease)
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup Ruby Red pink grapefruit juice
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 TBS fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
4 seasoned pork chops


1.  Fry bacon until crispy on both sides.  Place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.  Reserve 4 TBS bacon grease.
2.  In small/medium size sauce pan, add grease.  Heat on medium temperature.
3.  Add onion, sauté until soft, stir (approx. 3-5 mins).  Add garlic and sugar, stir.  Saute for additional 2 mins or until sugar dissolves. 
4.  Add vinegar, grapefruit juice, blueberries, pepper flakes and basil, stir.  Cook until blueberries soften (approx. 3 mins).  Season with salt, to taste. 
5.  Chop bacon.  Add approx. 4 strips to sauce pan, stir.  Reduce liquid down until thickens and caramelizes. (approx. 3 mins)
6.  Season with salt and pepper on both sides.  Sear pork chops on both sides in same skillet used to fry bacon.  ( approx. 4-5 mins. each side, depending on thickness)

Serve chops with Blueberry Bacon Jam.  Garnish with additional bacon pieces and greens

Serves 4

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cheese Toasted BBQ Sirloin Bacon Sloppy

8 thick slice bacon, fried (put aside) cut in half
4 TBS oil (bacon grease option)
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped fine
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TBS brown sugar
3 cups sirloin, cubed small
1 cup bbq sauce
8 slices bread
8 TBS butter, softened
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1.  Fry bacon, put aside
2.  In large skillet (using bacon grease), heat on med/high heat.  Add onion, sautee for 5 mins or until soft.  Stir. 
3.  Add garlic.  Sautee for additional 3 mins.  Stir. 
4.  Add roasted peppers, stir and heat.  Season with salt and pepper. 
5.  Add sugar, stir and dissolve (2 mins).
6.  Add sirloin and stir.  Sautee until brown.  Approx. 4 - 5 mins.
7.  Add bbq sauce.  Stir and heat for approx. 3 -4 mins.
8.  Heat large non stick skillet on med/high heat.
9.  Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Add shredded cheese to buttered side, pressing gently to stick.   Add butter/cheese side facing down onto skillet.  Add approx. 1/2 cup sirloin mixture and two slices of bacon.  Add remaining buttered slice of bread to skillet, topping meat and making sandwich.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese, pressing gently. 
10.  Grill until start to toast and brown. (approx. 3 -4 mins)  Flip over to toast opposite side.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Spicy Lemon Basil Pistachio Pesto Spagetti with Gulf Shrimp

1 lb spagetti, cooked al dente
2 stick butter
1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 -2 lbs jumbo gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup pistachios
salt and pepper, to taste


1.  In medium size food processor add ingredients for pesto, puree.  Set aside
2.  In large skillet, on medium high heat add and melt butter (approx 2 mins).  Add cayenne pepper and lemon juice.  Stir. 
3.  Add contents from food processor to skillet, stir well to combine. 
4.  Add shrimp, stir and cook in butter sauce until shrimp is done.  Shrimp is done when turns pink and starts to curl.  Approx 2-3 mins.  Season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Blueberry Grapefruit Coffee Cake Muffins

These muffins are gluten free.  I use my gluten free four blend.  I was inspired to make these muffins for the Ocean Spray Grapefruit Contest.  I made a batch two days in a row.  They are a huge hit with family and friends.  Enjoy!!! 


2 TBS butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Place cupcake papers into 12 count well pan.  Spray papers with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
3.  In medium size bowl whisk together butter, 3/4 cup sugar, egg, sour cream, oil, juice and vanilla until completely combined. 
4.  Add to bowl, salt baking powder, baking soda, flour, walnuts and blueberries.  Mix thoroughly. 
5.  In small bowl mix together 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon.
6.  Fill each paper 1/2 way with batter.  Sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture.
7.  Bake in oven for approx.. 12-14 mins or until done. 

Note:  Alternative method:  Muffin papers and be filled with half the batter, then with sugar/cinnamon mixture and topped off with more batter.

Makes 12 Muffins

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Twisted Chicken Cacciatore

This recipe was created for a contest using suggested ingredients. 
Sargento 6 cheese blend
red bell peppers
chicken breasts
Greek Yogurt
Did a twist to a traditional Classic Italian Dish, Chicken Cacciatore.
Dredged chicken in Greek Yogurt then in seasoned bread crumbs and seared.  Finished cooking in a simple roasted red bell pepper sauce with tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms and kalamata olives.  Topped chicken with cheese and broiled.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Italian Red Lentil Soup with Lemon and Basil Oil

A few of my dishes I have made using lentils
The lentil is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, known for its lens-shaped seeds.  It is about 40 cm tall, and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each.

Compared to other types of dried beans, lentils are relatively quick and easy to prepare. They readily absorb a variety of wonderful flavors from other foods and seasonings, are high in nutritional value and are available throughout the year.

Petite red lentils, also known as petite crimson lentils, are small, round legumes with a light pink color. They are typically smaller than a pencil eraser and sold either split into halves or whole. Unlike most legumes, petite red lentils cook quickly since their exteriors are soft and easy for water to penetrate. Lentils contain significant amounts of nutrients in each serving and are an ideal addition to almost anyone’s diet.
Gluten Free
Toss with other grains, muffins, soups, pastas, meatloaf, burgers

Eating Petite Red Lentils

Before cooking lentils, you should wash them in warm water to remove dust and dirt. Submerge the lentils in a bowl of water and pick through them to remove any rocks or foreign objects. Once washed and picked, petite red lentils are useful in a wide array of dishes. Some recipes that use petite red lentils include soups, salads, pastas, sauces and casseroles. Pureed lentils can act as a thickener, as well.


Calories and Fat

A 1-cup serving of cooked petite red lentils contains 230 calories. That is 11.5 percent of an average daily recommended intake of 2,000 calories. While the caloric content might seem a bit high to some individuals, the fat content more than makes up for it at 0.75 grams and no saturated fat. Low-fat foods help prevent heart disease, clogged arteries and many conditions associated with obesity.

Carbohydrates and Dietary Fiber

Petite red lentils are rich in slow-digesting carbohydrates and dietary fiber that keep you feeling full and satisfied for two hours or more following a meal. One cup of cooked petite red lentils contains about 40 grams of carbohydrates, or about 18 percent of the average recommended daily intake. The dietary fiber content is about 57 percent of an average DRI at 15.6 grams per serving. Consuming foods high in dietary fiber, such as petite red lentils, lowers your risk of diabetes, heart disease and constipation.


The protein content of lentils is comparable to that of one serving of meat, but generally healthier because they contain low levels of fat. In one cup of petite red lentils, you consume nearly 18 grams of protein. One 3-ounce serving of chicken breast contains 18 grams of protein, as well. However, the chicken breast also contains more than 3 grams of fat in comparison to the 0.75 grams in the serving of petite red lentils.

Vitamins and Minerals

With 358 micrograms per serving, petite red lentils are rich in folate, a vitamin your body requires to create new cells and produce iron. One serving also provides about 16 international units of vitamin A. The minerals in a cup of petite red lentils include 731 milligrams of potassium, 356 milligrams of phosphorus and 71 milligrams of magnesium.

Enjoy this recipe I have specially created for you


Italian Red Lentil Soup with Lemon and Basil Oil
Soup Ingredients:
4 TBS olive oil
3 Italian Sausage links
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups red lentil beans
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 dry sherry
32 ozs chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 Bay leaves
1/4 cup grated cheese
salt, to taste
1 cup water

1.  In large skillet, add oil heat on medium heat.
2.  Add sausage links.  Cook until brown.  Remove from pan and slice.
3.  Add celery, onion, garlic and sauté until soft
4.  Add lentils and red pepper flakes stir.  Sautee for 5 mins.
5.  Add sherry to deglaze. Stir
6.  Add broth and spices.  Simmer for approx. 25 mins. 
7.  Add grated cheese, stir. 
8.  Add water if too thick.
9.  Remove bay leaves
10.Serve in bowl with drizzle of lemon oil and basil oil.  Add additional cheese, if desire.

Lemon Oil:
zest from one lemon, with juice
4 TBS olive oil
Puree together until smooth.  Add additional oil, if needed

Basil Oil:
6 large basil leaves
5 TBS olive oil
Puree together until smooth.  Add additional oil, if needed

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Banana Curry Pork with Grilled Pear and Brie


8 bonesless, pork chops, (approx. 1 inch thick), seasoned with salt and pepper
3 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small habanero pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp corriander
4 TBS butter
1 small very ripe banana
1 tsp flour
1 cup coconut milk
1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp course black pepper
15 oz can pear halves, juice reserved (yields approx 1 cup juice)
1/2 cup cream brie, warm
cilantro sprigs, for garnish


1.  Grill chops approx. 7-8 mins on each side.  Cover, put aside.
2.  Drain pears and reserve juice.  Grill pears to achieve grill marks (approx 5 mins).  Cover, put aside.
3.  In large skillet over med/high heat add oil.  Heat for 2 mins.
4.  Add onions, garlic and habanero pepper.  Stir and sautee for approx. 4-5 mins.
5.  Add cumin, tumeric, cinnamon, corriander and butter.  Stir.  When butter melts stir again.
6.  Add flour and stir.  Let sit for few mins. 
7.  Add coconut milk, lemon juice and 1 cup pear juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for approx. 5-7 mins.
8.  Add sauce to blender to puree.
9.  To Plate:  Add sauce to dish.  Top with pork chop then grilled pear.  Drizzle with warm brie cheese.  Add cilantro sprigs for garnish.

Note:  Brie cheese can be warmed in microwave for just a few minutes.  Stir, then drizzle.