Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Baked Peanut Crunch Coffee Chicken

This is a super duper pea "nutty" great recipe.  When I order a shipment of Door County Products, they were so generous to send me a sample of their Peanut Butter Crunch Coffee.  I was very intrigued and couldn't wait to create a new dish.  I knew that peanuts go well with an Asian flair so I decided to start there.  I first got the Peanut Butter Coffee brewing.  This started my taste buds flowing.  The rest is history! 


1 lb chicken tenders, trimmed
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tbs pepper
1/3 cup red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 TBS ginger, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 limes, juiced 
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 TBS creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup Peanut Butter Crunch coffee, brewed
1 TBS Door County Mustard
1 TBS Sour Cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup peanuts, crushed

1.  Drain chicken and pat with paper towels to absorb excess wetness.
2.  Place flour, salt and pepper in med/large bowl.  Stir.  Toss chicken to coat.  Remove and place on clean dish, shaking off excess flour.
3.  In blender or food processor add all other ingredients.  Pulse until blended.  Add to bowl. (Reserve 1/2 cup to drizzle on chicken for later)
4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
5.  Dip each piece of chicken into mixture and coat thoroughly.  Place on slightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for approx. 8-10 mins or until golden brown (temp. depends on thickness of chicken).  Flip chicken 1/2 way through baking time.  Remove from oven.  Drizzle with extra sauce and sprinkle with crushed peanuts.  Serve on favorite salad or lettuce wraps.

Note:  I used a counter top electric grill with press cover.  Slightly grease with cooking spray.  Grill for approx. 3-4 mins.  

Serve on favorite salad or as tacos in lettuce wraps

Grilled Pork Pears Foster and Brie


6 Pork Loin (approx. 1 inch thick)
7 tsp favorite pork rub, reserve 1 tsp
1 can sliced half pears (reserve juice) (low sugar, if available)
4 TBS butter
2 TBS rum
2 TBS brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp corn starch
1 cup pear juice, from can
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper, to taste
4 TBS walnuts, chopped
5 oz creamed brie cheese, no rind, warm
1/4 cup basil (fresh, chopped)

1.  Rub chops with spice rub. (reserve 1 tsp)
2.  Place pork on greased grill on med/high heat.  Grill for approx. 4 mins on each side, or until done.
Remove from grill and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
3.  Place pears on grill, flipping to create grill marks on both sides.  Remove and cover.
4.  On burner in medium size skillet add the 1 tsp reserved rub, butter, oil, rum and sugar.  Cook until sugar is dissolved.
5.  Add corn starch.  Stir to dissolve.
6.  Add juice, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Lower heat and simmer until slightly thickened.  Add walnuts and stir.
7.  To plate:  Add pork to serving dish, top with grilled pear (whole side up).  Fill pear whole with approx. 1 tsp brie cheese.  Drizzle with sauce.

Maple Sausage Potato Caprese Frittata

I created this recipe for the Jones Sausage Contest.  I used potatoes tossed with chunks of Maple sausage, cheddar cheese, onions, garlic and fresh parsley, baked with beaten egg.  Frittata is topped with fresh mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, tomatoes and fresh basil.


4 TBS olive oil
4 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed small
2 boxes cooked sausage patties, cut in quarters
1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
1 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 TBS butter
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp course black pepper
2 TBS grated cheese
8 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 dollops pizza sauce
8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
8 slices fresh tomato
3 large basil leaves

1.  In large cast iron skillet heat oil on med/high heat.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Add potatoes and sauté until starts to brown. Approx. 10 mins.  Stir to prevent from sticking.
3.  Add sausage, onions and garlic, stir.  Saute for additional 5 mins.  Add butter, stir.  Season with salt and pepper then add grated cheese.  Stir.  Spread potatoes evenly across pan to make level.
4.  Add beaten eggs.  Top with cheddar cheese.  Shake skillet so eggs incorporate into potatoes.
5.  Drop dollops of pizza sauce on top of potatoes/eggs in skillet evenly around outside perimeter.  Now, add a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each dollop of sauce, overlapping.  Add a slice of tomato on each slice of mozzarella, overlapping as well.
6.  Place skillet in oven and bake for 10 mins.
7.  Quickly switch oven to broil to top brown for 5 mins.  Remove.  Sprinkle top of frittata with fresh basil.  Slice into 8 pieces.
Makes 8 slices

Cherry Almond Espresso Bean Bark

I was inspired to make this recipe when I first received my shipment of Door County Coffee products.  I love to make chocolates, especially different varieties of bark.  I couldn't resist these combinations of Chocolate, cherries, almonds and crunchy chocolate covered espresso beans.
This Chocolate Bark can be made with a variety of different kinds of chocolates (Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and/or Red)

1/2 lb milk chocolate, tempered 
1/2 lb dark chocolate, tempered
1/3 cup dry cherries
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup crushed chocolate covered espresso beans

1.  Add each different chocolate flavors to a (microwave safe) bowl.  Heat on high for approx. 1 minute.  Remove and stir well.  Return back to microwave, if needed but heat at 30 second increments at a time until completely melted.  
2.  Spread one type of chocolate on baking sheets.  With a spoon, spread evenly across pan making a thin layer.
3.  Add second chocolate.  Pour over top of chocolate in pan.  Spread over top of bottom chocolate.
4.  With a spoon, make swirls around throughout two layers creating a marble like finish.
5.  Quickly sprinkle cherries, almonds and then espresso beans over top.  Tap baking pan to make sure toppings adhere to chocolate.
6.  Freeze for approx 10 mins.  Remove and break into pieces.  Store in air tight container.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cherry Cordial Coffee Cupcakes

When I think about Door County, Wisconsin, it reminds me of Coffee, Cherry Trees and Cheese.  It was my inspiration for this recipe.  The center of these cupcakes have a sweet cherry cordial surrounded by the cheddar coffee taste of a firm cupcake, mixed with ground chocolate covered espresso beans.  The frosting is infused with strong espresso coffee.  Cupcake is topped with a sweet drizzle of cherry jam and a chocolate espresso bean, for added punch.  This cupcake is the perfect balance to help celebrate, this time of year..."the blooming of the Cherry Trees"

4 ozs butter, soft
3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cherry syrup
1/3 cup water
2 TBS vanilla
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 TBS chocolate covered coffee beans, ground, plus 24 whole 
24 cherry cordials
1 jar Cherry jam

Frosting Ingredients:
1/4 cup strong Espresso Coffee
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 TBS butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
9 ozs milk chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp meringue powder, optional

1.  Place cupcake papers in 2 (12 ct) cupcake wells.  Slightly grease papers with cooking spray to prevent cake from sticking to papers.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In large bowl add butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, oil, syrup, water and vanilla.  Mix well.  In separate bowl add flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Mix well.  Add to wet ingredients.  Whisk until fully blended.  Fold in cheddar cheese and 2 TBS ground choc. covered espresso beans.
3.  Add approx. 2 TBS batter to each cupcake paper.  Place a single cherry cordial in center of each paper.  Top with additional batter covering 3/4 full.  Bake for 11-13 mins, or until done.  Cool.
4.  To make frosting:  Add coffee, cheese, butter and vanilla.  Whisk well.  Add melted chocolate, mix well.  Add sugar, mix well.  Frosting should be stiff.  Add meringue powder if needed.
5.  Add frosting to piping bag with favorite decorating tip and frost cupcakes.
6.  Warm cherry jam in microwave safe bowl in microwave for approx. 1 minute.  Drizzle over top of frosted cupcakes.  Place a chocolate covered espresso bean on top of each cupcake.
Makes 24 cupcakes.

Cherry Coffee Strata

Move over Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  This is my Cherry Coffee Upside Down Strata.  Stuffed with creamed brie and chunks of coffee flavored bread cubes.  Topped with sweet taste of the very well known "Door County Cherries".

8 cups cubed bread, packed.  Toasted
1 jar Chopped Cherry Jam
3 (5 ozs) pks creamed brie cheese
10 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup espresso coffee, strong
8 TBS butter, melted
1/4 cup cherry syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS white sugar (optional)

1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Add cubed bread to large baking sheet.  Toast in oven for 15 mins.
2.  Add cherry jam to greased cast iron skillet.  Spread across bottom.
3.  Add half of the bread to skillet.  Add spoonfuls of brie cheese to top, dividing evenly.  Add remaining bread to top of brie, spreading evening across skillet.
4.  Add beaten eggs, coffee, butter, syrup, cinnamon and salt to bowl.  Mix well.  Add egg mixture to skillet, over bread.  Let soak for 30 mins.  Press down occasionally to make sure all the bread soaking up egg.
5.  Bake for 15 mins covered.  Bake another 10 mins uncovered.  Remove from oven and sprinkle white sugar over top.  Rest for 10-15 mins.   Loosen edges with knife.  Flip onto serving dish.

Serves 8-10 people

Chocolate Covered Tiramisu Sandwich Cookies

2 pkg chocolate sandwich cookies
2/3 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, crushed
1 lbs dark chocolate, tempered

Tiramisu Filling:
1/4 cup strong Espresso Coffee
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 TBS butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
9 ozs milk chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

1.  Carefully separate sandwich cookies with knife, without breaking.  scrap cream and add to small bowl.  Reserve.  Line cookies inside side facing up.
2.  Add coffee, cheese, butter and vanilla in medium size bowl.  Mix well.  Add melted chocolate, mix.  Add sugar and mix.  Add contents of filling to pasty bag.  Enclose with twist tie or clip.  Snip bottom of pastry bag approx 1/2 inch from bottom.
3.  Fill approx 1/2 tsp of filling in the center of sandwich cookie.  Press another cookie on top of filling and press gently.  Filling will spread to outer edge of cookie.  Fill remaining cookies.
4.  Add dark chocolate to microwave safe bowl.  Heat on high for 1 minute, stir.  Add for additional 30 seconds, if needed to melt completely.  Dip each cookie into chocolate, covering on each side.  Place on wax paper to dry.
5.  Add bowl of cream to microwave.  Heat on high for 1 minute.  Stir.  If not melted heat for additional 30 seconds until completely smooth and melted, stirring between.  With a fork, drizzle white cream over top of chocolate covered cookie. (dark choc. does not have to be completed dry for this next step).  Sprinkle with crushed espresso beans.  Let dry completely before serving.
Makes as many cookies used from original package.  Approx 60 cookies.
Note:  Recipe may be cut in half.  Any extra filling may be refrigerated for up to 1 month (sealed).


This dish reminds me of growing up in Connecticut.  Lobster rolls with butter, with a buttery toasted bun is very popular.  It takes me back to beautiful summer days and nights, eating lobster rolls, at a local seafood stand, smelling the ocean air and feeling the sandy beach on my toes.  I decided to put a twist to this dinner using several of Celtic seasonings.  You don't need to wait until Summer to make this.

Cole Slaw:
1/2 cup mayo
3 TBS sugar
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 TBS cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 tsp Celtic Seaweed Seasoning
1/2 tsp Celtic Celery, ground
16 ozs slaw mix

Pan Fried Seasoned Fries:
3 TBS cooking oil
16 ozs frozen fries
2 TBS parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp Celtic Rosemary, ground
1/8 tsp Celtic Pink Salt, ground
1/8 tsp ground course black pepper

Ingredients for Lobster Rolls:
meat from 2 lobsters, cooked
4 TBS butter
1/4 tsp Celtic seaweed seasoning
1/4 tsp Celtic, smoked sea salt
2 TBS Celtic garlic sesame seeds
2 buttered hot dog rolls

Directions for Cole Slaw:
1.  To a medium size bowl add all ingredients except slaw mix.  Mix well.  Add slaw mix and toss until fully incorporated.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Directions for Fries:
1.  In large skillet add oil.  Heat on med/high until hot.  Add fries and fry until browned (approx. 7-10 mins), rotating to brown on all sides.  Drain on paper towels to absorb excess grease.  Place in serving plate.  Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.

Directions for Lobster Rolls:
1.  Pick lobster and add to bowl with butter, seaweed and smoked sea salt.  Heat for 2 mins in microwave.
2.  Place buttered rolls on skillet and toast on both sides until brown.  Stuff with lobster meat and sprinkle with garlic sesame seeds.

Chicken Chorizo Burger with Poblano Peppers

1/4 cup canola oil, plus 2 TBS
3 poblano peppers, sliced in steps
1 large onion, sliced in strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 chicken (boneless/skinless) thighs, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
8 ozs Mexican Cheese Blend Cheese
6 sandwich buns, toasted
6 corn tortilla, cut into squares
16 ozs chorizo, molded into 6 patties

Cilantro Sauce Ingredients:
1 small head cilantro
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

1.  Heat 1/4 cup oil in skillet on med/high heat.  Add sliced poblano peppers and onions.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until soft (approx. 10 mins).  Add garlic.  Stir.  Sauté for additional 3 mins.  Add chicken thighs to skillet.  Open up and lay flat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sauté until golden brown, approx 10 min.  Flip and brown other side.  Scoop peppers and onions and place on top of chicken.  Add cheese to top of veggies.  Cover and turn off burner.
2.  In separate skillet add 2 TBS canola oil.  Trim off edges of tortilla, making square pieces.  Place in skillet and toast on both side.  Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil until ready to use.
3.  In small skillet add chorizo patties.  Sauce on both sides until done.  Approx. 5 mins on each side.
4.  To make cilantro sauce:  Add all ingredients to medium size food processor.  Blend well.
Makes 6 Sandwiches

Sunday, May 15, 2016


My Story:  This cake reminds me of my Italian Grandmother.  She would always bake cakes from scratch.  Every time there was a special occassion she would call us to ask us what kind of cake we wanted, and then she would bake it, no matter what we asked for.  One of her specialties was an Italian rum cake.  The cake layers would be brushed with rum and then frosted.  I decided to put an orange twist to my rum cake and also make an orange glaze to serve with it.  I am sure Grandma would just love my addition of the cheddar also.  

1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups sour cream
1 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups orange juice
4 TBS vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
4 cups flour ( I use gluten free)
1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese ( I use a good brand)
6-8 drops orange food coloring (or to liking)
1/2 cup rum

2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened
2 TBS vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar (or to liking)

1 cup orange juice
2 TBS butter
3 TBS brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 TBS vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
3 TBS rum

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour four round cake pans.
2.  In large bowl whisk together butter and sugar until blended.  Add remaining wet ingredients, whisk.  In separate bowl add salt, baking powder, soda and flour.  Mix.  Add to wet ingredients and mix well.  Fold in cheddar cheese.  Add food coloring and mix well.
3.  Bake for approx 20 mins.  Remove and let cool.  Remove from pans and brush rum onto top of each cake.
4.  To make frosting:  combine all ingredients in food processor.  Blend well.
5.  To make glaze:  In small saucepan add orange juice.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for additional 5-7 mins to reduce liquid.  Add butter, brown sugar, cloves, vanilla, salt and rum.  Simmer for additional 5-7 mins.
6.  Layer cake with frosting in between each layer.  Spread remaining frosting around outside and top of cake.  Garnish with orange slices, orange zest and mint leaves.

Serves 12

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mexican Street Corn Rice Burger

Burger Ingredients:
2 lbs ground beef
1 cup Del Real Rice
2 TBS Del Real Fire Roasted Green Salsa
1 Egg
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp salt

Mexican Street Corn Ingredients:
2 TBS mayo
2 TBS sour cream
1/2 cup Queso Fresco Cheese, crumbled
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 small garlic clove
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 can creamed corn
1/3 cup Del Real Fire Roasted Green Salsa

6 Buns
1/2 lb cooked bacon, warm
1/2 cup cilantro leaves for topping

1.  In large bowl mix together ingredients for burgers.  Mold into 4 large or 6 smaller burgers.  Put aside.  Heat grill on High.
2.  On side burner, in medium size saucepan add all ingredients.  Stir well.  Turn burner on low and heat for 10 mins or until warm.
3.  Place burgers on grill and grill for approx 4 mins on each side.  For larger burgers 6 mins on each side.  Or until temperature of liking.
4.  Butter and toast buns on upper rack of grill, until slightly browned.  Wrap bacon in foil and place on upper rack to warm.
5.  To assemble burgers:  Add burger to bun.  Top with Mexican Street Corn and bacon.  Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Mexican Cheesy Pasta

Kid Friendly Mexican Cheesy Pasta

1/2 lb pasta, ( I used small penne)
2 TBS cooking oil
1 package Del Real Shredded Beef, room temperature
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground basil
1/2 tsp ground parsley
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 TBS Del Real Fire Roasted Salsa
2 cups favorite red pasta sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
8 ozs Mexican Blend shredded cheese
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  In medium saucepan, heat approx 6 cups of water on high heat.  Cover and bring to boil.  Approx 5 mins.  Add pasta and cook until done.  Aprox. 8 - 10 mins.  Drain.  Pasta will continue to cook in oven.
3.  In large (oven safe skillet) heat oil on med/high heat.  Add beef, garlic, basil, parsley, cumin, salsa and red sauce.  Stir and heat while pasta is cooking.  Add drained pasta, stir.  Stir in ricotta cheese and sprinkle Mexican blend over top.  Bake for 15 mins.  Remove and serve with cilantro leaves.

Serves 4 hungry kids