I love sharing me recipes!

I love sharing me recipes!


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Monday, November 23, 2015

Southern Thanksgiving Menu 2015 ♥

Thanksgiving is this week! Here is my annual menu, this year I decided on a Southern Style Menu! ( Ode to my southern relatives in Texas and Tennessee! )  Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Cranberry Chutney 

Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole

Skinny Mini Pecan Pies

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole ♥

Here is a staple for thanksgiving and did you know that sweet potatoes are a good carb? 
The word 'potatoes' makes us shudder with the thought of weight gain and a truck load of fats, but that’s not the case with sweet potatoes. This humble root has numerous health benefits and can actually help you lose weight!

Sweet potatoes have a slightly lower carbohydrate content than regular potatoes. One medium potato contains 26 grams of carbohydrates, while one medium sweet potato contains 23 grams of carbohydrates. 

Sweet potatoes contain almost twice as much fiber as other types of potatoes. Contributing close to 7 grams of fiber per serving. The high fiber content gives them a ‘slow burning quality’. Which means their caloric energy is used more slowly and efficiently than a low-fiber carbohydrate. Here is my recipe! 

Ingredients ♥

6 tablespoons unsalted margarine (3/4 stick)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1/4 cup finely chopped candied or crystallized ginger
4 pounds Garnet sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

4 cups mini marshmallows

Directions ♥

Heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the lower third.
Melt the margarine in a large pot or Dutch oven with a tightfitting lid over medium-high heat until foaming. Add the brown sugar, water, salt, and ground ginger (if you’re using candied or crystallized ginger, it will be added later). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil.
Add the sweet potatoes, stir to combine, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer, stirring every few minutes, until the sweet potatoes are knife tender and starting to fall apart at the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the candied or crystallized ginger, if using, and stir until evenly combined. Transfer the sweet potatoes and any liquid to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer.

Sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over the sweet potatoes. Broil until the marshmallows are puffed and golden brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Place the dish on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Skinny Mini Pecan Pies ♥

Here is a healthy version of the Thanksgiving Pecan Pie! ♥

Ingredients ♥

The Crust: 
The sweet version of our Super Simple Healthy Pastry Recipe
1/2 cup (60g) gluten free plain flour (you may also use regular plain flour for a non GF version)
1/2 cup (60g) buckwheat flour (you may also use whole wheat flour for a non GF version)
1/2 tsp baking powder 
3 tbsp milk of your choice (we used almond milk) 
1 tbsp (20g) butter, melted or 1 tbsp oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp water

The Filling: 
1/2 cup (60g) chopped pecans 
3 tbsp natural maple syrup 
1/4 cup (50g) unrefined cane sugar 
1 egg 

To Make The Crust:
Mix all of your ingredients together until it forms a dough. 
Mix until just combined and wrap in cling wrap. 
Chill your wrapped dough in the fridge for 1 hour. 
Roll out your dough on a piece of baking paper (you shouldn't need extra flour as the dough is quite easy to work with, however, if you find it sticking add just a little bit of flour to your rolling surface) to about 2mm thickness. You want the dough to be quite thin so it crisps up perfectly! 
Place your dough into your tart shells (I cut my dough into small squares to make it easier to manage) and press into shape, cutting off any excess dough. 
Bake your tart shells in a preheated oven at 180C/355F for 3 minutes minutes to just start to crisp up the pastry.
To Make The Filling: 
Mix all of your ingredients together in a mixing bowl whilst your crusts are baking.
Once your crusts have finished their first bake, pour your filling mixture into the crusts and put them back in the oven to bake for another 10-12 minutes or until golden  

If you're finding that your crusts are cooking faster than your filling, cover them with foil.

Cranberry Chutney ♥

Here is my favorite cranberry chutney recipe, sorry folks, I know some people just love the canned cranberry jello, but it just never happened in my house growing up, always fresh cranberry sauce, it's perfect for Thanksgiving.  ♥ 

Ingredients ♥ 

1 pound fresh cranberries, washed and dried
2 cups granulated sugar ( I use Stevia) 
1/3 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 orange, zested and juiced

Directions ♥

In a medium pot, combine the cranberries, sugar and water.  Stir to blend.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce to a simmer and add the cinnamon stick, allspice and nutmeg.  Stir and simmer for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.  Some of the cranberries will burst and some will remain whole.  Add the orange juice and zest, stir and allow to cool before serving.enjoy!♥

Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole ♥

Here is the original green bean casserole, it's my absolute favorite this time of year! 

Ingredients ♥

2 (10.75 ounce) cans Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or Campbell’s® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups cooked cut green beans
2 2/3 cups French’s® French Fried Onions

Directions ♥

Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.
2 Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling.  Stir the bean mixture.  Sprinkle with the remaining onions.
3 Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Maple Whiskey Brined Turkey and Gravy ♥

Thanksgiving is this week!Here is my annual menu this year I decided on a Southern Style Menu! ( Ode to my southern relatives in Texas and Tennessee! ) 
I thought I would try a twist on the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey this year! Why not brine? Brining the turkey enchances flavor and marinates the juiciest bird ever! See my delicious recipe below! ♥

Ingredients ♥

For the turkey:
3 cups whiskey
2 cups pure maple syrup
3/4 cup kosher salt
3 tablespoons tricolor peppercorns
5 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic, minced
Peels of 3 large oranges, cut into large strips
Peels of 2 red and 2 green apples
4 sprigs rosemary
1 15 - to 20-pound turkey, thawed if frozen (not self-basting or enhanced)
2 sticks butter, softened
For the gravy:
Turkey giblets and neck (discard the liver)
1/4 cup turkey fat, from the drippings (see left), plus more if needed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
6 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
3 tablespoons whiskey
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions ♥
Make the brine: Combine 2 quarts water, the whiskey, maple syrup, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, orange and apple peels and rosemary sprigs in a large pot. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring to dissolve the salt, then turn off the heat and cover. Allow to cool completely, then place in the fridge to chill.

Brine the turkey: Remove the turkey from its packaging and remove the bags inside that hold the neck and giblets. Rinse the neck and giblets and put them in a plastic bag in the fridge; you'll need them for the gravy. Rinse the turkey thoroughly with cold water. Place the turkey in a large brining bag or pot. Pour in the maple-whiskey brine and refrigerate 16 to 18 hours so the brine can work its magic.

Roast the turkey: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. After the turkey has brined, remove it from the brining bag and rinse it thoroughly again, inside and out. Pat dry.

Truss the turkey or tuck the legs and wings, whichever you like. Place breast-side up on a rack in a large shallow roasting pan. Cover the pan with heavy-duty foil so that it's well sealed. Roast 7 to 8 minutes per pound (about 1 hour 50 minutes for a 15-pound turkey and about 2 1/2 hours for a 20-pound turkey).

Remove the turkey from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Remove the foil. (Put stuffing in the bird if you wish at this point.) Brush the butter all over the skin of the turkey, getting in the crevices. Insert a probe thermometer into the thigh, near the hip joint. Place the turkey, uncovered, back in the oven. Continue roasting, basting or brushing with the juices in the pan every 30 minutes, until the thermometer registers 165 degrees F and the juices are no longer pink. This will take about another 10 minutes per pound (about 2 1/2 hours for a 15-pound turkey and 3 to 3 1/2 hours for a 20-pound turkey). Remove the turkey from the oven and cover lightly with foil until you are ready to carve. Pour the pan drippings into a fat separator and set aside for gravy. 

Maple-Whiskey Gravy

Place the giblets and neck in a small saucepan of water over medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium low and simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the giblets are cooked. Remove the giblets, set aside and keep the water in the saucepan.

In the turkey roasting pan (which should not have been cleaned!), add the turkey fat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk into the fat to form a paste. If the paste is too thick or clumpy, add a little more fat. If it's too greasy, sprinkle in more flour. Whisk and cook the roux over medium-low heat until it is deep golden brown.

Pour in the chicken broth, whiskey and maple syrup, whisking the whole time. Allow the gravy to cook and thicken for several minutes, whisking occasionally. If it gets too thick or if it's too salty, thin it with a little giblet water. If the gravy is too thin, keep cooking it until it thickens up.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Authentic Italian Lasagna ♥

Happy Sunday! What Sunday dinner wouldn't be complete without an Italian Sunday Dinner. Here is the best lasagna recipe, perfect  and delicious and makes the whole house smell like an old rustic Italian Restaurant! ♥ 

Ingredients ♥ 

1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 lb ground beef
1⁄2 lb ground veal
1⁄2 lb ground pork
1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28 ounce) canitalian whole canned tomatoes or 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, finely chopped, juices reserved
2 (28 ounce) cans tomato puree
salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 lbs fresh ricotta
1⁄4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
1 1⁄2 cups grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup set aside
1 1⁄2 lbs fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded, 1/2 cup set aside
2 large eggs, beaten
1 lb lasagna noodle

Directions ♥

In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil, add the beef, pork, veal and sausage (without casing) and cook until browned.
Add garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook until the meat is coated.
Add tomatoes with their juices and the tomato puree, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened about 1 1/2 hours.
In large bowl, combine the ricotta with the parsley, basil, 1 cup of the Parmesan, 1 pound of the shredded mozzarella and beaten eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
The instructions suggested cooking the dry, curly-ridged lasagna noodles 3 minutes in abundant salted water, drained, rinsed -- I say use fresh, no-cook or even the curly edged pasta, and forget about the pre-cooking. I guarantee the sauce will cook the noodles after 45 minutes of cooking time. This also makes life much easier.
Lasagna Time:.
Preheat the oven to 375°F Spread 1.5 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Line the dish with overlapping noodles.
Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, sprinkle with a little Parmesan and shredded mozzarella then top with 1 1/2 cups of the sauce and another layer of noodles.
Repeat the layering 2 more times. Top with noodles and cover with 1 1/2 cups of sauce (may want to use extra if using uncooked noodles to ensure the noodles are covered and cook evenly. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over the lasagna.
Cover Lasagna with foil and bake for about 20 minutes.
Uncover then cook for 30-45 minutes more or until the top is golden and crisp around the edges and the filling is bubbling.

Let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Here are some tips for the perfect Lasagna! 

Boil your noodles in batches to avoid noodles sticking together. Once water is boiling, place noodles upright on the sides of your pot. It’s okay if they fall on top of one another. Be sure to stir gently and cook for just the right amount time. Note package instructions.

You want your noodles to be a bit more al dente than usual, since they’ll be cooking while you bake! Overcooking your noodles can result in mushy noodles. Remove lasagna sheets once they are soft, but still firm. Use tongs and cool them for a moment by dipping them into a bowl of cold water. Next, lay them flat over a clean kitchen towel. This prevents sticking and overcooking while you wait for the rest of your lasagna noodles to be cooked!

“Runny” lasagna will result if your sauces are too thin. The number one cause of soupy lasagna is wet ricotta. Strain your ricotta with cheesecloth or a sieve to remove excess liquid. Ricotta can be strained for up to 24 hours in your refrigerator before its time assemble your dish. Also, be sure boiled noodles are mostly dry and free of excess water. 

Be sure to bake your lasagna covered with a sheet of aluminum foil until the last fifteen minutes. Cook uncovered last to brown your topping ingredients and melt cheeses.

And don’t be impatient! Once removed from the heat, let your lasagna rest. Allowing your lasagna to sit for fifteen to twenty minutes before you make a cut will help keep it from falling apart, making for sloppy servings.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Jell-o Shots ♥

Happy Saturday!! Here is a perfect treat for your Thanksgiving table Pumpkin Pie Jell-o Shots are they not the cutest things you have ever seen? 
Using my fave product Libby's Pumpkin!  ♥

Ingredients  ♥

8 mini graham-cracker pie crusts
1 envelope Knox gelatin
1/3 cup canned Libby's  pumpkin
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 tablespoon cold fat free half and half cream
Fresh fat free whipped cream, for serving

Directions  ♥
1. Arrange the pie crusts on a baking sheet. Place 1 cup cold water in the top of a double boiler and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let stand for three minutes. 
2. Heat the gelatin mixture over a gentle simmer until the granules have dissolved. Add the pumpkin, sugar and spices and heat, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin and sugar are completely melted. Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the vodka with 1/4 cup cold water and the fat free half and half cream. Whisk in the pumpkin mixture and immediately divide it among the pie crusts. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours. Slice the pies into wedges, if desired, top with whipped cream and serve. ♥

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Candy Corn Shaped Quesadillas ♥

Here is such a cute idea for Halloween, Made these for dinner last night! Try them tonight for a Halloween twist on a quesadilla! ♥

Ingredients ♥

1 rotisserie chicken, cut up
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup butter, melted
8 flour tortillas (10 inches)
1 jar (15-1/2 ounces) salsa con queso dip, warmed
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
2-2/3 cups crushed nacho-flavored tortilla chips 
1/2 light cup sour cream

Directions ♥

In a Dutch oven, combine the first five ingredients; heat through,
stirring occasionally. Brush butter over one side of each tortilla.
Place one tortilla in a large skillet, buttered side down. Spread
with 1 cup chicken mixture; top with another tortilla, buttered side
up. Cook over medium heat 1-2 minutes or until bottom is lightly
browned. Turn quesadilla.
Spread 1/2 cup queso dip over quesadilla; carefully sprinkle cheese
along outer edge. Cook, covered, 1-2 minutes or until cheese begins
to melt.
Remove to a cutting board. Sprinkle crushed chips over queso dip. Cut
quesadilla into six wedges. Place a small dollop of sour cream at the point of each wedge. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Yield: 2

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Glamulet's Advocacy for the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign ♥

I have been approached by Glamulet to tell you about their Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, Everyone can easily join the fight against breast cancer by adding these sets of Pink Charms to their bracelets. ♥

Glamulet designs, manufactures and markets hand-finished and modern jewelry made from genuine materials at affordable prices.Glamulet is the name of a unique jewelry that is available at fine stores across Europe and America. The strength of the Glamulet bracelet is the unique. Each charm & bead allows you to screw individual pieces onto any bracelet segment in the order you desire. The charms move freely and rotate slightly with your wrist's movement, creating an undeniable eye catching and stunning effect.

Every set of charms you buy, 50% is given to our charity partner. Your support makes a difference!

Right now breast cancer is at a tipping point. More women are surviving. But more are being diagnosed than ever before. And every 45 minutes, another woman dies from the disease. We’re going to change that. By doing whatever it takes, however we can, working tirelessly every day. 

The Charms brand Glamulet was launched in 2014 to offer to every women a new range of trendy and elegant quality jewelry at an affordable price. We believe that every woman should be allowed to express herself and to feel pretty. We design glamorous Charms and bracelets and we use quality materials to manufacture them. Each woman can mix and match the Charms to create her own Bracelet. Glamulet empowers women by giving them affordable accessories to state their fashion sense, commemorate an event or symbolize a special meaning. Two years after its launch, Glamulet is working hard to spread this vision worldwide and to better the life of every woman.

Shop Glamulet now follow the link  here   

Here is a fun recipe for skinny pink ribbon cookies!

Ingredients  ♥

1/4 cup    Butter, softened (I use smart balance) 
1/4 cup + 2 tbs  Baking stevia 
1  egg
1/2 tsp    Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp    Almond extract 
1 cup    whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp    Baking powder
1/8 tsp    Salt

Directions ♥

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, and sugar substitute with a mixer until fluffy. Add egg, and extracts and beat until combined. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, until just combined. (Don’t over work dough or it will get tough). Wrap dough and place it back in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes, or until dough is cold.
When ready to cut cookies out, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, (or foil and spray with cooking spray). Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut out shapes with ribbon cookie cutters. Place on baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Frost the cookies with a light sugar free glaze of water and powdered sugar, use sprinkles to decorate!  and enjoy! ♥

Note you may also use this recipe for any sugar cookies! 

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