Monday, July 25, 2011


Yesterday PJ made his own BBQ sauce! He's so proud of the GALLON of molasses that he bought. I'm so proud of him for actually USING that molasses!!!
He mixed everything in the house yet he cooked it using the burner on the side of our grill so he wouldn't heat up the house!
I'm very proud of him! And this BBQ Sauce actually tastes great!


2 cups ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1.In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, wine vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke and butter. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, celery seed, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.
2.Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes. For thicker sauce, simmer longer, and for thinner, less time is needed. Sauce can also be thinned using a bit of water if necessary. Brush sauce onto any kind of meat during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Grilled Veggies including Garlic Scapes

This was a delicious grilled veggie platter. It was so easy and should be done ahead of time. The vegetables should be room temp when served. When we were camping in Ithaca last week, we bought a bag full of the garlic scapes. The guy told us that his favorite way to eat them is to grill them.
Heat your grill to medium- low.
For the first batch I used:
red peppers, zucchini and yellow summer squash
Cut them into 2" to 4" pieces so they don't fall through the grates on the grill
I brushed them on both sides with Soy Vay Hoisin & Garlic Sauce
Then grill on one side until brown grill marks appear. Turn over and do the same. A bit of brown is good!
As they were done, I would add them to the top grate on the grill so they don't steam on top of each other. When they were all done, I then arranged them on a nice plate.

NEXT: I cut the seed head off of the garlic scapes. Leaving whole, I put them in a plastic bag, sprinkled a little olive oil over them, and a little balsamic vinegar. I made sure they were coated. I then put them on the grill and closed the cover. They were making popping noises. I then turned them until they were done. I brought them into the house and cut each scape into 3 pieces and then placed them in the middle of the veggie plate. They were delicious and not overpowering at all. The grilled veggies were also delicious!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Grilled Watermelon, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad

Who knew that grilled watermelon would be so tasty!!! This is a watermelon salad recipe that Alyssa wanted to try. It's from my John Besh MY NEW ORLEANS COOKBOOK.

You marinate the watermelon in a Pepper Jelly vinaigrette...
then you grill the watermelon pieces...
Put it all together and you have a beautiful salad!


Yields 6 servings
  • 6 slices seedless watermelon, rind removed
  • 2 T Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette ** see below for recipe
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic,minced
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 sprig basil, chopped
  • 2 C tomatoes, peeled (mixed colors of smaller varieties are best)
  • 1/2 C fresh goats cheese
  • 2 or 3 C young lettuces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh garden herbs such as chives, chive blossoms, chervil, parsley & dill


Marinate the watermelon in the Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette for several minutes before grilling over high heat. Grill each both sides of the watermelon for several minutes and remove.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, sugar and basil together with enough salt and pepper to tasted.

Toss the small tomatoes with the vinaigrette in the bowl and place on individual plates or a platter along with the grilled watermelon.

Crumble the goat cheese over the top of the tomatoes and watermelon. Toss the lettuces in the vinaigrette remaining in the small bowl and serve over the top of the salad.

Garnish with what ever fresh garden herbs that you have available.


  • 1/2 cup(s) pepper jelly
  • 1/2 cup(s) red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) sambal chile paste
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) canola oil
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until well mixed.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Killer Baja Chili Rellenos Mariscos

I made this for dinner last night. It was DELICIOUS!!! It's a bit time consuming but if you have your ingredients on hand, it's a snap.

Roast the poblano peppers until blackened
Saute the onions, then add the rice and spices
Saute the shrimp and scallops
Combine the seafood and the juices with the rice mixture.

Stuff the peppers, top with cheese and bake. YUM!!!

Killer Baja Chili Rellenos Mariscos (Roasted Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Seafood and Rice)


  • 6 large, fresh poblano chiles (sometimes called "pasilla" chiles)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 cup canned chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 pound fresh medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails removed
  • 1/4 pound fresh scallops (if using large sea scallops, quarter them)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated lime zest
  • 2 medium sized fresh, red, ripe tomatoes, chopped, with juices
  • 4 ounces cotija cheese (Mexican aged cow's milk cheese), crumbled (I substituted fat free cream cheese)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, tough stems removed, leaves chopped (reserve a few whole sprigs with leaves intact for garnish)
  • Grated Monterey Jack cheese, to taste


Broil or roast the chiles over a flame until skins blister, wrap in a tea towel or put in a paper grocery bag for 10 to 15 minutes to sweat the skins loose. Remove skins and open pepper on 1 side. Remove seeds but do not remove stems. Arrange the prepared chiles in a lightly oiled 9 by 13-inch glass nonstick baking dish.

Heat oil in a 10 to 12-inch skillet until hot. Add the onion and saute until translucent (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add the rice and the cumin seeds. Toast the rice and cumin in the oil with the onions for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring the rice to a boil and cover tightly. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 18 minutes, or until rice is cooked, but still a little firm to the bite. Do not overcook the rice. When the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.

While the rice is cooking, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter starts tofoam, add the shrimp and the scallops and stir or toss to coat them with the butter. Keep the heat at medium-high and saute the seafood for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the lime juice. Toss to coat. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

After the rice has cooled a bit, put it in a large mixing bowl and fluff it with a fork. Add the shrimp and scallops, with the accumulated juices. Add the ground cumin, coriander seed, oregano, lime zest, chopped tomato with their juices, cotija cheese and chopped cilantro. Toss the mixture until thoroughly combined. Gently stuff the peppers with the rice and seafood mixture. Stuff them good and full! If there is any extra, let it spill over into the baking dish. Top the chiles with the Monterey Jack cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the chiles are heated through and the cheese on top is melted. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Arlene's Poppy Seed Chicken

This has to be the easiest chicken dish that tastes like you slaved over the stove for hours! The teacher that I work with, Arlene, told us that her friend makes this for company all the time and is always a hit. I tried it on Sunday and there wasn't a drop left! As a matter of fact, Scott told me again on Monday how much he liked this chicken dish! It's a keeper!

Poppy Seed Chicken... aka... Arlene's Chicken

Rotissori Chicken or as I did, cook an oven stuffer roaster the day before... as much chicken as you want
1-2 bottles of BRIANNAS POPPY SEED DRESSING (salad dressing isle of the supermarket)
Grapes, seedless I used Red Globe and forgot about the seedless part so I had to seed them!


1. Cut up chicken and place in an ovenproof dish (pyrex etc)
2. Dump the dressing on top and let marinade for about an hour.
3. Cover with foil
4. Bake @ 350 for about 30 minutes or until heated throughout
5. Once out of the oven, place grapes on top and serve

It couldn't be easier. Enjoy!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


One of my absolutely favorite type of cuisine is the food/cooking from New Orleans. It's a good thing that my family loves it also!!!
I have been perusing the many blogs of this type of cuisine and found a blog that I just can't stop reading! It is sooo making me want to hop on a plane and get to NOLA!
Check it out.... there's recipes, reviews of restaurant etc.... perfect for a FOODIE!!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Alyssa's Masala Pizza

Alyssa asked us if one night a week we could have an international meal. Why not? So last night was India.
Alyssa made us a delicious dinner.
I'm calling it Alyssa's Masala Pizza.
It's a variation of an recipe with a few of her changes. I don't like curry and I know that Masala Sauce is kind of curry based. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there wasn't a curry flavor at all! This meal was thrown together in less than 5 minutes!! In less than 10 minutes the baking is complete. Start to finish in less than 15 minutes! That's my kind of meal!


pizza dough (we bought it from a Pizza place) *
1/3 - 1/2 of a 15 oz. jar of Trader Joe's Masala Simmer Sauce
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Opt: sprinkle some Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) on top for crunch
1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out dough into a circle and place on a baking stone. Or roll out to what ever shape the pan that you are using happens to be). Put a little EVOO on the pan to just glaze it. Spread the Masala Sauce on top, then add cheese and cilantro. Sprinkle Pepitas on top. Bake for 8-9 minutes until cheese is melted or crust is cooked. Let cool about 3 minutes before cutting into 8 pizza slices.
* You can also use Boboli etc as the pizza crust.

Monday, January 17, 2011


"These are a low calorie nutritious snack. Like potato chips, you cannot stop at just eating one. They are great for parties and a good conversation topic."
*I didn't use all of the seasoned salt that's called for. I used a pinch and put that into the palms of my hands and rubbed them over the kale to evenly distribute.
** I put a little EVOO into my hands and rubbed the kale together to lightly coat the leaves.
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.