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Showing posts from December, 2016

Quote of The Day

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Citrus Temptation

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Courtesy of Jill Davie
Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients
Raw sugar to rim glass
1 1/2 oz. limoncello
3/4 oz. orange-flavored vodka
Juice of 3 lime wedges, approximately 3/4 to 1 oz.
Ice

Directions
Dip a cocktail glass in a saucer of water to rim. Roll glass rim in raw sugar to coat. Pour limoncello and vodka into shaker with ice. Squeeze and add 3 lime wedges into shaker. Fill cocktail glass with ice. Strain drink into glass.

For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com




Flatbread With Bacon and Scallion Pesto

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Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli
Total Time: 39 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 19 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
4 thick strips bacon, thinly sliced
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon capers
1/2 cup fresh parsley
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1 pound frozen pizza dough, thawed
All-purpose flour, for dusting

Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until browned and crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain; keep warm. Add the onion slices to the drippings in the skillet; sprinkle with the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cook until light brown and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Combine the scallions, capers and parsley in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste and half of the lemon zest; pulse gently to chop and blend. Turn the …

Gorgonzola Spinach Artichoke Dip

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Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Total Time: 37 min
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 12 min
Yield: 3 1/2 cups
Level: Easy

Ingredients
2 (10-ounce) boxes chopped frozen spinach
1 box frozen artichoke hearts
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg, or to taste
1 cup Gorgonzola crumbles
1 1/2 cups shredded (a little larger than grated, available in tubs) Asiago or Parmigiano-Reggiano
Thick sesame bread sticks, for dipping
Celery hearts, trimmed for dipping
Pita crisps with Parmesan and herbs (recommended: Stacy's)

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Defrost spinach 10 minutes on defrost setting in microwave then drain well by wringing out in dish towel. Defrost artichokes as well, 6 minutes on defrost in microwave then wring out and finely chop.

Heat a sauce pot with butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add garlic to melted butter and stir 1 to 2 minutes, then sprinkle in…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Happy Chanukah!

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Merry Christmas

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Quote of The Day

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Gingersnap Stackers

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Recipe courtesy of Guy Fieri
Total Time: 2 hr 20 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 1 hr
Cook: 1 hr
Yield: 12 stacker sandwiches
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 stick plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 large egg
4 pints vanilla ice cream
Waxed paper
Plastic wrap

Directions
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the molasses and vanilla until well incorporated. Then remove from the heat, pour into a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

Sift the flour, baking soda, spices, salt and 1 cup of the sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in the chopped crystallized ginger.

Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl and add to the cooled butter-molasses mixture. Fold the flour into…

Tis The Season…

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This is the season of celebration, giving, gatherings, and missing our loved ones who have left us. I read a wonderful tribute thatElizabeth Gilbertwrote about her friend that just passed away, and I couldn’t help but to reminisce about the memories of so many loved ones who contributed such wisdom and grace into my life before they passed away. Their presence is almost like a scent I can smell, and while it’s not tangible, I feel it strongly during this time of the year. I mourn their human presence but feel comfort from their energy, and feel the beautiful imprint they’ve left in my heart.

This quote by Liz Gilbertdefinitely brought tears of comfort when I read it, we keep people alive within us by internalizing their wisdom and grace. Instead of feeling guilty for mourning my grandparents, aunt, uncles, and friends who have passed away, I choose to celebrate the fact I was lucky enough to know them so well, and love them so deeply, that I can internalize their wisdom and grace, espe…

Aunt Sandi’s Jell-O

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Bestie note: You can do Red or Green for Christmas or Berry Blue for Chanukah. 
1 large container low-fat cottage cheese 1 tub Lite Cool Whip 1 large Blue Jell-O packet (sugar free is also an option), or 2 small packets 1 large can crushed pineapple, drained 1 large can mandarin oranges


Drain pineapple and warm slightly in the microwave.Add Jello-O to the pineapple.Stir and chill slightly.Mix together whipped topping and cottage cheese, fold into chilled Jell-O.Add oranges and pour into a mold.Chill until ready to serve.

Red Wine Risotto with Peas

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Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Impress your guests this holiday with some quick and easy holiday delights.

Total Time: 50 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 40 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup arborio rice, or medium-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted, optional
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the broth and keep it warm over very low heat.

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the rice and cook for about 2 minutes until the rice is toasted. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of hot broth; simmer over …

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Candy Cane Chocolate Tart

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total Time: 2 hr 45 min
Prep: 2 hr 25 min
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 12 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
For the crust:1 9 -ounce package chocolate wafer cookies
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Cooking spray

For the filling:2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 ounces mint-flavored chocolate (such as Andes), finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the topping:2 cups cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Red sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Directions
Make the crust: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Pulse the cookies and granulated sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined.

Lightly coat a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray. Pres…

Chameleon...I'd Rather Not!

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It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. -E.E. Cummings
While watching one of my guilty pleasure reality-trash shows, a woman born and raised in the US, and recently married to a man from England, was speaking with a fake English accent and the women she was talking with revolted when she said, “American people are so…” One of the women yelled at her, “you’re an American, what are you talking about?” A thought of disgust popped into my head toward the woman pretending to be someone different, so I changed the channel. Days later, while feeling uncomfortable with another person pretending to like someone she’d just been talking poorly about, I realized that my discomfort with people who adjust their mood, morals and/or self-worth, are Chameleons who change the color of his or her skin because they’re influenced deeply by their environment. I’ve done it, and most people have done it, too! We’ve become Chameleon’s in order to fit in! The crappy part about noticing this f…

Sweet Potato Pie with Candied Pecans and Coconut

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Kwanzaa Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Extra-vibrant garnet yams lend bright color and silky texture to this special holiday pie. Regular sweet potatoes are also delicious in this recipe and just as sweet and moist, but the color of the filling will be a little more muted.

Total Time: 5 hr 20 min
Prep: 40 min
Inactive: 1 hr 40 min
Cook: 3 hr
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
Crust
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1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Filling:
1 1/2 pounds garnet yams or sweet potatoes (about 3 medium)
3/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Topping:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure…

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Inspired by the nostalgic candy, this indulgent dessert is both familiar and elegant. Almond paste fortifies the rich aroma of the cherries, while kirsch adds cherry and floral notes. High-quality candied cherries, such as Luxardo or Amarena, work best here for flavor, but you can also use cocktail maraschino or glace cherries in a pinch.

Total Time: 1 hr 50 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 1 hr
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 30 cookies
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Cookies:1 cup all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons almond paste
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons kirsch, optional
30 well-drained good-quality cherries in syrup (about one 14-ounce jar), such as Luxardo, cherry syrup reserved for the glaze

Glaze:1/2 cup sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate chips

Directions
For the cookies: Position oven racks in the …

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Well Thought Out Plan to Cover Unchartered Waters

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I recently had lunch with a great friend to exchange gifts for the holidays. We chatted about people we know and how they, too, feel this holiday season isn’t festive at all. Everyone we have talked to have concerns about the future of where we’re heading as a country – it’s affected the energy and will to get in the festive mood. The past month has been really rough for most of us. I’m on the same boat as most Americans who have mixed emotions about peer-to-peer hostility making headlines throughout our country. Our emotions vary from sadness, fear, instability, and some spurts of joy that our loved ones breathe into our lives. I force myself to put one foot in front of the other, every single day! My day is full of moments of tough choices – do I sit in a puddle of fear and sadness or do I go about my daily routine? Do I become consumed with news headlines or do I sit in gratitude for what I already have? Do I laugh at the jokes about the absurdity of fake news terrorizing our entir…

The Cake Boss' Holiday Caramel Apples

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Recipe courtesy of Buddy Valastro via doctoroz.com
Caramel apples are one of Buddy Valastro's, the Cake Boss, favorite things to make during the winter season. This dessert is not only great to have on your holiday dessert table, but it also makes a great gift. The fruit and nuts on this treat make it hearty while the chocolate and caramel make it sweet.

Ingredients
7 large (organic) Fuji apples
2 cups heavy cream, divided
2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
16 tbsp (8 oz) unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups (30 oz) white chocolate, chopped
3 cups (12 oz) chopped pistachios
2 cups (12 oz) dried cranberries
7 sturdy craft sticks
1 candy thermometer

Directions
1. Wash and dry all apples. Remove stems and firmly press a craft stick into the top of each.

2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

3. In a stockpot, Dutch oven, or covered casserole pan fitted with a candy thermometer, combine one and a half cups of heavy cream, sugar, pinch of salt, corn syrup, an…

Peppermint Meringues

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
These minty, pink-striped meringues are easy to make and use a clever decorating trick: Paint lines of food coloring gel up the sides of a pastry bag before filling it with meringue, and each cookie comes out striped as you pipe it. You can use this same trick with frosting for cupcakes.

Total Time: 3 hr 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 2 hr
Cook: 1 hr
Yield: about 42 meringues
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
3 large egg whites
Pinch fine salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Red food coloring, preferably gel

Directions
Special equipment: a pastry bag fitted with a round tip; a small paintbrush or cotton swab.

Position oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 250 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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A Happy Citizen of The World!

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I recently ordered a DNA test for my grandmother and me. When the results came back, I was shocked to see my ethnic makeup change as fast as the results loaded onto my screen! I’m made up of 38% of places I didn’t expect! I grew up with the strong belief that those who came before me were deeply rooted in the sierras of Puebla, Mexico, and most likely part of the Toltec and Aztec tribes. I expected a possible stray in the ancestry to veer toward Spain because of the Spanish Conquest, but it went beyond Spain --my results showed up as 13% Spain/Iberian Peninsula, 10% Greek, 3% Ireland, Asia, Russia, and Congo Africa!! With 62% Native to the Americas, a much lower percentage than I expected. It was hard to wrap my head around the results, not because I didn’t like what I saw, but because when people speak of embracing each other as if we were one – this proved that point exactly!

My DNA results improved my view of belonging in the world, and added connection spans beyond my lifetime of b…