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Showing posts from November, 2018

Breakfast Macaroni and Cheese with Sausage and Hash Browns

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Recipe Courtesy of Food Network KitchenThe best part of this breakfast-inspired mac and cheese is the hash-brown topping. It couldn't be easier: Just thaw frozen hash browns and toss them with butter so they bake up golden and crispy.

Level: Easy
Total: 1 hr 15 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive: 10 min
Cook: 55 min
Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Ingredients
Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound breakfast sausage, casings removed
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 small green bell peppers, chopped
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
8 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded (about 3 cups)
3 ounces Gruyere, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions
Set an oven rack 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until it is al dente, about 6 minutes. Strain, reserving 1 3/…

Marshmallow Dreidels

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The traditional Hanukkah game just got a tasty new twist.

Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Photo By: Renee Comet

Level: Easy
Total: 2 hr 15 min(includes freezing and chilling time)
Active: 30 min
Yield: 12 marshmallow dreidels

Ingredients
12 miniature chocolate or cream covered biscuit sticks, such as Pocky midi® (see Cook's Note)
Twelve 1-inch square marshmallows
3/4 cup white candy melts (about 4.5 ounces)
12 milk chocolate kiss-shaped chocolate candies, such as Hershey's KISSES®
1 1/4 cups light blue candy melts (about 7.5 ounces)
1/4 cup white or light blue sanding sugar

Directions
Cut the uncoated part of the biscuit sticks off and discard. Insert the cut-end of the biscuit sticks into the marshmallows, making sure the sticks go almost to the top of the marshmallows. Arrange the marshmallows on to a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Put the white candy melts in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring, until completely melted, about 1 minute. Spre…

I Love That For You!

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I was shopping at a small store when a baby started screaming loudly and then started wailing, tears flowed, her hair partly covered her face, she completely fell apart. She had the attention of every person at the quaint store! I was having a tough day with a massive list of things to do, Thanksgiving a day away, a friend in the hospital, and my demanding teenagers calling and texting asking for my attention. I looked at the baby’s mom and said I wish I could burst into tears just like the baby to bring relief to my pent-up emotions and feel heard! She was almost in tears herself, so we both smiled in agreement and continued to shop. When I got back to my car, Cyndi Lauper’s song, “Time after Time” started playing on the radio and I burst into tears. I’ve loved that song since I was in middle school and it always reminds me of the simpler days of my younger years. I needed a release and found it in my car while listening to one of my favorite songs! I felt so good after I cried for a…

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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Happy Thanksgiving

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Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash

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Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten
Level: Easy
Total: 1 hr 15 min
Active: 15 min
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
3 acorn squash, unpeeled, halved through the stem, and seeded
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus extra for serving
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon, for serving

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the squash, cut sides up, on a sheet pan. Place 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup in the cavity of each squash. Brush the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle the squash with 3 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the squash, until tender when pierced with a small knife.

Place the squash on a serving platter. If the halves are too large for one serving, cut each piece in half through the stem. Drizzle lightly with extra maple syrup, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve hot.

For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com

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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Unleash Your Inner...Wisdom

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My husband’s grandfather, Bill, was one of my best friends, our connection felt like it was from birth. It was one of the most beautiful and wise friendships I've ever had--an admirable man with omnivorous enthusiasm to learn. Even at the tender age of ninety-one right before he died, he was so curious about life. He wanted to meet new people and hear their stories; he made everyone feel special. He never judged or argued in a dishonorable way. He was from a different time and a gem to our family.

I just turned forty-four this month and one of my birthday wishes was to be able to tap into that part of me that can be just as curious as grandpa Bill, and have empathy for all the people that have different views of the world, especially during our country's delicate political times. Our country, like most of the world, is facing so many challenges because we may have lost our curiosity and reverence for each of our stories and struggles. I wish our elders guided us to more empathe…

Chicken Thighs with Creamy Mustard Sauce

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Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten
Level: Easy
Total: 45 min
Active: 20 min

Ingredients
8 medium bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (2 1/4 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
2 cups halved and thinly sliced yellow onions (2 onions)
2 tablespoons dry white wine
8 ounces creme fraiche
1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions
Place the chicken thighs on a cutting board, skin side up, and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Turn them over and sprinkle them with one more teaspoon of salt.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large (11 to 12-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, place the chicken in the pan in one layer, skin side down. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes without moving, until the skin is golden brown. (If the skin gets too dark, turn the heat to medium low.) Turn the chicken pieces with tongs, add the onions to…

Ginger Snap

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Recipe Courtesy of Rachael Ray
Level: Easy
Total: 5 min
Prep: 5 min
Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce ginger liqueur, such as Domaine de Canton
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon agave syrup
1/4 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch grated nutmeg
Cinnamon stick, for garnish
Ice

Directions
Shake all together the vodka, ginger liqueur, lemon juice, agave syrup, grated ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com

Veterans Day

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Mini-Chanukah Buñuelos (Mexican Fritters)

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As a kid growing up in Mexico, my grandmother had a wonderful tradition of making Buñuelos every holiday season. I continue the tradition of making these delicate treats every year, and now my kids are old enough to help me make them.

Because these treats are fried and sweet, they make a great dessert to add to your Chanukah dessert table. There’s an easy way to make them and a more labor intensive way. The result is very tasty with either method. You pick!

Easy recipe:
Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 (6-inch) flour tortillas, whole or cut into shapes

Directions

Cinnamon-sugar mixture:
On a plate, mix the sugar and cinnamon.

Buñuelos
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pan. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep frying thermometer, inserted in the oil, reaches 350 degrees F. (If you do not have a thermometer, test the oil with a piece of tortilla…

Thank You For Voting!

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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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Easy Chicken Mole

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Recipe courtesy of Marcela Valladolid
Level: Easy
Total: 55 min(includes soaking time)
Active: 20 min
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
5 pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate, such as Ibarra, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
2 corn tostadas, torn into pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 rotisserie chicken, cut into 6 pieces

Directions
To make the mole sauce, soak the chiles in 1 1/4 cups water for 15 minutes. Drain well and discard the soaking liquid.

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until translucent, 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender with the chiles, chocolate, chicken broth, peanut butter, sugar, oregano and tostadas and blend until very smooth. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simm…

The Last Halloween

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I’ve gotten to celebrate Halloween for many years thanks to my children. We covered many pumpkin patches and trick-or-treating neighborhoods. Each passing year brought more fun and elaborate costumes, but once the kids started middle school, the celebrations tapered off, with less interest each year. This year, the anticipation and costume planning didn't quite come to fruition. I only hit up one store to buy fabric for the tutu my daughter wanted to wear to dance class, but it was nothing like before when I would run around looking for hard-to-find costumes or accessories or fabric to make costumes.

Once October began, I predicted the end of an era, but as a parting gift, my sixteen year old surprised me by asking me to take her trick or treating on Halloween! She left friends behind to have her mama go with her on what felt like a final hurrah in our book of trick-or-treating adventures. I took it all in and enjoyed every minute of it, stopping every few houses to look around and…