Saturday, June 26, 2010

Smoked Salmon Cucumber Canapés

This recipe is so simple you just need to look at the pictures to do it.  Simple, yet elegant and very delicious! While most canapés are done with some sort of carbs, (bread, crackers, etc) this is a refreshing and healthy change.

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4 or 5 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon

2/3 cup spreadable plain or herb garlic cream cheese

1 large seedless cucumber

3 tbsp sour cream

fresh dill



Cut cucumber in slices and place on serving dish.  I got about 30 slices from this recipe.

Mix cheese and sour cream in a bowl until smooth.   Spoon mixture into a pastry bag (or plastic bag) fitted with a large star tip and pipe onto cucumber slices.

Cut salmon into appropriate sized pieces and roll, then place on top of the piped cheese.

Garnish with fresh dill.

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Bon  Appétit !


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Broccoli Cheddar and Mushroom Quiche

I love quiche.  For some reason I forgot that.  I should really make it more often.  Quiche recipes are endless. After all, what CAN’T you mix with eggs?   

This recipe is fast and easy.  It’s so easy in fact, that I’ll even tell you to go out and buy a ready made pie crust!   So let’s move on…

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1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup  chopped onions

1 cup chopped broccoli

5 eggs

1/3 cup  MIRACLE WHIP Dressing

1/3 cup milk

1 cup  Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 frozen deep-dish pie crust (9 inch) (see? fast and easy!)



PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Place vegetables in skillet sprayed with cooking spray; cook on medium heat 5 min. or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside.

BEAT eggs, dressing and milk in medium bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in vegetable mixture and cheese; pour into pie shell. Place pie shell on baking sheet.

BAKE on baking sheet 40 to 45 min. or until center of quiche is set and top is golden brown. Let stand 10 min. before cutting into slices to serve.


So here’s the lowdown on the absence of more delicious pictures.  I made this for company and it got eaten before I could take that delicious dish picture!

Remember…. fast and easy!

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Enjoy !


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Strawberry Jam with a Hint of Lemon

It’s probably been 20 years since I made jam.  I’ve been wanting to make it again for quite some time.  This week I was presented with the opportunity to make strawberry jam since I found a terrific recipe from Yvonne over at Stone Gable.  Also by chance, a visit from my out of town cousins landed me a flat of freshly picked strawberries yesterday!  So thank you Yvonne for a great recipe and thanks John, Di and Rose for the wine, strawberries and fabulous company.
This recipe can also be found at Kraft Foods using Certo Pectin.  Lemon zest optional.

Yield:  9 -   8 oz. jars
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5 cups crushed strawberries
7 cups sugar
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp butter
1 package Certo Pectin (57 gr)
10 – 8 oz. canning jars with lids and rims
(all jam recipes seem to say not to double recipe, make separate batches)

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Heat water in a large stockpot  or canner. Wash 8 oz. canning jars with warm sudsy water. Rinse thoroughly. *Only clean jars, set lids and rings aside. Put jars into the pot and make sure they are covered with water by 2 inches. Gently boil water. Jars must be sterilized. Do not take them out of the water. Keep canner (stockpot) gently boiling.
Heat water in a small sauce pan to a slow simmer. This will be used to warm up the lids. Keep water slowly simmering. Do not put lids in yet!
Rinse and hull strawberries.
Mash 1 cup of strawberries at a time to equal 5 cups. A potato masher works great.
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In a separate bowl measure 7 cups of sugar and set aside.
Put strawberries in a large pot and add 1 package of Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin(I used Certo) , zest of a lemon, lemon juice and butter ( butter keeps the foam to a minimum). Heat over medium heat stirring constantly. Bring strawberries to a rolling boil
Add sugar all at once. Stirring constantly bring the mixture back to a boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat.
Put lids (not rims) in the small saucepan and take off heat.
Take 1 jar out of simmering water at a time CAREFULLY. Skim off any foam that has formed on the top of the jam. Ladle jam into jars. Wipe off the rim of the jar with a clean damp paper towel.
Take lid out of hot water with tongs and place on jar. Screw on rims.
Put jars back in canner and process for 10 minutes. Take out of canner and put on a doubled kitchen towel.
As the jars cool, listen for that little"click" of the lids that tells you that they are sealed.
Let cool. Check that each lid has sealed by pressing the center of the lid. If it clicks or you can push the center down, refrigerate or freeze this jar because it has not sealed properly.
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Enjoy !!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Brace yourself, you’re going to see a lot of banana recipes on here. For some reason I can’t seem to regulate my banana buying. I love them but I can’t seem to out-eat my buying trips.  Ultimately I’m left with a few brown strays by the end of every week.  But that’s ok…banana’s are so versatile, I’ll just keep trying new and different things.

This one is fairly different.  The coconut/banana combo is fabulous but the lime glaze just adds the tiniest tang to it.

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2 cups flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 large bananas)

1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

3 tbsp apple juice or milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut


Topping:   2 tbsp additional coconut

Glaze:   1/2 cup powdered sugar whisked with 1-1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until blended.  Add eggs and beat to combine.  Add bananas, sour cream or yogurt, apple juice or milk and vanilla.  Beat until blended.  Add flour mixture and bead at low speed until just combined .  Stir in 1/2 cup coconut.

Pour batter into a 9” x 5”  loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle additional 2 tbsp coconut on top.

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour (mine actually took closer to 80 minutes.) Make sure knife or skewer comes out completely clean. If you find after about 45 minutes or so that the coconut on top is too brown cover loosely with foil for the remainder of the baking time.

When done, remove pan from the oven and let cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.  Whisk powdered sugar and lime juice together for the glaze and then drizzle over top.  Cool for at least another 15 minutes before serving.


coconut banana breadcollage1




From Our Best Bites


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blueberry Banana Crumble Bread

I don’t know where I got this recipe to give credit, but I did tweak it to make it slightly my own. 

I have a few different Banana Bread recipes, but this mixture with blueberries is heaven.  I can’t even describe how moist this bread is.  “Bread” seems too dry a word for it.   I actually cut this about 5 minutes out of the oven and it was this delicate blueberry banana pudding … haha..  (so you might want to keep your hands off it until it cools and sets a little more).   This bread rises beautifully, and you definitely want the crumble top! 

This lasted 1 day in my house.

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1 cup white flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

3/4  tsp. salt

1/2  tsp. baking soda

1/4  tsp. baking powder

5-1/3   tablespoons butter at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

3 mashed very ripe bananas (2 if they are big)

1 pint washed fresh blueberries

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For Crumble Topping


1/4 cup oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp.  ground cinnamon

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease loaf pan.

Make the crumble topping by mixing together 1/4 cup of oats, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and just enough soft butter to make it stick together.. (approx. 1 heaping tablespoon).  Set aside.

Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

In separate large bowl, beat butter and sugar together for 2 – 3 minutes.  Beat in the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture until blended.  Gradually beat in the eggs, add vanilla and then gently fold in the bananas and blueberries.   Pour into loaf pan.

Top with crumble mixture. Patting it ever so lightly on the top of your batter.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Let pan cool on a rack for about 20 minutes before taking bread out of the pan.  (I didn’t get the chance to even take it out of the pan, it was gone!).  Enjoy !

blueberry banana bread 008a 

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Goat Cheese Walnut Stuffed Chicken

I think this has become one of my most favorite chicken dishes.  The mixture of the goat cheese, lemon and walnuts is simply spectacular.
It’s both delicious and nutritious.
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1/4 walnut halves
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese, softened
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 garlic clove minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
Four 6 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon  extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chicken stock or low sodium broth
2 tablespoons walnut oil (optional, you can use olive oil if you don’t have it)
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spread the walnuts on a pie plate and toast for 6 minutes until fragrant.  Let cool then chop.
In a small bowl mash the goat cheese with the lemon zest, garlic and half of the walnuts.  Season with salt and pepper.
Using a small knife cut a pocket in the side of each chicken breast.  Keep the pocket opening on the smaller side.
Stuff the chicken breast with the mixture and gently press to flatten them.
In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat  turning once, until browned for about 6 minutes, on each side.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the chicken for 5 minutes.  Transfer the chicken breasts to a platter and keep warm.
Add the lemon juice and stock to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat scraping up any brown bits stuck to the pan.  Simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the walnut oil, parsley and the remaining chopped walnuts.
Transfer the chicken breasts to plates, spoon the walnut sauce on top and serve.
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