Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Spring Fling GIVEAWAY!!!

Here's your chance to win a few things to make your spring cooking time in the kitchen more enjoyable!

Here's what one lucky winner will receive:

*A CD of 200 recipes "JUST DESSERTS"
* 2 Cookbooks!
"Sensational Salads" and "Quick Time Dishes"
*A Coupon Keeper
*A reusable "earth friendly" grocery bag




Here's how you enter.
*You may do one or more of the following:

1. Leave a comment telling me that you would like to win. (worth one entry)

2. Follow this blog site. (2 entries)

3. Tell me what you would like me to post as a recipe or menu idea, such as chicken recipe, casseroles, using fresh veggies, etc. (worth 3 entries)

4. Get another blogger to mention your name in THEIR comment ("Suzy sent me") worth 4 entries

5. Put a link in your sidebar for this contest then come back and tell me that you did.(worth 5 entries)

6.. Write a post about this giveaway- linking back to this site. Then be sure to let me know about it. (6 entries)

Contest ends on Saturday, April 18 @ 10:00 pm Central time.

Winner will be announced on Sunday , April 19 @8:00 AM Central time.

*Sorry, this contest is open to those in the continental US only.


SO get busy and ready for the SPRING FLING! Let me hear from you today!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Amrita's Homemade Tomato Spinach Soup



A wonderful lady and follower of my blog, posted this recipe on her site , YESU GARDEN, and she was kind enough to share it with all of us!

This comes all the way from INDIA!!!

Enjoy!

Then travel to India via the internet and tell her how much you like it!





Homemade Tomato Spinach Soup

Ingredients


2 cups of washed and roughly chopped fresh spinach
or 1 can of spinach

4 or 5 medium size fresh tomatoes or you can use a can of
tomatoes (I don 't know what's available in the US)

You can add other vegetables too, like chopped up carrots
( peeled) cabbage, peeled and chopped bottle gourd, its like zucchini , or any other soup friendly veggie you like.
If you want to make a non-veg soup - substitute the veggies with chicken or beef broth.


1 medium sized onion sliced

3 or 4 cloves of garlic minced (I like to use more)

a dash of thyme ( according to your liking)

1 bay leaf

salt to taste

Method

Tip everything into a saucepan with a cup of water and boil for 10 minutes. on medium heat. If you are using broth there is no need for water.
I use a pressure cooker, its faster and saves gas.

Strain the liquid into a fresh pan and press the vegetable or meat through a fine sieve with a large spoon so all all the soup is nicely squeezed out.You can add some mashed up pulp to make the soup thick.

According to the quantity of the soup , if you like you can add a cube of chicken or beef bouillon. You can garnish it with fresh cilantro. Serve hot with garlic bread.


Hope your readers can try this. its really simple. Try to use fresh ingredients if possible.--
Amrita from India

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sweet Potato Fries


My cousin and our hubbys went Harley riding this evening and found a new place for "BIKERS" to eat. On the menu was SWEET POTATO FRIES which we all wanted to try, but they were sold out!

SO I came home and found this recipe from allrecipes.com that I think sounds fabulous.

Here's one of the quotes from a satisfied foody:

"These are so tasty your family won't believe they are eating healthy! Nothing this good for you should taste so good...or be this easy to cook. These are delicious plain, but may be dipped in honey mustard sauce, ketchup, or even guacamole."


INGREDIENTS

4 sweet potatoes, cut into large French fries

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Toss with Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Arrange fries on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 30 minutes, turning once, or until fries are crispy on the outside.

Has anyone out there ever tried these before?

If you have your own recipe, please share it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Banana Bites



Simple, delicious and impressive for grownups , and a fun treat for the kiddies!



You will need:


2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons canola oil
Assorted toppings for coating bananas (such as crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, toffee bits, chopped Butterfinger candy bars, chopped salted peanuts, or toasted shredded sweetened coconut)
3 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Preparation:

Stir chocolate and oil in heavy small saucepan over low heat just until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes to cool.

Place each topping in separate shallow dish. Line baking sheet with foil. Arrange banana slices on foil. Using fingers, dip 1 banana slice in chocolate, coating completely. Shake off excess chocolate. Drop dipped banana in 1 topping. Using clean hand, sprinkle more topping over banana to coat; transfer to foil-lined sheet. Repeat with remaining bananas, chocolate, and toppings. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours, then serve.
*from bonappetit.com

Friday, March 20, 2009

Diana's Easy Chocolate Caramel Toffee Cake




This delicious and EXTREMELY easy recipe comes to you from my neighbor Diana.

She made it for our Super Bowl party awhile back and it was FABO!

Big AL wants me to make it, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you while I'm at it.

1 box Devil's Food Cake mix (or German Chocolate)
*Prepare and bake according to package directions.

While still hot from the oven, poke holes all over the cake and pour Smucker's (or Kroger brand) Caramel sauce (ice cream topping) over.

Let cool.

When cool, cover with small carton of Cool whip.

Top with crushed Heath bits and chocolate chunks.


Yeah, it's that easy and tastes SO good!

Thanks Diana!

Here is a photo of me with Diana (the tall one) and "BIG RED" and her son "lijah" at the Super Bowl party. We had a blast!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Easy "green" recipes for St. Patty's Day


Grasshopper Parfaits
(from Kraftfoods.com)

Prep Time: 25 min Total
Time: 55 min
Makes: 12 servings, about 2/3 cup each

What You Need1
1/2 cups finely chopped OREO Cookies
1/2 cup finely chopped chocolate-covered mint patties
1 qt. (4 cups) cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
2 to 4 drops green food coloring
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Make It
MIX chopped cookies and mint patties in small bowl; set aside.

POUR milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, stir food coloring into whipped topping until well blended.

LAYER half each of the pudding, whipped topping and cookie mixture evenly in 12 parfait glasses or dessert glasses. Repeat layers. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Store leftover parfaits in refrigerator.

*Kraft Kitchens Tips:
Substitute....Prepare as directed, using OREO DOUBLE DELIGHT Mint 'n Creme Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.

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Irish Punch

1/2 gallon Lime sherbert
2 (2 liter) bottles of 7 up or lemon- lime soda.

Put sherbert in punch bowl. Pour soda over and continually spoon over sherbert with ladle till mixed well.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An Authentic Irish Breakfast/Brunch


The photo above is what is known as a FULL IRISH breakfast.

Man, those people can pack away the food!

If this is too much food for you on St. Patrick's Day, here is a recipe for one of the foods served at an authentic Irish breakfast or brunch table.


Wicklow Pancake
Named after the county just south of Dublin, this light brunch dish goes back to about the turn of the 20th century. It has the look of something invented to use up day-old bread and those last couple of eggs that are sitting around. It's not quite an omelet, and not quite a pancake (though it looks most like one, so that's how it acquired the name)...



recipe:

2 eggs
300 ml milk or cream
2 oz breadcrumbs (attention North American recipe-users: in Ireland this means fresh breadcrumbs, not dry)
2-3 green / spring onions, chopped
Some freshly chopped herbs: parsley, thyme or chives
50 g / 2 oz butter
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley to garnish
Beat the eggs with the milk. Add the breadcrumbs, scallions, herbs and seasoning, mixing well.

Melt half the butter in a heavy frying pan. When it bubbles, pour in the egg mixture and cook over a low heat until the top begins to set.

Turn and cook the other side until browned. (As this is fairly thick, it will take slightly more time than an omelet would.)

Turn out onto a plate, dot with the remaining butter, and garnish with parsley.

*Recipe and photos from http://www.europeancuisines.com/Pictures-of-Irish-Food.

If you don't want to cook breakfast on March 17th, but still want to celebrate all things Irish, I say pour you and yours a bowl of LUCKY CHARMS or serve GREEN EGGS and HAM!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An idea to help you make some GREEN! Or at least, serve in style.


My friend Cheryl (from WF) just sent me this email regarding some St. Patty's Day serving and money making opportunities. Thought I'd share it with all of you.

To learn more about these great products, click on Cheryl's Entertaining at Home website here.




Dear Friends,

Don’t worry if you can’t find a four-leaf clover this St. Patrick’s day; create your own luck and good fortune by starting your own business with Entertaining at Home. I work for a company that’s built for today’s economy, ask me how you could earn a monthly fuel incentive, a suite of office tools and more. Best of all, I get to set my own hours!

Are you finding that you’re inviting family and friends over rather than spending extra dollars dining out? I invite you to check out our specials this month; we have some great entertaining essentials. All Customers and Hosts can choose between fantastic specials this March. Everyone can take advantage of our Redbook magazine offer, only $5.95 for a year subscription (that’s less than .50 an issue)!

I’m growing my team this spring. If you or someone you know if looking for a part-time job, I’m hiring! Contact me to schedule a time we can talk about what EAH can offer you and your family. Join now and you could earn a $25 rebate and free registration to our upcoming conference in July.

March is a great month to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness and the beginning of spring with friends and family. Check out some party ideas below and be sure to visit the Spring/Summer online catalog for great entertaining products and ideas.

Happy Entertaining!







--------------------------------------------------------------------------------







Party Ideas:

March is full of reasons to get together with friends or plan special days with the family.

*Everyone loves an Irish party, try hosting a “green” get-together to celebrate:
Plan a seasonal menu using local ingredients. Serve in our Swirl Appetizer Set.

*For an easy decoration, fill our Square Vases with dried lentils and place a soy-based candle inside (they won’t pollute like paraffin-based candles).

*Instead of buying bottled water, fill our Swirl Pitcher with water and lime or cucumber slices.









Check out our
Spring/Summer
Catalog!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Irish Stew and Split Pea Soup



I have some great food blog sites I frequent, and 2 of them have dishes that would be great to serve for St. Patrick's Day.

The first is Eat Food Not Money Cookbook where Kathy serves up delicious economical dishes regularly. She sent me this fabulous recipe for Irish Stew and she also breaks down the cost for you.

IRISH STEW
What you’ll need:

6 - 8 small lamb chops
1 Tbl oil
3 - 4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 c finely shredded cabbage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large white leek, thinly sliced
12 small white onions
1 ½ c celery, diced
1 ½ c peas
Salt & pepper
Parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme and rosemary tied up in a cheesecloth

Lay the chops in a single layer in a large stockpot; season with salt and pepper. Brown both sides over medium-high heat. Drain off fat and cover chops with water. You want just enough water to cover them. Put seasoning pack (the herbs you put in cheesecloth) into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except for peas and simmer for another 20 minutes. Stir in peas and continue simmering until potatoes are tender (about 10 more minutes). Remove herb pack before serving. Feeds 6.

Cost:
lamb chops - $3.50/lb
potatoes - $2.00/5 lb bag
cabbage - $2.00
onion - $1.12
leeks - $2.25
small onions - $1.50/bunch
celery - $0.99
frozen peas - $1.68
Total - $13.84
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The next is not an Irish recipe, but would work well on March 17 because of it's beautiful green hue.

It's Helen's Green Split Pea Soup with Ham.

Check out Helen's Favorite Recipes for more good stuff.


You could also serve my easy Potato Broccoli soup (just go back a post or two) for a special green inspired soup.


Feel free to leave a delicious soup recipe (or link to one) fit for a bunch of Irish lads and lassies!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage


Everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's Day!

How we love the Irish!

The Murphy bunch enjoys a big shindig in my home complete with authentic Irish music, movies, blessings , St. Patty's Day decor' and delicious Irish food.
Needing some Irish Inspiration?


I will be sharing some of the more traditional Irish food for you to serve on March 17 or anytime you desire to pretend you're Irish and enjoy some good luck!


Corned Beef and Cabbage
INGREDIENTS
3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
10 small red potatoes
5 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges



DIRECTIONS
Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender.
Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.
Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain.

(I found this simple recipe on cooks.com)

Please share any traditional Irish recipes you love or any Green food/beverage that you think would go over well at our Irish shindig!