Applelicious Cupcakes

Applelicious Cupcakes

Channeling June Cleaver

Channeling June Cleaver

Monday, December 5, 2016

Vegetable Soup with Chicken Sausage and Orzo



When fall is in the air and winter is approaching I start making large batches of soup to freeze for cold nights when nothing is as warming as a hot bowl of soup.  My soups are complete meals meant to be enjoyed with a luscious fresh salad and crisp baked bread. Nothing smells as good as hot fragrant soup simmering on the stove! 

Vegetable Soup with Chicken Sausage and Orzo

Ingredients

2 medium carrots, chopped
2 fennel ribs, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 (32-oz) containers organic vegetable broth
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup french string beans, cut into 2 in. pieces
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
5 cooked chicken sausages, cut into bit size pieces* 
1 cup orzo
Toasted Baguette**

 

Preparation

1. Sauté carrots and next 4 ingredients in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in broth, tomatoes, string beans, and freshly ground black pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
2. Stir in beans, sausage and orzo, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes or until orzo is tender. Top each serving with toasted baguette slice.

*I like to roast my sausages not fry. Roast sausage in over at 400 F for 20 minutes. Cut into bit size pieces.
** Slice baguette into 1 inch slices. Brush with oil and sprinkle with Italian seasonings. Broil for 1-2 minutes until baguette is toasted.

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mexican Chicken Parmesan for Two




I love experiment with different ideas to create new recipes.  Since I learned to cook at a young age from my mother I developed like most experienced cooks the ability to create dishes that not only taste delicious but fill that need for putting a meal on the table quickly. I believe that if you are going to eat food should taste wonderful inviting you to sit down even on a week night for a tasty meal with you family. My Mexican Chicken Parmesan is deliciously easy taking about 45 minutes from start to setting the meal on the table! Perfect during the busy Holiday Season.

Mexican Chicken Parmesan for Two

2 large Chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup flour
1  cup plain Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 carton(8 oz) fresh Salsa, medium
1 cup Mexican four cheeses
1 jalapeno peppers, sliced


Spray baking dish with cooking spray.

Season both sides of chicken with salt and black pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Place egg in a separate shallow dish. Combine panko crumbs and Parmesan in a third shallow dish. Dip chicken first in flour, then in the egg and then panko crumb mixture. Transfer chicken to the prepared baking dish. Spoon Salsa over chicken. Top with cheese then arrange jalapeno pepper in baking dish  Bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and serve.


Enjoy!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Candied Apple Crumb Cake




Fall at it's best with fresh picked apples baked in a rich pound cake with crumb topping and caramel drizzled on top. Richly flavored with just a hint of orange juice, cinnamon and crisp tart apples. I used Granny Smith Apples in this cake for their tart flavor along with a firm consistency after baking. In this cake I want to bit into the apple with each bite as if I just had reach up picking the apple right off the tree. As gorgeous as this cake looks it is quite easy to make. Delicious, dazzling, easy to duplicate, what could be better.

 Candied Apple Crumb Cake

Cake

4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup oil
1 cup orange juice
3 large eggs (4 if small)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Apple Filling 

4 Granny Smith Apples peeled and slice
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Caramel Sauce

1 cup granulated sugar 
½ cup heavy cream 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (or another sea salt)


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease tube cake pan and set aside. Sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Place in a large mixing bowel making a well.
2. Combine oil, orange juice, eggs and vanilla. Pour into center of well and beat for three minutes.
3. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowel and set aside.
4. Pour third of batter into prepared pan, add half sliced apples and half cinnamon-sugar. Cover with half the remaining batter. Top with remaining apples then cinnamon-sugar. Add remaining batter on top.
5. Combine ingredients for crumb topping blending until thoroughly combined. A pastry blender works best to make the crumb topping but you can cut butter in with two knives.
6. Sprinkle over cake. Bake 1 hour 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
7. Cool for 1 hour before removing from tube pan.
8. Make caramel sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium high heat combine the sugar with 1/4 cup cold water and stir to combine. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar has turned a deep amber color about 10 minutes. Meanwhile warm the cream in a small saucepan. When the caramel is ready, slowly, whisk in a warm cream and continue simmering for another 2-3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, then whisk in the butter,, and then salt. Slowly drizzle over cake.

Serve with Vanilla ice cream or just plain.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries



Brussels Sprouts are widely trendy now. Everyone is making these beautiful veggies! I love this recipe for Thanksgiving combining Pecans and a fall favorite fresh Cranberries. Roasting brussels sprouts brings out the nutty flavor which is enhanced by the addition of pecans. Fresh cranberries tartly play off the smooth taste of fig balsamic vinegar.

  
                         Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecan and Cranberries

    1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, sliced in half and yellow leaves removed
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon allspice
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
    1/2 cup fresh cranberries
    1 tablespoon fig balsamic vinegar   

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, olive oil, allspice, kosher salt, and pepper in a large              resealable plastic bag. Seal tightly, and shake to coat. Pour onto a baking dish, top
with pecans. Place on center oven rack.
    Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Top with cranberries roasting another 10 minutes. Drizzle with vinegar. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

End of the Summer Vegetable Roast



As summer ends in New England with cool mornings feeling like rich jewel colors, awaking, bursting like ripe grapes, I stroll through my town's farmers market on a mission to capture the last remnants of Summer's golden rays ripening garden fresh produce. No I am not disappointed as a choice, multi colored cherry tomatoes with dew glistening skin, deep hewed potatoes, red, purple and white, mini gems, soil crusted onions picked this morning and fresh herbs that I can smell even without bring to my nose. I am captivated by the array of gorgeous fresh product still available today. Leaving with my basket full and heavy I race home to create not only a delicious vegetable roast but a world class visual of Summer's best bounty!  

End of the Summer Vegetable Roast

8 oz multi color Gourmet potatoes
4 cups whole heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh thinly slice basil
1 tablespoon fresh French thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 400 F. Place potatoes, tomatoes, onion and garlic in 2 quart baking dish. Drizzle olive oil on top. Add basil, thyme, salt, black pepper and hot pepper flakes on top. Stir to combine. 
Roast for 25-30 minutes until tomatoes just start to burst with juices flowing. 

Serve warm with fresh baked bread to soak up the heavenly juices. I could eat this for lunch or as a side dish. 

Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Roasted Tomatoes with Grilled Polenta

Roasted Tomatoes with Grilled Polenta


This summer I just can't get enough of farm fresh tomatoes especially multi-colored cherry tomatoes. I love to create so many different recipes that use these beautiful farm fresh bounty. Sometimes I serve over pasta, or farro. I have to admit making a polenta loaf, slicing, brushing with olive oil then grilling has to be my favorite accompaniment for roasted tomatoes. Polenta can be time consumer to make so I use Bellino Instant Polenta, ready in 3 minutes.

Ingredients

1pkg. Bellino Instant Polenta
4 cups water
4 cups milk, can use 2%
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoon butter
pinch of kosher salt



4 cup assorted cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, snipped

Directions

Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a loaf pan. In a large pot bring water and milk to boil. Lower heat then add polenta stirring for three minutes until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat, add Parmesan cheese. Mix until combined. Fold in basil, garlic, butter and salt. Pour into greased loaf pan and refrigerate for 4 hours. You can make the polenta a day ahead.
Place tomatoes in a large baking dish. Drizzle olive oil. Add capers, salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes until tomatoes are brown.
Heat Grill. Slice polenta 1/2 inch thick, brush with olive oil. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Place on plate, top with roasted tomatoes.

Enjoy!





Grilled Mediterranean Shrimp

Grilled Mediterranean Shrimp 


I love easy dinners that taste so good. Grilling makes summer meals quick, easy and delicious. Marinate the shrimp ahead infusing the flavors transports me back to visits to the Mediterranean sea. The secret to all the meals that I love to make is fresh produce and herbs. An easy touch yet so important to creating flavor and texture in food.

Ingredients

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, thinly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon capers

Directions

Place shrimp and tomatoes in medium bowl. In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients. Pour over shrimp and tomatoes. Refrigerate for 8 hours or over night. Heat grill to high. Drain shrimp and tomatoes, reserving the marinate. Place shrimp and tomatoes in a pan designed to use on an outdoor grill. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until shrimp is no longer translucent. While grilling continue to brush shrimp with reserved marinate. Serve hot.

Enjoy!



Friday, September 2, 2016

Grilled Moroccan Swordfish Kebabs

Grilled Moroccan Swordfish Kebabs 




Ingredients
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoons turmeric
    1 tablespoon minced thyme
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    2 pounds swordfish steaks sliced 1 1/2 inches thick, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
    Salt
   


Instructions
    In a large, shallow dish, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, turmeric, thyme and crushed red pepper. Add the swordfish and stir to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
    Light a grill. Thread the swordfish onto 6-inch skewers. Season with salt. Grill the kebabs over a hot fire, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Enjoy!

gooddinnermrsmellen.com


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Eggplant, Zucchini and Tomato Casserole



 Summer vegetable are so plentiful and beautifully fresh, just right for a vegetable casserole that can be served as a side dish or a light main meal with salad and fresh bread. I love going to our town's farmers market gathering fresh picked veggies to combine for a delicious casserole. I usually choice three different vegetables to combine for an interesting casserole layer with a cheese and fresh herb mixture. You can change it up all the time with different veggies!

Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    salt and pepper to taste

    1 eggplant, pealed, thinly sliced
    2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
    1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    3/4 cup fine bread crumbs

Directions

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 3 quart baking pan with cooking spray.
    In a large bowl, combine Cheddar, Parmesan, basil, thyme and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
    Arrange half of the eggplant slices in the baking dish. Next layer zucchini then tomatoes on top Then Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese and herb mixture on top. Arrange half of the tomatoes, and top with another 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers.
    Stir in breadcrumbs with melted butter until combined.  Sprinkle on top of casserole.
    Cover loosely with foil, and bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil, and bake until the top is crusty and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.



Saturday, August 20, 2016

Farm Fresh Tomato Pasta


Ingredients

4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved. I like to use multi colored cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
18 large basil leaves, sliced thin
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh linguine
4 ounces fresh Mozzarella, cut into cubers
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese


Directions

Combine the cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, capers, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.

Before serving heat a large pot of water with 1 tablespoons salt to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta well, toss with fresh mozzarella then add the cherry tomatoes, tossing again. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Four servings


Enjoy!

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Sprited Peach Cobbler


 

Peaches are one of my favorite fruits. When I was a little girl my grandparents had a bountiful garden including fruit trees. My favorite tree was the peach tree with it's limbs hanging heavy with peaches almost dangling to the ground. I waited all summer for the fruit to transform from a little flower to a big juice ripe peach! After we picked the fruit my grandmother would bake pies along with canning peaches for use in the winter. As a treat my grandfather would cut up a peach ripe just to perfection place it in a glace and pour just a little red wine over the peach for me to eat. I've never forgotten the delightful taste of peaches and wine. Inspired by my grandfather I soaked peaches in wine overnight in my recipe for a Peach Cobbler adding to the rich flavor of the dessert.  

Ingredients

        6 large peaches, cut into thin wedges
        1/2 bottle pinot noir
        1/4 cup sugar
        2 teaspoon cornstarch
        1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        1/2 teaspoon allspice
        1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    For biscuit topping
        1 cup all-purpose flour
        1/2 cup sugar
        1 teaspoon baking powder
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
        1/4 cup boiling water
        1 tablespoon sugar

Preparation

 
Place sliced peaches in bowl and cover with wine. Refrigerate over night.
 

Preheat oven to 425°F.Drain peaches reserving 1/4 cup of wine. Toss peaches with wine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Place in a 2-qt baking dish and bake in middle of oven 10 minutes.

Make topping while peaches bake:Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with pastry blender until mixture  resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.Remove peaches from oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle sugar on top. Bake in middle of oven until topping is golden, about 25 minutes. (Topping will spread as it bakes.)  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Serves 4.

Enjoy!



gooddinnermrsmellen.com



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Simply Delicious Cucumbers and Tomato Salad




I love fresh tomatoes right off the vine. Each year I buy a patio cherry tomato plant to enjoy the luscious taste of fresh tomatoes. I'm always amazed at the bounty of fruits that this little plant produces just for me to enjoy. So fresh and tasty I just want to pop them in my mouth as I pick the ripen tomatoes. Cucumbers and tomatoes are a wonderful combination of flavor and texture that goes perfectly together without adding too many other ingredients. For a easy, simple salad of cucumbers and tomatoes I just added a little fresh basil, feta, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice sprinkled with salt and pepper, so simple, so delicious.

Ingredients

1/2 cup lettuce, I used spring greens
1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut in slivers
1/4 cup feta
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper

Place greens around edge of plate. Fill center area with cucumbers, top with tomatoes, basil, and feta. Combine olive oil and lemon juice, pour over salad. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. 

Enjoy!
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Farm Fresh Grilled Vegetables


My town like many towns has a wonderful weekly farmer's market each week where local farms sell fresh produce. Beautiful ripe heirloom tomatoes glistening with morning dew, the deepest aubergine eggplant, plump zucchini along with a red, orange and yellow peppers just beckoning to be grilled.

3 red peppers
3 orange peppers
3 yellow peppers
2 large eggplants
2 large zucchinis
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh french thyme, finely chopped


Remove stems and seeds from peppers then slice in quarters. Slice eggplant and zucchini horizontally. Place vegetables in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, basil and thyme. Pour over vegetables then toss. Let sit for 30 minutes to marinate flavors. Preheat grill. Grill vegetables turning ever five minutes until tender. Arrange on platter. Serve at room temperature. You can grill a day ahead and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Enjoy!


gooddinnermrsmellen.com

Friday, July 15, 2016

Spaghetti with Clams for two





Dinner for two can be a challenge especially after cooking for a large family as you find it hard to scale down the ingredients and portions. One of the many reasons I like to use pasta or rice as a base then add to create a delicious dinner for two. Seafood lends well to dinner for two. In this meal I used count neck clams which are meaty and flavorful marrying with wine and seasonings for a lusciously delightful taste.

Ingredients

2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
pinch of saffron
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound count neck clams, well scrubbed
4 ounces thin spaghetti, cook according to package

In a saute pan add olive oil, garlic, shallot and thyme. Saute on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, garlic and shallots should be translucent, not browned. Add wine, saffron, salt and pepper simmering for 5 minutes. Add clams, cover, continue to cook for 5-10 minutes. All the clams should be open, discard any that aren't. Pour over cooked pasta. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Grilled Swordfish with Mediterranean Salsa



Grilled Swordfish with Mediterranean Salsa

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 teaspoon chopped capers
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 fresh ground pepper
2 pounds swordfish, cut into 4 pieces 
salt and pepper

Preparation

Season swordfish with salt and pepper refrigerating while preparing salsa. Combine first nine ingredients tossing to combine. Let set for 30 minutes to marinate. Preheat grill. Grill swordfish 3-5 minutes on each side depending on thickness.  Place Swordfish on individual plates topping with salsa. Serves 4

Enjoy!
gooddinnermrsmellen.com
 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tart Field Greens with Melon, Blueberries, Apricots and Pecans



Tart Field Greens with Melon, Blueberries, Apricots and Pecans

Adding fruit and nuts to salad fresh adds a refreshingly sweet taste to tart greens. I love the combination of spicy greens with the sweetness of melon and blueberries. You can customize this salad using any of your favorite combination of fresh fruit. Sometimes I add dates instead of apricots or pumpkin seeds to replace pecans. Use your imagination to create your own special salad.

Ingredients

4-5 cups bitter or spicy greens
1/2 honeydew melon, cubed
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup chopped apricots
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoon sliced red onion*

Preparation

Wash and dry greens. Place on flat plate arranging melon, blueberries, apricots and pecans on top. Thinly slice red onion. Place in bowl pouring 2 tablespoon white vinegar over onions soaking for 10 minutes. Rinse onions and pat dry. Place onions on salad. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette. 

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients
 
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

*Soaking the onion mellows the taste.

Enjoy!

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Pecan Crumb Topped Blueberry Custard Pie



I just love blueberries and blueberry pie. While traditional blueberry pie is mouthwatering delicious sometimes I just like to change it up so I created this sinful decadent Pecan crumb topped sour cream blueberry pie. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but even this picture can only go so far in capturing the nutty topping with blueberry juice bursting from the fruit all in a creamy custard. I want another piece just writing this! Don't forget to top with Bryers French Vanilla ice cream.

Pastry

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
2-3 tablespoon water
1 egg, beaten

Filling

1 cup sour cream
3 ounces cream cheese
1 large egg
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups blueberries, washed and picked over

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose four
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter 
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1. To prepare pastry, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. With pastry blender cut in butter to consistence of coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle water one tablespoon at a time, mix until pastry holds together. Shape pastry into ball.
2. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into 11-inch round. Fit into 9 inch pie plate. Turn extra dough at edge into rim and flute or crimp raised edge. Just before placing blueberry filling in pie shell, brush with beaten egg.
3. To prepare filling, combine sour cream, cream cheese, egg, brown sugar, flour and vanilla in bowl. Beat thoroughly until smooth. Preheat over to 450F. Fill pie shell with blueberries. Pour cream mixture over blueberries. Bake 10 minutes at 450F, reduce temperature to 350F and bake 35-40 minutes.
4. Prepare crumb topping by mixing flour, sugars, cinnamon, salt, butter and nuts. Blend to form crumbly mixture.
5. After baking pie, remove pie from oven, cool, then distribute crumb mixture evenly over top. Return to over and bake 10-15 minutes more.

Enjoy!


gooddinnermrsmellen.com 


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Pine Nut, Tomato and Cucumber salad

Can't get enough of salads, neither can I. Nor can I ever say no to delicious fresh picked tomatoes. Ah, this tomato and cucumber salad capture the essence of summer, cool, crisp and fresh. I've added a little spice and crunch to the mix creating a refreshing salad that compliments meat or fish.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatoes, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 pound gourmet cherry tomatoes, slice in quarters
  • 1 thinly sliced English cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 medium scallions, dark green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium jalapeno chile, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 teaspoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Preparation

Arrange tomato and cucumber slices on a platter. Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, olive oil, and sugar in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Drizzle dressing over tomatoes and cucumbers, and top with scallions, chile, and pine nuts . Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Can be made a day ahead. Refrigerate until serving then drizzle with dressing. 

Enjoy!

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Grilled Red, White and Blue Potatoes for July 4th



What could be more appropriate for a 4th of July party than red, white and blue potatoes on the grill. Oh, did I mention delicious and easy. You can make these potatoes ahead and serve them at room temperature or hot off the grill. Either way they taste wonderfully delicious.

Ingredients

3 packages(8-oz) gourmet tricolor potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped 
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Scrub potatoes, dry thoroughly. Place in large bowl. In a small bowl combine oil, garlic and thyme. Toss over potatoes. Set aside for 30 minutes. Preheat grill. Place potatoes on a grill pan, top with salt and pepper. Close lid grilling for 30-45 minutes until potatoes are soft. Test potatoes by piercing with a knife. Make ahead and serve at room temperature or serve immediately. Serves 20-25.



 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Feta, Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

Mediterranean Lemon Quinoa Salad with Feta, Tomatoes, Olives and Capers



Mediterranean flavors paired with Quinoa with an added hint of lemon create a fresh tasting salad that is a fabulous addition to any meal or barbecue. Also this salad is wonderful made ahead letting the flavors marinate making a portable dish for a pot luck or picnic. 

Ingredients

1 cup Quinoa cooked according to package instructions
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 tablespoon capers, minced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


Combine lemon juice, zest, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour over Quinoa gently tossing. Add remaining ingredients combining thoroughly. Chill over night to marinate the flavors.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Grilled Red, White and Blue Potatoes for July 4th

 

What could be more appropriate for a 4th of July party than red, white and blue potatoes on the grill. Oh, did I mention delicious and easy. You can make these potatoes ahead and serve them at room temperature or hot off the grill. Either way they taste wonderfully delicious.

Ingredients

3 packages(8-oz) gourmet tricolor potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped 
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Scrub potatoes, dry thoroughly. Place in large bowl. In a small bowl combine oil, garlic and thyme. Toss over potatoes. Set aside for 30 minutes. Preheat grill. Place potatoes on a grill pan, top with salt and pepper. Close lid grilling for 30-45 minutes until potatoes are soft. Test potatoes by piercing with a knife. Make ahead and serve at room temperature or serve immediately. Serves 20-25.



 

Grilled Scallops with fresh tomatoes and basil

Grilled Scallops with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil
 

 

 
Quick and easy delicious meals are a summer staple in our house. No clean up just heat up the grill. Grilling scallops brings out the sweet taste of the sea. All I do is marinate the scallops for a half an hour to enhance the flavor, pick fresh cherry tomatoes, add just snipped basil, so easy, so good. Toss up a salad with fresh farm produce serve along with a wonderfully fresh loaf of artisan bread for the best of summer dinning, so easy, so good. We enjoy dinning alfresco on our deck just relaxing enjoying our meal as the evening sounds fill our backyard with the lullaby of nighttime. 
 
Ingredients 
1 pound Sea Scallops
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cherry tomatoes
8 -10 basil leaves
 
Place scallops in bowl. Combine lemon juice, garlic, pepper and salt. Pour over scallops and toss. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat grill. Place scallops in grill pan, add tomatoes and basil. Grill for 5- 8 minutes or until scallops are golden. Serves 4 people.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Chocolate Ganache Velvet Pound Cake with chocolate dipped strawberries


 Summer time parties should be as fun for the hostess as the guests. That is why I love this chocolate pound cake packing a lot of punch for not much work. Bake the cake, drizzle the ganache, decorate with chocolate dipped strawberries and you have a cake that will dazzle you guest!

Ingredients

                 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels 
                 1/2 cup butter, softened  
                 1 (16 ounce) packages light brown sugar 
                 3 large eggs  
                 2 cups all purpose flour 
                 1 teaspoon baking soda  
                 1/2 teaspoon salt 
                 1 (8 ounce) containers sour cream  
                 1 cup hot water 
                 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
                 Chocolate Ganache
                 Vanilla ice cream
                 9 strawberries, washed with stems 

Directions

  1. Melt semisweet chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 30-second intervals until melted (about 1 1/2 minutes total time). Stir until smooth.
  2. Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer, beating about 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla. Use immediately, following directions for desired cake.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350° for 55 to 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.
  5. Sift powdered sugar over top of cake.
  6. Dip small spoonfuls of warm ganache over cake.
  7. Decorate with chocolate dipped strawberries 


  Ganache
      1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
      1/2 cup whipping cream
      3 tablespoons butter

      1. Microwave chocolate morsels and whipping cream in a 2-quart glass bowl at medium 2 1/2 to 
          3 minutes or until melted. Whisk until smooth then whisk in butter. Let stand 30 minutes. Beat
          at medium speed with electric mixture for 3 to 4 minutes. Dip strawberries in chocolate 
         Ganache. Place on wax paper and chill.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Family Reunion Gazpacho

Family Reunion Gazpacho



        10 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
        1 English cucumber, peeled and quartered
        1 red bell pepper, diced
        1/2 cup red onion, chopped
        3 cups tomato juice
        5 tablespoons olive oil
        3 tablespoons vinegar
        4 cloves garlic, minced
        1 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
        2 tablespoons lemon juice
        2 teaspoons sea salts
        1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Directions

1. In a bowl reserve 2 tablespoons each of the tomato, cucumber,  
    pepper and onion for garnish. Blend tomatoes, cucumbers, bell 
    pepper, and onion in a blender until slightly liquid but leaving 
    some texture to the vegetables.
2.  In a large serving bowl, pour the blended mixture and add the 
     remaining ingredients.
    
3.  Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 3 hours preferably 
     overnight.  Garnish with reserved vegetables.

    Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Red Potato Couscous Salad with radishes and mozzarella



Summertime is salad time. Big colorful salads with texture and taste competing for your attention liven up an everyday meal. What I love about salads is that they are easy, can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator ready for a quick delicious meal. Serve as a light dinner with fresh bread and seasonal berries or as a side to grilled fish or meat. Summertime means easy, delicious, care free meals to leave time to relax and enjoy family and friends!

8 oz baby red potatoes
1 cup Israel Couscous, cooked according to package instructions
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon capers
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 can chick peas
1/4 cup thin sliced radishes
1 cup chopped fresh mozzarella

Place potatoes in medium pot cover with water. Bring to boil lowering heat to simmer for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are soft. Drain and then cool. Slice potatoes and place in large bowl. Toss Couscous with potatoes. Combine vinegar, salt, pepper, basil, mustard and capers. Add to couscous and potatoes gently combining. Add tomatoes, chick peas, radishes and mozzarella. Serve at room temperature.




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Summertime Kale Salad with Apricots, Almonds and Parmesan

 Summertime Kale Salad with Apricots, Almonds and Parmesan




Kale is so good tossed in salads as well as so good for your. What I love about this Kale salad is that the dressing and apricots add just the right amount of sweetness to the kale. For larger groups you can just double or triple the recipe for a crowd. Even non green lovers will enjoy this salad!

Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 bunches kale, stems removed, leaves shredded or finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup chopped dried apricot
2 1/2 ounces Parmesan shaved

  

        In a bowl, whisk juice, shallot, honey, salt and pepper flakes. Add kale; toss well. Let sit 20 minutes. Mix in oil. Refrigerate for up to 1 day, or serve immediately.  Add almonds, apricots and Parmesan to kale.

Enjoy!
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A Very Berry Cobbler

                                                         
                                                                    A Very Berry Cobbler

Bake this easy Berry Cobbler for family and friends for a delicious causal summer dessert and watch it disappear quickly! Even if you are not a baker this recipe is for you. Perfect for a Memorial Day barbecue or picnic or just for fun!

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

2 cups fresh raspberries

2 cups fresh blueberries

2 cups fresh blackberries

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon rind

1 tablespoon Chambord

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup butter

2 to 3 tablespoons hot water

Ice Cream

Directions

    1 Heat oven to 400°F. Grease 2-quart casserole with shortening. In 4-quart Dutch oven, mix granulated sugar and cornstarch. Add berries and lemon juice; toss until evenly coated. Heat to boiling. Boil 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Spoon into casserole. Top with Chambord.
    2 In large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in enough hot water until mixture forms a soft dough. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto berry mixture.
    3 Bake cobbler 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve with Ice Cream, preferably Vanilla.

Enjoy!