Applelicious Cupcakes

Applelicious Cupcakes

Channeling June Cleaver

Channeling June Cleaver

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Slow Cooker Spirited White Chicken Chili

I made this in a slow cooker which mellows the flavors to perfections. Perfect for a large crowd or to freeze in individual contains for quick meals when you have not time to cook!  For a little kick I added Tequila!

Slow Cooker Spirited White Chicken Chili

3 (14.5-ounce) cans white beans
1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced
2 medium poblano peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat chopped into cubes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup tequila
2 limes, juiced, plus lime wedges, for serving
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Sour cream, for topping
Tortilla chips, coarsely crushed, for topping (optional)
Drain and rinse the canned white beans. In food processor puree half of the beans until smooth. In a slow cooker bowl place whole and puree beans, peppers, onions, garlic, seasonings and chicken. Stir to mix together. Combine chicken broth, tequila and lime juice. Pour over chicken mixture in slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours. Serve the chili in individual bowls topped with a dollop of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, and lime wedges. But this Chili is so good even with out toppings.


Warm Lentil and Potato Salad with Fig Balsamic Vinegar

I'm love creating new recipes for my family and friends to enjoy. Fall is a wonderful time to use all of fall's bountiful harvest. I especially like using colorful small potatoes in this recipe as they not only add flavor but extra color to a fall meal.

1/2 cup fried French green lentils
1 (28-oz) package of colorful potatoes, halved
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons Fig Balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Bring lentils and 4 cups salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20-25 minutes. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water covered for 15 minutes or just until tender. Drain lentils and potatoes. Place in medium size serving bowl.

Heat olive oil in deep skill over medium heat add shallots, celery and garlic saute for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir mixture into potato and lentils. Add parsley and toss lightly. Serve warm.


Quick and Easy Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse, one of my favorite fish stews, can be time consuming and labor intensive if you start from scratch by making the fish stock. Sometimes you just want to have this delicious meal quickly without too much fuss but still with the savory flavors associated with Bouillabaisse.


2 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot chopped
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
2  leeks, white only, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bottle(8 oz) clam juice, I used Snow
1 can (14.5 oz) Petite diced tomatoes, no salt added, I like Hunt's
1/2 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/2 pound large shrimp, cleaned 
1/2 pound firm white fish, such as cod or halibut
1/4 pound calamari rings
1/4 pound scallops

Heat olive oil in a medium stock pot. Add shallots, fennel and leeks  cooking for five minutes until soft. Add garlic, pepper, sea salt and crushed red pepper cooking for a minute to release flavor. Next add clam juice, tomatoes, wine, bay leaf, and saffron  Simmer for 20 minutes to allow flavors to combine. Add mussels continue cooking for 5 minutes. Then add shrimp cooking for 2-3 minutes before adding white fish and calamari rings simmering an additional 5 minutes. Gently stir stew.  Finish by adding scallops to stew, stirring to coast then simmering for 5 minutes.  Serve individual bowls with toasted french bread.


Friday, January 22, 2016

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

I love cheesecakes, they not only taste delicious, are easy to make but  can also be made ahead.This ultra-rich cheesecake, made with a shortbread cookie crust, taste heavenly and looks absolutely stunning when topped with the crimson sauce. An easy elegant dessert to serve to when entertaining.

White-Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

    1 cup crushed shortbread cookies (about 4 oz.)
    3 tablespoons finely chopped slivered almonds, toasted
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    2 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1 6 - ounce white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, melted and cooled
    2/3 cup sugar
    2/3 cup dairy sour cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3 eggs
    Triple-Raspberry Sauce (recipe follows)


    For crust: In a small bowl, combine crushed cookies and almonds. Stir in melted butter. Press crushed cookie mixture onto the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Set aside.
    For filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and cooled white chocolate; beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until combined. Beat in sugar, sour cream, and vanilla until mixture is fluffy.
    Add the eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into the crust-lined pan. Place in a shallow baking pan.
    Bake in a 350 degree F oven 45 to 50 minutes or until center is nearly set when you shake the cheesecake gently. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen from side of pan. Cool for 30 minutes more; remove side of pan. Cool completely.* Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
    To serve, cut into wedges and drizzle some of the Raspberry Sauce over each serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Triple Raspberry Sauce

    10 - 12 ounce jar seedless raspberry preserves
    1 cup fresh red raspberries or frozen red raspberries
    1 - 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur


    In a small saucepan, melt raspberry preserves over low heat. Add fresh red raspberries or frozen red raspberries. Heat gently just until sauce simmers. Cool. If desired, stir in raspberry liqueur. Cover and chill until serving time. Makes 1-3/4 cups.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sausage White Bean Tortellini soup

A hearty soup is a wonderful meal on a wintry day. I make large batches of soups freezing in individual containers to always have different soups ready to eat all winter long. My Sausage White Bean Tortellini Soup is healthy and tasty my favorite combination! I’ve use chicken sausage and vegetable broth to cup down on fat and calories while keeping the soup hearty and flavorful. I also use low sodium vegetable broth adding a small amount of salt to the soup. If you use aromatic root vegetable such as garlic, shallots, and fennel while adding strong spices such as thyme you do not need salt to flavor the soup.

Chicken Sausage White Bean Soup

5-6 chicken sausage

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped shallots

1/2 cup fennel, chopped

4 cups vegetable  broth, either homemade or store bought.  I use low sodium.

1 15-ounce can white beans, such as cannellini rinsed and drained

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried french thyme

1  8- to 9-ounce package of your favorite refrigerated tortellini

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Bake  sausage in 375 F oven for 20-25 minutes. Sausage should be browned. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

Heat olive oil in large stock pot. Add garlic, shallots and fennel cooking on low for 10 minutes, don't brown.

Add chicken broth, white beans, pepper, salt and thyme. Simmer for 10 minutes. Slice sausage into 1 inch slices then add to soup. Add tortellini cover and simmering for an additional 10 minutes

Serve hot plain or sprinkle with freshly graded Parmesan cheese.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Slow Cooker Chicken Cassoulet

Slow Cooker Chicken Cassoulet

2 1/2 pounds chicken  3 small split breast and 4 thighs
1 lb turkey sausage about 5
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups leeks, about 2 thinly sliced
1 medium fennel bulb—halved, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced rosemary
2 teaspoons minced thyme
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1/4 cup pan drippings
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup panko
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

    Preheat the oven to 375°. Place chicken and sausage in baking pan, brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, until just starting to browned. Transfer chicken and sausage to slow cooker. Strain drippings reserving 1/4 cup to use later.
    Meanwhile, in a large, deep ovenproof skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sausage and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until nearly cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add leeks, fennel and carrot cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme, cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Combine chicken broth, vermouth, pan drippings  and beans.
    Place vegetables on top of chicken and sausage in slow cooker. Pour broth mixture over chicken, sausage and vegetables. Combine panko and cheese place evenly on top of chicken, sausage and vegetables. Cover the cooker, set on Low, and cook until cassoulet is thickened and the chicken is very tender, 4 to 5 hours.

Make Ahead

The chicken cassoulet can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.