Applelicious Cupcakes

Applelicious Cupcakes

Channeling June Cleaver

Channeling June Cleaver

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!

gooddinnermrsmellen.com
buzzchomp.com


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!

gooddinnermrsmellen.com    
buzzchomp.com




 

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!

gooddinnermrsmellen.com
buzzchomp.com

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.