Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bacon Apple Cheddar Quiche With No Roll Pie Crust

1 ½ C flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar (I omit this for savory crusts)
1/2 Canola oil ( any neutral flavored oil would work)
2 tbs. milk

Mix dry ingredient with a fork in a pie pan.

Make a well in the center and add the oil and milk.  Mix with a fork until it forms a ball.  Flatten and press into the pan and up the sides.  Flute or fork the edges.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or follow directions in the recipe you are making.  Makes a 9 inch pie crust.

Bacon Apple Cheddar Quiche

9 inch pie crust
1 apple, sliced thin (I used a large Honeycrisp and did not use the entire apple)
8 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
6 oz. of sharp cheddar, shredded
4 eggs
¾ C half and half (I used fat free)
Salt and pepper

Layer the apple slices, bacon and cheese into the pie sheet.  Whisk together the eggs and half and half.  Season with salt and pepper (remember the bacon and cheese will also add salt).  Pout the egg mixture over the apples, bacon and cheese and spread evenly.  Bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Penne With Butternut Squash, Parsley And Capers

I adapted this recipe after seeing a similar one on an episode of Lidia's Italy. I replaced the sweet potatoes with butternut squash and added some white wine. It came I out great and will definitely go into our winter dinner rotation.


2 tablespoons extra--virgin olive oil
4 ounces thick--sliced bacon or pancetta, diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4 fresh sage leaves
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, cut into -½--inch cubes
2 leeks, white and -light--green parts only, sliced, (about 2 cups)
¼ cup rinsed small capers (optional)
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pot
¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. In a large skillet, over -medium--high heat, heat the olive oil and add the bacon or pancetta, the garlic, and the sage. Cook until fat has rendered, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the squash and leeks, and cook, stirring continuously, until both begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the capers, if using. Season with the salt and crushed red pepper. Ladle in 1 cup of pasta water, and simmer rapidly until the squash and leeks are very tender but the squash retains its shape, about 7 to 8 minutes, adding more pasta water if necessary to keep it saucy.

Meanwhile, cook the pennee until al dente. When the penne are done, remove with a spider directly to the sauce. Add the parsley, and toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Increase the heat and boil a minute if the sauce is too thin, or add a little more pasta water if it is too thick. Remove the skillet from the heat, sprinkle with the grated cheese, toss, and serve.

Adapted from Lidia's Italy

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Erin's Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

This took a while to perfect, but I finally got it.  I'm working on a bourbon version right now!

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

2 C ketchup
1 C water
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1/4 C molasses
1/4 C honey
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tbs black pepper
1/2 tbs. onion powder
1/2 tbs. mustard
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1-2 tbs pureed chipotle in adobo (more or less depending on your taste and spice tolerance)
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and mix well (I whisk).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook, uncovered, for 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Yields about 3 1/2 cups

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dessert In A Glass

Every summer, right after school gets out, my family takes a weeklong trip the Gulf Coast of Florida.  We have 2 restaurants that we always go to at least once while we are there.  It was at one of these restaurant that I found one of my favorite cocktails...a key lime pie martini.  After drinking them for a couple of years, I decided to try my hand at duplicating it at home. We have a lime tree so I had plenty to practice with.  I made note of the ingredients from the restaurant's menu but I still had to figure out the proportions.  After a couple of tries, I mastered it and now I can have my favorite cocktail whenever I want.  Here is what I came up with:

Key Lime Pie Martini

2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
1 oz. Licor 43 (Spanish Vanilla liquer)
3/4 oz. Midori
1/2 oz. Lime juice
Splash of half and half or cream
Graham cracker crumbs

Rim a frozen martini glass with the graham cracker crumbs.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake for 30 seconds and then strain into the glass.  Voila...key lime pie in a glass!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Slow Cooker Ham and White Beans

1 lb package dried northern beans
Ham bone, hocks, shanks or diced ham (about 1 pound)
2 tsp. onion powder
6 cups water
Salt & pepper to taste

Rinse and sort the beans for any pebbles. Add the the rinsed beans, onion powder, salt, pepper, and ham to the crock pot. Add water.

Cover and cook on low about 8 hours, until beans are tender.

Remove ham bone, shanks or hocks and pull off the meat.

Add meat to the crock pot and mix.

Serve with cornbread.

Monday, October 29, 2012

An Apple Drink A Day….

OK, I’m sure having an apple drink a day doesn’t have the same benefits of having an apple a day but they are yummy and with fall here, it’s the perfect time to drink them.

As I’ve said before, I grew up in New England.  Fall was my favorite time of year and I especially loved taking trips to the orchards to pick up a bag of apples and a gallon of fresh cider not to mention apple cider donuts.  Yummmmmm.

Here in Florida we don’t have apple orchards though I do have to admit to being impressed by the variety of apples the do sell here.  I recently started wondering what other kind of apple drinks are out there besides the ever popular apple martini.  I found that there are indeed quite a few and I was impressed by the variety of ingredients used to make them.

One of the first I came across in mulled cider which is popular in New England.  I make hot spiced cider quite often but it rarely occurs to me to add booze to it.  I’ll be remedying that very soon since I only need to add a couple extra ingredients.

Mulled Cider


4 cloves (whole)
1 1/2 oz. gold rum
1 cup apple cider
1 tsp. honey or sugar syrup to taste
Dash  Angostura bitters
Cinnamon stick
Pinch ground allspice
Lemon twist

Heat all ingredients in a saucepan and strain into a warmed mug.

This would be great for a fall themed party.  The ingredients can be easily multiplied and kept hot in a Crockpot then everyone can help themselves.

This next drink is a different twist on an apple martini.

Apple Cart

3/4 oz.  Cointreau or curaƧao
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 oz.  applejack or calvados

Mix all ingredients with cracked ice in a shaker or blender and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This last drink sounded like it might be similar to what Zane Lamprey and Steve McKenna had at the bar they visited on their show "Three Sheets:  Kentucky."  This would be a great drink to have while sitting around a fire…not that I do much of that here.  This recipe makes A LOT so most people will want to scale down the ingredients….or maybe not!

Apple Pie In A Jar

1 gallon apple cider
1 gallon apple juice
6 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 cups white sugar, or to taste
1 (1 liter) bottle 190 proof grain alcohol (such as Everclear™)

Place the apple cider, apple juice, cinnamon sticks, and sugar into a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, and discard the cinnamon sticks. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then stir in the grain alcohol. Pour into quart-size canning jars, seal with the lids and rings, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

You can store this in the refrigerator for at least 6 months.

Even though the weather here doesn’t get that nice fall feel, I’m hoping that these drinks will help transport me back to my favorite season in New England.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Slow Cooker Red Beans And Rice

I'm sure it's no surprise that I'm a Food Network and Cooking Channel junkie.  One of my favorite shows is "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."  It doesn't matter how many times I have seen an episode, I'll almost always watch it again.  Some of my favorite dishes to see are Louisiana style dishes...Cajun, gumbo...all that stuff.  My husband had asked a couple of times for rice and beans.  He meant Spanish style but I wanted to try a Louisiana style so I set out searching for a recipe, preferably one for the Crockpot and I was thrilled to find on that wasn't too complicated.  I, of course, tweaked it a bit but it was a hit with the family and since it's budget friendly too, it is definitely going into the meal rotation.

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

1 lb. package red kidney beans
6 cups water
2 links smoked sausage, sliced and cut in half (I used turkey)
1 cup, each, chopped onion and red bell pepper
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
2 tsp.  minced garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbs. or more Cajun seasoning (I used a bit more)
Salt to taste
2 bay leaves
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

Hot sauce (how much is up to you!)
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
3 cups hot cooked rice

The first thing you have to do is prep the beans.  Kidney beans contain a toxin that boiling will kill but slow cooking will not.  So, before you start, boil your beans for 10 minutes in enough water to cover them by an inch or 2.  Then drain them and they're ready to use.  No need to soak them.

Combine the first 12 ingredients in electric slow cooker. Cook for 5 hours on high (this is what I did) or for 8 hours on low. Discard bay leaves and mash some of the beans.  Add the green onions and hot sauce, and cook for 15 more minutes. Add a little water, if necessary. Serve over the hot cooked rice.  I made some French bread to serve along with it.  The meat can totally be left out if you would prefer to keep it vegetarian.

Serves 6. 

Adapted from Cajun Delights