March 3, 2011

Waldorf Salad with Grilled Chicken

The Waldorf Salad was originally created between 1893 and 1896 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City, which is presently known as the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. I've always loved the combination of the salty crunchy nuts and the sweet tartness of the apple. This recipe takes the salad one step further with the addition of the grilled chicken. I simply season my chicken with Mrs. Dash's lemon pepper and put it on my Forman Grill. Then I assemble my salad and place the warm chicken on top and I have a great no frills lunch with oodles of flavor in just minutes.

1 medium apple, chopped into medium size chunks
1 stalk of celery, chopped
Walnut pieces
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 T lemon juice
1 T honey
A dash of nutmeg
1/2 of a chicken breast
Mixed salad greens

Mix together the mayonnaise, honey, and lemon juice and set in the refrigerator. While the dressing is chilling, grill your chicken and toss together the apple, celery, walnuts, and raisins. When chicken is done, add the dressing to the apple (or Waldorf) mixture along with the nutmeg and toss.

Divide salad greens on to two plates and then top each plate with half of the Waldorf mixture. Top with warm sliced chicken breast and serve.

Makes two salads 

March 2, 2011

Shrimp and Asparagus in a Champagne Risotto

This recipe I have had for quite a number of years. It is a nice Spring dish that is actually rather easy to execute, just don't forget to choose the small pencil thin asparagus for this recipe. Pair the risotto with a Chardonnay and Gorgonzola salad to round out your meal.


3 T butter
1 large onion, chopped
5 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
2 c. Arborio rice
1 lb fresh or frozen cleaned shrimp
1/2 lb asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
**1/2 c. white or sparkling wine
3 grinds of fresh pepper


In a large skillet, saute the onion in the butter until the onion is translucent. Add rice to skillet and coat with butter and onions. In the meantime heat the broth in a separate pot. Add a ladle of broth to rice and stir until it is absorbed, repeating the process until all the broth is gone. Add the asparagus with the last ladle of broth. Continue to cook and when rice is about done, add the wine, pepper and shrimp. Cook until shrimp is opaque and the wine has been absorbed by the rice.
Rice should be slightly al dente and coated with enough broth so that the grains cling together on a spoon.

**You can purchase pony bottles of champagne, they come in packs of 4. This way you don't have to uncork a regular size bottle for the small amount called for in the recipe.

Makes 6 servings.

Delicious German Pancake

Several years back, before the kids came along, my husband and I decided to take a trip up to Toronto Canada by way of the upstate New York wine country. We stayed at B & B's along the way, and one of the places we spent a night was at  Lady of the Lake in Skaneateles, one of the finger lakes in New York. A delightful retired German couple owned the B & B and for breakfast we were served this pancake, I have to say it was divine.

The owner gave me a copy of the recipe and I just couldn't believe how simple it was to make. This pancake is very moist due to the eggs and fruit. Each pancake is made one at a time, but they are worth it! I used berries but you could also fill the center with apples, brown sugar and cinnamon or even fresh peaches with a little white or brown sugar.


2 eggs
1/3 c. milk
1/3 c. flour
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Melt 1 tsp of butter in an oven proof 8" or 9" pan and coat the bottom and side with the butter. (I used a cast iron skillet.) Whisk all ingredients together and then pour into the pan. Add the fruit of choice to the center and bake in the oven set at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove from pan and at let sit for one to two minutes. (Don't be alarmed if the pancake looks huge, it will deflate.) Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve.


Spicy Black Bean Soup

This black bean soup is chalked full of potassium, fiber and protein and is also very easy to prepare. The soup can be made on the stove top and then simmered in a crock pot to help the flavors blend. Typically I will serve this with Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of green onions. Very hardy and very delicious!

(And it goes great with my cheddar-rosemary scones!)


3 T. canola or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of shredded carrot
1 green pepper, chopped

6 c. black beans
(!f using canned beans make sure they are rinsed and drained and
if using dry beans, prepare them according to the pkg. instructions)
 4 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
2 T cider vinegar
2 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp Tobasco sauce
1 tsp. liquid smoke (can be found in the condiment isle
         of your local supermarket)


Heat oil in large pot and saute the onion, celery, green pepper and garlic until vegetables soften and the onion is translucent. Add prepared beans along with the broth, vinegar, and the spices, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the beans become soft.

Add the bean mixture to a food processor or blender. Before blending, reserve a small amount of the bean mixture and set aside. Blend the mixture until if is smooth then pour back into the pot and add reserved mixture, the tobasco sauce and liquid smoke, heat through and serve.

Serves 6

March 1, 2011

 I love Julia's philosophy...if no one is there to see it, well then it just didn't happen!

February 28, 2011

Savory Rosemary and Cheddar Scones

I like sweets but sometimes I want something a little more savory. These cheddar and rosemary scones can be paired with either a hearty soup or a delicate homemade peach jam.
I like a lot of flavor so I bumped up the amount of both the cheddar and the rosemary!


2 cups of all purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1 T chopped fresh rosemary
6 T of butter shredded or chopped into small pieces
1 large egg
3/4 c half-n-half
1 c. shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese
sprinkling of sea salt and sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and rosemary. Add the butter and cut with a pastry blender until the dough resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk together the egg and half-n-half and stir (reserving two tablespoons) in with the cheddar cheese and form a moist dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and press into a disk shape about 12 - 3/4 inch thick. With a small glass or a cookie cutter, cut the desired shape and place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Brush tops with the reserved egg mixture and sprinkle with sea salt and sugar.

Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Recipe usually nets 20-24 scone depending on the their thickness.

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