Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

We enjoyed this recipe at our daughter-in-laws as an appetizer, so much so that I served it as a side with the previous blog – Baked Salmon. It is definitely a keeper! Once the asparagus is blanched, the recipe is K.I.S.S. So simple that even a child could prepare it up to the point of baking! Great for BBQ season, too. Unfortunately, I ran out of the prosciutto so I just put the extra on the pan and drizzled it with more extra virgin olive oil.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

  • 8-ounce asparagus fresh
  • 10 slices dry-cured ham prosciutto
  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • olive oil

1. Cut each prosciutto slice in half crosswise.

2. Spread cream cheese and garlic onto each half slice of prosciutto.

3. Wrap cream cheese topped prosciutto around each asparagus spear.

4. Place wrapped asparagus onto a parchment paper lined baking pan.

5. Bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes or until meat has browned

NOTES

If you want to use multiple slices of prosciutto, go ahead. Since they are cured, using more than one won’t affect the cooking time.

Sprinkle pepper on the cream cheese. This will give the roasted recipe a bolder flavor.

Brush the prosciutto with olive oil. This is optional, but it will make the prosciutto crispier.

Soften the cream cheese. It is so much easier to spread when you let it sit at room temperature for a bit first.

Crabmeat Salad

Many restaurants offer crabmeat dishes, but in reality, what they are calling crabmeat is actually Alaskan pollock, aka surimi.. “So what is surimi?”, you ask.

Surimi is a minced fish paste, made from a cheap fish in abundant supply, usually Alaskan pollock, frequently mixed with sugar and sorbitol, a sweetener.

I actually like using surimi due to the fact that it is much cheaper than the real crab meat! I recently bought a large package of surimi sticks at Costco. I sometimes eat a stick just because it tastes so great. Having bought so much of it, I decided to make this salad for lunch.

Crab Salad (Surimi)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound imitation crab meat flaked style, or sticks cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped, plus more for garnish

Instructions

Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Stir gently to combine.

Serve immediately, or cover and chill for up to 2 days.

Sprinkle with additional chopped dill for garnish if desired.

Watermelon, Cherry Tomato and Feta Cheese Salad

This time of year we see many snowbirds returning north and a flurry of activities involving them – thus this post is a little late! At one such dinner, we were served a salad very similar to this one at our friends’ home here. Searching Pinterest, I happened on this one which I think is very comparable to that one with friends. I would add the dressing an hour or so before serving and possibly hold back on some of the feta cheese until plating…NOTE that I always chill my salad plates in the freezer an hour or so before plating.

Watermelon, Tomato and Feta Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta
  • fresh mint + basil leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp honey

1. Cut up watermelon and tomatoes and add to a large bowl

2. Add fresh mint and basil leaves.

3. Top with crumbled feta cheese.

4. In a small bowl whisk lemon juice and honey. Pour over the salad and serve.

Wonderful Spring Salad!

When you feel like a salad and check the refrigerator for ingredients…

Ingredients

  • Chopped fried bacon (3 strips)
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Mushrooms of your choice
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Fried croutons
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Brianna’s Poppy Seed dressing
  • 2 Green onions sliced
  • 4 hard boiled eggs (optional) chopped

Fry up the bacon and remove from pan. Add some croutons into the bacon fat!

Assemble all of the ingredients and mix with Brianna’s Poppy Seed Dressing!

Baked Pork Tenderloin

Normally when I prepare pork tenderloin, I make a marinade, meaning it needs to sit in the marinade for several hours or overnight. NOT this one, which makes it very simple. The end result was juicy and very flavourful. We like to remove ours from the oven while it is still slightly pink in the middle, so you need to adjust the timing. This one reached 140 F between 15 and 20 minutes and I removed it from the oven and let it sit about 10 minutes. It was perfectly a little pink inside.

Baked Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 ½ pound pork tenderloins
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon, lime, or orange juice (or 1 tablespoon of each)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional but highly recommended)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a large baking/casserole dish. Pierce tenderloins all over with a fork. Rub oil onto all sides of the meat.

2. Whisk together Italian seasoning, garlic powder, cumin, salt, chili powder, smoked paprika (if using) and black pepper. Sprinkle mixture over tenderloin(s), patting it onto the surface of the meat on all sides. Place in prepared baking dish and drizzle lemon/lime juice over the top.

3. Bake for 25-35 minutes until outside is browned and crispy and centers are cooked through to desired doneness (you can take them out on the early side if you like the centers a little pink).

4. Spoon juices from the dish over the meat. Allow to rest on a cutting board or in the baking dish for 5-10 minutes. Slice into 1-inch pieces. Spoon any remaining juices from the pan over the slices, garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if desired, and serve.

Broccoli with Mushrooms

My apologies for not posting last week, as I was undergoing surgery and was convalescing at home as per doctor’s orders. It fell to my spouse to be the chief cook and bottle washer, among providing nursing care! I am back on my feet and back in the kitchen once again!

This weeks recipe is fairly simple, just broccoli and mushrooms as a side dish for some wonderful sausage with spinach and feta (COSTCO). A simple dish to prepare… If I were to make this again, I would add some chopped cooked bacon!

Brussel Sprouts and Mushrooms

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 500 grams cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed, washed, and halved
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard

4 large eggs, optional*

1. Add the olive oil, butter, mushrooms, onions, salt, and ground black pepper to a heavy-bottomed frying pan or skillet. Over medium heat, cook the mushrooms and onions until the mushrooms have browned -about 15 minutes.

2. Next, add the dried thyme, garlic, sprouts, and mustard. Stir to combine with the mushrooms. Allow the sprouts to sear and caramelize – about 15 minutes.

3. *While the sprouts are cooking, you can fry the eggs, sunnyside-up, if you are adding a fried egg to the top of your serving. Otherwise, skip this step.

COPYCAT Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Honey Butter

Ever since the first TRH opened in our nearby city, we have been enamored with the fresh rolls and butter. After our recent Christmas dinner where we had leftover dinner rolls, I decided to search out that wonderful cinnamon honey butter. Et voila, this one came very close. Elsewhere on Pinterest you can find the Copycat rolls recipe, but the butter is the star for me.

Copycat Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Honey Butter

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 30 seconds, or until pale in color. Add the powdered sugar, honey, and cinnamon and beat until well combined, light, and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately or store, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Serve butter at room temperature, on hot rolls.

Christmas Cookies II Plus

It’s not too late to do some Christmas baking! If you look back over the blog you can find Christmas cookie recipes in December 2012 and December 2016 – Cranberry Orange Almond Shortbread, Raspberry Lemon Cookies, Brandied Fruit and Nut cookies and a wonderful Limoncello Tiramisu (2016) (okay they aren’t cookies, eh?) And then there are Cranberry Pistachio Salted Caramel Bars (2012). No holiday meal is complete without at least ONE of these!

For those looking for something more savory and less sweet, you will like this recipe –

Cheddar Jalapeno Shortbread

 Prep Time 10 minutes      Cook Time 12 minutes    Total Time 22 minutes     Servings 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter                                                   
  • 1/2 cup sugar                                                
  • 2 1/2 cups flour 
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese                 
  • 1/2 cup jalapeno, seeded and minced  

Instructions

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.

Slowly beat in the flour until it is fully combined and is an even consistency.

Mix in the cheddar cheese and minced jalapeno pepper.

Divide the cookie dough in thirds. Roll each portion into an 8 inch log. Chill the logs in the fridge for 2 hours.

Preheat oven for 350F.

Cut each log into 1/2-inch cookie slices. You should get about 16 slices per log. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

GREAT with a slice of extra old cheese! Some caramelized onion chutney?

Garlic Butter Zoodles and Meatballs

If it seems like I am on a zoodles kick these days, it is because I really do love pasta BUT those carbs are my downfall. Okay, we have been doing the KETO diet again since October with great success! That means very limited carbohydrates. Hence, this KETO recipe. OK, you could make this with real pasta!

The recipe calls for making your own meatballs, but it is so much easier to buy them when you come across a brand you like in the grocery store!!! So skip making them and buy a package ready to bake or fry. Don’t be afraid, those are cherry tomatoes in with the zoodles, NOT egg yolks…LOL

Garlic Butter Zoodles and Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. ground chicken, turkey beef or JUST BUY THEM!!
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 lb. zoodles

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl mix together ground chicken, 2 garlic cloves, egg, Parmesan, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper then form into tablespoon sized meatballs.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and cook meatballs until golden on all sides and cooked through, 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe out skillet with a paper towel.
  • Melt butter in skillet then add remaining 3 garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add zoodles to skillet and toss in garlic butter then squeeze in lemon juice. Add meatballs back and heat just until warmed through.
  • Garnish with more Parmesan to serve.

Chicken Fajita Casserole

Who doesn’t like fajitas, whether beef or chicken or shrimp? This is a fairly simple recipe which does NOT use tortillas. Say goodbye to some carbs!

Chicken Fajita Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 packet Fajita seasoning OR make your own SEE Photo below!
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Sour cream and salsa (Garnish)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high, drizzle with Olive oil.

3. Add cooked chicken, peppers and onions. Sauté on high heat to get a nice sear on the meat and veg (about 1-2 minutes) for added flavor! Remove from pan.

4. Mix the cream cheese and seasoning packet into skillet until melted, add chicken and veg back to pan, mix well to coat evenly.

5. Add to casserole dish, top with cheese.

6. Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: YIELD: 8 SERVING SIZE: 1/8 of pan

Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 209 TOTAL FAT: 13g TRANS FAT: 0g CARBOHYDRATES: 6g NET CARBOHYDRATES: 4g FIBER: 2g PROTEIN: 17g