Blog Archives

Steak Bites with Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce

Got the urge to BBQ already and realize that the BBQ is probably dirty from its last use, who knows when in this weather? Treat yourself to this recipe from The Spicy Apron (Pinterest).  While it calls for putting the steak on skewers, I modified it and used my frying pan.  With the blue cheese sauce, it was awesome! Throw a salad or bake a potato and you have a complete easy meal! Photo is from The Spicy Apron, since I forgot to take a photo when I made this.

Steak-Bites-Platter-Vertical

 

Steak Bites with Creamy Blue Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds Sirloin Cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt Can use Seasoned Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Pepper
  • 4 Ounces Cream Cheese Room Temperature
  • 4 Ounces Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Ounces Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • 2 green onions Sliced crosswise (green parts)

Instructions

  1. Put 6-8 pieces of the beef on each skewer. Liberally salt and pepper all sides of the meat. Heat grill on high. Place skewers on hot grill and sear on each side, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and cover with foil. OR…
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and place the steak bites in until slightly golden, choosing how well you want them done. Well…definitely NOT!
  3. Combine cream cheese, cream, and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over medium low heat until heated through. Stir well to combine. Remove from heat and add crumbled blue cheese. Drizzle over cooked beef skewers or in a small dish on the side for dipping. Top with sliced green onions.

Cauliflower Jalapeno Mac n Cheese

Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese, whether it be Canada’s KD (Kraft Dinner) or any number of restaurant style macaroni and cheese dishes? One of our fav restaurants in Merida, Yucatan – Merci, does a wonderful macaroni and cheese with jumbo shrimp! What’s not to love about that? Of course, when you do KETO, you avoid pasta, But, since we are now only KC (Keto conscious) we have a little leeway. Don’t tell your family it is KETO. They do not need to know. This is undoubtedly a new fav recipe, with a touch of jalapeno (optional).

20200327_184353

KETO Cauliflower Jalapeno Mac n Cheese with Bacon

Ingredients (Vegans, omit bacon)

  • 1 large head cauliflower cut into small bites
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese I use a cheddar blend
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 strips of uncured bacon cooked and crumbled (bacon grease reserved)*
  • 3 teaspoons bacon grease melted
  • 2 jalapeño peppers minced (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add the cauliflower florets to a microwave safe bowl with a plate (or paper plate) on top Microwave for 7-8 minutes or until slightly tender (or your desired texture). You can steam it instead, if you don’t have or want to use a microwave, but I wouldn’t boil it, it might be too watery.
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a saucepan over medium. Add in the butter and bacon grease, then sauté the jalapeño peppers until tender, should take just about 2-3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted. Add the remaining ingredients and still until well combined and all the cheese has melted.
  3. Add in 1-2 tablespoons of hot water if needed, to reach your desired consistency.
  4. Once the cauliflower is cooked through, you don’t need to drain it or pat it dry. The small amount of moisture will be perfect with this sauce, which as I mentioned, is on the thicker side. Pour cauliflower in the skillet and mix well to coat each piece, then serve.
  5. Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or crumbled bacon.
  6. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days. It reheats beautifully in the microwave or stovetop.

Notes

The amount of jalapeño pepper that you use is entirely up to you, and will depend personal preference. I would recommend using 2 jalapeño peppers for a mild to medium level of heat and flavor. If you’re like me and love a spicy kick and a stronger jalapeño flavor, you’ll want to use a bit more.

 

Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken with Bacon and Cheese

Just another slow cooker recipe…LOL. This one tastes incredible AND its Keto friendly as part of my new JOURNEY to eat healthier this year. As always I was touring around Pinterest and came across this one by Kasey Trenum. It was so great I forgot to photograph it. It was on Kasey’s Pinterest page.

 

creamy-chicken-3

Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken with Bacon & Cheese {low carb & keto}

Ingredients

  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ tsp poultry seasoning
  • ½ tsp rosemary
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 3 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup cheese
  • 3 pieces of bacon, crumbled
  • ¾ tsp Xanthan Gum (for thickening – available at higher end grocery stores)
  • salt/pepper to taste

 

Instructions

Add chicken and next 6 ingredients to slow cooker.

Crumble 3 pieces of cooked bacon on the top of the chicken.

Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 to 3½. (Watch your cooker – it was done sooner than I expected)

Add heavy whipping cream to slow cooker.

Dollop cream cheese on top and stir to combine all ingredients.

Using 2 forks, shred chicken in slow cooker.

Sprinkle ¾ tsp Xanthan Gum and allow to simmer with the top off for a few minutes while the mixture thickens.

Spray a casserole dish generously and dump contents of slow cooker into dish.

Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese (or more if you’d like) then crumble 3 pieces of bacon on top.

Place in oven on broil for 2-4 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly and bacon is extra crisp.

Enjoy!

Nutritional Information based on MyFitnessPal app (8 servings) – Calories 302, Fat 24.7, Protein 17.2, Carbs 3.3 -Fiber .8 = Net Carbs 2.5

Creamy Cauliflower Chowder

Baby its cold outside (in the North, actually here in Mexico too, trust me on this one…). Great time for a hearty chowder – vegan if you leave out the bacon!

It calls for a whole head of cauliflower, but here we can but 1 lb. packages of florets which simplifies the recipe. I think you’ll really like this one my friends…great start to the New Year!

IMG_20171230_191746

Creamy cauliflower chowder

Prep Time: 10 minutes         Cook Time: 30 minutes       Yield: 4-5 people

Creamy Cauliflower Chowder is a healthy, easy, comfort food recipe and ready in under 30 minutes. It’s gluten free, low carb and keto friendly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup diced Onion
  • 5 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 cup diced Carrots
  • 1 Whole Head of Cauliflower (cut into small florets)I bought a one lb. bag of florets
  • 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • Salt to taste

Olive Oil and cooked bacon (4 strips) for topping

 Instructions

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat butter and add onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until the onions are soft.

Add carrots, cauliflower, vegetable broth, pepper, oregano and salt to the pot. Bring this to a boil, and slow the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so till the cauliflower is tender.

Switch off the flame and using a blender, blend the soup partly in the soup pot. If you don’t have a hand blender, pour half the soup into a blender and pulse a few tips till creamy.

Switch the flame back on and add a cup of water or broth along with the cream cheese. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and switch off the flame. Feel free to thin the soup further if  you like with some more broth or milk. Top with olive oil and bacon and serve hot.

Keto Parmesan Garlic Pork Chops

Do NOT be afraid to try these Keto recipes. Yes, they are low in carbs, medium in fat and high in protein BUT they really do taste great! Keto likes things like cream cheese, oil, whipping cream, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. There are very little pasta or grain foods in Keto, which aids in trying to shed some pounds. Most spices are allowed.

Once you try this recipe you will LOVE it!

DSC_0060

Keto Parmesan Garlic Pork Chops

Ingredients

1.5 lb. center cut boneless pork chops

½ medium onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 oz. cream cheese

cup chicken broth

cup parmesan cheese

½ cup cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon pepper

salt to taste

 

Instructions

Brown pork chops, onion, and garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet on medium/high (approx. 3-5 minutes each side).

Remove pork chops from skillet.

Add the rest of the ingredients, and cook on medium until sauce thickens. Make sure to use a whisk and stir continuously.

Add pork chops back to sauce mixture and simmer on low for 5 minutes or until done.

Serve with cauliflower rice or broccoli (the latter is a little high in carbs)

Nutritional Information based on MyFitnessPal app (6 servings) – 529 calories,

36.5 g fat, 48.9g protein, 2.7g carbs – .2g fiber = 2.5g Net Carbs

Cheesy Ranch Chicken and Broccoli Bake (KETO)

Alas, we have succumbed to the Keto Diet which requires us to eat very few carbs, lots of protein, veggies and some fruits. Beginning today you will see Keto friendly recipes. This is not to say they aren’t tasty!! I am a novice here and still in the early stages of figuring out what is good and bad. Help me!! If I post a recipe which you know is not KETO please let me know. I need your help… You know if I post it, it must have at least tasted good…LOL. Here we go….

DSC_0064

 

Cheesy Ranch Chicken & Broccoli {Keto & Low Carb Friendly}
Ingredients
• 2 cups cooked chicken breast (3 small breasts)
• 2 tablespoon of butter
• ½ pack ranch seasoning mix (see below )
• 4 oz. cream cheese, softened.
• ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
• Broccoli (Costco pieces – steamed
• ⅔ cup chicken broth
• ¼ cup crumbled bacon
• ½ cup cheese
For the Topping
• 2 cups cheese
• ½ cup crumbled bacon
Instructions
1. Kasey* cooked her chicken first in a slow cooker on high for 3.5 hrs. (Boiled mine for 10 minutes)
2. Remove from slow cooker (or the pot) and shred.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. In an oven-safe skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter.
5. Add ranch seasoning, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, chicken broth, ¼ cup crumbled bacon and ½ cup cheese.
6. Use a whisk to combine ingredients and cook on low for 5 minutes.
7. Steam broccoli in the microwave while the ranch mixture is cooking.
8. Add chicken and cooked broccoli to ranch mixture and stir to combine.
9. Sprinkle 2 cups cheese and ½ cup crumbled bacon on top.
10. Cook in oven for 25 minutes then move to top rack.
11. Cook on broil 2-3 minutes until cheese is bubbly and bacon is browned. (I skipped this)
*Recipe by Kasey Trenum at https://kaseytrenum.com/cheesy-ranch-chicken-broccoli-keto-low-carb-friendly/

Dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix (I used the whole recipe)

  • 1 tbsp dry Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Dill
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion flakes or dry minced onion
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

No Bake Key Lime Pie in a Jar

Now that I have sufficient Mason Jars, I wanted to experiment with other uses besides breakfast foods. Our friends, Joanne and Chuck had us for a wonderful dinner and served this No Bake Key Lime Pie in a Jar. WOW! Below is her recipe. Warning – making it in the Mason jam jars shown is quite a large serving. I found those 1 cup jars locally and that would be just enough! Yeah, it is sweet…surprise!!!

8dbaf493322e2685577d0d7691f9fffe

NO BAKE KEY LIME PIE IN A JAR

This recipe is super easy to whip up and makes around 4 small jar servings.  Here is what you need:

  • 1 package of graham crackers (or Emperador lime filled cookies)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese (softened)
  • 2/3 can condensed milk (around 7oz)
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice to taste – this is up to you! Some people like more tart, some people don’t. Just pour until you get it right!
  • whipped topping – the amount will depend on your jars.
  • limes to garnish
  • 4 small glass jars (depending on the size)

She added zest of a lime as well in order to punch up the flavour.

The first thing you want to do is crush up your Emperador or graham crackers and mix them with 2 tbsp of butter.  There are tons of ways to do this but I like putting my graham crackers in a large Ziploc bag and crushing with my hands, then pouring into a bowl to mix with the butter.  Once you have done that set it aside.  

For the pie filling combine your cream cheese, condensed milk, Greek yogurt and key lime juice in a stand mixer and mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes.  If you don’t have a stand mixer, whip vigorously with a whisk until you have a smooth, creamy texture.  If you find your filling isn’t as green as you like add in a drop or two of green gel coloring.  Once mixed, pop it into the fridge for about 10 minutes while you get your jars ready.

Now pour about 1/3 cup of crushed graham crackers into the bottom of your jar and lightly pack them down.  You don’t want it to be too hard, so make sure it is just enough to stay in place.

After that take your filling mixture out of the fridge and pour about 2/3 cup into your jar and sprinkle on some more graham crackers.  Now top it with some whipped topping and a slice of lime and serve!

 

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream

Been back in Canada and still too early for rhubarb, but fortunately we have been able to find it here for the first time, as I stated in the previous blog. If you thought the pie sounded great you should definitely keep this in mind when rhubarb is in season up north. Of course you need an ice cream machine which our friends Kathie, Holly, Michelle and Dez had previously given to Larry several years ago for his birthday…lucky guy. It is indeed awesome and definitely a flavour for Ben and Jerry to consider!!! Ready, set, go!

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE ICE CREAM Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

For the Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Base you will need an ice cream machine, sorry…

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream or 1  box of Media Crema (Mexico)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2  of your crumbled pie crust (homemade) but you can also just bake a pre-made crust and crumble that. Either way, before baking, brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.)

First, roast the strawberries. To do so, combine strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar in an 8-inch glass dish (do not spray or oil the glass). Roast at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes, or until just soft. Cool slightly, then puree the berries in a blender. Measure 1/2 cup of the puree and set the rest aside to top the ice cream or for another use. Our preference is not to puree as we like chunky!

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons milk to form a slurry. Set aside. In another small bowl, mix the cream cheese and salt together. Set aside. Put the rest of the milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a large, heavy bottomed pot (like a stock pot). Bring to a boil and boil for exactly four minutes (I set my phone’s timer to make sure it was accurate). It will boil and foam like crazy.

 

After four minutes, take the pot off the heat and add the cornstarch slurry. Return to a boil for one minute, take off the heat again. Add the cream cheese to the boiled milk and whisk any clumps out.

 

Submerge the pan and its contents in an ice bath. If you’re making the ice cream the same day, just make sure the base is very cold before adding it to the machine. Add the base to your frozen ice cream barrel and spin for 15 minutes. The base should be frozen, a little more liquid than soft serve.

 

At this point, pour in the strawberry puree* and let it mix in completely, until the ice cream is a pretty pink color. Add half of the pie crust crumbles and swirl until incorporated. From here you can assemble the rest of the ice cream.

 

For the Rhubarb Compote Adapted from Epicurious 

  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Grated ginger (optional to taste)

Combine rhubarb and sugar in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring every so often, until the rhubarb is syrupy (the sugar will liquefy over the heat and the rhubarb will break down). Strain through a sieve and chill until you are ready to assemble the ice cream. (You don’t want it too thick)

 

To Assemble the Ice Cream

Line a bread pan with parchment (or wax) paper. OR use a silicone loaf pan and skip the parchment/wax paper. Drizzle some rhubarb compote on the bottom, then layer with 1/3 of the Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Base. Sprinkle with pie crust crumbles and drizzle with more compote. Continue layering, ending with a layer of compote and pie crumbles. Drag a knife through the compote to create a marbling effect.

 

Press some parchment or wax paper onto the ice cream’s surface and freeze for at least four hours. Before serving, let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes. Serve hearty scoops atop (totally optional) mini strawberry rhubarb pies and enjoy! Makes 1 quart.

 

 

Angela’s Artichoke Dip

Angela’s Artichoke Dip

Scouring through my previously published recipes I noticed that I had never posted this recipe! Angela was a great friend of our family and especially my oldest daughter. She was a lot of fun to be around and certainly enjoyed her wine. Unfortunately she passed away a few years back way too soon! Her memory lives on in this recipe.

Combine the following –

8 oz. cream cheese softened

1 cup of mayonnaise

1 package of Knorr vegetable soup mix

Blend in the following –

1 package fresh spinach chopped

1 – 19 oz. jar drained marinated artichoke hearts chopped

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Spread mixture into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with your favorite crackers.

Caramel Apple /Cream Cheese Dip

We had this one at a recent party and really enjoyed it…perhaps it should be called Dentist’s Delight, since if the nuts don’t get your teeth, the caramel sure will…LOL.

CARAMEL APPLE DIP
Printed from COOKS.COM
________________________________________
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese
1 (19.5 oz.) jar butterscotch caramel fudge topping
1 (7 oz.) can Fisher Nut topping or fresh chopped pecans
8 to 10 sliced apples
Mix softened cream cheese with about 1/2 the jar of topping. Spread on large plate. Spread more of the caramel topping over the cream cheese layer. Sprinkle with nut topping, as much as you like. Serve with sliced apples.

You can use a variety of hard fruits..i.e. pears, firm peaches, etc. It all depends on how soft the cream cheese is…

BTW…Have a glorious Easter!!!

Easter Bunnies2