Advertisements

Blog Archives

Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal

Do you ever get tired of the same old breakfast? How many days a week can you eat granola, yogurt, bacon and eggs, bagels and cream cheese, toast and peanut butter? I desperately needed a change. PINTEREST…help!!! Overnight refrigerator oatmeal I had never heard of until this week. With Mason jars at hand (found here in Merida) I set out to try something different. Below are three variations… use your imagination to come up with others…

DSC_0012

Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal

THE BASIC PROCEDURE

Step 1. Assemble these ingredients & supplies:

  • old fashioned rolled oats (not instant, quick, or steel-cut)
  • Greek yogurt (regular yogurt is thinner; if you use it, you’ll need to reduce the amount of milk
  • milk (I used coconut, but any kind will work)
  • chia seeds;
  • half pint (1 cup) mason jars,

Step 2. Add oats, milk, yogurt, and chia seeds to jar, along with desired sweeteners or flavors (see options below).

Step 3. Put a lid on the jar and shake to combine. I use white plastic jar lids sized to fit canning jars–they last longer than the metal tops and rims that come with the jars, and they are easier to screw on.

Step 4. Add fruit and stir gently until combined.

Step 5. Place in fridge overnight and up to 2 days; maybe longer depending on the type and ripeness of the fruit. The non-banana varieties have been good after 4 days for me.

VARIATIONS

Blueberry Maple Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup blueberries (or enough to fill jar)

Directions

In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and maple syrup. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add blueberries and stir until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Eat chilled.

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal

 Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (may substitute PB2 powdered peanut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon honey, optional (or substitute any preferred sweetener)
  • 1/4 cup diced ripe banana, or enough to fill jar (approx. half of a small banana)

Directions

In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, peanut butter (or PB2), and honey. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add bananas and stir until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Eat chilled.

Raspberry Vanilla Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry jam, preserves, or spread
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup raspberries (cut each berry in half), or enough to fill jar

Directions

In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, vanilla, and raspberry jam. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add raspberries and stir until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or as long as 2-3 days. Eat chilled. 

FYI – I found a set of three  1 cup Mason Jars here for 149 pesos…

DSC_0015

 

Advertisements

Croque Monsieur

We first had this in Paris, France at Fouquet on the Champs d’Elysee and subsequently in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico at the wonderful Merci Restaurant. Merci is better with their homemade bread! Trust me! Below is the version I use at home.

Croque Monsieur

 Croque-Monsieur

A Croque-Monsieur is the French answer to the grilled cheese sandwich. Gruyere cheese, ham, and bread are topped with a creamy Béchamel sauce.

Preparation Time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes
4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices whole wheat bread

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Dijon mustard for spreading

  • 4 slices ham

  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (you can also use Emmenthal or other Swiss-style cheese)

  • OPTIONAL – 4 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Toast the bread until lightly browned on one side.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until thick and bubbly. Gradually whisk in the milk, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Whisk in the paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm while your assemble the sandwiches.

  3. Lay four slices of bread, toasted side down on a broiler pan. Brush each one with Dijon mustard, to taste. Lay one slice of ham on each piece . Divide 1/2 cup cheese among the four sandwiches. Top with the second slice of bread, toastier side up. Divide the sauce among the four sandwiches, spreading it over the top. Add one fried egg per sandwich. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sandwiches.

  4. Broil until the cheese is melted and the tops are bubbly and brown, five minutes or more in my toaster oven. Watch it carefully; yours may be different. Serve immediately.

I like to serve it with a small salad or grilled asparagus.

Link to recipe: http://goodcheapeats.com/2015/02/how-to-make-a-croque-monsieur/


Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I LOVE chicken pot pie! I dont make crusts…LOL. Nor can I buy the store-bought crusts here. With some leftover Costco roasted chicken, I yearned for pie. FYI…Bisquick isn’t available here either. Turning to my trusty Pinterest, I found this recipe. It was awesome!!!! I left out the mushrooms and added chopped red pepper… The diced veggies looked great so I added a photo of them too!

img_20170531_211240-1.jpg

IMG_20170531_211401

CHICKEN POT PIE SOUP

COOK TIME: 15 MINS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 4 ounces button or baby Bella mushrooms, diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced (I used a can of diced potatoes)
  • 1 cup frozen corn (I used a small can )
  • 1 cup frozen peas (I used a small can)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • oyster crackers (instead of the crust)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat butter in large stockpot over medium-high heat until melted (or heat the olive oil until it is shimmering).  Add onion, carrots, peppers and celery.  Saute for 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add in the garlic and mushrooms, and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant.
  2. Stir in the flour until it is completely combined, and saute for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Gradually add in the chicken stock and milk, stirring frequently.  Stir in the chicken, potatoes, corn, peas, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until combined.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer (be careful not to bring it to a boil!), stirring occasionally so that the bottom of the soup does not stick to the pan.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering the soup for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft and cooked through.
  4. Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. Serve immediately, with crackers on top or on the side, if desired.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Who does not like shepherd’s pie? There are several variations out there. Sometimes it is called Cottage Pie. This one was a snap! The only tricky part was the roux, melting the butter and adding the flour. Make your life easier and use instant potatoes!

IMG_20170526_180700

Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
  • 4 cups Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 12 oz. Frozen Peas and Carrots, thawed (Use a can of mixed peas and carrots)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add ground beef, onion and garlic.
  • Cook until browned and drain.
  • In another skillet or pan, melt putter and add flour.
  • Cook roux for 2 minutes.
  • Whisk in Worcestershire and milk.
  • Cook for 1 minute to thicken.
  • Combine beef mixture, gravy and thawed vegetables.
  • Place in baking dish.
  • Top with mashed potatoes and place in oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through. In the last few minutes sprinkle the cheese on the potatoes.

 

Lobster Thermidor

Just before I get to the recipe, I want to say thank you to the 6000 visitors as of today, who have checked out this blog. You give me inspiration to keep going just when I think I should move on to something else!!

The following recipe was posted by Rachel Ray who has her own cooking show.  I almost hate to say that I was clearing out the freezer and found small lobster tails asking to be used for dinner…LOL. I know, its a little rich, but consider it for a special dinner, make that ROMANTIC dinner…hope you will have an opportunity to try it.

IMG_20170410_083445

Lobster Thermidor (Rachel Ray)

Ingredients

4 (6 to 8-ounce) packaged lobster tails,  jumbo shrimp or prawns can be substituted

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Splash dry white wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup milk, eyeball it
  • 1/3 cup grated white cheddar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika or crab boil seasoning, recommended: Old Bay
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • Handful parsley leaves mixed with 2 cups baby greens, for plate garnish

Directions

Bring a pot of water to a boil, 3 or 4 inches deep. Add lobster tails to the water and boil 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and shock under cold water to cool. Use kitchen scissors to cut away soft underside of tails. Remove meat and save the shells*, arranging them in a shallow casserole dish. Chop the cooked meat on an angle into chunks.

Preheat your broiler to high.

Heat a medium skillet and a small saucepot over medium heat. To the small saucepot, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add finely chopped onion and cook 3 to 5 minutes until very soft. To the skillet, add remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When the butter melts, add chopped lobster meat and sauté.

Add flour to sauce pot with onions and cook together another 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in wine or sherry, then milk. Remove sauce from heat and stir in cheddar cheese and paprika or crab boil. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over lobster meat and stir to combine. Pour lobster into and over the shells* in a casserole dish and top with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Broil on high until golden, 2 or 3 minutes. Serve each tail, spilling over with lobster bits in sauce, on a bed of mixed baby greens and parsley with wedges of lemon along side.

  • I did not use the shells…so much for my presentation…

Caramelized Leek, Parmesan and Ham Quiche

Still time to prepare this wonderful quiche for Easter morning, friends!Its not all that difficult, if you start with a refrigerated crust. Make sure to really clean the leeks well, as they often have dirt hidden inside!! Serve with some ice fresh strawberries…

Could also be good to use up that leftover ham after Easter!

IMG_20170409_114746

Caramelized Leek, Parmesan and Ham Quiche

 Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 oz. Ham
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Egg wash
  • 2 Eggs,
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 10 slices Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup Cream
  • 1/3 cup milk

Directions

Prepare the caramelized leek. Clean the leek and peel off the top layer of skin. Cut in half length-ways then finely slice width ways. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat and gently cook the leek for a few minutes until soft. Add the brown sugar and red wine vinegar. Stir for another couple of minutes until the sugar has dissolved and set aside to cool.

Prick the bases of the pie shell with a fork about a dozen times evenly around the base. Place on a tray and into the oven for the time recommended on the package. 

Remove the pie shell from the oven. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove, brush the shell with egg wash and cook for a further 3 minutes.

 Remove the quiche from the oven. Evenly distribute the shaved ham and caramelized leek evenly over the crust.  Sprinkle over the grated cheese. In a mixing bowl whisk together the 2 eggs, cup of milk and cup of cream. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a jug and carefully pour into the pie shell. Cook for 20 minutes.

  • Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing to serve.

 

 

Roasted Garlic and Asparagus Soup

My mom always instructed me to snap off the bottoms of the asparagus stalks when I was a kid as they were never tender and I still follow that rule. She always threw them away in the garbage! I have started to save the end pieces by putting them in a freezer bag for latter use…i.e. soup! This latest find for soup combines two strong flavours  – asparagus and garlic. This recipe can be served cold by putting it in the fridge the next day OR serving hot. The former is more of a asparagus gazpacho. The latter is great with some shaved Parmesan cheese added after serving.

I would be interested in your opinion…

DSC_0042

Roasted Garlic and Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
  • 10 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • cracked pepper and chopped parsley, for garnish

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  3. Toss asparagus and garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Arrange asparagus and garlic on prepared baking sheet in one layer.
  5. Roast for 12 minutes, or until asparagus is soft, stirring once.
  6. Remove from oven and transfer asparagus and garlic to a blender. (I never blend it all as I like it a bit chunky).
  7. Add broth and milk.
  8. Blend until smooth. Depending on how large your blender is, you might have to do this part in batches.
  9. Transfer soup to a soup pot.
  10. Warm soup over medium-high heat, thinning with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if desired.
  11. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
  12. Ladle into bowls.
  13. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Broccoli Chicken Divan

Once upon a time I had a similar recipe, bit it must have flown the coup with the chicken…LOL. Pinterest to the rescue again! I think you will enjoy it in its simplicity. I served this with some fresh asparagus which I cooked in the same water as the broccoli, I just kept it simmering after I removed the broccoli.

2204020

Broccoli Chicken Divan

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat ( I used leftover supermarket roasted chicken!!!)
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of broccoli soup ( substituted Cream of Mushroom)
  • 1/3 cup milk ( I used evaporated milk for more creaminess)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Place the broccoli in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
  3. Place the cooked broccoli in a 9 inch greased pie plate. Top with the chicken. In a bowl, mix the soup and milk, and pour over the chicken. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Mix the melted butter with the bread crumbs, and sprinkle over the cheese.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly brown.

 

 

Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup

Costco strikes again! I bought the double package of tortellini when I really only needed one for a previous recipe. What to do? Find a recipe on Pinterest to use the one that was left. Eureka! Pinterest! Not only did it look yummy, it was…

 

Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup

Author: Karina – Cafe Delites    Serves: 10

dsc_0028

Ingredients

  • 500 grams | 1 pound ground Italian sausage (or ground chicken, turkey or beef), browned*
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder (or chicken)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups beef broth (or chicken or vegetable broth — I use low sodium)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch mixed and dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • 3x 340 gram | 12-ounce cans full fat evaporated milk or half and half
  • 1x 340 gram | 12 ounce packet three cheese tortellini (I used one of Costco’s, remember)
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach (whatever amount works for you)
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Place the browned sausage, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, beef bouillon powder, salt, and broth in a 6-quart / liter slow cooker bowl. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.
  2. Uncover and skim any fat that is sitting on the top of the soup with a spoon; discard. Stir in the cornstarch mixture with the evaporated milk (or half and half or cream). Add the tortellini and mix well. Cover again and cook on HIGH heat setting for a further 45 minutes until the soup has thickened, and the tortellini is soft and cooked through.
  3. Add in the spinach, pressing the leaves down to completely submerse into the liquid. Cover again for a further 5-10 minutes until the leaves have wilted.
  4. Pour in milk in ⅓ cup increments, as needed, to reach your desired thickness and consistency (I needed 1 cup); taste test and season with extra salt ONLY if needed, and pepper to suit your tastes.
  5. Serve with crusty warmed bread

Not So Secret Family Meatloaf

So I was in the need for some comfort food! Ground meat was in the freezer and I wanted something simple, something my granddaughters could make for their families. Pinterest to the rescue as always. Erica’s recipe was perfect except for one slight change I made since spouse doesn’t like sauces too sweet.  Let me know how you like this one…

Not-So-Secret Family Meatloaf      Author: Erica DeSpain

Prep time:  15 mins  Cook time:  1 hour 10 mins

Total time:  1 hour 25 mins Serves: approx. 6 servings

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEATLOAF:
  • 1.25 lb. ground beef or ground turkey (we usually do ground turkey and never taste the difference!)
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar (cut back the sugar unless you like it very sweet)
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ⅓ cup ketchup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine meatloaf ingredients well and then shape in meatloaf pan.
  3. Combine sauce ingredients and pour over meatloaf.
  4. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes if using ground BEEF and 65 minutes if using ground TURKEY.
  5. Enjoy immensely!