Jun 13, 2011

Summer Entertaing Tips

Enjoy the summer with these tips and links:


  • Lighten up your summer menus. When planning menus keep food safety in mind.
  • Shop your local farmer’s market for fresh produce.
  • Have plenty of beverages and include bottled water to keep your guests hydrated.
  • In the mood for some new dishes to serve your guests with? Try QVC's melamine dishes.
  • Supply shade for your guests, whether a tent or an umbrella, give them a chance to get out of the sun.
  • Consider having an old fashion ice cream social.
  • Visit about.com for Ball jar entertaining ideas.

  • Tipsy Melon

    23rmelon



    Looking for a refreshing dessert item. This is strictly adult. It is not your usual dessert
    What You Need
    Directions
    • watermelon
    • rum
    • knife
    • funnel
    To begin, cut a small hole in the watermelon with your knife .Cut deep enough (down to the pink flesh) into the melon and is big enough to hold a funnel.
    Next, insert the funnel and begin slowly pouring in the rum, the rum needs time to absorb. Pour until the rum will no longer absorb into the fruit.
    Let it rest in the refrigerate over night
    Other choices are vodka and tequila

    Jun 1, 2011

    Panzanella


    Want a perfect salad to go with your grilled meat? This is an Italian bread salad, it is quick to make and requires no cooking. If there's an ingredient you don't like, feel free to substitute it with something else or leave it out.

    What You Need
    Directions
    • 1 large loaf Italian bread cubed into bite size pieces 
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
    • 6 to 8 leaves basil, chiffonad
    • 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cubed
    • 1 small sweet red onion  sliced and  separated into rings
    • Half a cucumber, sliced into bite size pieces
    • canned tuna fish, drained and crumbled (see list below for additional options)
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • Salt and pepper to taste

      Optional  items  olives, mozarella,  capers, and anchovies
    In a serving bowl stir together the bread, tomatoes,  cucumber,  garlic,onions,  oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper to taste until the salad is combined well.

    Mix in the remaining ingredients and season to taste. Let the salad stand for  about twenty minutes to give the bread time to absorb some flavor, and serve.

    May 30, 2011

    Where Quick and Easy Is Heading

    Summer is upon us and I think we can never have enough cool menus to serve unexpected company or even our family. We will sneak in some grill items to accent our cold items.

    When shopping for ingredients don’t forget to grab a bunch of sunflowers to add to your summer fun. Hope everyone had a great Memorial weekend and stayed safe.

    What You Need
    Directions

     

  • 1-1/2 lb. cooked thinly sliced deli roast beef, cut into strips or leftover roast beef
  • 5 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced on the bias celery 
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • German salad dressing

  •  


    23bfsalad
    Sli
    ce celery and onions. Make German salad dressing (can be made ahead of time.)  Add celery, onions and beef to greens. Pour dressing around the bowl and work ingredients into dressing to coat.

    Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon prepared dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Put ingredients in a jar and shake to combine, pour over greens and beef just before serving..
  •  


    Tip: If you pour your dressing around the bowl, and move the greens into the dressing, you will not over dress your salad.

    May 27, 2011

    Memorial Day



    Everyone please have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Stop and remember those that have fallen and those that are still fighting for our freedom.

    memoiral

    I will resume posting again on Tuesday.

    May 26, 2011

    Tomato Mozzarella Salad

    Pefect to accompany a platter of cold cuts or a grilled steak.
    What You Need
    Directions
    • 3 pounds tomatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks  heirloom if you can find them.
    • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
    • Chiffonade 231chiff1 cup approximately  loosely packed fresh basil leaves, 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon reduced balsamic vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    1. In large bowl, toss the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, oil, salt,  pepper until evenly mixed. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the tomatoes and cheese and serve.

      213tomato
    The balsamic reduction can be made way ahead and has addition uses. To make the balsamic reduction:
    Place the vinegar in a heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot.  Heat on low, at a light simmer.  Turn the heat to low and reduce until syrupy 1/3 to ½ cup.
    The vinegar will thicken as it cools.
    This will keep in a cool place for months.

    May 25, 2011

    Grilled Corn

    Love corn, try this the next time you are grilling!
    What You Need
    Directions
    8 ears fresh sweet corn, remove the silk but keep the husks attached.

    Cold water, as needed

    1/2 cup sour cream

    3 tablespoons butter, melted

    Juice of 1 lime

    2 tablespoons whole milk

    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

    (optional sprinkle with chili powder)

    21grilledcorn
    Pull the husks up to cover the ears of corn, and place the corn in a large bowl or pot. Cover the corn with cold water, and place a large plate or other weight on top of the corn so that it remains submerged.

    Allow the corn to soak for at least 1 hour or as long as 4 hours.

    Gombine the sour cream, melted butter, lime juice, milk, salt, and pepper,  in a small bowl, and set it aside.

    Preheat a grill to medium-high. Put the rack  about 4-inches away from the coals.

    Remove the corn from the water but do not remove the husks. Lay the corn on the grill and cook, turning it frequently, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the corn from the grill and allow it to cool slightly.

    Pull the husks back to form a handle, and brush the ears evenly with the sour cream mixture. Roll the ear of corn in the cheese, coating it on all sides. Serve immediately.

    May 24, 2011

    Glassware on the patio

    Entertaining on the patio? Use Ball or Mason jars instead of everyday glasses or plastic cups. ballljarThe jars will show off your beverage, keeps it colder longer and  won’t blow away. Plus you are contributing to keeping the planet green.

    Shrimp Pasta Salad

    12shrimp9astaThis makes a great cold salad, something a little different to add to the menu.

    What Ingredients You Need
    Directions

    2 cups small shell pasta, cooked
    1 1/2 pounds cooked shelled shrimp, halved
    1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
    1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
    1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
    1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
    1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
    1/4 cup chopped black olives
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
    1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

    Cook pasta in boiling salted water as directed on package. Rinse under cold water. Drain. In a large bowl, toss pasta in with shrimp, celery, green and red bell peppers, cucumber, olives and red onion. Mix mayo and vinegar. Pour over pasta mixture and mix well. Cover. Refrigerate 2 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with chopped parsley and reserved shrimp.

     

    May 23, 2011

    Steak Grilling Tips - Q&E Way

    Since Memorial day is almost here, I thought we go over some grilling tips. Serious Eats has some great ideas. Check it out. They also have a series on steaks from the Texas Beef Council

    May 15, 2011

    I'm Back and Very Happy

    I now have a reliable internet connection and will be posting shortly. Since Memorial Day is two weeks away, I will be targeting some quick and easy sides to go with the main star of the day, bbq.

    May 8, 2011

    Internet Connections

    I am still with a poor internet connection. Hopefully next week we will be back in business, I miss posting and reading your emails.

    Apr 11, 2011

    Bump in the Road

    Good Morning,

    Thank you for stopping by. I have hit a bump in the road of life. I will not be publishing anything new over the next two weeks, give or take and will be back as soon as possible. I will miss all of you and ask that you keep me in your thoughts.

    Sandy

    Apr 7, 2011

    Bacon Q&E

    Baked Bacon Don't pre-heat the 12bcnoven. Line sheet pan with parchment and avoid clean up. Just slide the pan of bacon into a cold oven and close the door. Turn it on and set it to 400°F. Set a timer and check for doneness in about 15 minutes. Times vary  depending on thickness of bacon. For a real treat dredge the bacon in brown sugar before cooking.

    Apr 6, 2011

    Roasted Vegetables

    With spring just getting into full swing and summer soon to follow I thought of all the fresh vegetables and some easy ways to prepare them. Great for a family meal or for when entertaining.

    Pre heat oven to 400°

     

    What You Need
    Directions
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 red onions, cut into thick wedges
    • 2 red potatoes, cut into 6 wedges
    • 2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
    • 2 medium parsnips, cut into large chunks
    • 2 zucchini, thickly sliced
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
    • Fresh rosemary sprigs
    • Ground black pepper

    Choose your vegetables, include peppers (any color), squash and zucchini, root vegetables (such as onions), Brussels sprouts, crimini mushrooms and asparagus. Cut vegetables into uniform pieces for even cooking time.

    Spray a large baking pan or ovenproof dish with nonstick cooking spray.

    Put your vegetables in a bowl and drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil, toss to coat. Add rosemary sprigs and season with pepper.  Turn vegetables out onto pan making sure they are in a single layer.

    Check vegetables in 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn vegetables over. Roast for an additional 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and slightly browned.

    Option: When vegetables are removed from oven drizzle with a good balsamic vinegar.

    Apr 5, 2011

    Antipasto Salad


    Perfect for summer entertaining. Make ahead and let the flavors mingle. Only cooking involved is cooking the pasta. Most of the ingredients except meat and cheese are probably on your pantry shelf.

    Antipasto Appetizer or Salad

    What You Need
    Directions

    1 lb. of  curly or tube pasta
    8 oz. pepperoni cut into 1/4 inch strips
    8 oz. salami cut into 1/4 inch strips
    4 oz. capicola  cut into 1/4 inch strips
    1 jar pickled mushrooms sliced and drained
    1 jar roasted red peppers in oil, drained
    1 med. red onion sliced thinly
    6 oz. provolone shaved
    4 oz. sliced black olive
    1 jar pickled artichoke heart drained and chopped
    (optional 1 pt. cherry tomatoes
    4 cloves of garlic smashed
    red pepper flakes to taste
    1/2 cup bottled Italian dressing

    Bring 4 quarts of well salted water to a boil. When boil has been reached, add pasta and cook till al dente. Drain and immediately return to pot. Top with dressing and toss. Spread pasta on rimmed cookie sheet and chill for an hour. Bring pasta out of refrigerator and put in large bowl, add meats, peppers, olives,  provolone and toss well. If salad seems dry drizzle a little more dressing and toss. Put in container and cover salad will keep for 3 days.

    Feel free to add or subtract ingredients to make the salad your own. Additional items could be shredded carrots,  pepperoncini,  croutons ( add at last minute), green olives. To make a light supper add a can of tuna in olive oil drained and broken into chunks.

    Apr 3, 2011

    My Fried Rice

    This is one of my favorite go to in the freezer. It reheats well and goes with your favorite chicken, shrimp or pork dish. Great  as a side with bbq steaks. Mix and match from the freezer or refrigerator. Add more meat if you want or leave it out altogether. This is an easy comforting dish.123friceThis is the dish  when finished.

    Rice: This is obvious, of course. You need to start with boiled or steamed white rice. Make the rice the day before to firm it up. Fresh rice will just give you a gummy mess.  If you can't do it the day before, at least let the rice cool in the refrigerator for a few hours.

    Fried Rice

    What You Need
    Directions
    2 cups enriched white rice
    4 cups water
    2/3 cup chopped green pepper
    1/2 cup chopped onions
    2/3 cup chopped  carrots
    1/2 cup frozen green peas
    3 or 4 strips of cooked bacon crumbled
    1 cup of cubed ham or chicken or shrimp (your call, I usual put in a mixture) 
    2
    T soy sauce
    3 tablespoons vegetable (preferably peanut) oil
    2 eggs
    sesame oil, to taste (optional)

    In a saucepan, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

    Heat a wok till the surface is almost smoking. Then add 2T  oil and spread it around till it coats the surface. Crack eggs into small bowl and stir till mixed. Add to wok and scramble. Set aside while you cook the rest of the ingredients. Add remaining oil, the garlic and optional chillies stir for a few seconds.

    (If you prefer you can par boil the peppers and carrots for a few minutes before adding to the wok.) Add the carrots and stir for a few minutes then green peppers, onion, peas and stir for a few minutes. Add the rice to the pan, making sure to break up any clumps of rice. Stir till the rice is coated. Add your meats and then the bacon, stirring constantly.  Shake in soy sauce, and toss rice to coat. Drizzle with sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste and toss again.  Add scrambled eggs and gently fold in to meat, vegetables and rice. Serve. Leftover rice is delicious.

    Popular garnishes include green onions cut on the bias and sprigs of parsley.

    Apr 2, 2011

    Enjoy the weekend and I will see you back here on Monday with a new post.

    Apr 1, 2011

    New Products On The Market

    Thought I would share some of the new products I have found. Start looking in your grocery aisles.

    Wheat Thin Sticks from Nabisco – comes in three flavors and I am partial to the Chipotle Pepper

    Thomas  prez-a-bagels, option to sprinkle salt or not.

    Lean Pockets with Pretzel Bread

    Hostess Chocolate Crème & Strawberry Twinkies

    Popcorners

    Mar 30, 2011

    A Little of This A Little of That


    New Rice Sides from Knorr -  Buffalo Chicken, Baby Back BBQ
    and Steak Fajitas perfect for quick sides to go with your BBQ meats or as a side for pork.

    Glassware on the cheap, buy it by the case and pick it up at the store.

    Mar 29, 2011

    Chocolate Souffle The Easy Way

    How good does this look, just fifteen minutes prep time. Make the day before company comes for dinner. Quite impressive for the amount of time spent making them.144145lrg

    photo from meals.com

    Mar 28, 2011

    Easter Shopping List Q&E

    Deviled Eggs What You Need Directions
    Scalloped Potatoes
    Recipe
    Amount
    Scalloped Potatoes

    Scalloped Potatoes Scratch

    Box of Scalloped Potatoes


    2lb potatoes
    1 large onion
    8 oz. Swiss cheese
    2. oz. of Parmesan cheese
    3 cups half and half
    salt and pepper parsley and chives (optional)

     

    Macaroni Salad
    Recipe
    Amount
    Macaroni Salad

    1/2 lb dry macaroni pasta
    Salt
    1 stalk of celery
    1 green bell pepper
    Fresh chopped parsley
    Small onion
    Mayonnaise (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
    Paprika for garnish
    Black pepper

     

    Deviled Eggs

    Recipe
    Amount
    Deviled Eggs

    6 eggs
    Mayonnaise
    Mustard
    White vinegar
    Salt & Pepper
    Paprika for garnish

    Cold Asparagus with Dressing

    Recipe
    Amount
     Cold Asparagus with Dressing1aspar

    1 1/2 c. asparagus
    1 med. tomato
    1 large red onions
    2 ribs of celery
    Italian dressing
    Garnish parmesan cheese

    Mar 26, 2011

    Orange Shebert Cake

    Perfect ending to a wonderful meal

    Orange Sherbert Cake

    What You Need
    Directions
    1 (18.25 ounce) package Orange Cake Mix
    2 (3 ounce) box orange-flavored
    gelatin
    2 eggs
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup water
    1 (9 ounce) pkg coconut
    1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
    2 cups sugar
    1/4 cup frozen orange juice
    1 (12 ounce) thawed container of whipped topping

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 9x13” pan. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, gelatin, eggs, oil, and water. Beat well with an electric mixer. While the cake is baking, prepare the remaining package of orange gelatin using half the amount of water. When the cake is done, remove from oven and  let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. With a wooden skewer or fork poke holes in the cake  Pour gelatin over the layers into the holes.  Refrigerate  for about 45 minutes to allow gelatin to set. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut (reserving about 1/2 a cup), sour cream, sugar, and orange juice concentrate for the topping. Stir well.  Spread the filling over the  cake.  At this point you can refrigerate it till the next day. When ready to serve spread the whipped topping on top and sprinkle with reserved coconut.



     

    Easter Decorations - Q&E

    Who else could do Easter the way she does? Martha Stewart has some great ideas.

    eg

    Easter Home Decorations


    How to Decorate a Table for Easter Dinner

    Southern Living has colorful Easter Decorations

    Easter Table Toppers

    Table Decorations

    Decorating Ideas


    Celebrate Easter

    Enjoy the weekend and I will see you back here on Monday with a new post.

    Mar 25, 2011

    Garden Salad with Dressings

    Start with an empty bowl and the skies are the limit. Don’t
    have a certain ingredient, leave it out or substitute another ingredient for it. Plan on about two cups per serving.
    12sb

    Tossed Greens Salad
    What You Need
    Directions
    Try to use several varieties  of Assorted Greens in your salads Look for interesting textures and colors in your greens.

    Onion (red or yellow) optional
    Tomatoes
    Cucumbers
    Shredded carrots
    Celery
    Radishes

    If you bought pre-washed  mix, you don’t have to worry about cleaning the greens, otherwise they should be  washed. Make sure they are dry before starting to make the salad, otherwise you will have a soggy salad. If you don’t have a salad spinner you can wrap your greens in a clean dish towel  and pat dry.

    123tom
    A few non veggies items that can a salad the star are crumbled bacon, crumbled cheese, croutons, chopped hard boiled egg and brine cured olives

    Dressings
    A basic vinaigrette
    1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup red vinegar
    2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

    Whisk ingredients together or  may be  prepared in a food processor or blender.
    Small amounts of fresh herbs can add a whole new flavor dimension to salads and salad dressings.

    Mar 24, 2011

    Side Vegetables Q&E

    1asparAsparagus
    Prep - The bottom portions of larger asparagus spears can be tough. They  need to be snapped off. Bend the bottom portion of the stalk until it breaks off. Cook the tender stalk that is left.
    Boiling - Place a strip of folded aluminum on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, extending over the edges this is for lifting the asparagus out when cooked. Bring water to a boil; add asparagus spears and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

    Options:
    Heat  olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add teaspoon of minced garlic until soft. Pour over asparagus and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
    Pour melted butter over asparagus.

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees,wrap several asparagus with prosciutto and bake the bundles for 15 minutes in the oven, until asparagus is tender.


    String Beans with Cherry Tomatoes
    What You Need
    Directions
    1 family size steam in bag  string beans
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional)
    salt and pepper
    Put oil and garlic into a large frying pan and let cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and  cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 3 minutes. Add steamed string beans and toss.
    Add vinegar, salt and pepper and serve.

    Mar 23, 2011

    Savory Potatoes Many Ways

    Potatoes can be prepared in so many ways. You can even use boxed products to speed up preparing your meal. Scalloped potatoes in the box can be doctored with an addition of a 1/4 cup sour cream or cream cheese and sprinkled with paprika and chives , even bacon
    or234pt
    Both recipes can be made the day before and the scalloped potatoes reheated while the ham rests.
    Scalloped Potatoes
    What You Need
    Directions
    3 Tbsp butter
    2 lbs (about 4 medium sized) Russet potatoes, peeled, sliced 1/8-inch thick
    1 large yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
    2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
    1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives (optional)
    8 ounces grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese)
    2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
    2 1/2 cups to 3 cups of half-and-half (half milk, half cream)
    Salt and pepper
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a large casserole dish with 1 1/2 Tbsp of butter. Layer the bottom of the casserole dish with 1/3 of the potato slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer on 1/2 of the sliced onions and 1/2 cup of the Swiss cheese. Layer on 1/2 of the parsley and chives. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan. Repeat by layering on 1/3 of the potato slices, sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Layer on the remaining sliced onions, 1/2 cup of the Swiss cheese,  parsley and chives. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan. Top the casserole with the remaining potato slices. Add the half and half. Dot the potatoes with the remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp of butter.

    Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for one hour. After an hour, remove from the oven, remove the foil, sprinkle on the remaining Swiss and Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven for an additional 30-40 minutes. When done, the potatoes should be tender, but not mushy, and the liquid should be mostly absorbed.
    Yield: Serves 8.

    Grandma's Potato Salad
    What You Need
    Directions
    • tater6 potatoes
      2 eggs
      1/2 cup chopped celery
      1/2 cup chopped onion
      1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
      1/4 teaspoon celery salt
      ground black pepper to taste
      1/4 cup mayonnaise
    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel potatoes and cut into cubes. Remember to salt the water well.  Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool.
    2. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.
    3. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, , garlic powder, celery salt, mustard, pepper and mayonnaise. Mix together well and refrigerate until chilled.

    Mar 22, 2011

    Easter Menu - Q&E

    Glazed Ham*
    Scalloped Potatoes*
    Fresh Spring Peas
    Asparagus*
    String beans with Cherry Tomatoes*
    Garden Salad* Choice of Dressings
    Yeast Rolls
    Carrot Cake
    Glazed Ham*
    Potato Salad*
    Macaroni Salad*
    Baked Beans
    Cold Asparagus with Dressing*
    Diced Fresh Fruit
    Orange Sherbet Cake*

    Ham and Glazes The Q&E Way

    A precooked ham does not have to be cooked, preheat oven to 325°F Place the ham in the 325°F oven (163°C). It will take 12 to 15 minutes per pound for a whole or boneless ham and 18 to 20 minutes per pound for a half ham.
    Baste often and glaze half way through heating.
    When removing ham from the oven. lightly cover your ham with aluminum foil and let it rest for 20 minutes before you serve it.
    Hams may be decorated with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries. Glazes may be made the day before and reheated before basting.
    ham
    Honey Glaze
    What You Need
    Directions
    1 cup light or dark corn syrup
    1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    3 tablespoons prepared mustard
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 dash ground cloves
    In 2-quart saucepan combine all ingredients. Stirring constantly, bring to boil over medium heat and boil 5 minutes. Brush frequently on ham during last 1/2 hour of baking.
    Mustard Glaze
    What You Need
    Directions
    1 cup unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
    1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
    2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
    1/4 cup honey
    Spread mustard evenly over fat layer on ham. Pat brown sugar over mustard coating, pressing firmly. Drizzle honey evenly over. Spoon any mustard and sugar glaze that slides into roasting pan back over ham.

    Brandy Peach Glaze
    What You Need
    Directions
    1/4 cup raisins
    1/4 cup brandy (not flavoring)
    1/4 cup peach or pineapple preserves
    1/4 cup orange juice
    1 tablespoon corn starch
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    1 tablespoon prepared mustard
    Makes approximately 1 cup
    Combine peach (pineapple) preserves, orange juice, raisins, and brandy in a small sauce pan. Cook over low heat until smooth and well combined.
    In a separate bowl mix mustard, brown sugar and corn starch. Add mixture to sauce pan and combine. Cook until thickened.
    Remove from heat. Spread glaze on ham during the last 30 minutes of baking. Reapply during the last 15 minutes, if desired.
    Put extra gravy in a small gravy boat and serve along side of ham.

    Mar 21, 2011

    Easy Easter Dinner The Q&E Way

    I am working on two menus for your Easter entertaining. One will feature hot foods with make a heads, the other menu is a cold one and would easily make a great buffet and can be expanded for unexpected guests.

    The menus will feature recipes to make the menu and shopping lists, stay tuned, as the series starts on March 22 to give you plenty of time to shop, decorate and prepare.

    Summer Salad Q&E

    Cool and fast just perfect for the warm days.

    Summer Shrimp Salad
    What
    Directions
    1 lb. of cooked Shrimp
    3 cups cherry tomatoes
    1 stalk of celery chopped on the bias
    1  bag arugula
    1 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
    3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Salt and Pepper to taste
     
    Defrost shrimp.s123

    In a bowl whisk together balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil untill smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

    Combine shrimp. arugula, celery and scallions. Add the tomatoes with dressing, toss until evenly coated.

    Four servings

    Mar 20, 2011

    New Grilling Equipment

    Came across some new items for the grill and wanted to share them with you. Picture from Sur La Table
    new_for_grill_04

    Mar 19, 2011

    Q&E Weekend Links

    Want something different to cool your cocktails?
    Some ideas for spring decorating
    Multi colored popcorn
    Napkin Folding
    More napkin folding

    Enjoy the weekend and I will see you back here on Monday with a new post.

    Mar 18, 2011

    Q&E Tip Martini Glasses

    shrimps-and-red-caviar-



    Purchase plastic or glass martini glasses and use them for serving shrimp cocktail or a fresh fruit medley.

    Mar 17, 2011

    Q&E Crepes Not Just For Dessert

    Crepes are not just for desserts. They make very good quick and easy entrees for lunch, brunch and dinner. They make guests dropping by, easy peasy. Just grab a handful of crepes from the freezer and pair them with chicken, shrimp, ham, or mushroom. Your imagination is the limit. Whip up a batch of crepes when you have time. Freeze them with a piece of wax paper between each crepe. Store in a freezer plastic bag. They will be ready at a moments notice and provide a quick and elegant entrée or have a crepe brunch buffet with both savory and sweet crepes and let guest make their own.maker

    Basic Crepe recipe:

    Ingredients:
    4 eggs
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    2 cups flour
    2 ¼ milk
    ¼ cup (½ stick) melted butter or margarine

    Directions

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and eggs while gradually adding in the milk, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
  • Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.  The first crepe never comes out, just toss it and move on.

    Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Cool and wrap for freezer. When removing from freezer, wrap them in foil and warm in a 325-degree oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

    Fillings
    There’s nothing better than crepes filled with meats or vegetables and covered with  cheese sauce.

    Chicken (frozen cooked from freezer, cream of mushroom soup, frozen peas.l Make cream of mushroom soup using half the milk, heat then add chicken and peas. Lay each crepe on the serving plate, put 1/4 cup chicken mixture, fold in half and sprinkle with cheese (optional). Serve. These can also be filled with shrimp, substituted for chicken.

    Hard cooked eggs in cream sauce or cream soup.

    Grilled veggies in a cheese sauce.

    Spinach, Bacon and Mushroom Filling

  • Mar 16, 2011

    Maple Breakfast Casserole

    I watched them prepare this casserole on the Cooking Channel and thought it would make a great dish for entertaining  over night guests. Make the dish the night before and  follow the directions at the bottom of the recipe. Serve with fresh fruit and steaming cup of coffee.

    Say good morning to a great breakfast recipe with this Maple-Breakfast-Casseroledelicious breakfast casserole. Using Jimmy Dean® Sausage and eggs. It's a great foundation for a great-tasting breakfast.
    Ingredients
    • 2 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 8 eggs
    • 3 cups milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 8 cups French bread cubes (¾-inch pieces)
    • 1 pkg. Jimmy Dean® Maple Flavor Pork Sausage Roll, cooked, crumbled, drained
    • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Toss apples with sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
    2. Beat eggs, milk and vanilla in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add bread cubes, sausage, apple mixture and 1-½ cups cheese; stir gently until evenly coated.
    3. Spoon into lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish; top with remaining ½ cup cheese.
    4. Bake 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into 12 squares to serve.
    Cook’s Tips: Make-Ahead Maple Breakfast Casserole: Assemble casserole as directed. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, uncover and bake 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
    Serving Suggestion: Serve with warm maple syrup.
    Yield:
    12 servings (1 square each)

    Mar 15, 2011

    Q&E–Tips for Freezing Desserts


    Follow a few rules for successful storing and thawing
    Label your desserts with the date they were made, stuff starts to look the same after being in the freezer.

    Cool the dessert completely to prevent condensation before wrapping it and freezing it. I put the item in the freezer till it is semi-hard to make wrapping easier. Items like cookies, bar cookies, brownies and cup cake I like to freeze on a cookie sheet until hard. Pack them together in a freezer bag.  This way you can remove only the amount you need.

    Wrap the dessert in two layers of plastic wrap and put in to a freezer  bag. Zip the bag almost closed, leaving about one inch open. Push out as much air as possible, seal and label with content and date.

    Unwrap and gently cover the top of the dessert with plastic wrap. Thaw the dessert in the refrigerator or on the counter. Being careful in it has cream filling or whipped topping.

    Mar 14, 2011

    Q&E–Tip - Spices

    Spices can really make the meal, here are a few of the spices I keep on hand. If you don’t use a spice often, keep them in a air tight bag and freeze them.

    Some good ones to keep on hand are herb de provence, paprika, oregano, basil, rosemary, chili powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, thyme, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, ginger, cumin, whole nutmeg, dry mustard, curry powder, cinnamon, garlic and onion powder  and coriander.

    When using fresh herbs an spices, use 3 times the amount of the dried.
    spice4
    Most dry herbs last between one and two years. I throw most of mine away after six months, because they add so much to your recipe you don’t want to chance ruining a dish.  Spices should be stored in airtight containers away from sources of light and heat.

    Extracts
    almond extract
    pure vanilla extract
    vanilla beans

    Mar 11, 2011

    Q&E Weekend Links

    Enjoy the weekend and I will see you back here on Monday with a new recipe.

    Setting the table for Easter
    Tableware and Serving Pieces
    Joy Entertaining 
     Empty Bowl

    Q&E Freezer Desserts Part 2

    One of my best strategies for easy hassle-free entertaining is to make a few desserts and freeze them. To serve a great frozen dessert try not to keep them more then a  month give or take. Give them a thaw and you are on your way to a perfect ending to your meal.

    Remember cakes are better frozen unfrosted. Frost them when you remove them from the freezer.

    How about making crepes? These can be made ahead and frozen with wax paper between them.
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (for sweet crepes)
    Directions

    Whisk together the flour and the eggs in a large bowl. Slowly add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.  Add vanilla if using. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.

    Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

    Chocolate Crepes
    Variation: 1/4 cup cocoa powder added to the basic recipe for chocolate crepes.11a








  • Fillings:
  • 2  pkg 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup mashed fresh strawberries
  • Whole strawberries for garnish

      In bowl of mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream, sugar, strawberries and vanilla. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

      Put about 1/3 cup filling in each crepe and fold. Garnish with whipped topping and whole strawberries.

      Filling: Soften Ice Cream

      Hazelnut Filling:

      • 1 jar of Nutella
      • 5 bananas, sliced
      • 1 tub of whipped topping
      Spread Nutella on crepe top add banana slices and a dollop of toping.

      0106_msl_cakes15_lThis is a crepe cake from Martha Stewart’s website. Try it, it isn’t as hard as it looks.

      • Mar 10, 2011

        Q&E Tip

        You might want to try Kraft’s cooking crème. It is a good thing to have in the refrigerator.

        Q&E Pantry Items


        These items are great to stock up on and create magic with.  I want to share some of my slight of hand tricks. How many items are in your pantry?

        Cream Soups     Noodles
        Chicken & Beef Broth   Rice
        Canned Meats Tuna
        Salmon
          Canned Tomatoes & Tomato Paste
        Beans, Baked and White   Canned  Vegetables
        Bread  Crumbs, plain   Olives
        Asst Instant Pudding   Various Pasta
        Salad Dressing   Croutons
        Hoisin Sauce   Mushrooms
        Artichoke Hearts   Pesto
        Roasted Peppers   Peanut Butter
        Powder Sugar   Pie Filling
        Ready Made Cookie Pie Crust   Chocolate Semi-sweet & itter-sweet
        Sweetened Condensed Milk   Mixes ie: muffin, waffle
        Chocolate Syrup    


        Cooked chicken from the freezer combined with canned cream soup of choice. Boil noodles, drain and serve over noodles.

        Cookie Pie Crust filled with instant pudding and topped with whip topping from the freezer.

        Cook pasta top with tomato sauce made from the canned tomatoes. Serve with meatballs or sausage from the freezer. Add a loaf of French bread from the freezer.

        Antipasto serve black and green olives with artichoke hearts, mushrooms and roasted peppers drizzle lightly with olive oil. Add some provolone or cheddar cheese and serve with  bruschetta.

        Take frozen chili and defrost, serve over rice.

        Powder sugar sprinkle over many desserts make them look elegant.

        Mar 9, 2011

        Q&E Freezer Desserts

        frpie
        Easy Peasy Frozen Coconut Cake
        Ingredients
        1 box Duncan Hines butter cake mix
        1 (12 oz.) pkg. frozen coconut
        1 (16 oz.) sour cream
        2 c. Cool Whip
        2 c. white granulated sugar
        Directions
        Mix coconut, sour cream and sugar. Refrigerate for 1 day. Bake cake according to directions, making either 2 thick layers or splitting layers to make 4 thin layers. Fill layers with coconut mixture, reserving 1 cup of coconut mixture for the icing. Mix the cup of coconut mixture with Cool Whip and spread on top and sides of the cake. Keep in the refrigerator for 3 days before serving.
        TIP - If you aren’t a baker, keep a commercially baked pie in your freezer. Remember your guests are here to see you!

        Mud Puppies
        1 small package Oreo cookies
        1/2 cup butter
        1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
        1 jar fudge topping
        1 small container Cool Whip
        Crush Oreo cookies and mix with soft butter. Press 3/4 of mixture into 9 x 13 inch pan. Spread softened ice cream over crumb mixture and freeze.
        Spread with fudge topping and Cool Whip, then remaining crumb mix. Freeze and serve. This keeps well.
        Chocolate Cherry Bombs
        Makes 16 (1 1/2-inch) cherry bombs.chocolate_cherry_bombs
        1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries with stems
        2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
        1 (7.25-ounce) bottle chocolate shell topping
        Drain cherries. Remove stems and save them to complete the recipe. Place cherries and 1 cup ice cream in electric blender. Pulse to combine. Combine cherry mixture with remaining 1cup ice cream in a medium bowl; mix with a spoon. Divide between 2 small (8-ounce) bowls. Cover and freeze overnight or until firm.
        Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Shake chocolate shell topping 30 seconds; divide between 2 custard cups or small bowls. Remove 1 container of ice cream from freezer. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop 1 (1?-inch) ball; place on fork. Spoon chocolate shell topping over ball while holding over custard cup. Place on baking sheet; quickly insert 1 reserved cherry stem in top. (To remove ball from fork, push off gently at base with knife). Repeat with remaining ice cream. Work quickly so ice cream does not get too soft. Place cherry bombs in freezer. Repeat procedure with remaining bowl of ice cream. Freeze until ready to serve.

        Tip: If blender is unavailable, finely chop cherries and stir into ice cream.
        Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of National Cherry Growers Foundation.

        Mar 8, 2011

        Q&E Appetizers From The Freezer

        crabDefrosted crab meat add minced shallots, a little tarragon and  lot of parsley and enough mayonnaise to bind. Serve on crackers or bruschetta.



        As you can see I love puff pastry. It has saved me more time then I can remember. The pastry can be sweet or savory. It can be thawed, baked and topped with a variety of items. 

        Remember when working with the pastry to keep the pastry covered when not working with it or it will dry out. Cut puff pastry into small squares when finished baking  Mix cream cheese  with herbs and a little milk.

        Puff  pastry shells can make a do ahead appetizer to keep in the freezer. Bake shells and fill with any of the following: little meatballs in pizza sauce, when reheating top with a little shredded mozzarella, fill with  caramelize onions and shredded cheddar cheese or a buffalo chicken mixture.

        Freeze individually and place in plastic bag or container when hard.  Defrost and reheat in 250° oven for about fifteen minutes or until warm.

        Parmesan Star Puffs
        Recipe from Cooking Basic
        Parmesan Star puffs are a fast and light appetizer for any occasion. If you have a flavored olive oil, I highly suggest you use it. I brushed garlic olive oil over a few of mine and it gave them a very nice hint of garlic without being too overwhelming.
        Ingredients
        • 1 Sheet of puff pastry
        • Grated Parmesan cheese
        • Olive oil
        • Ground pepper
        • Flour, to dust your surface with
        Directions
        Cut a sheet of puff pastry with a star-shaped cookie cutter. Arrange the stars on a parchment lined baking sheet; brush with olive oil and sprinkle with grated parmesan
        I freeze them on a cookie sheet and when they are frozen transfer to a plastic freezer bag.  Reheat in 250° oven for about fifteen minutes or until warm.

        Mar 7, 2011

        Q&E Freezer Sides and ETC


        Here are some Q&E items to keep on hand for unexpected guests or to incorporate in to company dinners. In the coming weeks I will be posting frozen menus for your convenience with recipes.  Be sure to watch for the Easter entertaining ideas.

        C=cooked   R=raw
        Asst Potatoes   Pound Cake
        Asst Veggies
        Puff Pastry*
        Pizza Ready Made   Fruit
        Peppers, Green*   Ice Cream*
        Onions   Waffles*
        Onions, Chopped   Whipped Topping
        Pasta Sauce   Pie Crust
        Butter/Margarine   Bread/Rolls
        Ravioli*   Mini Puff Pastry Shells.
        Coconut, Flaked   Egg Roll Wrappers
        Nuts    

        *Peppers and onions added to Italian sausage and pasta sausagsauce served on hoagie rolls. Add a relish tray and chips or fries for a quick menu to serve friends over to watch the game.



        *Puff pastry can be baked early or even just before serving and topped with ice cream or fruit for a quick dessert.


        Sherbet Parfaits
        Ingredients:
        2 pint s different flavor sherbets, slightly softened
        1 cup Whipping cream  or topping
        cookies (vanilla wafers or shortbread) crumbled

        Preparation:
        In 8 parfait or tall glasses, layer sherbet alternating flavors sorbet and cookie crumbles. Refreeze until firm. When ready to serve, When ready to serve top with whipped topping on each parfait. Serves 8

        appRavioli*Ravioli can be deep fried for a quick appetizer and served with jazzed up pasta sauce or served the traditional way with pasta sauce.



        * Waffles aren’t just for breakfast. serve them hot with fruit or top them with a big scoop of ice cream.

        Mar 5, 2011

        Q&E Weekend Links

        Enjoy the weekend and I will see you back here on Monday with  Freezer Sides.

        table_setting
        Remember when I said to purchase white china, take a look at these place setting Scroll down the page about half way and see the great things you can do with it.

        Mar 4, 2011

        Q&E Entrees

        These are  suggested entrees to have on hand in the freezer. Add a salad and bread to some of these entrees and you will be one smart host/hostess.Your guests will never guess how you did it.  I will be adding additional frozen entrée recipes and suggested menus.
        dan
        C=Cooked R=Raw
        Chili Lasagna
        Chicken Spaghetti Meatballs cooked+
        Sweet and Sour Chicken* Beef Cubes for Kabobs
        Pizza Shrimp C&R
        Taco Filling Cube Steaks
        Salmon Fillets Bacon
        BBQ Chicken+ Hamburger
        Sweet and Sour Chicken

        Ingredients
        4 chicken breasts, cut in cubes
        1 can pineapple chunks (save juice)
        one garlic clove, minced
        1/4 Cup soy sauce
        3 Tablespoons brown sugar
        l teaspoon ginger
        1-2 carrots cut in small pieces
        1 green pepper cut in pieces
        Directions
        Add all ingredients together in a ziplock bag. Freeze. In frying pan add chicken and vegetables  and allow to cook on low for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Cook frozen rice to go with the meal.

        For dessert serve vanilla ice cream with chopped almonds and fortune cookies.  Fortune cookies can be stored in the pantry for just such an occasion.

        +Flash freeze the meatballs and store in a zip lock bag when frozen.

        + Chicken cooked and shredded can be thawed and mixed with bbq sauce, serve over rice or on a bun.

        Hamburger can make quick tostados, taco salad, nachos for unexpected company.

        Mar 3, 2011

        Q&E Freezer Meat/Fish

        This chart is not complete I will be adding to it from time to time. Not everyone will want all the items or have room for them. It is a pick and choose for your life style.

        I will be adding recipes for pulling items from the freezer and coordinating them into a full dinner.

        C=cooked  R=raw


        Chicken c&r Hamburger
        pulled Pork c Meatballs c
        Cooked Pork Chops* Breakfast Sausage
        Cubed Steak Bacon
        Meat loaf c Italian Sausage
        Shrimp c&r Salmon filets


        *Baked Pork Chops
        *Sweet Potato Fries or *Rice
        * Vegetable
        * Dinner Rolls
        * Apple Pie
        Frozen from the freezer *

        frozenFreezer Pork Chops
        Ingredients
        3 large eggs
        1 teaspoon dry sage
        8 bone-in pork chops 1 inch thick
        2 cups Italian dried breadcrumbs
        Salt and ground pepper to taste
        1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
        1/4 cup vegetable oil

        Directions

      • In a bowl, whisk together eggs and sage and let stand 15 minutes. Flatten each pork chop (avoiding bone) between two pieces plastic wrap to a 1/4-inch thickness.

      • Put breadcrumbs in a pie pan and season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture onto another pie pan. In batches, season pork chops with salt and pepper and coat in egg mixture. Shake excess, then dredge in breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere. Freeze pork chops


      • To serve, pre heat oven to 350°. On sheet pan lightly spread oil for frozen chops. Cook chops turning over half way through for twenty to twenty five minutes until heated through.

        Mar 2, 2011

        Q&E Ice Cubes 101

        Boil water before freezing to have crystal clear cubes.

        Save leftover coffee and tea and freeze in ice cube trays. Put them in your ice coffee or tea and your drink won’t dilute.

        Prepare your favorite  punch recipe and  pour into each section of a muffin tin. Freeze, then add to rest of punch just before serving. Prevents punch from diluting.
        icecubes

        Freeze ice cubes with fruit in them for a festive touch. Maraschino cherries, one to each cube, are very appropriate for garnishing.  Lemon slices sand mint leaves are good additions.

        When fruits are to be frozen in the cubes, fill the tray one-third full with water, then partially freeze. Add the fruit then freeze. This will hold the fruit in position. Then add water until the tray is about three-fourths full and finish freezing.

        Garnished cubes should be frozen slowly to prevent expansion and cloudiness.

        Freeze spaghetti sauce  or gravies in ice cube trays for quick sauces or Spanish rice.  Chicken stock can also be frozen for a quick flavor boost to rice and potatoes by replacing some of the water with cubes.

        Mar 1, 2011

        Q&E Entertaining from the Freezer

        1freezer

        What could be better then having unexpected guests drop in and you have a complete meal or hors d'oeuvres, ready in the freezer.

        Over the next several days, I will be posting menus, recipes and tips for reaching in your freezer and pulling out food items to delight your guests.

        We’ll make a shopping list and get your recipes together so when you have a little free time you can prepare your go to meals and appetizers. This way you will really be experiencing the Quick & Easy way to entertain.What would you like to see more of? Entrees or appetizers?

        Feb 27, 2011

        Crock Pot Desserts

        This recipe has been around for years and is a staple for a lot of cooks.

        Peach Cobblerpeaches

        Ingredients
        2 large cans of peaches with juice
        1 yellow cake mix
        1 stick of butter
        1 pkg of peaches and cream oatmeal

        Directions  
        Add 2 cans of peaches with juice to crock
        Top with yellow cake mix
        Put dabs of butter on top of cake mix
        Then top with package of peaches and cream oatmeal packet
        * Put plastic over top of crock pot and place lid on top.  
        Cook 2-4 hours on med heat.

        Rice Pudding

        Ingredients
        1/2 gallon milk
        1 c. rice (not instant)
        1 c. sugar
        3 TB butter
        * 1/4 tsp salt
        1 tsp vanilla extract
        1/2 c. dried raisins
        1/4 tsp cinnamon
        1/8 tsp nutmeg

        Put all ingredients into a crockpot, stir to blend. Cover and cook 1 1/2 to 2 hours on high. Stir once after 1 hour. The longer it cooks the thicker it will become.

        Crock Pot® is the registered trademark of Rival.

        Tip - How Many Appetizers

        When planning your party menu allow 10 appetizers per person for Appetizercocktail parties and six per person for dinner parties at a minimum. No one wants a hungry guest.

        Feb 26, 2011

        Q&E Weekend Links

        Enjoy the weekend and I will see you back here on Monday with a new Crockpot dessert recipe.

        No knead bread in a crockpot
        Flea market finds
        Looking to learn to cook Italian, try some of the recipes and videos from the Cake Boss.

        Crock Pot® is the registered trademark of Rival.

        Feb 25, 2011

        Crock Pot Sides

        Making side dishes in the crock pot  makes sense. You can start them early, even make them the day before, don't have to watch or tend and they keep warm until you are ready to serve them.

        Texas Potatoes
        1 2lb package frozen hash browns
        1/2 cup melted butter
        1 tsp salt
        1/4 tsp pepper
        1/2 cup chopped onion
        1/2 cup chopped green pepper
        1 can cream of chicken soup
        1 16oz carton sour cream
        2 cups grated cheddar cheese
        Mix all ingredients and put in 3-1/2 qt crock pot on low for a couple of hours. Mainly, all it has to do is heat thru.


        This is perfect for Easter, make it the night before and warm them the next day.

        Classic Sweet Potatoes

        Ingredients
        4 to 5 sweet potatoes
        2 tbsp butter
        ½ cup of brown sugar
        ½ cup water
        1/4 tsp nutmeg
        3/4 tsp cinnamon
        1/2 tsp salt
        1 tsp paprika

        Directions
        Cut sweet potatoes thick round slices. Place in boiling water for approximately 10 minutes to par-boil them. Strain and let them cool. Peel off skins.
        Grease the crock pot basin with butter. Put down a layer of sweet potato slices. Dot with butter, sprinkle with some sugar and cinnamon.

        Make another layer of sweet potatoes. Dot with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar again.
        Make final layer of sweet potato slices. Dot with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon, paprika, salt and add the remaining sugar. Pour water into crock pot.

        Cook on high for 3 to 3 ½ hours, or low for 6 to 6 ½ hours. Serves 4.

        Italian Green Beans
        1/3 - 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
        15 ounce can tomatoes, chopped
        4 8 ounce cans sliced mushrooms, undrained
        1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon onion and/or garlic powders
        1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
        3 1 pound cans Italian style green beans, 2 of them drained
        1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
        Brown sausage and drain. Add all ingredients to crockpot and cook on low up to 3 hours.

        Crock Pot® is the registered trademark of Rival.

        Feb 24, 2011

        Crock Pot Q&E Entrees

        Cook one of these recipes and add a green salad,green_thumb1 a  starchy vegetable, hot rolls and a dessert. You have a quick and easy entrée. All can be made the day before.

        Ingredients:
        1 pound cubed beef stew meat
        1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed golden or cream of
        mushroom soup
        1/2 cup chopped onion
        Dash of garlic powder
        1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
        1/4 cup water
        4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)

        Directions:
        1. In a slow cooker, combine the meat, soup, onion, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and water.
        2. Cook on Low setting for 8 hours, or on High setting for about 5 hours. Stir in cream cheese just before serving.  Goes great with noodles.


        Make this one when you have a game night or card party!  Ranch Chicken sandwiches

        ranchchix_thumb2
        Ingredients:

        6 chicken breasts , boneless, skinless
        1 package dry ranch salad dressing mix
        Bottle of your favorite buffalo wing sauce
        8 buns, split lengthwise

        Directions:
        • Place the chicken breasts into crock pot. Sprinkle with ranch dressing mix and pour the wing sauce over the top.
        • Cover, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
        • Once the chicken has cooked, shred the meat finely with two forks.
        • Serve on buns.     

         

        Slow Cooker Corned Beef corn_beef_sammy_thumb5Sandwiches

        Ingredients:

        3 pound corned beef briskets
        1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle beer
        1 bay leaves
        1/4 cup peppercorns
        1/4 cup brown sugar
        1 bulb peeled garlic cloves, separated

        Directions

        • Place meat in a slow cooker.
        • Combine beer, brown sugar in a medium bowl.
        • Pour over the meat.
        • Cover and cook on high for 6 to 6 1/2 hours or on low for 10 to 12 hours. The meat should be very tender.
        • Remove from crock pot.
        • Thinly slice the meat across the grain and serve on crusty bread  with a good grainy brown mustard. Make sure you have a good dill pickle to accompany the sandwich.


        Company Pot Roast *

        Ingredients:
        2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream
        of mushroom soup
        1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
        1 med onion thinly sliced
        11/4 cups water or 1/2 water and 3/4 white wine
        5 1/2 pounds pot roast
        1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)

        Directions:
        1. In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix, onions, mushrooms and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.
        2. Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours.
        * Can be made the night before and reheated.

        Crock Pot® is the registered trademark of Rival.

        Feb 23, 2011

        Crock Pot Appetizers 4

        Pizza Dip
        Ingredients:
        1 pound lean ground beef
        2 cups canned pizza sauce
        8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
        8 ounces grated Mozzarella
        1  1/2 teaspoons Italian Spice Blend
        1 tablespoon cornstarch
        Parmesan cheese, optional

        Directions:
        Brown ground beef well; drain off fat. Combine ground beef with all other ingredients in the crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 hours.
        Serve with tortilla chips.

        Crock Pot® is the registered trademark of Rival.

        Feb 22, 2011

        Happy National Margarita Day!

        Read all about the Maqrgarita

        margaritause
        [Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

        Crock Pot Appetizer 3

        Slow Cooker Hot Reuben Spread

        From: Betty Crocker

        This is so good I had to post it. Turn five ingredients into a savory dip that conveniently cooks in a slow cooker.

        Servings: 26 servings (2 tablespoons each)

        Prep: 10 mins

        Total: 2 hrs 10 mins

        Ingredients

        1 1/2 cups   shredded Swiss cheese (6 ounces)

        3/4 cup   drained sauerkraut

        1/2 cup   Thousand Island dressing

        1 package  cream cheese, softened (8 ounces)

        2 packages  thinly sliced corned beef, chopped (2 1/2 ounces each)

          Cocktail rye bread slices or pretzel crackers, if desired

        Directions

        1. Spray inside of 1- to 2 1/2-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients except crackers; spoon into slow cooker.

        2. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 1 hour or until cheese is melted. Stir until cheese is smooth; cover and cook 1 hour longer.

        3. Scrape down side of cooker with rubber spatula to help prevent edge of spread from scorching. Serve spread with rye bread. Spread will hold up to 2 hours on Low.

        Crock Pot® is the registered trademark of Rival.

        Feb 21, 2011

        Crock Pot Appetizers 2

        Oriental Chicken Drumettes or Wings

        Ingredients
        20 chicken drumettes or wings
        1 cup soy sauce
        1/4 cup hosin sauce
        1/2 cup brown sugar
        3 cloves of garlic (mashed)
        3 scallions cut on the bias

        Directions

        If using chicken wings cut into two sections at the joints. Brown wings slightly. Put the wings in the Crockpot. In a small bowl, put the hosin sauce, soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar and mix very well. Pour this mixture over the wings and stir well. Cook on low for 6 hours for a very unique taste. Afterwards, sprinkle scallions on wings and enjoy.



        Crock Pot® is the registered trademark of Rival.

        Feb 19, 2011

        Weekend Links

         

        Japanese etiquette
        Tablescapes
        Everything you wanted to know about cocktails

        Enjoy the weekend and I will see you back here on Monday with a new Crockpot entrée recipe.

        Crock Pot® is the registered trademark of Rival.

        Feb 17, 2011

        Q&E Crock Pot Entertaining

        I am going to post recipes for the crock pot that are quick to put together and easy to serve when entertaining. Look at your crock pot as time saver and inexpensive way to help put together a party. crock pot



        Use it for appetizers, the entree or for a hot dessert.  So drag it out and let’s cook.




        Some Crock pots  do not brown meat, if recipe includes any kind of meat that needs the browning, use a skillet and some oil to brown the meat before placing in the Crock pot.

        Crock Pot® is the registered trademark of Rival.