Pork Spring Rolls

Pork Spring Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork (you can also use beef)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 package (16 ounce) spring roll wrappers
  • 1 1/2 quarts oil for frying

Directions:

  • In a Large bowl, combine ground pork, ground beef, onion, and carrot. Make sure to completely mix everything. I suggest getting down and dirty and use your hands. Knead the meat in the bowl if you must.
  • Gradually blend in the soy sauce , black pepper, garlic powder, and salt until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Lay out a few wrappers at a time on a flat surface, and place about 2 tablespoons of the filling in a line down the center of the wrapper.
  • Make sure the filling is no thicker than your thumb, or the wrapper will cook faster than the meat.
  • Take the bottom and top edges of the wrapper and fold them towards the center.
  • Take the left and right sides, and fold them towards the center. Moisten the last edge of the wrapper to seal.
  • Now repeat using the rest of the wrappers, and have hubby or the kids help you out.
  • Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat, add oil to 1/2 inch depth, and heat for 5 minutes. Slide 3 or 4 lumpia into the oil.
  • Fry the rolls for 1 to 2 minutes, until all sides are golden brown.
  • Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.
  • Cut in half, or serve as is with dipping sauce.
  • We like sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce with lemon, or banana ketchup.

Yield: 6.0
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California Caprese Salad

California Caprese Salad

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces Smoked Mozzarella (double that if you are using 1 lb of tomatoes)
  • 1 pound .5 pound to 1 pound Roma tomatoes (depending on how much salad you want to make)
  • 10 eachs Basil leaves (you need one per salad you make so if you have 10 slices of
  • 6 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar (this is an estimate as you are just going to drizzle it over the top of the 2 wholes Avocados
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (about one tablespoon of each) I used ground

Directions:

  • First make sure your basil is washed and trimmed so you only have the leaf. Pat dry with a paper towel and set to the side. I like to try and practice mise en place which is French for “everything in place” It might make a little more work or an extra dirty dish or two but when everything is measured out, sliced up and ready to go then you just get to have fun and create! It keeps everything organized and will make it so that your cooking experience has a nice flow to it because everything is in place! Mise en Place!!
  • Next thing you need to do is slice up your cheese. You want it about .5″ thick. You want something sturdy enough to hold the tomato and avocado and thick enough to taste all the wonderful smokey flavor. But this is personal preference so if you find you like it thinner then by all means slice it that way!
  • Now slice up your Roma tomatoes the same thickness as your cheese, about 5″ to 1″ thick. Do the same thing with your avocados.
  • Place the cheese on a serving platter or plate. Place a tomato slice on top of each slice of cheese. Then top each tomato slice with a slice or chunk of avocado. Once this is done you want to do a sprinkle of salt and pepper over the top of your salads!
  • Once you have salt and peppered the salads it is time to top with a basil leaf. For the finale you are going to drizzle on some balsamic vinegar! My bottle did not do the drizzle I had hoped for so it was more of a dumping of vinegar! But that is ok I just tipped the plate into the sink to drain out an excess vinegar so if your drizzle experience does not go as planned c’est la vie!
  • To serve I toasted up a couple of pieces of French bread and cut them into bite size pieces and drizzled on a little Olive Oil and put those on a plate next to the California Caprese Salads. It was lovely having that toasted crusty bread to soak up the balsamic and complimented the Caprese very well! I hope you try my version on this classic salad and let me know what you think! I promise you are going to love it! To see step by step photos go to http://www.sweetsins2share.com/?p=1072

 

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Eggplant Caponata Dip

eggplant-caponata-dip

Ingredients

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 eggplant, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • ½ cup pitted green olives
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Heat oil in frying pan. Cook garlic, onion, celery, red pepper and eggplant until soft. Stir in tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Put vegetables in bowl and toss with capers, olives, vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper. Taste, adding more vinegar and olive oil as needed.

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Easy Olive and Goat Cheese Crostini

Easy Olive and Goat Cheese Crostini

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette – (5 to 6 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup green or black olive tapenade see * Note
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Thyme sprigs for garnish
  • 5 tablespoons finely-chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 5 ounces soft goat cheese

If you are seeking an easy appetizer then this olive and goat cheese crostini is exactly what you are looking for. Tart goat cheese is spread on slices of toast and topped with a olive mixture seasoned with thyme and currants. The combination of flavors is perfect: salty, sweet, savory, and tart. You can also make this dish into a super simple sandwich if you are not expecting company.

Directions:

  • * Note: Tapenade, a mixture of chopped olives, salt and olive oil, is often sold in jars. You can make your own by chopping pitted olives and adding salt and oil to bind the mixture.
  • To make crostini: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice baguette on the diagonal into 1/4-inch thick slices. Brush each bread slice lightly on both sides with olive oil. Place on baking sheet. Toast for 5 to 6 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven. Transfer to wire rack to cool. (Note: This can be made 1 or 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container; add desired toppings just before serving.)
  • To make topping: In small bowl, combine tapenade, thyme leaves, walnuts and currants.
  • To assemble: Spread 1 to 2 teaspoons goat cheese onto each crostini. Place 1 to 2 teaspoons olive mixture on top. Garnish with thyme tips.

Yields 10 to 12 servings.

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Mini Lasagna Cups

Mini Lasagna Cups

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce
  • 3 tsp dried oregano, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 12 oz raw ground turkey
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 24 small square wonton wrappers

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
  • Place the onions, mushrooms, pepper, turkey and salt.
  • Break the meat into pieces and put in the frying pan.
  • Saute for 10 min. Add the garlic and mix for half minute.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of oregano and the crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce), lower the heat and simmer for 10 min. Displace.
  • Mix the ricotta, a tsp of oregano, a pinch of salt and pepper and the basil and stir.
  • Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Put wonton wrappers in each.
  • Pour half of the ricotta mixture in the 12 – cup muffin pan.
  • Spoon half of the turkey mixture on top of the cups.
  • Top with 2 teaspoons of mozzarella.
  • Press second wonton wrapper on top of the mozzarella.
  • Repeat until using all of the left rocotta, tomato sauce and mozzarella.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Let the cups cool, displace from the muffin pan.
  • Serve!

Yield: 12

Submitted by: Nancy Thompson

 

Breaded Chicken Fingers

breaded-chicken-fingers

Ingredients

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart oil for frying
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Place chicken strips into a large, resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, mix the egg, buttermilk and garlic powder. Pour mixture into bag with chicken. Seal, and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.
  2. In another large, resealable plastic bag, mix together the flour, bread crumbs, salt and baking powder. Remove chicken from refrigerator, and drain, discarding buttermilk mixture. Place chicken in flour mixture bag. Seal, and shake to coat.
  3. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Carefully place coated chicken in hot oil. Fry until golden brown and juices run clear. Drain on paper towels.

How to: Freeze & Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

How to Freeze & Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

Ingredients

  • fresh herbs
  • olive oil/unsalted melted butter

Directions:

  • Choose fresh herbs from the market or your own garden.
  • Dice them well, or leave on branches and leaves. The herbs are finely diced in the photo.
  • Put them on trays of ice cubes (about 2/3 full of herbs).
  • You can mix herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary).
  • Place unsalted melted butter or extra virgin olive oil over the herbs.
  • Cover with plastic.
  • Freeze.
  • Remove frozen cubes and store in small containers or bags to freeze.
  • Do not forget to mark each container or bag with the type of herbs (and oil) inside!
  • Enjoy!

Submitted by Jessica Smith

Mini Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Cupcakes

Mini Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast (or dark meat)
  • 16 small mozzarella cubes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 cups Muir Glen marinara sauce

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • In a small bowl, combine half of the Parmesan cheese, the panko and the olive oil and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg. Add the chicken, garlic, red bell pepper, onion, oregano, basil, the remaining Parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. In each well, place a couple of tablespoons of the chicken mixture. Put a cube of mozzarella in the center of the mixture and then top it with the rest of the mixture.
  • Drizzle the panko/Parmesan mixture on top of each chicken mound.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 min. and then let rest 5 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, warm the marinara sauce.
  • Serve the cupcakes with the sauce.
  • Enjoy!

Easy Calzones

Easy Calzones

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets of prepared pie crust or make your own.(OR 2 pizza crusts.)
  • 5 tomatoes sliced thin
  • a tablespoon Herbs (Rosemary,oregano, basil or any Italian herbs)
  • Cream cheese, Parmesan, Mozzarella, Romano (or a blended package of fine shredded cheese)
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

  • Flatten out one sheet. Put slices of tomatoes on the sheet about 2 fingers apart.
  • Put a tablespoon of herbs, cream cheese and Parmesan, Mozzarella and Romano cheese on the tomatoes. Then salt and pepper as you like.
  • Put some more cheese.
  • Stick the two pizza sheets together.
  • Take a glass and separate each tomato.
  • Drench each Calzone with the melted butter and garlic and fry until brown. ( or bake at 375 )
  • Serve and enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus with Egg Salad

Roasted Asparagus with Egg Salad

Ingredients

  • 12 medium asparagus, spears, trimmed
  • 2 large egg, hard boiled and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons low fat feta cheese
  • ½ small avocado, chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450.
  • Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, spread out asparagus and spray asparagus with cooking spray. Roast for 10 minutes until asparagus is crisp-tender.
  • Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and chill for 10 minutes.
  • Serve salad on top of asparagus.

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