Healthier Blooming Onion – Air Fry

So something pretty exciting for little ole me happened this week. I was enjoying my morning cup of tea; yeah sorry not a coffee drinker; and I was playing either Sudoku or Words with friends on my phone and it flashed a tweet “Congrats your blog has been selected as one the Top 100 Home Cooking Blogs on the web by Feedspot Blog” me not being super savvy with social media I was initially confused, then suspect than thrilled and honored.

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Confused to how me just being me and sharing a little about what I have been making could get acknowledged. Suspect, just because I am wary of anything that could potentially be a scam, you know the one you won a free trip around the world, just give me you CC for the deport taxes or something like that. And then thrilled that my daughter confirmed that yeah this was VERY cool!  So thank you for stopping by and supporting me and this blog. I really enjoy writing it for all who don’t mind me sharing a little of me.
IMG_5668So who else got an air fryer for Christmas? I have mentioned trying to be a little healthier but also finding the balance with healthy that tastes good and it helps a lot if it is something that we would normally want to eat. There is still a ton I need to learn about air frying but I at least have it in the house now, so let the games begin.
IMG_5684.JPGI have only made a few things so far, Chicken Tenders, simply salted, peppered and then some seasoned breadcrumbs. And then I tried turkey cutlets seasoned with some Jamaican spice rub that I brought back from vacation. Both were successful! But then I thought blooming onion. A healthier blooming onion why not? Healthier by air frying, using egg substitute and a little less flour than the recipes I found online. 

Ingredients

1 Large white onion
2 tablespoons nonfat Milk
½ cup egg substitute
3/4 cup Panko
1 1/2 teaspoons Paprika
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
3 teaspoons Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 cup Flour

Instructions – Onion should soak for at least 2 hours or overnight

Mix breadcrumbs with olive oil, cajun seasoning, garlic powder and paprika. In a separate dish, mix salt & pepper into the flour. In a bowl, mix milk with egg.
IMG_5678cut off the pointy top (the non hairy end – those who have taken one of my cooking classes knows this) Place cut side down onto a cutting board. Starting 1/2 inch from the root, cut downward, all the way to the cutting board. Repeat to make 4 evenly spaced cuts around the onion. Continue slicing between each section until you have made 12 to 16 cuts total.
IMG_5670IMG_5671Place sliced onion in ice water for at least 2 hours / overnight. Remove from water, pat dry.
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Beat eggs with milk. Open onion to expose petals. Place onion on a tray or in a bowl. Sprinkle onion generously with flour mixture. Make sure to get in between all the petals, turn upside down to remove the excess.
IMG_5681Spoon or ladle, the egg mixture into every crevice. Turn over to make sure excess egg drips off.
IMG_5682Sprinkle onion very generously with bread crumb mixture. Press into place.
IMG_5683Preheat the air fryer to 360F. Then place the onion in the basket cover with a tinfoil tent and cook for 10 minutes.

When timer is done, check crispness of the onion. Cook 5-10 more minutes to desired crispness. Cut out the middle core with a sharp knife so you can add a bowl of dipping sauce. I used ranch dressing for this one.
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What would I do differently next time – I would make 16 slices, I would like a smaller bite. I am going to try doing a tempura batter next time, just to see the difference.

Macros = 4 servings per onion without the dressing
187 Calories – 6g Fat – 26g Carbs – 7g Protein

Buffalo Chicken Boats

I wish you all a very happy healthy new year! Even though I do not make verbal resolutions; I do hope that I try harder to get in shape. Ya I know that doesn’t really scream diet and exercise but I do THINK about it so that’s something right?

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They are so cute!

OK so we spent New Years weekend in Quebec City with a bunch of friends and froze our asses off. Not literally but 11 degrees Fahrenheit below zero is just plain crazy to hang around outside. And that is without the wind which was whipping. We had a great time and the city is beautiful; I would like to go back; when it warms up about 60 degrees.

R - D quebec

Thought I would share how cold it was, and this was during the day


IMG_5652With the fridge and pantry being filled with holiday food from last month and us being away I haven’t been grocery shopping in a few weeks. We were invited over to some friends for dinner and I was to bring an appetizer. Not having time to run to a store, I needed to come up with something with what I had on hand. I was also thinking it should be something a little on the healthy side since its a new year and I was THINKING about being healthier.
IMG_5646I thawed a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts. Chopped, seasoned, cooked and shredded them. I had a few sticks of celery and a little bleu cheese and voila appetizer.
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Ingredients
1 cup boneless skinless chicken breasts – shredded
Salt
Pepper
Adobo seasoning
¼ cup franks hot sauce
2 Tbs mayo
3-4 celery sticks
Chives

Directions
Season, chop and cook the chicken pieces, once cooled shred the chicken. Mix together the hot sauce and mayo and cover the shredded chicken.  Wash and remove the strings from your celery. I use a potato peeler to remove the strings on my celery. Slice into bite size pieces fill each piece with the buffalo chicken. Drizzle a little bleu cheese or ranch dressing. Dice up a few chives and sprinkle over the boats.
IMG_5656If you are already healthy wink wink than instead of the celery they would taste great as nachos or in a quesadilla – just saying

Berry Scones – ugly but delish

Happy New Years Eve!!!
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If there were ever a cooking competition that was for tastes great but looks terrible my scones would win hands down. Albeit I have only made them twice or maybe three times but they NEVER look like the scones I buy; well anywhere else. But mine do taste simply divine; just to clear the air I am not the only one judging them. My biggest critic is my husband, almost to a fault. He simply has a comment for everything that is put in front of him. Thankfully I have sat across from him for or 30+ years so I at least know he is not only critiquing my food.
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I will have to keep practicing, but I had to actually put away the last three so we stopped eating them, that can’t be good for us; eating 5 scones within a matter of a couple of hours. Did I mention there were only three of us in the house at the time.
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I have been trying to list the macros; Protein, Fat, Carbs and Calories; on my recipes but I fear trying to figure out what the macros would be on the scones would stop me from trying to finally make a pretty scone worth photographing. Which as you can tell hasn’t stopped me from taking and sharing pictures of my “ugly” but very tasty version.
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Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoon sugar
zest of 2 citrus fruits – lime, lemon, orange whatever you have on hand
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/4″ cubes
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh juice from the fruit you zested – I used lemon
1 cup fresh berries – I used 3 kinds, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon zest of the fruit you used
A little juice from the same fruit
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Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, lime zest and salt. Cut in the butter, using your hands, or a pastry blender. Mix just until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Mix 1 cup of heavy cream with lime juice and pour over the ingredients. Stir with a spatula until dough begins to form. Careful not to over mix. Gently fold in raspberries, they will smash a bit and turn the dough a little pink but it does not affect the flavor.

Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead by hand just until it forms a ball. Form scones by patting the dough into a 3/4-inch thick circle. Cut into 8 even triangles.

Place scones on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until scones are light brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Make the lime glaze in a small bowl while the scones are cooling. Whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream or milk, zest and juice. Whisk until you reach desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over the scones.

Ham & Cheese pull apart bread

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

I made these for our holiday party last week and since they were delish and easy to make I am making them again for a party that we are going to this weekend. Tis the season for parties!
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While they are yummy this time around I need to pay more attention to how much filling I put in each dough ball. You would think that I would have done that the first time around especially since you use a 3 inch cookie cutter for EACH piece. Probably sounds totally logical to you but I had some different sizes happening and a little cheese leakage on my first go round.
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Since I tend to keep it real here with my writings, I also want to mention that you shouldn’t stack them like I did without flouring between the layers, I had to start over as I couldn’t pull them apart, what a rookie move I know better than that. Maybe I was distracted last week? Yeah I’m going to go with that!
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Ham & Cheese pull apart wreath
16 ounce bag of store-bought pizza dough – at room temperature
1 cup black forest ham – minced
1 cup gruyere – shredded
4 ounce cream cheese – softened
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 tablespoon unsalted butter – melted
Flaky sea salt
Fresh parsley – finely chopped for garnish
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Dijon Honey dipping sauce
1 cup dijon mustard
2 tablespoon honey
¼ sour cream
Preheat oven to 375F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray. Allow pizza dough to come to room temperature.
On a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough into a 10×15 inch rectangle. Using a 3 inch cookie cutter, cut out 23 rounds of dough and set aside.  Make sure to lightly flour between layers.

In a medium bowl, stir together the ham, cheese, cream cheese and nutmeg. Scoop about 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture on the middle of each pizza dough round. Enclose the filling by wrapping up the sides and rolling the dough into a sealed ball.
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Arrange the dough balls into a wreath using 15 of them as the outer ring, all touching and then use the remaining 8 as an inner wreath all touching each other as well as the outer ring.

Brush with a couple of tablespoons of melted butter and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
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Remove once golden brown, brush with more of the melted butter and sprinkle with a little of the flaky salt to taste. Sprinkle with parsley to your desired effect.

Dipping sauce
Stir mustard, honey and sour cream and place in a bowl that will fit in the center of your wreath

Note: use whatever filing you want to make them your own creation

Macros = 2 balls without dipping sauce
256 Calories – 15g Fat – 20g Carbs – 10g Protein

Recipe: Clinton Kelly viewed on the Chew

Baked Jalapeno Poppers – no longer afraid

As little as a few short months ago you couldn’t pay me or my husband to even try a Jalapeno popper – we both just figured they were going to be too hot for us. Now I am making them for my Christmas party. I must be growing as an adult, nah we were at a friends for dinner and they served jalapeno poppers and stuffed mushrooms – ugh I had to at the very least take a “no thank you” bite of each. My husband was going to be OK because he doesn’t mind mushrooms; I think it must be a texture thing for me. We were both super surprised how much we liked the poppers and the mushrooms were not too bad either.
IMG_5601.JPGSo here I was shopping for the party; saw the jalapenos and decided why not! I get home and tell my husband what I was doing and he was psyched. Maybe we are both evolving hahaha stop talking crazy Donna.
IMG_5591This is actually going to be great come summer when I have way too many Jalapenos from my garden; I usually just bring them into to work and put them on one of the kitchen tables for whoever wanted them. Now I have more than salsa and guacamole to use them in.
IMG_560024 +/- jalapeno
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounce cream cheese – softened
16 ounce breakfast sausage – browned and drained

Slice each jalapeno in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and veins; I use an iced tea spoon, it is small enough to fit right in them. If you are not wearing gloves, make sure not to touch your face or eyes until you wash your hands really well.
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Mix the next three ingredients once the sausage is cooled.
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Scoop about a tablespoon and a half into each jalapeno. Press the mixture into them so it doesn’t fall out.

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My husband saw me writing and said you should tell them “that I Love these”


Place on a sheet pan and broil for about 7-10 minutes but you know your oven better than me so watch them. You want them nice and browned and for the jalapeno to be soft

Macros = 2 pieces
228 Calories – 15g Fat – 10g Carbs – 13g Protein

Spicy and Sweet dumpling salad

I have a strange obsession with dumplings which depending on where you are in the world can also be called a potsticker, gyoza or simply ravioli. They generally has a small amount of meat and some vegetables wrapped around a wrapper and you can boil, fry, bake or any combination of the three cooking methods. I have made my fair share of homemade dumplings but I have found a frozen brand that is delicious and I haven’t made a single dumpling since. A friend of mine showed me where there is a dumpling restaurant in Montreal that I’m kind of happy isn’t closer to me.
IMG_5588.JPGI’m sure that I am not off the hook and they are not difficult to make but sometimes a quick and simple lunch or dinner is just what the doctor ordered. Today we have been getting things done. We cut down our tree and it is finally is in place, we’ll need to get it decorated before the weekend ends.
IMG_5571This recipe fits a few of my requirements especially this time of year it is quick, easy, and limits my dumpling eating to a few and not the whole pan 🙂 which I could easily do but should most definitely not.
IMG_5581Sweet and Spicy Korean Dumpling Salad

3-5 dumplings per serving
Lettuce a few leaves chopped
Cabbage a few slices chopped
1 small Cucumber – peeled, seeded and julienned
1 small Carrot – peeled and julienned
1-2 tablespoons oil for pan frying
IMG_5584Spicy & sweet dressing
1 tablespoon Koren chili paste
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Place veggies in a bowl and set aside. Place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk till combined.
Heat oil in a pan on medium low heat and arrange the dumplings so the bottoms are all touching the pan, you’ll want to brown the bottoms and then add a tablespoon or two to the pan and cover with a lid cook for about 5-10 minutes till the dumplings are cooked thru.
Mix everything when you are about to sit down and eat so the veggies and dumplings stay crunchy.
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Macros = 1 serving – recipe makes 3-4 with 4 dumplings per
227 Calories – 5 g Fat – 36 g Carbs – 9 g Protein

 

recipe adapted from Korean kitchen

Pumpkin Spiced Muffins – cajun rub fried turkey

I share this recipe last year but it was so good that I thought it was worth repeating. Plus I am sitting on a beach drinking tasty adult beverages and haven’t made anything sweet and delicious to share and maybe you have a can or two of pumpkins lying around. It may last till next year’s Thanksgiving but why chance it.

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I do hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This year I did things a little different. I made mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes first thing in the morning and put each in my slow cookers to keep warm. I buy 2 smaller birds versus one enormous one, I find I have better luck having juicy meat instead of dry. This year I was on the fence on how to cook them. literally the morning of Thanksgiving I held a meeting with all in the kitchen on how to cook my two 10 pound birds. consensus was fry one and spatchcock the other. I knew that the fried one needed A LOT of spices and I needed to get going so it had time to soak in. I took the other and started to spatchcock also know as removed the backbone.  FYI it was much harder to remove than when I remove it from a roaster chicken.
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Both birds turned out great, but the cajun spice rub I put on the fried bird was amazing!

Rub
1/4 cup chili pepper
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground black pepper
2 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper

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spatchcock

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cajun rubbed fried

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Pumpkin Spiced Batter – preheat oven to 350’F


1 package yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla pudding mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup oil
½ cup water
3 eggs
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and with an electric mixer on low speed beat just till moistened. Move up to medium for a couple of minutes. Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Fill each cup about ⅔ full

Bake for about 20 minutes. Frost cooled cupcakes with the spiced cream cheese frosting.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8oz) cream cheese – softened
¼ cup butter – softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp ground cloves

Add to bowl and beat until light and fluffy, gradually add 1 (16oz) box of confectioners sugar.

 

 


Recipe by : McCormick & Co