Prosciutto Mascarpone bites

I am sitting here this morning drinking my tea and trying to figure out what to say. Which is kinda funny for me, as most of my friends and family will gladly tell you; I always have something to say.  Just sharing –  It took me longer to write this than it did to make a platter of these the other night. 
IMG_3590Today is our first frost, last night my Red Sox lost the first game of the series. I used up the last of my balsamic that I brought home from Italy. And I think I might have worn my flip flops for the last time this year. The day has nowhere to go but up – I hope.
IMG_3583I do have a quick and simple appetizer that I probably paid at least 12 euros for 3 little bites in Greece. But I will be adding these to my list of go too App. I have some friends that have been asking me to come up with an appetizer class. They say they always make the same things every time they are asked to bring something. Which I totally understand. You make something that everyone likes why wouldn’t you make it over and over again. I get a sense that I have to bring something different every time I am invited to someone’s home. I am sure I bring most of it on to myself, I write a food blog I can’t disappoint my people LOL.
IMG_3584This recipe is so simple I am almost embarrassed to write a blog about it. But if you want a new app to bring to a party or just make a light snack for yourself; I won’t judge you.

Prosciutto Mascarpone bites

Prosciutto, thinly sliced
Mascarpone, room temperature
Balsamic vinegar
Greens for decoration

There are packages by the deli with pre-sliced prosciutto, slice each one lengthwise down the middle.
IMG_3585I found it easier to work with the Mascarpone when it got warmer. I put mine in a pastry bag. You can use a ziploc bag or skip the bag and use a couple of spoons to dollop some on the end of each piece of Prosciutto.

Roll each piece and stand them on end, drizzle with the balsamic. Adding some greenery finishes off the simple plate nicely. When I make these again I might roll the meat and then fill with the mascarpone using my pastry bag. I think they would look much nicer. 
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Mascarpone, Cream Cheese
Mascarpone simply put is less tangy than Cream cheese

Bacon, Pancetta, Prosciutto – I love all three
Now a quick little lesson in the differences between Bacon, pancetta, prosciutto
Three pork products that look alike, taste somewhat similar, and even get regularly substituted for each other.

All three are cured meat products Bacon (usually found sliced) and Pancetta (can be sliced thin or cubed) are from the pork belly and need to be cooked before eating. Bacon is put through a smoking process where Pancetta is unsmoked. Prosciutto (sliced and cubed) is from the hind leg and does not have to be cooked to be eaten.
I hope this simple explanation clears things up a little for you.
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Turkey Lettuce Wraps – give them a try

Why I love lettuce wraps – I believe my first taste was about 5 or 6 years ago and our waiter said it was his favorite app at PF Changs. If we are trying a new place we tend to ask our waiter/waitress what their favorite is and maybe not every time but majority of the time we will take their recommendation. We all really loved their chicken lettuce wraps so much so I actually made a recipe I found online that someone came up with that said they were the ones from PF Changs. They too were delicious but a little time consuming so I have only made them a couple of times.
IMG_2883.JPGThere is an added bonus to lettuce wraps; if you are watching your carb intake you can eat 2 or 3 lettuce wraps without any guilt. Not that I have anything against carbs I mean if you saw me you would be like “oh yeah she eats carbs” but it is nice to know there are other ways to have a tasty filling without having a bun of some sort to hold it together.
IMG_2866This comes together very quickly and would be a great weeknight meal on some hot summer night when you want something quick, light and delicious!
IMG_2873.JPGTurkey Lettuce Wraps

1 package of ground turkey
Olive oil for the pan
Package of white mushrooms – cleaned and chopped
3-4 scallions, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Boston or Bibb lettuce, romaine and iceberg work too
Shredded carrots
Bean Sprouts
IMG_2878.JPGSauce
3 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ tablespoon sriracha sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup water

Thai chili sauce works awesome too
IMG_2867IMG_2868IMG_2870Brown the turkey in a large saute pan until cooked through. Add the mushrooms, scallions, garlic and water chestnuts cook until the mushrooms are soften. In a small bowl mix the soy sauce, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar and then add to the turkey mixture. Cook for about a minute or so. Remove from the heat.
IMG_2879.JPGCreate the sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together. Once you make your lettuce wrap drizzle a little over the top of the turkey and veggies. Add a little thai chili sauce if you like a little more love.
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Recipe adapted from Melissa d’Arabian Food Network

Cucumber red onion dip

Memorial Day weekend is first most here in the US a day to remember our fallen soldiers. There is usually a parade or two or even three or more within 20 miles of us. Thoughts and Thanks for all who serve!
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Secondly it is the start of summer, the end of black flies the official start of cookouts and camping for some.  I can throw a mean cookout but I am not a great camper; my idea of camping would be a bed and breakfast with a shared bathroom down the hall. My husband grew up camping across the country from California to Massachusetts every summer with his mother and siblings. I can share with you that he doesn’t miss it. He likes my version better.
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At a friends house a month or so ago she had made a light, bright and tasty little dip that I couldn’t eating. I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing the recipe because I think it would be a nice addition to everyone’s table over the summer. Especially when the cucumbers start ripening from the garden.
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I hope everyone is able to get outside to pay their respects and enjoy a parade or two and maybe an afternoon BBQ.  
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Cucumber Red Onion Dip

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup sour cream
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
¼ finely chopped red onion
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 cups finely chopped english cucumber – remove any seeds
Salt and Pepper to taste
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Add everything into a bowl and stir.  Let it set up for about an hour.
Serve alongside plain bagel chips, wheat thins or something  

Marinated tomato whipped feta crostini

So how do you Super Bowl?
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This year we will be chilling at home even though we don’t have plans to have anyone over I will still be making a few super bowl staples like wings, guacamole and chili. I have also been craving 7 layer dip so I made sure to have those ingredients on hand. While not everything has to be heavy and well filling I also made some marinated tomatoes with some whipped feta that you smear on a crostini. Sounds like we will be enjoying some leftovers this week.
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I find it pretty funny that being from New England of course there are a ridiculous amount of Patriot fans around and then there are people who become fans of whoever is playing against the Patriots. Not sure why there are so many haters out there but I sure do enjoy watching the entire game halftime show, commercials and all and even more so when we are in it. Go Pats!

Marinated tomato whipped feta crostini

6 ounces crumbled feta
2 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
2/3 cup olive oil – divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2-3 different type/color pints of cherry tomatoes (sliced in half or quartered)
3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons pine nuts
French baguette (sliced and baked till lightly browned)

Add feta and cream cheese in bowl of a food processor, pulse until they are mixed. Add 1/3 cup olive oil, the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and process until smooth.
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Combine shallots, garlic, and vinegar in a medium bowl, set aside for 5 minutes.  Whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon pepper. Add the tomatoes, stir gently, set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and taste for seasoning.

To assemble the crostini, spread each slice of toast with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a slotted spoon, place the tomatoes on top. Top with pine nuts and extra basil.

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

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