Tuesday, July 28, 2015

S'Mores pie recipe from McCormick

No summer celebration is complete until the s'mores are served! This delightful recipe from McCormick offers a new twist on a classic summer sweet.


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted 
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground 
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon McCormick® Extra Rich Pure Vanilla Extract, divided 
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme 
  • 4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 tub (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed 


  • For the Crust mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Press into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Set aside. 
  • For the Filling bring cream just to boil in small saucepan. Pour over chocolate in medium heatproof bowl. Let stand 1 minute then stir until smooth. Stir in cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Pour into prepared crust. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm. (Freeze 15 minutes for faster chilling.) Beat marshmallow creme, cream cheese and remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping until well blended. Spread evenly over chocolate layer in crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. Garnish with chocolate curls or toasted marshmallows, if desired.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Vegetable ravioli in lemon grass broth recipe

Preparation of home-made ravioli with ricotta
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Summer is almost here and for those of us who enjoy gardening, the time to enjoy our bounty of fresh herbs and vegetables is almost upon us. This amazing recipe is the perfect way to kick of the summer season!

  • 1 lb Chinese cabbage 
  • 6 scallions 
  • 6 oz snow peas 
  • 4 oz carrots 
  • 4 oz mushrooms, trimmed 
  • 2 oz vegetable oil 
  • 1 oz soy sauce 
  • 1 t sesame oil 
  • 1 T cilantro, chopped 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 ½ lb fresh stained glass pasta dough 
  • Water or egg wash as needed 
  • 4 stalks lemon grass 
  • 1 oz ginger root, sliced 
  • 4 scallions, sliced 
  • 1 qt water 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish 
Cut cabbage into fine shreds. Trim and slice scallions, trim snow peas and cut diagonally into a thin julienne, trim, peel and grate carrots, chop mushrooms coarsely. Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add vegetables and sauté until wilted. Add soy sauce and lower heat to medium and continue to cook until vegetables are tender and there is no remaining liquid in the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add sesame oil and cilantro. Season with salt as desired. Roll pasta dough into thin sheets. Lay half the sheets on your work space. Place ½ ounce mounds of the vegetable mixture on the pasta sheets about 3-4 inches apart. Brush exposed pasta with water or egg wash and top with remaining sheets. Press together to seal, making sure to press out any air bubbles around the vegetable mixture. Cut into round or square raviolis. Trim off and discard the tops of the lemon grass stalks. Crush the bases then chop coarsely. Combine lemon grass, ginger, scallions and water in a sauce pan. Simmer 10-15 minutes until water is lightly flavored. Strain and season with salt to taste. Drop ravioli into boiling salted water. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes, until pasta is cooked. Remove pasta with a skimmer and drain well. Arrange 5 ravioli in a broad soup plate and pour lemon grass broth over top. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Stained glass pasta recipe

Stained glass window.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This recipe is easy to make, but it can be quite time consuming until you are comfortable with the process. The end result, however, is totally worth it if you enjoy crafting truly unique food for your friends and family.

Basic Pasta Ingredients
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 5 to 7 T water 
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • Fresh herbs or edible flours, as desired
In a large bowl, create a mound of flour and create a well in the center of it. Add the eggs to the well, beating gently with a fork while you add the water a tablespoon at a time. Slowly bring the flour from the sides into the well, adding more water as needed until all of the flour is moistened. Once a stiff dough is formed, create a ball and knead the mixture for 3-4 minutes, until the dough is elastic. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 20 minutes. When ready to make pasta, lightly dust your work surface with additional flour and divide the dough into fourths. Roll out two portions as thin as possible, keeping unused dough covered until you are ready to use it. Lightly dampen fresh herbs or edible flowers with water and press into one of the dough sheets. Top with the second piece of dough and press and flatten the dough sheets with a rolling pin. Cut into desired shapes and use in your favorite pasta recipes.

For some beautiful examples of stained glass pasta, please visit The Novice Gardner on WordPress.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Green chile cheesecake recipe from Old El Paso

I think it's safe to say that all of us are familiar with cheesecake, am I right? A rich, buttery crust
filled sky high with a cream cheese filling. Mmmm, who else is ready for some dessert? LOL Well, cheesecakes aren't just for dessert, even though that is how most of us traditionally enjoy them. Savory cheesecakes can make a delicious appetizer or entree, as well. This recipe from Old El Paso features a Tex Mex flavor that will be sure to become quite popular for summer time entertaining.



  • 1 tablespoon oil 
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion 
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 cup Green Giant™ Niblets® Frozen Corn, thawed 
  • 2 (4.5-oz.) cans Old El Paso™ Chopped Green Chiles 
  • 2 teaspoons cumin 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 
  • 3 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 4 oz. (1 cup) shredded Monterey Jack cheese 
  • 7 grape or small cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 2 (12-oz.) pkg. cornbread crackers 

Step 1 Heat oven to 325°F. In medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and chili powder; mix well. Stir in melted butter. Pat in bottom and 1 inch up sides of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
Step 2 Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion; stir to coat. Add lime juice; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until onion has softened, stirring frequently.
Step 3 Add garlic; cook and stir 30 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from heat. Add corn, chiles, cumin, salt and hot pepper sauce; mix well. Set aside.
Step 4 Beat cream cheese in large bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in sour cream. Reduce speed to low; beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Stir in Monterey Jack cheese. Stir in chile mixture. Pour into crust-lined pan.
Step 5 Bake at 325°F. for 55 to 65 minutes or just until center of cheesecake is set. Cool cheesecake in pan on wire rack for 1 hour. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.
Step 6 Just before serving, run knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen; remove sides of pan. Arrange halved tomatoes around edge of cheesecake. Serve with crackers.

Chicken, bacon, ranch enchilada recipe from Betty Crocker

I'm not sure what it is about summer, but the flavors of chicken, bacon and ranch dressing always seem to make dinner taste a little bit better. If you are looking for a new take on a classic enchilada recipe for your summer dining, this recipe from Betty Crocker is a sure hit!



Garnishes, as desired 

  • Chopped fresh cilantro 
  • Chopped fresh tomatoes 
  • Chopped red onion 


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish and 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish. 
  2. In large bowl, mix chicken, half of the crumbled bacon, 1 tablespoon of the ranch dressing & seasoning mix, the cooking sauce, and 1 cup of the cheese; mix well. Divide mixture among tortillas, and roll up, placing seam side down in baking dishes. Set aside. If you want to freeze the smaller baking dish of enchiladas at this point, cover the baking dish with foil, and label before placing in the freezer. Use within 1 month. 
  3. In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion in oil until softened. Add chilies, and cook until most of the liquid from chilies evaporates. Stir in flour. Slowly add chicken broth, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. 
  4. Once broth is incorporated, cook another minute or until slightly thickened. Stir in sour cream and remaining ranch dressing & seasoning mix, and simmer 1 minute. 
  5. Remove from heat, and pour over enchiladas. If baking both baking dishes, pour the sauce over both; otherwise, pour all of it into the 13x9-inch dish. (To make just enough for the smaller pan of enchiladas later, divide the recipe for the sauce in half, ratios in the tips section below). Top with remaining cheese and bacon. 
  6. Bake about 20 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Cool 5 minutes before serving with garnishes.