Creamy Red Pepper Soup
8-10 red peppers
2 whole cloves garlic
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
Split and remove cores from red peppers, and bake at 350°F for 45-60 minutes, or until skin is blackened and blistered. Set aside in a sealed container or zipper bag until cooled.
Meanwhile, also cut the tops off the garlic cloves and bake at 350°F for 60 minutes. They just need a little more time than the peppers, until they are softly golden browned.
After peppers and garlic have cooled, peel skins and place “meat” in blender with milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Pulse until smooth.
Slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to blend flavours
Deluxe Potato Skins
20 small new potatoes
8 ricotta cheese
finely chopped lightly fried bacon
fresh chives to garnish
Preheat oven to 400F. Boil or steam potatoes for 10 minutes, to just tender. Drain. Cool.
Combine cheeses and bacon. Season to taste.
Cut cooked potatoes in half and scoop out flesh. Lightly sprinkle the potato halves with oil and bake for 30-45 minutes until crisp and golden.
Fill each potato shell with a teaspoon of mixture and grill for 5-8 minutes, until golden and melts. Garnish with chives.
24 wonton wrappers
½ cup pizza sauce
½ cup shredded Monterey jack
½ cup shredded cheddar
½ cup chopped pepperoni
½ cup chopped cooked ham
½ cup chopped cooked bacon
½ cup ranch dressing
¼ cup chopped green peppers
¼ cup chopped red peppers
Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Gently place 1 wrapper in each cup, with the edges of the wrappers extending up sides of cups. Bake 5-7 minutes, until light golden brown.
Mix remaining ingredients. Fill wonton cups evenly with mixture.
Bake 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Bacon Wrapped Smokies
1 16-oz pkg small cooked smoked sausage links
15 slices bacon, cut lengthwise into 3 strips
¾ cup brown sugar
We call these, “Deliciousness, wrapped in deliciousness, with deliciousness on top”
Line a baking pan with foil; lightly spray. Preheat oven to 350F.
Wrap each sausage with a bacon slice. Press the end to seal it or use a toothpick.
Place brown sugar in a large plastic storage bag. Add several bacon-wrapped sausages and seal, shake and coat.
Place sausages on baking sheet. Repeat. Bake about 30 minutes or until bacon is browned. Serve immediately.
3 cups fresh basil, chopped fine
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted
1/3 cup parmesan, fresh grated
2 tbsp red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp lemon juice
Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
It helps if you put everything in except the olive oil, then slowly drizzle the olive oil into the processor as you “pulse”.
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup chicken broth or white wine
salt, pepper to taste
Sauté onions and cabbage in butter. Add peppers and celery, then mushrooms, almonds and fennel. Stir until tender-crisp.
Pour in chicken broth or wine, and season with salt and pepper to your tastes.
Add cooked chicken and ranch seasoning
Add cooked ground beef and taco seasoning
Add cooked pork steaks and BBQ sauce
Potato Crusted Mushroom Tarts
2 cups grated potatoes
1 onion, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
2 1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 eggs, lightly beaten
mushrooms, thinly sliced
Grease non-stick muffin tin with butter. Cut away sides of 12 muffin liners, place circle into each greased cup. Spray with cooking spray one more time.
In bowl, combine potatoes, onion, egg, flour and salt. Divide among muffin cups, pressing evenly up sides and over bottoms. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Bake in 400°F oven for 20 minutes or until crisp browned at edges.
In large skillet, melt butter. Sauté onions, carrots first, then add garlic, mushrooms, basil and salt until softened. Remove from heat and add cheddar, bread crumbs, feta and eggs. Divide among potato lined cups. Top each with a few thin mushroom slices and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Return to oven, reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove paper bottom before serving.
Twice Baked Potatoes
4 large potatoes
8 slices bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
fresh ground black pepper
2/3 cup shredded cheddar
1/3 cup crumbled feta
4 green onions, chopped fine
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
4 cups cauliflower
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake potatoes for about an hour, or until cooked through.
Toss Cauliflower florets in melted butter, then roast in same oven as potatoes until lightly browned and tender crisp, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook bacon until evenly crisp. Drain, crumble and set aside. Briefly sauté 3/4 of the sliced green onions in what bacon drippings are left in skille after draining.
When potatoes are cooked, divide each in half and scoop flesh into a large bowl, saving the skins. Mix together roasted cauliflower, sour cream, milk, salt, pepper, 2/3 cup cheddar, feta and sautéd green onions and bacon. Blend with a hand mixer until creamy, or with a potato masher if you like coarser.
Top with remaining cheddar and green onions
Bake in oven until filling is cooked through, and the cheese is melted and golden brown to crispy, about 15-20 minutes.
Note: there will be extra filling, thanks to the added cauliflower – you can save that for another day – try frying it tomorrow for lunch.
BBQ Grilled Veggies
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red onion
1 portobello mushroom
1 bunch asparagus
fresh ground pepper
roasted red pepper dip
(or any other seasoning mix you prefer)
Pre-heat BBQ to medium heat.
Wash all veggies.
Slice peppers into thick strips, cutting again in half if prefered.
Divide onion into 8 wedges.
Slice Portobello mushroom.
Snap asparagi – dispose tough end, divide remaining pieces into 2 inch lengths.
Toss all veggies with oil and seasoning in large bowl.
Spread out on BBQ grilling pan.
Grill over indirect heat (either on top rack or over a low burner, while other burner is on medium-high) until tender crisp, about 10-15 minutes, depending on temperature of BBQ.
potatoes, washed and sliced thickly, skin on
Scrub potatoes, and remove all eyes, rough spots. Slice into thick slices.
Boil slices in water until just tender – maybe 8 minutes.
Heat butter to sizzling in heavy skillet or caste iron pan.
Place potatoes in skillet and allow to brown, both sides.
When all are browned, toss in large casserole with seasonings.
Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes
Stuffed Mushroom Caps
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 pkg cream cheese
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
1 tsp chopped chives
12- 20 mushroom caps
1/4 cup melted butter
parmesan or asiago cheese, grated
Combine bacon, with cheese, chives and salt and whip until light and fluffy with hand mixer. Dip mushroom caps in melted butter and place on cookie sheet. Fill each cap with cheese mixture. Top with grated parmesan or asiago.
Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is softened.
Bourbon Maple Bacon Chocolate Cake
1- 1 ½ cup Bacon, cooked and chopped
2½ cup Flour, sifted
¾ cup Dark chocolate cocoa powdered, sifted
1 tsp Baking powder
¼ tsp Salt
¾ cup Unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup Vegetable oil
2 cup Sugar
5 Large eggs
2 tbsp Vanilla extract
¼ cup Light sour cream
1 cup Bourbon
For the glaze:
1½ cup Powdered sugar, sifted
½ cup Unsalted butter (1 stick), browned
2 tbsp Pure maple syrup
2 tbsp Milk
Cook bacon until crisp. Allow to cool and chop cooked bacon into small pieces.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a bundt cake pan and coat with cocoa powder instead of flour.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift flour and cocoa powder. Add baking powder and salt and set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Combine melted butter in mixing bowl with oil and sugar. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, ensure that each egg is well beaten before adding the next one. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the bourbon.
Pour batter into the greased, cocoa-coated bundt cake pan. Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the centre of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, place the wire rack on top of the bundt pan and flip it over. Gently tapping the sides to release the cake. If the cake does not release, take a butter knife and gently insert along the edge of the pan to help release.
For the glaze:
Sift powdered sugar. Melt butter in a saucepan. Once melted, continue to stir until butter turns a golden brown.
Pour melted butter over powdered sugar. Add maple syrup and milk. Whisk until smooth. (For a thicker glaze, add only 1 tablespoon of milk instead of two. Or add additional powdered sugar. To make glaze thinner, add additional milk.)
Gently pour glaze over cake. After glaze has cooled and set, remove from cooling rack to final plate. Sprinkle with bacon pieces.