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Salted Caramel, Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

saltedcaramel

Yield: 12 medium  muffins 

Time to make: 35-40 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 overly ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 3/4 cup of melted unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of all spice
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of SEA SALT – depending on your taste for salt
  • 1-2 TBSP of Skor Toffee bits (these are is to be sprinkled on the top of the muffins before your bake them)
  • 12 mini marshmallows as garnish

Instructions: 

1 Using potato masher or fork, purée the peeled ripe bananas until smooth. You should have 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of banana purée. Butter or spray with cooking spray the inside of a muffin tin -inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) with a rack in the middle.

2 Place the banana purée into a large mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar and sea salt. Whisk to break up any clumps of brown sugar. Stir in the beaten egg and vanilla extract.

3.  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice.

4. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips.

5. Evenly pour batter into a muffin tin.

6. Sprinkle Skor Toffee Chips. Add a mini marshmallow and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the end of a knife comes out clean.

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Roasted Veggies, Basil & Pine Nut Farafalle Pasta

fun_n_fire_farafalle_pasta_wit_picture_1

Yield: 2     TIME: 30 min

• 1 pint of mini, sweet bell peppers, diced
• 1 large Italian squash or zucchini, medium-diced
• 1 small red onion, medium-diced
• 3 cloves of minced garlic
• 1/2 tablespoon of crushed red pepper
• 1 tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup of roasted pine nuts
• 3 tablespoons of minced, fresh basil
• Basil leaves, to garnish
• Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
• 2 cups of farfalle pasta

1) Pre heat your oven to 450˚F

2) Mix the peppers, onions, zucchini, garlic, red pepper, vinegar, olive oil, one tablespoon of basil and salt and pepper.

3) Put the mixture in a casserole dish or pan and roast at 450˚F for 20-25 minutes, until the veggies start to brown slightly.

4) Follow the directions on your farfalle pasta and cook in large stock pot.

5) Combine cooked pasta, veggies, pine nuts, and basil. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over mixture to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6) Serve in a shallow bowl and garnish with a fresh basil leaf.

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Basic Pizza Recipe

The Dough (yield one pizza dough)

  • 3 cups of All Purpose Flower
  • 1  1/4  cups of water hot water (the hottest that comes from the tap)
  • 10 ML of Instant Yeast
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil
  • Extra oil to spread  on to pan
  • Corn meal (1 to 2 TBSP) to spread on pan 
  1.    Add  2  2/3 cups of flour, all of the salt, yeast, hot water and olive oil to the bowl of a stand mixture. Turn it on to knead for 8 minutes. Gradually add the remaining flour so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl. If you do no have a stand mixer knead dough on a floured surface for 8  minutes. When the dough is compete cover, smooth it out with a drizzle of olive oil and roll it smooth into a large ball on a floured surface. If you want to use it that day cover it with a damp cloth and let it rise for one our or put it in a bowl in the refrigerator, cover it with plastic wrap and use the next day. Make sure that the dough has time to come to room temperature before making the pizza.

The Sauce (yields  enough for two pizzas-you can also make this your go to quick pasta sauce recipe)

  • 1 24 oz bottle of strained tomatoes with basil
  • 1 medium onion, dice
  • 1 green pepper, dice
  • 2 teeth garlic, dice
  • 1TBS of sugar
  • 1TBS of Italian her seasoning blend
  • dash of red wine or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS of EVO
  • (optional) 1 tsp of red pepper flakes)
  1. Dice all ingredients and set aside
  2. Heat oil in a pan up (let the pan get hot first before adding oil)
  3. Sauté onions, peppers and garlic until translucent (do not brown) 3-4 minutes
  4. Add tomato sauce
  5. Add sugar
  6. Add herbs
  7. Add wine or vinegar
  8. Simmer for 20 minutes
  9. Use immersion blender or any blender and blend until smooth
  10. Sat and pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings to taste.

The Cheese: 1 pound of grated mozzarella

THE BUILD 

Heat oven to 500º F

1. Prepare pan.  Oil the pan and sprinkle on the corn meal. Corn meal helps the pizza not stick, provides texture and flavour. This dough can spread on to a large cookie sheet. Use your hands to stretch out the dough.

2.  Grate cheese and then put the grated cheese in the freezer for 15 minutes. Usually the cheese will burn too quickly. This will prevent that.

3) Ladle on half of the pre-made sauce on to the spread out pizza dough. Sprinke on your cheese and desired toppings. Do not overkill the pizza with to many toppings.

4) Bake on the lowest rack until the bottom of the pizza crust is golden brown.

5) Take you pizza out and slide it on to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting it.

 

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Beef Burgundy (Stew)

Ingredients: 

  • 2lbs stew meat
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6-8 carrots, chunks in size of meat
  • 2 teeth garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of Cognac
  • 3 cups of Fusion Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 4 sprigs of Savory
  • 4 springs of Margaram
  • 1 Beef cube
  • 500 ML water
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions:

1.  Brown meat in batches and set aside.

2.  Sauté onions in same pot until slightly brown. ( Add garlic after a few minutes of cooking the onions.)

3. Add flour and cook roux for 10 minutes, string constantly.

4. Add Congnac and cook off.

5. Add beef cube and water and cook for a few minutes.

6. Add wine and carrots cover and cook for two hours.

7. Season to taste.

 

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Roasted Mediterranean Chicken

Roasted Mediterranean ChickenA delicious chicken dish!

 

Ingredients: 

• 2 pounds of boneless chicken breast – cut into one inch pieces OR CHICKEN THIGHS AS PICTURES
• 5 cloves of crushed garlic
• 2 teaspoons of minced fresh thyme
• 1 teaspoon of paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
• 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Combine the chicken, garlic, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight.

2) If you are grilling, you can put the pieces on metal or wooden skewers or rosemary twigs. Cook for 5-10 minutes on high turning every 3 minutes, or

4) If you are sauteing, cook over medium high heat until chicken is brown on each side. 5) Serve chicken hot over the cold salad, or

5) If you are roasting. Oven temperature 375° F 30 minutes or until internal temp is 165°-175°  F and the juices run clear.

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Coleslaw

coleslaw

It’s simple. It’s the go to recipe.

Ingredients: 

  • 6 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup of shredded carrot (optional)
  • 1 cup of mayo
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
  • A few tablespoons of poppy seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

1) Shred cabbage and carrots.

2) Add all ingredients in mixing bowl.  Marinate in refrigerator for several hours before serving.

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Proscuitto and Provolone Stuffed Garlic Bread

Stuffed breadThis is a fantastic bread that is served on Special Occasions!

NOTES:  The better the ingredients the better the bread.

Ingredients :

  • 1 Medium width sized QUALITY Italian bread loaf or any French Baguette
  • 5 slices of Proscuitto
  • 4 slices of Provolone cheese
  • 4-5 Cloves of minced garlic
  • 1-2 TBSP of minced Fresh Italian Parsley
  • 2 TBSP of unsalted butter
  • 2 TBSP of EVO  (Extra virgin olive oil)
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Salt

Instructions: 

1) Pre-heat oven to 425 º.

2) Melt butter with EVO, minced garlic, salt (to taste) and parsley.

3) Slice bread in half and spread garlic butter evenly on both sides.

4) Crack fresh black pepper on both sides.

5) Layer proscuitto on one side of the bread and provolone on the other.

6) Combine like a sandwich, wrap in tinfoil and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until cheese has melted. Let cool. Slice and enjoy!

 

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Grilled Asian Candied Salmon

Candied Asian Salmon

Feeds three.

Ingredients: 

• 1 pound of salmon with skin removed

The Marinade • 3/4 cup of sweet chili sauce (you can get this in the Asian section of your grocer or go to an Asian market)

• 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil
• 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
• 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
• 1/2 tablespoon of dried ginger
• 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic
• Pepper to taste

Instructions: 

1. Turn your grill on to Medium – high.

2.In a bowl, combine the sweet chili sauce, orange juice, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, pepper and mix together. Reserve a 1/4 cup of sauce for fish before serving

3.Pour marinade over salmon. Cover and refrigerate for at least a half an hour.

4.Grill for five minutes on the skin side. Then flip over the fish by placing the spatula between the skin and the fillet. The concept is to leave the skin only on the grill.  Cook for 4- 5 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon. The fish should be just a wee bit pink on the inside.

5. Drizzle 1/4 cup of reserved marinade over fish.

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Carrot & Ginger Soup

Carrot and Ginger Soup

Notes: 

This soup is a zinger. It brings a happy tingle to your nose and your belly. It can be great as a main course served with bread and unsalted butter or you can start with this as a delicious first course for a multi-course meal.  Adapted from Wolf Gang Puck.

Time To Cook:
• Novice cook: 1 and 1/2 hours
• Experienced cook: 1 hour

Ingredients: 

• 1 pound orange carrots
• 1 pound yellow carrots
• 1 pound white carrots
• 1/4 cup peanut oil
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon minced ginger
• 1 tablespoon minced green onion
• Pinch red pepper flakes
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
• 1 tablespoon honey, or to taste
• 8 cups vegetable stock
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 4 ounces butter
• Oil, for deep-frying
• 1/2 cup julienne ginger

Instructions: 

1.  Peel the carrots and slice thinly. In a stockpot, heat the oil and sauté the garlic, minced ginger, green onions and pepper flakes for 1 to 2 minutes or just until glossy. Do not allow to develop color.

2.  Add the carrots, salt, pepper, turmeric and honey. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

3.  Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and add the cream. Cook for 40 minutes or until carrots are tender.

4. Transfer to a blender; add the butter and process to a puree. Strain soup into a new stockpot. If the soup is too thick, add extra stock. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and honey. Keep warm.

5. Preheat oil to 300˚F. Deep-fry the ginger and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.

To serve: ladle 6 to 8 ounces of soup. Garnish with fried ginger. Serve immediately.

Tip: Cook this over a two-day process for a more intense flavor. If you can’t get yellow and white carrots just use the regular orange ones.

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