Thursday, March 26, 2009

How to Bake Ravishly Rich Rum Cake

How to Bake Ravishly Rich Rum Cake

This is a fast and easy Rum Cake Recipe without sparing the delicious taste.

Things You’ll Need:

1+ stick Butter,
1 cup pecans,
4 large eggs,
3/4 cup water,
1/2 extra virgin olive oil,
1 cup rum,
1 package yellow cake mix,
1 package vanilla pudding mix,
1 cup sugar.

PREPARE PAN & OVEN - Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heavily butter the inside of a Bundt pan with softened butter. Coat the sides of the Bundt pan with 1 cup finely chopped pecans.

PREPARE THE CAKE - Combine 4 eggs, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup rum, cake mix and pudding mix in large bowl. Mix with a mixer at low speed until smooth. Pour into the Bundt Pan.

BAKE - For 50 minutes or until a fork in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes then turn upside down to release cake from pan. Let cool.

MAKE GLAZE - Melt 1 stick butter over medium heat. Add in 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, turn off the burner and stir in 1/2 cup rum.

APPLY GLAZE - Turn cake upside down and poke with a toothpick. Apply 1/3 of the glaze. Turn it right side up on serving plate. Poke all over with a toothpick and apply remaining 2/3 glaze.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to Make a Garlic Lovers Baked Potato

How to Make a Garlic Lovers Baked Potato

This recipe is for true lovers of garlic that have worked their way up to eating it raw.

Things You’ll Need: Baked Potato, Butter, Olive Oil, Fresh Garlic, Salt (Optional).

PREPARE GARLIC - Chop a clove of garlic and let it soak in a small bowl of olive oil. At my house, I chop a whole bulb of garlic and let it soak in olive oil all week in the refrigerator, that way it is handy whenever I need some.

BAKE POTATO - Wash your potato thoroughly and stab it with a fork a couple of times to vent. For a MICROWAVE OVEN: place the potato in the microwave for approximately 6 minutes. For the regular OVEN: wrap it in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until soft.

BUTTER & SALT - When your potato is soft slice it open and mash up the inside with a fork, at butter and salt to taste. Then add the garlic and a little of the olive oil. Mix it in with the mashed up potato. The same instructions work well for a sweet potato or yam and they are much healthier.

Monday, March 23, 2009

How to Make Grandma's Best Spaghetti

How to Make Grandma's Best Spaghetti

I can taste it just thinking of the ingredients. This is my grandmother's spaghetti recipe, she is a first generation American. This recipe is good dolled up with meat and veggies or simple with just the spices. Sorry there are not many quantities, I am used to cooking with a pinch of this, a dash of that until it tastes right.

Things You’ll Need: Tomato Sauce, Fresh Garlic, Olive Oil, Basil, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Marjoram, Savory, Hamburger Meat (optional), Onions (optional), Mushrooms (optional), Kidney Beans (optional), Red wine (optional).

SAUCE - The longer the sauce cooks, the better it tastes. I like to slow cook it for hours in my crock pot. Pour tomato sauce into pot, add spices (use fresh when you can), if you do not have all of the spices, they come combined in Italian Seasoning. Sauté garlic in olive oil for 1-2 minutes on medium. Then pour garlic into sauce.

OPTIONAL - Onions and mushrooms. Sauté onions and mushrooms in olive oil for 2-4 minutes over medium heat, then pour into sauce.

OPTIONAL - Slow cook hamburger meat in a sauté pan. After it is browned, pour it into your sauce from step one.

OPTIONAL - Kidney beans are very healthy and I love to add them in for extra nutrition for my kids. You will find them very delicious in this recipe.

OPTIONAL - Red wine. I think it is really a necessary ingredient, but if you are against it, I will understand.

SLOW COOK - Cook your sauce on low for as little as 15 minutes or as long as 3 hours. The longer you cook it the better it takes.

SERVE SAUCE over your favorite spaghetti. I prefer whole wheat. It is awesome with my Grandma's Garlic Bread.

Just reading this recipe takes me back to my childhood and the delicious meals and fun parties we had a Grandma's house and especially Grandma's Best Spaghetti.

Blackened Filet Mignon Steak and Mushrooms Recipe

Blackened Filet Mignon Steak and Mushrooms Recipe

Things You’ll Need: Filet Mignon, Olive Oil, Shiitake Mushrooms, Crimini Mushrooms, Black Pepper, Brandy, Beef Stock, Bulb of Garlic, Gorgonzola

HEAT - 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook them until they are soft. Remove from pan and set aside.

WIPE the pan. Add another teaspoon of olive oil and raise the heat to high.

PAT the steaks dry. Cover each side with pepper (I prefer grinding whole black peppercorns). Sear steaks on both sides until a crust forms. Turning only once. Remove the steaks from the pan.

POUR the brandy in the pan and light it on fire baby! When the flame dies down add the beef stock and roasted garlic (see my article on how to roast garlic). Keep cooking until the sauce is reduced, add salt and pepper to taste.

RETURN the steaks to the pan with their juices. Add the mushrooms and heat for 1 minute. Serve the steaks by spooning the mushroom and sauce on top and sprinkling gorgonzola cheese on top.

This blackened filet mignon steak and mushroom recipe is a gourmet level recipe that you will really enjoy.

How to Roast Garlic

How to Roast Garlic

Garlic is very nutritious and should be eaten every day (if you are married, if you are still dating take it easy on the garlic). Fresh garlic in olive oil is the healthiest, but if you need it roasted, here is the recipe.

PREHEAT oven to 275 degrees. You can roast it in the microwave, but I do not recommend it, the flavor will not be as intense. For a microwave, place the garlic in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cook for 10-20 minutes.

PREPARE GARLIC - Cut 1/4" off the top of the garlic bulb. Place the garlic in a baking (oven safe) dish. Pour olive oil generously over the bulb.

BAKE the garlic for 1 1/4 hour or until the cloves are soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Squeeze each clove to release the garlic or serve it whole for your guests to squeeze out.

Excellent served with bread and gorgonzola cheese.

After you bake it once you will know how to easily roast garlic everytime without using the recipe again because it is so easy.

Succulent Shrimp Scampi

Succulent Shrimp Scampi

Your mind will think you are in an oceanfront restaurant while consuming this delectable dish.

Things You’ll Need: Shrimp, Olive Oil, Garlic, Butter, Italian Seasoning

SHRIMP - I usually use 28-30 fresh frozen shrimp in the shell to feed my family of four. You can pay a little more to get the de shelled and deveined shrimp. It is very easy to do it yourself. Farmed raised shrimp is fine. If it is frozen, place the shrimp in a collandar and run it under cold water until thawed.

GARLIC - Chop 4-6 large cloves of garlic. Set aside in a small bowl of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

COOK - Place a large saute pan on medium heat and add a dash of olive oil. Add butter, I usually use 2 cubes (1/2 lb.), but you can do it with less. Add the shrimp. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. If you do not have it, it is a mixture of Rosemary, Basil and Thyme.

ADD GARLIC - Once the shrimp has turned pink add the garlic, you do not want to overcook it or burn it. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. You can serve it alone or with rice. Enjoy!

Shrimp Scampi is an excellent meal for all occasions. I prefer to serve it with a dry white wine

Tasty French Toast

Tasty French Toast

This is the best French Toast ever!

Things You’ll Need: French Toast Bread, Egg, Milk, Cinnamon, Butter, Powdered Sugar, Maple Syrup (Optional)

PREPARE - It is best to use French Toast Bread, but if you do not have it, any bread can be used. Try to use the thickest bread possible for best results. Preheat grill to medium. Season grill lightly with olive oil.

MIX - Mix 2 eggs, 1/4 cup milk, and a sprinkle of cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix well. Take a piece of bread and smother it with egg, milk, and cinnamon mixture. Wash your hands after handling raw eggs.

COOK - Cook each slice on each side on grill until golden, watching closely. Use a spatula to flip toast to other side. Remove from grill. Serve immediately.

SERVE - Cover each slice generously with butter. Once butter has melted, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Maple syrup is optional. Another option is a generous portion of powdered sugar and a small splash of lemon.

French toast is a favorite amoung adults and children.

How to Make Grandma's Garlic Bread

How to Make Grandma's Garlic Bread

This delicious garlic bread recipe goes great with my Grandma's Best Spaghetti recipe.

Things You’ll Need: Bread, Olive Oil, Garlic, Butter, Paprika, Oregano.

BREAD - Start with a great bread. I love to use the Columbo Sourdough but you can use your favorite. Cut the bread lengthwise so that you have two long "boats".

PREPARE GARLIC - Chop at least 6 cloves of garlic or more if you are daring. Place the garlic in olive oil. Spread the garlic and olive oil mixture onto the bread. I usually use a spoon to apply it.

BUTTER - Cover the bread with butter. On top of the garlic. You may want to soften the butter slightly so that it is easier to apply.

SPRINKLE with paprika, do not overdo the paprika, just a light dusting and then lightly cover with oregano. BAKE at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned and all of the butter is melted. The bread will be juicy, garlicy, and buttery. Slice and serve.

If you want a delicious garlic bread recipe this is the one for you.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Best French Onion Soup

The Best French Onion Soup

This is gourmet restaurant style French Onion Soup. It may take you a long time to make it, but it is worth it!

Things You’ll Need:8 cups Beef Broth 4 lbs. yellow onions, 1 bulb garlic, 1/4 lb. butter, gruyere cheese, country loaf, olive oil, 1 glass dry white wine

ONION PREPARATION - Chop 4 lbs. of yellow onions. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large (2.5 quart) dutch oven or large pot. Add 1/4 lb. butter. Heat on medium. Add onions. Cook until translucent. Cover, cook until golden. Add a dash of flour. Cook until browned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use ground pepper and be generous.

SOUP PREPARATION - Add beef broth, one cup at a time. Slowly add 1 cup water and 1 cup white wine. Cover and cook on medium heat for 40 minutes.

BREAD PREPARATION - Chop 1 bulb garlic and set in a small bowl of olive oil. Slice loaf into 16 equal slices. Brush each slice on both sides with garlic and olive oil, make sure that a generous portion of garlic is on each slice. Broil bread for 1 minute on each side. Set aside.

CHEESE PREPARATION - Grate gruyere cheese. Set aside.

FINAL STEP - Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scoop soup into oven proof bowl. Add 2 slices prepared bread. Add a generous portion of gruyere cheese. Add a dollop of butter. Bake for 15 minutes. Enjoy.

French onion soup is very filling and you may want to serve it with a salad and call it a meal.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How to Bake the Perfect Holiday Ham

You can bake a perfect, succulent, delicious ham without buying a spiral or honey baked ham.

Buy a fully cooked ham to feed your number of guests. Usually 1-2 lbs. per person. Hams are easy to slice, so there is no need to spend extra on a spiral. You will be making your own glaze, so do not buy a pre-glazed ham nor one with a flavor packet.

Bake the ham at 325 degrees. The length of baking is based on the weight, usually 2-4 hours. Ham is ready when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Use a meat thermometer. I also recommend baking in a bag until glazing, then remove the bag.

One half hour before your ham is done, remove it from the oven and remove the baking bag if you used one. Completely cover the top of the ham with mustard, next completely cover the mustard with brown sugar, next completely cover the brown sugar with honey. Put the ham back in the oven, without the bag this time.

Cook for the remaining half hour. Basting as needed. Use a large knife to slice it, I recommend a sharp bread knife. Enjoy!