Monday, June 26, 2017

Pecan Crusted Tilapia

Transforms bland tilapia into a great dish!


My husband loves fish, and this recipe did not disappoint!  It's so easy and takes minutes to prepare.

The original recipe called for the seasonings to be blended into the bread crumbs and pecans, but I found that, like most coatings, it doesn't all stick to the fish, so I added them to the flour mixture instead...turned out great!

I also didn't have the buttermilk and substituted that with half and half mixed with a little lemon juice.  Another great hack.  

Ingredients:

1/2 cup bread crumbs or Panko crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk (low-fat is fine)
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
4 (6oz.) tilapia fillets or your favorite fish  (I used founder)
1 Tbsp. oil, divided (add a little butter for a richer flavor)

  1. Combine bread crumbs and pecans in a shallow dish.
  2. Combine buttermilk and hot sauce (such as Pete's or Tabasco) in a medium bowl.
  3. Place flour in a third shallow dish, add salt, garlic powder and black pepper.
  4. Dredge 1 fillet in flour, dip into buttermilk mixture, then into breadcrumb and pecan mixture. Repeat with remaining fillets.
  5. Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a large skillet (non-stick works best) over medium-high heat.
  6. Cook 2 fillets for 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily. (If you would rather bake it,  400 degrees for 15-20 minutes is fine.)
  7. Add remaining oil and cook additional 2 fillets.
  8. Serve with lemon!
  9. "God's word is not just for our information, it's for our transformation."

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Shortcake Biscuits

Insanely Delicious!

These were simple, easy to make and absolutely delicious!  I've been wanting  a good, easy shortcake biscuit recipe that tastes like the ones in the bakery, and this hit the nail on the head!  

They were light and airy!  Perfectly crisp on the outside and tender and falling apart on the inside.  If you don't want to roll them out,  just drop by 1/3 cups and they still bake up beautifully.  Cover with your favorite berries or fruit, and enjoy delicious shortcake.

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chilled, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk 
2 Tbsp. cream (for top, if desired)
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (sprinkle generously on top, if desired)

Preheat oven to 425'F.

Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.

Cut in cold butter with fork or pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  (If desired, use your food processor to cut in butter, pulse several times.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.)

Stir in buttermilk until flour mixture is moistened.  If it appears on the dry side, add more milk 1 Tbsp. at a time.

Turn out onto floured board.

Gently pat dough into a 1/2" thick round.  Fold and pat down few times, then press down to about 1" thick.  Cut into rounds.  

Gently fold together left over dough press out to make more rounds.  Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.

Brush with melted butter, if desired, or brush with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
(Mine were left plain and still delicious!)

Bake 10-12 minutes until a beautiful golden brown.  Do not over-bake.

  1. Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough.
  2. The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits.
  3. I have found that a food processor produces superior biscuits, because the ingredients stay colder and there's less chance of over mixing.
  4. You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly.
  5. Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.
  6. Note 2: You can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month.
  7. When you want fresh biscuits, simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 425°F for about 20 minutes.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."  -Matthew 5:9

Friday, May 5, 2017

Classic Patty Melt

A delicious, simple dinner!

A Patty Melt is a burger brought to a new level of deliciousness!  It's an easy sandwich to make and just about everyone I know loves them.  I mean, what's not to love?  A thin, crusty patty covered with melted cheese and plenty of sweet caramelized onions, all held together between warm, crunchy slices of toasted rye.  It's a winner!

I found a special sauce to put on it, which sometimes I make, but sometimes I just love the flavor of the sandwich itself.  


INGREDIENTS

Special Sauce (recipe below)
1 Vadalia onion, sliced thin and caramelized (How to caramalize below)
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 tsp. garlic salt (opt.)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
8 slices of rye, sour dough or swirl bread
8 slices Swiss Cheese
4 Tbsp. butter


Special Sauce: (make ahead)
1/8 cup Dijon mustard
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1/2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
A couple drops of hot sauce (optional)

In a small bowl, stir together above ingredients until mixed. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Caramelized Onions: (make before the burgers)

In a medium cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and golden brown. Keep warm.

Burgers:
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Shape ground beef into 4 oval patties (to fit bread).  Patties should be thin.

In a large skillet, cook patties over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through, approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove skillet from heat. Remove patties from skillet; wipe out skillet.

Sandwich Assembly:
Layer 1 bread slice with 1 tablespoon Secret Sauce, 2 to 3 tablespoons caramelized onions, 1 slice cheese, 1 patty, and another tablespoon Secret Sauce. Top with another bread slice. Repeat with remaining bread, Secret Sauce, caramelized onions, cheese and patties.

Heat skillet over medium-high heat.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet.  Working in batches, cook sandwiches, flipping once, until golden brown and heated through, approximately 3 minutes per side.  Add remaining butter to skillet as needed.


"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."   -Psalm 73:26

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Old Fashioned Pancakes

Best Way to Start Your Day!

Whether you call them pancakes, griddle cakes, hotcakes or flapjacks, they are a breakfast staple in many homes and restaurants.  We even have them for dinner at our house...you gotta love "breakfast for dinner!"

The ancient Greeks and Romans ate pancakes, sweetened with honey; the Elizabethans ate them flavored with spices, rosewater, sherry, and apples. They were traditionally eaten in quantity on Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day, a day of feasting and partying before the beginning of Lent.  Did you know the word "pancake" appears in print as far back as 1430, it's an ancient  food!


Well, I have to admit I always used to make them with a boxed mix, never felt I had time to do it from scratch.  Boy, was I wrong!  It literally took minutes to make the mixture and the result was spectacular.  I'll never go back to the old way, these are so worth the few extra minutes it took to make.  


I recommend sifting the flour, twice.  That makes for a fluffier pancake. Let your egg and milk set at room temperature and use unsalted butter.  Beat your egg, add the melted butter and beat lightly until blended, then lightly beat in your milk (careful not to over beat your egg).  Add to your dry mixture. Your result is a tender, fluffy, delicious, good old fashion pancake. This is one is a keeper!


Ingredients:                                                            

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla (optional)

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly greased griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.  To test griddle, sprinkle with a few drops of water.  If bubbles skitter around, heat is just right.

Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.  Turn pancakes as soon as they are puffed and full of bubbles but before bubbles break.  Bake other side until golden brown.

Variations: Add fruit, cinnamon, chocolate chips, pineapple, nuts or other favorites to your batter

Toppings:  Maple syrup, butter, honey, fruit, flavored butter, nuts


"It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man."   -Psalm 118:8

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pecan Pie Cookies

Buttery and Delicious!



If you like pecan pie, you'll love these little gems!   These are another new addition to the cookie tray this year.  I know, I can't help myself, I just love trying new cookie recipes.


The recipe I used is from the Land O Lakes website, but I did make a couple of slight revisions, one being the amount of flour.  It called for only 2 cups, but I had to add another 1/4 cup to be able to roll them easily.  I think they would have flattened out had I not done that.  


The second thing was to use a smaller cookie scoop (the smallest) to make them for the Christmas cookie tray.  I ended up with 44 cookies, instead of the 2 dozen it listed, and they are actually still a nice size cookie.


Oh, and did I tell you, they are so easy to make!  


Ingredients:

Cookie:

1 cup light brown sugar, packed firmly
3/4 cup butter
1 egg, large
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
2-2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (it called for 2 cups, so stop there first.  But I needed and extra 1/4 cup                                                                to get "rolling" consistency)


Filling:
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed firmly
1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350'F.

Combine all cookie ingredients except flour and baking powder in large bowl.  Beat at medium speed until creamy.  Add flour and baking powder; beat at low speed until well mixed.

Shape dough int 1 1/4" balls.  Place 2 inches apart onto lightly greased cookie sheets.  Make indentation in each cookie with thumb; rotate thumb to hollow out slightly.



Combine all filling ingredients in bowl; fill each cookie with 1 round teaspoon filling.



Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned (I always check them at 8 minutes, then go 1 minute more at a time, if necessary).  



Cool one minute on cookie sheets before removing to cooling rack. (If you move them too quickly they fall apart - that's the one I tested, heehee).  




"Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."   -Acts 5:31




Sunday, December 11, 2016

White Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry Dreams

  • A dream of a cookie!

It's just two weeks until Christmas 2016 and I'm actually ahead of myself this year.  No, I can't explain it...just being very thankful.   I've already made several of the family's favorite cookies.  So, "yay for me!"  Haha!

Sometimes the "hundreds" of cookie recipes in my file just aren't enough, so I search for something new to add.  I'm so glad I found this yummy recipe on "All Recipes", it's practically perfect. They're soft, buttery and delicious!

I made them with the small cookie scoop and they're just right for the cookie tray, but if I were just making these, I'd make them regular size and bake them 12-14 minutes.  I'm thinking this way because I'm sure I don't want to wait until next Christmas to make these again.  

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt


  1. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

1 cup softened butter (DO NOT USE SHORTENING)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 tsp. vanilla

      Cream together butter and sugars; add slightly beaten eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.

1 cup white chocolate baking chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup dried cranberries

      Blend in white chocolate baking chips, chopped macadamia nuts and dried cranberries.
      Add flour mixture and blend until just mixed.



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 

Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet by small scoop or rounded teaspoon. 



Bake for 10 minutes or just until set...do not over-bake.

Remove from oven and let cool.  Cookies will sink slightly.





"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child."   -Luke 2:4-5
   






Thursday, September 22, 2016

Chicken Crescent Casserole

Comfort food at it's best!



I'm always looking for new ways to make chicken, which is not one of my hubby's favorites, but he tends to enjoy chicken casseroles, pot pies and such.   He doesn't eat anything but the white meat, so that's also a challenge to make it tasty.  This casserole combines both chicken and buttery crescent rolls.  It's easy to prepare and sure to be a hit with the whole family!  And it's TASTY too!

I switched out water chestnuts from the original recipe and included the mushrooms and peas.   Next time, I'm going to add some carrots or broccoli...all the things my family likes. That's how it should be, right?  It's all about "la famiglia!"   


Ingredients:

1 celery rib, sliced
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup diced onion
1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
3 cups cubed cooked chicken (rotisserie would be fine)
1 small can sweet peas
8-10 slices Swiss cheese
1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
Poppy or Sesame seeds to sprinkle over crescent rolls (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F.   Prepare 13x9" baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large saucepan, saute celery in 2 tablespoon butter until tender. Stir in the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, chicken, and mushrooms.  Add peas last.  Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture begins to bubble.  Transfer to prepared 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.  

Lay cheese evenly over top of mixture in pan.

Unroll crescent roll dough into a rectangle; seal seams and perforations. Stretch them out a little to cover top.  Place over cheese. 

Melt the remaining butter; lightly brush over top.  Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds, if desired.

Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Yield: 8-10 servings.


"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."  -Galatians 5:1