Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus is one of our favorites. I shop at a great market that sells just the tops and it is so tender and good.

1 pound fresh asparagus spears
olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
**I add fresh grated lemon peel and shredded parmesan cheese**

Preheat grill. Place asparagus on a plate and drizzle olive oil over the asparagus, turning until each spear is coated. Sprinkle with salt and turn again.
Grill asparagus for 5 minutes over a hot grill(on a veggie plate), each minute of so roll the spears 1/4 turn. It will begin to brown and that is good, just don't char it. Remove from the grill and sprinkle with grated lemon peel and parmesan cheese. Easy and sooo good!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mojito chicken and Caribbean black beans

The marinade on this chicken smells sooo good! It is like a mental island vacation when you are making it....

**I doubled this recipe because it is made for 4 servings.**
4 Tbsp chopped fresh mint, divided
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp light rum OR orange juice
2 tsp grated lime peel
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper

Blend 3 Tbsp of the mint and the lime juice, oil, rum(or juice) and lime peel in a blender until smooth. Pour over chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag. Chill for 6-8 hours, turning several times.

Heat grill. Remove chicken from marinade and discard the marinade. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Grill covered, over medium heat until no longer pink(about 10 minutes). Sprinkle with 1 remaining Tbsp of mint

Black Beans
**I usually soak and boil my black beans which takes a long time . I found this recipe and thought I would give it a try....it is good, I would add a little more cayenne next time.** I will add the black bean recipe to this blog soon.

1 can black beans
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 Tbsp cilantro(I did not use this because I thought the mint and cilantro would clash) but will definately try it next time.
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Combine beans, onion, garlic and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the cilantro, cayenne and salt and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Serve with pineapple or plantains. I tried to find some good plantains to fry fro something new but could not find any. I will definitely do that next time! Enjoy!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pasta Caprese

My favorite Italian salad is Caprese. The mixture of all the flavors from the tomato, fresh mozzarella and a favorite herb of mine, basil is a burst of happiness. I came across this recipe and added my own twist. It is a perfect side to any grilled meat. Mmmmm mmmmm Good!!
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice **side note...I would not use this amount...it was quite lemony**
1 shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes,(I did not use the mixed...my kids don' like the yellow tomatoes) cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound pasta, such as campanelle, penne or fusilli
12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces **I salted and peppered the cheese and let it sit for a few minutes before adding it to the pasta**
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add sugar. Add the tomatoes and gently toss. Let sit at room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

Add the pasta and mozzarella to the tomato mixture and toss. Stir in the basil and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, tossing occasionally, until serving.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crab Cakes

Last night Brooklyn and I made crab cakes and had so much fun. She is quite the helper in the kitchen(her outfit was her 'comfy clothes' and was horrified that I took pictures once she remembered what she was wearing! :) ) and the end product was yummy!
I had never made crab cakes before and came across this recipe from Paula Deen. I found it needed more consistency so we added more crackers than it called for and I added a tad tabasco sauce as well for some kick. I served it with a favorite sauce of Brooklyn and mine, a cajun remoulade, and Tony had tarter sauce and a little tabasco on his. We all thought they were keepers and so easy!!

1 pound crabmeat, picked free of shells. **We used claw meat, next time I will try lump meat to see if there is a difference, I did ask the man at the fish counter and he said either would be fine**
1/3 cup crushed Ritz crackers **We ended up using almost 1 cup after we added a little then mixed and added and mixed...**
3 green onions, both the green and white parts, finely chopped
1/2 cup green or red bell pepper **we used green this time**
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper **this is where I added a dash or 2 of tabasco sauce as well**
1/2 lemon juiced **I added a bit more**
Flour for dusting
Peanut oil
Favorite dipping sauce for serving

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together except for the flour and peanut oil. Shape into patties and dust with the flour.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over meduim heat. WHen oil is hot carefully place carb cakes, in batches, and fry until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes over and fry on the other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve warm!! YUM!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Carmelita bars

This is a favorite of my kids, it is ooey-gooey and you can top it with cool whip or whipped cream and caramel sauce and make it a dessert of you want....it rarely lasts that long here, though!
I got this recipe from a fellow foodie friend, Nikki, who lives in Houston. This recipe came from Cooks.com a website I scour quite frequently.


1 cup flour
1 cup quick oats
3/4 brown sugar
3/4 cup butter softened
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips **I use the mini chocolate chips and only use 1/2-3/4 cup**
1/2 cup nuts(optional)
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping mixed with 3 Tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake in a prepared 8 x 8 pan. Combine the 1st 6 ingredients to form a crumb mixture and press half on the bottom the pan and save the rest for the topping.. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

After the mixture has baked 10 minutes, layer the chocolate chips, nuts and caramel mixed with flour over the top, in this order. Then crumble the remaining crumbs and bake 20-25 minutes at 350. Place in refrigerator to completely cool before cutting and serving. Store in air tight container in refrigerator for best results.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chicken Salad on Croissants

I made these last night and Brooklyn wants a steady supply of the salad kept in the refrigerator at all times! I guess that it is a hit. I did not get a picture because I could not get the kids to wait to eat.

4 chicken breasts cooked and chopped(that fed 3 of us with very little left over)
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Ranch Dressing
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grapes cut into quarters
1/4 cup cashews chopped(optional)
1 large tomato sliced
1 Romaine hearty cut in strips and halved again
6 Croissants
*Mix 1st 7 ingredients together and chill for 3 hours. Spoon onto croissants and top with lettuce and tomatoes. Easy and great for a summer night!

I served with watermelon and baby carrots and we had Carmelita bars for dessert.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Caramel Apple Tart

1 package puff pastry(2 sheets) **I used 1 sheet since there were only 4 of us eating**
1 large pkg vanilla instant pudding **I used a pastry cream that I will list down below**
2 cups cold reduced fat milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1 12 ounce jar caramel topping
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Prepare puff pastry according to directions, cool. Prepare pudding as directed and set aside. In a large skillet saute apples with cinnamon an butter until slightly softened, 2-3 minutes. Cut pastry in 1/2 and drizzle caramel on the bottom 1/2, spread pudding onto pastry, top with more caramel sauce and sprinkle with nuts. Cut each pastry into 6 squares. ** I cut the pastry before I bake it ** I also topped with whipped cream.

Here is the vanilla filling I used. You won't use the vanilla pudding or the milk in the above recipe if you make this. It is a regular pastry cream that I use a lot.

Pastry Cream
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3 Tbsp cornstarch
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat the half and half, 6 Tbsp of the sugar and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stir occasionally to dissolve sugar. Combine egg yolks and remaining 2 Tbsp of the sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the mixture is creamy and the sugar is dissolved(about 15 seconds) Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is a pale yellow and thick(about 30 seconds). When the half and half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg mixture to temper, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Return the mixture toa simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and it is thickened and glossy(about 30 seconds). Off the heat whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a 'skin' from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Here it is......the blog many of you have asked for! Recipe Rendezvous. I don't pretend to be a chef or an expert. I love to cook and bake and would love to pass recipes on to you. I have shared many recipes with a lot of you and then it occurred to me that it would be easier for everyone to just be able to look in 1 place to get the recipes, if you want them. I welcome any and all comments! I usually make changes to recipes I find so it is trial and error sometimes. I look in a lot of places and on a lot of websites for yummy things to cook and bake! Welcome.... and I hope you find some good eats!