16 January 2010

Wine Review: Witches Brew

A Michigan Red Spiced Wine
by: Leelanau Cellars, Omena, Michigan 49674

Thanks to my dear friend, Jen, this is my new every day favorite wine. This wine, if you can find it, has the BEST flavor. It is a very spicy wine with strong hints of clove and a sweet and smooth finish. Very delish!

Tres Leches Cake

WW Points = 14!!!!!

Holy crap! I new this was going to be a WW disaster recipe, but for god sake! 14 points! Wow. Save your points up for this one... I do have to say, it was well worth using some of my 35 weekly points, and something there is no way on this earth I'll make frequently. Dinner parties, though great times with friends, don't result in the most nutritious meals. Though dinner was well rounded, this killed it.... well, at least there were fresh blueberries on it, better than the maraschino cherries the recipe called for!


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 10 maraschino cherries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar until light in color and doubled in volume. Stir in milk, vanilla, flour and baking powder.
  3. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat until firm but not dry. Fold egg whites into yolk mixture. Pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 50 minutes or until cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes.
  5. Loosen edge of cake with knife before removing side of pan. Cool cake completely; place on a deep serving plate. Use a two prong meat fork or cake tester to pierce surface of cake.
  6. Mix together condensed milk, evaporated milk and 1/4 cup of the whipping cream. Discard 1 cup of the measured milk mixture or cover and refrigerate. Pour remaining milk mixture over cake slowly until absorbed. Whip the remaining whipping cream until it thickens and reaches spreading consistency. Frost cake with whipped cream and garnish with cherries.

Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables

Weight Watchers Points: 6pts per serving

This was an absolutely delicious New Recipe Friday recipe. I actually cannot wait to make this again it was that good. A bit too much though. I took the smallest chicken breast and it was still too much to eat, so I gave it to Robin to finish off. I served this with fresh French bread and an Olive Oil Balsamic dip, oh and herbed couscous! Now, the points above are for the chicken and vegetables, not the couscous... I threw the box away (the couscous is Far East brand).

This recipe is a Better Homes and Garden recipe...


  • 1/4 cup bottled Italian salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenderloins
  • 10 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, or one 10-ounce package frozen cut asparagus, thawed and well drained
  • 1 cup purchased shredded carrot
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped


1. In a small bowl, stir together salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, honey, and crushed red pepper. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink, turning once. Add half of the dressing mixture to skillet; turn chicken to coat. Transfer chicken to a serving platter; cover and keep warm.

3. Add asparagus and carrot to skillet. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender; transfer to serving platter.

4. Stir remaining dressing mixture; add to skillet. Cook and stir for 1 minute, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Drizzle the dressing mixture over chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle with tomato. Makes 4 servings.

nutrition facts

  • Servings Per Recipe 4 servings
  • Calories 269,
  • Total Fat (g) 12,
  • Saturated Fat (g) 2,
  • Cholesterol (mg) 66,
  • Sodium (mg) 323,
  • Carbohydrate (g) 12,
  • Fiber (g) 2,
  • Protein (g) 27,
  • Vitamin A (DV%) 0,
  • Vitamin C (DV%) 0,
  • Calcium (DV%) 0,
  • Iron (DV%) 0,

Good friends good meal!

In the first picture.... my BFF and her hubby!

I am a dork and I really don't know the "proper" way to set a table, but this worked for me! I love having friends (or family) over for dinner so I can use all my pretty wedding gifts! Plus, its just fun to entertain! Especially entertaining in my new kitchen!

15 January 2010

Other Sides from 1-8-10

Ok, so these pictures were taken with my phone and suck really bad. Tonight's dinner will be much better because I'll be taking pictures with my new awesomely cool phone with a 4mp camera. Mmmm... new phone. Anywho, you can find the salad and dressing in my 2007 blog... as for the others.... the potatoes were the darling Monica's recipe that I can't remember where she got it from and the green beans are The Outback Steakhouse recipe which you can Google.

Sweet-n-Hot Glazed Salmon

Again, so not a fan of fish, but again made it with my "audience" in mind. Though, the did not find this to be spicy at all.... there was none left after dinner. So, I guess it was good like that!


  • 1 1/2 cups apricot nectar
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (3/4 pound) salmon filet without skin


  1. Preheat your oven's broiler, and grease a broiling pan.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together the apricot nectar, dried apricots, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until reduced by about half. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove 1/4 cup of the glaze for basting, and set the remaining aside.
  3. Place the salmon filet on the greased broiling pan, and brush with glaze. Broil 3 inches from the heat for 8 to 12 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Gently turn over once during cooking, and baste frequently during the last 4 minutes. Serve with remaining glaze.

Salmon with Pecan Honey Glaze/Crust

I am NOT a fan of fish, but I made this with my "audience" in mind. I tried the pecan crusted fish and it was OK... Lizzy, Jenny and Jen liked it, so I guess that's all that matters.


  • 1 cup pecan halves or pieces
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly browned. Stir 2 or 3 times to toast uniformly.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine honey with half of the butter. Stir in the toasted pecans, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes to infuse the flavors. Remove from heat, and keep warm.
  3. Melt remaining butter with oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season fish with salt and pepper. Arrange fillets in skillet, and cook until firm to the touch, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Transfer to serving plate, and spoon glaze over top.

07 January 2010

Tequila Lime Chicken

This was really good, but would have been better on the grill rather than the "George Forman". This recipe came from the Better Homes and Gardens website. Rob and I rate new recipes on a 2 scale... "make again" or "never again". This recipe requires a third scale category of "maybe again on the grill". I added a lot more honey to this to make more of a glaze. I made garlic butter noodles to have with this and they were good!


2 teaspoons finely shredded lime peel
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon orange liqueur or 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 pounds total)
1 cup hot chunky salsa
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon snipped cilantro
2 tablespoons honey


  1. In a shallow nonmetallic dish combine lime peel, lime juice, tequila, cooking oil, orange liqueur or orange peel, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add chicken to marinade, turning to coat. Cover and chill about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, for tomato salsa, in a small bowl combine chunky salsa, chopped tomato, green onions, and snipped cilantro; set aside.
  3. Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Stir honey into marinade. Grill chicken on an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 5 minutes. Turn chicken and brush with marinade; grill for 7 to 10 minutes more or until chicken is tender and cooked through. (Or, place chicken on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 5 to 6 inches from the heat for 10 to 12 minutes, turning and brushing with marinade once.) Serve with tomato salsa. Makes 6 servings.

Seafood Trio

I do not, do not, do not eat seafood, but Rob LOVES it... so when Costco had their fresh seafood stand up just after Christmas I bought scallops, tiger prawn shrimp and a king crab claw for Rob. Here is what I did, and Rob was in love with it!

King Crab: Boil for about 5-6 minutes in salted water and let it drain out for a couple minutes... I find crab legs retain water and you end up wearing the fish flavored water on your clothes... but if you let it "drip dry" for a few its better.

Shrimp and scallops: Saute on medium-high in olive oil and some lemon pepper seasoning. Drizzle leftover seafood flavored oil and lemon pepper over the greens and top them with the shrimp and scallops and serve the crab on the side.

Jelly, Jam, oh who cares, they're all good!

I made wonderful baskets and tins for family and friends this year that consisted of Candied Apple Jelly, Strawberry Jam and Blueberry Jam (among other things, but this is jelly and jam recipes, so deal). These jams and jelly turned out so good, but beware, the strawberry jam is uber duber sweet, but oh so good. Thank you to Alanna for the tips and thanks to my sister for helping me make and can everything! (these recipes are just copied and pasted so excuse the formatting).

Strawberry Jam


4 Cups hulled and crushed ripe strawberries (About 2 quarts of whole berries)
2 Tablespoons of fresh strained lemon juice
7 Cups of Sugar
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 (3-ounce) Pouch liquid Pectin


In an 8-quart pan, combine the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar. Cover and let stand for 2 hours.

Remove the cover. Over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, heat the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the butter. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the entire contents of the pouch. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam.

To prevent the jam from separating in the jars, allow the jam to cool 5 minutes before filling the jars. Gently stir the jam every minute or so to distribute the fruit. Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings. Process half-pint jars in a 200 degree water bath for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.

Blueberry Jam


1 1/2 qts. blueberries (fresh or frozen, thawed/not drained)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 box Sure-Jel or Can-Jel
4 c. sugar


Remove stems and crush fully ripe blueberries completely, one layer at a time.(Or blend them coarsley in a food processor.) Measure 4 cups of crushed fruit. Add more berries if necessary. Place berries in a very large kettle and stir in the lemon juice and the Sure-Jel or Can-Jel. Place over high heat and stir until the mixture comes to a hard boil. Immediately add the sugar and bring to a full rolling boil; boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat; skim off foam with metal spoon; stir and skim 5 minutes to cool slightly and prevent floating fruit. Ladle into sterilized glass jars, leaving 1/2" space at top. Seal with lids.

This recipe makes about 7 cups or 3 1/2 pints of jam.

Candied Apple Jelly


4 cups apple juice
1/2 cup red-hot candies
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin
4 1/2 cups sugar


In a large kettle, combine apple juice, candies and pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; skim off any foam and undissolved candies. Pour hot liquid into hot jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Adjust caps. Process for 5 minutes in a boiling-water bath.