Great Cook Books I Cook (and live) by

  • Big Orange Book by Rachael Ray
  • Giada at Home
  • Jamie at Home
  • Look and Cook by Rachael Ray

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Spiced up Mayo!

Today, let's talk mayo! I love mayo, but, plain old mayo is just plain old mayo! I like spicing up mayo and taking it from bland to yum!!! So, here are a few ideas on spicing up mayo and making it the star of the recipe instead of the lame old condiment!

These are all mixed in your food processor - use the small bowl if you have one. Place all the ingredients in the bowl, and "whir" it up!

Basil mayo - (my personal fave!)
 - 2 cups mayo
 - one handful of fresh basil
 - juice of half a lemon
 - salt and pepper

This mayo is great on a chicken burger, or on a grilled chicken breast. Also, great on fish.

Jalapeno chili mayo
 - 2 cups mayo
 - 2 tsp chili spice
 - 1/2 fresh jalapeno (or more if you like it really spicy)
 - juice of half a lime
 - salt

This mayo is great on a chicken burger, grilled chicken, fish, shrimp, and makes a great dipping sauce for red pepper strips!

Lemon mayo
- 2 cups mayo
- grated peel from one whole lemon
- juice of a lemon
- salt

This mayo is fantastic of grilled white fish, and a turkey sandwich! Add dill to this one and it makes a great topping for Salmon!

Spicy mayo
 - 2 Cups mayo
 - 1/8 cup of sriracha
 - juice of half a lemon

This mayo is bold and can stand up to beef, or pork, or even a salami sandwich.

These are just my faves, but experiment, and please share!!!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fresh corn salad

This salad is great as a refreshing summer side, or even on its own as a light lunch! Add rice to it for a hearty easy week night meal!


corn - 2-3 cobs, grilled and taken off the husk (you may use frozen corn, steamed and cooled down as well)
1/4 red onion, finely minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, finely minced
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely minced
juice of two limes (fresh is best!)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small can black beans
salt and pepper

Make the vinaigrette by mixing the red onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil in a bowl. Add the corn, and the black beans, then add salt and pepper to taste!

all done! So refreshing, and easy! This salad is great to make or bring for a bar be cue, and it hold up for a fairly long time out of the fridge.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Strawberry Muffins (with a little blueberry too!)

Hello everyone! I am reviving my blog as of today! I have missed you all, and hope that you will follow me still, even after such a long absence! Today I thought since we are approaching the summer and all that is fresh fruit, I would feature a recipe with strawberries!
I saw a large container of strawberries at the grocery store and decided I HAD to have some, so, I bought them, got them home and realized rather quickly that the container was way too large for us to eat before the strawberries began to die! \i needed to make something with them that was quick, easy and loved by my whole family so that I would not have to throw them out! Aha!muffins, I thought! so, I took my basic muffin recipe, tweaked it a little, added strawberries, and some blueberries too, and voila! These muffins are moist, and taste like summer! Even my son, who does not love muffins is eating them! This recipe is a winner!


1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh

cinnamon topping

3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line your 12 large muffin cups with liners, or spray with non stick spray (or both)

Stir topping ingredients into a small bowl and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and mix well.

Place flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl and mix just to combine. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to the butter mixture. Stir until just combined. Add in the fruit, being careful not to mash them up. Stir until just combined.

Spoon into prepped muffin cups and sprinkle with the topping mixture.

Bake for 20-25 mins

Enjoy with butter, or strawberry jam - can't ever have enough strawberries, can we?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mini-slider salad

       During the busy holiday season we sometimes forget to eat right. We also tend to eat way more than we should, and most of it pretty heavy. Here is a light, easy recipe to make on those evenings you just want healthy and light, but always tasty!

Mini turkey slider salad:
            4 tablespoons  Olive Oil, divided
            2 pounds ground turkey
            1/2 small red onion, grated
            2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
            1 tablespoon (a palmful) poultry seasoning
            3/4 pound brick sharp cheddar cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick into small squares
            3 tablespoons yellow mustard
            2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
            2 large hearts romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
            1 cup sliced pickles, drained and chopped – choose from sweet, half-sour or dill varieties
           1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

In a large bowl mix together the turkey, onion, worcestershire sauce and poultry seasoning. using an ice cream scoop, scoop out the meat. Roll into balls, and make a well in the middle of each ball and stuff each one with a cube of cheese. Make sure you roll the meat over the cheese so you can't see any of the cheese. Now, press gently to form a patties.

 Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of olive oil, about 2 tablespoons. (You could also preheat a grill pan or a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat or, preheat outdoor grill instead of the skillet).

Cook the mini burgers for 3 minutes on each side then top with cheese. Tent the mini cheeseburgers loosely with foil to help the cheese melt.

While the burgers are cooking, whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a large salad bowl. Continue whisking and stream in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Finely chop up the remaining red onion and add it to the bowl along with the romaine, pickles and tomatoes. Toss the salad to evenly coat everything in dressing.

To serve, arrange the salad on a large platter and slide the burgers on top.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pasta Florentine

Another pasta recipe? Yes! I love pasta! and this one is a keeper! It is easy and can easily be done on even the busiest week night!


1 pkg pasta - any chunky pasta works! (I used fiorelli by PC)
1/4 Cup Olive oil
2/3 anchovies (yes, use them! You will not be able to taste them, but they will give the sauce a depth you won't get without them)
1 tsp chili flakes (if you don't like it spicy, skip this)
1 clove crushed garlic
3 Cups baby spinach, fresh
1 pkg grape tomatoes, halved
1 can white canellini beans, drained, and rinsed
2 green onions, chopped
a few hand fulls, parmiggiano reggiano

In a large pot filled with salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In the meantime, in a saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the anchovies. Add the chili flakes. Stir the anchovies until they are dissolved. Add the crushed garlic, the grape tomatoes, the beans, the green onions, and finally the spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Stir into the pasta, and add the parmiggiano and green onions. Toss together well and serve!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

Roasted red pepper is both delicious and healthy, and makes a great pasta sauce! So, try this roasted red pepper sauce at your next dinner party and let me know how much you love it!


2-3 Tblsp olive oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Red peppers - 2 large or 3 small
1 can of diced tomatoes
Fresh Basil
1 box  or bag of your favourite pasta

If you have a gas stove, char the peppers by placing them on the open flame and turning them as they "blacken", until all sides of the peppers are charred. If roasting in the oven, place the peppers on a cookie sheet, in a hot oven (400-425 degrees F), and turn as they char, until all sides are charred. Place the peppers in a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Fill a large pot with water for the pasta and bring to a rolling boil. Salt the water generously, and boil the pasta until al dente.

In the mean time, heat up a sauce pan, and add the olive oil. Chop the onion and add it to the oil and stir  until the onion is translucent. While the onion is cooking, take the plastic wrap off the bowl with the peppers, and gently peel the skin off the peppers. Place the peppers in a food processor, or blender and set by the sauce pan with the onion in it. Add garlic to the onion, and as soon as it becomes fragrant, add the red pepper puree, and the can of tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked add it to the sauce and toss gently. Chop up or tare the basil on top. Grate some parmesan cheese on top if desired.

Serve with a side salad, and crusty bread.

Feedback is welcome!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Roasted garlic white bean dip

This dip is not only tasty but healthy too! It is also so easy to make you will have it whipped up in less than five minutes!

1 head of roasted garlic, garlic squeezed out and mashed  (see note below)
1 can cancelling beans, drained
Juice of half a lemon
Grated lemon rind from 1 whole lemon
Bunch of parsley
Salt and pepper
Olive oil, 1/4 cup or so
(Splash of water if needed)

Put all the ingredients n a food processor and pulse until smooth- add the water to desired consistency.
 Serve with crackers, pita chips or make your own crostini.


note: to roast garlic, cut the top of a whole head of garlic in half, and place the halves on a piece of tin foil. Add a splash of olive oil and coarse salt and gather the tin foil up around the garlic. Place in the oven at 350 F for a bout 45 minutes. When the garlic  is soft and cool enough to handle squeeze it all our of the peel and mash with a fork.