Recipe of the Week – Panko Artichoke Hearts

From the Appetizer Collection at

Panko Artichoke Hearts

Panko Artichoke Hearts

The kids are coming for dinner next Sunday and I usually make the baked artichoke dip for an appetizer.  They typically devour it like there is no tomorrow and I make two so they can take one home with them.  Anyway, I wanted to stay with the artichoke theme but try something a little different.  These were very easy to make and are baked rather than fried, which is a plus in my book.

Make them ahead of time and warm them just as your guests arrive.   Better yet make a bunch and freeze them until you want to serve them.

Panko Artichoke Hearts

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 6
Category: Appetizer
Meal: other (General)
2 cups artichoke hearts, in water
0.5 cup rice flour
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
2 large egg, whites
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
0.75 cup cheese, Romano, grated
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
0.5 medium lemon, juice of
1 Tb salt, sea

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dry artichokes with a paper towel. Place rice flour and salt and pepper in a large baggie. Carefully place the artichokes in the baggie and gently shake until coated. Whisk the salt and pepper into the egg whites until frothy, add the artichokes and stir until all are covered. Mix the panko, Romano and salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Place the artichokes in the bowl and toss to cover. Place the artichokes on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Baked for 20 -25 minutes, in the center of the oven, until golden brown. Immediately remove from the oven and sprinkle with the lemon juice and a light dusting of sea salt. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

You can find the Artichoke Dip recipe at


January 26, 2015 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Portabella au Poivre

From the Appetizer Collection at

Portabella au Poivre

Portabella au Poivre

We had some friends in the weekend and as it usually goes some of the friends brought more friends.  I thought I was in pretty good shape, supplies wise, but doubling the number of guest had me scrambling for some extra appetizers.  I found some nice portabellas at the market and decided I would make them using the recipe for steak au poivre, but with the mushrooms instead.  I haven’t made these for a few years and had forgotten just how good they are.

Serve them as an appetizer, or as a vegetable or even on some nice toasted French bread as a lunch.  However you decide I am sure you will love them.

Portabella au Poivre

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 10
Category: Appetizer
Meal: other (General)
5 large mushrooms, portabella
4 Tb oil, olive
2 Tb pepper, fresh cracked
1 10 oz can beef consommé
2 Tb Worcestershire sauce
0.25 medium lemon, juice of
2 Tb butter, salted
1 pinch salt to taste
1 Tb parsley, flat leaf

Remove and discard the stems and scrap the gills, the dark fibers, from the bottoms of the portabella mushrooms. Brush both sides with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the cracked pepper. Grill or pan sauté the mushrooms for 3 minutes per side. Heat the consommé, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon in a sauce pan until blended, swirl in the butter. Slice the mushrooms into strips and place in the sauce pan. Heat through, spoon onto serving platter, spoon the sauce on top and sprinkle with the parsley.

It’s winter so it’s pretty much the “cooking season”.  Find some great winter recipes at

January 19, 2015 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Chicken Chili

From the WOW (Watching Our Waists) Collection at

Chicken Chili

Chicken Chili

We have a category of recipes on our website,, we call WOW (Watching Our Waists), designed to provide good, easy recipes for those of us paying the price for maybe a little too much holiday celebrating. We provide the recipes geared for those who have a “few” pounds to shed.

Make the recipe for two servings and freeze one for later, or on our site you can pick the number of servings and we do the math for you.  Follow our lead and you will be back to “fighting weight” in no time at all.

Entree – Chicken Chili

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 2
Category: WoW (Watching our Waists)
Meal: Watching the Game (WoW (Watching our Waists))
2 small chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 Tb oil, vegetable
0.5 cup onions, diced
1.5 cloves garlic, minced
0.5 large pepper, red
0.5 6 oz can chilis, chopped green
0.5 15 oz can tomatoes, whole
1 Tb tomato paste
1.5 Tb chili powder
0.5 tsp oregano, dried
0.5 cup chicken broth
1 Tb cornmeal, course ground
0.125 tsp salt, table

Sauté boneless, skinless, chicken cubes, diced onions and minced garlic in vegetable oil in large heavy stockpot. Add the remaining ingredients with the exception of the cornmeal and bring to a simmer. Gradually whisk in cornmeal and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

Hint: Great served with chopped green onions.

Each serving has 355 calories, 24.3g carbs, 17g fat, 26.7g protein and 6.5g fiber. Points Plus 9

Try our WOW recipes and full  meal plans or our 30-day Diet Friendly meal plan; backed by our affiliation with registered Dietitian Lisa M Ronco, MS RD CDN at  A full year’s membership is still  only $9.95.

January 12, 2015 at 10:51 am Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Sausage Pinwheel

From the Appetizer Collection at

Sausage Pinwheel

Sausage Pinwheel

I was looking for an appetizer to take to a New Year’s Eve party and my butcher told me about a sausage pinwheel that his grandmother used to make in Italy.  I believe he said it was called a piccoli, Italian for pinwheel.  As the crowd I was partying with always devours anything with sausage, I thought this would make the ideal party fare; and boy was I right.  I made one large pinwheel and sliced it into pieces. It disappeared in record time.

Try this appetizer and you will be amazed at how easy it is to make and how well it is welcomed at the party.

Sausage Pinwheel

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 12
Category: Appetizer
Meal: other (General)
1 recipe pizza dough
2 Tb oil, olive
5 large onions, chopped
1 tsp thyme, dried
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tb pepper, fresh cracked
2.5 lb sausage. sweet pork
2 tsp salt, kosher

Prepare pizza dough per instructions. Allow to rise until double in size, punch down and divide in half. Allow dough to rest.

In a large sauté pan heat oil, add onions, thyme, garlic and pepper and sauté until onions are golden brown. In a separate pan, sauté sausage, breaking it into small pieces, until fully cooked. Drain and add to the onions and blend.

Roll the pizza dough out into 2, 12 inch by 15 inch squares. Spread the onion and sausage mixture evenly onto the dough, allowing 3/4 inch of edges exposed. Roll the dough from the long end, forming a tight log. Transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30 -40 minutes; until golden brown. ( time depends on size of pinwheel ). Rest for 15 minutes and slice into 3/4 inch slices.

Get the pizza dough recipe along with many, many more great appetizer ideas at






January 5, 2015 at 8:59 am Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Croquembouche

From the Dessert Collection at



I decided for the last post of the year to write about our new tradition at Christmas.  The guys come in from NJ and will get together in the kitchen to make a croquembouche; a tower of profiteroles (cream puffs) filled with vanilla pastry cream and “glued” together with sticky caramel.  I rate this a medium task, more for the many steps than the difficulty factor.  We put together 3 separate recipes to make one fantastic dessert; and it doubles as a centerpiece.

Profiteroles (Cream Puffs)

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 12
Category: Dessert
Meal: Dinner with Old Friends (Celebration Meal Plans)
1 cup water
0.5 cup butter, unsalted
0.25 tsp salt, kosher
1 Tb sugar, granulated
1 cup flour, all-purpose
4 large egg

Place water, butter, salt and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add flour, stir until mixed, place back on low heat and stir for 2 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and add to bowl of food processor, add eggs and pulse until just mixed.
(you may use a mixer instead) Place large spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper, space 2 inches apart. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown. Turn off oven, remove from oven and quickly poke a few small holes with a toothpick in the sides of the puffs to allow steam to exit. Return cookie sheet to oven, open oven door and let puffs sit for 20 minutes in oven.

Vanilla Cream

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 8
Category: Misc
Meal: other (General)
6 large egg, yolks
0.75 cup sugar, granulated
3 Tb cornstarch
2 cup milk, whole
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tb butter, unsalted
2 Tb cream, heavy
1 Tb cognac

Cream yolks and sugar until light yellow. Beat in cornstarch on low speed. Bring milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan; pour milk slowly into the egg mixture while beating slowly. Return mixture to stove over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick, about 10 minutes. When you put your finger into the pan the mixture is hot to the touch. Remove from heat; beat in butter, vanilla, cream and cognac. Strain through a wide mesh strainer into a bowl. Refrigerate until needed.


Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 4
Category: Misc
Meal: other (General)
3 cup sugar, granulated
0.5 cup water

Place sugar and water in a sauce pan and stir to combine. Heat under medium to high heat, swirling not stirring until brown (345 degrees). Remove from heat and use immediately. May be reheated if it becomes too stiff.

Fill each profiterole with the vanilla cream. You may make the croquembouche freehand but it is much easier to buy a 14 inch foam cone and wrap it in parchment paper.  Caution: the caramel is very hot and will burn immediately if it touches your skin. Dip each profiterole into the caramel and place on the bottom of the cone, making a full round on the bottom.  Now continue with the next level and so on until you reach the top.  Pour any leftover caramel over the  croueblouche.  Serves about 12.

Tons of great desserts at our website


December 29, 2014 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Pork Tenderloin on Poached Pears

From the Appetizer Collection at

Pork Tenderloin Medallions on Poached Pears

Pork Tenderloin Medallions on Poached Pears

This is the “sister” recipe to the Scallops on Poached Pears recipe that we served at the French dinner earlier this month.  Because there are some out there, me included, that don’t eat fish of any kind; it was necessary to come up with a recipe that reflected my dinner “statement” for the carnivores among us.  Substituting the pork tenderloins for the scallops proved to be just the right adjustment.  Some at the dinner even choose to sample both appetizers.

My theory on cooking is cook what you like, adjust recipes to serve your needs or just you whims.

Pork Tenderloin on Poached Pears

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 4
Category: Appetizer
Meal: N/A
2 medium pears, red Bartlett
0.5 cup sugar, granulated
1 medium pork tenderloin
2 Tb rice flour
3 Tb oil, olive
1 Tb butter, salted
2 pinch salt and pepper to taste
8 medium sage leaves
0.25 cup wine, dry white
2 Tb cognac

Peel the pears, cut in half and remove core with a spoon. Place pears in a sauce pan with the sugar and add enough water to cover half way up on the pears. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until just tender (turning over once during simmering). Remove pears to a plate, allow to cool and slice each half into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Reduce remaining water and sugar in pan by half and add the white wine.
Cut tenderloin into 3/4 inch disks. Salt and pepper disks. Add remaining salt and pepper to the rice flour and dredge the disks.
In a sauté pan heat the oil and butter until just shimmering, add the disks and cook for only 2 minutes, turn over and cook for 1 minute more. Remove pork to a plate and add the sage leaves, cook until crispy. Remove sage and add the reserved sugar water and wine to the pan, stir to combine to make a sauce.

To plate: Place 4 slices of the pears on a plate, forming 2 circles, add 2 disks to each circle, spoon some of the sauce and place sage leaves on top.

Find more outstanding appetizers at

December 22, 2014 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Challah

From the Bread Category at



I am beginning to prepare my Christmas baskets for my neighbors and  I thought I would give this challah a test run to see how it fit into my plans.  This  is truly one of the most beautiful loaves of bread I have ever made.  The crust is firm yet not too hard and the crumb is very, very good and moist.  An easy bread to make; requiring time but not a whole lot of work, it makes the perfect bread to toast or maybe make a baked French toast breakfast for your family.

The challah makes a wonderful addition to our bread collection at


Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 12
Category: Breads
Meal: other (General)
2 package yeast, dried
0.5 cup sugar, granulated
2 large orange zest
0.5 cup orange juice
0.33 cup oil, vegetable
2 large egg
1 Tb salt, kosher
7.5 cup flour, all-purpose
2 large egg
1 Tb fennel seed
2 tsp sesame seeds

Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of warm water in the bowl of a mixing bowl. Stir in orange zest, orange juice, and oil. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, mix using a dough hook. Add sugar and salt and mix for 5 minutes, until smooth. Remove dough, grease bowl and place the dough back into the bowl, covering with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in warm spot until doubled, about an hour. Punch dough down, divide in half. Roll each half into a 27 inch log. hold the dough in the middle and twist ends around. Place on a floured piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Mix one whole egg and one yolk, brush 1/2 on loaves, allow the bread to rise for 1/2 hour while heating oven to 350 degrees. Brush remaining egg wash onto the bread, sprinkle with the fennel and sesame seeds. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until brown and firm on top.


Try some of our other great bread recipes at

December 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts

Special Offer


Save Money! Save Time! Plan your meals. Recipe ideas with shopping lists. Special meal plans; diet friendly, low sodium, gluten-free and more.

Advertise here

What’s New!

Weekly Meal Plans

For those of you who prefer weekly meal plans we have 20 weekly plans for you to chose from, that’s 5 months worth of headache-free meals, complete with scalability and shopping lists. To see the post regarding the new 5-day Weekly Meal Plans click here!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 50 other followers



Affiliate Opportunity/ Fundraisers

We can provide a revenue stream for your blog.

Fundraising programs, Easy programs to help church and school groups earn money.

Simply email me to let me know you are interested. Chef Jake

Blog Friends

Top Food Blogs


CookEatShare Featured Author
view my recipes

CookEatShare Featured Author


Click to Join the Foodie Blogroll! A growing community of foodie blogs.



free hit counter


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers