Jalapeño Jelly


This recipe is from Well Preserved by Mary Ann Dragan – it is wonderful! This book offers easy small batch recipes, so if you enjoy preserving, get yourself a copy! I like this jelly with a little cream cheese on a cracker, but I think it would make an amazing PB&J. If you make this use a deep pot – it boils over very easy, I’ve learned the hard way, or should I say to uber sticky way. I’m lazy and like hot peppers, so did not seed or remove the ribs from the peppers, I just toss them in the food processor.

30 – 40 medium jalapeño, finely minced in food processor
1 1/2 c cider vinegar
6 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Two 3 oz pouches of liquid pectin
A few drops of green food coloring

Prepare the preserving jars.

Combine peppers, vinegar, sugar and salt in a large pot. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Once mixture comes to full boil, stir constantly, boil for 5 minutes. Stir in pectin, and when it returns to full boil, boil exactly 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Stir for 3 – 5 minutes to keep well combined, add food coloring.

Poor the jelly into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe clean and seal according to manufacturers directions. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

Makes 6 – 7, 8 oz jars


Steamed Eggplant with Garlic


Let me just say this, I love Patricia Wells! Her recipes are easy and oh so tasty, she is a culinary genius and accessible to those of us that have not been to cooking school. This recipe is wonderful – the eggplant is delicate, the garlic adds a punch and the buttermilk dressing adds sweetness and creaminess – basically a party in your mouth.

2 – 3 small japanese eggplants, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 1 lb)
4 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 c buttermilk
2 Tsp olive oil
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

In a glass jar combine buttermilk, Dijon, oil, salt and thyme, shake well. Let sir in fridge for 1 hour to deepen the flavors.

Bring 1 quart of water to a simmer in the bottom of a steamer. Place eggplant slices, slightly overlapping on steaming rack. Cover and steam 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with garlic, season with salt and drizzle with 2 TBSP dressing. Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

4 servings
1 WW PP per serving.

Veal Scallopini in Caper Brown Butter Sauce


This is the ultimate weeknight main, as it literally takes less than 5 minutes to cook! …and it tastes amazing!

8 oz veal Scallopini
1 – 2 TBSP capers, drained
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP lemon juice

Salt and pepper Scallopini. Spray large skillet with olive oil spray, heat on medium high. Add veal and cook 1 minute per side. Remove from pan.

Add butter, scraping brown bits from pan, cook 1 minute, add capers. Stir and cook for 1 more minute until butter starts to barley brown. Remove from heat, add lemon juice, stir and poor over veal.

2 – 4 Servings.
5 WW PP per serving (4 servings).

Spinach with Pecorino and Pine Nuts


This dish is delicious, even my hubby who is not a huge fan spinach loved it. This recipe is adapted from La Cucina Italiania.

3 TBSP pine nuts, toasted
1 1/2 lbs spinach
1 TBSP olive oil
2 oz Pecorino, grated
1/8 tsp curry powder

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spinach, cook 1 minutes until just wilted. Drain and squeeze out excess water.

Hear broiler. In a large grating dish spread 1/2 spinach drizzle with 1/2 the olive oil and cheese, repeat.

Broil for 2 -3 minutes, turning the dish every minute. Top with pine nuts.

Serves 4.
2 WW PP per serving.

Pasta with Langostines and Mint


This recipes comes from my favorite cooking magazine, La Cucina Italiana. The mint really adds something special to this dish.

1 lb pasta
3 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP shallots, finely chopped
1 lb peeled Langostines (or shrimp)
1/2 c dry white wine
Zest from one lemon
1/2 c finely chopped mint

Cook pasta according to directions on package.

In a large skillet, 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil over medium heat, reduce to low and add shallots, cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add Langostines, stir to coat in oil cook 1 minute. Add wine and increase to medium high heat, cook 2 minutes until Langostines are opaque. Remove from heat and stir in zest.

Drain pasta, add to Langostines, stir in 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil and mint. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

Zucchini Patty Pita


I adapted this recipe from Whole Living – cut back a few breadcrumbs and used less olive oil to make it a little healthier. This little patties are delicious and super quick to whip up.

1 can garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 c breadcrumbs
1 Zuk, grated
1 small red onion, grated
2 Egg whites, or one egg
1 tsp salt
1/8 c olive oil
1 c Greek yogurt
1 c Mint leaves
4 Pitas halved

Mash chickpeas in a bowl, until smooth. Stir in breadcrumbs, Zuk, onion, egg and salt. Form into 8 patties.

Sauté in oil over medium high heat until golden brown and crisp, about 2 -3 minutes per side.

Half pitas, stuff with pattie, lettuce, yogurt and mint.

8 servings
4 WW PP per serving

Pasta with pancetta


When it comes to food I have many weaknesses but nothing comes close to pasta. This dish is perfect for a night when your too tired to cook. The combo of a little heat and a lot of salt is heaven.

8 oz dried pasta of your choice
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 c grated asiago
Red pepper flakes to taste
Black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil, cook pasta as directed on package.

In a 12 in skillet cook the pancetta till crisp and add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. When the pasta is done add to skillet, I use a slotted spoon. Add 1/4 c – 1/3 cup pasta water and stir in cheese, combining well. Cover for 1 minute over low heat until pasta water is absorbed. Finish with black pepper and serve.

Serves 2.

Jalapeno Poppers


Our Jalepeno plant is going crazy this summer, which surprises me considering how cool this summer has been. I had to find something to do with 2 baskets of jalepenos, so I decided to make a lite version of Jalepeno poppers. Of course if you are not watching what you eat feel free to use full fat versions of the cheese and mayo. These are tasty, and my hubby did not even realize they were low fat.

10 jalepenos, halved seeds removed
1/4 c lite cream cheese, softened
1/4 c lite shredded cheddar cheese
2 TBSP lite mayo

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine mayo and cheese. Stuff 1 tsp of mixture into Jalepeno halves. Place on a baking sheet. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes until cheese starts to brown.

2 servings.
4 WW PP per serving.

Royal Ricky


Ah summertime. Summer has been a little slow to start this year, but it appears to finally be here. I found this cocktail recipe in the Epicurious iPhone app. The chambord gives a little something extra without being too sweet. It is a nice refreshing cocktail for a warm summer evening.

1 1/2 oz gin
1 TBSP dry vermouth
1 TBSP chambord
1 TBSP lime juice
1/3 – 1/2 c seltzer
Lime slice

Combine lime juice and booze in a tall glass, stir, add seltzer, stir. Add ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

Servings: 1

Stuffed Squash Blossoms


Squash blossoms are usually fried or sautéed in a lot of oil, I’ve been experimenting with baking them to lighten up the dish. Today I combine a little ricotta, herbs de provence and fresh grated parmesean cheese and stuffed my blossoms, sprayed them with a little olive oil and baked – delicious!

1/4 c ricotta cheese
2 TBSP grated parmesean cheese
2 tsp herbs de provence
12 squash blossoms

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a glass baking sheet with olive oil.

Combine the cheeses and herbs in a small bowl. Make a cut down the length of the blossom, press 1 – 2 tsp of the cheese mixture into the blossom and twist the top of the blossom to close it up, lay on the baking sheet, continue with rest of the blossoms. Spray the blossoms with a little olive oil and bake 6 – 10 minutes until the cheese is heated through and soft.

Makes 2 – 4 servings.
1 WW PP per serving (4 servings).