BBQ Rub

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This is my mashup of several different rub recipes. I made for pulled pork, but it would be amazing on chicken too!

2 TBSP packed dark brown sugar
2 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP Smoked paprika
1 TBSP kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine in a jar. Store in a dark place.

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Bacon BBQ Sauce

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This is adapted from a recipe I found on chow.com. I used pancetta – its what I had, swapped out palm sugar for brown, added a bit more spice to create a yummy thick BBQ sauce.

Ingredients:
1/2 c small-dice bacon or pancetta
1 c finely diced red onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 c ketchup
1/2 c cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar or palm sugar
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
3 TBSP bourbon
2 TBSP dark molasses
1 TBSP chili powder
3 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground mustard
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the bacon and onions in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds.

Whisk in the remaining measured ingredients and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly and holds a line on the back of a wooden spoon when you drag a finger through it, about 25 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Pop in a blender and puree. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Fennel and Onion Pizza with Proscuitto

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I adapted this from a recipe in the July 2012 issue of Food & Wine. I add some Proscuitto and used my dough. It turned out delicious!

Ingredients:
8 oz pizza dough
2 TBSP olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c dry white wine
1 c chicken stock
5 oz Asiago, shredded
3 oz Proscuitto, ripped into small pieces

Preheat oven to 500 with pizza stone inside for at least an hour.

In a large pan, heat olive oil over mention high heat, add onions and fennel, cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine and stock, cook for an additional 40 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

Roll dough out thin. Spray or brush with olive oil. Top with onion fennel mixture, cheese and Proscuitto.

Bake for about 8 minutes until crust is golden.

Serves 4.

Cheesy Lobster Pasta

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Staycation means a little extra time in the kitchen, unless said cook spends the day running errands. This is fancy quick meal that tastes amazing! It’s mash up of cream sauce and lobster mac and cheese a la Chris.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 c mixed Italian cheeses, shredded
1/2 cup creme Fraiche
7 ounces fresh lobster meat, chopped
1/2 lb pasta
1-1/2 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon espelette powder

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta.

Melt butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook roux until golden brown (about one minute, roux will be a bit chunky). Add tomatoes and heat until bubbly and thickened, about three minutes.

Add cheeses, creme frachie and lobster meat, cooking until cheese is melted. Add in noodles and stir. Remove from heat and add salt, herbs and pepper, stirring well. Serve immediately!

Serves 4.

Gazpacho

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Finally tomatoes from my garden – not a lot but enough to make my favorite summer dish – gazpacho! Sometime I add paprika, sometimes is cayenne pepper, sometime it fresh herbs. Often I wait to add the spices just as I am enjoying a bowlful. You can too with pepitas or sliced almonds for a Lyle crunch.

Ingredients:
1 sweet onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 pepper
2 Jalepeno pepper
1 English Cucumber
2 lbs tomatoes

In a food processor combine everything except tomatoes. Process until finely chopped. Moved to a large bowl. Process tomatoes until almost puréed. Add to bowl, stir in pepper and salt. Chill.

Serves 4 – 6.

Eggplant casserole

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This was loosely inspired by a recipe in Elizabeth David’s Mediterranean Cookbook. I grilled the eggplants and pepper for the stuffing and put it in a baking dish added some cheese and put into a casserole.

6 small eggplants
1 red pepper
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground lamb
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c grated cheese

Preheat BBQ to medium high. Grill eggplants and pepper turning every couple minutes until softened and nicely charred. Remove, cover with foil and let cool.

Scrape eggplant from skin and peal pepper. Add to a food processor and pulse until puréed.

Meanwhile cook onions in a little oil until softened, add garlic and lamb, cooking until meat is browned.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine purée with meat and onions. Top with bread crumbs, pine nuts and cheese spray or drizzle with olive oil.

Serves 4.

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

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Cookies!!! Need I say more! Chocolate, choc chips, coconut, walnuts & dried cherries – not sure I could get anything else in there!

Ingredients:
3/4 c flour
2 TBSP cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
12 TBSP butter, softened
1/4 c white sugar
3/4 c brown or palm sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c dried cherries
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c walnuts
1/2 c coconut, shredded, unsweetened

Preheat over to 350.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, spices and salt.

Place butter in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add sugars and beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture. Then beat in remaining ingredients one by one.

Scoop onto baking tray lined with parchment or silicon baking mats. Bake 5 minutes they switch position, bake another 5 – 6 minutes.

4 WW PP per cookie.

Strawberry Salad

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This was inspired by a recipe on thedailymeal, I added some goat cheese and swapped arugula for spinach. Yum yum!!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 TBSP champagne vinegar
1/2 TBSP strawberry jam
1/2 tsp grapeseed oil
4 oz goat cheese
3 c arugula
1 c halved strawberries
1/4 c, sliced dry roasted almonds

Combine jam, vinegar and oil in a small jar – shake until combined.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, toss with dressing.

Serves 2.

Tapas Pasta

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I came up with this one last night – it was perfect! Spicy sausage, peppers and a little cheese!

Ingredients:
1 TBSP olive oil
4 oz chorizo sausage
2 baskets of padrons, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c parsley, chopped
1/4 c manchego cheese, grated
1/2 lb pasta

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage, padrons and garlic, cook until padrons are soft.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta.

Transfer pasta to sausage and pepper mixture, add 1/4 c pasta water and cheese, stir and serve.

Serves 2 – 4.