Asparagus, Tiny Potatoes & Caviar

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This is the ultimate spring dish with some fanciness. If you have truffle oil, toss the roasted potatoes with a little before serving.

Ingredients:
1 lb tiny potatoes
1 lb asparagus, rough ends snapped off
3 TBSP creme fraiche
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp olive oil
2 TBSP snipped chives
Caviar
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425.

Toss potatoes with olive oil and salt. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20 – 30 minutes until crispy on the outside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook asparagus for 1 – 3 minutes depending on thickness.

Combine creme, 1 tsp olive oil, zest, chives and a pinch of salt. Chill until ready to use.

Place asparagus on a plate with potatoes, drizzle with creme mixture and garnish with caviar.

Serves 2 – 4.

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Jalapeño Popper Dip

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On the weekends I love to have a cocktail and appetizers before our meal. Come on, it’s the weekend. The inspiration for this recipe came from pintrest, but I made quite a few modifications. I used lite cream cheese and left out mayo, why add the extra fat if your font have to? Plus you’ll never miss it. I chopped the jalapeños in a the cuisenart than plopped in the rest of the ingredients – yum!

Ingredients:
1 8-oz packages of cream cheese, soft
4-6 jalapeno’s, chopped
1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 c of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/2 c panko
Olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all of the ingredients into a medium bowl. Stir well.

Transfer to an oven proof dish. Bake 20 minutes until brown on top and bubbly.

Serves 4 – 6.

Chicken Thighs

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I almost always opt for thighs over breast – the just taste better! This is a simple recipe that the kids love. I usually double the batch so we have plenty of leftovers for lunch during the week.

Ingredients:
4 small skinless boneless chicken thighs (about 12 ounces)
1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
3/4 c orange juice
3/4 c canned low-salt chicken broth
1/4 c whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 TBSP honey
1 tsp hot pepper sauce

Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until brown, about 6 minutes per side. Add orange juice and broth to skillet. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Transfer chicken to plate. Add mustard, honey and pepper sauce to skillet. Increase heat and boil until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, whisking occasionally, about 7 minutes.

Return chicken to skillet. Simmer until heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer chicken to plates; top with sauce and serve.

Serves 4.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake

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I love cake. this is quick cake that only dirties one bowl. I added some coconut and chocolate chips to make it special.

Ingredients:
3/4 c plus 2 TBSP whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c nonfat buttermilk
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c hot strong black coffee
1/2 c coconut
1/2 c chocolate chips
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

Whisk flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, egg, oil and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add hot coffee and beat to blend. (The batter will be quite thin.) stir in chocolate chips and coconut.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from the pan.

Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar before slicing.

Foie Gras Millefeuille with Toasted Almond, Caramelized Onion, Dried Blueberry Sauce and Pinapple Brûlée

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This is a crazy elaborate dish – I made it for my birthday dinner know full well my hubby would take care of the dishes. It is a ton of work, and worth all the effort! This is from Foie Gras a passion cookbook.

Caramelized Onions:
1 TBSP duck fat or butter
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt fat. Add onions and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently until dark brown. Set aside and rewarm when ready to assemble.

Dried Blueberry Sauce:
1/4 c dried blueberry
2 TBSP cognac
1 tsp duck fat or butter
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 c duck or chicken stock
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp honey

Soak berries in cognac for 30 minutes. Heat duck fat in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Add blueberries and liquid, stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer, until reduced by 1/2 about 20 minutes. Add vinegar and honey. Purée in blender. Return to pan and keep warm.

Almond Phyllo Pasty:
2 sheets phyllo dough
1/4 c butter, melted
1/2 c crushed almonds

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut phyllo into four 3 inch wide strips. Cover with a damp cloth. Lay one sheet out on a cutting board, brush with melted butter, top 1 TBSP almonds. Fold, brush with butter, repeat to form a 3 inch square. Place on a parchment lined pan. Repeat. Top with another sheet of parchment and place a pan on top. Bake 25 min, remove pan and bake 10 more minutes. Cool.

Pinapple Brûlée:
2 rings fresh pinapple
Sugar

Place piñeapple on a baking sheet. Sprinkle sugar over pineapple and use a blow torch to caramelize the sugar.

Seared Foie Gras:
4 – 2 oz slices of Foie Gras
Salt and pepper

Salt and pepper Foie. Heat a 10 inch pan over high heat until very hot. Add Foie, cook 30 seconds per side.

Assemble:
Place phyllo square in center of plate. Top with Foie, second piece of phyllo, pineapple, onions and drizzle with blueberry sauce.

Serves 4.

Fava Bean, Strawberry & Pecorino

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This salad is from Chris Cosentino’s Beginnings – it’s amazing!! I made one change, I added a drop of vanilla to the dressing because I did not have vanilla salt.

Ingredients:
1 c fava beans, shelled
1 c strawberries, quartered
1 bunch of arugula
1 TBSP aged balsamic
1 TBSP olive oil
1 drop vanilla
Salt and pepper
Shaved pecorino

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add Favas and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove and plunge in an ice bath. Remove skin.

Combine balsamic, oil, vanilla and aalt and pepper in a small jar, shake.

Combine berries, arugula and Favas, toss with dressing. Top with shaved pecorino.

Serves 4.

5 Minute Chocolate Cake

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There are times when a gal needs a piece of chocolate cake and she needs it now!! This is the most dangerous cake ever! Why? Well, it’s chocolate, it’s hot and it only takes 5 minutes to make!!

Ingredients:
1 egg
3 TBSP milk
3 TBSP canola oil
3 TBSP flour
3 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP cocoa powder
3 TBSP chocolate chips
Splash of vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 small coffee mugs

Mix wet in a small bowl. Add dry, combine. Divide between 2 small mugs, microwave on high for 2 minutes. Eat out of cup or flip onto a plate if your feeling fancy.

Serves 2.