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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mini Strawberry Pies Recipe

Mini Strawberry pies recipe

Last week Fran and I were waiting to see the doctor for one of her eye appointments. Fran started talking about some healthy recipes that we should try, then she said, you know, we have some fresh strawberries you should make some mini strawberry pies.

So, somehow we went from healthy recipes to desserts. I'm not one to argue because Farn always knows best. I wanted to make sure everything in this recipe was fresh all the way to the whipped cream.

I started by making this easy strawberry pie gelatin

easy strawberry pie gelatin
Here is what I used:

9 fresh strawberries
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup water
1-1/4 sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch

I put the 9 strawberries, lemon juice, and water into my NutriBullet to make a liquid base.

This yielded 2 cups of liquid. If you don't have a NutriBullet you can do this in a blender.

Using a saucepan on medium heat add the liquid and sugar. Bring this to a boil and add the cornstarch a little at a time, stir constantly until it becomes thick then remove it from the heat. I placed the gelatin in a bowl and put it in the refrigerator while I made the pie crust.

Easy Pie Crust Dough: 

easy pie crust dough
2-1/2 cups flour
1 cup cold butter (cut into small pieces)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 tablespoons ice cold water

I added the flour, butter, sugar, and salt into my KitchenAid mixing bowl. Using the batter attachment I mixed until crumbs formed and the butter was cut in.

Then add the ice water one tablespoon at a time until the dough forms.

I rolled the dough into a log and cut it in half, wrapped it in plastic and put it in the refrigerator.
After 30 minutes I rolled the dough out on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thick. I cut circles a little less than 4-inches. You can use a cookie cutter or whatever you have on hand.

easy pie crust dough

I sprayed a muffin tin with Baker's Joy No-Stick Baking Spray and carefully formed the crust in the tins. Then baked these at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

strawberry pie gelatin recipe

Fill each mini crust with a tablespoon or more of the gelatin.

I cut strawberries in half and placed them on top of the gelatin. This recipe yielded 18 nice little mini strawberry pies. I used 9 more strawberries for this plus whatever Tyler was eating while we finished these.

I topped these tasty sweet treats off with homemade whipped cream using this simple and quick recipe from Berly's Kitchen. Click the link to get this absolutely easy and creamy whipped cream recipe. While you're on their site take a look at more of their amazing recipes.

I had to hurry with this, as Tyler was eating the whipped cream by the spoon full as we topped them off.  

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Beer Battered Walleye Recipe

beer  batter walleye

Last week I hit the jackpot, my good friend Geroge from work brought me a load of wood for our Friday night campfires along with a bag of fresh Walleye Fillets.

As you probably know it really doesn't take much to get me excited. George lives out in the country in a wooded area and was kind enough to share some of his wood, he really saved me some money this year.

All year long George and his son fish the Allegheny River and Chautauqua Lake for walleye and crappie. And, every year he shares their fresh catch with us.

This year I decided to make my own beer batter battered walleye recipe. You'll find the recipe for the beer batter below. But first, let me explain how I made these.

walleye fillet recipe
I first cut the fillets into smaller pieces so they would be easy to handle and flip in my skillet.

After the batter was ready and with the help of my grandson Bobby we pan fried these fillets in my 10-inch cast iron skillet.

I poured about 1/4-inch of vegetable oil into the skillet and set it to medium heat to get the oil to about 375 degrees.

We set up a station of first, a plate of flour, then the beer batter, and last a plate of Panko Seasoned Bread Crumbs.

Bobby coated the fillets with flour and put them into the batter. I took them from the batter and coated them with the bread crumbs and then into the hot oil. I cooked the fillets for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Then placed the them on paper towels to drain.

beer batter walleye recipe

Here is how I made the beer batter:

2 cup of all purpose flour
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Penzeys Bangkok Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Penzeys Ruth Ann's Muskego Ave Seasoning
1-12oz. bottle beer

I added all of the dry ingredients into my KitchenAid Stand Mixer bowl and turned it over a few times with a spatula.

Then I added the beaten egg and turned on the mixer using the whisk attachment on medium speed.  I added the beer a little bit at a time until I had a nice consistent batter.

I think this batter would be perfect to make beer batter shrimp, chicken strips, onion rings, and why not beer battered mushrooms.

My daughter Jamie brought over the two chicken and fish seasonings that she wanted to try out from Penzeys. I have to tell you what a great add they were to this batter. And, since Fran is eating much healthier than I am we cooked two of the fillets on the grill for her.

I sprayed a piece of tin foil with non-stick spray, added a tablespoon of butter on top of each fillet. Then I sprinkled the two Penzys seasonings over the top. I wrapped them and cooked the two fillets on the grill over medium heat for about 10 minutes. These Penzeys seasonings were new to me and I will certainly use them again. Fran thought that the flavor was amazing.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Easy Egg Breakfast Recipe

Easy egg breakfast Recipe

All research seems to point to breakfast as being the most important meal of the day. Well, that's what I've been told all of my life. I remember growing up and my dad always saying you have to eat a good breakfast and being a kid I just never knew why.

Eating healthy food for breakfast gives us the nutrients and energy we need to sustain us throughout the day. I certainly don't always eat a good breakfast every day but I know that I should.

Fran is the healthy eater in our family and in the process, she is always looking out for me. She is always coming up with some of the best healthy foods for breakfast.

She made this healthy egg breakfast the other day and I just had to tell you about it. Everything on this plate is made with all fresh ingredients.

Healthy Quick Breakfast Foods:

Red and yellow bell Pepper are low in calories, rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Fresh Spinach provides vitamins A, C, and K and is rich in Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium.

Fresh Mushrooms are a good source of dietary fiber.

Red Onion contains fiber and folic acid along with vitamin B.

Fresh Avocado has heart-healthy monounsaturated fat which the good fat.

Fresh Eggs contain 6 to 7 grams of high-quality protein in each egg.

Now, full disclosure here I am certainly not an expert on nutrition I had to look all of this up. I just wanted to let you know that it's easy to make a healthy breakfast.

Here is how Fran Made this easy egg breakfast:

She cut up the peppers, spinach, mushrooms, and onion then cooked them in an 8-inch non-stick skillet until they were tender. Cooked the two eggs over easy (that's the way I like my eggs) and served them on top of the cooked veggies and slices of the fresh avocado.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Homemade Meat Marinade Recipe

Homemade meat marinade recipe

Sometimes we just want a juicier and more flavorful cut of meat.

This is the time when you want to use a marinade. When I'm grilling lamb on the rod I like to use a simple Italian salad dressing as a marinade.

But, for steaks, roasts, chicken, and pork I whip up this easy homemade meat marinade.

This homemade meat marinade recipe has a balance of acids, oils, and spices. The acids help tenderize and make the meat juicy while the oils and spices add flavor. I don't always use a marinade but when I do I like to this recipe.

Here is the homemade meat marinade recipe:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small onion minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning or Italian Seasoning 

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl place your cut of meat in a one-gallon zip lock bag or a baking dish cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 to 3 hours.

This should be enough for a large roast or 3 to 4 steaks. You can always cut the recipe down for smaller cuts of meat.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

How to Grill Beef Shoulder Steak

how to grill beef shoulder steak

Well, we all know that grilling season has finally arrived. Last week Fran came home from a trip to the grocery store with a beef shoulder tender.

This steak was packaged already and marinaded with a tangy vinegar, garlic, onion, and black pepper marinade. All I had to do is grill this steak without ruining it.

The truth be known, I've never heard of this cut of beef before so I looked it up. Here is what I discovered.

Beef tender is a cut from the shoulder and is one of the most tender cuts of beef it is very similar to a Filet Mignon but less expensive.

Fran said this is the most tender steak that I ever cooked on the grill. Who am I to argue with that? Here is how I grilled this beef shoulder petite tender.

I set my Huntington Gas Grill on the high setting. The grill was ready in about 5 minutes.

  1. I grilled the first side for exactly 4 minutes.
  2. Turned the steak over and grilled the second side for 3 minutes.
  3. I lowered the grill setting to medium after 3 minutes on the second side.
  4. Turned the steak over again, closed the lid and grilled for 10 minutes. Until the internal temperature reached 130 degrees. 
  5. Then I let the steak rest for 5 minutes before cutting it.
This steak was a little less than one pound so your grill time may vary based on size. As long as you keep an eye on the internal temperature you'll be fine.

This method gave me a perfectly juicy, medium rare, and tender steak. I highly recommend this cut of beef, I know you won't be sorry.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cheddar Cheese Corn Bread

Cheddar Cheese Corn Bread

The weather cooled off a little yesterday, so I thought it was okay to use the oven. What a perfect time to try out my cheddar cheese cornbread recipe.

I think corn bread goes well with just about any meal or if you're like me I like it just as a snack with plenty of butter of course.

I wanted to make this savory so I added sharp cheddar cheese. I also wanted to try something different and bake this in my cast iron skillet.

Cast iron skillet cornbread recipe
Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread:

As always I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer to prepare the batter. You will find all of the ingredients below.

I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees and placed my 8-inch cast iron skillet in the oven while I made the batter.

When the batter was ready I took the skillet out of the oven and buttered the inside with 1 tablespoon of butter. Then I poured the batter into the skillet.

I placed the skillet back in the oven and baked the cornbread for 30 minutes.

Homemade cornbread cast iron skillet

Now, I need to explain the mistake that I made. I used my 8-inch cast iron skillet. The cornbread should have baked for 20 to 25 minutes.

This was too much batter for the 8-inch skillet causing me to bake it for 30 minutes to get the center of the cornbread cooked.

Not that it wasn't delicious because all of it is gone already. I just think the edges cooked a little too much.

So, if you're going to try this cast iron skillet cornbread I recommend using a 10-inch skillet. I know that I will the next time.

Using a 10-skillet the bake time should be 20 to 25 minutes.

Here are the ingredients for cheddar cheese corn bread: 

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups yellow cornmeal (I used Quaker)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg (beaten)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon butter (For the skillet)

Mix all dry ingredients together, then add oil, milk, honey, and egg. Mix until it forms a batter then add the cup of cheddar cheese continue until it well mixed.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Easy Grilled Shrimp Recipe

Easy Grilled Shrimp Recipe
Easy Grilled Shrimp:

The weather here in Western New York finally took a turn for the good. We've had some beautiful weather the last couple of days with temperatures in the high 60's.

For us, that means it's time to get the grill fired up. We had a bag of shrimp in the freezer and Fran thought it would be better to grill it instead of cooking it in the house.

Cooking shrimp on the grill is really not difficult at all. We had to the whole meal ready in about 15 minutes.

After Fran thawed and rinsed the shrimp she skewered it for the grill.

We used our flat stainless steel skewers but you can also use the wood or bamboo skewers. If you use the wood or bamboo just make sure that you soak them in water for about 10 minutes so they don't burn. We had a little less than a pound of shrimp and yielded a full three skewers or about 21 shrimp.

Now that the shrimp was ready I fired up one side of the grill and set it to the high setting. Then I melted 2 tablespoons of butter and brushed it on both sides of the shrimp. I seasoned both sides generously with Old Bay Seasoning and Garlic Powder.

Buy Old Bay Seasoning if you've never tried it before. There are so many recipes for Old Bay seasoning and it adds such a wonderful flavor to so many things.

Here is everything I used for this easy grilled shrimp:

1-lb. of shrimp (Fresh would be the best)
2 tablespoons butter melted
Old Bay Seasoning
Garlic Powder

I grilled the shrimp on the high setting on my grill for 3 minutes per side and served the shrimp over brown rice. This was a quick, easy, and tasty meal ready in under 20 minutes.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

Italian chicken Parmesan dish

This Italian chicken parmesan dish is a perfect family pleaser, and easy to make. I can't take credit for making this one. This stuffed chicken parmesan recipe is a creation of my son Sammy.

Sammy is an excellent cook, and he should be, as he has a culinary degree. He is always making some amazing and delicious creations. His stuffed chicken parmesan is no exception to amazing and delicious, made with all fresh ingredients, mozzarella, basil, and prosciutto.

The ingredients and instructions for this delicious dish are below:

Italian chicken Parmesan recipe

First Sammy cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise.

He set up a breading station using beaten eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs and fried them on both sides.

I would have used my Cast Iron Skillet for this.

Italian chicken Parmesan

 He spread some sauce in the bottom of a baking pan. Then he placed one-half of each chicken breast in the pan and layered with prosciutto, mozzarella, and basil.

You can use your favorite sauce in a jar or try my Quick Marinara sauce here.

breaded chicken Parmesan recipe

Sammy then placed the second half of the chicken breast on top.

Again he layered the fresh mozzarella and basil on top, bake this according to the instructions below.

Italian Chicken Parmesan Recipe:


3 large chicken breast
1c. flour
4 eggs, beaten
1 log of fresh mozzarella
1/2c. of fresh basil
1 jar favorite tomato sauce
4 slices fresh prosciutto
1 to 2c. oil

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees
-Cut each chicken breast in half
-Cover chicken with saran wrap on a cutting board
-Tenderize the chicken breast with a meat tenderizer, set aside
-Set up a breading station with the flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs
-Dredge chicken breast in flour, then eggs, and finally breadcrumbs
-Heat oil in large frying pan; make sure there is enough to cover the bottom of the pan
-Once the oil is hot place chicken in oil and brown on each side, probably 2 min. per side
-Remove chicken from frying pan to a plate or sheet tray covered in paper towels to drain oil
-Grease a baking dish with Pam or Crisco
-Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a thin layer of the tomato sauce
-Thin slice the fresh mozzarella
-Chop fresh basil
-Layer 3 pieces of chicken breast on the bottom of pan
-Top chicken with sliced prosciutto, then sliced mozzarella, then half the basil
-Place other chicken breasts on top, then place a few slices of mozzarella
-Spoon some of the tomato sauce on top with the remainder of the basil
-Place in preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes


-Check the chicken after 20 minutes for doneness.  Adjust time and temperature accordingly

-Serve with a side of your favorite pasta.

Sammy lives two hours away from us so I didn't get to taste his creation but just looking at the pictures makes my mouth water.

For more from my son Sammy you can check out his Facebook page: Cooking with Monaco 

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy

Handy Kitchen Tools for this Recipe

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