A Party in your future?

Do not forget the great appetizers you can make! Party favors are fun to have on hand too. Setting up to have a party at home need not be stressful nor expensive! Lots of great appetizers can be made in advance and placed in the freezer for easy baking.

Lemon Ricotta Stuffed Mushrooms (Or sub for sausage/ricotta)
One pound (16 ounces) White button mushrooms (clean with damp paper towels) remove stems, set aside on a clean work surface. In a mixing bowl add 1-1/2 cups Ricotta Cheese, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 2 dashes your favorite hot sauce, one fresh lemon (washed, zest and juice), 2 stalks of fresh chives chopped finely, mix ingredients well to combine. Pre Heat Oven 425 F using a rimmed non stick baking sheet pan fill each of the mushroom caps full of lemon ricotta mixture (or sausage ricotta) and place in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet pan. Bake 25-30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

To Freeze: Do not bake first, place filled mushroom caps and place baking sheet pan in the freezer for 1-2 hours, then transfer to an airtight freezer safe container or freezer bags. To Bake: Remove from freezer onto a baking sheet pan and cover with aluminum foil and bake @ 350 F for 40 minutes.

In closing, I wish you Good Health. cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

See YOU!

Weekend fun and Cooking in the Slow Cooker-Crock Pot!

Like most people when the weekend rolls around you have so many things to do. Making time to see friends, family, domestic chores, and having some fun should be on your agenda! Let’s cook something in the slow cooker. If you like Beef Hot Dogs you can add them and some sauerkraut, set on low and leave for 3-4 hours and a meal is ready when you return home. You can prepare Spaghetti sauce, meatballs, or sausage on low heat and when you return home just boil the pasta and eat! A small pot roast (chuck blade cut), add beef stock (low sodium) potatoes, carrots anything you like in the slow cooker and let it do the work for you while you have some fun!

It all sounds reasonable and feasible wouldn’t you agree? So, we must budget for that in our next weekly shopping trip. If you are a student, graduate student, studying may be a big part of your weekend. Again the slow cooker is the easy answer while you study. Whatever your situation, school or work, small family, large family a slow cooker can be used any day of the week. You can prepare meals the night before on low heat and re-heat when you return home (place slow cooker in refrigerator bottom shelf when not in use but food is cooked already). Just re-heat on high for 1 hour or so.

Using caution whenever cooking is just good common sense. Until next time I wish you “Good Health”.

cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken and Herbs

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Pick up your favorite chicken whether it is thighs, legs, breasts. Season with salt, pepper, and place in the slow cooker on low. Add Chicken broth (I use 1-1/2 cups), add one onion cut into quarters, one bay leaf, fresh parsley (if available to you) fresh thyme (If available) Fresh Rosemary (if available to you), cover with lid and let it cook while you are at work, school, wherever.

When you get home the chicken will be super delicious and tender. You may like a side dish of rice, a salad, vegetable. I use my slow cooker at least 3 times a week for a multitude of recipes. My ovens are usually my number one and I love making skillet baked dishes in the oven.

As you know I do not fry many foods it is not my favorite way to prepare meals. Anything fried can and will be baked!!! We as a society eat too many things fried and there will no doubt be medical issues down the road from that-check with your health care professional! I also do not use the microwave too much. If I need to softened for example butter I will use it, melt semi sweet chocolate morsels for a baking dish I am preparing. Heating Hot water for a cup of Tea. Many people use the microwave to make baked potatoes, and/or complete meals. If that is your preference that’s fine I just want you to know there are other options!

In closing, I wish you Good Health.

cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

See YOU soon!

Recap of your necessary dry goods, plus optional ones!

In your dry goods cabinet, pantry, starting up spices, so let’s recap and add to it, if your budget will permit!


Iodized salt, black pepper, whole peppercorns, parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, onion salt, onion powder, sage, cinnamon, Pure Vanilla extract, cocoa powder, cumin, dry mustard powder, creole seasonings, lemon-pepper seasoning, paprika, red pepper flakes, curry powder, chili powder.

To be quite honest if you have these basic spices you will be set to go and can season any dish.

In closing, I wish you “Good Health”.

cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

Sweet Potatoes! Sweet or Savory? OR Yams?

Do you like them prepared Sweet or Savory? Many people in the South make a sweet potato pie. Some make a sweet version of Baked Sweet Potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows. Some people like to just baked them whole and use cinnamon butter once cut open to eat. What’s your favorite type?

So what’s the big difference between yams and sweet potatoes? Shape, price, taste, availability? Preference? There is a difference and they are not related! The Yam is paler, less sweet, tend to grow larger and narrower. The sweet potato is bright orange and used more frequently then Yams, in both sweet and savory dishes.

A savory sweet potato dish may be popular in your home? Some folks cube the sweet potatoes and boil them, drain, add in butter, cheese (like Gruyere/Jarlsberg) add onions, panko bread crumbs and baked. What is your favorite? Do you make any sweet or savory sweet potato dishes, do you like either? Will you bypass the whole yams, sweet potato idea? You may just like Creamed mashed potatoes? That’s a great tasting option!

In closing, I wish you Good Health.

cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

See YOU!

Are you shopping around sale items?

One of the challenges for us all is menu planning and finding items on sale to coordinate a rounded weekly menu-depending on your shopping days. Here in Florida Wednesday starts the major grocery chain store circulars to include BOGO’s, Managers Specials and the like. Hence, why I have always shopped early mornings on Wednesdays! I may or may not make that weekly special or BOGO that week but it certainly will be made before the following shopping day. In the long run it saves a lot of $$ and time.

Granted some people do not have the storage space in their refrigerator, freezers, pantry, to store in bulk and they do not need that much, in those instances DO NOT stock up. Only if you will use the sale items well before their expiration date.

Do not go to the grocery store hungry you will buy things that add to your grocery bill especially if you are attempting to stay on a budget you’ll need to watch this habit that many people do. Bring along a list of essentials you’ll need. If you have some coupons to use bring them. I do not spend a lot of time using coupons although occasionally I certainly will turn a few over to the check out cashier!

Say for example your grocery store had potatoes on sale-do you realize how many meals can be made from a 10 pound sack? From potato salad, potato cakes, mashed potatoes, potato skins, potato soup, roasted or baked potatoes. French fries, curly fries, countless side dishes. (Store potatoes in a dry, dark location-not the refrigerator).

If you can avoid the rush to the grocery store several times a week because you have no clue what you want to eat you’ll save time and money in the long run just in doing some organizing on menu planning and trying to stick to a plan!!

cheffie cooks easy 123.

3~Ingredient Taco Dip

Very tasty and super economical to make. One 8 ounce tub sour cream, 1-1/2 tablespoons (heaping) of your favorite Taco Seasoning mix (I make a homemade version), diced scallions or can use chives, or cilantro chopped.

In a mixing bowl add all 3 ingredients and stir well to mix, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Great with chips, or fresh cut veggies!

Enjoy-its a winner!

Cheffie Cooks Easy 123.