Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Serve this dip at your next BBQ!
Serve with crackers, little toasts, or julienned veg.
I started with a Cooking Light recipe I found online and then changed it up by adding the spinach, reducing the amount of onions from 7 cups to 4 cups and adding some full fat.
You'll want to use a food chopper to 
reduce tears while chopping 4 cups of onion!
4 cups chopped onions
4 cups chopped spinach
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil, divided 2 and 1
4 Tbsp. chopped chives
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup Greek style plain yogurt (That is one 6 oz. container.)
6 oz. gruyere cheese, divided 4 and 2
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Salt to taste
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and drop in onions. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally to lightly brown. Cover and reduce heat to low and caramelize onions for 25-30 minutes. Stir occasionally. When the onions cook down you will have about 1 1/2 cups total.
Remove the onions from the pan and add 1 more Tbsp. olive oil. Wilt the spinach in the same pan over medium-high heat; 1-2 minutes. In a large bowl mix the caramelized onion with all other ingredients.
I cook my bacon in the oven at 400 degrees
so it gets nicely crisped without getting
bacon fat all over your stove-top.
Transfer to a glass or ceramic shallow bowl coated lightly with cooking spray. Top with 2 more oz. gruyere. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until the dip is browned and bubbly.

And here's a refreshing summer cocktail to go with your Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Bacon Dip.
To make this Cucumber Martini:
Fill a rocks or any short glass with ice. Add Effen Cucumber Vodka. Roll a thin slice of cucumber to garnish. It's that easy!
Summer is right around the corner, which means we will
be heading to Ireland! Stay tuned for some Irish flavorites!

Sunday, May 20, 2018


It has become summery here in the beautiful southwest. I love our hot days and a bowl of cold soup makes for a light and refreshing lunch. Here are two recipes I think you will enjoy. The first I made for my new friend, Wendy Hinckle. We had such a fun afternoon eating, talking, and getting to know each other.
Thank you Wendy for coming into my life!
The herb oil is on the right of the bowl. Just add a few drops
of oil and gently drag a knife through it to make a little design.
2 big bunches watercress, tough stems removed
2 Tbsp. butter
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
2 medium leeks, white part only, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic
1 quart chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt/white pepper to taste
Finely chopped chives for garnish
Herb oil for garnish, optional

Homemade chicken stock has a ton of collagen from the
chicken bones, which is why it becomes gelatinous when cold.
It's also why it's so good for you!
Lightly chop the watercress. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add sliced leek and cook, stirring frequently, until soft; about 5 minutes. Add grated potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

Russet potatoes have lots of starch so are perfect to help thicken this soup.
Cook until veg is soft; about 15 minutes, and then add watercress. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes to wilt watercress and meld flavors.
Cool to room temp, then puree in batches. Whisk in the cream. Taste and season with salt and pepper. I like to use white pepper as it completely blends into the soup and has a little more bite than black pepper. Chill several hours or overnight. Serve cold garnished with finely chopped chives and herb oil. I also added a chive blossom just for fun!
I love to please people with food!

Into a small blender combine 1/2 cup watercress leaves, 2 large basil leaves, a sprig of fresh sage, thyme, oregano and a few chives. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and Kosher salt and a little more white pepper. Blend until very smooth. If it is too thick add a bit more oil.

With the soup we had tomato caprese with reduced balsamic
and Sesame French bread toasts melted with Gruyere cheese.
Wendy gave me these adorable rabbit measuring spoons! They are ceramic with a beautiful gold design. Just what every RABBITT cook needs!

The next soup is one of my all-time favorite cold soups...

This recipe is very close to Julia Child's original, but Julia uses water instead of chicken stock, which makes the color of the soup lighter.

I plucked this image from the internet
as I forgot to take any pictures of my soup!

1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced (Again, I used Russets.)
6 large leeks, thoroughly rinsed and sliced; white parts only
1 quart chicken stock
Salt/white pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
Sliced chives for garnish

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until translucent; about 2 minutes. Add the leeks and saute until soft; 4-5 minutes. Add the potatoes and saute with the onions and leeks for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Cool soup to room temperature and then blend thoroughly until soup is very creamy. If it is too thick add a little more stock or water. I like this soup very thick and it gets even thicker when it cools completely as the chicken stock thickens and the russet potatoes give the soup great substance. Add the heavy cream and turn the heat back to medium and gently cook another 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cool for a few hours in the fridge or overnight. Serve garnished with chives. I also topped with a sprinkle of Truffle zest. Thanks Debby Vis for this wonderful spice. I love truffles and this tastes very authentic. Really delicious!
This fancy French soup is very easy to make!
Here's another shot nabbed from the internet,
but this is exactly as my soup looked...very thick and creamy!


Saturday, May 12, 2018


Rich and creamy brown Madeira Sauce makes this dish very special. Madeira is a fortified Portuguese wine made in Portugal's Madeira Islands--Sweet, nutty, with lovely deep flavors and undertones of dried figs.
I found this recipe on another food blog (Natasha's Kitchen) who said she copied the recipe from The Cheesecake Factory, and it looks like many fellow food bloggers have done the same as the recipe appears on many different sites. I am probably the only person in this country who has never been to a Cheesecake Factory, but if they serve food like this I may have to try it. Natasha did say her home-made version was better...as making anything at home almost always is! I made a few tweaks in the recipe myself.
I used Paul Masson Madeira wine.
Very inexpensive and delicious flavor.

1 lb. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and pounded to an even 1/4" thickness
1 lb. asparagus, blanched
3/4 tsp. salt, divided; more for blanching
Black pepper to taste
3+ Tbsp. Butter, divided
2+ Tbsp. Olive Oil
16 oz. button mushrooms (I used baby portabellas.) thickly sliced
1 small yellow onion (I used one large shallot.) finely diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley finely chopped, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 cups Madeira wine (I used 2 generous cups.)
1 1/2 cups low sodium Beef Stock/Broth (I used 2 cups of my homemade very rich beef broth.)
1/2 cup whipping cream (I used Mexican Crema, which is very similar to heavy cream.)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

To blanch asparagus: Remove ends of stems from asparagus bottoms, which can be tough and fibrous. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Fill a medium pot with 6 cups water, bring to a boil and add 1 Tbsp. salt. Add asparagus and boil uncovered until crisp tender and bright green; no more than 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from hot water and drop into ice bath to stop the cooking.

Place a heavy oven-safe pan over medium-high heat and melt 2 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. oil. Add sliced mushrooms and cook 5 minutes until soft. Stir in diced onion (or shallot) and cook another 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic, then season with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and 2 Tbsp. parsley. Cook another couple of minutes, then remove mixture to a plate.

Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise and pound each cutlet between plastic wrap until each piece is 1/4" thick. Cut breast into serving size portions. Dry on paper towels and liberally salt and pepper both sides.
Place the same pan you sauted the mushrooms in over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil. When foaming butter subsides add chicken breasts and saute 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden and cooked through. You may have to do this in 2 batches as you don't want to overcrowd the pan. Add more butter/olive oil if needed. Remove the chicken from the pan to same plate with mushrooms. This allows all those wonderful chicken juices to blend into the mushroom mixture!
In the same pan, add 1 1/2 cups Madeira (I added half the bottle, which is about 2 cups.) and boil until reduced by half; at least 5 minutes of vigorous boiling.
Scrape bottom of pan to deglaze as wine is cooking. Add 1 1/2 (I used 2 cups.) cups beef broth and boil until 1 cup liquid remains; about another 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add 1/2 cup cream and simmer until sauce thickens; about 2-4 additional minutes. Season with salt/pepper.

My husband, Jerry is helping by stirring the sauce as it thickens.
Once your sauce is to desired thickness, return chicken to the pan and coat both sides with this yummy sauce. Top with mushrooms, asparagus and sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Broil 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Once the cheese is browned you can turn off the broiler and leave in the oven for a few more minutes while you begin plating. Remove from the oven and garnish generously with freshly chopped parsley.
My good friend Myrna will help plate this sumptuous repast!
All plated...just waiting for parsley garnish!

Myrna's husband, Dick and my Jerry getting ready to dig in!
Try this recipe. It does involve a few steps, but most of the dish can be prepared in advance, which makes it perfect for a dinner party. I served with creamy mashed potatoes and chunky French bread for dipping into that luscious sauce!