Monthly Archives: December 2016

Diva Tasting:STEAKS WITH MUSHROOM GRAVY, POTATO WEDGES, AND HARICOTS VERTS

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Oven 350

4 (8-oz.) Idaho potatoes

1 ½ tbsp. Olive oil, divided

Cooking spray

1 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper, divided

¾ tsp. Kosher salt, divided

2 lb. lean sirloin steak Chopped

½ cup chopped red onion

1 ½ tsp. Chopped fresh rosemary

1 (8-oz.) pkg. Pre-sliced cremini mushrooms

¼ cup water

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

1 cup unsalted beef stock (such as Swanson)

1 tbsp. All-purpose flour

1 (8 oz.) pkg. Microwave-in-bag haricots verts (French green beans)

1 ½ tsp. Unsalted butter

1 tbsp. Chopped parsley

Spray the bottom of a Dutch Oven. Rough Chop Potatoes,and place in bottom of the dutch oven with the haircots verts and mushrooms. Shake the meat in the flour and then place meat over the potatoes and beans and mushrooms. Sprinkle on the onions. Sprinkle on the herbs and spices over all. Pour in liquids and place top on the dutch oven. Cook for 2 hours until meat is fork tender.

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Diva Tasting: Chicken Parm Casserole

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Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time:1 Hour
Serves:6-8

Ingredients
3 Lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Hot Red Pepper Flakes (or To Taste)
2 Cups Marinara Sauce (store Bought Or Your Own Recipe)
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, Chopped (or 2 Tablespoons Dried)
1 Cup Mozzarella, Shredded, Divided
1/2 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grated And Divided
1 (5-oz) Package Garlic Croutons

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350° F . Spread olive oil and garlic in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Then sprinkle pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

2. Lay chicken breasts in casserole in a single layer. Only add as many as will fit in a single layer. The number may vary depending on the size of your breasts. Sprinkle with remaining salt and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

3. Pour marinara sauce over all the chicken, then sprinkle chopped basil followed by half the mozzarella and half the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Evenly spread croutons over the cheese, then cover again with the remaining two cheeses.

4. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the top is golden and the chicken cooked through.

Diva Musing:

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Image result for the reason for the season

I don’t know about you but I need to keep things in perspective more than ever.  Back to a simpler way of life, not forgetting who we are or where we came from…..are just starters. But let’s get first things first.  In my world the real reason for the season is the best of all! Fill your world with all the blessings that your life can handle.  Keep perspective this Christmas Season.

Namaste,

The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting: Lettem’ Eat Toast

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Whether its for breakfast, lunch or appetizers flavorful toasts and crostini can make a delicious treat anytime of day. The are not limits.  Here are a few suggestions…

Cashew, Pear, Bacon Toast

1 Slice 9 Grain Bread Toasted

1 ½ Tbsp Cashew Butter

1 Sm Pear Thinly Sliced Vertically

1 Med Center Cut Bacon Slice Cooked Crispy and Crumbled

Spread cashew butter on toast lay several slices of pear to cover. Sprinkle bacon to garnish to taste.

Pear, Prosciutto Toast

1 Slice 12 Grain Bread Toasted

1 Tsp Marmalade

1 ½ Tsp Butter Softened

1 Slice Gruyere Thinly Sliced

1 Sm Pear Thinly Sliced Vertically

1 Slice Prosciutto thinly Sliced

Combine butter and marmalade in a small bowl; spread over the toast. Top with cheese, pear, and prosciutto.

Egg and Avocado Toast

1 Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Dash Kosher Salt

3 Slices Roma Tomatoes Thin Sliced

3 Pitted Kalamata Olives Diced

1 Lg Hard Boiled Egg Peeled and Vertically Sliced

1 Tbsp Tahini

Combine juice, salt and avocado and olives in a bowl and mash with a fork. Spread evenly with on toast, top with tomatoes and egg.

Toasted Bagel with Lox and Greek Yogurt

4 Tbsp Greek Yogurt

1 Tsp Chopped Fresh Chives

Dash Kosher Salt

1 Everything Bagel Toasted

3 Tbsp Diced Cucumber

4 Slices Cold Smoked Salmon Thin Sliced

Combine yogurt and onion salt in a bowl. Spread over the bagel. Top with cucumber and Lox.

You may substitute your favorite breads and crostini on any of the above suggestions.

Thought for the Day: Random Acts of Kindness

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HOW TO DO IT

One day this week, perform five acts of kindness—all five in one day. It doesn’t matter if the acts are big or small, but it is more effective if you perform a variety of acts.

The acts do not need to be for the same person—the person doesn’t even have to be aware of them. Examples include anonymously paying for someone meal who is sitting alone in a restaurant.  Talking to the elderly folks abandoned on benches in malls, feeding a stranger’s parking meter, helping someone load bags in a parking lot, or volunteering at a food kitchen or community thrift store or pet rescue in your area.  See if your church needs help with administrative work or your local church school needs substitute teachers. The lest of needs is endless find one that makes you happy and fulfilled.

Start a Happiness Journal.  Each time you perform a random act, write down what you did; also include how it made you feel. Go back at the end of the month and review your efforts.  Even plan what you will do next month.  

TIME REQUIRED

Could be anywhere from several minutes to several hours. Of course it depends on your tasks of choice. 

Diva Tasting: Menu-Family Tacos and Peach Parfaits

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1 Tbsp Chile Powder

2 Tsp Ground Cumin

2 Tsp Onion Powder

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

1 Tsp Cornstarch

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

½ Tsp Dried Oregano

½ Tsp Paprika

½ Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

Dash Cooking Spray

2 Lb. Fresh Ground Sirloin or Lean Beef

¾ Cup Water

16 Hard Taco Shells

1 1/2 Cup Shredded Romaine Lettuce

1 Cup Chopped Tomato

1 Cup Chopped Avocado

8 Oz Mexican Blend Cheese

Combine first 9 ingredients in a medium mixing bowl

Heat a large skillet over med. High heat. Coat Pan with Cooking spray.

Add beef and cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Sprinkle with spices and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant…approximately 1 minute. Add ¾ Cup of water and cook 4 minutes until thickened. Place on table to serve family style. Serve with re fried beans and salad.

PEACH PARFAITS

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Mascarpone Whip Cream

2 Tbsp Cognac or Brandy

2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

3 ½ Tbsp Fine Sugar

Dash Kosher Salt

1 Lg Can of Peaches, Diced

½ Cup Pecans Chopped

½ Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

½ Cup Mascarpone

½ Cup Heavy Cream

2 Tbsp Confection Sugar

1 Lg Vanilla Bean Scraped

Whisk the first 3 ingredients and Mix the Peaches into it. Let stand 15 minutes

In a medium bowl using a fork, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the butte, ¼ tsp of salt and the remaining 1 ½ tsp. Of fine sugar until moistened. Press the mixture into clumps and refrigerate 10 min. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the mascarpone with the heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla seeds until stiff peaks form. Stir the Chopped nuts into the peaches and place into the 4 6-oz dessert glasses. Top with the Whip Cream and Graham Crumble and serve.