Diva Tasting: Pierogie Casserole….

PIEROGIE CASSEROLE-

Ingredients

1 package (16 oz) frozen potato and onion pierogies

1 tablespoon water

1 lb kielbasa sausage, sliced

8 oz cream cheese , very softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)

1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onions

Directions

  • Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 9×13-inch (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Place frozen pierogies and water in medium microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on High 2 minutes; stir. Continue microwaving on High 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until thawed. Place pierogies evenly in casserole. Top with sausage.
  • In medium bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, chicken broth and pepper with whisk. Stir in 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup of the green onions (reserve remaining onions for topping).
  • Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over pierogies. Cover with foil; bake 22 to 27 minutes or until center is heated through and temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Uncover, and top with remaining cheese; bake 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with reserved green onions.

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Diva Tasting: Holiday Breakfast Bowl….

Breakfast Bowl 

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 16 Oz Chopped Ham Or Sausage Browned and Chopped
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1 Teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Finely Diced Red Onion
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers, Seeded And Chopped(Optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Cups Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Cumin
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Cups Cooked Hash Brown Potatoes, Browned
  • 1 Avocado – Peeled, Pitted And Sliced
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Teaspoon Hot Sauce, Or To Taste

Directions

  1. Preheat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Break meat, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cook, stirring frequently with a thin metal spatula, until liquid cooks out and meat browns, about 10 minutes. (If you notice liquid collecting in pan, increase heat to evaporate water.) Be sure to get under the meat when you stir, scraping the bottom of the pan where the good, crispy stuff is and keeping it from sticking.
  2. Add onion and garlic powders, turmeric, juice, and remaining tablespoon oil and toss to coat. Cook 5 minutes more.
  3. Preheat a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil. Cook onion and jalapenos with a pinch of salt, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes, Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, cumin, and remaining salt, and cook, stirring, until tomatoes become saucy, about 5 minutes. Add cilantro and lemon juice. Let cilantro wilt in. Add beans and heat through, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Taste for salt and seasoning.
  4. Spoon some hash browns into each bowl, followed by a scoop of beans and a scoop of scramble. Top with avocado, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve with hot sauce.

Diva Tasting: Arugula Salad…

Arugula Salad
Ingredients
  • 2 (5 Ounce) Packages Baby Arugula
  • 3 Avocados Diced
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Zest
  • 1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1 Cup of Feta Crumbled
Directions
  1. Toss sliced avocado into zip lock plastic bag and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Mix cinnamon, onion powder, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture into the bag with the avocados to marinate.
  2. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Whisk apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, orange zest, garam masala, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl until thoroughly combined; slowly drizzle olive oil into vinegar mixture, whisking constantly, until olive oil incorporates into the dressing. Refrigerate while completing remaining steps.
  4. Toss avocados, baby arugula, cranberries, nuts, and feta cheese in a salad bowl; drizzle with dressing and serve.  Serve with crostini or pita chips.

Diva Musing: Tis the Season…

The Cronista is an observer of people and patterns.  I’ve spent half of my adult life in airports and on planes.  It allows one to do both regularly.  This week I spent two days assisting a group of young people preparing and serving a meal to their entire class and teaching staff.  We fed about 100 people.  Not one young person thanked me/us for our patience, guidance or service.  All but two abandoned me to do the clean up alone.

I get concerned that our youth are not being taught respect and good manners at home.  I’m the first to admit I’m not perfect.  However, when my children were young, parents use to tell me all the time how thoughtful and well mannered they were at their homes.  Waiters and waitresses would even comment, in fine dining  restaurants, at how nice it was to serve such well mannered youngsters.  

We look at our strife ridden planet and wonder why all this chaos is happening.  I’m a firm believer that most of it begins at home…or lack of a good home life.  So many have abandoned our young to TV and Media Blogs….I promise they are not looking up “Miss Manners” when left to their own devices.  Help our world, teach our children manners and respect.  If we don’t, we’ve only ourselves to blame when we self destruct.  

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Musing: Is It Just Me????

What, this time of year, causes people to loose all their sense and good manners?  I was leaving the local “Super Store”parking lot yesterday going in the direction of the arrow and no less than four idiots came at me head on in the wrong direction. The slant of the cars in the lane are a direct give away, idiot, even if you don’t look at arrows.  I was about 12 parking spaces from the end of the aisle.  

I was so pissed and could not back up an entire lane.  I put my car in park and began to read my just purchased magazine.  I had nowhere to go.  Horns were honking, gestures were being thrown about with flourish and harsh words…. I just kept reading with one hand on my pepper spray.  I’d have stayed there all day if necessary, I had chocolate.  All four cars had to back up and go to a proper lane.  I mean seriously people, how do these morons get a drivers license?  I’m sure not one even had insurance.  

I have a rule…I never go into a shopping arena from the day after Thanksgiving through January.  This was an emergency or I wouldn’t have been there.  I was immediately reminded why I made the rule in the first place!

Be safe this Holiday Season, My Divas, and please, please don’t be one of the idiots….you’re better than that!  Namaste, The Queen Cronista

  

Diva Tasting: Scones for Afternoon Tea…

Scones For Afternoon Tea
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Frozen
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Large Egg
Directions
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in raisins.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
  4. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
  5. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.  Serve warm with clotted cream and lemon curd. 

Diva Tasting: Repeat/ Starters in case you missed them…..

HOLIDAY STARTERS 
Slow Cooker Meatballs Sweet N Sour
  • Servings: about 52 (1/2 Ounce) Meatballs
  • Time: 2 Hours
Ingredients
  • 26 Oz. Bag Italian Or Traditional Style Frozen Meatballs (feel Free To Make Your Own)
  • 1/2 Cup Peach Whiskey (2 Of Those Cute Little Bottles)
  • 3/4 Cup Chili Sauce
  • 1 Cup Peach Preserves Or Peach Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
Directions
Start by combining all sauce ingredients in a large slow cooker. Stir until everything is well mixed. Add meatballs, cover and cook on low for 4 hours (or high for 2 hours) or until meatballs are heated through. Serve with toothpicks.
Bruschetta
Ingredients
  • 6 Roma (plum) Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, Stems Removed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 French Baguette
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven on broiler setting.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown.
  4. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese.
  5. Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Sugar Coated Pecans.Nuts
Ingredients
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • 1 Pound Pecan Halves
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Grease one baking sheet.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add pecans to egg whites, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts, and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 250 degrees F. for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Ingredients
  • 2 (10 Ounce) Cans Chunk Chicken, Drained
  • 2 (8 Ounce) Packages Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1 Cup Ranch Dressing
  • 3/4 Cup Pepper Sauce (such As Frank’s Red Hot(R))
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Bunch Celery, Cleaned And Cut Into 4 Inch Pieces
  • 1 (8 Ounce) Box Your Favorite Crackers Crackers
Directions
  1. Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers, pita chips, mozzarella sticks.