Diva Tasting: Roasted Veggie Sandwich…

Grilled Veggie Sandwich

  • 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/8 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Sliced Roasted Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 Small Zucchini, Sliced
  • 1 Red Onion, Sliced
  • Several Leaves Of Your Favorite Lettuce or Spinach
  • 2 (4-x 6-inch) Focaccia Bread Pieces, Split Horizontally
  • 1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, minced garlic, and lemon juice. Set aside in the refrigerator.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees.

  3. Place all Vegetables (Except lettuce or spinach) in a zip bag and drizzle vegetables with olive oil and shake bag until coated. Place vegetable pieces on a parchment lined cooking sheet. Cook for about 30 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.

  4. Spread some of the mayonnaise mixture on the cut sides of the bread, and sprinkle each one with feta cheese. Place in a skillet set to medium high cheese side up, and cover with lid for 2 to 3 minutes. This will warm the bread, and slightly melt the cheese. Watch carefully so the bottoms don’t burn. Remove from skillet, and layer with the vegetables top with lettuce or spinach. Enjoy as open faced grilled sandwiches.

  5. Serve with kettle chips and beverage.

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Diva Tasting: HOLIDAY STANDING RIB ROAST….

HOLIDAY STANDING RIB ROAST

Ingredients

  • 1 (7 pound) standing rib roast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups organic Beef Stock
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Season the beef with the black pepper. Place the beef into a large oven roasting bag and into a roasting pan, rib-side down.
  2. Roast for 2 hours 20 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness. Remove the beef to a cutting board and let stand for 20 minutes.
  3. Spoon off any fat from the pan drippings. Stir the bag drippings and vinegar into a medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir the stock and flour in a medium bowl with a whisk. Gradually add the stock mixture to the a saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Cook and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired. Serve the stock mixture with the beef.
  5. Serve with roasted Brussels sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes and rolls.

Diva Tasting: Glazed Ham and Sweet Potato Casserole….

Glazed Ham

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Water, Or As Needed
  • 2 Whole Star Anise
  • 24 Whole Cloves, Or More To Taste
  • 1 (7 Pound) Country-Style Ham
  • 1 Cup Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  2. Pour water, star anise, and cloves into the bottom of a roasting pan. Place a roasting rack into the pan over the water, anise, and cloves; place ham on rack. Cut 1/4-inch deep diamond shape slashes 1/2-inch apart lengthwise and crosswise across the top of the entire ham. Place 1 clove in the top 12 scores.

  3. Bake ham in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Whisk brown sugar, honey, mustard, vinegar, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, together in a bowl until glaze has a thick, smooth consistency.

  4. Brush glaze all over ham. Continue baking ham, brushing glaze on every 20 minutes, until glaze is deep golden and ham is heated through, about 2 hours 10 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 130 degrees F (54 degrees C).

  5. Use a kitchen torch to heat the glaze on the ham until it is crispy and caramelized, 2 to 5 minutes. If you don’t have a torch up the oven temp to 450 degrees and bake glaze for 10 minutes until browned.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients

  • 5 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Chopped Pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

  2. Bake sweet potatoes 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they begin to soften. Cool slightly, peel, and mash.

  3. In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, salt, 1/4 cup butter, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and heavy cream. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

  4. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup butter, flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. Mix with a pastry blender or your fingers to the consistency of course meal. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.

  5. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

Diva Tasting: Fettuccine with Broccoli Alfredo…

Fettuccine with Broccoli Alfredo

Ingredients

  • 8 Ounces Fettuccine Pasta
  • 2 Cups Fresh Broccoli Florets
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Cream
  • 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Place broccoli in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water, and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, about 2 to 6 minutes. Drain.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add cream, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook 15 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Stir in ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Stir in steamed broccoli and cooked pasta. Sprinkle with parsley.
  4. Serve family style or on individual plates. You may add 4 cups of chopped rotisserie chicken for additional protein if desired when you add the broccoli and pasta to the sauce.

Diva Tasting: Zucchini Noodle Alfredo

Zucchini Noodle Alfredo

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts, Or To Taste (optional)

  • 4 Zucchini, Sliced

  • 3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 (8 Ounce) Package Sliced Fresh Cremini Mushrooms

  • 1 Cup Chopped Asparagus

  • 4 Ounces Prosciutto, Chopped

  • 1 Cup Alfredo Sauce, Or As Desired

  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Peas, Thawed

  • 1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Halved

  • 1 Pinch White Pepper

  • 1 Pinch Nutmeg

  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Basil, Or To Taste

Directions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir pine nuts until fragrant and toasted, about 5 minutes.

  2. Slice zucchini into noodle-shaped strands using a spiralizing device.

  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir mushrooms, asparagus, and prosciutto until vegetables are tender and prosciutto is slightly crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.

  4. Stir Alfredo sauce, peas, and zucchini into vegetable-prosciutto mixture; toss gently and simmer over low heat until sauce is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix tomatoes into zucchini mixture and remove skillet from heat.

  5. Ladle zucchini mixture into bowls and season with white pepper and nutmeg. Sprinkle basil and pine nuts over each.

Variation: If you want to use real Angel Hair pasta instead do so. You can chop the zucchini and add when you cook the rest of the vegetables.

Diva Tasting:Baked Stuffed Brie w/Nuts…

One Of My Favorites For Entertaining Anytime….

Baked Stuffed Brie With Nuts

Ingredients

  • 1 Small Wheel Of Brie (about 6 To 8 Inches), Chilled
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1 Sheet Frozen Puff Pastry, Thawed, Plus Extra For (optional) Design
  • 1 Egg, Beaten With
  • 1 Teaspoon Water

Directions

  1. Score the side of a wheel of brie all the way around with a sharp paring knife. Cut directly on the “equator” through the rind. Using a long piece of string or dental floss, wrap the string around the brie on the newly made cut. Loop one end of the string over the other (a half knot). Then pulling the ends of the string in opposite directions, cut the brie in half.

  2. Press the dried cranberries on one cut side of the brie, and the walnuts on the other. Quickly put the 2 sides back together with the cranberries on top of the walnuts. Press together and stuff back in any cranberries or walnuts that fell out.

  3. Roll out a thawed sheet of puff pastry on a floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness. Place brie in center of pastry. Gently pull up edges to ensure you have enough dough to entirely wrap the brie. You can trim off the corners if there is too much dough. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Fold one edge of the dough over the brie and then the opposite side. Fold over the remaining edges and complexly encase the brie. You can trim off excess pieces of dough, if necessary. Flip the brie over so the seam is at the bottom; gently press in the sides to snug the dough against the brie. Brush the top and sides of the wrapped brie with egg wash.

  4. If you choose to decorate the brie with cut-out shapes of additional puff pastry, use very cold (almost still frozen) dough to ensure sharp lines. Lightly brush the decorative pieces with egg wash. Place the brie in the freezer for one hour (this is a crucial step; see note below).

  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  6. Place the brie on the prepared baking sheet. Bake on the center rack in preheated oven until it is browned and leaking cheese, about 20 minutes. (Only rarely does the brie not leak through, but 20 to 25 minutes is about how long it takes to melt the cheese and brown the pastry.)

  7. VARIATION: Sometimes I skip the slicing down the middle step and just place 4-5 tablespoons of raspberry or apricot jam on top with the nuts and wrap and seal the top with water, decorate with extra pastry as described and bake the same with top up.