Dessert Delight

Dessert Delight

Citrus Marinated Feta and Olives

This gorgeous make ahead dish is a crowd pleaser at any gathering, and it's so easy to prepare.

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 garlic clove-minced
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 cup pimiento stuffed Spanish olives
1 (8 oz) feta cheese block, cubed

Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a medium size glass bowl; gently stir in olives and cheese. Cover and chill 24 hours before serving.

Salt and Pepper Roasted Turkey

With a turkey this simple and with so few ingredients, focus on the techniques that matter most. First, pat the turkey very dry, which will help it achieve a crispier skin in the oven. Then season liberally with kosher salt; season the cavity, gently under the skin and again on the surface of the skin to enhance the flavor from the skin to the bone.

1 (11 to 12 lb) whole fresh turkey
1/3 cup canola oil, divided
2 Tbsp. kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
Kitchen string

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavity and if desired, reserve for gravy. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Drain cavity well; pat dry. Loosen and lift skin from turkey breast without totally detaching skin. Rub 2 Tbsp. oil, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp pepper under skin and inside cavity.

2. Place turkey, breast side up, on a lightly greased roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen string tuck wing tips under. Brush turkey with remaining oil, and sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.

3. Bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours and 45 minutes to 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165 degrees. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Crispy Goat Cheese Topped Arugula Salad

4 (4 oz.) goat cheese logs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg whites
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 (5 oz) containers baby arugula
4 large navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Garnish: pomegranate seeds

1. Cut each goat cheese log into 6 (1/2 inch wide) slices. Combine flour and black pepper in a shallow dish. Whisk together egg whites and 2 tbsp. water in another shallow dish. Place panko in a third shallow dish. Dredge goat cheese in flour mixture, dip in egg mixture, and dredge in panko. Arrange goat cheese in a single layer in a aluminum foil lined jelly roll pan; cover and chill 30 minutes to 4 hours.

2. Cook half of goat cheese rounds in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned; drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining oil and goat cheese rounds.

3. Divide arugula and orange sections among 8 plates; drizzle with Pomegranate Vinaigrette. Top each salad with 3 goat cheese rounds.

Balsamic Green Beans

1 lb. fresh haricots verts (thin green beans) trimmed
6 large shallots
Vegetable oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup lightly salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (about 5 slices)

1. Cook bean sin boiling salted water to cover 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain.

2. Cut shallots crosswise into thin slices; separate into rings. Pour oil to depth of 1 inch in a heavy sauce pan; heat over medium high heat to 350. Fry shallots, in batches, 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp. Remove from skillet using a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.

3. Cook vinegar and sugar in a large skillet over medium high heat; stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes or until reduced to 3 Tbsp. Stir in butter until blended. Add beans, and saute 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated; add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on a serving platter. Top with shallots, almonds, and bacon. Serve immediately.

Lemon Broccolini

1 cup (1/2 inch) french bread baguette cubes
2 tbsp. butter
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 lb fresh Broccolini
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil

1. Process bread in a food processor 30 seconds to 1 minute or until coarsely crumbled.

2. Melt butter with garlic in a large skillet over medium heat; add breadcrumbs, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat, and stir in parsley and lemon zest.

3. Cook Broccolini in boiling salted water to cover 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp tender; drain well. Toss Broccolini with lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle and breadcrumb mixture.

Spuds in a Blanket

1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 teaspoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
12 slices bacon
48 extra-crispy tater tots

1. Preheat over to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with pam. Place a cooling rack on top of baking sheet. Or you can omit this part.
2. In a small bowl, combine ketchup, barbecue sauce, and brown sugar and mix well. Brush both sides of bacon with ketchup mixture. Cut each slice in half crosswise and then in half length wise. Wrap each prepared piece of bacon around a tater tot, and place seam side down on rack. Brush tops of prepared tater tots with remaining ketchup mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

Toasted Walnut Fudge

3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
2 cups chopped toasted walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with non stick aluminum foil.  Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a dutch oven, heat sugar, butter and milk over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in marshmallow cream and chocolate morsels; stir just until melted and smooth. Stir in walnuts, vanilla and salt. Spoon mixture evenly into prepared pan. Let stand for 1 hour or until set. Cut into 2 inch pieces.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1/2 (14.1 ounce) package refrigerated pie crust or you can use a deep dish pie crust-in freezer section
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 (12-ounce) bag mini semisweet chocolate morsels

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry to a 12-inch circle. Fit pie crust into a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. (or use a ready made one) trim excess pastry 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold edges under, and crimp. Cover bottom of pastry with pie weights. Bake for 8 minutes, removing pie weight, and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and corn syrups. Whisk in melted butter and eggs until well combined. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Stir in pecans and chocolate morsels. Spoon pecan mixture into prepared crust. Bake for 35 minutes or until center is set.

Cheeseburger Soup

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled*
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cups milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  1. Brown the ground beef in 3 quart saucepan. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same saucepan add 1 T butter and add onion, shredded carrots, parsley flakes, basil and celery. Saute until tender.
  3. Add the broth, potatoes and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. In small skillet melt remaining butter (3 T) and add the flour. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to the soup and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Stir in the cheese, milk, heavy cream salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Stir in the cooked and crumbled bacon.Remove from heat and blend in sour cream.

Mexican Black Bean Chili

1 cup frozen chopped onion, thawed (or fresh chopped)
1 cup frozen bell pepper strips, thawed and chopped
1 pound ground sirloin
1 1/2 cup fat free, lower sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 (14.5 ounces) cans no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (15 ounces) cans non salt added black beans, drained
6 tablespoon light sour cream

Place a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add first 3 ingredients; cook until browned, stirring to crumble meat. Drain; well; return meat mixture to pan. Add broth and next 8 ingredients (through black beans); bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Ladle chili into soup bowls; top with sour cream.

Macerated Berries

2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoon Grand Mariner (orange-flavored liqueur)
Mint sprigs (optional)

Combine all ingredients except mint sprigs in a medium bowl, stirring gently. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Garnish with mint and serve.

Grilled Chicken with Mustard-Tarragon Sauce

This tangy sauce enlivens simple grilled chicken breasts, a hint of sugar balances the flavors.

4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
3 tablespoon minced shallots
3 tables Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry tarragon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 cups gourmet salad green (optional)

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat or skillet. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salad and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Coat pan with cooking spray. Place chicken in pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, shallots, and next 6 ingredients (through sugar) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Pour on top of warm chicken; Serve chicken over green or any other side dish.

Rosemary Pork Chops

1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry rosemary
2 teaspoon bottle minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (4 ounce) boneless center cut lion port chops (about 1/2 inch thick)

Preheat broiler

Combine first 4 ingredients. Rub mixture over both sides of pork chops. Place pork chops on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Enlightened Greek Salad

You can find almost all of these fresh ingredients on a well stocked salad bar at your supermarket. They might even have the artichoke hearts.

8 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup (1/8 inch thick) red onion slices, separated into rings
1/2 cup sliced pitted rip black olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
8 drained canned artichoke hearts, rinsed and halved
1 English cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and sliced
Enlightened Greek Dressing (recipe below)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle lettuce mixture with Enlightened Greek Dressing.


1 can anchovy fillet
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, pressed.

Mash anchovy fillet in a small bowl with a fork. Add lemon juice and remaining ingredients stirring with a whisk until blended. Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Buttermilk Biscuits

This versatile biscuit recipe takes only three ingredients to make.

1/2 cup cold butter
2 1/4 cups self-rising soft wheat flour
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Self rising soft wheat flour (for rolling on surface)
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut 1/2 cup cold butter with a sharp knife or pastry blender into 1/4 inch thick slices. Sprinkle butter slices over 2 1/4 cups flour in a large bowl.  Toss butter with flour. Cut butter into flour with pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 to 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with a 1 short end (fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter size piece of paper. repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).

Press or pat dough into 1/2 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut into 2 x 2 inch squares with a pastry cutter, or cut with a 2 inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper lined or lightly greased jelly roll pan. (dough squares or rounds should touch).

Bake at 450 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.