Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Centurion & The Queen - Book I - FREE READ



THE CENTURION & THE QUEEN
Book I in the Centurion Series
a historical fiction by
Minnette Meador
Resplendence Publishing

CHAPTER ONE

Celtic dripped from the sword onto the centurion’s sandals, staining his naked toes and mingling with the spattered British mud. An unconscious shiver of disgust ran through Marius. He was not prejudiced; after all, he had spent sixteen years on this sodden island and was quite used to these people. But it did not stop the unwelcome flash of sentiment that the blood filtering down through his toes was somehow infected, impure. Marius knew better, but that did not help either. Twenty-five years of rigorous military training and a forty year lifetime of Roman indoctrination was difficult to avoid. He wanted nothing more than to wash his feet.

“Merda!” he swore under his breath. (continued)


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

EGG SCRAMBLE WITH VEGGIES, SAUSAGE & CHEESE (easy)

Chicken with Tomatoes & Olives (Easy)

INGREDIENTS:
(Serves 3)
EGG SCRAMBLE WITH VEGGIES, SAUSAGE & CHEESE

This is a pretty typical meal for a lazy Saturday morning and very easy to fix. I have also added mushrooms, substituted bacon or ground sausage for the rope sausage, or added fresh basil. Salt & pepper to taste, as always, and sometimes thyme. For a little more savory scramble add salsa & fiesta chili powder. I am not a fan of peppers, but if you like them, you can add red and green for some additional color. For a lighter dish, substitute heavy cream with 1% milk and cheddar cheese with low fat cheese.

INGREDIENTS:
 (Serves 2)
•    2 tbsp. butter
•    6 large eggs
•    1/3 cup heavy cream
•    2 oz. (about 2") of rope sausage, coarsely chopped
•    1 green onion, coarsely chopped
•    1 cup Italian (flat) parsley, coarsely chopped
•    1/2 cup diced raw tomato
•    2 cups grated cheddar cheese
•    Salt & pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS:
•    Beat eggs and cream together until foamy
•    Melt butter in medium frying pan over medium high heat
•    Add sausage and cook until brown
•    Add egg mixture - stir and cook until almost done
•    Add parsley and onions and mix well
•    Add tomatoes and cook for another minute - remove from heat
•    Sprinkle cheese on top and let sit until cheese is melted (1-2 minutes)
•    Serve with a sprig of parsley for garnish
NUTRITION: Calories 797, 10 Carbs, 66 Fat, 37 Protein, 1184 Salt, Sugar 4

Chicken with Tomatoes & Olives (Easy)

Chicken with Tomatoes & Olives (Easy)

INGREDIENTS:
(Serves 3)

•    1 tbsp olive oil
•    3 chicken breasts
•    1 shallot, thin sliced
•    4-5 basil leaves, chopped
•    1 large tomato chopped
•    1/4 cup white wine
•    6 kalama olives, chopped
•    1 tsp olive brine
•    1 cup fresh spinach

DIRECTIONS:
•    Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan
•    Salt & pepper chicken breast and cook (about 5 minutes per side until cooked through)
•    Remove chicken from the pan and set aside
•    In oil left in the pan, sauté shallots until translucent (about 2 minutes)
•    Pour in wine and deglaze pan - cook until alcohol has burned off (about 2 minutes)
•    Add basil, olives, tomatoes and brine and cook until reduced (about 4 minutes)
•    Add in spinach and cook until wilted (about 1 minute)
•    Add chicken, cover well with sauce and heat through
•    Serve with cheesy rice (below)
NUTRITION: Calories 188, Carbs 11, Fat 9, Protein 18, Salt 314, Sugar 5


Sunday, July 6, 2014

ITALIAN POLENTA (Moderate Difficulty)

·        4 cups water
·        2 cups milk
·        1 3/4 cup(s) Polenta (course ground cornmeal can be found in bulk foods)
·        2 cups cheddar cheese (or other as desired)
·        1.0 tbsp., Spices - Garlic powder
·        1.0 cup, Spices - Salt, table
·        1.0 tbsp., Spices - Pepper, black
·        ½ tsp red chili flakes (optional)
·        1 tbsp. olive oil
·        0.25 cup, Onion Raw Chopped 1/2 Cup
·        1.0 lb.(s), Beef - Ground, 80% lean meat
·        2.0 cup canned diced tomatoes
·        3.0 clove(s), Garlic - Raw
·        1.0 tsp, Italian Seasoning (oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary & garlic granules)
·        3.0 cup(s), Cheese - Cheddar
 
DIRECTIONS
Polenta
1.      Pour milk & water into large pot and bring to a boil
2.      Add salt, pepper, and other spices into the water
3.      Spray oil on large cookie tray with lip and line with parchment or aluminum foil – spray liner as well until well covered – Note: Cookie sheets need to be large enough to make two identical squares to fill the top and bottom of your baking dish. If you don’t have a cookie sheet, you can use 2 casserole dishes the same size, or you can pour onto parchment sheets being careful not to over pour – I’ve also poured the first one on lined bottom of my casserole dish, then laid another sheet of parchment and poured the 2nd piece of polenta on that, but it doesn’t work as well.
4.      Slowly add polenta to mixture while stirring
5.      Stir for about 10-15 minutes until mixture gets very thick
6.      Add cheese and stir in until mixed
7.      Pour mixture into cookie tray and put into the freezer to cool (about 30 minutes)

Italian Filling
1.     Dice onion and sauté in olive oil until translucent (about 3 minutes)
2.     Add salt and pepper, chopped garlic and ground beef and cook until cooked through (about 5-7 minutes)
3.     Stir in salt, pepper and herbs and tomatoes and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
4.     When polenta is cold and easy to handle, put one square piece in bottom of casserole dish to fill.
5.     Add 1 cup of cheese and spread over polenta.
6.     Add 1 cup of cause over the cheese
7.     Add another cup of cheese over the top then put in 2nd square of polenta on top.
8.     Spread remainder of cheese on top.
9.     Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
10.  Let cool for about 15 minutes and serve

Great with crisp green salad and/or chopped fresh tomatoes marinated in a vinaigrette of rice wine, olive oil, salt, pepper & garlic granules. 

STROGANOFF (ALA MIMI)

This is a wonderful easy 1/2 hour prep stroganoff that my family really likes. It doesn't use flour for the sauce, so you can eat it without the noodles for a low carb meal. (Pictures not mine, but it looks a lot like this)


Stroganoff (ala Mimi)

• 1 Tbsp. virgin olive oil
• 1.0 lb(s), Beef Stir Fry Strips
• 1 small onion (yellow or white), sliced
• ½ cup white wine
• 0.5 cup(s), Sour cream
• 3.0 tbsp(s), Cream cheese - Plain
• 2 cup(s) mushroom (Crimina or field)
• 2.0 tablespoon cold butter
• 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
• 2 Tbsp. chopped Thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp pepper
• 1 tsp granulated garlic (or you can add fresh garlic half way through cooking onions if you prefer)
• 2 cup uncooked pasta (egg noodles preferable)

DIRECTIONS
• Cook noodles following package instructions
• Heat oil in medium frying pan over medium heat
• Slice onion into fine strips – sauté in olive oil until transparent stirring occasionally (about 3-5 minutes)
• Add meat chopped into long strips and turn heat up to medium high –
• Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until together everything cooked through (about 7 minutes) –should be getting very brown and leaving dropping on the bottom of the pan – stir gently as mushrooms can break easily – If you don’t like mushroom, sliced tofu works very well as a substitute
• Stir in wine and scrape bottom of pan until clear – turn down heat to medium and let simmer until reduced by half stirring occasionally (about 5-7 minutes)
• Add cold butter and move pat around pan with wooden spoon until melted – This should thicken the sauce
• Stir in parsley, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic granules
• Stir in sour cream and cream cheese and stir in well – let simmer until desired thickness (about 2-3 minutes)
• Drain noodles thoroughly and immediately add to the sauce (note: do NOT rinse)
• Mix well and serve immediately (Note: Steamed rice is also wonderful in this recipe instead of noodles)
• Great with steamed broccoli or cauliflower and sour dough French bread

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Potatoes & Sausage Dinner

This is one of my husband's favorites, is easy to do and takes only about 20-30 minutes. Not the best low carb dish, but I just each the sausage and onions and it's still fabulous. Not my actual pictures, but I haven't taken one of his dish yet. I'll replace when I do. The picture shows red potatoes and that's delish, but my favorite is yellow Yukons.

1 "Rope" of Beef/Pork Sausage - We like Hillshire Farms
1 Large Onion (white or yellow - we like the yellow because it has more flavor) When chopping cut off the ends leaving some membrane to make it hold together, then cut in half and then into sixths - this will give you bite size pieces that stay together. This makes the onions about the same size as the sausage.
2 tablespoons oil - 1 for potatoes and 1 for onions
3 tablespoons butter
Salt, pepper, garlic granules to taste

Bake the potatoes in the microwave on "Baked Potato" but stop it about 1.5 minutes before they finish. This will give you a firm but mostly cook potato. Let it cool until you can handle it.

Heat the oil and butter on medium high heat in a pan and add potatoes. Add salt, pepper and garlic granules to potatoes and let them cook until they are well cooked on both sides - they should have a golden brown crisp on both sides.

In a separate pan, cook the onions until caramelized, about 5-10 minutes. Add the sausage and cook together until the sausage is nice and brown on both sides. Combine the potatoes, onions and sausage together and sauté until everything is equally browned. Salt & pepper to taste and serve immediately. Serve with cole slaw, green salad or other fresh vegetables.

New Look on Web Site & Blog

Just updated my website and my blog. I love the new version of WebEasy.. I wish I could do this for a living, but I think I'm a better writer. LOL Anyway, let me know what you think... M;o)