Sunday, January 29, 2017

Butternut Squash Pasta


the squash, along with the garlic that's roasted alongside it, lends a nutty, earthy quality to the sauce that gives it the depth that's often lacking in the original. It's finished with a sprinkle of chopped parsley before serving, which adds just a touch of freshness to the bowl of comfort. This is one pasta you'll most definitely find yourself craving all season long.
Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo
Serves 6
3 cups (1-inch) cubed butternut squash (about 1 1/4 pounds)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 pound dry fettuccine
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425 F.
Toss the cubed squash with the garlic and olive oil in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a rimmed baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Roast until tender and caramelized, about 30 minutes.
Remove the squash from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the cream, broth, cheese and nutmeg, and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper as needed; set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes or according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot.
Add the Alfredo sauce and toss with the pasta. If needed, add some of the reserved pasta water, tablespoon by tablespoon, to loosen the pasta and evenly coat it with the sauce. Sprinkle with the parsley and more Parmesan and serve immediately.
Recipe note: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
(Sheela Prakash an assistant food editor for, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to .)

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Zucchini Lasagna


  This lasagna has no noodles. Standing in for the noodle layers are zucchini sliced the long way. This is best accomplished with a steady hand and a mandolin slicer but it can be accomplished with a long knife, too. You’ll never miss the noodles. Try this one with kids and they will happily eat their veggies.


Zola on
Servings: Serves 4 – 6 depending on portion size
2 medium zucchini (about 8 inches long and 1.5 inches in diameter)
½ tsp of grated sea salt
1 pound of ground beef
8 oz of fresh, sliced mushrooms (you choose which kind)
½ cup of diced onion
A few pepper flakes (optional)
1 small jar of spaghetti sauce. You’ll need 2 cups (look for a brand with no sugar. Rao’s is one and so is Classico Riserva)
2 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
8 oz of full fat ricotta cheese (1/2 of the carton)
2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach (I get this at the salad bar so I don’t have a bunch of leftover spinach)
1-1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese (or Italian blend will work too)
1 cup of grated parmesan
Cut the ends off of your zucchini and discard them. Slice your zucchini fairly thinly – the long way. Less than a quarter inch thick is good. Just be steady handed and this will work. Don’t worry if they are not all perfect or some break. No one will ever know. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil spray. Spread your zucchini on the cookie sheet so they don’t touch each other. Dust with a light grating of sea salt. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Let set to cool while you prep the rest. Roasting the zucchini will take out some of the moisture so you don’t end up with soggy, watery lasagna. It’s worth the extra step.
In a saute pan add your ground beef, the mushrooms and the onion. Break up the meat as it cooks on medium. Stir often. You want to cook this until the beef is cooked through but also until at least half of the moisture cooks off. Mushrooms give off a lot of juice so you need to cook them down.
Add the spaghetti sauce and stir. Get it all mixed up. Add the pepper flakes if you want your final product to be a bit zippier.
In a small bowl, add your ricotta cheese. Stir in the garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
Spray a 9-by-9-inch oven proof casserole dish. Now you’ll begin to layer. Add a layer of zucchini strips on the bottom. Then add half of your meat mixture. On top of that put in blobs of the ricotta mixture. Just plop teaspoons of the stuff across the top of the meat mixture. Maybe 8 – 10 blobs. Top that with your spinach. That makes a good middle layer to break things up. If it’s getting too high at this point gently press it down.
Top with a little less than half of the mozzarella.
Now add the other half of the meat sauce. More blobs of ricotta and a layer of mozzarella. Finally, spread your additional layer of zucchini strips. Top that with any leftover mozzarella and the parmesan.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch for it to begin to brown toward the end. I like mine to have a nice crust.
Be sure to let it sit for 10 minutes before you cut it. This will help it firm up but most importantly cool down so you don’t fry the roof of your mouth.
Leftovers taste AT LEAST as good as the original -- if not even better. Just cut your portions and reheat in a casserole dish.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Eggplant Chicken Stir-Fry

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

As stir-fries go, this is a hearty one, with plenty of textures but less chopping and slicing than usual.
Salting eggplant or soaking it in salted water is often done to get rid of bitterness. Here, the latter method keeps the eggplant rounds from absorbing oil.
Serve with rice, or atop sweet potato noodles.
tested size: 2-3 servings
  • 1 pound slender Japanese eggplants or Indian (baby) eggplants
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, for the soaking water
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger root
  • 1/3 cup no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (may substitute arrowroot)
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) roasted cashews (salted or unsalted)

Trim off and discard the eggplant stems, and then cut the eggplant crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds.
Dissolve the salt in a large bowl of water, then add the eggplant rounds. Weight them down with another bowl so they stay submerged. Soak for 18 minutes, then rinse, drain and pat dry.
Meanwhile, cut the onion into thin half-moons. Trim off and discard all visible fat from the chicken, then cut the chicken into 3/4-inch chunks. Peel the garlic and ginger root; mince both and place in a liquid measuring cup, along with the broth, half the toasted sesame oil, the Sriracha, fish sauce, soy sauce and cornstarch, whisking to form a slurry.
Heat 1 teaspoon of the toasted sesame oil in a wok or nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Swirl to coat; once the oil shimmers, add the eggplant. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes, until browned on both sides, then transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil to the pan; swirl to coat, then add the chicken. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the onion and cashews; stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the slurry and return the eggplant to the pan; stir-fry for a minute or two, just until warmed through and evenly coated.
Divide among individual plates. Serve right away.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Peanut Butter Squares

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Zola on
Bottom Layer
3/4 cup of ground almond meal
2 Tbl of cocoa powder (use the unsweetened version)
1.5 Tbl of Swerve or ZSweet (order these sugar substitutes online)
1 Tbl of water
Pinch of grated sea salt
Middle Layer
1/2 cup of natural peanut butter (I try to find the unsweetened, emulsified kind. Smuckers makes a great natural version
2 Tbl of melted coconut oil (or they also make a coconut oil now that is already melted and shelf stabilized. Look for it by the other oils
Top Layer
3.5 oz of high quality chocolate that’s 70 percent cacao or higher, minced
3 Tbl of melted coconut oil
White chocolate bits (for garnish)
Line a standard bread pan with parchment paper.
In a bowl mix your bottom layer ingredients. Stir them up really good so the dough gets moist. Press the dough into the bottom of the loaf pan and place it in the freezer to set. Maybe 10 minutes.
Make your middle filling. You can even use the same bowl. Stir the peanut butter and the coconut oil. I put a pinch of grated sea salt in here too. Just a pinch. The commercial peanut butter cups are quite salty so this sort of mimics the same effect. Take the pan out of the freezer after it has set, and gently spread the middle layer on top. Return to the freezer again. This time I let it set more like 30 minutes or it’s hard to put on the top layer.
You need your chocolate minced really fine. Take your time and get it all chopped up really well because you want it to melt quickly. Gently heat the coconut oil. Add the chocolate and stir until smooth and creamy. Take the pan out of the freezer again and drizzle on the top. Spread it gently if necessary.
This time I put the pan in the refrigerator and come back an hour or two later. Pull the paper up with both hands and remove your creation from the pan and put it on a cutting board.
I now cut the dessert into one-inch (or maybe a little bit smaller) cubes. Garnish with white chocolate if you're feeling fancy.
Store them lightly covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. You should get at least 15 to 20 cubes from one pan. Plenty for your peanut butter cravings. So rich and creamy. Try to eat just one.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Pancake Cornbread

 Don't these just look yummy? Believe me, I just made them and they're  so yummy good! Check out betty's kitchen for more great Kentucky recipes!

This is a favorite food in Central Kentucky. Cooked on a griddle and served with butter, it's just the best!

Kentucky Pancake Cornbread

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
¼ cup water, or as desired, for thickness of pancakes
extra-virgin olive oil, for oiling griddle or skillet

In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add buttermilk, egg, and water and beat on medium speed of an electric mixer until all ingredients are combined. For 6 pancakes, ladle portions, using 1/6 of the batter, onto hot griddle (or skillet) that has been oiled with a small amount of olive oil. Cook until pancakes are brown on the bottom side and top side begins to bubble. Flip pancakes and brown on the other side. Transfer pancakes from griddle to nice serving dish. Top with butter pats and serve immediately

 From "Betty's Kitchen Cookbook:  buy here book on Amazon

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Easy Salmon Chowder


  • 1 teaspoon oil, olive
  • 1/2 cup(s) celery
  • 1 clove(s) garlic
  • 1 can(s) broth, chicken, fat-free, less sodium
    (15 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) hash brown potatoes with peppers and onion, frozen
  • 1 cup(s) peas and carrots, frozen
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, black ground
  • 6 ounce(s) fish, salmon, canned
    or pouched, pink, (bones removed)
  • 1 can(s) milk, fat-free evaporated
    (12 ounces)
  • 1 can(s) corn, cream-style, no-salt-added
    (14 3/4 ounces)


    Serves 8
    In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute olive oil and celery for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
    Add the chicken broth, hash browns, peas, carrots, dill and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are done but not overcooked.
    Add the salmon, separating it into pieces with a fork. Stir in the evaporated milk and corn and cook until heated through.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Parmesan-Crusted Salmon

  • 4 oz. Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 Basil Sprigs
  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 Salmon Fillets
  • 1 oz. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ cups Panko Breadcrumbs
  • ¾ oz. Dijon Mustard
  • ½ fl. oz. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 4 oz. Baby Arugula
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Baking Sheet
  • 1 Small Bowl
  • 1 Mixing Bowl

Prepare the Ingredients


 Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Halve grape tomatoes. Stem basil and reserve a few small leaves for garnish. Stack remaining leaves, roll into a long cylinder, and slice across length to create very thin strips. Peel and slice shallot into very thin rounds. Rinse salmon fillets, pat dry, and season both sides with ¼ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper.

Make the Parmesan-Panko Crust


Combine Parmesan, panko, a pinch of salt and pepper, and 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a small bowl.

Bake the Salmon


Place salmon on prepared baking sheet and brush each top with 1 tsp. Dijon (reserve remaining for balsamic vinaigrette). Top with Parmesan-panko crust and place on top rack in oven. Bake until crust has browned and salmon reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, 12-15 minutes. While salmon bakes, prepare vinaigrette.

Make the Balsamic Vinaigrette


In a medium mixing bowl, combine remaining Dijon, balsamic vinegar, sugar, sliced basil (reserve leaves for garnish), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir, and whisk in 2 Tbsp. olive oil.

Make the Salad


Place arugula, grape tomatoes, shallots (to taste), and in bowl with dressing and toss.

Plate the Dish

Place salad on plate. Serve salmon atop salad and garnish with reserved basil leaves.

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Microwave Egg Sandwich Recipe

This turned out to be the perfect NEW YEARS Breakfast, starting the new year right! 


  • 1 piece Jones Dairy Farm Canadian Bacon
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tablespoon salsa
  • 1 tablespoon shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 whole wheat English muffin, split, toasted
  • 3 spinach leaves


  1. Place Canadian bacon on bottom of a 6-oz. ramekin or custard cup coated with cooking spray. Pour egg substitute over top. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 30 seconds; stir. Microwave 15-30 seconds or until egg is almost set. Top with salsa; sprinkle with cheese. Microwave just until cheese is melted, about 10 seconds.
  2. Line bottom of English muffin with spinach. Place egg and Canadian bacon over spinach; replace English muffin top. Yield: 1 serving.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave
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