Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's Cookin Thyme... Celebrates EASTER!!!

Sorry I've not had the blog out the past 2 weeks, I'd like to say I was away on vacation but that would be wishful thinking! I actually have been so busy with catering I didn't get the chance to gather my recipes (but that's a good thing!).
So... here are a few easy ones for your Easter celebration that will bring you Rave Reviews!
(Appetizers and Desserts)
Enjoy and have a very Happy Easter!!!

*Vanilla Shrimp Crostini  (Love This!)


*1 loaf French bread
*2 ounces Gruyere or Manchego cheese
*4 tablespoons butter, divided
*1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
*1/2 cup dry white wine
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon basil leaves
*1/4 teaspoon  cayenne pepper
*Roasted red peppers, chopped 
*Fresh chives, snipped 


 1. Slice bread on the diagonal into 24 (1/2-inch thick) slices. Place on baking sheet; broil until lightly toasted on both sides. Using a vegetable peeler, shave cheese into very thin slices. Set aside.
 2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 2 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Add wine, vanilla, basil and red pepper; cook 2 to 4 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan. Boil sauce 1 minute; remove pan from heat and whisk in remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. The butter must melt gradually to form a creamy sauce.
 3. To assemble appetizers, brush toasted bread slices with warm sauce from skillet. Top with 1 to 2 thin slices of cheese, then 1 to 2 shrimp (depending on size); brush with additional sauce. Garnish with roasted red pepper and chives.


*Asparagus with Parmesan Crust ( this is really, really GOOD!)


  • 1 pound thin asparagus spears
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees 
  2. Place asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat. Arrange asparagus spears in a single layer. Spread Parmesan cheese over asparagus, and season with freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted and asparagus is tender but crisp. Serve immediately on warm plates, sprinkling with balsamic vinegar to taste. 

*Pineapple Cobbler (My Easter Dessert this year)


    •    1 cup all-purpose flour
    •    Pinch of salt
    •    1 cup sugar
    •    1 tablespoon baking powder
    •    3/4 cup milk
    •    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    •    1 stick (1/4 lb.) unsalted butter, melted
    •    1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks in juice, drained 


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a bowl, mix flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk and vanilla extract; stir until mixture forms a smooth batter. Gently stir in butter.
  2. Spread batter evenly in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (it will be a very thin layer) and scatter pineapple chunks evenly over batter.
  3. Bake until pineapple has fallen to bottom of pan and top is puffed and golden brown and springs back slightly when touched in middle, about 25 minutes. Cool cobbler slightly and then serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

*Strawberry Supreme Cheesecake Dip

 (can't wait to try this!)


*16 ounces cream cheese - softened (reg.or low-fa)t

*1/2 cup strawberries

*1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light sour cream

*1 tbsp. orange liqueur

*1 tsp. vanilla extract


1.Process cream cheese, strawberries, sugar, sour cream, liqueur, and vanilla in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Pour into bowl, cover, and chill at least 2 hours.
2.Serve with your choice of dippers: fresh strawberries, pineapple, chocolate or vanilla pound cake cubes, waffle cookies, or assorted chocolates.

                                                   SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's Cookin' Thyme shares recently tried recipes............

What happened to SPRING??????? All the sudden it's hailing, snow showering and teeth chattering COLD!!!! The weather was so unpredictable this past week, I just stayed home and COOKED!
I tried some new ideas with Meatloaf presentation ( I like because they can be made and frozen for
individual dishes later.) I experimented with a Clam Pie Recipe changing it a bit to suit my taste, I guess it was a hit on a Lenten Friday because I had 1 slice and it was GONE..........!
What to do with chicken breast came next which is being served for dinner today!

Hope you try the recipes, they were good! Share them with your friends. Pray for warmer weather as we leave March behind this week, and check back next week to get some Easter and Spring inspired recipes! 
Check out my website @ ( for all your catering needs and contact me to book your date while it's available ................. Have a Great Week!!!

Individual Meatloaf Muffins
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  1. In a large bowl, combine the
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F  and spray muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  3. egg, milk, cheese, oats and salt. Add the ground beef, mixing well, fill  each cup of  muffin pan with mixture, packing the mixture in tightly.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Stir thoroughly and spread over each meatloaf.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for  35-45 minutes.

Tomato Basil Chicken

  • 4 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 (12 ounce) bottle garlic and herb marinade
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  1. Place chicken breasts on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice chicken breasts horizontally, without slicing them completely in half. Open the chicken breasts like a book. Place chicken and marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  3. Place opened chicken breasts on a  non-stick sheet pan. Place 4 basil leaves on the bottom half of each chicken breast. Top each with 2 or 3 tomato slices and 1 slice of cheese, and fold over top half of chicken (if necessary, fasten with toothpicks).
  4. Cook in preheated oven for 25- 30 minutes.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle chicken with Parmesan. Return to oven, and cook until cheese is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  Jersey Clam Pie


*1 pastry for two-crust pie

*1/2 c. onion (chopped)

*6 tbsp. butter

*1/2 c. all-purpose flour

*1 tsp. salt

*3 c. clam juice

*4 c. chopped clams (chowder size)

*5 oz. frozen peas & carrots

*1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes ( I used the ones with basil & garlic)

*2 c. potatoes (chopped)

*1 tsp herbes de provence 

*Freshly ground black pepper to taste

      1. Prepare pastry. Place half of the pastry in a deep-dish pie pan. 
          Reserve remaining pastry to  place on top of clam filling. Do not prebake.

      2. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, cook onion in butter until tender. 

      3. In a small bowl, blend flour and salt.

      4. Add flour mixture to saucepan with clam juice, clams, peas & carrots, tomatoes, 
          potatoes, and herbes de provence Cook until potatoes are tender. Season with salt 
          and pepper.

      5. Pour into prepared pastry, then place remaining pastry on top of clam filling.
          Trim any excess pastry and crimp edges to seal. Cut small slits in top of pastry to allow   
          steam to vent while pie is baking.  

      6. Brush top with beaten egg, place onto baking sheet.

      7. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is a light golden    

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Cookin' Thyme WELCOMES SPRING!!!!!

Spring arrives this week (HOORAY!!!) We start spending more time outside.
Longer Days mean later practices for Baseball and Soccer, busy kids schedules, yardwork!
Oh My! Don't despair ... Following are a few easy recipes that will help you get a great dinner 
on the table QUICK!

On The Go Ravioli Lasagna
Servings 6-8
Servings Size
  • 1 (25 ounce) package frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1 (26 1/2 ounce) bottle spaghetti sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1.  In 9x13-inch dish spread a little bit of sauce at bottom (to prevent sticking).
  2. Put on ravioli, as many as will fit without being"tight".
  3. Put on more sauce and then cheese.
  4. Repeat until all ravioli is gone.
  5. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.
  6. (I usually have three layers of about 15 ravioli in each layer.) It can be frozen also.

Easy BBQ “ Crock Pot” Chicken Sandwiches
Servings 4-6  
Servings Size
  • 1 -2 lb chicken breast (boneless & skinless)
  • 1 (18 ounce) jar of your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 1 medium  onion (sliced)
  • 4 -6 hamburger buns
  1. Remove all  fat from the chicken and toss it in the crock pot.
  2.  Place the onion slices on top of the chicken.
  3.  Pour the barbecue sauce over top.
  4.  You may not need the entire jar, just enough to cover the chicken.
  5.  Cook it on LOW for 8 hours or until the chicken is nice and tender.
  6. Shred the chicken with a fork and knife; scoop the mixture onto the bottom buns and top it with the top buns.
  7. Or, you might prefer leaving the breasts whole and eating it that way.
                   Serve with a salad for an easy weeknight meal!

 Sweet Lips No Hips Pie
Servings 8
Servings Size
  • 1 (1/3 ounce) box sugar-free jello (4 serving size -any flavor)
  • 1 (8 ounce) container thawed Cool Whip Free
  • 1 graham cracker crust (reduced fat-Keebler makes one)
  • ice cubes  & water
1       Boil 2/3 c water.
2        In mixing bowl, mix boiling water and Jello for about 2 minutes until dissolved.
3        In a measuring cup, combine ice cubes and water to measure 1 cup.
4        Stir into Jello mixture til ice is melted.
5        Add Cool Whip and whisk until smooth.
6       Put mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to allow mixture to thicken.
7        Spoon filling into crust.
8        Refrigerate overnight.


*If you have recipes to share email them to me and I'll include them on the blog!
  Check back next week for more recipes!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Its Cookin' Thyme celebrates St. Patrick's Day!

     "Like the warmth of the sun, And the light of the day,  
                                                  May the luck of the Irish shine bright on your way." 

     March 17th is approaching fast and Here's hoping that the following EASY recipes will help you celebrate!!

Irish Soda Bread
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups raisins
  • 2 eggs, (lightly beaten)
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees  Grease  9 inch round cast iron skillet or a 9 inch round baking or cake pan.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine flour (reserve 1 tablespoon), sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and raisins. In a small bowl, blend eggs, buttermilk and sour cream. Stir liquid mixture into flour mixture just until flour is moistened. Knead dough in bowl about 10 to 12 turns. (Dough will be sticky). Put  dough in greased skillet or pan and pat down. Cut a 4x3/4 inch deep slit in the top of the bread. Dust with reserved flour
  3. Bake in 350 degree oven for 65 to 75 minutes. Let cool and turn bread onto wire rack.

Irish Beef Stew
St.Patty's Day done right with Ireland's best beer.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cubed
  • 3 cups stout beer (such as Guinness)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chunked
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beef, beer, sliced potatoes, and quartered potatoes. Bring to boil over high heat,  reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 hours.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
This is a yummy side dish for St. Patty’s Day and a wonderful anytime dish!
  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 small head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserve drippings, crumble and set aside. In reserved drippings, saute cabbage and onion until soft and translucent.
  3. Drain cooked potatoes, mash with milk, season with salt and pepper. Fold in bacon, cabbage, and onions, transfer mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter.

Irish Potato Candy
A cute little confection that looks just like little potatoes.
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • ½  package cream cheese (4 oz)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth. Using hands, mix in the coconut.
  2. Roll into balls or potato shapes, and roll in the cinnamon. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set. Roll potatoes in cinnamon again for darker color.

 Here's a last recipe a friend of mine would like to share......... (Thanks!)
"Your friends will definitely feel the luck of the Irish smiling on them when you serve this fantastic cake! What's the magic ingredient that makes this cake the perfect St. Patrick's Day treat? A cup of Irish beer—Guinness stout, to be exact. The beer adds a hint of coffee-like flavor to the cake. If you'd prefer a non-alcoholic cake, substitute milk for the beer... it's still a great cake!"
Guinness Cake
16 T. butter (1/2 lb.)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup Guinness stout
6 eggs
In a bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars. In another bowl, mix together the baking powder, spices, salt, flour and cocoa. At the very last moment, add the Guinness to the eggs. (Don't let it sit too long,the alcohol will begin to cook the eggs!)
Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and blend, then add half of the wet ingredients. Repeat this process until all the ingredients are combined.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°, and line the bottom of at least 2 9-inch diameter cake pans with wax paper. Divide the batter between pans, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack and peel off the wax paper. Let the layers cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 pounds confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a bowl beat together the cream cheese and butter until mixed, then beat in the sugar. Finally, add the vanilla.
Place one cake layer, bottom side up, on a platter. Spread with frosting, then top with another layer, bottom side down. Repeat with each layer, then spread the remaining frosting smoothly over the top and sides of the cake.

 Enjoy!!!!    And.....

  May you have:

            "A world of wishes at your command
                 God and his angels close at hand
              Friends and family their love impart,
                   And Irish blessings in you heart."
......................... check back next week for more March recipes!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's Cookin' Thyme celebrates Nutrition Month.....

March is National Nutrition Month and here are a few tasty and healthy ideas, good for entertaining as well as a special treat for your family! Low in fat and calories but big on taste! Enjoy and check back next week for some Irish recipes for St. Patty's Day! Please pass these ideas onto family and friends.

Asparagus Guacamole

  • 1 lb fresh asparagus trimmed and cut into one inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup chopped tomato 
  • 2 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp minced fresh cilantro
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 4 drops hot pepper sauce (more if prefer)

  • In ½ inch of water, bring trimmed asparagus to a boil then reduce heat and cook until fork tender (about 5-7 minutes).
  • Drain asparagus very well and place in food processor or blender with the onion and garlic; blend until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients then add the asparagus mixture and combine. Chill.
  • Serve with raw veggies or tortilla chips.

Strawberry Balsamic Chicken

  • 3 to 4 Tbs. light olive oil
  • 4 boneless,skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp pepper
  • 1/3c finely chopped almonds
  • 1/4 c minced green onions
  • 1/3 c chicken broth
  • 1/3 c  sugar free strawberry preserves
  • 3Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1Tbs chopped fresh rosemary or 1tsp. dried rosemary,crumbled
  • 1 pkg.(10oz) fresh spinach, cooked

  • In a large skillet, heat oil over med.-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper; dredge in almonds. Place chicken in oil ;cook 5 about mins on each side or till no longer pink. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Saute the green onions about a min. Add the chicken broth, preserves, vinegar and rosemary. Simmer, uncovered, till slightly thickened, about 3 mins.   Place warm spinach on a serving platter and top with chicken.  Pour the balsamic sauce over top & sprinkle with parsley.

Now let's go to dessert...

Fresh Fruit Fondue  

Ingredients for fondue
    *1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed
    *1/2 tsp. lemon juice
    *1/4 c light cream
    *1 tsp. cornstarch
   Blend all ingredients in blender, transfer to saucepan and cook on medium heat
   till slightly thick, put in fondue pot to serve.

Cut fresh fruit of choice ( I use melons, pineapple and strawberries) into chunks using fondue forks or skewers to dip (try angel food cake cubes , marshmallows, and lady fingers as well).

Remember next week we go IRISH!

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Cookin' Thyme...March is National Noodle Month and more!

March... "in like a lion and out like a lamb"; I'm sitting here writing my weekly blog with the wind roaring like a lion outside the window right now, and there are still 2 more days till March.
Spring is finally just around the corner! Hooray!!
March is many things: National American Red Cross Month, Woman's History Month,
Youth Art Month, Nutrition Month, St. Patrick's Day & Irish American Heritage Month,
and believe it or not... National Noodle Month!
So... this week's recipes are all about the noodle! Enjoy!!!

Let's start with some...  Chicken Noodle Soup 
You'll need:   2 lg. chicken breasts with skin       2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 stalks celery, chopped        1 sm. onion             2 qt. broth
1 can undiluted cream of chicken soup               1 finely chopped celery stalk
1 finely chopped carrot                                        1 sm. finely chopped onion
2 c. uncooked egg noodles                                  1 tsp. seasoned salt

Cook chicken breasts, celery stalks, onion and bouillon cubes in 2 quarts of water until tender. Cool and separate meat from bones. Separate fat from broth and discard fat, celery and onion. Measure 2 quarts of broth (add water if needed) into a large pot. Add: cooked chicken meat (chopped), celery, carrots and onion. Bring to a boil and add 2 cups wide or medium noodles, reduce heat and cook until noodles are tender (about 20 minutes).

Here's an EASY dinner entree: Chicken Noodle Casserole 
1 boiled chicken, deboned and cut up into bite-size pieces
1 can cream of broccoli soup
1/2 can milk
8 oz. noodles, cooked & drained
1 c. grated Cheddar cheese
In a casserole dish, mix the soup with the chicken and noodles. Blend in a 1/2 can of milk. 
Top with cheese. Cover dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 

Or try this for Dinner: Chicken Tetrazzini
                                                  A  Microwave Recipe!!!       
You'll Need:
One 3-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces            ½ tsp salt
Dash of pepper·                                                          1 cup narrow raw noodles
2 cups chicken broth                                                  1/2  cup finely-chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped pimiento                                1/4 cup finely-chopped green pepper 
½ cup finely-chopped mushroom                               1 cup cooked peas
2 slices bacon                                                             1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1. Put the chicken, salt, and pepper in a large covered casserole dish and cook in the microwave oven    15 minutes. (Rearrange) to ensure even cooking and cook, covered, about 15 minutes more or until tender. Cool.
2. Remove the chicken from the bones and cut into small pieces. Using the drippings from the chicken, measure 2 cups of broth into the covered casserole and add the noodles. Cover and cook in the microwave 10 minutes, stirring several times.
3. Put the onion, pimiento, green pepper, and the bacon in a small covered baking dish. Cook in the microwave oven 4 minutes, stirring at least once.
4. In the large casserole, combine the chicken, noodles, vegetables, peas, and cheese. Stir gently to blend. Reheat, covered, in the microwave oven several minutes to heat throughout. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Don't Forget Dessert!!!
The World's Best Noodle Pudding  
You'll Need:              1 lb. broad noodles, cooked
PUDDING:         1 pt. sour cream                 12 oz. cream cheese
1 c. sugar                                6 eggs                  1/2 lb. butter, melted
              1 c. crushed corn flakes                         1/2 c. sugar
                                               1/2 stick butter, melted
Place cooked and drained noodles in 9"x12" Pyrex dish. Combine and mix pudding ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pour mixture over noodles. Prepare topping by mixing the corn flakes, sugar and melted butter together. Sprinkle over pudding and bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Check back next week for St. Patty's day recipes!!!1

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's Cookin' Thyme... Celebrating George Harrision's Birthday!

As you probably already know the Beatles hold a special place in my heart as my late husband was such a fan and collector. We had a Beatle themed restaurant decorated with all his collection, where we met a lot of other fans!!!
This one is for them! .........
This week's recipes are in honor of George Harrison's Birthday which is Feb. 24th.
George wrote the song "Savoy Truffle" that the Beatles recorded on the famous
"White Album"
The lyrics mention lots of sweet treats with none comparing to the "Savoy Truffle"
A culinary on-line dictionary describes a "Savoy Truffle" as being made with chocolate, flour and a dollop of savory (being any flavoring desired).
Here are a few recipes choose your favorite! And, "Happy Birthday George!"

Oreo Truffles
You'll need:        1 (16 oz) package Oreo cookies
                           1 ( 8 oz) softened Cream Cheese
                           2 ( 8 oz) packages of semi sweet Baking Chocolate (melted)
  Directions:      Crush 9 cookies in food processor or chopper (reserve)
                         Crush remaining cookies, place in medium mixing bowl
                                      Add cream cheese blend well
                                         Roll mixture into 1" balls
                  Dip in melted chocolate, sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs

 Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles
  You'll Need:       1 (6 oz) package  Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
                             1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
                             1/2 cup Evaporated Milk
                             Crushed Peanuts & Cocoa Powder (for coating)
   Directions:       Melt Choc. Morsels in Microwave on high
                                   ( stir every 30 seconds 'til smooth)
      Add peanut butter to melted chocolate, then evaporated milk, chill for 1 hr in fridge
      Form mixture into 1" balls then roll in coatings of crushed nuts or cocoa powder 

 Savoy Truffles
   You'll Need:       1 (8 oz) cream cheese (softened)
                              3 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
                              3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (melted)
     1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (truffles can be flavored with your favorite liquors by
                                    omitting the vanilla and adding 1 T of your favorite liquor)
          Coatings of Choice: ground nuts, cocoa, coconut, candy sprinkles, etc.
   Directions:     In mixing bowl beat cream cheese till creamy,
         (gradually) add the confectioners sugar till well blended.
                        Stir in melted chocolate mixing well.
         Thoroughly add in flavoring of choice till no streaks remain
                         *(separate mixture and add varied flavors)
                  Refrigerate about 1 hour then shape into 1" balls
                                        Roll in coatings of choice.

**Trivia Tidbit**
 George's favorite candy was jelly babies the USA's equivalent being jelly beans; explaining why
   Beatle fans pelted the Fab Four with jelly beans during a U.S. appearance in 1964! OUCH!!

Check back next week for more recipes... and please share with all your friends, after all,
                            We all ".... Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends!"


Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's cookin' thyme...with George Washington!

President's Day is upon us again, why not celebrate this year in an authentic way.
This delicious seafood stew was a favorite dish of George Washington’s.  He loved fish and ate it almost daily in one form or another. This recipe is a keeper that has lasted the test of time, and really is delicious!

Fish Muddle is a “make due,” dish, the ingredients varied depending on what was on hand so you can substitute the seafood for your favorites or for what's on sale! (6-8 servings)
For the Muddle you'll need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced and well washed, including about 4 inches of the green part
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

About 20 fresh mussels, scrubbed
About 20 littleneck clams, scrubbed
About 20 large shrimp peeled and deveined
About a pound of firm fleshed white fish, cut into cubes
1 pound of scallops
 To Make: Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over a medium high heat.  Add the leek, celery, onion and pepper and gently sauté until the vegetables are soft and just beginning to brown.  Add the wine and stir well. Add the tomatoes, clam juice and herbs, bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for  thirty minutes. Meanwhile, prepare all the seafood and fish. (Discard any mussels and clams that do not close when tapped).  Place them in a heavy skillet or sauce pan over a high heat and shaking the pan, cook until the shells open.  Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Strain the liquid remaining in the pan through a coffee filter, (in colonial times - they had to do it through cloth)  add it to the muddle. 
To Assemble:
1 cup mayonaise
2 cloves of  finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh tarragon
Toasted French Bread Slices
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Blend the minced garlic and tarragon with the mayonnaise and set aside.  Add the shrimp, scallops and fish to the muddle, bring to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.  Cover with lid and leave for about five minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
Ladle into bowls, arrange the mussels and clams on top of each serving.  Spread the seasoned mayonnaise on the toasted french bread slices and serve with the muddle.

Now onto Dessert!

"Eat ice cream whenever you can". George loved ice cream so much that he had installed two "ice-boxes" at his Mount Vernon home so that the Washington's and their guests could eat ice cream often. Ice cream was a real luxury at the time, and this was considered extravagant behavior.
 Cherry-Vanilla Ice Cream Pie (a Kraft Recipe)
Cherry-Vanilla Ice Cream Pie recipe
18 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
3 Tbsp.  butter or margarine, melted
3 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 can  (21 oz.) cherry pie filling, divided
1 Tbsp. chocolate syrup  
Make It: Combine cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate sprayed with cooking spray. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Mix ice cream and 1-1/2 cups pie filling; spoon into crust. Freeze 4 hours or until firm.
Drizzle chocolate syrup over pie. Serve topped with remaining cherry pie filling. 

Although, George Washington loved cherries he did not really cut down a cherry tree,  but
you might in order to make this: 
EASY CHERRY CRISP! (can be made with any fruit filling, serves 4)
You'll Need:
1 box yellow cake mix      1 can cherry pie filling       1 stick of butter
Preheat oven to 350
Pour 1/4 box of yellow cake mix into bottom of greased 8X8 pie pan. (Do NOT make the cake batter - pour the cake mix in DRY.) Pour the entire can of cherry pie filling on top of the dry mix. Pour the remaining 3/4 box of cake mix on top of the cherry pie filling. Cut one stick of butter into pats. Place the pats over the top of the dry cake mix in a checkerboard pattern. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy! 

 Check Back for more Recipes next week...........


    Friday, February 4, 2011

    It's Cookin' Thyme's Valentine Recipes and Tidbits.....

    Following are some favorite recipes and ideas for celebrating Valentines' Day for 2 or the family!
                                      * Mushroom Kisses (an easy appetizer)
     You'll need: medium mushrooms with stems removed (12 cleaned caps only)
              1 package of phyllo dough thawed (found in freezer section of store)
              1 spray butter ( I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
              1 package of soft cream cheese (onion & chive or herb flavor)
        Fill mushroom caps with cream cheese, take 6 phyllo sheets refreeze remainder
       Cut the 6 phyllo sheets in 1/2,  place filled mushroom cap in center of each square,
       Pull up the sides and twist like a candy kiss, place on a greased cookie sheet,
       Spray kisses generously, with the spray butter,
       Bake in a 375 degree oven till golden brown.

                                                * Sexy Shrimp Scampi
               You'll need:  1 pound xlarge shrimp (cleaned and deveined)
                     4 T butter         4 T olive oil       1tsp grated lemon peel
             4 cloves crushed garlic    1 T lemon juice   2 T chopped parsley
                      2 T white wine        salt & pepper       1 T lemon juice
         Preheat oven 400 degrees, melt butter, add oil,  pinch of salt & pepper,
         garlic & parsley into a baking dish. Arrange shrimp in a single layer
         in  the butter mixture.
         Bake uncovered 5 min, turn shrimp adding wine, lemon juice, & zest.
         bake 8-10 more min. Serve over pasta or rice, garnish with lemon slices
      ** Heart Shape Cheese Ravioli and pasta are available on line at
                Add a salad and some bread sticks and watch the heat turn up!!!

                                                      * Love Cake
         You'll need:  1 Chocolate Cake Mix        2lb. container Ricotta Cheese
                      3/4 c. sugar         4 eggs       1 tsp vanilla       1 c milk    
              8oz  Cool Whip (thawed)        1 small instant Choc. pudding mix
           Follow cake mix directions and put batter in a greased 9x13x2" glass
           baking pan. Combine ricotta, sugar, vanilla & eggs, blend well, spread
           over cake batter evenly, swirl  delicately with butter knife into choc.
           batter. Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour.
           Blend pudding mix with milk till thick and add in Cool Whip,
           spread over the top of cooled cake, store cake in fridge.
      * (Sprinkle rose petals on a candlelit table to create an unforgettable evening!)
        Have the Kids?  Here's a great idea!
                Buy some pocketless pita breads and a variety of pizza toppings
       Make a heart pattern and fit it over the pita breads cutting the pitas into hearts.
           Allow everyone to make their own pizzas with their favorite toppings.
                             Bake them on a cookie sheet in 425 degree oven.
    Add a salad and the Love Cake or a Sundae Bar for A Family Fun Valentine Dinner.

                 Hope these ideas spur your creativity for enjoying Valentines' Day
                     Check back next week for more Cookin' Thyme ideas..........