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..........