Raspberry Martini

Noel Coward said that the ideal martini should be made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy.”  Luis Bunuel considered it enough to hold up a glass of gin next to a bottle of vermouth and let a beam of sunlight pass through. And Winston Churchill was said to whisper the word ‘vermouth’ to a freshly poured glass of gin makes a perfect martini.

I’ll be honest. I love me a filthy, dirty martini made with Ciroc (grapes), Grey Goose (wheat), or some other high-quality vodka. (I can’t drink potato-based vodkas, they make me sick.) AND a perfect martini should have only a hint of vermouth if any at all (my opinion.) Speaking of my opinion, one of the best martinis I’ve ever had was in a dive biker bar in the Northern ‘burbs of Chicago where the bartender simply poured some vermouth into a empty martini glass, turned it so the vermouth coated the entire inside of the glass, and then promptly dumped the remainder down the sink. Perfect.

So while some may say this drink does not qualify as a martini, I say this, “An awesome martini does not need vermouth to be awesome.” And if you are a skeptic, regardless of what I call it, try it anyway. It’s delicious!

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Raspberry Martini

2 ounces vodka

6 raspberries, plus more for garnish

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp sugar

splash of gingerale

In a shaker muddle the 6 raspberries with the sugar and lemon juice.

Add ice and vodka. Shake. Add some gingerale now and a bit more after if needed. Shake.

Rim your glass with some lemon or lime juice and sugar it.

Pour martini into sugared glass.

Add more gingerale if needed.

Garnish with raspberries and a lemon or lime slice.

Enjoy!

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General Tso’s Chicken Sliders with Cole Slaw

Hey fabulous readers! Just a quick little update for you all: I’ve been having a lot of back problems lately (and neck, and sciatica) and have been moving pretty slowly. It looks like another surgery is on the horizon and because of all this I will probably slow down my posts. I don’t know if it will be reduced to two or three a week, just not 5. So don’t forget to come back and check out what I’ve been cooking and have a blessed day 🙂

And now for the main attraction….

I don’t know what it is about sliders that are so good but so far I’ve not been disappointed. Sure you can make a larger sandwich but there’s just something about a slider that makes a meal more fun and tailored to your hunger. And speaking of sliders, if you haven’t  tried my Bourbon BBQ Sliders with Garlic Aioli then you really are missing out!

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General Tso’s Chicken Sliders

3 or 4 chicken breasts

1 (12 oz) jar of General Tso’s sauce

1 small pkg cole slaw mix

1/3 cup ranch dressing

1 pkg (12 count) Hawaiian sweet rolls

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1. Cook chicken on low with General Tso’s sauce in a large skillet. Keep chicken submerged in sauce; turn chicken so it doesn’t burn.

2. Shred chicken and return to sauce in skillet. If the chicken is finished cooking, remove from heat and keep covered.

3. Prepare slaw using pre-bagged slaw mix and ranch dressing. To make your own slaw simply shred 1/4 of a cabbage head and grate or shred 2 large carrots.

4. Lightly toast the Hawaiian rolls.

5. To assemble sliders place chicken on bottom half of roll and top with slaw. Place top half of roll on sandwich and enjoy!

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Chocolate-Strawberry Shortcake Whoopie Pies

Summer is here and that means strawberries! Try this yummy twist on a favorite and have a great summer 🙂

The Home Heart

Whoopie Pies are the new cupcake! Have you heard? There has been a whoopie pie craze going on for some time now. At first I thought it was random, seeing a whoopie pie recipe here and there, but it’s apparent I was wrong and whoopie pies are making a come back. HUGE!

I’ll be honest, this isn’t my sort of thing. For one, this recipe uses marshmallow fluff (gah!). I don’t know how you can make a whoopie pie without it- but I will be on the lookout for that recipe.

The other reason is, other than the standard loaf, cookies, or cake, I suck when it comes to getting creative in the baking department. These turned out pretty good in spite of myself. I think I’d invest in a whoopie pie baking pan- if there is such a thing.

Whoopie Pies

1 pkg chocolate cake mix

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil

3 eggs

1 pkg…

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Apple Butterscotch Cake

Another great recipe from the archives. If you have the ingredients on hand you might want to whip up a batch of this super delicious cake. You won’t be sorry.

The Home Heart

This was such a yummy and simple dessert to throw together. I am a big apple fan. The only one here who hasn’t gotten on board the apple train is Number Two, but I think it’s just a matter of time 🙂 There are so many things you can do with apples and it’s a much healthier way to eat a dessert (well, that’s what I tell myself anyway!)  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Apple Butterscotch Cake

1 cup chopped pecans

2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup melted butter

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour (I use 1/2 unbleached and 1/2 whole wheat)

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 lbs.)

1. Preheat oven to 350*

2. Stir together brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla.

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Crispy Cheddar Chicken

The Home Heart

Another one from the archives for you. The picture is not so great but don’t let that fool you. This is a crowd pleaser for all ages and easy to make.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

4 large Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

1 sleeve Ritz crackers

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/2 cup buttermilk

3 cup grated cheese blend (cheddar and parm for example)

1 tsp. dried parsley

FOR SAUCE:

1 (14 oz) can cream of chicken soup (dry cream soup mix)

2 Tbsp. sour cream

2 Tbsp. butter

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cut each chicken breast into 2 or 3 large chunks

2. In small food processor grind up Ritz crackers.

3. Pour the milk, cheese, and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp.pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.

4.Dip each piece of chicken into…

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Kohlrobi & Apple Slaw

The Home Heart

Go back and see what I did with all those Leafy Greens 🙂

I had never heard of kohlrobi (misspelled in previous posts) before the other day when I received two, one white and one purple, in my veggie box.  I Googled this vegetable to see what I could find out about it and found that it is a German turnip that can be eaten raw or cooked.

 In my search for a good recipe I came across this slaw. After I peeled and cut the kohlrobi I decided to taste it to see what I was working with. Being a cabbage lover already this kohlrobi was definitely going to work for me. I love raw cabbage. While I do occasionally like it cooked, I prefer to eat it raw. And not in slaws either, but shredded and mixed with lettuce in a salad, or just in wedges all by itself. Am I weird?

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Giardiniera

Another AWESOME recipe from the archives. You will never buy that jarred stuff from the stores again. This giardiniera is to die for!

The Home Heart

I love giardiniera. Most grocery stores sell several brands of jarred giardiniera, but if you’re a true giardiniera-lover like me, you know that stuff isn’t very good. That is…unless you’ve never had mine 🙂 I say that with complete humility because I have fashioned my giardiniera recipe after the best in the world, which can be found in just about any place in the greater Chicago area. Granted, there are many different types of giardiniera to be found in Chicago, but in the tradition of Tony’s Subs and Sammy’s (as well as many others, I am sure) this version of giardiniera is what I’ve grown up with and love along with the highly coveted and indigenous Italian Beef sandwich.

Ingredients for Giardiniera:

1 sm head cauliflower, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper & 1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 – 3 ribs of celery, sliced

1 lb. bag of shredded…

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Harvest Bread

Today I’m reposting an awesome quick bread recipe from my archives. Check it out.

The Home Heart

In my search for healthy recipes I came across this. I was so excited to make this bread and try it. As usual with new recipes there’s a learning process, and while this came out really good, I’ll know exactly what to do differently next time to make it even better!

The recipe came from www.eatbetteramerica.com  If you have never looked at this site before, you should. It is full of great recipes, and it even shows you how to take a favorite and “healthify” it.

Harvest Bread

1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, drained and juice reserved

1/4 C. fat-free cholesterol-free egg product or 1 egg

2 T. canola or soybean oil

1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour

3/4 C. packed brown sugar

1/2 C. raisins

1 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. ground cinnamon

1 C. shredded carrots

1 C…

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Salsa Verde

Hey everyone! A real quick update for you: I’ve been on a little vacay this week down on the island so today’s post will be the last one until next week. Now on to the main attraction….

I love salsa verde but until recently I had no idea exactly what it consisted of or how easy it was to make. This is another recipe by the fabulous Yvonne – click her name to link to her blog/web site which will also provide you to a link to her FB page. She is a wonderful chef and I couldn’t help sharing this recipe after I attended another one of her cooking shows and then tried to make the salsa myself.

As you can see here I put the salsa on some fish tacos but the options are limitless for what you can eat this salsa with.

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Salsa Verde

1 lb tomatillo, peeled, washed and quartered

1 white onion, peeled and quartered

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2 jalapeños, seeds and membranes removed

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup cilantro (no need to chop)

1/2 lime, juiced

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1. Heat oven to 400*.

2. Place quartered tomatillos and onions, jalepenos and whole garlic cloves and place on lined cookie sheet (parchment paper is best but foil will do). Bake until tomatillos are soft, about 20 minutes.

3. Allow a few minutes out of the oven to cool and then place in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and pulse.

4. Cool in refrigerator until ready to eat.

5. Enjoy!

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20 Recipes for Summer

Summer is here! Okay, well maybe not “officially” but I think all the moms out there can agree that summer starts when school lets out. Now that it’s hotter outside and the days are longer we want to avoid turning on the oven as much as possible and either grill or eat light, refreshing meals.  I don’t know about you but my kitchen gets really hot when I use the oven so I will definitely be planning any baking for very early in the day and relying more on the grill and other summertime fare.

Here is a roundup of 20 recipes that are summer worthy from appetizers to desserts, and not a one requires an oven.

summer recipes

Appetizers: Bruschetta, Cherry Caprese

bruschetta

cherry caprese

Salads: Deviled Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, Cheeseburger Salad, Chopped Thai Chicken Salad, Chili Lime Chicken Salad, Greek Chicken Salad with Grapes & Pecans

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cheeseburger salad

thai salad

fiesta salad

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On the Grill: Grilled Balsamic Chicken, Bourbon BBQ Sliders with Garlic Aioli, Honey-Lime Chicken Kabobs

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In the Crock Pot: Honey Sesame Chicken, Sweet Chicken Rio, Cashew Chicken, Chicken Teriyaki

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Cool Desserts: Chocolate Banana Pudding Pie, Mud Pie, Watermelon Petit Fours, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Ribbon Dessert, Easy Eclair Dessert

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watermelon

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Marvelous Mondays, Melt in Your Mouth Mondays,