Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

Cinco de Mayo is around the corner and there are all kinds of great Mexican recipes popping up in the web.  Here's one of them.  Makes for a nice easy recipe to make at the lake anytime!

Serves 8


3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast

Salt and pepper

2 teaspoons cumin powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon Mexican Spice Blend

1 red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped

4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced

1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour

16 corn tortillas

1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned

1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses

Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream, chopped tomatoes


Coat large saute pan with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.

Saute onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. Add corn and chiles. Stir well to combine. Add canned tomatoes, saute 1 minute.

Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to saute pan, combine with vegetables. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream and chopped tomatoes before serving. Serve with Spanish rice and beans.

Recipe & Photo courtesy Tyler Florence

Monday, April 26, 2010

Derby Party...Corn Pudding

Similar to a soufflé, this corn pudding puffs up, then sinks a little as it cools. It makes an impressive side dish for our Derby Party. The rest of the menu is over at my main recipe blog, Lindaraxa's Garden.

This recipe can easily be halved; bake the pudding in a shallow 2-quart baking dish for 45 minutes.


1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
4 lb. corn kernels, about 14 cups
6 shallots, peeled
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 Tbs. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
12 eggs
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease a 17-by-10-inch roasting pan or baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and 1/4 cup of the cheese in the bottom of the dish.

In a food processor, combine 2 cups of the corn, the shallots, cream, Tabasco, salt and pepper and process until creamy.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Stir in the cream mixture, the remaining corn, the remaining 1 1/4 cups cheese and the thyme. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

Bake until the pudding is lightly browned on top and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 2 hours. Serve immediately. Serves 12 to 14.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New American Cooking Series, The Heartland, by Beth Dooley (Time-Life Books, 2001).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Late Spring at the Lake

Last week I hurried to get everything on the ground, including herbs and flowers.  This year everything is red.  I find combining the herbs with the flowers makes a pretty display on the deck.  The path down to the dock is a beautiful sight, quite different from just a couple of weeks ago.

Trying to grow mint on a pot, let's see what happens...

lemon balm

cilantro and thai basil

oregano back from last year!

chives, rosemary and basil


tarragon and parsley

the path to the lake

Lucy's favorite stop, the ferns!

my new toy, Pawley's Island swing!

wild flowers, sort of...

beautiful sky, no?

I'm from Florida!...just visiting.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Strawberry Almond Cream Tart

We've got to make this, people, particularly now that strawberries are cheap.  And don't forget strawberry preserves to give away this Christmas.  Believe me, you'll be glad you did! I can see my weekend unfolding before my eyes....

This recipe is from the new Cooking Light Cooking Through the Seasons via Steamy Kitchen.

Instead of making individual tartlettes, you can make one big tart, just use a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan



36 honey graham crackers (about 9 sheets)

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

4 teaspoons water

Cooking spray


8 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (use a rasp grater)


6 cups small fresh strawberries, divided

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

Six 4-inch round removable-bottom tart pan or one 9-inch pan


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare crust, place crackers in a food processor; process until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, butter, and water; pulse just until moist. Place mixture in 6 mini round removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray, pressing into bottom and up sides of pan to 3/4 inch. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and extracts in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over bottom of tart shell.

To prepare topping, place 2 cups strawberries in food processor; process until pureed. Combine strawberry puree, 2/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook 1 minute. Remove glaze from heat, and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Combine 4 cups strawberries and juice; toss to coat. Arrange berries, bottoms up, in a circular pattern over filling. Spoon half of glaze evenly over berries (reserve remaining glaze for another use). Sprinkle nuts around edge of each tart. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Photo Steamy Kitchen

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Two Easy Sauces For Spring!

French Vinaigrette

A wonderful recipe to have on hand in Spring,  not only for salads, but also to accompany asparagus and artichokes. Check out today's post on Lindaraxa's Garden.  Make sure you use Dijon mustard, Maille if you can find it or Grey Poupon which is readily available everywhere  This recipe is from David Leibowitz's blog.  For the original post go here

French Vinaigrette

Makes about 1/4 cup (60 ml), enough for one large green salad


1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar

1/2 small shallot, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3T to 4T olive oil

fresh herbs, if desired

Freshly ground pepper


1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, vinegar, and shallot. Let stand for about ten minutes.

2. Mix in the Dijon mustard, then add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir well, then taste. If too sharp, add the additional olive oil and more salt, if necessary.

If you wish to add fresh herbs, it's best to chop and mix them in shortly before serving so they retain their flavor.

Grind the pepper after you have dressed the salad with the vinaigrette!

Storage: This dressing will keep for about eight hours at room temperature. If you want to make it farther in advance, it's best to add the shallots closer to serving so they don't lose their verve.

Hollandaise Sauce

Now this is my favorite, and if you follow my directions, you will get it perfect every time!  It is the trick I used to get my children to eat asparagus and artichokes when they were little. 

The two most important things, make sure eggs are room temperature and the butter is bubbling when you add to yolks. 

Hollandaise Sauce

Makes about 1 cup


3 eggs

8 TB unsalted butter

1 TB lemon juice

dash cayenne



Take the eggs out of fridge about 4 hrs. before you cook them. They must be room temperature!

Separate 3 yolks from white. Add yolks to blender. Melt 1 bar of butter in a skillet, add about 1/4 tsp cayenne, salt and pepper and cook until bubbly on medium heat. When the butter is about ready to come to a boil, start your blender on high and blend the egg yolks for at least 30 seconds. Slowly pour the bubbling butter into the eggs in a steady drip and squeeze 1 TB of the lemon juice. Stop! you are done!!! Pour into a glass bowl and keep warm on top of the stove. Taste it, if it needs more salt, pepper or lemon juice, add and stir with a spoon. keep warm near the stove

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Poached Eggs with Tarragon Cream

Those of you who have been following both my blogs should know by this time that I simply adore baked eggs.  Every time I see a recipe, I'm fair game and I'm happy to say I'm seldom disappointed!

One of the great things about these eggs is they are simple and easy to assemble and can wait to bake until you are ready for them.   They make an excellent choice for an elegant lunch anytime you have unexpected company.

This particular recipe is from the Los Angeles Times

Total time: 25 minutes

Servings: 2


Nonstick cooking spray, optional

1 teaspoon minced shallot

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon

4 eggs

1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs


1. Spray the bottom of a large skillet with nonstick spray, or use a nonstick skillet. Fill the skillet 3/4 full with water; bring to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, cook the shallot in 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until softened. Stir in the flour until blended and slightly cooked, 1 minute. Stir in the milk and cream. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, then boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in the salt. Remove from the heat; strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer and stir in the tarragon. Cover; set aside.

3. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

4. Reduce the boiling water to a simmer. To poach the eggs, work with 2 at a time. Crack the first egg into a small bowl, then carefully pour into the water; repeat with the second egg. Cook until the whites are barely set, about 1 1/2 minutes, then remove them gently using a slotted spatula to a small buttered ramekin. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs.

5. Divide the tarragon sauce between the ramekins, spooning over the eggs, then sprinkle with the cheese and bread crumbs. Bake until hot and bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

Friday, April 16, 2010

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

This is really simple to make and makes a great splash.  Delicious with a baked ham, salmon or grilled lamb chops!


Serves 4

Flour, for work surface

1 frozen puff pastry

5 1/2 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (2 cups)

1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce pastry inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

2.Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

From Everyday Food, March/April 2003

It's Foodie Friday over at Designs By Gollum and I'm going over for a visit, come along, great stuff!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tangerine Tart With Cookie Crust

This fabulous tart is from my friend and fellow blogger, Patti Londre, from Worth The Whisk. Patti has previously been a guest blogger on my main recipe blog, Lindaraxa's Garden, last fall. She's a great baker and has a wonderful blog; moreover, she also takes great pictures with her new camera which took forever to come to her door. All of Twitter held its breath until camera was finally on hand!

Tangerine Tart With Cookie Crust
by Worth The Whisk on March 1, 2010

Dinner party at Barbara and David’s – pleeeeze let me bring Tangerine Tart. For more than a decade, I’ve held onto this Sunset Magazine page. You see, the prolific tangerine tree that came with this house disappeared the day our yard was demo’d for landscaping. Waaaaa. Not sure why I never just bought fruit to make the tart; maybe I was insecure. Tangerines can do that to you (juicy? seeds? hard to peel? watery? acidic? good zest?)

This recipe was clipped in the year 2000 from Sunset’s Kitchen Cabinet column of readers’ recipes. Liz Strongman of Seattle is the creator. It’s a tangerine-infused cookie crust, tangerine filling, tangerine whipped cream. Whoa, I am skipping the whipped cream. And adjusted the instructions a bit to be clearer (see my note about pouring the filling).

My road trip to Ojai in search of the Pixie snacking tangerine resulted in a great education from my new friends at Friend’s Ranches citrus growers. For example, the W. Murcutt Tangerine is a luscious cooking citrus. More acidic than Pixie, juicier and a great peel for the “zest” in recipes. But dang, how to remember this variety’s name when standing at Friend’s Ranch farmers market stand? I decided to call it William H. Macy (you know… Fargo, Boogie Nights). Kind of looks like him, all redhead and slightly lumpy-bumpy.

Tangerine Tart with Cookie Crust
Adjusted from Sunset Magazine


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. grated tangerine peel “zest”
14 Tbsp. (3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp.) butter or margarine, in chunks
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a food processor, whirl flour, sugar and zest to blend. Add butter one chunk at a time while whirling, just until dough holds together. Press over bottom and up sides of a 10-inch tart pan with removable rim. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

(NOTE — Instead of taking the hot tart shell out of the oven, have the filling ready to pour straight into the baked crust while still on the rack. This help to avoid a wobbly transfer back into the oven. Larry saw me do the other way, slopped some filling down the cabinet front, and suggested this. Smart.)


2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. grated tangerine peel “zest”
1/2 cup fresh tangerine juice (3 to 4 juicy tangerines, such as W. Murcott variety)
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup half-and-half (light cream)
In a bowl with a mixer on high speed, beat eggs and granulated sugar until well blended. Add tangerine zest, tangerine juice, lemon juice and half-and-half. Beat until blended. Pour into baked cookie crust. Bake at 325 degrees F. 30 to 40 minutes or until the filling no longer jiggles in the center when the pan is gently shaken. Let cool completely on a rack, about an hour. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Days at the Lake, Bat Houses and All!

If this is just Spring, I can't imagine what summer is going to be like! The only downside to living at the lake as far as I'm concerned is the fact you are always on vacation mode, no chance of working for a living here.

I can't believe just two weeks ago we had snow on the ground. The beginning of the week was terribly hot, a preview of things to come I'm sure;  but then two days ago the weather changed again and the days have been in the low seventies and 50's at night. Ideal temperature as far as I'm concerned.

The babies are out of the nursery and we are having big fights as to where to place the tubs. My daughter, the agrarian engineer, wants them in front of the house for maximum sun. I, or course, care more about looks and want those ugly pots relegated to the back of the house, were there is plenty of sun and at least, they are out of sight. Let's see who wins this one. I'm going to have to start on the old Cuban guilt trip. We'll see if I still have my touch!  OH, and we got the bat houses up!  Have you ever heard of those things?  I don't want to know anything about them, not a word. 

Bat house going up to keep bugs at bay, or so I'm told..yuck!

A new dock for our neighbor

Lucy keeping tabs on the bat houses!

Mary Alice Park

Picnics are just around the corner

Ready for the ugly blue tubs!

Our tomatoes

The ugly blue tubs!

Our dock this weekend

Look at that sky!

I haven't seen a dogwood in almost 15 years!

Sometimes I feel I live in Little Red Riding Hood's house in the woods!

I have a 30 day free subscription to Adobe's Lightroom and now I don't know how to remove that stupid sign.  Great app but I hate to read directions.  Next time I'll try to be more professional!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter Leftovers...Ham And Green Eggs

Try this for breakfast or brunch made with leftover ham from Easter.  Makes a great lunch entree also for The Ladies Who Lunch!

Don't forget to check out 10 Recipes for Leftover Ham  in Lindaraxa's Garden and the Smoked Ham, Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Frittata!

I have been asked to tag along with my friend Libby of Libby Wilkie Designs and visit Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday, so come along too!


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 large shallots, finely chopped

1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted in microwave and liquids drained

1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream, eyeball it

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

8 slices ham or prosciutto di Parma

8 eggs


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and the butter and sweat the shallots a few minutes. Add the spinach and stir in the cream, season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a little grated nutmeg. Cook the spinach, stirring occasionally, until the cream has thickened, 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning to your taste.

Fold each slice of ham or prosciutto in half and line the nonstick cups with 1 slice of meat each. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the cooked spinach into each of the cups, then crack an egg into each, making sure it stays whole (hint - if you're worried about breaking the egg yolk, crack the egg into a small bowl first, then pour it into the muffin cup). Season the tops of the eggs with salt and freshly ground black pepper and bake in the oven until set, about 15 minutes. Allow the baked eggs to cool in the muffin cups for a couple of minutes before removing them from the pan. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy Rachel Ray

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Leftovers...Basic Ham & Bean Soup

This is an alternative to Split Pea Soup and a great way to use those leftovers from your Easter Ham!

Check out Easter Leftovers...10 Things to Make with your Easter Ham on  Lindaraxa's Garden. my main recipe blog!

Serves 8-10


1 pound dry great Northern beans

8 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 ham hock

1 cup chopped carrots

1/2 stalk celery, chopped

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon mustard powder

2 bay leaves

2 cups chopped ham

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper


 1. Soak the beans overnight. Discard the water and add fresh water to pot.

2.Place on top of stove and bring the water and beans to a boil on high heat.  Place the ham bone, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, mustard and bay leaves in the pot. Stir well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 more minutes.

3.Remove ham bone and discard. Stir in the chopped ham and simmer for 30 more minutes. Season with ground white pepper to taste.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Roast Chicken With Caramelized Shallots

With simple recipes like this, there really is no excuse for not cooking dinner at home. Except for the shallots, which you can pick up when you buy the chicken, you should have most of these ingredients in your pantry.  Shallots give any dish a wonderful taste and they have the added advantage of lasting quite a while if you keep them in the refrigerator.

I use a whole chicken cut into eight pieces; two legs, two thighs, and I cut each breast piece in half, crosswise, keeping the wings attached. You could also just use eight of your favorite chicken pieces.

If you are coming up to the lake for the weekend, , this is a great recipe to make on Friday night.


Serves 4 to 6


3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

4 large shallots, peeled and minced

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

One whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces

one generous handful of coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC).

2. In a large baking dish, one which will hold all the chicken pieces in a single layer, mix the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, shallots, and some salt and pepper.

3. Toss the chicken in the mixture, so they're completely coated with the shallots. Turn the chicken pieces so they are all skin side up.

4. Roast the chicken for about twenty minutes, until it starts to brown on top. Turn the pieces of chicken over. Scrape any juices and shallots over the chicken that may be clinging to the pan, and bake for another twenty minutes, or until the pieces of chicken are cooked through and the shallots are well-caramelized.

5. Remove from oven and toss in the chopped parsley, then serve.

Adapted from French Farmhouse Cookbook (Workman) by Susan Herrmann Loomis and David Leibowitz

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cocktails On The Lake

A new tradition started this weekend with our neighbors and friends, my daughter and me...  cocktails on the lake at the end of the day.  I am so thrilled to me invited, they are all half my age!  Some of us get there early, fish for awhile and then come back to the dock to pick up the stragglers...or should I say, those who still work for a living.  My poor daughter has a long drive home and she's usually the last one to arrive, but what a great way to unwind!

I'm still recovering from last night so I didn't go back out today. I don't think I can handle this every evening, or every weekend for that matter...these kids can drink! Sometimes I forget I can't do the things I used to twenty years ago, but I'm still willing to try.  It's so much fun to be out with the young!

Leaving our cove

L'Heure Bleu, my favorite time of the day!

Here come the neighbors !

First customers

Wonder what they have for snacks...

Uhm, Cheetos, my favorite!

My new young friend!

Hey, it's getting late, kids must be getting hungry!

Nice people, let's come back tomorrow!

Happy Easter, y'all!


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