My long Break Is Over

img_9140I have been away from writing my recipes I think I was just exhausted it takes hard work and a lot of sitting in front of my computer I may have perhaps burned out so I took a leave for just some me-time.  I have worked out 4 days a week since January 2017, I was not happy with my weight at all and it was the heaviest I had been in a very long time,  I think since I retired,  and the fact I quit smoking cold turkey may have had a lot to do with my weight gain.  I also had foot surgery to remove a small bunion that was hurting  me like crazy, when I wore my most comfortable shoes my big toe felt like it was squeezing the life out of me,  that is when I said it is time to remedy this problem so I opted for foot surgery in March of 2016 and the weight just piled on, if I even looked at food.  I missed a whole year of not going to the gym it took my foot so long to heal and to this day the bottom of my foot still pains me when at the gym on the treadmill but it hurts worst on the elliptical.  I try to not focus on the pain so I can get my cardio workout done.  I am happy to report I lost 30 -35 pounds it was not easy but with commitment, dedication and determination I was able to stay focus and lose the weight. Yay for me, don’t you all jump up at once. I started back to writing my recipes and I hope to grow more audiences and blog more about my boring life hopefully share stories about my Buttercup whom I enjoy writing about.  Thanks for listening to me rattle on about my foot!!!!  Don’t tell anyone.  Smooches.
black-green-butterfly

Why I stopped cooking at one point in my life 

 

I have cooked since I can remember, I have always enjoyed cooking as I explained in my (About Me) page. I had started a new job and I was working rotating shifts and working lots of overtime and my cooking habits had declined.  My daughter and I began to eat out a lot, if we did not go out we would order our food and go around the corner to this pizza shop and pick up our food.  It had gotten so bad that we may have eaten from there almost everyday because of me working rotating shifts.  My daughter stayed with her grandmother when I worked midnight or the midday day shifts that is when she ate a home cooked meal at her grandma’s home, when she was home with me we ate out because I was just too tired to cook.   What stopped me from eating out was my daughter and I was gaining so much weight, I mean we just blew up and that is when  I had decide that we will not be eating out and that I would cook our meals from then on. I really believe that was the best decision I could have ever made about our diet.   It is very important I feel to cook your own food at home, I am not saying don’t go out to eat,  I am simply saying that food cooked at home at least you know who touched your food and you can control what goes into your food meaning sugar, butter and salt.

When cooking at home you can involve and teach your child/children that cooking can be fun because children are like sponges they absorb so much and it really helps to prepare them as they grown into their own.  To this day my daughter is a great cook and I truly believe cooking starts at home.  My motto is there is nothing like a home cooked meal it is like food to your soul.

Honey Glazed Ham

 

I love to make this ham around Thanksgiving this recipe is simple and so easy to make.  My mom always made this ham on all the holidays.  I made a few changes of my own by adding cloves which my mom don’t like at all.  If you don’t like cloves it can be omitted the key to cloves is not to overuse them because they are very strong and potent and you need only to use a few cloves with the stem. With that being said let’s get to making this simple ham that my husband, daughter, and friends love…

Print

Honey Glazed Ham

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 15 people

Ingredients

  • 1 12-14 pound Ham Shank low sodium by Cooks
  • 1 can sliced Pinapples In its natural juice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic raw honey
  • 6-8 cherries (Machinos ) without the stems
  • 22 toothpicks, soak them in water for about 5-10 minutes
  • 10-14 cloves with the stem attached
  • 2-3 tsp machinos juice
  • 1 can of the juice from the pineapples
  • 2-3 sheets aluminum foil

Instructions

  1. This is how the ham should look once you place the pineapples, cherries, toothpicks inserted to hold the fruits in place using three toothpicks, two to hold the pineapples and one for the cherry in the center.

Recipe Notes

Remove the plastic seal that covers the shank bone on the front of the ham and discard. Rinse ham and pat dry with a paper towel. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place five or six pineapples and place them on top of the ham it should be three on the top and three or two on the the back end of the ham. Be sure to place the toothpicks far as they can go but enough to be able to remove once the ham is done and cooled. Place the cloves around the ham and under the ham, place a few on front and back and sides as well on the ham, spreading them around the ham (see the above illustration). Sprinkle about 3 tbsp of the the sugar on the ham, drizzle about 3 tbsp of the honey. Place the rest of the pineapples in the pan with the ham if you don"t eat them I unusually eat one or two. Cover the ham with foil and roast for about 45 minutes then drizzle about 3 tbsp of the honey and  sprinkle about 3 tbsp of brown sugar over the ham and base with the juices at this time add the rest of the pineapple juice from the pineapples cover and place in the oven. After 1hr 30 min of cook time uncover the ham drizzle the rest of the honey and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the ham bast again with the juices put back into the oven uncovered basting every 10 minutes for 30 minutes. Your ham should be nice a nice golden brown.

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

 

Print

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

This is the best you will want to drizzle this deliciousness on everything it is sweet and tart all in one kind of treat. It is versatile..
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 tbsp Raw honey I used three

Instructions

  1. This is how it should look once it coats the spoon
  2. In a small pan that will not react to the vinegar and heat, (non reactive) on medium heat add the balsamic vinegar and the honey, once it began to boil simmer on a very low heat, low and slow uncovered,  stirring on occasion you must watch that it does not burn.  It should reduce to about a half a cup.

    Once the balsamic reduction coats the spoon it is done, it has so many uses you can drizzle it on ice cream, fruits of your choice, cake, chicken, avocado,  drizzle over a salad , add it to any dish it is endless. 

    Once cooled store in a mason jar and refrigerate.   If your balsamic reduction becomes to thick once you refrigerate it  you can add a little warm water and it will loosen it up and will not change the taste,  add about 1/2 tsp of hot water should loosen it up.

Recipe Notes

*To make sure your reduction is the consistency of molasses dip the spoon into the liquid and make sure the back of a spoon is covered and not runny the level of thickness of your balsamic reduction should be like molasses.

 

 

 

 

Roasted whole Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

 

Print

Roasted whole Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

This is such a savory dish the balsamic vinegar added on the end takes this dish to another level.
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Deborah Chapman

Ingredients

  • 1 2 lb. bag brussel sprouts or 2 16 ounce buckets
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin or organic refined coconut oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black fresh pepper
  • 2 tbsp shallots, chopped
  • 4-5 slices oven cooked bacon chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 

    Wash brussel sprouts and drain off excess water, pat dry with paper towel, add brussel sprouts whole to the pan and drizzle with olive oil and add the shallots, salt, pepper and mix evenly.  

    Using 2 sheet pans or cookie sheets spread out evenly on to the sheet pan, do not over-crowd the pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until fork tender and a little crisp but not burnt. Add the cooked chopped bacon and the balsamic vinegar and mix well, serve and enjoy. 


Recipe Notes

*Be sure to check and shake your brussel sprouts in the pan or stir gently with a wooden spoon every 10 minutes so they cook evenly and do not burn. 

*Try and use as many organic ingredients as possible

 

Food Blogging 

img_8126This is something I always wanted to do as much as I like to chit chat you would think it would be easy, but to tell you the truth I am afraid of failing or maybe I won’t have enough to talk about to keep my audience engaged. The most I have learned that it is easy to cook the food, take the photo and post it.  I have so, so many photos of food but I don’t have all the recipes so now I have to remake the dish, write the recipe which is the hard part because I have over 10 years that I have been taking pictures of my food with my cell phone, no kidding ugh!!! This is my first blog of I hope to be many more.   I am taking a course on how to food blog and it really is teaching me about how to understand  WordPress which I had figured out enough to at least post (22) twenty-two recipes before I even took the course,  but I still did not quite understand WordPress.  Wish me well that I do well and learn enough to come back and blog, blog about what I love to do and that is to cook and create good home cook cuisine…

 

Coconut oil salad dressing

This salad dressing is simple and it is a winner. I am on a new journey and trying to eat clean for a minute but it does not mean that you can not enjoy your food. This dressing is just that good.

Print

Coconut oil salad dressing

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 5

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp organic coconut oil melted
  • 2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar I iused Braggs
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 juice of a fresh organic lemon
  • 2 tbsp shallot, minced 1 small shallot or half of a large one
  • 2-3 organic garlic cloves minced
  • 1 pinch koseher salt
  • 1 pinch black fresh pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional

Instructions

  1. In a mason jar add all the ingredients and shake until mixed well. This dressing taste better as it marry. You must be aware that coconut oil solidify and must be warmed up before every use. I keep it in the refrigerator and warm it up in the microwave before I use it. I love this dressing the way it is but you can add honey, agave nectar as a sweetener.

     

 

Smoked Paparika Roasted Chicken with Spinach

Print

Smoked Paparika Roasted Chicken with Spinach

This chicken is easy and simple to make.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs (organic) bone in
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tsp smoke paprika
  • 1 tsp granulate gralic
  • 1 tsp tumeric (organic)
  • 1 tsp koser salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 10 oz fresh baby spinanch (organic) or more if you can fit it into the pan

Recipe Notes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small dish add the six dry ingredients in a small bowl and mix all ingredient to create a rub make sure to pat dry your chicken and season both sides of the chicken, In the meantime in a large skillet on med/high heat add the olive olive and once hot place the chicken thighs in the pan skin side down and pan sear the meat for about two minutes,  you are not cooking the chicken thighs but lightly browning the skin side only.  Once lightly browned turn the skin side up and place in the hot oven for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes add the spinach around the meat and in between the chicken and place back in the oven for 15 minutes. Once cooked this is optional I placed my dish in the broiler for 2 minutes just to give it that nice deep golden charred.  Serve and enjoy.
*Wash chicken and pat dry, whenever I use chicken thighs  I always remove any extra fat from the thigh and discard, I always soak my chicken in vinegar and salt with lemon for at least 30 minutes.

Print

Smoked Paparika Roasted Chicken with Spinach

This chicken is easy and simple to make.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs (organic) bone in
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tsp smoke paprika
  • 1 tsp granulate gralic
  • 1 tsp tumeric (organic)
  • 1 tsp koser salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 10 oz fresh baby spinanch (organic) or more if you can fit it into the pan

Recipe Notes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small dish add the six dry ingredients in a small bowl and mix all ingredient to create a rub make sure to pat dry your chicken and season both sides of the chicken, In the meantime in a large skillet on med/high heat add the olive olive and once hot place the chicken thighs in the pan skin side down and pan sear the meat for about two minutes,  you are not cooking the chicken thighs but lightly browning the skin side only.  Once lightly browned turn the skin side up and place in the hot oven for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes add the spinach around the meat and in between the chicken and place back in the oven for 15 minutes. Once cooked this is optional I placed my dish in the broiler for 2 minutes just to give it that nice deep golden charred.  Serve and enjoy.
*Wash chicken and pat dry, whenever I use chicken thighs  I always remove any extra fat from the thigh and discard, I always soak my chicken in vinegar and salt with lemon for at least 30 minutes.

Honey/Maple Granola

Print

Basil Tomato Soup

Comforting and light
Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion sm chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp chicken base
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 tbsp basil fresh chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley fresh chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar
  • 2-3 tsp salt to taste
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 2 tsp Parmesan cheese freshly grated for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot or 5 quart soup pot add 2 tbsp of the olive oil on medium heat once hot add the onions and stir for about 3 minutes or until translucent, add the garlic and continue to stir and careful not to burn the garlic for about 1 minute.

    Add the can of crush tomatoes and the next 6 ingredients and stir until heated.

    Once everything is heated use a hand-held blender and blend until a nice consistency, add your salt and pepper to taste, cover and let simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  Once done serve and garnish with fresh parmesan cheese and basil and enjoy. This soup is great with a salad or a nice grilled cheese sandwich or you can even add homemade croutons or a dollop of sour cream,  which ever way you prefer this is an easy and delicious soup.jmn

Recipe Notes

*Please try and use as many organic ingredients as possible.  

 

 

 

 

Shrimp Lo Mien My Way

Print

Shrimp Lo Mien My Way

This is such an easy and simple recipe and once you make this dish you will never want to buy take out again. You can make this dish so many ways by adding different vegetables or ingredients such as frozen green peas, shredded carrots, scramble eggs or mushrooms this is a versatile dish.
Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Deborah Chapman

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb large or extra large shirmps deveined I used extra large chopped into 3 to 4 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black peper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 bag lo mein in the frozen deparment at your asian fruit stand or market
  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided extra virgin
  • 1 red onion, med chopped roughly
  • 3-4 scallions stalks chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 cup bok choy chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets blanched for 3 minutes in the iced bath
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce low sodium
  • 3 tbsp sitr fry sauce I used kikomen
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce I used two
  • 3 tbs fresh parsley garnish

Instructions

  1. In a medium size pot bring water to a boil and salt the water.  In the mean time devein shrimp rinse let drain then season them with the next 3 ingredients and set aside in a bowl.

    In a large wok or skillet on medium heat add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and add the the chopped onions, scallions, bok choy and stir for about 3 minutes then add the garlic and red pepper flakes, careful not to burn the garlic stirring constantly not to let the ingredients stick to the wok, once the onions are translucent remove the ingredients and set aside in a bowl.

    Add the broccoli florets to the water and boil for about 3 minutes then remove and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Once cooled, drain and set aside. In the mean time add the frozen Lo mien to the boiling water and let cook for about 6 to 8 minutes until aldente' do not over cook. 

    Once noodles are cooked using kitchen shears cut the lo mien into halves careful not to burn your fingers, they are long so randomly cut into halves then drain immediately and set aside.

    Add to the wok the remaining 2 tbsp of the olive oil, add the deveined shrimps and cook 2-3 minutes they will continue to cook as you add the sautéed onions, garlic and bok choy, (stirring constantly) add the broccoli, the soy sauce, stir fry sauce, fish sauce and the lo mien noodles using a tong to incorporate all the ingredients.  Garnish with the fresh parsley and serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve. the noodles.


Recipe Notes

 

*This dish requires constant stirring it is a quickly made dish so pay attention to the dish while in the wok, if you feel you may need to add more olive oil just so it does not stick add about 1-2 teaspoons more, you don't want the food to stick to the wok or skillet.