Breakfast Rolls

1       Cup Warm Water
1       Tbsp. Yeast
1       Tbsp. Sugar
1       Tbsp. Oil
1       tsp. Salt
2 1/2 to 3 Cups Flour
2       Tbsp. Butter (melted)
2       Cups Cheddar Jack Cheese (shredded)
12     to 15 Slices Bacon (thin, cooked, chopped)
6       Breakfast Sausages (cooked, chopped)
4       Large Eggs (scrambled)

Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl and let sit for about 3 to 4 minutes, until yeast is bubbling. Add in the oil, salt and flour. Start with 2 1/2 cups of flour, mix together, then add more until the dough forms a ball and cleans the sides of the mixing bowl. Continue mixing for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray the countertop with non-stick cooking spray and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush the dough with the melted butter then spread with scrambled eggs. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top, reserving about 1/2 cup for later. Spread the bacon and sausage over the cheese.
Starting with one of the long sides of the rectangle, roll dough up tightly, working from one end to the other end horizontally. Pinch the seam closed.

Use a sharp knife to cut 1 1/2 inch slices of dough from the roll. About 15 slices in all. Set the slices on a large, grease baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and top slices with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Return to the oven for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese is melted and rolls are just beginning to turn golden brown. Brush with melted butter again, if desired. Makes 15 rolls. Serve warm. Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.

Grilled Pineapple Sundaes

Cooking Spray
4    Slices Fresh Pineapple
4    Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream 
1    Cup Whipped Cream Topping
1/2 Cup Caramel Ice Cream Topping (warmed up)
1/4 Cup Shredded Toasted Coconut

Heat a grill pan on medium heat and coat it with cooking spray. Grill the pineapple slices for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until heated through and grill marks appear.

Place each slice on an individual serving plate. Top each slice with a scoop of ice cream and whipped topping. Drizzle with the hot caramel ice cream topping and sprinkle with toasted coconut and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Pineapple Upside-Down Pancakes

2    Cups Bisquick Mix
1    Cup Milk
2    Large Eggs
1    tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1    Tbsp. Butter (for the pan)
10  Rings Pineapple Slices
10  Maraschino Cherries
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)

For Serving:
1 Cup Whipped Cream (or more to taste)
Maple Syrup

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the Bisquick, milk, eggs and vanilla.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and drop about 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes. Top the pancake with a pineapple ring and add a cherry in the center of it. Sprinkle with some of the brown sugar and cook until the edges start to bubble, about 1 minute. Flip the pancake and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 3 minutes or until golden. Repeat with the remaining batter. Hold cooked pancakes in a warm oven until all are made. Serve immediately with whipped cream and a drizzle of maple syrup. Makes 10 pancakes.

Grilled Breakfast Pizza

1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1    lb. Refrigerated Pizza Dough (at room temperature)
8    oz. Bulk Breakfast Sausage
2    Bell Peppers (1 red, 1 green, chopped)
1    Small Onion (chopped)
2    Cups Frozen Shredded Hash Browns (thawed, squeezed dry)
3/4 tsp. Salt Black Pepper (to taste)
2    Cups Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
6    Large Eggs Fresh Chives (chopped, for topping)

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Brush an upside-down sheet pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Shape the pizza dough into an 11x14 inch rectangle and place on the oiled, upside down sheet pan.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet on the grill. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into pieces and stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a plate. Add the bell peppers and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring until the vegetables soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the hash browns, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring until the hash browns soften and start turning light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hash brown mixture to the plate of sausage. Remove the skillet from grill.

Carefully slide the dough off the pan and onto the grill. Cook, uncovered until bubbles start to form on top and the bottom is marked, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a large spatula to flip the dough, marked side up, back onto the upside-down sheet pan.

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese all over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Top evenly with the sausage, hash brown and vegetable mixture. With the back of a large spoon, make 6 small wells in the toppings and carefully crack an egg into each well. Slide the pizza off the pan and back onto the grill. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 12 minutes.

Remove the pizza from the grill to a cutting board. Season the eggs with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Garnish with the chives. Serves 6.

Strawberry Glazed Baby Back Ribs

1  Rack Baby Back Ribs
3  to 4 Tbsp. Balsamic Glaze
2  Large Sweet Onions (sliced into thin rings)

Dry Rub:
1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1    Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
1    Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1    tsp. Cumin
1    tsp. Flaky Sea Salt (or just salt)
1    tsp. Freshly Cracked Black Peppercorns
1/8 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the onions down the center of the foil.
Combine the dry rub ingredients into a small bowl and mix using a small whisk or a fork.

Rinse and pat dry the slab of baby back ribs. Brush the ribs with 3 to 4 tablespoons of balsamic glaze, rub half of the rib rub on the bottom of the ribs. Lay the seasoned side of the ribs onto the sliced onions. Rub the remaining rib rub onto the top of the ribs.
Place the ribs into the 350 degree F. preheated oven, on the center rack. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. After 2 1/2 hours brush the ribs with the strawberry simple syrup mixture and continue to bake ribs for 30 minutes longer.

Remove the ribs from the oven and brush them using the strawberry bbq sauce. Allow the ribs to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with the 1 cup of sliced strawberries, and serve with remaining strawberry bbq sauce.

Strawberry Simple Syrup:
2   Cups Fresh Strawberries (divided)
1   Cup Granulated Sugar
1   Cup Water

Remove the stem and clean the berries. Cut 1 cup of the berries into quarters, cut the remaining  1 cup of berries into half slices, set aside for garnishing the ribs.

Add the quartered berries to a saucepan, add sugar and water and heat over medium-high heat until it comes to a low boil. Use a potato masher to break up the strawberries. Continue to stir and cook for approximately 10 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid and allow the mixture to steep for 15 minutes, then strain the mixture into a jar (mason jar or similar) and screw on the lid. Set aside.

Strawberry BBQ Sauce:
6 oz. Bottle Hickory & Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce
6 oz. Strawberry Preserves

In a small bowl, combine the bbq sauce and the preserves and stir to combine.

Glazed Strawberry Bread

2       Cups All-purpose Flour
1       tsp. Baking Soda
1/2    tsp. Salt
1/4    tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1       Large Egg (at room temperature)
3/4    Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4    Cup Light or Dark Brown Sugar (packed)
1       Cup Buttermilk
1/3    Cup Vegetable Oil (or Canola)
2       tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups Fresh Strawberries (rinsed, dried, chopped)
1       Tbsp. Flour (for strawberries)

1 Cup Confectioners’  Sugar
1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp. Heavy Cream (or milk)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Make Bread: In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl whisk the egg, granulated sugar and brown sugar together until combined. Make sure there are no brown sugar lumps remaining. Whisk in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla.  Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk until there are no more lumps. Do not overmix or your bread will be tough.

After you clean, dry and chop the strawberries, toss them with the 1 tablespoon of flour. Carefully fold them into the bread batter. Pour into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake the bread for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cover the bread loosely with aluminum foil after 30 minutes to prevent excess browning. Check the bread with a toothpick poked in the center of loaf  for doneness at 50 minutes. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done. If not, bake a few minutes longer. Allow bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before glazing and slicing.
Make the Glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and cream together until combined and creamy smooth. Drizzle over the bread immediately before serving. Bread stays fresh, covered tightly at room temperature for up to 1 week. The breads’ flavor and moisture intensify on the second day. Makes 1 - 9 inch loaf.

Easy Slow Cooker Pork Loin

1    Tbsp. Oil
1    (3 to 4) lb. Pork Loin (excess fat removed)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
1    Large Onion (sliced in thin rounds)
4    Cloves Garlic (chopped)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (lightly packed)
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2    Tbsp. Soy Sauce

Season all sides of the pork loin roast generously with salt and pepper. Place sliced onions in the bottom of your slow cooker.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and sear the pork loin on all sides until golden brown, 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and place on top of the onions in the slow cooker.

Turn off the heat on the skillet and add the garlic, water, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Stir together the ingredients, making sure to scrape up any brown bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the pork loin and then pour the soy sauce mixture over the pork. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees F.
Once cooked, remove the pork loin to a plate and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. While the pork loin is resting, pour the sauce and juices from the slow cooker into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and allow the sauce to thicken, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve over sliced pork loin. Serves 6 to 8.

Tuscan Roasted Veggies

2    Small Zucchini
1    Red Onion
1    Red Bell Pepper
1    Yellow Bell Pepper
1    Orange Bell Pepper
3    Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt (to taste)
3    Garlic Cloves (unpeeled)
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley (chopped)
1    tsp. Fresh Oregano (or dried flakes)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash, dry and clean all the vegetables, then cut them in half. Toss the vegetables in the oil and a pinch of salt.

Place all the vegetables, including the garlic, on an oven grill, pizza pan or parchment lined baking sheet.
Place the grill into the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through but not overcooked. Remove from the oven and let cool just enough for handling.

Slice all vegetables to desired thickness (about 1/2 inch to 1 inch), and peel and slice garlic cloves.

In a large bowl or serving dish, combine the vegetables with the parsley and oregano. Mix well and season to taste.

Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash

1/4    Cup Vegetable Oil
3/4    Cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs
1/4    Cup Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated)
2       Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut crosswise in half)
1/2    Cup All-Purpose Flour
2       Large Eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 Cups Marinara Sauce
1       Cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
2       Tbsp. Fresh Parsley (chopped, for garnish)

For the Spaghetti Squash:
1   (2 to 3 ) lb. Spaghetti Squash
2   Tbsp. Olive Oil
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat it with non-stick cooking spray.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise from the stem to tail and scrape out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place the squash, cut-side down, onto the prepared baking dish. Place in the oven and roast until tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle. Using a fork, scrape the flesh to create long strands.

Place flour in a small bowl, set aside. Place beaten eggs in another small bowl, set aside. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese; set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Working one at a time, dredge chicken in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in bread crumb mixture, pressing to coat.

Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a large oven-proof skillet or baking dish or coat it with non-stick spray.
Add the spaghetti squash strands to the prepared skillet or baking dish and layer with chicken and marinara sauce; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Then set the oven to broil and broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Watch closely so as not to burn it. Serve immediately, garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Serves 4.

Chocolate Potato Cake

1    Cup Butter (softened)
2    Cups Sugar
2    Large Eggs (room temperature)
1    Cup Mashed Potatoes (cold, without added milk or butter)
1    tsp. Vanilla Extract
2    Cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Baking Cocoa
1    tsp. Baking Soda
1    Cup Milk
1    Cup Walnuts or Pecans (chopped)

Caramel Icing:
1/2 Cup Butter (cubed)
1    Cup Brown Sugar (packed)
1/4 Cup Evaporated Milk
2    Cups Confectioners’ Sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extra

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add potatoes and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition, Stir in the nuts. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9 inch round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees F. until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to  wire racks to cool completely.

For the icing: In a saucepan over low heat, cook butter and brown sugar until butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in evaporated milk; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread between layers and over top of cake.

Makes 1 - 9 inch round, 2 layer cake, serves 12.

St. Patrick’s Day Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa (plus a bit more for dusting tops of finished cupcakes*)
2    Cups Sugar
2    Cups All-purpose Flour
1    tsp. Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
1    Bottle Stout Beer (recommended: Guinness)
1    Stick Butter (melted)
1    Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
3    Large Eggs
3/4 Cup Sour Cream
1    (8 oz.) pkg. Cream Cheese (softened at room temperature)
3/4 to 1 Cup Heavy Cream
1    lb. Confectioners’ Sugar (1 box)
* Or use St. Patrick’s Day sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda and salt.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Lightly grease or line 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake for another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out of pan.

To make the icing: In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.

Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa or festive sprinkles.
Yields 24 cupcakes.

Vintage Butter Cake

2    Cups Sugar
4    Large Eggs (room temperature)
2    tsp. Vanilla Extract
3    Cups All-purpose Flour
1    tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1    Cup Buttermilk

Butter Sauce:
1       Cup Sugar
1/2    Cup Butter (cubed)
1/4    Cup Water
1 1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
Pour into a greased and floured 10 inch tube pan. 

Bake at 350 degrees F. until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 70 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and center tube of pan. Invert cake onto a wire rack over waxed paper.

For the sauce: Combine the sugar, butter and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat; stir in the extracts.
Poke holes in the top of the warm cake; spoon 1/4 cup of sauce over the cake. Let stand until the sauce is absorbed. Repeat twice. Poke holes into sides of cake; brush remaining sauce over the sides. Cool Completely.

Yields 1 cake, 16 servings.

Stove-Top Meatloaves for Two

3    Tbsp. 2% Milk
2    Tbsp. Quick-cooking Oats
1    Tbsp. Onion (chopped)
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/2 lb. Lean Ground Beef
1/2 tsp. Cornstarch
1/2 Cup Italian Tomato Sauce
1/4 Cup Cold Water

In a small bowl, combine the milk, oats, onion and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 2 loaves.

In a nonstick skillet, brown the loaves on all sides; drain. Combine the cornstarch, tomato sauce and water until smooth. Pour over the meatloaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until meat is no longer pink, 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 2.

Raspberry Swirl Rolls

1/2    Cup Whole Milk
1/2    Cup Water
1 1/4 oz. pkg. Active Dry Yeast
2       Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
3       Cups All-purpose Flour
4       Tbsp. Unsalted Butter (melted)
1       tsp. Salt
Oil (for the pan)
1/3    Cup Raspberry Jam
2       tsp. Lemon Zest
2       Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice (divided)
2       Cups Frozen Raspberries (do not thaw)
2       Tbsp. Heavy Cream (for brushing)
1/2    Cup Sour Cream
1/4    Cup Confectioners’ Sugar (sifted)
1/2    tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and 1/2 cup water on medium-low heat until warm but not hot to the touch.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together yeast, granulated sugar and 1 cup flour. Stir in the warm milk. Cover and set aside until thick and foamy, about 15 minutes.

Mix in melted butter and salt. Gradually mix in remaining 2 cups flour. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, lightly coat an 11 inch by 8 inch casserole dish with oil. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving 3 inch overhang on 2 long sides; oil the parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the jam, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Turn dough out onto floured surface. Roll into a 12 inch by 9 inch rectangle. Spread with the jam mixture and top with frozen raspberries. Starting from long side, roll dough into a tight log, pinching seam to seal.

Slide a long piece of unflavored dental floss under the log of dough about 1 inch from the end. Holding the floss taut, lift ends and cross to cut off a 1 inch piece of dough. Repeat to cut 12 1 inch thick rolls. Transfer rolls, cut sides up, to prepared pan, spacing equally. Cover and let rise until rolls have doubled in size and are touching, 50 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the rolls with heavy cream and bake until puffed and light golden brown, 25 to 27 minutes. Let cool on wire rack 10 minutes.

Make frosting: In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and remaining lemon juice. Spread over warm rolls. Makes 12 rolls.

Caribbean Confetti Rice

2       Cups Long Grain Rice
14     oz. Unsweetened Coconut Milk
14     oz. Water (to cook rice)
2       Cloves Garlic (minced)
1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2    tsp. Allspice
1/4    tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1       Tbsp. Butter
1 1/2 Cups Bell Pepper, Red and Yellow (diced)
1/2    Cup Red Onion (diced)
1       (15 oz.) Can Pineapple Tidbits (drained, reserve juice)
1       Can (4.5 oz.) Old El Paso Chopped Green Chiles
1/4    Cup Old El Paso Sliced Jalapenos (diced)
1/4    Cup Cilantro (chopped)

Add the rice, coconut milk, garlic, salt, allspice, cayenne and reserved pineapple juice to a medium sauce pan. Use the coconut milk can to add 14 ounces of water to the rice. Stir well. Set over medium heat and cover. Bring to a boil, then stir and lower heat.
Cover and allow the rice to cook until the liquid is absorbed and air holes form on the surface of the rice, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, add the butter to a large, deep skillet and set over medium heat. Add the diced bell pepper and onions. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, to just barely soften them. Remove from heat and add the pineapple tidbits, Old El Paso green chiles and sliced jalapenos to the skillet.

Once the rice is tender and fluffy, dump it into the skillet and toss well to combine. Toss in the fresh, chopped cilantro. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm as a side dish or serve topped with shrimp or chicken. Serves 8.

Sheet-Pan Sesame Beef & Broccoli

1/4   Cup Annie’s Asian Sesame Dressing* (from 8 oz. bottle)
1      Tbsp. Soy Sauce (3 tsp. divided)
4      Cups Fresh Broccoli Florets (about 1/2 lb.)
1      Tbsp. Brown Sugar (packed)
1/2    tsp. Salt
1 1/4 lbs. Boneless Beef Sirloin Steak (cut into 2 inch pieces)
2       tsp. Sesame Seeds
Cooked White Rice (for serving, if desired)
Green Onions (sliced on the bias, if desired for garnish)

*Note: The recipe calls for Annie’s brand Asian Sesame Dressing but there are many popular, well known brands available in grocery stores including Kraft, Wish-Bone, Newman’s Own and Ken’s Steak House.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a 15x10x1 inch rimmed sheet pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix the dressing and 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce; add the broccoli and toss to coat. Pour the broccoli mixture onto the sheet pan and spread out in a single layer. In the same bowl, mix the brown sugar, salt and remaining 2 teaspoons soy sauce. Add the beef; turn to coat. Add the beef to the sheet pan with the broccoli. Roast 10 to 14 minutes or until the beef is cooked to desired doneness (145 degrees for medium-rare) and broccoli is fork tender. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice if desired and garnish with green onion, if desired. Serves 4.

Perfect Jasmine Rice

2 3/4 Cups Water (plus more if necessary)
1 1/2 Cups Jasmine Rice
3/4    tsp. Salt

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the rice and salt; cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Taste the rice to test for doneness; it should be perfectly cooked, but if it is still too firm, add a few more tablespoons of water, cover the pan and let the rice absorb the water off of the heat for a few more minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

Southern-Style Cabbage Casserole

Non-stick Cooking Spray
5    Tbsp. Butter (divided)
10  Cups Cabbage (cut into bite size pieces)
1    Cup Celery (chopped)
1    Cup Yellow Onion (chopped)
2    tsp. Garlic (minced)
2    Tbsp. All-purpose Flour
12  oz. Evaporated Coconut Milk (or evaporated
      milk can be used)
1    Cup Parmesan Cheese (shredded, divided)
1/8 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1    tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/3 Cup Seasoned Panko Bread Crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 11 x 7 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Into a large, deep skillet, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter is melted, add the cabbage, celery and onion. Cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, until the cabbage is crisp-tender. Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional 1 minute. Transfer the cabbage mixture to the prepared baking dish.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour. Gradually pour in the evaporated milk, whisking constantly until smooth and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat then whisk in the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the cabbage mixture.

Using a microwave, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the bread crumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese. Stir until combined then sprinkle over top of the cabbage mixture. Bake 25 minutes, until the casserole is bubbly and the bread crumbs are lightly golden. Serve hot. Serves 8.

Cheesy Ham & Potato Casserole

3       Tbsp. Butter
3 1/2 Tbsp. Flour
1       Small Onion
3/4    Cup Milk
1       Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
Salt to Taste
1/2    tsp. Pepper
1       Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese

3   lbs. Potatoes (peeled and diced)
2   Cups Ham (diced)
2   Cups Frozen Peas (thawed)
1   Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Over medium heat, melt butter in a saucepan. Add the onion, stir and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook an additional 2 minutes while stirring.

Pour in the chicken broth and milk all at once. Whisk over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup cheese.

Place half of the potatoes in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle with ham and peas. Top with the remaining potatoes. Pour the sauce over the top.

Cover with foil and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Remove foil carefully, because it will release steam and be very hot, top with remaining 1 cup cheese and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft and the cheese is lightly browned. Serves 8.

Bacon Cauliflower Chowder

4   Slices Bacon (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1   Medium Yellow Onion (chopped)
2   Medium Carrots (peeled and chopped)
2   Ribs Celery (chopped)
Salt and Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
2   Cloves Garlic (minced)
2   Tbsp. Flour
2   Sprigs Thyme (stripped and chopped)
1   Head Cauliflower (cut into small florets)
1   qt. Vegetable Broth
1   Cup Whole Milk

In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat.
To the fat in the pot add onion, carrots and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook 2 minutes more. Add the thyme and cauliflower.

Pour in the broth and milk and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer until the cauliflower is fork tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the cooked bacon before serving. Serves 6 to 8. Note: A bit of cheese on top goes well with this.

Chicken & Rice Soup

3/4  lb. Skinless, Boneless Chicken Thighs
1/3  Cup Jasmine Rice (rinsed)
4     Cloves Garlic (thinly sliced)
1     2 inch Piece Ginger (peeled, thinly sliced)
5     Cups Water
2     Small Sweet Potatoes (unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds)
2     Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
2     Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1/2  Bunch Cilantro (coarsely chopped)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

Bring the chicken, rice, garlic, ginger and 5 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add a big pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rice has swelled and chicken is firm, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add sweet potatoes to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, still uncovered and stirring occasionally, until soup is thickened and potatoes and rice are tender, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a bowl and shred with 2 forks, then return chicken to pot. Stir in the lemon juice and soy sauce; taste soup and season with salt if needed. Divide soup among bowls. Top with cilantro and lots of black pepper. Makes 2 to 4 servings.