Tomato Basil Soup

Here is a very easy and tasty tomato soup recipe you can make in 30 minutes. It’s perfect with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Tomato Basil Soup

Serves 4
Ingredients:

1 Can Tomato Puree (14.5 oz/411 g)
1 Can Tomato Sauce (14.5 oz/411 g)
1 Cup Milk
1-1/2 Cans Water (use the tomato can)
1 Strip of Thick Bacon (cut into 1/4″ strips)
1/2 Cup Diced Onion
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil (cut into thin strips)
1 Teaspoon Ground Dried Garlic
2 Teaspoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Salt to taste
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

In a soup pot on high heat, saute bacon in olive oil for a few minutes or until bacon starts to brown; then add diced onion and basil. Saute for another few minutes. Add water, tomato puree, tomato sauce, garlic, black pepper and sugar. Stir soup and bring to a boil for a couple of minutes. Turn heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes — stir occasionally; add milk, salt, and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Banana & Walnut Pancakes W/ Maple Syrup

If you like bananas, you’ll love this recipe. It’s easy, quick and delicious.

Banana & Walnut Pancakes w/ Maple Syrup

Makes 6-8 pancakes
Ingredients:

1 Cup Flour
1 Egg
1 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Mashed Banana (1 medium size. For better flavor, use extra ripe banana)
1/4 Walnuts (finely Chopped)
1 1/4 Cup Milk

Put the first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add milk and mix thoroughly with a whisk but do not over mix. There should be some small lumps of flour.
Heat a griddle or a large frying pan. Make sure to use a pan spray even if your pan is non-stick. Use a 1/4 cup measuring spoon for the pancake batter. This makes more consistent and even size pancakes. Cook on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. If it browns too fast, make sure to turn down the heat or else the pancake will be raw in the middle.
Serve with maple syrup or a syrup of your choice… Enjoy!

Smoked Salmon Omelette w/ Sour Cream and Salsa

This is a very easy and quick omelette.

Smoked Salmon Omelette w/Sour Cream & Salsa

Make 1 Serving

2 Large Eggs
1 Tablespoon Milk
1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Save a tablespoon for decoration)
1/4 Cup Smoked Salmon Pieces (Not Lox)
1 Tablespoon Sour Cream
2 Tablespoon Salsa (For best results, use the fresh made kind in the grocery fridge.)
Smoked Paprika (optional)

Over medium heat, place a teaspoon of olive oil in a small (6-inch) non-stick frying pan. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Gently pour egg mixture into the pan. Swirl the mixture around to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Cook the omelette for a few minutes and then carefully flip it over in one piece. Add shredded cheese, salsa, and smoked salmon on half of the omelette. Carefully, fold the half without the filling over to form a crescent shape. Cook for couple more minutes and remove from pan. Put the omelette on a plate, sprinkle with a tablespoon of the shredded cheddar cheese and put in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until the cheese melts. Add a tablespoon of sour cream and sprinkle with some smoked paprika. Enjoy!

Note: For a spicy omelette, use hot salsa.

CranApple Crumble Pie W/ Warm Apple & Butter Rum Sauce

Here is a perfect pie to make for the holiday dinner. The butter and rum add a luscious quality to the pie. It tastes savory, yet at the same time delicate and not overly sweet. And the aroma of the spices permeates your senses, creating a sense of warmth and comfort for the home.

Cranapple Crumble Pie with Warm Apple & Butter Rum Sauce

Serves 6 to 8

I used a pre-made pie crust. It’s faster and less messy. For the apples, I used Fuji Apples

How to make the pie filling:

Ingredients:

4 Cup Sliced Apples (I like using Fuji Apples for its sweetness)
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)
2 Tablespoon Corn Starch
2 Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon White Pepper
2 Tablespoon Rum
1/4 Cup Butter

1. Peel and slice apples into 1/4 inch thick, then cut the slices to about 1″ pieces.

2. In a large bowl, combine apples slices, dried cranberries, brown sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and white pepper. Gently stir until well mixed. Set aside.

3. Melt butter and rum together in a small pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil for about 30 seconds. Pour hot butter rum mixture into the pie filling mixture and stir gently — until all apple slices are well coated.

4. Pour filling mixture into a prepared pie crust.

5. Sprinkle streusel crumb evenly over the pie.

How to make the streusel crumb:

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Butter (lightly melted: about 20 seconds in the microwave)
1 Cup Unbleached Flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 Cup Rum

In a mixing bowl, combine butter, flour and sugar. Add rum and toss with a wooden spoon to make crumbs. Take a hand full of the crumb mixture and squeeze gently to make larger clump. Break the clump of streusel over the pie filling. Repeat using all the streusel. Do not press the streusel into the filling.

Bake in a 350 degrees oven for about 30 minutes. Check to make sure the streusel crumb isn’t too brown. Cover pie with a piece of foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Take off the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. By now you should see thick hot pie juice bubbles out of the crumb topping. Take out the pie and let cool before taking it out of the spring-form pan.

How to make the Apple & Butter Rum sauce:

Ingredients:

2 Cup Sliced Apples (cut into 1/2″ pieces)
1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Regular Sugar
1/4 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Apple Cider Juice
1/3 Cup Rum

In a large saute pan over medium high heat, melt butter. Add apples and saute for a few minutes. Make sure the heat isn’t too hot or the butter will burn. Pour in apple cider and add sugars, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir apple mixture and when it boils, turn the heat down to medium. Cook apple mixture for 20 minutes and add the rum. Make sure to stir occasionally. Continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes. The apple slices should be soft and almost translucent.

Assemble the dish:

Place a slice of pie on a plate and ladle a couple of tablespoons of the Apple & Butter Rum Sauce around the pie and top with whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!

Very Merry Hot Chocolate

Nothing warms the heart and soul like a good cup of hot chocolate with a towering heap of whipped cream. 😀 This is a very easy and yummy recipe.

Very Merry Hot Chocolate
Make 3 Cups

Ingredients:
1 Cup Powder Milk
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
3 Cups Boiling Hot Water

In a heat resistant bowl — combine powder milk and chocolate chips. Carefully, stir in hot water and whisk until powder milk and chocolate chips are completely dissolved. Pour hot chocolate in a mug and topped with whipped cream. Enjoy!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/Cinnamon Spice

This is a delicious and easy side dish to make.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/Cinnamon Spice

Make 4 Servings
Ingredients:

 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes (about 2 cups)
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
2-Tablespoon Canola Oil

  1. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into approximately 1″ chunks. (Make sure all the pieces are similar in size for even cooking time.)
  2. Toss sweet potatoes, spices and canola oil in a baking dish.
  3. Make sure the sweet potatoes are in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until done. (pre-heat oven to 375 degrees)

Crab Cakes w/Honey & Dill Aioli Sauce

If you ever want to impress someone with your culinary skills, this would be the dish. It’s very easy and takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Crab Cakes w/Honey & Dill Aioli Sauce

Serves 2 to 4 (Make 4 Patties)

Ingredients:

1 Pound Crab Meat (About 1-1/2 pound crab before extraction)
1/4 Cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs
1 Teaspoon Lemon Pepper Salt Mix
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Egg
1/2 Cup+ Butter (for frying)
Romaine Lettuce (for assembling)
1/4 Cup Flying Fish Eggs (for assembling, but it’s optional)

How to Make The Crab Cakes:

  1.  Extract the crabmeat from shell. If you don’t like this part, you can buy pre-shelled crabmeat. Though, it will be more expensive.
  2. In a medium size bowl, combine: crabmeat, breadcrumbs, lemon salt pepper, cayenne pepper, parsley, dill, and egg. Use a wooden spoon and mix thoroughly — until all the ingredients are well combined.
  3. Divide the crab cake mixture into four servings, approx. 1/4 cup. Shape each serving into a round patty.
  4.  Melt butter in a frying pan on medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and starts to bubble, add crab cake patties. Since the crabmeat is already pre-cooked, you only need to fry the patties for a few minutes per side or until golden brown. Make sure the heat doesn’t get too hot or else the butter will burn.
  5. When done, remove crab cake patties from heat and place on a paper towel for a minute to absorb any excess butter.

How to Make The Sauce:

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Dill
1 Teaspoon Finely Chopped Garlic (1 clove)

  1. In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Assemble The Dish:

Place a crab cake patty on top of romaine lettuce. Drizzle a tablespoon honey dill sauce over crab cake and top with flying fish eggs. You can omit the flying fish eggs if you don’t like them.