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Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Food Obsession

Well Dear Readers I must share with you my ultimate food passion...none other than Chocolate! Ah that sinful,creamy,dreamy goodness...what could be better? I realized long ago that chocolate & I were destined to be together forever...Godiva, Perugina, Ghirardelli, Lindt...just the smell is enough to drive me crazy! I must say I think I have more recipes involving my favorite ingredient than I do for anything else. From time to time, I will be sharing some of my most treasured yummy recipes for this luscious treat with you and I hope you get as much pleasure from them as I do. I am going to begin our chocolate journey with my all time favorite chocolate dessert...the souffle. Readers, I beg you please don't be intimidated by that word! People have this notion that souffles are so daunting to make when in fact they are so easy. They just need a little patience & trust me this is one thing that will reward you from the first bite! Light & airy, this beautiful souffle makes you feel like you're eating a chocolate cloud :) I can go on and on about my sweet obsession but I'll save it for another post. This recipe has never, until now been given to anyone! I hope you will all try it with the ones you love and please let me know what you think!


Chocolate Souffle:

Ingredients:

1/3 c sugar plus more for sprinkling
5 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 lg. Egg yolks at room temperature
6 lg. Egg whites at room temperature

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 375. Generously butter a 1 1/2qt(5 1/2-6 cups) souffle dish and sprinkle with sugar knocking out the excess.
2) Melt chocolate in a double boiler* stirring until smooth.
3) Remove chocolate from heat & stir in egg yolks. Mixture will stiffen.
4) Beat egg whites in a clean, cold metal bowl with a pinch of salt at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add 1/3c sugar a little at a time continuing to beat at high speed until stiff peaks form.
5) Stir 1 cup of beaten whites into chocolate to lighten mixture.
6) Add mixture to remaining whites folding gently but thoroughly.
7) Spoon into prepared souffle dish and run your thumb around the inside edge of dish touching the batter.
8) Bake in the center of oven until puffed and crusted on top but still slightly jiggly in center. Between 24-26 minutes.

*You can use a metal bowl set over simmering water as a double boiler being sure bowl does not touch water*

Serve warm with whipped cream & Enjoy!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

SUMMER BBQ

Hello Readers!
    Well the time is upon us for my annual Summer BBQ! This year, it happens to coincide with my father's 60th birthday. The menu this year is pretty awesome-marinated flank steak,teriyaki chicken & pineapple kebabs,sausage & peppers & lots of other yummy goodies! One of the things I'm looking forward to the most is my Aunt Cheryl's Buffalo Chicken dip-it is INCREDIBLE!! Creamy & spicy but not overwhelming. It really is one of the best additions to any party(or anytime you feel like making it!) It takes no time to make so I've decided to share the recipe with you all. Let me know what you think :)


AUNT CHERYL'S BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese softened
2 cans 9.75 oz or larger chunk chicken, drained. (I usually use the large cans from Costco and they are about 12 oz.)
1/2 c ranch dressing (can use blue cheese too) I always use ranch.
1/2 c crumbled blue cheese  (small container from deli is about 6 oz)
1/2 c hot sauce

I also add any shredded cheese I have in the refrigerator; ie: cheddar, mozzarella an add to mixture.  Also can put cheese on top.  This recipe is fool proof, no matter what you add, it taste great.  

Combine all ingredients & Bake at 350 until hot & bubbling. About 20 minutes

Monday, August 19, 2013

Carb Junkie!

Readers, I'm sure many of you can agree that a great pasta is one of the best things you can eat! I am a bona-fide pasta & potatoe junkie! I can eat them every day(I don't but I could!)! I had such a craving today for marinara sauce so I whipped up my quick & easy sauce which was absolutely wonderful over spaghetti :) This sauce is truly versatile too which is a plus...it can be transformed into 2 other sauces! Vodka sauce is one of my all time faves & most people don't realize how easy it is to make! Jarred sauces, even tho convenient, are so expensive! This sauce will definitely save you some money at the supermarket which is always great. My Grandmother & Mother were the greatest cooks I've known & I can still taste their Sunday gravies but I have never had any luck with trying to replicate them(always the case-never comes out like Mom's!). I came up with this recipe that will satisfy anyone's pasta craving-Italian or not :)
If there is ever a recipe you'd like me to feature here please drop me a note. If you try any of my recipes I'd love to hear your thoughts! Buon Appetito!
Quick & Easy Pasta Sauce: (For 1lb pasta)
Ingredients:
1 can crushed tomatoes(I use Cento)
4 cloves garlic,minced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Butter
1/4c chicken stock
Directions:
1) Heat 12" skillet over medium heat. Add oil & butter.
2) When oil is hot, add onion & garlic. Saute until soft but not brown stirring often. Be careful not to burn the garlic! Season with salt & pepper.
3) Add tomatoes. Raise heat & bring to bubble. Add chicken stock to get to your desired thickness. (Most of the time I don't even add it since I like a thick sauce). Season with salt & pepper.
4) Reduce heat to low & simmer as long as it takes to cook your pasta.
5) Add some chopped fresh basil & serve.

Variations:

Amatriciana Sauce: 
1)Before sauteing onion & garlic, saute 3oz. diced pancetta in 1Tbsp oil until brown but not crisp. Drain on paper towel & reserve the oil. Continue with recipe as directed. In step 3,return the pancetta to the sauce. Serve with your favorite pasta.

Vodka Sauce
1)Make Amatriciana sauce adding 1/2 c. Vodka after sauteing onion & garlic. When adding the tomatoes, increase chicken stock to 1/2 cup. Simmer sauce for 20 minutes. When ready to serve, add 1/2c heavy cream & bring to bubble for 1 minute. Then add basil & toss with pasta

Friday, August 16, 2013

COMFY :)

Good Evening to you all! I was just sitting here reading a magazine (of course it was a cooking mag) and it got me thinking of comfort food. You know all those yummy feel good foods like the classic fried chicken and macaroni & cheese. Those happen to be 2 of my favorite foods in the universe! They would be my last meal on Earth if I had a choice. I got a serious craving for mac & cheese the other day so I had to make it-wouldn't you know for the first time I had none left! No yummy leftovers for lunch the next day :( I decided to share my favorite comfort food recipe with all of you today...this is a first since I have never given this recipe out before. I hope you will all let me know what you think. What are your favorite comfort foods? I'd love to know all about them...share your recipes too!

Regina's Favorite Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:
1 1/4c. shredded cheddar
1 1/4c. shredded mozzarella
1c. whole milk
1 1/2c. heavy cream
2Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
3oz. pancetta,diced
1lb. cavatappi pasta

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350
2) Saute pancetta until browned but not crisp. Remove from pan & drain on paper towel.
3)In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt butter & sprinkle flour over.
Cook flour 1-2 minutes.
4) Add milk & cream until thickened. it will coat the back of a wooden spoon (you should be able to make a line with your finger thru it).
5) Off the heat add 1 cup of each cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt & pepper to your taste. Return pancetta to cheese sauce.
6) Cook pasta 6 minutes & drain well. Combine pasta with cheese sauce.
7) Spray a 1 1/2qt casserole dish with cooking spray. Place mixture evenly in prepared dish and bake covered for 25 minutes.
8) Remove foil & add the remaining cheeses over top & bake uncovered until cheese is melted & lightly browned.

ENJOY!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

IT'S BURGER TIME!

Hope you're all having a great day! I just got home from work...yummy simple burgers & grilled potatoes for dinner! 
I dont think there is anything better than a perfect burger (except maybe chocolate!). I love getting fantastic tips from people on how they make theirs. I keep mine nice & simple...a little salt, pepper, garlic powder & onion powder. The spice company McCormick has also made burger seasonings which are great as well. Once in a while I also throw in McCormick's Montreal steak seasoning which I adore. Some people think I'm a little crazy with my burger because I put mayo on mine! Yes, you read right, mayo! It gives it a great richness & cuts the acidity of the ketchup. Ketchup, mayo, pickles, onion, bacon & cheese make up my favorite " heart attack on a bun" :) I know it seems like a lot but for the amount of times I treat myself to a burger its all good. 
What are your favorite tips for the perfect burger? I'd love to know!

My Perfect Burger
Ingredients:
1 1/2lbs ground chuck (I like 85/20)
2T garlic powder
2T onion powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Lightly oil your grill & heat to medium
Combine the meat & seasonings in a bowl. Mix lightly but thoroughly creating an indentation in the center(this will help the burger cook evenly).
Place patties on the grill & cook over direct heat about 5-7 minutes per side for medium (less for rare-med.rare).
Test for doneness you like.
I do like to let mine rest for 5 minutes under foil to insure my burger stays juicy.

Let me know what you think! I leave you with the words of Wolfgang Puck..."Live, Love and Eat!"

Monday, August 12, 2013

INTRO

Hello and welcome to At Home with the Groovy Girl! I am Regina Dineen, a self- professed domestic & a serious food & wine junkie! I am very passionate about cooking, baking, and just being creative. I have a business making jewelry and other things but cooking is definitely my first love. Here on my blog you will find tips, recipes and all sorts of goodies. I will also be happy to answer questions if you have any. I hope you will follow me and make yourself at home with the Groovy Girl!