Let’s Cook!

Alright, so the economy isn’t exactly where it ought to be. The weather is too hot or too cold; or perhaps your love life is filled more with obligations than the romantic interludes and fireworks you’d hoped for. You worry that the few extra inches around your waist may have inexplicably multiplied over the years.

There is no need to be downhearted. It is unnecessary to allow all of the anxieties of life’s hardships to take their ugly toll. Cook instead!

Sprinkle, spice and caramelize to your heart’s content. If you are angry at the local cleaners for overcharging and under stain-removing, whip up some meringue. If you are burnt out and never appreciated at work, sauté shitake mushrooms with garlic and butter like a maniac over an open flame. If your dog chewed on your new leather heels, combine a few fresh blackberries with brandy and ice, set the blender on frappe and hit the button.

Cooking is a sure fire way to raise the spirits and instantly lift any black cloud threatening to blow your way and burst. Bring back the “joie de vivre” to your life by embracing the culinary arts with relish. Life is too short not to indulge in all of the comforts cooking can bring and eating the fruits of your labor is definitely a bonus not to be overlooked. So Let’s Cook!

“I’m Mad At My Mother but I’m Going to Really Enjoy This” Lip Smacking Chicken Casserole

  • 16 ounces frozen cut broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked chicken cut up into chunks with Kyocera Chef’s Knife
  • 2 cans (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3/4 cup milk cheddar cheese shredded with Kyocera Grater
  • 3/4 cup soft fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Combine chicken and broccoli in greased baking dish. In a separate bowl combine soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder. Pour over the chicken and broccoli. In another bowl, combine cheese, bread crumbs, and melted butter. Sprinkle mixture over top of casserole. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

“I Don’t Care How Much I Weigh it’s Too Good to Pass Up” Chocolate Soufflé with Sweet Dark Cherries

  • 1/3 cup sugar plus additional for sprinkling
  • 5 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped with Kyocera Knife
  • 3 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites
  • lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • 6 oz. bing or sweet dark cherries
  • ceramic soufflé dish

Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter soufflé dish and sprinkle with sugar. Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from heat and stir in yolks. Beat whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they begin to hold soft peaks.  Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar while beating at medium speed and then high speed until whites hold stiff peaks. Stir 1 cup whites into chocolate mixture before folding mixture to remaining whites. Spoon into soufflé dish. Bake for 25 min. on middle rack of oven until puffed and crusted on top but still slightly jiggles in the center. Top with sweetened dark cherries. Serve immediately.

“Here’s to More Possibilities in Life” Amaretto, Peaches and Cream Cocktail for Optimists

  • 3 fresh peaches peeled with Kyocera peeler
  • 11/2 cups Amaretto
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 cups crushed ice

Combine peeled peaches, Amaretto, cream and ice and blend into a refreshing cocktail. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

“I’m Over Forty and Still Single” Ragout

In a large pan brown beef with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Place meat in a large pot. Add wine to the heated pan and using a wooden spoon to deglaze. Pour half into the pot over the meat. In pan add butter, onions, carrots and celery to wine. Sauté until softened. Add to the pot. Fry tomatoes with1/2 cup of olive oil for 4-5 minutes. Drain and add to the pot. Tie the star anise and approximately 1 tsp of peppercorns in cheesecloth and add to pot. Add milk and enough water to the pot to cover ingredients. Simmer for approximately 6 hours stirring occasionally. Remove beef from the pot and shred the meat from the bones, roughly chop and return to the pot Remove the pot from the heat and add the parsley and tarragon and allow to infuse for 20 minutes. Salt to taste.

“Things Are Bound to Get Better” Lemon Bundt

  • 1 package lemon cake mix
  • 1  package instant lemon pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
  • 1 lemon cut into decorative slices with Kyocera Paring Knife
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix and oil. Beat in eggs. Stir in lemon-lime soda. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool. Dust with powdered sugar and decorate with lemon slices.

Which recipes are you gonna try? Take some photos and post them to our wall on Facebook — let us see those smiles!

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