An easy way to cook in the oven using parchment paper: bake dinner, enfold fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits or any combination, in a square of parchment paper.  The food cooks in its own juices, creating an aromatic means with almost zero cleanup.  Simply open packet with a knife to release steam.

Or, place a layer of parchment paper on baking sheets for pizza or cookies…    Using parchment paper rather than cooking spray allows for easier cooking.  Simply lay a new sheet on when you do your next batch.

Cuban sandwiches: thinly sliced pork, ham, dill pickles and Swiss cheese – try it on any bread option that you can eat and heat them up like a grilled chess sandwich.

Cannoli stuffing: 1 container mascarpone cheese at room temperature, 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, 2 tbsp white rum –  in bowl combine cheese, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, confectioners sugar and rum.  Spoon mixture into a bag insert into shells or if you are allergic to wheat you can spoon into bowls.  With remaining chocolate you can microwave for 30 secs and drizzle over your choice.

Cauliflower: I used two heads of cauliflower and sour cream instead of heavy cream to make a version of mashed cauliflower.  Cut and trim the cauliflower into one inch pieces and bring to a boil.  The recipe calls for two cups of heavy cream but I used the sour cream in a manner of which I like my style of mashed potatoes to speak, thick or thin. So add a little at a time until you get the consistence that you want.  Season with parsley, garlic, thyme and butter or whatever you like.  But it all in a food processor and blend.

Twists on hamburger

Sliders: form into 2 oz patties; serve on small rolls.

Cobb burgers: layer bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado and blue cheese.

Hawaiian burger: add grilled pineapple and sliced ham.

Pizza burger: top with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella.

Steakhouse burger: add grilled onions, steak sauce (gfree) and mushrooms.

Chilli burger: spoon on chilli, sour cream, cheddar and scallions.

Bean Burritos

Spread some canned refried beans over flour tortillas then top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese, rise and salsa.  Roll up; wrap individually in foil and pop into a preheated OVEN at 350 degree oven to warm.  Serve with extra salsa and sour cream

Salmon Burgers

In food processor pulse 1 lb skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1 inch cubes, until coarsely ground; transfer to bowl.  Mix in 1 tbsp each Dijon mustard, lime zest, minced fresh ginger and chopped fresh cilantro; 1/2 tsp coriander.  Form mixture into 4 patties; season with salt.  Grill patties 4 mins per side turning once.  Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro.

Milk Alternatives:

Almond milk: resulted in quick bread rise but the flavor overwhelmed the pudding

Rice milk: pudding was thin and sweeter than that made with dairy, to watery for bread.

Coconut milk: imparted little flavor to either recipe, like rice milk it produces thin pudding and gummy bread.

Powdered milk: to make a whipped topping simply take 1 cup of each, powdered milk and 1 cup of powdered sugar and ice water.  Blend with an electric mixer until thick and then eat.  Refrigerate for up to seven days.

White Chocolate Coconut Mousse

1 oz bittersweet chocolate melted

1 ½ cup low-fat milk

1 pkg (1oz) instance white chocolate pudding mix

¼ tsp coconut extract

2 cups thawed frozen whipped topping

Toasted coconut and chocolate dipped almond slices
optional as garnish.

Transfer melted chocolate to small plastic food storage bag; snip small hole in one corner.  Decorate pipe chocolate onto insides of 4 (6oz) glass serving dishes.  Refrigerate until chocolate has set, about  5 mins.  Meanwhile in large bowl, whisk together milk, dry pudding mix and extract until thick and smooth, 1-2 mins.  Fold in whipped topping; divide among prepared dishes.  Refrigerate until well chilled about 1 hour.

Tidbits:

Eat coconut – boost mood because it reminds one the beach.  Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid, which strengthens the immune system and kills bacteria and viruses in the
digestive tract.    It actually prevents age or liver spots on the skin.  The spots are caused when free radicals damage skin lipids but the fatty acids in coconut oil halt the
destruction.  Get the benefit by eating it or applying it to the skin.

Eat raspberries – The anthocyanins  that give the berries their deep red color also strengthens collagen fibers and protect skin tissue.

Eat bananas – okay here is something strange that I found – you can take the skin from a banana and rub it against your teeth for a minute each day either before or after brushing: calcium and vitamin D are absorbed into the tooth enamel.

Lavender – try putting lavender dried flowers to baked goods and even iced cream.

Peaches – according to researches you can really  get a “peaches and cream” complexion just by eating them.  They are packed with specific phytochemicals that protect skin cells and counteract damage from UV rays and aging, leading to more elastic, smoother and younger skin.

Eat cumin – this spice has more than 100 chemicals that help ease digestion and prevent gas and bloating.  It even helps stimulate the enzymes that break down food more efficiently so you get more nutrients, and fats and toxins are swept out before they can be stored in the body.

Eat apples – boost your breathing they protect your lungs from irritants and allergens that just five a week has shown to improve breathing.   Credit goes to quercetin a flavonoid in the peel that makes cells resistant to allergens.

Eat honey – 2 tsp of honey daily for six weeks.  Because it contains tiny flecks of  plant pollens, eating it helps desensitize your immune system, just like an allergy shot.  For the best benefit, consume local honey, which give your protection against allergens and  pollen in your area.

Eat pineapple – bromelain, an enzyme that relieves sinus problems like congestion and irritation up to 85% of allergy sufferers.

Eat turmeric – this spice has lipotropic properties, which rev metabolism and help the liver flush out toxins.   Sprinkle it on chicken or steak for a spicy curry taste. It also boosts your brainpower, curcumin helps prevent the buildup of plaque.

Alternative ways to do chicken and turkey

Go Cajun style: combine dry Cajun seasonings, chopped fresh cilantro, and a little brown sugar.  Brush turkey with melted butter and sprinkle with mixture then roast.

BBQ – thin bottled barbecue sauce with a little whiskey.  Stir in chilli powder to taste.  Brush over turkey during last 20 mins of roasting time.

Port Wine Glaze – in pot, stir in port, apple juice and chopped sage into a couple tablespoons of melted butter.  Boil until thickened.  Brush over turkey during last 20 mins of roasting time.

Italian – combine chopped parsley, minced garlic, grated lemon zest, salt, and olive oil.  Spread over turkey and roast.

Sweet and savory – ground cinnamon, ground ginger, garlic powder, and salt.  Sprinkle over turkey and roast.

Ricotta Cheese – there was some leftover and I was trying to make fritter which royally flopped.  The recipe video called for ricotta and chocolate chips, I added some vanilla extract to it and a dash of sugar.  Since I had the mixture  in a microwave bowl I nuked it for about two mins taking it out an stirring it at one min.  I then put them in bowls with lids and put them in the refrigerator, it turned out great!  A light tasting chocolate dessert.

Grilling

For steaks, pork chops and chicken, poke the meat with your finger: If it feels soft and squishy, it’s rare; yielding, medium-rare; only slightly yielding, medium; firm and springy, well-done. For large cuts of meat, use an instant-read meat thermometer (even barbecue pros use them). Just don’t let it touch any bones, or you’ll get a false reading.  If you need to remember which meat gets done how, check out grillcharms.com.

For temperatures, using a meat thermometer; (no bone touching)

Rare, that would be 120 F

Medium Rare, that would be 130 F

Medium, 140 F

Medium-Well, 150 F

Well Done, 160 F

Vegetables and Fruits that can be grilled: pineapple, peaches, tomatoes, scallions, asparagus, Portobello mushrooms, baby carrots, broccoli, baby leeks, romaine spears, onions of course and corn.

Whiskey Butter

1 cup butter at room temperature

2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 tbs finely diced shallots

4 tsp whiskey or bourbon

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Pinch of Kosher Salt

On medium-low speed, beat butter until fluffy.  Add parsley, shallots, whiskey, mustard and salt: mix until throughly combined.  Spoon mixture into a log shape onto a piece of parchment paper.  Hold paper over itself.  Using your hands shape butter into a cylinder about 1 1/2 inch wide.  Once shaped, twist edges of paper to seal.  Freeze until set, about 20 mins.  Transfer to refrigerator until ready to use.