About Heavenly Dishes:

I came from humble kitchen beginnings.  When it came to food, my household ate on a budget.  For eight years we were vegans back in the 80's, so we ate a lot of uncommon foods for the time.  My mom had my brother when I turned 12 and spent a lot of time working so became a major meal preparer for the household. 

I, as well as my family slowly emerged from being vegans to eating pretty much anything we can get our hands on.  But with that interesting background, I love to cook.  I even dabbled in a bit of personal catering for a few of my own events I used to throw in New York City.  No one knew the difference.  At some point, with some encouragement from friends, I was even contemplating starting my own catering company.

This blog features wonderful recipes from all over the world as well as a few of my own.  I hope you will enjoy.

Frozen Foods That Make Great Quick Party Appetizers

I’ll be giving away all of my tricks here, but what the heck!  You’ll keep them a secret right?  These are a few easy party foods you can steal from the frozen food section at your local grocery store.  The key is to put your efforts into enhancing their flavors and displaying them for your guests to drool over.

Alexia Crispy Beer Battered Aged White Cheddar Bites

Alexia Mozzarella Stix - Italian Herbs & Olive Oil

Alexia Mushroom Bites

Alexia Potato Bites With Three Cheeses

Amy's Nacho - Organic Cheese & Bean

Amy's Pizza Snacks Organic Cheese

Bagel Bites Mini Bagels - Three Cheese

Banquet Crispy Chicken Strips

Banquet Zesty Marinara Sauce Meatballs

Cohen's Cocktail Franks

Eddy's Dibs Vanilla Crunch

Farm Rich Mozzarella Bites

Golden Filled Crepes - Cheese Blintzes

Health Wealth Veggie Munchies

La Choy Mini Chicken Egg Rolls

Morningstar Farms Broccoli Cheddar Veggie Bites

Nancy’s Deli Spirals Appetizers

Nancy's Petite Quiche Lorraine & Florentine Appetizers

Pillsbury Savorings Cheese & Spinach Pastry Bites

Respect Natural Meatless Italian Herb Veggie Meatballs

T.G.I. Friday's Potato Skins - Cheddar & Bacon

Tai Pei Chicken Wonton Bites

Veggie Patch Falafel Chickpea Balls

Inside Out Cream Cheese Apple Cupcakes

This recipe makes 30 cupcakes.    It’s a lot of steps for this delicious cupcake, but in the end, you’ll be happy to enjoy these special heavenly morsels.

First I begin the apple filling.

Mix into a bowl
2 granny smith apples peeled and chopped into bite size.
½ cup of brown sugar
½ cup of white sugar
1 ½ tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix until all the apples are covered with all of the ingredients in the bowl.  Let your apple filling mixture relax (macerate) for a good 10 to 20 minutes.  Then place the mixture in a small saucepan on medium high heat.  Let the mixture come to a simmer.  This should take about 4 minutes.

¼ cup of milk.

Stir in completely and then turn off the heat.  Let your mixture cool down.  While that is happening, begin working on your cheesecake filling.

You will need:
1 cup of white chocolate nebs chopped out of their shape.  You want pieces that can blend into your next mixture.

Add them into a bowl of:
8 oz of cream cheese (softened)
1 egg (room temperature)
½ cup of white frosting
1 tablespoon of vanilla

Mix until your cheese mixture is smooth.

Next it’s time for the cupcake batter.

Mix together:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of apple juice
3 tablespoons of oil (canola)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Juice from ½ of a lemon
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Once that’s all incorporated add:
1 box of white cake mix

Now line your cupcake baking pan with paper cupcake holders.  Pour your cupcake batter ½ full.   Spoon in 2 tablespoons of apple filling with its juices.  Spoon in 1 heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture on top.  Spread the top of the cheese mixture out so it covers the entire top of the cupcakes.  Don’t over pack these.  Your cupcakes should be a few centimeters shorter than the rim of your baking pan.  These rise quite a bit in the oven.

Preheat your oven at 350 degrees.  Then let your cupcakes bake for 20 minutes. It usually bakes exactly for 20 minutes, but do keep an eye on it in case your oven bakes faster than mine.  Let them cool for 20 minutes before eating.

Quorn Meatless & Soy Free Chik'n Nuggets

I love this product.  With all of the concerns about soy, this faux chicken treat is the answer to mega-naughty Chicken Mcnuggets with 45 percent less fat than real chicken.  Yeay!

When you open the package, there is about 20 nuggets or more in a pack. You'll want to sprinkle a little salt and pepper for flavor.  They are a little bland, but when you add a sprinkle of your own spices (cajun or bbq works well too) it's very tasty.  You can use the microwave, skillet, or oven to warm them.  The texture is almost exactly like real chicken nuggets without excess grease.  You'll likely only get steam as you can see some on the plate in the picture below.

I love eating this on a corn or rice chip.  You could top it with some sour cream or guacamole topped with green onions (scallions) for a delicious appetizer at your next gathering.  It will be a wonderful healthy snack for your guests.

Recipe Research: The Perfect Crab Cakes

 I am currently in search for the perfect crab cake recipe.  If you have any good leads please leave a message in the comment area.

Shrimp Fritters

Growing up in New York City, this dish is one of my custom creations. It began one day when I was hungry for an omelet and a sandwich. I couldn't have both and I couldn't make up my mind, so I merged the two into an interesting type of egg hash. As I got older the recipe matured into these happy little morsels of heaven.

Mix together in a bowl:
1 cup of chopped chunks of shrimp (lightly cooked, peeled, and deveined)
2 extra large eggs
1 cup of seasoned stuffing mix
1 cup of sautĂ©ed mixed vegetables in a pinch of salt and pepper (It can be any kind of vegetables. In this video I use onions, celery, and carrots.)
1 cup of diced cheddar and mozzarella cheese
¼ cup of finely chopped raw spinach

Allow your mixture to sit for 20 minutes so that the breadcrumbs can absorb the moisture from the mixture. Get a frying pan hot with oil. I use extra virgin olive oil. I like to season the pan with a teaspoon of salt or any kind of seasoning salt mixture. I like to keep the mixture fresh by stirring it just before spooning a dollop on to my hot pan. I usually use two spoonfuls of the mixture. Wait until the edges get firm and brown, then you will know that it is time to flip your croquettes. Once they are done, place them on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.

Have fun making this heavenly dish!

Recipe Research: Granola Cookies, Nuggets, or Bars

I am currently looking to come up with a unique recipe for Granola cookies, nuggets, or bars. I found these inspirational recipes during my research.

Granola Cookies

Tropical Granola Bars

Carrot Cake Granola Bars

Butter seems to be a constant ingredient in most granola bar recipes. I wonder if my recipe would be any good trying my hardest to use a healthier alternative. Butter lends such a rounded rich flavor to everything though. I will have to make a few trial batches to see if I want to go so ultra-healthy.

But here is another interesting video I found for a homemade protein bar.

And yet another excellent video for a protein bar, which will probably be the model for my final recipe.

Check back here to see if I finally finished creating my heavenly dish!

My Love Of Tofu

I love cooking with tofu quite often.  It is sometimes referred to as "bean curd" (as in the soy bean curd).  It's funny that when ever I say, "bean curd" around Americans, they are often confused at what I am saying.  Then I correct myself and say, "tofu". 

There are two brands I always try to get, "House Foods Organic Extra Firm Tofu" or "Melissa's Extra Firm Tofu".  In a pinch I might pick up the "Firm" if my grocery store is out of the "Extra Firm".  I love the texture and consistency of the "Extra Firm".   All of the others are too mushy for my taste.

The only time I like a softer tofu is when I have Agedashi Tofu.  It is a tofu square that is dipped in cornstarch and then deep fried.  After that it is immersed in a bowl of savory broth and bonito flakes, scallions, or seaweed shavings are sprinkled on top.  Yum.

Although in the United States tofu is commonly used by people seeking a meat (protein) alternative, I like cooking tofu with meat as well as without.  It just adds another dimension to what ever you are cooking.

If you freeze tofu, you can alter texture.  As the tofu freezes, the water content firms up into shards of ice.  The separation between the curd and the water is now permanent.  Once you thaw frozen tofu you will discover that the tofu appears more porous and the texture has firmed up.

Westsoy is also another brand that I enjoy.