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09/20/2014:  MasterCook now has a Cookbooks Store where you can get a choice of three cookbooks and two other cookbooks that are nominally priced.  I look forward to seeing more additions to the selection.

Students and Teachers for a limited time can MasterCook for free.  Lucky them.

MasterCook now has their own Blog.  This may be a good starting point to see if MasterCook is the cooking application for you.

09/03/2013:  The following is a recap of news directly from MasterCook about their updates.  I did receive a message from one of my readers who was concerned that they had to pay to use MasterCook and they do not have a trial version or have a minimal version that is free like BigOven.  A trial version or better introduction to the application would be a big plus for MasterCook 14.  BigOven does offer a free version but it is limited in comparison to the annual Pro version which includes many features not available to the standard user.  But, I’m not writing this about BigOven…. only giving a few comparisons.

09/03/2013:  A new update from MasterCook 14 on some of the upgrades and updates to the online application.  Can’t wait to try them out.  Here’s the news.

Improved uploading. When you’re uploading recipes and cookbooks to your web account, you’ll now see a progress indicator. This is helpful when you’re uploading large files. “KCinAZ – this should be helpful to those who have slower uploading services.  I always like to see the progress.”

Quick Start tutorial. Need help finding your way around the program? Not sure how to get started on the web? We’ve created a Quick Start Guide aimed at beginners.   “KCinAZ – This will be very helpful to the beginners.  Who wants to just plunder along without getting anywhere.  Thanks MasterCook.” 

Download multiple recipes directly from the Web Import Toolbar. You can download a batch of recently saved recipes to the MasterCook program right from the toolbar. Great time-saver!  “KCinAZ – I’ll have to definitely check this one out.  I’ve tried the download and it works good but not yet great.  Hopefully this is an improvement!”

To see more about other applications click on COOKING APPLICATION TAB ABOVE or click here.   As of 9/20/2014 MasterCook subscription is now $9.99, a digital download is on sale for $14.99 and includes the one year subscription, while a full boxed package with CD is $24.99 (in US only).  Check their website for current pricing.    If you were already a user of MasterCook the upgrade may less.

06/26/2013:  Here are some of the web features that are available with the web membership (borrowed directly from Master Cook 14):

  • 1-Click Recipe Transfer: One click will import most recipes from your favorite websites to your online account using any browser on your computer. At any  time, you can download your stored recipes right into MasterCook 14!
  • MasterCook.com – YOUR recipes & cookbooks, anywhere: Now you can upload recipes from your MasterCook 14 PC and access your recipes from any web-enabled device  including your iPhone, iPad or Android device. Registered MasterCook 14 users can store up to 5,000 recipes in their personal online cookbooks.
  • Trending Recipes: Discover new recipes by browsing what’s popular among MasterCook.com users.

I was pleased to see some great new additions to the program and couldn’t resist purchasing it.  If you would like to visit their website, click here.  This is not an advertisement for MasterCook and shouldn’t be interpreted as such.  I just love cooking, cookbooks, cooking applications and anything to do with cooking.  Happy Cooking!

ORIGINAL REVIEW:  I really didn’t think that I would ever use Master Cook again after finding BigOven.com but I am always pulled in to check out something intriguing.  Well, the new Master Cook is intriguing.  One of the reasons for moving away from MasterCook originally was that it did not have any internet based or mobile application.  They now have added this feature and its great.

Improved Import feature.  The old online import feature from several years ago was cumbersome and was a plug -in not supported by MasterCook.  With this new version they’ve included their own version and it’s greatly improved.  Now the application matches up the recipe that you’re looking to import almost 100%.  The import feature is tool that you drag and drop to the Favorites in Internet Explorer.  I’ve used it several times and each time it works well.  Sometimes the import will need a little tweaking.  In the example the item and item measure show perfect.  I’ve seen sometimes with the import where these two items run together and need to be separated by a space.

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The Desktop Application is still very similar to the old version however they’ve spiffed it up a lot.  It’s more colorful and looks much more professional.  The graphics are more appealing than prior desktop versions.  You’re looking at the main menu here.  From the left page you can either go into the desktop cookbooks or to MasterCook online.   The second screen image is MasterCook 14 online.  You can create multiple cookbooks or just import into your own favorites.  These cookbooks are for your own personal use, but when importing from favorites cooking websites such as allrecipes.com or foodandwine.com those imports are shared with other online users.   To look at other users imports, click on the Trending menu item.

The trending menu item is a little slow loading but that may be due to the large number of images that it show.  I think MasterCook will have to do some organizing in the Trending section fairly soon as it is growing in size and is sorted by the highest number of imports.

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One feature that’s been carried over from the old desktop application that is still there is the capability to print or publish your own cookbook(s).   This is an important feature for many recipe collectors and I’m glad to see that it’s still there.  Unfortunately for BigOven, this feature is not included in either their desktop or online version from what I can find.  If anyone else knows of how to do this in BigOven, I would love to hear of it.  However, one huge feature within BigOven that I love and that is lacking in MasterCook is the ability to look at and share recipes with the other members of the online community.

After getting MasterCook 14 loaded, I was able to easily import all the recipe books that I had created with the older ancient versions.  I was surprised and pleased to find that everything was still compatible.  I was able to import these also into BigOven desktop but MasterCook does a much better job with the visual appeal.

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This is a quick to prepare chicken pasta dinner that has nice eye appeal and delicate flavor. It is recommended to use Francis Coppola Gemelli pasta that can be purchased online at their wine website. If you are unable to buy Gemelli, then substitute a wide egg noodle pasta.  To buy the pasta you can visit Francis Coppola’s food website.  They have a lot of fine Italian foods to choose.

ingredients

Ingredients

12 ounces Gemelli Pasta; Francis Coppola 1 teaspoon Paprika
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon butter for thickening
1 small onion; chopped 1 cup Chicken broth
8 ounces Fresh mushrooms; sliced 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon butter; to brown mushrooms 1 teaspoon Salt
1 pound Chicken breasts boneless and skinless 1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons All purpose flour; for thickening 2 tablespoon Fresh Italian parsley chopped

Preparation

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Gemelli Pasta (can substitute a wide egg noodle) and cook according to label directions and noodle is soft.

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Meanwhile, add olive oil to large saute skillet over medium high heat. Add chopped onions and saute until onions are tender and slightly browned about 2-3 minutes.
Add mushrooms and 1 tablespoon butter. Cook over medium heat until mushrooms begin to brown slightly; about 2-3 minutes.  Remove any fat from chicken and cut
into 1″x1″ chunks.

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Add last tablespoon butter, chicken, flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken browns. May need to use a flat turner to turn chicken and
other mixture to help with browning; about 3-5 minutes.

Add chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a slow simmer and cook until thickened; about 7 minutes.

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Divide the pasta among the plates and top with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with parsley, additional paprika and serve.

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What a wonderful surprise and pleasure to be nominated for the Bouquet of Three Award from one of my favorite Foodie Bloggers, Miss Chris Creations.  Make sure to stop by Miss Chris Creations to see what she is up to and to see a fine example of a well planned Food Blog.

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versatilebloggeraward

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Thanks, Miss Chris, for the nomination and for thinking of me!  What a fun way to accept an award and to send out awards to other bloggers who we appreciate.  Now, keep in mind that you can’t just accept this award and move on.  You have to earn it with time, thought and by sharing nominations with others.  Here are the rules of The Bouquet of Three Award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link them in your post (check)

2. Write 7 things about yourself (done)

3. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award (whew, some difficult choices)

7 THINGS ABOUT ME

1. I’m originally from a little known state; Idaho but moved to AZ to get away from the cold weather.

2. I lived in Toronto Canada for four years and can claim to be an expatriate.

3. I learned to scuba dive when I was over 30.  Not admitting any age.

4. I am currently reading every Stephanie Plum book and am up to Sizzling Sixteen.

5. I love to cook!  Oh, you already knew that.  Okay, I love a nice glass of red wine with dinner.

6. I met my husband through a dating service and we have been married for 21 years this year.

7. My husband and I have the same birthday in June.

15 BLOGGERS

1.   cookazido

2.   at350degrees

3.   taste of colours

4.   alotonyourplate

5.   Chilli Marmalade

6.   A Lot on Your Plate

7.   RunRosie

8.   Bruce’s Burgers

9.   High Heel Gourmet 

10. Homemade Delish

11.  Bring to the Boil

12.  scrummy yummy

13. So,…hear me

14. La Petite Gourmande Anglaise

15. Simple.Heavenly.Eats

And these are just a few of my favorites.  Enjoy and happy blogging.

This was our second dining experience at Uncle Sal’s in Scottsdale AZ and the dining experience was just as great as the first.  It had been several years since we had first enjoyed the fine food of Uncle Sal’s and I was anxious to see if they could live up to my expectation based on the prior experience.  Our friends Fred and Basia highly recommended the restaurant both times and I quickly said yes when it came up again.   Our first visit was a little on the pricey side because we were in the main dining room and selected from the dining room menu.  I’ve no regrets though since the meal was greatly enjoyed by all and I was eagerly awaiting another visit.  I just wish my hubby, Gus, loved Italian food as much as me which would bring me here more often.

Uncle Sals At Thomas & Hayden Roads, Scottsdale AZ Our second visit was just as great but our dollar output was much lower.  The food was just a splendid as if we were still in the main dining room.  We seated ourselves on high back chairs at the bar since we did not have reservations and the only regret was the hard seats.  Gus was especially sad that we were not in main dining because he has a skinny little butt and complained later to me about the seating.  He would have preferred main dining even if the bar menu was not available.  When dining in the bar you have choice of the full dining room menu or the more reasonable, but limited bar menu. dunclesalsbar-25-600-450-80-rd-255-255-255 All the seats at the bar were also full by 7pm on this Sunday evening with other wannabee’s wandering in and around looking around for a seat.  We had our seats, a smile on our face and a great bartender, Johnny, giving us full attention.  Feel free to order the house Chianti for your choice of wine with dinner if you are more budget minded, however, there is a great wine selection to choose from.  The Chianti is a okay wine, priced reasonable and served by the glass. A freshly made house dinner salad was our starter and was bed of fresh lettuce, tomatoes and mine with a delightful house vinaigrette dressing.  I ordered the Chicken Milanese especially because I had tried a recipe from Big Oven and I wanted to compare the two dishes.  Sal’s Milanese was a delicate lemon sauce over a lightly breaded chicken along with Sautéed green beans.  _mg_5211_small-11-800-600-80-rd-255-255-255Uncle Sal’s was a much more delicate version than the one that I made and this was probably due to the light breading on the chicken.  It lends truth to more is not always better. Gus ordered a Rib Eye that was to die for and so huge it covered most of the plate.  I made him give me a bite and it was delicious.  Cooked medium rare and then with a butter topping of parsley, oregano, garlic plus salt and pepper, it would par with Ruth Chris easily but Ruth Chris would have been three times the price.  The was definitely enough for the most hearty appetite.  Gus had half left which we took home and made a hot steak, mushroom and Havarti cheese on French roll the following day.   In this case more was better since Gus had the pleasure of two meals and both very tasty._mg_5206-24-600-450-80-rd-255-255-255 Basia enjoyed a Pan Seared Scallop dish from the bar menu.  Her choice was priced very reasonable but they did not cut corners on preparation or quality.  It was excellent, of course I had a bite!  There was a nice light lemony sauce with bits of bacon for added flavor.  Fred’s choice was a Meatball Calzone also from the bar menu.  It was incredibly with large meatballs and lots of cheese.  This was the ultimate bar-man’s meal. On a fun side, I’ve heard rumor that Uncle Sal’s was based on a mafia family opening a restaurant to go legit.  Who knows for sure but it does add a little sparkle to the experience.  I can just imagine that Joseph “Joe Dogs” Iannuzzi dined here or led a secret life with Uncle Sal.  More to the truth, the Molinari family brought this fine cuisine to the valley of the sun in 1988.  The restaurant is high action, fast paced with a clientele ranging from their 30’s to 60’s from what I observed.   I would recommend to eat in the dining room where you may be more comfortable but if dollars are an issue pick the bar and let Johnny entertain you. Whether you eat in the bar or in the main dining room you will be sure to enjoy.   All in all this was a great experience, great meals and I cant wait to try something new next time. Here are some samples of other dishes prepared at Sal’s and borrowed from their website; http://www.unclesalsaz.com/ _mg_5239_small-20-600-450-80-rd-255-255-255_mg_5235_small-10-600-450-80-rd-255-255-255epasta-19-600-450-80-rd-255-255-255

When I worked at a bakery this was one of my favorite cookies though this is not their recipe. Luckily, at this bakery,  I could eat all I wanted and didn’t have to pay for the indulgence. Where this particular recipe comes from is a complete mystery since I’ve been making it for over 15 years.  It’s probably been modified many times and I now guiltily claim it as mine.  It’s a fun Holiday treat and packages well for gift baskets.  I couldn’t resist posting this recipe so early since I’m going to a Christmas in July party next month.  If I can find dates, which may be impossible, then this will be my contribution to the desert table.  This is a rich buttery recipe with lots of chopped dates and nuts.

Ingredients

10 Ounces Dates; pitted and chopped 2 large eggs
1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup hot water 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup Pecans; finely chopped, or walnuts 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup soft butter 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

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Preparation

Combine dates, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 6 to 8 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in chopped walnuts. Let cool completely.

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl; gradually add brown sugar, beating well. Add eggs; beat well. Stir in vanilla.

Combine flour, soda, cream of tartar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl; add to creamed mixture, stirring well.

Divide dough into thirds. Roll each portion into a thin 12 – 15 inch square on separate sheets of parchment. To roll thin and avoid sticking, cover dough with a second sheet of parchment; press out dough to form a square shape and finish with rolling-pin over top of second sheet of parchment. Carefully, peel top piece of parchment away from dough; thinly spread the squared dough with one-third of reserved date mixture.

lifting up the edge of the lower parchment, gently peel of the long edge of the dough and roll up jelly roll fashion. Use a pastry knife to slide and roll the dough if necessary. You can use the lower piece of parchment to continue to form the jelly roll shape so as not to tear the dough. Use the same procedure with the remaining two portions of dough.

As formed, wrap each roll in the parchment, and chill overnight. If time is short, you can freeze the dough for a few hours to rapid chill. Remove parchment paper. Cut into 1/4-inch slices, and place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cookie browns slightly around edges. If cookies do not brown, may need to increase oven temperature or increase butter next time made.

Prepare dough and chill overnight. Store baked cookies in airtight containers.

If you like the recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

This is an easy to prepare recipe with lots of chicken and cheese filling.  It’s a not too hot Mexican dish which suits my palette perfectly.  It may appear to be similar to others that you may have seen except that it uses real Hatch Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles and Macayo’s Green Chili Enchilada Sauce instead of the creamy chicken soup.  This would be more of an authentic or traditional Mexican dish.

Cook the Chicken:
16   ounce Chicken broth, add water if necessary to cover
4    boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup Fajita Spice; I’ll provide a recipe sometime in the future for the Fajita Spice
8 ounces Green chili; Hatch Fire-Roasted Mild Canned

Preparing the Burrito:
16 ounce Enchilada sauce; Macayo’s Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
4   cups shredded cheese; Three Cheese Mexican Blend
1 tablespoon Fajita Spice; Sprinkle to taste
8 Flour tortillas; burrito size

Garnish the Dish:
1/2 cup Tomatoes; chopped
1/4 cup Lettuce; iceberg sliced thin
1 cup Sour cream

Preparation

In saucepan cook chicken in chicken broth, 4 ounces green chilies and Fajita Spice until chicken is fully cooked and tender.   Use a small strainer as it cooks to remove clouding from the broth.  Start at medium high heat until the water comes to a slow boil then turn down and cook on low until meat is fully cooked and tender.  Add additional water as necessary so that chicken remains covered with liquid.  After meat is fully cooked, remove from broth and allow to cool in refrigerator.  After the chicken had cooled, shred the it by pulling apart along the grain with your hands, or, you can use two forks to shed it.

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Sprinkle additional Fajita Spice over chicken adding as much as you like to get the right heat mix for you.  Add 2 more ounces of the canned diced green chilies reserving the balance for garnish.   Mix the chicken, spice and green chilies together until blended.

How to Fill a Burrito:

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Take one burrito and using a ladle, spread approximately 1-2 tablespoons of green chili enchilada sauce evenly over the burrito out to the edges like you would add sauce to a pizza.

Add approximately 1/4 cup of chicken to the center of the burrito making it as full as you  like.  You can always use less burritos and fill them with more filling.  Or less filling and more burritos if you prefer.

Add shredded cheese over the chicken until there is a light layer of cheese across the chicken.  Roll the chicken filled burrito starting at one end.  Fold over the first half of the burrito and then fold in both sides like an envelope.  Then continue to roll the burrito until it forms a circle.  You’ll notice from the illustrations that I didn’t fold both side enough.  Make sure they are turned in so the filling doesn’t fall out.

Place in 9×13 non-stick baking pan with fold end down.  Continue with each burrito using the same steps above in How to Fill a Burrito until the pan is full.  I can usually get 6-8 burritos in the pan using up all the filling.  This all depends on how much filling you place in each burrito and the number of people who are dining with you.

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Spoon remaining green chili sauce and green chilies over the burrito tops, but do not add the cheese on the top yet.  Bake in 375 oven for 20 minutes.  Add shredded cheese and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes or until chicken is fully heated inside and cheese is melted, but NOT burned..

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