Sunday, September 30, 2012

Grilled Romaine with Blue Cheese-Bacon Vinaigrette

 Now, I do like a good grilled romaine, and I don't hate bacon, so this was going to be good.  Both my son and I LOVED it.  After both our first bites we looked at each other and were like that was good!  The dressing with the blue cheese was the star, but grilled romaine held its own.  My husband came home about an hour after we ate, and I fired up the grill again to provide him with a freshly grilled salad.  After his first bite, he said "what is this stuff on the lettuce, it's awesome!'.  So I consider that a clean sweep as the two year old doesn't eat anything but fruit at this point:).  I have to say that this recipe being a triumph is sorely needed. I realize how dependent I have become on my Accuchef recipe program.  I sent off an email to their support.  I know it's Sunday, but my accuchef being down, and haven't heard from support,  is really annoying me and I am using pepperplate in the mean time, and I think I just may stay with it if accuchef can't recover my recipes.   Ok quit complaining Kim, there are worse problems!  As for any issues with the dish, none really.  The only thing I could say is that is was a bit oily and messy.  You have two options when it comes to eating this: 1) chop the whole thing up and mix it together or, 2) pick it up like a hot dog and eat it that way.  We opted for the latter as we are at home and can get messy with our food:).  There was a lot of dressing dripping out the back and down our hands.  Annoying but so worth if.  Go try this recipe.


4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 heads romaine lettuce, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the grill to high heat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saute pan over high heat. Add the onions and bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy. To the same pan add the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

Brush the romaine lettuce with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, place on the grill cut side down, and quickly sear.

Serve the lettuce, cut side up, and drizzle the balsamic dressing over the lettuce. Sprinkle with blue cheese and garnish with cracked black pepper.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Parmesan Tortilla Crisps

I had some left over corn tortillas and thought this would be a great way to use them up.  Besides, I am always looking for good appetizers or munchies for cocktail parties.  They were great, but there is one issue; they didn't cook evenly.  I took a picture of the ones I thought looked the best and left out the really brown ones.  I think those might have tasted better.  I also think they fared better the next day.  The light gold ones tasted a tad stale, while the brown (almost burnt looking) ones didn't.  I still loved them and am looking forward to playing around with the recipe.  I think they are excellent baked tortilla chips that could be a perfect canvass for all kinds of seasonings.  On a totally personal note, I am in crisis as my Accuchef program appears to have gone kaput!  I have about 400 personal recipes and almost 400 to try recipes that will be lost if I can't get it working.  The only silver lining is that most of my recipes are on the blog, but the recipes I planned on using this week and have ingredients for are unavailable.  I hope I can remember them all.  (I am really trying not to panic!) but I may be a little sparse on my posts as a result.

Parmesan Tortilla Crisps
1/4 c  extra-virgin olive oil
1 T  dried oregano
1/2 t  freshly ground black pepper
12    (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 c  freshly shredded Parmesan
1/4 t  salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with aluminum foil. Whisk the oil,
oregano, and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until
warm. Set aside for 15 minutes. Brush the oil mixture over both sides
of the tortillas. Stack the tortillas and cut them into 1/2 to 3/4-inch
wide strips. Arrange the strips in a single layer over the baking
sheets. Sprinkle the cheese and salt over the strips. Bake until the
strips are golden brown and crisp, about 12 minutes.

Do-Ahead Tip: The tortilla strips can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store
in airtight containers and keep at room temperature.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hawaiian Baked Ham and Swiss Sandwiches

I was really tired today, and wanted nothing more than to skip feeding my family and go to bed.  Instead, I wracked my tired brain and browsed my many recipes saved on pinterest to see if I could find one that would be fast, easy and tasty and didn't involve a crock pot. (it was already after 4)  I thought these looked really tasty and decided to make them.  I did alter it a bit.  First of all, and not intentionally, I left out the poppy seeds.  I didn't have them.  I was sure I did and didn't even check before I ran to the store for the rolls and ham.  I still believe that there are some in there.  I have celery seeds, sesame seeds (white and black) mustard seeds, and two (2 really?) jars of fennel seeds.  Oh and huge bags of coriander and fenugreek too.  So really, no poppy?  I just don't believe it but they were left off.  I also used 3/4 pound of meat and cheese each.  I still thought it was a bit much.  I was pretty good!  I thought it a bit oily and they need to be eaten right away. If they aren't then they get really greasy. My husband was late so I kept some in the oven covered at 200 degrees and it was very wet when he got home.  My son loved them, and as they reminded me of a Cuban, they made me happy.  I used honey ham and the sweet worked well with the rolls.  The biggest thing about the recipe, was even after 20 minutes, the center of the block of sandwiches was cold.  I cooked it another 10-15 minutes and it was melty and warm in the center.

Hawaiian Baked Ham and Swiss Sandwiches

For recipe and instructions click here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spaghetti With Spinach, Tomatoes And Goat Cheese

I happened to like this a lot.  My husband thought it was just ok and my son hated the spinach.  I had an issue with the spinach, but it is the same issue I have with all pastas with greens in them.  The spinach clumped up and you ended up getting big bites that were just spinach.,  I would like it better if there was some of everything in each bite.  It was fast and easy so that is something, but I am probably the only one who would want it again.  

Spaghetti With Spinach, Tomatoes And Goat Cheese

3/4 lb spaghetti
1/4 c  extra-virgin olive oil
2    garlic cloves,thinly sliced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 c  grape tomatoes (6 ounces) halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 c  baby spinach (7 ounces)
1/4 c  freshly grated pecorino cheese,plus more for serving
4    ounces fresh goat cheese crumbled (1 cup)
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until
it is al dente. Drain the spaghetti well, reserving 1/2 cup of the
pasta cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic
and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat until the garlic is
tender, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper
and cook over moderately high heat until the tomatoes begin to release
their juices, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted,
about 2 minutes.
3. Add the spaghetti, the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water and
the 1/4 cup of pecorino to the skillet and toss over low heat until the
pasta is coated with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add the
goat cheese and toss gently. Transfer the spaghetti to shallow bowls
and serve, passing additional grated pecorino cheese at the table.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Masa Griddle Cakes With Poblanos And Goat Cheese

These were really awesome!  Everyone declared them a favorite.  They resemble our favorite appetizer at a restaurant in DeLand that we love.  They were a bit of work, but not terribly so.  There are lots of little steps.  I cooked the onion and poblano mixture at the same time as the beans and that kept the time down.  Next time there are people over, this is what we are making.  They are also vegetarian!  They not only taste amazing they look pretty good too.  The poblanos had a bit of heat but not too much and the simple mashed beans were really good.  We almost made more of them when we had finished what we had.  We had some extra beans and peppers, and we all could have eaten more, but we refrained.  This is an appetizer for 4 or main for 2-3 depending on appetites. I also only used 5 poblanos and there was plenty.  Perhaps they were on the large side.  This is looking good for the recipe of the week.

Masa Griddle Cakes With Poblanos And Goat Cheese

1 1/4 c  masa harina
1 c  cold water
1/2 t  salt
6    poblano chiles
1/4 c  pure olive oil,plus more for frying
1    onion,finely chopped
Pinch of dried oregano crumbled
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1    garlic clove,minced
1    Fifteen-ounce can black beans,drained
4    ounces chilled fresh goat cheese,crumbled
1. In a medium bowl, stir the masa with the water and the salt until a
soft dough forms. Divide the dough into 12 balls and flatten them into
2-  inch cakes. Transfer to a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet and cover
with plastic wrap.
2. Roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or under a broiler,
turning, until charred all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic
wrap and let stand for 10 minutes. Peel, core and seed the chiles, then
cut them into thin strips.
3. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until
shimmering. Add half of the onion and cook over moderate heat until
softened, about 7 minutes. Add the poblano strips and oregano and cook
for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and
keep warm.
4. In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil
until shimmering. Add the garlic and the remaining onion and cook over
moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the beans and cook,
coarsely mashing them with a potato masher just until creamy, about 2
minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
5. Heat a griddle. When it is hot, generously brush it with oil and add
the masa cakes. Cook over moderately high heat, turning once or twice,
until they are golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer the cakes to
a platter and top each with a dollop of the beans and a mound of the
poblano mixture. Garnish with the goat cheese and season with salt and
pepper. Serve right away.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Persimmon Muffins

This recipe perfectly demonstrates why I love Front Porch Pickings (or any service that gets you local, seasonal and preferably organic produce).  I had not tried persimmons before, but thanks to FPP, I got them in my basket.  Now, not knowing how they would taste, I thought a good way to introduce the flavors would be in this muffin recipe.  I waited until the persimmons seemed on the verge of going bad.  I couldn't 'scoop' them so I peeled them.  They were soft, but I guess not quite as soft as they could get.  I tasted a bit of one and was delighted by the flavor and sweetness.  The muffins were pretty easy to make too.  I used 3 persimmons.  The end result was a really moist muffin (Betty White fans giggle with me;) that had a distinct fruity flavor.  The ginger and cinnamon were very nice too.  I used 1 stick of butter (8TBS) and 2 tbs of oil.  I also liked that I got an egg white out of the freezer.  The recipe made 12 muffins and a 12 mini muffins.  My whole family loved them but my husband adored them. 

Persimmon Muffins

2    to 3 very ripe persimmons*         
1 1/2 c  all-purpose flour
2/3 c  whole-wheat flour
1 c  granulated sugar
1 1/2 t  baking powder
3/4 t  baking soda
3/4 t  salt
3/4 t  ground ginger
3/4 t  ground cinnamon
1 t  finely grated lemon zest
2    large eggs plus 1 egg white
10 T  unsalted butter,melted, or vegetable oil
2/3 c  plain yogurt or sour cream
Turbinado sugar,for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan or two
24-cup mini-muffin pans with paper liners. Cut the persimmons in half
and scoop out the pulp into a food processor; pulse until smooth.
Combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar,
baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and lemon zest in a
large bowl. Whisk 1 1/4 cups of the persimmon puree (or the applesauce
and carrot baby food), the eggs, egg white, melted butter and yogurt in
a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir
until just combined (it's fine if the batter is lumpy).
Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each three-quarters of
the way. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes for regular muffins or 14 to 18 minutes for mini muffins. Cool slightly in the pan, then transfer the muffins to a  rack.

* 1 cup -smooth applesauce plus 1/4 cup carrot baby food can be subtituted

We had a tea party with my
daughter with the muffins:)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

White Acre Peas

Ok, so I am like three days behind on getting my posts done and life is not complying with my requests for a break so this one is going to be short:).  I really liked the peas.  It was a very simple preparation that allowed for you to enjoy the natural flavors of the pea.  I started by cooking them half the time recommended because I don't like mushy peas.  However, after a few bites, I realized they were underdone.  Cooking them the full time was required.

White Acre Peas

shelled or frozen white acre peas (about 1/2 cup per serving)
 kosher salt,more or less depending on taste preference
grated sweet vidalia onion or other sweet onion

For the recipe click here.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I thought I would make a special treat for my darling husband,  He had a positive addiction to peanut butter and chocolate.  I came across this recipe on pinterest, and knew I had to make it for him.  As with every fellow blogger's recipe, I only am going to give you a hint of what is in it and put a link to the original recipe.  It was a little difficult to make.  I didn't make them in the full size muffin tins; I thought that the mini muffins would make a more appropriate size.  I also think that it made it a right pain in the butt.  However, I am always a fan of removing the chemicals from our diet, and using natural peanut butter alone make this a better option.  Any difficulty I encountered in making the dish disappeared when I saw how pleased the boys were and how much they liked them.  One word of caution, if they aren't straight out of the freezer, they squish and become very messy.  Still tasty but a mess. Also next time I will watch how thick the chocolate layer is.  It was quite hard to bite through frozen.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

For the recipe and directions click here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beef Fajitas

Well flank steak was pretty cheap at Publix, so I decided to make fajitas.  turns out that this was a fattier cut of flank steak. Maybe it was skirt.  And now I can't remember if they are slightly different or different names for the same thing.  It's hell getting old:).  I decided to just wing it without even looking up a recipe.  I have had fajitas once or twice in restaurants, but it's not something we order usually.  So I made this up.  It was pretty good.  I didn't like the cut of the meat (too fatty), but the flavor was good.  I loved the cheese sauce.  I think it something I am going to use often and play around with the flavor.

Beef Fajitas

1.5 Lb Flank Steak

1/2 c orange juice
1 lime juiced
1/4 c sherry
Garlic powder

Cheese Sauce:
1/2 c cream cheese
1/4 c milk
Salt and garlic powder

For Serving:
Onion, thick sliced
Green Pepper, thick sliced
Mushrooms, thick sliced
Corn tortillas

Mix the marinade ingredients in a Tupperware or big Ziploc bag.  Add the meat and marinate for 6 hours. (turning half way through) Take meat out of the refrigerator to start to get to room temp.  Heat a grill to high.  Toss the veggies in some canola oil and a little bit of salt.  Put the meat on the grill and cook (I did mine 6 minutes a side) while cooking the veggies in a grill basket along side.  When the veggies are soft and slightly charred, remove from the heat and close grill for the last few minutes.  Let the meat rest 10 minutes.  While it is resting, make the cheese sauce by microwaving the cream cheese for 30 seconds.  Stir, add the milk and microwave another 30 seconds.  Season with salt and garlic powder to taste. Mix thoroughly.  It was thin at first, but with a vigorous whisking, it thickened up.  Slice the meat thinly against the grain. Put the meat, veggies and cheese sauce with the tortillas on the table and let everyone assemble their own.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Avocado, Tomato & Edamame Salad

I made this for lunch and loved it!  I feel a bit like I am cheating using the crispy edamame again, but I am totally digging it and I felt really healthy after eating it.  (Not to mention FULL)  It was fast and simple.  I enjoyed grazing on the edamame but I liked them better in a salad.  If the avocado is really ripe, mash it up a little to make a "dressing" Tonight we are having the Italian sausage burgers.  (they were so very yummy and have possibly the best sauteed spinach ever!)  Yes burgers to use up my insane purchase of too many buns:)

Avocado, Tomato & Edamame Salad
1/2 large tomato, diced
1 small avocado, diced
1/4 cup of "crispy edamame"
Seasoned rice wine vinegar
Garlic powder

Toss the tomato, avocado, edamame in a bowl.  Drizzle with the vinegar and season with salt and garlic.  Mix.  Yup that's it:)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers

This recipe was easy to make.  I did feel that the "gravy" was a bit thin for what I expected when I filled the puff pastry squares.  They also looked a bit wonky when I was folding them in to turnovers.
I also thought 2 teaspoons was a LOT of thyme.  (1 only used 1 tsp) What we ended up with was really good.  I boiled chicken breasts in the morning and chopped it up when I made this while the boys were at soccer.  It is from $10 Dollar Dinners, so it is inexpensive but still really good.

Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers

2 T  butter
1/2    onion,chopped
1    carrot,chopped
1    stalk celery,chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ea garlic,minced
2 t  dried thyme
1 T  flour,plus more for dusting
1/2 c  white wine
1 c  chicken stock
1 t  Dijon mustard
1/2 c  frozen peas
1 1/2 c  cubed or shredded cooked chicken
1    sheet frozen puff pastry -thawed
1    egg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook the onions,
carrots, and celery with salt and pepper, to taste, until the carrots
soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for an
additional minute, stirring frequently. Add the flour and cook off the
raw flavor, about 1 minute more. Turn up the heat to medium-high and
deglaze the pan with the wine. Whisk in the stock and Dijon mustard.
Add the peas and chicken and cook on a very low simmer until the sauce
thickens up into a gravy, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set

On a lightly floured surface, unfold the pastry dough and cut into 4
even squares (cut once horizontally and once vertically). Gently roll
out each square, increasing the size of the square by about 20 percent.
Place the squares on a baking sheet and spoon the chicken mixture in
the center. Fold the squares diagonally to create triangles. Pinch the
edges together to create turnovers (use a little water if needed to
bind). Press the edges with a fork to create a decorative border. Whisk
the egg with a splash of water and brush the turnovers with the egg
wash. Cut a small slit in the top to allow the steam to escape during
baking. Bake the turnovers until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let
cool at least 10 minutes before serving as the insides will be very hot.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuna Niçoise Burgers

I did not care much for this burger.  Surprisingly my husband did.  Why am I surprised?  Tuna and olives are pretty high on his list of dislikes.  For me it was just the opposite.  Perhaps our expectations colored our enjoyment.  I didn't hate it, but have no desire to make it again. We are going to have lots of burgers this week too.  My husband had invited some people over for the Gator game on Saturday, and while there were 8 eating burgers, in a fit of what can only be considered madness, I bought 32 buns. I know you must think I have no understanding of any basic math concepts, but truly I do.  I can't explain what was going on in my brain.  I just assumed it was taking another well deserved break.  Anyways, back to the burger. In summary:  I don't plan on making it again, but it was surprisingly good and different for my husband so I guess I can't really trash the recipe too much:).

Tuna Niçoise Burgers

1 1/4 lb fresh tuna,diced
2    scallions,thinly sliced
12    pitted kalamata olives coarsely chopped
1 T  salted capers,rinsed and minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil,for brushing
1/4 c  mayonnaise
1 1/2 t  anchovy paste
4    brioche buns,split and toasted
Sliced tomatoes and arugula for serving
1. Spread the tuna, scallions, olives and capers on a plate and
freeze for 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until the
tuna is finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a bowl; season with
salt and pepper. Form the mixture into four 4-inch patties.
2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the burgers with olive
oil and grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and
crusty and just cooked through, about 6 minutes.
3. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise and anchovy paste; spread on the buns.
Top with the burgers, tomato and arugula, close and serve.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Spicy Indian-Style Scrambled Eggs

I thought this recipe was a very tasty, fast, easy and different meatless Monday recipe.  I did make 2 small alterations.  I had a yellow onion and used it; I also had one large jalapeno and I used that in place of a really hot chile.  I figured the kids would handle that better. It didn't end up very spicy at all.  You can always add heat with hot sauce, but can't take it away.   Oh and I doubled the recipe, but that didn't change it:).  I loved it and so did my husband.  My son ate it but didn't rave about it, and the two year old ate a couple of bites but didn't want eggs with "salad".  Anything green in her food and she gets upset.  I also didn't have roti.  I had some frozen naan from the local Indian grocery, and it was perfect.  The prep took longer than the actual cooking. If you did that the night before (or have extra time in the morning;), it would be a fast breakfast too.

Spicy Indian-Style Scrambled Eggs
2 Servings

4    large eggs
1/4 t  ground cumin
Pinch of turmeric
Kosher salt
1 T  vegetable oil
1    small red onion,cut into 1/4-inch dice
1    small hot red or green chile,seeded and very finely chopped
1    garlic clove,minced
1 1/2 t  minced fresh ginger
1    tomato—halved,seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
Pinch of sugar
2 t  chopped cilantro
Roti (see Note), naan, or toast for serving

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the cumin, turmeric and 1/2
teaspoon of salt. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil.
Add the onion, chile, garlic and ginger and cook over high heat until
the onion just begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato, season
with salt and the sugar and cook for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to
moderately low and pour in the eggs. Cook, stirring constantly, until
the eggs are just set, about 1 minute. Fold in the cilantro and serve
with roti or toast.

Notes Roti is a type of unleavened Indian flat bread.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bok Choy With Garlic

I loved this recipe.  It could easily be a vegetarian one if you used vegetable stock.  I had an open beef stock and used it.  Bok choy is a bitter vegetable and my son complained about that.  I however didn't mind it's bitterness.,  I think this is not only a great side, but would be a tasty meatless main.  The crunchiness of the bok choy makes it feel more like a meal to me than just some side. We had this with the Bourbon Chicken.  It is a fast side and not your usual veggie.  I found that you really need a good dose of salt.  Without it, the dish was too bitter.

Bok Choy With Garlic
1/2 c  chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 t  cornstarch
1 T  vegetable oil
2    garlic cloves,minced
2 lb bok choy—stems cut into 1-inch lengths,leafy tops left about 4 i
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1.In a bowl, whisk the stock with the cornstarch. In a large skillet,
heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook over high heat until fragrant,
20 seconds. Add the bok choy and stir-fry until the leaves start to
wilt, 2 minutes. Add the stock and cook, stirring, until slightly
thickened, 30 seconds. Remove the bok choy from the heat, season with
salt and pepper and serve.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bourbon Chicken

Tonight's recipe was the highest rated review on  I was a little skeptical.  All the sweet ingredients in it just make me think it was going to be awful.  I was also a little concerned over the 3/4 tsp of red pepper flakes.  In the end, I think it was quite good!  My 2 yr old thought it was too spicy and my 11 year old made a big show of gulping milk, but he eats lots of spicy stuff so I kind of think he was being dramatic.  I thought the heat was perfect. If your family doesn't do much spice, use a 1/2tsp or even 1/4tsp of the red pepper flakes.  It really wasn't that spicy with 3/4tsp; it just had a little bite to it with the after taste.  As an added bonus, it was super easy to make.  I think the whole thing (including the rice and the sauteed bok choy with garlic) took 30 minutes.  I started the rice in the rice cooker after I got the chicken in the pan and I prepped and cooked the bok choy while the chicken was simmering for 20 minutes. Now you may be noticing that there is no bok choy recipe on tonight's post.  This is to accommodate my darling husband and his desire to have a repeat dinner.  I will post the bok choy recipe tomorrow.:) I have to admit I am impressed with the recipe.  Not only because it is tasty, but also because it is super easy.  My only criticism is that there are no veggies.  (that is why I added the bok choy)  I think the recipe would work with 1 lb chicken and 1 lb of sauteed veggies.  Depending on the veggie, I would either saute them after the chicken or blanch them separately. (the latter I am thinking broccoli specifically)

Bourbon Chicken

2 lb boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
1    -2 tablespoon olive oil
1    garlic clove,crushed
1/4 t  ginger
3/4 t  crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c  apple juice
1/3 c  light brown sugar
2 T  ketchup
1 T  cider vinegar
1/2 c  water
1/3 c  soy sauce
1 Heat oil in a large skillet.
2 Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
3 Remove chicken.
4 Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium Heat until well mixed
and dissolved.
5 Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
6 Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
7 Serve over hot rice

Friday, September 14, 2012

Improv Calzone

The pizza dough was on sale so I got two.  Tonight my husband played around with some leftovers in the fridge to make a very tasty calzone. I really liked it and was happy to let him have the kitchen tonight.  He likes to cook as much as I do, and while he has enjoyed this new meal every night mission, he has lamented his lack of creative cooking time.  He says also he is a little sad when we have a meal he loves because he know it's not coming back.  But that isn't true, the year is up and I will relent and allow some repeats;). 

Improv Calzone

1 lb of Pizza Dough
1/4 cup marinara sauce
1/8 tsp dried oregano (up to 1/4 tsp if you like oregano)
4 oz diced ham
3 tbsp ricotta cheese
4 oz shredded cheese (we had an assortment)
2 cloves of garlic (minced or through a press preferably)
1 tbsp grated onion

Preheat the oven with a pizza stone on the bottom rack to 500.  Roll out the dough in to a 16" round. Spread sauce over the entire circle but leaving 3/4" border on the dough. Spread the garlic evenly over the sauce. Sprinkle oregano evenly over the sauce.   On one half of the sauce circle, add the rest of the ingredients(cheeses and ham), taking care to distribute them evenly.  Fold over and pinch the seam closed. Make three short slices in the top to let the steam escape.  Transfer to the pizza stone and bake 8 minutes (or until dough is  golden brown.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Date and Prosciutto Pizza

Tonight's pizza is most definitely a favorite!  The  recipe was adapted from Alton Brown's grilled pizza three ways.  Our previous attempts at grilling pizza were a tad frustrating, so I played around with the recipe a bit and baked it in the oven.  I love Alton's recipes and he said this was his favorite pizza topping in the show I was watching, but I still was thinking about the sweet dates.  I keep saying I don't like sweet and savory, but it seems that that is really not true.  Everyone in the family adored this pizza. We would be eating and talking and all of a sudden someone would say man this really good or make the yummy sound!  

Date and Prosciutto Pizza

1 lb pizza dough
7 ounces fresh mozzarella,cut  into 1/4-inch thick slices
1-2  teaspoons olive oil
1/2-ounce grated Parmesan
1 ounce prosciutto ham approximately 3 slices, coarsely chopped
4 whole dates,pitted and finely chopped
1t  fresh thyme leaves

Layer 2 paper towels on a plate and lay the mozzarella slices in a single layer. Top with 2 more paper towels, a second plate, and a 2 pound weight. Set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 with a pizza stone on the bottom rack. Roll out the dough in to a 16" circle. Put the dough on the stone and let bake 3 minutes. (Mine puffed up, but this was supposed to be a grilled pizza and we just didn't want to try it again tonight.;) Take out the dough and stone and flip the dough. (if yours puffed up too, make a couple of stabs at it with a knife to deflate it before you flip) Once flipped, drizzle the olive oil over the pizza, sprinkle the Parmesan, arrange the mozzarella, sprinkle the dates and prosciutto and the thyme.  (I thought mine looked a little naked so I did use a hand full of shredded mixed Italian cheeses, but when it came out I think I really didn't need it and it wasn't very much) Return to the oven and bake 2-3 more minutes or until all is melted and gooey.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blackening Seasoning Mix

Ok so I am cheating again on the post a day thing:)  I was making the Cajun chicken Alfredo and instead of buying blackening mix, I made it.  I knew I must have all the necessary ingredients (and I did) to make it since I have a very full spice cabinet.  Why add another jar to that jumble? This did make enough for two or three of the dish I made it for, so I took a practically empty jar of paprika and made it in that.  (Conveniently the jar held a pinch more than the 1 tablespoon needed for this)  The mixture is very spicy by itself,  but isn't very once it was in the dish.  I rarely buy pre made spice mixtures.  First of all, they usually have some odd sounding chemical in them that I don't really want or need.  Secondly, they are inevitably mostly salt.  I like controlling the amount of  salt in the food we eat.  I love salt, but as I have slowly reduced the amounts of salt (not all mind you, salt is very key to food tasting good) I find we need less to enjoy our food.  It is easy to do too.  The Internet always has a recipe, but it isn't strictly necessary.  The first time I made my own spice mixture, I made a taco seasoning.  I just looked at the back of the packet and noted the spices and the order in which they were listed. The first ingredient was cumin, so I knew that there was more of it in the mix than any other spice.  The first time I made it it took a bit of experimenting, but it came out great and I used what was in my cabinet and no 11 letter ingredients in my mix.

Blackening Seasoning Mix (ala Paul Prudhomme)

1 T  sweet paprika
2 1/2 t  salt
1 t  onion powder
1 t  garlic powder
1 t  cayenne
3/4 t  white pepper
3/4 t  black pepper
1/2 t  dried thyme leaves
1/2 t  dried oregano leaves
Combine all ingredients. Keep unused portion in tight container

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cajun Chicken Alfredo

I got this originally from pinterest.  I went to the blog again today and couldn't find the recipe.  It has been a long few days with little sleep, so it may be what my husband calls a PICNIC error. (Problem In Chair, Not In Computer)  So I have the entire recipe here and not just a link.  I suggest you check the blog out.  It looked like it had a lot of cool recipes.  I didn't buy the blackening spice.  I made my own from a recipe I found on  It said it was Paul Prudhomme's but I can't verify that. (I will be posting that recipe tomorrow because we will be out for dinner, and I am totally cheating my way to a post every night:).  This dish was very rich but very tasty.  I don't care for chicken much, but this chicken was pretty good. The sauce was very yummy.  I used a cup and a half of the mixed Italian cheeses that were already grated. (I am a little ashamed of that but such is life sometimes)  The recipe I originally copied said something about liking goat cheese in it.  (I wasn't sure if that was instead of, in addition to etc... so I removed it from the recipe.)  I did think it needed a bit of something at the end so I added a heaping tablespoon of cream cheese and I think it made the sauce a bit smoother.  All in all a solid meal that everyone would happily eat again. Oh, next time, I would like more tomatoes, but I love tomatoes:)

Cajun Chicken Alfredo
4    small boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ¼ lbs.)
1/2    Tbs. Cajun blackening spice (like Paul Prudhomme’s brand)
2    Tbs. butter,divided
1    Tbs. olive oil (or more if needed)
2    garlic cloves,minced
1 c  (1/2 pint) grape tomatoes halved
1/4 c  dry white wine (or chicken broth)
1 1/2 c  heavy cream (or half-and-half)
1 1/2 c  good quality,freshly grated Italian cheeses
1 t  kosher salt (or more,to taste)
1/2 t  ground black pepper (or more,to taste)
1 lb cooked fettuccini
Pinch of ground nutmeg,for serving
Chopped parsley,for serving
[Note:  ]
1.Cook fettuccini al-dente according to package directions, stirring
often. Drain, and rinse with hot tap water, to keep pasta from sticking.
Drain again.
For Chicken:
1.Rinse chicken breast in cool water, and pat dry.
2.Pound each chicken breast flat with a flat meat mallet or rolling
pin,  between two sheets of plastic wrap. Set flattened breasts on a
clean plate.
3.Sprinkle a heavy amount of blackening spice on both sides of each
chicken breast, pressing to adhere.
4.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
5.Heat 1 Tbs. of the butter, and the olive oil in a large skillet over
medium high heat, until butter begins to brown.
6.Place chicken in the pan, and sear on one side, until it is very
brown, about 3 minutes. Flip chicken and sear the other side until very
brown, about another 1 ½ minutes. Work in batches so as not to crowd
the pan.
7.Place browned chicken onto a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 10
minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.
8.Remove chicken from the oven and thinly slice against the grain; set
For Sauce:
10.  If the skillet looks dry, add a bit more olive oil. Re-heat the
skillet over medium heat.
11.  Pour in the dry white wine (or chicken broth) into the skillet to
deglaze the panwhisk all of the delicious brown bits off the bottom of
the pan. (1-2 minutes)
12.  Add the garlic and tomatoes to the pan and saut to soften and
lightly caramelize, stirring occasionally. (1-2 minutes)
13.  Reduce heat to medium-low and pour the heavy cream to the pan with
the tomato mixture, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
14.  Add the salt, pepper, and the remaining tablespoon of butter.
15.  Continue to stir the cream mixture while it simmers for 3-4
minutes.  The cream will reduce slightly.
16.  Remove from heat. Add the grated cheeses cream sauce. Stir constantly until all the cheese has melted, and sauce is smooth. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings.
17.  Pour the fettuccini onto the sauce, and top with the sliced
18.  Toss the pasta and chicken into the sauce with tongs, until well
19.  Turn tossed pasta into a large serving bowl.
20.  Sprinkle with a pinch of nutmeg, and a bit of chopped parsley.
21.  Serve immediately.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Blender Hollandaise Sauce

I had some egg yolks (three to be exact) left over from a cake I baked for my daughter and I to have a tea party.  I almost made the Agio Bouido that my son loved so much, but I was feeling a bit lazy so I figured I would try Blender Hollandaise sauce.  I have heard that it is a great short cut to the incessant whisking that normally accompanies the producing of my all time favorite sauce.  Well it was pretty good and came together really fast.

Blender Hollandaise Sauce

DirectionsIn the container of a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Cover, and blend for about 5 seconds. Place the butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high speed, and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. It should thicken almost immediately. Keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Beef Burgers With Peanut-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Since I had 4 hamburger buns laying around, we are having burgers again tonight.  I did not use the entire can of chipotles.  I pureed the entire can and put two heaping spoonfuls of that puree, and it was pretty hot.  I figured we can always add heat but you can't take it away.  The end result was really good and I am not a fan of barbecue sauce.  The recipe for the sauce makes way more than you need for just 4 burgers.  Oh and I did add a bit more peanut butter because it was a little hot on it's own, but once on the burger with the cheese and all it was not too spicy.  My husband's take on it was that it was really good but not so good it was worth the effort of the sauce.  We did make our own ancho chile powder by grinding our own chiles which took some time and the sauce took 3 times as long as it took to make the rest of the burger, but I think it's worth it.

Beef Burgers With Peanut-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

1 T  vegetable oil,plus more for brushing
1    onion,finely chopped
2 T  minced fresh ginger
2    garlic cloves,minced
1 c  tomato puree
2 T  ketchup
1 T  red wine vinegar
1 T  Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 T  Dijon mustard
2 T  honey
2 T  molasses
3 T  pure ancho chile powder
1 cn chipotle in adobo,minced
1/2 c  water
2 T  creamy peanut butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4    hamburger buns,split
1 1/2 lb ground beef chuck
1/2 c  shredded cheddar (3 ounces)
1    scallion,finely chopped
Lettuce and tomato slices for serving

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion
and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until
softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute,
stirring. Add the tomato puree, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce,
mustard, honey, molasses, ancho chile powder, chipotle and water. Bring
to a simmer and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until
thickened, about 30 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender. Add the
peanut butter and puree until smooth. Season the barbecue sauce with
salt and pepper.
2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the cut sides of the
buns with oil and grill until toasted, about 30 seconds. Spread some of
the barbecue sauce on the buns.
3. Form the meat into four 1-inch-thick patties and brush with oil.
Season with salt and pepper and grill over high heat, turning once,
until nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Brush the burgers with
some of the sauce and grill until lightly glazed, about 2 minutes. Top
with the cheddar and scallion, close the grill and cook just until the
cheese is completely melted, about 1 minute. Set the burgers on the
buns,   top with lettuce and tomato and serve right away.
Make Ahead The barbecue sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 months.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Asian Peanut Noodles

Tonight's dinner will go into the fixable file even though the flavors were there.  There was way too much sauce to noodles and veggies.  I would add more pasta for the amount of sauce this recipe makes and I would triple the amount of veggies.  There should have been more.  Another possibility, would be to add only veggies and maybe some lettuce?  Some shredded, cooked chicken would work too.  Other than the fact that the pasta was drowning in the sauce, it was quite good.  I consider this dish meatless, however it is not technically vegetarian.  The fish sauce in it is made from fish.  I have seen references to vegetarian fish sauce being available in Thai markets but I have never seen it.
The sauce catastrophe may be because I couldn't find buckwheat noodles, so I used the widest whole wheat pasta I could find.

Asian Peanut Noodles
1    medium carrot,peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
12    ounces dried soba or udon noodles
3 t  toasted sesame oil
18    sprigs fresh cilantro,long stems removed
2/3 c  natural peanut butter (no added sugar)
1/4 c  plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 T  packed,peeled, and finely chopped fresh ginger
2 T  plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 T  plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 limes)
2 T  plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2    medium garlic cloves,peeled and smashed
1    jalapeño,stemmed and coarsely chopped
2    medium scallions,thinly sliced (white and light green par
1    medium red bell pepper cored, seeded, and sliced into 1/2-inch
1/2    medium English cucumber thinly sliced crosswise
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the carrots
and cook until just crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted
spoon, remove the carrots to a colander.
Add the noodles to the pot of boiling water and cook according to the
package directions. While the noodles are cooking, transfer the carrots
to a small bowl and set aside. Place the colander in the sink.
When the noodles are ready, drain them through the colander and rinse
under cold water until cool. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl,
drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, and toss to coat; set aside.
Place the remaining 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, cilantro, peanut butter,
soy sauce, ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and jalapeo
in a blender. Blend until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down
the sides with a rubber spatula (if the mixture is too thick, add hot
tap water 1 teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached)
; leave the sauce in the blender.
Add the reserved carrots, scallions, bell pepper, and cucumber to the
bowl with the noodles and pour the peanut sauce over top. Toss until
well combined. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Swedish Meatballs

My husband cooked to night, and he said he would do the blog post since the recipe required some tweaking to work.  However his is a busy guy and the post may never get done if I wait;).  The end result was delicious, but the instructions weren't helpful.  The heat they recommended was too high.  In the future, my husband said he would want to finish them in the oven.  I think a lower temp and covering the would work too, but as I wasn't allowed in the kitchen when he was working, I am flying blind here. :)  To go with it he roasted some potatoes and we had our salad.  The meatballs in the picture were cut in half because the recipe left the insides raw and the pan bottom burnt.  We had to clean the bottom (losing those lovely browned bits that should have been there) but luckily we had some beef drippings I had saved from the steak salad and some beef broth to make up for what had burnt and been thrown out. (see saving everything is sometimes a good thing:)

Swedish Meatballs

2 sl white bread,crusts removed
1 c  whole milk
2 T  unsalted butter
3 T  vegetable oil
1    medium onion,minced
3/4 t  ground cumin
1/4 t  cayenne pepper
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
2 t  celery salt
1 1/2 t  kosher salt
1    large egg,lightly beaten
1 c  heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large bowl, soak the bread in the milk until very soft, 5
minutes. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1
tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over low
heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the cumin and cayenne
and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Let cool.
2. Add the ground pork and beef to the soaked bread. Gently mix in the
cooked onion, celery salt, kosher salt and beaten egg until thoroughly
combined. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Shape the meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs. In a large skillet,
melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons
of oil. Add the meatballs and cook over moderately high heat, turning
occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes; reduce
the heat to moderately low if the meatballs begin to brown too quickly.
Drain on paper towels.
4. Pour off the fat from the skillet, add the cream and scrape up any
browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer over moderately low
heat until reduced by one-third, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and
black pepper. Return the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 2
minutes before serving.
Make Ahead The meatballs can be refrigerated overnight in their sauce

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Broiled Tamari Ginger Salmon Steaks

Well we enjoyed the skinny tostadas so much, I choose another recipe from Laurie's Cravings.  As expected, it was delicious.  It was also fast and healthy.  If you don't know what tamari is, it a type of soy sauce.  I do notice a flavor difference, but I know many do not.  The main reason most people use it, is because it is naturally gluten free, where traditional soy is fermented with wheat.  However, I did read that the labeling has not always been completely accurate, at least in the beginning.  If you want to read a quick summary you can check out wisegeek.  With the salmon, I made some brown rice cooked in a low sodium stock.  (beef was what I had open so that is what I used, but any could work) I also quickly stir fried a couple of carrots, red onion and green pepper with some garlic and a bit of the tamari.  I think one of the best things about Laurie's recipes is that not only are they tasty, but you feel good after eating them.  Thank you, again, for another awesome recipe.

Broiled Tamari Ginger Salmon Steaks

grated ginger
pepper to taste
wild caught salmon steaks

I gave you the basics so you know what the recipe requires but since it isn't mine, please click here for the recipe

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Crispy Edamame

My son requested my grilled steak salad for dinner, so I decided to put the snack I made today on the blog.  I did throw some in to the salad as well so that counts right?  I enjoyed the edamame, but I do want to play around with the recipe.  I think that the parmesan was totally unnecessary.  I also think next time, I will bake them for a bit to dry them before I toss them in olive oil. (not drizzle, that so didn't work)  I think that all kinds of seasonings will work.  Everything from just some garlic, to curry or five spice should work with them.  I have no idea how the calories might compare to say popcorn, but they are really filling and pretty nutritious

Crispy Edamame

12 oz Edamame,Shelled
1 T  Olive Oil
1/4 c  Parmesan,Grated
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place the edamame
into a colander and rinse under cold water to thaw. Drain.
Spread the edamame beans into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle cheese over the top and season with
salt and pepper.
Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is crispy and golden, about
15 minutes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Banh Mi Burger

Hey all you regular readers of my blog!  (Crickets....) Awkward:).  Well if there is anyone keeping track of my no repeat policy on dinners and this blog, you may see that this is the second bahn mi burger.  The first one, Vietnamese-Style Banh Mi Burgers, were good but these were much better. They had several differences which I say count as different dinners. (the biggest difference is this burger is pork and the other was beef)  I can't even begin to describe how good they are!  Even without the few changes I would make for next time, these are a family favorite.  They were devoured!  The changes I think need to be made: slightly less meat per burger, more of all the veggies and a little less mayonnaise.  Why?  The traditional bahn mi has very little meat on it, and more is less in this instance.  The extra veggies may have only been a result of the extra meat, but why not add more veggies if you can.  They added a nice fresh crunch.  As for the mayo, in my bahn mi, the mayo is slathered and baked so it kind of dissolves into the bread.  In this burger, the mayo is there and while wasn't bad, it seemed too much.  I can't fault the recipe on that; it just says mayo and no measurement.  I personally would have left the sugar out of the meat, but the boys didn't find it to be on the sweet side, so that may just be me.  In short, MAKE THIS BURGER!!!:)

Banh Mi Burger
1    large carrot,peeled and cut -into 1/8-inch thick match
Kosher salt
3    Tbs. granulated sugar
1/4 c  white vinegar
1 lb ground pork
1    -1/2 Tbs. chili garlic sauce
1/2    Tbs. fish sauce
1/2    Tbs. fresh lime juice
Canola or vegetable oil for brushing
4    crusty rolls,such as French baguettes, split
1/4    medium English cucumber,cut into 16-1/8-inch slices
1    medium jalapeño,cut into 16 thin slices
1/2 c  loosely packed cilantro leaves
4    thin slices of ham
Put the carrots in a medium bowl and sprinkle with 1-1/2 tsp. of the
sugar and 1/2 tsp. of salt. Using your hands, toss the carrots in the
salt and sugar to begin expelling the water from them, about 3 minutes.
They will soften and liquid will begin to pool in the bottom of the
bowl.   The carrots are ready when they can bend easily without
snapping in half and they have lost about a third of their volume.
Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Gently press down on
the carrots to push out any additional water.
In the same bowl, combine 2 Tbs. of the sugar, the vinegar, and 1/4 cup
of lukewarm water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the carrots to
the pickling liquid (the liquid should be covering the carrots) and let
sit for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the pork, chili garlic sauce, fish sauce, lime juice,
and the remaining 1-1/2 tsp. sugar. Shape into four 4-inch wide, 1/2-
inch-thick patties and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill or a grill pan at medium-high heat.
Brush and oil the grates.
Make a thumbprint in the center of each of the burgers and then place
on the grill. Grill the first side until grill marks form, about 4
minutes. Flip and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer
reads 145F, about 3 minutes more.
Remove the burgers from the grill and let rest on a plate. Place the
buns on the grill and toast until grill marks form on both sides, about
1 minute per side.
Spread a small amount of mayonnaise on the upper and lower halves of
the buns. Lay a burger on the lower bun and top with a quarter of the
carrot pickle, 4 cucumber slices, 4 jalapeo slices, a few cilantro
leaves, a slice of ham, and the top half of the bun. Repeat with the
other 3 burgers and serve.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Skinny Vegetarian Black Bean Tostada

For meatless Monday, I chose to make a recipe from one of my favorite food blogs: Laurie's Craving's.  Not only does everything look and (and the ones I have made) taste great, but her recipes are healthy.  Tasty, healthy cooking is something I dabble with, but I have always said just have a little and a huge salad. (well at least until I learn the secret of it)  This recipe was really tasty, not fattening, and really filling.  Even my husband, who isn't a fan of avocado, really liked his. (he also has an inherent prejudiced against healthy cooking:)  It was also an easy recipe to make and fast.  All the "ingredients" (pardon my pun lol) for a perfect weeknight family dinner.  My husband did add a small sprinkling of cheese over the beans, but it really wasn't a lot, and I didn't miss it on mine.  The only issue my son had, is he isn't a fan of corn tortillas.  I can empathize; we are conditioned in the US to think of tortillas as the flour type only.  It  takes some getting used to if you don't eat the corn ones.  I happen to love them for certain things and the flour ones for certain things.  I think this is definitely the time for the corn ones.  I wouldn't change a thing.

Skinny Vegetarian Black Bean Tostada
bell pepper,diced
red wine vinegar
dried oregano
salt and pepper,to taste
jalapeno flavored hot sauce to taste (optional)
tomato paste
cooked black beans (or canned beans,drained and rinsed)
medium tomato,diced
haas avocado,diced
corn tortillas,warmed
oil spray
fresh cilantro,minced

For the actual recipe please click here.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

White Pizza Dip

Well it was a disastrous dinner with friends. I tell you the Hindenburg had nothing on this evening. (well the last hour anyways) but one good thing came of it, this recipe. I had been wanting to make it for a while, but so many pounds of cheese seemed (ok not seemed but is) an obscene amount of cheese to make for 3.5 appetites. So, a cookout seemed to be the time for it. Despite the fact it said serve immediately, it traveled well and I just put it in to oven at like 250 for about 15 minutes, covered with foil, to make sure it was nice and hot and spreadable.   It was well received by all, including my husband and his thing about tomatoes. It was easy to put together. It did take a bit of time because of the roasting of the tomatoes, but that was inactive time.  It is a great warm dip.  With football coming up, you will be a hit with this vat of hot bubbling cheese.  Now, it is not healthy, but in moderation;)

White Pizza Dip

1 pt grape tomatoes,tomatoes cut in half
1 t  olive oil
1/4 t  salt
1/4 t  pepper
1 1/2    (12 ounces) blocks cream cheese,softened
8    ounces mozzarella cheese freshly grated
8    ounces provolone cheese freshly grated
1/4 c  finely grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish
4    garlic cloves,minced or pressed
1/4 c  freshly chopped basil leaves
2 T  freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 T  freshly chopped oregano leaves
crackers,bread or chips for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
then place tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt, then
roast for 20-25 minutes, until bursting. Set aside.
While tomatoes are roasting, mix softened cream cheese with about 7
ounces each of provolone and mozzarella, then and parmesan. Stir in
fresh herbs, garlic and roasted tomatoes, mixing well to combine.
Transfer mixture to an oven-safe baking dish (mine was 6 x 4 round).
Sprinkle with remaining provolone and mozzarella. Bake for 25-30
minutes,    or until top is golden and bubbly. Serve immediately with
crackers, chip or toasted bread.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Smoky Pizza

I have no idea where this came from and I'm sorry about that because the recipe leads me to believe it was from a blog.  If I ever find out, I will link to there, however I did change it a bit.  The idea was solid, but the amounts were somewhat vague, I had to wing it a bit.  The recipe below is what I copied from somewhere, and the stuff in parentheses is what I actually did.  I really liked it.  It was smoky, tasty and a bit different.  It is certainly economical and fast.

Smoky Pizza

1  Pizza Dough,Unbaked    (1 LB)
1/4 c  Ricotta,Fluffy           (3/4 cup mixed with 3-4 dashed of liquid smoke)
3/4 c  Mozzarella,Smoked  (couldn't find smoked so used regular and added smoke to the ricotta)
Ham                                    (2 oz finely diced)
Sage Leaves                        (3-4 chiffionade)
Olive Oil                             (a quick drizzle)
Salt And Pepper
Onto a semi-baked crust, spread a mixture of about 1/4c nice fluffy, not watery, ricotta and 3/4 c smoked mozzarella cut into little pieces, into which was mixed a ham.a few slivered leaves of sage, some olive oil and salt and pepper. Watch out for the salt - there's no predicting how much will be in your mozzarella.  (Well that was the original instructions.  I drained my ricotta in a coffee filter just to make sure it wasn't watery, and whipped it in a mixer with the liquid smoke. The pizza stone had been in the oven as I pre heated it  to 500.  When it had been in there about 20 minutes, I pulled the stone out and placed the rolled out dough on the stone, spread the ricotta, sprinkled the ham, put the mozzarella on it and then finished with sprinkling the sage, salt, pepper and some olive oil.  Baked it in the oven for about 6 minutes.)