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Showing posts from July, 2013

Crab And Ricotta Cannelloni

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I forgot to put the basil in the filling, so we put it on top. Meh!  I didn't read the reviews of this dish because it was from Giada De Laurentiis  and her recipes almost never disappoint, this one wasn't so great for me.  I did add some garlic to the B├ęchamel and I think the sauce was ok, but there was a ton of it for the amount of pasta and the cannelloni was just alright.  I didn't pop for the really expensive crab that I would have had to shell myself because we are covering it with at ton of sauce and that would have been a waste, but I didn't by the cheapest crab either.  It was an expensive plate of blah.  I wouldn't mind playing around with the dish,  so I deem it fixable.  I think loosing the seafood and replacing with veggies would make me like it more.  So we will see if I ever get around to playing with the fixable recipes;). I did forget to put the basil inside the filling, so we put it on top.  The basil was needed!  I also cooked it way longer th

Lamb Tagine with Dates, Almonds and Pistachios

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I got the most beautiful tagine as a gift from my MIL.  I have been wanting one for a long time.  Now I am not timid in the kitchen, but I was a little nervous about using the clay vessel with the glass top stove, so after a bit of poking around on the Internet, I ordered a heat diffuser and a cookbook about cooking in these clay vessels.   The heat diffuser was recommended by the makers of my tagine but didn't say required, but I figured for 12 dollars it was worth the insurance.  I should have checked to see if my tagine fit inside my cast iron skillet, but too late:).  This is my first recipe out of the cookbook I ordered Tagines & Couscous .  If this recipe is the only one we like, the book was worth it.  We had some wonderful friends over, who didn't mind being guinea pigs to our first attempt with the tagine as well as the recipe;).  The only ingredient that I couldn't find at my local publix was the ghee.  The cookbook said you could use half butter and half ol

My New Juicer

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I have been wanting a juicer; at the very least I wanted to make healthier juices for the kids, but I was also hoping to add a good bit of fruit and veggies to my diet. I know people become absolute fanatics about juicing, but I can't see that happening to us:). So this is my first "juice" I made. It was touted as good for beginning juicers. It was a bit odd and a bit to strong in the celery (I left out 1 stalk too!), but on the whole, not too bad.  The funniest thing was a little bit after drinking it, I looked over at my husband and said, I feel weird.  He said he did too.  The best description we could come up with was we felt like we were slipped some kind of drug. (Or slammed one too many red bulls:)  I asked him if this was what healthy felt like, and we both got a good laugh out of it.  I will update you as our experience progresses. Mean Green 2 granny smith apples 3 stalks of celery 1 cucumber 1 thumb of ginger 6 leaves of kale 1/2 lemon Juice &

Salmon Feta Pasta

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My son got to choose dinner tonight and he picked another recipe from the lovely and talented Nillawan.com .  It was another awesome dish, and surprisingly easy to make considering just how much flavor it delivered.  I think I cooked the tomatoes a bit longer than she did, but my husband has issues with chunks of tomato.  I didn't think this would be his kind of dish as feta and tomatoes aren't his favorites, but he wasn't going to be home for dinner. He got home and tried it reheated and declared it delicious!  (despite the fact of his less than favorite ingredients and it being reheated!!!)  As with all the recipes I try from my fellow bloggers, I give you a link to their site. Salmon Feta Pasta Roma tomatoes garlic basil Smoked salmon pine nuts feta Recipe and instructions here

Halibut With Swiss Chard, Leek And Pepper Stew

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I am going to have a hard time accurately judging this recipe.  The biggest impediment to impartiality is the fact that while the stew was cooking, one child was asleep and the other playing quietly, so I poured my self a glass of wine, read my book and reacquainted myself with the pleasure a piece of baguette and real butter can bring, so I wasn't exactly starving when the meal was finished. The other thing that may skew my perception, was that I tailored this to fit some ingredients I had on hand.  Those being acorn squash over the easier to peel butternut and the tiny, albeit delicious, but infinitely harder to chop yum yum peppers I had in my Front Porch Pickings basket.  My only valid complaint was that there wasn't much in the way of liquid and I thought the stew a bit too dry for me to think of it as a stew.  I also substituted flounder for the halibut as there wasn't any at my local publix.  Even with all that against it, I still thought it was pretty good; a solid

Steak with Blue Cheese Butter

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My son requested steak tonight, so I obliged him. To make it a "new" recipe, I looked for a compound butter to top it with. I found this blue cheese butter from Bobby Flay. It was nice. I loved that it gave you the flavor of blue cheese but it wasn't overwhelmingly blue. Since the recipe this week is so quick, I thought I would share my steak cooking technique. I achieve consistent results and as my husband once said, his manhood felt a little threatened that I was better at steak cooking than him. (lol)  It is surprisingly simple to do.  It isn't anything secret, it is just a collection of things I have read concerning steak cookery.  We like our steak medium rare, and that takes 4 minutes a side for this size steak.  I would lose a minute a side for rare and add a minute for medium.  Ideally, a thicker steak would get more caramelizing on the out side, but I haven't found any already cut that thick at Publix, but that would require me to trial and error find out

Salmon With Sriracha Sauce And Lime

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Well tonight's dish was no wow. However, I feel honor bound to round up 1/2 a star on pure healthiness.  So it gets 3 stars.  I used a wild salmon and I think that I should have broiled it, but I hate to diverge from a recipe the first time I make it.  I picked this dish for it's lightness as we are all heavier and bloated from all the food we ate on vacation.  The flavors were ok, but like I said, not a wow.  The thing we liked the best was the Lemon Chia Seed dressing for our salad!  It was really amazing, and it went well with the fish.  In fact, I think a plain piece of broiled Salmon with this dressing would be better than the following recipe.  Of course the dressing has oil in it where the fish recipe doesn't.  If you are looking for a decent low cal recipe, than this will fit the bill, but if you are looking for really tasty food, go with a different salmon recipe, eat less of it, and fill up on salad. Salmon With Sriracha Sauce And Lime   Juice and zest of

Eggplant Involtini with Fresh Tomato Sauce

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My darling, aunt in law I guess, gave me this huge beautiful eggplant. When I went  on my meatless board on Pinterest, the first one that popped up was this one. I figured it was fate and decided I had to make it. It was a bit of work but not to terribly much. I made the tomato sauce the day before which cut out a lot of time and some work off the dish. I think the tomato sauce was pretty good, and it was most definitely better the next day.   I would think the whole dish is about a 3. Things that prevented it from ranking higher!  I would reduce the lemon juice or zest. Not that they weren't nice in it, but it was a lot of lemon flavor in the end. I also think it needs more tomato sauce to eggplant roll. So next time, instead of just a little in the bottom, I would put a good thick layer. Also, I only used 1/2 tablespoon of cream per roll. I am putting this in the fixable file. For the eggplant involtini recipe click here . For the tomato sauce recipe click here .  

Berry Syrup

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I have been away from the blog for what feels like forever, but I promise there were good reasons.  First of all, the refrigerator, yes the fairly new one, has been having some issues which resulted with us not using it for a long time.  (parts on back order ugh!)  Then we went away for a week for a family reunion.  So, I am now trying to get back in to my blogging groove.  Since we still aren't doing much cooking, fridge fixed Wednesday, I thought I would keep it simple, so with our further ado, the post;). I have a new toy, a soda siphon .  We waste so much club soda between making myself less sweet syrupy sodas & cocktails, I thought it would be worth the investment. While I am digging the extra fuzzy club soda, and we are using the heck out of it, the jury is still out on if it is more economical. I thought one way I can justify the purchase is to make "sodas" for the kids too. I found this recipe for  making syrup from a variety of berries and thought it would

Miso Glazed Talapia

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This dish was good.  Our jaded palates couldn't let us go higher than 3.5 (ok the boy said 4), but it was not only tasty & healthy, but  is totally capable of being a stellar dish with a little playing around with it.  I have been really busy getting ready for vacation, dealing with a fridge that may or may not be holding temperature, and a big old case of the summer doldrums.  Hence, the blog has been neglected.  We will be gone for a week starting Tuesday, so I don't foresee a lot of blogging coming up, and I am slacking on this post as well.  I didn't want to go out to the store and I needed to use up some things in the fridge.  This dish was based on this Miso Glazed Cod Recipe .  I'm not even sure if this was where I first found it, but it was the first place to come up with the same recipe.  I had all the ingredients on hand except the cod the original recipe called for, but I did have tilapia.  I halved the recipe too. Miso GlazedTalapia   6 (6-ounce)

Sausage Burgers with Sriracha Honey Mustard Sauce

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I had 4 hamburger buns from Sunday, so it would be wasteful of me to not make burgers again right??  So I had my boy browse my Pinterest burger board, and he picked this one. GOOD CHOICE!  I thought it sounded like it had possibilities, and its totally in my husband's wheelhouse, so I was pretty sure everyone would like it. The boy rated it the lowest at 3.5 stars. My husband hates to give up a, 5 but that was what he was thinking. (He ate two after all;). I was thinking 4-4.5 for the rating, so 4.5 it is. The sriracha honey mustard was really great!  I think it important to have good mustards.  I made my own coleslaw, but didn't measure anything: just some mayo, white wine vinegar, celery seed, salt, pepper and maybe some garlic. (I can't remember)  On the plus side, fast easy, and amazing; on the down side, not exactly diet or healthy.  Sausage Burgers with Sriracha-Honey-Mustard Sauce   1 1/2 pounds ground pork 1 1/2 pounds sweet and hot Italian sausage, casi

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with a Lemon Sage Brown Butter Sauce

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I had some butternut squash from my Front Porch Pickings basket, and I was browsing Pinterest for ideas. I came across a pin for butternut squash stuffed shells with a lemon sage brown butter sauce. I planned on using the recipe as a guide, but I kind of just made it up as I went along. The main thing I used the recipe for: the brilliant suggestion of adding lemon zest to the filling. I also took the sauce and cooking time from the pinned recipe. They were pretty similar in the end. The main thing I did really different, was I mashed the squash.  I liked the texture better that way.  Next time I would change the sauce.  The butter sauce didn't do anything really, so I think I just might make my sage cream sauce and put a dollop on top of each shell next time.  The best thing about this dish is the squash;  I thin I will replace 1/2 the ricotta in my stuffed/layered pastas from now on with roasted squash.  It was tasty and it adds some vitamins and lightens it up a bit.  Sorry about

Cheesy Burgers With Soy-Spiked Ketchup

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The boy requested burgers, and this was one from Food & Wine we hadn't tried yet. The reviews were mixed in the family. The boy said 4 stars, my husband said 2 and I was thinking a high 3.5. I'm rounding the average to my rating. The husband didn't like it because of the texture. It was billed as a cross between meatloaf and a burger, and my husband thought it disappointed on both accounts. The boy loved it and didn't complain. I thought the texture was a bit too mushy, but really dug the flavor and loved the soy spiked ketchup.  The ketchup is a keeper. Now what else to do with it... Cheesy Burgers With Soy-Spiked Ketchup 1/2 Cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup 1 1/2 Tbl soy sauce 1 Tbl hoisin sauce 1 Tbl fresh lime juice 1 1/2 Tsp ancho chile powder 1 1/2 Lb ground beef chuck preferably 80 or 85 percent lean 1/2 Cup shredded Colby cheese 1/4 Cup minced red onion 2 Tbl minced kosher pickles 2 Tbl plain dry bread crumbs 3 garlic cloves minced 1/2 Tsp ITab

Spicy Japanese Popcorn

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This was an interesting recipe.  At first, it was an odd juxtaposition of flavors.  There as the almost fishy flavor of the seaweed, the nuttiness of the sesame seeds, and a surprisingly spiciness of the togarashi, which I had never used before and was why I made this particular recipe tonight.  I happened to have some on hand.  Why you may ask?  Well,  I was making the trek to the oriental grocery for Korean pepper paste, so of course I browsed a bit. I saw the togarashi and I knew I had seen it in one of the hundreds of to try recipes I have filed away, but I also knew that it was for a recipe I wanted to try and was only deterred by missing this ingredient, the one ingredient not available at my local Publix.  So, of course I bought it and then proceeded to try and remember what recipe I wanted to make that required the elusive togarashi.  Then it hit me, it was from an article in Food and Wine about some unusual flavored popcorns.  So we popped some popcorn (not the microwave ki

Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette

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My darling boy is finally home after a fun filled week at my MIL's house. I let him choose his welcome home dinner, and he choose Nillawan's Smoked Salmon Pasta . (Good choice might I add:)  Since I have been kind if slacking on the blog since summer started, I decided to make a new salad dressing for a blog recipe. This was a great salad dressing. My husband thinks it just might be his favorite yet. I got it off Food & Wine's website and it billed it as a lightened up version of a ceaser type dressing made by Bobby Flay. While not a lot of work, the roasting of the garlic does add on some, largely inactive, time, but as I think dressings taste better after sitting, it can be made ahead of time. Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette 15 medium unpeeled garlic cloves 1 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 Cup white wine vinegar 2 Tbl water 2 Tsp Dijon mustard 1 Tsp mayonnaise 1 Tsp honey 1/4 Tsp Worcestershire sauce 1/8 Tsp Tabasco 1/3 Cup canola oil Kosher salt and freshly

Doritos Crusted Chicken Fingers That You Should NEVER Make

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The top 2 were made with nacho flavor the bottom two made with my personal favorite Doritos, Thai Chili (or sweet hot chili something like that:) So, this is another of the dishes off pinterest my husband chose.  The irony, is I pinned it for the kids, and the boy isn't with us this week.  I let him do the cooking of the chicken, I made the ranch that the recipe recommended to dip in.  He says it is a two person job to do the breading if you want it done in a timely manner.  But at least it was worth it right?  WRONG!  It was worse than school food!  It was a waste of a bag of chips!  The crust tasted nothing like doritos, were the texture of stale chips and slipped right off.  EWWWWW!  And we have so many now, and we don't even want to offer them to the neighborhood kids!  Fou1!  (hehe no pun intended)  I feel sick right now for eating 4 nuggets but I wanted to warn you, please NEVER MAKE THESE!!!!  The only thing that tasted at all good was the homemade ranch I made.  I

Spaghetti Squash Cakes

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For our meatless Monday, I thought we would try these Spaghetti Squash Cakes. I had plenty of egg whites in the freezer and a spaghetti squash from Front Porch Pickings.  (Whenever a recipe calls for an egg yolk, I freeze the whites individually). We thought these were alright; nothing a good dose of fat and salt couldn't cure, actually, was our estimation. ;)  All joking aside, for the amount of calories you get, these were great, I think they would be an amazing substitute for English muffins in eggs Benedict. Now, I know, that is seriously upping the calories and fat, but the squash cakes would be seriously lowering the calories of the Benedict;).  We didn't dislike them, but there was no wow factor on the taste buds.  If I were going on just taste, I would give them a 2.5-3 but as they are so low calorie, they get a 3. Spaghetti Squash Cake   2 egg whites ¼ cup whole wheat flour (30g) 2-3 cloves of garlic About 1 ½ cups of cooked spaghetti squash About ¼ cup