Tarte L’oignon

March 3, 2014

You can’t let Mardi Gras pass without at least one (or two, or three) decadent meals. When I think of New Orleans I think of all the cuisines that influence the menus in that sinfully delicious city and Creole, French and good ol’ Southern come to mind.

So when pondering what recipe to share during Mardi Gras, I immedietly thought of the Tarte L’oignon I recently replicated from a tiny French bistro in Decatur, Ga.

This dish is rich, creamy and might have a calorie or two.

I like to think it’s not that bad…afterall, it is meatless, right? So technically it could be used for a Meatless Monday dish. Is that pushing it?

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What dish are you making to celebrate Mardi Gras?

Tostadas Terrificos!

February 23, 2014

I know I have not blogged in awhile, but I have have definitely been cooking!

Most recently, I made an amazing supper of Shrimp Tostadas and served them with Roasted Okra.

My husband and I just returned from a fun, and adventurous, trip to the beautiful country of Costa Rica.  As much as we enjoyed kayaking, hiking and other outdoor activities of La Fortuna and walking the streets of San Jose…we were not crazy about the food.  There is only so much rice and beans, pizza and fried chicken you can eat (random selection, I know).

Anywho, since we were craving Latin American food as soon as we set foot back in the states, I immediately started looking for a recipe to inspire and found this Shrimp Tostada Recipe — que delicioso! It was quick and easy to make, healthy and just what we had been craving.

Of course, I made a few changes.  I used frozen, precooked shrimp and just heated them through with the garlic and salsa in a pan on the stove; subbed Butterhead Lettuce because it’s my fave and added a little coconut oil  to the refried beans (a little trick I learned in my travels to Belize).

It’s also a great dish to have on hand for Meatless Monday (if you eat seafood on Mondays like I do).

What’s your go-to dish when you need a south-of-the-border fix?

La Cena

La Cena

I was watching Giada a few Saturday mornings ago and had to wipe drool away during her “meatball” episode.  Meatballs just aren’t something I make during the summer.  When I think of meatballs, I think of spaghetti, warm sweaters and leaves turning.

So when I watched one of my favorite Food Network stars make a Meatball and Kale Pizza, I knew this was coming to a fall menu near me.

I picked up a medium dough from my favorite pizza parlour (Fellini’s in Atlanta) and used only half the batch of meatballs on the pizza.  The other half I served over fresh spinach linguine noodles with marinara later in the week.

M husband is a little wary of ground turkey, but he absolutely loved the taste of these.  I’ll definitely be making again to use in marinara, meatball subs, etc.

Tell me, how do you make your favorite meatballs?

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Browned meatballs out of the oven

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Add mozzarella and parmesan and back into the oven

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Warm and cheesy out of the oven

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Crispy kale tops off this wholesome meal!

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pizza:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for oiling the baking sheet and for drizzling
  • One 1-pound ball pizza dough (I used a medium dough for a 12.5 in pizza stone)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella
  • 8 Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs, recipe follows, halved
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 medium leaves kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped and massaged with evoo and salt and pepper

Directions

For the sauce: In a heavy small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Add the nutmeg, bay leaf and garlic. Whisk over medium heat until the mixture thickens to sauce consistency and is smooth, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper.

Remove and discard the bay leaf and garlic.

For the pizza: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Place the pizza stone in the oven, to get hot, while it is preheating.  Meanwhile, work with the dough to get it “stretched out” to go on the stone.  Honestly, this is an art.  Luckily, Jim has mastered it.  If this is your first time working with dough, you might want to buy two to play with until you get it right.

Once the oven is preheated, remove the stone and place it on a trivet.  Quickly spread the dough over the stone, being careful not to burn your fingers. Drizzle the dough with olive oil. Spoon the white sauce on top and spread evenly leaving a 1-inch border around the dough. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top. Arrange the meatballs, cut-side down, on top. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add the kale in an even layer on top of the meatballs. Bake until the kale is crispy, 10 minutes longer.

Cut into squares and serve.

Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs:

  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs (I use Panko for everything these days)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1 pound spicy ground turkey
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, basil, parsley, milk, tomato paste, salt, pepper, eggs, garlic and onions. Stir to blend. Add the ground turkey and sausage meat. Using fingers, gently mix all the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Form the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls (22 to 24 meatballs). Place the meatballs on a heavy nonstick baking sheet, spacing apart. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until cooked through, 15 minutes.

For more hearty fall meal ideas, get inspiration from my fellow #SundaySupper foodies.  Check out their tasty blogs below:

Amazing Breakfasts, Brunches, and Breads

Outstanding Soups, Starters and Sides:

Comforting Main Dishes:

Decadent Desserts:

Tasty Drinks:

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Sunday Supper Movement

I’m always looking to incorporate more fish and seafood in our weekly dinners and this recipe is so easy and delicious, it’s perfect for a quick, healthy meal any day of the week.

I’ve tweaked the original recipe a bit by adding shredded coconut and cayenne to the “crust” mixture and it is so tasty!  You could sub another nut if you don’t have macadamian nuts on hand. Tip:  Keep your nuts in the freezer to make them last longer. I think pistachios or cashews would also work nicely.

To bring this meal together, I like to roast a fresh veggie in the oven while it’s preheating for the fish (and while the fish is baking) and serve with a cold salad I’ve prepped on Sunday for the week, like a Farro Salad.  So you’ve got your dinner cooking in the oven with minimal clean-up.  A win-win for a weeknight meal!

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Mahi-Mahi before going in the oven

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Brushing on coconut milk

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Crusted and ready to go back in to bake!

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Easy Weeknight Meal: Macadamian Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi served with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Farro Salad

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely ground, roasted macadamia nuts (I pound them in a plastic bag with a mallet)
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • a pinch of cayenne (more for more kick)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing foil
  • 4 mahi mahi fillets (I love the frozen fillets from Whole Foods)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together the nuts, panko, coconut, cayenne, flour, and butter. Set aside.

Place a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and brush it liberally with vegetable oil. Place the mahi mahi on the foil and sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper on both sides.  Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush each fillet with the coconut milk. Divide the nut mixture among the tops of the 4 fillets, patting the mixture to spread and adhere to the fillets. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Be sure to check out more #WeekDaySupper recipes this week from my fellow foodies!

Tuesday – Healthy. Delicious. – Thai Corn Chowder

Wednesday – Wednesday – Daily Dish Recipes – Guacamole Avocado Pasta

Thursday – Foxes Love Lemons – Squash & Ricotta Gemelli Saute

Friday – Mama’s Blissful Bites – Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Honey Glaze

I am a big fan of Meatless Monday.  One day a week we eat vegetarian.  It’s a great way to eat a little healthier and it makes you get creative in the kitchen.  I definitely have a lot more vegetarian entrees in my dinner rotation now than I did before I started doing this!

My Long Islander husband loves seafood, so sometimes I’ll feature fish or shellfish on Mondays.  He has turned me onto clams over the years, so now I’ve started making them at home.  This Linguine with Clam Sauce recipe is to die for.  I bought fresh pasta from the farmer’s market (the best!) and served it with a French baguette.  We, literally, sopped up every last drop of sauce in our bowls!

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Heaven in a Bowl

Ingredients

  •  Two dozen littleneck clams
  • 6 Tbs. evoo
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 5 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 oz. fresh linguine
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Scrub the clams under cold water and set aside. In a heavy 3-qt. saucepan, heat 3 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Add the pepper flakes and cook briefly to infuse the oil, about 20 seconds. Immediately add the wine, 2 Tbs. of the chopped parsley, and half of the garlic. Cook for 20 seconds and add the clams.

Cover and cook over medium-high heat, checking every 2 minutes and removing each clam as it opens. It will take 5 to 6 minutes total for all the clams to open. Transfer the clams to a cutting board and reserve the broth. Remove the clams from the shells and cut them in half, or quarters if they’re large. Return the clams to the broth. Discard the shells.  (If the shells are large, I like to save them to use for Baked Clams.)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until it’s almost al dente, about two minutes (for fresh pasta).  Follow directions on the box if you are using dried.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining  parsley and the rest of the garlic and cook until the garlic is just soft, about 1 minute. Set the skillet aside.

When the pasta is done, reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta. Add the pasta, the clams, and the broth the clams were cooked in to the skillet. Return to low heat, toss the pasta in the sauce, and simmer for another minute to finish cooking it, adding a little of the pasta water if you prefer a “saucier” dish.

Taste for salt and add pepper. Serve immediately, with French bread and garnish with the parsley.

Be sure to get more great #WeekDaySupper ideas from my fellow foodies later this week!

08/27/13 – Tuesday – Cookin’ Mimi – Barbecue Jack Chicken

08/28/13 – Wednesday – Noshing With The Nolands – Lentils Ole

08/29/13 – Thursday – Basic N Delicious – Spaghetti with Mushroom Sauce

08/30/13 – Friday – Granny’s Down Home Sassy Southern Cooking – Sassy Sausage Jambalaya

Sunday Supper Movement

My husband and I traveled to Granada, Nicaragua with some friends this past May.  Not only was the country beautiful…but the food was delicious!  One of our favorite things to do late-night, after a few Tonas, was to hit the street food vendors and load up on a variety of foods…from tacos to empanadas to Nicamales, the Nicaraguan Tamale.  What makes the NicaMale different from a regular tamale is the size, they are huge!  Traditionally, they are wrapped in a large banana leaf and filled with meat and rice.

We stayed in a home in the heart of Granada, and one morning, our housekeeper made NicaMales for breakfast.  They were savory packages filled with chicken and rice and served with a little hot sauce.  I knew I had to recreate them at home!

Unfortunately,  I was unable to find banana leaves in Atlanta.  So I had to settle for dried corn husks, which were also difficult to find. (If you live in Atlanta, they’re at the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market.) I filled the husks with the traditional masa mixture, pulled pork with tomatillo sauce, rice and thinly sliced Vidalia onions and green bell peppers.  They came out perfect!  One thing to note, is it’s a lot easier to make these with a few extra hands, so teamwork is key.  My hubby made the dough and we worked together to fill, fold and tie them (an art in itself).  Also, realize that these babies steam for about three and a half hours, so preparing them is an all day affair (I prepared the pork the night before in the crockpot)…but definitely worth it!

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The Perfect Package: Pork NicaMale with Gallos Pintos

NicaMales

Ingredients

Masa (Dough)

  • Masa harina — 6 cups
  • Lard or shortening — 1 cup (I use Armour)
  • Salt — 1 tablespoon
  • Orange Juice – 1/2 cup + Juice of half a Lemon
  • Chicken stock — 4-5 cups

Filling

  • Pulled Pork with Tomatillo Sauce
  • Salt and pepper — to season
  • Rice, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes — 3/4 cup
  • Onion, sliced thin — 1
  • Bell pepper, sliced thin — 2

Assembly

  • Banana leaves, hard spine removed and cut into 10×10-inch rectangles — 12 pieces (If you can find them, if not, sub dehydrated corn husks.)

Method

  1. Place the masa harina, lard and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer.  You can also throw in a bowl and use a hand mixer. Blend on a low speed to incorporate the fat into the masa harina and give it a mealy texture. You may have to do this and the next step in two batches if your mixer bowl is not large enough to hold all the ingredients without overflowing.
  2. With the mixer still on low speed, add the orange and lemon juices and enough chicken stock to make a soft, moist dough. It should be a little firmer than mashed potatoes. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes to incorporate some air into the masa and make it fluffier. Cover the bowl and set the masa aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Assemble all of your filling ingredients and assembly items on a large table or work surface. Gather family and friends to help in an assembly line.
  4. Lay out corn husks (or banana leaves). Place 1/2 cup of the masa in the middle of the corn husk and, using wetted hands, spread it out a little. Put about 1/2 cup of pork on top of the masa and sprinkle 1 or 2 tablespoons of rice over the pork. Top with about 4 pieces of onion and 4 pieces of pepper.
  5. Fold the top edge of the corn husk down over the filling. Bring the bottom edge up over this. Then fold in both sides to make a rectangular package. Be careful not to wrap it too tightly or the filling will squeeze out. Flip the package over so it is seam side down.  Use a torn corn husk as a tie to hold it securely.
  6. Add 2 or 3 inches of water to a  pot large enough to hold all the Nicatamales. (I used two pots since I didn’t have one large enough to hold them all. ) Place a rack or steam strainer in the bottom or toss in enough wadded up aluminum foil to hold the Nicatamales mostly out of the water. Add the Nicatamales and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and steam for 3 to 4 hours. Add more water as needed to keep the pot from boiling dry.
  7. Remove the Nicatamales from the pot and serve hot. Each diner unties the corn husk on his or her own Nicatamal before eating.

These were delicious served with Gallos Pintos (recipe coming soon).

Bread on the Boulevard

Hand-Held Savory Eats

To-Go Containers

Sweets on the Streets

Grab a Thermos 

Sunday Supper Movement Let’s hit the pavement this Sunday in search of the best street food from around the globe!  Join us for a #SundaySupper event featuring Global Street Food that we’ve made in our own kitchens, in honor of our favorites and/or those we would love to try!
We’ll also be holding our live #SundaySupper twitter chat at 7pm (ET) on Sunday evening.  We’d love to have you join us as we discuss the best and the worst of Global Street Food!  – See more at: http://www.girlichef.com/2013/08/GlobalStreetFoodPreview.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+girlichef+(girlichef)#sthash.nWJmlkkU.dpuf

So, I’ve started going to some food festivals and I love them! Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I thought I’d start featuring some of the highlights in a photo collage. See below for some of my faves from last Saturday’s Atlanta Underground Market:

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This dish is the perfect summer side.  It’s easy, colorful, make-ahead and, most importantly, delicious!  I like to pack it up and take along to the beach or on a picnic, serve alongside ribs, or make a batch to take into work to have for lunch for the week.  If enjoying for lunch, you could add shredded chicken, or boiled shrimp, to make it a little more hearty, or serve alongside a summer soup or salad.

cousWhat’s your go-to summer salad?

Hubby’s Homecoming

July 29, 2013

My husband and I were both recently out of town, so we didn’t see each other for a couple of weeks. While I was attending a work conference, he and a friend traipsed around Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Needless to say, I had to make his homecoming meal a good one…and what better way to tell someone you love them then with lobster?

This Lobster Roll recipe is incredible. I can honestly say that I have never had a “real” lobster roll in Boston or Maine, but if they taste anything like these came out, it’s a good thing I don’t live in either place. I’d be broke and probably weigh a few more pounds from eating the irresistible sammy multiple times a week. I made just a few small tweaks to the original recipe. I did add Bibb lettuce and I subbed green onions for chives, because that’s what I had.

Yes, lobster is expensive, so do not let any of it go to waste, I opted to buy lobster tail (mainly b/c I didn’t want to have to kill a live lobster by stabbing it to death or throwing it into a pot of boiling water). After roasting it in the oven, and removing the meat, I used the shells to make a rich lobster stock which I will be using in a Lobster Bisque tonight. Note: I used one lobster tail per sandwich, roughly, and roasted a third tail, and put the meat aside, to be used in the bisque tonight.

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Tell me, what’s you’re favorite way to prepare this sweet crustacean at home?

When I think of summer and in-season fruits and veggies, I think of tomato plants laden with bright red orbs. So, it wasn’t hard to decide what ingredient I wanted to feature when this week’s #SundaySupper topic was farmer’s market finds. I wanted to get the most gorgeous tomatoes I could, and luckily, I was in the beautiful Saint Simons Island, GA, so I stopped at their little market to pick some up. I also grabbed some Vidalia onions (which are from Vidalia, GA, in case you didn’t know).

I decided to try my hand at Tomato Pie. A friend from Junior League had mentioned this recipe to me and I had never heard of it before. Tomato Pie? No eggs? Just mayo, cheese and tomatoes? Hmmmm….I had to give this a whirl.

I made it my own by adding caramelized Vidalia onions, and OMG. This is to die for. You can serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. (It’s good cold, too.)

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Southern Tomato Pie

Ingredients

  • Store bought pie crust

  • 2 Vidalia onions, caramelized

  • 4 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into thick slices

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup Duke’s mayonnaise (is there any other kind?)

  • 3 green onions, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

Preparation

    1. Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels. Stir together next 4 ingredients and 3/4 cup of cheese.

    2. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over bottom of crust. Arrange caramelized onions over cheese on crust, then tomato slices; spread mayonnaise mixture over tomatoes.

    3. Bake at 350º for 35 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Check out more recipes featuring fresh ingredients from my fellow #SundaySupper foodies below:

 

Appetizers & Salads

Garlic Scape Dip from The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen
Onion Bacon Jam with Bread n’ Brie from Gotta Get Baked
Kale & Pepita Pesto from girlichef
Garden Quinoa Salad from The Urban Mrs
Grilled Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad from Pescetarian Journal
Watermelon-Feta Salad with Pomegranate Drizzle from The Weekend Gourmet

Soups & Sides

Watermelon Gazpacho from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Classic Gazpacho from Curious Cuisiniere
Pea Soup from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Pickled Garlic Scapes from kimchi MOM
Cheesy Zucchini Hodge Podge from Cupcakes & Kale Chips

Succotash from Magnolia Days
3 Easy Japanese Spinach Recipes from NinjaBaking.com
Michigan-Made Meal with Seasoned Potato Chips from Foxes Love Lemons

Entrees

Summer Veggie Pizza from Country Girl In The Village
Tomato Pie from The Hand That Rocks The Ladle
Kitchen Sink Vegetable Curry from What Smells So Good?
Margherita Pizza from Growing Up Gabel
Cheesy Zucchini Fritters from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Three Sauces with Summer Herbs to Transform a Simple Grilled Dinner from Cook the Story
Vegetable Quesadillas from Cookin’ Mimi
Mushroom Scallion Risotto from Vintage Kitchen Notes
Lemony Summer Linguine with Grilled Vegetables from Neighborfood
Pasta alla Norma Nuda from Juanita’s Cocina
Arugula Pizza from Family Foodie

Desserts

Peach Cobbler from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Coconut Cherry Bars from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Lightened Up Peach and Blueberry Cobbler from Peanut Butter and Peppers

Cherry Brandy Cobbler from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Peach Maple Ice Cream from Pies and Plots
Cherry Clafoutis from Food Lust People Love
Roasted Figs with Caramel, Honey Ice Cream and Aged Balsamic from Crazy Foodie Stunts
Peach Ice Cream Paletas from Basic N Delicious
Gluten Free Sour Cherry Cake from No One Likes Crumbley Cookies

I don’t know about you but I LOVE breakfast for dinner. There’s just something special about having traditional breakfast fare after the sun goes down…whether it’s a cold bowl of cereal or a tasty quiche like the one listed below.

My mom has been making this recipe on Christmas morning as long as I can remember.  However, it’s so delicious, I would eat at any time of day.  The recipe is from a 1980′s issue of Southern Living, but it’s one of those classics that I’ll be making forever.

You can, of course, change up the recipe any way you like.  I added mushrooms in this version, but crumbled bacon or chopped ham is also tasty.  Just don’t swap out the Muenster cheese, it really makes this dish.

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Crustless Spinach Quiche   

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package, frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • Handful of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 5  eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups shredded Muenster cheese
  • s&p to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degree.  Heat oil in pan and sauté onions about five minutes before adding the spinach and mushrooms. Cook until all excess moisture has evaporated.

In a large bowl, mix eggs, cheese, salt and pepper.  Add spinach/onion/shroom mixture then pour into  greased pie pan.  Bake 30 minutes and cool for ten before serving.

My favorite sides to go along with this cheesy goodness are Logan Turnpike Grits (available at Whole Foods or the DeKalb Farmer’s Market if you’re in the Atlanta area) and Fresh Fruit.

What is your favorite breakfast meal to have at night?

Be sure to check out more Breakfast for Dinner  recipes from my fellow foodies, below:

Tres Leches Pancakes from La Cocina de Leslie
French Toast Casserole with Sautéed Apples from The Foodie Army Wife
Gluten Free Breakfast Pizza from Blueberries And Blessings
Basic Vegan Waffles from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Kale, Bacon, Brown Rice Crustless Quiche from Shockingly Delicious
Bacon Egg and Potato Breakfast Tacos from Cookin’ Mimi
Steak and Egg Tostadas from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Breakfast Bowls from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Bacon and Egg Waffles from The Urban Mrs
Homemade Lox from Growing Up Gabel
Seattle Sandwiches (Lox, Shmear, & A Fried Egg) from Juanita’s Cocina
Bacon & Brie Potato Bread Strata with Roasted Pears from Eat, Move, Shine
Saucy Ham and Cheese Breakfast Sliders from Daily Dish Recipes
Greek Frittata from Casa de Crews
Elderberry Flower Pancakes from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Prosciutto, Gorgonzola and Rosemary Strata from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Italian Turkey Meatballs (With a Secret) from What Smells So Good?
Bacon, Spinach and Tomato Breakfast Pizza from Runner’s Tales
Red Pepper and Egg Galette from Healthy. Delicious.
Waffles – One Plate, Two Ways: Sweet & Savory from Foxes Love Lemons
Steak & Egg Bagel Sandwich from girlichef
Florentine Benedict from Supper for a Steal
Oatmeal Ice Cream from Treats & Trinkets
Banana Waffles with Peanut Butter Syrup from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Baked Berry French Toast from Table For Seven
But wait, there’s more!
Open Faced BTC Sandwich from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Crustless Spinach Quiche from The Hand That Rocks The Ladle
Bacon ‘n Eggs Bread Pudding from gotta get baked
Denver Breakfast Ring from Curious Cuisiniere
Copycat Japanese McDonald’s from Ninja Baking
One Pan Full English Fry-up from Food Lust People Love
Crumpets with Whipped Orange Honey from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Leek, Mushroom and Gruyère Quiche from Hip Foodie Mom
Joe’s Special, the Original San Francisco Treat from Webicurean
Dark Chocolate, Orange & Pistachio Greek Yogurt Cups from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Gluten Free Tomato Basil Crepes form No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Sour Cherry Crisp from Pies and Plots
Cream Dried Beef and Waffles from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Sausage breakfast casserole from My cute bride
Almond Rice Crepes Stuffed With Sweet Potatoes & Peas from  Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Zucchini Pancakes with Sautéed Tomatoes and Feta from Ruffles & Truffles
Apple, Bacon, and Dubliner Cheese Stuffed French Toast from Neighborfood
Dulce de Leche Stuffed French Toast from Basic N Delicious
Normally it would be very socially unacceptable to have wine with your breakfast, but seeing as this is closer to sunset than sunrise, we say go for it!!!
Hangtown Fry and Wine Pairings with Breakfast for Dinner from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.

Suffering Succotash

July 14, 2013

This dish looks and tastes like summer. The vivid color of the veggies, the freshness of the herbs and the brightness of the lemon make for a healthy and delicious side during the hot summer months.

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I think the corn would be tasty grilled if you have the grill on already…it helps to not heat up the kitchen. (I also like to utilize the burner on our outdoor grill.) I used shelled beans from the farmer’s market and fresh basil from my garden. Also, I did not have canola oil so I used vegetable oil and it worked great.

My husband asked what exactly succotash was, so I looked up the history. Pretty interesting.

There are many ways to prepare succotash. What’s your favorite?

Poblanos Con Pollo

July 7, 2013

I had bookmarked this recipe some time ago and just hadn’t gotten around to testing it out. I was menu planning this weekend, saw it and thought it sounded like a great summertime dinner. I was right.

I changed the recipe up a bit by omitting the 1.5 cup cooked rice (I was serving rice alongside the meal) and replacing with:
- 1/4 diced red onion
- 1 ear of fresh corn (cut from the cob)
- I cup tightly packed fresh spinach leaves, stemmed

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Cheesy Poblano served with Arroz Verde and Roasted Okra

I also drizzled the peppers with a little bit of this Cilantro Dressing from Trader Joe’s. My friend has got me hooked on it and I put it on everything now.

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Crack

What are your favorite ingredients to stuff in a pepper?

Rubbed Ribs

July 7, 2013

I’m absolutely obsessed with ribs right now. We had some at a friend’s home a few weeks ago. Then I made them for Father’s Day…then for dinner a week ago…and now I’m cooking them up again this Saturday. Besides being delicious, they are easy on the wallet. I just picked up pork ribs on sale for $1.99/lb.

This recipe is so easy, anyone can do it. All you need is time. Also, I’ve made these with beef and pork ribs and they were delicious both ways. I’ve finished them on a charcoal grill (the best!) in the oven (the easiest!), especially if it’s raining and you’re stuck indoors (like everyone in the Southeast).

Here’s the recipe: Beth’s Melt in Your Mouth Ribs

What’s your favorite meat to grill in the summertime?

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Dry-rubbed Ribs

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After three and a half hours, time for bbq sauce!

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Pork candy

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Served with yellow rice and roasted acorn squash for a weeknight dinner

The Perfect Pickle

June 9, 2013

A nice, crisp pickle is the perfect accompaniment to your summer meal. That pickle tastes even better when it’s homemade.

I found this easy recipe on Allrecipes.com and was surprised how little salt it called for. I always think of pickles soaking in a salty brine, but this recipe brings together a mix of such fresh flavors that you don’t miss all the extra sodium. Next time, though, I’ll add less sugar (more like 1/8 cup) as I prefer a more savory pickle, than a sweet one. Play with the ingredients to make your perfect pickle and enjoy all summer long!

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Pickles ready for the fridge!

Portobello Pizzas

May 11, 2013

I love finding recipes that are not only easy and delicious, but good for you! This one does not disappoint. Another bonus is that it’s a gluten-free recipe. I made a few tweaks from the original recipe, including:
- Used caramelized onions and fresh basil leaves as toppings
- Subbed turkey pepperoni (you can omit to make it a meatless dish)
- Omitted the black olives, anchovies and sausage

I served these tasty personal pizzas alongside a quinoa salad and roasted asparagus sprinkled with blue cheese.

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Quick Tip: Wrap a few garlic cloves in aluminum foil (drizzled with evoo) and roast in the oven alongside the mushroom caps.

As a self-proclaimed foodie and ingredient junkie, I often get the questions, “What is your favorite item to cook?” or “What dish are you known for?”  I always find this a difficult question to answer because I don’t have one favorite thing I like to make. What I made every week one month (like my paella obsession) isn’t necessarily what I’m making every weekend now…more and more roasted vegetables.

But something I always circle back to is soup.  I love it. I pretty much have it with every meal. We always have a soup prepared in our fridge to have with lunch at home on the weekends or to take in the office during the week.  I enjoy cold soups in the hot Georgia summers; like Avocado or Gazpacho; or good old traditional standbys like Cream of Broccoli or French Onion.

When I think of cold, rainy, winter nights, which we have had our share of lately, I think of a spicy Beer Cheese Soup. It’s warm, comforting, laced with jalapenos and a delicious afternoon snack on rainy afternoons. Especially when you use a hot pretzel for dipping.  Yum!

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Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup with Himalayan Pink Salt dusted Pretzels

Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup

Printable Version

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 TBS all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (12-ounce) beer of choice, I used a Bud Light
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 ounces low-fat, extra-sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 8 oz cream cheese, I use Neuchâtel
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBS diced jalapenos + one fresh jalapeno, sliced
  • 3 splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Frozen pretzels (bake according to instructions)
  • 1 TBS, Himalayan Pink Salt

Directions

Melt butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, celery and garlic. Saute until soft. Add chicken broth, beer and bay leaf. Heat until it comes to a boil. Slowly add cheese while stirring until just boiling and smooth. Add salt, pepper, mustard, jalapenos and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook until soup has thickened.

Garnish with sliced jalapeno and serve with a hot baked pretzel.

 

Be sure to check out more delicious soup recipes from the talented members of the #SundaySupper Community:

Do The Chicken Dance (chicken {or other poultry} soups)

Where’s The Beef (Beef Soups)

Pass The Pork. Please (Pork or Sausage Soups)

 Under The Sea (Seafood Soups)

Eat Your Veggies (Chock Full o’ Vegetables Soups)

Some Don’t Like It Hot (Chilled Soups)

Of course once you have seen all of the recipes for the day, you’ll not want to miss our #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday.

We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing out special soup recipes!

Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun.

Follow the#SundaySupper hash tag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Don’t forget to check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite soup, stew, chowder or bisque recipes with us!

 

This week’s Sunday Supper topic was to make a dish by our favorite celebrity chef. I don’t know about you, but my husband and I LOVE Emeril’s recipes. They are always so flavorful. They often use one of his spice blends, although this one does not, which really add a punch to the dish they are being used in. I prefer to prepare his spice blends at home, over purchasing them in the store. They taste better and homemade blends tend to have less sodium than the store bought ones.

Now deciding which Emeril recipe to share proved to not be too difficult. It happened to be the weekend after Thanksgiving when I was deciding what to make and I had a hamhock to do something with. Well, I had recently been perusing a new local restaurant’s menu and saw they serve Red Beans & Rice on Monday and call it Laundry Night. Apparently, in New Orleans (one my most favorite cities in the world) back in the day, the women of the household would let Red Beans simmer on the stove all day Monday, using the hamhock from Sunday night’s dinner, while they tended to the laundry.

I liked the story and loved the thought of Red Beans bubbling away in the crockpot all day. When looking for a recipe, I stumbled upon this one, and knowing Emeril never disappoints, eagerly bought the ingredients and got started. I doubled this recipe so my hubby and I would have some and so I could take a batch to ladies at work for lunch. It was a hit with him and the office…as if there was any doubt :0)

Do you like Emeril? What’s your favorite Emeril Recipe? (I also adore his Jambalaya)

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Red Beans & Rice served with Jalapeno Cornbread

Emeril’s New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons evoo
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 hamhock
  • 2 links of Andouille (Patak is my favorite and I highly recommend if you can get your hands on it)
  • 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted through, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 to 10 cups water
  • white rice (I love to make mine in the rice cooker)

Directions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, cayenne, black pepper and thyme for about 5 minutes. Pour into a crockpot. Add the bay leaves, hamhock, sausage, beans, garlic, and enough water to cover the contents. Cook on low all day (about 6-8 hours). Use a wooden spoon to mash about half of the mixture against the side of the pot before serving. Add more water if it becomes too thick. The mixture should be soupy but not watery. Remove the bay leaves and serve with white rice.

Check out more tasty recipes featuring celebrity chefs from my fellow #SundaySupper foodies:

Starters or Snacks :

Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog – Oyster and Brie Soup and Wine Pairings for Celebrity Chef #SundaySupper

Linda at The Urban Mrs. – Inspired by Bobby Flay, Lobster Chowder with Roasted Corn Salsa

Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts – Rachael Ray’s Cinnamon Popcorn

Cindy over at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings – Jamie Oliver’s Bread and Tomato Soup

Jeff at The Catholic Foodie – Drop Biscuits – Breakfast with Chef John Besh

Renee over at Kudos Kitchen By Renee – Giada De Laurentiis’ Garlic Toasts With Red Pepper Aioli

The Main Dish:

Sheila at Cooking Underwriter – Paula Deen’s Chicken in a Crock Pot w/ Sauerkraut and Apples

Laura over at Small Wallet Big Appetite – Martin Yan’s Beef Chow Fun

Claire at The Realistic Nutritionist – Alton Brown’s 40 Cloves and a Chicken

Sarah over at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends – Michael Symon’s Lola burger with crab tater tots

Susan at The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen – Ina Garten’s Baked Shrimp Scampi

Katy over at Happy Baking Days – Mary Berry’s Treacle Tart

Tammi at Momma’s Meals – Lee Drummond’s Sloppy Joe’s

Lane over at Supper for a Steal – Bobby Flay’s Rosemary Bricked Chicken

Tara from Noshing with the Nolands – Michael Symon’s Pork and Apple Scallopini

Shannon at Country Girl in the Village – Simple Red Sauce over Rigatoni. Inspired by, Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

Kris over at In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene – Rachael Ray’s Muffin Tin Meatloaf

Nicole from The Daily Dish Recipes – Paula Deen’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pickled Pork Sandwiches

Becca from It’s Yummilicious – Ina Garten’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese

Alice at Hip Foodie Mom – Sunday Pot Roast with Risotto Cakes from Kelsey Nixon

Jen over at Juanita’s Cocina – The Neely’s White Turkey Chili

Brianne from Cupcakes & Kale Chips – Crockpot Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis

Isabel at Family Foodie – Polenta with Garlicky Shrimp inspired by Chef Todd English

Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet – Shrimp Penne in Pesto Cream Sauce, From Emeril Lagasse

Bobbi over at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen – Cheesy Poblano Chicken

Patti at Comfy Cuisine – Tyler Florence’s Chicken Francese

Chris from Sustainable Dad – Pork Tenderloin with Jerusalem Artichokes and Negroni Vinaigrette

Roxanne over at The Roxx Box – Jambalaya Pasta with Penne, Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille

Sue from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz – Rachael Ray’s Spicy Corn Chowdah Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Jamie at Mama Mommy Mom – Penne with Asparagus, Smoked Gouda and Prosciutto. Adapted from, Giada De Laurentiis’

Tora over at Tora’s Real Food – Pork and beans with Alton Brown’s pickled pork

Amazing Sides:

Megan from I Run For Wine – Curtis Stone’s Acorn Squash Roasted with Thyme

Sandi over at Midlife Road Trip - Gabriele Corcos’s Gnocchi di Patate

Shelby at Diabetic Foodie – Orange Pecan Black Rice, adapted from Ina Garten

Katie from She likes Ruffles, He likes Truffles – Chef Fabio Viviani’s Spinach and Artichoke Risotto

Sweet Endings:

Kim over at Cravings of a Lunatic – Chocolate Cream Puffs with Hazelnut Filling

Renee over at Magnolia Days – Brownie Tart

Connie at The Foodie Army Wife - Inspired by Ree Drummond – Scrumptious Apple Coffee Cake

Paula over at Vintage Kitchen Notes – Bill Granger´s Cherry Tart

Pam from The Meltaways – Savannah Sheet Cake

Amber at Mama’s Blissful Bites – Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding

Jaime over at Mom’s Test Kitchen – Southern Tea Cakes

Amy over at Kimchi MOM - Crack Pie, I Can’t Quit You

Lyn from The Lovely Pantry - Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Squares

Melanie at From Fast Food to Fresh Food – Sand Tarts

Wine Pairings:

Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Please join on us via Twitter for #SundaySupper on December 2, 2012, throughout the day. In the evening, we will meet at 7 PM EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat. All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

Gobble Gobble

November 21, 2012

Now that Thanksgiving is upon us, everyone is looking for that perfect turkey recipe.   The one that will have everyone going back for seconds and thirds until it’s time to crash on the couch and watch football..only to get up a few hours later to make a sandwich with the leftovers.

A dear friend recently shared the recipe her four-year-old son came up with in school when asked to scribe a turkey recipe for Thanksgiving.  Although, I do not recommend following these instructions for your Thanksgiving dinner, it is just too cute not to share!

Grant’s Turkey Recipe

There are two secrets to perfect egglant parmesan:

  1. peeling
  2. sweating

The skin of an eggplant is quite bitter and can ruin the whole dish.  Be sure to take a few extra minutes to peel your eggplant before slicing it.

Eggplant is packed with water.  To make it fry up crisp, you want to draw some of the water out.  To do that, you want to “sweat” the eggplant.  That means you will slice it and salt each side, very generously.  After just a few minutes, you will notice beads of “sweat” on the slices.  That is the moisture being drawn out.  After about 30 minutes, rinse the slices with water, pat dry, and they’re ready to get dressed for the frying pan!

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Nothing quite makes my mouth water like freshly fried eggplant. Especially when there is a pot of homemade marinara close by.

Eggplant Parmesan {+Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce}

Ingredients

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped (you can used jarred, or make at home)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes and juices
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Sugar, to taste

Eggplant:

  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Oliv oil, for greasing dish (I use myMisto)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2  tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4-pounds), cut into round slices (it’s your preference how thick you want to slice them, my husband likes them really thin) and sweated
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
  • 12 ounces grated mozzarella, plus1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces grated fontina
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn

For the Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:

Directions

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.  Add the red peppers and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Emulsify with a hand blender and process until smooth.  Add the parsley, basil and oregano and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes longer and season with sugar to cut the acidity.

For the Eggplant:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 15 by 10 by 2-inch baking dishwith olive oil and set aside.

Place the bread crumbs into a large shallow bowl.  Add the herbs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together.

Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture.  Shake off any excess breading and transfer the egg plant to a baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Heat 1/2-inch of oil in a large straight-sided saute pans over medium heat .  Working in small batches, fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch.  Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with some of the tomato sauce and arrange 1/2 of the eggplant over the sauce.  Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce, grated mozzarella, fontina, Romano cheese and fresh basil.  Repeat to make 3 layers ending with the sauce. Bake for 20 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. Top with the fresh mozzarella and remaining Romano and bake another 10 minutes, until hot and just beginning to brown. Let rest 10 minutes before serving, slice and serve!

Check out more #SoulWarming dishes from the #SundaySupper community below:

Main Entrees:

Chili/Stews:

Soups:

Desserts/Beverages:

Join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your Sunday Supper Soul Warming Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.

I’ve kind of been obsessed with cooking in the crockpot lately, so when I saw that this apple butter recipe was simmered for 14 HOURS in the crockpot I immediately had to try it.  This takes no time to throw together.  The biggest task is peeling the apples.  After that, just toss everything in the crockpot and cook overnight.  You will be rewarded with this thick, sweet apple butter that is delicious served over a biscuit, stirred into oatmeal or atop a pork chop.

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Your house will smell divine when you wake up to this.

A very important step of this apple butter recipe is selecting your apples. You want half tart and half sweet.  I chose to use four Granny Smith and four Gala apples. This combo was the perfect balance.

Let me know what apples you like to mix!

Easy Apple Butter

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 pounds apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped (I chopped them in the food processor)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

Place the apples in a slow cooker. Add the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salad and mix well. Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and dark brown Uncover and continue cooking on low 1 hour. Spoon the mixture into a Mason jar and store in the fridge for up to a year.

I’m really loving cooking vegetarian on Mondays.  The challenge of eating meat-free one day a week, has me researching tasty entrees I probably wouldn’t try usually.  This tortellini dish literally blew us away.  I had my vegetarian friend over for dinner and she was also impressed.

I must say, the Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil really made this dish.  It melded beautifully with the sharp bite of fresh garlic, the herbed pasta and the creamy goat cheese.  This recipe should probably serve four, but Jim and I ate 3/4 of it between the two of us. The only thing that would have made it any better, would be a fresh loaf of french bread to sop up the delicious sauce left at the bottom of the bowl.

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Isn’t that olive oil beautiful?

Fresh Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas & Parsley

printable recipe

  • salt
  • 1/3 cup Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini (I used herbed cheese from the Farmer’s Market)
  • 1 lb. thin asparagus, trimmed of tough, woody stems, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (leave the tips whole)
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
  • 2 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
  • black pepper
  • parmesan cheese, grated

In a covered pot, bring well-salted water to a boil over high heat. In a large pasta serving bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook the tortellini, asparagus, and peas in the boiling water until the tortellini is al dente, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and toss with the garlic-oil mixture. Add the pine nuts, mint, and goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts into a sauce, adding cooking water as needed to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt, pepper and parmesan and serve.

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This bowl was not full for long.

I was very excited about this week’s topic of Dishes in 5 Ingredients or Less, because I just made an amazing batch of these crock pot chicken tacos.  Not only does this recipe use only THREE ingredients, but since the meat is prepared in the crock pot, it’s effortless to throw together and comes out extremely juicy and tender.  Since I cook for the girls in the office, I love to toss all the ingredients in the crock pot before I go to bed and cook on low overnight.  In the morning, I pack the chicken to-go and take it in for lunch.

There is a an endless combination of meals you can make featuring this succulent and zesty chicken.  I like to use a wheat wrap and pile on the chicken, low-fat cheese, lettuce, onion, avocado, etc. for a healthy burrito; top shredded lettuce with cowboy caviar, the chicken taco meat, and drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette for a flavorful salad; or make nachos by topping tortilla chips with cheese, chicken, cowboy caviar, lettuce and Greek Yogurt.

Whichever way you choose to serve it; it’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

printable version

This recipe is as easy as…

  1. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 packet taco seasoning
  3. 1 16oz. jar of salsa

Place chicken breasts in crock pot. Cover with taco seasoning and top with salsa.  Seal the lid of the crock pot and turn the crock pot on low.

Cook for eight hours and serve!

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step one

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step two

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step three

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step four

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wake up in the morning to this! smells amazing

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shred and it’s ready to serve!

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taco salad is a delicious way to serve

Check out more delicious 5 Ingredient or Less recipes from the #SundaySupper community below!

Join us, September 30th, 2012 as we share our delicious, mouth-watering recipes! Here’s a sneak peak at what everyone is bringing to our #SundaySupper table. Be sure to stay after dinner at 7pm EST as we share our recipes during our #SundaySupper live chat!

Breakfast, Starters, Butters and Jams:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Beverages:

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite 5 Ingredient Recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your apple recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

I made this yesterday for the girls in the office today.  As usual, I tasted a spoonful, to make sure it came out okay.  Oh my goodness.  I had to immediately pack up the salad and stow it in the fridge so I couldn’t have a second, third and fourth bite.  I know this will be a hit for today’s lunch and I will definitely be doubling the batch the next time I make it!

I’m serving it with a Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.  A healthy menu to kick off fall!

Roasted Broccoli and Farro Salad with Feta

printable version

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup farro
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb. broccoli
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. In a saucepan, bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Bring the farro to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat, cover and let sit about 10 minutes.  Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, remove the broccoli crown from the stem and cut into bitesize florets. Toss the stems or use them in a chicken or vegetable broth. In a baking dish, toss the florets with 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Roast until tender and browned in spots, about one hour. Add the broccoli, feta, scallions, red pepper flakes, and parsley to the farro. Sprinkle with the vinegar and 1 tsp. salt and toss. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and toss. Season to taste with more vinegar and salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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You won’t miss the meat!

I have to admit. When I saw the #SundaySupper topic was Autumn Apple Party, I thought I might skip this week. I couldn’t think of one dish I’d ever made with apples…and I don’t think dipping them in peanut butter counts.

However, after a bit of thought, I decided to accept the challenge and go outside my comfort zone and try something new. I thought about applesauce or pork chops with apples, but most of the ideas that came to mind were already accounted for.  So, while searching on my favorite recipe website, I stumbled upon this apple salad served in endive and thought not only did it sound tasty, but it’s a great appetizer.  You don’t need utensils and it can be enjoyed in just one, or two, bites.

I tested this recipe on my co-workers earlier this week and it went over okay.  I didn’t follow the recipe to a “t,” and eye-balled everything and it turned out a little too blue-cheesy and mayonnaise-y.  The also didn’t have endive at the Farmer’s Market (well, they had a sign that said “endive” but the lettuce underneath was not endive) so I served it over chopped red lettuce.  It was “eh.”

I made it again last night and followed the recipe almost verbatim (put a little less blue cheese and added pepper) and it came out absolutely delicious — and I found endive at Kroger, whew!  Such a gorgeous presentation and still a hit with the guys that came over to watch football.  Will definitely make again!

P.S. In my hunt for apple recipes, I found an amazing one for apple butter. It may have taken 14 hours to prepare, but it was worth the wait.  I will be sharing that recipe soon!

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Yummy pre-game nibble

Endive Spears Topped With Apple, Blue Cheese and Hazelnut Salad

printable recipe

  • 1 large Gala apple, cored and cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 celery stalks,chopped
  • 3 Tbs. light mayo
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 “head” of endive, leaves separated 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

In a medium bowl, combine the apple, blue cheese, celery, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble, mound a small spoonful of the apple mixture onto the core end of each endive leaf. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.

Here’s our Autumn Apple Party Menu from members of the #SundaySupper community!

Soups, Salads, Starters and Breads

Main Meals

Sides

Desserts

Beverages

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite apple recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your apple recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

Dress Up Your Salad

September 21, 2012

Homemade vinaigrettes are apparently all the rage these days.  Who knew I was ahead of the trend?  I’ve been making them for a while now and the flavor of a homemade dressing simply cannot be beat.  You can mix up the flavors with different kinds of vinegar, herbs and sweeteners.  My favorite is Balsamic Vinegar, but I’ve also used Raspberry Vinegar, Tarragon Vinegar and Red Wine Vinegar.  Fresh thyme is my go-to herb and I go back and forth between brown sugar and agave nectar to sweeten things up.  No matter what, garlic is always involved, as is a little salt and pepper.  I’ve also been known to sub citrus for the vinegar/acidity, so you can make a lemon or lime vinaigrette and even Dijon mustard can make a tasty appearance now and again.

Everyone has a different theory on the ratio that should be used.  I like to go 50/50 with oil/acid.  However, a lot of recipes call for three parts oil to one part vinegar.  It really depends on how you prefer the “tangy-ness” of your dressing, so feel free to play around with the ratios and go with what suits your palate best!
Do you make vinaigrettes at home?  If so, what’s your favorite ingredients to toss in and what ratio do you go by?

BeFunky Warming on iPhone

Always served best in a good ‘ol southern Mason Jar

Basic Vinaigrette

printable recipe

  • 1 cup evoo
  • 1 cup vinegar (I used ½ cup balsamic and ½ cup raspberry)
  • 1 tbs, fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs agave nectar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a Mason Jar, top with the lid, and shake.  Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Dawgs in a Blanket

September 19, 2012

These little apps are great for tailgating or to serve while watching football.  The name is especially appropriate for any Georgia Bulldog fans out there :0)

Depending on kick-off time, you can use breakfast sausage (pictured) or hot dogs.  If you really want to get crazy, you can add cheese, onions or any others fillings you like.  Either way, I promise these little guys will go fast!

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Sweet & Savory: Maple-Brown Sugar Breakfast Sausages wrapped in Low-Fat Croissants

Dawgs in a Blanket

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • One package breakfast sausage
  • Two packages of croissant rolls

Directions
Cook the sausages in a pan on the stove until browned.  On a cutting board, lay out one uncooked croissant roll, lay a cooked sausage in the middle and roll up.  Place the rolled dawgs on a baking sheet and bake according to directions on croissant package. Serve hot!

For anyone that doesn’t get the Spanish translation, it’s “Party in Your Mouth” Enchiladas and they are exactly that.  These easy to prepare, rolls of flavor are so tasty you will want seconds…and thirds…and maybe even fourths.  Shhh, I won’t tell anyone.  When I brought leftovers to work, I practically had to beat my co-workers away with a stick after they tried a bite.

I like to start off this meal with a Chilled Avocado Soup (in the summertime) and serve with Spanish rice.  If you like an extra bit of heat with your meal, this Hot Habanero Relish is an amazing accompaniment!

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Que delicioso!

Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas

printable recipe

For the Chicken and White Bean Filling:

  • 1 tsp evoo
  • ½  white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
  • 15.5 oz can Cannellini beans
  • 2 cooked shredded chicken breast (I like to boil and shred mine and save the stock to use in the rest of this recipe)
  • ½ cup chicken stock from boiling chicken breast
  • 1 tsp cumin

For the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth (from boiling chicken earlier)
  • 7 oz can chopped green chiles
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped (de-seed if you want to go light on the heat)
  • salt
  • ½ cup light Greek yogurt
  • ¾  cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • 8 medium whole wheat tortillas
  • chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°.

For the Filling:
In a medium pan, heat olive oil on low. Add onions, garlic and saute until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add green chiles, beans, chicken stock and cumin. Mix well and cover. Simmer on low 15 minutes. Remove cover, add chicken and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until it thickens and liquid boils down. Set aside.

Enchilada Sauce:
In a large nonstick pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, until it becomes smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add green chiles, jalapeños, and salt to taste. Cook another minute then remove from the heat. Stir in the Greek yogurt.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken/white bean filling. Roll the tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling remainder of the tortillas.

Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Cover with aluminum and bake 20-30 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with LOTS of fresh cilantro…and the Habanero Relish, if you please.

Be sure to check out all the fabulous Mexican recipes from this week’s #SundaySupper group, listed below:

Sopas (Soups), Ensaladas (Salads), and Entremeses (Starters)

La Comida (the food)

Postres (desserts)

Bebidas (beverages)

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day (this coming Sunday, September 16) during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite recipes for a Mexican Fiesta! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your Mexican Fiesta recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

The topic we were given for this week’s #SundaySupper was inspired by the Labor Day Holiday…and the cookout that comes along with a three-day weekend.  I made these portabello paninis. Oh my God.  These sandwiches are so delicious, you’ll want to eat five.  And they are so easy, you won’t believe it. Simply whip up a quick batch of pesto, grill a few portabellos, place them on buns slathered with goat cheese and pesto…and WaLa! They’re ready to go back on the grill for about five minutes and dinner is served! To make them even easier, and so you can spend more time enjoying the long weekend, prepare the pesto ahead of time.

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A tasty sandwich hot off the grill

Portabello Paninis

printable recipe

  • 4 tbs pesto
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 medium portobello mushrooms, stemmed and wiped clean
  • 4 soft, round, whole wheat rolls
  • 8 tbs goat cheese

Heat the grill (or a panini maker, if making indoors).

Brush the mushrooms with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put them on the grill (or press) and grill for about four minutes.

Meanwhile, open the whole wheat rolls and spread pesto on the bottom half and dollap the goat cheese on the top half.

Once you pull the portabellos off the grill, place them on the pesto-smeared bun and place the goat cheese-smear bun on top.  Spray the top and bottom sides of the bun with olive oil (I love to use my Misto) and place back on the grill for about five minutes.  If grilling, flip the burger about halfway through so the buns get grill marks on both sides.Pull off the grill and serve!  (And try not to let everyone know how little effort it took to make such a delicious dish!

Check out all the Labor Day inspired recipes from the #SundaySupper community below!

 

Starters & Snacks

 

Main Dishes

 

 

Salads & Sides

 

 

Drinks

 

 

Desserts

 

 

Wine Pairings

 

  • Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings byENOFYLZ

 

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite cookout recipes!

Easy Peasy Pesto

August 30, 2012

Pesto is such a flavorful condiment, I honestly don’t know why I don’t make it more often.  The variations on this basic recipe are endless and the fact that there’s no cooking involved in preparing it, makes it perfect for whipping up on a hot summer day.  It’s so versatile it can be used on pasta, fish or even a burger.

Tell me, what do you like to serve your pesto on?

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Pesto spread on wheat buns for Portabello Paninis

Basil Pesto

printable recipe

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and continue processing, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture forms a thick paste. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the Parmigiano. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve started making lunch for the ladies in the office and I’m a big fan of Meatless Monday.  So, when I needed something to pair with a Cream of Tomato Soup, these were the perfect match!  I threw together a batch of these ridiculously easy zucchini tots one evening to “test” the recipe to make sure they were good…and, my husband and I devoured the entire pan before they could cool. Needless to say, they are delicious.

Not only are these tots easy to prepare, they can be frozen and reheated in the toaster oven for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack. An added bonus is your family will love them and it’s an tasty way to sneak some veggies into the pickiest of eaters. Feel free to play around with the vegetable and cheese combos.  I think carrots, squash or broccoli would be great substitutions as would monterey jack, swiss or muenster.

Zucchini Tots

printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ¼ cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Grate the zucchini over a paper towel. Pat the excess water out of the zucchini once grated. Combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Fill the muffin tins with the mixture. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Use a knife to help remove the muffins from the pan and enjoy!

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Mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl (I was making a double batch in this pic).

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Be sure to fill the tins to the top for a perfect-sized tot.

Check out more delicious #BackToSchool recipes from the #SundaySupper community listed below:

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day on Sunday. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about Back to School Meals and ways to make meal time easier!

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat! We’ll be sharing great recipes and tips all afternoon, and we’ll be talking all things Back to School Meals during our chat!

We’d also love to feature your Back to School Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

A Meaty Marinara

August 24, 2012

The summer is winding down and it’s time to start thinking about cooler nights, college football and hearty meals to feed your family.  A good meat sauce is a great recipe to have in your back pocket.  It’s easy to make ahead of time and freeze in batches, so you can defrost it on a busy weeknight while boiling pasta. You can also throw together a lasagna, eggplant parm or another of your favorite Italian dishes once the marinara is done and bake that night, or put in the freezer to save for a night when you have less time to cook.

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Marinara over tortellini

Traditional Meat Sauce

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 (29-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley leaves

Directions

Brown ground beef with minced garlic and salt and pepper, to taste. Drain ground beef and set aside.

Place oil and onions in a saucepan and saute on high heat until soft. Add all cans of tomato products and chicken stock. Add all other ingredients and heat through. Once hot, add the browned ground beef and simmer on low heat for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve over your favorite pasta, top with freshly grated parmesan and enjoy!

Panko Perfect Poultry

August 14, 2012

This easy recipe is the perfect starting point for any dish featuring fried chicken breasts.  You can top it with a melted lemon, butter, caper sauce to make it a schnitzel (which is what I did), slice it and toss with greens for a salad with crunch or throw in between buns for a classic chicken sandwich, with pickles, of course.  I prefer to buy the thin cutlets instead of pounding them out myself. This shaves about 10 minutes from your prep time and allows you to get dinner on the table that much quicker.  However you choose to serve it, this basic recipe calls for just a few ingredients that you’re bound to have in your cabinets, which makes it the perfect go-to week night meal when you think your only option is delivery!

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Fry the cutlets for three minutes per side

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The chicken should be perfectly brown and crispy before removing from oil.

Panko Crusted Chicken

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
  • 1 pound package of thinly pounded boneless, skinless chicken cutlets
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup canola oil

Preparation

  1. Set flour, eggs and panko in three separate shallow bowls. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess, then dip in the eggs and coat thoroughly with the panko.
  2. In a large skillet, heat canola oil. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.

Curry in a Hurry

August 10, 2012

I absolutely love curry.  This chicken salad is super fast and easy to throw together in the evening and then perfect in a pita for lunch the next day.  You can make all sorts of alterations by swapping out the flavors of jam; I’ve used guava, mango and apricot.  I’ve also subbed chunks of pineapple for the golden raisins and toasted almonds for the cashews.  I chose to make a twist on Ina Garten‘s recipe by boiling and shredding my chicken, instead of baking it.  Either way, it will turn out great. This is the first chicken salad I’ve made with white wine and it really adds a nice zing, you should give it a try!

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A delicious lunch in the office

Curry Chicken Salad

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups light mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup jam or chutney
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
  • Whole wheat pitas

Directions

Place the chicken breasts in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 15 minutes, then remove from water and shred with two forks. For the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, wine, chutney, curry powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth. Combine the chicken with enough dressing to moisten well. Add the celery, scallions, and raisins, and mix well. Refrigerate ovenight to allow the flavors to blend. Add the cashews right before serving,stuffed in half a wheat pita with lettuce.  Enjoy!

 

I’ve started preparing lunch for the ladies in the office, for a nominal fee, and this  was a hit last Monday.  The egg whites and cottage cheese make it so light and fluffy, but all the protein keeps you satisfied until lunch times  A vegetable soup (I made Cream of Tomato) or side salad rounds it out to a light and yummy #MeatlessMonday lunch.

For you Weightwatchers members out there, this recipe slices into 10 servings and at just 3 points a serving, you don’t feel guilty about diving into this healthy twist on a breakfast casserole!

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A healthy choice for breakfast or lunch!

Vegetable Quiche

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup egg whites (I used egg white substitute)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups shredded, reduced-fat cheddar
  • 1.5 cups shredded, Mexican-blend cheese
  • .5 cup 1% milk
  • .5 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 1 (16 oz) carton low-fat cottage cheese
  • cooking spray (I use my Misto)
  • 4 cups sliced zucchini
  • 1 medium baking potato, diced
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 handful button mushroom, sliced
  • .5 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat eggs and egg whites until fluffy.  Add ¾ cup cheddar and ¾ cup Mexican cheese, milk, flour, baking powder, salt and cottage cheese.  Heat a large pan over med-high heat and coat with cooking spray.  Add zucchini through mushrooms and saute 5 minutes.  Add vegetable mixture and parsley to egg mixture.  Pour mixture into 3qt. casserole dish coated with cooking spray.  Top with remaining cheeses.  Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, the drop the temperature to 350 and continue to bake another 35 minutes.  The casserole will be browned on top when ready.  Let sit and cool for about 10 minutes before slicing. The leftovers are great re-heated, so this recipe makes for a filling breakfast, or lunch, throughout the week!

I’ve had several people ask me for a good quinoa recipe lately, and this is the one I always recommend.  The lemon gives it a refreshing, summery taste and the mixture of toasted pine nuts, kale and quinoa give it a surprising heartiness that leaves you feeling full.  It’s great on its own, or alongside a tasty wrap to round out a healthy lunch.  This recipe is a great guide, because you can swap out different ingredients to change up the taste…use almonds or walnuts instead of pine nut, sub feta or cubed mozzarella for the goat cheese or even use a different grain, such as Farro, for the base.   The combinations are endless while staying healthy, delicious and budget-friendly.

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A satisfying choice for Meatless Monday

Kale & Quinoa Pilaf

 Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups salted water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and sliced into 1” ribbons
  • 1 lemon (Meyer, if you can find them) zested and juiced
  • 2 scallions,chopped
  • 1tbs roasted walnut oil (you can use evoo or sunflower oil, but the walnut oil really has a  great flavor)
  • 3 tbs toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

Bring the salted water to a boil and add quinoa. Cover and lower the heat to simmer.  Simmer 10 minutes, then top with chopped kale and re-cover.  Simmer 5 more minutes then remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice and zest through goat cheese in a medium bowl.  Head back to the stove to check on the quinoa.  It should have absorbed all the liquid and you should be able to fluff it with a fork.  Mix the kale in with the quinoa, then pour over lemon/oil mixture.  You can serve immediately or chill overnight and have for lunch the next day. It’s great served warm or cold!

This week’s #SundaySupper topic was “What does Sunday supper mean to you and your lifestyle?”

In our home, Sunday is a day that we look forward to.  It’s a day we like to pack up our dog, kayak and a few friends and head to Stone Mountain Park for some outdoor fun.  Now, the end to a day of play in nature (and often times a weekend with a little too much fun ;o)  is always a hearty home cooked meal.  Once dinner is placed on the table, we rehash stories from the weekend and share what’s on the horizon for the days ahead.

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Kayaking at Stone Mountain with our pup not far behind

So, when a few weeks, ago my husband requested meatloaf, I knew just the recipe I wanted to try.  I came across it on one of my favorite recipe sites and had been wanting to prepare it for some time. Although I often think of meatloaf as a cold weather entrée, the blackberry bbq sauce on this one makes it perfect for a summertime meal. Of course I tweaked the original recipe a bit, as I don’t eat veal, I’m obsessed with Vidalia onions, I loooove garlic and I never buy whitebread.  I’d also like to add that it’s not only the bbq sauce that makes this recipe special.  I have never put milk in my meatloaf before and I am now a firm believer that it’s the secret to THE most moist meat you will ever eat.  Give it a try and I’m sure you will agree!

Meatloaf with Blackberry BBQ Sauce

Printable Recipe

Ingredients for meatloaf:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 Vidalia onion, diced
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp each of salt and pepper
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup 1% milk
  • ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs

Ingredients for blackberry bbq sauce:

  • 2 Vidalia onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups blackberries (if using frozen, like I did, make sure they are thawed)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • generous pinch each of salt and pepper

For the sauce:  Add all the bbq sauce ingredients to a blender, or food processor, and blend until smooth.  Pour into a small saucepan and heat on medium for about 20 minutes (if you have a splatter screen, now is a good time to use it).  After 20 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

For the meatloaf:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the meatloaf ingredients together in a bowl until evenly distributed.  Fill a greased, 5×9 pan  with the meat mixture and  spread out so it’s even on top.  Spread about a half a cup of the bbq sauce on top of the meat and bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes.  Be sure to check on the loaf about every 30 minutes and when the sauce begins to turn brown on the top, place aluminum foil over the top to keep the sugars in the bbq sauce from burning.

Once the meatloaf is completely cooked, remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

When serving, pour some of the bbq sauce on top of the slices of meatloaf and serve with a couple hearty sides. I went with mashed potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts.

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Meatloaf: pre-oven

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Meatloaf: post-oven. Mmmm, check out that crust.

While you’re here, be sure to check out the amazing recipes that my fellow foodies in the #SundaySupper community have put together for today’s topic. They inspire me each week and I’m sure they’ll do the same for you!

A Phantastic Philly

July 24, 2012

So, a phew weekends ago, the Braves were playing sweeping the Phillies and during the Sunday game, the t.v. announcers were tossing out some interesting facts.  Apparently, the Braves hold the record phor the most Philly Cheesesteaks ordered while at the Philles’ stadium than any other team. Well, they went on and on about it and within a phew minutes, my hubby and I were drooling over the idea of a cheesesteak of our own.  So, I phound a couple of recipes, blended them…and added some slices of jalapenos (a secret phrom a chef at a restaurant I used to work).  What I ended up with is enough to make your phamily turn into philly phanatics!

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Cooking it up

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Toasty, mayo slathered bun

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You hit a home run when you serve this!

Philadelphia Cheesesteak with Garlic Mayo

  • 4 whole wheat hoagie rolls
  • 1 lb.deli roast beef, sliced thin
  • 1 tbs evoo
  • 1 tbs light butter
  • 1 onion (I’ve been using Vidalias for everything lately and they work great!)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (control the heat by including, or omitting seeds)
  • 4 slices american cheese
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 garlic glove, finely chopped

Heat a pan on the stove on medium.  Add butter and evoo.  Once butter has melted, add onions and peppers.  Cook for about 10 minutes until all the veggies are soft.  Season with salt and pepper. Pushed vegetables to the side and add roast beef to pan and heat through until no longer pink.  Meanwhile, toast the hoagie rolls very lightly, smear them with the garlic mayo and top with the pepper, meat, cheese mixture.  Serve hot and with hot sauce, salt, pepper and extra mayo.

 

A Condiment with a Kick

July 18, 2012

This relish was served as a condiment at most of the restaurants throughout Belize.  If you like a little heat, then this is definitely something you might want to make a weekly batch of and keep on hand to use on, well…anything.  You can adjust the heat slightly by omitting the seeds of the habanero, but either way, it’s going to pack some kick.  We’ve used this on tacos, quesadillas, mole, enchiladas and more!

What will you serve it with?

Hot Habanero Relish

printable recipe 

  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 habanero, roughly chopped and deseeded (for less heat)
  • 2 tbs white vinegar
  • 1tbs water

Mix everything together in a small dish and refrigerate. The longer it sits, the bigger the punch it packs.

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Que caliente!

I’ve really gotten into this #Meatless Monday thing once I realized what positive benefits it reaps…both to the individual and the environment.  Not to mention, having a meat-free day also saves a few pennies.  This veggie quesadilla was a Monday evening hit a few weeks ago. I served it with a Chilled Avocado Soup for a tasty and nurient-packed dinner.  You don’t have to stick to the veggies listed, either.  I think it would be great with caramelized onions, sliced bell peppers and/or mushrooms.

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Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas

printable recipe 

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 8 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in beans and corn, then add sugar, salsa, and pepper flakes; mix well. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  2. Melt 2 teaspoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the skillet, sprinkle evenly with cheese, top with some of the bean mixture and top with fresh cilantro. Place another tortilla on top, cook until golden, then flip and cook on the other side. Melt more butter as needed, and repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

When my husband and I were on our honeymoon in San Pedro, Belize in May, we shared a delicious bowl of gazpacho at the Blue Water Grill.  It was our final night on the island before heading inland to San Ignacio –what a delicious choice for our  last meal! The refreshingly cool bowl of soup was welcome on the palate after a long hot day at the beach.  As soon as we returned home I immediately searched, and found, an amazing recipe for the chilled appetizer by Ina Garten.  This has definitely made it to the list of summer staples!

P.S.Be sure to check out more #BeatTheHeat recipes listed below from fellow members of the #SundaySupper community!

Gazpacho garnished with mango

Gazpacho

Printable recipe 

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber, halved and seeded, not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, I’ve alo used Vidalia, which is a sweet substitution
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups Mott’s Low Sodium Garden Blend tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Garnish – fresh avocado, mango, pineapple or papaya, cubed

Directions

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped for a chunky soup.  Blend longer for a smoother version (we prefer chunky). After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill overnight before serving. Garnish with ripe avocado, mango, pineapple or papaya.

#BeatTheHeat Appetizers:

#BeatTheHeat Salads, Soups, & Sides:

#BeatTheHeat Main Dishes:

#BeatTheHeat Desserts:

#BeatTheHeat Drinks & Cocktails:

Menu Plan Monday

July 9, 2012

#Meatless Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Philly Cheesesteaks with Garlic Mayo {Inspired by the Braves sweeping the Phillies this weekend}

Wednesday: Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde

Thursday:  Meatloaf with Blackberry Barbeque Sauce

Friday:  Leftovers

Saturday: Atlanta Street Food Festival to benefit the Atlanta Community FoodBank

Red, White and Green

July 4, 2012

A friend served this delicious chilled avocado soup at her summer party and my husband insisted I recreate it at home.  Boy, am I glad she shared this recipe with me (thanks Kathryn!)!  Not only is it extremely flavorful and refreshing, but it’s quite versatile.  When I made this batch originally, I served it alongside Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas for a #MeatlessMonday dish, and then used it again later in the week as a dressing on a Taco Salad.  It would also be delicious as a layer in a Mexican dip, a sauce over a taco or served atop grilled shrimp or chicken.  This recipe has definitely made into my list of summer staples!

avocado soup

Chilled Avocado Soup with Chile Lime Pepitas

 Ingredients

  • 1 medium poblano chile
  • 1 small white onion, sliced into 1/4 -inch-thick rings
  • 2-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth; more as needed
  • 2 medium firm-ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/8 tsp. chile powder; more for serving

Instructions

On a gas stove, turn a burner to high and set the poblano directly over the flame, turning it with tongs, until completely charred, 5 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, on an electric stove, heat the broiler on high and char the poblano on all sides on a baking sheet placed directly under the broiler. Put the poblano in a bowl, cover, and set aside to steam and loosen the skin. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and cut the poblano into 1/4 -inch dice.

Heat an 11- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and cook, turning a few times, until soft and browned in places, about 5 minutes.

In a blender, purée until smooth all but 1 Tbs. of the poblano, the onion, broth, avocado, cilantro, parsley, marjoram or oregano (if using), 2 Tbs. of the lime juice, cumin, coriander, and 1 tsp. salt. Blend in the yogurt. Season to taste with more salt. Chill well.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook until they begin to pop and color a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice, the chile powder, and 1/8 tsp. salt and stir until the juice has evaporated, leaving a film on the pan.

Season the soup to taste with salt and thin with broth if necessary. Divide among 6 cups or small bowls and garnish with the pepitas, the remaining poblano, and a few pinches of chile powder.

Menu Plan Monday

July 2, 2012

Meatless Monday: Portobello Burgers with Farro Salad

Tuesday: Steak Skewers with Scallion Dipping Sauce over Coconut Rice

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Carnitas

Friday: Pulled Pork Quesadillas

Saturday: A Belizean Feast — recreating a feast of many of the foods my husband and I enjoyed on our honeymoon in May

My aunt has been making these popular party apps for as long as I can remember and they always go fast at family get.  I’m pretty sure it’s the bacon that keeps ‘em coming back for seconds, thirds and fourths.  Now, I’ve never actually asked my aunt for the recipe, I just know she puts bacon in hers, which is what I started doing a few years ago. I’ve also added a personal touch of a little bit of honey mustard for some zing. So, although our batches might not come out tasting exactly the same, they are both delicious!

Untitled

Deviled Eggs with Bacon

  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 1 pound low-sodium bacon
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 2 tbs honey mustard
  • A few dashes of hot sauce, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbs fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbs chile powder

Instructions

Place the raw eggs in a large pot and fill pot with water until eggs are just covered.  Bring  to a boil, then lower to a simmer for about 15 minutes.  Turn the heat off and let them sit another 5 to 10 minutes, then pour out the hot water, fill pot with cold water and add a few ice cubes.  I find chilling the eggs makes them a little easier to peel.

While the eggs are boiling, go ahead and fry up the bacon making sure to cook it extra crispy so it’s easy to crumble later.

Once all the eggs are peeled, slice them in half, length-wise, and place all the cooked yolks in one bowl and the egg white halves on an egg platter.  Add the mayo through parsley to the yolks and mix thoroughly.  You might want to add a little more mayo and/or mustard to reach your desired creaminess.  Fold in the bacon,crumbling while adding, and fill the egg white halves with the yolk mixture.  Dust with chili powder and serve!

Tip:  If making ahead of time, mix everything together except for bacon. I save that for the last-minute so you don’t risk it getting too soft.  Also,do not assemble the yolk mixture with the egg whites until right before serving.  This keeps any deviled egg bandits from sneaking a taste before putting on the table ;0)

A Summer Sammie

June 28, 2012

Nothing makes me happier in the summer (foodwise, anyway) than when green tomatoes are in season.  So imagine my excitement when I visited the DeKalb Farmer’s Market and there was a whole bin filled with perfectly round, beautiful green tomatoes.  I grabbed a few, googled a recipe for fried green tomatoes and was home making Fried Green Tomato BLT’s faster than you can say sweet tea.

Now, my favorite fried green tomatoes are made with a cornmeal batter, however you can find recipes without, if that’s your preference.  I also like to dress it with homemade chipotle mayo.  If you don’t like chipotle, or if it’s too hot for you, you can always use paprika, chili powder or fresh herbs like Italian parsley or cilantro.  Anywho, this recipe came out divine and I’ve already made two batches.  They are delicious when served immediately after frying the tomatoes.  I’m working on finding a way to heat them up later for a sandwich the next day or a way to take them for lunch, but they just get soggy.  Any suggestions on how to re-heat them while keeping them crisp are welcome!

Fried Green Tomato BLTs

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 4 large green tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 8 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 pound low-sodium bacon, fried
  • Lettuce
  • Chipotle Mayo: 1/2 cup of light mayo + 1 tablespoon (or more, depending on your heat tolerance) of chipotle in adobo sauce, be sure to chop the chipotle before mixing

Directions

  1. Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Discard the ends.
  2. Whisk eggs and milk together in a medium-size bowl. Scoop flour onto a plate. Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs and salt and pepper on another plate. Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into milk and egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat.
  3. In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil (enough so that there is 1/2 inch of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the tomatoes, they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels.
  4. To serve, slather each side of bread with the chipotle mayo and layer fried green tomato, lettuce and bacon.  Enjoy!

La Isla Bonita

June 26, 2012

Since I’ve been on a blogging hiatus due to wedding hecticness, I thought it was only appropriate to kick off the summer featuring some of the amazing food my husband and I experienced during our honeymoon in Belize.  We actually had two legs of our trip, so I’m going to write two posts on our travels, one from each region we vacationed.

We first visited the island of San Pedro, Belize, which you may not know, inspired Madonna’s song, La Isla Bonita.  The “isla” was, in fact, very beautiful and the people friendly.  My favorite part, of course, was the food!  Our favorite restaurant, Waruguma, was El Salvadoran inspired and had two of the best dishes we ate on the island (we actually went there twice during the week we were there).  Our favorite were the Pupusas, which is a corn pancake filled with whatever you like.  Choices usually include beans and cheese (our go-to order), pork, chicken, shrimp, etc.  This dish is served with a cabbage slaw that you pile on top as well as a mild “red” sauce.  The first day we arrived, we went straight to this little hole in the wall and ordered a few Pupusas and a Shrimp Coconut Cream Burrito.  Wow.  Probably the best burrito I’ve tasted in my life.  I’ve already tried recreating it, but, in my opinion, was not even close (although Jim said it was fantastic).

Another highlight of the trip was the Friday night Mayan buffet at Elvi’s Kitchen.  What a spread!  There was a delicious Cream of Squash Soup garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds and croutons, Caramelized Plantains, Chicken Mole, Refried Black Beans, Shrimp Tostadas, Fish in a Coconut Broth, Tamales and Flan and Fresh Fruit to end the meal.  Jim was unable to surpass his buffet record of six plates of food.  I ate a mere four.  Needless to say, we were stuffed upon leaving!

Most of our other meals consisted of popping into places someone had recommended.  A local bartender at the Wahoo Lounge recommended The Reef Restaurant which was very good.  We ordered Pupusas (of course), Panades (which is basically an empanada) and Salbutes (similar to a tostada). Another place we tried was Hemingway’s.  The owner, John, was extremely friendly and the Snapper Cakes there were divine.  Since we were honeymooners, he offered us a special concoction of fresh squeezed juices and rum.  It was very refreshing and I will be making this at home, as well.

If you are a coffee drinker, the best (read strongest) coffee can be found at the Sailaway Cafe.  They also serve a pretty mean pannini with chipotle dipping sauce that Jim and I split for an afternoon snack.

Throughout the trip we also made a couple late-night stops at the street vendors.  They might quite possibly have the best food in the country!  Cooked fresh right in front of you and loaded with veggies and hot sauces.  Yum!

The last evening we went out to a fancy dinner at Blue Water Grill, white tablecloths and all.  Although we were a little wary upon entering because there were no locals inside, we were blown away by the service and taste and presentation of the food.  We ordered Gazpacho and Coconut Shrimp to start off with and both were absolutely delicious.  I’ve already recreated an amazing Gazpacho and will be sharing that recipe soon.  I ordered the special which was an Oven-Fried Grouper with a Lemon Mustard Sauce, Rice and Roasted Veggies.  Jim ordered Grilled Grouper topped with a Mango Salsa and served with Sweet Potato Patties.  The meal here was an exquisite end to our journey.

We were definitely sad to leave the island when our time was up…especially since we missed the start of lobster season/LobsterFest by two and a half weeks!  In between meals we spent our time snorkeling, biking, fishing and enjoying island life.  However, the second leg of our trip did not disappoint.  Next up: San Ignacio, Belize!

Oh, and everything’s better with a Belikin.

Menu Plan Monday

June 18, 2012

Now that my schedule has calmed down after planning and executing my dream wedding, it’s time to get back to cooking and blogging!  I’m not sure who is more excited, myself, because I’ve missed the kitchen (leading up to the wedding I jumped from one diet to the next, clear liquids, Atkins, etc. so my appliances have been dormant for a bit) or my hubby, because he was on his own and pretty much lived off hot dogs and sandwiches the past three months.  Sorry babe!

Anywho, I have a few things going on this week, but am excited to put together my first weekly menu plan in awhile! 

#SundaySupper:  Father’s Day Dinner of Minestrone, Lasagna and Garlic Bread.  Dessert was a Strawberry Buttercream Cake from The German Bakery

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Junior League Social at Square Pub (and my one month anniversary!). It’s appropriate we’ll be here since this is where my wedding “after-party” was held.  Their menu goes above and beyond the typical bar food.  (Hint: anything with Hatch Chiles is ah-mazing.)

Wednesday: Dinner at a friend’s house, menu TBD

Thursday:  Fried Green Tomato Sammies w/ Sweet Potato Fries (I made Fried Green Tomato BLTs last week and they were so good, I thought I’d expand on the basic recipe and add a few more ingredients.)  Also, super-excited to use my new mandolin to make home-made fries. 

Friday: I’m headed to Athens, GA for a Junior League Conference for the weekend, which means I’ll be eating at some of the best restaurants (in my opinion) around!  I’m hoping to hit The National, Speakeasy and The Grit…not to mention see some good music, as it’s AthFest weekend. 

Besides getting back into the swing of menu planning, grocery shopping, cooking and researching new recipes, I’m excited to announce that “The Hand” will be getting a whole new look in the very near future.  Stay tuned for updates on the big reveal!

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