Monday, November 24, 2008

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Photo's courtesy Google Imaging
Recipe Courtesy Emeril Lagase
I took out all his frills

1 unbaked pie shell
1 1/2 cups pecans
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup Pure Cane Syrup
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 ounces melted semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the pecan pieces and the chocolate chips evenly on the bottom of the pie shell. In a mixing bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together. Pour the filling over the pecans. Bake for about 1 hour or until the filling sets. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Mashed Yams

Recipe courtesy a Sundance Chef and me because he never wrote it down for me and he just told me the ingredients and I figured it out.

4-6 Yams
1-2 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 -1 cup 100% maple syrup
Salt & Pepper to taste

Bake yams at 375 for about 45-60 min depending on your oven.
Once cooled enough to handle remove skins. They should easily peel off.

While you are making this be sure to continually taste it, it is important not to get to much syrup or butter.

Using a hand or standing mixer add yams, butter and mix it for about 30 sec or so on very low just to combine butter and yams. Turning it back on low and mixing for as little time as possible add the maple syrup slowly to incorporate. Fold in salt and pepper and serve.

Carol's Stuffing

Photo of stuffing and sage courtesy Google imaging
Recipe courtesy my grandma Carol Lambert

This first recipe is hers:
Eyeball amounts and they will depend on the size of your bird
stale bread torn or cut into pieces
chopped celery and use scissors to cut up celery leaves
chopped onion
sage chopped or minced
2 sticks butter cubed

Combine bread, celery, onion and sage in a baking dish, bowl or whatever. Gently fold in cubed butter and stuff your bird. If you want extra dressing put it in a baking dish and sprinkle with butter and bake at 375 until golden brown.

Recipe courtesy Meikel Reece
My version of her recipe:
1 loaf white or sourdough bread left out a day or so
5 or so sticks of celery and leaves
2 or 3 onions chopped
1/2 cup sage chopped, make sure you don't use to much it is a very powerful herb.
1 stick of butter cubed
1 stick of butter for brown butter

Brown butter recipe:
Cut butter into pieces.
Heat butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir the butter or swirl the pan so that the butter doesn't burn.
Remove from heat when butter turns light brown and gives off a nutty aroma.
You can also add the sage at the last minute to infuse butter with sage.
Let this cool just a bit, may a couple of minutes

Combine bread, celery, onion and sage in a baking dish, bowl or whatever. Gently fold in cubed butter and pour brown butter over the top and stuff your bird. If you want extra dressing put it in a baking dish and sprinkle with butter and either add the brown butter sauce or wait till it's done and pour on after. and bake at 375 until golden brown.

Mashed Potatoes

Recipe courtesy my mom, aunts, grandma and Michael Chiarello

2 pounds potatoes (anything but red)
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (or soy butter)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, or more to taste
Sea, Kosher or Grey Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I tend to use 1 stick and just the olive oil to make it just a bit more healthy)

Additions feel free to have both just one or none:
Remember there is such a thing as to much garlic.
1 tablespoon garlic paste or minced garlic or no garlic, completely up to you.

1-2 packages or Boursin Cheese

For the Garlic Paste:
1 pound whole garlic heads
1/2 cup pure olive oil
Gray sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To roast the garlic if you so desire:
Courtesy Michael Chiarello
Peel the outermost layers of skin off the heads of garlic. Cut off the top 1/3 of the heads to open the cloves. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, cut sides up, and saute for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer pan to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Pop garlic cloves from their skins and place cloves in a blender, along with any olive oil left in the pan. Puree until smooth; you should have a paste-like consistency.

For the potatoes: Cube the potatoes. Then put the potatoes in a large saucepan with salted cold water and place in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, add some more salt and then bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well, place potato cubes in a food mill, and grind to remove skins. I actually love to have skins in my potatoes so just use a hand or standing mixer or fork if you would like to keep the skins. Alternatively, smash the potatoes with a large fork or potato masher.You can also use use a hand mixer or standing mixer but you have to be really careful not to over mix, because you can end up with nasty, gloupy, gummy potatoes.

If you are going to add no or just minced garlic then just carefully fold into potatoes. If you are going to add the Borsin cheese just fold into potatoes and it will melt.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter stops foaming and turns a light brown. Add the garlic paste and cook quickly. Add the cream, season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and fold in potatoes with a wooded spoon or large whisk. Add the remaining butter by tablespoons, stirring after each addition. Stir in the extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Cranberry Citrus Sauce

Photo's courtesy Google imaging
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
1 orange, zested and juiced
3 (12-ounce) bags fresh or frozen cranberries
Dash salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Start by making a simple syrup: dissolve the sugar in the water in a medium saucepan. Add vanilla beans and bring to a simmer. Add the orange juice and cranberries, a dash of salt and some freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Simmer until cranberries begin to pop and become tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Dijon mustard. Chill cranberry sauce until ready to serve. The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Just before serving, garnish sauce with freshly grated orange zest.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Photos courtesy Google imaging
Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson
my changes/additions are in yellow
This recipe can be made Vegetarian
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried or crushed chili flakes
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
5 cardamom pods, bruised
2 red peppers, seeded and finely diced
2 yellow peppers, seeded and finely diced
3 pounds 4 ounces ground beef
I use ground turkey for guests and I omit meat completely for myself.
1 bunch chopped cilantro
1 or 2 cups sour cream
Juice of 1 lemon
7 cups canned chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans
1 or 2 cans cannelinni beans

This is a great recipe sometimes I do buy a mix.
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups buttermilk
4 eggs
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated Cheddar

Serving suggestion:
2 cups sour cream mixed with chopped cilantro & lemon juice
Ground paprika, for dusting
3 3/4 cups grated Cheddar

Special equipment: Very large pan
Heat the oil in a very large pan and fry the onion and garlic until it begins to soften. Add the chili, coriander, cumin, and crushed cardamom pods and stir well.
Add the peppers then break up the ground beef into the pan and, using a fork, keep turning it to separate it as the meat browns. Add the chopped tomatoes, ketchup, tomato puree, and water stirring to make a rich red sauce. When the chili starts to boil sprinkle over the cocoa and stir it in. Add the beans and simmer partially covered for 1 1/2 hours. At this point you can cool and freeze the chili, or just keep it in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Pour the chili into a large, wide dish or keep in the pan you cooked it in if it is ovenproof.

Combine the salt, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl. Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, honey, and oil in a jug, and then stir into the dry ingredients mixing to make a vivid yellow batter.

Pour the cornmeal topping over the chili con carne, or blob it over to cover the top as evenly as possible. I don't do this step I prefer the cornbread on the side because after a while it gets quite soggy.

Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the cornbread and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cornbread topping is risen and golden and the chili underneath is bubbling. How long this takes depends on the how cold or hot the chili was when it went into the oven. Since it's such a huge vat, you may find it easiest to reheat it on the stove in its pan first.

Let the chili stand for about 5 minutes once out of the oven before cutting the cornbread top into squares or slices to serve with a helping of chili underneath.

Garlic & Citrus Chicken

Photos courtesy Google Imaging
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

1 (5 to 6-pound) whole roasting chicken, neck and giblets discarded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 orange, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
1 head garlic, halved crosswise, plus 3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (14-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
Kitchen string or butcher twine
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the orange, lemon, and garlic halves. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string to help hold its shape. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

Place a rack in a large roasting pan. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the rack in the pan. Roast the chicken for 1 hour, basting occasionally and adding some chicken broth to the pan, if necessary, to prevent the pan drippings from burning. Whisk the orange juice, lemon juice, oil, oregano, and chopped garlic in a medium bowl to blend. Brush some of the juice mixture over the chicken, after it has baked 1 hour. Continue roasting the chicken until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the innermost part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F, basting occasionally with the juice mixture and adding broth to the pan, about 45 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Tent with foil while making the sauce (do not clean the pan).

Place the same roasting pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in any remaining broth and simmer until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Strain into a 2-cup glass measuring cup and discard the solids. Spoon the fat from the top of the sauce. Serve the chicken with the pan sauce.

Creamy Cilantro Ranch Dressing (Cafe Rio Ranch)

Cilantro & Tomatillo photos courtesy Google imaging
Recipe Courtesy Kathi Ashton via the Salt Lake Tribune
3 Fresh Tomatillos, quartered
1 Package Ranch Buttermilk Dressing Mix (I highly recommend Hidden Valley)
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise or Veganaise
1/2 Cup sour cream or tofutti sour cream
1/3 to 1/2 C Buttermilk
1 bunch cilantro (less or more if you like)
2 cloves roughly chopped garlic (omit if you like)
1/4 tsp Ceyenne Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender and refrigerate at least 1 hour

Rigatoni with Squash & Prawns

Photos found on Google imaging.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup vegetable stock
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound prawns, peeled and deveined
3/4 to 1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Saute until the squash is golden and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the squash is very soft, another 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the squash mixture to a blender or food processor and puree.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the prawns with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add the prawns to the pan and cook until just pink, about 3 minutes. I also love to grill the shrimp for this dish!

In a large pot over low heat combine the cooked pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 3/4 cup milk. Stir to combine. Add the remaining 1/4 cup milk if the sauce needs to be moistened. Add the cooked prawns, basil, and cheese. Stir until warm and serve.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Paprika, Lime & Grana Padano Grilled Corn

Recipe credit goes completely to the culinary geniuses at Pizzeria 712
This is my desperate attempt to recreate their amazing dish so that I could have it every night while corn is in season. So please go try it at the Pizzeria while they still have it!

6 ears of corn, shucked
1 cup mayonnaise (I recommend veganaise or olive oil mayo)
2 heaping tbsp of good paprika
the juice of 2 limes
1/4-1/2 cup grana padano cheese (you can use Parmesano reggiano just make sure it's the good stuff)

Remember that my downfall in writing out recipes is that I never use measurements when I cook, I just sort of eye it and then taste it till it tastes right, I encourage you to do the same.

Fire up your grill, if it is a coal grill make sure to leave enough time to have the grill piping hot.

In a pasta pot or steamer pot bring about a cup of water to boil to steam the corn.
While you wait for the water to come to a boil, in a bowl mix together mayo, lime juice, paprika. Once combined add cheese and set aside.

Add corn to boiling pot to steam. Steam for 4 min and remove.

Place corn down on grill in the hottest part of your grill. Brush on Lime Mayo mixture, evenly until coated. Leave on the grill about 5-7 min, you need to watch it and be turning it this whole time. Add more Lime Mayo mixture to your liking, remove from grill and serve immediately.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pineapple Curry Pork Tacos

Recipe Courtesy Meikel Reece
I love this recipe, especially for parties you can make this days ahead and then just reheat and it is delicious. I also love it because people can put these together just the way they like them.
Pork butt cut
½ cup brown sugar
2 TBs hot sauce
Dr. Pepper (regular, not diet)

Remove fat from pork and place in a slow cooker.
Make a sauce from 3 cups of the Dr. Pepper, the brown sugar and the hot sauce.
Almost cover the pork the pork with the sauce and cook on lowest and longest setting for 8 hours. When done, shred the pork using two forks, keeping the meat in the liquid sauce at all times. Render the fat as you go.

Pineapple Curry and Rice:
Buy Pineapple Curry from a Thai place or make from scratch—no meat, no tofu. Puree the curry or just mix the veggies in with the rice—either what you prepare yourself or what you buy. Soak the curry and the rice overnight or at least 2 hours.

I always just make this off the top of my head, but I think these are the porportions.
5 tomatoes
1 white onion
1 bunch cilantro
Juice from 1 lemon
1-2 jalapenos
Chop or put in food processor and combine all ingredients.Voila, salsa!

Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
4 tomatillos, quartered
2 bunches cilantro
Hidden Valley Ranch packet
1 pint buttermilk
¼ to 1 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on the preference for hot

Begin with buttermilk in the blender, jam everything else in and blend. Prepare ahead so that it can set for at least 20 minutes; easy to make 1-2 days before.

Frijoles Negroes/Black Beans
3 cans of black beans; heat in the microwave--in the sauce or not--and then drain

Traditional Mexican tortillas—fresh, not cooked, and small size. Can buy at Bajio’s or at Costco. Prepare just before meal begins.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Pink Buttercream Frosting

Recipe courtesy Meikel Reece
2 1/2 cups white sugar (1/2 less if you want it less sweet)
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole milk, room
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry puree (recipe follows, and sometimes I use a full cup)

Strawberry Puree
1 cup hulled & sliced Strawberries
1/2 cup Sugar
1 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans. Or put the liners in cup cake tins.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.

Recipe Courtesy Magnolia Bakery NYC
The vanilla buttercream we use at the bakery is technically not a buttercream but actually an old-fashioned confectioners' sugar and butter frosting. Be sure to beat the icing for the amount of time called for in the recipe to achieve the desired creamy texture.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Combine stawberries, sugar, the juice of one lemon and the lemon zest. Make sure that stawberries have been coated and let sit overnight or at least 1/2 hour. Puree in food processor.

For cupcakes bake for 18-20 min or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes about 24 cupcakes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Banana Muffins

Recipe courtesy Giada De laurentiis.
These are delightful muffins, especially when they are good for you too.
When I make these I make several healthy substitutions, they will all be in brown. enjoy!
3 cups all-purpose flour Whole wheat baking flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups sugar Beet sugar or Stevia sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed

3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature Tofutti non dairy cream cheese (trust me it's delicious!)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature Soy Butter
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature Just use all 8oz of Tofutti Cream cheese
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted I use Peacans because I love them, but walnuts are great too.

Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl to blend. Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the banana. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake the muffins on the middle rack until the tops are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached, about 25 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a rack and cool slightly. The muffins may be eaten warm or cooled completely and frosted.

To frost the cupcakes: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the mascarpone cheese and then beat in the honey. Spread the frosting over the muffins. Sprinkle with the walnuts.

These are mine and Luke's new favorite thing, and they are really filling as well. And even though we all know that cream cheese frosting makes everything better, these are also good bald.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Butternut Squash and Vanilla Risotto

I would like to preface this recipe with a statement about hard work. Anything worth doing is hard, and so it is with risotto. You may have to stand over a pot of boiling rice, lovingly ladleing steaming spoonfuls of hot broth on to the ever awaiting rice, but it is worth every moment. You reap what you sow, and this is so worth it!

Recipe Courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
4 cups vegetable broth
1 large vanilla bean
3 cups peeled cubed (1-inch wide) butternut squash, about 12 ounces
2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon
3/4 cups finely chopped onion (from 1 onion)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
In a medium saucepan, warm the broth over medium-high heat. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and add them, and the bean, to the broth. When the broth comes to a simmer reduce the heat to low. Add the butternut squash to the simmering broth and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove the butternut squash to a side dish. Turn the heat on the broth down to very low and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to of the broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Discard the vanilla bean. Turn off the heat. Gently stir in the butternut squash, Parmesan, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and salt. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl and sprinkle with chives. Serve

Summer Boulillabaisse

Recipe Courtesy Real Simple
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large bulb fennel, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound cod fillet, skin removed; cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
1 pound mussels, scrubbed (I generally omit these, unless you can find some "fresh" in Utah best to just leave out. Shrimp on the other hand is fairly easy to find. I get mine at Costco, and the frozen ones are pretty good!)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped (If you can't find the fresh herb you are looking for, go for the next best thing. I would not hesitate to use Italian parsley in this recipe.)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the cod, shrimp, and tomatoes and cook, covered, for 3 minutes. Add the mussels and cook, covered, until the cod and shrimp are cooked through and the mussels have opened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle with the tarragon before serving.

Substitution: This light French seafood stew works well with a variety of fish. Sea bass, flounder, and halibut are tasty alternatives to cod, so buy what looks best at the market.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Rice Works

I am so glad I ran into these little treasures, Thanks Target!
Riceworks chips are made with a selection of the finest ingredients including whole grain brown rice and sesame seeds that are mixed into a dough. The dough is then rolled into a thin sheet, cut into individual chips and baked in a state-of-the-art oven. After baking, the chips are fried in low saturated, zero grams of trans fat sunflower or safflower oil to produce a crisp yet tender texture. They are Doritos healthy and sophisticated cousin, try them you will love them!

Yellow Tomato Salsa

Recipe Courtesy Real Simple
1 1/2 pounds yellow tomatoes, cut into quarters
1/2 cup red onion
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Pulse tomatoes in a food processor until roughly chopped.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in onion, basil leaves, and salt.

Serve with hearts of romaine, sliced zucchini, and crackers.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings


I LOVE Kashi! All their products are so tasty and good for you!

GOLEAN Crunch & Heart to Heart Golden Maple Brown Oatmeal
Here are my favorite additions to this delightful cereal & oatmeal :
Bananas & Pecans (if you toast the pecans first it tastes like dessert, it's wonderful)
(For the oatmeal add a drizzle of pure maple syrup, it's heaven.)
Pecan's or Walnuts & Crasins or Golden Raisins
Granola & your favorite dried fruit.
Soy milk is my favorite to accompany these cereals.

TLC Crackers, Country Cheddar
I love these, they are perfect in every way.

TLC Cookies, Oatmeal & Dark Chocolate
Obviously we could all make these and they would probably be amazing.
But generally time is of the essence, so I turn to these healthy versions of my favorite cookie.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My version of a Venezuelan Hot Dog

"Ever eat so much you feel sick? Isn't that the best,
then you feel like a real American . . . oh that was strangely patriotic . . ." -Jim Gaffigan

I am usually very anti-hot dog, but seeing as it's almost the 4th of July
I thought I would share my favorite way to eat a hot dog.

8 hot dog rolls, preferably potato
8 hot dogs, preferably pork
Relish of your choice
1 (6-ounce) bag Lays classic potato chips

Grill your dogs, for me it's just the only way. I also grill my buns, but that is just a personal preference. While your dogs are grilling, open the bag of Lays, and slowly begin to smash the chips with your hands, smash until they are completely demolished, still crisp but totally smashed and then set aside.
Check your buns, they only need a minute or so on the grill. Once your dogs are done to your liking, assemble as follows:
Bun, dog, ketchup, mustard, mayo, relish and top with a rediculous amounts of crushed potato chips.

Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese

I would like to preface this recipe with a statement. When I cook I never measure, and when I mess around with recipe's (like the one below) I am always trying to make it taste better, so I do it a little different each time.
I will add my additions and changes, but it does make a different outcome than Giada's. But I think that cooking should be an evolution, what may be great in L.A. may not work so well for Provo. So I make each recipe to match my mood, my climate and more often than not my wallet.

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Additions courtesy of yours truly!
1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms I left these out,because the only place I could find them was williams and sonoma
1 1/2 cups hot water
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped also 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves sometimes I omit this completely, depending on mood.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves Basil was on sale when I first made this and I love it,
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves really you can't go wrong with any of these herbs.
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces assorted mushrooms (like shiitake, cremini, and brown), stemmed and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese I use the Toffuti non-dairy cream cheese
1 pound rigatoni pasta I use whole wheat
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 28oz (for a more "soupy" sauce) or 16oz can diced tomatoes.
Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 1 1/2 cups very hot water. Set aside and let the mushrooms soften. Ignore this if you omited the dried mushrooms.

Place the carrots, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, canned tomatoes and garlic in a food processor. Pulse the vegetables until finely chopped but still chunky. Place the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Strain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the porcini mushroom liquid. Add the porcini mushrooms, fresh mushrooms, and tomato paste and continue cooking, stirring to dissolve the tomato paste, until the mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the porcini mushroom liquid and red wine. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and let the mixture simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and stir just until the cheese is incorporated.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes remember that whole wheat takes longer. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and add to the vegetable mixture. Add some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid, if necessary, to moisten the sauce. Toss with Parmesan and serve. This pasta is delicious cold as leftovers too!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Food & Family

I come from a long line of good eaters. I also come from some damn good cooks too.
Many families need an occasion to get together to eat. In my family it's like "Happy Tuesday, let's go eat!" We will find any reason to get together and feast. My love of food and family is inseparable, I love my family and I want to cook for people that I love. My mother Lisa, My grandmother Carol and my Aunt Becky are all foodies, and three women that were instrumental in my love of food and my love of preparing food.

My mother has traveled the world and has always had an eclectic taste and a willing palate, even if her favorite thing in the world is milk and toast at midnight. She always made delicious meals at home and took me to different and interesting places when we went out. I give her complete credit for my adventurous eating habits.

My grandmother, two words; Sunday dinner.
This incredible woman made the most elaborate and wonderfully put together meals on Sunday for over 55 years. The food was perfect and very, very American circa 1950. These Sunday meals created some of the best memories I can remember. I learned how to cook for a lot of people from my grandmother. She taught me to always use only what was in season and how to stretch a Sunday meal to last all week long.

My Aunt Becky's food is simply delicious. For as long as I can remember whenever I was told that we were invited to dinner at my Aunt's I would begin to salivate. She knows exactly how to prepare food to make it taste it's best. Her dinners not only taste good but they are presented beautifully, looking just as good as they taste. Becky is not just a good cook, but a master baker. Her desserts and breads are to die for, may you all be fortunate enough to eat dinner at her house!

Chocolate Pudding with Cinnamin Cream

Recipe courtesy Meikel Reece

Pudding recipe courtesy Ina Garten

My additions are in blue:

For Pudding:
6 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons very good cocoa powder
Pinch salt
2 cups milk
1-ounce very good semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
For Cinnamon Cream:
2 pints Heavy Whipping Cream Sugar Cinnamon Vanilla Lindt Dark Chocolate 85% chopped for topping

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light yellow and thick in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed. On low speed, add the cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan and, with the mixer on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the chocolate mixture. Combine well, then pour the mixture back into the pan.

Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until thickened. If the mixture begins to curdle, remove it from the heat and beat it vigorously with a wire whisk. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, butter, vanilla, and heavy cream, and mix until the chocolate and butter are melted. Add 1/4 tsp of Cayenne pepper and a 1 tsp of good Mexican vanilla. (regular vanilla is good as well, but Mexican is best with this pudding.)

Pour into serving bowls. Place plastic wrap directly on the top of the pudding, and chill thoroughly.

You could cheat and buy Kozy Shack chocolate pudding, but the real thing is so much better!

Whip 2 pints of heavy whipping cream with sugar, Cinnamon and vanilla. (by the way I believe cool whip to be sacrilege, use the real thing and you shall be blessed with tastiness.) You will notice that I am not giving amounts here. You need to season your cream to your taste, although watch the Cinnamon a little bit goes a long way.

In small glasses or whatever vessel you prefer layer about 2 inches of whip cream and 2 inches of pudding. Saving 1 1/2 cups of the cream for topping. Alternate until glass is full. Cover with clear wrap and chill at least an hour (1/2 is OK but you will sacrifice firmness.) Take out and top with chopped chocolate and serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Red Velvet Cupcakes

This is quite possibly the best cupcake recipe in the world. And I do not say that lightly. I have had more than my fair share of cupcakes in my years, and this recipe . . . well lets just say when you make it, invite people over because if you are by yourself when these delightful delicacies are ready, look out because it is almost impossible to have just one. enjoy!

Recipe courtesy Terri Wahl
For the cupcakes:
15 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
13 ounces granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons red food coloring
1 1/4 teaspoons vinegar (white or apple cider can both work)
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 cup water

For the cream cheese frosting:
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound butter, room temperature
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out

Line a 16-cup cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

For the cream cheese frosting:
Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamed. Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture and scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.

The frosting can be used right away, or stored in the refrigerator up to a week.

Frost cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fruit Salad with Cannoli Cream

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
1/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Pinch ground cinnamon
12 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled, quartered (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 dry pint fresh raspberries (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 kiwi, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
Stir the ricotta and 2 tablespoons of cream in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/3 cup of cream, powdered sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl until semi-firm peaks form. Fold the ricotta into the whipped cream. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to stiffen and yield a creamier filling. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Toss the strawberries, raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium bowl to combine. Let stand until juices form, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add the kiwi.

Spoon the fruit mixture into 4 dessert bowls. Dollop the ricotta cream atop the fruit. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve.

I love this recipe, and since I am snow weary I wanted a recipe that brought a little spring into my home. I make this delightful dessert anytime I need a crowd pleaser! And it just so happens that this is delicious on top of crepe's or Belgian waffles.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Double Potato and Halloumi Bake

Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson
1 large sweet potato
1 large red firm potato
1 red onion
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1/2 head garlic, cloves peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced as thinly as you can

(Meikel's note: I ALWAYS add yams & vidalia or yellow onions to this, I often leave out the cheese, red & yellow pepper to give it a different feel. I always double this recipe, it is great as left overs. Chop it up and put it in an omelet, it's delicious)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the sweet potato into rough 1 1/2-inch cubes and the red potato slightly smaller (1-inch cubes) as the sweet potato will cook more quickly. Halve the red onion, then cut each half into 4 to 6 segments, discarding any tough outer skin. Seed the peppers and cut into 1-inch squares, and separate the cloves of garlic. Put everything into a 2-quart casserole dish, or whatever you want to use (it should be big, otherwise use 2 dishes) and, using your hands, give the vegetables a good coating of olive oil. Season with black pepper, but no salt as the cheese will make it salty (and anyway, the salt will make water leach out).

Bake for 45 minutes, by which time the vegetables should be cooked through and here and there tinged with brown. You'll need to turn the oven up to maximum heat or light the broiler for the endgame: so place the thinly sliced cheese on top of the bake, and put it back in the very hot oven or under the broiler until the cheese has melted and turned slightly brown on top, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve straight out of the casserole dish.

Roasted Red Potatoes

Recipe courtesy Meikel Reece
This is my absolute favorite way to prepare red potatoes. This recipe is so versatile you can really go as simple or elaborate as you would like. I uphold the belief that good olive oil salt and pepper make everything taste amazing. This is a great dish for crowds, and a great healthy substitute for fries.

12 Red potatoes (or as many as you would like to make, I prefer the small reds.)
Equal parts: (You can start with a tablespoon or so each and go from there)
Dried oregano
Freshly ground pepper
Sea or Kosher salt
Dried parsley

1tsp Cheyenne Pepper (more or less depending on the heat level you want to achieve)
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese (get the good stuff and grate it yourself, it is absolutely worth it!)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the Oregano, Parsley, Cheyenne, salt & pepper together in a small bowl, set aside. Wash and quarter the potatoes, make sure they are dried properly so the olive oil will stick to them. Put them on a large cookie sheet with a lip. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes. Using your hands gently toss the potatoes in the olive oil so you coat every piece. Sprinkle 1/2 of your spice mixture over the potatoes and toss again to coat. You can use the rest of the spice mixture (I do, but I eyeball it you don't want to over do it) or choose to omit it. Put in the oven (I turn all the potatoes so the white side is facing up, but no need to bother with that if you don't want to). It takes anywhere to a 1/2 hour to an hour depending on your oven and amount of potatoes. You want them to become golden and beautiful, then sprinkle the Parmesan over them and put them back in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. For you vegans or just if you don't have cheese you can definitely skip the cheese and still have fabulous potatoes. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My love of food

For quite some time I have wanted to create a blog dedicated to my love of food. So I give you NOSH, it will have all of my musings, experiments, recipies, stories, and all things food related in my life. Food is a large part of my life, and I intend to share all of my experiences with you.
Bon Apetit!
Related Posts with Thumbnails