Sunday, June 3, 2012

Orange Chinese Chicken with Sesame seeds

Ingredients 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, nearly thawed 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons orange marmalade 1 tablespoon sweet rice cooking wine (aji mirin), or white wine 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 cup flour 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 3 tablespoons butter, melted Rice, for serving Directions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes (easiest when not completely thawed). In a medium bowl, mix together the soy sauce, orange marmalade, wine, and crushed red pepper flakes. Toss in the chicken cubes and marinate for at least 10 minutes and up to 8 hours in the refrigerator. In another bowl or plastic bag, mix together the flour and sesame seeds. Drain the chicken cubes and blot any excess liquid, and then toss in the flour to coat lightly. Spread the chicken cubes on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the melted butter. Bake until the chicken is crispy but not dry, about 20 minutes, turning the cubes halfway through. Serve with rice.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Super Simple Apple Tarte

This is super easy, if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer! It's a great go-to pie tart and one to be enjoyed, even if its just a casual night in.
Pie Crust Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold Butter
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
Special Equipment: 9 1/2-inch tarte pan
Preheat oven to 350*F. Combine flour and salt in the mixing bowl; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in on level 2, one tablespoon of cold water at a time until flour is moistened. Shaple the dough into a ball, roll out ball of dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Place dough into 9-inch pie pan, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Crimp edges with fork.

Apple Tarte filling Ingredients:
4-5 Medium sized Green apples (peeled, cored, sliced)
1 Tablespoon Fresh lemon juice
1 Teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1/4 Cup Sugar
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

(Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the apples)
Peel the apples, cut into quarters, core, and then slice thinly. Place in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and add the apples onto the crust, spreading them evenly. Brush the whole tarte with melted butter and bake until the tarte is golden and the apples have cooked down a fair amount, about 1 hour. Cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cranberries & Walnuts

1/4 Cup Steel Cut Oats
1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Milk
2 Tbsp. Dried Cranberries
2 Tbsp. Walnuts
Pinch of Salt

Boil milk, water, and a pinch of salt. Add oats and berries, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Top with walnuts for an extra kick.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Arugula Pesto

Arugula pesto is a great alternative the classic basil pesto which can be both costly and caloric. Enjoy this recipe in pastas, lasagnas, on sandwiches (mix with a little mayo) and as a chicken salad base.

3-4 Cups packed fresh Arugula
4 Cloves garlic (peeled and halved)
1/2 Cup Parmesean Cheese
1/3 Cup EVOO
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Ground Pepper

In a food processor combine the arugula with 4 cloves of peeled and halved garlic. Add parmesean cheese and pulse in mixer.  While processor is running, slowly add EVOO, salt and pepper. Allow processor to mix well. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Vegetarian Black Bean Burger


1 (16 ounce) Can Black beans (drained and rinsed)
3 Cloves garlic (pressed)
1 Egg
1 Tbsp. Chili powder
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1 Tsp. Thai chili sauce (or hot sauce)
1/2 Cup Bread crumbs

If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375* F, and lightly oil a baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty. Stir in pressed garlic to mashed beans.

In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce.

Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties. Gently wrap each patty in aluminium foil and allow to firm in refridgerator or store in freezer for future use.

If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Ingredients (Makes about 20 stuffed peppers):
About 20 Sweet Peppers
1 Package of Knorr "Pasta Sides - Cheddar Broccoli"
1/2 Cup of fresh broccoli
2 Tbsp. Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Pepper

Cook the package of Knorr "Pasta Sides - Cheddar Broccoli" as directed. In food processor, blend the broccoli into small pieces. Combine the cooked pasta by stirring in the broccoli, cream cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

Prepare the sweet peppers to be stuffed by creating a "boat cut" in the center of the pepper, removing the inside seeds.

Stuff each pepper with about a tablespoon (or more) of filling and replace pepper cut out top.

Bake 350* about 30-45 minutes until warmed throughout.

Creamy Zucchini Fries

1 lb zucchini
1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray the sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Cut zucchini into thick “fries” and blot dry.

Whisk the eggs together. In a separate bowl, mix the grated parmesan and bread crumbs together. Dip the zucchini in the eggs and then shake the sticks to remove any excess egg. Roll the zucchini in the bread crumbs and then place them on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining zucchini, making sure the zucchini pieces aren’t touching each other.

Bake for 10-12 minutes in the prepared oven then remove from oven, flip the fries, and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the zucchini is not soggy and the coating is crisp and golden brown.


DID YOU KNOW? You can use Rosewater in recipes, or as an astringent, or spray as a natural perfume/pick me up. I just WISH I wasn't allergic to roses myself...

For every 1 firmly packed cup of petals, pour 2 cups boiling water over top.

Cover and steep until the liquid is cool.

Strain, squeeze out the liquid from the petals, and refrigerate the liquid in a sterilized jar.

O la la!!  :)

Stonewood Grill's Crab Cakes

Eggs 3 eggs
Mayonnaise 2 cups
Grain mustard ¼ cup
Fresh lemon juice ¼ cup
Chopped parsley ¼ cup
Blackening spice 1 tsp.
Salt 1 tsp.

Lump crab meat 2 lbs.
Bread crumbs 4 tbsp.
Crab cake sauce 1 cup
Crack the eggs and place into a mixing bowl.

Add mayonnaise and grain mustard to the mixing bowl and mix until well combined.

Add the fresh squeezed lemon juice, parsley, blackening spice and salt to the mixing bowl. Mix well.
Open crab meat and place onto a lined cookie sheet. Pick through the crab to remove any shells that may remain – careful not to break apart the lumps.

Add the crab and bread crumbs into a mixing bowl and gently mix until well incorporated.

Add the crab cake sauce into the bowl and gently fold until well blended.

Scoop portions of crab cakes and place onto a lined sheet tray. Repeat until all of the mix is portioned.
YIELD 5 servings

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tempeh with Spinach & Wild Rice

1 Package of Three Grain Tempeh
1 tsp. EVOO
4 tsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos 
2 Cups Cooked Wild Rice 
3 Cups Freshly Sauteed Spinach

Using a large skillet, heat EVOO on medium-high heat. Slice tempeh medium to thin slices, then halve. Add sliced tempeh to hot pan, coating with EVOO. Add aprox. 4 teaspoons of Bragg Liquid Aminos to heated tempeh. Allow tempeh to brown and heat thoroughly. Serve with sauteed spinach, and wild rice.

Lemon Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki & Feta

Ingredients (makes 2 gyros):
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
2 flatbreads
1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 Cucumber, thinly sliced
½ Small red onion, thinly sliced
½ Cup crumbled feta cheese

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oregano, thyme, garlic, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add the chicken, toss to coat, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Remove the chicken from the bowl and saute in a large frying pan for about 5 minutes per side (or grill on George Forman Grill), until the pieces are no longer pink in the center.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt and dill. Spread the homemade tzatziki sauce onto a warmed flatbread, followed by chicken, sliced cucumber, onion, tomatoes, and feta cheese. Wrap in Aluminum foil and serve promptly.

Pomegranate Sangria

1 Bottle of fruity red wine
2 Cups Pomegranate juice
1/2 Cup Brandy
1/2 Cup Triple Sec
1/2 Cup Ginger Ale
1 large orange, juiced then halved and thinly sliced for garnish
1 green apple, cored, halved and thinly sliced for garnish

Mixed Berry Smoothie

1 Cup Frozen Mixed Berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and black berries)
1/2 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk
1/2 Cup Cranberry/Blueberry Juice
1 Banana (ripe)
1/2 Cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
*Optional* 1 Scoop Protein Powder (Pina Colada or Vanilla)

Combine all ingredients in blender and mix well. Enjoy!!

Chicken/Steak Marinade

1 cup Vegetable oil
1 cup Apple cider vinegar
1 can Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
4 tbsp. Thyme
6 Garlic cloves (peeled)

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend.

Add 1-2lbs. of chicken or steak to marinade and allow to marinate for up to 24 hours.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Foccacia Bread

Basic Dough:
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 ounce (1 package) yeast
3 1 /4 cups all-purpose flour (you may need more to achieve the smooth elasticity)
2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 Shallots
1/4 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over that mixture and let stand for 10 minutes, to bloom (it should begin to foam.) In the mixer bowl with the dough hook attached, add 3 cups of flour, salt and yeast mixture. Slowly turn it on and work the dough together. Turn it up to medium and mix for 5 minutes. If the dough is sticky, continue mixing and gradually add the remaining flour. Place this smooth ball of dough into an oiled bowl, cover and set aside to rise for 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Punch down the dough, and remove it from the bowl onto a lightly oiled, 9 x 13-inch sheet tray. Spread the dough out onto the sheet tray. Using your fingertips, make "dimples" in the dough. Drizzle the dough with olive oil, sprinkle on the basil, cheese, and shallot. Bake & enjoy!

Fusilli with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper

Kosher salt
1 pound fusilli pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
5 cups baby spinach leaves (5 ounces)
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (6 ounces)
1 cup mascarpone cheese (8 ounces), at room temperature

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove the garlic and discard. Add the spinach and 2 teaspoons pepper, and cook until the spinach has wilted, about 1 minute.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add the pasta. Add the Pecorino Romano cheese and 2 teaspoons each salt and pepper, and toss until coated.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the reserved cooking liquid and the mascarpone cheese until smooth. Pour over the pasta and toss until coated.

Season with salt.

Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and serve.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Goat Cheese, Texmati Brown & Wild Rice Rolls

Probably the BEST vegetarian dish I have ever made... thanks to Giada De Laurentiis! I have a few variations that make this a little less expensive, and a little more healthy...heyhey!

Butter, for greasing the baking dish
6 large Swiss chard leaves (about 1 1/4 pounds)

2 cups cooked Royal Blend Whole Grain with Texmati Brown & Wild rice
1 packed cup baby arugula leaves, chopped
1/2 cup goat cheese, at room temperature (4 ounces)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 26-ounce jar marinara or tomato-basil sauce
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.

Remove the thick stem from the center of each chard leaf. Cut each leaf in half lengthwise. Trim the ends from the leaves to make each leaf-half about 7 inches long and 5 inches wide. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the chard leaves and cook for 10 seconds. Remove the leaves and rinse with cold water. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

For the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the rice, arugula, goat cheese, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and garlic. Season with additional salt and pepper.

Spoon 1/3 cup of the filling (one ice cream scoop) onto the end of each chard leaf and roll up.

Spoon 1 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange the rolls, seam-side down, in a single layer on top of the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil, and bake until the cheese begins to brown and the rolls are heated through, about 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Salmon with Dill

Wowza! This is a great recipe to entertain family and friends, or enjoy a romantic dinner for two... I was sceptical about the mayo, but it really creates a nice crust and flavor throughout the salmon!

3/4 pound salmon fillets (cut into two pieces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
2 tablespoons mayo

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Rinse salmon, and arrange in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle salt, pepper, onion powder, and dill over the fish. Lightly coat the fish with an even/thin layer of mayo. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Crusty White Bread

1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
1 (1/4 ounce) package of dry active yeast
3/4 cups warm water (105F to 115F)
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornmeal

Combine milk, sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.
Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 2 cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup, until dough clings to hook and cleans side of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.
Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan, sprinkle with cornmeal to create a crusty loaf topping. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.

Chicken and Arugula Pesto Pita Pockets

2 whole-wheat pitas, halved and opened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup Arugula Pesto, recipe follows
2 store-bought rotisserie chicken breasts, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup arugula

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Arrange the pita halves on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes until warmed through.
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon zest and Arugula Pesto. Stir in the diced chicken.
To assemble the pita pockets, fill each pita half with the chicken mixture. Top with tomatoes and 1/4 cup arugula and serve.

Arugula Pesto
2 cups packed arugula
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the pesto, blend the arugula and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the oil until well blended. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in Parmesan and salt and pepper.

Cheese Fondue

1/2 pound Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cherry brandy, such as kirsch
Assorted dippers

In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard.
Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually in a figure "8" pattern encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy.

Arrange an assortment of bite-sized dipping foods like chunks of French and pumpernickel breads. Some other suggestions are Granny Smith apples, broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, cucumbers, carrots and asparagus. Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers, dip, swirl and enjoy!

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed or chopped
Four 6-ounce center-cut salmon fillets, skinned
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or chopped
2 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame (12 ounces), thawed
2 cups sugar snap peas (6 ounces), thawed

For the glaze: In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and garlic to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thick, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
For the salmon: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the salmon on the baking sheet. Drizzle both sides of the salmon with the olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

For the vegetables: In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook until the shallots are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the edamame and snap peas and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the vegetable mixture among 4 serving plates. Top with a piece of salmon and drizzle with the glaze.

Pico de Gallo


3-4 large tomatoes seeded and diced
1 white onion

1 green jalapeno, diced with half of the seeds

3 garlic cloves, minced

Juice of 1/2 lime

4 tablespoons cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse to mix.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas w/ Red Sauce

My husband loves this recipe, which is a slight variation from the green enchiladas that the Fritch family has been making since the 50's! I love this recipe, and hope you do too!!

20 (6 inch) small corn tortillas (homemade if possible)
1 lb. chicken

16 oz. regular sour cream

8 oz. sliced pepper jack cheese
2 cups shredded Kraft mozzarella cheese (with a touch of Philadelphia cream cheese), divided
8 oz. chunky salsa
3 10 oz. cans of red enchilada sauce
1/4 cup green onions, sliced thin

Bring water to a hard boil, add chicken. Allow to boil for 8-10 minutes. Once chicken is fully cooked, shred and set aside in a bowl.

Combine the enchilada sauce and salsa in a bowl, set aside.

Place sour cream, sliced green onions, shredded mozzarella and pepper jack cheese in separate bowls, set up as an assembly line.

Using two corn tortillas (doubling up), dip into the red enchilada/salsa mixture, add a few pieces of shredded chicken, 2 tbs. sour cream, a pinch of green onions, mozzarella and pepper jack cheeses along the center of the tortilla. Gently roll enchiladas placing seam side down in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Repeat process until all of the tortillas are gone.

Top enchiladas with remaining sauce/salsa mixture, sour cream, green onions, and cheeses. Bake, covered, at 350*F for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Turkey Meatball Sandwich

Did someone say LEFT OVERS?! Yes...please!

Using the left over turkey meatball sauce as seen earlier on my blog.... Crush remaining meatballs into a meat sauce, simmer on low-medium heat for about 10 mins, until hot.

Using a toaster over, split hamburger buns in half. Place a slice of fresh mozzarella on each bun, toast until cheese is melted. Top with heated meat sauce, and parmesan cheese. ENJOY!!!


2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, quartered
1 large cucumber, peeled and halved
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimento peppers, drained
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans tomato juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup croutons
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

In a blender combine one tomato, half the cucumber, half the onion, a green bell pepper quarter, the pimento and 1/2 cup tomato juice. Blend at high speed for 30 seconds to puree the vegetables.

In a large bowl mix the pureed vegetables with remaining tomato juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, salt and ground black pepper. Cover mixture and refrigerate until it is well chilled (about 2 hours).
Meanwhile saute the croutons in oil and add the garlic; transfer to a small bowl.

Place remaining chopped tomato, cucumber, onion and green bell pepper in separate bowls. Serve soup in chilled bowls, garnish with chives, and serve chopped vegetables and croutons as accompaniments.

Eggplant Lasagna

1 Large eggplant
3/4 pkg. Oven-ready lasagna noodles
2 cups favorite spaghetti sauce (Ragu' Robusto Sauteed Onions & Garlic)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese to finish
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the eggplant and trim the ends. Slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices to resemble lasagna noodles. Set on a tray and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 15 minutes to sweat out some of the liquid. Turn slices over and repeat salting and sweating. Brush off excess salt.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9x7 inch casserole dish. Cover with a layer of eggplant slices. Sprinkle with a little of the shredded mozzarella, then top with another thin layer of sauce and uncooked noodles, and another layer of eggplant slices. Spread the ricotta cheese only on top of this layer of eggplant, and cover with more sauce and noodles. Spoon on more sauce over the last layer of noodles. Top with a final layer of eggplant, remaining sauce, and the rest of the shredded cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, if cheese does not brown, turn on the broiler for about 5 minutes at the end. Top with my favorite, Parmesan cheese...!

Egg Salad Sandwich

This ONE is soooooo yummy!

8-10 hard-cooked eggs, diced
1/2-3/4 cup mayonnaise (depending on preference)
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
8 slices white bread

Toast the bread slices and cut each slice into 4 triangular pieces. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix all the remaining ingredients until well combined. Sprinkle paprika on mixture and mix lightly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Okay, you're saying..."this is probably the easiest thing ever. Who does she think she's talking to...?" Ha, I know! But, there was a time when I didn't know how to hard boil an egg... So, I thought I'd share.

10-12 Eggs
Cold Water
Dash of Salt

Place eggs in a stock pot and cover with ice-cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat for 30 minutes, cover, remove from the heat and set aside 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, cool in ice water.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rosemary Red Potatoes

I know you're not supposed to "love" food... but I "LOVE" these potatoes!! I grew up enjoying these rosemary red potatoes my mom used to make as a side dish for chicken, turkey and fish. The flavors of the fresh rosemary, buttery potatoes is unmatched and well worth the wait.

4 Red Potatoes (sliced in cubes)
3 Small yellow onions (chopped)
2 Tbs. Fresh (or dried) Rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tbs. Salted butter
2 tbs. EVOO

Boil the cubed red potatoes with a dash of salt for 15 minutes. Heat a shallow skillet pan on medium-low heat, add EVOO and chopped onions. Cook onions for about 7 minutes, until soft/translucent.

Add the cooked potatoes to the skillet, add 1 tbs. salt, 1 1/2 tbs. butter, and 2 tbs. rosemary to onions and potatoes. Stir and mix well. Add a dash of salt & some pepper, then cover with the lid. Cook for about 5 minutes at a time while stirring / tasting the potatoes to adjust salt and pepper needs. Repeat stirring for 20 minutes allowing the potatoes to slightly brown, may reduce to low heat to cook slower if you prefer.

Chicken Burgers with Garlic Rosemary Mayonnaise

Well, I can't take the credit for this recipe... BUT it is SO good that I had to share. Plus, I made a few adjustments that I think you will like!

1 Cup mayo
1 Clove garlic minced
1/4 Cup dried or fresh rosemary

1 lb. Ground chicken
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
4 Sandwich rolls or burger buns
1 Cup sweet baby lettuces, divided

For the mayonnaise: In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, garlic, and rosemary; set aside.

For the burgers: Preheat grill or place a grill pan over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 of the mayonnaise mixture. Combine the ingredients by hand and form the chicken mixture into 4 patties. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for about 7 minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towels and let rest for a few minutes.

Brush the cut side of each roll with 1 teaspoon of the mayonnaise mixture. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly golden.

To assemble the burgers: Spread a dollop of the remaining mayonnaise mixture on the tops and bottoms of the toasted buns. Place the chicken burgers on the bottom halves of the buns. Top each with 1/4 cup of the sweet baby lettuces and finish with the top half of the bun.

PS... Pair with baked rosemary sweet potato fries for the ultimate gormet burger experience.

Twice Baked Potatoes

4 Large russet potatoes
1/2 stick of salted butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbs. Salt
1 Green onion diced
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Salt & Pepper
EVOO for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400*.

Pierce the potatoes in a couple of spots with a fork and place them in the microwave for 5-7 minutes, until tender.

Hold the potato with an oven-mit or towel, carefully scoop out most of the potato into a bowl. Take care to leave enough potato in the skin so the shells stay together. Mash the potato lightly with fork along with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the butter and sour cream. Stir in the green onions and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Season the skins with salt and pepper. Refill the shells with the potato mixture mounding it slightly. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the potato filling. Top with the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.

Set the potatoes on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven or toaster oven for about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Turkey Burger with Pepper Jack Cheese

If you haven't guessed already that I don't eat red meat, well I haven't for a very long time... try 16 years. Ground chicken and turkey meat are the next best thing - with added health benefits and nutrition, its worth the switch for a delectable alternative. I have been experimenting with recipes for both chicken and turkey meats and I like this combination the best!

1 1/2 Lbs. Fresh ground Turkey (97/3 lean)
1/4 Cup of Italian bread crumbs
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 Dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbs. Garlic Salt
1/2 Tbs. Onion Salt

1 Egg
Pinch of Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Slices Pepper jack cheese
6 Sesame seeded hamburger buns, Split and lightly toasted

Preheat the grill to high. Mix all dry and wet ingredients together in a large bowl and combine mixed ingredients with ground turkey meat. Form the meat into 6 patties. Season the burgers lightly on both sides with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. During the last minutes of cooking add 2 slices of cheese to each burger, cover the grill and let the cheese soften slightly, approximately 1 minute. Now, that's what I call a BURGER!

Spicy Chicken Fingers

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
3 tablespoons Tabasco
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, halved lengthwise
Olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 425*.

Breading: In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and 1 tablespoon salt. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and Tabasco sauce. In a third medium bowl, mix together the cornmeal, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour and then into the egg mixture. . Arrange the breaded chicken in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, to taste. Bake until golden and cooked through, about 15 to 17 minutes.

Pair with baked sweet potato fries and honey mustard.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mahi Mahi with Smashed Red and Yellow Potatoes.

This dish is very impressive and super easy to prepare! The red and yellow potatoes are already flavorful and buttery that you don't need to add a lot of salt and/or butter.

2 Mahi Mahi fillets
6 Yellow potatoes (small)
4 Red potatoes (small)
Kosher salt & Pepper
Onion powder
Garlic powder
1 tbs. butter

Cut the potatoes in half and place them in boiling water for aprox. 25 mins.

Preheat oven to 350*. Coat baking dish with non-stick spray, place the mahi in the dish. Season the fish by sprinkling a little kosher salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder on each fillet. Cook fish for 10-15 minutes, and allow to rest in the oven by turning off the heat to prepare smashed potatoes.

Add 1/2 tbs. salt, pinch of pepper and butter to the cooked potatoes and smash!

Egg & Cheese Muffin

This has become one of my favorite breakfast items and its actually good for you!

1 Egg
2 Slices of sharp (or medium) cheddar cheese
1 Whole wheat english muffin
Dash of kosher salt and pepper

Cook one egg to your liking in a pan coated with cooking spray. I usually just stir up the egg (in a cup) with a dash of salt and pour mixture on one side of the pan, cook the egg till it is mostly white and then flip, just try to keep it in a patty shape the size of the english muffin. I usually toast the e-muffin with the slices of cheese in a toaster oven until the cheese is melted. Assemble and enjoy! I also pair with a glass of cranberry blueberry juice.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Turkey Meatballs

All I have to say is - these are amazing! *New and Improved Recipe!*

1-2 lbs. Ground turkey meat (97/3)
1/2 Cup of Italian bread crumbs
2 tsp. Herbs De Provence (or any Italian seasoning)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
1 tsp. Onion salt
1tsp. Garlic salt
1 Egg (beaten)
1/2 tbs. Kosher salt and pepper
2 tbs. EVOO

Add EVOO to shallow cooking skillet on medium heat.

Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl, add the beaten egg and mix with the turkey meat by hand. Roll seasoned turkey meat in small meatballs half the size of your palm. (Aprox. 16 meatballs) Add meat balls one at a time to cook, turning and rotating meatballs to cook evenly for 20 mins. on medium-high heat.

Add the meatballs to simmering tomato sauce for aprox. 30 mins. I recommend Robusto' sauteed onions and garlic bu Ragu - or you could always make your own sauce... ;)


My local supermarket, Publix had the most amazing avocados on sale for $1 - let's just say I stocked up! Guacamole is one of my favorite dips and spreads for sandwiches, here is how I make it:

1 Hass Avacado
1/4 tbs. Onion powder
1/4 tbs. Garlic powder
Pinch of Kosher salt (to taste)
1 tbs. Pace (NEW YORK CITY!) Salsa medium
1 tbs. Sour Cream

Place all dry and wet ingredients in dish to combine with avocado slices. Mash, serve and enjoy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lemon Butter Salmon

This lemon butter salmon is simple and pretty amazing.

3/4 lb. Atlantic Salmon (cut into two pieces)
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tbs. Salted butter
4 leaves of fresh basil (chopped)
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place salmon on a plate, drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle salt and pepper to your liking on top of salmon fillets. Heat a non-stick skillet on low-medium heat. Add fish to cook for 7 mins on each side, flipping occasionally.

For lemon butter sauce, combine butter, lemon juice and chopped basil in a microwavable-safe dish (or coffee cup). Once fish is finished cooking, heat sauce for 12 seconds to melt butter and infuse flavors. Stir and top fish with sauce to serve immediately.

Chicken Parm-Mozzarella Style

You are in for a treat with this recipe- My husband and I make this dish weekly!

1 lb. of boneless/skinless chicken breasts
2 tbs. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
4 slices of fresh mozzarella
10 oz. jar of Ragu Robusto Sauteed Onions & Garlic
8 oz. of Wheat Pasta

Preheat oven to 350*. Prepare chicken breasts by cutting in half with kitchen scissors (4-6 pieces), I have found this trick to gives you a fresher taste. Place egg, flour and bread crumbs into three separate flat dishes for breading process. Whisk egg and season with a little salt and pepper. Take one chicken strip and dredge through flour, followed by emerging chicken in egg mixture, and finally roll chicken in the bread crumbs. Set breaded chicken aside until the breading process is finished.

Heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat, add 2 tbs. EVOO. Once pan is heated, add the breaded chicken. Allow the chicken to cook for 5 mins on each side (aprox.), flipping often, until breading is golden brown, and chicken is no longer pink in the center. Remove from heat.

Place tomato sauce into a separate baking dish, add cooked breaded chicken and top with fresh mozzarella slices. Cover with Aluminium foil and bake for 20 mins.

Cook 8 oz. of wheat pasta according to the box directions.

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich

Ingredients (serving 2)
2 Tilapia fish fillets
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
2 Whole wheat buns (toasted)
1 Red onion (sliced)
1 Roma tomato (sliced)
2 Cups fresh (or frozen) brocolli for garnish

On a plate, coat tilapia with EVOO, sprinkle salt and black pepper on top of filets. Heat non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add fish to skillet, cook for 8-10 mins total, flipping not to burn.

Toast buns in toaster, slice tomato and onion to preference.

Prepare fresh or frozen brocolli in microwavable bowl, season with drizzled EVOO and salt and pepper to taste. Microwave for two mins on high heat.

Remove fish and plate - Enjoy!!

Personalized Pizza Dough

 Okay, so Publix sells pizza dough for $2.50.... I can make even better homemade dough at home with my Kitchenaid Mixer for less than $1.

Ingredients:1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl.
Add salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cup flour.
Attach bowl and dough hook, turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute.
Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to dough hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for about 2-5 minutes.
Place in butter greased bowl, turning to grease top.
Cover, let rise in warm place for one 1 hour.
Punch dough down, knead by hand in bowl incorporating butter from bowl.
Wrap in clear plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 1 hour.
Allow dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before rolling into pizza dough.
Makes two large thin crust pizzas, or one thick crust.  
Brush 14 inch pizza pan with butter and sprinkle corn meal for extra crunch.
Bake at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes.

My Toppings:
On this pizza, I used Gia Russa's Hot Sicilian pizza sauce, 4 oz. of Polly-O mozzarella, topped with sliced white onions, fresh red peppers, and baby-portabella mushrooms.  Use a fork to prick the pizza dough after it is rolled out to keep it from rising while baking.

"Andiamo a Mangiare!" - "Let's EAT' (in Italian)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Creamy Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup

My new favorite super-food of 2011 is the sweet potato! This soup is simply amazing and will surely become a favorite in your home this winter.
PS- I will upload a picture soon!

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large or 6 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds (about 2 to 3) sweet potatoes, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 (6-inch long) stems fresh (or dried) rosemary
6 cups (or less) low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

(Cut up and prepare sweet potatoes, shallots, and garlic before continuing)
In an 8-quart stockpot, melt the butter and oil together over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the sweet potatoes, rosemary and chicken broth (only to cover the sweet potatoes, if you are using less than 2 lbs. of sp, discard the remaining stock). Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, cover let soup simmer until the sweet potatoes are very tender, about 20 to 25 minutes- no peeking!

Turn off the heat and remove the rosemary stems (if using fresh herbs). Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and thick. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat until ready to serve.

Butternut Squash Soup

I have been searching for this "butternut squash soup" in the purest form, and thick consistancy since I dined at the Gamekeeper Restaurant in Boone, North Carolina in 2004. I have found exactly what I was searching for and I am very happy to share it with you. Prepare to be amazed.

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
6 cups (or less) low-sodium chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

(TIP: Cut up butternut squash, onion, and mince garlic first then read on)
In an 8-quart stockpot, add the butter and oil and melt together over medium-high heat. Add the onion, season with a pinch of salt and pepper - stir occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the squash and the chicken stock (cover squash with stock, if your squash is smaller than 3.5 lbs., discard extra stock). Cover stockpot for 20 minutes on medium-high heat- No peeking!

Turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender to blend the mixture until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat.

Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce

So, I know its been a while, but I have been cooking up a storm (just not blogging about it), you are in for a treat!

My husband and I love shrimp and this is a recipe that is not on the "get healthy list of 2011", but it is delicious and great for a romantic dinner!

1 pound penne pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher saltt, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup white wine
1/3 cup clam juice
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes - Then set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the shrimp turn pink and is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp and set aside.

Add the tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, 1/4 cup parsley, and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine, clam juice, and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the cooked shrimp, the cooked pasta, and the remaining herbs. Toss together until all ingredients are coated. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately. ENJOY!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Growing up in California, I loved artichokes for as long as I can remember... Here is my way of preparing the arti, and the dipping sauce.


1 Artichoke (the bigger, and tighter the leaves - THE BETTER)
2 dashes of salt
2 tbs. of Mayo with Olive Oil
1 tbs. of lemon juice

Turn stove to medium heat. Fill up a small pot with about an inch/inch and a half of water, add salt, and bring to slow boil.

Slice the end off the artichoke, so that there is a little bit of stem left for the artichoke to balance in the boiling water, but make sure it can still sit flat. Cover with lid, and allow to steam for 45-60 minutes. Artichoke will be ready when test leaf is easy to remove (with tongs).
Before serving, mix mayo and lemon juice in small bowl. My bestie, Shelley uses melted butter instead of the mayo dip.

Any sauce suggestions? Please let me know, by leaving a comment below!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Five Bean Chili (vegetarian)

Enjoy this chili with family and friends, as a main dish or as a simple side.

Five Bean Chili (vegetarian)
1 Can of Bush's Chili Beans
1 Can of pinto beans
1 Can of white northern beans
1 Can of black beans
1 Can of dark red kidney beans
1 Can of diced tomatoes with mild chilies (or plain)
Top with:
1 package of sour cream (1 tbs. per)
2 cups of sharp chedder cheese (sprinkle)
Using a large pot, set the stove to low-medium heat. Add the Bush's Chili Beans, pinto beans, white northern beans, black beans, dark red kidney beans, and diced tomatoes. Stir gently to mix ingredients together. Cover, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Mediterranean Wrap

This recipe is one I enjoy from Jason's Deli! I attempted to make their Mediterranean Wrap at home, it was so delicious and fresh - I know it will become a favorite of yours as well.

Mediterranean Wrap (serving size varies - makes aprox. 6 wraps)
1 Package of Whole Wheat wrap/tortillas
1 Sliced Cucumber (4-5 slices per)
1 Small sliced red onion (6-10 slices per)
1/2 lb. sliced turkey (optional)
1 Container of sliced Kalamata Olives
Hummus (see recipe in blog) (2 tbs. per)
3 Roma Tomatoes (3 slices per)
1 Package of Baby Lettuces

Start with one whole wheat wrap, spread two tablespoons of hummus down the middle of the wrap. Add a few sliced Kalamata olives on top of the hummus, and a handful of the baby lettuces on top of the olives. Place some of the turkey, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions in the center of the wrap - fold, slice diagonal and serve! If you have left over tomatoes, slice and serve with salt and pepper as a side.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vegetarian Burritos

I created this "unoriginal" Vegetarian Burrito recipe, from the ingredients I had on hand. Nothing special, but still very tasty! You'll be sure to have left overs, as this will make about 8 small burritos.

1 package Zatarians black beans and rice
1 package of 8 small "Chi-Chi" flour (or corn) tortillas
1 can vegetarian refried beans
1 plum tomato
1 small yellow onion
1/2 cup of mild (or sharp) cheddar cheese
Fontana mild (or hot) salsa
Sour cream (as desired)

Cook beans and rice, as directed on package

Slice & dice tomato and onion

Heat refried beans (about 2 mins)

Add cheese, onions, tomatoes, salsa, and sour cream to separate bowls.

Serve Family Style, Enjoy!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hummus (authentic recipe)

I received this authentic Hummus recipe as part of a wedding gift from my friend, Allison. I always enjoy bringing hummus to a party or get together, mainly because it’s super easy to prepare. Plus, it can be paired with most any classic dipper. Instead of bringing the ol’ “wheat thins or pretzels” to the par-tay, try pairing this hummus recipe with fresh carrots, sliced peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, or Triskets.

Hummus (authentic recipe)
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 Tablespoons tahini
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Less than ¼ tsp. cumin
1 clove garlic mashed

1 tsp. lemon juice

¼ cup of water
(Sometimes I throw in a handful of pine nuts, just for fun)

Blend in food processor until smooth –YUM!