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Archive for July, 2010

…is absolutely luxurious!  Combine it with salmon and fruit salad and you have a fantastic summer meal to eat!

Make the fruit salad first.  You need:

  • 1 cup halved green grapes
  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice/zest
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios (we used almonds and pecans)

Mix the grapes, strawberries, and blueberries with the sugar, then stir in the lime juice and poppy seeds.  Let the salad sit for about half an hour to let the flavors combine and add the nuts.

For the salmon with herb butter you need:

  • 1/2 lb. unsalted butter at room temp.
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. scallions, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh dill, minced
  • 1 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice/zest
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 loaf bread, thinly sliced
  • 4 salmon fillets

Simply combine the butter and all of the spices and beat until creamy.  This butter is absolutely luxurious!

To prepare the salmon, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a nonstick skillet and cook it for about 3 minutes a side.  Then, slice the fillets as best you can.

To serve, spread some of the butter on a slice of bread and top it with the sliced salmon.  So easy, so delicious!!!

This meal is fabulous.  The flavors are so fresh and bright!  I can’t help but imagine Julia Child would love this French cuisine-inspired dinner, and that makes it taste all the better.

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…is adorable.  I know, I know, it’s just a pasta, but really.  So tiny, but it has the most satisfying bite and texture!  For lunch this week, we made a Greek pasta salad with feta and chicken that is quite delicious.

For this tasty lunch pasta you need:

  • 12 oz. ditalini or other small pasta
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. cubed, cooked chicken breast
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • crumbled feta cheese, for sprinkling

Cook your pasta in boiling salted water for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the broth, oil, mustard, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic, and vinegar.

Add the chicken and bell pepper to the dressing and toss to coat, then mix in the pasta and mint.

Serve a bowl of pasta topped with some crumbled feta.

Yum!  this salad really makes me look forward to my lunch hour–it’s pretty tough to beat the combination of pasta, garlic, mint, and feta!  Stir up a batch and enjoy a little piece of Greek heaven in your workday.

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…is one of the best comfort foods I know of!  We saw a recipe for vodka-cream sauce and gnocchi on foodnetwork.com and decided to put our own spin on it for an absolutely delicious dinner.

For a delicious bowl of gnocchi comfort you need:

  • 1 box pre-made potato gnocchi
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. vodka
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper

First, make your own tomato sauce.  Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium-high.  Crush the diced tomatoes with a potato masher or fork and add them to the skillet along with the garlic, tomato paste, basil, and some pepper.  Bring the sauce up to a simmer, then knock the heat back to low and let it cook and thicken for about 5 minutes.

Boil some water for the gnocchi.  Salt it and cook the dumplings for about 3 minutes or until they float to the top.  We also boiled some asparagus along with the gnocchi to serve as our side.  Why not save a pot?!

While that’s going, melt the butter in a sauce pot.  Add the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes until they are tender.  Then, stir in the vodka, cream, and homemade tomato sauce.  Simmer the mixture for a couple of minutes to blend the flavors.

Toss the gnocchi in the cream sauce and season the asparagus with some salt and pepper.

If you haven’t tried gnocchi, this is the recipe to start with!  We absolutely love it, and this tomato cream sauce is a real winner to serve with basically any pasta.  The next time you are in the mood for a comfy bowl of pasta, whip up a batch of this gnocchi–it’s guaranteed to hit the spot!

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…can pack a real punch in the calorie department.  However, Ellie Krieger has the solution in this deliciously fresh version of the classic.

For Ellie’s taco salad you need:

meat:

  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef (or elk)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup water

salsa:

  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice and zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

salad:

  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar
  • 2 ounces baked corn tortilla chips (about 32 chips)

Start by browning the meat, then adding the beans and garlic.  Cook the mixture for another couple of minutes, then add in the spices and water.  When most of the liquid has been absorbed take the meat off the heat and let it rest for a few minutes while you make the salsa.

For the salsa, combine the tomatoes, oil, lime juice/zest, salt, and pepper.

To assemble the salad, make a bed of romaine and top it with the meat, salsa, some cheddar cheese, and about 8 crushed chips.

This is a fantastic salad–it’s so fresh!  Plus, it only has about 430 calories and it comes together in a snap.  Try it for your next Tex-Mex night and feel good about what you’re feeding your family!

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…are one of my favorite things to cook with.  It seems that no matter what you do with them, the end result is fantastic.  Most recently, we had a burger night that involved turkey stuffed with cheese and roasted red peppers.  Delicious!

For Ellie Krieger’s stuffed turkey burgers you need:

  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 whole-grain burger buns

These patties are super-simple!  Divide your turkey into 4 portions, then cut each portion in half again.  Form a thin patty out of each section, ending up with 8 thin patties.  Then, place about 2 tbsp. of peppers and cheese with some salt and pepper on four of the patties.

Place another patty on top and seal the burgers by pinching the corners on all sides.  Slightly press the stuffed burger out to make it a bit thinner.

Grill the burgers for about 5 minutes a side.

We had some deliciously simple mashed potatoes on the side.  For red garlic mashed potatoes you need:

  • 3 pounds red  potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cover the potatoes (unpeeled) and garlic in cold water by about an inch.  Bring the water to a boil and simmer the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until tender.  Drain the potatoes and place them back over low heat.  Cover the pot and let the heat evaporate almost completely.  Then, using a potato masher, simply mix in the butter and cream.  Add the cream in stages until you reach the consistency you want.  Season the mash up with some salt and pepper and you’re good to go!

Serve a stuffed patty on a whole-grain bun along with a dollop of potatoes.

Delicious!  This really is a super-easy and relatively quick meal to throw together.  And, the major bonus is that the burgers really aren’t bad for you!  So, you can have your potatoes and eat them too.

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…can come together to make one of the most amazing foods you will probably ever eat.  I found RR’s recipe for Carbonara deep-dish pizza months ago and can’t believe it took us this long to get around to making it!  With the combination of pancetta, noodles, and Parmigiano, it really and truly is fantastic.

For a delicious twist on pizza you need:

  • salt
  • 18 oz. linguine
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, cut as thick as bacon, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-reggiano
  • pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • a handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese

Start by preheating the oven to 425 and bringing some water to a boil.  Salt it and boil the noodles for about 3 minutes–they don’t need to be fully cooked.  Then, heat a drizzle of oil in an oven-proof skillet (or wrap your handles in aluminum foil) and brown the diced pancetta over medium-high.  Add in the garlic and crushed red pepper and continue cooking for just a minute.

Add your drained pasta to the skillet and toss it with the meat and spices.  Stir in the cheese.  Then, beat the eggs with the cream and season with salt and pepper.  Pour the mixture over the pasta and let it set, cooking for 1-2 minutes.  Mold the noodles to make a fairly flat, even layer in the skillet.  Bake the “crust” for about 5 minutes.

Combine the ricotta and parsley and spread this mixture over the crust.  Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and pop the pie back into the oven for another 8 minutes.

Cut the pizza into wedges, grab some salad, and you are ready to go!

This dinner is absolutely delicious.  We loved it so much that we actually took leftovers for lunch some this week and we were both quite sad to finish our last slices!  When you want a good Italian meal, this is pretty darn tough to beat!

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…was especially fun, as we had family to share it with!  This morning we made delicious waffles with a homemade strawberry sauce.  The given recipe serves 2, so we doubled it.

For buttermilk waffles and strawberry goodness you need:

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • a pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. and 1 tbsp. melted butter, divided
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 quart strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • powdered sugar

Start by beating the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.  I am telling you, beaten egg whites are the key to perfect waffles!  Also, grease your waffle iron with a bit of melted butter and let it start heating.

Whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, vanilla, and 2 tbsp. of melted butter.  Then, in another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda, and cinnamon.  Mix these dry ingredients into the liquids just until everything is combined and gently fold in the egg whites.

Pour the batter into your iron and let it cook for 3-5 minutes until nice and golden brown.

While the waffles are cooking, make the delicious strawberry sauce.  Simply combine the berries, sugar, water, cornstarch, and lemon zest/juice in a sauce-pot over medium heat.  Bring the sauce to a simmer and whisk  it gently until it begins to thicken up a bit.

Serve a waffle topped with the strawberry sauce and dusted with powdered sugar.  Yum!

We.love.waffles. and this recipe is certainly no exception! This strawberry sauce is delightful.  In fact, it’s so good, we are making more of it to top leftover birthday cake!  Ah, another day in breakfast heaven.

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