Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chicken Caesar Panini


Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been pretty absent this week.  My parents were up visiting and we’ve been going non stop the last few days, ending with me getting a third molar pulled this morning. I didn’t want to leave you completely recipe-less for the week so here is a quick one. This is a sammie I ate from a little pizza place where my parents live. It was incredible so of course I had to make it at home too. It’s now one of my favorite sammies and I love dipping it into balsamic vinegar. Hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!


The Recipe:

Top a slice of Focaccia  with grilled chicken that has been thinly sliced, a few thin slices of tomato, and some lettuce. Spread your favorite Caesar salad dressing onto another slice of focaccia and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top. Sandwich the two focaccia pieces together and press firmly. Serve with balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Asian Chicken Salad


Salads are one of favorite things to eat. No, I’m not a rabbit, but I love crunchy veggies on top of lettuce. Oh and not just any lettuce, but usually mixed greens. I’m not an iceberg kind of girl. Besides not having a taste, it doesn’t have any nutrition either. This salad is topped with shredded carrots, grilled chicken and almond with a yummy ginger soy dressing. Try it soon, before the fall season is here to stay and fresh veggies are hard to come by.

What You Need

8 cups mixed greens
2 chicken breasts, cooked (approx. 1 lb)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 medium cucumber, sliced into half moons
1 c shredded carrots
½ c sliced almonds
¼ c olive oil
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tbs soy
1 tbs honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp freshly grated ginger

What To Do:

Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together and set aside. Arrange two cups of the mixed greens onto 4 plates. Divide the rest of the ingredients among the plates and drizzle with the dressing.  This would also be good with mandarin oranges and those crunchy Chinese noodles.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Product Review: Godiva Ground Coffee

As part of the Food Buzx, Tastemaker program, I was sent two free limited addtion flavors of Godiva coffee. We all know Godiva for the wonderful tasting chocolate and now they're getting into the coffee biz as well. I can't find any information on whether they are fair trade certified or not. It doesn't say so on either bag and since this product is so new, I'm having a hard time finding any information on the internet. This could be just an oversight, but as some one who looks for such a label on her coffee, as do a lot of people I know, it could be a negative aspect to their marketing.

The first flavor I tried was Caramel Pecan Bark. The bag says: "Rich, smooth caramel and toasted pecans with a creamy Godiva milk chocolate finish." This is a medium roast coffee and while it tastes alright, I certainly do not get any hints of caramel, chocolate or even a nuttiness to it. It does however, smell incredible.

The second flavor was Pumpkin Spice and the bag boasts "Warm pumpkin flavor with cinnamon, nutmeg and sweet vanilla cream notes. Again this is a medium roast. The smell, once again, is incredible. It does smell just a freshly baked pumpkin pie. I get the sweetness of the pumpkin and the smell of the nutmeg just permeates the are. The sad part? The taste of this one was lacking too. There was an almost bitterness to this coffee. I do get a taste of the nutmeg, but between that and the bitterness, it over powers everything else.

Bottom line, would I buy this for myself? Probably not :(                        

Monday, September 19, 2011

Garlic Aioli


Aioli is really just a fancy name for mayonnaise. They are made with pretty much the same ingredients, but a garlic aioli has a garlic bite to it. I know, you’re probably saying, “Well duh!” Me too, but it was a good way of explaining it right? Garlic aioli is great on burgers, sammies, as a dipper for fries and really yummy on fish. It’s smooth and creamy and the garlic gives it a wonderful almost spicy taste. The only important step you need to remember, is to have everything at room temp. Having your ingredients cold, could result in the sauce separating and not being smooth and creamy.

What You Need:

3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 egg yolk, room temp
1 tbs lemon juice, room temp
2/3 c olive oil
salt and pepper

What To Do:

In a blender combine the garlic, egg yolk, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Turn on and let it go until the garlic is chopped fine. With the blender going, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Something Old and Something New

The something new is going to be the inclusion of freezer and make ahead recipes. The something old is revisions on some of the older recipes. I've decided to do this for a few reasons. The first is that, thanks to Pinterest, I've become an organizing freak. I always stayed organized for the most part but once I found ways to create a menu plan for an entire year, I dove head first into it. Another reason is that I've become addicted to double and triple batching things to save for a later date, only to forget about them. I have always loved pulling something from the freezer on nights that I really don't feel like cooking. This saves my family money because then we're ordering out and partaking of food that really isn't all that good for us.
The last reason is because I need some time to get the blog itself organized. It was brought to my attention that most my links in the index were coming up as errors. It seems like each time I updated the list, it lost all the links from the previous updates. This was upsetting to say the least. I have well over 200 recipes here and well, I need to do the entire list again! I also need to get recipes typed up, pictures cropped and edited since I don't have the greatest camera or lighting and the list continues. I'm not saying that I won't post any new recipes at all. What I am saying is that during the next few weeks, you might only get one completely new recipe a week, but you'll also get a couple revisions.
So that is the plan for now. I'm not sure how long this will last, but I'm guess for at least the next month or two. I hope to have every thing completed and ready to roll by the first of the year. I know that seems a ways off but it really is closer then you think! For now, check the Facebook page and twitter for links to the updated recipes as I will always let you know when I do one. In fact, I've done two for you already. Check out the left side of the page and you're notice two new categories. One says freezer/make ahead meals and the other says revisions. If you click on revisions it will bring up all the posts that I have revised to date. Right now it contains freezer/make head recipe for my No Fail Cream Corn and an alternate way to make your own Tortilla Chips. Just check out the bottom of those posts for the info!
As always I wish you all Happy Cooking!

Monday, September 12, 2011

How To Make: Sour Cream

Okay, I lied. You can't make sour cream in the united states due to the fact that any cream you buy in a store has been pasteurized, thus killing the good bacteria that turn heavy cream into sour cream. However, you can make Creme Fraiche, which is very similar to sour cream but not as thick. All it requires is heavy cream, good yogurt, a very clean glass jar and some time.

What You Need:

3 parts heavy cream
1 part good quality yogurt.

What To do:

First off, let me tell you about GOOD quality yogurt. This is going to be plain, no flavors. Flavors mean sugar and we don't need that for making creme fraiche. The next thing is finding a yogurt with live active cultures. This is what makes yogurt what it is. It's the bacteria that do all the work making your final product. So, all you do is  pour the heavy cream and yogurt into a jar, give it stir or a shake to combine, pop on a lid and set it in a warm spot of your kitchen. After 12 to 24 hours you will have creme fraiche. Don't worry if it still looks pretty liquidy. Just give it a stir and keep it in the fridge. The cold stalls the growth of the bacteria, as well as thickens up the creme a bit more. Enjoy on anything you'd enjoy sour cream on or in.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mexican Torta


Torta are a simple Mexican street food. Really it’s just a very yummy sammie! Traditionally tortas are served on a special type of roll called bolillo. Since I live in an area with almost no Hispanic population, I can’t find a lot of the specialty type items. Instead, I took a loaf of Italian bread and cut it into big sections, then cut in half length ways, so that I would have a top and a bottom. It worked out great and the sammie was incredible. The spicy grilled chicken pairs really nice with cooling, creamy, avocado.

What You Need:

4, thinly sliced chicken breast
4 large round rolls or Italian bread cut into pieces
1 large ripe avocado, sliced
1 large tomato sliced
chipotle mayo
salt and pepper
olive oil

What To Do:

Preheat your grill. Season the chicken breast with salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne. Once the grill is hot, cook your chicken about 2-3 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the middle. Brush both sides of the Italian bread with some olive oil and place on the cool side of the grill. You want it to warm up and get a little toasty.

To assemble the sammie, place some of the chipotle mayo on the bottom roll. Top with a chicken breast, a slice of tomato and a few slices of avocado and the top bun. Smush it all together and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Locavore Sammie


Have you heard the term Locavore before? It simply means someone who tries to eat only local grown or produced foods. Think of it as a “farm to table” movement in order to reduce carbon footprints, enhance sustainability and stimulate local economies. Not only that, but eating local grown foods, often means you obtain the freshest, tastiest food possible.  If you’ve read my posts or tweets lately, you’ll see that every Thursday I head to our local farmers market to get all  my fruits and veggies that I need for the week. If they don’t have it, chances are it isn’t in season, and I don’t buy it. Also you would have saw that a few weeks ago, my family and I were invited to enjoy a harvest picnic put on by Blue Marble Farm.  Everything we ate that night was either grown in their garden or in the case of the bread and cheese, was produced locally at other farms in the area. Lisa and Jeff, the owners of Blue Marble Farm, are doing everything right. They run a beautiful one acre farm, that while isn’t certified organic, they follow the organic process. They also have free range chickens and lots of them! It was a great pleasure to see their farm that night and learn how they grow everything. My favorite food is the little cherry tomatoes. When they are in my bag, they usually don’t make it home. They end up in my belly. They’re just so sweet and juicy that I can’t get enough of them. The night of the picnic they made these incredible sammies that were nothing more then local bread, topped with thinly sliced and grilled zucchini and yellow summer squash, locally made cheddar cheese and pea greens. Yes, you read that right, I said pea greens. The flavors were so simple, so clean, something as Americans, we don’t often appreciate. The next week, Lisa had pea greens at the market and you know I snatched them up. I went right home and recreated the sammie. It was just as good as I remembered. If you can’t get pea greens, you can substitute spicy arugula and enjoy the flavors all the same.

What You Need:

2 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 yellow squash, thinly sliced
4 rolls or slices of bread
pea greens or arugula
4 slices of cheddar cheese

What To Do:

Preheat your grill. Once it’s hot, quickly grill the squash. You want it to be nice and soft and have dark grill marks, but not burnt. Because the squash is sliced thin, it cooks fairly quickly. Then just layer your sammie. Bottom roll, cheese, grilled squash, pea greens, top roll and enjoy, knowing you are helping out your local economy, reducing your carbon footprint and loving something good!

Friday, September 2, 2011

How To Make: Peanut Butter!!

I was so excited the first time even just the idea popped into my head. I’ve mentioned a number of times before that I’m not happy with how the United States runs our food industry. I’m not happy seeing studies that link soy to infertility, that link growth hormones (which is in our milk and beef) to puberty happening in our children at such an early age. And by early I’m not talking 12ish, I’m talking about parents brining they’re little girls into to see the doctor because she hit puberty in kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN! So I’m a HUGE advocate for buying local, buying organic and making everything I can possible can at home. It’s not just delicious meals that I like to bring to my readers, but I hope to show you that every day items you buy from the shelves really don’t take much effort to make in your own homes. Most of the time, it’s cost effective too. Take Wednesday post about making your own Jam. It cost me just over a dollar a jar to make. Peanut butter is the same way. I bought one pound of peanuts from the bulk section for under three dollars. When I compare that to the the popular brands at my local grocery store, it’s roughly the same price. However, the biggest difference is mine has much less sugar and no added salt. Do you know that Americans consume roughly 4000 mg of sodium daily. WHO (World Health Org) recommends not exceeding 2400 mg while other health agencies suggest not exceeding 1500 mg.  So now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that you need some fancy equipment to make peanut butter right? Nope, wrong. I made it in my food processor and I have to tell you, it’s not some fancy high powered brand either. Besides, once you taste real home made peanut butter, you’ll never go back. I’m certainly not. Oh and one more thing. I’m not sure if this will work for ALL types of nuts but I have also had success with cashew. If anyone try’s a different type of nut, such as almonds, please let me know how it turned out!
What You Need:
1lb roasted, UNSALTED peanuts, no skins (unless you like them in your peanut butter)
2 tbs honey
2 tbs Peanut or Veg oil
What To Do:
Grind the peanuts up a bit in the food processor until they’re chunky, like what you find to top ice cream with. Add in your honey and turn the food processor back on. With it running on high, very slowly add in your oil. You’ll see the peanuts go from chunks, to a paste. At first, it's going to look like a big glob and you'll think you need more oil, but trust me you don't. Just let your food processor do the work and in another minute or two, you'll see nice creamy peanut butter. You’ll never get “smooth” peanut butter that you would buy in a store, but the more you let the food processor go, the less coarse the peanut butter will become. The amount of oil needed will also depend on the fat content of the type of peanut you buy, Spanish peanuts tend to have a high oil content.  Store in an air tight container for up to 2 months in the fridge.
You can also do this almonds.
HostGator Promotion Code

Get Our Latest Posts Via Email - It's Free

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner