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Archive for February, 2010

This is my new favorite recipe.  It is absolutely to die for!  The combination of the crunchy bread with the sweet tomato just melts in your mouth.   Using whole grain bread instead of sourdough is an easy way to get in lots of essential vitamins and nutrients including, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, and fiber.  I found this recipe in this month’s Saveur magazine which highlighted their top 100 recipes, gadgets, cookbooks, traditions – really all things relating to food.  I highly recommend this issue.

Ingredients:

Bread

Tomato

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Directions:

1)  Toast Bread in 400 degree over for 6-7 minutes

2)  While toasting the bread, grate a ripe tomato using the large holes in the grater.  The skin will fold back – but if some gets in the mixture you can remove.

3)  When toast is done, drizzle with olive oil, top with grated tomato, then add a pinch of kosher salt.

Bon Appetit! Enjoy anytime of day!  In Spain they even serve for breakfast – I might have to try that one 🙂

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Roasted Chicken Chili

Yesterday we finally got a good snow here in CT!  It was the kind of snow that sticks to everything, so it felt like we were in a winter wonderland.  We ended up getting just over 7 inches – definitely the most we’ve had all winter.  I always love a really good snow.  There’s just something so exciting and peaceful – and it makes me want to curl up with a really good chili.  Since I don’t really eat red meat, I made this one with roasted chicken – it’s probably healthier anyways.

Doesn't this make you want a warm soup?!

Ingredients:

2 breasts (white meat) from 1 whole roasted chicken – mine was store bought

2 14oz. cans diced tomatoes – low sodium

1 14oz. can black beans

1/2 large yellow onion diced

1/2 jalapeno – diced

2 Tbs. Chili Powder

1/2 Tbs. Cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano

3 Tbs. Worcestishire – approximately (may want to taste as you add)

2 cloves garlic minced

1 pepper – I used 1/2 red and 1/2 green

Shredded Cheese – any type – to top with (optional)

Sliced Green Onions – to top with (optional)

Directions:

1)  Sautee onion and garlic (with dash of salt/ pepper) over medium high heat until just cooked through – about 5 minutes. Add jalapeno and pepper.  Cook for 4 minutes until peppers are tender.

2)  Add cooked chicken, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and worchesteshire.  Mix and let cook slightly for 1 minute.

3)  Add tomatoes and another pinch of salt.  Cook on medium/ low heat for 15 minutes

4)  Add black beans and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.  I like to add the beans last because they tend to be delicate.

5)  Serve with your choice of toppings – cheese, green onions, and toasted bread.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I have to admit, I’m not much of a baker.  I think the fact that you’re supposed to be exact kind of throws me off 🙂  But Valentine’s Day definitely calls for something sweet and delicious.  I was really craving cupcakes, and happened to come across this book in Target – Hello Cupcake.  This book is truly amazing.  The things they make will just blow you away – from really cute dogs to TV dinners and everything in between.  I read the first few pages which had a few decorating tips, so I thought we should give it a try. 

We just used store bought red velvet cake mix and cream cheese frosting.  I know I should have made my own frosting at least, but oh well.  I was more excited about trying out a few tricks.  Just remember, my husband Joe and I aren’t the most creative, but here’s what we came up with:

         

    

We used a loaf pan for the extra batter!

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Pizza Roll Appetizer

This is the perfect go-to appetizer.  It’s quick and easy and can be made with any combination of your favorite ingredients.  This time I did half pepperoni and half sun-dried tomatoes (those are on my side!).  The options really are endless, so have fun getting creative! 

Ingredients:

1 Pillsbury Pizza Crust

1 Pkg. Pepperoni slices

1 8 oz. bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

sprinkle of Italian herbs

sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)

sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

Marinara sauce for dipping

Directions:

1)  Unroll the pizza crust and flattened as much as possible.

2)  Cover pizza crust with pepperoni (or topping of choice) and shredded mozzarella cheese.

3)  Sprinkle with Italian herbs and red pepper flakes if desired.

4)  Starting on the long side, roll up the pizza crust and press the edges together to seal.

5)  Sprinkle top of pizza roll with Parmesan cheese and Italian herbs.

6)  Bake at 375° until golden brown (approx. 20 mins.)

Serve with my Basic Tomato Sauce

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Basic Tomato Sauce

So, making your own tomato sauce may not sound easy, but I assure you, not only is it simple, it’s also really delicious.  Once you try this sauce, you’ll never want to buy sauce from a jar again.  My best advice – make lots and store in your fridge/ freezer.  You’ll find yourself wanting to add use this with all your favorite dishes!  I have a few posts coming up where I’ll use this tomato sauce in different ways…more to come!

2 28oz cans Cento Tomatoes (I think they taste the freshest)

1 yellow onion diced

3 carrots diced

1 clove garlic – minced

2-3 tbs. balsamic vinegar (optional)

red pepper flakes (optional)

4-5 Basil leaves sliced thin

4-5 stems Thyme (optional)

Salt

Pepper

Directions:

1)  Saute onion, carrots, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper ( just a pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper)  over medium heat with olive oil for about 5 minutes – just until onions are opaque and carrots tender.  Add the thyme and cook for 1-2 minutes more.

2)  Add two cans of whole, peeled canned tomatoes.  Add salt and pepper – season generously.  Some chefs say you should season every layer of your dish and this is definitely a sauce where you should.

3)  As tomatoes begin to cook down, break them apart using the back of a spoon or potato masher.  Add the balsamic vinegar if using and thinly sliced basil leaves.  I think the vinegar adds a real depth of flavor.

4)  Let sauce simmer for at least 20 minutes so all the flavors come together.  If you want a smoother consistency,  use a hand blender to really make it smooth.

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Skinny Mashed Potatoes

My skinny mashed potatoes are actually made with cauliflower, but I swear if you don’t tell anyone they would never guess!  The garlic and milk really help give it the same silky consistency as real mashed potatoes.

(I’ll have to add the pulled pork recipe another day!)

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower

1/4 c. skim milk

Salt

Pepper

1 head chopped garlic

Directions:

1)  Boil water and blanch cauliflower for 4-5 minutes until stems are fork tender.

2)  Strain and return to same pot

3)  Add 1/4 c skim milk (maybe a little less, so add slowly) and the garlic.

4)  Using a hand mixer or blender, mix until the cauliflower is smooth in consistency.

Wasn’t that easy!  Just finish with salt and pepper to taste.

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