Thursday, February 19, 2009

Working on ideas

Citrus Marinated BBQ chicken-I used thighs to experiment with the sauce because, well, honestly, they are cheaper, right? I used three different fresh citrus juices and actually a lot of Asian flavors for the marinade/basting sauce. My husband loved them, but I think they were just ok. They look pretty though :o)

So, the reason for all this recent posting, is that I was watching Food Network Challenge and decided wouldn't it be fun to create a recipe that I could enter in the contest too??? It is fun, but also a lot of work. SO! I am not going to post the recipes until I have entered them, because I don't want to give my secret ingredients away ;o) I have been pretty happy with the results, but honestly, I just don't think that they are good enough to win a spot on tv. I don't feel like they are very original either, but it is still fun making (and eating, especially the cupcakes, YUM!) them.
These cupcakes were made with a vanilla batter, and then I put slices of fresh fruit in the middle and baked them. The frosting I just made as a butter cream chocolate frosting, but I used melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder. The best part of making these cupcakes is that my 3 1/2 year old son helped me portion them out, and he did a really good job. He was so proud of himself too!

This cake I decided to do three kinds of citrus again, and then I made a blackberry filling that I spread in between two layers. I just did a really simple citrus glaze over the top. You can see I had an air bubble in one of my layers in this pic, but I thought it was kind of pretty.

pregnant and cooking

While I had to forgo blogging for a while about cooking, I am back in the kitchen as I near my third trimester, and am finding myself bored. Cooking keeps me happy! So, hmm, a couple of things I have made lately and remembered to take pictures of. Hopefully my new camera will produce better images.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Herb Potato Salad

More wonderful gluten and dairy free food! Yum, these potatoes turned out way better than I thought! I just thought the idea up tonight, and made it up as I went along. Enjoy with some grilled chicken and a fresh salad.

1 lb. red potatoes, quarterd, then boiled until soft

2 tlbs. olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 tlbs. Red Wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic

1 tlbs. fresh chopped rosemary

1 tlbs. fresh chopped thyme

sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Saute the in 1 tlbs. of the olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper. The onion needs to carmelize a little bit, so resist the urge to stir too soon. (about 7-10 minutes over med-high heat) Add 1 tlbs. Red wine vinegar, and toss onions to coat. Add minced garlic and herbs and reduce heat to cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. (be careful not to burn garlic)

Top potatoes with 1 tlbs. fresh olive oil, and add the onion mixture. Toss to coat, and finish with salt and pepper to taste.

So simple, but they were really delicious! At least we thought so, I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Coconut Chicken Curry

I found out last week that I am supposedly allergic to wheat and dairy. So, for the next 3-4 months, I am on a detox diet, meaning none of the following things:

wheat, oat, barley, bran, corn, no grains except for rice. (brown, white, wild, whatever.)
no dairy, no eggs, no beef, no shellfish, no tuna, no table salt, (only small amounts of sea salt.) no sugar, no peanuts, no peanut butter, let me think...there is a whole bunch more, but basically i can only have some fish, chicken, Lamb(what???) and turkey. preferably organic. Ditto veg and fruits, and rice. I can have some brown rice syrup and maple syrup or stevia. So why am i telling you all of this? Because i love to cook, and I am Italian, so for my entire life my diet has revolved around dairy. Admittadely, I have layed off carbs for a while in an effort to tame my waistline, but apparently it was doing me no good because their is gluten in everything, and it causes my body to bloat and retain water like mad. What a world! So, I am experimenting with different dish ideas in order to satisfy my palate but also tame my tummy. Who knew? Here is my recipe for Coconut Chicken Curry, I made it up on the fly, it was delicious! My husband thought it was pretty awesome too.
I also have to apologize for my pictures, apparently i am camera challeged, as you might notice from previous pics. However, I am going to be getting a new camera for my birthday, so hopefully things will get better soon!

2 chicken boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 an onion chopped
1 jalepeno seeded and halved lengthwise
2 plum tomatoes, quartered.
1 tlbs. Olive Oil

1 can light coconut milk
2 tlbs. yellow curry powder
1 tsp siracha
1 tlbs. ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick
1 tlbs. fish sauce (ok, i broke my rules on this, but it serves 4 people, a girl has to live a little)
2 tlbs. rice syrup (you can use honey if you don't have to buy this expensive commodity)
1/4 cup golden raisin's.

prepare 2 cups of brown jasmine rice
1/2 cup flaked or shredded coconut, unsweetned

heat oil in large skillet, saute onion, tomatoes and jalepeno for a few minutes until golden brown. Add chicken and saute for about 5 minutes more. Cover chicken mixture with sauce, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, and simmer for 10-15 minutes more until the sauce reduces.

Just before serving, add 1 tlbs. freshly chopped cilantro and the juice of 1/2-1 lime.

To prepare the rice, cook according to package directions. In the last 10 minutes, add the coconut to the rice and cook together.

Serve in bowls with lime wedges for each person.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Ok, so I am baking today....

I don't particularly love to bake. When I finally get into it, I usually enjoy it. But, I don't really look forward to it. There are a couple of reasons for this:

1. I don't like things to be messy, and for some reason when I bake, I feel like my kitchen gets destroyed!

2. I don't like that with baking experimentation is limited. I like to cook by how I feel- to take a recipe and tweak it with what I think will make it more accomodating to my palate. That being said, I tried this recipe from The Barefoot Contessa on Food Network, and OMG! So good...I keep calling them my little sugar bombs...because they are sweet, but they are soooooooo good. I did change something- but not on purpose, I accidentally put too much butter in them, but who cares? They came out great, and so I am giving you the recipe with my mistake included.

preheat oven to 350!

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup corn starch

sift dry ingredients together and set aside.


My neighbor just had a baby about 2 weeks ago, so as soon as her family from out of town left, I decided to take her some lasagna. The sauce in this recipe is the recipe my grandmother supposedly taught my mom when she married my dad, so it is a family hand down. I have made come changes over the years, but it is basically her sauce!

Homemade Lasagna!

Marinara Sauce:

1 small can tomato paste

1 15 oz. can crushed tomato's

1 15 oz can tomato puree

2 tlbs. olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely diced

2 shallots, finely diced

1 tlbs. dried whole leaf oregano

1 tlbs. dried basil

salt and pepper to taste

2 tlbs. butter

heat oil over medium heat and saute garlic and shallots until tender. Take care not to burn the garlic! Reduce heat to low, and add the rest of the ingredients besides the butter. Cover and simmer for at least 2 hours or longer over low heat, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is a little acidic, add a little butter to taste until the acidity is reduced.

Bechamel Sauce

4 cups whole milk

1/2 cup flour

5 tlbs. butter

1/2 cup fontina cheese

1/2 cup mozz

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

pinch nutmeg

melt the butter over medium heat, and whisk in flour. Slowly add milk, whisking the entire time so that there are no lumps. When sauce is bubbly and thick, add cheese and stir until smooth and creamy. Remove from heat, and add sauce and pinch of nutmeg. Cover to keep warm and set aside.


1 lb. extra lean ground beef
2 tlbs. olive oil
2 10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed.
2 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
3 whole eggs
salt and pepper to taste

1 pkg. no cook lasagna noodles, such as Barilla

1 cup shredded mozz

1 cup shredded fontina

1/4 cup grated parmesean (mix these three cheeses together in mixing bowl and set aside)

preheat oven to 375. Heat oil in skillet and cook meat until brown. Drain, and set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, salt and pepper until creamy and smooth. Set aside. To assemble lasagna, pour 1/3 of the bechamel sauce in the bottom of a greased 9x13x2 glass baking dish. layer noodles, slightly overlapping. (this should take about 4 noodles). Spread entire ricotta mixture over noodles, and then top with the spinach. Top with another layer of noodles. Spread the entire ground beef mixture over the fresh layer of noodles, and then spread 1 cup of the cheese mixture over the ground beef. Spread another 1/3 of the sauce over the cheese. Place the final layer of lasagna noodles over the cheese, and then top with the remaining sauce and then cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil, and then bake 15 minutes without the foil. Enjoy! I hope you like this recipe. It is totally time consuming but so worth the effort!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

More Enchilada's....

Tonight, I whipped up my husband's favorite Green Chili Chicken Enchilada's. I was originally inspired to make this dish from a recipe that my mom used to make. However, when I set out to make it the first time, I did not have her original recipe. I improvised! The result was a fresh tasting enchilada. Normally, I use corn tortilla's and just stack it up, but since my last recipe used whole wheat tortilla's and it came out so well, I thought I would use those again.

2 green chili's

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and diced or shredded

3 green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 big handful of fresh cilantro leaves chopped

1 jalepeno pepper finely diced

1 roma tomato diced

2 tlbs. softned cream cheese

3 tlbs. sour cream

1 cup jack cheese shredded

1 tlbs. oregano

1 tsp. chili powder

1 can green enchilada sauce (15 oz)

sea salt and pepper

8 whole wheat tortilla's

1 cup jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 13x9x2 inch pan with non stick spray, and spread about half a cup of green enchilada sauce over the bottom of the pan.

Roast chili peppers until charred, and place immediatly in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken, and the next 10 ingredients. Remove peppers from fridge, and peel and dice. Add to the chicken mixture and stir all ingredients until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

One at a time, spread a couple of spoonfuls of enchilada sauce on each tortilla, and then top with about 1/2 cup chicken mixture on each tortilla. Carefully roll each tortilla, and place in 13x9x2 pan. Once all enchilada's have been assembled, pour remaining enchilada sauce over entire contents of pan. Top with remaining 1 cup of jack cheese.

Cover with foil sprayed with non stick spray, and bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa.