Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ha"Tuna" Matata

Means no worries.  I was going through the cupboard and found a few ingredients that I bought awhile ago. Since tonight I was in a "no worries" mood with dinner, and wanted to make something simple, I thought it would be a good time to try these outs.

I bought the Lime olive oil  and Pomegranate vinegar from the vendor Leonardo and Roberto's Gourmet Blends at The Metropoliton Cooking and Entertaining Show. The spice blend I bought while back home on a day trip to Saugatuck, MI. I walked by this cute shop, Spice Merchants, that smelled awesome, I of coarse had to go in. Of the many things I bought there I picked up this tuna rub.

For the tuna:
All I did was brush the tuna with olive oil and coated with the spice. I seared it about 3-4 minutes each side.

Olive oil

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

A little bit of a lazy day in the cooking department this time around. Bought some great pizza dough from Trader Joe’s along with pre-cooked chicken.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What to do about Ragu?

Got home late from work tonight, tired and hungry. Opened the fringe to find these ingredients, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and a jar of Ragu. I know some of you out there are thinking Ragu, really? And I am not ragging on the stuff. I grew up on Ragu or Prego one of the two. But there are times when even I really do just want a no brainer quick dinner.

So in today's post I wanted to show all of you that you can have a quick and easy dinner with fresh ingredients.

Fresh Mozzarella
Cherry or Roman tomatoes (these work best for roasting)
Fresh Basil
Olivie oil
Salt and Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Pasta of choice

Place the tomatoes and garlic on a cookie sheet coat with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Put in a 375º oven until the tomatoes blister and break open.  Let cool for a few minutes. Put the tomatoes and garlic in a blender or food processor adding a little olive oil add a time to get to desired consistency. Add in basil and pulse until incorporate. Be careful not to over blend, you want to see the pieces of basil, it adds nice color to the dish. Top with the mozzarella.

the fresh ingredients
the culprit
tomatoes and garlic prepped and ready to go in the oven
right out of the oven
now this is a delicious quick and easy meal

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Night of Mashing and Rolling

The idea for tonight's dinner is an adaption of Chicken Cordon Bleu. This recipe uses Italian Sausage, sage and parasean cheese. The mashed potatoes are a recipe that my mother is famous for. I have made a few adjustments to the recipe.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
In my mother's recipe she uses Velveeta cheese and skips the roasted garlic.

Russet Potatoes
White Cheddar Cheese

Boil potatoes until they are tender, drain. While those are cooking  roast the garlic. Garlic is done when it is tender and golden in color. Dice the garlic into small pieces. Add the garlic,  I used a stick of butter, (no fake stuff here) a few splashes of milk and salt and pepper to taste. Once all of the ingredients are incorporated spoon them into a oven safe dish, doing a layer of potatoes a layer of cheese and repeat. Bake in a 350º oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Chicken Sausage Roll-Up
Chicken Breast
Italian Sausage
Parmesan Cheese
Roasted Tomatoes (i bought a can of fire roasted tomatoes from the store)

Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer pound out the chicken until it is about a 1/4 inch thick. Cover the chicken breast with the cooked sausage. Sprinkle with a little sage and cheese and carefully roll. Make sure to secure with toothpicks. Then brown in a skillet I did not do this and the chicken was lacking a little flavor. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Use the same pan that you did for browning the chicken and put in your roasted tomatoes, making sure to scrap up the dripping from the chicken.

Leftovers Anyone?

Being that I usually am cooking for one, I have lots of leftovers. I hate wasting food, so I have been trying to come up with good ways to use the leftovers. And who wants to eat pot roast for lunch and dinner five days in a row. However, delicious it may be. So, with my pot roast leftovers i made a French dip kind of sandwich. I almost enjoyed this more than the original roast.

You are Invited to a Roast!!!

This is a dish that takes me back to my childhood. It was one that we ate often, probably because it is pretty simple and my mom could throw the ingredients in a crockpot in the morning and not touch it until we got home from school.  I spiced this recipe up a little with buying a marinated roast from Trader Joe's. 

after roasting all day
veggies I added

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rainy Day Sandwhich

It is Sunday afternoon and raining in DC. What better to do than bake bread and watch a movie. The bread Pretzel the Movie “The Young Victoria.”

Pretzel Bread: (got this recipe from cooks.com)
1 pkg. yeast
1 c. warm water
1 tbsp. melted butter
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 c. flour 
Egg (to brush)

Put yeast and warm water in a bowl. Stir until yeast dissolves. Add all other ingredients. Knead dough until smooth (about 5 minutes). Cover and place in a warm place (200 degree oven) to rise until doubled in size.

Divide dough - 6 or 7 pieces for pretzels - 3 pieces for mini loaves. Shape each piece. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with coarse salt if desired. Place on greased cookie sheet or in greased mini loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes for pretzels; at 400 degrees for 30 or 40 minutes for bread. Brush bread with butter immediately after baking to avoid hardened crust.

Dough ready to go into the oven to be proofed.
Dough after rising in a 200º oven for about an hour.
Egged, Salted and ready to go in the oven.
Yum. My apartment smelled so good while these were baking. 
Black forest ham and Havarti cheese

I made a caprese salad to go along with my sandwich.

Here Comes the Bride

This is a shower that my friend Dianna and I threw for our very dear friend Anne. With themed showers all the rage right now, we decided to have a spa themed shower. We had all natural face masks, pedi stations and fantastic food.
   The Spa area. Dianna provided all spa items and the decor for party. Beautiful!!!
Lemon - mint infused water • Strawberry in fused water • Mimosas •
Chocolate, Mascarpone cheese, toffee crunch cake • Chocolate dipped
strawberries • Chicken Salad tea sandwiches • Herb cream cheese and
cucumbers • Spinach and mushroom Quiche • Veggies with blue cheese dip.
Close up of the cake. It was so good. If I make this again I think that I will
infuse the cake with a liquor.

No Pork About It

This was dinner a couple of weeks ago. Also, my first time dealing with pork. Lets just say it was interesting. I never know how long you are suppose to cook it. After a few phone calls, one to my mom and when she didn't answer one to my sister, who looked it up. (she is so smart)

Pork Lion

Pineapple Juice
Soy Sauce
Olive Oil

1 Mango
1 can Cubed Pineapple in water
Pineapple Juice (from cubed pineapple) 
1 small Yellow Onion
Olive Oil

Fun with Capers

Stewed Tomatoes
Frozen Spinach
Red Pepper Flakes
Parmesan Cheese

Cheesy Dilisousness!!!!

Ok, this is a recipe that I have made a few times and absolutely love. It is a great Fall dish. This is one of those recipes that I have stored away somewhere in my head. Check back this Fall for the complete recipe.

Marinated Tofu Salad with Onion Flat Bread

I want to apologize for some of these first few post. I made these dishes awhile ago and do not remember what all went in them. I will do my best to get all the ingredients down.

Extra Firm Tofu
Spring Mix Lettuce

Orange Juice

Flat Bread:
Store bought frozen bread dough

Mix Orange Juice, Basil and garlic together in a Ziploc bag add tofu strips. Let this sit for at least 4 hours. Heat grill pan, heat tofu through, until good grill marks are present.

For the flat bread, knead sauteed onions into bread dough. Roll flat, place on grill pan until cooked.

Roasted Tomato, Basil and Arugula Penna Pasta

This is a dish that I made sometime ago. There is no real recipe here. Just add below ingredients to your favorite pasta.

Roast Roma or Cherry tomatoes in a 350º oven until tomatoes blister
Handful of Basil
Handful of Arugula
Shredded Mozzarella 
Olive Oil