Wedding Registry : For the Foodie Bride and Groom

Calling all future foodie brides!

Having just gotten married this past August, I can relate to having to create a wedding registry. You go to places like Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond and other local boutiques in your hometown, and you add anything and everything you think you might need during your 50+ years of marriage. The one thing that you don't get to register for is a meal! What a brilliant concept -with every restaurant you register for you are simply helping to keep the romance alive (post marriage) by registering for date nights in advance - what could be better that that?

Foodieregistry just launched and it is a wedding registry for restaurant gift certificates. You create your registry, customize your registry and pick your restaurants! Your friends and family can go to this website and search the restaurants that you have registered for (currently it is available in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Denver).

The site was created by a bride and groom who, just like most of us, didn't want to register for superfluous gifts. The bride decided to bail on the traditional registry and instead made a list of their favorite Chicago eats. They ended up receiving over 75% of the restaurant gift certificates that they had asked for and thus, what they coined the "Free Dinner Date Night" was born.

ps: this would also be great when registering for all of your baby gear!

Happy Feasting!


Chile - Glazed Shrimp

I was looking at my recipe index last week and realized that the only seafood listed was the cucumber and dill salmon. We eat a fair amount of seafood (or so I thought we did), so I was trying to think of what to cook next. Tuna, rockfish or maybe some sort of fish tacos? Well, while I was perusing the Internet I came across this recipe for Chile - Glazed Shrimp and I knew this would hit the spot. I also loved that the ingredient list was rather simple, and all I needed to buy was the sesame oil and the sambal oelek (both of which can be found on the international isle at any major grocery store). These shrimp are packed with a little heat and are great served over brown rice or brown rice noodles (pictured above).

Sourced from Cooking Light, June 2004

You Will Need:
  • 2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)

Here We Go:
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat
  • Add oil to pan
  • Add garlic and shrimp, and stir-fry 2 minutes
  • Add the onions, soy sauce, honey, and sambal oelek; stir-fry 3 minutes or until shrimp are done
  • Serve over brown rice or rice noodles

Serves 4 (3/4 cup each)
Happy Feasting!


Meaty Meatloaf

It is technically spring and we got snow in Charlottesville yesterday! With temperatures back in the 30's, I was feeling like I needed to make something warm and filling so I decided on Ina's meatloaf (can you tell I am loving her right now?). I love meatloaf. A meal doesn't get much better than a delish meatloaf, mac & cheese and coleslaw. I didn't change a thing about this recipe except that I added green peppers and I thought that it was a nice flavor addition with the yellow onions. Not a meatloaf fan? Don't say that yet because you might be after making this!

Sourced from Ina Garten

You Will Need:
  • 1 Tbsp good olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
  • 2 cups green peppers, diced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme eaves
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/3 cup canned chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean)
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup ketchup

Here We Go:
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan
  • Add the onions, green peppers, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown
  • Off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and allow to cool slightly
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork
  • Don't mash or the meat loaf will be dense
  • Shape the mixture into a rectangular loaf on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper
  • Spread the ketchup evenly on top and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F and the meat loaf is cooked through (A pan of hot water in the oven, under the meat loaf, will keep the top from cracking.) Serve hot.

Serves 6
Happy Feasting!


T.C's Coleslaw

My grandmother was a phenomenal cook. I still dream of her homemade apple cakes with caramel butterscotch icing, fresh strawberry cakes, Santa Claus whisker cookies, old fashioned green beans, spaghetti sauce with cloves (who knew?) - the list goes on and on. She was one of those women who was a chef before her time and should have opened a restaurant with all of her "good eats" but never had the chance to. This homemade coleslaw recipe is made with just a few simple ingredients and yet it is so much better than those soupy coleslaw containers that you find at most grocery stores. It can be served with mac & cheese or atop a BBQ sandwich - either way it has just the right amount of vinegar and just enough mayonnaise that you can actually taste the cabbage and carrots.

You Will Need:
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonaise (my gramma definitely did not use light mayo but I did)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Here We Go:
  • Grate carrot over medium sized bowl using a microplane (pictured here) or box grater

  • Grate cabbage over bowl and mix ingredients together

  • Add mayonaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar and salt & pepper
  • Stir all ingredients together

Serves 2-4 as a side
Happy Feasting!


Spring Green Risotto

My new obsession is a cookbook. It's not a new cookbook that has just hit shelves, but it is fairly new to me and I am in love. It is Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients". I have yet to make a recipe from this book and be disappointed with the outcome. Her risotto is no exception. The title says it all. This cookbook produces the most wonderful, distinct flavors from everyday ingredients. And now that spring has finally arrived, why not celebrate the season with this! You will love this spring risotto, I promise.

ps: I know this looks like a long process but this can be made in about 30 minutes!

You Will Need:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 1 cup chopped fennel
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 pound thin asparagus
  • 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

Here We Go:
  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat
  • Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender
  • Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter
  • Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed
  • Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more ( This process should take 25 to 30 minutes)
  • Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends
  • Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente
  • Drain and cool immediately in ice water
  • When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm
  • Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl
  • When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives
  • Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese

Serves 4 as main course or 6 as side
Happy Feasting!


Rainbow Chopped Salad

One of my Christmas presents was a subscription to Bon Appetite magazine. I cannot tell you how amazing this gift has been. Each month I eagerly await the arrival of next month's issue and then I spend undue amounts of time flipping through the pages and marking each recipe that I want to try. February's issue was no different - packed full of tasty meal ideas and the rainbow chopped salad was surely one of them.

My husband and I are moving to North Carolina in June, and we spent this past weekend looking for a place to live. After four consecutive nights of eating out (which was all delicious I might add), I decided that we were both desperately in need of some veggies. The only adjustment I made to this salad was substituting the hazelnuts for slivered almonds and it was delicious.This colorful salad is packed with fruit, nuts and cabbage and it's almost too gorgeous to eat...but we managed to anyway!

Adapted from February 2011 Bon Appetit

You Will Need for the Salad:
  • 6 cups chopped romaine hearts
  • 4 cups sliced red cabbage
  • 1 large Fuji apple, halved, cored, diced
  • 1 Asian pear, halved, cored, diced
  • 1 mango, peeled, diced, or 2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled, seeded, diced
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional, but I used it and highly recommend)

You Will Need for the Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Here We Go for the Dressing:
  • Whisk vinegar, shallot, and honey in small bowl to blend
  • Gradually whisk in oil and season dressing to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Here We Go for the Salad:
  • Combine romaine and next 6 ingredients in very large bowl; toss to blend. Add dressing and toss to coat
  • Divide salad among plates. Sprinkle with blue cheese, if desired, and serve

Serves 8
Happy Feasting!


Chocolate Stout Shake

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
May the luck of the Irish be yours today!

What is better than an icy, cold beer and chocolate you ask? Well, it would have to be this milkshake - it has both in the same glass!

Sourced from Better Homes and Gardens Online

You Will Need:
  • 1/4 cup chocolate stout beer or stout beer
  • 1/2 cup prepared chocolate fudge ice cream topping
  • 1/2 gallon vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1 cup milk

Here We Go:
  • In a small saucepan heat beer and chocolate topping until warm and combined and cool slightly
  • Meanwhile, in a blender combine ice cream and milk, half at a time
  • Cover and blend until combined and divide ice cream mixture among 8 glasses
  • Drizzle with chocolate sauce

Serves 8
Happy Feasting!


Back to Basics: Turkey, Apple & Cheddar Cheese Sandwich

I am definitely a sandwich fan. When I go to a restaurant for lunch or I'm eating lunch at my desk, it is safe to assume that I am consuming some type of sandwich. Tuna or chicken salad, turkey, ham, chicken or even steak - I love them all! My latest creation is that of turkey, sharp cheddar and Fuji apple and the flavors just plain work. The sweet apple and sharp cheddar cheese create the perfect bite. Add a little turkey and you've got yourself quite the tasty lunch (or dinner)!

You Will Need:
  • 2 slices wheat bread
  • 5-6 apple slices, sliced very thin (I used Fuji)
  • 1 slice of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3-4 slices of deli turkey (I used honey turkey)
  • 1 tsp Dijon or honey mustard

Here We Go:
  • Using knife, spread mustard on both sides of bread
  • Place turkey slices on one side of bread
  • Place sliced apples on top of the turkey
  • Place 1 slice of cheese on other half of bread
  • Place in toaster oven until cheese bubbles and bread is toasted to desired darkness

Serves 1
Happy Feasting!


Ooey, Gooey Mac & Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is one of those dishes that no matter what age you are you cannot help but love it!  It is a dish that always brings a certain type of comfort and the essence of home no matter where you are or what is going on in your life. Children and adults, alike, always want that "blue box", and Kraft prides itself that it is "the cheesiest macaroni and cheese dinner". Throughout my college years, I consumed quite a large amount of the "blue box". It is the perfect meal or snack when you are low on cash or have that frequent late night craving. With that being said, I was determined to finally make my own macaroni and cheese from scratch.This mac & cheese is perfection with its crispy top and ooey, gooey center. After eating this you might give up the blue box for good!

Sourced from Ezra Pound Cake

You Will Need:
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated extra-sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Monterey Jack
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan or Gruyere
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Dash of cayenne
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Here We Go:
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Set a baking rack in the top-third of the oven
  • Butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish (or an 8″-by-8″ baking dish) and set aside
  • Combine the cheddar, Monterey Jack and Gruyere cheeses in a medium bowl
  • Transfer 1 cup of cheese to a small bowl; reserve for topping
  • In a medium saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat
  • In a Dutch oven or saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter
  • Add flour immediately; whisk to combine for about 1 minute
  • Raise the temperature to medium, and slowly whisk in the milk
  • Bring it to a boil to thicken, whisking the entire time
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mustard, salt, garlic, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne and the 2 cups of mixed cheeses (from the larger bowl)
  • Set the cheese sauce aside
  • Fill a large saucepan with water, and bring it to a boil over high heat
  • Add macaroni and return the water to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes
  • Drain well, and add pasta to the cheese sauce
  • Stir to combine and taste, adjust the seasonings, and add hot sauce, if you wish.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish
  • Top with reserved cheese, and bake in the top-third of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbly, but the inside is still creamy

Serves 6 as a side
Happy Feasting!


Blueberry Blast Smoothie

I am not one of those people who can eat the same thing for breakfast everyday. I try to switch it up- peanut butter english muffin, yogurt, egg, oatmeal, cereal. This smoothie recipe is delicious, quick, friendly for the waistline and will hold you over until lunch time!

Adapted from Ellie Krieger

You Will Need:
  • 1/2 cup non-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt ( I used greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 tsp. honey

Here We Go:
  • Pour ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Makes 1 2-cup serving
Happy Feasting!


BBQ Chicken Pizza with Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onions

Has anyone tried the new Domino's pizza crust and sauce (well, I guess it isn't all that new anymore)? Not gonna lie, it is pretty freaking good! I used to be a Domino's hater (or rather a Papa John's lover) but I might be a convert after trying their new and improved pizza. The best part about ordering Domino's delivery is the pizza tracker! You can go online and add whatever toppings and sauce you want. They then tell you exactly when your pizza is being created, placed in the oven, quality checked and finally out the door on its way to you! What does this BBQ pizza have to do with Domino's? Not too much, but this pizza is pretty amazing and could beat any delivery pizza any day of the week!

You Will Need:
  • 1 ball of pizza dough (I prefer Whole Foods)
  • 1 1/4 cups BBQ sauce 
  • 1/2 of a 12oz bag of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 sweet onion, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup smoked gouda, finely grated
  • 1 bonless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Here We Go:
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees F
  • Roll out dough using your hands or a rolling pin if you have one
  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in small skillet and cook chicken 7-10 minutes, or until no longer pink and set aside
  • Heat remaining Tbsp of olive oil in skillet and saute onions for roughly 10 minutes, or until clear and caramelized
  • Place dough on pizza stone or baking sheet
  • Top dough with bbq sauce, cheeses, chicken and onion
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes on top rack, or until golden brown

Yields 8 slices (depending on size of pizza)
Happy Feasting!


Cajun Shrimp Po' Boys

It's Fat Tuesday, meaning that Mardi Gras is in full swing! My mind started dreaming of creole, King Cakes, colorful beads, parades, and cocktails on Bourbon street. Although, I will not be there to partake in the craziness that is Mardi Gras, I was in the mood to make something full of bold Cajun flavor and packed with a little heat. I'm usually not one who goes for spicy food since I used to consider medium salsa my breaking point, but having broadened my horizons since living with the hot sauce king (my husband), I have come to appreciate a bold and spicy dish every now and then. The flavors in this dish are just that - spicy, robust and full of flavor! The spicy remoulade sauce has just enough mayonnaise base that it cuts the heat perfectly!

Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

You Will Need for the Po' Boys
Makes 2 large sandwiches

  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Creole seasoning
  • 1 French baguette
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced
  • Spicy Remoulade Sauce (recipe bellow; make several hours ahead for best flavor)

Here We Go:
  • Toss the shrimp with the olive oil and Creole seasoning
  • Heat a grill pan to medium-high, and grill the shrimp for about 3 minutes each side
  • Remove the shrimp from the pan, and set aside
  • Split the baguette horizontally, scoop out some of the bread (if desired), and spread the spicy remoulade sauce on both sides of the bread
  • Place the shrimp on the bottom half of the baguette
  • Then pile on the shredded lettuce and tomato slices
  • Place the top half of the bread onto the sandwich, and divide the sandwich in half vertically to make two sandwiches

You Will Need for Spicy Remoulade Sauce
Makes 1 /2 cups

  • 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup stone-ground mustard (preferably Creole)
  • 1 clove garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 Tbsp pickle juice
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp hot paprika
  • Dash of hot sauce

Here We Go:
  • Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth (or if you do not have a food processor, blend in a bowl with spoon)
  • Chill until ready to serve

Happy Feasting!


Cran - Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

It has been raining ALL day today! I have ventured out of the house once and I feel no reason to go out again. I've been wanting to make oatmeal raison cookies and I figured, without much else to do today, why not make them. I decided to use half as much raisins as the recipe calls for and add in some craisins. The sweetness of the raisins mixed with the tartness of the craisins was the perfect combo!

Adapted from two peas and their pod

You Will Need:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 cup craisins

Here We Go:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth and creamy
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and blend until combined
  • Stir in the oats, raisins and craisins
  • Spoon a heaping tablespoon of dough into a round ball, leaving space between each cookie
  • Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes
  • Take them out when they are golden at the edges but still a little under baked in the middle
  • Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to cooling rack

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Happy Feasting!


Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It is supposed to be in the mid 50's in Charlottesville this weekend, but with that being said, the mornings have still been in the high 20's/low 30's. I still think that warrants making all things warm and hearty for at least the next few weeks. It might be March but it definitely does not feel like spring yet.

My husband came down with a horrible cold this week, leaving him with all those flu like symptoms - achy, tired and congested. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for me to be a "good wife" and make my first batch of homemade chicken noodle soup. The thought seemed pretty daunting, but with this fabulous recipe it turned out better than any chicken noodle soup my husband would of dumped out from a can (he thought so too!)

Recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride (originally adapted from allrecipes.com)

You Will Need:
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken ( I used garlic and herb)
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 2 large stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cups egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Here We Go:
  • Bring broth and water to a simmer over medium-high heat in a large pot
  • De-bone the chicken and separate the meat from the skin and bones
  • Set the meat aside and add the skin and bones to the simmering broth
  • Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer for an hour
  • Strain broth through a colander into a large bowl; reserve broth and discard skin and bones
  • Set the pot over medium-high heat and add the oil
  • When hot, saute the onions, carrots, and celery until soft, 8 to 10 minutes
  • Add chicken, broth and thyme and bring to a simmer
  • Add the egg noodles and simmer for 20 minutes
  • Stir in parsley, reserving some for garnish, and remove from heat
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary

Makes Roughly 10 Bowls
Happy Feasting!


Pasta With Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula

Last night was one of those nights where I didn't have anything planned for dinner and was hoping that we had enough food in the fridge that I could make something worthwhile. I was in the mood for pasta (per usual) and knew that we had some leftover arugula and cherry tomatoes. I was about to wing it when I thought that maybe I should try googling "pasta + cherry tomatoes + arugula". I did just that and I ended up discovering this recipe from July 2008 that was in The New York Times. It was just what I was hoping to find - garlic, tomatoes, arugula, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese - doesn't get much better than this!

You Will Need:
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved if small, quartered if large
  • 1 plump garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh arugula, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 pound bow tie, penne, rigatoni or whatever other pasta you have on hand
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (I used a bit more than this for topping)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here We Go:
  • Combine the cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, arugula, basil and olive oil in large bowl and stir all ingredients together
  • Let sit for 15 minutes and then adjust seasoning to taste
  • While above ingredients are sitting, bring a large pot of water to boil and add pasta
  • Cook al dente, until pasta is firm to the bite (Cooking time varies depending on type of pasta)
  • Drain, toss with tomatoes mixture and 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • Serve in bowls and top with more Parmesan if desired (I did!)

Serves 4
Happy Feasting!



I am definitely one of those people who could eat guacamole on almost anything - chips, tortillas, crackers -all delicious! I was craving some guacamole with my chicken fajitas and about 10 minutes later I was dumping spoonfuls of this recipe on top of my dinner. I didn't have any cilantro on hand so I didn't end up adding it to this recipe. Nonetheless, I was very pleased with the results and might not put cilantro in my guacamole moving forward as I think cilantro can sometimes overpower the other flavors.

You Will Need:
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 2 avocados (feel to make sure they are fairly soft/ripe)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved

Here We Go:
  • Dice onions and cherry tomatoes and put into medium sized bowl
  • Peel avocados and remove pit
  • Coarsely chop avocados and add to bowl
  • Add salt, garlic powder and pepper
  • Squeeze the juice from one lemon (be careful of seeds)
  • Mix all ingredients together delicately as to not completely mash up the avocado (it should be somewhat chunky)

Serves 2-4
Happy Feasting!

Chicken Fajitas

Who doesn't love fajitas? Chicken, Beef or Shrimp - they are all delicious! I would consider fajitas a relatively healthy option on a Mexican restaurant menu, considering the only thing that puts them over the edge are the toppings you add yourself! This can be somewhat avoided with lower calorie substitutions like salsa, fat free sour cream and reduced fat shredded cheese. And we all know that guacamole is made from avocados so it has to be healthy, right?

This was my first attempt at making my own taco/fajita seasoning. My usual move is going to the spice aisle at the grocery store and buying whatever McCormick or Old El Paso mix I find. I have to give myself a pat on the back for this one because my husband gobbled these up before I had the chance to tell him that it wasn't store bought!

You Will Need:
  • 1 boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 onion, cut into thin strips (I used sweet onion)
  • 1/2 green pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Here We Go:
  • Mix chili powder, garlic powder, dried minced onion, crushed red pepper, oregano, paprika, cumin and salt in a small bowl and set aside

  • Cut peppers and onions into thin strips

  • Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and minced garlic to small saute pan and cook chicken on medium/high heat for 7-10 minutes or until no longer pink
  • While chicken is cooking, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to large saute pan or wok and saute peppers and onions until soft (about 7 minutes)
  • Add cooked chicken to wok with vegetables
  • Add 1/2 cup water and homemade fajita seasoning
  • Saute together on medium heat for 4-6 minutes
  • Top with your favorite fajita toppings (We used homemade guacamole, reduced fat shredded cheese, fat free sour cream and Harris Teeter's Black bean and white corn salsa which is amazing!)

Serves 2-4
Happy Feasting!