11.12.2012

Uptown Down Home Chili



It feels good to be back in the kitchen! My fall travel schedule for work has been pretty hectic but I am happy to say that last Thursday was my final recruiting trip for the year-whoop whoop! I am really excited to be home during the week, rather than eating in strange cities and airports or hosting pizza sessions on various college campuses across the country. As my inaugural meal back in the kitchen, I wanted something hearty and something that my husband loves. This chili recipe I actually got from my mother-in-law and it is packed full of meat, veggies, beer and shrooms. That description even sounds manly when you say the ingredients out loud. I wanted to make it even easier than the recipe suggests, and rather than cooking this one the stove, I threw everything into the slow cooker. A mere 8 hours later it was ready and waiting to be topped with smoked Gouda and served alongside sweet, buttery cornbread.

Adapted from Rachael Ray

You Will Need:

  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 lb ground sirloin
  • 2 Tbsp grill seasoning (I used McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning)
  • 1/2 lb baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 lb shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped, with their juices or 1 generous palm full ground chipotle chili powder, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 bottle imported beer
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock (8-ounce box)
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 8-ounce piece smoked Gouda, shredded
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
 
Here We Go:
  • Heat a deep, large skillet or a pot over high heat
  • Add 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and the meat
  • Season it with grill seasoning and sear it up, browning and crumbling it, for 3 to 5 minutes
  • Drain and transfer meat to a plate
  • Add meat, mushrooms, onion, celery, peppers, garlic,Worcestershire sauce, chipotle in adobo,  garlic, beer, beans, tomatoes, stock, thyme and cumin to slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 8 hours
  • Top bowls of the chili with shredded smoked Gouda
 
Serves 6-8
Happy Feasting!

9.26.2012

Guacamole, Tomato, Goat Cheese and Bacon Dip


This dip is sure to be a crowd favorite and is so addicting! One of my friend's made this dip when we were at her house for dinner, and she said that the idea was inspired by Southern Living's article on more ways to use bacon! I'm sure we can all agree that bacon makes everything better, but add some guacamole, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil and you will have your guests hovering over this dish until the bowl is licked clean. The beauty of this recipe is that you really can't mess it up. Add as much of each ingredient as you would like. It is more about layering each ingredient rather than using precise measurements.

Given to me by Julie Antrim

You Will Need:
  • Guacamole (I also like store bought Wholly Guacamole)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3.5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 5-6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 8-10 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade

Here We Go:

  • Layer the above ingredients in the order that they are listed
  • Serve with crackers or chips

Serves 6 as an Appetizer
Happy Feasting!

9.17.2012

Tomato, Caramelized Onion and Fresh White Corn Quiche


Before the fresh ears of corn and farmer's market tomatoes completely leave the shelves, I thought I would make one last summer dish. I'm usually not a huge fan of quiche but for some reason, I think largely due to this list of ingredients,  I decided to give it a go and see if this quiche was any good. Well, it was good alright. In fact, it was so good that even the hubs was on board. This is chocked full of fresh veggies, egg, cheese and a delish buttery, flaky, pie crust. What's not to love?

Source: A Hint of Honey

You Will Need:
  • 1 pre-baked pie crust
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 ears corn, kernels sliced off
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 packed cup sharp white Cheddar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Here We Go:
  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Prepare crust according to package directions
  • To caramelize the onions, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  • Add the onions and season with salt and pepper
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and soft and golden brown, about 25-35 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent burning
  • Scatter onions in the bottom of the pre-baked crust
  • Top with the tomatoes, corn, basil, and chives
  • In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the eggs, milk, and cheddar
  • Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pour over the filling
  • Bake in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, until the center is set and the top is golden brow
  • Let cool slightly before serving

Makes 1 Quiche
Happy Feasting!

 

9.11.2012

SC's Texas Sheet Cake



























So unbelievably rich and decadent, yet worth.every.single.calorie. I got this amazing recipe from a friend and was waiting for the perfect occasion to bake this cake. What better occasion than my own birthday?! My boss made this cake for me and even let me take home the leftovers. If the picture is any indication, this cake did not last long in our house.

Given to me by Sarah-Catherine Gibbs

You Will Need for the Cake:

  • 2 sticks of butter

  • 1 cup of water

  • 4 Tbsp of cocoa powder

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 tsp  salt

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 2 beaten eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


You Will Need for the Frosting:


  • 1 stick of butter

  • 6 Tbsp milk

  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 box confectioners’ sugar


Here We Go for the Cake:
 

  • Bring butter, water, and cocoa to a boil in a saucepan and set aside

  • Sift flour, sugar, salt, and soda together in a mixing bowl and add heated mixture

  • Beat well with handheld mixer (or wooden spoon) and add sour cream and eggs

  • Add vanilla and beat for one minute

  • Pour into greased 9X13 baking pan

  • Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes
 
 
Here We Go for Frosting:
  • Bring to a boil the butter, milk and cocoa

  • Stir in sugar and vanilla

  • Remove from heat and use a handheld mixer (or wooden spoon) to beat in the sugar and vanilla to get rid of the lumps

  • Make the icing the last few minutes the cake is baking because you will want to pour it over the cake right out of the oven and let it cool until set


Happy Feasting!


9.04.2012

Grilled Marinated Pork Tenderloin


I wish I could take credit for this recipe because it might be the most flavorful pork that I have ever had, but this recipe came from a good friend. Let me tell you that it doesn't get much easier than this recipe, as far as preparing a main course. Take said pork, put into Ziploc Bag and add marinade. Let pork marinate for at least 24 hours, grill and enjoy. So simple and so unbelievably flavorful!

Given to me by Cameron Kluttz

You Will Need:
  • 1 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup White wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 t minced fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 3/4 -1lb Pork Tenderloin
    *Note: Marinade will be ample for up to 4 pounds of meat (3/4-1lb will serve 2 people)
  •  
 Here We Go:
  • Mix all marinade ingredients in a Ziploc plastic bag and add the pork tenderloin making sure to coat all sides
  • Seal bag and let marinate for 24 hours, refrigerated, until ready to grill.
  • When ready to grill, pre-heat the grill to a medium high heat
  • Place tenderloin on hot grill
  • Sear 2 minutes on one side, then flip over  and repeat
  • Grill for 12-15 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F in the thickest past of the tenderloin
  • Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing
 
Serves 2
Happy Feasting!


8.30.2012

BLAT on French with Spicy Chipotle Mayonnaise


This beauty came to me during my lunch hour while I sifted through my fridge to see what I could possibly make in a hurry. I adore BLAT sandwiches (aka Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato) and knew that the chipotle mayonnaise would surely spice up my workday lunch. I think next time I will add a bit more kick to the mayo but this was still the perfect, quick, lunchtime sammie. I used turkey bacon instead of pork bacon and it was still fabulous.
 
Adapted from Pinch My Salt
 
You Will Need for the BLAT:
  • 2 slices french bread, toasted
  • A few slices of thinly sliced smoked turkey
  • 3 slices of tomato
  • 3 slices of avocado
  • Several pieces of iceberg lettuce
  • Generous spoonful of spicy chipotle mayonnaise
  • 2 slices turkey bacon, cooked
  •  
You Will Need for the Mayonnaise:
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
 
Here We Go for the Mayonnaise:
  • Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl and stir
 
Here we Go for the BLAT:
  • Spread spicy mayonnaise generously on both sides of toasted french bread
  • Layer turkey, tomato, lettuce, avocado and turkey bacon on one half of bread
  • Take other half of bread and place on top of sandwich  
  • Cut in half and enjoy
  •  
Makes 1 BLAT
Happy Feasting!
 
 
 

8.22.2012

Guacamole Bruschetta


This bruschetta is like none other I have ever had before. Take your basic bruschetta recipe and marry it with your guacamole recipe and this deliciousness is what you would get. Onion, cilantro, fresh lime juice, tomato and fresh avocado in every mouthful. Not to mention the slightest hint of garlic in each bite, but it is not by any means overpowering like some guacamole or bruschetta can be. Trust me. Make it. This is heavenly.

Source: Just a Taste

You Will Need:
  • 1/2 loaf French bread
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tomatoes, medium chopped
  • 2 avocados, medium chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Here We Go:
  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF
  • Slice the French bread on the diagonal into ½" rounds and place on a baking sheet
  • Toast the sliced bread in the oven for 3 minutes, then flip each piece over and toast an additional 3 minutes
  • Remove the toasted bread from the oven and immediately rub with the clove of garlic (it works best to first cut a small tip off the garlic clove so that the oils will seep out)
  • Brush the tops of the garlic-rubbed toasts with olive oil and set aside
  • In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper
  • Mix together gently making sure the avocado is well coated in the lime juice
  • Spoon a portion of the mixture onto each of the garlic toasts and serve

Makes 12-15 Bruschetta
Happy Feasting!


8.15.2012

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Slaw

This mango slaw is so addicting. I had to quickly stop myself from eating all of it out of the bowl before we even stuffed the tacos with it! This is a great weeknight meal that will take all of 30 minutes from start to finish. It is fresh, simple and bursting with flavor from the fresh cilantro and lime juice.  If you are not a shrimp fan, the beauty of this dish is that you can easily substitute the shrimp with fish or chicken and it would still be a fantastic dish.

Adapted from Food Network

You Will Need:
  • 3 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Sriracha , plus more for serving
  • 2 limes (1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro; finely chopped
  • 3/4 lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved crosswise
  • 1 14 oz package coleslaw mix
  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • old bay
  • 8 soft taco shells

Here We Go:
  • With a wooden spoon, mix the mayonnaise, Sriracha, lime juice, sugar, cilantro and 1 Tbsp water together in a small bowl
  • In another bowl, add coleslaw mix, mango and red onion
  • Pour dressing over salad mixture and stir
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat
  • Add the shrimp and, while cooking, season with salt, pepper and a dash of old bay
  • Stir shrimp occasionally, until opaque, about 3 minutes
  • Transfer the shrimp to a plate
  • Warm the taco shells as the label directs
  • Fill the soft tacos with the shrimp and some lots of slaw
  • Serve with the lime wedges and more Sriracha
  • Refrigerate any extra slaw for up to 3 days

Serves 4
Happy Feasting!

8.09.2012

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies



The secret ingredient to these cookies is definitely the addition of vanilla pudding. I have used pudding mix before, in Sandy's Banana Bread, and it really makes baked goods so incredibly soft.  After I made these cookies, I remembered why I should incorporate pudding mix into more of my treats. These cookies are super soft, chewy and, like most freshly baked cookies, are best when eaten straight out of the oven.

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3.4 oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Here We Go:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and set aside
  • Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy
  • Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined
  • Stir in the chocolate chips
  • Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slight golden and set
  • Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes
  • Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely

Makes 3 Dozen Cookies
Happy Feasting!

8.07.2012

Tomato, Chickpea and Fresh Basil Salad




























I know I threw a curve ball last week when I posted a slow cooker recipe the first week of August, so I thought I would lighten things up this week with an easy summer salad. This salad is about as simple as it gets. Add all the ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy! This is a great salad to make ahead of time and have in the fridge all week for a quick snack. The large amount of basil gives each bite an incredible freshness and flavor.

Source: Greenlitebites.com

You Will Need:
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 25 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • pinch of salt

  • Here We Go:
    • Toss all ingredients together and chill for at least 20 minutes, allowing all the flavors to blend.
    • Serve with Tostitos Scoops or pita chips

    Happy Feasting!

    8.02.2012

    Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

    I know it is extremely hot and I know it is August which is technically the hottest month of the summer, but this cashew chicken is awesome. I have missed my slow cooker recipes this summer so I decided to bring out my crock pot for the first time in months. As I dusted off the top, threw in the ingredients, and came back hours later to a finished meal, I quickly remembered why I love my slow cooker. This might be the only one pot wonder that I make for the rest of the summer, but as soon as the first football game is played and fall is in the air, I will definitely be pulling out the crock pot once again. Also, don't miss my Skillet Cashew Chicken if you end up loving this dish!


    You Will Need:
    • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh tenders or chicken breast tenders*
    • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1 Tbsp canola oil
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp ketchup
    • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
    • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 cup cashews

    Here We Go:
    • Combine flour and pepper in resealable food storage bag
    • Add chicken
    • Shake to coat with flour mixture
    • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat
    • Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side
    • Place chicken in slow cooker
    • Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken
    • Cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours
    • Add cashews and stir
    • Serve over rice

    Happy Feasting!
    Makes 4-6 servings

    7.19.2012

    Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

    I'm a huge fan of Ina's. I think I have mentioned before that I own three of her cookbooks and often turn to her for simple meal ideas that usually don't take too much prep time. I found this recipe for her greek salad, which has rave reviews online, and decided to add orzo and make it a pasta salad. Since I am not an olive fan I left them out, but you can definitely include them if you are an olive lover. This is a great, flavorful side for summer that is colorful and your guests will love. I served this with burgers on the grill over the weekend for my in-laws and received rave reviews. This pasta salad was even better the next day once it sat in the fridge overnight.

    Source: Foodnetwork.com

    You Will Need For the Salad:
    • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
    • 1 red bell pepper, large-diced
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, large-diced
    • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
    • 1/2 red onion, sliced in half-rounds
    • 1/2 pound feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
    • 1 cup orzo, uncooked

    You Will Need for the Vinaigrette:
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup good olive oil

    Here We Go:
    • Place the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl
    • For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl
    • Still whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion
    • Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables
    • Add the feta and toss lightly
    • Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend
    • While salad is set aside, cook orzo according to package directions
    • Add orzo and toss
    • Serve at room temperature

    Serves 6
    Happy Feasting!


    7.17.2012

    Nat's Black Bean and Corn Salsa

    This has been one of my tried and true summer dips ever since college. One of my best friends from college gave me this recipe and, although I am not sure who Nat is, I am ever so thankful that my friend decided to pass it along. Without fail, every time that I serve this dip, I am always asked for the recipe and with only four main ingredients it can be whipped up in a hurry for a last minute cookout or dinner with friends.

    Given to me by EPope

    You Will Need:
    • 1 can of black beans
    • 2 cans of yellow corn
    • 1 bundle of green onions; chopped
    • 1 container of feta cheese
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

    Here We Go:
    • Drain corn and black beans well and rinse with cold water
    • In a large bowl, mix together green onions, corn and black beans
    • Whisk together sugar, apple cider vinegar and vegetable oil
    • Pour dressing over black bean mixture
    • Chill in fridge until ready to serve
    • Mix in feta just before serving
    • Serve with Tostitos scoops

    Happy Feasting!

    7.13.2012

    Ginger Balsamic Glazed Mahi Mahi



    I know, I know. I have been away for over a month! Things have been crazy around here. The month of June had me in Chicago and LA for work, and it will be two weeks this Saturday that we moved into our new house! Although we are definitely loving our new digs, we were without air conditioning for about ten days. And, of course, those ten days were the hottest days that we have had all summer! The worst part about having no AC, besides not sleeping well and sweating every time you move, is that we had yet to cook a meal in our new house. We even tried ordering take-out but as we were devouring our dinner we seemed to be sweating into the food - not appetizing. HVAC finally came on Tuesday and we were back up and running by Tuesday night. I hope to get back into the kitchen this weekend as we make our way through the last few boxes that we have yet to unpack!

    One of the last meals we made before we moved was this ginger balsamic glazed mahi mahi.  This white fish is light and flavorful and will flake with the slightest touch of your fork. I also love it because my husband does the grilling while I take care of the sides (i.e. less clean-up inside). We served this with brown rice and steamed teriyaki veggies for an easy summer meal.

    Source: A Hint of Honey

    You Will Need:
    • 3 Tbsp honey
    • 3 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
    • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 6 oz mahi mahi fillets
    • salt and pepper, to taste

    Here We Go:
    • Season fish fillets with salt and pepper
    • In shallow dish stir together honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic, and olive oil
    • Place fish into the dish
    • Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes
    • Preheat oven to 400 F
    • Remove fish from marinade, draining it into a shallow pan
    • Grill fish for 7 to 10 minutes, until it easily flakes with a fork
    • While the fish is on grill, place the reserved marinade in a shallow pan over medium high heat and bring to a boil
    • Reduce heat and simmer several minutes
    • Spoon glaze over fish, and serve

    Serve 2
    Happy Feasting!

    6.05.2012

    Ramen Noodles with Sweet Ginger Scallion Sauce















    We spent this past weekend in Virginia celebrating the wedding of two of our best friends. It was a gorgeous summer night which made for an even more beautiful celebration. The wedding was held at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and the setting was utterly perfect. The groom's mother is Vietnamese and she is such an unbelievable cook. She and her talented cousins handmade 350 spring rolls for the reception and I think they were gone before the bride and groom's first dance had even begun. I think I personally ate 10 to 15 (they were cut in half to make them more bite size but I do hope that no one noticed me hovering over the chafing dish). She has now promised to give me a lesson so hopefully I will have some of her originals coming your way sooner rather than later.

    Needless to say, I have been dreaming about those spring rolls ever since Saturday. Since I have Asian food on my mind, I decided to make this noodle dish. The Ginger scallion sauce makes the meal, and it is said to be a recipe from Momofuku which only means it has to be legit. I used ramen  instead of soba noodles and it turned out just as delicious.

    Slightly Adapted from: Simply Reem

    You Will Need:
    • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
    • 2 Tbsp ginger, minced
    • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
    • 2-3 Tbsp Sesame oil
    • 2 tsp chili oil
    • 2 Tbsp Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
    • 2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp Honey
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • 1 9 oz packet ramen noodles
    • 2 Tbsp Sesame seeds

    Here We Go:
    • Mix first 10 ingredients for Sweet Ginger Scallion sauce in the bowl, check for the seasoning
    • Keep it aside for 10 -15 minutes for the flavors to develop
    • Boil the ramen noodles as per the instruction on the package, drain and return to pan
    • Add the sauce, sesame seeds and toss the noodles well

    Serves 2
    Happy Feasting!

    6.01.2012

    Spinach Mandarin Poppy Seed Salad










    I love each and every ingredient in this salad. Fresh avocados, juicy mandarin oranges, applewood smoked bacon, cheese, onion and oh yeah, the spinach of course - Popeye would be proud of us. This salad makes for an easy side dish during the week and would be great to serve at a luncheon, family cookout, or a baptism (we just went to our friend's daughter's baptism on Sunday so it is on the brain!). I also love the lightness of the poppy seed dressing because it doesn't overpower the other flavors in the salad as some dressings often tend to do. The recipe below serves between 8 and 10 people so I obviously reduced the serving size when the hubs and I ate it with our dinner last week.

    Source: A Hint of Honey

    You Will Need for the Salad:
    • 8 oz. spinach
    • 2-3 romaine hearts, chopped
    • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
    • 8-10 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented with knife
    • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
    • handful swiss or gruyere, shredded
    • 8-10 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

    You Will Need for the Dressing:
    • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp stone ground mustard
    • 1 Tbsp sugar
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • 1 tsp poppy seeds
    • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

    Here We Go for the Dressing:
    • To make the dressing, whisk to combine vinegar, mustard, and sugar in a small bowl
    • Slowly stream in the oil while whisking constantly to emulsify
    • Whisk in the poppy seeds and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Here We Go for the Salad:
    • In a large serving bowl combine the spinach, romaine, avocado, orange, onion, cheese, and bacon
    • Drizzle with the dressing
    • Toss and serve

    Serves 8-10
    Happy Feasting!

    5.30.2012

    Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


    My dad's birthday was on Memorial Day this year and, although we couldn't be with him to help celebrate, I decided to make banana cupcakes in his honor. Nothing makes him happier than banana cupcakes, banana cake or frankly anything related to the banana family. These banana cupcakes are pretty tasty if I do say so myself. I took Sandy's Banana Bread recipe and did a bit of tweaking to make the cupcakes more fluffy and cake-like rather than dense and bread-like. I think they were a huge success and as always the cream cheese frosting knocks them out of the park. I only wish that my dad could of eaten some of these but at least he was there in spirit!

    You Will Need for the Cupcakes:
    • 1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick)
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 3 overly ripe bananas, mashed (Note: An easy way to mash is to peel bananas and place on plate. Use potato masher to mash bananas)
    • cups flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 box banana cream pudding mix

    You Will Need for the Cream Cheese Frosting:
    • 4 cups confectioners sugar
    • 1 stick butter, melted
    • 8oz cream cheese, softened

    Here We Go for the Cupcakes:
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    • Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
    • Add butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla to dry mixture
    • Stir to incorporate flour mixture (be careful not to over mix)
    • Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups
    • Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes
    • Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack
    • Spread tops with cream cheese frosting

    Here We Go for the Cream Cheese Frosting:
    • Beat sugar, butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy
    Makes 12 Cupcakes
    Happy Feasting!











    5.22.2012

    Grilled Island Chicken Kabobs

    We use our grill so much these days, that I now sit and wonder what we ate when we lived in New York and Charlottesville and were grill-less. This recipe was originally for chicken breasts but I decided that I wanted to include some fresh veggies so I figured a kabob was the best  way to go. I cheated and bought pre-made Chicken kabobs at the grocery store but you can always make your own; using whichever veggies you prefer, a cut up chicken breast and wooden sticks. The island marinade is delicious and in the summer nothing tastes better than meat that has been charbroiled.

    Adapted from: Melskitchencafe.com

    You Will Need:
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • Juice from 2 freshly squeezed lemons
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 2 Pre-made Chicken kabobs

    Here We Go:
    • Combine all ingredients, except chicken kabobs, in a large airtight plastic bag
    • Shake well until the marinade is well mixed
    • Add the kabobs to the plastic bag so that they are covered by the marinade and seal the bag tightly. Refrigerate and marinate overnight if possible. If not, I would suggest marinading for at least 1-2 hours at the minimum)
    • Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat
    • Grill the chicken kabobs for 6-7 minutes per side (depending on how thick the chicken pieces are), until the chicken is no longer pink in the center (if you have a meat thermometer, the chicken should register 165 degrees)
    • Tent with foil and let the chicken kabobs rest for about five minutes before serving

    Serves 2
    Happy Feasting!

    5.21.2012

    Tailgate Deviled Eggs





    'Tis the season for deviled eggs! With Memorial Day weekend quickly approaching, there will be cook-outs galore and many a deviled egg will be eaten. This recipe is an oldie, but a goodie and I can't believe that it has taken me this long to actually post it. I make deviled eggs all the time for various occasions and I finally made a conscious effort to actually make note of each measurement so that I could share it with all of you. I would highly suggest making more than you need so that you can certainly enjoy a few before your guests devour all of them.

    You Will Need:
    • 12 eggs
    • 1/4 cup mustard
    • 2/3 cup Mayonnaise
    • 1/3 cup pickle relish
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • Sliced baby gherkins and paprika for garnish

    Here We Go:
    • First step is to hard boil the eggs (See all 8 steps below)
    • Fill up a large saucepan half-way with water and gently add the eggs
    • Cover the eggs with at least an inch of water
    • Add a pinch of salt to the water
    • Bring the water to a boil
    • Cover, and remove from heat
    • Let sit covered for 12-15 minutes
    • Drain hot water from pan and run cold water over the eggs. (At this point if you crack the egg shells while the eggs are cooling, it will make it easier to peel the shells.)  
    • Peel the eggs
    • Using a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, lengthwise
    • Gently, using a small spoon, remove the yolk halves and place in a mixing bowl
    • Arrange the egg white halves on a serving platter
    • Using a fork, mash up the yolks and add mustard, mayonnaise, pickle relish, salt and pepper
    • Spoon egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves
    • Sprinkle with paprika and top with baby gherkin

    Makes 2 Dozen Eggs
    Happy Feasting!

    5.16.2012

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars














    I said "no" to Pinterest for months, and a few weeks back I caved, and now I am addicted! It is such a great place to find inspiration for everything. From entertaining, to your home, to your wardrobe, to your organizational skills and my personal favorite of course- cooking! I am shocked that I only have 29 food pins thus far, but I can assure you that number is going to quickly become my largest board.

    My husband needed to make dessert for a community service project and I had "pinned" these decadent bars and knew this was what I had to make. These peanut butter and chocolate bars are heaven. They are rich and definitely not bikini friendly but after you indulge you will not regret it. These puppies are worth each and every calorie. After all, it's not even Memorial Day weekend yet, you 've got plenty of time!

    Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

    You Will Need:
    • 1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
    • 2 Tbsp butter
    • 2 tsp vanilla

    Here We Go:
    • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
    • Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to crumble on top
    • In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter
    • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla
    • Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 cups of reserved cake mixture on top evenly
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes
    • Cool completely before cutting into bars

    Happy Feasting!

    5.14.2012

    TC's Chicken and Vegetable Soup



    I think it has been raining for days. Okay, maybe it has only been raining for the last 24 hours but it sure seems like it it has been much longer than that. This Chicken and Vegetable soup has already been posted over on Foodie.com but in case you missed it I thought I would now post it on my actual blog. The recipe is simple and has been in my family for years. It is the perfect soup for  new neighbors, a new mother, a sick friend or even a rainy day weeknight meal. It is packed full of hearty vegetables and shredded white meat chicken. I love to serve it with warm poppy seed ham biscuits or fresh cornbread although it is definitely hearty enough to serve all by itself!

    You Will Need:
    • 4 quarts chicken stock
    • 3 large boneless chicken breasts
    • 2 medium white potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
    • 1 cup diced yellow onion
    • 1 can white corn, drained
    • 1 can green beans, drained
    • 1 can diced tomatoes
    • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
    • 4 bay leaves
    • 2 tsp dried basil
    • 2 tsp pepper
    • 1 tsp minced garlic

    Here We Go:
    • Boil chicken breasts in chicken stock until cooked through, about 25-30 minutes
    • Remove chicken from broth and shred chicken into small, bite size pieces
    • Add black pepper, garlic, bay leaves, dried basil and tomato juice to pot
    • Add vegetables and shredded chicken back to pot and bring to boil.
    • Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour
    • Remove from heat and let stand


    Serves 6-8
    Happy Feasting!


    5.09.2012

    Strawberry, Spinach & Goat Cheese Salad



    I had this salad at a bridal shower and after eating it I couldn't stop thinking about how fresh, delicious and beautiful it was. I asked one of the hosts if she wouldn't mind sharing the recipe and now, over a year later, I finally remembered to take a picture of this gorgeous dish before we devoured it. With strawberry season in full swing, this would be the perfect side dish for anything made on the grill. Top it with shrimp, chicken or steak and this salad would even make the perfect main course! Isn't it pretty?

    You Will Need for the Almond Topping:
    • 3 tbs of sugar
    • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

    You Will Need for the Dressing:
    • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup corn or vegetable oil
    • 2 Tbs sugar
    • 1/4 tsp of salt

    You Will Need for the Salad:
    • 4 oz baby spinach
    • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, including tops
    • 1/4 cup chopped celery
    • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
    • 1 cup of fresh strawberries; halved
    • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

    Here We Go for the Almond Topping:
    • Place small saucepan over medium heat , add sugar and stir constantly while sugar melts and turns a pale golden brown
    • Add almonds and stir to coat; remove from heat and pour on a piece of foil to cool
    • When cool, crush almonds coarsely and set aside

    Here We Go for the Dressing:
    • Whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar and salt
    • Chill before serving

    Here We Go for the Salad:
    • Wash spinach and pat dry
    • Place spinach in large salad bowl and add chopped celery, cucumber,and onion
    • Top with strawberries, goat cheese and almonds
    • Add dressing and toss just before serving

    Serves 2
    Happy Feasting!

    5.07.2012

    Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Salsa




























    Adapted from A Hint of Honey

    Temperatures are rising and grills are being fired up across the country as schools are getting ready to host graduations, and businesses are about to begin summer hours and summer Fridays! I love the summer season because your days are so much longer and the pace of everyday life seems to be a bit more relaxed. This pork tenderloin is very simply prepared on the grill and topped with this vibrant summer salsa. The sweetness of the pineapple mixed with the red onion, bell pepper and cilantro gives a fresh flavor to every bite.


    You Will Need For the Pork Tenderloin:
    • 2 lb. pork tenderloin
    • Juice from 8 limes
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 tsp oregano
    • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • Extra virgin olive oil

    You Will Need for the Salsa:
    • 1 large pineapple, diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
    • 1/2 red onion, diced
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 2 tsp brown sugar
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Here We Go:
    • To make the marinade, in a small bowl, whisk to combine the lime juice, garlic, pepper, cumin, oregano, and salt
    • Place the pork tenderloin in a plastic Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the pork
    • Refrigerate for 1 hour
    • In a large bowl, toss to combine the pineapple, peppers, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and brown sugar
    • Season to taste with salt and pepper
    • Refrigerate until ready to serve
    • To grill the pork, preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium-high heat
    • Discard the marinade
    • Brush the pork with olive oil and place on the grill
    • Cook until the pork is only slightly pink (roughly 5-7 minutes) 
    • Remove from the grill and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing
    • Serve topped with pineapple salsa

    Serves 4-6
    Happy Feasting!

    5.01.2012

    Greenbrier Summer Salsa





    This fresh salsa is a summer favorite in our house. My mother created this dip after having it served to her at The Greenbrier. It is about as easy as it gets with only have six ingredients and keep in mind that these portions are only a rough estimate. If you have a bigger group, use more and for a smaller group obviously use less. It is a great appetizer or side for summer cookouts or (a Cinco de Mayo party)! I also think it is a great dip to make ahead of time and then have in the refrigerator for your family (or just you!) to snack on throughout the week.

    You Will Need:
    • 1/2 cup fresh sweet white corn (cut from ear)
    • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
    • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
    • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
    • 1/2 can black beans; drained and rinsed
    • 1 Tbsp of chopped/minced fresh cilantro plus more for garnish
    • 1/2 cup Raspberry Salsa (I used Robert Rothchild Farm)
    • Tortilla chips or crackers for serving

    Here We Go:
    • Mix together corn, green pepper, red pepper, red onion, and black beans
    • Add the Raspberry salsa and then mix again
    • Sprinkle with cilantro and mix again
    • Let set for a hour or so (or overnight) in refrigerator for all tastes to blend.
    • Serve with tortilla chips or crackers
    • Garnish with fresh cilantro

    Serves 6-8 as an Appetizer
    Happy Feasting!

    4.12.2012

    All-Clad Recipe Blogger Contest: Linguine with White Wine Clam Sauce

    I was asked several weeks ago to participate in an All Clad Blogger Contest and now I am in the Top 5! I need YOUR help to make it to the final round. Please visit this link and vote for my dish!  I was sent a 10 inch All Clad Stainless Steel Frying Pan and I had to come up with a "one pan wonder" that would knock the socks of off the judges and my fellow followers. I thought long and hard about what to make and it did not take long for me to decide on one of my favorite foods - pasta! I have spent the winter months making hearty, comforting pasta dishes so I knew it was time to lighten things up. It was time for a seafood pasta that was sure to be a crowd pleaser. After all, how can you go wrong with a simple white wine and garlic sauce?


    You Will Need

    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 tsp minced garlic
    1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    1 cup white wine
    1 cup salted water
    15 little neck clams
    2 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 lb linguine, cooked al dente
    3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
    1 tsp dried oregano
    Freshly grated Parmesan for topping

      Here We Go

      Heat oil in All-Clad 10” Stainless Steel Fry Pan over high heat

      Add garlic and cook for roughly one or two minutes

      Add crushed red pepper and oregano and cook for another minute
      Add white wine and salted water and cook for about 3 minutes

        Add the clams, cover the fry pan and cook for 5-7 minutes or until clams open (be sure to discard any that do not open)

          Remove the clams with a slotted spoon and set aside

            Bring the liquid that the clams have cooked in to a boil over high heat
            Add the butter, salt, pepper, parsley and pasta to the fry pan
            Return the clams to the pasta


              Toss with tongs
              Serve in bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese
                Serves 2
                Happy Feasting!

                4.10.2012

                Good Ole' Open Faced Tuna Melts


                Something about Spring makes me think of all things picnic - tuna salad, chicken salad, fresh fruit, pimento cheese and a delectable crisp white wine. What I love about this tuna salad is its simplicity. You probably have a few cans of tuna already in your pantry and the other items are most likely already in your refrigerator. You can make this tuna salad in about five minutes and you will have enough melts for your entire family!

                You Will Need:
                • 15 oz canned tuna, drained
                • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or miracle whip
                • 1/4 tsp pepper
                • 1/4 tsp salt
                • 1 cup sweet pickle relish
                • 1/2 cup diced celery
                • 6 slices of crusty bread
                • 6 slices of sharp cheddar cheese

                Here We Go:
                • Preheat the broiler
                • In a mixing bowl, combine sweet pickle relish, tuna, mayonnaise, celery, salt and pepper
                • Mix thoroughly with wooden spoon     
                • Arrange the bread slices on a work surface        
                • Spread tuna mixture on bread slices
                • Top the tuna salad with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese
                • Place sandwiches on a sheet tray and place under broiler
                • Cook until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes

                Makes 6 Tuna Melts
                Happy Feasting!

                4.08.2012

                Roasted Banana Pudding


                We had a great Easter weekend! My parents and grandmother were here for the holiday and we quickly ate and shopped our way through the town all weekend long. Some of our friends had their parents in town too, so we hosted everyone at our house last night for a North Carolina BBQ feast. Some argue that North Carolina BBQ is some of the best in the country and after moving here I, too, have started to agree with this statement. After gorging ourselves on BBQ, ribs, baked beans and slaw, we finished off the meal with banana cupcakes and this roasted banana pudding!

                Adapted from: Cooking Light August 2011

                You Will Need:
                • 5 ripe unpeeled medium bananas
                • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
                • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
                • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
                • 1/4 tsp salt
                • 2 large eggs
                • 1 Tbsp butter
                • 2 tsp vanilla extract
                • 1 (12oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
                • 45 vanilla wafers, divided

                Here We Go:
                • Preheat oven to 350°
                • Place bananas on a jelly-roll pan covered with parchment paper
                • Bake at 350° for 20 minutes
                • Remove 3 bananas; cool completely
                • Peel and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
                • Bake the remaining 2 bananas at 350° for an additional 20 minutes
                • Carefully peel and place the 2 bananas in a small bowl, and mash with a fork until smooth
                • Combine milk and 1/3 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat
                • Bring to a simmer (do not boil)
                • Combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, and eggs in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk
                • Gradually add hot milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk
                • Return milk mixture to pan
                • Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 3 minutes), stirring constantly
                • Remove from heat
                • Add mashed bananas, butter, and vanilla, stirring until butter melts
                • Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 15 minutes or until mixture comes to room temperature, stirring occasionally
                • Fold half of whipped topping into pudding
                • Spread 1 cup custard evenly over the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish
                • Top with 20 vanilla wafers and half of the banana slices
                • Spoon half of remaining custard over banana
                • Repeat procedure with 20 wafers, banana slices, and custard
                • Spread remaining half of whipped topping evenly over top
                • Crush remaining 5 wafers; sprinkle over top
                • Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled

                Serves 10
                Happy Feasting!

                3.11.2012

                Goat Cheese Biscuits

                I could put goat cheese in or on anything - salads, omelettes, pasta, pizza, the list goes on and on. So why had I not thought of adding it to biscuits? I am not sure. But, I can now attest that this recipe is amazing and will become a staple side in our house. Enjoy these biscuits with brunch or dinner. We ate them with curried sweet potato soup and they were perfect!

                Source: Love and Olive Oil

                You Will Need:
                • 2 cups all-purpose flour
                • 3 tsp baking powder
                • 1 1/2 tsp salt
                • 4 Tbsp (2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
                • 4 Tbsp (2 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
                • 1 cup buttermilk
                • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, for the pan
                • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted to top the biscuits

                Here We Go:
                • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt
                • With your fingers incorporate the butter and goat cheese until the flour resembles a coarse, pebbly mixture
                • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk
                • With a fork, mix together the buttermilk and flour until all of the dry flour disappears
                • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan or in the microwave and set aside
                • Remove the cast iron from the oven and place one tablespoon of butter in it
                • Work the pat of butter around, greasing the entire pan, including the sides
                • Quickly drop the batter by 1/4-cup onto the non-stick baking sheet spacing biscuits somewhat evenly
                • Brush with melted butter
                • Bake for 14-16 minutes or until slightly golden in color
                • Remove from the oven
                • Let rest for 5 minutes and serve warm

                Makes 8
                Happy Feasting!

                Curried Sweet Potato Soup

                As delicious as this soup is to eat, I hope that this is the last hearty winter recipe that I have to make. Daylight savings started today and that signals to me that spring is right around the corner and when I get out of work it will still be light outside - things are lookin' up! If there is one final dish that will let you end your winter on a high note, this is the soup. Serve this full flavored soup with goat cheese biscuits and soak up the last days of winter.

                Source: Love and Olive Oil

                You Will Need:
                • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
                • 1 cup coarsely chopped onions
                • 1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
                • 1 Tbsp chopped ginger
                • 1 tsp ground cumin
                • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
                • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
                • 1/4 tsp turmeric
                • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
                • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
                • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, or slightly more as needed.
                • salt and pepper to taste
                • 6 to 8 tsp goat cheese

                Here We Go:
                • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat
                • Add the onions and saute until the onions are soft and begin to brown, about 10 minutes
                • Add the garlic and saute, stirring for 30 seconds
                • Add the ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and red pepper flakes
                • Finally, add the sweet potatoes and broth and bring to a boil
                • Reduce the heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes
                • Puree the soup, in batches in a blender or food processor
                • Season to taste
                • The soup can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge and reheat over low
                • If the soup is too thick, add a little more stock
                • Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese

                Makes 6 Servings
                Happy Feasting!

                2.29.2012

                Fajita Pizza



                Happy Leap year Everyone! I have always wondered about those leap year babies. What do they do? Do they celebrate their birthdays on the 28th of February every year? I guess that is what I would do because no one should go an entire year without a birthday celebration in their honor. Right? And so I digress, back to the za.

                I love fajitas! I would probably say that is my go-to order at any Mexican restaurant. They come out piping hot, sizzling on the skillet and make such a spectacle that usually other restaurant goers will turn around to get a glimpse of whatever is causing such a scene. So as I sat at the grocery store last weekend, I thought to myself that I wanted to make a pizza and why not throw my favorite Mexican dish on top - fajitas. So here she is people, the fajita pizza!

                You Will Need:
                • 2/3 cup red pepper, diced
                • 1/3 cup yellow onion, diced
                • 1 ball pizza dough (white or wheat)
                • 1/3 cup yellow corn
                • 1 1/4 cups pizza sauce
                • 1/2 bag of mozzarella cheese (12 oz bag)
                • 1/3 diced cooked chicken
                • 1/4 cup black beans
                • 1 Tbsp olive oil

                Here We Go:
                • Preheat oven to 500 degrees F
                • Roll out dough to desired thickness using your hands or a rolling pin if you have one
                • Rub pizza stone with olive oil and place dough on pizza stone or baking sheet
                • Top dough with pizza sauce, cheeses and vegetables
                • Bake for 10-12 minutes on top rack, or until golden brown

                Makes 8 Slices
                Happy Feasting!

                2.12.2012

                Ginger Sesame Stir-fried Asparagus

                 
                This side dish is infused with flavors of the Orient. The vibrant red bell peppers, coupled with the kelly green asparagus, will put a smile on your face and bring a little sunshine to these cold winter days! The hint of sesame oil and ginger adds a nice surprise to every bite. This is an easy side dish that sure beats the same old steamed broccoli or roasted baby carrots. It is the perfect accompaniment to the Indonesian Ginger Chicken or Indonesian Pork Tenderloin.

                 
                Source: P. Allen Smith's Seasonal Recipes from the Garden (Given by Sarah Bourgeois)

                 
                You Will Need:
                • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2inch pieces
                • 2 Tbsp olive oil
                • 1/2 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
                • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
                • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
                • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
                • 1 tsp sesame seeds
                • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

                 
                Here We Go:
                • Bring a 1/4 inch of water to a boil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat
                • Add the asparagus pieces and return to boil
                • Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer for five minutes, or until crisp-tender
                • Drain the asparagus in a colander and run it briefly under cold running water to stop the cooking
                • Drain it again
                • Wipe the skillet dry with a paper towel
                • Heat the olive oil in the same skillet over high heat
                • Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, or until just tender
                • Add the asparagus, ginger, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 2 minutes or until heated through
                • Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sesame oil and sesame seeds
                • Turn out onto a platter, serve warm

                 
                Serves 6 as a Side
                Happy Feasting!