Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More and more salads and yum yum yummy food

I have been stock piling my pictures so far of the things I have made in the last week so brace yourself. These things are all so amazing. Last night we made the most amazing meal for Jason's family who was visiting. Some grilled shrimp served with some tropical fruit salsa and the usual guacamole recipe. Oh man. It was delicious. This was from the Annual Recipes 2009 Cooking Light. This book is phenominal. So many recipes that are right up my alley. I think I need to just buy it because it's going to take me forever to get all of the recipes out of it. I also made a fruit salad from it that I now made twice in the last four days so you know it's good. So simple.

Both of these recipes were so simple and just prove the fact over and over again that simple is always better. Just tasting the freshness of the fruit brought me to tears. The shrimp was seasoned perfectly and the salsa was the perfect match. The guacamole is always amazing. Yumm. I could eat that every day. In fact today, I popped some burgers I had in the freezer in the fridge to thaw. They were the black bean and rice ones from Rachael Ray that I have mad before. Plopped that on a bun with a shmear of that guac, a slice of ripe tomato and some salsa. Wow, a meal that good shouldn't be so simple. I felt spoiled by myself eating it. I know that this fruit salad will be something I make over and over all summer long. We all love it and it's super simple and inexpensive.

1-2 diced mangos
1 pint of strawberries cut to your liking
4 kiwi fruits peeled and chopped
1 fresh pineapple cut into bite size pieces
the zest of two limes
That's it. Holy crap, this is amazing. I apologize for that but truly, I am going to be dreaming about this for nights. So so so yummy and just gets better and better, juicier and juicier.

The shrimp recipe can be found at this link.

Ok, this is a recipe that just proves that this is still my favorite cook book of all times. The Food You Crave By Ellie Krieger. This is a recipe I usually wouldn't make. I just typically don't choose things like this but it was so simple and it tasted so so good. It tasted like it took hours of work. Jason loved it. I know that I will make it again for sure. It was an easy one to do because I could do most of the prep work while Lucy was napping and then just make the juice, wash the chicken and pop it in the oven. In no time we had an amazing amazing meal on the table.

Here is another Rachael Ray sucess story. I haven't had one thing I didn't like from that lady. Thank you Rachael. This was so so yummy. I was really sad because it made so much. I ended up pawning some off to friends but still had to throw some out on the fourth day. It made me sad. I had a little funneral for it. Just kidding I didn't. But come to think of it, should have. You could easily half it but I like having the extra personally. It just so happened that it wasn't something Jason liked so I had to eat it alone. That can be hard to do. Please try this one. It is so so wonderful. I will make it again for sure. In fact I already have jarred peppers and mushrooms in the cupboard waiting for that day to come.

For Memorial Day weekend we had a picnic with Jason's family and these are two salads that I made. I have to say that in the tomato salad I did end up adding grilled corn. What a lovely idea that was. It was really the taste of summer. The one with the black beans is a salad I have been making for over a year now. Talk about healthy with the black beans and the brown rice. I am just so in the mood for this kind of thing. So fresh and full of flavor. So simple too.
This link is to the mango black bean salad

The other salad is something I whipped up.
1 can white beans drained and rinsed
1 pint of cherry tomatoes rinsed and halved
1 hanful of basil chopped
2 T lemon juice
1 T olive oil
1 c roasted fresh corn or canned corn
salt and pepper
Toss to combine and enjoy. So yummy and fresh tasting.

To finish it all off I created something from Chef Tom Collichio. The ice cream was my doing but the banana bread was all on him. This is a recipe from his new book Witchcraft. It's an amazing book for someone who want to make amazing sandwiches. This recipe included caramel ice cream but I was in a pinch for time and decided to go with a recipe I alread knew and have made before to simplify things a little bit. Lucky for me I had some dulce de leche waiting to be used in the freezer and this was the perfect pairing. I created the banana bread and served the ice cream on top. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's been too long

I have been cooking all this time, I have just been dumb and forgetting to take pictures of the things I make. I like to have something for you to see so you have an idea how yummy something is. I always like to see what I am going to make, although I make things without seeing too.

Summer gets me in the mood for salads. I am sure you have sensed that so far. I am making a lot of them and am going to continue to make more and more of them. I like that they make a lot so I can eat them for a few days. Although, usually by the fourth day I am ready for something new. The drawback of being only two of us. Lucy isn't usually down with the things I make.I recently entered a cookie contest through Eating Well Magazine. May friend Lauren told me about it and so I thought, what the heck. There were rules about the amount of fat used as well as sugars. They were basically supposed to be a made over holiday cookie to be more healthful. I took the classic Quaker Oats Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe from the canister and made it totally my own. Used some whole wheat flour with white, replaced some of the butter with heart healthy canola oil, reduced the sugar and added some honey and apple juice. I also used cranberries, walnuts, and granola instead of raisins. They were really delicious I must say. Healthy and delicious. If you are interested in the recipe let me know. I am not going to post it at this time.
So last friday was National Chocolate Chip Day. How could I pass that up? I wanted to try a new chocolate chip recipe as I have been making mine for 7 years now. Wow. That long. Anyhow. The experience was nice. It turned into some really yummy cookies that Jason and the others really enjoyed. I sent them to work with him. I must say in the end that I still like mine the best. Mine are really moist and gooey. These were still soft but more cakey. I kept reading about them on my foodgawker web site so I had to give them a wing.
You can find the recipe at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/091crex.htmlThis is a tride and true recipe I have been making for about a year now. I am happy to be making it again while the produce has exploded. I am so excited about that. This is from Cooking Light and I know you will love it too. You can find it at the link below.
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1197250I have been trying out a lot of Rachael Ray recipes latley because I have found them to be so amazing. Super simple and very very good. This is a recipe I have been wanting to try forever and I am so happy I did because it is freaking amazing. I love it so much. I am sad because it made so much and I don't know if I am going to be able to eat it all. Please please try this one. It is so healthy and so yummy and simple. I actually added a couple garlic cloves to the recipe. I also only made half of the dressing. I don't like my salads swimming in dressing. If you aren't sure how much you want, just make it all and put it on until it's to your liking. I did half and I feel like it is perfect. I also used a whole jar of roasted red peppers instead of roasting my own red peppers. I always feel like you can't have too many vegetables. Salads are forgiving like that. Love love love the marinated mushrooms in this. I think I put in about 18 ounces of them. So what, I freaking like my veggies. Enjoy. This is really a good one. A keeper.

Another great salad I recently made, is again from Cooking light. This is one of those I forgot to take a picture of but as you read the ingredients let it paint a picture in your mind. I used black beans in mine instead of the corn because I had a little accident in the roasting process. Basically I ended up formulating the most amazing salad ever based on this one. I will post the link to the recipe and then below I will post my own. You can take your pick.

So I didn't want to use pasta in mine really, so I used the black beans instead and as I mentioned, I had a little accident with roasting the corn. Trying to roast frozen corn from a bag does not work I will tell you this. This is what I had and I thought it would work, nope. Oh well. I fed it to the squirels.
1 roasted poblano
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, seeds removed for heat
juice of two limes
2 T olive oil
one pint of cherry tomatoes halved
1 avocado diced
1/2 red onion minced
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1/2 t cumin
2 cloves garlic
Roast the poblano under your broiler, on your stove top burner or on the grill until blackened. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let this sit while you chop and assemble the remaining ingredients. You can add two ears of roasted corn or some frozen corn if you like. It would be a great compliment to the dish, I however left it out. Combine all of the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine. Remove your poblano from the bowl and the skin should rub off easily. Do not rinse under water as you do this. You will lose most of the essential nutrients that this vegetable provides. If you can't get all of the skin off don't worry you can eat it. Cut it open and remove the seeds, unless you like a lot of heat, then cut it as is. Cut into small pieces and add to the rest of your salad. If you want to make it more of a salad, add a couple cups of cooked pasta noodles. You can't go wrong with this salad really. Enjoy! Great taste of summer.

Monday, May 4, 2009

yummy salad asian bowl and some blueberry rolls-holla

I love salads. Salads of any kind really. So I was excited about this one. Plus I love quinoa so it excited me even more. The asian bowl I have been wanting to make forever. I am so so happy I did because it was amazing and Jason loved it. He said it was one of his favorite if not favorite things I have ever made. Wow. Either I haven't really made anything all that great or this was yummy. I loved it too. Any the blueberry rolls were a pleasure to make. I have never made anything like this in all of my baking so it was a lot of fun. They are basically like cinnamon rolls but full of blueberry jelly and topped with a lucious cream cheese icing. No cinnamon involved here. Super simple, time consuming, but super simple. Much worth the effort. Jason's co-workers will be smiling tomorrow. I kept two little ones for me and Lucy. Please try all of these out and enjoy.

Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts from Cooking Light

4 servings

  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Transfer rice to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Cool. Add chicken, carrot, onions, 2 tablespoons peanuts, 2 teaspoons cilantro, and salt to rice; toss to combine.

Combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle oil mixture over rice mixture; toss to combine. Place 1 1/2 cups salad on each of 4 plates. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons remaining peanuts and 1/4 teaspoon remaining cilantro. Yummmmm! So good.

I did change this one ever so slightly. I used fresh ginger and fresh pineapple. Instead of pistachios I used toasted slivered almonds because I already had some. I have to say I thought the fresh pineapple thing was really a good choice the first day. Second day it was kind of soggy, so maybe the dried pineapple was a better bet. Either way, I loved it. If you don't mind it being a little more moist, then go for the fresh pineapple. It's a much healthier choice.

Quinoa Salad with Toasted Pistachios and Dried Pineapple

from Cooking Light

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup shelled, chopped pistachios (about 1 ounce)
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken breast, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Boil water in a small saucepan. Add quinoa. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes. (I always use my rice cooker when cooking any grain and it comes out great like that. Use the white rice setting.)

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped pistachios, and cook 2 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring frequently. Transfer pistachios to a large bowl; add cooked quinoa and remaining ingredients to bowl. Toss gently to coat.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Rolls

From Every Day with Rachael Ray May 2009

Prep Time: 25 min (plus rinsing)
Bake Time: 25 min

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

One 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons milk

1 large egg

4 cups flour

2 cups confectioners' sugar

4 ounces cream cheese

One 10-ounce jar blueberry preserves

Combine 1/4 cup warm water, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and the yeast; let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in 1 1/4 cups milk, the egg and the yeast mixture. Gradually add the flour at low speed. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight to let rise.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the confectioners' sugar, cream cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons milk.
4. Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Spread the blueberry preserves on the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Roll up lengthwise and seal the edges. Slice into 12 pieces and place in the pan cut sides up. Bake until golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Top with the cream cheese icing.