Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spanish Potato Omelet

So here's my grandma's recipe for her Spanish Potato Omelet (it's also posted on my sister's blog). I love this recipe, it brings back so many fond memories and it fills the belly as a meal or tantalizes your taste buds as an appetizer. I made it tonight with the Simple Spinach Salad for dinner and it was DE-LICIOUS!

First, you will scrub, peel, cut in half, then slice your potatoes in 1/4 inch pieces (pretty thin). By the way, can you see my little scrubber brush in this picture?? I love that thing! I scrub my potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and more with that thing! It's great!!!!
After you cut your potatoes, you will chop your onion, green onion, and ham and add it to an OVEN SAFE frying pan that has 2 TBSP butter and 1 TBSP oil in it. Once they saute for 10 minutes and start to brown, you are going to beat 12 eggs, yes I said 12!!!!

Then add 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt to your eggs, as well as 1 TBSP chopped parsley, and pour it over your potato mixture, making sure it's evenly covered.
Next, put it in your oven that has been preheated to 400 degrees for 20 -25 minutes until it is golden brown around the edges and on top. Pull it out with a pot holder (and I recommend leaving the potholder on the handle, even if you have to attach it with a rubber band because I have burned my hand many a'times forgetting that it's hot once it's out of the oven and sitting on the stove).
To get it out of the pan, simply slide a spatula around the edge and slide it (or flip it upside down) onto a plate. Then, you can either slice it in squares for an appetizer or pizza wedges for a meal. You could technically make this for dinner or breakfast, or heck, eat it for lunch for all I care!
4 medium potatoes, peeled
12 eggs
1 small onion, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
12 pieces canadian bacon or ham, diced
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP oil
1/2 tsp salt

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Simple Spinach Salad

This was so tasty and yet so minimal.... words right from my husbands mouth "This salad is bomb." Wow, I thought to myself, really??? "Why do you think so honey???" I asked. "Well, the dressing is really different, a good change up- and the flavors go really well together- AND it's spinach, so it's real good for you and stuff."
So there you have it folks, try adding this to your entree. You might really like the change up.

Spinach Salad for two:
3 large handfuls of baby spinach
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
handful of cranraisins
1/4 yellow bell pepper, sliced

1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp agave (or honey)
pinch of sea salt
* This will make more than enough dressing for 2, so make it in a craft to store for later.

Self explanatory right?? You know, wash & spin your spinach, add your sliced pepper and cranraisins, and to toast the almond slices just add a thin slice of butter to a hot pan and put in your almonds while continually stirring them so they don't burn- just for a few minutes, then remove them from the pan to cool. Add them to the salad right before putting the dressing on. Dress, toss and serve!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Maple Salmon...

Gourmet Meal Ladies and Gentlemen... available in your KITCHEN!
Every once in a while a recipe comes along that steals your taste buds, and you simply want to eat that exact meal over and over, every night. Well, this is that recipe. Super simple, easy, no skills required. A few ingredients in a bowl, 30 minutes to marinate, and then baking for 20 minutes or so, and no left overs to package up because your plates will be licked clean!

The marinate in the shallow baking dish...
Placing fish skin side up in the dish for marinating...
After marinating for 30 minutes, turn the fish skin side down and bake
1 lb. salmon
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 large clove garlic
1/4 tsp ginger *optional
1/8 tsp pepper

You are going to mix all the ingredients in a bowl, whisk them together. Pour them in a shallow baking dish and place fish SKIN SIDE UP in the dish. Set a timer and let it marinate no more than 30 minutes (fish shouldn't be over-marinated like meat can be). Then, turn your fish steaks over with a fork (now the skin should be touching the bottom of the dish) and pop it in your oven that has been preheated to 400. Cook it for 2o minutes or until it flakes with a fork. Check it after 20 minutes (could go as long as 30) the cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish, so watch it towards the end. After you pull if out of the oven, with an oven mitt on your hand, tilt the dish over a small sauce pan and drain the marinate into the pan. Add 1/2 tsp cornstarch and bring to a boil to make a glaze, stirring constantly. It will only take a few minutes. Pour this glaze over top and you will have yourself a "hi-fluttin' - serious business- no messin' around" dish.... people are going to sweat your cooking skills! You will love this healthy and tastey option of cooking fish! Enjoy!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tex Mex Chicken Caesar Salad

So, I have to be honest- I was in a hurry with this recipe and somethings didn't turn out as well as I would have wanted. But, I think it's worthy of another whirl, so I am posting it in hopes of you leaving your tips and suggestions, I think it will be better now that I have re-written the directions and tweaked just a few things! The dressing is great, but if your making the salad for more than 3 people, double the dressing!

2 heads of romaine, chopped
1 avocado, diced
1.5 lbs of chicken (I used tenderloins)
1/2 cup parmesan

Chicken Seasoning: combine ingredients in a bowl
1/2 cup olive oil
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp cumin
pinch of salt

Homemade Croutons:
3 cups of french bread, cubed
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
3 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP chili powder
1 clove garlic

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lime, juice & zest
2 TBSP cilantro, finely chopped
1 TBSP dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
shake of pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 for the croutons. Then start with your chicken. Wash it and mix the "chicken seasoning" in a bowl, put the chicken in and make sure the seasoning is equally distributed. You are going to grill that for a few minutes on the BBQ and then cut it into stripes or chunks.
Next, put your cubed bread in a bowl, drizzle 3 TBSP olive oil over top and sprinkle 1 TBSP chili powder and 1 clove garlic and mix it up well. Pour them out onto a roasting pan or a cookie sheet that has been lined in parchment paper, and sprinkle 1/2 cup of parmesan on top. Put in the oven and let them bake for 10- 15 minutes at 375. Remove from oven and let cool.
Next, you are going to wash, chop and dice your lettuce & avocado, put it in a large bowl and sprinkle the other 1/2 cup parmesan on top. Throw on your chicken, homemade croutons, and mix up your dressing. Drizzle the dressing and toss! Ready to serve!

Meal Plan for Sept. 21st- 26th

So, the favor of the week is cilantro!!! 3 of the 4 recipes have cilantro in them-- so you could get away with one large bunch to use all week long! I tried this new recipe for Tex Mex Chicken Cesar Salad (thanks Lisa!) but I have to be honest- I kinda botched it because I was in a hurry, so I would like to try it again. Sooooooo, if you're feeling adventurous and you want some new and refreshing flavors, give this recipe a whirl and leave your tips and suggestions for all of us!

Monday- Tex Mex Chicken Caesar Salad
Tuesday- Lime Chicken Tacos
Wednesday- BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (Crock Pot) & Green Salad
Thursday- BBQ Pork Tenderloin, Corn on the Cob, Grilled Zucchini on the BBQ
Friday- left overs
Saturday- out

Friday, September 18, 2009

Giveaway WINNERS!!!!

Ok, so my sister-in-law Lisa was here this weekend and helped me pick the winners (in a really hi-tech way!) of my first blog giveaway. Here are the winners in the order they were chosen- thanks everyone for playing along!!!! We'll do another giveaway on my 100th RECIPE post so stay tuned!
And the winners are....

OK, so if you are a lucky winner, be checking for an email from me for the locals, so I can drop something off, and for my out-of-town winner, be looking in the mail!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Zucchini Bread...

grating the zucchini
mixing all the ingredients together
splitting it in two loaf pans
the finished product... with chocolate chips of course!!!

Well, fall is right around the corner, so I thought a new recipe for some yummy warm autumn bread was in order. I had my last huge zucchini left over from my garden, so away we went! I have only tried this recipe once, and it turned out delicious, but I will be trying it again with the hopes of tweaking it a little to lessen the brown sugar and white flour- but for the first spin, I followed the directions as they were (well, almost!).

1 cup applesauce
3 eggs
2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seed

Really simple. Preheat oven to 350. Mix your applesauce, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and grated zucchini. (You can use your hand cheese grater or your food processor to grate your zucchini.) Then add your flours, baking soda & powder, salt, cinnamon, wheat germ, and flax seeds. Mix that really well. Then, lastly add your raisins and chopped walnuts. Spray or grease 2 bread pans and pour your mixture evenly into both and cook for 30- 37 minutes on the same rack in the oven. Test your bread with a toothpick, if it comes out dry, it's all done! If it's gooey, leave it in for a little while longer.

** So a few modifications that I made, I didn't have walnuts, so I used pecans and they were just fine. And also, you know me, I think everything is better with a handful of chocolate chips :) So one pan had just raisins & walnuts and the other had raisins, walnuts, and chocolate chips! Yum, Yum, Yum!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Orzo & Cucumber Pasta Salad...

I had this salad at my sister-in-laws the other night and it was delicious! Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me, so there isn't a picture of it, but it was so yummy I thought I should include it on the blog. You must use fresh ingredients when making this- fresh lemons and fresh herbs- it is wonderful, a real crowd pleaser!

If you haven't entered the giveaway on the 100th post, make sure to do so now, it ends on Friday, Sept. 18th!!!!

3/4 lb. orzo pasta
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 hothouse cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup small diced red onion
3/4 cup feta cheese
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Bring a pot of water to boil, cook the orzo pasta for 9-11 minutes, or until done. Whisk together olive oil, salt and pepper. With pasta in a bowl, pour the lemon mixture over top and mix. Add your dill, parsley, scallions, cucumber and onion and toss. Add your feta crumbles last and gently stir. Cover and refrigerate over night or let it sit at room temperature before serving for one hour. Taste before serving and add extra salt and pepper if it's needed.
* You can throw a handful of cherry tomatoes in as well. And the original recipe called for cooked shrimp tossed in too, as a main dish, I liked it without, but feel free to try that option too! Here's a picture of it with shrimp from the Food Network so you can get an idea of what it's like!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Marinated Pork Tenderloin


... finished product...

1.5 lbs tenderloin (usually the size of one tenderloin)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup sesame oil
1/8 cup rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 tsp ginger or 1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 TBSP brown sugar
1/4 cup water

I throw my pork tenderloin in a big Ziplock bag and then mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pour it over the top. You can let it sit on the counter to marinate for 2 hours, or put it back in the fridge to marinate for 12 hours. When cooking it, BBQ it over a hot fire and continually baste it with the left over marinate for about 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Slice it and serve!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Baked Dover Sole...

Easy as 1-2-3. First, I rinse my fish and pat it dry with a paper towel. I line my broiling pan with foil (for easy clean up) and then I spray it with a non-stick. Second, I lay my fillets down and sprinkle them with Lawry's seasoning salt and a smidge of pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Third, and last, I bake it on 400 for about 15 minutes until the fish is no longer translucent and the juices are clear. Done, told you it was easy.. 1-2-3 easy :)

* I purchase my Dover Sole at Trader Joe's, it is wild caught and then frozen and I often keep it in my freezer for last minute dinners since it's so quick and takes minimal prep. I do defrost mine on the countertop or in a bowl of cold water.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Meal Plan for Sept. 14th- 19th

Here's what's on tap this week in our household :)
It will require some new posts with new recipes, so stay tuned!

Monday- Taco Salad
Tuesday- BBQ Chicken Pizza
Wednesday-Baked Dover Sol, Snappin' Snap Peas, Brown Rice Medley
Thursday- 3o minute marinade chicken, orzo pasta salad
Friday- left overs
Saturday- out

*** Don't forget to check out the 100th post and enter a comment to enter the giveaway... just for fun!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

100th POST + Giveaway!!!

That's right folks, can you believe this is my 100th post!!! So, in honor of that, I thought it would be fun to do a little giveaway (my sister's grand idea!)- and since I am not a "real deal blog" just a little fish, I don't even know for certain what my giveaway will be, maybe because I don't even know for certain if anyone will even respond- HA! But I thought it sounded fun, so away we go!!!!

GIVEAWAY- Leave a comment with your favorite recipe FROM THIS BLOG (if you've tried it or wanting to try it) and I will choose- I don't know 3-5 winners at random for a prize. If you live local, you'll probably get a home-cooked treat or something crafty, and if you live far away (mom, sisters, Sara, anyone else?) you will find yourself a fun little something in the mail (so leave your email address so I can get details!) How about a week- so do it by next Friday, Sept. 18th... no later, we don't want it to drag on forever- leave your comment. OK??? FUN!!!

OK, how is it that as of 3:00 on day one I have had 74 visitors to the blog and only ONE comment, come on people- just leave a comment- simple.... "I like ...." that's all there is to it! Don't be a party pooper! And if you don't want the prize, I'll eat or enjoy it for you- no hurt feelers on this end!!!!

Now, for my 100th recipe post.... drum roll please.... inspired by the [darling] movie Julie & Julia..... a simplified and more nutritious version of .....
Beef Bourguignon original recipe by Julia Child,
adapted recipe by Andrea Haddon :)

3 lbs. stew meat, cubed
4 ribs celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic (or 2 large cloves)
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped or sliced
2 cups potatoes, chopped
2 cups red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup flour (for dipping the beef cubes)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

I made this recipe in the crock pot- in the movie and in the original recipe, she bakes it for 3 hours (and burns it!) and I didn't feel up for that amount of time, but I was so intrigued and wanted to give it a whirl, so I busted out the crock pot, and it turned out fabulous!

I wanted to do like Julia and "pat my beef dry with a paper towel" and then dip it in flour, and then brown it on the stove- and she's right, it does brown much better that way! You could probably for-go this step to shorten the prep- but if you do decide to do it, you put 1/2 cup flour on a plate, pat your beef cubes dry with a paper towel, dip the cubes in flour and then add them to a pan with a drizzle of oil and a TBSP of butter (for flavor says Julia... she uses way more butter by the way!!!) Remove the beef cubes and then saute the onions and garlic in the same pan with the left over beef juices (I had to add a smidge more oil to my pan). Then add that to the crock pot with the beef cubes. Wash and chop all the veggies and add them, plus the wine, broth, and seasoning (you can also add a bay leaf if you enjoy that flavor) and cook on low for 8 hours. I served it solo as a stew, but you could possibly serve it over a bed of noodles or with some french bread. It was delicious!!!! "Bon Appetite!"

*** Feel free to pass this blog and/or recipes on to family & friends! The more the merrier!***

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Huh Hum... my fresh grown basil and tomatoes from our little garden!
The Bruschetta Mixture, it's almost too pretty to eat, but not quite!
Lots of these little guys fit on a cookie sheet... the more the merrier!
And the finished product- drooling yet??
Here's a fabulous appetizer to try, actually, you could probably eat the whole batch and consider it a meal :) I don't even like tomatoes, but I LOVE this dish!

6 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 fresh baguette, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
sea salt

Preheat your oven to 400. Wash and chop your tomatoes and basil, mix them with the olive oil and sea salt in a bowl. Sprinkle you baguette with olive oil and toast in the oven for a few minutes- about 5. Take the baguettes out and spoon the mixture onto them, sprinkle parmesan over top and cook for another 3-4 minutes in the oven until the toast is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Serve as an appetizer or along side of a salad or light meal.

An alternative if you aren't going to serve these right away, like it you are taking it somewhere as an appetizer: toast the bread with olive oil and parmesan on top and set out the bruschetta mix separately and let people scoop their own as they are needed.

* You can use a variety of tomatoes for this recipe, Roma's are just firm and hold their shape well, that's why I recommend those, but sometimes I use a mixture, depending on what I have on hand. Also, you can make the mixture ahead a time and keep it in the fridge until topping the bread with it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Brown Rice Medley

Here's another one of our favorites, a side dish I use a lot with my "juicer" dishes like my ginger glazed mahi mahi, balsamic chicken and more. The goodness is sold in a pouch at Trader Joe's. It has long grain brown rice, black barley, and daikon radish seeds. All you have to be able to do is boil water, add a smidge of butter, and the rice mixture and you will have yourself a healthy and hardy side dish!

Monday, September 7, 2009

More Recipes...

So, I was browsing my sister's blog the other day and noticed that she finally updated and put some of her yummiest recipes on there, and you need to check them out! She is a fabulous cook and it very health concious AND very knowledgeable about nutrition. You will really enjoy some of her insights and recipes, we have some the same- probably because we have similar taste buds and most definitely because we swap the good recipes back and forth!

Enjoy and check out some recipes like these:
  • Rosemary Garlic Chicken
  • Spanish Potato Omlete
  • Brown Rice Stuffing
  • Italian Fusilli
...and many more good ones where those came from!!!

Almond-Coconut Granola

Here's a quick and easy recipe for granola, you will love it!

3 cups old-fashion rolled oats
2/3 cups sliced almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
1/3 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
6 TBSP honey or agave
1 cup mixed dried raisins, cherries, cran-raisins, or apricots

Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl stir together oats, almonds, coconut, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and salt. In a small saucepan melt butter with honey over low heat, stirring. Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until combined well.

In a large jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet with a lip on it) spread your granola evenly and bake in the middle of the oven, stirring it halfway through baking. Bake it until it's golden brown for about 15 minutes. Cool your granola in its pan on a rack and stir in dried fruits. You can keep your granola in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2 weeks and enjoy it all the time!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Meal Plan for Sept. 7th- 12th

So, we are mixing it up a bit, I got "out of sink" (literally, my sink is out of commission this week, so it will be a miracle if I make meals all week!) but here's what I am planning on:

Monday- Strawberry Salad & Sweet Potato Fries
Tuesday- BBQ Chicken Breast, Legs, & Wings, Green Salad, Corn on the Cob
Wednesday- Gremolata Mahi Mahi, Green Salad, and Harvest Grains
Thursday- Black Bean Burritos & Cucumber Salad
Friday-left overs
Saturday- out

When I make my salad on Monday, I will chop enough lettuce for Tuesday and Wednesday as well to cut down on the prep time. To store it so that it stays fresh and crisp, I make sure it is as dry as possible (I use a salad spinner) and then I but it in a ziplock bag with a paper towel in the bottom to absorb any mosture. When I chop veggies for Tuesday's salad, I will chop enough for Wednesday's as well.... you see how this goes--- thinking ahead each day can save you time and effort!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Oatmeal Part 2

So, here's another oatmeal that we enjoy over here (Emery more than the rest of us!) this is the creamy kind, not clumpy like the Steel Cut Oats, this is called McCann's Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal, and the best part about it... it is ready in 3 minutes on the stove top! What you say??? Yes my friends, it is true, it rivals toast in terms of a fast breakfast and it is very good for you- soluble fiber, low cholestrol, low fat, and no preservatives like other oatmeal packets... what more could you want?? Throw in some dried raisins or cranberries or sprinkle some fresh fruit or agave on top and you have yourself a hearty and healthy start to your day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Grilled Veggies & Portabella Mushrooms

So, in my quest to be more productive in my dinner making skills, the nights we BBQ I try to do most of my dinner on the grill. So, I will BBQ a meat and then add things to the grill like squash, peppers, onions, and mushrooms for the veggie portion of the meal. Almost always I take the easy route and do the simple thing: wash and cut my veggies, use a basting brush to apply olive oil or grapeseed oil to both sides so they don't stick to the grill, and then I lightly dust them with the "ol' faithful" seasoning blend of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Throw those puppies on the grill until your preferred doneness- some like 'em crunchy, some like 'em mushy- you be the judge!

*** For a FABULOUS recipe for portabella mushrooms with a few more ingredients that take a few more minutes, but I am not kidding, they are mouth-watering good, check out my sister's blog!!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Homemade Taco Seasoning...

I was talking to my sister in law tonight and we were talking about the yummy goodness of homemade taco seasoning (not to mention the nutritional benefits) so I thought I would post my recipe for it separately (it is posted with my Taco Soup recipe) but just for quick reference, here it is!

Homemade Taco Seasoning: make and store this in an air-tight jar
6 teaspoons chili powder
5 teaspoons paprika
4 1/2 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons onion powder
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Whole Baked Chicken

Here's the chicken rubbed with olive oil and seasoned....
And here's him half eaten because I forgot to take a picture before we dug in!

Here's a great idea for dinner, super easy, inexpensive, and perfect for family and friends. It takes a while to bake, so you have to be ready in advanced, but once it's cooking, you are good to go!

whole chicken
olive oil/grapeseed oil
s & p
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400. Cut away packaging, wash chicken well, remove gizzards from inside the chest cavity and lay the chicken on some paper towels. Pat the chicken dry and place it in a roasting pan or broiling pan. Massage some olive oil/grapeseed oil all over the chicken, and sprinkle with s & p and garlic powder. Pop it in the oven for 1-1.5 hours. The internal temperature should be 160 degrees and juices should run clear. Cut and enjoy with a salad, veggies, or another side dish!