Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sweet and Sour

Mint was the herb of choice at my house tonight as I decided to try out a recipe called
Sweet and Sour Drumsticks.

The recipe ended up being very delightful, a great summer dish. The flavors were well balanced which made for great drumsticks!

I am excited to share this recipe with others. I am submitting this recipe to Kayln of Kayln's Kitchen for her Weekend Herb Blogging event. I hope that you enjoy it.

Sweet and Sour Drumsticks
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cider vinegar,
divided1/2 teaspoon salt,
divided1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 pounds), skin removed, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat grill to medium. (No grill? See Broiler Variation, below.)

2. To prepare dipping sauce, combine orange zest, orange juice, water, honey, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and coriander in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Whisk cornstarch and the remaining 1 teaspoon vinegar in a small bowl until smooth. Add to the saucepan and return to a boil, whisking until thickened, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in mint.

3. Sprinkle drumsticks with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the drumsticks until crispy on all sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, about 15 minutes total. Serve the drumsticks with the dipping sauce on the side. Broiler variation: Position oven rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat broiler to high. Prepare sauce (Step 2). Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle drumsticks with salt and pepper (Step 3), then broil, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, about 15 minutes total.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Way To Eat Vegetables!

I have several cookbooks by Barefoot Contessa. I think she is an amazing cook and I lover her recipes. She has this absolutely fantastic recipe called "Vegetable Tian". I did not have everything it called for so I altered it just a little but it still turned out GREAT!!!

You can access this recipe by going to the food network.

I used squash, tomato, and red potato as my vegetables. Instead of Gruyere cheese I used Goat cheese. Try this recipe - I know you will love it!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I stumbled upon the Williams-Sonoma website and noticed that they have a recipe section on their website. I read through several recipes that sounded really good and decided to try the Black PepperCrepes with Goat Cheese and Tomaotes.

Black Pepper Crepes with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes
Refrigerating the batter helps produce exceptionally tender crepes because, as the batter chills, the flour expands and absorbs the liquid. You can cook the crepes in advance, then fill and broil them just before serving.
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
8 tsp. unsalted butter4 plum tomatoes,
4-oz. log of goat cheese (chèvre), crumbled

In a blender, combine the milk, egg, flour, oil, the 1 tsp. pepper and the 1D2 tsp. salt and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.

In a crepe pan over medium heat, melt 1 tsp. of the butter to coat the pan evenly. Lift the pan at a slight angle and pour 2 Tbs. of the batter into the center, tilting the pan to spread the batter to the edges.

Return the pan to the heat and cook until the crepe is golden underneath, 1 to 2 minutes.

Flip the crepe over and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover. Repeat to make 8 crepes.

Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and preheat.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a clean work surface, lay a crepe flat.

Put one-eighth of the tomato slices on the crepe and top with one-eighth of the cheese.

Season with salt and pepper.

Fold the crepe into quarters and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling. Broil until the crepes are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Serves 4. Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

I cut this crepe open so you can see the inside.

These crepes were AWESOME!

I made one major change. I made them with mozzarella cheese , basil and tomato and they were still GREAT!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's My Birthday

It is my birthday, not until Monday, but WOW has it been quite a weekend!!

Thanks to my friends we started celebrating early.
On Thursday I went out to lunch with two very good friends.
We had a great time remembering, laugh and eating Thai food.

Then on Saturday my wonderful husband took me out to dinner for Italian at Antica Posta.
Dinner was delicious.

When we went to pick up our car from the valet he called my husband over for a minute to talk to him and I thought oh no, another flat tire or a scratch on the car.
A few minutes later a man pulled up in front of us in a Silver Audi TT.
So when he got out of the car and looked at me,
I said, "That's not my car, I came in a Maroon Infinity".
He just stood there looking at me and then snapped a photo.
Again, I insisted that it was not my car.
He asked, "Is it your birthday?"
NO WAY - that's MY car?!

Yes, my amazing husband totally surprised me with an Audi TT Convertible for my birthday!!
Thanks to all of you who helped him with this amazing surprise.

Then on Sunday, to continue with the birthday surprises, my extremely thoughtful friend C brought me a birthday cake. I can't wait to have a piece of it. I know it will be fantastic.
Thanks to all of you for making my birthday GREAT ( and it is not even my birthday yet)!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Eggplant Panini

Before going grocery shopping, I like to find new recipes in cookbooks or online. This week I found a recipe that just sounded interesting to me.

Grilled Eggplant Panini - Sounds greats I thought and I have a panini maker that my husband's mother bought me last year for my birthday ( speaking of my birthday - it is only three days away=) ).

This Grilled Eggplant Panini recipe came from Eating Well magazine.
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
divided 8 1/2-inch slices eggplant
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
8 slices whole-grain country bread
8 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup sliced jarred roasted red peppers
4 thin slices red onion

1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
2. Combine mayonnaise and basil in a small bowl.
Using 1 tablespoon oil, lightly brush both sides of eggplant and sprinkle each slice with garlic salt. With the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, brush one side of each slice of bread.

3. Grill the eggplant for 6 minutes, turn with a spatula, top with cheese, and continue grilling until the cheese is melted and the eggplant is tender, about 4 minutes more. Toast the bread on the grill, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

4. To assemble sandwiches: Spread basil mayonnaise on four slices of bread. Top with the cheesy eggplant, red peppers, onion and the remaining slices of bread. Cut in half and serve warm.

*** I made a few minor changes to the recipe. ***

I sauted the red onion for about 5 minutes
I also used sandwich rolls instead of bread.

This is an excellent recipe. It turned out so good. Full of flavor!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Everything Except the Kitchen Sink

The other day when I opened the refrigerator to begin to think about what to make for dinner I realized that we still had a ton of fresh vegetables that I needed to use up otherwise they would go bad.
Hmm zuchinni, squash, peppers, onions, cabbage and more................. what can I make????

Stir Fry!

So I pulled out my wok and started heating up vegetable oil.
Next, I took 2 chicken breasts diced them into small pieces.
I chopped a white onion, 2 zuchinni, 2 squash, 2 green peppers, half a head of cabbage, and one small red onion.

Once the wok was hot I started by cooking the chicken for about 5 minutes.

Then I added the vegetables.

While cooking the veggies I added
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons oregano
1/4 soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
toasted sesame seeds

* be careful not cook the vegetables too long - you want them to crispy*

I have to say that although this meal is full of fresh vegetables it was just ok, not great.
If you have any suggestions on how to make a better Stir Fry please let me know.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tomato and Cilantro Pizza

My favorite type of pizza to make at home is Tomato & Cilantro Pizza.

I absolutely LOVE IT because it is simple and delicious!!!

Tomato and Cilantro Pizza
*You can use a already prepared Pizza Crust
or you can make your own*
Spread some of your favorite tomato sauce on the pizza crust
Add 1/4 cup of Chopped Cilantro
( more is better when it comes to cilantro for me)
Add shredded mozzarella cheese
Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Slice tomatoes ( any variety) and add to top
Then a little more Cilantro on top

Since Cilantro is what makes this Pizza so good I am submitting it to
The Chocolate Lady from In Mol Araan, who is this week's host of
Kalyn’s event, Weekend Herb Blogging. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Are you kidding me?

Yesterday was not my day! Well for that matter either was Sunday. My husband and I woke up to a flat tire on Sunday morning. No big deal right? WRONG!! You see the flat tire was on our Infinity QX which we bought a few years ago used. The problem started with trying to drop the spare from underneath the SUV. You see after about an hour of trying to twist, turn and pull the spare down we found that the "manual" said we needed the particular jack that came with the car that has a piece that slides into the back of the Infinity to drop the spare. HMMM - WE DON'T HAVE THAT PIECE so now what? The next three - four hours went like that - good ideas but no proper tools to actually change the tire. After several trips to the local auto parts store we gave up and purchased a can of "Fix a Flat" as a last ditch effort so that we could drive the car to the shop and get the tire changed. Yes, finally something worked. AHH!

Then just when it seemed that things were looking up - NOPE! On Monday morning when we woke up with our plan to take the Infinity in to get the tire changed we were shocked to find a FLAT TIRE on the Honda, our other car. Are you kidding me!!!! UGHHHH!!!!

Anyway to make a very long story come to an end I spent the morning at Goodyear where they fixed one tire and replaced the other. ( Thanks Goodyear)

I came home craving a nice, relaxing dinner. My dinner menu was Almond Encrusted Tilapia, Coconut Milk Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Corn.

Almond Encrusted Tilapia
Combine crushed almonds, flour and brown sugar
Take Tilapia and dip the pieces into egg/ milk wash
Then dip the Tilapia into the almond mixture
Place in a greased baking pan
Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes

Coconut Sweet Potatoes
Cut sweet potatoes into small pieces
Boil until tender and drain
Add butter
1/2 cup light coconut milk
cinnamon to taste
2 tbsp brown sugar
blend all ingredients together

This was a great dinner! The sides really complimented the fish.

I realize the portions on this plate are bigger than usual.
There is a reason for that .............
my husband is in training for the NY Marathon
and so he has been eating a little more than usual!!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Basil is a very good friend of mine!

Being Italian makes BASIL one of my favorite herbs. I love to use basil when making any type of pasta dish. I use Genovese Basil, which has a bright green leaf. It is a traditional Italian variety.

Last night I decided to branch out a little with my love of basil and made a Tomato, Basil and Feta Cheese Bruschetta for the top of Salmon ( very similar to the dish Marsha and I made back in June). I am submitting this fresh, yummy recipe to Susan from FoodBlogga who is this week’s host of Kalyn’s event, Weekend Herb Blogging.

Tomato, Basil and Feta Cheese Bruschetta over Salmon

Cut 6-8 roma tomatoes
1/2 cucumber finely chopped
1/2 red onion finely chopped
6-8 leaves of fresh basil, chopped finely
Feta Cheese cut into small squares
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

I placed a nice piece of broiled Salmon on a bed of Bok Choy and then placed this delightful Bruschetta on the top!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Chorizo Sausage and Peppers MMM, MMM Good!

I have not blogged in a few days. Work this past week was filled of long, exhausting, fun days. I came home each night sooooo tired and I really did not feel like cooking. I think I ate toast one night for dinner and a baked sweet potato the next night. Normally this would not be that big of a deal but I really needed to cook because my refrigerator is full of food from the market.

This morning I woke up ready to make something a little more appetizing than the dinners I have been eating. So, we started our day with .........................

Chorizo Sausage, Peppers , Onions and Cheese on a roll.

In a large frying pan I sauted a yellow onion, one green pepper and one red pepper in a little vegetable oil. To the vegetables I added a little salt and pepper.

Once the vegetables were tender I added the Chorizo Sausage ( whole) to the mix and cooked until the outside of the sausage was lightly browned.

After the sausage was lightley browned I removed it from the pan and sliced it.

Then back into the pan for just a minute or two.
I served the Sausage, Onion and Peppers on a roll with a little bit of spicy mustard and some grated cheddar cheese.
My husband wanted a little scrammbled eggs mixed in with his so that is the yellow that you see in the picture below.

I know it looks a little messy but it was definately worth it - MMM, MMM Good!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Red Watermelon, Yellow Watermelon

I think I told you in a previous post that my friend and I joined a CSA. So every Wednesday we pick up our produce. It is always fun to unpack the brown bag full of fresh fruits and vegebles and "see" what we got!

This week on the outside of the brown bag there was a little note that said "watermelon" is included. I prepared to pick up a heavy bag so you can imagine my surprise when I bent down to pick up the bag and it was very light. Watermelon? they must have forgot to include one in my bag! So of course I dug through the bag ready to be disappointed that there was not a watermelon but I was wrong. There was a watermelon, a baby watermelon!

All the vegetables and fruit were put away. The watermelon made its way to the refrigerator not be looked at for few days. Then I came home the last night and when I reached into the packed refrig. to grab something to eat the watermelon went KURSPLAT all over the floor.

Just when I was about to just yell, I looked down and thought HMMM Cool!

The watermelon split into three pieces and it was YELLOW inside.


I have never eaten a yellow watermelon .

After I cleaned up the floor, I cut off the top of each piece ( in case it hit the floor making it dirty) and then sliced the watermelon into small pieces.

Although it was very juicy and delicious, I did not find the flavor to be that different than red watermelon but the COLOR was definately fun to see.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I have been tagged, by Chris to post 8 random facts.

First, before the post, you must know the rules: (1) Each participant posts eight random facts about themselves. (2) Tagees should write a blogpost of eight random facts about themselves. (3) At the end of the post, eight more bloggers are tagged. Go to their blog and leave a comment telling them they're tagged.

8 Random Facts About me:

1. My husband and I moved to Georgia in August of 1993. I was recruited by a small private school to teach third grade. Little did I know that we would be living in Senoia, Georgia. Ever heard of it? Probably not! We lived in a double wide trailer that was situated in the middle of a cow pasture. There was no 911 service where we lived and the road we lived on kept changing names . It was a very interesting first year in Georgia !

2. In August of 1993 after graduating from college my husband I were married in CT. We will be celebrating our 14th year of marriage this summer. When visiting my home in CT one year we pulled out my wedding dress - just to look at and stroll down memory lane. You see there is no way I will ever fit back in my wedding dress. . . . because I weighed 88 lbs when I got married.

3. I enjoy cooking especially any type of pasta. I think this was on to me by my Grandma Rose. As I child, my sister and I would go to her house for the weekend. The weekend usually consisted of swimming at the pool, playing cards and making home-made pasta and sauce. My Grandma also taught us how to make chocolate eclairs and cream puffs - mmmm good!

4. My husband and I are co-founders of a non-profit organization called Running Mates. Once a quarter we host "Dinner and a Movie Date Night" for about 60-80 couples. It is a great opportunity for couples to go out on a date and spend time together. Each movie brings a different theme that can be applied to marriages. We want couples to live, love and laugh together.

5. My favorite vacation was our trip to Costa Rica. It is amazing! We stayed at an amazing hotel called Costa Verde. The sites were incredible and the food was excellent. We enjoyed hiking, bird watching, and visiting Manuel Antonio Park which is one of Costa Rica's best known and most often visited parks.

6. OPPS!! One year, ( I was in grade school) while on vacation with my family I had a little accident. My sister and I were painting pictures when my grandma decided to bring us a snack. I had a few cookies and several gulps of my drink. All of a sudden I could not breathe very well. I had accidentally picked up the wrong paper cup. I swallowed paint thinner. Long story short I was rushed to the hospital - where I was put through some NOT SO FUN tests and spent a few days recovering. To this day when I smell paint thinner I feel a little sick.

7. I enjoy time with friends. We are blessed to have a lot of friends. Each of them special and unique. Our weekends are usually spent going out or just hanging out with friends.

8. Any thing that moves - Anyone who knows me knows that I get car sick but unfortunately that is not the extent of my illness. More recently I have come to realize that I basically get motion sickness anytime I am in anything that moves! Yup - that means cars, boats, airplanes, motorcycles, .... basically any mode of transportation . I wish it were not true but there does not seem to be much I can do about it. I have found Dramamine to be helpful but that is about it.

Ok, that is enough about me.
Here are the people I have tagged!

That is all for now. Can't wait to read your stories!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Amazing Friend

I really like a friend, I really like a friend who:

shows up at your door in the morning with a

Sacher Torte!!!!

Seriously, my friend C, is an amazing cook and a super, fantastic baker.
She is also the most thoughtful person.
And the author of http://www.melecotte.blogspot.com/ (check out her blog)!

She really did show up at my door early this morning with this beautiful torte!
I haven't sliced it yet. I will let you know when I do!

Thank you C, you are the best!!!

Blueberry Custard Pie

Ahhh, blueberries…..so good and so good for you!

There are so many delicious things you can make with blueberries: pies, cakes, muffins, and cobblers or just put them on top of your favorite cereal and mmm good.

I was set on something a little sweet so I decided to try a Blueberry Custard Pie.

1cup Graham Crackers crushed finely
Butter melted
½ cup Brown Sugar
In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, and the melted butter. Press mixture down to form a crust on the bottom of a pie pan. Bake at 350 for about 7-10 minutes until lightly brown. *Let cool completely before put the custard into the crust.

3 eggs
3 ounces sugar
1 orange, zested
1tsp vanilla
1/2 pint double cream
( Instead of custard you can make the filling out of 2 packages of vanilla pudding if you prefer).

Fresh Blueberries and Strawberries

This is a very, very good Pie!

Eating Healthy

As part of my CSA Fresh Produce pickup last week I got a head of cabbage. Cabbage, hmm what do you make with that, was my thought. Then I started visiting other food blogs and realized that there were tons of recipes for cabbage. The one that sparked my interest the most was the “Citrus Asian Slaw” that is posted on 28 Cooks. It sounded so unique. I followed the recipe below with two minor changes. I did not have any carrots and I added cranraisins . To go with this yummy slaw I made Soy Glazed Salmon and Grilled Summer Squash.

Citrus Asian Slaw
5 c of vegetables, julienned (cabbage, red cabbage, carrots)*
1 1/2 c julienned cucumber
1/2 c diced red bell pepper
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2/3 c seasoned rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
Juice of half a lime**
1/2 tsp salt(I used Adobo)1
/3 c water
1/2 tsp sesame oil
(I also hit mine with an additional 1/4 tsp hot chili sesame oil)Place vegetables in large bowl and toss well. Combine all dressing ingredients (up to and including water) in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over vegetable mixture and toss well. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil. Toss again and serve.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I love Thai food!!
When we go out for Thai we have a few local favorites like Thai Diner on Siam Square in Smyrna and King and I in Midtown, Georgia. I usually order Mussaman,which is my favorite dish, or Red Curry Chicken.

Even though I love Thai food I have really never ventured out and tried to make it at home UNTIL…… this week!

While at the market last week I saw this can of Mussaman sauce and thought hmmm …maybe I can make Thai food at home.

Using what I remember about the Mussaman I have eaten in the past here is how I decided to make this dish.

I sautéed chicken, onions, red peppers, yellow potatoes ( already half cooked).

Then I poured the Mussaman Curry Sauce over the chicken and vegetables and added a little basil to the dish.

I cooked it over low heat for about 5 more minutes.

Before serving I sliced avacado and allowed it to cook 2-3 more minutes.

I served it over rice.

I thought the Mussaman Chicken dish turned out very good! I would definitely make it again.

Pretty good for my first time making Thai food at home.