Friday, April 29, 2011

Tilapia With Browned Butter Balsamic Sauce

I love this Browned Butter Balsamic sauce. I've used it here too on my Avocado and Pistachio Crusted Halibut - mmmm...Tilapia With Browned Butter Balsamic Sauce
Tilapia Filets (I get mine at Costco)
2 T EVOO
Salt
Pepper
Flour
3 T butter
1/4 c Balsamic Vinegar
Heat EVOO in large sautee pan over medium heat for a few minutes before adding the fish. Season fish with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off excess. Add fish to your sautee pan and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Don't fuss with your filets except for when you flip them.
Take the fish out of the pan and set on a plate. Use foil to cover the fish while you make the sauce. Add butter to the sautee pan. Brown butter for 3 to 4 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and let reduce for about 2 minutes. Drizzle over each filet and serve.

Peas And Mint Sauce

Need a new way to eat your peas?? Trying to get your kiddos to eat their greens? Try this!

I should preface this post with the fact that I'm not a big fan of mint - unless it's part of dessert. I was very pleasantly surprised when I accidentally happened on this combo - you will be too!


Peas And Mint Sauce
Frozen Peas
Mint Sauce*

Prepare peas as directed on package. Dress with Mint Sauce - DONE!!

*I use Crosse & Blackwell brand "Mint Sauce with Egyptian Mint Leaves" that I get at Smith's Grocery Store.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Food Finds III

Another round of Food Finds - short and sweet - well, actually salty.

Riceworks Gourmet Brown Rice Chips. Flavors: Sea Salt, Salsa Fresca, Tangy BBQ, Parmesan and my personal fav - Sweet Chili. Really so good and super healthy... I get them at Whole Foods and my local gourmet market...
My husband and I had these chips (camping - see! gourmet camping peeps!) with salsa and my husband couldn't stop talking about the salsa. I told him that it wasn't the salsa - it was the chips. I was right (of course!) These chips are absolutely amazing. They add depth and flavor to anything you would normally serve with tortilla chips. The girl that bought these got them at Costco (in another state) but I found them at Smith's grocery store...

What are your fave food finds? Share!!

Spinach Salad with Carmelized Onions

My new friend, Michelle, made this salad for us while we were camping last week. If you look closely, you can see this is on a paper plate!! As you will soon see - this wasn't your typical camping food!!

I put this salad on a slice of Rosemary and Olive Oil bread - it was fab. It's also delish all by itself...Spinach Salad with Carmelized Onions
1 bag of fresh spinach (10 oz)
1 pack of sliced mushrooms (16 0z)
1 large red onion - very thinly sliced
6 tomatoes on the vine, diced
Crumbled goat cheese (4 oz)
Litehouse Brand "Spinach Salad" dressing
I know - dressing from a bottle - but, you'll have to trust me on this one (until I find a dressing recipe that is comparable)
Put your sliced mushrooms and thinly sliced red onion in a sautee pan. Sautee them in a little olive oil until the onions are carmelized.
Add the spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese in your salad bowl. Top with mushrooms and onions and toss together. The spinach will wilt from the heat of the mushrooms and onions.
Dress with salad dressing and serve.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sweet Spinach Salad

I'm back!! I am so sorry I haven't posted for so long. I'm sure you expected me to post my fav Easter recipes - but guess what?? I DIDN'T MAKE EASTER DINNER! I know - shocking. It was the first time in a long time that I didn't even contribute to Easter Dinner - but I have a great excuse - I was on vacation!
Even though I failed you on the Easter Dinner front - I came back with a TON of super delicious new recipes. Lucky me (and lucky you too!) I vacationed with a bunch of foodies that brought the good stuff.
Considering that I just got back in town a couple of hours ago - I am not going to sit and post the recipe for this salad right now - but I wanted to give you a picture and let you know that I'll be back with LOADS of new fantastic recipes tomorrow!!
The picture is of this amazing take on Spinach Salad. It's like none I've ever had before - and really people - how many different ways can you make a salad? Just in the last week I've learned that there are several!! I'll be back tomorrow with a new post!! Eat happy:)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

If you didn't get to catch last seasons show of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution when he took on the "fattest city in America" Huntington, WV - you have to watchi this season. He takes his idea on the road to LA and is met with great resistance on the road to make the schools in the LA area provide healthier food.

It is really fascinating. You can't believe the statistics he throws out - or the food he shows that are being consumed by those children.

This cause is worth getting behind. Join the Revolution!!

See last nights episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution HERE

Sunday, April 10, 2011

BASICS: BBQ Chicken

Oh how I had a picture to post - I will def post a picture next time we have BBQ Chicken!

BBQ Chicken
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Garlic powder BBQ sauce - my family loves KRAFT Original BBQ Sauce - or your favorite BBQ sauce

Bring your chicken out about 20 minutes before you are going to put it on the grill to come up to temperature. Trim the fat off of each chicken breast.

Pre-heat grill on medium-high heat. Then, drizzle a little bit of EVOO on one side of the chicken breasts, followed by salt, pepper and garlic powder (to your taste). Use your fingers to sprinkle each of those seasonings onto each breast. I try to make sure to get a little of each seasoning on every part of the breast. There is such a thing as over seasoning - but when we are talking about chicken seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic - think about the way you season all of the foods you make at home. Are you a pepper person? (like my husband) are you a salt person (ME, Me, me)? If you are unsure about whether or not you are a garlic person, you are - just trust me. Use garlic powder like you would your 'non-prefferential' seasoning. If you are a salt person - use garlic powder like you would use pepper and vice versa until you find your garlic preference.

Flip the breasts over and repeat the process.

Put them on your pre-heated grill for about 5 - 7 minutes. Flip with tongs and cook for about 4 minutes. When they are done they should pass the 'firmness' test talked about HERE.

With just about 2 minutes to go - flip the chicken on to the original side and use a basting brush to paint BBQ sauce on the surface - let cook four about 30-60 seconds and repeat on the other side. Pull off the grill and let the meat rest for 4-5 minutes to keep all the juices in.

BBQ Chicken & Ranch Salad

There is a restraunt in my home town that makes this fantastic salad called the "BBQ Salad" living out of state - I haven't had it for a while. I asked my hubs what he wanted for dinner and when he replied 'BBQ chicken' I though hmmmmm. My husband and ALL my kids love themselves some BBQ - I'm not a huge fan of BBQ chicken - but as the Mom - I want to make everybody happy (as I am sure all of you do too!)

I thought of the salad I ate with BBQ chicken and LOVED and decided to re-create it to the best of my knowledge and ability. When I told my husband my idea that incorporated his BBQ Chicken with my idea for dinner - he was skeptical. He watched me make the kids salads per their specifications and waited for me to make my salad the way it's "supposed" to be made per the recipe. When my masterpiece was perfect - he asked for a bite to decide how he was going to eat his BBQ Chicken tonight. He took one bite and was sold...


BBQ Chicken & Ranch Salad
4 BBQ Chicken Breasts cut into chunks
2 heads of Romain lettuce, washed and cut into chunks
2 c sweet corn
1 can black beans, rinsed
1/2 c tomatoes, diced
1/2 c onion, diced
1 T jalepeno, diced finely
1 T cilantro
1 t lime juice
2 c Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Tortilla strips
Ranch Dressing

Assemble ingredients to your liking. I put the Romaine on the bottom, sprinkle with corn, beans, tomatoes, onion, jalepeno & cilantro. Drizzle with a bit of lime juice. Add mozzarella, BBQ chicken, torilla strips (or in today's case - tortilla chips) and Ranch dressing. All 5 of us licked our plates clean - my 3 year old literally licked her plate clean. It was a crowd pleaser. Considering it made me rethink BBQ chicken at home and turned my husband onto a BBQ Salad - this is a winner!

*You can substitute the tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro & lime juice by using pre-made Pico de Gallo!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Carla's Pasta Salad

Grrrrr! I am having trouble with my blogger! I format the recipes as I always do and when I publish my post it comes out all in one never ending sentance. BUGGED! So, I am trying to post this one again -

My Mother In Law made this pasta salad for almost every family gathering for years and years. I'm tellin' ya - you could put this dressing on pretty much anything and it would be lip smackin' good. When my husband had some of this today - he said how much he loves and has missed this salad. He also told me that I didn't add enough kidney beans (I know kidney beans right? It took a while for them to grow on me in this salad - but I have to tell you that now, I wouldn't make the salad without them!)

Carla's Pasta Salad
5 celery ribs, halved and diced
2 English cucumbers, sliced
2 bunched of radishes, sliced
2 c carrots, diced
12 oz pasta

Dressing:
1 c mayonnaise
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 red onion, diced

Assemble dressing ingredients except onion and beat until smooth. Add onions and incorporate well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Then, cook pasta according to packge directions. Carla always uses rotini (the tri-color rotini is especially attractive) - I just used what I had on hand. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. I usually put the pasta in the strainer (towel underneath) in the fridge while I chop all the veggies. Wash and cut all veggies. Add the veggies, pasta and dressing together. Mix well. Refrigerate until time to eat. This pasta is even better the next day!

*I make this without the pasta also - such a great way to get your kids to try new foods like radishes or kidney beans - paving the way for them to try them in a different venue.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Guy Fieri's Homemade Croutons



Guy Fieri serves these on top of his Family Favorite Salad

Guy Fieri’s Homemade Croutons:
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons garlic paste, (2 cloves garlic smashed with the flat side of a knife and a sprinkle of salt, to make paste)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups cubed stale Italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the bread, until well combined. Adjust the seasoning, if needed. Add in the bread and mix well with your hands, tossing to coat all sides of cubes. Pour out onto a baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Guy Fieri's Ranch Dressing

Guy Fieri serves this delicious dressing on top of his Family Favorite Salad

Guy Fieri’s Ranch Dressing:
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic paste, (use half of the salt and 5 cloves garlic smashed with the flat side of a knife, to make paste.

In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients and blend well with fork or immersion blender. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

*If you don't like dill - you won't like this dressing. I however, am a fan and I really liked it.

**The next day, I added an additional cup of mayonnaise to thicken up the dressing so it is more the consistency of the Ranch dressings we all know and love. It helped to chill out the dill flavor a bit and made it possible to be used as a dip as well.

Family Favorite Salad


I saw this recipe on Guy Fieri's "Guy's Big Bite" I have probably posted these exact ingredients for a salad somewhere on this blog - because these ingredients are actually my family faves too. The difference is that he has a different Ranch Dressing recipe and a different Homemade Crouton recipe - def link to those - they are super delish.

Family Favorite Salad by Guy Fieri
1 head butter lettuce, washed, spun dry and torn or cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 head red leaf lettuce, washed, spun dry and torn or cut into bite-size pieces
3/4 cup Ranch dressing, recipe follows
1 cup Croutons, recipe follows
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in 1/2
2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and flesh diced
2 pieces bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

In a chilled salad bowl, add the greens and lightly coat the inside of the bowl with Ranch Dressing. Add the Croutons and toss lightly. Garnish with the tomatoes, avocado and bacon, serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

French Fries, Fry Sauce & Food Finds

That is 5 F's baby. I have had a hankering for French Fries lately. Like obsessed. Maybe my diet has been potato deficient for too long or something. Anyway... I've tried every single kind of frozen french fry out there (well, probably not - but I've tried many, many, many over the years) I finally found the perfect fry. I tend to go for "steak" fries - but these Ore-Ida's Extra Crispy Seasoned Crinkles are the bomb. I made hamburgers and french fries the other night and we were all so full from our burgers (more on that later!) that only a few fries were eaten (by me of course). I was bugged that all these fries were going to go to waste - b/c who eats left over cold fries?? But my husband suggested we have them for breakfast - sounded good enough for me.

We didn't use them for breakfast (but would've been delish). So, it's lunch time and I have to have fries. Like willing to go across town to my fav fry place to get some. Ridiculous. I looked in the fridge and saw the tupperware with our leftover french fries. I thought - what do I have to lose? Leftover French Fries Heat about 2 T EVOO in a sautee pan. When it's nice and hot - add your leftover french fries. Sautee them in the oil for about 8-10 minutes tossing them every 2 minutes or so. You end up with nearly perfect fries. They are nice and crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle - almost as good as they were when they were originally made. Drain on paper towels - and eat!! I was so impressed! Who knew? On to the perfect fry sauce. I have posted here about fry sauce before - but I have perfected the stuff. Seriously. It involves this magic here... SIRACHA

Kicked Up Fry Sauce 2 parts Hellman's Mayonnaise 1 part Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce (Original) 1 t Siracha 1/2 t salt 1 t pepper Blend together and enjoy!! Great on burgers too!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wrap Apps

This appetizer is so super easy and just as delicious... Wrap Apps Tortillas (I used Garden Veggie variety) Pico de Gallo* Cream Cheese (plain) Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on the entire surface of the tortilla. Spoon the pico de gallo down the middle of the tortilla starting at the tippy top and ending down at the bottom of the tortilla - your pico should be in a single layer about 2 1/2" wide. Roll tortilla up so that you hit the line of pico de gallo after about 1 1/2" turns. Roll it up completely and slice into bite sized pieces. YUM! *I have found a super delicious pre-made Pico de Gallo at my local market. You can find it almost anywhere. If you can't find it or would rather make your own it is just diced tomatoes, white onions, jalepeno, cilantro and lime juice. Since this does have a bit of jalepeno, you might be scared off - don't be. I don't like hot food at all - this isn't hot but it's very flavorful.

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