Sunday, February 26, 2012

Roasted Balsamic Lemon Chicken

This is a delicious recipe by your truly! I'm a huge balsamic vinegar fan and after many attempts have mastered this recipe. Please be alarmed that this is perfect for a weeknight BUT you have to marinate the chicken over night for best results!

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
3-4 Garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp garlic pepper
1 whole Chicken (I buy the whole chicken already cut from the market. No price difference, less work. Toss the neck and backbone.)
Lemon zest from whole lemon
1 Lemon Sliced

In a food processor, mix vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, EVOO, salt and pepper, garlic pepper - blended well.
add marinade to large resealable bag, then chicken, seal and shake well. Marinade in fridge for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove chicken from bag and arrange chicken in your Dutch oven. Add sliced lemons to chicken. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar, place lid on and put in the oven for 30 minutes. Now, remove lid and cook another 30 mins. Transfer chicken to serving platter. Sprinkle with lemon zest and serve.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Delicious Egg Salad

I love Egg Salad BUT I HATE Relish. I hate everything about it. Hate the color, texture, taste. Yuck. So this is how I make my Egg Salad, and it seems to always be a hit. SIMPLE, Easy and Delicious. And you could add that nasty crap (relish) but WHY ruin it?


  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Duke's mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoke paprika
  1. Cook 8 Eggs using my Hard Boiled Egg Recipe
  2. Place the chopped eggs in a bowl, and stir in the mayonnaise, mustard and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Stir and serve on your favorite bread or crackers.

PERFECT Hard Boiled Eggs

We've all been there at least once in our life. Can't seem to figure out while 3 out of the 12 eggs didn't come out perfect. Well I have JUST the added trick to no doubt produce perfect hard boil eggs EVERY time.
Hard boiled eggs are fanastic for salads, breakfast, snacks, deviled eggs, chicken salad, egg salad... etc The list is endless!











  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 6 cups water
  • 8 eggs


  1. Combine the salt, vinegar, and water in a large pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the eggs one at a time, being careful not to crack them. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil, and cook for 14 minutes.
  2. Once the eggs have cooked, remove them from the hot water, and place into a container of ice water or cold, running water. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

I love roasted veggies. They are like my go to for almost any vegetable instead of the typical steaming and I almost NEVER buy anything canned (unless for strews, chili, tomatoes of course, etc). They are full of sodium, and taste awful to me. So to spruce up my normal roasted potatoes recipe, why not Rosemary? It's a yummy spice that defiantly perks these up. You could use the fingerling potatoes, baby potatoes (red or yellow) or just plain ole' potatoes cut up in cubes. Be adventurous, and don't make an extra trip to the grocery store if you already have some on hand people!

  • 2 pounds of potatoes, cut in cubes (or baby size, halved) with or without the skin
  • 6 fresh garlic cloves, cracked away from skin. (Try using your chef nice and banging on them)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO - basically enough to coat the potatoes
  • 2 tbsp of fresh rosemary, chopped (don't have fresh - check out my conversation chart for dry amount match up)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F - Want it nice and hot!

In a bowl, combined potatoes, olive oil, garlic, rosemary and salt & pepper. Mix well (use your hands!)
Now, place potato mixture on cookie sheet - I normally line mine with parchment paper for easy clean up.

Place potatoes on center rack of oven and roast 20 minutes, until just tender.

The aroma these roasted potatoes add to your home is wonderful. There you have it! Bon Appetite!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sauteed Kickin' Garlic Asparagus

A simple but tasty twist to regular old Asparagus. I love this recipe, and enjoy it everytime we make it! You can add spice, or intense garlic flavor, or both... anyway they turn out delicious!


  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine - or as an alternative to butter use EVOO
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (this is optional, gives it a bit of a kick)


  1. Melt the butter or margarine (or EVOO) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, pepper, red pepper flakes and asparagus spears; cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until asparagus is tender. If you like your asparagus well done, reduce heat and cook an additional 10 minutes - but I love it a bit crunchy.

You could garnish with parm for a bit of cheese. Enjoy!

Curried Cauliflower


  • 1 large head cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 12 wheat crackers
  • 1/4 cup melted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place cauliflower in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water, and cover. Cook until tender but still firm. Drain, and place in a greased casserole dish.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together soup, mayonnaise, milk, and curry powder. Pour over cauliflower. Crush crackers, and mix with butter. Sprinkle over cauliflower.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Cauliflower Fritters

Yum! Who knew Cauliflower could taste so good? These are great along side of burgers, an an appetizer or just a yummy snack. Yuo could even used the left over steamed cauliflower in your fridge for a perk up! Live a little and cook out of the ordinary! These are extra tasty dipped in your favorite sauce!


  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 1 onion (optional, which means I skip)
  • 7 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 eggs


  1. Parboil the cauliflower not more than 10 minutes; it should still be firm. Set it aside to cool.
  2. In a food processor, finely chop the parsley (add onion here if using, drain well). Crush Garlic (use a mortar, drinking glass, blade of chef's knife). While onion mixture is draining, combine the flour, salt, pepper, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the dry yeast over the flour. Combine the crushed garlic with the warm water, then pour the mixture over the flour. Mix well, cover, and set the dough aside for 10 minutes to allow it time to rise.
  3. Combine vegetable oil with olive oil and begin heating in a large saucepan (oil should be 1/2 inch deep). Bring to a temperature of 365 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  4. Beat the eggs until they are frothy and light. Quickly fold them into the dough, then add the cauliflower, onions, and parsley. If the consistency of batter is too runny, add flour; if too thick, add water. The consistency should be similar to thick pancake batter -- not too runny and not too thick.
  5. Gently slide a spoonful of the batter into the oil, and spread it out flat. Cook 3 to 4 patties at a time over a medium-high heat, turning until they are golden brown. Remove the patties with a slotted spoon, and let them drain on paper towels.

How to Use Different Types of Salt

Nothing brings out the flavor of your food like salt. Knowing how (and when) to add it is the secret to becoming a well-seasoned cook.

salt to taste

Kosher Salt is unrefined, so its natural minerals come through, and it tends to have a milder salty zing than table salt. Use your fingers: "It's coarser, so pinching it allows you to tell exactly how much you're using, unlike pouring from a shaker," says Carla Hall, a Top Chef finalist who owns Alchemy Caterers in Washington, D.C. Because of density differences, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon table salt, use about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt.
Best for: all-purpose savory cooking. "It's my go-to ingredient," Hall says. Kosher salt also dissolves a bit more slowly than table salt, so wait a minute before tasting your dish.
Sea Salt comes in multiple varieties -- some flaky, some fine, some coarse. "Texture and flavor depend on the mineral content of the sea it's derived from," says Michael Psilakis, the chef/owner of Kefi in New York City. He suggests sampling a few to find one you love. Since saltiness varies, use less salt than the recipe calls for until you get used to it.
Best for: sprinkling over hot food just before serving. A chef favorite: Maldon sea salt, which has a mild flavor and a flaky consistency that melts right in. For flavoring pasta water or brining meats, coarse sea salts are ideal -- they have a stronger salty flavor than others.
Flavored Salt can be fun to experiment with, but it can also be pricey and hard to find. Making your own is easy and inexpensive -- plus you can customize the blend. Here's how: "Next time you have leftover vegetables, dry them out in the oven on low heat for a few hours," Hall says. "Then grind them in a spice grinder with some kosher salt."
Table Salt is the most refined of all salts because the natural minerals have been stripped away, giving it a sharper, straight-up salty taste. It's usually treated to prevent clumping, so you can store it for a while.
Best for: baking, where uniform grain size is needed for precise measuring.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cauliflower Gratin

I can't take credit for this delicious recipe, but I am sure once you taste it you will be a lover of Cauliflower like I am. Perfect for a alternative to the typical potato side dish, and I am sure it will be come a family favorite.

Cauliflower Gratin

by Barefoot Contessa


  • 1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Everyday FOOD

Want a GREAT magazine to use for delicious meals and not a lot of ingredients? I love Everyday FOOD. I don't know about you, but there's nothing more frustrating then preparing a meal with what seems like a million ingredients!

Cooking with Whole Foods

Yes! So excited to try some of the Whole food recipes! Thanks to my wonderful sister Ginger! My newest addition to my cookbook collection!

Avocado Chicken Salad

I am a big fan of Chicken Salad. Wether it is served with crackers, a baguette or just eaten with a fork I'm in! Below is a great and easy recipe you could make for a fast lunch, dinner or app for a cocktail party. Enjoy!

3 1/2 cups of Shredded Chicken ( I use a whole roasted chicken pre-cooked at my local market, herb seasoned, no skin)
2 avocados
Garlic, 2 cloves
4 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup of chopped pistachios
1/2 cup of Mayo
Grapes, cut in half or chopped pears

In a bowl add shredded chicken.
In a food processor, chop eggs, add to chicken. Then add pistachios to processor, chop and add to chicken and eggs. Add mayo and avocado, salt and pepper (to taste) and garlic and process until well blended and smooth. Top the mixture in the bowl. Add optional fruit and using a spoon, mix well. Serve with crackers, baguette or bread of choice, or just a fork.

That's it! A yummy meal in under 20 minutes!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


This dip is a hit whether you serve it at a pot luck party, birthday, trivia night or just a snack for movie night with the family! It really tastes like a BLT which in my book is wonderful. You can cut the fat down if you want to use low-fat or fat free ingredients. Serve with crackers or chips.




  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tomato - peeled, seeded and diced


  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain on paper towels.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and sour cream. Crumble bacon into the sour cream and mayonnaise mixture. Mix in tomatoes just before serving.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Two Cheese Baked Penne With Meat Sauce

The love for pasta in my family is a given. If I made pasta for dinner 5 times a week you would never hear my 8 year old complain, but no one really needs that amount of carbs. Here’s a yummy recipe you could prep the night before and just pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat. Super-fast, simple and delicious. This is also good made with no meat for you vegetarian’s out there.



·         1 lb. lean ground beef shopping list
·         Penne pasta (or whatever pasta you like)
·         1/2 cup chopped onion (I use sweet & grate it instead of chopping)
·         Freshly minced garlic (to taste)
·         2 -14.5 oz. cans tomato sauce
·         1 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
·         1 tsp. dried oregano,
·         1 tsp. dried thyme, 
·         1 tsp. dried basil, 
·         salt and pepper to taste,
·         Shredded mozzarella cheese
·         Shredded parmesan cheese


1.      Preheat oven to 350*
2.      Brown ground beef; add chopped or grated onion and garlic, drain once  meat is cooked.
3.      Add tomato sauce and seasonings, Simmer meat sauce till bubbly
4.     Meanwhile boil water and cook pasta al dente
5.      When pasta is done, add to meat sauce
6.     Put half in casserole dish or Dutch Oven (I prefer this method)
7.     Top with some mozzarella and parmesan
8.      Put rest of meat and pasta sauce on top
9.      Top with some mozzarella and parmesan
10.  Bake 40 minutes uncovered till bubbly and lightly browned.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Frog Eyes

Looking for a quick last minute appetizer? These are super easy, and fast to make. ALWAYS go over well with kids and adults. No, they are not real frog eyes; they are a quick and delicious snack!

1 Jar of Kosher Dill Pickle Spears
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 (12 oz.) pkg. sliced, hard salami (best to use Deli Sliced)

Drain juice off pickles. Lay salami out on cutting board. Spread cream cheese on salami; lay pickle spear on top and roll up. Repeat until used. Slice into 1/4 inch rounds.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

Yum! I've been experimenting o these for a while now trying to get this sauce perfect and delicious! So here ya have it peeps! Finger licking good! This sauce is a lot like Buffalo Wild Wings... My take on it. ENJOY!


Roasted Garlic
1 head of garlic
1tsp of EVOO

Roasting Garlic Directions:
Heat oven to 350F. Toss 1 head, whole peeled garlic and 1 tbsp of EVOO and them out in a shallow baking pan. Roast in oven until garlic is soft, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from pan.

¾ cup buttermilk
¼ cup sour cream
2 tbsp mayo
½ garlic powder
½ tsp fresh parsley
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp pepper

SHREDDED parmesan cheese


1. First Roast the garlic (directions above)

2. Heat Fryer or skillet until oil is HOT! HOT! HOT! (Around 350-375 degrees if you are using vegtable oil) - Cook wings for about 8 minutes… It takes me 2-3 times to cook all the wings from the bag.

3. In the meantime add all other ingredients and roasted garlic in a food processor (or blender for the unlucky people out there that haven’t listened to my preaching on how you NEED A FOOD PROCESSOR, haha) and mix until well blended and smooth.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add wings mixed with sauce in dutch oven pan and roast in oven for 10-15 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and add shredded parmesan and mix well. Serve immediately.

Movie-Night Popcorn

Does your family do Movie Night? We do! We try to set aside a few nights a month to pile on the couch and enjoy a movie together. Being the only girl of my household, I am usually watching some sort of action packed movie myself, and the chick flicks after the boys are sound asleep. Want a pick me up for popcorn? Here's a yummy snack that beats just plain ol'popcorn.


4 quarts of popped popcorn or 4-5 bags
12 ounces Peanuts – be creative! You could use Spicy!
2 cups Shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Melted butter (yum)
2 teaspoons Garlic Pepper
2 teaspoons Cumin
teaspoon Cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons Chili powder
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika


Combine popcorn, peanuts, and cheese in a large bowl. Set aside. Add spices to melted butter one at a time, stirring constantly. Pour over popcorn and toss to coat. Enough for six – serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spicy Garlic Asian Wings

It's a popular thing around my house... and I am in discovery to post the best chicken wings recipes. Now lets face it... restaurant style wings are DELICIOUS, but they aren't cheap and you spend a fortune trying to feed a family of 4. So why not make them?! Don't have a deep fryer? So what! You can heat oil in that dutch oven pan, or deep skillet and make them that way! Stop making excuses and do it. You'll be happy I convinced you.

Here's a delicious recipe for Spicy Garlic Asian Wings - mostly because I LOVE GARLIC and because you can make them as spicy as you like.

1 (4 pound) bag chicken wing & drummies
2 tablespoons hot chili sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
2 green onions (including tops) minced (optional)
1/3 cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons Kikkoman Rice Vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water

1.Heat Fryer or skillet until oil is HOT! HOT! HOT! (Around 350-375 degrees if you are using vegetable oil) - Cook wings for about 8 minutes… It takes me 2-3 times to cook all the wings from the bag.

2.In the meantime add all other ingredients in a food processor (or blender for the unlucky people out there that haven’t listened to my preaching on how you NEED A FOOD PROCESSOR, haha) and mix until well blended and smooth.

3.Pull out that wok or deep skillet and add sauce mixture and heat. Add wings turning them in sauce and simmer on medium heat for about 10 mins.

YUMMY! That’s all folks! You can really use this recipe for any wings you desire, just change the sauce.