Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beef and Blue Salads

Today let's talk about salad. It is another of those quick meal ideas. i love salads, but i can never make enough of them.

For a Beef and Blue salad you just need a few ingredients and you have a delicious meal in a bowl For a twist use sandwich steaks. Some of you may know the joys of a Philly cheese steak. They use a very thin cut of meat the cooks quickly and can then be torn apart like the lettuce.

For one salad:
2 "Steak-Um" slices
1 Roma tomato
1 oz blue or Gorgonzola cheese
1 thin slice of red onion with its rings separated,
1/4 celery
a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts
2 cups romaine lettuce

cook the meat. it just takes a minute each. salt and pepper to taste. Set them aside to cool. slice the onion, and dice the tomato. slice the celery

tear the lettuce leaves to bite sized pieces. add all the ingredients. top with the nuts and serve with your favorite dressing. I like buttermilk ranch with this salad.

Now who said you can't have your steak and eat it too?

thanks for stopping by...
Kimberly, your kitchen fairy.

Blue Cheese on Foodista

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Joy of Pasta

More pasta!

How to create love and magic in the kitchen.

Sometimes success in the kitchen depends on being kind of fearless, you can’t be afraid to make a mess, and you have to be willing to throw out the occasional disaster. You can be creative, and have fun. Like anything else you get better with practice. Don't be afraid, have fun. Just pay attention, and you won't set your hair on fire or scare the dog.

How many people were allowed in the kitchen as children? Were you turned away from the door because your mother was fussing about getting dinner on the table, and you needed to occupy yourself elsewhere?

Don’t worry. That other room in your house shouldn't be scary. Your mom did ok, didn’t she? Or was dinner often bad? And you learned early not to complain? Feed the burned beans to the dog?

OK, that part of your life is over. Can you pour milk on cereal? Can you make a cup of tea? Good, that is not scary is it? You can warm up a can of soup? Excellent!

Let us begin….

This week’s recipe is a simple pasta dish.

You need a box of spiral shaped pasta

½ one large onion
1 clove of garlic
½ each red, green and yellow bell peppers
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 chopped tomato
1 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
Seasoning salt
Italian herb blend
Black pepper

Put the olive oil in a skillet. Chop the onion, garlic, and peppers in to small pieces. Chop the mushrooms if you are not using canned. And chop your tomato. Heat the skillet on medium. Add first the bells peppers, broccoli, zucchini and then the onion, and then the garlic.

Tip: if you put the garlic in first it could burn.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When it boils, add the pasta. Add the mushrooms to the veggie mix.

Keep an eye on the vegetables; don’t let them get too brown.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Add the seasoning salt, Italian herbs and pepper to taste. Now add the tomato and the broth. When the broth comes to a simmer do not boil. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are done, turn off the heat, serve and enjoy. You just made Pasta Primavera!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Splenda anyone?

I know, I know, there is a lot of controversy around artificial sweeteners, but there is an epidemic of diabetes in this country, and they need to eat well. Some guide lines to pay attention to when you are cooking for a diabetic are.

Diabetes Friendly recipes have:

No more than 35% calories from fat
No more than 10% calories from saturated fat
No more than 3 carbohydrate exchanges per serving (45 grams of carbohydrate)

A recent small study done in 27 rats using saccharin ("A Role for Sweet Taste: Calorie Predictive Relations in Energy Regulation by Rats") alleges a link between low-calorie sweetener consumption and weight gain. However this study needs to be considered in the proper scientific context, especially since there are many other previously published research studies in humans that reached the opposite conclusion. In fact, a 2007 study published in Pediatrics®, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that using sucralose (SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener) or sucralose sweetened beverages as part of an effort to decrease caloric intake by 100 calories per day, and to increase physical activity by 2000 steps per day helped to maintain and lower body mass index in the overweight children from the 111 families who participated in the "Families on the Move" program. It is important that the cause of obesity is not over-simplified, as it has many origins.

Also smaller more frequent meals are better. that way your insulin and blood sugar seem to balance out better.

No I'm no diabetic. but cooking for blood sugar issues do run in my family.

I don't cook with artificial sweeteners but other people do. So i found this nice recipe on Nice site by the way.

Angela Tustin's Blueberry and Lemon Thyme Scones with Sweet Lemon Cream

Read Reviews (3)

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Minutes
Serves: 12
Submitted by: Maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products
"Moist, light scones with a golden crusty exterior are served warm with a sweet lemon cream."
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1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups soft cake flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
4 ounces butter, cubed
1/4 cup SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
1/2 cup dried blueberries
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3 sprigs lemon thyme, stems removed, whole leaves

Sweet Lemon Cream:
8 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese
3 tablespoons SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the first 11 ingredients except butter and buttermilk into a large mixing bowl. Add cubed butter and press butter into dry mixture by hand until butter mixture is coarse, not smooth (this is especially fun for the kiddies, but beware, it can get messy).
Add buttermilk slowly and mix dough together until lightly combined. Remove dough to a floured surface and knead until ingredients are blended but dough is not over worked.
Roll dough with a rolling pin until 2/3 inch thick. Cut out with a 2 round cutter (re- roll dough when needed) and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 6 minutes until tops of scones are golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm with Sweet Lemon Cream (recipe below).
Sweet Lemon Cream: Place the remaining ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on medium speed until mixture is fluffy and homogenous. Serve with Blueberry and Lemon Thyme Scones.
Serving Size: 1 scone, 2 tablespoons sweet lemon cream


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's for Dinner?

Do you hate asking that question night after night? Or, maybe you are the one asking? Do you get the same response? "Oh, What ever you decide is fine" (grin)

Well tonight, how about a little salad? Salad? yes, we can make this fun...

grab some of your favorite greens.
some sliced tomato
a grilled chicken breast
a little green pepper
crumble a little bacon

and voila! dinner.

now for the dressing...
apple cider vinegar
the smooth Dijon mustard
some olive oil
and salt and pepper.

a great light dinner... feel free to add anything else you like. For instance, beans, and avocado for a southwestern touch.

or how about olives and feta cheese for more of a Mediterranean meal?

That is the beauty of a green salad. It can be what ever you want.

Ciao. bellas.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Orzo Salad

This is not your ordinary pasta salad. but it is so simple. It can be served hot or cold. Why not do something different for dinner? A Pork and Orzo salad. Simple to put together, and tasty. Why not make a little extra for lunch? Take this to work and your co-workers may be jealous.

Peppered Pork tenderloin, I like buy them already marinated. cut into bite sized pieces.(Turkey and be substitued if you can't/don't eat pork.)
One medium onion, minced
2 cups of bell peppers-mix green, red and yellow, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
teriyaki sauce
soy sauce
Chinese 5 spice.
One box of Orzo pasta.
One cup of sliced mushrooms
½ a bag of frozen pineapple chucks
2 tablespoons of apricot/pineapple jam
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
Bring a big pot of water to boil and salt and a tablespoon of sesame oil.

Chop up green beans. Be sure to remove the tip and strings add to the pork

Add mushrooms

Add pineapple

Heat until the mushrooms and cooked and the pineapple is hot.

To finish the sauce, add a little more teriyaki and soy sauce, the jam and the mustard. Bring to a boil in order to melt the jam and incorporate into the dish

Drain the orzo and Mix it into the pork.

This dish is good hot or cold. Keep the leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It is good for a about a week.



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Easter Dinner

Almost Easter- Do you have favorite dishes for this holiday meal? How about a spiral cut Ham and scalloped potatoes? Do you make homemade rolls?

Our family sort of does. Call it a new tradition. Mom get a honey baked ham and reheats with the glace. She puts champagne mustard on the site for who ever want it. Yummy. Of course peas. I think spring peas are her favorite food.

A few years ago, when the series The Mitford Years, was popular she added the orange cake.

Every Easter dinner is different. In more traditional homes its lamb. After all, lamb is served at Passover, which is closely tied to Easter. After all Jesus was Jewish. The “Last Supper” was the Seder meal for Passover when he made the new covenant with his apostles.

Here is a great Lamb recipe:

Lamb and rosemary is a match made in heaven. Meat will be tender and oh-so flavorful, with a wonderfully caramelized exterior.
Butterflied Lamb with Fresh Rosemary

6 pounds boneless leg lamb roast, butterflied
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1. Trim fat from lamb. Discard fat and place lamb in a pan large enough to hold it flat.
2. In a small mixing bowl, blend olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, pepper, garlic powder, salt and crushed bay leaf. Coat lamb with mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Before cooking, let lamb sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat broiler.
4. Place lamb in a broiler pan and cook 5 inches under broiler for approximately 15 minutes on each side; this will produce a medium-rare roast. Remove lamb from heat about 5 degrees from desired doneness* and let sit for 10 minutes loosely covered with foil. This allows the meat to finish cooking while the juices distribute evenly throughout the roast before slicing.
Makes 16 servings.
*Cooking temperatures: Rare 140°F, Medium 160°F, Well Done 170°F.

For me if you are going to serve lamb, then skip the peas, and serve asparagus instead. First wash the spears. Take one end in each hand. And snap them. You want to cook the tender tips. Save the ends for soup. Put them in just a little boiling water with some salt, butter and lemon juice. Cook until barely tender.

Scalloped potatoes are still a go.

Don’t forget to hide the Easter eggs for the kiddies!

Gluten free Gnocchi

Once upon a time in Santa Rosa, CA at my one of my favorite little eatery’s, (Mary's Pizzza), I discovered something so tasty, so good...