Thursday, December 30, 2010

cherry cheesecake smoothie

If you like cherries and cheesecake you must try this. I am sure its healthier than a slice. you could even use fat free cottage cheese, milk, and lowfat ice cream or even substitute yogurt. I used what i have.


1 cup frozen sweet cherries
1 tbsp cherry preserves
2 tbsp cottage cheese
1/8 cup vanilla ice cream
1/3 cup milk 

 blend and drink. share. or don't share.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Banana Nog

by Andrea

Leftover eggnog from Christmas? Try this for breakfast, it is smooth and delicious:

Banana Nog

3 Ripe Bananas
1 Quart eggnog
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
4-6 ice cubes

Mix in blender until smooth, Serve.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

carrot cakies.

Carrot cake cookies. 4 food groups in one tricky device. Now, this is not to say that cookies are an acceptable substitute for food, but when your child wont eat his veggies, this is better than an oreo.

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
1/2 cup room temperature butter
2 large carrots, shredded with the smallest grade of the grater.
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
mix ins of choice (raisins will do, i used mixed dried fruit bits)

cream butter, sugar, syrup, spices, and carrots. add two eggs and incorporate. add dry ingredients and dried fruit and nuts of choice. mix until smooth. bake for about 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. or until they feel firm and the edges just start to brown. cool and feed to your picky kid. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shrimp and Grits

These are an adaptation. not authentic.

Every time I do anything with corn meal, I can't resist the green chilies. It always ends up South American.

Prepare grits of choice as directed. mixture should not be pudding. But more like... malt o meal.

Add either half a can of green chilies or home roasted chilies (I always keep home roasted mixed green chilies in the freezer, and slice some off as I need them). Mix in about a cup of cheddar cheese, and a little salt and pepper.

set aside and prepare shrimps.

Rough chop one onion and saute in about 1/8 cup olive oil. add about 1 1/2 -2  lbs shrimp. work fast because overcooked shrimp is LAME. add one finely chopped tomato and the rest of the green chilies. Saute until shrimp is JUST cooked. perfectly cooked shrimp is key here. do not make rubbery squeaky toy shrimp. add a little salt and pepper if needed.

Spoon grits into a bowl and shrimp with sauce on top.

Kader gave it a 10 shrimp rating.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Home made marachino cherries with a twist.

These are alcohol free, unlike most recipes I found on the net. It is important that they sit at least two weeks before you eat them. This is a good use if you buy out of season cherries that are too sour or too flavorless, as the sugar brings out the flavor. I used almond extract because I love amaretto and thought it would be similar.

This is in the ratio I used, as I came back from cherry picking only to discover this season gave me 10 pounds of too tart to eat out of hand cherries. 12 cups is enough for a box of pint canning jars. change ratios as needed.

This is too simple. So far i have used them for cookies and to make cherry coke. the syrup can be used for flavoring after the cherries are gone.

12 cups pitted sweet cherries
 1 cup sugar
2 tsp almond extract

And that's it. mix, let sit a while so the sugar can draw out the liquid. Fill jars with cherries and liquid. make sure the cherries are fully covered with liquid, adding water if needed.

Place jars in hot water to seal and refrigerate 2 weeks or more. use as ice cream topping, cake filler, garnish for desserts, drinks, etc.

Chicken Artichoke with a toddler twist.

This recipe made me skeptical because I am not a fan of cooking mayonnaise but it turned out great. It's got a gourmet taste with minimal and economical ingredients. Prep time is short. Cooking time is short. Mess is nominal. I would make this on a weeknight when I need a quick meal.

The other big benefit is that it is easily adaptable to something my three year old will eat, and with veggies and protein. I just take the tenderloins from the chicken breasts and bake them along with the chicken. but remove them after five minutes when they ae cooked through but still soft. Then I chop them into almost invisible pieces, along with a couple of the artichoke hearts. and mix them in with the rice. TA DA! kid friendly adaptation. I add cheese cause Kader loves his cheesy rice.

Artichoke hearts can be spendy per ounce BUT i buy mine at Costco in a big jar, because there are so many uses. Plus Costco's  marinated hearts are super tasty compared to the ones more commonly found at grocery stores. At 10 dollars per giant jar its worth it. Other uses include artichoke dip, antipasto, pasta salad mix in, among others.

You may use boneless skinless breasts but I rarely do. They are too expensive, and usually have lots of additives and such. You can buy bone in breasts and easily remove the bones. do that by scoring the chicken along the breast bone and following the bone with your knife until you can grip the meat. then gently pull the meat away while making small cuts along the rib bone until it is removed. for this recipe, remove the tenderloin and use for the kiddos. I buy a whole chicken because they are the best bargain. I can use the breasts today, save the thighs for tomorrow or later in the week, and i throw the wings in a collective bad until I have enough for a BBQ. If I was as industrious as my sister I would also make stock from the bones but well.... I'm not. I will let her post that if she didn't already.

Here it is. dinner for 2 and a toddler.

2 Skin on chicken breasts. (boned)
1/2 cup Marinated Artichoke hearts, chopped small
1/8 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese.
salt and pepper

Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Bone the chicken breasts, leaving skin intact. Lay the chicken flat and carefully slice parallel to the cutting board, until you ALMOST reach the other end. unfold like a book and season both sides. You should have one larger, very thin slice of chicken. Repeat with the other piece. (this is a basic method for butterflying meats and fish)

Mix the artichoke, cheese, and mayonnaise and place about two table spoons in the center of each piece. fold the chicken over on the filling, skin side up. place on an oven safe grill pan* (suggested) or a small casserole. loosen the skin and stuff the rest of the filling underneath, pressing down to distribute evenly. season the skin and bake for about 15 minutes. at 15 minutes raise heat to 425 and bake another 5 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Serve over rice.

* The grill pan is ideal because the chicken releases fat which then evenly sears the bottom of the chicken while it bakes. a casserole may have a less crispy effect.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My New Favorite Fried Chicken Recipe

I discovered something I would never have imagined to be true. Breading on fried chicken is overkill. It adds cooking time, adds fat (through absorption of oil), is more complicated and messy than this recipe, and gets mooshy the next day.

It is important that the sauce is ready in the bowl before the chicken is done, because the hot chicken caramelizes the sauce. this particular recipe is a bbq flavored recipe, because its summer. For a less messy or less sweet version marinate in your favorite marinade BUT be sure to dry it with paper towels before frying or you will not get crispy and you may have explosions. avoid sticky marinades, in favor of say... lemon juice and pepper, or soy sauce with ginger and sesame oil. you can also flavor the finished fried chicken with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and chopped garlic (quickly cooked in a little olive oil). anyway the possibilities are endless.

Lastly it is best to use a small chicken and cut it up yourself. Most grocery stores have fryer packs but the pieces are giant and may not cook thoroughly. organic chickens tend to be small (no growth hormones or salt water injections?) and so are kosher and halal.

Ok here goes.

one chicken, 
cooking oil

1/2 bottle honey BBQ sauce
3 tbsp honey
pinch red pepper flakes (or to your liking)

prepare the chicken. leaving skin on, pat dry. if the breasts are exceptionally large (he he), cut in half. fry in about two inches of hot oil, until golden and very crisp, turn and fry the other side.

mix the sauce ingredients and add hot chicken directly to the bowl. toss to coat.