Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Apple-Berry Crumble

Every now and then I'll make some sort of crumble when I have fruit that needs to be eaten! ...apples, peaches, berries...even mango.

I don't like making them too sweet and dessert-like, so we can have them for breakfast too.

For this one, I used 2 apples (1 red delicious and 1 gala) and about 1 cup (or so!) of mixed fresh strawberries and blueberries.

- Preheat oven to 375

- Lightly grease a square baking dish

- Peel and slice your apples

- Add apples and fruit to the dish and make sure it's evenly spread out

For the topping/crust:

- In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of quick cooking oats, 1/4 cup flour, 2 tbsps granulated sugar and 1 tbsp of brown sugar, pinch of salt and about 1/4 cup of margarine. Mix well with your hands!

- Cover the fruit with the topping.

- Bake for 40 minutes/until top is golden brown.

Slowly Cookin' Easy Cheezy Mac 'n Cheezy

You know when you have containers of uncooked leftover pasta and not enough of one kind to make a huge meal? Well I used 3 different kinds of pasta I had in my cupboard to make this "macaroni" and cheese- but there's no macaroni in it....

I used a combination of: penne rigate, bow ties and campanelle. What's important is that the pastas that you decide to use together should all have similar cooking times.

I also used my slow cooker but you can cook your pasta properly and make it in under 30 minutes.

What you will need:

- 3 cups uncooked pasta
- 1 small onion, diced
- About 1 tbsp. corn starch
- 1.5 tsp of ground mustard
- A sprinkling of red pepper flakes
- About 1/2 cup dry white wine
- About 1.5-2 cups of milk
- 1 can of chedder soup
- A grated cheese blend of: Asiago, Provolone, Parmesan, Fontina and Swiss (Totaling roughly 2.5 cups)
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh parsley for garnish
* Optional: Because I live with a boy who needs meat, I mixed in about 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken from my leftover Roasty Toasty Lemon Chicken, but you can leave this out.

1. Boil pasta for 2-3 minutes- they need to be hard!- drain & set aside.
2. In the same pot, heat up olive oil and toss in diced onion- cook until softened.
3. Next, add the cornstarch. This will be the thickener for the sauce.
4. Make sure the cornstarch has been absorbed by the oil and slowly stir in the wine.
5. Add dry mustard, red pepper flakes, salt (not too much...) and pepper.
6. Add chedder soup, from the can
7. Add one cup of milk
8. Add half of the cheese blend and stir everything together.
9. Allow mixture to bubble, then remove
10. Add noodles and cheese mixture to slow cooker and cook for 1-2 hours on low.
11. After 30 minutes, add the remaining cheese and milk.

*** Since everyone's slow cooker is different, you should test your noodles after an hour. You want them to be al dente! ***
12. Pour into your serving dish and top with parsley.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arizona's pizza

This is a recipe that I came up with last week while Sabrina was visiting from Arizona.

After way too many mojitos it was time to make dinner... here's what we came up with.

You will need:
- 1 puff pastry dough
- prosciutto
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- pitted black Kalamata olives
- grated mozzarella and Swiss cheese (half-half)
- fresh basil
- olive oil
- salt/pepper

1. Preheat oven to the appropriate temperature (usually pretty high...425 or so) whatever the box says.
2. Slightly roll out defrosted puff pastry dough.
3. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and the clove of minced garlic.
4. Prick dough a few times with a fork and bake for 7 minutes.
5. Take it out and then top with cheese, prosciutto and olives.
6. Put it back in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes more (or until cheese and pastry get golden).
7. Take out and top with huge, fresh basil leaves.

Cut and eat!

Side salad:
I served the pizza with a simple Italian-inspired salad: fresh basil, baby tomatoes, bocconcini cheese, sliced and fresh arugula. Sprinkle with olive oil and white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Roasty Toasty Lemon Chicken

I used a small whole chicken for this recipe. I use a brine when I do my chicken because I find that the final product is more juicy! It does not take long to do and it's well worth it. I even do it for any kind of chicken (breast, thighs, drumsticks) for the oven and before BBQing too!

Chicken prep:

- The brine I used: Water (until the chicken is covered), 1 tbsp of kosher salt, 1 tbsp of peppercorns, 1 whole lemon (cut in half), 1 whole lime (halved), quarter an onion (with skin and all), 3 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 bay leaves.
- So, put your chicken (fred, harold, tom...) in this for at least 5-6 hours and then forget about him.

When he's ready to go in:

- Place the chicken in your roasting pan.
- Slice up a lemon and slip the pieces right under the skin.
- Stuff the chicken-pit with the brine's lemon/lime and onion
- Add the following rub-mix on the skin:
* 1 tsp cayenne pepper
* 1 tsp red pepper flakes
* 1 tbsp dried basil
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
- Drizzle with oil and roast for 1.5- 2 hours at 350 (depending on the size of the bird and your oven!)

A side dish idea?
Parmesan cauliflower & carrots

- Cut up half a head of cauliflower and 3 large carrots into roughly the same size.
- Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Cover veggies with panko breadcrumbs, spice of your choice (I used cayenne and red pepper flakes) and a niiiice handful of Parmesan cheese.
- Bake on a baking sheet while your chicken has 40 mins. left
- The crusty coating will get golden brown...


Simply Grilled Asian Salmon

The amount of ingredients that you use will depend on how much salmon you are grilling.

For the Salmon flesh:

- Brush salmon with olive oil and hoisin sauce
- Sprinkle and spread a smaller amount of soy sauce
- Season with Fleur de sel, and black pepper
- Grate a snow-like sprinkling of fresh ginger
- Squeeze a lime over the top


- It's a good idea to generously oil the skin of the fish before it heads on to the grill.

BBQ on med-high heat:

- Lay the salmon on it's skin for the first 4 minutes of grilling
- Gently flip the salmon after 4 minutes and finish, flesh-side down for the last 2-3 minutes.


A quick broccoli side:

- Prepare 2 sheets of foil
- Cut broccoli into medium-sized florets, place on foil
- Pour olive oil, salt, pepper and 2 cloves of minced garlic over the top
- Create a pocket with the foil and throw onto the BBQ as it's heating up for your salmon!
(cooking time; roughly 9 minutes...keep an eye on it, so it won't burn!)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Grilled Zucchini Salad

(use more or less depending on how many people!)

Season zucchini with salt and pepper and Olive oil, and grill until tender.
Toss together: grilled zucchini, arugula, feta cheese, olive oil, a sprinkling of white wine vinegar and pepper (feta is salty!)

Serve salad with filet mignon and rice...YUM!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Marzipan-Vanilla Cupcakes - makes 24

3 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup plus 2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup plus 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.
1 3/4 cups sugar
6 large egg whites, room temp
A nice chunk of marzipan
Sliced almonds, to decorate

1. Preheat oven 350.
2. Put muffin liners in your tin, set aside.
3. A bowl: Sift together cake flour, baking powder, salt
4. A bowl: Mix the vanilla & almond extracts and milk
5. A bowl: cream butter, until fluffy, then add sugar at med. speed
6. Change setting to low and add dry ingredients, alternating with milk mixture.
7. A bowl: whip egg whites until fluffy at high speed
8. Gently fold in egg whites to batter, mix well.
9. Dollop the batter in the muffin papers
10. Make penny-sized balls with the marzipan and dunk one ball in each of the cupcakes.
11. Sprinkle some sliced almonds on each.
12. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
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