Thursday, September 10, 2009

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I love CPK's BBQ chicken pizza so I decided to try my hand at making my own. I thought I would even be a little bit more daring and I made my own crust from scratch! I didn't any yeast so I used water, flour and oil and it turned out a little more biscuity that I had hoped but I still loved it. I bought chicken tenderloins and cut those into bites then sauteed red onion. I used bbq sauce instead of tomato sauce topped it with the sauteed onions, chicken, chopped cilantro and a combination of mozzarella and cheddar cheese. After baking for 20 minutes I topped it off with a mixture of black beans, yellow corn, tomato and cilantro. I hope to continue trying out pizza making but maybe try different variations in the crust like a thin NY style crust or a sweet corn crust.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 lb chicken tenderloins
1/2 medium red onion
bbq sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (for pizza layer and to top)
black beans
tomato chopped

2 cups flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup oil

I baked the dough for about 8 minutes before adding the toppings.

Cinnamon and Sugar English Muffin

One of my favorite breakfast foods growing up was my Dad's cinnamon and sugar toast. Who doesn't love the combination of cinnamon and sugar? I decided to add a little more flavor to my version of my breakfast favorite and added a little nutmeg (just a pinch because I feel nutmeg can become overwhelming if you use too much) and a dash of chili powder. It was very yummy and an easy on the go breakfast when I'm late for work.

Spicy Tuscan Soup

My mother loves soups so I tried out a recipe I found called Tuscan Soup but spiced it up with chili pepper flakes. It was very easy and delicious. Saute chopped onion and chili flakes in a large pot for about two minutes then add the remaining ingredients and cook until hot.

Spicy Tuscan Soup
2 1/2 cups water
14 oz beef broth
1 medium onion
1 package frozen Italian veggies
1 chopped tomatoes
1 can peeled tomatos (I mashed them up)
2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons chili pepper flakes
olive oil to saute onions and pepper flakes

Ginger Brown Rice with Spicy Chicken Wantons

I really like the Food Network show Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee so when creating this dish I thought of her and how I could use the ingredients I had on hand to make a delicious dinner. I think brown rice can be a little boring so I grated fresh ginger into the rice to add an asian flavor. I sauteed pre-packed mini wantons in a skillet then added a fresh spinach and let it cook down. It was a very simple yet tasty meal.

Mini Wantons
Brown Rice
Fresh Ginger
Fresh spinach leaves
a little soy sauce to top it off

Black Bean Burger with Spicy Grits

This was my Saturday morning breakfast. I would have made a traditional breakfast with eggs and toast but I hadn't gone grocery shopping so I used what I had to make a delicious brunch. I baked the black bean burger (Morningstar) in the oven for the recommended time then I toped it off with melted cheddar cheese, black beans, romaine lettuce and a spicy salsa. The grits were originally plain microwavable grits but I added fresh chopped cilantro, a little cumin and a dash of taco seasoning. The combination of the two was very tasty.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Havarti and Grilled Onion Asparagus Tart

To use up the remaining half of the asparagus I decided to make a variation of Zoe's Gruyere Asparagus Tart. I used a flaky pie crust top with sauteed onions and havarti cheese. My mother thought it was one of the most fabulous things I have ever made and continues to talk about daily. I sprinkled a little Italian seasoning over the pie crust then layered the crust with grilled asparagus and sauteed onions. I decided to cut the havarti cheese into wedges and layered it over the veggies. I baked the tart until the cheese was bubbly and the crust was lightly brown. While the pie crust worked great, I think next time I will try philo dough because I love the texture and flakiness. Yum!

So I haven't posted in a while but I have been cooking and continued taking pictures. Michael left for Peru a few weeks so ago in honor of him and his trip I decided to make Baked Sweet Plantains and Orange Ginger Asparagus. I know asparagus isn't really Peruvian but the asparagus actually came from Peru so I thought it counted. Both dishes turned out muy bueno! I bought a black plantain and let it ripen a few days to make sure it would be sweet enough. I don't know if you have ever cooked with plantains but I learned that peeling the skin off is much harder than an regular banana. I cut both ends off the plantain then using a paring knife cut through the skin vertically. I made a few cuts so that it would be a little easier but I still ended up peeling a little of the plantain out. I have never cooked plantains and the ones I have eaten were fried so I tried to make it a little healthier. I think next time I will add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Baked Sweet Plantains
2 black plantains
1/2 cup skim milk
nutmeg (not too much because it can become a little overwhelming)
Bake in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes

Orange Ginger Asparagus
half a bunch of asparagus
fresh ginger peel
grated orange peel
toasted sesame seeds

Saute the asparagus until bright green adding in the ginger and orange peel
Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over asparagus

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar & Vanilla

Here's tonight's dessert,

Planned for dinner, this was too sweet and we were too full of Gruyere Penne to eat this for the main course. This was delicious.

I have a big sweet tooth so growing up my mother used to make this sweet dish to satisfy my cravings and to get me to eat my vegetables. I decided to try it out on my own for the first time. It's a very simple recipe but takes a little muscle to cut through the squash.

Cut the squash in half vertically. Spoon out the seeds (save for a tasty baked snack.) Place in a shallow dish and fill with 1/2 inch of water. Fill the squash with brown sugar, a little butter, and a little vanilla. I sprinkled cinnamon around the edges for a little more flavor and color. Baked for a little over and hour or until a fork can cut through easily. Enjoy your dessert.

To go along with this, I seasoned the squash seeds with cinnamon, a little sugar and a few dashes of chili powder. I baked them for 15 minutes and they were delicious.

Gruyere White sauce & Asparagus Penne Rigate

We're not the biggest pasta eaters but we were in the mood for some creamy Italian tonight. We were originally planning to have acorn squash (it actually became our dessert.) The creamy guyere sauce was actually very simple to make.

I haven't yet started tracking exact measurements, and this time I really just winged it.

- heavy whipping cream
- handful of gruyere shredded
- half a handful of feta crumbles
- half a handful of shredded mozzarella
- a splash of milk
- two tablespoons of parsley
- one fresh basil leaf
- fresh garlic
- ground pepper

Saute the asparagus in a little olive oil and garlic until tender.

Hope you like it!

Introduction and Inspirations

Good Evening to all you hungry stomachs out there interested in perusing the blogosphere in hopes of finding your new and exciting recipe of the week! Recently that's been one of my favorite thing to do, second to the actual cooking of course.

For the last few months it seems, every time I get ready to cook something I find myself hovering over my favorite food blog; "ZOE, Inspired Finds and Tastes". I must say, I know the author quite well and have found it quite the inpiration. My boyfriend Michael loves it and has talked me into writing my own. I can only hope I can keep my page as up to date and appetizing as hers. In fact, you may find me trying out some of her recipes from time to time. Not without credit of course.

Other than ZOE's blog, some of my other favorite sources include "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman, and my mother's old family recipe cards. So far I've mostly followed these recipes with a few modifications here and there but hope to be creating more adventurous dishes soon.

Without further adieu, I'll start posting so get your napkins ready!