Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Simple Tomato Soup with Garlic Croutons

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1 teaspoon of dried basil

In a medium size saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat; add oil, red pepper flakes, and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and tomato paste; cook 1 minute.
To saucepan, add thyme, broth, and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with your fingers. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, 30 minutes. (Remove thyme sprigs before blending.)
Using an immersion blender, puree soup in pot, leaving a fair amount of the tomatoes in chunks. Or, working in several batches, puree half or all of the soup (if you want to have a smooth consistency) in a conventional blender until smooth; return to pot. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot with garlic croutons on top and grated Parmesan cheese.

Directions for Garlic Croutons:
Over medium heat, spray a non tick pan with olive oil. Add in chopped white bread or small Portuguese roll. Spray bread with olive oil spray and dust with a little bit of garlic powder and salt. Toss bread constantly over heat until golden brown.

Martha Stewarts Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are, by far, the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. I was so excited to finally come across a great recipe just in time for Christmas this year and of course I want to share it with the rest of you! :D

Makes about three dozen cookies!

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
2.Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
3.Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Spinach, Potato, Onion, Bacon Frittata with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 box frozen spinach thawed. Squeeze spinach in paper towel to remove excess water.
6 bacon strips chopped
1 medium onion diced
10 small yukon gold potatoes sliced thinly
7 large eggs
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 grated garlic clove
salt & pepper to taste

On medium heat render chopped bacon in a large non stick skillet. Once bacon is browned remove bacon onto a dish layered with paper towels. Add 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil to bacon fat and add in diced onions along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once onions start to become soft, mix in the potatoes and lower the flame to low. Cover the skillet with a lid and allow the potatoes to steam for 7-10 minutes. In a bowl, beat eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside. Add in spinach and cover again with a lid for another 7-10 minutes. Make sure you mix the spinach in well. Add in the bacon pieces that you cooked earlier to the mixture. Add eggs to the skillet and bring the heat back to medium. Add finely grated cheese to the top. Cook on stove top for 10 minutes and transfer to a 350 degree heated oven for 30-45 minutes or until the top is browned and the center is firm.

This recipe does not contain milk like many other recipes call for. I personally do not like milk and find this recipe to be good without it. You can also add any type of cheese into this dish like cheddar or mozzarella. You can also omit the spinach and add broccoli! This dish is very versatile. Its great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Here are some different mixtures you can add to this dish:
Caramelized onions, potatoes, and bacon.
Sausage, sauteed red peppers, caramelized onions, and potatoes.
Broccoli, potatoes, and cheddar cheese.

Have fun!

Monday, October 4, 2010

French Onion Soup

If you love French Onion Soup as much as I do, you are going to be amazed as to how easy it is to make! You can top this recipe off with your favorite melting cheese. I recommend trying Gruyere. It melts so beautifully and compliments this dish very well. Don't forget some good toasted French Bread!

I also want to mention you can substitute an onion with a red onion in this dish..or just slice a mix of whatever onions you like to play with the flavors.

Sorry I do not have a picture for this post either!! I will post a picture the next time I make it!

3 Medium Size white Onions (sliced as thick or thin as you like.)
1 glass of Red wine ( Do NOT use cooking wine from the grocery store. A cheap bottle from the liquor store will do you good.)
1/4 stick of butter
Salt & Pepper
1 Tablespoon of flour
6 cups of low sodium beef broth

In a saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt & pepper and sautee for 5 minutes. Bring the heat down to a low-medium heat, allowing the onions to slowly carmelize until it turns a nice brown. Once the carmelization is done, add the flour. Mix the flour in and give it a minute or 2 to let the flour cook. Add the one cup of wine and bring the heat back up to medium. Once the alcohol has simmered away (most of the liquid should have evaporated), add one cup of the beef broth. Let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes, then add the rest of the beef broth. While this simmers for another 15 minutes, toast some slices of french bread topped with shredded Gruyere cheese in your oven on 350 degree F. Once the Cheese is bubbly and brown set aside and ladle yourself a bowl of the onion soup and place the cheesy bread on top. Enjoy!

P.S You can either drink the rest of your wine..or make a red sauce later in the week with it! :)

Tortilla Soup

I know I haven't been around in a while. School is getting the best of me, and well, it should. However, I have not stopped cooking. Did I mention it is now FALL?! This is my favorite time of the year. I now have the excuse to make all these comfort foods! Plus, it's also football season. So I get to make my favorites like chili, enchiladas, baked ziti just to name a few.

I'm going to share my Tortilla Soup Recipe today. I wanted to make something hearty and meatless and yet healthy at the same time. Me and my boyfriend have been hitting the gym hard everyday so I try to make things during the weekdays that are light, saving the meats & carbs for the weekends. This Mexican soup is perfect for the fall. So if your looking for a recipe that will warm you up, please your stomach, and not add inches to your waste.. TRY THIS SOUP!! It is super fast and super easy to make.

Sorry that I will not be providing a picture with this post. I was not planning to be making posts for a while and therefore took a break with the camera. If you have never had tortilla soup, you can get an idea of what it looks like by typing it into a search engine.

This dish serves 4 people.

1 cup of frozen yellow corn
1 can of black beans washed cleaned
1 can of organic diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 of an onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
half a can of tomato paste
olive oil
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 pinch of cumin
1 teaspoon of the sauce from chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
5 cups of organic, low sodium chicken broth
1 lime
tortilla chips
shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Sautee onions & garlic in olive oil with chili and cumin powder and a pinch of salt for 2 minutes on low heat. Add tomato paste and adobo sauce. mix well for a minute over the low heat. Add your can of diced tomatoes and mix well over low heat for 3 minutes. Add your chicken stock. Stir all the ingredients together and raise the heat to medium so everything simmers together. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes then add your black beans and frozen corn. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Once that's completed, turn the heat off and squeeze lime juice all around the soup but don't blend. You can skip this step and serve with a lime wedge.

Serve the bowl with crumbled tortilla chips topped with sharp cheddar cheese..and VIOLA! :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Basil & Lemon Pesto Sauce

This dish gives me a warm cozy feeling that you would also get with chicken marsala. Just minus the mushrooms, loads of butter, and flour. This dish is lemony and creamy because I make a thick pesto sauce to coat the chicken in. I also thinly cut the chicken breast so the chicken cooks fast in the sauce and stays juicy all around. This can be enjoyed alone with an italian side salad or over even over pasta. Even throwing a few sliced cherry tomatoes in can jazz it up even more. I also recommend trying in in a sandwhich with fresh tomatoes and your favorite cheese or have it hot, and made into a pannini. Which ever way, I garentee you will enjoy this dish!

1/3 cup of Lemon Infused Oil (If you do not have, Extra Virgin Olive Oil will work)
1 cup of Basil Leaves
1/2 of a Lemon juice
1 teaspoon of fresh Lemon zest
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
5 chicken breast thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of water

In a blender, mix all ingredients together well. Pour over chicken in a bowl and let it marinate for 20 minutes. Place into a medium heat non-stick pan with all the sauce and let it cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Then Enjoy!

Dont forget to serve the chicken with the remainders of the sauce from the pan!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cheddar & Scallion Biscuits with Garlic Butter

Here's a quick biscuit that can be enjoyed early in the morning snack for lunch.. or for dinner. Its easy to make and it is sure to satisfy. So you should give it a try..

1 cup of chopped scallions
3/4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cups of milk
2 1/4 cups of Bisquick
1/4 stick of butter melted
1/3 of a tablespoon of salt
1/3 of a tablespoon of garlic powder

Heat oven to 350. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine Bisquick, Scallions, Cheddar cheese. Then add milk and mix with a spoon. Next, with your hands knead the dough making one large ball. On a large surface lay out more parchment or use a wooden cutting board dusted with a little bit of Bisquick to prevent sticking, and flatten out dough with hands or a rolling pin until its 1 inch thick. Using a cup or a cookie cutter, cut out biscuits and lay on the baking pan lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven and cook until golden brown on top. I don't give a specific time because the width of your biscuit can only determine how long it will need to cook. So keep an eye on them. Once the tops are golden brown remove it from the oven. In a cup melt butter then add salt and garlic powder. Mix well. With a brush or a spoon, top the hot biscuits with the garlic butter mixture. Let the biscuits cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Favorite Egg

I can literally eat this every morning next to some hash browns. This IS my favorite way to eat an egg.

Pinch of chopped fresh or dried chives
1 strip of bacon
2 tablespoons of chopped onion
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat. Cook bacon until half way done. Add onions and cook until it starts to become transparent. Crack one or two eggs ontop. Add chives and a pinch of salt & pepper. Let the egg cook the way you like it!

Enjoy with wheat toast, tortilla, or any kind of breakfast potato.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Joe's Stone Crab, Miami (Review)

I don't really have the time to do restaurant reviews and I often times forget to take pictures. However, I just came back from my Florida vacation and can NOT stop thinking about how friken DELICIOUS Joe's Stone Crab restaurant in Miami was. I just have to share that if you ever get the chance to go, GO. Me and my boyfriend enjoyed the following with not a single complaint.

-Bread Basket with assorted bread, crackers, and muffins. Honey biscuit was our favorite.
-Florida Little Neck Clams – steamed with lobster lemongrass broth, andouille sausage, leeks, garlic, tomatoes & slice of french bread (the broth was to die for..and the bread hit the spot with this dish..)
-Joe’s Stone Crab Bisque (best crab bisque you will ever have according to my boyfriend and trust me he knows his seafood soups!)
-8 Select Stone Crab Claws (Big juicy crab claws..and we went when they weren't in that means if you go when there in season you can get them 2 sizes bigger!! Season ends in May)
-Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes – with green tomato caper remoulade (Now up there with my favorite's from Faidley's from Baltimore and Legal Seafood from Boston)
-Skinny Fried Sweets (Deliciously fried sweet potatoes seasoned with sugar and cinnamon..I swear once you smell and taste these you will never forget these from Joe's and you will be hooked. I took the left overs home..I just couldn't bear to see them get chucked in the trash..)
For Dessert (even though we were stuffed)
Pecan Pie – with a honey caramel sauce à la mode (YUM!)
Joe’s Famous Key Lime Pie – a.k.a. the official Florida State Pie (HOLY &%*!%. IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERY BITE WAS LIKE A PUNCH TO EVERY SINGLE TASTE BUD ON MY TONGUE! SUPER DELICIOUS..A MUST HAVE IF YOU EVER MAKE IT TO JOE'S)

I miss you already Joe's!

I just wanted to add..I'm super excited to announce that Joe's website offered a few recipes including the Key Lime pie.. which I am going to attempt to make before the summer is over. Hell WHO AM I KIDDING.. I'd even eat in the winter..

Here's the link..

Have a WONDERFUL day everyone!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


This is such an awesome drink. It's a type of a Mexican 'Aqua Fresca'. I recommend it to everyone! It is a must try for the summer. I was told it taste like rice pudding. I'm not a fan of milk so I never had rice pudding but I'm sure it taste similar because it's made from rice and has vanilla and cinnamon in the mix. So enjoy this drink while there is still hot weather. I promise you will be hooked like I am. This recipe calls for the rice to sit over night. So it is not something you can whip up right away. I tend to make it during get togethers. I actually look forward to get togethers for this reason! :) Stay Cool everyone!

1/2 cup of long grain white rice
1 1/4 cups of warm water
1 cup of blanched almonds
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cups of water
3/4 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Place uncooked rice in a blender. Blend until powdery. In a bowl combine blended rice, 1 1/4 cups of warm water, almonds, and the 2 cinnamon sticks. Cover and let it sit at room temperature overnight. Transfer mix to a blender. Add two cups of the 4 cups of water and blend until smooth. Line a fine mesh strainer with some cheesecloth and pour the rice mixture through it. Squeeze the remaining liquid into the bowl and throw away the solids. Pour the liquid into a pitcher or large bowl and add the remaining 2 cups of water, sugar, and vanilla. Serve immediately over ice. Garnish with a bit of cinnamon powder! Enjoyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*FYI* You can store this in the fridge up to 3 days before serving!

Jalapeno Chedder Corn Muffins

Awesome Savory Muffins. It is NOT spicy. It may have a little kick. Make sure your Jalapenos doesn't have any lines on it because that mean it will be more spicy. Anyway.. you are going to love this. So give it a try. Eat some alone, with chili, or BBQ meats.

2 Boxes of Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
3 fresh Jalapenos chopped and seeded
2 cups of shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 eggs
2/3 cups of milk

Line a cupcake tray or two with baking cups. Set oven to 400 degrees. Blend milk and eggs with corn bread mix. Add 1 1/2 cups of Cheddar cheese and chopped Jalapenos into the mix and blend good. Place a tablespoon and a half into each baking cup. Once finished filling each cup, you then add a sprinkle of the left over Cheddar cheese on to each cup. Place the trays in the oven and let it cook until golden brown on top. Should be done anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes.

My 'Mexican' Stuffed Sicilian Arancini di Riso - Mexican Style Rice Balls

I did a twist on the Sicilian Arancini di Riso Recipe. I decided to stuff them with beef that was seasoned with your everyday mexican spices. Next time I try these I am going to add lime zest and some juice to the rice along with some chopped cilantro to the rice as well. I will not add that to this recipe because the picture I am showing is made without it. However, if you want to be a bit daring go ahead without me! Don't forget to let me know! :) Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did. Its a bit a work but well worth it in the end.

Vegetable Oil for frying.
2 large eggs beaten for blending
2 cups of cooked white jasmin rice, cooled.(lime zest, some lime juice and chopped cilantro is optional *FYI* you would add this after the rice is done cooking.)
1 1/2 cups of dried Plain Bread Crumbs or Panko breadcrumbs for an extra crunch.
2 ounces ground beef
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of chipotle powder for a kick (this is optional if your dont want your filling spicey.)
Salt and Pepper for taste

Take a frying pan and spray with a thin coat of oil. Place the pan over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, cook the beef with the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and chipotle powder. Break the meat as best as possible. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Once the meat is completely done cooking. Let it cool. Pour 4 inches of oil in a deep pot and heat over medium. While the drying oil is heating up get a bowl and mix the beaten eggs into the rice along with 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. Place the remaining bread crumbs on a plate. Pick up 1 tablespoons of he rice mixture and a half ball in the palm of your hand. Create a small indent and pick of a small teaspoon of the meat mixture and fill the indent. Pick up another tablespoon of the rice and cover the meat to form a ball. Coat the ball in the breadcrumbs. After completing each ball, place on a chilled baking tray. Set the balls in the freezer for 10 minutes. Clean your area and prepare a baking tray or large plate with 3 layers of paper towels. Remove the balls from the freezer and in batches of 3 or 4(depending on the size of your pot- DO NOT PLACE TOO MANY AT ONCE)drop them in the hot oil cooking until brown, turning them frequently. This should take no longer than 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked balls onto your tray or plate layered with papertowels. Sprinkle a little bit of salt onto the balls once they are taken out of the oil so the salt sticks.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Stuffed Italian Green Pepper's

My mother has a garden blooming with a million Italian green peppers. I decided to stuff them with what was on hand. Here is was I came up with....

6 Italian green peppers sliced in half (giving you 12 pepper shells)
2 cups of rice
4 sweet Italian sausage links
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
4 cups of water
1 1/2 cup of mozzarella
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
2 chicken bouillon cubes
salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoon of olive oil
1 handful of parsley finely chopped for garnish

Over the stove pour two cups of rice in a pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat the rice over medium heat for 1 minute stirring the rice constantly coating every grain of rice with oil. Then add the 4 cups of water to the mixture. Lower the heat to low. Place the 2 chicken bouillons into the water. Cover the pot and let the rice simmer until it's done cooking. Be sure to stir the rice a couple times so the bouillons dissolve evenly into the rice. Once rice is finished cooking, sit the rice to the side. Next get a bowl and remove casings from the 4 sausage links. You will not need it. Break the meat in little pieces with your hand. Over medium heat, place a nonstick pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the stove. Once the olive oil is heated place chopped onions and finely chopped garlic into the pan. Once you begin to see the onion and garlic begin to turn brown, add all the sausage. Break the sausage up some more with a spatula or wooden spoon as much as possible. Once the meat is halfway cooked, add in the cherry tomatoes. Stir the mixture constantly. Once you begin to see the cherry tomato's begin to wilt add the cooked rice to the pan. Let the rice fry for 5 minutes with the sausage mixture in the pan then turn off the heat. Line trays with aluminum foil and turn oven on to 350. Let the rice cool enough so when you stuff you do not burn yourself. I found a wooden spoon to be an easy stuffing tool for this recipe. Scoop the rice and sausage mixture and stuff into each pepper. Load them as high as you like. Once all the peppers are stuffed you may enjoy any left over rice and sausage stuffing :). Sprinkle each pepper with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. You may then add some salt and pepper on top. Cover with some aluminum foil being careful not to let it touch the top of the peppers because the cheese will stick to it. You may even grease the aluminium foil to help prevent that from happening. Place the trays in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on how hot your oven gets or how big or small your peppers are. Just keep an eye on them and check up on them every ten minutes or so. After a half hour or so remove the aluminum foil from the top and let the cheese on top brown. Once the cheese has browned remove the peppers from the oven. Garnish with fresh chopped Parsley. Serve 2 warm with some Italian salad for a yummy dinner!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lemon Parsley & Garlic Sauce

2 Handfuls of Parsley Finely Chopped
1 Lemon
1/2 of EVOO
2 pinches of salt
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 clove of garlic

Directions: Add the chopped parsley, EVOO, salt, pepper, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Chop garlic clove very finely and add. Mix well. You can add more or less of any ingredient.

This is not a pesto and should be tart. You can enjoy this over any grilled red meat, chicken, sausage, and/or shrimp.

I enjoyed it over some grilled beef kabobs that were seasoned only with salt and pepper.

Lemon Parsley & Toasted Garlic Orzo

Half a Box of Orzo pasta
1 Handful of fresh Parsley finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons of EVOO
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest
Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Directions: Cook Orzo as directed on box. Drain Orzo well and place into a bowl. Add EVOO and mix to evenly coat the Orzo. Let the pasta cool down. In the meantime heat a small frying pan on Low with an thin even coat of EVOO. Place garlic cloves into the pan once peeled and let it toast for 5 minutes or until soft and slightly brown. Once the garlic is done.. place on a cutting board and finely chop the cooked garlic cloves. Add the garlic to the Orzo along with the fresh chopped parsley, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Finally add a pinch of two of salt and some fresh ground black pepper. Adding more or less salt is optional. Mix well and Enjoy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Basil Pesto

So its a beautiful hot summer day. I am sitting outside bathing in the sun relaxing in my mother's backyard. I decided I want pasta today. My mom has a garden with an abundance of herbs, tomatoes, eggplant, strawberries, and pretty much every veggie you can think of. I decided to pick some basil leaves and make a pesto sauce. Here's what I had for lunch today over some whole wheat spaghetti topped with Parmesan cheese.

Basil Pesto Ingredients:
2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup of pine nuts
2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
2/3 cups of EVOO
1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese
salt & black pepper to taste

Toast the pine nuts and garlic in pan with a teaspoon of olive oil on low heat. Mix ingredients in the pan until you begin to see them brown. Remove the garlic and pine nuts from the pan and place it in a food processor or the magic bullet (which i love) along with the basil, EVOO, Parmesan cheese, and a bit of black pepper. Blend ingredients until smooth.

Boil your favorite pasta and mix in the pesto. I used whole wheat spaghetti. Serve your dish either warm or chilled for a light refreshing summer meal. You may add grilled chicken to your pasta for some protein or you can serve it along with any grilled meats.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Strawberry Mint Salad

Strawberry Mint Salad

This delicious italian dessert is great alone or on top of vanilla icecream. It's a quick, fresh, healthy dessert that I promise you, & everyone else you share it with, will love! This dessert is made with an italian sweet anise liqueur called Sambuca. This strawberry salad only calls for a shot and a half of the Sambuca to help carmelize the strawberries. It gives the strawberries a sweet anise flavor along with the sugar.Do not be afraid to serve a little to the children!

2 cups of strawberries thinly sliced
1 handful of mint leaves chopped..(chop leaves in thin slices for a nice presentation)
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 shots of Romana Sambuca (I prefer this brand!)

Mix all these ingredients in a bowl. Let it chill and marinate in the fridge for a half an hour. Then serve cold.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Hello everyone! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Its very easy to make. Quick & Healthy. Its a great meal to have with some toasted pita bread for lunch. Chickpeas are also known at garbanzo beans. They are used in hummus. They are very high in protein and fiber and when added with vegetables it makes a great light & healthy Mediterranean salad. You can use different vegetables such as red peppers, cucumbers, celery, olives and so on. There are a million recipes for this but this is the one I made because of what I had on hand.
1 can of Goya chickpeas, washed & rinsed
1 handful of plain parsley, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
1 quarter of a small red onion, diced finely
1 large tomato diced finely
1/2 of a yellow bell pepper diced finely
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/8 of a cup of red wine vinegar
Salt & Pepper for taste

Directions: Add all ingredients together. Add more red wine vinegar to suit your taste. Cool for an hour or two in the fridge then enjoy!

Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salsa

This is a light healthy treat I enjoy having for lunch alone or for dinner as a side dish for a Mexican inspired meal. It goes great with fresh corn chips which are simple to make or a bag of your favorite brand of tortilla chips. Its very easy to make because it pretty much only requires dicing the vegetables. In this dish I use a bag of steam corned however if you own a BBQ or have a grill for your stove top, I would recommend grilled 2 corn cobs and then slice the grilled kernels off for this dish.


1 can of Goya black beans, drained; washed
1/2 of red onion diced finely
1 bag of steamed corn
1 large lemon
1 large tomato diced
1 handful of cilantro finely chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
a dusting Salt & Pepper
a dusting of onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder (be careful not to over do it!)
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Steam the corn as directed. Heat a large nonstick pan to medium/high with a few sprays of olive oil. Place the steamed corn into the hot oiled pan and let it sit there for 2 minutes. To not stir in the meantime because we want the kernels to brown a little. Stir after you notice the kernels are browning (check a certain area with a spoon first). Place the cooked brown kernels in a bowl to cool off while you chop up the rest of the ingredients. Be sure to rinse the can of black beans in a strainer under cold water. Mix all the ingredients up. Squeeze one whole lemon (make sure you don't add the seeds!!). Add a little salt & pepper and then add a dusting of onion, garlic, and chili powder making sure you don't over do it. Give it a taste. You may add more salt if you like.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beef Enchiladas

Sooo here's my recipe for these yummy beef enchiladas! :)


1 can of enchilada sauce
8 flour tortillas
1 package of ground beef..i use the 90 and above lean ground beef just because we don't need the extra fat to keep this beef mixture soft.
1 large onion finely chopped
1 package of taco mix (or you can create your own taco mixture. I used the package for convenience!)
1 package of shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever mixture of Mexican cheeses you like!)
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce finely chopped (this comes in a small can usually found in the spanish section of the super can place the left over in a Ziploc bag in the freezer if you think it will be awhile again until you use it or in your fridge)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of Sofrito (this can also be found in a jar in the spanish section of your super market)

Turn oven on to 350 degrees. In a large skillet or pan, begin heating the olive oil on medium heat. Add the diced onions and black pepper and have them sweat out (meaning cook until transparent..adding a few pinches of salt will help them "sweat" faster). Once the onions begin to look a bit transparent add the sofrito. Mix well for a minute then begin adding you ground beef. Add the entire taco seasoning package. Mix everything in the skillet well. Spoon the meat to break it down into fine pieces while it is cooking for 3 minutes. Add a 1/3 of the enchilada sauce into the meat mixture. Continue to stir all the ingredients and break down the meat with a spoon for 15 minutes. Once this is done turn off the heat and grab a tray. Place 1/4 of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place the remainder enchilada sauce in a wide bowl. One at a time dip a flour tortilla into the enchilada sauce in your bowl (The sauce does not have to be evenly distributed on both sides of the tortilla however you can just rub the sauce around it with your fingers. Don't be afraid to get dirty!!) place the wet tortilla in tray. add a couple of tablespoons of the meat mixture then wrap it. The finish tortillas should lay close to one another. I happened to fit 8 perfectly in this tray. I had a little bit of meat left so I kept the rest in a container for lunch tomorrow.. It would make a great quesadilla filler. :) Top the tortillas with the rest of the enchilada sauce then with shredded Cheddar cheese. As much as you like! Don't use the low fat cheeses because they do not melt well at all. You can then, you don't have to, sprinkle the cheese with a little bit of chili powder and paprika. Once your done with that, cover the tray with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with olive oil. This prevents the cheese from burning under the heat and the oil prevents the cheese from sticking to the aluminum. Let this cook for 30-45 minutes depending on how hot your oven is. Take the aluminum foil off and let it then bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown. Once your tray of enchiladas looks like the picture here.. It's then ready to be eaten!!! Enjoy!!! :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Crockpot Chili with Crockpot cornbread

So I know I haven't been on in a while..I've been quite busy. However, I always make time to cook. I'v been using my crockpot quite often because I find it convienant to just drop whatever I like into the pot in the morning, go out and run errands, then when i come back home I have a warm meal waiting for me.

This is one of the chili's I like to make. I just recently began cooking cornbread on top. Let me just say, I will never make chili without cornbread dumplings ontop. Its delicious, sweet, and moist.

This is a must try. It's super easy..and delicious!

Ingredients for this chili:

1 can pureed tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 chopped onion
3 chopped chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce in can (you can find this in a small can in the spanish section of your supermarket)
3tspns of the adobo sauce from the chipotle chili pepper can
2 tablespoons of cumin (you can add more or else..but without it, the sauce will not taste like chili)
2 tablespoons of chili powder
2 tablespoons of paprika or smoked paprika
1 large red pepper chopped
2 teaspoons of onion powder
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of red pepper powder
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar (white or brown is fine. also you can add more if you like depending on how sweet you like your chili)
1/2 package of ground beef
1 can of black beans (washed and drained)
1 can of red beans (washed and drained)
1/4 cups of water
1/2 a package of steamed corn (you can leave this out..but I like the sweetness it brings to the chili)

After a couple of hours, it will look like this..

This is the brand of steam corn I like to use for pretty much all the recipe's I make with corn.

This is the brand of cronbread mixture I like to use. Follow the instructions (1/3 cups of milk, 1 egg (I use two egg whites instead because it makes the corn bread more moist), and the mixture). I add in the other half of the packaged steam corn to this. You can omit this, but once again, I like it because it add more texture and sweetness.

Once your done mixing the corn bread mixture drop spoonfuls into the crockpot right over your chili. Let the chili and cornbread cook for 45 minutes or so. You can check to see if the cornbread is cooked thoroughly by placing a toothpick or nice through it. If it comes out clean with no batter on it then it is cooked!!.

I don't have a picture of the final product but next time I create this dish I'll be sure to place it on this blog!.. It may not look beautiful in the end..but dont worry!! It will be delicious. YOU CAN NOT GO WRONG WITH THE CROCKPOT!! :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010


So since I have a bit of time before I leave to go bowling I figured I'd start making this post. This was dinner tonight! I used the left over sauce from my previous post from today. It came out good overall. This was my first time making pizza. I did not make the dough however. I went to my local pizzeria and asked to buy some dough and to my surprise, I was given the dough for free!..In the future I will use a pizza stone. This time, I used aluminum and parchment paper because it was all I had. The pizza was good without the stone however the stone would have gave me a crispier crust.

Ingredients used:
Enough dough to make a large pizza
Olive Oil (Just enough to grease the top of the pizza before adding the following toppings..)
SP&O Sauce (check previous post for recipe)
1 package of Shredded Whole Milk Mozzarella
1/4 cup of parmesean cheese
Chopped fresh parsley to throw on top after pizza has been cooked (as much as you like!)

Cook in oven on 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes (depending on how hot your stove gets). The cheese should be bubbly and brown. At this point you can then throw your chopped parsley on top. I just loved the taste of fresh parsley on any hot italian dish.

I loved how this recipe was less then 6 bucks! I also loved how easy and fast it took me to put this all together too!

One day I am going to attempt to make my own dough. But for now I'm taking it one recipe at a time.