Monday, October 26, 2009

Here is my pie crust, quite simple really, and much better results than Pilsbury, but you can be the judge of that.

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 TBL sugar

1 stick of butter, cold

4 TBLS ice water 
mix flour salt, and sugar, then pulse with mixer or cut in butter by hand until it forms small pebbles, about seven pulses in a mixer. then gradually add water just until dough forms. turn on to a floured surface and form into one or 2 discs, touching as little as possible, gotta keep that butter cold, cold, cold! wrap in plastic and chill till hard, at least an hour, then roll out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This is so yummy, it makes a nice lightish dessert or a great pastry treat in the morning with coffee.and makes me oh so happy. It's thin and crispy with chewy apples on top. And so rustic you want to uncork some red wine and feast on baguette and cheese for dinner. You start with a pie crust and take half and roll it out, so yes you can presumably make two, which I did. I made one to take to some friends for dinner then made another for us, thus the coffee. I am not going to post a pie crust recipe, but if you want one let me know and I will gladly post it. I do have a pretty good one. Tease, tease.

So take half of your pie crust and roll out a rectangle, place on a greased baking pan. Peel and core your apples ( I used Granny Smith) with a very sharp knife, slice length-wise and thin. It takes 3-4 apples. Arrange in rows, slightly overlapping. Don't use the chunky ends if you want it to look perty. Sprinkle about 1/3 cup white sugar on the apples. Disperse 1/3 stick of cold, chopped butter on top of sugared apples. Put in a 400 degree oven until golden, about 40 mins. Don't worry the juices make the edges burn pretty bad. Take 1/2 cup apricot jelly or preserves and heat with 1 TBL of water or better yet some brandy or whatever you may have on hand until liquidy. Brush over the entire tart ( if using preserves you will need to strain). Using a spatula release the tart and transfer to a cutting board, cut off burnt edges into a nice rustic rectangle, and you are done. .....molly.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Regular Poached Eggs on Toast

Good ole' Poached Eggs on Toast w/coffee!....Jaime

For the Love of Stuffing!

Stuffing, stuffing, oh glorious stuffing! If you are not a stuffing addict then you probablly won't want to read on or get nearly excited as a stuffing addict would. However everything else about the dish may be of some delicious interest...

Thanks  Local Lemons and Melissa Clark from The New York Times for the another great Stuffing idea!!!

I was so excited when I read these articles about baking chicken right on top of bread! Why didn't I ever think of that, being the stuffing lover I am? I have made this chicken twice now. Mike and the boys didn't care for the soggyish bread stuffing, but it is easy to leave behind and just endulge in the chicken. Basically season your chicken with anything you are in the mood for. I stuffed two lemons, after I pierced several holes in the lemon, into the cavity of the birdy. Rubbed a mixture of fresh chopped fennel, olive oil, salt and pepper all over the bird. The lemon gave it a nice fresh, clean taste! Wow!mmmm.

Some tips about this cooking method, which Local Lemons agreed on as well. You don't need to brush the bread with olive oil. There is plenty of fat and juices from the chicken to give it the right moisture and texture. Also do roast breast side down as stated and then flip for the remainder of the cooking time.I think this more evenly cooks the chicken and distributes the juices better. I added about 1 cup of chicken stock to the pan about 1/2 way through the cooking time. Then as the juices combined, with about 1/2 hour of cooking left to go, I uncovered and starting basting with the juices in the pan until it was nice and brown. As expected you really don't get more than 1/4 cup of gravy from this way of baking since the bread has absorbed most of it. Selecting your bread is easy....I always throw leftover peices of bread in a bag and keep it in the freezer for croutouns and breadcrumbs. This bread also works great under the chicken. You want to use baguette, sourdough types, as they hold up to all the juices, unlike a fluffy type. Lay one layer of bread pieces,  a bit of overlapping is okay, in your baking pan. Place your seasoned chicken right on top and try an make sure most of the bread is covered by the chicken. The little peices that aren't covered by the chicken get nice and toasty while the juices try and seep to the ends of the crust...Sooo super good!

Enjoy Stuffing Lovers!!! Jaime

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cooking Up Your Halloween Decorations

"Exceptional" Winter Squash Soup


My friend Eliza made this soup for me last winter and forwarded me on the recipe because it was so tasty. The scanned in copy didn't upload so clearly so I had to improvise and basically just used the technique and ingredients they offered and still the soup turned out amazing. I was home sick and since I didn't want to make any trips to the store, got a little creative and pulled the small pumpkin off my front porch to use with the leftover butternut squash I had in the fridge. I remembered that the pumpkin was called a 'pie pumpkin' when I bought it, although I just bought it for it's cute little size. Molly helped me cut it up and scoop the seeds out and also helped me with the festive decorations at the end, as you see in the picture. She enjoyed the soup too, by the way.

The recipe goes something like this...

Winter squash (butternut, pumpkin, etc.) - cut into 1 inch cubes
1 small onion, chopped
Vegetable or Chicken Stock/Broth
Curry Powder
Half and Half
Salt and pepper

Saute the squash and onion in a large pot until the onion gets translucent. Add the seasonings and salt and pepper and sautee another minute until fragrant. Add the broth until the squash is covered and turn the heat up until the pot boils. Then put a lid on, turn down the heat so that it's simmering for another 30 minutes or so. You want the squash/pumpkin to fall apart when you fork it. Once you've reached that, turn off the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Then add some of the cream, a cup or so, then a dollop of butter, and let warm up again on the stove, adding more salt to taste. At this point I thought it needed a little sweetener so I added two tablespoons of brown sugar. Completely Delicious and addictive.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I know ice-tea season is just about over but I thought I might share this simple idea anyway. It is tea concentrates that I make in these big mason jars. I basically make really strong tea either by putting say 6 to 8 bags of tea in water and and let it sit over night or boil water and and make hot tea then transfer to the mason jar, I do this method if I am reconstituting berries or something. Any dried fruits work, or lemon peel, ginger, mint. I make up a couple of flavors, and keep them in the fridge for a week or so, I do take the tea bags out so they don't get all nasty. Then put lots of ice in a pretty glass, add tea, you don't need much, and add water to your taste. That' all!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Not so much a recipe, just sharing this steel head picture with you, maybe bragging a little too. It is a record breaking season for steel head numbers this year, it's even making the news. I talked to a river biologist and he says there was good ocean conditions and the heat wave pushed all the fish to the cooler rivers. But it is so delicious, and we have one for the freezer. It just came out of the oven, and Tallu is scarfing it down as I write. This is half of the fish, I put fresh thyme and green onions from the garden and garlic and lemons. And it is very very tasty.

Friday, August 14, 2009

little vegetable fritters

This is about the fifth batch I've made of these, because Tallulah loves them so much, and so do we. It's a great way to use up my zucchini from the garden, get veggies in her, and they're so versatile, you can add whatever is in the fridge, sometimes I add chicken and its a whole meal for L'il Miss. So I thought for any new parents out there, or for any person in the mood for a finger food dinner, perhaps paired with a salad and a glass of chardonnay, here is a simple idea for you. These are slightly crispy and chewy sweet, perfect fried in a cast iron pan to get the whole southern effect. Now, I have never measured mine, and I like to play with the consistency, but here is the recipe I followed to the best of my knowledge, and is fairly accurate, (as far as measurements are concerned). So shred your veggies and then ring them out in paper towels over the sink. I have tried many methods and this works the best, roll them in paper towels, ring out, put in a bowl ,toss paper. Then mix everything else in with the veggies, and drop them with a spoon or your hands in a med-heat pan of olive oil, let them brown nicely, then flip once and serve, perhaps with chili aioli or sour cream.

1 cup cornflour or cornbread mix, which is what I use and is a staple in my kitchen (Bob's Red Mill)
2 cups shredded vegetables( sweet potato or a starch is good to keep in it)
1 TBL baking powder, ( unless you are you using the mix, makes it easier)
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan
I also put a dollop of sour cream in if I have it
salt and pepper to taste

So simple, and good, Molly

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Stone Fruit Tea Cake

I'm currently reading a book by an English writer and it's got me thinking about tea time in a whole new way. When he talks about missing his tea time, it sounds like he really missed something that he considered one of the highlights of the day. Why not take a little break at 4pm every day with a nice cup of tea and maybe a biscuit or sweet of some sort? Spaniards have their siestas, the UK has their tea time and I think I feel a little peckish and run-down at that time each day and could really benefit from this new habit. And, as we all know, just as it can be hard to stop a habit, it can be hard to start a habit too. I think this delicious recipe helps. The ingredients in this recipe are simple and mostly on hand. I recently got suckered into buying a nicely packaged bag of plums at the store and found this recipe to be a great way to go through them. I added some of the blueberries that were in my freezer from a big blueberry picking frenzy a few weeks ago, and voila!, it made a lovely tea cake.
The recipe is as follows:
3/4 Cups room temperature butter
2 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1 Cup Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 Cups Stone fruit (Peaches, Plums, Nectarines, whatever, coarsely chopped, fresh or frozen)
1 T turbinado sugar
Begin by preheating the oven at 375 degrees (although I recently read that preheating isn't so necessary and why waste extra energy). Mix the flour and baking powder together and set aside. Beat the butter and add sugar slowly until it becomes creamy and light (most easy by using a paddle mixer). Add the eggs, one by one so that the mixture gets light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Mix this with the flour mixture and put ball of dough in plastic wrap, then freeze for thirty minutes. When ready, take half of the dough and press to bottom of a buttered, shallow tart dish or 10x10 size pan. (I think shallow is better here) Pour in your chopped fruit and with remaining dough, form tablespoon size "cookies" and put on top. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top.
Scrumptious and easy.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Carrot & Ginger Dressing/Dip

Easy, absolutely delicious dressing you can indulge in with crusty bread, mixed greens, avocados....the list is endless! You can find the original recipe here. I modified the recipe just a bit by not using as much of the oils as called for.

*Serves 4 hearty dinner salads*

Blend together in a blender/Cuisinart:

  • 2 large, peeled carrots
  • small piece of fresh ginger, about 2 tbsp
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2 tbsp white miso
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 c grape seed oil
  • 3 tbsp water


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kale & Bean Soup w/ Crostini

This is an excellent soup! A very satisfying savory filling healthy meal. I like Kale cooked to the consistency more of spinach. In this soup I added the Kale when I added the broth and it needed to be cooked a bit longer. However it was still pretty good. Next time I am going to saute the Kale first and then add it to the soup in the final stages. Concerning the herbs, you really can add whatever you have as long as you have a mix of fresh and dried. The turmeric gives the cauliflower nice color but doesn't turn it into an Indian dish by any means. Although I will definitely be making it that way soon. The two beans were a perfect selection for the soup. I like the contrast in size and the beans never got too mushy. To serve, I broiled some old baguette slices and brushed it with butter and Italian herbs...placed two pieces in each bowl and ladled the soup over it and sprinkeled a bit of parm...extra tasty! mmmMMM Kale & Bean Soup w/Crostini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes and the juice....I used the crushed...still a few chunks but not too many.
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can large white beans(fava, lima), drained & rinsed
  • 4 cups raw chopped kale
  • 6-8 cups water, depending on how brothy you like it. I like lots of broth!
  • Salt & pepper to taste, but I only gave one grind of salt.
Broth Base: Low sodium Chicken Base(the paste kind and not the bouillon) * I make this according to the directions, but decrease the proportion by a bit less than half. So if your making 6 cups of broth, I use 4 tsp instead of 6 tsp. I do this because you don't want the chicken broth to be the prominent flavor, but rather let the other herbs infuse the base. I guess you don't really even need the chicken base, but I find it hard to get a good savory broth from just vegetables? Saute the Kale by chopping up in bite size pieces and discarding the stems and adding to a pan of hot olive oil(about tbsp), reduce heat and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes until they are tender. They wont soften up much more once you add to the soup. Set aside to be combined with the other veggies. Prepare your chicken broth according to directions except my recommendation of decreasing the proportions....see above..set aside to be combined with all the veggies. Saute the onions in the olive oil until just soft then add the garlic and saute for a minute more. Add the dried and fresh herbs and saute another minute. Then add the chopped carrots and saute until they are slightly tender. Add the cauliflower and turmeric and saute until the cauliflower is almost done, or to your liking. I like it pretty Al dente'. Pour in the can of crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the beans. Once you have your pot boiling add your broth and braised kale and simmer for about 15 -20 minutes covered. I then turned it down to low and let it stew for about another 20 minutes. After cooking let it sit uncovered while all the flavors calm down and get to a nice eating temperature. soupy eating....jaime

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grilled Vegetables Meet Meat

This is my first post so I thought I'd select something that is kind of an all around favorite of mine - steak and vegetables. I found a deal on 4 1-pound top loin steaks while stocking up at Sam's Club and threw this down -- well a bunch of Mondays ago now:
Meat Preparation
2 1-lb top loin steaks
olive oil coarsely ground salt coarsley ground pepper Thoroughly massage olive oil on all sides of meat. Liberally grind coarsley ground salt and pepper on both sides. Hint: I had to take a break 2 times. I preheated my grill to about 375 and put the steaks on for about 4 minutes. During the last minute or so there was a lot of flareup and the temperature soared to 575 and put a pretty good char onto the meat. I flipped and rearranged the meat, letting the grill cool back off to about 375 and let it sit for about 4 more minutes. This produced a medium-well steak which personally is the way I prefer it. The steak had a great crust of seared fat and salt and pepper. The meat was exploding with flavor and was tender to my liking. This was served on top of grilled vegetables which are detailed below.
Vegetable Preparation
4 Long Sweet Red Peppers (This was a weird little find - I'd never seen one before. They taste pretty much spot on a red bell pepper -- possibly a little sweeter, a slightly more tender texture; about the diameter and length of a small to small-medium zucchini tapering off at one end) 1 large yellow onion 1 can new potatoes drained fresh rosemary fresh thyme coarsley ground salt and pepper olive oil I laid a bed of onions and new potatoes into a disposable aluminum grilling pan and made a row of the long red peppers, quartered lengthwise. I cut up some fresh rosemary and thyme into pretty large chunks and sprinkled it everwhere. I drizzled a bit of olive oil all over and gave it a couple grinds of salt and a liberal amount of pepper. I threw the pan on the side of the grill the steak was not cooking on and let it go. The result was extremely flavorful. It had this smokey-sweet thing going on with the peppers and onions; combined with the fresh herbs it was a toothsome bed for our worthy guest. Pair it with a 2002 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (if you're so lucky) otherwise 2005 is a good fallback. Beefy Dreams, Mike

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jimmy's Chicken Stew

Jimmy's Chicken Stew:
1 breast
5-6 thighs
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic chopped fine
1 1//2" tsp pepper fresh ground
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 " ginger root graded
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp basil
3-4 carrots
5 cups potatoes
Saute onions in olive oil when translucent add garlic shake in some soy sauce
stir cook 2 minutes add chicken, cook and flip around for 5 minutes. Pour in chicken stock.
Make sure you de-glaze pan well. Put into crock pot for 3 hours. Add carrots after 1 hour ad potatoes after 2 hours. Add herbs after 2 hours.

tarter sauce

Tarter Sauce:
This sauce can be used for many things.
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 medium onion
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 lime juice
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp basel
2 tbsp dill
all fresh herbs
mix all ingredients together

Grilled Talapia

Grilled Talpia:
Marinate fish 1 hour with ingredients below  
1 lime
salt fresh ground pepper
2 cloves garlic
400˚ - 500˚
cut one whole onion 1/4 " slices coat with olive
  spread on grill
coat fish with olive oil, lay on top of onions
close lid cook for 2-3 minutes turn without disturbing onions close lid cook 2 more minutes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Radical

Mom described this sandwich to me that she's been making lately and it is so good she even gave it a name: The Radical. We decided to make it for dinner that night, and oh yes, it was really, really good. Here's how it's done: Slather a hot dog bun with The Best Tartar Sauce In The World, then pile on thinly sliced radishes, apples, red onion, and ice burg lettuce. This was a fantastic combo of flavors and textures. Thanks Mom! ---Skye

The Best Tartar Sauce In The World

Sorry there's no picture for this, I'll post one later if I can. Dad is the creator of this tartar sauce and Mom has been raving about it for a long time now. I thought she was exaggerating, but I was wrong! This sauce is absolutely to die for! I literally was eating it by the spoonfuls. It's not at all gluey and rich like regular tartar sauce. It's refreshing, herby, and has layers of flavor. Here's the recipe: 3/4 cup Greek yogurt 2 tbls mayonnaise 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped 2 tbls fresh chopped dill 1/2 tsp or less fresh ground pepper 1/2 juice from one lime 1 tsp honey 2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped 1 tsp Dijon mustard You can also use thyme and/or basil, but whatever you use it is essential that the herbs are fresh. Please try this, you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wheatberry Salad

This is a really simple salad, but I thought I'd post about it anyway because it turned out really good and who knows, you may be inspired to make you're own version of wheatberry salad! This version is a mixture of sauteed kale (which I accidentally burned a little and which turned out to be a happy accident because it made it sort of caramelized and chewy - yum), golden raisins, feta cheese (yes, I put feta in just about everything), lemon juice, and red wine vinegar. I was trying to cut down on fat/calories, so hence, no EVOO - really didn't need it either. The wheatberries I had in my freezer for months, cooked and ready to go, so all I had to do was dethaw them. One of the reasons I love wheatberries is that, because they are so chewy, they really fill me up quickly. Great thing to bring to work for lunch! ---Skye

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cabbage Rolls

What - cabbage again?! Okay, okay, calm down. Jaime and I made cabbage rolls for Mother's Day - because it's their fave - and after realizing how simple they are to make, it inspired me to experiment with a vegetarian version. They turned out delicious, recipe below.
Here's my question: What exactly is the point of stuffing things, be it zucchini, cabbage, squash, or whatever? When you stuff something you have two factors; the stuffing and that which is being stuffed. These two factors should - in my opinion - compliment each other equally. If the two factors are not absolutely equal, then one is either detracting from the overall dish, or, it is just a side note, in which case - what's the point? For my cabbage rolls, the filling was really, just, mmm - really excellent (even Jim scarfed down 2 big bowls of it). Then, after it was rolled up in the cabbage and baked and everything, I would say it was still pretty darn good, but again I was left with the feeling of, Was That Really Necessary? I felt the same way about my stuffed zucchini. I mean, why not just chop up the cabbage or zucchini and saute it along with everything else? Why stuff it? But I know there must be a good reason for stuffing things. So, now I'm on a quest to create a really good stuffed vegetable dish where both the inside and the out are equal members of society.
Here's the basic recipe for what I made:
Filling Ingredients (star of the show!):
Jasmine Rice (I undercooked this slightly before baking it, and wish I had undercooked it more, it was a little too soft in the end)
Chick Peas
Quorn Grounds (not really necessary, but I added it just for the extra protein)
Red Onion
Green Pepper
Fresh chopped parsley
Fresh chopped mint (this made it really good!)
Red pepper flakes
Curry powder
Bragg's Amino Acid (soy sauce is fine of course)
...I think that's it.
For the tomato sauce I just pureed a can of stewed tomatoes, a little tomato paste, sugar (well, okay, Splenda), apple cider vinegar (yes, Jaime, more than you would have liked!), cumin, salt/pepper, ...and I think that's it?
To make the cabbage rolls, it's really easy. I used savoy cabbage here and I must say, I like savoy much better for this dish. Savoy cabbage has a lighter, more delicate texture than regular cabbage, plus it's a little greener (so, prettier!). Just put the entire head of cabbage in boiling water for a few minutes. Then cut off each leaf, remove the tough, thick part of the seam (stem?), and roll it up - it doesn't have to be perfect. Ladle the tomato sauce over the whole thing, and bake for about 1 hour in 350 degree oven.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini

I've been wanting to make something using quinoa that's healthy, low cal, and yummy. I ended up with this concoction. Although the quinoa ended up playing only a small role in this dish, I was pretty pleased with it (each zucchini boat = ~200 calories). For the filling, I sauteed and mixed together the following in various stages: zucchini onion garlic Quorn Grounds cooked quinoa chopped parsley golden raisins feta cheese curry powder paprika crushed red pepper salt/pepper The mixture tasted really good, but I thought it was a little dry, so I made a sauce of yogurt, 1 egg yolk, salt, and lemon juice, and spooned this over the boats. After it cooked in the oven, the sauce just sort of firmed up, but did not really add any moisture (I'm not sure what I was expecting exactly). It did however, sort of hold the filling together. But I wouldn't add the sauce the next time, it just didn't add anything special to it. Hmm, ...what kind of sauce would work with this though??? Any ideas? So, what did I learn from this little experiment? That any mixture that involves curry powder, raisins, and feta cheese will always be good - duh! Happy eating :) ---Skye

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Parmesan Spinach Cakes

I got this recipe from EatingWell.com. It's super easy to make and the texture and taste are very good too. Okay, it's not macaroni n' cheese good, but if you're looking for a healthy, low cal, and yes, tasty, new take on spinach you've got to try this. One review of this recipe on EW said it sort of tastes like a warm spinach dip, and yes it sort of does. The benefit of cooking it in a muffin tin is that the edges get a little crusty and chewy which make it extra good (I'm going to cook them longer next time to heighten this effect - yes, I will make them again!). Therefore, I do not think it would be as good baked in a pan. I bet artichokes, goat cheese, or other types of greens would be good as a variation of this dish. I'm going to try freezing some of them and then I'll pop them in the microwave for a quick breakfast with a poached egg when I need it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cozy Carrot Pudding

This recipe was suggested to me by Jaime, who stumbled across it at foodgawker.com. I think it's another great way of getting veggies into your kids but it also sounded like a tasty recipe for adults too. It was very easy to make, but with any homemade pudding, you have to monitor the stove top and stir it frequently so the milk doesn't scald. 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots 2 cups whole milk 4 T butter 2 T sugar 1/2 cup raisins You combine the milk and carrots together in a saucepan until they boil, then reduce heat and stir frequently until almost all of the liquid is gone. Then you add your butter and give it a stir, then the sugar, then the raisins if you choose. That's it. Foodgawker's recipe added cardamom but I didn't have any and I wanted to see how this brought out the carrot-ness of the carrots anyway so no special trips to the store for ingredients I don't have. The great thing about this recipe besides it being a veggie-dessert, is that the ingredients are simple and often in your fridge. I gave some to Molly after dinner and she liked it. I can see making this a regular in our repertoire. Thanks Jaime for suggesting it and I'll throw it back at you and suggest you make it for yourself. It's crushable. -Nell

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spicy Soft Chicken Tacos with Cabbage

As I always seem to be drawn towards mexican food (and things wrapped in tortillas) I found this recipe that was rated so highly amongst other foodies. It sounded interesting since it had cabbage as an ingredient and I've never had cabbage with anything mexican. So, I had high expectations and while I would not go so far to say it was disappointing, I had to tweak the recipe a little to make it more for my liking. I also taste-tested it on Michael and our friend Beth and you can see how each assembled theirs. The recipe calls for boneless and skinless thigh meat (chicken) which is very juicy and I will make sure to use more of this for grilling in the future. The recipe comes from Cooking Light (http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1227897)


  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 (6-inch) white corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (such as Tillamook)
  • Low-fat sour cream (optional)


Prepare grill.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; rub spice mixture over chicken.

Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 5 minutes; chop.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide chicken evenly among tortillas; top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons cabbage and 1 teaspoon cheese. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

What all three of us agreed on is that even though there's sufficent spice and heat for the chicken, the tacos needed some acid. Beth suggested making the cabbage into a slaw, and I think even just a healthy lime juice spritz over the cabbage would be enough. Healthy, easy to eat and make and the thigh meat makes these crushable. Nell

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Old School Spaghetti & Meatballs

We had good ole' spaghetti & meatballs last night...nom, nom, nom! Mike made the marinara sauce and I made the meatballs.....I love Italian affair! This morning I had a free health screening they offer at my work every year and you get paid to do it, and I was wondering how eating all this pasta and meat, in addition to the exorbitant amount of candy I have been indulging in last week would affect the outcome? Oddly enough my glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol all had good numbers. YAY! I don't need a bad health check to trigger me into a panic attack! And now we begin....... Meatballs 2 lb ground beef (not the real lean stuff) 2 lb ground pork 1 cup wheat bread crumbs 2 eggs big handful of chopped Italian parsley 1 onion 3 garlic cloves salt & pepper to taste ~I sauteed the onions and garlic until slightly brown then added to the rest of the meatball mixture. Put them in the oven uncovered at 450 degrees for 35 minutes. Next time I will flip those suckers midway through so they brown evenly on each side. It's really only for esthetics, they still taste 'da bomb'! Marinara Sauce 2 big cans of tomato puree( don't get generic brand as they usually add cornstarch or other things to stretch it out) or 1 can of puree and one 1 jar of Classico Tomato & Basil sauce ( you really don't need this, but we didn't have time to let the sauce simmer and let all the flavors come out. And Classico doesn't have foreign preservatives in it...just basic ingredients.) 1/2 -1 cup of chicken stock 1/2 - 1 cup red wine( not cooking wine, but any red you would sip on anyway) 1 carrot chopped tiny 2 celery stalks chopped tiny 1 onion chopped handful of fresh chopped basil handful of fresh chopped oregano handful of fresh chopped Italian parsley 2 garlic cloves minced 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tbsp dark brown sugar red pepper flakes Siracha hot sauce to taste salt & pepper I think that is everything Mike put in the sauce? Yep...I had him check and that's everything. ~ I garnished with parmigiano and part-skim ricotta.....If you haven't tried ricotta as a condiment, you must! It adds a nice refreshing coolness and authentic Italian eating feel... ~All of this makes enough for like 3 meals for a family of 4. I freeze this with the sauce poured right over the balls.~ CRUSH IT...... ~ Jaime

Spinach Dip

Sorry I don't have a picture for this, but I'm posting about it anyway because you should all add this to your repertoire of quick, delicious, party dips (you do have a repertoire of those right?). It's 3 ingredients: cream cheese (I used neufchatel), frozen spinach, and salsa. I also added a bit of cumin and garlic salt. Jim had some of the fellas over practicing last night and I always like to prepare a little snack tray for them. They all absolutely crushed this dip. It was surprisingly excellent! ---Skye

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hungarian Strudel

Easter Sunday, Mike, the boys, and I, all fisted in for authentic Hungarian Strudel makin'. Mike's Mom's(Gail Diley) side has been practicing this tradition since they were children. Here is a little background on his family tradition:
" This became a treasured Diley family tradition. Mom had learned to make it from her mother, who learned in Hungary. Mom made it with her frequently, but her two sisters, Westy and Tess, never really learned to make it. Paula learned to make it first-hand from Mom and taught Gail during the season when we lived together. We often added frozen phyllo dough as a fill-in (for the torn spaces- we didn't master that part as good as Mom). One of our treasured memories was when we invited Westy over and she joined in the kneading and tossing. We agreed she reminded us of mom pounding and tossing the dough. When we ate this in the Diley household, it was always as the entire meal." ~picture above is of the Apple Strudel~
We had a total of ten people all partaking in this process. Basically, the dough was made, then kneaded and thrown about 100 times...seriously. As the the dough rested we made three traditional fillings(apple, cheese and cinnamon, cabbage). There are just a million variations you could come up with for the filling, but we kept it real old school.
Once the dough rested for about 30 minutes the stretching of the dough begins. In order for the dough to retain its elasticity the room's humidity must be kept at Sauna temperatures, so we kept a pot of boiling water going and buttoned up all the windows. As we glistened we began to roll and stretch the dough...
Once the dough was stretched we added the filling and rolled it into a log then baked it for about 30 minutes...
Here is a little sampling of each strudel... Enjoy ~ Jaime

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Beet & Goat Cheese Spread

I had some beets in the fridge that I wanted to use up, so I made this. It's based on an Eatingwell.com recipe that I remembered seeing once. I just pureed cooked beets, goat cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It had a surprisingly light, Spring-like flavor despite the earthiness of the beets. I think it would have looked prettier if I'd had some watercress or something to sprinkle on top. If you're looking for something slightly unusual to take to party, I think this would be a crowd pleaser - even for people who "think" they don't like beets.

Friday, April 10, 2009

the old spaghetti factory

This is nothing special, hence the modest picture, but it's one of my staple dinners and it's always delicious so I thought I'd share it with you. It's spaghetti with cabbage. My trick is to quickly cook the cabbage over very high heat so that parts of it get brown but it still remains fairly crispy too. I cook the cabbage with crushed red pepper and garlic, then I finish the dish with feta cheese and/or parmesan. Also, I used to think I didn't like pasta cooked al dente, but I recently discovered that yes, al dente IS better - it's got a nice sort of chewy texture, you should try it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Poached Egg Over Leftovers

poached egg over leftovers: green beans, rice, spinach, onion, red pepper flakes, tarragon, salt & pepper sauteed together and topped with a poached egg.... mmmmm jaime

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Scrumptious Braised Cabbage

Scrumptious, scrumptious, absolutely sCrUmPtIoUs!!!! I really can’t believe I’ve never tried braising vegetables before, and especially cabbage? Cabbage addict I am! Eatingoodinthehood is who gave me my inspiration…her cabbage dish looked sooooo tasty! I will definitely be making it with a poached egg on top soon. There are two ways to braise vegetables: fast (about 20-30 minutes) or slow (2 hours). Last night I didn’t have two hours for the slow version, so I stove topped it. Here is a link to braising vegetables, which provides instructions for both fast and slow. Stove Top Braised Cabbage and Carrots: (Cabbage, Carrots, and Onions) Cut up your cabbage into nice hunks and remove the husky part of the core. Pick out a couple of carrots that are the most even in thickness and cut into a few sections. Coarsely cut one onion as well. In a nice hot pan add a drizzle of olive oil (you really only need a wee bit) and a small pad of butter. Once the butter just starts to brown add the cabbage in a single layer to the pan, leaving each hunk whole. Lay the carrots and onion in the pan trying to have a piece of each veggie touching the bottom of the pan so it can sear. Add a hefty grind of pepper and wee grind of salt. Once all is added do not stir or attempt to flip around, as the cabbage hunks will come apart. Let this cook on medium high heat uncovered until the cabbage and carrots get a nice burnt-brownness on the bottom. Once this happens pour in about ¼ cup chicken broth. You only need enough broth to release the veggies from the pan a little. Quickly cover the pan tightly and turn down the heat to a medium-low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Try not to remove the lid to check on your little cabbages, just let them simmer and do their thing. I used to two pans for one whole cabbage. I poured a little soy sauce in one of the pans to see how that would turn out…and man oh man…you just got to try this! There are endless veggie and spice combinations for this…..so experiment and ENJOY!!! Jaime