I've started this blog because I'm obsessed with food. I wanted to create a fun blog for others who like to cook. My blog will be full of great recipes. I love just throwing ingredients together and coming up with tasty new recipes...So if I refer to a chunck of cheese or a handfull of tomatoes get use to it. I will be posting video recipes as well so you can cook with me - just tune in.



Easter

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter filled with yummy food!  For the last two years now I have hosted Easter at my house for my neighbors and a few co-workers.  This year I added some new dishes to the mix that I recommend everyone should try. 

Main Course: Ina Garten's Roasted Turkey Breast you can find the recipe here http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/perfect-roast-turkey-recipe4/index.html
The turkey came out perfect and moist I will definetly be making this again.

Ham in the Crock Pot: I used a 6 to 7 pound spiral ham placed it in my crockpot for 4 to 5 hours on low.  Just rub the ham with dark brown sugar, add 1/4 cup of real maple syrup and 1 cup of pineapple juice. Sweet and delicious!

If you've been following by blog or have been to my house to eat before then you know my love for appetizers.  I really wanted to keep it simple this year so nobody filled up to much before the main meal.  I decided to make a few different types of crostini's that everyone could just pick up and eat no utensils need:)

Serve these toppings on top of toasted baguette slices.

Avocado Goat Cheese Brushetta
Mash 1 ripe avocado with 4 oz of goat cheese
In a seperate bowl dice a 1/2 red onion, & 4 roma tomatoes
add tbls of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tbls of olive oil and salt and pepper for taste.
Spread avocado mixture on baguette slices and top with tomatoes.

Steak Crostini
1/4 lb of rare london broil shaved from deli (I like boars head)
Chop 1 cup of green onions
Shave a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
1/2 cup prepared creamy horseradish
Top each baguette slice with horseradish, add london broil, top with green onions and parmesan.

Proscuitto with Fig Jam and Goat Cheese
Spread goat cheese on baguette slices top with fig jam and a 1/2 a slice of proscuitto
sliced thin.

Antipasto Dip

My mom has been making this dip for years and after you make it you'll see why. All the flavors of antipasto in a dip = delicious.





INGREDIENTS:


1 14oz can - artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

2 7oz cans - sliced mushrooms, drained and chopped

1 7oz jar - roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, drained and chopped

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil

2/3 cup of white vinegar

2 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp seasoning salt

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp pepper



Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a saucepan, saute onion and garlic over medium heat for 3 minutes or

until onion is tender. Add vinegar and remaining 4 ingredients; bring to a boil.


Remove from heat and pour over vegetables cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight.


Transfer to serving dish. Serve with crusty bread or crackers.





ROASTED SHRIMP & WALNUT SALAD



I should just call this the protein salad. This salad is fresh and full of goodies like, toasted walnuts, avocados, tomatoes, hearts of palm and more. A light and refreshing meal that is sure to fill you up this summer.




Servings 4

Ingredients:

8 ounces fresh cleaned and deveined or frozen shrimp thawed

1/4 cup raw walnuts

1 ounce of goat cheese crumbled

1/2 cup organic baby spinach
1 avocado sliced
2 tomatoes cut in to wedges

7 ounces (1/2 can) organic hearts of palm lightly chopped

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs fresh lime juice

1 tbs grapefruit vinegar
salt and pepper for taste



Preparation:



Heat oven to 400 degrees



Place shrimp in a single layer on foil lined cooking sheet. Drizzle shrimp with olive oil season with salt. Roast in oven for 8 to 10 minutes until pink and firm. Cool and set to the side.



Place walnuts on separate cooking sheet (dry) and roast for 6 minutes. Cool and set to the side



Place spinach on large serving plate, top spinach with avocado, tomatoes, shrimp, walnuts, goat cheese, and hearts of palm.



DRESSING

In small bowl mix remaining olive oil (1/4 cup), grapefruit vinegar, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Toss salad with dressing and serve immediately.










Stuffed Organic Baby Portabellas


This might be my new favorite recipe - it's really hard to top my mom's stuffed mushrooms they have always been one of my favorite dishes that she makes. I think I have definitely re-invented the wheel. Even the BF didn't know I used turkey bacon. I know a lot of people think (turkey bacon will never get crisp in a pan) but this nitrate free turkey bacon does and its delicious. Serve these crowd pleasers at your next get together.

Servings 4
Ingredients:
8 ounces organic whole baby portabellas mushrooms
2 pieces of organic whole wheat bread (cup of breadcrumbs)
1 tbs organic butter
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup diced sweet onion
2 garlic cloves diced
2 slices nitrate free organic turkey bacon chopped
salt and black pepper for taste
1/4 cup minced fresh organic italian parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese
1/4 cup organic chicken broth
1/8 cup pine nuts
1/2 fresh lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Preparation:

Heat oven to 400 degrees

In a food processor, pulse bread into fine breadcrumbs set aside.

Remove the stems from mushrooms, mince them and set them aside.

Place mushroom caps stem side down on foiled lined baking sheet and bake them for 8 minutes. This should release some of the liquid. Set caps aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add butter and olive oil to pan. When butter is melted add onion, garlic, thyme and minced mushroom stems. Saute until tender add chopped turkey bacon and cook until slightly crispy - about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and heat place in medium sized mixing bowl.

Add breadcrumbs, parsley, cheese, and chicken stock to the onion, turkey bacon mixture. Season mixture with salt and pepper.

Stuff mushroom caps with bread filling - top each cap with a few pine nuts and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until each cap is tender and filling is crispy on top. Serve right away or at room temperature.




BUFFALO NUT CHICKEN BREASTS



You may be asking yourself what are "Buffalo Nuts" and I'm sure you have been coming up with some pretty interesting ideas.






Buffalo Nuts are simply peanuts flavored just like "buffalo chicken wings" spicy, tangy and delicious. Did you know they make an excellent coating for chicken. The best part is these nuts have NO trans fat, and no MSG! Let's just say you won't be missing any part of those fried buffalo chicken wings after trying this recipe.



Servings 2



Ingredients:

1/4 cup Buffalo Nuts
2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/8 cup milk

2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
2 chicken breast, boneless and skinless, patted dry*
Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Olive oil



Preparation:

Heat oven to 400 degrees


In a food processor, pulse the nuts just until finely crushed. Be careful not to grind them to a paste. Transfer the crushed nuts to a plate or shallow bowl; set aside.


In a second plate, beat the eggs with milk; set aside.


Place flour in a third plate; set aside.


Working with one chicken breast at a time, place each between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper. Working from the center to the edges, gently pound each chicken breast with a meat mallet to 1/4-inch thick.


Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge a chicken breast in the flour, making sure it's coated evenly. Shake off the excess. Transfer the chicken to the other hand and dip it in the egg. With the same hand, dredge the chicken breast on one side only in the crushed nuts, patting to coat the chicken. Set aside, nut side down, and repeat with the remaining chicken breast.


Top the none coated side of chicken breasts with a 1 ounce of blue cheese per breast. Roll chicken breast secure with tootpick.


Line cooking sheet with cooking spray and lightly drizzle the top of the chicken breasts with olive oil Bake for 25 min or until juices run clear when cut with a knife.


*Another way to serve this dish is to coat both sides of the chicken breasts with the nuts and then serve with blue cheese dressing instead of stuffing the chicken.












COOKING ORGANIC. COOKING WITH NUTS.

I'm exploring the big world of organic foods and raw nuts. Why you may ask? Well why not? Honestly though a local food distributor is interested in filming a few recipe videos for their website and well I definitely want to be part of it. If you all do not know about them already you have to check out Tropical Foods and just to give you an idea of what they are all about just read their slogan "Foods From Everyday to Gourmet" - that pretty much describes their products...raw and freshly roasted nuts, dried fruits and hundreds of bulk and packaged grains, spices, even candy. I have been experimenting in my kitchen the last couple of days and have come up with some really great stuff. Just to name a few (and yes I will be posting the recipes as well) "Stuffed Baby Portabellas"with organic turkey bacon and pine nuts. "Buffalo Nut Chicken", and "Roasted Shrimp and Walnut Salad". Enjoy and let me know what you think.