Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm Back!!!

I am back from my wonderful, relaxing, delicious vacation. I walked, ate and drank my way through beautiful Buenos Aires. I slept in, drank wine with lunch, and ate the most wonderful grass fed beef, it was everything a vacation should be. So before I head back to reality, let me share some of my city and food highlights with you...

First, the city:

One of the many beautiful Mausoleums in the Recolata Cemetery, which is where Evita and many other's are entombed.

The presidental palace, called the Pink House:

Me at the Zoo, where you are allowed to feed the animals, very different and fun:

I could go on forever about the beautiful city, but this is a food blog after all, so here is what you need to know. 1. Eat a ton of beef, it's grass fed magic, 2. The portions are huge, but it's ok to share (we learned this one the hard way). 3. It's a whole lot cheaper than here, so live it up. And 3. The entire country (or city) has a major sweet tooth, so be prepared for lots of desserts and lots of Dulce de Leche! 4. Drinks lots of wine, especially Malbecs.

Proof of huge portions, this steak was called "medium", this was also the best steak meal we had on the trip it was from La Cabrera in Palermo.

An assorment of grilled meats, grilled on an open flame...

Finally, from Le Mistral, in the Four Seasons Hotel, which was our best and fanciest overall dining experience:

The Bread Tree, with muffin shaped bread:

My wonderful braised rabbit with a mushroom and raisin puree and polenta, and by the way, that polenta was filled with a melty, creamy Brie center. Yum!

The boyfriend ordered some more delicious grass fed beef, and that side container is full of broccoli, spinach, and thick cut bacon.

Well those are my trip highlights from wonderful and magical Buenos Aires.

Happy Eating.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

On Vacation!

Hello darling foodies,

As I type this, I am being yelled at to hurry up. Why? Well because, I am about to walk out the door, drive to the airport, and hop on a plane to Buenos Aires!!!! I am extremely excited. But, I will be out of touch for a week. After which, you can expect a nice long post full of the wonderful things I ate in Argentina. Expect lots of beef! So adios amigos! I'll "see" you all when I get back...

Until then... Happy Eating!



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I (and the blog) have definitely been on a bit of healthy kick lately. And while I love a nice well balanced healthy meal, I cannot forget my MAJOR sweet tooth. Too long with out something wonderful and sweet and I just go nuts (picture me drinking cake batter, or eating an entire plate of brownies, not pretty.). So in order to prevent an "incident" I say let's have some cookies, and then give the leftovers away. Greatful people and a happy stomach. These cookies were special, very special. I started with my favorite cookie recipe, the Original Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe, the one on the back of the bag, it's there for a reason. It is chocolate chip perfection. I wanted cookies that were a little crisper, but still gooey on the inside, and I also wanted a nice salty bite (because salt and chocolate is AMAZING). My chocolate chip cookies turned out magically wonderful, your childhood favorite with nuts and just a hint of salty safistication.

Chocolate chip cookies:
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of coarse sea salt
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 12 oz bag of chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans and almonds

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl cream the butter and both sugars until well combined and smooth. Add in the vanilla and the eggs, then beat with a hand or stand mixer on medium until the mixture is really fluffy and light, 3-4 minutes. This will make the cookies crisp and gooey, trust me it is worth the extra effort. Add in the baking soda, salt and 1 cup of flour, mix on low until combined. Add remaining flour and sea salt, mix until combined. Add in chocolate chips and nuts and stir together so that the chips are well distributed. Grease a baking sheet and drop cookies by rounded tablespoons well spaced apart. Bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool and then enjoy. (Adapted from Nestle Tollhouse original recipe)

Baking in the oven:

Ready for me to devour:


Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken Kebabs

Chicken thighs are a magical thing. They are like super tasty, way less likely to dry out chicken breasts. They make fantastic kebabs. Maybe I was missing summer a little bit (because what says summer more than bamboo skewered meat) or maybe the warm weather made me crave something a little bit barbecuey but I had to have some kebabs. These bad boys can be grilled or made under the broiler, so they can really be enjoyed all year round. I served them up with a Mediterranean rice salad for a wonderful, healthy, and easy dinner.

Chicken Kebabs:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tbsp of olive oil.
2 bell peppers
2 medium onions

Preheat the broiler and position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Soak skewers in water (if wood). Wash the chicken thighs and pat dry. Cut in to large cubes. Cut the onions and peppers into large chunks as well. Mix together salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, thyme and rosemary. Rub chicken with the mixture. On a baking sheet or broiler pan with tin foil, spray with non-stick spray. Assemble skewers with veggies and chicken. Drizzle with olive oil. Broil for 4-5 minutes, until top side is browned. Turn the skewers and broil for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve on skewers or off.

Rice and Tomato Salad:
3/4 cup of dried rice
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 cup of feta cheese
1 tbsp of butter
Small handful of fresh basil
Salt, Pepper

Cook rice according to package directions. Dice the tomatoes and chop basil. Mix butter into the warm rice, until melted and incorporated. Stir in tomatoes, feta and basil. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy.

Happy Eating.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Healthy and Hearty Breakfast Casserole

At least once a weekend, I try and make a special breakfast. It's a fantastic reward for a long week. The great thing about an extraordinary breakfast, is it doesn't need to be unhealthy at all. This breakfast is a wholesome way to start a relaxing weekend day. The left overs also kept amazingly well and made excellent filling for a weekday breakfast sandwich.

Breakfast Casserole:
3 eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup of shredded potatoes
6 oz (2 links)of hot lean turkey sausage
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 slices of low fat cheddar cheese (about 1.5 oz)
1 tbsp of fat free/reduced fat sour cream
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp of hot sauce, preferably smoked
Additional cheddar cheese for topping, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or Pam a 7 inch by 11 inch glass baking dish. In a medium bowl beat together eggs, egg whites, sour cream, Worcestershire and hot sauce, until light and fluffy. Squeeze the grated/shredded potatoes out in a towel or paper towel, to remove moisture. Stir potatoes into eggs. Remove casings from sausage and add meat to the egg mixture. Drain the tomatoes of all liquid and stir into eggs. Shred or chop cheese and stir into the mixture. Pour into baking dish and cook until set in the middle, about 45 minutes. Turn on the broiler and top casserole with additional cheese if desired. With or without cheese, broil until the top browns a little, 3-4 minutes, checking frequently to prevent burning. Serve and Enjoy.



Happy Eating.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lamb Chops

Recently, I learned a valuable food lesson. Better ingredients truly does lead to better food. So when you stumble upon a new butcher and he happens to be in possession of some stunningly beautiful organic Colorado lamb and the lifetime of experience necessary to butcher to beautiful and perfect lamb chops, you are guaranteed an amazing dinner. I take no credit for this one, it was perfect all on its own. All I could do was serve it up (with some locally grown, farmer's market broccoli) and enjoy the best tasting lamb I have ever made, possibly ever tasted. I served this heaven on top of broccoli and with a balsamic syrup drizzle.

Lamb Chops:
2 lamb chops, 1 inch thick, trimmed with just a little layer of fat remaining
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp of dried rosemary
A pinch of ground cloves
1 tbsp of oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Rub lamb with spices. Brown the lamb for 3 minutes on one side and then 2 minutes on the other. Transfer to the oven and continue cooking 5-6 minutes for medium rare. Serve the perfection of good meat. I used the hot pan with the lamb drippings to cook the broccoli as well. I just sautéed the broccoli until browned then cooked covered on low, with a little salt and pepper, let the lamb juice handle the rest.

Balsamic Syrup:
1/2 cup of good quality balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, whole
1/2 tsp of whole cloves

In a small pot heat the vinegar, peppercorns and cloves. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Cook on a simmer until the vinegar has reduces into a syrup. Be careful not to let the pot boil up, because the vinegar will turn to a caramel consistency. Drizzle over lamb and broccoli or whatever else you might be having. It also tastes great on crusty bread.

Happy Eating.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Spice Mini Scones

Continuing with my celebration of all things fall, a bit of breakfast or snack time cheer. While these may not be the prettiest thing I have ever baked, they were extremely tasty and fairly healthy too! My love affair with butternut squash continues, you could easily sub in fresh or canned pumpkin if you prefer (or if you don't happen to have baked squash on hand). These tasted particularly lovely with my morning coffee and dunked in it.

Fall Spice Mini Scones:
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup of white flour
1 tbsp of baking powder
1/8 cup of white sugar
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of ginger
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
1/2 cup of roasted squash or pumpkin
6 tbsp of butter, chilled
1 egg
1/8 cup of maple syrup
4 tbsp of almond breeze or milk (approximately)
Powdered sugar, for serving (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together both flours, sugar, baking soda, and spices. Cut the butter into small chunks then cut into the flour mixture, using your fingers or 2 knives (you could also do this in a food processor). When the mixture is crumbly make a well in the center and add squash, egg and maple syrup. Mix together until a dough forms, adding the milk 1 tbsp at a time as needed, until dough forms and can be shaped. It should still be a little sticky. Pat the dough out into a square on a floured surface about an inch high. Cut four rows across and four rows down, then cut each square into diagonally, so you have rough 32 rough triangles. Put scones on two baking greased baking sheets, they don't expand very much sideways, so you can put them fairly close together. Bake for about 10 minutes, until scones are golden. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!

Happy Eating.