Thursday, June 30, 2011


I have a love affair with corn. I love all things corn, on the cob, polenta, corn cakes, creamed corn, but nothing is as near and dear to me as corn bread. It is the ultimate in sweet and savory satisfaction. A slightly sweet chunk served with a savory and spicy meal, heavan. I have pretty much always used the same recipe, a Williams-Sonoma classic. My absolute favorite, until a lack of buttermilk and an unyielding craving caused me to think outside the box- or buttermilk as it was. The result was insanely moist and delicious, and I can proudly say now, I have a new favorite cornbread recipe.

1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
6 oz Fat free Greek Yogurt (1 container)
1/3 cup of milk
2 eggs
4 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
1 cup of flour
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar, divided
2 cups of stone ground yellow cornmeal

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the butter yogurt and milk until mostly smooth with some lumps. Add the eggs and mix until they are incorporated. Add the baking powder, salt, flour, and 1/3 cup of sugar and mix until just combined. Add the cornmeal and mix until just combined. Butter a 11x7 or an 8 inch square pan dark metal pan (or a glass pan lined with foil). Spread batter into the pan and sprinkle top with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20 minutes. (adapted from Williams-Sonoma)

Happy Eating.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Crusted Tilapia

For years people (and websites) have been trying to convince me that you can crust chicken/fish with cereal to make a healthy "fried" item. I remained skepitical. Mostly I heard cornflakes, and I wondered if that was really that much healthier than breadcrumbs. Then I heard fiber bran cereal, and I thought well that's definitely healthier, but not extremely appetizing. After reading hundreds of reviews saying you can't tell it's bran cereal (the little twig kind, not the flakes), I decided to test it on some tilapia. I am happy to report that it is delicious and that you absolutely can't tell that it's bran. It's got a slightly richer and sweeter flavor, but mixed with the chili powder and the fresh herbs it just tastes wonderful. It's a bit darker in color than it would be with plain bread crumbs, but equally delicious. So skepitics out there, try it out and see for yourself!

Crusted Tilapia:
1/2 lemon
3 Tilapia fillets
1/2 cup of fiber bran cereal
1/2 tsp of pepper
1/4 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp of fresh parsley
1 tbsp of sunflower oil

Squeeze the lemon over the fish on both sides, and set asside. In a food processor, pulse the cereal, garlic and parsley until resembles bread crumbs. Add in the seasonings and pulse to combine. Pour the crumbs into a shallow dish. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Slice each fish fillet along the natural divide so you have 2 strips from each fillet. Dip the strips in the cereal mixture and coat with crumbs on both sides. Put fish in pan and cook until brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Happy Eating.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Salt Chocolate Biscotti

I am an avid coffee drinker, even all through the summer, I start everyday with a cup of hot coffee. No cream, so sugar, just a delicious and wonderful smelling cup of coffee. What goes so amazing with my wonderful cup? Biscotti. This chocolate biscotti is strong enough to be enjoyed dunked in your favorite cup of joe, but delicious enough to be enjoyed on it's own. With just a hint of sea salt, to give the cookies that salty bite that I just can't get enough of.

Salt Chocolate Biscotti:
1 stick of butter, softened
1/3 cup of dark brown sugar
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp corse sea salt
3/4 cups of dark chocolate chunks
4 oz white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium speed. Add cocoa and mix for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until just combined. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until just incorporated. Stir in sea salt, chocolates, and almonds. Chill the dough for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Separate the dough in half. Roll each half into a long log, about an inch thick. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place rolls on the sheet. Press the logs to flatten slightly. Bake for 25 minutes then let logs cool completely, about an hour. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Slice the logs on a bias into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Place the cookies on the same cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes, flip the cookies and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Let cool before serving. (adapted from Tate's Bakeshop Cookbook)

Happy Eating.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Grilled Fried Rice

My obsession with grilling knows no bounds. I am seriously addicted, even when the planned dinner does not involve the grill, I can find a way. Like fried rice, which is a staple im my house. We eat it at least every other week and it's one of my absolute favorite easy meals. So how do you kick it up to the summer extreme and indulge my grilling addiction, while still enjoying this comforting staple? Grill the meat and all the veggies!! Wow! That is all I have to say about this, it is seriously awesome! If you like fried rice, you will love this. The char on the vegetables and meat, mixed with the delicious salty soy of the rice is such an amazing combination, I am astounded I didn't think of this sooner! Seriously, if you are like me and love to grill, try this now!

Grilled Fried Rice:
2 cups water
1 cup white rice, dry
1 large vidalia onion
1 bell pepper
1 poblano pepper
1 T-Bone Steak, or other meat of your choice
Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 egg
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
Salt, Pepper
Sriracha and Mayo for serving (optional)

Preheat the grill. Bring the water to a boil in a small pot, add rice, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absoarbed. In the mean time, Cut Onion into thick slices, and remove stem and seeds from peppers, brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place veggies on the grill (directly, or on a grill basket), grill until charred and cooked through, about 15 minutes, flipping half way through. Season steak on both sides with salt and pepper, and brush lightly with olive oil. Grill until desired doneness, flipping once halfway through (about 8-10 minutes total for medium rare). Let steak rest. Heat a skillet on medium heat, and spray with non-stick spray. Chop grilled onions and peppers and add to pan. Mince garlic and add that. Crack egg into pan, and scrammble it into the veggies. Add cooked rice and stir. Add soy sauce and stir together. Raise heat to high to crust the bottom of the rice (optional). Cut steak into bite size chunks, discarding bone. Turn off the heat under the pan and stir in steak. Serve with sriracha, may or sriracha mayo.

Happy Eating.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sugar Cookies

I really love crispy cookies. I like them thin, flat, and buttery, for me that is simply how a cookie should be. But, I do understand that other people like thick, soft, and chewy cookies, and I do try to be accomadating. As I was driving home one day, I was struck by a sudden craving, I had to have a sugar cookie, this may not seem all that odd, but trust me it's utterly bizare. I crave cookies all the time, however I don't think I have ever craved a sugar cookie. They are the opposite of what I usually want in a cookie, they are thick and soft and don't have any chocolate in them. Nothing could abate my craving though, and so I simply had to make them, and I am so glad I did. Except for the one batch that got a touch over cooked and ended up crispy, the rest were wonderfully chewy and deliciously large. This cookie has set me off on a quest of expanding my cookie horizons, to vere off the thin and crispy path into the world of soft cookies, so stay tuned, there is more to come!

Sugar Cookies:
2 sticks of salted butter, softened
1 cup of sugar, plus more for assembling cookies
1 tbsp of dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp of baking powder

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and position racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until very creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanila and mix until just combined. Add flour and baking soda and stir until just combined. Pour about 1/2 cup of sugar into a small bowl. Line to baking sheets with partchment and spray with non-stick spray. Scoop dough by tablespoon and roll into a ball, then roll the ball in sugar to coat. Wet hands to prevent sugar and dough sticking to you. Space the cookies evenly, 12 to a sheet. Wet the bottom of a glass with a flat bottom and dip it into the sugar. Press glass onto each cookie to flatten until they are about 1/2 inch thick. Bake until cookies are just golden around the edges, 14-16 minutes, flipping the rows halfway through. Let cool on the partchment paper before serving. Makes about 30 cookies. (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

Happy Eating.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Daring Cooks Potato Salad

Blog-checking lines: Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!

***This post won 3rd place in the Daring Cook's contest hosted by the United States Potato Board***

I could not have been more excited about this month's daring cooks challenge. I love potaotoes, and generally hate potato salad. The cold, creamy, mayoed up stuff hardly tastes like the glorious root vegetable that is it's chief ingredient. So as I was looking through diverse and mouthwatering potato salads in the daring kitchen, I realized, just becasue that thick mayo version is what I first think of when someone says potato salad, doesn't mean that is the only one. So I set out to make a completely delicious, non-creamy, warm potato salad, and the resulting recipe is simple, fresh, healthy and absolutely delicious.

Grilled Potato Salad:
4 medium-large red potatoes
1 bunch of asparagus
1 medium shallot
4 tsp of olive oil, divided
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp champangne vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.
Plus additional salt and pepper

Chop potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Fill a pot with water and season with salt. Bring water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Let potatoes cool, or chill briefly, until they are around room temperature. Pre-heat the grill. Season potatoes with salt, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and toss to coat. Cook the potatoes in a foil packet, or a vegetable basket on the grill until golden and cooked through. In the mean time, cut the ends off the asparagus and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Place asaparagus on a vegetable griller, or directly on the grill and grill until slightly charred, about 8 minutes. Remove potatoes from grill and put in a large bowl. Chop cooked asparagus into 1 inch pieces and add to the bowl as well. Whisk together the remaining teaspoon of olive oil, the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Pour the dressing over the warm potatoes and asparagus and toss to coat. Serve warm.

Happy Eating


Friday, June 10, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread

I love bread, it might be my favorite food in the whole world. I don't discriminate either, I love all bread, from potato and classic white to fancy french breads and decadant brioches, and hearty wheats and ryes. Nothing beats a great sandwich or a piece of toast with jam. Usually I buy my sandwich bread, but the other day I was thinking, I don't even consider a non-homemade/non-bakery cake, pie, or cookie, so what's so different about bread? I couldn't come up with a good answer, so I decided to make some. I am so glad I did, it tastes wonderful, I know exactly what went in it, and now my freezer is full of delicious hearty wheat bread for all my toast and jam needs!

1 cup of warm water, 110 degrees
1 packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup high-oleic sunflower oil
1/4 cup molasses
3 1/2 cups of 100% Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup of nonfat dried milk
1 teaspoons salt
butter for crust (optional

Put the warm water into a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade and stir in the yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5-10 minutes. Add the oil, molasses, flour, milk and salt. Pulse until a tacky dough forms. Turn on the processor and knead dough until smooth, about 6 minutes. Alternatively, turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 8-10 minutes. Put dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand somewhere warm until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Lightly grease a loaf pan and punch down dough to deflate. Roll dough into a log, and place in pan. Let rise uncovered until dough just comes over the top of the pan, about an hour on the counter or overnight in the fridge (if you do this, bring dough to room temperature before cooking). Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes, then tent with foil to prevent browning. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove bread from the pan immedietely and rub with butter if desired. You only need a little, and it helps preserve the crust. Allow bread to cool completely before slicing. Store extra slices in plastic bags for a week, or freeze. (adapted from King Author Flour)

Happy Eating.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Grilled Salad Pizza

So you may notice an uptick in the number of grilling recipes in the next coming month, and yes it has to do with summer, but more so that I just got a brand new grill! I am absolutely in love with it, and everything that comes off it. Grilling just makes it better. So I decided to grill some pizza, which was the most fantastic idea because pizza (the restaurant kind) is cooked at extremely high temperatures, way higher than your broiler can go. The grill gets significantly hotter than the oven, so the pizza comes out delicious crisp with that amazing crustiness. I love thin crust pizza, and it happens to be easier (in my opinion) to make (you don't have to worry about the crust puffing up), so I make it every chance I get. I usually make the crust the night before and let it rise in the fridge, so I can spend the whole day dreaming what to put on it...

1/2 Wheat Crust:
1 packet of dry active yeast
3/4 cups of warm water, about 110 degrees
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 cup of bread flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt

In the food processor fitted with the dough blade, add water and yeast, let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Add olive oil, flours and salt and process until a dough forms. Continue processing until dough is smooth and elastic, about 6-7 minutes. Lightly grease or oil a bowl and place dough in it to rise, cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter until doubled in size, 1-2 hours, or refridgerate overnight. Makes one large pizza.

1 batch of dough
3 medium tomatoes
1/2 large vidalia onion
2 oz of goat cheese
1/2 of part skim mozzerella
2 cloves of garlic
2 packed cups of spring mix salad (or spinach, or other salad greens)
Olive oil
salt, pepper

Pre-heat the grill. Bring dough to room temperature. Roll the dough out as thin as possible, so that it just doesn't rip. This will take some time, eventually the dough will stop "springing" back. My pizza was very thin, and a rough circle, about 15 inches in diametar. Place dough on a cutting board or pizza slider. Slice tomatoes and onions and spread evenly over the dough, sprinkle with cheeses. Transfer the pizza to the grill, and cook covered for about 5 minutes. Mince garlic. Add garlic and sping mix to the pizza, and cover and cook for another minute. Remove pizza from the grill using tongs/giant spatula to help. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Slice with a pizza cutter, makes 8 large slices.

Happy Eating.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Deep Dish Berry Pie

Have I expressed my love of summer enough on here? Probably, but yet I can't seem to stop doing it. Maybe it's because my garden is in full bloom, and the veggies are budding, which means garden fresh deliciousness is right around the corner. Or maybe it's because the farmers markets are open, and the grocery stores have the most beautiful and cheap local produce. My once "expensive berry habbit" (as the boyfriend likes to call it) is now extrememly economical, so I decided to make a pie. A deep dish pie, so full of berries, they were literally oozing out the sides, bottom, and center. Yum.

2 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp of sugar
2 sticks of butter, in pieces and chilled
1/4 cup of cold water

1 pint of blueberries
2 small containers of blackberries (12 oz)
2 cups of strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp of flour
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1 egg
1 tbsp of half and half

In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture is crumbley. With processor running, add water and mix until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured piece of partchment paper and form into a disk, refridgerate for 30 minutes, in the mean time make filling: In a large bowl, mix the berries, sugar, lemon juice, flour and cinnamon until combined. When dough is chilled, roll out into a large circle, about 18 inches. Line an 9 inch spring form pan, or a deep dish pie tin with the dough leaving the overhang. Pour the filling into the crust and then fold the overhang back over the pie, leaving a small cirlce exposed in the middle. Refridergate pie until firm, about 30 minutes. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees, and position rack in the bottom third of the oven.Whisk together the egg and half and half. Brush the exposed crust of the pie with mixture. Place tin on a cookie sheet coated in foil to prevent a mess. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and continue baking until juices are bubbling up, about 35 minutes more. Let cool before serving. If you used a spring form pan, run a knife around the edge of the pie to loosen, before releasing spring. (adapted from Martha)

Happy Eating.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Banana Oat Pancakes

This short week has me in a fantastic mood! Something about starting over on Tuesday, instead of Monday, just makes the week fly by. I turn around and it's almost the weekend! For me, that means one thing, delicious, wonderful breakfasts!!! I eat breakfast absolutely everyday, it's my favorite meal, but during the week it's usually a smoothie as I'm flying out the door. On the weekends I like to slow it down, and one of my favorite new ways to do that (with out slowing me down, or fattening me up) are these absolutely delectable banana oat pancakes. They are delicious and a super healthy way to start your moving. I like to serve mine topped with fresh fruit and maybe a drizzle of maple syrup, or I will cook down some cherries or blueberries to make a little fruit sauce. Enjoy!

Banana Oat Pancakes:
1 medium banana
1 cup of quick oats
1/2 cup of fat free cottage cheese
1/2 cup of liquid egg whites
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
Sliced fruit and/or maple syrup for serving

In a blendor, combine the banana, oats, cottage cheese, egg whites, vanilla, and cinnamon. Blend until a thick batter forms, it should be relatively smooth. Heat a griddle pan or a skillet over medium heat, and spray with non stick. Pour/scoop the batter out into silver dollar sized pancakes. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook until golden on the other side, about 2 minutes more. This makes about 8 to 10 silver dollar pancakes, and serves two mindful eaters.

Nutrition Info:
1 serving (half of the batter, cooked, may vary by brand of ingredients used)
264 calories, 3g of fat, 18g of protein, 45g of carbs, 6g of fiber

Happy Eating.