Monthly Archives: September 2010

Comfort in the time of rain

I always find myself returning to Rachel Ray in the time of rain. To me Rachel Ray has the ultimate comforting recipes. I know that some people might gasp to themselves and say, “But what Paula Deen?And ” No matter how many people call Rachel Ray commercial, she is my favorite tv chef. And no amounts of butter will make me change my mind. Well unless it’s Paula Deen’s pulled pork sandwich or Kentucky pie.

This time when I came home soaked and shivering from the Boston rain and wind, this burrito burger recipe caught my eye. It is so hearty with the rice and beans and yet so flavorful with all the different spices that I think that it might have to become my all time comfort food favorite. Next time though I am going to add some fresh cilantro to the avocado dip that goes 0n top.

Ingredients: 1 lb ground turkey (I used ground chicken instead), 1 cup white or brown rice, 1 (15 oz) can of black beans washed and rinsed (I am not a fan of pinto beans thus the change), 3 teaspoons chili powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, 1 tablespoon grilled seasoning, 1 avocado, 1 clove grated garlic, 1 lime zested and juiced, 1/2 red onion diced, 1 plum tomato diced, 1/2 cup sour cream, bunch of fresh cilantro chopped, 6 flour tortillas (I used tortillas instead of buns), oil for frying

Begin by adding ground meat, rice and beans to a bowl

Add the spices

Mix together and form patties. Rachel Ray made 4 but I ended up making 6. It could possibly be because I used a little over a cup of rice.

Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Cook patties 7 to 8 minutes on each side. While the patties cook combine avocado, garlic, lime zest and juice.

Add the tomato, red onion and cilantro. Roughly mash and mix with sour cream

Warm the tortillas in the microwave. Add the patties and top with avocado sour cream goodiness. Enjoy

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Filed under Meat

Salad Juxtapositions

I hope you excuse me with all my salad posts. It’s almost the end of warm days in Boston and soon enough I will make my famous soup season switch. A lot of people have mixed feelings about mixing their greens with fruits and nuts. While I am not a fan of Waldorf salad or raspberry vinaigrette dressing, there is something delicious about mixing honeyed walnuts, pears and blue cheese. Even my roomate who despises apples and other non-sense ingredients that should not be seen in a respectable salad, enjoyed this dish.

Ingredients: 1 head of butter lettuce, 2 Bosc (or any sweet pears that you like) pears, 20 walnuts, 2 tablespoons honey, 4 oz good-quality blue cheese, 1 lemon, 1/2 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to season

Begin by adding honey to a skillet or pan. Drop the walnuts and stir to cover.Cook for 5 minutes and take off the stove.

Next chop up the butter lettuce and add to a bowl

Thinly slice and dice the pears

Finally crumble up some blue cheese

Mix all together and make the dressing by mixing fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper

Pour the dressing over the salad and serve

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Filed under Salad, Vegetarian

Crepes Cake

I have noticed a recent food trend on food blogs -crepes cake. Obviously  I had to try to make one. I would lie to you, if I said that this recipe is low-fat or healthy or good for you. But it tastes so amazing that for once even I forgot about the cream, cream cheese and cheese that went into this delicious creation. You can make any filling to satisfy any of your cravings.You have several options for the crepes. You can either use the recipe that I featured in the past (minus the vanilla extract), make any of your favorite savory crepes from your recipe box, or just buy a frozen bunch at a supermarket (which is what I obviously did).

Ingredients: 8 oz mushrooms finely chopped, 2 shallots diced, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (plus an additional 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top), 1/2 cup cream, 1 package of smoked salmon, 4 oz chive and onion cream cheese, 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, 8 crepes of your choice, salt and pepper to season

Begin by melting the butter on a skillet on medium heat. Add the shallots

Next add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Saute until both the shallots and mushrooms have softened. This should take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes. When the mushrooms and shallots have softened, add the cream, flour and whisk together.

Let the liquid reduce by half and add the cheese.

Stir the cheese in until it melts and take the skillet off the stove. Next spread cream cheese on 3 of the crepes.

Layer smoked salmon evenly across the 3 crepes with cream cheese

Cover with another crepe and add a layer of mushroom mixture

Cover with another crepe with cream cheese and salmon and close with a crepe. Top the crepe with more mushroom mixture. Repeat these same once more. When you place your final crepe, spread the remains of the mushroom mixture on top and sprinkle with cheese.


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Filed under Fish, Main Course

Fresh From Farmer’s Market

My local farmer’s market is near to closing its season so recently I have been trying to take advantage of it and buying as much produce as I can use. Everything, other than the cannellini beans, was bought there. It really does make a difference when you buy food right off the local stands as opposed to big supermarkets. The flavors are more defined and everything just tastes fresh and delicious.

Ingredients: 15 ounce can of cannellini beans drained and washed, 10 thinly sliced red onion rings cut in halves, bunch of fresh arugula, 3 tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, teaspoon balsamic vinegar, salt and ground pepper to season

Begin by arranging the washed arugula on the plate

Thinly slice the tomatoes to make circles

Add to the arugula with the beans

Top with the red onions and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

For a complete sensation, enjoy with fresh bread and cheese also bought from the farmer’s market

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Filed under Salad, Vegetarian

My big fat baking disaster

As many of you know, I am not a baking girl. Last weekend I lured myself into thinking, once again (when I am going to learn?), that I can channel my inner pastry chef and create chocolate cake lollipops. First, let me say, that my adventure began at the grocery store when I asked one of the employees if they had popsicle or ice cream sticks. Judging by the face of the young man that I asked, you would think that I was asking for purple crocodile soup in can. This is a giant supermarket too. Perplexed by my request, the employee went to find his colleague. Soon enough five staff members surrounded me. Unable to point me to an aisle where I would find the “never-heard-of-before” popsicle sticks, I was handed a box of mini sword skewers.

I resigned to the idea of chocolate cakes on skewers. With all the hassle surrounding the search of the magical popsicle sticks, I forgot to buy 1 ingredient. Don’t you hate that feeling when you get home and realize that you forgot that one ingredient that you need? Yup that was me and the missing cream that I forgot to get. Determined to continue my baking adventure, with or without the cream, I texted my good friend, and a much better baker than me ,for advice.

“Is there anyway that I can make a white chocolate ganache with no cream? I need it to coat mini chocolate cakes.”

“Yeah you can just melt choc, or sometimes I use whole milk. White chocolate can be a pain”

Victory,or so I though. I had milk…lowfat milk. I decided to give it a shot anyway. FAIL…F-A-I-L. Not only did I pour too much milk but I also managed to burn the bottom of the pan so that my milk and chocolate had chunks of black burn floating around. It is a sad moment when you realize that even white chocolate can make you feel incompetent. Refusing to fail, I ran to the grocery store and bought more white chocolate and cream. This is what happened next…

Ingredients: 1 box of chocolate fudge brownie mix (make sure to have all the ingredients that the mix needs), 8 oz cream cheese, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 1/2 white chocolate, sprinkles or cookie crumbles for decoration

Begin by preheating the oven to the required temperature (mine was 350). Next prepare the brownie mix as instructed on the package. Mine asked for 2 eggs, water and vegetable oil.

Thoroughly mix together with an electrical mix or by hand and pour the batter into a non-stick baking sheet or pan.

When the brownie batter is fully baked, take it out of the oven and let it cool. When the brownies are cool enough to handle, crumble the brownie sheet into many small pieces. Add the cream cheese.

Mix together and form into balls of desired shape.

Next add the cream to a pan on medium heat. When the cream barely starts boiling, pour in the white chocolate. Whisk from the center of the mixture until the chocolate and the cream have combined into one.

Dip the chocolate cakes into the white chocolate ganache to coat on all sides.

Top with sprinkles or cookie chunks. Let the cakes cool on parchment paper. Add the popsicle sticks and serve to the guests. These lollipop cakes might not look pretty, but they are so good.

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Filed under Dessert

Beet Obsession Part 2- This time a quickfire salad

And so my obsession for beets continues. As much as I would love to mix up some grated beets with carrots, garlic, red pepper flakes and mayonnaise, I am back to dieting and working out and so the mayonnaise gets substituted with yogurt. This salad is perfect for fall and is really pretty (every girl secretly adores fushia) to serve to even the most beet-skeptic guests.

Ingredients: 4 medium beets, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 3/4 cup of yogurt, 4 oz chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons of goat cheese, salt and pepper to season

Cook the beets the same way as I did for the beet hummus. When you are done grating the cooked beets, add them to a bowl. Add minced garlic.

Next add the chopped walnuts

Add yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Mix all together, top with goat cheese and serve to guests who don’t give beets benefit of the doubt. Enjoy and stay healthy

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Filed under Salad, Vegetarian

Beet Obsession

Recently I have developed an obsession with beets. I don’t know if it’s temporary (sorry beets I don’t know if I can be committed right now), seasonal (the seasons come and go) or here to stay (but let’s not rush into anything) but I have already made this delicious beet hummus, a yogurt beet salad and beet soup. While beets might not seem like the ordinary food that one would pick to be obsessed with, I urge you all to try this genius recipe from not without salt. The beets give this tender and almost sweet taste that you can’t get from any other vegetable. Even the boyfriend who hates all healthy and who pretends to cringe at the mere mention of the word beets, was caught sneaking the beet hummus while I was working on the beet salad with my back to him.

Ingredients: 3 medium beets, 2 tablespoons tahini, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 clove chopped garlic, 1/4 cup olive, salt to season

Preheat oven to 375. Wrap whole beets in foil and make cuts all around the beet. This allows the beets to cook more evenly.

Cook the beets for 30 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserts easily. Let the beets cool and peel clean. Next grate the beets (you can cut the beets into chunks but I was making a beet salad so I just grated all my beets).

Throw the beets into a food processor or a blender and add the lemon juice, garlic and tahini.

Top with olive oil and blend until smooth. Delicious with toasted pita chips.

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Filed under Appetizer, Vegetarian

Green Monster Side Dish

You all know my love for mashed potatoes. While I frequently enjoy mashed potatoes saturated with milk and cream cheese, you need to get your greens on the plate once in a while. Spinach, basil, mint, broccoli… all is fair game in this side dish. A prettier and brighter upgrade to regular mashed potatoes.

Ingredients: 5 small to medium sized potatoes peeled, 2 cups cooked broccoli, few bunches of fresh basil diced, 1/2 cup chicken stock, salt and pepper to season

Cut the potatoes up into halves. Add to a pot and fill with cold water. Cook on medium heat until the potatoes become soft. Drain the potatoes

Meanwhile add the broccoli to a blender

Use the chop mode to cut the broccoli into small pieces. Add to the drained potatoes. Pour in the chicken stock and add salt and pepper.

Add the chopped basil and mash the potatoes until the desired consistency

You can also add cooked diced spinach if you like. Enjoy!

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Filed under Side Dish, Vegetarian

Fishy Patties

So I know that I haven’t written in a while. Three weeks ago I unexpectedly (this is a whole other story) took off for travels in Spain. While it wouldn’t be a lie to say that I had limited internet connection, I have been too busy indulging in the beauty, culture, food and wine of Spain to cook anything myself. While I have two recipes that my darling mother revealed to me, I will post them a little bit later when she sends me the photos. For now, I have finally made the salmon patties that I have been talking about.

Ingredients: 1 lb boneless salmon fillet (you can buy ground salmon if you find it at your grocery store), 1/2 cup slivered almonds (substitute almonds for pistachios if you like), 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, bunches of fresh minced basil, 1/2 cup parmigiano cheese, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to season

Preheat oven to 400. Begin by removing the skin off the fish. Cut into small chunks.

Throw the salmon fillets into the blender to make ground salmon. Move the ground salmon to a separate bowl. To the blender add the slivered almonds, basil and garlic.

Using the chop mode, combine the ingredients into one mixture. Add the ground salmon, orange juice and olive oil.

Mix together. Add the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and parmigiano cheese.

Mix together and form evenly sized patties. I made seven

Place the patties into the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Serve in a bun or wrap with spicy mayonnaise. Enjoy!

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Filed under Fish