A Twist On Zucchini

A Twist On Zucchini

Last year for Amazon Prime Day, I invested in a fancy-schmancy vegetable spiralizer. You know, the kind of kitchen gadget that turns ordinary, healthy veggies into what looks like pasta. If you sauce it just right, you’d never even know you’re eating good-for-you-zucchini, instead of carb-loaded spaghetti noodles.

4 Blades to choose from, but I’ve only used one!

So I thought I’d share an simple 7-ingredient recipe featuring the zucchini noodles.

Zucchini Noodles Caprese
Pesto (I use store bought because it is easier and it’s a truth that I’m lazy)
Zucchini- spiralized and raw
Tomato Slices
Fresh Mozzarella Slices
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Basil

Yep- that’s it. Toss the noodles in the pesto, layer thick slices of tomato on top, then add a slice of fresh mozza. Drizzle with oil and vinegar, and spice it however you want. Top the whole masterpiece with a sprig of basil and dig in.

Bon Appetite!

Sunday Brunch at Roscoe’s

Sunday Brunch at Roscoe’s

Howdy!

Did you take a look at the photo above and go ewww, or did it make your mouth water? If you said the latter, then you’ve either been to Roscoe’s or you’ve had chicken-n-waffles at some point in your rich, full life. If your reaction was the former, well…allow me to entice you over to the crispy side. [Read more…]

A New, Healthier Me

A New, Healthier Me

I’ve recently lost quite a bit of weight (Let’s talk again in six months to see if I’ve kept it off, okay?) and I managed the task by dieting and some occasional exercise. It seemed to take forever, so you can bet I’m going to go out of my way to try to keep it off. But along comes Autumn, a season when I typically want to get in my kitchen and cook up all the yummy comfort-style foods that I am nostalgic for. Meatloaf, lasagne, chicken and dumplings, homemade mac and cheese. Exactly the kinds of foods that adds the pounds on in the past.

So, I’ve started a new recipe file and I’ve titled it Keeping The Pounds Off (or Do Not Put That In Your Mouth). Every meal is an adventure in trying to find ways to make a recipe healthier, but still ensure the taste brings back good memories.

Recently, I tried a recipe for Healthier Chicken Pot Pie from AllRecipes and was pleasantly surprised. It was easy and tasty. Here’s a picture of the final product. I’ve copied the recipe for you below. If you try it, I hope it brings back memories of family meals and fall.

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery in a saucepan. Cover with water. Boil until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and vegetables are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
  3. Cook and stir onions in butter in a saucepan over medium heat, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and remove from heat. Set aside.
  4. Place chicken mixture in bottom pie crust; pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until pie is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Gemma Sig-1

My Food Musings

Hard to talk about women and food without a floodof emotions, memories and chocolate. It seems like it plays such an important role in our lives, weaving a rich tapestry that ties together the unforgettable moments of our past, shaping who we are as individuals, mothers, partners. What you ate when your young heart was broken may always stay in a quiet corner of your mind. For those of us who have donned a wedding dress, we probably can recall with amusement what our diet consisted of as the big day neared, trying on that lily-white gown every few days in anticipation.

 

And then there’s cooking. Talk to a handful of women and no two of them have the same story about a childhood favorite dish their mother whipped up to warm them on a rainy day or the same recipe for meatloaf. We have our own tricks up our sleeve, convenient shortcuts, ingredient lists honed by way of picky eaters or allergies or someone’s aversion to mushrooms. Our time in the kitchen can have almost a magical quality to it. Some of our recipes have been passed down through generations, we may pull out cookbooks or index cards so weathered or dog-eared they have the appearance of a rare antique manuscript. Others seem to come out of nowhere. “Where did you learn how to make this?” we may have heard from our partners or dinner party guests, upon tasting a new venture. And the answer could even elicit a laugh. Sick in bed one day, you happened upon a chef on the Food Network espousing the virtues of lamb. Or at the doctor’s office, a years-old issue of Good Houskeeping provided a garlic chicken recipe too mouth-watering not to try. The combination of creativity, skill and sheer luck in the kitchen makes the experience very personal for each of us, and powerful, with successes and failures that mirror life itself.

 

For me, it’s all about keeping it simple. I actually do love to cook, but I’m not a fan of any activity that’s very time-consuming, nor do I usually have that time to spare. I’m always impressed by the kitchen alchemy some people practice, seemingly bringing to fruition gastronomic delights out of thin air, but in reality applying incredible skill, taking great pains in attention to detail and procuring hard to find ingredients. I’m not ashamed to say that for me, this is all a little extraneous. I like a simple recipe with a short list of good ingredients that comes off as hearty but sophisticated with a minimum amount of toil on my part. I learned to cook from Jamie Oliver, the cheerful and gregarious British chef with boyish charm and recipes spanning from his youth in prep school to his current role as husband, father and healthy-eating advocate. My philosophy when it comes to food doesn’t involve diets or restrictions of any kind, beyond my own preferences, which skew towards savory, unostentatious dishes. Food to me can be of course to an extent a source of comfort, and I do occasionally splurge on a few items that have questionable nutritional value, to say the least. But I very much appreciate the nurturing aspect of a great home-cooked dish. Feeding your loved ones, your physical body and your soul with delicious food that was enjoyable to make is one of life’s purest pleasures. For women especially, cooking and eating adds so much value to our daily lives. Sharing intimate moments with each other over half-priced apps in the afternoon lull of a local restaurant or romantic evenings with our partners or watching children eat our lovingly-prepared meals, those things are unique moments in time, emphasizing what’s important when an otherwise routine existence could be stripping the excitement from each passing day. A gourmet chef may not have been my calling, but my experience with food, like a lot of us, has shaped my relationships and to an extent who I am as a writer. Thinking about it makes memories flutter from the depths of my brain and a rumble gently emerge in my stomach.

A Chocolate Lover’s Tiramisu

A Chocolate Lover’s Tiramisu

Over the holidays, my husband entered us into a desert contest at his workplace.

Awesome, I’m thinking, cupcakes, obviously – but he had something a little more . . . interesting in mind. Enter, Pinterest. My go to, these days, for something different.

She did not disappoint.

I found tons of great ideas. Things I’ve never made before. Things I still plan on giving a try. But what we landed on was . . . TIRAMISU.  Bailey’s & Hot Chocolate Tiramisu, to be exact.  I was a little skeered because hellooooo, Tiramisu. I love this desert but I didn’t want to screw it up. However, I found, that with this recipe at least, that it’s easier than you’d think, to make. And after testing the recipe out once, we tweaked it a bit for the final entry.

Here it is in it’s original form, from Pham Fatale: as given by Jacklyn, of ABittersweetWife.com.

LINK: http://www.phamfatale.com/id_2976/title_Baileys-and-Hot-Chocolate-Tiramisu/

600Ingredients include:

¼ cup hot water
¼ cup hot chocolate powder
¼ cup Baileys Original
2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups mascarpone cheese
18 ladyfingers

I wish I could take credit for this pic but it is actually from the website – the pics I took of our final product were inadvertently deleted from my phone after I thought I had downloaded them. *boo* but I can tell you, we came pretty close to nailing it. 😉

The tweak? We doubled the Baileys & cocoa mixture.

If you like chocolate, give it a try. Such a great recipe. Definitely going into my “make again and again” pile.

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Feeding the Horde

Feeding the Horde

I love to cook, baking not so much. Recently though, with my increased writing schedule, I just don’t have the time to fuss around. I’m also the type of cook that likes a few good, fresh ingredients that I can merge into a great tasting meal. I’m constantly looking for quick recipes, that are not full of junk and can hit the table in about twenty minutes. Notwithstanding the various ‘don’t eat’ foods for every member of my family.

A couple of years ago I stumbled onto the BBC Good Food magazine. It comes out once a month and all the recipes are tested by at least three other people to make sure they do what they say they’re going to do. Don’t you hate it when you follow a recipe and what you’re left with bears not even a passing resemblance to what you were going for?

 

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BBC Good Food sticks to seasonal recipes, so you’re always cooking what’s fresh and at its best at the moment. Along with incredible meals from top chefs, they have this useful “Make it Tonight” feature. No more than 5-6 ingredients, easily obtainable in your local grocery store and on the table in about twenty minutes. They also tell you how much you’re spending per meal, the calorie load of that meal and offer some alternatives.

If you do have time to go for something special, it’s packed with those recipes too. I keep thinking I need to throw some away, but they’re like gold in my house.

Here’s the link to their online site, if you want to check it out. Let me know what you think if you do.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com

 

SarahSig