Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Here's another idea- something to spur your brain on when it comes to "what veggie tonight?" Artichokes! They are a great veggie, very nutrient dense, and easy to make.

# of artichokes (1 per person, if really large you can share)
boiling water
red wine vinegar

Get out your biggest pot, bring it to a boil. Trim your artichokes with kitchen scissors and/or a knife (so that it looks like the one in the picture). You want a fresh cut on the stem, and you want to cut off all the prickles on the tips of the leaves. When the water is boiling, I put a few splashes of vinegar in the water and then- in go the artichokes. (Some people add salt, oil and garlic cloves, get creative if you feel up for it, I keep things simple with these guys). Let them boil for uncovered for 30-40 minutes. To tell if they are done, stick a fork in the stem, if it's soft, it's ready to eat, if not, let them go a little longer (time will very with size of artichoke). You can also pull off a leaf, it if pulls off easily, they are done! Ta-da, how easy was that?

Serve: I like mine plain, my husband eats his with lemon juice and butter... whatever floats your boat I guess!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Firestone Fries...

Firestone Fries
(small wedges with mini potatoes)
Fry Sticks with Large Potatoes
If you have been to San Luis Obispo, then you have most likely visited Firestones, and if you've visited Firestones, then you have had their DELICIOUS fries! Well, here's my tastey/healthier version of the little guys! They are so simple!!!

4 large russet potatoes (brown ones)
olive oil
Lawry's Seasoning Salt

Preheat your oven to 425. Scrub your potatoes well (you don't have to peel them) and begin chopping them into strips (or wedges if you prefer). The key here is to make them all the same size for equal baking time. Once they are all chopped, put them in a bowl, drizzle olive oil over them until they are equally coated, use roasting pans or put parchment paper on a cookies sheet (or 2 sheets if you need both) there should only be one layer of them- don't let them sit on top of one another. Cook those bad boys for about 35 minutes or until they are golden brown (stab them with a fork to make sure they are soft enough, the time will depend on how thick your slices are). When you take them out, give them another good shake of the Lawry's, mix them up, then taste to make sure they are seasoned enough for your liking! If so, serve hot!

Serve with: these go great with burgers of course, but compliment a salad wonderfully- like the steak cobb!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chinese Chicken Salad...

This is so tastey and great for a summer day when Napa Cabbage is in season! Really simple and light- great for showers and brunches, or bulk it up with lots of chicken and serve it for dinner... here we go...

1 Head Napa Cabbage, washed and chopped
1 package chicken tenderloins, browned
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced as thin as you can get it
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
4-5 green onions, chopped
1 cup sliced almonds
2 TBSP sesame seeds (buy in bulk at WinCo for better prices)
1 TBSP butter

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup oil
1 TBSP soy sauce

First things first, wash your chicken, and brown it in a big pan on the stove- season it with a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder- set aside. Next it's time to toast your almond slices- add 1 TBSP butter to a hot pan, pour in almonds and sesame seeds, turn constantly so they don't burn. Remove from heat once they are toasted and set on a plate or foil to cool. Start chopping the Napa Cabbage into strips, next chop your green onion, bell pepper and put in large bowl. Put it in the fridge to chill while you make the dressing. Drain your mandarin oranges and put them on at the last minute. Pour on the dressing, mix it all together and serve!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Proof that this stuff is GOOD!
Sauted Onions
Garlic, Onions, and Turkey browning....
Finished Product...

I have tried a lot of spaghetti sauces out there, and this one- umm, umm- it takes the cake... or noodles if you will! It's from my sister's blog, the only difference is that I add some wine to mine. A tip for you- double it up, make a batch of 2, eat one and freeze the other. I did this the last time I made it in a big pot and it was great to come home from vacation with a homemade meal that was ready in 20 minutes when we returned!

1 lb ground turkey
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
I can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano
3 TBSP parmesan cheese
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup red wine
Brown Rice Noodles (available at Trader Joe's)

Start boiling your water for the noodles, add them once you have a rapid bowl, follow directions on the package for them. Next, using a big pot (if you're doubling a batch) or a frying pan (for single batch) add your olive oil, chopped onion, and garlic (fresh if you have it or frozen cubes from Trader Joe's). Let it saute until the onions are browned and translucent, then add the turkey and cook until browned. Add the remaining ingredients, tomatoes, tomato sauce, seasoning, wine and parmesan. Cook covered for 15 minutes. Dish up your noodles and scoop on some chunky sauce, top with fresh parmesan and parsley if you'd like- you're gonna love it!

French Toast Sticks....

Here's a quick post I have been meaning to put up for awhile for a great kids breakfast! It's super easy and quick, and those little fingers will love having their own finger-licking stick for breakfast! 

Ingredients: (ingredients are for one serving, increase for more servings)
1 slice of Bread ( I use Whole Grain Bread from Trader Joe's)
1 egg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, crack your egg, and pour in your cinnamon, use a whisk to blend the 2 ingredients together. Next, slice your bread (cut the crust off if needed for your munchkin). Then I slice it into 4 pieces, and then let them soak in the egg mix for a few seconds, turning them over. They don't need to soak very long because they are so small. Heat your frying pan medium to high heat, add  some kind of non-stick to it (coconut oil or olive oil or spray) and place your sticks on it. Let them cook on one side until it's browned (use a flipper to peek underneath) then flip it and brown the second side! Wha-la! That's it! Serve plain or with "dipping sauce" like agave, maple syrup, or fruit sauce.

Variations: When I have over rip bananas I add 1/2 of a banana smooshed up into the egg mixture and make it with banana chunks. Emery loves this kind! Give it a whirl- you may have to scoop the banana onto the slices once it's in the pan, but it's a fun variation (the pictures above have banana in it). Another variation, add 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract for a change.

Roasted Turkey Breast..

This is not really a recipe, more of an idea- but a great one at that. It serves as a great break from chicken and beef, and brings a little of that good ol' Thanksgiving tastes to your table without cooking the whole bird! Enjoy!

Turkey Breasts (these are sold in the refrigerated section, I got mine at Trader Joe's- it has bones and skin)
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash your bird breasts off, pat them dry, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then place them on a roasting pan ( I put foil over my broiling pan for easy clean up). Pop those guys in the oven for 45 minutes (may need more time if your bird breasts are a little on the large side!) I use my thermometer and wait to see it say 170 degrees- then I know they are done! The skin will be a golden brown and the juices will run clear.

Serve with:
Red Mashed Potatoes (see recipe), green salad, asparagus or artichokes.  

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cooking Demo

(from left to right: Kelly, Lisa, Annah, Janelle, Jenny, Vali, Andrea, Kristin, and Jennifer)

So this was a BLAST!!!! Another wild idea of mine and this time I found a bunch of sweet girls to join me! I invited anyone who had left a comment on this blog or had commented to me in person about a recipe they had tried. I borrowed my mother-in-laws FABULOUS kitchen and held a little "girl's cooking night out" where they got to sample 8 different courses and see those meals be made. It was a ton of fun, they were a great audience :) AND I had the best assistant in the world, Jennifer Stewart (I always drag this girl into things like this!). It was a really fun night and everyone agreed- there will be a Cooking Demo #2. If you live local and wanna get in on the action, leave a comment and let me know!

Here's a Peek at the Menu they saw:
Fresh Strawberry Lemonade
Sweet Potato Fries
Simple Asparagus
Pear Salad
Gremolata Mahi Mahi
Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
Harvest Medley
Kale Smoothies
Cocky Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have a request for a different recipe for Cooking Demo #2? Leave a comment!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pear Salad

This is a refreshing salad for the summertime, compliments of my friend Katy Fults. It can be served as a side salad or with chicken as a main dish- you choose :)

Ingredients for Salad:
1 head butter lettuce (romaine works too, but butter lettuce makes it delicious!)
2 Bartlett pears
1/4 cup blue cheese or 1 avocado (pick one or the other depending on your taste buds)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
4 TBSP powdered sugar (to candy your almonds)

Ingredients for Dressing: (to be made in the blender)
2 TBSP green onions
4 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP tarragon vinegar
1/2 olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pepper
shake of salt

Wash and spin your lettuce. I like to put mine back into the fridge with a paper towel on the bottom of the bowl to absorb excess water- just make sure to remove it when adding the other ingredients! It will remain cripsy and cool in there. This salad has to be tossed right before you serve it because it's ingredients will go brown if it sits too long. To candy your own almonds- YOU HAVE TO DO THIS- it makes the salad what it is and it's easy as pie! You heat your pan on med heat, add your almonds, sprinkle your powdered sugar over top and constantly stir. That's it. Keep stirring and stirring until all the powdered sugar is melted on to the almonds (you can add more sugar to make them more "candied" if you'd like). They will burn if you stop stirring- so keep stirring and turn down your heat if needed. Once they are coated, lay out a piece of foil and pour them on to it and let them cool for 10 minutes. Now to make the dressing- pour all the ingredients into your blender, pulse until smooth (it will be a pretty lime green color), then pour into a craft and put into the fridge to chill. When ready to serve, cut the avocado & pear, sprinkle the blue cheese, add the almonds, and pour the dressing on.(Add cooked chicken pieces if you desire) then, toss and Serve! You will love it!