Monday, June 25, 2012

Mediterranean Flatbread

Here is a recipe that I NEVER would have tried if it wasn't for the fact that they were cooking it, and giving away samples at Publix one day.  I have actually made it a few times, it definitely is different....but very easy, and very good!  The past few times, I have made it with roasted cauliflower.  It seems to be a good combination, and hubby loves it!  This time, I also had some bean/quinoa pasta salad thing that went well too!  Mmmmm....anyway try it if you are daring!
Click HERE for the recipe!




Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Bake

I tried this during the week before I went to NY...the one when it rained for days on end, and I was cooped up in the apartment...yup, that's the one!  With all of that time on my hands, I ended up making this beauty!  It was SO good....definitely a keeper!   After reading about 50 recipes for oatmeal bakes, I came up with this somehow.  Yummmm....
Ingredients:


  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 Tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 banana (mash half, and slice the rest)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries 
1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl (oats/brown sugar/baking powder/cinnamon)
2.  In another bowl whisk almond milk and egg white, then stir in mashed banana and strawberries
3.  Carefully combine the dry and wet ingredients, be careful not to smoosh the strawberries!
4.  Put mixture into an 8 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray
5.  Lay sliced bananas over the top (I also sprinkled a tiny bit of extra brown sugar over the top)
6.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

Friday, June 8, 2012

Grandpa's Marinara

I've been wanting to share this for a while, because it is just so simple and delicious!  The problem is that when I cook, I very rarely measure....so I have a hard time explaining the recipe step-by-step.  Well, here is my very best effort in order to share Grandpa's sauce.  I think the only thing that makes his sauce different from any other marinara, is that he would caramelize the onions.  This gives the sauce a sweeter taste.  So good!
Here are the ingredients:
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (use San Marzano's if you can....so worth it)
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 large onion - chopped 
  • 3 garlic cloves - finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped carrots (I throw a big handful of baby carrots in my chopper)
  • 2 tbsp (ish) - Extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1/3 (ish) cup of red wine (I usually use whatever I have on hand - merlot/cabernet sauvignon)
  • water
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
  • italian seasoning
  • basil
  • crushed red pepper (just a pinch)
*I'm not even going to put measurements for the seasonings - just throw in how ever much you want....sorry for not being specific!


Directions:
1.  On medium heat, saute 2/3 of the chopped onions until they are translucent.  Then add salt and pepper.  Turn the heat down to low, and continue to saute onions until they are caramelized.  You can spend as much time as you would like on this. (Do not burn them!)  Grandpa used to cook the onions down for a good 45 minutes at times.  I usually spend about a half hour, however I have done less than this and the sauce still comes out good.
2.  When your onions have reached the desired level of caramelization, add the other 1/3 of onions into the pan and saute until they are translucent.  I do this so that you have two different levels of onion taste in the sauce.  Add the rest of your seasonings after this (italian seasoning, and basil). Should look something like this....

3.  Saute garlic for about a minute or two, then add in chopped carrots for another few minutes.

4.  Add some red wine, let the alcohol cook out (you may need to turn the heat up a little bit)
5.  Add your crushed tomatoes, then put 1/2 can of water into the sauce (use the crushed tomato can -it gets all the excess).  Also, add the tomato paste.
6. Bring the sauce to a bubble, then turn the heat to low....and let it cook for at least 30 minutes (I usually let it go for an hour), stirring every once in a while.  I also add a handful or two of parmesan cheese as it cooks.  I leave the lid propped open to let some steam escape.  If the sauce gets too thick add more water.


I hope this is easy to follow, it makes a ton of sense in my head!  Haha...enjoy!!!!  :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Coconut Chicken

On Monday night, I was feeling inspired as I waited for the premier of MasterChef!  Unfortunately, Stephen was working late...but I had a yummy meal waiting for him when he came home.  I tried this recipe for coconut chicken from "Back to Her Roots"...
Coconut Chicken:  Click Here!
It was really easy, and came out great!  I used sweetened coconut because we couldn't find the unsweetened....it was delicious!  I also made roasted carrots and broccoli, and jasmine rice. We dipped in the sweet chili sauce, which I had on hand from something I made last week.  It is my new favorite condiment, will have on hand from now on!  For the veggies, I just coated them with EVOO, salt, and pepper... then cooked at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes (turned about halfway through).  I have been on a roasted vegetable kick lately, so good!
















Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Frank Mirando

If someone were to tell me when I started this blog years ago, that someday I would have a post entitled "Frank Mirando"....I would have thought they were...well, completely insane.  Don't get me wrong, Frankie (as the kids on the block always called him) was a big part of my life growing up, it just is a little unusual to be 27 years old, married, living in Florida, and have an entire post dedicated towards him.  It certainly is random to say the least....but please let me explain!  Frankie is a contestant on Season 3 of MasterChef (on FOX), tonight he makes his first official appearance.  Needless to say this is quite the accomplishment, and he has worked SUPER hard to be where he is at right now!  Two words come to mind when I think about how he relates to my childhood...."Neighborhood Terror".  This seems harsh, but I am about to redeem myself by saying that he obviously grew into an incredibly well accomplished man, an amazingly talented cook, and of course a loving father!  I couldn't be more proud of him!  Check him out tonight on MasterChef at 9:00 on FOX, and watch this clip of his interview on Fox News....way to go Frankie!!!

Elegant Edge Photography

Our photographers from the wedding, were just phenomenal!  We could NOT have been more pleased with our gorgeous pics, let alone how wonderful Stefanie and Ann were (those are my names)!  Head on over to their blog, and check out the WONDERFUL re-cap of only the greatest day ever!

Elegant Edge Photography - CLICK HERE!

Two of my favorites...although there are MANY MORE!


Monday, June 4, 2012

White House Turkey Lasagna

I saw this recipe on the Today Show about a year ago, and I have made it quite a few times. It was even a hit with my parents who were a little "iffy" about the healthy alternative swaps...such as whole wheat noodles, and turkey meat. Well, they LOVED it! This dish is by no means healthy...but it is definitely a healthier alternative to a real lasagna, and I think it is just as good! Here is the link to the recipe: White House Turkey Lasagna.
There is even a video, so you can see exactly how easy it is. I made it again last Wednesday when I had off, and we had enough for Stephen to bring leftovers for lunch twice, and we even had it for dinner again on Friday....not too shabby! It really goes a LONG way! Here are the ingredients... 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 pound fresh ground turkey 
  • 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, crushed 
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 16 cooked whole-wheat lasagna noodles 
  • 15 ounces low-fat ricotta 
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1 large egg, beaten 
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, washed, but not dried 
  • 1 pound low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese (optional) 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried flat-leaf parsley 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried basil 
Preparation
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add ground turkey and cook for about 10 minutes.
Add damp spinach, stir until wilted. Add plum tomatoes, tomato paste, and season with salt and pepper; let simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir in basil and parsley, set aside.  

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and egg, season with salt and pepper and set aside. (My noodles didn't come out very pretty, but they sure were delicious regarless!)
Ladle one-quarter of the turkey mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; spread to cover. Add 1/4 of lasagna noodles, one-third of the mozzarella, one-third of the ricotta mixture. Repeat process two more times; top with remaining lasagna noodles. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over top; transfer to oven. Bake until bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.
Let stand about 5 minutes before cutting, serve.
 
I made a simple salad with spring mix, and balsamic vinaigrette... delish!

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