Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mango Salsa....

OMG - I know what you are thinking. I have fallen off the face of the earth, and the truth is, I have. Its called, being a single mother, working full time with a 15 month old. Sigh with me... aaahhhh!

Anywho, went down to East Texas the other week and Aunt Debbie (even though she isn't my aunt, she is utterly adorable and she will be referred as Aunt Debbie from now on!) gave me this recipe for an AMAZING mango salsa. And when I say amazing, I am talking mouth water, savory, amazing (oh and did I mention WAY easy to make) AMAZING!

So here goes... courtesty of Aunt Debbie!

Mango Salsa!

1 Mango - cubed (PS here is a great YouTube on how to cut a Mango)

1 Avcacado

1 Small purlpe onion

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

I bunch of cilantro

Cut in the apropriate cubes, toss and serve.

Aunt Debbie served it over an amazing grilled Chilean Seabass over a bed of wild rice, however (working on a budget) I served it over plain white rice and with Grilled chicken. Either way it comes out divine!

A great summer dish and healthy!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pasta Fagioli!

The executive chef (EC) of my food blog sent me this recipe yesterday. He is a more advanced chef than myself, as he has some years on me, but he is a great contribution to this blog ;-) He's my dad... hee hee! And he is a phenominal chef!

So here is a fantastic winter recipe... Enjoy!!

Pasta Fagioli

2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 -3 pieces of Pancetta bacon cut into small pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 cans cannelloni beans
1 qt chicken stock
1 lb ditilini pasta (small tubes)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Rosemary
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 tablespoon Basil
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Add olive oil to medium high heat pan. Brown pancetta until crispy.

2. Add garlic and brown - be careful not to burn. If there is a bitter flavor you have burnt the garlic.

3. Rinse and drain beans. Add beans and herbs to pan. Coof for approximately 10 minutes or until beans are softened.

4. Remove 1 cup of beans and purree in a food processor.

5. Return bean purree to mix. Add tomoatoes and chicken stock and let boil.

6. When the soup has reached a boil, turn the burner to a low heat and let simmer for 30 mintues.

7. In a seperate pan, cook pasta per directions. Do not rinse!

8. Add cooked pasta to soup and stir.

9. Add fresh grated Parmesean cheese and Enjoy!


Friday, January 16, 2009

Banana Walnut Bread!

This morning I saw that my bananas had turned a little too brown to eat, so I thought I would make my dad's favorite...

Banana Walnut Bread!

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick)

2 large eggs

2 large bananas

1 tablespoon milk

2 tablespoons vegitable oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups flour (there is a flour that is better for bread - I would recommend it for this)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup of walnuts


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 x5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

Cream the sugar and butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour dissapears. Do Not over mix. If you do the batter will become very thick and stiff. Gently fold Walnuts into batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 1o minutes. Set aside to cool on rack for 15 minutes.

Serve hot with honey butter!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Low Carb, Low Fat Crab Cakes!

Last night was my mom's birthday, and my dad made her these low fat crab cakes. They were phenominal!!! I would suggest you try them, even if you aren't on a diet!

1 pound blue crabmeat
1 tablespoon small diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon small diced green bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
2 eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Maryland-style crab seasoning (recommended: Old Bay can also use Creole Seasoning)

1/2 cup bread crumbs (from sliced bread - whole wheat works best)
2 tablespoons canola oil


In a large bowl, mix all ingredients, except oil until blended. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

With a tablespoon, carefully spoon poker-chip size mini-cakes into the pan. (The batter will be loose, but once the egg in the mix starts to cook they will hold together fine.)

Cook on 1 side until firm, about 2 minutes, and then flip and cook for about 1 more minute.

Cook in batches as necessary. Serve hot with mustard sauce.


Mustard Sauce:

1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chicken Creole!

My bloggy friend Lacey made this recipe last night and it looked awesome!!! She is so creative, by using things from her pantry instead of buying new stuff. Anyway, I'll let her tell you ;-) Thanks again Lacey!

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I had leftover Creole Chicken for dinner. Dave and I have been trying to do this new thing for meals called, "hey-let's-use-stuff-that-we-already-have-in-the-pantry-so-we-can-stop-being-wasteful-and-stop-buying-things-that-we-didn't-need". It's a crazy thing to do, right? Well, to start it all off, we have about 10 cans of the tomato variety, from stewed, to diced, to pureed, etc. So what do you get when you plug "chicken" and "diced tomatoes" into Chicken Creole!


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced thin

1 green bell pepper, minced

2 (16 ounce) cans diced tomatoes

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 skinless, boneless chicken breastsDirections

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, celery and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 4 minutes). Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook this Creole sauce 3 minutes longer, stirring often.

3. Arrange the chicken breasts in an 8 x 11 inch baking dish. Pour the Creole sauce over the chicken.

4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is tender and white throughout.

The only ingredients that I needed to buy were the fresh veggies, and some garlic, so I would call this first venture into using things from our pantry pretty successful!I thought it was weird at first that you only cooked the chicken in the oven with the Creole "sauce", and didn't start cooking it beforehand, but after I tasted it, I didn't care how it was cooked. This chicken was so tender and juicy, and cooking in the tomato based Creole sauce gave it such a good flavor. Also, both of the cans of diced tomatoes that I used were pre-flavored, and I think that added a lot to it.

After Dave tasted it, he insisted that we had it to the "rotation" of stuff to make for dinner, even though we really don't have a rotation, per say. When I asked him just now how he liked the chicken, he said, and I quote verbatim,

"It was like having New Orleans klezmer band parading around on my palate."Oooooooook then. But yes, make this chicken. The pictures don't do it justice, but it was delicious, even a second time around.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Coffee coated Beef Tenderloin!

I know what you're thinking... Coffee... HUH? Yeah... that is what I said when my dad suggested this concoction. I thought he had a little too much wine. But guess what? It was divine! I never would have thought coffee could add such amazing flavor to beef!

Try it out... it won't disappoint!

Coffee coated Beef Tenderloin

4 lb beef tenderloin - cooled to room temperature

1/4 cup olive oil

1 heaping tablespoon coffee - ground

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 heaping tablespoon of herbs de province (or Italian seasoning)

1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika - and as my father says... "not all paprika is created equal, so try to get Hungarian"


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

2. Place beef in roasting pan and poor olive oil over meat. Create a dry rub with the herbs and coffee and rub all over meat. Coating each side generously.

3. Turn skillet to very high heat, and pan sear, sealing each side. About 2 min for each side.


4. Place meat back in oven roasting pan and place in oven for 15 minutes for Medium Rare.

5. Let sit, covered in foil, for 10 minutes. Slice and Enjoy!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Roasted Tomatoes and Mushrooms

My dad saw this recipe on the food network. We modified it a bit but you the regular recipe is below. We only used one type of mushroom and we used dried Thyme. It turned out absolutely amazing. I would recommend it to anyone!

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and then thinly sliced
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
1/2 pound button mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
4 springs fresh thyme
1/2 cup white wine
Flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven 425 degrees F

Place a large skillet on the cook top with the extra-virgin olive oil and the sliced garlic, spread out the garlic so it is in an even layer in the oil. Place the skillet over medium heat and slowly brown the garlic stirring every now and then until golden all over, 4 to 5 minutes.

Once you have the garlic going, place the tomatoes on a cookie sheet and drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and season with some salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 8 to 10 minutes or until the tomatoes start to burst.

Once the garlic is brown remove it from the skillet and reserve. Turn the heat up under the skillet to high, once you see the oil ripple add the mushrooms and spread them out in an even layer. Let them cook for about 4 minutes without moving. Go ahead and give them a stir, add the dried thyme and season with some freshly ground black pepper, continue to cook for another 5 minutes stirring every now and then.

Add the white wine and cook until it has almost completely evaporated, add some salt and stir to combine.

Transfer the mushrooms to a serving platter, add the roasted tomatoes and the parsley and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the garlic chips and serve hot, warm, room temperature.