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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Snowy, Snowy Saturday!!

So first off, this is just a post of my day. My 4 yr old daughter lost her very first baby tooth this morning and is impatiently waiting for the “Tooth Fairy” to visit her tonight. Emma’s first 2 bottom teeth had erupted when she was only 8 wks old so I’m really not surprised that one had fallen out and the other is just hanging there by a thread. Lol.

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So after everybody was outside building snowmen and freezing our butts off, Of course what did I do, came in and started cooking. Just a simple Chicken and eggplant parm. Just the kind of hearty meal you would want after some nice and chilly snow play ( recipes will be up in the morning)

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Not sure if it was the actual “food” itself or being outdoors half day but, all of us sort of just passed out ( fell asleep lol) one by one for almost a 3 hr nap. Geez, I feel like taking nap is a complete “sin” in this house but, it felt REALLY great!!
My poor husband had to work today, and I was off so it was just a great day to hang with my girls and have some fun. It’s been awhile since moving last month that we have actually got to have some quality family fun. Especially with over 2 acres of land and snow, It’s going to be a great weekend to get some sledding in and burn off all the acquired calories that will indeed be consumed till Monday!! 😆😆😆
And finally after some yummy hot cocoa in which my oldest daughter Abbey decided to dip her pretzels in instead of adding the snowman marshmallows I bought, we are finally relaxing ( again) watching “Frozen” for the 100000000000th time.. Nothing like hearing verses over and over again of “Let it Go” and “Do you wanna build a snowman” to put ya right back in sleepy time mode. It’s worth it though. Your children are only young once and they grow so re markedly fast so I’m just trying to enjoy these little moments, even the most smallest ones before they’re are eventually gone. Just got a tad teary eyed typing that last sentence!! My girls=My entire world…….

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Dairy/lactose free Applewood smoked bacon and pancetta Mac and Cheese.

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This was a fabulous recipe that I had written a little over a year ago while deciding to write more recipes for various diets. I am a gigantic cheese lover and this dish is just full of wonderful FLAVORS. A perfect and delicious substitution for lactose free peeps.

4 cups Whole Wheat Elbow Macaroni
3 cups/12 slices Lactose free Sharp cheddar cheese substitute
2 cup non-dairy creamer or Lactose free milk ( Lactaid)
3 cloves garlic grated
2 tablespoons corn starch or corn flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 med onion diced or grated
2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons applewood smoked bacon mustard
1 cup crispy pancetta
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley for garnish

Directions:

1.Bring pasta to boil as directed making sure to salt the water liberally
before dropping pasta. Cook pasta till soft but, still has a nice bite to it( al dente) . Drain and set aside.

2.Sprinkle your pancetta on a baking sheet and in a preheated 350 oven cook for 5 mins till crispy.once nice and crisp, remove from oven and set aside.

3.In a med size pot over med high heat, add a few drizzles of olive oil, garlic and onion. Sautée for about 5 mins till onions become soft and translucent. Lower heat to med

4. In a small bowl add your corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix and add to your garlic and onion mixture. Next,once corn starch is thoroughly mixed in with garlic and onion, whisk in 2 cups of you LF cream or milk. Keep whisking till sauce has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

5. Now , you can start adding in your cheese one cup at a time. Once all your cheese is whisked in, add your mustard,pancetta, salt and pepper to taste (check for seasoning you won’t need a ton of salt considering the extra salt you get from the pancetta) and add your smoked paprika. Stir and add your pasta to your cheese sauce and mix.

6. Grab a large oven safe baking dish and add your Mac right too it! Cook your Mac at 350 degree oven for 20 mins till golden and bubbly on top. Remove and sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley on top and serve.

Cooking time: approx 30 mins including prep

Serves 4 to 6 people

Bacon and Smoked Paprika lentil cakes

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I’ve really starting getting into the lentil craze these past few months. From soups, to salads to even substituting lentils for mashed potatoes. So I figured if you can mash up some potatoes and turn them into a potato cake then why not do it with some
Mashed lentils?? Totally spot on and adding some bacon and smoked paprika ( which I add to everything) just fave it that flavor core that would turn any lentil skeptic into a lentil LOVER!!

2 cups red lentils
3 cups chicken stock
6 slices of bacon cooked and chopped
2 cloves garlic grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1/2 onion chopped and diced small
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teas Thyme
Salt and pepper
Olive oil.

In a med sized pot bring 3 cups of chicken stock to boil over med heat. Once bubbling add lentils and stir. Once liquid starts to absorb and lentils become soften( usually about 7 to 10 mins) start breaking up lentils with a Wooden spoon. Once liquid has completely absorbed ( another 5 to 7 mins) and lentils mash up easily with your wooden spoon, remove from heat. Mash up lentils till they have the same consistency as a standard mashed potato. Once lentils are completely mashed , add chopped cooked bacon, grated Parmesan cheese , garlic, onion, hot sauce, smoked paprika and thyme,salt and pepper and mix. Now you’re ready to add your flour. Add just a few tablespoons at a time till the entire 1/2 cup is incorporated.

Now you can form your patties. I usually take about half a palm full of mixture to form the patties to ensure all the patties are the same size ( should make 6 to 8 patties). Once all patties are made, preheat large skillet on med high heat and add a few drizzles of olive oil. Once pan is hot enough, drop 4 patties at a time. Sautee each side for 4 to 5 mins till tops are golden brown. Once patties are browned on both sides remove and place on a large platter. Serve with either a fried or poached egg on top.

Cooking time: approx 25 mins

Serves 6 to 8 peeps

EDV,KF

12 hr marinated pork loin

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Pork is such a great cut of meat. So versatile and super tender if you cook it the right way. For me, the best way to make a pork loin or roast is to let it marinate over night letting all those great flavor permeate the meat, cook it low and slow . So many great and intense flavor combos going into this it’s nuts.

2 12 ounce pork tenderloins
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 sprigs tarragon leaves removed and stripped from stems( 2 extra springs for roasting
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 tea thyme
1 tea rosemary
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teas smoked paprika
7 garlic cloves
1 lemon for zesting and baking
2 habanero peppers
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place your loins in a large Dutch oven.
In a food processor add 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, tomatoes,tarragon,thyme,rosemary,fennel, smoked paprika and some salt and pepper. Pulse till consistency of a chunky salsa. Smear all your mixture onto your pork. Add your white wine and chicken stock and tarragon springs to top. Take your zesting lemon and cut into 1/4 placing in on all 4 sides of your pork. Cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hrs.

After marination:

Preheat oven to 300
Remove pork from fridge and place into stove with the cover still on. Cook for 2 2 1/2 hours. Remove cover and turn your heat on your stove up to 375. Cook for an additional hr or may take a little bit longer. Once the top of pork gets that beautiful brown crust, remove and let rest for up to 20 mins.

Cooking time: approx 3 1/2 to 4 hrs

Italian style BBQ pulled pork sandwich with melted mozzarella on Charred garlic wheat bread

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This recipe I created by cooking of a pork loin, marinated for 12 hrs in
white wine,7 garlic cloves, lemon zest, thyme,fennel seed,rosemary,cherry tomatoes, and 2 chopped up habanero peppers. Cooked low at 300 for the fist 2 hrs and then at 375 for the last hr to 1 1/2 hrs depending on your ovens own temp. Super right?? I will post the entire recipe for the pork loin later on. This was super juicy and I had a hard time cutting into slices because the meat just totally fell apart upon cutting. SOO good..

1 pork loin cooked off and cooled and shredded
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 garlic cloves grated
1 small onion grated or chopped into small pieces
1 loaf crusty Italian wheat bread
1 1/2 cups mozzarella
3 tablespoons hot sauce
3 drizzles olive oil
Salt and pepper
Sea salt for toast

Once your pork has cooled, cut loin in half and with 2 forks start pulling apart and shredding your pork.

BBQ Sauce and Pork:

In a med sauce pan heat on med high. Add a few drizzle of olive oil, your garlic and onion. Sautée till onions become translucent about 3 to 4 mins. Next, whisk in Tomato sauce,ketchup, balsamic, hot sauce and a dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a slow boil about 5 mins. Whisk till mixture becomes thick and turn heat to low. Add your shredded pork, combine.
Place on low heat till your toast is finished and you’re ready to assemble your sandwiches.

Charred Garlic toast:

Preheat your oven to broil
Cut a loaf of crusty wheat bread or using any type of crusty textured bread you prefer. Cut into about 1 inch slices. Grab a oven rack. Drizzle some olive oil on all sides of the bread and sprinkle on some garlic powder and a little sea salt and pepper. Broil for about 2 mins just till bread is charred around the edges. Remove pieces and add about a 1/2 of your BBQ pulled pork to one side of your bread and sprinkle on some shredded mozz right on top. Place each Sammie on a cookie sheet with the tops off into a 350 degree oven for 5 mins till cheese melts on top. Once cheese melts, remove from the oven, place tops of sandwiches and serve.

Cooking time: approx 15 mins

Serves 6 to 8 peeps

EDV,KF

Stuffed Rainbow bell peppers with Ground turkey sausage, mushroom and Kale topped with melted Fontina

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I make so many different variations of “Stuffed” peppers. The options are completely endless when writing recipes for these beauties. Peppers are the kind of veggie that whether, stuffed,roasted,marinated,grilled,charred,or even raw are just such a great addition to any meal! So versatile that you can add them to most dishes to not only give it flavor but, make the colors “POP”! I love buying these beautifully colorful “Rainbow” peppers. There are so many assorted colors it sometime makes it impossible for me to choose what color I want to use. So I usually just end buying 1 of each. Lol. 👍

6 large rainbow peppers cut in half (1 pepper cut in half for each person)
1 lb ground turkey
1 med onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 lb baby Bella mushroom chopped
1/2 bundle Kale ripped and torn from stems and chopped
2 tablespoons fennel seed
1 tsp dry sage
1 tsp dry thyme
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup freshly shredded fontina cheese
2 Drizzles of of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Rice:
Cook rice as directed . I usually just use quick cooking “Success rice”

Peppers:
First cut all your peppers in half lengthwise. Grab a large pot and fill with water about 1/4 way up. Place pot on stove and on med heat bring water to boil, add peppers and cover. Steam for about 10 mins till peppers are tender. Once tender, remove ( with tongs) and place off to the side to cool.

Turkey mix:
Then in a large skillet heat on med, add a few drizzles of olive oil, onions and garlic. Sautée for about 5 to 6 mins till onions turn translucent. Next add in your chopped Kale and mushroom and cook for about another 3 mins or till mushrooms have have browned quite a bit. Now add your ground turkey. Break turkey up with a wooden spoon. Add your fennel seed,thyme,sage and a dash of salt and lots of black pepper. Cook turkey till browned and fully cooked usually takes about 4 mins. Once turkey fully cooked through , add your sauce and cooked brown rice and stir to combine. Remove from heat and you’re ready to get “STUFFING..

Stuffage:
Now, place already steamed peppers halves on to a baking dish, fill each pepper with turkey mix right up to the very top. Sprinkle on some freshly shredded fontina cheese to the tops of each pepper and put into a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 mins just till cheese melts and gets that beautiful little golden color we all love. Once this happens, remove from oven and place all peppers on a large serving platter or dish. Sprinkle on some chopped fresh parsley and serve.

Cooking time: approx 30 mins

Serves 6 peeps

EDF,HH,DF,GF,KF

Hot Italian turkey sausage burger with melted provolone

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So it’s cold and I haven’t made a burger in quite a while! So this was just perfect. I live turkey burgers.
You can get just as creative with a poultry burger as much as the creativity you can do with a good ole beef burger. Plus they are a tiny bit healthier and the possibilities are completely endless with Turk burgers.

1 lb Ground Italian sausage
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons Goya “Adobo” seasoning
2 cloves garlic grated
1/2 grated onion
4 slices provolone
Olive oil

In a bowl add you ground Turk sausage, smoked paprika and adobo seasoning, grated garlic and onion and mix. Make 4 patties making them all the same size. Preheat a large skillet and add a few drizzles of olive oil. Drop each patty and cook on each side for 3 to 4 mins. Once browned and fully cooked through, add 1 slice of provolone on top of each and melt. Remove and add to you favorite bun and add all your favorite toppings and enjoy.

Cooking time: approx 10 mins

Serves 4 peeps

EDV,LF,KF