Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CEiMB: Cobb Salad

Hosted by The Feast Within

This is a knock-out salad and I can’t believe each portion comes in at under 400 calories! There is nothing that this salad is missing - there’s hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, avocadoes, chicken, black forest ham (somehow bacon slipped in mine :) and even blue cheese! This is one phenomenal salad!

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For the Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 pound sliced Black Forest or other smoked ham
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 6 cups romaine lettuce (about 6 ounces) coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups watercress, thick stems removed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 avocado, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup cooked diced chicken breast 1 (6-ounce) breast
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Roquefort or Blue cheese (about 2 ounces)

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Slice the ham into 1/2-inch strips. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat over a medium-high heat. Add the ham to the skillet and cook over stirring frequently, until the ham is warmed through and crisped, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Remove and discard the yolk from 1 of the hard boiled eggs. Chop the remaining egg white and whole egg and set aside.

In a large bowl toss the romaine and watercress with 2/3 of the dressing. Put the dressed greens onto a large serving dish. Place the tomatoes on top forming a row down the middle. In strips on either side of the tomatoes place the avocado, chicken, cheese, diced egg, and the crisped ham on top of the greens. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday


Monday: Shredded Chicken, Roasted Red Pepper, and Hot pepper Jack Cheese Pizza

Tuesday: CEiMB - Cobb Salad

Wednesday: Clean out the Fridge Pasta aka Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese Pasta

Thursday: Salmon and Dill Omlette with Toast (from Ninth Street Bakery)

Friday: Dining Out at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Southpointe

Saturday: Pawley’s Island BEACH WEEK!!! Quote from hubby, “need salt water, sand, pelicans, sand pipers, pleasant breezes, and sounds of crashing waves…”

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Hearty Braised Chicken Legs

This morning I made a loaf of zucchini bread along with six large muffins that I froze to take along with us to the beach.

This chicken was planned to be served over rice for lunch today, but we were in the mood for leftovers. I decided to go ahead and make the chicken with sauce, shred it and use it for tomorrow nights dinner – pizza topped with chicken, red pepper, and hot pepper jack cheese.

I tasted the sauce and it was awesome, full of rich flavor from the chicken too. I don’t cook with bone-in chicken often, but this was a cinch to make.

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  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 whole chicken legs, cut into thighs and drumsticks (2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound white mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup tomato sauce

    In a very large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet, skin side down. Cook over high heat, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook them over moderate heat, undisturbed, until they begin to brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. foodblog 027

    Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree the garlic cloves with the onion and cilantro leaves. Add the garlic and onion puree to the mushrooms and cook over moderate heat until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce. Return the chicken legs to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer the sauce until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Season the braised chicken legs with salt and pepper, transfer them to plates and serve with the sauce.

    Recipe from Food & Wine
  • While I was cooking I had a sweet little boy to watch out my window.

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    And more $2 mark down flowers, a dozen red roses - take that Valentine’s Day!

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    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    Tomato Basil Cobbler

    This is a rustic take on a tomato tart, but surprisingly quite delicious - bite by bite this ones simplicity really grew on me. I suggest letting your wedged tomatoes drain about an hour in a strainer before preceding with the recipe.

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    • Unsalted butter, for baking dish
    • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 8 to 10 medium), cored and cut into wedges
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
    • 1 cup cornmeal
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more if needed
    • 2 Tbsp basil, chopped (my addition)
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart shallow baking dish or a deep pie plate; set aside.
    2. Place tomato wedges in a large bowl; sprinkle with cornstarch and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.
    3. Place flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Add egg and buttermilk, pulse a few more times until mixture comes together. If the mixture is too liquid, add more flour, a spoonful at a time. If mixture is too dry, add a few drops of buttermilk. foodblog 001
    4. Gently toss tomato mixture again, add basil and spread it over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Drop spoonfuls of the flour mixture on top, spreading evenly with a knife, leaving some gaps so that steam can escape. Transfer cobbler to oven and bake until golden and bubbling, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. foodblog 012 foodblog 019

    Served with a little vin blanc – Chardonnay/Viognier

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    Recipe from Martha Stewart

    We ended our evening at Six Plated Wine Bar for the Txakoli Fest – complete with eight Txakoli wines, oysters on the half shell and live music.

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    Old-Fashioned Vanilla Malt Milkshake

    When I was a kid, Mom would take my sister and I to Ival’s, a local burger and shake joint, Ross, Ohio. We’d always get a steak grinder with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and a vanilla malted milkshake. My mom loved them so much that her enthusiasm rubbed off on us – to do this day I adore both of these special treats!

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    1/2 cup cold milk
    3 tablespoons malted milk powder
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 scoops vanilla ice cream

    In a blender, mix together milk, malted milk powder and vanilla extract. Scoop in ice cream. Blend until smooth. Pour into glass and serve.

    Madison Central High School

    Today’s my 10 year high school reunion back in Richmond, KY.  There are several friends I would love to catch-up with, but I can’t say I’m too sad that I’m missing it. I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes and getting to see fun photos of everyone.

    Here’s an old scanned in photo of me back in 1999 at my high school graduation party. Funny that my hair is cut very similar now, I haven’t changed much!



    July 2009 (3)

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    Grilled Tilapia with Crème Peas and Roasted Tomato Salad

    This morning I made a batch of Breakfast Sandwiches, they’re filled with homemade maple chicken sausage patties, hot pepper jack cheese, and red pepper jelly (for Andy to reheat at work)…

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    a Grasshopper Pie (Andy’s favorite dessert for the beach next week)…

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    and a fantastic Pecan Pie (my father-in-law’s favorite dessert), I used this recipe without the chocolate.

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    Before lunch I got to video chat via Google with my sister, for the first time!!! It was so nice (and cool) to actually see her and the kids! They were pulling out every toy they owned to show me over the camera. I’m so excited to have a web camera and feel more in touch with her and am encouraging all to get a web cam!

    Brinkley Farms Summer CSA – Week 2

    I used the crème peas in the recipe below, these are similar to black-eyed peas and are really more like edamame or butter beans than the typical green peas. Last year I made a delicious local ingredient crème peas and butter bean salad “Durham” Caviar; I hope to make again soon.

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    1 pt yellow cherry tomatoes
    1 pt red cherry tomatoes
    1 lb crème peas in hull
    1 lb heirloom tomatoes
    1 pt sweet peppers (loved these!)
    1 lb zucchini

    Grilled Tilapia with Crème Peas and Roasted Tomato Salad

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    • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 1/4 pounds fresh crème peas or fava bean pods, shelled
    • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
    • 4 tilapia filets
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes in a small baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and gently shake dish to coat; season with salt and pepper. Transfer tomatoes to oven and roast until heated through and just beginning to split, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
    2. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add crème peas to boiling water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
    3. In a medium bowl, add roasted tomatoes, peas, and mint; toss to coat with vinegar and mint. Season with salt and pepper. foodblog 017
    4. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Rub filets with a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them seasoned-side down in skillet; cook for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and turn; cook until they are just golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes more. 
    5. Divide tomato salad evenly between 4 plates. Top each salad with a filet; drizzle with any remaining vinaigrette from salad and serve immediately.
    Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

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    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    CEiMB - Oven Baked Squash Rings

    Hosted by Meet Me In The Kitchen

    I swapped out the onion for a zucchini and summer squash, just because I had them to use up! I really don’t particularly like to bread things, I think it adds unnecessary extra time and calories. But I was very impressed by this coating - it was full of crunch and gave a nice salty and spicy (may have used a tad too much cayenne) flavor.

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    • Cooking spray
    • 4 cups baked potato chips
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    • 1 to 2 large Vidalia onions, peeled

    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

    Spray a baking sheet slightly with oil and set aside. Place potato chips in the bowl of a food processor and process into crumbs, about 20 seconds. Transfer to a shallow bowl, add cayenne, and set aside. In another bowl, combine buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of flour, salt and pepper and set aside. Slice onions into 1/2-inch circles and separate into rings, keeping only large, whole rings (reserve rest of onions for other uses). You should come out with about 12 to 14 rings.

    Place the remaining flour in a sealable plastic bag, then add onions, and shake to coat. Dip onions 1 at a time into the buttermilk mixture, then dip into potato chip crumbs and place on baking sheet. Spray canola oil evenly over rings and bake for 20 minutes, or until coating is crisp. Season with salt, to taste, and serve immediately.

    Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

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    While at the grocery this week I was fortunate to find on mark down a dozen multi-colored roses for $3.00 and bouquet of gorgeous gladiolus for $1.00! The small vase is leftover flowers that were still healthy looking from last weeks mark down on a mixed bouquet.

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    Sunday, July 19, 2009

    Chocolate Chip Brownie Cupcakes and Apple Cider Shandy’s

    These are the best cupcakes and brownies EVER and might be the only dessert I ever crave again…

    Chocolate Chip Brownie Cupcakes

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    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for garnish (regular or mini variety)
    • 1 (21-ounce) box brownie mix (recommended: Chewy Fudge)
    • 2 eggs, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

    For the cupcakes: Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

    In a small bowl combine 1 cup mini chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of the brownie mix. Toss until all the ingredients are coated. Set aside.

    In a large bowl mix together the remaining brownie mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and water. Stir for 20 seconds until blended. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan (cupcake liners will be full). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the cupcakes comes out with moist fudgy crumbs. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting, about 30 minutes.

    For the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable. Refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.

    Spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes and garnish with the remaining mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature.

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    Recipe courtesy of Giadia at Home

    Apple Cider Shandy

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    • 4 (12-fluid ounce) bottles lager beer, chilled
    • 1 (25.4-fluid ounce) bottle sparkling apple cider, chilled

    Slowly pour the beer into a 10-cup capacity pitcher and slowly add the sparkling cider. Pour the shandy into frosted glasses and serve immediately

    Recipe courtesy of Giadia at Home


    I purchased chia a couple weeks ago and will be trying it out in my overnight oats. It’s the new “hot item” and is referred to as the new flax seed. It has more fiber, protein, omega-3’s and the best part is they are shelf stable. For more information on chia, checkout out Dr. Weil’s article here.

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    Menu Plan Monday


    Monday: Grilled Chicken and Creamed Corn

    Tuesday: CEiMB - Oven Baked Summer Squash Rings and Brinkley Farms Garlic Bratwursts

    Wednesday: Packed Leftovers: Massage Night!

    Thursday: Frozen Pizza: Movie Out - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    Friday: Company Outing: Durham Bulls Stadium

    Saturday: Grasshopper Pie (Beach Trip Prep) and Txakoli Fest at Six Plates

    Sunday: Hearty Braised Chicken Legs

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    Honey Whole Wheat Pretzels and Pineapple Popsicles

    This morning has been great, after our fun night out I woke-up and thought I’d start with some yoga stretching! I headed down stairs to let the dogs out and then next thing I new I was in the kitchen happily progressing right along on my kitchen duties. Guess that proves where my true love lies :)

    By 10 AM I had accomplished a load of laundry, homemade pineapple popsicles, chopped and roasted all my CSA vegetables for baked pasta tonight (squash, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes), and baked homemade honey whole wheat soft pretzels. Not to mention last night before we went out I threw together another batch of homemade granola this time with the addition of coconut flakes (added at the same time as the dried cranberries).

    Honey Whole Wheat Pretzels

    I’ve been wanting to make these for two years! These were great, don’t wait as long as I did to give them a try. I halved the recipe to yield 8 and sprinkled half with a cinnamon sugar mixture before baking. These are super fun and easy!

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    • 1 packet instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
    • 3 tablespoons honey
    • 1 1/2 cups warm water
    • 2 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more, if necessary
    • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon water
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    Combine yeast, honey and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Let sit for 5 or 6 minutes, or until mixture begins to foam. While yeast mixture is sitting, combine whole-wheat flour, all purpose flour and 2 teaspoons salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add flour mixture and oil to yeast mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated and dough begins to form.

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    Switch to dough hook and mix on low to medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until dough is smooth but still pliable. If the dough is very sticky, add all-purpose flour, by the tablespoon, as necessary. (I didn’t need to add any – just a dusting as I rolled them out.)

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    Remove the dough from the bowl and roll into a long log. Cut log into 16 pieces and roll each piece into a 10 by 1-inch tube. (I wanted to go classic style and made them into pretzel shapes.)

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    Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Twist each dough stick several times and arrange sticks on cookie sheets, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart. (I let mine rise about 20 minutes on top of the oven as it was preheating.) In a small bowl beat the egg with water and brush on dough. Combine 1 tablespoon salt (I used coarse) with sesame seeds and sprinkle evenly among dough pieces.

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    Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a golden crust has formed but pretzels are still soft inside. Remove from oven and cool completely.

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    Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

    Pineapple Popsicles

    I picked popsicles molds up when I was in KY a few weeks ago (at Target). Now I’ve been collecting recipes to try – here’s my first.

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    • 3 cups fresh pineapple chunks, (or one 14.5-ounce can chunks packed in juice, drained)
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    1. In a food processor, combine pineapple chunks, milk, and sugar; pulse until almost smooth, with some chunks of pineapple remaining.
    2. Pour half the mixture into a medium bowl (or a glass measuring cup for easy pouring). Pulse remaining mixture until completely smooth; add to mixture in bowl.
    3. Divide evenly among eight 3-ounce molds or paper cups, and insert wooden sticks. Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours or up to 2 weeks (cover with plastic wrap).

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    Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

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