Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Egg Cookies!!

I just wanted to share the cookies I made for Dylan's Easter party at school. I used a Paula Deen Recipe if you are interested. They were my first attempt and it was a lot of fun!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts, Fresh Basil, and Lemon

When I am pregnant I am known to watch the Cooking Network ALL day long!! I then proceed to waddle my butt to the grocery store to purchase every ingredient for every recipe that has tweeked my interest on that particular day. It was one such day that I watched Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten is a genius) prepare this roasted broccoli and I've had a love affair with this broccoli dish ever since. In fact I refuse to eat broccoli ANY other way!

1 Broccoli Head or Package of Broccoli florets
4-5 Large Garlic Cloves minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
1 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
juice from one lemon
zest from one lemon
3 Tbsp. of pine nuts
1 bunch of fresh basil julienned
Freshly grated Parmesan (I use parmegiano Reggiano, it's more expensive but if you keep it in a ziploc bag in the fridge it will keep for a very long time)


Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks.
Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
Toss with garlic, pine nuts and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Roast at 400*F for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with the lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot and Enjoy!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gourmet Pizza with sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and fresh basil

I LOVE gourmet pizza! The kind that Papa John DOESN'T make. The best part about this home-made pizza is that if you keep the ingredients in stock, it literally takes 15 minutes, start to finish. Delivery isn't even that fast and not nearly as delicious! You can get as creative as you like but these are my hubby's favorite toppings! These pizzas are also great for last minute entertaining!! Enjoy!

Mama Mary's Thin and Crispy Pizza Crusts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning
L.E. Roselli's Pizza Sauce (It's all natural)
Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
Goat Cheese
Julienned sun-dried tomatoes
Fresh Basil

I like to brush the pizzas with olive-oil, spoon on pizza sauce and sprinkle with italian seasoning. Then top with your favorite toppings! You'll never order pizza again!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patty's Day Green Choc Chip Cookies!!

In honor of St.Patty's Day I thought I would share with all of you my favorite choc chip cookie recipe. I usually omit the green food dye!! ;)
Of course this recipe is courtesy of my favorite food blog: Sweet Savory Life!!
These cookies will make your friends GREEN with envy that they didn't think of it themselves! Or you can be GREEN and GREEDY and eat them ALL yourself!!
Either way, Happy St.Patty's Day and may the luck O' the Irish follow you ALL ALWAYS!!!

The Best EVER Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approx. 45-48 cookies using a sm-med 2tbl. cookie scoop


1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour *If at all possible, please weigh the flour

1 tsp. smallish-medium coarse sea salt *please do not use table salt, the sea salt gives the cookies a nice flavor and hints of texture. If you only have table salt, use 1/2 tsp. *When using sea salt, you will get small crunchy flecks of salt when you bite into the cookie. If you do not like this taste, go with 1/2 teaspoon of table salt.

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 cups/16 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips *I use Nestle Toll-House


Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until it is nice and fluffy (approx. 5 minutes on medium speed on a K-5). Add both eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour until cookie batter is fully incorporated. Finally add chocolate chips until well distributed. The cookie batter should be somewhat thick. Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough or use a medium cookie scoop and plop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are nice and golden brown. Remove from heat and allow the cookies to stay on the cookie sheet for an additional 2 minutes. Pick up the parchment paper with the cookies still on top and transfer to a cool non-porous surface. Allow the cookies to cool on the paper for at least 3 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Low Sugar Salmon a L'Orange

Ok folks it does not get any easier than this Salmon right here! My friend Virgi once told me she cooked her chicken with Orange marmalade and a light bulb went off and so the idea for this dish was born. Whenever I am in a pinch for time I make this Super Simple Salmon dish and now you will too. The combination of the marmalade and soy sauce is perfecto! Tonight I used Apricot marmalade instead and it was just as tasty!


2-3 Salmon Fillets
Favorite Seafood Seasoning (I love Costco's Herbed Seafood Rub)
2 Tbsp of Low Sodium Soy Sauce per fillet
2 Tbsp Low Sugar or Sugar Free Orange/Apricot marmalade per fillet
Black/White Sesame Seeds optional
Diced green onions/chives are also optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place Salmon on Aluminum Paper (makes the clean up a cinch)
Sprinkle with seafood seasoning
Top each fillet with soy sauce and marmalade
Bake for 30-40 minutes until Salmon is golden
Tip: Salmon is fully cooked when a knife inserts smoothly through the center of fillet
Garnish with Sesame seeds and chives

Serve with Brown Rice and Salad and dinner is Done!

Buon Appetite, ;)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chicken Piccata with capers, portabella and baby spinach

I love Chicken Piccata. Back in the day I worked at the CCF (Cheesecake Factory), that's where I met my hubby, but that's another story. Anyhow, chicken piccata was one of their most popular dishes. What's not to like? It's lemony and oh sooo good. Of course their version is laden with tons of fat and calories (I know I don't count calories but I am very concious of them). Here's a much lighter version that's heavy in flavor!!


3 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Kosher salt (I only cook with Kosher salt) and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (good quality EVOO)
juice from one lemon
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine (I buy the 4 pack of Sauvignon Blanc in the wine aisle. That way I can use them as needed plus they aren't too bad for drinking when I'm desperate)
1/4 cup capers
1 package of rinsed baby bella mushrooms
1/2 bag of baby spinach
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley is optional


Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 1 Tbsp of butter with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook on other side for additional 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to a covered plate. Add the other pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add remaining Tbsp of butter and olive oil, the lemon juice, stock, wine,capers and mushrooms. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes throwing in spinach. Remove chicken to platter and pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Serve with your favorite pasta al dente!!!

Buon Appetite,

Feeling Blue-berry?!?!?

Oatmeal Pancakes topped with Divine Blueberry Sauce

My good friend Valeria introduced me to Oatmeal Blueberry Protein pancakes. So when my favorite food blogger, Sweet Savory Life recently featured a "Simple but amazing Blueberry sauce", I knew I had to try it!!

This morning I whipped up some simple Oatmeal pancakes and topped them off with this yummy sauce. No syrup required here!!

Forget IHOP....stay home and make brunch! This blueberry sauce TOPS theirs ANYDAY!

I suggest you first make the pancakes and then the sauce.

Oatmeal Pancakes

1 cup Old-fashioned Oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Splenda(don't judge me) or sugar
2 egg whites or one whole egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon

In a blender combine all the ingredients. You can add more milk if you prefer a thinner pancake. Pour batter onto a greased hot griddle or pan. Flip when bubbles form on top and cook until second side is golden brown!

Blueberry Sauce (my own adapted version)
1 tsp butter (it's optional so don't freak out, a lil' butter goes a long way)
2 cups Frozen blueberries
1 cup Splenda/Sugar (I told you I'm in love with a diabetic) :)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons of grated orange zest and orange rind if desired

melt butter and Cook blueberries, splenda/sugar, and water on medium-high heat for 10minutes stirring occasionally. Turn heat off and stir in orange rind. Top pancakes with warm sauce and Enjoy!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Food Blog??

This is NOT a personal blog. This is a COOKING blog. Anyone that really knows me knows that I LOVE to cook. I especially LOVE to cook for others and I enjoy sharing my recipes. I also love photography and I did take AP English in highschool so I'm not that bad at writing either. I think all these ingredients would make the perfect recipe for a decent FOOD blog! ;)

Overall, I cook healthy meals. My husband is diabetic so it is important that we maintain a healthy lifestyle. But occasionally I love to throw down a decadent meal with a good bottle of wine! Everything in moderation, right? After all, what fun would life be without a juicy steak, some creamy chocolate, or a wonderful piece of cake? And that's why I am thee OCCASIONAL GLUTTON. Yes, you CAN be healty and eat your cupcake too! I'm not afraid of REAL food and I don't like counting calories, so don't expect me too!

I recently got inspired to blog by a good friend and also by my favorite food blog: It was actually voted one of Forbe's top food blogs! She's a Barefoot Contessa of sorts with recipes that are really simple and REALLY good. Except that unlike Barefoot Contessa, she's a mother of three. And the fact that she's able to whip up anything besides chicken nuggets and that her kids ACTUALLY eat it, inspires me!

So come along into my kitchen. I hope that my recipes bring you as much satisfaction as they do me! And like I said, I LOVE to cook for others. So now not only will I be cooking for my family, I will be cooking for all of you. So let's get to it! After all, a FOOD blog wouldn't be complete without a recipe, right?

Buon Appetite, ;)

Whole Wheat French Toast

2 slices of your favorite wheat toast (Ezekiel is great)
2 egg whites
1 tsp of good quality vanilla (Spice Islands is pretty good)
a couple dashes of cinnamon
sliced fresh berries
1 Tbsp. chopped almonds or pecans
Sugar-free pancake syrup

Heat a non-stick pan on med-high heat
and spray with non-stick spray or rub very lightly with butter

Beat egg whites with vanilla and cinnamon
Soak the bread in the batter on both sides and allow the excess to drip off and place on non-stick pan and cook on each side for 3 minutes.

Place on your plate and top with your favorite berries, chopped nuts and sugar-free syrup.