What To Do With

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Mustard, Sage and Balsamic Glaze Chicken with fragrant, Organic Baby Greens & Roasted Asparagus.

1 2-3 pound organic chicken cut into pieces. (Breast, legs) Use the extras for Chicken Broth
8 Fresh Sage Leaves chopped
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Glaze
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and Pepper

For the Asparagus.
Cut off about 1 inch of Asparagus from the bottom
Peel bottom half of Asparagus.
Divide the asparagus lengthwise into two pieces using a sharp knife.
Place in a baking dish.
Drizzle with Olive oil coarse salt and pepper.
Cook on high heat about 4oo degrees about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Saeson your chicken with Salt and Pepper
In a bowl combine all ingredients.
Pour over chicken and rub in with your hands.
Place in refrigerator and marinate at least 30 minutes.

BBQ chicken on indirect high heat about 30 minutes. Finish on direct high heat for about 5-8 minutes.
Or, roast in the oven about 15-20 minutes at 390 degrees. Or until liquid runs clear.

To serve place salad on plate.
Top with Asparagus
Drizzle fragrant Olive oil and a squeeze of lemon season with salt and pepper.
Plate your chicken as is and enjoy!

Simple and Delicious!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pizza Margherita 3 ways!

Easy & Fast but oh so delicious!
The Cheat but oh so delicious!
Some work but oh so delicious!

Three options for the basic pizza margherita. Who can live without pizza?

Easy & Fast

Using your favorite flatbread or pita bread simply add your favorite pasta sauce. I use my homemade fresh pasta sauce. Add fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. Bake for about 10 minutes on high heat. Add more fresh basil to garnish.

The Cheat:
If you have more time on your hands try this version.
Buy your favorite already prepared pizza dough.

Sprinkle some flour on it and form into one large ball.

With a sharp knife cut the large ball into four smaller balls, or eight, depending on how thin you like your pizza.

Stretch the dough out with your fingers or use a rolling pin.
(The kids always help out with their own pizza)!

Add flour to avoid sticking to the counter and to the rolling pin!
Heat a dry griddle pan on high heat.
Add the flattened dough to the dry griddle pan.

Cook until it starts to bubble and the edges start to turn golden.
Flip to the other side and cook for another minute or two.
Add your sauce, your fresh mozzarella and basil leaves.
Cook for about 8 minutes on high heat 425 degrees.or until the cheese starts to bubble and turn golden.

Work but delicious!

This pizza recipe comes directly from Mario Batali's new book called Molto Gusto!
It's a fabulous book with excellent recipes I highly recommend it to everyone. Almost no meat in this book just so you know!

This pizza dough is wetter than most doughs which allows for the particular cooking technique.

Mario uses a hot griddle to parcook the pizza crusts.

1 1/4 cups warm water
one 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 1/2 cups of "00" flour
Scant 2 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Semolina for dusting

To make the dough:
Whisk the warm water, yeast, and sugar together in a bowl.
Let stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until yeast is foamy.

Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
Mix well.
With the mixer on low, add the yeast mixture and oil, mixing well.
Continue to mix, gradually, increasing the mixer speed to medium high, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and turn it by hand to finish kneading it.

Once you have kneaded, divided and stretched the dough into 8 flat pizzas, heat the griddle pan until very hot.
Place the pizza on the griddle pan and cook until evenly cooked about 2-3 minutes.
Turn and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool.
Parbaked crusts can be refrigerated overnight and frozen, well wrapped, for up to two weeks.

It's a great idea to make a large batch of these and freeze them, so whenever you are in the mood for a perfect pizza all you have to do is take one out of the freezer.

You can also freeze some of the pizzas with the toppings on them-even easier!

Once you have dressed you margherita with sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil broil it in the oven for about 5-8 minutes.

More pizza ideas:
I tend to saute most of my ingredients/vegetables before adding them to the pizza! Much tastier.

My kids love a spinach pizza.
Frozen chopped spinach run under hot water.
Drain spinach by squeezing out excess water with you hands.
Saute spinach with finely diced onion and minced garlic.

Add sauce, spinach mixture, mozzarella cheese . Cook and enjoy.

Sausage and roasted red and yellow peppers.
Vegetarian with asparagus, mushroom, thinly sliced zucchini.
Prosciutto & arugula-add arugula after cooking.
Potato & Rosemary- SIMPLY THE BEST! make sure your potato slices are very thinly sliced.
Caramelized onion, goat cheese and spinach.

My crazy combination
Sauted baby spinach, caramelized onion, roasted garlic, fresh ginger, or pickled ginger, pine nuts, fresh mozzarella.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spinach Quiche

These little spinach quiches are another option for large group entertaining.

I chose to post spinach quiche because this is the favorite vegetable in this house!
You can vary the recipe by changing your fresh ingredients.
Try ham and cheese.
Bacon, caramelized onion and tomato.
Mushroom and goat cheese with thyme.
Simple eggs, onion, and truffle cream or truffle oil.

They are also perfect for lunch and or dinner.

Toss a fresh salad to go along with it and you have a perfectly easy and delicious meal.

For the quiche.

Frozen pastry shells(no lard! Look for all vegetable shortening).
Place frozen pastry shells on a baking tray and cook as per directions.

1/2 cup Frozen spinach-
1 onion finely diced
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
8 eggs

Run the spinach under hot water to defrost.
Squeeze out any excess liquid.
Place in a colander in the sink and let any liquid come out.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan gently saute the onions.
In a bowl whip the eggs.
Add nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
Add the mozzarella cheese.

Add the spinach to the frying pan and gently cook on low heat until warm.
Allow to cool slightly.

Mix the whipped eggs with the spinach mixture.

Ladle or pour the egg mixture into the pastry shells and top with more mozzarella cheese.

Cook until cooked about 10 minutes.

Blueberry Drops

These little mini muffins are so tiny that in our home we call them drops.

We love them. They are incredibly tasty it's often very hard not to eat the whole batch in one sitting.

I made these all summer so the recipe calls for fresh berries. You can use frozen berries in the winter.

5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cups plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 1/2 cups of self rising flour


1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter your cupcake trays.
Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add egg and incorporate well.
Add yogurt and lemon zest.
Sift flour mixture into batter slowly until well incorporated.
Fold in blueberries.

The dough is thick! Spoon into muffin cups about 3/4 full.

Cook 20-25 minutes.

Something for everyone...

Banana Loaf- Or Cupcakes

This is a recipe for a large amount of banana bread. We go through it pretty quickly in our home.
I usually make one large loaf and cook it for about an hour and 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

You can divide the batter into two loaf pans and cook for about 40-45 minutes.

Or, you can make 12 very large cupcakes and cook for 30-35 minutes. (18 regular sized cupcakes cooked for 25-30 minutes) or about 48 mini muffins cooked for about 30-35 minutes.

Many choices cooking times will vary depending on the power of your oven. Always check readiness by inserting a toothpick into the centre and seeing that it comes out clean.

It is a very tasty recipe that pleases many!

I like to use real chocolate in my loaf, as opposed to chocolate chips, it gives the bread a much more sophisticated flavor and texture.

You can also add walnuts, more diced banana, coconut and or granola to the batter to add even more texture!

Serve the loaf warm on a plate topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Simply, a perfect no fuss dessert.

Pack it up in parchment paper and bring it along to a play date or slice it up for breakfast warmed in the toaster and spread with butter. Or send to school as a yummy snack.

3 cups all purpose flour.
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter, melted and cooled. (or soft)
2 large eggs
3/4 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas (or 3 if you like it really moist) mashed
1/2 cup of chopped dark chocolate

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter loaf pan.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl or in an electric mixer.
Add the melted butter and blend either with a hand blender or with an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.
Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas.
Add them to flour mixture and blend.
Do not over mix.

Add the chopped chocolate and fold in.

Spoon batter into the loaf pans.

Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool for 5-8 minutes.

Invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Updated Posts...

There are some new recipes up that I have been working on.

Please see:

Coming Home to Color and Warmth.
A series of easy Mexican inspired recipes from my mother's kitchen.

Roast Chicken with Garlic Rosemary and Lemon.

You can also find these recipes under the tags,

eggs-5 ingredients or less-Mexican


More to come this week.

Testing Soups for Thanksgiving Weekend.

Legumes: our new carb!

Margherita Pizza-3 ways.

Bye for now.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More Brunch Entertaining.

More Saturday or Sunday morning Inspiration.

Baked Breakfast Loaf

1 round sourdough loaf ( we used a potato sourdough)
6 eggs
4 strips of organic bacon
1 onion chopped
4 Roma tomatoes quartered or 8 cherry tomatoes whole
6-8 basil leaves torn
Salt & Pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Step 1:
Cut the top of loaf with a bread knife. ( I cut the bread too low. Next time I would leave a deeper bowl)

Step 2:
Remove bread from the inside creating a makeshift "bread bowl" Cut inside bread into cubes. Place in a ziploc and freeze for croutons.

Step 3:
In a pan cook bacon until lightly crispy.
Remove bacon and place on a plate with paper towel.
Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, add onions and tomatoes to bacon oil.
Cook about 4 minutes on medium high heat, until tomatoes soften but don't break down.

Step 4:
Whip 6 eggs and basil.
Chop bacon into bits and add to egg mixture.
Add tomatoes and onion to egg mixture.

Pour egg mixture into bread "bowl".
Top with shredded mozzarella.

Step 5:
Cook loaf in oven about 40-55 minutes or until egg on the inside is cooked.

Slice up and serve with a fresh simple salad & roasted tomatoes with basil.

This is a great dish for entertaining a group of 4-6 for Brunch.
I also thought about how to make it work for larger groups.

For mini portions of this dish simply buy the individual sourdough loaves and follow the same steps.

We chose tomatoes and basil as we took a morning trip to the market and bought some delicious fresh organic produce that made the dish burst with sweetness.

You could turn this dish into any combination under the sun.

Eggs with fresh herbs like tarragon, basil, oregano and parsley with goats cheese.
Eggs with cilantro, chorizo and chipotle with Monterrey Jack cheese.
Eggs with roasted garlic, tomatoes and onion and smoked gouda.
Eggs with bacon, hot italian sausage, and smoked mozzarella.
Eggs with mushrooms, thyme and truffle oil.
Eggs with asparagus, garlic and basil with garlic goats cheese.
Eggs with tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, fresh oregano and olive oil.

The possibilities are endless!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Getting your Junk Food Fix!

Since we are on the topic of giving in to our food cravings, I decided to dedicate this post to just that!

This is a slight twist on satisfying that craving that creeps in and just doesn't want to let go.

We gave up bad eating habits a long time ago. It goes against our very nature to get into the car and drive to a fast food joint to satisfy our craving.

It seems almost unnatural and wrong. In fact if you analyze the food you actually get when you indulge in such places, it is exactly that: wrong and unnatural.

My switch to Organic local farming happened when I started eating chicken again during my pregnancies. I practice it religiously, avoiding chicken that I know has not been raised in healthy happy homes. Patrick, has just recently made the switch and can't even eat in his food court anymore!

I promise, he will have that post out soon on industrial factory farming vs local organic farming soon, here and at

So this post is dedicated to satisfying our natural urges for "bad" food and turning them into pretty healthy options for lunches and/or dinners.

So here you have it:

The Hamburger

The Sub

The French Fry

For the Hamburger:

I make these hamburgers for my kids all the time. I make the mini versions for all of us. I don't need a huge hunk of meat sitting between two pieces of bread at lunch time.

A small mini burger like this one and a salad is more than enough.

For the Chicken Burger.

1 pound of organic lean ground chicken
2 corns cooked-kernels only
2 shallots finely diced
1 green pepper finely diced
1 red pepper finely diced
2-3 sprigs of parsley finely chopped
Salt & Pepper
1 egg

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Make small patties and grill about 5 minutes each side on the bbq.
(if you are cooking inside use a grill pan)
Toast the mini buns, dress your burger and enjoy!

Change ground meat to turkey or beef and use the same recipe.

The Homemade Sub

Incredibly sweet peppers. Soft sweet onion, tender juicy organic chicken, or organic steak, fresh crisp salad and melted mozzarella cheese make this sub a Friday night delight!

Easy, healthy and so tasty.

You can leave out the bread and just enjoy your sauted veggies, with chicken, or with beef for an even leaner alternative!

For the Vegie Sub

1 green pepper julienne
1 red pepper julienne
1 yellow pepper julienne
1 orange pepper julienne
1 vidalia onion sliced
Mushrooms sliced
Mozzarella cheese grated
1 bread roll

Slice up all your vegetables.
Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper
Grill on bbq or bake in an oven at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
Or lightly saute veggies in a wok over medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes.

Lightly toast bun.
Place veggies in bun.
Add shredded cheese.
Broil for about 2-5 minutes until cheese has melted and is golden brown.

For the Chicken Sub

I use chicken scaloppini.
I season with salt and pepper and grill or saute it.
I add it to my sub with the same veggies and cheese and voila! delicious.

For the Steak Sub
Marinate a flank steak over night.
For the marinade:
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp chlli powder (Patrick likes to use chipotle chili)
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp ground pepper

Grill the steak for 4 minutes a side on direct high heat.
Cut the meat across the grain into thin slices.
Layer up your sub.
Heat under the broiler for 2-4 minutes or until cheese melts.

So easy, so cheap and so much better for you than the alternative.

The French Fry.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel 6 potatoes.
Cut your potatoes to the desired thickness of choice.
Soak in milk, buttermilk or cold water about 30 minutes.
Rinse under cold water.
Dry well.
In a bowl coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt.
(if you want to add seasoning like sea salt, parsley, garlic, paprika, rosemary etc. do it at this moment).
Cook potatoes for about 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees.
Flip fries and cook another 10-15 minutes.
Add salt when warm!

A low fat recipe would be to mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 240ml of water. Pour into a spray bottle and simply spray the potatoes with the oil and water mixture. Cook for the ten minutes, spray them again and cook for another 10 minutes. Or until crispy and golden brown.