It's me, the Silliest

This is my blog of recipes. I like "eating the rainbow" as well as globe-trotting through food. I totally dig heady local produce and local fresh meats.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Finger Foods

I had my holiday party last night. It was a ton of fun! I love having parties and picking the menu and prepping :-)

So, I made croquettes (salmon and potato), bruschetta and pea walnut pesto on crostinis, potato latkes, individual beef wellingtons and spinach and artichoke dip.

Salmon Croquettes
1 C flakes cooked salmon
1 12 oz can of cream of asparagus
~ 2 C panko bread crumbs
1/4 C sour cream
1/4 C mayo
1 TBSP Old Bay seasoning
1 TBSP dill
Lemon zest

Mix all ingredients, roll into a ball and refrigerate over night. Add as many panko bread crumbs as you need in order to create a dough. Deep fry in 350 degree oil for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Mix the last 5 ingredients together to form the sauce.

Potato Croquettes
5 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 C condensed chicken soup
~ 2 C panko bread crumbs
1/3 C ketchup
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Boil and mash the potatoes. Add the can of soup and as many panko bread crumbs as you need in order to create a dough. Roll into balls and refrigerate over night. Deep fry in 350 degree oil for about 4 minutes or until gold brown. Mix the last 3 ingredients together to form the sauce.

4 Roma tomatoes
1/2 red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 bunch basil, roughly chopped
2 TBSP chopped parsley
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil

Mix all ingredients and let sit for a couple hours.

Pea and Walnut pesto
1/2 C peas
1/2 bunch basil
1/4 C roughly chopped walnuts
2 TBSP Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP chicken stock
2 TBSP olive oil
Zest and juice from one lemon

Puree all ingredients in the food processor. Serve this and bruschetta on oven-toasted baguette. The green and red made it perf for the holiday party!!!

Individual Beef Wellingtons were made at my last party and are always a hit!

Potato Latkes
5 Large potatoes, shredded
3 eggs
1/2 white onion, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients and pan fry in veggie oil. Serve with apple sauce.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
1 box frozen spinach, de-frosted
2 can artichoke hearts, chopped in food processor
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C mayo
1 C Pepper jack cheese
1 C parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients except for the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the parmesan on top. Cook at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown (about 40 minutes). I served this with pita triangles, carrots and blue corn tortilla chips.

These are great, crowd pleasing favorites. Most of the prepping can be done the night before. Enjoy!!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lamb Burgers with Cayenne Hummus

I love lamb. They're so cute and delicious - muahahhha. I made my flat breads to put my slider lamb burgers on. I think the cayenne hummus and the fresh herbs really made the dish. I wish I had some black olives and cucumber to make a side salad with... with a fresh herb vinaigrette - yes please!!

1 lb lamb
1 TBSP each finely chopped fresh oregano and parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp cumin


1 can chick peas
1/4 C liquid from can of chick peas
3 TBSPish lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced for equal distribution
1 1/2 TBSP tahini
2 TBSP olive oil
1 - 2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika

feta cheese!!

The first thing you should do is make the flat breads. I'm gonna use these over and over again, so get used to it! Meeg makes this delicious brioche burger buns from scratch that would also be phenom, but I tend to stick to these so it's healthier! The flat bread has to sit out for 45 - 60 mins, so do these now.

Next, take the lamb out and combine all top 5 ingredients. Form into patties and let the patties sit out until they come to room temp. You don't want to shock the meat. You can fry up (I like to grill pan it) a red onion to put on top now so it gets charcoaly. Fire up the burgers to your liking. You can grill the flat bread with these.

Next, you can right ahead and make the hummus. Combine all the ingredients from chick peas to paprika in a blender and blend away until nice and smooth. I loooove hummus - it's so creamy without being fattening!! Also, try this cayenne hummus, it has a great kick to an otherwise some-might-perceive-as bland dip. It also goes great with the lamb burgers.

I assemble the burgers with some fresh parsley, grilled red onion, plenty of hummus and feta cheese.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chard n Caper Pasta

I'm weird, but I actually crave heady leafy greens such as chard, cale, spinach, etc. I espeeecially love these paired with whole wheat pasta - I think the earthiness of the leafy green and the whole wheat pasta are a good match. I brighten it up a bit with the bite from the capers and the nutty undertone of anchovy. Yummy! And, I swear, you can throw anything in here.

Also, I serve this more as a salad with some pasta in it than a pasta dish with chard. The recipe below is for one person and I use a whole head!

1/4 lb short whole wheat pasta (anything you like)
1 head chard, stems removed and finely chopped
1 tsp anchovy paste
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp each of dried: parsley, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes
1 TBSP roughly chopped capers
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (crushed by hand)

In a medium saute pan, saute the onion with the anchovy paste and herbs for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the chard and tomatoes and continue to cook vigorously. You can add the pasta to the water at this point and cook for 2 mins less than it says to. Drain the pasta right into the saute pan, add capers and cook for another 3 minutes.

I serve this with parmesan!!

Spinach and Proscuitto Stuffed Shells

I saw the babe Giada make these on her show on Food Network. She didn't do exactly these, but that's what's so great about them - you can make them however you want! I am REALLY into these now and think it's an all around great meal and idea. I'd assume this would be "fun to do with the kids" as well. Def try these and do any variation you want - they rule!

1 box jumbo shells
1 TBSP asiago cheese, finely shredded
1 TBSP fontina cheese, finely shredded
1 TBSP parmesan cheese, finely shredded
1 15 oz container ricotta
1/4 C finely chopped fresh spinach
1 egg
1/4 lb. prosciutto, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt/pepp to taste

Cook the shells until they are el dente. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the last 8 ingredients together in a bowl and stuff a little less than a TBSP in each shell.

Line the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan with tomato sauce, place the shells in the sauce, face up and cover top with sauce. Sprinkle a combination of asiago, fontina and parmesan cheese on top. If you don't have these, you can really use any cheese. I would opt for an Italian cheese with a stronger flavor though.

I'd recommend serving this with a side salad (add the ingredients from inside the shell to the side salad. i.e. I would do a spinach salad with prosciutto and veggies with an oregano lemon vinegarette for this one) and a piece of baguette to mop up the left overs.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Prosciutto Goat Cheese Roll-ups

This is a really great appetizer/finger food for an Italian meal. You can really add anything in these you want. I personally adore the combo of goat cheese and prosciutto (I'm literally salivating... tmi?), but if you aren't a fan of goat cheese you could try feta or manchego or any kind of crumbly yet creamy cheese. As far as the filling goes, add anything! Literally. Ok, you get it. Try this combo out though, it's perfecto!

1/4 lb prosciutto
1 "log" goat cheese
Pine nuts
Fresh parsely
Pinch of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the goat cheese with about a tsp of fresh parsley, a pinch of nutmeg (literally a tiny pinch) and salt/pepp. Take a strip of proscuitto (about 5" long and 3" wide) and put a dollop of the goat cheese mixture in it. Put a few pine nuts on top and roll up.

Once you have all the proscuitto wraps rolled, sprinkle lightly with olive oil and cook for about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Meal '09

So my dad never does a traditional Thanksgiving and this year I figured I would try it myself. Not that what my father made wasn't tasty, but I was in the mood for traditional. Therefore, I made a whole turkey breast, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potato casserole, gravy and maple glazed carrots. For dessert I made a pumpkin pie!!

Sheesh, this is going to be a large post!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the turkey breast, I stuffed an herb glaze consisting of 2 TBSP each of fresh minced sage, thyme, garlic and combined with 1 TBSP olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. I put this under the skin of the turkey (you gotta loosen it up a bit... not a clean job) so it is trapped next to the meat. Rub the outside of the turkey breast with oil salt and pepper. Put this in a pot with a copped onion, 2 chopped carrots and 2 chopped celery and 2 C chicken stock on the bottom. Cook, uncovered for 1.5 hrs. Remove foil, jack heat up to 425 and continue cooking until browned.

Banana Everything Cookies


I just made really easy, simple and healthy vegan cookies. I got the recipe from the times, but modified it slightly.

Banana Everything Cookies

1 ripe banana
1/3 C apple sauce
2/3 C sugar (you can use some form of the natural sweetener such as Truvia)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 C whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 C quick-cooking or rolled oats (not instant oats)
1/4 C chopped walnuts
1/4 C vegan dark chocolate
1/4 C black currants
1/4 C coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In bowl, mash banana. Add apple sauce, sugar substitute and vanilla and mix. Add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and mix until just moist.

Add the rest of the ingredients until oats are moist.

Cook on a cookie sheet lined with parchment (don't sweat if you don't have parchment) for 10-12 minutes.

**The last four ingredients are sort of made up. I threw in whatever I had laying around. You can do any kind of nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, etc. I believe the recipe calls for 1/2 C chopped walnuts and 1/2 C vegan chocolate chips.