Monday, May 30, 2011

Homemade Roasted Tomatillo Salsa - A New Name & Design in Progress


So I up and changed the name of my blog to and am messing with its design...what you see here may take on a whole new look (again) in just a few days ...but for now...on to the salsa...  

Inspired by Rick Bayless, my husband's homemade Roasted Tomatillo Salsa is

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Zucchini Ribbons with Pine Nuts, Goat Cheese & Basil


An excellent alternative to the ubiquitous pasta salad...these raw Zucchini Ribbons with Toasted Pine Nuts, Goat Cheese and Basil come together magnificently for the perfect summer side dish!


Healthy, fresh, nutty and delicious...I promise you... as you twirl the zucchini ribbons around your'll think you are eating a creamy, cheesy pasta!  Minus the carbs!


Here's the recipe...I hope you'll try it and enjoy it as much as we did!

Zucchini Ribbons with Toasted Pine Nuts, Goat Cheese and Basil Serves 1-2 people so double/triple the recipe as needed!


1 medium-large Zucchini, ends cut off and discarded, peeled of its skin and sliced into long vertical ribbons with a vegetable/carrot peeler - stop when you get to the seeds
2 T toasted pine nuts
2 T crumbled goat cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/8 tsp. very finely diced fresh garlic
2-3 T. fresh basil, chiffonade style (plus more for garnish on top if desired)
Salt and pepper to taste


In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, vinegar (or lemon juice) and diced garlic. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl add the zucchini ribbons, goat cheese, toasted pine nuts and basil.

Pour prepared oil mixture over the top and toss together well.

Salt and pepper to taste. Top with additional fresh basil if desired and serve.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pork Spare Ribs with Steven Raichlen's Basic Barbecue Spice Rub ~ The Follow-Up


The follow-up to yesterday's post...

Pork Spare Ribs with Steven Raichlen's Basic Barbecue Spice Rub's a photo op of the finished product.

As we sat across from one another licking our fingers, spare rib meat falling from its bone...when I asked my husband for a few words of wisdom ....all he could say was...

"Go Slow...
                ......and Go Low."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Steven Raichlen's BASIC BARBECUE RUB


Summer is upon us!  My husband went out yesterday and picked up a new gas Weber Grill and Smoker!

BUT BEFORE YOU TELL ME HOW NICE IT IS...TAKE NOTE: these pictures are of Pork Spare Ribs being cooked on our good Ol' hard working Weber Charcoal Grill!  (About 5 yrs. old now and still kickin'!) 

Husband calls it, "Our Old Work Horse!"


1. Brown Sugar
2. Sweet Paprika

3. Black pepper
4. Coarse Salt
5. Hickory Smoked Salt (or more Coarse Salt)
6. Garlic Powder
7. Onion Powder
8. Celery Seed
9. Cayenne Pepper


Hard to Break Old Habits...

here is Steven Raichlen's,  BASIC BARBECUE RUB recipe, out of his "Barbecue Bible Cookbook, "How to Grill" p.441 (photos show the recipe DOUBLED!)

1/4 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Sweet Paprika
3 T. Black pepper
3 T. Coarse Salt
1 T. Hickory Smoked Salt or more coarse salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Click here to see the finished product!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cheeseburger with Soft Fried Egg and Fresh Herbs


There's something about a decadent Sunday morning breakfast that sets the tone for the entire week! 

As if you're exclaiming to the days ahead.... "Let's make it fabulous folks!"


"That means you Monday morning!"

"Tuesday're gonna shine!"

"Wednesday you rock!"

"Thursday...have you lost weight?"

" know I love you!"


What we have here is Chef Marcus Samuelsson's recipe for the Best Basic Burger  (our new go-to for sure) topped with a soft fried egg and fresh chopped herb mix of oregano, sage, basil, chives and thyme.

Nestled between a whole grain toasted English Muffin with melted unsalted butter...well...I'd say it's gonna be a delicious week! :)


Friday, May 20, 2011

Tuna Tartare / Tuna Ceviche ...Call it what you will!


I think I waited this long to post my recipe for Tuna Tartare because it's very difficult to photograph. I tried once before only to end up with a series of photos ...each worse than the last!

I recall feeling intensely frustrated that the appearance of one of my favorite appetizers ever (through the eye of the lens) simply wasn't appealing.

With this frustration came spontaneous, uncontrollable eating of the subject...and alas...there was none.

SighThe only thing worse than a bad picture, was no picture at all.  


So I decided it was time to once again ..."give it a go!"  I needed to share the recipe with the world! ;)

Perhaps more of a "ceviche" as the lime juice, soy sauce and spicy sriracha basically "cook" the tuna...I wanted a tuna tartare that was akin to a Spicy Tuna Sushi Roll...(my second favorite thing on earth ...only behind spicy salmon.)

Fresh, spicy and delicious...I like using salted ridged potato chips for they offer just the right amount of sturdiness and crunch!

Now here are a few photos....

NOTE BELOW: This particular time I only had a regular cucumber on hand so I made certain to thoroughly scoop out its seeds. Seedless, English cucumbers are preferred and best to use with this recipe as they wont release as much water as a regular cucumber...but sometimes we just have to use what we have!


While the pictures of the Tuna Tartare still are not spectacular...I tried my best to capture its essence and flavor!

A crowd pleasing appetizer...the keys to seeing this Tuna Tartare is successful... are keeping it fresh and serving it immediately!   Enjoy!

Tuna Tartare

1/2 pound fresh quality tuna steak, very finely chopped
Juice and zest from one medium lime
1/2 tsp. Soy Sauce
1/8 tsp Sesame Oil
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 medium size cucumber, finely diced (Seedless is preferred) *if you can't get seedless, scoop out the seeds of a regular cucumber as seen above
Kosher salt to taste
3 T. Quality Mayonnaise
1 T. Sriracha Sauce
Lots of ridged (or other sturdy) potato chips


Prepare your sriracha mayonnaise by whisking together the mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce. Set aside.

In a medium non-reactive bowl (I use glass) add (in this order) your tuna, lime juice and zest, soy sauce, sesame oil, prepared sriracha mayonnaise, green onion and cucumber. Stir together well.

Salt only if needed - keeping in mind if you're using salted potato chips for scooping, they have their own amount of salt that will add to the overall salt content.

At this point I like to place the tuna tartare in a non-reactive strainer to rid it of any unnecessary liquid that developed as a result of the cucumber releasing some of its water. I leave the tuna tartare in the strainer about 2 minutes.

Discard and liquid that strained out, place your tartare in a bowl (or shape like above) and serve immediately with lots of sturdy potato chips.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Baby Bok Choy ~ Any Suggestions?


It's a pretty Chinese Cabbage I have little experience with and truth be told, I debated posting this at all...but I'm looking for suggestions...


Here is what I did....

Cut the Bok Choy down the center vertically and rinsed it extremely well to rid the crevasses of sand....


{  SIDE NOTE: according to WEBSTER to "roast" something is to cook it with "an extreme dry heat" so maybe this Bok Choy isn't "roasted" at all???  }

Next, I placed the bok choy in a foil lined pan and drizzled it with a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, Asian chili garlic sauce and a sprinkle of brown sugar (not swimming in liquid whatsoever...)


Then cooked the Bok Choy in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. 

While the flavor of the sauce was delicious...the Bok Choy itself was difficult to cut and eat.

Do you have a lot of experience with Bok Choy and if do you prepare it? 


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Zucchini, Squash, Onion and Cheese Casserole - A Low Carb Side Dish


There are those people who cook with squash and zucchini very often...

...and then there are those who do not.

For no good explanation I fall into the, "do not" category.

I tend to lean more towards asparagus, broccoli, spinach and beans...but when I walked past these beauties the other day at a local outdoor was as if they spoke to me.

"Woman" they whispered, "it's time we get reacquainted..." 


"OK, OK!" I replied, "I couldn't agree more...but can I bring along a few cups of cheese?"

"We are delicious with cheese" they responded "but let's not forget summer is coming, if you're gonna do cheese...consider going low on the carbs..."


Squash and Zucchini were looking out for my best interest...and I liked that. 

"I think we're gonna get along just fine..." I told them.

Onion and garlic wanted in too.  We all agreed it would work.


And did it ever!

A beautiful side dish where each ingredient compliments the next...consider this Zucchini, Squash, Onion and Cheese Casserole the next time you're looking for a little special something!


Zucchini, Squash, Onion and Cheese Casserole


2-3 T Olive oil (plus tiny bit more for drizzling at the end)
1 medium onion, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 medium zucchini, ends cut off and thinly sliced into circles
1 medium summer squash, ends cut off and thinly sliced into circles
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Rosemary Asiago Cheese (or other cheese of choice)
1/3 +1/4 cup panko crumbs
Grated Parmesan for dusting on top
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped Italian Parsley for garnish (optional)


Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, add garlic and onion and saute up, stirring occasionally (careful not to burn the garlic) until softened about 6-8 minutes.

Add zucchini  and squash to the same pan and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until softened, about 12 minutes.

Add fresh grated nutmeg, pinch of salt and pepper and stir in well.

Remove from heat and place contents of the pan into a large bowl to let cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 375.

Stir in your 2 1/2 cups cheese and 1/3 cup panko until well combined.

Add contents of bowl to a glass casserole dish (8x8) At this point taste test for salt and pepper - add some only if needed.

sprinkle the top with the remaining panko and Parmesan cheese.

Drizzle with just a touch of olive oil.

Place in the oven and bake about 10 minutes or until is gets bubbly around the edges.

Turn on broiler and broil (keeping a close eye) an additional 3-4 minutes until slightly browned on top.

Remove from the oven and let sit about 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and enjoy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Island Pineapple, Coconut Oolong Tea infused, White Rum, Tequila Jello Shots


I woke up on Sunday morning and did what every self-respecting wife and mother of a 2 and 4 year old does....

...I made homemade buttermilk biscuits, fluffy scrambled eggs and a hand cut fresh fruit salad...... 

......Island Pineapple Jello Shots!


Now before you go judging me, "Oh dear, that is just not right???!"

Please hear me out...

When The Food Hound hosted a giveaway from The Spice and Tea Exchange in Asheville NC on her fabulously witty, gastronomically addicting food blog ...and I was the lucky winner...the wheels began spinning...

What can I do with coconut tea leaves other than brew a delicious pot of tea?


After some intense was she who birthed me some 30 + years ago who said...

"Why not tea infused, island pineapple jello shots?"


Um?  Have you done this before Mom?  Not simply tea infused "jello" she clearly said... "jello shots!"

It was as if the WHOLE WORLD began to make sense!

So like A GOOD DAUGHTER who listens to her mother... I found THIS JELLO SHOT RECIPE on line substituted the boiling water with 1 cup super hot Coconut Oolong Tea... used 1 cup Bacardi Rum, 1/4 cup Agave Tequila...

...and got a stirring!


Four hours later...we had jello shots.

I tried JUST ONE because you can't be a food blogger and not test the finished product...

Coconut, Pineapple, Tequila and Rum topped with a garnish of mint...a daiquiri, margarita and mojito all mixed into one!  What's not to love?


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Steak House Night at Home... Saturday Night's Dinner


Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomato, smoked mozzarella and a Black Pepper & Blue Cheese baguette



Thick New Jersey Grown Asparagus


Because it's less expensive than going out to an upscale steak house and paying for a babysitter!