Friday, November 4, 2011

Creamy Cheesy Spinach Baked Potato

It's creamy! It's cheesy! How can you go wrong!

1 Russet Potato

2 big handfuls of fresh Spinach, roughly chopped
1/8-1/4 c. Chopped Onion (I usually just cut a 1/4inch slice off and chop it)
1 Garlic Clove, Chopped (more or less!)
1 Tbs Butter
1/2 Tbs Flour
1/2 c. Milk
1 Tbs Cream Cheese
1 Tbs Parmigiano Cheese
salt
pepper


Heat your oven to 400 deg. Scrub the potato and poke it a few times with a fork. Bake for 1 hour or until tender. Unwrapped if you want the crispy skin or wrap it in foil if you do not.

You can also microwave the potato for 5 min or until tender. Just make sure to poke holes in it with a fork.

Once your potato is almost done (or done), heat a medium pan on medium heat.

Spray the pan with non-stick spray or add little bit of oil, and saute the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes.

Add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the flour. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.

Whisk in the milk, and stir until there are no lumps. The milk and flour mixture will start to thicken once it gets hot, about  2-3 minutes.

Add the spinach, it will wilt down, and cook for about 3 minutes.

Stir in the cream cheese and parmigiano cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cut open your potato and pour the creamy spinach over it.




Monday, October 10, 2011

Mushroom and Tomato Crustini

 So what can you do with 5 ingredients??? Make something AWESOME! This also takes only 10 minutes to make!

I also make this with different cheese, whatever I happen to have. Mozzarella, Provolone, Havarti, Munster, Monterrey Jack, Queso Quesadilla, really any cheese that oozes when melted works great!

2 pieces of good bread, toasted
1 garlic clove
Mozzarella cheese, sliced, enough to cover the bread
1 tomato, sliced
3-4 small mushrooms, sliced
(optional - basil, sliced)
salt, pepper

Ingredients


Rub garlic clove on bread
 Once you have your bread toasted, rub the warm bread on one side with the garlic clove. This will give just a bit of garlic flavor.

Into the toaster oven broiler
Then top the garlic side of the bread with the cheese, tomatoes and mushrooms. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Then place the bread on a cookie sheet or foil.

Put the topped bread under the broiler for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and brown. I use my toaster over, but if you use your regular oven make sure TO WATCH CLOSELY.

DONE!!!! I have basil growing in my apartment so I top this with it, but it is just as good without it! Also try a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if you have it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

French Toast Stuffed with Cinnamon Cream Cheese

THINK CINNAMON BUN MEETS FRENCH TOAST! This is super easy to make for one and perfect for a late night sweet craving! The sprinkled cinnamon-sugar on the outside of the soaked bread caramelizes and gives this french toast extra crunchy goodness. 

1 egg
1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 slices of good bread
cream cheese
cinnamon-sugar (you can buy this already mixed in the spice aisle or mix 1/4c. sugar with 1 tbs. cinnamon)
butter
syrup

Heat a pan on medium heat.

In a bowl or dish (that is large enough to soak the bread in) whisk together the egg, milk, and vanilla.

Spread cream cheese on both slices of bread and sprinkle the cream cheese with cinnamon-sugar (how ever little or much you like) and "sandwich" the 2 pieces together.

Soak the bread in the egg and milk mixture for 30-60 seconds per side.

Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on the outside of both sides of the soaked bread.

Spray the pan with non-stick spray and cook the soaked bread in the pan for 3-5 minutes or until brown. Flip and cook the other side for 3-5 minutes or until brown.

Top with butter and syrup!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tomato, Basil, and Pancetta Breakfast Sandwich

This sandwich may see like a long process, but TRUST ME IT IS WORTH IT!!!

Pancetta is Italian bacon. You can usually find it by the gourmet deli foods. If you can't find it you can use regular bacon, prosciutto, salami, or what ever you feel like!

2 slices of bread (bakery bread is best)
sliced mozzarella cheese, enough to cover both slices of bread
1 small tomato, thinly sliced
2 slices of pancetta or bacon
1 egg
a few leaves of basil, chopped
salt
pepper

(If you don't have a toaster oven, set your regular oven to 450 to heat up)

Heat a pan to medium heat.

Toast the bread.

Then lay the 2 slices side by side and cover each slice of bread with the mozzarella cheese. (make sure to cover all the bread so it doesn't get "burnt" edges.) Top the cheese with the tomatoes and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

I use a toaster over, but if you only have an oven I will give you that method too.

Toaster Oven: Place the slices of bread topped with cheese and tomato on the toaster over tray, and set the toaster oven to broil. Broil for 5-7 mins, until the cheese is bubbly.

Oven: Place the slices of bread topped with cheese and tomato on a cookie sheet or piece of foil. Place in the oven for 5-7 mins, until the cheese is bubbly.

In the heated pan, add the pancetta or bacon and cook until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel to soak up the grease.

In the same pan crack an egg and "poke" the yoke so it cooks faster. Once you see the egg become white (about 3 mins) flip it over and cook for about 1 more minute. Remove it from the pan. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.

Now your ready to make your breakfast sandwich! Top one slice of the cheese bread with the egg, then cooked pancetta / bacon, the sliced basil, and cover with the other piece of cheese bread.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crusted Salmon with Lemon Basil Linguine

So my last posting was about almond crusted white fish... and I loved it so much I tried it with salmon and it was even better! I even forgot garlic, which is UNHEARD OF in my kitchen, and it was still great!

1 Salmon fillet
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. sliced Almonds
Lemon Zest
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

1-2 oz dry Linguine
1 tsp. Butter
1 Tbs Fresh Parmigiana Cheese
Few fresh Basil leaves, sliced
1 Lemon Wedge

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. And start boiling a pot of salted water for the pasta.

Line a sheet pan with foil and drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on it. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the skin side of the salmon and place it skin side down on the foil.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the other side of the fish and spread the Dijon mustard on it. Add a small amount of lemon zest and top with the sliced almonds. Drizzle just a little more oil on top of the almonds.

Bake the fish for 12-15 minutes until the thickest part is flaky.

Once you put the fish in the oven the water should be boiling. Add your pasta. It usually takes 8-10 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it with the butter and parmigiana cheese.

By now the fish should be ready. Place your pasta and fish on a plate and squeeze half the lemon wedge on the pasta and the other half on the fish. Top both the pasta and fish with the chopped fresh basil.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Almond Crusted Fish with Lemon Spinach Orzo

This recipe would work great with any white fish such as cod, halibut, tilapia, etc. You could even use a chicken breast and double the bake time. A great substitute for the pasta would be white or even brown rice! I used cod in the picture.

Fish fillet-about 4 oz
2 tbs chopped almonds
Dash of fresh or dried thyme
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt
Pepper
Non-Stick spray

1/4 c. Orzo Pasta
2 c. fresh spinach, chopped (about 2 handfulls)
1/2 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, cut in 2 wedges

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Start boiling a small pot of water for the pasta. Make sure to add salt to the water.

Spray a baking dish or baking sheet with non-stick spray. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper on one side and place it on the baking sheet (salt/pepper side down). On the other side sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and thyme. Then spread the Dijon mustard on top (this is going to work like "glue" for the almonds.) Top with the chopped almonds.

Wait for your pasta water to start boiling, then put the fish in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. Then add the pasta to the water, it will take 8-10 minutes also.

While the fish and pasta are cooking, heat up a small pan on medium heat. With about 5 minutes left on the timer to cook the fish/pasta, add the oil and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the spinach and saute for 3 minutes until wilted and cooked down. Don't forget to sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper in it! Take the pan off the heat.

Strain the pasta, and add it straight to the sauteed spinach. Squeeze one of the lemon wedges into the spinach and pasta. And use the other wedge for the fish.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tomato Basil Avocado "Cobb" Salad

So I'm calling this a "Cobb" salad because it has hard boiled eggs. I just threw this together and it was so tasty! The dressing is very lemony which goes great with the avocado, and just a touch of mayo makes it creamy enough to go with the eggs.

Ingredients:

Dressing:
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp of mayo
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (optional)
salt
pepper

Salad:
2 c. lettuce (about 2 handfuls)
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 medium sized tomato, sliced
2 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
3 basil leaves, chopped

For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together until mixed.




Layer the salad ingredients in the order above and top with the dressing.



Cut the avocado in half and gently pry the two halves apart. Use the side without the pit. Slice the avocado with a small knife without piercing the skin. Use a spoon and scoop out the slices. Note: to keep the other half of the avocado fresh, leave pit in the avocado, wrap with plastic and store in the refrigerator.



To hard boil the eggs: place eggs in a small pan and cover with water, ½ inch above the eggs. Heat the pan on high until the water comes to a boil. Lower the heat to low/medium and lightly boil for 10 minutes. Immediately rinse eggs with cold water to cool. Once cooled, peel and slice the eggs.



Roll the basil and slice into ribbons.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ricotta Pancakes

These are by far the best pancakes! They are super light and airy.  This recipe makes about 8-10 small pancakes and the leftovers freeze great.

1/2 c       Flour
1/2 tsp   Baking Powder
1/2 tsp   Salt
1/8 tsp   Nutmeg

3  Eggs
1 c Ricotta Cheese
3 tbsp Butter, melted
3 tbsp Honey

In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs until they are light yellow. About 5 minutes if doing it by hand.

Stir in the ricotta cheese, melted butter and honey to the whisked eggs. Once it is completely mixed, add the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated.

Heat a pan or griddle to medium heat. Grease it with non-stick spray or a little butter. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. When you see bubbles, about 2-3 minutes, flip them over and cook 2 more minutes on the other side.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spicy Asian Slaw Salad


This salad is super easy!

Salad:
2 c. Sliced Cabbage (red, green, napa, or anything else works)
1/4 c. Carrots, sliced in sticks (about 1 small carrot)
1/4 c. Snow peas, sliced long ways
1/4 c. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
3 Mint Leaves, chopped
3 Basil Leaves, chopped


Dressing:
1/2 clove Garlic, chopped
1/2 tbsp Peanut Butter
1 tbsp Soy Sauce, low sodium
1/2 tsp Honey
1 tsp Sriracha (less or more)
juice of 1/4 of a Lime

1 tbsp Peanuts, chopped

Mix together the dressing ingredients. Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing and top with peanuts.

Adapted from foodandwine.com

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Avocado and Hearts of Palm Lettuce Wraps

1/2 c. Hearts of Palm, diced (about 1/2 can)
1/2    Avocado, diced
1 tbs. Red Onion, diced
1/4 c. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/4-1/2 Jalapeno Pepper, very finely chopped (optional)
1 tbs. Lemon Juice
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Butter lettuce leaves

Mix all the ingredients together, being careful not to smash the avocado.

Fill lettuce with mixture.

Adapted from Food Networks, Ingrid Hoffmann





I have found, that to keep the other half of the avocado fresh, leave the pit in and wrap with Glad Press'n Seal. Try to wrap close to the avocado that is exposed so the air doesn't turn it brown. (This avocado had been in my refrigerator for 3 days)







Baked Ripe Plantains

The left over dipping sauce makes a great salad dressing.

Dipping Sauce:
2 tbs. red onion, chopped (about an 1/8 of an onion)
1 garlic cloves
1/2 lime, the juice
1/2 lemon, the juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 c. extra virgin oil oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste


Plantains:
1 yellow plantain
1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
salt
pepper

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Puree all the sauce ingredients together.  I use a stick (immersion) blender, but you could use a food processor or a regular blender too.

Peel the plantain, and slice it into 1/2 inch pieces.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. (I always line mine with foil for easy clean up)

Spread out the plantains on the sheet, and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake plantains for 10 minutes. Flip them over and bake for 5 more minutes.