Monday, July 15, 2013

3 Quick and Easy Summer Smoothies

Hello my Fellow Foodies!!!!


    I know it's been a really long time since the last time I posted on my blog. I have had a lot going on and I haven't really been cooking a lot. I have been using my NINJA blender a lot lately. The whole food juicing concept has fascinated me for a really long time. So what I've been doing as a meal replacement for breakfast and lunch is making these smoothies. It keeps me full and satisfied until my next meal or smoothie and it also gives me so much energy. So without further adieu here are the recipes that I've been using for the past 2 months:


Pina Colada Smoothie w/ a Twist

2 cups of frozen pineapples ( I used Trader Joe's tidbits, they blend easier to me)
1 can of coconut milk or you can use the refrigerated coconut milk (I've used both)
1 tbsp. whole flax seeds (optional)
1 handful of spinach (I prefer baby spinach)
1 lime ( add juice to taste)
honey (optional)
1/2 of a frozen banana

Directions:

 Place everything in your blender and blend away until you get the consistency that you want. You can add some cold water to thin it out if too thick. Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy.

P.S.- the twist in the recipe is the spinach and lime juice. If you have children it's a good way of sneaking in veggie's. ;)P


Peach Mango and Kale Smoothie

1 cup frozen peaches
1 cup frozen mango
1/2 of frozen banana
1/2 cup of kale (2-3 stalks)
1 cup of almond milk or any milk that you prefer
1 tbsp. whole flax seed (optional)
honey (optional)

Directions:

   Place everything in the blender and blend. Make sure you blend it enough or you'll be chewing kale and flax seeds. Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy. Before I forget and quick tip about using kale, if you use Tuscan kale make sure you blend very well because you may end up chewing your smoothie instead of drinking it. Trial and error on my part.



Mixed Berry and Spinach Smoothie

1 cup of frozen mixed berries
1 1/2 cup of almond milk or any milk that you prefer
1 cup of spinach ( I prefer baby spinach)
1/2 frozen banana
1 tbsp. whole flax seeds (optional)
honey (optional)

Directions:

 Place all of your ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Make sure to blend because of the seeds from the berries and the flax seeds. Pour in your favorite glass and enjoy.



You can add or subtract anything in these recipes. Just get in the kitchen and experiment!!! Doesn't hurt to try something different. Also, if you are allergic to any of the ingredients just omit them and replace them with what you can eat.


HAPPY BLENDING!!!! :)











Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Profiteroles Galore!!!!




       Hello Fellow Foodies!!!



         It's been a while since I did a blog post. I've had a lot going on in the last few weeks and didn't have the time to post this blog about my adventures in Profiterole Land. This is however my second attempt at making these little clouds of perfection. The first attempt was about a year ago and I swore I was never going to try and make them again. Myself and baking have a LOVE/HATE relationship with one another. For some reason things just never really work out for me. Does this happen to anyone else? I follow the recipes and it never comes out looking the same way it did when the professionals first created the dish. I know it takes them months to perfect or at least try to perfect the recipe, but shouldn't mine come out just like theirs since they did all of the grunt work? Well, at least that's the mentality I have when it comes to baking.


      So after I made that Quick and Easy Spring/Summer Pasta I had one of the world's biggest sweets attack. It was like defcon 5 going off in my body and I was looking online to see if I could find a quick and easy recipe to make. Well, for some reason cream puffs popped into my head! So I searched the internet for a recipe and it lead me to foodnetwork.com. So I clicked on the first recipe I saw and it was Giada De Laurentiis recipe for Profiteroles ( I'll link the recipe down below). The recipe say's intermediate but it's really not. Just read the directions and they should come out just right. These came out so good and I was really proud of myself that I didn't give up on remaking this recipe, even though I was up until the wee hours of the morning making them. Let's just say my neighbors were smelling chocolate and baked goods at 2 in the morning because I didn't read the cooking time for the recipe, so they had to cook for 50 mintues (YIKES!!!). Please don't make my mistake ... well you shouldn't now because I just told you how long they take... right?

 So down below are some of the pictures I took of the process from beginning to the end. I'm still looking for the right blogging camera so my photo's don't look as professional as other bloggers do. Hey, what can I say I'm new at this (shrugs). I hope you all have just as much fun making these as I did even at 2 in the morning...lol :)

   Ohhhh... before I forget!! The baking time say's 50 min. but depending on your oven and the altitude you live in, I would start checking them after 30 min. because you don't want to bottoms to get too brown.

  
The batter after it was mixed together.
 
Ready for the oven!!! I used parchment paper to bake
mine, but I would suggest a Silpat if you have one.                                       
 
GOLDEN BROWN PERFECTION!!!!!!!!
 
I waited for them to cool for about 10 minutes and proceeded
to feel them with my favorite ice cream and drizzled them with
some homemade chocolate caramel sauce I made. I'm still working
on the recipe, so when it's perfect I'll post it.
 
 
So as promised the link to the profiterole recipe :Profiteroles with Ricotta Mascarpone
 
 
 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Quick and Easy Spring/Summer Pasta

Hello Fellow Foodies!!!


    It feels like it's been a long time since I posted a blog, but in reality it's only been a week. So, like the title says, this was a quick and easy dinner. It was hot and I didn't want anything heavy to eat. I know what you're thinking--- on what planet is pasta not considered  heavy? Well, this pasta dish had a very light tomato sauce that only cooked for about 30 minutes. It came out so flavorful and everyone in my home gobbled their bowl of pasta in seconds...including me which is something I rarely indulge in doing.

     So I'm going to tell you how these 3 items below...

I love this brand of tomato's. I get them from my local fruit market.
 
You can use whatever pasta you want. I had fettuccine in my pantry.
 
I roasted some zucchini and button mushrooms that needed to be used quickly. 400 for 10 min.
Turn into this...

 
 
and finally this...
 



 
Easy Tomato Sauce
 
1 28oz. can whole plum tomato's
 
1 medium onion finely chopped
 
2 cloves of garlic sliced in half
 
3 tbsp. of tomato paste (optional)
 
3 tbsp. olive oil
 
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
 
Fresh basil (optional)
 
salt and pepper to taste
 
 
Directions
 
In a large pot over medium heat add olive oil and onions to the pot. Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add your garlic,tomato paste and oregano to the pot and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Then, add your can of whole plum tomato's. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, turn off heat and take a potato masher or you can use a blender if you want a smoother texture and mash or blend sauce. I like chunkier sauces so I used a potato masher. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over your favorite pasta and dinner is served. I add my roasted vegetables to my sauce after I cut the heat off from under the pot because I didn't want the vegetables to overshadow the tomato flavor.
 
I hope you all have a fun and safe weekend. Oh before I forget I will be posting about my experience making Profiteroles or Cream Puffs. That was an experience I'll never forget.
 
 
Cook Your Hearts Out,
T.S.M

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

          
 

 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Late Night Baking Session

Hello Fellow Foodies!!!


    Last night I had a serious craving for something sweet. I was trying to think of what I could make with what I had in the pantry because I was NOT going to the grocery store. So as I was looking through my refrigerator and realized I had an abnormal amount of zucchini ( does anyone else have a hard time remembering how to spell zucchini?) in my vegetable draw. Why these were purchased? --- I can't tell you. Then it came to me... I'll make zucchini bread!! Now, I have never made zucchini bread before so I had to search the web for a reference recipe. I typed in zucchini bread recipes into my favorite search engine, you know the one that rhymes with ding... lol and came across so many.

   After clicking on about 5 different websites I finally came across Food Network's recipe. The recipe and instructions were extremely simple and for me that is really important ( I hate baking unless I get all of the goods). I was so excited to make this because I haven't baked anything since my epic failure at making French Macarons. When I say failure...I mean complete DIASTER. So I prepared everything like the recipe said and as I was mixing the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients it looked like I did something really wrong. It was way too thick, and thinking to myself I was wondering how am I going to fold in the zucchini? So I took the zucchini and started folding it in and the moisture in the zucchini loosened the batter tremendously (picture below).

  Not thinking to look at how long it actually took for the bread to bake, I took a gander at the last sentence of the recipe and it stated that it had to bake for 55 minutes. The look on my face was surely priceless. Thank goodness no one was home and I had music playing very loudly because some naughty words came out of my mouth. So I prepared the pans and placed the first ( oh yeah this recipe makes 2 loaves) pan in the oven. Trying to be patient I cleaned up the little mess that I made and looked at the timer and saw it only had 5 minutes left, so I took my toothpick and tested the bread. it came out clean so I took it out of the oven and placed it onto my cooling rack. I proceeded to loosen the sides and flip it out... this is where the my sometimes impatient personality kicked into gear. I must've banged on the loaf pan 5x before it finally came out...without a bottom crust. I laughed so hard at myself because that almost always happens to me and that's why I don't really bake. The taste was fantastic and not overly sweet like some of the other zucchini breads I've tasted in the past. All in all it was a mostly positive experience and it gives me hope that I can master the baking process with a little patience and drive to work at it more.

   Below are some pics  I took while in the process and after they were done and also the link to the recipe. I'm going to try to remember to take more pictures of the whole process. I'm learning...this blogging thing is very new to me. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend and be safe.


                                      The zucchini bread batter before I placed it in the loaf pan.

                                      After it was done and before the bottom was left in the pan...lol
 
      Thanks for reading,
     T.S.M

  **Cook's Notes: I added 1/4tsp of nutmeg into the batter and I also mixed 1tbsp. sugar with 1 tsp. of cinnamon and sprinkled in the top before I placed them into the oven.

     The link as promised http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/the-best-of/zucchini-bread-recipe/index.html. Have fun and enjoy!!!
                                          
                                   

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's for dinner?




Hello Fellow Foodies!!!


    So I've been craving salmon for about a month and I'm finally getting around to making it for dinner. I've also been on this Spaghetti Squash kick too, and I think it might be turning into an obsession. For dinner tonight I made Broiled Salmon w/ lemon, Spaghetti Squash Alfredo and Sautéed Garlic Spinach.  Now you may be thinking that none of this goes together at all... I thought the same thing but it turned out fantastic if I do say so myself.

    I came up with the recipes myself and would like to share them with you all to cook together or by themselves with something else you may like. I gave some to my mom and she ate it all in what seems like seconds and I asked her if it was good and she said, " You see the plate right?" I laughed and walked away. It's very gratifying when your family and friends enjoy what you've cooked for them. So as I posted in my earlier blog listed below are the recipes for the Salmon and Spaghetti squash.


    Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

1 Spaghetti Squash (medium)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2c. heavy cream
1 tsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. if using coarse salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
2c. water for steaming
1/4c. chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (optional)

Directions:

 1. Place steamer pot and water on the stove top. Do not turn pot on yet.

 2. Cut your spaghetti squash in half. Remove and discard the seeds and pulp. Place squash cut side down in the steamer pot.

 3. Turn steamer on high heat. Steam squash for 10 minutes or until a knife can easily pierce the squash with a little resistance.

 4. Remove squash and place it on a plate to cool until you can handle it.

 5. When cool enough take a fork and scrap squash length wise NOT width wise. If you scrap width wise, you'll get short strands instead of the long strands you get when you scrap length wise. Place in a bowl and set aside.

 6.Now it's time to make the cream sauce. Place oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. When pan is heated add garlic and butter and cook for 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant ( could be more or less, it depends on how fast and high your stoves heat is.).

 7. Next, pour cream into the pan and bring to a slight boil (about 2 minutes). When cream has slightly thickened, add squash. Coat with the sauce and add the parmesan cheese and pepper. Taste and see if salt is needed, adjust seasoning and serve.


           Broiled Salmon w/lemon slices

  1 salmon fillet (preferably 1 1/2 in. in thickness)
 1tsp. olive oil
 1/2 pat of butter
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 lemon cut into slices


Directions:


 1. Preheat your broiler

 2. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.

 3. Next, take spice mixture and sprinkle over the fillet. Press the spice mixture gently into the fillet.

 4. Place your sauté pan over medium high heat. Place olive oil in pan and heat until a slight shimmer comes off oil. (*Note: if you have a fan over your stove, turn it on to reduce smoke.)

 5. Place salmon skin side down and cook for 1 to 2 mintues or until easy to turn over without sticking to the pan. Turn and sear the fillet on the flesh side for 1 to 2 minutes to develop a slight crust.

 6.Turn fish over again (the skin should be on the bottom) and place lemon slices and butter on top of the fish.

 7. Place fish under the broiler for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove from the oven. Depending on the thickness of the salmon, it may be a little pink in the center. If you don't like your fish pink, cook it about 3 minutes more. I don't recommend going over 3 minutes or you'll run the risk of over cooking your fish.

Cook's Notes: You can roast your squash on 350 until a knife can easily pierces with a little resistance.

Welcome to my food world!!!

Hello My Fellow Foodies!!!!!


    Well, this is my very first blog post... Yay for me!!! For the past year I have been bombarded by my family and some friends to start a food blog post. Why you ask? I love to cook and my family and friends enjoy what I cook... most of the time. I have been, as of late, really into testing new recipes from chicken dishes, vegan spaghetti, raw soups, to baking nutella brownies because I just couldn't get a hold of my sweet cravings. So, with that being said, I will be posting different recipes that I've tested from other websites and some that I've come up with on my own. I have finally figured out how to work my camera when taking pictures of food to not make it look so dark and gloomy. I don't know if you've ever seen pictures that people have taken of their food at a restaurant or in their home kitchen and the picture makes the food look not so appetizing. I learned it's because of the flash, whether it's on your smart phone or on your handheld camera turn that flash off.

    So, thank you for reading and I look forward to posting reviews on recipes and posting my own.

Sincerely,
T.S.M


P.S.: Is anyone besides me obsessed with foodgawker.com? OMG I think I've gained like 5lbs. trying recipes...lol