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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Easy Basil Oil

Basil oil can be used in every one's caprese salads, drizzled over grilled fish and seafood, bruschetta the list is endless......

Ingredients:

1 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup packed fresh basil

Add oil and basil to a blender, season with salt and pepper, blend until smooth, drain into small pitcher if needed.

Caprese Salad:

Slice fresh mozzarella and fresh tomatoes arrange on a platter alternating slices in a circle. Drizzle with basil oil and some balsamic vinegar. Serve.

Grilled shrimp:

Marinate shrimp with minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Grill. Drizzle with basil oil. Serve.

Happy Cooking ;)

Quick and Easy Healthy Chicken Stir Fry

In a hurry to make dinner and not a lot of time to do it or are you tired? If so here is a quick and easy recipe any one can do with any meat and veggies on hand.

Here I've whipped up a quick chicken stir fry. In my new handy dandy wok which I love by Nordic Ware provided to us by CSN Stores.

Ingredients:
  • Two large chicken breasts sliced thin
  • One stalk celery sliced 1/2" thick on an angle
  • One large carrot sliced 1/2" thick on an angle
  • Two handfuls whole french green beans
  • Two scallions (green onions) sliced on an angle
  • Two cups cooked whole wheat thin spaghetti noodles
  • One large clove garlic, chopped
  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 cup cold water or cold chicken broth
  • Corn Starch
  • Salt
  • Pepper

You can add more or less vegetables: mushrooms, fennel, kayle, ginger etc...

Marinate the chicken slices in two tablespoons low sodium soy sauce while you are slicing up the veggies.

Add one tablespoon olive oil to wok and heat.

Season chicken with salt and pepper add to heated wok, let sit a minute to lightly brown and then turn and cook through. Remove from wok and place in a covered dish, set aside.

Add a dash more oil to wok and add the veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Cook veggies until almost tender but with a bit of a crunch for that "fresh taste".

Mix in a small bowl one tablespoon cornstarch, two tablespoons low sodium soy sauce and 1/2 cup cold water or cold chicken broth, set aside.

Add cooked chicken, whole wheat noodles and veggies to the wok toss to combine and heat, add corn starch soy mixture, toss to combine until thickened (if too thick add a little more broth or water a little at a time).

Remove to serving platter and enjoy.

Serves (2) healthy size servings.

Happy Cooking :)

My New Kitchen Counter


This is a guest post by Rita Heyson

It was love at first sight when I walked into my house; the kitchen was another story. I signed the contract and immediately started kitchen shopping. This was four years ago when granite was (and still is I guess) the must-have household update.

The entire new kitchen process took about 3 months, from planning the layout to completion. My favorite part was choosing the counters. I walked a vast warehouse of giant slabs of granite, up and down aisles and aisles of it. There were so many to choose from but I was drawn to darker colors with lighter accents. I came upon a slab named 'flash green,' which actually looks almost black but has swirling grey/green inclusions and some light silvery flecks. It was definitely good that when I thought kitchen counters sears was what came to mind.

The granite contractor came to my house and drew a template of the counter when the new cabinets were in place. There were some details to iron out such as how many holes for faucets and the size of the sink but it was a simple process. About five days later the granite guys arrived with my newly cut and polished slabs. Installation took a couple of hours and couldn't have been easier (of course, I didn't have to lift it.) The granite counter makes such a statement in my kitchen, it's natural beauty is so eye catching but not at all flashy, four years and I still love it.

Food Network Now My Life


Another great post from our guest writer:

Posted by Jeremiah Phillips

After living in Manhattan for eight years, my wife and I finally decided to make the dreaded suburban hop. We bought a house, a lawnmower, and a subscription to satellite television from www.tvbydirect.com. At first I resisted the purchase, since for years I had masked my poverty with faux-intellectual idealism, relishing my supposed commitment to literature, proud of the modest library I had cultivated with freebies and roadside discounts. But, soon as I plopped my soon-to-be overweight backside onto our new rec-room couch, and began flipping through the channels with my universal remote, I knew, without a doubt, that my disdain for TV was nothing but pretense—especially after discovering the Food Network.

All I watch is the Food Network these days, with the occasional switch to Bravo when “Top Chef” is playing. My wife calls me an addict. “The Next Food Network Star,” “Throwdown with Bobby Flay,” these programs are on a permanent recording schedule. But the rest of the shows, whatever happens to be on—from Emeril Lagase to, yes, even Rachel Ray—get my undivided and culinary-curious attention.

You would think that discovering such an affinity for food preparation would lead to a more active involvement in my own kitchen life, but nothing on that front has changed. The Food Network may have provided me with the vocabulary of a pseudo-gourmet sophisticate, yet my pallet still prefers macaroni and cheese from the box to steak tartare. My wife is happy about that one constant, that one stable aspect of our burgeoning suburban existence, and I can’t blame her, because I am too.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Home Cooking

Here is a Home Cooking Short from a Guest writer, enjoy!

Written by Roger Fuller

It's always great to go out to a restaurant for a nice enjoyable meal instead of staying home and cooking every night of the week. And a fun day out with the family is always a special treat. So, the other day we decided to go across town to Iron Chef Bobby Flay's new restaurant (Bobby's Burger Palace) in the University City area. The restaurant specializes in different styles of hamburgers. I was really excited about sampling the Chef's burgers because we had watched the grand opening for the restaurant on television only a few days earlier. All the local celebrities and even the mayor was at the grand opening along with hundreds of local University of Penn students. We dressed in casual attire to fit in with the college crowd. I checked all the doors and then set the home security alarm I’d just gotten from allhomesecurity.com before leaving to go out to eat. We found a parking place a block away from the restaurant. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there was a long waiting line in the middle of a Saturday outside of Bobby's Burger Palace. I whipped out my cellphone and took a picture of the scene. For now, I think that was about as close as we were going to get to that restaurant. It was then I decided that home cooking was the best cooking. The family and I went back home and grilled our own home style burgers which were probably just as good as those restaurant burgers. Bobby's Burger Palace would have to wait till next Saturday.

Happy Cooking ;)

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Propane Grill

This was guest posted by Randy Interrer

I receive several different newsletters full of recipes. Last summer I kept getting recipes that were made on a propane grill. I decided that I had to have one of these for this upcoming summer. I honestly knew nothing about grilling besides what I had watched other people do.

First I logged onto my Hughes Net satellite internet and started to search. I was amazed at the different price ranges grills are available in to purchase. There are ones starting at $50 and on up to thousands of dollars. I knew that I wanted propane since charcoal is messy and I wanted to be able to use it often. I started researching and since we have a family of 4 realized that I did not need a huge one. I did not mind if it was plain black. I didn't need anything fancy like stainless steel.

K-Mart was the site I finally ended up on after all my research. I was able to find a grill that had an upper rack. I thought this was important for cooking more items and also to separate side dishes that need to cook longer. I also wanted it to have one side burner. This would be nice for cooking baked beans or boiling water for various other dishes. I was surprised that since I waited till end of season I was able to buy it for almost half price. I had my friend look too, using his WildBlue internet too see if he could find any better deals, but he couldn’t.

I left it in the box all winter and recently got it out to put together. Now I will say, putting it together was a headache. It took me forever! If you ever buy one, purchase it already assembled. I have cooked on my grill twice now and I am very impressed with it! It cooks well and the food comes out perfect.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 16 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 16 slices prosciutto

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat with olive oil.
  2. Wrap one slice of prosciutto around each asparagus spear, starting at the bottom, and spiraling up to the tip. Place the wrapped spears on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, and shake the pan back and forth to roll the spears over. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until asparagus is tender, and prosciutto is crisp. Serve immediately.

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