Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Delicious and Easy Snack

So this isn't exactly a recipe, but roll with it. My new favorite snack to munch on at work is this:

dipped with this:

and this:

It is delicious and healthy! The light cheese has only 35 calories per wedge and it is a great way to make you eat your veggies. The little bit of cheese is enough to make you feel like you got a treat and since it's in an individual serving, you won't eat too much. I've tried the cheese in Original, French Onion, and Garlic & Herb. They are all great. So next time you are at the store, pick some up and give it a try.

(PS- No one is paying me to advertise this, but I wish they were)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Julie and Julia

In the summer I become an avid reader. I read all of my fun summer novels, my book club selections, and some for school. This summer has been no different, except I have been doing it only the last few weeks (or since I got out of summer school). On our trip this weekend, I read the book Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell. It is a fun summer read for someone who loves to cook. I even book marked pages to find recipes to try. I am attaching the book synopsis from Amazon. You will probably also recognize it as the title of an upcoming movie of the same name. Yes, it stars Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. Should be a winning combination. *Just so you are aware- Julie is not the most polished and uses quite a bit of language in her writing. It is not something that bothers me, but I wanted others to be warned. :)
Julie & Julia is the story of Julie Powell's attempt to revitalize her marriage, restore her ambition, and save her soul by cooking all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I, in a period of 365 days. The result is a masterful medley of Bridget Jones' Diary meets Like Water for Chocolate, mixed with a healthy dose of original wit, warmth, and inspiration that sets this memoir apart from most tales of personal redemption.
When we first meet Julie, she's a frustrated temp-to-perm secretary who slaves away at a thankless job, only to return to an equally demoralizing apartment in the outer boroughs of Manhattan each evening. At the urging of Eric, her devoted and slightly geeky husband, she decides to start a blog that will chronicle what she dubs the "Julie/Julia Project." What follows is a year of butter-drenched meals that will both necessitate the wearing of an unbearably uncomfortable girdle on the hottest night of the year, as well as the realization that life is what you make of it and joy is not as impossible a quest as it may seem, even when it's -10 degrees out and your pipes are frozen.
Powell is a natural when it comes to connecting with her readers, which is probably why her blog generated so much buzz, both from readers and media alike. And while her self-deprecating sense of humor can sometimes dissolve into whininess, she never really loses her edge, or her sense of purpose. Even on day 365, she's working her way through Mayonnaise Collee and ending the evening "back exactly where we started--just Eric and me, three cats and Buffy...sitting on a couch in the outer boroughs, eating, with Julia chortling alongside us...."
Inspired and encouraging, Julie and Julia is a unique opportunity to join one woman's attempt to change her life, and have a laugh, or ten, along the way. --Gisele Toueg

Food, Inc.

When I was in Boston, Anna, Erwan, and I went to see a new documentary out called Food, Inc. It is a documentary/ expose on where our food comes from. It was very revealing, persuasive, and really brought home the importance of the following:

  • Organic Food
  • Locally Grown Food
  • Power of individuals
The only way things are going to change is if we demand changes to be made. I really enjoyed it and recommend it to those who are interested in where our food comes from. I am attaching the trailer, too.

Food, Inc. Trailer

The Truth about Food, Inc. Interview from CBS News Online

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Caesar Lettuce Wraps

I made this for a barbecue that we attended last night. It turned out to be a crowd pleaser! No cooking is required, just some assembly.

For each wrap, you'll need:

  • 1 large lettuce leaf, any variety, cleaned and patted dry
  • 2 thin slices deli turkey
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled bacon
  • 1 tablespoon Caesar salad dressing
  • Sprinkle of parmesan cheese

To make the wraps:

  1. Place turkey slices on top of the lettuce leaf. Sprinkle with bacon and parmesan cheese; drizzle with dressing. Roll the lettuce leaf and filling and secure with toothpicks.
  2. To serve, cut wraps in half or in slices, each section held together with a toothpick. Arrange on a plate or platter.
I cut the wraps into pieces that were about 1 1/2 inches long. It was a good size for finger food.

Fresh Salsa

My mother-in-law, Pam, found this salsa recipe and we tried it out over the 4th of July. It was really great! It had a fresh taste to it that was just perfect! It was not difficult to make, but it did require some chopping.

Here are the ingredients--

1 lb chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup cilantro
1 chopped jalapeno
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1/4 tsp salt

If you want to make it hotter, leave the jalapeno seeds in, for a mild salsa just take them out. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dirt Cake

Another recipe for the book True Grit. Along with the other food Amy brought in Dirt Cake. It was a wonderful dessert! Here is the recipe. . .


2 (20 oz.) pkgs. Oreo cookies

1/2 stick butter

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese

1 c. powdered sugar

3 1/2 c. milk

2 sm. French vanilla instant pudding boxes

1 (12 oz.) Cool Whip


  1. Cream the butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar together.

  2. Mix pudding together with the milk, add the Cool Whip to pudding mixture.

  3. Then, blend in with the cream cheese mixture.

  4. Crumble the Oreo's in a blender, leave the cream in the Oreo's.

  5. Line the inside of a clay flower pot with foil.

  6. Alternating cookie crumbs and filling, ending with the cookie crumbs on top.

  7. Top with gummi worms and a plastic flower.

True Grits

Okay, about a month ago I said I was going to post my book club books, along with recipes. Last month we read True Grit, by Arkansas author, Charles Portis. This was a book we went all out with for food. We had grits, pork shoulder, beans, fried potatoes, and even dirt cake (get it?). We feasted. I took grits. . . true grits. This is a recipe from Alton Brown on food network. They were fabulous (in my opinion). It would be great to serve for brunch, or even with a ham meal.


2 cups whole milk
2 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded


  1. Place the milk, water, and salt into a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

  2. Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once all of the cornmeal has been Incorporated, decrease the heat to low and cover.

  3. Remove lid and whisk frequently, every 3 to 4 minutes, to prevent grits from sticking or forming lumps; make sure to get into corners of pot when whisking.

  4. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is creamy.

  5. Remove from the heat, add the pepper and butter, and whisk to combine.

  6. Once the butter is melted, gradually whisk in the cheese a little at a time. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Meatball Dump Soup

I love dump recipes. If you don't know what that means- it means all you have to do is dump all of the ingredients together and cook them. No fuss, no muss. This is one of those recipes. You can make your own meat balls (previously posted), or you can buy them frozen. This is great crockpot recipe, too.

1 pound frozen meatballs, Italian seasoned
3 cups beef broth
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1 cup diced potato, about 1 medium potato
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
16 ounces (about 3 cups) frozen mixed vegetables


In crockpot, combine meatballs, broth, tomatoes, potato, onion, garlic powder, and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours, until potatoes and onion are tender. Stir in frozen vegetables and cook on HIGH for 1 hour longer.

Serves 6.

If desired, serve with a tossed salad and pass the Parmesan cheese


This is always a good treat in the summer. I like to make it with fresh berries. If it is a tart berry, like blackberries, you may want to add just a touch of sugar to the berries, too.

2 tbsp. butter
1 c. Bisquick
1/2 c. sugar (I used a bit less)
1/2 c. milk
3 c. cut up peaches or other fruit of your choice (can be fresh, frozen(thawed) or canned)

  1. Turn oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 8 x 8 inch baking dish.
  3. Mix Bisquick, sugar, and milk. Pour over melted butter.
  4. Spoon fruit over. If using canned peaches, pour on some of the juice also.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Can double the recipe. Bake in 9 x 13 inch pan.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Well, I know I like Naan, but I didn't know how to describe it, so I looked on the Internet. Here is what I found on about Naan.

"Naan is a flatbread that is a staple food in Southeast and Central Asia. It is especially common in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, and surrounding regions. Because naan is popular in so many countries, it has a number of different spellings and pronunciations. In Turkic languages such as Uzbek and Uyghur, for example, naan is known as nan. In Burma, the bread is called nan bya. The Burmese variation is slightly softer and resembles pita bread more than other types of naan.
Naan is made of
wheat flour and is almost always round. Naan dough is usually leavened with yeast before it is cooked. Once the bread has been cooked, it is typically brushed with ghee, a kind of butter, and then served hot. Some chefs add yogurt or milk to their naan dough to add softness and volume to the bread. Roti is bread similar to naan, which is unleavened and is cooked flat on a tawa, a kind of iron griddle. "

So, here is how you make it at home. I made it in my skillet. It was a great addition to our Indian meal tonight. I think the garlic could be left out of it, if you wanted to.


1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
  2. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  3. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
  4. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared. (I found that I like it as think as I could get it)

Carrot and Cabbage Salad

Tonight we are having an Indian feast. I am out of school now, so I am cooking tonight with a bit more ingredients than I have been the last five weeks. I have 10 to 15 recipes to post, so I will be working on those over the next few weeks. I am looking forward to a bit of summer and time with the girls. We will be sticking close to home, but spending time with friends and family. Can't get any better than that. Thanks again to Lee Anna for the wonderful recipes.

So, the menu tonight will be:

Soupy Chicken (posted previously)
Curry Potatoes and Sausage (posted previously)
Carrot and Cabbage Salad
Steamed Asparagus (with a bit of salt and butter)
Steamed Rice
Naan (a flat bread) (will be posted in the next couple of days)

Here is the recipe for Carrot and Cabbage Salad from Lee Anna Finney Darji


2 C shredded carrots
2 C thinly sliced cabbage
1 t chopped green Thai chilies
¼ t tumeric
¼ t salt
¼ t sugar
2 curry leaves (if you can’t find them, just leave them out or use 1 bay leaf)
½ t black mustard seeds
1 T vinegar
1 T chopped cilantro


In a non-stick frying pan, heat 1 T oil. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves; once it starts popping, add the carrots, cabbage, and the rest of the ingredients. Cook about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and empty into a large bowl. Add the vinegar and chopped cilantro.