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Chocolate Crunch

My facebook feed consists of foodies….including Magazines, Food Bloggers and Gourmet food sites. I want to try it all but I can’t keep up with them as quickly as they are posting it. ;) Today Tasting Table posted a very simple, quick and divine Chocolate recipe. If you love Rice Crispy Treats I would say you will love this but it is far better and you probably won’t use marsh-mellow in your treats again. ;))  Also it helps when the ingredients are ones I already have and I don’t need to make a trip to the store. So if you’re in need of a quick dessert kids are sure to love…this one is the way to go. :))

I followed the directions and did everything as they did but I couldn’t help myself in thinking ways to change this and make it my own. I love the dark chocolate- I used Ghiradelli and I used Raw Honey along with Crunchy unsalted Peanut butter.

Chocolate dessert

dessert

1 1/2 pounds dark chocolate, chopped

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 tablespoon honey

4 cups puffed rice cereal

DIRECTIONS

1. In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter. Add the peanut butter and honey and mix until combined. Remove from the heat, mix in the puffed rice and pour into a 9-inch square baking pan.

2. Let set in the refrigerator, at least 2 hours. Bring to room temperature before cutting into squares.

Read more: http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_detail/chefs_recipes/15925/Chocolate_Crunch_Recipe.htm#ixzz3VGEt0YI0

I had my mind set….a nice juicy Carnitas Burrito smothered in Enchilada Sauce from Bronco Burrito was going to be my dinner along with an ice cold beer. As I was scrolling down my Facebook Feed….”Cooking Light” happened, they posted a healthy recipe that was getting lots of rave reviews so I took it as a sign to go another day on a healthy meal… plus I wanted to cook ;).   Sometimes we have to push ourselves and it’s amazing how a healthy dish can be satisfying.   This dish does taste healthy with a nice lemony finish and it was good- low on salt, low on oil, low on feeling full….just hit the spot.  I love finding ways with Salmon, considering I cook it twice a week.  This one is a definite recipe keeper and I might even play with some flavor combination next time.  I think some crispy Panchetta would add just a tiny bit of more crisp to this dish that I would probably love. ;)  Don’t skip out on the Lemon Vinaigrette- it’s very light and barely noticeable in this dish- even with there being 1/3 cup of Feta in it. Also, I”m not big on Asparagus but it was good in this dish and my little girl cleaned her plate.  ;))

salmon salad

Ingredients

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 (1 1/4-pound) skinless salmon fillet
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

Preparation

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add asparagus; cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus from water with tongs or a slotted spoon, reserving water in pan. Plunge asparagus into ice water; drain and set aside.

3. Return reserved water to a boil. Add orzo, and cook according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

4. While orzo cooks, sprinkle fillet evenly with salt and pepper. Place fish on a foil-lined broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Using 2 forks, break fish into large chunks. Combine fish, orzo, asparagus, onion, and Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette in a large bowl; toss gently to coat.

Note:

MyRecipes is working with Let’s Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA’s MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast

APRIL 2009

Nutritional Information

Calories 310
Caloriesfromfat 32 %
Fat 11 g
Satfat 3.2 g
Monofat 4.7 g
Polyfat 2 g
Protein 26 g
Carbohydrate 24.6 g
Fiber 2.2 g
Cholesterol 56 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Sodium 333 mg
Calcium 67 mg

I love to cook it’s my creative side that loves playing with food ideas. I cook way more than I eat out for health reasons and my love for cooking.   So much of my inspiration comes from Chef’s  I love the creativity Chef’s put into their food.  The way I see it, If I wanted something plain I can make it at home myself.  Also, fresh ingredients is what keeps me going back to certain places or the fact they change it up every once in a while. I”m rambling something I don’t normally do in a blog post but I don’t think enough of our time and energy is spent appreciating the good things in life, we criticize more than we can actually give a compliment on something and this post will be devoted to one of my favorite restaurants and where I choose to spend my birthday.  Bestia is by far one of the most flawless restaurants I’ve ever seen, I”m very perceptive and I live to eat food that I would love to cook like.  I’ve only been to this restaurant twice because for one it’s expensive and it’s in Los Angeles but it is by far the best restaurant I’ve ever eaten at.  I follow this awesome couple that comes up with these fantastic dishes on Instagram and I think it’s really beautiful when he displays their latest creations and how they work them into their menus.  His menu is based on seasonal ingredients so it changes with the seasons with the fan favorites keeping a special place on that menu.  The guy has heart and passion and it shows so much in his cooking.  I’ve had several dishes and not one disappointed- each dish has it’s own flavor that fit so perfectly with the main ingredient.  This guy’s palate is insane- and his wife’s dessert entrees are amazing.  The drinks are perfect from the “Beam Me Up Scotty” to the Grenache wine that pairs so lovely with all of the pasta dishes.  So here are some pictures of some incredible dishes you will find at this restaurant and I have more on my yelp review if you want to see all of the different creations this genius Chef comes up with.

bestia6

Poached Lobster in butter with Spinach, mushrooms- a nice crunch to it and edible flowers.

bestia2

Foie Gras so creamy and that freshly baked bread and that sauce on the plate was sweet and perfect combination all of it complimented each other on that plate.

bestia7

Bucatini with sausage meat topped with burrata cheese- a really nice spiciness to this dish.

bestia3

Pici- perfectly cooked lamb in a nice sauce with freshly made pasta.

bestia4

“Beam Me Up Scotty”-  wow- just an amazing drink with scotch

besia

Chocolate Caramel Sea Salted Tart drizzled in a tasty oil.  This was so light  with perfect dark chocolate notes and the crust flaked in freshness in my mouth.

This is an amazing place and I can’t say it enough on how much my love for food grows when I find a restaurant with so much passion in their cooking.  You can taste it :))

I found an amazing recipe using healthy ingredients.   I bought a large bag of Sweet Potato’s and I needed to find different ways to use them.   After some search through Pinterest I located this delicious Sweet Potato with Quinoa and green veggies recipe.  I made a couple of adjustments for my own flavor taste- I switched out Kale for Spinach- just preference and I used 1 egg and added in Flax Seeds and Green Onions.  I used Coconut Oil – just 1 Tablespoon.  These will be soft- and you need to carefully remove them from the pan- you can easily cut into them with a fork or spoon. I didn’t use cornmeal in my recipe it will probably give it a more crunchy type of flavor.  I loved this so much I”m going to work it in every week- makes a perfect side dish and can be a quick pack and go lunch. :))  I found this recipe from Yes, More Please food blogger.

sweet potato

sweet potato2

Sweet Potato Kale and Quinoa Fritters

Makes 18-20 / 2”mini patties or 6 / 3.5” side patties

1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes steamed and pureed. Makes about 3 cups
1 cup cooked Quinoa, you can use red quinoa if you prefer. Approximately 1 cup of uncooked quinoa yields 2.25 cups when cooked.
2 cups kale finely chopped or Spinach  
1 egg (vegan: substitute 2 tablespoons ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons of water)
½ cup panko or any kind of plain bread crumbs. If you have gluten allergies, ground old fashion oats or almond meal will work.
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 good pinch paprika or smoked paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

4-6 tablespoons grape seed oil, peanut oil, or coconut oil  to pan fry them.

Mix it all up and fry or bake. :))

I found a crispy, spicy and delicious Fish Taco recipe from food blogger Pinch of Yum. :)  I already have fish taco recipes on my food blog but I”m always in search of another take on these recipes and this one turned out to be amazing.  It was definitely the use of Cornmeal- it gives it that nice crunchiness you find in a chip.  The Chili Powder is the perfect spice – I used Indian Chili Powder which packs more heat than your average chili powders in the stores.  For the Jalapeno Avocado Sauce recipe- I used 2 Tablespoon of Greek Yogurt instead of the 1/4 cup- I wanted a more thin sauce base and it packed heat with the jalapeno’s I put whole in the blender.  The Cotija Cheese was a perfect addition- this salty cheese with the beer battered fish was perfect.  I used Corona Beer in my batter.  Since I knew I was making a fried fish dish I decided to cut my calories by using tortillas I got from Trader Joe’s that only have 9 grams of carbs in them which was actually tasty.  So even when I”m making something that is fried at home I find ways to cut down on the calorie content somewhere else in my dish and this way eating unhealthy at home is still better than eating it all bad in a restaurant.

fish taco

fish taco2

INGREDIENTS
Jalapeño Sauce
  • 1 large jalapeño (if you like spicy, leave the ribs and seeds in there)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Fish Tacos
  • 2 lbs. firm white fish like cod
  • 1 cup flour (see notes)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or spicy seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup light beer, such as Corona
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 12 flour or corn tortillas
  • cilantro for topping
  • Cotija cheese for topping
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Puree all the jalapeño sauce ingredients in a food processor until your desired consistency is reached. I sometimes add a little more oil or water at the end to make the sauce less gloppy and more drizzle-able.
  2. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and cut into 2-3 inch pieces. Put ½ cup flour in a shallow bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk ½ cup flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, chili powder, baking powder, and salt. Add the beer and the beaten egg; stir until combined to form the batter.
  3. Pour enough oil in a frying pan so that the fish will be partially submerged while frying. Heat the oil until a drip of water sizzles across the top. Dip each piece of fish in the plain flour, then the batter, then transfer to the hot oil. Fry on each side for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the frying pan and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with salt while still hot; let cool slightly.
  4. Arrange your tacos with a few pieces of fish, cilantro, Cotija cheese, and jalapeño sauce. Yummy!

This is by far my favorite use of ripe bananas recipe.  I think this is why I spend so much time browsing around on Pinterest there is always something that catches my fancy or that I can relate too ;)

This banana muffin recipe is moist and so tasty- I used 3 bananas one of them being really ripe and I cut back the sugar amount to 3/4 cup vs. 1 cup.  I used Trader Joe’s 70% dark chocolate chopped and topped it with semi sweet chocolate chips, I also added a handful of peanut butter chips I wanted just a hint of peanut butter and it was perfect. I also mixed everything by hand- I find sometimes the mixing machines tend to over mix, I’m loving the results of by hand method.  This recipe comes from Design and Decor :))  This one is hitting the rotation ;)

 

muffins4

muffins5

muffins2

 

muffins

 

 

Ingredients
  1. 1 cup white sugar
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 3 tablespoons sour cream
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  8. 2 or 3 ripe bananas – I always use 3 bananas
  9. 3/4 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together until moistened.
  2. Pour into greased muffin baking tray or use muffin paper liners.
  3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Recipe makes 12 muffins.
Notes
  1. Add chocolate chips to the tops on the muffins before baking.
By Designed Decor

This is my own recipe using ingredients that I love.  I have little kids and I like to work veggies in their diet any way I can so I have over the years got playful with plain rice by adding in frozen corn or peas and now my little ones actually love those veggies.  So every time I make rice I add a veggie to it and it gives such a plain dish so much flavor too.  When I make Plain white rice I always add 1 tsp of good Extra Virgin Olive Oil as it boils.

For my Turkey Lettuce Wraps, I sauteed 1 yellow onion in 1 tsp EVO and let them slow cook to bring out the flavor of the sweet onion, once that gets a nice yellow color I added diced Mushrooms and add 1 Tablespoon of Turmeric.  I allowed that to cook for additional 2 mins than added 1 tsp of Cumin Powder  and about 1/2 cup of frozen sweet peas.  I stirred that up and let that cook.  I removed from pan and placed veggies  into a bowl than cooked up my ground turkey in the same pan, once cooked through I added ingredients back to the pan.  I added 2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce and about 2 Tablespoons of Hoison Sauce- taste at this point I did a sample taste and you can add more to make it sweeter.  I made the kids bowls- first rice, than topped with turkey and Romaine on the side and they had their own fun making their wraps.  Once the kids bowls were made I added 1-2 Tablespoons of Indian Chili Powder for some heat.  Indian Chili Powder is far more spicy than any other one you will find on the shelf- so do a taste test if you’re using it.  As I made my bowl of rice, topped with turkey and made my lettuce wraps as I eat- it prevents the lettuce from getting soggy and falling apart.  Let everyone just spoon mixture over the lettuce as they go and if they choose they can just use the spoon and no lettuce at all.  I also topped my delicious lettuce wraps with Kimchi…..this stuff is my new Siracha calling- it goes good on almost anything. ;)

Enjoy!

lettuce wraps

Ingredients:

Yellow Onion

Mushrooms

1 Tablespoon of Turmeric

1 Tsp of Cumin Powder

Sweet Peas

Sweet Corn

Ground Turkey

Rice-

2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons of Hoision Sauce (taste for how sweet you want it) Add more or less

2 Tablespoons of Chili Powder (optional – if you want some heat) Add after the kids bowls are made ;)

Romaine Long Lettuce

Kimchi

 

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