Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rabbit Food; Yummy!!!

Is it odd to enjoy appetizers more than a main course some times? That's me!

I love finger foods and so it was a real delight coming up with ideas for appetizers for our holiday family dinner. 

Thoughts

In a world where your eyes sometimes see more than your stomach can handle, a way to slide in something healthy might be in the foods people will pick at the most; finger foods!

This is where you can add the so-called "rabbit food" or lean proteins and mask it into something unbelievably delicious. That's what I did this holiday season. I made zucchini chips, stuffed mushrooms and buffalo shrimp as our appetizers and the idea was a success among all who were there. In this post, I'd like to share with you my recipe for zucchini chips. 

Zucchini Chips



Ingredients

1. Raw Zucchini 
2. Panko or bread crumbs
3. Parmesan Cheese
4. Garlic Powder
5. Milk
6. Olive Oil Spray

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven at 375 degrees.
2. Use oil spray to grease oven pan so that chips do not stick to pan. Not a bad idea to line pan with aluminum and oil the aluminum.
3. Slice zucchini like you would a cucumber.


4. In one plate, mix Parmesan cheese and garlic. 
5. In another plate, pour out Panko. 
6. Pour milk into a bowl.
7. Take each zucchini slice, dip it into the milk, then the Parmesan mix, then Panko and place in baking pan. Once all zucchini slices have been dipped and battered, place in oven and let bake for about 20 minutes or so.


8. Serve hot or cold. Pairs great with white wine. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Something Sweet is Cooking at the Smoke BBQ Pit

All I can say is yummy. 



Queens, NY is where you will find the best hot fudge sundae yet. It had a brownie inside. So beautiful and sweet to my eyes, I had to snap a pic for day 4 of the December photo challenge: something sweet; Looks and tastes so good!!! 



If the image of this makes your mouth water, definitely make your way down to the Smoke BBQ Pit located at 129-21 Merrick Blvd in Queens, NY for your own portion of this delicious treat. Hey! Why not come down on a Friday like tomorrow night when the Renegade Band will entice the ears of patrons with live music and fun. 


Here is a flyer for the next time they will be there which is Friday, December 5, 2014 from 9pm to Midnight. 



You'll be getting sweet treats for both the tasting and listening pleasure so stop on through. 


#yummy #hotfudgesundae #sweettooth #somethingsweet #foodie #birthdaytreats

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Thanksgiving Meal Idea: Penne Vodka

It's Thanksgiving Day and I'm home in the the kitchen cooking while also watching the Macys Parade and playing with my nephew. Great day to be off! 

Thank God for the moments I can get a little break from preparing my meal while the food is boiling or sitting in the oven. But it's an even greater thing that I'm not cooking an entire meal. Just one dish; Penne Vodka.

Don't get me wrong; recipes are good and all and it's important to follow some sort of guide when whipping something up that is meant to be enjoyable. But my improvising is more for the getting in and out of the hot kitchen quicker and to keep the food item a little bit leaner, if that's even possible. Like for instance; real vodka sauce requires heavy cream and vodka. I do not drink alcohol and decided not to purchase the actual beverage for it this time, but instead to get the vodka sauce already prepared in a bottle for my convenience. 

So here it is; my recipe for Penne Vodka.




Ingredients

Gluten Free Penne
Gluten Free Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
Vodka Sauce
Garlic Powder
Green Pepper
Red Pepper
Shredded Italian Four Cheeses
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Ricotta Cheese
Olive Oil
Salt 
Olive Oil Spray

Directions

1. Add about seven cups of water to a stew pot and place over medium heat. Add salt and olive oil and let it sit over the fire until it boils.

2. Add penne and leave it over fire until shells are soft.




3. Remove water with a strainer.



4. Preheat oven to 375.

5. Take baking pan and spray with olive oil. Cover the bottom of the tray with fire roasted diced tomatoes and vodka sauce. Sprinkle with garlic.

6. Add a layer of pasta. Take spoon fully of ricotta cheese and stir into the pasta. Layer it with cheddar cheese, Italian cheese and Parmesan cheese. Dice about a handful each of green pepper and red pepper and sprinkle atop. Cover the pasta with fire roasted tomatoes, vodka sauce and garlic. 



7. Repeat #6 layering until the capacity of the baking pan is filled. The top layer in pan should be the fire roasted tomatoes, vodka sauce, garlic, peppers and cheeses. 



8. Place in the oven for warming and melting purposes "only." 



9. Best served warm. Pairs well with white wine or apple cider for the non-drinkers. I am not the biggest meat eater but add shrimp or chicken cutlets to the dish for those interested in a fancier meal item. 

Whatever you do decide to eat, my prayer for you is that it is warm, hearty and with loved ones. Happy thanksgiving to you and yours! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Did the Singing Chef Say Mustard Greens?

"Mustard greens is the second most nutritious green you could eat. The first is dandelion root." -  Rash Shamash

This is a quote from a cooking demonstration by the singing chef at For My Sweet in Brooklyn. 

Who knew that mustard greens were so good, you could eat them raw like salad greens or even add them to your smoothies? 


It's all in the way you spice it up! Almost like the way he spices up the jazz every first Monday of the month at For My Sweet on Fulton Street between Classon and Clavers in the Clinton Hills section if Brooklyn, NY. 


Not only do you get to devour an earful of tasteful jazz music, but you have your choice of yummy eats, some made by the singing chef himself, available; some which include vegetarian choices. 

A venue for music lovers and foodies. Definitely my kind of spot. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Corn Souffle

I do not cook often, though cooking is the sure way to know exactly what you are putting into your mouth and to control the contents of what goes into it; especially if you are dieting. Cooking is the better choice to make to change eating habits.

But when I do cook, one of the dishes I like to cook the most is corn soufflé. My friend introduced it to me once when she brought it in for a luncheon at work, and ever since, I added the dish to my cooking repertoire.

If you are a lover of corn bread and do not mind a little mush in your life, then this southern style dish will be a food option that you will enjoy; something different and tasty to eat.  But if you like eating corn bread but do not actually enjoy eating corn, then this dish is not for you because there are bits and pieces of corn in every bite that you will taste.

Corn soufflé is an easy dish  to make and serves as a great side for any meal which includes but is not limited to pasta dishes, soups, meat dishes, casseroles, party meals, etc. Takes about 45 minutes to make.

Ingredients



1 Can of Cream Styled Corn
1 Can of Sweet Corn
1 Box of Corn Muffin Mix
1 Egg
1/3 cup Milk (or fatfree milk or almond milk)
1/2 Cup of Plain Fat Free Yogurt (or sour cream)


Directions

1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees.
2. Gather all ingredients and place them into the baking tray.



 
3. Mix all ingredients with a wooden spatula; very well until all lumps have been smoothed out.
 
 
 
4. Place mixture in the oven and let it cook. Should be ready in about 45 minutes. Place a fork into the corn soufflé to see if the inside has dried. (Please note that your fork might appear a little wet even if the corn soufflé is cooked because it is a mushy dish. Check in various places to make sure).

 
5. Remove from oven and let it sit and cool off for about 5 minutes or so and it is ready to be served.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Monday September 29, 2014 was National Coffee Day

This past Monday, September 29, 2014 was National Coffee Day. I am a lover of coffee and you can find me with the largest cup of coffee a vendor can sell mostly wherever I am. I guess you can call me a coffee-a-holic.

I always watched my family make coffee and drink. There was never a day when the aroma of fresh brewed coffee was not perfuming the house.  Yet, it was in my twenties when I started actually drinking it and enjoying it.

My coffee days went through a series. I did not think I could enjoy the pure taste of coffee and so I always masked it with the sweetest coffee creamer I could find and applied lots and lots of sugar. But not anymore.

Now I enjoy dark bold coffee and drink it black; no sugar or cream. The taste is part of my everyday and I love it. I have tried many blends from many different places and so, was really looking forward to National Coffee Day.

Dunkin Donuts had free coffee. McDonalds had free coffee. But my favorite, Starbucks did not. Yet, for some reason, I still found myself on the long line that one viewing from outside would suspect there is something free being distributed. But there was not.


It was just like a normal day where coffee ruled and still, Starbucks was my choice. Luckily, I enjoy the unflavored coffee because as opposed to the flavorful ones that are about $5 a pop, I can still enjoy my Venti Dark Roast for under $3. However, it would be nice for Starbucks to have a free day to honor the loyal everyday customers. So how about it? It has been a minute and we deserve it.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Meal Ideas for Meatless Mondays

A day without meat does not mean you will lack in protein. There are many options to try that are great protein sources that do not consist of meat at all.  So here are some ideas for your meatless Monday!

Split Pea Soup


Corn Meal with Bean Sauce


Vegetarian Mousaka (instead of beef, use chick peas) 


Roasted Vegetable Sandwich (Add String beans)


These are just some suggestions. I mean, it is meatless Monday. How strong are you at fasting from meat for one day? Meat also includes poultry and fish by the way.  Try it and see your own strength in action.