Wednesday, April 29, 2009

CEiMB - Turkey Meatballs with Quick and Spicey Tomato Sauce and Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Check out the recipe for this at:
Turkey Meatballs with Quick & Spicy Tomato Sauce and Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Hosted this week by Oddball Oven Mitt

So I'm excited and I have to share! I'm getting a new stainless steel french door freezer on the bottom refrigerator delivered today! We bought one last week and two days later they called and told us that there had been a recall on all of those refrigerators so we did not have one coming. They had to remove them from their floors and could not sell anymore of them. Of course, we were never told what the problem was. This meant another shopping trip for a refrigerator. We finally decided on the GE Profile and Lowe's was very easy to negotiate with. We actually got them to reduce the price by over $600. Keep that in mind as you shop.

Now for this week's food choice. Any time I can prepare a spaghetti dish, you will find me racing to the kitchen.

I had to make a couple of changes to the recipe. First, I did not have the chipotle peppers in adobe sauce because the yankee ate it all on his salad last week. Second, I added green olives to the sauce. I did not have any fresh thyme and I left out the carrots in the meatballs. I made my meatballs small. I love turkey meatballs! And I used regular thin spaghetti instead of the whole wheat. We have tried every brand of whole wheat spaghetti that holds a spot at the grocery store and we do not like any of them. There are a few things in life that you just can't change for health reasons. Spaghetti is one of them.

I love spaghetti. Nuff said?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers and CEiMB

Croque Monsieur anyone? Or "not just another ham sandwich."

This week Kathy of All Food Considered has chosen Croque Monsieur. I've never heard of this, but I'm open to new things and it sounded delicious. I just hoped and prayed from the title it did not have anything to do with crocodile meat. Lucky for me, it was a ham sandwich. I guess I need to study up on my French! First you mix up some milk and cheese for a nice sauce. I left out the parmesan because that is not my favorite cheese. I used all gruyere.

I sliced some fresh sourdough bread and toasted in the oven. Then you put the sandwich together with more cheese and some wonderful Virginia ham, thick sliced that I got from the deli.

Then you bake and broil and voila! Wonderful, tasty ham sandwich (or croque monsieur if you prefer). I must get some new dishes for my blogging. All my photos are beginning to look alike. White plates, brown placemats, wicker chargers, etc.
Speaking of purchases, I bought a new clothes dryer about six months ago. Now my washer has broken so I went to purchase the washer that matches my dryer. Wouldn't you know they no longer have that style. They've upgraded it. So now, once again, I will have a non-matching washer and dryer. Poop. They did offer to take back my dryer if I had the receipt (IF I had the receipt - little do they know I'm the receipt queen. I have receipts stored from when I was a teenager. HA). However, they would only take it back up to six months and wouldn't you know we bought it like six months and a day. Well maybe eight months, but who knew they would even do that! Good ole Lowes. I love that place. And. . you can negotiate with them. I just told the guy I wanted him to give me a discount and he smiled and said "I can give you 10 percent off." I told him that's what I'm talking about and I bought it!!! Yea, it is being delivered tomorrow. Now if it only matched my dryer.

For CEiMB this week, one of my favorite bloggers, Marthe of Culinary Delights chose Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach and Couscous.
I was excited about preparing this dish because I had my eye on it for a while. It turned out to be pretty easy to put together. But Ellie says you can cook this in fifteen minutes and honestly she must be superwoman if she can achieve that! Of course, my chicken was frozen so it did take some time to thaw. But even once it thawed, I think it took about a half an hour for me to make this. The yankee did not care for the spinach part of it, but he couldn't tell me exactly what he didn't like about it. Maybe it was the garlic taste. I absolutely loved the couscous and the spinach part of it. So much so that I could have left out the chicken and just had the rest of it. Who thinks up names for foods anyway? I mean where did the word couscous come from? Does one look at a food and say, "hmm. This looks like a couscous so we'll call it that." Just something I've always wondered.

Thanks Marthe for choosing this. I wouldn't say it was my favorite dish ever, but it was pretty darn good!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

TWD - Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding and Give Away Winners!!

My friends asked for Big Bill's Carrot cake. They got Dorie's Chocolate Bread Pudding instead. The yankee loves bread pudding. I think his mom made it a lot when he was smaller. With my mom, it was usually teacakes with chocolate syrup on top. YUM.

We eat a lot at a restaurant near us called John's Diner and they have fabulous White Chocolate Bread Pudding. I wondered how Dorie's would compare. I sent the yankee to the store (Publix) for some challah bread, but the ladies at the store told him to use these dinner rolls instead. They were out of challah bread of course. So I cubed them up and toasted them in the oven as Dorie suggested. I was thinking as I cubed this wonderfully fresh bread, that if I had wanted fresh bread, it would have been half stale. But since I needed it stale, of course it was deliciously fresh.

Here I am blogging away while the dear DH is outside laying bricks on his hands and knees to expand our patio (at my request of course). Of course I get all my ideas from HGTV. The DH says HGTV has ruined Saturday afternoons when men used to gulp beer while watching a good ole football game! Now they lay bricks, bust through walls, and hang new chandeliers.

Here is the pudding in its pre-baked stage. I dutifully patted it on the back with my spoon every ten minutes or so for half an hour.

The pudding came out perfect. Dorie really delivered on this one. I took it to my dinner party and served with whipped cream (of course you know I serve everything with whipped cream!). I think it was a big hit. It was very chocolatey, though, so I was glad I did not serve with chocolate sauce! At the dinner party they played a game. Each guest wrote down three things about themselves that hopefully no one knew. The twist was, one of them had to be a lie! My best friend, Lisa, guessed mine of course. I wrote that I had played tennis on a league for five years, I lost 150 lbs on Nutrisystem in 1995, and I play piano. Can you guess which one was a lie?

The first one my husband wrote was that he was a yankee. (Well that was a dead give away right there don't you think?). It was an interesting game and we learned a lot about each other.

Thanks to Lauren of Upper East Side Chronicle for hosting this week's TWD. Great pick Lauren!

A big thanks to all who left comments to play along with the Pay It Forward Give Away. The winners are. . .. drumroll. . . Teanna, Joanne of Applecrumbles, and Gabe's Girl! Congratulations!!! Please email me your address so I can send you your gift.
See everyone on Thursday when I'll be back with Balsamic Chicken and Spinach, and Croque Monsieur sandwiches!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

NO CEiMB this week !

Sorry, put my name on the blacklist this week for skipping out on Ellie. I just couldn't do a lamb stew this week. But I'm sure everyone else did a fabulous job on theirs.

Last week to sign up for my Pay It Forward give-away. Remember, the gifts do not have to be large, just something from the heart. Check it out below and leave a comment!! I will announce the winners this weekend.

Have a great week!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I could have spent my Saturday morning sleeping, reading a book, or soaking in a hot tub of bubbles.

Because the yankee's birthday was this week, I had promised him a carrot cake. So I got up at 7:00 a.m. and began to bake Big Bill's Carrot Cake. I made it into a sheet cake instead of the three layers and it turned out great. We shared it with our dance friends on Saturday night and they all loved it.

Because I am notorious for trying to multi-task, I also made this week's TWD recipe which was chosen by Holly of Phe/mom/enon . We are keeping this one for ourselves because I love chocolate and. . . I am selfish. Oh Lord it's hard to be humble… Thanks Holly - this was a delicious and very elegant cake.

For me and baking it is like this quote from Louisa May Alcott - "I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."

Having read all the helpful comments on TWD, I knew to go to Starbucks to get my amarettini cookies and sure enough they had them. Thanks for all the tips ladies!

I couldn't help but think of Tanya over at Chocolatechic as I was pouring the glaze over the cake. I bet she was loving this week's choice because it was such ooey good chocolate. It's interesting how we read each other's posts each week and through that channel we begin to feel we actually do know each other.

This cake also reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Le Chocolat. Can any of us forget Johnny Depp in that movie? Just one taste was all it took. .. that was the motto of the story.

NEWSFLASH!!!!! Don't forget to leave a comment below on the Easter Give Away and let me know you are willing to pay it forward. It's a great way to share something special with some online friends. It does not have to be a huge gift, just something from the heart. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

EASTER GIVE AWAY!!!!!!****!!!!!

A couple of months ago, Marthe of Culinary Delights had a Pay-It-Forward Give Away and I won! I thought it was a lovely way to express friendship in our food blogging group where most of us only know each other by our screennames and photos. I am now passing it forward so the rest of you can have an opportunity to keep the friendship going and growing. Easter seemed like an appropriate time for this type of give away. First, read the rules below that I copied from Marthe, next leave me a comment telling me that you desire to participate in this, and last I will post three winners next week chosen by random number! Have a safe and happy Easter.

Rules: There are so many lovely giveaways in blogland, bloggers eagerly commenting and abuzz with the excitement of winning an unexpected gift, but that’s it. Someone wins, and then the generosity comes to a screeching halt and we go on with our lives. Nice, but lacking in momentum.This giveaway is a little different, however, because the “receivers” are also to become “givers”, if you will. In fact, that’s the most important rule of the game…The rules are simple: I will send three people who leave a comment on this post a handmade gift within the next 365 days. I am willing to post anywhere in the world, so don’t let that stop you from commenting.The catch is that you must have a blog and be willing to do the same thing.
Good luck!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

BAREFOOT BLOGGERS and CEiMB - Chinese Chicken Salad and Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Rub

A lady opened her refrigerator and saw a rabbit sitting on one of the shelves.
"What are you doing in there?" She asked.

The rabbit replied:

"This is a Westinghouse, isn't it?", To which the lady replied "Yes."
"Well," the rabbit said, "I'm westing."

Be sure to see my post above and sign up for the pay-it-forward give away!

I'm combining CEiMB this week with BAREFOOT BLOGGERS.

First, in our CEiMB group, Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Rub was chosen this week by Pam of Lobsters & Fishsticks. I love salmon patties, but I would never order salmon in a restaurant. But the DH does, so I decided to give it a try. I sent him to the store for fresh salmon, and he came back with frozen. But it was very easy to cook this up and even though the cook (me) charred it just a bit, we both loved it. It was too cold here to grill outside and I do not own a grill pan, so I just used a regular skillet. The recipe is below. Thank you Pam for choosing this!

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin and any pin bones removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coat your grill or a grill pan with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat. While the grill is heating, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Brush each salmon fillet with 1/2 teaspoon of the oil, then rub each fillet with about 1/2 tablespoon of the spice mixture.
Grill the salmon, flesh side down, until charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook another 5 to 6 minutes for medium doneness. For well done fish, cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to a platter and serve immediately.

In Ina Garten's Barefoot Bloggers group, McKenzie of Kenzie's Kitchen chose Chinese Chicken Salad. It was really easy to make. I made a few substitutions. I used canned asparagus because Publix was running a sale on fresh and guess what - they were sold out! Also, I totally forgot to add the honey to the salad dressing which I am sure would have made the dressing a lot better. As it was, I didn't care for the dressing. Too tangy for my delicate tastebuds. I thought the salad was really pretty and the DH devoured it. Of course as mama always said, keep them waiting long enough and they will eat anything! It was close to 8 p.m. when we finally sat down. That's a long time from an 11:30 lunch! Try it for yourself and see what you think.

4 split chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound asparagus, ends removed, and cut in thirds diagonally
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
For the dressing:nocoupons
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup good apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub with the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces.
Blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain. Cut the peppers in strips about the size of the asparagus pieces. Combine the cut chicken, asparagus, and peppers in a large bowl.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add the scallions and sesame seeds and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Monday, April 6, 2009

TWD - Yes, We Have No Bananas

Amy of Sing for Your Supper chose Banana Cream Pie for our recipe this week in the Tuesday with Dorie's Group. She has a great blog. Jump over for a visit and see what she made and get the recipe. I can't wait to see what all the TWDers loved about this pie. I'm sorry, but I did not get to make the cream pie this weekend. Check back with me on Thursday, however, for some excellent salmon.

I ask you, if Freud were a Banana, would we refer to a subtle yet overt expression of character as a Banana Slip?

Anyone watching dancing with the stars? Gilles is my favorite.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

CEiMB - Buffalo Chicken Salad with Bleu Cheese Dressing

You Eat Now chose Buffalo Chicken Salad with Bleu Cheese Dressing for our CEiMB group this week. Check out her great blog to get the recipe.

So here is our conversation tonight on the way home from work.

DH: What's for dinner?
Me: Can you stop at the store and get romaine, buttermilk, yogurt, bread?
DH: Sure. What's for dinner?
Me: Buffalo Chicken Salad with bleu cheese dressing. You also need to get some bleu cheese if you like it.
DH: I like it okay.
Me: I can eat a "little" of it, but. . .
DH: Can we substitute something else?

I was excited about making this salad because I really love hot wings. Especially the boneless ones. But leaving out the bleu cheese apparently caused my dressing to be a bit on the bland side. I used gorgonzola instead. And the chicken (which I totally did not take the time to make it into wonderful and pretty strips like Ellie asked us to) did not have enough hot sauce on it for me. I found this salad pretty bland, but still . . . because I love salad I ate it all. Chandler's was not bland because he added chipotle peppers to his. It was a really nice, quick meal for us on a rainy Thursday night however.

I apologize for being a day late with my posting.

Try the recipe for yourself! Love the flavor of the chicken with the salad greens.