Monday, March 26, 2012


It's week 8 of our Food Matters Project. Evi + Sam of Fifth Floor Kitchen chose the recipe this week. 

Vegetables au Vin with Coq.

While deciding if I should use thigh meat or breast meat I thought why not both? A small Cornish hen halved would accomplish that. 

I used shitake mushrooms for their meaty, chewy texture and a few brown mushrooms. While I was reading the ingredients I came to the wine. It called for a fruity red wine and it was at that moment that  I knew what I was going to do to make this recipe my own.


They were the star of the dish.
 I coated seedless red grapes with olive oil and roasted them at 375 for about 20 minutes, until they started to pucker and shrivel.
I stirred them in at the end just to warm them.
The roasted grapes added a depth of flavor that complimented the fruity Pinot Noir in the sauce. It was a flavor burst that was incredible.

I pretty much followed the original recipe here. I added a tablespoon of tomato paste for a little richer flavor and served the sauce over my Cornish hen.

This was a great recipe and the next day the sauce was even better. Tonight I'm serving the sauce over spaetzle.

Thanks Evi and Sam for a great pick.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Our deadline is nearing for testing recipes for Jaden Hair's new cookbook. If you haven't been to her blog you can find it here. Steamy Kitchen. Her blog is filled with great recipes and her cookbook is sure to be a winner. This seared ahi was new and different and along with all her other recipes, really healthy. It has been a pleasure to participate in the testing.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Joanne from eats well with others chose the recipe for week seven of our Food Matters Project. The recipe was Curried Tomato Soup with Hard-Boiled Eggs.

Anyone know where I'm going with this????

I wanted to put a different spin on the recipe this week so I ran the recipe by my friend Sharon. I needed some inspiration. I started with curried tomato souuu...and she said "BLOODY MARY'S". Where did that come from??? It wasn't even close to happy hour!!! Oh...but I told her the recipe called for hard-boiled eggs and she said "DEVILED CURRIED EGGS". I must mention that we do this every week and we come up with some really creative ideas for this project but I never follow through with "our" plans so this week I made a promise to make her brilliant idea.

I tried to include most of the ingredients in the recipe. I used cauliflower and carrots and along with a cucumber made an Indian Pickle. This was going to be the garnish for the Bloody Mary. The pickle had a lot of the same spices that were in the soup. I had every intention of making my own vegetable or tomato juice but I ran short on time so I grabbed a bottle of V8.

I cut up the vegetables and salted them for a couple of hours.

Then I made a pickle of cider vinegar, water, sugar, minced fresh ginger, turmeric, and curry powder. I let this sit overnight.

In the morning I started planning on how to make my eggs and as I was tasting the Indian pickle it came to me.....

  The pickled vegetables had such a delicious flavor, why not finely dice the vegetables and add it to the egg yolks for the stuffing. I mixed the yolk with mayonnaise and some of the pickling liquid, added the chopped veggies and some salt and YUM!!! The crunch of the tiny diced pickled veggies along with the curry and the tartness of the pickle juice made these some of the best deviled eggs I have had.

My 6oz. glass of vegetable juice (Indian Mary)  had about 1/8 tsp. of hot curry powder mixed in and then a shot of vodka and a squeeze of lemon, and garnished with the pickled vegetables. I wish I had dusted the rim with a mixture of ground cumin and salt. I think that would have been really tasty.

I went way off course with his recipe but I sure had fun! 

This turned out to be a great lunch, snack, drink, uh....project :)

Thanks Joanne!

If you want to see the recipe as it appears in Mark Bittman's book please stop over at Joanne's blog.


Combine about 1 cup of chopped cauliflower, cucumber, and carrot in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let drain over a sink for about 2 hours. Rinse thoroughly. Put in bowl.

Combine 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. minced ginger, 1/4 tsp. turmeric, and 1/4 tsp. curry powder in small bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds, stir and pour over vegetables. Refrigerate over night.

Finely chop the pickled vegetables and mix 2 heaping TBSP. chopped vegetables with 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 TBSP. of the pickling liquid and 1/8 tsp. salt.

Hard boil 6 eggs. When cool cut in half and mix the yolks with the vegetable mixture. Adjust seasonings.

Fill the eggs with the mixture and garnish with finely chopped green onions or chives.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Recipe testing is great fun. I tried three new recipes this weekend and I can tell you that this is going to be a great cookbook. Jaden is writing this book with healthy in mind. If you haven't visited her blog you should check it out. Steamy Kitchen.

Last night I made Sweet and Sour Pork and Cauliflower "steaks". Today I made Fried Brown Rice with egg whites and edamame beans.

All of the taste of sweet and sour with "fried" pork but none of the fat.

Roasted Cauliflower "steaks" with a ginger sauce.

Healthy Fried Brown Rice using egg whites and edamame beans.

The cookbook should be out this year.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Hi friends! Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen is coming out with her second cookbook this year. I am really fortunate to be one of her recipe testers. Her book will be filled with healthy, easy, Asian recipes.

We have to keep the recipes top secret until the book is published but I can give you a peek at what I have been testing. 

Oh are going to love this one.

This is awesome. I had to make it twice just to be sure it was a was.

This is a delicious, light, vegetable soup. All of Jaden's recipes are light and healthy so I'm losing a few pounds doing this lucky am I ???

I already posted this picture when I made it the first time, but I made it again...and doubled it. It is that good. I'm going to have to stop repeating perfect recipes so I can be of some help :)

I'll let you know when the book is published.

Monday, March 12, 2012


It is week 6 of the Food Matters Project . Our host Erin chose the recipe to cook this week. It is a basic recipe for hummus but Mark Bittman encourages readers to kick it up a notch. I made falafels in my crock pot and served them with plain hummus, spicy chipotle hummus, tzatziki sauce, and warm whole wheat pita bread. The chipotle hummus was a winner.

The recipe suggests serving the hummus hot. I divided it in half and warmed it over medium heat. When hot, I added lemon juice, and to one batch I added 1 whole chipotle pepper chopped, and 1 tsp. adobo sauce.

The combination of the warm spicy hummus, and the cool tzatziki sauce was wonderful when spread inside a warm pita pocket and stuffed with a couple of falafels.


I had some leftover pita bread so I made hummus nachos. I cut the pita bread into chips, brushed them with olive oil and toasted for about 10 minutes. Then I topped them with the chipotle hummus, chopped bell pepper, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and crumbled feta cheese. Put it back in the oven and baked until the cheese and hummus were warm and the chips were crunchy. This was a great quick appetizer.

If you want the recipe for the hummus please visit Erin on her blog here.

And if you want to see some really creative takes on hummus, please check out The Food Matters Project . 


I grew up eating falafels in pita bread. I realized today that some people have never heard of them before. Falafels are balls or patties made from ground chick peas or fava beans, and some added spices. They are usually fried and served in pita bread with hummus and sauces and sometimes lettuce and tomato. Fried falafels are the best but for healthy eating I usually bake them. This time I tried them in the crock pot. They stayed really moist and delicious but never developed the crusty outside that is so good.


1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1/2 onion (quartered)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. sriracha sauce (or 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper)
3 TBSP. lemon juice
3/4 cup panko crumbs (or bread crumbs)
2 TBSP. olive oil

Process the onion in a food processor until it is very finely chopped. Add the spices, egg, garlic, and lemon juice. Process until mixed.

Drain the beans and add to the food processor. Process with just a few pulses leaving some beans in chunks.

Transfer the bean mixture to a bowl and add bread crumbs. Mix together. It will be a bit wet and sticky.

Pour 2 TBSP. of olive oil in the bottom of crock pot.

Form bean mixture into golf size balls and flatten slightly.

Dip each side into the olive oil to coat and nestle into the bottom of crock pot. It's fine if they overlap or lay on top of each other.

Cook on high for about 4 hours or until golden brown.

Layer into a pita or corn tortilla with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, hummus or tangy ranch dressing.

Recipe adapted from 

Sunday, March 4, 2012


 This is week 5 of cooking with our group on the  Food Matters Project

The Food Matters philosophy is all about eating more plants and fewer animal products and processed foods - and the positive impact this has on our health and the environment.

This week our host is Dominica and she chose Mark Bittman's recipe for Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce.

This is a great recipe and you can use whatever vegetables you might have on hand. I had some peas growing in the garden so I picked some to add to the stir fry. I also had some ripe oranges on the tree so I grabbed a few....well two were ripe, one not so much but the bees were having a convention in the tree so I just grabbed what was safe.

Beef Chuck Flat Iron Steak is my favorite cut for stir fry or grilling. It is so tender and has so much flavor.

Instead of pouring the sauce into the stir fry as Mark Bittman suggests, I decided to marinate the meat in the sauce for 4 hours before cooking it.

I made a marinade of orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, honey, chopped ginger, and minced garlic.

The recipe calls for thinly slicing the beef before cooking, but I like my beef rare so I decided to cook it whole and put a nice sear on it. This way the marinade started to caramelize and gave it extra flavor.

I sliced the (barely) cooked meat and set it aside.

When I was ready to cook the stir fry all I had to do was toss the bean sprouts, scallions, and peas in some oil, add the marinade, cook for 3 minutes and toss in the beef for a quick warm up.

I served it over brown rice.

This recipe is delicious.


8 oz. Flat Iron steak
2 TBSP. vegetable oil
1/2 pound bean sprouts
1/2 pound Chinese peas
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 small garlic cloves, minced
3 TBSP. soy sauce
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 TBSP. honey
 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts separated , all chopped

Combine the grated ginger, minced garlic, soy sauce, honey, and zest and juice of two oranges in a small bowl. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Put beef in a glass dish, pour marinade over and refrigerate for 4 hours. Remove meat from dish. Put marinade in sauce pan and bring to a boil for one minute. Set aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet until hot and sear the meat until caramelization starts showing. Do this on both sides. Let meat rest  for 15 minutes.

Thinly slice the meat and set aside.

In large skillet heat 2 TBSP. oil until hot. Add the bean sprouts, peas, and white parts on the onions. Cook, stirring frequently until just starting to wilt, about 3 minutes. Pour in the marinade and the sliced beef and cook for one minute.

Garnish with chopped green onions and serve over brown rice.

Recipe adapted from The Food Matters Cook Book.

You can find the original recipe here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


This shrimp cocktail is to die for. The best shrimp cocktail I have ever had.

 Recipe???  Sorry :( 


I'm testing recipes for Jaden Hair's new cookbook. That would be Jaden of Steamy Kitchen . I tested recipes for her last cook book and they were all fantastic.

I'll let you know when the book is published!!!