Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

This might be the best turkey I've ever cooked - Thanksgiving or not! :)

Ina Garten comes through again as her little Barefoot Contessa. So thankful she did. I am trying to use things in my freezer so they won't get to waste when I move at the end of March, and I found this turkey in the back of it. Don't even remember why I bought it - maybe just b/c it was on sale. So, I looked on line. This morning I had plenty of time on my hands (after my 12 hours of sleep, 745-745, I was so tired and it was needed, some AWESOME sleep) so I just let it cook in the oven.
It was SO MOIST and flavorful! Loved it. I'm going to be using it on salads, maybe for a sandwich, mostly for turkey tetrazzini I am making for a family with a new baby on Tuesday.

(slightly changed from original recipe because size of my turkey)

1 8 lb turkey breast
2 mega garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp italian seasonings
2 tsp kosher salt
1 lemon - juiced
2 1/2 T olive oil - very good, fruity olive oil works best
1 cup blush or white wine

Dry turkey breast with a paper towel. Mix garlic through oil into a paste - smear on and under the turkey (under the skin). Place skin side up in a roasting pan (or on a rack). Pour wine in the bottom of the dish. Bake for about 2.15 hours at 325 covering about halfway through because the skin will get too dark.
This is so moist, and the wine and lemon and olive oil are very good things!

Tomato-Basil Toads in the Hole

Panera puts out some mighty delicious bread. I got a loaf of their tomato-basil bread for dinner on Thursday night. I wanted to use it for my breakfast with Becca. I did - and it was yummy.

2 slices of your fave bread (tomato-basil)
2 eggs
mozz cheese
spray olive oil

Spray a griddle. On about med-high put the bread (cut a hole in it with a glass - that's what I used). Crack open an egg. Cook till mostly done - or to your liking - then flip it. I overcooked mine a bit, but I will learn. Top with mozz or parm cheese and serve warm!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Menu Week: March 1

Wow - already here. Well, this is the start of the end for me here in Louisville. The next month of menus will have restaurants, dinners with friends, and few homecooked exciting meals.
Monday: making peanut butter cookies for 2 families with new babies. Enjoying some leftover soup that I just took out of the freezer. Dinner will be salad greens and turkey
Tuesday: Shiraz with Rayann - 2.99$ Falafel Tuesday. Dinner: I am making Ina Garten's roast turkey (on Sunday) and using it to make Simply Recipes Turkey Tetrazzini for a friend and their new baby. Serving alongside roasted broccoli, rolls, and pb cookies
Wednesday: lunch at Lotsa Pasta - my fave deli place in the Ville - with my friend, Sarah. Dinner will be greens and turkey.
Thursday: Dinner with Brandi - just the two of us (and the little guy). Don't know what we are going to enjoy yet - but it will be wonderful when we decide. You are getting two cookers together!
Friday: hanging with Tracy on Friday night but I think I need to eat some carbs for the Anthem 5k on Saturday morning.
Recipe of the week is Ghiradhelli's Double Chocolate cookies - making to take with me to Nashville.
After the race, I'm driving down to Brentwood, TN to go to the Pfunky Griddle to enjoy some whole grain pancakes with pb and bananas on top. Dinner will be with my best friend from high school and a wonderful mexican chicken salad she makes for me every time I come (because I request it).
Sunday is hanging in Brentwood and Thompson Station, lunch, and then maybe dinner with a friend at PeiWei.
Always enjoy traveling, cooking, eating out! Good week ahead!

Taste of Louisville: Blue Lagoon

The Highlands in Louisville is definitely known for its eclectic dining venues and busy Friday nights. Well, the traffic was nothing new on Bardstown Road at 715 on a Friday night, but this little place with an up and coming chef was a nice little surprise.
My friend Sarah and I went there for an evening of shared food and conversation. Love these meals. She knew the chef, so we got to place a special order (it had recently been taken off the menu).
I totally forgot my camera (blame it on Friday-night brain) so you'll have to deal with descriptions.
To start: sweet potato fries. I'm used to large, regular-fry looking, sweet potato fries - which I LOVE! But these were different. When our waiter asked if we would like them for dessert or an appetizer, I knew I was in for a treat. He quickly brought out a small bowl set on a plate of petite cut fries. A light snow-dusting of powdered sugar with a small bowl of dipping: saffron honey. I could have downed the whole container of saffron honey. If saffron weren't so expensive, I'd go buy some and make some for myself. The very last bite (once we had dumped the bowl of fries on the plate), was laced with the chili powder that had been dusted on the place. AMAZING. That was the best bite of the whole meal.
Jody, the chef, made us this wonderful Persian--version of paella. It served both of us and we weren't stuffed, so that was good. The rice was perfectly done - not sticky or crunchy. There was plenty of seafood in it: shrimp, cod, scallops, and mussels. He didn't skimp. It was very seafood-y so you would have to enjoy seafood to appreciate this dish. The only thing I could say that was a disappointment was it was not very complex in flavors - very monochromatic if I can use that word to describe food? But, we ate it all!
When the waiter brought our check, he also brought out these lovely tea shots as a palette cleanser I guess. Simple, yet a perfect way to end a meal.
So, if you are looking for something out of the ordinary and somewhat unknown still (so no wait on a Friday night) - go to Blue Lagoon on Bardstown Road. (order the sweet potato fries).

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Blondies (2010.8)

Bon Appetit comes through again! These were defininitely a winner - at least among the office staff. So, you may want to make these!

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp soda
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Melt butter on stove over medium. Remove from heat. Stir in brown sugar, than vanilla.
Let cool for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in eggs. Whisk in dry ingredients. Stir in half of peanuts and half of chips. Pour in greased and foiled 8x8 pan. Top with remaining peanuts and chips. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until done.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wknd of Eats in Raleigh

Love traveling to this city. And I can't wait to try out more local foods in this zip code - get to know the local places!
My parents were up this wknd and my Dad likes "normal" food (while Mom and I are willing to try funky stuff). We definitely enjoyed our eats though. Here's some of the things we did. Sorry no pictures, I had my camera with but didn't take any photos all weekend - can you believe it?

Friday/Saturday/Sunday - the hotel had a wonderful breakfast each morning so that is what we did. Glad it was included in the price of the hotel
Friday lunch: Boston Market is next door to the place where I had some meetings, so we went there. The parents don't have one anymore. Too expensive - but they have great food - especially those fabulous sweet potato fries!
Friday dinner: Dinner with friends. We had a creamed chicken dish which was great for a cool evening. Rice, veggies, yeast rolls, and a great fruit salad for something sweet to end the meal.
Saturday late brunch: Flying Biscuit in Cameron Village. I split the Hollywood Omelette (spinach, mushrooms, goat cheese with egg whites) with Mom - we also had creamy dreamy grits, applewood smoked bacon, and a biscuit with their fab cranberry apple butter (so good). My friend let me try some of her french toast with raspberry sauce and a honey creme anglaise - great if you want something sweet for breakfast.
Saturday dinner: I don't often get to treat my parents to a meal, but I was able to this time (Dad covered tip). We went to one of my fave nice chains: Firebirds. Got the lobster spinach queso for an app, then their amazing yeast bread. I got the applewood smoked bacon bbq chicken sandwich. Very moist! Mom got the Salad with shrimp and strawberries. I LOVED it (we shared). The shrimp would have been better hot or just left off completed - but the salad was amazing. Dad got the Herbed Prime Rib and it was so tender. Firebirds always does a great job!
Sunday: Chilis with some friends. Mom and I split the fajita trio. Shrimp were overcooked, but the rest was really yummy. You can never go wrong with chilis.
Sunday dinner: Harris Teeter in the hotel room. We were tired after going all weekend. We got some baked chicken, red skinned potato salad, Special K crackers (yum) and hummus (not the best, but was cheapest), and a cripps pink apple. That was very good to snack on after church while watching Persuasion!
MDW - I had an egg mcmuffin with cheese from Mcds during my 2 hour layover! It was good. I hadn't had one in a long time.
So, now back to eating right and healthy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Menu Week: February 22

This is going to be early because I'm leaving tonight for Carolina so I won't have time to post it over the wknd. So, here goes...

Monday - travel and leftovers (and going grocery shopping)
Tuesday - Lunch at Butterfly Garden Cafe with Lilly and dinner at the Stringers - can't wait for either.
Wednesday - leftovers (clean out the freezer time)
Thursday - think I'll make some peanut and chocolate chip blondies for the recipe of the week for the office.
Friday - Quick and easy is the name of the game for lunch and then heading out for Trolley Friday with Sarah and Shana will be joining us later in the evening. I've never ridden the Ville trolley, so I am excited for the excursion, food, and company!
Saturday - heading to Berea for the day - hopefully it will be nice. Papaleno's and Sonny's - can the food day get much better - and hoping to see a friend and take some nice photos and do some shopping.
Sunday - lunch at a prof's house.

So, gladly this week won't be high in the grocery bill department! Gotta love week's like that!

Maple Glazed Roasted Winter Vegetables with Ginger (2010.7)

I liked this recipe. It was from a health magazine and put a twist on my normal roasted vegetables. Maple syrup instead of olive oil was the main topping and the bits of real ginger in there made this better than it would have been without it.

I changed the quantities based on what I could find in the store:

1 lb brussel sprouts, halved
2 medium carrots, coined
3 medium parsnips, coined
other winter veggies that you like
3 tsp real dark amber maple syrup
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
salt to taste

Put all on baking sheet. Drizzle with syrup. Bake at 450 for about 25-35 minutes tossing to keep it from burning.
I'm finishing up mine today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuna Spaghetti (2010.6)

Bon Appetit in its editor section usually has little basic recipes. This was one of them. Not great, but not throw away worthy either. I may just toss some on top of some greens.

Not amounts, almost

Spaghetti (I used whole grain spaghetti)
1 can tuna (oil packed preferred, but I used water packed)
1 fat garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
lemon juice
(I added the garlic and red pepper and didn't have any parsley)

Cook noodles. In pan, saute everything else. Drain pasta, reserving a bit of the water. Mix all together.
This just didn't have much of a flavor to me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Four Chocolate Brownies

Brownies are so easy to make from scratch, and most of the ingredients are right in your kitchen - so why even bother with a box mix. These are great, and would have been amazing if I hadn't cooked them quite so long. The original recipe I was looking at called for 35-40 minutes, I did just 35 and they were overdone. I like mine more fudgy than these, but they still had good flavor.

1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
2 oz (squares) unsweet chocolate
1 stick butter
3 T cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

Melt first four over low heat. Stir in powder.
Cream eggs and sugar. Add in vanilla. Combine the slightly cooled chocolate mixture. Mix in flour and salt.
Foil and grease a 8x8 square pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Menu Week: February 15

Post holiday, short week. Going to be good. Can't wait. Here you go:
Leftovers: tuna whole wheat spaghetti
Monday: whole wheat pita pizzas (I'm making mine a mexican pizza!) and a salad for movie night
Tuesday: white chicken chili and homemade cheese toast for a manicure session
Wednesday: finish up leftovers, roasted winter vegetables with maple and ginger (recipe of the week)
Thursday: white chicken chili, roasted veggies, larabar and fruit at airport
Friday: breakfast at hotel, lunch and dinner are in Raleigh somewhere - you can bet it will be yummy!
Saturday: brunch at Flying Biscuit at Cameron Village (yum) - I know I'll be having an egg white omelette! Dinner will be somewhere!
Sunday: all up for grabs - always an adventure!

I love the food of the Triangle. And you can bet I'll be stopping by Trader Joes and Whole Foods (this one just because my parents don't have one near them in Publix land and they always like to go).
Happy Cooking.

Question: What are your fave cities to travel to because of their eats?

Yoplait Giveaway

Smoothies are everywhere! Lyon in the Kitchen had one on his show the other day. Green Smoothies are all the health rage. Smoothie King is raking in the dough! So, wanna make your own at home?
Yoplait and My Blog Spark are giving you the chance for a "Free" smoothie. You get a coupon for a Yoplait Smoothie (found in freezer dessert section) and a single serve blender - I LOVED THIS this morning. Will definitely keep it.
You could either drink the whole thing, or actually have two servings. The one I chose, the Strawberry Mango Pineapple was a little sweet - but those are naturally sweet fruits too.
So, all you have to do is leave me a comment - what is your favorite smoothie? It can be homemade, green, take out, restaurant, whatever...

Let me know!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Favorite Things Salad

Man, it was definitely a good eats at home time while snowed in! Love those little treasures God brings to us!
I've seen many recipes for eggs and asparagus - with the whole fried egg on top of steamed asparagus with the runny yolk. While this is great, it has more calories than I want to spend on it, so here is my version!

serves 1

Green leaf lettuce, chopped
1/2 bunch of asparagus, roasted (trimmed, zest of lemon, drizzle of evoo, s/p, 450 for about 20 minutes)
caramelized red onions
2 t ground flax seed
1 egg white cooked in microwave (in bowl, grease with pam, one egg white, cook for 45 seconds)
1 T crumbled feta
balsamic vinegar.

SO GOOD! I think roasted asparagus has to be some of the world's BEST GOOD EATS!

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

I love this pan! :) I got it at Joann's fabrics and just like my spring pan, it makes decorated sugar cookies so easy! I need one for every holiday!

Sugar cookies:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt (I thought the batter was a little salty, so next time I might lower it to 3/4 tsp)

Cream, add dry. Spray pan cavities. Bake at 350 for 9 minutes. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove gently with a butter knife. Let cool. Decorate. These would be perfect for kiddos to make! :)

Rolfe's Peanut Butter Truffles

Back in December, I did a 12 days of Christmas baking. My friend Brian posted a truffle recipe, he also shot me some variations. I used one of these variations yesterday for our Foster party tonight. Yum!

Here it is. Brian described it so well so I thought I would let him do it. I halved the recipe...

Chocolate by B – Peanut Butter

1 ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
½ Cup Peanut Butter
3 eggs (whites)
12 oz (1 bag) White Chocolate Chips
24 oz (2 bags) Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Cover two cookie sheets with wax paper and set aside.

Cream sugar and peanut butter together (will develop a sandy texture). Blend in three egg whites, one at a time, making sure each is fully combined before adding the next. The mixture will resemble cake frosting at this stage. Melt the White Chocolate in a microwave (60 to 90 seconds, be sure to mix well after the first minute). Allow chocolate to cool slightly and then add to mixture. Combine thoroughly and quickly (chocolate will start to set) and spoon onto wax paper (like making small drop cookies). Place in freezer for ten to fifteen minutes to set firmly.

Melt Semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler. Remove fillings from freezer, dip in melted chocolate and return to wax paper. When all the chocolates are dipped, return them to the freezer for another ten to fifteen minutes to allow the chocolate to set. They may then be moved to air-tight containers for storage or served. Allow them to warm to room temperature before serving.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Caramelized Red Onion and Feta Sandwich

I think caramelized onions are some of the world's most perfect foods! And today, on a snow day (we got 6 inches), it was amazing.

1/4 large red onion
1 tsp olive oil
splash of blush wine
2 T feta cheese
arthur thin - whole wheat

I sliced the onion, heated a little olive oil, got them going. Took about 20 minutes. Splash of wine and occassionally putting water in there. Topped it with feta and squirted a little mustard.
Tomorrow, I think I might make another one - maybe on a salad this time! My side dish was yummy homemade sweet potato baked fries.

Super Bowl Food

Wow, it seems like the Super Bowl was so long ago! And it was only Sunday (2 whole days). It is amazing how fleeting things in life are that are totally not important!
I went over to a friend's house and we both made some stuff we liked, but also picked conferences and made food for that team.
I had the NFC (Saints) and made bourbon chicken (it was sweeter than I wanted it to be, but I have leftovers). Lorrie had the AFC (Colts) and she had oreos (commercials) and Orville Redenbacher - because it is in IN.
The nachos and oreos were fave part for me.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Taste of a Chain Restaurant: Yang Kee Noodle

Sunday was more than just a day for Super Bowl food (coming later). It was also a day with a neat family at my church and me to go to Yang Kee Noodle.
I would compare this to a Moe's - for Asian food.
Many different options, gluten-free options, spicy, normal, salads, rice bowls, noodle bowls.
I had the general tso's chicken. It was good and filling, though not as good as some others I have eaten in the past! Chicken was decently spicy (not enough to make your eyes water or sweat pour down your face) and not heavily fried (which I appreciated).
I didn't think to ask for brown rice, so I ate half the white rice that was served with it.
For the price, I would rather have gone to PF Changs (my plate of General Tso's was 899 I think).
But, it was quick with different options. And they didn't rush you out because you wanted to sit and chat! :) Refillable drinks were also a plus!
Would I go again - yes. Would it become a regular place of mine - probably not. Thankful for the provision of lunch!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Menu Week: February 8

A full week again this week (when is it not). But, I have been a little more disciplined in my planning of menu this week in light of food and money. So, here you go:
Leftovers: beef stew - still gotta finish that off - still yummy. Bourbon chicken from Super Bowl dinner.
New recipe of the week: Bon Appetit's Consentino's Spaghetti with Tuna. I have all the ingredients. No need to spend money and the carbs will be good for running.
Baking: Peanut Butter truffles (actually, no bake) and Vday Sugar cookies for the Foster BYOB Party on Thursday night.
Thursday I think I'll be enjoying a Founder's Cafe Veggie wrap - so good - for lunch.
Saturday I am meeting up with some vegetarian/vegan folks for a meeting at the Zen Tea House - can't wait to try it.
Then on Sunday I'm having dinner with a SBTS prospective student and her family. Don't know where we'll go yet.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Product Review: Two Moms in the Raw Blueberry Granola Bar

Love the perks of knowing the baristas at your neighborhood Starbucks. They give you samples. My friend broke into the new items - Two Moms in the Raw granola packs - and gave me a sample.
Here are my thoughts:
1. I know its healthy for you. All natural and organic ingredients. All raw and sprouted. There are definitely health benefits.
2. It is way expensive.
3. It you are going to call something blueberry granola, then the product better taste a whole lot like blueberry. This didn't. The only ingredients in the list after blueberries were agave, cinnamon, and sea salt.
4. Good crunch for the granola bar.
5. 220 cal 9 fat 4 fiber
6. Good for those who are allergic to wheat or gluten or dairy.
7. I wouldn't trade any granola bar I've had so far for it. Kind Bars are great and Starbucks has started carrying those.

Two Moms in the Raw - any other products I can review? I am always up for samples. And from past experience, just one disappointing food adventure doesn't always lead to others.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Chewy Peanut Butter Bars (2010.5)

If you like peanut butter fudge, you will definitely like these. Quick and Easy Recipes comes through. These make tons of bars and are really easy because they are no bake - they just take chill time.

4 cups salted roasted peanuts
1 bag mini marshmallows
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 bag reece's peanut butter chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk

9x13 pan. foil. pam.
Spread 2 cups of the peanuts on the bottom. Melt the rest in a pan over medium low heat. Pour on top of peanuts. Pour the other 2 cups on top and gently press into the goo.
Let chill over night.
These taste surprisingly like peanut butter fudge. So easy...