August 29, 2010

The Plague

In an effort to make this a well rounded blog, I must also share with you what has been happening outside of the kitchen at our house recently. Apparently over the past week a grey cloud of sorts, or maybe a plague has settled on our little family unit of three (yes, Bear is a part of our family).

This all began last Friday when I got back to our apartment from being out of town, to find that our pup, Bear had a case of the runs. He was holding it pretty well but was needing to go outside more frequently than usual. I decided to let this run its natural course (no pun intended) but once Tuesday came around it got worse.... much worse. Have you ever tried to clean a furry bottom, I don't recommend it. You really have to get intimate with a dog when this situation occurs. I believe between Hudson and I, Bear received about 5 baths last week. Hudson even coined a song which comprised of "this little but of my, I'm gonna make it shine" (sung to the tune, "This little light of mine") Anyways, I woke up on Tuesday to what every dog owner dreads..... you know what in the crate, on the dog, on the paws, on his face, and eventually all over me! I decided the time had come to bite the bullet (and the vet bill) and take him in. After running a couple of tests the vet informed me that Bear was having GI upset over separation anxiety. I should preface this by saying that Bear and I had been separated for about two weeks because of vacation. We got him on some flagyl and he is all firmed up now. I found it kind of sweet that the pup is so attached to me that he becomes physically ill.... so next time we are separated we are premedicating the kido with some Xanax.

That Tuesday night was my turn. After making dinner I wasn't feeling too well, a little short of breath and some chest pain. I knew from nursing school that this was not something to take lightly, so we preceded to the ER where we spent the next several hours tweaking some heart medications to fix my oh so low heart rate. All was well after that, just scary and not fun.

After such a busy week Hudson and I were looking oh so forward to a Sunday afternoon of just chillin. It goes without saying that this did not happen. The right side of Hudson's abdomen had been bothering him for about three days. This persisting pain worried me with the possibility of appendicitis so of course, we went to the ER, again. After running a cat scan it turns out that Hudson's appendix is in fine condition and just has a case of gastritis, which consequently is caused by excessive intake of alcohol, coffee, or stress. We decided by the process of elimination that this case was brought on by the excitement of the rapidly approaching football season. What I learned from this is that I need to run a less stressful household for the sake of Hudson and Bear's health.

A Chicken Puff Please

Rosemary Chicken Puffs

I got the idea for this dish from my sweet friend Becca in nursing school. She revealed this recipe last week and I have been dying to try it. We ate it for dinner tonight and I have to say it is by far one of the favorite things that I have ever made. I made these as a dinner but they would also be fabulous as appetizers or finger foods at a party.


Apricot preserve/jelly
rotisserie chicken (or any cooked chicken)
swiss of fontina cheese if you want to be fancy
Tube of croissant dough/ triangles


1. Preheat the oven to 350 or the temperature as directed on the croissant package
2. Place the croissant triangles on an ungreased cookie sheet
3. Place some shredded rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken in each triangle
4. Sprinkle with rosemary
5. Put small square of cheese on top of the chicken
6. Put a dollop of apricot preserve on top/side
7. Wrap up each little puff
8. Sprinkle each puff with rosemary
9. Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until light brown
10. Share and enjoy

August 28, 2010

Rosemary Chicken

Some of our sweet friends, Emily and Mark, shared this chicken recipe with us and we loved it! This couple has given us wonderful ideas with their fabulous culinary and herbology skills and I can't wait to share more of this with you in the near future.


1/2 cup dijon mustard
chicken (however much you need to feed your family.... I used two chicken breasts)
1 TBSP rosemary - dry or fresh
2 TBSP olive oil
4 cloves of garlic-minced or pressed
1 tsp salt


1. Preheat oven to 415 F
2. Quarter your potatoes and place with the carrots in your dish.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and then place in oven for 15 minutes
4. Combine olive oil, mustard, garlic, rosemary, and salt together. Slather the chicken in this.
5. Add the chicken to the veggies in the oven and bake for 45 more minutes at this temperature
6. Bon appetit

The Cookie

In the midst of all of these posts I have been dishonest with you all. The previous posts would lead you to believe that I don't have a sweet tooth.... this is more than false. When my mom got Hudson and I Easter baskets filled with Reese's cups, I had to have Hudson hide them from me, after which I preceded to climb on top of the fridge trying to find them, and I mean fully on top of our fridge. I have pretty good will power but once I start, I literally cannot stop, thus I went on my search for the healthy yet delectable cookie.

There are plenty of wonderful bakers in both my family and especially in Hudson's and I would like to challenge everyone to try out this recipe. I know that there will be some who are skeptical to this butter-less recipe but it is surprisingly delicious! You can just use the base and then add your own favorite addendum, whether that's dark chocolate or dried fruit that's up to you!

White Chocolate Blueberry Cookies

2 cups of whole wheat flour - this brown flour is great for you, though it costs a little more
1/2 cup of oats - this is with the oatmeal in the grocery store
1 cup of white chocolate chips
1 cup of blueberry infused Craisins
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup of apple sauce
1 tsp baking soda

1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together
2. Mix all of the wet ingredients together and slowly add to the dry bowl while mixing
3. Place dough in 1 inch balls on cookie sheet and cook 7-10 minutes on 350 F
4. Eat and Share

The ingredients of this recipe really aren't that bad for you so you shouldn't feel bad about indulging! To make this even "healthier" use dark chocolate chips 65% or higher for the antioxidant benefits.

Fabulously Flexible Flatbread

Are you enjoying the alliteration? Flatbread is wonderfully versatile, you can make it into a wrap, use it as the base for a salad, or turn it into pizza crust.... all wonderful options. I found some fluffy indian garlic flatbread at the store and decided to use it as an open faced sandwich and serve for dinner. I would suggest brushing both sides of the flatbread with olive oil and either place in the oven or on the grill to really bring out the flavors. Then it's all up to you!

The pictured flatbread has tomato slices, basil leaves, mozzarella, and chicken. Another great idea would be to use it for either a bbq chicken salad or pizza, complete with red onions and cilantro. Or, if for instance, you are interested into tricking your husband into eating a green salad, use this flatbread as the base or pocket to give him the familiarity of bread in the midst of the greeness of his plate. Just a suggestion

August 24, 2010

Sirloin Soup

As the summer months are coming to a close it is time to gear up for fall. Nothing makes me think of fall like football games, cooler weather, and SOUP!! This recipe is from my sweet friend Sarah Grace, her mom made this soup when I went to visit her this past winter and it is by far the best soup I have ever had. It is very filling so don't worry about those men who need to have full tummies. It's a one dish wonder and if you are partial to rosemary then you will LOVE this recipe! It's great for a party and this recipe will feed between 6-8 people. I cooked this for my family the other night and Sarah photographed the process, enjoy ;)

Sarah was sweet to slice the onion for me while I roasted the garlic

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsps olive oil
½ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsps fresh rosemary or 1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 red onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 ribs of celery, sliced 1/8 inch thick
6 fresh basil leaves, cut into very thin strips.
1 head of garlic, roasted and peeled
2 lbs of sirloin steak, cubed

Heat the butter and olive oil over low heat. Add onions and cooks and stir 15 minutes
or until light brown. Add the celery and cook and stir 10 minutes longer.

Add garlic and steak and cook and stir until the beef is brown on all side, 8 to 10

6 plum tomatoes, quartered
4 cups beef broth
4 cups beef stock
3 bay leaves
1 tsp black pepper

Add the above and simmer 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours, uncovered, until the beef is fork tender.

Add sun-dried tomotoes and rosemary and simmer about 10 minutes longer. Discard
the bay leaves.

Add the fresh basil right before serving.


I cook 2 cups of Basmati white rice and add right before serving. If rice has been made
ahead and is cold, then warm soup after adding and, again, add basil at the last minute.

The recipe calls for 2 lbs of sirloin cut in 1 ‘’ cubes. I just buy the steaks because I like
the cubes smaller than the butcher cuts them.

The recipe calls for sun-dried tomotoes and you don’t chop them, but it is big pieces of
tomato in your spoon if you don’t.

August 5, 2010

Spinach Pasta

Serves 6


1 box of spinach enriched pasta (yes it will look green)
1 bag of baby spinach (regular spinach is cheaper)
1 cup of fat free ricotta cheese
1 cup of pine nuts (I usually don't add these, a little pricey)- toast these
2 Tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin is the best for you)
1/4 cup parmesan
1 TBSP canola oil/vegetable oil
1 clove of garlic-minced/pressed


1. Cook the pasta according to the package
2. in a saucepan heat the canola/veggie oil over medium heat and add spinach, cover and cook until wilted.
3. Add the spinach to the cooking pasta during the pasta's last two minutes
4. Drain the pasta and spinach combo.
5. Place in a pretty bowl and add the cheeses, olive oil, nuts, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.


Fake Fried Chicken

For those of you who know Hudson, you know very well his passionate palate for fried foods. Unfortunately these desires don't mesh very well with cholesterol counts, so we have found a dish that satisfies both, fake fried chicken. I have gathered recipes for this dish from friends and have come up with my own rendition for a sweeter fried chicken. Think honey meets parmesan. The crunch in this dish will make you think it's fried but aux contrare, it is baked :)

Serves 4


1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP Honey Mustard
1/2 cup mayo
2 chicken breasts
bread stuffing - I like Pepperidge farm
1 TBSP butter

I try to make this meal a little lighter by using light mayo, and Smart Balance as a butter substitute


1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a pan/dish.
2. Get a small bowl and combine honey, honey mustard, mayo
3. Get another bowl and fill it with 2 cups of stuffing mix (not prepped)
3. Wash your chicken breasts, remove fat, cut each in half and flatten with your instrument of choice (I just use my clean hands)
4. Coat each piece in the mayo mix and then in the stuffing mix. Try to get full coverage with the stuffing.
5. After you have done this with each piece, place in the dish and sprinkle with parmesan and butter (optional).
6. Cook for 35-45 minutes.


Italian al dente

Well it doesn't get much more italian than risotto. For those with a risotto-less palate, this is kind of like the child of a marriage between pasta and rice. Delicioso. You can either find a box of parmesan risotto mix on the rice aisle or make your own using arborio rice. This is a great dish to "hide" vegetables in. Dice up your favorite veggies to make this a greener dish.


4 cups of chicken broth or stock
4 TBSP of butter
3 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1.5 cups of arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of pepper
1/2 cup parmesan
Vegetables of your choosing: shallots, zucchini, squash

1. Heat broth over medium heat in a saucepan.
2. In another saucepan heat the olive oil Add the vegetables to this (onion, garlic, and whatever else you want to throw in), let them cook until they look tender. Then add the rice and cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the wine to the rice and cook until absorbed.
4. Now add a ladle full of the hot broth at a time to the rice and stir. Keep doing this until the mixture feels about the consistency of heavy cream.
5. Remove from heat and add butter, parmesan, and herbs al dente