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Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Food Links!

Bring you a few interesting articles each week!

Stamp out Hunger: May 8th. Leave nonperishable food by your mailbox for pick-up! Click here to read the article.

No Toys for you! A CA county bans fast food chains from giving toys in kid’s meals. Click here to read the article.

You SHOULD be eating this, but you probably aren’t. What is it? Click here to read the article.

And in honor of Cinco de Mayo next week – a cute story. Click here to read the article. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Arugulamania Dish #1

So with a good amount of incredibly tasty arugula walnut pesto in my fridge I decided to give it a work out and planned a couple of meals using it. It actually could have been three, but I kept snacking on it too much.

The night I made the pesto I dreamed up this little pasta dish. A majority of the ingredients I had on hand, so it made for a quick and very delicious tasting supper. You could also make this meal with regular pesto, or omit the chicken and double up on the mushrooms for a vegetarian option.

Before I get started, let me point out that in this recipe I used a store bought marinade for the chicken AND a store bought alfredo sauce. I’m not opposed to short cuts in my cooking from time to time. You can certainly use your favorites in replace of mine, but I have noted what brands I used.

Grilled Chicken and Portobello Pasta
with Arugula Walnut Pesto Cream Sauce

*Serves 2

- 1 marinated chicken breast, pounded to even thickness*
- 2 medium Portobello mushrooms
- 1 ¼ cup prepared alfredo sauce**
- 2 tablespoons Arugula walnut pesto
- ½ pound of fettuccini pasta, cooked al dente
- 1 roma tomato, diced (optional)
- S&P
* We used Lawry’s Herb and Garlic 30 minute marinade. Use whatever kind you prefer.
** If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can make your own. We used Buitoni’s brand from the refrigerator section.

1. Marinate chicken 30 minutes prior to cooking – at least. Clean mushrooms, remove stems and toss in a light coating of EVOO and salt and pepper.

2. Start your grill and bring to temp. Once well heated, grill chicken for roughly 4-6 minutes on each side. Start before you put the portabellas on – they will only take 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove portabellas from heat when have developed a deep brown color and softened up. Chicken should be no longer pink in the inside and juices will run clear. (I can’t give you an exact time because heat temps vary and thickness varies.)

3. While chicken is cooling, heat alfredo over medium heat in a sauce pan. Once alfredo is heated through add the pesto and stir to combine.

4. Once alfredo/pesto is heated through, remove from heat and toss with hot cooked pasta until sauce coats all the fettuccini.

5. Slice chicken and portabellas and place on top of pasta to serve. Add tomatoes as garnish if you choose.

Thoughts: This was a lovely pasta dish. The arugula didn’t overwhelm the dish because the alfredo mellowed out its intensity. They combined beautifully to make a flavorful and delicious cream sauce. The grilled chicken and portabellas were perfect on top of the pasta. You can add them in – BD likes to do this – but I don’t like to when using a long cut of pasta.

I noted that the tomatoes are optional. Personally, I love fresh tomatoes on top of a pasta dish. To me it adds a light and fresh element to a pasta dish that I really love. I’ve got one more recipe to share using the pesto and I should have it up sometime this weekend.

Rae ^..^

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Allez cuisine!

If you're into food or cooking at all, its pretty much a guarantee that you've seen or heard of Chopped or Iron Chef. Or maybe even Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Well my blogging friends, we now have our own little interweb throwdown/battle venue to  to duke it out in.

Nick over at Macheesmo and Dan from The Food in my Beard created Foodie Fights, a battlefield for bloggers. The premise is simple, the site announces the battle and the ingredients and you sign up to participate. Then you submit your recipe and photos for judging. The site explains everything more thoroughly.

The first battle was announced today and if you're interested in getting involved go to Foodie Fights and check it out and maybe sign up. I'll be skipping out this time because I don't care for one the ingredients, but I can't wait to see what everyone else whips up!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Light AND Tasty???

I think I have a slight addiction to Ranch Dressing. As a kid I thought it was disgusting…but I had never tried it. It was something about the name I didn’t like. My parents were Bleu Cheese or Italian dressing kind of people and bleu cheese is still one of my favs.

Anyway I believe I first got to taste it my senior year of high school. I was a hostess at a restaurant and I was eating French fries with bleu cheese dressing on my break. One of the waiters suggested ranch also being good with fries and I gave it a try. That place had some of the best ranch ever – they made it in house. I can still remember its flavor.

In my house Ranch is one of those things that are always on hand – just like milk and eggs. We especially had to keep a good supply of it when HD (BD’s really awesome older brother) moved in with us for a while. We all especially loved it with tater tots…always the go to side when we needed something easy.

Ok, by now you’re wondering what the hell this post is all about. I’ll get to the point. Moving has had some serious effect on my waistline. Between packing and then unpacking and not doing our regular shopping routine, we have eaten out an unusual amount in the past month. This has led to some weight gain. Not like ten pounds or anything but enough where I’m like: “Damn it! These shorts are a bit too snug!”. So I have been trying to be extra careful with what I eat. This week raw broccoli is my afternoon snack. I had gotten pretty bored with apples, carrots, and bananas. I decided that I would allow myself a smidge of ranch to go with. Broccoli isn’t all that interesting raw and by itself. So I picked up some “Light” Ranch at the store. Its like half the fat and I was hoping still decent tasting.

You might as well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, but I couldn’t tell a difference. It was creamy, herby, and tasty. I don’t think I’ll go back after this. I’m all for saving calories as long as it doesn’t sacrifice flavor. Sacrificing flavor to me is sacrilege. I won’t do it and thankfully it appears I won’t have to.

Rae ^..^

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Arugula Overabundunce

Before I get started – is overabundance an actual word??? Why does it seem like its not?

I had a bunch of arugula left over from my Roast Beef panini endeavor the other day and I just couldn’t let it go to waste. I try very, very hard that whenever I purchase food (especially fresh produce) to use it all up before it becomes a science experiment in my veggie drawer. Most of the time they end up in an omelet, frittata or a veggie pasta, but arugula is bit different. I would say that it’s a bit of an acquired taste because of its peppery and slightly bitter flavor.

So anyway, what to do with all this arugula? I knew we couldn’t eat it in salads over the next two or three days so I decided to make a pesto because it would keep in my fridge/freezer for a good amount of time.

Arugula Walnut Pesto
*Makes approx 1 cup of pesto


- 3 cups Arugula, packed
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- ½ cup walnuts, unsalted
- 2/3 cups EVOO (roughly)
- juice of one lemon

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Create an ice bath in a large mixing bowl with water and ice.

2. Place walnuts in a dry (no oil) sauté pan over medium heat for roughly 5 minutes. Be sure to stir them a few times so not to burn. Remove from heat when done and set aside.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Food Links

Bringing you a few interesting food related articles each week!

Burger King has Brunch? Will feature some new menu items, but will still end at 10:30. They are currently testing it out in a few states. Click here to read the article.
Not so Healthy “Health Foods” – An interesting list of foods that many of us think are healthy but really aren’t. Click here to read the article.
Dinning out for a Cause! April 29th is Dinning Out for Life is an annual fundraising event. At participating restaurants, a percentage of your check will be donated to AIDS service organizations. Click here to see the participating restaurants in your area.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Giving Roast Beef Some Love

A couple of girlfriends and I were talking food earlier today and one of them mentioned Boursin cheese. I am a HUGE fan of Boursin, its one of my favorite things and I use it quite a bit in my cooking. Like here and here. My other friend “J” mentioned that she likes to mix a little of it with Horseradish and enjoy it on roast beef sandwiches. This got my mind going and I could stop thinking about it until I made a sandwich to devour for dinner. My food cravings always dictate what I have for dinner and since BD was working late I didn’t have anyone argue with me. I used an old George Forman grill to press these but you can use a panini press or even a sauté pan like a grilled cheese. You could probably even skip the “cooking” part if you want altogether, but I didn’t.

Roast Beef, Red Onion, Arugula and Horseradish Spread Panini

*Serves 2

- 4 slices bread – any kind, I used an Italian loaf
- 1/3 pound good quality sliced deli roast beef
- 1.5 cups loosely packed aruluga
- 3 tablespoons spreadable garlic and herb cheese – such as Boursin
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish (more or less if you like!)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ of a red onion, sliced

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shrimp, Bacon, and Mushroom Quesadillas with Mexican Herbed Sour Cream

So it was Saturday night and I was trying to figure out what I should whip up for dinner. After mentally running through everything that was in my freezer/fridge and pantry, I came up with the idea to do Quesadillas. But these aren’t “normal” quesadillas; these have shrimp, bacon, mushrooms, and gouda cheese in them. Swoon.

After I settled on my ingredients I thought that I couldn’t just serve them with plain old sour cream. That would be boring and probably not stand up well. So I went with a Mexican-ish Herbed Sour Cream. Which I am now addicted to and use on everything I can possible think of. And I swear the longer it sits in my fridge, the better it gets.

Shrimp, Bacon, and Mushroom Quesadillas with Mexican Herbed Sour Cream

*Serves 2


- 1 dozen raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 cups shredded gouda cheese
- 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms, any variety – I used baby bella
- 6 bacon strips
- 3 large tortillas
- 1/3 cup chopped scallions
- Canola or Veggie oil, few tablespoons for frying
- S&P

Sour cream:

- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Juice of ½ lime


Note: Make the sour cream mixture first and then set in the fridge. You’ll want to do this so they flavors have time to develop into a happy mixture.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kitten with a Whisk has moved!

Some of you may already know, but BD and I spent the better part of the last two weeks packing, moving, and trying adjust to our new little home. This has been no easy task and we finally spent our first night at the new place this past Saturday. I am in no way exaggerating when I say that not one thing went according to plan and many unexpected disasters happened.

The reasons aren’t important but it was time for us to leave the place we had called home for 4 years. It was a great little (well, not so little) house and I’m not ashamed to say that I hugged it good-bye as we locked the door for the last time. Still, our new place is perfect for just the two of us (though I’m still not so sure how it will be sharing a bathroom with BD yet), and will hopefully be the last place we rent before buying our own home.

So this post is about my old kitchen and my new kitchen. I never really shared much about the old kitchen (OK) but I loved it. BD says it was too small, but I disagreed. It just wasn’t a wide open space and the new kitchen (NK) is smaller anyway. And since I haven’t been able to cook and post much lately I thought this might be fun.

Two weeks ago when BD started packing up the kitchen (who packs the kitchen first, btw?) we started to find lots of things that we never knew existed in our cupboards. Coffee makers, old fashioned biscuit cutters, pie dishes…. I suspect these were all leftovers from previous roommates who are long gone now. I wish one of them had left a springform pan… I’ve been wanting for one of those. It was certainly interesting to see what hid in the depths of our cabinets and I couldn’t help but feel a little sad for all of the forgotten dishes. It was as if they we’re saying – Use me! Use me! I plan on giving them all a little love soon.

So here are some pictures of OK and NK. NK picture were taken prior to us moving in and OK after we left, so please imagine a huge microwave and old, ugly toaster oven somewhere for the full effect.

Old Kitchen
I loved, loved, loved the huge counter space that OK had. You cannot imagine how incredibly useful it was. Especially when BD and I were throwing a dinner or cocktail party, there was plenty of room for both of use to be chopping. Another thing that I wish my NK had was the deep corner counters on either side of the stove. They could hold everything. I also loved how bright and open the kitchen was, and the windowsill was perfect for attempting to grow some fresh herbs. I will also miss having an ice maker. I have simple needs like that.

New Kitchen
NK is a whole different ballgame. I love the look of the wood and black counter tops, but when you throw the microwave, toaster over, coffee maker, knife set, and several other random things on the counter you lose a lot of counter space. My biggest challenge however with this kitchen is the gas stove. I’ve never had one before (OK was a glass flat top one) and it terrifies me. What if I accidentally brush against the knob and gas starts leaking? What if it spontaneously turns on and I burn the house down? (I’m sure my landlord would LOVE to know this worries me) And I just know that I’m gonna burn myself or at least a dishtowel at some point. I’ve only used it once at this point to boil some water for hot dogs. (Most of the kitchen was still packed.) Everyone says that after some adjustment I will love it and I hope so. I am also very grateful for Al-the-gas-guy for his tutorial on how a gas stove works.

Oh! Time out - funny story: BD has only cooked with gas in restaurants and never at home. For whatever reason I assumed it would be the exact same set up but I was wrong. The other night while I was unpacking he went to make us an omelet and I kept hearing the ignition thingy clicking. Like, for a full minute. Finally I called to him and said, “what are you doing?”. And he screamed in frustration. “its broken! It won’t stop clicking, damn it!”. So I had to go show him that you just need to turn the knob a bit to make it stop, which totally made me feel like a smarty-pants. But I didn’t gloat too much….he was too cute.

Anyway, it took me three days to unpack just the kitchen and to figure out where things should go. And some stuff is still in limbo but I’m sure after an adjustment period I will feel right at home there.

Hopefully by next week I’ll have some new recipes to share!

Rae ^..^

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Food Links

Bringing you a few interesting food related articles each week!

New: A Foodie magazine for kids! I love, love, love this idea! I kinda want to subscribe to it myself… Click here to read the article.

Food Photos: An article from the NY Times on people who post pictures online (some blogs, some not) of everything they eat. Click here to read the article.

Restaurants are moving into the grocery store. Ok, this really isn’t a new concept…lots of chains have been offering their items in the freezer section for a while now. But it appears there will be even more on the horizon. Click here to read the article.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Food Links

Bringing you a few interesting food related articles each week!

New on the grocery isle: Chocolate Tea! This sounds really, really interesting. I’m gonna pen it down as a must try! Click here to read the article.

How do you load the dishwasher? There IS a right way and a wrong way! BD and I have had arguments over this, and I have heard other couples argue it too. Click here to read the article.

Subway will commit to a breakfast menu! They’ve been testing this idea for years but now it will be expanded to nearly all of its locations. Click here to read the article.

Hello Kitty wine is coming to the states! I'm amused by this. Click here to read the article.

Have a Happy Easter everyone!

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