Thursday, December 16, 2010

Who You Callin' Shortbread Squares

Yeah, that's right! These little badasses are...well...badass! Passed along from one person to another, to me and thus a new OliveBeats baby was born. A bit labor intensive, but fattening little gems to make your will power fall right off a cliff and your best jeans to fit just a little bit tighter. But screw's the holidays and who is really working out anyways? Isn't that what January is for?

This is not by any means and "made from scratch" goodie...more like a semi-homemade recipe. OH and it's NO BAKE too! Manipulate any which way you want if you know what you're doing. But for those not creative enough in the kitchen...just follow these instructions and you'll be a winner. Fully. Totally.

1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
3 Tblsp of salted butter

1 bag of milk chocolate chips (any brand you like)
1/2 cup of toffee chips
Shortbread cookies (Walkers or Lorna Doone)

Heat the milk and butter over med-low heat until it comes to a slow boil. Bring heat down and continuously stir until it becomes a light amber color. Spread the carmel over the cookies that are on a piece of parchment paper. Let cool in fridge for about 10 minutes.
Melt the chocolate and dip the cooled cookies. Sprinkle with toffee bits and again chill them in the fridge.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mediterranean Meatballs with Hummus

You will NEVER need to order out for Mediterranean again after you learn how to make this dish. Change it up all you want to how YOU like it, but'll capture all of the familiar flavors of cinnamon and allspice. I'm thinking this would also be a great appetizer and a yogurt dipping sauce eh? Wow, I'm still recovering from the two helpings I just finished.


1 lb ground lamb
1 egg
6-8 minced kalamata olives
1 Tblsp chopped parsley
2 Tblsp minced red onion
1/2 cup of plain bread crumbs
3 Tbslp olive oil
2 Tblsp Greek seasoning
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt

Optional (but REALLY REALLY worth it):
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Prepared plain hummus
Prepared Israeli Couscous
Chopped red onion
Chopped Roma tomato

Preheat oven to 350F

Combine all of the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl using your hands or a fork. Using a cookie scoop or two large spoons, form the mixture into medium size balls and place into a large baking dish. Do not grease the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Around 15 minutes check if there is a lot of grease at the bottom of the dish. If so, drain most of it and place back into the oven. Serve over hummus and couscous and garnish with the onion, pine nuts and tomatoes. MMM! So good!!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

OMG! Pumpkin Cheesecake

Sorry that the picture isn't the best as it was taken after a couple glasses of wine and Amaretto...but yes, that's right...OMG Pumpkin Cheeeeeeesecake. I can't tell you how great this cheesecake turned out even from scratch. I wanted to make something a little different for Thanksgiving and it was devoured almost immediately even by those that don't like cheesecake (yes, people that don't like cheesecake really exist...go figure)! I plan to make this for some upcoming holiday parties that I'm sure will impress.

I actually came across this recipe on a coupon believe it or not. I was so drawn to the idea of pumpkin cheesecake that I decided to go for it making my own modifications of course to deliver a totally GoldenBrown one-of-a-kind! Being that this was my first ever homemade cheesecake, it really wasn't very hard or intimidating at all. are required to have some key items in order for it to turn out perfectly that include:

1. Spring form pan....don't have one? Forget it.

2. Parchment paper.

3. Wide piece of foil to cover the bottom of the pan without having to use two pieces.

If you have those three items, plus the required're golden. Now be the foodie that you are or wanna be and just do it!

2 cups ginger cookies, ground
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup salted butter, melted

2 (8 oz.) pkgs of softened cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cut out a piece of parchment paper the same diameter of your pan and line the bottom of your pan. Ground up the ginger cookies however you want, blender, processor, ziplock and a rolling pin, etc., either way just make sure you don't have any big chunks. Combine the rest of the crust components and press evenly into the bottom of your pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, remove it, cool it...and turn oven down to 325F.

Make sure the cream cheese is at room temp. Mix the cream cheese until smooth and beat/mix in the sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl mix together the pumpkin, sour cream and remaining spices/salt...then gently combine with the cream cheese mixture by hand. Pour into your cooled pan. Place on your much needed wide piece of foil and tightly wrap the bottom on your pan so that no water can leak in there and ruin your crust! Place your pan into a large roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with hot water about half way up the sides of your pan. Like any cheesecake, the water bath will prevent your cake from drying out and cracking. Bake for 1 hour, turn off the heat and leave in the oven for 1 more hour. Remove and let cool and either chill it or you can freeze it until about an hour before serving (my preference).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweet Roasted Chestnuts

I've always wanted to do the ole tradition of roasting chestnuts...maybe not over an open fire as my oven would suffice. I got this idea from a show I recently watched where they made drunken chestnuts....I know right? So I had to try it. The peeling was painful....but totally worth it in the end. Burned thumbs and sticky nuts...sounds good to me!

1lb whole chestnuts
4tbls salted butter
4tbls sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1/4cup dark rum (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F

Make a slit in each chestnut with the point of a sharp knife to prevent the chestnuts from bursting. Roast the chestnuts in a shallow dish or baking sheet for 20 minutes. Peel the shell of the chestnuts while they are still warm. In a pan melt the butter over medium heat, add the peeled chestnuts. Sprinkle with sugar. Let cook for about 7 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from heat and add in the careful! Cook for another 10 minutes until alcohol has been cooked out and the liquor is syrupy. Cook longer if needed.

Serve hot!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Harvest Chicken

When the weather is getting chilly...and I mean really cold, what better than inviting family and friends over for a mini feast of roasted chicken and harvest vegetables. Being that I had just invited a group of family and friends over for pumpkin carving, cocktails and the hockey game...I figured I'd serve them up some friendly comfort food. Chili...naw...stew...maybe....roasted chicken...perfect. This dish was not only easy and really tasty, but it also displayed itself beautifully on the platter.

1 whole chicken cut up (I bought it precut)
1/2-1lb of tri colored fingerling potatoes cut in halves
5 parsley roots chopped in large pieces
4 large celery stalks chopped
4 large carrots peeled and chopped
3 small shallots chopped in large pieces
3 large garlic cloves smashed
2 sprigs of rosemary
Handful of fresh sage leaves
4 tblsp of salted butter
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Generously season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. (Set the backbone aside to make stock with). In a large cast iron/ceramic pot over medium-high heat add about 2 tblsp of the butter and place a few pieces of the chicken in skin side down. Don't overcrowd the pot as you may need to brown the chicken in batches. Brown the chicken on both sides until they have a nice golden crust, but don't cook all the way through. Once all of the chicken is nicely browned, set aside while you prepare the vegetables.

In a large roasting pan add in all of the vegetables, potatoes and rosemary. It's important that all of the vegetables and potatoes are about equal in size. Pour some olive oil over them then season with salt and pepper. Mix together with your hands so that they are all coated with the oil and seasoning. Place the chicken on top of the veggies and place in the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes. In a small sauce pan, add the rest of the butter and sage to melt together. Baste the chicken with the sage butter every 10 minutes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Spicy Chicken Udon

Chicken, fat noodles and salt? Come on...that's like one of the best comfort food combos ever. Debating on what to make for dinner with limited ingredients, this little spicy gem was born. I had just completed my first take of making my very own sushi at home which turned out to be pretty successful (guess what is soon to debut?) I had some lil' additions I had picked up at the Japanese market I visited. Don't let the words "Udon" or "Siracha" intimidate you as you can find these items easily at any grocery store....BUT...if you can't find the Udon....just use any type of rice noodle. Pffft...even ramen noodles would suffice. If you've even been to any Chinese or Japanese...any Asian place to eat they usually have a big bottle of Siracha on every table. This dish is totally up to you....don't like spice? Then don't add the spice! Want more veggies? Add some slice mushrooms, pea shoots, water chestnuts, zucchini...whatever! Just do it...because it's that damn good.

2 small chicken breast portioned into small pieces
2 packages of unseasoned Udon noodles (already cooked)
1 cup of chopped spinach (thawed and drained if frozen)
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup of red onion (large pieces)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 tblsp canola or peanut oil
1 tsp red pepper flake
Black pepper
Soy Sauce
Siracha chili sauce (optional)
Black sesame seeds (optional)

In a large wok or fry pan over high heat add the oil and chicken. Add a splash of soy sauce for seasoning. Move the chicken around so it doesn't burn until it is almost cooked. Add the onion and garlic and continue moving around to avoid burning for about 3 minutes. Add in the spinach that has been thawed and drained, red pepper flakes and some pepper for taste. Be sure it is drained to avoid the dish from becoming watery. Cook for another 5 minutes....stirring more of course. Turn down the heat slightly and add the noodles. Since they are usually tightly packed...let them sit for a bit before breaking them up to avoid tearing the noodles. Add in the stock and cook until everything looks well combined and tasty! Taste for seasoning. If you need more salt...add more soy. Want more spice? Wait for the Siracha OR add in more red pepper flakes. (TIP! When adding red pepper flakes to any dish, rub them between your fingers to break them up a bit. This releases their oils...the oils that carry the heat!)'re done. Serve that up in a nice wide bowl, garnish with Siracha and sesame seeds and eat with some fun chop sticks! Oh...don't forget the pear flavored Saki.

(oh so good!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Caprese Salad

On nights that I do not want to really cook, my husband and I always put together "snack plates". Like a antipasti plate..we switch it up with dips, sausages, cheeses, olives, etc. A caprese salad is one of the easiest and tastiest...and looks pretty too.

Fresh mozzarella
Fresh Basil leaves
5-6 cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

I'm not even sure that directions are needed, but just in case....

Slice the mozzarella into thin slices and lay them on a platter slightly overlapping each other. Slice the tomatoes thin and place all over the platter and cheese. Chiffonade the basil leaves and sprinkle over the cheese and tomatoes. Salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Almond Biscotti

Ever want just a little something with your morning coffee that's just a bit sweet? Most of my choices at home usually consist of nothing since I try not to keep sweets around the house. And when at work....forget choices are complete junk like donuts, cookies, and just plain bad. This biscotti is the perfect choice, because it's just a little bit sweet with the taste of almonds. I've made biscotti before and with each batch they get better and better.

3 eggs
1/4 vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Almond extract
1 cup sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tblsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 375F

Mix the sugar, eggs, oil and extract together. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add dry mixture into the egg mixture until thick and well combined. Mix in the almonds, save some to top the biscotti. Form the mixture into a long loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. *When forming into a loaf, be sure to shape the dough into the form you want your biscotti to come out. Don't make it too thick as it will rise slightly when baking. Top with remaining almonds. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Once removed from the oven, let cool. Once cooled slice into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place the cookies back onto the baking sheet and bake for another 6-10 minutes until slightly golden.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Butter Crunch Parsley Potatoes

As the French would say....crunchy bonté beurre...oui!

All in a hard days work....not! In liu of office speak, a client had hinted to a potato she serves up every Thanksgiving that is not only a family treasure, but it's crunchy! I just had to try for myself even though this would totally defeat the purpose of my low carb whatever. I just happened to have some baby golden yukons, fresh parsley and chilled Pinot lying around. With an important paper due for school, pending work tasks that I could have gotten a head start on over the weekend and a multitude of household tasks....I got straight to cookin' It was great....the food too. :)

1 lb of baby Yukon Gold potatoes
4 tblsp salted melted butter
Handful of fresh parsley leaves chopped
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350F

Pour about 3 tablespoons of the melted butter in the bottom of a shallow baking dish that is large enough for all of the potatoes. Sprinkle in the chopped parsley. Cut the potatoes in half and place cut-side down into the dish. Pour the remaining butter over the top of potatoes and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the over and roast for 25-35 minutes until fork tender and the bottoms are golden brown and crunchy.

Roasted Cornish Game Hens

Itty bitty teeny birdies....awwww....

There's nothing more cozy than spending a fall Sunday drinking some vino and roasting a bird. However, I hate the messiness of carving, serving and the mass amount of clean up afterwards. Besides the wishbone, there really isn't much to do with the rest of the bird. Game hens work out perfectly, they look like chicken, taste like chicken, cost the same as chicken and the clean up minimal.

2 Cornish Rock Game Hens (1-2lbs)
4 large carrots
2 whole garlic cloves crushed
1 small lemon quartered
1 small white onion quartered
Canola oil
1 stick of salted butter
1 large sprig of Sage
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut the carrots in half, length wise and line them up on the bottom of a large shallow baking dish or roasting pan. Rinse each bird inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Rub the birds liberally with canola oil until they are well covered. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity of each bird with 1 clove of crushed garlic, 2 lemon wedges and 2 pieces of onion. Tie the legs of the bird together with baking twine OR you can use a toothpick to hold the legs together. Place the birds on the carrots, breast-side up. Tuck the wings underneath to avoid burning.

Melt the stick of butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add the sage leaves.

Place the birds in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes basting with the sage butter every ten minutes. Bird is done when the juices run clear from the thickest part of the bird.

Serve with the carrots and a side dish of my roasted potatoes!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Goodie Cookie Squares

A friend of mine was recently injured during a super intense hockey game...totally cool sports injury of course. Before a recent trip to his home to check on the status of his injury I had thrown together these cookie squares as a get well effort to cheer him up. I was originally going to make plain old pb cookies, but decided to add a little extra with the chocolate. I saved a couple of them for my husband and we failed to keep from eating them, I was forced to baked another batch just for us. So in honor of Mr. Goodie....I give you Goodie Cookie Squares.

1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
pinch of salt
1 Hersey Chocolate Bar

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream the peanut butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the egg and salt and mix until a dough forms. Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper and evenly press the dough into the bottom of the pan and bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are GoldenBrown :). Cool and cut into small squares. Break up the chocolate and melt in a double boiler or microwave. Dip the bottom of the squares in the melted chocolate and place onto a piece of parchment paper (reuse same piece). Place in refrigerator to harden.

Monday, September 27, 2010

GoldenBrown's Spicy Black Bean Chili

    • 1 lb ground sirloin
    • 1/2 of medium white onion - diced
    • 2 large cloves of garlic - minced
    • 2 large tomatoes - diced
    • 1 can of black beans - drained and rinsed
    • 1 15oz can of low sodium tomato sauce
    • 1 cup of water
    • 1/4 cup chili powder
    • 1 tbls masa flour
    • 1 tbls black pepper
    • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt

    In a large pot, brown the sirloin. Add the onions and garlic. Cook over medium low heat for about 7 minutes. Add all of the spices except for the salt and flour. Stir until the meat and onions are thickly coated. Add the tomato sauce and stir in the water. Add the tomatoes and beans. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Add the salt to taste. To thicken, add in the flour using a sifter to avoid lumps....OR you can add a tablespoon of the chili into a small bowl and add the flour. Mix until it is a thick paste, then stir into the large pot of chili. Simmer for another 20 minutes and continuously stir.

    Serve while hot with some sharp cheddar and diced onions. Or whatever else you like!

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    GoldenBrown's Chicken Noodle Soup

    6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs
    6 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
    1/2 cup of a dry white wine
    1 tbsp of chicken flavoring
    1/2 of a medium white onion - chopped
    2 small carrots - diced
    2 celery roots - diced
    4 celery stalks, including leaves - diced
    1 tsp garlic powder
    salt and pepper
    3 tbsp olive oil
    Egg Noodles

    Pat dry the chicken using a paper towel and cut them up into nice size pieces. Lightly season the pieces with salt and pepper. In a large covered pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add the chicken thighs and lightly sear on all sides for about 7 minutes total. Remove the chicken from the pot onto a separate dish to add back in later. Turn your heat down to medium and add in your onions, carrots, celery and celery root. You can add a little more olive oil if needed. DO NOT SALT AT THIS POINT. Once the vegetables are slightly cooked, add the garlic powder, pepper and chicken flavoring. The chicken flavoring will add additional sodium. Stir for a couple of minutes until the vegetables are coated in the garlic and flavoring. Add the wine. The wine should bring up all of the bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook around another 5-7 minutes. Add the chicken broth (NOTE - if the chicken broth is cold, heat it up first in a separate pan) and bring to a simmer. Add in the chicken and all of it's juices back into the pot. Bring to a simmer and taste if more salt is needed. Add in your egg noodles and cook for another 20 minutes.

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage

    WHOA! this was...I mean...THIS WAS SO GOOD! I did a bit of a semi-homemade thang here which you'll find out in a minute. But hey...that just means this is a totally quick meal that has bad-ass written...sorry rather poured all over it.

    What you are looking at is quattro formaggio ravioli (4 cheese) with a homemade brown butter sage sauce, tomatoes and Crimini mushrooms. I'm estimating....15 minutes to make or less!!! What you'll need is:

    1 package of cheese ravioli (Buitoni Quattro semi-homemade part)
    4 tbls of salted butter
    6-7 fresh Sage leaves
    1/4 cup cherry tomato halves
    1/2 cup sliced Crimini mushrooms
    Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
    Salt and Pepper

    Boil the ravioli in salted water for about 5-7 minutes. At the same time add the butter to a pan over med-low heat for about 5 minutes until it is fully melted. Turn the heat up to about med-high and just as the butter starts to brown (don't worry it will turn brown) add in the remaining ingredients and tear the sage into the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes....add the ravioli from the boiling water and fold into the butter mixture until all of them a nicely covered in the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with some cheese.

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Roasted Tomatoes w/ Garlic and Oregano

    • 4 cups St. Nick tomatoes

    • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

    • 2 tbls. fresh oregano leaves

    • 3 tbls. balsamic vinegar

    • 1/4 cup olive oil

    • Salt, Pepper and garlic powder

      Preheat oven to 450F. Place the tomatoes and garlic in a baking dish large enough so they are not crowded. Drizzle oil over the tomatoes, then sprinkle with the salt, pepper and garlic powder and mix together using your hands to ensure all of the tomatoes are covered well in oil and seasonings. Add the oregano over the tomatoes and drizzle with the vinegar.

      *Note: the vinegar helps to cut through the natural sweetness of the tomatoes. If you are using a less sweet tomato, the vinegar is optional.

      Roast the tomatoes for 25-30 minutes. Once roasted, set aside to cool. Once cooled you can serve as a side dish, over pasta, or place in a blender and blend into a sauce to serve over pasta, meats, fish, etc. Choice is yours!

    GoldenBrown's Chicken Coq au Vin

    • 1-2 bone-in chicken breasts with skin
    • Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
    • 1 garlic clove, chopped
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 12 oz. bottle of dark beer (stout)
    • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 1 tbls. butter
    • Chopped Italian parsley

      If most of you do not know...a coq au vin is basically chicken cooked in wine. However, I've seen many versions (seen not tasted) in which some call for beer. Since I had some stout in the fridge I decided to give it a try and the chicken turned out really tender and juicy.

      Pat the chicken dry using paper towel and season well with the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Brown on each side for about 5-7 minutes in a deep pot with a little bit of olive oil and butter. Remove the chicken and set side to finish cooking it later. Add in the garlic and onions to the pot and cook until translucent. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and its juices back into the pot and cover. Allow to cook for another 25 minutes over low heat. You can even place in the oven on 350F for the same amount of time.

      When finished I server over brown rice and garnish with parsley!

      Consider these optional ingredients as well:

      Pearl onions

      Regardless this is an excellent meal and healthy too! Enjoy!

    Friday, July 30, 2010

    Meatballs with Garlic Rotini/Roasted Tomatoes

    This dish I thought of while pulling some fresh cherry (St. Nick) tomatoes from the garden and pondering on what to make of 'em. What came out was what my husband said....totally restaurant quality (beaming smile). Everyone likes a good meatball too!


    1 cup cherry or St. Nick tomatoes

    2 tbls olive oil

    pinch of salt / ground pepper


    1/2lb Rotini pasta

    1/2 cup chopped onion

    1 tbls minced garlic OR 2 large cloves minced

    Handful of chopped Italian parsley

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Preheat oven to 350F. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Cover in oil, salt and paper and combine with hands until all of the tomatoes are seasoned. Bake for about 15 minutes until the skins are broken and smaller in size.


    1/2 lb Ground Sirloin

    1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

    3 tbls light soy sauce

    2 tsp Worcester sauce

    2 tsp garlic powder

    1 tbls Canola oil

    pinch of salt / pepper

    Using your hands or a fork mix all of the meatball ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Form into medium meatballs...about the size of a golf ball. In a large skillet/fry pan over medium heat add just a little more Canola oil just so the meatball do not stick. Place the meatballs in the pan and let cook. I shake the pan or turn often so that they cook evenly on each side and don't brown. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until they are slightly firm. Remove from pan and set aside.

    Cook the pasta and drain. Save some of the pasta water.

    Cook the onions and garlic in the same pan used for the meatballs over low heat until onions are translucent. Add in some pasta water to break up the pieces from the bottom and to make a sauce. Add in the pasta to combine...salt and pepper to taste. Add in the meatballs and tomatoes and top with the parsley. All set!

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Grilled Skirt Steak with Chili Dry Rub

    This skirt steak recipe is so tasty and can be served several different ways. Can be served with tortillas, in a salad or on its own.

    • 1.5-2 pounds of skirt steak
    • Heavy aluminum foil
    • 1/4 cup olive oil

    DRY RUB:

    • 1 tbls chili powder
    • 1/2 tbls garlic powder
    • 1 tbls kosher salt
    • 1/2 tbls ground pepper
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper


    • Juice of one lime
    • 2 tbls mayo
    • 1 tsp chili powder

    Preheat grill to medium-high. Allow the skirt steak to be around room temp. Pat skirt steak dry with paper towel, then rub liberally with olive oil. Mix together the ingredients for the dry rub and apply all over steak. Really get it in there! Allow to sit for about 15 minutes. Using a clean grill, place the steak on the grill for about a minute on each side. Remove from grill and wrap in foil and allow to sit for another 15 minutes.

    Prepare the sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small box and mix until well combined. Add more or less ingredients to your liking.

    Cut the steak across the grain and serve.

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Key Lime Pie

    This is so easy to make and its soooo good. Even for those that are not fans of citrus flavor or limes…forget it….they love it too. It’s like a lime cheesecake!

    Graham Cracker Crust:
    • 1 package of graham crackers (package not box)
    • 5 tbsp melted salted butter
    • 1/3 cup sugar

    • 3 egg yolks
    • 2 teaspoons lime zest
    • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
    • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

    • 1 cup heavy or whipping cream chilled
    • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Break up the graham crackers using a food processor or crush them using a plastic bag and rolling pin or as I like to use…a wine bottle. Add the melted butter and sugar and mix until well combined. Press the crust mixture into a pie or tart dish, forming a border around the edge. Bake the crust for 8 minutes, and then set aside….leave the oven on.

    Beat the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the milk and continue to beat until thick. Slowly add the lime juice while mixing on a low speed until it is just combined. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the filling has just set, then cool.

    Whip the cream and the confectioners' sugar until nearly stiff. Add the topping …or you can use Cool Whip. I garnish with lime slices, and then freeze it for about 30 minutes before serving.

    The best ever!

    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    Zucchini Rice

    The one, the only....Zucchini Rice. I'm so proud of this dish as it is easy to make, can be served hot or room temp and everyone seems to love it. It's perfect as a side or on its own. This dish also pairs well with almost anything from grilled chicken, ribs (see Asian Style Ribs) or burgers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

    This serves 2-4 people. Double the recipe for more, just remember to rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking or you'll end up with mushy rice.

    • 1 large zucchini cut into large cubes with skin
    • 1 small shallot minced (substitute with red onion)
    • 1 cup of diced button mushrooms (optional)
    • 1 clove of garlic minced
    • 1 cup of white rice
    • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth (substitute with water)
    • ½ cup olive oil
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Handful of chopped Italian Parsley for garnish (optional)
    Cook rice using the chicken broth, set aside. In a large skillet, at medium-low heat add about half of the oil and add the shallot, garlic and mushrooms to sauté...add some salt to allow the mushrooms to release their moisture. Once the shallots are translucent and mushrooms look about cooked, add the zucchini and lightly sauté leaving the zucchini slightly crunchy. Turn up to medium-high heat and add the rest of the oil. Add in the cooked rice and lightly fry the rice by patting it down then stir to combine all of the ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper. If the rice is sticking….check your heat or add more oil. Garnish with chopped parsley and.....SERVE!

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Grilled Pizza

    I've made pizza dough several times with both white and wheat flour and none of them turned out as good as this recipe. The crust was buttery and light and so good. I recommend letting the dough rise for the full 3 hours in order to get the right consistency. I've used quick rise yeasts they say the dough rises in 20 minutes and they never turn out that good.

    • 1 cup warm water (105 - 115)
    • 1 package active yeast
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 3 1/4 cups flour
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tbsp kosher salt

    Combine the water, yeast and sugar and let sit for about 5 minutes. The yeast will begin to puff up and foam.

    *Note - be sure the water is the right temp. IF the water is too hot it may kill the yeast. Also if the yeast does not foam up then it may be dead. Start with another package. Use wheat or whole grain flour for a healthier choice!

    Combine the flour and salt in a stand mixer fixed with a dough hook. You can also mead by hand if you do not have a mixer. Once the yeast mixture has started to foam, add the oil to the yeast, then add to the flour and mix on low for about 10 minutes. Once combined form the dough into a ball and place in a large greased ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or towel and place in a warm place for 2 hours to rise. After 2 hours, punch the dough down in the middle and divide into four sections. Form each section into a ball and pinch the bottom. Place each section in another greased bowl and let rise for another hour. When ready, you can roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface or you can just use your hands to form into a small pizza round.

    *Note - you can cover any left over dough in plastic wrap and freeze.

    Preheat your grill on one side to Med-High, the other on low heat. Place the dough on the med-high side and close the lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. The dough will bubble up and get good grill marks. Then flip over to the low heat side and brush with olive oil and salt. Place your toppings on and cook until the cheese melts. See toppings and sauce suggestions below.

    Pizza Sauce

    • 1 can of low sodium diced tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup of minced yellow onion
    • 1 clove of garlic minced
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 tsp butter
    • 1 tsp flour
    • Pinch red pepper flake
    • Salt and Pepper to taste

    In a small sauce pan heat the oil and add the garlic and onions and saute over med-low heat. Add the seasons and tomatoes and simmer for about 25 minutes. In a separate dish combine the butter and flour and mash together then stir into the sauce. Let cook another 5 minutes. I use a potato masher to mash the tomatoes down...or you can blend them in a processor. You can also avoid the flour and butter all together and thicken with a tablespoon of tomato paste.


    Italian Sausage
    Red Pepper
    Shredded Mozzarella
    Crimini Mushrooms
    Fresh Basil

    Roasted Veggies
    Orange/red peppers
    Red Onion
    Crumbled Goat cheese
    Fresh Basil

    Fresh Mozzarella
    Fresh Basil

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Asian-Style Ribs with BBQ Hoison Sauce

    Dry Rub

    • 2 (4lb) rack of pork spareribs
    • 1 tbls Kosher Salt
      1 tbls Garlic Powder
    • 1 tbls Chili Powder
    • 1tsp Ground Pepper
    • Canola Oil

    For the Sauce

    • 1 cup Lite Soy Sauce
    • 1 cup Orange Juice
    • 1/4 cup Hoison Sauce
    • 1/4 cup Ketcup
    • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
    • 3 tbls Rice Wine Vinegar (substitute with Red Wine Vinegar)
    • 2 cloves chopped garlic - smashed

    Preheat your grill to medium-low heat. Rinse the ribs thoroughly and pat dry. Place each slab, bone-side down on its own large piece of heavy duty foil that is large enough to wrap over the ribs. Mix the dry rub spices together and rub onto each slab until well seasoned. (I usually only season one side of the ribs). Lightly drizzle oil over each slab. Bring together the sides of the foil over the ribs and fold over...then wrap up the sides so that the ribs are nicely wrapped in the foil and ensure that none of the ribs are exposed. Place the ribs on the grill and cook on one side for 30 minutes, then flip for another 30 minutes.

    While the ribs are cooking...make the BBQ Hoison sauce. In a small sauce pan, bring together the sauce ingredients over medium-low heat. Simmer for about 30-35 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to a thick/BBQ-like consistency.

    After an hour of cooking the ribs, remove the foil from the ribs and place back on the grill over high heat. Brush the ribs liberally with the sauce and grill for 5 minutes for each side until sauce starts to caramelize.

    You can garnish with sesame seeds and/or chopped scallions....serve!

    *Need a side dish? Check out Zucchini Rice....coming soon.

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Greek CousCous Salad

    This is a perfect salad that can be served hot, cold or even room temp and everyone seems to really enjoy it even if they do not prefer some of the ingredients. I usually serve this salad chilled and of course it pairs great with a cold beer or glass of Pinot Grigio...hope you like it! OH...and it's the easiest too!

      • 1 box plain couscous
      • 1/4 cup of kalamatta olives (pitted and sliced in halve)
      • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
      • 1 block of reduced-fat feta cheese
      • 1 small bag of frozen spinach - thawed
      • 1 cup chopped Roma tomatoes
      • 2 tbsp of Greek Seasoning (Kosher salt, garlic powder, lemon, black pepper, oregano, marjoram)
      • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
      • 1/2 cup kalamatta olive juice
      • Salt & Pepper
      **If you do not have Greek Seasoning you can substitute with Greek Vinaigrette dressing by using a half bottle and skip the olive oil as well.

      Cook the couscous according to the directions. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl bring together the olives, tomatoes, onions, spinach and the feta by crumbling or as large cubes. Once the couscous has cooled, fluff with a fork and add to the rest of the ingredients. Add the olive oil, olive juice and seasonings and lightly mix together until everything looks well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.....then serve or chill first!

      I've also added grilled chicken to this as well!