Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Whaddyadowithallthese" Deviled Eggs

  • 6 extra large white eggs (guessing that's what you have on hand)
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of onion powder
  • dash of cumin
  • chili powder to garnish
  • salt and pepper
  • capers
  • parsley
  1. Bring eggs to room temperature.
  2. Place eggs in a medium sauce pan and fill with water to cover an inch above the eggs.
  3. On high heat, bring water to a rolling boil and cover.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Let eggs sit covered for 17 minutes. This method will help prevent your yolks from turning green
  6. Run cold water into pot until the eggs come to room temperature.
  7. Tap the egg on your sink going around the entire area of the egg.
  8. Under running cold water, remove egg shells and connective membrane.
  9. Slice the eggs in half using a sharp knife.
  10. Scoop out the yolks in a small bowl.
  11. Add the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the chili powder and capers.
  12. Pipe the yolk mixture into the indents of the egg whites.
  13. Set the eggs atop a bed of greens.
  14. Sprinkle the chili powder and top with 2-3 capers on each egg.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pizza Rustica


  • one ready made Pie Crust (with top and bottom crust)
  • 3 lb ricotta cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 C each of 3 cheeses, cut into 1" cubes--any combination of mozzarella, American, Swiss, or Muenster
  • 1/2 C each of 3 meats, cut into 1" cubes (deli ends work best and you can usually get them for a discounted price...ask your deli clerk)--ham, salami, pepperoni
  • 1 T fresh cut parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, cheeses, meats, salt and pepper and parsley.
  3. Unroll pie crust and arrange the two layers of pie crust into two different pie pans.
  4. Crimp the sides of the pie crust to form the top using your hands or the tip of a fork.
  5. Ladle the filling into the pie crust until it is just under the top of the pie crust.
  6. Place on center rack and bake for about 50 minutes or until brown and set.
TIP:  you can bake these in advance and then reheat them at 350 for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
TIP: you will have extra filling which you can prepare in a small glass baking dish for those who do not care for crust.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chicken Piccata

Press play for the most important review I've ever received by an extremely tough critic:  "The Finicky Critic":



  • 2 skinless/boneless chicken breasts, halved and pounded to 1/4" thickness
  • 1 C all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 C chicken stock
  • 4-5 T canola oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 T capers
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 3 T butter
  • pinch of red pepper flake

  1. Whisk eggs in a small bowl and place flour on a large dinner plate.
  2. Liberally season pounded chicken breasts with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Dredge the chicken in the flour to completely coat and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, add canola oil and garlic and cook until golden brown.
  5. Add red pepper flake and then remove garlic.
  6. Dip the floured chicken into the egg and place in the pan two at a time.  See pic II above.
  7. Fry the chicken until a deep golden brown (about 4 minutes per side). See pic III above.
  8. Place chicken on a plate lined with paper towels or coffee filters to absorb excess oil.
  9. Carefully drain all but 1 T of the oil into a heat resistant container.
  10. Add artichoke hearts and saute until they begin to brown.
  11. Add butter and 1 T of the flour to thicken the sauce. 
  12. Add capers and chicken stock, whisking constantly to combine.
  13. Mince garlic and add to sauce.
  14. Return fried chicken to the sauce and add the garlic powder.
  15. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine.
  16. Cover and reduce heat to low. 
  17. Simmer for at least 10 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce.
  18. Serve over rice or pasta.
Typically when you make a roux you do equal parts fat and flour.  Here I changed the ratio due to the flour coating on the chicken.  I find it gets too thick if you do 50/50. 

You can also add 1/3 C white wine.  Even though the alcohol burns off, I find the flavor is off putting for the kids.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Asian-Style Pulled Pork, "Perfectly Seasoned" Cole Slaw and Homemade Potato Chips

Asian-Style Pulled Pork
  • 3 lb pork tenderloin (it was on a ridiculous sale and this cut worked perfectly)
  • 5 C apple juice (you may need more depending on the size of your slow cooker)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 t balsamic vinegar (this tenderizes the meat)
  • 1-2 t sesame oil (this can be found in the Asian food section of your has a highly concentrated flavor and aroma--don't spill it in your cupboard because it absorbs very quickly into the wood ;) )
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flake
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown garlic in the canola oil. 
  2. Add pepper flake and remove garlic from pan.
  3. Liberally salt and pepper pork and place fat side down into the pan.
  4. Sear each side and each end.
  5. Place seared pork into a slow cooker.
  6. Add 1 cup of apple juice to the pan to de-glaze and scrape the bits off the pan using a rubber spatula.
  7. Add this to the slow cooker.
  8. Mince the garlic and add to the slow cooker with remaining ingredients and stir to well combine, ensuring the pork is completely submerged.
  9. Cook on high for at least five hours or until pork easily shreds with a fork.
  10. Serve on a sesame roll with two slices of Muenster cheese.
"Perfectly Seasoned" Cole Slaw
I served this at two different dinner parties last week and my guests' palates could not be more different.  They each called it perfectly seasoned, so I decided I will too. Enjoy!

  • 2 C coleslaw mix with broccoli
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t black and red pepper mix
  • 1 t sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
Homemade Potato Chips 

  1. Thinly slice 2 russet potatoes using a mandolin or the slicing side of a cheese grater.  
  2. Rinse the potatoes with cold water in a strainer.  Pat dry the potato slices with a paper towel (be sure they are completely dry to avoid splattering).  
  3. Fill a sauce pan with canola oil at least 2" deep over medium high heat and heat the oil  to 350 degrees.  Add the potatoes a handful at a time and be sure to not overcrowd your pan, as the temperature will come down and cause the potatoes to steam and stick , rather than fry to a crisp. 
  4. Crack fresh sea salt and black pepper to taste.  

Sooo much better than the store bought kind and without the preservatives!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bacon Tomato Frittata and a "Peace" of Toast

  • 7 large eggs
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • 5 strips of crisp bacon, crumbled
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4" slices
  • 1 C whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 C heavy cream (or half and half, but I find the cream adds a rich decadent character)
  • 1/4 C Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t red and black pepper blend (found in the spice aisle at the grocery store)
  • 1/4 t salt

See Step Six

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Whisk together cream and eggs until smooth.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients (reserve the tomato slices) until well combined.
  4. Grease a large oven proof skillet with butter or cooking spray.
  5. Add mixture to pan.
  6. Place tomato slices along the inside perimeter of the pan and cover.
  7. Bake on the middle rack of oven for 40-45 minutes (in researching frittata recipes, I found that many call for 450 degrees for 20 minutes;  however, in creating my recipe, I found the frittata loses moisture when cooked higher and faster).
  8. Insert a toothpick in the center of the frittata and make sure it comes out dry.
  9. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  10. Carefully run a butter knife along the circumference of the pan and then gently run a spatula around the bottom to release the frittata from the pan.
  11. Place a large cutting board or plate on top of the pan and flip.
  12. Remove pan.
  13. Place serving dish atop the fritatta and flip again.
  14. Serve with a whole grain toast cut into a fun kid-friendly shape (they never eat the crust anyway) and a piece of fruit.  It is breakfast for dinner in a whole new way! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kid Friendly Cabbage and Dad Friendly Green Beer

Kid Friendly Cabbage

  • 1 small head of cabbage
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 C beef broth
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 1T flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Smash the cabbage head on a sturdy counter, core side down, to release the cabbage core and remove and discard the core.
  2. Dice the cabbage.
  3. Add 1" of water to a double boiler over high heat.
  4. Steam cabbage until it is slightly wilted (about 10 minutes).
  5. Place a large fry pan over medium high heat and add olive oil and whole garlic clove and cook until golden brown.
  6. Remove garlic clove and set aside for a future use (you can store it in the refrigerator for a day or so).
  7. Add cabbage to fry pan and cook without stirring until the cabbage begins to brown.
  8. Make a circle in the center of the pan by moving the cabbage to the outside edge of the pan.
  9. Add butter and flour and whisk to combine.
  10. Add beef broth and stir to well combine.
  11. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  12. Cook for 10 minutes to allow sauce to reduce. 

Dad Friendly Beer

  • 1 12 once light beer
  • 1 drop of blue food coloring
  1. Add food coloring to one pilsner glass.
  2. Pour beer at a 45 degree angle.
  3. Remember that it is Sunday ;)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mozzarella Caprese CAHD style

  • 3 vine ripened tomatoes, medium to large
  • 1 small ball of fresh mozzarella
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 C plus 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 pieces of Genoa salami, diced
  • 15-20 fresh basil leaves, whole
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t red pepper flake
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a small saute pan over medium high heat, drizzle 1 T olive oil and add diced salami. 
  2. Cook until salami is crisp (about five minutes).
  3. Remove salami with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
  4. Wash pan.
  5. Return pan to medium high heat and add 1/4 C olive oil and garlic cloves.
  6. Cook the garlic until it becomes a deep golden brown and then add pepper flake.
If you under cook the garlic the flavor will be too strong, if you overcook the garlic the flavor will become bitter.  When cooked just right the garlic becomes rich and sweet. 

7.  Remove the garlic and pour the now infused oil into a bowl and set in the freezer for at least 15  minutes to bring to room temperature.
8.  Cut the top and bottom off of the tomatoes and discard.
9.  Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 in pieces.
10.  Slice the mozzarella ball in half. 
11.  Slice the mozzarella into 1/4 in pieces.
12.  Arrange the tomatoes around the outside of a large platter.
13.  Top the tomatoes with basil and mozzarella.

This is a great place to have your younger kids assist you.  Have them put the salad together or top with the salami "croutons."
14.  Drizzle the salad with the oil and top with salami croutons, garlic powder (dried garlic has a more concentrated flavor and adds an extra kick to this flavor profile), and fine chop the 3 garlic cloves and sprinkle evenly over the salad with salt and pepper to taste.
15.  Garnish with a bed of lettuce topped with vine-on tomatoes and the top of a basil flower.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Homemade Ground Beef "Assistant"- Stroganoff Style




  • 1 lb elbow pasta
  • 1.25 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 T canola oil or olive oil
  • 1 T unsalted butter (note:  2 T are pictured as I typically reserve 1 serving of pasta and keep it plain with the other T butter just in case one of the munchkins is not in the mood for anything other than pasta...and then watch as they eat this recipe anyway)
  • 2 T flour
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1/2 C half and half
  • 1 14 1/2 oz can of beef broth (homemade beef stock would be tastier)
  • 1/4 t each: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, nutmeg (dried)
  • (optional) 1 4 oz can of diced portabello mushrooms, drained (can be found in any grocery store in the canned vegetable section)
  1. Bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil in a stock pot (most recipes call for five, but I find four is sufficient).
  2. Liberally salt the water (this is your only opportunity to flavor the pasta itself).
  3. Add pasta and stir occasionally until al dente (about 7-8 minutes depending on the brand). Drain and set aside.
  4. In a skillet over medium high heat, add 1 T canola oil, meat and salt/pepper to taste. Cook until thoroughly browned.
  5. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Drain fat.
  6. Make Roux, following the technique and recipe in below vlog demo (press play to view):

7. Add beef stock to roux and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. 
8. Whisk in cream and sour cream, stirring continuously to well combine.
9. Add remaining spices.
10. Add meat and pasta to sauce and combine well.
11. Simmer uncovered on low for an additional 5-10 minutes.
12. Mix in portabello mushrooms if desired.
13. Garnish with parsley and serve with a side of spinach lightly sauteed in olive oil with garlic powder and salt/pepper formed in a heart cookie cutter (and make it large--the more on the plate, the more they will feel they need to eat to make a dent) and an apple slice or two (you'll be amazed at how well this works getting your kids to eat).

Disclaimer:  I in no way guarantee your kids will eat the spinach, but it works more than it does not work and is certainly worth a try :)  Try making this for your self or your family and let us know how it turns out!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Perfect Tuna Salad


  • 2 cans tuna fish (chunk light happened to be on sale this week, but I typically use solid white albacore), drained
  • 1/3 C mayonnaise
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into1/4 lengthwise, then diced
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t dill weed
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • one dash of red and black pepper mix (can be found in the spice aisle of any grocery store)
  • dash of salt (use sparingly as there is a lot of sodium in canned tuna, a dash is needed though to help develop the flavor of the salad)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Set in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavor to develop.
  3. Serve atop lightly toasted rye bread (or the bread of your choice).
  4. Don't forget the potato chips! :)
TIP:   This tuna recipe is also great atop a bed of greens with a little olive oil and lemon juice!