Thanksgiving Postmortum

November 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments
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Well, I’m the last one to cross the Thanksgiving finish line.  You see, my mom flew in from Kansas and didn’t arrive until Friday, so the family get together and the big feast didn’t take place until Saturday.  While you were enjoying all those fabulous leftovers, I was happily slaving away in the kitchen.

My meal really isn’t all that blog-worthy as everything on the table was pretty traditional; turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted sweet potatoes, dressing…BUT, I do want to pay homage to some blogger friends out there who inspired some new twists to my Thanksgiving buffet this year.

First of all thanks to Dave over at My Year On The Grill for his appetizer inspired Cream Cheese topped with Chipolte Raspberry Sauce.  Delicious flavors Dave, thanks for the idea.   You can see that dish in this post by clicking HERE.   I’ll be serving this one over and over all year.

OMG, I found the best dinner roll idea over at Pioneer Woman Cooks.   I purchased Rhoades Frozen Rolls and prepared them according to directions, when done and still warm, slathered them with plenty of butter, and sprinkled them with coarse cabernet flavored sea salt and chopped fresh rosemary.  Holy rolly.  Take at look at these by clicking HERE.

And this great little idea from Donna over at My Tasty Treasures.  Cranberry Pineapple Mini’s These are really good, easy and can be prepared in advance.  You’ll find these on my Thanksgiving table from here on out. Plus my mom was reeling of this clever idea.  Reeling mom’s are a good thing. Take a look at this recipe HERE.  

And then there is this delicious appetizer stuffed celery sticks from my friend Vickie in Montana.  This is Vickie’s impressive photo, not mine.  My camera didn’t seem to make an appearance the whole meal.  You can find her recipe HERE.

How obnoxious is this…”Lucy I Think You’ve Got Some ‘Splainin To Do”…or at least some organizing.  I don’t think you could find room to slide even one single carrot in that refrigerator.

So anyway, sorry to hold everybody up,  I think we can officially start talking about Christmas food now!  🙂

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 38 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I’d like to introduce you to our little 4 pound Yorkshire Terrier who inspires the  “Z” part in the title of my blog.  Her name is Zia, we call her  Z.  This morning at 7:00 we headed over to Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch along with about 2,000 other neighbors and who knows how many dog neighbors to participate in our Highlands Ranch Community 5K Turkey Run.  Proceeds benefit the Colorado National Guard Foundations, to help our military families.  Here’s a few picture of our adventure.

Getting Z’s coat on.  Race time temperature was a crisp 36 degrees.  

Greg, Me and Z.  Found our friend Greg.  He’s the one who got me the Vail Pulled Pork Recipe.  You can revisit that post HERE.

Our Little Community Banner on a light pole.

The loud-speaker instructed everyone to get lined up for the start of the race.  Runners in the front, walkers next, baby strollers and pets at the back.  (There were a lot of us baby stroller and pet participants – and I must say, we were the most fun section).

And we’re OFF.  We first head east into the “hood”

The race wound through our local neighborhoods.  You can see the front range of the Rocky Mountains in the background with a couple of snow-covered peaks behind.

Turning west now along Highlands Ranch Parkway and as you can see in the distance, we’ll be turning back north through our open space.  We’re now half way.

Montana ain’t got nothing on us, look at our big sky.

And how about that view of Mt. Evans.  Breathtaking

We’re getting close to the end now.  The finish line is just on the horizon.  Those two dark jagged peaks in the center in the distance are the Flatirons of Boulder.  We’re south of Denver, Boulder is Northwest of Denver.  Those flatirons are 37.89 miles away from where I’m standing (as the crow flies).

I don’t know why I didn’t take a photo of the finish…honest, both me and Z made it all the way.  As I was walking I felt so thankful for my health and to be able to walk in the event on this beautiful day filled with sunshine, neighbors, fresh air and views of the Rocky Mountains. 

I probably burned around 500 of the 25,000,000 calories I’ll consume over the next few days!  Bring on the family, friends and turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!!!  We’re thankful for those wonderful things in our lives that make each and every day special!

White Bean Chili Smackdown

November 25, 2009 at 12:26 am | Posted in Chili | 34 Comments
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Can I see a show of hands of how many of you watch “Giada At Home” on Food Network??? … Ok, good…a few.  For those of you who don’t, the show features Giada creating perfect meals for her perfect husband and perfect friends,  served on perfect plates, in her perfect ocean view kitchen, in her perfect house that sits on the perfect California beach…oh, and while perfectly dressed.   

Well, just be forewarned that the next time you tune it, don’t be surprised if you see our very own Buffalo Dick cooking in that perfect kitchen instead of Giada.  I’m just sayin…It could happen!  You’ve got to admit, it does have a ring to it “Buffalo Dick at Home”  And Buff, I hope you put your foot down if the producers try to make you show cleavage. 

Well it appears that we have a White Bean Chili Smackdown.  

This is what makes food blogging so fun, a little bit of friendly competition.  So in my best Michael Buffer voice: Are you ready to RUMBLE???

A couple of weeks ago I unwittingly posted a White Bean Chili recipe that I watched Giada make on her “Giada at Home” Food Network program.  Delicious, so I quickly blogged, and confidently exclaimed that it was the best White Bean Chili EVER.   You can review that post by clicking HERE.

Soon after the post, I  received an email from Buffalo Dick over at “Opinions and Rectums, We All Have One”   saying that he had an Award Winning White Bean Chili recipe.  How could I resist a comparison.   You can view his blog HERE I begged him for the recipe, gained his permission to blog about it and here’s my opinion (see he’s right, we all have one) about his Chili.  This just might be the best White Bean Chili recipe EVER!  Folks, my husband and I had a FIT over this recipe, right there at the dining room table – a FIT.  After Thanksgiving, I highly recommend you give this a try. 

Move over Giada, here we go:

Gather ingredients.

These cumin seeds smelled sooooo good while toasting.  We’ll add about 2 Tablespoons of  these towards the end.  After lightly toasting, Buff said to grind them, but in my excitement I forgot to do that. 

Beautiful bell peppers.

Chop and brown chicken breasts and Italian Sausage separately.  Remove to a plate.

Finely chop jalapeno (seeds and veins removed), sweet onion and bell peppers.  I sautéed these in the same pan that I browned the meats.  Deglaze the pan first with a bit of chicken broth to scrape up all those delicious browned meat bits sticking to the bottom.  Buff said that you can also add some chopped celery.  Didn’t have any, so didn’t.

I used fresh frozen Colorado sweet corn that I froze in September.  It’s so delicious.

Return meat and add remaining ingredients (except Alfredo Sauce, Jalapeno Pepper and cumin seed) to the Dutch oven and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

About 5 minutes before serving add the toasted cumin seeds, Garlic Alfredo Sauce and the Jalapeno Salsa.  This is where I became scared…very scared.  I have never used Jalapeno Salsa before and wanted to make sure I didn’t add too much heat.  This really ended up to be a great flavor addition to this Chili.  I probably used 1/2 of the can.

Voila!  Delicious.  I love the flavor that the sliced black olives added to this soup.  And of course that cheese!  Yum.

Here’s Buff’s unabridged recipe:
1. 3 Lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with light salt and white pepper, cooked and cubed
2. 2 15oz. cans of low sodium chicken broth
3. 1 lb. of sweet Italian sausage, crumbled and browned.
4. 1 yellow, 1 green bell pepper chopped
5. 6-7 Jalapeno peppers , seeded and chopped finely
6. 1 jar of Great Northern white beans- around 30 oz, rinsed and drained
7. 1 large onion, chopped
8. 2 teaspoons of white pepper, 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, 2 teaspoons of Mexican Oregano
9. 1 15oz can of sweet corn- crisp, and drained
Simmer all ingredients until veggies are soft, but not mushy
Add 1 to 1-1/2 jars of garlic Alfredo sauce , stir in slowly until incorporated into liquid
Add ground hot Jalapeno salsa (La Victoria) to taste
Garnish when served in bowls with grated Parmesan and Romano cheese, and sliced black olives.

So Buff, thanks for the inspiration to try another White Bean Chili Recipe.  Can’t wait to serve it to friends and family, my popularity will sky-rocket!  I’m sending you the “My Year On The Grill Inspirational I Can Cook  That  Award”

Just Grilled – Noble Pig

November 22, 2009 at 10:45 pm | Posted in Just Grilled - A Blog Interview | 13 Comments

Welcome to the 4th Installment of Just Grilled.  The purpose of this series is to introduce to you to some blogger folks out there that I’ve run across that have inspired me, are incredibly interesting, informational and so entertaining that I can’t pass up the chance to introduce them to you . Hopefully you’ll make some new friends along the way.

I’d like to introduce you to Cathy over at Noble Pig. Noble Pig is one of the first blog sites I found when I first started blogging in May. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened up her site and found she and her family were moving to Oregon to start-up their very own vineyard/winery.  First of all I love Oregon, I love wine, and especially Oregon Pinot, love Oregon food and knew I would thoroughly enjoy following her journey.  Icing on the cake: She can cook up a storm, and shares some really great recipes with beautiful mouth-watering photos . I have added a new folder in my inbox named “pig” and its chocked full of her recipes that I’ve saved.   I can’t wait to taste and toast with friends the first bottle of Noble Pig Pinot Noir that I’m able to purchase from them.  I’ll be able to say “I knew them when”….

I think my favorite post of hers was her Grilled Chicken.  I followed this recipe exactly to her instructions and it was absolutely delicious and the recipe fool-proof.  I also loved her Slider’s post, another great “find”.

So with all that said, Cathy, would you step to the microphone please.

Name:  Noble Pig

City: McMinnville, Oregon

Blog url: http://noblepig.com

How long have you been blogging: Almost 2 years

Six words to describe the food you like to cook:  Buttery, yummy, rustic, creamy, fattening and fun

Six words to describe you: Driven, goal-oriented, happy, never-sleeps, fast-paced and fun

Proudest moment in the kitchen: Making the perfect Snickerdoodle

Most embarrassing moment in the kitchen: Using salt as sugar in a cake

Rules of conduct in your kitchen: Everything goes

Favorite ingredient: Butter

Most overrated ingredient: I really, really don’t know, I think they all have a place to shine.

Favorite local ingredient: Hazelnuts

  Weirdest thing you ever eaten: Chocolate covered ants

Favorite kitchen gadget: My onion goggles

Everybody loves it when I cook: Sliders

Favorite all-time restaurant: The Kitchen in Sacramento

Favorite Cookbook: Martha Stewart Cookies

What music do you like to cook by: Christmas Carols

If I owned my own restaurant, I would name it: Noble Pig Grill

What famous person would I love to invite over to lunch (living or deceased): Robert Mondavi

If I were President who would I appoint as my Chef:  I cannot even choose, I can’t

In my opinion my best blog post was:  I don’t now if it is the best, but it’s definitely the most popular http://noblepig.com/2008/04/01/an-unfair-advantage.aspx

So thank you Cathy in Oregon and to all my readers, please pay a visit to Noble Pig at www.noblepig.com you won’t be sorry.

Warm Chanterelle and Berry Salad with Cheddar and some Chow-dah

November 20, 2009 at 2:07 am | Posted in Salads, Soup | 27 Comments
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A few weeks ago, I was sent samples of dried mushrooms from the very generous and food blogger friendly Marx Foods.  You can visit their website at http://www.marxfoods.com

    I was very proud of my first creation because it was delicious and all mine. Proud because I’m good at following recipes but not good at creating. 

With 1/2 of the bag of dried Chanterelles still on my counter, I decided to make a version of a salad I found in Food and Wine.  I love this salad.  Delicious and crazy healthy. 

The recipe calls for a slice of aged Cabot Clothbound Cheddar.  I chose a slice of cheddar that had small bits of cranberries instead.  It sounded so very seasonal.   Also the recipe calls for arugula which looked pretty ragged at Whole Foods, so I substituted with Watercress.

I soaked the dried chanterelles in water for a couple of hours and then gently sautéed them in butter for a few minutes.  They were just starting to crisp and the earthy flavor was outstanding in this salad.  I didn’t let them cook nearly as long as the recipe indicates for fresh mushrooms and kept a close eye on them for just the right texture.

Warm Chanterelle and Berry Salad with Cheddar

6 Tbs plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small sweet onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb chanterelle or hedgehog mushrooms, stems trimmed and large mushrooms halved
1 Tbs plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 cups baby arugula
1 cup blackberries
1 cup raspberries
Four 2-ounce pieces of Cabot Clothbound Cheddar

1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion rings, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until richly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the onion rings to a medium bowl.

2. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil to the skillet and when it is hot, add the chanterelles and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until the liquid in the skillet has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Continue to cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the chanterelles are browned, about 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

3. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar with the mustard and the remaining 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of olive oil; season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Add the arugula, blackberries and raspberries to the bowl with the onions. Add the chanterelles and the vinaigrette and toss well. Put a piece of cheddar on each plate. Divide the salad among the plates and serve.

I served this with Corn Chowder.  Simple:  Just saute some onion in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add a heaping Tbs of flour and let it cook for a minute or so and then add ingredients.  1 can creamed corn, 1 package frozen corn, milk, chicken broth, and a little of the water from the boiling potatoes on the next burner.  Drain and stir in the diced potatoes and serve with bacon bits and some parsley.  Delicious!!!

Raspberry Chipolte Roast Beef Panini

November 16, 2009 at 1:32 am | Posted in Beef, Sandwiches | 37 Comments
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Raspberry Chipolte Roast Beef Panini

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Served with stuffed Winter Squash

This past Sunday I made one of those old-fashioned pot roast dinners. A nice big roast snuggled into a Dutch oven surrounded by lots of potatoes, carrots, onions and celery and slow cooked in the oven until tender.
When I was growing up, this was our every Sunday meal. My mom would pop this in the oven, we’d head off to church and return home to wonderful aromas filling the house.
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A few weeks ago, I won a bottle of Chipolte Raspberry Sauce from Dave  The Master over at Year on the Grill.  Thank you Dave!  This is the first time I’ve ever tried this sauce and it is delicious.  If you can find it at your local store, grab a bottle.  I noticed Costco offers a giant size  So with this sauce, here’s what I did with the leftover roast beef.

First of all, I don’t own a Panini press, but I do own a grill pan and a brick. HUH?

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I saw this on Rachael Ray one day. Take a brick and wrap it in heavy-duty foil and use it for the press. That darn Rachel.

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I used Panera Bread Whole Grain

  • Slice and caramelize some onion slices
  • Shred some left over roast beef
    Panera Whole Grain Bread
  • Sliced Provolone Cheese

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Butter each slice of bread on one side only. On the non-buttered side of each slice, spread on a bit of the Raspberry Chipolte Sauce, about the amount you would use if you were spreading jelly or jam. Top with roast beef and onions. Top with the remaining slice of bread and place butter side down on a sizzling grill pan. Place the high-tech panini press on top of the sandwiches and sizzle until browned with nice grill marks, just a couple of minutes… Flip sandwiches over and repeat.

I love the flavor of this sauce and this panini was absolutely delicious!

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And look!  My homemade panini press stores much easier than the store-bought version.  🙂  If your kitchen is anything like mine, stuffed to the gill with gadgets, you’ll appreciate this. Plus clean-up was a breeze, I just tossed the aluminum foil into the recycle and rewrapped with fresh and it’s ready to go for next use.

Odd Couple White Bean Chili

November 13, 2009 at 4:23 am | Posted in Chili, Soup | 26 Comments
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This just may be the best White Bean Chili I’ve ever had – EVER! 

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The odd combination of the flavors march right up the aisle, all the way to the altar, and to everyone’s surprise, and without much ceremony, join in holy matrimony.

Giada served this up a couple of months ago on Giada at Home.  I went to foodnetwork.com, bookmarked the recipe and vowed to give it a try.

First of all, I’ve never seen chard in a White Chili recipe, nor have I seen Parmesan Cheese in a White Chili recipe.  But they seemed happy, so who am I to judge. 

2nd of all,  Chard is about the most beautiful vegetable to prepare.  Those deep rich green leaves with the red veins and those luscious colored stalks.  It just makes me feel good about adding it.   I think my New Year’s Resolution might be to get to know Chard a bit better.

Plus I must say that this Fall I froze a lot of delicious fresh Colorado sweet corn, cutting the kernels off the cob and saving them for special occasions such as this.

The only thing I changed with this recipe was to garnish with cilantro instead of parsley.  Yum either way.  Enjoy!

White Bean and Chicken Chili, courtesy Giada De Laurentiis:

2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs ground chicken
1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
2 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs fennel seeds
1 Tbs dried oregano
2 tsp chili powder
3 Tbs flour
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans, Swiss chard, corn, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

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Veal Chops With Red Grapes

November 12, 2009 at 3:26 am | Posted in Beef | 18 Comments
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This is an impressive  and delicious little meal.

I spotted this in Food and Wine and had to give it a test run. This recipe is elegant, easy and delicious and I can’t wait to serve it for a dinner party.

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Whole Foods had beautiful Veal Chops sitting right next to some tempting Veal Shanks (I love Osso Bucco).  Osso Bucco is my tradition for New Year’s Eve, so resisted the temptation to celebrate early and ordered up the chops for the original plan.  Warning, these chops were $20 pound. I had planned to purchase 2 chops, but when they were sitting on the scale I could tell they were thicker than what the recipe called for. Weighing in at 3/4 pound each and with that expensive price tag, I came home with only one chop for the two of us.

As I suspected, it was enough, as I served it with some hearty Garlic and Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes, a recipe I found over at Closet Cooking. FABULOUS potatoes!  Go to his website and check-it-out, capture the recipe and don’t look back.  I’m of the “traditional mashed potatoes are so good why would you mess with them” school of thought.  Well I messed with them (added garlic and goat cheese) and boy am I glad I did.

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Wine Pairing:  We brought up an Oregon Pinot to serve with the meal.  However, the recipe instructs to pair with an easy to find velvety merlot.  I thought the Pinot was just fine!

Here’s the recipe.  Give it a try.

Roasted Veal Chops with Grapes:

1 lb seedless red grapes
3 Tbs sherry vinegar
2 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Four 1-inch-thick veal rib chops (about 1/2 pound each)

1. Preheat the oven to 500°. On a sturdy rimmed baking sheet, toss the grapes with the vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and the sugar; season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 minutes, shaking the baking sheet halfway through, until the grapes are hot and the pan is sizzling.

2. Rub the veal chops with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and season with salt and pepper. Push the grapes to one side of the baking sheet. Add the veal chops and roast for about 5 minutes, or until sizzling underneath. Turn the chops and roast for 5 minutes longer for medium-rare meat. Transfer the veal chops to a platter, scrape the grapes and juices on top and serve.  Since the chops I purchased were a bit thicker, I cooked them for about 6 1/2 minutes per side.  Serves  4.

Just Grilled – Plain Chicken

November 11, 2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Just Grilled - A Blog Interview | 11 Comments

Welcome to the 3rd issue of “Just Grilled” The purpose of this series is to introduce to you to some blogger folks out there that I’ve run across that have inspired me, are incredibly interesting, informational and so entertaining that I can’t pass up the chance to introduce them to you . Hopefully you’ll make some new friends along the way.

newbannerTHANKSGIVING

Steph and her three cats are the owner/authors of Plain Chicken. She lives in Alabama, is an accountant by day and chef by night.

I think the look of her blog is just fabulous. I love the cartoon animals and the colors are so crisp and fresh and the blog easy to read. She takes great pictures and consistently sends us some fabulous mouth-watering recipes.

I couldn’t decide on a favorite post of hers, it’s a tie between the

Barbeque Pork Tenderloin Sliders

Sausage Pinwheels

Fondant Cake

and Flipflop Cakes

I think you get the picture – too many good recipes come out of that kitchen.

So Steph is you would sit down at the microphone please:

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Name: Stephanie Parker

 City: Birmingham, AL (a.k.a. The ‘Ham)

Blog url: http://www.plainchicken.blogspot.com

How long have you been blogging: 2 years this month! I am still working on my photography, but it is coming along.

Six words to describe the food you like to cook: Simple, easy, quick, flavorful, chicken.

Six words to describe you: Shopping, traveling, cooking, animal & Auburn Tigers lover.

Proudest moment in the kitchen: Making my first Fondant cake!!!

Most embarrassing moment in the kitchen: I let my husband pick a recipe for dinner and he picked chicken spaghetti. It turned out to be the worst thing I ever made. It made with chicken, spaghetti, tomato paste and Velveeta cheese. It was just a sticky pile of goo. We still talk about how bad it was.
Rules of conduct in your kitchen: Try at least one new recipe a week and don’t be afraid to make the recipe your own. Have fun – you can always order pizza.

Favorite ingredient: Chicken – of course!

Most overrated ingredient: Organic foods – I know a lot of people swear by organic, but I just don’t trust what I am getting unless it is from a local source.

Favorite local ingredient: Silver Queen corn – I love homemade creamed corn.

Weirdest thing you ever eaten: Calamari – I am not a very adventurous eater – the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten would be probably just normal for other people.

Favorite kitchen gadget: My Kitchen-Aid Mixer – couldn’t live without it.

Everybody loves it when I cook: Desserts – I give cakes and cookies away all the time. I am very popular at the office for that very reason.

Favorite all-time restaurant: Hamilton’s in Auburn, AL – we go there with my parents before Auburn University home games. The food is great; their Fried Green Tomatoes and Shrimp made the Top 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama list. The atmosphere is the best – everyone is having fun!

Favorite Cookbook: That is hard – I get most of my recipes online now. If I had to pick one it would be Southern Living Homestyle Cooking. It has tons of recipes from readers and local cookbooks.

What music do you like to cook by: I love to cook to Michael Buble, top 40 and Christmas music is a must at the holidays.

If I owned my own restaurant, I would name it: 2 tsp (Two Teaspoons) – It is a combination of my husband’s and my initials and there are only two of us.

What famous person would I love to invite over to lunch (living or deceased): Michael J. Fox – I’ve had a crush on him for over 20 years!

If I were President who would I appoint as my Chef: Guy Fieri – he goes to the best places on Diners Drive-ins and Dives and I would love to have him recreate some of those wonderful dishes. It also doesn’t hurt that he seems like a lot of fun.

In my opinion my best blog post was (provide url link):

Either my Snicker’s Cheesecake that is made with Greek Yogurt
http://plainchicken.blogspot.com/2009/10/snickers-cheesecake.html

Or my Artichoke Bread post
http://plainchicken.blogspot.com/2009/10/artichoke-bread.html

Both are good and simple recipes and the pictures turned out great.

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So there you have it, I thought the interrogation was fun.  Thanks to Steph for being my 3rd raked over the coals, grilled blogger!  And readership, please don’t hesitate to take a look at www.plainchicken.blogspot.com  you’ll be glad you did.

Crab, Avocado and Asparagus Salad

November 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Posted in Salads, Seafood | 31 Comments
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Look at all of these beautiful, fresh and healthy ingredients.  I’m trying to eat as healthy as I can before the month-long food gorge begins in a couple of weeks.  And believe you me, I plan to whole heartedly participate in the Holiday food festivities.  🙂

Whole Foods has been having what they call a “One Day Sale”.  Each Wednesday they offer a very good “deal” and alert you to what is on sale by email the day before.  I don’t know if they are doing this at all locations, but if you have a Whole Foods near you, you might want to sign up for their newsletter and receive these notifications.  I’ve been loving the sales.  This week, Crab legs for $9.99/lb.

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Beautiful Pea Shoots

This is a new recipe for us, and we loved it.  Also, easy as can be. 

  • 1 lb thick asparagus
  • 7 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 6 medium basil leaves
  • 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 1/2 oz pea shoots, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
  • 2 Hass avocados, each cut into 8 wedges

1. Cut tough ends off asparagus and throw away.  Slice asparagus tops into 1 inch chunks.  Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Blanch the asparagus in the boiling water until just heated through, 10 seconds. Drain and transfer to the ice water to chill; drain well. Pat dry and transfer to a bowl.

2. In a blender, blend the oil, lemon juice, basil, shallot and 1/4 cup of the parsley. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

3. Add the pea shoots, pistachios and the remaining 1/4 cup of parsley leaves to the asparagus. Toss with half of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with crab meat.  Serves 4

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And enjoy!  Not a great photo, but this is a beautiful salad.  We served this with Rosemary Sourdough bread from Whole Foods.  DEE-licious little meal.  This meal was adapted from Food and Wine.

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