Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Eggplant Dip from Romania

This is a traditional Romanian dip. It has a great smoky favor and a smooth consistency. It can be made with onion or garlic. Try both styles. Is great on rustic bread or a simple toast. A fancy way to serve it is stuffed in tomatoes and sprinkled with parsley leaves or  black olives. 

ingredients
2 large eggplants ( around 2 pounds)
4 scallions chopped or 2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 to 2/3 cup olive oil (grape seed oil, or any neutral vegetable oil)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Optional for serving:
4-6 medium tomatoes
a few leaves of parsley and black olives

preparation

Roast the eggplants on the top of a gas stove directly on the flames. Keep the fire on high so the flames surround the eggplant. Roast each eggplant until the shin starts to burn (when you can see white gray color and the inside is soft at touch), then turn on the other side and cook until the skin starts to burn on that side. Transfer to a plate or cutting board and peel a part of the top burned shin with the back of a spoon. Let cool while the other eggplant is roasting. Scoop the inside of the eggplant into a bowl using a spoon. Repeat this procedure for the second eggplant.
While the eggplant is cooling chop the onion very small (or crush the garlic). Once cooled, transfer the eggplant to a cutting board and crop it until is similar to a coarse paste. Mix the eggplant with the onion (or garlic), the salt and add the oil in batches. Add more onion (garlic) and salt to taste. Refrigerate for an hour or serve immediately.

Optional serving with tomatoes:

Cut the top of the tomatoes and scoop the inside with a teaspoon. Fill them with the dip and top with parsley and an olive. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Homemade PHO aka Asian Chicken Noodle Soup 

serves 6
Ingredients:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
6 cups chicken broth
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 baby bok choy, chopped
5 oz chinese noodles (about half a package)
sriracha sauce for serving (optional)
chopped cilantro for serving (optional)

Directions:

Heat the sesame oil over medium high heat in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot. Add the minced garlic and ginger and briefly saute for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and bok choy, sprinkle with salt, and saute for another three minutes until chicken has turned white but not completely cooked all the way through.

Add the chicken broth, jalapeno and green onions to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until chicken is done.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in boiling salted water, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Add the rice vinegar and soy sauce and stir. You can add a little more salt if you like, but taste first because soy sauce already contains a lot of salt! Add the noodles to the pot and serve with chopped cilantro and sriracha sauce on the side.

Time:

45 minutes
Coconut Curry Noodles 

You will need---
1 Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips
A handful of baby carrots, cut into thin strips
1 jar Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
1 can lite coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
Rice noodles
Cilantro
soy sauce, to taste

(ALSO note* you can add chicken, shrimp more veggies like broccoli ect.... to this and also make this vegetarian buy using veggie broth )


Step One: Submerge the rice noodles in boiling water. Let them soak for a bit. If you can cover them, all the better. But just be sure they aren’t on the heat any longer—nobody likes an overcooked noodle.

Step Two: Drizzle a bit of olive oil into your pan and empty about half the jar of the curry paste into the pan. Mix up and let those two really get to know each other.


Step Three: Add one cup water plus one cup chicken broth into the skillet. Add the carrots and bring to a boil. Cover and let it rumble…but only for like a minute. Nobody likes mushy carrots.

Step Four: Add the can of coconut milk and the peppers.

…okay, and maybe a bit more curry paste (to taste :D )
Step Five: Add about 1/4 cup of soy sauce into the mix. In a bowl, put a decent helping of noodles. Then ladle on some of that delicious sauce and veggies right over the noodles. Top with cilantro. Add more soy sauce if you’re like me and have a Sodium-Wasting Superpower. hehehehe ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pine Nut Soup


Pine Nut Soup


100 g pine nuts
3 egg yolks
250 ml chicken bouillon
250 ml cream
saffron, ouzo or cayenne pepper
1. Purée a mixture of the pine nuts and the egg yolks in the food
processor until you have a fine, smooth paste.
2. Put this in a saucepan and add one cup of chicken bouillon and one
cup of
cream. The chicken stock can be added already at the food processor
stage if you have difficulties in obtaining a smooth paste.This far the
dish can be
prepared hours in advance.
3. Heat over a gentle fire under constant stirring until the mixture
thickens.
It must not, however, be brought to a boil!
4. Serve immediately.
If desired, the aphrodisiac properties can be reinforced by suitable
spices. I have tried three equally successful alternatives: 0.5 grams
of finely divided saffron, two tablespoons of ouzo and a pinch of
cayenne pepper. The spice (but only one of them!) is added before the
soup is heated. Especially the saffron gives the dish a pleasing reddish
colour.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chopped Adventures

I love to cook and I LOVE watching various cooking shows. One of my favorites is a show called "Chopped" . The premise is they bring in 4 chefs who are all  given the same basket of unknown ingredients. They get new baskets each round and with those baskets they have to incorporated those ingredients into the round. The first round is appetizers, Second is a main dish and third and final round is dessert. After each round one of the chefs are eliminated. Until the last round where the two remaining chefs are judged not only on desert but on their whole meal.

Today's show is Chopped: All Star Showdown season 2 ep 12...

I do have a point to this... So many people have blogs out there about their adventures in cooking and thats what I want from this blog. My hope is to occasionally grab the ingredients and try to make something out of them. Being a fairly new Chef (meaning I have very little experience) I will not try to meet the time restraints that the show has on these professional chefs.

Appitizer: Squab, Lavash Bread, Preserved Lemon


Main: Blue fish, ginger snaps, papaya, beef jerky


Dessert: Butter Crackers, Grapefruit, Gin, Feta

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ultimate Banana Bread

**** I haven't made this yet but I can't wait to do so!!! ******

Ultimate Banana Bread

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Greek Seasoning Mix

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  3. Serve with red meat, pork, poultry, or fish.
  4. Yield: 1/4 cup.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Low Carb friendly Egg Drop Soup

When I was a kid I can remember my mom making us Egg Drop Soup. It was one of my favorite things she'd make for us.  It was no wonder that when I found myself teaching English in northern China and found that soup is almost always part of a celebratory meal. They were often clear broth soups with egg drops or veggies and occasionally some kind of meat. The Chinese are wonderfully diverse in their cooking and I tried many different kinds of food while there. This simple recipe is the closest I've found to some of the soups I ate while living in China.  

*******************************

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Talapia

So a little while ago we bought a little used dorm fridge in the hopes that we could use it as a freezer. It didn't work however and I ended up with 2 bags of Talapia that had to be cooked since it had defrosted all the way. The first 2 dishes were inspired from the Mediterranean. Then I made a bunch of foil boats and seasoned the rest of the fish in various ways.  I think my favorite was the one that I used lite soy and ginger on it. Along with the fish I also baked an egg plant and roasted some garlic. Several of the dishes feel as if they are missing something and the taste isn't as good as I think it should be. I snacked on some found a couple of bones. The more I cook the more I realize I have NO idea what I'm doing and this is all just a big kitchen experiment. lol...

I've got the dishes cooling off on the stove top. I hope the cats dont get a hold of them!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dinner tonight:

Tonight I was taught how to make light fluffy scrambled eggs. It was wonderful! Here's how Kendra taught me:

Check this book out:

HUCKLEBERRY MILTON

Can a robotic Jerry Garcia revive the Grateful Dead, playing ad-hoc (and continuous) concerts at local shopping malls, schoolyards and Subway restaurants, jump-starting a sinking economy and leading the way to a new, highly profitable American Dream?

This is the question and struggle as
businessman and former hippie Huckleberry Milton, his robotic sidekick Jerry Garcia, and a new Jim Morrison look-alike find themselves together on a trip back to the Silicon Valley of the late 1960s in search of a solution to save 21st century America's failing economy.

Huckleberry Milton, the new psychedelic stream-of-consciousness novel by Bradley J. Milton, is available on Amazon Kindle and all other standard formats.

On the BJM LIVE! Summer Blog Tour, Bradley J. Milton reads excerpts from the book, recorded live and exclusively for the blog.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Some Thai Recipes I want to try!

 I have been in a mood for Thai food lately and so I went out and found these recipes in various books I have here at home and made them super Dukan Diet friendly! Let me know what you think!

How do you roast veggies without using oil?

I lucked upon a good sale on bell peppers and want to cook and freeze them. So I thought about having roasted peppers but didn't know how to roast things went out on line and this is what I found (I'll let you know how things turn out once I pick a way to do them):


Sunday, June 19, 2011

How to cook italian chicken sausage

Brown them in a pan until colored, then put a cup of water on them and a lid to steam cooked them, this extracts the fat with out spattering and once the water has evaporated then let them brown further, sausages like a cake are hard to gauge, but if you start them off, then steam cook for 10-15 mins and then brown them for another 10 mins.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday Recipes: Chinese Food

Sorry this one is late folks I've been busy busy busy this week. This week we're doing a couple of Chinese food favorites.... Shrimp with Lobster Sauce (without the black beans), Egg Drop Soup, Chinese Chicken Salad


Friday, June 17, 2011

Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Capers

precooked chicken breast strips (I used fajita meat)
1 lemon
capers
artichoke quarters


put chicken capers and artichokes quarters on plate. squeeze lemon juice over top and throw into microwave.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Puddings requested by Annie Byles

Annie put in a request for some Dukan friendly puddings so here are some: 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday Recipes: A hodgepodge of yummy goodness!!!


Just a hodgepodge grouping of recipes... Let me know if you all try any of these ~ Kelly

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Weird food...

Today I'm going to talk about a weird kind of meat: gizzards and hearts. When I was growing up every summer we would go to my Uncle Howards for his family's big 4th of July party. On his grill he would have this HUGE pan of gizzards and hearts and about 2 or 3 lbs of butter. He would serve those up on a fresh roll and fresh tomatoes. I thought it was the best thing ever to eat! My friend just recently was given some gizzards and hearts and she doesn't eat them and so she passed them on to me. I'd frozen it in the hopes that I'd cook with it or maybe feed it to the dogs.  I checked out the Dukan list and sure enough gizzards and hearts are on there so I'm looking for ways to cook it that would be Dukan Diet friendly. Here are some of the recipes I found:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Recipes: Tilapia

I am in the mood for fish and have tilapia on hand so here are 3 recipes I found that would work with the Dukan diet! 

Monday, May 30, 2011

I'm a huge fan of Fajitas!

The only thing is I can't eat tortillas at this point on my diet. So I went out and looked over some recipes and found one that I modified from Hungry Girl. Here it is:

Some other important stuff...


I’m a huge fan of tea and water.  Right now I’m drinking at least 1.5 liters of water a day. This is important to help keep flushing out my kidneys. This is something my body needs extra because of the diabetes. I never thought I'd be diabetic. I believe my diabetes came to be because of hormonal imbalances that ran unchecked for years. Just about everything that is affecting me physically can be found to be connected to these imbalanced hormones.

The other thing I want to mention is about exercise. I live in a place that temperatures reach up over 110 degrees over the summer.  Anything over 85 degrees causes me to retreat into my house and not come out until fall unless I absolutely have to. So going for a walk here is very difficult. Mostly I find my exercise through doing little things around the house the gym or if I’m lucky and its nice out I’ll go for a walk where there is shade.  I have a handy little machine called a Wii that I use occasionally to help me keep moving.  That’s all I do for exercise at this point. I’m going to mention sleep here because it’s very important to healing one’s body. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and that if you snore that you get checked out for sleep apnea because sleep apnea can kill you.  Scary right? 

I"m not going to pull any punches in this blog. I"m also making it totally public. I"m not doing this for money or fame or exposure. I've just found as I've gotten older that its better to be completely honest and forthright than to hide behind fears and expectations. I'll leave all the judgement to something greater than me and just focus on what I think is important which is being open and out there and no mater what anyone else says to be true to my feelings on any given subject. 

Welcome to my kitchen!


What started me doing a kitchen blog is my exploration into the world of food. That sounds so cliché but it's true! I'm 40 years old and for most of my life I've cooked like a single person. Eating out of boxes, microwaves and fast foods is what made up my everyday eating habits. What little training I had was when I was a kid and teenager and not because my mom didn’t try. I just wasn’t into cooking all that much. My focus was on trying to figure out who I was where I was going and what I wanted.  Well that was half a life time ago and here I am 40 years old and having a love affair with food. I’m what people call a foodie. I think that food should taste good and to share food is a celebration of life. 

My main focus about food these days have been all the health benefits I can gain from it. A couple years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes 2. I didn’t do much to change my eating habits and that combined with the medications the doctors put me on pushed my weight up over 330lbs. That’s a lot of weight to put on my little 5’4” frame of bones. As you might suspect, I found myself very unhealthy, in pain, and sick a lot. I felt lost and unable to change anything about my body and I was sinking into despair. But I’m a stubborn woman and I dug in my heels and said NO MORE! So I started reviewing my medications and what I was eating. I checked in with friends and family members to see what they were doing to lose weight or get healthy and then I made some personal choices to change. I wanted to find a diet that would work for me. I didn’t want to be hungry and I didn’t want to hate food. Food to me is a interconnection with others. A celebration a reason to be social it was a way to communicate with higher powers a way to enjoy life. So my drive is to not give those things up while committing to a healthier me. After all I want to live life as fully as I can while enjoying life. What would life be if I couldn’t enjoy it? 

Knowing that I had to find something to improve my life I started reviewing diets and how they made me feel about eating and food. For a while there I thought I’d try to go back on the Atkins diet or the South Beach diet but neither of those had worked for me in the past. They didn’t work because I found myself craving things and needing things that I was unable to get. I thought about trying the HGC diet and I looked into maybe getting surgery. I thought about going back on weight watchers too. Last year I was listening to NPR and heard an interview with a French Doctor. He spoke about a diet plan that he had put together and worked on for the last 20 or so years. He was bringing it to the USA and wanted to tell people about it. From time to time I kept hearing about it and then one of my friends went on it. She gave me information and shared about another of her friends who was doing it and I decided that this diet was for me. For one thing I craved protein. It’s been a constant in my life for the last 10 years or so. I don’t really ever crave sweets or sugars. Very occasionally I find I want some fruit or tortilla chips or potatoes or fresh bread but for the most part I d say my cravings ran toward meat.  This craving has a lot to do why I chose Dr. Dukan’s Diet. It’s a low fat high protein low carb diet. It’s not difficult to follow and I don’t feel like I’m denying myself very much. I’m also finding a joy in trying new recipes. Cooking has become more of an adventure and I’m really interested in learning more about food.

So on with the adventure!