Friday, July 26, 2013

Breakfast on the go: Easy Omelet Muffins

I am not a morning person.  Most days I wake up with only enough time to get dressed before racing out the door.  So, I eat breakfast in my car most days during my one hour commute to work.  I had to give up eating yogurt in the car for breakfast, too many near misses. Yogurt stains on my shirt is not how I like to start off my day lol.  Now most days I eat omelet muffins. They are a great on-the-go breakfast option.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Foodie Adventure: New York City

I spent six glorious days in New York City, working and of course eating!! Here are just a few of the places I visited.

Crumbs Bake Shop  This place makes 50 different kinds of cupcakes!

So many choices! I am almost ashamed to admit it, I bought a simple vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing (that's what I was craving lol).  Next time I'll be a little more adventurous.

There should be a law against calorie info on a cupcake lol.

Melt Shop Grilled Cheese - I walked almost a mile to get to this place, that's how much I love a good grilled cheese sandwich!! 

I ordered The Dirty, it had pepper jack and muenster cheese with caramelized onions, pickled jalapeños, sliced tomato and potato chips. It was so good!  I love anything with caramelized onions.

Tater tots with truffle mayo. The truffle mayo (not pictured) was so amazingly good! I could eat this sauce on everything.

  44 & X Hell's Kitchen  I went here for lunch.

Crabcake and squash appetizer.  I don't remember what the other ingredients were but this was good.

Vermont cheddar macaroni and cheese. This is the biggest bowl of mac n cheese I have ever been served. I barely finished half of it.
Red Rooster  - Chef Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant in Harlem.  The food was amazing.  

I ordered Helga's Meatballs, which is Chef Samuelsson's twist on Swedish meatballs, with lingonberries, braised green cabbage and dill stewed potatoes.  It was delicious my mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

I also order a side of cornbread that came with honey butter and tomato jam. The cornbread was sweet, almost like cake; just like I like it.
Writing this post makes me want to go back to New York....

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Garlic Thyme Pan Seared Chicken

One of my most popular posts is my Grilled Thyme Shrimp Kabobs made with my garlic thyme marinade. I absolutely love this marinade.  I tell all my friends, if you don’t try anything else off my blog you have to try this marinade. It's just that good.  It's sweet and savory and tastes great on chicken.

For this recipe I am using about 3 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs and I tripled the original marinade recipe (the original recipe is based on one pound of meat).
For the marinade you all you need is olive, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper, worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and thyme.  Rosemary also works well, in the pictures below I used half thyme and half rosemary because I ran out thyme.
Combine all of the ingredient.
Whisk together
Pour marinade over chicken and let it marinate for a least 1 hour, for best flavor marinate it overnight. 
Next pan sear the chicken in a skillet 2-3 minutes on each side.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 10-15 mins or until the juices run clear.

Garlic Thyme Pan Seared Chicken
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 cups of Garlic Thyme Marinade (see recipe below)

1 tablespoon olive oil
Prepare marinade and marinate chicken in a plastic container for atleast 1 hour.  For best flavor marinate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.

Cook chicken 2-3 minutes on each side, until chicken is browned.

Bake in oven 10-15 minutes, until chicken is done.
Garlic Thyme Marinade
Makes 1 1/2 cup (for 3 pound of meat)
6 medium cloves garlic, crushed or 2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoon dried thyme leaves (may substitute 6 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped).You can also use rosemary, oregano or marjoram.
3 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk together the garlic, thyme, sugar, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and oil in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 1 week). 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Time saving tip: Progresso Recipe Starters

I am big fan of time saving tips especially when it comes to cooking. Last summer I discovered Progresso Recipe Starters Cooking Sauce, and just like the name it's a great recipe starter and time saver. You don't have to make everything from scratch right??? 

Progresso sent me a gift pack containing all five flavors:
Creamy Three Cheese
Creamy Portabella Mushroom
Creamy Roasted Garlic
Fire Roasted Tomato
Creamy Parmesan Basil

I have tried all five flavors, sometimes using the recipe on the can or coming up with my own ideas.  The Creamy Three Cheese sauce has become a staple ingredient in my macaroni and cheese recipe.  I like supplementing canned cheese sauce to the shredded cheese in my mac and cheese.  Canned cheese sauce makes a creamier mac and cheese without adding large amounts of shredded cheese, which can get expensive especially when cooking for a crowd.  Not only do I like time saving tips but money saving tips as well.  But I digress. This post is supposed to be about the Progresso recipe starters...where was I lol....Oh yeah, the recipe ideas are endless for these cooking sauces.

I used the Creamy Roasted Garlic cooking sauce for a chicken pot pie using a recipe on the Progresso label. It is super easy.  All you need is the cooking sauce, chicken, mixed vegetables, flour, poultry seasonings and pie crust.

I made shrimp alfredo with the Creamy Parmesan Basil cooking sauce.  I combined the cooking sauce with half and half, butter, shrimp and Old Bay seasoning.

I also made my own version of baked stroganoff by combining the Creamy Portabella Mushroom sauce with ground chicken, sautéed onions, diced tomatoes and penne pasta. It was so good!  I know tomatoes are not a traditional ingredient in stroganoff but that night I was craving diced tomatoes and adding them to the dish was perfect.

The possibilities are endless....

DISCLOSURE:  The information, products and Progresso™ Recipe Starters™ gift packs were provided by Progresso through BlogHer Food.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Easy Banana Nut Bread with Caramel Frosting

Ever wonder what to do with overly ripe bananas? Make banana bread!  Here is a super easy banana nut bread recipe that is delicious all by itself , but I made it even better by adding caramel frosting.

For the banana nut bread, all you need is 3 eggs, 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts, vanilla flavoring and a box of cake mix.  I prefer to use french vanilla cake mix.   Mix all the ingredients together.
Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour on 350 degrees.

For the frosting you will need sugar, butter, brown sugar, milk, vanilla flavoring and powdered sugar.

Pour the icing over the loaf  and sprinkle with chopped nuts. 
 Banana Nut Bread Recipe
4 or 5 ripe bananas
1 box of cake mix
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, using a mixer mash bananas.  Add in cake mix, eggs,vanilla and nuts.  Mix well and pour into a greased 5 x 9 loaf pan.  Bake for one hour.  Allow banana bread to cool before making frosting.
Caramel Frosting Recipe
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
2 tablespoon powdered sugar
Heat sugar, butter, dark brown sugar and milk in a sauce pan until dissolved.  Bring to a rolling boil and cook for one minute.  Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla flavoring and powdered sugar.  Beat until desired consistency, it should be thick but loose enough to pour over banana bread.  Pour immediately over banana bread and sprinkle with nuts.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Potato Leek Soup

There is nothing like a warm bowl of soup on cold winter day. One of my favorite soups to make is potato leek soup. It's delicious and super easy to make. Also, this soup is also low in calories and fat because it uses 2% milk and only tablespoon of olive oil. Traditional recipes for potato leek soup use alot of butter and heavy cream.  You can enjoy this soup without feeling guilty.

Here are few tips for cooking with leeks:
  • Buy leeks that are firm with dark green tops and little to no bruises or blemishes.
  • Buy only as many leeks as you need because leeks will only keep in the refrigerator for a few days.
  • Leeks have alot of embedded dirt between the leaves, so washing them properly is important. The easiest way to clean them is to slice the leek in half length down the center. Rinse in between the leaves under cold water to remove all of the dirt.
Wash and slice the white and pale green portion of the leek.

Saute leeks in olive until tender.

Add potatoes and chicken both, cook until potatoes are tender, the puree.

Garnish with green onions.

Potato Leek Soup Recipe
Makes 9 cups

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 leeks (about 1 pound), washed and sliced, white and green portion only
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
5 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
salt & pepper to taste
green onions, chopped (optional for garnish)

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
2. Saute leeks for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until leeks are soft.
3. Add potatoes and chicken broth to pot. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and add milk.
5. Using a blender or immersion blender, puree soup to desired consistency. If the soup is too thick, add a bit more chicken broth or milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Garnish with green onions and serve.