Friday, September 30, 2011

Nerves before a trip

A bed of tomatoes and roasted garlic with a poached egg on top sprinkled with crispy prosciutto.

As you can tell I am fairly obsessed with the San Marzano tomatoes.

The dogs also got some:

I just got back from having my hair cut and colored. I tried to take a picture but it came out awful. I will try again tomorrow.

The dogs are fed and I am heading out again. I leave this coming Wednesday but these days of prep are zooming by!

Night all!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pizza take 2

There really is nothing more satisfying than pizza.

I was planning on making small tasting pizzas with all three of the cans of tomatoes but I quickly realized that would take too much time.

So, instead I opened all three and did a quick taste test.

The one on the far left had a nice rich tomato flavor with just a hint of saltiness. The one in the middle tasted fine but had a slight metallic note. The one on the far right tasted about the same as the middle one and also had a slight metallic taste.

I went with the can on the far left. 

I pulled out 3 tomatoes and crushed them up with my fingers.

The tomatoes were a gorgeous shade of red.
I put them into a skillet on low heat with 1Tbsp of chicken broth, a pinch of oregano, basil, sugar, garlic powder and onion powder.

I let it cook down until it was nice and thick.

Then I took out a thawed bit of pizza dough I had in the refrigerator and stretched it thin.

I wanted the tomatoes to be the star of the show so I spooned on a generous topping of the sauce.

I found the most adorable mini mozzarella balls at the local market so they went on next.

A sprinkle of parsley on top.

The pizza went into a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.

I put on some thin strips of prosciutto while it was in the oven.
Oh, wow, was this good. I didn't even bother to put it on a plate - I just cut it up and ate it off the cutting board.

At this point the dogs had been pacing the entire time since I opened the cans of tomatoes. They were particularly interested in the can I used for this pizza.

So, it was a done deal. I had to make doggie pizzas - and another small one for myself:-)

The only difference this time was that I left out the onion powder. It was still incredible amazing. Enjoy the photos.

Ahhh, pizza heaven. The dogs were beside themselves while waiting for their pizzas to cool down enough to eat.

They devoured them and then spent about 20 minutes inspecting each others bowls to make sure that not a crumb remained. 

I am a heavy-on-the-sauce kind of pizza person but even if you are not these tomatoes are worth going to the bother to find. 

And yes, I put on so much tomato sauce that the pizzas were not exactly crisp but I didn't care - the taste was amazing!

Pizza take 1

I was at Whole Foods yesterday and picked up a pizza that looked interesting.

What I liked most about it was the fat content for one serving.

7g of fat for one slice of pizza? It sounded too good to be true but I was willing to give it a try.

After 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven it turned out looking like this:

It looked weird and kind of dried out and it didn't taste much better.

Boo! I would have been thrilled to find a store bought pizza that I could enjoy without stomach trouble.

But there is a bright side - I have been fairly obsessed with San Marzano tomatoes and how people rave about them for marinaras and pizza sauce.

I know two out of the three are San Marzano tomatoes - I am not sure about the third (you know I have a history of buying things without reading the labels).

I pulled out some pizza dough from the freezer and I will be doing a taste test with all three tomatoes later today.

Here is hoping for a perfect pizza pie by the end of the day!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Creamy avocado dressing

A big salad with creamy avocado dressing.

Just a short and simple post. I am very busy trying to get all the little details set before my upcoming trip on Wednesday.

I did discover this morning that hellofax is a pretty handy way to fax documents from your computer AND it lets you sign a scanned document before sending. 

I am just doing the free online trial at the moment but it sure made my life easier today when I needed to send out an important fax.

My creamy avocado dressing is super simple:

1/2 and avocado, mashed
1 tsp of soy sauce
1/2 tsp of Vegenaise
1/2 tsp of Miso Mayo
1 Tbsp of water

Mix everything with an immersion blender until smooth.

I am off to see about ordering a bag for my laptop.

 Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chicken Marsala

I was feeling ambitious today and decided to try my hand at Tyler Florence's recipe for Chicken Marsala.

Unfortunately, it did not turn out looking like this:

Chicken Marsala at Don Giovani's. 

I cooked the vegetables before the chicken and this was a bad idea - they ended up being a bit too mushy.

Not awful, mind you, and I did like the caramelization on them but I just wish I pulled them off the heat just a bit sooner.

And I did figure out why this is a dish most Italian restaurants sell...

Restaurants must sell this because on chicken breast pounded about 1/4" thin is more than enough for two portions. Good profit margin on this meal I would think.

I added in extra mushrooms and procuitto.

The flavors were ok in this dish - but it tasted different for some reason.

Then I looked at the 'Marsala wine' I thought I bought.

Shame on the Bevmo guy who handed me this when I asked for Marsala wine. Sherry and Marsala wine are not the same.

And shame on me for not actually reading the label before I bought it.

I also cut the amount of liquid in half which was a mistake - the chicken ended up being a bit dry.

Either way, my friend said she thought the sauce was delicious.

So my advice to all of you is: Read the label on bottles BEFORE you buy, actually go to the bother of calculating the scaled down measurements for a recipe and don't be afraid to try something new.

Even if this dish didn't turn out perfect it still was delicious and I can only improve from here on out:-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

How Cheez-Its can improve salmon

Salmon cakes with a special ingredient.
I will admit to all of you that Cheez-Its are my downfall. If I ever kept them in the house on a regular basis I am sure my skin would turn orange and I would need a crane to move me off the couch.

So, now I only buy the smallest bags and then quickly proceed to eat the whole thing - in one sitting.

But this morning I showed restraint. I wanted to make cheesy salmon cakes but I didn't want to add any cheese.

And so enters the Cheez-its:

I adapted a recipe I found here.

I used about 3/4 cup of canned salmon (drained and flaked). 

The salmon mixture with a healthy dose of dried parsley.
Most salmon cakes include chopped onion but I don't really like it that much so I left it out.

I coated each patty in bread crumbs before they went into the pan. 

A few minutes in a skillet over medium heat (with 1 Tbsp of olive oil) and they were nice and brown.

Salmon cakes with a dollop of Miso Mayo on top.

I really liked how this recipe turned out. The salmon cakes were still moist in the middle.

Every once in a while I would get crunchy, cheesy burst when I bit into a piece of Cheez-It - Yum!

Salmon Cakes for one

Serves 1


3/4 cup of canned salmon, drained and flaked
1/4 of one beaten egg (about a Tbsp)
2 Tbsp of Cheez-Its chopped into small pieces
3/4 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp of dried parsley
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1 Tbsp of olive oil
cracked black pepper to taste 
1 tsp of nutritional yeast *forgot to add this in the initial post*


Combine the salmon, egg, Cheez-Its, Worcestershire sauce dried parsley, nutritional yeast and cracked black pepper in a bowl. If mixture is too dry add in a bit more of the beaten egg until you can form the mixture into patties.

Form two patties and roll them in the bread crumbs.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. When the oil is hot, carefully place in the patties. Let them cook until brown on one side, then carefully flip them over.

When both patties are brown on both sides, take them out of the pan and plate them.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Skinny jeans and socializing

Now that I have realized all of my clothes are two sizes too big I made the big leap and ordered these from Zappos this morning.

Jag Jeans Newport Slim Cargo Basic Stretch Twill

This will be my first official pair of skinny jeans!

Then, after lunch, I went over to my friends for a bit of socializing.

She was having people over to meet her mother and her sister. 

They had put out a lovely spread of munchies and wine.

And someone brought by these interesting nibbles:

They were chocolate mochi with a banana filling.

My friend's mother was kind enough to put them on a plate in order to take a pretty photo;-)

The chocolate mochi was dusted with cocoa. 

I tried one.

It was interesting and the rest of you would have liked it because the banana was sweet!

I started off with orange juice and then I decided to have a little sip of wine.

A very pretty bottle of vinno verde.

My friend seems to be recuperating well. I hope she gets a great report when she heads in for her post-op checkup tomorrow.

I will leave you with a shot of the very vibrant bouquet of flowers on the table.

Night all!

Mac and cheese > oatmeal

I started out this morning seriously contemplating having oatmeal.

Then I ended up having this:

Quinoa  mac and cheese with corn and crispy 'chicken' nuggets.
 But I am getting ahead of myself. While I was looking for the oatmeal I spotted this:

And I remembered I had this in the freezer:

And I had this to use up:

Add in some soymilk, nutritional yeast, Earth Balance blend, some corn starch, paprika, garlic, a dash of salt and pepper, some quinoa macaroni cooked al dente, some cooked red corn and three pieces of 'chicken' nuggets browned in the oven and you get this:

An extra sprinkle of paprika on top.
This was so good that I ate the whole thing BEFORE blogging. Shocking - I know!

The dogs were begging for some but I was not going to share.

Fine - I did give them some leftover pizza to compensate if you must know but only after I finished eating. I do have standards...

If you are looking for a mac and cheese recipe you can find a full recipe I posted here

I make is a bit different every time but that is a good place to start.

I hope everyone is having a great Sunday!